THE TESTIMONY Of a Number of NEW ENGLAND-Ministers Met at BOSTON Sept. 25. 1745. Professing The ancient Faith of these Churches; Inviting Others who hold it, to unite in professing and maintaining the same; Reciting and Recommending An excellent ACT concerning Preaching lately made by the General Assembly of the Church of SCOTLAND.

Jude iii.

It was needful to write unto you and exhort you, that ye should earnestly contend for THE FAITH, which was once deli­ver'd to the Saints.

Mat. x. 32.

Whosoever therefore shall confess ME before Men, him will I confess also before MY FATHER, which is in Heaven.

BOSTON: N. E. Printed and Sold by S. KNEELAND and T. GREEN in Queen-street over against the Prison, and J. WINTER in Union-street near the Town Deck. 1745.

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AS it is a great Satisfaction to us that the most of us join'd with many worthy Ministers in their Assembly met on Pur­pose at Boston, July 7. 1743, in yielding to the sovereign GOD thro' CHRIST the Glory due to his Power and Grace for the late extraordinary Work of HIS SPIRIT in diverse Parts of the Land; in awakening Multitudes to a deep Concern about their eternal Salvation, carrying on the Con­victions of Sin. Righteousness and Judgment in great Num­bers, to the scriptural and charitable Marks of true Con­version, as well as reviving the Power of Godliness in many who were accounted the regenerate Children of God before: — So we yet rejoyce that we have farther Oc­casion to Praise him for the continued Evidence of the Grace of Christ in the most of those we are acquainted with, whom from the Marks laid down in Scripture we look'd upon to be converted, and that the Liveliness of Piety remains in many. For these there is also due a Return of Glory to God: and in Imitation of the pious Examples of the Saints in Scripture, we would earnestly call on Them, Ourselves, and Others, to yield it to Him.

But as in the Prophets and Apostles Days, in the later Days of the Reformers in Europe, and in all other Times of the extraordinary Influence of the Spirit of God and Revival of Piety, whether of a larger or less Extent; they have been but of a short Duration; the Impressions [Page 4] on many have been ineffectual to true Conversion, their Goodness has been like Ephraim's of old, as the Morning Cloud and early Dew, which have quickly pass'd away; yea, the DIVINE SPIRIT being slighted, he has withdrawn his Influence more than before, and given them up to a greater Blindness and Hardness than ever; yea the most flourishing Churches in Piety have soon lost their vigo­rous Love to Christ like the Church of Ephesus, and declined to such an hateful Lukewarmness of Religion, like that of Laodicea, as to be on the Point of being utterly rejected:— So we have in our lively Times been fearful of the like Decay and Withdraw, and gave Warn­ing of them; and answerable to our Apprehensions, they seem to be awfully coming to pass, and are to be deeply lamented.

And tho' in Seasons of extraordinary Revivals, as in the Apostles and Reformers Days, there were many Dis­orders and Errors among professing Christians; and no other cou'd be expected among us on the like Occasion, which have been openly and repeatedly testified against by many of the Friends of this Revival in diverse Parts of the Land: yet upon Observation of the several Chur­ches we respectively belong to, we cannot but also testify, that Disorders and Errors have been both multiplied and magnified by unfriendly Reporters, much more than they really were where there▪ were any, but in many of our Churches there were none at all; and the Work of the HOLY SPIRIT in our Churches, as above described, has been grievously misrepresented and defamed, his genuine Operations overlooked or perverted, He has been denied of his deserved Glory for them; but the Infirmities and Corruptions of Men, permitted of the righteous God as usual to mingle with them, have been represented as the Work itself, and then under their Name this divine Trans­action awfully set at nought, as has also been usual in other Revivals, to the Reproach of the World.

Among other Abuses it has been represented as if such mischievous Errors as these were prevailing among [Page 5] the Subjects of this Revival in these Churches, viz (1) That sanctifying Grace in a Minister is necessary to render the Administration of Gospel Ordinances valid. (2) That unconverted Ministers are uncapable to be Instruments of converting People. (3) That Sanctification, [i. e. as described in the Assembly's shorter Catechism] is no Evidence of Justification. (4) That an unconverted Man ought not to pray. [5] That Assurance is essential to saving Faith, so that whoever savingly believes is certain of it and not in Darkness or Doubt about it. [6] That they slight the inspired Scriptures as a perfect Rule of Faith and Duty. [7] That they may leave the Scrip­tures and follow Impulses, Dreams & Trances. And [8] That Good Works are vilified or slighted by them. For we can find but few in our Churches and in many of our Churches none at all holding any of these or any other Familistical or Antinomian Errors, which we testify against. But have the Pleasure to see them more strongly believing and more highly esteeming the Bible than ever; that they only style our good Works as the Scriptures do — filthy Rags, consider'd as a Righte­ousness to justify us in the Sight of the most holy God; and that the Matter of their Faith is the same as they have been all along instructed in from the Scripture Truths laid down in the Westminster Assembly's shorter Catechism; which has been generally receiv'd & taught in the Churches of New-England from it's first Publica­tion [Page 6] for about these Hundred Years: which is therefore the System of Scripture Doctrine most generally and clearly declarative of the Faith of the New-England Churches; which Doctrines are very dear to the Subjects of this Revival in our own, being made more dear by the happy Experience of their Power and Influence; and we wish were as dear to those who equally reproach their Persons as their Creeds and Confessions of the glorious Truths of the Gospel: and which excellent Confessions we are grieved to see even Publickly reviled among us.

And as the Encouragers of this Revival, among whom we apprehend Ourselves included, are injuriously charged with departing from the ancient Faith of these Churches; and as GOD in his Word requires us to make a publick Profession of our Faith, and let the World know that we hold it fast continually; as this is the Duty, Right and Liberty of every Christian, especially of every Minister; and we conceive no Season can be more suitable than when we enter the Ministry, or are after represented as Erroneous, or when there are Jealousies among the Peo­ple that many Ministers have left the ancient Faith; as a meer Profession of our Faith in CHRIST in general is no Declaration of what we really believe, inasmuch as some who profess Him believe Him not to be GOD, others not to be Man, some that He is only GOD, some that He is only Man, and it may be some that He was only a meer Apparition; * yea as a late noted Writer has in his own Example shown us, that a meer Profession of our Belief of THE SCRIPTURE is no Declaration of our real Belief at all, inasmuch as we may believe it not to be a real History, but a meer Allegory: Therefore we cannot but judge that every Christian, and especially every Minister, ought honestly and openly to make such a definitive Profession of their Faith in CHRIST and the SCRIPTURE, as the World may know what they really mean or would be understood to mean thereby. And [Page 7] as our Fathers made a publick Confession of their Faith in their Day, and recommended it to us their Posterity; we cannot but judge Ourselves as Now called both by God and Man, and even obliged by Those who write and speak against us, to make such a Publick Profession of our own Faith to the World: and in particular openly and freely to DECLARE, that we have not departed from the ancient Faith of these Churches; but heartily adhere to the same; and look upon the said Westminster assem­bly's shorter Catechism and the famous Confession of Faith agreed on by our venerable Synod of 1680 (which Con­fession for the refreshing our Memory we have diligently read over at this Meeting) as most valuable Summaries of Christian Doctrine, excellently expressing the Mind and Will of GOD as reveal'd in the Holy Scriptures the only infallible Rule of Faith and Practice: and which Confession we wish to be reprinted and dispersed speedily for the publick Benefit, and would earnestly recommend both to Preachers and People, both of this and future Generations.

We cannot but also observe that the principal Means of the late Revival were the more than ordinary preaching up such Scripture and most important Doctrines as these — viz. The All-seeing Eye, Purity, Justice, Truth, Power, Majesty and Sovereignty of God: the Spirituality, Ho­liness, Extent and Strictness of his Law: our original Sin, Guilt, Depravity and Corruption by the Fall; in­cluding a miserable Ignorance of God & Enmity against Him, our predominant and constant Bent to Sin and Creatures above Him, our Impotence and Aversion to return to Him: our innumerable and heinous actual Offences; and thereby our horrid aggravated Guilt Pol­lution and Odiousness in his Eyes: His dreadful and efficacious Wrath and Curse upon us: the Necessity that his Law should he fulfilled, his Justice satisfied, the Ho­nour of his Holiness, Authority and Truth maintained in his Conduct towards us; our utter Impotence to help our selves; and our continual Hazard of being [Page 8] sent into endless Misery: the astonishing Displays of the absolute Wisdom and Grace of GOD in contriving and providing for our Redemption: the Divinity, Media­tion, perfect Holiness, Obedience, Sacrifice, Merits, Satisfaction, Purchase and Grace of CHRIST: the Nature and Necessity of Regeneration to the holy Image of GOD by the supernatural Operation of the DIVINE SPIRIT; with the various Parts of his Office in enlightening our Minds, awakening our Consciences, wounding, break­ing, humbling, subduing and changing our Hearts, in­fusing his saving Graces, exciting and helping us in the Exercise of them, and in all Obedience, witnessing with our Spirits that we are the Children of God, and raising his Consolations and Joys in us: the Difference between his saving Graces and meerly moral Virtues without Sanctification, whereby Multitudes are deceived to their eternal Ruin: In special, the Nature and Necessity of receiving Christ, so as to be actually united to Him and have intire and everlasting Interest in Him; to be forth­with justified by his imputed Righteousness, adopted into the Number of the Children of God, intitled to all their Priviledges assured in the Covenant of Grace, have CHRIST as our mediatorial and vital Head of all Good, with his constant dwelling & acting by his Spirit in us: and then in continual Acts of Faith deriving from Him fresh Supplies of spiritual Liveliness & Comfort, as also Light and Strength for every Duty and to carry on our Sanctification: the Nature of Gospel Obedience & Holi­ness, and their Necessity, not as the Matter of our Justifi­cation, but as the Fruit and Evidence of justifying Faith, and to glorify GOD and enjoy Him the principal End both of our Creation and Redemption: and lastly, the Sovereignty of the Grace of God in this whole Trans­action, from its Original in the Decree of Election to its Consummation in Glory.

And as the more than ordinary Preaching up these great Truths of reveal'd Religion and experimental Piety, being the same which were so successfully preached by [Page 9] the first sound and pious Fathers of New England, have been the principal Means of the late Revival; we are sorry to see, that under the Name of New Light, many of the Preachers of these most important Truths, and especially those which concern the Office and Operation of the SPIRIT of Grace in bringing lost and perishing Souls to Christ, are by many run down and ridicul'd; as those our pious Forefathers were in their Day, under the same or alike reproachful Terms, by many on the other Side of the Water; and they who Preach the same Truths of the Gospel and experimental Piety as those great Divines, Hooker, Cotton, Shepard, Goodwin, Owen, Flavel, the Mathers, Willard, Stoddard, are represented by some as New Light, Enthusiastical or Antinomian Preachers: whereby the awful Danger grows of banish­ing even the Faith of the glorious Office of THAT DIVINE AGENT in the Work of Conviction, Conversion, Sancti­fication and Comfort, first out of our Pulpits, and then out of the Land. Yea, to so deplorable a Pass have some Traducers of this Revival brought us, that if any of the young Generation begin to leave off their Cursing, Swearing, immoderate Drinking, obscene Discourse, grow concern'd for their Souls, and repair to the Word; they are immediately branded and vilified by their vain Com­panions with the Name of New-Lights, and Efforts are made to laugh them out of their serious Concern for their Souls and Eternity; which we fear has been the ruinous Case of many.

In such an awful-Scituation of Things as this, we cannot but apprehend that the DIVINE HEAD of the Church now loudly calls us, and all others who seriously believe & are deeply concerned for those great Truths of the Gospel as collected in the abovesaid Catechism & Con­fession of Faith, with the Interest of vital Piety; — with­out imposing in the least on Others, or assuming any Au­thority over the Conscience of any, which we utterly abhor as directly contrary to the very Nature of Religion itself; — To unite our Resolutions & Endeavours, by all proper [Page 10] Means consistent with Liberty of Conscience, to maintain, encourage and promote the same.

And as in the doctrinal Truths of the Gospel, the New England Churches have always happily agreed with the reformed and renowned Church of Scotland; we cannot but on this Occasion testify our high and hearty Appro­bation of the doctrinal Part of that excellent & famous ACT of their General Assembly concerning Preaching made in 1736; which is as follows—

VII. ACT concerning Preaching.

THE General Assembly being moved with Zeal for the Honour of God and our Lord Jesus Christ, especially at a Time when the Christian Revelation is openly impugned, and Infidelity, Deism, and other Errors do so much prevail: They do hereby recommend to all Ministers and Preachers, seriously to consider & observe the Directory of this Church concerning the Preaching of the Word, which is approven by the General assembly 1645: And in particular, that they be careful to warn their Hearers against any Thing tending to Atheism, (1) Deism (2), Arianism (3), Socinianism (4), Arminia­nism (5), Bourignianism (6), Popery (7), Superstition (8), Antinomianism (9), or any other Errors: & that in their Sermons they insist frequently upon the Truth, Necessity and Excellency of supernatural Revelation; the supreme Deity of the SON & HOLY GHOST as well as of the FA­THER; together with the Oneness of the GODHEAD, our sinful and lost Estate by Nature, the Necessity of super-natural Grace, and of Faith in the Righteousness of Christ, without which the best Works cannot please God: and that they make it the great Scope of their Sermons, to lead Sinners from a Covenant of Works to a Covenant of Grace for Life and Salvation, and from Sin and Self to precious CHRIST.

[Page 11]And the General Assembly recommends to all who Preach the Gospel, when they handle the Doctrines of God's redeeming Love, and of his free Grace in the Justification and Salvation of Sinners, the Blessings of the Redeemer's Purchase, and Priviledges of the new and better Covenant; to study to manage these Subjects, so as to lead their Hearers to an Abhorence of Sin, the Love of God and our Neighbours, and the Practice of universal Holiness; seeing it is one great End of the Gospel, to destroy the Works of the Devil, and to teach Men to live soberly, righteously and godly in this present World. Upon which Account, it is incumbent on all who preach the Gospel, to insist not only on the Necessity and Excellency of Faith in Jesus Christ for Salvation, but also upon the Necessity of Repentance for Sin, and Refor­mation from it; and to press the Practice of all moral Duties, both with respect to the first and second Table of the Law, as indispensably necessary, in Obedience to God's Command, to testify our Gratitude to Him, to evidence the sincerity of our Faith, and for the Benefit of humane Society, the adorning, the Profession of Religion, and making us meet for eternal Life, seeing without Holiness no Man can see the Lord.

And the Assembly do seriously recommend to all Mini­sters and Preachers of the Gospel, that in pressing moral Duties, or Obedience to the Law, they shew the Nature and Excellency of Gospel Holiness, and enforce Confor­mity to the moral Law both in Heart and Life, not from Principles of Reason only, but also and more especially of Revelation. And, in order to attain thereto, it is necessary to shew Men the Corruption and Depravity of humane Nature by their Fall in Adam, their natural Impotence for and Aversion to what is spiritually Good; and to lead them to the true and only Source of all Grace and Holiness, viz. Union with CHRIST, by the Holy SPIRIT's working Faith in us, and renewing us more and more after the Image of God: And to let their Hearers know that they must first be grafted into [Page 12] Christ as their Root, before their Fruit can be savoury unto God; that they must have a new Principle to ani­mate, and a new End to direct them, before their Actions become gracious and acceptable in the Sight of God: And that they teach them the Necessity of living by Faith on the Son of God, in a constant Looking to and Depen­dance on Him, as the great Author of all gracious In­fluences, for the Performance of every Duty: And withal, that after their best Performances and Attainments, they must count them but Loss and Dung in Point of Justifi­cation before God; and make it their great Desire only ;to be found in Christ and his Righteousness.

And that Ministers, in the Application of their Ser­mons, do endeavour rightly to divide the Word of Truth, speaking distinctly to such various Cases of the Converted and Unconverted, as arise natively from the Subjects they have been handling: And that in the whole of their Discourses, they take care to suit themselves to the Capa­city of their Hearers, as to Matter, Method and Ex­pression, and to the prevailing Sins of the Time and Place, with all prudent and zealous Freedom and Plainness: As also that they make Gospel Subjects their main Theme and Study, and press with all Earnestness the Practice of moral Duties in a Gospel Manner: And that they forbear delivering any Thing in Publick that may tend more to Amusement than Edification; and beware of bringing into their Sermons and publick Discourses Matters of doubtful Disputation, which tend to gender Strife rather than to promote the Edification of Christians. And the Assembly exhort all to study to maintain the Unity of the Spirit in the Bond of Peace.

And finally, the General Assembly recommends to all Professors of Divinity, to use their best Endeavours to have the Students under their Care, well acquainted with the true Method of Preaching the Gospel, as above di­rected: And that Presbyteries at their privy Censures inquire concerning the Observation of this Act.

See the Explication of these Terms in the APPENDIX.

Thus far that excellent ACT.

[Page 13]And as we are perswaded this Sort of Preaching is agreable to the main Design and Spirit of the Gospel; we cannot but apprehend this to be the most seasonable Time to recommend it, as the most likely way of guard­ing from all Kinds of Errors and Extreams on the Left Hand and Right; in particular the Socinian, Antinomian, and Arminian; and of preserving both Truth and Piety with us; and earnestly wish that those great Gospel Truths, and this evangelical Way of Preaching were uni­versally encouraged and promoted both by Ministers and People.

And as these are our serious Sentiments, Resolutions and Desires, as to the Doctrines of the Gospel; we wou'd freely & earnestly invite all other Ministers, who heartily approve them, to unite with us in expressing their Appro­bation of the same, both Those who are in the same Ap­prehension with us in the late Revival and Those who are not; together with their Resolutions by the Grace of God to maintain and promote the said important Truths and Power of Godliness.

Upon the whole; as in all that has been said, we are far from imposing our Sentiments on others, as if we intended to exclude them from our Communion or Cha­rity; so we are equally grieved to find some endeavour­ing to pervert our Design, as if we aim'd at making new Creeds or Tests of Communion, and others suffer­ing themselves to be impos'd upon by such an Abuse, which we trust they will be delivered from by this De­claration. And as we apprehend, this Land is yet bless'd with as excellent a Ministry, for Learning, Soundness and Piety in general as any on Earth; we have Reason to fear there are groundless Separations from some, very offensive to Christ, dishonourable to his holy Religion and its late Revival among us: And we earnestly wish that all of every Party would with Self-Jealousy search their Hearts and Ways, humble themselves, turn to the Lord, and do their utmost to remove this and every other Scandal. We would also earnestly beg the dear [Page 14] People of God, to beware of Separation and Alienation from Ministers as if they were not pious or orthodox meer­ly because they are not in the same Sentiments with us in Respect to the late Revival, or see not Light to join with us in this Declaration; but exercise Charity towards them, without Prejudice hear them, and bear with their different Sentiments about those Matters, as every Christian ought, for the Honour of Christ and his Religion. And with Regard to such Ministers, we here take Occasion to declare our selves ready to join with them in any just Measures which may have a pro­bable Tendency to promote the Kingdom of God our Saviour.

We conclude with Recommending the following Texts of Scripture to the serious Consideration both of Ministers and People on this Occasion.

Heb. x. 23. Let us hold fast the Profession of our Faith without wavering.

Rev. iii. 3, 11. Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent: Behold I come quickly! hold that fast which thou hast, that no Man take thy Crown.

Col. iii. 12—14. Put on Bowels of Mercies, kindness, Hum­bleness of Mind, Meekness, Long-suffering; forbearing one another, and forgiving one another: If any Man have a Quar­rel against any; even as CHRIST forgave you, so also do ye. And above all Things, put on Charity, which is the Bond of Perfectness.

1 Pet. iii. 8, 9. Be ye all of one Mind, having Compassion one of another; Love as Brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: not rendring Evil for Evil, or Railing for Railing; but con­trariwise, Blessing.

Mat. v. 44, 45. Love your Enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them that despitefully use you and persecute you; that you may be the Children of your FATHER which is in Heaven.

2 Pet. iii. 17, 18. Ye therefore Beloved, seeing ye know these Things before, beware lest ye also being led away with the Error of the Wicked, fall from your own Stedfastness: But grow in Grace and in the Knowledge of our Lord and Saviour JESUS CHRIST: To Him be Glory both now and for ever, AMEN.

Pastors — of — Churches.
John White,
first in G [...]ester.
Thomas Prince,
South in [...].
John Webb,
New North in Boston.
John Rogers, Jun.
second in Kittery.
Joshua Gee,
North in Boston.
James Bayley,
second in Weymouth.
Nathanael Leonard,
first in Plimouth.
Nathanael Rogers,
first in Ipswich.
John Owen,
1st in Groton Connecticut
William Hobby,
first in Reading.
Jonathan Parker,
first in Plimpton.
Jedidiah Jewet,
first in Rowley.
John Cotton,
in Hallifax.
Phineas Hemenway,
in Townshend.
Daniel Bliss,
first in Concord.
John Porter,
fourth in Bridgewater.
Jonathan Ellis,
second in Plimouth.
Josiah Crocker,
first in Taunton.
John Rogers, tertius.
fourth in Glocester.
Silvanus Conant,
first in Middleborough.

WE whose Names are underwritten having perused the above TESTIMONY; Do heartily approve and recommend the same,

Pastors — of — Churches.
Othniel Campbell,
second in Plimpton.
John Shaw,
second in Bridgewater.
David Goddard,
first in Liecester.
Ivory Hovey,
second in Rochester.

Rom. i. 16. For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of CHRIST: For it is the Power of GOD unto Salvation to every one that believeth.

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AS Divines, as well as Teachers in all other Sciences, in order to a more comprehensive Way of speak­ing and writing, are obliged frequently to use many Terms which comprehend many Ideas that are commonly known among them; and as the General Assembly of the Church of SCOTLAND have accordingly made use of several such in THEIR ACT above-recited: it is at the Desire of the Ministers who bear this Testimony, that for the Information of the People in general, there is here added some Explication of several Terms therein expressed; and this in Order as they lie in THE ACT, as follows—

(1) ATheism — From Atheists: who deny the Being or Per­fections of GOD, or his Creation or Providence.

(2) Deism— From Deists: who tho' they believe the DEITY, yet deny the BIBLE to be given by divine Inspiration.

(3) Arianism — From Arius an Egyptian: who denied the DIVINE WORD and SPIRIT to be of the same Nature, Substance or Essence with the FATHER, and held the Divine SON and SPIRIT to be created Beings.

(4) Socinianism—From Socinus an Italian: who denied GOD's Omnisciency, the Deity of the SON and HOLY GHOST, original Sin, Election, the Satisfaction of CHRIST, the Imputation of his Righteousness to our Justification, the Operation of the HOLY SPIRIT in our Regeneration; and held that we must believe nothing but what our shallow and depraved Reason comprehends, &c.

(5) Arminianism — From Arminius a Dutchman: A System which holds

I. That the Will of GOD to save such as believe and perse­vere in Faith and Obedience is the whole Decree of Election to Salvation: that there is one Election to Faith, another to Salvation; so that Election to justifying Faith may be without peremptory Election to Salvation: that the good Pleasure and Purpose of GOD whereof the Scripture makes mention in the Doctrine of Election, doth not consist herein, [Page 17] that GOD did elect some certain Men rather than others; but in this, that GOD from among all possible Conditions, did chuse as a Condition to Salvation, the Act of Faith in it self ignoble, and the imperfect Obedience of Faith, and was graciously pleas'd to repute it for perfect Obedience, and ac­count it worthy of the Reward of everlasting Life: That peremptory Election of singular Persons is made by Rea­son of foreseen persevering Faith, Repentance, Sanctity, and Godliness: that some who were elected may and do for ever perish: and that in this Life there is no Fruit, no Sense, no Certainty of immutable Election unto Glory.

II. That GOD the FATHER ordain'd his SON to the Death of the Cross, without any certain & determinate Counsel of saving any particular Man expresly: That CHRIST by his Satisfaction did not certainly merit for any Man Salvation and Faith; but only purchased to his FATHER a Power or plenary Good-will of treating a new with Mankind, and of prescribing them what new Conditions he pleased, the Per­formance of which Conditions should depend on Man's free Will; and that therefore it might fall out that either no Man or every Man might fulfill them: That the New Covenant of Grace which GOD the FATHER, by the Me­diation of CHRIST's Death, made with Men, doth not consist herein, viz. that we are justified before GOD and saved by Faith, as it apprehends the Merit of CHRIST; but herein, viz. that the Exaction of perfect legal Obedience being abrogated, GOD reputes Faith itself and the imperfect Obedience of Faith for perfect Obedience of the Law, and graciously thinks it worthy of the Reward of eternal Life; That all Men are received into the State of Reconciliation and Grace of the Covenant; so that no Body shall be con­demn'd for Original Sin, nor in Respect of it be liable to Death or Damnation, but are all acquitted from the Guilt of that Sin: And whereas some, rather than others, are made Partakers of Forgiveness of Sins and Life eternal; that this Diversity depends on their own Free-Will applying itself to Grace indifferently offered, but not upon the sin­gular Gift of Mercy effectually working in them rather than others, that they may apply this Grace unto themselves.

III. That Original Sin is not of itself sufficient for the con­demning all Mankind, or deserving temporal and eternal Punishment: That the Will of Man was never corrupted, but only encumbered by the Darkness of the Understanding [Page 18] and Unruliness of the Affections: That an unregenerate Man is not properly, nor totally dead in Sins, nor destitute of all Strength tending to spiritual Good▪ but is able to hunger and thirst after Righteousness or everlasting Life, and to offer the Sacrifice of an humble and contrite Heart, even such as is acceptable to GOD: and that a corrupt and natural Man can so rightly use the Light of Nature, or those Gifts which are left in him after the Fall; that by the good Use thereof he may attain to saving Grace and by Degrees at length Salvation it self.

IV. That in true Conversion there cannot be infused by GOD any new Qualities, Habits or Gifts into the Will of Man; and so that Faith by which we are first converted and from which we are styled Faithful, is not any Quality or Gift infused by GOD, but only an Act of Man: That the Grace whereby we are converted to GOD, is nothing else but a gentle Inducement perform'd by suasory Motives: That no Cause can be alledged why even such moral Grace alone should not of natural Men make spiritual: That GOD doth not produce the Consent of our Will otherwise than by Way of moral Suasion: That GOD in regenerating a Man, doth not employ that omnipotent Strength, whereby he may powerfully and infallibly bow and bend his Will to Faith and Conversion: and that in Conversion, Grace does not in order of Causality go before the Action of the Will; i. e. that GOD doth not effectually help Man's Will unto Conversion before the Will of Man moveth and determin­eth or settleth it self thereto.

V. That the Perseverance of the Faithful is not an Effect of Election, or any Gift of GOD purchased by the Death of CHRIST; but a Condition of the New Covenant, which is to be perform'd on Man's Part by his own Free-will before his peremptory Election and Justification: That the Rege­nerate may not only totally and finally fall from justifying Faith, as also from Grace and Salvation; but that they do frequently fall from all These and perish eternally: That no Certainty of future Perseverance can be had in this Life, without special Revelation: That the Doctrine maintaining Assurance of Perseverance and of Salvation, is of its own Nature a soft Pillow for the Flesh, and hurtful to Godliness, good Manners, Praying, and other holy Courses; and con­trariwise, that 'tis a very commendable Thing to be doubt­ful of such Perseverance: That the Faith of those who be­lieve [Page 19] but for a Season, differs not from justifying and saving Faith, but only in Respect of Continuance: That 'tis not absurd that a Man should lose his first Regeneration, and be again and again Regenerate; and that CHRIST never prayed for Believers infallible Perseverance.

This is a Summary of the Arminian Errors described, con­demned and refuted by the venerable and famous Synod of Dort in 1619. as contrary to the HOLY SCRIPTURES, as well as the Doctrine of the Reformed Churches.

See Acta Synodi.

(6) Bourignonism — From Bourignon a popish enthusiastical Woman of Flanders: —who held that GOD has made Man's Will independent on Himself, that this is Man's principal Resemblance to GOD, and that GOD is ignorant of future humane Actions; that CHRIST had a Rebellion in his Na­ture and Will against the Will of GOD; that GOD cannot save by the Merits of another; that the Innocent cannot suffer for the Guilty, that our LORD's Body could not suffer for the great Crimes of so many Persons; that 'tis a Falshood to think CHRIST fully satisfied for us, and an Er­ror to expect Salvation fully from his Merits; that CHRIST subjecting Himself to Sufferings and becoming obedien [...] [...]to Death, was not the Price of our Redemption, but to give us an Example of Meekness and Patience under our Trials; that a meritorious Addition of our Repentance, Mortifica­tion and good Works, is necessary to purchase our Salvation; that the Doctrine of the TRINITY is an Error; that there is no vindictive Justice in the divine Nature; that Prayer and hearing Sermons are needless to Salvation; that GOD has no eternal Decrees; that Man may be in a gracious State and yet apostatize and perish; and that her Writings are given by divine Inspiration, and are new holy Scriptures. And yet with all these horrible Errors she profess'd to believe the Bible. See Blackwell's Ratio Sacra.

(7) Popery — i. e. —the Popish Religion, held and enjoined by the Pope of Rome: comprehending the Worship of Angels, departed Saints, Relicks, Images and Crosses; the Doctrine of Justification by Works; of Saints deserving of God, for themselves and others, by giving or doing more than he commands them, called Works of Supererogation; as also Transubstantiation, Purgatory, Prayers for the Dead, and Prayers in an unknown Tongue &c: denying the Bible to be the only Rule of Faith, Life and Worship; and deny­ing [Page 20] the Laity the Libert [...] to read the Bible, and of judging for Themselves in Matters of Religion: main­taining that the Pope is Head and Lord of the universal Church, any has thy Power of appointing what deceased Saints shall be pray'd to that there is no other Church or Ministers of CHRIST but theirs on Earth; that their Clergy have the Power of forgiving the Sins of the Living, and of praying the Souls of the Dead out of Purgatory; that they have also the Power over the Faith, Worship and Consciences of all Men, and to persecute all who separate from them or disown their religious Practices or Doctrines; that they may do any Thing to promote their Religion; and that they ben't oblig'd to keep any Faith with Pro­testants, or any others whom they call Hereticks &c.

(8) Superstition — is the adding any thing to religious Worship which GOD does not require.

(9) Antinomianism— See the marginal Note in Page 5.


Page 6, in the Margin, Read — Manichees.

7, Line 4 from the Bottom, Read— should be fulfilled.

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