THE FOUNTAINE OF FREE GRACE OPENED BY QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS: Proving the Foundation of Faith to consist only in Gods Free Love in giving Christ to dye for the sins of all, and Objections to the contrary Answered by the Cnogregation of Christ in London, constitu­ted by Baptisme upon the profession of Faith, falsly called Anabaptists.

WHEREIN THEY VINDICATE THEM-Selves from the scandalous aspersions of holding Free-will, and denying a free Election by Grace.

LONDON. Printed in the Yeare. 1645.

To the impartiall Reader that desireth truth only for the love of it, Grace and Peace be multiplied in this life with happinesse and salvation in the life to come through Jesus Christ.

IT is not a thing altogether unknowne to those that are any whit read in Controversies, that many striving against the errours of others, have sometimes denied some truthes, and given their Opposers thereby much advantage to have a con­cei [...]e of the goodnesse of their cause, whilst they saw the manifest truth denied by those that conten­ded against them; the which thing hath fallen out without all doubt with the Arminians of late, who notwithstanding they have been found, to hold forth many notorious errours, rasing the very Foundation of Christian Faith: to wit, denying Originall Sin, holding Free will and Falling aw [...]: Yet in as much as in confuting them the manifest Truth hath been denyed for the most part: viz. Christs suffering for the sins of all: These Ad­versaries have rather been emboldned then infor­med, or convicted, because they conceived, that their Adversaries were driven to deny the manifest truth, therefore they themselves were in the Truth. And on the other side, these erronious persons have glossed their errours under the pretence of be­ing direct consequences of Christs suffering for the sins of all (whereas indeed and in truth it is no [Page] such matter) the which thing not being so wari­ly weighed, nor so diligently searched, as it ought, hath caused many to thinke evill of this doctrine, and of us professing the same conceiving that wee can not be the Church of Jesus Christ, whilst wee (in their conceivings) maintaine such errours: Whereas we having more narrowly searched the same, and by searching have found not only that it is a truth, but such a truth as is the very foundation of saving faith. Doe therefore conceive, that wee, ought to be so farre from shunning the Doctrine in respect of the ill esteem it hath fro [...] others; as that we ought rather to owne it more deare to us then our lives, and also to seeke by all meanes possi­ble that may be, to make the same known to others, and for this end serves this following Discourse, partly to cleare this Doctrine from those evil consequences that are supposed undenyably to fol­low upon it; and partly to manifest the excellent worth of this Truth to our selves and others, it being so farre from makeing us not to be the Church of Christ, as it is indeed the very doctrine upon which the Church of Christ is founded. Cu [...]teous Reader, therefore lend thy diligent search of this enfuing Discourse with the quotations thereunto annexed, and if thou find the profit by it, that is intended, give God the glory, and let us have thy prayers, and we shall ever rest

Thine in any service of love to our power, The Church of Christ in London falsly called Anabastsapt

THE FOUNTAINE Of Free Grace opened.

Q. What meanes hath God provided for mans salvation.

A. God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever belei­veth in him, should not perish, but have eternalll life, John 3. 16.

Q. Is it the duty of all mankind to beleeue in him for Salvation?

A. Yea.

Q. And why?

A. Because eternall life is promised to whosoever doe beleeive in him, and eternall death is threatned to them that doe not beleive

Q. Are not all under the penalty of everlasting damnation though there were never a Christ to to be beleived on?

A. Yes surely, for so it doth appeare, Rom. 3. 9. 23. ch 5. 12. 16 17. 18. 19.

[Page 2] Q. Why then is eternall death threatned to mankind for not beleiving in him?

A. For two causes: First, for that Christ having suffered the punishment of our sins, we should not suffer if we beleive in him; the want of which therefore causeth our sins to rest upon us still: and Secondly, because the not beleiving in him is the neglect or contempt of mercy offered, and so a grevious sin, and doth deserve condemnation more then any other sin of any other kind, John 3. 18. Heb. 2. 3. 4.

Q. Hath Christ then suffered the punishment due for the sins of all mankind?

A. Yes surely, for so it is written, 2 Cor. 5. 15. Heb. 1. 9. 1 Tim. 2. 6. Isa. 53. 6. John 1. 29. and 3. 16. 17. 2 John 2. 2. John. 6. 51. & 4. 42. & 12. 57.

Ob. Then all mankind must needs be saved, or else God be unjust in punishing our sins in Christ, and in [...] also.

A. It doth not follow, for though our sins are punished in Christ, yet they are not pardoned in us unlesse we beleeve: hence it is that we are justifi­ed by faith in Christ, nor without: for he that be­leeveth not shall be damned Mar. 16. and the rea­son is because else Christ hath not the Honour of Mediatourship as means of pardon of sins, and se­condly, he that trusts not in Christ trusts in him­selfe, and must be tried according to his t [...]n [...] whereon he leaneth.

[Page 3] Obj. But yet it semeth God is unjust in punishing Christ, and us also.

A. Not so: for Chirst did not suffer for any such end, as to free us from punishment without faith in him: but that those that beleeve might be saved Joh. 3. 16. and the rest left without excuse Joh. 12 47. 48. which could not be if he had not suffered the punishment due for the sins of all.

Ob. But yet then it seemes that Christ suffered in vaine.

A. Not so: for in that those that beleeve in him are saved, and those that beleeve not have no ex­cuse to make for themselves why they beleeve not in him, therefore he died not in vain.

Q. Could not Christ have effected, that all should have beleeved.

A. He could if he would, but his suffering for all doth not necessarily enforce that he must worke faith in all, he was free in the giving of himselfe to suffer. Joh. 10. 18▪ and he is free also in quick­ning the soules of whom he will. Joh. 5. 21.

Ob. Why doth Christ say, Mat. 23. 37. How oft would I gathered thy children together, and yee would not.

A. It was not to shew that auy thing was impossi­ble or too hard for Christ to doe, but only to shew the aversnes of those people to the meanes of grace afforded.

Q. Shall every one that beleiveth in Christ be [...]?

[Page 4] A. Yea sur [...]y, for so it is written, John 3. 16. Acts 16. 31.

Q. What is that thing that is to be beleeved by all?

A. That which Christ hath commanded to be preached to all, Rom. 16. 26.

Q. What is that?

A. The Gospell which is glad tydings of good things, Mar. 16, 15. Rom. 10. 15. 16.

Q. What are those glad tydings?

A. Peace and remission of sins by Christ, Rom: 10. 15. Ephes. 2. 17. Luke 2. 10. 14. & 10. 5. & 24. 47. A [...]s 13. 38.

Q. Ought all men to beleive remission of sins in Christ?

A. Yea surely, in as much as Christ hath required remission of sins to be preached to all in his name, and nothing is required of any to be made parta­kers of that remission but only faith to beleive it, Rom. 3. 28. Gal. 2. 16.

Q. Are all mens sins then remitted in Christ, as a truth to be preached to, and to be observed by all, though men do not beleive?

A. not so, but the matter and meanes of remission of sins is true in Christ for all, 1 John 2. 2. but then only formally remitted when the former truth is preached in the name of Christ and beleived, John 1. 12. 13. Gal. 3. 26.

Q. Ought men to beleive, that their fins are pardo­ned yea or no?

A. Yea but it is true by consequent of our beleeving [Page] that Christ dyed for our sinnes: therefore we we shall not dye for them, John 11. 26.

Ob. But then it seemes, that we ought not to beleeve that our sinns are pardoned by a direct Act of Faith [...] Christ: but we ought to reflect upon our faith for the ground of our beleefe in that particular.

A. That is not so, because by the same Faith by which Christ is understood to be the meanes of the remission of sins, by the same he is understood to be such an effectuall meanes as nothing is needfull to be added thereto; seeing his death is our life, for by his stripes we are healed Isa. 39. 5. and he that doth truly beleive, that Christ God man hath suffered for his sins, cannot but beleive, that his sins are pardoned, and that he shall not suffer for them: as on the other side it is impossible, that any should groundedly beleive the latter, that doth not upon true grounds beleive the former.

Q. Ought all to beleive, that all sins are pardoned past, present, and to come?

A. Yea, Col. 1. 21. 22. & 2. 13. 14. Ephes. 2. 13. 14. 15. Rom. 3. 22. 23.

Q. Why then doth Christ teach us to pray, forgive vs our sins?

A. Because forgivenes of sins is by faith in Christ, aud though all ought, yet all doe not beleive in Christ: and those that doe not fully deleive as they ought, and therefore ought to pray, that God would give and increase in us the beleiving in Christ [Page] the forgivenesse of sins, and remove from us evil that attends our unbeleefe.

Q. Are there any evills then that attend the unbeleefe of Godsowne people?

A. Yea surely, for God doth rebuke chastice and judge the em for it, with temporall judgements, hel­ping them thereby as his children to mortifie the sin that remaineth in them, keeping them by this meanes from eternall damnation. 1 Cor. 11. 32. Heb. 12 5. 10. 11. Rev. 3. 19.

Q. Are not all the sinnes of all beleevers washed away in the blood of Christ.

A. Yes and of all unbeleevers too: as a truth to be beleeved by all. Rom. 3. 22. 23. 24. 25. Joh. 1. 29. & 12. 47. Chap. 3. 16. 17.

Q. Is not the sin of unbeleefe washed away in the Blood of Christ?

A Yes, as a truth to be beleived, or else beleivers themselves could have no certainty of Salvation.

Q. Why then are not all saved?

A. Because they that beleeve not have no part in Christ nor his sufferings.

Q. But are not the sinnes of beleivers washed away o­ther [...]ais then in unbeleivers?

A. Yes surely, and so they are otherwais washed away in a glorified beleever then in one yet remai­ning in the state of Grace not glorified. 1 Cor. 13 9: 10: 11. 12. Col. 3. 3. 4. 1 Joh. 3. 2. Rom: 8. 23.

Q. Are not all the sinnes of all beleivers so washe away, as that the guilt doth not remaine aagainst [...] them?

A. Yes, so as they shall never come into condemnation. Joh. 5: 24: but not so but that as yet the [...] need mortification: and in that respect are subje [...] [Page] to Rebuke, Chastisement, and temporall Judge [...] ments as meanes to helpe them therein. 1 Cor: 11-. 32: Heb: 12: 5: 10: 11: Rev: 3: 19:

Q. But wheter doth God in these rebukes, chastise­iments & temporall judgments exercised upon his saiuts intend therein the satisfaction of justice by that meanes?

A. Not so, for that is sanctified in Chr. sufferings which they parrake of by faith effectually to the justifie of their persons from condem. but not for the justification of their evill actions which God doth as much dislike & is dis­pleased with iu his owne people as in others, & doth in love to their persons shew & manifest his displeasure against those evill actions by chastisements & temp. judg­ments in his own children more then in others.

Q. Hath Christ then suffered for all the sins of all though they be unbeleevers?

A: Yes surely, and that doth appeare: First be­cause that is the plaine Doctrine of the Scripture: 2 Cor: 5: 14: 15: 19: 21: Joh. 1: 29: & 3: 16: 17: & 4: 42: & 6: 51: & 12: 47: 1 Tim. 2. 6: Heb. 2: 9: & 9: 26. 1 John 2: 2.

2. because Christ hath apoynted remission of sins in his name & by his death to be preached to all unbeleevers Lnk: 10: 5: & 24: 47: Mar: 16: 15: Ephe. 2: 17: Act: 13: 38.

3. Because else there is no meanes that an unbe­leever should become a beleever by: For how shall they beleeve in him of whom they have not heard Ro 10 14. 4. Because it is the greatest sin in an unbelever not to beleeve that Christ hath suffered for all his sins. Joh: 3. 19: & 12: 47: 48: & 16: 9. 2 Thes: 1: 8: & 2: 10: Heb. 2: 3: & 10: 29. 1 Joh: 5: 10.

Obj. True it is and may be granted, that Christ [Page] suffered for all to procure an outward and tempo­rall benefit, but not for justification and salvation

A: Some there be, that doe enjoy no more then an out­ward and temporall benefit it is true, and it had been good for such they never had enjoyed it; Mat. 36. 24. they received not the love of the truth by beleeving the forgivenesse of their sins in the sufferings of Christ, that they might be saved, as the Scriptures next before men­tioned do shew with Luke 10. 11. Acts 13. 46. Rom. 2. 4. 5. 2 Pet. 3. 15. And secondly, this overthrowes the office of the Gospell and Faith, because whatsoever Christ suffered for must be preached and beleived; and no more, 1 Cor. 15. 2. 3. Now then if he suffered to procure an outward and temporall benefit, and not for justificati­on and salvation, then that must be preached and be­leived and no more, and what need that he preached or beleived either if that were all, se [...]ing all doe enjoy that though it be neither preached nor beleeved.

Obj. But Christ saith, John. 17. 9. I pray not for the World: Therefore surely he did not dye for the sins of all the World.

A. Christs prayer is to be distinguished in respect of the thing prayed for (to wit) some things were speciall only belonging to the Saints, ver. 9. compa­red with ver. 11. 15. & 17. and some things are com­mon to all, and so for such things Christ did pray for the world as ver. 21. 23. though not in respect of the the things in speciall belonging only in pe­culiar to the saints.

[Page 8] Obj. But Christ saith, I know that thou hearest me alwayes.

A. True, and therefore Christ was heard in praying for the world; for he only prayed for the unity of the faithfull, as a meanes tending to cause the world to be­leive as his suffering for all is of the same nature whe­other men beleive it or not: And thus the sufferings of Christ and his prayer for all is of equall extention as a meanes tending to cause them to beleive, and if they do not, they are left without excuse.

Obj. But Christ saith, John 10. 15. I lay down my life for my sheepe.

A. True, and so doth not the hireling, and this is his meaning in so saying, and not to exclude any person as he hath not laid down his life for.

Obj. It is said, Luke 1. 68 Mat. 1. he hath re­deemed, and shall save his people.

A. In the Old Testament Israell were in speciall called his people, and so these places meane, the one being spo­ken by Zachary, the other to Joseph, both Israelites, for the comfort of that people in speaciall in the time while that desolation l [...]sted, yet not so then as to exclude o­thers: as appeares, Luke 2. 30. 31. 32, John 11. 50. 51. 52. Act. 13. 46. 47. Isa. 49. 6. therefore this hinders not, but that Christ suffered for the sins of all.

Obj. It is said, Isa. 53. 12. he bare the sins of ma­ny: Therefore not of all.

A. It doth not follow seeing many is opposed to a few, not to all as appeares in Rev. 5. 19. by one mans diso­bedience [Page 9] many were made sinners, that is all: and also in Dan. 12. 2.

Obj. It is said, Isa. 5. 25. Christ loved the church and gave himselfe for it: therefore not for all.

A. It doth not follow, seeing Paul saith, 1 Tim. 2. 6. he gave himselfe a ransome for all: Therefore by saying he he gave himselfe for it, is not to exelude any, for that were to make the Scripture to contradict it selfe, but only to shew that the church did partake of such love from Christ as a patterne to husbands towards their wives. And it may as well be concluded, because Paul said, Christ loved me, and gave himselfe for me, that he gave himselfe for no other, as because he he loved the Church, and gave himselfe for it: Therefore not for all.

Obj. But Christ saith, John. 15: 13. greater love then this hath no man, when any man bestoweth his life for his friends: Therefore Christ suffered not for the sins of all.

A. It doth not follow, for such love is fonnd in Christ to his enemies, Rom. 5. 10. Col. 1. 21. 22. Therfore there is in Christ found greater love, then any that is among men.

Obj. But it is said in Rev. 5. 9. & 14. 3. 4. some were redeemed from the Earth from among men: Therefore, he suffered not for the sins of all.

A. We must distinguish Redemtion in respect of price and in respect of the end and application: Now the price is paid for all, Heb. 2. 9. 1 Tim. 2. 6. And th [...] end is, that persons should no longer live to themselves [Page 10] (as formerly they with others the men of this world have done) but unto him that hath paid the price for them, 2 Cor. 5. 15. and this only they performe that have faith given unto them, whereby they doe apply the benifit of this price; in which latter respeect they only are said to be redeemed: yet in respect of price Christ suffered for the sins of all.

Obj. But Christ doth not call all, for he saith, Mat. 9. 13. I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to Repentance: Therefore he suffered not for the sins of all.

A. God admonisheth all men every where to re­pent, Acts 17. 30. and therefore Christ in saying, I am not come to call the righteous, doth not in­tend that any were righteous, and thereby such as were excluded from his call, but only this, that so farre as any thought themselves more righteous then others, so farre forth they doe necessarily ex­clude themselves from the call of Christ more then others.

Obj. But it seemes by Rom: 5: 9 10: that all that Christ dyed for shalbe saved.

A. Not so, neither doth Paul so intend, but only that we have more manifest grounded reason to be­leive salvation by him now he hath suffered for us, then we had before.

Obj. But Paul saith, Rom: 8: 32: he that spared not his own Son, but gave him vp for is all, how shall be not with him freely give all things elso: But God [Page] doth not give all things freely unto all, universally: therefore be suffered not for all.

A: All things are so inseperably united unto Christ that unto whomsoever Christ is offered, all things are offered with him, and whosoever receiveth Christ receiveth all things with him, John. 13. 20. Mat. 10. 40. Luke 10. 16. 1 Tim. 4. 8. Mat. 6. 3. and whosoever denieth or refuseth Christ, refuseth all things with him, Luke. 12. 8. 9. & 9. 26. 2 Tim. 2. 12. Mat. 10: 33: Mar. 8 38: 2 Thes. 2. 10. 12. and to whomsoever God gives faith, and so Christ, by which only Christ properly becomes ours, Ephes. 3. 17. which God only gives to his Elect, Tit: 1. Rom: 8▪ 28: 28: 30: to them he gives with that faith and that Christ freely all things, 1 Cor. 3. 21. but this hinders not but that he suffered for all, though saith and Christ be not given to all: and this appear [...], in that some for whom he is given doe deny him, 2 Pet, 2: 1: Mat: 21: 42: John 1. 11.

Obj. But in Heb: 9: 13: 14. it is faid that the blood of Christ doth more abunduntly purge the conscience, then the blood of Buls and Goates did purifie the flesh: but the blood of Buls and Goates and the ashes of an He [...]fee sprinkling the uncleane sanctified to the purifi­ing of the flesh: and all have not their consciences pur­ged by the blood of Ch [...]ist: Therefore he suffered not for all.

A. True it is, that the blood of Ghrist is of a purging nature for all, but some tread it under their [Page 13] feete, and count it common or unholy, Heb. 10: 29: and doe not by faith (as with a bunch of hysop) sprinkle it upon the conscience, and no marvill though they remaine uncleane still: And so if the Beasts were slaine, yet unlesse the blood were sprink­led on the uncleane, they would remaine so in their flesh stil: Yet this hinders not, but that Christ suffe­sor the sins of all, that whosoever beleiveth in him may be purged.

Q. Is there any power in man by nature to beleive this Doctrine?

A. No surely, he cannot know it, for it is a foolish Doctrine, and emnity to the wisedome of every na­naturall man, 1 Cor: 1: 23: & 2: 14: Rom: 8: 7: 8: and the light and understanding thereof is only had by the power of the spirit of God, 1. John 4: 13: 14. and all men naturally are more averse unto this then unto any other thing, John 5: 4: 44: Mat: 23. 37.

Q. Why doth God promise eternall life only to those that beleive, and eternall death, to those that doe not, seeing it is not in their own power?

A. First that he might by meanes of those pro­mises and threates worke us to that which by nature we are averse unto, 2 Cor: 5: 1 [...]: 20.

Secondly, that we might appear more inexcusable when neither promises nor threates will move us to embrace free mercy, Acts 13: 16. 51: & 18: 6: 7:

Thirdly, that the grace of God might as well [Page 14] appeare in giving power to beleive, as in giving Christ, and in him forgivenes of sins to be beleeved Rom: 9: 16: & 11: 5: 6: 7: Psal: 2: 13.

Fourthly, that we might apply our selves unto God in the use of those meanes, that he hath ap­poynted, for the working of Faith in us, John 6: 27: Isa: 55: 3.

Fiftly, that we might wholy deny our selves, and search, and by searching find in the Covenant of Grace matter of free conveyance of power to be­leeve whatsoever is required to be beleeved, Rom: 10: 17: Iohn 5: 39: Psal: 119: 9: 98. 99: 104: 105: Rom: 3. 24: & 4: 16: Gal: 3: 2:

Q. Can it stand with the justice of God to require persons to beleive with penalties annexed thereunto, seeing it is not in their power.

A. Yea, seeing the matter of free conveyance of power is offered in the Covenant of Grace, which would be conveyed thereby were it not opposed, Acts 13: 46: or despised, Acts 7: 51: Rom: 2: 4: Heb: 10: 29: or neglected, as, Heb: 2: 3: and in ma­ny other places of Scripture it appeares.

Q. But whether doth it not follow from hence that Gods Grace is subjected unto man, whether he will op­pose, despise, or neclect the same yea or no.

A. True, so far as to leave man inexcusable for so doing, seeing the opposing, despising, or neglecting is wholy mans evill worke, but not so, but that the receiving, esteeming, or improoving the same power [Page 15] must be considered to proceed from the covenant it selfe, and not from man, it must needs therefore be attributed to God only, who proporioneth the dis­pensation effectually according to his owne Decree of Election.

Q. Ought every one to beleeve then that Christ dy­d for all the sins of all.

A. Yea surely, or else how shall each person beleive he suffered for their sins?

Obj. But it seemes incongreous, that one should be required to beleive what Christ did for others

A. Not so, for if the benefit of Christs sufferings be to be preached unto others, it is then necessary to beleive what we preach for truth, to be truth, and that to them to whom we preach the same.

And secondly, if there be nothing to distinguish me from others, as the truth is, before faith there is not, then the question is, if he have not suffered for all, how I shall find that he suffered for me? But if he hath suffered for all, as the truth is he hath, Heb. 2. 9, then I beleeving tha doe necessarily beleive that he suffered for me.

Obj. But if this be saving faith to beleive that Christ suffe [...]ed for all, then who is it but will be saved? for all men will say, that Christ suffered for all.

A. Not so, for all that object to the contrary do [...] not say it.

Secondly, all that doe say it, doe not truely be­leeve it; and whosoever do beleeve it, do [...] [Page 16] beleeve that there is the matter of eter [...]all death in all, 2 Cor. 5: 14: and doe necessarily beleive an in­finite love extended to all, John 3: 16: and all per­sons thus beleeving will necessarily be constrained to love God, and all things according to God, 2: Cor: 5: 14: 15: 1 John 4: 10: 14: 19.

Thirdly, Christs yoake is easie in the nature of it, Mat: 11: 30: and that is it that makes it most hard and difficult to our nature, Mat. 7. 14. foolishnes to the learned Gretians & a [...]stomling bock to the Jewes who cannot endure, that the unlearned vitious Pub­licans and harlots should be free by the grace offered in the Gospell, Luke 7. 39. & 15. 2. by their beleiving that Christ suffered for all, should thereby only be saved.

Obj. But it sufficeth to saving faith, that Christ be beleeved to be the Son of God, and was sent and came into the world to save sinners indifinitely though not all.

A. Not so, if any be excluded: because that takes away certainty of faith from any in respect of Christ, for if any be excluded, I may be the person as soone as any other, and I have no ground to the contrary

Obj. But I may be certaine if I beleive.

A. This is to make the foundation of faith to stand in my beleeving, and not in Christ, and also to make my first beleeving without any certaine truth to ground it selfe upon, and is a supposition of an impossibility, (to wit) of a firme beleeving that which cannot be knowne whether it be true or not: whereas on the contrary it being a revealed truth, [Page 17] Christ did [...]ast death for everyman, Heb. 2. 9. each person hath a ground in that word of truth to be­leeve, that he dyed for him, and none hath any ex­cuse that doth not beleeve it.

Q. Is this then the subject matter of the Gospel, that Christ hath required to be preached to the world: to wit, that Christ suffered for all the sins of all.

A. Yes surely, for without this no man hath any thing to preach to the world, no Gospell of glad tydings, no remission of sins, no doctrine of reconciliation, no grace or peace at all.

Obj. But it may be preached that Christ dyed for beleivers.

A. That is no glad tydings to the world, which doe not yet beleeve: neither will such a doctrine worke faith, whereas Christ hath appoynted a Gos­pell of remission of sins by his death to be preached to the world, to the begetting of persons to the faith of that truth, Rom. 10. 14. 17. & 1. 16. & 16. 26.

Secondly, such a doctrine doth suppose persons to be beleevers before Christ dyed for them, or at least before it may be preached unto them, that Christ dyed for them, and so by consequence before there be any thing to be beleeved: and so by the same consequence impossible there should be any beleever, for how shall they beleeve on him of whome they have not heard, Rom. 10. 14.

Obj. But men must first feare God, or have some [Page 18] worke of God wrought in them, Acts 13. 26. before it may be lawfull to preach the Gospell to them.

A. Not fo, for then it cannot be said, that any are begotten by preaching: if perfons must have a life and being in godlynesse before: which is contrary to these Scriptures, Jam. 1. 18. 1 Cor. 4. 16. 1 Pet. 1. 23.

Secondly, then it is unlawfull to preach the Gos­to all Nations, even to them that doe not feare God, which is contrary to these Scriptures, Mat: 28: 18: Mar: 16: 15: Acts 8: 5: & 9: 29: & 13. 45: 46: 50: and 17: 32: and many other.

Thirdly the meaning of Acts 13: 26: is but to di­stinguish the Proselites from the naturall Jewes by the application of fearing God: and when he saith, to you, that is you Jewes, both by nature and religion; to you in the first place according to the Commission of Christ, Luke 24: 47: as therein offering mercy to them, and they refusiug the same, were left inexcu­sable: as, ver. 40: 41: 45: 46.

Q. But how is it proved that the subject matter, of the Gospell required to be preached to the world, is that Christ suffered for the sins of all.

A. First, because Christ and the Prophets and A­postles did so teach, Isa: 53: 6: John 1: 29: & 3: 16 17: & 6: 51: & 12: 47: 48: 1 Cor: 15: 3: 2 Cor: 5 14: 15: &c.

Secondly, Christ required them so to preach, Mat. 28: 18: 19: Mar: 16: 15: Luke 10: 5: & 24: 47: Rom: 16: 26:

[Page 19] Thirdly, the Saints are commended for beleeving so, John 4: 44: 1 John 4: 14.

Fourthly, because it is a condemning sin in any hearing the Gospell not to beleeve so (to wit, that Christ dyed for their sins, Joh: 3: 18: 19: & 12: 47: 48: & 16: 9: 1 Iohn 5: 10.

Q: But why is such a doctrine required to be preach­ed to the world; to wit, that Christ suffered for all the sins of all?

A. For the working of the beleefe thereof in all, in whom the doctrine prevaleth, and for the inex­cusablenes of the rest, 2 Cor: 2: 14: 15: 16: & 4: 3: 4: & 6: 1: 2: & 10: 4: 5: 6: 2 Thes: 1: 8: & 2: 10: Heb: 2: 3.

Q: But will it not from hence follow, that man hath free-will?

A. No surely, for if the Gospell must worke faith, then it flowes not from the inclination of the will, but from the Gospels inlightning the understanding, Ephes. 4. 20. 23. Gal. 3. 2. Rom. 1. 16. 17. & 10. 17. and as for the inexcusablenes of the rest which do not beleive, it doth not betoaken a freedome of will to beleive, but doth bewray a blind mind, and an bard heart, and a rebelli­ous disposition, that will not beleive the truth, though it be declared unto them, Acts 13. 4 [...]. Iohn 5. 40. 44 Ephes. 4. 18. Rom. 2. 7. 8. 9.

Q. Have not all persons a rebellians disp [...]sition to the beleiving of the Gospell?

Ans. Yes surely, untill the preaching of the Gos­pell prevaile, and then, and by that meanes the re­bellious [Page] disposition is cast down and subjected, and the per [...]ons brought unto the obedience of Christ, 2 Cor 10. 5: and when it prevailes not, it heapes up vengance against the disobedient, ver. 6,

Q. But hath God elected some persons before the world began, which only shalbe saved?

A. Yea certainly, Rom. 8. 30. or else the events of things in time should come to passe without or by some ordering cause then the counsell and decree o [...] God, which were impiety once to imagine.

Q. But doth not the doctrine of Christs dying for all con [...]radict this doctrine?

A. No surely, because it is the meanes to worke faith effectually in the Elect according to the eternal decree, 1 Thef. 1. 4: 5. Rom. 8. 30. and to leave the o­ther absolutely inexcusable in the effecting their owne destruction by their refnsall to beleive in the s [...]erings of Christ preached and that acording to the same eternall decree, 1 Pet. 2. 8. Jude 4. Rom. 8. 33.

Q. Why then it seemes, that Christs suffering for all the sins of all ought freely to be preached to all, and not to be limited by any consideration of the doctriue of E­lection?

A. Surely that must needs be so, First because it is the Commission of Christ, Mar. 16. 15.

Secondly, Because we doe not know who is E­lected no otherwise then by the event.

Thirdly, because it is as true doctrine to them that are not Elect; as to the Elect, whether they be­leeve [Page 21] it or not.

Fourthly, because God hath his end in Christs suffering for the sins of all, and in the doctrine there­of to all as well when it is not beleeved, as when it is beleeved, Luke 2. 34. 1. Cor. 23. 24. 2 Cor. 14. 15. 16. 1 Pet. 2. 6. 7. 8. 9.

Fiftly, Because else it is not a direct meanes to worke saith in any at all.

Sixtly, Because else unbeleevers are not by that m [...]anes left inexcusable.

Obj. But if this be the doctrin and faith to be prea­ched, and beleeved, may it be concluded frim hence, that that none have saving faith but those that beleeve this doctrine?

A. It is certaine, there is no saving faith without beleiving in the sufferings of Christ; neithnr have a­ny true ground to beleeve that he suffered for them any otherwise then is declared in Scripture to have suffered for all; yet here we must distinguish, some do not so distinctly understand it to build their faith upon it as others doe, who therefore have a weaker faith then others have: yet this is out of all doubt, that no saving faith stands in opposition to it, though some persons weake in the faith possibly may.

Obj. But some persons who doe appeare very godly doe oppose it.

A. True, but many persons who doe appeare ve­ry godly are not so indeed.

Secondly, many godly persons are enemies to the [Page 22] truth, and to themselves too, Mat. 16. 22. 33. Mar. 8. 33.

Thirdly, such opposition proceeds not from their faith, but from their ignorance & sinfull corruption.

Question. But may wee safely beleeve that Christ snffered for the sinn of all, and so for us all, and therein our owne Salvation, before we know whether we be elected or not?

A. Yea surely: for so we are directed Rom: 10: 6: 7: 8. 9. and yet neverthelesse by this Call of God to this knowledge & beleife, we may be sure that he hath chosen us unto Salvation. Rom: 8: 30.

Q: But why is this beleefe required?

A. That we may thereby partake of union with. Christ, and thereby Reconciliation, Adoption, Justi­fication, Sanctification, and Glorification. Joh: 1: 19 Gal: 2: 16: 2 Cor: 5: 20: Gal: 3: 26: Rom: 8: 28: 29: 30: Ast: 26: 18: & 10: 43: & 15: 9: Eph: 3. 17: 18

Q. Are not the Elect Justified before they doe be­leeve?

A. Noe surely for they are without Christ, strau­gers from the Covenant, without Hope or God in the world: dead in sinnes: children of wrath as well as o­thers: in a state of condemnation. Joh: 3: 18: Eph: 2: 1: 3: 12.

Ob: But the Scripture in many places doth ma­nifest Justification to be by the blood of Christ, and doth not mention faith: as Rom: 3: 24: & 5: 9: 18 19: Rev: 1. 3: Heb: 9: 14: 26: 1 Job: 1: 7: Eph [Page 23] [...]: 7. and besides, faith is a beleeving of Remission of sinnes and consequently Justification, which [...]herefore mu [...] be before the beleeving of the same.

A. True it is that the matter of our Instification is the blood of Christ shed for all, to be beleeved by [...]ll: and faith hath no other Object: but yet be that belee­veth not his owne Justice and Life in the death of Christ shall never see Light but the wrath of God abideth on him. Joh: 3: 36. and we are justified by faith: not with­out: Rom: 3: 28: & 5: 1: Gal: 2: 16: Nor yet before we beleive; for it is counted for Righteoufnesse, not an other thing: Rom: 4: 3: 5: 9: 11: 12: 16. 13: 22: 24: Gal. 3: 6: 7: 8: 9: 11: 14: 33: 34: 26: and the reason is because by it only we partake of Christs death and sufferings: Joh: 1: 12: & 3: 14: 15: 16: 17: 18: 19. 33: 36: & 8: 34: & 11: 25: 26. & 12. 46. 47. 48 Jo. 16. 9.

Q. But are not the elect justified in the purpose of God from all eteinity?

A. No more then they are called and glorified from all eternity, and that is only predestinated and arpoynted from all eternity to be called and justifi­ed in such a time and by such a meanes as faith in Christ. Rom: 8: 38: 39: 30. Ephe. 1: 4. 5: & 2: 8. 2 Thes. 2: 13: 14. and therby preserved to glory in the end. Heere we must distinguish betwixt the de­cree of God and the execution of the same decree [...] the appoyntment to doe a thing, and the doing of the same according to appoyntment: God did ap­poynt for to justifie his Elect in time, and when the [Page] time is come, God doth accordingly effect the sam [...] by giving them Faith therby making them partaken of union with Christ, and therby of Reconciliation Adoption and Justification.

Q. But when persons doe (according to the Gospell) beleive that Christ suffered for all the sinnes of all, an [...] so for them: by which Faith they partake of, or are [...] with Christ, and thereby of Reconciliation, Adoption, and Justification: doth God require any further meanes [...]o be by them used tending to Salvation yea or no?

A. Yes surely, because it is necessary that this be­leife be preserved and encreased, and the fruits ther­of: and the power of sinne mortified, which is done by degrees. 2 Pet. 3: 18: 1 Thes. 4: 1: [...]0. and God hath appoynted meanes to be used for that purpose by the Saints.

Q. What meanes is that?

A. Surely the preaching and hearing of Gods word, which is as necessary for Edification as for Conversion: and the administration of the Sacra­ments, and prayer, and the Discipline of the true Church: [...]ll which ought conscionably to be used ac­cording to Gods word by all true beleivers as the meanes of perseverance and encrease of Faith, untill we come to the end of our Faith the Salvation of our Souls. 1 Pet. 1: 9: Ephes. 4: 12: 13. Math: 26: 28: Act. 2: 39. 1 Cor. 5: 5.


Errata. p. 8. l. 22. for desolation [...]. dispensation l. 29 for Re [...] read Rom. p. 9 l. [...] for Isa. read Ephes.

This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Text Creation Partnership. This Phase I text is available for reuse, according to the terms of Creative Commons 0 1.0 Universal. The text can be copied, modified, distributed and performed, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.