APHORISMES OF JUSTIFICATION, With their Explication Annexed. Wherein also is opened the Nature of the Covenants, Satisfaction, Righteousnesse, Faith, Works, &c.

APHORISMES OF JUSTIFICATION, With their Explication annexed. Wherein also is opened the nature of the Covenants, Satisfaction, Righteousnesse, Faith, Works, &c. Published especially for the use of the Church of Kederminster in Worcestershire. By their unworthy Teacher, RI. BAXTER.

Hebr. 9. 15. And for this cause he is the Mediator of the New Testament, that by meanes of death for the Redemption of the transgressions under the first Testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternall inheri­tance.

HAGUE, Printed by Abraham Brown, Anno 1655.

To the Learned, zealous, Faithfull Ministers of Jesus Christ, Mr. Richard Vines, Master of Pembroke-Hall in Cam­bridge, and Mr. Anthony Burges, Pastor of Sutton-Cold-field in Warwickshire, Members of the Reverend As­sembly of Divines, my very much valued Friends and Brethren in the work and Patience of the Go­spel.

Most Dear Brethren,

I Never well understood their mean­ing, who crave Patronage to their Writings from the meere great o­nes of the times. If they need or desire a borrowed honour, me­thinks they quite mistake their way, and go for water to the top of Teneriffe, which they should seek in the valleys or stillflowing Springs. To give them our Writings to in­struct them, is agreeable to our Office and duty: but to submit them to their censures, or crave the protection of their Greatnesses, and prefix their names as the Signatures of Worth, as if Truth did ever the more dwell within, where this gilded sign is hang'd with­out: this seemeth to me, to be as needlesse, as absur'd. The self-idolizing sin of Pride is so naturall to all men, especially when fur­thered by dignities and wordly pomp, that they are apt enough without a tempter, to take themselves for the summum genus in every [Page] Predicament as well as their owne. A little help wil mount them above their Teachers, and a little more above Ordinances; but the top of the ambition is to be above God; that on them as the Alpha all may depend, and to them as the Omega all may ascribe. I think it a more needfull work (not for our honour, but their own safety) to make them understand, that Princes and Parliaments are Schollers in that Schoole where Christ is the Master, and we his Ushers: and that (at least) in respect of our Nuncupative, Declarative power, we are their Rulers in spirituals, whom they are bound to obey, Heb. 13. 7. 17. and that all Mi­nisters are Bishops or Overseers in the lan­guage of the holy Ghost, Act. 20. 28. Phil. 1. 1. &c. and not the servants or pleasers of men, Gal. 11. 10.

They leave us the bare name of their Tea­chers, so that we will teach them nothing but what they have taught us first, and leave out the hard sayings, which they cannot beare. For my part, though I have found as much re­spect from such as most, yet have I known very few of the most Religious great ones, but if I would deal but half as plainly as my commis­sion and patterns doe require, I should quickly turne their respect into indignation. If the old round dealing Prophets and Apostles were among us, I doubt some pious Gentlemen [Page] would take them for sawcy, proud, pragmatical fellowes; and would think their tongues (though not their revenues) did need a refor­mation. All this is no blemish to Magistracie, the Ordinance of God, but to humane nature, that for the most part can as ill beare a high e­state, as a mans brains can endure to stand on the pinacle of a steeple. Nor is this to blame any due honor to such, but to excuse my selfe, that I employ not my breath to fill any empty bladder. For you who are low, and full, I suppose the acknowledgement of your worth is lesse dangerous. As I am more be­holden to Reason and Religion, then to Great­nesse, so doe I feel them command my esteem and affections most powerfully. Your names therefore have I chosen to prefix to this paper. 1. As acknowledging you indeed fit censors of my Doctrine; having alwayes valued the judgement of Aristotle in Philosophy before Alexanders; and thinking your approbation more considerable then all the Lords or Com­manders in the Land. If you approve, I shall be the more confirmed (and so will my people for whom I write it, who know and honour you.) If you disallow, (for I cannot conceit that there is nothing to be disallowed) I shall suspect, and search againe.

2. I desire also hereby to acquaint the world with the reverend esteem I have of you, and [Page] to shew the contemners of the ministry some examples for their confutation: That they who think that England hath not as learned, holy, experimentall, judicious, humble, heart-piercing Preachers, as any other Nation what­soever, may look upon you and confesse their errour: That for all the dissentions that have so wasted both Church and State, it may ap­peare in you, wee had some that were lovers of peace; and if all had been so minded, our wounds had bin heal'd. That our ignorant yonglings that rush upon the Ministry (who may see themselves in that glasse, 1. Tim. 3. 6. may consider their distance from such as you, and be humbled. That those who wonder at the spreading of errors in our people, may see in you, we had some that taught them better; And Alexander did unjustly hang Ephestions Physitian because hee dyed. And that our Authors or defenders of Ieroboams worship, whose fingers itch to be doing with the Pro­phets that gain say them, may see what manner of men they have to deale with, whose worth is sufficient to disgrace the proudest persecu­tors, and make their names hatefull to all ge­nerations: To whom I commend Sir Walter Rawleighs true observation (Hist. of the world par. 1. l. 4. c. 3. [...]. 6.) [If Antipater upon his con­quest had carried all other actions never so mildly, yet for killing Demosthenes, all that [Page] read his eloquent Orations, doe condemn him for a bloody Tyrant to this day: Such grace and reputation doe the learned Arts finde in all civill Nations, that the evill done to a man famous in one of them, is able to ble­mish any action how good soever otherwise it be, or honorably carryed. To such ends as these have I here prefixed your names; and not to interesse you in the dishonour of the imperfections of this slender Tractate.

Farewell, Reverend Brethren, and go on to be exemplary in all spirituall excellencies: And that the Lord of the Harvest would send forth more such, and lengthen and succeed your labours to his Church, is the hearty prayer of.

Your unworthy fellow-servant, RI. BAXTER.

To the Reader.

THe slow progresse of knowledge, and the small addition that each age doth make to the fore­going, both in common Sciences and Divinity, doth seem a wonder to many. Among many others, these foure are no small impediments to this desirable increase.

1. Every ignorant, empty braine (which usually hath the highest esteem of it selfe) hath the liberty of the Presse, where­by (through the common itch that pride exciteth in men, to seeme somebody in the world) the number of bookes is grown so great, that they begin with many to grow contemptible; and a man may bestow a great many yeares to find out the Au­thors weaknesse, and that his books have nothing in them but common; and so many must be tossed over before we find out those few that are cleare and solid, that much of our lives are spent in the discovery: And yet he is thought to scape well that onely loseth his time and labour and gets no more hurt by them. Some think the truth will not thrive among us, till e­very man have leave to speak both in Presse and Pulpit that please: God forbid that we should ever see that day! If ten mens voyces be louder then one, then would the noyse of Er­rour drown the voyce of Truth: Ignorance is usually clamorous and loud, but Truth is modest, though zealous: One Orthodox faithfull Teacher, would scarce be seen or finde room for the crowd of seducers: For the godly, compared with the ungodly, are not neer so few as the men of cleer understanding, in com­parison of the ignorant: And they are most forward to speake, that know least.

2. Others there are of much like understanding and ends as the former, who yet take the contrary meanes to obtaine those ends. They know no such way to be the onely men, as magi­sterially to silence all contradictors: If it were onely for apparent and weighty truths, I should commend their zeale: But the mischiefe is, that they will bee Creed-makers themselves, or put their Commentaries into the Text, or so conjoyne them, as the Rhemists, that the Text may not walk in the day-light [Page] alone: And so the Creed of many, who have a quicke and easie faith is swelled as big almost as Aquinas Summes. If one of the Primitive Martyrs were alive among us, and professed but what was in his ancient Creed, hee would scarce be taken by many for a Christian. I am not all so narrow in my Creed, as Doctor Taylor urgeth: but I have observed more of this sort of men contemne his arguments, then are able to answer them. These men themselves beleeve so much (fide humana) that they know but little; and yet they would have no body know more then they, or no body speake that saith not as they. They would have nothing said but what is said already; and then it is better (in print) say nothing. They think it a reproach to change our opinions, or hold them with reserves: Pudet haec opprobria nobis, &c. But O that these men could tell us how to remedy it! To cry down that ignorance which dwelleth in me, is more to the credit of Knowledge then of me. But these men are like many superficiall Schollars, who when they have spent many yeares in the Vniversities, have no way to prove them­selves proficients, but to extoll Learning, and cry down the unlearned, that so they may cast the suspition from themselves upon others: Even so doe these in crying down errours. I know this small Tract will not rellish well with these mens pallats, neither is it ambitious of their favour, or yet so quarrelsome as purposely to provoke them; though some words may not be cut meet to their conceits. As I abhorre the project of Iulian to destroy the Christian Faith, by giving all Sects a liberty of contending; so am I loath that any such monster should be pro­duced by nature who should be a professed enemy to the advan­cement of Reason; or should presume to bound that sea of Knowledge which God hath promised shall cover the earth; and to say, hitherto shalt thou go, and no further: For my part, I must say as Burgersdicius in praefat. ad secundam edit. Logic. [...] Vis enim hu­manae mentis ita circumscripta est, ut omnia non videat omni tempore; & quae ante a probavit, post accuratius examen iterum improbet, rejiciatque. Hoc adeo reipsa comperio saepius in studiis meditationibusque meis, ut [Page] quae olim mihi visa sunt certissima & quasi ex tripode pronunciata, ea melioribus rationibus motus depre­hendam, admodum esse a veritate aliena. And sure Di­vinity hath as great depths as Philosophy; especially where it is interwoven with it▪ And to them that will certifie me in my mistakes, I must say as Aristotle to his Physitian when he prescribed him the meanes of his cure (referente Aeliano, lib. 9. de var. Hist.) Ne, inquit, me cures velut bubul­cum, velut fossorem, fed prius causam edissere, sic enim facili persuasione me morigerum reddideris. Crudelis­sima enim est (inquit Ritschel) & infanissima tyrannis, cum quis alios, ut à se dictis assurgant, cogere vult, nulla dictorum evidentia allata.

3. But the greatest enemy to knowledge of all, is mens study­ing onely names and words, in stead of things. Both in Sciences and Divinity this hath debased mens understandings. Men get all the termes of Art, and Theologicall definitions, Distinctions, Axiomes, &c. at their fingers end; but to study the nature of the things themselves, they are utterly carelesse. Their learn­ing lyeth more in their memory, than in their reason and judge­ment: There you may finde perhaps a large Nomenclature, or a Farrago Notionum secundarum, sed ferè sine primis. They have learned (as Parrots) to speak the same words which their Tutors and Authors have put into their mouthes; but put them out of their beaten road, and they are at a stand: These men may with industry make good Linguists or Historians▪ or per­haps be able to muster an Army without their Roles: But for Philosophy and Divinity, they have little more then the Car­riers horse when he hath a Library on his back. As learned Thomas White saith, in Dialog de mundo, pag. 370▪ Docto­rum duae sunt Classes, Alii enim cruditi sunt quasi me­moria tenus docti; alii veritatum pensitatores. Duo ita­que ad authoritatem petuntur, ut & artis peritus sit, & ex eorum numero penes quos depositum est scientiae Tri­bunal. What I would say to these men, they may read (if they will bestow the labour) in Ritschell's Preface to his late Con­templationes Metaphysicae.

[Page] And (which is the killing effect of this venome) these Prea­chers usually teach their people a Christianity suitable to their owne Theologie, which consisteth in repeating certaine words, and formes, and using certain ceremonious actions, and then they are as good Christians as they themselves are Divines.

4. And yet were there no miscarriage in our studies, Know­ledge could not make that happy progresse which some expect: For it is not in studies as it is in Manufactures, that one man may begin where another left; but every man must fetch it from the very principles himselfe: Neither can we take the words of those that have studied it before us; for that is neither a sound, nor satis­factory knowledge: whence it comes to passe, (saith Pemble Vind. Grat. p. 168.) that while wee are busie in examining our forefathers inventions, and posterity imployed in trying our examinations, neither we nor they have much time to adde any thing for the increase of Learned Knowledge: Whence you may guesse at one cause, why many Sciences, for some thousands of yeares have kept one pitch, and not growne above that dwarfish stature that they had in their infant invention: and also what the reason is that many that read most, prove not the deepest Schollers; for no greater impediment to exact Learning then to make use of other mens understandings, and neglect our owne.

I speak not this, as if I had overcome these impediments any more then others; but because I have perhaps more beene hin­dred by them, and so take my selfe bound to warne thee of the pit that I have falne in: And with all to let thee know, that if godly men themselves while they lye in these snares, shall oppose any truth in this Tract, it is no wonder, but a thing to be expected.

To give thee the History of the conception and nativity of these Aphorismes, & the reason why I trouble the world with more Bookes, which I blame in others; understand, that this is but an Appendix to another Treatise going to the Presse on a more ex­cellent Subject: Also, that having occasion therein to touch upon▪ Matth. 25. 35. I was desired to explaine in what sence it is, that Christ giveth the reason of his sentence in judgement from mens works: In answer hereto (and to cleare some other incident doubts of the like nature) I wrote these Positions or Aphorismes? [Page] which when some had got, they complained of obscure bre­vity, and desired some fuller explication; which when I had done, that which before was but two or three leaves, annexed as an Appendix to the fore-mentioned Treatise, did swell to this bignesse, that I was faine to let it goe alone. Could I have got Copies enow for my owne friends, whom I am bound to instruct, other men had not beene like to have been troubled with it; If thou please, thou mayest let it passe without thine observation: If otherwise, it is so small, that it will take up but little of thy time to read it, nor adde much to the common burden. Some few passages here are which I am not so cleare and confident in my selfe; As the nature of the Death threatned in the first Covenant; The necessity of the punctuall performance or execution of all threatnings; The interest of Christs Active Obedience to those Laws which did binde men in innocency, in the work of satisfaction, as conjoyned with his Passive Obedience to make up the same price. But as these are but few, so I am not utterly at a losse concerning them, but seeme to discerne a strong probability of what I have written therein,

For you, my Friends, whom Christ hath committed to my Teaching and Oversight, as to an unworthy Vsher under him in his Schoole, and Steward in his House, and of his My­steries; I publish this for your sakes and use:

1. Because I have still thought that points controverted are better written than preached, and read than heard; espe­cially, where the greatest part of the Auditory is uncapable of understanding them.

2. Yet is this Doctrine of so great concernment, and so neer the Foundation, that of all the controversies agitated in the Church, there's few that doe better deserve your study, and few that I am so loath you should be ignorant of. It is my exceeding joy, that God hath kept you in his distracted age, from doting about questions that engender strife, and hath given you to cleave to the most fundamentall, undoub­ted, and practicall Truths, and to spend your time in pra­ctice, and peace, and promoting the salvation of the igno­rant [Page] about you, when others are taken up in censuring their brethren, renting the Church, opposing the truth, or wrang­ling about lesser things; which are quite above their under­standings. Hold on this way; and if you have not in it more Communion with Christ, more growth in Grace, and on your Death-beds a more comfortable review of your lives, and at last a better reckoning made thereof, then the other, then say, I have deceived you. Yet, as I would have you neglect no truth, so especially what time [...]ou can spare for controversie, let it chiefely be spent upon these that are so weighty. Be ashamed that men sh [...]uld heare you disputing about Circumstanti [...]lls of Discipline, Baptisme, Supper, &c. before you know how to bee justified before GOD, or un­derstand the Doctrine of the Covenants, Redemption, Faith, Obedience, &c,

3. The Bookes that are written of justification are many, and some great, which I knew you had not time to read; and if you did, perhaps would lose much of your labour, as I have done: Therefore I desired to set the most necessary part before you in a narrower compasse. I never intended the full handling of the Doctrine of justification, these Aphe­rismes being but for the Answering of a particular Question: Especially what is in Master Bradshaw I omit, because I ex­pect that you will read and study him, the Book being so small, and of such singular worth, containing as much as the greatest Volumes. In some places I have omitted the proofe of my Assertions, partly because they seemed plaine, or to be the evident consectaries of former Positions; partly for brev [...]ty, and partly because it is for your use, to whom I am (yet) at hand to cleare what you doubt of; and who, I hope, doe understand, that to take upon trust from your Teachers what you cannot yet reach to see in its owne evi­dence, is lesse absurd, and more necessary than many doe imagine. Moreover, knowing, that I must shortly put off this Tabernacle, and be taken from you, I thought good to use this endeavour, that you may bee able after my depar­ture, to have these things in your understandings and re­membrance [Page] (2 Pet. 1. 14. 15.) And while I am in this flesh, I shall not cease to admonish you, and pray on your behalfe, that you may beware lest yee also being led away with the errour of the wicked, fall from your owne stedfastnesse; but may grow in Grace, and in the Knowledge of our LORD and SA­VIOVR, JESUS CHRIST: Nor shall I desire any greater Honour or Advancement on this Earth, than with Abilitie, Sinceritie, and Successe, to be.

A Servant of Christ, in the work of your Salva­tion, RI. BAXTER.

[Page 1]APHORISMES OF JUSTIFICATION, With their Explication Annexed.

Wherein also is opened the Nature of the Covenants, Satisfaction, Righteousnesse, Faith, Works, &c.

THESIS I.

GOd hath first a Will of purpose, whereby he determineth of Events: what shall be, and what shall not be, de facto; Secondly, And a Legislative, or Preceptive Will, for the government of the Rationall Creature: whereby he determineth what shall be; and what shall not be, de jure, or in point of duty; and in order thereto, concludeth of Rewards and Punishments.

EXPLICATION.

THis distinction of the Will of God into his Will of Purpose and his Will of Pre­cept, is very commonly used by Divines, and explained by some, especially Doctor [Page 2] Twisse frequently, and Doctor Edward Reig­nolds, in his Sermons on the Humiliation dayes, on Hos. 14. Yet is not the exceeding necessity and usefulnesse of it discerned by many, nor is it improved accordingly by any that I have read: It is near of kin to the com­mon distinction of Voluntas signi, & Benepla­citi, but not the same: The Tearm [signi] being more comprehensive, yet (in my judge­ment) lesse proper and convenient then this [Legislative Will, or voluntas Praecepti:] As the old verse shews, Praecipit ac prohibit, per­mittit, consulit, implet. Two of these Acts, to wit, Permission and Operation, fall under the Will of Purpose, as they are the effects and revelation of it; but not under the Legisla­tive Will: And indeed the Schoolmen by their Voluntas signi, do intend not other Will, but the same which they call Beneplaciti, whose Object is event, as it is uncertainly repre­sented to us by those five signes: And because they are such uncertain signes (the contrary to what they seem to import; being frequen­ly certain;) therefore they tell us that this is but metaphorically called the Will of God; viz. by a speech borrowed from the manner of men, who signifie their Will by such kinde of Actions; see Aquin. sum. 1a. 1ae. Quest. 19. Art. 11. 12. And Schibler. Metaph. of this.

But that which I call the Legislative or [Page 3] Preceptive will, hath another object, viz. not event but duty; and is Metonymically rather then Metaphorically called Gods Will, it being the effect and revelation of his reall un­feigned will. For God doth not seeme to Will that this or that shall be our duty, and so speake after the manner of men (according to the sense of their Voluntas signi) but hee willeth it unfeignedly,

Neither is this Distinction the same with that which differenceth Gods revealed Will from his secret. For his revealed Will con­taineth also part of the Will of his purpose, and all the will of precept: The meere pro­phesies, and also the promises and threat­nings, so far as they point out future event, are the Revealed part of the Will of Gods purpose. Tilenus himselfe in his conference with Camero seemes to approve of this Dist­inction; where he distinguisheth of Gods Will according to its Object, viz. vel quod ipse vult facere, vel quod a nobis vult fieri: If in this last branch he speake not de officio & of this precep­tive will, rather then de eventu and of the will of purpose, then he can meane it onely of a con­ditionall will of purpose.

As we use to distinguish betwixt the legall will of the King publickly manifesting our duty in the Laws, and his personall private will; so must we do here.

[Page 4] The necessity of this distinction is so ex­ceeding great, that but little of the doctrinall part of Scripture can be well understood with­out it. The verity of it is also unquestion­able: for none but the grosely ignorant will deny, that Event and Duty, Purpose and Law, are truly distinct, or that both these last are called in Scripture and common custome of speech, The Will of God.

And therefore it is a sencelesse Objection, that wee hereby make two wills in God, and those contradictory. For first, we only make them two distinct Acts of one & the same will: whereof that of purpose is lesse revealed, and doth lesse concern us, yet is most properly called his will, as being such as in man we call the Elicite Act of it: but that of precept is all revealed and doth more concerne us; yet as it is in his Law it is onely Metonymically called his Will, as being only the discovery of his Will properly so called.

And 2ly Contradiction there is none; for they are not de eodem; they have to do with severall Objects; To Will that it shall be Abrahams duty pro hoc tempore to sacrifice his son; and yet that de eventu it shall not be exe­cuted, are far from contradictory. To Will that it shall be the Iewes duty, not to kill Christ, and yet that eventually they shall kill him, is no contradiction. To will that it [Page 5] shall be Pharaohs duty to let Israel go; and yet that in poynt of event hee shall not let them go, is no contradiction. Indeed, if God had willed, that he shall let them go, and he shall not eventually, or that it shall be his duty, and it shall not; either of these had been a contradiction undoubted.

But I have largely explained and more fully improved this Distinction under the Dispute about Universall Redemption, and therefore shall say no more of it now.

THESIS II.

First, Praedestination, Election, Reprobation, or Preterition. Secondly, the Covenant betwixt the Father and the Son. Thirdly, the absolute Promises of Regeneration and perseverance. Fourthly, the ful­filling of those Promises by differencing Grace, are all in the series under the Will of Gods purpose.

EXPLICATION.

IT is of very great use to understand which of these Wills every one of Gods particular words or works do fall under.

1. That Predestination, Election, and Re­probation, are under this Will of Purpose only, is undoubted.

2, Divines use to mention a Covenanting between the Father and the Son about the work of Redemption: It is called a Cove­nant [Page 6] but improperly, speaking after the man­ner of men. Properly it is but the Decree of God concerning Christs Incarnation, his work, and his sufferings, and the successe of these, and what God will further do thereup­on. This therefore falls under this Genius, and so doth the Fathers giving the Elect to Christ, which is but part of this.

3. Those promises of taking the hard heart out of us, and giving hearts of flesh, one heart, a new heart, and of putting his fear in us, that wee shall not depart from him, &c. are generally taken to be Absolute promises (for here is no Condition expressed or intimated) made to all the Elect and onely them, as not yet regenerate; and so not to any either na­med or qualified persons. These are not there­fore fulfilled upon condition of our Faith, or made ours by beleeving, as other promises are: For Faith is part of the thing promised, and the persons are unregenerate, and conse­quently unbeleevers when these promises are fulfilled to them. Therefore these Absolute promises are but meere gratious predictions what God will do for his Elect, the comfort whereof can be received by no man till the benefit be received, and they be to him ful­filled: Therefore as all meer predictions, so also these promises do fall under the Will of Purpose, and not of Precept.

[Page 7] 4. So also doth the fulfilling of these to particular persons: the actuall chusing or cal­ling of some while others are past by: The be­stowing of that faith which is the condition of the Covenant: The giving of perseverance: And all the passages of speciall, effectuall, differencing Grace. The knowledge of this is of great use in expediting the Arminian Controversies, as you shall perceive after: Some parts of Scripture do in severall re­spects belong to both these Wills; such are some promises and threatnings conditionall, which as they are predictions of what shall come to passe, do belong to the will Purpose, but as they are purposely delivered and an­nexed to the commands and prohibitions for incitement to Duty, and restraint from Sin, (which was indeed the great end of God in them) so they belong to the Will of Precept: For the promise of Reward, and the threat­ning of Punishment, are reall parts of the Law or Covenant, so of History. All this is only a preparative to the opening more fully the nature of the Legislative Will, and what falls under it: For the Will of Purpose, and what is under it, I have no intention any further to handle.

THESIS III.

First, The Will of God concerning duty is ex­pressed wholly in his written Laws. Secondly Which [Page 8] Laws are promulgate and established by way of Covenant, wherein the Lord engageth himselfe to reward those that performe its conditions, and threateneth the penalty to the violaters thereof.

EXPLICATION.

1. NOt but that much of Gods Will is al­so contained in the Law of Nature; or may by the meere use of Reason be learned from Creatures, and Providences: But yet this is nothing against the Scriptures sufficiency and perfection: For besides all the superadded Positives, the Scripture also con­taines all that which we call the Law of Na­ture; and it is there to be found more legible and discernable than in the best of our ob­scure, deceitfull, corrupted hearts.

2. All perfect compulsive Laws have their penalty annexed, (or else they are but meerly directive) but not usually any reward pro­pounded to the obeyers: It is sufficient that the Subject know his Soveraignes pleasure, which he is bound to observe without any re­ward. Meere Laws are enacted by Soveraign­ty: Meere Covenants are entred by equalls, or persons dis-engaged to each other in re­spect of the contents of the Covenants, and therefore they require mutuall consent. These therefore made by God, are of a mixt nature; neither meere Laws, nor meere Covenants, [Page 9] but both. He hath enacted his Laws as our Soveraigne Lord, whithout waiting for the Creatures consent, and will punish the brea­kers, whether they consent or no: But as it is a Covenant, there must be a restipulation from the Creature; and God will not performe his conditions there expressed, without the Covenanters consent, engagement, and per­formance of theirs.

Yet is it called frequently in Scripture (a Covenant,) as it is offered by God, before it be accepted and entered into by the Crea­ture: because the condescention is only on Gods part; and in reason there should be no question of the Creatures consent, it being so wholly and only to his advantage. Gen. 9. 12 17. Exod. 34. 28. Deut. 29. 1. 2 Kings 23. 3 &c.

There are some generall obscure Threat­nings annexed to the prohibitions in the Law of Nature; that is, Nature may discerne that God will punish the breakers of his Law, but how, or with what degree of punishment it cannot discern: Also it may collect that God will be favourable and gratious to the Obedient: but it neither knows truly the con­ditions, nor the nature or greatnesse of the Re­ward, nor Gods engagement thereto. There­fore as it is in Nature, it is a meer Law; and not properly a Covenant. Yea to Adam in his [Page 10] perfection▪ the forme of the Covenant was known by superadded Revelation, and not written naturally in his heart.

Whether the threatning and punishment do belong to it only as it is a Law, or also as it is a Covenant, is of no great moment; see­ing it is really mixt of both. It is called in Scripture also, the curse of the Covenant: Deut. 29. 20. 21.

THESIS. IIII.

THe first Covenant made with Adam did pro­mise life upon condition of perfect obedience, and threaten death upon the least disobedience.

EXPLICATION.

THe promise of life is not expressed, but plainly implyed in the threatning of death. That this life promised was onely the continuance of that state that Adam was then in in Paradice, is the judgement of most Divines: But what death it was that is there threatned, is a Question of very great diffi­culty, and some moment. The same damna­tion that followeth the breach of the New Covenant, it could not be: no more then the life then enjoyed is the same with that which the New Covenant promiseth. And I cannot yet assent to their judgement, who think it was onely that death which consisteth in a [Page 11] meer separation of soule and body: or also in the annihilation of both. Adams separated soule must have enjoyed happinesse, or endu­red misery: For that our soules when sepa­rated are in one of these conditions, and not annihilated or insensible, I have proved by twenty Arguments from Scripture in another booke. As Adams life in Paradise was, no doubt incomparably beyond ours in happi­nesse; so the death threatned in that Cove­nant was a more terrible death then our tem­porall death. For though his losse by a tem­porall death would have bin greater then ours now; yet hee would not have bin a Subject capable of privation, if annihilated; nor however capable of the sense of his losse. A great losse troubleth a dead man no more then the smallest. Therefore as the joy of Paradise would have bin a perpetuall joy, so the sorrow and pain it is like would have bin perpetuall, and wee perpetuated capable Sub­jects. See Barlow exercit. utrum melius sit mi­serum esse quam non esse? I do not thinke that all the deliverance that Christs Death procured, was onely from a temporall death or annihi­larion: or that the death which hee suffered was aequivalent to no more.

THESIS. V.

THis Covenant being soon by man violated, the threatning must bee fulfulled, and so the penalty suffered.

EXPLICATION.

WHether there were any flat necessity of mans suffering after the fall, is doub­ted by many, and denyed by Socinus. Whether this necessity ariseth from Gods na­turall Justice, or his Ordinate, viz. his De­cree, and the verity of the threatning, is also with many of our own Divines a great dispute: whether God might have pardoned sinne, if he had not said, the sinner shall die, may be doubted of (though I believe the affirmative, yet I judge it a frivolous presumptuous que­stion. But the word of his threatning being once past, methinks, it should bee past que­stion that hee cannot absolutely pardon, with­out the apparent violation of his Truth, or Wisdome. Some think that it proceedeth from his Wisdome rather then his Justice, that man must suffer: see Mr. Io. Goodwin of justif. part. 2. pag. 34.) but why should we se­parate what God hath conjoyned? However, whether Wisdome, or justice, or Truth (or rather all these) were the ground of it, yet certaine it is, that a necessity there was that the penalty should be inflicted: or else the [Page 13] Son of God should not have made satisfa­ction, nor sinners bear so much themselves.

THESIS. VI

THis penalty the offender himselfe could not bear, without his everlasting undoing.

EXPLICATION.

THat is, not the full penalty: for part of it hee did beare, and the Earth for his sake: and (as I think) all mankind doth beare part of it to this day. But the full penalty would have bin a greater and everlasting suffering.

THESIS VII.

(1) Iesus Christ at the Will of his Father, (2) and upon his own Will, (3) being perfectly fur­nished for this Worke, (4) with a Divine power, (5) and personall Righteousnesse, (6) first undertooke, (7) and afterward discharged this debt; (8) by suf­fering what the Law did threaten, and the offender himselfe was unable to beare

EXPLICATION.

(1) THe Love of God to the World was the first womb where the worke of Redemption was conceived, Ioh. 3. 16. (as it is taken conjunct with his own glory.) The Eternal Wisdome and Love found out and resolved on this way of recovery, when it never entered into the thoughts of man to contrive or desire it.

[Page 14] (2) The Will of the Father and the Son are one: The Son was a voluntary undertaker of this task: it was not imposed upon him by constraint: when he is said to come to do his Fathers Will (Heb. 10. 7. 9.) it doth also in­clude his own Will. And where he is said to do it in obedience to the Father, as it is spo­ken of a voluntary obedience, so is it spoken of the execution of our Redemption, and in regard to the humane nature especially; and not of the undertaking by the divine Nature alone. Not only the consent of Christ did make it lawfull that he should be puni­shed being innocent, but also that speciall power which as he was God he had over his own life more then any creature hath: Ioh. 10. 18. I have power [...] saith Christ, to lay down my Life.

(3.) No meere creature was qualifyed for this worke: even the Angels that are righteous do but their duty, and therefore cannot su­pererrogate or merit for us. Neither were they able to beare and overcome the penalty.

(4.) It must therefore be God that must sa­tisfy God; both for the perfection of the O­bedience, for dignifying of the duty and suf­fering, for to be capable of meriting, for the bearing of the curse, and for the overcom­ming of it, and doing the rest of the workes of the Mediatorship, which were to be done [Page 15] after the Resurrection. Yet meere God it must not be, but man also: or else it would have been forgivenesse without satisfaction, seeing God cannot be said to make satisfaction to himselfe. Many other reasons are frequently given by Divines to prove the necessity of Christs Incarnation, Act. 20, 28. Heb. 1. 1, 2, 3.

(5.) Had not Christ been perfectly righ­teous himselfe he had not been capable of sa­tisfying for others: Yet is it not necessary that he must be in all respects a fulfiller of Righ­teousnesse before he begin the work of satis­faction, or that his righteousnesse and satisfa­ction be so distinct, as that the same may not be both righteousnesse and satisfactory.

Though▪ many great Divines do so di­stinguish between Iustitiam personae, & Iustitiam meriti, as that the former is only a preparatory to the latter; yet I cannot see any reason but the same obedience of Christ to the whole Law may be both personall and meritorious, (of the righteousnesse of the Divine nature, or the habituall righteousnesse of the humane nature, I do not now dispute.) Therefore I do not mean that all Christs personall righteous­nesse was only preparatory to his satisfaction and merit, when I speak of his being furnished with a personall Righteousnesse, though I con­fesse I was long of that judgement. See more after at pag. 45.

[Page 16] (6.) The undertaking of the Son of God to satisfie, was effectuall before his actuall satis­fying: As a man that makes a purchase, may take possession and enjoy the thing purchased upon the meere bargaine made, or earnes paid, before he have fully paid the sum. To this purpose most understand that in Rev. 13. 8. whose names were not written in the book of life, of the lambe slaine from the foundation of the World: But I doubt not but Weemse his inter­pretation is the plaine truth; that the words [from the foundation of the World] have refe­rence to the writing of their names in the book of Life, and not to the slaying of the Lambe, as being thus to be read, whose names were not written in the book of life of the slain Lambe, from the foundation of the World. It hath the same sence with Rev. 17. 8. which doth expound this in leaving out the mention of the slaying of the Lambe.

(7.) I know mans guilt and [...]igation to suffer, is but Metaphorically called his debt. Therefore when we would search into the na­ture of these things exactly, wee must rather conceive of God as the Lawgiver and Gover­nour of the World, then as a creditor, lest the Metaphor should mislead us. Yet because it is a common & a Scripture phrase, and conveni­ently expresseth our Obligation to beare the penalty of the violated Law, I use it in that sense.

[Page 17] But here we are cast upon many and weighty and very difficult Questions. Whether Christ did discharge this debt by way of solution or by way of satisfaction? 2. whether in his suffe­ring and our escape the threatning of the Law was executed or dispensed with? 3. And if di­spensed with, how it can stand with the truth and justice of God? 4. And whether sinners may thence be encouraged to conceive some hope of a relaxation of the threatnings in the Gospell? 5. And whether the faithfull may not feare lest God may relaxe a promise as well as a threatning? 6. And lastly whether if the Law be relaxable, God might not have released his Son from the suffering, rather then have put him to so great torment, and so have freely pardoned the offendours? I shall briefly answer to all these.

1. Quest. Meere and proper solution or pay­ment is, when the very same thing is paid which w [...] in the obligation, or suffered which was threatned. This payment the creditor cannot refuse; nor the Ruler refuse this suffe­ring, nor to acquit the person that hath so payed or suffered.

Satisfaction is the paying of somewhat that was not directly in the Obligation, but is gi­ven to satisfye the creditor in stead of the debt, which payment the Creditor may chuse to accept; and if hee do not consent to [Page 18] accept it, though it were paid, yet the deb­tour should not be acquit. So also in regard of suffering.

Here we take payment and satisfaction in the strict legall sence and not in the large sence wherein they are confounded. And now the Question is, whether Christs suffering were the payment of the very debt, or of some­what else in its stead? The resolving of this depends upon the resolving of two other quae­stions both great and difficult.

1. What it was which the Law did threaten 2. What it was that Christ did suffer?

1. Various are the judgements of Divines about the former; and exceeding difficult it is to determine, because it hath pleased the Holy Ghost to speake of it so sparingly: and who can here understand any more then is written? 1. Whether Adams soule and body should immediatly have bin annihilated, or destroyed so as to become insensible? 2. Or whether his soule should have bin immedia­tly seprarated from his body as ours are at death, and so be the only sufferer of the paine? 3. Or if so, whether there should have bin any Resurrection of the body after any certaine space of time, that so it might suffer as well as the soule? 4. Or whether soule and body without separation should have gone downe quick together into Hell? Or into any place [Page 19] or state of torment short of Hell? 5. Or whe­ther both should have lived a cursed life on Earth through everlasting, in exclusion from Paradise, separation from Gods favour and gratious presence, losse of his image, &c? 6. Or whether hee should have lived such a miserable life for a season, and then be anni­hilated, or destroyed? 7. And if so, whether his misery on Earth should have bin more then men doe now endure? And the more im­portant are these Questions of, because of some other that depend upon them. As 1. what death it was that Christ redeemed us from? 2. And what death it is that perishing infants die, or that our guilt in the first trans­gression doth procure? For it being a sinne against the first Covenant only, will be puni­shed with no other death then that which is threatned in that Covenant.

Much is said against each of these exposi­tions of that first threatning.

1. Against the first I have said somewhat be­fore; And that in 1. Thes. 1. 10. seems to be much against it: Iesus that delivered us from the wrath to come: This wrath was either the ex­ecution of the threatning of the Covenant of works, or of the Covenant of grace: not the latter, for Christ saveth none who deserve it, from that: therefore it must needs be the wrath of the first Covenant, and consequently that [Page 20] Covenant did threaten a future wrath to all sinners, which, if the world or Adam him­selfe had been destroyed, or annihilated im­mediately upon his fall, we had not been capa­ble of.

2. Against the second sense, it seemeth un­likely that the soule should suffer alone, and the body lie quietly in the dust, because the body did sinne as well as the soule, and the senses were the soules inticers and betrayers.

3. Against the third there is no intimation of a Resurrection in the Scripture as part of the penalty of the Covenant of works, or as a preparative to it. That Adam should have risen againe to be condemned or executed if Christ had not come, no Scripture speakes; but rather on the contrary, Resurrection is ascribed to Christ alone, 1 Cor. 15. 12. 21. 22.

4. Against the fourth it seemeth evident by the execution, that the separation of soule and body was, at least, part of the death that, was threatned, or else how comes it to be in­flicted? and the Apostle saith plainly, that in Adam all dye, viz. this naturall death, 1 Cor. 15. 22.

5. Against the fift the same Argument will, [...]erve.

6. Concerning the sixth & seventh they lye open to the same objection as the second.

It is hard to conclude peremptorily in so [Page 21] obscure a case. If wee knew certainly what life was the reward of that Covenant, we might the better understand what death was the pe­nalty. Calvin and many more Interpreters think that if Adam had not fallen, he should after a season have been translated into Heaven without death, as Enoch and Elias. but I know no Scripture that tells us so much. Whether in Paradise terrestriall or celestiall I certainly know not; but that Adam should have lived in happinesse and not have dyed, is certain; seeing therefore that Scripture tells us on the one hand, that death is the wages of sinne; and one the other hand, that Jesus delivered us from the wrath to come; the 2, 6, and 7. Ex­positions doe as yet seem to me the most safe, as containing that punishment whereby both these Scriptures are fulfilled: Beside that they much correspond to the execution, viz. that man should live here for a season a dying life, separated from God, devoid of his Image, subject to bodily curses and calamities, dead in Law, and at last his soule and body be se­parated; his body turning to dust from whence it came, and his soule enduring ever­lasting sorrowes, yet nothing so great as those that are threatned in the new Covenant.

The Objection that lyeth against this sense, is easier then those which are against the other. For though the body should not rise to tor­ment [Page 22] yet its destruction is a very great puni­shment: And the soule being of a more excel­lent and durable nature, is likely to have had the greater and more durable suffering: And though the body had a chief hand in the sin, yet the soule had the farre greater guilt, be­cause it should have commanded and gover­ned the body; as the fault of a man is far grea­ter then the same in a beast.

Yet I do not positively conclude, that the body should not have risen againe; but I finde no intimation of it revealed in the Scripture; but that the sentence should have been imme­diately executed to the full, or that any such thing is concluded in the words of the threat In the day thou eatest thou shalt die the death. I doe not thinke; for that would have prevented both the being, the sinne, and the suffering of his posterity; and consequently Christ did not save any one in the world from sinne or suffe­ring but Adam and Eve, which seems to me a hard saying (though I know much may be said for it.)

Thus we see in part the first Question resol­ved; what death it was that the Law did threa­ten? Now let us see, whether this were the same that Christ did suffer? And if we take the threatning in its full extent, as it expresseth not only the penalty, but also its proper sub­ject and its circumstances, then it is undenya­ble [Page 23] that Christ did not suffer the same that was threatned; For the Law threatned the death of the offender, but Christ was not the offen­der; Adam should have suffered for ever, but so did not Christ; Adam did dy spiritually, by being forsaken of God, in regard of holi­nesse as well as in regard of comfort, and so deprived at least of the chief part of his I­mage; so was not Christ.

Yet it is disputable whether these two last were directly contained in the threatning, or not? whether the threatning were not fully executed in Adams death? And the eternity of it were not accidentall, even a necessary con­sequent of Adams disability to overcome death and deliver himself, which God was not bound to doe? And whether the losse of Gods Image were part of the death threatned, or rather the effect of our sinne onely, executed by our selves, and not by God? Many Divi­nes say, that God did not take away his Image, but man thrust it away: So Capell of Tempta­tions, pag. 8. &c. Though most judge other­wise, because the same power must annihilate that must create.

I conclude then, that in regard of the pro­per penalty, Christ did suffer a paine and mi­sery of the same sort, and of equall weight with that threatned; but yet because it was not in all respects the same, it was rather satis­faction [Page 24] then the payment of the proper debt, being such a payment as God might have cho­sen to accept.

The 2. Question was, Whether the threat­ning was executed, or relaxed and dispensed with?

Answ. The Answer to this is plaine in the answer to the former.

In regard of the meer weight of punish­ment, considered as abstracted from person & duration, it was executed & not relaxed; yet taking the threatning intirely as it was given out, and we must say it was dispensed with; for mankinde doth not suffer all that is there threatned.

Yet some, who think that the death threat­ned did consist in out present miseries and temporal death onely, do also think that the threatning is fully executed upon the sinners, and that Christ hath onely delivered us from the accidentall duration of it, but not pre­vented the execution.

If I could think that the threatning inten­ded no punishment to the soule further, after it is separated from the body, then I should think as they.

The 3. Question is, How it can stand with▪ the Truth and Justice of God to dispense▪ [Page 25] with his Threats? Concerning his Justice, the question is not difficult, & I shall say nothing to that; all the question is, how to reconcile this dispensation with Gods truth. Here you must distinguish, 1. Betwixt the letter of the Law and the sense. 2. Between the Law and the end of the Law. 3. Between a Threat with exception either expressed or reserved, and that which hath no exception. 4. Between a threatning which onely expresseth the desert of the sinne, and what punishment is due, and so falleth only under the will of precept, and that which also intendeth the certaine prediction of event, and so falleth under the will of purpose also. And now I answer:

1. The end of the Law is the Law, and that end being the manifestation of Gods Justice and hatred of sinne, &c. was fulfilled, and therefore the Law was fulfilled.

2. Most think that the Threatning had this reserved exception, [Thou shalt dye, i. e. by thy selfe, or thy surety.] And though it be sinfull in man to speak with mentall reserva­tions when he pretends to reveale his mind, yet not in God, because as he is subject to no Law, so he is not bound to reveale to us all his minde, nor doth he indeed pretend any such thing.

3. So that the sense of the Law is fulfilled.

4. But the speciall answer that I give, is this, [Page 26] When Threatnings are meerly parts of the Law, and not also predictions of event and di­scoveries of Gods purpose thereabouts, then they may be dispensed with without any breach of Truth: For as when God saith, [Thou shalt not eate of the Tree &c.] the meaning is onely [It is thy duty not to eate] and not that eventually he should not eate: So when he saith (Thou shalt die the death) The meaning is, (Death shall be the due reward of thy sinne, and so may be inflicted for it at my pleasure) and not that he should certainly suffer it in the event. And I judge, that except there be some note added whereby it is apparent, that God intended also the prediction of event, no meer Threatning is to be understood other­wise but as it is a part of the Law, and so speaks of the duenesse of punishment onely, as the Precept speaks of the duenesse of obeying.

If this be Grotius his meaning, I assent, that Omnes minae quibus non adest irrevocabilitatis signum, intelligendae sunt ex suâpte naturâ dejure comminantis ad relaxandum nihil imminuere, (viz.) so farre as they are no predictions of event; otherwise Gods bare prediction is a note of irrevocability: And his two notes, viz. An Oath, and a Promise, are not the onely signes of irrevocability: Gods Word is as sure as his Oath, and a Threatning as true as a Promise, and when it falls, under Voluntas propositi, will [Page 27] as surely be fulfilled. See Grotius de satisfactione Christi, cap. 3. & Vossium ejus defenforem.

The 4. Question is, whether sinners may not hence be encouraged to conceive some hope of a relaxation of the Threatnings in the New Covenant? To this I answer.

1. No: For God hath fully discovered that it is his purpose and resolution to execute those Threats, and not to relax or reverse them; that he will come in flaming fire to ren­der vengeance on them that know not God, and obey not the Gospel of our Lord Iesus Christ, &c. 2. Thes. 1. 7, 8. That there is no more sacrifice for sin, Heb. 10. 26, 27. And hath revealed the manner how they shall be con­demned, Mat. 25.

2. If there were any hope of this, yet were it unexpressable madnesse to venter ones ever­lasting state on that, when we see that God did not remit the penalty of the first Covenant wholly, but would have his justice satisfied, though by the suffering of his Sonne Christ: And yet that it also cost the offendors so deare themselves.

The 5. Question is, May we not feare lest God may dispense with his Promises as well as his Threats? I answer:

1. He did not dispense with his Threatning, but upon a valuable consideration.

[Page 28] 2. No; for though the Promise as well as the Threat doe belong to the Law, and so dis­cover what is due, rather then what shall come to passe, yet the thing promised being once our due, cannot be taken from us without our consent: and so, as Grotius saith, Ex promisione jus aliquod acquiritur ei cui facta est promtssio; ju­stice bindeth to give all to another that is his due, but not alwayes and absolutely to inflict upon an offender as much punishment as he deserveth.

3. Beside, God hath revealed it to be the will of his purpose also to confer the things promised in the Gospel upon all Beleevers.

The 6 and last Question was. If the Law be relaxable, whether God might not have freely remitted the offence, and have spared his Son his satisfactory sufferings? I answer.

1. It yet remaines under dispute whether the Threat speak not de eventu, as to the sinne, though but de jure, as to the sinner? And then the Truth of God would forbid a dispensation as to the sinne,

2. Though the Threatning doe not flatly determine of the execution de eventu; yet it intimates a strong probability of it, & seemes to tell the world, that ordinarily the Law-giver will proceed according thereto, and gives the sinner strong grounds to expect as much. [Page 29] Therefore if God should relax his Law, much more if he should wholly dispence with it by remission, the Law would seem to lose much of its authority, and the Law-giver be esteemed mutable.

3. Besides, as no good Lawes are lightly to be reversed, so, much lesse such as are so a­greeable to order, and the nature of God and so solemnly enacted as this was.

4. Though GOD did dispense with his Law as to our impunity, because else mankind would have utterly perished, and because he is abundant in mercy and compassion (Exo. 34. 7. Psal. 103. 8. & III. 4, 5. & 145. 8. Isa. 55. 7. Ier. 31. 20. Luk 6. 36. Rom. 2. 4.) yet he is also holy and just, and a hater of sinne; and how would those his Attributes have been manifested or glorified, if he had let so many and great sinnes goe wholly unpuni­shed. (Prov. 11. 20. Psal. 5. 5. & 45. 8. Heb. 11. 2. Rom. 1. 18.

5. It would have encouraged men to sin and contemne the Law, if the very first breach and all other should be meerly remitted; but when men see that God hath punished his Son when he was our surety, they may easily ga­ther that he will not spare them, if they conti­nue rebells.

6. The very end of the Law else would have been frustrated, which now is fulfilled by [Page 30] Christs satisfaction: For Proxima sunt idem & tantundem.

7. Besides the exceeding love of God that is manifested in this suffering of his Son, and the great engagemens that are laid upon the sinner.

They that will avoid all the supposed incon­veniencies of this Doctrine of Gods dispen­cing with his Threatnings, must needs affirme, that the offenders do suffer as much, and the same which was threatned.

(8.) Whether we are justified onely by Christs Passive Righteousnesse, or also by his Active, is a very great dispute among Divines. By his Passive Righteousnesse is meant not onely his death, but the whole course of his humiliation, from the Assumption of the hu­mane nature to his Resurrection. Yea, even his Obedientiall Actions so far as there was any suffering in them, and as they are considered under the notion of Suffering, and not of Duty or Obedience. By his Active Righteous­nesse is meant the Righteousnesse of his A­ctions, as they were a perfect obedience to the Law. The chiefe point of difference and difficulty lyeth higher, How the Righteous­nesse of Christ is made ours? Most of our or­dinary Divines say, that Christ did as properly obey in our roome and stead, as he did suffer [Page 31] in our stead; and that in Gods esteem and in point of Law wee were in Christ obeying and suffering, and so in him wee did both perfectly fulfill the Commands of the Law by Obe­dience, and the threatnings of it by bearing the penalty; and thus (say they) is Christs Righteousnesse imputed to us, viz. his Passive Righteousnesse for the pardon of our sins and delivering us from the penalty; his Active Righteousnesse for the making of us righteo­us, and giving us title to the kingdom: And some say, the habituall Righteousnes of his humane nature instead of our own habituall Righteousnesse; yea some adde the righteou­snes of the divine nature also.

This opinion (in my judgement) contai­neth a great many of mistakes.

1. It supposeth us to have been in Christ, at least in legall title, before we did beleeve, or were born; and that not onely in a generall and conditionall sense as all men, but in a spe­ciall as the justified; indeed we are elected in Christ before the foundation of the world, but that is a terme of diminution, and there­fore doth not prove that we were then in him; Neither Gods Decree or foreknowledge gives us any legall title.

2. It teacheth imputation of Christ Righ­teousnesse in so strict a sense, as will neither stand with reason, nor the Doctrine of Scrip­ture, [Page 32] much lesse with the phrase of Scripture which mentioneth no imputation of Christ or his Righteousnesse to us at all; and hath given great advantage to the Papists against us in this Doctrine of Justification.

3. It seemeth to ascribe to God a mistaking judgement, as to esteem us to have been in Christ when wee were not, and to have done and suffered in him, what we did not.

4. It maketh Christ to have paid the Idem, and not the Tantundem; the same that was due, and not the value; and so to justifie us by pay­ment of the proper debt, and not by strict satisfaction. And indeed this is the very core of the mistake, to think that we have by de­legation paid the proper debt of Obedience to the whole Law, or that in Christ we have perfectly obeyed; whereas; 1. It can neither be said, that we did it; 2. And that which Christ did, was to satisfie for our non-payment and disobedience.

5. So it maketh Christ to have fulfilled the preceptive part of the Law in our stead and roome in as strict a sense, as he did in our room beare the punishment, which will not hold good (though for our sakes he did both.)

6. It supposeth the Law to require both obedience and suffering in respect of the same time and actions, which it doth not. And whereas they say, that the Law re­quireth [Page 33] suffering for what is past, and Obe­dience for the future; this is to deny that Christ hath satisfied for future sinnes. The time is neere when those future sins will be past also; what doth the Law require then? If we doe not obey for the future, then we sin; if we sin, the Law requires nothing but suffe­ring for expiation.

7. This opinion maketh Christs sufferings (by consequence) to be in vain, both to have been suffered needlesly by him, and to be needless also now to us: For if we did perfectly obey the Law in Christ, (or Christ for us, according to that strict imputation,) then the­rere is no use for suffering for disobedience.

8. It fondly supposeth a medium betwixt one that is just, and one that is guilty; and a difference betwixt one that is just, and one that is no sinner; one that hath his sin or gui [...]t taken away, and one that hath his unrighte­ousness taken away: It is true, in bruits and insensibles, that are not subjects capable of justice, there is a medium betwixt just and unjust, and innocency and justice are not the same. There is a negative injustice which dene­minateth the subject non-justum, but not injustū, where Righteousness is not due: But where there is the debitum habendi, where Righteous­ness ought to be, & is not, there is no negative unrighteousness, but primative: As there is [Page 34] no middle betwixt strait and crooked, so nei­ther between Conformity to the Law, (which is Righteousness,) and Deviation from it, which is unrighteousness.)

9. It maketh our Righteousness, to consist of two parts, viz. The putting away of our guilt, and the Imputation of Righteousness, i. e. 1. Removing the crookedness; 2. Making them streight.

10. It ascribeth these two supposed parts to two distinct supposed causes; the one to Christs fulfilling the Precept by his actual Righteousness, the latter to his fulfilling the threatning by his passive Righteousness: As if there must be one cause of introducing light, and another of expelling darkness; or one cause to take away the crookedness of a line, and another to make it streight.

11. The like vain distinction it maketh be­tween delivering from death, and giving title to life, or freeing us from the penalty, and giving us the reward; For as when all sin of omission and commission is absent, there is no unrighteousness; so when all the penalty is taken away, both that of pain, and that of loss, the party is restored to his former hap­piness. Indeed there is a greater superadded decree of life and glory procured by Christ more then we lost in Adam: But as that life is not opposed to the death or penalty of the [Page 35] Covenant, but to that of the second; so is it the effect of Christs passive, as well as of his active Righteousness.

So you see the mistakes contained in this first Opinion, about the Imputation of Christs Righteousness to us.

The maintainers of it (beside some few able men) are the vulgar sort of unstudyed Di­vines, who having not ability or diligence to search deep into so profound a Controversie, do still hold that opinion which is most com­mon and in credit.

If you would see what is said against it, read Mr Wotton, Pareus, Piscator, Mr Bradshaw Mr Gataker, and Mr. Io: Goodwin.

The other opinion about our Participation of Christs Righteousness is this, That God the Father doth accept the sufferings and me­rits of his Son as a full satisfaction to his vio­lated Law, and as a valuable consideration upon which he will wholy forgive and acquit the offenders themselves, and receive them again into his favour, and give them the addi­tion of a more excellent happiness also, so they will but receive his Son upon the terms ex­pressed in the Gospel.

This Opinion as it is more simple and plain, so it avoydeth all the fore-mentioned incon­veniences which do accompany the former. But yet this difference is betwixt the main­tainers [Page 36] of it: Most of them think, that Christs Passive Righteousness (in the latitude before expressed) is the whole of this Satisfaction made by Christ, which they therefore call Iustitia Meriti, and that his Actual Righteous­ness is but Iustitia Personae, qualifying him to be a fit Mediator. Of this judgment are many learned and godly Divines, of singular esteem in the Church of God, (the more to blame some of the ignorant sort of their adversaries, who so reproach them as Hereticks: I have oft wondered when I have read some of them, (as M. Walker, &c.) to see how strongly they revile, and how weakly they dispute.) Sure if those two famous men Paraeus and Piscator, beside Olevian, Scultetus, Cargius, learned Ca­pellus, and many other beyond Sea, be Here­ticks, I know not who will shortly be reputed Orthodox; and if they be not mistaken all antiquity is on their side, beside Calvin, Vrsine, and most other modern Divines that writ be­fore this Controversie was agitated; and sure they are neither unlearned nor ungodly that have in our own Country maintained that o­pinion; witness Mr Anthony Wotten, Mr Gataker, Mr Iohn Goodwin, and (as I am informed) that excellent Disputant and holy, learned, judici­ous Divine Mr Iohn Ball, with many other excellent men that I know now living.

[Page 37] Some others (though few) do think, that though Christs Righteousness be not imputed to us in that strict sense as the first Opinion expresseth, but is ours under the fore-explain­ed notion of Satisfaction only, yet the Active Righteousness considered, as such is part of this Satisfaction also, as well as his Passive, and Iustitia Meriti, as as well as Iustitia Personae; and though the Law do not require both o­beying and suffering, yet Christ paying not the Idem, but the Tantundem, not the strict debt it self, but a valuable Satisfaction, might well put the merit of his works into the pay­ment.

The chief Divines that I know for this O­pinion (as it is distinguished from the two former) are judicious and holy Mr Bradshaw, and Grotius, (if I may call a Lawyer a Divine.)

And for my own part I think it is the truth, though I confess I have been ten years of a­nother mind for the sole Passive Righteous­ness, because of the weakness of those grounds which are usually laid to support the opinion for the Active and Passive; till discerning more clearly the nature of Satisfaction, I perceived, that though the sufferings of Christ have the chief place therein, yet his obedience as such may also be meritorious and satisfactory. The true grounds and proof whereof you may read in Grotius de Satisfact. cap. 6. and Bradshaw of Justification in Preface, and cap. 13.

[Page 38] The chief Objections against it are these;

1. Object. Christs Passive Righteousness being as much as the Law required on our behalf, as satisfaction for its violation, there­fore the Active is needless, except to qualifie him to be a fit Mediator. I answer, This ob­jection is grounded upon the forementioned Error, That Christ paid the Idem, and not the Tantundem: whereas it being not a proper pay­ment of the debt, but satisfaction, therefore even his meritorious works might satisfie. Many an offender against Prince or State hath been pardoned their offence, and escaped pu­nishment, for some deserving acceptable ser­vice that they have done, or that some of their predecessors have done before them. And so Rom. 5. 19. By the obedience of one, many are made righteous.

2. It is objected, That Christ being once subject to the Law, could do no more but his duty, which if he had not done, he must have suffered for himself; and therefore how could his obedience be satisfactory and meritorious for us? I answer, 1. You must not here in your conceivings abstract the Humane Nature, which was created, from the Divine; but consider them as composing one person: 2. Nor must you look upon the Works of Christ, as recei­ving their valuation and denomination from the Humane Nature alone or principally. 3. Nor must you separate in your thoughts the [Page 39] time of Christs servitude and subjection, from the time of his freedom before his incarnation and subjection. And so take these Answers. 1. Christ Jesus did perform severall works which he was not obliged to perform, as a meer Sub­ject: Such are all the works that are proper to his office of Mediator, his assuming the Hu­mane Nature, his making Laws to his Church, his establishing and sealing the Covenant, his working Miracles, his sending his Disci­ples to convert and save the world, enduing them with the Spirit, his overcoming Death and rising again, &c. What Law bindeth us to such works as these? And what Law (to speak properly) did binde him to them? Yet were the works in themselves so excellent, and a­greeable to his Fathers Will, (which he was well acquainted with) that they were truly meritorious and satisfactory.

2. Some works he performed which were our duty indeed, but he was not bound to perform them in regard of himself: Such as are all the observances of the Ceremonial Law, his Circumcision, Offering, and so his Baptism, &c. Luke. 2. 21, 24. Gal. 4. 4. Isa. 53. 12. Ioh. 7. 2, 10. Mat. 26. 17, 18, 19. 20. & 3. 13. 10. These were the proper duties of sin­ners, which he was not: These two are ad­mitted by Mr Gataker, and most others.

3. Even his obedience to the Moral Law was not his duty, till he voluntarily under­took [Page 40] it: It being therefore upon his consent and choyce, and not due before consent, must needs be meritorious. And though when he was once a servant he is bound to do the work of a servant, yet when he voluntarily put him­self in the state of a servant, and under the Law, not for his own sake, but for ours, his work is nevertheless meritorious. Suppose when a Soulder hath deserved death, his Cap­tain should offer himself to the General to do the duty of the private Souldier, and to per­form some rare exploit against the Enemy, though he lose his life in the Service, and all this to ransom the Souldier: when he hath undertaken the task, it becomes due, but yet is nevertheless satisfactory. As he (saith Brad­shaw) who to satisfie for another, becomes a slave to men; doth in and by all those acts, which the Laws binde a slave unto, make satis­faction: yea, though they be such acts, as he, becoming a slave, is bound upon pain of death to undergo: so Christ, &c. and the greater was the bond that he did undergo for the doing of them, the greater was the merit. Isa. 42. 1. & 53. 11. Phili. 2. 7. Luk. 2. 20. Isa. 53. 9, 10. Gal. 4. 4. 2 Corinth. 5. 11. Heb. 7. 26. 1 Pet. 2. 22, 24. & 3. 18. 1 Ioh. 3. 5.

4. Even some works that are due may yet be so excellent for matter and manner, and so exceeding pleasing to him that commands them, that they may give him satisfaction for [Page 41] former injuries, and he may think it his part to encourage the Actor with some reward. So Ionathans delivering Israel by that rare exploit did save him from death: Abners bringing in the Kingdom to David would have covered his former service against him: Many of Ioabs faults were long covered by his good service: Such were the actions of David in bringing in the fore-skins of the Philistins; and of his Worthies, in fetching him of the waters of Bethlehem. 1 Sam. 14. 44, 45, 2 Sam. 2. 3. 1 Sam. 18. 26, 27. 2 Sam. 23. 16. It was not onely the suffering or hazard in these actions that was meritorious, but also the excellency of the actions themselves.

5. The interest of the Divine Nature, in all the works of Christ, maketh them to be infi­nitely meritorious, and so satisfactory.

THESIS VIII.

(1) WHerefore the Father hath delivered all things into the hands of the Son; and gi­ven him all power in heaven and earth, and made him Lord both of the dead and living. Ioh. 13. 3. Mat. 28. 18. Ioh. 5. 21, 22, 23, 27. Rom. 14. 9.

EXPLICATION.

(1) FOr Explication of this there are several Que­stions to be debated.

1. Whether the extolling of Christ the Me­diator, or the restoring and saving of the offendors, were Gods more remote end, and principal intention?

[Page 42] 2. Whether this Authority and Dignity of Christ, be by Original Natural Right? or by Donation? or by Purchase?

3. Whether Christs Lordship over all, do imply or prove his redeeming of all? or of all alike?

4. Whether God hath delivered things out of his own power in any kinde, by delivering them into the power of his Son? or whether it be only the substituting him to be Vicegerent to the Father?

To the first, I answer: That the saving of sinners was the end both of the Father and the Son, is plain through the Gospel and that the exalting of Christ to his Dominion was another end, is plain in Rom 14. 9. But which of these was the principal end, I think is an unwarrantable question for man to propound: I dare not undertake to assert a natural priority or posterio­rity in any of Gods Decrees, de mediis ad finem ultimum; much less to determine which hath the first place, and which the second, Phil. 2. 9.

To the second question I answer: 1. The Divine Na­ture of Christ being one with the Godhead of the Fa­ther, had an absolute soveraignty over all things from their first being: and so derivately had the humane nature as soon as assumed by vertue of the Hypostatical Union.

2. But there is further a power given him as Media­tor to dispose of all at his pleasure, to make new laws to the world, and to deal with them according to the tenor of those laws: This power is partly purchased, and partly given (but not gratis:) that is, Though God might have refused the tendered fatisfaction, and have made the sinner bear the punishment yet he willingly accepted the merits of his Son as a full ransom, and deli­vered up all to the Purchaser as his own: And so well was he pleased with the work of Redemption, that he also gave a further power to his Son, to judge his Enemies: and save his people with a far greater Judg­ment and Salvation. So that this power may be said to [Page 43] be [given] Christ, as it was the free act of God, with­out constraint: and yet to be [purchased,] because it was given upon a valuable consideration.

To the third Question, I answer. This Authority of Christ implieth the purchasing of all things under his power or dominion, as is explained in the last: But what redemption or benefit is procured to the party, I shall shew you more, when I come to treat of universal Redemption by it self.

To the fourth Question, I answer. This is more then a substituting of Christ to be the Fathers Vicegerent. It is also a power of prescribing new terms of Life and Death, and judging men according thereto, as is said before. Yet is nothing properly given out of the Fathers power or possession: but a power to suspend or dispense with the strict Covenant of Works is given to the Son; and so God having parted with that advantage which his Justice had against the sinning world, and having relaxed that Law, whereby he might have judged us, is therefore said to judge no man, but to give all judg­ment to the Son. Ioh. 5. 22, 27.

THESIS IX.

(1) IT was not the inten [...] either of the Father or Son, that by this satisfaction the offenders should be immediately delivered from the whole curse of the Law, and freed from the evil which they had brought upon themselves, but some part must be executed on soul and body, and the creatures them­selves; and remain upon them at the pleasure of Christ. Rev. 1. 18. 1 Cor. 15. 26.

EXPLICATION.

THe Questions that are here to be handled for the Explication of this Position are these.

1. Quest. Whether the redeemed are imme­diately [Page 44] upon the price payd, delivered from any of the curse of the Law? if not from all?

2. Quest. Whether the sufferings of the Elect before conversion are in execution of any part of the curse of the Law?

3. Whether the sufferings of Beleevers are from the curse of the Law? or only afflictions of Love, the curse being taken off by Christ?

4. Whether it be not a wrong to the Redeemer, that the people whom he hath ransomed are not immediately delivered?

5. Whether it be any wrong to the redeemed them­selves?

6. How long will it be till all the curse be taken off the Beleevers, and Redemption have attained its full effect?

To the first Question I answer:

In this case the undertaking of satisfaction had the same immediate effect upon Adam, as the satisfaction it self upon us, or for us: To determine what these are, were an excellent work; it being one of the greatest and noblest questions in our controverted Divinity, What are the immediate effects of Christs Death? He that can rightly answer this, is a Divine indeed; and by the help of this, may expedite most other controversies about Redemp­tion and Justification. In a word, The effects of Redemp­tion undertaken, could not be upon a subject not yet existent, and so no subject, though it might be for them: None but Adam and Eve were then existent. Yet as soon as we do exist, we receive benefit from it. The suspen­ding of the rigorous execution of the sentence of the Law, is the most observable immediate effect of Christs death; which suspension is some kinde of deliverance from it. Of the other effects elsewhere.

To the second Question. The Elect before conversion do stand in the same relation to the Law and Curse as other men, though they be differenced in Gods Decree, Eph. 2. 3 [...] [...]2.

[Page 45] To the third Question. I confess we have here a knotty Question. The common judgment is, That Christ hath taken away the whole curse (though not the suffering) by bearing it himself; and now they are only afflictions of Love, and not Punishments. I do not contradict this doctrine through affectation of singularity, the Lord knoweth; but through constraint of Judgement: And that upon these grounds following.

1. It is undenyable, that Christs taking the curse upon himself did not wholly prevent the execution upon the offendor, in Gen. 3. 7, 8, 10, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19.

2. It is evident from the event, seeing we feel part of the curse fulfilled on us: We eat in labour and sweat; the earth doth bring forth thorns and bryars; women bring forth their children in sorrow; our native pravity is the curse upon our souls; we are sick, and weary, and full of fears, and sorrows, and shame, and at last we dye and turn to dust.

3. The Scripture tells us plainly, that we all dye in Adam, (even that death from which we must at the Resurrection be raised by Christ,) 1 Cor. 15. 21, 22. And that death is the wages of sin, Rom. 6. 23. And that the sickness, and weakness, and death of the godly is caused by their sins, 1 Cor. 11. 30, 31. And if so, then doubtless they are in execution of the threa­tening of the Law, though not in full rigor.

4. It is manifest, that our sufferings are in their own nature evils to us, and the sanctifying of them to us taketh not away their natural evil, but only produceth by it, as by an occasion, a greater good: Doubtless so far as it is the effect of sin, it is evil, and the effect also of the law.

5. They are ascribed to Gods anger, as the modera­ting of them is ascribed to his love, Psal. 30. 5. and a thousand places more.

6. They are called punishments in Scripture, and therefore we may call them so, Lev. 26. 41, 43. Lam▪ 3. 39. & 4. 6, 22. Ezra 9. 13. Hosea 4. 9. & 12. 2. Lev. 26. 18, 24.

[Page 46] 7. The very nature of affliction is to be a loving pu­nishment, a natural evil sanctified, and so to be mixt of evil and good, as it proceedeth from mixt causes: There­fore to say that Christ hath taken away the curse and evil, but not the suffering, is a contradiction, because so far as it is a suffering it is to us evil, and the execution of the curse. What reason can be given, why God should not do us all that good without our sufferings, which now he doth by them, if there were not sin, and wrath and Law in them? Sure he could better us by easier means.

8. All those Scriptures and Reasons that are brought so the contrary do prove no more but this, That our afflictions are not the rigorous execution of the threat­ning of the Law, that they are not wholly or chiefly in wrath; but as the common Love of God to the wicked is mixt with hatred in their sufferings, and the hatred prevaileth above the love, so the sufferings of the godly proceed from a mixture of love and anger, and so have in them a mixture of good and evil; but the Love over­coming the Anger, therefore the good is greater then the evil, and so death hath lost its sting, 1 Cor. 15. 55, 56. There is no unpardoned sin in it, which shall pro­cure further judgment, and so no hatred, though there be anger.

9. The Scripture saith plainly, That death is one of the enemies that is not yet overcome, but shall be last conquered, 1 Cor. 15. 26, and of our corruption the case is plain.

10. The whole stream of Scripture maketh Christ to have now the sole disposing of us and our sufferings, to have prevented the full execution of the curse, and to manage that which lyeth on us for our advantage and good; but no where doth it affirm that he suddenly delivereth us.

To the fourth Question: It can be no wrong to Christ, that we are not perfectly freed from all the curse and evil as soon as he had satisfied: 1. Because it was [Page 47] not the Couenant betwixt him and the Father. 2. It is not his own will, & volenti non fit injuria. 3. It is his own doing now to keep us under it, till he see the fittest time to release us. 4. Our sufferings are his means and advantages to bring us to his Will. Mankind having for­feited his life, is cast into prison till the time of full execution: Christ steppeth in, and buyeth the prisoners, with a full purpose, that none of them yet shall scape but those that take him for their Lord. To this purpose he must treat with them, to know whether they will be his subjects, and yield themselves to him, and his terms. Is it not then a likelier way to procure their consent, to treat with them in prison, then to let them out, and then treat? and to leave some of the curse upon them, to force them to yield, that they may know what they must expect else, when the whole shall be executed.

To the fift Question: It is no wrong to the sinner to be thus dealt with; 1. Because he is but in the misery which he brought upon himself. 2. No man can lay claim to the Satisfaction and Redemption upon the meer payment, till they have a word of promise for it. 3. Their sufferings, if they will be ruled, shall turn to their ad­vantage.

To the sixth Question: The last enemy to be over­come is death, 1 Cor. 15 26. This enemy will be over­come perfectly at the Resurrection; then also shall we be perfectly acquit from the charge of the Law, and accusation of Satan: Therefore not till the day of Re­surrection and Judgment, will all the Effects of Sin and Law, and Wrath be perfectly removed▪ 1 Cor. 15. 24.

THESIS X.

(1) MAn having not only broken this first Co­venant, but disabled himself to perform its Conditions for the future, and so being out of all hope of attaining Righteousness and Life thereby, (2) It pleased the Father aud the Mediator to pre­scribe [Page 48] unto him a new Law, (3) and tender him a new Covenant, (4) the Conditions whereof should be more easie to the Sinner and yet more abasing, (5) and should more cleerly manifest, and more highly honour the unconceiveable Love of the Father and Redeemer.

EXPLICATION.

(1) WHether Man were only the meri­torious Cause of this his disability, or also the Efficient, is a great di­spute, but of no great moment; as long as we are agreed that Man is the only faul­ty cause. Whether he cast away Gods i­mage? or whether God took it from him for sin? whether God only could anni­hilate it? Or whether Man may annihilate a Quality, though not a Substance? I will not meddle with. But too sure it is, that we are naturally deprived of it, and so disabled to fulfill the Law. If Christ therefore should have pardoned all that was past, and renewed the first violated Covenant again; and set Man in the same estate that he fell from, in poynt of guilt, yet would he have fallen as desperately the next temptation: yea though he had re­stored to him his primitive strength and holi­nesse, yet experience hath shewed on how slippery and uncertain a ground his happiness would have stood, and how soon he was likely to play the Prodigal again with his stock.

[Page 49] (2) God the Father and Christ the Media­tor, who have one will, did therefore resolve upon a more suitable way of happines.

(3) This way, as the former, is by both a Law and Covenant. As it is a Law, it is by Christ, prescribed, and flatly enjoyned; and either obedience, or the penalty shall be ex­acted. As it is a Covenant, it is only tendered and not enforced. It is called a Covenant as it is in Scripture written and offered (as is said before) improperly, because it containeth the matter of the Covenant, though yet it want the form: Even as a Bond or Obligation be­fore the sealing or agreement is called a Bond: Or as a form of prayer as it is written in a book, is called a prayer, because it containeth the matter that we should pray for: though to speak strictly, it is no prayer, till it be sent up to God, from a desiring Soul.

(4) Though without Grace we can no more beleeve, then perfectly obey, (as a dead man can no more remove a straw then a mountain) yet the conditions of the Gospel considered in themselves, or in reference to the strength which God will bestow, are far more facile then the old conditions. Mat. 11. 29, 30. 1 Ioh. 5. 3. And more abasing they are to the sinner, in that he hath far lesse to doe in the work of his salvation: And also in that they contain the acknowledgement of his lost estate, through his own former self destro­ying [Page 50] folly.

(5) Such incomprehensible amazing Love of God the Father, and of Christ, is mani­fested in this New Covenant, that the glori­fying thereof doth seem to be the main end in this design. Oh sweet and blessed End? should not then the searching into it be our main study? and the contemplating of it, and admiring it, be our main employment? Rom. 5. 8. Tit. 3. 4. 1 Ioh. 4. 9. Eph. 3. 18. 19. Ioh. 15. 13. No wonder therefore that God did not prevent the fall of man, though he foresaw it, when he could make it an occasionall prepara­tive to such happy ends.

THESIS XI.

NOt that Christ doth absolutely null or repeal the old Covenant hereby: but he super-addeth this as the only possible way of Life. The former still conti­nueth to command, prohibite, promise, & threaten. So that the sins even of the justified are still breaches of that Law, and are threatned and cursed thereby.

EXPLICATION.

I Acknowledge that this Assertion is dispu­table and dificult: and many places of Scri­pture are usually produced which seem to contradict it. I know also that it the judge­ment of learned and godly men, that the Law, as it a Covenant of works, is quite null and repealed in regard of the Sins of beleevers: [Page 51] yea, many do beleeve, that the Covenant of works is repealed to all the world, and only the Covenant of grace in force.

Against both these I maintain this Assertion, by the Arguments which you finde under the following Position 13. And I hope, not with­standing that I extoll free Grace as much, and preach the Law as little, in a forbidden sence, as though I held the contraty opinion.

THESIS XII.

THerefore we must not plead the repeal of the Law for our Iustification; but must refer it to our Surety, who by the value and efficacy of his once offering and merits doth continually sa­tisfie.

EXPLICATION.

I Shall here explain to you, in what sence, and how far the Law is in force, and how far not: and then prove it in and under the next head.

You must here distinguish betwixt,

1. The repealing of the Law, and the re­laxing of it. 2. Between a dispensation ab­solute and respective. 3. Between the alte­ration of the Law, and the alteration of the Subjects relation to it. 4. Between a Di­scharge conditional, with a suspension of execution, and a Discharge absolute. And [Page 52] so I resolve the question thus;

1. The Law of Works is not abrogated, or repealed, but dispensed with, or relaxed. A Dispensation is (as Grotius defineth it) an act of a Superior, whereby the obligation of a Law in force is taken away, as to certain per­sons and things.

2. This Dispensation therefore is not total or absolute, but respective. For, 1. though it dispence with the rigorous execution, yet not with every degree of execution. 2. Though the Law be dispenced with as it containeth the proper subjects of the penalty, viz. the parties offending, and also the circumstances of duration, &c. Yet in regard of the meer punishment abstracted from person and cir­cumstances, it is not dispenced with: for to Christ it was not dispenced with: His satis­faction was by paying the full value.

3. Though by this Dispensation our Free­dom may be as full as upon a Repeal, yet the Alteration is not made in the Law, but in our estate and relation to the Law.

4. So far is the Law dispenced with to all, as to suspend the rigorous execution for a time; and a Liberation or Discharge condi­tional procured and granted them. But an absolute Discharge is granted to none in this life. For even when we do perform the Condition, yet still the Discharge remains conditional, till we have quite finished our [Page 53] performance. For it is not one instantaneous Act of beleeving which shall quite discharge us; but a continued Faith. No longer are we discharged, then we are Beleevers. And where the condition is not performed, the Law is still in force, and shall be executed upon the offender himself.

I speak nothing in all this of the directive use of the Moral Law to Beleevers: But how far the Law is yet in force, even as it is a Covenant of Works; because an utter Repeal of it in this sence is so commonly, but inconsiderately asserted. That it is no further overthrown, no not to Beleevers, then is here explained, I now come to prove.

THESIS. XIII.

IF this were not so, but that Christ had abroga­ted the first Covenant, then it would follow, 1. That no sin but that of Adam, and final Vnbelief, is so much as threatned with death, or that death is explicitely (that is, by any Law) due to it or deserved by it. For, what the Law in force doth not threaten, that is not explicitely deserved, or due by Law. 2. It would follow, That Christ dyed not to prevent or remove the wrath and curse so deserved or due to us for any but Adams sin, nor to pardon our sins at all: but only to prevent our desert of wrath and curse, and consequent­ly to prevent our need of pardon. 3. It would fol­low, [Page 54] That against eternal wrath at the day of Iudgment, we must not plead the pardon of any sin, but the first, but our own non-desert of that wrath, because of the repeal of that Law before the sin was committed. All which consequences seem to me unsufferable, which cannot be avoyded if the Law be repealed.

EXPLICATION.

WHen God the absolute Soveraign of the World shall but command, though he expresly threaten no pu­nishment to the disobedient, yet impli­citely it may be said to be due; that is, the offence in it self considered, deserveth some punishment in the generall: for the Law of Nature containeth some generall Threate­nings, as well as Precepts, (as I shewed be­fore;) Whether this Dueness of punishment, which I call implicite, do arise from the na­ture of the offence only, or also because of this generall threat in the Law of Nature, I will not dispute. But God dealeth with his Creature by way of legall government? and keepeth not their deserved punishment from their knowledge no more then their duty; it being almost as necessary to be known for our incitement, as the Precept for our dire­ction. Gods laws are perfect laws fitted to [Page 55] the attainment of all their ends: And by these laws doth he rule the world; and according to them doth he dispose of his rewards and punishments: So that we need not fear that which is not threatened: And in this sence it is that I say, That what no law in force doth threaten, that sin doth not explicitely deserve: Not so deserve as that we need to fear the suffering of it. And upon this ground the three fore-mentioned consequen­ces must needs follow. For the new Cove­nant threateneth not Death to any sin but final unbelief, or at least, to no sin with­out final unbelief: And therefore if the old Covenant be abrogated, then no law threa­teneth it: And consequently, 1 Our Sin doth not deserve it (in the sence expressed.) Nor Christ prevent the wrath deserved, but only the desert of wrath. 3. And therefore not properly doth he pardon any such sin, (as you will see after when I come to open the nature of pardon.) 4 We may plead our non deserving of death for our discharge at judg­ment. 5. And further, then Christ in satisfying did not bear the punishment due to any sin but Adams first: For that which is not threatened to us, was not executed on him. This is a clear, but an intolerable consequence. 6. Scripture plainly teacheth, That all men (even the Elect) are under the Law till they beleeve & enter into [Page 56] the Covenant of the Gospel. Therefore it is said, Ioh. 3. 18. He that beleeveth not, is con­demned already: And the wrath of God abideth on him, ver. 26. And we are said to beleeve for Remission of sins. Acts 2. 38. Mark 1. 4. Luk. 24. 47. Act. 10. 43. & 3. 19. Which shew, that sin is not before remitted, and consequently the Law not repealed, but su­spended, and left to the dispose of the Re­deemer. Else how could the Redeemed be by nature the children of wrath? Ehp. 2. 3. The circumcised are debters to the whole Law, Gal. 5. 3, 4. and Christ is become of none effect to them. But they that are led by the Spirit are not under the law, and against such there is no law. Gal. 5. 18, 23. The Scripture hath concluded all under Sin (and so far under the Law no doubt) that the promise, by faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to them that beleeve. Gal. 3. 22. We are under the Law when Christ doth redeem us. Gal. 4. 5. See also Iam. 2. 9, 10. 1 Tim. 18. 1 Cor. 15. 56. Gal. 3. 19, 20, 21. Therefore our deliverance is conditionally from the curse of the Law; viz. if we will obey the Gospel. And this deliverance, together with the abrogation of the Ceremonial Law, is it which is so oft mentioned as a priviledge of beleevers, and an effect of the blood of Christ: which deliverance from the curse, is yet more full when we per­form [Page 57] form the Conditions of our freedom: And then we are said to be dead to the Law. Rom. 7. 4. And the Obligation to punishment dead as to us. ver. 6. But not the Law void or dead in it self.

7 Lastly, All the Scriptures and Argu­ments, pag. 60. 61. which prove, That af­flictions are punishments, do prove also, that the Law is not repealed: For no man can suffer for breaking a repealed Law, nor by the threats of a repealed Law; yet I know that this Covenant of Works continueth not to the same ends and uses as before, nor is it so to be preached or used. We must neither take that Covenant as a way to life, as if now we must get salvation by our fulfilling its con­dition, nor must we look on its curse as lying on us remedilesly.

THESIS XIV.

(1) THe Tenor of the new Covenant is this, That Christ having made sufficient satis­faction to the Law. Whosoever will repent and believe in him to the end, shall be justified through that Satisfaction from all that the Law did charge upon them, and be moreover advanced to far greater Priviledges and Glory then they fell from: But whosoever fulfilleth not these conditions, shall (2) have no more benefit from the blood of Christ, then what they here received and a­bused, [Page 58] but must answer the charge of the Law themselves? and for their neglect of Christ must also suffer a far greater condemnation. Or briefly, Whosoever believeth in Christ shall not perish, but have everlasting life; but he that believeth not shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him. Mark 16. 16. Iohn 3. 15, 16, 17, 18, 36. & 5. 24. & 6. 35, 40, 47. & 7. 38. & 11. 25, 26. & 12. 46. Acts 10. 43. Rom. 3. 26. & 4. 5. & 5. 1. & 10. 4. 10. 1 Iohn 5. 10. Mark 1. 15. & 6. 12. Luke 13. 3. 5. & 24. 47. Acts 5. 31. & 11. 18. & 20. 21. & 2. 38. & 3. 19. & 8. 22. & 26. 20. Rev. 2. 5, 16. Heb 6. 1. 2 Pet. 3. 9.

EXPLICATION.

(1) CHrists Satisfaction to the Law goes before the new Covenant, though not in regard of its payment, (which was in the fulness of time,) yet in regard of the undertaking, acceptance and efficacy: There could be no treating on new terms, till the old obligation were satisfied and su­spended.

I account them not worth the confuting, who tell us, That Christ is the only party conditioned with, and that the new Cove­nant, as to us, hath no conditions; (so Salt marsh, &c.) The place they alledg for this [Page 59] assertion in that, Ier. 31. 31, 32, 33. cited in Heb. 8. 8, 9, 10. which place containeth not the full Tenor of the whole new Covenant: But either it is called the new Covenant, be­cause it expresseth the nature of the benefits of the new Covenant as they are offered on Gods part, without mentioning mans condi­tions, (that being not pertinent to the busi­ness the prophet had in hand; or else it spea­keth only of what God will do for his elect in giving them the first Grace, and enabling them to perform the conditions of the new Cove­nant, and in that sence may be called a new Covenant also, as I have shewed before, pag. 7. 8. Though properly it be a prediction, and belong only to Gods Will of Purpose, and not to his legislative Will.

But those men erroneously think, that nothing is a condition, but what is to be per­formed by our own strength. But if they will believe Scripture, the places before alledged will prove, that the new Covenant hath con­ditions on our part, as well as the old.

(2) Some benefit from Christ the condem­ned did here receive, as the delay of their con­demnation, and many more mercies, though they turn them all into greater judgments: But of this more when we treat of generall Re­demption.

THESIS XV.

THough Christ hath sufficiently satisfied the Law, yet is it not his Will, or the Will of the Father, that any man should be justified or saved thereby, who hath not some ground in himself of personall and particular right and claim thereto; nor that any should be justified by the blood only as shed or offered, except it be also received and applyed; so that no man by the meer Satisfaction made, is freed from the Law or curse of the first violated Co­venant absolutely, but conditionally only.

EXPLICATION.

I Have shewed before, p. 57. 58. &c. That Christ intended not to remove all our mi­sery as soon as he dyed, nor as soon as we believed. I am now to shew, That he doth not justifie by the shedding of his blood im­mediately, without somewhat of man inter­vening, to give him a legall title thereto. All the Scriptures alledged pag. 79. prove this: We are therefore said to be justified by faith. Let all the Antinomians shew but one Scrip­ture which speaks of Justification from eter­nity. I know God hath decreed to justifie his people from eternity, and so he hath to san­ctifie them too, but both of them are done in time: Justification being no more an immi­nent act in God then Sanctification, as I shall shew afterward.

[Page 61] The Blood of Christ then is sufficient in fuo genere, but not in omni genere sufficient for its own work, but not for every work. There are severall other necessaries to justifie and save, quibus positis, which being supposed▪ the Blood of Christ will be effectuall: Not that it receives its efficacy from these, nor that these do add any thing at all to its worth or value; no more then the Cabinet to the Jewel, or the applying hand to the medicine: or the offenders-acceptation to the pardon of his Prince; yet without this acceptation and appli­cation this blood will not be effectuall to ju­stifie us. For (as Grotius) Cum unusquisque actui ex suâ voluntate pendenti legem possit imponere, sicut id quod pure debetur novari potest sub con­ditione, ita etiam possunt, is qui solvit pro alio, & is qui rei alterius pro alterâ solutionem ad­mittit, pacisci, ut aut statim sequatur remissio, aut in diem, item aut pure, aut sub conditione, Fuit autem & Christi satisfacientis & dei satisfactione in admittentis hic animus ac voluntas, hoc denique pactam & foedus, non ut deus statim ipso perpes­sionis Christi tempore paenas remitteret, sed ut tum demum id fieret; cum homo, vera in Christum fide ad deum conversus, supplex veniam precaretur, accedente etiam Christi apud deum advocatione sive intercessione. Non obstat hic ergo satisfactio quo minus sequi possit remissio satisfactio enim nonjam sustulerat debitum, sed hoc egerat, ut propter ipsam debitum aliquando tolleretur, Grot. de satis. [Page 62] cap. 6. So that, as Austin▪ he that made us without us, will not save us without us, He never ma­keth a relative change, where he doth not also make a reall. Gods Decree gives no man a legall title to the benefit decreed him, seeing purpose and promise are so different: A le­gall title we must have, before we can be justi­fied; and there must be somewhat in our selves to prove that title, or else all men should have equall right,

THESIS. XVI.

THe obeying of a Law, and persorming the condi­tions of a Covenant, or satisfying for disobedience, or non-performance, is our Righteousness, in refe­rence to that Law and Covenant.

EXPLICATION.

IF we understand not what Righteousnes is, we may dispute long enough about Justifica­tion to little purpose: you must know there­fore that Righteousness is no proper reall Being, but a Modus Entis, the Modification of a Being, The subject of it is, 1. An Action, 2. Or a Person: An Action is the primary sub­ject, and so the Disposition; and the Person secondary, as being therefore righteous, because his disposition and actions are so.

Righteousness is the conformity of Dispo­sitions [Page 63] and Actions, and consequently the per­son to the Rule prescribed.

It is not a being distinct therefore from the Dispositions and Actions, but their just and well being.

This finition is onely of the Creatures Righteousness.

God is the Primum Iustum, and so the Rule of Righteousness to the Creature, and hath no Rule but himself, for the measuring of his Actions.

Yet his Essence is too far above us, remote and unknown to be this Rule to the Crea­ture, therefore hath he given us his Laws, which flow from his perfection, and they are the immediate Rule of our Disposi­tions and Actions and so of our Righteousness.

Here carefully observe, That this Law hath two parts; 1. The Precept and Prohibi­tion prescribing and requiring Duty: 2. The Promise and Commination determining of the reward of Obedience, and penalty of Disobedience. As the Precept is the principall part, and the Penalty annexed but for the Precepts sake; so the primary intent of the Law-giver is the obeying of his Pre­cepts, and our suffering of the Penalty is but a secondary for the attaining of the for­mer.

So is there accordingly a two-fold Righ­teousness or fulfilling of this Law, (which is [Page 64] the thing I would have observed:) the pri­mary, most excellent and most proper Righ­teousness lyeth in the conformity of our acti­ons to the precept: The secondary, less ex­cellent Righteousness) yet fitly enough so called) (see Pemble of Iustificat. pag. [...].) is, when though we have broke the precepts, yet we have satisfied for our breach, either by our own suffering, or some other way.

The first hath reference to the Commands when none can accuse us to have broak the Law: The second hath reference to the Pe­nalty; when though we have broke the law, yet it hath nothing against us for so doing, because it is satisfyed. These two kinds of Righteous­nesse cannot stand together in the same person, in regard of the same Law and Actions: he that hath one, hath not the other: he that hath the First, need not the Second; There must be a fault, or no satisfaction; this fault must be confessed, and so the first kind of Righteous­nesse disclaimed, before Satisfaction can be pleaded: and Satisfaction must be pleaded, before a Dilinquent can be justified. This well understood, would give a clearer insight into the nature of our Righteousness, and Justifi­cation, then many have yet attained. The great Question is, of which sort is our Righteous­ness whereby we are justified? I answer, of the second sort, which yet is no derogation from it: for though it be not a Righteousness so [Page 65] honouring our selves, yet is it as excellent in Christ, and honourable to him. And this first kinde of Righteousness as it is in Christ, cannot retaining its own form, be made ours. And to that the Papists arguments will hold good. The Law commanded our own per­sonall obedience, and not another for us; We did not so personally obey, we did not really obey in Christ: and God doth not judge us to do, what we did not; If we had, yet it would not have made us just: for one sin will make us unjust, though we were never so obedient before and after; Therefore if we had obeyed in Christ, and yet sinned in our selves, we are breakers of the Law still. And so our Righteousness cannot be of the first sort. This Breach therefore must be satisfied for, and consequently, our Righteousness must be of the second sort: seeing both cannot stand in one person as beforesaid. Christ in­deed had both these kinds of righteousness, viz. the righteousness of perfect Obedience; and the righteousness of Satisfaction, for Dis­obedience. But the former only was his own personall Righteousnes, not communicable to another under that notion, and in that form of [a Righteousness by obeying:] The latter, was his righteousness, as he stood in our room, and was by imputation a sinner: and so is also our Righteousness in and through him. Yet the former (as I have proved before &c.) is ours [Page 66] too, and our Righteousness too (though ma­ny Divines think otherwise:) but how? Not as retaining its form, in the former sence: but as it is also in a further consideration, a part of the Righteousness by Satisfaction: seeing that Christs very personall obedientiall righteous­ness was also in a further respect satisfactory. I intreat thee Reader, do not pass over this di­stinct representation of Righteousness, as curi­ous, or needless; for thou canst not tell how thou art righteous or justified without it. Nor do thou through prejudice reject it as un­sound, till thou have first well studied the Na­ture of Righteousness in generall, and of Chri­stian Righteousness in speciall.

THESIS. XVII.

THerefore as there are two Covenants, with their distinct Conditions: so is there a twofold Righ­teousness, and both of them absolutely necessary to Salvation.

EXPLICATION.

AS Sin is defined to be [...] a Trangres­sion of the Law. 1. Ioh. 3. 4. So Righ­teousness is a Conformity to the Law. Therefore as there is a twofold Law or Cove­nant; so must there be accordingly a two-fold Righteousness; whether both these be to us necessary is all the doubt. If the first Cove­nant be totally repealed, then indeed we need [Page 67] not care for the righteousness of that Cove­nant, in respect of any of our personall actions: but only in respect of Adams first, and ours in him, But I have proved before that it is not re­pealed: otherwise the righteousness of Christ imputed to us, would not be of a very narrow extent; if it were a covering only to our first transgression. I take it for granted there­fore, that he must have a two-fold Righteous­ness answerable to the two Covenants, that ex­pecteth to be justifyed. And the usuall con­founding of these two distinct Righteous­nesses, doth much darken the controversies about Justification.

THESIS XVIII.

OVr Legal Righteousness, or righteousness of the first Covenant is not personall, or consisteth not in any qualifications of our own persons, or actions per­formed by us, (For we never fulfilled, nor personally satisfied the Law:) but it is wholly without us in Christ. And in this sence it is that the Apostle (and every Christian,) disclaimeth his own Righ­teousness, or his own Works, as being no true legall Righteousness. Phil. 3. 7, 8.

EXPLICATION.

Object. 1 DOth not the Apostle say, that as touching the Righteous­ness which is in the Law, he was blameless? Phil. 3. 6. Ans. That is, He [Page 68] [...]o exactly observed the Ceremoniall Law, and the externall part of the Morall Law, that no man could blame him for the breach of them. But this is nothing to such a keeping of the whole Covenant, as might render him blame­less in the sight of God: otherwise he would not have esteemed it so lightly.

Object. 2. There are degrees of Sin. He that is not yet a sinner in the highest degree, is he not so far Righteous by a personall Righ­teousness? Christ satisfied only for our sin; so far as our actions are not sinfull, so far they need no pardon nor satisfaction. And conse­quently, Christs righteousness and our own works, do concur to the composing of our per­fect Righteousness. Ans. Though this ob­jection doth puzle some, as if there were no escaping this Popish self-exalting Conse­quence; yet by the help of the fore-going grounds, the vanity of it may be easily disco­vered. And that thus.

1. An Action is not righteous, which is not conformable to the Law; if in some res­pects it be conformable, and in some not, it cannot be called a conformable or righteous Action. So that we having no actions, perfe­ctly: conformed to the Law, have therefore no one righteous action. 2. If we had; Yet many righteous Actions, if but one were un­righteous, will not serve to denominate the person Righteous, according to the Law of [Page 69] Works. And that these joyned with Christs Righteousness, do not make up one Righteous­ness for us, is plainthus; The Righteousness which we have in Christ, is not of the same sort witht his pretended partial Righteousness: For this pretendeth to be a Righteousness (in part) of the first kinde mentioned formerly viz. Obe­dientiall consisting in conformity to the Pre­cept. Now, Christs Righteousness imputed to us, being only that of the second sort (viz. By satisfaction for nonconformity, or for our disobedience,) cannot therefore possible be joyned with our imperfect Obedience, to make up one Righteousness for us. I acknow­ledge, that some actions of ours, may in some respects be good, though that respect cannot denominate it (strictly in the sence of the old Covenant) a good Work. I ac­knowledge also, that so far it is pleasing to God: yet the Action cannot be said to please him (much less the person,) but only that respective Goodness. Also that Christ dyed only to satisfie for our actions so far as they were sinfull, and not in those respects wherein they are good and lawfull. Yet that these good works (so commonly called) can be no part of our Righteousness, I think is fully proved by the fore-going Argument. Though I much question, whether they that stand for the imputation of Christs moral Righteousness in the rigid rejected sence (as if [Page 70] (as if in him we had paid the primary proper debt of perfect obedience) can so well rid their hands of this objection.

THESIS. XIX.

THe Righteousness of the new Covenant, is the only Condition of our interest in, and enjoyment f the Righteousness of the old. Or thus: These onely shall have part in Christs satisfaction, and so in him be legally righteous, who do beleeve, and obey the Gospel, and so are in themselves Evangelically Righteous.

THESIS. XX.

OVr Evangelicall Righteousness is not without us in Christ, as our leg all Righteousness is: but consisteth in our own actions of Faith and Gospel Obedience. Or thus: Though Christ performed the conditions of the Law, and satisfied for our non-per­formance; yet it is our selves that must perform the conditions of the Gospel.

EXPLICATION.

THe contents of these two Positions▪ being of so neer nature, I shall explain them here together; though they seem to me, so plain and clear that they need not much explication, and less confirmation: yet because some Antinomians do down-right oppose thē, and some that are no Antinomians have star­ [...]led at the expressions, as if they had conteined [Page 71] some self-exalting horrid doctrine; I shall say somthing hereto, Though for my part, I do so much wonder that any able Divines should deny them: that me thinks they should be Ar­ticles of our Creed, and a part of Childrens Catechisms, and understood and believed by every man that is a Christian: I mean the matter of them, if not the Phrase; though I think it to be agreeable to the matter al­so.

That there may be no contention about words, you must take my phrase of [Legall and Evangelicall Righteousness] in the sence before explained, viz. as they take their name from that Covenant which is their rule, and I know not how any righteousness should be called [Legall or Evangelicall in a sence more strict and proper, nor whence the denomination can be better taken then from the formall reason of the thing: Yet I know that the obser­vance of the Law of Ceremonies, and the seek­ing of life by the works of the Law, are both commonly called Legall Righteousness, but in a very improper sence in a comparison of this. I know also that Christs Legall Righteous­ness, imputed to us is commonly called [Evangelicall Righteousness,] but that is from a more aliene extrinsecall respect; to wit, because the Gospel declareth and offereth this Righteousness, and because it is a way to Justification, which only the Gospel revealeth. [Page 72] I do not quarrel with any of these forms of speech, only explain my own, which I knew not how to express more properly, that I be not mis-understood. The Righteousness of the new Covenant then being, the perform­ance of its conditions, and its conditions being our obeying the Gospel or beleeving, it must needs be plain, That on no other terms do we partake of the Legal Righteousness of Christ. To affirm therefore that our Evange­licall or new Covenant-Righteousness is in Christ and not in our selves, or performed by Christ and not by our selves, is such a mon­strous piece of Antinomian doctrine, that no man who knows the nature and difference of the Covenant can possibly entertain, and which every Christian should abhor as unsufferable.

For 1. It implyeth blasphemy against Christ, as if he had sin to repent of, or pardon to accept, and a Lord that redeemed him to receive and submit to; for these are the condi­tions of the new Covenant.

2. It implyeth, that Jews, and Pagans, and every man shall be saved. Do not say that I odiously wring out these consequences; they are as plain as can be expected: For if any be damned, it must be either for breaking the first Covenant or the second: If the former be charged upon him, he may escape by pleading the second fulfilled: If the latter, the same plea will serve; so that if Christ have fulfilled [Page 73] both Covenants for all men, then none can perish. If they say, that he hath performed the new Covenant conditions only for the elect;

3. Then this followeth howsoever, That they are righteous, and justified before they beleeve, (which what Scripture doth speak?)

4. And that beleeving is needless, not only as to our Justification, but to any other use: For what need one thing be so twice done? If Christ have fulfilled the new Covenant for us, as well as the old, what need we do it again? Shall we come after him to do the work he hath perfected? Except we would think with the So­cinians, and as Sir Kenolm Digby, That Christ was but our pattern to follow, and but set us a copy in obeying according to right Reason.

5. That the saved and the damned are alike in themselves, but the difference is only in Election, and Christs intention. For the saved have broke the old Covenant, as well as the damned; and if it be not they, but Christ, that fulfill their conditions of the new, then the difference is all without them.

6. It confoundeth Law and Gospel, it o­verthroweth all the Laws & Precepts of Christ, by removing their end, it contradicteth the whole scope of the Scripture, which telleth us, That Christ was made under the Law, (& not under the Gospel,) fulfilled the Law, (but not the Gospel Covenant) bore the curse of the [Page 74] (but not of the Gospel,) and which imposeth a necessity of fulfilling the conditions of the Gospel themselves upon all that will be justi­fied and saved. To quote the Scriptures that assert this, would be to transcribe almost all the doctrinall part of the New Testament. What unsavory stuff then is that of Mr. Salt­marsh, of free Grace, pag. 83. 84. Who direct­eth those that doubt of their Gospel sincerity to see it in Christ, because Christ hath be­leeved perfectly, he hath sorrowed for sin per­fectly, he hath repented perfectly, he hath obeyed perfectly, he hath mortisied sin per­fectly, and all is ours, &c. If this be meant of Gospel-beleeving, repenting, sorrowing, obey­ing and mortifying, then it is no uncharitable language to say, It is blasphemy in its clear consequence; as if Christ had a Saviour to be­leeve in for pardon and life, or sin to repent of, and sorrow for, and mortifie: But if he meant it of legall beleeving in God, or repent­ing sorrowing for, mortifying of sin in us, and not in himself; then is it no more to the busi­ness he hath in hand then a Harp to a Harrow, as they say, It is not legall beleeving, which is the evidence doubted of, or enquired after; and sure Christs repenting and sorrowing for our sin, is no clearing to us, that we repent of our own, nor any acquitting of us for not doing it: And for his mortifying sin in us, that is the doubt, whether it be done in the [Page 75] doubting soul or not? If he mean it of destroy­ing the guilt of sin meritoriously on the Cross, that is but a strange evidence of the death of it in a particular soul: except he think (as divers that I met with in Glocester­shire, and Wilt-shire,) That Christ took our naturall pravity and corruption together with our flesh. But I let go this sort of men, as being fitter first to learn the grounds of Reli­gion in a Cathechism, then to a manage those Disputes wherewith they trouble the World.

THESIS XXI.

NOt that we can perform these Conditions without Grace: (for without Christ we can do nothing:) But that he enableth us to perform them our selves; and doth not himself repent, beleeve, love Christ, obey the Gospel for us, as he did satisfie the Law for us.

EXPLICATION.

THis prevention of an Objection I add, because some think it is a self-ascribing, and derogating from Christ, to affirm our selves to be but the Actors of these duties; though we profess to do it only by the strength of Grace. But that it is Christ that repenteth and beleeveth, and not we, is lan­guage somewhat strange to those ears that have [Page 76] been used to the language of Scripture or Reason. Though I know there is a sort of sublime Platonick, Plotinian Divines, of late sprung up among us, who think all things be but one; and those branches or beams of Gods Essence, which had their Being in him before their Creation, and shall at their dissolution return into God again; and so the souls of men are but so many parcels of God given out into so many bodies; or at least but beams streaming from him by a fancyed Emanation. These men will say, not only that it is Christ in us that doth beleeve, but the meer God­head in essence considered. But it sufficeth sober men to beleeve that Christ dwelleth in us; 1. By his graces or spirituall workings: 2. By our constant love to him, and thinking of him: as the person or thing that we are still affectionately thinking on, is said to dwell in our mindes or hearts (because their idea is still there,) or our mindes and hearts to dwell upon them. But in regard of the Divine Es­sence, which is every where, as it dwells no otherwise (for ought I know or have seen pro­ved) in the Saints, then in the wicked and de­vils; so I think; as Sir Kenelm Digby thinks of the Soul; That the Body is more properly said to be in the Soul, then the Soul in the Body, so we are more properly said to live, and move & have our Being in God, then God to live, and move, and have his Being in us.

[Page 77] I will not digress from my intended subject so far, as to enter here into a disquisition after the nature or workings of that Grace which doth enable us to perform these Conditions. I refer you to Parkers Theses de Traductione Pec­catoris ad vit.

THESIS. XXII.

IN this fore-explained sence it is, that men in Scripture are said to be personally righteous: And in this sence it is, that the Faith and duties of Belee­vers are said to please God, viz. as they are related to the Covenant of Grace, and not as they are mea­sured by the Covenant of Works.

EXPLICATION.

THose that will not acknowledg that the godly are called righteous in the Scri­pture, by reason of a personal Righte­ousness, consisting in the rectitude of their own dispositions & actions, as well as in regard of their imputed righteousness, may be con­vinced from these Scriptures, if they will be­leeve them. Gen. 7. 2. & 18. 23, 24. Iob 17. 9. Psa. 1. 5, 6. & 37. 17, 21, &c Eccl. 9. 1, 2. Ezek. 18. 20, 24. & 33. 12, 13, 18. Mat. 9. 13. & 13. 43. & 25 37, 46. Luk. 1. 6. Heb. 11. 4. 1 Pet. 4. 18. 2 Pet. 2. 8. 1 Ioh. 3. 7, 12. Rev. 22. 11. Mat. 10. 41. Rom. 5. 7. So their ways are called Righ­teousness. Psal. 15. 2. & 23. 3. & 45. 7. &c. Mat. 5. 20. & 21. 32. Luke 1. 75. Act. 10. 35. [Page 78] Rom. 6. 13. 16, 18, 19, 20. 1 Cor. 15. 34. 1 Ioh. 2. 29. & 3. 10. Eph. 4. 24. &c.

That men are sometime called righteous, in reference to the Laws and Judgments of men, I acknowledge: Also in regard of some of their particular actions, which are for the substance good: And perhaps sometimes in a comparative sense, as they are compared with the ungodly: As a line less-crooked should be called streight in comparison of one more crooked: But how improper an expression that is, you may easily perceive. The ordinary phrase of Scripture hath more truth and aptitude then so. Therefore it must needs be that men are called Righteous in reference to the new Covenant only; Which is plain thus: Righteousness is but the deno­mination of our actions or persons, as they relate to some rule. This rule when it is the Law of man, and our actions suit thereto, we are then righteous before men. When this Rule is Gods Law, it is either that of Works, or that of Grace: In relation to the former, there is none righteous, no not one: for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. Only in Christ, who hath obeyed and satisfied, we are righteous. But if you con­sider our actions and persons in relation to the rule of the new Covenant, so all the Re­generate are personally righteous, because they all perform the conditions of this Co­venant, [Page 79] and are poperly ponounced righteous thereby. Neither can it be conceived how the works of Beleevers, should either please God, or be called righteousness, as they relate to that old Rule, which doth pronounce them unrighteous, hatefull, and accur­sed.

Two sorts among us therefore do discover intolerable Ignorance in this point. 1. Those that commonly use and understand the words [Righteous, and Righteousness] as they relate to the old Rule: as if the Godly were called righteous (besides their imputed Righteous­ness, only because their Sanctification and good Works have some imperfect agreement to the Law of Works: As if it were a streight line which is in one place streight and another crooked; much less that which is in every part crooked in some degree, I have been sorry to hear many learned Teachers speak thus; most they say to maintain it, is in this simple objection. If we are called holy, because of an imperfect Holiness: then why not righteous, because of an imperfect Righteousness? Ans. Holiness signifieth no more but a Dedi­cation to God, either by separation on­ly, or by qualifying the subject first, with an aptitude to its Divine imployment, and then separating or devoting it: as in our Sanctification. Now a person im­perfectly so qualified, is yet truly and [Page 80] really so qualified; and therefore may truly be called holy so far. But Righteousness signi­fying a Conformity to the Rule; and a Con­formity with a quatenus, or an imperfect Recti­tude, being not a true Conformity or Recti­tude at all (because the denomination is of the whole Action or Person, and not of a cer­tain part or respect therefore imperfect Righ­teousness is not Righteousness, but Unrigh­teousness; It is a contradiction in adjecto. Ob­ject. But, is our personal Righteousness per­fect as it is measured by the New Rule? Ans. Yes: as I shall open to you by and by.

I could here heap up a mulitude of ortho­dox Writers, that do call our personall Righ­teousness by the title of [Evangelicall] as sig­nifying from what Rule it doth receive its Name.

The second sort that shew their gross igno­rance, of the nature of Righteousness, are the Antinomians, (and some other simple ones whom they have misled) who if they doe but hear a man talk of a Righteousness in himself; or in any thing he can do, or making his own duty either his Righteousness, or conducible thereto; they startle at such Doctrine, and even gnash the teeth, as if we preached flat Popery, yea as if we cryed down Christ, and set up our selves: The ignorant wretches not understanding, the difference between the two sorts of Righteousness; that of the old [Page 81] Covenant, which is all out of us in Christ; and that of the New Covenant, which is all out of Christ in our selves: (though wrought by the power of the Spirit of Christ.)

Quest. But how then is Ahabs and Nineve's humiliation accepted, and such other works of those that are not in Christ, seeing they are yet under the Law?

Ans. 1. No man is now under the Law as Adam was before the new Covenant was made; that is, not so under the Law alone, as to have nothing to do with the Gospel; or so under the old Covenant, as to have no benefit by the new. 2. So that wicked men may now find that tender and mercifull dealing from God, that even those works which are less unjust and sinfull, and draw neerest to the re­ctitude required by the Gospel, shall be so far accepted as that, for their further encou­ragement, some kind of reward or suspension of wrath shall be annexed to them, and God will countenance in them that which is good, though it be not so much as may denominate it a good work. 3. But yet the best of an un­regenerate mans works have more matter in them to provoke God then to please him, and he never accepteth them as Evangelically Righteous; for they that are in the flesh, and are without faith, cannot possibly so please God, Rom. 8. 8. Heb. 11. 6. As their righte­ousness is but a less degree of unrighteous­ness, [Page 82] and therefore is most improperly cal­led righteousness; so their pleasing God is but a lower degree of displeasing him, and therefore but improperly called plea­sing him.

THESIS. XXIII.

IN this sence also it is so far from being an error to affirm, that Faith it self is our Righteousness,] that it is a truth necessary for every Christian to know; that is, Faith is our Evangelicall Righteousness, (in the sence before explained,) as Christ is our Legall Righteousness.

EXPLICATION.

THis Assertion, so odious those that under­stand not its grounds, is yet so clear from what is said before, that I need to add no more to prove it. For 1. I have cleared before, that there must be a personall Righteousness, besides that imputed, in all that are justified. And that 2. The fulfilling of the conditions of each Covenant is our Righteousness, in reference to that Covenant: But Faith is the fulfilling of the conditions of the new Covenant, therefore it is our Righ­teousnes in relation to that Covenant. I do not here take Faith for any one single Act, but as I shall afterward explain it.

Quest. In what sence then is Faith said to be imputed to us for righteousness, if it be our Righteousness it self?

[Page 83] Answ. Plainly thus; Man is become un­righteous by breaking the Law of Righteous­ness that was given him; Christ fully satisfieth for this transgression, and buyeth the priso­ners into his own hands, and maketh with them a new Covenant, That whosoever will accept of him, and beleeve in him, who hath thus satisfied, it shall be as effectual for their Justification, as if they had fulfilled the Law of Works themselves. A Tenant forfeiteth his Lease to his Landlord, by not paying his rent; he runs deep in debt to him, and is disabled to pay him any more rent for the future, where­upon he is put out of his house, and cast into prison, till he pay the debt; his Landlords son payeth it for him, taketh him out of prison, and putteth him in his house again, as his Te­nant, having purchased house and all to him­self; he maketh him a new Lease in this Tenor, that paying but a pepper corn yearly to him, he shall be acquit both from his debt, and from all other rent for the future, which by his old Lease was to be paid; yet doth he not cancel the old Lease, but keepeth it in his hands to put in suite against the Tenant, if he should be so foolish as to deny the payment of the pepper corn. In this case the payment of the grain of pepper is imputed to the Tenant, as if he had payed the rent of the old Lease: Yet this imputation doth not extoll the pepper corn, nor vilifie the benefit of his Benefactor, [Page 84] who redeemed him: Nor can it be said, that the purchase did only serve to advance the value and efficacy of that grain of pepper. But thus; A personall rent must be paid for the testification of his homage; he was never redee­med to be independent as his own Landlord and Master: the old rent he cannot pay; his new Landlords clemency is such, that he hath re­solved this grain shall serve the turn.

Do I need to apply this in the present case or cannot every man apply it? Even so is our Evangelicall Righteousness, or Faith, imputed to us for as reall Righteousness, as perfect Obedience. Two things are considerable in this debt of Righteousness; The value, and the personall performance or interest: The value of Christs Satisfaction is imputed to us, in­stead of the value of a perfect Obedience of our own performing, and the value of our Faith is not so imputed: But because there must be some personall performance of ho­mage, therefore the personall performance of Faith shall be imputed to us for a sufficient personall payment, as if we had paid the full rent, because Christ whom we believe in, hath paid it, & he will take this for satisfactory ho­mage; so it is in point of personall perfor­mance, and not of value that Faith is imputed.

THESIS XXIV.

THis personall Gospell Righteousness is in its kind a perfect Righteousness; and so far we may ad­mit the doctrine of personall Perfection.

EXPLICATION.

OUr Righteousness may be considered, either in regard of the matter and the acts denominated righteous, or else in respect of the form which gives them that de­nomination: Also our Faculties and Actions are considerable, either in regard of their Being, or of their Quality.

1. The perfection of the Being of our Fa­culties or Acts is nothing to our present pur­pose, as falling under a physicall consideration only.

2. In regard of their Quality they may be called perfect or imperfect in severall sences.

1 As Perfection is taken for the transcen­dentall perfection of Being so they are per­fect.

2. And as it is taken for the compleat number of all parts, it is perfect.

3. But as it is taken for that which is perfect, Efficienter or Participaliter, that is, for a work that is finished for the Author, so our holiness is still imperfect here.

4. And as it is taken for accidentall per­ction, (so called in Metaphysicks, when it [Page 86] wants nothing which beyond the Essence, is also requisite to the integrity, ornament and well being of it,) so our holiness is here im­perfect.

5. As perfection is taken, pro sanitate, for soundness, so our holiness is imperfect.

6. And as it is taken, pro maturitate, for ripeness, so it is imperfect.

7. In respect of the admixture of contrary qualities, our holiness is imperfect.

8. But whether all this imperfection be pri­vative and sinfull, or meerly negative; and only our misery, whether it be a privation, phy­sicall or morall, is a question that will be clea­red, when I come to shew the extent of the Commands or Rule.

But not any of these kinds of perfection is that which I mean in the Position: Holiness is a quality, & may be intended and remitted, in creased & decreased; but it is the relative consi­deration of these qualities of our faculties and acts, as they are compared with the Rule of the new Covenant; & so it is not the perfection of our holiness that we enquire after, but of our righteousness; which righteousness is not a quality as holiness is, but the modification of our acts as to the Rule, which is not varyed, secundum majus & minus: See Schibl. Metaph. li. 2, c. 9. Tit. 7. Art. 2. Therefore our Divines usually say, That our Justification is perfect, though our Sanctification be not; and then [Page 87] I am sure our Righteousness must be perfect.

A two-fold perfection is here implyed. 1. A Metaphysical Perfection of Being. 2. A Per­fection of Sufficiency in order to its end.

1. The being of our Righteousness formally consisting in our relative conformity to the rule, either it must be perfect, or not at all. He that is not perfectly innocent in the very point that he is accused, is not innocent tru­ly, but guilty. Sincerity is usually said to be our Gospel-Perfection: not as it is accepted in stead of perfection, but as it is truly so; for sincere Faith is our conformity to the Rule of Perfection, viz. the new Covenant as it is a Covenant; yet as it is sincere Faith, it is only materially our Righteousness and Perfection, but formally as it is relatively our conformity to the said Rule.

2. Our Righteousness is perfect as in its Being, so also in order to its end. The end is, to be the condition of our Justification, &c. This end it shall perfectly attain. The Tenor of the new Covenant is not, Believe in the high­est degree, and you shall be justified; But believe sincerely, and you shall be justified; so that our Righteousness 1. formally considered, in re­lation to the condition of the new Covenant, is perfect or none. 2. But considered mate­rially as it is holiness, either in reference to the degree it should attain, or the degree which it shall attain, or in reference to the [Page 88] excellent object which it is excercised about, or in reference to the old Covenant, or the di­rective, (and in some sence) the preceptive part of the new Covenant; in all these respects it is imperfect.

I speak not all this while of that perfection in Christs Satisfaction, which is also our per­fect Righteousness, because few will question the perfection of that.

THESIS XXV.

YEt is it an improper speech of some Divines, That Christ first justifieth our persons, and then our du­ties and actions: And except by [justifying] they mean, his esteeming them to be a fulfilling of the Go­spell Conditions, and so unjust, it is unsound and dan­gerous, as well as improper.

EXPLICATION.

1. IT is improper in the best sence: 1. Be­cause it is contrary to the Scripture use of the word [Iustifying]: which is the acquitting of us from the charge of break­ing the Law, and not from the charge of vio­lating the new Covenant, 2, It is against the nature of the thing; seeing Justification (as you shall see anon) implyeth Accusation; but the esteeming of a righteous action to be as it is, doth not imply any accusation. 3. This speech, joyning Justification of Persons and Actions together, doth seem to intimate the [Page 89] same kinde of justification of both, and so doth tend to seduce the hearers to a dange­rous error. 2. For if it be understood in the worst sence, it will overthrow the Righteous­ness of Christ imputed, and the whole scope of the Gospell, and will set up the doctrine of Ju­stification by Works. For if God do justi­fie our Works from any legall Accusation, (as he doth our persons,) then it will follow, That our Works are just and consequently we are to be justified by them. There is no room for Scripture-justification where our own Works are not first acknowledged unjusti­fiable: because there is no place for Satisfa­ction and Justification thereby from another, where we plead the Justification of our own Works in respect of the same Law. Justifica­tion of Works is a sufficient ground for Iusti­fication by Works: seeing the justness of his dispositions and actions is the ground of de­nominating the person just, and that accord­ing to the primary and most proper kinde of Righteousness as is expressed in the distin­ction of it, pag. 98, 99.

THESIS XXVI.

(1) NEither can our performance of the condi­tions of the Gospel in the most proper and strict sence, be said to merit the reward: seeing there is nothing in the value of it, or any benefit that God receiveth by it, which may so entitle it [Page 90] meritorious; neither is there any proportion betwixt it and the reward. (2) But in a larger fence, as Promise is an Obligation, and the thing promised is called Debt; so the performers of the Condition are called Worthy, and their performance Merit. Though properly it is all of Grace, and not of Debt. (1) Rom. 4. 4, 10. & 5. 15, 16, 17. Hose. 14. 4. Mat. 10. 8. Rom. 3. 24. & 8, 32. 1 Cor. 2. 12. Rev. 21. 6. & 22. 18. Rom. 11. 6. Gal. 5. 4. Eph. 2. 5, 7, 8. Gen. 32. 10. (2) Mat. 10. 11, 12, 13, 37. & 22 8. Luk. 20. 35. & 21. 36. 2 Thes. 1. 5. 11. Rev. 3. 4, &c.

EXPLICATION.

IN the strictest sence he is said to Merit, who perfor­meth somewhat of that worth in it self to another, which bindeth that other in strict justice to requite him. This work must not be due, and so the performer not under the absolute soveraignty of another? for else he is not in a capacity of thus Meriting. It is naturall Justice which here bindeth to Reward. All that we can merit at the hands of Gods naturall Justice is but these two things. 1. The escape of punishment in that respect or consideration wherein our actions are not sinfull: or the not punishing of us in a greater degree then sin de­serves: (Though indeed it is questionable whether we are capable of suffering more.) 2. Our actions thus de­serve the honour of acknowledgment of that good which is in them; yea, though the evil be more then the good. As a merciful Thief that gives a poor man half his mony again, when he hath robbed him, as he deserveth a less degree of punishment, so that good which was in his action deserveth an answerable acknowledgment and praise, though he dye for the fact.

But this is a poor kinde of meriting, and little to the [Page 91] honour or benefit of the party: And is more properly called a less desert of punishment, then a desert of re­ward.

2. The second kind of Merit, is that whereby a Go­vernor, for the promoting of the ends of Government, is obliged to reward the Obedience of the Governed: That when Disobedience is grown common, the Obedi­ence may be encouraged, and a difference made. Among men even Justice bindeth to such reward; at least to afford the obedience the benefit of protection and free­dom, though he do no more then his duty: But that is because no man hath an absolute soveraignty de jure over his subjects, as God hath; but is indebted to his sub­jects as well as they are to him. If our obedience were perfect, in respect of the Law of Works, yet all the Obligation that would lie upon God to reward us (any further then the foresaid forbearing to punish us, and acknowledging our obedience) would be but his own wisdom; as he discerneth such a Reward would tend to the well-governing of the World, working morally with voluntary agents agreeable to their natures. And when we had done all, we must say, we are unprofitable ser­vants; we have done nothing but what was our duty. Therefore this Obligation to reward from the wisdom of God, as it is in his own brest known to himself alone, so is it drawn from himself, and not properly from the worth of our Works, and therefore this is improperly called Merit.

3. The third kinde of Meriting is sufficiently explain­ed in the Position: where the Obligation to reward, is Gods ordinate Justice, and the truth of his Promise: and the worthiness lieth in our performance of the Condi­tions on our part. This is improperly called Merit: This kinde of Meriting is no diminution to the greatness or freeness of the gift or reward: because it was a free and gracious Act of God to make our performance capable of that title; and to engage himself in the foresaid pro­mise to us; and not for any gain that he expected by [Page 92] us, or that our performance can bring him.

THESIS XXVII.

1 AS it was possible for Adam to have fulfilled the Law of Works by that power which he received by nature; (2) So is it possible for us to per­form the Conditions of the new Covenant by the (3) Power which we receive from the Grace of Christ.

EXPLICATION.

(1) THat it may be possible which is not future. A thing is termed possible when there is nothing in the nature of the thing it self, which may so hinder its production as to necessitate its non-futurity: Though from extrinsecall Reasons, the same non-futurity may be certain, and in some re­spect necessary: And all things considered, the futurity of it may be termed impossible; & yet the thing it self be possible. So it was possible for Adam to have stood: And so if you should take the word [possible] absolutely, and abstracted from the consideration of the strength of the Actor; even the Commands of the Law are yet possible to be fulfilled▪ But such a use of the word is here improper: it being ordinarily spoken with relation to the strength of the Agent. (2) But in the re­lative sence the Conditions of the new Cove­nant are possible to them that have the assi­stance [Page 93] of grace. I intend not here to enter up­on an Explication of the nature of that Grace which is necessary to this performance; my purpose being chiefly to open those things wherein the relative change of our estates doth consist rather then the reall. Whether then this Grace be Physicall or Morall? Whe­ther there be a Morall Suasion of the Spirit, distinct from the Suasion of the Word, and other outward means? Whether that which is commonly called the Work of Conscience, be also from such an internall suasory work of the Spirit? How far this Grace is resistible? Or whether all have sufficient Grace to be­leeve, either given, or internally offered? with multitudes of such questions, I shall here pass by; Referring you to those many Vo­lumes that have already handled them. All that I shall say of this shall be when I come to open the Nature of Faith. See Parkers Theses before mentioned.

THESIS. XXVIII.

THe Precepts of the Covenants, as meer Precepts, must be distinguished from the same Precepts con­sidered as Conditions, upon performance whereof we must live, or dye for non performance.

THESIS XXIX.

AS all Precepts are delivered upon Covenant­terms, or as belonging to one of the Covenants, and not independently; So have the same Precepts, various ends and uses, according to the tenor and ends of the distinct Covenants to which they do be­long.

EXPLICATION.

THerefore it is one thing to ask, whether the Covenant of Works be abolished? and another thing, whether the Morall Law be abolished? Yet that no one Precept of either Morall or Ceremoniall Law was de­livered without reference to one of the Co­venants, is very evident. For if the breach of that Command be a sin, and to be punished, then either according to the rigorous threa­tening of the old Covenant, or according to the way and justice of the new. For the Law, as it was delivered by Moses, may be reduced in several respects to each of these Covenants, and cannot constitute a third Covenant, wholy distinct from both these; and therefore Camero doth more fitly call it a subservient Covenant, then a third Covenant. For either God inten­ded in that Covenant to proceed with sinners in strict rigor of Justice, for every sin; and then it is reducible to the first Covenant: Or else to pardon sin upon certain conditions, [Page 95] and to dispence with the rigor of that first Covenant: And then it must imply satisfaction for those sins; and so be reducible to the se­cond Covenant: (For I cannot yet digest the Doctrine of Grotius and Vossius, concerning sa­tisfaction by sacrifice for temporall punish­ment, without subordination to the satisfa­ction by Christ:) Or if it seem in severall phra­ses to savour of the language of the severall Covenants, (as indeed it doth;) that is because they are yet both in force; and in severall re­spects it is reducible to both. So that when we demand, whether the Morall Law do yet binde, the question is ambiguous, from the ambiguity of the term [Binde.] For it is one thing to ask, whether it binde upon the old Covenant terms? another, whether upon new Covenant terms? and a third, whether as a meer Precept? Here a question or two must be answered.

1 Quest. How could the Precepts delivered by Moses (when the old Covenant was viola­ted, and the new established) belong to that old Covenant?

2 Quest. In what sence doth the Decalogue belong to the new Covenant?

3 Quest. Whether the Precepts of the Go­spel do belong to the Decalogue?

4 Quest. Whether the Precepts of the Go­spel belong also to the old Covenant?

But all these will be cleared under the fol­lowing [Page 96] Positions, where they shall be distinct­ly answered.

THESIS XXX.

THere is no sin prohibited in the Gospel which is not a breach of some Precept in the Deca­logue: and which is not threatned by the Covenant of Works, as offending against, and so falling under the Iustice thereof. For the threatening of that Co­venant extendeth to all sin that then was, or after should be forbidden. God still reserved the preroga­tive, of adding to his Laws, without altering the Co­venant terms; else every new Precept would imply a new Covenant: And so there should be a multitude of Covenants.

EXPLICATION.

1. THough the Decalogue doth not men­tion each particular duty in the Go­spel, yet doth it command obedience to all that are or shall be specified; and expres­seth the genus of every particular duty. And though it were not a duty from the generall precept, till it was specified in the Gospel, yet when it once is a duty, the neglect of it is a sin against the Decalogue. For instance; The Law saith, Thou shalt take the Lord for thy God, and consequently beleeve all that he saith to be true; and obey him in all that he shall particularly command you: The Gospel revealeth (what it is that is to be beleeved, and [Page 97] saith, This is the work of God, that ye beleeve in him whom the Father hath sent. Ioh. 6. 28, 29. The affirmative part of the second Commandment is, Thou shalt worship God according to his own institution: The Gospell specifieth some of this instituted Worship, viz. Sacraments, &c. So that the neglect of Sacraments is a breach of the second Commandment: And Un­belief is a breach of the first. This may help you to answer that question, Whether the Law without the Gospell be a sufficient Rule of Life? Answ. As the Lords Prayer is a sufficient Rule of Prayer: It is sufficient in its own kinde, or to its own purposes: It is a suffi­cient generall Rule for duty; but it doth not enumerate all the particular instituted spe­cies. Yet here, the Gospell revealing these institutions, is not only the new Covenant it self; but the doctrine of Christ, which is an ad­junct of that Covenant also.

2. That every sin against the precepts of the Gospell and decalogue, are also sins against the Covenant of Works, and condemned by it, will appear thus. 1. The threatening of that Covenant is against all sin, as well as one, (though none but eating the forbidden fruit be named:) But these are sins; and therefore threatned by that Covenant. The major ap­pears by the recitall afterwards; Cursed is he that doth not al things written. 2. I have proved before, that the old Covenant is not repealed, [Page 98] but onely relaxed to Beleevers upon Christs satisfaction; And then it must needs be in force against every sin. 3. The penalty in that Covenant is still executed against such sins. So that every sin against the Gospel is a breach of the Conditions of the Law of Works: But every sin against that Law, is not a breach of the Conditions of the Gospel. And it hinders not this, That the Morall Law by Moses, and the Gospel by Christ, were delivered since the Covenant with Adam. For though that Cove­nant did not specifie each duty and sin: yet it doth condemn the sin when it is so speci­fied. But the great Objection is this: How can Unbelief be a breach of the Covenant of Works, when the very duty of beleeving for pardon is inconsistent with the Tenor of that Covenant, which knoweth no pardon? Ans. 1. Pardon of sin is not so contradictory to the truth of that Covenant, but that they may consist upon satisfaction made. Though it is true, that the Covenant it self doth give no hopes of it; yet it doth not make it impossi­ble. 2. Unbelief, in respect of pardon and re­covery, is a Sin against the Covenant of Works, not formaliter, but eminenter. 3. Not also as it is the neglect of a duty, with such and such ends and uses, but as it is the neglect of duty in the generall considered; and so as it is a sin in generall, and not as it is a sin consisting in such or such an act or omission. The form of [Page 99] the sin lieth in its pravity or deviation from the Rule: So far Unbelief is condemned by the Law: The substrate act is but the matter, (improperly so called.)

The review of the comparison before lay'd down will explain this to you: A Prince be­stoweth a Lordship upon a Slave, and maketh him a Lease of it, the tenor where of is, That he shall perform exact obedience to all that is commanded him; and when he fails of this, he shall forfeit his Lease: The Tenant diso­beyeth, and maketh the forfeiture; The Son of this Prince interposeth, and buyeth the Lordship, and satisfieth for all the damage that came by the Tenants disobedience: Whe­reupon the Land and Tenant and Lease are all delivered up to him, and he becomes Land­lord. He findeth the Tenant (upon his forfei­ture) dispossessed of the choycest rooms of the house, and chief benefits of the Land, and confined to a ruinous corner; and was to have been deprived of all, had not he thus inter­posed. Whereupon he maketh him a new Lea [...]e in this Tenor, That if in acknowledgment of the favour of his Redemption, he will but pay a pepper corn, he shall be restored to his for­mer possession, and much more.

In this case now the non-payment of the pepper corn, is a breach of both Leases: Of the old, because though he had forfeited his title to the benefits of it, yet he could not [Page 100] disanull the duty of it, which was obedience during his life: especially when the penalty was not fully executed on him, but he was permitted still to enjoy some of the benefits. So that as it is an act of disobedience in generall, his non-payment is a further forfeiture of his old Lease: But as it is the non-payment of a pepper-corn required of him in stead of his former Rent, so it is a breach of his new Lease only. Even so is Unbelief a violation of both Cove­nants.

THESIS XXXI.

THe Gospell doth establish, and not repeall the Morall Law, and so is perfect obedience com­manded, and every sin forbidden, now, as exactly as under the Covenant of Works: But this is but an adjunct of the new Covenant and not a proper part of it: Neither is it on the same terms, or to the same ends, as in the first Covenant.

EXPLICATION.

THat the Morall Law is yet in force, I will not stand to prove, because so many have written of it already. See Mr. An­thony Burgesses Lectures: But to what ends, and in what sence the Gospell continueth that Law, and commandeth perfect obedience thereto, is a Question not very easie.

1. Whether Christ did first repeall that Law, and then re-establish it to other ends? So some think.

[Page 101] 2. Or whether he hath at all made the Mo­rall Law to be the preceptive part of the new Covenant? And so whether the new Covenant do at all command us perfect obedience? or only sincere?

3. Or whether the Morall Law be conti­nued only as the precepts of the old Cove­nant, and so used by the new Covenant, meer­ly for a directive Rule?

To the first I answer; 1. That it is not repealed at all I have proved already, even concerning the Covenant of Works it self; and others enough have proved at large of the Morall Law. 2. Yet that Christ useth it to other ends, & for the advantage of his Kingdom, I grant.

To the other second Question, I answer; 1. That the Morall Law, as it is the perceptive part of the Covenant of works, is but delivered over into the hands of Christ, and so conti­nued in the sence before expressed, seems plain to me.

2. That the same Morall Law doth therefore so continue to command even believers and that the perfect obeying of it is therefore their duty, and the not obeying their sin, de­serving the death threatened in that Covenant.

3. That Jesus Christ hath further made use of the same Morall Law, for a direction to his Subjects, whereby they may know his Will. That whereas your sincere subjection and obe­dience to Christ, is part of the condition of the [Page 102] new Covenant; that we may know what his Will is, which we must endeavour to obey, and what Rule our actions must be sincerely fitted to, and guided by, he hath therefore left us this Morall Law as part of this direction, ha­ving added a more particular enumeration of some duties in his Gospel. That as when the old Covenant said, Thou shalt obey perfectly; the Morall Law did Partly tell them, wherein they should obey: So when the new Covenant saith, Thou shalt obey sincerely; the Morall Law doth tell us, wherein, or what we must endeavour to do.

4. But that the Morall Law, without respect to either Covenant, should command us per­fect obedience; or that Christ, as the Media­tor of the new Covenant, should command us not only sincere, but also perfect obedi­ence to the Morall Law, and so hath made it a proper part of his Gospel, not only as a Di­rectory and Instruction, but also as a Com­mand: I am not yet convinced, (though I will not contend with any that think otherwise,) my Reason is, because I know not to what end Christ should command us that obedience which he never doth enable any man in this life to perform. If it were to convince us of our disability and sin, that is the work of the Law, and the continuing of it upon the old terms, as is before explained, is sufficient to that.

[Page 103] But I judge this Question to be of greater difficult then moment.

THESIS XXXII.

IF there be any particular sins against the new Covenant, which are not also against the old; or if any sins be considerable in any of their respects, as against the Gospel only, then Christs death was not to satisfie for any such sins so considered: For where no death is threatened, there none is explicitely due, nor should be executed; and where it is not so due to the sinner, nor should have been executed on him, there it could not be required of Christ, nor executed on him: But the Gospel threateneth not death to any sin, but final unbelief and rebellion, (and for that Christ never dyed, as I shall shew anon,) therefore Christ died not for any sin as against the Gospell, nor suffered that which is no where threatened.

EXPLICATION.

A Sin may be said to be against the Gospel, 1. As Christ and his Gospel are the object of it; 2. Or as it breaketh the conditions of the Gospel: In the latter sence only I here take it. To prove the point in hand, there needs no more then the Argument mentio­ned: For to all that unbelief, and other sins of the godly, which are forgiven, the Gospel doth no where threaten death; and therefore Christ could not bear it, as to satisfie the Gos­pel-threatening. Though I confess I have been [Page 104] long in this point of another judgment, while I considered not the Tenor of the Covenants distinctly; some further proof you shall have in the next conclusion. Read Heb. 9. 15.

THESIS XXXIII.

AS the Active Obedience of Christ was not the Righteousness of the second Covenant, or the performing of it. Conditions, but of the first, properly called a Legall Righteousness; so also his Passive Obedience and Merit was only to satisfie for the violation of the Covenant of Works, but not at all for the violation of the Coven [...]nt of Grace for that there is no satisfaction made, and there remain­eth no sacrifice.

EXPLICATION.

THat Christ did not fulfill the conditions of the new Covenant for us: I have proved already: That he hath not satisfied for its violation, I think to the considerate will need no proof: If you think otherwise, consider, 1. Christ is said to be made under the Law, & to have born the curse of the Law, & to have freed us from the curse of it, but no where is this af­firmed of him in respect of the Gospel. 2. There be terms by him propounded upon which men must partake of the benefits of his Satisfaction; but these terms are onely con­ditions of the new Covenant, therefore he ne­ver satisfied for the non-performance of those [Page 105] conditions. 3. If he did, upon what con­ditions is that satisfaction enjoyed by us? 4. But the Question is out of doubt, because that every man that performeth not the Gos­pel-conditions, doth bear the punishment himself in eternall fire, and therefore Christ did not bear it: So that as it was not so grievous a death which was threatened in the first Co­venant, as that is which is threatened in the se­cond; so it was not so grievous a kind of death which Christ did bear, as that is which finall unbelievers shall bear, (except as [...]he accumu­lation of sins of so many might increase it,) Therefore when we say, That Christ suffered in his Soul the pains of hell, or that which is equall; we must not mean the pains which is threatned in the Gospell, and the damned un­believers must endure; but only of that death which the Law of Works did threaten. Wo therefore to the rebellious unbelieving world, that must bear this second death themselves: For of how much soever punishment shall they be thought worthy, who tread under foot the blood of the Covenant? Heb. 10. 29.

THESIS. XXXIV.

THe Covenant of Grace is not properly said to be violated, or its conditions broken, except they be finally broken: For the violation consisteth in non performance of the conditions, and if they are perfor­med at last, they are truly performed, & if performed, [Page 106] then the Covenant is not so violated, as that the of­fendor should fall under the threatening thereof.

EXPLICATION.

I Deny not but the new Covenant may be said to be neglected, and sinned against, and the Command of Christ broken by our long standing out in unbelief, though we come home at last. But the Covenant condi­tions are not broken, when ever the precept of the Gospel is transgressed, or the Covenant neglected, except it be finall. The Condition is, Who ever believeth shall be saved, not li­mitting it to a particular season. Though both the precept of Christ, & common Reason requireth that we be speedy in the perfor­mance, because we have no promise that the day of Grace shall continue, and because our neglect will increase our disability, and our frequent resisting Will grieve the Spirit: So that the new Covenant doth not threaten death to every particular act of disobedience or unbelief, nor to any but what is finall, though the precept require that we believe im­mediately, and every degree of unbelief be forbidden.

THESIS XXXV.

YEt the sins of Beleevers against the Gospel Pre­cepts have need of pardon, and are properly said to be pardoned, in reference to their deserved pu­nishment; [Page 107] 1. Both because the punishment, which naturally and implicitely is due to them, is not so much as threatened in this gentle Covenant, and so becomes not explicitely due, or in point of Law. 2. But specially because the old Covenant condemning all sin, is yet unrepealed, which would be executed on us, even for our sins against GRACE, did not the efficacy of CHRISTS Satisfaction dayly in­terpose, which makes us therefore have continuall need of that Satisfaction.

EXPLICATION.

THis is layd down to prevent the Objection which might arise from the fore-going Doctrine: For many are ready to ask, If Christ dyed not for sin as it is against the Gospell-Covenant, then how are such sins pardoned to Beleevers? I answer, in the fore-ex­pressed way: For certainly the Gospel cannot be said to remit the punishment which it never threatened, (fur­ther then as it is only implicitely due;) And that which it doth threaten it doth never remit.

THESIS XXXVI.

THe pardoning of sin is a gracious act of God, discharging the Offender by the Gospell-Promise, or grant from the Obligation, to punishment, upon consideration of the satisfaction made by Christ, ac­cepted by the sinner, and pleaded with God.

EXPLICATION.

THe true definition of Pardon, and of Justification doth much conduce to the understanding of this whole mysterious [Page 108] Doctrine. The former I have here laid down as neer as I can. I shall briefly explain the whole Definition,

1. I call it an Act of God; for so the Scripture ordinarily doth. Mat. 6. 12. 14, 15. Mar. 11. 24. 26. Luk. 23. 34. Ephes. 3. 32. Some may object; If all things be delivered into the hands of Christ the Redeemer, and all Judge­ment committed to the Son, as is shewed be­fore, then the Son should forgive rather then the Father. I answer. 1. So the Son is said to forgive also, Mar. 2. 7, 10. Luk. 5. 24. 2. I shewed you before, That the Father giveth not away any power from himself by giving it to the Son; but onely doth manage it in ano­ther way upon other terms. 3. As the Media­tor is a middle person, interposing between God and the world for their reconciliation, so the Acceptance, Pardon and Kingdom of the Mediator, is, as it were a Mean or step towards the Pardon, Acceptance, and Kingdom of God. First Christ doth cleanse men by his Spirit, and Blood, and then offereth them blameless and undefiled, without spot or wrinkle to God, who so accepts them at his hands, and even the King­dom also will he deliver up to the Father, Ephes. 5. 27. Col. 1. 22, 28. Iude 24. 1 Cor. 15. 24. Therefore the Sons pardoning and ac­cepting being first in order of Nature, and so but a mean to Gods pardoning and accepting [Page 109] where the whole work is compleatly perfected, (when the sinner is fully brought home by Christ to God, from whom he first fell, the act of pardoning is therefore most usually and fitly ascribed to the Father, (that being the ultimate perfecting pardon,) and we are said to ask it of him through Christ.

2. I call this Pardon, a gracious Act; For if it were not in some sort gratuitous, or free, it were no Pardon. Let those think of this, who say, We have perfectly obeyed the Law in Christ, and are therefore righteous. If the proper debt either of obedience or suffering be payd, either by our selves, or by another, then there is no place left for Pardon: For when the Debt is payd, we owe nothing (ex­cept obedience de novo;) and therefore can have nothing forgiven us. For the Creditor cannot refuse the proper Debt, nor deny an Acquit­tance upon receit thereof. But Christ having payd the Tantundem and not the Idem, the Va­lue and not the strict Debt, this satisfaction the Father might have chosen to accept, or to have discharged us upon Christs suffer­ings: which yet because he freely doth, there­fore is his gracious Act properly called Par­don.

The ignorant Antinomians think, it cannot be a Free Act of Grace, if there be any Condi­tion on our part for enjoying it. As if in the fore-mentioned comparison, pag. 153. [Page 110] the Tenants redemption were the less free, because his new Lease requires the Rent of a pepper corn in token of homage! As if when a pardon is procured for a condemned Male­factor, upon condition that he shall not reject it when it is offered him, but shall take him that procured it for his Lord, that this were therefore no free pardon! Indeed if we payd but a mite in part of the debt it self, so far our pardon were the less free. But I will not fur­ther trouble the Reader with these senceless conceits, the confutation whereof is so easie and obvious.

3. I call this Act [a Discharging] as being the proper term in Law to express it by. We were before charged by the Law: we are by this Act discharged.

4. I call it a discharge of [the Offender:] For an offender is the only capable object or re­cipient of it. There can be no pardon where there is no offender.

5. I call it a discharging [from the Obligation to Punishment.] For. 1. You must look at this whole process as legall, and not as referring chiefly to Gods secret judgment or thoughts. Therefore when it is called a freeing man from the wrath of God, you must understand it onely of the wrath threatened in the Cove­nant, and so from [the obligation to Punish­ment.] You must not conceive of the change [Page 111] in God, but in the sinners relation, and con­sequently in the sence and sentence of the Law, as to him. 2. The common word by which this terminus a quo, or rather the evil which this par­don doth directly free us from, is expressed, is Guilt. But because the word Guilt is variously used, sometimes referring onely to the Fact, sometimes to the desert of Punishment, and sometime to the dueness of Punishment or the Laws obliging the Offendor to bear it; I have therefore here taken it in this last expres­sion, because I think that Guilt is taken away only in this last sence; as I shall further open anon. Therefore many define Guilt only in this last sence, Reatus est Obligatio ad Poenam. This Obligation though expressed only in the Covenant, yet ariseth also from the Fact: For if the Covenant had not been broken, it had not obliged to suffering; but still to duty only.

6. I call it a Discharging [by the Gospell-pro­mise or grant:] (It is called a Promise in refe­rence to the benefit as future, but more pro­perly a Grant in reference to the benefit as pre­sent or past; either in the conferring, or al­ready conferred.) This I do for these Reasons. 1. To clear the nature of this Act. 2. To di­vert your thoughts from Gods secret judg­ment, where most suppose this Act performed; and to turn them right, and free God from the imputation of change.

[Page 112] A great question it is, Whether Remission and Justification be immanent or transient Acts of God? The mistake of this one point was it that led those two most excellent, fa­mous Divines. Dr. Twisse and Mr. Pemble to that error and pillar of Antinomianism, viz. Iustification from Eternity. For (saith Dr. Twisse often) All Acts immanent in God, are from Eternity: but Justification and remission of sin are immanent Acts: therefore, &c. by [immanent in God] they must needs mean Negatively, not Positively. For Acts have not the respect of an Adjunct to its subject, but an effect to its cause. Now whether all such immanent Acts are any more eternall then transient Acts, is much questioned: As for God to know that the world doth now exist; That such a man is sanctified, or just, &c. Gods fore-knowledg is not a knowing that such a thing is, which is not; but that such a thing will be, which is not. Yet doth this make no change in God: no more then the Sun is changed by the variety of Creatures which it doth enlighten and warm; or the Glass by the variety of faces which it represents; or the eye by the variety of the colours, which it be­holdeth: (For whatsoever some say, I do not think that every variation of the object ma­keth a reall change in the eye, or that the be­holding of ten distinct colours at one view, doth make ten distinct acts of the sight, or al­terations [Page 113] on it: Much less do the objects of Gods knowledg make such alterations.) But grant that all Gods immanent Acts are Eter­nall (which I think is quite beyond our under­standing to know:) Yet most Divines will de­ny the Minor; and tell you that Remission and Justification are transient Acts; Which is true: But a Truth which I never had the happiness to see or hear well cleared by any. For to prove it a transient act, they tell us no more, but that it doth transire in subjectum extraneum, by making a morall change on our Relation, though not a reall upon our persons, as Sancti­fication doth. But this is only to affirm and not to prove; and that in generall only; not telling us what Act it is that maketh this change. Relations are not capable of being the Patients or subjects of any Act: seeing they are but meer Entia Rationis, and no reall Beings. Neither are they the immediate product or effect of any Act: but in order of Nature are consequentiall to the direct effects. The pro­per effect of the Act is to lay the Foun­dation from whence the Relation doth arise. And the same Act which layeth the Founda­tion doth cause the Relation, without the intervention of any other. Suppose but the subjectum fundamentum & terminus, and the Relation will unavoydably fol­low, by a meer resultancy. The direct effect [Page 114] therefore of Gods Active Justification must be a reall effect, though not upon the sinner, yet upon something else for him; and thence will his Passive Justification follow. Now what transient Act this is, and what its immediate reall Effect, who hath unfolded? I dare not be to confident in so dark a point: but it seemeth to me, that this justifying transient Act is the enacting or promulgation of the new Cove­nant, wherein Justification is conferred upon every Beleever. Here, 1. The passing and e­nacting this Grant is a transient Act. 2. So may the continuance of it (as I think.) 3. This Law or Grant hath a morall improper Action, where­by it may be said to pardon or justifie; which properly is but virtuall justifying. 4. By this Grant God doth, 1. Give us the Righteous­ness of Christ, to be ours when we beleeve: 2. And disableth the Law to oblige us to punish­ment, or to condemn us: 3. Which reall Foun­dation being thus layd, our Relations of [Ju­stified and Pardoned in title of Law] do ne­cessarily result.

Object. But this Act of God, in granting Pardon to Beleevers, was performed long ago: But our Justification is not till we beleeve. Answ. Though the effects of Causes as Phy­sicall do follow them immediately, yet as Morall they do not so: but at what distance the Agent pleases sometimes. A man makes his son a Deed of Gift of certain Lands, to be his [Page 115] at such an age, or upon the performance of some eminent Action. Here the Deed of gift is the fathers instrument by which he giveth these Lands: The passing this Deed is the pro­per Act and time of Donation: Yet the son hath no possession till the time prefixed, or till the Condition be performed: At which time, the conditionall Grant becoming abso­lute, and giving him right to present posses­sion, it is not unfitly said, that his father doth even then bestow the Lands: though by no new intervening act at all, but only the con­tinuation of the former Deed of gift in force. So here, the conditionall grant of Pardon & Ju­stification doth then absolutely pardon and justifie us, when we perform the Condition. Hence is the phrase in Scripture of being [Iu­stified by the Law:] which doth not only si­gnifie [by the Law as the Rule to which men did fit their actions;] but also [by the Law, as not condemning, but justifying, the person whose actions are so fitted:] In which sence the Law did justifie Christ: or else the Law should not justifie as a Law or Covenant, but only as a Direction: which properly is not Justifying, but only a means to discover that we are Justifiable. As the Word of Christ shall judge men at the last day, Ioh. 12. 28. So doth it virtually now, And if it judge, then doth it condemn and justifie. So Rom. 2. 12. Iam. 2▪ 12. We shall be judged by the Law of Liberty. [Page 116] Gal. 5. 3. 4, 23. In the same sence, as the Law is said to convince and curse (Iam. 2. 9. Gal. 3. 13.) it may be said that the Gospell or new Law doth acquit, justifie and bless. Rom. 8. 12. The Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Iesus, hath made me from the Law of Sin and Death. As the Law worketh Wrath, and where is no Law, there is no Transgression, (Rom. 4. 15.) And as sin is not imputed where there is no Law, (Rom. 5. 13. and the strength of sin is the law, (1 Cor. 15. 56 So the new law is the strength of Righteousness, and worketh Deliverance from Wrath; and were there no such new Covenant, there would be no Righteousness inherent or imputed: Ioh. 7. 51.

So that I conclude, That this transient Act of God, pardoning and justifying (constitutive) is his Grant in the new Covenant; by which as a Morall Instrument, our Justification and Par­don are in time produced, even when we be­leeve: the Obligation of the Law being then by it made void to us.

And this is the present apprehension I have of the nature of Remission and Justification: Si quid novisti rectius, &c. (yet I shall have occasion afterwards to tell you, That all this is but Re­mission and Justification in Law and Title, which must be distinguished from that which is in Judgment or Sentence; the former being vertual in respect of the Actuality of the latter)

2. The second kinde of Gods Acts, which [Page 117] may be called Justifying, is indeed Immanent; viz. his knowing the sinner to be pardoned and just in Law; his Willing and Approving hereof as True and Good: These are Acts in Heaven, yea in God himself; but the former sort are on earth also. I would not have those Acts of God separated which he doth con­joyn; as he ever doth these last with the former: But I verily think that it is especially the former transient legall Acts which the Scripture usually means when it speaks of Par­doning and (constitutive) Justifying: and not these Immanent Acts: though these must be looked on as concurrent with the former. Yet most Divines that I meet with, seem to look at Pardon and Justification as being done in heaven only and consisting only in these la­ter Immanent Acts: And yet they deny Justi­fication to be an Immanent Act too: But how they will ever manifest that these celestiall Acts of God, (viz. his Willing the sinners Pardon, and so forgiving him in his own brest; or his accepting him as just,) are Transient Acts, I am yet unable to understand. And if they be Immanent Acts, most will grant that they are from Eternity: and then fair fall the An­tinomians. Indeed if God have a Bar in Heaven before his Angels, where these things are for the present transacted, as some think; and that we are said to be justi­fied only at the bar now; then I confess that [Page 118] is a transient Act indeed. But of that more hereafter.

7. I add in the definition, That all this is done [in consideration of the Satisfaction, 1 made by Christ, 2. Accep­ted, 3. and pleaded with God.] The satisfaction made is the proper meritorious and impulsive cause: 2. So the Satisfaction, as pleaded by Christ the intercessor, is also an impulsive cause. 3. The Satisfactious Acceptance by the Sinner (that is Faith,) and the pleading of it with God by the sinner (that is praying for pardon,) are but the Conditions, or Causae sine quo.

But all these will be fuller opened afterwards.

THESIS. XXXVII.

IVstification is either 1. in Title and the Sence of the Law; 2. Or in Sentence of Iudgment. The first may be called Constitutive; The second Decla­rative: The first Virtuall, the second Actuall.

EXPLICATION.

I Will not stand to mention all those other Distinctions of Justification which are com­mon in others, & not so necessary or perti­nent to my purposed scope. You may finde them in Mr Bradshaw, Mr Iohn Goodwin, and Alstedius Distinctions and Definitions, &c.

The difference between Justification in Title of Law, and in Sentence of Judgment, is ap­parent at the first view: Therefore I need not explain it. It is common, when a man hath a good cause, and the Law on his side, to say, The Law justifieth him, or he is just in Law, or [Page 119] he is acquit by the Law; and yet he is more fully and compleatly acquit by the sentence of the Judge afterward. In the former sence we are now justified by faith, as soon as ever we beleeve: In the latter sence we are justified at the last Judgment. The title of [Declarative] is too narrow for this last: For the sentence of judiciall absolution doth more then barely to declare us justified. I call the former [virtuall] not as it is in it felf considered, but as it stan­deth in relation to the latter.

All those Scriptures, which speak of Justi­fication as done in this life, I understand of Justification in Title opf Law: So Rom. 5. 1. Being justified by faith, we have peace with God. Rom. 4. 2. Rom. 5. 9. Being now justified by his blood, &c. Iames 2. 21, 25. &c.

But Justification in Judgment, as it is the compleating Act, so is it most fitly called Ju­stification; and I think the word in Scripture hath most commonly reference to the Judg­ment day; and that Justification in Title is called [Justification] most especially, because of its relation to the Justification at Judgment; because as men are now in point of Law, so shall they most certainly be sentenced in Judgment.

Therefore is it spoken of many times as a future thing, and not yet done: Rom. 3. 30 Mat. 12. 37. Rom. 2. 13. But these may be called [Justification by Faith,] for by Faith [Page 120] we are justified, both in Law Title. and at Judgment.

THESIS XXXVIII.

IVstification, in Title of Law, is a gracious Act of God, by the Promise or Grant of the new Cove­vant, acquitting the Offender from the Accusa­sation and Condemnation of the old Covenant, upon consideration of the Satisfaction made by Christ, and accepted by the sinner.

EXPLICATION.

HEre you may see 1. That pardon of sin, and this Iustification in Law, are not punctually and precisely alone: 2. And yet the difference is ve­ry small. The chief difference lyeth in this, That the Terminus a quo of Remission, is the obligation to punish­ment; but the Terminus of Iustification, (or the evil that it formally and directly doth free us from,) is the Laws Accusation and Condemnation: Now though the difference between these two be very narrow, and rather respective then reall, yet a plain difference there is: For though it be one and the same Commination of the Law, by which men are both obliged to punishment, ac­cused as guilty, and condemned for that guilt, yet these are not all one, though it is also true, that they all stand or fall together.

That pardon is most properly the removing of the O­bligation, and that Iustification is the removing of Ac­cusation and Condemnation in the Law, will be evident to those that have read what Divines have written at large concerning the signification of the words, especi­ally such that have skill in Law, which is a great advan­tage in this doctrine of Iustification: Therefore as Mr. Wotten, and Mr. Goodwin do a little mistake in making pardon of sin to be the formall cause of Iustification, [Page 121] (though they are far neerer the mark then their oppo­sers.) So Mr. Bradshaw doth a little too much straiten the form of it, making it to lye only in Apology or Plea. It consisteth in both the Acts; 1. Apology, in oppositiō to Accusatiō; thus Christ our Advocate doth principally ju­stifie us: 2. In Sentence, (virtuall or actuall,) & so it is op­posed both to Accusation and Condemnation; so Christ the Mediator as Iudge, and the Father as one with him, and as the supream Iudge, doth justifie: But this latter is the chief Act. The rest of the Definition is sufficiently opened under the foregoing Definition of Pardon, and will be more after.

THESIS XXXIX.

IVstification in Sentence of Iudgement is [a gracious Act of God by Christ, according to the Gospel, by Sentence at his publique Bar, acquitting the sinner from the Accusation and Condemnation of the Law, pleaded against him by Satan] upon the considera­tion of the Satisfaction made by Christ, accepted by the sinner, and pleaded for him.

EXPLICATION.

THere is also a two-fold Pardon, as well as a two-fold Iustification: One in Law, the other in Sen­tence of Iudgement. So. Acts 3. 19. Repent, that your sins may be blotted out, when the time of refreshing comes, &c. But pardon of sin is usually mentioned in respect to this life present, as being bestowed here; because a man may more fitly be said to be fully quit from the Obliga­tion of the punishment, commonly called the guilt in this life, then from the Accusation of that guilt which will be managed against him by Satan hereafter, or from the Condemnation, which he must then most especially be delivered from.

The difference betwixt this Iustification and the for­mer, may easily be discerned by the Definition without any further Explication.

THESIS XL.

WHen Scripture speaketh of Iustification by Faith, it is to be understood primarily and directly of Iustification in Law title, and at the bar of Gods publique Iudgment; and but secondarily and conse­quentially of Iustification at the bar of Gods secret judgment, or at the bar of Conscience, or of the World.

EXPLICATION.

1. THat Justification by Faith is in foro-Dei, and not in foro conscientiae primarily, see Dr. Downam's Appendix to Covenant of Grace against Mr Pemble. Conscience is but an inferiour, petty, improper Judge: The work must be transacted chiefly at a higher Tribu­nall. View all the Scriptures that mention Ju­stification by Faith, and you shall finde by the Text and Context that they relate to the bar of God, but not one directly to the bar of Conscience. It is one thing to be justified, and another thing to have it manifested to our Consciences that we are so.

2. That it is not directly at the bar of the World, all will acknowledge.

3. That it is not directly at the bar of Gods secret Judgment, in his own brest, may appear thus: 1. That is not a bar at which God dea­leth with sinners, for Justification or Condem­nation in any known or visible way; No Scrip­ture [Page 123] intimateth it. 2. We could not then judge of our Justification. 3. They are immanent Acts; but Justification is a transient Act: There­fore Dr Downame in the place before men­tioned hath proved against Mr Pemble, that Justification is not from Eternity. And (as I judge by his following Tract of Justification) Mr Pemble himself came afterwards to a soun­der Judgment in the nature of Justification. 4. God dealeth with man in an open way of Law, and upon Covenant terms, and so will try him at a publique Judgment according to the Te­nor of his Covenants. There secrets of his brest are too high for us. By the word will he judge us: That must justifie or condemn us. There­fore when you hear talk of the Bar of God, you must not understand it of the immanent Acts of Gods Knewledg or Will, but of his Bar of publique Judgment, and in the sence of the Word, Some think that Justification by Faith is properly and directly none of all these yet, but that it is a publique Act of God in heaven before his Angels. I think this opinion better then any of the three former, which would have it at the Bar of Gods secret Judg­ment, or of Conscience, or of the World; and I know no very ill consequence that followeth it; But that God doth condemn or justifie at any such Bar. I find no Scripture fully to sa­tisfie or perswade me. Those places, Rom. 2. 13. Heb. 9. 24. Luke 12, 8, 9. & 15. 10. which [Page 124] are alledged to that purpose, seem not to con­clude any [...]ch thing, as that to be the Bar where Faith doth most properly justifie: Yet I acknowledge that in a more remote sence we may be said to be justified by Faith at all the four other Bars, viz. Gods Immanent Judg­ment, and before the Angels, and before Conscience, and the World: For God and Angels do judge according to Truth, and take those to be just, who are so in Law and in deed: and so do our Consciences, and Men when they judge rightly; and when they do not, we cannot well be said to be justified at their Bar. Therefore I think they mistake, who would have Works, rather then Faith, to justifie us at the Bar of the World, as I shall shew after­ward, when I come to open the conditions of Justification.

THESIS XLI.

THat saying of our Divines [That Iustification is perfected at first, and admits of no degrees] must be understood thus, That each of those Acts which we call Iustification, are in their own kind perfect at once; and that our Righteousness is perfect and ad­mits not of degrees. But yet as the former Acts, called Iustification, do not fully, and in all respects, procure our freedom, so they may be said to be imperfect, and but degrees toward our full and perfect Iustification at the last Iudgment.

THESIS XLII.

THere are many such steps toward our finall and full Iustification; As▪ 1. Gods eternall Love and Decree of justifying us. 2. Christs undertaking for satisfying and justifying. 3. His actuall satisfying by paying the price. 4. His own Iustification, as the pub­lique Person, at his Resurrection. 5. That change which is made in our Relation upon our Regeneration, or receiving the vitall seed of Grace, where, among others, that is contained, which is called the habit of Faith: these infants are capable of. 6. The change of our Relation upon our actuall Faith. 7. The pacyfying our own hearts is by the evidence of Faith, and assu­rance there-upon, and witness of Conscience, and Testimony, and Seale of the Spirit. 8. The Angels judging us righteous, and rejoycing therein. 9. Our Iustification before Men. 10. And our finall Iustifica­tion at the great Iudgment.

But it is only the sixth and tenth of these which is directly and properly the Iustification by Faith, as is before exprest.

THESIS XLIII.

THe Iustification which we have in Christs own Iustification is but conditionall as to the particu­lar offenders, and none can lay claim to it, till he have performed the conditions; nor shall any be personally justified t [...]ll then: Even the elect remain personally unjust and unjustified, for all their conditionall Iu­stification in Christ, till they do beleeve.

[Page 126] THis needs not explication, and for Con­firmation there is enough said under the 15, 18, 19, 20, Positions before.

THESIS XLIV.

MEn that are but thus conditionally pardo­ned and justified, may be unpardoned and unjustified again for their non-performance of the conditions, and all the debt so forgiven be required at their hands; and all this without any change in God, or in his Laws. See Ball of the Covenant, pag. 240.

THis is all plain; only for so much of it as seems to intimate an universall condi­tionall Justification, and consequently universall Redemption, I intreat the Reader to suspend his Judgment, till I come to the point of Universall Redemption, where I shall fully and purposely explain my meaning.

And for that which intimates in the follow­ing Position, the falling away of the justi­fied, understand, that I speak only upon sup­position, and of a possibility in the thing, and of the Tenor of the Gospell: But in regard of Gods Will of Purpose, which determineth eventually, whether they shall fall quite away or not, I do beleeve, that the justified by Faith never do, or shall fall away.

THESIS. XLV.

YEa, in case the justified by Faith should cease be­leeving, the Scripture would pronounce them unjust again, and yet without any change in God, or Scripture, but only in themselves. Because their Iustification doth continue conditionall as long as they live here; the Scripture doth justifie no man by name, but all beleevers as such; therefore if they should cease to be beleevers, they would cease to be justified.

THESIS. XLVI.

IVstification implyeth Accusation, either Virtuall or Actuall.

EXPLICATION.

AS there is a Justification in Law or in Sen­tence, so is there the Accusation of the Law, as it stands in force, which may be called a virtuall Accusation, in reference to that at Judgment, which will be Actuall from Satans pleading the violated Law against us. Mr Bradshaw doth fully shew you the reason of this Position.

THESIS. XLVII.

THe new Covenant accuseth no man, as deserving its penalty, but only those that perform not its conditions; that is, the finally unbelieving and im­penitent rebels against Christ, and their rightfull Lord.

EXPLICATION.

THat the Gospell doth not condemn men, or threaten them with damnation for any sins but unbelief, I dare not speak or think. But that the Gospell threateneth no man with damnation but unbeleevers, is out of all question: And consequently the proper sin threatened in the new Covenant as such, is unbelief; the rest are but left and setled on the sinner by this.

THESIS XLVIII.

WHere the Gospell-Covenant doth thus accuse, or where any one is truly thus charged, there is no Iustification for that person.

EXPLICATION.

I Mean, not where any man is accused of a temporary neglect, or delay of performing the conditions: For the Gospell threateneth not death to such, if at last they do perform them: But where there is a finall nonperfor­mance which is the proper violation, there is no hope of Justification. See for this the 32, 33, 34, 35, Positions.

THESIS XLIX.

IT being the Laws Accusation and Condemnation only, & not the Gospels, which we are justified against; therefore the Righteousness which must be [Page 129] pleaded for our Iustifica [...] directly must be a legall Righteousness, which is only Christs Satisfaction.

THESIS L.

OVr Faith therefore cannot be the least part of that Righteousness so to be pleaded, it being not the Righteousness of that Covenant which doth accuse us; so that though we are justified by Faith, yet is it not any of the Righteousness to be pleaded against the accuser.

THESIS LI.

YEt if Satan, or any other, should falsly accuse us of not performing the conditions of the new Covenant, and so having no part in Christs Satis­faction, here we must be justified only by our Faith, or personall Gospell-Righteousness, and not by any thing that Christ hath done or suffered: For in all false accusations we must defend our innocency and plead not guilty.

EXPLICATION.

BUt because there is no danger to us from false accusation before the all-knowing God, therefore Scripture saith nothing of any such Justification, Yet at the bar of men it is frequently usefull, where false accusations may be heard; & therefore David, Iob, &c. do plead their Innocency against their accusers. Also at the bar of our own erroneous Consci­ences this kind of Justification is frequently [Page 130] full; for there Satan hath more hope that his false accusations may take place, then at the Bar of God: Wherefore he more usually accu­seth Christians to themselves of being grace­less, and unbeleevers, and impenitent, and of having no part in Christ, then of breaking the Law by their sins. And in such cases, when the accusation is false, we have no way to an­swer it, but by pleading not guilty, & casting back the accusation as a lying slander, and pro­ducing our Faith and Gospel-Obedience, or what ever grace we are accused to want: And so it is that our own graces and duties may be properly our comfort: It will be but a senceless shift in such an accusation to shew Christs Le­gall Righteousness in stead of our own Evan­gelicall Righteousness. To tell Satan, that Christ hath fulfilled the Law for us, when he is accusing us of not fulfilling the Gospell; silly women are made beleeve by Antinomian Teachers, that this is a solid way of comfor­ting: But Satan is a better Logitian then to take quid pro quo, and to be baffled with such arguing. And as silly, and more false a shift it will be, to tell him, that Christ hath beleeved, repented and fulfilled the Gospell-Conditions for us, as I have shewed before. The best is, these Teachers do but spoyle the comforts of beleevers, and not their safety; for in the case in hand, we suppose the accusation to be false: But yet by such grounds they may very [Page 131] easily overthrow the safety also of unbelee­vers, while they teach them how to comfort themselves without Faith, or to look at all out of themselves in Christ, and so to silence the accusation of both Covenants, by producing only the Righteousness of one.

THESIS LII.

WE must not plead for our Iustification, that Christ hath made us free from the very fact; nor, (2) from the sinfulness of the fact; nor, (3) from its desert of punishment; If Christ had done any of this for us, he must verifie Contradictories. But we must plead, that the penalty is not due to our persons notwithstanding the fact, and its sinful­ness and demerit, because Christ hath satisfied for all this.

EXPLICATION.

SO Mr Anthony Burgess in his book of Justif. pag, 19. affirmeth as much, though some take it for hai­nous doctrine. 1. That the fact should be done, and not done, is a contradiction. 2. So is it, That the fact should be sinful, and not sinful. 3. Or that it should deserve death, and not deserve it: Or that it should be a sin against that threatening Law, and yet not deserve the penalty threatened. Besides, if any of these three could have been taken off, what need Christ have dyed? But that which Remission and Justification freeth us from, is the dueness of punishment to our persons, not­withstanding the dueness of it to the sin; because what is due to the sin, is inflicted on the person of another al­ready, even Christ. So that you see in what sence Christ taketh away sin and guilt, which you must observe, lest [Page 132] you run into the Antinomian conceit, That God seeth not sin in his justified ones. When we say therefore that God looketh on our sins as if they had never been com­mitted, the meaning is, that, in regard to punishment, they shall have no more power to condemn us, then if they had never been committed.

THESIS LIII.

THe offending of God, and the desert and pro­curing of punishment, are not two distinct effects of sin, as some make them; nor is the removal of the curse and punishment, and the obtaining of Gods fa­vour, two distinct parts of our Iustification.

EXPLICATION.

THis is plain, because Gods displeasure against our persons (for his dislike of the sin is never taken off) is a chief part of our punishment, and there­fore not to be distinguished from it, but as the Species from its Genus. And so when all the punishment is remo­ved, then Gods displeasure, or the loss of his favour, must needs be removed: Therefore that Justification in this differs from Remission of sin, I cannot yet think, (as that godly and learned Servant of Christ, whom I honour and reverence, Mr Burgess of Iustificat. pag. 259. doth,) That Justification, besides the pardon of sin, doth connote a state that the subject is put into, viz. a state of favour, being reconciled with God. Because even Remission it self doth connote that state of favour: For if the loss of Gods favour be part of the punishment, and all the punishment be remitted, then the favour which we lost must needs be thereby restored. Indeed there is a two-fold Favour of God, 1. That which we lost in the fall; 2. More super-added by Christ, besides the former restored: Of these in the following Position.

THESIS. LIV.

REmission, Iustification and Reconciliation do but restore the offender into the same state of freedom and favour that he fell from; But Adoption and Marriage-Vnion with Christ do advance him far higher.

EXPLICATION.

THe three former are all concomitant con­sequents of one and the same Act of God by his Gospell: The freedom from o­bligation to punishment is called Remission: the freedom from Accusation and Condem­nation is called Justification; and the freedom from enmity and displeasure is called Recon­ciliation, which are all at once, & do all denote but our Restauration to our former state. Adoption and Marriage-Union do add the rest.

Some may blame me for putting Union among the relative Graces, and not rather among those that make a real physicall change upon us, as Sanctificition and Glorification. But I do herein, according to my judgment, whereof to give the full reasons here would be too large a digression. I know that Caspar Streso, and divers others, do place it in an un­conceivable, unexpressable medium between these two, which yet must be called a Reall Union, more then a Relative, though not Physicall: I will not now stand on [...]his [...] [Page 134] knowledg a Reall Foundation of a Relative Union, and a Reall Communion following thereupon: But am very fearfull of coming so near, as to make Christ and sinners one reall Person, (as the late elevated Sect among us do,) lest blasphemously I should deifie man, and debase Christ to be actually a sinner. And if we are not one reall Person with Christ, then one what? It sufficeth me to know as above­said, and that we are one with Christ in as strist a bond of relation as the wife with the husband, and far stricter; and that we are his body mysticall, but not naturall. That we shall be one with him, as he is one with the Father, is true: But that [as] doth not extend the similitude to all respects, but to a truth in some.

THESIS. LV.

BEfore it be committed it is no sin; and where there is no sin, the penalty is not due; and where it is not due, it cannot properly be forgiven; therefore sin is not forgiven before it be committed, though the grounds of certain Remission be laid before.

EXPLICATION.

FOr proof of this I refer you to Master Burgess of Iustificati. Lect. 28.

THESIS LVI.

BY what hath been said, it is apparent, That Iustification in Title may be ascribed to sever all Causes. 1. The principall efficient Cause is God. 2. The Instrumentall is the Promise or Grant off the new Covenant. 3. The Procatarctick Cause, ( [...]o far as God may be said to be moved by any thing out of him­self, speaking after the manner of men,) is four­fold. 1. And chiefly the Satisfaction of Christ. 2. The Intercession of Christ, and supplication of the sinner. 3. The necessity of the sinner. 4. The opportunity and advantage for the glorifying his Iustice and Mercy. The first of these is the Meritorious Cause; the second the morall perswading Cause; the third is the Ob­jective, and the fourth is the Occasion. 2. Materiall Cause properly it hath none: If you will improperly call Christs Satisfaction the remote matter, I con­tend not. 3. The formall Cause is the acquitting of the sinner from Accusation and Condemnation of the Law, or the disabling the Law to accuse or con­demn him. 4. The finall Cause is the Glory of God, and of the Mediator, and the deliverance of the sinner. 5. The Causa sine quâ non; is both Christs Satis­faction, and the Faith of the justified.

EXPLICATION.

HEre it will be expected, that I answer to these Questions. 1. Why I call the Gos­pell the Instrumentall Cause? 2. Why I call Christs Satisfaction the meritorious Cause, [Page 136] and the Causa sine quâ non? 3. Why I make not Christs Righteousness the materiall Cause? 4. Why I make not the Imputation of it the for­mall Cause? 5. Why I make not Faith the In­strumentall Cause? 6. Why I make it only the Causa sine quâ non?

To the first Question: As a Lease or Deed of Gift is properly a mans Instrument in convey­ing the thing leased or given; and as the Kings Pardon under his Hand and Seal is his proper Iustrument of pardoning & justifying the Malefactor, so is the new Covenant Gods Instrument in this case, or, as it were, his Mouth, by which he pronounceth a beleever justified.

To the second Question: Christs Satisfa­ction hath severall ways of causing our Justifi­cation. 1. That it is the Meritorious Cause, I know few but Socinians that will deny. 2 That it is besides properly a Causa sine qua non, can­not be denyed by any that consider, that it re­moveth those great Impediments that hin­dered our Justification. And what if a man should say, that because impulsive and proca­tarcticall Causes have properly no place with God, that therefore the greatest part of the work of Christs Satisfaction is to be the Causa sine qua non principalis? But because my assigning no more to Christs Satisfaction but merit, and this improper causality, doth seem to some to be very injurious thereto; I desire them so long [Page 137] to lay by their prejudice & passion while they consider of this one thing, That we are not in this business considering which cause hath the preheminence, in regard of physicall pro­duction, but which in morall respect deserveth the highest commendation. In point of Morali­ty the greatest praise is seldom due to the grea­test naturall strength, or to the strongest na­turall causation. In Physicks the efficient hath the greatest part of the glory; but in Morals the Meritorious Cause hath a singular share: As Diogenes said, Quare me non laudas qui dignus sum ut accipiam? plus enim est meruisse quam de­disse beneficium. The like may be said of some Causes sine qua non: That they deserve far greater praise in morall respect, then some that have a proper causality do. It is agreed, that removens impedimentum quâ talis, is Causa sine quâ non: And doth not the greatest part of a Phisitians skill lye there? That which taketh away the offending humor, and clenseth out the corruption, and removeth all hinderan­ces, shall have the greatest share in the glory of the cure, of any artificiall cause. Suppose a man be condemned by Law for Treason, one payeth one thousand pound for his Par­don, and thereby procured it under the broad Seale; hereby he suspendeth, and afterward disableth the Law, as to the offender; This man is the efficient of those happy effects, from which the justification of the Traytor [Page 138] will follow: But as to his justification it self, he is but the Causa removens impedimenta, ta­king away the force of the Law, and the of­fence of Majesty, and whatsoever els did hin­der the justification of the offender. And yet I think he deserveth more thanks then either the Laywer that justifieth him by Plea, or the Judge that justifies him by Sentence. So here; If you had rather: you may call it a necessary Antecedent. Or, if any man think fitter to call these Causes by another name, I much care not, so we agree concerning the nature of the thing.

To the third question. Christs Righteous­ness cannot be the materiall cause, of an Act which hath no matter. If any will call Christs Righteousness the matter of our Righteous­ness, though yet they speak improperly, yet farre neerer the truth, then to call it the Mat­ter of our Justification.

To the fourth Quest. That Imputation is not the Form, is undenyable. The form gi­ves the name: especially to Actions, that have no matter. Imputation and Justification de­note distinct Acts: And how then can Im­puting be the Forme of Justifying. Though I mention not Imputation in the Definition, nor among the Causes here, yet it is implyed in the mention of Satisfaction, which must be made ours, or else we cannot be Justified by it. Though therefore, the Scripture do not [Page 139] speak of imputing Christs Righteousnesse or Satisfaction to us; yet if by Imputing, they mean no more but, [Bestowing it on us, so that we shall have the Justice, and other be­nefits of it as truely as if we had satisfied our selves,] in this sence I acknowledge Imputa­tion of Christs satisfactory Righteousness. But I beleeve that this Imputing, doth in order of nature, go before Justifying: And that the Righteousness so Imputed, is the proper ground whence we are denominated Legally righteous, and consequently why the Law cannot condemn us. It is a vaine thing to quarrell about the Logicall names of the Causes of Justification, if we agree in the matter.

To the fifth Question. Perhaps I shall be blamed, as singular from all men, in denying Faith to be the Instrument of our Justifi­cation: But affectation of singularity leades me not to it. 1. If Faith be an Iustrument, it is the Instrument of God or man: Not of man: For man is not the principall efficient; he doth not justifie himself. 2. Not of God: For 1. It is not God that believeth; though its true, he is the first Cause of all Actions. 2. Man is the Causa secunda, between God and the Action: and so still man should be said to justifie himselfe. 3. For (as Aquinus) The Action of the principall Cause and of the Instrument is one Action: and who dare [Page 140] say, that Faith is so Gods Instrument? 4. The Instrument must have influx to the pro­ducing of the effect of the Principall cause by a proper Causalitie. And who dare say, that Faith hath such an influx into our Justi­fication?

Object. But some would evade thus: It is (say they) a Passive Instrument not an Active.

To which I Answer. 1 Even Passive Instru­ments are said to help the Action of the prin­cipall Agent, (Keckerm. Logick pag. 131.) He that saith, Faith doth so, in my judgement, gives too much to it. 2. It is past my capacity to conceive of a Passive Morall Instrument. 3. How can the Act of Believing (which hath no other being, but to be an Act) be possibly a Passive Instrument? Doth this Act effect by suffering? Or can wise men have a grosser con­ceit of this. 4. I believe with Schibler, that there is no such thing at all as a passive Instru­ment. The examples that some produce (as Burgersdicius his Cultor & gladius) belong to Active Instrument. And the Examples that o­thers bring, (as Keckermans Iurus instrumen­tum fabricationis, mensa & scamnum accubitus, terra ambulationis) are no Instruments: except you will call every Patient or Object, the Instrument of the Agent. The Instrument is an Efficient Cause. All efficiencie is by acti­on; and that which doth not Act, doth not effect▪ Indeed, as some extend the use of [Page 141] the word instrument, you may call, almost, any thing an Instrument, which is any way conducible to the production of the Effect under the chief Cause; And so you may call Faith an Instrument.

Quest. But though Faith be not the Instru­ment of Justification; may it not be called the Instrument of receiving Christ who Justi­fieth us?

Answ. I do not so much stick at this speech as at the former: yet is it no proper or fit ex­pression neither. For 1. The Act of Faith, (which is it that justifieth) is our Actuall re­ceiving of Christ, and therefore cannot be the Instrument of Receiving. To say our Re­ceiving is the Instrument of our Receiving, is a hard saying. 2. And the seed or habite of Faith cannot fitly be called an Instrument. For, 1. The sanctified faculty it self cannot be the souls Instrument; it being the soul it self and not any thing really distinct from the soul: (nor really distinct from each o­ther, as Scotus, D'Orbellis Scaliger, &c. D. Iackson, Mr. Pemble, think: and Mr. Ball questions.) 2. The holinesse of the Facul­ties is not their Instrument. For, 1. It is no­thing but themselves rectified: and not a Being so distinct as may be called their Instru­ment. 2. Who ever called Habits, or Dispo­sitions, the souls Instruments? The apti­tude of a Cause to produce its effect, cannot [Page 142] be called the Instrument of it: you may as well call a mans Life his Instrument of Act­ing or the sharpnesse of a knife, the knives Instrument, as to call our holiness, or habituall faith, the Instrument of receiving Christ.

To the sixth and last Question, I Answ. Faith is plainly and undeniably the condi­tion of our Justification. The whole Tenour of the Gospell shews that. And a condition is but a Causa sine quâ non; or a medium, or a ne­cessary Antecedent. Here by the way take no­tice, that the same men that blame the advan­cing of Faith so high, as to be our true Go­spell Righteousnesse. Posit. 17. 20. and to be inputed in proper sence, Posit 23. do yet, when it comes to the triall ascribe far more to Faith, then those they blame: making it Gods Instrument in justifying. 1. And so to have part of the honour of Gods own Act; 2. And that from a reason intrinsecall to faith it self; 3. And from a Reason that will make o­ther Graces to be Instruments as well as Faith. For Love doth truly receive Christ also. 4. And worst of all, from a Reason that will make man to be the Causa proxima of his own Justi­fication. For man is the Causa proxima of be­lieving and receiving Christ, and therefore not God but man is said to beleeve. And yet these very men do send a Hue and Crie after the Tò credere, for robbing Christ of the [Page 143] glory of Iustification, when we make it but a poor improper Causa sine qua non. (And yet I say as before, that in Morality, yea, and in Na­turality, some Causae sine qua non, do deserve much of the honour; but that Faith doth not so, I have shewed in the 23. Position.) Some think that Faith may be some small low Im­pulsive Cause: but I will not give it so much: though if it be made a Procatarctick Objective Cause, I shall not contend.

THESIS LVII.

IT is the Act of Faith which justifieth men at age, and not the habit: yet not as it is a good work, or as it hath in it's self any excellency in it above other Graces: But 1. In the neerest sence, directly and properly as it is, [The fulfilling of the Condition of the New Convenant:] 2. In the remote and more impro­per sence, as it is [The receiving of Christ and his satisfactory Righteousnesse.]

EXPLICATION.

1. THat the habit of Faith doth not di­rectly and properly justifie, appeares from the tenour of the Covenant: which is not [He that disposed to beleeve shall be saved] But [he that believeth.]

2. That Faith doth not properly justifie through any excellency that it hath above other Graces, or any more usefull property, [Page 144] may appear thus: 1. Then the praise would be due to Faith. 2. Then love would contend for a share, if not a priority. 3. Then Faith would justifie, though it had not been made the Condition of the Covenant.

Let those therefore take heed, that make Faith to justifie, meerely because it appre­hendeth Christ: which is its naturall, effentiall property.

3. That it is Faith in a proper sence that is said to justifie, and not Christs Righteous­nesse onely which it receiveth, may appear thus. 1. From the necessity of two-fold righ­teousness, which I have before proved, in refe­rence to the two-fold Covenant. 2. From the plain and constant Phrase of Scripture, which saith, He that beleeveth shall be justi­fied: and that we are justified by Faith: and that faith is imputed for righteousnesse. It had been as easie for the Holy Ghost to have said, that Christ onely is imputed, or his righteous­nesse onely, or Christ onely justifieth, &c. If he had so meant. He is the most excusable in an error, that is lead into it by the constant expresse phrase of Scripture. 3. From the nature of the thing: For the effect is ascribed, to the severall Causes (though not alike) and in some sort to the Conditions, Especially, me-thinks they that would have Faith to be the Instrument of Iustification, should not deny [Page 145] that we are properly justified by Faith as by an Instrument: For it is as proper a speech to say [our hand and our teeth feed us,] as to say, [our meet feedeth us.]

4. That Faith doth most directly and pro­perly justifie [as its the fulfilling of the Con­dition of the New Covenant] appeareth thus. 1 The new Covenant onely doth put the stamp of Gods Authority upon it, in making it the Condition. A two-fold stamp is necessa­ry to make it a current medium of our Justi­fication. 1. Command. 2. Promise. Because God hath neither Commanded any other meanes, 2. Nor promised Justification to any other, therefore it is, that this is the onely condition; and so only thus Justifieth. When I read this to be the tenour of the New Cove­nant [Whosoever believeth shall be justi­fied:] doth it not tell me plainly why Faith Justifieth? even because it pleaseth the Law­giver and Covenant-maker to put Faith into the Covenant, as its condition. 2. What have we else to shew at Gods barr for our Justification, but the New Covenant? The Authority and Legality of it must bear us out. It is upon point of Law that we are con­demned; and it must be by Law, that we must be Justified. Therefore we were con­demned, because the Law which we break did threaten death to our sin: If we had [Page 146] committed the same Act, and not under a Law that had threatned it with death, we might not have dyed. So therefore are we Justified, because the New Law doth promise Iustifica­tion to our faith. If we had performed the same Act under the first Covenant, it would not have Iustified. As the formall Reason, why sin condemneth is, because the Law hath concluded it in its threatning: so the formall Reason, why Faith justifieth, is, because the New Law of Covenant hath concluded it, in its Promise. And as where there is no Law, there is no Transgression nor Condemnation: be­cause sin is formally a transgression of the Law, and Condemnation is but the execution of its Threatning: so where there is no fulfilling the new Law, there is no Righteousnesse nor Iusti­fication: because Righteousnesse is formally a conformity to the Law of Righteousnesse, and Iustification is but the performing of part of its Promise.

5. That Faith's receiving Christ and his righteousnesse, is the remote of secondary, and not the formall Reason, why it doth Iusti­fie, appeareth thus. 1. I would ask any dis­senter this Question. Suppose that Christ had done all that he did for sinners, and they had believed in him, thereupon, without any Co­venant promising Iustification to this faith: Would this faith have justified them? By what Law? Or whence will they plead their Iustifi­cation [Page 147] at the barr of God? Well: but suppose that Christ having done what he did for us, that he should in framing the New Covenant have put in any other Condition; and said [whosoever loveth God shall by vertue of my satisfaction be Iustified.] Would not this love have Iustified? No doubt of it. I conclude then thus: The receiving of Christ, is as the silver of this coin: the Gospell-promise is as the Kings stamp which maketh it currant for justifying. If God had seen meet to have stamped any thing else, it would have passed currantly. Yet take this. Faith is, even to our own apprehension, the most apt and suitable condition that God could have chosen: (for as far as we can reach to know;) There cannot be a more Rationall & apt con­dition of delivering a redeemed Malefactor from Torment, then that he thankfully ac­cept the pardon, and favour of redemp­tion, and hereafter take his Redeemer for his Lord.

So that if you ask me [what is the formall Reason, why Faith Iustifieth?]

I answer. Because Christ hath made it the condition of the New Covenant, and promised Iustification upon that Condition.

But, 2. If you ask me further, Why did Christ chuse this rather then any thing else for the Condition?

I. Answer. 1. To ask a Reason of Christs [Page 148] choice and commands is not alway wise or safe. 2. But here the reason is so apparent, that a posteriore, we may safely adventure to say: That this is the most self-denying, and Christ advancing work: Nothing could be more proportionable to our poverty, who have nothing to buy with, then thus freely to receive: Nothing could be more reasonable, then to acknowledge him who hath redeemed us, and to take him for our Redeemer and Lord: many more such Reasons might be given. In a word, then Faith Justifieth pri­marily and properly, as it is the Condition of the New Covenant, (that is the formall reason.) And secondarily, remotely, as it is the re­ceiving of Christ and his righteousnesse: (that is the aptitude of it to this use to which it hath pleased Cod to destinate it.)

I stand the more on this, because it is the foundation of that which followeth.

THESIS. LVIII.

THe ground of this is; because Christs Righteous­ness doth not Iustifie us properly and formerly, because we Beleeve or receive it; but because it is ours in Law, by Divine Donation, or Imputation.

THis is plain in it self, and in that which is said before.

THESIS LIX.

IVstification is not a momentaneous Act, begun and ended immediately upon our Believing: bnt a con­tinued Act; which though it be in its kind compleat from the first, yet is it still in doing, till the finall Iusti­fication at the Iudgement day.

EXPLICATION.

THis is evident from the nature of the Act: it being as I shewed before, an Act of God by his Gospell: Now 1. God still continueth that Gospell-Covenant in force. 2. That Covenant still continueth Justifying Be­lievers. 3. God himself doth continue to esteem them accordingly, and to Will their Absolu­tion. 1. This sheweth you therefore with what limitation to receive the Assersion of our Divines, that Remission and Justification are, simul & semel, performed. 2. And that the Justi­fied & pardoned may pray for the continuance of their pardon and Justification. 3. That of Christs satisfaction and our Faith are of continuall use, and not to be laid by, when we are once Justified, as if the work were done. See Dr. Downame of Iustific. of this point.

THESIS. LX.

THe bare Act of beleeving is not the onely Condi­tion of the New Covenant: but severall other du­ties also are part of that Condition.

EXPLICATION.

I Desire no more of those that deny this, but that Scripture may be Iudge: and that they will put by no one Text to that end produced, till they can give some other com­modious, and not forced Interpretation.

1. Then that pardon of sin and salvation are promised upon condition of Repenting, as well as beleeving, is undeniably asserted from these Scriptures. Prov. 1. 23. & 28. 13. Mar. 1. 15. & 6. 12. Luk. 13. 3, 5. Act. 2. 38. & 3. 19. & 8. 22. & 17. 30. & 26. 20. & 5. 31. & 11. 18. Luk. 24. 47. Heb. 6. 1. 2 Pet. 3. 9. Ezek. 18. 27, 28. & 33. 12. Hose 14. 2. Ioel 2. 14, 15. Deut. 4. 30. & 30. 10.

2, That praying for Pardon, and forgiving others, are Conditions of Pardon, is plain, 1 King. 8. 30, 39. Mat. 6. 12, 14, 15. & 18. 35. Mar. 11. 25, 26. Luke 6. 37. & 11. 4. 1 Ioh. 1. 9. Iam. 5. 15. Io. 14. 13, 14. 1 Ioh. 5. 15. Act. 8. 22.

3. That Love, and sincere Obedience, and Works of Love, are also parts of the Condi­tion, appeareth in these Scriptures, Luk. 7. 47. (though I know in Mr Pinks Interpretation of that) Ma. 5. 44. Lu. 6. 27. 35. 10. 11. 12. 17. 1 Cor. 2. 9. Rom. 8. 28. Ephes. 6. 24. 1 Cor. 16, 22. Iam. 1. 12. & 2. 5. Ioh. 14. 21. Pro. 8. 17, 21. Ioh. 16. 27. Ma. 10. 37. Luk. 13. 24. Phil. 2. 12. Rom. 2. 7. 10. 1 Corinth. 24. 9. 2 Tim. 2. 5. 12. 1 Tim. 6. 18. 19. Rev. 22. 14. [Page 151] Luk. 11. 28. Mat. 25. 41, 42. Iam. 2. 2, 22, 23, 24, 26.

THESIS LXI.

THerefore though the non-performance of any one of these be threatned with certain death; yet there must be a Concurrence of them all, to make up the Conditions which have the promise of life.

EXPLICATION.

THerefore we oftner read, death threatned to those that repent not, then Life pro­mised to them that Repent: And when you do read of Life promised of any one of these, you must understand it caeteris partibus, or in sensu composito, as it stands conjunct with the rest, and not as it is divided. Though I think that in regard of their existence, they never are divided (For where God giveth one, he giveth all,) yet in case they were separated, the Go­spell would not so own them as its intire Con­ditions.

THESIS LXII.

YEt Faith may be called the onely Condition of the new Covenant; 1. Because it is the principall Condition, and the other but the less principall: And so as a whole Country hath of its name from the chief City; so may the Conditions of this Covenant from Faith: 2. Because all the rest are reducible [Page 152] to it; either being presupposed, as necessary Antece­dents or means; or contained in it as its parts, proper­ties, or modifications; or else implied as its immediate product, or necessary subservient means or conse­quents.

EXPLICATION.

SUbservient Actions are in common speech silently implyed in the principall. If the besieged be bound by Articles to surren­der a Town to the besiegers at such a time; it need not be expressed in the Articles, that they shall withdraw their Guards, and cease resi­stance, and open the gates, and yeeld up this house, or that street, &c. All this is implyed clearly in the Article of surrender.

If a redeemed gally-slave be freed, upon condition that he take him for his Redeemer and Master that did deliver him; it need not be expressed, that he shall leave the gallies, and his company, and employment there, and go with him that bought him, and do what he bids him do: All this is plainly implyed in the foresaid words, of his Conditions.

So here, the great condition of Beleeving doth include or imply all the rest.

I confess it is a work of some worth and dif­ficulty, to shew how each other part of the Condition is reducible to Beleeving; and in what respect they stand towards it. I dare not [Page 153] determine too peremptorily here, but I think they stand thus. 1. Hearing the Word, consi­deration, conviction, godly sorrow, repen­tance from dead works, are implyed as ne­cessary means antecedents. 2. Knowledge of Christ, and Assent to the Truth of the Gospell are at least integrall parts of flat necessity, if not essentiall parts of Faith. 3. Subjection, Acceptance, Consent, cordiall covenanting, self-resigning, are the very proper essentiall, formall Acts of Faith.

4. Esteeming Christ above all in Judge­ment, preferring him before all in the Will, loving him above all; I say this preferring of Christ above all in Judgement, Will, and Af­fection, is (in my Judgement (the very Diffe­rentia fidei maxime propria quae de ea essentialiter praedicatur, & sic pars ejus essentialis; the very essentiall property of true Faith diffe­rencing it from all false Faith, and so an essentiall part of it. I know this is like to seeme strange; but I shall give my reasons of it anon.

5. Sincerity and perseverance are the ne­cessary Modifications of Faith: and not any thing really distinct from its Being.

6. Assiance and sincere obedience, and works of Love, are the necessary imme­diate, inseparable products of Faith; as heat and light are of fire; or rather as Reasoning is the product of Reason: or yet rather as [Page 154] actions most properly conjugall, are the effects of Conjugall contract. And as Faith is in some sort more excellent then Affiance & O­bedience, as the cause is better then the effect: so in some sort they may be more excellent then Faith; as the effect may be preferred be­fore its Cause; the Act before the habit; as being that which is the end of the habit, for whose sake it is; and to which it tendeth as to its perfection.

7. The praying for forgivenesse, the forgiving of others, the pleading of Christs satisfaction, are both parts of this obedience, and necessary consequents of Faith, and Acts subseruient to it for the attaining of its Ends.

8. The denying and humbling of the flesh, the serious, painfull, constant use of Gods Or­dinances, Hearing, Praying, Meditating, &c. are both parts of the foresaid obedience, and also the necessary means of continuing and exercising our Faith.

9. Strength of Grace; Assurance of Pardon and Salvation; Perswasion of Gods favour; setled peace of Conscience; Ioy in this Assu­rance and Peace; the understanding of Truths not fundamentall, or necessary in practice; All these are no properties of the Condition of the Covenant; but separable adjuncts of Faith; tending to the Well-being of it; but neither tending to, nor necessary, proofs of the Being [Page 155] of it; which a Believer should have, but may possibly want.

I shall give you some reason of severall of these Assertions, when I have first made way by the Definition of Faith.

So then, as when you invite a man to your House, it is not necessary that you bid him come in at the doore, or bring his head, or his legs, or armes, or his clothes with him; (though these are necessary) because all these are necessarily implyed: even so when we are said to be justified by Faith onely; or when it is promised, that he that beleeveth shall be saved, all those forementioned duties, are im­plyed or included.

THESIS LXIII.

AS it is Gods excellent method in giving the Mo­rall Law, first to require the acknowledgment of his soveraign authority, and to bring men to take him only for their God, (which is therefore called the first and great Commandment,) and then to pre­scribe the particular subsequent duties; so is it the excellent method of Christ in the Gospell, first to esta­blish with men his Office and Authority, and re­quire an acknowledgment of them, and consent and subjection to them; and then to prescribe to them their particular duties in subordination.

THESIS LXIV.

FAith therefore is the summary and chief of the conditions of the Gospell, and not formally and strictly the whole: But as Love is the fulfilling of the Law, so Faith is the fulfilling of the new Law; or as taking the Lord for our only God, is the sum of the Decalogue, implying or inferring all the rest, and so is the great Commandment; so taking Christ for our only Redeemer and Lord, is the sum of the conditions of the new Covenant, including, implying or infer­ring all other parts of its conditions, and so is the great Command of the Gospell.

EXPLICATION.

THe Observation in the 63 Position, is commended to you by Mr white of Dor­chester in his Directions for reading Scripture, p. 307.

The full subjection to the Authority com­manding, doth imply and infer subjection to the particular Commands: therefore God doth still make this the sum of the conditions of the Law, that they take him only for their God, or that they have no other Gods but him: And when he contracteth his Covenant into an Epitome, it runs thus, I will be thy God, and thou shalt be my people, Exod. 20. 3. & 23. 13. Deut. 7. 4. & 8. 19. & 13. 2, 3, &c. Ios. 24. 2, 16. &c. Iudg. 2. 12, 17, 19. & 10. 13. 1 Sam. 8. 8. 2 Kings 5. 17. & 17. 7. Ier. 22. [Page 157] 9. & 7. 23. & 11. 4. & 30. 22. Ezek. 36. 28. Deut. 26. 16, 17, &c. And as Gods promise of taking us for his people doth imply his besto­wing upon us all the priviledges and blessings of his people, and so is the sum of all the con­ditions of the Covenant on his part. Even so our taking the Lord for our God, and Christ for our Redeemer and Lord, doth imply our sincere obedience to him; and is the summe of the Conditions on our part. And so as I­dolatry is that violation of the law of Nature, which doth eminentér, containe all the rest in it; So is Unbeliefe in respect of the Law of Grace. And as the formall Nature of Ido­latry lyeth in disclayming God, from being God, or form being our God, or from being our alone God: Even so the formall nature of Unbeliefe lyeth in disclaiming Christ, either from being a Redeemer and Lord, or from being Our Redeemer and Lord, or from being Our onely Redeemer and Lord. This being well considered, will direct you truly and punctually, where to find the very formall being and nature of Faith? Not in beleeving the pardon of sin, or the favour of God, or our salvation; nor in Affiance or re­cumbency, (though that be a most immediate product of it,) Nor in Assurance, (as Divines were wont to teach 80. yeares agoe.) Nor in O­bedience or following of Christ as a guide to [Page 158] Heaven, or as a Captaine, or meere Patterne and Law-giver (as the wretched Socinians teach.) But in the three Acts above mentioned. 1. Taking Christ for a Redeemer and Lord; which is by Assent. 2. Taking him for our Re­deemer, Saviour and Lord; which is by con­sent. 3. Taking him for our onely Redeemer, Saviour and Lord; which is the Morall since­rity of the former: And the essentiall differen­cing property of it: Not whereby Faith is dif­ferenced from Love or joy, &c. But whereby that faith in Christ, which is the Gospell con­dition, is differenced from all other Faith in Christ. So that as Corpus & Anima, & Rationale, doe speake the whole essence of man: Even so this Assent, Consent, and Preference of Christ before all others; do speak the whole Essence of Faith.

For the common opinion, that justifying Faith, as justifying, doth consist in any one single Act, is a wretched mistake, as I shall shew you further anon.

THESIS LXV.

SCripture doth not take the word [Faith] as strictly as a Philosopher would doe, for any one single Act of the soul; nor yet for various Acts of one onely Fa­culty: But for a compleat entire Motion of the whole Soul, to Christ its Object.

THESIS LXVI.

NEither is Christ, in respect of any one part or work of his Office alone, the Object of Iustify­ing Faith, as such: But Christ in his entire office con­sidered, in this Object: viz. as he is Redeemer, Lord and Saviour.

THESIS LXVII.

MVch lesse are any Promises or benefits of Christ, the proper Object of justifying Faith, as many Divines do mistakingly conceive.

THESIS LXVIII.

NOr is Christs person considered as such, or for it self, the object of this Faith: But the person of Christ as cloathed with his Office and Authority is this Object.

EXPLICATION.

I Put all these together, as ayming at one scope: & I shall now explain them distinctly. (To the 65.) First, that Faith is not taken for any one single Act, I prove thus. 1. If it were but one single Act (I mean specifically, not numerically) then it could not (according to the common opinion of Philosophers) be the Act of the whole Soul: But Faith must be the Act of the whole Soul; or else part of the Soul would receive Christ, and part would not; and part▪ of it would entertain [Page 160] him, and part not. Some think the soul is as the body, which hath a hand to receive things in the name, and for the use of the whole. But it is not so, Christ is not onely taken into the hand: But as the blood and spirits, which are received into every living part. (Though I intend not the comparison should reach to the manner of receiving.) Neither is the soul so divisible into parts, as the body is; and therefore hath not severall parts for severall offices. 2. The most of our accurate studious Divines of late, doe take Faith to be seated in both faculties, Understanding and Will: But if so; according to the common Philosophie, it cannot be any one single Act.

Neither Secondly, is it in various Acts of one single faculty: For, 1. It will (in my jud­gement) never be proved, that the soul hath fa­culties which are really distinct from it self, or from each other. These Faculties are but the soul it self, able to doe thus and thus from its naturall being. Vide Scaliger Exercit. 107. Sect. 3. Understanding and Willing are its immediate Acts: And perhaps those very Acts, are more diversified or distinct in their objects, then in themselves. The souls apprehension of an objects as true, we call Understanding; in re­gard of its Metaphysicall Truth, it is a simple apprehension; as we receive this Truth upon the word of another, it is Assent and Beliefe; as this Object is considered as Good, our mo­tion [Page 161] toward it, is called, Willing; if absent, Desiring, Hoping; if present, Complacen­cy, Joying; when we Will a thing as Good, any thing strongly, and apprehend its Good­nesse any thing cleerely, this we call Love, &c. But whether all these be really distinct kinds of Acts of the Soul, is very doubtfull: Much more, whether they proceed from distinct Faculties. As I am not of my Lord Brook's minde concerning the Unity of all things: So neither would I unnecessarily ad­mit of any division: especially in so spirituall and perfect a piece as the Sould; knowing how much of Perfection lyeth in Unity; and re­membring the Pythagorean curse of the Num­ber Two, because it was the first that durst depart from Unity: & frustra fit per plura &c. 2. But if it were proved that the Souls Fa­culties are really distinct; yet both these Fa­culties are capable of receiving Christ; and Christ is an Object suited to both: and then what doubt is it whether Faith be in both?

1. For the Will no man will question it, that it is capable of receiving Christ; and Christ a suitable Object for it.

2. And for the Understanding, it doth as much incline to Truth, as the Will to Good­ness; and as truely receive its Object under the notion of True, as the Will doth receive its Object as Good. If you would see it pro­ved fully, That Assent is an Essentiall part [Page 162] of justifying Faith, read Dr. Downame of Iu­stification, on that Subject: and his Appendix to the Covenant of Grace, in Answer to Mr. Pemble: Where though his Argument will not reach their intended scope, to prove that Assent is the onely proper Act of justifying Faith, yet they do conclude, that it is a reall part. And he well confuteth his oppo­ser, though he do not well confirm that his own opinion.

3. Consider further, that Christ doth not treat of Faith, in sensu Physico sed morali & Po­litico, not as a Naturall Philosopher, but as a Law-giver to his Church. Now in Politicks, we doe not take the names of Actions in so narrow and strict a sense, as in Physicks and Lo­gicke. If a Town doe agree to take or receive such a man for their Mayor; or a Kingdome take or receive such a one as their King: The words [Take, or Receive] here doe not note any one single Act of soul or body alone; but a compound, as it were, of Actions; which yet do all take their name from the Principall, which is [Consent.]

To the 66. That Christ as a Saviour onely, or in respect of his Priestly Office onely, is not the Object of justifying Faith; but that Faith doth as really and immediatly Receive him as King; and in so doing, Justifie: this I prove thus.

[Page 163] 1. The Gospell doth not reveale Christs Offices as separated: But as they are revealed, so they must be believed.

2. Neither doth it Offer Christ in his Priestly Office onely, as separated from his Kingly: though it may sometime presse our Accep­tance of him in one respect, and sometime in another: But as he is offered, so must he be received.

3. Scripture no where tyeth Justification to the receipt of him as our Priest onely, there­fore we must not doe so.

4. How commonly doth Scripture joyn his Offices together, calling him usually, Our Lord and Saviour Iesus Christ?

5. If we receive him not as King, we receive him not as an entire Saviour: For he saveth us, not onely by dying for us, but also by re­ducing us really into communion with God, and guiding us by his Laws, and protecting and perfecting us by his Government, and subduing our enemies.

6. His Kingly Office is a true part of his en­tire Office of Mediatorship: Now the since­rity of Acts in Morall respects, lyeth in their true suitableness to the nature of their Ob­jects: As God is not truely loved, except he be loved entirely: so neither is Christ truely received, if you receive him not entirely. It is a lame, partiall Faith, and no true Faith, that taketh Christ onely in the Notion of a de­liverer [Page 164] from guilt and punishment, without any accepting of him, as our Lord and Go­vernour. Though I beleeve that the hope of being pardoned & saved is the first thing that moveth men to receive Christ, yet do they, being so moved, receive him as their Lord also, or else they doe not receive him sincerely.

7. The exalting of his Kingly Office, is as principall an end of his dying, & of his becom­ming Mediatour, as is the saving of us, and the exalting of his Priestly Office. See the se­cond Psal. and Rom. 14. 9. To this end he both dyed, rose and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead, and the living. And there­fore the receiving of him as Priest alone, is not like to be the Condition of our Justification. So that if Christ put both into the Condition, we must not separate what he hath joyned. But the main ground of their Error, who think otherwise, is this: They think Accep­tance of the mercy offered, doth make it ours immediately in a naturall way, as the accep­ting of a thing from men; And so as if he that accepted pardon, should have it, and he that accepted sanctitie should have it, &c. But Christ (as I have shewed) establisheth his Offices and Authority, before he bestow his mercies; and though Accepting be the pro­per condition, yet doth it not conferre the title to us, as it is an accepting primarily, but as it is the Covenants Condition: If we should [Page 165] take possession when we have no title in Law, God would quickly challenge us for our bold usurpation, and deale with us, as with him that intruded without the Wedding garment; There is more adoe then come in: and sit down, and take what we have a mind to: God hath put all his Sons Offices into the Condi­tion, to be received and submitted to: either all or none, must be accepted: And if All be in the Condition, then the receiving of all must needs Justifie upon the grounds that I have laid down before.

To the 67. That the promises or benefits are not the immediate proper object of Ju­stifying Faith, is evident from the gorunds already layd down: As also from the constant language of the Gospell, which maketh Faith to lie in receiving, believing in him, and in his name, &c. still making Christ himself the immediate object. Therefore if Mr Cotton say as the Lord Brook represents him, That Faith can be nothing but a laying hold of that pro­mise which God hath made; (in his Tract. of Truth and Vni. pag. 152.) it is a foul error in so weighty a point; as is also his other, of Faith justifying and saving only declaratively. In­deed that first less principall Act of Faith, which we call Assent, hath the truth of the Gospell revelation for its neerest and most imme­diate object; but (I think, by the leave of those who contradict) not its onely nor chief [Page 166] object: The truth of the proposition is but a means to the apprehending of the truth of the thing proposed; nor the truth of the history, but a glass to shew us the truth of the Acts which it relateth. So that even the Understan­ding it self doth apprehend the person and of­fices of Christ in their Metaphisicall Verity, by means of its apprehension of the Logicall and Morall verity of the Relation: and though the truth of the Word be the neerest object of Assent, yet the truth of Christs person, nature and offices is the more principall: Or if about these, it may not have the name of Assent, yet shall it have the same nature still.

To the 68. I think none will contradict it, and therefore there need nothing be said.

THESIS LXIX.

IVstifying Faith is the hearty accepting of Christ for our only Lord and Saviour.

EXPLICATION.

IN this brief definition, you have nothing but what is essentiall to it.

1. The genus I need not mention; when it is the Act of Faith which I define, you know the genus already.

2. The Understandings apprehension of Christ as a true Redeemer and Saviour, which in severall respects is called Knowledg or Be­lief, [Page 167] I do imply this, and not express it; be­cause though I take it for a real part of Faith, yet not the most principall and formall part. And as we use to imply Corpus, and not express it when we define man to be Animal rationale; because the form, or principall essentiall part part giveth the name: So here (though I know Assent is not properly a materiall cause) yet being the less principall Act, it giveth not the denomination.

3. That Christ, as Lord and Saviour is the proper object, I have proved before. His Pro­pheticall Office whereby he is the Teacher of his Church, Jimply in both these, because it may in severall respects be reduced to these: For he teacheth by his Laws and Command­ments, and his spirits teaching and governing are scarce distinguishable, and he saveth by teaching. Also his Office of Husband, and Head, are in these implyed; they signifying more the future benefits and priviledges of a beleever, which he shall receive from Christ beleeved in, then the primary offices which he is to acknowledg in beleeving.

4. The proper formall act of justifying Faith, which is most principally essentiall to it of all other is [accepting:] If I must needs place it in one only, it should be this.

My Reasons are, 1. Because the Scripture [Page 168] maketh unbelief, and not receiving Christ, all one, Ioh. 1. 11. and beleeving and receiving Christ, all one, Ioh. 1. 12. So it proclaims this as the great work of the Gospell, to Take, Eat, Drink, &c.

2. The Gospell is the offer of Christ (and his benefits to them that first accept himself;) Therefore Faith must be the accepting of the thing offered. Both these are plain in Rev. 22. 17. Whosoever will, let him take of the water of life freely: There is the free offer, upon condition of coming and taking, or accepting.

3. The will is the commanding faculty of the soul, therefore its act is the principall act, and that is accepting.

4. Christ is presented to us in the Gospell, as a Suitor, beseeching us by his Spirit and Embassadors, and wooing us to himself, and the enjoying of him, which this driveth at, is called our Marriage to him, and we his Spouse, and he our Husband: Now you know that which tyeth the knot of Marriage is Ac­ceptance or Consent.

5. Yea the very nature of a Covenant re­quireth this. Consent maketh it a compleat Covenant. Therefore I said before pag. 219. That Acceptance, Consent, Heart-Covenanting, and Self-resigning, are the proper essentiall Acts of this Faith. For all these are the Wills acts to this their object, which are of flat necessity to the very tying of the Covenant or Marriage [Page 169] knot. Rom. 10. 10. With the heart man beleeveth unto Righteousnesse.

And here let me minde you of one usefull observation more.

The Covenanting on our part, is a princi­pall part of the Conditions of the Covenant. Though this may seem strange, that a Cove­nanting and performing Conditions, should be all most all one. But that is the free nature of the Grace of the Covenant. As if you mar­ry a poor woman that hath nothing, you will give her your self, and all you have, meerly upon Condition that she will Consent to have you: And that Consent is all the Condition on her part, for obtaining present possessi­on (I say, Acceptance, Consent, Covenanting, Self-resigning; which are in a manner all one thing:) But because the end of the marriage is the faithfull performance of Marriage duties, though meer Consent were the onely Condi­tion of the first possession, and the continu­ance of her Consent is the chief Condition▪ of continuing her possession; yet the perfor­mance of those Marriage duties, and not going into others, is part of the Condition al­so of that continuance: So it is in the present case of Justification.

5. Let me here also tell you, that I take love [Page 170] to Christ as our Saviour and Lord, to be essen­tiall to this Acceptance: and so some degree of Love to be part of Justifying Faith, and not properly a fruit of it, as it is commonly taken. My reasons are,

1. The Wills serious apprehension of a thing Good, which we call at earnest Willing it, and Accepting it, is (in my judgement the same thing as Love, in an other name. Love is no­thing but such an earnest Willing, choosing and Accepting it as it is Good.

It is generally acknowledged, that the Affections are but the Motions or Acts of the Will. And if Love be an Act of the same Will, and have the same Object with Consent, E­lection, Acceptance, &c. Why should it not then be the same Act? Onely Acceptance con­sidereth its Object as offered; Election consi­dereth it, as propounded with some other competitor; Consent considereth it, as we are perswaded and invited to it: But all these are extrinsecall considerations: They all consi­der their Object as Good, and so doth Love.

You may object. 1. Then Desire and Hope may be essentiall to Faith.

I Answ. That Love which they imply in them is: but Desire and Hope, as such, do pro­perly consider their object as absent, which this Justifiing Faith doth not.

2. Object. Scripture oft distinguisheth Faith and Love.

[Page 171] Answ. 1. Sometime Faith is taken for Hi­storicall faith, or Faith of Miracles, and then it may be distinguised. 2. Sometime true Faith is taken in the strictest sence, and some­time larglier, as I shall shew anon. 3. But especially; so do I distinguish of Love, as it is considered by it self, and as it is an essentiall part of this Acceptance. Love respecteth its Object meerly as Good, in it self and to the Lover. But Consent and Acceptance have severall other respects, as is expressed: And yet there may be Love in all such Acceptance; though not properly Acceptance in all Love.

Object. 3. Then Love Justifieth as well as Faith.

I Answ. When it is thus considered in Faiths Acceptance, it is not called by the name of Love, but loseth its name, as a lesser River that falleth into a greater; therefore it is not said that Love Justifieth; but Faith that work­eth (even in its essentiall work of Accepting) by Love.

Object. But Love is the greater Grace, and shall out-live Faith, and Faith should rather then be swallowed up in Love.

Answ. Love considering its object onely as Good, shall continue for ever, because the Goodness of its object shall so continue: But Acceptance, Consent, &c. have other additio­nall considerations in their Objects which will vanish. But which is the chiefest Grace in it [Page 172] self, is not the question, but which is the chiefest in the present work. Now seeing Con­sent, Acceptance, &c. are the chief as to Justifi­cation, that Love which is essentially in them may well lose its name here: seeing in the bu­sinesse of Justifying it is considered but as an essentiall part of the main duty.

My next-Reason is, because Christ doth pro­pound it in the Gospel, as of the same necessity, with the same promises annexed to it, Io. 16. 27. For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and beleeved, &c. Joh. 14. 21. He that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and shew my self to him. Jam. 1. 12. & 2. 5. The Crown and Kingdom is prepared for them that love him, 1 Cor. 16. 22. If any man love not the Lord Iesus Christ, let him be Anathema Mara­natha, Ephes. 6. 24. In a word, Faith is a com­prehensive duty, containing divers Acts, where­of this seemeth to me to be part: Neither can I yet conceive, how there can be a cordiall Acceptance of Christ, as our only Saviour, and Love not to be an essentiall part of that Ac­ceptance: but if a finer wit can apprehend the difference better; yet as (I said) Faith being considered here in Morall and Politick respects, and not in its strict naturall quiddity, may essentially be an Affectionate Acceptance, for all that.

If any think fitter to make a wider diffe­rence between the nature of Faith and Love [Page 173] to Christ, I will not contend; for the matter is not great: that both are necessary to Justi­fication, is doubtless: and that they are con­current in, apprehending Ch [...]: And that Love is a part of the Condition of the Covenant, is also undoubted and therefore will have some hand in the business of Justification, as I shall further clear.

6. I put in the word onely in the Defini­tion; because (as is said before) I take the pre­ferring of Christ before all others, and taking him for our Onely Lord and Sa­viour, to be the essentiall difference of true Faith. There is a two-fold Verity or Sinceri­ty in our duties requisite. 1. The verity of their naturall Being, which is called their Metaphysicall Truth. 2. The ve­rity or sincerity of them as Duties or Graces, which is their Morall sincerity: This last consisteth in the true suiting of the Act to its Object. For example, one man pretendeth to love his wife, and doth not: There is neither Naturall nor Mo­rall Truth. Another doth love her, but not half so well as other women: There is the Metaphysicall Truth, but not the Mo­rall. A third loveth her as a wife above others: There is both Metaphysicall Truth and Mo­rall.

So it is in our Love to God: To Love him [Page 174] as the chief Good, is to love him as he is: And he that loveth him never so much, and yet loveth any thing else, as much or more; though his Love have a Metaphysicall Truth of Being, yet it hath no Morall sincerity at all: So that the Preferring God before all, or ta­king him for our Onely God, is the very point of sincerity of Love. Why, just so it is about our Faith: The taking him unfeignedly for our onely Lord and Saviour, is the very point of the sincerity of our Faith in Christ. As Adul­tery is the most proper violation of the Mar­riage Covenant, except actuall renouncing and deserting: So the taking of any other Lord or Saviour besides Christ, or conjunct with him, is the most apparent violation of the bond of our Covenant, and most contradicto­ry to the nature and Essence of Justifying Faith: except onely the Actuall renouncing Christ, and the Covenant it self, by full Aposta­cy; which is an unpardonable sin, Hebr. 6. 4, 5, 6. & 10. 26. Yet in subordination to Christ, we may have other Lords and Saviours, but not in competition and co-ordination. Some of his Government he exerciseth by Ministers, and some by Magistrates under him (for I cannot consent to them that say, the Magistrate is one­ly the Officer of God as Creator, and not of Christ the Mediator; because all things are delivered into his hands, and he is made head over all.) Some also of his saving works, he [Page 175] performeth by instruments and means: And what they so perform under him, may be ac­knowledged without any derogation from him at all.

But perhaps some may think that the Scripture Phrase seemeth rather to intimate, that Faith is an Assent, and not such an Ac­ceptance and Consent, as is before mentioned; because it oft times requireth but this, To be­lieve that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; he that should come into the world, &c.

To which I answer, 1. This proveth onely, that this Knowledg or Assent is part of Faith: but not that it is the whole. 2. It is the use of Scripture to drive at that duty which is most unknown, neglected, or resisted; and to speak little of others, where there was then lesse need to speak, though perhaps the duty be in it self more weighty: Therefore Christ and the Apostles did spend most of their pains to perswade the Jewes to this Assent: That the Messias should come, be their deliverer, they all knew: Even the poor woman of Samaria could tell that, Ioh. 4. 25. And so ready were they to Receive him, if they had known him, that it was the generall expectation, and desire of the people, Mal. 3. 1. But to perswade them that Jesus was the Christ, here lay the difficul­ty. Therefore as Dr. Ames Medull. cap. 3. §. 20.) though sometime Assent to the Truth con­cerning God and Christ, Ioh. 1. 50. be taken [Page 176] for true Faith; yet the speciall Election or Apprehension (for that the meanes by Fidu­cia §. 13.) is still included; and those words do but determine and apply that Fiducia to Christ, which is presupposed to be already to­ward the Messiah.

And let me conclude this with one more practically usefull observation. From this definition of faith, now men may see what to enquire after in their searching of their estates. As faith, being the Gospell-condi­tion, is the main thing to be looked for; So here you see what that faith is. The ignorance of this deceiveth and troubleth multitudes. Some think it lieth in Assurance: Some, in a quieting their hearts in confidence on Christ: Some think, as M. Saltmarsh, That it is nothing else but a perswasion more or less of Gods love: And then when poor troubled souls do feel neither assurance, confidence, nor perswasion of that love, they conclude that they have no Faith. And how will these mistaken Teachers help them to comfort? Why, as Mr. Saltmarsh doth: sometime to tell them, Christ hath beleeved for them; and sometime to tell them plainly, that he can but commend them to the Lord, who is the Au­thor and finisher of Faith: and sometime to tell them, that they should not question their faith, any more then Christ himself. Thus [Page 177] their first way of comfort is to tell them, they do ill to question their faith: If that would serve, all the world might have comfort, and there needs no more. If that will not do, then Christ hath beleeved for them: Yet if that will serve, there is as much comfort for one as another. But what if they say still, I cannot beleeve, (that is, as you expound Belief:) why, then he confesseth plainly, he is at a loss; he can drive on the work of comforting no further; he can do no more but pray for them. pag. 31. Is it not a wonder that this lamentable Comforter should be so valued by the trou­bled spirits? I was many years my self under perplexing doubts: If I had heard such com­forting words as these, they would sooner have driven me to dispair then to comfort. He that hath not so much wit as to discern so gross fallacies, may assoon be comforted by a false and impertinent argument, as by a sound one. Quest. But how would you comfort such a one, that faith he cannot beleeve? Ans. Why, I would first make him know, that the very essentiall form of faith lieth in the Will [...] acceptance of an offered Christ: Then would I know of him, whether he be willing thus to have Christ both for Lord and Saviour, or not? If he say, He is willing: I shall answer, That then he doth beleeve; and then he is Justified: for his Willingness is his very [Page 178] Consent or Acceptance (and that Consent is true Faith: Christ expecteth no more to make up the match. If the match break, it must be either, because Christ is unwilling, or because he is unwilling: not Christ; for he is the Suitor, and Intreater, and Offerer: Not himself; for he confesseth that he is willing. If he say, I am not willing: I should ask; Why then do you look after it, or regard it? Do men enquire af­ter that, and lament the want of it, which they are not willing to have? either temptation or melancholly maketh you not know your own minde; or else you do but dissemble in pretending trouble and sad complaints. If you be indeed unwilling, I have no comfort for you, till you are willing; but must turn to perswasions to make you willing: I should answer, The Condition of the Covenant is not the Perfection, but the sincerity of Faith or Consent: which way goes the prevailing bent or choyce of your will. If Christ were be­fore you, would you accept him, or reject him? If you would heartily accept him for your only Lord and Saviour, I dare say, you are a true Beleever.

Thus you see the comfortable use of right understanding, what justifying faith is; and the great danger and inconvenience that follow­eth the common mistakes in this point.

THESIS LXX.

FAith in the largest sence, as it comprehendeth all the Condition of the new Covenant, may be thus defined: It is when a sinner by the Word and Spirit of Christ being throughly convinced of the Righte­ousness of the Law, the truth of its threatening, the evill of his own sin, and the greatness of his misery hereupon, and with all of the Nature and Offices, Sufficiency and Excellency of Iesus Christ, the Satis­faction he hath made, his willingness to save, and his free offer to all that will accept him for their Lord and Saviour; doth hereupon believe the truth of this Gospell, and accept of Christ as his only Lord and Sa­viour, to bring them to God their chiefest good, and to present them pardoned and just before him, and to bestow upon them a more glorious inheritance, and do accordingly rest on him as their Saviour, and sincerely (though imperfectly) obey him as their Lord, forgiving others, loving his people, bearing what sufferings are imposed, diligently using his means and Ordinances, and confessing and bewai­ling their sins against him, and praying for pardon; and all this sincerely, and to the end.

EXPLICATION.

THis is the Condition of the new Cove­venant at large, That all this is sometime called Faith, as taking its name from the primary, principall, vitall part, is plain hence.

[Page 180] 1. In that Faith is oft called the Obeying of the Gospell but the Gospell commandeth all this, Rom. 10. 16. 1 Pet. 1. 22. & 4. 17. 2 Thes. 1. 8. Gal. 3. 1. & 5, 7. Heb. 5. 9.

2. The fulfilling of the Conditions of the new Covenant is oft called by the name of Faith, & so opposed to the fulfilling the Con­ditions of the old Covenant, called works; But these forementioned are parts of the Con­dition of the new Covenant, and therefore im­plyed or included in Faith, Gal. 3. 12, 23, 25. Not that Faith is properly taken for its fruits, or confounded with them, but (as I told you before) it is named in the stead of the whole Condition, all the rest being implyed as re­ducible to it, in some of the respects mentio­ned under the 62 Position.

It may be here demanded, 1. Why I do make affiance or recombency an immediate product of Faith, when it is commonly taken to be, the very justifying Act?

I answer: 1. I have proved already, that Consent or acceptance is the principall Act, and Affiance doth necessarily follow that. 2. For the most of my Reasons; that Affiance is a following Act, and not the principall, they are the same with those of Dr Downame against Mr Pemble, and in his Treatise of Justi­fication, whither therefore I refer you for Sa­tisfaction.

2. Quest. Why do I make sincerity and perseverance [Page 181] to be so near kin to Faith, as to be, in some sence, the same, and not rather distinct Graces?

Answ. It is apparent, that they are not reall distinct things, but the Modi of Faith. 1. Sincerity is the verity of it, which is conver­tible with its Being, as it is Metaphysicall Ve­rity, and with its Vertuous or Gracious Being, as it is Morall or Theologicall Sincerity. 2. Perseverance or duration of a Being, is no­thing really distinct from the Being it self: Suarez thinks, not so much as a Modus.

THESIS LXXI.

(1) THe sincere Performance of the summary, great Command of the Law, To have the Lord only for our God, and so to love, obey, be­lieve and trust him above all, is still naturally im­plyed in the Conditions of the Gospell, as of abso­lute indispensible necessity, (2) and in order of na­ture, and of excellency before Faith it self: (3) But it is not commanded in the sence, and upon the terms, as under the first Covenant.

EXPLICATION.

(1) THis Command need not be expressed in the Gospell Conditions, it is so na­turally necessary, & implied in all: As the ultimate End need not be expressed in di­rections & precepts so as [...]he meanes, because [Page 182] it is still supposed; & consultatio est tantum de mediis.

(2) Love to God, and taking him for our God and chiefe Good, is both in excellency and order of nature, before Faith in Christ the Mediator; 1. Because the End is thus be­fore the meanes in excellency and intention: But God is the ultimate End; and Christ as Mediator is but the meanes, Ioh. 14. 6. Christ is the way by which men must come to the Fa­ther. 2. The Son as God-man or Mediator, is lesse then the Father; and therefore the duties that respect him as their Object, must needs be the lesse excellent duties, Ioh, 14. 13. The glory of the Son, is but a means for the glory of the Father, Ioh. 14. 28. My Father is greater then I: therefore the Love of the Father is grea­ter then the Love to the Son, &c. So also in point of necessity it hath the naturall prece­dency: as the End hath before the means: for the denying of the End doth immediately ca­shiere and evacuate all means, as such. He that maketh not God his chief Good, can never de­sire or Accept of Christ, as the way and meanes to recover that chief Good. The Apostle there­fore knew more reason, then meerely for its perpetuity, why the chiefest Grace is Love, 1. Cor. 13. 13. Though yet the work of Justifi­cation is laid chiefely upon faith.

(3) That this Love of God, is not comman­ded in the sence, and on the termes as under [Page 183] the Law, is evident. For, 1. The old Cove­nant would have condemned us, for the very imperfection of the due degree of Love: But the Gospell accepteth of Sincerity, which lyeth in loving God above all; or as the chiefe Good. 2. The old Covenant would have de­stroyed us, for one omission of a due Act of Love; But the Covenant of Grace accepteth of it, if a man that never knew God all his life time, doe come in at last.

Yet the sincere performance of it is as ne­cessary now as then.

THESIS. LXXII.

AS the accepting of Christ for Lord, (which is the hearts subjection) is as Essentiall a part of Iusti­fying Faith, as the Accepting of him for our Saviour: So consequently, sincere obedience, (which is the ef­fect of the former,) hath as much to doe in justifying us before God, as Affiance, (which is the fruit of the later.)

EXPLICATION.

I Know this will hardly down with many. But I know nothing can be said against it, but by denying the Antecedent, viz. That Faith as it Accepteth Christ for Lord and King doth Justifie. But that I have proved before. If it be one Faith, and have the Object enti­rely propounded as one, and be one entire [Page 184] principall part of the Covenants Condition; then sure it cannot be divided in the work of Justifying. This may be easily apprehended, if men will but understand these three things. 1. That Faith is no Physicall or naturall pro­per Receiving of Christ at all: But meerly a morall Receiving though performed by a Phy­sicall Act of Accepting: For thy Will doth not naturally touch and take in the person of Christ; That is an impossible thing, whatso­ever the Transubstantiation, men may say: (Though the Essence of the Godhead is every where.) 2. That this accepting which is a Mo­rall Receiving doth not, nor possibly can, make Christ ours immediately and properly, as it is a Receiving; But mediately and im­properly onely: The formall cause of our interest, being Gods Donation by the Gospell Covenant. 3. That this Covenant maketh a whole entire Faith its Condition: A Receiving of whole Christ with the whole soul: It is, as Amesius, Actio totius hominis; And if the Cove­nant doe make Christ as King, the object of that Faith which is its Condition, as well as Christ, as a Deliverer or Priest; Then may it be as fit a Medium for our Justification, as the other.

That Obedience is as neere a fruit of Faith, as Affiance, is evident; if you take it for the O­bedience of the Soul, in Acts that are no more remote from the heart then Affiance is: And [Page 185] so is the Obedience of our Actions externall in its formall respect (as Obedience): though not in its materiall, because the imperate Acts are not all so neer the fountain as the Elicite. I take it here for granted, that Dr Downames arguments in the place fore-cited, have proved Affiance to be but a fruit of the principall ju­stifying Act of Faith.

THESIS LXXIII.

FRom what hath been said, it appeareth in what sence Faith only justifieth; and in what sence Works also justifie: viz. 1. Faith only justifieth, as it implieth and includeth all other parts of the con­dition of the new Covenant: and is so put in opposi­tion to the Works of the Law, or the personall Righ­teousnes of the old Covenant. 2. Faith only justifieth as the great principall master duty of the Gospell or chief part of its Condition, to which all the rest are some way reducible. 3. Faith onely doth not justifie in opposition to the Works of the Gospell; but those Works do also justifie, as the secondary, less principall parts of the condition of the Covenant.

THESIS LXXIV.

SO that they both justifie in the same kinde of causality, viz. as Causa sine quibus non, or mediums and improper Causes; or as Dr Twisse) Causae dispositivae: but with this diffe­rence: Faith as the principal part; Obedience as the [Page 186] less principall. The like may be said of Love, which at least is a secondary part of the Condition: and of others in the same station.

EXPLICATION.

I Know this is the doctrine that will have the loudest out-cries raised against it: and will-make some cry out, Heresie, Popery, Socinianism! and what not? For my own part the Searcher of hearts knoweth, that not singu­larity, affectation of novelty, nor any good will to Popery, provoketh me to entertain it; But that I have earnestly sought the Lords direction upon my knees, before I durst ad­venture on it: And that I resisted the light of this Conclusion as long as I was able. But a man cannot force his own understanding, if the evidence of truth force it not; though he may force his pen, or tongue, to silence or dissembling.

That which I shall do further, is, to give you some proofs of what I say, and to answer some Objections. Though, if the foregoing grounds do stand, there needs no more proof of these assertions.

1. If Faith justifie as it is the fulfilling of the Condition of the new Covenant, and O­bedience be also part of that Condition, then obedience must justifie in the same way as Faith: But both parts of the Antecedent are before proved.

[Page 187] The other proofs follow in the ensuing Positions, and their Explications and Con­firmations.

THESIS LXXV.

THe plain expressions of Saint James should ter­nifie us from an interpretation contradictory to the Text; and except apparent violence be used with his Chap. 2. 21. 24, 25, &c. it cannot be doubted, but that a man is justified by Works, and not by Faith only.

THESIS LXXVI.

NEither is there the least appearance of a con­tradiction betwixt this and Paul's doctrine, Rom. 3. 28. If men did not through prejudice, ne­gligence, or wilfulness overlook this; That in that and all other the like places, the Apostle doth profes­sedly exclude the Works of the Law only from Iusti­fication; but never at all the Works of the Gospell as they are the Condition of the new Covenant.

EXPLICATION.

IN opening this I shall thus proceed: 1. I will shew the clearness of that in Iames for the point in question. 2. That Paul is to be understood in the sence expressed. 3. How this differeth from the Papists Exposition of these places: and from their doctrine of Justi­fication by Works. 4. And how from the So­cinian doctrine.

[Page 188] 1. The ordinary Expositions of St. Iames are these two: 1. That he speaks of Justifica­tion before men, and not before God. 2. That he speaks of Works, as justifying our Faith, and not as justifying our persons: or (as Mr. Pembles phrase is) the Apostle when he saith Works justifie, must be undestood by a Me­tonimy, that a working Faith justifieth. That the former Exposition is falfe may appeare thus.

1. The worlds Justification freeth us but from the Worlds Accusation, to which it is opposed: And therefore it is but either a Ju­stifying from the Accusation of humane Lawes; Or else a particular Justification of us in respect of some particular facts; or else an usurped Judgement and Justification: For they are not constituted our Judges by God: And therefore we may say with Paul, It is a small thing with me to be judged of you, or of mans Iudgement: And so a small thing to be Justi­fied by men from the Accusations of the Law of God.

But the Justification in Iames is of greater moment: as appeares in the Text. For, 1. It is such as: salvation dependeth on; vers. 14. 2. It is such as followeth onely a living Faith: but the world may as well Justifie us when we have no Faith at all.

I therefore affirme, 1. The World is no lawfull Judge of our Righteousness before [Page 189] God, or in reference to the Law of God. 2. Neither are they competent or capable Judges. They cannot possibly passe any certaine true sentence of our Righteousness or unrighte­ousnesse. 3. If they could, yet Works are no certain medium, or evidence, whereby the world can know us to be Righteous: For there is no outward work which an Hypocrite may not perform: and inward works they cannot discern: nor yet the principles from which, nor the ends to which our works proceed and are intended. There is as much need of a divine heart-searching knowledge, to discern the sin­cerity of Works, as of Faith it self. So that if it be not certain, that the Text speaks of Justi­fication before God, I scarce know what to be certain of.

Once more: 1. Was Abraham justified be­fore men for a secret Action! 2. Or for such a [...] Action as the killing of his onely Son would have been? 3. Was not he the justifier here, who was the imputer of Righteousness? But God was the imputer of Righteousness, vers 23. therefore God was the Justifier, So I leave that interpretation to sleep.

2. That it is the Person and not his Faith onely, which is here said to be justified by Works, is as plain in the Text almost as can be spoken, vers. 21. Abraham (not his faith) is said to be justified by works. Vers. 24. [Page 190] By Works a man is justified: If by a man were meant, a mans Faith, then it would run thus sencelessely: By Works a mans Faith is justi­fied, and not by Faith onely, so Vers 25,

3. For Mr. Pembles interpretation, That by Works is meant a Working Faith.

I Answer, I dare not teach the holy Ghost to speak; nor force the Scripture; nor raise an exposition so far from the plain importan­ce of the words, without apparent necessity: But here is not the least necessitie: There being not the least inconvenience, that I Know of, in affirming Justification by Works, in the fore-explained sence. Men seldom are bold with Scripture, in forcing it; But they are first bold with Conscience inforcing it. If it were but some one Phrase dissonant from the ordi­nary language of Scripture, I should not doubt but it must be reduced to the rest. But when it is the very scope of a Chapter, in plain and frequent expressions, no whit dissonant from any other Scripture; I think he that may so wrest it, as to make it unsay what it saith, may as well make him a Creed of his own let the Scripture say what it will to the con­trary: what is this but with the Papist to make the Scripture a Nose of wax? If Saint Iames speak it so oft over and over; that Justifica­tion is by works, and not by Faith onely, I will see more cause before I deny it; or say, he meanes a Working Faith.

[Page 191] If he so understand a Working Faith as that it justifieth principally as Faith, and lesse prin­cipally as working, then I should not differ from him, only I should think the Scripture Phrase is more fafe and more propert; But he understandeth it according to that com­mon assertion and exposition, that Fides so­lum justificat, non autem fides sola: Faith alone justifieth, but not that faith which is alone. The question therefore is, Whether Works do concur with Faith (as part of the Con­dition) in the very businesse of Justify­ing? or whether they are onely Concomitants to that Faith which effecteth the business without their assistance? The ground of the mistake lyeth here: They first ascribe to much to Faith; and then because that nimium which they give to Faith is not found agree­able to Works, therefore they conclude, that we are not justified by works at all. They think that Faith is an Instrumentall efficient cause of Justification (which that properly it is not, I have proved before:) when if they un­derstood that it justifieth but as a Causa sine quanon, or condition, they would easily yeeld, that Works do so too. I will not say there­fore that Works do effectually produce our Justification (For faith doth not so: Nor that they justifie as equall parts of the condition: For faith is the principall. But that they justi­fie as the secondary lesse-principall part of [Page 192] the Condition, (not onely proving our Faith to be sound, but themselves being in the O­bligation as well as Faith, and justifying in the same kind of causality or procurement as Faith, though not in equality with it) I prove thus: 1. When it is said that we are Iustified by Works the word By, implyeth more then an Idle concomitancy: If they only stood by, while Faith doth all, it could not be said, that we are Justified by Works.

2. When the Apostle saith, By Works, and not By Faith onely, he plainly makes them conco­mitant in procurement, or in that kind of cau­sality which they have: Especially, seeing he saith not, as he is commonly interpreted, not By Faith which is alone; but not, by Faith only, [...].

3. Therefore he saith that Faith is dead being alone, Because it is dead as to the use and purpose of Justifying: for in it self it hath a life according to its quality still. This appears from his comparison in the former verse 16. that this is the death he speaks of. And so Works make Faith alive, as to the attainment of its end of Justification.

4. The Analysis which Piscator and Pemble give, contradicteth not this Assertion. If in stead of a Working Faith, they will but keep the Apostles own words, I shall agree to most of their Analysis. (Though conclusious drawn from the Analysis are often weak, it is so easie [Page 193] for every man to feign an Analysis suited to his ends) onely the explication of the 22. vers. they seem to fail in. For when the A­postle saith, that Faith did, [...], work in and with his works, it cleary aimeth at such a working in, and with, as maketh them conjunct in the work of Justi­fying: And when he saith that Faith was made perfect with Works, it is not (as they and others interpret) only a ma­nifesting to be perfect. But as the habit is perfected in its Acts, because they are the end to which it tendeth; And as Marriage is perfected per congressum & procreationem: or any Covenant when its conditions are performed. Faith alone is not the entire perfect Condition of the New Covenant: but Faith with Repentance and sincere Obedience, is; A condemned Gally-slave being Redeemed, is to have his deliverance upon condition that he take his Redeemer for his Master: This doth so directly imply, that he must obey him, that his conditions are not perfectly fulfilled, except he do obey him as his Master: And so taking him for his Re­deemer and Master, and obeying him as his Master, do in the same kind procure his continued freedom. Indeed his meer pro­mise and consent doth procure his first deli­verance, but not the continuance of it. So I ac­knowledg, [Page 194] that the very first point of Justifi­cation is by Faith alone, without either the concomitancy or co-operation of Works; for they cannot be performed in an instant: But the continuance and accomplishment of Justi­fication is not without the joynt procurement of obedience. As a woman is made a mans wife, and instated in all that he hath, upon meer acceptance, consent, and contracts; be­cause conjugall actions, affection, the forsaking of others, &c. are implyed in the Covenant, & expressed as the necessary for future; there­fore if there be no conjugall actions, affections or fidelity follow, the Covenant is not per­formed, nor shall the woman enjoy the bene­fits expected. It is so here, especially seeing Christ may dis-estate the violaters of his Co­venant at pleasure.

This sheweth us how to answer the Ob­jections of some: 1. Say they, Abrahams Faith was perfect long before. Answ. Not as it is a fulfilling of the Covenants Condition, which also requireth its acting by Obe­dience.

2. Abraham (say they) was justified long be­fore Isaac was offered, therefore that could be but a manifesting of it. Answ. Justifica­tion is a continued Act. God is still justi­fying, and the Gospell still justifying. A­brahams Justification was not ended before.

3. Mr Pemble thinks, that as a man cannot [Page 195] be said, [to live by Reason] though he may be said, to live by a reasonable soul, and as a plant liveth not per augmentationem, & si per animam auctricem: So we may be said to be justified by a working Faith, but not by Works.

I Answ. Both Speeches are proper. And his simile doth not square or suit with the Case in hand: For Justifying is an extrinse­call consequent, or product of Faith, and no proper effect at all: Much lesse an effect flow­ing from its own formall essence, as the life of a man doth from a Reasonable soul, and the life of a Plant from a Vegetative. I hope it may be said properly enough, that a Servant doth his work, and pleaseth his Master, by Reason, as well as by a reasonable soul: And a Plant doth please the Gardiner by augmen­tation, as well as per animam austricem. So that a man pleaseth God, and is Justified by sin­cere Obedience, as well as by a working Faith.

3. How this differeth from the Papists Doctrine, I need not tell any Scholar who hath read their writings.

1. They take Justifying for Sanctifying: so do not I. 2. They quite overthrow and deny the most reall difference betwixt the Old Covenant and the New: and make them in a manner all one: But I build this Exposi­tion and Doctrine, chiefly upon the clear diffe­rencing and opening of the Covenants.

[Page 196] 3. When they say, We are Justified by VVorks of the Gospell; they mean only, that we are sanctified by Works that follow Faith, and are bestowed by Grace, they meriting our inherent justice at Gods hands. In a word, there is scarce any one Doctrins, wherein even their most learned Schoolmen are more sottishly ignorant then in this of Justification▪ so that when you have read them with profit and delight on some other subjects; when they come to this, you would pitty them, and ad­mire their ignorance.

They take our Works to be part of our Legall Righteousness: I take them not to be the smallest portion of it: But onely a part of our Evangelicall Righteousness; or of the Condition upon which Christs Righteous­ness shall be ours.

5. But what difference is there betwixt it and the Socinian Doctrin of Justification? Answ. In some mens mouths, Socinianisme is but a word of reproach, or a stone to throw at the head of any man that saith not as they. Mr. Wotton is a Socinian, and Mr. Bradshaw, and Mr. Gataker, and Mr. Goodwin, and why not Pis­cator, Pareus, &c. if some zealous Divines know what Socinianisme is. But I had rather study what is Scripture-truth, then what is Socinianisme: I do not think that Faustus was so Infaustus, as to hold nothing true: That which he held according to Scripture is not So­cinianisme. [Page 197] For my part, I have read little of their writings; but that little gave me enough, and made me cast them away with abhorrence. In a word: The Socinians ac­knowledge not that Christ had satisfied the Law for us; and consequently is none of our Legall Righteousness: but onely hath set us a copy to write after, and is become our pat­tern, and that we are Justified by following him as a Captain and guide to heaven: And so all our proper Righteousness is in this obedience. Most accursed Doctrine! So farre am I from this, that I say, The Righ­teousness which we must plead against the Lawes accusations, is not one grain of it in our Faith of Works: but all out of us in Christs satisfaction. Onely our Faith, Repentance, and sincere Obedi­ence, are the Conditions upon which we must partake of the former. And yet such Conditions as Christ worketh in us free­ly by his Spirit.

6. Lastly, let us see whether St. Paul, or any other Scripture do contract this. And, for my part, I know not one word in the Bible that hath any strong appearance of Contra­diction to it. The usuall places quoted are these, Rom. 3. 28. & 4. 2. 3. 14. 15. 16. Gal. 2. 16. & 3. 21. 22. Ephes. 2. 89. Phil. 3. 8. 9. In all which, and all other the like places, you shall easily perceive. 1. That the Apostles dispute [Page 198] is upon the question, What is the Righteous­ness which we must plead against the Accu­sation of the Law? or by which we are justi­fied as the proper Righteousness of that Law? And this he well concludeth, is neither Works nor Faith. But the Righteousnesse which is by Faith; that is, Christs Righteous­nesse.

But now St. Iames his question is, What is the Condition of our Justification by this Righteousness of Christ? Whether Faith one­ly? or Works also?

2. Paul doth either in expresse words, or in the sence and scope of his speech, exclude onely the works of the Law, that is the fulfil­ling of the Conditions of the Law our selves. But never the fulfilling of the Gospell-Condi­tions that we may have part in Christ. Indeed, if a man should obey the Commands of the Gospell, with a Legall intent, that it might be a Righteousnesse conform to the Law of Works; this Obedience is not Evangelicall, but Legall obedience: For the form giveth the name.

3, Paul doth by the word, Faith, especially direct your thoughts to Christ beleeved in; For to be justified by Christ; and to be justi­fied by receiving Christ is with him all one.

4. And when he doth mention Faith as the Condition, he alwayes implyeth obedience to Christ. Therefore Beleeving and obeying the [Page 199] Gospell, are put for the two Summaries of the whole Conditions. The next will clear this.

THESIS LXXVII.

THat we are justified by sincere obedience to Christ, as the secondary part of the Condition of our Iustification; is evident also from these following Scriptures. Mat. 12. 37. Mar. 11. 25. 26. Luk. 6. 37. Mat. 6. 12. 14. 15. 1 Joh. 1. 9. Act. 8. 22. Act. 3. 19. & 22. 16. 1 Pet. 4. 18. Rom. 6. 16. 1 Pet. 1. 2. 22.

THESIS. LXXVIII.

OVr full Iustification, and our everlasting Salva­tion have the same Conditions on our part. But sincere Obedtence is without all doubt, a Condition of our Salvation: therefore also of our Iustifica­tion.

EXPLICATION.

THe Antecedent is manifest, in that Scripture ma­keth Faith a Condition of both Iustification and Salvation: and so it doth Obedience also, as is be­fore explained. Therefore we are justified, that we may be saved. It would be as derogatory to Christs Righ­teousness, if we be saved by works, as if we be justified by them. Neither is there any way to the former but by the latter. That which a man is justified by, he is saved by. Though Glorification be an adding of a greater happinesse then we lost, so justification is not enough thereto: Yet on our part, they have the same Conditions.

Yet here I say still, Our full Iustification because, as I have shewed our first possession of it is upon our meer [Page 200] Faith or Contract with Christ. But I think our Glorifi­cation will be acknowledged to have the same Condi­tions with our finall Iustification at the barre of Christ. And why not to our entire continued justification on earth? You may Object. Perseverance is a condition of our Glorification; but not of our Iustification here. I Answer, 1. Perseverance is nothing but the same Conditions persevering. 2. As the sincerity of Faith is requisite to our first possession of justification; so the perseverance of Faith, is the Condition of persevering Iustification. See Hebr. 3. 14.

2. That Obedience is a Condition of our Salvation is undoubted, Hebr. 5. 6. Christ is the Author of eter­nall Salvation to all them that obey him; so fully, Rom. 2. 7. 8. 9. 10. Revel. 22. 14. Blessed are they that do his commandements, that they may have Right to the tree of Life, and may enter by the Gates into the City. And hath that no hand in their Iustification, which giveth them right to the tree of Life? Iam. 1. 22. 23. 24. 25. Mat. 5. from the 1. to the 13. especially the 19. 20. Mat. 7. 13. 21. 23. 24. with the multitude the like. Besides all those under Posit. 22. which prove a personall Righteousness, so called from the conformity to the Gospell. See Rom. 8. 4. 13.

THESIS. LXXIX.

THis Doctrine is no whit derogatory to Christ and his Righteousnesse: For he that ascribeth to Faith or Obedience no part of that work which belongeth to Christs satisfactory Righteous­nesse, doth not derogate in that, from that Righ­teousnesse. But he that maketh Faith and Obe­dience to Christ, to be only the fulfilling of the Con­ditions of the New Covenant, and so to be one [...]y Con­ditions of justification by him, doth give them no part of the work of his Righteousnesse: Seeing he came not to fulfill the Gospell, but the Law,

EXPLICATION.

I Have proved this before, Posit. 20. I shall here onely Answer some objections. Object. 1. Christ was baptized because he must fulfill all Righteousness: But that was no part of the Legall Righteousness. Answ. The Priests were to be washed when they entred upon their office: There were many Ceremonious wash­ings then in force: Either Christs Baptisme was Legall; or else by [fulfilling Righteousnesse] must needs be meant, The fulfilling all the works of his own office: whereof one was, the instituting of Church Ordinances: and he thought meet to institute this by Example as well as Doctrine. He that will affirm, that Christ hath fulfilled Evangelicall Righ­teousnesse for us, as well as Legall, shall overthrow the office of Christ, and the nature of Christianity. Object. 2. Mr. Bradshaw, and most others say, That he received the Sacra­ment of his Supper, Ans. Wholly without book. I beleeve not that ever he did it: for the Scripture no where speaks it: And many absurd consequences would hardly be avoided: All the probability for it, is in those words, I will drink no more of the fruit of, &c. Answ. 1. That may be a Reason why he would not drink now; and doth not necessarily imply that he did. 2. But clearly, Luke who speaketh distinct­ly [Page 220] of the two Cups (which the other do not) doth apply, and subjoyn these words to the first Cup, which was before the Sacramen­tall.

2. If it were granted that Christ did re­ceive the Sacrament; yet he never did as an obedientiall Act to his own Gospell precepts? Did he obey a Law not yet made? or his own Law, and so obey himself? Much lesse did he perform it as a part of the New Covenant Condition on our part. But as a Law-giver and not an Obeyer thereof: It was a Law-making Action, (if any such had been.)

Object. If sincere obedience be a part of the Condition, then what perplexities will it cast us into to finde out, when our obedience is sincere? Answ. 1. This difficulty ariseth also, if we make it but the Condition of our Salvation: & yet few, but Antinomians, will deny that. 2. Why is it not as hard to discern the sincerity of faith as of Obedience. 3. Obe­dience is then sincere, when Christ is cordially taken for our onely Lord; and when his Word is our Law, and the main desire and endeavor is to please him; and though through preva­valency of the flesh we slip into sin, yet the pre­vailing part of our will is against it, and we would not change our Lord for all the world.

Mr. Saltmarsh thinketh, that because we have so much sin with our Obedience, all Be­leevers [Page 203] have cause to suspect it; and so cannot conclude Justification from it. As if sincerity might not stand with infirmity! Or could not be discerned where there is any remaining im­perfection! Might not Paul conclude of the sincerity of his Willingness to obey Christ, because he did the evill which he would not? And might he not conclude his Justification from that Willingness to obey? Read Ball of the Covenant chap. 11.

THESIS LXXX.

TO conclude: It is most clear in the Scripture, and beyond all dispute, that our Actuall, most proper, compleat Iustification, at the great Iudgement, will be according to our Works, and to what we have done in flesh, whether Good or Evill: which can be no otherwise then as it was the Condition of that Iustification. And so Christ, at that great Assize, will not give his bare Will of Purpose, as the Reason of his proceedings: but as he governed by a Law; so he will judg by a Law: and will then give the Rea­son of his Publique Sentence from mens keeping or breaking the Conditions of his Covenant; that so the mouths of all may be stopped, and the equity of his Iudgment may be manifest to all; and that he may there shew forth his hatred to the sins, and not onely to the persons of the Condemned; and his Love to the Obedience and not onely to the persons of the Iustified.

EXPLICATION.

HEre I have these things to prove: 1. That the Justifying Sentence shall pass according to Works, as well as Faith. 2. That the Reason is, because they are parts of the Condition.

For the first, see Mat. 25. 21, 23. Well done, good and faithfull servant! Thou hast been faithfull over a few things; I will make thee ruler over many things: Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord. And most plain is that from the mouth of the Judg himself, describing the order of the process at that day, Mat. 25. 34, 35. Come ye Blessed! in­herit the Kingdom, &c. [For] I was hungry, &c. So 1 Pet. 1. 17. Who without respect of persons judg­eth according to every mans work. So 2 Cor. 5. 10. We must all appear before the Iudgment seat of Christ, that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether good or bad. So Rev. 20. 12. 13. They were judged every man according to his Works. Heb. 13. 17. Phil. 4. 17. Mat. 12. 36. &c. But this is evident already.

2. As it is beyond doubt that Christ will then justifie men according to their Works: So that this is not onely to discover the sincerity of their Faith, is as evident; but that it is also, as they are parts of that Evangelicall Righte­ousness which is the Condition of their Justi­fication. 1. The very phrases of the Text im­port as much, Mat. 25. 21, 23. Well done good & [Page 205] faithfull servant, &c. Mat. 25. 34, 35. [For] I was hungry, &c. And in the rest [According] to their Works. Can any more be said of Faith, then that we are justified or judged to Life, both [for] it, and [according to] it?

2. If Works be not then considered as part of the Condition; how then? 1. Not as the Righteousness which the Law requireth: For so shall no man living be justified in the sight of God, Rom. 3. 20. Psa. 143. 2. 2. Not as a meer sign whereby God doth discern mens faith: For he seeth it immediately and needeth no sign, 3. Not as a meer sign to satisfie the justified person himself: For 1. There is no such intimation in the Text. 2. Then it should be no further usefull then men remain doubtfull of their sincerity. 3. The godly then know the sincerity of their Faith. 4. Neither is the business of that Day, to satisfie the doubting about the sincerity of their Faith, by Argu­ments drawn from their former works: But to judg and justifie them, and so put them out of doubt by the Sentence, and by their Glory.

4. But the common opinion is, That it is to satisfie the condemned World of the since­rity of the Faith of the godly. But this cannot stand with the Truth: For 1. It is clearly ex­pressed a ground or reason of the Sentence. 2. And to the Consolation & Justification of the justified: and not to the satisfaction or convi­ction of others onely or chiefly.

[Page 206] 3. The poor world will have somewhat else to take up their thoughts, as the Text shew­eth: to wit, the excusing of the sin for which they are condemned themselves. Mat 25. 44

4. It seemeth that Christ doth in the Text call them Righteous in reference to this personall Evangelicall Righteousness mentioned in their Justifying Sentence, vers. 46. The Righ­teous into life Eternall.

5. If Gods Justice engage him, not to for­get their work and labour of Love, Heb. 6. 10, 11, 12. If the dead in Christ are blessed, be­cause their Works follow them, Rev. 14. 13. If in every Nation, he that feareth God and worketh Righteousnes be Accepted of him, Act. 10. 35. If men shall reap the fruit of well­doing in due time, Gal. 6. 7, 8, 9. If Ministers save themselves in taking heed to themselves and to doctrine, 1 Tim. 4. 16. If he that doth Righteousness is righteous, 1 Ioh. 3. 7. If whatsoever good thing any man doth, the same he shall receive of the Lord, Ephes. 6. 8. If hearing and doing be building on a Rock, Mat. 7. 24. If the doers of Gods Will be the mothers, sisters and brothers of Christ, Mat. 12. 50, &c. Then the mention of these works at judgment, is more then to signifie their sin­cerity to the condemned world.

6. If Christ mentioned these works to con­vince the world. 1. Either it must be his own Testimony of these works, that they are sin­cere [Page 207] evidences of a sincere Faith. 2. Or else by the discovery which the works doe make themselves. But 1. Christ may testifie of their faith immediately as well. 2. Works are no cer­tain signes of Faith to any stander-by, who knoweth not whether Works themselves are sincere, or not. See more under the 76. Posi­tion.

If any say, that it is to silence the Accusa­cion of Satan, that these works are mentioned at judgement; The same Answer will serve, as to the last. Besides, Scripture giveth us no in­timation of any such accusation; but onely the managing the Laws Accusation. But if he should Accuse us falsely of Hypocrisie, as he did Iob; It must be onely Gods heart-sear­thing knowledg of our sincerity that can cleare us.

Yet do I not deny in all this, but that Works are effects of Faith, and to the person himself, who knoweth their sincerity, they may be some Argument of the sincerity of Faith, and God will vindicate his peoples Righ­teousness before all, and be admired in them. But his Justification primarily respecteth the Law, and his own Justice, and the Righteous­ness and Salvation of the Justified, and but re­motely the beholders.

Let me conclude with two or three cautio­nary Quaeries concerning the inconvenience [Page 208] of the contrary doctrine.

1 Qu. Doth it not needlesly constrain men to wrest most plain and frequent expressions of Scripture?

2 Qu. Doth it not uphold that dangerous pillar of the Antinomian Doctrine, that we must not work or perform our duties for Life and Salvation; but only from Life and Sal­vation: That we must not make the attaining of Justification or Salvation an end of our En­deavours, but obey in thankfulness only, be­cause we are saved and justified? A doctrine which I have elsewhere confuted; and if it were reduced to practise by all that hold it, (as I hope it is not,) would undoubtedly damn them: For he that seeks not, and that striveth not to enter, shall never enter. Now if good Works or sincere Obedience to Christ our Lord, be no part of the Condition of our full Justification and Salvation, Who will use them to that end? For how it can procure Justifica­tion as a means, and not by way of Condition, I cannot conceive.

3 Qu. Whether this doctrine doth not tend to drive Obedience out of the world? For if men do once beleeve, that it is not so much as a part of the Condition of their Justifica­tion, will it not much tend to relax their dili­gence? I know meer love and thankfulness should be enough: And so it will, when all our ends are attained in our Ultimate End; then [Page 209] we shall act for these ends no more: we shall have nothing to do but to love, and joy, and praise, and be thankfull; but that it is not yet. Sure, as God hath given us the affections of Fear, and Desire, and Hope, and so Care, so he would have us use them for the attain­ment of our great Ends. Therefore he that taketh down but one of all our Motives to O­bedience, he helps to destroy Obedience it self, seeing we have need of every Motive that God hath left us.

4 Qu. Doth it not much confirm the world in their soul-cozening Faith? Sure that Faith which is by many thought to justifie, is it that our people do all most easily embrace, that is, the receiving of Christ for their Sa­viour, and expecting Pardon and Salvation by him, but not withall receiving him for their Lord and King, nor delivering up themselves to be ruled by him. I meet not with one, but is resolved in such a Faith, till it be over­thrown by teaching them better. They would all trust Christ for the saving of their souls, and that without dissembling, for ought any man can discern: Are all these men justified? You will say, They do it not sincerely. Ans. There is evident a sincerity opposite to dis­simulation: But a Morall or Theologicall sin­cerity there is not; Why is that? but because they take but half of Christ. Let any Minister but try his ungodly people, whether they [Page 210] will not all be perswaded very easily to beleeve that Christ will pardon them and save them, and to expect Justification from him alone? But whether it be not the hardest thing in the world, to perswade them really to take him for their Lord, and his Word for their Law, and to endeavour faithfull obedience accor­dingly? Surely the easiness of the former, and the difficulty of the latter, seemeth to tell us that it is a spirituall, excellent, necessary part of justifying Faith, to accept unfeignedly of Christ for our Governour, and that part which the world among us will most hardly yeeld to, and therefore hath more need to be preached then the other. (Though some think that no­thing is preaching Christ, but preaching him as a pardoning, justifying Saviour.) Indeed a­mong the Turks or Indians, that entertain not the Gospell it is as necessary to preach his par­doning Office, yea and the verity of his Na­tures and Commission: therefore the Apostles when they preached to Jews or Pagans, did first & chiefly teach them the Person and Offices of Christ, & the great benefits which they might receive by him but when they preach (as Iames) to Professors of the Christian Faith, they chiefly urge them, to strive to enter, to fight, that they may conquer, so to run that they may obtain to lay violent hands upon the Kingdom, and take it by force, and to be un­wearied in laborious obedience to Christ their [Page 211] Lord; to be stedfast, unmoveable, always a­bounding in the Work of the Lord, foras­much as they know their labour is not in vain in the Lord.

5. Lastly, Is not this excluding of sincere O­bedience from Justification, the great stum­bling block of Papists? & that which hath had a great hand in turning many learned men from the Protestant Religion to Popery? When they see the language of Scripture in the forecited places so plain to the contrary: When Illyricus, Gallus, Amsdorfius, &c. shall account it a heresie in George major, to say, That good Works are necessary to Salvation: And when (if Melchior Adamus say true) eo dementiae & impietatis ventum erat, ut non dubitarent quidam haec axiomata pro­pugnare; Bona opera non sunt necessaria ad salutem: Bona opera officiunt saluti: Nova obedientia non est necessaria. When even Melancthons credit is bla­sted, for being too great a friend to good Works, though he ascribe not to them the least part of the Work or Office of Christ: And when to this day many Antinomian Teachers, who are magnified as the only Preachers of Free Grace, do assert & proclaim, That there is no more required to the perfect irrevocable justi­fication of the vilest Murderer or Whorema­ster, but to beleeve that he is justified, or to be perswaded that God loveth him. And when such a Book as that, stiled the Marrow of Mo­derne Divinity, have so many applauding Epist­les [Page 212] of such Divines; when the Doctrine of it is, That we must not Act for justification or salva­tion; but onely in thankfulness for it: contra­ry to the main drift of the Scripture, which so presseth men to pray for pardon, & to pardon others, that they may receive pardon them­selves: and to strive to enter, & run that they may obtain, & doe Christ Commandements that they may have right to the Tree of life, & enter in by the gate into the City, Revel. 22. 14. Doe these men thinke that we are perfect­ly justified and saved already? before the ab­solving sentence at the great Tribunall; or the possession of the Kingdome, for which we wait in Hope? Indeed when we have that perfect salvation, we shall not need to seek it, or la­bour to attain it; but must everlastingly be thankfull to him that hath purchased it, and to him that hath bestowed it. But in the mean time, he that seeketh not, shall not find, & he that runs not shall not obtain: No, nor all that seek and run neither, Luk. 13. 24. Luk. 12. 31. 2 Tim. 2. 5.

This Doctrine was one that helped to turn off Grotius to Cassandrian Popery; See Grotii vo­tum, Pag. 21. 22. 23. 115. And was offensive to Melancthon, Bucer, & other Moderate Divines of our own. And all ariseth hence. That men understand not the difference betwixt Christs part of the work, which he performeth himself, & that which he requireth and enableth us to [Page 213] perform: nor know they, that true justifying Faith doth at once receive Christ, both as Lord and Saviour; and that sincere Obedience to Christ, is part of the Condition of the New Covenant. Works (or a purpose to walke with God) (saith Mr. Ball on the Covenant pag. 73.) doe justifie as the Passive qualification of the subject capable of Justification. See Calvin on Luke 1. 6. The common assertion then That good Works do follow Iustification, but not go before it must be thus understood, or it is false, viz. Actuall obedience goeth not before the first moment of Justification, But yet it is as true. 1. That the taking of Christ for our Lord, and so delivering up our selves to his Government (which is the subjection of the heart, & resolu­tion for further obedience, & indeed an essen­tiall part of Faith) doth in order of nature goe before our first justification. 2. That Actuall Obedience (as part of the Condition) doth in order of Nature goe before our Justification as continued and confirmed. For though our Marriage contract with Christ doe give us the first possession, yet it is the Marriage faithful­ness and duties, which must continue that pos­session. 3. That perseverance in faithfull obe­dience doth both in nature & time go before our full, compleat and finall Justification; and that as part of the Condition of obtaining it. If we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellow ship one with another, and the blood of Iesus [Page 214] Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin, 1 Joh. 1. 7. So Isai. 1. 16. 17. 18. 19. Wash you; make you clean; put away the evill of your doings; cease to do evill; learne to doe well, &c. Come now, &c. though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; and though they be red like crimson, they shall be like wooll, So Ezek. 33. 14. 15, 16. & 18. 21. 22. Neither let any object that this is the Law of works: For certainly that hath no promises of forgivenesse: And though the discoveries of the way of Justification be delivered in the old Testament, in a more dark and Legall lan­guage then in the New; yet not in termes con­tradictory to the truth in the New Testament. Thus you may see in what sence it is that Christ will judge men according to their Works: & will say, Come ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdome, &c. For I was hungry, & ye fed me, &c. Well done, good & faithfull Servant, thou hast been faithfull in few things; I will make thee Ruler over many things: Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord, Matth. 25.

For being made perfect, he became the Author of Eternall salvation to all them that obey him, Hebr. 5. 9. Of whom it shall be said, when they are glorified with him: These are they that come out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes in the blood of the Lambe, and made them white: Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple; and he that si [...]teth on the throne shall dwell among them, Revel. 7. 14. 15. To whom be Glory for ever. Amen.

[Page] REader, because an exact Index would contain a great part of the Book, I shall omit it: and instead of it, I here lay thee down some of the chief Distinctions, upon which this Discourse dependeth; desiring thee to understand them, and keep them in me­mory. You must distinguish,

  • 1. BEtwixt Gods Decretive or Purposing Will: And his Legislative or Preceptive Will. The 1. is his Determining of Events. The 2. of Duty and Reward.
  • 2. Betwixt 1. the Covenant or Law of Works, which saith, Obey perfectly, and Live; or sin, and Dye. 2. And the Covenant or Law of Grace, which saith, Beleeve, and be saved, &c.
  • 3. Betwixt the two parts of each Covenant: viz. 1. The Primary, discovering the duty in Pre­cepts, and prohibiting the Sin. 2. The secondary, dis­covering the Rewards and Penalties, in Promises and Threatnings.
  • 4. Betwixt a two-fold Righteousness of one and the same Covenant. 1. Of perfect Obedience, or per­formance of the Condition. 2. Of suffering, or sa­tisfaction for disobedience or non-performance which maketh the Law, to have nothing against us, though we disobeyed. See Pemble of Iustification, pag. 2. Our Legall Righteousness is of this last sort, & not of [Page] the first. Both these sorts of Righteousnesse are not possible to be found in any one person, except Christ, who had the former Righteousness as his own, (incommunicable to us in that form) The second he had for us, as he was by imputation a sinner: And so we have it in, or by him. Mark this.
  • 5. Betwixt two kinds of Righteousness, suitable to the two Covenants and their Conditions 1. Legall Righteousness, which is our Conformity, or satis­faction to the Law. 2. And Evangelicall Righ­teousness, which is our Conformity to the new Co­venant. Note, that 1. Every Christian must have both these. 2. That our Legall righteousness is onely that of Satisfaction: but our Evangelicall is only that of obedience, or performance of the Con­dition. 3. That our Legall Righteousnesse is all without us in Christ, the other in our selves.
  • 6. Betwixt Evangelicall Righteousness, improll perly so called, viz. because the Gospell doth reveain and offer it. This is our Legall righteousness o Christ. 2. And Evangelicall righteousness prnt perly so called viz. Because the new Covenar is the Rule to which it is conformed. This is ou performance of the new Covenants Conditions.
  • 7. Betwixt the Life or Reward in the first Co­venant: viz. Adams paradise happiness. 2. And the Life of the second Covenant; which is, Eternall glory in heaven.
  • 8. Betwixt the death or curse of the old Co­venant, which is opposite to its reward: This onely [Page] was laid on Christ, and is due to Infants by na­ture, 2. And the death of the second Cove­nant, opposite to its life, called the second death, and far sorer punishment. This finall unbeleevers suffer.
  • 9. Betwixt sins against the first Co­venant: For these Christ died. 2. And sins against the second Covenant: For these he dyed not.
  • 10. Betwixt sinning against Christ and the Gospell, as the object of our sin only: So Christ died for them. 2. And sinning against the new Co­venant as such, or as a threatning Law: So Christ dyed not for them.
  • 11. Betwixt delaying to perform the conditions of the new Covenant. This is not threatned with death. 2. And finall non-per­formance. This is proper violation of the Covenant, and a sin that leaveth no hope of recovery.
  • 12. Betwixt paying the proper debt of obe­dience (as Christ did himself,) or of suffering (as the damned do.) 2. And satisfying for non-payment; as Christ did for us.
  • 13 Betwixt repealing the Law or Cove­nant (which is not done) 2. And relaxing it or dispensing with it (which is done.)
  • 14. Betwixt relaxation or dispensation in the proper subject and circumstances of the Penalty. This is done in removing it from us to Christ. 2. And dispencing with the Pe­nalty it self. This is not done; for Christ did bear it.
  • [Page] 15. Betwixt the change of the Law: 2. And of the sinners relation to the Law.
  • 16. Betwixt the Lawes forbidding and con­demning the sin: (so it doth still.) 2. And its con­demning the sinner: (So it doth not to the justified, because Christ hath born the curse.)
  • 17. Betwixt the Precepts as abstracted from the Covenant termes, (which really they are not at all) 2. And as belonging to the severall Co­venants.
  • 18. Betwixt perfection of Holinesse (which is a quality.) This is not in this life. 2. And Per­fection of Righteousness, (which is a Relation:) This is perfect, or none at all.
  • 19. Betwixt recalling the Fact, or the evil of the Fact, or its desert of punishment. These are ne­ver done, nor are possible. 2. And removing the due­nesse of punishment from the Offendor. This is done.
  • 20. Betwixt Pardon and Iustification Condi­ditionall, which is an immediate effect of Christs Death and Resurrection, or rather of the making of the new Covenant. 2. And Pardon & Iustification Ab­solute, when we have performed all the Conditions.
  • 21. Betwixt Conditionall Pardon and Iustifi­cation, which is only Potentiall. (Such is that which immediately followeth the enacting of the new Covenant to men before Faith, or before they have sinned.) 2. And Conditionall Iustification, which is actual, & of which the person hath true pos­session, such is our Iustification after Faith, till the last Iudgement, which is ours actually, but yet upon con­dition [Page] of perseverance in Faith and sincere Obe­dience.
  • 22. Betwixt Pardon and Iustification, as they are Immanent Acts in God, (improperly, and without Scripture, called Pardon or Iustification.) 2. And Pardon and Iustification, as they are Transient Acts, performed by the Gospell-Promise as Gods Instru­ment. This is the true Scripture Iustification.
  • 23. Betwixt Iustification in Title and Sence of Law, (which is in this Life.) 2. And Iustification in sentence of the Iudge, (which is at the last Iudge­ment.)
  • 24. Betwixt justifying us against a true Accu­sation, (as of breaking the Law.) Thus Christ justi­fieth us; and here it is that we must plead his Sa­faction. 2. And justifying us against a false Accu­sation, (as of not performing the Conditions of the Gospell.) Here we must plead not guilty, and not plead the Satisfaction of Christ.
  • 25. Betwixt the Accusation of the Law, (from Christ doth justifie believers.) 2. And the Accusa­tion of the Gospell or new Covenant, for not per, forming its Conditions at all, (from which no man can be justified, and for which there is no sacri­fice.)
  • 26. Betwixt those Acts which recover us to the state of Relation which we fell from; that is, Pardon, Reconciliation and Iustification. 2. And those which advance us to a far higher state, that is, Adoption and Vnion with Christ.
  • 27. Betwixt our first Possession of Iustification, [Page] which is upon our contract with Christ or meer Faith.) 2. And the Confirmation, Continuation and Accomplishment of it, (whose Condition is also sincere Obedience and Perseverance.)
  • 28. Betwixt the great summary duty of the Gospell to which the rest are reducible: which is Faith. 2. And the Condition fully expressed in all its parts, where of Faith is the Epitome.
  • 29. Betwixt the word, Faith, as it is taken Physically, and for some one single Act: 2. And as it is taken Morally, Politically and Theologically here; for the receiving of Christ with the whole soul.
  • 30. Betwixt the accepting of Christ as a Saviour only, (which is no true Faith, nor can justifie.) 2. And Accepting him for Lord also (which is true Iustifying Faith.)
  • 31. Betwixt the foresaid Receiving of Christ himself in his offices (which is the Act that Iusti­fieth:) 2. And Receiving his Promises and Benefits, (a consequent of the former:) Or betwixt accepting him for Iustification; 2. And beleeving that we are justified.
  • 32. Betwixt the Metaphysicall Truth of our Faith: 2. And the Morall Truth.
  • 33. Betwixt the Nature of the Act of Faith, which justifieth, or its Aptitude for its office (which is, its receiving Christ: 2. And the proper for­mall Reason of its Iustifying power, (which is, be­cause it is the Condition upon which God will give us Christs Righteousness.)
  • 34. Betwixt Works of the Law (which is [Page] perfect Obedience: 2. And Works of the Gospell Covenant (which is Faith and sincere Obedience to Christ that bought us.)
  • 35. Betwixt Works of the Gospell used as Works of the Gospell, i.e. in subordination to Christ, as Conditions of our full Iustification and Salvation by him. 2. And Works commanded in the Gospell used a-Works of the Law, or to legall ends, viz. to make up in whole or in part our proper legall Righteousness; and so in opposition to Christs Righteousness, or in co­ordination with it. In the first sence they are ne­cessary to Salvation: In the second, Damnable.
  • 36. Betwixt receiving Christ and loving him as Redeemer (which is the Condition it self:) 2. And taking the Lord for our God and chief Good, and lo­ving him accordingly; Which is still implyed in the Covenant as its End and Perfection; And so as more excellent then the proper Conditions of the Cove­nant.
Glory to God in the highest, and on Earth Peace; Good-will towards men, Luk. 2. 14.

Postscript.

WHereas there is in this Book an inti­mation of something which I have written of Vniversall Redemption, Under­stand, that I am writing indeed a few pages on that subject onely by way of Explication, as an Essay for the Reconciling of the great differences in the Church thereabouts: But being hindered by continuall sickness, and al­so observing how many lately are set a work on the same subject, (as Whitfield, Stalham, Howe, Owen, and some men of note that I hear are now upon it,) I shall a while forbear, to see if something may come forth, which may make my endeavour in this kinde useless, and save me the labour: Which if it come not to pass, you shall shortly have it, if God will enable me.

Farewell.

AN ANSWER to some Objections and Questions OF One that perused this small TRACTATE before it went to the Press.

AN APPENDIX to the fore-going TREATISE; BEING An Answer to the Ob­jections of a Friend concerning some Points therein contained. And at his own Desire annexed for the sake of others that may have the same thoughts.

Zanchius in Philip. 3. 13. What can be more pernicious to a Student yea to a Teacher, then to think that he knoweth all things, and no knowledge can be wanting in him; For being once puft up vvith this false opinion, he vvill profit no more. The same is much truer in Christian Religion, and in the Knovvledge of Christ.
Rom. 3. 25. Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation, through Faith in his blood, for Remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God.
READER,

THe disorder of the In­terrogations and Obje­ctions, which extorted from me this whole Tractate by pieces one after another, hath caused me (an unfeigned lover of method) to give thee such a disorderly, immethodi­call Miscellany. Also the qua­lity of these Objections hath occasioned me to answer ma­ny things triviall, whilest I know more difficult and weighty points are overlook­ed: these things need no excuse; but this information; That I was to follow and not to lead: and that I write only for those who know less than my self; if thou know more, thank God, and joyn with me [Page] for the instruction of the igno­rant, whose information, refor­mation, and salvation, and there­by Gods glory, is the top of my ambition.

R. B.

[Page 327]AN ANSWER to some Objections and Questions OF One that perused this small TRAC­TATE before it went to the Press.

The sum of the Objections is as followeth.

1. IT seemeth strange to me, that you make the death which the first Covenant did threaten to be only in the everlasting suffering of soul, seperated from the body and that the body should de turned to earth, and suffer no more but the pains of death; and consequently not whole man, but only part of him should de damned?

2. Though you seem to take in the Active Righte­ousness of Christ with the Passive into the work of Ju­stification, yet it is on such grounds, as that you do in the main agree with them who are for the Passive Righte­ousness alone, against the stream of Orthodox Divines?

3. I pray you clear to me a little more fully in what sence you mean, that no sin but finall unbelief is a breach or violation of the new Covenant, and how you can make it good, that temporary unbelief, and gross sin is no violation of it, seeing We Covenant against these?

4. Whether it will not follow from this doctrine of [Page 228] yours that the new covenant is never violated by any; for the regenerate do never finally and totally renounce Christ, and so they violate it not; & the unregenerate were never truly in covenant, and therefore cannot be said to violate the Covenant which they never made?

5. How you will make it appear, that the new Cove­nant is not made with Christ only?

6. How make you Faith and Repentance to be [...] ­ditions of the Covenant on our part, seeing the besto­wing of them is part of the condition on Gods part: Can they be our conditions and Gods too?

7. Seeing God hath promised us these which you call conditions, is not the Covenant therefore rather abso­lute, and more properly a promise?

8. In making a generall Covenant to all, you bring wicked men under promise, whereas all the promises are Yea and Amen in Christ, and so belong only to those in Christ: I find no promise in Scripture made to a wicked man.

9. May you not else as well give the seals to wicked men as the Covenant? Except you will evade as Mr Blake. and say the Sacrament seals but conditionally; and then let all come that will.

10. How can you make it appear, that Do this and live is not the proper voyce of the Covenant of Works? Or that according to the new Covenant we must act for life, and not only from life; or that a man may make his attaining of life the end of his work, and not rather obey only out of thankfulness and love?

11. Why do you single out the book called, The mar­row of modern Divinity, to oppose in this point?

12. Seeing you make faith and covenanting with Christ to be the same thing; do you not make him to be no reall Christian that never so covenanted? and conse­quently him to be no visible Christian who never pro­fessed such a Covenant? and so you bring in a greater necessity of publique covenanting, then those who are for Church-making Covenants?

[Page 229] 13. Do you not go against the stream af all Divines, in denying the proper act of Faith as it justifieth, to be either Recumbency, Affiance, Perswasion, or Assurance? but placing it in Consent or Acceptance?

14. Do you not go against the stream of all Divines, in making the Acceptance of Christ for Lord, to be as properly a justifying act as the accepting him for Sa­viour, and all that you may lay a ground work for Justi­fication by Gospell obedience or Works; so do you also in making the Acceptance of Christs Person and Offices to be the justifying act, and not the receiving of his Righteousness and of pardon?

16. How can you reconcile your Justification by Works with that of Rom. 3. 24, & 4. 4, 5, 6?

11. I desire some satisfaction in that which Mac­covius, and Mr owen oppose in the places which I men­tioned.

THE ANSWER.

TO the first Objection about the death threatened in the first Covenant, I answer: 1. I told you I was not peremptory in my opinion, but inclined to it, for want of a better. 2. I told you, that the Ob­jections seem more strong which are against all the rest, and therefore I was constrained to make choice of this, to avoid greater absurdities, then that which you object. For, 1. If you say that Adam should have gone quick to Hell, you contradict many Scriptures, which make our temporall death to be the wages of sin. 2. If you say that He should have dyed, and rose again to torment: 1. What Scripture saith so? 2. When should He have risen? 3. You contradict many Scriptures, which make Christ the Mediator, the only procurer of the Resur­rection. 3. If you say He should have lived in perpetuall misery on earth, then you dash on the same Rock with the first opinion. 4. If you say, He should have dyed only a temporall death, and his soul be annihilated, then 1. you make Christ to have redeemed us only from [Page 230] the grave, and not from hell, contrary to 1 Thes. 1. 10. Who hath delivered us from the wrath to come. 2. You make not hell, but only temporall death, to be due too, or deserved by the sins of believers, seeing the Gospell only (according to this opinion) should threaten eter­nall death, and not the Law; but the Gospell threate­neth it to none but unbelievers. You might easily have spared me this labour, and gathered all this Answer from the place in the book where I handled it; but because other Readers may need as many words as you, I grudg not my pains.

TO your second Objection about Christs active and passive Righteousness; You should have overthrown my grounds, and not only urge my going against the stream of Divines: As I take it for no honour to be the first inventing a new opinion in Reli­gion, so neither to be the last in embracing the truth: I never thought that my faith must follow the major vote; I value Divines also by weight, and not by num­ber; perhaps I may think that one Pareus, Piscator, Scul­tetus, Alstedius, Capellus, Gataker, or Bradshaw, is of more authority then many Writers and Readers: View their Writings, and answer their Arguments, and then judg.

TO your third, about the violation of the Cove­nant, I shall willingly clear my meaning to you as well as I can, though I thought what is said had cleared it. The 34 Aphorism (which is it you object against) doth thus far explain it, 1. That I speak of Gods Covenant of Grace only, or his new Law, con­taining the terms on which men live or dye. 2. That by Violation I mean the breaking or non-performance of its conditions, or such a violation as bringeth the offendor under the threatning of it, and so maketh the penalty of that Covenant breaking due to him. 3. I there tell you, that the new Covenant may be neglected long, and sinned against objectively, and Christs Commands may [Page 231] be broken, when yet the Covenant is not so violated. The Tenor of the Covenant me-think should put you quite out of doubt of all this, which is He that believeth shall be saved, and he that believeth not shall be damned. The unbelief and rebellion against Christ, which the godly were guilty of before believing, is a neglect or refusall of the Covenant; and I acknowledg that all that while they were in a damnable state, that is, in a state wherein they should have been damned, if they had so dyed; for then their unbelief had been finall.

But your doubt may be, whether they did not de­serve damnation while they were in their unbelief for resisting Grace?

I answer you as before: 1. I look upon no punish­ment as deserved, in sensu forensi, in the sense of the Law, but what is threatened by that Law: Now you may easily resolve the Question your self, Whether the new Covenant do threaten damnation to that their un­belief? If they believe not at all before death, it pro­nounceth them condemned, otherwise not. 2. Yet might they in this following sense be said to deserve the great condemnation before they obeyed the Gospell, viz. as their unbelief is that sin for which the Gospell con­demneth men, wanting nothing but the circumstance of finality or continuance to have made them the pro­per subjects of the curse; and it was no thanks to them that it proved not finall; for God did make them no promise of one hour of time and patience, and there­fore it was meerly his mercy in not cutting them off, which made their unbelief not to be finall and damning: Many a man that lived not half so long in rebellion, did yet prove a finall condemned rebell; so that they did deserve, that God in the time of their infidelity should have cut off their lives, and so have let their in­fidelity be their destruction. But supposing that God would not so cut them off, and so their unbelief should not be finall, (which is the case,) and so they are con­demned or threatened by none but the first Law or Co­venant [Page 232] which Christ did satisfie: But as for the second Law or Covenant it condemneth them not, so that Christ need not bear the condemnation of that Co­venant for them; for He doth not fetch any man from under the condemning sentence of it, but only in rich mercy to his chosen: He doth prevent their running into that condemnation, partly by bearing with them in patience, and continuing their lives, (for into the hands of the purchaser are they wholly committed,) and partly by prevailing with them to come in to him by the efficacy of his Word and Spirit; so that consi­dering them as unbelievers who were to be converted, and so they were neither the proper subjects of the Pro­mise of the new Covenant, nor of the threatening and condemnation of it: Promise they had none, but con­ditionall, such as they had not received, and so were never the better for; and so they were without the co­venant, and without hope, and without God, and strangers to all the priviledges of the Saints: But yet not those to whom the Law or Covenant saith, You shall surely dye, except they had been such as should never have believed: And for that wrath (Eph. 2. 3.) which they were children of by nature, it must needs be only the wrath or curse of the first violated Covenant, and not the wrath or curse of the second; for no man is by nature a child of that.

But I perceive you think it a strange saying, That a man by the greatest, grossest actuall sin may not be said to violate this Covenant, so as to incur its curse, but only for finall unbelief: Do not the godly sometimes break Covenant with Christ?

Answ. I have two things to say to the hel­ping of your right understanding in this, viz. a two-fold distinction to minde you of, which you seem to forget. 1. Either the gross sins, which you speak of, are such as may stand with sincerity of heart, or such as cannot: If [Page] they be sins of really godly men, then certain­ly they violate not the Covenant, so as to make them the subjects of its curse: For the Covenant saith not, He that sinneth shall be damned; nor he that committeth this, or that great sin, shall be damned: But, he that be­leeveth not shall be damned.

Object. But is not this Antinomianism, which you so detest? Is it not said, that no whoremonger, or unclean person, or covetous person, &c. shall enter into the Kingdom of Christ, or of God? Rev. 21. 8. & 22. 15. and Eph. 5. 5. that for these things sake cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobe­dience?

Answ. I pray you remember that I have already pro­ved, that Faith is the consenting to Christs Dominion and Government over us; or the accepting of him for our Lord, that we may obey him, as well as for our Saviour, that we may have affiance in him: And consequently Unbelief (in this large sence in which the Gospell useth it in opposition to that faith which is the condition of the Covenant) containeth in it all Rebel­lion against Christs Government: I could prove this to you out of many plain Scriptures, but the plainness of it may spare me that labour: Even in the Text objected, the word translated [Children of disobedience] doth signifie both Vnbelief and Disobedience; or obstinate, unperswa­deable men, that will not be perswaded to beleeve and obey: 2 Thess. 1. 8. Christ shall come in flaming fire to render vengeance to them that obey not his Gospell: Certainly those are unbeleevers. Or if you will have it plainly in Christs own words, what is the damning sin opposed to Faith, see it in Luk. 19. 27. But those mine ene­mies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring them hither, & slay them before me. It is not then for every act of those fore-mentioned sins that the everlasting wrath of God doth come upon men; for then what should [Page 234] become of David, Noah, Lot, Mary Magdalen, and all of us? But it is for such sins as do prove and proceed from a considerate willfull refusall of Christs Government, or an unwillingness that he should reign over us: and that not every degree of unwillingness, but a prevailing de­gree, from whence a man may be said to be one that would not have Christ reign, &c. Be­cause this is real unbelief it self, as opposite to that Faith which is the condition of Life, which is the receiving of Christ for Lord as well as Saviour.

Yet it is true, that temporall judgements may befall us for particular sins; as also, that each particular sin doth deserve the eternall wrath which the first Covenant doth denounce; but not (in a Law-sence) that which is denounced in the second Covenant. Every great fault which a subject committeth against his Prince, is not capitall, or high Treason. Every fault or disobedient act of a Wife against her Husband doth not break the Marriage Co­venant, nor loose the bond: but only the sin of Adultery (which is the taking of another to the marriage bed, or the choosing of ano­ther husband (and actuall forsaking the Hus­band, or renouncing him.

And you need not to fear lest this doctrine be guilty of Antinomianism: For their Error (which many of their adversaries also are guil­ty of) lieth here; That not understanding, that [Page 235] receiving Christ as Lord is an essentiall act of justifying Faith, nor that the refusall of his Government is an essentiall part of damning unbelief, they do thereupon acknowledge no condition of Life, but bare Belief in the nar­rowest sence; that is, either Belief of Pardon, and Justification, and Reconciliation, or Affi­ance in Christ for it: so also they acknowledge no proper damning sin, but unbelief in that strict sence as is opposite to this faith; that is the not beleeving in Christ as a Saviour.

And upon the common grounds who can choose but say as they, that neither drunken­nesse, nor murther, nor any sin, but that un­belief doth damn men, except he will say that every sin doth; and so set up the Covenant of Works, and deny his very Christianity, by making Christ to dye in vain: so great are the inconveniences that follow the ignorance of this one point, That justifying faith is the accepting of Christ for Lord and Saviour; and that sincere obedience to him that bought us, is part of the Condition of the new Cove­nant.

I have been sorry to hear some able Divines, in their confessions of sin, acknowledging their frequent violation of this Covenant; yea, that in every sinfull thought, word or deed they break the Covenant which they made in Baptism. Did ever any sober man make such a Covenant with Christ, as to [Page 236] promise him never to sin against him? Or doth Christ call us to such a Covenant? Doth his Law threaten, or did we in our Covenant consent, that we should be condemned if e­ver we committed a gross sin? I conclude there­fore, that those sins which do consist with true faith, can be no breaches of the Cove­nant of Grace; For else (Faith being the con­dition) we should both keep it, and break it, at the same time.

2. But all the doubt is about the sins which are inconsistent with Faith. Those are either, 1. Disobedience to the Law of Works; (but that cannot violate the Covenant of Grace as such.) 2. Or else Refusall of Christ by Re­bellion and Unbelief privative,) for of nega­tive unbelief I will not speak:) And that Re­fusall is either, 1. Temporary, (of that I have spoken already:) Or, 2. Finall (and that I acknowledg is the violation of the Cove­nant.)

Perhaps you will object, That the sin against the Holy Ghost also is a damning sin, and so a breach of the Covenant. To which I an­swer, Finall Unbelief is the Genus, and hath under it these three sorts. 1. Ordinary finall Unbelief, viz. against Ordinary means. 2. The sin against the Holy Ghost. 3. Totall Apostacy: All these are unpardonable sins.

I have in another Treatise adventured to tell you my judgment concerning the sin [Page 237] against the Holy Ghost viz. That it is when a man will not beleeve in Christ notwithstan­ding all the testimoniall miracles of the Holy Ghost, which he is convinced de facto were wrought, but yet denyeth the validity of their Testimony. This is the unpardonable unbelief, because uncureable: for it is the last or greatest Testimony which Christ will afford to convince the unbeleeving world; and therefore he that deliberately refuseth this and will not be convinced by it, is left by God as a hopeless wretch. So that the sin against the Holy Ghost is but a sort of finall unbelief. Lay by your prejudice against the singularity of this interpretation, and exactly consider what the occasion of Christs mentioning this sin was, and what was the sin which those Pharisees did commit, and then judge.

Lastly, For the sin of total Apostacy, I con­fess it is the most proper violation of the Co­venant, not only as it is a Law and Covenant offered, but also as it is a Covenant entred and accepted. But it is unbelief which Apo­states do fall to; for it is only an explicite or implicite renouncing of Christ either as Lord or Saviour, or both, which is the unpardona­ble sin of Apostacy, which is called falling away (that is, from Christ and the Covenant,) and crucifying the Son of God afresh, and putting him to open shame, Heb. 6. 6. And which is called Heb. 10. [Page 238] 26, 29. sinning wilfully, that is, considerate, resolved rejecting Christ, or refusing his Go­vernment,) and so called, treading under foot the Son of God, and counting the blood of the Cove­nant, vvherevvith they vvere sanctified, an unholy thing, and doing despight to the Spirit of Grace. As the nature of this Apostacy lyeth in returning to infidelity, so being Totall it is alwayes also Finall; God having in his just Judgement resolved to withold from all such the grace that should recover them; and so this is a sort of finall unbelief.

A second distinction, which I must here mind you of, is, betwixt 1. the main Co­venant of Grace: and 2. Particular, subordi­nate, inferiour Covenants, which may be made between God and a believer. The former is not violated, but as I have shewed before: The latter is ordinarily broken by us. If any man make a vow like Saul's or Ieptha's, he may break it possibly, and not be damned, but re­cover by repentance. If in your sickness, or other affliction, or at Sacrament, or on dayes of Humiliation, or Thanksgiving, you should Covenant with God to forsake such a sin, or to perform such a duty, to mend your lives, to be more holy and heavenly, &c. this Cove­nant you may perhaps break, and yet recover. And of such Covenants it is that I mean, when in confession I do bewail my Covenant-break­ing with Christ, and not of the main Covenant [Page 239] of Grace; for then I should confess my self a totall irrecoverable Apostate. The Cove­nant which ought to be made with Christ in Baptism, and which Baptism is the professing sign and seal of, is the main Covenant of Grace; Therefore is there no use for re-baptizing, because such Apostacy is an unrecoverable sin.

So you see what Covenant it is that the godly break, and what breach it is that they use to confess.

To the fourth Objection.

YOur fourth Objection [that from this doctrine it will follow, that the Cove­nant is never broken] is easily answered. 1. I think it is true, that the regenerate do never break the Covenant: But yet the breach in it self, and in respect of our strength is more then possible; and the controversie de eventu will hold much dispute. Austin seemeth to me to be of this opinion, That there are some effectually called that yet may fall away, but the elect cannot; so that he distinguisheth of calling according to purpose or election, (and that he thinketh cannot be lost.) and calling not following election, (which he thinketh may be lost,) so that he placeth not the difference in the calling, but in the decree. I do not recite this as assenting to it; nor yet can I assent to them, who make the very nature of Grace to be immortall, and [Page 240] from thence do argue the certainty of perse­verance. I think to be naturally Immortall is Gods Prerogative, and properly imcommu­nicable to any creature: Even Angels, and souls of men are Immortall only from the will and continued sustentation of God; and if God did withdraw his hand, and not continually uphold it, the whole Creation would fall to nothing, much more the quality of holiness in the soul: To subsist of himself without con­tinuall influx from another, is proper to God, the first, naturall, necessary, absolute, Indepen­dent Being: Yet I acknowledge, that when God will perpetuate any Being, he fitteth the nature of it accordingly, and maketh it more simple, pure, spirituall, and less subject to cor­ruption. But yet to say, that therefore it is a Nature Immortall, or that cannot dye, I think improper: But I know Philosophers and Di­vines do think otherwise, and therefore I do dissent, q [...]asi coactus & petitâ veniâ. 2. But whe­ther the Regenerate may break the Covenant or not, certain I am the unregenerate may and do: And whereas you object, [That they were never in Covenant, and therefore cannot be said to break it:] I must desire you, besides the former distinctions, to remember these two more. 1. Betwixt the Covenant as promulgate, and only offered on Gods part. 2. And the Cove­nant as accepted and entered by the sinner. The former is most properly called, The Law [Page 241] of Christ, or new Law, as containing the con­ditions of our salvation or damnation; yet it is properly also and frequently in Scripture cal­led a Covenant, (though not in so full a sense as the latter,) because it containeth the sub­stance or matter of the Covenant, and expres­seth Gods consent, so we deny not ours; and also because the great prevailing part in it is Mercy and promise, and the Duty so small and light in comparison of the said Mercy, that in Reason there should be no Question of our performance: And so Mercy obscuring or prevailing against Judgment, it is more fre­quenly called a Covenant and Gospell then a Law; yet a Law also most properly it is, and oft so called. Now then that the Covenant in this sense may be broken, is no question: God hath said, He that believeth shall be saved, and he that believeth not shall be damned. Doth not he that never believeth break this Law or Cove­nant, and incur the penalty? So that men that never accept the Covenant, do thus break it by their refusall, and so perish.

2. You must distinguish betwixt 1. The Covenant accepted heartily and sincerely, 2. Or nor heartily and sincerely: And so I an­swer you, Though unregenerate men did ne­ver sincerely covenant with Christ, and so are not in Covenant with him as the Saints are, yet they do usually Covenant with him, both with their mouths, by solemn profession, ac­knowledging [Page 242] and owning him as their Lord and Saviour, and also by their externall sub­mitting to his Worship and Ordinances, and taking the seals of the Covenant, and also in some kind they do it from their hearts, (though not in sincerity.) Either they do it 1. Rashly, and not Deliberately; Or 2. They do it out of fear, as a man that is in the hands of a conquering enemy, that must yield to his will to prevent a worse inconvenience, though he accounteth it an evil which he is forced to, and had rather be free if he might, and doth covenant, but with a forced will, partly wil­ling (to avoid greater misery) and partly un­willing. 3. Or else they keep secret reservations in their hearts, intending (as a man that as aforesaid covenanteth with the conquerour,) to break away as soon as they can, or at least to go no further in their obedience then will stand with their wordly happiness or hopes (though these reservations be not expressed by them in their Covenant.) 4. Or else they mistake Christ, and the nature of his Co­venant, thinking he is a Master that will let them please the flesh, and enjoy the world and sin, and understand not what that Faith and Holiness is which his Covenant doth require, and so they are baptized into they know not what, and subscribe to they know not what, and give up their names to they know not who; and then when at last they find their mistake, they [Page 243] repent of the bargain and break the Cove­nat or else never discerning their mistake, they break the Covenant while they think that they keep it; or if they keep their own, they break Christs. All these wayes men may enter Covenant with Christ, but not sincerely; for sincere covenanting must be 1. Upon knowledge of the nature, ends and conditions of the Covenant, though they may possibly be ignorant of severall Accidentals about the Covenant, yet not of these Essentials, if they do it sincerely. 2. They must Covenant deli­berately, and not in a fit of passion, or rashly.

3. They must do it seriously, and not dis­semblingly or slightly. 4. They must do it freely and heartily, and not through meer constraint and fear. 5. They must do it inti­rely, and with resolution to perform the Co­venant which they make and not with Re­servations, giving themselves to Christ by the halves, or reserving a purpose to maintain their fleshly interests. 6. And they must especially take Christ alone, and not joyn others in office with him, but renounce all happiness save what is by him, and all Govern­ment and Salvation from any which is not in direct subordination to him. Thus you see that there is a great difference betwixt cove­nanting sincerely, and covenanting in hypo­crisie and formality; and so betwixt Faith and Faith. Which I have opened to you the more [Page 244] largely, because I forgot to do it when I ex­plained the Definition of Faith in that Apho­rism, whereto you may annex it.

I conclude then, that multitudes of unre­generate men are yet in Covenant with Christ, though not as the Saints in sincere Covenan­ting, which I further prove to you thus: Those that are in Christ, are also in Covenant with Christ: But the unregenerate are in Christ; therefore, &c. That they are in Christ is plain, in Ioh. 15. 2, 6. There are branches in Christ not bearing fruit, which are cut off, and cast away. So Heb. 10. 29, 30. They are sanctified by the blood of the Covenant, and therefore they were in covenant in some sort. I suppose it would be but lost labour to recite all those Scriptures which expresly mention wicked mens entering into Covenant with God, and God with them, and their Covenant-breaking charged on them: you cannot be ignorant of these. Wherefore you see, that it is a common sin to violate the Gospell-Covenant.

To the fifth Objection.

YOur fifth is a mere demand of my proof, That Christ is not the only person with whom God the Father entereth Cove­nant. Which Question I confess I am ashamed to answer: Nor can I tell what to say to you, but [Read the Scripture] Doth not the whole scope of it mention Gods Covenants with [Page 245] man? Turn over your whole Bible, & see whe­ther it speak more of covenanting with Christ, or with us? Nor can I imagine what should make you question this, except it be because Mr Saltmarsh (or some such other) doth deny it. How could Christ be the Mediator of the Covenant, if it were to himself, and not to us, that the Covenant were made? I know Dr Preston and other orthodox Divines do affirm, That the Covenant is made primarily with Christ, & then with us: But I confess I scarce relish that form of speech: For it seemeth to speak of one & the same Covenant; & then I cannot under­stand how it can be true. For is this Covenant made with Christ? [Beleeve in the Lord Iesus, and thou shalt be saved: and if thou beleeve not, thou shalt be damned?] This is the Covenant that is made with us: and who dare say, that this is made with Christ; Or is this Covenant made to Christ? [I will take the hard hearts our of their bodies, and give them he arts of flesh, &c. I will be mercifull to their transgressions, & their sins and in­iquities will I remember no more?] Had Christ, think you, a hard heart to cure? I know some think the latter▪ clause belongeth to him first, and so to us; viz. as he was a sinner by impu­tation, and so had our transgressions upon him: but very ignorantly: For was God mer­cifull to him concerning the debt? Did he not deall with him in rigorous Justice? & upon the terms of the first severer Covenant? and make [Page 246] him pay the uttermost farthing? Sure the Covenant, whose curse Christ did bear, did know no mercy to transgressors.

Again, the Covenant is also a Law, and Christ himself is stiled the Law-giver; therefore can he not be under the Law, or under the Co­venant: He is not King and Subject too. Mo­reover (as I said before) he is the Mediator, and therefore not he to whom the Covenant is made. Perhaps you will say, was not Moses both? To which I answer?: 1. Moses was but a Typicall improper Mediator. 2. Moses was in another respect a Subject to the Law whereof he himself was the Mediator; as he was one that had a soul and body to save, or lose, upon the same terms with the rest of the people: But it was not so with our Lord Jesus; He was only a Mediator, as being a middle Person betwixt the offended Majesty, and the offending Sub­jects: But Moses was one of the offending Sub­jects, chosen out to supply the place of a true Mediator, as his Type. So that though Moses was both Mediator, and also a Subject to that Law and Covenant; yet it is not so with Christ. But the words, and tenor of the Covenant it self, are so plain an Argument, that I need to say no more. Yet do I acknowledge that there are severall Promises in the Scriptures made only to Christ: As That he shall see of the tra­vell of his soul, and be satisfied: and by his knowledge justifie many, Isai. 53. 10, 11. That the Heathen shall [Page 245] be given for his inheritance, and the utmost parts of the earth for his possession, &c. Psa. 2. But 1. These not be the Covenant made with us. 2. And for my part, I take it not to be any part of Gods Legislative Will, as it referreth to Christ, but only as it belong­eth to us, as a prophesie, what God would do in the advancing of Christ and his King­dom, and so of us; and so hath partly the nature of a promise to us also. For that which is com­monly called the Covenant betwixt the Fa­ther and the Son, is part of Gods purpose or decree, rather then of his Law. The Covenant betwixt the Father and Son was from Eterni­ty: So is not the Law, or Covenant written. The Divine Nature, which undertook the Me­diatorship, could not be subject to Laws, or proper Covenants; Christ had no need of engagement from the Father by word or writing for his encouragement or confirma­tion. So that all the Promises to Christ in Scripture▪ are either meer Prophesies or do also intimate some Promise to the Church; and so are written for our sakes, and also for the spreading of the Meditators Glo­ry; but not for proper Covenant ends betwixt the Father and him. And this interpre­tation Christ himself hath taught me, Iohn 12. 28. 30. Christ prayeth to the Father to glori­fie his Name viz. in the Sons Death and Re­surrection; He is answered by a voyce from [Page 248] Heaven, I have glorified it, and will glorifie it: Christ telleth the people that stood by, That this voyce came not because of him, but for their sakes.

I conclude therefore, That the Gospell-Covenant, properly and usually, so called, is made betwixt God and man by the means of a Mediator, and so delivered to us in the hands of a Mediator; and may also fitly be said to be betwixt Christ and us: But not properly that it is betwixt the Father and the Son: Much less is the Son the only person covenanted with. God doth indeed give up the World to Christ; and more especially the Elect to be saved by him: But these are not the work of a written or temporary Covenant, but of an eternall Decree.

To the sixth and seventh Objections.

THe same Answer will serve to your sixth and seventh Questions; viz. How Faith and Repentance are both promised of God, and required of us; Can they be his conditions and ours too? And then whether the new Covenant be not absolute?

I told you before that the Scripture men­tioneth two sorts of Covenants, absolute and conditionall. The Absolute Covenant is found in Ezek. 11. 17, 18. Ier. 31. 31, 32, 33, 34. Ier. 32, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42. & mentioned by the Apostle in Heb. 8. 10. Concerning this Cove­nant [Page 249] you must understand, that as in the first promise of it here by the Prophets, it seemeth to be made to the particular Nation of the Jews, and is joyned with the promise of their temporall Restauration; so some do question, whether it be yet to them fulfilled? or whether it be not a promise of some extraordinary per­manent happiness which they shall receive at their last and great deliverance by the Messias? (whether by coming personally to raign among them, or not, I now dispute not.) Yet as the Apostle in Heb. 8. 8, 9. doth extend it further then to the Jews, so must we; but whe­ther the Apostle mention it as an absolute pro­mise, is a great doubt; or whether he only re­spect the spirituallity of the benefits, and so oppose the writing of the Law in our hearts, (which the new Covenant promiseth) to the writing of it in stone, and revealing mercy in the dark way of Ceremonies? But yet, for my part, I think you may call it an absolute Pro­mise: But then understand, that this is not the new Law or Covenant made with mankind, revealing to them their duties, and the terms on which they must live or dye: This is made to the elect only; this speaketh nothing of duty: No man can have any comfort by this Covenant, till it be performed to him, and till he have received the promised be­nefits; for no man till then can tell whether it be made for him, or not: It is made to [Page 250] the elect only; and no man can know himself to be elect, till he be sanctified, and when he is sanctified this promise is fulfilled; therfore the benefits of this promise are not to be received by Faith: for Faith is part of the promised Good, as it is contained in a new & a soft heart seminally; and therefore to receive this pro­mise by Faith, were to believe, that we may receive grace and power to believe, then which what can be more absurd: No man there­fore can say before-hand, that he shall have a new and soft heart, because God hath pro­mised it; for he cannot know that it is pro­mised to him: So that I conclude, that this is most properly but a prophesie what God will do, de eventu, as it hath reference to the parties on whom it shall be fulfilled, and so is the re­vealed part of Gods purposing Will, and be­longeth not at all to his Preceptive or Legisla­tive Will, by which he doth govern, and will judge the world: But as it is revealed to the Church visible in generall, and so in regard of the subject is indefinite, intended only to reveall the quality and spirituall excellency of the Mercy of the New Covenant procured by Christ, that so Christ may be honoured, and men drawn to seek after, and enter­tain this precious Covenant, and not to stick to the old imperfect Dispensa­tion; In this sence it belongeth to Gods Legislative Will: And in this sence I think [Page 241] it is that the Apostle to the Hebrews doth re­cite it; and not in the former sence, as it doth respect the particular persons that shall have it fulfilled, and so is an absolute Covenant to the unknown Elect.

But now the Covenant which is mentioned through the whole Gospel is of another kinde, He that beleeveth, shall be saved; and he that beleeveth not, shall be damned. This is frequently and plainly expressed, and not so darkly as the former: This is made to all the world, at least, who hear the Gospel: This is the proper new Law and Covenant, by which men must be judged, to justification or con­demnation. This properly succeedeth in the place of the first Covenant, which saith Do this and live: And this is it which I stil mean, when I speak of the new law or Cove­nant.

So that now I hope you can hence answer to both your own demands. To the 7. you see there is a Covenant absolute, and a Covenant conditional; but the last is the proper Gospel-Covenant. To the 6. you see, that in the ab­solute Covenant, or Prophesie, he promiseth faith and repentance (in promising his Spirit, and a new heart) to the elect, who are we know not who. And in the conditional proper Co­venant he requireth the same Faith and Repen­tance of us, if we will be justified and saved. So that they are Gods part which he hath dis­covered [Page 242] that he will perform in one Cove­nant; and they are made our conditions in another.

Neither is there the least shew of a contra­diction betwixt these: For in the absolute Covenant he doth not promise to make us Beleeve and and Repent against our wills: Much less, that He, or Christ, shall Repent and Beleeve for us; and so free us from the duty: But that he will give us new and soft hearts, that we may do it our selves, and do it readily and willingly: which that we may do, he commandeth and perswadeth us to it in the conditionall Covenant: not bidding us do it without his help; but directing us to the Father to draw us to the Son; and to the Son, as without whom we can do nothing; and to the Spirit, as the sanctifier of our hearts, and exciter of our Graces.

To the eighth Objection.

IN your eighth Question I observe severall mistakes. 1. You observe not how ill it agreeth with the two former. For if the Covenant were only absolute, then it can be made to none but wicked men: and indeed the absolute Covenant is made to none other. Sure those that God doth promise to bestow new hearts upon, and soft hearts, have yet their old and hard hearts: (except it were meant of a further degree, and not of the [Page 243] first saving Grace.) 2. And as the absolute' so the great conditionall Promise, Beleeve and be saved is also made to ungodly men. Is not this spoken to Unbeleevers? Will you speak it to none but those who beleeve alrea­dy? Were none of those Jews ungodly, to whom Peter saith Act. 2. 39. The Promise is made to you and to your children? But I have proved a little before, that not only as it is a Covenant offered of God, but also as it is a Covenant entered by them, even wicked men are within the Covenant.

2. Yet you say, that [you no where find any promise to a wicked man.] Why then you have found but a few of the Scripture promises. I have shewed you, that the absolute pro­mise of a new and soft heart is made to wicked men, and the great conditionall promise of the Gospell: Would you have particular examples? In Gen. 4. 7. there is to Cain a con­ditionall promise of acceptance, and the do­nation of Superiority and Government. Gen. 9. 11, 12. There is a Covenant betwixt God and every living Creature. Gen. 27. 39, 40. Isaac is Gods mouth in blessing Esau: Were all the Israelites godly, to whom the Land of Canaan was promised and given? 1 Sam. 10. 4, 5, 6, 7. There the Spirit of God and other favours are promised to Saul. 1 King. 11. 31, 32, 33, 38, 39. There are promises to Ieroboam. How many score places in the Psalmes and [Page 244] Prophet, doe mention promises and Cove­nants of God to ungodly Israelites? If I should instance in all the promises made to Ahab Ne­buchadnezzar, Cyrus, Darius, &c. it would be tedious.

Object. But all these are rather Prophesies then promises. Answ. If that which expresseth the engaging of the word and Truth of God to bestow good upon a man be not a Pro­mise, I would you would tell me what is. Object. These predictions doe onely declare what God will doe, but give no title to the mercy as a Promise doth.

Answ. Did not God give Cain a title to his Superiority and Government, and the Israelites Title to the Land of Promise? and so the rest.

Promises doe give Title to the thing pro­mised; 1. Either full and absolute: 2. Or im­perfect and conditionall. In the first sence we have title both by an ansolute promise, and by a Conditionall Promise, when we have per­formed the condition. In the latter sence it giveth title to men that have not yet perform­ed the condition.

Object. But these things which are given to wicked men, are not good to them, but evill; therefore it is not properly a promise. Answ. It is good in it selfe and would be to them, but for their wilfull abuse. Shall mans sinnes make Gods promises and mercies of [Page 245] lesse value? God promisd that Christ should come to his owne, the Jewes, (Isa. 53. Mal. 3. 1, 2, 3.) and yet his owne received him not, Ioh. 1. 11. Shall we say therefore, that God threatned them with a Christ, rather then promised him? He promised and gave them both Prophets and Apostles; was it no pro­mise or mercy, because they killed and per­secuted them?

To conclude this, the Scripture expresly contradicteth you opinion, Rom. 9. 4. To the Israelites was the Adoption and Glory and Covenants, and the service, and the Promises: And even to them for whom Paul would have been accursed: So Act. 2. 39. And Heb. 4. 1. Take heed lest a promise being made of entring into his Rest, any of you seem to come short of it. Prov 1. 23. 24. 25. Christ promiseth the foolish and the scorners, that he will poure out his Spirit to them, if they will turne at his reproofe. Amos 5. 4, 6. Seek the Lord, and your soul shall live. Isa. 55. 6. 7. Seek the Lord while he may be found; Call upon him while he is neer: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts, and let him returne unto the Lord and he will have mercy on him; and to our God, and he will abundantly pardon.

Are not all these promises to wicked men?

Object. But when they returne and repent, they are not wicked.

[Page 246] Answ. But is not this conditionall promise made to them before they return?

Object. the Promise is onely to Beleevers, therefore not to all.

Answ. Either you speak of the making, or of the fulfilling of it: It is fulfilled onely to Beleevers, but it is made and offered to all that heare it, on condition of Beleeving, as is proved. Object. Beleeving is not the con­dition of the promise, but onely the quali­fication of the persons to whom it is made. Answ. This Objection hath more subtilty then sence: Is not Beleeving (in plaine English) a Duty required in the Promise by the free Promiser and Law-giver, of him to whom the Promise is made and sent, and that upon these termes, that if he performe it, the thing promised shall be his, otherwise it shall not? And is not this properly a condition required of the party if he will enjoy the thing promised? When you say [It is a qualifica­tion of the person to whom the Promise is made] you speak in the darknesse of ambi­guity: For 1. Doe you meane it is a qua­lification which he hath before the Promise is made to him? If so, I have proved the contrary already. Or is it his qualification afterwards, so it is indeed: But not of all to whom it is made; but of all to whom it shall be fulfilled. Againe, doe you meane an habituall qualification or an Actuall? I [Page 247] doubt not, but you know it is the act of Faith which we dispute of: And what is the diffe­rence betwixt such an active qualification, required on the termes before mentioned, and a proper condition?

But I perceive that which you stick at, is, that the Promises are all Yea and Amen in Christ, and therefore are made to none but those in Christ.

Answ. It will be long before you will prove the Consequence. They are made onely on the ground of Christs undertaking, and he is the Mediatour of them, and in him they are sure. But doth it therefore follow, that Christ dispenseth then to none but those that are in him? Wicked men have benefits by Christ, even those that are not in him so much as by a visible profession: And why then may they not have some pro­mises? Yet I know that beleevers are oft called in Scripture, the Children, and Heires of the Promise. But to understand this, you must know, 1. That the Holy Ghost hath chiefly the respect to the Thing pro­mised, and of that Beleevers are the one­ly Heires: If you also consider, that he speakes chiefly of the great Promises of Recon­ciliation, Remission, Sanctification, A­doption, glorification. 2. I told you be­fore, that the promise before we performe the Condition doth give a remote, imper­fect, [Page 248] loosable title to the good promised: And so the wicked are children of promise. But the Promise when we have performed the Condition, (as also the absolute pro­mises) doth give an immediate, proper, cer­tain Title to the good promised, so that a man may say, it is mine: And thus onely the faithfull are the heires of the Promise: They onely have a propriety in the spirituall and speciall Mercies there promised. But a wicked Israelite may have propriety in his Inheritance by vertue of Divine Promise and Donation. For Christ hath led captivity cap­tive, and recived gifts for men, even for the Rebellious, that the Lord might dwell among them, psal. 68. 18.

To the 9. Objection.

YOur 9. Objection is, That if I make the Covenant to belong to wicked men, I may as well give them the seales.

To which I answer you, 1. You must meane onely the main Covenant of grace, and not inferiour promises and Covenants: For the Sacraments are onely to seale to the maine Covenant. 2. As you must remember I distinguished betwixt the Covenant offered and the Covenant entred by mutuall con­sent; so must you distinguish accordingly betwixt two sorts of wicked men: 1. Open [Page 249] Infidels, who never accepted and consented to the offered Covenant. 2. Those who have consented and entred the Covenant, and listed their names in the roll of Christ: but yet not sincerely unreservedly, entirely, as is necessary to salvation. To the former of these you may not give the seales: For they are not willing of them as such: And they are not to be forced upon any: Neither are the seales usefull till the accepting and en­tring of the Covenant.

But to the latter the seales are most pro­perly to be given by the Minister, except they doe againe renounce Christ by word or deed, or by some grosse sin doe constrain us to suspend their enjoyment of such priviledg­es while they are under tryall, and till they discover their repentance.

Quest. What doe you take for such a re­nouncing of their Covenant?

Answ. 1. When they shall in plaine terms renounce it, as Christians do that turn Turks.

2. When they renounce or deny any fun­damentall Article of the Faith.

3. When they do (not through weak­nesse, but) wilfully and obstinately refuse to yeeld obedience to Christ; for this is a renouncing of their subjection to him, which is an essentiall part of their Covenant and Faith; and it is a renouncing of his kingly [Page 250] Office, and so a renouncing of Christ, when they say, Hee shall not reigne over us. And though such may acknowledge him in words, yet in works they doe deny him, being dis­obedient, and to every good worke, repro­bate, Tit. 1. 16. If therefore you shall deny the seales to any man that is thus in Cove­nant with Christ, before he doe thus dis­claime his Covenant, you must doe it at your perill. Therefore you must not under­take to be the Judge of his sincerity in the Covenant, except hee plainly discover that he is not serious. Dare not you to assume Gods Prerogative of searching the heart, nor to dispence Gods seales upon your con­jectures of the probability or improbability of mens sincerity. Neither must you deny the seales to them, for any smaller sin then as aforesaid: For as every sin is not a breach of Covenant, so every sin must not deny them the seales.

Object. Then we must not deny it to them for every grosse sin neither; seeing you affirme, that every grosse sinne breaketh not Cove­nant.

Answ. Yet because hee that liveth in known grosse sinne, cannot consent to the Kingly Office or Government of Christ over him, therefore we have just cause to suspend the giving of the seales, and also of fellow­ship with him, while we try whether he did [Page 251] it through weaknesse or wilfulnesse.

Ob. But how shall we know that?

Answ. Christ hath lined us out the way: We must reprove him, and see whether he will heare and reforme; if he doe not we must tell the Church, and so admonish and shame him publikely: If hee heare not the Church we are to account him as a man with­out the Covenant, and so unfit for seales or communion.

Quest. But when shall I take him for one that will not heare the Church?

Answ. When hee will not be perswaded to confesse and bewaile his sinne, nor to give over the practice of it.

So that I doe considerately advise you (after long study of this point, and as cautelous a proceeding as most have used) for you know my former Judgement, and that I never administred the Sacrament, till within this year, and that I was then invited to it by an eminent wonder of providence) I say, I advise you to beware how you deny to men the seales, till you have tried with them this way prescribed by Christ: Christ is free in entertaining, and so must wee; Christ putteth away none, but them that put away themselves; and then doth he call after them as long as there is hope of hearing, as one that is grieved at their destruction, and not [Page 252] delighted in the death of sinners, but had rather they would returne and live: And e­ven thus must we do too. Lazinesse is the common cause of separation: when we should go with words of pitty and love, and with teares beseech sinners to return to theit duty, and shew them their danger; we neglect all this, to save us the labour and the suffering that sometime follows this duty; wee will plead that they are no Church-Members, and so not the Brethren that we are bound to admonish, and so lazily separate from them, and say as Cain, Am I my Brothers keeper? or as the man to Christ, who is my Neighbour? And thus when we have made his sinne our owne by our silence, and not reproving him then we excommunicate him for it out of our society and from the Ordi­nances, and so judge our selves out of our own mouths. Or we separate from him for the neglect of some duty, when wee our selves have neglected both to him and others, this great and excellent duty of faithfull admo­nition. It is more comfortable to recover one soule then to cast off many by separation. Though I know that the avoiding communion with wilfull offendours, who by this due ad­monition will not be reclamed, is a most neces­sary & usefull duty too. But do not execute a man before he is judged; nor judge him before you have heard him speak, & fully proved that [Page 253] obstinacy is added to his sinne; (except it be to suspend him while he is under this legall triall,) But perhaps you will object, that we have no discipline established, & so no Autho­rity to do thus and the means are vain which cannot attain their end. To which I an­swer: 1. You have divine authority: 2. And may do as much as I presse without a Pres­bitery, First, you may admonish privately: Secondly, before witnesse: Thirdly, you may bring your Congregation to this, that the parties offended, may accuse them openly: (The Presbyterians deny not to the Congre­gation the audience and cognizance of the Fact, but onely the power of judiciall sentencing.) And here you may admonish them before all: Fourthly, if yet they prove obstinate, you may by your Ministeriall Au­thority; 1. Pronounce against him by name what the Scripture pronounceth a­gainst such sinners: particularly, that he is unfit to be a Church-Member, as openly de­nying obedience to the known Lawes of Christ, 2. You may charge the people from Scripture to avoid familiarity with him. 3. You may also acquaint the Magistrate with his duty, to thrust him out, if he violently intrude into Communion, or disturb the Or­dinances. 4. You may forbear to deliver the Sacrament particularly to his hands. 5. You may enter and publish your [Page 254] dissent and dislike, if he intrude, and take it himself. All this I could most easily and be­yond doubt prove your duty as you are a Christian and a Minister. And if there be any more that a Classis may do, yet do you do this in the mean time: only be sure you try all means in private (if the fault be not in pub­lick) before you bring a man in publick: And be sure you do it in tendernesse and love▪ and rather with wary then passionate reproach­es: And be sure that you do it only in case of undeniable sinnes, and not in doubtfull dis­putable Cases: And be sure that the matter of Fact be undoubtedly proved: And that no man be suffered to traduce another publick­ly in a wrong way: Or if he do, that he be brought to acknowledgement. The word Ex­communication comprizeth severall Acts: Those before mentioned belong to you as a Minister, and are part of your proper Preach­ing declarative power, which you may per­form by your Nuntiative authority. The power of Classes and Synods (I think) doth differ onely gradually, and not specifically from that of every minister. I am ashamed that I have contrary to my first purpose, said so much of this unpleasing controversy. But when you are next at leisure privately, I shall undertake to prove all this to you from Scripture; and that the Keyes are put by Christ into the hands of every Minister [Page 255] singly: and that with sobriety and wisdome you may thus name the offendours publick­ly, as all Scripture Ministers have been u­sed to do. And if you question whether our ordinary Congregations are true reall Chur­ches, where such works may be managed. I shall prove that they are, by giving you a better definition of a Church, then that which you gave me, and then trying our Churches by it: In the mean time this is not matter to intermix here.

BUt you cannot, it seems digest Mr. Blakes assertion, that the Sacraments do seal but conditionally. Answer, I have not Mr. Blakes book by me, and there­fore how he explaineth himself I cannot tell; But I remember he hath oft said so in conference with me. But let me tell you two or three things. 1. That I question whether you well understand him. 2. Or whether you be able to confute it, as thus to except against it, 3. That Mr. Blake is as truly conscientious whom he admitteth as you.

But for the Controversy, you must con­sider it a little more distinctly before you are like to understand it rightly. It is in vain to enquire, whether the Sacraments do seal absolutely or conditionally, till you first know well what it is that they seal. [Page 256] Let us first therefore resolve that Question, what they seal? and then enquire how they seal? You know a Christian doth gather the assurance of his Justification and Salva­tion by way of Argumentation, thus: He that believeth is iustified, and shall be saved: But, I believe; therefore I am justified and shall be sa­ved. Now the Question is which of the parts of this Argument the Sacrament doth seal to? Whether to the Major, the Minor, or the Conclusion? To which I answer: 1. That it sealeth to the Truth of Gods promise (which is the Major proposition,) is unquestionable. But whether to this alone, is all the doubt? 2. That it sealeth not to the truth of the Minor Proposition, (that is, to the truth of our Believing) I take also for to be beyond dispute, For, first it should else seal to that which is now here written: For no Scripture saith, that I do believe. 2. And then it should be used to strengthen my Faith, in that which is no object of Faith: For, [that I do believe] is not matter of Faith, or to be believed, but matter of internall sense, or to be known by the reflex act of the understanding. 3. Also God should else set his seal, to my part or conditi­on of the Covenant, as well as his own, and seal to the truth of my word, as well as to the truth of his own; for a justifying and sa­ving us, is Gods condition, which he un­dertaketh [Page 257] to perform; so believing or ac­cepting Christ is our condition, which we there professe to perform. So that it is doubtlesse, that a Sacrament as it is Gods engaging sign or seal, doth not seal to the truth of my faith, or sincerity of my heart in Covenanting: It were a most grosse conceit to imagine this.

But withall you must understand, that as there is in the Sacrament reciprocall actions, Gods giving, and our receiving; so is the Sacrament accordingly a mutuall engaging sign or seal. As it is given, it is Gods seal; so that as in this full Covenant there is a mutuall engaging; so there is a mutuall sealing. God saith to us, here is my Sonne who hath bought thee, take him for thy Lord and Saviour, and I will be thy reconciled God, and pardon and glorify thee: And to this he sets his seal. The sinner saith, I am willing Lord, I here take Christ for my King, and Saviour, and Husband; and deliver up my self accordingly to him: And hereto by receiving the offered elements, he setteth his engaging sign or seal; so that the Sacrament is the seal of the whole Covenant.

But yet you must remember, that in the present controversie, we meddle not with it as it is mans seal, but onely as it is Gods.

So then it is clear, that as it is Gods seal, it sealeth the major proposition; and as it is ours, to the minor.

[Page 258] But yet here you must further distinguish betwixt sealing up the promise as true in it self, and sealing it with application as true to me. And it is the latter that the Sacrament doth, the delivery being Gods act of application, & the receiving ours; so that the Proposition which God sealeth to, runs thus, If thou believe, I do pardon thee, and will save thee.

3. But the great Question is, Whether the Sacrament do seal to the conclusion also, That I am justified, and shall be saved? To which I an­swer, No, directly and properly it doth not; and that is evident from the arguments before laid down, whereby I proved that the Sacra­ments seal not to the minor.

For 1. this conclusion is now here written in Scripture.

2. And therefore is not properly the ob­ject of Faith: whereas the seals are for confir­mation of Faith.

3. Otherwise every man rightly receiving the seals, must needs be certainly justified & saved.

4. And no Minister can groundedly admini­ster the Sacraments to any man but himself, be­cause he can be certain of no mans justification and salvation, being not certain of the sin­cerity of their Faith. And if he should ad­venture to administer it upon probabi­lities and charitable conjectures, then should he be guilty of prophaning the ordi­nance, and every time he mistaketh, [Page 259] he should set the seale of God to a lye: And who then durst ever administer a Sa­crament, being never certaine: but that he shall thus abuse it? I confesse ingenu­ously to you, that it was the ignorance of this one point which chiefly caused mee to abstaine from administring the Lords Sup­per so many yeeres: I did not understand, that it was neither the minor, nor conclu­sion, but only the major proposition of the foresaid Argument, which God thus sea­leth. And I am sorry to see what advantage many of our most learned Divines have given the Papists here. As one errour drawes on many, and leadeth a man into a laby­rinth of absurdities; so our Divines being first mistaken in the nature of justifying faith thinking that it consisteth in A Beliefe of the pardon of my owne sinnes, (which is this conclusion) have therefore thought that this is it which the Sacrament sealeth. And when the Papists alledge, that it is no where written that such or such a man is justi­fied we answer them that it being written That he that beleeveth is justified this is equi­valent: A grosse mistake: As if the major proposition alone were equivalent to the conclusion; or as if the conclusion must, or can be meerly Credenda, a proper object of Faith, when but one of the promises is [Page 260] matter of faith, & the other of sence or know­ledge, The truth is the major, He that believeth shall be saved is received by Faith: The minor that I do sincerely believe is known by inward sence and self-reflexion: And the conclusion therefore I shall be saved is neither properly to be believed nor felt, but known by reason, de­ducing it from the two former; so that faith, sense, and reason are all necessary to the produ­cing our assurance,

So you see, what it is that is sealed to.

2. Now let us consider, how it sealeth? Whe­ther absolutely or conditionally? And I an­swer, It sealeth absolutely. For the promise of God which it sealeth is not conditionally, but absolutely true.

So that the summe of all I have said is this (which answereth the severall questions.)

1. The Sacrament sealeth not the absolute Covenant or Promise, but the conditionall Believe and live.

2. It sealeth not the truth of my Covenant, as it is Gods seal; or it sealeth not to the truth of my faith.

3. It sealeth not to the certainty of my ju­stification and salvation.

4. But it sealeth to Gods part of the con­ditionall Covenant.

5. And sealeth this conditionall promise, not conditionally, but absolutely, as of un­doubted truth.

[Page 261] 6. And not only as true in it self, but true with application to me.

So that by this time you may discern what is their meaning, who say, that the Sacraments do seal but conditionally, that is, as it sealeth to the truth of the major (which is the promise) so thereby it may be said to seal conditionally to the conclusion; for the conclusion is, as it were, therein contained, upon condition or supposition of the minor proposition. He that saith. All Believers shall be saved, saith as much as that I shall be saved; it being supposed that I am a Believer: And so you must understand our Divines in this, Yet this speech is lesse proper: For to speak properly, it doth not seal to the conclusion at all; yet it is very usefull to help us in raising that conclusion, and to be per­swaded, that we are justified, because it so con­firmeth our belief of that promise, which is one of the grounds of the Conclusion.

For your inference in the last words of your objection then let all come that will; If you mean All that will, though they come to mock or abuse the ordinance, then it will no way follow from the doctrine which I have now opened. But if you mean. Let all come that will seriously, really, or ap­parently, enter or renew their Covenant with Christ. I think that to be no dangerous or ab­surd consequence. If Christ when he offereth himself, and the thing signified, do say. Let him that is athirst, come; and whoever will, let him take [Page 262] the water of life freely, Rev. 22. 17. Why may not I say so of the sign and seal, to those that se­riously professe their thirst. Sure I shall speak but as Christ hath taught me, and that according to the very scope of the Gospel, and the nature of the Covenant of free grace. And I wonder that those men who cry up the nature of free grace so much, should yet so oppose this free offer of it, and the sealing the free Covenant to them that lay claim to it up­on Christs invitation.

To the tenth and eleventh Objections.

YOur 10. and 11. objections you raise up­on my exceptions against the book, cal­led, The Marrow of Modern Divinity: And first you mention the Doctrine, and then the Book.

1. You think, that Do this and live is the voice of the Law of works only, and not of the Law or Covenant of Grace, and that we may not make the obtaining of life & salvation the end of duty, but must obey in meer love, and from thankfulnesse for the life we have received.

To all which I answer. 1. By way of explica­tion; and 2. of probation of my assertions.

1. Do this and live, in severall senses, is the language of both Law and Gospel. 1. When the Law speaketh it, the sense is this; If thou perfectly keep the Laws that I have given thee or shall give thee, so long thou shalt continue this life in [Page 263] the earthly Paradise which I have given thee: But if once thou sinne, thou shalt dye.

2. When the Gospel speaketh it, the sense is thus: Though thou hast incurred the penalty of the Law by thy sinne, yet Christ hath made satisfaction: Do but accept him for Lord and Saviour, and renouncing all other, deliver up thy self unreservedly to him, and love him a­bove all, and obey him sincerely, both in doing and suffering, and overcome & persevere here­in to the end; and thou shalt be justified from all that the Law can accuse of, and restored to the favour and blessings which thou hast lost, and to a farre greater.

Thus the Gospel saith, Do this and live. That the Gospel commandeth all this, I know you will not question; and that this is doing, you must needs acknowledge. But all the question is, whether we may do it that we may live? I have fully explained to you in this Treatise already in what sense our doing is required, and to what ends: viz. not to be any part of a legall Righteousnesse nor any part of satis­faction for our unrighteousnesse; but to be our Gospel righteousnesse, or the condition of our participation in Christ, who is our le­gall Righteousnesse, and so of all the benefits that come with him,

In these severall respects and senses fol­lowing the Gospel commandeth us to act for life.

[Page 264] 1. A wicked man, or unbeliever, may, and must hear the Word, pray, enquire of others, &c. that so he may obtain the first life of grace and faith. This I now prove, Isa. 55. 3. 6, 7. Ionas 3. 8, 9. 10. Pro. 1. 23, 24. 25. Amos 5. 4. Act. 2. 37. Isa. 1. 16. Mat. 11. 15. & 13. 43. Luk. 16. 29. 31. Ioh. 5. 25. Act. 10. 1, 2. 22. 23. Rom. 10. 13. 14, 1 Tim. 4. 16. Heb. 3, 7. Rev. 3, 20.

Yet do not I affirm. that God never preventeth mens endeavours; he is sometime found of them that sought him not. Nor do I say, that God hath promised the life of Grace to the endeavours of nature; But their duty is to seek life; and half promises, and many encourage­ments God hath given them; such as that in Joel▪ 2. 12, 13, 14. who knoweth but God will, &c, So Zeph. 2. 3. Exod. 32. 30. And that in Act. 8. 7. 2. Pray therefore if per­haps the thoughts of thy heart may be forgiven thee.

2. That a man may act for the increase of this spirituall life when he hath it, methinks you should not doubt if you do see, 1 Pet. 2. 1, 2. & 1. 22. & 2 Pet. 1. 5, 6, 7, 8. & 3. 18. And the Parable of the Talents Mat. 25, 26, 27. 28. 30.

3. That we may and must act for the life of Reconci­liation, and Iustification, and Adoption, is beyond dis­pute: How oft doth Scripture call on men, to Repent, to Believe, to Pray, to forgive others, and to reform, that their sinnes may be forgiven them? I have quoted the Scriptures before, when I opened the conditions of justi­fication, Isa. 1. 16, 17, 18. Isa. 55. 6, 7. Act. 8. 22. Iam. 5. 15. And we are still said to be justified by faith, which is an act of ours.

4. That we may act for to obtain assurance both of our justification and sanctification is undeniable, 2 Pet. 1. 10. 2 Cor. 13. 5. &c,

5. That we may act for eternall life and salvation; me­thinks, he that beareth the face of a Christian, should not deny: and that both for, 1. Title to it, 2. Assurance of our enjoying it: & 3. for possession it self. I shall but quote the Scriptures for brevity sake, desiring you to read them, and save me the labour of transcribing them, Rev. 22, 14. [Page 265] Iohn 5. 39, 40. Mat. 11. 12. and 7. 13. Luke 13. 24. Phil. 2. 17. Rom. 2. 7, 10. 1 Cor. 9. 24. 2 Tim. 2. 5, 12. 1 Tim. 6. 12, 18, 19. Phil. 3. 14, Mat. 25. 1 Cor. 15. last. 2 Cor. 4. 17. and 5. 10, 11. 2 Pet. 1. 10, 11. Luke 11. 28. Heb. 4. 1. Luke 12. 5. 1 Cor. 9. 17. These last places shew, that the escaping hell, and damnation, is a necessary end of our actings and duties, as well as the obtaining of heaven.

If when you have read and weighed these Scri­ptures, you be not convinced, that we may act or do for life and salvation, (and so that Do this and live is in some sense the language of the Gospell) I shall question, whether you make the Scripture the Rule of your faith, or be not rather one of them that can force upon themselves a faith of one or o­thers making.

Object, But it is not the most excellent and Gospel-like frame of spirit, to do all out of meer love to God, and from Thankfulnesse for life ob­tained by Christ, and given us.

Answ. 1. If it come not from love to God, it is not sincere.

2. Yet doth not the Gospell any where set our love to God, and to our own souls, in opposition; nor teach us to love God, and not our selves: but contrarily joineth them both together, and com­mandeth us both, The love of our selves, and de­sire of our preservation, would never have been planted so deeply in our natures by the God of na­ture, if it had been unlawfull.

[Page 266] I conclude therefore, that to love God, and not our selves, and so to do all without respect to our own good, is no Gospell frame of spirit.

2. Thankfulnesse for what we have received, ei­ther in possession, title, or promise, must be a sin­gular spur to put us on duty. But I pray you tell me, Have you received all the life and mercy you do expect? Are you in Heaven already? Have you all the grace that you need or desire in degree? If not, why may you not labour for that you have not, as well as be thankfull for that you have? Or have you as full a certainty of it hereafter, as you do desire? If not, why may you not labour for it.

ANd to shew you the vanity, and intolerable, damnable wickednesse of this doctrine, let me put to you a few more considerations.

1. Do you think you may act for your naturall life, to preserve it, or recover and repair any de­cayings in it? if not, why will you labour, and eat, and drink, and sleep? why will you seek to the Physician when you are sick? Do you all this in meer love, or thankfulnesse, or from o­bedience which hath no further end? Or if you do, why may you not do as much for your soul, as for your body? Is it lesse worth, or doth not God require it, or will he not give you leave? Hath not Christ redeemed your body al­so? and is it not his purchase, and charge, and work to provide for it? And yet you know well [Page 267] enough, that this excuseth not you from your duty; and why then should it excuse you from using means for your soul?

2. Nay, hath not God put you upon farre more for your soul, then for your body? For this life, he hath bid you be carefull for nothing; cast all your care on him, for he careth for you; Care not for to morrow: Why are ye carefull O ye of little faith? Labour not for the food that perish­eth: Lay not up for your selves a treasure on earth, &c. But hath he said so concerning the life of your souls in immortallity, Care not, labour not, lay not up a treasure in heaven? Or rather hath he not commanded you the clean contrary, to care, to fear, to labour, to strive, to fight, to run, and this withall your might and strength? And yet do you think you may not act or work for life and salvation?

3. I pray you tell me, Do you ever use to pray or no? Do you think it necessary or lawfull to pray (pardon me for putting such grosse in­terrogatories to you; for the main question which you raise, is farre more grosse:) If you do pray, what do you pray for? Is it onely for your bo­dy, or also for your soul? And is not earnest pray­ing for life, pardon, and salvation, some proper kind of doing? it may be you will say, you pray onely for Gods glory, and for the Church: But hath not God as much care of his Church and his glory, as of your soul? or may you pray for o­ther mens souls, and not your own, when you are bound to love them but as your self? Sure, [Page 268] if you may not make the obtaining of life, the end of your labour and dutie, you may not make it the end of your Prayers, which are part of your labour and dutie.

And indeed according to the opinion which I oppose, it must needs follow, that Petition is to be laid aside, and no part of prayer lawfull, but praise and thanksgiving.

4. Do you not forget to make a difference be­twixt earth and Heaven? I assure you, if you do, it will prove a foul mistake; if you once begin to think you are in Heaven, and as you would be, and all the work is done, and you have nothing to do but return thanks, you shall ere long, I warrant you, be convinced roundly of your errour. And I pray you, what do you lesse by this opini­on, then say, Soul, take thy rest, I am well, I have enough: For if you must not labour for life, and salvation, but onely in thankfulnesse obey him that hath saved you: What is this, but the work of Heaven? Indeed there, and onely there we shall have nothing to do, but to love, and joy, and, praise, and be thankfull.

5. Methinks, if you do but consider what Heaven and Hell, reward and the punishment are, you should easily come to your self and the truth. Heaven and reward is nothing else but the enjoyment of God eternally in perfecti­on: Hell or the punishment is most in the losse of this enjoyment, and the self-tormentings that will eternally follow the considerati­on [Page 269] thereof, and of the folly that procured it.

Now is it such a legall slavish mercenary thing for a Christian to seek after the fruition of God? Or to be carefull that he may not be ever­lastingly deprived of it? is it possible that any sober considering man can think so?

6, Do you not think that you may and must seek after the enjoyment of God in those begin­nings and fore-tasts which are here to be expect­ed? May not that be the end of your duties, care, fear, labour, watchfulnesse? May you not groan after him, and enquire, and turn the stream of your endeavours this way? And may you not be jealous, and carefull, and watchfull, lest you should loose what of God you do enjoy; and lest any strangenesse or displeasure should arise? I dare not question, but that this is the very busi­nesse which you mind, and the usuall frame of your spirit.

And is it possible, that you can think it our du­ty, to seek the fore-tasts, and the first fruits of Heaven, and yet think it unlawfull to labour for the full everlasting possession? How can these hang together.

7, Consider seriously, I pray you, to what end God implanted such affections and powers in your soul. Why did he create in you a power and propensity to intend the ultimate end in all your endeavours, to value that end, to love it▪ de­sire it, study and care how to obtain it; to fear the losse of it, and to loath all that resisteth your frui­tion, [Page 270] to seek and labour after its enjoyment? Why is the love of our selves, and desire of our preser­vation so naturall? Surely it is lawfull for you to care and desire, and labour for God in Heaven, or for nothing: And its our duty to fear the losse of this, or to fear no evill at all: and I can hardly think that God would create such powers in the soul which should be utterly uselesse. Then let us no more cry down the abuse of our affections and powers, but the use of them; and so turn worse then Stoicks: this is such a making God the Au­thor of sin, as few men durst ever before be guilty of. And certainly, if the escaping of Hell and the obtaining of Heaven may not be the end and work of all these affections, then much lesse may any inferiour thing.

8. Nay, consider whether you do not make the soul and life of man to be uselesse as to the ob­taining of any future happinesse: And so you take down the blessed order which God hath establish­ed in nature by Creation, and maintained in the constant course of providence; and this you unde­niably do in taking down from us the ulti­mate end: Take down that, and all inferiour ends are nothing, and all meanes do lose their na­ture, and become uselesse: and so the soul of the most gracious man shall be no fitter to attain and prosecute its end, and do no more thereto then a beast or a stone; This consequence is undeniable.

9. Nay, consider whether you do not make all the graces of the Spirit (except love, joy, and [Page 271] thankfulnesse) to be almost vain, and the blessed supernaturall work of the spirit upon us, to be a uselesse labour? doth not God onely create in nature, but also new create by grace in us such things as Desire, Care, Fear, Zeal, Courage, Di­ligence, Watchfulnesse, &c. and may we not use them? Surely, if we may not use them for Hea­ven, then for nothing. And I cannot believe that God will at so dear a rate plant in us a heavenly nature, and these heavenly Graces, and then make it our sinne to use them for Heaven, and that while we are here in the way where we have such need of them.

10. But especially, I would have you through­ly consider to what end God did fill his word so with Precepts, Prohibitions. Promises conditio­nall▪ and Threats? Doth not almost all the Scripture for the doctrinall part consist of these? And are not Precepts to put us on to dutie? And hath not every duty its end even for our selves? And can it be any other then the obtaining of the fruition of God in Heaven? so what end have the prohibition else? And what are the conditionall promises for, but to stirre us up to believe and to performe the conditions, that so we may enjoy the promised good? And why are the Threatnings but with the fear of the evill threatned to deterre us from the sinne, and to the dutie? What think you is the reason that God doth so com­monly Promise Heaven, and threaten Hell, if it be unlawfull for us to labour for Heaven, and [Page 272] to escape Hell? Do you not hereby insinuate an accusation of vanity at least against God and his Lawes? Nay, the very essence of the Cove­nants doth consist in all these parts conjunct: And will you also overthrow the very essentiall parts of the Law or Covenant, by making it unlaw­full for us to admit their proper use? To quote the particular places for this, would be needlesse and endlesse.

11 Methinks you should be so farre from que­stioning the lawfulnesse of labouring for Heaven, that you should rather think you have almost no­thing else to labour for. Gods glory and your sal­vation, not disjunct, but conjunct, are all the businesse you have to look after: What do you live for? Why have you all the mercies of your life? Is it onely that you may be thank­full for life and mercie? Or that you might al­so improve them to some further advantage? I hope (for all your question) that you make it the greatest labour of your life to seek for assurance and obtainment of your eternall happinesse in God.

12. And once more let me intreat you to con­sider, whether there be any hope of that mans sal­vation, who shall reduce this your doctrine into his practise? I abhorre censoriousnesse, but I de­sire it may be considered, because it is a matter of such unspeakable importance: For surely, if this Doctrine practised will not stand with salvation, it is time for you and all men to abhorre it: And [Page 273] indeed, this is it that maketh me say so much a­gainst it, because it hath a holy pretence, and is very plausible to the inconsiderate, but yet is no better then damnable if it be practised: I say, if practised, because the opinion as such is not so; for I believe many a godly man doth erre as foully as this. But it is possible for a man by reading and argument, to be drawn to entertain some opinions in his brain, (not onely consequent­ly, but) directly contrary to the practice of his heart and life, and yet himself to continue that practice: Even as a wicked man may entertain those truths into his brain in speculation, which di­rectly to contradict his continued practice. Now it being the practice here that is of absolute necessi­ty to salvation, and not the opinion, I doubt not but such that erre onely in this opinion, not reducing it into practice, may be saved.

But if practised, I cannot see but it will certainly damne.

For search the Scriptures impartially and con­sider, whether seeking Heaven be not necessarie to the obtaining of it? And whether those that seek not, and labour not for it, be not shut out? View over the places which I quoted you before, and then judge. Must not all that will have life, come to Christ, that they may have it? Iohn 5. 39, 40, And must not they strive to enter in at the straight gate, and lay violent hands on the Kingdome of Heaven? And lay up for themselves a treasure in heaven, and seek the Kingdome of [Page 274] God and his Righteousnesse in the first place, Matth. 6. 33. And presse on that we may at­tain the Resurrection, Philip. 3. 14. And lay up a good foundation against the time to come, doing good works, and lay hold on eternall life, 1 Timoth. 6. 12, 18, 19. And work out our salvation with fear and trembling, Phil. 2. 12. And do his commandments, that we may have right to the Tree of Life, and enter in by the gates into the City, Rev. 22. 14. And make friends of the unrighteous Mammon, that they may re­ceive us into everlasting habitations; See also Rev. 2. 7, 10, 11, 13, 14, 16, 17, 19. 23. 26, 27, 28, 29. and 3. 2, 3, 4, 5, 8. 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, 16, 20, 21, 22. See also Mat. 18. 8, 9. Iohn 5. 29. Act, 2. 28, 1 Tim. 4 8. Iam. 1, 12. 1 Pet. 3. 10. Rom. 2. 7. 1 Tim. 1. 2. 2 Tim. 4. 18. Mat. 5. 12. & 6. 1. & 19. 21. Luk. 10. 20. Phil. 1. 19. 1 Pet. 1. 9. Heb. 2. 3. 2 Tim. 2. 10. 1 Thes. 5. 8, 9. Act. 16. 17.

Yea, we are commanded to fear him that is able to destroy both soul and body in Hell: even under that consideration to fear him, Luke 12. 5. And to fear, lest a promise being left us of entring into rest, we should come short of it, Heb. 4. 1. And what is that but to fear the losse of Heaven, or to fear Hell? Prov. 15. 24. Mar. 3. 29, & 16. 16. Mat. 5. 25. Rom. 11. 21, 44. 1 Cor. 10. 12. Heb. 12. 15, 16, Iames 5. 9, 12.

But I must stop; for if I should quote all Scri­ptures that prove this, I should transcribe a great part of the Bible.

[Page 275] Consider then, if even many that seek to enter shall not be able, whether they are like to enter that never seek? And if the righteous be scarcely saved, what shall become of them that thought it unlawfull to labour for salvation?

13. Lastlie, how is it that you do not see, that by this Doctrine you condemne not all the Saints onelie, but even the Lord himself? Did not Paul therefore keep under his bodie, and bring it in­to subjection, lest when he had preached to o­thers, himself should be a cast-away? 1 Cor. 9. 27. what can be plainer? Did not Abraham obey because he looked for a Citie which had foundati­ons? Heb. 11. 10. And Moses, because he had re­spect to the recompence of Reward? 26. And all that cloud of witnesses obey and suffer, that they might attain a better Resurrection? 35. and did they not seek a better Countrey that is, an heaven­lie; and therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a City, ver. 16. Do not all that confesse themselves stran­gers on earth, plainlie declare that they seek another Countrie? ver. 13, 14. Whosoever there­fore shall hereafter tell you, that you must not do good to attain salvation or escape damnation▪ as being too mercenarie and slavish for a Sonne of God; abhorre his Doctrine, though he were an Angel from heaven: And if this satisfie you not, look to Jesus the Authour and Finisher of your Faith, who for the joy that was set before him, endured the Crosse, despising the shame, and is set [Page 276] down at the right hand of God; Heb. 12. 12. Rom. 14, 9. And as Adam fell to be liker the Devil when he needs would be as God: so take heed whither you are falling when you will be better then Jesus Christ.

And do I after all this need to answer the Com­mon objections, that it is mercenarie and slavish, to labour for salvation? Must I be put to prove that the Apostles and Christ himself were not mercenarie slaves? or that Gods Word hath not prescribed us a slavish task? Indeed if we did all for a reward distant from God, and for that alone, without any conjunction of Filiall love, and expected this Reward for the worth of our work, then it might be well called Mercenary and sla­vish. But who among us plead for such a working.

FRom all this you may gather part of the An­swer to your next Question: why I except against the book called, The Marrow of Modern Divinity? Because it is guiltie of this hainous Do­ctrine. Yet further let me tell you, that I much value the greatest part of that Book, and commend the industrie of the Authour, and judge him a man of godlinesse and Moderation by his writing: And had I thought as meanlie of it, as I do of Colyer, Sprigs, Hobsons, and manie such abominable Pamphlets that now fly abroad I should not have thought it worthy the taking so much notice of. But because it is otherwise usefull, I thought meet to give you warning, that you drink not in the evill [Page 277] with the good. And especially because the names that so applaud it, may be a probable snare to en­tangle you herein. And I conjecture the Authours ingenuity to be such, that he will be glad to know his own mistakes, and to correct them: Other­wise I am unfeignedly tender of depraving or car­ping at any mans labours. Some of these mista­king passages I will shew you briefly. As page 174. Quest. Would you not have believers to esc [...]ew evill and do good for fear of Hell, or for hope of Heaven? Ans. No indeed, I would not have any beleiver doe the one or the other: for so farre as they do so, their obedience is but slavish, &c. To which end he alledgeth, Luke 1. 74. 75. But that speaks of Freedome from fear of our Ene­mies, such as Christ forbids in Luke 12. 5. where yet he commandeth the fearing of God: And con­sequently, even that fear of enemies is forbidden, as they stand in opposition to God, and not as his instrnments in subordination. Or if it be even a fear of God that is there meant; yet it cannot be all fear of him or his displeasure: so far as we are in danger of sin or suffering, we must fear it: and so farre as our assurance is still imperfect: a jea­lousie of our own hearts, and a dreadfull reverence of God also are necessary. But not the Legall terrours of our former bondage, such as arise from the apprehension of sin unpardoned, and of God as being our Enemy.

In the 180 Page, he denieth the plain sence of the Text. Mat. 10. 28.

[Page 278] In the 155 page, he makes this the difference between the two Covenants: One saith, Do this and Live: the other saith, Live and do this, The one saith, Do this, for life, The other saith, Do this from life.

But I have proved fully, that the Gospel also saith, Do this for life.

So in his second part, page 190. His great note to know the voice of the Law by, is this, [that when in Scripture there is any morall work com­manded to be done either for the eschuing of pu­nishment, or upon promise of any reward tempo­rall or eternall; or else when any promise is made with the condition of any work to be done, which is commanded in the Law; there is to be under­stood the voice of the Law.

A notorious and dangerous mistake, which would make almost all the New Testament, and the very Sermons of Christ himself to be nothing but the Law of works, I have fully proved before, that morall duties as part of our sincere obedience to Christ, are part of the condition of our Salvati­on; and for it to be performed. And even Faith is a morall duty. It is pitty that any Christian should no better know the Law from the Gospel: especially one that pretendeth to discover it to o­thers.

So in the next page 191, he intolerably abuseth the Scripture, in affirming that of 2 Thes. 2. 12. 10. to be the voice of the Law, and so making Paul a Legall Preacher.

[Page 279] And as shamefully doth he abuse 1 Cor. 6. 9, 10., As if the Apostle when he biddeth them, not to be decived, were deceiving them himself in telling them, that no unrighteous person, fornica­tors adulterers, &c. shall inherit the Kingdom of God. Is this Law? Then let me be a Preacher of the Law. If Paul be a Legalist, I will be one too. But these men know not, that the Apostle speaketh of those that die such; and that these sinnes ex­clude men the Kingdom, as they are Rebellion a­gainst Christ their Lord, and so a violation of the New Covenant.

So in part first page 189. He mentioneth a Preacher, that said, he durst not exhort nor per­swade sinners to believe their sinnes were pardoned, before he saw their lives reformed, for fear they should take more liberty to sin. And he censureth that Preacher to be ignorant in the Mystery of faith. I confesse I am such an ignorant Preacher my self; and therefore shall desire this knowing man to resolve me in a few doubts. 1. Where he learned, or how he can prove, that Justifying Faith is a believing that our sinnes are pardoned? when Scripture so often telleth us, that we are justified by Faith: and sure the Object must go before the Act; and therefore that which followeth the Act is not the Object,

If we must believe that we are pardoned, that so we may be pardoned; then we must believe a lye to make it a truth. Also doth not the Scripture bid us Repent, believe, and be baptized for the re­mission [Page 280] of sinnes; but not first to believe the Re­mission of our sinnes? I have proved already that justifying Faith is another matter: and this which he calleth Faith is properly no Faith at all; but the knowledge of a conclusion, one of whose permises is afforded by Faith, and the other by Sense.

If therefore the Preacher had said, that he would not have men accept Christ, and so believe for Remission, before their lives be reformed, then I should have subscribed to this mans censure of him. 2. I desire him to tell me, whether he can prove that any mans sinnes are pardoned before they have accepted Christ for their Lord? that is, before Faith. If not, 3. Whether this be not the subjection of the soul to Christ to be governed by him; and so a heart-reformation? 4. Whether the reformation of the life doth not immediately even the same moment follow the hearts reforma­tion? And if all this be so, (as I know it is) then the ignorant Preachers doctrine must stand good, that Reformation of life must go before the belief or knowledge of pardon, though not before justify­ing Faith.

Many other intolerable errours I could shew you in that Book: as his making the New Cove­nant to threaten nothing but present Afflictions, and losse of our present communion with God, page, 208. and that we may pray for no other kind of pardon. pag 206, 210. contrary to Mar. 16. 16. Heb. 10, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31. [Page 281] Heb. 2. 3. Ioh. 15. 2, 6. and many other places: so his affirming that we sinne not against the Cove­nant of works; which I have confuted in the A­phorismes.

So his making the Law of Christ and the Law of Faith to be two Lawes or Covenants: when that which he calleth the Law of Christ is but part of the matter of the New Covenant.

But this is not my businesse; only because you urged me, I have given you a grain of salt where­with to season some passages in your reading that and such like Books.

And that passage in M. Shepheards Select ca­ses page 96, 102. that no unregenerate man is within the compasse of any conditionall promise had need of a grain too.

To the twelfth Objection.

WHat you object concerning my making a necessity of publick covenanting, I wholly acknowledge: And I heartily wish, that instead of our large mixt Nationall Covenant; and instead of the Independants Politicall Church-making Cove­nant, we had the Gospel or New Covenant condi­tions formally in publick rendered to all the people of this Land: & that the same being opened to them, they might knowingly and seriously professe their consent, (& if they subscribed their names, it would be more solemnly engaging: and this before they receive the Sacrament of the Lords Supper.

[Page 282] This, 1. would take off most Arguments which are brought for a necessity of Re-baptizing: 2. And would tend much to engage men to their o­bedience to Christ, when they have so solemnly promised it under their hands. 3. And I think that as an unfeigned heart covenanting with Christ is true faith, and of the Essence of our Christianity; so is this publike covenanting of our visible Christi­anity.

Though other mens promises on our behalfe may be of use to infants; yet when we come to age, we are bound of absolute necessity to a perso­nall Faith and covenanting.

This also would answer the ends of the ancient custom of Confirmation: And to this end is it, that the Church hath still used to rehearse the Greed, or Articles of Faith, and to require the peo­ple to stand up to signifie their Assent and Con­sent; which, for my part, I think not onely a lau­dable custome, but for the substance of it, a matter of necessity; so we do but carefully keep away that Customarinesse, ceremoniousnesse and forma­lity, which spoileth the most necessary and weigh­ty duties.

I could wish therefore that this practice were established by Authority. And, for my self, I do administer the Sacrament to none, that do not solemnly professe their assent to every fun­damentall Article of Faith expresly mentioned to them, and their consent that Christ shall be their Lord and Saviour and that they will [Page 283] faithfully and sincerely obey his Scripture Lawes.

To the thirteenth and fourteenth Objections.

YOur 13. and 14. Objections, which charge me not with errour, but only with singulari­ty, I will answer together. And I am the lesse carefull to answer you in this matter, because I re­solve to stand or fall to the Judgement of Scrip­ture only. And to tell you the truth, while I bu­sily read, what other men say in these controver­sies, my mind was so prepossessed with their noti­ons, that I could not possibly see the truth, in its own nature and naked evidence: and when I en­tered into publick disputations concerning it, though I was truely willing to know the truth, yet my mind was so forestalled with borrowed no­tions, that I chiefly studied how to make good the opinions which I had received, and ran further still from the truth: yea when I read the truth in Doctor Preston and other means writings, I did not consider and understand it: and when I heard it from them, whom I opposed in wrangling dispu­tations, or read it in books of controversie, I dis­cerned it least of all, but only was sharpened the more against it: till at last, being in my sicknesse cast far from home, where I had no book but my Bible, I set to study the truth from thence, and from the nature of the things, and naked evidence; and so by the blessing of God, discovered more in one week, then I had done before in seventeen [Page 284] yeares reading, hearing and wrangling. Not that I therefore repent of reading other mens writings: for without that I had not been capable of those latter studies.

So that as I fetched not this doctrine from man, So you must bear with me if I give you the lesse of man to attest it.

Yet that you may see I am not singular, as you conceive, I will shew you the concurrent judge­ments of one or two.

Mr. Wallis (a man of singular worth, I am confident, by his own writing, though I know him not) in his answer to the Lord Brook, pag. 94. saith, That Faith is an accepting of Christ of­fered, rather then a believing of a Proposition af­firmed.

But because I will not fill my pages with other mens words, I will alledge but one more; and that one who is beyond all exception for piety, Ortho­doxnesse, and Learning, even Dr. Preston.

1. That Faith containeth severall acts.

2. That it is both in the understanding and will.

3. That the principal act is accepting or consent.

4. That it is the accepting of Christ for Lord as well as Saviour.

5. That the object is Christ himself, and not his benefits but in a remote sence and secondarily.

6. That Faith consisteth in Covenanting or Marriage contract. All these he is so plain and full in, that I find him speaking my own thoughts in my own words: and begun to think when I read [Page 285] him, that men would think I borrowed all from Dr. Preston. Read him in his Treatise of Faith. pag. 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 89, 97. Also Of Effectull Faith, pag. 40, 41. 87, And Treatise of Faith, pag. 14, 15, 16, 20, 21. 56, 57, 58.

7. But especially, the chief point that I stand upon, & am like to be opposed most in, he handleth so fully and asserteth so frequently, as if it were the choicest notion which he desired to divulge, viz. That justifying faith, as such, is a taking of Christ for Lord as well as for Saviour. Of so many places I will transcribe two or three.

And first his definition of the active part of faith, is the very same with mine. Of Faith, pag. 44. It is to Believe, not onely that Christ is offer­ed to us, but also to take and receive him as a Lord and Saviour, that is, both to be saved by him, and to obey him. Mark it (saith he) I put them to­gether, to take him as a Lord and Saviour; for you shall finde that in the ordinary phrase of Scripture, they are put together, Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour; therefore we must take heed of disjoyning those that God hath joyned together: We must take Christ as well for a Lord as a Saviour; let a man do this, and he may be assured that his faith is a justifying faith; therefore mark it dili­gently; if a man will take Christ for a Saviour onely, that will not serve the turn; Christ giveth not himself to any upon that condition only to save him, but we must take him as a Lord too, to be [Page 286] subject to him, and obey him, and to square our actions according to his will, &c. pag. 45.

So of Effectuall Faith, pag. 92. Now faith is nothing but this: We come and tell you that Christ is offered; if you will be content to let all these things go, and to turn your hearts to him, then the whole bent of a mans mind is turned the contrary way and set upon Christ; this is such Faith indeed, &c. Now i [...] we were not mistaken in it, there would be no question of this: We think that faith is nothing but a perswasion that our sins are forgiven a perswasion that the promises are true, and the Scripture true, a perswasion that Christ died for my sins: And thence it is, that men are apt to be deceived in it. If they took Faith as it is in its self, (a Marriage of our selves to Christ, with all our heart and affections, when he hath given himself to us as in Marriage and we are gi­ven to him.) in doing this, we should never be deceived.

So in his Treatise of the New Covenant, pag. 458. you must know that the Covenant is then dissolved, when that is dissolved that did make the Covenant: Lock what it is that puts a man into the Covenant of Grace at the first; when that is taken away, then the Covenant is disannulled be­tween God and us; but till then the Covenant re­maines sure. Now what is it that makes the Cove­nant? Mark it: This is that which makes the Covenant; when Jesus Christ offereth himself to us, and makes known his consent, &c. when we [Page 287] again come and take him, and give our consent to make him our Lord, and we subject our selves to him to be his; when we say to the promised seed, He shall be my God and my Governour, and I will be among his people, and be subject to him; I say, when the heart gives a full consent to this, &c. now the Covenant and contract is made be­tween them. Now as long as this union continues between Christ and us, the Covenant is not disan­nulled; So that in a word, the Covenant is never nullified till thou hast chosen to thy self another husband, till thou hast taken to thy self another Lord, &c. pag. 459.

So that here you see 8ly. that every infirmity breaks not the Covenant. See also Treatise of Love, pag. 147.

9 That there is a Gospel curse following the breach of the Gospel Law, and that it is unre­pealable and more terrible then that of the Law pag. 19, 20.

10, What near conjunction love hath with Faith in justifying. See Treatise of Effectuall Faith▪ 41, 42.

11, That the promise and offer of Christ is generall, see Treatise of Faith, pag. 9, 10. I will transcribe but one more, Treatise of the New Co­venant, pag. 317, 318. You must know there is a two-fold Covenant, one of works, another of grace, &c, The Covenant of grace runs in these termes [Thou shalt believe; thou shalt take my Sonne for thy Lord and thy Saviour, and thou [Page 288] shalt likewise receive the gift of Righteousnesse, which was was wrought by him, for an absolution for thy sinnes, for a reconciliation with me, and thereupon thou shalt grow up in love & obedience, towards me, Then I will be thy God, and thou shalt be my people.] This is the Covenant of grace, &c.

In this you see also, 12ly. That love and sin­cere obedience are parts of the condition of the New Coveuant.

Thus you see I am not in these 12. points sin­gular; and in more could I also prove his con­text; though in some things I confesse he differeth; as in making Faith an instrument in our justificati­on, pag. 54. Of Faith. But as I take that to be a small difference; so it is apparent by the forecited places, that he took Faith to justifie, as the condi­tion of the Covenant; and so the difference is but verball; yet speaking in the common phrase put him upon that absurdity, pag. 56. Treatise of Faith, viz. to say, That reconciling and justifying are acts of Faith: If he had said, but that they are effects of Faith, it had been more then (in pro­per strict sence taken) can be proved.

To the fifteenth Objections.

TO your fifteenth Objection I answer, 1. The Apostle in those places dealeth with the Jews, who trusted to works without and against Christ: This is nothing against them that set not up works in opposition nor coordination but onely in subor­dination to Christ.

[Page 289] 2. If I affirmed that works are the least part of that Righteousnesse which the Law requi­reth, and which must be so pleaded to our ju­stification, then I should offend against the freenesse of grace: But when I affirme, that all our legall Righteousnesse is onely in Christ, then doe I not make the reward to be of debt, or lesse free.

3. The Apostle in the same verse Rom. 4. 5. saith, that his Faith is counted for Righte­ousnesse; and I have proved before that sub­jection is a part of Faith.

4. The Apostle plainly speaketh of that Righteousnesse whereby we are formally righ­teous, and which we must plead that we may be justified from the accusation of the Law; and this is neither in Faith nor works, but in Christ: But he nowhere speaketh against that which is only the condition of our participa­tion of that, and whereby we must escape the condemnation of the Gospell, which is Faith, as I have opened before.

5. If the Apostle should meane otherwise, it were as much against your Doctrine as mine. For is not Faith a work or act of ours? But you will say, That though Faith which is a work do justifie, yet not as a work, but as an instrument. I answer.

1. To be an actuall apprehension of Christ (which you call its instrumentality) is to bee a work; Therefore, if it justifie as it is such an [Page 290] apprehension, it justifieth as a work.

2. So also say I, that subjection and obedi­ence justifie, 1. Not as works simply conside­red; 2. Nor as legall works; 3. Nor as meri­torious works; 4. Nor as Good works which God is pleased with; 5. But as the conditions to which the free Law-giver hath promised ju­stification and life.

Nay, your Doctrine ascribeth farre more of the work to man then mine; for you make justification an effect of your own Faith, and your Faith the instrumentall cause of it, and so make your selfe your owne justifier. And you say your Faith justifieth, as it apprehen­deth Christ, which is the most intrinsecall; essentiall consideration of Faith, and so Faith hath much of the honour. But while I affirm that it justifieth onely as a condition, which is an extrinsecall consideration, and aliene from its essence or nature, I give the glory to him that freely giveth me life, and that made so sweet a condition to his Covenant, and that enableth me to performe the said condi­tion.

And thus I have according to my measure of understanding answered your Objections, as fully as necessitated brevity would per­mit.

And for that question which you propound­ed about Relaxation, Abrogation, &c. of [Page 291] the Law, which you confesse you doe not well understand; I refer you to Vossius Defens. Grotii de Satisf. cap. 27. where (among other things) hee telleth you that Apud Romanos seu ferenda esset Lex, populus rogabatur an ferrivellet? seu tol­lendae, rogabatur, an tolli eam placeret? Hinc ro­gari lex dicebatur, quae ferrebatur, ut dicit Vlp. Tit. 1. Regal. Eâdemque de causâ abrogari diceba­tur, cum antiquaretur, &c. And then he ex­plaineth all those phrases to you out of Vlpian. Lex rogatur, id est, fertur; vel abrogatur, idest, prior lex tollitur; vel Derogatur, id est, pars primae tollitur: aut subrogatur, id est adjicitur aliquid primae legi: aut Obrogatur, id est, mutatur aliquid ex primâlege. And so concludeth, that the first Law was not abrogated, but relaxed, dispen­sed with, and obrogate.

How farre it was executed, I have shewed you in the Treatise.

But the last task you set me, is of all the rest most ungratefull, endlesse, and (in my judge­ment) unnecessary, viz. [To answer what other men have written against some doctrines which I have here asserted.]

1. It is a work ungratefull to search into other mens weaknesse and mistakes; to handle the truth in a way of contention or to speak in way of derogation of the labours of the lear­ned and godly.

2. And should I fall upon a confutation of every man that hath written contrary to any [Page 292] thing in my Book, the task would be endlesse, and I might stuffe a great deale of paper with words against words, and perhaps adde little matter to what is already written; which is a work unfit me for to undertake who have so much better work to doe, and am like to have so short a time to doe it in.

3. And it seemes to me a needlesse task; partly because from the cleering and confir­mation of the positive truth, you may be ena­bled to answer opposers your selfe.

2. The Authors which you mention doe so easily and effectually assault the doctrines mentioned, that I should think no judicious man can thereby be staggered.

But at your request I will briefly consider them particularly.

The Authors which you refer me to, are two, D. Maccovius, and Mr. Owen. The points which they contradict are three.

1. That our legall Righteousnesse which we have in Christ, consisteth not formally in obedience to the Precept of the first Cove­nant, but onely in satisfaction for our Dis­obedience. This Maccovius opposeth in Colleg. Theol. par 1 Disp. 10. & par. 4. Disp. 9.

2. [That Christ payed not the same debt which was in the first obligation, but the va­lue; and so the Law was not properly and fully executed, but relaxed.] This, you say, Mr. Owen confuteth in Grotius, in his late Treatise [Page 293] of Vniversall Redemption, lib. 3 cap. 7. p. 140.

3. [That no man is actually and absolutely justified (no not so much as in point of Right) either from eternity, or upon the meere pay­ment of the bebt by Christ, till themselves doe beleeve.] This, you say, is confuted by both of them, Maccov. par. 3. Disp. 16. & par. 1. Disp. 17. Et owen ubi supra.

If mens names did not more take with you then their Arguments, you might have spared me this labour. But briefly to the first of these I answer.

1. Most passages in Maccovius doe affirm but that Christ obeyed for us, as well as suffered for us; and who denyeth that?

2. Of those passages which yet goe further, there is few of them that say any more then this, that Christs active Righteousnesse did merit for us that life and glory which is given by the New Covenant, more then we lost by breaking the Old: But this is nothing to our Question which is onely about justification. For I have cleared to you before, that Justifi­cation is (properly and strictly taken) one of those acts whereby we are recovered from the condemnation of the Law, and set in statu quo prius; and not one of those acts which give us that additionall glory which is Adoption, Union, Glorification.

3. Those few Arguments which yet doe drive higher then this, are so fully answered [Page 294] already by Mr. Gataker against Lucius, Gomar­rus,, &c. and Mr. Goodwin (notwithstanding Mr. Roboroughs Answer) and divers others, that I am resolved not to lose so much time and labour, as to doe that which is better done already, then can be expected from me.

4. Onely one argument more then usuall I finde in part 1 Disput. 10. And which I con­fesse deserveth a speciall consideration, And that is this. [If Christ onely suffered for us, then the righteousnesse of Adam, had hee con­tinued in innocency, would have been more excellent then the righteousnesse of Christ: For the law requireth obedience principally and suffering but per accidens. But the conse­quence is false, because else Christ hath not set us in as good a state as we fell from.]

To this I answer. 1. This righteousnesse may be termed excellent in severall respects. 1 In reference to its Rule: 2. Or in reference to its Ends. The 1. denominateth it Good in it self: The second denominateth it good to us. Now the Rules to measure it by, are two: 1. The neerest inferiour Rule; which is the Law: 2. The remote superiour Rule; which is the good pleasure and will of the Law-ma­ker.

2. The ends which may denominate our righteousnesse more excellent, are: 1 The glory of Gods justice and mercy: 2. The glory of the Mediatours love, and the setting up of [Page 295] his kingdom: 3 And the good of the creature: Or rather all these in one.

Now these things thus standing, I answer thus. 1 I acknowledge that the Law made for mankinde doth primarily require obedience, and but secondarily suffering, and upon sup­position of disobedience.

2. But you must distinguish betwixt what the law requireth of us, and what of the Me­diatour: the law to the creature, and the law to the Mediatour, are in severall things diffe­rent: The will of his Father which he came to doe, consisted in many things which were ne­ver required of us: such are all the works pro­per to the office of Mediatourship. Now though the Law required of us meer creatures primarily Obedience active; Yet that which was principally imposed upon the Mediatour and undertaken by him, was to satisfie for our disobedience: And so the principall part of his works was passive obedience, and that in him was as excellent or more then Active obe­dience; though in us it would not have been so; because the law did not require it of us in the first place, as it did of Christ.

3. If you call that most excellent which is best pleasing to God the Law-maker; then cer­tainly the satisfaction of Christ did please him better, then Adams perseverance in innocen­cie would have done. This needeth no proof but the consideration of the event.

[Page 296] 4. And for the ends of righteousnesse, let us consider them distinctly; and see whether Christs satisfaction do not attain them all more eminently and fully then Adams perse­verance would have done.

1. The glory of Gods justice would not have been manifested so, if Adam had stood, as it was by Christs sufferings: 2 Nor the glory of his mercy and free grace. 3 Nor the Mediatours love: 4 Nor would the King­dom of the Mediatour have been set up, nor his honour so advanced. 5. Nor the saints ad­vanced to so high a dignity and happinesse, as now they are and shall be by Christ.

So that in what respect is our righteous­nesse lesse excellent? or who is the looser? Not the Father; Not the Mediatour: All the que­stion is of our selves: But that is onely in point of our honour: It is acknowledged, that to the creature it would have been more honourable to have kept his innocency, then to have his disobedience satisfied for by a­nother. But here consider these things, 1 Gods honour is to be preferred to ours. 2 And the Mediatours advancement before our advancement. 3 It was the very design of God in the Gospell way of our salvation to take down our honour, that the creature might not glory in it self, but all might be acknowledged to free grace: And shall we [Page 297] think it a wrong, if we have not a righteous­nesse as honourable to our selves as that which we lost? 4 Our happinesse will be greater though our honour will be lesse: For we shall have a far greater glory. And that is better then meer honour. 5 Yea we shall have more honour then we lost: A reall honour of being the sons of God, and members of Christ, and heirs of glory: And this is greater then the honour of our perseverance would have been. Onely this being all freely given re­doundeth to the giver: but still the reall honour and happinesse we enjoy therefore is it the everlasting work of Saints, to praise the Lamb who hath redeemed them out of a [...]l nations, and made them Kings and Priests to God; which implyeth an acknowledge­ment of their former disobedience and mise­ry, (and so taking dishonour to themselves) and yet the greater glory to Christ, and hap­pinesse to them.

6. Moreover we have now besides the righteousnesse of Christs satisfaction a perso­nall evangelicall righteousnesse, consisting in the fulfilling of the conditions of the law of grace.

So that our little losse of the honour of self-performance you see is in these 6. respects a­bundantly recompensed.

So that to our selves a righteousnesse of [Page 298] tisfaction, is better then a righteousnes of personall obedience. And as it is found in Christ, it is also in it self more excellent.

Yet further; that it is not derogatory to Christ, doth thus appear. 1 He had in himself both sorts of righteousnesse; viz. Of obedi­ence to the Precept, and of satisfaction to the threatning. Though both could not be ours, retaining their forms as such: because the (law requireth but one sort of righteousnes of one person for himself: so that we derogate nothing from Christs righteousnesse or per­fection.

2. Both these sorts in Christ, viz. his a­ctive and passive (as I conceive) doe concurre to make up that one sort of righteousnesse ne­cessary for us, viz. Or satisfaction to the threat­ning: and so both conjunct are our righte­ousnesse, though not as two sorts of righte­ousnesse, but as one. Yet I know that this is somewhat dark and doubtfull, because Obe­dience is a thing commanded and not threate­ned: But yet seeing Christ payed not the Idem, but the Tantundem; not the very same debt mentioned in the threatning, but the value. I think therefore that his obedience as such may goe in to his satisfaction.

3. I also freely acknowledge, that the addi­tionall happinesse which we have by Christ, more then we lost in Adam, contained in our Adoption, Union with Christ and Glorifica­cation, [Page 299] are procured by Christs active obe­dience as such, as well as by his satisfaction in suffering.

If yet besides all this, any will maintain that we fulfilled the precepts of the law in Christ; or that his fulfilling of them as such, is our righteousnesse, let them shew me solidly what neede we have of Christs sufferings, and let them answer what is said to the contrary by the formentioned Authors; and I shall quickly yeeld.

To conclude, that God accepteth this righ­teousnesse of satisfaction as being equivalent to that of obedience (though obedience be first in the law, and the precept the principall part) and so that he is as well pleased with us as if we had obeyed: may appear from the end & nature of satisfactory punishment. For the pe­nalty of a perfect just law is supposed to be such, that it will make a perfect compensation or satisfaction for all the wrong we have done, to the law-maker or the publique: so that being paid or suffered, we must needs in point of in­nocency be in statu quo prius. I know some object thus, If a theef be burnt in the hand and so the law satisfied, yet he hath lost his credit, and will not be taken or trusted for an honest man.

Answ. You must distinguish 1. betwixt his breach of mans law, and his breach of Gods law.

2. Betwixt his actuall fault, and his habi­tuall [Page 300] pravity. And then you will see, that his burning in the hand was for the breach of mans law; but the perpetuall infamy is a part of the penalty inflicted by God for the breach of his law, by the same fact. 2 That his suffe­ring was onely for his actuall fault: But our distrust and contempt of him is also for the pravity of his heart by that fact discovered, of which mans Law taketh not notice.

But if you instance in the breach of a meer penall law (as for keeping Artillery, for forbea­ring to eat flesh in Lent, &c.) You will see that the meer suffering or paiment, doth put the offendour in as good a condition as he was before.

But the Disputant in Maccovius thinketh to strike all dead, with this case. In 1 Sam. 11. 7. the penalty for them that would not go out with Saul to battell, was, that their oxen should be hewed in pieces; yet (saith he) they should besides this have lost their part in the prey or spoils. To which I answer.

1. Then the losse of the spoil was implyed as part of the penalty. 2 He all along runneth upon a false supposition; viz, That Adam be­sides the continuance of the happinesse which at first was freely given him, should moreo­ver by his obedience have merited or pro­cured some further reward: Now (saith he) this reward must be procured us by Christs active righteousnesse, though his satis­faction [Page 301] put us into the state we fell from.

But all this is a meer fiction. For where doth the scripture talk of Adams meriting any more, or where doth it promise him any more then the continuance of that happinesse which he then had?

So I have done with the first Question.

Your 2. is [whether Christ paid the same debt which was in the first obligation?] And here you send me to Mr. Owen.

Answ. 1. I had farre rather you had ob­jected your self. For I cannot well under­stand Mr. Owens minde. in pag. 137. He di­stinguisheth betwixt paying the very thing that is in the obligation; and paying of so much in another kinde. Now this is not our question, nor any thing to it; for we affirm that Christs suffering was of the same kinde of pu­nishment, (at least in the main;) but yet not the very same in the obligation.

In pag. 140. He states the question far other­wise, (and yet supposeth it the same) viz, whether Christ paid the Idem, or the Tantun­dem? which he interpreteth thus; that which is not the same, nor equivalent to it, but onely in the gra­ous acceptance of the Creditour. Now what he means by not equivalent I cannot tell.

1. If he mean not of equall value, then he fight­eth with a shadow; he wrongeth Grotius, (for ought I can finde in him (who teacheth no such doctrine: How-ever, I do not so use to [Page 302] English solutio Tantidem. But if he mean that it is not equivalent in procuring its ends, ipso facto, delivering the debtour, without the interven­tion of a new confession or contract of the cre­ditor, (as solutio ejusdem doth,) then I con­fesse Grotius is against him; and so am I.

So also [Gods Gracious acceptance] is either his accepting lesse in value then was due, and so remitting the rest without payment: (this I plead not for,) or els it is his accepting of a refuseable payment, which though equall in value yet he may chuse to accept according to the tenour of the Obligation. This is gracious acceptance, which Grotius maintaineth? and so doe I; and so distinguish betwixt solutio & satisfactio, payment: and sa­tisfaction.

Yet here Mr. Owen entereth the lists with Grotius; And.

1. He overlooketh his greatest Arguments.

2. He slightly answereth onely two.

And 3. when he hath done, he saith as Gro­tius doth, and yeeldeth the whole cause.

These three things I will make appeare in order.

1. The chiefe Argument of Grotius and Vos­sius is drawne from the tenor of the Obliga­tion, and from the event: The Obligation chargeth punishment on the offendor him­selfe. It saith In the day thou eatest, thou shalt dye. And Cursed is every one that continueth not in [Page 303] all things, &c. Now if the same in the Obliga­tion be paid then the Law is executed, and not relaxed; and then every sinner must dye himself, for that is the Idem, and very thing threatned: So that here, Dum alius solvit, simul aliud solvitur. The Law threatned not Christ, but us. (Besides, that Christ suffered not the losse of Gods love, nor his image and graces, nor eternity of torment, of which I have spoke in the Treatise.) What saith Mr. Owen to any of this?

2. The two Arguments he dealeth with, are these.

1. The payment of the very debt, doth ipso facto, free the debtor To which he answereth, that Christs death doct actually or ipso facto, free us. This Answer I shall consider under your last question whereto it belongeth.

To the second Argument that the payment of the same thing in the Obligation, leaveth no roome for pardon he answereth thus:

1. Gods pardoning comprizeth the whole dispen­sation of Grace in Christ: As 1. The laying of our sinne on Christ. 2. The imputation of his Righteous­nesse to us; which is no lesse of grace and mercy: How­ever, God pardoneth all to us, but nothing to Christ: So that the freedome of pardon hath its foundation.

1. In Gods will freely appointing this satisfaction of Christ.

2. In a gracious acceptation of that decreed satis­faction in our stead.

[Page 304] 3. In a free application of the death of Christ to us, &c. so farre Mr. Owen.

To which I answer: 1. Pardon implieth Christs death as a cause; but I would he had shewed the Scripture, that maketh pardon so large a thing, as to comprize the whole dis­pensation of Grace; or that maketh Christs death to be part of it, or comprized in it.

2. If such a word were in Scripture, will he not confesse it to be figurative, and not pro­per, and so not fit for this Dispute?

3. Else when he saith, that Christs death pro­cured our pardon, he meaneth that it pro­cured it self.

2. Neither is imputation of Righteousnesse any part of pardon but a necessary antece­dent; so that here is no part of pardon yet in all this.

3. The same may be said of Gods Ac­ceptation.

4. Its Application is a large phrase, and may be meant of severall acts; but of which here, I know not.

5. How can he call it, A gracious Acceptation, a gracious imputation, a free Application, if it were the same thing which the Law required that was paid? To pay all according to the full exaction of the Obligation, needeth no favour to procure acceptance, imputation, or applica­tion. Can Justice refuse to accept of such a payment? Or can it require any more?

[Page 305] Object. But it is of grace to us, though not to Christ.

Answ. Doth not that clearely intimate, that Christ was not in the Obligation? that the Law doth threaten every man personally; Or else it had been no favour to accept it from another.

3. That Mr. Owen giveth up the cause at last, and saith as Grotius (having it seemeth not understood Grotius his meaning) appeareth p. 141, 142, 143.

For 1. he acknowledgeth that the payment is not made by the party to whom remission is granted, (and so saith every man that is a Chri­stian.)

2. He saith, It was a full valuable compen­sation, (therefore not of the same.)

3. That by reason of the Obligation upon us, we our selves were bound to undergo the punishment, (therefore Christs punishment was not in the Obligation, but only ours, & so the Law was not fully executed, but relaxed.)

4. He saith he meaneth not that Christ bore the same punishment due to us, in all acci­dents, of duration and the like; but the same in weight and pressure, (therefore not the same in the Obligation, because not fully the same: Not the same numerically; nor perhaps specifi­cally in all respects, if the losse of Gods Love and Image, and incurring his hatred, the cor­ruption of the body, the losse of right to, and [Page 306] use of all the creatures and the losse of all com­forts corporall or spirituall, &c. were any part of the curse.) yet that it was in the greatest re­spects of the same kinde, I doubt not.

5. He saith, God had power so farre to relax his owne Law, as to have the name of a surety put into the Obligation, which before was not there; and then to require the whole debt of that surety.

And what saith Grotius more then this? If the same thing in the Obligation be paid, then the Law is executed; and if executed (properly and fully) then not relaxed. Here he confes­seth that the sureties name was not in the Obli­gation; and that God relaxed the Law to put it in. Now the maine businesse that Grotius there drives at, is but to prove this relaxation of the Law, and the non-execution of it on the offenders threatned.

I Iudge that Mr. Owen hath no better suc­cesse in his next assault of Grotius, on that que­stion, [whether God manage this work of re­laxing the Law, punishing Christ for us, &c. as a Creditor, or as an absolute Master, or as a Judge under Lawes, or as the supreme Re­ctor? the last of which Grotius maintaineth? He that readeth Grotius and Vossius own words, doth need no further defensative against the force of Mr. Owens Answers.

But this is nothing to me.

Onely I would not have any truth to fare the worse for Grotius his defection. It was him­self [Page 307] that deserved the discredit, and not the Truth of God.

The third and last contradicted Article is, That no man is actually and absolutely justified upon the meer payment of the debt by Christ, till they be­come Beleevers.

Against this, you send me to both the fore­mentioned Authors.

Answ. 1. When I first cast my eye upon the two fore-cited Disputations in Maccowski, I had thought he had spoke onely of the uni­versall conditionall Justification of men, when he saith, that active Iustification was at the begin­ing of the first promise; But my charitable thoughts I soon saw were mistaken.

But I find, as his Doctrine is very strange, so are his proofs as slender, as any mans you could have sent me to.

1. Is it not strange that Active justification should be perfected 5000. yeares before Pas­sive justification is in being? I thought Passive justification had been the mediate effect of the Active; And that God had justified no man, who is not thereby justified.

2. And as strange and abhorred to me, is the other part of his doctrine, viz. That Faith onely taketh knowledge of justification for­merly wrought.

And his Arguments are as weak as the doctrine erroneous.

[Page 308] 1. The first is Because the Object must needs go before the Act.

Answ. But is it not pity that so excellent a Doctor should think that justification (& that not only in offer, but in actuall being) should be the object of justifying Faith? I am asha­med to confute so sencelesse an assertion. Sure it is Christ, and not actuall justification that is the object. When the Scripture saith, that Whosoever beleeveth shall be justified is it a learned Exposition which thus interpreteth it? [You that are elect, are already justified, and if you will beleeve it, you shall know it;]

2. He citeth Paraeus, saying, that Faith doth not effect justification, but accept it.

Answ. 1. They that say, Faith is the instru­mentall cause of justification, must needs say, that Faith effectth it.

2. Faith accepteth Christ for justification.

3. It accepteth not justification as being actually and absolutely our owne before the acceptance: But it accepteth a conditionall justification offered to me, that by the accep­tance it may become absolutely mine.

His citing of Tossanus words is nothing for him: For when hee saith, that All the Elect are justified in Christ, in respect of the merit thereof it is no more then to say that Christ hath merited their justification: which who denyeth?

But the great Argument which he and all of his judgement do trust to, is this: If the surety [Page 309] so undertake or discharge the debt, that the creditor rest satisfied with that undertaking or discharge; then is the debtor free from the debt. But Christ hath so undertaken and discharged the particular debts of the Elect; therefore the Elect are freed.

Answ. 1. Payment is refusable, or not refu­sable: That payment which is of the same thing in the Obligation, either by our selves or our Delegate, is not by the Creditor refu­sable; so that if we had paid it, or Christ had been our Delegate, appointed by us to pay the same that was due, then God could not have refused to take that payment: But Christ being appointed to this by the Father, and not by us; and also paying not the very same, but the value, God might have refused the pay­ment.

2. Where the payment is not refusable, there the discharge of the debtor is not refu­sable, but doth follow ipse facto: But where the payment is refusable, (as here it was) the Creditor may accept it upon what termes he pleases, and chuse to give the Debtor an abso­lute discharge; so that it being the full agree­ment and pleasure both of the Creditor and the Surety, the father and the sonne, that the Debtor should have no discharge by the pay­ment but upon a certaine condition by him to be performed, no doubt he shall have none till he have performed it.

3. So that Gods accepting the payment [Page 310] and being satisfied with it, may be understood.

1. In respect to the Surety, and the value of his payment; and so God was well pleased and fully satisfied in Christs payment, as bein the full value that his justice did require, and beyond which he expected no more at his hands.

2. Or it may be spoken in reference to the debtor, the sinner, and the effecting of his freedome: And so God was not immediately upon Christs payment, so satisfied or well pleased with the particular offenders, as to de­liver and discharge them without requiring any thing at their hands.

1. For he will first have them perform the imposed condition of taking Christ who hath bought them, for their only Saviour, Hus­band, and Lord.

To these of Maccovius, Mr. Owen in the place (against Grotius) which you referre me to, ad­deth some more.

As 1. By death he deliver us from death:

Answ. Not immediately nor absolutely, nor by his Death alone; but by that as the price, supposing other causes on his part, and conditions on ours to concurre before the actuall deliverance.

2. He saith The Elect are said to dye and rise with him.

Answ. Not in respect of time, as if we dyed & rose at the same time, either really or in Gods [Page 311] esteem: Nor that we dyed in his dying, & rose in his rising. But it is spoken of the distant mediate effects of his death, & the immediate effects of his Spirit on us, rising by regenera­tion to union and Communion with Christ.

3. He saith, Christ hath redeemed us from the curse, being made a curse for us, Gal. 3. 13.

Answ. I explained before how farre we are freed by Redemption; He hath redeemed us, that is, paid the price; but with no intent that we should by that Redemption be immediate­ly or absolutely freed.

Yet when we are freed, it is to be ascribed to his death as the meritorious cause; but not as the onely cause.

4. He saith The hand-writing that was against us, even the whole obligation is taken out of the way and nailed to his Crosse.

Answ. 1. By the hand-writing of Ordi­nances, is especially meant the Law of Ce­remonies.

2. If it be meant also of the curse of the Old Covenant, then it cannot be so understood, as if the Covenant it self were abrogate for the reasons I have before given in the Treatise.

3. Nor yet that any are absolutely dis­charged from the curse, till they perform the condition required for their discharge.

4. But thus farre the Law is taken down, that our Redeemer hath bought us from that [Page 312] necessity of perishing that lay upon us for our transgressing that Law; so that no man is now condemned for the meer violation of that first Covenant; and so he hath taken the Law into his owne hands, to charge only upon those that break the conditions of the New Cove­nant.

5. And so he hath taken downe the condem­ning power of the Law as it standeth by it selfe, and not as it is under the Covenant of grace: And hee hath freed us from the curse conditionally, and the condition is easie and reasonable.

6. So that quoad meritum, the work is done. All the satisfaction is made, and price paid; and therefore in Heb. 1. 3. it is said to be done. If a man where a 1000 l. in debt, and had tryed all meanes, and had no hope left to procure his discharge: And if a stranger to him goe to the Creditor, and buy the Debtor who is in prison into his owne hands, by paying all the debt, yet resolving, that if he refuse his kind­nesse, hee shall have no benefit by it, but lye and rot there; May it not be fitly said, that the debtor is delivered? because the great dif­ficulty which hindered, is removed; and the condition of his freedome is so reasonable, that common reason supposeth he will not stick at it; and if he doe, it is utterly against reason and humanity, for hee may be freed if he will.

[Page 213] Therefore it is no unfit phrase, to say the man is freed as soon as his debt is payed: But yet he is not absolutely freed, nor actually neither in point of personall right, nor of pos­session. And for his humane refusall of the kindnesse of his Redeemer, may lye and pe­rish there, and be never the better, but the worse for all this.

7. Yet it being the absolute purpose both of the Father and Mediator, to cause all the Elect to perform this condition of their di­scharge; therefore Redemption is a cause of their certaine future discharge, and a linke in the inviolable chaine of the causes of their salvation: But to the rest of the world it is not so.

But I doe not well understand the meaning of the Author you referre me to: For he saith, [That Christ did actually and ipso facto, deliver us from the curse and obligation; yet we do not instantly apprehend and perceive it, nor yet possesse it; but only we have actu­all right to all the fruits of his death: As a pri­soner in a farre Countrey who is ransomed, but knoweth it not, nor can enjoy liberty till a Warrant be produced, &c.

But 1. Whether a man may fitly be said a­ctually, and ipso facto, to be delivered and discharged, who is not at all delivered, but onely hath right to deliverance, I doubt.

2. Knowledge and posiession of a deliverance [Page 314] are farre different things: A man may have possession and no knowledge in some cases; or if he have both, yet the procuring of knowledge is a small matter, in comparison of possession.

3. Our knowledge therefore doth not give us possession; so that the similitude failes, for it is the Creditors knowledge and satisfaction that is requisite to deliverance. And our Cre­ditour was not in a farre and strange countrey, but knew immediately, and could either have made us quickly know, or turned us free be­fore we had knowne the cause.

4. Nor can it easily be understood, how God can so long deny us the possession of Heaven, if wee had such absolute actuall Right (as he speaketh) so long ago; which seemeth to expresse a jus ad rem & in re.

If it be said, wee are yet in our minority, and not fit for present possession.

I answer, That this fitnesse and our matu­rity is part of the deliverance, or benefit (which he saith, de facto, we had right to:) And so we should have had that also in present possession.

4. But if he doe meane onely a right to fu­ture possession (for such there is,) yet I con­fesse it is beyond my conceiving, how in re­gard of the relative part of our deliverance, that right and the possession should stand at so many yeeres distance. To have right to Gods favour and acceptance, and to have possession [Page 315] of that favour; to have right to the remission of sinne, and adoption, & to have possession of these, do seeme to me to be of neerer kin. Except he should think that possession of fa­vour is nothing but the knowledge or feeling of it; and that possession of pardon is the like; & that Faith justifieth us but in foro conscientiae: But I will not censure so hardly till I know it.

Indeed there is a justification by publike de­claration at the great judgement, which much differeth from a meer Right. But our justifica­tion by faith here is but a justifying in the sence of the Law, or giving us right to that full justification: So that To have right to it, and to have possession of it in point of Law or Right; is to me all one: For what doth Faith give us pos­session of in its justifying Act, but this legall right?

5. And indeed, it seemeth to me a full defi­nition of all pardon and justification which is here to bee expected, which he layeth downe; Hee saith, Christ did deliver us from the curse, and take away the Obligation which was against us ipso facto. And I think to be justified, is but to be freed from the curse or condemnation; and to be pardoned, is nothing else but to be freed from the obligation to punishment. And is re­mission and justification the immediate effect of Christs death?

[Page 316] What ever this Writer thinketh in this, is nothing to us: But because I would not have you so palpably and dangerously erre, let mee say a little more against this mistake. You may remember I have oft told you, of how great moment it is in Divinity, to be able soundly to distinguish betwixt immediate & Mediate Effects of Christs Death. (I think Tho. Moore meant the Immediate and Mediate Effects, which he calleth Ends which hath cau­sed a great many pages about the Ends of Christs Death, to be written by his Antago­nists to little purpose.) Now I would have you know, that this actuall Remission and Justifi­cation, are no Immediate, but Mediate effects of Christs Death; no, nor a personall right thereto if there be any such thing distinct from actuall freedome.

And to this end I pray you weigh these Ar­guments.

1. What Right soever God giveth to men to things supernaturall such as justification, remission, adoption) he giveth by his written Lawes. But by these Lawes hee hath given no such thing to any Beleever, (such as are the Elect before conversion, (therefore, &c.

The major is evident: Gods Decree giveth no man a personall right to the mercy inten­ded him. And for the minor, no man can pro­duce any Scripture giving to unbeleevers such a right.

[Page 317] 2. If God hate all the workers of iniquity, and we are all by nature the children of wrath, and without faith it is impossible to please God, and he that beleeveth not is condemned already; then certainly the Elect while they are unbeleevers are not actually, de facto, no nor in personall Right, delivered from this hatred, wrath, displeasure and condemnation. But the major is the very words of Scripture; therefore, &c.

3. If we are justified onely by Faith, then certainly not before Faith: But we are justified onely by Faith; therefore, &c.

I doe in charity suppose that you will not answer so groslely, as to say, we are justified in foro Dei, before Faith, and onely in foro consci­entiae, by Faith, till you can finde one word in Scripture which saith, that an unbeleever is justified, If I thought you were of this opi­nion, I should think it an easie task to mani­fest its falshood.

And if you say that we are justified in Gods Decree before Faith:

I answer, 1. It is no justification; shew me the Scripture that calleth it so.

2. Nay, it clearely, implyeth the contrary. For Decreeing is a term of Diminution, as to justifying. He that saith he is purposed to free you from prison, &c. implyeth that as yet it is not done. To be justified or saved in Decree, is no more but that God decreeth to justifie [Page 318] and save us; and therefore sure it is yet un­done.

4. If we are exhorted while we are unbe­leevers, to be reconciled to God, and to be­leeve for remissions of sins; then sure we are not yet reconciled nor remitted; But the former is evident in Scripture; there­fore, &c.

5. No man dare affirm, that we are imme­diatly upon Christs death, delivered actually, and ipso facto, from the power or presence of sin, nor from afflictions and death, which are the fruits of it; nor yet that we are freed from the distance and separation from God which sin procured. And why then should we think that we were immediately delivered from the guilt and condemnation?

I know the common answer is, that justifica­tion is an immanent act, and therefore from eternity; but Sanctification is a transient act. But I have disproved this in the Treatise, and cleared to you, that justification is also a transient Act: Otherwise Socinianisme were the soundest doctrine, that Christ never needed to satisfie, if we were justified from eternity. Yet (to confesse the truth) I was long de­ceived with this Argument my self, taking it upon trust from Dr. Twisse and Mr. Pemble, (whom I valued above most other men; and so continued of that same judgement with these Authors you alledge, and remained long [Page 319] in the borders of Antinomianisme, which I very narrowly escaped: And it grieveth me to see many of our Divines to fight against Jesuites and Arminians with the Antinomian weapons, as if our cause afforded no better; and so they run into the far worse extream.

I undertake to manifest to you, that this Doctrine of Christs immediate Actuall de­livering us from guilt, wrath, and con­demnation,] is the very pillar and founda­tion of the whole frame and fabrick of Antino­mianisme.

But these things which you draw out of me here unseasonably; I am handling in a fitter place, (in a small Tract of Vniversall Redemption:) But the last week I have received Amiraldus against Spanhemius exercitations, who hath opened my very heart, almost in my own words; and hath so fully said the very same things which I intended, for the greater part, that I am now unresolved whether to hold my hand, or to proceed.

The Lord give you to search after the truth in love, with a humble, unbyassed, submissive soul; neither losing it through negligence and undervaluing, nor yet diverted from it by in­feriour controversies, nor preverted by self-confidence, nor forestalled by prejudice, nor blinded by passion, nor lost in contentions, nor subverted by the now-ruling spirit of gid­dinesse and levity, nor yet obscured by the [Page 320] confounding of things that differ; that so by the conduct of the Word and Spirit, you may attaine the sight of amiable naked truth, and your understanding may be enlightned, and your soul beautified by the reflexion and participation of her light and beauty, that your heart being ravished with the sense of her goodnesse, and awed by her Authority, you may live here in the constant embracements of her, and cordiall obedience to her, till you are taken up to the prime eternall Truth and Goodnesse.

Rom. 14. 9.

For to this end Christ both dyed, and rose, and revived, that he might bee Lord both of the dead and living.

Ephes. 1. 22.

And (God) hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the Church.

Heb. 5. 9.

And being made perfect, hee became the Author of eternall salvation to all them that obey him.

Revel. 20. 14.

Blessed are they that doe his commandements, that they may have right to the Tree of Life, and may enter in by the gate into the City.

Sayings of excellent Divines; added to satisfie you who charge mee with Singularity.

D. Twisse his Discovery of Dr. Iacksons vanity, p. 528.

WHat one of our Church will maintain, that any one obtaines actuall Redemp­tion by Christ without Faith? especi­ally considering that Redemption by the Blood of Christ, and forgivenesse of sinnes are all one, Eph. 1. 17. Col. 1. 14.

Byshop Hooper cited by Doctor Jackson.

(Christ] onely received our infirmities and Originall Disease, and not the contempt of him and his Law.

Expounded by Dr. Twisse against Dr. Iackson, pag. 584.

His meaning in my judgement is onely this, that Christ hath made satisfaction for the im­perfections of our Faith and holinesse, al­though we continue therein untill death: But he hath not made satisfaction for the con­tempt and hatred of his Word, &c. in case men doe continue therein unto death.

Alstedius Distinct. Theol. c. 17. pag. 73

The condition of the Covenant of Grace, is partly Faith, and partly Evangelicali obe­dience or holinesse of life proceeding from Faith in Christ.

Idem ibid. cap. 23.

Christ is our Righteousnesse in a causall sense, but not in a formall sence.

Sadeel. advers. human. satisfact. pag. 213.

Christs satisfaction is to them profitable to whom it is truly applied. The way of appli­cation is this, that the merits of Christ be im­puted to us: This imputation is done when the Holy Ghost begetteth in us a true faith, which receiving the benefit of Christ, doth at once also produce in us the true fruits of our Regeneration.

Rivetus in Disput. de Satisfactione.

God was not bound to accept the satis­faction performed by another, although suffi­cient; unlesse (which he could not) man had satisfied himself, and had born the punishment due to his sin; therefore there was a necessity that a Covenant should intercede, and God himself propound a Mediator.

[Page 323] That there must an agreement intercede on his part who was satisfied, I have proved, without which the satisfaction had been in vain, Ibidem.

Ibidem. ibid. Thes. 4, 5, 6.

The Act which in satisfaction God perfor­meth, it is of a supreme Judge, freely relaxing his own Law, and transferring the penalty on another: So that in this relaxation Gods su­preme dominion may be observed: For how could God have relaxed his Law, if he had not been the supreme Rector, or had been under a Law himself? And by the transferring the pe­nalty from the sinner, & exacting it of the sure­ty, the relation of a party offended, as such, is removed from God, &c. Iam. 4. 12.

So he proceedeth to prove, that God could and did relax his Law, as being positive, and so relaxable; that it is abrogate, not expounded [...]. And what of it was relaxable, and what not, &c.

Bellarmine confesseth (l. de just. cap. 7.) that our opinion is right, if we mean, that Christ merits are imputed us, because they are given us, and we may offer them to God the Fa­ther for our sins, because Christ under­took the burden of satisfying for us, and re­conciling [Page 324] us to God. Which Rivet approveth, Disp. de justific.

Dr. Twisse Vindic. Grat. l. 2. par. 2. crim. 3. §. 6.

I confesse salvation, and so pardon and a­doption, are offered to all and singular men on condition they beleeve &c. And so I deny not, that Redemption is so farre obtained for all and every man.

Dr. Twisse against Cotten, pag. 74.

Still you prove that which no man denyeth, viz. That God purposed life to the world upon condition of obedience and repentance; pro­vided that you understand it right, viz. that obedience and repentance is ordained of God, as a condition of life, not of Gods purpose.

Dr. Twisse Consid. of Tilenus Synod dort & Arles reduced to prac. pag. 61.

Ger. Vossius interpreteth the will of God touching the salvation of all of a conditionall will, thus; God will have all to be saved, to wit, in case they beleeve; which conditionall will in this sence, neither Austin did, nor doe we deny.

Idem pag. 143, 144.

I willingly professe that Christ dyed for [Page 325] all in respect of procuring the benefit (of par­don and salvation) conditionally, on condi­tion of their faith.

So also, pag. 154, 161, 165, 170, 194. And Discovery of Doctor Iacksons vanity, p. 527. 551.

Iunius Parallel. l. 3. Heb. 5. 9.

For the promise of salvation is made to obedience, and be queathed to it in the Te­stament of Christ himself dying.

Paraeus in Hebr. 5. 9.

To obey Christ is not onely to professe his Name, but to acknowledge him the onely per­fect Redeemer, to cleave to him in true affi­ance, and to live worthy the Gospell. This condition in the whole Gospell is required in those that shall be saved. Universall Grace belongeth onely to the obedient.

Piscator in Heb. 5. 9.

Christ is not the Author of salvation to all men, but onely to those that obey him, that is, who beleeve his Promises, and obey his Pre­cepts.

Aretius in Heb. 5. 9.

The benefit of Redemption is universall, and indeed belongs to all in generall, so be it we obey him.

Calvin in Luk. 1. 6.

We must so expound whatsoever the Scrip­ture speaks of the Righteousnesse of men, that it overthrow not the forgivenesse of sins, whereon it resteth as a building on its foun­dation. They who simply expound it, that Zachary and Elizabeth were righteous by Faith, because they were freely accepted of God for the Mediatours sake, do wrest the words of Luke to a strange sence: And as to the matter it self, they say something, but not the whole. I confesse indeed, that the righteous­nesse which is ascribed to them, ought to be acknowledged as received from the Grace of Christ, and not to the merit of works; yet the Lord, because he imputed not to them their sins, doth dignifie their holy life, with the title of Righteousness. The folly of the Papists is easily refelled, who oppose this Righteousness to the Righteousness of Faith; when as it flowes from it, so it ought to be placed in sub­ordination to it, that so there be no disagree­ment between them.

Perkins Vol. 1. p. 662. The true Gain.

And lest any should imagine, that the very act of Faith in apprehending Christ, justifieth, we are to understand, that Faith doth not ap­prehend by power from it self, but by vertue of the Covenant. If a man beleeve the King­dome of France to be his, it is not therefore [Page 327] his; yet if he beleeve Christ and the King­dome of Heaven by Christ, to be his, it is his indeed; Not simply, because he beleeves, but because he beleeves upon commandment and promise: For in the tenour of the Covenant, God promiseth to impute the obedience of Christ to us, for our righteousness, if we be­leeve.

Perkins Vol. 1. p. 476. on Hab. 2. 4.

Justice mentioned in the word is two-fold, the justice of the Law, and the justice of the Gospell: The justice of the Law hath in it all points and parts of justice, and all the per­fection of all parts; and it was never found in any upon earth except Adam and Christ. The justice of the Gospell hath all the parts of true justice, but it wants the full perfection of parts. And this kinde of justice is nothing else but the conversion of a sinner, with a purpose, will, and endeavour to please God, according to all the Commandments of the Law. Thus was Noah just, Iob, Zachary, Elizabeth; and thus must the just man be taken in this place, Hab. 2. 4.

Sop. 649. in the true Gain.

God doth as it were keep a double Court, one of justice, the other of Mercy. In the Court of justice he gives judgment by the Law, & ac­cuseth every man that continueth not in all things, &c. In this Court nothing can stand but the Passion and Righteousnesse of Christ; and for the best works that we can doe, [Page 328] we may not look for any acceptation or re­ward, but use the plea of David, Enter not into iudgement with thy servant, O Lord, for no flesh shall be justified in thy sight. Now in the Court of Grace and Mercy God hath to deall with his own children, that stand before him justi­fied and reconciled by Christ, and the obe­dience of such he accepteth in this Court, and mercifully regardeth, though imperfect—for christ.

Perkins, Vol. 1. pag. 124. On the Creed.

Christ as he is set forth in Word and Sacra­ments is the object of Faith.—Faith ap­prehendeth whole Christ.—pag. 125. First, it apprehendeth the very body and blood of Christ; and then in the second place the vertue and benefits.—Whereas some are of an opinion that faith is an affiance or confidence, that seemes to be otherwise; for it is a fruit of Faith.

That Faith is so large as to contain very many acts, see Zanchy on Eph. 1. in loco com­muni de fide.

That Word and Sacraments are the instru­ments of Justification on Gods part, Zanchy af­firmes on Ephes. 1. loco communi de justificatione,

That the form of Righteousnesse is confor­mity to the Law, he teacheth on Phil. 1. 11.

That there is a necessity of a two-fold Righ­teousnesse, [Page 329] one imputed, the other inherent. Zanchy ibid, & freq.

Dr. Willet on Rom. 2. contr. 3. 7.

Good workes are required as a condition in those which are to be saved, not as a merito­rious cause of their salvation.

The meaning of this sentence the doors of the law shall be justified, is the same: God will approve, justifie, reward them that do the works of the Law, whether Jew or Gentile: Yet it followeth not that a man is therefore justified by the works of the Law: But God approveth and rewardeth the workers, not the hearers and professours: So here the Apostle treateth not of the cause of justification, which is faith without the works of the law; But of the difference be­tween such as shall be justified, and such as are not. Faïus. They onely which have a lively Faith, which worketh and keepeth the Law in part, and supplyeth the rest which is wanting in themselves by the perfect obedience of Christ, they shall be justified; not those which one­ly professe the Law, and keep it not. The A­postle then here sheweth who shall be justified, not for what.

By these words it is evident that Dr. Willet and Faius acknowledge sincere obedience to be a condition of justification, or of those that shall be justified, though not a cause, as they say (I think mistakingly) Faith is.

Dr. Davenant Animadversions on Gods love to mankind, p. 385. 386.

The Doctrine of Predestination permitteth no man to perswade himself that his salvation is certain, before he finde that he is truly con­verted, truly faithfull, truly sanctified.

Because you will perhaps hear Mr. Owen before Grotius, see Mr. Ball on Covenant. p 290.

There is a two-fold payment of debt, one of the thing altogether the same which was in the Obligation; and this ipso facto freeth from pu­nishment, whether it be paid by the debtor himself, or by his surety. Another of a thing not altogether the same which is in the Obli­gation, so that some act of the Creditor or Go­vernour must come unto it, which is called re­mission; in which case deliverance doth not fol­low ipso facto upon the satisfaction; and of this kind is the satisfaction of Christ.—Thus this great learned, holy Divine as almost England ever bred, doth go on (even in Grotius his own words translated) betwixt whom (had he been living) and Mr. Owen would have been but im­par congressus.

Ball on Covenant, p. 240.

As these false Teachers 2 Pet. 2. 1. were cal­led into the Covenant, accepted the condi­tion, beleeved in Christ, for a time rejoyced in him, and brought forth some fruit, so we [Page 331] confesse they were bought by the blood of Christ, because all these were fruits of Christs Death, whereof they were made parta­kers.

As in the Parable, Mat. 18. 25. the Lord is said to remit to his servant a 1000▪ talents when he desired him, viz. Inchoately, or upon condition, which was not confirmed, because he did not forgive his fellow-servant: So the false Prophets are bought by the bloud of Christ, in a sort, as they beleeved in Christ. We read of Apostates who had bin enlightned, &c. Heb. 6. 5, 6, 7. and did revolt from the Faith; To these men their sins were remitted in a sort in this world, and in a sort they were bought with the blood of Christ, but inchoately onely, and as they tasted the word of life. Had they eaten the word of life, had they soundly and truly beleeved in Christ, they had received perfect and consum­mate remission of sins, both in this world, and in the world to come; they had been perfectly redeemed and reconciled to God; But because they did not eat, but tasted onely, they received not perfect Remission, they were not perfectly redeemed.

Idem. pag. 225.

There is this mutuall respect betwixt the promise and stipulation; that the promise is as an argument which God useth, that he might [Page 332] obtain of man what he requireth; and the per­formance of the thing required, is a condition without which man cannot obtain the promise of God.

Idem, pag. 43.

Of this Covenant be two parts, 1. a Promise: 2. a stipulation. The Promise is, that God will pardon the sinnes of them that repent un­feignedly, and beleeve in his mercy.

2. The Stipulation is, that they beleeve in him that justifieth the ungodly, and walk be­fore him in all well-pleasing.

See him also delivering the most of Amiral­dus doctrine, p. 244, 245.

Molinaeus de elect. ex fide, p. 316.

We know remission is not obtained before Prayers (for it.) But I say that it was decreed before Prayers▪ and that it is sought by Pray­ers, although it be decreed.

Scarpius symphonia. p. 93.

The substance of the Covenant lyeth in the promise of grace made in Christ, and the Resti­pulation of Faith and Gratitude.

Paraeus in Genes. 17. p. 1130.

The substance of the Covenant lyeth in the promise of free Reconciliation, Righteous­ness, and life eternall, by and for Christ freely to be given, and in the restipulation of our Morall Obedience and Gratitude.

Bullinger. Decad. 1. Serm. 6. pag. 44.

We say, Faith justifieth for it self, not as it is a quality in our minde, or our own work: but as Faith is a gift of Gods grace having the pro­mise of Righteousnesse and life, &c. Therefore Faith justifieth for Christ, and from the grace and Covenant of God.

Mr. Ant. Burgesse of Iustif. Lect. 14. p. 117.

Scripture maketh no pardon of sin to be but where the subject hath such qualifications as this of forgiving others. It is not indeed put as a cause, or merit, but yet it is as a quali­fication of the subject; therefore our Saviour repeateth, Except ye forgive others, &c. So Act. 10. 43. Rom. 3. 15. So 1 Ioh. 1. 9. If we confesse, &c. By these and the like Scriptures it is plain, That remission of sinne is given us only in the use of these Graces.

Mr. Burges of Iustif. Lect. 18. pag. 148, 149.

Prop. 2. Although the Scripture attributes pardon of sin to many qualifications in a man, yet repentance is the most expresse and pro­per duty.—If we speak of the expresse formall qualification, it is repentance of our sins, &c.

Prop. 3. None may beleeve, or conclude that their sins are pardoned before they have repented, Mat. 3. 2. Luk, 13. 3.

[Page 334] Prop. 4. There is a necessity of repentance if we would have pardon, both by necessity of Precept, and of means. The Spirit of God worketh this in a man to qualify him for this pardon, pag. 150.

You see then that Faith is not the only condition of remission, and consequently nor of justification.

Not as an appeal to men, but to fill up the va­cant pages, and satisfy you who charge me with singularity, have I added these promis­cuous Testimonies, supposing you can apply them to their intended uses.

FINIS.

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