THE VINDICATION OF CHRIST AND HIS ORDINANCES FROM The corrupt and false Glosses made thereon by the subtil Deceivers of these TIMES.

By Christopher Pooly, Minister of the Word at great Missingham, in Norfolk.

For there shall arise false Christs, and false Prophets, and shall shew great signs and Wonders; in so much that (if it were possible) they shall deceive the very Elect. Mat. 24. 24.
The Prophets prophecy falsly, and the Priests bear rule by their means, &c. Jer. 5. 31.

LONDON, Printed for Henry Cripps and Lodowick Lloyd, and are to be sold at their shop in Popes. head Alley. 1652.

The Summary Heads O [...] the ensuing DISCOURSE.

  • THe truth of Faith, and Believing, manifested. Pag. 1.
  • A Treatise of Self-Denyal. 8
  • The Love and Free Grace of God in Christ, the cause of all good unto man. 26
  • Positions about the grounds of the Treatises and Medita­tions. 37
  • Arguments, made to uphold Inherent Holiness and Righteous­ness in Man, by the Sanctification of the Spirit, are an­swered. 42
  • Of the Sanctification of the Spirit. 51
  • Six sorts of men of different ways, opinions, or judgments, touching their estates with God. 49
  • The Errors of Universal Redemption discovered. 65
  • A Catechistical Dialogue useful for the propagation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 74
  • Another Meditation of the Law. 94
  • Snares of Popery discovered. 103, 104
  • Of the Law remaining, and the Law ended in Christ, to the Elect. 110, 111
  • All Times, Deeds and Things present in Gods sight from E­ternity. 126
  • [Page] Another Catechistical Dialogue, resolving many subtil Que­stions, raised and made by the Adversary, &c. 137
  • Rest to the Souls of Believers. 165
  • Christs Government of his Church upon Earth. 192, 193
  • The right meaning and understanding of these words in Joh. 15. 5. [Without me ye can do nothing] giveth light to the Truths in these Treatises. 202, 203.

The truth of Faith, AND Believing, manifested.

BEcause the Apostle saith, therfore we conclude that man is justified by faith, without the works of the Rom. 3. 28 Rom. 5. 1. Law, and the like otherwhere. Some take it, and hold forth, that a man is justified and made righte­ous by his faith by believing. That he was not be­fore his faith righteous before God; it is his faith that doth him that good to make him righteous with God, before faith, he is an unjust man, a wicked and ungodly man, and one of the children of wrath before God, without mercy and for­givenesse of sin before faith and repentance performed of him. There is no justification of man before God, before Faith.

This taking and holding forth of this Scripture, although it seem to these to be according to the history, yet it is quite contra­ry to the mystery of faith, and of Christ (as the Apostle calleth it:) 1 Tim. 3. 9 For it crosseth all the most clear and comfortable Scriptures of Gods free grace and love in Christ to corrupt weak and sinfull Hos. 14. 4. Isa. 31. 3. Rom. 9. 11 13. man before the world. As also the Scriptures of Gods everlasting love to those he pleased before the world and in continuance. And the Scriptures of Gods election of those which he pleased and lo­ved, out of the company of the children of wrath before the foundations of the world in Gods sight, to be holy and without blame before him for ever in love. And the Scriptures of Gods Eph. 1. 4. See Eph. 1 4. 5. 6. Act. 13. 48. Rom. 8. 30. predestination to adoption through Christ, and ordination to eter­nall blisse before the world of those which he elected in Christ be­fore the world. And further, of his calling, justifying and glori­fying of those which he predestinated before himself, before the world (as the Scripture speaks.) And the Scripture of the Pro­phet Isa. 53. 6. [Page 2] Esay, that saith, God hath laid the iniquities of us all upon Christ (meaning of the Elect) not that he will (saith the Prophet) but hath done it before the world, when he loved, elected, and ad­opted his Elect, &c.

And it crosseth the Scripture, which saith, that Christ justifieth Rom. 4. 5. the ungodly, which must needs be understood of such as were un­godly, & the children of wrath by the first general sin, who (being elected before the world out of the same company, to be holy and without blame before God in love, ordained to eternal life, and adopted Gods children) are then justified before God, although in themselves and before men, they be still ungodly, corrupt, sinfull and carnall, as Paul said he was in his best estate, I am carnall, Rom. 7. 14 sold under sin: Paul could not be loved of God, elected in Christ, and adopted to be Gods child, ordained to eternall life before the world, and be the child of wrath, and unjustified before God still, although he did sin in the flesh before men. And it crosseth the Scripture of the same place, where it is said, A man is justified by Faith without the works of the Law.

To Believe is a work of the Commandement of the Law, as, to love, fear, obey, to be humble, meek, sober, and temperate, are works of the Commandements of the Law, and Faith and Belie­ving done, then is the work of the Law, as loving, fearing, obey­ing, humiliation, meeknesse, sobernesse, and temperance, and the rest of that sort commanded to man in the law of works, as Paul instances, are all works of the law, so that if a man be justified and made righteous before by his faith and believing commanded, he is justified by the works of the law, which (the Apostle saith) no man, no flesh wall be justified by. And here he saith, A man is justified by faith without the works of the law. The doers are justifi­ed. Rom. 2. 13.

Certainly no man is justified by any work of his own, not be­cause if he did the work commanded righteously, the just God would not justifie him therefore: but because no man doth or can do the work of the law commanded righteously, therefore no man is justified (saith the Apostle) by the works of the Law.

But (they say) faith and repentance are works of the Evangeli­call law, and the commandements thereof are the commande­ments of the Evangelicall law to be performed of man.

Solut. if these take the Evangelicall law to command faith and rep [...]ntance to believe and [...]pent in the [...]orm of the law and covenant of works to be performed of man before God, then [Page 3] they are the works of the law, by which no man can be justified before God. But if they take this Evangelicall law (as the term holds it forth indeed) to be the law and commandement of the covenant of grace, whereof Christ the gracious undertaker for the elect of God, did undertake to do the whole will of God for them, when he said, Lo I come to do thy will O God: And that Christ hath done, doth, and ever will do the same of the law, com­mandement Heb. 10. 9. and covenant of grace for the elect of God, which are not, nor were ever able to do any part thereof sithence the fall of man▪ and that Christ hath fully performed all to be perform­ed in himself already, to the full satisfaction of God for the justification, peace and salvation of the elect; so that they are justified before God, and have peace with God, as the Apostle saith, being justified by his blood we shall be saved from Rom. 5. 9. his wrath through Christ. And Christ died for our sins and rose a­again for our justification; therefore the elect are justified before they believe, then, when Christ rose again before God: and God loved Iacob before he was born, or had done good or evill before men, therefore Jacob was justified before God before he was born, for God could not love him being still the child of wrath, wicked and unrighteous before him: and God elected Paul and the rest in Christ before the world to be holy and without blame before him; they could not have been holy and without blame before God, which God elected them unto, if they had not then been justified before God. They could not be elected out of the children of wrath, and be still [...] children of wrath before God: they could could not be elected to be holy and without blame before God, and be wicked and unjustified before God still. And when God predestinated those he pleased to eternall life, he then called, ju­stified Rom. 8. 29 30. and glorified them before himself, saith the Apostle.

How then can these hold forth that a man is justified and made righteous by faith, that it is faith that doth him that good that there is no justification to man, before faith.

And if they take it, that Christ the gracious undertaker for the elect, in the Evangelicall law, or covenant of grace, hath not only done the will of God, and performed all to be performed, in him­self, for the justification of the elect, but also hath done, doth and will do the will of Mod to the end in the elect, in inlighten­ing their dark hearts and souls by his spirit sent unto them, and in manifesting and witnessing by his spirit to their hearts and soules, [Page 4] that they are the children of God, elected in Christ, ordained to eternall life, and justified before God by Christs performances, and the free grace and love of God in Gods sight before the world, and in giving understanding, knowledge and believing to their dead hearts and souls, of their justification, and the rest, wrought for them by Christ, as David said, Give me understanding and I shall Psal. 119. 24. live, that is, I shall know that I live in Christ, and that Christ li­veth in me: then they must needs take it that the performances of Christ in the elect are but the witnesses and manifestations of the performances of Christ in himself for the justification of his elect, not their justifying. Christ saith, I am the vine, and he saith to his elect, you are the branches. The fruit of the vine, there bred, is Iohn 15. [...]. conveighed by the spirits of the vine to the branches, the branches bear the fruits of the vine, and hold them forth as instruments pre­pared and fitted of the vine and spirits thereof.

The fruits that the branches bear and hold forth are not the fruits of the branches, bred of the branches, but the fruits of the vine (so Christ called them, Luke 22. 18.) bred of the vine, and conveighed by the spirits thereof to the branches to be born and held forth. The branches cannot bear nor hold forth any good fruit without the vine, and the spirits of the vine: And the good fruits do shew and manifest the good vine, whereof they are bred, and that the branches that did bear them did abide in the vine.

So the fruits of the spirit, as love, joy, peace, faith &c. are bred Gal. 5. 22. of Christ, and conveighed by the spirit of Christ to the elect bran­ches of the vine Christ, and the elect (as Christ pleaseth to do the will of God in them as his branches) do bear and hold them forth. But the fruits of the spirit are not bred of the elect, but of Christ, & by his spirit conveighed to them, and therefore called the fruits of the spirit, to be born and held forth by them, as fitted branches and instruments of Christ the vine, and his spirit; and the elect cannot beare them of themselves, without Christ and his spirit breed them and conveigh them; and therefore Christ faith, VVith­out me you can do nothing: that is, you cannot bear the fruits, nor hold them forth without me; and the fruits of the spirit, born and held forth in man do witnesse and evidence Christ in him that bare them, and do also witnesse that that man is elected in Christ, and a­bideth in Christ the vine (as the Apostle saith) his spirit witnesses, and faith is the evidence of things not seen. Rom. 8. 16 H [...]b. 11. 1.

All that which Christ doth of the will of God in the elect, doth [Page 5] not justifie them, or make them the children of God, but onely doth witness and manifest to them that they are justified and made the children of God, by the performances done in himself, and that (of grace) by the imputation of his Righteousness, and the Righteousness of his performances in himself to them, they are made Righteous, the children of God, and saved.

As it is said, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed to him for Righteousness.

It could not be Abraham's believing according to the Com­mandment of the law of Works, that was imputed to him for Righteousness, for Abraham, no doubt, was a corrupt sinful man, as all the Elect are in themselves, and and his believing was cor­rupt and sinful as himself was; and God that did never call evil good, did never impute sin for Righteoulness; and if Abrahams Righteousness had been of his believing according to the Com­mandement, then it had been of his works that he was justified; contrary to the Scripture.

The faith and believing, the fruit of the spirit of Christ, that Abraham did bear, as a branch of the Vine Christ, did onely wit­ness and manifest to him that he was justified by Christ, and his performances they did not justifie him; But Abraham being one of Gods Elect in Christ, for whom Christ had undertaken, and in himself performed all Righteousness before God, it, that is the Righteousness of Christs performances was imputed to him for Righteousness by grace.

The Elect in Christ, the Adopted through Christ, those who See Rom. 4. 5, 6. are ordained to eternal life, whose sins were laid upon Christ from the beginning, which Christ hath performed all for in him­self, to the full satisfaction of God, are justified before God, before Faith, before they believe, (of grace) by the imputation of Christs Righteousness to them: Their work of Faith cannot justi­fie them, the grace of Faith wrought in them by the spirit of Christ doth not justifie them, but witness and [...] manifest that they are justified by the Righteousness of Christs performances for them in himself.

The Elect of God in Christ are justified by the imputation of Christs Righteousness to them of free grace, and this is the blessed­ness Rom 4 6. of Faith the Prophets and Apostles held forth to them.

Ob. But the deceiving spirit and the deceived will object, that these predecations and and openings of Faith, are a great deroga­tion [Page 6] and undervaluing of faith, which in the history of the Scrip­tures is so highly extolled to have done, and do great things for man, and that man hath done great things by faith; a man (faith the Apostle) is justified by faith; Christ saith to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; by faith Peter walked upon the Sea, untill R [...] 3. 2. 8 L [...]ke 7. 50 Ma [...]. 14. 29 3 [...]. H [...]b 10. 38. H [...]b. 11 4. 5. 7. [...]. [...]. 20. 2 [...]. 22. 23 29. he doubted; by faith, faith the Apostle, the just shall live, Abel, E­noch, Noah, Abraham, Jsaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses did great things by faith; by faith the walls of Jericho were overthrowne, and fell down.

An. All these and the rest spoken of the faith of Gods Elect in the Scriptures, do not intend to shew, that by the power of Faith these great things are or were done, but to shew, that these great things done of, and by the power of our great God and his good­nesse were made known to them, manifested, evidenced, and wit­nessed to them, when they believed them so done of him. Joshua and the Priests did believe the Walls of Jericho fell downe by the power of God, the walls fell not downe by their believing, al­though they were not down to them before they believed the same. The woman believed that she was saved by the mercy and performance of Jesus Christ, she was not saved by the power of her believing, yet she knew not her self saved untill she believed it. So a man that believeth that he is justified by Christ, and the righ­teousnesse of his performance, imputed to him, is not justified to himself; before his believing he knoweth not that he is justified, untill he believe [...]h it. His believing is the first Gospell Messenger that bringeth to him the glad tidings of his Justification by Christ, and his righteousnesse, yet not justified by his believing: and this is the reason why Faith is so much extolled in the history of Scrip­tures. If a man were in the prison of a dark dungeon, and there should come a messenger to him, and assure him of his inlarge­ment, and to be setled in a Kingdome, would he not ever make much of, and extol this messenger that brought him this first good tidings? Faith is the first Messenger of Christ that he sendeth to poor corrupt man (sitting in darknesse and the shadow of death) of his inlargement, of his Justification, Adoption and Salvation in the heavenly Kingdom; this Faith therefore must needs be high­ly extolled of all men, and all the Penmen of Christ.

Yet it may not be Idolized, set up above our God, Christ, nor equalized to or before Christ, to justifie a man before God, which [...] Fh [...]s. 2. is only in the power of Christ, and the gracious work of Christ. [Page 7] This is Antichrist, the man of sin that doth this, it is therefore the deceiving Spirit, and those which are deceived, that hold forth, that it is faith that first justifieth a man, and maketh a man righte­ous before God, and that doth him that good.

Ob. But the deceiving Spirit, and the deceived, do further object; By the grace of Christ, by the help of Christ, Christ strengthning me, I am able to do the [...]ommandement of the Law of God, that commandeth me to believe, to love, to repent, &c. so Paul said Phil. 1. 13. (say they) I am able to do all things through the help of Christ that strengthneth me.

Ans. Paul said the truth, that he (being a Branch of the Vine Christ) was able by the help of Christ the Vine to bear, and hold forth the fruit of the Spirit of Christ (being strengthned by Christ) as faith, love, repentance, and the rest; but not to be the worker and doer of the fruits of the Spirit, faith, love, and repentance, which belongeth to Christ and his Spirit only (as the Apostle Heb. 12. 1. saith) Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith, and the rest, that we bear and hold forth by his help and strengthning: Paul said he was able to do all things by the help and strengthning of Christ, belonging to the branch and instrument of Christ, to bear and hold forth love, faith, repentance, and the rest of the works of the will and commandement of God wrought up in him by Christ the undertaker and his Spirit to be born and held forth of him, & other branches, & these are the all things intended of Paul.

Man cannot do, nor be a doer of the will and Commandement of God, (as to believe, love, repent, and the rest) by the help and strengthning of Christ; for if he could, and should do, or be a doer of the work, he should have wages, and might challenge a debt of God, a share in the work: To him saith the Apostle that Rom. 4. 4. worketh, the wages is not accounted off vor or grace, but of debt.

Now the Apostle saith, all the goodnesse of God to man is of grace, not of debt for his work & doing of the wil and Comman­dement of God: we (saith he) are justified freely by his grace, by the grace of God I am that I am (saith Paul) by Christs grace ye Rom. 3. 24 1 Cor. 15. 10. Epb. 2. 5. 8 are saved (saith Paul) And Paul said, I find no means to perform that which is good, that is▪ no help, no strengthning by Christ to perform the will and commandement of God, which Christ hath undertaken to do, and which only is able to do the same, J am carnall sold under sin, the good which I would do, that J do not, and Rom. 7. 18. the evill which J would not do, that J do; when J would do good, evill is present with me, (saith Paul.)

[Page 8] And further, these saying that they are able to do the will and Commandement of God by the help of Christ, &c. do much exalt themselves, and dishonor Christ, and his undertaking of doing the whole will of God for poor corrupt and unable man: for they make themselves the principal doers of the will and Commande­ment of God, and Christ but their helper, their auxiliary: a helper is not the principall in any thing.

Thus they would make Christ a helper of their faith and belie­ving, of their justifying and saving, but themselves the principall: This is the man of sin, the Antichrist exalting himself above our gracious undertaker and God, Christ, Babes keep your selves from [...] Idolls.

The mystery of the Gospell of Faith and Christ, is hid to none but those which are lost, and to those which are lost, it is hid.

A TREATISE OF Self-Deniall.

Luke 9. 23.‘And he said unto them all, if any man will come after me, let him de­ny himself.’

BY the words (it seemeth) there were many then that shew­ed themselvs to come after Christ; for he said these words to them all in the 14. verse. It is said there was five thou­sand then, it is like there are multitudes now, and of all sorts. But Jesus (it seemeth) did not approve of their coming af­ter him; and therefore he setteth to them all the way to come af­ter him, that they were not yet in, which they must needs be in, that come after him in truth; which way, he saith, is every man to deny himself.

[Page 9] All bearing name of Christians, pretend coming after Christ, following of Christ; they pretend it in coming to Church, in com­ing to Sermons and Sacraments; therefore this way prescribed of Christ to these, to deny their selves, is the way that Christ prescri­beth to all Christians that come after him, to deny their selves.

Christ gave this advertisement to all in a legall, imperative, and commanding way, to do the will of God, let him deny himself, al­though he had undertaken before God, and manifested himselfe that he came to discharge the Elect of that burden, Lo I come, saith Hob. 10. [...]. Christ, to do thy will, O God for thy chosen ones; J came to fulfill the Law, Mat. 5. 17. to fulfill all righteousnesse: and although he knew commanding them would little avail to the doing of the work commanded; because he knew they were not able to do this, nor other his commandements before God; yet because he knew mans corrupt estate knew more of the Law and commandement which they had broken ever sithence the first Adam, then they did of the last Adam, the Christ, undertaker and redeemer; therefore he spake unto them in their own natural corrupt light & knowledge, there­by to set up more light thereof to them, that so they might more behold and see their nakedness, want, poverty, and blindnesse. And Rom. 3. 17. this Christ did for the Gospel sake, as the Apostle said, he often did.

This was done of Christ with these, much after the manner as Rom. 9. 23. he did with the man that asked him, what he should do to inherit eternall life; who answered him, thou knowest the commande­ments; which saying, that he had kept all those; yet Christ know­ing he had not, set him one hard part of the commandement yet to do, viz. to go and sell all that he had, and give to the poore, whereat he being damped, went away sorrowfull. Mark 10. 1 [...] 18. 19. 20. 22. Luke 18. 1 [...] Doct.

The Doctrine here held forth of Christ is this, That all that call themselves Christians ought to deny themselves.

Two things to be considered. 1. What it is to deny our selves. 2. The mystery and strangenesse thereof to naturall man.

For the first to deny a mans self, is not meant of Christ, that a a man should deny himself to be that which he is in truth, or to have that which he hath in truth, or to do that which he doth in truth. But to deny a mans self here intended of Christ, is to deny himself to be that which he thinketh himself to be, and is not in truth; and to deny himself to have that, which he thinketh himselfe to have, and hath not in truth; and to deny himselfe to doe that which he thinketh himselfe to doe, and doth not in truth: wherein these particulars are in­tended, [Page 10] specially to be good, holy, wise, just and righteous in him­self: To have goodnesse, holinesse, wisdome, righteousnesse, &c. in himself. To do good &c. himself, or at least to behave and do somewhat of these, &c. And there is no man in this his corrupt estate, but thinketh himself verily to be all these, to have all these, and to do all these before God, or at least to behave, and to do somewhat of all these, which he neither is, hath, nor doth, nor can do in himself before God, no not in the least of any of them, as shall be made plain.

If any man or woman here should be asked, if he did not think himself to be at least a little good, holy, wise, just; and to have at least a little some holinesse, goodnesse, wisdome, justnesse in Gods sight, as to do some good in Gods sight, sure though he or she did answer, as they thought, they would say they were, had, and did somewhat at least, that they had and did something, that was good, holy, wise, just, and righteous in Gods sight.

If a man should come to any of you here, and should say to the same man or woman, there is no goodnesse in you before God; and the rest, you would be angry, and think he did you wrong. And if any should dissemble, and consent in present, that he were not, had not, or did not that which is good in the sight of God, yet in their converse and competitions with men and women, they would be found to hold themselves forth to be good, to have good, and do good, and the rest; yea in controversie and conten­tion, to be better, wiser, juster, and honester then the other before God, and would not deny themselves, as Christ here teacheth them. And this is the cause and raise of warres and contentions a­mong men, yea among Christians, that professe themselves to come after Christ, that they will not, nor can deny themselves in these things: For the wise man saith, only by pride cometh con­tention. Prov. 13. 10 Men may alledge what they will to be the cause of their wars and contentions, but the assertion of the Holy Ghost will only stand before God, that only pride is the cause of contention and wars. But if Christians professing themselves to come after Christ, would deny themselves to be good, wise, holy, just, or to have any goodnesse, wisdome, holinesse, justice, and righteous­nesse 1 Cor. 1. 1. Iam. 4. 1. in themselves in truth, and to do, or be able to do any good thing, holy, wise, and righteous thing in the sight of God, as Christ here teacheth, they would lay down all wars and contenti­ons, and humble themselves one to another, and make themselves [Page 11] equal to them of the lower sort as the Apostle adviseth, and onely look upon Christ to exalt them which exalteth the humble and meek, and giveth rest to their souls.

Quest. Some may ask, Is there no man that is good, wise, ho­ly, or just in the sight of God, that hath goodness and can do good in the sight of God, and the rest, or at least somthing thereof?

Answ. There is none nor have been any sithence the fall and general loss in Adam.

The Scripture (to be believed) make it clear, David saith, God Psal. 53. 2. 3. looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand and seek God: But they are all gone back, they are altogether corrupt there is none that doth good no not one. And Paul saith joyntly with David, There is none righteous, no not one; Rom. 3. 10, 11, 12. there is none that understand, there is none that seek God. All are be­come unprofitable, there is none that doth good no not one. And Christ said to the man, There is none good but one, and that is God. And E­say Mat. 19. 17. Isa. 64. 6. saith of himself and other like him, We are all as an unclean thing, all our Righteousnesse is as filthy raggs.

And Paul of himself in his best estate, I am carnal sold under sin, in me, that is in my flesh, the corrupt man) dwelleth no good thing, Rom. 7. 18. And if any (saith he) is somwhat when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself in his own imagination. And Paul said, (he found no means Gal. 6. 3. Rom. 7. 18. to perform that which is good) The good he would do he did not; and when he would do good, evil was present with him.

Quest. But it will be asked, if no man be good, wise, just, holy, nor have goodness, wisdome, justice, holiness, nor can do that which is good &c. before God; Wherefore do the spirit of God in the Scriptures tearm and call some men good, just, holy, wise. &c.

A good man (saith Salomon) getteth favour of the Lord; there­fore Prov. 12. 2. Math. 12. 35. Iob 1. 1. Acts 10. 22. Math. 2. 1. some good man there is. A go [...]d man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth good things saith Christ: God called Iob a just man, Cornelius was called a just man, and Zacharias and Eli­zabeth were said to be just before God, and to walk in all the Commandements of God without reproof.

They were call [...]d Wise men that came from the East to seek, worship, and offer gifts unto Christ: Paul called those of the church Saints, that is, Holy men: And Luke saith, God spake by his Rom. 1. 5. holy Prophets: Paul saith, God revealed that to the holy Apostles, Act. 3. 21. Eph. 3. 5. and Prophets, which he did not before to the sons of men: Why are [Page 12] men thus said in the Scriptures to be good, just, wise, holy, if none are, nor ever were so sithence the fall and loss in Adam?

Answ. These were so good, holy, just, wise in the estimation of men, and therefore so reorded of the Penmen of the holy Scrip­tures; and no doubt but they were special branches of the Vine Christ, such men as the world was not worthy of, yea further, they were good, holy, wise, just, and without blame before God in Christ, as they were elected in Christ, ingrafted in Christ, abiding in Christ, as Paul said, he and all the elect in Christ were before Eph. i. 4. the world; God, saith he, hath elected us in Christ before the world, to be holy and without blame before him in love. And after the same manner he saith, We are quickned in Christ, raised up in Christ, we live in Christ saith Luke: In him we live, move, and have our being: Eph. 2. 6. Acts 17. 8. Col. 3. 3. 2 Cor. 2. 4. Act. 2. 12, 13. Our life is hid with Christ in God saith Paul: These are the misteries of Christ, the misteries of the gospel, the misteries of Faith so cal­led, hid to those which are lost, as the Apostle saith, The misteries of Christ are not manifested tto all.

When the holy Ghost was come plentifully upon the Apostles according to Christs promise, that they spake to much people there gathered the misteries of Christ, of the gospel, of Faith; it is said some marvelled, some doubted, some mocked; some said they were drunk and spake they knew not what; but some believed, as they did at Pauls Sermon at Antioch: As many as were ordained As 13. 48. to eternal life believed.

And it may be there are of all these somes here, some that mar­vel, some that doubt, some that mock and deride, some that think and will say these misteries now delivered are strange things, things spoken by me, as I know not what, yet there may be some here ordained to eternal life that believe: Indeed this is a mistery spoken, that Christ should command men to do that, which in the least he knoweth they cannot do themselves; who will lay a bur­then upon the back of his beast, that knoweth he cannot bear it?

It is a mistery that every man should think himself to be, have, and do that before God, at least somwhat, which he neither is, have, nor doth in truth.

It is a mistery that every man corrupted thinketh himself to be, have, and do some good thing at least before God, whenas there is no man that is, hath, or doth any thing in the least, good, holy, just in Gods fight.

It is [...], that every man corrupted should be dead in [Page 13] himself, and that he that is quickned and liveth, shall be quickned and live only in Christ; that he that is holy, good, just, wise, &c. should onely be holy, good, just, wise &c. in Christ, not in him­self: And that for these things being in truth so, Christ setteth out to every man that cometh after him to deny himself, which no corrupt man in truth can do, as hath been proved.

Object. I say the Prophet did deny himself, when he said, We Isa. 64. 6. are all as an unclean thing, all our Righteousness is as filthy raggs. Paul did deny himself when he said, When the commandement came Rom. 7. sin revived and I died, and when he said I am carnal sold under sin, and when he said, there dwelt no good thing in him, and that he found no means to do the thing that was good, and that the good which he would do, that he did not; and the evil that he would not do, that he did.

Answ. This denyal of a mans self, is that which Christ intend­ed in his commandement indeed, but it was not Esay, nor Paul of themselves, that did thus deny themselves, but this fruit was wrought up in them from the Vine Christ, by the spirit of Christ, which they as branches of the Vine did bear and hold forth as Christ pleased to make them his instruments thereof▪ This was Christs work and performance in them, for an evidence, witness, and manifestation to them, that they were branches abiding in Jesus Christ the Vine, and came after Jesus Christ in truth, not their own work and performance, howsoever of grace it pleaseth the Lord Jesus Christ to account it theirs, for a corrupt and evil Tree can bring forth no such good fruit.

Quest. If Christ in these words command and call men to de­ny themselves, which is too hard for them to do in truth before God, but onely outwardly before men, which is but dissimulation before God, what benefit is this to men, that Christ teacheth and commandeth them to deny themselves, to come after him, which they cannot do in truth; they shall come after Christ never the more: for in whatsoever Christ requireth, he requireth truth in the inward parts, as David saith; and he saith, My son give me thy heart: A corrupt man cannot give a pure heart. Psal. 51. 6. Prov. 23. 26.

Answ. Yes, it is much benefit and good to men where Christ commandeth and teacheth, although they cannot do it them­lelves before God, but onely outwardly before men; and there­fore the Apostle saith, The Law is good if a man use it lawfully. Tim. 1. 8.

For although Christ holdeth forth his commandement to shew [Page 14] what all were bound to do before God, which he hath undertaken and satisfied God for, touching the Elect in him; yet he also holdeth the same forth for the benefit and good of his church and people among themselves, by his commanding and teaching, and that many waies.

1. For example and comfort to men; although my well doing extendeth not to thee O Lord (saith David) yet it extendeth to the Saints upon earth; and the Apostle adviseth to be carefull to Ps. 16. 2. 3. do good works, because they are good and profitable to men: and therefore Christ said, Let your light so shine before men, that they seeing your good works, may glorifie your Father which is in hea­ven. Ma [...]. 5. 16. The seeing of good works commanded by Christ done out­wardly, may move men to praise God before men. And if men see others so humble, as deny themselves to have any goodnesse, to be nothing but sinfull, it may be a means to make them smite their breasts, and say, Lord be mercifull to me a sinner.

2. When Christ by his Ministers and Instruments holdeth forth his Word, and teaching, purely and truly, it is a comfortable evi­dence Mat. 13. 4. 5. 8. to that people that there are some of Gods chosen ones, some ordained to eternall life there. When the sower went out to sow, some of his seed fell upon good ground, although some Act. 2. 41. upon bad. There was some good ground there, otherwise the wise sower would not have gone out to sow. When the Apostle preached to those great multitudes at the glorious descending of the Holy Ghost upon them, although some wondered, some doubted, some mocked, some railed, yet some there were that be­lieved. And when Paul preached at Antioch, although no doubt Act. 13. 48 many there believed not, yet so many there as were ordained to eternall life believed; some believed.

3. The Law and commandement of Christ is good and benefi­ciall to men; for thereby they come to know sin, to know their error, which otherwise they could not do. So Paul said, he knew Rom. 7. 7. not sin but by the Law; I had not known lust had been sin (saith he) if the Law had not said thou shalt not lust; and again, by the Law came the knowledge of sin. It is a great good to a man that is Rom. 3. 20. out of his way, to be told that he is out of his way; but indeed it is a greater good to him to be told the right way.

The Law and command of God can tell thee that thou art out of the way, but it cannot tell thee the right way. But mark, thou shalt hear a voice behind thee, telling thee, this is the way (saith Isa. 30. 31. [Page 15] the Prophet.) The Law may tell thee of sin and transgression, but the Law cannot tell thee of Christ, which is the right way, the on­ly way in truth to heaven, who saith, I am the way and truth, and the life no man cometh to the Father, but by me (saith Christ) he that climeth another way is a thief and a robber. O take heed ye be be not found as these thieves and robbers. It is the voice behind that telleth of Christ the way, the right way, the gospel, the voice of the Son of God in the gospel that came behind after the law that telleth thee of Christ the right way to walk in, to the Father in heaven. The law now telleth of death, but not of life, although it was at first ordained unto life: for, saith Paul, that which was ordained unto life, is now found to be unto me unto death. The letter killeth (saith Paul) it is the spirit that giveth life. The Law that telleth a man his error, is a benefit, although the gospel be a Rom. 7. 10. much greater good to man that telleth him of Christ the right way to heaven.

4. The holding forth of the law and commandement is bene­ficiall to men; Christ in the Scriptures speaketh of his Law and commandements as he doth of afflictions.

They are (say the Prophets) as a wall of fire and as an hedg of Zach. 2. 3. Hos. 2. 5. 6 7. thorns to keep men from transgressing, sinning, and going be­yond their bounds. The curse, thunderings and threatnings of the commandement doth scare and feare corrupt man in sinning, in e­vill and mischief. And this is much for the good and safety of Gods chosen people, which are among the reprobate, as sheep a­mong wolves (as Christ speaketh) I send you as sheep among wolves.

5. The holding forth of the commandement is to the great be­nefit, Mat. 10. 16. 17. and comfortable good of believers in Jesus Christ; for it hath resemblance to the brazen Serpent that Moses set up in the wildernesse, which had the form of the serpent that wounded man, and it had the figure of Jesus Christ that healed man. So the commandement held forth hath the form of the law that con­demned man, and it hath the figure of Jesus Christ and his perfor­mances that saveth man, which is cleerly represented to believers in Jesus Christ therein: For it sheweth what Jesus Christ hath done for them, the chains they were bound in, the curse they were under, and their deliverance. It sheweth what Jesus Christ hath done for them in himself for their justification and salvation in fulfilling of the hard law and commandement impossible for them to have done, or to do before God. I came (saith he) to fulfill the [Page 16] law. And it representeth to believers the undertaking of Christ, of all these with God the Father of mercies, from the beginning, for all those chosen in him, to do the whole will of God for their justification and salvation, in himself, and also in them by his spirit sent unto them for manifestation, evidence and witnesses to them of all undertaken and done for them, to Gods satisfaction, and their salvation by Christ, as in his own words is held forth, where he saith, Lo I come to do thy will, O God, &c. Heb. 10. 9.

And the Law and Commandement thus held forth (as the A­postle saith) he usually did for the Gospells sake, become a Gos­pell to believers, a witnesse of life, and not of death to Believers. 1 Cor 9. 23. As in this commandement of self-deniall in the Text, if it be holden forth, to shew what Christ hath done for his people in himself in denying of himself for them, who being in the forme of God, and equall with God, made himself of no reputation, took upon him the [...]orm of a servant, ana was made like unto men, and was Phi. 6. 7, 8. found in shape as a man, humbled himself, and became obedient to the death, even to the death of the Crosse; and all this done of Christ, imputed to them, and made theirs of grace, and witnessed by the work of the Spirit in them; this hard commandement to corrupt man, becometh now a Gospell to the Believers.

Indeed, this and other the commandements are commonly ta­ken and held forth to Gods people under grace in the form of the Law of works, as it was held forth to Adam in innocency, when he had power and freewill to do, where the command, and the condition was keep this, do this, and live eternally, break this, and die eternally, as if men had now power and free will to doe the command, as Adam had before he lost for himself and all.

And some held forth the commandement thus, only the curse and commination thereof to be taken away, to Gods chosen peo­ple by Christ, but that they are still bounp to do the command, to indeavour rnd do something thereof themselves before God, that the commandements remain stil as a rule for them to follow, in Gods sight, to please God, to enjoy life, to come to the Father, without which (themselves indeavouring and doing) they cannot come to the Father in heaven. But (I take it) they might more truly say, by such indeavouring and doing the command them­selves, no man shall, or can come to the Father in hea­ven.

For mark (good people of God) what Christ saith, I am the [Page 17] way, the truth, and the life, no man cometh to the Father, but by me. I am the door, no man entreth to the Father but by me and he that Joh. 14 6. Joh. 10. 19. Joh. 10. 9. climbeth up another way is a thief and a robber. Christ, is the onely way that the Father hath graciously made for all his chosen ones to come to him by Jesus Christ is his beloved Son, in whom the Father is only pleased.

This is the honor that the Father hath given him for his under­taking, work and performance for poor lost man, to Gods satis­faction, and man salvation.

If any man therefore holdeth himself forth to please God, to climbe up to the Father, by his own indeavours, devotions, and performances, he robbeth Christ of his honor, of the honor only due to him, and therefore saith Christ, he is a thiefe and a robber.

If a King should for speciall love and service done to him, give to his son that honor, that no man should come to him into his presence, but by this his Son. And if any man should be so bold, as to indeavour another way to come to the King, both the King and his Son must needs think it a great affront, and wrong, and dishonor done to them.

But poor proud man, do what thou canst of the commande­ment, to please God, to make thy way to come to the Father, yet thou canst not do so much as the Pharisees, Herod, Judas, and De­mas did; which although they were much in mens estimation, yet they are accounted in the Scriptures, to be but Thieves & Robbers.

APPLICATION.

THat where the Spirit of Christ is, it worketh up considerati­on of these things, and therefore David saith, O consider this, Use. [...]. you that forget God, least he pluck you away, and tear you in pieces, Psa. 50. 22. and there be none to deliver you. Where the consideration of these things is not, there is the evidence of Gods wrath, that he will tear them in pieces; and there shall be none to deliver them; where meat is not chewed, there is little nourishment, and where the Word of God is not considered, there is little edification. The gold of the Sanctuary was all weighed, the Bereans searched, Act. 17. 13. whether those things preached were so or no, to their commen­dation. But where the things of God passe away, as they come without consideration, it is a token and evidence that the Spirit [Page 18] of Christ is not there, that they are not the children of God, but the children of Wrath.

Use 2. Reproveth all mens Pharisaical pride, and boasting of their own goodness, honesty, holiness, and righteousness; one saith, I am good, honest, just, a Saint; another saith, I am better then thou; and another saith, I am not as other men are; whenas all are naught, as an unclean thing, before God, in themselves. The more any man boasteth and seeketh the praise of men, the worse he is before God; and therefore Christ saith, Woe be to you when all men speak well of you.

Vse 3. Reproveth the high conceipt of inherent holiness and righteousness in man, by the sanctification of the Spirit, whereby Luct. 16 15 he can do, and d [...]th the works of holiness and righteousness be­fore God as the Agent thereof (as they hold:) And it reproveth all Popes holiness to be Saints in themselves, and to be able to sanctifie other persons and things by their inherent holiness; when as it is clear, if any men have had, or have any holiness and righ­teousness in themselves, their souls, or bodies, then no doubt but David, Esay, Paul, had the same as manifest as any other: But it is shewed before, that they all deny the same, they deny them­selves to be holy, good, righteous, or to have had any such good­ness inherent in themselves, or to have themselves done any works of goodnes, holines, or righteousnes before God: They have acknowledged themselves to be unclean, carnal, corrupt, not any good thing dwelling in themselves; their inherent holiness and Phil. 3. 8. righteousness in themselves; to be nothing but filthiness, loss, and dung before God, that they found no means to do the thing that is good before God.

Use 4. Reproveth the idolatrous opinion of many that think and affirm, that their prayers, and the prayers of esteemed righte­ous men, have power to move God and prevail with God to do them good, to forgive them their sins, to keep and turn evils from them and to deliver them from evils upon them, that there is much good and vertue in mens prayers, and this they think they have sure ground of Scripture for; for say they,

Object. J [...]sus taught his Disciples to pray for all these things in that which they call the Lords Prayer; Christ commandeth to pray, and promiseth to give to them that ask and pray; and his Thes. 5. 17. Apostles command the churches to whom they wrote to pray continually, and say The prayer of the faithful availeth much; and [...]am. 5. 16. [Page 19] to make Gods promises good unto prayer, the Scripture saith Moses prayed, and the Israelites overcame the Amalekites in the Battel; Eliah prayed, and God sent rain. Iam. 5. 18

Answ. All these set forth in the Scriptures are true and good: But yet if thou thinkest and affirmest that thine own prayers, and the prayers of other men have power and strength to move God, to prevail with God, to do thee or them good, to forgive thy sins, to keep thee from evil, to turn evil from thee, and deli­ver thee from evil upon thee, that there is much good and vertue in thine or their prayers, thou makest an Idol of prayer.

Mark this well, When the Israelites had fiery Serpents among them, which stung many to death, God by Moses set up a Brazen Num. 21. 8 9. Serpent to figure Christ, that whosoever was stung, he command­ed to look upon the Brazen Serpent set up, and he should be healed; and as many as looked upon it after Gods command, and according to Gods Ordinance, were healed.

But afterward the people made it an Idol, burnt incense to it, accounting the goodness and vertue whereby they healed to be in the Serpent of Brass, not in Jesus Christ, which it figured; therefore the servant and Instrument of God, King Hezekiah, 2 Kin. 18. 4. 1 Cor. 15. 56. brake it in pieces.

This fiery Serpent is among us, it doth sting all with sinne unto death, The sting of sin is death, (saith the Apostle.)

Jesus Christ hath set up Prayer in the room of the Brazen Ser­pent to his church and people, to be a figure and representation of himself unto them, that if we his people will return unto prayer according to his Ordinance, and look upon him represent­ed in prayer (as he hath commanded,) then we shall all of us be sure to be healed, as all were healed that were stung by the fiery Serpent of the Israelites.

But if we fall to esteem vertue, goodness, power, and strength in our prayers to do us the good, to be able to move God, and to prevail with God to do us the good; we make an Idol of our Praver, and we and our prayers shall perish.

I know there are many in these modern times professing Chri­stianity, and having sundry names for their different waies, as Pa­pists, Arminians, Anabaptists, Brownists, Presbyterians, Indepen­dents, and others; and all zealous of the commandements of our God, and the duties thereof, especially they of those sorts, which for the manifestation of their zeal, and increase of Proselites, [Page 20] make many private meetings and Conventicles, for prayer, and performances of other duties commanded to edification of men in their wayes, whereby they think, they please God, pacifie God, move God, and prevail with God to do them good: But alas in all these they rob Christ of his honour, and make an Idol of their Prayers and performances, for that they give the honour that is onely Christs, (to please God, to pacifie God, to move God, to prevail with God to do men good) unto their own performances, which in truth are corrupt and sinful, and therefore cannot please God.

Object. But these will say, We do all that we do, to the honour and service of God.

Answ. The greatest Idolaters have ever said so, and (no que­stion) had intention thereto; we cannot think but that the Israe­lites that made and worshipped the golden Calf, did say they did it to Gods honour and service, and intended it so; and they that did bow the knee to Baal, did it, and intended it to Gods honour and service.

And the Papists that bow to the image of Christ, say they do it and intend it to the honour and service of Christ, and yet the same is idolatry.

So these may do and intend all their Prayers and performances to the honour and service of God, and yet that they do be idola­try, whilest they give that honour to their own Prayers and perfor­mances, which is onely Christs.

It seemeth that the Apostle Paul did finde many of the Israe­lites in the like zealous condition touching the commandement of God, as these profess themselves to be; unto whom he wrote in these words, [...] bear you record you have a zeal of God, but not ac­cording Rom. 10. 2 3. 4. to knowledge, for you bring ignorant of the righteousness of God, and going about to establish your own righteousness, have not sub­mitted your selves to the righteousness of God for Christ is the end of the Law for righteousness, to every one that believeth.

There are three things marked by the Apostle in those Israe­lites answering to these zelotes.

1. They were zealous of God, his honour and service, so are these.

2. They were so zealous in ignorance, because they were ig­norant of the righteousness of God, (meaning in Christ) and would not submit unto that, which is all righteousness that is in Gods sight righteousness, to please God, to pacifie God, to move God, to do men good, so are these. [Page 21] 3. They would establish their own righteousness, the righteousness of their own performances, to have power to please and pacifie God, to move God and prevail with God to do them good, (which must needs be understood by establishing their own righ­teousness) for nothing can please and pacifie God, move and Rom. 10. 4 prevail with God, but true righteousness, which Christ (faith the Apostle) is the only performer and finisher of to those that believe Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.

In this glass, such as go about to please God by their perfor­mances, 1 Iob. 5. 21 may see their idolatrous faces clearly, Babes (saith the A­postle) keep your selves from Idols.

Quest. But these will say, Wherefore doth God command men to do the duties of his commands, if the doing of the duties do not please and pacifie God, and move him to do them good?

Answ. For resolution therein, look back to that which hath been said before of the benefits of Gods commandements to men.

Quest. Have not true Believers care and zeal to do the duties of Gods commandements?

Answ. Yes that they have in all humbleness and reverence, for the care, zeal, and devotion of the duties of all godliness, is wrought up in them by the Spirit of Christ, which they, as bran­ches of the Vine Christ, abiding and alive in him, do bear and hold forth; and they are not so wrought up in them to bear and hold them forth, that they should thereby please and pacifie God, or prevail with God to do them good; ut to manifest, evidence, and witness to them, that God is pleased with them, and pacified to­wards them in Christ, whose fruits they are that they bear and hold forth: And that Christs performances in himself have pre­vailed, and will ever prevail with God to do them good, that all shall work together for the best unto them, and herein is the joy and the rest of true Believers.

Indeed I hear there are some, because they hear there is no goodness in their Prayers and duties performing to please God, no promise to prevail with God to do them goed, therefore they give over prayer, &c.

I wish these would observe, if any of the Israelites stung with the fiery Serpent, did not return to the Brazen Serpent the figure of Christ, to look upon it, they were sure to die.

Even so they which refuse to return unto Prayer, the figure and representation of Christs Spirit in man, which Christ hath set [Page 22] up for a figure and represent on of the same, being stung with sin, the sting whereof is death, they are sure to die: Must thou needs make an Idol of thy prayers and duties, or else thou wilt not, nor must not pray?

Thou shalt find it true, If thou dost not deny thy self to be good, to have goodness, (as here Christ commandeth) thou ma­kest an idol of thy self; and if thou dost hold thy prayer to have a­ny vertue or power to please God, to move God to do thee good, thou makest an idol of thy prayer, giving that honour to it, which is onely Christs, to whom all power is given.

Quest. But some will ask, if prayer move not and prevail not with God by the strength it hath to the forgiveness of sin, and to the healing diseases in men, why doth the Apostle say, If any man be sick, among you, let him send for the Elders of the church, and let them pray for him &c. and the prayer of Faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up, and of he have committed sin, it shall be forgiven him; and further, The prayer of a Righteous man availeth much if it be fervent?

Answ. The Gospel is a mistery, Faith is a mistery, and Christ is a mistery, (as the Apostle saith) which mystery is hid to those which are lost, be they never so wise and learned otherwise: And in these words is this mystery, as in many other of holy Scripture.

The Apostle doth not say, that the Elders or the prayers of the Elders shall save the sick, and raise them up, or procure forgive­ness of sins, or avail much with God; but he saith, the prayer of Faith shall save the sick, the Lord shall raise him up, the sin com­mitted shall be forgiven him; it is the prayer of Faith that availeth, there is the mystery.

Now we are to observe, that both Prayer and Faith are fruits of the Spirit, and the fruits of the Spirit are wrought up into the branches from Christ the Vine, as the fruits of the vine are wrought up to the branches that bear them, by the spirits of the vine: The Representation is Christ, where he saith, I am the Vine, ye are the branches. Ioh. 15. 5.

The fruits of the vine, wrought up by the spirits of the vine to the branches which bear them, are not to do any thing to, or for the branches, but to shew and manifest that those branches that bear them are abiding alive in the vine, that they are living bran­ches of the vine, and those branches have those fruits, and all con­veighed to them from the vine by the spirits thereof, that they are all of the vine.

[Page 23] So then Faith and Prayer being fruits of the Vine Christ, con­veighed by the spirit of Christ, to the Elders of the church, the branches of Christ do not, nor can do any thing to them, or for them that bear them, but onely manifest, evidence, and witness to them that they are in Christ, that they have all good for them from Christ, his undertaking and performance, that they are all from Christ as his instruments; it is none of the Elders power, vertue, or godliness whereby the sick is healed, saved, sin is forgi­ven (as Peter said,) It is not of our power or godliness that this lame Act. 3. 12. man is healed: Neither must these say so, except they will make themselves Gods; for there is none that can forgive sinnes but Mar. 2. 7. God onely, none heal and save but Christ onely; there is no salva­tion in any other, saith Luke. Act. 4 12.

It is meant then that prayer doth onely manifest and witness the saving, healing, and forgiveness of sin from Christ and his performances, not that Prayer, Faith, or any godliness of man doth it.

The Brazen Serpent did shew and witnesse their healing from Christ, represented by it, but it did not heal them by any vertue or strength in it.

The Image or stamp of Caesars coyn made it go for payment, it was not the metal or matter it self that made it payment: So it is the spirit of Christ in Prayer that makes it Prayer, and not mans prayer it self.

Vse 5. In that Christ holdeth forth this command to men that follow him, to deny themselves, as also other commands (which he knoweth) no man can do before God, and man himself know­eth it; as Adam knew himself naked, and made himself aprons of Gen. 3. 7. Fig-leaves to cover, because he would not see his own nakednesse, but could not remedy it: And for that (as hath been said) Christ holdeth forth his commands, that poor naked man, which would cover his nakedness with Fig-leaves of his own holiness and righ­teousness, might see it more clearly.

Vse. Humiliation. Hence all Believers are ledto humiliation when they hear the Law and commandement preached, to look well upon their wants, weakness blindness, misery, and poverty held forth therein, to hang down their heads, smite their breasts, crying Lord be merciful to me a sinner, as the publican did in the Temple where the Law was preached; yea the holding forth of the Luk. 18. 1 [...] Law, the justice and judgements of God in the Law, will make a [Page 24] stout heart to tremble; Felix was a great and stout man, yet when he heard Paul dispute of justice and judgement to come, he Act. 24. 26. trembled.

Vse 6. For that the holding forth of the Law and commande­ment sheweth to Believers what Christ hath done for them in himself, in performing of the righteousness thereof, and in their deliverance from the curse and penalty thereof, to the full satisfa­ction of God: And that the performances of Jesus Christ in them by his Spirit, sent unto them in the fruits thereof, borne and held forth of them, as branches of the Vine Jesus Christ, do mani­fest, evidence, and witness the same to their souls, fully done of Christ in himself for their justification and salvation.

Vse. Comfort, Thanks, and Love. From hence ariseth the first unspeakable comfort to Believers, to see the righteousness of so good, just, and holy a Law and commandement performed for them, whereunto they were bound upon inevitable pain, and which they themselves were not able to do in the least; and them­selves to have all the good and benefit thereof; and to see the curses, dangers, miseries, and penalties they are delivered and freed from, all closed in the commandement, and before them opened, and the same witnessed and sealed unto them by the spi­rit, in the fruits there of wrought up in them.

Suppose a man hath taken a great house to build, and is bound straitly for the performance thereof, and is assuredly to have a thousand pound if he build it, to be paid when it is finished; But this man is by his failings grown so much indebted, that he is not able to do any thing of the building, his Creditors come so fast upon him.

If a friend shall build this house for him, and pay all his debts also, would not this be a great comfort to him? Yea, sure he would think himself bound to be thankful to that friend, and to love him as long as he lives, otherwise he were an unworthy man.

Every man is bound to perform this building, which is the do­ing of the command of God, but his transgression is so much, (which is his debt to pay) that he is not able to do any thing of the command.

Jesus Christ put forth himself a friend to all Believers in him, he builds the house for them, he hath paid all the debt of their transgression, with the price of his passion, blood, and death, [Page 25] and they have the whole benefit and the reward thereof.

Is not this a comfort to every believer, will not this make them thankful, and ever to love the Lord Jesus Christ?

Surely that man is no believer that sheweth not comfort there­in, yea their fulnes and love to the Lord Jesus Christ for this.

This made David to call out, O that men would therefore praise Psal. 107. 8. the Lord for his goodness, and declare the wonders that he hath done for the children of men: And What shall I give unto the Lord for all that he hath done unto mee? I will take the cup of salvation, and give Psal. 116. 13. 1 Cor. 16. 22. thanks unto the Lord. And this made Paul to say, Cursed is he that loveth not the Lord Jesus Christ.

But now the words of many are stout against Christ, his under­takings, and performances, which notwithstanding say like Hypo­crites, Wherein have we spoken against thee? Of whom the Prophet Mal. 3. 13. fore told; never so many of these as now are standing up to set up man, and pull down Christ; yea, instead of denying themselves, (as Christ commandeth) deny Christ in the matter.

I know there are many that will say, O that I had assurance of Christ and his performances for me, and the benefits thereof, of the forgivenesse of my sins, and all my debts paid to God, and of life everlasting by Christ.

Quest. But how shall I know this?

Answ. If thou seest and findest the fruits of Christs spirit wrought up in thee, mentioned and intended by the Apostle, love, Gal. 5. 22. joy, peace, faith, goodnesse, &c. and especially this self-denyal wrought up in thee (as Christ in the Text commandeth) to deny thy self, this is a witnesse and an assurance to thee of all thou de­sirest to know and to have of Christ.

The fruit of the Vine, witness and assure, that the branches that beare them do abide in the Vine, and have all of the Vine behoo­vable for them; even so, where the good and true fruits of the spi­rit of Christ appear, are born, and held forth in truth and simpli­city. it is a certain evidence, witnesse, and assurance to that man, that he is a living branch abiding in Christ, and hath all of Christ, that he hath undertaken and performed for Gods chosen ones, that he hath forgivenesse of all his sins, and everlasting life: For these things wrought up in him, are the witness and assurance to him of the Spirit of adoption received, and the same spirit saith Rom. 8. 16. the Apostle, witnesseth, (that is assureth) that we are the children of God, and coheirs with Christ.

The love and free grace of God in Christ, the cause of all good unto man.

THe Apostle saith, We love God, because he loved us first. And again, The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the 1 Iob. 4. 19. Rom. 5 5. 1 P [...]. 4. 8. Rom. 13. 8 Act. 7. 28. Holy Ghost, which is given unto us: Love covereth a multitude of sinnes. And again, Love is the fulfilling of the law. From hence I ga­ther, that it is the love and free grace of God in Christ to the Elect, that is the root, the cause, and worker of all good to them, and of all good called theirs as the gift of Christ to them: So God loved the world, that he gave his onely Son &c: Their Election in Christ, Ioh. 3. 16. their holinesse, justification, righteousnes, or unblameablenes before God (as Paul said,) We were elected in Christ before the world, to be holy, and without blame before him in love: Their Predestination Eph. 1. 4. and Ordination to eternal life, their adoption through Christ, their quickning in Christ, their raising in Christ, their love to God and men, their believing and Faith, their obedience, repentance, Eph. 2. 5, 6. prayer and thanksgiving, the Preaching, Teaching, and Exhorta­tion of all, or any of these to them, as the Text saith, The love of God to us causeth us to love God if we love him.

And I take it, the love and free grace of God in his Christ to the Elect, is the fulfiller and the fulfilling of the will of God, his Law, and commandement of all these, and the rest for them; (as the A­postle saith) Love is the fulfilling of the law.

But I take it, the love of the Elect to God, and all the perfor­mances Rom. 13. 8. of the Elect, never have been, are, or shall be any cause or motive of Gods love and free grace to them, or of any of the per­formances thereof, or therein to them: As, neither of the gift of his Son Christ, nor of their election in Christ, their sanctification and justification before him; their Predestination and Ordination to eternal life; their Adoption and Glorification; their Quick­ning or Raising up in Christ; their love to God or man; their Be­lieving and Faith; their Obedience, Repentance, Prayers, and Thanksgiving: Nor of the true Preaching, Teaching, and Exhor­tation of all or any of these to them.

And although I finde not many that say, the love and perfor­mance [Page 27] of the Elect to God, was the cause of Gods love to them before the world, and of Gods performances for them, and to them, before the world.

Object. Yet I finde many that say, that the love of the Elect to God now in the world, and their performances of the duties of love to God in the world, do not cause God, move and incite God to love them, to do them and others good; as their faith, their obedience, their repentance, prayer and supplications, their praise and thanksgiving, and the like.

For (say they) God hath promised good to them that love God, and do the duties of love to God and men, as to shew mercy to thousands in them that love him and keep his comman­dements; and saith, To them that fear my Name, the sun of Righte­ousnesse Exod. 20. shall arise, and health shall be under his wings: And He that Mal. 4. 3. believeth and is Baptized shall be saved. Repent, and cause others to repent, and return from all your transgression, so iniquity shall not be Mark 16. 16. Ezek. 18. 16. Iam. 5 16. your destruction. Ask and you shall have, seek and you shall finde, knock and it shall be opened unto you. Acknowledge your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed; for the prayer of a Righteous man availeth much if it be fervent. Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for Righteousnesse. Moses prayed, and Gen. 15. 6 Rom. 4. 3. Israel overcame the Amalekites. Elijah prayed, and God sent rain. God promiseth to do good to them that love him, and perform the du­ties of love, and hath shewed love, and requited much good to them which have performed the duties of love unto him: Therefore (say they) the Scriptures hold forth that the love of the Elect to God and their performance of the duties of love to God in this world, do cause, move, and incite God to love them and do them much good, &c.

Answ. These seem to know the Scriptures in the history; But they know them not yet in the mystery of God and Christ, and in the mystery of faith and godlinesse as the Apostle speaketh Co­lossians 2. 2. Eph. 3. 4. 1 Tim. 3. 16. 1 Tim. 3. 9.

I find the continual practise of Antichrist is, by his instruments (alledging the history of the Scriptures) to advance the honour of man, and to abate the honour of God and his Christ. And this is the certain note and mark of this deceiving Spirit, as the Apo­stle expresseth to the Thessalonians and elsewhere.

This is a great advancement of mans honour, to teach, that (be­ing 1 Thess. 1. 2. 4. the Elect of God) he hath power to do that which shall cause, [Page 28] move, and incite God to love him and do him good, and others; yea, and doth so by his believing, praying, and the rest of his per­formances of his love and service to God.

Were it not a great honour to that poor subject, which for his fidelity, love, and performances to a great Potent and rich King, should have the assurance of love, assistance, and good he would request and desire of the King, and that he by his performances to the King, could cause the King to do such things for him when he would? Surely any man that were not envious, would praise and honour the happinesse of this subject.

So they which teach that the love of men to God, by their love, do cause and make God to love them; and by their Faith, do cause God to justifie them; and by their asking and praying, do cause, move, and incite God to grant and give them that they desire, and by their repentance do cause God to forgive them; and by their other performances to God, do cause God to do them good; do much advance and honour men and their performances.

Whenas the very Elect (although they be elected in Christ) &c. yet (as the Apostle saith) in themselves are nothing unto Ep [...]. 44. good before God [...] If any man (saith he) esteemeth himself to be somewhat when as he is nothing, he deceiveth himself in his own imagi­nation. Gal. 6. 3. No, they can perform nothing that is good before God; so Paul said of himself, I find no means to perform that which is good, Rom 7. 8, 26, 21. when I would do good (saith he) evil is present with me, and the evil which I would not do, that I do.

So that it is clear from hence, that the faith or believing, the praying and repentance, and all the performances of the very E­lect in themselves to God are evil and sin, (which is a mystery in­deed unto such as the Gospel is hid: And therefore they cannot cause, move, and incite God to love them, justifie them, give to them, assist them, or forgive them by their love, faith, prayer, re­pentance, or any other performances to God which are evil in themselves; and the advancing and honouring of man for such his performances to God, as shall and can so prevail with God, as to cause him to do men good for the same, is the work of the decei­ving spirit, to the greatest abasement of the power of Christ; or a share of that which is onely Christs; which (as the Apostle saith) 1 Cor. 12. 6. Phil. 2. 13. H [...]b. 12 2. worketh all in all, yea, which worketh in us the will and deed of his own good pleasure. The work of all is the work of the Work-man, which is Christ; Christ is the Author and finisher of our faith and the [Page 29] rest, the honour of all is his due; it is Christ and his performances that onely causeth, moveth, and inciteth God to love, to give to the Elect, to assist and forgive, not any performance of their own; and it is Christ that covereth the sin of their performances, and therefore to Christ the whole prayes and honour of procuring the love and the goodness of God to man is due; and it is extream sacriledge to rob our God Christ of his honour, and to give it to another; and these of God and his Christ are great mysteries unto those which are lost, to whom the gospel is hid; the thing wrought doth witnesse the work-man, but not that it self was the work­man.

Object. But they say, God hath promised to love them, and to shew mercy on them that love him, and to justifie and save them that believe, and to give to them, and assist them that pray to him and ask him, and to do them good that do obedience to his com­mandements: Therefore God hath bound himself by his promise to be a debtor to those that love him, believe, pray, and obey his commandements; As promise is a debt, if the condition be per­formed: And therefore the love of man to God, the Faith, Prayer, and Obedience of man to God must needs cause, move, and incite the just God in his promises to love them, save, justifie, assist, and do them good; the work being done, is enough to cause, move, and incite every just man to pay the work-man his promised wages, much more doth the same the great God.

Answ. This Objection is spread with the deceit of of the de­ceiving spirit, for the promise was to Christ; as Gal. 3. 16. Not to the seeds as speaking of many, but to thy seed, as of one, which is Christ, saith the Apostle.

The promise was not to the Elect as they are the corrupt man in themselves, but to Christ, and to them onely as they are elected in Christ.

It was and is Christ onely that is able to perform the condition, and not man corrupted; whereas it is said, the promises were such made to Abraham, the Apostle meaneth, they were repeated, and clearly manifested to Abraham, which we made before to Christ, who was before Abraham, although of Abrahams seed is mani­festation according to the flesh.

If the promise had been made to corrupt man as Abrahams also was, it had been in vain; for there was never any man that was able to have performed the condition, nor hath done, but in Christ which performed it for him.

[Page 30] If a great Emperor should bind himself by promise to a poor Begger, to give him a Kingdome if he did pay twenty hundred thousand pounds, which was not able to pay him one pound, were not this a vain promise and bond, or could this Begger look for this Kingdome so promised, which never paid any thing? If man look for the love, salvation, and goodness of God, for his own performances to God, he will be deceived.

If poor corrupt man think to have the love of God, for his love to God, to be saved for his faith, to be helped and assisted at Gods hand for his Prayer, or to be forgiven for his Repentance, he is deceived: For the Apostle saith, To him that worketh, the wa­ges Rom. 4. 4. is not accounted of favour or grace, but of debt; now God is a deb­ter to no man, he sheweth mercy on whom he will, and whom he will he hardneth, (that is) leaveth him in his own hardness.

To take the Promise of God to be a debt to corrupt man for Rom. 9. 18. his work and performance to God, is a great dishonour to God; yea it is to make God a mercenary God, that will do some good for man, if he be paid for it, if man do good for him, and to him; when as all the love and goodnesse of God to man is gratis, of free grace, I will love them freely (saith God.) We are justified freely. Hos. 14. 4. Rom. 3. 24 Rev. 21. 6. Take of the water of life freely, saith the Apostle.

Indeed God saith he, loveth them, and sheweth mercy on them that love him and keep his commandements, and will justifie and save them that believe, and will give to them that ask, and forgive them that repent; but he doth not say, nor promise to love, or shew mercy to them for their love, or because they love him, nor to justifie and save for their faith, because they believe, nor to give them, because they ask, or to forgive, because they repent, the Hi­story tels us not that.

All that God looketh for of man, is in Christ, which perform­eth all, and he is satisfied for which he loveth, giveth, and forgi­geth his Elect in Christ. Isa. 5. 3. 11.

Indeed God sheddeth his love into the hearts of the Elect by the Holy Ghost sent unto them, whereby their hearts bear the love of God, and the manifestations of his love, as the branch of the Vine beareth the grapes and fruits of the Vine, conveighed by the spirits of the vine, to manifestation and witnes, as Christ himself sheweth in the Parable of the vine. Ioh. 15. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

And the love of God shed abroad in the hearts of the elect by the Holy Ghost, sent to them, doth not onely manifest the love [Page 31] of God seated there in that soul passively, but also by the same holy Ghost the love of God is acted, so God and man by the In­strument of the same soul (as it pleaseth the Lord Christ,) and all the fruits of the love of God evidenced, witnessed, and assured to the same soul, by the spirit of Christ; (as the Apostle speaketh) We have received the spirit of adoption, and the same spirit beareth Rom. 8. 15, 16. witnes with our spirits (or souls) that we are the sons of God. The holy spirit manifesteth, witnesseth, and assureth the souls of the Elect of the love of God, mercy, justification, and forgiveness of sinnes, &c. And this is that which is called their faith, by which they are said to live, to be justified and saved, and to have all com­fort whilst they are in the body.

And as the Apostle saith, The promise of the new Covenant of Gal. 3. 16. grace, called the new commandement, and condition, was made to the seed, (speaking of one) which is Christ, onely able to do the will of God in the same commandement and covenant, being the under­taker to do the will of God of free grace, and freely saying, Lo I come to do thy will O God, for poor corrupt man which thou hast elected in me, not able to do any thing thereof in himself, al­though in the history of Scriptures, the promise be often found helf forth to man, because Christ of grace imputeth, and freely giveth the good and benefit of the promise purchased by himself to his Elect; but afterwards reserving the Praise, Honour, and Glo­ry thereof to himself.

So the whole covenant of grace was made of God, with his Christ the undertaker, to do the will of God for poor corrupt man elected in Christ, as well the performing of the conditions and commandement therein, as receiving of the promise; although in the history of the Scriptures, the commandement and performances of the condition of the covenant be held forth to pertain to unable corrupt man, which onely pertaineth unto Christ, the gracious and able undertaker; for what is, doth, or hath poor cor­rupt man herein, but in Christ; Christs command to the Repro­bate, is as he is God the commander in justice, to the Elect, as un­dertaker of the work before God in grace.

Indeed our God commandeth in the history of the Scriptures, both Reprobate and Elect, and his command is holy, just, and of authority; the Elect of themselves, are still corrupt in themselves, although holy in Christ, in whom they are elected, and not able through their corruption to do the just command.

[Page 32] Christ that of authority commandeth, hath undertaken to do the will of God, as he saith, Lo I come to do thy will O God: And no Heb. 10. 9. doubt but it was for the Elect, that Christ did undertake to do the will of God, as the payment of the debt in his justice for their transgression, unto mercy and forgivenesse, their holinesse and righteousness before God.

This will of God for payment to mercy and forgiveness, for righteousnesse, holinesse, and goodnesse to them, which Christ undertook to do for the Elect, which themselves were not, nor are able to do in the least, no doubt he did, doth, and ever will do; graciously making them his instruments (as he pleaseth,) and imputing all to them; upon which account it is said, Christ is the Priest and the Sacrifice, the Law or Covenant-giver, and the Law or Covenant-keeper, the Judge and the Advocate, the com­mander, and the doer of the commandement; as the renowned Father in the church of Christ said, Do, Lord, that which thou commandest, and command what thou wilt.

And although the afflictions, punishments, and misery of Re­probates be just to them for their sins against the holy commande­ment; and although the afflictions, troubles, and punishments of the Elect be many in this world (as David said) he was punished every day, yet the afflictions of the Elect in Christ are not, nor can be for their sins before God, which Christs full payment for them to God hath satisfied, (as the Prophet saith) and which Christ hath Isa. 53. [...]1. covered as David saith, Blessed is that man whose iniquities are for­given, and whose sin is covered, and which Christ hath taken quite away, as the Apostle saith, Christ appeared, we know, that he 1 Ioh. 3. 5. might take away our sins.

Can it be thought that the just God will exact payment for that which he hath had full payment already, for which he had in his acceptance by Christs undertaking, so soon as Christ had under­taken.

If now there are many that hold so th the history of the Scrip­tures to affirm and prove the temporal afflictions of the Elect, to be ordered unto them for their sins against God and men, for their sins before God and before men.

But the mystery of our God and Christ, of faith, and godliness doth hold forth, that afflictions are not ordered of Christ to the Elect for their sins either against God or men, as the payment of the debt thereof, or as in revenge of wrath, which are never un­der [Page 33] wrath, but under love; but are alwaies ordered to the elect of God in the love, wisdome and goodnesse of one God Christ, either to take them away in love from sin, and the misery of sin, as the Prophet saith, The righteous perisheth and no man consi­dereth it in heart, and mercifull men are taken away, and no man under­standeth Isa. 57. 1. that the righteous is taken away from the evill to come; or are Zach. 2. 5 Hos. 2. 5. ordered to them to keep and preserve them from sin as by a wall of fire and a hedge of thornes, as the Prophets speak, upon which if their corrupt nature presse, drive and force them; they are by this means of Christ constrained to return to Christ, as the Pro­phet Hosea at large sheweth in the second chapter of his Prophe­sie, v. 5, 6, 7 &c. A loving father will not chastise his child for the offence done, if he knoweth that he will offend no more, but will passe by the fault; and if he doth chastise him, it is that he might not offend afterward, to keep him from offending: And Psa. 119. 71. upon this David said, It is good for me that I have been in trouble, for thereby I have learned to keep thy Statutes. Davids troubles were Gods goodness to him, although he was punished every day, Daily have I been punished (saith he.) The goodness of his troubles Psa. 73. 14 and afflictions drive him back to Christ, as the Apostle saith, The love of Christ hath constrained us. 2 Cor. 3. 14.

But still there are some that (it may be) in earnest object, if the elect do know they can do nothing of the holy commandement; and if they know that Christ hath undertaken to do all and will do all for them commanded to be done before God: Then they may live without care, fear or regard of godlinesse, to walk up­rightly before God, so that they live warily before men, and give content and satisfaction to men.

This objection is not made from the spirit of Christ, but from the spirit of Antichrist; not from the sense of an elect believer, but from the sense of reprobates, such as God hath delivered up into a reprobate mind (as the Apostle speaketh) and are reprobate Rom. 1. 28 2 Tim. 3. 8 concerning the faith, as he faith. For although the elect believers denie themselves, and see nothing in themselves but [...] crying al­wayes, Lord be mercifull to me a sinner; and know that themselves can do nothing of the holy commandement, and know that Christ of free grace doth all for them of the same, by his holy Spirit sent to them, as he pleaseth: yet they know also that because God ca­reth 1 Pet. 5. 17. Psa. 91. 12 Psa. 25. 1 [...] for them, he will keep them in all their wayes, that he will teach them the way that they shall choose: that he will mortifie [Page 34] the deeds of the flesh by his spirit sent unto them. That the love of God shed abroad in their hearts by the Holy Ghost sent to Rom. 8. 13 them will act in their souls and hearts the love to God and man: Yea they know that Christ hath promised to put such a fear into their hearts that they shall not depart from him, and hath made Jer. 22. 40 41. such a covenant, that he will never turn away from them, but will delight in them to do them good: So their knowledge of Christs grace to them doth not make them worse, but better in them­selves. Christ saith, naturall Heathens or Publicans love them that they know love them, and shall not the love of God to the elect Mat. 5. 46 47. Rom. 14. 14. unto whom it is manifested, constrain them (although they be still carnall, as Paul said he was) to love God and man?

Ob. 2. But the deceiving spirit doth further object, If our belie­ving, praying, praising & thanksgiving to God do not cause, move and incite God to love us and do us good, then wherefore should or do the elect pray and praise God? all is in vain they do.

Answ. Indeed all that they do to cause, move, and incite God to love them and do them good is in vain; for it is Christ only that doth and can do that, the doing of the elect cannot do it, which is sinfull and corrupt.

Yet because Christ the undertaker for the elect, which hath au­thority to command, commandeth in the government of his Church to love, pray, praise, give, forgive, and the rest. The elect do the same not in vain, but of duty, because Christ their underta­ker hath commanded, although they do not, nor can do the same, according to the holy command. A Scholler which is command­ed of his favourable Schoolmaster to write his copie given him, and which he knoweth can write never a letter right, yet ought to write the same, because he is commanded, but it were folly in the Scholler to look to be praised of his Master for his bad writing. And if any man shall ask why [...]hrist commandeth the elect, which he knoweth can do nothing of the command, the answer may be; First, for his good pleasure and will and their humiliation. Se­condly, [...]ist would have his people exercised, and not idle, al­though weak. Thirdly, because although the goodnesse of their doing the holy command is nothing, or extendeth not unto God, is no goodnesse before God; yet before men, in mens estimation it is goodnesse, as David saith, My goodnesse extendeth not to thee O Lord, but to the Saints which are upon the earth: It is good and pro­fitable Psal. 16. 2, 3. Tit. 3. 8. (as the Apostle saith) to men. Fourthly, for example to [Page 35] and another, and edification of one another. Fifthly, for their knowledge of their transgressions, of omission and commission, as Paul said, I had not known sin but by the law. If Christ had not a commandement to bid [...]nd forbid, the elect had not known Rom. 7. 7. their sins and transgressions. The Scholler which writeth never a letter well of his copie, knoweth by his copie (if he regard it and perule it well his fault in every word and letter, although he can­not mend it. So by the holy and righteous command of Christ, the Elect may see and know their errour if they mind it, and look upon it well, although they cannot amend their errour them­selves. Sixtly, Christ commandeth them to do, although he know they can do nothing of the holy command before God, because he would have them know and consider of his grace and goodness to them, in undertaking and performing those things of the holy commandement for them first and last, unto their salvation and everlasting happiness, which themselves were not able to do in the least, and to take up the song of David the sweet singer of Israel, continually before men, praising the Lord for his goodness, and to declare the wonders that he hath done for the children of men, so that their labour is not in vain in the Lord. Seventhly, Because when it pleaseth the L. Jesus Christ to send his holy spirit to them, 1 Cor 5. 1. 5. 8. to act in them these things of his holy commandement, and to make them his branches to bear and bring forth such fruits in sin­glenesse of heart, in sincerity and godlinesse, as fruits of the spirit in truth; then these are true evidences, testimonies, and witnesses of the spirit received, as the Tree is known by the fruits (in the rule of Christ.) And the spirit received, doth witnesse that they are the children of God; We have received the spirit (saith the A­postle,) and the same spirit doth witness, that we are the children of Rom. 8, 15. 16. God.

Object. Further, the deceiving spirit objecteth, to teach that mans love to God, his prayer, praise, his giving, forgiving, repen­tance and the rest like commanded, do not cause, move, and in­cite God to love, give, and forgive his servants, and do them good; is the flaking and quenching of all devotion and religious service to God.

Answ. This Doctrine indeed may (by the power of Christ) quench the devotion and supposed service to God of Hypocrites, that there by dishonour Christ, for what greater dishonour to Christ can be done, then to uphold or think, that poore corrupt [Page 36] man by his love, believing, praying, praising, giving, forgiving, re­penting, and the rest, can procure God to love, justifie, give, and forgive, which is onely the work that Christ hath undertaken for poor unable man, saying, Lo I come to do thy will O God; which on­ly Heb. 10. 7. procureth the love, justification, forgiveness, and all goodness of God to man, freely, without any work or labour of mans, I will love them freely (saith God.) We are iustified freely by grace: Hos. 14. 4. Take of the water of life freely. And of this work of causing, mo­ving, inciting, and procuring God to love man, to justifie, forgive Rom. 3. 24 Rev. 21. 6. 2 Thes. 2. 3. 4. and do good to man; the honour and praise belongeth onely to our Christ, that sitteth upon the throne; and it is the Antichrist, the man of sin, (which the Apostle speaketh of) that taketh this honour, or any part of it to himself, and robbeth Christ of this honour onely due to him.

But in those which are true believers, their doctrine doth not quench, but kindle devotion, and religious worship, and service to God and his Christ: For can there be greater incitement to devotion and Religion, then for a man to be taught of God, and to be assured by the spirit of Christ in him; that Christ hath under­taken to do all for him, to his justification and salvation before God; that Christ (with the will and good pleasure of God) hath done, doth, and will do all for him to God, paid his debt, made his peace, and made his reconciliation with God for his sins, ob­tained the imputation of his righteousness to him, in and by his fulfilling of the holy Law of God for him, making him to be holy and without blame before God in love, causing, moving, and in­citing God to love him, give to him, forgive him, and do him all good; when as himself, in himself, is still a sinner, corrupt, and abo­minable, and hath no good thing in him, as Paul said, he had not Rom. 7. 18. dwelling in himself; and was not, nor is able to do the least with God, to procure the least love and goodness of God to himself: Surely if this teaching will not kindle devotion in man, he is no true Believer; yea he is worse then the Heathens and Publicanes that Christ spake of, which he said would love them that loved them, that would do good to them that did good to them; The Heathe [...]s and Publicanes (saith Christ) will do the same. Mat. 5. 46 47.

This did kindle exceeding devotion in David (as we read, it made him sing, it made him praise, worship, fall down and kneel before the Lord his Maker and Redeemer, and to call others; O come (saith he) let us worship, fall down, and kneel before the Lord our Maker. Psa. 93. 6.

These Positions following, are the grounds of the Treatises and Medi­tations following.

The first Position is,

THat God fore-saw and fore-knew all things to be in the world, before the world: A Sparrow falls not to the ground Gal. 3. 8. Act. 2. 23 1. Pet. 1. 2 Mat. 10. 29, 30. Ps. 148. 6. without his providence.

That God willed and decreed all things before the world, unchangable, to be in eternity.

That Gods eternal will and decree, was his present and un­changeable act of all he willed and decreed with and before him­self, Ps. 13. 5. 6. before the world, before whom all things are present and not future; although in manifestation and appearance to the crea­ture they be in future, and appointed fulness of time.

That God fore-saw and fore-knew all mankind to become the children of wrath, by the transgression of the first man, notwith­standing Eph. 2. 3. Rom. 5. 18 he had power given him, and free-will also to keep the covenant, and do the commandement..

That it was Gods eternal act, according to his eternal will and decree of love, mercy, and free grace, to elect in Christ some of Eph. 1. 4. Rom. 8. 29, 30. Act. 13. 48. Eph. 1. 5. the children of wrath, out of the generall company of the children of wrath, to be holy and without blame before him in love, to be predestinated and ordained to eternal life, and to be adopted the children of God through Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will.

That those (which according to the good pleasure of his will God so knew before, and he so elected in Christ) were holy, and 1 Cor. 1. 2, 3. Act. 13. 48. Rom. 8. 29 30. 1 Cor. 1. 8. Rom. 8. 33 without blame before God, after they were elected out of the children of wrath, no more to be the children of wrath, but of God, and were predestinated and ordained to eternal life, were adopted the children of God through Christ; called, justified, and glorified before God, and were so before the foundations of the [Page 38] world was laid in Gods sight, although these be not in appea­rance and manifestation to the creature till in future, and fulness of time appointed.

That Christ undertook and performed all in acceptance willed Positi. 2. Heb. 10. 9. Rev. 13. 8. and decreed of God before God, for the justification and salva­tion of the elect, before the world.

That man himself doth not, nor can do the work of the holy Law and commandement of God, that is good before God, and Positi. 3. acceptable to God, as it is mans work.

That Christ doth in man all that is done good and righteous before God, by his holy Spirit sent to man of grace; making his Elect fitted instrements thereof as he pleaseth.

There are Antipositions made to these, namely to the form as followeth.

First, although all times, things, and acts were present with God before the world, yet they were not alike present; God seeth things as they are, difference of time, and circumstance adhering, he seeth election before time, justification in time, and remission of sin after it is commited: He seeth not these ab aeterno.

Answ. I take it, if all times, things, and acts were present with God before the world, there is neither past nor future time, no difference of time and circumstance before God, although to man there seemeth difference of time and circumstance; as past, present, and future; God seeth and knoweth al things, (as present to him) election, justification, remission of sin whensoever committed, al­though those and other things are not in mans sight & estimation until they are manifested; and then as they are manifested, Gods will and his acts before himself, are together unchangeable, The gifts Rom. 11. [...]9. and calling of God are without repentance: And the gifts which God giveth to the creatures were not unknown and undecreed of God to the creature, untill such time as they did appeare manifested to the creature, neither is the creature uncalled of God before him, until his calling be manifested to man; the Apo­stle Paul maketh it clear, to be before God, before the world: Those (saith he) which God knew before, those also he predestinated to Rom. 8. 19, 30. be made like to the image of his Son: And whom he predestinated, them also he called, and whom he called, them also he justified, and whom he justified, them also he glorified.

The Apostle doth not say, that those which God knew before the world, he would afterward predestinate, he would afterward [Page 39] call, afterward justifie, afterward glorifie. But he saith, those which he knew before the world, he predestinated, called, justified, and glorified them, before himself unchangable, although these do not appear, and are manifested to the creature, till fulnesse of time.

The second Antiposition is, That man not having the Spirit, may and can do Morall works, yea good Morall works before God: and that man having the Spirit, can do Morall good works much more, yea and spirituall also, by the instrumentall assistance of the Spi­rit.

Answ. I take it the Scribes and Pharisees did Morall good works before men, as fair in mans sight as any other, then, or si­thence, but I do not find them said, to be as good and righteous be or [...] God.

And I take it, if the Spirit be only an instrumentall assistance to them which have the Spirit, so Christ is at the will and disposi­tion of man, as the instrument is at the disposition of the work­man, and to be procured by mans art and power to be his instru­mentall assistant; a great dishonor to Christ. Paul called himself Rom. 1. 1. a servant and instrument of Jesus Christ, but he never called Christ his instrument or servant.

The third Antiposition is, That man having the Spirit, hath in­herent sanctification and holinesse in himself, and may bring forth, and do the works of holinesse (as the Agent thereof) righteous in the sight of God.

And this Position (they say) the words of Christ uphold, which say, Except your righteousnesse exceed the righteousnesse of the Scribes and Phraisees ye shall not enter into the Kingdome of heaven. Mat. 5. 20.

This exceeding righteousnesse to be had, to enter into the Kingdome (say they) is the inherent holinesse and righteousnesse, which they have, which have the Spirit, by the sanctification of the Spirit.

Answ. But I take it, the exceeding righteousnesse to be had of those which enter into the Kingdome of heaven, spoken of by Christ, is the righteousnesse of Christ by imputation to his Elect, Believers, not the inherent supposed righteousnesse in themselves, which they have by the sanctification of the Spirit, whereby, they say, they are inabled to do the works of holinesse and righteous­nesse, as the Agent thereof before God.

For the Apostle saith, alledging David for a witnesse, That man is the blessed man, that is to enter into the Kingdom of heaven, un­to [Page 40] whom the Lord imputeth righteousnesse without works.

And that further, to uphold inherent righteousnesse and holi­nesse in man, by the sanctification of the Spirit, do further alledge the Apostle, which saith to the believing Corinthians, neither un­righteous men, nor fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, wantons, bugge­rers, thieves, covetous, drunkards, railers, nor extortioners, shall enter Cor. 6. 9. 10, 11. into the Kingdome of heaven, and such were some of you, but ye are washed, ye are sanctified, ye are justified in the name of the Lord Ie­sus, and by the Spirit of our God. He saith, they were now washed, sanctified, and justified by the Spirit.

Answ. But I take it, this doth not prove (although these belie­ving Corinthians) were washed now, sanctified and justified now in their own knowledge and light in the name of Jesus, and in the Spirit of our God, when God gave the light to them, that they were not washed, sanctified, and justified before this, in the sight of God, by Jesus Christ, the Lamb slain from the beginning. Nor doth it prove, that they had now inherent holinesse and righte­ousnesse in themselves, to do the works of holinesse and righte­ousnesse before God at that time.

I take it, Believers have still inherent corruption and sin in them­selves, which corruption is in every part and parcell of soul and body, as the Apostle of Christ saith, A little leaven, leaveneth the whole lump. 1 Cor. 5. 6

If they had inherent holinesse and righteousnesse in themselves in every part of soul and body, the same would expell them from corruption, and so there should be no corruption and sin in Belie­vers, for two contraries are not in one subject together at the same time, if it be light, it is not dark, if it be cold, there is not heat, inherent. When a stronger then the strong man cometh (saith Christ) he taketh away the strong mans armor, dispossesseth him, and divideth the spoils, Luke 11. 21, 22. But of the operation of the Spirit in Believers, and of the mortification and sanctification of the Spirit, it is said more afterward. We find it recorded in Scripture, that Moses, Lot, Reuben, and the rest of the Patriarches, Iob, Moses, Aaron, David, Peter, &c. after they had the Spirit, had corruption, which brought forth sin mentioned: and no doubt, but other sin not mentioned in them.

And I take it, Doctrine of inherent holinesse and righteous­ness in man, by the sanctification of the Spirit, is of Antichrist, and to make men proud Pharisees, to trust in themselves, and de­spise [Page 41] others, to make them think they are not as other men are, nor as this or that sinner.

But I know the Doctrine of Christs Spirit is to make men hum­ble Publicans, to smite their breasts, saying, Lord be mercifull to me a sinner, and wholly to deny themselves.

This Doctrine of inherent holinesse and righteousnesse (as is a­foresaid) is confuted by the Prophets, by Christ himself, and by his Apostles.

The Prophet Esay (speaking of himself and others, having the Spirit) saith, We are all as an unclean thing, all our righteousness is as filthy rags; and after Paul says, there is nonerighteous that doth good, no not one. Christ saith to the same purpose, Thou hypocrite, Rom 3 10. why seest thou the mote that is in thy Brothers eye, and seest not the beam that is in thine own eye? &c. And again, judge not, that ye be not judged, and when ye have done what ye can, say we are unprofitable servants.

And the Apostle Paul saith, after he had the Spirit known to himself, In me, that is in my flesh, the corrupt man, dwelleth no good things, I find no means to perform that which is good.

Where was Pauls inherent holinesse and righteousnesse in him­self, when there dwelt no good thing in him, and when he found no means to perform that which was good in himself, where was his inablement in himselfe by the instrumentall assistance of the Spirit, to do the works of holinesse and righteousness in the sight of God?

And whereas they say, Paul meant (by performance to do per­fectly) and that he might do that which was good and righteous in the sight of God, although he did not the same perfectly, it is but a sophisticall cavill, For there is nothing good and righteous in the sight of God, which is not perfectly good and righteous; his Sacrifice is Levit. 3. 1. Numb. 28. Deut. 13. 21. without spot or blemish.

Certainly these Positions are from the root of Antichrist, and there is no essentiall point of Popery, as I may have ground and sustentation from them, as mans holy and righteous works be­fore God.

Justification by mans works before God.

Debt and merit of God by mans works.

Sup [...]rerogations, Popes Holinesse.

That the Pope cannot erre.

Canonizing of men for Saints in themselves.

Sanctifyings and Consecrations of persons and things by men in the estimation of God.

[Page 42] Making holy Bread and holy Water, in the estimation of Gods free-will.

What Saint in himself deserves not to be canonized?

What holy and righteous works, that are holy and righteous in themselves, in the estimation of God, deserve not to be crowned of God, as meritorious works?

It is just with men to recompence good works of men, done to their honor and benefit, with a proportionable price. So no doubt, it is just with God, to recompence the good works of men (in his estimation good works) wrought of men themselves, to his honor, and the benefit of his, with a price proportionable. To him that worketh (saith the Apostle) the wages is not accounted of grace or favour, but of debt. Rom. 4. 4.

I take it, if man holdeth forth his own works good and righte­ous before God, he challengeth a debt of God, and forsaketh grace, his own mercies.

They which were called Protestants, were so called, because they did protest against such points of Popery.

Further Arguments made to uphold In­herent Holinesse and Righteousnesse in man, by the Sanctification of the Spirit, are answered as followeth.

Arg. 1. THey say, although Inherent Holinesse be taught of Papists, and they teach so, yet it is not Popish Do­ctrine. That is Popish which Papists teach and maintaine against the Doctrine of the reformed Churches.

Answ. Those Churches are reformed, where Christ is per­fectly formed in them. Paul said to the Church of Galatia, I travell in birth again, till Christ be formed in you; he did not mean Gal. 4. 19. formed in part, but throughly and perfectly formed. The Papists teach and maintain Inherent Holinesse and Righteousnesse, con­trary to the form of Jesus Christ, otherwise they should have no [Page 43] ground for their other Popish Doctrines, against the true form of Jesus Christ in his Church. I take it, they which maintaine the same with them, close with Popery.

Arg. 2. The Pharisees taught such righteousnesse, as is neither imputed to them, nor inherent in them; it is, Iustitia quam doce­bant, non quam praestabant.

Answ. The Pharisees taught such righteousnesse as they ac­counted they had in themselves, such as your Inherent Holinesse and Righteousnesse is in you, (by your account,) and they accoun­ted they had it from God, also they thanked God for it, as I sup­pose you do. I thank God, saith the Pharisee, I am not as other Luk. 18. 11. men are, unjust, &c. He thought himself to have holinesse and righteousnesse in himself, so do you.

Arg. 3. You abolish the Morall Law in Mat. 5. held up.

Answ. We do not abolish the Morall Law, further then the A­postle of Christ, which saith, For Christ is the end of the Law for Rom. 10, 4. righteousnesse (before God) to every one that believes. We say, the Morall Law is still the manifestation of Gods Justice to the for­saken and Reprobate ones; it is also the manifestation of sin to the Elect, Believers, and as an hedge of thorns to keep them from transgressing, (not to be held forth for eternall life or d [...]ath to believers) but to shew them what Christ hath done for them in fulfilling of the righteousnesse thereof, in delivering them from the curse thereof, by his sufferings in himself; and to shew them what Christ doth of the same in them (as he pleaseth) for their comfort, by his spirit sent unto them in their unablenesse, for a Rom. 8. 15. 16. witness and assurance to them, of their adoption through Christ.

Arg. 4. You say, contraries do not expell contraries, necessari­ly they may be in the same subject in degrees, as light and dark­nesse, cold and heat, so may knowledge and ignorance be in the believing man, so may inherent holinesse, and inherent corruption, be in the man that believeth.

And yet you say in your exposition of 1 Pet. 4. 18. The grace of Sanctification doth drive away ignorance and darkness of mind: and what is this, but to affirm no ignorance in Believers, inherent knowledge hath driven away inherent ignorance, and that inherent holinesse hath driven inherent corruption quite a­way.

Answ. So you deny and affirm the same thing, and need no further answer.

[Page 44] Arg. 5. For to uphold inherent holinesse in man, they alledge 2 Cor. 5. 17. where it is said, If any man be in Christ he is a new creature. And also Ephes. 4. 24. where it is said, Put on the new man, &c.

Answ. In these places, the Apostle sheweth the great grace of God, to those which are elected in Christ, and adopted through Christ, that that man is a new creature in Christ, a new man in Christ, not in himself; therefore he saith, Jf any man be in Christ, be is a new creature in Christ. So the same Apostle saith, he is quick­ned in Christ, Eph. 2. 5. not in himself. He is holy and without blame before God in Christ, that is, chosen in Christ, Eph, 1. 4. not in himselfe, his carnall sinfull corrupt soul and body. Our life that we live before God is in Christ, it is hid with Christ in God, saith the Apostle, Col. 3. 3. It is not in our selves that we live before God: in that J live, J live by the faith of the Son of God, saith Paul, Gal. 2. 20. It is by faith that we live, it is by grace of imputation of Christs life, holinesse, and righteousness, that we live, are holy and righteous before God, not by inherent holinesse and righteousnesse in our corrupt man, that is, in our selves, as the Apostle saith, Blessed is the man to whom the Lord imputeth righteousnesse.

Arg. 6. They for their inherent holinesse, &c. alledge the words of Peter the Apostle, 1 Pet. 4. 18. Jf the righteous shall scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and sinners appear?

Answ. The words are clearly to be understood, of hypocrites having inherent holiness and righteousnesse in themselves, by their own account, and in the estimation of men, as the Pharisees and Judas had, and others, and of such as are manifest Reprobates, by their contempt of godlinesse, and greedinesse of transgression.

The Apostle noteth the ha [...]dnesse of salvation to the best of these, but there is no hardnesse or scarcenesse of salvation to those which are in Christ, which God hath chosen in Christ before the world, to be holy and without blame before him in love, that are so Eph 1. 4, 5. Act. 13. 48 ordinated to eternall life before the world, as Paul and the rest were, as he affirmeth, and the other Evangelists.

Arg. 7. Thinking that these words of the Prophet will uphold inherent holiness, &c. they would have them paraphras'd, auferam cor lapideum, & dabo cor carneum, that is, I will take away the sto­ny Ezek. 36. 26. heart, and give a fleshy heart.

Answ. Man by corruption hath a hard and stony heart in him­self, although the man be chosen in Christ before the world to be [Page 45] holy and without blame before God, and is so in Christ, although his heart be still hard in himself. But when Christ pleaseth to send his Spirit, the Spirit of promise to him, with his operations of mortification and sanctification, thereby Christ fitteth his story heart to be his branch to bear his fruits, wrought up by his Spirit (as he pleaseth) such as are called the fruits of his Spirit, inlightning, softning, love, joy, peace, faith, righteousnesse, repentance, selfe­deniall, and all manner of goodness; in which respect it is called a fleshy heart, by reason of the operations of the Spirit unto it.

But the operations are not so, as no hardness remaineth or re­turneth, or fruits of the same hardness and corruption in the heart or soul.

Mr. Calles (the memorable Martyr) sheweth that well in his mournfull song, which every best fleshy hearted man proveth. In­deed (saith he) sometime I do repent. To God for mercy call, but yet alas incontinent, to sin again I fall.

Here were in him fruits born, and held forth of the fleshy heart, but incontinent, the fruits of the corrupt and stony heart are held forth in this man, no inherent holiness and righteousness proved in man.

Arg. 8. They alledge for inherent holiness and righteousness, &c. Act. 10. 35. where it is said, He that worketh righteousnesse is accepted with God. From whence they conclude, that there are some men that work righteousnesse, and are accepted of God, for working of righteousness.

Answ. I am sorry that you draw such a conclusion from this Scripture, contrary to the meaning thereof; and contrary to the plain word of other Scriptures: Paul saith, Rom 9. 16. It is not in him that willeth, nor in him that runneth (meaning to have accep­tance with God) but in God that sheweth mercy. And again, if it be of mans working of righteousness, then it is no more of grace, that man is accepted with God; Rom 11. 6. If it be of his works, then it is of debt, that man is accepted with God, For to him that worketh, the wages is accounted by debt, saith the Apostle, Rom. 4. 4. The Apostle excludes debt & work to make acceptance with God.

I wish that Gal 5. 4. were well considered, ye are abolished from Christ, whosoever are justified by the Law, ye are fallen from grace. He that is accepted of God for working righ­teousnesse, certainly is justified by the Law, and thinketh himselfe to be so. For by that he is accepted with God, he is justi­fied [Page 46] before God, God accepteth no unjust person.

The Apostle saith, he that worketh righteousness, of whatsoe­ver Nation he be, is accepted with God, that is just with God; but he doth not say, that any man of any Nation worketh righte­ousnesse before God.

Yet there may be some of every Nation that work righteous­ness in the estimation of men, and some, that in Christ (which hath undertaken and performed all righteousness for them before God) work righteousness, and in Christ are accepted with God, for the work of his righteousness imputed to them.

Arg. 9. They alledge Doctor Davenets writing, de babituali justitia, which saith, omnes Theologos concedere inherentem justitiam justificatis, &c.

Answ. Doctor Davenets writing understood in the best sense, as we say, that in Christ those that are justified in him have inhe­rent holiness and righteousness in Christ, but not in themselves, in their corrupt souls and bodies. But understand Doctor Davenet as ye will.

Doctor Davenets Scripture is not canonicall Scripture. ‘The Spring of inherent Holinesse, &c.’

INherent holiness and righteousness, in part remaining in men after the generall fall and loss in Adam, whereby they had still free-will and power to do the commandement unto their salvati­on. Was the heresie of the Palagians confuted and exploded, in the Primitive times after the Apostles.

But soon after, the Papists loath to humble themselves to their corrupt condition, as Christ speaketh, loath to deny themselves, because they would not come manifestly in the pride of man, with the Palagians, and in their confuted errour.

Therefore acted by the spirit of Antichrist, they invented ano­ther way, whereby, they say, man hath inherent holiness and righ­teousness in himself, by the sanctification of the Spirit, and hereby they are inabled to do the works of holiness and righteousness themselves, pleasing to God, accepted with God, moving, and causing God to do them good.

This is the ground of all their proud Popish Tenents.

And from this ground the Arminians, Anabaptists, Brownists, Presbyterians, and other, hold forth many things to the exalting [Page 47] of man, and the pulling down of Christ, to the great dishonor of Jesus Christs undertakings and performances, for poor, cor­rupt, unable dead man in himself, of free grace chosen of God in Christ, and given to him of God, to undertake and perform all for unto life; which they do, when they teach and say, that they, by their Inherent holinesse and righteousnesse have power and free-will to do, and can do themselves the works of righteous­nesse, such as please God, are accepted with God, and do move and cause God to do them good, which all are the works of Christ, and no part thereof mans, but by account and grace of imputati­on; therefore the same and the rest of that sort, are no better then robbery, sacriledge, and idolatry.

Those which hold forth Inherent holinesse and righteousnesse in man, do boast themselves to be in a better estate and condition for life, then Adam was ever in; to have more power then Adam had in innocency unto holinesse and righteousnesse, and the work of the holy and righteous commandement of God for life, (which saith, do this and live) then Adam ever had: for Adam in inno­cency had no power to repent, if he fail'd that he might live by repentance, if he failed of life by obedience and words; nor had Adam power to pray for mercy and forgivenesse, to move God by repentance and prayer, and to obtain the same of God by prayer. For if Adam had had this, there had been no need of the provision of a Christ for falne man; for Adams repentance and prayer for mercy and forgivenesse, had been enough to have pray­ed with God for forgiveness of the transgression.

But (they say) they have not only power and free-will to doe the righteousness of the command, through their inherent holi­ness and righteousness, but also such a sanctified will, that their will cannot fail or hinder their power, as Adams did, to do the work.

They have power to repent and convert themselves unto life, if they fail in the righteous work; and power to pray, and so to prevail with God by their prayer, that they shall obtain mercy and forgiveness of all, by vertue of their inherent holiness and righteousness in themselves. Oh sure they must needs be as proud of this inherent holiness and righteousness in themselves, by the santification of the Spirit; and be as thankfull to God also, that they are not as other men are, as the Pharisee was for his righte­ousness that he had in himself of the Spirit of God in his own ac­count, [Page 48] for which he thanked God that he was not as other men Luk. 18. 11. were, unrighteous & sinners. And herein the late upholder of inhe­rent holiness and righteousness in man, by the sanctification of the Spirit, go beyond the Papists (which were the founders thereof) in exalting that Idol. For the Papists wil not allow every man that hath the same, to be inabled thereby to convert himself, if he have failed in the work of holiness and righteousness, and to satisfie with the repentance of his own frame, but he must be ordered and injoyn­ed penance by the Pope, or other his Substitutes, Confessors, to men offending, which must be obeyed, and all performed accor­dingly by the Delinquents, for absolution and recovery of life and safety to themselves.

And they must not pray as they will themselves, to move God to mercy and forgiveness, and to bestow good things upon them, but they must be ordered and appointed of those Agents and Confessors, how many Pater-nosters and Ave-Maries they must say for the same, &c.

But these conclude, that by his own power, that every man hath of his inherent holiness and righteousness, he is not only ina­bled to do the work of holiness and righteousness acceptable to God, but also (if he fail) to convert himself to repent at will, to move God to mercy and forgiveness, and to do him needful good when he will intentionally and devoutly pray for the same.

And to this purpose (for manifestation of the premises to be so, as is said) the upholders of inherent holiness and righteous­ness in man, teach and exhort all men to do the works of holiness and righteousness commanded upon eternall gain and pain, and to repent of their fallings, that they may not perish but live thereby, to pray intentionally in publike and private, to do duties com­manded; and to do all these to please God, to pacifie God, to move God to do them good by these their performances, without any doubt of going well with them (so doing) as if all men assembled, had this their supposed holiness and righteousness, and thereby power in themselves to do the works of holiness and righteous­ness, to repent, pray, and prevail with God to obtain all good at Gods hand thereby, and divert the wrath and judgements from them, as if they had God in a bond.

When as the Prophets of God, and the Apostles of Jesus Christ themselves, do acknowledge, that they had no such inherent holi­ness and righteousness in themselves, by the sanctification of the [Page 49] Spirit, whereby they were inabled to do the works of holiness and righteousness before God; and do acknowledge, that them­selves did no such works of holiness and righteousness before God, nor had any such power in themselves.

The Prophet David saith, God looked down from heaven up­on the children of men, to see if there were any that did under­stand and seek God; but (saith he) they were all gone out of the Psa. 5 3. 2. 3. Rom. 3. 10, 11. way, they were altogether corrupt, there is none that doth good, no not one. And the Apostle Paul joyntly with him saith the same.

The Prophet Isay saith of himself, and the rest like him, We are all as an uncleane thing, all our righteousnesse is as filthy rags.

And Paul saith, There is none righteous, no not one; there is none that understand and seek God, all are become unprofitable, there is Rom. 3. 10, 11, 12. Mat. 19. 17 none that doth good, no not one: and Christ saith, there is none good, but one, and that is God. And again, when you have done what ye can, say, we are unprofitable servants.

And Paul saith of himself in his best estate, I am carnall sold Rom. 7. under sin; in me, that is in my flesh, the corrupt man, dwelleth no good thing. And if any man, saith he, is somewhat, whereas he is nothing, Gal. 6. 3. he deceiveth himself in his own imagination: and Paul saith further, when he would do good, evill was present with him, and the good which Rom. 7. he would do, he did not, and the evill which he would not do, that he did.

Where was the power and inablement of these to the works of holiness and righteousness, or the deeds of these of the holiness and righteousness of the command above Adam, or indued in in­nocency in themselves, which deny all, and any such thing to be in man, and in themselves.

And again the Apostle saith, If it be of grace, (meaning that Rom. 11. 6. God is pleased, pacified, moved to do man good) it is no more of works; and if of works, it is no more of grace, Grace and Christ are quite shut out. But these are like the Angel or Minister of the Church of Laodicea, that John speaks of, which said, he was rich, increased with goods, and had need of nothing: whence the Spirit of God told him, that he was wretched, miserable, poor blind, and na­ked, Rev. 3. 17. and he knew it not. Or like the Pharisees that boasted, that they had that goodnesse from God, whereby they were righteous, holy, de­vout Joh. 9. men, wise, and did see all needfull, no blind men; when as Christ told them, that they were hypocrites, unjust, blind guides leading the Mat. 23. blind, such as to whom all wee did belong.

[Page 50] If these men which boast themselves to have such Inherent ho­liness and righteousness in themselves by the sanctification of the Spirit, had the same, and were such, whereby they are able to the work of holiness and righteousness, of the holy command of God, pleasing and acceptable to God (as Agents thereof) they were, at least, Saints in themselves. And this the Inherent holiness and righteousness in them, which did inable them to the deed, and the work of holinesse and righteousnesse, pleasing and acceptable to God, and to prevail with God to do them good, deserve to be a­dored and extolled as a God able to give power, for there is no power but of God, none can give power but God, even as the great Rom. 13. 1. God the Creator deserved to be adored for giving Adam power to doe the work of holinesse and righteousnesse in his inno­cency.

But I know there are many amongst us stained with this de­ceiveable doctrine of Inherent holiness and righteousness in man, &c. which have a zeale of God, although not according to knowledge, as the Apostle Paul said, there were of the Israelites, Rom. 10. 2. which being ignorant of the righteousness of God in Christ, and going about to establish their own righteousness, as these do, submitted not to the righteousness of God, as these do not, which ordinarily object and say, shall we not do that we are commanded? shall we not do the good duties commanded of God? shall we not do our indeavours what we can, although we cannot do perfectly? are we not commanded to call others to doe the same? is not God pleased that we should do so, and pleased with our doing so? or is God pleased that we should be idle, carelesse and do nothing of his command? [...]od, saith the Apostle, doth ac­cept the will for the deed, if there be first a willing mind.

Answ. These expressions indeed do shew a zeal of God, but the question is; first, whether it be according to knowledge or not secondly, whether they hold forth ignorance of the righteousness of God in Christ or no, and no submission to the righteousness of God in Christ or no: and thirdly, whether they shew a going a­bout to establish their own righteousness or no, that is, to hold forth their own power, wills, indeavours, and works, to please God pacifie God, move and prevail with God for their good, and to be accepted of God for the same, as it is their own, which nothing but perfect righteousness can do, which corrupt man can­not bring forth and do, for that which is of the flesh is fleshy.

[Page 51] Herein they clearly shew, that they are ignorant of the righte­ousness of God in Christ, and submit not to the righteousness of God in Christ, which is the only perfect righteousnesse, and which is all righteousness, that do, or can please, pacifie, move, and pre­vail with God to mans good; and to make man, or any thing of man accepted with God. Indeed God is pleased with man, and pacified towards man in Christ, not in himself, nor in his own cor­rupt will, indeavours, or deeds; they that are in the flesh cannot please Rom. 8. 8. God, saith the Apostle. ‘Of the Sanctification of the Spirit, &c.’

BEcause the Apostle saith, As in Adam all die, so in Christ shall all be made alive; and again, as by one mans disobedience many 1 Cor. 15. [...] Rom. 5. 19. were made sinners, so by the obedience of one, shall many be made righ­teous, &c. Some say, that Believers in Christ are so regenerate, and renewed in their corrupted nature of soul and body by Christ, through the inherent sanctification of the Spirit, that themselves by the power of their sanctified nature and faculties thereof, are able to do, and do the works of goodness, holiness, and righte­ousness in the estimation of God, as Adam had power to do in his innocency: And this inablement to them, by such sanctificati­on of the Spirit (I take it) they call the assistance of the Spirit, whereby, they say, they do such works at best in part.

But I take it such erre, not knowing the Scriptures, the truth of Jesus; for although the Scriptures hold forth the Elect, Be­lievers, to be elected, regenerated, and renewed, to be righteous, holy, and without blame before mod; yet the Scriptures hold them forth to be all this in Christ not in themselves. Paul saith he was elected in Christ, to be holy and without blame before God in Christ, Eph. 1. 4. Eph. 2. 5. 6 Act. 17. 28 he was quickned in Christ, he was raised up in Christ, lived, moved, and had his being in Christ, not in himself: he was not elected to be holy, and without bla [...]e, and spot before God in himselfe, to be quickned and raised up in his own corrupted man, nature, and fa­culties of soul or body: Believers are not the new man, the new creatures in themselves, in their own still corrupt nature, but they are the new man, the new creature in Christ, which is the onely new man, and new creature in himself, as the Apostle speaketh, he maketh of [...]wain one new man in himself: and again, put on the new man, which after God, as created in righteousnesse and holinesse: Eph. 2. 15. [Page 52] and againe, if any man be in Christ, he is a new Crea­ture. Eph. 4. 24. 2 Cor. 5. 17

If Believers were so made alive in themselves by Christ, to the power and action of holiness and righteousness, as Adam was made alive, and had power of action of holiness and righteous­ness by God, in his creation and state of innocency, through the inherent sanctification of the Spirit; then corruption, sin, and death should be gone from believers in this life; for contraries cannot be together at the same time in the same subject, the one expelleth the other, which is not, as is manifest in all: all are corrupted still, all sin still, all are dead still, ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God, saith the Apostle. And again, if Colos 3 3. Rom 8. 10 Christ be in you, the body is dead, because of sin, but the spirit i [...] life for righteousnesse sake: and again, corruption doth not inherit 1 Cor. 15. 50. incorruption, but where this corruptible hath put on incorruption, and this mortall hath put on immortality, then shall be brought to passe the 1 Cor. 15. 14. saying that is written, death is swollowed up into victory, death remain­eth in themselves by their sin, and their life in Christ by Christs righ­teousnesse.

If Believers had inherent power of righteous action to bring forth of themselves, and from their inherent power actions of righteousness, as Adam had the power to do them, then the Prophet I say would not have said of himself and the best men, We are all as an unclean thing, all our righteousnesse is as filthy rags, Isa. 64. 6. and David would not have said, There is none that doth good, no not one; and Paul would not have said, in Psa 14. [...] [...]. Rom. 7. 18. me, that is, my flesh, dwelleth no good thing: and again, I find no means to perform that which is good.

Were not that Antichristian pride in any man, now to say, of himselfe, I have power by my inherent holinesse to do that which is good and righteous in the sight and estimation of God, the proudest Pharisee said, to deny our selves, is to deny our ho­linesse and goodnesse in our selves.

Quest. Is there no operation of the Spirit of Christ in Be­lievers, upon the corrupted man, soul and body? is there no mortification of sin and corruption, and no sanctification of the man by the Spirit, or to the man, in soule or bo­dy.

Answ. Yes, that must needs be so.

There are foure excellent creatures manifest in this world, [Page 53] which all in the Scriptures are held forth to resemble Christ and the holy Spirit, in their operations upon the bodies neere, and object to them; which foure creatures are the Sun, Fire, Water, and sweet o­dours.

The Sun of this world is held forth in the Scripture to resemble the Son of righteousnesse Jesus Christ, in his o­perations and actions to Believers, Unto you that feare my Malach. 4. 2. name, the Sonne of righteousnesse shall arise, and health shall be under his wings: He, saith the Prophecy, alluding to the rising of the Sun of the world upon the earth and the body therein, in mens appearance and apprehension, to the comfort and refreshing of them; for being as the Sun of the world to Jesus Christ, ariseth and manifesteth himselfe to Believers, when and as he pleaseth, in their apprehensions, to the comfort and refreshing of the whole man.

And as the Sun of the world arising, doth heat the colds object bodies, so that the heat thereof heateth the cold bodies neere them by reflection, yea and melteth some hard bodies by the heat thereof; and yet the natu­rall coldnesse of those bodies, and the hardnesse, remaine still in them naturally, as appear in the stay of the heat to those bodies.

So the Sonne of righteousnesse arising in Believers, doe heat the neere corrupted man in soule and in body, with his holy heat; which heat also sometimes reflecteth to others neer, yea and melteth the hard corrupt heart, and yet the coldnesse and hardnesse of corruption na­turally remaine still, and returneth in sense and appea­rance, in the stay of the heat of the Son of righteousnesse Jesus Christ by his Spirit.

And farther, as the Sun of the world arising, doth in season and time quicken some bodies dead in them­selves, such as have life in their root, which in their time, appeare also to have life in them­selves.

So the Sonne of righteousnesse Jesus Christ ari­sing [Page 54] in Believers, though the corrupted man the body be dead, because of sin, as the Apostle speaketh, though they be dead in themselves; as Colos. 3. 3. yet because their life is hid with and in Christ their root, because they are rooted in Christ, as Colos. 2. In the appointed due time Colos. 3. 3 of God, their hidden life in Christ will be manifest in themselves, which shall be to the soule, when the cor­ruptible hath put on incorruption; and to the body, when the mortall hath put on immortality, and death be swallowed up in victory, as the Apostle speak­eth.

And so the Prophet David said, God is a Sun and a shield, alluding to Jesus Christ, which is the only shield Psa. 84. 11 and defence of Believers.

And so is Jesus Christ, and his Spirit in Believers, in the Scripture, resembled to the fire of this world, in re­spect of the operation thereof upon the bodies neere. The Lord wil be as a wall of fire about Jerusalem, saith the Pro­phet: A wall of fire will defend and keep safe any City from hurt of adversary and enemies. So Jesus Christ is a wall of fire to save his Elect Believers from the divell, hell, sinne, the law, and death, that they shall not hurt them. The gates of hell shall not prevaile against them, Mat. 16. 18 saith Christ; that they may say with Paul, O death where is thy sting? O grave (or hell) where is thy victory? The sting 1 Cor. 15. 55, 56, 57. of death is sinne, the strength of sinne is the Law: But thanks be unto God, that hath given us victo­ry through our Lord Iesus Christ; which hath beene a wall of fire unto us from these our adversa­rie:

And further, Jesus Christ and his holy Spirit in Be­lievers, is in the Scriptures resembled to fire in the ope­rations thereof; because as fire melteth, purifieth things, so Jesus Christ by his Spirit, and the word of his Spirit melteth the hearts of the Believers, as Iosias heart melt­ed at the hearing of Gods word, 2 Kings 22. 19. and al­so purifieth their corrupt hearts, as Peter saith, God gave the Holy Ghost to the Gentiles, which purified their [Page 55] hearts by faith or believing. And for this it is said, Christ will Act. 15. 9 baptize with the Holy Ghost and with fire; and Gods word is as fire, Ierem. 23. 29.

Yet it is to be observed, that although gold or other metall be melted by the fire, the hardnesse thereof re­turneth and remaineth naturally in and to the same (as is seen) in the stay of the heat of the fire. So though Christ by his Spirit and spiritual word, melteth the corrupt hard heart of believers, yet the corrupt hardnesse remaineth still natu­rally, and returneth in the stay of the operation of the Spi­rit.

And as although the fire purifieth the gold, yet the gold must be after melted and purified by the sire, as the Prophet saith, seven times, that is oftentimes before it be pure gold, Psa. 12. 6. and is not pure gold, so long as any drosse remains in it, in a­ny part thereof, but still drossie gold. So although Jesus Christ by his Spirit often melteth and purifieth the corrupt heart of believers, yet so long as corruption remaineth (which remaining) remaineth in every part of soul and bo­dy, so that no part is pure and holy before God in man himself, whatsoever it be in mans estimation, but still corrupt in the whole, and so shall be, till corruptible hath put on incorruption, and mortall hath put on immor­tality.

And Jesus Christ and his Spirit in Believers, are in the Scriptures resembled to water for the operations thereof, as washing, cleansing, slaking, quenching and refreshing. So Christ resembled himself to the water of the Well, unto the woman, If thou hadst asked of me, I would have given Ioh. 4. 10. thee of the water of life, meaning himselfe, and his holy Spirit. And againe, Take of the water of life free­ly. Rev. 22. 17

For as water washeth and cleanseth foul bodies, and re­fresheth weary bodies, and softneth dry and hard bodies, as Clay, and the like; and quencheth and slaketh excessive heat in earthy bodies, so Jesus Christ by his Spirit hath all these operations upon Believers in the corrupted man. The Apostle writeth of the believing Corinthians, which had [Page 56] been great sinners, that now they were washed, san­ctified and justified in the name of Jesus Christ by the Spirit of our God, in manifestation to themselves. Christ telleth some of his Disciples that had heard him preach the Word, Now you are clean through the word that I have spo­ken unto you. Job said the Lord had softned his heart; God Joh. 23. 16 saith, he will take the stony heart away from his peo­ple, and give them a heart of flesh, a soft heart; David said, that his Shepheard the living Lord would lead him into green pastures and waters of comfort, refreshing waters. The Spirit mortifieth the deeds of the flesh, saith the Apo­stle. Eph. 6. 16.

The faith of Jesus Christ quencheth the fiery darts of the wicked, saith the Apostle.

And yet as although water washeth and cleanseth foule bodies, softneth hard, refresheth faint and weary, quencheth and slaketh heat. If this foulnesse, hardnesse, faintnesse and heat be naturall to those bodies, the same will return and remaine to them in the stay of the operation of the wa­ter.

So although Jesus Christ by his spirit washeth and clean­seth the foulnesse, softneth the hardnesse, refresheth the faintnesse, mortifieth, quencheth, and slaketh the heat of corruption in the corrupt man; yet because corruption is inherent in believers, and naturall, all will remain and re­turn, till that which is corruptible hath put on incorruption, and mortall hath put on immorrality.

And to goe through the resemblances of Christ by his Spirit to believers, as is in the Scripture; So Christ and his Spirit are resembled to sweet odours. The Apostle calleth Christ the sweet odour to God, Eph. 5. 2. And the Spouse in the Canticles resembleth Christ to myrrhe, spices, and Cant. 2. 3. 14. Cant. 5. 5. 13. sweet flowers, saying, his fruit is sweet, his voice is sweet, and his lips and mouth most sweet; and as earthly sweet odours sweeten things neer them, to the sweeting of other things neer them, so Jesus Christ by his Spirit sweetneth the corrupt soul and body where it dwelleth in believers, even to the sweetning of others.

[Page 57] Yet as notwithstanding the sweeting of odours to earth­lythings which are naturally ill-savoured, their ill-savour will return and remain in the stay of the sweet odours to them. So in the stay of their sweeting of Jesus Christ and his Spirit to the corrupt man, naturally corrupted, unsavoury corruption returneth and remaineth, till the corruptible hath put on incorruption, and the mortall hath put on im­mortality: and this was that which made the Apostle Paul cry out, O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? And the same made the Martyr of Jesus Christ Mr. Careles to sing that mournfull song,

Indeed sometimes I do repent, to God for mercy call,
But yet alas incontinent to sin again I fall.

Thus we may see much operation of the Spirit of Christ in Believers upon the corrupted man, soul and body; that there is much mortification of sin and corruption, and san­ctification to the corrupt man in soul and body by the Spirit.

Although sanctification and holinesse be not inherent in the corrupt man, as corruption and sin is inherent in every part of soul and body; for so (two contraries being in one subject together at the same time, the one would utterly ex­pell the other) and there would be nothing but holinesse, no sin and corruption in Believers (which is apparent to be) and the Apostle saith there is, yet there is sanctification un­to Believers by the Spirit, as the Apostle saith, Christ Jesus 1 Ioh. 1. 8. 1 Cor. 1. 30. is made unto us righteousnesse, sanctification, and redemp­tion.

The Apostle doth not say, that Jesus Christ maketh or worketh in us, in our souls or bodies, inherent righteous­ness, sanctification and redemption, but Christ Jesus is made unto us wisdome, righteousnesse, sanctification and redemp­tion. He saith, Christ is made unto us, not into us, by the imputation of his holiness and righteousness unto us.

And yet God is not pleased that man should be carelesse and idle, for Christ the Vine, hath undertaken for those gi­ven [Page 58] him of the Father, to make them his branches, to beare Ioh. [...]5. 5. his fruit wrought up in them by his Spirit, and to make them his instruments of the Spirit in them, in the doing of every good work commanded of God, called the fruits of the Spi­rit Gal. 5. 22. as he pleaseth to order, direct, and govern, fit, inable, and strengthen them thereto; to manifest, evidence, and witnesse to them, that they are branches abiding in Christ the Vine, have all of Christ, that Christ is all to them, as the Apostle saith, We have received the Spirit, and the same Spi­rit doth witnesse unto our souls, that we are the children of Rom. 8. 15 16. God.

The works of the holy command, called the fruits of the Spirit, are not wrought up in man the branch, fitted to bear them, &c. that man should rob Christ of his honor, which only pleaseth God with that done in himself, and of him­self; but they are wrought up to be born of man, for a wit­nesse and assurance to him of his adoption and grace, both through Christ.

I Find six sorts of men of different wayes, and opi­nions, or judgements, touching their estates with God.

1. The first, saying in their hearts, that there is nei­ther God nor Divell, Heaven nor Hell: Of these Da­vid Psa. 14. 1. spake, The foole hath said in his heart there is no God. Such are evident Atheists.

2. The second, that there is a God and Heaven, but no divell nor hell; so they question not their estates with God: Of these both (I suppose) these of Calvin might be principally spoken of (heu vivunt homines tanquam mors nulla sequatur, & velut infernum fabula vana foret. Alas men live, as though no death did fol­low, and as if hell were an old wives tale; so they think all well with them, if they can shift punish­ments of men.

3. The third sort do acknowledge a God and Di­vell, Heaven and Hell; and that the first man Adam lost both God and Heaven by his transgression, and also much of his indowments in himself by Creation. But that there was so much of his indowments in himself by Creation, left unto him, and his posteri­ty of mankind, as thereby every man that will, may recover Gods favour and love, may pacifie and please God, by doing his holy commands, taught and preached unto him, and remaining in him by nature, and so attain God, heaven, and salvation, lost by the first man. (This was that of Palagius) exploded for heresie.

4. The fourth sort say, that there is a God and Di­ven [Page 60] and hell, and all mankind lost in Adams trans­gression; and notwithstanding the losse and death in Adam there is o Adams indowment left to all men; power and free-will to heare the Gospell of Jesus Christ crucified for the redemption of all men, being preached unto them, and hearing, they may believe if they will, for faith cometh by hearing, yea by hear­ing Rom 10. 17 power is given them to believe and live, &c. some say, although dead before: for the dead shall hear the Ioh. 5. 25. voice of the Son of God, and they that hear it shall live, saith Christ. The performance of Jesus Christ and Redemption is for all men, but life and salvation can­not be to any of mankind, that will not, and do not hear the Gospell of Jesus Christ crucified preached unto them, and believe.

And this Jesus Christ was indeed foreknowne (say they) of God the Father before the world, to be gi­ven to perform for all men unto life, and to redeeme all men; but was not given till his manifestation in the flesh, which did then undertake with God, and performed for all men, if all men would hear and be­lieve.

And so their salvation hath beginning and first ground from mans own will, and his own work; he may thank himself first if he be saved, and after, thanks are due to Jesus Christ: Robbery and idolatry.

They deny Gods choice of men in Christ, of mercy, love, and f [...]ee grace, and ordination of them chosen to eternall life before the world, and his manifesta­tion of the same by his Spirit (when he pleaseth in [...].) A desp [...]sing of Gods everlasting love, good­nesse, and free grace in Christ, and of his power thereto, in his pleasure of choosing dead men to life, [Page 61] and specially Gods choosing of them.

They deny God (which saith) thy salvation is only Hos. 13. 9. of me, thy damnation of thy self. And Peter the Apo­stle of Christ, that saith, there is no salvation in any o­ther Act. 5. 12 thing but in Jesus Christ: all this meant freely of grace, love, and mercy, without meanes of man: It is not in him that willeth, nor in him that runneth, but in Rom. 9. 16 God that sheweth mercy; willing, hearing, and believe­ing by the command to naturall men, are meanes of man (as they take it) in his own naturall power. If they be wrought up by the spirit in man, they are meanes only in the estimation of man unto salva­tion.

But the Apostle of Christ tell us, they are onely manifestations, evidences, witnesses, and assurances of our salvation wrought up by the Spirit in the Rom. 8. 16 branches of the Vine Jesus Christ, and not means, Christ hath no meanes but himselfe to save man; for man to please God, or prevaile with God, is to save himselfe by merit; for if man can please God, he can prevaile with God to save him; God will not damne him that pleaseth him, so he saveth himself by pleasing of God.

5. The fifth sort say there is a God and Divell, Heaven and Hell, that Adam and all men were lost and dead upon the first transgression, that God foreknew all so, and of mercy, love, and free-grace, did choose some of mankind in his Christ, which he gave before the world, to un­dertake and redeeme them chosen by his death and performances.

To whom he sendeth his quicking and sancti­sying [Page 52] Spirit, by his Ordinance of Prayer, Preach­ing, and hearing, &c. whereby they believe and repent, and are then first justified before God, and by the sanctification of the same Spirit and first grace, they have life and inherent holinesse and righteousnesse in themselves, as Adam had by Creation, whereby they are themselves accep­ted with God, and are inabled to do the works of holinesse and rightnousnesse, the works of the holy command themselves before God, as agents thereof, and thereby please God, pacifie God, and prevaile with God to do them good: and (they say) it is therefore that they teach and ex­hort men to pray, believe, repent, and do du­ties commanded, that so they may serve God, please, pacifie, and prevaile with God to doe them good, to save them, is for man to merit life and salvation, God cannot damne him that pleaseth him.

These go about to establish their owne righte­ousnesse, which they suppose they have by the sanctification of the Spirit: for sanctification, and other fruits and works of the Spirit wrought up in man the branch to beare and hold forth, are not so that man the branch should or can please the Father the husbandman thereby, but to ma­nifest, evidence, and witnesse, that man, that the Branch abideth in Christ the Vine, and that Christ the Vine pleaseth his Father the husbandman, not that that which they do, in bearing and holding forth the fruit, is their righteousnesse to please God, but that the righteousnesse of Christ is im­puted [Page 53] to them, whose righteousnesse only pleaseth God.

Note. Some of these, and some of the former sort say, that a man that believeth may fall away from the faith, and commit such sinne as he may be damned.

And (they say) a man in Christ is a new crea­ture in himselfe, the old man with his corrupti­ons and sinne is gone, the heart, qualities, and af­fections, will, and understanding, all are made righteous, and sinne is gone from the man him­selfe which is in Christ; if corruption and sin re­main thou art not in Christ.

And many of this fifth sort affirm, that man in Christ is regenerate onely in part, a new creature in part, a new man in part &c. Thus holding forth the new creature and new man is to be a manifest half or part of a man.

This sense is carnall and monstrous indeed, not consistent with that of the Apostle, Old things are past, all things are made new.

6. The sixth for say, that there is a God and Di­vell, Heaven and Hell, that Adam and all men were lost upon the first transgression, that God foreknew all so, and of mercy, love, and free-grace did choose some of mankind in his Christ, which he gave before the world, to undertake to do the will of God for, and redeeme them chosen by his death and performances; which chosen, he did then also of free-grace predestinate, adopt his children, or­daine to eternall l [...]fe irrevocable, call, justifie and glorifie before himselfe, although not in manife­station [Page 54] to the creature till fulnesse of time, and that he sendeth his holy spirit to them as he pleaseth, to work up the fruits of his spirit in them, that they (as branches) may beare them and hold them forth [...]. [...]. 1. to the glory of the Father the husband man before men; and for manifestation, evidence, and wit­nesse to themselves that they are elected in Christ, adopted through Christ, called, justified, and shall be glorified in their own sight, among the Saints in glory, when the time of glory before the creature shal come.

And (they say) that the Law now in the hand of the Mediator, the man Christ Jesus, was given of him to his people for the government of his Church, and safety of his Elect; that they may know trans­gression and sin, that they may see what Christ hath 2 Tim. 1. 9 done for them before God, in performing the righte­ousnesse, and fulfilling that holy Law, impossible to them, before God.

That the outward possible righteousnesse of the Law and command may be performed before men, to the good and profit of men (as the Apostle speaketh) be carefull of the good works of the Law, for they are good and profitable to men, which although, as David saith, they extend not to to God the goodnesse, yet Psa. 16 3. they extend to men upon the earth in goodnesse.

But these being blind and ignorant of the mystery of Christ and the Gospell, take all carnally, when as the truth is, that the man in Christ is a new creature, a Eph. 2. 25. new man wholly in Christ, which is the new man in him­self, as the Apostle saith, and this man in Christ is a new man, by the grace of election, imputation, and mysticall union with Christ, &c.

The error of Universall Redemp­tion discovered.

BEcause the Apostle saith, that Christ gave himselfe a ransome 1 Tim. 2. 6. for all men.

And againe that Christ is the reconciliation for our Sinnes, and 1 Joh. 2. 2. not for ours onely, but also for the Sinnes of the whole World; and because they find some other like Scriptures,

Some collect and hold forth, That Christ dyed for all men, Elect and Reprobate; That he shed his blood for all men; That he Eph. 1. 4. paid the price unvaluable of his blood, to the great God, for the satisfaction of the transgression of all men, for the ransome of all men, for the redemption of all men, for the reconciliation and peace with God of the whole world.

But I take it, although these think they doe honour God and his Christ in stretching out of such his, and his Christs love, grace, bounty, goodnesse, and performance to all men, to the whole world of men, to the vessels of honour and dishonour, to Reprobate and Elect.

Yet I say, I take it, that these doe greatly erre and dishonour God and his Christ, with holding the truth in unrighteousnesse, co­vering Rom. 1. 18. the truth with falshood, against whom wrath is revealed. For first, they mistake and misconstrue these Scriptures which they alledge, for the ground holding forth the same, to intend that Christ gave himselfe a ransome for all men, elect and reprobate. When as the meaning is, that he gave himselfe a ransome for all men, elected in Christ; and that Christ is the reconciliation, not for our sins onely which are of his elect, now extant in the world, believing in him, but also for the sins of all the elect that ever were in the world, and that ever shall be in the whole world; Not a ransome and reconciliation for the sins of the forsaken ones of the Reprobate, of the lost children of wrath, but for the sins of the chosen and elected ones out of the company of the children of wrath, (which all Mankind was before the Creature) upon the manifested generall fact, by their owne fault, and before God, to [Page 66] whom all things are present (even ab Eterno) before the foundati­ons of the world. And not for the sins of those which were wor­thily Eph. 1. 45. hated of God before they are borne, for the first transgressi­on, or have done good or evill before men, as Esau was. But Christ Rom 9. 11. 13. is a reconciliation for the sins of the beloved ones of God, elected of God in Christ to be holy & without blame before God in love, Eph. 1. 4. as Jacob was loved and elected of God before he was borne, or had done good or evill before men. Rom. 9. 11. 13.

The Scriptures doe not hold forth, that God gave his onely be­gotten Sonne to dye and sh [...]d his most pretious blood, to Ran­some, Redeeme, and be a Reconciliation for those of the Children of wrath, by the generall fall which God refuses to Elect in Christ, to be adopted his Children through Christ; which God would not shew mercy upon, but leave them in their owne hard­nesse to the merited everlasting destruction. For then God would not have Elected some in his Christ, out of the generall Company of the Children of wrath, to be adopted his Children through Christ, to be Holy and without blame before God in love: And have left forsaken, and reprobated the rest, still to be the Children of his hatred and wrath, if God had intended the gift of his Sonne, to undertake to shed his Blood, to Ransome, Redeeme, and be a Reconciliation to him, for the Reprobate, for all, one and other.

Neither doth the Scripture hold forth, that the Christ of God did undertake to dye and shed his most pretious Blood, Ransome, Redeeme and was a Reconciliation to God, for the sins of any of the left Children of Gods hatred and wrath; but onely of those which were Elected in Christ, before the Foundation of the World, to be Holy without blame with God in love, as Paul saith, he and Eph. 1 4. all the Elect of God in Christ were. Indeed for all men in the whole and Universall world, which now are, being Elected in Christ which ever have beene and shall be in the whole world, Elected of God in his Christ, Christ did undertake for, shed his Blood, Ransomed, Redeemed, performed all Righteousnesse for, paid all Debts for, made full satisfaction for to God, and before God, that before God there is nothing to be laid to the charge of Rom. 8. 33. Gods chosen, it is God that Justifieth. Being chosen of God in Christ, they are justified of God through Christ, undertaking and per­formance before God: And is it not a high dishonour to the great wise and just God, to tell him that he gave his onely Sonne [Page 67] to death, for to pay the inestimable price of his Blood, to Re­deeme, and Ransome from death to life those which he himselfe refused to save, which he himselfe hated to live before him, which he himselfe had judged to everlasting death unrecoverable, which he himselfe knew before, were left in such their owne hardnesse, that they would not receive the benefit; yea would reject the be­nefit of any Ransome paid for them?

Sure no man will give his beloved Sonne to death, or pay ten thousand pound of money for to gaine that to him, which he refuseth to have, or which he knew will not be gained.

And it had been a presumptuous disobedience in Christ, to his Father; and prodigality in Christ, of his precious Blood, to have shed it for a Ransome and Redemption of those, which his Fa­ther had not Elected in him, and given him to Ransome and Re­deeme, and which he knew his Father hated to be Elected and Redeemed. And which he knew would not receive, but reject the benefit of his Bloud.

Who is it, that knew the Scriptures, that will not acknowledge that mankinde [...]n generall, upon the generall fall of Adam, were judged and condemned of God to be the Children of Gods wrath, and everlasting death. And that God of love, free grace and mercy, was pleased to Elect some of those in Christ, which were the Children of wrath (as well as the other) out of whole Eph. 2. 3. company of the Children of wrath, to be adopted the Children of God through Jesus Christ (that is) by his performing the righ­teousnesse of the Law of workes for them, and by giving of him­selfe unto death for them, and shedding of his precious bloud for them, for a full satisfaction to God in his justice, for the Ran­some, Redemption, Justification, eternall life and glorification. And this for them onely, and not for the least ones in their hard­nesse, and refused ones of God?

Surely to say & hold forth that Christ gave himself for a Ransom of these, to shed his blood, to redeeme these, is to lay upon God and his Christ inconstancy, indiscretion, prodigality and folly, to the great dishonour of God, and his Christ, and to say that Christ did Ransome, and Redeeme them with his death and bloud is unrighteousnesse and salsehood.

We finde and read in the Scripture, that Christ redeemed the Elected of God in Christ (as Paul saith of himselfe and all other Elected of Christ) God hath Elected us in Christ before the Eph. 1. 4. [Page 68] world, and Christ hath redeemed us from the curse. But we finde no Gal. 3. 13. where in the Scripture to be said expresly, that Christ redeemed reprobate ones, which were not Elected in Christ.

The greatest power of their assertion, is in the word (all,) or (all men,) which word they stretch forth to Elect and Reprobate good and bad (as we say.) But it is cleare that where this word (all) in such manner and matter, importeth onely all the Elect. So Paul to the Romans, As by the offence of one, the fault came on Rom. 5. 18. all men to Condemnation: So by the justifying of one, the benefit abounded to all men to justification of life, (meaning all the Elect beleevers) I thinke these men will not say that justification of life is to all men Elect and Reprobate in generall, by Christs justifying them.

So Paul to the Corinthians saith, As in Adam all die, so in Christ shall all be made alive; (meaning as all mankinde being then in 1 Cor. 15. 22. Adam, when he transgressed and dyed, then dyed) so all (being Elected in Christ) shall be made alive.

I hope these will not say that all men Elect and Repro­bate in generall shall be made alive in Christ, then none must be damned; and if these will have these to be confined in the Scri­ptures to that, why may not they admit of those also, to be like­wise confined to the Elect, they being in the like expresse of the same matter.

But they say by Preaching, that Christ hath given himselfe for all men in generall, Elect and Reprobate, that he hath shed his blood for the peace of all men, with God they procure great honour, and the hardest harted men will be moved to relent, when they heare that Christ hath had such pitty and mercy on them, as to give himselfe to death for their life, to shed his most pretious blood to make their peace with God. This will move the worst of men to imbrace Christ, to thirst after Christ, and to beleeve and close with Jesus Christ.

Yet I wish these to consider that the Apostle of Christ saith, We may not doe evill that good may come thereof, whose damnation is just. We may not preach falsehood that Christ may have ho­nour Rom. 3. 8. thereby. This was the great sinne of Saul, that brought up­on him his woefull destruction. He spared the best and fattest Beasts of Amilech, contrary to the command of God, to offer up in Sacrifice to the honour of God, but Samuel told him, he had done wickedly, to obey was better then Sacrifice. 1 Sam. 15. 19.

[Page 69] It is to be well observed which the Apostle saith; That, in that excellent Sermon which Paul preached at Antioch As many as Act. 13. 48. were ordeined to eternall life believed. No doubt but there were many which heard that Sermon did not believe: for the Apostle saith that onely so many as were ordeined to Eternall life be­lieved, And what was the reason that the rest of the hearers did not believe? Certainly (by the part of the Apostles words) it was because they were not ordeined to eternall life, they were not elected in Christ before the world, to be holy and without blame Eph 1. 4. 5. before God in love, nor predestinate to be adopted the Children of God through Jesus Christ according to the good pleasure of his will: (as the Apostle saith) but were the reprobate and the left of God in their owne hardnesse (God being bound to none) but to have Rom. 9. 18. mercy on whom he will, and whom he will to harden. That is to leave them in their owne hardnesse (as the Apostle saith) for (God leaving them) they grow into more hardnesse.

Man hath no power in himself, to close with Christ or to be­lieve as he ought, nor more then to pray as he ought, but the Apostle saith of himselfe and other the Elect: We know not what Rom. 8. 26. we pray for as we ought; but the spirit helpeth our infirmities: that is, doth it for us, and maketh request for us, &c. It is God our Christ Phil. 2. 13. that worketh in us the will and the deed of his owne good pleasure. The praying, believing, and the rest of that sort are the works of our God, Christ Jesus by his spirit in us, they are none of mans works, Christ Jesus is the Priest and the Sacrifice which said, Lo, I come to doe thy will O God. See 1 Chron. 29. 14.

The Apostle saith they were ordeined to eternall life before Eph. 10. 9. they believed. They had their ordination to life (that is) their election in Christ and the life also, which is Christ: for Christ is our life (saith the Apostle) Christ is the way, the truth and the life; before they believed a dead man can doe nothing: (and Joh. 14. 6. Christ saith) without me, you can doe nothing.

Faith followeth after election, ordination, and life; Faith is Joh. 15. 5. onely the manifestation of election, ordination, and Christ to those which God hath elected in his Christ, when and as he pleaseth to worke the same in them to his glory and their com­fort. Heb. 11. 1.

Reprobate men which have not election in Christ, ordination to life, nor Christ the life, (cannot, nor doe believe be any meanes) So that the conceipt of these men that think the prea­thing [Page 70] of universall redemption (which is a false Gospel) will make reprobates to relent, to embrace Christ, to thirst after Christ, to believe, and close with Jesus Christ, is a withholding of the truth in unrighteousnesse, and a covering of the truth with falshood.

I know these (to beare out their errour) alleadge many other arguments then are before mentioned (as the Commission of Christ to the eleven Apostles) Goe ye into all the world, and Mar. 16. 15. preach the Gospel, to every creature.

Now (say they) wherefore, and to what end, did Christ com­mand them to preach the Gospel of salvation to every creature in the whole world (without exception) if he knew before, that there were many that would not, nor could believe the Gospel of salvation preached unto them? This Commission was in vaine, and their preaching in vaine to every creature, yet to them which would not, nor could believe.

Answ. The principall end of Christs Commission was the ma­nifestation of Christ and his performances, the love, free-grace of God and salvation thereby, to the which were ordeined See Eph. 4. 11, 12. 13. to eternall life, and to believe the Gospel thereof preached: For (the Apostle saith) the Gospel is hid to those which are lost 2 Cor. 4. 3. (that is reprobate) although it be never so publickly preached to them. But the reason why Christ commanded the Gospel to be preached to every creature, was because the preaching (be­ing a publique office) the Preacher a publique person, to pub­lique Congregations, where the Reprobate is not discerned of man. The Preacher must of necessity preach the Gospel for the outward hearing thereof, to every creature in every Congrega­tion where he preacheth. And yet there is no manifestation thereof to the Soule of the reprobate, for they bear about with them their judgement: Hearing they heare not, neither under­stand. Mat. 13. 13. 14.

Againe they argue a just complaint of God, for shutting up Gal. 3. 23. some in unbeliefes, that they cannot believe.

Ans. An unjust offender hath a just judgement for his offence without any just complaint.

All have offended in the first man; By the offence of one the [...]om. 5. 18. fault came on all men to condemnation (saith the Apostle) And God is not bound to any man, He therefore hath mercy on whom [...]om. 9. 18. he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardneth (that is) leaveth [Page 71] him in his owne hardnesse. O man! (saith the Apostle) who art Ver. 20. thou that pleadest against God?

Yet they further argue that God would not the death of a sinner Ezek. 18. 32 that dieth.

No sinner can save it self from death, it is Christ that saveth.

Ans. The Prophet speaketh of Gods will concerning the death everlasting of the first man, and the condition of the contract, and of all men in him, when God with him suspended his owne will to their sinne, and death which he knew the sinne would bring on them, if they did sinne, in the giving to them power and freewill then to stand or fall. So thats mans fall which was not by Gods will but his own.

Gods chosen people are delivered from everlasting death in him by Christ, in whom they are chosen, they cannot dye eternal­ly.

And yet againe they argue, that God our Saviour will that all men should be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth: (as the 1 Tim. 2. 4. Apostle saith) Therefore (say they) although all did fall by Adam, yet Christ would have all men recorded and saved by him, by his death and performance.

Ans. Christ would have all men elected in him, and ordeined to God in eternall life to be saved by him, and to come to the know­ledge of the truth thereof by the preaching of the Gospel thereof, (which is the Apostles meaning) Not that Christ (which came to Heb. 10. 9. doe his Fathers will) did desire, that those (which his Father had reprobated and was not pleased to elect in him) and give him to save, as his ordeined to salvation should be saved by his eter­nall performance; but according to his Fathers will and plea­sure, he, as his Father did, so he doth, leave them still in their own hardnesse.

Object. They say Christs bloud is price sufficient for all men.

Answ. When a King hath Coyned a most pretious mettall, It is treason in any Subject to Coyne the same, or hold forth the same for more or lesse then the King hath Coyned it for; be the mettall never so pretious or sufficient of it selfe.

So I take it great presumption, injury and high treason to our God, Christ and King, to Coyne and hold forth the pretious bloud of Christ, for more or lesse then our God, Christ and King hath Coyned it for, which hath the testimony of holy scriptures. To have the Image and Superscription of Christ [Page 72] for the redemption of those which God elected in Christ, given, him to redeeme, ordeined to eternall life, before the world. And (as it pleaseth the Lord Christ) to have the evidence and manifestation of the same, and the rest of the graces of God in Christ to themselves in believing.

But have no testimony of scriptures for the redemption of re­probates, or any way to be sufficient for more then our God or King coyned it for.

Indeed if our God and King had coyned it, to be payment for more to him then the elect in Christ, his bloud and death had been sufficient for all them, but we in all humblenesse ought to submit to Gods pleasure and appointment. And I take it all the most fertile grounds of holy scripture will not beare and bring forth that unsavoury fruit to God and his Christ, of universall redemption.

Read more for satisfaction hereof, in the one and twentieth page, of the second Catechisticall dialogue, usefull for the pro­pagation of the Gospell of Jesus Christ, to the end of that Dia­logue.

And I adde, because of satisfaction this one Argument, (further off those that would maintaine their errour of Universall Re­demption) saying, that the words of the Apostle, where he saith, (God hath chosen us in Christ before the world, &c.) Doe not im­port, that God did choose Paul, or any particular person in Christ, Eph 1. 4. before the world, but the word Us, doe import that God made onely a generall choise in Christ, as of Paul himselfe, with those beleeving Ephesians, to whom he wrote his Epistle to the rest of beleevers, in a generall notion, not in a particular notion of every one. Which argumentation (although it may trouble the truth) yet it maketh nothing for Universall Redemption: For if God did choose some in Christ before the world to be Redeemed by Christs performance, it could not be all that Christ Redeemed by his Fathers appointment, those that the Father did not choose in him, he did not Redeeme: therefore not all men cho­sen, and not chosen.

But if these men had not forgotten the Grammer rules, they woould not have misconstrued the Scripture; for the Grammer rule tels them, The first person whether Singular or Plurall, speaketh of himselfe, yea the first person plurall (although it speaketh of himselfe, and others) yet it speaketh of himselfe in particular, with [Page 65] other particulars. So Paul, in the word Us, sheweth that God elected him in Christ in particular, in his particular notion, before the world; and the rest in his particular notion and discernment before the world. For it was in Gods power to know particulars of the generalls, as it was to know the generalls, and is.

And the Apostle saith, Rufus was chosen in the Lord, speaking of Rom. 16. 12 him in particular, as Paul intended to shew that God had chosen himselfe in particular, and the rest in particular, in his particular notion.

I wish all would consider this, that uphold Universall Redemp­tion, and answer if they can, modestly.

Is there any wise man that will give his whole Estate, or the price thereof, to purchase that inheritance which he knoweth he neither shall nor can ever gaine, and have?

And is there any wise man, that having laid out his whole estate, to purchase an inheritance, that will lose his purchased inheritance, if he can keepe it and hold it?

Yet you say, God the Father gave his onely begotten Sonne, all that he had; and the Sonne gave himselfe the inestimable price to purchase, ransome and redeeme all of mankind for inheritance, which (he knew) he neither should, nor could gaine, injoy, and have; for I think you will say, God foreknew all.

And you say, the Father gave all he had, and the Son in obedi­ence laid downe all, and paid the purchase for all the inheritance, and had power to have and enjoy all, to keep and hold all, and yet suffered the Adversarie to get the greatest part of his inheri­tance from him, which he had paid so deare for, to the utter ruine thereof, and his own everlasting losse, what dishonour, what injury what folly, what blasphemy, what Robbery is this offered to the Fa­ther, and the Son, everliving, just, Almighty, mercifull, and most wise God? The Apostle saith, Christ gave himselfe to Redeem us from all iniquity. Iam. 4. 8. Doubtlesse the Apostle intended this of all that he redeemed. That he redeemed all that he redeemed from all iniquity, for why should his grace pay the price of his redemption, for one given him to redeeme and did redeeme, more or to more benefit for one then for another? (all being re­deemed from all iniquitie) all shall be saved; the iniquity of unbelief can hinder none. Will to believe, or believing cannot further the worke of Christs redemption. For the Apostle saith, It is not in him that willeth, nor in him that runneth, but in God that sheweth mercy.

[Page 74] Will to believe and believing wrought up in the Heart of Man, by the Spirit of Christ, doth onely witnesse the Redemption of Christ, and the benefits thereof wrought by Christ of Mercy and Free-grace; They do not perfect and finish the worke of Christs Redemption, which hee himselfe hath perfected and finished, and is onely able without the work and help of man.

A Catechisticall Dialogue, usefull for the Propagation of the Gospell of JESUS CHRIST.

Question, were not you in Adam, the first Man that God Created?

Ans. Yes, I my selfe and all Mankinde were in Adam the first Man.

Quest. Did not you and all Mankinde die, and were dead in the first Adam by his transgressions?

Ans. Yes, I my selfe died, and all Mankinde were dead in A­dams transgression, and became the Children of wrath: So the Apostle saith, in Adam all die, by the offence of one death reigned Rom. 5. 17, 18. through one; And by the offence of one the fault came on all men to condemation; And againe, by Nature wee were all the children of Wrath as well as others.

Quest. Are you and all Mankinde dead still in Adams transgressi­ons, as Adam and all were dead?

Ans. For the Apostle saith, as in Adam all died, so in Christ shall all be made alive, that is, as all which were in Adam died 1 Cor. 15. 22. So all that are the chosen of God in Christ shall be made alive, and saith Christ, So God loved the World, that hee gave his onely begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him shall not perish, but have eternall Life.

Quest. How do you know that you are chosen of God in Christ to be made alive in Christ?

Ans. Because I believe in Christ, for Christ saith, Whosoever be­lieveth in me, shall not perish, but have Eternall Life; Hee shall be Joh. 3. 16. made alive, saith the Apostle; And Luke saith, As many as were [Page 75] ordained to eternall Life, (that is chosen of God in Christ, to eternall Acts 13. 48 Life) Believed.

Quest. How do you know that you believe in Christ, as Christ in­tendeth?

Ans. First, I know that I believe in Christ, as Christ intendeth, Acts 15. 7 because I believe the whole Gospell of Jesus Christ, which is the Gospell of Salvation through Jesus Christ.

Secondly, the Spirit of Christ doth witnesse with my Soule and Rom. 8. 16. Heart unto me, that I believe as Christ intendeth.

Quest. Can you not know that you believe in Christ, except the Spirit of Christ witnesse the same unto you?

Answ. No, For Faith is the fruit of the Spirit of Christ, as the Rom 8. 9. Apostle saith, Gal. 5. 22. And the same Apostle saith, If any man hath not the spirit of Christ, the same is not his, nor consequently Rom. 8. 16. hath the witnesses that hee believeth as Christ intendeth, for the Apostle saith, It is the spirit that witnesseth.

Quest. How do you know that you have the Spirit of Christ?

Answ. By the fruits of the spirit which I have, as, Love, Joy, Gal. 5. 22. Peace, Patience, Gentlenesse, Goodnesse, Faith, Righteousnesse, Meekenesse and Temperance. For as the good Tree doth wit­nesse the good fruit, So Christ saith, the good fruit doth witnesse the Mat. 12. 33 good Tree, The Tree, saith he, is known by his Fruits.

Quest. Can you not know that you have the Spirit of Christ by that one fruit of Faith, except there be the rest of the fruits of the spirit withall?

Answ. No, for the Apostle saith, Faith without workes is ae dead Faith, (that is) if there be not with Faith the rest of the works and Fruits of the spirit, my Faith doth not witnesse the Spirit of James 2. 17 Christ in mee, nor that I believe (as Christ intendeth) to witnesse eternall Life in me.

Quest. You say that you were dead in Adam, and that you are made alive in Christ: yea,

That in Christ you have that eternall Life, which you lost in Adam. Doe you believe and feele, that you are quite free from that death which you had in Adams transgression, that nothing thereof remaine yet to you in your selfe, and that you have now full possession of that Life purchased and procured, by Christs love and performance in your self?

Ans. I believe that I have full possession of that eternall Life in Christ, which I lost in Adams transgression purchased and pro­cured [Page 68] by Christs performance, And therefore I do believe that I am quite freed and discharged from that Eternall Death, which I had in Adams transgression, through Christs performance. But I finde and feele a resemblance, and shadow of that corrup­tion and death in my selfe, which came by Adams and mine as one in Adam, and the more because I finde not that my eternall Life in my selfe, which is hid from me in Christ, as the A­postle speaketh to the believing Colossians, you are dead, but your life Coloff. 3. 3 is hid with Christ in God.

And it is to be observed, that Christ saith, who so believeth in Joh 6. 16 me shall not perish, but shall have eternall Life: He saith not, doth not perish or die in present, and hath in present eternall life, but saith, shall not perish, and shall have eternall life? For when this corruptible hath put on incorruption, and this mortall hath put on im­mortality, Then, indeed, (saith the Apostle) Death shall be swal­lowed up into victory. And when Christ which is our Life shall ap­peare, 1 Cot. 25 then shall yee appeare with him in glory: then shall eter­nall Life appeare in your selves (saith the Apostle) Neither doth Coloff. 3 4 the Apostle say, as in Adam all die, so in Christ are all made alive, 1 Cor. 15. 22 But saith, all shall be made alive, when the appointed, and fulnesse of time is come, then shall all the chosen of God in Christ, whose Life have been hid with Christ, be made alive in themselves in manife­station. As all died not in themselves in manifestation which were in Adam by nature, untill the appointed time of their so being in manifestation; So all live not in themselves, in manifestation, which are by Mercy and Grace chosen of God in Christ, untill their appointed time so to live in themselves in manifestation.

Object. All men in the World are said, and seeme to live here in themselves, and to die in themselves. The same condition (saith the Preacher) falleth to all, to the just and wicked, to him that swea­reth, and to him that feareth an Oath.

Quest. Is that Life which all men live here any part of that Life, Eccle [...] 9. 2, 3 which Christ purchased, to the chosen of God in him which is (as the Apostle saith) yet hid with Christ in God to be manifest in themselves, in the appointed and fulnesse of time?

Ans. No: that Life which all men, are said, and do seem now to live here in themselves, is not any part of that eternall Life which Christ purchased by his performance and merit for the cho­sen of God in him, For the children of wrath, reprobate, and forsaken ones of God are partakers of this Life: And Christ was [Page 69] not given of God to purchase and merit any part of eternall Life, nor any of the losse in Adam for them, But onely for the chosen ones of God, ordained to eternall Life before the World.

Quest. From whence is this Life of Mankinde in generall, when as all died in Adam?

Answ. All died in Adam touching eternall Life, and touching the good of temporall Life, all this was lost in Adams transgression; But temporall uncertaine Life to man at Gods Will by his suffer­ance, and patience, naked and void of all good, accompanied with corruption and misery, the shadow of Death remained still to Adam and all Mankinde in generall, Adam (being dead ac­cording to Gods Word, when thou shalt eate, thou shalt die) had naked temporall Life, Hee having sinned in present saw himselfe na­ked and was ashamed. So that this Life of Mankinde is Adams naked Gen. 3. 7 Life in Death, a dying Life.

Quest. Did not Christ by his undertaking and performance take away from you, and discharge you, and all the chosen of God from the whole curse of the Law and sinne; Is there remaining any part thereof yet to them in this their miserable corruption, and Dying Life?

Answ. Yes, Christ by his undertaking and performance hath taken away and discharged me, and all Gods chosen People from the curse of the Law, and sinne. So the Prophet affirmeth, God Esay. 53. 6 hath layed the iniquities of us all upon Him, and the Apostle saith, Rom. 8. 33 who shall lay any thing to the charge of Gods chosen? It is God that justifieth, being chosen of God, wee are justified of God, nothing can be laid to our charge. Yet it is the Pleasure of God and his Will, That this miserable corruption and dying Life in them­selves, before men, should remaine to all Gods chosen People for a time, as to the children of wrath, to these, to shew his wrath and make his power to be known, and to the others to declare the riches of his glory prepared for them. And no man ought to question Gods Will herein (as the Apostle adviseth) what (saith Rom. 9. hee) If God would, to shew his wrath and make his power known, Rom. 9. 22 suffer with long patience the Vessells of wrath prepared to destruction; And that hee might declare the riches of his glory upon the vessells of mercy, which hee hath prepared unto glory? All this is done of God in wrath to the Vessels of wrath to shew his wrath and power, and to the Vessels of mercy, to declare his glory prepared forthem.

Quest. Is not the corruption, misery, miserable and dying Life, [Page 78] which remaine to Gods chosen People a part of the curse of Adams transgression not yet taken away of Christ?

Answ. No, it is no part of the curse, for the Apostle saith, Christ hath redeemed us from the curse, being made a curse for us, dying Gal. 3. 12 Life and Death it selfe, is no part of the curse to Gods chosen People, now being chosen of God, but a blessing, a good, and a benefit to them: we know (saith the Apostle) that all things work together for the best unto them that love God. It is good for mee that I have Rom. 8. 28 Psal. 119. been in trouble saith David. The Apostle saith, Our light affliction, which is but for a moment causeth unto us a farre more excellent, and an eternall weight of Glory; Although the affections of the chosen 2 Cor. 4. 17 of God be heavy and grievous for the present (as the Apostle saith) yet they bring the quiet fruit of righteousnesse unto them that are thereby exercised: and the Apostle Iohn saith, Blessed are they which die in the Lord, for they rest from their labours, Death to them is advantagious; And againe David saith of himselfe (as one of Gods chosen) yet in this miserable Life, Thy Rod and thy Staffe, they comfort me, in the midest of my troubles thy comforts have re­freshed Rev. 14. 13 my Soule; and the Apostle saith of himselfe and the rest, We are afflicted on every side, yet are we not in distresse, in poverty, but not overcome of poverty, we are persecuted but not forsaken; cast down, but perish not, we beare about in our body the dying of the 2 Cor. 4. 8, 6, 10, 11. Lord Jesus Christ, that the Life of Christ might also be made mani­fest in us; For, wee which live, are alwayes delivered unto death for Jesus sake, that the Life of Jesus might be made manifest in our Body.

The Porter carrieth gladly a burthen that hee feeleth heavy for the time it is upon him, in hope of reward; The Merchant and Mariner abideth many a bitter storme in hope of a good Market; The Souldier fighteth without feare although in perill of Death in hope of the victory; The Champion wrestleth in hope of the Price; The Reward, the good Market, the Victory and Price is sure to the chosen of God, for the heavy Burthen, for the bitter Storme, for their Fighting and Wrastling, Their labour is not in 1 Cor. 15 vaine in the Lord, saith the Apostle. So the Scriptures shew that the trouble, misery, miserable Life and Death it selfe, is a blessing, good, and a benefit to Gods chosen People.

Quest. You said that your believing in Christ doth witnesse you, that you, of Gods Mercy, Love and Free-grace are chosen of God in Christ, to be one of his children; may there not be some that are [Page 79] chosen of God in Christ, which have not Faith and believing in Christ in manifestation to themselves, to witnesse to their soules that they of Gods Mercy, Love and Free-grace are chosen of God in Christ to be his children?

Answ. Yes, the Mercy, Goodnesse, Wisdome and Power of God, and charity to Mankinde doth move mee to say, that there may be some, the chosen of God in Christ ordained to eternall Life, which have not Faith and believing in Christ, in appearance to themselves to witnesse the same to them; For, although the Lord Christ have beene pleased to bestow the grace and gift of Faith, this great Work and Fruit of his Spirit upon mee, and whom hee pleaseth that God hath chosen in him. Yet I do not finde that hee is bound to bestow and give the same to all Gods chosen ones ordained to eternall Life; For, I know that I my selfe crucified Demas for his offences, and Paul a persecutor of Christians, were chosen of God in Christ to be his children, before wee believed as the same Paul [...]st fieth, that he and the rest were chosen of God in Christ, before the World, as also, that Jacob was loved of God before Eph. 14 Rom. 9. 11, 12, 13. he was borne, and before he had done good or evill before Men; It was not my believing and Faith that made me, or, any of us to be chosen of God to be Gods children, and ordained to eternall Life; But the Mercy, Love, Purpose and Free grace of God before the World, according with the undertaking of his Son Christ to do the Will of the Father to his full satisfaction for us, and per­formed the same in present, before God, to whom all things are present, and before the creatures manifestly in fulnesse of time.

And the Apostle saith Christ died for the ungodly when they Rom. 3. 6. 8. 10 were sinners, when they were enemies, not when they loved and believed, but before. The first and the last of God and his Christ, So Ez. 16. 6 to the salvation of man is of Mercy and Free-grace only. The Father did chose us all in Christ being the children of wrath of Mercy, Love, and Free-grace. The Son died for all of us be­ing ungodly sinners, and enemies of Love, Mercy and Free grace, without any foregoing of love, believing, or Merit in us to either, or of any of us; But this dying of the Son must be understood, before God, from the beginning, not of his dying in manifestati­on before men; For, so his dying before men, should not have reached, been appliable and beneficiall to those which died before his Death upon the Crosse, in manifestation before men, for they [Page 72] could not be ungodly, sinners and enemies to God when Christ died before men, which were dead, and gone long before, hee so died no doubt but Christ died for them (the chosen of God) in Gods sight and account, as also for us before his Death in mani­festation upon the Crosse, as the Apostle saith, he was the Lambe Rev. 13. 8 staine from the beginning, hee died before God for us all when we were all the children of wrath as well as others; The Apostle writing to the Gentiles, saith of the Jewes, As concerning the Gospell they are enemies for your sakes, but as touching the Election, Rom. 11. 21 they are beloved for the Fathers sake. The Jewes shut up in unbeliefe and enemies concerning the Gospell, are yet, beloved touching Election; And poore Infants dying in their Infancy and Ideots have no manifestation of Faith, and believing in themselves to Rom. 9. 18 witnesse to their soules that they of Gods Mercy, Love and Free­grace are chosen of God in Christ, to be Gods children; And yet it were uncharitable in men to hold and say that none of such are chosen of God in Christ, which hath mercy on whom he will, who Rom. 11. 34 (saith the Apostle) hath knowne the Minde of the Lord, or beene his counceller, the Lord knoweth who is his. Therefore there may be some, that are chosen of God in Christ, which have not Faith and believing in Christ, in manifestation to themselves to witnesse to their soules that they, of Gods Mercy, Love and Free-grace are chosen of God in Christ to be his children.

Object. Jesus Christ saith, Hee that believeth not, shall be dam­ned.

Answ. This is meant of him that hath not the Righteousnesse of Christs Work of believing the promise, imputed unto him, and of him that wilfully neglecteth, despiseth and contemneth the faith and believing in Jesus Christ.

Object. [...]. The Apostle saith, So many as were ordained to eternall Life believed.

Answ. This is meant, of so many as were there at the Apostles Sermon and heard it, which were ordained to eternall Life, not of those that heard not the same.

Object. This Doctrine is a Doctrine of security, a means to make men carelesse of Christs Commandement, which comman­deth to believe, and also, to be carelesse of using the meanes to come to believing, as to heare, to pray for Faith, and the like com­manded.

Answ. This Doctrine is no Doctrine of security, or any means [Page 65] to make any carelesse of Christs Commandement, or using the means to come to beleeving as Christ hath commanded, but to such as the Lord hath shut up in unbeliefe, for the Apostle saith, all men have not Faith, or which are proud like the Pharise that trusted 2 Thess. 3. 2. Lu [...]e 18. 9. in himself, he was that righteous, and despised others, Or which are re­probate concerning the Faith.

Ans. Indeed this Doctrine may be so to them, which no Doctrine 2 Tim. 3. 8. will, or can make better.

But unto those which are chosen of God in Christ, ordained to Eph. 1. 4. Acts 13. 48. eternall Life, and to believe the Gospell of Jesus Christ, It is the meanes of Christ to make them not to trust in themselves, or in any gifts or performances of their own, thereby to gaine or have any favour of God or their salvation at Gods hand nor to despise others which have not such gifts and performances in themselves Mat. 7. 1. as they have, not to judge and condemn them, as Christ warneth, Judge not that ye be not Judged.

And it is a great help of Christ to those which are weak in Faith, incumbered yet, with unbeliefe (as the man in the Gospel) which said unto Christ, I believe Lord: Lord helpe my unbeliefe. For, they hereby seeing the Mercy Goodnesse, Wisdome & Power of the Father of Grace, in his choosing of men in Christ, and Or­daining them to eternall Life. That it was his Will that his Christ which hath power to give gifts unto men (as he pleaseth) and the same in measure and weight as hee pleaseth, may also see that the Lord Jesus Christ, which came to doe the Will of his Father, doth bestow Faith and Believing, the gift, grace and fruit of his Spirit here in this life in manifestation to themselves, to witnesse that they are Gods children, upon whom of those chosen ones, hee pleaseth that in what measure hee pleaseth, not to all alike, to their great comfort in their weaknesse in Faith and be­lieving.

And I my self know it is the Commandement of Christ in grace to his Church and People, to believe, as also to do before men the rest of the duties of his Commandements, and to be carefull to use the meanes of Hearing and Praying for Faith and the rest; And I my selfe have been carefull of the same, commanded of Christ, for the government of his Church upon earth, for worship to God, peace and comfort amongst men themselves, which all ought to do that beare the name of Christians, and professe themselves to be Subjects unto Christ their King and Law-giver to his Church, and [Page 82] may, and will doe so, although they be but naturall Men and Hy­pocrites for formality and reputation, and the rest in the outward performance thereof before men. But the government of his Church upon Earth, was not all for which Christ gave his Com­mandement to his visible Church: but also to shew unto those thereof (which hee was pleased to inlighten by his holy Spirit) what Christ hath done and performed for them, before God, in the righteousnesse thereof for their peace with God, which they themselves were not able to do, in the least, before God, That Christ himselfe hath been Meek, Humble and Lowly of Spirit, believed the Promise, loved and done the Pennance for their, whole sinne and trans­gressions, paid the whole debt, and satisfied God.

And to shew them that the worke of the same his Comande­ment inwardly in their Hearts and Soules manifested, before Men, wrought by his Spirit sent unto them (as hee pleaseth) is Rom. 8. 16 their witnesse that Christ is in them, and they in Christ, that Christ hath done all things for them, willed of the Father, and under­taken of the Son before God; and that they are Gods children chosen in Christ out of the children of wrath, ordained to eternall Acts. 13. 48 Life before the World, of the Mercy and Free-grace of the Father, and through the gracious performance and redemption of his Son Jesus Christ.

And this was that which did move mee before, to say, and doth now, that my believing in Christ & his performances for me wrought up by his Spirit in mee, doth witnesse to mee that I of Gods Mercy, Love and Free-grace, am chosen of God in Christ, to be one of his children, ordained to eternall Life, through the per­formances of Jesus Christ for me, and in this Faith (by his grace) I hope to live and die.

But there are many in these dayes in the visible church of christ that professe themselves to be Christians and Teachers, which say, that they of Mercy, Love, and Free-grace, were not chosen of God in Christ before the World, out of the children of wrath to be holy, and without blame before God in love, to be Gods chil­dren, that they were not ordained to eternall Life, and to believe before the World, that they were not loved of God before they were borne, or had done good or evill; that they, when they were borne, were still the children of wrath, and were so, after they were borne untill they believed, and should have gone to Hell if they had died before they believed. And they teach all men that this [Page 83] is their condition, which I thinke is a woefull condition to all that are borne, considering that none have the power of their own Life, nor any certainty of Life untill they believe.

And they teach all, that God yet so loved the whole World of men, being the children of wrath, that he gave and sent his onely begotten Sonne to die, that whosoever believe in him shall not perish, but have everlasting Life, shall be loved, justified, and saved.

And they teach, that his Sonne Jesus Christ died upon the Crosse, in manifestation before men, and then the Plaister of his Blood and Death was made, and not before, to heale all the wounded children of wrath in the World, that would by Faith apply the same Plaister of his Blood and Death unto their wounds. And they deny that Christ died before God from the beginning, and that this Plaister of his Blood and Death, was made before God from the beginning, for the healing of any of mankinde dead and gone before it was made upon the Crosse, in manifestation to Men; and then, and after this applied by the Faith of men: which I must needs say hath seemed harsh and uncharitable to me, that all beeing (as they say) the children of wrath, untill the Plaister of Christs Blood and Death, made upon the Crosse before men, and applied by their Faith afterwards (so made up) to themselves; And so consequently that all dead and gone before Christs Death died in Gods wrath, and must needs be gone to the Devill and Hell (there being manifested in the Scriptures, no other redemption from the wrath of God, but Christs Blood and De [...]th.)

And they teach further, that the mercifull Father so loved the World, of the children of wrath, that he did not only give his only Son to die, shed his blood and redeem all, pay the ransome for all the whole World of the children of wrath, which he hath perform­ed for all sufficiently. But also of Love and Free-grace hath sent Preachers of the same to all, that desire and will Heare, believe, and receive the same Gospell of Jesus Christs precious Bloud, Death and Redemption.

And they teach that God hath left unto all men (being the children of wrath) Free-will and power in their corrupt nature to desire and will, or not to will and desire, they may choose if they will and desire; they may heare, if they will, they may be­lieve and receive the Plaister of Christs Bloud and Death, and if they will, they may apply the same to their wounds and be [Page 68] healed: For, it hath all sufficient vertues, and in tendered to them.

And they teach that the Justification and Salvation of men (whatsoever the Father, or the Sonne hath done in Mercy, Love, and Grace) consist and rest in themselves, their own will, and worke for the Procuring, Setling, Having, and Injoying of the same.

Whereby I have thought, that they thinke better of themselves then they are, and that they are some what; when as the Apostle saith, they are nothing, and deceive themselves in their own ima­gination. Gal. [...]. 3.

For how can a man (being still the child of Gods wrath, in the curse death and losse of Adams sinne (and his own) without his deliverance yet made, which losse was the losse of all good before God, given of God unto man in his Creation, have so great a good as Free-will unto so great a good Work and Deed before God, as to heare and believe unto eternall Life lost, unto justifi­cation and salvation, and to have so great a good still before God, as power to do the same, being yet in the Death, Losse and Want of all good before God. This is (as I thought) to rob our God, to inrich our selves: For, the Apostle saith, It is God that worketh Phil. 2. 13. in us the will and the deed, of his own good pleasure; It is not mans own will and his own deed. And I thinke it much contrary to the Scriptures of the Gospell, that Life and Just [...]fication should come to man by his own will or worke, any way, but onely by grace and mercy, as the Apostle saith, we are justified by Grace, It is not in him that willeth, nor in him that runneth, but in God that sheweth Rom. 3. 24. mercy; If it be of grace, it is no more of workes, or else grace were no more grace; but if it be of workes, it is no more of grace, Rom. 9. 16. or else work were no more worke. But (saith the Apostle) electi­on Rom. 11. 6. hath obtained it, and the rest have been hardned (atlthough) Israel hath not obtained, that sought it, viz. by his own will and worke. They would strip God of his Election in Christ, before the world, being the first Act of his grace to man.

Quest. What may be thought of these in your Christian Judgement, and of their teaching, I desire to understand?

Answ. I take it, the condition of these is farre more out of hope, then of Infants and Id [...]ots: for these desperately discover Mat. 5. 19. their own nakednesse and shame, These break the Commandement, and teach men to do so. There are (as you said) Theeves and Robbers, 1 Tim. 3. 7. [Page 69] and teach others the same. They are fallen into and holden in the snare of the Devill, The Devill spake many truths (alwayes leaving some­thing Mat. 4 3. 6 out) that he may deceive in the end, they are like a cunning Fowler that layes scraps of wheat to catch the Birds. So these tell men a part of Gods Love, Mercy, and Free-grace, that they may catch them in the snare and pride of their own will, and words, of robbery and Idolatry.

Nicodemus a Ruler of the Jewes, a Master in Israel, yet under­stood not that which Christ said (Except a man be born againe he Joh. 3. 3 cannot see the Kingdome of God) unto whom Christ said, Art thou a Master in Israel and knowest not these things?

These may be Rulers, Masters and Teachers, and yet be igno­rant of these things; And I conceive these are ignorant of Gods eternall Almighty Power, Wisdome, Fore-knowledge, Fore­sight, Will, Purpose Decree and Acts, with and before himself, and of the rest of God and his Christ, which if they were not, they would not deny that God might and did choose in Christ whom hee pleased of the children of wrath to be his children, so called, and justified through Christ before himself, even before the World, of Mercy and Free-grace, without any will or work of their own Eph. [...]. 3, 4, 5, 6 unchangeable.

Indeed they alledge and cite many places of Scriptures, sup­posed, to their purpose of Christs commanding to will, to do, to heare, to believe, to aske, to seeke, to knock, to labour, to speak, to run, to come, to take, to receive, to give, and the like. And the condition that is annexed of reward, and penalty unto these commanded to be eternall; And therefore they conclude it is in every mans will and power, to will and doe these things commanded unto eternall Life, otherwise it were oppression and not Love and Justice of Christ our God and Law-giver, to com­mand his Subjects to doe that which it not in themselves to doe, which they cannot do, upon such penalty, eternall.

But, alas, they do not consider that this Law of Christ to his Church, as it includeth the Law of God given to mankinde in generall, in Justice absolute, is written in the hearts of Heathens, as also of such as have the name of Christians, which Law of God is therefore knowne, though weakly and corruptly to the Hea­thens and all Mankinde (as the Apostle saith of the Heathens,) Rom. 1. 31 They know the Law of God, their consciences accuse and excuse one another. And the Heathens have made many Lawes, from this Rom. 2. 15. [Page 86] Law of God written in their hearts, of Justice and righteousnesse before men in mens estimation good: which with the will and power of men, have beene obeyed: For, as Adam and all man­kinde had Soul and Body, and the faculties thereof temporall Life, at Gods will for a time (all weakened and corrupted by sinne and the curse) left to them, so they had Free-will, Reason and power in naturall, humane and temporall things, left all weake and cor­rupted to choose and refuse, to will and to nill, to doe things good and righteous, before men, in the estimation of men, al­though they had lost and had no power left them to will, choose, desire or doe, any thing at all good, righteous acceptable and availeable before God unto eternall Life lost, to justification be­fore God, to their peace with God, or to any good in Gods sight good.

And that the Lord Jesus, upon whose shoulders the Government Isa. 9. 6. of his Church lay, was pleased in great grace as a most gracious Law-giver, to manifest in written Tables to his people, the chosen of God in him which hee had redeemed and performed all for, unto Life, Justification, Salvation and Glorification, before God, all to appeare in appointed and fulnesse of time, this his gracious Law of greater grace then the first given unto mankinde in generall, that it might be established and remaine for ever to his people already redeemed, before God, for the government of his Church upon earth, in worship to God, Peace, Righteous­nesse, Society, Safety, and Comfort among themselves, which without a Law could not have government, Peace, Righteousness and Safety before men, especially in regard of many Hypocrites in closing themselves among the Elect of God, as Wolves among Sheep. And that those his redeemed People should do and per­forme (in the will and power that they had left them) these his Commandements in righteousnesse before men, for worship to God, Peace, Safety, Society, and comfort among themselves, upon temporall reward and penalty; And that the will worke and doing of the same his Commandement, being the fruits of his Spirit wrought up in their hearts, (where and as hee pleased) might witness unto them that they are Christs redeemed ones, that they have his Spirit, and are the children of God, (as the Apostle saith) the spirit received doth witness with our soules and spirits Rom. 8. 16. that we are the children of God.

So these confounding the Law and Commandement of God [Page 87] given to man in absolute Justice (having absolute Free-will and power) upon the condition of absolute eternall life and death, for keeping and breaking the same, still remaining written in the hearts of all Mankinde (their Free-will and power being wholly corrupted and weakened through the transgression,) and the Law and Commandement of Christ given in grace to his Church the chosen of God in him, (whereby Mercy and Truth met together, Righteousnesse and Peace kissed each other) upon temporall reward Psal. 85. 10. and penalty for keeping and breaking the same before men (for the condition of the reward and penalty could not be eternall) of keeping & breaking the Commandement of Christ given in grace, For, that the eternall reward of righteousnesse to man before God, consisteth onely in the Work and Merit of Christ for man, in Christ himself performed, before God imputed unto man Gods chosen, without any will or worke of mans.

And the eternall penalty of all the sinne and transgression of Gods chosen, and Christs redeemed, is paid and satisfied by Christs Death and Bloud from the beginning before God in the fulnesse of him before them. Although those that are Gods chosen, and those that are not Gods, may have will and power to keep the Commandement before men, yet they neither have such will or power as to keepe it before God, to eternall re­ward.

Quest. Christ commandeth those hee called, and sent to go and teach all Nations, what is that teaching of Christ that hee intend­eth? Mat. 28. 89.

Ans. First, I take it, In that Christ commandeth to go and teach Mar. 16. 6. all Nations, hee intendeth not, to all of all Nations, not to cast Pearles among Swine, which turning againe will rend them that teach them, but to teach such of all Nations as will submit to their Mat. 7. 6. teaching.

Secondly, that they should teach all them of all Nations that did submit to the Gospell of Jesus Christ. Which is the glad tidings of salvation by Jesus Christ, That is, that God so loved the world which hee intended to make, that hee fore-knowing that mankinde would transgresse his command, and become the children of wrath, did purpose, and in his Mercy and Love did choose some (as he pleased) of the world of those children of wrath in Christ, his onely Son, eternall with himselfe, before the world, to be his children, holy and without blame before him in love, [Page 72] (as the Apostle saith) and the Father of love and mercy having Eph. 1. 4. pleased to give his Sonne, the Christ to performe all things both in doing and suffering, to the full satisfaction of his Justice for their delivering from thence, & full setling of those his chosen ones his love and favour for ever, who did, in present understand to doe the will of the Father, saying, Lo I come to doe thy will (O Heb. 10. 7, 8, 9 God) did also, in present performe the same undertaken, before God, and before men in fulness of time, to Gods satisfaction evermore, that nothing hereafter is to be, shall or can be laid to the charge of Gods chosen, before God, (as the Apostle saith) Rom. 8. 33 shall [...] any thing to the charge of Gods chosen? It is God that justifieth the [...]. That Gods chosen People, are no more under the law of eternall condemnation, but under grace evermore. And that those of Gods chosen people, unto whom, it pleaseth the Lord Jesus Christ to give his holy Spirit, so farre, as by his Spirit to worke in their hearts, the fruit of his spirit, of believing and faith, the same, which the spirit doth witness and evidence to their hearts and soules that they are the chosen of God in Christ, and justified of God through Christ, before the world in Gods sight, Rom. 6. 14 that they are no more under the Law, but grace; that they are the children of God, &c. This Gospel is the draw-net of Christ, that Mat. 13. 47 gathereth of all kindes some. This was that which the Gentiles Acts 13. 42 hearing, desired Paul to preach the same word to them the next Sabbath Day.

Quest. Is the teaching of Christ commanded to those he sent, no teaching, but of his Gospel to all Nations?

Answ. Yes, it is the teaching of his Law for the government of those, before men, which hee hath gathered by his Gospell, for worship to God, for Peace, Society, Safety, Comfort and Righteousness among men themselves, which could not be without a Law and government, and this government of his Church lieth upon Christs Shoulders (as the Prophet saith.)

God which was pleased to suffer the children of wrath for the Esa. 9. 6. time hee pleased to shew his wrath, and make his power knowne, was pleased to write his Law in their minds, given to mankinde Rom. 1. in generall for government among themselves, before men, and whereby their consciences accuse and excuse one another, and Rom. 2. whereby they know sinne and what deserveth death, and there (as the Apostle saith) other wise there could have been no society among them:

[Page 83] But Christ giveth his Law for government to his Church, not onely to know sinne by the teaching thereof, and to shunne sinne as all naturall men have will and power to doe, although weakly in their corruption, but also that they may yeild themselves to be Rom. 6. 13 instruments of the worke of his spirit in the shunning of sinne inwardly in their hearts, and of knowing what Christ hath done for them in himselfe, before God, in performing of the full righteousnesse of his Lawes and Commande to their peace with God, and that the worke of the spirit in those of his Commandements, being the fruits of his Spirit, whereof they are made instruments, may evidence, witnesse and assure to them, Rom. 8. 16 that they are the children of God chosen of God in Christ, justi­fied through Christ, and redeemed by Christs payment to God, and his performance of all to God for them in Gods sight and acceptance before the workd to their everlasting Peace, and eternall Life, and to the honour and glory of his grace in the mer­cy and love of the Father, and the undertaking and performing of his fullnesse only.

But hee commandeth not to goe and teach all Nations to rob the Father of Mercy, Love and Free grace of his eternall power, Almightinesse, Liberty, Will and Pleasure, and of his Honour Praise and Glory of all the same, and of his honour and glory of his Purposes, Decrees and Acts eternall with himselfe evidently manifested in his Testament to be his Purpose Decrees and Acts of his power Almighty Liberty, Will and Pleasure; As they do which teach all they can teach; That,

1. Although God did fore-know, that mankinde would trans­gresse and become the children of wrath, yet hee did not give his Sonne Christ, before the World to redeeme them by his Death, all, or any of those of Mankinde, which hee fore knew would transgresse and become the children of wrath, notwithstanding Rev. 13. 8 that the Scriptures saith, Hee was the Lambe slaine from the begin­ing before God, and that Iob saith, I know that my Redeemer liveth, Job. 19. 25 that is, is now in being, and hath already performed my Re­demption before God, and that David said, The Lord was his Psal. 19. 14 strength and his redeemer long before Christ was slaine, and died be­fore men upon the Crosse; And the Prophet saith, long before his Death, before men, upon the Crosse, God hath laid upon him the ini­quity of us all (meaning the chosen of God) and yet all this was Isa 53. 6. done of the Father in Mercy Love and grace, and all undertaken, [Page 84] saying, Loe, I come to doe thy Will, O God, and so performed of Heb. 10. 9 the Sonne Christ, in Mercy Love and Free-grace, before the World, to the satisfaction of God for the transgression of those Isa. 53. he pleased for Election.

Is not this teaching all Nations, the robbing, and the teaching all Nations to rob the Father of Men and his Sonne Christ, of the honour of his almighty Power, Liberty in Gods Pleasure, graces and gracious Decrees and Acts, plainly expressed and manifested in the testiment of our God?

Secondly, in that they teach all Nations that God, neither could nor did choose in Christ, any of these hee fore knew, and fore-see to become the children of wrath before the World, to be his children, to be holy and without blame before him in love, None of them to be ordained to eternall Life before the world, None of them to be predestinate to be made like to the Image of his Sonne, to be called his Children and Saints, to be justified and glorified before himselfe in his own sight, and acceptance be­fore the world (although these not so, yet but in appointed and fulnesse of time to be manifested to the created) Notwithstand­ing our God saith in the Scripture by the Apostle of his Testa­ment. Blessed be God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which hath blessed us, with all spirituall blessing in Heavenly things in Christ, as hee hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that wee should be holy, and without blame before him in love, and th [...]t those which he knew before he also predestinate to be Gods children through Christ to be made like to the image of his Sonne, to be or­dained to eternall Life, that he might be the first borne among many Brethren; And whom hee predestinated them also he called his chil­dren Eph. 1. 3. 4 and Saints by calling, And whom hee called, them also he justi­fied, and whom he justified, them also he glorified, and although hee saith nothing shall be laid to the charge of Gods chosen, It is God that justifieth them: And although hee saith, God loved Jacob and hated Esau before they were borne, or had done good or evill, that the purpose of God might remaine according to Election, not by Workes, but by him that calleth, and in many other places the like.

Is not this Robbery, and the teaching of all Nations to rob the Father and his Sonne Christ of the honour of their allmighty Power, Liberty, Will, Mercies, Free grace, Purposes, D [...]cr [...]es and Acts eternall within, and all unchangeable (as the Apostle [Page 85] saith) the gifts and calling of God are without repentance, which is Rom. 11. 29 so of his eternall spirituall Gifts and callings, not of temporall, as the calling of Judas was, and the gifts that Iob spake of where hee said, The Lord hath given, and the Lord hath taken away, blessed be the Job 3. 21 Name of the Lord.

Thirdly, in that they teach all they can teach, that it is in their own will, power and deed to please God, to pacifie the wrath of God the Father of mercies for their sinnes and offences, to ob­taine forgivenesse of their sinnes by Repentance, Prayers, Devo­tions, and to obtaine good things, deliverance from the evill that they have deserved at the Hand of God the Father by their per­formances and humiliations, by their willingnesse and endeavour­ing to heare the Gospell preached, to get Faith; And by and for their Faith and believing, to be justified before God, and to have Life before God in themselves, yea to be Saints in them­selves, and righteous in themselves, by these their performances, before God, That they are not as other men, are Extortioners, un­just, Drunkards, Adulterers, or as the Publican; that looketh upon See Luke 18. 10, 11. nothing but Mercy and Forgivenesse of his sinnes, and the Righ­teousnesse of Jesus Christ imputed unto him for his peace with God, for his justification, eternall Life, and Salvation.

Notwithstanding the Testament of our God written by his Pen­men, commanded to be taught is contrary.

The Prophet of God David saith, my weldoing extendeth, or Psal. 16. 2 is nothing to thee (O Lord) nothing to please thee, to obtaine any thing of thee, to justifie one before thee.

And hee saith, Blessed is the Man whose iniquity is forgiven, and Psal. 32. 1 whose sin is covered.

And the Prophet Esay saith, we are all as an uncleane thing, and all our righteousnesse as filthy ragges, nothing in our selves, or of our Isa. 64. 6 selves to please God, to obtaine any good of God, justifie us before God. And the Apostle of Jesus Christ Paul saith, It is not in him Rom. 9. 16 that willeth, nor in him that runneth, but in God that sheweth Mercy; And againe blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth righte­ousnesse without workes. And Christ himselfe saith, when yee have done what yee can say, we are unprofitable servants; Christ saith, He Luke 17. 10 that climeth up any other way to the Father to the Sheepfold, then by him, is a Theife and a Robber. These would please the Father, Joh. 10. 1 obtaine of the Father, to bee justified of the Father, and get to Heaven by their own Prayers, Devotions, Humiliations by [Page 86] their own Faith and performances, and teach others to doe so. Is not this to teach Thee every and Robbery, in the highest?

And is not this Idolatry to set themselves, and their perform­ances up in the place of Christ, to please God themselves to obtaine of God to be justified through their owne Faith and Per­formances before God, to account goodnesse, holinesse, and righteousnesse in themselves, and in their own wills, workes and performances, Is this to deny themselves?

Is not this to set up the Idoll in their Hearts? Haba. 1. 16 Deut. 29. 19 Ezek. 14. 7

Is not this to Sacrifice to their own Nets?

Is not this to blesse a Mans selfe, and yet to walke in the imagina­tion of his own heart?

Is not this to kisse the Calves, to kisse the workes of his own hands? to make Idols according to their own undertaking? Babes keepe your selves from Idols.

Oh that Gods People might not be hindered, to know that Hosee 13. 2 their own weldoing of the command of Christ is nothing unto God (as David did,) That they might deny themselves. That they might ever honour, praise, and be thankfull for the Love, Mercy, and Free-grace of God the Father to them; And the undertaking of Jesus Christ his Sonne, and his performance for them to the full satisfaction of the Justice of God for their eter­nall and temporall good, and that all things shall worke together for the best to them that love God. And that the performances of the Commandements of Jesus Christ (being the Fruits of his Spirit in them) whereof (as hee pleaseth of grace) hee maketh them his Branches to beare, and instruments of his Word thereof might witnesse evidence and assure to them all these of God and Christ unto them, that they are Gods children, as the Apostle saith the spirit witnesseth.

Object. I conceive that you teach that although God did fore­know in his Eternity, that mankinde would transgresse, fall and become the children of wrath; and had power (of his grace and mercy) to save all fallen in Justice through the redemption and performance of Jesus Christ his Sonne. Yet it was his Will and good pleasure to choose onely some of them in Christ, of his Love, grace and mercy towards them to be his holy ones, and blamelesse ones in Christ, to be his children adopted through Christ, to bee ordained to eternall Life, to bee Predestinated, Called, Justified, and Glorified in Gods Sight before the World, [Page 87] unchangeably. How is it and what is the true meaning that our God saith in his Testament, That hee would not the Death of him Ezek. 18. 32 that Dieth, that, he will that all men shall be saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth, and in many like places of Scripture? and 1 Tim. 2. 4. that our God holdeth forth in the Scripture of his Testament, that it lieth and consisteth in the will and the deed of man to have the Salvation of God and all good at Gods hand, hee willeth not the death of any man, and would have all men be saved if they seeke it, labour for it, and come unto Christ and doe his Com­mandement; And therefore so Christ saith, If any man will come after me let him deny himselfe, and take up his Crosse and follow Luke 9. 23. Rev. 22. 17 me, Let whosoever will, take of the water of life Freely; If any man will doe his will hee shall know the truth. Will a man rob his God? Jos. 7. 17 &c.

Who so will do the will of my Father which is in Heaven, the same Mat. 12. 50. is my Brother, Sister and Mother.

Not every one that saith Lord, Lord, shall enter into the King­dome Mat. 7. 21 of Heaven, but hee that doth the will of my Father which is in Heaven.

This do and thou shalt live. Luke 10. 28

Aske and you shall have, seeke and yee shall finde, labour for that which indureth to eternall Life. Strive to enter in at the strait Mat. 7. 7. Joh. 6. 27 Luke 13. 24 1 Cor. 9. 24 Gas. 6. 9 Gate, runne that yee may obteine in due time, yee shall reape if yee faint not, and many like Scriptures, God chooseth none nor refuseth any that will.

Againe you teach that God did choose in Christ some onely unto Life Eternall, some onely to be his children to be justified and glorified before the World, before they were borne, and that Eph. 14. 5, 6 unchangeably; And that the Death, Redemption and Perform­ance of Christ was onely for those chosen of God in him for Rom 9. 11 satisfaction of the Justice of God, which was the undertaking of Christ, to doe the Will of God. Esa. 53.

Notwithstanding our God saith in his Testament, that he would all men should be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth, That Christ died for all Men, That Christ died for the ungodly, being 1 Tim. 2. 4 yet sinners, That Christ gave himselfe a ransome for all Men, That Rom. 5. 6. 8 1 Tim 2. 6 God was in Christ, and reconcile unto the World to himselfe not im­puting their sinnes to them, and hath committed to us the word of Re­conciliation. That he is a Reconcileation, not for our sinnes onely, 2 Cor. 5. 19 but for the sinnes of the whole World. And notwithstanding our God 1 Joh. 2. 2 [Page 88] saith in his Testament, Hee that walketh in my Statutes, and keepeth my Commandements and deale truly, he is just, and shall surely live; And if he hath a Sonne that is a Theife, a Murtherer, an Oppressor Ez. 18. 5, &c. and Adulterer, an Idolater, &c. he shall not live, he shall die the death, his bloud shall be upon him; The righteousnesse of the righte­ous shall be upon him, and the wickednesse of the wicked shall be upon himselfe. But if the wicked shall returne from all his sinnes, and keepe my Statutes, and doe that which is lawfull and right, hee shall live, and not die, all his transgressions that hee hath done shall not be mentioned unto him, but in his righteousnesse that he hath done, hee shall live. When a righteous man turneth away from his righteousnesse and continueth in iniquity, hee shall die for the same. Againe when a wicked man turneth from his wick­ednesse that hee hath committed, and doth that which is lawfull and right, because hee considereth and turneth hee shall surely live and not die. I will justifie every man according to his wayes (saith our God) therefore returne O house of Israel, so iniquity shall not be your destruction: I desire not that the wicked should die (saith the Lord) (and the Apostle saith) God willeth all to repent. Acts 17. 30

Take heed (saith the Apostle) that no man fall away from the Heb. 12. 15. 17 grace of God as prophane Esau, that sold his birthright for a Messe of pottage. A man cannot fall away from grace, but hee must have grace, be under grace, therefore a man that hath grace and righteousnesse unto Life, may fall away and be in the state of wickednesse and death, and may repent and return, and be in the state of grace and life again, and so often.

Is not that then which you teach robbery, even to rob out God of his almighty power and liberty of his will to his grace and goodnesse to all mankinde, Is not this Rabshekahs blasphemy which said, that God could not, nor would not deliver his People

Answ. I hope my answer to this charge will be sufficient reso­lution Isa. 26. 14 to those which are Gods People, and all said, onely, to the honour of God. Wee know the Apostle saith Antichrist is an adversary that exalteth himselfe above all chat is called God, and doth sit in the Temple of God or place of God, shewing himself that hee is God. But Antichrist doth not these things by his in­struments 2 Thess. 2. 4 but by pretending and alledging of Scriptures mistaken, nor can doe so. And doe not you alleadge these mistaken Scrip­tures for the exalting of corrupt man, the man of sinne, that can Rom. 7. 14. 15. 16, 17, 18, 19. doe nothing but sinne: yea, for the setting him up in the Temple [Page 89] or place of God, that is only, good and can onely doe that which is good in his sight: yea, further that hee exalteth corrupt man the man of sinne, that can doe nothing but sinne, his will, deeds and performances above all that is called God, and his grace, decrees, performances, when as all those pretences of yours are (that, notwithstanding all the will, decrees and acts as the Father in love mercy and grace to Mankinde as having fore­known of God to fall, for their life, justification, and salvation through his dear Sonne Jesus Christ in redemption and perform­ances for satisfaction of justice, before the world.

Yet you say all these are nothing to the life and justification of man without mans own will and deed; without mans own per­formance, without man will apprehend and apply the same Plaister made, hath no power to heare without mans power will and Deed; So that the will decrees and acts eternall with himselfe, the love and grace of God the Father, and the death and performance of Jesus Christ the Sonne before the Father for the Life, justification, and salvation of man, do all rest upon corrupt mans power, will, deed, and performance do all submit to corrupt and sinfull mans power, will, deed, and performance; And thereupon resteth his own life, justification, and salvation. Is not this the exaltion of Antichrist to set up corrupt man, the man of sinne, sinfull man in the place of God, and above God and his Christ? that the same must with all their love, grace, and performance for the life peace, just [...]fication, and salvation of man, submit to the power, will, deeds and performances of corrupt sin­full man?

And can the instruments of Antichrist set up the man of sinne in the place of God, and exalt him above God and of his God Christ, without pretending of zeale (though not according to knowledge) and alledging of Scriptures. But herein they bewray Rom. 10 2, 3 themselves, saith the Apostle of Christ, Because they going about to establish their own righteousnesse submit not to the righteousnesse of God, but will have the righteousnesse which is of God, submit to their own righteousnesse which they establish and set up.

Object. I know they will confesse and say that they, their own power will and deeds are weake, but Christ doth helpe them and inable them with his grace, and as the Apostle saith, I am Phil. 4. 13 able to doe all things through the helpe of Christ that strengtheneth mee.

[Page 90] Answ. Is not this Argument still to uphold mans corrupt will and worth in present by the helpe and inablement of grace in pre­sent to be above all that God and his Christ hath done to mans life, justification and salvation before the world? that which they have done must submit to mans own power and righteousnesse of his own will and doth in present helping by grace.

But tell mee, is there any man that will put a Weapon into any Theeves hand to rob him? Is this wisdome? And will our God and his Christ put the power and strength of his grace into the hand of corrupt sinfull man, the man of sinne to robbe him of his honour, praise, and glory? that corrupt sinfull man may glory and boast himselfe of the spoiles of Gods honour; For, corrupt man, to say, I could not have had life, justification and salvation, but by mine own power, will and deed, assisted by the grace of God, wherein the grace, love, decrees and Acts of the Father and the performances of the Sonne of God, were able to doe nothing without mee, my will and worke, Is not this more horrible blasphemy than that of Rabshakahs.

You say God is Almighty, so say I; But Gods almighty power is alwayes accompanied with his will and good pleasure, and his Almighty power is alwayes regulated by his will, what he will doe, hee can doe and doth, but what hee will not doe, hee can­not doe, nor doth: God will not give his honour to any other, nor can: God will justifie freely by grace, without mans will or worke; and otherwise hee cannot justifie. God had power to choose in Christ before the World, out of the children of wrath, fore-knowne, those hee pleases and willed to choose to bee his children, hee could not choose any other, then those hee willed and pleased to bee his children. Christ the Sonne of God could die for, redeeme, shed his bloud, pay the ransome for, and make the reconciliation for those which God had chosen in him before the world, and pray for them which the Father had given him to die for, to redeeme, shed his Bloud, pay the ransome, make re­conciliation, and pray for which hee undertooke to doe his Fathers Will, for therein, saying, Loe I come to doe thy Will O Heb 10. 9. God, but Christ could not Die, Redeeme, Shed his Bloud, pay the Ransome, make Reconciliation, and pray for those which God had not choosen in him, and had not given him to performe the same for.

And therefore (hee saith) I pray for those that thou hast given Joh. 17. 9 [Page 91] me, I pray not for the World of those thou hast refused, of the children of wrath which thou hast not chosen in me, which thou hast not given mee to pray for, and to doe the rest for, of thy Will and good Pleasure.

Yet you further alledge Scriptures (mistaking the same.) That Christ died for all men one and other that are saved, and that perish everlastingly, That hee redeemed, sheed his Bloud paid the ransome, and made the reconciliation to God for the whole World of mankinde, when the word all men, and the word worke in the Scriptures import diversly.

Sometimes all, and all men, are taken, as you take them for all men in the most generall, one and other that are saved, and that Acts 1. 24 perish (as the Lord knoweth the heart of all men.) and death went Rom. 5. 12 over all men, For asmuch as all men sinne. And so is the word world, sometimes taken in the same generall for all men in the World Rom. 5. 12. one and other that are savid and perish (as the Apostle saith) Sinne entered into the World (of all men) and death by sinne into the World of all men. And so in other places. And all men is held forth in the Scripture for all that God hath chosen in Christ, and given him to retract and performe all things for, to the satisfacti­on Joh. 6. 37 Joh. 6. 45 Joh. 18. 9 of Gods Justice for their peace with God, for their justifica­tion and salvation, as Christ said, all that the Father giveth mee shall come to mee, and them that commeth to mee, I will in no wise cast off.

All shall be taught of God, of all those men which thou hast given mee, I have not lost one.

And the word all, or all men, is sometime put for all the re­probate and forsaken ones of God. So David said, The Foole hath said in his heart there is no God, they have all corrupted and done Psal. 14. 1, 2, 3 abhominable workes, there is none that doth good, God looked downe upon the children of men, to see if there were any that would under­stand, all are gone out of the way, all are corrupt. So doth Beza note upon the place, the same to be spoken of the reprobate.

And the word World is put in the Scriptures for the whole continent sometimes: And sometimes for the continent, and all conteined therein.

And sometimes for all men in the World that are chosen of God in Christ, that God was pleased of Love and Freegrace to have Mercy upon foreknown to fall, and to give his Sonne Christ to redeeme by his performance, and to satisfie his Justice, for [Page 93] to their everlasting peace and salvation (as the Apostle saith) God Rm. 11. 2. 16. 5. 19. 1 Joh. 2. 2 was in Christ, and reconciled the world to himself, not imputing their sinnes unto them. And that he is a reconciliation not for our sinnes only, but for the sinnes of the whole world.

And sometime the world is taken for the reprobate, and for­saken ones of God in the World (as now you have not received the spirit which is of the World, but the spirit which is of God, &c. The Saints shall Judge the World, and againe I pray not for the World but 1 Cor. 2. 12 1 Cor. 6. 2 Ioh 17. 9 for them which thou hast given me, for they are thine.

So that you may see if the Lord open your Eyes, that giveth sight to the blind, How you wrong our God, mistaking his writ­ten Will and Testament, and deceive the People, when you teach that Christ dyed for all men one and other that are saved, and perish. That hee shed his bloud, paid the price and ransome and redeemed and made the reconciliation to God for the sinnes of the whole world of men, one and other that are saved and damn­ed, Elect and reprobate, when as it is cleerly shewed to be of those all men of the whole world, of those which the testament say are chosen of God in Christ, given to Christ to redeeme and performe all things for, to their Life, justification and salvation onely, and that which you teach is great dishonour to the Father and the Sonne.

If a rich man should, with a great sum of money buy all the beasts in a great Market for his service, there being abundance to be bought; And when hee hath bought and paid for all a like price, he should after, not regard many or most of them by his power, provision and meanes, to be guided, drawne and conveyed to his house and pastures, and there kept for his service, and thier safety which hee knew would move, but suffer them as soone as hee had bought them to stray, wander, transgresse and trespasse till they were imprisoned and starved, to perish so and decay: would not all others account this prodigality, folly, indiscretion, yea wick­ednesse, uncharitablenesse to the beasts? for a good man is charitable to his beast, saith Soloman. Pov. 10. 12

Will you charge our God the Father, and his Christ with such folly and wickednesse. You say the Father hath given his Sonne, Christ to pay the great price for all men, one and other to redeem all that are saved, and that perish, to buy all men for his service, and foreknow the straying and wandering condition of all to be alike, that none could come home to his house and pastures to [Page 92] doe him service without the helpe, guidance and convenience and keeping of his grace, yet hee regardeth not to send and give his grace to the most part of them hee had bought and paid deare for to convey them and keepe them, but let them wander, tres­passe, being wounded and imprisoned, starved and perish in Hell for ever: Is not this a heavy charge of folly, wickednesse, and in­justice upon the Father and his Sonne Christ Jesus, Is not this greater blsphemy then that of Rabshakah?

Object. But it may bee you will alleadge the Scriptures of the Testament, God will have mercy upon whom hee will shew mercy and Rom. 9 hee will have mercy upon whom hee will have mercy, and whom hee will he hardneth, therefore he suffereth whom hee will suffer.

Answ. This Scripture of the Testament you mistake as you doe other, for this Scripture hath reference to the will, purpose and act of God the Father in his Election in Christ, of those hee plea­sed of mankinde in generall faine and become the children of wrath in Gods sight before redemption; Indeed then of those, the Father had mercy upon whom hee would have mercy, and whom hee would hee hardned (that is) left in their hardnesse, but it hath no relation unto those which Christ redeemed after his redempti­on of them, which Christ had undertaken for, to doe the will of the [...] for the [...] ju [...]fication aad salvation.

If you should [...] a Sessions hire, lay down money for a servant, or servants time, of serv [...]ce for a year or years which you know would runaway and [...]ander; If after you had so done you did not regard them, but let them runne away, lie in Ditches and Hedges with you knowledge till they came to decay, are not you culpable in Law and Justice for the same? This blame you would lay upon Christ, which hath laid down the great price for such as hee knew to be such, and might by his power and grace have kept them, but will not nor doth, but let them perish. Christ against you, saith, hee hath lost none that his Father hath given him to pay for, and pray for.

Object. It may be you will say, Christ after hee hath bought men doth feede men, and attend them with his Ordinances and Mini­sters, it is their selfish fancy, that they perish.

Answ. If you say Christ is at more charge with them then pay­ing the great price for them, and hee let them stray and perish, which hee knew would so do without his holding and keeping, you cast more folly and blasphemy upon Christ.

[Page 94] And you further teach all Nations, that men, that God hath had mercy on: that Christ hath redeemed and bought: that God hath given his grace unto, and so he in the state of salvation may by their wilfull sinne fall away from grace, mercy and the Love Heb. 12. 15 Rev. 2. 4 of God, by forsaking their first Love, and so become the children of wrath and destruction; And by repentance may returne to God, have mercy, grace and love of God againe and be the chil­dren Ezech. 18 of God againe, and may often rise, and fall, into these con­ditions, which is not the teaching commanded of Christ. It is Psa. 12 1. 5 uncomfortable, untrue and against the Scriptures of the Testa­ment; For there Christ is said to be the Keeper of his Israel, which Joh. 18. 9 he bought and redeemed; That hee loseth not one: That none shall Joh. 13. 1 take them out of his hand: That those that hee loveth hee loveth to the end, and many like places. 2 Tim. 2. 19 Heb. 6. Jer. 32.

Indeed a man may fall away from grace, and forsake his first Love, that Christ hath redeemed before men, in the sight of men, and in the estimation of men, &c. but not before God, in Gods Sight, and estimation: Gods Love is an everlasting Love to the end, The foundation of God is sure, the Lord knoweth who are his: and Jesus Christ is the yesterday and to day, And I will be their God, and they shall be my people, I will never forsake them, and I will put such a feare into their Hearts that they shall never depart from mee, Jerem. 32. 40.

Another Meditation of the Law.

THe Law is good and holy, and the use of the Law and Com­mandement appointed of God to be manifested and publish­ed to mee in the holy Scriptures, is so evident both to the Repro­bate 1 Tim. 1. 8 and to the Elect (as the Apostle saith) The Law is good to man if a man use it lawfully. The reprobate and the Elect in their cor­rupted estate, the one as the other hath remaining corrupted rea­son, wisdome and knowledge of God in the corrupted nature of man, whereby they have some corrupted sight of the righteous­nesse of God in the common Law, and the penalty of breaking thereof. So the Apostle saith of the Church; That which may be known of God, is manifest in them, for God hath shewed it unto Rom. 9. 19 them. For the invisible things of him, that is, his eternall power and God head, are seene by the Creation of the World (being considered in his Workes) to the intent that they should be with­ [...]t [Page 95] excuse, which men though they know the Law of God how Vers. 31. that they which commit such things are worthy of death, yet not onely doe the same, but also know them that doe them. This righteous Law and command of God remaining in the corrupt Reason, Wisdome, Knowledge and Nature of men, is called of the Ethnick Philosophers, the Law of nature; of the Lawyers, the Law of Nations; And of this Law, the Law of Moses which tem­perate meeknesse was a plaine Exposition and manifestation of; Yet this Law and righteousnesse of God remaining unto the cor­rupted nature of man was that which by Gods providence forced the Philosophers so called of the Ethincks, to write many bookes of Ethicks to the people, wherein wee see many notable Rules and directions for mans safety and society. And likewise in the Lawes of Nations for civilizng and moralizing of men, And no Nations of people that wee have heard of, read of, there are, or have been, but there have beene Rules and Lawes amongst them­selves for some civility and morality according to their corrupt reason and understanding of God, and God not to sanct [...]fie or justifie men before God, for that is onely Christs Worke, but to civilize and moralize them before men for the more safety of Gods Elect.

And this was the use of the more cleare Exposition and mani­festation of this Law of God remaining to man, in his corrupt na­ture by a speciall providence of God, written by Moses to the People of Israel and so remaining written to all people, to whom it commeth (as unto us) to moralize and civilize men, or (as it may be said) to sanctifie and justifie men, before men in the sight of men, in the estimation of men. And that upon the proportionable temporall penalties to the breakers, and like reward to the Keepers thereof, for the good and society of men, without which mans life would be miserable. But not to justifie or sanctifie men before God by the worke thereof, (That being onely the work of Christ, and onely in the power of Christ and his performance.) And the Acts 13. 39 Rom. 3. 20 Scriptures largely and plainly manifesteth that from all things, which yee could not be justified by the Law of Moses, by him (that is Christ) every one that believeth is justified. By the worke Rom. 10. 6. of the Law shall no man be justified in his (that is) Gods sight, saith Rom. 3. 24 the Apostle. If it be of works it is no more of grace, wee are justified freely through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. Christ Jesus is 1 Cor. 1. 30 made unto us, Righteousnesse, Sanctification, and Redemption; [Page 97] The Law (saith the Apostle) came by Moses, but grace and truth by Jesus Christ. Joh. 1. 17

If any Law, and the marke of any Law of Moses might sanctifie or justifie before God, then the Leviticall or Ceremoniall Law and the workes thereof might have done that, as the Offerings, Sacrifices, shedding of Bloud, Purifyings, Clensing, and Washing, Sprinklings and the like; which all figured Christ and his per­formances. But the Apostle saith, that all these were nothing to purifie and sanctifie men before God, but onely outwardly touch­ing the flesh, in the sight and estimation of men, as Heb. 9. 13. for saith the Apostle, It is impossible the Bloud o [...] Bulls and Goats should take away sinne, and againe, in burnt Offerings, sin Offerings thou hadst no pleasure therein said I (that is Christ.) Lo [...] I come to Heb. 10. 4 do thy will O God. Man is not justified, sanctified or purified be­fore God by any of mans workes of the Law of Moses, no, God Heb. 10. 6, 7 hath no pleasure in them, but onely in his Christ, and his workes. And yet God was pleafed his Law and Commandements should remaine to corrupt man, even that, that Moses Law the more cleare exposition of the Law of nature should be added, because of transgression (as the Apostle saith) to shew sinne more cleerly to Gal. 3. 19 man, and the righteousnesse of God in condemning.

The transgressions of his Law, first and last, and to abate and shake the current of corruption in the reprobate to the more safety of his Elect among them, as Wolves to them, and for the mortifying of the deeds of the Flesh in the Elect by power of the spirit in them. And though the Law of Moses, was added, be­cause of transgession, servient to civilize and moralize by the re­probate and the Elect, by the common corrupt Light, Reason, Knowledge, and Understanding; there is remaining to them both in their corrupt nature, whereby they also do many things (though fayling and corruptly) and that according to that Law good in the estimation of men, yet there is great difference betwixt these corrupted workes and doings of the Law of Moses wrought by the onely Power, Light and Reason of Nature, so remaining in man, and the works, and fruits of the spirit of Christ in the Elect of God, which have received the spirit of adoption where­of (by grace) they are made the instruments of the spirit, the branches of the Vine to beare forth the fruit, of [...] as Love, Joy, Peace, Gentlenesse, Long-suffering, Goodnesse, [...], Temperance, and such like commanded in the Spirituall Law of God.

[Page 96] For the corrupt Power, Light & Reason of Nature bringeth forth love fained more or lesse, Love to Friends to those that Love Mat. 5. 10 Rom. 12. 2 them. But the spirit of Christ bringeth love without dissimulation, love to enemies, The corrupt light of nature brings forth faith, that Joh. 14. 1 is, such as drinke love from God, but not in Christ, But the spirit of Christ bringeth forth faith unfained, faith in God, and in love of 1 Tim. 1. [...] Christ, For mans power of believing can go no further then A­dams in innocency, know God but no other. Eph. 14. 1.

Therefore Christ said, you believe in God, believe also in Mee, Certainely man hath corrupted power left him in his corrupt na­ture, That hee can weakly and corruptly know the righteous Law Rom. 1. 19 and Commandement of God: (for that the Apostle saith) what so ever is to be known of God, is manifest in them: for God hath shew­ed it unto them, yea the Apostle saith, they know the Law of God, how that they which commit such things are worthy of death.

And man hath not onely power left by nature, to know the just Law, though weakly, but also to believe God, in the same; That, hee that doth it shall live, and he that doth it not shall die, yea also hee hath reason, (though corrupt) to discerne, to judge, to pray, to obey, to repent, & to endeavour the same, though all these weakely and corruptly. Which of these powers of nature and duties of the Law did not Caine Ismael, Esau, Pharo, Saul, Ahab, Baalam, Balach and Judas, doe, exercise and use the Scribes and Parisees, Heathens and Publicans did, and doe the same, yea, the Divels themselves confesse God and his Christ. They believe and tremble, they pray Christ for many things, this power of theirs con­rupted Iam. 2. 19 Mat. 8. 31 nature remaineth to them all the power of mans nature, corrupted remaineth to him. And naturall man doth not (of his power left,) these things onely outwardly, but also inwardly and according to his corrupt heart, termed conscience, and therefore counteth it righteousnesse, yea in some through morall helpes of Examples, Education, Teaching and Industry is exceeding Righte­ousnesse, in the Estimation of men, as Paul accounted those of himselfe, advantageous righteousnesse, righteousnesse that would doe him much good with God, but (Christ manifesting himselfe Phil. 3. 7, 8, 9 unto him) hee then thought, counted, and judged them all to be losse and dunge for Christs sake, for the excellent Knowledge of Christ, for to injoy Christ. And desired to be found in Christ not having his own righteousnesse which is of the Law, but that which is through the Faith of Christ, even the righteousnesse [Page 98] which is of God, through Faith, because that which is Christs im­puted and accounted to man of grace, is onely in estimation with God, and nothing of mans own, though never so seemly, accord­ing to the Law and Commandement, as his Faith and obedience, repentance and all righteousnesse thereof.

Object. Christ commandeth, Let your light so shine before men, that they seeing your good workes may glorifie your Father which is in Heaven. Christ calleth their workes good workes that he exhor­teth Mat. 5. 16. them to doe; yea, shining good workes before men, such as whereby the Father in Heaven is, or may be glorified, as may bring glory before men to God, surely Gods glory is in estimati­on with God as good, and so these are good workes that cause, and bring Gods glory, even in Gods respect.

Answ. Christ as God hath authority to exhort and command men what hee pleaseth, in his corrupted state to do the righteous workes of the Law and Commandement; God lost not of his Power by mans sinne, though man lost of his own power, that God had indowed him withall in his Creation by his sinning, And man corrupted, is still under the command, and Law of God (as hee is naturall) and hath corrupt knowledge of the same, and the righteousnesse thereof, and corrupt power left him to indea­vout. or doe the worke of the Law and Command, (yet, his knowledge and power, being wholy corrupted & leavened in every part by sinne) for the Apostle saith, A little leven, leveneth the whole Iump, all mans indeavours and woe, therefore must needs be 1 Cor. 4. corrupted and leavened and so not good, and righteous in the sight and estimation of good, though never so seemly good in the sight and estimation of men. God doth not approve of the same as good to his honour and glory; being leavened with corrup­tion and sinne, which is loathsome and pollution to his Purenes. Yet these workes may be good and to Gods glory in the corrupt sight & estimation of men; And that which Christ exhorteth unto, is the good and righteous worke to Gods glory, in the estimation of men. Man doth not the worke that glorifieth God, in Gods owne estimation, nor can doe that; Yet those which are Christs Elected of God, doe the righteous and good workes of the Com­mandement in Christ, and the same done of Christ is (of grace) is imputed and accounted to them, whereby God hath great glory, yea and is held forth in them, and by them, as hee plea­seth, to make them the instruments of his Spirit then to elect to Gods glory.

Usefull Meditations and Resolutions.

THe Apostle saith, Christ is all in all, Col. 3. 11. I take it the meaning is, all goodnesse, righteousnesse, holinesse to God, all that pleaseth and is in acceptance to God for man; And Christ is, in all that are good, righteous, holy, pleasing and acceptable to 2 Cor. 13. 5 God, through him, do yee not know that except Christ Jesus be in you, yee are reprobates? saith the Apostle. And it is only in Christ, in them, that they are good, righteous, holy, pleasing, and accepted with God, it is Christ and that which is Christs, which is only in respect and e­steem with God; and nothing of our own, as David saith, my goodnes Psal. 16. 3 or weldoing extendeth not to thee, O Lord, or is nothing unto thee, but to the Saints that are upon the Earth, Ps. 16, 2, 3. To this agreeth that of the Apostle, Christ Jesus is made unto us Wisdome, and Righteous­nesse, 1 Cor. 1. 30 and Sanctification and Redemption.

And some object, nothing of mans own, his own faith and pray­ers in his own prayse please God, nor is acceptable to God; Then wherefore should or do men pray to God, or give thanks to God all in vaine?

Ans. 1. That that hath authority hath commanded, that is enough Christ, though all be not worth Gods looking on, which is done.

2. The Heathens and Publicans, the Scribes, Pharises, yea the Devils did the same upon slavish feare, and other respects. If thou do not, thou shewest thy self worse then those.

3. For morality and example to men, Though my goodnesse ex­tendeth Psal. 16. 23. not to thee, O Lord, saith David, yet it doth extend to the Saints upon Earth.

4. Because Christ the Vine maketh the Elect of God, & is known to beare such grapes, The instruments of his Spirit, to hold forth such fruits as are pleasing and acceptable to God, though man can­not of himself please God with such of his own.

The Apostle saith, The promise was made not to the seede as of man, but to the seed as of one, which is Christ, Gal. 3. 16. agreeing to that word of promise, The seede of the Woman shall bruise the Serpents head, Gen. 3. And Christ did believe the promise.

From hence I take it, followeth that the Covenant of grace, and promise was made onely to Christ, in whom all the Elect of God were as all mankinde was in Adam by naturall Creation; And the promise was to the Elect as they are in Christ, one with Christ, [Page 100] Members of Christ. Therefore the Elect in Christ are not to chal­lenge the promise of grace made to themselves, but from Christ made to Christ, and only made to them, as they are in Christ, in that I live (saith the Apostle) I live by the faith in the Sonne of God, Gal. 2. 20. It is Christs faith that Paul lived by. It is a common publique confession. Our best occasions are great abominations, and I take it, this is intended of our Believing, Praying, Obeying, Thanksgiving, Repenting, and the like.

If these be great abominations to God, they cannot pacifie nor please God, neither sanctifie us to God. Yet Believing, Praying, Obeying, Thanksgiving, Repenting being of the spirit of Christ The fruits of the spirit are acceptable of God, God is well pleased in his Rom 8. 27 Son Christ, and in him only pleased, Christ maketh request for his saints according to the will of God. Some say, Faith is a condition of mans part to be performed of man in Gods Covenant of grace, for the obteining and injoying the promise and grace; And before man hath performed the condition of Faith, and believing he hath nei­ther interest in the promise nor grace, nor can have, for the pro­mise of grace is upon mans performance of Faith, as they say.

But I take it, if this were so, then Faith is, or was neither a grace of God to man, nor of grace, nor the gift of God to man of grace, but of nature, which is contrary to the Scripture. It is not of our selves saith the Apostle, it is the gift of God. Eph. 2. 8. Faith is given by the spirit, 1 Cor. 12. 9. Faith is the fruit of the spirit. Gal. 5. 22. I say if of gift, then of grace, if of grace and the spirit to man [...] then grace and that spirit is to the man before Faith, the gift, the Heb. 12. 1 Fruit, the Tree is alwayes before the Fruit. Iesus is the Author and Finisher of our Faith we have Jesus must keepe us to worke the Faith before the Faith Wrought in us.

Sol. The gift of Faith, which is of grace given, is the hinderance and manifestation of the grace of Christ, and Faith is the first light of salvation by the spirit is manifested. Some say, as when Lazarus was quickned to his naturall Life againe by Jesus, and raised out of his grave, hee walked; So when a man is quickened and raised up spiritually by Christ, he is made able to walk in the wayes and com­mandements of God to do the works of godlinesse, righteousnesse and holinesse.

But I take it the similitude holdeth only thus, Lazarus was dead naturally before men, and was quickned and raised up miraculously by Christ before men. So the Elect before they were loved and [Page 101] elected in Christ out of the company of the children of wrath be­fore God, were dead in trespasses and sins before God, and after they were elected in Christ of God to be holy and without blame before him in love. They were quickned together, and raised up together in Christ Jesus before God, as Ephes. 2. 1. 5, 6. And they walked in Christ, in all godlinesse, righteousnes and holinesse, before God; But herein the similitude holdeth not that as Lazarus was quick­ned and raised up by Christ to naturall Life, and naturall action, and seated in himselfe by the power of nature left to man though weakned by the transgression. So Christ quickneth and raiseth up his Elect to spirituall Life, and the power and action of spirituall Life inherent, and seated in themselves in the naturall man, either in soule or body, as Life of godlinesse, righteousnesse and holinesse, were inherent, and seated in Adam before his innocency, or as naturall Life, Powers and Actions, (though corrupt and weake) are still inherent, and seated naturally in man, and other creatures. For though the Elect of God be quickned and raised up to Life, yet this is onely in Christ, as Eph. 2. 5. 6. God hath quickned us toge­ther in Christ: Hee hath raised us up together, and made us sit toge­ther in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. So the Apostle, yet it is notGal. 2. 20I that us now live, but Christ liveth in me, and in that, that I now live in the flesh, I live by the Faith of the Sonne of God, and so againe (saith the Apostle) yee are dead, and your Life is hid with Christ. Col. 3. 3. The Elect are still dead in themselves, onely alive in Christ, hidden in Christ, till corruptible hath put on incorruptible, and mortall hath put on immortality, then is brought forth the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in Victory. In Christ wee live, wee move and have our being, meaning of spirituall Life, Acts 14. 28. our spirituall Life, Power, Motion, Action or being is inherent and seated onely in Christ, not in our selves, and is ours onely by gift, imputation, and of grace by our union with Christ.

The Scriptures saith, that God did elect Paul in Christ before the Eph. 1. 4 Foundations of the World, to be holy and without blame before him in love. Therefore Christ was with God before the World, and Paul was with God before the World, And so the company of the children of wrath were with God before the World, out of which Paul was elected and chosen to be loved, holy and without blame before God, that is, to be adopted one of Gods holy and blamlesse children through Christ. Certainly after Paul was elected in Christ before the world to be holy and without blame before God, and Eph. 1. 5. [Page 102] adopted one of Gods children through Christ, Paul did not be­come the child of wrath againe, by sinning, nor was unholy and blamelesse before God, after hee was elected of God in Christ to be holy and without blame before God in love, and adopted one of Gods children, but was still holy and without blame before God in Love, although in the flesh he sinned, he was still the child of God, The Foundation of God is sure, The gifts and calling of God are without repentance. If Paul should have become the child of 1 Tim. 2. 19 Rom. 11. wrath before God by sinning, after he was elected and adopted Gods child through Christ, hee must have been often the child of wrath and the child of God, and often none of the children of God, and after elected and adopted which hath no testimony; And if Paul was foreknowne of God, and was so predestinate that he had the gift and calling of God before the World, that he was actually elected and adopted with God, and was ever after loved of God in Christ, and holy and without blame before God. No doubt but Paul was also justified and glorified, in which, and through Christ before God and with God, before the world unto whom all is present, although in respect of the creature, and to the creature the same appeare, and is manifested in appointed and fulnesse of time. So the Apostle saith, hee hath quickned and hath raised us up, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Eph. 2. 5. Jesus; He doth not say he will quicken and will raise againe. But saith those that he knew before he also hath quickned, and hath Rom. 29. 30 raised up and predestinated to be made like to the Image of his Sone. And whom hee predestinated them also hee called, and whom he called those also hee justified, and whom hee justified them also hee glorified; he doth not say, that those which God knew before the World, and predestinated before the World, he would call, and justifie and glorifie afterward, but he saith, those that he knew be­fore predestinate, those also hee Called, Justified, and Glorified in present.

From this notion we may conclude that the World, Adam, Eve, Elect, and reprobate were with God in Gods Sight before the World was, and Christ in manifestation of the creature and before Adam produced of the dust, and Eve of the rib in manifestation to the creature.

Christ saith, That which is of the flesh is flesh, and that which is of the spirit is spirit; And Paul saith of himselfe, I am carnall, sold Joh. 3. 6 Rom. 7. 14 under sinne, And againe, in me, that is, in my selfe, dwelleth no good [Page 103] thing, And the Prophet Esay saith of himselfe, and others like Isa. 64. 6 himselfe, All our righteousnesse is as filthy ragges. Therefore Pauls, and Isayes, and such mens Faith, Love, Obedience, Justice, Repen­tance and the like, is carnall, corrupted and filthy, and whose not? And therefore might truly say, wee are altogether corrupt, That which is of the Spirit of Christ is Christs, not mans, as Spirituall Faith, Love, Obedience, Righteousnesse, Repentance, all Fruits of the Spirit; They are mans onely as man by grace is made the branch of the Vine Christ. The instrument of the Spirit to beare and hold forth the Grapes and Fruits of the Spirit in manifestation; and as they are imputed and accounted of grace to man.

Give unto Caesar that which is Caesars, and to God that which is Gods, Let us not rob God of his own.

Some say that although mans Prayers, and Prayses be corrupted and Levened with sin, yet by the grace of Christ they are made good, pleasing and acceptable to God.

Sol. But I take it, Christ covereth sin (as David saith) Blessed is the man, whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sin is covered, And Christ came to take away sinne as the Apostle saith, Christ appeared Ps [...] ▪ 32. 1, 2. that he might take away our sinnes, and lose the workes of the Divell. 1 Joh. 3. 5, 8 And grace and mercy passeth by offences, but Christ and grace doth not make evill good, as hee doth not call evill good, nor doth make sin righteousnesse, the sin of the flesh being taken away, co­vered, and passed by in the prayers of the Elect of God. The Rom. 8, 27. Prayer of the Spirit which alwayes maketh request according to the Will of God, That is good, pleasing and acceptable to God.

Snares of Popery Discovered.

BEcause the Apostle saith, wee shall or may all appeare before the 2 Cor. 5. 10 judgement Seat of Christ, that every man may receive the things which are done in the body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or evill.

And againe the Apostle in the Person of Christ speaketh, I come Rev. 22. 1 [...] shortly and my reward is with me, to give every man, according as his worke shall be.

And againe, the unjust man is abhomination to the Lord, and shall Pro. 29. 27 1 Cor. 6. 9 ont inherit the Kingdome of Heaven.

And againe, every one of us (saith the Apostle) shall give acconnt of himslefe to God. Rom. 14. 12.

[Page 104] First, from these and like places of Scripture some say that Be­lievers, as Unbelievers shall all appear before the judgement Seat.

Secondly, shall give account of all done in the body, and by word or deed, whether the same be good or evill.

Thirdly, that the elected Believers have done, and do in the body (that is) whilst they are in the Body, evill, in word and deed, as also good and that Unbelievers and Reprobates do evil and good also.

Fourthly, that Believers and Unbelievers elect and reprobate, shall receive a reward proportionable to that they have done in the Body, whether good or evill.

Fifthly, that they which have been unjust in the Body in this Life (that is) have done evill, although they be Believers are all abho­mination to the Lord, and shall not inherit the Kingdome of Heaven.

Sixtly, That Christs undertaking and performance for the elect, was to pay the debt, for the generall fin of Adam, onely for the which fault (as the Apostle saith) came on all men to condemnation, And for the rest in this Life, To give the grace of power to the Rom. 5. 18 elect to fu [...]fill the Law, and do the commandement (as man is obliged thereto by the Law of God) for the justification and sal­vation, at their own will and choise upon paine of receiving a just reward of God at the day of account for their failing.

Seventhly, to make good their collection, from these Scriptures in the Letter, because the Apostle of Christ saith, in earnest of him­selfe and all Believers, In many things we sin all, and all the evill Jam. 3. 2 which I would not, that I do (meaning in the body.) And againe, by the works of the Law shall no flesh be justified, by no works done in the body. Rom. 7. 15 And againe, the Law maketh nothing perfect, meaning holy and righteous in the sight of God. And again, If perfection had been by the Rom. 3. 20 Law what need had there been of Christ? saith the Apostle; And so, Heb. 7. 19. because from hence with the other forecited Scriptures, It must necessarily follow that no man, neither Believers nor Unbelievers Heb. 7. 11 shall be justified, saved and inherit the Kingdome of Heaven.

Therefore they adde that God hath his Book, wherein he hath the number of all the sins and good deeds of men (as Job speakes) Thou hast numbred my steps, and dost not delay my sins, And God hath the Job 14. 16. Ballance of his Sanctuary, wherein he shall weigh the sins of men (as he commanded the Prophet) to cut off the numberlesse haires of his head (signifying the sinnes of the People) and weigh them in the Ballance; And God charged Moses, that hee should do justly in judge­ment Ezek. 5. 1. [Page 105] according to line, weight, and measure, which (no doubt) he doth, Lev. 19. 35▪ and will ever doe himself. And God cried, woe, to the Scribes and Pharises for omitting the weighty matters of the Law, whereby it appea­reth that God weigheth and will weigh the workes of his Law, done by Mat. 23. 23 men. And as God shall finde at the time of his judgement, the sinnes of men (Believers or Unbelievers) to be in his arithmeticall account, more, or lesse then his righteous and good deeds, and in his geometricall account, as he shall find his good deeds weighty, or lighter then his evill done in the body, so he shall give to every man as his worke shall be, every man shall receive according to that he hath done in the body, whether it be good or evill.

Yet (say they) It is the Justice of God (which is alwayes mixt with mercy) That to the man whose good deeds overcome his bad, the good reward should be given unto him, and that hee should receive the same which the Apostle proveth in plaine words (say they) To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the Tree of Life, which is in the midst of the Paradice of God. See more, Rev. 2. 17. and Rev. 2 [...] 7 3. 21. And therefore (say they) the Apostle adviseth Believers to provide that they may overcome, when they are judged, and to over­come evill with that goodnesse; And this (say they) is according to Rom. 3. 4 Rom. 12. 2 [...] the proportion of Justice shewed of God to men, and practized of the wisest, To give the Crown and reward according to the greater voyce. And likewise that the reward of evill should be given accordingly unto him, whose evill deeds overcome his good in Gods said account.

And yet further they adde, because the Apostle saith, the unjust shall not inherit the Kingdome of Heaven, That the man which overcometh in the number and weight of his good deeds, because Rev. 14. 13 the works of every man followeth (as the Apostle saith) his works follow him; They and their workes must (before they shall inhe­rit Heaven) go through Purgatory; The evill of the workes must be burnt, and themselves purged with the fire of purgatory (which 1 Cor. 3. 13. 15 they confirmed by the words of the Apostle, It shall be revealed by fire, The fire shall try every mans worke of what sort it is, but hee shall be safe himselfe, yet as it were by fire.

And they adde further, that whereas some of the sinnes of Be­lievers are not unto death, called veniall sinnes, which are to be prayed, and offer pardon for, upon repentance▪ and for repentance thereof (as the Apostle saith) there is a sin which is not unto death for which let him aske, and God shall give him Life for the sinnes which 1 Joh. 5. 16 [Page 106] are not unto death; And there is a sinne unto death (called mortall sinne) I say not that thou shouldst pray for it, for par­don or repentance; All unrighteousnesse is sin, but there is a sin not unto death, They are, For the veniall sins, sins not unto death of Believers, which they or other have prayed for, and repented of, Life is given already, as purged, those sinnes are done away and come not to account, of number and weight. But onely the mor­tall sinnes, and the veniall sinnes of Believers unprayed for and un­repented of.

But I take it such as these erre not, knowing the Scriptures, unto whom the Gospell is hid.

For although all shall appeare before the judgement Seat, give account, and receive according to their workes done in the body, good or evill, yet all shall not appeare alike, give account alike, &c.

The Gospell is, that believers shall appeare, by, and with their ad­vocate 1 Joh. 2. 2. Jesus Christ the righteous, we have an Advocate with the Fa­ther 1 Joh. 2. 1. 2 Jesus Christ the righteous, and he is the propitiation for our sins, The Believers shall appeare as vessells of honour. The Believers shall appeare in glory, when Christ shall appeare, wee shall also appeare in Rom. 9. 21 glory. Collos. 3. 4

Believers shall appeare with boldnesse, as Lyons, The righteous shall be bold as Lyons. Pro. 28. 1.

Christ is their Judge and Advocate, and Mediator for their sinnes, Eph. 3. 12 as he was the Sacrifice and Sacrifices. None shall lay any thing to their charge, for it is Christ their Judge, that justifieth them. 1 Joh. 2. 1. 2

But Unbelievers and Reprobates shall appeare naked, clothed Rom 8. 33 with nothing but the Fig Leaves, or the unavailable workes of the Law, by themselves, without any advocate to plead for them, or Rev. 3. 17. maketheir peace, As vessells of dishonour with shame and reproofe: In feare and trembling, having sinne, the Law, the Divell, death and Isa. 53. 6 Hell all against them, laying those which they have done in the body to their charge.

So Believers shall give account by their undertaker their advo­cate Jesus Christ the righteous, which is the propitiation for their Collos. 2. 14 sinnes, upon whom God hath laid all their iniquities, and which hath taken their infirmities upon him, which hath put out the hand writing of Ordinances that was against them, he even tooke it out of the way and fastened it upon his Crosse, of whose Soule God did see the travell and Esa. 53. 11 was satisfied with it for their sins, of his Elect to their justification, for he shall beare their iniquities, saith the Prophet.

[Page 107] [...] [...] [...] is discharged and satisfied, and nothing is to be [...]aid [...] the charge of Gods Elect, Christ is the Account and, the Accounter for Be­lievers.

But infidels and reprobates must and shall account for all their sins, themselves.

And so Believers and Unbelievers shall receive according to that which they have done in the body, whether it be good or evill. But it ought to be understood not as it is good or evill before men, in the estimation of men, that they have done; But as it is good, or evill before God in Gods estimation.

Now as before God in Gods estimation, all that [...]probates and unbelievers speak and do, in the body, is evill; however the [...] or any thereof, be good, in the estimation of men. So before God that the Elect believers do in the body is not evill before God, al­though in the sight and estimation of men, much or all, be evill; For, the Apostle saith, And they were elected of God in Christ before the Foundation of the World, to be holy and without blame before God, in love. And no doubt but that which God elected them unto, they after their election, we, are, and ever shall be before him, holy and without blame before him in all their doings in the body, however Eph. 1. 4. their doings are in the fight and estimation of men. The Founda­tion of God remaineth sure, and hath this Seale, The Lord know­eth 2 Tim. 2. 1 [...] who are his (saith the Apostle) upon the esteem of Gods election.

So then it must needs follow (all the doing in the body of the Elect Believers being good, holy, and without blame before God in love) That the elect Believers shall receive a good reward of God according to that they have done in the body before God.

Againe, the sin before God of all believers doings is taken away by Christ, the undertaker to beare, pay and do all for them to the justification and salvation (as the Apostle saith) Christ appeared that 1 Joh. 3. 5 Isa. 53. 6 [...]e might take away our sinnes, as the Father had laid their iniquities, all, upon him. And God looketh not upon Believers, and their do­ings in the body, as they appeare unto men, But he looketh upon them as they are elected in Christ, as they appeare in Christ, holy and without blame before him, in love.

[Page 108] Neither is the Gospell of Jesus Christ, That Christs underta­kings a [...]d performances for the Elect, was to pay the debt for the generall sin of Adam only that came over all men to condemnati­on. And for the rest only to give the Elect, the grace of power to fulfill the Law, and doe the Commandement, as man is obliged thereto by the Law of God for their justification and sanctificati­on, at their own will and choise upon paine of receiving a just re­ward of God at the day of account for their failing. But the Gos­pell of Jesus Christ is more, and better to the elect of God, for the 1 Co [...]. 15. 3. Gospell is, That Jesus Christ died for our sins, and rose again for our justification; That he died for the sins of the elect done in the bo­dy 1 Joh. 2. 1. 2 also. If any man (meaning of the elect) for whom onely Christ died, that is, If any man do (in the body) sin, we have an Advo­cate with the Father Jesus Christ the righteous, and he is the propitia­tion for our sinnes done in the body, of our selves, not only for the gene­rall sin of Adam, but also for our own done of us.

Neither is the Gospell of Jesus Christ, That the undertaking and performance of Christ for the elect, is to give them the grace of power to fulfill the Law, and do the Commandement for their ju­st [...]fication and salvation (as is aforesaid) For then the Prophet Isay would not have said, All our righteousnesse is as filthy ragges, and David, and Paul would not have said, There is none that doth good, Isa 64. 6 Psal. 14 3 Rom. 3. 10, 11, 12. Rom. 7. 18 no not one, and Paul would not have said, in mee that is, my flesh, dwelleth no good thing, and I find no meanes to perform that which is good before God; And again, By the workes of the Law shall no flesh be justified in Gods sight, And Paul would not have desired that he might not be found in Christ, having his own righteousnes, which is Rom. 3. 10 Gal. 2. 16 Psal. 3. 9. of the Law. No, Christ did not give his elect, the grace of power to do the workes of the Law, and Commandement of God for their just [...]fication before God; For then Paul doing of the workes of the Law would have done him some good for his justification, he would not have accounted them drosse and d [...]ng.

Yea, the Gospell is, that Christ the undertaker is to do all things himselfe for his elect, for their justification before God, and for their salvation, and of grace to impute his righteous doings for them, unto them, for their righteousnes before God, and of grace to make them his instruments of his holy Spirit, to beare and bring forth the fruits thereof, as he pleaseth, as the branch is made the [Page 109] instrument of the Vine, to bring forth grapes of the Vine, sweet an, good unto me; I am the Vine (saith Christ) you are the Branches Joh. 15. 4, 5 but have no power of your selves to do any thing, to bring forth any Grapes any good fruit, without me, you can do nothing.

And it is Christ the undertaker for the elect, which by his righte­ousnes and righteous performances, and in the behalfe of the elect overcometh in number, measure and weight the sins of the Elect for them: unto which the Apostle aliudeth, where he saith, If sinne abounded, grace abounded much more, the righteous performances of Christ imputed of grace to the elect believers abound much Rom. 5. 20 more in number, measure and weight then the sins of the Elect, whereby they overcome: therefore the Apostle saith, Thanks be unto God, which hath given us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Cor. 15. 5 [...]

And Christ the undertaker hath gone through all the purgatory for the Elect, with all their unrighteousnesse laid upon him by the Father of mercies, wherein he indured the buffetting of Fists, The Isa 53. 6. spitting on his Face, The scou [...]ging with Roddes, The rayling and revying of tongues, The peircing of na [...]les, The bitternes of Gall, The sweating of water and bloud, The peircing of the spear, yea, in his humane sense, The desertion of God, The fire and fury of Gods wrath for sin, The terror of death, The descention into hell; And all for the burning and consuming of the sins of his elect, for the purging by his bloud, That they themselves might have an entrance made into Heaven, into which it is sure there en­tereth no uncleane thing. The bloud of Jesus Christ is the purgation of all the sins of the elect, There is no purgatories of sin after this Life They are then blessed in Christ for ever, see Psal. 32. 1. 2. The bloud of 1 Joh. 17. man in purgatory cannot purge sin.

And whereas they collect from the words of the Apostle (which saith) There is a sin not unto death, and there is sin unto death, and so forth. That both the sin not unto death, and the sin unto death are 1 Joh. 9. 16. 17 the sins of the Elect Believers; They utterly mistake the meaning of the Apostle, for all sin, which is sin before God is manifested in the Scriptures to be sin unto death; The soule that sinneth shall die (saith the Prophet) The reward of sin is death (saith the Apostle) But Ezech. 18. [...]. Rom. 6. 23 it is made cleer before that the elect after they were elected in Christ the holy and without blame before God in love, which they cannot be if God seeth sin in them, if they had the fulnes of sin in [Page 110] them, [...] God still, which is alwayes loathsome, blamefull and [...] to God; The sin that i [...] not unto death is the sin of [...] transgression of the Law before men, in the est [...]ation of men, whose sin (before God) Christ hath taken away. And the sin u [...]o death is the sin of reprobates and unbelievers, whose sin is all unto death, and alwayes sin before God.

Of the Law.

THe Law of God to man, was for mans performance of righte­ousnes upon eternall penalty before God, (The failing wher­of soreknown) Christ undertooke to performe the Law of Christ to man, is for performance of righteousnesse before men upon temporall penalty.

Of the Law remaining and the Law [...] in Christ to the Elect.

Because the Apostle of Christ saith (Christ is the end of the Law Rom. 10 4 for righteousnes unto every man that believeth) and that he againe saith couching Believers, yee are no more under the Law, but under grace. Rom 6. 1 [...]

Some collect from thence, that the Law of God called the Law of nature, and of workes given manifested to Adam in Paradice in the time of his innocency and power, and the same Law expoun­ded and manifested by Moses to the Church, or people of God, the Israelites in Mount Sinay called the Morall Law, and also the Levi­ticall and ceremoniall Law; And all Law of God for righteous­nesse is ended in Christ to believers, no Law for righteousnesse re­quiring performance by the Elect, hath any thing to do with them, nor they with the Law.

And some say that these words of the Apostle do not hold forth, That Christ is the end of the Morall Law for righteousnes before God to Believers; Believers are still under the command, power and ob­ligation o [...] the Morall Law for righteousnes before God (that is) to do the workes of righteousnes before God, that onely the pe­nalty and condemnation of the Morall Law, for omission of doing the righteous workes of the Law, and for their doings of unrighte­ousnes and sin against and contrary to the Morall Law, is ended [Page 111] and taken away by Christ. And that the ceremoniall Law the Le­v [...]c [...]ll Rom. 6. Law, and the Judiciall given or manifested by Moses [...] people o [...] Church of the Israelites, which [...]d the Figure and relation to Christ to come in the flesh, and his performances in the flesh, and to that notion of people [...] were only ended in Christ to believers: unto which the words of the Apostle Christ i [...] the end of the Law for righteousnes, to all Believers, have the re­ference only, say they.

Sol. But I take it both these have defection and error. The former holding forth that all Law of God given to man for righteousnes is ended in Christ, to all Believers, which is only truth thus. That all Law of God given to man for righteousnes before God in Gods sight, righteousnesse is ended and fulfilled in Christ, for the Elect; For that was the matter of Christs undertaking for his Elect Believers, I came (saith Christ) not to destroy the Law but to Mat. 5. 1 [...] fulfill it. [...] [...]e said to Iohn Baptist, wher [...] he refused mo­ [...] Mat. 3. 1 [...] to Baptize him, (as if hee should have said) I have under­taken to fulfull all righteousnes of the Law before God for the Elect of God it behoveth mee so to do hinder not me, therefore to Mal. 3. 1. do it in the lest, let me be Baptised of thee, Thou art the messenger I have sent; And to that purpose the Apostle saith, As by one mans Gal. 2. 2 [...] disobedience many were made sinners. So by the obedience of one, shall many be made righteous, we are made righteous by Christ (saith the Apostle) Christ is our righteousnes, all which is meant before God. So that though there was a Law of God made to man, that charged all men upon paine to do their workes in righteousnesse before God, which they had power also given them to doe, but by their own fault, had lost it utterly; yet the Christ of God having un­dertaken to pay the transgression of the same Law, and to per­forme the full righteousnesse thereof before God for the Elect Believers, God delivered up that Law binding the Elect to righte­ousnesse before God, which now, had no power to do the same, and which his Christ had undertaken to do and had performed; For the Elect Believers before God, being therewith satisfied Isa. 53. 12 (as the Prophet speaketh) yea God delivered that binging Law touch­ing the Elect of God into the hand, power, disposition of his Christ, the Mediator. And therefore the Apostle saith, Christ is the end of the Gal. [...]. 19. Law for righteousnes to all believers, And that, Believers are not un­der [Page 112] the Law, but under grace. For there is no reason that when the Son hath paid the full debt, the bond shall lie still against the prin­cipall.

Yet I take it, that the Apostle did not intend in his words where he said, Christ is the end of the Law for righteousnesse to all Be­lievers, That is, the end of the Law for right [...]ousnsse before God, and also before men, to all Believers.

God did not intend in his first giving of Law to men, his own honour, service and duty to himselfe only, but also the mutuall service duty and good of men, one to another, as Christ plainly sheweth in his answer to the man that asked him, which was the great Commandement in the Law? Jesus said to him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, with all thy soule and with all thy minde. This is the first and the great Commandement. And the second is like unto this. Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thy self. Mat. 22. 37, 38, 39. On these two Commandements dependeth the whole Law, and the Prophet. And therfore Christ saith, Let your light so shine before men, Mat. 5. 16. Wee see God intended in his Law not onely duty to himselfe, but also to men; And that unto both upon penalty answerable and proportionable to the breach and offence of both (as the Law speaketh) Breach for breach, Eye for Eye, and Tooth for Tooth. And although man in his now corrupt nature can doe neither of the duties of these great Commandements of the Law righteously before God, in Gods sight, and estimation, Because the Rev. 24: Almighty and holy God as Creator of man, Lawgiver, and Com­mander of all (of infinite holines and righteousnes) requireth pu­rity and perfection in the performance of the duty of both the great Commandements, which therefore, he was pleased, his Christ should undertake for his Elect, and Christ was pleased to under­take, and hath performed to the full satisfaction of God for all righteousnes before God for them required of him, in mans per­formance Heb. 10. 7, 8, 9, 10. of the whole Law of God, even of both the great Com­mandements thereof of duty towards God, and duty towards man, so farre and so much as concerned God himselfe therein, and to the discharge to his Elect of the whole penalty thereto pretaining.

But for that duty of the Law, which concerne man himself to man, so far, and so much, as it only concerneth man, for duty of both Commandements of the whole Law before men, in the sight and [Page 113] estimation of men, good, and righteous to be performed according to the corrupt knowledge, reason, and power left to man, Christ (by his undertakings and performance for believers) is not the end of the Law so far, and so much, but this part and purpose of the Law remaineth still for righteousnes before men, in the sight and esti­on of men, and the onely temporall proportionable reward and pe­nalties thereof to believers, for the reward and penalty of Christs Law given in grace to his Church redeemed, cannot bee eternall to them.

And that must needs be so, For otherwise in the Church of Christ upon Earth, visible to men, which is the whole company of men professing themselves to be believers, whereof, no doubt, but there are abundance of Hypocrites (I say) otherwise without Law for the righteousnes before men, There would be, nor could be Religion or Worship, nor Safety, Society, or Comfort amongst men one with another (considering the many Wolves among the Sheepe, the many unknowne Hypocrites among the true Believers.) Isa. 9. 6. Eph. 5. 23

Againe, all bearing the name of Christians, acknowledge Christs government of his Church upon Earth, Christ to be the governour and head of his Church (as the Prophet saith) The Government is upon his shoulders, And the Apostle saith, Christ is the head of his Church. Now no government can be without a Law, no governour governeth without a Law, no doubt but Christ hath a Law where­by he governeth his Church for worship to God, safety, society and comfort thereof before men. And no doubt but this is that Law given in grace (God being satisfied by Christ for righteousnesse before himselfe touching his Elect Believers) which (the Apostle saith) was ordeined by Angels in the hand of a Mediatour, and which God had delivered up unto his Christ (which had satisfied Gal [...]3. 19 him) the Mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus, That hee thereby might govern his Church upon Earth in righte­ousnesse 1 Tim. 2. 5 before men. By this remainder of the Law for righteous­nes before men, hath Christ ever fithence his Church was upon Earth governed his Church. Instruments upon Earth (such as hee pleased) to fit for it and assigne to his kingly, priesty and prophe­ticall Offices,

But Christs most glorious, gracious government of his Church [Page 114] upon Earth; First, remarked for a patterne to all his Churches in the holy Scriptures by his instruments is in his Church of Israel, which we may see held forth in the Bookes called Exodus, Levi­ticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy, &c. There we may see, Christ [...] himself to his Church in the government thereof by his [...] (which [...] by his spirit had fitted, and was pleased) and most gloriously and graciously first settled, when his Church Exod. 19. 3 [...] grown into a great visibility upon Earth. For, effecting of which, First, he called Moses his principall prepared instrument un­to him in Mount Sinai, appointing him, to tell and deliver unto the people the Law in his hand, as hee was the Mediator, which did so, saying to them, God spake these words and said, I am the Lord thy God which brought thee out of the Land of Egypt, and out of the House of bondage, &c. And who can do that this God and Christ the Mediator, in whose hand now the remainder of the Law was Gal. 3. 19. (as the Apostle speaketh) The undertaker for the Elect people of God, and the performance of all, what God did ever deliver the Elect of God out of any misery, or bring them out of spirituall, or bodily bondage, but Jesus Christ, which was before Abraham Joh. 8. 58 was, yea before the Foundations of the World, before God, although not in manifestation of the Law to the creatures before the fullnesse of time, Christ had delivered them the Elect people of God out of the spirituall bondage which they were in before God, the bondage of Sinne, the Devill, Death, Hell. And out of the bodily bondage that they were in Egypt; And therefore Moses said to them that this Christ of God, the Lord the God which had delivered them out of the Land of Egypt, and out of the house of all bondage both spirituall and bodily, was their Lord their God that spake these words to them, which they were to heare, to obey and do before men conscionably in their hearts, in the corrupt weake and fraile power of reason, and understanding they had, as before in this Law of Christ, Mercy, Repentance and Forgivenes have place in the other.

And to this accordeth (that of the Apostle) Servants be obedi­ent to them that are your Masters, according to the flesh, with feare Eph. 6. 5, 6, 7, 8 and trembling in singlenesse of heart as unto Christ, not with Eye­service, as men pleasers, but as the servants of Christ doing the will of God from the heart, with good will serving the Lord and not men. [Page 115] And know yee that whatsoever good thing a man doth, the same hee shall receive of the Lord, whether he be Bond or Free. All dissembling and hypocrisie in service before men, by the Law of Christ in the government of his Church, is cast out as worthy of penalty, and the service from the heart, of good will hath Rom 13. 2, 3. the reward of Christ proportionable to the service; And to this agreeth that of the same Apostle to the Church of Christ at Rome. Let every Soule be subject to the higher powers, for there is no power but of God (that is Christ) and the powers that be, are ordained of God (that is Christ) as Jesus himselfe said, All power is given unto mee, in Heaven and in Earth, And who should ordaine the powers on Earth, but hee to whom the power was given, of all in the earth? And further saith the Apostle, hee therefore that resisteth the power, resisteth the Or­dinance of God (that is of Christ) and reapeth to himselfe judge­ment (meaning before the power) for (saith he) Princes are not to be feared for good workes, but for evill. Wilt thou then be with­out feare of the power? doe well, then, So thou shalt have praise of the same (that is) not judgement of penalty but re­ward, For he is the Minister or Instrument of Christ, for thy wealth; but if thou dost evill feare the penalty, For hee bea­reth not the Sword for naught; For hee is the Minister of God (that is Christ that ordained him) to take vengeance on him that doth evill. Wherefore yee must bee subject not because of wrath onely, but also for conscience sake. For, for this cause yee pay tribute: for they are Gods (that is) Christs Ministers, applying them­selves for the same thing.

So that wee may see this Law given in grace, in the hand of the Mediator the man Christ Jesus, the bringer of his people out of all bondage manifested to his Church of Believers the Israelites, with Thunder and Lightning, Smoake and Fire, and the sound of the Trumpet, to incite the people, to heare, obey, and doe the same in singlenesse of Heart.

And which was by Christ himselfe written in Tables of stone, to shew the continuance thereof to men. And was deli­ved to Moses by Christ himselfe, as his principall chosen and fitted Minister and instrument, that hee (as Christ the Medi­ator did indite and guide him) might as the pen of Christ draw [Page 116] the branches of the whole body of the Law into such particulars, and so many, as were behovable and usefull for cleernesse and easinesse of understanding, and doing thereof to weake and corrupted man. And that Moses should call Aaron and his Sons, and the seaventy of the chosen Believers of Israel to joyn and bee assistants to him in the Ministry thereof in the severall branches thereof, for worship to God for Safety, Society and Comfort of the people among themselves: That is the Law Gal. 6. 2. Rom 3. 27 called the Law of Christ, The Law of Faith, The new Commande­ment love of one another. Joh. 13. 34.

This Law manifested then to this people by Christ, to bee Ministred in his Church of Israel by such instruments, as hee 1 Joh. 3. 8. 2 Joh 5. then particularly named, was after held on, in the Ministrati­on thereof, by, and in the time of Joshua, the believing Judges, Kings, Priests, Prophets; Yea, and by and in the time of the Apostles of Christ, still to be ministred, heard and obeyed be­fore men, in singlenesse of heart and conscious eyes as before Christ himselfe, of the whole Church of Christ upon Earth, upon proportionable temporall praise and reward to bee cer­tainly had of the conscionable observers. And upon proporti­onall temporall penalty to bee certainly inflicted (unlesse there be true Repentance) upon the failing therein before men by the successive ordained powers, instruments and Ministers of Christ, for prayse and vengeance according; And this Law to believers, the Apostle Paul most cleerly holdeth forth for continuance thereof, in his Epistle to the Church of Christ, at Rome, from the beginning of the twelfth Chapter, to the end of his Epistle both for the duties therein, and Ministry thereof, but most cleerly in thirteenth Chapter. It was onely the Church of Christ upon Earth, that Paul had respect unto, and a care of, and not of those which were without the Church: Neither did Christ intend and give his Law in grace, but onely to those and in respect to those which the Father had chosen in him, and given to him to redeem, not to the least children of wrath.

Quest. Hath repentance of the Elect place and power in the Law given in grace by the hand of the Mediator, the man Christ Jesus to quit the transgressors thereof before men from the temporall penalty of that Law?

[Page 117] Ans. Repentance which is true, and Faithfull Repentance hath place in this Law, and also power to quit the Believers which are transgression thereof before men, as their transgres­sion was transgression before men. This is plaine and evident by the expressions of Moses in many branches of this Law, indited by Christ himselfe, where Restitutions, Satisfactions and the like are admitted to quit the offender against the Law, and respect thereof before men. And the Prophets especially, in the Prophet Ezechiel his 18. Chapter, And John Baptist, Mat. 3. 2. and Christ himselfe Mark 1. 15. and the Apostles all shew that Repentance hath place in this Law of Christ, and power to quit offending believers from the transgression, and the penalty of their transgression before men.

But this true and faithfull Repentance must alwayes have these foure a juncts, godly sorrow for the Fault, confessing amendment of Life, and restitution with satisfaction to men be­fore men. Therefore the Apostle saith, godly sorrow causeth-Repentance unto salvation or safety; and the Apostle saith, con­fesse 2 Cor. 10. Mat. 3. 8 your faults one to another; And John Baptist preaching Re­pentance, saith, amend your lives; And the Law of Christ was Luke 3. at large for restitution to the acquitting of the Theefe, or like offen­ders. Exod. 22. 3. 5, 6. 12. And Zacheus when hee believed in Christ presently tendered restitution to all hee had taken any thing from wrongfully; And who can thinke there can be true repentance without sorrow Luke 19. 8. and griefe for the offence, whether it bee be in word or deed fore men? who will thinke that hee repente th that goeth on still in his sinne, and amendeth not at all? and if Repen­tance would quit Theeves, Deceivers, and Robbers, &c. without Satisfaction and Restitution, proud greedy Enemies, and corrupt man would thinke Robbing, Theeving, Deceive­ing; yea Treason, Murther, Slandering and the like a good Trade.

But the good and gracious Law of Christ is cleer, that al­though hee graciously admitteth of Repentance of sinnes in Believers to quit them of their sinnes before men, yet it must be not onely with godly Sorrow, Confession, and amendement of Life, but also with proportionable restitution and satisfaction to men to the uttermost of their abilities.

[Page 118] And to this purpose, Augustine a renowned Father [...]in Christs Church said, non dimititur peccatum nisi restituatur oblatum (That is sinnes) not forgiven unlesse restitution be made; And againe, without satisfaction there is no salvation, which is true thus, If Christ hath not satisfied God for thy sinne, Thou canst not have salvation before God; And if thou doest not satisfie men their Trespasse, Debt and Due to thy power, Thou canst have no sal­vation or safety before men, Thy repentance otherwise is not good, but thou art liable to the proportion able penalty still.

And as it was a great Love, and Grace of God to his Elect to admit of, and to be pleased with his Christs performance and satisfaction for their acquittance of sinne, and for their righteousnesse before God, which they could no way have made, or done, and where Repentance had no place (The Law being) doe this, and Live, doe it not and Die Eter­nally.

So was it a great Love, and grace, yea great Mercy of Christ, to his Elect Believers to make a way for and to admit of their Repentance, for the quitting of their sinne, and for their righteousnesse thereby before the Mediator, the Man Jesus Christ, and before all men.

And upon this great grace considered, It was, that the same Father in the Church of Christ saith, Our righteous­nesse is more in Repentance, and Forgivenesse of Sinne, then in righteousnesse of deeds and performances.

Although our worke of the Law and Command bee no righteousnesse before God, yet our Worke of the command, and our Repentance of the fayling our mercy and forgivenesse is righteousnesse before Men, This is Christs Law to Men, for the order and Government of his Church upon Earth; And this is worke enough for Gods people for righteousnesse before Men to the good and profit of men, although they presume not to build up unto Heaven unto God in Heaven (which is onely Christs Worke, as David said) my Goodnesse and Wel­doing Psal. 16. 2, 3 extendeth not to thee, O Lord, but to the Saints that are upon the Earth.

Quest. How are repenting Believers upon their repentancy unto [Page 119] satisfaction before Men, acquitted from their sinne and trans­gression of the Law, and the penalty thereof before Men, when as Sorrow, Confession, Amendment and Proportionable satis­faction for the Transgression, is as much as the Law requireth in the penalty?

Answ. As Repentance before men hath place in the Law of Christ; So saith Forgivenesse, and Mercy before Men, place in the Law of Christ. If thy Brother Trespasse against thee, and if hee repent, forgive him, and though hee sinne a­gainst thee seaven times in a Day, and seaven times in a Day, Mat. 17. 3, 4. turne againe to thee, saying, It repenteth mee, Thou shalt forgive him.

And so saith the Law of Christ, Hee that confesseth, and for­saketh his Sinne shall have Mercy. And to whom belongeth Prov. 28. 13. this Forgivenesse and Mercy? certainely to the penitent Be­lievers (as Christ saith) If hee repent forgive him, hee that confesseth, and forsaketh his Sinne shall have Mercy; yea, and CHRIST saith further, Forgive and it shall bee forgiven you, Luke 6. 37. If you doe forgive Men their Trespasses, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you; And if you forgive not Men, no more Mat. 6. 14, 15. will your Heavenly Father forgive you. And againe, Judge­ment Jam 3. 13. mercilesse shall bee to him that sheweth no Mercy, and Mercy rejoyceth against Judgement; And if hee that sorroweth godly for his Sinne before Men, confesseth ingenuously, a­mendeth righteously; and bee willing to satisfie before Men, for the Trespasse before Men, hath Mercy and Forgivenesse before Men; of his Transgression before Men; Is not this a suffi­cient acquittance unto the repenting Believer of his sinne, and the penalty thereof before men?

And againe, the Law of Christ bindeth as much to Mer­cy, and Forgivenesse to the penitent before Men; As it doth to the penalty of Transgressors thereof, and to Repentance before Men.

Againe, the true penitent Offender is acquitted from the Transgression before Men, and the penalty thereof by his true Repentance, although, hee, by hard-hearted, and merci­lesse Men bee holden to the extreame penalty of the Law for his Transgression, contrary to Christs Law of Mercy and [Page 120] Forgivenesse, For that hee suffereth hee suffereth willingly, and rejoyceth in his Tribulation (as the Apostle speaketh) now hee that suffereth willingly, and rejoyceth in his suffer­i [...]g by the comforts of the holy Spirit in him, hath not the paine of him that Suffereth unwillingly, and forced to suffer for the comforts, and joy that hee hath of the Spirit of Christ, doth slake, quench, and take away the Sting of the paine; That hee may say, O Death where is thy Sting (as the Apostle saith of such) through which comforts and joy of the Holy Ghost, many that have suffered Death in the Lord, have dyed rejoycing in the Lord, and in appearance to Men without paine; Whereby they have manifested themselves ac­quitted of their transgression, and the penalty of the Law, in the paine.

And the Repentance of Believers wrought up in them by Christ, doth not onely acquit them of the Sinne, and the penalty of the Law before Men; But it also testifieth to their owne Soules, and to other Men also, that they are living Branches in the Vine Christ Jesus; For (saith Christ) The Branch cannot beare Fruit of it selfe, except it abide in Joh. 15. 4: the Vine, No more can yee, except yee abide in Mee. No Man can repent, except hee be a living Branch abiding in Christ, and Christ in him. Hypocrites may counterfet Repentance and not repent truly.

And hee that liveth in Christ, and Christ in him, by his Spirit, hath the witnesse of his Adoption, that hee is one of Gods children through Christ, and so quitted of all Sinne, not onely before Men, but also (by the performance of Jesus Christ) of all Sinne before God. So the Apostle saith, Wee Joh. 8. 15. 16. have received the Spirit of Adoption, And the same Spirit wit­nesseth with our spirits, that wee are children of God; So that although Repentance acquitteth not of sinne before God, as it doth before Men, yet it by the Spirit of Christ, where­by it is wrought up in Believers witnesseth acquitance before God, to the Soules of the penitent, yea, and holdeth forth great hope and manifestation to others, that the same penitent Man is the child of God, and is quitted of his sinne before God. And even so it is of Obedience, Mercy, and Forgivenesse, wrought up [Page 121] by the Spirit of Christ, they also witnesse, evidence and testifie the same.

Quest. The Apostle saith of Believers, The Body is dead Rom. 8. 10 because of Sinne, And Paul saith of himselfe, I am carnall sold under Sinne, I finde no meanes to performe that which is Rom. 7. 14. Verse 18 Psal. 14. Isa 64. 6 good, And David saith, There is none that doth good no not one. And the Prophet I say said of himselfe, and other like himselfe, All our righteousnes is filthinesse.

I will bee their God, and they shall bee my people, I will never forsake them, and I will put such a feare into their hearts that they shall never depart from me, Jer. 32. 40.

Can therefore Believers doe the Commandements of the Law of Christ, in singlenesse of Heart before Men, and be­fore Christ, the Governour of his Church which knoweth all, as R [...]penting, Forgiving, Loving, Obeying, Praying, Praysing, Thanksgiving, and the rest, how it is faithfully done.

Answ. By the same power they did and doe believe in singlenesse of Heart; They can and may Repent, Forgive, Love, Obey, Pray, Praise, and give Thankes, and the rest in singlenesse of Heart; But indeed corrupt, and carnall dead Men in Sinne, cannot doe these or any of these, or the like, in singlenesse of Heart, whose Heart is corrupt, car­nall and dead in Sinne, sold under Sinne (as Paul was (as hee saith) in his best Estate. Indeed Man can Believe, Repent, Obey, Love, Pray, Praise, and give Thankes Car­nally, and Fainedly by the power of corrupt nature. As the Scribes and the Pharises did, and as Christ saith, the Heathens and Publicanes doe the same, but not in singlenesse of heart without dissimulation.

Therefore note the command of Christ to Reprobates, is, as he is God, and commander, his command to the Elect Believers, is, as hee is Undertaker to performe all righteousnesse impossible to them, by his Spirit in them, promised and sent to them to per­forme all.

The Mediatour betweene God and Man, the Man Christ Jesus our Saviour, Undertaker, and God that worketh in us Phil. 2. [...]. the Will, and the Deede, of his owne good pleasure (as [Page 122] the Apostle speaketh) doth all in us, which (the same Apostle saith) worketh all in all. It is hee that worketh in Believers, Believing, Loving, Repenting, Forgiving, Mercy, Obeying, Praying, Praising and Thanksgiving, and the 1 Cor. 12. 6. rest.

In singlenesse of Heart and sincerity, farre otherwise, how and wherefore should hee bee said to worke in Believers, the Will and the Deede? and to worke all in all, if it were not that hee worketh these and such like things of his owne good pleasure in them, which their owne corrupt power they have, cannot worke, and doe, in singlenesse of Heart, unfainedly, and without dissimulation. The Deed is Christs Deede of these things, according to his owne good pleasure, in Believers.

Therefore Christ himselfe tells his Disciples, That hee is the Vine, and they are the Branches, and that they, without him can doe nothing. The Grapes and Fruit that are borne of the Branches are not usually, nor properly called the Grapes of the Branches, the Fruit of the Branches, but the Grapes Joh. 15. 5. of the Vine, and the Fruit of the Vine, which Grape and Fruit of the Vine, are by the Spirits and power of the Vine, wrought up in the Branches, which are onely the instruments of the Vine, fitted to beare them (as Christ saith) Every Luke 22 18. Branch that beareth not Fruit in Mee (speaking to his Disciples of professing Believers.)

Believers onely are the Branches, and the Instruments of Christ, whith hee hath fitted to beare the Fruits of True, Joh. 15. 2. and Good Believing, Obeying, Repenting, Praying, Praising, Thanksgiving and Loving, &c. Which Fruit, which Worke, and Deed, is Christs, by his holy Spirit, wrought up in their Hearts; And of grace, by Christ (being made and fitted the Branches and Instruments to beare the same Fruits) of grace also, hee imputeth to them, and accounteth to them the sinne, and therefore calleth them, (his Elect ones) Belie­vers, Obeyers, Repenters, Prayers, Thanksgivers, and Lovers &c. And calleth the Fruits theirs, which are but the Bran­ches, as if they were the Vine, whose, the Fruits are in, Truth.

[Page 123] The Apostle saith (speaking of himselfe and all Believers) Wee know not how to pray, as wee ought, but the Spirit it selfe ma­keth Rom. 8. 26. request for us. Corrupt Man, knew not to pray as hee ought, nor to Believe, Repent, Obey, Praise, or Love, as hee ought, but the Spirit sent to him of Christ, doth all for him. And this was the cause and reason why CHRIST did ever sithence his Church was upon Earth, give his Spirit to the Elect of God, for whom hee had undertaken of Grace and Love, to doe such things of the Holy and Good Law, for the Government of his Church, as is commanded therein, to bee done before men, which hee knew themselves not able to doe (as hee pleased.) And therefore the true Faith, Peace, Obedience, Repentance, Praise, and Love are called Spirituall gifts, Spirituall things, Spirituall Sacrifices, and 1 Cor. 12. 1. 1 Cor. 14. 12. 1 Cor. 9. 11. 1 Pet. 2. 5. why so? certainly because they are the Deeds of the Spi­rit, the fruit of the Spirit, as so the Apostle calls them, Gal. 5. 22. And upon this same ground, That renowned Father in Christs Church said, Fac Domini quod jubes, & jube quod vis. O Lord, doe thou that which thou commandest, and com­mand what thou wilt.

And let no man marvell that Christ should bee the Law­giver, and the Law Keeper for his Elect. The commander, and the doer of the Commandement for them, whereas the Scriptures hold forth his Grace to bee the Judge, and the Advocate. The Priest, and Sacrifice. Hebrewes 2. 17. 5, 6. 7. 3. Eph. 5. 2. 9. 26. And thus much of the Error of those which hold forth no Law remaining to the 1 Joh. 2. 42. Elect.

And I take it the Errour of those which hold forth, that Christ is not the End of the Morall Law, and all Law for Righteousnesse, before God to Believers, but onely of the penalty and condemnation of the breaches thereof, is much dishonourable to Jesus Christ, and unrighteous to his un­dertakings and performances, and to the Apostle of Christ, called to set forth the truth of his Performances, and Me­rit, and most of all to the Great, Just, and good God, the Covenant-maker of Workes, upon Life and D [...]ath, with Mankinde in generall, and on remembrance of Mercy. The [Page 124] Covenant-maker of Grace, and promise to his Christ for all his Elect.

For where all Mankinde (having transgressed against the Covenant of Workes before God) were in the state of eternall Death, the God of Love, Mercy, and Free-grace (having elected some of them in his Christ) with a co­venant and Promise of Grace, that upon his Christs ful­filling of the Law of Workes; And the paying of the whole Transgression of the Law by his Death, Passion and Bloud­shedding, for them his Elect to satisfaction.

Those his Elect should have eternall Life, the condition, and promise of the covenant of Workes, as if themselves had performed the same, to the full, and should bee also freed from the penalty of Eternall Death, into which, all Mankinde was fallen.

And Christ hath done and fulfilled the righteousnesse of the Law, and paid the full Debt of the Transgression there­of to God, by his Passion, Death, and Bloud-shedding for the Elect, even to the full, so much as the Law, and cove­nant of Workes required, in Justice, either for righteous­nesse before God, or for payment of the Trangression to full satisfaction of God, for those Elections, for ever, for past and to come.

Now then why should the Law and covenant of Workes remaine still, binding the Elect Believers to righteousnesse of Workes before God, which they cannot in the least doe, and for that in respect of their utter unablenesse CHRIT undertooke and performed all for them? And if CHRIST (God being so pleased) have fulfilled the whole Law both for performing the righteousnesse thereof before GOD, and payment of the transgression thereof; Why should not Christ bee the end of all Law Morall, and the rest for righteousnesse before God to Believers? as they say hee is the end, of, and for the penalty and condemnation, for the transgression thereof, to them? Seeing the full is per­formed of the righteousnesse required as the full of the Debt of transgression is paid? Will these lay such cruelty upon God, and charge God with such oppression, and wrong, [Page 125] as to take his whole Debt of Christ, for the poore Elect ones (not able to pay a Farthing of that they ought him) and yet to keepe them in Bonds still, to require that Debt of them still, which was fully paid, and did acknowledge himselfe fully satisfied? Men will abhorre that Man for an unjust oppressor; That having a poore Man bound to pay him a great Debt, (utterly unable to pay any thing) if his Friend have paid him all the Debt to the full, will not­withstanding, keepe the poore Mans Bond, hold the poore Man bound still, and require some, or what hee lost, of the poore man still to bee paid of him, not able to pay any thing.

And how great is the dishonour, and injury unto Christ the Wise, Gracious and Mercifull Saviour, Undertaker, and Redeemer of his Elect Believers to charge him with regard­lesnesse, carelesnesse and indiscretion to undertake to pay, and pay the whole Debt to God for the poore Elect Be­lievers, and not to make their peace, not to take out their Bond, and have them acquitted of the Debt satisfied, but to leave them still in Bond; The Debt still to be required of them, not able to pay the least mite thereof? When as Christ our gracious Undertaker saith by his Apostle, Hee hath put out the Hand-writing of Ordinances that was against us, Hee hath taken it out of the way, and fastned it upon His Coloss. 2. 14 Crosse.

And whereas they say the penalty of Transgression is taken away by Christ, but the Law and Bond remaine still; Whereby the Elect Believers are still bound to doe the Righteousnesse of the Morall Law before God. That is (I take it) ambition without Law, or Reason; For, (as the Apostle saith) when there is no Law, there is no Rom. 5. 13 Sinne; so when there is no penalty there is no Law, no penalty, no Law binding, for it is the penalty that is the Bond of the Law; It is the penalty that maketh the bind­ing law. No Man will take upon him to command with­out a power to punish the Delinquent, and Transgression of his Commandement, much lesse will the great and wise God doe so, when as his power of penalty is gone.

[Page 126] If Christ have taken away the penalty for not doing the righteousnesse of the Law from Believers, then Christ is the end of the Law, for Righteousnesse before God to Be­lievers, although the Law for righteousnesse before Men remaine still to Believers, in the Hand of the Mediatour the Man Jesus Christ.

The Prophet David saith, A thousand yeares in thy Sight, are as yesterdy when it is past, and as a watch in the Night. Psal. 90. 4.

FRom hence, and other like Scriptures I collect; That all times (howsoever the same different to Men, past, present and future, as present to God, as Eternall. And that all times (so accounted of Man diverse) are not onely present to God, but also, all Deeds and things in the World done, and being in time diverse and different before Men, in Gods Sight, and to God wee present, ab eterno. For, if all times past present and future in Mans account wee present to God before the World; Then it must needs follow that all Deedes, and things done, and being in times, by Mens account, were present with God, to God, and before God ab Eterno, before the World. And also that the Will and Decrees of God unchangeable were Acts together, of God, before the World. And this further the said Prophet David confirmeth in diverse pla­ces, As, the Lord in Heaven doth whatsoever hee pleases (saith Psal. 115. 3. hee) what hee Pleaseth, and Willeth, hee doth in present. Psal. 135. 6. And againe, Whatsoever the Lord pleased, that did hee in Heaven, in Earth, in the Sea, and all Deepes, when hee pleased, hee Willed and did it in present, although not in manifestation to the creature, till appointed and fulnesse of time.

And the Apostle saith, As many as were Ordained to Eternall Acts 13. 48. Life believed, which sheweth that Gods Ordination was of all, and unto all things that hee pleased to bee after and before the World.

[Page 127] And also to confirme this, The Apostle Paul saith, Those that hee knew before, them also hee Predestinated to bee made like to the Image of his Sonne; And whom hee Pre­destinate them also hee called, whom hee called them also Rom. 8. 29, 30 hee Justified, whom hee Justified, them also hee Glorified, when hee did Predestinate them which hee knew before, saith the Apostle, hee then called them, justified them, and also Glorified them, in his owne Sight, before Himselfe, although not in manifestation to the Creatures untill ap­pointed and fulnesse of Time. Which also the comfortable Words of the Apostle to the Ephesians confirmeth; Bles­sed bee GOD, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which hath blessed us with all spirituall blessing in Heavenly things in Eph. 1. 3, 4, 5, 6. Christ.

As hee hath chosen us in him, before the Foundations of the World, that wee should bee Holy and without blame before him, in Love; who hath predestinate us to bee adopted, through Jesus Christ, unto Himselfe, accord­ing to the good pleasure of his Will, To the praise of the glory of his Grace, wherewith hee hath made us, accepted in his Beloved.

The Apostle speaketh, all the Acts of God to bee in the time perfectly past; not in the time imperfectly past, or to come, and that to bee done before the Foundati­ons of the World. Hee hath blessed us, Hee hath chosen us in Christ. Hee hath predestinate us to bee adopted through Christ. Hee hath made us accepted in his Belo­ved, and these, hath also noted to bee before the Foundati­on of the World.

The Apostle (speaking of Iacob, and Esau saith) Yer the Children were borne, that is, before they were concei­ved Rom. 9. 11. by their Naturall Parents, and when they had neither done Good, nor Evill, (that is before Men) for both Iacob and Esau had done evill before God in Adam (as the Apostle saith) By the Offence of one the Fault came on all Men Rom. 5. 18. to condemnation, And Paul saith of himselfe, Iacob, and all the Elect, wee were all by Nature (that is the corruption of Nature [Page 128] by the first transgression) the children of wrath, and hatred as well as others. Eph. 2. 3.

And that (saith the Apostle) the purpose of God might remaine according to Election, not by Workes, but by him Rom. 9. 13. Malac. 1. 2. that calleth; It is written, I have loved Jacob, and hated Esau.

God loved not Iacob before hee was borne, for any works, or good that God did see done of Iacob, but of purpose ac­cording to the good pleasure of his Will manifested in his Election, and the rest.

And God (saith hee) hated Esau before hee was borne (that is) left him still the child of wrath as hee was in the first Transgression.

To shew that hee is bound to none, That hee hath Mer­cy on whom hee will, and whom hee will hee hardneth, that is, Rom. 9. 18 leaveth him in his owne hardnesse. And all those doe shew that Iacob, Esau, Paul and the rest were in being before God, in Gods Sight before the World, although not in the sight of Men, in being.

Whom God manifesteth in time to bee in Christ, Loved, Elected, Aadopted, Redeemed, Called, Justified, and Glo­rified.

Those were all before the Foundations of the World, be­fore God, and in Gods Sight, Loved, Elected, Adopted, Ordained to Eeternall Life, Called, Redeemed, Justified and Glorified through Christ. The Lambe staine from the beginning Rev. 13. 8. of the World, unchangably.

Certainly those which God pleased to Love, and Elect to bee adopted his children, out of the company of the chil­dren of wrath before the World, were of the company of the children of wrath in Gods Sight before the World; God elected them then, that hee pleased, out of that com­pany, as Eph. 1. 4. Therefore that company of the children of wrath, was then in Gods Sight.

The Scripture doth no where say, that God would after Elect in the time of the World, but saith, hee did then Elect in Christ, Paul and the rest before the World, to be holy and without blame before him in Love, to bee a­dopted Eph. 1. 4. [Page 129] through Christ. And all this before the Foundati­ons of the World, although not yet to the Creature ma­nifested.

Hence appeare the blinde Errours and false arguments of those which hold forth that there is no justification before God of, or to any Man before Faith, which is onely Gods gracious Evidence and manifestation to Man of his Electi­on in Christ, and justification, and through Christ, and his glorious performances imputed to his Elect, and certainly acted in Gods Sight, and account before the Foundations of the World, as the Apostle defineth Faith. Faith (saith hee) is the ground of things hoped for. And the evidence, or Heb 11. 1. manifestation of things that are not seene.

Againe, Job saith, God provideth for the Ravens, and Christ Job. 38. 41. saith, Two Sparrowes are not sold for a Farthing, and not one of them fall to the ground without the Father (that is) the Fathers providence, yea, the haires of your Head are num­bred, and Luke saith, They are not forgotten of God, Luke 12. 6, 7.

All these and many more Scriptures shew, not onely all distinguished times by Men, but also all deeds and things from the greatest to the least done, and being in time diverse and different before Men, in Gods Sight, and to God, were all present, ab eterno, and known certainly. And that the Decrees of God unchangeable of all, were his acts together of all, before the World.

I know the holding forth, and medling with Gods Fore­knowledge, Eternall Will and Decree, his Predestination, Ordination, Election, and the like have been, and still is, of many, reputed and said, to bee dangerous and uselesse to men. And therefore (some have said) those of God and such like, are that Face, or Fore parts of God, unto which God held his hand towards Moses, that hee should not see the same, Exod. 33. 2 [...]. but said that Moses should see onely his back parts, or hinder parts.

But I take it, If God had held the same dangerous, or use­lesse to men to bee preached, and held forth; Hee would not have inserted them in the holy Scriptures, inspired from [Page 130] above by the holy Ghost, and commanded them (the Foun­dation 2 Pet. 1. 21. of the Gospell) to bee preached to all Nations, as hee did, Mark. 16. 15. For are not Gods Foreknowledge, Love, Election in Christ, Predestination, Ordination to Eternall Life, Adoption through Christ, justification by Grace, his good Pleasure, Eternall Will, Decree, and Acts, with and be­fore himselfe unchangeable, the Foundation of the Gos­pell of Jesus Christ. How should any Man bee built up in Jesus Christ, that knoweth not the Foundation, whereon hee is built?

And these are those back-parts, or hinder parts, of God, which are revealed of God to Man, in holy Scrip­tures, that God said to Moses, hee should see. And the Secrets of God are the Face, and foreparts of God, not re­vealed of God, which Moses might not see, nor any man pry into.

God said, by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justifie many. Isa. 53. 11.

And Christ said, this is eternall Life that they might know thee to be the onely true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast Joh. 17. 3. sent.

And God said, my people are gone into captivity, or perish for want of knowledge. Isa. 5. 13.

The Knowledge of God, and his Christ, is the evidence of justification and Eternall Life to Men. And the want of the same knowledge, is the evidence of reprobation and de­struction, in the holy Scriptures account. Who then may safely stop the Fountaine of these lively Waters? The Philistians were blamed for stopping Jacobs VVell, much more are these Gen. 26. 15. 18. stoppers blameable, they know not God, and his Christ, that knew him not in all his Revelations.

Quest. How was Paul Elected in Christ and Adopted through Christ before the World, when as Paul had then no being?

Answ. Paul was then in being before God, in Gods Sight, unto whom all things (even being in the World, and in eternity) were present then, although Paul was not then in being in the sight of Men.

A Catechistical Dialogue, Resolving Many subtil Questions, raised and made by the Adversary for the deceiving of Gods Elect, to the Propagation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Quest. WHat is God?

Answ. God is a most pure Spirit, Invisible, Almigh­ty, Eternal, Incomprehensible, without Beginning in Himself, yet the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending of all things and names, except sin.

Q. How is God further manifested in the holy Scripture?

A. To be one in substance, three in person, Father, Son, and Ho­ly Ghost or Spirit.

Q. How is the one God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit?

A. He is Father as Beginner, Son as Worker, Holy Ghost, or Spi­rit, as Finisher and Perfecter of all.

Q. Are the Knowledg of God, his will, his Purposes, Decrees, Predestination, Election, Ordination, and Acts, eternal with him­self in his own respect?

A. Yes: they are eternal with himself in his own respect; for all that is in God, and of God, is inseparable from God: God ever knew that he knoweth, willed that he willeth, purposed that he purposeth, decreed that he decreeth, predestinated that he predestinateth, or­dained that he ordaineth, acted and did that he acteth and doth with Psa. 135 6 and before himself, howsoever and whensoever the same things be manifested to the Creature; otherwise God could not call himself, I am, and again, I am Alpha and Omega: And again, it could not [Page 138] be said in the Testament, That God calleth things that are not (mean­ing in manifestation) as if they were in manifestation: And that it Rom. 4 17 is said of the Son, Jesus Christ yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

Q. Did God in his own Purpose and Decree make Man before the Heb. 13 8 World, and was Man made actually, in Gods sight, before Man was made in manifestation to the Creatures?

A. Yes, that must needs be so: for otherwise the acts which are of God should not be eternal with himself in Gods respect, but separable from God; his Will and Decree should not be his act: and it would not have been said, that God calleth things that are not, as if they were: otherwise all things and times should not be present with God, to whom there is nothing past, nor future, as is to man.

Q. Did God make his Covenant of Works, with Man, before the world?

A. Yea; Gods Will, Purpose, and Decree, is his act with him­self in his own sight.

Q. How could Man close and consent to the Covenant of Works, with God, b fore the World, when as Man was not created and made in manifestation to any creature?

A. It was just and righteous that Adam did close with God in the Covenant of Works, after his creation and making in manifestation: And the wisdom and righteousness, whereby and wherein he did close with God then in the Covenant, was the same wisdom and righte­ousness of God which were eternal with God: Therefore wherein Adam did close with God after his Creation in the Covenant of Works, so (he being actually in Gods sight before the world) did close with God before the world in the decree and act of this Cove­nant made in Gods sight with man before the world.

Q. Did God give Adam power and free-will, in his own sight be­fore the world, as he had when he was made in manifestation, to keep the Covenant for himself and his posterity, and live ever; or to break the same if he would, and dye eternally, as the children of wrath?

A. Yes: Gods Will, Decrees and Acts are eternal with himself unalterable; and so the same power and free-will which Adam had in manifestation given him, he had before the world in the sight of God.

Q. Was Adam and all Mankind in him dead before the World, and become the children of wrath for breaking the Covenant in Gods sight before the world?

[Page 139] A. Yes; that must needs be so in Gods sight: for Paul saith of himself, and the rest of Gods Elect; God hath chosen us in Christ Eph. 1 4 before the world, to be holy and without blame before him in love, &c. God could not have chosen Paul, and the rest of his Elect in Christ, before the world, to be his holy and blameless children adopted through Christ, but they must be then chosen out of the general company of the children of wrath (in Gods sight then) before the world; which indeed all Mankinde was then in Gods sight, before his mercy, love and free grace in choosing in his Christ whom he plea­sed, as they were after the Creation and Fall in appearance to the crea­ture: And from hence it is that the Apostle saith, We were all the children of wrath, as well as others. Eph. 2. 3

Q. Was Christ the Redeemer of Mankinde in Gods sight before the breach and fall of Man in manifestation, and before the world?

A. Yes: that he was; otherwise Paul would not have said, God hath chosen us in Christ before the world.

Q. Why did God chuse those he pleased in Christ before the world?

A. Because it was his mercy, love, goodness, wisdom and counsel, for them he pleased of the dead children of wrath, that the Christ should undertake to perform all the Will of God, to the satisfaction of Justice, for those chosen of God in Christ fully, in present before God, and in future for manifestation to the creature, That so the E­lect in Christ should have restored in Christ all lost in Adams trans­gression that God endowed Mankinde withall before himself, or in manifestation to the creature, as life eternal in Christ, holiness and righteousness in Christ, power and honor in Christ, &c. For as the first Adam had all these in him, for all mankinde in him, to have been manifested to them and in them in the fulness of time, if the first Adam had stood in his integrity: So Christ, the last Adam, hath all in himself, for all the chosen of God in him, Eternal life, holiness, righteousness, power, honor, and glory, &c. to be manifested to them and in them in the fulness of time.

And from hence the Apostle saith, God hath Elected us in Christ Ephe. 1. 4 and 2. 5 Act. 17 28 2 Tim. 3. 12 Eph. 2. 6 before the World, to be holy and without blame before him in love: And we are quckenod in Christ: And we live in Christ, and we are raised up and sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.

Q. Are those which are chosen of God in Christ before the world, to be holy and without blame before him in love, ever after they were so chosen holy and without blame before God in love?

[Page 140] A. Yes, that must needs be so; otherwise they should not be that which God did chuse them unto in Christ: otherwise Christ should fail in his undertaking to do the Will of God for the Elect in him: o­therwise some things might be layd to the charge of Gods chosen, which the Apostle saith shall not be. Rom. 8. 33

Object. Paul (being chosen of God in Christ before the world) was a persecuter of the Church of Christ after he was chosen: Was Paul holy and without balme before God then, when he was a persecuter of the Church of Christ?

A. It was the flesh and corruption in Paul, not Paul as he was E­lected in Christ: he did it in ignorance (as he said,) It was not I (saith Acts 3. 17 1 Tim. 1. 13 he) that did it, but sin that dwelleth in me: This is the state of the best of Gods chosen ones, They sin continually in themselves, they are holy and without blame, and righteous before God in Christ ever­more. Rom. 7. 14 15, 18, 19

Q. If the Elect in Christ sin continually in themselves in their own performances, then they cannot please God in any thing they do; none of their own performances can be good and righteous in the sight of God?

A. No, they cannot please God by their own performances; they are not good and righteous before God: for the Prophet Isaiah saith of himself, and the best men, We are all as an unclean thing, all our righteousness is as filthy rags: And the Apostle Paul (alledging David for a witness) saith, There is none righteous, no not one; there is none that doth good, no not one: And again, They that are in the Rom. 3. 10 11, 12 Rom. 8. 8 flesh cannot please God; (that is, they which are in the state of cor­ruption and death,) as all the chosen of God are yet, until that which is corruptible hath put on incorruption, and that which is mortal hath put on immortality: Then indeed shall be brought to pass the saying 1 Cor. 15 53. 54 55 that is written, Death is swallowed up into victory, (saith the A­postle.)

Obj. The Apostle saith to the Elect Believers, You are not in the flesh, but in the spirit; therefore you may and do please God, although Rom. 8. 9 they which are in the flesh cannot please God.

A. Those which the Apostle saith there, to be in the Spirit of Christ, are the same which are said to be the chosen of God in Christ Eph. 1. 4 2 Thess. 2. 13 before the world, to be holy and without blame before God in Christ, not in themselves, their corrupt soul and body, and in their own per­formances: So indeed they please God in Christ, and in his perform­ances imputed to them of grace, not in their own performances which [Page 141] are sinful always. Enoch was said to please God, it was in Christ, not in himself, but by the imputation of Christs righteous perform­ances. Heb 1. 11

Q. Do not the chosen people of God displease God, anger God, and stir up Gods wrath against them for their sin and transgression?

A. No: for then it could not be, that after they are chosen of God in Christ, they are holy and without blame before God for ever in love; God cannot be displeased, angry, and in wrath with those that are ever holy and without blame before him in love, that he ever loves: Love (saith the Apostle) covereth the multitude of sins.

Q. How cometh that to pass, when as all sin is lothsom to God, and death unto men? The wages of sin is death (saith the Apostle.) Rom. 6 23

A. It cometh to pass by Christs gracious undertaking with God for them in the Covenant of grace, made between God and his Christ in their behalf, wherein Christ did undertake to perform the Justice of the whole Will and Covenant of God, made with man, and bro­ken by man, before God, for those chosen of God in him, for the recovery of all lost to them: And Christ therefore said, Lo I come Heb. 10. 9 to do thy Will, O God; and did in present perform all undertaken in Gods sight before the world to Gods satisfaction; and therefore is Isai. 53 11. Heb. 13 8 said, The Lamb slain from the beginning of the world: And he hath performed all upon the Cross, in and for manifestation to the creature, He took all the infirmities of the chosen of God upon him; He bare the sins of many, saith the Prophet: And again, God layd the iniquity of us all upon him: and he appeared to take away sin Isa. 53. 4 6 1 Joh. 3 5 and the blood of Jesus Christ purgeth all sin, (saith the Apostle:) Who shall lay any thing to the charge of Gods chosen? it is God that Rom 8. 33 justifieth, (saith the other Apostle:) and hereupon (it is said) God seeth none iniquity in Jacob, nor seeth transgression in Israel (being Numb. 23. 25 Gods chosen:) God looketh upon his chosen ones only in Christ, not in themselves: So the sin and transgression of Gods chosen doth not displease and anger God, or stir up Gods wrath against them, nor can do injustice, because Christ hath undertaken Gods satisfaction of all for them; and hath payd and satisfied God for all their sin in Gods sight, and hath endured and undergone the anger and wrath of God for all. And a debt being payd fully, cannot in justice be required again to be payd.

Q. Was not the Covenant of Grace made of God with man, as the Covenant of Works was made of God with man?

A. No; for the Covenant of Works was made with man when [Page 142] man had full power and free will to perform all therein: but the Co­venant of grace needed not, nor had place, till man had lost all the integrity of power and free-will: and having neither power nor free will, good, nor to goodness, he was in far worse case to perform the righteous condition on mans part, then when he had power, and yet failed: It was Christ, the gracious undertaker with God, that had power, and was onely able to perform the condition, to the satisfac­tion of Justice; he received the promise for Gods chosen, and per­formed the condition for Gods chosen in himself, and in them, by his Spirit sen [...] unto them, for their comfort, witness, and evidence.

Obj. The Apostle saith, The Promise was made to Ab aham and to his seed; therefore the promise was made to man. Gal. 3. 16

A. The meaning is, It was repeated, opened, and manifested to Abraham, as it was to Adam, and the rest: but the Promise was made to Christ, which (as he said) was, before Abraham was. And the same Apostle saith, It was made to the seed, speaking of one, that Ibid. is Christ: Abraham was a corrupt man, as other of the Elect are, carnal, s [...]ld under sin, as Paul in his best estate said he was; there­fore not able to perform the righteous condition. Rom. 7. 14

Obj. If Christ hath so undertaken with God, and performed to God, that God is not displeased and angry with the sin of Gods chosen; why then doth God and is God said to correct, chastise, afflict, and punish them for their sin, if he were not displeased with them for their sin?

A. God doth not correct, chastise, afflict, or punish sin in the E­lect, as an angry revenger of the fact, not as one that is displeased and in wrath; for the Apostle saith, He loveth every one of them that he correcteth: It is in love therefore, not in wrath, not for sin done, Heb. 12 6, 7 but either to keep them from sinning, or to take them away from sin, which in it self is base and naught, even in the sight of the crea­ture.

Obj. If the chosen of God in Christ do sin, and yet never displease and anger God by their sinning; if God be not displeased by their sin, they may sin without fear?

A. No, that cannot be so; for ChrisT hath undertaken in the Co­venant of Grace, That he will be their God, and that they shall be his people; That he will never turn away from them, to do them Jer. 32. 38 40 good; and that he will put such a fear into their hearts, that they shall never depart from him: Christ hath promised to put his fear into their hearts, that they shall not sin without fear, but have his fear [Page 143] in their hearts, in sinning, and of sinning: and whil'st they have his fear in their hearts, they never depart from Christ into Gods dis­pleasure.

Q. It seemeth then, that the Elect of God themselves can do no­thing that pleaseth God, nor do any thing that displeaseth God; Is this so?

A. It is certain God is onely pleased in Christs doings and perfor­mances for man, and in man; not in mans doings and performances, which are always corrupt, and leavened with sin: and Christs un­dergoing the wrath of God for their sin, hath already satisfied God, and stopped Gods displeasure and wrath to their sins. Indeed, in his Justice without Christ, God is said in the Scriptures to be angry and displeased with sin; but if God be angry and displeased still, where Christ hath satisfied and appeased, who shall satisfie and appease? If God be angry still, when Christ hath finished his satisfaction, who shall satisfie afterward?

Obj. The Apostle saith, That the Ethnicks, which have no evi­dence, but of the children of wrath, do know the law or righteousness Rom. 1. 31 of God, how that they which commit such things as are contrary, are worthy of death, and their thoughts or consciences are accusing or excusing one another; and this they have by the corrupt light of Rom. 2. 14 15 Nature left them: Therefore the Ethnicks know when their consci­ence accuseth them, that they displease God in their performances; and when their conscience excuse them, that they please God in their performances.

A. It is certain, the Ethnicks and all natural men know the Law of God, yea that which is to be known of God (as the Apostle saith) enough to charge their consciences with good and evil, with life and death, in their performances. And although their accusing conscience do manifest to them, that they displease God, and are wor­thy of death for committing such things; yet their excusing consci­ence cannot assure them, that they please God by any of their perfor­mances: For the Apostle saith, Although I know nothing by my self, 1 Cor 4. 4. yet I am not there by justified; I have no assurance that thereby I please God, although my conscience excuse me.

Q. Was not the Law written in Tables of stone by Christ, and given after by Moses to the Church of Israel, the chosen people of God, then in visibility? the same Law that was given of God to man, when man had power to perform the same before his Fall?

Ans. It was the same partly in matter and wholly in form of holi­ness [Page 144] and righteousness, but not the same in condition and circumstance. For first, The Law given to Adam was by God as the Creator, when man had power in himself to have performed the full righteousness of the same before God and man; but Moses Law, so called, was given, by God the Undertaker and Redeemer of Gods chosen, to them, when they had no power to perform the righteousness of this Law before God, nor of that Law.

Secondly, That Law was, That man should do it and live evermore, and should dye eternally if he did it not; but this Law is, That man Gen. 3. 3. Luk. 10. 18 shall have temporal reward, long life upon earth, and the like, if he doth it, and shall have temporal death and punishment if he doth it not, or doth the contrary to it; so held forth in the whole discourse of this Law written.

Thirdly, In that Law Justice had only place, If thou dost this thou shalt live, If thou dost not this thou shalt dye; but in this Law of Moses, faith in Christ, self-denyal, prayer and repentance have place; and upon faith in Christ, self-denyal, prayer and repentance, mercy and forgiveness have place: but neither faith in Christ, self-denyal, prayer, repentance, mercy, nor forgiveness have place in that Law only of Ju­stice made and given of God to man in power; and if prayer, repent­ance, mercy and forgiveness had had place in that Law, no doubt but the good God would of Justice have had patience for Adams repent­ance; for Adam in time might have repented, had mercy, and for­giveness, and lived eternally, and his posterity, and so there should have been no need of a Christ, a Saviour and Redeemer of man.

Fourthly, The Preface to the Decalogue, where it is said, God spake these words and said, I am the Lord thy God which brought thee out of the Land of Egypt, and out of the house of bondage, &c. do shew plainly, the giver of this Law was our God, and Christ the Undertaker, Redeemer, Saviour, and Deliverer of Gods chosen people in grace, and that the same was given in grace for the Government of his Church and people, for worship to God before men, for righteousness, socie­ty and safety among themselves.

Fifthly, That Law was given to Adam requiring performance of the righteousness thereof before God and before men; but this Law was given requiring performance of the righteousness thereof only before men: for if this Christs Law were for performing of righte­ousness before God, as Adams Law was, with condition of everlast­ing death for breaking of the same, then sin would have the dominion, then all the chosen of God should be under the Law of death, and [Page 145] not under the grace of life, because no man can keep this Law in righ­teousness before God in the least.

Q. Have Gods Elect power to perform the righteousness of this Law of Christ before men?

A. This Law of Christ is outward in appearance to men, and man seeth but according to the outward appearance; and this Law is inward 1 Sam. 16. 7 Rom. 7. 14 and spiritual, as the Apostle saith, the Law is spiritual. Now as this Law is outward in appearance to man, man hath power to perform the righteousness thereof before men: for although the power of man be so corrupted that he can perform no righteousness before God, yet he may perform the righteousness of the Law in appearance before men: So Christ said, the Pharisees did perform the outward righte­ousness of this Law before men: and Herod did many things in the righteousness of this Law as he was taught of Iohn Baptist: and Paul called his performance of the righteousness of this Law his own righ­teousness, Phi. 3. 8, 9 which he desired he might not be found in, but counted the same loss and dung in comparison of the righteousness which is of Christ: David said, I will run the way of thy Commandments; and Ps. 119. 32 Zachary and Elizabeth are said to have walked in the Command­ments of the Lord without reproof of men. So we see that men may Luke 1. 6. perform the righteousness of this Law of Christ before men in appear­ance to men, yea hypocrites, as the Pharisees and Herod, much rather the chosen people of God, which have the work of the Spirit thereto in their souls and hearts. If man had had no power to perform the righteousness of this Law before men, it had not been love nor justice in Christ to have charged Gods chosen people to perform this Law upon pain. There is no just and charitable man that will lay a burden upon his beast that he knoweth he cannot bear.

Q. But can the Elect of God perform this Law of Christ as it is spiritual?

A. No, that cannot be; for Paul said, The Law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin and transgression, meaning of the Law as it is spiritual.

Q. How is this Law of Christ given to Gods chosen performed of them, which cannot perform the same themselves as it is spiri­tual?

A. Christ their Undertaker and Giver of this Law as it is spiritual doth perform the same in them by his Spirit promised and sent unto them; and this is the special cause of the sending and giving of the Holy Spirit to Gods chosen people to act the same in them, and there­by [Page 146] to evidence and witness to them that they are Gods chosen in Christ, and his adopted children through Christ; and that Christs per­formances in himself and in them are all imputed to them, and made theirs by his grace of imputation; therefore Austin said, Do, Lord, that which thou commandest, and command what thou wilt.

Q. Doth not mans performance of this Law as it is outward in righteousness before men please God, and justisie the performers there­of before God?

A. No, for then they that shew unto men that they do perform the duties of this Law, as that they beleeve, love, pray, give thanks, repent, shew mercy, and forgive, &c. should all please God, and be ju­stified before God; then the Scribes and Pharisees, and other like hy­pocrites, should have pleased God, and been justified before God, and Judas himself should be justified before God; for although Judas did wickedly, yet it is written, that Judas repented himself before men to give satisfaction to men for his repentance, therefore it is written, he Mat. 27. 3 repented; but this outward performance did not justifie any of these before God, nor please God.

Q. Doth not the performance of this Law (as it is inward and spi­ritual) made by the Spirit of Christ in man, called therefore spiri­tual gifts, spiritual faith, spiritual love, spiritual repentance, &c. 1 Cor. 14. 1, 12. justifie Gods chosen people before God?

A. No, that cannot be: for although the performance of the Spi­rit it self be righteous in the sight of God, yet this performance being made with the instrument of corrupt man, his corrupt heart, soul, or members, the same cannot be pure, as coming through corrupt man, in the sight of God, (as pure water coming from a pure fountain through a defiled conduit or channel cannot be pure (although ser­viceable someway) in the end:) To this the Apostle saith, By the works of the Law shall no flesh be justified: He doth not say, by mans own works of the Law, or by the outward works of the Law, but by the works of the Law, whatsoever they be, outward or inward: for indeed this Law was not given to justifie men before God, by the per­formance thereof, but for the government of Christs Church upon Earth, and by the spiritual performance thereof to evidence and wit­ness to Gods chosen people, that they are the children of God; for if they find in themselves the faithful performance thereof in singleness of heart, they may thereby know, that they have received the Spirit of Adoption, and the same Spirit doth witness with their souls that they are the children of God, saith the Apostle. Rom. 8. 16

[Page 147] Q. We see that Christ in this his Law commandeth his people to perform the Law as it is spiritual, to do the inward and spiritual work of his Law; he requireth truth in the inward parts, obedience and service in singleness of heart, love without dissimulation, prayer ac­cording to the will of God, repentance from the bottom of the heart, which man himself, being carnal, sold under sin and transgression, as Paul was in his best estate, although chosen of God, cannot perform: Why doth Christ command the chosen of God to do the same that he knoweth they cannot do, and for the performance of which in them he promiseth, sendeth and giveth his holy Spirit to them (as he pleaseth?)

A. Christs giving this his Command is like his sending of John Baptist; John Baptist was sent to prepare the way of Christ, not to do the work of Christ: So the Commandment is given to pre­pare the way of the Spirit, not to do the work of the Spirit: John Baptist was sent for the bringing down of every mountain, hill, Luk. 3 4, 5 for humbling of the proud carnal man of Gods people; and this Command was given of Christ to them to humble the flesh which is contrary to the Spirit, and in itself resisteth always, that so the Gal. 5. 17 corrupt heart and members may be prepared and fitted instruments of the Spirit to the spiritual work: And to this purpose is the word of the Apostle, Give or yield your members weapons or instruments Rom. 6. 13 & 19. of righteousness unto God, unto Gods holy Spirit, that the Spirit may do the spiritual work in you.

Q. Hath the Command of Christ power to humble, fit and prepare the carnal man of Gods chosen to the way and instrumental service of the Spirit in the spiritual work?

A. Yea, that it hath, for his Word is mighty in operation (as the Heb. 4 12 Psa. 148. 5 Apostle saith:) He commanded, and all things were created, said David: The power of Christs Command is not shortened where it intendeth.

Q. Then the preaching and hearing of the whole Law of Christ is useful to Gods chosen people?

A. Yea, that it is, if it be preached and heard lawfully; for the Apostle saith, The Law is good if we use it lawfully. The preaching 1 Tim. 1. 8 and hearing of the Law (as it is outward and spiritual) i [...] good if the preaching and hearing thereof be to the preparing of the way to the Spirit to do the spiritual work of the Command of Christ the Undertaker, that Christ may have all the honor, praise and glo­ry of the work: But for man to preach and hold forth the Law [Page 148] and Command of Christ, that man himself can and must do the spiritual work which Christ only can do to please God, to be in ac­ceptance with God to obtain Gods goodness, as to beleeve, and by his beleeving to be justified, by his obedience, and endeavoring to do duties to please God, and to be accepted with God, by and for his repentance to have mercy and forgiveness, and recovery of life, and all lost by sin; this is Robbery and Idolatry: It is Robbery, because they take away that which is only Christs to themselves, to do the spiritual work, to please God, to make acceptance with God, to obtain Gods goodness by their performance, and mercy and forgiveness by their repentance. And it is Idolatry, because they they praise, set up, and esteem highly of their own work, their be­leeving, or faith, their prayers, their doing of duties, and the like, who although they thank God for it, as the Pharisee did, yet they listen after their own praise and reputation for the same, despising others. He that climbeth up to the sheepfold another way then by me Iohn 10. 2 is a Thief and a Robber (saith Christ.) He that sacrificeth to his own nets is an Idolater. Hab. 1. 16

Q. Was this Law of Christ written in tables of stone, and given in grace to his Church of Israel the chosen people of God for the Go­vernment of that his Church given before that to his Church he had upon Earth the chosen people of God, as to his Church in Adams fa­mily, in Noahs family, Abrahams, Lots, and the rest, noted in the Scriptures to be Gods chosen people?

A. Yes, it was given of Christ to his Church upon Earth in all generations, although not so gloriously as when it was written of him to them in tables of stone, but it was written in their hearts by Christ, or otherwise (as he pleased,) for the Government of his Church was ever upon his shoulders, and he (as a King) go­verned not without a Law: And this his Law and Government a­mong Isal. 9. 6. them appeareth plainly in that they brought offerings to the Lord, as Abel, the best of his flock, and for that it is said, Noah and Lot preached righteousness, repentance, mercy and forgiveness up­on repentance, in that it is said, Abraham taught his family.

Q. Had not the Gentiles which were not Gods chosen people this Law of Christ written in their hearts, which he writ in tables of stone to his Church of Israel? for the Apostle saith, Although they had not the Law written in tables of stone, yet they did by nature the things contained therein before men (although not all things so) shewing the effect of the Law written in their hearts. Rom. 2. 14, 15.

[Page 149] A. The Law and righteousness of the Law of Works, made of God to man in power, is corruptly remaining in the hearts of the Gentiles (being not Gods chosen) which is partly in this Law of Christ given to his Church of Gods chosen in grace; but as it is the Law of Christ in grace, it is not written in the hearts of the Gentiles: Therefore David said, Neither have the Heathen knowledg of his Ps [...]47 [...]0 Laws: His Law or Commandment of Faith in Christ, of Self-denyal, of Repentance, unto mercy and forgiveness, and of mercy and for­giveness one to another upon Repentance, was not written in their hearts.

Q. Do all the chosen people of God (having corrupt reason, under­standing, and will, left them, of doing the Law of Christ, as it is outward in appearance to men) perform the same in righteousness before men, in the power that they have left?

A. No: For, first, we see recorded in holy Scripture, One to have gone beyond another therein. Secondly, We see recorded in holy Scripture, The best in appearance, of Gods chosen ones, to have transgressed, and committed the contrary to that holy Law, before men; much more (we must think) omitted the performance thereof in righteousness before men: Sometimes we read of Noahs drunken­ness, of Lots drunkenness and incest, of Abrahams teaching his wife Sarah to dissemble, to call her self his sister, not his wife; of Jacobs dissembling with his blinde father Isaac, saying, that he was Esau; the Patriarchs transgression; Aarons, and Moses, and Davids trans­gression; Solomons closing with Idolaters; Ezechia's, Josia's, Ma­nasses transgression; yea Peters lying, swearing, and forswearing; all contrary to the Law of Christ in appearance before men: and what can we think of our own, and the rest? the incumbrances, ig­norance, blindness, and frailties of the flesh? The tempters and temp­tations to the chosen of God are such, and so many, that the perfor­mance of this holy Law of Christ, as it is outward in appearance be­fore men, hath been, and is in all, not without transgression, (as the Apostle saith) in many things we offend all. James 3. 2

Q. What is the danger of this transgression of Gods chosen people?

A. Temporal proportionable punishment before men, an eye for an eye, tooth for tooth, breach for breach, measure for measure; These David call'd troubles and punishments; these the Apostles call'd afflictions, corrections, and chastisements.

Q. Is there no way provided of Christ for Gods chosen people (ha­ving [Page 150] so transgressed this his Law) to escape the proportionable pun­ishment?

A. Yes; in great grace he hath provided and granted Repentance to be their refuge for mercy and forgiveness, before him their Head, King, and Magistrate or Governor, and before one another: And therefore he saith, At what time soever a sinner repent from the bottom of his heart, he will put all his wickedness out of his remem­brance: Ezek. 18 And again, If thy brother sin against thee seven times, yea seventy times seven times, and saith, It repenteth me, forgive him. Mat. 18, 21, 22

Q. Is there no difference of the outward performance of this Law of Christ in Gods chosen people, and in Hypocrites, in appearance to men?

A. Yes, there is much difference in appearance to men: For, first, the chosen of God have the work of the Spirit in their souls and hearts (when it pleaseth the Lord Jesus Christ) sanctifying and sweetening the outward performance with humbleness, meekness, and otherwise, in appearance to men.

Secondly, They do it simply in submission and obedience to the command, accounting the same good and fit to be [...]one before men, without the command pressed.

Thirdly, They do not think that the doing of the work of this Command of Christ before men reacheth unto God, to please God, to move and pacifie God; as David said, My well-doing extendeth not to thee, O Lord; but to the Saints upon the earth; for their good and profit, that they seeing the same, may glorifie their Father in Hea­ven Psal. 16. 3 before men.

Fourthly, They do it not for their own profit, glory and reputa­tion among men, as a merit of their worl. in their own esteem; but they wait and rest upon the promise of the reward in his Law made to the conscionable performers thereof, in the gracious judgment of Jesus Christ, before men; giving Christ, the Commander and Law­giver, King and Governor of his Church, the honor of all their per­formance.

But the performance of hypocrites, first, have not the face of the sanctifying and sweetening Spirit in humbleness and meekness, self­denyal, and otherwise: for although the Pharisee went up into the Temple to pray, yet his performance had the face of pride and self­conceit, not of true humbleness and self-denyal.

Secondly, They do it, but not simply in submission to the Com­mand, [Page 151] as good and worthy to be done without the former Com­mand; but they do it, being commanded, for company, formality, and avoyding of penalty and other danger.

Thirdly, Hypocrites do the work of the Command often zealously, herein thinking in their hearts, that their performances thereof reach unto God, to please God, to pacifie and move God thereby to do them and others good, (which is onely the work of Christ to Gods chosen ones) wherein they would convey the honor of Christ to their performances.

Fourthly, Hypocrites are strict and precise in this, as it is outward, (none going beyond the [...] therein,) not for the honor of Christ the Lawgiver, but for their own honor and reputation among men; for their own ends; for their own gain, profit, and advantages; seeking the same often unjustly, to the damage of one, for the benefit of ano­ther, to their own praise and glory among men.

Q. May not Gods chosen people neglect and omit the outward per­formance of this Law of Christ before men?

A. No; for Christ hath given it to them in grace, and in his wis­dom and goodness, thereby to govern his Church and people upon Earth, for his own worship, honor, and their good, peace, comfort, society, and safety; the which whosoever doth neglect, omit, and despise, doth manifest himself to be none of Gods chosen people, none of the chosen of Christ. Whosoever professeth himself to be a subject to an earthly King or Governor, and despiseth to submit, in performance, to his wholesom Laws and Ordinances, dissembleth, and is in truth no Subject to the King or Governor: So it is with him that professeth himself to be a Christian, if he refuseth and despiseth to submit, in performance, to the most wholesom Laws of Jesus Christ, for the Government of his Church upon Earth before men, he is no Christian, but an Hypocrite.

Q. We finde it clear in the holy Scripture, that God anointed, call­ed, and sent before himself his Son Jesus Christ to three Offices, for the government of his Church upon Earth, of a King, a Priest, and a Prophet; and he did execute the same Offices by himself in mani­festation, being upon Earth, in his Church; and hath ever, and will execute the same by his instruments upon Earth: for the govern­ment Isai. 9. 6 is ever upon his shoulders; He is a Priest for ever. And we find in his visible Church, he called and sent Moses his Minister and In­strument Exod. 24. 1, 9 before men, and appointed him to call and send Aaron and his sons and others before men; and he called and sent Samuel, and [Page 152] he appointed Samuel to call and send Saul and David, Elijah to call Elisha in his room; and so (as it pleased the Lord) it appeared in the rest of the Instrumen [...]s of his Offices: And having called and sent his Apostles himself, (as the Apostle saith) He gave this to some, to be Apostles, some Prophets, some Evangelists, and some Pastors and Eph 4. 11 Teachers; for the gathering together of the Saints, for the work of the Ministry, and for the edifying of the body of Christ: And saith, As the Father sent me, so send I you: As the Father sent me to call Joh. 20 21 you and send you, so send I you to call and send others; and this was not for a time, in these his Offices of continuance, but for ever upon Earth, so long as his Church is upon Earth. So the Apostles called and sent Timothy and Titus and others, and advised them to call and 1 Tim 3. 2 &c. Tit. 1 5, &c. send others, not rashly, but advisedly: And so hath been the continu­ed calling and sending of Pastors and Teachers in the Churches of Christ upon Earth ever sithence. Now what is to be thought of those which contemn and despise this Ordinance of God and his Christ, which despise his Ordinance of calling and sending his instruments, called and sent by such his Ministers and instruments as were so cal­led and sent for the government of his Church upon Earth; which despise such Pastors and Ministers so called and sent, their Mini­stry of the Word and Sacraments, their long teaching and feeding of Gods people with his Law for government, and his Gospel for e­verlasting comfort, by the performance of Jesus Christ for them? And which call and send themselves, or are called and sent by others, which were not called or sent by such as were called and sent, accord­ing to Christs Ordinance, to feed and teach Gods people by his Law and Gospel, (as they profess?)

A. I take it, the sentence of these is plainly held forth and de­nounced by Christ himself, and his Apostles; and of Moses long be­fore that, and the Prophets: The Apostle saith, He that despiseth Moses Law dyeth without mercy, under two or three witnesses; and Heb. 10 28, 29 of how much sorer punishment shall he be worthy, which trampleth under foot the Son of God, and counteth the blood of the Testament an unholy thing, and doth despite to the Spirit of Grace.

And to those that call themselves, or are called by others, not call­ed according to Christs Ordinance, Christ saith, He that climbeth up to the sheepfold another way, is a thief and a robber. Joh. 10. 1

And Moses telleth us, that Korah, Dathan, and Abiram with great congregations which they had gathered against him and Aaron, the called and sent of Christ, for his Ministers and Instruments to ex­ecute [Page 153] his Offices (as he pleased) in his Church; but especially against Aaron, which was called and sent by Moses according to the Lords appointment and ordinance; saying, that they and all the congregati­on were holy, that the Lord Christ by his Spirit was amongst them all; and therefore they took too much upon them, to be special and onely Ministers and Instruments of Christ in those his Offices, That they and the rest had holiness and calling by the Spirit of Christ to ex­ecute especially the Office of Aaron, as well and fully as he: upon whom [...]oon after this judgment fell; The Earth opened and swallow­ed up Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, with all their families, and all Numb. 16 32 the men that were with Korah, and all their goods.

No man (saith the Apostle) taketh this honor upon him, but he Heb. 5. 4 that is called as Aaron was: And again, How shall they preach ex­cept they be sent? Certain, the Apostle meaneth, sent according to Ro [...] 10, 15 the Ordinance of Christ.

And the Prophet, speaking of them that held forth themselves to speak great things by the Revelation of the Spirit, and of the people that did adhere unto such, adviseth, to go to the Law and the Testi­mony, Isai. 8. 16 19. 2 [...] for tryal of such; If [...]saith he) they speak not according to this Word, it is because they have no light in them: If they speak without such calling as is according to this word of th Law, and Testimonies approved, and if they speak not as is approved in the Law and Testi­mony, it is because there is no light in them; they are false Pro­phets.

Obj. I hear some say. Bishops and Presbyters which were called, called many lewd persons ungifted to be Teachers and Ministers.

A. Jesus Christ called [...]udas to be an Apostle, a Teacher and Minister, which was as evil as any man, therefore it is possible that those which are called may call lewd and un [...]ifred persons; this doth not take away the Ordinance of Christs calling, nei [...]her did.

Q. Doth that Law of Christ, first manifested and exbounded by Moses as Christ appointed to Gods chosen people the visible Church of Israel, continue in force to all the visible Churches of Christ in the World, for the Government of Christs Universal Church in every particular Nation?

A. In Moses exposition of that Law by Christs appointment to that Church, there were many Sacrifices, Ceremonies and Figures constituted, which had relation unto Christ to come in the flesh, and to perform the work of his coming before men, and thereupon [Page 154] many Judgments to that Nation peculiar, which (as they had rela­tion to Christs coming, and performances, and to that Nation pecu­liar) are ended, and the Law touching them: And that is one re­spect that the Apostle hath, where he saith, Christ is the end of the Law for righteousness to all Beleevers.

But the moral and equity of all that Law of Christ, as it is fitting to Christs Church of Gods chosen people in all Nations, is remain­ing for the Government of his Church upon Earth for worship to God, for peace, society, comfort and safety to the same; so held forth by Christ and his Apostles, with some alterations in way of the Government, in respect of those which were then in relation of Christ to come, and now of Christ come, and the gracious manife­station thereof by the more glorious Gospel of Salvation to the E­lect Beleevers, by the performances of Jesus Christ, fully finished in the sight of men and Angels.

Certainly none of Christs Church in any Nation decline the mo­ral and equity of this Christs Law, so gloriously established by Christ himself, by Instrumental Headship, Governors, Govern­ment, Sacraments, Ministers, Ministry, and Maintenance; and for that the Ministry of the moral and equity of this Law of Christ is now more honorable in respect of the Ministration of the glorious­ly shining Gospel therewith, which (as the Apostle saith) exceed­eth the ministration of the Law in glory; but such as are hypocrites, 2 Cor. 3. 8, 9. professing themselves to be of his Church Subjects, and the chosen people of God, and are not in truth and appearance; and there are too many of these now.

Obj. Some of them object, affirming, That every man that will (having Corahs audatious spirit) may be a Minister of the Law and the Gospel of Jesus Christ, although he be not called and sent by such as were called and sent according to Christs Ordinance, and al­though the Apostle saith, No man taketh this honor upon him but such as are called of God, as Aaron was: And again saith, They Heb. 5. 4. Jude 11. shall perish in the gain-saying of Corah: As Corah p [...]rished which gain sayed this Ordinance of Christ, so shall they perish.

And some of these gain sayers object and say, There need no call­ed Ministers at all in the Church of Christ, as Corah, Dathan and Abiram said, for that all the Congregation is holy; and they con­firm this with the Scripture of Luke, where he citeth the Prophe­cy Acts 1. 17. [...] [...]oel in the Prophets mind, not in words altogether; And it Joel [...]. 28. shall be in the last days (saith God, [...] will pour out of my Spirit [Page 155] upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophecy, and your yong men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: and on my servants, and on my hand-maidens, I will pour out of my Spirit in those days, and they shall prophecy, &c. Therefore, say they, after Christs coming in the flesh, after his ascension, and after his promise of the coming of his comforting Spirit in abundance unto and upon his Church and people, to prophecy in these last days, there is no need of Called Ministers; for all the congregation is holy, all can and shall prophecy.

A. I wish these did well consider of the Scripture of the Apostles writing of the last days (which saith,) Wo be to them, for they have follow [...]d the way of Cain, and are cast away by the deceit of Balaam's (the false Prophets) wages, and perish in the gain saying of Corah: Jude 11. I warrant you there are no false Prophets but look for wages: Cain, Balaam, and Corah, looked upon their gain and honour, although without the ordinance of Christ. The gainsaying of Corah is still in the last days destruction to such gainsayers of the Ordinance of Christ. The Apostles do not contradict the Apostles speaking all by the same spirit: The Prophet and Apostle indeed saith, God will pour out of his Spirit upon all of his Church, all shall prophecy; that is, all shall con­sent unto the prophecy by the work of the Spirit in them, which are chosen of God in Christ, as Christ pleaseth: But the meaning of the Apostle is not, that all men and women shall prophecy, minister, teach and feed the people in the Church and Congregation in publique: The Apostle saith, Every woman that prayeth or prophecyeth bare-headed, 1 Cor. 11. 5 dishonoreth her head: The Apostle saith, a woman prayeth and pro­phecyeth; but yet the same Apostle ordereth, that if a woman will learn any thing, that she ask her husband at home; for it is a shame for a woman to speak in the Church: Let your women keep silence in the Church, for it is not permitted to them to speak, (as the Law saith.) The Apostle still confirms the Law and Ordinances of Christ 1 Cor. 14. 34, 35 in the last days, and sheweth that the promise of the Spirit in the last days, in greater evidence and manifestation then, is as much in con­senting as in speaking by the spirit, that both are prophecying: But the speaking, prophecying, ministring, teaching, and feeding of Gods people in the Church in publique, is the Office of such as are called and sent by such as were called and sent according to Christs Ordi­nance in his Law and Testimonies given for the Government of his Church upon Earth, so long as his Church shall remain upon Earth.

[Page 156] 3 Object. And some of these gainsayers of Christs Ordinance say, That now Christ giveth not, nor requireth any certainty of mainte­nance for any Ministers of his Law or Gospel, as of Tythes, Offer­ings, or otherwise, but onely that which is arbitrary, voluntary, at will, and elimozinary. For (say they) Tythes and Offerings, which were appointed by Christs Ordinance for certainty of maintenance of the Ministry of the Levitical Priesthood, is ended, the Levitical Priesthood being ended: And (say they) Christ being personally up­on Earth indeed called and sent his Apostles to preach the Gospel in every place, and in and to every bouse where they were received, but did settle no certainty of maintenance upon them, or unto them, onely bad them take that which was arbitrarily set before them, abi­ding there. And although the professing Believers, after Christs Ascension, did many of them bring their goods, and many sell their possessions, and brought the price thereof, and layd the same down at the Apostles feet, for disposition thereof to themselzes, and others (as they thought fit, and need was;) yet it was in their own power so to do, or not to do so, until they had promised and devoted the same to be so done: as Peter said to Ananias, the dissembling Believer, and to Sapphira his wife; Was it not in thine own power before thou Acts 5. 4. didst promise and devote this to be so done? &c. And the Apostles went into many Cities, Countries and Nations preaching the Gospel without any certainty of maintenance: And Paul, being called and sent to preach, did it, laboring more then all; yea and wrought with his hands, that he might not be chargeable to the Churches, without any certainty of maintenance.

A. First, I say, for Elimozinary maintenance of called and sent Ministers of Christs Law and Gospel, there is no witness or president in the Scriptures: It agreeth not to the honor of the Ministry of the Gospel, that the Ministers thereof should be beggars of their mainte­nance; we know alms, and beggars, and relatives: and the Holy Ghost noteth in Scriptures, that begging is a mark of unrighteousness and reprobation: for David saith, I never saw the righteous for­saken, See Psal. 109. 10 Psa. 37. 25 Luk. 16. 3 nor their seed begging their bread: Therefore the ascription of Elimozinary and begging maintenance to the Office of the instrumen­tal honorable Ministry of Jesus Christ, is antichristian, and dishonor­able to Jesus Christ.

Secondly, Although we finde in the Scriptures, that Priests and Prophets, being Ministers of our God, sometime were put upon ar­bitrary maintenance, or miraculous, in times of persecution: and the [Page 157] Apostles, his Ministers, were put upon like arbitrary and miraculous maintenance, according to the wisdom and good pleasure of our God, in the alteration and change of the Levitical Priesthood, and in the beginning of Christs gathering of Believers of Christ come in the flesh, and his performing of all before men to mans salvation, according to the Scriptures, and in the persecutions of adversaries in those times: yet all these did not destroy the Law and and Ordinance of Christ, setled and established for certainty of the maintenance of his Ministry continuing in the moral and equity of that first established Law, for the Government of his Church upon Earth, in the continuance of the world to the end thereof, in all Nations, (where and as he pleaseth) as in the moral and equity is most fit. And is not the righteous Law of Christ, and the Ministry thereof, as it was established by Christ to the Church of Israel, as useful and necessary to the Church of Christ in all Nations, in the moral and equity thereof, for Government, as it was to Israel? Is it not as useful and necessary to Believers of Christ come in the flesh, and that he hath performed all to mans salvation be­fore men, as it was to Believers that Christ should come in the flesh, and perform all to mans salvation before men? And is the glory and honor of the maintenance of the ministration of the glorious Law of Christ abated and demolished in the ministration of the moral and e­quity thereof, accompanyed with the exceeding shining and glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ come in the flesh, and that he hath performed all before men undertaken of him for the salvation of man, to their everlasting comfort, according to the Scriptures? Certainly the righ­teous Laws of our God and Lord Christ, which he first manifested, written in Tables of stone, to his Church of Israel, for the Govern­ment of his Church in all Nations in the moral and equity thereof, for worship to God, for righteousness, peace, society, safety, and comfort among men themselves, notwithstanding all or any eclipses through alrerations, changes, persecutions thereof, by the providenti­al wisdom of God therein before men, is useful and needful still. Certainly the need and use of the Law of Christ is as much now in the moral and equity thereof to Believers of Christ come, for govern­ment, &c. as it was then, in any way, to Believers of Christ to come.

Certainly the Ministry and Ministers thereof, in the moral and e­quity thereof, for Government, &c. in all Nations of Believers of Christ come, &c. are as useful and needful still; yea as glorious and honorable as ever they were, and more glorious and honorable then [Page 158] before the Gospel, the glad tydings therewith of Christ come in the flesh; and to have performed all before men to mans salvation.

And certainly the certainty of maintenance, appointed, layd out, and established by Christ himself, to the Ministry and Ministers of that visible National Church of Israel, in his incomprehensible wisdom, as besitting, useful, necessary and requisite, is still, and shall be to the end of the world, sitting, useful, necessary, and requisite to the Ministry and Ministers of Christs perpetual honorable Law, for his Government, in the moral and equity thereof, to his visible Church in all Nations of the World, where the Chuch of Christ is National, as it was in Israel and Iudea: And this maintenance now to exceed that of the Ministry of the Law to that Nation, by the addition of the glorious ministration of the Gospel, the work of Jesus Christ come in the flesh, and to have performed all before men for mans sal­vation.

And certainly the maintenance of the Ministry of the Law of Christ, for Government of his Church of Israel, layd ont and established there and then, in the incontroulable wisdom of the Son of God, our Christ and Lawgiver, for the certainty of the maintenance thereof by Tythes and Offerings, and the rest; The same Law, Government, Ministry and Ministers, in the moral and equity thereof, remaining and continuing to all Nations to the end of the World, where the Church of Christ is gathered in like manner nationally and visibly, the same maintenance by Tythes and Offerings is still, and shall be to the end of the world, in the wisdom of Christ, besitting, useful, neces­sary and requisit there; There being in all Nations the matter of Tythes and Offerings remaining, and in being, at least to answer the moral and equity of the Law and Ordinance of Christ. And the acutest wisdom of corrupt man, in laying out maintenance of the Ministry and Ministers of the Law and Gospel of Jesus by other certain arbi­trary or Elimozinary maintenance (as have been by corrupt man cor­ruptly propounded) is but foolishness with God (as the Apostle speak­eth.) And certainly Gods people, that are led by the Spirit of Christ, will submit to the manifested wisdom of Christ, for the Government of his Church in all Nations, and the maintenance thereof layd out by Christ. And I must, forced by Religion, add this further, for the evidence of the wisdom of Christ manifested to men, in laying out and establishing by Law and Ordinance Tythes and Offerings, for cer­tainty of the maintenance of the Ministry and Ministers of his Law and Gospel in all Nations, where his Church is gathered Nationally [Page 159] and visibly; That Christ did not lay out these, as of that which was mans, but of that which was Gods, which was his own, and not mans own; therefore in the Law are called the Lords Offerings, the Exod. 35. 21 Lev. 21. 21 Mal. 3. 8, 9 Offerings of the Lord. And the Prophet called Tythes the Lords; Ye have robbed me (saith the Lord) in Tythes and Offerings: Ye are cursed with a curse; for ye have robbed me, even this whole Nati­on, &c. David saith, The Earth is the Lords, and all that therein is, &c. But Tythes and Offerings are at the Lords appointment in his Psal. 24. 1 Law and Ordinance, in a special manner, in a special reservation to himself, for his homage, worship, and service, according to his own disposition in the Government of his Church upon Earth.

We read in the Testament of our God, that Cain and Abel, being the two first-born of woman, mentioned, did bring of their fruits for an offering to the Lord: sure it is that they did not this of their own corrupted humane invention, but from some Law and command that they had from our God, either only written in their hearts, or other ways manifested to them, and in obedience to the same: For our God sheweth through the whole Scripture, that he rejecteth all sacri­fire, offring, service done by corrupt mans invention; as in that of Saul, 1 Sam. 15 9, &c. in sparing the fat and best things for offering to the Lord, in his own invention: And Cain dissembling in his obedience, was also rejected of the Lord, and his offering, because he did not bring to the Lord of the best of his fruits, as Abel did according to Gods Law and com­mand to them: [...]nd we read it mentioned in Scriptures, That Abram gave Tythes of all to Melchisedec, the Priest of the most high God. Gen. 14 20. Surely this was not done of Abrams own invention, but in obedi­ence to the Law and Ordinance of God, either onely written in his heart, or by some manifested command of our God otherwise unto him; Abram would not tempt God with his own Inventions: But this is clear from hence, that our God and Lord Christ, howsoever the Godhead suffereth, and permitteth to man the use of that upon Earth, yet reserved to himself from the beginning the Tythes of all, and the Offerings at his appointment, for homage, worship, and ser­vice to himself, in the government of his Church and people: And this is most clear in that, that (when his National first Church of Is­rael was setled) he then, by his Law written in Tables of stone, in great manifestation and glory, did establish his Tythes and Offerings, expresly to be to the maintenance of the Ministry of his Law given, and of his Ministers appointed for the service of the Tabernacle and Numb. 18. 6, 7, 8, &c. Sanctuary.

[Page 160] Alteration, change, and persecution made sometime a stay of the manifestation of the Ordinance of our God and the Lord Christ be­fore men, but his Ordinance remained still.

God made the Sun to rule and govern the day, and the Moon to rule and govern the night, by his perpetual Ordinance, and of all thereto belonging.

The Sun and the Moon are sometime in the Eclipse; sometime the Moon changeth before men, and the Sun and the Moon go down in appearance to men; yet the Sun and the Moon remain still to govern the day and night, and shall do as long as the day and night remain: Even so the Law of our God Christ, being ordained and made by him for the government of his Church, his Ministry, Ministers, and maintenance thereto, useful, and necessarily belonging, in the moral and equity of his Law, are as useful and necessary for the government of his Church upon Earth, as long as his Church remain, as the Sun and Moon are useful and necessary to govern the day and night; and shall continue non obstante.

Obj. But it is the certain maintenance of the Ministry of Christs Law and Gospel, by Tythes and Offerings, that trouble the dissem­bling professors of themselves to be of Christs Church now upon Earth: Tythes and Offerings are a wearisom burthen to them; for they say, that they see no reason but themselves should have the tenth part, as well as they have the nine parts.

A. Ala [...]s, these do not know and consider, that the Earth is the Lords, and all that therein is, (as David affirmeth,) and that they Psal. 24 1. have their life, and maintenance thereof, only by the Lords sufferance, permission, and patience, in the nine parts of that of the Earth as the Rom. 9. 22 Apostle sheweth:) And that the Lord hath reserved to himself, and his disposition, the tenth part of all in the Earth; man to have no pro­perty in the Earth, but at the Lords disposition: and therefore the Offerings he reserved, he sometimes appointed them, or what of them he pleased, to be burnt, and sacrificed to him by fire: And this was from the beginning of the generation of man, and continued; and not onely to figure the sacrifice of Christ, but to shew his will and power in reserving to himself that he pleased, to be disposed of as he pleased, in the government of his Church, for his worship and honor in the moral and equity of his perpetual Law, &c. in all Nations, where his Church is Nationally established: And this was that which troubled the Hypocrites in the Church of Israel; they were weary of bringing their Ty [...]hes and Offering to the Lord, at the Lord dispo­sition: [Page 161] Ye said (saith the Prophet) behold it is a weariness; and ye Mal. 1. 13 14 have snuffed at it, saith the Lord of hoasts, and have offered that which was torn, and the lame, and the sick; thus you offered an offer­ing: should I accept this of your hand, saith the Lord? But cursed be the deceiver which hath in his flock a male, and voweth and sa­crificeth unto the Lord a corrupt thing. Will a man spoyl his gods? yet you have spoyled or robbed me in Tythes and Offerings: Ye are cursed with a curse; for ye have robbed me, even this whole Na­tion. Mal. 3. 8 9

Thus we see this wearisomness, this snuffing at the burthen of Tythes and Offerings, which our God and Christ reserved to himself to be at his disposition in the government of his Church upon Earth, from the beginning to the end, for homage, worship and honor, and the rest, to the good of men: And also the robbing of the same by cursed Hypocrites, seeking in the same their own gain and honor a­mong men, is no new thing, no new attempt; but as it was then, so it is now. But I wish all to consider of the words of the Apostles of Christ, speaking in the times, the change, and in the times of per­secution; If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we reap your carnal things? And again, Let him that is 1 Cor. 9. 11 Gal. 6. 6. taught in the Word, make him that teacheth him partaker of all his goods.

And again, Wo be unto them, for they have followed the way of Cain, and are cast away by the deceit of Balaams wages, and perish Jude 11. in the gainsaying of Corah.

The way of Cain was (we know) that although he had the com­mandment of God, to bring the best of his fruits for Tythe or Offer­ing to the Lord; yet for gain to himself did rob God of the best, and like a dissembler brought of the worst, or such as were not worth the acceptance.

The deceit of Balaams wages, whereby he was cast away, was, for that he knew the people of Israel to be blessed of God, Gods chosen people, yet for wages and gain he would have done them any mischief he might.

The perishing and destruction of Corah was his slighting and gain­saying of the Ordinance of Christ in the Ministry, and Ministers there­of called and sent by his Ordinance, for the gain of honor, and the rest, to himself.

His woe was not against Cain, Balaam, and Corah, but against those, and such in the last days, that walk in their ways; who in pride [Page 162] and covetousness of the riches and honors of this world trample un­der foot the Son of God, his Laws and Ordinances for the govern­ment of his Church upon Earth, his worship and honor among men, &c. and for righteousness, peace, society and safety among men themselves.

Q. Is not this Law of Christ, given to his Church of Gods chosen people, Iustification before God, and eternal Life to the keepers and doers of that Law and Commandment, for or by the keeping and doing thereof before men; and condemnation before God, and eter­nal death, to the neglecters and breakers thereof before men, for neg­lecting and breaking the same?

A. No, that cannot be so; for the holy Scriptures shew plainly the contrary in many places.

First, Paul saith of himself, and all Gods chosen people, He hath chosen us in Christ before the World, to be holy and without blame before him in love: which must needs be understood thus; God foreseeing and foreknowing before the world all men to become the children of wrath by transgression, he of love and free grace was pleased to chuse some of them, then before himself, to be his adopt­ed children through Christ, to be holy and without blame before him in love; and being chosen, are justified, and have eternal life in Christ. So the same Paul, which saith, God hath chosen us in Christ before the world, &c. saith, We were all the children of wrath as well as others before God, before that (of Gods love and free grace) we were chosen in Christ out of the general company of the children of wrath, to be the children of God; but now being chosen in Christ to be the children of God, we are not, nor can be the children of wrath again: for Christ loseth none chosen in him; none taketh them out of his hand, that the Father hath given him. Now to affirm, and hold forth, that Justification and eternal Life cometh to man for or by his keeping and doing of the Law and Commandment of Christ, given to Gods people, and in Tables of stone written, long after Gods Election of them before the world, manifested in the Scripture; and that con­demnation and eternal death cometh to them for the breaking and neglecting thereof before men, is to disable, dishonor, and nullifie the gracious act of Gods Election in Christ (of those he pleased) before the world, to be his loved children, and to leave the rest in the con­demnation of their own transgression.

Secondly, The Apostle saith, Who shall lay any thing to the charge of Gods chosen? it is God that justifieth them: being chosen of God, Rom. 8. 33 [Page 163] they are justified of God: none, after they are chosen of God, shall or can lay any thing to their charge; therefore their Justification be­fore God, or condemnation, eternal life, or eternal death, doth not depend upon their keeping or breaking the Law of Christ, given for the government of his Church upon Earth, although indeed it may manifest the same.

Thirdly, The Apostle saith, If Iustification before God, and eter­nal life be of the Works of the Law, they are not of Grace: But the Apostle affirmeth, That Gods chosen are justified freely by grace, and not by the Works of the Law.

Fourthly, The Apostle citing other Scriptures, saith, Before Ia­cob and Esau were born, and had done good or evil; that the pur­pose of God might remain according to Election, not by works, but Rom. 9. 11 13 by him that calleth; God loved Iacob, and hated Esau: It was be­cause God, of love and free grace, had Elected Iacob in Christ be­fore the world, that God continued his love to Iacob; and because Esau was left in the wrath of his transgression in Adam, that God continued his wrath and hatred to Esau.

Fifthly, If mans Justification before God should depend upon his keeping and doing of the Law and Commandment of Christ, there were no man could be justified and saved: for the Apostle saith, In many things we offend all: and his repentance that is finite and tem­poral, could not satisfie the trespass done before and against the infi­nite God; which it must do in justice, if Christs Law were, with condition of everlasting life and everlasting death, for keeping and breaking of the Commandment.

Q. Is there no good nor benefit to Gods chosen people by keeping and doing the Law and Commandment of Christ carefully and in singleness of heart, nor no damage nor danger to them by breaking and neglecting the same before men?

A. Yes; Gods chosen people have two special benefits by the keeping and doing of the Law and commandment of Christ before men in singleness of heart and carefully.

First, They have the temporal reward in the condition, promised and held forth in the holy Scriptures; In keeping of them there is Psa. 19. 11 & 58. 11 great reward (saith David:) And again, Doubtless there is a reward for the righteous: And they have much more then is manifested, prepared of Christ for their reward of grace:) The things which eye hath not seen, neither ear hath heard, 1 Cor. 2. 9 neither came into mans heart, hath Christ our God prepared [Page 164] for them that love him, (saith the Apostle.)

Secondly, They have the evidence of the Spirit of Christs work in their hearts: for the carefulness and singleness of heart is the work and fruit of the Spirit, which they, as branches of the Vine Christ, do onely bear and bring forth of grace, as instruments wherewith the Spirit doth the work, and imputeth it to them of grace; as Paul said, It was not I, but the grace of God with me: And the Spirit, by 1 Cor. 15. 10 Rom. 8. 16 such evidence received, doth witness to their Souls, that they are Gods children.

And the damage and danger to Gods chosen people is great, by breaking and neglecting this Law and command of Christ. For first, they lose the said reward of keeping and doing the same; when they break it and neglect it, they forsake their own mercies.

Secondly, They are liable to the temporal penalties, and are sure thereof without repentance of their offences before men: And here­upon it is that Christ our God shaketh his rod of Judgments so often in the Scriptures against the chosen people of God, which (he know­eth) in themselves are frail, weak, and subject to temptations, to keep them from transgression, and the danger thereof.

Q. What is the good and benefit of the Gospel, and the preaching thereof unto Gods chosen people? Is it beyond and more then the Law, and preaching of the Law of Christ, for the Government of his Church upon Earth, unto them?

A. Yea; the Gospel, and the preaching thereof by those that are sent, is for their everlasting comfort and good; That setteth forth unto them the everlasting love, mercy, and free grace of God, in his chusing them in Christ before the world, unchangeably; their ordi­nation to eternal life, their predestination to be the children of God for ever, their calling thereto in the Image of his Son [...]esus Christ, their justification and glorification then before God, to be manifested in fulness of time to the creature: And clearly sheweth the way and work of all these by Christs undertaking with God, to his satisfacti­on of justice, in doing of his Will (as the Lamb slain before him from the beginning) and (taking flesh upon him) came into the world, and performed the full righteousness of the Law of God, in doing and suffering before men, whereby they have deliverance from all sin, and death by sin before God, and are made coheirs, annexed with Christ Jesus, of all his riches, triumph and glory in heavenly places: And that Christ hath promised and sent his holy Spirit to them, to do the spiritual work of the Law in them, as he pleaseth, for witness and com­fortable [Page 165] assurance to them, that they are Gods chosen children, and therefore is called the Spirit of Adoption, because he witnesseth the same.

Rest to the Souls of Believers.

GOd hath revealed himself unto man, to be one eternal, invisible, incompr [...]ible essence; in whom is all foreknowledg and will, as he pleaseth, all love, almighty power, wisdom, justice, good­ness and mercy; and in three persons in this one essence, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; according to which eternal qualities of his eternal Deity, he hath, in his foreknowledg and foresight, purposed, pre­destinated, and decreed all things according to his will; and accord­ing to his Will, Purpose, and Decree, made Heaven, Hell, Earth, and all Gen. 1. Isai. 30. 33 things therein: And with his purpose to make man, he also purposed to make a Covenant of works with man, which works if he did, he should have the promise and assurance of life for ever: But if he did fail in the work, and break the Covenant, he should dye presently: And God foreknowing that man would break the Covenant, (of his great and meer love, of his free grace, compassion and mercy to mankind) did provide, purpose, and decree to give to mankind in Christ a Covenant of Grace, or promise of grace, which was, to give his own only Son to be made of a woman, by taking mans flesh upon him, to be born and brought forth of a woman, to take upon him the form of a servant, to be of no reputation among men: yet as a general person and undertaker for all intended of the Father; in ac­ceptance to full satisfaction, to do and perform the full righteousness of the Covenant of Works, Law and commandment therein; and to pay the whole and uttermost debt, of, and for, the transgression made, or to be made, by those of mankind, which he purposed to make choyce of, for the glory of his grace, to be performed by his Son Christ Jesus, and to be preserved by the power of his Spirit, un­til Psa. 37. 18 19 1 Thes. 5. 17 Eph. 1. 4 they were presented blameless at his coming to Judgment: And according to the purpose of the Father, he did Elect some of man­kinde, before the foundations of the world were layd, to be his ves­sels of honor, life everlasting and immortal inheritance, in and with his [Page 166] Son Jesus Christ, which had undertaken in acceptance, and to full sa­tisfaction of God, leaving the rest to the merit and punishment of their own transgression: And having made Heaven and Hell, he made also the Earth, and all creatures therein, in their kind: And placing man his creature in Paradise, there made and manifested his purposed and decreed Covenant of Works with man, with condition of life and death, when man was endued with full power and free will to stand or fall.

And mand did fall, and break the Covenant of Works, which in duty (as the creature) he ought to have kept and performed to the Creator, having of him power and free-will given to him, to hve performed and done same.

And although God did foreknow, that man would fall and break the Covenant, yet God did not decree that man should fall, and de­stroy himself by falling; neither (having given unto him power and free-will to stand or fall) had he resisted the Will of God, if he had stood; but by falling, and so destorying himself, he resisted the Will of God, that would not the death of a sinner: For there was Ezek 18 32 one and the same end (in the intention of God) of both the Cove­nants purposed towards man, which was the life of man: yea in his Covenant of Works he intended the life of man: This do, and thou shalt live, saith God to man, although he set before him life and Gen. 42. 18 Rom. 7. 10 death in that Covenant of Works.

And after mans fall and loss of all, he was endued with all of God; being yet in Paradise, God manifested to his El [...]ct of mankind his purposed Covenant of Grace in his Son Jesus Christ, to be perform­ed of him without any condition of any performance by man, but in Christ; now being without power of believing, as appears in the words of the Promise, or Covenant of Grace; The seed of the wo­man shall break the Serpents hea [...]: The seed of the woman was freely promised, to do and perform all that was to be done and per­formed for mans salvation to the end, to break the serpents head, and to destroy the works of the Devil, (as the Apostle speaketh:) and all this grace to be manifested in time, to those in particular, which should 1 Jo [...]. 3. 8 in manifestation receive the Spirit of adoption, and bear the fruits of the Spirit, the believing in the Son of God Jesus Christ: so, that in the righteousness of his Son Christs doing the work of the Covenant in himself, as an undertaker for, and a representative of, all his Elect, in acceptance to the full satisfaction of God; all the Elect might have this righteousness accounted, imputed, and so made theirs of God, as [Page 167] if themselves had done the full work of the Law and Covenant of Works: And by his paying of the full debt and price for their trans­gression, they might be assured of the forgiveness of their sins past, Isai. 53. 6 1 Pet. 2, 24 1 Joh. 1. 7 and to come, as if there had been no transgression at all in them of the Law and Covenant of Works: And that they thus being justified fully, by the obedience and performance of Christ before God, and freed by the full payment of the price and debt with Christs preci­ous blood, Gods Elect might know themselves to have an absolute discharge from the Law and Covenant of Works before God, and to be no more under the Covenant of Works, but only under the Pro­mise and Covenant of Grace: And hereupon it is said by the Apostle of Christ touching the Elect; Ye are no more under the Law, but Rom 6. 14 Gal. 5. 1. Rom. 10. 4 & 3. 24 under Grace: The Son of God hath made you free: Christ is the end of the Law for righteousness to those which believe: We are justified freely by his grace, through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus.

And this was not only the end of the Promise, or Covenant of grace, to justifie freely the Elect, and to free them from the Covenant of Works before God, and set them only under the Promise, and Covenant of Grace, Jesus Christ; but also that the same Christ should Psa. 121. 8 Joh. 17. 11 1 Thes. 5. 23 1 Cor. 1 8 rule them, preserve, them, and keep them by the power of his Spirit, and present them blameless at his coming to Judgment: For this cause is Christ said to have three offices, of a King, a Priest, and a Pro­phet; A King, to rule, govern, and order his Elect, as the Scripture saith, The Government is upon his shoulders: A Priest, to pray and Isai. 9. 6 Rom. 8 26 make request for them, as it is said, The Spirit maketh request for us: A Prophet, to teach them powerfully and effectually, not as the Scribes and Pharisees, as is said, which taught, but had no power upon their hearers further to their good; as it is said, They shall be all taught of God, even to the forming of Jesus Christ in them, as [...]o [...]. 6 45 Gal. 4. 19 the Apostle speaketh.

And Christ doth not execute his Offices only in the universal Church of his Elect, but also in the particular, and every member thereof: So that every of his Elect, when, how, and where he pleaseth, hath a better Governor in him then himself; a better Orator, a better Teacher, and Directer, then himself: So that although (as the Idola­trous Canaanite remained still in the Land when the Israelite had Ioshua 17. rule) the flesh remaineth still in the Elect whil'st Christ hath the rule at his pleasure, and although the flesh bringeth forth many transgres­sions, yet Christ by his Spirit (having the rule) doth (though not [Page 168] without resistance) curb the flesh, and bring it in subjection at his Gal. 5. 17 pleasure, and maketh the corrupt members instruments of his service: and therefore the Apostle saith, Sin shall have no more dominion over you; for you are no more under the Law, but under grace; mean­ing the Spirit of Christ, that ruleth, swayeth, and doth all things, Rom. 6. 14 in the Elect, unto good, where his Grace and Spirit is present; fit­ing and making, by his powerful and sanctifying Spirit, all and any of 1 Cor. 15 his regenerate Electones to yield their members, both of soul and bo­dy, instruments of righteousness unto God; that is, instruments of the works of his righteous Spirit in them, which he of his grace im­puteth Rom 6 13 to them, and calleth them their works, although they be his only in truth, as is manifested in the holy Scripture; Christ told his Disciples, that he sent forth to preach the Gospel, That it was not they that did speak, but the Spirit of the Father that did speak in them, although it was spoken by the instruments of their mouth, Mat. 10. 20 tongue, and lips: And Paul, when he said that he had labored in the Ministry of the Gospel more then all the rest, recalleth himself, say­ing, 1 Cor. 15. 10 Yet it was not I that labored so, but the grace of God with me: His instrument, my self, being only by the grace of God, Jesus Christ, fitted and made an instrument of that labor and work, and of his grace only accounted my labor and work, which is his work.

Thus we may see the end of the promise, or Covenant of grace, made of God to man in Christ, to be, that of the unsearchable love of God to the Elect through his grace in Jesus Christ, his Elect in Christ before the foundation of the World was layd, being of those which were faln into the misery and danger of everlasting death by their own transgression of the mutual Covenant of Works, agreed upon and made betwixt God and mankind, in the first Parents; all of them (then being, and to be, in the posterity of mankind, to the end of the world after their Election) are freed from the Covenant of Works, the Law and commandment thereof before God, and the penalty of the transgression of the Law and commandment thereof, through the performance made of Jesus Christ their undertaker, and to be preserved, kept, and ordered, by the performance to be made in Psa. 121. 5 Ioh. 17 11 15 1 Thes. 5. 23 them by the Spirit of Christ, until they be presented blameless at his coming to Judgment.

And as the Covenant of Works was manifested in Paradise in the time of mans innocency, when man had full power and freedom of will to have performed all required, and the same broken by man there, being in his full power, unto the tainture and corruption of all [Page 169] mankind then in Adams loyns; So was the Promise, called the Co­venant of grace (touching the Elect of God) first manifested in Para­dise unto man, soon after the general Transgression, Fall, and corrup­tion, when God said, The seed of the woman shall break the Ser­pents head; which seed was Jesus Christ, born of the blessed Vir­gin Mary. Mat. 2. 25

And as afterwards the Covenant of works, in grace, was manifest­ed to many (by the providence of God) repeated and revealed in holy Scriptures, to set forth the equity of Gods Justice in the death and misery of the reprobate, still under the Law and curse of the first transgression of the Covenant of Works, and the succeeding trans­gression thereof, first especially commented, opened and interpreted by Moses, then by the Prophets, and after by the Evangelists, and the Apostles of Jesus Christ, the penmen of the Holy Ghost; and al­so that by the thunderings, threatenings, and terror of the penalties of the transgressions of the said Law, the current and violence of the corruption of reprobate and carnal men might be hindered, abated, and bridled, through fear, to the more safety of Gods beloved ones, which are amongst the reprobate, as sheep among wolves, as Christ himself said of his chosen ones, I send you forth as sheep among wolves. Mat. 10. 16

So the Promise, or Covenant of Grace, was after opened and ma­nifested to many, by the providence of God, and specified and re­peated in holy Scriptures by Gods penmen of the same, to set forth the love, compassion, mercy, and grace of God toward his Elect, and the praise and glory of his grace for the same, always to be pub­lished by those, whose blinde eyes are opened, to behold the misery, bands, and d [...]ath, from which they are delivered and freed, by the love of God, in the performance of Jesus Christ, and preserved through his performance and grace in them, until they be by him presented 1 Thes. 5. 23 blameless at his coming.

Q. Doth not God require good performances of his Elect, to fur­ther their Salvation?

A. God knoweth that his Elect, as themselves, are able to per­form nothing that is good, not to will or think any thing that is good: Rom. 7. 18 Phil. 2. 13 2 Cor. 3. 5 So saith his Apostle Paul; I find no means to perform that which is good: It is God that worketh in us the will and the deed, of his own good pleasure: We cannot think any thing of our selves that is good. Therefore God will not require of his beloved Elect ones, that which he knoweth they cannot d [...]. No man will require him, which he [Page 170] loveth, to do and perform that, which he knoweth he cannot do. No man will lay a burthen upon his beast, which he knoweth he can­not bear. God did never require of his Elect performance of his Law and Commands before himself, after the had lost the power of performing; but of his love and grace provided a power to perform for them a Christ and Redeemer, which undertook to do, hath done, and doth all, and those great things, in them, and for them, by his wisdom and strength, as, how, and when, it pleaseth him; making them, and their members of soul and body, instruments of his righ­teous works, which of his great grace he calleth their works and per­formances. For which reason, Paul, which said, he found no means (meaning in himself) to perform any thing that is good, or to will, or Phil. 4. 13 think any good of himself, saith also, I am able to do all things through the help of Christ which strengtheneth me; that is, through Christs power; his members were Christs able Instruments of doing all things righteous (as he pleaseth) of Christs grace accounted his righteous doings, as Paul saith, David declareth the blessedness of man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works; that Rom. 4 6 is, when God imputeth Christs righteous works unto man, whereby he is onely satisfied and pleased with man without mans own works.

Q. Hath Christ undertaken to perform, and doth Christ perform, all things for the Elect before God, that they have liberty of idleness, to do nothing, to live licentiously?

A. The Elect of God are least idle; having in manifestation re­ceived the Spirit of adoption, they are no less idle, then the Spirit can be idle in them, which in them is as the tree of Life, yielding forth fruit continually: The fruit of the Spirit is faith, love, joy; peace, Apoc. 22. 2 Gal. 5. 22 meekness, goodness, righteousness, &c. The Spirit, which as a King ruleth in them, maketh their members instruments, as it pleaseth, of all such righteous works and performances; so that the righteousness of Christ will shine in them.

Q. Why doth Christ in the Evangelists, and the Apostles of Christ in their Epistles and writings, give so many precepts and exhortati­ons to the people and Churches of the faithful for performances, to be made by them; as to believe, to love, to deny themselves, to pray, to obey, to do justly, and forbidding them to do the contrary; yea and further, upon penalty for not doing the precept, and doing the con­trary, that they shall not inherit the Kingdom of Heaven, but shall be cast into utter darkness, which is Hell?

[Page 171] A. All such Precepts and Exhortations of Christ, and his Apostles, are, not to charge the Elect with performances of duties before God by those precepts, which they are in no part able to perform, sithence man lost his power of performing; but to shew, and set forth to the Elect and Reprobate, the power that Adam, and all mankinde then in Adam, had, to perform all those Precepts and Exhortations before is Fall, in the sight of God; and to shew the authority, ju­stice, and righteousness of the Command in commanding those holy and good duties; and the justness of God in the fearful and miserable penalty of the transgression, to be certainly executed upon the repro­bate, such as are without Christ, the Redeemer and Performer of those precepts for them; having by their own fault, when they had power, lost their power of performing: And to shew, that as the transgression of the reprobate encrease and multiply, so the penalty and misery encreaseth and multiplyeth dayly; and that by such ter­rors, continually proclaimed by the Ministers of God, the reprobate may be abated of their envious and mischievous transgression, to the greater safety of Gods Elect.

And yet further, these precepts were written, that the Elect of God, finding in themselves no more power left to perform them, then the very reprobate have, which is only before men, may behold (their blind eyes being opened by Christ) the unspeakable love, mercy, and grace of God towards them, in their Election, in the promised seed to them and for them; in the performances of Jesus Christ the pro­mised seed of those holy precepts, first and last, for them, which them­selves neither had, nor have, any power to perform, sithence the ge­neral fall and loss.

Further yet, Christ in his Evangelists and Apostles writings doth hold forth these precepts to the Churches, that the faithful, hearing and seeing these Precepts and Commandments, which were ordained to life, but are now unto death, as the Apostle saith, The same Com­mandment which was ordained unto life, was found to be unto me un­to Rom. 7. 10 death, might, in their infirmities and transgressions, by Christ and his love, be gathered together as chickens under the cover of his wings (as Christ himself speaketh,) How often would I have gathered you together, even as an Hen gathereth her chickens under her wings? Mat. 23 37 that so, their eyes being opened by Christ, to see the goodness and love of Christ the love of Christ might constrain them to yield their hearts and members instruments of his love, to God and man, before men, as the Apostle saith, The love of Christ hath constrained us. 2 Cor. 5. 14

[Page 172] Q. If it be so, that the Commandment, sithence it was broken by man, be now unto the death of man, and no way unto life, which was first ordained unto life, and was by ordination unto life to all men be­fore it was broken by man, in power to have kept it and done it; and if man now have lost all power of doing the Commandment before God for ever, by the first breaking thereof, whether is it in the Of­fice of the Ministers and Preachers amongst us now to read and preach the Law and Commandment to the people, for they cannot hold forthlife or comfort to them from the Commandment; or if it be in their Office, how to preach the Commandment, and to whom?

A. It is the proper Office of the Ministers of Christ (as the fitted instruments of Christs Spirit) to preach the Gospel of salvation and life, and only occasionally to preach the Law and Commandment for the Gospels sake (as the Apostle of Christ saith) which in that maner did both: Christ (saith this Apostle) hath made us able Ministers of the New Testament, not of the letter, but of the Spirit; for the let­ter killeth, but the Spirit giveth life: And yet he saith, That he 1 Cor. 9. 13 20, 21, 22, 23 medled with the Law as one under the Law, and became all things to all men, that he might win some; and that he did for the Gospels sake, that he might be partaker thereof with them.

Touching the manner of preaching the Law.

The Minister of the Spirit considereth two sorts of men; the one unbelievers, yet all in the same like condition of Reprobates, though some of them many be of the Elect ones, and heirs of the promise, not yet known to themselves, nor regarded: To these, being under the Law, even in their own apprehensions, 1. He preacheth the Law, as belonging, and most proper unto them, yet useful to all for Go­vernment before men.

2. The goodness, holiness, and justness of the same Law.

3. The commands, duties, and performances thereof, justly requi­red of God; yet also withall their own weakness, and want of pow­er to perform before God, by their own fault lost in the first trans­gression.

4. He sheweth them also their continued transgression.

5. He sheweth their death by their first transgression, and their in­crease of pain by their succeeding transgression. But he no way preacheth, that life, grace or peace with God cometh, or shall, or may come to them, by their doing or performing the duties of the com­mandment now, which though ordained first unto life in mans inno­cency [Page 173] and power, yet, sithence it was broken by man, is found to be unto all men unto death, as the Apostle saith: for so to preach, were to dissemble.

But because some of unbelievers yet may be of the elect ones, as Paul was, I did it in unbelief saith Paul, when he persecuted: there­fore the Minister of the spirit, may and doth hold forth amongst these 1 Tim. 1. 13. Joh. 1. 17. unbelievers, That life, grace, and peace, cometh only to believers in Christ by Jesus Christ, his performing (as the Apostle saith) the Law came by Moses, but grace, truth, and peace by Jesus Christ. And the knowing and manifestation of this, cometh to believers, by the grace of believing given to them (being the fruit of Christs spirit in them that believe) whose hearts and soules, Christ hath made the instru­ments of his grace of faith and believing. Unto the true believers in Je­sus Christ, (which the Apostle saith) are not under the Law, but un­der grace, which believe their election in Christ, before the foundation of the world was laid, which believe that God hath laid their sins up­on Christ, and that Christ hath born them in his body upon the tree. And that Christ hath redeemed them, and bought them by paying the inestimable price of his blood. And that they are freely justified by his grace, fulfilling of the Law, and his performances for them. And that he is still a King, a Priest and a Prophet, to rule, keep, preserve, and do all things for them, and in them, making their members his instru­ments of the righteous works of his spirit in them, until he shall pre­sent them blameless at his coming to judgment, which desire to know nothing, but Jesus Christ and him crucified (as the Apostle of Christ 1 Co. 2. 2. saith he did.) To such believers the pure Gospel of Jesus belongeth to be preached, and the Law in grace for government before men; for such are not under the Law, but under grace, That the means of the Rom. 6. 10 manifestation and witness of the spirit which is Christ speaking of the word of grace by the mouth of his Ministers (for it is not the Mini­sters that speak, but the spirit that speaketh in them, (as Christ said to his Disciples that he sent to preach the Gospel) may be, as sincere Mat. 10. 20. Ephes. 4. 15. Tit. 1. 13. Iam. 2 5. milk unto infants, that they may grow thereby) and that so they may grow up in all things into him which is the head, that is Christ. That they may be sound in faith, That they may be rich in faith, That they (being led by the spirit) may so walk in Christ as they have received the Lord Jesus, rooted and built in him, and stablished in the faith, as they have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving (as the Apostle speaketh) for even as the Child when it is first born, though then it is a true and perfect man, yet it is but little, weak, and hath [Page 174] need of nourishment for growth, strength, and increasment. So the fruit and bringing forth of the spirit in man, is at first but little, small, and weak, and have need of the means of the spirit, the sincere milk of the word of grace; for the growth, strength, and increasment of beauty to the fulness thereof; yet let these be rather held manifesta­tions of the spirit, then means. And thereupon the Apostle saith, Christ gave, some Apostles, some Prophets, some Evangelists, and some Pastors, and Teachers, for the gathering toge­ther of the Saints, and for the work of the Ministry, (mean­ing the Ministry of the Gospel of Grace) as the same Apostle saith, Christ hath made us able Ministers of the new Testamen, not of the letter, but of the spirit; not of the letter that is the Law, the Commandments, duties, and performances thereof before God; for that were to go about to be witch believers, to in [...]angl [...] them, and to bring them into the yoak of bondage again (as the Apostle saith) the false Apostles did the Galathians, which had received the faith, and to make them believe, that Christs performances and grace were not enough for their peace, with God without their own doing some­thing of the Law, Commandment, duties, and performances thereof for their peace with God: and that were to exalt man above that which he is, and to make men believe that themselves are something, which they are not; and to have a power and strength which they have not, (as the Apostle adviseth and giveth a caveat of. If any man think him­self that he is somewhat, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself in Gal. 6. 3 his own imagination.

He that will be my Disciple, saith Christ, must deny himself, Luk 9. 23 (meaning) that man certainly that cometh after me, and is my Dis­ciple, doth deny that he hath any power, any strength, any ver [...]ue, any wisdom, any goodness, any performance in himself, for his peace with God: yea that were to undervalue Christ, and to derogate from Christ and his grace, which hath said, My grace is sufficient for thee, for my power is made perfect through 2 Cor. 12. 9 weakness, very gladly therefore, (saith the Apostle) will I rejoyce rather in mine infirmities, (that is, that I my self have no power) that the power of Christ may dwell in me, and only have the praise v. 10. and glory.

Yea further, that were to abolish Christ and grace, and to nullifie Christ and his grace: so the Apostle of Christ holdeth forth, If it be of works, it is no more of grace, else were work no more works, mean­ing, if it be in any part of works and mans performances to have peace Rom. 11 6. [Page 175] with God, then grace is quite shut out. And if it be of grace, that man hath his peace with God in any part, then (saith she) it is no more of works, then are works quite shut out, else were grace no more grace. The meaning of the Apostle is, that mans works and perfor­mances, and grace, and Christs performances cannot go and stand to­gether, in mans justification, in pleasing, pacifying, or making mans peace with God.

To this purpose the Apostle of Christ saith also, I say unto Gal. 5. 2. you, that if you be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. And a­gain, ye are abolished from Christ, whosoever are justified by the Law, v. 4. ye are fallen from grace (that is) if any man think or account himself holy, good, just, and righteous, or more holy, more righteous, or better then he was, or better more holy, more righteously, then other men by his performances, and doing duties of the Law, as in his praying, fasting, giving of Alms, building of Churches, Hospitalls, or giving of every man his due (as he thinketh) by doing pennance for his faults, by making restitutions though as Zacheus did, &c. which all are commandments of the Law: the Apostle saith plainly, Christ shall profit him nothing, he is abolished from Christ.

Obj. If a man may not think and account himself to be more holy, Gal. 5. 2 4 more righteous, and better then himself was before in Gods sight, or more holy, more righteous, and better then other men, which are without doing the works of the holy Commandment. By his doing the works of the holy and righteous Commandment, (as praying, fasting, building Churches, Hospitals,) paying dues, making restitution, and the rest. This Doctrine will quench all devotion, goodness, just deal­ing, and duties to God and man; for wherefore should a man do these and the like, if he may not think himself the better, more holy, more righteous in Gods sight by doing, nor be more holy, more righteous, and better by doing, then other men that do nothing?

Answ. This Doctrine doth not quench or abate true devotion, or any thing of goodness to God in truth; but maketh way to the shi­ning of the true light to man, whereby he may be better indeed in re­spect with God through Christ, according to true spiritual manifesta­on.

For manifestation of the true light herein first is to be considered, that whatsoever devotions, or prayers, man hath, or doth perform of himself, in his own wisdom and power, or whatsoever works he doth, or deviseth to do, according to the rule of the Law and holy Com­mandment of works either towards God or man, for his own bet­terness, [Page 176] for his own estimation of more holiness and righteousness in himself before God, (he deceiveth himself) to man, there may be e­stimation by such devotions and performances, but not to God; for God knoweth that man in his meer natural estate, (for his estimation with m [...]n) may be so acted by the spirit of Antichrist, that he may shew, and do all these things, and all other outward things of the holy Law, and Commandement outwardly, as fully as may be seen of man to be done; which for proof thereof, we may clearly see in the Pha­risees Herod, and Judas, especially of the Pharisees whom no man (now living) in devotions and outward performances of the holy Law can be seen to go beyond, and they were never the better there­by; but the worse thereby, as appears by the woe, that Christ pro­nounced against them for their hypocrisie in such their devotions, and Mar. 23. 14. performance of the Law, to be seen of men, to get estimation among men.

Again, (God knoweth) that man himself hath no power at all, nor will, unto good, that he lost these in the first transgression. And that man himself can do and perform nothing that is good before God; for Paul a principle example, one that had then received of Christ as much as any man had, or have acknowledged, that he in himself found no Rom 7. 18. Ps. 14 3. Rom. 3. 10, 11, 12. means to perform that which is good. And David (a man after Gods own heart) and Paul saith, There is no man that doth good, no not one. Then how can any man think, that he is the better, the more righteous in the sight of God in Gods estimation by his own devotions, prayers, & all his own outward performances of the holy Law of God, done in the greatest wisdom of man, no, they are no better in the estimation of God, then the devotions of the Jews and their performances, which the Prophet Isaiah mentioneth were such as God was weary of, were abomination to him and he hated. Man cannot make himself better to Isa. 1 12. 13. God; it is Christ that maketh him better, it is Christs performance that maketh man better to God, more holy, more righteous in the eyes of God, then he was before.

Yet (so it is.) That Christ by whom God hath given all to his elect ones (of his great grace) maketh them (as he pleaseth) his instruments in the way of their Pilgrimage of the performances of the holy Law and Commandement, as devotions, prayer, preaching, hearing, me­ditation, love, just dealing, &c. through his holy spirit in them, where by they shine as many lights amongst men, to the praise of the glory of his grace: yea though they be mightily wrought upon by the spirit of Christ in them to mortification of sin in their earthly Mem­bers [Page 177] to sanctification, and the purifying of their hearts by Faith; yet they think not themselves better by any thing in them of their own: for they acknowledg, that in themselves dwelleth no good thing (as Paul did) they acknowledg the flesh and corruption still remaining in them, as in others, and they give the praise and glory of all good to Jesus Christ.

And herein is the chief discernment of those which are the instru­ments of the spirit of Antichrist, which are wrought up many times to as great performances as the instruments of the spirit of Christ are, and those which are Antichrists, boast of these as their own to their own praise among men. But those which are Christs, put off all praise, of whatsoever from themselves, giving all to the praise and glory of Act. 3. 12. 16. Act. 14 15 Rev. 22 9. God, as Peter did, healing the lame man, as Paul and Barnabas did, when they would have sacrificed to them, oh (say they) we are men, subject to like passions as ye be, and (as the Angel did, where John would have worshipped him) saying (I am thy fellow Servant) wor­ship God.

They that uphold this objection want two things, first, the spirit of 1 Cor. 2. Christ, whereby they discern not: the spiritual man discerneth all things, the [...]e are taught of God. Secondly, they erre not, knowing Mat. 22. 29 Mat. 12. 24 the Scriptures, as Christ said; for which the Apostle Paul laboureth much in his Epistl [...]s, as to the Romans, in the first to the Corinthians, to the Galathians, Philippians, &c. to the Hebrews, in the Epistle of John, as knowing that then the spirit of Antichrist was busie, and afterwards would be busie to puff men up with a conceit of them­selves, which corrupt man is prone unto, that they are something, and can do something of the Commandement before God; yea some con­ceive they can do all, as the ruler said to Christ, all these have I kept Luke 18. 21. from my youth. Yea some say, they can do all, by the help of God, by the grace of Christ, and by the power that God hath given them; As the Pharisee, I thank God, I am not as other men, extortioners, unjust adulterers, or as this Publican, I fast often, I pray, I give tithe Luke 18. 11. of all I possess: mark the Pharisee thanketh God for all these he did boast of; surely he acknowledged he had power, or grace, or help from God in these performances, and yet was less justified, then he that confest he had done nothing, or failed and sinned in all these. And some thinking to modefie the injury to Christ, say, that though they do not the work of the Commandement alone, yet they cooperate with Christ, having a share in the work of the Commandement done, which they ground much upon a saying of a Father in the Church, [Page 178] which is, God hath made thee without thy self: but he hath not re­deemed thee without thy self: which saying is true, thus, man was not with God in the making of man, but man was with God in his re­deeming of man, it was Emanuel that redeemed man. For God did assume flesh, Christ was made of a woman, that the promise might be fulfilled. The seed of the woman shall break the Serpents head. But this doth not prove, that man doth cooperate with Christ in his Re­demption and performances to his peace with God to the remission of his sin; justification, and salvation. O Israel, saith God, thy dam­ationn Hos. 13. 9. is of thy flesh, thy salvation only of me.

The work of mans Redemption, reconciliation to God, and of Gods reconciliation to man, of forgivness of sins, his justification, sanctification, and glorification, is all Christs wholly in himself: no part there of is mans. And whosoever denieth this, denieth Christ to become in the flesh: for to deny him in part of his work and perfor­mance, is to deny him in all his work and performances. To deny part of Christ, is to deny whole Christ: For Christ will have no partner 1 Cor. 1. 13 Collos. 3. 11. 1 Cor. 12. 6 in his work. Christ is all and in all, and he walketh all in all, (saith the Apostle.)

Quest. How can all good performances to God and man, approved in the holy Testament, as faith, love, thankfulness, joy, humbleness, reverence, peace, meekness, all goodness, as righteousness, mercy, gentleness, patience, temperance, &c. be wrought and made in man by the spirit, (that is the Holy Ghost in him) when as these perfor­mances, many of them, are made to God alone. How can the spirit pray to the spirit, give thanks to the spirit, beleeve in the spirit, be humble to the spirit, and the rest. This holdeth forth absurdity, that the same, should perform to the same. That a man should pray and re­quest himself, be humble to himself, is absurd to affirm. So to say the spirit maketh request to himself, is thankful to himself, is ab­surd.

Answ. This is absurd indeed to them that consider of the spirit, in the unity of the God-head: But the spirit is to be considered, as the third person of the God-head, proceeding from the Father and the Sonne, sent to Gods Elect, by the Father and his Son Jesus Christ, God and man; from which Father, the same spirit descending by a mighty voice from Heaven, said, This is my beloved Sonne, being then a Mark. 1. 1 [...] Messenger or Representative of the Father. This spirit I say is also the Messenger, or Representative of the Sonne Jesus Christ, sent to the E­lect, for the comfort and behoof by the Father and the Sonne: yet spe­cially [Page 179] in the behalf, and for the performing the gracious Offices of the Sonne. So it plainly appeareth by the words of Christ, I will pray, (saith Christ) to the Father, and he shall give you another comforter, Iohn 14. 16 17. v. 26. even the spirit of Truth, that he may abide with you for ever, be in you, and dwell with you. The comforter the Holy Ghost, which the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, &c. And again, It is expedient for you that I go away, for if I go not away, the Ioh [...] 16. 7, 8 Comforter will not come unto you. But if I depart, I will send him unto you, and he shall reprove the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment.

Now this spirit, sent of the Father and the Sonne to the Elect, to be a Representative of Jesus Christ, after his going out of the earth, from them; for to do and perform for them, that which they are not able to do and perform, in their state of nothing to good, (as the A­postle saith of all) If any man saith he is somewhat, when as he is no­thing, Gal. 6. 3. he deceiveth himself: Therefore as Jesus Christ, had undertaken to do all for the Elect, to the Father fore-past, and to come, and did all undertaken, then to be done of him during his being upon earth, (as amongst the rest.) To pray to the Father for them, to give thanks for them, to believe for them, to rejoyce for them, to be humble and o­bedient to the Father for them. So this was the gracious care of Je­sus Christ to provide after his departure a Representative of himself, for their comfort, even his holy spirit to do all things for them, and in them, to the pleasure of the Father, in his name and behalf making and fitting them in their several Members of soul and body, to be instru­ments of such his performances. As David said, his tongue was made Psal. 45. 1. the pen of a ready Writer: we know the Pen is but the instrument of the writer, no more was the tongue of David; but the instrument of the Oracle that spake, the spirit was the speaker. And so when he said before, his heart was inditing of a good matter, (he doth not say the inditer but inditing) he mean th that his heart was the instrument of the spirit, which was the inditer of the good matter, his heart it self not the inditer of the good matter, no more then his tongue was the writer thereof, which was but only the instrument of the writer. The of a good matter may ascribe, and account the writing writer thereof to the pen. And may say, my pen writ this thing; but the common reason of man knoweth that the writer himself did sharp and fit the pen, yea and lead and guide the pen every way: otherwise the pen could have done nothing in writing, the pen would have laid still.

[Page 180] Even so Jesus Christ, which by his spirit, his representative, is the inditer of all, the writer of all, the doer and performer of every good matter in man, of his love and grace to man his creature and in­strument, may, and doth ascribe, impute and account all to be mans, and his members instrumen's fitted by him, lead, guided, and inabled by the spirit, to bear and hold forth the same, which otherwise could do nothing of the good thing, but would lie still, thereunto (as Paul was, when he said) I find no means to perform that which is good; yea, saith he there, when I would do good, evil is present with me, and the Rom 7. 18 good which I would do, that I do not; but the evil which I would not do, that I do: wherein the Apostle sheweth, that when Jesus Christ by his spirit, had framed and fitted his will to good, that was not enough for him to do it: But Jesus Christ by his spirit, must go on with the instrument of his will, which he had fitted to the instru­ment of the deed and performance, in fitting his other Members also for instruments of the deed to be performed by his holy spirit, other­wise though there was will ready, yet the deed would be wanting. Therefore the same Apostle saith, It is God that worketh in us, both the will and the deed of his own good pleasure. In which words, the Phil. 2. 13. Apostle sheweth, that it is our God that worketh the will to good, and the good deed also: therefore the will is Gods, and the deed is Gods, not mans, except by asscription and imputation, and man is not, nor can be the instrument of the good, unless first fitted by the spirit of Christ, to be the instrument of the good deed, no more then the 1 Cor. 15. 10. pen can be the instrument of writing well, without sharping and fit­ting, it. And these words also hold forth, that when Christ hath wrought up the will, his working of the deed may be wanting yet, at his pleasure; yea, but the Apostle saith, evil was then present with him, he was ready to do evil, when the spirit had fitted his will unto good, and the evil which he would not do that be did, even as a captive and bond-man to act sin of himself, and nothing but sin can a man do of himself, or doth, which notwithstanding is abated, and stayed by the spirit of Christ, as it pleaseth: so that, at all times, the flesh can­not do what it would, as the Apostle saith, The spirit is contrary and against the flesh, that it cannot do what it would, no more then the Gal. 5 17 will framed by the spirit, can bring to pass what it would through the hinderance of the flesh; for saith the Apostle, they are contrary one to another, that ye cannot do what ye would. So that, to conclude, all good performances in man are Jesus Christs performances, by his re­presentative the Holy Ghost, brought forth and done of him by, or [Page 181] with the instrument of the members of man, together, or severally, framed and fitted for the work: Even as the body and his members are the instruments of the Soul, and therefore is called the Organ of the Soul, and can do nothing at all without the Soul: So the Soul and body both are the Instruments of Christs Spirit, without which they neither of them can do any thing that is good before God, and are in the doing only the instruments of the Spirit of Christ: and yet by grace, in the word of grace, those doings and works of the Spirit are called and accounted mans, and so accepted, through Christ, of God the Father.

And all the sin and evil done, is mans own act, even of the flesh and corruption of such as are Believers; In me (that is, in my flesh, saith the Apostle) dwelleth no good thing: yet this sin done of the Elect in Rom. 7. 18 the flesh (though yet unbelievers) is taken away by Christ presently, as it is done; yea was virtually taken away by the Fathers D [...]cree, and acceptance in Christ, before it was done in appearance, and layd up­on Christ: In which relation, I conceive, the Apostles words are most clear, saying, He that is born of God, sinneth not, neither can sin, because his sin is taken away by Christ before from the beginning, and 1 Ioh. 3. 9 by the Fathers pleasure, and in his acceptance, layd upon Christ: and this the Evangelical Prophet Isaiah sheweth plainly; God, saith he, hath layd upon Him the iniquities of us all, (meaning the Elect:) And Isai. 53. 6 1 Pet. 2 24 1 Ioh. 1. 7 the Apostle saith, He bare our sins in his body upon the tree: And again, The blood of Christ cleanseth us from all sin. And this is the great grace of God manifested to Believers, that they are cleansed from all their sins, though subject in the flesh to frequent sins dayly: and yet are so governed and kept by Christ their King, that they do Rom. 6. 1 not sin the more, because they know this exceeding grace, that their sin is taken away, and cleansed in present: This ministreth no occasion Gal. 5. 13 to the flesh, which the Apostle adviseth to take heed of; but this grace, known to Believers, doth stay and hinder the act of sin in the reasonable Soul of Believers, though the same reasonable Soul be cor­rupted and fleshly: For the common reason of men will advise to do less hurt to that man that hath saved his life, or done him most good. Sin is a great grief and hurt to God, as the Believer knoweth; for sin­ful man is warned, Grieve not the good Spirit of God, whereby ye are Eph. 4. 30 Ioh. 19. 34 sealed to the day of Redemption: and again, They shall look upon him whom they have pierced. Believers know, that the nature of sin is to grieve and pierce their God, that hath saved their life, and hath only done them good of love and free grace, without any desire of [Page 182] their own: Therefore this known grace of Believers must needs be a great stay and stop to them of doing that which they know is sin a­gainst God, Gods great grief, hurt, and piercing.

Q. Are there not some Hypocrites of such as profess themselves to be stedfast Believers in Jesus Christ?

A. Yea; there are four sorts of men, that profess themselves con­stant Believers in Jesus Christ, that are Hypocrites.

The first are such, which notwithstanding they will say they be­lieve in Christ to be saved by him, yet they hold themselves under the moral Law, the Law of Commandments, the Law of Works be­fore God, as man was before he fell, and is after, not being in Christ.

That notwithstanding all that Christ hath undertaken and done for them, the moral Law is still a rule which they of necessity must fol­low, and do the commands thereof before God unto life, as being left in such bonds by Christ; otherwise they believe they cannot be saved by Christs performances: For, say they, Christ came not to destroy the Law, but to fulfil it: which Scripture they do, and must Mat. 5. 17 needs take thus, to uphold their dissembling believing in Christ, That Christ did not, by his coming, take away the power, command, domi­nion, and bond of the Law from his Ele [...]t Believers, but did fulfil the Law for them. But alass, what benefit should the Elect have by Christs fulfilling of the Law for them, if Christ should have left them under the power, command, and bond of the Law still? If a friend payeth the whole sum of mony due by a bond, to whom his poor friend is bound, and leaveth the bond still in [...]o [...]ce, and the debt still to be demanded of the poor man; what benefit hath the poor man of that his friend payd? So if Christ hath fulfilled the Law for his Elect, and left his Elect still in bond to the Law, and under the command and power of the Law before God, what benefit have the Elect by Christ fulfilling the Law for them?

Solut. But they understand not the words of Christ rightly, for in­deed Christ came not to destroy the Law, that is, not to take away any power, command, bond, or penalty of the Law, touching the repro­bate, which he came not to fulfil the Law for; yea, nor to take away the Law in all respects touching his Elect: For it is the justice of Gods righteous Law, that he continually pleadeth to and with the Father for his Elect, that he hath fulfilled all for, and done all for, for their peace with God: Therefore the Apostle saith, If any man sin, we have an Advocate (that is, a Pleader of Law and Justice) with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous, and he is the propitiation for 1 Joh. 2. 1 [Page 183] our sins. It is the Law and Justice of God that Christ pleadeth for his Elect, which he payd the uttermost farthing of their bond and debt to God for, by his righteousness, suffering, and performances; whereby he obtaineth discharge from them of the binding Law, and is the propitiation for their sins; And (saith the Apostle touching the Elect) He hath put out the hand-writing of Ordinances that was a­gainst Col. 2. 14 us (meaning of all Laws before God) which were contrary to us, he even took it out of the way, and fastened it upon his Cross.

But that of the Apostle (touching the Elect) where he saith, Sin shall have no more dominion over you; for ye are no more under the Rom. 6. 14 Law, but under Grace, doth still make more for their dissembling in believing: For the Apostle saith, Sin hath no dominion or power over the Elect, because the Law hath no dominion or power over the E­lect; they are no more under the Law, but under Grace: There­fore we must needs conceive the Elect are in truth discharged, disbur­thened, and freed from the dominion and power of the Law before God, that is, the commands and bonds thereof, before they are or can be discharged, unburthened, and freed from the dominion and power of sin before God, which is the curse and death. And this Christ shewed in the order of his work to both: For first, Christ ful­filled all righteousness of the Law in his life before men, that so the power and dominion of the Law, in the commands and bond thereof, might be answered and satisfied before men; for this command and bond was but that the Law might be kept and fulfilled of man: And then when he had fulfilled the command and bond of the Law, he payd his death and blood for the transgression of the Law, both made in Adam actually, vertually, and successively, of all the Elect of God then in Adams loyns, whereby Christ leaveth not his Elect nei­ther under the command nor bond of the Law, which is the domi­nion and power thereof; not under the penalty, curse, and death for sin and transgression of the Law, which is the dominion and power of sin. Christ hath discharged his Elect, both of the power and domi­nion of the Law, and of sin and curse.

And yet this sort of dissembling Believers, not here satisfied (as men not humbled truly, but deceived by the spirit of Antichrist, which ever exalteth man) will say, They are not blocks and stones unto good unto the holy commandment; They can endevor, and must; They have power in themselves, if not to do all, and follow all the rule of the Commandment before God, yet by the leave of God, by Gods grace, and by the help of Christ, they may: So that they pre­sume [Page 184] they have power enough of their own to do and follow the rule of the Commandment before God, if God will give them leave, and give them grace to do and follow it; at least, if Christ doth help them in the work, if themselves be not strong enough: Herein hold­ing fo [...]th, as if God were sometime a Hinderer of his workman, or not always a furtherer of his work and workman, and as if Christ were as a journy-man at a pinch to help on a work charged or undertaken, and themselves the principal workmen.

But God hath revealed to his Elected Believers, that they know that themselves lost all power, will, and inclination, to the doing any thing at all of the holy and just Commandment of God in Gods sight, in the first sin and fall of Adam, meaning in the estimation of God; and they know there remaineth to themselves no power, will, or in­clination to good, as in themselves, and of themselves before God; as Paul, an Elected Believer, acknowledged of himself; I find no means, saith he, to perform that which is good before God: We can­not Rom. 7. 18 2 Cor. 3. 5 think any thing that is good as of our selves: Neither did God in the Promise, or Covenant of Grace, made to Adam in Paradise, promise to restore or give again to Adam and his E [...]ct of mankind in general, the power which he had lost of doing the commandment before him: but all the promise of power was made to the seed of the woman, which seed was Christ; The seed of the woman shall break the Serpents head, saith God: he meant only, that his Christ Gal. 3. 10 should have power to break the Serpents head, to do the work of God, and loose the works of the Devil. And they know, that in themselves dwels no good thing, (as Paul confessed of him­self,) 1 Ioh. 3 8 but that they are miserable, wretched, poor, blind, and naked in themselves. Rev. 3. 17

And they know, that God (knowing the loss, weakness, and want of power in his Elect, unto all good before him did therefore, ac­cording to his fore-purpose and love, give and send his Christ, furnish­ed with all power, righteousness and wisdom of the Godhead, to perform all before God, touching the holy Law and Commandment for them, and in their behalf, unto their salvation, without charging upon his Elect any performance of Law and Commandment at all before God, which they (he knew) had no power to do and which Christ had undertaken to do for them, and had performed already be­fore God. When a debt is payd, Justice doth not require it again: and therefore the Elect do not stand bound or charged before God with the bond, commandment, or rule of the Law, upon necessity to [Page 185] their salvation. And they know, that God did never hinder, dishear­ten, or discountenance any man, in, or from the works of his holy commandment; and that Christ is no such helper to man, to perform the good work, as an additional power to the power that man hath of his own: But that Christ is the whole power, and the whole workman of the work, and man, or any member of man, onely the instrument, which he of his grace having sitted as he pleased to make use of, in the work of godliness and goodness.

So that God knoweth, his Christ knoweth, and the Elect Believers, which are rooted and built in Christ, and stablished in the faith, know, Col. 2 7 That for a man to say, as a Believer in Christ, that he is only saved by the performances of Christ; and yet to believe that himself is bound to perform something for his salvation, is but halting, hypo­crisie, and dissimulation in believing, and an undervaluing of Christ and his performances, as if they were not able and suffici [...]n [...] enough for mans salvation: A great injury to Christ and his merit, and a charging of God with injustice; To take the whole debt of Christ, and yet to hold the poor man bound when the debt is payd.

And for a man to say, he lost all power in Adams fall to do the Commandment before God, and yet to say, he believeth (if God will give him leave, if God will give grace and favor, if Christ help­eth him) he can do it, or something of the commandment, is meer halting, hypocrisie, and dissembling.

For, for a man to say, he lost all power, and to have some power still, is to dissemble.

For a man to say, that God commandeth him to do a work, and to question his leave to do it, is to dissemble.

For a man to qu [...]stion Gods favor to him in doing that he com­mandeth, is to dissemble; for no servant of man will question his Masters leave, or favor, to do his command: nor call him a helper, as a co-operator (as they speak and intend) which is whole doer of the work, and which they ought to call the whole and only workman, without halting, dissembling, hypocrisie and injury.

The second sort of hypocrites in believing, are those, which say, They believe to be saved by Christ, if they stand and held in the saith; but they believe they may fall away from the faith, and commit such sin, as may shut them out from salvation by Christ, and from believ­ing to be saved by him, and so be in the state and danger of damna­tion, and yet upon repentance may have forgiveness then granted of God, and may believe again to be saved; and so may fall and rise a­gain [Page 186] often in their life: and as they dye in either state, be saved, or damned.

Which manner of believing (pretended in the true God and Christ, holden forth in the Word of Truth and Grace, to be a God and Christ of certainty, constancy, justness, grace, unchangeable, without re­pentance) Mal. 3. 6 clearly appeareth to be hypocrisie and dissembling in be­lieving: For their believing is, indeed, in a God and Christ that is un­certain, inconstant, not just, and in his grace changeable, and repent­ing of that he hath done and covenanted of his free grace, according to the inconstancy and changeableness of weak, frail and failing man, which of himself hath no power to do good before God, to believe, to repent of evil, and so to continue; but to sin onely, and to do evil: The true God (true Believers know) is a constant God, that loveth those which he loveth to the end; which according to his endless love Elected those, which he of free grace did love, in and through Joh. 15. 1 his Christ, to be redeemed and carryed on to their salvation, accord­ing to his unchangeable love and purpose, by the performances of his Christ, the full furnished undertaker for them all, without any condi­tion or consideration of mans weakness frailty, doing, changing, or failing: for this was his Covenant of grace, which otherwise had been no Covenant of grace; but an harder Covenant to man, now in weakness and frailty, yea in bondage of sin, then the Covenant of Works was to Adam, when he had power and freedom of Will.

And true Believers know further, that Christ is unchangeable and sure in all he undertook for the beloved chosen of God; and that he hath done all for them, and payd all for them in himself, and will certainly preserve and keep them all to be presented blameless at his coming to judgment.

Therefore their believing of their possible often falling from, and rising to Salvation again by Jesus Christ, grounded either upon God, his Christ, or man himself, is but a fiction of another God and Christ then the word of Grace holdeth forth, and a making mans salvation to depend upon himself, not the true faith, but a false, halting, and dissembling saith, yea to hold forth God and his Christ inconstant, changeable, unjust in Covenant and promise, failing in undertaking and performance, is blasphemy, Rabsheka's blasphemy.

The third sort of professing Believers in Christ, which are hypocrites in their believing, are such as hold forth in their believing universal Re­demption by Christ Death and Blood, which, say they, was payd for all mens transgression, for the Redemption and Salvation of all men, as [Page 187] a price sufficient for the same, but not to be effectual and efficient to the unbelievers thereof: That it is their believing only that maketh the price payd for their Redemption to be effectual to their Salvation.

This believing is ungodly and antichristian believing, for it exalteth man and mans own work, to mans own salvation, above Gods and Christs work, above the vertue of Gods love, free grace, truth, and Christs blood and performance, undervaluing all of God and Christ to mans work of believing to his Salvation; as if the price of Christs blood, and the precious blood of Christ, were but a dead thing with­out the life and soul of mans believing, to act and effect the salvation of man: Herein is horrible blasphemy against God and Christ, Gods love, free grace, Truth, Christs blood and performances: For Gods love, purpose, decree, Covenant or Promise of his free Grace in Je­sus Christ, his Christs precious blood and performances for mans sal­vation, are the whole cause, both material and effectual, efficient, formal, and final, of mans salvation, without any dependance of man, or his doing, to the same. Mans believing is no efficient or cause thereof, but God only. Salvation is of the Lord, saith the Pro­phet: Our God is the Salvation of Israel: There is no Salvation Jonah 2 9 Jer. 3. 23 Act 4. 12 1 Tim 4. 10 Eph. 2. 5. 6 in any other, saith the Apostle, speaking of Christ and his perform­ances: Christ is the Saviour of all men, that is, which are, or shall be saved. By grace ye are saved: We know that all things work to­gether for the best to them which love God, even to them which are called of his purpose: For those which he knew before, he also pre­destinated to be made like to the Image of his Son: And whom he predestinated, them also he called; and whom he called, them also he justified; and whom he justified, them also he glorified. God predestinated, called, justified, and glorified before himself those he pleased before the World.

What need more testimonies of Scripture for mans salvation only to be by God? his love, grace, decree, purpose, and his Christs un­dertakings and performances to be perfected certainly to those which God did love; to be elected and predestinated, to be called, justified, and glorified by his Christ, and his performances, for them undertaken, and all faithfully and effectually performed by him, before men, in his obedience, suffering, cross, death, and resurrection.

But yet further, the Apostle saith, He dyed for our sins, and rose again for our justification; where the Apostle holdeth forth plainly, Rom. 4. 25 that Christ justified those which he dyed for, that he payd his blood for. And the same Apostle saith, that being justified by his blood, we Rom. 5. 9 [Page 188] are saved from wrath: Then it must needs follow, if Christ redeem­ed all universally in paying his blood, and justified all universally that he payd his blood for; and saveth all from wrath that he justified by his blood, None shall be damned: which must needs be the Con­clusion of Universal Redemption, which is denyed in the whole Scripture.

And whereas they pretend mans believing to be the efficient cause that only maketh Christs Redemption effectual to man; it is certain by the Scriptures, that man hath of himself, or in himself, as of himself, no power to believe in Christ, or his Redemption, as he ought to believe, no more then he hath to pray as he ought to pray: Now the Apostle saith, no man knoweth, or hath power to pray, as he ought: We know not to pray as we ought, but the Spirit maketh Rom. 8. 26 request for us, &c. Yea, the Apostle saith, that in him dwelleth no good thing, then no power to believe in Christ, or his Redempti­on: Rom. 7. 18 Yea further he saith, that he found no means to perform that which is good; Therefore not to believe in Christ, or his Re­demption. And further he saith, We cannot think any thing of our selves that is good; if not to think to believe in Christ, much less to 2 Cor. 3. 5 believe in Christ, to believe his Redemption: And David saith, There is none that doth good, no not one; if no good, then not to be­lieve Psa. 14. 3 in Christ, for that is a great good thing.

It is the Spirit, sent by Christ to man, that hath the power to do the good work of praying and believing for man; The Spirit it self (that is, alone) maketh request for us, saith the Apostle, not man himself: Indeed the Spirit fitteth the Soul, or heart of man, to be his Instrument in the work of believing, as the pen is the in­strument of the writer in his writing; but the believing is no more mans Believing, then the Writing is the Pens Wri­ting.

The Spirit openeth the blinde eyes of mans soul, (as the Prophet Psa. 146. 8 Isai. 29. 18 & 35 5 & 42. 7 saith,) and holdeth forth Jesus Christ, and his Redemption, by his precious blood payd, his justification and salvation, by the same and other his performances, and by the power of the enlightening, act­ing, and guiding of the Spirit, the blinde eyes of the Soul, opened, are the instruments of the Spirit, fitted to behold, see, and apprehend Jesus Christ, his Redemption made by the price of his blood payd, his Justification and Salvation wrought out: So that the believing of Gods Elect is none of their own work, but the work of the Spirit e­very way; it is onely the manifestation and evidence of Christ, &c. [Page 193] made by the opening the blind eyes of the reason and understanding, to let in Christ, and to be instruments for apprehending and applying the same to the soul: And so the Apostle describeth or defineth faith; Faith (saith he) is the evidence of things that are not seen: Faith is Heb. 11. 1. the fruit of the spirit, (saith the Apostle;) not of man, or the flesh, but of the spirit; yet, not before redemption and justification, effect­ed Gal. 5 22, and perfected, but only brought forth and manifested after re­demption, justification and salvation, made sure; which notwith­standing are first made manifest and known to the elected believer, when by grace he is made a believer.

These premises plainly conclude, that saith is not the cause efficient, or maker of the Redemption of Christ, effectual to man the believer; nor the antecedent to justification, and as­surance to salvation; but only the subsequent, consequent, or fruit following the manifestation and evidence of the same, to the elect Believer, where it pleaseth God to bestow this grace upon his Elect.

And charity will not suffer us to doubt, but that many which die before faith is manifest in them, are of Gods Elect: For (no doubt, but that the just God giveth his Christ: all those he paid for with his precious blood; And that neither the Devil, Hell, unbelief, nor any sin can take them out of Christs hands, nor hinder him of those he Ioh. 17. 12. v. 28. paid for.

Obj. The Apostle saith, We conclude that a man is justified by Faith, Therefore faith is the cause of justification.

Answ. Faith is there meant of the manifestation of justification; as Rom. 8. 28 if the Apostle had said; we conclude, that the justification of a man; which first manifested and made known to him, by believing, or in Heb. 11. 1. believing, then a man hath the first evidence thereof, faith is the evi­dence of things that are not seen.

Obj. Christ saith, he that believeth and is baptized, shall be sa­ved, Mark 16. 16. he that believeth not shall be damned: therefore none shall be saved, but those which believe, none that are prevented by death, which did not believe, shall be saved.

Answ. It is to be understood of those which slight, despise, and contemn the faith and believing in Jesus Christ, the manifestation and knowing of Redemption, justification, and [...]ivation only by Christ.

Obj. The Apostle saith, as many as were ordained to eternal life [Page 190] or salvation, believed therefore all that are ordained to eternal life, Acts 18 48. do believe, and none but believers are ordained to eternal life. All must be damned that believe not.

Answ. This Text is to be understood, of as many of those present; which heard the word of the Apostle preached at that time, not of all men and women, young and old, when, where, and whatsoever, whereof many never heard the Gospel preached, and are departed Nehem. 1. 7 this life not utterly without hope to us, of their eternal life, though without manifestation thereof in believing: the Lord knoweth who are his, Paul was elected in Christ before the world, and made sure of Ephes. 1. 4 1 [...] 13. eternal l [...]fe: when Paul persecuted the Church, and did it in unbelief, he had not saith.

The fourth sort of professing believers in Christ, which are Hypo­crites, are such, as the Apostle speaketh of, that turn the grace of God Iud 4 into lasciviousnes or wantonnes, which rather use the liberty that they conceive in their corrupt understandings, the grace of God, Christ bringeth to believers, for to be an occasion to the flesh, to give unto Gal 5. 13. them the raines of licenciousness and sinning, that the abounding of grace above sin, spoken by the Apostle, giveth all liberty to do any sin, Rom. 5. 10 the flesh inclineth unto. And for that the Prophet saith, all their ini­quities, being believers, are laid upon Christ. And for that the Apostle saith, he hath born them already upon the tree in his body, and wash­ed Isa. 53. 6. them away with his blood. There is no conscience or question (say they) to be made of sinning, or not sinning, grace hath made no stop or exception of sinning.

This believing is ungodly, and like to the womans e [...]ting of the for­bidden fruit; wherein the old Serpent the devil, made her believe there was no sin: so the Devil maketh these believe there is no sin in this their believing, that is most abominable sin in the sight of God.

For the faith and believing, which is the fruit of the spirit, is quite contrary believing; for although the true saith, which is the fruit of the spirit of Christ, apprehendeth the love and grace of God in their e­lection, in the promise, in the laying of all their sins and iniquities upon Christ, and in Christs bearing them in his body upon the tree, and in his washing them away by his blood. Yet they which have this true faith, do not believe that Christ leaveth them there to themselves, to live after the flesh licenciously with loose reigns of sinning. But they beleeve the free grace of God, that hath done these great things for them, through Jesus Christs performances, will go along with them, [Page 189] and teach them, that is, fit them, inable, direct and guide them as the in­struments of his spirit, to denie ungodlines and worldly lusts, and to Tit. 2 11. live soberly godly, and righteously in this present world.

That the spirit of Jesus Christ will fit them to be his instruments of Rom. 8. 13 mortifying the deeds of the flesh by the spirit, and lead them, that they shall walk after the spirit, and favour the things of the spirit; yea that the more they have of the spirit in them, the more the fruit of the spirit will appear in them, in all manner of goodness, and less of the flesh unto sin and wickedness. The more of Christ they have, the more will Christ and his righteousness shine in them. The manifestation of 1 Cor. 12. 7. the spirit, saith the Apostle, is given to every to profit, or do good withall, where good is not the spirit is not, where sin is abounding, the spirit is wanting. 1 Cor. 12. 3.

No man, saith the Apostle, can call Jesus Christ the Lord, but by the Mar. 7. 1. Holy Ghost, meaning, except he be an Hypocrite. Therefore those which call Jesus Christ their Lord and Saviour, for their liberty of sin­ning, Gal. 5. 23. are palpable Hypocrites. For sin is not the fruit of the spirit, but goodness and righteousness.

It is grace indeed from Christ to wretched sinful man, to have wrought out his deliverance from Hell and from sin, against his good God: But it were no grace from Christ to have wrought forth for Leu [...]. 19. 17. Rom. 8. 13 P [...]. 37. 24, v. 35. man a liberty to sin against his good God. But herein appeareth the grace of Christ to his elected believers, that he suffereth them not to sin, as the flesh lusteth, that he mortifieth sin in them by his spirit.

That though they fall, they shall not be cast of, for the Lord putteth Ierem. 32. 40 [...] under his hand.

That the righteous shall never be forsaken, I will put such a feare in­to their hearts, saith the Lord, with whom I have made my Covenant, that they shall never depart from me.

Christs Government of his Church upon Earth.

The truths and lights in this Treatise, discover the errors of the In­dependents, Anabaptists, and Brownists, and of their pharasaical Legalists, the great opposites, and may reconcile them all through the power and working of the grace of Jesus Christ, touching Christs Government of his Church here upon Earth.

IF those amongst us which are called Independents, and the rest which harp of that string, who to uphold their Independency and immunity amongst men. Therefore hold forth Christ their only head, King, Ruler, Governor, Lord, Law giver, Magistrate; Pastor, and Teacher, &c. and not man. And that Christ only hath the office and power to rule, govern, give Laws, feed, teach, &c. and no man.

And that the Laws given by man to the republique and King­dom, whereof Christ is the head, King, Governor and Law-giver only, are not of bounden duty and Conscience to be obeyed. But one­ly those given by Christ himself, and under his rule and Government only.

If those I say which hold forth Christ thus unto men, do also fur­ther hold him forth, to have all power to good, all good, wisdom, righteousness, holiness, and true goodness in himself alone; And that by his own soul and absolute power he doth all good things, whether good rule, Government, Order, Law-giving; yea, love, joy, peace, patience, meekness, righteousness, temperance, yea all goodness whatsoever, as he pleaseth in his universal national poli­tical, parochial particular Church, and in any member of any of them, through his holy and incomprehensible spirit in them, sent unto them for their comfort, keeping, preserving, and fitting to the Kingdom of glory, and the praise and glory of his grace for ever.

And that every good thing among the Sons of men, done in truth, Gods sight good, so done, and is the deed of Christ himself, by his powerful spirit, and not of the will of man, but of the will of God only.

[Page 193] And if those do acknowledge, that in man as himself dwelleth no good thing: And that in and of himself he hath no means to perform that which is good before God, as Paul the Apostle of Christ did Rom. 7. 18 confess and acknowledg of himself.

And that they have no power to good, before God, or can think or do any good themselves of themselves, but that they know they are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked. And so by consequence, Rev. 3. 17. that man, or men, of their own power and wisdom, cannot rule well, govern well, order well, give Laws well, in Gods sight, with any goodness in their ruling, ordering, Law-giving, teaching; no, nor can love well, rejoyce well, nor pray well, as they ought to pray, (as the Apostle saith) we cannot pray as we ought, that is, with any goodness Rom. 8 26. in our prayers.

And if those will acknowledge this undoubted truth, That although man cannot do these, or any good things of himself of the holy Law, and Commandment before God: yet because it pleaseth Christ, all such works of righteousness and goodness, should be done among his Elect, and other, to the glory of the Father in Heaven, in the way of mans pilgrimage, (as Christ speaketh,) Let your light so shine before men, that they seeing your good works, may glorifie your Father which Mat. 5. 16. is in Heaven.

And that Christ therefore hath sent his holy spirit to his uni­versal, national, political, parochial, or particular Church, (all being but one Catholique Church, though severed into particulars) and to e­very member of the same, to bear and hold forth such fruit of his spi­rit of all manner of goodness, as should be most fit and most behoof­ful to all or any of them, for the glory of the Father, and their comfort, whether it be the goodness of ruling, governing, ordering, command­ing, teaching, obeying, serving, loving, &c. And of his great grace to man, to make and fit corrupted man in his Members of soul and body, (as he pleaseth) to be his instruments of such his good and righteous works, best befitting publique and private, universal, national, politi­cal, parochial, and every particular Church, and every member there­of, in their Relations to the glory of God, and the good and comfort of his elect people.

And that those good and righteous works, which Christ doth by his spirit in his Elect, He of his grace to his Elect, in his word of Rom. 4. 6. grace, imputeth and accounteth to them, and calleth them their works, (as if they had been done of themselves,) Although they were but instruments only of his spirit, whereby, or wherewith Christ [Page 194] himself by his spirit did them. As if a writer of a good matter should sharp, fit, lead, and guide his pen wherewithall he writeth, and should afterwards praise his pen, and say, my pen writ this good matter.

Certainly man is no more the doer of the good of the holy Com­mandment, then the pen of the writer is the writer of the good mat­ter. It is Christ only of his grace, that accounteth it unto man, to be mans, and of grace to call it mans. So (through his great grace) as he accounteth his own works and doings, to be the works and doings of his Elect, and calleth them their works, whereof they are only in­struments fitted of him and by him, not of, nor by themselves; even so those which are but his fitted instruments, he in his word of grace, calleth the doers of the work, which himself only doth; And giveth them the titles of the doers of his work, which are his own only titles due and proper to himself, the doer in truth only. So the Lord made and called Saul, David and Solomon, Kings over Israel. Now my 1 Sam. 12 13. 1 Sam. 16. 1. 1 King. 3. 37. Act. 7. 35. Lord and God, saith Solomon, thou hast made me King over Israel, instead of my Father David. So God made, and call'd Moses, a Prince, a Judge, and a deliverer of his people Israel out of Egipt. Moses whom they forsook, saying, who made thee a Prince and a Judg? The same God sent for a Prince and a deliverer. So God made and call­ed Judah his Law-giver, and likewise Moses his Law giver to his people, saying, Judah is my Law-giver. The Law came by Moses. God called Saul, David, Solomon, by the names of Kings, Rulers, Psal. 6 [...]. 7 Joh. 1. 17. and Governors. And he called Moses by the name of Prince, Judge, and Deliverer. And he called Judah and Moses by the name of Law­givers, which names, titles, and works of the Offices of such titles, although, were only his, and proper to him alone. As the Prophet Isaiah saith, The Lord is our Judg, the Lord is our Law-giver, the Lord is our King, he will save us. As if he should have plainly said, There is Isa. 33. 22. no Judg, Law-giver, or King that can save, or do man any good, but the Lord, (as being such:) And the Apostle saith, There is one only Law-giver, that is able to save and destroy; who art thou that judg­est Jam. 4. 12. Ephes. 1. 21. 26. Mat. 27. 18 another man? (meaning) there is none but that one Christ, to whom the Father hath given and committed all judgment and power, yea made all unto good, and unto all that can do any good, either to save righteously, or destroy righteously, or judg righteously, but only Christ Jesus the righteous. Yet the Lord Jesus Christ, can and may do these good things, and works, for the good and comfort of his Church, and for his own glory, (as he pleaseth) by any means and [Page 195] Instruments, as he pleaseth, even as he smote the waters of Egipt with Moses, rod, and the waters were turned into blood. And with the same smote the Rock, and the waters gushed out, and overthrew the Exod. 7. 20 walls of Jericho, by the sound of Trumpets of Rams Horns. And sed seven thousand, and again five thousand men, besides women & Chil­dren, Iosua 6. 20 Mat. 14. 19 Mat. 15. 34 Iohn 2. with a few Loaves & Fishes; And turned the water into wine.

So Christ can do his good works of all sorts, both publique and pri­vate, yea in publique and private, for his universal, national, and par­ticular Church and people, to their best behoof and comfort, by the Instrument of man or men, both in ruling, governing, ordering, Law­giving, commanding, and in obeying, serving, and submitting; which good works of obeying, submitting, and serving, Christ also himself did upon earth, being present; I am among you (saith he) as one that serveth: he took upon him the form of a Servant, and made himself Luke 22. 27. Phil. 2. 7. of no reputation, he submitted and humbled himself unto death: To shew that his goodness is as well, yea as much in obeying, submit­ing, and serving, as in ruling & governing; and he maketh men his in­struments of those goodnesses and good works, as behoofful for the good and comfort of his Church and people, and the societies of men in the way of their pilgrimage, for private and publique, as governing, Law-giving, teaching and commanding, is good, and behoofful for his glory, and the good of his Church and requblique. And are now those instruments of Christ, which he of his grace honoureth with his own Names and Titles of his Offices, (as King, Lord, Prince, Ruler, Go­vernor, Law giver, and the rest) to be honoured with the same Titles, as the Instruments of Christ our God?

And are not the Ruling, Governing, ordering, Law-giving, com­manding, teaching of Christ by his spirit, in those his Instruments of his ruling, governing, commanding, judging, and the rest, wrought, done, and brought forth by his spirit in them, as the fruits of his spirit, by or with them his Instruments, and of his grace imputed, accounted and called by Christ himself, there ruling, governing, judging, Law­giving, ordering, commanding, and teaching (though they be Christs) to be accounted and called of men, their ruling, governing, and therest, though they be but instruments thereof? when as Christ our God himself so accounteth and calleth them there, (providing always) that they do acknowledg, as Peter did, It Act 3. 12. 16. Rev. 22. 9. is not through our own power or godliness, that we have done this, but the name and power of Jesus hath done it. And as the Angel did to John; I am thy fellow-Servant, worship God; that is, that men do not [Page 196] take Christs honour to themselves, not give Christs honour to men.

Then do not those manifest themselves, not to have the spirit of Christ, whose fruit is all manner of goodness, as well the goodness of obeying, submitting and serving, as the goodness of ruling, governing, ordering, Lawgiving, commanding, and teaching, &c. and so to be none of Christs; for the Apostle saith, he that hath not the spirit of Christ, is none of his. Yea rather do those not bewray themselves to have the spirit of Antichrist, that deny and withstand to obey, humble, submit, and do service to such Christs ruling, governing, or­dering, Law-giving, commanding, teaching, and judging, as is wrought, done, and performed of Christ, by or with his instruments of men? or that deny to account, and call such Christs instruments, Kings, Lords, Governors, Law-givers, and the rest, as Christ himself so calleth of his grace; or that deny to call that Christs Government of his Church, which is done of him, by and with his fitted instruments of men: for 1 Cor. 15. 25. Heb. 5. 6. & chap. 6. 20. & 7. 3. Christ is a King, Priest and Prophet, still; he shall raign till all his ene­mies be subdued under his feet: he is a Priest for ever, after the order of Melchisedeck: yea certainly, Christ is not a titular King, but doth execute his Offices of King, Priest and Prophet, still amongst men, for the good comfort and society of those which are his, in his power, wisdom and grace, by and with his instruments of men, in the ruling, governing, ordering, Law-giving, judging, commanding, teaching, &c. and in obeying, submitting, and serving: And to make this clear and plain unto men, the Apostle of Christ (him­self being the instrument of Christs spirit) advertiseth much to Christians and Christian-churches, of ruling, preaching, or prophecy­ing, teaching, waiting on the office men have, exhorting, doing ser­vice, giving honor; And of submitting to powers, paying tribute, re­sisting See Rom. 12. Rom 13. 1 Tim. 2 of powers, praying for Kings and all that are in authority, that under them we may lead a godly and peaceable life, and many more touching ruling, governing and obeying. And wherefore should the Apostle of Christ hold forth these things belonging to the Church and republique of Christ, but to shew that these good things being Christs performances in his Church and republique, which hath only power to do that which is good by his spirit, in his Elect with, them his instruments: for man himself of himself can do none of these good things (as hath been shewed) That those are, and in those is, Christs Government of his Church, as by, and with his fitted instru­ments.

Neither (touching Gods Elect people) is the Government of his [Page 197] Church (taken for inward spiritual Government) Christs Government only, and Republique Government, taken for outward and bodily Government, mans Government, left to mans corrupt wisdom, rea­son and power; for then Christ should not do all good to and for his Elect people, then the Government of the Republique of Gods people must needs be evil wholy; for man of himself cannot do and bring forth with all his wisdom, reason and power any thing that is good, either spiritual or bodily, inward or outward, before God: I Rom. 7. 18 find no means to perform that which is good, saith Paul: But he that is the Keeper of Israel, keepeth spiritually and bodily, inwardly and outwardly, doth govern his people Israel, his chosen ones, spiritually and bodily, doth all good to them by his Spirit in them, with such fit­ed means as he knoweth best and pleaseth for their good; for the A­postle saith to Gods people, The Lord careth for you. 1 Pet. 5. 7.

And why should men question where Christs Government of his Church is, or what the Government of Christs Church is, when they see Christ hath always had, hath now, and undoubtedly will always have his Instruments of his goodness, the fruits of his Spirit, both in ruling, governing, and the rest of that kind, and also of obeying, sub­mitting and serving, for the comfort and society of his Church and people in the way of their pilgrimage, and for his own glory? As he had Abraham his Instrument, and his most publique Instrument, then, of his Church, to govern and teach, by him, the Church in his house, Gen. 18. and those that belonged to him: And Moses, and Aaron, and Joshua, his Instruments, to govern, teach and take such other offices of his (as he pleased) to make them his fitted Instruments in his Church, the peo­ple of Israel. And after Joshua, the Judges, David the King, Solo­mon, and others, to judg and govern (being his Instruments:) And afterward his Apostles, Bishops, or Overseers, Presbyters, Christian Emperors, Kings, and (by whatsoever names or titles they were called) many other his Instruments of his goodness of ordering, governing and teaching his Church: And whilest goodness appeared or appear­eth in the ruling, governing, ordering, Lawgiving, judging, teaching and Isai. 8, 20. Act. 20. 32 guiding of the Church according to Christs Law given in Grace and the Testimonies, is not this Christs governing of his Church? For it is sure, there is no true goodness nor righteousness but that which is Christs, but that which is the fruit of Christs Spirit, which is always accompanied with the rest of the fruits of Christs Spirit, Love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, meekness, righteousness, faith, tem­perance, Gal. 5. 22. and all manner of goodness, as the Apostle speaketh: Cer­tainly [Page 198] that was the Government that was layd upon Christs shoulders, Isai. 9. 6. and is still his Government, ordering, teaching and guiding, which hath true goodness, righteousness, meekness, love and peace, known to be Christs, by holding forth the fruits of the Spirit, and agreeing to Christs Isai. 8. 20. Acts 14. 3. Act. 20. 32 Law given in Grace, and the Testimonies, whomsoever he pleaseth to make his Instruments of the same; and those in whom Christ is by his Spirit, are made and fitted by his Spirit to be his Instruments of the goodness of obeying, submitting and serving willingly and joyfully as unto Christ, his Government, Order, Law, guiding and teaching; ha­ving goodness, it is Christs, although by or with the instrument of man: Therefore the Apostle saith, Be obedient as unto Christ, as the servants Eph. 4 6 7 of Christ; and again, Serving the Lord, and not men. Certainly man of himself cannot rule well, neither can man of himself obey well, nor do any good thing: This David, a King and Prophet, a man after Gods own heart, sheweth; There is none (saith he) that doth good, no not on [...]: Psal. 14. 3 And the Apostle of Christ also saith, I find no means to perform that which is good. It is certainly true, that which the Spirit writeth to the Rom. 7. 18 Angel or Minister of the Church of Laodicea, of all men, Thou art wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked, meaning in respect of good, Rev. 3. 17 and righteousness before God.

Good ruling and governing is Christs ruling and governing, and good obeying is Christs obeying; they are the good works of Christ wrought by his Spirit in man, and brought forth of his Spirit by or with the fitted Instrument of man; and no doubt but they that have the Spirit of Christ, their conscience will tell them, that unto good ruling, governing, teaching, ordering and commanding, it pleaseth Christ well, that there be good obeying and submitting, by or through whatsoever means and Instruments Christ holds forth the same, as he pleaseth.

If Independents, and those with them, acknowledg that Christ hath power to good only, and doth all good in man only by his holy Spirit sent to man, of ruling and obeying, and whatsoever else; and that man himself of himself can do no good; and that the good ruling, governing, Lawgiving, judging, ordering and teaching, done of Christ, by and with his Instruments, fitted of him, by his Spirit, given them, for the good, comfort, and society of his people in the way of their pilgrimage, is the Rule and Government of Christ himself, though with the Instrument of man, and of his pleasure and grace accounted mans by him (as he doth all manner of his righteous and good works, love, joy, peace, &c. done of him by his Spirit in them) which he plea­seth, [Page 199] of his grace, to make his Instruments of the same, and of his grace, as appeareth in the word of grace, nameth and calleth them theirs: Then there will be no question of Christs Government of his Church, nor of the obedience, submission and service due to his Government, without which the question is not, nor will be satisfied with answer: and in truth it is the same of righteousness only, that giveth light to them that sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide their feet in the way of peace.

The Legalists strive much about this undecided question of Christs Government of his Church, against the Independents, Anabaptists, and Brownists, much of the same way; but being misled by the Spirit of Antichrist, they prevail little; for all their Arguments are but mans, as Antiquities, Customs, humane Reasons, conveniences and inconve­niences, the letter of the Scripture of Laws and Ordinances; but they draw not so deep as out of Jacobs Well, the fountain of Grace.

They say, Though Christ hath power over all, and hath Almighty power, yet man hath power of his own unto good, as unto evil; and that man hath power of his own to get to himself habitual vertues, by studying, laboring, practising, and endeavoring the same.

And they say and hold forth, That although Christ be King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, that is, supream King, supream Prince and Lord, &c. yet there are Kings, Princes and Lords upon Earth; and that Kings, Princes and Lords upon Earth, are Kings, Princes and Lords of them­selves, and their Titles are their own, of their own right, property and interest; and that they by their own power, rule, govern, com­mand, and order, their people under them, and of their own right; and that by their own power and right they do and may command the whole Church and people under them, and all ought to obey and do service to them, and submit to their power and command, as their Kings, Princes and Lords absolute; and that through this their power, ruling, governing, Lawgiving, judging, and the rest, the people have their peace, safety, society and communion; and that they have right to honor for the same.

But these and such attributions to man, favour too much of the spi­rit that dis-throneth Christ, and exalteth man into the Throne of Christ.

There is no man that is a King, Priest, or Prophet of himself; Christ only is so of himself by the eternal Unction; man is nothing of good himself: Therefore the Apostle saith, If any man think himself to be somewhat when as he is nothing, he deceiveth himself in his own ima­gination. Gal. 6. 3.

[Page 200] And there is no man, whatsoever he be, that hath any power to Mans power rotten and corrupted. See Iam. 4 13. 14, 15 Rom. 13. 1 get, or procure to himself, an habit of holy vertue or vertues, or any goodness before God, by his own labor, industry, study, practice, or endevor; or that hath any power of his own to any good: All power (saith the Apostle) is of God; it is Gods power, not mans own: neither can any man do any thing that is good of himself, although he hath the Spirit of Christ; for so David, who had the Spirit of Christ, acknowledged of himself, and all others; There is none that doth Psal. 14. 3 good (saith he,) no not one: And Paul, which had received the Spirit of Christ, acknowledged the same of himself, saying, I find no means Rom. 3. 10 11, 12 Rom. 7. 18 Isai. 64 6 to perform that which is good: It is Christ only, by his Spirit, that hath power, and that doth the good work, by or with his fitted in­strument of man (of his grace;) and accounteth the work done by his Spirit (of his grace) the work of man, his instruments only there­of, made and fitted by his Spirit, whereby and wherewith Christ doth the work.

And so, as the good works of Kings, and Rulers, and Governors, are not theirs, but Christs; or theirs only by account and of grace, as they are the instruments of Christ: So their Titles of Kings, Rulers, Governors, Lawgivers, Judges, Teachers, and the rest, are not mans Titles by any merit, interest, or property, they have to them, or in any of them, but only of grace and account; as Paul, called an Apo­stle, acknowledged he had no property or interest to that Title of Apostle, but by account and grace; By the grace of God (saith he) I am that I am: I am an Apostle, but by the grace of God it is that I 1 Cor. 15 10 am so; not of my self, my property or interest thereto.

Man is not of any property King or Lord over Gods heritage. 1 Pet. 5. 3

It is Christ alone that is of property, due, right, merit, and interest, King, Priest, and Prophet, Lord, Ruler, Governor, Lawgiver, Judg, Teacher; and men only by account and grace so called and honored of Christ: and they all to cast their crowns down to the ground be­fore him; and to give and ascribe all honor, glory, power, might, and Rev. 4. 10 majesty unto him which is all in all.

And thus the discovery of the Errors of Independents, Anabaptists and Brownists, touching Christs Government of his Church, is made by the Spirit of grace and truth: And also of the Error of the Lega­lists touching the same; and their Reconciliation to the Truth, by the grace and power of him that is able to open the eyes of the blind, and bring him home that wandereth and goeth astray.

[Page 201] And certainly, if Independents, Legalists, and all Dependants will acknowledg the undoubtable truth, That Christ did ever give, doth, and will ever give, his holy Spirit of Adoption to all of his Elect peo­ple, to all of his Church catholique; as the Apostle saith undoubted­ly of all those, We have received the Spirit of Adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father: And again, He dwelleth in you, and shal be in Rom. 8. 15 John 14. 1 Rom. 8. 9 2 Cor. 13. 5 you, (meaning by his Spirit:) And further, If any man hath not the Spirit of Christ, the same is none of his. And yet further, Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be Reprobates?

And also, if they will acknowledg, That man hath no power nor wisdom to do any good thing of himself; That all power unto good Psa. 62. 11 Mat. 6. 13 belongeth unto good onely; That his is the Kingdom, the Power and the Glory for ever, (as Christ himself taught.) And if they will ac­knowledg, That Christ, by his Spirit given to his Church (disposed as he pleaseth) doth, worketh, and bringeth forth all good things, for publique and private, for the whole Church and particular; as well of ruling, governing, lawgiving, ordering, commanding, judg­ing, teaching, and guiding; as also of obeying, submitting, and serv­ing, for his own honor and glory, and for the good comfort and so­ciety of his people, by or with such his instruments of men, fitted by his Spirit, as he pleaseth.

Then they must needs conclude, That this is Christs Government of his Church, which is made, done, and wrought by his Spirit, by or with such fitted instruments of men, as are held forth in the word of Grace and Testimonies, and guided by his Spirit (as he pleaseth,) having evidence of the fruits of the Spirit, love, joy, peace, long-suf­fering, righteousness, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and tem­perance, always accompanying the same. Gal. 5. 22

And as Christ governeth his Church upon Earth by divers his fitted instruments of his Spirit, called by him with his own names and titles, Kings, Princes, Lords, Rulers, Governors, Lawgivers, Judges, Bishops or Overseers, Presbyters or Elders, Pastors, Teachers, Deacons, Ministers, Helpers, or whatsoever other names menti­oned in the Word of Grace, in such place and office of his, as he plea­seth to make them fit for by his Spirit of Grace, to be his instruments in his compleat Government of his Church, and Republique thereof.

So Christ being the Head of his Church, and being the Head of [Page 202] the whole body of his Church in all things upon Earth, thus governed by him (as the Apostle saith) He hath undoubtedly his instruments of Eph. 4. 26 his Headship of his Church severed into many National Churches, to which his Government belongeth: And certainly, to that instrument of Christ upon Earth, which he hath fitted and placed for the first and principal of his Government in his ordination and subordination, Christ is well pleased to account to him his honor and title of Head of that National, Political, and Parochial Church. So Samuel, the Pro­phet of God, accounted the same to Saul, being made King; When 1 Sam. 11 17 thou wast little in thine own sight (saith Samuel) wast thou not made Head over the Tribes of Israel? for the Lord anointed thee to be King over Israel. And David the King praised the Lord, saying, Thou hast preserved me to be Head over Nations. a Sam. 22 44

Now to Christ the Head (saith the Apostle) the whole body is coupled, and knit together in every joynt, for the increase of the body, Eph. 4. 16 unto the edifying of itself in love: So the whole body of the Church is coupled and knit to Christs instrumental Head, for the good and benefit thereof, in all things of goodness to be directed by the Head, for the edifying of the whole in love: Every body hath his head, o­therwise it were a monster.

The Body of Christ upon Earth cannot be without an Head of Christs upon Earth, in which have rested all disquietness and questi­ons of the Church from the beginning: As in Moses, Joshuah, the Judges, David, Solomon, and the rest of the good Kings; in the A­postles of Christ, and other the Heads of the Church ever sithence, and from the beginning.

Non bona tam sequitur, quàm bona prima fuit.

When the Son of man shall come, shall he finde Faith upon the Luk. 18. 8 Earth?

JOHN. 15. 5.‘—Without me you can do nothing.’

The right meaning and understanding of these words of Christ giveth light to the Truths in these Treatises, which must needs be in­cluded in one of these six Expressions following.

First, That Christ is the Helper of man in the good work.

[Page 203] Or secondly, That Christ is a co-operator with man in the work.

Or thirdly, That Christ is the Instrument of man in the work.

Or fourthly, That man is the Helper of Christ in the work.

Or fifthly, That man is the co-operator with Christ in the work.

Or sixthly, That man is the Instrument only of Christ in the work.

Solut. If Christ be the Helper of man in the work, then is man the beginner and master of the work, the principal worker or workman of the work, and man is exalted above Christ.

If Christ be a co-operator with man, then Christ is only a partner with man in the work, and so Christ hath only his share with man of the work, Christ is disthroned.

If Christ be the Instrument of man in the work, then Christ is not the doer of the work, but man is the doer; the work is wholly mans: for the Instrument is only fitted, guided, and acted by the workman; and so is Christ only fitted, guided, and acted by man, if Christ be his Instrument: man is exalted above Christ.

If man be the Helper of Christ in the good work, then Christ is not able and strong enough, or not sufficient to do and perform the good deed, but hath need of mans Help: so man is exalted, which 2 Cor. 12 11 Gal. 6. 3 is nothing, (as the Apostle saith.)

If man be a co-operator with Christ in the good work, then man may of right claim a share in the work, and of the work that is righ­teous; and so man hath something to boast of, contrary to the Apo­stle, 1 Cor. 9. 16 and man is exalted.

If man be only (by grace) a fitted Instrument of Christ in his good and righteous work (as he pleaseth,) then Christ is the only doer and workman of the work, and the work is wholy Christs; the honor wholy belongeth to him: and man is so made graciously his Instru­ment also of the praise and glory of his grace; especially for Christs accounting and imputing his own work, and the righteousness there­of, to man; as Paul saith David said, Blessed is the man to whom­the Lord imputeth righteousness without works of his own. Ro. 4. 6, 7

To this agreeth that of the Apostle, Give, or yield your members instruments of righteousness unto God: And again, Yet it was not Rom. 6 13 1 Cor. 15. 10 Mat. 10. 20 I that labored, but the grace of God with me, (meaning in his instru­ment.) So Christ told his Disciples, It is not you that speak, but the Spirit of the Father in you; you are but the instruments.

So David said, My tongue is the pen of a ready writer; that is, the Psal. 45 1 [Page 204] instrument of the Spirit of God, as the pen is of the writer.

The pen writeth not without the writer, no more can man do the good thing without Christ the doer; as Christ saith in the Text, Without me you can do nothing; no, not being the branches of the Vine, the Elect of God: The branch cannot bear and hold forth the fruit without the Vine and spirits thereof.

This way Christ indeed is exalted, as God exalted him; and any the other ways not so, but dis-throned.

FINIS.

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