A Discovery, and Confutation OF THE OPINIONS, AND PRACTISES Of some false Brethren, betwixt Bridge, and Lincolne: Shewing how they agree in their Opinions, with Pelagians; Papists; Arminians; in their Practises, with Anabaptists.

Wherein Universall Redemption is confuted; and Gods Absolute Decree confirmed.

Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses: so doe these also resist the Truth: Men of corrupt Minds; re­probate concerning the Faith: But they shall proceed no further; for their Folly shall be manifest unto all men; as theirs also was. 2. Tim. 3. 8. 9.

BY JOHN WETHERALL, Minister of Spridlington, near Lincolne.

March 22. 1651. Imprimatur. John Downame.

LONDON, Printed by Thomas Harper, for William Wells, at the Princes Armes in Little Brittain. 1652.

To the Christian Reader.

I Did not thinke to have come forth in publick; My hearts desire was, to hide my selfe in our little Hamlet: But God hath reserved us to live; till all the Errours, that other Ages did but imagine, are Preached; yea and Printed in ours. Sectaries are waxen insolent, like unto Serpents in Summer, that take courage to step forth, and bite even the heels of Horses, that their Riders may fall; They spare not, both in word and writing, to reproach our Religion, as a thing not countenanced by Antiquity; and our Ministery, as altogether voyd of Authority. Who will not now step forth, as Aphraates, who lived in the Wildernesse all his life: yet once he was found in the streets of Antioch, in the daies of the Em­perour Valens, when Arrianisme, a spark at first, but being not timely quenched had kindled a fire, that burnt almost over all the World? He excused the change of his former course, by the similitude of a modest Virgin, who lurked in the secret cor­ners of her Fathers House, till it was set on fire; but then neces­sity compelled her to run into the open Streets, to cry out for help to quench the Fire.

We see, by sad experience, how fast they faint, and fall from the truth; even stars fall from Heaven; the Sun, as if asha­med, is even now about to bee turned into darknesse; and the Moon into bloud, (both in one Month) as if there were sor­row in Heaven, for these sadder Eclipses of the Truth on Earth; or, as if the last times, that Christ foretold, had overtaken us.

The Christian Church, (supposed to be of two thousand yeares continuance) may be compared to two Dayes; the first Day began at the first rising of the Son of Righteousnesse; and had for its [Page] Morning, the three first Centuries, till Constantine: the Noontide, the next; & it continued the three following Cen­turies; and there never shined more glorious Lights in the House of God; the Sun of Learning and Religion, being then in the Zenith: but this lasted not long till it declined to an Eve­ning; to which are allotted the 2. next Centuries; The Beams grew low, the Light obscure, and at last the World was benight­ed. This first Days night had a more then Cymmeriā dark­nesse of Ignorance and Superstition: even Bellarmine cals it, Saeculum infoelix; in quo Scriptores illustres nulli; nulla Concilia; it continued till the Year 1050. The Wri­ters from 850. to 1050. shining as a few smaller Stars: but this Night once past; the second Day began to dawn; and after a strugling twixt light and darknes (which continued two, or three hundred years) the Light of Learning got the better; and then the second Day had its Noon: soon after the Year 1500. as fair a Sun-shine of the Gospel, as ever the Earth saw, since Christ: how long that Noon continued, I cannot tell: but sure I am, this second Day is declining towards an Evening; the shadow of Mount Athos reacheth to the Isle, Lemnos; a sure fore-running tokē of the going down of the Sun: Wo be to us; For the Day goeth away; for the shadows of the Evening are stretch­ed out, Jer. 6. 4. and hundreds of deeds of Darknes, Er­rours, Schismes, Heresies, swarme together, to usher in the Worlds last Night: and saving that God, of his goodnesse, hath promised to cut short this second Day, I think this second Deluge of Sin, & Schisms, would save as few from drowning, as the first Deluge did.

Curteous Reader; If thou canst not tell this is truth by thy Experience: then I give God thanks; that there are some Parts of the Land, not yet infected with this Plague. My Parish also was a Virgin, not invaded, till about a twelve-month since; we [Page] had such happines as we desired; and, it seems, more then wee deserved; when the Grounds about us were wet with showres of Schismes: yet wee were dry, with Gideons Fleece; But because we gave not God thanks, he suffered Satan to seduce two Brethren, by nature, and in iniquity, who began first to loath the Manna, that raind down from Heaven, every Sabaoth day, & lusted after Quailes; strange Doctrines, that were taught in the Towns about us: At length they brought Mr. Thomson, now my Antagonist (Father of those Children, that he brings up to pick out their spiritual Parents Eys) who Preached privately to such of my Parish, as they could perswade to come and heare him: Which being without my Consent, and against my Conscience, I shewed some dislike; rather by not ap­proving, then openly disproving any of their Opinions; or their Practices: I durst not be too bold; their Multitudes were such; and many of them so audacious, in affronting Ministers: yet such offence they tooke (for I gave none) that one of the Brethren (the yonger, but elder in wickednes) went from house to house, to per­swade my Neighbours not to pay me Tithes: but first hee used all means to get into my debt; hoping to deceive me: and when he had, so far, that he had no further hopes, then (to get a Bond, which, God knowes, was none of mine, though taken in my name, and he knew it too) he swore, and offered to swear so fearfully, as would have affrighted any, whose conscience was not cauteri­zed: for he thought I would give, or forgive any thing, rather then oppose, or be opposed by Mr. Thomson. All the Week he laboured to draw others from hearing me on the Sabaoth: they threatned to pull me out of the Pulpit; the losse of my Living; my Estate; nay, little lesse then my Life was threatned; so that I durst scarce goe out of my own doors; they slandred all the Sermons I Preacht; and when I writ almost every word, that I might be sure nothing slipt from me, they did no lesse detract, [Page] and defame me, then before: If I used the name of a Schisma­tick, or Sectary; it was them I meant; nay, I durst scarce speak against the Divell; if I did; my words were wrested oftentimes, or alwayes, to that I never thought. I said once, that Christ gave the Devils leave to enter into a heard of Swine; and they applyed that to themselves: If I spake of any, that were like to go to the Devill; it was reported, that I meant it of them: as if none, but our Universalists, were like to go to the Devill: Thus every day they wrested my words; all their thoughts were against me for evill, Psal. 56. 5.

They set their Children, and Servants to disturb me in pray­ing, and Preaching, and to trouble the Assembly; that either they might not heare, or I might not speake: One of these two Brethren stayed to heare me in the Morning; and gave infor­mation to the other Brethren in the Afternoone: Sometimes he came to my house, and called me Master, as if he meant to kisse mee; when the Judas had an intent to betray me; and to be the utter ruine of me, and mine.

When they waxed worse, and wickeder still: I moved a Dis­course with Mr. T. in private; publickly I durst not meet: But that being denied, I sent a Letter to a Worthy Gentleman, Justice of Peace, entreating him to tell Mr. T. I desired a friendly Discourse with him in writing: but for this boldnes they gave out such fearfull words against me, as have been seldome heard: The Brethren met about it, & after some sober cōstultatiō, (I judge charitably) they drew up a Charge of high Treason, committed by Mr. Wetherall, against the Crown, Royal­ty, Love, Goodnes, and Soveraignty of the Son of God; for that I denyed Universall Redemption, Free Will, and other false Opinions; which they calld Truth: To prove this Charge, they empanell a Jury of 12. Places in Scrip­ture; but the Verdict is ungiven up; for they applyed not one [Page] Place, to prove any thing; but desiring simply to believe, left it to the consideration of Rationall men: And after many shameless slaunders, (as their maner is) and threatnings, what they meant to do against me, this Charge was signed by Mr. Thomson, and sent abroad among the Brethren; walking without a passe, till it was weary, fainted, and could travell no further; for it began to be torne all in pieces, even covered with grease and dirt: and then 4 unruly Fellows came with it into our Church, Decemb. 28. a Smith, a Miller, a Thatcher, a Thrasher; For their Countrey, they came from the 4 Windes; 4 severall Towns, far asunder; But for their Maners, sure more barbarous, then He that sent them: Four Beasts would have been more civill, than they, in Sermon time; immediately after Sermon they brought forth their Charge; the Smith discharged it; and they all char­ged me, with preaching false Doctrine that Day; they forgat what I had said, and remembred only what they were sent to say.

I thought it not fit to tempt God in trusting my selfe among such: so I left them, without answering either to their Words, or their beastly Behaviour; but my Neighbours were amaz'd: They spake, and did on such a manner, that Children will remember, when they are old; and Old men would never have forgot, had they seene the like, since they were Children.

But when they saw my Neighbours were not pleas'd; nay, heartily displeas'd at their Behaviours; They went instantly and informed the other Brethren, who came together, about, or above 30. before Night; and concluded a generall Meeting at our Town, on Thursday after; they menac'd, as if they meant a War against me, and my Neighbours; gave out Mr. T. should teach at my Door; Their Words were so high, that I might well fear the pulling down of my House, or the pulling out of my House: but it came only to a Chair, or a Chimney Business; and so the Town Clerke dismissed the Assembly, Acts 19. 41.

Therefore, when I saw the danger I lived in every day; and how they went from evill, to worse; I resolved upon a Discourse against some of their Opinions, and their Practises, for better satisfaction of my owne People, over whom God had given mee the Charge: If peradventure I might shew it to some few of my Friends, was the top of my intent. I began Jan. 1. and ended before Jan. the last: but when I shewed it to my Neighbours, next Sabaoth after I had made an end, never furious Lions were more fierce, then the Brethren, and Sisters, because I durst bee so bold beyond their expectation: their words were intollerable; their writings incredible, but that I have them by me, sent to my house to incense me; and shewed to any that would see them, to shame me, by John Hatfield, one of the two Brothers I spake of before; a man whom malice hath made to ride, and go many miles, to doe me mischiefes: They cried not out against Paul at Ephesus, Acts 19. more, then these men did against me; as if I were unworthy to live, for writing that which (Christiā Reader) I here present to publick view; being compelled to take this course, partly out of pitty towards the poore seduced people: and in part to recover my own Credit: their Words may leave a skar, if the wound be cured: Silence in such Accusa­tions is a crying sin: Every man, but most of all Ministers, are bound to discharge themselves from all imputations; especially of false Doctrine, and Heresie; wherewith I have been charged openly: a Crime which Water cannot wash away; it hath been u­sually burnt out with Fire: It leaveth such a spot in the Con­science, that Cyprian conceiveth the bloud of Martyrdome can not fetch it out: I hope I have made it appeare plainly, whether our Protestant Profession, or their Pelagianisme be false Doctrine, and Heresie: Here is a Salve to cure the biting of these Serpents.

Solinus writeth that in Sardinia, where there is a vene­mous [Page] Serpent, called Solifuga, whose bitting is present death; yet there is also at hand a Fountaine, in which they who wash themselves are instantly cured: and so if any of my Neighbours be now bitten by these Solifuga's, these Serpents, here is a re­medy at hand; the Antidote may be there ready, where the Infe­ction first breakes out.

We run to the Physitian to cure the Diseases of our bodies: but the Diseases of our soules are far more dangerous, we ought to have a greater care to cure them: even the bruite Beasts, that have no understanding, will teach us so much providence. The Harts of Creete, or Candy, as we now call it, being wounded with an arrow, will run to seek some Dictamnie, which (they say) doth pull the arrow out, and heale the wound. The Swallows, to cure the blindnesse of their yong ones Eyes, flie to fetch Ce­landine, which restores their sight: The Dog, when he is sick, hasts to his Grasse, to give himselfe a Vomit: The Toade, fighting with the Spider, as soon as she feels her selfe begin to swell, crawleth to her Plantaine, and so is recovered: even the Stork in the Heaven knoweth her time; the Tur­tle, and the Crane, Jer. 8. 7. and they make use of their time: but we poor miserable men; more unreasonable then bruit Beasts, are wounded spiritually every day, many times deadly; and yet seldome seek for medicines to cure the maladies of our souls. I know, the Means I offer unto thee, gentle Reader, is very sim­ple; so they must be, my selfe being even a Child in understand­ing; but being in the dark, a Child with a Lanthorn and Can­dle lighted, is better then a Man that hath a Torch, if it be un­lighted: now in all these 4. or 5. years, that they have roved in our corner of the Country, I heard of none that made day resi­stance, or did, or durst say, Sir, Why doe you so? The feare of Captaine T. and his Troops did shake some Ministers, and many other men besides, like a Fever, or as the Trees of the [Page] Forest are shaken with the Wind: Therefore rather then Gods Cause should sustaine such damage, as I saw it did, by a general silence, I stept forth, like the Lacedemonian Soldiour, impotent of his legs, and neither meet to fight, nor to flie; yet had he this hope, that he might blunt the edge of his Enemies swords; and set on, or make others ashamed, that were more a­ble to fight: Silver and Gold have I none, but Goats hair, or Rammes skins, or such as I have, I give, to cover the Tabernacle of my God: It pitied mee, to see the Sheepe of Christ, like Wolves, swallow down whole whatsoever was put into their mouthes by such Carvers: and if I gain, or beget but one Soule, it will be some comfort to me; That one, in time, may beget another; and that other, another; and so I may bee a means to beget many Soules to God. I shall pray (as it is my part) that my poore paines may profit thee, Reader, and prevaile to the beating down of Sinnes, and Schismes; which God grant, for Christ Jesus his sake, our only Lord and Saviour; It shall be in the dayly devotions of

Thy Brother in Christ, JOHN WETHERALL

In pag. 4. line 17. for Earth, read Church.

A Discovery, and Confutation of the Opinions, and Practises of some false Brethren, &c.

SUch as are Adversaries to the Truth, slaunder our Doctrine touching Prede­stination and Free Will; as if thereby we led men to bee carelesse in their lives; because (as they urge it) God having Pre­destinated all things, mans Free Will is lost thereby; so that he can not doe otherwise then he doth, but God himselfe (by our Doctrine) must be the Authour of sinne: Wherein they shew their unsatiable desire of contētion, & that besides the Grave, the barren Womb, the Earth, & the Fire, which are never satisfied, Pro. 30. 15. There is yet a fifth thing, as unsatiable as they; that is, the Contentious Spirit of an Adversary, never satisfied with lying and contradiction. For, let them say directly what they mislike, Is it our Doctrine of Predestination? Yea, (besides that, it is the Profession of all the Protestant Churches) you shall see it presently proved by one, who is able to say the least of ten thousand. Is it because we deny Free Will? Yea, they bely their owne knowledge, they know we deny it but in part; In statu integro, it was Free, in sta­tu [Page 2] laeso, it is Free from constraint. Is it because we teach God is the Authour of sinne? Even the Jesuits excuse us; the Protestants know well (saith Suarez) that God intendeth not that Opuse lib. 2. cap. 2. which is formall in sinne, nor inclineth the Will of man, that he should intend it. Or is it finally, because we hold some fatall necessity, constraining the Will of man, that he cannot doe otherwise then he doth? That so all care and consultation should be to no purpose: In­deed some of the old Philosophers, and new Mahumetans tell such Tales, but we teach the contrary.

These, and the like, being malicious and base imputations, devised by men in their fury, and desperate adventures against us, to seduce the ignorant, and make our Cause odious, which even their owne people would embrace, if they knew it. And my selfe being threatned (by ma­ny ignorant men of meane condition) set on by others, not onely with the losse of my Living, but (I may almost say) of my life; besides the slaunders cast upon me by such as can doe no­thing else: I am forced therefore to this De­fence, for my selfe, the Church of England, and other Reformed Protestant Churches; against Pelagians, Papists, Arminians, Universalists.

I have read of a studious Father, who medi­tating very much upon the Mystery of the Tri­nity, there appeared unto him a Childe, that with a Shell, was lading the Sea into a little hole; he demanded of the Child what he was [Page 3] about to doe, I intend (sayd the Childe) to empty all the Ocean into this Pit; it is impos­sible for thee (sayd the Father) as possible (the Childe replyed) as for thee to comprehend this profound Mystery in thy shallow capacity: De me nunc narratur fabula, and this is the Case of the most able men in these deepe Divine Mysteries.

Simonides being asked by Hiero King of Sicily, what God was? he desired a day to deliberate, & then being asked again, he desired two daies, and being asked again, he desired four daies; and ever as he was asked, he gave no other an­swer, but desired to have the dayes doubled: but double and triple daies and yeares, yet that time is no time for such an undertaking.

For the men of this World to under­take to tell what God did, even before there was one man or a world, is but a desperate adventure, even beyond the Gyants of old: but it is able to make any mans heart ake, and his haire stand upright, to heare how our ignorant people prate as boldly, as if they had beene by, and say—what they say, concerning the se­cret, unsearchable Decree of our Great God Al­mighty, if any man list to heare, he may, for they will speake that which I may not write. For my owne part, in this mysterious point of Predestination, I could have chosen rather to ascend by Repentance, New Obedience, Good Workes, &c. Then descend, diving into, or de­termining Gods Decree: For I know that in the true Doctrine of Predestination, we should [Page 4] reason rather ascendendo, then descendendo: thus I live in obedience to God, in love with my Neighbour; I follow my Vocation honestly, and therefore I trust that God hath Elected and Predestinated mee to salvation; not thus (which is the usuall course of Argument) God hath Predestinated and chosen me to life, there­fore though I sinne never so grievously, yet I shall not be damned: For whom he once love­eth, hee loveth to the end. I say that this is the right manner of reasoning, in the point of Predestination: But unlesse we will suffer our people to be led (I verily believe they will be loth to let me tell the manner how they are led) I must declare my conscience, to cleare my self, that it is none of my fault, if any persevere, and perish in this rent, now new made in the Earth, through which they may as easily fall into Hell, as Korah, and his Company, did through that rent in the Earth: therefore with as great a care as I can to avoyd Presumption, I proceed.

First, touching Predestination, we hold, ac­cording Rom. 9. Eph. 1. 4 5. 1. Thes 5. Acts 2. 23. 2. Tim. 2. 20. to the Scriptures, that God from all Eternity, before the world was made, hath not onely fore-seene all things, that could be, or should be by his appointment or permission; but also by an unchangeable Decree, hath fore­ordained all things and persons, to certaine de­terminate ends, for his owne Glory; and that neither the Saints were elected in Christ to in­fallible and persevering Grace, and eternall Glory for their fore-seene righteousnesse; nor [Page 5] the Reprobates refused, or non-elected for their fore-seene wickednesse; but both the one and the other were Predestinated to those their se­verall Estates, according to the Councel of Gods owne Will, which was not mooved by any thing hee foresaw in the parties, but hee most freely Decreed according to his own pleasure, & absolute dominion that he hath over the Crea­ture. And this Decree of Gods Will is the first mover of all other wills, and things in the crea­tures; whereupon the smallest, and most con­tingent, or casuall things that fall out, depend as upon their Universall Cause; whose influence into the second causes, directeth, produceth, in­clineth, and ordinateth them to their effects; not by enforcing them by any constraint, but by enclining them to worke according to their owne condition, so as the sayd effects proceed out of them, according to their own natures, a contingent effect of a contingent cause, and a free effect out of a voluntary and free cause.

This is the sum of that Doctrine, which the Reformed Protestant Churches hold, touching Predestination: They place the Decree of God to order all things, for his own glory, as it is, Pro. 16. 4. which is the end, before the meanes, that is, before Creation, the Fall, Redemption, &c. but the Pelagians, Papists, Arminians, Univer­salists, place the means before the end; as for example; these say, Mediatio Christi est Causa [...], or externe movens, respectu volitio­nis divinae in Electionis actu; that is, the media­tion [Page 6] of Christ is the externall cause moving the will of God in the act of Election; whereas the Reformed Churches say, that the will of God is the sole cause of the mediation of Christ: Christ is not subordinate to the very Decree it selfe of Election, he is to the Execution thereof, as it appears, 1 Pet. 1. 20.

Thus in the distribution of the causes of Sal­vation and Damnation, our Adversaries turne them upside downe; for they feigue a generall decree in God,

  • 1. To create man.
  • 2. To give a Law to his Creature, with con­dition of life and death.
  • 3. To permit the fall.
  • 4. To redeeme all mankinde in Christ, hence Universall Election.
  • 5. To call all mankinde so redeemed, hence Universall Vocation.
  • 6. Upon their Faith or Infidelity he fixeth his Decree.

First, say they, God propounded equally to himselfe Jacob and Esau, and loved the one no more then the other; secondly, he purposed to save him of the two that should do well, and damn him of the two that should do ill; thirdly, he Decreed to give them both sufficient means of salvation, whereby Esau may as well be saved as Jacob: fourthly, he Decreed to leave them both to the liberty of their owne Free-will, to use, or not to use the means: fiftly, he foresaw Ja­cob would, Esau would not use the means: sixthly, [Page 7] hereupon he pronounced the Decree of Election to Jacob, and of Reprobation to Esau: thus Pela­gians, Papists, Arminians, Universalists.

These two last, Remonstrants (so the Ger­mans call them, and the name offends them not) for this Sect pester'd them parts first, and gave occasion to the States of the United Provinces to assemble that Synod at Dort; whither (at their instance) came religious and learned men from other Reformed Churches; as out of England, Bishop Carleton, Doctor Davenant, Doctor Ward, Doctour Goade, Doctor Belcanquell, &c. I say, these Remonstrants that oppose our Do­ctrine of Predestination (being of the same minde with them that defend Universal Redemption:) they say thus: I'le use their owne words: Deum Amesius de Elect. pag. 11. aeterno & immutabili decreto, in Jesu Christo filio suo, ante jactum mundi fundamentum, statuisse, ex lapso & peccatis obnoxio humano genere; ill [...]s in Christo, propter Christum, & per Christum servare, qui Spiritus Sancti gratia, in eundem Filium ejus cre­dunt; & in ea fide, fidei (que) obedientia, per eandem gratiam, usque ad finem perseverant: that is, God in his eternall, and immutable Decree, in Jesus Christ his Son, before the foundation of the world, did determine, out of lapsed mankinde, to save those in Christ, for Christ, and by Christ, who by the spirit did believe in that his Sonne, and persevere in that faith, and obedience of faith, by grace, unto their lives end.

Now in this Thesis of theirs, are these five [Page 8] things. 1. The Act, or Decree it selfe: 2. the Object: 3. the End: 4. the Condition: 5. the Foundation. First, the Act or Decree it selfe, and that, they say, is two fold: 1. Generall, by which God Decreed to save all that would believe and persevere: the 2. Particular, by which hee did Decree to save certaine persons, whom he fore­saw would certainly beleeve, and persevere un­to the end: some of them call these two, Gods Antecedent, & Consequent Will; or generale & particulare pronuntiatum: Thus they make, you may see, two Wills in God, against the Spirit of God, which saith, God is in one mind, Job. 23. 23. The second thing considerable in their Thesis, is the Object of this Decree, which (they are for­ced to confesse) all the members of Christ are not; they cannot tell how to include Infants, be­cause they want faith, and perseverance; nay, they include in the Object of this Decree, onely such as have lived, and persevered, all other are excluded that are yet alive, untill they perse­vere to the end; so that by this Opinion, they must first have Faith and Perseverance, before God can fix his Decree; which is a fearfull thing to affirme, for so they are not Pre-destinated, but Post-destinated, they are forc'd therefore to a further absurdity; that is, to distinguish betwixt an incompleat, which (they say) is com­mon to all the faithfull, and a compleat Electi­on, which is proper only to such as persevere. The third thing to be considered in their Thesis, is the End of this Decree, and that (they say) is [Page 9] salvation and glory; contrary to the expresse words of Scripture, which saith not we are Predestinated to Glory onely, but also to Holinesse, or a godly life, and to the Grace of Adoption, before we can attain to Glory; as it is plaine, Eph. 1. 4. 5. He hath chosen us in him before the Foundation of the World, that we should be Holy, &c. In the Decree of Predestination, there is first What, 2. by What, 3. to What: the first, Man, the 2. Grace, the 3. a Godly Life, and after it is ended, Eternall Glory. The 4. thing is the Condition required in this Decree of theirs; wee say it is the Good Pleasure, or the Will of God, without any Condition; wee are Predestinated ac­cording to the Good Pleasure of his Will, Eph. 1. 5. But the Condition in their Predestination is fore-seen Faith and Works: Tenendum ex Scripturis veram Conversionem, praestationem (que) bonorum operum esse conditiones praerequisitas ante Justificationem: That is, we hold true Conversion, and Good Works, to be Conditions required before Justificati­on: so saith Arminius in that Epistle before his Discourse on Rom. 7. And Nic. Grevincho. is of the same minde; he seekes to prove it out of the words of S. Paul, I have fought a good fight, &c. But if Good works be Conditi­ons required before Justification, then it follows, they are required before Election; there is one and the same Cause of both: Thus they even out God Al­mighty from having any hand in his own Decree, and put all into the power of foreseen Faith and Workes, whereas the Scriptures say, that we are not Predestina­ted for Faith, but to Faith, and Good Workes, as I shall prove afterward. The fifth thing in this Decree of theirs, is the Foundation, that, they say, is Christ, and so do we; but in this we differ: they call Christ the [Page 10] externall Cause moving God to make this Decree of Election; whereas we say, the Will of God onely, was the Cause why Christ became our Mediator, and Re­deemer; the Mediation or Redemption of Christ was not the Cause of the Will of God. Thus the Contro­troversie betwixt the Remonstrants, or Universallists, and the Reformed Protestant Churches about Election, was stated at the Synod of Dort.

The second Thesis of the Remonstrants, or such as hold Universall Redemption, at the same time (which they would have defended against the Reformed) was this: Proinde Jesus Christus pro omnibus & singulis mort [...]us est, atque id ita quidem, ut omnibus per mortem crucis, recon­ciliationem, & peccatorum remissionem impetravit, ea tamen conditione, ut nemo illa peccatorum remissione fruatur, praeter hominem fidelem. Ames. de Redemp. pag. 116. That is, the Remonstrants or Universalists furthermore affirme, that Jesus Christ died for all, and every one, and that so as he obtayned Reconciliation, and Remission of Sins for all, but on this Condition, that none obtain this Re­mission, or Reconciliation, but the Faithfull.

I might open this Thesis of Redemption, as I did that other of Election, but it is so plaine I need not: the Sum of the Controversie betwixt the Protestant Churches, and Remonstrants, or (as wee call them) Universalists, came to this, or to these three Heads: 1. whether by the Death of Christ there was an Impetration, which had no Application: 2. whether this Impetration did equal­ly belong to All: 3. that none had this Impetration of Christ certainly applied, or to be applied to them in the Eternall Counsell of God; but God had Destinated his Son to death, before hee had Destinated any to be sa­ved [Page 11] by his Death: and this Grace of Christs Redempti­on, was (as it were) spread abroad in the ayre, indeter­mined to any, every man might catch it that could by Faith. These men seem to feign to themselves a Grace, as it were some garment hanging in the ayre, which every man may put on that will; but these be the de­vices of mans wisedome: the holy Scriptures speake o­therwise, Pet. Mart. part. 3. pag. 51. as translated by Ant. Marten. These things the Remonstrants or Universa­lists affirmed; and all these the Reformed Protestant party denied.

Now from these Opinions, that Predestination was not the Decree of God, to Elect some, and passe by o­thers; that God had certainly Elected none, but upon Condition; That Christ died for all, and every one, &c. I say from these Absurdities it followes:

Absurd. 1. First, that God would have All men, that is, every particular man to be saved, contrary to the Scrip­tures; for if God will have all to be saved, wherefore are they not saved? Will God have all to be saved, and can he not have his Will? This Opinion is against the Omnipotency of God; by it, Gods absolute Will, the Will of his good Pleasure may be defeated, and not accomplished, which is a desperate shift, contrary to the truth, flat opposite to the word of God, which saith, our God hath done whatsoever pleased him in Heaven and Earth, Psal. 135. 6. who hath resisted his Will? Rom. 9. 19. God is in one minde, who can turn him? and what his soule desireth, that he doth, Job 23. 13. Indeed the Declarative or Revealed Will of God is not alwaies fulfilled, but his Absolute Will and Good Pleasure is alwaies fullfilled; a Christian, Ca­techised [Page 12] in the Principles of Religion, cannot make the Impotency of mans will to prevaile against the Omnipotency of God, or conceive his purpose may be disappointed, or his Absolute Will frustrated by any thing in us.

Absurd. 2. Secondly, it follows from these Opinions, that there is an Universall Election, of all, and every man; a witlesse conceit: for if all men Universally be appointed to Grace, then there is no Election, or Choo­sing of some; he cannot be said to Elect, that Chooseth all: and if onely some bee appointed to Grace, (as it must needs be in Election,) then is not Grace Universall: it is flat against the word of God; for Christ avoucheth plainly, that fewer are chosen then called, Mat. 22. 14. He saith moreover, that all which are given him shall be one with him, and have life everlasting, John 17. 2. 11. But all men shall not be one with him, and have life everlasting; therefore all are not given to Christ of God the Father: all mens names are not written in the Booke of life, Apoc. 20. 15. the Kingdome of Hea­ven is not prepared for all, Mat. 25. 35. Christ never knew some, Mat. 7. 23. And whereas they build Univer­sall Election upon the largenesse of the Promise, if they believe; upon the like ground they may as well make an Universall Decree of Reprobation, whereby God De­crees all men to bee damned indefinitely, if they doe not believe.

Absurd. 3. Thirdly, it followes, that there is an Uni­versall Vocation; for Universall Grace hath these three parts, Universall Election, Universall Redemption, and Uni­versall Vocation, which is quite opposite to the word of God; for from the Creation till Christ, one part of the [Page 13] world was a People, and received into the Covenant; the other (and that the greatest part of the world) was no People, and out of the Covenant. The Church at first was shut up in the Families of the Patriarchs, and in the Family of Abraham, it was entailde on Isaac: the world afterward was divided into the Jew, a Church; and the Gentile, no Church, till the comming of Christ: therefore it is, that the Prophet Isaiah called the Gen­tiles Prisoners, Isa. 49. 9. Hosea calls the Gentiles a Peo­ple, that had obtained no mercy at all, Hos. 2. 23. Peter saith, that in times past the Gentiles were not esteemed a People, 1 Pet. 2. 10. Christ denied the woman of Canaan the Request for her Daughter, upon this distin­ction; it is not meet to take the Childrens bread and cast it to Dogs, Mat. 15. 26. If any object, that the Gen­tiles fell away from the Covenant; I answer, grant that of the Fathers, yet their Children never heard of the Covenant; therefore it is that the Prophet Isaiah saith of the Gentiles, that neither God knew them, nor did they know God, Isay. 55. 5. Universalist, I pray thee speake in earnest, how could the Americans, Cani­bals, and other Savadges have any Call? No, Pelagian, it is not Nature: No, Semi-Pelagian, it is not Grace and Nature; we cannot so much as thinke a good thought, 2. Cor. 3. 5. I conclude hence no Universall Call.

Absurd. 4. Fourthly, it followes from this Opini­on of Universall Redemption, &c. that God is all Mercy, and nothing else; whereas the soveraigne end of all Gods Actions is answerable to his Nature, which is not Mercy and Love alone, but Justice also; and there­fore the right End of mans Creation is the manifestation of Gods Glory, both in Justice and Mercy; search the [Page 14] Scriptures, and see if Justice also be not an Attribute of our God.

Absurd. 5. Fiftly, hence it followes that Predestina­tion is for fore-seene Faith and Workes; unlesse Gods Prescience discover something, his Predestination Decrees nothing, but after the fore-sight of Faith and Perseve­rance; and the former Gift of Predestination to Glory, must depend upon a later Gift of Faith, quite contrary to the Word of God; for either it is Gods will the E­lect shall have Grace, and the Reprobates no Grace given them; or else they believe, or not believe of their own Free Will; this later is grosse Pelagianisme, making Nature the beginning of Grace, and if the for­mer be granted, that God fore-sees no Grace, but what himselfe Predestinates to give; nor no sin, but what up­on the witholding of his Grace, the Reprobate will free­ly worke, then it followes that God will and doth give Grace, because first he hath elected; and will give no Grace, because he hath reprobated, and there is no cause of either, but Gods owne Will; no fore-seen Faith or Workes. Againe I reason thus, the End is alwayes in intention, before the Meanes, primus intentione, ultimus executione, but Gods Will to elect men to Glory, is the End; therefore Gods Will to elect men to Glory goes before his Will to give them Faith and Grace; there­fore he Elects not after, or upon the fore-sight of Faith and Grace; therefore before he see Faith or Grace in Jacob, which he will give him, he purposes to give him Life Eternall: But these men will give God their Faith and Good Workes in lieu of their Redemption by Christ, against Isay. 52. 3. & Rom. 11. 35. I know they distinguish 'twixt the Antecedent, and Consequent Wil [Page 15] of God, Gods Antecedent Will to save every man, al­though considering the sinnes of men, he hath a Conse­quent Will to condemne some: But this distinction makes the matter more absurd, and salves it not; for God is immutable, his Will is one as he is one; what­soever he fore saw in any that himselfe purposed to worke; if he foresaw Grace, and the good use of Free Will in Jacob, he purposed to worke it by infusing it; what have we, that we have not received? 1 Cor. 4. 7. Every good and every perfect gift is from above, James 1. 17. If he foresaw Sinne, and the ill use of Free Will in Esau, he purposed to worke it also, Rom. 9. 13. 18. by witholding Grace and hardening; and he not onely pur­posed to Worke that which he foresaw, but to Worke and Effect it, as the Means, and as a subordinate Second Cause, to bring man to the End apoynted: from hence it follows that Faith, Workes, &c. are onely Meanes ordained by God to bring us to the End, not Causes of our Election. I cannot tell how they can avoid the Pa­pists Meritum è congruo, and plaine Pelagianisme, that maintaine foreseen Faith and Works; for thus saith Pela­gius: Licet non secundum merita bonorum Operum, tamense­cundum merita bonae voluntatis datur gratia, & ratio Pelagii est; alioqui Deus esset Acceptor personarum, si sine ullis praece­dentibus meritis cujus vult miseretur: That is, though Grace bee not given according to the Merit of our Good Workes, yet it is given according to the Merit of our Good Will; & the Reason Pelagius renders, is this, else God should be a Respecter of Persons, if he have mercy on whom he will, without regard of foregoing Merits; so that they are Cozens not far off, if they be not neare Cozens to Papists and Pelagians, that defend foreseen Faith, and [Page 16] Workes; all of them answer one another, even as the Eccho doth the Voyce, and they will wash away these blots, when the Blackmore changeth his skin. Pelagius Redivivus is now no newes.

Absurd. 6. Sixtly, hence followes Free Will; I know they say that Gods Grace must goe along with our Will; but this excuse is onely a Vaile or Vizard, which hides their Pelagian faces, that the ignorant People might not see them; so that (as Augustine said of the like words used by the Pelagians) we would receive them without scruple, but that they speak them, whose meaning is well enough known unto us: Initium Fidei, & Conversionis desiderium est ex nobis, incrementum a Gratia: the beginning of Faith, and the desire of Conversion, is of our selves; the increase, of Grace: A [...]bitrium est ad hoc liberum, ut velit, vel nolit admittere medicinam: the Will is free to will, or nill the admission of the Medicine, so say the Pelagians; and the Arminians and our Uni­versalists say, Gods Grace must go along with our Free Will: he hath a good wit that can distinguish betwixt these two. I have read of one Melitides a naturall foole, who could not tell whether his Mother or his Father brought him forth; so these men cannot tell, whether God begets them to himselfe, or their owne Free Will begets them unto God. I say therefore, that God de­termines mans Will, and yet it is Free still; Gods Will is above ours, flowes into it, and moves it, and yet the Will followes the dictate of its owne Intellect; is freed onely from Constraint, not from Necessity, from which the Will of Angels is not free, for they can do no evill, they can doe nothing but that which is good. And as a man, by a device, should let Birds flye, and yet cause [Page 17] them all to goe to such a place, as himselfe would, so doth God rule the Will: The Spirit of God, at first, findes nothing in the Will, to helpe his Grace, in the Con­version of a Sinner: First, Grace gives life to the dead Will, and then the Will being revived, becomes an In­strument of God, both to apprehend his Grace offered, and to worke forward with it; but this by the Seede of Grace, and New Life, that God hath put into it, not by the Nature of mans Will: and as my Paper, whereon I am writing, retaines the Inke passively, and brings no­thing of its owne to the writing, but being written on, it becommeth an Instrument with me of the writing; so is it in the Will of man at his Conversion. It is God on­ly that doth justifie, Rom. 8. 33. For it is he onely that forgiveth sins, Esa. 43. 25. It is he only, that can by make­ing us righteous in Christ, gives us right and title to the Kingdome of Heaven: It is no action therefore of our owne, or of any Creature, neither is it wrought by our owne Preparations and Dispositions. For although every man is bound to use all Meanes, to attaine to Justificati­on: Yet it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy, Rom. 9. 16. For if God bee the Agent in justifying us, then are We the Patients: and for that cause we are never in the Scriptures exhorted to justification, or to the parts thereof (which are not our officia, or duties, but Gods beneficia, or blessings) as we are to the duties of sanctification, whereunto we be­ing already justified, and regenerated, doe cooperate with the Spirit of Grace; If the Sonne have made us free, wee shall be free indeed, Rom. 8. 36. We are made free, for of our selves we are the servants of sinne, Rom. 6. 18. 20. Bet­ter is it to ascribe too little, then too much to Free Will. [Page 18] if I offend, be it rather in giving more to Gods Grace.

Absur. 7. Seventhly, hence it follows, that Predestination is mutable, all things being forelaid, which are necessary & sufficient for perseverance, it remaineth still in the po­wer of man, to persevere, or not to persevere, saith Bertius in his Booke of the Apostacy of Saints, and he endeavou­reth to prove this bold (I had almost said blasphemous) Assertion by divers Texts of Scripture: Non esse homi­num alios ad vitam, alios ad mortem, aut perditionem deputatos; sed de salute ad perditionem, & de perditione ad salutem trans­ire posse, there are not any particulars appoynted to life or death, but they may passe from either state to the other, sayd Pelagius; and numerus Electorum potest augeri, ac minui, the number of the Elect may be lesse, or more, sayd G [...]evincho. Thes. exhibit. pag. 137. Then Paul may, or may not be saved, and whosoever is Predestinated, is but contingently Predestinated, if he persevere; then the Au­thour to the Hebrewes is out, where he saith, the Coun­sell of God is immutable. Heb. 6. 17. Then the Papists may say, there is no Predestination of the Reprobate, they are onely fore-knowne, which is true in sano sensu, but not in their sence.

Absurd. 8. Eightly, hence it followes, all men are disposed and ordained of God, so as they may obtaine Eternall Life, if they will; their Predestination being like unto an Hypotheticall Proposition.

Absurd. 9. Ninthly, hence follows falling from Grace, that the Seale of Gods Election is not sure; that some, who were given to Christ, may be lost: Or as if after our Regeneration, there were, as at our Creation, a posse mori, we might die from God; woe to man, if his condition were the same in the second Adam, that it was in the first: [Page 19] Indeed sides, quae creditur, may be forsaken, but from, or a side, qua creditur, we cannot fall away. It is contrary to the sixteenth Article, which is against a totall, and finall fal­ling from Grace; for the Article speakes of falling into sinne after Baptisme, and rising againe, by the same Grace: Now he that falleth finally, cannot rise againe, and he that falleth totally from Grace, cannot rise againe by the Grace he had received, because he is supposed to have lost all the Grace he received. The Reformed Churches, all of them united, disclaime the Doctrine of falling from Grace: Indeed the Righteousnesse required by the Law may be lost, and it is of that, the Prophet speakes, Ezek. 18. But the Righteousnesse promised by the Gos­pel cannot be lost. Card. Bellarm. himselfe speakes truth sometimes in this particular, touching the Apostacy of Saints; it is true (saith he) that the Predestinated, or Elected are in no danger of losing Eternall Life; and that the terrifying threats used by the Holy Ghost in the Scriptures are to this end, to stirre up the Elect to watchfulnesse and diligence, Lib. 3. de Justif. cap. 12. so that Motives they are to, and Meanes of Perseve­rance, no Arguments at all, to prove the Saints Apostacy.

Absurd. 10. Tenthly, hence Justification by God onely is utterly overthrowne, even in the Nature of it, which signifies justum facere, to make just, not invenire, to finde us just: for Justification is the Action of God without us. To the Faithfull there belongeth a two fold Righteousnes; the one of Justification, the other of Sanctification; the former is the Righteousnesse of Christ, and therefore the Righteousnesse of God, because it is the Righteousnesse of him that is God, and is imputed onely to the Believer: The latter is ours, because inherent in us, though re­ceived [Page 20] from God, as all our good things are; of this second there is no question, and the first being ab extra cannot be from our fore-seene Faith or Workes.

Absurd. 11. Eleventhly, hence it followes, that God cannot tell who are his, till they persevere to the end; and therefore Arminius was forced to make the Object of Gods Decree, onely qui vixerunt: quoties fideles statuimus objectum Electionis, toties nos fidem, & perseverantiam in fide conjungimus, saith Grevinchovius: Our Register Bookes must first be given in, such a man dyed such a day, be­fore his name can be written in the Register Booke of God; contrary to Act. 9. 15. where Paul is called a cho­sen Vessell, even whilst he was a Persecutor, and was going to Damascus with that intent; and contrary to Act. 13. 48. where in the first instance of their Conversion, it is sayd, As many as were ordained to eternall life did believe.

Absurd. 12. Lastly, Universall Grace, or Universall Re­demption was the opinion of that wicked Heretick, Pe­lagius, condemned in a Generall Councell, held at Malta, a­bout the yeare 425. against the Pelagians and Donatists, at which Augustine was present, and 214. Bishops: and at a Counsell in Affrick, where all the Provinces came together, in the time of Boniface and Celestine Bishops of Rome, to condemne Pelagius.

Prosper in an Epistle which hee writ to Augustine de Reliquiis Pelagianae Haereseos, hath these words: Hane Pelagianorum definitionem, & professionemesse; Universis ho­minibus propitiationem, quae est in sacramento sanguinis Chri­ti, sine exceptione esse propositam; pro Universo humano ge­nere mortuum esse Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum, & neminem prorsus a Redemptione sanguin [...]s ejus exceptum, e­tiamsi omnem hanc vitam alienissimam ab eo mente per­transeat: [Page 21] that is, the Pelagians professe that the propi­tiation into, or by the bloud of Christ, without excep­tion, is common to all: that Christ died for all man­kinde, and none is excepted, although he be all his life time ignorant of Christ: Ad salutis donum omnes homi­nes Universaliter vocari, sive per Naturalem, sive per Le­gem scriptam, sive per Evangelicam praedicationem: All men Universally are called to salvation either by Nature, by the Law written, or by the preaching of the Gospel, so Pelagius, Prospers Epist: to August. Com. 7. And August. contra Julian. Pelag. lib. 3. Cap. 3. saith thus: Deus to­tumne mundum Redemit? Ecce videmus homines in peccatis suis vivere, quomodo putabimus Redemptos, quos permanere videmus Captivos? redimuntur, sed non liberantur; haec sunt Sententiarum portenta vestrarum, haec inopinata mysteria dog­matum novorum, haec Paradoxa Pelagianorum Haereticorum: That is, hath God Redeemed the whole world? Be­hold! we see men live still in their sinnes; how can we think them to be Redeemed, that continue still Cap­tive? they are Redeemed out of Prison, and yet they are in Prison; these are your monstrous imaginations; these are your idle mysterious conceits; these are the Paradoxes of Pelagian Hereticks.

If any man list to see these Opinions proved Pelagia­nisme, let him read Perkins, Tom. 1. against Universall Grace, and his whole Tractate of Gods Free Grace, and Mans Free Will; Doctor Davenant, his whole Book set out after the Councell of Dort; Doctor White, his Way, and Defence of the Way; Doctor Twisse, Doctor Wille [...], Cal­vin, Beza, Pet. Martyr, and all the Divines of the Refor­med Churches, that writ of this Subject: If any object, this, and that particular man among the Protestants [Page 22] were of a contrary Opinion, I answer, so they might, and yet I may plead the Protestant Churches: from this generall Rule, there may be two or three Exceptions, or William Lilly is out, and so is the whole Word. And that these Opinions are plain Papistry, see Perkins, Tom. 1. pa. 98. he reckons up sixteene Errors of the Papists a­bout Predestination, and they, and our Universalists agree in almost all of them. In Doctor Whites Way, and De­fence, the maine Controversies betwixt him, and the Je­suits are concerning Universall Redemption; whether God will have all men to be saved: falling away from Grace: certainty of Grace and salvation: foreseene Faith and Works: Free-will; whether God have determined all men, good and evill, to certaine Ends; and the Jesuites, Arminians, and our Universalists agree in all these Opinions. Sure none is so ignorant, but if he know any thing, he knows Universall Redemption was the very top of the Arminian Tenets at the Councell of Dort: it is an Article of the Ar­minians Faith, the cooperation of Mans Free will with Grace in the first Conversion; and the power it hath to hinder, and frustrate the worke of Regenerating Grace; totall and finall falling away from the Grace of Justification: these and the like were the Doctrines of Pelagians and Arminians, and they are the subject of every Sermon a­mong our Universalists: all the Churches of Lower Ger­many made a complaint to King James against the Armi­mans, and yet such Offenders finde a Sanctuary among our Universalists; Therefore I conclude thus:

If Universall Redemption was the old Heresie of the Pelagians; if it be reckoned up among the grossest Opini­ons of the Papists, and agrees in all things with the Ar­minians; then it ought not to be defended, or Preached [Page 23] by us Protestants: but Universall Redemption was the old Heresie of the P [...]lagians, is reputed among the gressest O­pinions of the Papists, and agrees in all things with Ar­minians; therefore it ought not to bee defended or Preached by us Protestants. The like Argument I may use against all those that defend Universall Election, Univer­sall Vocation, Foreseene Faith, and Works, falling away from Grace, Free Will, &c. All these are mong the grossest Opinions of Pelagians, Papists, Arminians: Ergo,

If these Opinions were truth, then no marvell, if men run so fast, as we see they doe run; for what a brave thing is it, that God will have all men to bee sa­ved in their sense? what a comfortable Doctrine, that Grace shall be offered to every one effectually, whether he be of the Church or not, at one time or other, wheresoe­ver, or howsoever he live? Christ died for all, and there will be an offerture of peace on Gods part, which is in mans power to accept, when he pleases. No wonder if men live, as they list, and doe as wee see they doe, this doore being opened to all impieties; for yet there is a time (say they) when Grace shall bee offered effectually to All. Let mee urge a few Arguments in forme, not so much against my Adversaries, that can say nothing, but because I know there are in other Places, that are able to say something: And first against Universall Redemp­tion I reason thus.

Arg. 1. To whom Christ was a Redeemer, for them he was an Intercessor; these two Offices of Christ ought not to be disjoined; but Christ was not an Intercessor for all and every one; I pray for them, I pray not for the World, John 17. 9. therefore it followes, hee Redeemed not all, and every one: they cannot bring one place of Scrip­ture [Page 24] to prove he prayed for all; and yet to pray for all was far short of powring forth his Bloud.

Arg. 2, If Christ died for all, and every one, then hee rose againe, ascended, and sitteth at his Fathers right hand, for all, and every one; but sure they are afraid to say the last, therefore they may be ashamed to say the first: disjoyne these Offices in Christ, his Death, Resurrection, Ascension, sitting at the right hand of God; and they make Christ but halfe a Saviour; conjoyne them, and by their Opinion, it is impossible but all men must be saved, if Christ as he died, so he rose againe, ascended, and sit­teth at his Fathers right hand for all.

Arg. 3. Christ was a Lambe slaine from the begining of the world: from thence I reason thus; if Christ died for all, and every one, then he died for Caine, Esau, Pharaoh, wicked Jeroboam, Antiochus Epiphanes, then rayling Rab­shakey had his part in Christ, Julian the Apostata, and al­so Judas, and all that were damned, yea, and Divells in Hell many thousand yeares before hee suffered death: but sure Christians cannot say this: I wonder therfore any Christian can say that: did hee actually shed his bloud in the last Age of the World, for them that were damned in Hell in the first Age of the World? Whether is this more ridiculous, or impious?

Arg. 4. If Christ died, obteyned Remission of sinnes, and Reconciliation with God for all, then none are borne the sonnes of wrath by nature, or are obnoxious to death and con­demnation for Originall sinne; all are borne in the state of Grace: but the Scripture saith, we are by nature the sonnes of wrath; and they dare not say, that we are borne in the state of Grace; then how can they say, that Christ obtai­ned Remission of sins and Reconciliation with God for all?

Arg. 5. If Christ redeemed all, and every particular man, then God wills the salvation of all, & of every particular man; it's true, they affirme both of these, and I prove them both false on this manner: for either God wills not, or he wills the salvation of every particular man; if God will not the salvation of every particular man, it is that which we say, the Scriptures, and the Refor­med Churches with us: if he will and cannot, or will and doth not, (which is all one) as the Papists, Pelagians, Arminians, and Universalists say, then how is God Omni­potent, if he cannot doe what he wills; or will he once save all, and will he not-afterward? Is God mutable as man? No sure; his name is, I am; he is the same yesterday and to day; hee is in one minde, Job 23. 13. With God is no variablenesse, nor shadow of change, Ja. 1. 17. God wills a Change, but he changeth not; there may be mutatio fa­cti, not deereti: Nineveh was changed, but there was no change in God. Incomplete, and compleat, antecedent, and consequent wills are fictions of our Adversaries, and are the Attributes of some other God: our God is one, & so is the will of our God; He but willed, and it was so, Gen. 1. 6. 9. Dixit & factum est, willing, and Doing are all one with God: in him, for him, by him, and through him alone are all things, Rom. 12. 36. That Idea Divina is both the Being, and the well Being of every thing in Heaven, or Earth: he worketh all things, upon no Condition, after no Example; but after the counsell of his owne will, Ephes. 1. 5. He wills not therefore (it is not so, because hee will not have it so) that every particular man should be saved.

Arg. 6. If Christ layd downe his life for his sheepe; was delivered to Death for his Church and Children; ga­thered together Pilios Dei dispersos, the Sonnes of God di­spersed [Page 26] in what place soever; died, and gave himselfe to Redeeme a peculiar People, prayed not for all, &c. Then he did not Redeeme everyone, Fideles, and Infideles; all are not Sheep, his Church, his Children, his People, nay, his pecu­liar People, as it appeares, John 10. 27. 28. John 17. 9. and almost the whole Chapter, Tit. 2. 14. Acts 20. 28. Ephes. 5. 25. John 1. 12. Psal. 33. 12. sed verum prius, ergo posterius, the first is true, therefore the last. I know they distinguish 'twixt Impetration, which, they say, was for all, and reall fruition, which, they say, is but for a few; Christs prayers, they feigne, are meant of the first, not of the last; but it is false; for these prayers were fulfilled, eo ipso momento, quo Christus ponebat ani­mam, at that instant when Christ laid downe his life, though the actuall fruition followed after: the prayers of Christ had been to small purpose, had they not apper­ [...]ned both to the first, and last; there is not one place of Scripture, where Impetration is named without respect to Application; it must needs follow therefore, that Christ died not for all.

Arg. 7. For whom Christ died, he so died, that he tooke their death and the punnishment they deserved upon himselfe: so the Phrase of dying for any is to be understood, as it is plaine, 2. Sam. 18. 33. Rom. 9. 3. but they dare not say, that Christ took the Death and Punishment, which all deserved upon himselfe, it is against John 3. 36. Mat, 7. 23. therefore he died not for All. How to an­swer this Argument (which they are never able) they make themselves Socinians, as in many things they make themselves Massilians, they will hardly put mee to prove.

Arg. 8. All those, for whom Christ died, may say, who can [Page 27] condemne us? Christ died for us; who shall seperate us from the love of Christ? Rom. 8. 34. 35. but all cannot say so, for there are infinites condemned, and therefore Christ died not for All.

Arg. 9. Are all those, whom Universalists say have recei­ved this Grace of Redemption, Regenerate? or are they not Regenerate? if they be Regenerate, then all men are Rege­nerate; if not, then have all men power to believe, and to attaine salvation, if they will, whilest they remaine unre­generate: they will not say the first, and Pelagius could say no more then the last.

I might double this number of Arguments against Universall Redemption, but that may bee done when my Adversaries undertake to answer these; which they (that is the Thomsonists) will never attempt. Yet let me alledge the words of Mr. Perkins, Tom. 1. pag. 302. where he saith thus; Universall Grace appertaining to all, and every man, may sitly be termed the Schoole of Universall Atheisme, for it pulls downe the Pale of the Church, and laies it waste, like to a common Field; it breeds a carelesnesse, in the use of the means of Grace, the Word, and Sacraments, when as men shall be per­swaded, that Grace shall be offered to every one effectually, whether he be of the Church or not, at one time or other, where­soever, or howsoever he live, &c. Now whether were the Smith, the Miller, the Thatcher, the Thrasher, or he that sent and set them on, more ignorant, or impu­dent, to charge me, and all the Reformed Churches with me, of high Treason against the Crowne Royalty, Love, Goodnesse, Soverainty of the Son of God, for the words, which, the truth is, I tooke out of Mr. Perkins in the place aforesaid; they might have had more reve­rence [Page 28] to that worthy Mans memory, though they re­garded not me. It may be at that grand meeting, to de­vise, and do me some mischiefe (they know where, and when,) they all laid their little wits together to devise and draw the Charge; but the Smith that read it, writ it sure, it was so like him, Children challenge their Parents, like Lips, like Lettice, the Matter and the Letter stunke much what alike. Thus fearfully they fall, whom God forsakes; they run out of one Extreame over the Medium into another Extreame, and so [...], as the Apostle cals it, 2. Thes. 2. 2. quite out of their wits; High Treason against the Doctrine of Jesus Christ (so they call their Vniversall Redemption, Free will, &c.) charged upon, or against all the Reformed Churches at once by such men of ignorance: Father forgive them, they knew not what they did.

Now let me use a few Arguments against their ficti­tious Election.

Arg. 1. If perseverance bee a condition required in the Object of Election, as they say, then there are none Elect til the End of this life: but Paul is called an Elect Vessell, even whilest he was a Persecutor, Act. 9. 15. And S. John wrot his second Epistle, to the elect Lady, (yet alive) and her chil­dren, 1. John 2. 1. Therefore Perseverance can bee no Con­dition required in the Objection of Election; the Antecedent is confessed, for perseverance is a part of their Thesis, as I shewed out of Amesius de Electione, pa. 1. neither do they deny it; then the Consequence cannot be denied; how can it bee knowne who will persevere to the end, whilest they are yet alive? The Minor is true, for they are the words of S. Luke, and S. John, ut suprà; and I could prove it out of a hundred places; therefore the Conclusion cannot be false, Perseverance can be no condition in the Ob­ject [Page 29] of Election. They, even all of them, Universalists, Pa­pists, Arminians, defend falling away from Grace, and they prove it, de facto, by a fearfull Argument; for they them­selves have faln from the Faith, and the Reformed Churches.

Arg. 2. They who were given to Christ, antecedenter ad Fidem, that they might be Faithfull, they were Elect antece­denter ad Fidem, that they might have Faith and Perseveranee, not because they were such; but some are given to Christ that they might have Faith and Perseverance; therefore they were elect, that they might be Faithfull, not for their Faith: the Major none can deny, and the Minor may be proved out of Ephes. 1. 4. Hee hath chosen us before the foundation of the world, that wee should bee holy, and without blame before him, not because we were holy: the Apostle saith the same, Ephes. 2. 10. Faith is the fruit, not the tree; the Effect, not the Cause of Election: we are elected to faith, not for faith; antece­denter ad fidem, as I said, not propter fidem; there is no o­ther Cause of our Election, but only the Will of God. Nay more, the mediation of Christ is not the Cause of Gods Decree, but Gods Decree, è contra, is the Cause of Christs mediation; he Predestinated us unto the Adoption of Children, by Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his owne will, Ephes. 1. 5. The Jewes were rejected for their unbeliefe; the Gentiles were not elected for their Faith, but they stood by Faith, Rom. 11. 20. We never read, that any People, or particular Nation was elected for their Faith; the contrary we often read, as Deut. 7. 7. 8. & Ezek. 16. First, the Lord saith, this is my People, before the People can say, the Lord is our God, Zach. 13. 9. Vera Electio non inve­nit, sed facit fideles, true Election finds us not, but makes us faithfull; Qui enim de mundo mundum eligi fecit, quod eligeret, non invenit, saith Augustin in Joh. 15. God chose a World out of the World, for nothing that was in [Page 30] the World. Indeed Arminius stands to it stoutly, that Faith in Gods Decree of Election doth, in order, goe before, not follow Election: But yet that old Axiome is, and will be truth, when Heresies and Hereticks are dead, & with the Devill, their Father; Deus in negotio Predestinationis non egreditur extràse, God in Predestination goes not out of himselfe.

Arg. 3. The Scriptures teach us, that on some God will shew Mercy, on others his Justice, Exod. 33. 19. Rom. 9. 22. 23. of his owne Free Will, or good pleasure; which proves that Election is neither for Faith, nor of all: Of the same Clay the Potter maketh both the Vessels that serve for cleane uses; and likewise also such as serve to the contrary; but what is the use of either sort, the Potter himselfe is the Judge, Wise­dome 15. 7. O house of Israel, can not I doe with you, as the Potter, saith the Lord? Behold as the clay is in the Potters hand, so are ye in mine, O house of Israel, Jer. 18. 6. And if any man will strive against God, for doing with us as he pleaseth, the Prophet Isaiah pronounceth a woe against such an one; Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker: Let the potsherds strive with the potsherds of the earth: shall the Clay say to him that fashioneth it, what makest thou? Woe unto him that saith to his Father, what begettest thou? &c. Isa. 45. 9. 10. God hath got the upper ground, doe not con­tend against him.

Arg. 4. Christ saith hee had sheep among the Gen­tiles; Other sheep I have that are not of this fold, John 10. 16 Therefore God had much people among them, that had not heard of him: now this cannot be by Election, or in the De­cree, and Eternall Counsell of God; therefore there is a singular Election, even of such as never had Faith.

Arg. 5. Our Adversaries might remember, Christ [Page 31] sayth, But many are called, and fewer chosen, Matt. 20. 16. & 22. 14. From which words it followes, there is neither an universall Vocation, nor an universall Election: but I tou­ched these things before, and shall heereafter, when I come to prove Gods absolute Decree.

Their Universall Vocation is of the same stampe with their Universall Election, as counterfet coyne, I proved it before, and I may adde further. This Opinion necessa­rily implies, that God gives grace and means sufficient for salvation to all men; and supposes that there is no mortall man, old, or yong, Christian, or Pagan, from the begin­ning of the World, unto the end thereof, but God re­veales to him the means of salvation; and, at least, in some instant of his life, he sets him in such a state, that he may enjoy the means if he will, and be saved: the Conse­quence is thus proved, because, if God will onely save such as use the means of salvation well, and damn such as use them ill, and that consequently, because they use them well or ill; then he must in justice reveale and exhibit these means unto them, because no man by himselfe can reco­ver them; and hee must reveale and exhibite them to man, when he is in such a state, that he hath the use of his Free Will; as a King that wills the safety of his Sub­jects, on condition that they keep his Lawes, is bound to publish and make his Lawes known unto them; else if he execute any of them, it must be upon a new point, and not upon their not keeping his Lawes; so also it is impossible that God should reprobate any, for the ill use of his grace, and contempt of the means of salvation, that never had those meanes, nor ever heard of his grace; as many milli­ons of people in all Ages have beene, and now are. The first sort whereof are Infants, that either die in the womb, [Page 32] or unbaptized, or reach not to years of discretion, and the use of reason, and Free Will: now Predestination, is of no o­ther reason in Infants, then in Old folke, but upon the same grounds, and in the same maner, that God wills the salvation of the one, he wills the salvation of the o­ther: then let the Universalist tell me, how the means of sal­vation is applied to Infants, or how they can make use of the means?

The second sort, that never had, or heard of the means of salvation, are Idiots, such as are born Naturalls, with­out the use of Reason; of whom the same may be sayd, that is of Infants, that for want of Reason, and the use of Free Will, they cannot be said to have sufficient means: for to the sufficiency of the meanes must concurre not only the perfection of the helpe revealed, but also the ability of the Subject, to whom the sayd helpe is offered; if God have left his Word to lead a man, and yet with-holds Reason and faculty from him, that hee cannot hear, nor use it, it cannot bee conceived, how hee may bee sayd to have left sufficient meanes to that man.

The third sort, that never had the means of salvation, are Barbarians and Pagans, that never heard of God, or Christ, or the Gospel, these also cannot be sayd to have sufficient means of salvation; because the revelation of Christ and his Gospel is the means, and they never had it: if it bee objected, that the Heathen may have certaine inspirati­ons, which may guide them first to Grace, and then to Glory; then I demand, first touching these inspirations, that are sayd to bee thus offered, and stirred up in the Gentiles, are they super-naturall, or naturall? if super­naturall, by what meanes are they wrought? for the Word of God they have not, and Gods Spirit doth ne­ver [Page 33] sufficiently inspire, when it doth not sufficiently reveale it selfe to be his Spirit; are they naturall, ari­sing only from a naturall knowledge? then I demand againe, whether they bee able to bring him, that hath them to Justifying Grace? if they be not able, they are insufficient; if they say they be able, then this is Pelagia­nisme, that a man by naturall strength may obtaine the Grace of God.

Two prodigious Opinions have I read touching this poynt; [In Whites Way, pag. 280.] one of the Papists, or some of them, who say, that the very Gentiles knew God, and did many things wherein was no sinne, and this was sufficient to save them.

The other of that man of ignorance, who wrote the Charge of high Treason against all, that deny Universall Redemption; there hee saith, (but God helpe him, hee knowes not what he saith) that man hath yet liberty and power to escape Condemnation, and can doe that which God Commands. These Opinions are fitter for Pelagians, who say, Gratia significat naturam ratione, & vo­luntate praeditam, that Grace is Nature indued with Rea­son and Free Will; and that per Opera Naturae homo prome­retur auxilium gratiae, a man may open the window to let Grace come in, as (besides Pelagians) most of the Pa­pists say, but they become not us, who professe our selves Protestants.

Yet further, to prove that Infants, Idiots, Infidels ne­ver had the meanes of Grace, I may say thus; that the word of Reconciliation was not preached to all; Reconciliation is by faith, and faith by the word, Ro. 10. 14. Which Word was not, nay is not yet preached to all: was there not a Partition wall till it was broken downe? Did not Christ charge [Page 34] his Disciples, not to goe into the way of the Gentiles? nor into the Cities of the Samaritans? Mat. 10. 5. 6. Look into that Parable of the Woman of Canaan, if the Word of God was not the Childrens bread, Mat. 15. 24. 26. All the blind Americans, many of the barbarous Affricans, the sa­vadge Canibals, besides the Chinoys, so quick-sighted in other things, yet had not heard of a Saviour, till some few hundred years since: nay more, our Brethren, if they please to prove Universall Vocation, may bee yet, almost the first to Preach the word of God to a great part of Finmark, the Scricfinians, Lappians, and some Northerne Isles within the Artick Circle, among us Europeans; then how can they dreame of Universall Vocation? Now our Question is not, If grace be free, but whether this Free grace bee effectually and freely offered to all? Yea, but the Black-smith, in that ugly thing he brought, as blacke as himselfe, tells us of the Spirit; but it was writ by a foul spirit: well, yet there were 12. Places of Scripture, to prove Universall Redemption, I think set downe by some simple Brother, sure not by Mr. T. for hee applied not one place, but said, they were plaine Places, and so left it simply to beleeve: now to these I need not answer, for they were barely named, and nothing concluded, ney­ther Syllogisme nor sence, but left simply as the Letter sayd: yet in answer to them, and the like places, I say thus:

There are severall interpretations of such places as say, God will have all to bee saved; the chiefe whereof are these foure, that follow: 1. God would have all men to be saved, and come to the knowledge of the Truth, in that he makes us to wish, and desire this our selves, by stirring us up to seeke and pray for salvation, because [Page 35] the Will that God workes in us is said to bee Gods Will: 2. Where the Scriptures say, God will have all to be saved; by the word, all, such only are meant who are saved, by restraining the Universall signe to the Elect alone; that is, all who are saved, are all saved only by vertue of the Will of God; as a Schoole-Master may be said to teach all the children in a Towne, when hee only teaches all that are taught: 3. God by the signifi­cation of his Will revealed in his Word, would all men to bee saved, in as much, as hee offers to all men, either the Doctrine of the Gospell, or some other signe, whereby hee invites them to salvation; and this Exposition denies, that there is any Will of good pleasure, or absolute Will in God, referred and determined to the sal­vation of all, but onely to the Means propounded, which of themselves are sufficient, and able to lead men to sal­vation; thereby he carries himselfe as one that hath a purpose to save all: They call this Will of God, Voluntas Signi; not Beneplaciti; the Will of the Signe, but not his absolute Will, which first may not be fulfilled, and yet the last; his absolute Will is alwayes fulfilled: 4. God would have all to be saved, that is, he saveth some in all Estates, and Degrees of men; not singula generum, but genera sin­gulorum, of all sorts some, not every singular person of all sorts, whether they be rich or poore, old or young, Jewes, Greekes, Barbarians, God saves some of every Condition: so Christ is sayd to have Redeemed some out of every Kindred, and Tongue, and People, and Nation, Rev. 5. 9. to have healed every Disease, that is, every kinde of Disease Mat. 4. 23.

This, and the second distinction I thinke the best to be applyed to such places of Scripture, where it is said, [Page 36] God will have all to be saved.

Againe, I say, that by the word, all, wee must under­stand all that believe; by him all that believe are justified, Acts 13. 39. all that are weary and heavy laden, Mat. 11. 28. He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, John. 3. 16. the Scripture hath con­cluded all under sin, that the Promise by the Faith of Christ, should be given to them that believe, Gal. 3. 22. I might inferre, but all, and every one believes not; therefore Christ died not for All, and every one. It is apparent, that the word, All, is oftentimes used for Many; as Rom. 5. 18. 19. Augustin in his Manuell to Laur: cap: 103. saith thus: God would have all to bee saved; not because there was no man which he would have damned; who therefore would not do miracles among them, which would (so he saith) have repented, if he had done mi­racles; but by all men, we must understand, all sorts of men, howsoever distinguished, whether Kings, private persons, &c. These two, to be willing to save a man; and that he should come to the saving knowledge of the Truth, are inseperably united together, 1. Tim. 2. 4. but the second, we see, doth not agree to all, and every singular person; therefore the first cannot.

But here a question may bee asked; did God then appoint all to bee saved, upon this Condition, if they be­lieve? I answer, that it is absurd to affirme this; for first, by that meanes the Decree of God should depend upon the Will of man, whereas, on the contrary, Gods Decree doth limit and order all inferior Causes: secondly, it quite taketh away the certainty of Gods De­cree, because a Conditionall Proposition doth set down nothing as being, or it doth not certainly affirme any [Page 37] thing; and wee are elected to Faith; not for Faith, I told you before.

They object againe, (it is their usuall Argument) If Adams sinne destroyed all, and Christs merit doth not save all; then is Adams sinne more forcible to condemne, then Christs mercy is to save: To this I answer, we must value the mercy of Christ by the efficacy, and dignity of it; for it was a more easie thing to destroy all by sin, then by Grace to save but one: man, being but meere man, could destroy all; but to save even one, none could do it, but such an one, as was both God and Man; one man damned all, or brought them into the state of damnation; but all men cannot save one.

But they object, that God is cruel, [...], saith Mr. T. I wonder, how he did to write the word; hee goes further, God is an Abaddon, (for he useth as ill lan­guage against God Almighty, as against me) if he ordain any, or the most of men to damnation. To this I answer, that he chargeth me, and the Reformed Churches falsly; We say, sinne damnes; God damnes not, but for sinne: and yet I know our Thomsonists are not able to answer that of Paul, Rom. 9. 21. where he sayth, the Potter makes of, the same clay some vessels to dishonour: nor to that, Prov. 16. 4. The Lord made even the wicked for the day of evill: nor to that of Jude 4. Tbere are certaine men crept in unawares, who were before of old Ordained unto this Condemnation: Let them looke into Exo. 33. 19. Jer. 18. 6. Isa. 45. 9. 10. if God may not take leave to do what he list.

This indeed we do say, that God in his [...]ternall Decree did passe by some, with a purpose not to shew mercy on such, which purpose causeth no necessi [...]y of damnation, but by the sinne of man comming betweene. Secondly, We say, God could [Page 38] have Decreed, that even All men should have been utterly re­jected, and yet he should have been neither cruell nor unjust: he adjudged all and every one of those foule and wicked spirits which fell from him to eternall torments, was he cruell in that? he Decreed that men should live by the slaughter of Beasts, is he cruell in that? God is no more bounden unto man, then unto bruit Beasts.

But they object, that Christ tooke upon him the na­ture of man, therefore he redeemed the nature of man, and so by consequence every man that pertakes of humane na­ture: To this I answer, that it followeth not, except we say, that Christ Redeemed himselfe, he also did partake of humane nature; but they dare not say, that Christ re­deemed himselfe: every woman doth partake the na­ture of every man, yet is not every man each womans husband, but hers alone, to whom he is joyned in Matri­mony; and Christ also tooke upon him mans nature, common to all Adams Posterity, yet is he the husband of his Church a­lone, be gave himselfe for it, Ephes. 5. 25. that he might san­ctifie and cleanse it, v. 26. that he might present it a glorious Church, v. 27. and so the Church became flesh of his flesh, and bone of his bone, v. 30. Therefore the Church alone can justly challenge a title in, and to the death of Christ.

But they object againe, that in many Places Christ is sayd to redeeme the World, as 1. John. 2. 2. Mr. T. chargeth with this Argument almost as violently, as the Duke of Byron did his Enemies, of whom they report, that the bloud burst out of his lips, at every Charge. For De­fence of our selves therefore, wee say thus; This word, World, signifies, 1. The frame of Heaven and Earth. 2. All, both good and bad together. 3. The company of Unbeleevers and haters of Christ. 4. The congregation of the Elect dispersed over [Page 39] the face of the whole World, and to be gathered out of the World: In this fourth signification wee must understand that Place of John, and the like places: thus the Church is oft called by the name of the World, as 2. Cor. 5. 19. God was in Christ reconciling the World; that World, it followes, to whom their sinnes are not imputed. In John 6. 3. Christ is cal­led the bread of life, that came downe from heaven, and gave life to the World: there is both Impetration, and Applicati­on; he gave spirituall life, which can be meant of none, but the Elect alone, who are there called the World: the same St. John expounds himselfe, what he meant by the World, John 10. 27. 28. My Sheepe heare my voyce, and I give them eternall life; they onely therefore are that enlivened World.

I know, they object against us that of Paul; God is the Saviour of all men, especially, of them that believe, 1. Tim. 4. 10. But the proper meaning of that place is, God pre­serves, provides for, and is good to all, especially to them that believe; he makes his Sun to shine upon all, and sends them Raine and Showres: Therefore they compare God to a Master of a Family, who is good to all his servants, yea, to his Cattle; the very Hogs, and Dogs he keepes, but to his Wife and Children he is very good. Beza translates the Word, [...], in that place, not Salvator, but Conservator; and Aretius in his Com­ment upon the same Verse saith, Deus omnium, maximè Fidelium, Benefactor; God is a Benefactor of, to all, but especially to the Elect: The most and best Interpreters make this the meaning of the words: Earthly bles­sings he poures out to every one; but we no where read, that God, Voluntate beneplaciti, by his absolute Will, would have every particular man to be saved.

That place, 2. Pet. 2 1. Where Reprobates are sayd to be redeemed by Christ, is meant of such as live in the Visible Church, who are sayd to be redeemed, both in their owne Judgements, and in the Churches Judgement of Charity; and thus the Ministers may, and doe apply Christs death and Redemption to All.

There are many Objections of lesser Consequence, but why should I teach my Adversaries, who are as wilfull, as they would be wicked? the greatest comfort I have, is, that if I cannot convert them (which I hope) yet a vessell can hold no more, then it is able to contain. I conclude this Poynt therefore with that of Aquinas: Christs merit, according to the sufficiency thereof, carrieth it self indifferently to all, but not according to the Efficacy; which comes to passe, partly by Gods Election, through which the effect of Christs merits is mercifully bestowed on some, and partly by the just Judgements of Gods, with­holding his Grace from other some.

Now to fortifie, & rivet all this Building by yet more impregnable Reasons; I will prove it no cruelty in God, to doe with his Creature what he pleaseth; that God may elect, or reject whom he list; and that there is no other cause of Gods Decree of Election, but his owne Will: The fan­cies of our Universalists I will confute by these Theses following.

I assert therefore; That Predestination is an eternall De­cree of God, in time causing effectuall Grace, in all those whom he hath chosen, and by this effectuall Grace bringing them in­fallibly to Glory: Now this Election, or Dilection of some, sup­poseth a passing by of others, and a leaving them to their owne selves; the cause of both is nothing else, but the Will of God: The Parts of this Decree are two, Election, and Reprobation; [Page 41] the first, Gods absolute Decree of preparing that Grace for some, which will preserve them; the second, Gods absolute Decree of not preparing for others that Grace, which would preserve them. Now these Decrees are not founded upon any different fore­seene Acts of men, but upon the alone Will of God, which is the most absolute, supreame, and soveraigne Cause of all things that are; having nothing either above it selfe, or out of it selfe, to be any impulsive Cause, to move, or incline it: Indeed, mens Wils are moved, and disposed by externall Causes out of themselves, because they are to be ruled by Equity, and Reason; and a mans bare Will, without a Reason, is nothing; but Gods Will is not ruled by another Will, or Rule of Reason or Justice; but it selfe is an absolute Rule both of Justice, and Reason. A thing is not first of all reasonable and just, and afterward willed by God; but it is first of all willed by God, and thereupon it becomes reasonable and just; Volitiones purè conditio­nales sunt alienae a sapientia divina, Decrees meerly Con­ditionall agree not with the perfection of the Divine Nature; such Volitions, or Decrees are for us, who have neither Knowledge, whether the condition will be per­formed, nor power to worke the condition, upon which the future Act of our Will was suspended: But in God who knoweth what every man will, or will not do, and hath power to make men do the good he will, these Conditionall Decrees are not purely, but mixtly Conditionall: that is, grounded on some absolute revealed Decree of God, to the performance whereof he hath tied himselfe.

And we ought to observe, that Reprobation, and Dam­nation differ exceedingly much; Reprobation is a bare passing by; Damnation, a punishment: Ineptè faciunt, qui Reprobationis decretum, cum Damnatione confundunt; cum hujus causa manifestà sit, nempe peccatum; illius vero sola Dei Voluntas; [Beza.] They are very simple that seen ot the [Page 42] difference twixt Reprobation, and Damnation; Gods Will is Cause of the first; sinne of the last: Peccatum non est Causa Rejectionis, sed est Causa Damnationis, [Zanchy.] sinne is not the Cause of Reprobation, but of Damnation.

Reprobation is not a deniall of sufficient Grace, but a de­niall of such speciall Grace, as God knoweth would infallibly bring men to Glory: and this Decree doth not shut up a­ny man under a necessity of sinning, or of being dam­ned, but it permitteth men volun [...]arily and freely, to run into damnable sinnes, and through their voluntary impenitency, to incurre eternall damnation; for the Sentence of Damnation lays not hold on men, quà non electi; sed quà impii, not as non-elect, but as wicked.

It is contrary to Gods nature, causelesly, and cruel­ly to destroy his creatures; but it is not contrary to his nature, to decree out of his mercy, to bestow Grace and Mercy on some; and to Decree, out of the liberty of his Will, to permit others, through their owne volun­tary default, by abusing the meanes of Grace that is gi­ven them, to fall into eternal misery; he hath mercy on whom he will, Exo. 33. 19. If man had been created Wicked, or Evill, then God had not had just occasion to punish the wickednesse, whereof he himselfe was the Authour, and Maker; but being created good, and having given him power to stand, hee may justly punish him if he fall.

From this Decree of Preterition, or Reprobation it well followeth; Judas is reprobated; therefore he will not use the meanes, that God offereth for his salvation; but it is not a good Consequence to say; therefore God hath not given him suf­ficient meanes, or remedies to escape damnation, were not his owne wicked Will the onely hinderance. These two Propositions may stand together; I will, that if Judas repent, and [Page 43] believe, he shall have remission and salvation; I will not give unto Judas the gift of Repentance, or Faith, that he may at­taine salvation: As it is sencelesse to say, Gods Decree of giving Faith to Peter, was suspended till Peters Faith, and Repentance; so it is as sencelesse, to say Gods per­mitting Judas to dye in Unbeliefe, and Impenitency was grounded upon his Unbeliefe and Impenitency.

It's true the Fathers were sparing in this Poynt, till that Monster, Pelagianisme was Midwifed into the World; and yet, Deus in negotio Predestinationis non egre­ditur extra se; and the Cause of Predestination is, sola Dei Voluntas; so sayd all the Fathers, and so say the best Re­formed Churches; (for I say the Lutherans are yet de­fective in their Omnipresence, and fore-seene Faith) then how can there be any consideration of fore-seene Faith and Workes? God goes out of himselfe, if he have re­gard to Faith, Perseverance, or any thing that is not intrà se: is it not non-sence to say, the Decree of Predestination is intrà se, if God have respect to any thing extra se? And if any object, that God doth nothing, therefore not Reprobate without a Reason; I say, his Will is Rea­son sufficient; doe we say, and pray, thy Will be done in Earth, as it is in Heaven, and yet deny it in Predestination? the Psalmist doth prove it true in despite of proud man, Our God hath done whatsoever pleased him in Heaven and Earth, Psal. 135. 6. He did worke, and he doth worke all things after the Councell of his owne Will, Ephes. 1. 5. Rom. 9. 19. Suppose that I, with others, come for en­tertainment to such a Gentlemans house, may hee not take them in, and refuse to afford me that favour, and for no other Reason, but because he will not? If I should say, Sir, shew mee a Reason wherefore you reject mee: [Page 44] may he not answer; it is, because he will not accept me? must there needs be a quarrell, or hee may not? So heere, must there needs be infidelity, evill Workes, Origi­nall sinne, or some other ill condition in me, or else God may not do with his owne as he lift? sure none will say so against themselves; then how can they suppose it so of God? The Master, whose Scholers we may, nay wee must be, Mat. 20. 15. said, it was lawfull for him to doe with his owne as hee lifted; and may not God have the same leave? as that Parable seems to prove; Stat pro ratione voluntas, is most proper to Almighty God.

Reprobation, by it selfe considered, is no punishment, therefore it supposeth no fault; the name signifieth no more but not to allow of; sola voluntas, decretum, bene­placitum, propositum Dei; all, or any of these cannot stand with the fore-sight of Faith, or Infidelity; good or evill Workes. Indeed God foresees all sinnes, Originall, and Actuall; it were Atheisme to deny it; but that any sin, Originall, or Actuall ought to goe before the first Act of God, called Reprobation, I utterly deny; let them call Faith, Infidelity, good and evill Workes, but Objects, Motives, Reasons, Circumstances considerable in Gods Decree; yet if they looke into their Logicke, it will let them see, that the least of Causes, Causa sine quâ non, is yet a Cause; and God, if hee regard any thing, but his owne Will in Election, or Reprobation, must goe extrase: to say (as they say, to salve the Justice of God) that he could not Elect without looking on man in massa Corrup­ta, and yet that he did not consider it as any Reason of his Decree, is without Reason.

I know my wise Adversaries, the Black-smith, or who­soever sent abroad that bable, Object against these [Page 45] things, (and so do the Papists, because they will not seeme to play the Fooles without Reason) that by this it followes the Freedome of mans Will must perish: Gods Glory is obscured, saith Mr. T. if he punish necessitated wickednesses: The Papists, and Pelagians are of this Opini­on; then a Murtherer, saith Pighius, when he killeth a man, may be excused, because he hath executed the De­cree of God; then all care, diligence, and endeavour is taken away, if our Thoughts, Words, Deeds be determi­ned of God; to such I may answer, or aske this Questi­on; Can they doe any thing that God hath not decreed? They are almost Atheists, that say they can; then it fol­lowes, they can doe nothing but it is decreed; Let Pet. Mart. answer for me, part. 3. pa. 6. I wonder, saith he, speaking of these and other Objections of Pighius, that any Divine could let such an old Wifes Talecome out of his mouth; Can Judas be excused of his wicked treason against our Saviour, because he heard the Lord fore-tell his mischievous designe? John 13. 21. So then, it is a simple, nay it is a sinfull thing to excuse any sinne, by the eternall or absolute Decree of God: it is his owne Will, not the Will of God, that the mischiefe-munger, or the murthe­rer regards; he cannot doe otherwise; nay but aske him­selfe, and hee'l say he will not.

Such, as maintaine Gods absolute Decree, hold necessity infallibilitatis, not coactionis; they say that God deter­mines mans Will; and yet it is Free, as I shewed be­fore, and followes the dictate of its owne Intellect: to reason thus, God hath eternally fore-seene Judas his im­penitency, therefore decreed him to eternall damna­tion; therefore Judas shal infallibly continue impenitent, and at length be damned, is a true inference; but this, [Page 46] God hath eternally fore-seene Judas his impenitency, therefore Judas shall by coaction, or compulsion of his Will, be made unalterably impenitent, and so be dam­ned, is a false Conclusion; The Agent is yet as free, as if God had not foreseene; the absolute will of God to worke faith, repentance, &c. in Peter, maketh not these actions com­pulsory, but maketh the agent most free; for it giveth him that spirit, of which the Apostle sayth, ubi spiritus, ibi libertas: true and perfect liberty, and Gods Spirit goe both toge­ther; and e contra; non-Election denieth men that Grace, which would effectually and infallibly make them produce good Actions; but it depriveth them not of their owne naturall freedome, neither doth it compell them to evill actions; Divi­na Voluntas non tollit potentiam ad oppositum; God hath determined to permit men to faile in attaining eternall life; but he is not Authour of their sinnes, whereby they incur eternall death.

In good Actions the Freedome of men Elected is not vaine, though the End be determined; because God hath determined together with the End, that by their free Actions they shall attaine it; and in bad their Freedome is not vaine; because thereby their Consciences are convinced of their guilt; and Gods Justice cleared in their damnation.

Reprobation, and the permission thereto annexed, importeth not a witholding of Grace, necessary for the avoyding of sinne so permitted, much lesse a necessita­tion of Sinners to their severall sinnes; but a withold­ing of all Grace, which would de facto be effectuall to the avoyding of sinne: so that sinne flowes not from this [...], and Permission, as an Effect, from the Cause; but [...] Consequence, from the Antecedent, necessitate infallibili­tatis; [Page 47] as the Sunne, witholding his Beames, causeth not darknesse; yet darknesse is a Consequent: Neither doth this Preterition or Reprobation imply a substracti­on of any Graces, or helpes obtained: but a non-Dona­tion of such Graces, without which God foresaw, that Reprobates, out of their own Free-Will, would infallibly perish in their sins: Deo Reprobante non irrogatur aliquid, quo homo fit deterior: sed tantùm non irrogatur quo fiat meli­or: man is not made worser: but he is not made better by this Act of Preterition or Reprobation.

Nay, there is not only a bare permissive, but there is also an energeticall, and operative Will in God, conjoyned with the permissive Will; and this operative, or energe­ticall Will of God is apparent in these six Circumstances: 1. God eternally decreeth, and accordingly when sin­full Actions are committed giveth the sinner power and use of Understanding, and Free Will, without which he could not sinne: 2. God thereby eternally decreed to concurre, and doth concurre ad materialem actum peccati, to the sinne as it is an Action: 3. God decreed the Circumstances, or Occasions, good as from God, whereupon he saw the sinner would make evill use and sinne: 4. God decreed to deny the Meanes, that he knew, would have prevented such sinnes: and offered onely such as he knew the sinner would abuse to the committing of sinne: 5. God li­miteth, and ordereth their sinnes, so that they breake forth in no other measure, at no other time, upon no other persons, then himselfe hath fore-appoynted: 6. God ordereth all these sinnes to his owne Glory, and the good of his Elect.

For the most sinfull Actions of man tend to the manifestati­on [Page 48] of Gods Glory, either as Acts of mercy to the godly (in whom sinne produceth punishment; punishment Repen­tance; Repentance Faith; Faith the Favour of God; and the Favour of God Life, and Salvation) or as Acts of Justice to the Wicked, in whom sinne produceth punish­ment; punishment, hardnesse of heart; hardnesse of heart, incredulity; incredulity, hatred of God; and hatred of God, death and destruction: All which is manifest in the different effects which sinne produced in godly David, and in ungodly Pharoah; as for example, Davids Murther, and Adultery occasioned Reproofes, and Corrections from God, 2. Sam. 12. Psal. 6. Psal. 22. These corrections and punishments wrought sorrow and Repentance in Davids heart, Psal. 5. that Repentance, Faith, and trust in God, Psal. 30. Psal. 31. Psal. 52. Psal. 23. That Faith and Trust ob­tained Love and Favour from God, Psal. 27. and that Love and Favour, an assured hope of Life and Salvation, Psal. 12. But Pharaohs oppressions provoaked God to send his judgements, and plagues upon him; these plagues they hardned Pharoahs heart; that hardnesse of heart caused incredulity; that incre­dulity the hatred of God; and that hatred occasioned Pharaohs ruine and destruction in the red Sea, as it is Exod. 14. Yea the goodnesse of God made the very drunkenesse, and incest of Lot; the incest of Judah; the malice of the Jewes; the treason of Judas; and the injustice of Pilate, Meanes of mans salvation; yea even Adams Fall, the fountaine of sinne, and misery in man, was by the wis­dome of God made a meanes of greater happinesse to the Godly, then his perseverance and continuance in In­nocency could have been: For if life had been given, as a reward of our just Workes, (so the wittiest of the Schoolemen, Scotus) then our Worke being finite could [Page 49] not have merited an infinite reward, the enjoyment whereof but one minute had passed our merit; where­as life eternall being now conferred upon the faithfull, not by way of Debt, but by the Free Grace and Mercy of God, this infinite Gift is proportioned, not according to the meane merits of the Receiver, but according to the goodnesse of God the Giver. So that even Sinne it selfe, on this manner, that I have shewed may be said to be of God. Let a man spur forward a lame Horse, in that he moveth forward, the Rider is Cause; but that he halteth he himselfe is the cause: When we see the Sun Beames shining through a Glasse, the Light is from the Sun; the Colour not from the Sun; but from the Glasse: For, talis Actio cum tali defectu, is not of God; as sinfull Actions have in them formalem rationem peccati, and are opposite to the Rule of Gods Law, so God nei­ther is, nor can be the Causer of them; yet is he the Cause of that inward or outward naturall Action, wherein this defect of mans Will is found: Entitas pra­vae actionis cadit in Voluntatem Divinam; yet man hath not onely potentiam in se liberam, but liberum usum poten­tiae, not onely free power, but also free use of his pow­er, as it appeares in Thieves, Adulterers, and the like, who, when there is danger, doe not, yet after do com­mit such sins.

God is no Enforcer in sinfull Actions, yet may he be a Decreer, or Permitter, suffering persōs not elected to fall volūtarily into sins; to continue volūtarily in thē, to their lives end; & for thē to undergo endless misery in another life. God decreed the permission, & disposing of sin, which he fore-saw upon his permission would be, but he did not decree the effecting, or Existence of it, that it should be; it more [Page 50] appertained to Gods Omnipotent Goodnesse to draw good out of evill; then not to suffer evill to be.

And as in bad, so also in good Actions, God not one­ly fore-sees, that a man will use his Free-Will well: but wils and preordaines, that he shall use it well. It is true, that men justified by Gods Predestination, by their endeavour and deliberation, may be said to determine themselves to good Workes; I say after Justification: but it is God, that moves, and makes them thus to determine themselves, and doe all these things with a Free Will. This is a sure Rule; a man doth not that good thing, which by Grace he is able to doe, unlesse God make him to doe it, as he hath made him able to do it, if he will: Ad perseverantiam in Fide & Gra­tia, non opus est nova, & speciali Gratia, sufficit ad hoc vel quod Naturà habemus, vel quod semel per Spiritum adepti su­mus; to perseverance in Faith and Grace, there needes no speciall Grace, Nature, or Grace once received is suf­ficient for this: None have beene so bold to say thus, but the old Pelagians, and later Semi-Pelagians.

It is true, that Christ saith of sinfull Jerusalem; How often would I have gathered thy Children together, as an Hen ga­thereth her Chickens, and yee would not? Mat. 23. 37. But he willed togather them, not Voluntate beneplaciti, which cannot be resisted, but by his revealed Will, using the meanes which might (had man not falne) have beene effectuall; that impo­tency in our Wills comes not from the Creator; but from man that fell from his Creator; and the Will is now starke dead (as to good Actions) untill it be enlivened by God: This dam­nable Doctrine, that all men were redeemed by Christ, but not made free, because God distributeth his gifts according to the carelesnesse of such as came to receive them, was an old rotten Heresie, buried many hundred [Page 51] yeares since, and raised up againe by the Devill, to di­sturbe the peace of the Church in our dayes.

To drive this nayle any further, were needlesse, had I Men to deal with; but my Adversaries, many of them, are such Beasts, as fought with Paul at Ephesus; there­fore, yet once over againe, all this I have sayd shall bee poved both by evident Reasons; and out of the Word of God.

For 1. I say, God foresees all Contingent Effects to come, in his own determination of the Causes thereof; and therefore see­ing the Contingent Operation of our Will, hee determines it to the Effect. 2. Els there should bee two severall beginnings of one, and the same Effect, in as much as Mans Will should begin to work, as soon as God; and concur to the Effect willed, as principally as God. 3. The Will of Man is but Gods Instrument; the Hatchet, the Hammer, whereby God hewes out his own worke; but every one that u­seth any Instrument moves, applies, and determines it to his own will. 4. The Will of Man is but a secondary, sub­ordinate Cause, under the first Cause, which is God, and exceeds not the measure of second Causes; but if it were not determined by the first Cause, it should be all one with the first Cause it selfe: Second Causes are alwaies mo­ved to their Effects by the First; and in their operations reduced to the motion of one universall prime Cause, that is God. Therefore it is, the Scriptures say, that the way of man is not in himselfe, neither is it in man to direct his owne steps, Jer. 10. 28. It is God that gives a new heart, and puts a new spirit in man, Jer. 31. 33. God placed the members in mans body, and orders them as it pleaseth him, 1. Cor. 12. 18. It is God that worketh in us, both to will, and to doe of his good pleasure, Phil. 2. 13. The heart of the King [Page 52] is in the hand of the Lord, and he turneth it, as it pleaseth him, Prov. 21. 1. He hardened Pharaohs heart, Exod. 7. 3. as hard as a stone; and he takes away our stony hearts, and gives us hearts of flesh; he hath done, he doth, and he will doe what he will. The will of God was but fulfilled, when Judas did betray Jesus, Act. 1. 16. Herod, Pontius Pilate, and the whole Syna­gogue of the Jewes, did no more then what God had determined to be done, Act. 2. 23. and Act. 4. 28. The whole World u­nited can doe nothing but what God will; and God is not moved consequently, by any thing which he as a su­periour Cause moves and determines to the Effect; but God himselfe, antecedently, as a superiour Cause, moves and determines the Will of man to the Effect, or that which it wils, be it good or ill.

Therefore it follows, God is not consequently moved by the good or ill use of the Free Will of man: therefore the good use of mans Will foreseen moved not God to Elect him, and the evill use of mans Will foreseen was not the Cause that God Repro­bated him: Therefore God had no Antecedent Will to save the Reprobate, if they would, by their Free Will, receive and use his Grace aright: therefore Gods De­cree touching the Salvation, and Reprobation of men, is lastly, and finally, resolved into his owne pure Will.

Universalist; thou tellest me of the love of God to Man; and in that thou tellest me true; for if all the World were full of Bookes; if all the men in the world were Writers; and if all the water in the Sea were Inke: yet the Bookes would bee written, the Writers weary, the Inke spent, and yet the Love of God to us poorely expressed: but then let me tell thee, that this Love of God to man should make a reflection towards this Sun, and move man to love God againe, and nothing but [Page 53] God; and himselfe for this God, that loved him when he was nothing, submitting himselfe wholy and soly to the Will of God.

There are foure degrees of Love: First, a man loves himselfe for his owne sake, for he is flesh, and so natu­rally can love nothing but himselfe; but when he sees, that he cannot subsist without God, then necessity com­pels him, but for his owne sake still, to flie to God; and when he has begun to love God, though but for his owne sake, and begins withall to taste and see how sweet God is, then he loves God no more for his owne sake; but for Gods sake; and when he has attained to this third step, to love God for Gods sake, he staies there, and strives (if it be possible for a­ny man to obtaine this heavenly happynesse heere on Earth) to love himselfe onely for Gods sake: Thus the true love of God should both begin, and end onely in God: like a Circle, which begins, and ends in it selfe: Now let Mr. T. take heed, how hee preach against this absolute Will, and Power in God; and plead his owne Faith and Workes, lest God at length be avenged on him; God hath leaden heeles, but iron hands; he seemes to winke with his eyes, but it is as Gunners use, that they may hit surer, when they shoot.

Origen in his second Booke against Celsus saith thus: A certaine man gave counsell to his friend that was sick, not to send for the Physitian, because (sayd he) it is already appoynted by Destiny, either that thou shalt recover of this Disease; or that thou shalt not; if it be appoynted by God, or by thy Destiny, that thou shalt recover, thou shalt then not need the Physitian; if it be not appoynted by God; if it be not thy Destiny to recover, the Physitian, though hee come, cannot helpe thee; wherefore whether God have decreed thou shalt recover, or not, the Physitian will be called in vaine. Another, by the like Ar­gument [Page 54] disswaded his Friend from Marriage: Thou wilt marry a Wife (sayd he) to beget Children; but if it be thy Destiny to have Children, thou shalt have them without a Wife; if it be not thy Destiny, it will nothing further thee to marry a Wife; for whatsoever Destiny hath decreed in this kinde will come to passe; it is in vaine therefore to marry a Wife.

Thus wicked men deride, and would rather that blind-man-buffle in the World, then that God deter­mine every Action and Event; or fix his Decree. But the first did send for the Physitian; and the second did marry a Wife: Hee us'd a wiser Argument, who told them, that God having Predestinated Men to such Ends, Pre­destinated also, that they should use the Means: The sick man might safely answer; nay rather if God have Decreed I shall recover; therefore I will send for the Physitian, that by his means I may attaine to that which God hath Decreed. Thus Heze­kiah had fifteen years added to his life, by using the meanes; and yet he's a Devill that denies, God did, from all eter­nity, determine the certaine number of his dayes: And that other might answer; if God have appoynted I shall have children, seeing it can, or ought to come to passe by no other meanes, I will marry a Wife.

In this absolute Predestination, we are far enough from the Stoicks Fate; they subjected God himselfe to Fate; we subject Fate, that is the necessity of things to Gods most Free-Will; they, under the name of Fate, understood a necessary connexion of naturall Causes and Effects; we teach that God can, and often doth suspend these Effects, and works besides, nay, against Nature: The Stoicks tooke away all contingency; Wee admit contin­gency in respect of second Causes, but we say there is a cer­taine prescience in the first Cause; all things are ordered [Page 55] by the providence of God. Indeed the Turks, out of their obstinate beliefe of Predestination, brutishly contemne all kindes of dangers; for they say, that as soone as man comes out of his mothers Wombe to enjoy the light of the world, God writes in his forehead all the good or evill that shall happen unto him; and particularly of what death hee shall dye; the necessity whereof (they say) no humane power can avoyd: and hence it came to passe, that Anno 1611. there died of the Plague in Constantinople 200000. in five months, every day 12 or 15 hundred, for they will not turn away from a body dead of this disease; nor forbeare to visit their Friends being infected; no, they conclude it contrary to all reason, that any good, or evill can bee prevented, seeing every thing is pre-ordayned of God. But wee Christians are taught better things; that we should not so foolishly ex­amine the secret Counsells of God, as to make them altogether agreeable to our blockish Reason.

I might enlarge my selfe on this Subject; I want not matter to stop the widest mouth among my neighbors: but I will draw towards a Conclusion.

Reader, I pray thee seriously consider, if both the Supra-lapsarian, and the Sub-lapsarian, may not meete, and sweetly set forth the Mercy, and Justice of God: the Supra-lapsarians say, that in the first Act of Reprobation, God doth all for himself only; in the second, that is Dam­nation, he does all for sin: in this last the Supra-lapsarian, and the Sub-lapsarian say, that God doth the second for Sin; I see not why he may not say, hee doth the first for Himselfe, and so be in that a Supra-lapsarian: but fore­seene Faith, and Works in the first Act of God, clashes ex Diametro, against the Word of God. I know in God [Page 56] there is no first, or last; prius or posterius; but yet for our better understanding, wee may conceive the Decrees of Election, and Preterition, in order of priority, antecedent to the permission of sin, and therefore much more to the pre­vision.

I conceive, the Question is not, whether God fore­saw what Good, and Bad would doe; who dares doubt of that; but whether the Different Actions of Men, foreseen, caused the Different Decrees, of their Election, and Preteriti­on: indeed it is impossible, but that God should see all things at once; therefore he could not Predestinate, or Re­probate, without prevision, and permission of sin; but even Originall sin alone, though foreseene, could not bee Cause, why Peter was Predestinated, and Judas not, seeing it was foreseen in both, and made both ex aequo Reprobabiles; therefore it was Gods will, that made a difference, and not any Originall sin. God determined to permit the A­postasie of Men, and Angels; to damne some of Men; all the Apostate Angells: yet God might have Elected Cain, or Judas, unto Glory without injustice; and passed by Peter; God forbid, we should say, the Divine Will was determined, and could not doe otherwise: yet Cain, Ju­das, and Peter, were equally guilty of Originall sin.

Wee grant not; that by this absolute Reprobation, God Decreeth, that Men not Predestinated, should unavoy­dably sinne, that so they may certainly be damned; but we grant, that God foreknoweth, persons not elected will vo­luntarily commit those sinnes, for which hee intends to damne them: but Negative Reprobation neither procureth, nor supposeth any sinne; as damnation doth: The Decrees of ex­cluding men out of Heaven, and tormenting them in Hell, are different. I say then, that even Judas, notwithstanding [Page 57] his Reprobation, might have been saved, had hee not con­tinued voluntarily impenitent; if any say, he could not, yea but I say he would not; there was by Gods Act of Repro­bation, no necessity of coaction imposed on his will.

And now if any object; that the salvation of all were more for Gods glory; To this I answer, God is not to learne of us what makes most for his Glory; hee could have upheld the Angels, Adam; saved all, and every par­ticular; but he did not, he doth not: therefore this ab­solute Decree to bring but some to salvation, and permit others infallibly to fall, doth make most for his glory. In­deed Alphonsus K. of Castile sayd, God might have made his Works, and done many things much better then he did; but it was Blasphemy; take you heed, Mr. T.

I must not omit, how that the 39. Articles agreed up­on by the whole Clergie of England, anno 1562. for esta­blishing of Consent touching true Religion, are flat op­posite to these Opinions of our Universalists: they are against the 10. Article, which sayth; That man, since the fall of Adam, hath no Free Will, or Power, to doe any thing plea­sant and acceptable unto God: they are against the 11. Arti­cle, which saith, Justification is not for any of our own works, or deservings: they are against the 12. Article, which sayth, Good works are onely fruits of Faith, and follow after Justification; and by Consequence, Election: they are against the 17. Article, which calls Predestination to life, the ever­lasting Purpose of God, wherely, before the Foundations of the World were layd, he hath constantly Decreed, by his Counsell se­cret to us, to deliver from curse and damnation those, whom hee hath chosen in Christ out of mankinde, and to bring them by Christ to everlasting salvation, as vessels made to honour, &c. So then the Foundation of Predestination to life, is the purpose [Page 58] of God, and his Counsell; not foreseene Faith, whereby hee hath constantly Decreed (Predestination is immutable) to deliver from Curse those only, whom he had chosen in Christ; hee had no purpose to save all; and they are called Vessels made to ho­nour, which implies other Vessels made to dishonour. If Mr. T. be a Minister, then hee might remember, that hee once consented to the truth of these Articles.

Indeed, Arminius in his Declaration to the States of Hol­land, and West-Frisland, endeavoureth to prove, by 20. Arg. That God hath not Decreed absolutely to save certaine particu­lars; And Bertius, his Scholar, saith; This absolute Decree openeth a gate on this side to a dissolute life; on that side to de­speration. They say further, That the Opinion of precise Ele­ction, without respect of foreseene Faith in the Elect, overthron­eth all Religion. But, Reader, thou mayst remember, that these two are much like those Artists, that found out the Trade they professed; they are not the Children of our Mother: both Arminians, and our Universalists, make a desperate use of this Doctrine: but the Doctrine it self is no desperate Doctrine, or Doctrine of desperation, but of Heavenly consolation; as wee read in our 17. Ar­ticle; the words are these. The godly consideration of Pre­destination, and our Election in Christ, is full of sweet, pleasant, and unspeakable comfort to godly persons, and such as feele in themselves the working of the spirit of Christ, mortifying the works of the flesh, and their earthly members, and drawing up their mindes to high and heavenly things; as well because it doth greatly establish and confirme the Faith of eternall Salva­tion to be enjoyed through Christ, as because it doth fervently kindle their love towards God, &c. They that draw despe­rate Conclusions, because of Gods Decree, are condem­ned in that Article; and I am sure our Doctrine of Pre­destination [Page 59] is a savour of life unto life; if it prove a savour of death unto death, it is onely to such as pervert the Doct­rine of Holy Scriptures to their owne destruction, 2. Pet. 3. 16. But the Doctrine of the Arminians, and our Ʋni­versalists, which makes Gods Election depend upon the Will of man, which may totally, and finally fall from Grace, is a most desperate Doctrine, and deprives a Christian of all comfort, both in life, and death; a weake and wo­full foundation, to build the salvation of man (be it but in part, or in poynt of Perseverance) upon himselfe.

To reconcile Gods secret, and revealed Will, because we shall be judged by the evidence of his revealed Will, yet ac­cording to his secret Will; and though formal is ratio peccati, without all question, is not from God; yet how far he suffers, or sets on Sinners (seeing he must not be outed in any humane Actions, and Events, which are all sin­full, or accompanied with such Circumstances) I say these two stumble mee most; and though (I thanke God) he hath given me some satisfaction; yet I believe he is out, that expects a plaine Reason; or to prove all things in Scriptures by evident Demonstrations: Faith must believe what Sence cannot conceive; it is a Christian mans honour, that he over-reacheth Reason.

Now for a Colophon, or Period to this point of Predestination; I will set down three, or foure Examples, which if they do not probare, yet they may serve a little illustrare; therefore I say thus: Suppose a Lord set 20. men on worke, upon condition that if they do his will, they shall be all Lords, even Co-heires with his owne Son; if they do it not, they shall suffer untill they give satisfaction: On ten of these twenty he set his affections so far, that if they did miscarry, he would take a course [Page 60] to deliver them from the danger; they all do quite con­trary to their Lords Command; therefore hee sent his onely Son, who both did his Fathers Will, which they should have done; suffered for that they did not, or did amisse; and gave sufficient satisfaction, which the Father accepts, as it was intended by the Son, for them ten, on whom he set his first Love; but as for the other, hee suffers them to perish in Prison, or to lye there untill they pay that which can never be paid. Can these last accuse their Lord of Injustice? Or can the first ten con­clude, because their Lord hath set his love upon them, therefore they may be carelesse? Nay rather, they will be carefull, and fearefull to offend so kinde, and loving a Lord. I know, similitudo non currit quatuor pedibus: yet this I take to be not far from the Case 'twixt God and Man: but this Example is to be understood of Man in that condition, God Created him; for if considered in that condition, into which he cast himselfe, then hee is justly condemned, for not doing that, which now hee cannot doe: For suppose, the Parliament command me to come to London, and I can ride further, but because I will not doe the Parliaments Commands, I cut one of my legs off, or lame my selfe, and then plead, I cannot come; may not the Parliament yet justly command me to come, though then I cannot come, because when they commanded mee I might have com'd? Mr. T. dare not speake against the Parliament in such a case; but I can shew how desperately Hee did speake against God, if he dare offer to condemne any man for not do­ing that which, in this condition, hee cannot doe; as if God were bounden to cure us, when we have wounded, or killed our selves: Indeed the Father ran to meet his son [Page 61] afar off, but he was not bound to go one foot from home. Suppose; two Travellers come to my house; I may re­ceive one; or both; or neither of both: that compari­son of two poore people, is not so proper, for we were Crea­ted in a Rich Condition.

Suppose; Two Houses built upon the same Ground; Foundati­ons, Timber, Stone, Workemanship, and all alike, able to stand twenty yeares, if no Stormes or Tempests touch them: But the Raine fell, the Flouds came, the Windes blew, and beat upon the Houses; yet the Builder having resolved to repair, and prop one of them, it fell not; the other he left to it selfe, and it soon tumbled downe: was the Master bound to uphold them both, because he built them both?

Suppose; Two Candles burning by the same light; a blast of winde blowes out both of them; I come instantly, and light the one, and it burnes againe; the other I will not light, so it ne­ver burnes again; was I bound to light both of them? Let us give God that same liberty which we take: Audax Ja­pheti genus; see the boldnesse of the sonnes of Adam, that would faine enter an Action against God Almighty, if they could tell in what Court; for that this Potter useth his Clay, as he pleaseth; and hath not made all, Vessels of Honour, as they would have him: yea, and which is worst of all, they are so addicted, or rather wedded to their own conceites, that they can hardly with patience indure, to heare the reasonable Opinion of others, contrary to their owne: Every Sentence in the Scriptures makes for them, like the Foole in Athens that thought, every ship in the Haven was his owne: they will hold the Conclusion, what Arguments soever are alledged to prove the contrary: Thus zeale misled is like mettall in a blinde horse, which is his owne; or his Riders ruine.

They love the Children of their Braines, better then the Children of their Bodies; so that when they have conceived mischiefe, and brought forth an Idol, or an idle conceit of their owne fancying, it groweth up with them, it delighteth them, and they rejoyce in their own inventions, perswading themselves; that now the Lord will bee good unto them, seeing they have found out a Truth; as Micha supposed, when hee had got a graven Image, an Ephod, a Teraphim, and a Wandring Levite, Judg. 17. 5. 11. for this their Device, especially if it be painted with some colour of holy Scripture, they esteem as an Image, come downe from Jupiter, Acts 19. 35. as a Doctrine from Heaven it selfe; and hence forward all the blessings that they injoy, flow from this Opinion, that they hold: thus they burne incense to the Queene of Heaven, Jer. 44. 17. the Idol that they have made after their owne hearts: there­fore they will lose their life rather, then their Religion, which they will defend with tooth and naile; They will Preach for it, as Hannaniah did for his false-hoods, Jer. 28. 11. They will dispute for their Opinions, as the Epicureans, and Stoicks did, Acts 17. 18. and write Books in defence of them, as Shemaiah did, Jer. 29. 25. and per­secute, if it be in their power, all that contradict them, as Jeroboam did in defence of his Idolatry, 1. Kings 13. 4. whatsoever is spoken out of the Word of God against them, they will not heare, no more then the Jewes would the Word of the Lord by the Prophet Jeremy, Jer. 44. 16. being as hardly induced to thinke it no truth, that their owne wit hath discovered, as the E­phesians to thinke them no Gods, that were made with hands, Acts 19. 26. Aseduced spirit hath deceived them, as that did Ahab, when he fell at Ramoth, in Gilead, 1 Kings [Page 63] 22. 21. so that they cannot deliver their owne soules, nor say, is there not a lie in my right hand? Isa. 44. 20. They are blinde, and, which is worse, they will not see; foolish Prophets, that follow their owne spirit, Ezek. 13. 3.

What pitty is it, that this Viper should creep continu­ally upon the body of our Church; and yet the hand of Au­thority (I hope for want of information) hath not shaken it into the fire? Usque quò, Domine? Usque quò? how long Lord? how long? all those things are come upon us, and yet there is none that knowes how long, Psal. 74. 9. 10. It is our parts, to pray; thy will be done in Earth, as it is in Heaven; but even the Lord for Christs sake, when it is his blessed Will, deliver this Church from the effects of blinde zeale, and over-bold devotion.

And thus I have set downe some of the Opinions of the Brethren in the Gospel, about us; all their Opinions it is impossible to relate; they cannot tell their own Te­nets; they hold any thing, but the Truth. A certain Ma­thematician, in reading a Lecture to his Scholars, was quite out; so hee asked them if they understood him; no, replied they; Indeed I wonder not, said he, nam E­go meipsum non intelligo, for I understand not my selfe: the Brethren are as much out, as this Mathematitian, and may say on the same maner. A Neighbour, not a fort­night since, discoursing with Mr. T. told him; he ought not to take the Scriptures alwaies in a literall sence: for Christ said; he was a Door; a Vine; vet he was neither of both, in a literall sence: he called the Bread, his Body; yet it was not literally his Body: Mr. T. made answer, that our Savi­our Christ, when he said so, clapt his hand on his Body, and said; Hoc est corpus meum, This is my Body; but hee meant it not of the Bread.

They say; Affrica semper aliquid apportat novi; and An­glia abounds as much with Monstrous Opinions; as Affrica with Monsters: and the Fruits of these evill Trees are as bad, as those, that grow upon the banks of the Dead Sea.

A Stranger can scarce ride twixt Bridge, and Lincolne, but he may heare, or see the Country all set on fire: our parts of Lynsey vomit out flames as fast, as Vesuvius; the Father against the Son; and the Son against the Father; the Husband against his Wife; and the Wife against her Husband; the Brother would betray the Brother to death; Friends and Neighbours are even ready to eat one ano­ther; Warres, and Warlike Opinions, as if the Times, that Christ foretold, had overtaken us.

At first; The Netherlands received the infection of this pestilent Doctrine from Britaine, by Pelagius; and now at last Britaine hath received the same infection from the Netherlands by Arminius. The Peach-tree brought out of Asia, and planted in Italy, of ranke poyson, became pleasant fruit: but the Papists, and Arminian Opinions, brought out of Italy, and Germany, and planted upon our Heaths, a­mong us, mad Hylanders, have a quite contrary effect: for the practises of the Brethren passe, and repasse Pa­pists, and Arminians; all but Anabaptists, in a super-su­perlative degree.

Nero set Rome on fire, that he might sing the Destructi­on of Troy, in suo genere; in kind, or in its proper colours; he that hath a minde to sing Lachrymae, in a sympathi­zing tune, may see a sad example with us. Let a man but looke into the Townes all about Mr. T. and he may see, or heare them brawle and brangle; so soone as they arise, and so they continue till they go to bed; such Divisions, and Sub-divisions, as cannot but make our [Page 65] Enemies to laugh, and ous Friends to weepe.

The Church of God is now in two Extreames, a floud and a fire, in a floud of teares,; and yet on fire in her different affections; alas, that neither this floud can quench that fire; nor any fire, can dry this floud. The Divisions of Simeon; the Divisions of Levi; the Divisions of Simeon against Levi; and the divisions of Levi among themselves, who is able to be­hold with dry? a man cannot thinke of, as hee ought without without wet eyes. The Divisions of Reuben doe pierce the very soule of the Mother that bore him; and there is none of all the Children, that shee hath brought forth, able to comfort their Mother, that is even sick at heart, and sits by the high way side, begging helpe of every one that passeth by. Come hither, Heraclytus; stay Travailer, and weep with us. If any man would tell wonders in his own, let him come first into our Country, and there he may see that, which no good Christian can desire, or delight to see.

I have read of one, who being borne blind, he had his sight given him by his Prayers to God; but then hee saw so many wickednesses, that hee desired of God to be blind againe; and if the story tell truth, it was gran­ted. Was it then such an Age, as God hath reserved us to live in? Our Mother is sore sicke of a Convulsion; pulld all to peeces, on a pitifull maner; like an Oake, that is cleft in sunder with Wedges made out of its own body. Plutarch reports of a beautifull Damosell, whom a company of yong men contended for to be their Bride; they would all of them have had her, but they could not agree, that any one of the should enjoy her; therfore they cut her all to peeces, and tooke each one a part; so then they all of them had her, and yet they none of them had her: Religion is that beautifull Damosell, whom Papists, [Page 66] Antinomians, Anabaptists, Arminians, Universalists, and other Schismatiks say they strive for; but the truth is, they cut poore Religion all to pieces; and each one of them have a part, but none of them have pure Reli­gion.

If any man had lost his Religion, he might once have found it in Poland; afterward in Amsterdam; but now in England, or else it is vanished out of the world.

Medaea cut her childe in pieces; a cruell Mother; but that Children should cut their Mother in pieces, Ah cursed Children! Woe is me that ever I bore you, may may our Mother the Church say to such churlish Chil­dren; as the Prophet Jer. of his Mother, Jer. 15. 10. Surely bloudy Children have you been unto me, may the Church say unto such; as Zipporah to her Husband, when she threw the Childes foreskin at his feet, Exod. 4. 23. Call me not NAOMI, that is a beautifull Church, but call mee MARAH, may our Mother say, for the Lord hath dealt bitterly with me, Ruth 1. 20. Richard the first K. of England, being in his Fathers life time a disobedient Child, com­ming to meet his Fathers dead body, Royally adorned for the Buriall, according to the Majesty of his State, the very Corpse (as it were abhorring, and accusing him for his unnaturall cruelties) gushed forth bloud; whereat Richard pierced with remorse melted into a floud of tears, on a most penitent manner: But we may see the wounds of our Mother, the Church, as wide as in the Warres, if not as bloudy, yet as deadly, and yet her hard hearted Children have no remorse or pitty on their poore Mother, the Church. Goe to the Isles of Chi [...]tim, and see; and send unto Kedar, enquire of all the Nations round about us, if any Children use their Mother on such a manner, [Page 67] Jer. 2. 10. Eies, distill teares; Heart, drop down bloud, if thou hast any sence or feeling of the sad sufferings of thy sorrowfull Mother, that is not eaten up, but wor­ried of her Children, saevientes inter se, raging among themselves, by such cursed cruell meanes to kill their Mother; as if some of the old Danes; nay rather some old rotten Hereticks were raised from death to life, to ruine England. For a house to be on fire in one part, is pittifull; but to be on fire in every part, it is a fearefull thing. There were never such things seene in England, since it was a Nation, as the Israelites said, when they saw the scattered limbs, and pieces of the Levites Wife, Judges 19. 30. The Red, and White Roses of Lancaster, and Yorke, never had the like; nor the two Lions of either Nation, Gold, and Gules.

Is he not rightly named Jacob, said Esau of his brother? for he hath supplanted me &c. Gen. 27. 36. And are they not rightly called Universalists? for, (besides that they seeke to supplant us) like the Pharisees, they compasse sea and land, to make their Proselites as universall, as their Opinions; and they make them (if it were possible) worse then them­selves.

Some of their practises in spreading their Opinions, I touched in my Preface; but yet (that the Subject may be sutable to the Title, I gave it at the beginning) let me a little further shew the Reader their ordinary cour­ses, to catch such as are willing to be deceived, and to confront Ministers: therefore thus.

If there bee any that loves not, or likes not, or list to fall out, or can by any means be drawn to quarrel with his Minister, there's hopes of him: some of the Brethren set upon him to heare Mr. T. whom they extoll to the [Page 68] heavens; whither being come, hee is welcomed, taken to his house, where they club; and hee is entertained to a cup of Ale, and such newes as they have, or would have: how much Ale hath beene usually sent for on a Sabaoth, in one afternoone, I have been told, and could hardly beleeve: all are Fellows alike; and this Famili­arity is a sound Argument to prove the truth of their Doctrine.

Then they appoint a meeting at some Town there a­bouts; the Brethren give notice of it far and neere; and there is a generall Assembly of Men, Women, Boyes, and Wenches; Mr. T. speaks, (so they call it) either in the Church, or in a private House, Chayre, or Chim­ney, or without Dores, the same things, over, and over again; as if the Brethren had besought him, as the Gen­tiles did Paul, to preach the same words next Sabaoth day, Act. 13. 42. For be the Text whatsoever it wil, he shakes hands with it immediatly; they but meet, and part. And the truth is, these meetings are so strong an Argument, to prove their Opinions, that no one man; nay, no one Town is able to Answer.

Up goe the Ministers Lifes, and Doctrine, among the Brethren, and Sisters; they cannot edifie by such a Mi­nister; another Preaches not Christ; a third, false Do­ctrine; and then they consider, what affronts are fittest to be offered to any of them. Aladine, Prince of Dran­giana in Persia, built a beautifull Pallace, in a pleasant Valley; which having furnished, and fitted with all things, that might ravish the eye, or care; he promised this Paradise (so they calld it) to his Partizans, if they would doe this, or that mischiefe, against some Prince, or Lord, that lived about him: so also my backe-friend, [Page 69] by his fooles Paradise of Universall Grace, offered to all effe­ctually, sets wicked men on worke to commit many mis­chiefes against the Ministers that live about him; I say, he sets on such, as in their fortunes can hardly be worser; or in their manners wickeder And yet they crack con­tinually, that they are set on, and sent by Authority, and abuse their Names, whom they are unworthy to name; they say, such sent them, who are Gentlemen of Honour, and as much Honesty; whom, I am sure, will not own them.

Scarce one of all the Brethren, and Sisters, but are ut­ter Enemies to their owne, and all the Ministers they know, or know not; they are Aegyptians, and shepheards are an abomination unto them, Gen. 46. 34. But Mr. T. drives a dainty trade; we fetch our Tithes, and well are we, if we can have them for fetching; they cary to Mr. T. &c. and if this Devill bee cast out, the hopes of his gaine is gone.

I might shew their uncivill behaviours in hearing the Word of God; I have Preached to men 25 years; now to Monsters, that make strange faces; laughing, jeering, and chatting in the Church. I have read of a woman that being left poore at the death of her Husband, the Devill appeared unto her, and promised to make her rich, upon condition, that shee should performe these 3. things. 1. Entice Church men to be nought with her: 2. Take poore people in o'th day, as if she meant to give them lodging; and turne them out at night: 3. That she would do, as these doe themselves, and set their children and servants to doe, disturb the Minister in praying and preaching in the Church. Thus are they like the Dog, that will neither eat Hay himself, nor suffer the Horse to eat. I cannot tell how more fit­ly to compare them, then to the H [...]reticks, Bor [...]ori [...]ae, [Page 70] whom they called thus for their beastly behaviour.

And if any Minister dare bee so bold, as to speake a­gainst their proceedings, then Mr. T. engages all his Hea­rers against him; as he did engage them against mee: they are the words of that blacke Bill, sent abroad under his hand: Hee preaches false Doctrine; and they must undertake to prove it true, by Arguments, a fustibus, drawne from their fists: Indeed so did John Becold, the Taylor of Leyden, after King, and Captaine of the Ana­baptists at Munster; and so did David George of Delfe, that damned Heretick: I wonder how he can tread so right in the steps of the Anabaptists, reading so few Books, be­sides the Bible; for, by relation, he takes as much pains in the Pulpit, as any man living; as little out of it; but this it is, to be inspired by the same spirit.

But above all their other practises, their publicke Meetings are most offensive; and may in time prove as pernicious to the Common-wealth, as they are at pre­sent, to the Church: the Lord God grant that Authori­ty may look to it in time, that we may sleep quietly in our beds by night, and not be affrighted by such Fellows, de faece plebis, if we walk abroad by day. For multitudes to meet, on this maner, at a little Towne, without con­sent of the Minister, and other Inhabitants, is such a course, as was used at Mulhus, in Turingia, and at Mun­ster, in Westphalia, among the Anabaptists; it never was a­mong good Christians. Indeed Robert le Bruce K. of Scot­land, admitted of women and boyes, to supply the rooms of trained Souldiers in his necessities; and though hee thereby got the day: yet I hope, that wee who fight the battels of the Lord of Hosts, shall never be defeated by such a simple policy; a rowt of silly Women, ignorant [Page 71] Men, and a rabble of Girles, and Boyes.

For my own, and my good Neighbours sake, I must signifie, that there are in our Town but 2. constant Hea­rers of Mr. T. that go to him: when he comes to them, then he may have 4. or 5. more, but not many; not one Husband-man (that I know of) will goe out of doores to heare him; I thinke desires not hee should come in­to their doores, except one, who is almost deafe and blinde, and came scarce this halfe yeer to hear me; but the woman was first in the transgression, how can it be but there must needs follow a fearefull falling away? when men, or women, love the company, the discourse, the writings of the grossest Sectaries of all sorts, and loath the truth? And for these 2. that are his constant Hearers, there is no mischiefe would bee thought on with us, were it not for them; their excuse, when they say, or doe, what they may suffer for, is, that they were drunke. One of them would have hired a Neighbour to fall out with me; hee offered him money at severall times; but the honest man hated such an horrible wic­kednesse; and told mee how hee tempted him. They have sworne both of them, even to the taking away of life; I say not, forsworn. Like Salamanders, they delight to live in the fire; if any Brangle bee with us, or about us, O brave! They are like those fishes, that love trou­bled waters; like Flies; they sit either on sore places, or are padling in dung; and Baalzebub is the God of these Flies. They say, Hyppocrates left a Rule to all his Fel­low Physitians, which he commanded them to observe, on paine of his Curse; it was this; That they should Cure others with Medicines, Simple and Compound; themselves, with Sack, and Claret: But these Men (if I [Page 72] may call them Men) use the same Physicke themselves, that they prescribe to others: yet if they do goe to Hel, as Roboald K. of West-Frysons, said, they may find some of their friends, if the Divell dare let them come thither; there's the doubt, left they trouble him, as much as they doe us. I, and mine, are bound to blesse God, that the elder Brother could not tell how to be so wicked, as the yonger would have had him; for hee is plenus rimarum, full of holes, as a Riddle, and can hold nothing; any bo­dy, or a cup of Ale, may set open the Stable doore, and let out the Asse within. And which is strange, yet true, Lions and Beares are won with kindnesses; but these men are worse then Beasts; Doe them a courtesie (and you dare not but doe it) then, who dare meddle with them? as if they could set the Divell, as they doe their Dogs, on any thing.

They say, Amphions Musick made the stones to dance, and drew them after him; savadge men they meant, sure, that were before sencelesse as stones: they tell us, that the Dolphins saved Arions life, because he playd and sung so sweetly: the Pythagoreans undertooke to cure the Melancholy; nay, the Mad mans fury by Musicke. When the evill Spirit from God was upon Saul, David took a Harp, and playd with his hands; so Saul was re­freshed, and was well, and the evill Spirit departed from him, 1. Sam. 16. 23. I have often heard out of many a Ministers mouth such sweet Melody, as past Arions and Amphions skill, beyond compare; put down the Pythago­reans Pipes; it must bee short of that sweet Singers tongue, tis true; not of his Harp and Hand, though they warbled never so well; and yet the Divell doth not de­part from Saul, he is as ill as ever: Wee pipe but they will [Page 73] not dance: I had rather undertake to charme a hungry Lions mouth, to winne a Tyger, or to meet a wild shee Beare, and make her tame, then to mollifie or make a change in these mens manners: never men tooke more paines to be vertuous, then they doe to bee vitious; no Aesculapius can cure their ill Conditions.

But suppose they doe that which (I trust in God) the Devill by their meanes shall never bee able to doe; yet as Epaminondas said of his two Daughters, the Battails of Mantinea, and Leuctra; so may I say too, this Daughter of mine is like to out-live their cruelties, and vindicate her Fa­thers credit against the Opinions, and the Practises of such shamelesse Sectaries: Having obtained helpe of God, I conti­nue to this day, as Paul said in such a Case, Acts 26. 22. though they are and have beene very Jewes unto mee: and come what can come, it shall be welcome; if I can­not be secured from the troubles of men on Earth; yet I know nothing can hurt mee that comes from God in Heaven. Now let Mr. T. tell mee truly, if such Phaetons, as set the world on fire, be fit Companions for Ministers; if yet he be a Minister, which who beleeves? Birds of one feather will flie together; but I cannot hear that ever he used the Company of any Minister: nay, hath he not, doth he not abdicare se ab Officio, put off the Office (as they doe that renounce their Baptisme) by joyning in the right hand of fellowship, and admitting equally men of any Trade or Occupation, to Preach, or Teach with him in publick, though they be no Ministers? Be­sides, Bishops, and Presbyters are an abomination to him; and as for the People, they cannot make a Mini­ster; [...]il dat, quod non habet; no Cause can give to the Effect, that which it hath not first in it selfe: and hee [Page 74] ought not to take that Office to himselfe; it is against Heb. 5. 4. Therefore I doe not deny, but I doubt hee is no Minister. Let him remember, that may be lawfull in Ecclesia constituenda, which is not lawfull in Ecclesia con­stituta; that may bee lawfull in the planting, or gathe­ring of a Church, which is unlawfull afterward.

However it be, his practise is against the 23. Article; the words of that Article are these: It is not lawfull for any man to take upon him the Office of publicke Preaching, or Ministring the Sacraments, in the Con­gregation, before he be lawfully called, and sent to execute the same. And these we ought to judge law­fully called and sent, which be chosen, and called to this work, by men, who have publick Authority given un-unto them in the Congregation, to call and send Mini­sters into the Lords Vineyard. I doe not instance in this Article, otherwise then as it agrees with the practise of all Protestant Churches in Europe; and it may be pro­ved out of the word of God, by such Arguments, as it is impossible to answer.

For the Apostles were all sent by our Saviour; first he furnished them with gifts, Mat. 10. 1. and then hee gave them their Commission: verse 5. As my Father sent me, so send I you, John 20. 21. If the people chose the Dea­cons, yet the Apostles layd their hands upon their heads, &c. before they sent them forth, Acts 6. 6. Paul and Barnabas ordained Elders in every Church, Acts 14. 23. Take heed to the Flocks,, over which the Holy Ghost hath made you Overseers, Acts 20. 28. And yet they were all made Ministers by Men, that were thus made by the Holy Ghost; Timothy was made a Minister, by the imposition of the hands of the Presbytery, 1. Tim. 4. 14. and Timothy made others Ministers by the [Page 75] imposition of hands, 1. Tim. 5. 22. and so did Titus, Tit. 1. 5. No man taketh (that is, ought to take) this honour unto himselfe, but he that is called of God, as Aaron, Heb. 5. 4. who had as an inward, so an outward Call: Nay, Christ himselfe gloried not himselfe to be an High Priest, he had a Call, Heb. 5. 5. Neither the Heavens could abide to see, nor the Earth to beare the shamelesse burthen of such as came unsent: but the one melting consumed with fire; and the other o­pening swallowed them up alive, Numb. 16. 32. 35. To say, that all the people are holy alike, hand over head, it was the sin of Corah, and his Company, Numb. 16. 3. Common waters cannot heale so well, as the waters of Jordan, that had the Promise. That Argument of theirs, Is not the Spirit of God as effectuall in others, as in them they call Ministers? is much like that of Naaman the Syrian; are not Abana, and Pharphar, Rivers of Damas­cus, better then any River of Israel? 2. Reg. 5. 12. The power of the Keyes is not in the People; the Promise was to the Apostles, and the Ministers, their Successors; and yet some of the People may have a greater measure of the Spirit, then many of the Priests.

Because such a Captain may bee as able as his Gene­rall, may he therefore usurp the Office of his Generall? Because many private Soldiers may bee as able as their Captain, may they therefore usurp the Office of their Captaine? Because many Lawyers may bee as able as the Judges may they therefore take upon them to bee Judges? Because many Gentlemen may bee as honest as a Justice of Peace may they therefore take upon them to be Justices of Peace? they allow it not among them that are the Ministers of our Parliament; then it may not be allowed among us who are the more imme­diate [Page 76] Ministers of our God. Any Butcher might have killed a Bullock in Sacrifice as well or better then the Priests; but yet a King durst not bee so bold; there are other means for private men to imploy their Gifts; they may not in Preaching publickely the Word of God. Who dare doe any thing in the name of the Parliament without a Commission? Friend, how camest thou in hither, wee may well say to such as take upon them the Office of the Ministry, without a Call? By what Au­thority dost thou thus, and who gave thee this Authori­ty? The brazen Censers, wherewith they that were burnt, had offered, were made Bread-plates for a cove­ring of the Altar, to bee a memoriall, that no stranger, who is not of the seed of Aaron, come neer to offer in­cense before the Lord, that he be not, as Korah, Numb. 16. 39. 40. All this I have sayd, is nothing unto that which may be sayd, both against the Opinions, and the Practises of the Brethren about us: and yet I have sayd enough, had I wise men to deale withall; but bray my Adversaries in a Mortar, and they will be the same. I know that God, that made the heart, can mollifie their stony hearts; Christ can open their eyes, as hee did the two Disciples, that saw him not, though they sat at meat with him, Luke 24. 30. 31. No more then Hagar, did the Well, that was so neere, till God opened her eyes also, Gen. 21 19. Even the same God, for Christs sake, pity this poore, simple, seduced People. And so I draw to a Conclusion.

Now then consider what I have sayd, and the Lord give you understanding: and I beseech Mr. T. by the Death and Passion of our Saviour Jesus Christ, that he seek no more to tear Christs seamelesse Coat; wee are [Page 77] Brethren, travailling towards our heavenly Country; let us not fall out by the way: Preach the truth in love; send home wandring sheep to their owne Folds; but infect them not; or so metamorphize them, that they turne Woolves, come home, and worry their owne Shepheards. The Office of an Evangelist is now ceas'd; [...], busie Bishops, or busie Presbyters, in other mens Parishes, are forbid, 1. Pet. 4. 15. He reckons such among Murtherers, and Thieves: take heed to the Flocks, over which the Holy Ghost hath made you O­verseers, Acts 20. 28. Where is any warrant to meddle with other mens Flocks? Paul thought it not good to take Marke, because he went not, at first, with them to the Work, Acts 15. 38. He is too bold, that builds upon another mans Foundation.

The Lord grant me to discharge my own Charge, for who is sufficient? But let not Mr. T. meddle in every mans Charge; it may argue courage in him (so I call it) not discretion. I shut up all with the advice of St. Paul to his Ephesians, Ephes. 4. Since hee hath given some Apostles, some Pastors and Teachers, for the perfe­cting of the Saints, for the worke of the Ministery, and for the edifying of the Body of Christ: bee not henceforth any more Children, tossed to, and fro, and carryed about with every winde of Doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftines of those that lye in wait to deceive; but speaking the truth in love, grow up to him in all things, which is our Head, even Christ; from whom the whole Body fitly joyned to­gether, and compacted by that which every joynt supplieth, according to the effectuall working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the Body, to the edifying of it selfe in love.

And therefore if there be any consolation in Christ; if any comfort of love; if any fellowship of the Spirit; if any bowels and mercies, fulfill my joy, that ye be like minded, having the same love, being of one accord, and of one Judgement; endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of Peace: knowing that there is but one Body, one Spirit, one Hope of our Calling, one Faith, one Baptisme, one God, and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in us all. Behold, how good and pleasant it is, for Brethren to dwell together in unity: it is like the precious ointment, that was powred upon Aarons beard; as the dew of Hermon; and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion, Psal. 133. If all the Graces of a Christian should make one Ring, Love would bee the Diamond; there the Lord promised his Blessing, and Life for evermore, where there is Love. Now the very GOD, who is Love, sanctifie us throughout; and I pray God that our whole spirit, and soul, and body, may be preserved blamelesse unto the comming of our Lord Jesus Christ, the God of Peace and Love, 1. Thess. 5. 23. Unto the same God, that is able to keep you from falling, and to preserve you faultlesse before the presence of his glory, with ex­ceeding joy; To the only wise God our Saviour be Glo­ry, and Majesty, Dominion, and Power, now and ever. Amen.


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