RICHARD BAXTER'S Catholick Theologie: PLAIN, PURE, PEACEABLE: FOR PACIFICATION Of the DOGMATICAL WORD-WARRIOURS, Who, 1. By contending about things unrevealed or not understood, 2. And by taking VERBAL differences for REAL, and their arbitrary Notions for necessary Sacred Truths, deceived and deceiving by Ambiguous unexplained WORDS, have long been the Shame of the Christian Religion, a Scandal and hardning to unbelievers, the In­cendiaries, Dividers and Distracters of the Church, the occasion of State Discords and Wars, the Corrupters of the Christian Faith, and the Subverters of their own Souls, and their followers, calling them to a blind Zeal, and Wrathful Warfare, against true Piety, Love and Peace, and teaching them to censure, backbite, slander, and prate against each other, for things which they never understood. In Three BOOKS.

  • I. PACIFYING PRINCIPLES, about Gods Decrees, Fore-Knowledge, Providence, Operations, Redemption, Grace, Mans Power, Free-will, Justification, Merits, Certainty of Salvation, Perseverance, &c.
  • II. A PACIFYING PRAXIS or Dialogue, about the Five Articles, Justifica­tion, &c. Proving that men here contend almost only about Ambiguous words, and un­revealed things.
  • III. PACIFYING DISPUTATIONS against some Real Errors which hinder Reconciliation, viz. About Physical Predetermination, Original Sin, the extent of Re­demption, Sufficient Grace, Imputation of Righteousness, &c.

Written chiefly for Posterity, when sad Experience hath taught men to hate Theological Logical Wars, and to love, and seek, and call for Peace. (Ex Bello Pax.)

LONDON, Printed by Robert White, for Nevill Simmons at the Princes Arms in St. Pauls Church-yard. MDCLXXV.

I intreat the WRATHFUL, CONTEN­TIOUS, ZEALOUS DOGMATISTS conscientiously to study these Texts of Scripture:

MATTH. 28. 19, 20. Go, Teach all Nations, Baptiz­ing them into the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. Mar. 16. 16. He that believeth and is Baptized shall be saved. Acts 11. 26. The Disciples were called Christians.

1 Cor. 15. 1, 2, 3, 4. I declare to you the Gospel which I preached to you, which also you have received, and wherein ye stand, by which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached to you, unless ye have believed in vain—That Christ dyed for our sins,—and that he was buryed, and that he rose again the third day—

2 Tim. 1. 13. Hold fast the FORM of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in FAITH and LOVE which is in Christ Jesus.

1 John 4. 15. Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.

Rom. 10. 9, 10. If thou confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and be­lieve in thy Heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved: For with the Heart man believeth unto Righteousness, and with the Mouth confession is made to salvation.

Acts 8. 37. If thou believest with all thy heart thou maist (be baptized) And he said—I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.

Rom. 14. 1. 17, 18, 19. Him that is weak in the Faith receive, but not to doubtful disputations—For the Kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but Righteousness, Peace and Joy in the Holy Ghost: For he that in these things serveth Christ, is acceptable to God, and approved of men: Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edifie another. Rom. 15. 5, 6, 7. Now the God of pa­tience and consolation grant you to be like minded one towards another (or, mind the same thing one with another) according to Christ Jesus; That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorifie God.—Wherefore Receive ye one another as Christ also received us, to the glory of God.

1 Tim. 1. 3, 4, 5. Charge some that they teach NO OTHER doctrine, nor give heed to fables and endless Genealogies, which minister Questions, rather than godly edifying, which is in faith: Now the End of the Com­mandment is Charity, out of a pure heart and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned: From which some having swerved, have turned aside to vain janglings.

[Page] 1 Tim. 6. 3, 4, 5, 6. If any man teach OTHERWISE, and consent not to wholsome words, the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to Godliness, he is PROUD, KNOWING NOTHING, but DOTING about Questions, and STRIFES of WORDS, whereof cometh en­vy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness, (or think­ing that godliness is advantage;) from such turn away.

2 Tim. 2. 22, 23, 24. Follow righteousness, saith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart: But foolish and unlearned Questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes: and the servant of the Lord must not strive. V. 15, 16, 17. Study to shew thy self approved unto God, a workman that needeth not be ashamed, RIGHTLY DIVIDING the word of truth: But shun profane and vain bablings: for they will in­crease to more ungodliness, and their word will eat as doth a canker.

2 Tim. 2. 14. Charging them before the Lord, that they STRIVE not about WORDS, to no profit, to the subverting of the hearers.

1 Cor. 8. 2, 3. If any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing as he ought to know: But if any man LOVE GOD, the same is KNOWN OF HIM.

Jam. 3. 1, 13, &c. My Brethren, Be not Many Masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation—Who is a wise man, and indued with knowledge among you? Let him shew out of a good conversa­tion his WORKS with meekness of wisdom. But if ye have bitter zeal (or envying) and strife in your hearts, Glory not, and Lye not against the truth. This WISDOM descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish: For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work: But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, easie to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisie: And the fruit of Righteousness is sown in Peace of them that make Peace.

Acts 15. 28. It seemed good to the Holy Ghost and to us But not to Church-Ty­rants, Dogmatists or su­perstitious ones. to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things—

Phil. 3. 15, 16, 17. Let us as many as be perfect be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise (or diversly, or contrarily) minded, God shall reveal even this unto you. Nevertheless whereto we have alrea­dy attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.

Phil. 2. 1, 2, 3, 4. If there be any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, fulfil ye my joy that ye be like minded, having the same Love, being of one accord, of one mind: Let nothing be done through strife, or vain glory; but in lowliness of mind, let each esteem other better than themselves: Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others: Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus—Who—made himself of no reputation.

1 Cor. 1. 10, 11, 12, 13, 14. Now I beseech you brethren by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ that ye speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you: but that ye be perfectly joyned together in the same mind, and in the same judgement: For it hath been declared to me of you brethren—that there are contentions among you—that every one of you saith, I am of Paul, and I of Apollos, and I of Cephas, and I of Christ: Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? or were you baptized into the name of Paul? I thank God, that I baptized none of you, &c.

[Page] 1 Cor. 3. 1, 2, 3, 4. I could not speak to you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, as to babes in Christ—For whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal and walk as men? See Eph. 4. 1, &c. after.

John 17. 20, 21, 22, 23. I pray—for them which shall believe on me—that they all may be one, as thou Father art in me, and I in Thee, that they also may be One in us, that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them, that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them as thou hast loved me.

Matth. 5. 9. Blessed are the Peace-makers, for they shall be called the children of God.

Rom. 12. 18. If it be possible, as much as in you lyeth, live peaceably with all men.

2 Cor. 12. 20, 21. I fear lest when I come I shall not find you such as I would—lest there be debates, envyings, wraths, strifes, back­bitings, whisperings, swellings, tumults—Lest God will humble me among you, and I shall bewail many, &c.

Gal. 5. 19, 20. The works of the flesh are manifest—hatred, vari­ance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings—

1 Cor. 14. 33. God is not the Author of Confusion, but of Peace, as in all Churches of the Saints.

Acts 20. 30. Of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things to draw away disciples after them.

Phil. 1. 15, 16. Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife, and some also of good will: The one preach Christ of contention, not sin­cerely—

Rom. 16. 17, 18. Now I beseech you brethren, Mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which you have learn­ed, and avoid them: For they that are such, serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own bellies: and by good words and fair speeches, de­ceive the hearts of the simple.

Luke 9. 55. Ye know not what manner of Spirit ye are of—

The Angelical Gospel of the Ends of Christs Incarnation, Luke 2. 19. GLORY TO GOD IN THE HIGHEST: ON EARTH PEACE, GOOD WILL TO MEN (or WELL-PLEASEDNESS IN MEN.)

John 20. 26. Peace be unto you. Grace, Mercy and Peace, with all that are in Christ—and Love—Gal. 6. 16. Eph. 6. 23. 1 Pet. 1. 2. & 5. 14. 2 Pet. 1. 2. 1 Thess. 5. 13.

2 Cor. 13. 11. Finally, brethren, farewell: be perfect, be of good com­fort, be of one mind: Live in Peace; and the God of Love and Peace shall be with you.

Amen.

1. Assert. THe BAPTISMAL COVENANT expounded in the antient CREED is the summ and Symbol of Christianity, by which Believers were to be distinguished from unbe­lievers, and the outward Profession of it was mens Title to Church-com­munion, and the Heart-consent was their Title-condition of Pardon and Salvation; And to these ends it was made by Christ himself. Matth. 28. 19, 20. Mark 16. 16.

[Page] 2. All that were baptized did profess to Believe in God the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, and devoted themselves to him, with profession of Repentance for former sins, and renouncing the Lusts of the Flesh, the World and the Devil, professing to begin a new and holy life, in hope of everlasting glory.

3. This form of Baptismal Covenanting and Profession begun with Christianity (and called our Christening, or making us Christians) hath been propagated and delivered down to us to this day, by a full and certain tradition and testimony and less alterations than the holy Scriptures.

4. The Apostles were never such formalists and friends to ignorance and hypocrisie, as to encourage the baptized to take up with the saying [I believe in the Father, Son and Holy Ghost] without teaching them to understand what they said. Therefore undoubtedly they expounded those three Articles: And that exposition could be no other in sense than the Creed is. And when Paul reciteth the Articles of Christ, 1 Cor. 15. and mentioneth the Form of sound words, we may be sure that they all gave the people one unchanged exposition as to the sense: Christianity was one unchanged thing.

5. Though I am not of their mind, that think the twelve Apostles each one made an Article of the Creed, or that they formed and tyed men to just the very same syllables, and every word that is now in the Creed; yet that they still kept to the same sense, and words so expressing it, as by their variation might not endanger the corrupting of the faith by a new sense, is certain from the nature of the case, and from the Agreement of all the antient Creeds, which were ever professed at baptism, from their dayes; that cited by me (Append. to the Reformed Pastor) out of Ire­naeus, two out of Tertullian, that of Marcellus in Epiphanius, that expoun­ded by Cyril, that in Ruffinus, the Nicene, and all mentioned by Usher and Vossius agreeing thus far in sense; And no one was baptized without the Creed professed.

6. As Christ himself was the Author of the Baptismal Creed and Co­venant, so the Apostles were the Authors of that Exposition which they then used and taught the Church to use: And they did that by the Holy Ghost as much as their inditing of the Scripture.

7. Therefore the Church had a Summary and Symbol of Christianity (as I said before) about twelve years before any Book of the New Testa­ment was written, and about sixty six years before the whole was writ­ten: And this of Gods own making: which was ever agreed on, when many Books of the New Testament were not yet agreed on.

8. Therefore men were then to prove the truth of the Christian Reli­gion, by its proper Evidences and Miracles, long before they were to prove that every word (or any Book) of the New Testament was the infallible perfect Word of God.

9. Therefore we must still follow the same Method, and take Christs Miracles to be primarily the proof of the Christian Religion, long before the New Testament Books were written.

10. Therefore if a man should be tempted to doubt of the certainty of this or that Book, words or reading, it followeth not that he must therefore doubt of the Christian Faith.

11. A thousand Texts of Scripture may be not known and understood, by one that is Justified: but all the Baptismal Articles and Covenant must be understood competently by all that will be saved.

12. Those Church-Tyrants, Dogmatists or superstitious ones, who deny the sufficiency of this Test and Symbol (made by Christ and his Spirit) [Page] to its proper use, (to be the Symbol of such as in Love and Communion we are to take for Christians) do subvert the summ of Christs Gospel and Law, and do worse than they that add to, or alter the lesser parts of the Word of God.

13. Therefore our further Additional Confessions must be only to other subordinate ends; As 1. To satisfie other Churches that doubt of our right understanding the faith: 2. To be an enumeration of Verities which Preachers shall not have leave to preach against (though they subscribe them not.)

14. Object. Hereticks may profess the Baptismal Creed. Answ. 1. And Hereticks may profess any words that you can impose on them, taking them in their own sense. All the Councils are not large enough to keep out subscribing Hereticks. We must not make new Symbols, Rules and Laws as oft as Knaves will falsly profess, or break the old ones: there being none that may not be falsly professed and violated. 2. Many subscribe to the whole Scriptures, that yet are Hereticks. 3. Church Governours are for this, to cast out those or punish them, who preach, teach and live contrary to the certain and sufficient Rule which they profess. Judicatures are not to make new Laws, but to punish men for breaking Laws. A heart-He­retick-only is no Heretick in foro Ecclesiae. He that teacheth Heresie must be proved so to do, and judged upon proof: which may be done without new additional Symbols, Rules or Laws of faith. So that all this contra­dicts not the sufficiency of the Baptismal Creed as the Symbol of Christi­an Love, Communion and Concord. I thought meet to add this more fully to what I said in the Epistle, to convince men of the true terms of Union, and of the heinous sin of all the sorts of Adding and Corrupting overdoers, that divide us.

THE PREFACE, AGAINST CLERGIE MENS Contentions, AND Church-distracting Controversies.

THAT the Churches of Christ are dolefully tempted and distracted by Divisions, no man will deny that knoweth them: That the Clergie is not only greatly culpable herein, but the chief cause, cannot be hid. But which part of the Clergie it is, and what be their dividing Errors and Crimes, and how they should be cured, is indeed easie for the truly faithful and impartial Spectators to perceive, but exceeding hard (as experience tells us) to make the Guilty throughly know, and harder to do much effectually for the cure. For the error and sin which is the true cause, is its own defence, and repelleth and fru­strateth the Remedies. And so each party layeth it from themselves, on others, and hate all that accuse them, while they are the sharpest (and perhaps most unjust) accusers of the rest.

I shall here freely tell the Reader the History of my own Conceptions of these matters, and then my present [Page] thoughts of the Causes of all these Calamities, and the Cure.

I. I was born and bred of Parents piously affected, but of no such knowledge or acquaintance as might engage them in any Controversies, or disaffect them to the present Government of the Church, or cause them to scruple Con­formity to its Doctrine, Worship or Discipline: In this way I was bred my self, but taught by my Parents and God himself, to make conscience of sin, and to fear God, and to discern between the Godly and the notoriously wicked: For which my Parents and I were commonly derided as Puri­tans, the Spirit of the Vulgar being commonly then fired with hatred and scorn of serious godliness, and using that name as their instrument of reproach, which was first forged against the Nonconformists only; And the Clergie where I lived, being mostly only Readers of the Liturgie, and some others that rather countenanced than reproved this course, I soon confined my Reverence to a very few among them that were Learned and Godly (but Conformists) and for going out of my Parish to hear them, my reproach in­creased: About eighteen or nineteen years of age I fell ac­quainted with some persons, half Conformists and half Non-conformists, who for fear of severities against private Meetings, met with great secresie only to repeat the publick Sermons, and Pray, and by Pious Conference edifie each other. Their Spirits and Practice was so savoury to me, that it kindled in me a distaste of the Prelates as Persecu­tors, who troubled and ruined such persons, while igno­rant Drunkards and Worldlings were tolerated in so many Churches, yea, and countenanced for crying down such persons, and crying up Bishops, Liturgie and Conformity: Before I was aware, my affections began to solicite my un­derstanding, to judge of the Things and Causes by the Persons (where the difference was very great). But yet my first Teachers kept my judgement for Conformity as Lawful, though not Desirable had we Liberty, till I was ordained. But soon after a new acquaintance provoked me to a deeper study of the whole Controversie than I had undertaken before; which left me perswaded, that the use of Liturgie and Ceremonies was lawful in that case of necessity, except the Baptismal use of the Cross, and the subscription to all things, &c. But in 1640. the Oath called [Et Caetera] being offered the Ministry, forced me to a yet more searching Study of the case of our [Page] Diocesane Prelacie (which else I had never been like to have gainsaid.) At a meeting of Ministers to debate the case, it fell to Mr. Christopher Cartwrights lot and mine to be the Di­sputers; and the issue of all (that and my studies) was, that I setled in the approbation of the Episcopacy asserted by Ignatius, yea, and Cyprian, but such a dissent from the English frame, as I have given account of in my Disputations of Church Government.

My genius was inquisitive, and earnestly desirous to know the truth: my helps for Piety were greater than my helps for Learning, of which I had not much besides Books: sickness helpt my seriousness, keeping me still in expectation of death. All my reverenced acquaintance (save one) cryed down Arminianism as the Pelagian Heresie, and the Enemy of Grace: I quickly plunged my self into the study of Dr. Twisse, and Amesius, and Camero, and Pemble, and others on that subject: By which my mind was setled in preju­dice against Arminianism, without a clear understanding of the case: whereupon I felt presently in my mind, a judge­ment of those that were for Arminianism; as bad or dangerous adversaries to the Church; and specially of the then ruling Bi­shops: which yet I think I had not-entertained, had I not taken them withal for the great Persecutors of Godly able Ministers, and serious Christians, not only for Ceremonies, but for holy practices of life.

Being under these apprehensions, when the Wars began, though the Cause it self lay in Civil Controversies, between King and Parliament, yet the thoughts that the Church and Godliness it self was deeply in danger by Persecution and Arminianism, did much more to byass me to the Parliaments side, than the Civil interest (which at the heart I little re­garded): At last (after two years abode in a quiet Garri­son) upon the Invitation of some Orthodox Commanders in Fairfax's Army, and by the Mission of an Assembly of Di­vines, I went (after Naseby Fight) into that Army as the pro­fest Antagonist of the Sectaries and Innovators, who we all then (too late) saw designed those changes in the Church and State which they after made. I there met with some Arminians, and more Antinomians: These printed and preached as the Doctrine of Free Grace, that all men must presently believe that they are Elect and Justified, and that Christ Repented and Believed for them (as Saltmarsh writeth). I had a little before engaged my self as a Disputer against Universal Re­demption, [Page] against two antient Ministers in Coventry (Mr. Cra­dock and Mr. Diamond) that were for it. But these new no­tions called me to new thoughts: which clearly shewed me the difference between Christs part and Mans, the Covenant of Innocency with its required Righteousness, and the Covenant of Grace with its required and imputed righteousness: I had never read one Socinian, nor much of any Arminians; but I laid by prejudice, and I went to the Scripture, where its whole cur­rent, but especially Matth. 25. did quickly satisfie me in the Doctrine of Justification: and I remembred two or three things in Dr. Twisse (whom I most esteemed) which in­clined me to moderation in the five Articles: 1. That he every where professeth, that Christ so far dyed for all, as to purchase them Justification and Salvation conditionally to be given them, if they believe. 2. That he reduceth all the Decrees to two, de fine & de mediis, as the healing way. 3. That he professeth, that Arminius and we and all the Schoolmen are agreed, that there is no necessity consequentis laid on us by God in Predestination, but only necessity consequentiae or Logical (but in Election I shall here suspend.) 4. That the Ratio Reatus in our Original Sin, is first founded in our Natural propagation from Adam, and but secondarily from the po­sitive Covenant of God. 5. That Faith is but Causa dispositiva Justificationis, and so is Repentance. These and such things more I easilier received from him, than I could have done from another: But his Doctrine of Permission and Predeter­mination, and Causa Mali, quickly frightned me from assent. And though Camero's moderation and great clearness took much with me, I soon perceived that his Resolving the cause of sin into necessitating objects and temptations, laid it as much on God (in another way) as the Predeterminants do. And I found all godly mens Prayers and Sermons run quite in another strain, when they chose not the Contro­versie as pre-engaged.

In this case I wrote my first Book called Aphorisms of Justi­fication and the Covenants, &c. And being young, and unexer­cised in writing, and my thoughts yet undigested, I put into it many uncautelous words (as young Writers use to do,) though I think the main doctrine of it sound. I intended it only against the Antinomians; But it sounded as new and strange to many. Upon whose dissent or doubtings, I print­ed my desire of my friends Animadversions, and my suspen­sion of the Book, as not owned by me, nor any more to be [Page] printed, till further considered and corrected: Hereupon I had the great benefit of Animadversions from many, whom I accounted the most judicious and worthy persons that I had heard of: First my friend Mr. John Warren began: next came Mr. G. Lawson's, (the most judicious Divine that ever I was acquainted with, in my judgement, (yet living), and from whom I learned more than from any man): next came Mr. Christopher Cartwright's (then of York; the Author of the Rabbinical Comment. on Gen. chap. 1, 2, 3. and of the Defence of King Charles against the Marquess of Worcester). Answers and Rejoinders to these took me up much time: next came a most judicious and friendly MS. from Dr. John Wallis; and another from Mr. Tombes; and somewhat I extorted from Mr. Burges: the answers to which two last are published. To all these Learned men I owe very great thanks: and I never more owned or published my Aphorisms (but the Cambridge Printer stole an Impression without my know­ledge). And though most of these differed as much from one another (at least) as from me; yet the great Learning of their various Writings, and the long Study which I was thereby engaged in, in answering and rejoyning to the most, was a greater advantage to me, to receive accurate and di­gested conceptions on these subjects, than private Students can expect.

My mind being thus many years immerst in studies of this nature, and I having also long wearied my self in search­ing what Fathers and Schoolmen have said of such things before us, and my Genius abhorring Confusion and Equivocals, I came by many years longer study to perceive, that most of the Doctrinal Controversies among Protestants (that I say not in the Christian World) are far more about equivocal words, than matter; and it wounded my soul to perceive what work both Tyrannical, and unskilful Disputing Clergie-men had made these thirteen hundred years in the world! And experience since the year 1643. till this year 1675. hath loudly called to me to Repent of my own prejudices, sidings and censurings of causes and persons not understood, and of all the miscarriages of my Ministry and life, which have been thereby caused; and to make it my chief work to call men that are within my hearing to more peaceable thoughts, affections and practi­ces: And my endeavours have not been in vain, in that the Ministers of the Countrey where I lived, were very many of such a peaceable temper (though since cast out), (and a [Page] great number more through the Land by Gods Grace (ra­ther than any endeavours of mine) are so minded.) But the Sons of the Coal were exasperated the more against me, and accounted him to be against every man, that called all men to Love and Peace, and was for no man as in a contrary way.

And now looking daily in this posture, when God cal­leth me hence, (summoned by an incurable Disease to hasten all that ever I will do in this World,) being uncapa­ble of prevailing with the present Church disturbers, I do apply my self to posterity, leaving them the sad warning of their Ancestors distractions, as a Pillar of Salt, and ac­quainting them what I have found to be the cause of our Calamities, and therein they will find the Cure themselves.

II. I Have oft taken the boldness (constrainedly) to say, that I doubt not but the Contentions of the Clergie have done far more hurt to the Christian World, than the most bloody Wars of Princes. And I must reduce the Causes to these three Heads:

I. The Abuse of POWER, II. Of WISDOM, III. Of GOODNESS; or of the Names of these: the three great Principles of Humanity.

That is, I. By Clergie TYRANNY, II. By OPINIO­NISTS or Dogmatists, III. By SUPERSTITION and HYPOCRISIE, or PRACTICAL BLIND ZEAL.

But among all these sorts, selfish PRIDE, IGNO­RANCE and UNCHARITABLENESS or want of LOVE are the great effectual Causes. And departing from CHRISTIAN SIMPLICITY, in Doctrine, Worship, Church-government, and Conversation, is the grand instru­mental means of most of our Schisms, Distractions and Cala­mities.

I. Only by Pride cometh Contention, Prov. 13. 10. The Church-TYRANT is Proud of his Superiority and Wealth: The OPINIONIST is Proud of his supposed Knowledge and Theological Wisdom; on which account the Gnosticks trou­bled the Church of old. The HYPOCRITE and the (honester) ignorant Zealot, is Proud of his supposed Holi­ness or Goodness: And for an eminency and precedency and praise in each of these, they all conspire (while they dis­agree [Page] among themselves) to trouble the Church of Christ: In a word, Selfishness, Ignorance and want of Love, are the Causes of mens personal ruine and damnation, and the same are the Causes of the Churches divisions, and all the miseries of the World.

II. And that IGNORANCE is a Common cause even in the Gnostick Dogmatists that cry down Ignorance, Error and He­resie, needs no other proof, than the diversity of Opinions which such contend for: Every side pretend, that it is OR­THODOXNESS, FAITH or the Great Truths of God, which they defend; And in one Countrey or with one Party, one thing is Orthodoxness and the Truth, and ano­ther thing in another Countrey or Party, and another thing with a third, &c. And did they all but know what is Truth and the Will of God indeed, they would cease their Conten­tions; and all the Sects would meet in Unity.

III. And did men but LOVE their neighbours as them­selves, and were as easily perswaded to think well of, and deal gently with their neighbours as themselves, and as hardly drawn to condemn, hate, hurt or injure them, I need not tell you how easily, quickly and universally we should be healed.

But before I speak of the Instrumental Means, I will fullier open the three forementioned Causes.

I. Religious Clergie-TYRANNY hath so notoriously, so long, and so greatly made havock both of Piety, and Peace, that he that is not an utter stranger to Church-History cannot be ignorant of it. I need not tell any Learned man, how ma­ny even moderate Papists, much more Protestants have thought, that Constantine and other Emperours that over-ex­alted the Clergie, poured out Poyson into the Church: making great preferments a bait to invite all the worst of men, to be seekers and invaders of Church Offices and Power, and to corrupt those that otherwise would have been useful men: especially when (Christians having first made them their Arbitrators, in obedience to St. Pauls counsel) they were made the Legal Judges of the Causes of all contentious Christians, and so set up Secular Magistratical Courts. I need not tell them what work almost every General Council (as those of one Em­pire were called) did make! what work even the first at Nice had made, had not Constantine burnt their Bills of accu­sation against each other, and personally lamented their di­visions, and driven them on to peace! what work was made in [Page] that at Chalcedon, and that at Ephesus, and so of others! what a horrid scandal the case of John and Dioscorus was, and the murder of Flavianus, and many others! nor yet how the controversies against the Nestorians, Eutychians, and Monothelites were managed! I need not tell them, how soon Victor began at Rome, nor what Socrates and others say of Cyril and Theo­philus at Alexandria; nor yet how Nazianzene was used at Constantinople; nor how copiously and vehemently he ac­cuseth the Bishops, and wisheth that there were no such in­equalities among them, as gave them advantage to do hurt; nor what he saith against their Councils: nor yet of the quarrels of Basil and Anthymius, nor of Basils sharp com­plaints of the Roman and other Western Prelates: I need not tell them of the Usage of Chrysostome, even by such men as Theophilus, Epiphanius and their partakers; nor of the dividing of the Constantinopolitan Christians thereupon; nor how the violent Prelates made Separatists and Non-conformists of Chrysostoms adherents, by the name of Joannites; and how un­likely that Schism was to have been healed, had not wiser Bishops succeeded, who restored Concord by honouring Chrysostoms Name and Bones, and dealing kindly with his followers: I need not tell them of the sad work made at Ariminum and Syrmium, and oft at Rome, Constantinople and eve­ry great Episcopal Seat: nor of the bloodshed between Competitors, at the Election of Damasus; nor of the sepa­ration of St. Martin from the Synod of Bishops led by Ithacius and Idacius; nor of the difference of him and Ambrose from the rest about the complyances with Maximus. The World knoweth of the doleful Rupture that hath continued be­tween the Roman and the Greek Church about a thousand years; And of the many Schisms at Rome by various Anti-Popes, even at once above forty years together; And of the reason of the calling of the Councils of Constance and Basil to end them; And how the King of Rome keeps up his King­dom to this day; what work he hath made with Frederick, the Henries, and other German Emperours; what divisions this caused among the Clergie; what blood he caused to be shed for Jerusalem, and how many thousands of the Waldenses have at divers times been slaughtered; what work the Inquisition hath made in Spain and Belgia and elsewhere; and the flames of Persecution in England, and almost in all Christian Lands; what work the Holy League did make in France, and the English Bishops in many a War with their [Page] Kings; besides the case of Becket and such others; By whose instigation two hundred thousand Protestants were lately murdered in Ireland, and many again in Piedmont; I say to tell such things as these to those that are acquainted with Church History, is vain. And I would those that yet think cruelty the best way to set up themselves (or Religion, if that must bear the name) and to repress their adversaries (or Schisms,) would but (among many others) read the Epistle of great Thuanus before his Works to Henry King of France.

But is it only the old Bishops, Greeks and Papists, that have made such havock in the Churches? Even those that pre­tended to moderation did by the German Interim make many hundred Churches desolate. And the ten years imprison­ment of Caspar Peucer (vid. Histor. Carcer.) and the silencing of many and many faithful Ministers, and the banishment of many, doth shew with what Spirit, many of the Luthe­rans carryed on their work. And doubtless, had the Calvinists in Belgia been as wise and peaceable as the English Delegates were at the Synod of Dort, and been as far from Tyranny as they should have been, matters had never come so oft to Blood or Tumult among them as they have done, nor Grotius and the Arminians had so much to say against them. I will not meddle with the matters of this Island in our times, seeing they sufficiently speak themselves.

But how cometh this Clergie Tyranny to be so common, so long and so powerful in the World, to make Parties, and draw Princes into Wars?

1. It must be remembred, that true Godliness is not com­mon in the World: Too many take up Christianity, as in the Eastern parts the posterity of the old famous Christians are now Mahometans.

2. The Gospel and true Spirit of Christianity is contrary to the minds and worldly interests of carnal, ambitious, cove­tous, voluptuous men. So that they profess a Religion which their own hearts abhorr as to its serious practice.

3. Every unrenewed man hath such a worldly fleshly na­ture, and is voluptuous, proud and covetous: And none of them love to be reproved or crossed in their way.

4. Church Honours, Dignities and great Revenues, and Clergie-ease in an idle life, are a great bait or temptation to a carnal mind: And the worse men are, the more they will desire and seek Church preferments, and make all the [Page] friends they can to get them; And the more self-denying men will not do so, (but perhaps avoid them.)

5. The diligent seekers are liker to obtain and find, than the neglecters and avoiders: And so the Churches to be usually in the power of the worser sort of men, and Reli­gion to be under the Government of its enemies.

6. Men in power, and the Major Vote, have great advantage to execute their own wills, and to put Laws on others, and bring them under what Characters they please; and so to affix the names of Hereticks or Schismaticks on them, if they fulfil not all their wills: yea, to silence them, and suppress their Writings, and make them to be little understood in the World, yea, or by their neighbours round about them.

7. The Vulgar (as they are for the Conquerour in the Wars, so) usually are for the upper and stronger side in peace, that have Power to hurt them, and have the Major Vote; And also easily believe them, and think men that suffer, are like to be guilty of what they are accused.

8. Godliness being against a worldly mind and interest, and the Rabble usually for it, hence ariseth a Conspiracy of carnal Clergie-men, and the Rabble, against those that are most seriously Godly, as if they were their enemies, and a surly, proud, intractable sort of people. As Sulpitius Se­verus describeth Ithacius and his followers, (and even Mr. Hooker out of him Eccl. Pol. Praefat.)

9. Such men in Power never want flatterers at their ears, to praise all that they do, and to exasperate them by slan­dering and reviling sufferers.

10. The long possession (since the dayes of Constantine) of Great Places and Power by the Clergie, within the Roman Empire (now the Greek and Latine Churches,) doth seem to justifie mens Usurpations and Tyranny, and make all dissen­ters seem singular and Schismatical, (which was and is the Papal strength against the Reformed.)

11. Too many of the Secular Rulers of the World, have much of the same Spirit; And find also their interests so twisted in shew with the Papal Clergies, that they dare not cross them.

12. The faults of those that suffer by them (in doctrine and imprudent carriages) use to give them great advantage, and make all their odious characters and names of them be­lieved and received, (as the case of the Waldenses and of the Lutherans and Calvinists in Germany too fully prove.)

[Page] II. The second Rank of Church-disturbers are DOGMA­TISTS or men that profess exceeding zeal for ORTHO­DOX Opinions, or Theological Knowledge. And thus three instances tell us of the Cause of our Calamities,

1. That of Gnostick and Heretical persons, who account every new Conceit of theirs, to be worthy the propagating, even at the rate of Theological Wars and Church Confusions; and cry out [But the Truth, and sell it not], when it is some error of their own, or some unprofitable or unnecessary notion.

2. The case of the Romanists (to say nothing of all the old contentious Bishops and Councils, and the controversies about Persona and Hypostasis; and about many words and forms of speech). What do the Roman Councils for many hundred years last, but on pretence of preserving the faith uncorrupted, multiply divisions and new Articles of faith (quoad nos)? And while they cry down most of Christs Church as Heretical or greatly erroneous, they have run themselves into the grossest errors almost that humane na­ture is capable of, (even to the making it necessary to sal­vation, to deny our own and all the sound mens senses in the World in the case of Transubstantiation).

3. The case of the Schoolmen, and such other Disputing Mili­tant Theologues: who have spun out the Doctrine of Christia­nity into so many Spiders Webs; and filled the World with so many Volumes of Controversies, as are so many Engines of contention, hatred and division: And I would our Prote­stant Churches, Lutherans and Calvinists, had not too great a number of such men, as are far short of the Schoolmens sub­tilty, but much exceed them in the enviousness of their zeal, and the bitterness and revilings of their disputes, more openly serving the Prince of hatred against the Cause of Love and Peace. O how many famous Disputers, in Schools, Pulpit and Press, do little know what Spirit they are of, and what reward they must expect of Christ, for making odious his Ser­vants, destroying Love, and dividing his Kingdom? How many such have their renown as little to their true comfort, as Alexanders and Caesars for their bloody Wars?

But how cometh this Dogmatical Zeal so to prevail? Con­sider,

1. Nature it self is Delighted in Knowing much: Else Satan had not made it Eves temptation. Without Grace, even The­ological Speculations may be very pleasing to mens minds. Morality and Holiness is principally seated in the Will.

[Page] 2. Satan hath here a far fairer bait, than worldly Wealth and Pleasures and Honours, to tempt men, and steal away their hearts, from that Love and Practice which is Holiness indeed. All men are bound to Love Gods Word, and his Truth must be precious to us all: and now it is easie for the hypocritical Dogmatist to take up here, and make him­self a Religion of Zeal for those opinions, which he entitleth God to. And O that I could speak this loud enough to awa­ken the Learned World of Disputers, to so much jealousie of their own hearts, as is necessary to their own safety, as well as to the Churches peace! This thing called Orthodoxness, Truth and Right-believing (precious in it self, if it be what it is called,) is made by Satan an ordinary means to deceive Learned men, and keep them from a holy and heavenly mind and life, when grosser cheats would be less effectual: Theologie is valued by many as the Mathematicks are, as a pleasant sort of knowledge; and by others as the Jews were zealous of their Law, by a formal sort of Religiousness; one sort being zealous for their Opinions, and another for their Ceremonies from the like principle of formality.

3. Yet Nature that would know much, is dull and slothful, and loth to be at that great and long study and labour neces­sary to obtain it.

4. And it is but few that are born with a quick natural capacity.

5. And it is not the most that have the happiness of very wise, experienced and throughly Learned Teachers: but most are instructed by half witted men. And young per­sons know not how to choose the best for themselves, nor their Parents neither ordinarily.

6. Ease and Interest, or the Veneration of certain persons, maketh men fall in with those Opinions that are in best esteem in the places where they live, and among the per­sons whom they most value.

7. Reason is mans noble faculty, and therefore that which man is aptest to be Proud of: And though few have much knowledge and wisdom, almost all would be thought to have it, and are too proud to endure to be accounted ignorant or erroneous.

8. The Dignity of the Pastoral Office, and Academical De­grees, maketh men think that the Honour of knowledge is their due, and necessary to their work. And therefore they will expect and claim it that deserve it not: and it shall [Page] be taken for Pride and Singularity for any man to convince them of ignorance or error.

9. Many of them are godly men and excellent Preach­ers, and cryed up (deservedly) by good people: And therefore they take the reputation of more knowledge than they have, to be their due; and the people are ready to joyn with them in reproaching all that differ from them.

10. Great knowledge being rare, the half-knowing men are still the major part by far (alas how far!) And so if Synods be called, or most Voices heard, these will still pass for the Orthodox men, and a more judicious man will scarce be heard among them.

11. Learning is of many ages got into certain forms of words; and he that hath got some organical arbitrary No­tions, passeth for a Learned man; or he that can speak many Languages: while true real wisdom (which con­sisteth 1. In knowing the Greatest Things, and 2. In fitting words to things) is much neglected: whereby as hypocrites deceive themselves and others with forms of piety, so do Scho­lars with forms and notions instead of knowledge.

12. These humane formalities of wisdom have prevail­ed to bring the Scripture, and the best part of wisdom, into disesteem, as a dull and low kind of knowledge; as if Logical, Physical and Metaphysical trifling, were a higher matter.

13. No man is sufficiently apprehensive of the greatness of the Curse in the confusion of Tongues: whereby as we can preach but to few Nations in the World, so we cannot intelligibly converse with one another. All words (being arbitrary signs) are Ambiguous; And few Disputers have the jealousie and skill which is necessary to discuss equivocations, and to agree of the meaning of all their terms before they use them in disputing: And so taking Verbal differences for Material, doth keep up most of the wretched Academical and Theological Wars of the World.

14. And nothing here undoeth all the World in point of wisdom, so much as over-hasty judging or prefidence: It is natural to almost all to fasten presently upon the first appearances, and to be confident before they have half tryed: In cases where seven and seven years serious study is necessary to a through digested knowledge, every No­vice will presently conclude as if he were sure. And then [Page] as every one is apt to be confident, so to be tenacious; every error leading on more, and the reputation of the person being concerned in it, mutability being a shame: And so it becometh a very difficult thing to unlearn the errors once learned; as white Paper is easier written on than that which is written on before.

15. And then no man knoweth his own error (else it were no error), nor knoweth what another mans perceptions are, nor what any other man knoweth more than he.

16. And lastly, the odious names of dissenters (the common usage) doth quickly affright even beginners from thinking well of their Opinions, (yea, or of their persons and piety usually). And by all these means almost all are of the opinion of the Countrey where they live, or of those that they most reverence, or which are most for their inte­rest; and boldly condemn the rest not understood.

III. And the pretence of HOLINESS or a blind pra­ctical Zeal, and Superstitious Religion, both in Hypocrites and many honest ignorant people, hath not a little hand in the distractions of Christs Church.

It was the appearance of more Spirituality and Strictness which drew Tertullian to the Montanists, and which promoted a great part of the Heresies which have torn the Churches. This bore up the Cause of the Priscillianists, and of those that Bernard and Cluniacensis so much inveigh against, (I sup­pose Manichees with some better persons mixt:) This kept up the Donatists; but above all the Novatians long in great reputation: This was the strength of the Anabaptists in Ger­many and the Low Countreys, as their adversaries confess. Saith G. Wicelius Meth. Concord. c. 12. p. 42. [Retinctores hac una parte duntaxat sapiunt, tenentes doctrinam Ecclesiae Catholicae] speaking of the necessity of a holy life: This is the strength of the Quakers among us now, and of almost all the sepa­rating and Censorious Sects: And were not so excellent a thing as Godliness the Motive, abundance of good people durst never have done the great evils which we have seen done in this age, to the great shame of our profession, and the sad calamities of Church and State. (And if I my self have formerly in my unexperienced youth, pro­moted any dividing or unwarrantable wayes, it was up­on this and the former mistake; which I beg daily of God to discover to me to the full, and beg the pardon of the miscarriages which I know, and which yet I know not of.)

[Page] And if you Consider these things following, you will not wonder that mistaken Godliness should cause divisions:

1. Holiness and Gods Love or well-pleasedness with man, is the best thing in this world, or that man is capable of. And therefore is most Desireable, and most Honourable.

2. Therefore all good men prefer it before all other things; And are justly more averse to any thing that is against it, than to any worldly loss or suffering.

3. Yea it is Gods Interest more than their own: And all good men are against all that displeaseth God, so far as it is known.

4. We all know but in part, and as in a glass and darkly: Even the most of Teachers take abundance of things for True and Good that are False and Evil, and for False and Bad which are True and Good; Much more are Godly vulgar peo­ple ignorant, and consequently erre in many things. Even they that cry out against the vulgar Ignorance, and insuffi­cient Teachers, know far less than they are Ignorant of themselves.

5. He that mistakingly thinks any thing is Good or Bad, Duty or Sin, which is not so, will be zealous in pursuit of his mistake, if he be serious for God: A good principle will hasten him on in a wrong way, whatever it cost him.

6. Ignorance and timerousness cause superstition, which is a conceit that God is pleased by overdoing in external things, and observances and laws of their own making, and so they that make part of their own Religion superstitiously (as most good people do in some things through ig­norance,) will censure all others as Good or Bad, by the mea­sure of their own mistakes.

7. He that thus mistakingly thinks that men sin when they do not, will have a proportionable dislike of them, and aversation from them: And will be ready to speak as he thinks of them, and so will be guilty of calumny, and calling Evil Good, and Good Evil.

8. The World will abound still with real evil and scan­dals; And all parties will be faulty: And usually the greater part of the Clergie in the Christian World will be guilty of so much Ignorance, pride, contentiousness, world­liness and sensuality, as will greatly grieve and offend good people. And this will occasion alienation and separations even with Godly persons: The sacrifice of the Lord was abhorred through the sins of Eli's sons: The case of the [Page] Clergie at this day in the Greek Church in Moscovie, Armenia, Syria, Abassia, &c. yea among too many of the German Churches, is very lamentable, by Ignorance and scandal: And the corruption of the Roman Clergie was it that facili­tated the revolt from the Papacy, at Luther's reformation. He that readeth Cornel. Mus, Ferus, Espencaeus, Erasmus, Alvan Pelagius, Clemangis and such others describing their own Cler­gie, and Jos. Acosta of them in India, &c. will see much of the Cause of the Divisions in the World: And all the old Writers that write against the Waldenses, do make us under­stand that the ignorance and wickedness of the Clergie then, was it that drove them from the Roman Church. Saith Wicelius Meth. Concord. c. 11. p. 39. Quum tales ad nullum ho­nestius vitae institutum idonei sunt, mirum sit si bonos sacerdotes prae­stabunt: sic itaque procedente tempore regetur Ecclesia ab asinis, & praedicabunt imperitissimi misero populo, quod nunquam didicerunt ipsi. Adolescentes optimi quique abhorrent propterea ab instituto illo, quod nolint suam libertatem sibi eripi, &c. I have oft said, what caused St. Martin to separate during life from the Synodical Bishops about him: And what Gildas saith of such, that no excellent Christian will call them Ministers: And it's very ob­servable not only as Dr. James in the Margin of Wicelius hath cited, that there are many Canons against wicked Priests ce­lebrating and Massing, but Wicelius himself saith (p. 17.) Non admittantur sacra concubinariorum, quos Deus pejus odit, at (que) manifestarios incestus: Meminerimus in Decretis Pontificum piè caveri, Ne quis Missam ejus Presbyteri audiat quem scit indubitanter con­cubinam habere, aut subintroductam mulierem. (And yet there are now men pretending to piety among Protestants, that speak of, and use those Godly persons more hatefully who refuse to hear such wicked Priests, than they do those Priests themselves.) Light and Darkness have no Communion: And the Church will alwayes have bad Ministers and Mem­bers: And many good people through Ignorance will think that they should go further from them than they ought: And will not distinguish between that private familiarity which is in their own power, and that publick Church Com­munion which the Church Pastors are the guides and judges of. And so the honesty and the ignorance of these good men, meeting with the vulgar wickedness, will be as the congress of fire and water, and will occasion ruptures and parties in the Churches.

[Page] 9. The carnal Clergie will usually hate and persecute Godly zealous Preachers: (As even the case of Ph. Nerius and Baronius at Rome sheweth, which had almost made di­sturbance:) And then sufferings will be a stronger tempta­tion to hard thoughts and too much alienation than most are able well to overcome.

10. And the Godly people will adhere to their Godly suffering Teachers, and run further in bitterness against the carnal and persecuting party, than their suffering Leaders do desire.

11. Yet interest and temptations will prevail with too many of the sufferers to connive at the bitterness and alienation of the people, (if not to countenance it,) which they do not ju­stifie: And so the rupture will grow still greater.

12. And all men have some Pride: And Godliness being the best thing may become the object of Pride as well as Knowledge and Power. And so many will affect to have their Piety Conspicuous, and therefore to be singular or of some small party that is eminent; and so by separation to stand at a more conspicuous distance from the vulgar sort of Christians, than Christ would have them: And so many a good man hath more of Pride in his profession and separation than he is aware of.

13. And because Gods word, and his last judgement, and Heaven and Hell, do make so great a difference between the Godly and ungodly, it occasioneth many to think that they must difference men by their own censures and separations farther than indeed they ought.

14. And it greatly promoteth Schisms that good people are unacquainted with Church-history, and know not how just such Opinions and Schisms as their own have in former ages risen, and how they have miscarryed and dyed, and what have been their fruits.

15. And few men have that humble sense as they ought, of their own Ignorance and badness, which would keep their suspicions and Censures more at home, and make them more compassionate to others.

16. And few love their Neighbours as themselves, nor consider while they hate mens sin, what is lovely in their Natures and Capacities of grace.

17. And the Piety of almost all Sects of Christians on Earth is already corrupted with so many humane superstitious ad­ditions, that few can escape the temptation of Censuring ac­cordingly.

[Page] 18. And the Church will alwayes have many hypocrites, who quiet their Consciences by adhering to the strictest Mi­nisters and Churches, instead of a mortified, holy and heavenly heart and conversation.

19. And lastly, Persecution and hatred from others, and the due Love of Godly persons, tempteth too many Mini­sters to over-run their own judgements, and follow the more censorious sort of persons further than they ought (at least by connivence,) and to be ruled by those whom they should rule. And thus Divisions are occasioned even by Piety it self.

II. But yet were the Principles of Division never so ma­ny and pernicious, Interest might have led more of the world to Quietness and Concord, had not Satan, the great enemy of Love and Peace, seduced them to that Instrumental Means and way, which will never consist with Concord. It is that which Christ and his Apostles have done very much to prevent, but the Devil (even with all the sorts fore-mentioned) hath much prevailed against their precepts.

The Grand case of the Christian World is, WHAT IS THE TRUE CENTER and RULE OF CON­CORD? Could they find out this, it would hold men of various tempers to it.

I. Christ first laid down the Description and Measure of Christianity, in the Baptismal Covenant; and ordained that all should be accounted Christians in foro Ecclesiae who by Baptism were solemnly devoted to him, in a professed Belief and Covenant, Dedication and Vow to God the Father, Son and Holy Ghost: These he would have called Christians or his Disciples, and this is their Christening, and so ever called in the Church. 2. And next he made it his new (that is Last) and Great Command, that All his Disciples should Love each other, and live in eminent Unity and Peace: which he accordingly wrought them to by the first pouring out of his Spirit, Act. 2. & 3. & 4.

II. The Apostles founding the Church in this Baptismal Vow or Covenant, and mutual Love, exhorted accordingly all the Baptized to Love each other, and to Receive even the weak in faith, but not to doubtful disputations, Rom. 14. & 15. Oft vehemently charging them to be of one mind and live in Love and peace, and to beware of them as not serving Christ but their own bellies, who were for Divisions, 1 Cor. 1. 10, 11. Rom. 16. 17. And though they came with pretences of OR­DER, WISDOM or PIETY, such Good words, and fair [Page] speeches were noted to be engines to deceive the hearts of the simple, Rom. 16. 17.

And whereas the objection seemed unanswerable, How can they so agree, who are of several judgements about Good and Evil? Paul often warneth them to hold fast the form of sound words, and summeth up (as 1 Cor. 15. 1, 2, 3, 4.) the Articles of their faith, and chargeth them that so far as they had at­tained, they should walk by the same rule, and mind the same things, and if in any thing they were otherwise minded, stay till God re­vealed the matter to them, Phil. 3. He oft chargeth them to be of one mind and judgement (thus far) and to live in Love and Peace, and to do nothing by strife and vain glory, but in honour to preferr others to themselves; and not to strive about words that profit not, nor about unnecessary Questi­ons, seeing such disputings and strivings gender to ungodli­ness, and fret like a Canker, and pervert the hearers minds: Yea he directeth the Pastors to edifie souls, rather by a Teach­ing than a disputing way, and to convince gainsayers, by meek instructing opposers, to see if thus God will give them repen­tance to the acknowledgement of the truth: for the Minister or ser­vant of the Lord must not strive; Love is their work to be effect­ed in others, and Love must be their Principle, and Love must be their mode and means, even Loving others as themselves: Oft are they called by Christ and his Apostles from masterly opinions, aspirings and endeavours, and to be as little Children; and the servants of all, and as stewards of Gods mysteries and help­ers, not Lords of the Churches faith, and not to domineer over the flock of Christ, but to oversee them not by constraint but volun­tarily: And what cannot be done by Light and Love, is not to be done by them at all: The Magistrate and not they, must use the Sword; but not to make men believers (for he cannot.)

And though Vossius and others have rendred Reasons enough to perswade us that the story of the twelve Apostles making each one an Article of the Creed, is not credible, nor that they shaped it in every word to the present form, yet it is to me a certainty, that the Apostles made and used the Creed for sense and substance as the very summary and test of Christianity, long before any Book of the New Te­stament was written (about twelve years, and almost sixty six before the whole.) For 1. It is certain that all Christi­ans were Baptized: 2. It is certain that they then professed to Believe in God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, and to Cove­nant accordingly, renouncing the flesh, the world and the Devil. [Page] 3. It is certain that the Apostles and Pastors laboured to make men understand what they did, and would not delude them by taking the bare saying of these three words. 4. And it is certain that the Pastors altered not the Christian faith, but taught the same for substance to all that were baptized. 5. And it is certain that should men have taken much liber­ty to use new words or forms at Baptism, in opening the faith, it might easily have corrupted the faith and introduced a new doctrine. 6. And it is certain by Church History that (though some variety of little words was used, yet) this same Creed for substance (except the two or three clauses men­tioned by Usher and Vossius) was commonly used at Baptism from the dayes of the Apostles. 7. And we find yet that this Creed is nothing else but the explication of the three Baptis­mal Articles; of which see Sandford and Parker (two Learn­ed Non-conformists) in their very Learned Treat. de Descensu Christi at large. 8. And it is certain that if the Apostles did take this course so many years before they wrote any of the New Testament, they did this (as well as that) by the Holy Ghost: and so that the Holy Ghost seconding Christs own Baptismal Law, or Instituted test, did make the Creed to be the summary of the Christian Belief, twelve years before we had any Book of the New Testament, and about sixty six as is said before we had them all. And then it will appear what is Gods appointed test of Christianity, Communion and special Love.

All which considered, though I think it is the truth which I long ago wrote against a Treatise of a Learned man (Mr. Ashwell) in the Append. to the second Edition of my Re­formed Pastor, yet I publish my Repentance that ever I wrote it, as fearing lest it occasioned the turning of mens minds from this great truth which he and I agreed in, and which I find few consider as it deserveth.

But the Gnosticks began the corrupting game, and by pre­tences of higher knowledge, spoiled men by vain Philosophy, which engaged the Apostles to cry them down, and to warn all Christians to take heed of being so spoiled, and to vilifie arbitrary Philosophical notions, tricks and vain janglings, as likely to draw them from the simplicity of Christianity.

And the certain truth is, that he knoweth neither the Inte­rest nor the Ignorance and weakness of man, nor the nature of Knowledge, who doth not know, that the frailty and employ­ments [Page] of mankind are such as that there never will be an universal Concord in very MANY, or UNCERTAIN, UNNE­CESSARY things; And O that I could write it on all mens hearts, or doors at least, that The Christian world will never have Concord, but in a FEW, CERTAIN, NECES­SARY things.

Therefore Paul said to the Corinthians, 2 Cor. 11. 2, 3. I am jealous of you with Godly jealousie: For I have espoused you to one husband, &c. But I fear lest by any means, as the Serpent beguiled Eve though his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in (or towards) Christ.

O mark these words all ye contentious Church-TY­RANTS, DOGMATISTS and SUPERSTITI­OUS ones. Read and study them well.

God laid down the terms of the Churches Concord in se­ven Unities. 1. One Body or Church Catholick; 2. One Spirit or Holy Ghost, as the soul of that Church; 3. One Hope, or Heavenly felicity hoped for; 4. One Lord of the Church, our Head and Saviour; 5. One Faith, or Creed, or Symbol of our belief, and Belief thereof; 6. One Baptismal Covenant; 7. And one God and Father of us all, who is above all, through all and in us all. Eph. 4. 3, 4, 5, 6. And it is the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace, that on these terms we are charged to keep, v. 2, 3. with all lowliness and meekness, with long-suffering, forbearing one another in love.

But now cometh the Serpent (note 1. The author,) and by subtilty (2. Note the means,) even as he beguiled Eve (3. Note the precedent) which was by promising her more knowledge and exaltation to be as God; and he corrupteth mens minds, (4. Mark the effect) though it is knowledge and ad­vancement of mind that he promiseth and pretendeth: Even by drawing them (as to higher POWER, KNOW­LEDGE or HOLINESS) from the Christian simplicity, (5. Mark what the Corruption of Religion is.)

And what is this Christian SIMPLICITY which they forsake, and how are they thus Corrupted from it?

I. The Church-TYRANT departeth from the SIM­PLICITY of Church Government first, and will not hear Christs vehement charge, Luk. 22. With you it shall not be so: He cannot understand such Texts because he would not. Hence how unlike is the Secular-Papal and Patriarchal state to the Ministry appointed and described by Christ! To reduce them to that, they think is to be enemies to the Church; [Page] And do they not then take Christ for their Capital enemy? because they are enemies to humility, mortification and the Cross, Phil. [...]. 18. (To cross bearing not to cross making.) The Papists think that Greg, the seventh that took down Princes was the most glorious instrument of the Churches exaltation: And by turning all to corporeal Glory, they lose hearts, and destroy the souls whom they profess to save.

And having first corrupted GOVERNMENT from the Primitive simplicity, and made Princes their Lictors (as Grotius speaks in that excellent Epistle newly translated by Mr. Barks­dale,) they next corrupt DOCTRINE, and WORSHIP consequently. For TYRANTS must have their Wills in every thing: and numerous and needless Laws and Canons must be made to shew their power and fulfil their wills, that they may be Law-givers and a Rule to all the World. And when they have made a seeming Necessity of doing things unnecessary, then to plead the Necessity which they have made, is the summ of all their arguments.

And they that are against strict and precise adhering to the Scriptures, or observance of Gods own commands, are yet so strict for obedience to their proud imperious wills, that they perswade themselves and others, that without it there can be no order, no unity, no peace, but rebellion and confusion: And so they cry up Obedience, Obedience, that their Idol wills may be bowed to by all without controul; And when they are meer Usurpers, and use no Power given them by God, they yet get the advantage of making all odious that obey them not in the least and greatest matters, by the names of schism, unruliness or such like. O say the Papal Usurpers, [The Church must be obeyed, or there will be no order: Disobedience in small matters is no small sin] when they have set up an Idol power against Christ; as if to disobey him, whose Laws they make void by their Traditions and Usurpations, were a lesser fault. And when they have departed as far from the Christian simpli­city, in Doctrine, Government and Worship, as their voluminous Councils and Decretals, and Missals differ from the ancient simple Christianity, and have made as many snares and en­gines to divide and tear the Church of Christ as there are noxi­ous (that I say not Needless) Laws, Canons, and Decrees imposed as necessary to peace and concord, then no mens mouths are more opened against schism, when they have unavoida­bly caused it, yea are the greatest schismaticks; And no [Page] men call so loud for Unity and Concord, as they that have first made it a thing impossible.

Let none think that I am speaking against any true Church-Government, or faithful Pastors: But I appeal to the Consciences of these Papal Tyrants; 1. Whether it would not be far easier for Christians to Agree, in A FEW, PLAIN and NECESSARY things, of Christs own In­stitution, than in a multitude of humane decrees and articles, composed in words more lyable to Controversie? Will not more subscribe to the Creed, than to all the Councils? 2. Have they not room enough to shew their Power, and work enough to do, in seeing to the execution of Christs own Universal Laws, and preserving meer Order and Decency in undetermined circumstances, that all may be done to edifica­tion? 3. Doth not every needless Oath and Subscription by which they would tye men faster to themselves in contro­vertible cases, plainly tend to undermine themselves, and keep up still a conscientious party against them? For while men have nothing to do but live quietly under a Government, they will be glad of peace: But when they are put to Subscribe, Declare, Covenant and Swear that all this is good or lawful, or that they will never be against it, it sets men unavoidably on the deepest studies of the case, and so all the people are set on trying and judging of that, which else they would never have meddled with: For what honest man will say, swear or promise he knoweth not what? Even as some crafty Rebels would undermine Prin­ces, by drawing them to put the controverted parts of their Prerogative into the Subjects Oaths, that so they may make all the people Students and Judges of the cause, and unavoidably make factions and dissenters, that else would have lived quietly if they might: so do the Papal Clergie ruine themselves by such over-doing impositi­ons.

I remember Lampridius tells us that Alexander Severus (that great enemy of injustice) was so severe, that he would have made a Law to regulate mens Apparel: But Ulpian changed his mind by telling him, that Ma­ny Laws cause Divisions, and make occasions of disobe­dience.

They cry out, There will be no order if Ministers and people be left to their own discretion in such and such circumstantials; But do they dream of Perfect Concord on earth? and that [Page] men of such various Interests, tempers, educations, con­verse and degrees of knowledge should not differ in a word, or gesture? Our English Rulers make no Laws, what Ge­sture shall be used in singing Psalms, or in Hearing Ser­mons, and there is no division or great disorder in them: But if on pretence of nearer Concord, they should tye all to one Gesture, this or that, we should presently find it an engine of division. And O how many such Engines have the Papal Clergie made and used long! and to what pur­pose? To silence faithful Ministers, to torment faithful Christians in the Inquisitions, to brand the best men with the names of Hereticks and Schismaticks, to gratifie all profaneness and malignity, to quench brotherly love, and to tear the Church into pieces; And no experience will make them wiser.

II. And the DOGMATISTS also have done their part, by departing from the Simplicity of the Christian Do­ctrine, to set the Christian world together by the ears. Of which Hilary hath written sharply against the Making of new Creeds, not sparing to tell them that even the Ni­cene Fathers, led others the way: And Hierome wonders that they that were for the word hypostasis questioned his Faith, as if he that had been Baptized had been without a Faith or Creed which all at Baptism do profess. But this will not serve turn to these Corrupters. Councils, Doctors and Schoolmen have been led by the temptation of more subtle-knowledge, to be Wise and Orthodox over-much, till the Chur­ches Faith is as large as all the Decrees of General Coun­cils de side at the least, and the Churches Laws a great deal larger! And what abundance of dubious Confessions, De­clarations or Decrees are now to be subscribed or believed and justified, before a man can have his Baptismal birth­right, even the Love, peace and Church-Communion be­queathed to him as a Christian by Christ!

And now controversal writings fill our Libraries by Cart-loads: And a Use of Confutation is a great part of most Sermons among the Papists, Lutherans and many others; And men are bred up in the Universities to a Militant striving kind of life, that their work may be to make Plain Christians seem unlearned dolts, and dissenters seem odious or suspected men, and themselves to be the wise and Orthodox persons, and triumphant over all the erroneous, that were it not for these Contenders would destroy the [Page] And so Ministers are armed against Ministers, Churches against Churches, Christians against Christians, yea Princes against Princes, and Countreys against Countreys, by wran­gling contentious Clergie men. And (O what an injury is [...]t!) Young Students are almost necessitated to waste much of their lives (which should be spent in preparing them to promote faith, holiness and Love) in reading over multi­tudes of these wrangling writers, to know which of them is in the right: And most readers catch the disease hereby themselves; And those few that at great cost and labour come to the bottom of the differences do perceive, that the Proud Opiniators have striven partly about unrevealed or unnecessary things, but chiefly about meer ambiguous words and arbitrary humane notions; and multitudes condemn and revile each other, while they mean the same things, and do not know it. One writeth a Learned Book against such a party, and another confuteth such an Adversary (especially about Predestination, Redemption, Free-will, Humane Power, Grace, Merit, Justification, Pardon, Im­putation, &c.) and then many read and applaud all as excel­ently done; (Alas, for the low estate of the Clergie that while!) when a truly discerning man perceiveth that it is but a striving about unexplained words, for the most part: And thus being Over-wise in pretences of Zeal for Truth, and under-wise in understanding it, and departing from Christian simplicity of doctrine, and even deriding the Christian Creed, hath made even some honest men become dividing Engineers, and their Articles, and Controversies the Churches calamity.

III. And what Practical misguided zeal about worship hath done, almost all Sects, Novatians, Anabaptists, in Germany and here, and the various sort of Churches that refuse Communion with one another, and that condemn, or cast out dissenters from them, and preach and talk and backbite their brethren into the odium or distaste of their seduced auditors; the bitter invectives in Pulpit, talk and press of the several Pastors and people against each other (and worse than words where they have power:) all these speak so loud, as may spare me the labour of any further discovery; and calls us all to make it the matter of our lamentation.

And what shall I say in the conclusion, now I am near to my departure from this contentious world? but sound a Re­treat to all these unhappy militants, that will not let Holiness prosper by the necessary advantage of Peace. Cease your Proud [Page] contendings, O vain-glorious Militant Clergie! Learn of the Prince of peace and the holy Angels that preached him, to give Glory to God in the highest, who giveth Peace on Earth, and well-pleasedness. in (or towards) men. Did Christ or his Apostles make such work for Christians as you do? The great Shepherd of the flock will take your pretences of ORDER, ORTHODOXNESS (or Truth) and PIETY, for no excuse, for your corrupting ORDER, FAITH and PRACTICE by your TYRANNY, SELF-CONCEITEDNESS and blind ZEAL and SUPERSTITION; and for using his name against him­self, to the destroying of that Love, and Concord and Unity which he hath bequeathed to his Church; and for serving his enemy, and dividing his people, and hardning Infidels and ungodly ones by these scandals. Return to the primitive simplicity, that we may return to unity, Love and peace. Dream not of them upon your own corrupting terms. And read and read over again and again Jam. 3. which doth describe you, condemn you, and instruct you.

If you say, Physicion heal thy self: Who hath wrote more of Controversies? I answer, peruse what I have written, and you will see, it is of Controversies, but against Controversies, tending to End and reconcile. If any thing be otherwise (except necessary defence of certain necessary faith or duty) I retract it, and condemn it: Let it be as not written. I have meddled much with Controversies in this Book: but it is to end them. The God of Peace give Wisdom and peaceable prin­ciples, minds and hearts to his servants, that (though I shall not live to see it) true Love and Piety may revive in the Christian world, by the endeavours of a healing Ministry, and the sha­ming, restraint and reformation of the CONTENTIOUS CLERGIE, whether TYRANNICAL, DOGMATI­CAL, or SUPERSTITIOUS.

Amen.

Of DIVISIONS and CONTENTIONS among Christians, Consider

  • I. The EFFICIENT,
    • I. PERSONS:
      • 1. The Devils.
      • 2. Men:
        • 1. A Contentious Clergie.
        • 2. Unwise and wicked Rulers instigated by them.
        • 3. The deceived people that follow them.
    • II. QUALI­TIES, viz.
      • I. Remotely:
        • 1. Selfishness in Carnal hypocrites, who prefer worldly interest.
        • 2. Slothfulness in Students, in seeking truth.
        • 3. Hastiness in Judging, before digested conceptions and proof.
      • II. Near­ly: Want of
        • 1. Humility and self-acquaintance: Pride.
        • 2. Knowledge: Ignorance and Error.
        • 3. Love to others: Envy, Malice and Bitterness.
    • III. Instru­ments, or Engines,
      • 1. In General: Corrupt departing from Christian Simplicity.
      • 2. Particularly,
        • 1. From Simplicity of Doctrine, by DOGMATISTS Words & Notions:
        • 2. From Simplicity of Practice, by SUPERSTITIOUS additions.
        • 3. From Simplicity of Discipline by CHURCH-TYRANNY.
  • II. CONSTI­TUTIVE Cau­ses, viz.
    • DISCORD, [1. In JUDGMENT of things necessary,
    • ALIENATION, [2. In WILL and AFFECTION, viz.
      • 1. Privative; by denying due Communion.
      • 2. Positive,
        • 1. By Contention.
        • 2. Malice.
        • 3. Hurtfulness to each other.
    • DIVISION, [3. In Necessary PRACTICE,
  • III. The EFFECTS, viz.
    • I. On THINGS, viz. on Church▪
      • 1. Doctrine & Preaching, and Writing, turning it into vain and hurtful wrangling.
      • 2. Worship, Prayer, Sacraments, corrupting them by faction, partiality and wrath.
      • 3. Discipline, corrupting it into Secular or factious Tyranny, or a dead Image.
    • II. On PER­SONS, viz.
      • I. Particu­lar,
        • 1. Themselves,
        • 2. Their fol­lowers:
          • 1. The Guilt and Deceit of false-Religious zeal.
          • 2. The Death of true Holiness and Heavenly Conversation.
          • 3. The Death of Love, and Life of Wrath and injuries.
        • 3. Rulers, viz.
          • 1. Corrupting them by factious clamours against their Subjects.
          • 2. Tempting them unto persecuting Laws and Executions.
          • 3. Engaging them in bloody Wars abroad.
        • 4. The Inno­cent, viz. Inju­ries to
          • 1. Private persons,
            • 1. By censures, slanders, backbitings, making them hated.
            • 2. Denying them due Love, Communion and help.
            • 3. Persecution, silencing, and other mischiefs.
          • 2. Prin­ces,
            • 1. Weakning and grieving them by the Subjects discords.
            • 2. Dishonouring them by defaming Excommunications.
            • 3. Urging them to be the Clergies Lictors or Executioners.
        • 5. Enemies and Strangers, scandalizing and hardning them in Infidelity & sin.
      • II. Societies,
        • I. Chur­ches:
          • 1. Corrupting them in Doctrine, Worship and Order.
          • 2. Weakning them by discord and division.
          • 3. Shaming them before the World.
          • 4. Making them less fit for Gods Love and Communion.
        • II. Kingdoms: Weakning them, dishonouring them, and drawing them into the Guilt of Feuds, Wars and Persecutions.
  • IV. The REMEDIES.
    • I. Persons,
      • 1. Christ the Prince of Peace, and the Churches Head and Center.
      • 2. Wise Princes, who understand the Interest of 1. Christ, 2. Their people, 3. Themselves.
      • 3. Able, Wise, Holy and Peaceable Pastors.
      • 4. The Mature, Experienced, Mellow, Peaceable sort of the people.
    • II. Qualities,
      • 1. Diligent Study under wise Teachers.
      • 2. Sincere Holiness: A dying life:—
        • 1. Humility.
        • 2. Knowledge.
        • 3. Love, to others as our selves.
      • 3. Deliberate Judging upon tryal.
    • III. Means,
      • 1. Returning to Christian Simplicity
        • 1. In Doctrine: The antient Creed, &c.
        • 2. In Worship.
        • 3. In Discipline.
      • 2. Magistrates forcing the Clergie to keep the peace, and forbear strife.
      • 3. Subjects obedience in all lawful things required by Authority.
  • V. HEALTH or Cure.
    • 1. Rulers, Pastors and people of one MIND,
    • 2. One HEART in Love,
    • 3. One MOUTH and practice, in things Necessary, in Communion and mutual help: And mutual loving for­bearance in Infirmities and things unnecessary; edified in Love.
  • VI. The EF­FECTS hereof.
    • I. GLORY to God,
      • 1. In the Hallowing of his Name, and Honour of Religion.
      • 2. In the increase of his Kingdom, and Conversion of the World.
      • 3. In the Doing of his Will on Earth, as it is done in Heaven.
    • II. Peace on Earth.
      • 1. Increase of Holiness, Heavenliness and Love.
      • 2. Mutual Delight herein: The Joy of Health and Concord.
      • 3. The Churches Strength and Glory.
    • III. Gods WELLPLEAS­EDNESS in MEN: His Church will be meet for his Love, Delight and Com­munion, and be liker to Heaven, and enjoy its foretastes.

An Appendix to this Premonition.

SInce the Printing of this, the World hath seen a specimen of such contention, as I lament, in a contest between a young insulting Assailant, and a jocular contemptuous Defendant; in my judgment both running into extreams; whether verbal or real, their own explications must further tell us: The extreams of the former are reprehended by many: By the la­ter, (a person of great wit and piety,) I perceive that some men have such conceptions of the Co­venants of God, as will give occasion to some Readers to think, that by mis-describing them, I have erred and misled men, through this and many other Writings. And men that are not able to conquer the obscuring and tempting notions of their Authors, are still calling for An­swers to every inconsiderable objection, or contradicting word that is suggested to them; and little things puzzle and stop such Readers (though otherwise pious and worthy persons) who have not by long and accurate studies methodized and digested the matter that is disputed of: Not therefore to offend any man by opposition, or to defend other mens extreams; but to pre­vent the frustration of some of these Writings, and the scandal or trouble of my Reader, I must take notice;

I. That some think that [the Covenant of Grace must be considered, 1. in its Constitution; and 2. in its Execution: The Constitution of the Covenant is God's firm and unchangeable purpose of saving his Elect, to the praise of his glorious Grace.] For the word signifieth a disposition, ap­pointment, or ordering of matters, whether there be a restipulation or no; (the English word, Covenant, seduceth our understandings): The fixed purpose and determinate counsel of God, in Scripture, is called a Covenant, Jer. 33. 20. II. The execution of this fixed Constitution is God's wise and gracious managing of all things for the accomplishment of that glorious design which he had in the prospect of his eternal counsel, which he steadily and regularly pursueth through all the vicissitudes that his mutable creatures are obnoxious to, &c. pag. 718, 719. 1. On God's part; whatever grace and mercy was in his eternal purpose, that is given out to us by Christ, &c. III. 1. Christ cannot be the foundation of the Covenant, because Christ himself is promised in the Covenant as the great comprehensive blessing, Isa. 49. 8, 9. 2. Free Grace is given as the true reason of the Covenant, Heb. 8. 8. IV. The Constitution of the Covenant in God's purpose and counsel, hath no condition at all: nor is that the Condition of the Covenant required of us on our part, which God promiseth to work in us on his part; nor that which God in Covenant bestoweth; nor that which presupposeth other Covenant mercies antecedent, &c. V. A promise of pardon and life on condition of believing and obeying, is no Covenant of Grace at all, and neither better nor worse than a threatning of condemnation, &c. It's no more a Covenant of Grace than a Covenant of Wrath.—It's no great matter where it is founded. p. 584, 586. VI. God hath not dispensed with one jot or title of the moral Law, but, Do this and live, is as strictly exacted as ever: so that unless a Surety be admitted, and the righteousness of another owned, the case of all the sons of Adam is deplorable and desperate. To deny the righteousness wherein the believing sinner may stand before this righteous and holy God, is to affirm the eternal damnation of all the World. VII. The Covenant mentioned justifieth not, but declareth our Justification, which is the immediate proper effect of Christ's righteousness. VIII. Never any man in his wits affirmed that the righteousness of Christ is the formal cause of our Justification: Give us but leave to call it the material cause, or the meritorious cause im­mediately and properly of Justification, &c.

Some will think that they are great and heinous errors, which either these words, or some of mine that seem contrary, import: But I must crave leave here to follow my usual method, in se­parating the Controversies de re & de nomine; and then I think that even these strange words prove not him and me at so great a distance as they seem to intimate. For I grant him as follow­eth de re.

1. That God hath such a decree of Election or eternal purpose as he describeth, and calleth the Constitution of the Covenant. 2. That God doth wisely and graciously execute this Decree. 3. That all Grace and Mercy is given by Christ: (And therefore so far as Mercy is common, Christ is the common cause of it.) 4. That Christ himself is a blessing or gift decreed, and also freely given by God, even from his love to the World, Joh. 3. 16. 5. That God's electing Act, or Decree, as in him, hath no condition: nor his purpose to give Christ as a Saviour to mankind. 6. On our part no condition is required, either that God may elect us, or that the first promise of a Saviour be made, or that Christ come into the World, or that he fulfill all righteousness, or that he obey, or die, or rise, or be glorified, or come to judgment, or raise the dead, or that he enact it as his Law of Grace, that [he that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved; and he that believeth not shall be damned.] 7. Nor is any condition on our part necessary (absolutely, necessitate medii) [Page] that the Gospel, or the first Grace, yea the first special Grace be given us. 8. That Christ by his suf­fering and merits hath procured to his elect, not only pardon and life if they believe and obey him, but Grace to cause them effectually and infallibly to believe, repent, obey, and persevere. 9. That no man can or will believe and repent, but by his Grace. 10. That to give men a promise of pardon and life if they will believe, repent, and obey the Gospel, is not the whole of Christ's Grace to any: but where-ever he giveth this, he giveth also much means, and gracious help, by which men may do better than they do, and so be more prepared for his further Grace. 11. That if God only gave men a promise of pardon if they believe, and gave them no Grace to enable or help them to believe, it would be no saving Covenant. 12. God did not repeal his Law of Innocency, (or as he had rather call it, of Perfection); nor did properly dispense with, or relax the precep­tive part of it: Nor is it absolutely ceased, as to a capable subject: And therefore Christ was bound to perfection. 13. God would not have his Law to be without the honour of the per­fect performance of mans Mediator, though it be violated by us all. 14. No man is saved or justified but by the proper merit of Christ's perfect obedience; yea, and his habitual holiness and satisfactory sufferings, advanced in dignity by his divine perfection. 15. This merit, as related to us, supposeth that Christ, as a Sponsor, was the second Adam, the Root of the justified, the recon­ciling Mediator, who obeyed perfectly with that intent, that by his obedience we might be justi­fied; and who suffered for our sins, in our room and stead; and so was in tantum our Vicarius poenae, as some phrase it, or substitute; and was made a curse for us, that we might be healed by his stripes; as he was obedient, that his righteousness might be the reason as a meritorious cause of our Justification: which supposeth the relation of an undertaking Redeemer, in our nature do­ing this, and in our stead so far forth, as that therefore perfect obedience should not be necessary to be performed by our selves: And righteousness therefore is imputed to us, that is, we are truly reputed righteous, because we, as believing members of Christ, have right to impunity and life, as merited by his righteousness, and freely given to all penitent believers. And Christ's own righteousness may be said so far to be imputed to us, as to be reckoned or reputed the meritorious cause of our right or justification, as aforesaid.

Thus far we are agreed de re: And then de nomine I willingly leave men to their way of speech. 1. If he will call God's Decree, his Covenant in Constitution. 2. If he will call the ex­ecution of his Decree, his Covenant in execution. 3. If he will call nothing else the Covenant of Grace, or at least nothing of narrower extent, but what comprehendeth God's eternal De­crees, and the promise and gift of a Redeemer, (and so of the rest,) I cannot help it; his lan­guage is his own. But I shall tell you further my thoughts de re & de nomine.

1. De re: 1. God's eternal decrees, purposes, or election, give no one right to Christ, Pardon or Life; and so justifie no man.

2. The execution of God's Decrees, yea, of Election, hath many Acts besides Justifica­tion.

3. It must therefore be some transient Act done in time, & ad extra, by which God justifieth men.

4. There are divers such acts concurring in several sorts of causality, or respect.

5. Christ's meritorious righteousness and satisfaction are the sole, proper, immediate cause­meritorious of all the Grace or Mercy procured and given by him, there being no other meri­torious cause of the same kind either more immediate, or at all co-ordinate, and copartner with him.

6. As Christ giveth us Holiness qualitative and active by the real operation of his Spirit, (though he merited it immediately himself;) so doth he give us right to impunity, to the further Grace of the Spirit, and to Glory, by the instrumentality of his Covenant, as by a Testament, Deed of Gift, or Law of Grace. Which by signifying God's donative will, doth not first declare us justified, or to have the foresaid right to Christ and Life, but doth first give us instrumentally that right; and so immediately justify us. (And God's will giveth us not right as secret, or of it self, but by such instrumental signification.)

7. God hath signified his will to us, partly by absolute gifts and promises, and partly by con­ditional: that such there are, he that denieth, must deny much of the Scripture. Christ was ab­solutely given to fallen mankind for a Redeemer; and so was the Conditional Law, or Covenant of Grace; and many other mercies But he hath made and recorded a conditional Gift of Christ, as in special Union, (to be our Head,) and of Pardon and Salvation.

8. It is Christ's stated Constitution, that [he that believeth, and is baptized, shall be saved, and be that believeth not shall be damned, Mar. 16. 16. That if thou confess with thy mouth the Lord Je­sus, and believe in thy heart that God raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved: for with the heart man believeth (Christ's resurrection) unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto Salvation, Rom, 10. That except you repent you shall all perish, Luke 13. 3, 5. That men must repent, and be baptized, for the remission of sins, Acts 2. 38. And repent and be converted, [Page] that their sins may be blotted out, Acts 3. 19. So, Rev. 22. 14. Matt. 6. 14, 15. Ezek. 33. 14, 16. 1 Tim. 4. 8. Godliness is profitable to all things, having the promise of the Life that now is, and of that which is to come.] Call these Laws, or Covenants, or what you will, we are agreed that all this is the word of God.

9. These terms of life and death are the rule of our practices, and our expectations, by which we must live, and by which we shall be judged: and therefore we may truly say that they are Christ's Law. And they are God's signified determination of the conditions of life and death, and his donation of our right to Christ, Pardon and Life, is contained herein; and therefore this may truly be called Christ's Testament and Covenant, in several respects.

10. Though all duties be prescribed by God's Law, and so each Precept is a material part; yet formally or specifically the Laws to which these material parts belong, must be distinguished by the distinct conditions of life and death.

11. God hath made more Promises, Donations and Covenants, than one or two; which must not be confounded: 1. His Law and Covenant made to and with man in innocency is one. 2. And his Law and Covenant made to and with Christ, as Mediator, is another. 3. And his absolute promise of a Saviour to the World, with the conditional promise or Law of Grace conjunct, was the first edition of another. And the Gospel, as after the incarnation promulgate, was a more perfect edition of it: (to pass by Abraham's Covenant of Peculiarity, and the Mosaical Law, as such.)

12. Though Christ be promised in one of these, and be God's antecedent gift, he may neverthe­less be the Author of another, (and so far the foundation,) as well as the meritorious cause.

13. That may be of free Grace which is merited by Christ; yea, and that which is annexed to the Evangelical worthiness of a believer.

14. That may be a condition required of us, to be done by the help of Grace, which yet is the effect of that Grace, and given us by God.

15. It is a true Covenant between God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, and man, which is solemnly entred into in Baptism: And this is a Covenant of Grace, even that proceedeth purely from Grace; and of Grace, as given by God, and by us accepted. He that will confound these va­rious Covenants, Promises, and Laws, on pretence of their unity, (though there is doubtless a wonderful unity of all the parts both of God's moral (signal) means, and his physical works) shall confound much of Theology.

16. The Law made to Adam never said [either thou or another for thee shall obey;] but it bound man to perfect, perpetual, personal obedience.

17. Therefore that Law, as it obliged us, is not fulfilled by the obedience of Christ, but only as far as it obliged him; nor can any man be justified by it, as a fulfiller of it, by himself, or by another: nor did Christ fulfil it in any other mans person, though in his stead, so far as is afore­said.

18. The Law doth not command any man since Adam, perfect, personal obedience, as the means or condition of life; nor promise any life on such a condition as is now naturally impossible: but though it be not repealed by God, is so far ceased, by the cessation of the subjects capacity to be so obliged.

19. The Laws obligation of us to punishment is dispenced with, and dissolved by a pardon pur­chased by our Mediator.

20. Christ's righteousness is nevertheless the meritorious cause of our righteousness or justifica­tion, though he justify us by the instrumentality of his donative Covenant, as giving us right to our Union, and Justification and Life; and though our Faith and Repentance be the condition of our Title.

21. We accept two Concessions as containing that truth, which sheweth that we do not much differ de re, could we more happily order our organical conceptions: ‘1. That Christ's righteous­ness is not the formal cause of our Justification: 2. p. 596. [Seeing the satisfaction was not made IN THE PERSON of the offender, but his substitute; it was necessary that THE BENEFIT of ANOTHERS satisfaction should be communicated in such a way as might best please that God whose Grace was the only motive to his acceptation of a substitute: It is the undoubted priviledge of the Giver, to dispose of his own gifts in his own way: And it was absolutely and indispensibly necessary that the sinner should be duly qualified to receive such transcendent favours, purchased at so dear a rate, and fitted to return the glory to a Re­deemer; which an unhumbled, unbelieving, unconverted and unsanctified sinner could not pos­sibly be.]’ He that writeth this, cannot sure much differ from me hereabouts.

But he is charitably uncharitable, when he saith, [Never any man in his wits affirmed it so, (that the righteousness of Christ is the formal cause of our Justification.) It's too charitable to hide that which cannot be hid, of so great a number; whom it seems he never read (for all his Commis­sion from all the Systematical Divines of Germany, &c. p. 696.) And it's too uncharitable to judge [Page] so many excellent men out of their wits. The truth is, so many speak so, that I have been doubt­ful I should be smartly censured for saying otherwise.]

Forma qua justificamur est misericordia Patris & perfecta Justitia filii, saith Ant. Fayus in his Accurate Theses, Th. 60. p. 280. (And by misericordia Patris being the form, you may see how he understood Imputation.)

The number that thus speak, are too great here to be recited: so that even the most judicious Davenant, lest he should go out of the road, was fain to make this the Theses to be proved by him; Imputatam Christi obedientiam esse causam formalem justificationis nostrae, probatur; Cap. 28. p. 362. &c. de Instit. habit. But let none turn this to our reproach, nor take all these for mad; for it is but an unapt name, and by him and many others soundly meant: for the greater part of these Divines say but that Imputatio Justitiae Christi & Remissio peccatorum are the form, not of Justifi­cation, as in us, but as it is Actus Justificantis, (as Altingius, Maresius, Sharpius, Bucanus, Span­hemius, Nigrinus, Sohnius, Beumler, and many others: And Paraeus, Joh. Crocius de Justif. and many more expresly deny Christ's righteousness to be the formal cause: And I believe that all they that assert it, mean as the rest, though they speak incautelously and unaptly.

And what they mean by [Imputation,] let Davenant speak, ib. c. 27. p. 359. [Imputantur quando illorum intuitus & respectus valent nobis ad aliquem effectum, aeque ac si a nobis, aut in nobis essent,—siquis indignus aut ignavus ob paternam virtutem & merita erga rempublicam, in gratiam regis admittatur,—gratum & nobilitatum dicamus per & propter Imputationem virtutis paternae.] This is Bradshaw's sense, but yet the similitude falls short.

So Altingius states the Question; Loc. Com. part. 2. p. 679. [An justificatio consistaet in Impu­tatione Justitiae Christi, hoc est in Imputationae Justitiae per Christum acquisitae?] And what Prote­stant will deny this?

And Maresius (with him) saith, [Cum Paulo justitiae Imputatio & peccatorum remissio idem sint, prout nullum est discrimen inter satisfactionem Christi & illius meritum, non est necesse subtilius in­ter haec dùo scrupulose distinguere, cum remissio sit peccatorum tum commissionis, tum omissionis & per illam jus plenum ad vitam aeternam habeamus.] (But this needeth somewhat more I think,) Loc. 11. p. 284.

And the description of the effect sheweth what the Imputation is, which Maresius truly thus de­scribeth, Exeg. Art. 23. p. 326, 327. Transit reatu (peccatum orig.) ut non amplius imputetur; ad­haeret quidem ei inseparabiliter Reatus potentialis sive in actu primo; ut sonat intrinsecum meritum poenae; sed ablatus est Actualis, sive quoad actum secundum, ut sonat jus & voluntatem Dei de paena illa adhuc exigenda: N. B.

Thysius in synopsi Leidens. Disp. 33. p. 413. saith, [Mirum hic videri non debet Christi justitiam; non meritoriae solum & materialis, imo & Formalis causae rationem habere, cum id fiat diversi mode, nempe qua illa est, propter quod, in quo, seu ex quo, & per quod justificamur.] So he taketh Christ's righteousness to be all three, (the meritorious, material, and formal cause of our Justification.)

De nomine, I add as to our Author: 1. I hope few will follow him, in calling the Decrees of God, the Covenant, and confounding Election and the Covenant in Constitution. For my part, I will not.

2. Constitution signifieth, 1. actum Constituentis; 2. more usually passively, statum seu rem con­stitutam: God's Eternal Purpose is not properly the Covenant in Constitution in either sense.

3. God's Eternal Decree is nothing but his Essence (for there is nothing in God but God, and nothing but God eternal) denominated, as related to its connoted object, (which from eternity was nothing.) And the Covenant in Constitution is not God, nor shall be by me so called.

4. Nor will I call the whole execution of God's Election by Christ, the Covenant in Execu­tion; nor any part of it but that which Scripture so calleth.

5. I grant him that [...] is usually taken for a divine disposition and constitution: but that is not meerly in God's Decree, but (as Grotius hath at large opened,) (Praef. ad Annot. in Evang.) as it is God's signal revealed determination of the terms of life and death; or as it is a Law and a Covenant on God's part imposed on us, before we consent. And Jer. 33. 20. doth not call God's meer Decree, his Covenant; (but his created course and law of nature.)

6. He that will but try the Texts which his Concordance referreth him to, and cannot find a multitude of places where the word [Covenant] is taken for somewhat else than God's Decrees, and their general Execution, even for a Law with its premiant and penal sanction, and for a free donation or promise, which yet hath its proper conditions, as the moralis dispositio recipientium; and that cannot find divers such Covenants made, by God, with Christ and us, that are really distinct, and not to be confounded, must not expect that I here trouble other Readers with such a task as his conviction.

7. I fully agree, that Christ's righteousnrss is fitly called, both the meritorious and material cause of our Righteousness or passive Justification: (Though I lately read one contending that it cannot be both.) For we mean but that it is that Matter or Thing which meriteth it.

The Firſt Part: OF T …

The First Part: OF THE Nature, Relations, Knowledge AND DECREES OF GOD; AND OF FREE-WILL AND PROVIDENCE, As the Objects thereof. Such selected Verities as are needful to reconcile the common Differences about Predestination, Providence, Grace and Free-will, be­tween the Synodists and Arminians, Calvinists and Lutherans, Dominicans and Jesuits, &c. By RICHARD BAXTER.

LONDON, Printed by Robert White, for Nevill Simmons at the Princes Arms in St. Pauls Church-yard. MDCLXXV.

THE CONTENTS.

  • Sect. 1. WHAT Knowledge of God is here to be ex­pected, Pag. 1.
  • Sect. 2. Of mans Soul as the Glass or Image in which God must be seen, p. 3.
  • Sect. 3. The several inadequate Concepti­ons which together make up the most exact and orderly Knowledge of God, p. 4.
  • Sect. 4. The Relations and Denominati­ons of Gods Active Power, Knowledge and Will, as to the Creatures, p. 6.
  • Sect. 5. Of Futurity, and the pretended Eternal Causes of it, and Gods Knowledge of it, p. 8.
  • Sect. 6. Of the Co-existence of the Creature with God in Eternity, and of Gods Knowledge of them as existent, p. 13.
  • Sect. 7. Of the presumptions and uncertainties of many Scholastick Di­sputes about Gods Knowledge, which should moderate our censures of Dissenters in such matters, and check our sinful curiosity, p. 15.
  • Sect. 8. More of Gods knowing things future, and of Permission of sin, p. 24.
  • Sect. 9. Of Predetermination, Universal Causation, Humane Power, and the Nature of Liberty of Will: Distinguished in a Table, p. 27.
  • Sect. 10. Of Natural and Moral Power and Impotency: Their difference, p. 36.
  • Sect. 11. More of the same; and Whether God bind man to Impossibili­ties? p. 39.
  • Sect. 12. Of Scientia Media, p. 42.
  • Sect. 13. Of the Will and Decrees of God in general. Their simplicity and diversity, supposed priority and posteriority. Of Negations, of Noliti­ons and Volitions of Negatives, &c. p. 45.
  • Sect. 14. Several distinctions of Gods Will explained, 1. Positive acts, and non-agency. 2. Positive and Negative as to the object. 3. Posi­tive and Oppositive, Volitions and Nolitions. 4. Immanent and Tran­sient. 5. Efficiently Transient and Objectively Transient. 6. Natural and Free. 7. Efficient and Permissive. 8. Beneplaciti & signi de even­tu & de debito, Decretive and Legislative. Where the true nature of [Page] Laws is opened. 10. Absolute and Conditional. 11. Effectual and un­effectual. 12. Antecedent and Consequent, p. 49.
  • Sect. 15. Whether Gods Decrees must be said to be diversified and proved, according to the order of Intention, or Execution. Whether God do in­tendere finem? and what is his End. The Order and Objects opened, p. 57.
  • Sect. 16. What Election and Reprobation are? The order of the Decrees called Reprobation, and of the Objects: Of Negations of Decree, p. 66. An Additional Explication of Divine Nolitions, p. 76.
  • Sect. 17. Whether God Will, Decree or Cause Sin. Five Acts of God in and about Sin. What Sin is. Many wayes God can cause the same thing that the sinner causeth, and so fulfil his Decrees, without Willing or Causing the Sin. Objections answered. God freely (not idlely or impotently) re­straineth his own possible operations, sometimes that he do not such or such an act at all, and sometime that he do but so much towards it, and no more. Whether God be ever Causa partialis? p. 84.
  • Sect. 18. A Confutation of Dr. Twisses Digress. 5. li. 2. sect. 1. Vindic. Gratiae, where he asserteth that God Willeth the existence of Sin, and that sins are a medium sua natura summe & unice conducibile to the Glorification of his Mercy and Justice, p. 92.
  • Sect. 19. The same Doctrine in Rutherford de Providentia confuted, Whe­ther things be good, because God willeth them, or willed by him because good? resolved. Whether there were eternal rationes boni & mali. Dr. Field vindicated, p. 106.
  • Sect. 20. The old Doctrine of Augustine, Prosper and Fulgentius, thought by some Jesuits too rigid, but indeed Conciliatory, (for absolute Election to Faith, and so to Salvation, and for no reprobating Decree, but only of Punishment for Sin foreseen, but not decreed.) Prosper ad Cap. Gall. Sentent. translated, p. 115.
  • Sect. 21. The summ of Prospers Answer to Vincent. 16. Object. p. 118.
  • Sect. 22. Fulgentius words to the same sense, p. 121.
  • Sect. 23. The healing Doctrine and Concessions of many called Calvinists, of the Synod of Dort, Pet. Molinaeus, &c. p. 124.
  • Sect. 24. And of Petr. á Sancto Joseph, Suarez, Ruiz, &c. on the other side, especially Bellarmines at large, and others, p. 127.

ERRATA.

PART 1. pag. 10. l. 38. in marg. for Reason Being r. Relation being: p. 24. l. 25. r. those Causes: l. 26. r. first Case: p. 27. l. 2. r. Of predetermination.

Reader, Pain and Greater business forbad me to gather the Errata: some are gathered by a Friend out of the first Book; many more I must leave to your ingenuity: I see in the Premonition p. 4. l. 22. for [Mr. W. [Mr. D.] l. 47. for [Armatus] [Annatus]. Also Dial. 11. p. 231. l. 30. r. [re­fuse]: Dial. 13. p. 291. l. 13. for [not] r. [done].

Catholick Theologie: The First BOOK. PACIFYING PRINCIPLES Collected from the common Notices of Na­ture, the certain Oracles of GOD in the Holy Scriptures, and the common Consent of Christians. For the RECONCILING OF THE CHURCH-DIVI­DING and DESTROYING CONTROVERSIES, especially about PREDESTINATION, PROVIDENCE, GRACE and FREE-WILL, REDEMPTION, JUSTIFICATION, FAITH, ME­RIT, WORKS, CERTAINTY OF SALVATION, PERSEVE­RANCE, and many others. In Three Parts.

  • I. Of Gods Nature, Knowledge, Decrees (and Providence about Sin, with Mans Free-will, as the Objects of the former.)
  • II. Of Gods GOVERNMENT and MORAL Works.
  • III. Of Gods Operations on Mans Soul.

By RICHARD BAXTER, An earnest Desirer of the UNITY, LOVE and PEACE of Christians; For endeavouring of which, he expecteth with resolved Patience, still to undergo the Censures, Slanders and Cruelties, of IGNORANCE, PRIDE and MALICE from all that are possessed by the Wisdom and Zeal, which are from beneath, Earthly, Sensual and Devilish, the Causes of Confusion, and every evil work, James 3. 14, 15, 16.

LONDON, Printed by Robert White, for Nevill Simmons at the Princes Arms in St. Pauls Church-yard. MDCLXXV.

The First Part: OF THE NATURE, KNOWLEDGE, WILL AND DECREES of GOD, As far as is needful to the intended CONCILIATION and CONCORD.

[Page] [Page 1]The First Part: OF THE NATURE, KNOWLEDGE, WILL AND DECREES of GOD, As far as is needful to the intended CONCILIATION and CONCORD.

SECT. I. Of our Knowledge of God, as here attainable.

THough it be about the Knowledge, Will and Decrees of God, that our Controversies are agitated, yet because the consequent Verities are scarce ever well under­stood, without the understanding of the Antecedents, out of which the Consequents arise, and without the just order, place and respect which the later have unto the former, and unless things be understood in their true Method; I will therefore expose my self to the oblo­quy of those, who will call it Over-doing, so far as to premise somewhat of the Deity it self; But not what is necessary to the full explication of the Divine Attributes (as we are capable) as must be in a Method of The­ologie (which I have attempted elsewhere); but only so much as lyeth under our Controverted Subject: And when I have done that, I shall leave the rest.

Thes. 1. To Know the only true God and Jesus Christ whom he hath sent, is Life Eternal. John 17. 3. Bradward. l. 1. c. 11. p. 198. The first necessary incomplex Principle is God, and the first com­plex simply is of God, Deus est, &c. But yet it is not to us the primum cognitum.

2. To Exodus 20. know GOD is to know his Being, Nature, and Relations: For though those Relations that are to Man be not essential to his Divine Na­ture, yet are they essentially contained in the signification of the name [Page 2] [GOD] as he is the object of our Faith, and Religion. For to be OUR GOD doth speak his Relations to us, as well as his Nature; As the name KING and FATHER doth among men.

3. We neither have, nor can have here in flesh any one proper formal Conception of the Divine Nature, that is formally suited to the truth in the object: But only Metaphorical or Analogical Conceptions; borrowed from things better known.

4. Yet nothing beyond sense (at least) is so certainly known as GOD, so far as we can reach, though nothing be less perfectly or more defective­ly known, or less comprehended. Even as we know nothing Visible more certainly than the Sun, and yet comprehend nothing Visible less.

5. It is not true which many great Metaphysicians assert, that the Quiddity of God is totally unknown to us: For then it could not be life eternal to know him; nor would a meer Negative knowledge cause in us a sufficient Positive Love, or Joy or Trust, &c. But to know that we cannot know him, would but inferr that we cannot Love him: For we Love not an unknown Good.

6. Nor is it true that Pet. Hurtado de Mendoza (in fine Disput.) and some others say, that the Notions of Life and Intellect are all that we have of the Quiddity of God, and that the Divine Will is not a Quidditative notion.

7. God is here seen in the Glass of his Works, with the Revelation of his Word and Spirit. And from these works we must borrow our con­ceptions. The doubt is, How Im­perfect works can noti­fie the perfect God: And the Schoolmen manage it as an insuperable difficul­ty, Whether God could have made the World, or any thing better than it is? If you will pardon me for making that easie, which they make ineffa­ble, I answer, Good­ness is Primitive (that is, God) or Derivative, which only is in Crea­tures: This last is formal­ly Good, as it is Related as Conform to Gods Will, the Prime Good, as its Rule: To be à Deo Voli­tum is the formal notion of Created Good. And so the world is perfect, and can be no better, because it is as God wil­leth it: And yet God can make particular creatures better to them­selves, and to one ano­ther; He can make any man more wise, more holy, &c. But bonum sibi is no further properly bonum, than it is Volitum à Deo: Therefore God can make the world far otherwise than it is; and yet then it would be no Better. For still it would be but as God willed it to be: So that the matter and private Goodness might alter; but the true form of Goodness would be still just the same as now.

8. Therefore though the Thing intended when we speak of God, be transcendently and only in Him, and not in the Creature, yet the first use of the words is to signifie something in the Creature. And therefore the Creature is the famosius analogatum, though Nothing to God.

9. In the use of these notions we must still profess that we apply them to God no farther than to signifie his perfections: And all words must be as little as may be used of him in strict disputes, which imply imperfe­ction, when better may be had; But the highest are to be preferred.

10. And we must still profess, that we take none of these words to be formal proper univocal terms, lest the concealed Metaphor or impropriety occasion false conceptions of God, and unworthy of Him; and also tempt men to run them further by false inferences.

11. Gods Nature is most simple, undivided: And so must an adequate conception of Him be: But Man can have no such conception of Him; but must know what he can know of this One GOD by many partial inadequate conceptions.

12. Yet must we be very careful that these inadequate analogical Con­ceptions be Orderly, and not as (I will not say how commonly) it is done by some, a confused heap: For the Mind that so conceiveth of Him, greatly injureth it self and Him, and the Tongue and Pen that so describeth Him, dishonoureth Him: And though the Ignorant, for whom Catechisms are written, cannot lay together a full Scheme of the Divine Attributes in just method; yet those few which they can understand and remember, they would as well and better understand and remember in the true method, were they taught it, than in an heap. For Method is a great help to understanding and memory. We would not give a Prince his Titles so confusedly; nor draw his Picture monstrously, with the arms where the seet should be, and the seet where the arms, or the back before, and the face behind, unless we exposed him purposely to scorn. Every man knoweth the difference between a Clock or Watch in order, and the same in confused parcels on a [Page 3] heap; and between an Army and a Rout, &c. Shall Order be the beauty of the World and every Creature in it; and shall we deny it only to the God of Order? I crave the pardon of Divines for intreating them to amend this in their Doctrine, but especially in their Catechisms, yea, in their Understandings first.

SECT. II. Of mans Soul as the Glass in which we must see God.

13. THe principal Glass in which we must see God, in his Nature; among all his Creatures here, is the Soul of man; which is said to be made after the Image of God; And which being our selves, we can best perceive.

14. The Soul of Man beareth Gods Image in three parts of it, or re­spects: 1. In its Nature it is the Image of the Divine Nature: 2. In its Rectitude it is the Image of the Divine Holiness and perfection: 3. In our Dominion over the inferiour Creatures, and eminently, in Superiours over Subjects, it hath the Image of his Majesty and Supereminence.

15. I We have no one adequate Conception of the Nature of our own souls; but must think of them by partial inadequate Conceptions. And that by many (not feigned or forced, but) real and necessary Trinaries in Unity.

16. And first the Three Inadequate Conceptions of its Being are the Ge­nerical, the Differencial, and the Proper-inseparable Accidental, viz. that it is, 1. Substantialitas Ge­nerica, is loco mate­ria: Aegid. Rom. saith Quodl. 1. q. 9. p. 18. Non est materia in Ange­lis: bene tamen est ali­quid loco materia: quia non sunt Actus purus, sed habent aliquam potentiali­tatem admixtam: Unde in li. de Causis scribitur, quod Intelligentia habtant suam [...], i. e. suum materiale. Et hoc forte volunt illi qui in Angelis Materiam ponunt; Cum ipsi dicant materiam il­lam non esse ejusdem rati­onis cum materia corpora­lium: Solùm ergo in ver­bis videntur discordare à nobis: Quia & nos ibi aliquod materiale poni­mus. (N. B.) [...], Vita, Proprietatibus suis praedita. The first notion is substan­tia abstractè à forma concepta: The second is the Conceptus formatis: The third its Accidents, not acquired, but natural. By LIFE I under­stand not Relatively only, that it is the Life of the body or Compositum; But essentially as in its nature it is Life it self, or a Living substance for­mally, as well as the Living Principle in the man. The word [Spirit] as commonly used by us, comprehendeth all this; but what a Spirit is, we know but by these partial Conceptions.

17. To pass by the Three Vital Faculties, Vegetative, Sensitive and Intellective, (because I describe it but as the Speculum Deitatis). 2. This One Formal Principle, LIFE, as it is mans soul, must be it self known by us by these Three inadequate Conceptions, as making up the Form of the soul, 1. Vital Activity (or Power), 2. An Intellect, 3. A Will. See Aureolus in 2. d. 9. that in separated sub­stances (Angels) there is a Motive power beside the Intellect and Will; with whom Suarez and many others do agree.

18. 3. And the EXISTENCE of these Formal Principles cannot justly be understood by us, but in these three gradual inadequate or partial Conceptions, 1. As in Potentia-activa seu Virtute: 2. As in Actu imma­nente: 3. As in Actione transeunte: (Not as it is in Passo, but as it is Status vel Modus Agentis.)

19. II. The Moral or Holy Image of God on the soul, is the Holy Perfection or Qualification of these Faculties, as they are In Virtute by Holy Dispositions; As in Actu immanente, by Holy Intrinsick Acts and Habits; And as to Action ad extra, by a Holy Rectitude: And this Image consisteth in the souls Holy Vivacity or Activity, and its Wisdom and Good­ness, or its Holy Liveliness, Light and Love.

20. III. The Image of Gods Majesty or Supereminence consisteth in 1. The Sub-propriety which we have in Inferiour Creatures; 2. The Sub-government; 3. That we are under God Their End (and Benefactors).

SECT. III. The several inadequate Conceptions which in order make up our Knowledge of God.

21. BY the Knowledge of our own Acts we know our Powers and the Nature of our own souls (though imperfectly); And by the Knowledge of our souls, we know the nature of other Intellectual Spirits; And by the Knowledge of our selves and them, and the Scripture expres­sions of his Attributes, we know so much of God as we can here know. And accordingly must speak of Him, or be silent: For we have no higher noti­ons, than such as are thus Analogical; expressing that which is in God in an unconceivable eminency and transcendency, by words which first signi­fie that which is formally in the soul (as is said).

22. And so we must conceive of God by all these following inadequate Conceptions, confessing the impropriety, but having no better. I. The Essence of God, who in Scripture is called in two words [An Infinite Spirit] is necessarily conceived of by these Three Conceptions: 1. [...], 2. Vita, 3. Perfectio. The two first being the substantial Conceptus of a Spirit, and the third that which answereth to all perfective degrees, properties and accidents in Creatures, and comprehendeth a multitude of Perfective Attributes: which I express in the Abstract, being loth much to use Concretes or Adjectives of God. Of these as the first answereth to Matter in Materials, and to the Genus and substantia abstractè sumpta in Spirits, so doth the second to the Form and Difference; when yet in God there is no Composition, or Matter.

23. II. And the Formal Conceptus [VITA] must it self be con­ceived of in this Threefold inadequate Conception; 1. It is a great dispute with the Schoolmen, Whether Gods Power be any thing but his Intellect and Will: that is, a necessa­ry distinct conceptus in­adaequatus of God? (For he is one simple es­sence.) Durand. 1. d. 38. q. 1. justly affirmeth it: Vasqu. in 1. Tho. q. 23. d. 102. c. 2. saith, Haec sententia no [...]null is recentio­ribus mirum in modum probatur: yet he is against it; (though Suarez be for it). But it is partly by miscon­ceiving of the Potentia Vital is in man, as if it were only Executive ad extra, or in the inferior faculties; and partly on such frivolous reasons as tend also to a denyal of his Intellection and Vo­lition. Methinks, they that acknowledge Gods Understanding and Will to be analogically so cal­led (mans being the first which the word signifi­eth though Gods infi­nitely more excellent) should on the same rea­son grant, that Vita & Potentia activa are terms as applicable to God: For which denominati­on many reasons and co­gent may be given: And I am sure the language of the Scripture and our Creed will warrant this conception. Potentia-Actus, 2. Intellectus, 3. Voluntas. I call the first Potentia-Actus, to avoid Con­cretes, and to signifie, that as God hath no Potentia Passiva, so his Poten­tia-Activa is not an idle cessant Power, but in perpetual perfect Act; and that Act is a most Powerful-Act: so that neither Potentia alone, nor Actus alone, but both together, are our best Conception of this first Principle in the Deity. And I take it for granted, that even in Mans soul, the Poten­tia-Vitalis Activa, the Intellect and Will, are not as Thomas thought Acci­dents, but the formal essence of the soul, as the Scotists and Nominals better say; And I have largely elsewhere proved, and therefore stand not here upon it.

24. III. And the Existence of this Divine Essence, must be known by us in this Gradual Threefold Conception: 1. As in Virtute (vel Poten­tia) 2. In Actu Immanente, 3. In Actione Transeunte: Of the first I shall say no more, but what is said before. By the second I mean Gods own most perfect Essence as Active in it self, without extrinsick effect or object. By the third, I mean not the Creature or the Divine Action ut recipitur in passo, or the effect: But the Divine Essence it self in the state of Agency ad extra; which the Schools conclude to be Eternal, though the effect be but in Time. Yet if any will call this a free, and not a necessary state of the Divine Essence, I contend not.

25. IV. The Essential Immanent Acts of God are Three: 1. SIBI VIVERE, or to be Essential Active Life in Himself, 2. SE INTEL­LIGERE, to know Himself; 3. SE AMARE, or to be Amor sui.

26. V. The Trinity of Divine Subsistences or Persons also must be here acknowledged; 1. The FATHER; 2. The WORD or SON; [Page 5] 3. The HOLY SPIRIT: Of which the School-men have said so much, (if not far too much) as that I may turn the Reader to them.

27. I have elsewhere shewed that many of them, and other Divines, do take the Three last named Immanent Acts in God, to be the same with the Three Persons or Subsistences; Even the Three Divine Principles (Poten­tia-Actus, Intellectus & Volunt as) as in Act thus Immanently; But of these great Mysteries elsewhere. All that I say here is, that seeing the Tri­nity of Divine Principles (or formal Essentialities) and the Threefold Act, are so certainly evident to Natural Reason it self, that no understanding person can deny them, we have no Reason to think the Trinity of Eternal Subsistences incredible, and a thing that the Christian faith is to be suspected for, but the quite contrary; though they are mysteries above our reach, (as all of God is, as to a full or formal apprehension).

28. Though God have no Real Accidents, we are fain to conceive of Him with some Analogie to Accidents: where, 1. The Universal Conce­ption is PERFECTION, which comprehendeth all. 2. The Di­vine Principles considered in PERFECTION denominate God, 1. Potentissimus, 2. Sapientissimus, 3. Optimus.

29. The Attributes of the Divine Persons are, 1. Distinguishing; viz. 1. GENERANS, Patris: 2. GENITUS, Filii: 3. PROCE­DENS, Spiritus Sancti. 2. Common to all, such as [...], &c.

30. The particular Attributes, analogical as to Creatures, Comparate, Relative and Negative, are very many: But yet in Order to be conceived of, and not confusedly; which elsewhere I offer to the Readers view.

31. VI. Gods Causal Relations to his Creatures, are in General those named by S. Paul, Rom. 11. 36. OF HIM and THROUGH HIM and TO HIM are all things. And he is, 1. The first EF­FICIENT, 2. The supream DIRIGENT, 3. The Ultimate FINAL Cause of all things.

32. Gods EFFICIENCY is terminated, 1. On the Things in their Being, 2. In their Action and Operation. 1. And in the first respect he is the Cause, 1. Of their Existing Essence, 2. Of their Order, 3. Of their Goodness or Perfection: And so he is, 1. The CREATOR, and Conserver, 2. The ORDINATOR, 3. The BENEFACTOR of all the world.

And in the second respect, (as to Action) he is, 1. The Actor or Motor of all things (by his Active Power) 2. The Governor of all (ac­cording to their several Natures) (by his wisdom) 3. The Perfecter of all things in their attingency or fruition of their proper End, (by his Goodness.)

33. VII. As to MAN in special God is now Fundamentally Related to him as his CREATOR, his REDEEMER and his RE­GENERATER or SANCTIFIER; eminently ascribed di­stinctly to the FATHER, SON and HOLYSPIRIT: From whence floweth, NATURA, MEDELA, SALUS, or NATURE, REDEEMING GRACE, and RENEWING GRACE (HOLINESS and GLORY) (that is, LOVE begun here and perfected in Heaven.)

34. VIII. From CREATION there resulteth a Threefold Mo­ral Right and Relation of God to Man: 1. He is our Absolute OWNER or LORD to dispose of us, and Act us by his Power. 2. He is our Su­pream RECTOR, Morally to Rule us as Intellectual free-agents, emi­nently by his Wisdom. 3. He is our LOVER and Ultimate END; [Page 6] as he is Goodness and Love it self; To Love Him and be Loved by him perfectly for ever, being Amantissimus & Amabilissimus in his Goodness.

35. He that leaveth out any one of these Relations of God to man, (to be Our Owner, Ruler and Lover and End) leaveth out that which is Essential to Our God, as the word is Relatively used in the Precepts and Promises of the Holy Scripture.

SECT. IV. Of Gods Relations to the Creature and denominations (thereupon) in his Power, Knowledge and Will.

36. THe Three Divine Essential Principles, Related to the Creature, ad extra are denominated, 1. His Omnipotence, 2. His Om­niscience or Knowledge of them, 3. His Volition and Love of them. He who is Potentissimus, perfectly Powerful in Act, in Himself, is denominated Omnipotent, because he can do all things ad extra which belong to That Gods Power is In­finite, quia est ipsa Infini­ta Essentia, is past doubt: But whether it may be called Infinite, as respe­cting outward objects, is disputed: And some prove the affirmative, by asserting Infinite Objects: But Gregor. Ar. n. 1. d. 43. q. 2. hath reasons too subtile to be here re­cited: One of them Vasq. useth in 1. Tho. q. 25. d. 103. c. 2. & disp. 104. Vid. opiniones Gabriel. Scoti & Thomae de ratione nominis Om­nipotentia Divinae. Power: 2. And he who is Intellectus se Intelligens ad intra, is denomi­nated Omniscient or Knowing all Creatures, from the exterior objects: 3. And he who is Voluntas se Volens, or Amor se Amans ad intra, is also denominated willing of exterior things.

37. But (by the way) how the Creature is called exterior to God who is Essentially every where and in all, and how God is not a Part of Univer­sal Being, and how God and the Creature are no more than God alone, is elsewhere somewhat explained, but transcendeth mans Understanding to comprehend.

38. Gods Transient Acts are of two sorts: 1. Effectively Transient (as Creation, Regeneration, &c.) which do cause somewhat without. 2. Ob­jectively only Transient; which cause nothing, but suppose the Object.

39. It is a dreadful thing to be over-bold, rash and presumptuous, in speaking and asserting any thing without clear proof, of Gods Knowledge and Will; especially to reduce them to all the Modes and Methods of a man, even as to the order of his Acts: seeing we are forced to confess, that even Intellection and Volition are spoken of God with exceeding great impropri­ety, D'Orb [...]llis 1. d. 40. in­quit [ [...]icet in Deo non sit proprie Habitus, est ta­men ibl aliquid intelle­ctum à nobis per modum habitus, siquidem scientia in nobis est Habitus ad cognoscendum, sicut Virtus est habitus ad operandum. Cognitio Divina cum sem­per maneat, congrue signa­tur per modum habitus.] and mans Acts which are the prius significatum, are further below Gods, than a Worm is below a Man. Therefore were it not that the pre­sumption of the Schools and Polemical writers, hath made that Necessary as Defensive, which else would not be so, I should scarce dare to say this little following:

40. I. The Power of God is denominated Relatively Omni-potency in three instants to Three several Objects: 1. In the first instant, as to All things which belong to Power: And so God can do all things, which are hence cal­led Possible. 2. In the second instant, to All things meet or Congruous to the Divine Intellect to be willed and done: And so we say, that God can do All that is meet to be done, and nothing that is unmeet. 3. In the third instant (of reason) as to All things which he willeth to do: And so we say, that God can do whatsoever he will do. And so Possibility hath various senses.

41. II. Gods Intellect is Relatively denominated Omniscient, in respect [...]eid. Rom. quodl. 3. q. 3. saith, That Gods specu­lative knowledge is be­fore his Velle; but his Practical determined ad o [...]s is after as we must conceive of it. to three sorts of Objects also in three instants: 1. In the first instant he knoweth all Possibles, in his own Omnipotence: For to know things to be Possible, is but to know what He can do.

2. In the second Instant he Knoweth all things, as Congruous, eligible [Page 7] and Volenda, fit to be Willed: And this out of the perfection of his own wis­dom: which is but to be perfectly Wise, and to know what perfect Wisdom should offer as eligible to the Will.

3. In the third instant he knoweth All things willed by him as such (as Volita): which is but to know his own Will, and so that they will be.

42. In all these instances we suppose the Things themselves not to have yet any Being: But speak of God as related to Imaginary beings, according to the common speech of men.

43. These therefore are not properly Transient Acts of God; because it is but Himself that is the object indeed, viz. His own Power, Wisdom and Will, though it be de creaturis in that which is called his Idea's.

44. It is usual with Divines to ascribe Idea's to the Divine Intellect, af­ter the manner of men, against which I quarrel not, but am my self afraid of presumption.

45. From what is said, you may see, that the Common School distin­ction of all Gods Knowledge, into scientia simplicis Intelligentiae, & purae Visionis, is not accurate, and the terms are too arbitrary and dark to no­tifie the thing intended; and that the scientia media added doth not mend the matter: And that a fitter distinction is plain and obvious.

46. III. Also the Will of God as Related to things not yet existent, hath in several instants a threesold object, (as we may conceive of God after the manner of men.)

1. The Possibility of things, which God is said to Will, in Willing his own Power as respecting them.

2. The Congruity, Goodness and Eligibility of things, as in his own Know­ledge; which is but to Will the perfection of his own Understanding.

3. The Future existence of things Good and Eligible, to be produced in their fittest season.

47. They that say God can do no more than he doth, must mean only in the second and third instants or sense; or speak very presumptuously, if not blasphemously.

48. That God doth not all that he Can do, is no note of imperfection in his Wisdom or Will, but is from the perfection of both.

49. Nor doth it hence follow that he hath either a Vain or an Unactive Power. For his Power is his perfection, and therefore not Vain: And it is ever essentially Active in himself, as he is the Living God: And was nei­ther Vain nor Unactive when there was yet no Creature.

50. Gods Power doth not therefore Create or operate ad extra meerly as Power; For then it should do so ad ultimum posse, and from Eternity: But as it Voluntarily puts forth the effect.

51. Gods Knowledge meerly as Knowledge, or as the Knowledge of Con­gruities, Future things, yea, or things Existent, is not Efficient, nor yet as it concurreth with his Will ut finis (or his Will of Complacency;) But on­ly as it concurreth with his Efficient Will.

52. Gods Knowledge and Will effect nothing ad extra, but by and with his Active Power, as efficient.

53. Therefore Bradwardine and many other Schoolmen, do not congru­ously say, that Gods meer Volition without any Effective Power is all his Causing Influx: Unless they thrust two Conceptions into one word, and mean a powerful active Volition. For, 1. By the same reason that we must ascribe to God Intellection and Volition, we must also ascribe Active Power; These being three principles in his Image. 2. And in Man Meer Willing ef­fects not. 3. And they that say God willeth ut eveniat peccatum ipso non efficiente, sed permittente, suppose that he willeth something [Page 8] which he effecteth not. But against them in this Suarez and others have said enough.

54. Though Gods Nature have no Real Accidents, but simple essential perfection, yet Relations, or Relative Accidents are not to be denyed of him. For indeed (as Ockam hath copiously proved) That Relations have no entity extra intelle­ctum prae [...]er absolutum, Ockam in many disputes in his Quod lib. sheweth. Relations have no real Entity, or are nothing besides the Absoluta and the Act of Reason about them. Relation is but compa­rabilitas. Relation is but rerum Comparabilitas, which Reason useth by actual comparing conceptions of them.

55. Though the Thomists say, that man only is Related to God, An Relationes reales sint in Deo ad Creaturas, e. g. Creator, Dominus, &c. Af­firmatur ab Ockam & Gabr. 1. d. 30. q. 5. Du­rand. q. 3. Marsil. 1. q. 32. a. 1. Greg. Ar. 1. d. 28. q. 3. a. 1. Pet. Hurtad. Negatur à Tho­mistis: sed est Lis de no­mine ut notat Vasquez in 1 Tho. q. 13. a. 7. Nul­lum quippe fundamentum de novo est ex parte Dei, sed creaturae: Ideo Thomistae [...]ocant Relationē rationis. relati­one rationis, and not God to man, yet Pet. Hurtado de Mendoza and others strongly assert, that God himself hath not only Relationes rationis and Transcendental, but predicamental Relations also; as Creator, Dominus, Rector, &c. which the Scriptures constantly ascribe to him; And which indeed are no way notes of Imperfection. For if it be no Imperfection in God to Create, Redeem, Sanctifie, Rule, &c. it can be none to be related to us as a Creator, Redeemer, Sanctifier, Ruler, &c. For it is nothing more.

56. As Gods Immanent Acts are his Essence, but not simply as Essence; but as Essence in the distinct Acts of self-living, self-knowing, self-loving, related to Himself: so his Actions ad extra are his Essence as Related to the Creature, but not simply as Essence, but as Essence-Acting.

57. Gods Will as meerly Ordinant or Dirigent effecteth only Order and Direction, but not the Substances ordered.

58. His Will quà Finis is not Efficient. Bonavent. in 1. d. 45. q. 2. Resol. Deus non di­citur Omni-volens, sicut Omnipotens & Omnisciens, cum Voluntas abstrahat & à ratione actualitatis, & à ratione causae. See his plain explication of it. Vide Alliac. in princip. 1. At è contrà Bradward. l. 1. c. 10. cor. pag. 197. But not accurately e­nough; though it seems but lis de nomine.

59. His Will quà Finis is his Will as Pleased by being Fulfilled.

60. All that is Good is Pleasing to God, and so is the final fulfilling of his Will.

61. God willeth efficiently all that is Good, which cometh to pass; For all Good that is ever done, is done by him, though not by him only.

62. But he willeth the various production of things, as they are vari­ously produced; some solely by Himself, and some by Creatures and means; some necessarily by necessitated agents, and some freely by free agents.

63. As Gods Efficient Will causeth the thing willed (whether substance, accidents, rule, order, &c.) so his Final Will or Complacence supposeth the Pleasing thing in Being: That is, If it be the Thing it self, that he is Pleased in, it is supposed Existent; If the thing as Past, it is supposed Past, or that it was existent; If the thing as future, or fore-known, or fore-willed, it is not the thing it self that is in that instant properly said to Please him, but his own Knowledge and Will concerning it: Though we use to call this, The Thing in esse Cognito aut Volito.

SECT. V. Of Futurity and its pretended Causes.

64. THe Possibility and Futurity of things, are not accidental noti­ons, or relations of the things themselves; but are termini di­minuentes, Of Futurity, see Bona­ventures distinction of futur. quoad successio­nem temporis, & quoad or­dinem temporalis ad aeter­num secundum consecutionem with the application, in 1. dist. 38. dub. 2. Vid. Blank de Concord. lib. & decret. 1. n. 54. that futurity is nothing but respectus rationis, and needs no cause, but that of the thing future. as to the Things, and are spoken of Nothing. To say that a Thing May be, or Will be, which now is not, is to say that now it is nothing.

65. Nothing is no Effect; and therefore hath no Cause: Therefore things Possible and Future as such, have no Cause.

66. Therefore Possibility and Futurity as they are taken for any attribute [Page 9] or accident or mode of Creatures, as objects, are mistaken; Though they may be Conceptions in the mind of Creatures, concerning that which is not.

67. Therefore also God is no Cause of any Eternal Possibility or futu­rity.

68. Therefore the Possibility and futurity of things (conceived as an effect) hath no Eternal Cause: For there is nothing Eternal but God.

69. Though man Imagine Things which are not, and then think that they Can be, and Will be, because that Is, which Can or Will Cause them, and thence frame notions and names of Nothing, and call it Possible and Future; we must be very fearful and not unreverent and rash, in ascribing such a dance or lusus of notions to God, unless as used with great impropriety after the manner of weak man.

70. God knoweth his own Power, Knowledge and Will; And so know­eth what he can do, what he knoweth to be eligible, and what he will do. And if any will call this knowledge of God, by the name of the Possibility or Futurity of the thing known, or will denominate, Nothing, (as an Ima­ginary something) as Possible and Future, relatively from Gods Power, Will or Knowledge, Let them remember, 1. That Nothing hath no rela­tion. 2. That properly they should but give the denomination to that which is, that is, to Gods Power, Will and Knowledge, and say God Can, e. g. make a World, or Will do it; and not to that which is not: And when they say that e. g. the world is eternally possible or future, they can justly mean no more, but that God can and will make it. 3. And that this is but lis de nomine, and not a real difference (whether futurition be thus from Eternity).

71. And especially let them remember that nothing in God is Caused: There are no effects in God: Therefore as there is nothing from Eter­nity but God, and therefore possibility and futurition must needs be names of God himself, or some Divine perfection or conception (which is him­self) if they be said to be eternal; so such Possibility and futurity can have no eternal cause. For God hath no Cause, nor any thing in God.

72. If the Futurity of sin must have an eternal Cause, then God causeth Pennot. l. 3. c. 14. citeth many Fathers saying, that things are not future be­cause fore-known, but fore-known because fu­ture: And Augustine, Greg. M. Boetius, Ans [...]lm, Lomb. & Aquin. saying the contrary. And he citeth the four wayes of the Schoolmens recon­ciling them, and con­cludeth that in regard of the Creatures being, the first is true; and in re­gard of free acts, the se­cond. I think that in regard of sin neither is true. Unless [Because] signifie only rationem de­nominationis objectivam; And even if so it is du­bious, whether they be not simultaneous as Re­lations are. the futurity of all sin: But that is not so. For none is the Cause that sin will be, but he that (mediately or immediately) causeth the being of it when it is.

73. Imagine (per possibile vel impossibile) that a thousand years hence a free created agent (that can do otherwise) will cause such an act; It may be denominated Future without the taking in of any antecedent cause into the notion. It is called Future because it will be, and not because there is at present existent any cause from whence it will be mediately or im­mediately.

74. Though Futurity be Nothing, yet this Proposition is something, [This or that Will be.] And to know the futurity of a thing, is most pro­perly to know the truth of that proposition [It will be.]

75. God knoweth not by Propositions (for that is the imperfect mode of man) But he knoweth Propositions when they are existent, as humane in­struments or conceptions: And therefore he knoweth the truth of all true propositions of futurity.

76. What man knoweth by Propositions, God knoweth otherwise by a more transcendent perfect, but incomprehensible way; Therefore God knoweth that every thing will be, which will be.

77. There were [...]o Propositions from Eternity: (For man that useth them, was not: And God useth them not, though he know them as used [Page 10] by man): Therefore this proposition [Hoc futurum est] was not▪ from Eternity; Because non entis non sunt affectiones.

78. But if there had been such Propositions from Eternity, as, [The world will be made, Christ will be incarnate, &c.] they would have been true: And so the eternal Futurity of things, as commonly disputed of, can be nothing but the Eternal Verity of a Proposition de futuritione, which was no proposition (because then there was none); only in time mans brain Imagineth or feigneth that then there might have been Crea­tures, who might have used propositions de futuritione rerum, which if they had, they would have been true.

79. All Verity is either, 1. Rei, 2. Conceptus, 3. Expressionis; And 1. Ubi non est Res, ibi non est Veritas Rei: The thing which was not from Eternity, was not a True Thing from Eternity. 2. The Divine know­ledge that such and such things will be, was True from Eternity, by an incomprehensible way above propositions. 3. If there had been any Propositions Mental or Verbal de rerum futuritione, they would have been true. And this is all that can truly be said of the Eternity of futurition.

80. Only this being added, that so far as Gods will was the first Cause determining of any thing that will be, so far he was eternally the Cause of the truth of this proposition, Hoc erit, when such a proposition shall be.

81. But where Gods Will is not the first cause of the Thing which will be, there it is not his causing the truth of the proposition that is the cause that it will be; (Though his Knowledge be a medium from whence it may Logically be inferred that it will be.)

82. Moreover, whatever is from eternity, must be Res, or modus rei, or Relatio. But from Eternity, there is no Res futura, no modus rei futurae, no Relatio rei futurae. I know that the Judi­cious Greg. Arim. 1. d. 28. q. 3. pag. 122, &c. asserteth these four things: 1. That aliquid potest reserri realiter ad non ens: 2. Non ens po­test realiter referri ad ens: 3. Quod Deus aeternaliter referebatur ad Creaturam quae non erat: 4. Quod Deus realiter reserlur ad creaturam ex tempore. And his reasons are very con­siderable for three of them: But as to the se­cond which concerneth our case he faileth. For 1. his first reason, that relations are ever mutu­al or convertible, I de­ny his proof as vain, as to the reality of the re­lation. 2. And that res non existens is causa I de­ny: Fuit causa, non est. 2. And remember that he instanceth only in things as caused or fore­known: Sin therefore can be called future but as fore-known. 3. Re­member that his Master Ockam hath oft (in Quodl.) proved that Relations are Nothing, besides the quid absolu­tion, and Reason Be­ing nothing but Compa­rabilitas, all is but to say, that God fore-knew what would be, and therefore had there been such a proposition from Eternity as [This will be] it had been true. Vid. Aquin. 1. p. d. 38. q. 1. a. 1. Bonav. ib. a. 1. q. 1. & 2. Durand. 1. d. 38. q. 1. Scot. ib. q. 1. Cajet. Bannes, Rip. Zu­mel. Nazar. Molin. Vasqu. Arrub. &c. 1. p. q. 14. a. 8. Greg. Valent. 1. p. d. 1. q. 14. punc. 5. s. 3. Alvar. de Auxil. disp. 16. Snarez de A [...]xil. l. 1. c. 13. Ledesm. de A [...]xil. dis. 2. Ruiz de scient. d. 15, 16, 33, 36, &c. For non entis non est Modus, vel Relatio. If you add that it is Denominatio extrin eca, I answer it must be then God himself only, as denominated Knowing, or Willing that This or that shall be, (which is not properly the futurity of the thing). For otherwise it must be a denomination of Nothing.

83. Obj. The Object is before the Act of Knowledge. Therefore a thing is future before God knoweth it to be future.

Answ. 1. To be future is a word whose sound deceiveth men, as if it signified some being; which is not so. 2. God cannot know that a thing will be, unless it will be; But this signifieth no more but that he cannot know this proposition to be true [This or that will be] unless it be true: But 1. there were from eternity no propositions. 2. And the proposi­tion is not true before it is a proposition. 3. And therefore not before it is conceived in the mind, whence it hath its first being. 4. But if you might suppose God to have eternal propositions, their Being is considerable before their Verity; and the Verity hath its Cause. But that cause is no­thing but what is in God himself, which is either his Decree of what he will Cause, or his foreknowledge of what will be caused by a sin­ning Creature: And neither of them as a cause of the truth of the pro­position, causeth that the Thing will be: nor yet is any other existent Cause supposed; but only that God knowing that he will make the free agent, knoweth also that this agent will freely sin: In all which the fu­turity is Nothing, nor is any existent cause of it necessary: But only the truth of the proposition would result from the Infinite perfection of Gods knowledge.

84. Obj. The futurity of things is True whether God or man know it or think of it or not. Answ. 1. Futurity being Nothing is neither true [Page 11] nor false. According to Greg. and the Nominals sence of Relations before ci­ted, two Nothings may eternally be Related to each other, One as a fu­ture Cause, and another as a future effect: And if there were now no Being, but hereafter (per impossibile) a Being would arise of it self, it is future though there be none to know it. But this futurity hath no Cause: And it is no more, but that this Pro­position, Hoc erit, would be True if there were any to conceive it. 2. But all that you can truly mean is but this, that whether it be thought on or not, this is a true proposition, Hoc vel illud futurum est. Which is true when there are propositions, extrinsecal, which no man thinketh of. But 1. God hath no propositions; 2. Much less extrinsecal from Eternity. But if he had any, they would be nothing but the acts of his own knowledge. 3. And they have no Cause. 4. If they had been uttered by words, they needed no Cause but his perfect knowledge.

85. Obj. Futurity is the Object of Gods knowledge; and the object is a To the Question, An praescientia Dei sit Cau­sata à rebus? Bonavent. an­swereth (in 1. dist. 38. q. 1. a. 1.) Praescita Causa sunt praescientiae Divinae, non essendi, sed aut Inse­rendi, aut Dicendi—Secundum rationem essendi Praescientia potest esse Cau­sa aliquorum praescitorum, licet non omnino: sed nullo modo è converso. Secun­dum rationem Inferendi sunt mutuo causae, quia mu­tuo antecedunt & conse­quuntur: & antecedens est causa consequentis. Secun­dum rationem Dicendi, fu­turum est causa praescien­tiae, & non è converso: Nam praescientia, dicitur scientia ante rem: constat ergo quod importat ordi­nem ad posterius: & si scitum esset semper praesens, esset scientia, sed non prae­scientia. Bonavent. 1. dist. 38. dub. 3. saith, Gods knowledge called Approbation con­noteth & effectum & boni­ta [...]em: but when it is called simplex Notitia, it connoteth only the event, but in it self is one. Thus denominations by Connotation and relation may be many wayes di­versified, both of Know­ledge and Will. cause of the act. God knoweth things to be future, because they are fu­ture; as he knoweth existents, because they exist.

Answ. Still I say, 1. Futurity is Nothing; and Nothing hath no Cause. 2. Nothing is eternally in God but God: and God hath no Cause nor is an Effect. 3. At least that which is Nothing cannot be the Cause of God. 4. It is not true that God foreknoweth things, because they will be; but only that he fore-knoweth that they will be.

86. Gods meer fore-knowledge, nor his meer Will without efficient Power or Action, causeth not the thing future, and therefore is not the Cause that It will be. But where Knowledge and Will with Active Power cooperate, they are true Causes of the thing. And nothing is a proper Cause that It will be, but what will Cause its being.

87. By all this it is evinced that God Causeth not the futurity of sin; And that there needeth no Decree of God to make Sin pass è numero possibilium in numerum futurorum; And consequently that the Learned and pious Dr. Twisse his Achillean argument, which is the strength of his Book de Scientia Media is but delusory: As the excellent Strangius al­so hath fully manifested. And his admired Bradwardine is as weak in his attempts on the same subject, and proveth God the Cause of all futurition by no better reasons than he proveth, that without him there would be no impossibles; yea that non posset esse impossibile: When it were impossible any thing should be, were there no God; and yet that impossibility is nothing and needeth no cause. It's strange how some Learned men confound Things and Nothings, and the Notions and Names of Nothings with the No­things named. So Bradwardine l. 1. c. 18. p. 221. will tell us how God knoweth complex objects, and distinguisheth those that are antecedent to Gods Intellection from those that are consequent: The former sort are such as these [God is God, is eternal, omnipotent, &c.] These he saith are the Causes that God knoweth them, being before his knowledge of them: The other about Creatures are after it and caused by it. Yet doth the good man thus humbly Preface [Non proprie & distincte sed similitudi­narie balbutiendo vix tenus possum vel scio, ignarus homuncio, excelsa scientiae Dei mirabilis resonare.] But see how the world is trou­bled with this prophane Hervtus in his Quodlib. puts the question, Whe­ther it be not a Mortal sin in a Divine to omit things necessary, and to treat of curiosities? But he was too guilty himself to answer it as plainly as he ought. presumption, and how justly Paul cautioned us against seduction by vain Philosophy: and what danger the Church is in of losing Faith, Religion and Charity, and peace in a game at words. What is this Complexe object [Deus est]? Is it any thing or nothing? If nothing, it is not before Gods knowledge and the Cause of it. If any thing, Is it God or a Creature? A Creature is not before God, nor a cause of his knowledge, which is God himself. If it be God is it his Essence as such, or his Essential properties, or the Persons? None of these: For Gods essence is the prime Incomplexe Being, and not a Complexe proposition, [Dens est]: His Properties, primary, are Omnipotent-vital-power, Intel­lect and Will; But these also are the same Incomplexe essence, and not propositions: And his Intellect as an object of it self is not before his In­tellect as an Actual Knowledge of himself, nor the cause of it: All the [Page 12] sense he can make of it is, that this proposition [Deus est, & est Aeter­nus, &c.] if it had had an eternal being, would in order of nature have been conceivable to us before this [Deus scit se esse] or before his know­ledge it self: or that if man had been the Knower, it had been first a true proposition that He is, before he knoweth that he is. But God knoweth not himself by propositions. Words (in mente vel ore) are but artificial or­gans for blind creatures to know by. And doth God need such to know himself? Doth he know by Thinking and by Artificial means, as we do? Hath he Entia rationis in his Intellect, as man? (as Propositions are). And had he an Intellect and these Entia rationis or propositions in his Intellect (Deus est, &c.) before he knew them? yea, and his self-knowledge (which in Act is his pure, eternal, necessary Essence) caused by these? All that you can say is, that poor creatures know by Propositions, and phantasms, and diverse thoughts; and that God knoweth man, and therefore knoweth all our propositions and thoughts as ours: but not that he had the like eter­nally in himself, and knoweth them in himself; and that Himself as a pro­position, is the Cause of himself (or self-intellection) as in Act. He can know that you see by Spectacles, and yet not eternally use Spectacles him­self as the Cause of his sight.

But Bradwardine saith, that God knoweth illa vera complexa quae vo­luntatem divinam praecedunt, per solam suam essentiam, sicut alia vera incomplexa; Illa vero quae voluntatem ejus sequuntur, non scit Deus per illa complexa neque per aliquid aliud à voluntate ejus semota, sed per suam voluntatem, vel per suam substantiam cum voluntate, &c. More presumption still! He saith God knoweth complexa sed non complexe; And who knoweth what sense those words have? What meaneth he by complexa but Notions, that is, names and propositions, as distinct from the Things? And what is it to know propositions complexe, but to know them as they are? And what is it to know them incomplexe, unless it be to know quid physicum a proposition is, or to know that it is no proposition, that is, to err? If God know a Complexum or a proposition, that Proposi­tion is in being: And where was it in being before God knew it? If in God (or no where) 1. God then is a proposition; 2. And God is before he knoweth himself; 3. And a proposition being in intellectu an act of knowledge, it is to say, that [God knoweth that he is, before he knoweth that he is: and his knowing that he is, causeth him to know that he is].

If it be said, that by complexa he meaneth not organical notions, words nor propositions, but the Verity of Gods Being, Eternity, &c. I answer; To know things, is said to be [to know some Truth] because by knowing the thing, we can make this proposition [This is] or [This truly is.] But Gods knowledge of Things is not as ours, but by pure perfect intuition, and so maketh not propositions in himself by knowing things: But if it be the Truth of this proposition [Deus est] that you mean, it supposeth that proposition to exist (for, quod non est, non verum est); and so to exist in God; which is denyed: And it is that proposition that Bradwardine speaketh of.

But if by Truth, you mean nothing but Gods Essence; that is not a Complex object, which he speaketh of: And he saith not, that God know­eth suam essentiam, & creata vel futura, but that he knoweth per suam essentiam quod Deus est, & est Omnipotens, Aeternus, &c. & per suam es­sentiam cum voluntate quod mundus futurus est. So that it's a proposition that he calleth complexum incomplexè cognitum by contradiction; when he cannot prove that Gods Intellect made propositions in it self, and that ante­cedently to themselves, and the Causes of themselves.

[Page 13] And all this which men talk in the dark about God is non-sense, to trouble themselves and the world with, on false suppositions that Gods knowledge is such as ours, or that we can have formal conceptions and de­scriptions of it: when we should tremble to read men thus prophanely take Gods Name in vain, and pry into unrevealed things.

I have purposely been the larger on this instance, to warn the Reader to take heed of the common cheat of Scholastick Word-mongers, who would obtrude on us humane entia rationis, or Thoughts, as real Divine entities, and would perswade us that every nothing which they make a name for, is therefore something, yea, some of them God himself.

What I have said of Divine Intellection, I say of his Volitions, of which cap. 20, 21. Bradwardine saith, that Voluta priora, viz. Deum esse, omnipotentem esse, bonum, cognoscentem, &c. sunt Causa. But, 1. It is too bold to say, that Gods Will is an Effect. 2. If it were so, it must be his Essence, Omnipotency and Intellect that is the Cause of his Will, and not a Complex verity, as [Deus est, omnipotens, bonus est, &c.] For Gods Will is not caused by Propositions. 3. If you say that his Volition as ter­minated objectively on his Essence, Goodness, &c. is his Will in act (se Vel­le; which some call the third Person) yet here would be no Cause and Effect, but our distinct partial conceptions of that incomprehensible simpli­city, which hath no real diversity or priority.

SECT. VI. Of Gods Knowledge, and the Co-existence of the Creature.

88. AUgustine well and truly saith, that fore-knowledge in God, is the same with the Knowledge of things present: Past, present and future, through his Infiniteness and Eternity, being alike to him, even all as present.

89. But this dependeth upon the Indivisibility of Eternity: in which all the things of time are included, and co-exist.

90. Thus saith Augustine li. 2. ad Simplic. q. 2. Quid est praescientia nisi scientia futurorum? Quid autem futurum est Deo qui omnia supergre­ditur tempora? Si enim in scientia res ipsas habet, non sunt ei futurae, sed praesentes: ac per hoc non jam praescientia sed tantum scientia dici potest—Si autem sicut in ordine temporalium creaturarum, ita & apud Deum, nondum sunt quae futura sunt, sed ea praevenit sciendo, bis ergo ea sentit; uno quidem modo secundum futurorum praescientiam, altero verò modo secundum praesentium scientiam: Aliquid ergo temporaliter accedit scientiae Dei. quod absurdissimum atque falsissimum est.

Thus with Augustine Nothing is future to God, lest the after-knowledge of things as present, seem an addition to the first. And if this be true, then futurity had no eternal Cause.

91. See more ibid. in August. to the same purpose. And li. 15. de Tri­nit. cap. 7. Et in Psal. 101. And Gregor. Moral. li. 20. cap. 23. that Pre­science is not properly in God, nor any thing future to him. So Anselm. opusc. de Concord. cap. 1. See also Arriba Concil. li. 3. c. 11, 12, 13, 14. and Boetius and Aquinas there cited. And à cap. 16. ad cap. 26. the whole Controversie handled of the co-existence of all things with God in eternity. Vid. Bonav. 1. d. 36. ar. 1. & plurimos Scho­last. in 1. d. 8. viz. Tho. q. 2. Cajet. Zumel. Bannez. Nazar. Gonzal. Arrubal. q. 14. hac lin. Vasquez. Fasol. & Alva­rez. de Auxil. l. 2. disp. 8. & 9. Navarret. Cent. 52. Suar. l. 1. de Scient. c. 7. & 8. Ruiz. de Scient. disp. 28. Albert. To. 3. Princip. 4. Corol. 2. q. 2. Valent. 1. p. disp. 2. q. 14. punct. 5. sect. 1. Alarcon. 1. p. tract. 2. d. 2. c. 8. Tan­ner. 1. p. d. 2. q. 8. dub. 6. Gillius l. 2. de Essent. Dei, tract. 10. c. 15, &c. Arriba in Concil. per plura cap. cum multis aliis. Lychet. in 1. p. d. 39. q. 1. Tuiss. de Scient. Med. Bradward. l. 3. c. 51. p. 828. & corol. p. 830.

92. But because Scotus, Durand. Gabriel. Greg. Molina and many others digest not this notion, I shall open it to you in a moderate and un­denyable sense, how things may be said to co-exist with God in eternity.

[Page 14] When temporary Creatures are the subjects of Relation to God, then God is denominated by extrinsecal denomination as the terminus of that Relation: But when God or Eternity is the subject of Relation to Creatures, then temporary creatures are denominated as the termini of the Divine relation. And so Eternity (being as Divines conclude indivisible and tota simul quia sine partibus) being one and the same, communicateth somewhat of its Name to the multifarious fluid creature, as its terminus: And as the Mutations of creatures in existence and operation thus commu­nicate various denominations to the actions (knowledge and will) of God; so Gods Unity and Constancy giveth various denominatinos to the creatures. Card. Sarnan. Concil. Th. & Scoti, p. 22. in­quit, Deus per suam aeter­nitatem sine aliqua succes­sione sui est omnibus prae­sens: sed non sine successi­one rerum. Ideoque om­nia quae sunt, suerunt & erunt, coexistunt in aeterni­tate, & habent etiam esse cognitum in mente di­vina. Et ideo bene di­cunt & Thomas & Sco­tus. And so, because things when they exist, do co-exist with eter­nity, and eternity hath no prius & posterius, and the Prepositions [ab] & [ad] & [ante] & [post] have there no true signification, there­fore it may be said, that as Indivisible Eternity co-existeth with the crea­ture, so the creature co-existeth with and in indivisible eternity, and so with All eternity, and not with a part.

93. Hence you may see how both sayings may be true; both that Eter­nity (or God and his Knowledge) ever co-existeth with creatures, and al­so that it doth de novo begin to co-exist; viz. As God is extrinsecally de­nominated from the real mutation of the creature related to him; or as the creature is denominated extrinsecally as related to the indivisible God and Eternity: even as God and the creature are variously considered to­wards each other, as the Relate, or as the Terminus.

94. To clear it by a low similitude; When a Rock in the Sea is the Relatum, and the Sea the Terminus, it may be said, [This Rock is the con­stant Companton of the Sea]: And also thence, that [The Sea is the con­stant companton of the Rock] the title of Constancy being thus mutually used, but in a various [...]ense. So when the Sea is the Relatum, and the Rock is the Terminus, it may be said, that [The rolling Waves pass by the Rock as its unconstant companions] And consequently, that [The Rock is an unconstant Companion of the Waves.] So you may say, that [the Eternal God or Eternity doth indivisibly co-exist with the temporary creature, or with time;] and thence that [the temporary creature or Time doth co-exist with indivisible eternity.] And yet that [the transient creature doth transitorily co-exist with God] and so that [God doth but temporari­ly co-exist with the transitory creature]; as the reason of the denomination is variously fetcht in.

95. In like manner quoad locum it may be said, that [the finite crea­ture doth limitedly co-exist with God] and so, that [God as the Terminus of the creatures existence, doth limitedly co-exist with the creature]. But also that [the Infinite God doth immensely co-exist with the finite creature] and [the finite creature doth co-exist with Immensity.]

96. This supposeth (with Pet. Hurtad. and other Nominals,) that God is Related to the creature, and that Scotus his an­swer to Aquinas resting on the contrary supposi­tion, that only the crea­ture is Related, is there­fore vain. Aegid. Roman. Quodl. 3. q. 3. pag. 135. Totus de­cursus rerum est Deo prae­sens: Ideo circa hoc non fallitur; sive sit necessari­um sive contingens: cum infallibilitas divinae cog­nitionis non det rebus ne­cessitarem, n [...]c tollat à con­tingentibus contingentiam: Futura s [...]nt praesentia prae­scientiae Divinae, &c. For this co-existence, see Ricard. in 1. d. 38. q. 3. & d. 39. q. 1. a. 1. Capreol. 1. d. 36. q. 1. a. 2. & d. 38. q. 1. a. 2. Ferrar. cont. Gent. 1. c. 66. Caje [...]. 1. q. 14. a. 13. On the contrary, see Alens. 1. [...]. q. 23. in 4. a. 3. Bona­vent. 1. d. 39. a. 2. q. 3. Scot. ib. q. 1. Dur. q. 3. n. 12. Greg. q. 2. a. 2. Gabr. 1. d. 38. q. 1. a. 2. Mar [...]il. in Thom. Vas [...]u. in 1. Th [...]. q. 14. a. 3. d. 64. r. 3. 4. But note 1. That as the denominations of a universal may be bet­ter distributed and restrained by its relation to particulars, than particulars can be denominated like the universal; so it is here unfitter to give the attribute of God relatively to the creature, than to speak of God as Rela­tively limited to the creature. And therefore it is more unfit to say that the creature co-existeth [eternally and immensely] with God, than that God co-existeth [temporarily and limitedly] with the creature in relati­on. 2. That the most proper expression is to fetch the attribute from the Nature of the subject, rather than borrowedly from the correlate: And so it is fittest to say, that [The Eternal and Immense God doth co-exist Eter­nally and Immensely with the Transitory, finite creature]; And that [the crea­ture doth Transitorily and finitely co-exist with the Eternal Immense God].

[Page 15] 97. As Time is no Real being, but the Duration of Beings, which is no­thing but their Existence not ceasing; so Eternity is nothing really distinct from God himself; but it is Gods existence considered as having no measure of duration, no beginning, no middle, no parts of duration and no End.

98. Eternity therefore is a Notion which may be called Indivisible and Divisible in several respects. It is Indivisible properly and in it self con­sidered; for it is nothing but God himself as existing sine mensura tem­por is perfectly and indivisibly: But it may be called Divisible Intellectu­ally (by humane, partial or inadequate conception; not by partition), as it is compared to transitory time; and because as mans narrow head must know one God suo modo by many inadequate conceptions, or not at all, so must he know Eternity suo modo, by conceptions drawn from partible Time.

99. By this much the great Objections of the Scotists may be satisfied by a Conciliation: They say, 1. That which existeth not, doth not co-exist; nor God with it. 2. That Eternity indeed includeth all Time successively as present in it; but not future Time. To the first I answer, 1. That it is granted that Time hath successions, and only the present Instant is: And that which Is not, co-existeth not with Eternity: But yet seeing Eternity is In­divisible, it is not part of it that co-existeth with one of our Instants and part with another; but All indivisibly with each instant. 2. And when it is said, That the Creature existed not ab aeterno, if you intellectually di­vide Eternity into past and present and future, like Time, it's true: But speaking properly, it is fallacious: For [Ab] aeterno implyeth a divi­sion of Eternity, and a preterition of one part, which is commonly sup­posed false. But if the denomination be sercht from Eternity, seeing it is Indivisible, you cannot say that to day it co-existeth with this day, and not with to morrow, for if ever it co-existeth, it alwayes co-existeth: For, ab & ad, & ante & post, & fuit & erit, are words of falshood spoken properly of Eternity (according to the commonest doctrine.)

100. And to the second the same answer serveth; Denominating Time in it self, you may say that some is future, that is, Is not, but Will be, and so that it is not In Eternity till it come. But setching the Name from Indivisible Eternity, Future there is a word of false importance: There is no Futurity in Eternity. And it Indivisibly includeth all successions of our Time.

101. Yet we lay no stress on any of this as necessary to reconcile our Controversies: And we readily acknowledge and maintain, that by Ex­trinsick denomination from its Relation to our successive Instants, Eter­nity and God himself may have new and various denominations (of which more anon).

SECT. VII. Of School Curiosities and Uncertainties about Gods Knowledge.

102. ABout Gods Knowledge Scholastical presumption hath gone so far, as that I should rather with trembling fly from their questions, than seek to solve them, if the opposition of their curiosity and the defence of truth, were not by them made necessary to others, and consequently some consideration of the thing.

103. Some presume to tell us, that God knoweth Creatures only in his [Page 16] own Essence, and not in themselves, which must needs be false, if the Crea­tures Aureolus in Capr [...]ol. 1. dist. 35. are in themselves Intelligible: Because Gods perfection importeth the knowledge of all that is intelligible.

104. Others tell us on the contrary, that God knoweth the Creatures Vid. Rad. li. 1. Cont. 29. ar. 1. p. 452. Vid. Tanner. 1. p. d. 2. q. 8. dub. 3. Valent. p. 1. d. 1. q. 14. p. 3. S [...]ar. de attrib. l. 3. c. 2. & 3. Rad. ib. p. 453, 454. Pet. Aquil. 1. dis. 35. Lombard. 1. d. 36. Henr. 1. d. 5. Aegid. 1. q. 3. Greg. Arim. 1. q. 1. Gabr. 1. q. 3. a. 3. Ruiz. 1. d. 10. Aluiz. tr. 1. d. 5. & 6. Alarcon. 1. p. di [...]p. 2. c. 3. &c. Granad. 1. p. contr. 2. tr. 3, 4. only in themselves, and not in his own Essence: But doubtless so far as they may be said to be in his Essence, (which is at least Virtually) they are there intelligible.

105. Scotus with his followers hold that Gods Intellect hath two Objects, one Primary, immediate, and motive, by virtue of which all other things are known; and this is Gods Essence. The other secondary, mediate, and not motive, but terminative, and such is the Creature; known only in Gods Essence, as per aliud prius cognitum in quo continetur, & non per propriam speciem. But here they are at the greatest loss.

106. For to the Question, How the Creature is in God, their necessary Ignorance bewrayeth it self by their divisions. It is agreed that all things were eternally in God as in the first cause virtually and eminently. But say some, The same numerical perfections are in God, as in the Creatures, viz. Infinitely in God, and finitely in the Creatures: But this maketh God and the Creature to be One, and deifieth Creatures.

107. This they are put to, for the solving of that great difficulty, Whether God and the Universe conjunct contain more Entity or perfection intensively or extensively than God alone, and the Worlds Being add any Entity besides Deity?

108. They that are for the Negative, judge it blasphemy to say, that God alone is Less than God and the World; For he seemeth not to be of Infinite Entity to whom any thing can be added. The question is not Whe­ther the World add any Divine Being to God, but any Being at all be so superadded, as that God is made a Part of the Universe. And I confess that Pars, and toto minor, are words that I dare not apply to God.

109. On the other side, saith Rada, Though Intensively nothing is ad­ded [...]bi supr. p. 454, 455. So [...]radwardin [...] is hard put to answer his Semi­nator [...]borum, li. 1. c. 7. p. 184. that saith, The number of things to God is sinite: and to sinite some what may be added: Ergo to Gods knowledge somewhat may be added (which drove [...]asquez to as [...]rt Infinite intelli­gibles.) But plainly Gods knowledge is Infinite in knowing himself: But not as terminated on fi­nite creatures. to God, yet Extensively we must say, that entity and perfection in the Creature is so added, as that God and the Creature are More than God alone; because else we must say, either that God and the World are one, or else that the World is Nothing, or hath no Being: which is false.

110. Who dare venture on either of these dangerous consequences; either that God is but a Part of Entity and Less than All, and so not Infi­nite; or that the World is God or Nothing? If we should say, that the Entity of the Creature being but Analogical Entity, is no Addition to Gods being, Ens non dicitur Univoce de Deo & Creaturis; as the Sco [...]ists deny the antecedent, so it hardly satisfieth the mind: Because even this Analogical Entity is real positive Entity, and not nothing: And therefore though it add not Deity, it seemeth to add Entity; and both sorts to be more than One alone.

111. And if we should say, that the World is an Accident of God, (as The wi [...]ty Dr. Fairsax in his Book of the Bulke of the World, saith It is ali­quid Dei; and so do all men that confess a God: and P [...]t. Hurtado and many others prove that it is no dishonor to God to have Real Relations, which we call Accidents, as is asore noted. a mans hair is of a man, supposing it were voluntarily Caused by him); And that it is no imperfection in God to have Accidents, as long as his Essence is no Accident, nor Compounded; And so that the World is no part of God, Essential or Integral; but being an Accident it is no Addition of Entity to God; Because as the word [Man] or [Peter] includeth not only his Parts, but his hair as an Accident, so the word [God] may include the World as an Accident: This would be judged novel, bold, presumptuous, and is not fully satisfactory, had it no ill consequents.

112. The only way therefore is to confess our Ignorance, and that it must needs be that the mind which cannot comprehend Gods Immense [Page 17] Eternal Essence, must be unable to solve such questions as imply such a comprehension: And it were well if mens experience of their utter inca­pacity to understand some such Cases, would warn them more cautelously to meddle with others.

113. The Scotists doctrine is laid down by Rada in these Conclusions; 1. Deus cognoscit alia à se. 2. Cognoscit omnia perfectissime. 3. Non cognoscit alia à se per repraesentationem & motionem quam ipsa de se faci­unt. 4. Creatura non est objectum primarium & immediatum Divinae cognitionis. 5. Sed tale est Divina essentia. 6. Distinctam tamen alio­rum Vasquez in [...]. Thom. q [...] 19. disp. 80. Praescientia est ipsa substantia Dei, quae aliàs Cognitio est creaturarum possibili­um, additò respectn solum rationis ad res futuras; quarum dicitur scientia: Ita ut s [...]res futurae non es­sent, Deo quidem deisset, praescientia, sed non sci­entia: & si res futurae non essent, non esset in Deo libera Voluntas, quae significatur cum illo respe­ctu libero: esset tamen Voluntas Complacentiae, ipsa viz. essentia divina cum respectu rationis neces­sario ad res possibiles. Ita & Ferrariens. c. 75. habet Cognitionem. 7. Deus cognoscit creaturas in su [...] essentia. 8. Cognoscit res in se ipsis & propriis earum naturis, si fiat determinatio cognitionis ex parte rei cognitae. In all this it seemeth to me to be over­bold presumption to conclude, 1. That God knoweth not the Creature immediately: And the reason he giveth is as bold, quia tunc vilesceret Divinus intellectus. None of this can be proved, though I presume not to assert the contrary. Yet it seemeth to us that the Creature is Quid intelligibile in se immediate, and that it is the perfection of God to know all that is intelligible, and not a vilifving of him. As it is no vilifying of his Power to make every thing as it is. The Creature no doubt is not the Primary intelligible object: But whether it be not Immediately Intel­ligible in se is the doubt.

2. And it seemeth to me a presumption to say, that else the Creature would move the Divine Intellect, and that God as the object moveth his own Intellect as agent; For Moving signifieth Causing, and there is in God (say all Divines) no Effects, and therefore no Causing of them; and so no such moving.

114. It is also an agitated Controversie with them, Whether it be Gods Essence as such which the Creatures are Represented and known in, or in his Knowledge it self as such? They that are for the former say, that the Creature is represented in the Divine Essence before it is known (as in a glass) because the object is presupposed to the act: saith Cajetan, the Cajet. 1. p. q. 14. art. 5. Ruder ignorant sort thus imagine. The second opinion is thus delivered by Rada, Res non continentur in Divina Essentia ut prior est cognitione Rad. li. 1. contr. 29. art. 2. pag. 460. actu & formaliter; nec ibi repraesentantur actu & distincte. 2. Creatu­rae in Divina Essentia non prius habent esse repraesentatum actu & forma­liter, quam intelliguntur. 3. Creatura (formaliter loquendo secundum Scot. in 2. d. 1. q. 1. lit. H. quod aliquid dicitur formaliter intelligibile) non prius habet intelligibile quam intelligatur; sed per intellectionem habet primum esse actuale & formale, & proprium expressum & repraesentatum. And their similitude is, that as mans mind doth not presuppose second notions (Genus, species, &c.) but make them, so doth God the Creature as intelligible intelligendo.

115. This leadeth them to another doubt, Whether the Creatures have from Eternity an esse reale distinct from Gods Essence? Where Henrie. saith that they have a true esse reale essentiae, at non existentiae, because Henr. (refor. Scoto. in 1. d. 36.) quodlib. 8. q. 91 & q. 4. 1 & [...]. Scot. 1. d. 36. Vid. Th. Waldens. de an­tiq. fid. l. 1. c. 8. cont. Wicles. omne possibile est ens reale; & est in genere, &c. Thus do men play with the notions of their own brains. Scotus confuteth this by seven ar­guments, which is easily done.

116. But their next doubt is greater, Whether the Creatures have from eternity an esse intelligibile & cognitum distinct from Gods essence? What the esse Cognitum is, whether it be ens reale or rationis or quid medium? Scotus is the Author of this notion of esse cognitum as an esse formale & proprium quod creatura habet distinctum ab esse suae Causa; in quo in Divino intellectu creaturae ipsae per intellectionem producuntur; e. g. Lapid [...]m in esse cognito producit, sicut intellectus noster secundas intenti­tiones [Page 18] facit, & ita rebus ipsis esse cognitum tribuit: nam sicut lapis visus per visionem habet esse visum, ita lapis cognitus per cognitionem esse cog­nitum habet—sed ut primum ejus esse, per quod esse formale habent—Imo esse rerum Possibile in esse cognito fundatur. Who can read such Scot. 1. d. 43. l. D. & d. 36. l. M. Rada l. 1. Cont. 29. art. 3. p. 466. presumptuous assertions of the unknown mode of Divine Intellection without dread? And what a dance and shew is here made of meer words, while a Creature that is no Creature, is said to have an esse which is no esse (of them) and so confessed? For (though Cajetan and others mistook him,) Scotus confesseth that this esse congnitum non est ens reale, nec me­diumVid. Rad. ib.inter ens reale & rationis, sed est ens rationis purum, & omnino nihil, contra ens reale distinctum, ita, quod nullatenus aliquid realit at is ha­bet. And is not here then a presumptuous play with words? Scotus thus explaineth it. If Caesar were annihilated, and the statue of him remained,Scot. 1. d. 36. q. unic­lit. G.Caesar would have an Esse repraesentatum in the statue, which is neither an esse essentiae vel existentiae total or partial. And saith Rada, Ex his manifeste colligitur esse cognitum Creaturae in Deo secundum Scotum esseRad. ubi sup. pag. 467.omnino nihil, prout nihil opponitur enti reali sive essentiae sive existentiae,—& non magis esse nihil Chimaeram quam hominem in esse cognito, quia utri (que) inest negatio totius entis. And indeed the esse repraesenta­tum Caesaris is nothing but the modus statuae, which per modum signi is apt to bring the shape of Caesar to the beholders imagination. And 1. Can they prove any such Modifications of God? 2. And if they can, should they so abuse words as to call that modus Intellectus Divini, an esse primum formale creaturae distinct from God? The sum of the Scotists opinion is thus expressed by Rada Esse cognitum creaturae est Ib. p. 468, ens Rationis, solum habens esse in intellectu Divino objectivè, sicut secun­dae intentiones in intellectu creato—sed res in esse cognito non est ob­jectum motivum sed terminativum secundarium. 1. As if God had any objectum motivum! 2. Or as if we poor mortals knew that God hath entia Rationis! Though we confess that we may so speak of him after the manner of men; if we confess the great impropriety of the speech.

117. From hence ariseth another Controversie, Whether to Gods un­derstanding the Creatures, there be necessarily pre-required in him distinct relations to the objects? which I will not trouble you with their agitati­on of.

118. But the great Controversie is of the Divine Idea's; especially Whether the Creature as in Esse cognito be a Divine Idea? Aquinas denyeth it, Aq. 1. p. q. 15. art. 1. and saith that an Idea is the Divine Essence as imitable by the Crea­ture. Scotus, Gabr. Ockam, Gerson, &c. affirm it. Aquinas his opinion Scot. 1. d. 35. q. unica. & 36. Gabr. 1. d. 35. q. 5. Gerson l. vit. spir. animae. Lect. 2. Corol. 12. See in Pennot. l. 3. c. 9. p. 114. &c. the four dif­ferent opinions about. I­dea's, and the doubtful­ness of them. is thus opened by Cajetan, Rada and others, 1. Idea non significat solum fundamentum imitabilitatis. 2. Nec tantum respectum imitabilitatis. 3. Sed utrumque. 4. Essentia Divina cognita ut imitabilis à Creatura per modum exemplaris est Idea. 5. In Deo est idearum multitudo. 6. Multitudo ide arum in Deo non est multitudo rerum reipsa inter se, & ab essentia distinctarum. 7. Nec multitudo rationum formalium, sive re­rum formaliter distinctarum. 8. Sed est multitudo rationum intellecta­rum. 9. Non distinguuntur ratione per actum intellectus creati. Ide­arum multitudo est multitudo rationum à Deo intellectarum.

119. The Scotists think Augustine of their mind, and give us their sence in these conclusions, of Rada, 1. Ideas, hoc est, rationes in mente Di­vina August. Quaest. l. 83. q. 46. Scot. 1. d. 35. q. uni­ca. Rada l. 1. cont. [...]29. art. 5. p. 497, 498, &c. collocatas tam Graeci quam Latini tradiderunt. 2. Idea non est Di­vina essentia secundum se & absolute sumpta. 3. Non est quid aggre­gatum ex essentia & respectu imitabilitatis. 4. Non includit in sua ra­tione respectum rationis nec tanquam aliquid sibi essentiale, nec tanquam [Page 19] modum intrinsecum. 5. Idea in mente Divina est ipsamet creatura cog­nita. And Scotus his definition is, Idea est ratio aeterna & incommuta­bilis in mente Divina, secundum quam aliquid est formabile extra tan­quam sccundum propriam rationem ejus. Vid. Durand. in 1. d. 36. q. 2, 3. De Ideis vid. [...]ti­am Bonav. 1. d. 36. q. 1. Richad. m. 1. d. 35. q. 4. Aquil. Scotel. in. 1. d. 36. q. 1. (who seemeth du­bious of his Masters do­ctrine.) pag. 240. & q. 2. Vide diversitatem opi­nionum de qu. Quorum sunt Ideae.

120. By this you see how widely they are disagreed what an Idea is in God: And yet they conclude (as Rada ib. p. 480.) neminem nisi his in­tellectis sapientem esse: Nam quamvis Deus Opt. Max. ex cognitione suae essentiae sit Infinite sapiens, ac proinde ex cognitione Idearum non ef­ficiatur sapientior intensive, attamen si Ideas, quarum ratio incommu­tabilis est, ignoraret, non esset Omniscius. Et Art. 3. p. 470. he saith, [Deus esse nequit sine Ideis.] We all grant that without the Knowledge of all things Intelligible, God cannot be, nor be Omniscient. But the name of Idea's is fetcht from mans mode of Intellection, which is ever conjunct with somewhat of Imagination or sense; which also seemeth in­cluded in our notion of Ideas, which therefore are usually called Images or Species. And as we are most certain that Intellection in God both in the form and mode doth so Infinitely transcend and differ from humane Intellection, as that it is not the same thing; so we are very unfit in this woful darkness to talk so peremptorily of things unknown, and to conclude that God hath not a more perfect knowledge of things, than by Idea's, or any thing fitly so called. The world therefore should not be troubled with such presumptions.

121. The next doubt among them is of Future Contingents, Whether and how they are known of God. That they are known of him is past doubt: But how is the great difficulty. Aquinas his mind is thus expressed by Rada, Concl. 1. Futura Contingentia prout sunt in suis causis indetermina­tis, Rad. ibid. art. 3. p. 494. solum conjecturali cognitione cognosci possunt. 2. Futura contingentiae in seipsis possunt certa & infallibili cognitione cognosci. 3. Deus non cog­noscit praecise futurum contingens, prout est in suis causis indeterminatis. 4. Deus cognoscit futura contingentia ut praesentia in sua reali & actuali existentia, quae eis convenit extra suas causas. 5. Deus certa & infalli­bili cognitione praescit futura contingentia.

122. The mind of Scotus he thus expresseth, after many notes and distinctions. 1. Deus cognoscit omnia futura contingentia quoad omnes Id. ib. ad. pag. 504. conditiones existentiae eorum, sic, quod quaecunque eis in tempore contingenter insunt, perfecte ab aeterno attingit. 2. Deus non cognoscit certo & de­terminatè futura contingentia per hoc quod sunt sibi in aeternitate prae­sentia. (Should I here recite you the reasons by which he and other Sco­tists and Dr. Twisse do propugn this assertion, and those by which Ca­jetan and many Thomists do oppugn it, I should tire you. It shall suffice to say that both sides talk in the dark of that which is utterly above mans reach). 3. Certitudo Divinae essentiae respectu omnium quantum ad om­nes conditiones existentiae, non habetur per ideas. (This also is on both sides tediously disputed in the dark). 4. Qui nosset causas naturales fu­turorum, etiam eorum quae necessarias causas habent, ut Solis, Lunae (que) de­fectiones, non proinde infallibilem eorum notitiam assequeretur, nisi deter­minationem divinae voluntatis circa hujusmodi eventus cognosceret. (That's true, because they are all but dependent second Causes). 5. Deus cog­noscit futura contingentia certo & infallibiliter; quia Divina essentia ut ratio cognoscendi repraesentat divino intellectui rem determinate futuram ex determinatione divinae voluntatis. And this is Scotus his way, which Dr. Twisse propugneth.

123. Here Scotus supposeth things to lye in this order in the Divine Scot. Quodlib. q. 14. Li­ter. S. & T. Intellect, [1. The Divine Essence moveth the Divine intellect to know it [Page 20] self, and all that is formally in it. 2. To the simple Intellection of all that is Intelligible, as abstracting from existence, or any order to it. 3. To the knowledge of all necessary copulations, which are known by connexion of terms, and this naturally and necessarily before the wills determination: because they are not True because God willeth it, but antecedently formal­ly of themselves. But not so to the Knowledge of contingent copulations, &c.] How easie were it to open much uncertainty and figment in these bold assertions? Vid. Rad. ib. p. 497, 496. Vid. Ruiz de Vol. Dei disp. 16. sect. 5. p. 173. Citing abundance of Schoolmen as holding etiam nunc posse Deum ef­ficere ut non voluerit aut praedestinaverit nec prae­scierit; and some saying yet more, nunc esse possi­bile per potentiam absolu­tam, ut non fuerit facta re­velatio de futuris Dei operibus. Is not this pro­fane boldness with the most holy God?

124. And here a great deal of dispute there is about the Liberty of Gods will, and the nature of contingency. Some Thomists, (whom our West­minster Assembly follow, but it should not have been put into a Confession of faith) say that nothing is to be called Contingent in respect of God. But the Scotists contrarily say that there could be no contingency if it were not first from Gods free will: and that he freely and contingently made all the world: All Actions being either naturally necessary or con­tingent; And if God had made all of natural necessity, they had been eternal.

125. And here they say that Gods will hath first a Liberty of contra­diction, (to will or not will.) 2. And a Liberty to divers objects, (which I call of competition or comparison) yea and to will contrary objects by the same act. 3. But not a Liberty to contrary Acts (Velle & nolle) because that would be mutability.

126. And here many maxims are used by them as sufficient to answer all objectors, which yet are ambiguous or uncertain themselves. 1. One is, that God receiveth not the certainty of his Knowledge from the Crea­tures: And therefore if their present co-existence in eternity were proved, it would no whit clear the doubts, or help the Thomists, who are here at a loss for a sufficient answer. My business is to side with neither, but to deterr the Reader from the presumption of both parties; and to that end, to open the uncertainty of what they say. And so it is enough to answer, that As the Creature in being is no addition to Gods being or perfection, so to Know the Creature is not any addition to Gods Know­ledge or perfection; but only the terminative acting of his perfect Know­ledge ad extra. And that their word [Receiveth] hath a false suppo­sition. For God Receiveth no Knowledge (though mans knowledge be partly Receiving); but the Infinite Light of his Intellect is emitted know­ingly to the Creature. So that Gods knowledge may be terminated on Creatures, and thence denominated This or That knowledge without Re­ception.

127. Another maxime is that of Augustine, Non aliter facta quam fienda novit, and no new mode of Knowledge is to be imagined in God: which both sides make use of. To which I say, that nothing can be called Gods Knowledge, but either his Essential Intellection, or the termination of it on the Creature. The first is never changed: But the second, say the Nominals, is but an extrinsick denomination of it from the various terminating objects: And whether you will call them terminations, or Relations, or denominations, they may be New and various (of which more anon) without any change or variety in God: even as the Sun is not changed by the various Receptions or terminations of its influx here below.

128. See the marginal cita­tion, sect. 16. out of Pet. Alliac. Cam. who giveth three reasons against Scotus his making Gods Volition to be the reason of his knowing future contingents, 1. Because it falsly supposeth priority and posteriority in God. 2. Because it maketh Gods intellect in primo instanti to be neutral de futuritione, and so in that instant daretur me­dium in contradictione. 3. Because it falsly sup­poseth one Act of God to be a medium & ratio of another. Therefore he concludeth, 1. That the case is unsearchable. 2. But most probably In­tellectualis & aeternus Dei oculus est quaedam Intuitio quae immediate super quam­libet rem actualiter vel po­tentialiter existentem si­mul fertur: Ideo tam circa futura quam praesentia vel praeterita omnium contin­ [...]entium veritatum certum habet judicium: & divi­na intuitio est talt im­mensum judicium. Another maxim is, that God knoweth things even Intuitively eternally in himself (his Will) when they exist not. Answ. As Abstra­ctive and Intuitive are words signifying the divers modes of Gods knowing things, they are but presumptuous figments, for ought I see; It being past [Page 21] mans reach to know the mode of Divine intellection, more than above the reach of a bird or beast to know the mode of ours. But as we may more easily and safely distinguish and denominate Gods Knowledge from the objects, so we may well say, 1. That he knoweth not that Creature to exist in nunc temporis which doth not so exist. 2. And that esse Volitum is not esse existens. And therefore to know the former is not formally to know the latter.

129. Yea it is here disputed Whether there be indeed any contingency Read the dispute of Pet. Alliac. Camerac. m. 1. q. 11. ar. 3. R. S. and Gre­gories and Okams and his own opinion, about the possibility of Gods not knowing what he know­eth, and that it is in the power of the Creature to make God not to have known them, and much more such like. I confess I tremble to read (not the falshood but) the bold­ness and presumption of such disputes, as fearing they are prophane. or not (which the Doctrine of Hobs and the Dominican Predetermi­nants must needs exclude, which make all events to be necessitated by God). The Reasons against it are, 1. Whatever God fore-knoweth must necessarily be: but he fore-knoweth all that will be: ergo—2. All things future are from eternity determined in Gods will to one part of the contradiction: ergo necessario erunt. 3. All the acts of the Creatures will is to be done, by the physical efficient necessitating insupera­ble predetermination of God the first cause: ergo, there is no place in such necessity for contingency (which is a posse tendere ad esse vel non esse.)

130. Many and different answers are given to these, and those of the Thomists and Dominicans are mostly shuffling and vain: But plainly and briefly, 1. Gods fore-knowledge, 2. And his meer will, when they are not joyned efficiently with power, or a will de efficiendo, do no whit at all Cause or necessitate the effect or event, or ponere aliquid in objecto. It is only a Logical necessitas consequentiae in ordine probandi that ariseth Vid. D'Orbellis in 1. d. 38. dub. 1. Bonaventur. and (saith Dr. Twiss) all the Schoolmen say the same. from them, which consisteth with contingency, and not a physical necessity in ordine essendi as from a Cause, called consequentis, or effecti. And, 2. Gods Knowledge and Will rather prove contingency; For he doth not only know and will hoc futurum, but hoc contingenter futurum: There­fore it will be. 3. And the last argument from necessitating predetermi­nation I shall elsewhere confute, and shew their contradiction who say that God doth predetermine the thing contingently to come to pass.

131. But it cannot be denyed but that Gods will is from Eternity de­termined about every contingent event: And therefore that Necessitate existentiae the determination of it is eternally necessary: And therefore that which we call Its Liberty is but the perfect manner of its determina­tion, as Bradwardine confesseth.

132. But what is all this stir about? The great business of all is to shew how God fore-knoweth sin. For saith Rada, It's easie (from Gods Ibid. ar. 3. p. 503. Volition) to shew how he knoweth things that are not sin: but how knoweth he sin from eternity, seeing this was never in esse volito? And Vid. 1. d. 36. q. 1. a. 2. Bonav. ib. q. 1. a. 3. Du­rand. ib. q. 1. Cujet. Ban­nez, Zumel. Rip [...], Gonzal. M [...]lin. Vusqutz, Arrub. Fasol. Aluiz 1. p. q. 14. a. 10. Tanner. 1. p. disp. 2. q. 8. dub. 8. Granad. 1. p. Cont. 2. d. 5. here the way of the Scotists proveth utterly insufficient. Dr. Twisse and Rutherford and some Dominicans say, that God fore-knoweth it, because he Decreed to Cause all the Entity of the Act with all its circumstances from which the form of sin is but a resulting relation. But this sub­verteth Religion. Rada ibid. and Twiss oft say, he Decreeth to permit it, (and that it shall come to pass ipso permittente, saith Twiss:) Qu [...] per­missio (saith Rada) non accipitur in communi, sed pro eo quod est per­mittere Ibid. art. 3. p. 503. de facto deficere & in peccatum ruere subtrahendo efficacia auxilia quibus positis non foret peccatum. Quare haec est bona conse­quentia quantum ad illationem prcaise; Deus permittit aliquem peccare hic & nunc de facto: ergo, peccat: ergo, valet consequentia, Deus voluit ab aeterno permittere ut Petrus peccaret de facto tali & tali occasione oblata: ergo peccabit: Dixi quantum ad Illationem praecise. Quia quantum ad Cau­salitatem non est bona illa consequentia Vid. Ruiz de scient. d. 17. Gr. Valent. p. 1. disp. 1. q. 14. punct. 7. Alar­con. 1. p. tr. 2. disp. 3 & 4.. But to pass by their supposition of Gods knowing consequences by argumentation, I shall confute all this anon.

[Page 22] 133. And here the Thomists and Scotists have another skuffle, on the Vid. Aquin. 1. p. q. 14. art. 13. ad secundam. Scot. [...] 1. d. 39. q. 4. Rad. li. 1. Co [...]t. 30. art. 5. pag. 310, 311, &c. See Lychet. Confutation of Cajetan and Ockam at large in 1. p. d. 39. q. 1. fol. 254. ad 268. Leg. Pennot. li. 3. c. 11 & 12. p. 118, 119, &c. question, Whether this knowledge of future contingents and the conditi­ons of existency in God, be Necessary in him, or free and contingent? The Thomists thus conclude, 1. Si futurum contingens secundum se, & suam propriam naturam consideretur, necessitas nullatenus ei convenire potest, sed sola contingentia. 2. Si futurum contingens consideretur secundum quod subest Divinae scientiae, est necessarium absolute. 3. Haec propositio, Deus scivit Antichristum futurum, est simpliciter & absolute necessaria: sed ho [...] consequens, [Ergo Antichristus erit] non est absolute necessarium sed con­tingens, si secundum se consideretur: At ut divinae scientiae subest, est ab­solute necessarium. 4. Scientia Dei respectu futurorum contingentium prou [...] jam ad ipsa est terminata, est simpliciter necessaria. And they prove the affirmative thus, 1. Gods knowledge is Immutable: therefore necessary. 2. To know future Contingents is Perfection: therefore necessary in God. 3. This Can be in God: therefore it necessarily is in him.

134. The Scotists thus express their sense, (after much explication), 1. Futuro contingenti secundum suam propriam naturam consider ato null [...] necessitas conveire potest. 2. Futura contingentia, etiam ut subsunt Divinae scientiae, non sunt necessaria. 3. Futurum contingens, etiam at subest Divinae scientiae, est q [...]oad esse simpliciter contingens, & secundum quid necessarium. 4. Propositio haec [Deus scivit Petrum futurum] sive sit de praesenti, vel de praeterito, non est simpliciter necessaria, sed ex suppo­sitione. 5. Praefata propositio & omnia futura contingentia, sunt necessaria necessitate immutabilitatis. 6. Scientia Dei respectu omnium creaturarum quoad esse existentiae earum est contingens, & ex suppositione necessaria. I recite the words of Rada only, that I may not weary the Reader by refer­ring him to peruse too many Authors, and because no man better discusseth the differences. See also his answers to the Thomists arguments, pag. 514. He that would peruse more, may see them named in Ripalda lib. 1. d. 38. Alex. Alens. 1. p. q. 23. memb. 3. ar. 4. Thom. cont. Gent. c. 66. Francis. Mayro. 1. p. d. 38 & 39. Lychet. 1. d. 39. q. 1. & 37. and may read Aquin. 1. p. d. 38. q. 1. ar. 5. Aureol. 1. d. 38. ar. 1. Ockam & Gabri. ib. q. unic. ar. 2 & 3. Greg. ib. q. 2. Durand. ib. q. 3. Fab. d. 54. Cajet. Naz. Bannez, Zumel, Gonzal. Arrub. Molin. Vasq. Fasol. m. 1. p. q. 14. ar. 3. Tanner. 1. p. d. 2. q. 8. dub. 3. Valent. 1. p. d. 1. a. 14. p. 3. Suarez li. 3. de Attribut. c. 2. Ruiz d. 10. Bonavent. 1. d. 39. Aquil. Scotell. in 1. d. 39. q. 2. And on the same a multitude of other known Scotists, &c.

135. Should I proceed to open to you all or half the questions about which the Schoolmens acutest wits do but dream, concerning the Knowledge and Decrees of God, I should weary my self and the Reader to little purpose; If you would see what the Thomists say of these, Ripalda will direct you where to find them. And the Scotists and Nominals being fewer are soon found. such as, An scientia actualis aliorum sit de Essentia Dei? An Essentia Dei sit Motivum adaequatum ejus scientiae? An Deus cognoscat creaturas ex seipso, aut ex alio per discursum? An & quomodo scientia Dei possit di­vidi in plures? An & quomodo Deus cognoscat Mala? An & quomodo Deus cognoscat negationes & privationes? An Deus cognoscat Entia rationis? An habeat in se Entia Rationis? De scientia Media. An scientia Visionis sit causa futurorum? An futur a causa scientiae? An scientia simplicis in­telligentiae sit causa futurorum & practica? An Deus cognoscat futura compenendo & dividendo? An Deus cognoscat praesentia eadem indivisibili cognitione, qua ipsa praenovit futura? An Deus noverit Infinita scientia simplicis intelligentiae? An eadem cognitione se & creaturas cognoscat? An existente objecto pro solo imperio Voluntatis Divinae possit non esse in Deo aliquis actus scientiae divino intellectui possibilis? &c. with a multi­tude of lesser questions which arise in the handling of these; And with as many more about Predestination, Gods Decrees or Volitions, Pre­determination, [Page 23] &c. I think rather your patience is put to it sufficiently already.

136. If you say that by reciting these difficulties, I do but confound mens understandings, rather than elucidate the things in hand, I answer, If Nic. D'Orbellis in 1. d. 41. a. 2. Posset dari una responsio generalis ad quaestiones consimi­les; quod debilitas nostri intellectus non sufficit ad indagandum abyssum judi­ciorum Divinorum. Nec mirum: cum ad plenum non valeamus cognoscere modicae herbae seu minimi vermi­culi proprietatem. The very same hath Bradwardine, though a presumptuous School­man. See also Vasquez in 1. Thom. q. 19. disp. &c. c. 2. pag. 503, 504. where he fully and freely confes­seth that our understand­ings are utterly stalled about Gods Liberty of Will as related to things future. Nodus hic mea quidem sententia insolubilis est; vix enim vitare pos­sumus circulum in reddenda ratione: Certissima rati­one investigare possumus quid in hac re non sit: Quid vero sit, verbo ex­plicari difficillimum, aut pro hoc statu impossibile est. Qui autem videt Deum, de ejus Voluntate Liberâ qua­tenus principium liberum est futurorum, longe aliter sentiet, & unico verbo ex­primet sine hisce relationi­bus rationis. See the rest there to the same pur­pose. And this is the confession of them all: of which more after. you are lost in them, I have my end, which is to make you sensible how un­meet it is, that the Peace of the Church, and the Concord and Commu­nion of Brethren should at all be laid on such multitudes of difficult and unsearchable things which are many vain, and others past mans understand­ing. Shall we call one another by the names of Sects, and reproach our brethren, as for the truth of God, and as if it were for his Glory, till all these Controversies are cleared to us all? I who profess them to be beyond my reach, and profess my Ignorance of very many of them, am yet cen­sured by my Brethren as too Scholastically curious for so much as naming them, or medling with them; yea, and for deciding cases which may and must be decided: And of all our present Ministers, I am confident there is not one of fifty (if of a hundred) that hath either throughly studied them, or ever will do. Now if the Church must have Love and Concord, how will it be had? Of those few (one of a hundred that study them throughly) six men it's like are of three opinions. And what shall the ninety nine do that never so studied them? Either they must know what they never studied, and be in the Right where they understand not what they say: Or else they must unite by an Implicit faith. And in whom shal that be? If the Church, what Church is it? Are not many Churches of many minds? If of the Papal Church, it hath more wit than to decide such Controversies; so that their Doctors are almost Sectaries by divisions to this day.

137. And if any will dream that the Controversies between the Calvi­nists and Lutherans (or Arminians) and the Dominicans and Jesuits can be resolved for either side without medling with these questions, he is a person too ignorant to be fit to speak confidently in the Cause. Let him but try a dispute with any able adversary, and he shall be carried to these whether he will or not.

138. But if it be one that is so confident on either part, as to think that his side or opinions are so great and clear, as that the contrary are unfit for our toleration, and communion, I must be so free with him as to say, that he bewrayeth so great Ignorance and Pride, as make his own fitness for com­munion much more questionable. For is it not most odious Ignorance, for a man not to know his own Ignorance of so many mysteries which no mor­tals know? And is it not loathsome Pride, for men to be so confident of these false conceits and arrogate to themselves a knowledge which mans earthly state is uncapable of?

139. And it filleth me with shame to find, that (though some stir hath been lately made against the Jansenists) yet all these Sects (Dominicans, Jesuits, Scotists, Nominals, &c.) can live in communion notwithstanding their differences, when yet the Protestants have prosecuted the same dif­ferences with all that bitterness, which you may find in the Germans Hi­storians and Divines, (such as Schlusselburgius, Calovius, and many more) and in the sad History of the Low Countreys, and in Heylin's Life of Arch­bishop Laud, and which you may still hear in all parties, in their ignorant censures of one another, by the names of Calvinists and Arminians. And yet the Church of Rome is justly condemned by us for its uncharitable Cru­elty against Dissenters, when thus we thereby condemn our selves.

SECT. VIII. More of Gods Fore-knowledge, and of Permission of Sin.

140. BUt to leave this Wilderness, and speak more of things certain, or such as belong to us in our measure to know: It is certainly unknown to mortals, formally, what knowledge is in God (as is aforesaid), and much more in what Manner he knoweth either Futures or Contingents, or any Creatures, ex parte scientis.

141. If any particular manner therefore offer it self to your minds, as that which probably seemeth to be the right, it may afford you reason therefore to suspect that it is not the right: Because it is certain that the Manner is past our reach. And what man can comprehend is infinitely below God.

142. If the Case of Aarons Sons, the Bethshemites, Uzzah, Uzziah, and others that presumed too boldly to meddle with holy Rituals and Ceremo­nies was so dreadful; what is theirs that profanely toss Gods own Name, and pretend to know that of himself, which they know not, and turn his secrets profanely into matter of Contention against the Churches of Christ?

143. Either Futurity as such, is Intelligible in it self to God, or else the things future are Intelligible as in Eternity; or else futurity is intelligible only in its Causes: We can think of no other way (but God hath more than we can think of.) If it be Intelligible in it self, or as things are In Eternity, the Controversie is mostly ended: The perfection of Gods un­derstanding then is proof enough that he knoweth all that is intelligible. But if it be only in the Causes, it is either as those Cases necessarily will Cause, or else as freely and contingently. The first Cause reacheth Pennottus propugn. l. 3. c. 11. n. 1. noteth, that even the reconciling of the certainty of Divine pre-science with contin­gency, was quite past the power of mans under­standing in this life, in the opinion of these sub­tile Schoolmen, Gabriel 1. d. 38. q. 1. a. 2. Oc­k [...]m ibid. q. 1. Marsil. 1. q. 40. How much more difficult will it be to re­concile Gods D [...]crees, and most of all his premoti­on if pre-determining with contingency? Plainly and honestly saith Bonaventure, in few words, in 1. d. 37. q. 2. Divina Cognitio quia à re non Causatur, nec dependet, ideo potest esse certa de re contingenti. not our Controversie: For sin hath no necessitating Cause, but free. The second is the same difficulty with that in question, viz. How God knoweth that a free undetermined Cause (mans Will) will this or that way deter­mine it self? Nothing is knowable to us as certain from an uncertain cause; which hath no antecedent reason to prove its future self-determination to this more than to that.

144. If we go to the Jesuites Scientia Media (as it deserveth not that name, so) it is insufficient to this use. For all those circumstances in which God sore-knoweth that the will shall determine it self, are such as neces­sitate the will so to do, or not: If they say the first, they give away their own cause, and the cause of Religion (speaking of sinful Volitions). If the latter, the case is still as difficult (and the same) as if they had ne­ver mentioned those circumstances or conditional knowledge: viz. How God knoweth that a will still free and not necessitated will choose sin ra­ther than duty? For from non-necessitating circumstances it follow­eth not.

145. If we go the way of Scotus, and say that he fore-knoweth it in the determination of his own will de rerum futuritione, either that will is supposed to be a Causing efficient will; or not? If it be, it reacheth not the case of sin, seeing Gods will doth cause no sin. But if not, then still the difficulty is the same as before, How God that willeth the Event, but causeth it not, doth know that his Will shall be done? For it is not from the Cause to the Effect. To say that his own Immutability proveth it, is no proof: For if his Immutability Cause not, the Effect ariseth not from it: And to say that his Omnipotency or Absoluteness inferreth it, is no [Page 25] proof, unless his Omnipotency Cause it. And to say that it followeth Logically Necessitate Consequentiae, though not Causally necessitate effecti vel consequentis, that what God willeth to be, shall be, is most certain: And so is it from his fore-knowledge (which medium yet the Scotists say is here insufficient.) But that is because it is here supposed that what God so knoweth or willeth to be future, he willeth to be future by the causation of some Cause: for he willeth not any thing to be without a Cause. Be­sides that still sin is not willed by him to be future at all. See in Alliaco after cited the notable reasons by which the Nominals con­fute Scotus in this opini­on (which yet Dr. Twisse Praef. ad l. de scient. Med. saith did first invite him to School-divinity.)

146. And here I am to confute the foresaid reason of Rada (recited Thes. 130.) God, saith he, fore-knoweth sin, in that he knoweth that he decreeth to permit it. And Dr. Twiss often saith, that all confess, that Permission certainly inferreth the event of the thing permitted. I answer; This also Annatus de Sci­ent. Media cont. Twiss. granteth him cap. 5. §. 1. But not as ex ratione per­missionis, but by hypothe­tical Connotation, Because we use the word Permis­sion about that which aliunde will be if per­mitted. So that it is a Compound notion, when thus used. There is not so much as any great appearance of the Truth of the conse­quence unless limited. To Permit is nothing but non-impedire, not to hinder. And if a thing will come to pass because it is not hindered, then the world would have been made without God, and man saved without God, if he would not hinder it. Try if your work will be done meerly by your not hindering it.

147. Indeed the word Permission is oft used as a complicate notion, sig­nifying both the permission and the event permitted: But that's nothing to the nature of proper permission it self.

148. A man may be hindered, 1. Morally; and that 1. By Commands, 2. By Threats, 3. By Promise and perswasion; 4. By Gifts; 5. By terrifying stripes on himself or others. In all these respects God permitteth not sin, but hindereth it by them all.

149. 2. Or a man may be hindered Physically. And that 1. By to [...]al restraint and disabling, 2. Or by lesser impediments which make not the act impossible, but difficult. God doth not alwayes thus hinder sin, and therefore thus he permitteth it. He doth not disable the sinner, e. g. to lie: And he doth not alwayes render it difficult to him. But it followeth not necessarily, that this will be done, because it's possible; no nor because it is easie or not difficult to be done.

150. Rui [...]. de praedet. Tr. 2. di [...]p. 12. §. 1, 2. p. 172. so defineth Permission as I confess so it is positively decreed: viz. (Increa­tam permissionem Deus non praed [...]finit) Creata per­missio simul complec [...]itur qu [...]rundam rerum produ­ctionem & aliarum rerum negationem, quibus positis peccatum permittitur. And if by permission they will mean quid positivum, it must have a positive Will and Cause; but what's that to the Nega­tive, or meer non impedire? (Thus still all our wrang­lings shall be but about ambiguo [...]s words.) His reason §. 2. is, Permission of sin is good: 1. Nega­tio Volitionis essicacis qua Deus impediret peccatum. (And he said that per­missio increata is not de­creed.) 2. Negatio mo­tivorum, &c. 3. Prod [...] ­ctio & Constitutio cir­cumstantlarum. 4. Gene­ralis concursus. Ans. 1. No­thing is not Good: meer Negations are Nothing. 2. Moral Negations or Logical (that is, Denyal and restraints) are some­thing, and have a Cause. 3. Production and Con­cursus are something and have a Cause; but so is not a me [...]r non-impediti­on, which is proper per­mission. But the Case differeth as to permitting of a propense agent, and an indifferent agent, and a contrarily disposed agent. To permit a stone to ascend, will not make it ascend. To permit the Air to move, will not make it move. But to permit a stone in the Air to fall, I think with Du­randus, is enough to make it fall, supposing the continuation of the Nature of it and all circumstances. And so is it in permitting some sinners to sin.

151. But yet here we must distinguish, 1. Between a necessary and a free agent, 2. Between Adams sinning and ours; 3. And between the sin of a man strongly inclined or but weakly, or that hath many disswasions or but few. 1. Though a bad man be under a moral necessity of sinning in the general, that is, of not living innocently, yet he is not under a necessity of committing every sin that he committeth: nor is it a valid consequence, He is a bad man: Ergo he will do this, and that, and the other Sin: Be­cause a free agent oft acteth contrary to his habits. 2. And some Sinners have so great impediments in sinning, that they stand long in aequilibrio before the act. 3. And Adam had no more propensity to his first sin, than to the contrary: So that bare permission will not inferr the Certainty of all sin, atleast; and therefore will not here serve turn.

152. But saith Rada, it is not common permission, but also a withdraw­ing of effectual helps against sin. Answ. 1. God did not so by Adam at first. 2. But are sufficient or necessary helps also withdrawn, as well as effectual? If so, then Adam was as much necessitated to sin by God, as he was to dye [Page 26] by Gods withdrawing his Vital influx or sustentation, and it would have been as naturally Impossible for him not to sin, as to live without God. But if not so, then while Necessary Grace, called sufficient, is continued, the withdrawing of any other inferreth not a necessity of sinning. But indeed it is an unproved and improbable fiction, that God withdrew from Adam any Grace which he had given him, till Adam cast it away.

It is therefore no good Illation, Deus permittit aliquem peccare: ergo peccat: unless by permitting you mean withholding necessary help; which is more than proper permission.

153. And it must be remembred that God is far from a total permission or non-impedition of sin: He alwayes hindereth it so far as to forbid it, to threaten damnation to affright men from it, to promise salvation and all fe­licity to draw men from it: He tells men of the vanity of all which would allure them to it; And his daily mercies, and corrections should withhold men from it. Only by doing no more, nor effectually changing or restraining sinners, but leaving them to their own choice under all these moral restraining means, he permitteth sin.

154. But it is also confessed, that when by great sin these means them­selves are forfeited, some of them are oft-times withdrawn or not given: And so some are without that Teaching, those mercies or those correcti­ons which others have: But yet they are still under a Law of Grace.

155. And it is still supposed that God as the first Cause of Nature, up­holdeth man in the Nature which he gave him; and concurreth with it as the first Mover and Universal Cause: And therefore that mans Inclination to Felicity, Truth and Goodness which is Natural, doth continue. Other­wise it is confessed, that Permission would inferr sin materially, but no sin formally, if by permission be meant Gods withdrawing Reason, Free­will, or executive power.

156. But I easily confess, that if the Dominicans predetermining Pre­motion Or Bradwardines Effe­ctive Volition as necessa­ry and productive of all that cometh to pass. in sinful actions could be proved, that would certainly inferr the event of sin; And if God decreed so to pre-determine the will, sin may be fore known in that decree. And if Scotus or the rest had been of that mind, they had never omitted that easie solution of the Case, How God fore-knoweth sin? But this I have elsewhere confuted, and shall add a little here.

157. But first (having disproved all these presumptions of Gods way of fore-knowing future sin) I shall in a word tell you the answer which may and must satisfie us; which is, [That Gods Understanding is Infinite, and therefore extendeth by its own perfection unto all things intelligible; But How his understanding reacheth them, what Idea's he hath of them, how they are Intelligible to him, with such like, are sinful presumptuous questions of blind men, who know not their own ignorance. And no manner of un­derstanding is properly Divine, which mortals can comprehend.]

SECT. IX. Of Predestination and Free-will (of which see more Sect. 20. against Mr. Rutherford.)

158. THough Pre-determination belong to Gods Execution, and be after his Volitions in order, yet because I am now only to speak of it, as a pretended medium of his knowledge of sin, and as quid decretum, I shall touch it here. It is confessed that there is no substance which God is not the Maker of (besides himself); Nor any Action of which he is not the first Cause.

159. God may well be called the perfect first Cause of humane Actions, in that he giveth man all his Natural faculties, and a Power to Act or not act at this time, or to choose this or that, and as the Fountain of Na­ture and Life and Motion, doth afford his Influx necessary to this free agency. So that when ever any Act is done, as an Act in genere, God is the first Cause of it: For it is done by the Power which he giveth and continueth, and by his Vital Influx; And there is no Power used to pro­duce it which is not given by God.

160. An Act as such, hath no Morality in it, but is quid naturale; And so it is from God as he is fons naturae. But the Morality of an Act is for­mally the Relative Rectitude or obliquity of it, referred to Gods Govern­ing Will or Law, and to his amiable Goodness or Will as it is mans End. And Materially it is (not the Act as such, but) the Act as exercised on an unmeet object rather than on a meet one, or to an undue End rather than a due End, or else the Omission of the Act as to the due End and Ob­ject, which is the sin, and the fundamentum of the sinfulness; and so è contra.

161. This Comparative mode of exercise addeth no proper Physical En­tity at all to the General nature of the Act as such. In Omissions (of Loving, Trusting, Fearing, Serving God) there is no Natural Act, but a privation of it. In committed sins, to Love this Object rather than that, hath no more Natural Entity than to Love that rather than this; and no more than is in the general nature of Love as such. A modus Entis is not Ens: But this Comparative choice, is but the Modus Modi entis: For an Action is but Modus Entis, and this is but a modus actionis.

162. It is therefore an invalid argument which is the All of the Domini­cans, that Man should be a Causa prima, and so be God, if he could deter­mine his own will without Gods pre-determining pre-motion; and there should be some being in the world which God is not the Cause of: For this morality and modality is no proper being above the Act as such.

163. If any will litigate de nomine entis, let them call it Being or no­being as they please; but it is such as God can make a Creature able to do. And he that dare say that God Almighty who made all the World, is not Able to make a Creature that can determine his own will to this object rather than to that, under Divine Universal Influx, without Divine pre-de­termining pre-motion, on pretence that his wit doth find a contradiction in it, is bolder against God, than I shall be. And if God can do it, we have no reason to doubt whether it be done.

164. Men seem not in denying this, to consider the signification of the word It is a contradiction therefore of Dr. Twisse who oft saith, that God denyed to Adam no grace ad posse, but he denyed him grace necessary ad agere: For he hath not the Power who hath not that which is necessary to the act. Vid. Rad. li. 1. Cont. 29. art. 1. pag. 457. [POWER] when they confess that God giveth man the Power to choose or refuse, and yet say that it is Impossible for him to Act by it, without the said pre-motion. If so, It was only a Power to Choose when [Page 28] predetermined to it. He that hath a proper Power to Choose, is Able to Choose, and Can Choose, by that Power.

165. God therefore is truly the first Cause of the Act by Giving the Power, and doing all that belongeth to the fons naturae to the exercise. And he is the first Cause of our Liberty in making us free-agents; and he is the first Cause of the Moral Goodness of our actions, by all that he doth by his Laws, Providence and Grace to make them good. But he is no way the first Cause of them as evil.

166. When we say that God causeth the Act of sin as Causa univer­salis, Bellarmin's Universal Cause, seemeth the same wi [...] what Durandus meaneth. And Pennot­tus denying Durandus's opinion, saith, l. 4. c. 16. p. 212. Non quod eviden­ter sequatur ex hac opi­nione dari duo prima re­rum principia: Multi enim Philosophi, ut Plato, Ari­stot. [...]gnoverunt unum pri­mum principium omnium, & tamen non agnoverunt istud primum principium ess [...] causam immediatam omnium esse [...]luum Causarum sec [...]ndarum. the sense of this word must needs be opened by this distinction. A Cause is called Universal, 1. In praedicando, Logically; And so Artifex is causa universalis rei artificialis, & Statuarius est Causa particularis, & Polycletus est causa singularis hujus statuae. 2. In causande, as to the effect. And so that is an Universal Cause, whose causality extendeth to many effects. And this is two-fold: 1. When it is the cause of some-what common to all those effects, but not of all that is proper to each, un­less its causality be otherwise (as by the dispositio recipientis) determined. And so the Sun is causa universalis of the sweetness of the Rose, and the stink of the Dunghill, &c. And so God is the Causa universalis ut fons naturae, by his common sustaining and moving Influx, of all sinful actions, 2. When it is the Cause of those actions, not only as to that which is common to them all, but as to that which is proper to each by which they differ from one another, and that of it self, and not as determined by the dispositio recipientis, or by any other cause. And so God is the Universal Cause of all that is meerly physical in all beings and actions; As in Generation, &c. which is properly to say that he is at once, both Cause universalis, particularis & singularis. And how far he is thus also the Cause of all the moral Good of all Actions I must open to you more di­stinctly in the third part. But of the sinful morality of Actions he is not such a Cause; but only a meer Universal as aforesaid.

167. They that denying our self-determining power, do make Volition, and free-Volition to signifie the same, and Cogency to be nothing but to make men willing and unwilling both at once in the same act, do seem rather to jeast, than seriously dispute. And to define Free-will, to be only Lubentia vel Volitio secundum rationem, is no other. For Velle juxta rationem, is no more than Velle; the Will being the Rational Ap­petite distinct from the sensitive. And if Velle and Libere Velle be all one, why do we blind the World with words, and do not plainly put the case whether man hath any will, and not whether his Will be free? And if to take away its Liberty or constrain it, be nothing else but to make the same numerical act which is a Volition simultaneously to be no Volition, or not the Volition of another thing, the question whether the will may be constrained is ridiculous. If the will be not forced as long as it willeth, or willeth juxta rationem, then to question whether it can will by con­straint, is to question whether it can at once will and not will; Of this see Ie Blanks excellent Theses de lib. arbitrio absolut. The definition of Alva­r [...] of Free-will is [lib. arbitrium est facultas vo­luntatis & rationis ad utrumlibet agendum vel non agendum & agendum unum vel alterum] which Ri­vet resteth in, and fitteth the doctrine of necessi­tation; but I think ex­presseth not Liberty strictly taken: It may be ad utrumlibet if Satan had a power to move it as I move my pen. Bellarmine's is [lib. arb. est libera potestas ex his quae ad finem aliquem con­ducunt unum prae alio eli­gendi, aut unum & idem respuendi vel acce­ptandi pro arbitrio no­stro ad magnam Dei glori­dm concessa] which Pa­raeus dissenteth not from. But all defining is vain, [...]ill the ambiguous word [Freedom] be distinguish­ed, and the sense accord­ingly variously stated. yet is this description only of Liberty and constraint too common with some.

168. But if this were so, then ☞ 1. The suspension of the will might be nevertheless by force or restraint: which is a non velle; And so when they say Voluntatem ab ipso Deo non cogi posse, because when it acteth it acteth willingly, (that is, when it willeth, it willeth) the consequence holdeth not, because it may be forced from all action: (unless they mean that it cannot nolle & non agere at once). 2. And if this were so, then either they mean that God cannot naturally necessitate the will to act, or that such a natural necessitation consisteth with its Liberty. If [Page 29] the first, they destroy their doctrine of Predetermination: For what is that but Gods Physical irresistible efficacious premotion, determining the will to act? And what is natural necessitation if this be not? If the latter, then they contradict their own definition of Liberty, which they oft give us, that it is Liberty from natural necessity (which Twiss calleth Liber­tas naturae distinct from Libertas conditionis, vel civilis.) And what more natural necessity than that which refulteth from that premotion of God as the first cause of all action, without which no agent natural or free can act, and which none can resist?

169. Their opinion of Liberty also leaveth no difference between bruitish appetite or spontaneity, and free-will, save only that this doth follow rea­son: which indeed is a difference of Guides, but not of Liberty.

170. And according to this opinion, if God gave Satan power to move any mans will to sin by as true a physical motion and as unresisti­ble as I move my pen, it were no constraint, nor loss of natural Liberty, because it is moved to be Willing.

171. And if they lay all on the Acts congruity to the Habit or Incli­nation, then if Satan could infuse unresistibly into the Will, an Inclina­tion to hate God or to any sin, and then physically determine it accord­ing to that inclination, it were no force, or loss of natural liberty.

172. But I think he that by irresistible efficiency makes a mans will wicked both in its Inclination and Acts, doth incomparably more against him and his liberty, than he that could force his tongue or hand against his will, or he that only tempted and perswaded him.

173. The grand Reasons why we cannot receive the Dominicans doctrine of predetermining premotion, are elsewhere given; I now name but these three, 1. Because (whatever vain talk is used to blind men) it maketh God the sole-total-first-necessitating cause of all the sin that is committed in the world, or can be. 2. It unavoidably destroyeth the Christian faith: For if God be really the said determining Cause of all lyes and other sins in the world, then his Veracity which is the formal ob­ject of faith, is gone: And no mortal man can tell whether Prophets and Apostles are predetermined to speak true or false, nor when God moveth them to the one or the other: For to Call their motion by the name of In­spiration, will satisfie no man, that Gods Inspiration can do any more (at least to interest himself in the act) than his necessary physical pre­moving determination. 3. Because it feigneth God to damn most of the world for not-conquering God, who insuperably predetermined them to the forbidden act; that is, for not being Gods, or greater than God: And that he sent Christ to die only for those sins which he thus pre-moved us to irresistibly, and it was as impossible to forbear, as to touch the Moon.

174. In the issue of all these Controversies, the sharpest con­tenders seem agreed, whether they will or no: Arminius granteth that all events of sin or damnation are from eternity necessary necessitate con­sequentiae, Bonavent. in 1. d. 38. q. 1. Resol. Praescientia Dei rebus praescitis necessita­tem non imponit cum [...]o mo­do res cognoscat quo futurae sunt—Duplex est ne­cessitas: Absoluta quae op­ponitur Contingentiae, dici­tur necessitas consequentis: Respectiva dicitur necessi­tas consequentiae: & haec non opponitur contingentiae­ut si ambulat, movetur—In praescito non est necessi­tas absoluta, sed solum consequentiae. Nicol. D'Orbellis 1. d. 38. dub. 1. Duplex est neces­sitas, Consequentiae & con­sequentis: Bene sequitur necessitate consequentiae, Deus novit me cras sessu­rum, ergo sedebo: conse­quens tamen est contin­gens—ut homo cur­rit, ergo movetur. Nos concedimus Liberum arbitrium in [...]o quod agit, liberum esse ab omni ne­cessitate, ut proprie non possit necessario agere quoad exercitium sui actus; quam­vis respectu Divinae ordi­nationis certo & infalli­biliter agat. Ames. Bel­larm. Enervat. To. 4. l. 4. c. 1. He meaneth it of a caused physical necessi­ty, no doubt. which is (as is said) but a Logical necessity in ordine pro­bandi: that is, It is a good consequence, [This God fore-knoweth, ergo it will come to pass:] And it is only the necessitas consequentis which he denyeth; (which Rob. Baronius Metaph. calleth necessitas causata, and I had rather call necessitas effecti) which is in ordine productionis. And Dr. Twiss doth sharply reprehend him for feigning that he or any others do assert any more than necessitas consequentiae: And bringeth in the testimony of many Schoolmen professing concordantly that there is no more than this, which also fore-knowledge it self will inferr; It's worth [Page 30] the reciting: Vindic. Grat. Li. 2. p. 1. Digres. 5. [Quid quod ab eruditis eadem statuitur necessitas ab utra (que) profluens, tam à praescientia Dei quam ab ipsius Voluntate. Nam licet Arminius voluerit necessitatem à Dei voluntate profectam esse necessitatem Consequentis, à praescientia verò promanantem duntaxat Consequentiae; aliter tamen visum est magnis Theologis. Sic enim Durandus [Non bene dicunt illi qui dicunt quod omnia de necessitate eveniant per comparationem ad Voluntatem di­vinam; quia omnia respectu Voluntatis Divinae eveniunt libere; & ideo absolute loquendo possunt non evenire.] Expressius Bonaventura [Dei vo­luntatem absolutam necesse est impleri; conditionalem verò minime: sed advertendum quod est necessitas consequentiae, sicut praedictum est de prae­scientia: Ipsa enim non habet necessitatem consequentis sed consequentiae; Quia necessario infertur & sequitur, Deus praescivit hoc; Ergo hoc erit: Sed tamen non necessario praescit: quia in actu praesciendi frequen­ter notatur effectus contingens. Sic intelligendum est quod Voluntas Dei absoluta connotat eventum rei, & ideo est ibi necessitas consequentiae: sed non consequentis; quia non mutat eventum rei—unde sicut prae­scientia quia necessario infert effectum, non potest falli: sic voluntas abso­luta quia necessario infert (that is, in arguing) non potest impediri.] Annatu [...] de scient. Med. cont. Twiss de Libertate cap. 6. seemeth not to understand him, as to this Necessity consequen­tiae, which is not at all Causal of the event, but of the Conclusion in ar­guing; Leaving it out, from whence the event is.

Ita Trigosius in sum. Theol. Bonav. [Effectus contingentes & liberi si comparentur ad scientiam, providentiam, & Voluntatem Dei dicuntur ne­cessarii secundum quid, sive ex suppositione, quae necessitas vocatur condi­tionalis & consequentiae, non tamen absoluta & consequentis.—Quo­niam istae consequentiae sunt optimae [Deus praescivit hoc futurum, Ergo erit: Deus vult aliquid fieri; Ergo fiet eo modo quo voluerit, & quando voluerit; Quia non stat dari antecedens verum & consequens fal­sum.]

Istis ad amussim congruentia sunt Aquinatis illa [Quamvis Voluntas Dei sit immutabilis & invincibilis, non tamen sequitur quod etiam effectus sit necessarius necessitate absoluta—sed solum conditionata, sicut & de praescientia dictum est.] But the word [effectus] here is more than the rest say.

And more fully ibid. sect. 18. pag. (Vol. min.) 230. [Quid quod Scho­lastici, nominatim vero Aquinas & Durandus (nec quenquam novi aliter sentientem, N. B.) non aliam agnoscunt necessitatem rerum, ratione Vo­luntatis Dei, quam quae dici potest necessitas consequentiae.]

And yet plainer ibid. sect. 18. pag. 332. c. 2. [At ea necessitas quam juxta nostram sententiam oriri putat Arminius ex Decreto Dei, revera non tam ex Decreto Dei fluit, (quod monuit Perkinsius, & vere,) quam ex suppositione decreti divini, in Argumentatione scilicet: quoties scilicet po­sito decreto Dei de re aliqua futura, legitime infertur necesse esse ut suo tempore futura sit. At hujusmodi necessitas nihilo minus evincitur ex sup­positione actus liberi cujuscunque quam ex suppositione decreti Divini: etenim posito quod existat actus liber, necesse est ut existat.]

175. We are all agreed then what Necessity it is that fore-knowledge, decree, and providence inferr as to the acts of sin: viz. of Logical conse­quence. Let them now but make it good that their Physical efficient predetermining premotion causeth no other, and I will contradict it no more.

176. But whereas they constantly say that God predetermineth mans will to the mode as well as to the act, that it be done freely as well as that it be done; if Willingness and freedom were all one, I would grant it, on their grounds. But if an Immediate-Physical-predetermining-efficient premotion, and an invincible causation of Habit and Act by the first Cause, [Page 31] bring no other necessity but of Logical sequel, and be no real cause of the thing it self, I confess I understand not what they mean, nor know what Liberty is, if the will have not a Power to act without such a Predeter­mination.

177. The same I say of Camero's and others way of predetermining by Vid. Bellar. de lib. ar­bitr. l. 3. c. 8. prop. 6. Pennot. propug. li. 1. c. 23. p. 46, 47, &c. Scot. 2. d. 25. Henric. quodlib. 1. q. 16. Bannes 1. p. q. 83. a 1. dub. 2. Cont. 2. Suar. Met. q. 19. sect. 6. Vasquez 1. p. d. 67. n. 14. a chain of necessitating Causes, viz. that God by the object necessitateth the act of the Intellect in specie. 2. And that the Intellect necessitateth the will. For all cometh to one, if all sinful Volitions be necessitated. Nor will it satisfie any man well that Camero doth resolve all mans sin into the De­vils temptation as a necessitating cause, till he know into what to resolve the Devils sin: And he may turn Manichee in time that can believe that God gave the Devil power to necessitate innocent man to sin, and bring all sin and misery on the world; much more he that saith, that God did all this himself.

178. As there is Libera Voluntas, and Liberum arbitrium, or Libertas Voluntatis, & Libertas hominis, so there is a coaction or constraint of the Co-action in sensu compo­sito is a contradiction and impossible: but not in sensu diviso; to be forcibly or by unresisti­ble power made willing of unwilling. Yet in a large sense I confess that Voluntarium quà tale est liberum. Will and of the Man. I should take my Will to be constrained, if by an unresistible power it were suddenly made impious in act and habit, or ei­ther. But the man is not said to be constrained, so long as he hath his Will.

179. The unhappy descriptions of free-will, which I mentioned, Janse­nius hath To. 3. li. 6. de Grat. Salvat. cap. 5. & 6. And Annatus de In­coacta Libertate confuteth them at large: As [Implicat contradictionem ut Voluntas seu Volitio non sit libera, sicut implicat ut Volendo non ve­limus. Latet Contradictio in eorum dictis qui dicunt Voluntatem, id est, Volitionem esse posse quae non sit libera. Apud Augustinum esse liberam, & esse aliquam hominis & Angeli Voluntatem seu Volitionem pro iisdem prorsus usurpantur. Voluntas seu Volitio, & libera Voluntas idem est, sicut & Velle & libere Velle: & Impossibile est ut Velle non sit liberum—] Lege etiam Annatum & Petavium Cont. Vincent. Lerinens.; & Pennoti propugnacul. haec plenius tractans.

180. The Liberty of the will consisteth not in such an Indifferency as Leg. Guil. Camerar. Scot. Disp. Philos. Moral. qu. 4. for Gibie [...]fs sence of Li­berty as not involving de­fectibility. leaveth it in aequilibrio equally inclined to this or that (As Macedo against Tho. White confesseth with others;) For then all Habits or Inclinations to this rather than that, destroyed Liberty: But in an Indetermination with a Power of self-determining: which power is called Indifferent, because it is a Power to this or that, and not because it is equally inclined, no nor equally a Power to either. For there may be ine­quality.

181. When Dr. Twiss. de Scient. Med. l. 2. c. 3. p. 265. Annat. de Scient. Med. Disp. 1. c. 6. §. 5. p. 135. Twisse with Bradwardine Vid. Bradward. l. 3. c. 10, 11. & passim. about the definition of free­will, (which positis omnibus ad agendum requisitis potest agere vel non agere) limiteth [omnibus] to second causes, Annatus playeth upon his oversight, as if he said that [Agere posset voluntas sine requisitis ex parte causae pri­mae.] But no doubt Dr. Twisse meant the limitation as to the non-agere only: and that with the explication [non quasi motio Divina sit inter ejus­modi prae-requisita quae voluntatem creatam indifferentem relinquat.] Though indeed we cannot imagine that the causae secundae should operate and ponere omnia ad agendum requisita sine prima. And we may well say indeed that Voluntas potest non agere, if the second cause only do its part, when non potest omnino agere. This therefore should be better opened.

182. If by [omnibus requisitis] be meant only [merè necessariis sine quibus agere non potest Voluntas] this taketh not away the Moral (much less the Natural) Power ad agendum vel non-agendum, nor [Page 32] necessarily determineth it. But there may be such an effectual or That August. Anselm [...], I [...]mbard, Aquin. Scotus, held some Liberty con­ [...]stent with necessity, see their words cited by Pen­nottus li. 1. c. 15. p. 32. And so doth Alph. à Castr. advers. Heres. in [...]b. Liberl. for which see Rada [...] 1. most accu­r [...]tely. potent operation on the will, as shall Certainly and Constantly determine it, by causing to determine it self: and antecedently take away its Moral power ad contrarium, though not its Natural. Of the difference between the Natural and Moral power, I shall somewhat insist, and elsewhere more at large.

183. The Natural Liberty of the Will must be distinguished from its Moral Liberty (from evil dispositions) and its Political Liberty (from restraining Laws.)

184. The Natural Liberty seemeth to Quid sit Libertas, vide Ockam Quodl. 1. q. 16. & Soncin. Meta. l. 9. q. 17. & Scot. 1. d. 39. lit. F. & Waldens. Doct. sid. an­tiq. li. 1. c. 25. & Medin. 1. 2. q. 6. art. 2. Bannes 1. p. q. 83. art. 1. dub. 2. concl. 2. prob. 4. and many desinit. cited by Pennottus l. 1. c. 33. p. 63. Vid. Pennol. l. 1. c. 3. five senses of Liberty: But it is no perfect distributi­on. And whereas cap. 14. he maketh only Ele­ction as distinct from Volition (in four re­spects) to be the formal act of the Will as free, it is true as freedom is taken in the narrowest sense, as above-cited: But there is a freedom also of all Volitions: And there is One com­mon Notion of Liberty which is a genus to both. And he confesieth that the will ad finem is free quoad exercitium actus. consist in these three things; 1. That the Will as a finite dependent Creature, be a Power given and upheld by God of self-determining or morally specifying its own acts, without any necessitating Pre-determiner (Divine or humane.) Where note that all Divine Predetermination taketh not away that Liberty: But not to be able to determine it self without Divine Physical Efficient Pre­determination, is inconsistent with its Natural Power and Liberty. 2. Li­berty containeth the Wills Empire over the inseriour faculties (respective­ly with variety, Despotical or Political.) 3. To be from under the power of any creature, as to necessitation.

185. As the Posse Velle hoc vel illud, velle aut non velle (in quibus­dam) sine divina vel alia extrinsica praedeterminatione, is the Wills Na­tural Liberty, so not to be pre-determined to sin, (in act or habit) by God or creatures, is the Wills Political Freedom, or Libertas Condition is, as Dr. Twisse calleth it: which God himself hath given it, and never taketh away from it.

186. And to be Habitually and Actually Holy, is the Wills Ethical Li­berty; which all men have lost so far as they are corrupted by sin: and all men have recovered, so far as they are sanctified by Grace. This is the Free-will which Grace restoreth to us.

187. Habits do not determine the Will infallibly per modum nature, or necessitate its act. Because a man oft acteth contrary to habits.

188. There are some things which Natural Inclination infallibly causeth the Will to determine it self to, without the loss of its primary natural Liberty.

189. For all Liberty lyeth not in such an Indifferency as Morally may fall either way: But a certain Natural Liberty is consistent with a constant certainty of self-determination ex Inclinatione Naturali, as 1. To a simple Aug. de Nat. & Grat. cap. 46. Perquam absurdu [...]n est ut ideo dicamus non perti­nere ad Voluntatem nostram quod beati esse volumus, quia id omnino nolle non p [...]ssumus:—nec dicere aud [...]mns ideo Deum non Voluntatem, sed necessita­tem [...]aòere justitiae, quia non potest V [...]lle pectar [...]. He that would fully see the sense of August in, Prospen and Fulgentius de [...]ibert. with least labour, let him read all their own words in Paul. Iren. his [...]ias Patru [...]. Volition of our own felicity; 2. As to a simple Volition Boni sensibilu quà talis. 3. As to a Volition medii unici, noti, ubi nihil repugnat.

190. And yet here, I mean but quoad specificationem actus: For quoad exercitium it may be omitted. 2. I confine it to simple Volition, which may consist with The common doctrine that Election or compa­rate Volition is only de Mediis, is false: No one thing is necessarily our end. God is refused by the wicked: Felicity may be refused if put in competition with pub-lick good or Gods will. He is a Beast that would not choose to be anni­hilated, rather than the World or Kingdoms should be annihilated. But the simple Volition here is neces [...]ary. Comparate Nolition of the same thing.

191. Some Habits are so strong, that (with the Concurrence of conve­nient objects and circumstances,) the Will doth never act against them; and though they do not absolutely necessitate, nor take away the Natural power ad contrarium, yet do they constantly procure that power to de­termine it self well or ill according to them, as resembling a Natural In [...]li­nation in some degree.

192. That which is commonly called Liberty is not the greatest excel­lency of the will or felicity of man; An indifferent and undetermined state, is a middle state between that of Brutes and Angels, and is fitted to a Via­tors condition. But so far as Grace and Holy Habits fix the will to a con­stant certain self-determination to Good, so far is it set in such a Liberty of excellency as Gibieuf describeth, above our state of loose indifferency.

[Page 33] 193. Because Order is necessary to a clear and full understanding, and all our controversies are indeed resolved into this of Free-will, I will here de­lineate it, as I understand it.

I. FREE-WILL as to the Quid nominis is ambiguous as to the Object, and is

I. Libertas proprie dicta: Quae semper est Libertas ab aliquo Malo, viz.

  • I. A malo Effecto viz.
    • 1. A Peccato 1. Actuali 2. Habituali.
    • 2. A Miseria 1. Privativa 2. Positiva.
  • II. A Mali Efficiente
    • I. Physice.
      • I. Supra nos: (Deus Optimus Malum peccati non efficit.)
      • II. Intra nos: Ab inclinatione Naturali determinante ad malum.
      • III. Extra nos, viz. à
        • 1. Perso­nis.
          • 1. Angel [...]s
            • 1. Bonis, qui nec volunt nec possunt.
            • 2. Malis: qui non possunt.
          • 2. Hominibus: qui non possunt.
        • 2. Rebus: Objectis, &c. quae non necessitant.
    • II. Mo­raliter.
      • I. Supra nos: (Deus peccatum non Causat moraliter.)
      • II. Intra nos
        • 1. Ab ipsi­us Volun­tatis
          • 1. Prava Inclinatione.
          • 2. Malis Habitibus.
          • 3. Actibus, (ad pejus ducentibus.)
        • 2. Ab ignorantia & errore Intellectus.
        • 3. Ab inferiorum facultatum (sensus, phan­tasiae, &c.) tentatione.
      • III. Ex­tra nos, viz. ab
        • 1. Angelis
          • 1. Bonis: Qui neminem ad ma­lum alliciunt.
          • 2. Malis: 1. Quoad tentationum species: 2. Gradus.
        • 2. Homini­bus, viz.
          • 1. Ne Tyrannide 1. Bona vetent, 2. Mala praecipiant.
          • 2. Ne falsâ doctrinâ Intellectum corrumpant.
          • 3. Ne practicè nos tentent 1. Ille­cebris 2. Nocumentis.
        • 3. A Rebus 1. Terrorem incutientibus, &c. 2. Allicientibus.
  • III. A Causa Mali Deficiente, viz.
    • 1. Deficientia Physicâ:
    • 2. Deficientia Morali
    distinguendâ, ut antè de Causa efficiente videre est.

[Page 34]II. Libertas Improprie dicta: cum illud dicitur Libertas

  • 1. Quod Majus quid est, ut Do­minatio.
  • 2. Quod Minus: utpote Boni nihil continens:

viz.

  • I. Ad supra, viz. Libertas
    • 1. A Dei Gubernatione, per Leges & judicium.
    • 2. A Dei Attractione & Determinatione Gratiosa & finali.
    • 3. A Dei Dominio & dispositione arbitraria.
  • II. Ad Intra, Libertas
    • 1. A Voluntatis Inclinatione naturali ad Bonum na­turale.
    • 2. A Voluntatis Habitu Confirmato, & Perfectione, Inclinante ad bonum spirituale, Deum scilicet, san­ctitatem, coelestia.
    • 3. Ab Intellectus Lumine, specificante actum per Bo­ni intuitum.
  • III. Ad Ex­tra, viz.
    • 1. Libertas ab Angelorum Gubernatione & Auxiliis.
    • 2. Ab Hominum
      • 1. Instructione per doctrinam.
      • 2. Regimine necessario per Leges.
      • 3. Auxiliis amicis (in spiritu­alibus, &c.)
    • 3. A Bonitatis Objectivae determinante attractione.

I mention all these Objective Distinctions, as about the Common use and abuse of the Name of LIBERTY or Free-Will, that you may be able to examine mens words that shall mention it.

[Page 35] 194. II. As to the thing it self: passing by our, 1. Moral Liberty from Sin. 2. Our Political Liberty from restraints of Rulers. 3. I shall speak only of the Natural Liberty in hand: And there shew

  • I. Quid sit, viz.
    • I. Essentiali­ter.
      • 1. Voluntatem esse sub Deo principium propriae de­terminationis, & actuum suorum Dominam, poten­tem se praedeterminare sine necessitante praedetermi­natione, Divinâ vel extrinsecâ.
      • 2. Imperare caeteris facultatibus (sed diverse.)
      • 3. Absolute, directe & proprie, nulli subjici praeter Deum,
    • viz.
      • I. Ab extra.
        • 1. Non Angelis vel Daemonibus.
        • 2. Non Hominibus, imperantibus, suadentibus, &c.
        • 3. Non Objectis, (sicut est appetitus brutorum.)
      • II. Ab intra.
        • 1. Non sensibus vel phantasiae, dum objecta prae­sentant.
        • 2. Non Passionibus; (tametsi molestiam ei fa­cessant.)
        • 3. Non Intellectui: Qui dirigit; non imperat.
    • II. Conse­quenter.
      • I. In volun­tate: Hinc nihil potest
        • 1. Imprimere ei malas Inclinationes, nec auferre bonas.
        • 2. Efficere malos Habitus, aut auferre bonos (necessario.)
        • 3. Determinare eam ad Actus malos ne­cessario.
      • II. In Perso­na: Et ita Personae Li­berum Arbi­trium est, Me
        • 1. Bonum vel Malum morale posse age­re, si velim.
        • 2. Posse Mereri si velim, & malum non commereri posse invitum.
        • 3. Posse foelicem esse si velim, & non In­foelicem nisi Voluntario peccantem.
  • II. Qualis sit: Est (que) Libertas Voluntatis,
    • I. Conjuncta cum necessi­tate conven [...] ente natura­li,
      • 1. In Volitione simplici seu Amore propriae foelicitatis,
      • 2. In Volitione simplici seu Amore Boni sensibilis,
      • 3. In Volitione Medii unici foelici­tatis, omnimode boni,
      Quoad Actus spe­cificationem.
    • II. Separata à necessitate naturali, viz.
      • 1. In Subjectione & Amore erga Causam primam (Creatorem.)
      • 2. In Volitione simplici Dei ut Finis, & Boni spiritualis.
      • 3. In Electione Finis ubi plures praesentantur.
      • 4. In Electione Mediorum ubi diversa offeruntur.
      • 5. In Actu Intendendi finem electum, quoad Exercitium.
      • 6. In Usu Mediorum, & facultatibus subditis imperandis.
  • III. Quotuplex sit Libertas Voluntatis; Est (que)
    • 1. Libertas Contradictionis, vel Exercitii, viz. Velle aut Non-velle; Nolie a [...]t Non-nolle.
    • 2. Contrarietatis, seu specificationis quoad Actum, viz. Velle aut Nolle.
    • 3. Competitionis, Comparationis, vel Contrarietatis, vel specificatio­nis, quoad Objecta: viz. Velle aut Hoc aut Illud; Nolle Hoc vel Illud.

[Page 36] 195. If any man will dispute about Free-will named and not defined or Vid. D'Orbellis n. 2. d. 25. d [...]. 2. d [...] distinct. li­b [...] a [...]bit [...]ii. distinguished, nor tell us in what sense he taketh it; or if Divines will te­diously and fiercely dispute An sit, before they Agree or prove, Quid sit, they are fitter to be pittied, than to be read or heard.

SECT. X. Of Natural and Moral Power as fore-seen.

196. ANd having here anticipated the Doctrine of Free-will, I will (as fittest for the Readers use) connex the Difference of the Natural and Moral Power of the Will or Man, as it cometh under Presci­ence and Decree. If you will put the que­stion, Whether homo lap­sus sine auxilio gratiae po [...]it resistere gravi tenta­tioni? Vel An possit essi­ca [...]iter diligere Deum sine gratiae speciali auxilio, &c. The Schoolmen will ordinarily say, No, as well as Protestants. Vid. Careres Sum. Theol. 22. cap. 1. p. 11, 12, &c.

Power is called Natural in all these respects: 1. Because it is in our Na­tures and we have it from our birth. 2. Because it is essential to the soul. 3. Because it operateth per modum merae naturae, quantum in se, and not freely. Mans soul hath three Powers called Faculties, The Vital-Active, The Intellective, and The Volitive Power: Of which the two first are na­tural in all these three respects, in themselves considered: But the Will is natural only in the two first respects; And so are the other two so far as they are imperate by the Will, being, as imperate, participatively Free.

197. Power is called Moral, 1. Because it is it self Morally Good or Evil, as a Disposition of the soul. 2. Because it is a Power to Moral Actions. 3. Because it is not called A POWER in the strict physical sense, but Morally, that is, Reputatively, called Quasi Potentia.

198. Two things are called a Moral Power: 1. The Natural Powers themselves, not simply as Natural, but as thus Morally qualified. 2. The Moral disposition of the Natural powers. Natura humana, e [...]usque potentiae Naturales, quam­v [...]s mere naturales sint, sibi innatam proserunt po­tentiam receptivam gratiae, immo [...]tiam potentiam acti­vam [...]x se aptam ut simul cum divino auxilio vitali­t [...]r producat supernatura­l [...]m actum fidei, charitatis, &c. Ruiz.

199. Morality is first seated in the Will, and from it our Power is first called Moral: But yet it is secondarily in the other two faculties.

200. As to Dr. Twisse his saying, that Potentia non fundatur in Poten­tia, (Moralis scilicet in Naturali, and as others say, Accidens non funda­tur in accidente:) I answer 1. Potentia univocè sic dicta non fundatur in potentia: But this is not such. 2. It is false that accidens non fundatur in accidente, as the instance of Relation proveth: The term [Accident] is indeed so ambiguous, as proveth that the distribution of all things first into Substance and Accidents is not genuine and congruous, but inept. If you will call Calor, Lumen, or Motus Accidents, and call Gradus also an Ac­cident, and then say, that Caloris, Luminis, Motus, non dantur diversi gradus, because Accidentis non est accidens, you are not to be believed. And if you will say that Ordo is an Accident, and that Qualitatum, Actio­num, &c. non datur or do, it is false. 3. But the worst of the error is, that the Natural Powers are called Accidents, which is a falshood of very ill tendency in many respects: They are the very formal Essence of the soul. And surely the soul may have its Good or Evil Dispositions.

201. There is in the very Essence of the Natural Power or faculty, be­sides the Vis vel Virt [...]s agendi, a certain Natural Inclination to some things, which is Inseparable from it, from which the Schoolmen say even of the Will that it is quaedam Natura, & pondus animae. So the soul is Inclined or propense (and not only Able) to Activity as such, to Intelle­ction as such, to Volition as such; and objectively to Truth as such, and to Natural Good and felicity as such. And there is an Inclination of the [Page 37] soul, which is not essential and inseparable, but is much under the power of the Will, and may be got and lost.

202. This adventitious Disposition, is found in the soul in various De­grees: 1. When it is in such a Degree only, as that immediately and pro­perly without any other power added, the will may be said to be Able to Act thus or thus, then it is called a Moral Power: But when it is in such a degree, as that we are Disposed to Act promptly and easily, it is called a Habit.

203. He therefore that is so far disposed to any Good act, and whose In­disposition, or disposition to the contrary, is but such, as that in his present state, without any more help than Yet the Jesuits them­selves (as Ruiz ubi sup.) are not so much for the necessity of predispositi­on, but that they confess that Grace oft taketh oc­casion of things natural, or indifferent, yea, of heinous sins themselves. And that the beginning of Justification (Sancti­fication) is not from the strength or endea­vours of nature, but from Grace he largely proveth in the whole disp. 17, 18. as Vasquez and Suarez and other Jesuits also do. he hath, he can move his own will to the said act, and the difficulty is not so great, but that such Power sometime doth overcome it, is said to have a Moral Power. But he that wanteth not Natural force or power, but only a right Disposition of his Will, and so far wanteth it, as that none in his case do ever change their own acts to good, without more help and power than he hath, is said to be Morally unable or impotent: and not only to want the Habit.

204. Whether the Natural Powers be properly called A Power to Be­lieve, Repent, Love God, &c. without the Moral Power or right dispositi­on? though it be a question of some use among the Contenders about these matters, yet it is chiefly de nomine, and therefore of the less moment. This is to be granted of all de re, Of this see Mr. Truman's Treatise of Natural and Moral Impotency, and Mr. William Fenners no­table though popular Tractate of Wilful Impe­nitency. that Unbelievers want not that Natural Power or faculty, which can Believe and Repent if duly suscitated and di­sposed: But through an Ill Disposition and contrary course of action, and want of due excitation, that Power will not Act, without Gods special Grace. Which [Will not] signifieth, 1. The Undisposedness, 2. The Non-agen­cy: And in strictest speech, the former is best expressed by [The Will is undisposed and averse to Believe, &c.] and the latter by [The Will doth not consent.] But the first may be expressed by [It cannot] because it will not come to pass: Though it is no such [Cannot] as is distinct from [Will not] but the very same. And as [Power] is distinct fom [Will] and a man is said to be Able to do that which [he can do if he will], so no doubt but he that Will Believe and Repent, can do it, so far as he is Willing. And this is it that Augustine so much pleadeth for, when he would have us distinguish [Cannot] and [Will not], and when he saith, that Posse Credere est Omnium; Credere autem fidelium.

205. To the fuller opening of this, note the following Conclusions.

No man doth that which he cannot do, at that instant.

206. Humane (and all created) Power is dependent, and is not properly a Power to do any thing, but on supposition of Gods Emanant support and concurse, as he is the first Cause of Nature.

207. Humane Power is finite, and is not a Power ad omnia, but ad haec: which therefore are called Possible to us.

208. Power being a Relative word, it may be said to be nullified ad hoc by an alteration of the Object only: As if you double the weight, that man may be Unable to bear it, who Could bear it when it was less: when the ob­ject is changed, and not the power indeed.

209. Power supposeth the due object and its due proposal or state. We have no Power to see invisibles, to understand things not intelligible, to will things not apprehended to be good, and not so revealed, &c.

210. The three Conjunct Powers of the soul suppose each other, though they are not formally the same: We have no Power to Will objects not un­derstood, nor to understand, will or execute without Vital-activity; nor to understand most things without the Wills determination ad exercitium.

[Page 38] 211. The due qualification also of the Inferiour faculties (the Senses, and Phantasie, and Organs) is supposed to the being of true Power. We never had Power to see without eyes, no more than without Light. This Power of the Inferiour faculties some call Potentia secunda, as to the acts of the Superiour.

212. It is no true Power ad hoc, which is put to overcome a Greater opposing Power. We never had Power to overcome God, or to act against his pre-moving pre-determination (as Bradwardine truly saith.)

213. A man may be Able mediately to do that which he is not Able Immediately to do: I mean he that can write with a Pen, or move things with an Engine, and so act but as a partial, though Principal Cause, may not be Able to write without a Pen, nor to do the same alone as a Total Cause.

214. And a man may have Power to do that Mediately and Hypotheti­cally hereafter, which he Cannot do Immediately, that is, at the present time. He can learn to write, and after can write, who cannot write till he hath learnt. Thus Infants have a remote Power of speaking, and Infidels of believing.

215. No man Doth all that he is truly and properly Able to do.

216. No man doth all that he is Disposed and Habited to. Sudden ob­jects oft carry us againt strong Habits.

217. A man ordinarily Willeth and Acteth according to the predominant Habits of his soul, if he have objects and means.

218. A man alwayes willeth that which he is soley disposed to will, or most disposed to will, at that moment; and which he apprehendeth sub om­nimoda ratione boni: Much more if he were perfectly Habited to it, in his Vitality, Intellect and Will.

219. No man acteth without the Essential fundamental Inclination to Good and to Natural felicity: But a man may by sudden instigation and occasions will that which before he had no particular disposition to: A Power may be without a Habit.

220. No Good mans Habits here are perfect in goodness.

221. No Bad man here is at the worst; nor destitute of all Moral Power to all things commanded him of God.

222. A bare Moral Power which cometh not up to be an Inclination or Habit, determineth not the Will of it self.

223. Habits tend to the Wills determination per modum naturae, ut appe­titus; But they are not sufficient to it, or necessary determiners de eventu.

224. Weak Habits are oft born down: Strong ones rarely, yet sometimes.

225. An unholy soul is much more Impotent as to the great Internal Acts of Loving God, delighting in him, &c. than to any meer external Act which the Natural Power extendeth to: And so are the regenerate in that measure as they are unrenewed.

226. But we are more able to Love or Will aright, than to Work and Do aright; because here both must concurr, which requireth more Power than one alone. E. g. to Rule the Thoughts aright requireth more Power than to be Willing to rule them.

227. Yet in that measure that a man is Willing to do Good, he is Morally able, (and more than able) Because Morality being first seated in the will, it is no farther Morally Good or Bad, than it is Positively or Priva­tively Voluntary. He that is sincerely Willing, is sincerely Abole, and he that is Perfectly Willing, is perfectly able (and more.)

[Page 39] 228. Every mans Natural faculties may be called Moral Powers as to the Obligation, as being obliged by God to Moral Good.

229. And because Obligation presupposeth some true Power to obey, mediately or immediately, present or former when the Law was made, there­fore mans Natural faculties, though undisposed, are thus far called a moral power to the commanded act.

SECT. XI. Whether God bind Men to Impossibilities.

230. THis leads us to the question, Whether God bind men to Quaudo praeceptum super­naturale obligat, non potest vitari peccatum contra il­lud absque auxilio gratiae. Pet. à S. Joseph. Thes. Univers. Theol. de auxi­liis p. 83. Alliac. Camerac. 1. q. 14. R. saith, 1. We cannot be bound to a simple im­possibility: 2. We may be bound to Will an Impossibility (as that his sin past had not been, though he doubt of this.) 4. He may be bound to that which is not in his power, to do of himself: So every one is bound habere gratiam; & qui­libet viator fidem infu­sam: & tamen non est in creaturae potestate activâ. things Impossible. Where we must needs distinguish 1. Of disability Antecedent to the Law, and Consequent. 2. Mediate and Im­mediate. 3. Between Impossibles as such, and as Things Hated or Nilled. 4. Between Primary and Secondary Moral acts. And so I answer,

231. 1. No Law of God (or just men) bindeth to things Naturally Im­possible before the Law was made and broken, by an Immediate obli­gation.

232. A just Law may antecedently bind us mediately to that which is immediately impossible. So he that cannot Read, may be bound to Read mediately; that is, first to Learn, and then to Read. And Paul requireth men to work with their hands, that they may have to give to him that need­eth, (and then to give;) which yet before they have got it, is im­possible.

233. The obligation of a Law ceaseth, when the thing commanded be­cometh Impossible without the subjects fault.

234. Every sin is Voluntarium-prohibitum: And so far as Impossible things may be Voluntaria-prohibita (which is all the doubt) so far they may be sins.

235. Gods Law is Antecedent to our practice, and mediately ex parte sui bindeth us at once to all that we must do to the End of our Lives. As if a Master in the Morning command his servant his work till night. Therefore as if that servant purposely break his Spade or other Tools that he may not work, he is not therefore so disobliged as to be guiltless; even so when man by sin disableth himself to his commanded duty, the Law is not changed, but is still the same, nor is he thereby excused.

236. Here the Primary sin is that which contracted the Impotency: The Secondary sin is the Impotency it self, thus wilfully contracted and seat­ed in the will. The third rank is the not doing of all that was first com­manded, and the doing of all that was forbidden.

237. But if it be not only a Moral Vicious Impotency that is contracted (such as the habitual unwillingness in question) but a Physical Impotency (as if a man drunk himself stark mad, or blind, &c.) this is a sin (and the consequent acts and omissions) not simply in it self considered, but secundum quid, and participatively, as it partaketh of the first sin, which is described it self to be [a Voluntary forbidden act disabling us to future duty, and That a necessity contra­cted by our own fault (as by drunkenness) excu­seth not from guilt, see August. l. de Natur. & Grat. c. 67. & Aquin. n. 4. d. 50. q. 2. a. 1. virtually containing a sinful life to the end.]

238. But if it be this Physical Impossibility that is contracted, then though the Law change not, yet the Subjects capacity being changed, strictly and properly God is not said after to Oblige him by that Law, because he is not Receptive and Capable of such new obligations; And yet he is not disobliged as to his benefit. For no man getteth a right to any benefit by [Page 40] his fault. What then? Why, the Precept to that man is past into a Virtual Judiciary Sentence, condemning him as disobedient; even as it is with those in Hell.

239. Therefore since the fall, the Law of Innocency in it self is the same, which once said [Thou shalt continue perfectly Innocent;] but it doth not properly oblige us as a Law to that Innocency or perfection which we were born without, because we are become uncapable subjects: Much less is that Innocency now the Condition of any Promise or Covenant of God; as if he still said [Be personally and perpetually Innocent, and thou shalt live; and that thou maist live.] But the Law being still the same, we that are uncapable of the duty, are not uncapable of the guilt and condemnation: Vid. Bellarmin. de Grat. & lib. a [...]b. li. 5. per to­tum, &c. 30. de dist. ne­cessitates. And therefore the Law and Covenant are now become a Virtual Sentence of Condemnation for not obeying personally, perfectly and perpetually to the death. For he that hath once made Innocency Naturally Impossible to him, is Virtually in the case of one that hath persevered to the death in sin

240. But if the contracted Impossibility be not Physical but Moral, the case is quite different. For then the thing is a threefold sin in it self as aforesaid; 1. The disabling sin. 2. The vicious Disability or Malignity of the Will. 3. And the after sin thereby committed, and omission of duty.

More of Physical and Moral Impotency.

241. 1. No righteous Law forbiddeth Physical Impotency as such, nor commandeth men Physical Impossibilities, as is said; But Gods Laws pri­marily forbid the malignity of the Will, which is its Moral Impotency. Bradwa [...]dine plainly saith li. 3. c. 9. p. 675. that [Nullus actus noster est simpliciter in nostra pote­state (we grant not ab­solutely and indepen­dently) sed tantum se­c [...]ndum quid, respectu Ca [...] ­sarum secundarum. Ni­hil est in nostra potesta­te nisi subactiva, subexe­c [...]tiva & subservien [...]e ne­cessari [...], necessitate natura­lit [...]r praecedente, respectu [...]oluntatis divinae. Quod ideo in nostra dicitur po­testate, quia cum volumus iliud facimus voluntarie & non in [...]iti. So that by him no creature was ever able to do more or less than it doth, except you call him able to do it, that can do it when God makes him do it: but that is not to be able before, or when he is not caused to do it.

242. 2. Rulers use not to make Punishments for Physical Impotency; But for the Wills Malignity God doth.

243. 3. Rulers use not to propound Rewards for Physical Impossibili­ties; But for the fruits of Moral Sanctity or Habits, and for themselves, God doth.

244. 4. No just Judge condemneth men for Physical Impotency; But for Moral God and man do.

245. 5. No Good man hateth another for Physical Impotency; But for Moral malignity God and man do.

246. 6. An inlightned Conscience accuseth and tormenteth no man for meer Physical Impotency and Impossibilities: But for the Wills Malignity Conscience will torment men. So that it is evident that one sort of Im­potency maketh an act no sin (in its degree) and the other maketh it a greater sin. For Nature and common notices teach men to judge that the More Willingness, the more culpability. But he that hath Actual and Ha­bitual Wilfulness, and is as some Adulterers, drunkards, revengeful per­sons, proud, covetous, &c. who are so bad that they say, I cannot choose, are the worst of all the sorts of sinners, by such disability.

247. It is most probable that God overcometh Moral Impotency, and giveth Moral Power, by Moral Means, and Operations: For though God can give it by a proper Creation without Moral Means, and we cannot say that he never doth so, nor how oft he doth or doth not; yet it is most probable that his special Grace, doth by his Trine Influx of Power, Wisdom and Goodness, Life, Light and Love, suscitate the natural faculties of the soul to the first special Act, and by it cause a holy Habit, which he radi­cateth by degrees; And this is Metaphorically a Creation.

248. This is certain, that since the sall we have the same essential faculties; that Original sin is not as Illyricus so long and obstinately main­tained (though an excellently good and Learned man) a Substance, though it be the Pravity of a substance: And that sin changed not the humane species; Nor doth Grace change our species. It is certain that the Acts of [Page 41] these same natural faculties are commanded to all men, even the unrege­nerate, under the names of Faith and Repentance; And so these are their duties. And it is certain, that a Course of Moral means (preaching, reading, meditating, conference, threatnings, promises, mercies, afflicti­ons) are appointed and used to the procuring the said faculties to perform these commanded acts: It is certain that these Means have an Aptitude to their end: And that God worketh by his own means: And appointeth not man to use them in vain; And that in working Grace, God preserv­eth and reformeth Nature, and worketh on Man as Man: and according to the Nature of his means.

249. And I think none dare deny, but that God is Able by his Spirits powerful operation, without any Antecedent new Habit or disposition, to set home these same means so effectually on the Natural powers of the soul, as shall excite them to the first Acts of Faith and Repentance: And by them imprint a Habit, as is said, and shall be said again in Part 3. And if he Can do so, and Can do otherwise, which then is likest to be his ordi­nary way, I leave to the observers of Scripture and Experience.

450. This is the Common sense of Divines, who place Vocation, ex­citing the first act of Faith and Repentance, before Union with Christ, and before Sanctification, which giveth the habit, till Mr. Pemble Vind. Grat. taught otherwise, whom Bishop G. Downame confuted in the Appen­dix to his Treatise of Perseverance.

251. As to the question, How this Grace is called Infused, and not Na­tural? I answer, It is called Infused and Supernatural, because, 1. It is not wrought by any Natural-moral means only, but by Supernatural-moral means, viz. Revelation, in and by the Gospel of Christ. 2. And this super­natural Revelation cannot work it, without the special extraordinary ope­ration and impression by the Holy Ghost, above the common concurse of God with all his Creatures, as he is fons naturae. This the Schools have Metaphorically called Infusion.

252. But it may be called Natural, 1. In that mans Natural faculties receive Gods Influx, 2. And perform the act: 3. And are perfected by it as the Natural body is by Health.

253. And what the difference is ex parte Dei agentis (& ex parte effe­ctus) between Gods Natural and Gracious operations, I shall after open in the third Part.

254. The Schoolmen, especially the Scotists and Ockam, and many Fran­ciscans, Benedictines, and other Fryers, (yea, such Oratorians as Gibieuf) have fled so high in making Grace supernatural, (feigning a state of pure Naturals that had none) and talk so phanatically of the Deification of the soul, as I think hath ensnared some Sectaries among us to imitate them, seigning that the first Covenant is Moral as a Law, and the second Covenant is the very in-being of a Divine Nature, which they (though obscurely) seem to describe as somewhat above all Habits and Inclinati­ons, put into our own nature, like another form or soul: Which over-doing tendeth to tempt men to Infidelity, by doubting whether mans Nature was made by the Creator to enjoy God in Heaven or not, when it must be made another thing to attain it.

SECT. XII. Of Scientia Media.

255. AFter this Digression about our Will and Powers as the objects of Gods Knowledge and Decrees, I return to the Doctrine de Scientia Media. And that God knoweth from Eternity the truth of all conditional propositions that are true, is past all doubt, If we may sup­pose that God had eternal propositions. No doubt but he knoweth now that such propositions are true [If such Causes be put, they will or will not produce this or that as the effect.]

256. But if it be an Imperfection to have mental propositions to know by, and God knoweth not by them, but only knoweth them as the instru­ments and way of humane knowledge, (For no doubt but he knoweth all that's ours,) Then it must be said that he had from eternity, but the fore­knowledge of the Creatures conditional propositions. And who can well determine this?

257. And this will lead the arrogant disputers to other enquiries no less difficult, Whether it be only or primarily the Proposition it self as ens rationis humanae or as the Thought of mans mind which God knoweth, or the res ab homine cognita, that is, futurition it self? And if the for­mer, How God knoweth them to be True? If the latter, How he knoweth futurition?

258. And here inextricable difficulties will still arise before them, Whether to have the notion of futurity, be not a part of the Creatures imperfection? Whether God know not all things as present? Whether [Nothing] be properly Intelligible in it self? Whether it be not only Propositions de nihilo that are known, and not the ipsum nihil, (such as fu­turition is?) Whether to ascribe such knowledge of [Nothing] and such notions or propositions to God, be to ascribe perfection or Imperfection to him?

259. If we may or must say that God from eternity fore-knew our Pro­positions of future contingents, which are Conditional, yet we must not say or think that his knowledge quoad actum is conditional, so as that the Crea­tures * Nic. D'Orbellis saith, Communiter distinguitur triplex cognitio Dei, viz. approbationis, visionis & intelligentiae. Cognitio ap­probationis est tantum Bo­norum: Cognitio Visionis est corum quae sunt, fuerunt, vel crunt: Cognitio intel­ligentiae seu simplicis noti­tiae, est omnium quae possunt esse. Hujusmodi autem cog­nitiones non differunt secun­dum se; sed secundum di­stinctionem connotatorum. Et Bonavent. 1. d. 38. dub. 3. Dicendum quod in nobis notitia simplex & notitia beneplaciti dicunt diversas cognitiones; & diversos modos cognoscen­di—A Deo autem una tantum cognitio est. Sed illa una facit Deus, quod homines multis. Et [...]o illa una dupliciter significat— state is the condition of Gods Knowledge in it self: But only that the object is a conditional proposition, speaking the Condition of the event fore-known: From which Gods Act is denominated conditional only de­nominatione extrinsecâ, not as an Act, but as This act.

260. We deny not but God may be said as truly to know the truth of hypothetical as of absolute propositions; If one be the object of his Knowledge, the other is: Which proveth the hypothetical proposition to be less perfect than an absolute, but not Gods knowledge of it to be less per­fect.

261. Nor doth Gods fore-knowledge that Adam will sin in such cir­cumstances, make his understanding depend on the Creature, but only to be terminated on the Creature as an object: And so it doth in all Acts where the Creature is the object: This objection therefore belongeth also to the dispute, Whether God know any thing but himself? or out of himself?

262. The seigning God to have in himself so many acts of know­ledge, really distinct, and to lye in such an order, is intolerable, seeing God is most simple. But by extrinsecal denomination, his Knowledge [Page 43] may by us, through our weakness and necessity, be distinguished accord­ing to its respect to diversity of objects, by inadequate conceptions: But on that pretence to feign many needless distributions, is profane,

263. They that think it a good confutation of scientia mediae that Non decreta non sunt futura; therefore no futurition can be known but as Decreed, do err much in the antecedent, (For it is false that sin is Decreed) and are either erroneous or uncertain in the conclusion, (For God fore-knoweth sin so far as it is intelligible.)

264. The sense of the question de Scientiae Media, is not de conditio­natis Vide Pet. à Sanct. Jos. Disp. 4. Sect. 1. p. 465. de Scient. Med. necessari [...]s, as [If the Sun set, it will be night] Nor yet of such conditionals as are meerly disparate, and have no kind of dependence or connexion, as [If Peter dye quickly, John will live long:] But of such conditionals, as have some reason of the Connexion, and yet leave the will in an undetermined power to act or not. But we know no difference between these ex parte Dei Scientis, but only denominatione extrinseca ex parte objecti.

265. Much less dare we conclude with them that Gods knowledge See all this modestly and judiciously handled by Fr. Zumel Disput. in Tho. p. 1. especially his Con­clus. 6. p. 127. And Ockam 1. d. 38. q. 1. Et. Greg. Arim. ib. q. 2. a. 2. Et Gabr. Biel ib. qu. 1. a. 1. Et Ant. Cordub. quaest. q. 55. dub. 10. of Conditionals is in God before his will to concurr, or that they exist; For we are not acquainted with such priorities and posteriorities in God, except by such denomination.

266. Methinks it is but sumbling to say with Pet. à S. Joseph Suav. Concord. Disp. 4. p. 484. A nemine dubitari quin ad cognitionem futuro­rum sub conditione, necessarium sit aliquo modo decretum divinum; cum n [...]hil possit esse futurum sive absolute sive sub conditione, nisi Deus ut pri­ma Causa dut absolute, aut sub conditione velit ad ista concurrere. At See the short answer in Pet. à S. Joseph. Suav. Concord. p. 576. the first look this seemeth to be spoken of the cause of futurition, or of the knowledge of it: And if not, the Decree seemeth mentioned to no purpose: For futurum tantum sub conditione, is not as such futurum; For the condition suspendeth the futurition: A conditional proposition de futuro is as true of that which will never come to pass as of that which will. And if they mean that God Decreeth e. g. that Judas shall sin if he be so and so tempted, it will lay the cause of Judas sin more on God in their own apprehension, than their Cause or the Truth will bear. For if God Decree that unnecessary Causes shall certainly effect the thing (sin) let them take heed of the consequence.

267. I could never see how the Doctrine de scientia media doth at all Pennot. l. 4. c. 23. saith, 1. Scientiam Mediam max­ima cum probabilitate de­fendi posse. 2. Hunc mo­dum reconciliationis (de­cretorum cum Libertate) principaliter & immediate non inniti Scientiae mediae, sed solum remote: quia principaliter illa non poni­tur in Deo ad conciliandam arb. libertatem cum Div. decretis: sed ut Deus pro­vide & sapientissime omnes actus, maxime liberos dis­ponere possit; & dirigere ad opt. fines. serve their turn: seeing they use it to shew how God knoweth that De­terminately, which he foreseeth but in Conditionibus sine quibus non, or in unnecessary and not determining causes. And their own answer signifieth nothing more to the purpose, but that God can know future contingents by the Infinite perfection of his understanding, which is most true. But that he knoweth them ever the more for the supposition of circumstances, they never prove. Therefore the doctrine of Gods knowledge of such Conditional propositions, and contingents as so circumstantiated, seemeth True materially, (that They are the Objects of Gods knowledge;) but false efficiently as if they were any Causes of his knowledge, (which hath no Cause;) but only extrinsecal denominaters of it in that act: And it seemeth useless and needless to their purpose.

268. For I confess I think that we need no more, and are capable of no more to satisfie us, how God knoweth any thing Intelligible, than to say, By his Infinite perfection. Man knoweth by Reception ab extra, but so doth not God. And if the Quest. How doth God know this, suppose ex­trinsick efficiency or reception, it is blasphemous! And I confess I hear men dispute How God knoweth? with horrour as I hear men curse and [Page 44] swear and blaspheme: knowing how uncapable such Moles as we Mortals are of understanding the intrinsick manner of Gods knowledge; And I detest the very question, and am but perswading others to detest it thus understood.

269. Much more do I think it arrogant presumption in those that dispute pro scientia media to say that God Can no otherwise know future contingents. As Annatus de scient. med. p. 85. contr. Ab omiibus con [...]s [...] est, nullam veritatem fugere in­tellectum Di [...]inum: ac proinde propositiones de fu­ [...]ris contingentibus, &c. Blank. de Concord. lib. cum Decretis. 1. Thes. 49, 50, 51— Twiss. D. 1. c. Seclusa Scientia Medi [...] non remanere in Deo praescienti­am absolutam futurorum contingentium. Et cap. 6. Seclusa Scientia Me­dia non posse praedefiniri à Deo liberas creatae voluntatis actiones. O Man! O Worm! Who art thou that in cases so unsearchable darest assert a non posse upon the Almighty God thus in the dark!

270. And it is no less arrogant in the adversaries of Scientia Me­dia, such as some of our own, and the Scotists who dare say that God Rada [...]i [...]pr. (who was one of the Congregation where it was disputed before P. Clem. 8. and was against it; as Pet. à S. Jo­siph and others tell us.) cannot know future contingents, but in the predefinition and decrees of his own will. As if we had seen into all his Powers and Acts, who dwelleth in the unaccessible light. Whereas we know little of the smallest of his works.

271. And as audaciously do the Dominicans plead that God cannot otherwise know our future free acts, but by decreeing by immediate iden­tificate premotion to predetermine them as the total first efficient cause. Nothing can be more certain than that we know not How God knoweth, who scarce know How we know our selves.

272. He that hath read but one half what is said upon this subject by Zumel, Ripa. Gonzal. Fasol. Arrub. Aluiz, Alarcon, Alvarez, Tanner, Ruiz, Greg. Valent. Suar. Molin. Cantarel. Navar. Curiel. Cabrera, Mas­caren. Verdu, Fonseca, Mendoz. Lessius, Diotalev. Moncaeus, Theophil. in Theolog. Natur. Aegidius Conink, Pennottus, Petr. à S. Joseph, Annatus, Twisse, &c. yea or but any two Contenders, and is not convinced that they talk presumptuously of things which are unknown above their reach, Non d [...]sunt ex nostris qui scientiam mediam aliqua­te [...]us agnos [...]unt, inquit Strangius l. 3. c. 13. p. 675. naming even Go­marrus, Walaeus, and Lud. [...]ocius, as also Jacob. Martinius and other Lu­therans: and are we fur­ther from Arminius than Gomarrus was? doth not think reverently enough of God, nor knowingly and humbly enough of man: And he that doth but weigh the difficulties which Du­randus his third opinion casteth in the way, and doth but try to solve well all Lud. à Dola's Questions, Part 1. cap. 9. p. 96, 97, &c. and to answer well all his arguments against the usefulness of Scientia Media, Part 2. and against the truth of immediate physical Predetermination, Part. 3. and against Identificate Concurse (as to evil actions) Part 4. may soon find that much of these matters are so far above us as to be nothing to us, and un­fit to be thought necessary to our Peace and Concord.

273. The old doctrine of Gods Prevision, and this de Scientia Media, in all that is within our reach come all to one: And they erre that hold it to run pari passu, equally about Good and Evil. God fore-knoweth not evil Acts because he willeth them, or the futurity of them, nor because he decreeth to predetermine the will to the act in specie which is sin: But he willeth to effect that which is Good, and may so far know it.

SECT. XIII. Of Gods Will and Decrees in General.

274. GOds Decrees de futuris and his Will de praesentibus are in them­selves the same, save as to the extrinsick denomination from the divers state of the connoted objects.

275. Gods Decrees are not his works in themselves considered, but only That Gods Decrees are not to be taken for a thing past and ceased, but as a thing still doing, Pennot. li. 4. c. 24. think­eth is the best notion to reconcile them with li­berty. But ab extrinseco & Connotative they must be denominated past; though without change in God. Of this Dr. Twisse hath animadvert­ed. when with his executive power, they operate ad extra: and then his knowledge and will are his working, being productive of the effects.

276. As in point of simplicity Gods Acts are all One and yet many, that is, One ex parte agentis as his Acts are but his Essence; and yet many ex parte effecti & objecti, & inde denominatione extrinseca; so also as to their Eternity Gods Acts are all Eternal as they are his Essence, ex parte agentis; and yet some of them new and temporary, some past, some present, some future, ex parte effectus, & objecti, & inde denominatione extrinsecâ.

277. Yet I confess that it passeth my understanding to conceive how it is, that the same Act is Eternal ex parte agentis, and yet but tempo­rary ex parte patientis & effecti: that God should from eternity do all that ever he doth ex parte sui to create the world, to redeem, sanctifie, justifie, &c. and yet that nothing should be done by it till lately. Which drew Ludov. à Dola (de modo conjunct. Concurs. par. 1. c. 2. p. 20.) to say, [Probatur Actionem Dei externam seu Concursum in actu secundo esse actum ab ipso Deo distinctum ex natura rei, ante opus intellectus. Quia Deus non solum poterat nihil agere ad extra, sed de facto per aeternitatem nullum producebat effectum, & de novo incepit operari in principio tem­poris. Igitur actio Dei est omnino distincta ab ipso Deo: Neque dici po­test actionem quidem Dei fuisse ab aeterno, sed effectum non fuisse nisi in tempore; Quia tametsi Virtus, & Potentia agendi, & Principium operationis, esse possit antequam Causa actu agat; tamen Actio esse non potest quin Causa verè agat & producat. Ac impossibile est Causam vere Agere & producere, quin effectus aliquis ab ea producatur & agatur. Nullus au­tem effectus producebatur à Deo ab aeterno: ergo non habebat Actionem ab aeterno (loquimur de productione ad extra & transeunte.) Sane non potest Actio esse sine termino & effectu suo. Sed Actio essentialiter est sui termini productio aut conservatio, & ne con [...]ipi quidem potest sine illo: Est (que) prorsus inintelligibile dari productionem aut conservationem ali­cujus rei, & non dari actualiter ipsam rem; Est (que) Omnis actio intime con­juncta cum effectu, qui per ipsam formaliter producitur, aut conservatur; nec sejungi ab illa potest.] And so Aureolus.

278. In this also we we must confess that the matter quite transcend­eth our capacity: And as this is rash in à Dola, to affirm so confidently a thing above him, so we must not be rash to affirm on the contrary more than is certain. But so far as we may venture, the common way seemeth the far safer: Because God is unchangeable not only Morally, but Natu­rally. And this Action as distinct from the Effect, is made by him, to be neither the Creator nor a Creature, but a Creating, or moving Act, between both; which is not convenient. And as it is intelligible that God can Velle or Decree ab aeterno, mundum fieri, Petrum justificari, &c. in hoc tempore; so we are not sure that God cannot do all that Act from Eternity, which shall effect only in Time, by the concurrence of his will. Though I confess that the case much differeth, between an Ego quidem fateor no­stram libertatem cum Vo­luntate Dei facilius conci­liari juxta eorum senten­tiam qui dicunt, actum volendi & intelligendi non esse operationem im­manentem elicitam, aut libere additam ipsi essen­tiae; quam si dicamus esse actum quendam liberum elicitum: Utroqu [...] tamen modo conandum. Vasqu. in 1 Tho. q. 23. d. 99. c. 2. And if this will make it easie, easie it must be: For Gods free Volitions and knowledge of things ex­trinsick are commonly said to be no real addi­tions to his essence, but dum unus, simplex, immu­tabilis, plura, & muta­bilia scit, vult, facit, his will and understanding are denominated by rela­tion and connotation as various from the various objects. Im­manent Act, (such as nuda Volitio,) which doth nihil efficere, and an [Page 46] Effecting Act. But many conceive that God causeth all things meerly by willing them. (Though I see not but that will must be a Powerful ema­nant operative will, which is more than meer will.) And we are so unacquainted with God, and all Active natures, as that we cannot say that Action exparte agentis may not be sine termino, objecto & effectis. And all Philosophical Divines agree that God hath no Power out of Act; but an Active power alwayes equally in act, exparte sui, and so is a pure act. Let us (per possibile vel impossibile) suppose the Sun to be what it is, and no other Creature to be with it in being: This Sun would in vacuo emitt its motive, illuminative and calefactive radios by Action. And yet nothing would be moved, illuminated or heated by it: There would be no Terminus, and no effect. And suppose afterward all other Crea­tures to be made; then the divers Termini and Recipients would make a diversity of effects, and the various disposition of the Recipients would make that one Action of the Sun, to produce motion in one, light in another, heat in another, sweetness from the Rose, and stink from Weeds, and so of other effects. I do but tell you why we must not perempto­rily deny much more of God.

279. Prescience with Predefinition or Decree do not inferr causally That the Potentia execu­ti [...]a ia Deo is principium absolut [...] p [...]oximum agendi ad ex [...]a, See [...]ennot. l. 3. c. 13. n. v. & A [...]uin. 1. d. 45. a. 3. ad. 2. that necessity of the event as predetermining premotion doth: Because they do (alone) nihil ponere in objecto. So that if it could be proved that God doth eternally Decree or will the event of sin, and mens dam­nation absolutely, it would not prove (alone) that he is therefore the cause of them. It is not therefore the Predetermination of bare Decree which we lay those consequences on, but efficient predetermination.

280. Lombard, d. 45. well concludeth That even that free-will of God by which he willeth, decreeth, and loveth the Creature, is his essence: Bradwardine l. 3. c. 5 [...]. p. 8 [...]9. argueth that Gods will de creandis, was an­tecedently free; and yet concomitantly and con­sequently necessary, and both immutably from Eternity. But yet the Name [Amor Petri, odium peccati, &c.] signifieth not his Essence as such, but his Essential will as denominated from the created or humane object.

281. Therefore it cannot be inferred hence, that God is a Creature, be­cause he Willeth or Loveth the Creature: Because his Loving it denomi­nateth his Essence as terminated on or connoting the object, and not as in it self simply.

282. It is not fit or lawful to ask after any Cause of the Will of God; Because it is the first cause of all things else, and hath nothing Superiour or antecedent to Cause it; And God is absolutely independent, and is not to be called the Cause of himself. Ruiz who saith that Gods will hath a final cause, meaneth but a final ob­ject, as he confesseth. A Tree is a passive re­cipient cause of the Ter­mination of the Suns ca­lefacient act and of the [...]ffect as received: but not of the act ex parte sol [...].

283. Even the Acts of Gods free-will or Decrees, have no Cause even in God himself; no more than those called Necessary. For we must not say that any thing in God is an effect.

284. Yet as Gods Acts are oft denominated by Connotation from the object, (which in man is a constitutive Cause of the Act, loco materiae,) so extrinsick objects may be called The Causes (but rather the Objects) of God Will, Love or Knowledge, not as his Essence, but only as so deno­minated by that Connotation of the object.

285. These distributions of Gods Volitions in Number, and by speci­fying objects, and individuating objects, which are called material consti­tutive causes of the act, are all according to humane weakness; in us who know God but enigmatically, and in a glass: But yet if any man use such words in a broader manner than we think fit, before we censure and condemn him we must hear his sence explained. For all that ever we can say of God is improper, analogical, yea metaphorical; And it is but in degrees of impropriety that all words about Gods attributes [Page 47] and actions differ; For (as is oft said) no man hath formal proper con­ceptions of any thing in God. If God should not speak to us in this im­proper language of our own, he must not speak intelligibly to us, unless he create another understanding in us. And he himself in Scripture using such language of himself, alloweth us to use it, while we profess to disclaim ascribing to God any of the imperfection which it seemeth to import.

286. On these terms not only Various Volitions are ascribed to God in Scripture, and exteriour causes of them, (as John 16. 27. the Father Loveth you, because ye have loved me, and believed, &c.) So Gen. 22. 16. & 26. 5. Prov. 1. 24. Luke 11. 8. & 19. 17. Gal. 4. 6. Eph. 5. 6. 1 Sam. 28. 18. 1 King. 9. 9. & 11. 34. & 20. 42. 2 King. 10. 30. 2 Chron. 34. 27. Psal. 91. 14. But also Fear, Affliction, Grief, Hatred, Repenting, Rejoycing, &c. Deut. 32. 27. Isa. 63. 9. Gen. 6. 6. Psal. 5. 5. Gen. 6. 7. 1 Sam. 15. 11. Joel 2. 13. Jer. 15. 6. Hos. 11. 8. Zeph. 3. 17. Jer. 32. 41, &c. and exteriour causes of them.

287. That which is to be understood by all these, is 1. That man is so far the Cause of the Effects of Divine Volitions, as the Dispositio receptiva, may be called a Cause. And I before shewed in the instance of the effects of the Suns Influx, how great a hand the various Dispositiones materiae receptivae have in the diversifications of effects. 2. And that Gods Volitions them­selves are hence relatively denominated.

288. Therefore we must say, that Gods electing Peter and his rejecting Judas, his Love to Peter and his hatred of Judas, are not in specie the same act of his will; nor his Loving Peter, and his Loving Paul the same Numerically; As his knowing of Peter to be a Saint, and his knowing Judas to be a Saint, is not the same numerical act of knowledge; Though as they are Gods Essence, all are but one. And we must say that he Lov­eth one because he is good, and hateth another because he is evil; and he justifieth men because they believe, and condemneth men because they believe not; that he forgiveth a sinner because he repenteth, &c. Though Gods Will have no efficient Cause.

289. Those Volitions of God which are but Immanent as to Effici­ency, but Transient Objectively, are some of them to be denominated as before the thing willed, and some as after. The Will of effecting is before the thing willed: The Will ut finis, or Complacency and Displicency (as also Intuitive Knowledge of the thing as Existent, estimation, approbation, re­probation of it) the Will of Continuing, modifying, altering, perfecting, destroying, suppose the existence of the thing willed in esse objectivo. And so many Volitions may be denominated as beginning in time, as connoting the objects. Pennottus li. 4. c. 24. p. 235. confidently ar­gueth, that because God can Love him that he hated or Loved not, he can therefore Predesti­nate him whom he re­probated, or change his decrees without any change in himself. I answer, 1. I grant that God can Love a Saint whom he hated as a sin­ner before, and cease hating him without any change save relative and by extrinsecal denomi­nation. 2. But his infe­rence seemeth to me false and dangerous, un­less he had meant it of executive Election and Reprobation which he doth not. For 1. Proper Love and Hatred connote an Object as existent, and by such connotation are named: And his fourth supposition is false, that Love is nothing but Gods Will to give a man life Eternal. For the formal Act of Love is Complacency: And the Velle Bonum is another thing, as I think an effect of Love; or at the most another act of Love. And we deny that any absolute. Velle bonum alicui is ever changed, though displi­cence be changed: Be­cause it is the same with Decree. 2. And the rea­son why the said Decree or Volition (if absolute and proper) may not be denominated changed is, because it maketh its own object, and so sup­poseth it not pre-exi­stent, and dependeth not on it denominatively: And therefore it would inferr God to be muta­ble, to change it; But it is not so in the other, which as to the Relation and Name followeth the Mutable creature; as doth Gods Knowledge of present existents and preteritions as to deno­mination and connotati­on. And it is no more wrong to Gods Immutability so to name them, than to his simplicity to name them many and divers.

290. And in this sense it is no more wrong to Gods Immutability, to speak of Him as being before in Potentia only as to such Relative denomi­nations. As the Rock in the Sea hath not yet that proximity to the Wave which a twelvemonth hence will touch it, and yet is not therefore mutable: Or as you are yet but in potentia to the termination of his Relations who will pass about you, before and behind, on the right hand and on the left. So God was but Potentially the Creator and Redeemer of the World from Eternity. Though as to any real passion God hath no passive power.

291. In this sense of relation to the objects and effects, it is that we conceive of Gods acts of Knowledge and Volition in a certain order of na­ture, as one being before and one after another; Though not as they are Gods Essence.

292. Yet because the use and truth of words or names, is their signi­fication of Things as indeed they are, and we should put no name on any [Page 48] creature, but what is adapted to notifie it aright to mans understanding; we must much more be afraid of putting any cau [...]eless, unmeet, unnecessary names of reality or distinction on the Will or Acts of God.

293. Gods Will is not Appetitus rei desideratae; for he wanteth no­thing.

294. God willeth efficiently all that he effecteth; and finally by com­placence, all that is Good.

295. Gods Willing or Loving Himself, is Himself; or an inadequate Conception of Himself as he is. But his Willing or Loving Creatures, is (as is oft said) a relative connotative Conception of Himself as extrinse­cally denominated, and not as he is himself.

296. Gods Will ad extra is Free; And therefore it cannot be said that he Willeth or Loveth ad ultimum potentiae, all that by Power he is Able to Will, or Love, or do: or that he doth all that he is Able to do.

297. Therefore it cannot be denyed that there is in God a Negation of Volition: that is, that he willeth not some things which he Could Will. As to have made the World sooner, greater, with other sorts of creatures: to have made some men better, wiser, richer, &c. The exterior objects of Gods Will are finite, and contingent beings.

298. Therefore to ascribe to God a Negation of some Possible Volitions cannot be charged as making Gods Will to be Idle, or Neutral, or as any Imperfection: seeing it is but his free-negation of his own Act, through his perfection.

299. Nor can it be said, that hereby we make God Finite in that his Will is made Finite in Act, which is Himself. For his Will is Infinite as it is his Essence, and as it Acteth upon Himself; though as it acteth ad extra on finite temporary Creatures, it must needs be relatively, and connotatively as to the terminus denominated finite: which all must hold de re, that think not the World is Infinite. If the Sun were alone in Vacuo, it would be as Great as now it is, and as perfect: And yet as its beams are terminated on this or that recipient Creature, they are more limited.

300. We cannot prove that really God hath any Positive Decrees or Volitions of Nothings as such.

301. Therefore none such should be asserted by Divines, much less pre­tended necessary to be believed, to our Concord.

302. It seemeth more allowable to hold the Negative, that God hath no such Decrees; because Nothing is not a capable terminus of a Divine act: And therefore it is a fiction of Scaliger, that [Omnipotentia agit in non ens, ut fiat ens,] Exercit. 365. n. 9. pag. 1074. And si entia non sunt multiplicanda sine necessitate, much less Divine acts. Also Non-vo­lition is enough to a non-existence or a Nothing; Therefore a Nolition need not be feigned to it: & frustra fit per plura, quod, &c.

303. Yet knowing so little of God as we do, I dare not boldly assert the contrary: But it's enough to know that this must not be asserted, and built on in our disputes.

304. How God Willeth future Contingents troubleth the Schools with many needless difficulties as well as how he knoweth them. About his knowledge of them, before treated of, there are besides the Dominicans that lay it on Pre-determination as decreed, and the Scotists that lay it on De­cree or Will alone, several other opinions: One is of Ambr. Catharinus de Praed. Sanct. who holdeth that God knoweth not future Contingents, cert [...] sub conditione causali, but only by conjecture: Because the object is not otherwise scibile. 2. Vasquez saith, that God cannot know a future con­tingent meerly contingent, as being not determinate: And that the Pro­position [Page 49] hereof is ever false, because it is spoken by way of Causality and Consequence, when there is none. 3. Suarez and others say, that God knoweth future contingents, even when the Condition is disparate or of no Causality, a true Connexion of the terms suffering. Albertinus Princ. 4. To. 1. qu. 4. dub. 1. p. 292. pretendeth to a middle way, viz. 1. That future contingents sub conditione are certainly known of God, whether the condition be Causal or meerly Conditional. 2. But quando Conditio est di­sparata, non potest futurum Contingens sub illa Conditione cognosci à Deo. 3. But because there is a Concomitancy between the terms of the propo­sitions, such a disparate Proposition may be known of God, sub ratione Concomitantiae.

And accordingly they diversifie Gods Decrees. To the question, Whe­ther conditional future contingents may be known of God in his Decree, he first telleth us of a threefold Decree, 1. Conditional quoad Actum & Obje­ctum, ut [si discernerem concursurum cum voluntate creata, si talis occa­sio occurreret, hoc futurum esset.] 2. Ex parte objecti only, (being abso­lute ex parte actus.) 3. Absolute on both parts; I refer you to him p. 296, 297. if you will see the decision, lest I perplex and weary you: And for the same reason pass by a multitude of other controversies of these men.

SECT. XIV. Of several Distinctions of Gods Will.

305. MAny distinctions of Gods Will are used about these Controver­sies: As, 1. The Positive Acts of Gods Will are distinguish­ed from his not-acting (or not-willing.) 2. The Positive objectively, from the Negative-quoad objectum. 3. The Positive from the oppositive. 4. The Immanent and the Transient acts. 5. The Transient efficienter, and the Transient only objectively. 6. The Natural and the Free. 7. The Ef­ficient and Permissive acts. 8. Beneplaciti & signi. 9. Absolute and Con­ditional. 10. Effectual and uneffectual. 11. The Decreeing Will and the Preceptive Will. 12. Antecedent and Consequent. And because you will meet with all these, I shall tell you in what sense only they must be received.

306. I. Of the first I have said enough before. Gods free-will hath its free-not-willings, that are no nolitions.

307. II. The meaning of the second is, that God doth positively will some Beings, and some Negatives. If they mean Negative Propositions, it's true, but inept; Because those are Positive Beings. If they mean in the second branch [Nothings] they cannot prove that God Positive­ly at all willeth them. But he oft willeth their Antecedents and consequents, and occasions, and he willeth all creatures to be Limited and Imperfect, and so Negations must needs consequently pass upon them: And in that he willeth not-more, and willeth causes which may be deficient, men improperly and consequently say he willeth negatively, ne sint Plura, and the defects. But this is not strict speech.

308. Yet in a Moral sense God is oft said to will Nothings (or Negatives quoad esse:) (As that men shall not have grace, that they shall not live, or not be pardoned, or saved, &c.) 1. Because he doth properly and positively Will and make that Law which condemneth them to these penalties; 2. Be­cause he will have Christ positively Condemn them to Privative punish­ments; 3. Because he doth positively take away some of the mercies which [Page 50] tend to save them; 4. And he doth freely and penally not-give them that which they are deprived of. So that this Language is not unfit while we speak of Moral Subjects, and of God after our manner. But in strict speech it cannot be proved that any [Nothing] is the proper object of a Volition of God.

309. The opinion of Scotus and his followers is known this way. And subtile Albertine To. 1. princ. 4. qu. 4. p. 297. saith, that Congruentius dicitur Deum non actu Positivo velle negationes,—& Resp. Deum non See after the Additions of Divine Nolitions. habere actum positivum non concurrendi, sed negationem actus Volendi dare concursum efficacem: & [...]uxta hunc modum melius intelligitur quomodo se habet Voluntas Dei circa peccatum. Nam Deus non vult peccatum actu positivo, sed tantum negative se habet circa concursum efficacem dandi re­media illa per quae efficaciter impediretur peccatum—Vid. caet.

310. III. The third distinction is between Gods Love and Hatred, his Volitions and Nolitions; And this must be used. But Hatred and Nolition in man have more of imperfection, than Love and Volition, importing some-what contrary to us, and either hurtful, troublesome, feared, or that possi­bly may be so. Therefore we must confess here, that we speak of God with greater impropriety, and must disclaim the imperfection in the sense.

311. But if you would not be abused into many errors, swallow not the name [Love] and [Hatred] without distinction; Lest the fore-cited reason of Pennottus cheat you; viz. [God Loveth a man converted whom he Hated while wicked: Ergo he can decree or predestinate a man to salva­tion, whom before he decreed and reprobated to damnation.] And all rose from this falshood, that [Love is nothing but the Willing of salvation to us] and so the same with Decree: Whereas Love is also, yea, most pro­perly a Complacency in Good as Good, and Hatred a Displicency in Evil as Evil. Benevolence is sometime Antecedent and sometime an effect of this in man.

312. IV. The Immanent and Transient acts, I need say no more of.

313. V. But Divines use to omit the next distinction (of Transient D'Orbellis in 1. d. 4. Quando quaeritur utrum Electio vel Reprobatio ra­tionem Meritoriam habeant, hoc non intelligitur quan­tum ad Voluntatem divi­nam, au [...] [...]jus actum, qui est Deus: sed quantum ad transitum ejus super ob [...]e­ctum; seu quantum ad ordi­nationem ad ipsam Volun­tatem. acts) so much, that few of them let you know, whether that which is but Objectively Transient, be numbred by them with Immanent or with Tran­sient acts. Briefly, 1. As Gods Will is the first efficient, and with his Wisdom and Executive Power doth effect ad extra, it is effectively Transi­ent, (though Essentially Immanent in it self.) 2. But as Gods Will is (as aforesaid) the Final Cause or End of all things, and willeth things only Complacentially, supposing all that is Complacent to be Existent (in esse reali, vel in esse cognito) so is it only Objectively Transient, and not ef­fectively; and therefore by many is numbred with Immanent acts. And as God may be said to know and will the creature in himself, and to Love the Idea of it in himself, the phrase is not to be blamed: But as the Crea­ture in it self considered by fore-knowledge or present knowledge (if we may so distinguish) is the object, it seemeth unfit to call the act Immanent, though it do nihil ponere (vel efficere) in objecto.

314. But Gods Will as it effecteth Relations ad extra, is even effective­ly Transient, as well as that which altereth qualities: e. g. his Pardoning, Ju­stifying, Adopting acts of Will.

315. VI. How far Gods Volitions of creatures are free, the subtilest confess to be un­searchable. Vasquez (ut supra) in 1. Thom. q. 19. disp. 80. p. 504. [Licet assignemus in Deo liberta­tem comparatione facta cum objectis & rebus crea­tis, tamen non assigna­mus sufficientem rationem ex parte Dei cur nunc actu libero efficaci reseratur ad has potius quam ad illas; Siquidem Idem omnino manens in s [...], poterat eas non velle quas vult: Quare cum rem exactius enodare contendimus, dif­ficultatem praedi [...]am e [...]a­dere n [...] possumus.] See more of him before. Gods Natural Volitions are those which ex natura rei, could not be otherwise; that is, All his Volitions of his own being and perfections; To which some number natural necessary objects, in the creatures: As his Volition that Contradictions shall not be true; that two and two shall be four, or two more than one, &c. His Free Volitions are those which might have been otherwise as to the nature of the thing, and as to the [Page 51] power of the Divine will. Such is the Volition of the being of all the Creatures.

316. The Schoolmens contention whether the Son be freely begotten, and the Holy Ghost freely proceed, ariseth from the ambiguity of the word [free;] which I will not trouble you with.

317. Yet all agree that Gods Volitions are all eternall, and therefore eternally necessary necessitate existentiae.

318. And some think it best to say that they are respectively to be called both Necessary and Free; Because Gods will chose that which his wisdom saw was Best, and he must necessarily choose the Best. But we must not be here too bold in our Conclusions.

319. VII. The distinction of an efficient and permissive Will is no bet­ter, nor other, than that of a Volition and no Volition. But to distinguish the Efficient and Permissive Act, implyeth a falshood, That Permission as such is an Act.

320. Yet Gods Law may be said to have a permissive Act, that is, He may declare [This I permit you to do, or leave indifferent] as to political permission. And as to Physical permission, I have shewed before, that some positive removal of Impediments, are sometimes called non impedire, or permission: But permission it self as such is no act.

321. VIII. The distinction of Vol. Beneplaciti & signi is old and common: But not a distinguishing the Acts of Gods will, but rather his Vo­litions from the signs of them. For it is his Voluntas beneplaciti that there shall be such signs.

322. The five signs commonly named by the Schoolmen are Praecipit ac prohibet, permittit, consulit, implet. And the older Schoolmen say that these are called Gods Will Metaphorically only, yea by a remote sort of Metaphor, they being not mans will properly but metaphorically Aqu. 1. q. 19. art. 11, 12. Pet. de Alliaco 1. q. 14. A. Voluntas Dei sumitur Pro­prie; & tunc signat di­vinum beneplacitum, quod non est aliud quam ipse De­us volens. 2. Impropriè & metaphorice pro aliquo signo ejus, &c. only when applyed to man, and accordingly called Gods will. But some of the latter say that they are proper signs of Gods real will. The truth is, they that first used this distinction seem to have intended only Gods Government, if not his word alone with the performance of it, by Vo­luntas signi, (of which next.) Indeed the whole sensible world and all things in it, is some way or other a sign of Gods will: especially the na­ture of man himself, with the nature of all creatures about him, and the order in which he standeth to them; which is therefore called, The Law of Nature.

323. Physical Permission is no positive sign, nor of a positive will (as For this read Alliaco ib. further after cited: And his citation of Gregor. that Voluntas beneplaciti is respectu complexi Voli­tio, prosecutio aut fuga, Aut simplex complacentia & displicentia, & est ipse Deus praeter connotationem. afore opened:) But Legal permission may be.

324. The distinction between praecipit and consulit would be vain, but that Aqu. and some others expound consulit by Perswading. For God counselleth to nothing but what is Best; and that which is Best, precept (even natural) maketh it our Duty to choose: But Precept going before and Making Duty, Perswading-counsel may come after and urge us to perform it.

325. Gods Voluntas signi & Bene-placiti are never contrary pro­perly taken: Nor doth he give us any false signs of his Will; And therefore his word is alwayes true: But there are many things which ignorance mis-judgeth to be a sign of some Divine Volition, which they signifie not; and some dark signes which are not easily understood. If men mistake Gods works or word, the sign was not false, but their exposition of it. But of this next.

[Page 52] 326. IX. Dr. Twisse useth instead of this the distinction of Volunta [...] Beneplaciti & Praecepti. His sence is Right, but the terms are too nar­row. [...] si [...] seu praece­ [...], [...] di [...]tur du [...] ­ [...] [...]. 1. Q [...] ita sit q [...] per tale signum vel prae [...]p [...] signatur ad in­tentionem praecipientis: Et sic semp [...]r impl [...]r. Nam p [...]r tale praeceptum signifi­catur aliquid debere fieri à Cr [...]atur [...]: & ita est: Aliter tale sign [...]m non ess [...]t verum. 2. Quod ita sit vel [...]iat sicut per tale praece­ptum signatar de [...]ere fieri: & sic non semper impletur. Pet. de Alliaco 1. q. 14. F. T [...]e true Distinction is of Gods Will of Natural Things and Events as such, and his Will de Debito vel Jure as such: His will as it is the Fountain of Nature, and as it is the fountain of Morality or Right: O [...] his Will of Natural Events and his Law.

327. This distinction is of Greater and more Necessary use to us than any of the rest; yea so great that it is included in the first principle of Religion and morality; and is understood (distinctly or more darkly, but really) by all Christians and moral agents.

328. The distinction is fetcht from the objects: The common object of the one being Nature as such, and of the other Debitum or Jus as such.

329. As Gods Will de Naturalibus is his Bene placitum; and the ef­fects of it are the signa subsequentia, and prophesie a prognostick of the effect; so Gods will de Debito is his Beneplacitum, signified by his Law and Judgement.

330. Though the word [Law] be usually taken more narrowly for on­ly [Statute eminent Laws] yet I here take it general [...]y; And it is [The Governing Will of a Rector signified, constituting or confirming Right (or Dueness) from and to the Subject; or A Rectors constitutive Determination of Right; or, The sign of a Rectors Will constituting Right.]

331. God being most Great and Wise and Good, and mans Crea­tor, and thence our Ab [...]olute supream Rector, his Will must needs be the fountain of all Morality and Right. 1. Sicut Divina volunt as in g [...]re causae e [...]ici [...]is est prima [...] causa, sic ips [...] in ge [...]ere [...]eg [...] ob­ligantis est p [...]ima [...]ex seu Regula. 2. Sicut divina voluntas est efficiens causa quia vult aliquid esse vel [...]: sic ipsa est [...]ex obli­gatoria quia vult aliquid ad aliqualiter esse vel non esse tereri. 3. Sicut divina Voluntas est [...]ex perfectis­sima rationalis creaturae, sic Lex Christi vel do­c [...]rina est signum perfectis­simum volu [...]tis divinae. Pet. All [...]. Camer. in 1. se [...]; [...]. 1. [...] Dei signi non semper impletur. 2. Vo­luntas [...]en [...]placiti antece­de [...]s, non se [...] per impletur. 3. Volunt [...]s beneplaciti constque [...]s semper impletur. Prohibiti [...] [...]et non signat Deum Nolie efficaciter il­lud fieri quod prohibet fi­eri. Idem 1. q. 44. F. De praecepto & prohibitione s [...]t [...] patet quod quilibet ten [...]tur se conformare uni­versaliter tali Voluntati—D [...]ri obligationem, non est proprie l [...]quendo effectus o [...]ligationis [...]; sed te [...]ri ad implendum est [...]jus e [...]tus. Idem ib. [...]. H.

332. It is not the Will in it self that is a Law, nor doth any Im­manent act oblige us, or constitute Duty: But it is Gods Will as signified. And therefore Lex aeterna is an improper speech.

333. Tilenus and others who think it fitter only to distinguish Quid Deus ipse vult facere, and Quid à nobis vult fieri, do but hide and not open the truth: For the terms seem to express the Event in both, and distinguish not of Event and Duty. Whereas if God Willed the Event of what he commandeth us, as he doth of what he effecteth, it would be done. And he doth also by his Absolute Decree, Will many things to be done by us, which his Law commandeth not. Such as are many meer Na­tural actions, quas à nobis vult fieri.

334. Morality being but Modality and Relation of Natural Entities, the Acts or Habits themselves commanded and forbidden are quid Na­turale in themselves considered, and so far are under Gods will de natu­ralibus; But it is only the Debitum or Jus that is constituted by his Le­gislative will.

335. Though Gods will de Naturalibus must operate by real efficient efflux, yet his will de Debito effecteth by meer signification or notification to the subject.

336. Legem facere vel signum dare is an act of Gods will de quo­dam naturali vel eventu: (For the signum is aliquid naturale.) But per signum facere Jus is that which is proper to the Governing or Legal Will.

337. If we will denominate Gods will here ab origine, It is, 1. An­tecedent to the Creature, (supposed;) And that is his Creating will. 2. Supposing the Creature in Being; and that is, 1. His will as Propri­etary and Actor of all things; And that is his Moving and Disposing will, [Page 53] of Events. 2. His will as Governour (Morally) And that is his Mo­rally Ruling will. 3. His will ut Amator & Finis; And that is his Beneficent and felicitating will. And among these it is his Regent will which I am treating of. And though his Law as making Jus, be the first and chief part, yet his Judgement as it decideth, and his Execution as it giveth every Man his Right and Due, is included.

338. It is not Gods will without the sign (as is said) nor the sign without his will, but the sign as notifying, and his will as notified that is a Law, and Jus the Effect: Gods will is the principal Cause, and quasi Anima Legis; and the sign is the instrumental Cause, and quasi Corpus.

339. The Sign re [...]pecteth these things, 1. The matter due. 2. The dueness or right. 3. The will of God concerning or constituting it. 4. The mind and will of man to whom this is signified.

Or, 1. Gods will as the Efficient of Right. 2. The matter and form of Right as Constituted. 3. The mind and will of man as the terminus.

340. These signs of Gods will are, 1. Natural, called the Law of Na­ture: which is the Natura & ordo rerum, especially ipsius hominis as before described. 2. By extraordinary Revelation. The latter have the great advantage of plainness, significandi rem praeceptam. The former hath the fuller evidence of its Author and Original that it is indeed of God. Both are his Laws to man.

341. La [...], Judgement and execution (the three parts of Government) differ in that, 1. Law maketh the Debitum or Jus; 2. Judgement determi­neth It is of great use for a Divine who handleth Gods Laws to understand the nature of Laws in ge­nere (as Suarez in praes. de Legib. sheweth; which Book is one of the best on that Subject that is extant among us.) of it by dec [...]sive application; 3. Execution distributeth according to it.

342. The Jus vel Debitum, instituted by the Law, is twofold. 1. A Subditis: What shall be Due from the Subjects: the Debitum Officii. 2. Subditis: what shall be Due to the Subjects: viz. 1. Antecedently to their merits (which is 1. The act of our Governing Benefactor. 2. Or a Divider: such was the Law for dividing the Israelites inheritances.) 2. Consequently; which is by the Retributive part of the Law (com­monly called the Sanction,) which is 1. By the Premiant part, what Re­ward shall be due: 2. By the Penal, what Punishment.

343. Accordingly Laws have several parts: 1. Precept and Prohibi­tion, making Duty: 2. Retributive, 1. Premiant, 2. Penal; called Gods Promises and Threats: 3. And subservient or accidental; 1. Narra­tives Historical, Chronological, &c. 2. Pure Donations: 3. Prophesies; 4. Doctrinal, 5. Exhortatory, 6. Reprehensive, &c.

344. Though Debitum vel Jus facere, be the formal operation of a Law; (which is to be Fundamentum Relationis) yet the Act of the chief parts (preceptive or penal) is commonly called Obligation: And so many say that obligare aut ad obedientiam aut ad poenam is all the action of a Law. But Obligare is a Metaphor, and therefore in dispute to be laid by, or to give place to the proper terms: And the Premiant act is not pro­perly called obligation; nor the penal act, save in a secondary notion, as he is [...]bligatus ad poenam ferendam, if judged, who is first Reus poenae, or to whom it is made Due by the Law.

345. The [...]bligation aut ad obedientiam aut ad poenam is not of equa­lity in the disjunctive. As if God were indifferent which we chose: But it is primarily ad obedientiam, and but subserviently ad poenam as a means against future disobedience, and a securing the ends of Government, in case of sin.

346. But the Preceptive and the Premiant parts, are each chief or final in several respects: God Commandeth us a Course of Duty or Right [Page 54] action to this end, that we may be Happy in his Love. And he promi­seth us first, and giveth us after in foretaste, this Happiness, to draw us to Duty.

347. But here is a wonderful inseparable twist; and in the main an Identity. God Ruleth us as a Father, or Regent Benefactor: All his Benefits are Free-gifts, as to the Thing and Value; But given 1. In an Order. 2. And the rest as means to the ultimate. In which respects they are a Reward, or means to it. His very Law is a Gift and a great Benefit. Duty is the means to keep his first Gifts and to receive more. The very doing of the duty is a receiving of the Reward; the object of duty being felicitating. (As if feasting or accepting offered wealth or ho­nour were our work.) Holiness is happiness, in a great part. And in our End or state of perfection all will be one: To Love God, Rejoice in Him and praise him, will be both our duty and felicity, means and end, as it were, in one.

348. Whereas some say, that if there were no Law, sin would deserve punishment, it is an errour: For it is due only by Law. But it's true Of all the following di­stinctions, note these words of Bonavent. in 1. d. 4 [...]. a. 1. q. 1. Volun­t [...]em D [...]i Antecedentem s [...] Conditionalem, possibl [...]e [...] non impleri:—at con­sequentem & absolutam ne­qu [...] [...]uam. S [...]un [...]um Da­ [...]sc. Voluntas ben [...]p [...]aciti [...]t [...]apl. Antecedens seu Conditionales & conse­quous, qua vult quantum in s [...] est omnium salutem; & alsoluta sive consequens, qu [...] determinate vult aliquid q [...]d no [...]it certitudin [...]. Intelligendum [...] n [...]llam Dei Voluntatem p [...]sse superari aut cassari; Aliquam tamen posse non imp [...]eri ( [...]t antecedentem) Aliq [...]m ut consequentem impossibile [...]sse no [...] impleri, [...] impedi [...]i:—Non [...]tiam possibil [...] est Volunta­tem Dei cassari: Nam cassam di [...]itur aliquid dum pri [...]tur e [...]ectu p [...]io ad quem est: Vo­luntas aut [...] nullo priva­tur esseciu ad qu [...]m est p [...]p [...]ie. Nam quod dici­tur quod Deus vult omnes homi [...]s salvos fieri quan­t [...]m in s [...] est, haec Voluntas non connotat salutem; nec proprie est ad effectum sa­lut [...]s: sed connotat ordina­tio [...]m naturae, sive natu­r [...]m ordinabil [...]n ad salu­t [...]n. [...] ni [...]il plus est di [...]re Deus vult istum sal­ [...] fieri quantum in se est, q [...]m De [...] placuit dare isti [...]ram per quam posset p [...] ­ [...]ire ad sa [...]u [...]em; & quod Deus para [...] esset ju­ [...]re, ita quod salus non deficit prop [...]er dese [...]tum à p [...]nte Dei. Therefore it connoteth also all the helps which God afford­eth men. that it's due by the meer Law of Nature, without any superadded Positive Laws.

349. Gods will called Legislative, or Governing is ever fulfilled in strict sence, that is, So much as is Gods part and the Laws part to do, is ever done: e. g. God saith [Perfect obedience, &c. shall be Adams duty] and it is done: It is his Duty whether he will or not. He saith [To steal shall be sin] and it is sin. He saith [He that believeth shall have right to Justification and Glory, and he that believeth not shall be Filius mortis, that is, Death and Hell shall be his Due] and so it is. Thus strictly all Gods Will is done.

350. But in the secondary remote sence every sin violateth the Will of God, by breaking his Law: For when he saith [Obedience shall be thy duty;] we use to say, It is Gods will that we should obey him: And so when we do not obey him, we are said to Violate his will. But this is but metonymically: For that which is Gods will indeed is but that we shall be bound to obey (whether we do or not:) And the event, whe­ther we shall or not de facto, is not at all determined by the Law.

351. Therefore if it were proved that God did Decree one thing, and command the contrary, it would not prove two contrary wills in God; nor is there any great shew of a contradiction in it. For to say [I for­bid Judas to hang himself] and [I decree that he shall hang himself] are no contradictions; It is but to say, [It shall be his Duty to preserve his life] and [Eventually he shall not preserve it.] All that is a mans Duty doth not come to pass: And to determine of Duty, is not to say, It shall come to pass. Otherwise Gods word were false whenever man sinned. Nay in reality, Augustine (truly) judged that by Gods Law Hell was Due to Paul unconverted, and yet then he was a chosen Vessel, and God Decreed to save him. He thought that Perseverance was the Duty of some that after fell away, and that Heaven was their Due on conditi­on of perseverance till they fell away, (though not presently to be pos­sessed;) and yet that God decreed that ipso permittente eventually they should fall away and perish.

352. If a King made a Law that no man shall murder another, and yet knoweth that a certain Traytor that hath broken Prison, is like to fall into the hands of some Thieves or Enemies that will kill him, If he be secretly willing that he be killed by them, it is no contradiction: The Law maketh it their duty not to Kill; But it saith not, that they shall not de even­tu, by way of Prognostication.

[Page 55] 353. But yet indeed God never doth command an act or forbid an act; [...]nd yet Decree that the same Act immediately commanded shall not be [...]one, or that the act directly forbidden shall be done. Because sin is a thing [...]hat God cannot decree or will, (of which anon.)

354. But the effect of the commanded or forbidden act is sometimes said [...]o be commanded or forbidden: And this may be contrarily decreed of God. And men that think not truly of the matter, think that this is to Decree a thing forbidden, and so they err by such confused thoughts. E. G. Gods command is that I shall relieve a poor man, and not let him fa­ [...]ish; and that I shall heal the sick, &c. and yet God may decree that this [...]oor man shall be famished, and this sick man dye; And yet no contra­diction. For indeed [Relieving] in effect, is but the End of the Act which is commanded me, and not the act it self: I am bound to offer him [...]elief: But if one cannot take it, and another will not, yet I have done my duty: And so in the other instance. So God commanded Abraham [...]o sacrifice his Son, and yet decreed that he should not be sacrificed; And [...]his without any contradiction. For the act that under that name was commanded Abraham, and made his duty, was not actual eventual sacri­ [...]icing. (For then it had been a duty to resist the Angel and do a thing [...]mpossible.) But to consent and endeavour on his part to sacrifice his Son: which he did. So the preservation of our own and others lives is commanded us by God, and yet at the same time mens death decreed: Be­cause the thing indeed commanded, is not Preservation as it signifieth the effect and success, but only Preservation as it signifieth our true endea­vour. So the Jews were forbidden to kill Christ, and yet God decreed that Christ should be killed: For the thing forbidden them was their own Consent and wicked act: But the thing that God willed and decreed was only the effect, without any Will of their Act that caused it (unless in genere actus,) but only a permission of it. Men of gross brains that cannot distinguish and judge accurately, may blaspheme God in their ig­norance, in a case that to a discerning judgement is very plain.

355. Of which see Amyraldus against Spanhem. de Grat. Universali. The next distinction of Gods Will, is into Absolute and Conditional; which some Divines use and others condemn, and say that God hath no Conditional Will. The common answer which most Schoolmen and other Papists agree with the Protestants in, is, that there are Conditions rei volitae of the event of the thing Willed, but no Conditions of the act of Volition in God. As Aquinas saith of Causes, De Vol. Conditionali, & authoritatibus & rationi­bus pro eadem Vide Ruiz. de Vol. Dei, disp. 20. But his assertion that [Una creatura est Ratio mo­vens tanquam objectum materiale (secundario) ut Deus velit aliam produce­re] is a fiction, though he lay his stress on it about the ordo decreto­rum. For movere is cau­sare, and nothing doth cause or move God to act. There are Rationes effectuum & eorum ordi­nis: but none of the ef­ficient Acts of God in him: If you say, It is absurd to say, that God had no Reason to will the creation of this world rather than another: I answer, That is an Act of efficient Wisdom, above all Reason: But to fetch Reasons from the object, and thereby to be moved to Act, is the part of the imperfect creature. Rea­soning properly is be­low God: much more to be moved by extrinsick objective reasons: Yet on this Ruiz disp. 24. lay­eth a great fabrick; and so men may draw twenty Schemes of Gods Reason­ings as they variously fancy. Deus vult hoc esse propter hoc; non autem propter hoc vult hoc. 1. There are both Causes and Conditions of the event willed of God. 2. Denominatione extrinseca ex connotatione objecti his Will is hence called Conditional; meaning but a Volition of Conditionals.

356. That God willeth Conditions, and Conditional Propositions, and Grants, is past all controversies. For he willeth his own word, which is his work: But his word hath conditional promises and threats: And as his word also may be called his will, he hath a Conditional will, because a Conditional word.

357. Gods eternal Omniscience proveth, that at no instant he had a will properly Conditional quoad actum: Because he that at the same instant fore-knoweth whether the Condition would be done or not, must needs have his will to be thereby absolute. But yet if it had pleased God to suspend the Act of his own Volition, upon a humane Condition, it would not have exposed him at all to the charge either of mutability or dependence: which is very clear. For 1. It is presupposed his Will as Voluntas & Es­sentia is unalterable, and is not that of which we speak. 2. But only his [Page 56] Volition as terminated on this or that object, and so as haec volitio ab objecto denominata. 3. And his efficient Volition, and Power is termina­ted on objects in time, without mutation in God. 4. And N. B. that God doth suspend his own Possible Volitions in many cases; As he doth Not will to make more Worlds, more Men, more Suns, more Laws, &c. than de facto he will make. 5. And it is no more defectiveness in God to suspend a Volition for a time, than thus to do it for ever. 6. And it is no more Dependence on the Creature to Terminate his Volition only on a qualified subject (performing the Condition) than to terminate his Efficient Power and will on such or such a qualified subject. As e. g. He terminateth his Omnipotent Concurse for Generation only on the materia seminalis recte disposita; He concurreth to burn by fire, &c. And if his Acts ef­fectively Transient may be terminated only and temporarily on disposed ob­jects, If he did so in acts Objectively Transient, and did freely not-will the damnation of man till he had actually sinned, but suspended his will freely till then, and then de novo terminated it on the said qualified ob­ject, I see no shew of Dependence or Mutability. For I oft cleared it be­fore, that the termination of Gods Knowledge, Will or Power on any parti­cular Object, is in him no addition to its estence; And doing it de novo, is no change in him but in the Creature only; no more than it would be a change in the Sun or its active Emanations, if a thousand new creatures newly receive its Influx and are moved by it variously according to their se­veral Conditions. Yet I have before given reasons why incipere jam praede­stinare is more incongruous language.

358. I put in this only to deprecate the blind uncharitable censures of dissenters in this point, who think that Gods Volitions are New and Condi­tional and suspended, quoad actum hunc ad hoc objectum; and cry out, It is blasphemy, and maketh God mutable and dependent. I am against their opini­on as well as you as to Conditional Acts: But false charges prove you not to have more truth, but less love and sobriety than others.

359. XI. The next distinction of Gods Will is into Effectual and Un­effectual. And here he that would see a great deal said on the question, Whether God have any uneffectual Will, and whether mans will can fru­strate it, may see too much in a multitude of Schoolmen on 1 Sent. q. 45. & 46. Some answer (as D'Orbellis, &c.) that the Voluntas Beneplaciti is Aq. a. 1. Scot. q. un. Du­rand. q. 1. Bonav. art. 1. Greg. Arim. q. un. ar. 3. Pennot. l. 4. c. 22. Alvar. de Aux. disp. 32. Ruiz de Volunt. disp. 18. Gran. de Vol. Dei. Tract. 4. disp. 3. Suar. l. 4. de Pradest. c. 8. Gr. Val. disp. 1. q. 19. p. 6. Cajct. Nazar. Ban. Zum. Navar. Gonzal. Molin. Vasqu. &c. in 1. p. q. 19. ar. 6. Ripa. Arrub. Fasol. ibid. Nic. D'Orbel. 1. d. 46. and many other Scotists, &c. ever effectual, but not the Vol. signi; which yet seeing he well explaineth to be only the making of Duty, he might well have said is still effectual to its proper primary effect. Greg. Arimin. (and many others) distinguish of the will of Complacency and Displicency, and that Prosecutionis & fugae; and say the latter is effectual, and not the former: which others say of the Absolute Will as distinct from the Conditional. The plain truth I have oft opened before: Gods Will is the first Efficient, the chief Diri­gent, and the Final Cause; (in which the three Principles, Power, Wisdom and Goodness are eminet.) 1. His efficient will is ever effectual, and never frustrate. Whatsoever pleased the Lord (to do) that he did, in Hea­ven and in Earth, in the Sea and in the depths, Psal. 135. 6. And who hath resisted (this) his will? Rom. 9. 19. 2. His Directing will is ever effectual as to the making of the Law or Rule, and of Due or Right there­by: For so far it is efficient of that effect: But it is too oft violated by our sin. 3. His final will or Complacency is Gods being pleased with the Being, or Action, or relation of the Creature, and supposing it, is not efficient, and therefore not effectual. And I know no need of more upon this question.

360. XII. The last now to be named is, The Antecedent and Consequent. [Page 57] will. This also is handled by many Schoolmen, and much used by the Jesuits and Arminians. To pass by others, Pennottus handleth it pro­pugn. l. 4. c. 21. having first shewed, c. 20. p. 225. that Chrysostom and Damascene first used it. His explicatory Propositions are, 1. Vol. Antec. Chrys. in Eph. Hom. 1. Da­mas [...]. fid. Orthod. l. 2. c. 29. & cont. Manich. ad [...]nem. & Cons. non est in Deo respectu omnium Volitorum, sed solum respectu [...]o­rum quae aliquo modo pendent ex lib. arbitrio creaturae. 2. Voluntas ante­cedens est illa qua Deus vult hominis salutem quantum in ipso est, & qua illum ad salutem ordinat, & media ad salutem necessaria praepa­rat, quibus nisi per ipsum hominem steterit, salutem assequatur. 3. Non semper Voluntas antecedens & Consequens circa objecta contraria versantur, sed potest idem objectum esse Volitum à Deo Voluntate tum ante­cedente tum consequente. 4. Voluntas antecedens in Deo est Voluntas be­neplaciti, & non solum voluntas signi. 5. Voluntas antecedens est forma­liter Alliaco Camerac. 1. q. 14. D. E. tells you the sense of Thom. Scotus, Ockam, & Gregor. of this distincti­on: and that of Scotus and Ockam is to the same purpose with what I here say of it; including that antecedent Grace which they call sufficient, which God giveth to perswade men to consent. The Schoolmen are dis­agreed of the sense of this distinction: and not understanding it, contend about it. See Ruiz de Vol. Dei, disp. 19. §. 2, 3, 4, 5. p. 195, 196, &c. & proprie in Deo existens, & non solum per metaphoram ad eum mo­dum, quo Voluntas signi.

361. I tell you their sense, that I may the better open the plain truth to you, which is as followeth. 1. This distinction of Vol. antec. & cons. is not applyed to God as he is our Creator, or End, nor as he is meer Pro­prietor or Benefactor; but only as he is Rector, or Moral Ruler of man. 2. As Government hath an Antecedent and Consequent part, viz. Legisla­tion and Judgement (with Execution) so Gods Antecedent will is nothing but his Legal will, or his Will as Rector signified by his Laws: And his Consequent will, is his Judicial will, or expressed in Judgement; One An­tecedent to Mans part (obedience or disobedience) and the other Con­sequent to it. 3. It is most certain that God willeth Antecedently all that is in his Law, that is, that all that believe and repent shall be saved: And that he willeth Consequently that Judas e. g. and every finally impenitent unbeliever shall be damned. For what God doth, that he willeth to do: But God doth himself make such a Law, and pass such a judgement: Ergo he is willing of it.

SECT. XV. Of the Order of Gods Decrees by way of Intention and Execution.

362. THere is no part of this Controversie more contentiously and I fear presumptuously and too audaciously handled, than this of the Intentional order of Gods Decrees. Of which many have said much, but no man hath laid so great a stress on it as those two very good men Dr. Twisse and his follower Samuel Rutherford. Scotus's order is else­where recited: Take Vasquez's as in 1. Tho. q. 23. a. 3. d. 95. c. 6. Both of the adult and infants: [1. Praeviderit Deus om­nes in Massa perditionis peccato obnoxios propter transgressionem Adami: 2. Hoc non obstante, voluit primaria voluntate ex seipso quosdam parvulos & omnes adultos ad beatitudinem pervenire, & ad hoc media sufficientia concesserit, quamvis efficacia & con­grua negaverit; non in­tentione excludendi [...]os à regno, sed ostendendi divi­tias suas in vasa miseri­cordiae. 3. Ut viderit [...]os in p [...]cca. orig. aut actuali decedere, & 4. Ob id effi­caciter decreverit ipsos ex­pellere à beatitudine, & adultos ad poenam ignis destinaverit, ex quo quar­to instanti incipit Repro­batio eorum à gloria. Circa alios vero parvulos quibus non concessit posse applicari remedia, Ordo in divina praescientia & eorum repro­batio à negatione gratiae incipit.] Would you not think that he took all these for distinct thoughts in God? when he mean­eth no real diversity at all. But on this supposi­tion we have had many very bold Schemes of Gods Intentional Decrees given us; of which you may see some in worthy. Mr. Perkins Golden Chain, and in Beza, and out of him in English his Tractate published with Mr. Gilbies of Predestination, and in Piscator, and others.

363. By this way the Anti arminians are fallen into the distinct parties, of Sublapsarians, and Supralapsarians; And these into two parties; one mak­ing man as not existent in esse cognito, the other man in innocency, the object of Predestination.

364. 1. The common way is to distribute the Means among themselves, as any of them are subservient to others, as their end, and so to make a great many of Decrees or parts of the Decree, first of the ultimate end, and then of the next, and the next to that, and so on, till you come to the first means which is no end; as the Writer imagineth them to lye.

[Page 58] 365. 2. The second way is invented as Conciliatory by Dr. Twisse (and so it is) viz. that God hath but two Decrees, one de fine, and the other de mediis, and that all the media are the objects but of one Decree, and so that we need not trouble the Church with disputing which of them is first or last.

366. 3. A third opinion I have long ago read in a MS. of Animadversions on Dr. Twisse by a Learned Judicious and Godly Doctor (yet living) who proveth that God hath but one Decree de fine & de mediis, which cast­eth away all the matter of the Controversies about the priority and poste­riority. And it were well if the Controversie were so ended.

367. 4. Many Arminians write as if the order of Intention and of Exe­cution were the same, and so begin at the other end, and give us a Scheme just contrary to the first sort, (Beza, Perkins, &c.)

368. 5. Some hold that Intendere finem is proper to the imperfect crea­ture, and not belonging to God; and therefore that he hath no order of In­tention in his decrees at all, because no proper end.

369. 6. Some hold that the whole business of the order of Intention is utterly beyond our reach: And therefore that we should meddle only with the order of Execution: Thus saith the most judicious Bishop Davenant soundly, Dissert. de Praedest. & Reprob. cap. 9. pag. 209. Haec argumenta­tio (Corvini) vocat nos ad speculationem valde difficilem & dogmaticae Theologiae fundandae minime accommodatam. Nititur enim consideratione Prioritatis & Posterioritatis in illis duobus Voluntatis Divinae decretis de dando Mediatore & de Electis servandis, quae utraque ab aeterno fuere con­cepta & constituta. Ad me quod attinet, scio ordinem Executionis, secun­dum quem Deus voluit beneficia ad homines pervenire, nullo negotio poss [...] delineari: At quo ordine Deus consignata ea tenuit ab aeterno in mente ac voluntate sua, is solus enarrare praesumat, qui se Deo ab arcanis & aternu consiliis etiam affirmare audeat. Fatemur Deum ab aeterno constituisse, ut omnibus salvandis Christus primo in loco proponeretur, dein per fidem ap­prehenderetur, hinc ut eorundem justificatio sequeretur, tum sanctificatio, & demum Glorificatio. Sed siquis minime contentus hoc ordine exequutionis velit etiam nobis describere seriem Decretorum Divinorum ordine concepti­onis in mente & Voluntate Dei quasi distinctam, atque urgeat cum Arminio Divinam justitiam impugnari nisi hoc consideretur ut illo prius, is mihi vi­detur nimium ingenio suo fidere.

And he citeth Gabr. Biel in 3. d. 2. q. dub. 3. saying Prioritates illas in Divinis hisce decretis non esse ponendas, sicut nec pluralitates actuum ordinatorum. Ac proinde siquis considerare velit talem ordinem horum de­cretorum ut ponat Christi incarnationem electione priorem, vel è contra, hanc considerationem esse falsam specnlationem.

370. Dr. Twisse who reduceth them to two, excludeth mans salvation from the Decree de fine, and thus enumerateth the decreed Means: Twiss. in Vindic. Grat. ll. 3. Digres. 3. pag. Vol. mi­noris 52, 53. [1. The Permission of sin (of which more anon.) 2. The gift of a Sa­viour. 3. The grace of Vocation, Faith, Repentance and Perseverance. 4. The Salvation of persevering penitent believers.] And so as to the ulti­mate end only [quod Prius est intentione, posterius est executione.] But that the order of execution only is to be observed among the Means.

371. The matter it self (or at least my thoughts of it) I shall open as plainly as I can with brevity. First premising that their own doctrine should take them off their confidence and contention about this order of in­tention. For, 1. They oft tell us that all Gods Decrees are eternal with­out any order of Time. And should we not then be afraid of boldness about any other order?

[Page 59] 372. 2. They oft tell us, that Prescience and Science, Predestina­tion and Destination are all one in God, and not to be thought of as acts past and ceased.

373. 3. They oft tell us, that God is one, and his Will is himself; Praedestinatio Dei est ipsa Dei essentia quae est neces­saria. Alliac. Camer. in 1. q. 12. D. See in Ruiz de Vol. Dei, disp. 24. how they are confounded about the ordering of Gods decrees as to the order of In­tention and Execution: His Solution supposeth that Unius objecti Volitio est ratio determinans ad aliorum volitionem: When as ex pa [...]te Dei there is but One Volition, and that hath no cause; and the Ratio is a deceiving ambiguous word. and his Decrees are his Will, and therefore are all but one.

374. 4. They cannot deny but that all our conceptions of God are im­proper, and analogical or metaphorical more or less; and that what Know­ledge and Will in God is formally, no mortal knoweth. And should we di­spute then audaciously about this Order?

375. 5. None can deny, but that these Mysteries require the highest reverence, and that it's dreadful to take Gods Name in vain, and dally with the Consuming fire. And yet shall we presume?

376. 6. They all confess that our Lord Jesus, his Prophets, Apo­stles, or Scriptures, lead them not this way, and decide not these Con­troversies, so as that they can stand to their decision alone.

377. 7. They cannot deny, but that desiring arrogantly to be as Gods in Knowledge, was our first Parents sin, that ruined them and us, and that this was Satans first successful game. And that our disease is like to be such as its original.

378. 8. Lastly, They cannot choose but know, that it is the troubling of the Church with new Articles, and new practices, and leading them from the simplicity that is in Christ, even as the Serpent beguiled Eve, (with the promise of more knowledge,) which hath been the great plague and divider of the Churches in all Ages; though the Apostle foretold them that It was this that he feared of them. And are we not self-condemned, if after all this, we will censure and reproach one another, and foment divisi­ons for that which most certainly no mortal understandeth?

379. I. And first your very foundation is uncertain, that God doth pro­perly Intendere finem. Nay, it is certain that (as Aquinas afore-cited Vasqu [...]z saith, that Gods own Goodness is not a final Cause of his Voliti­on; supposing that mo­vere ad Electionem medii is final Causality. Ruiz asserteth the contrary; taking final Causality to be first esse primum obje­ctum: And thus men strive about artificial no­tions. Vasq. 1. d. 82. c. 1. Ruiz de Vo [...]. Dei, d. 15. §. 1. p. 159. But that nothing is the Ratio Volendi but his own Goodness, see Albert. 1. p. tr. 20. q. 19. m. 1. a. 1. Alex. 1. p. q. 35. m. 3. Henric. quodl. 4. q. 19. Gabr. 1. d. 14. q. 1. a. 2. Dried. de Concord. p. 1. c. 3. Vasq. disp. 82. Scotus 1. d. 44. Molin. 1. q. 19. a. 5. saith) though Vult hoc esse propter hoc, non tamen propter hoc vult hoc. He prescribeth Ends to Man, and setteth Ends to Means which are fi [...]es operis; But that he Intendeth an End Himself, must be said very improper­ly, or very uncertainly, or not at all. The truth is, that we must say that God doth finem intendere, because we must speak of him after the man­ner of men, or not at all. But it is not true in the same sense as we speak it of man, and as the word properly signifieth; but equivocally.

380. For, 1. To Intend an End, is to make that End a Cause why we choose the means (as most say:) But Gods Election or Actions have no Cause. All deny that there is in God Cause and Effects; or that propter hoc vult hoc.

381. 2. In man to Intend an End, doth imply that a man yet wanteth his end; and that it is somewhat that he needeth, or at least doth not yet obtain. But God needeth nothing, and hath no end that is desired or wanting, nor but what he continually possesseth or enjoyeth, as well now as hereafter.

382. 3. We know no such thing as Intendere finem where the Act and the End are the same. Intendere is not the same with Finis. But in God they are the same: He that is most simple hath no Intention, which is not Himself, and no End which is not Himself, and so both are one.

383. 4. Our Intendere finem is not the same really with Electio medi­orum. But God hath no Intention but what is really the same with Electi­on, though not denominatively, connotatively and relatively.

384. 5. Divines usually say, that Nothing below God himself can be his End. But where there is no means, there is no End or intention of it. [Page 60] But to God there is no Means. He is not a Means of himself; And no creature can be a means of him: If we say, that any thing can be a means ut Deus sit, vel ut sit Maximus, Sapientissimus, Optimus, it were no better than Blasphemy. God then hath not an End like man.

385. Yet necessity constraineth us to use the phrase, but these things must still be understood when we use it. 1. That no creature can be Gods End; unless you will call an object as terminative, an End; or else an Effect.

386. 2. That it is not Gods Essence and perfections that is an end as to any medium; But it is his Will: For his Free Will is the Beginning, and the Complacency of that Will is the End of all things. But if you call God his own Object, and so call the final Object an End, so we must consider God as Loving Himself; and Himself is the End or final object of his own Love or Complacency; and he himself as Loving himself, is said to Act on that End or Object. And indeed eternal self-knowledge and self-love (which some of old ventured to call the second and third Persons) are the Great Immanent Acts of the Divine Essence, (with the sibi vivere.) And it seemeth the chief Notion of Holiness in God, that he Loveth Him­self in primo instanti, and that he is most Amiable to his Creatures in se­cundo instanti, and that he is the Cause and End of all that is good in them. Thus a final object of his own and our Love or Complacency, God is past all doubt. And secondarily his Will is pleased and fulfilled in all his works.

387. 3. Yet by that Complacency we mean not that God is passive, or receiveth any Delight from the Creature, or hath any addition by it to his felicity: But as he is a Communicative Good by way of Efficiency as the first efficient Cause, so is he a felicitating Good to the Creature as its End, and he is Love taking the creature into its nearest Communion with him: which is his Complacency, and the End of all things. And hence it is that God is said when he had finished his works, to Rest complacentially in all as very Good.

388. 4. As the Complacency of Gods Will is his End, in the formal notion (so far as it may be said of God) so his Glory is his End in the Material notion.

389. That his Glory is not Formally his End, is confessed by all Di­vines who say that nothing below God can be his End. But by his Glory is meant something below himself; some creature, or action of the crea­ture. Ergo, &c. For if by his Glory be meant Himself, there is no Means to such an end.

390. Therefore by Gods Glory is meant the shining lustre of his Image; or the Appearance of God in his Works: And not only mans Praising and Glorifying thoughts and words of him: which though they are our highest duty, are unfit to be Gods End, alone. Yet are they part of that Glory which is materially his End, though not the whole.

391. This Glory or Appearance of God, which is materially his End, is, 1. The perfection of the whole Creation. 2. Next that the Glory of the Celestial Kingdom, containing Christ and all the holy ones. 3. Next that the Glory of Christs own person alone. 4. Next that the Glory of the Holy ones alone, &c.

392. Because this perfection of the Universe is not yet accomplished, but shall be, improperly we may say that God hath not yet attained his End, that is, his Material End.

393. 5. But properly and formally Gods End is never unattained: Be­cause his Will is never unfulfilled, though the things willed be not yet per­fected. [Page 61] For when e. g. the first dayes work was made, all was done which he then willed to be done, and so for the second day, &c. And now all is done which he would have now done: And his Will is ever perfectly pleased; And he wanteth nothing. So that an End not attained, is not to be ascribed to God, except materially.

394. Thus God is said to have made all things for himself, Prov. 16. 4. Because for His Pleasure they are, and were created, Rev. 4. 11.

395. For his Decreeing disposing Will is fulfilled by all, even the wick­ed that are for the day of Evil: Though his Commanding Will being not fulfilled by sinners, according to that he is said to have no pleasure in them, but to hate them, Psal. 5. 5. Heb. 10. 38. Mal. 1. 10. Ezek. 18. 32. 23. & 33. 11. Jer. 22. 28. & 48. 38. Eccles. 5. 4. Psal. 5. 4, &c.

396. And lest any think that thus God misseth of his End, let it be well noted, 1. That this phrase of Gods taking no pleasure, is objectively both Positive, Privative and Oppositive, that is, It signifieth that God will deprive the wicked of felicity, or the Communion of his Love, and will load them with sorrows, and will set himself against their Comforts. But 2. As to Gods own Complacency of will, it is but equal to a negative: His felicity lyeth not in theirs: And so as Gods will hath no actual Com­placency in Nothings (as in more Worlds, or Creatures, than ever will be) and yet his Complacency is perfect; so though he have no Compla­cency in the Holiness or Salvation of those that are never Holy or Saved, Hence they dispute▪ Whether Gods Provi­dence alwayes attain his Ends: and Ruiz citeth for the affirmative, Cajet. Naz. Alvar. and Scot. Marsil. Okam, Gabriel, Hervaeus, Driedo; and for the negative, Alex. Aquin. Durand. Marsil. Capreol. Ferrar. & com­muniter recentiores, Mo­lina, Zumel, Vasq. Suarez, Valent. Becanus, Sirenus, Pennottus, Arrubal, &c. And all this difference is about names and words. And Ruiz is for the Negative, sect. 3. pag. 56. qui [...] aliquos fines Deus intendit voliti­one conditionata, & non totaliter efficaci. So that the question is, An Voli­tio condi [...]ionate & inef­ficax sit Deo ascribendae quando v [...]lt ea auxili [...] quae consensum hominis red­dunt possibilem, vel homi­nem faciunt potentem? Et an volitio haec dicenda sit Intentio finis? For he concludeth as agreed on by all, that Gods Provi­dence is never frustrate, hindred, deceived, or fluctuating, nor any thing done against it absolute­ly, or against its total ad­equate End. yet his Complacency is perfect.

397. There is no doubt but Man hath Ends and Means, because God hath so appointed it, and made him not in a state of perfection, but in via: Yea, Angels have an End and every creature, because defective de­pendent beings; even in a formal sense.

398. God is this Ultimate End of man, as he is to be perfectly Loved and Pleased; to which all are means: And the means are ordered as Ends to one another.

399. Usually where the Scriptures and Preachers do speak of God as the End, and of Intention of Ends, they mean Mans Intention and End, pre­scribed him by God. But if they speak of Gods, they mean only, formal­ly the fulfilling of his will, and materially his Glory, or the perfecting of his works.

400. The finis operis as distinct from the finis operantis is nothing but the aptitude and tendency of the work to the Authors Intended End, or to some effect: Not that the opus quà opus finem intendit.

401. If all these difficulties lye in the way, Whether and how far God intend an End at all, judge how far it is fit to contend about the Mental Order of his Intentions, and whether Judicious Davenant was not in the right.

402. II. If it were granted, that Quod prius est Intentione, posterius est executione, nothing would follow to gratifie either party in these Con­troversies. For all would be but this, that [God Intended Himself, and the Fulfilling or Complacency of his own Will, before he willed any thing else that ever cometh to pass.] And what's this to the business?

403. But they say, It is his Glory that he first intended: I answered before, His Glory is, 1. Himself (and then it's the same which I assert­ed:) or 2. a Creature (and then it is not formally his End.) 2. His Glory as it is his Compleat Image on the whole perfected World, is his End indeed Materially: But that is but to be the Compleat Means: The perfected means may improperly be called his End: But forma denominat.

404. When they say, that it is the Glory of his Mercy and Justice, [Page 62] 1. They say but the same and need no other answer. 2. They speak very defectively: For it is to ascribe to God a defective Decree or In­tention, which is not for the glory of all his revealed perfections: Doubt­less whatever is materially the perfect means of glorifying God, must glo­rifie his Greatness and Active Power or Life, his Wisdom and his Good­ness, and therein his Veracity or fidelity, his Justice and his Holiness, his Benignity and mercy, his Immutability, Independency, &c. All this must be in the means it self.

405. If Mr. Perkins, Beza, Gilbie and many other good men had well considered this, they had never made the glorifying of Gods Mercy and Justice in the salvation of some and the damnation of others, Gods ulti­mate end; Thereby committing many palpable errours. 1. Making quid Creatum vel Creaturae to be formally or properly Gods end, which is but a Means. 2. Making one little parcel of that means, to be the end. 3. Inserting two acts or parts only of that which they themselves confess to be but Means. For what should the names of Salvation and Damna­tion do in the description of the end? Are they any part of the end? Why is not Redemption, Justification, Sanctification, Preservation, Resur­rection, &c. as well put in? Is he not Glorified in them as well as in final salvation or damnation? Yea and in Creation and the fr [...]me of nature too? Yea why is not the glory of Angels, and all the world put in, as part of the same means to his end?

406. If it be said that it is only Gods Glory of Mercy and Justice in men [...] salvation and damnation which is the end of Redemption, Conver­sion, Preaching, Ordinances, Sanctification, Adoption, &c. 1. I deny it: His Power, Wisdom and Goodness, and his forementioned subordinate at­tributes are thereby Glorified also. 2. It is an injury to God unworthy of a Divine, to make God to have as many distinct ultimate ends, as they think there are particular aptitudes or tendencies in the means.

407. For undoubtedly we must feign in God no more ultimate ends than one. And undoubtedly the means consisting of innumerable parts, make up one perfect whole, in which Gods Glory shineth so, as it doth not in any part alone. And he that will cut Gods frame into scraps and shreds, and set up the parts as so many wholes, will more dishonour him than he that would so mangle a Picture, or a Watch, or Clock, or House, or the pipes of an Organ, or the strings of a Lute, and tell you of their beauty and Harmony only distinctly. Well therefore did Dr. Twisse reduce all the Decrees de mediis to one: But they are one in their apt composition for one end: And the Glory of Sun, and Stars, and Angels, and the whole Creation is a part, and the Glory of our salvation and dam­nation is but another part.

408. The order therefore of Gods Decrees in respect of the Execution is on [...]y fit for our debate: (Any farther than that we may moreover say that Gods will or Himself is all his ultimate end, and his Glory shining in the perfection of his intire works is the perfect means.) And there is nothing else that we can reasonably controvert. And about this our Con­troversie is next to none at all. Here we may well enquire what is prius vel posterius, quid superius, quid inferius, &c. and that to our edifica­tion.

409. Seeing then that we are agreed (as is said) with Aquinas that Ruiz de Vo [...]n. Dei disp. 15. §. 4. p. 163. prettily argueth that Si non po­test dari ratio ipsius [...]oli­tionis divinae, sed solius denominations extrinse [...]ae resultant [...]s ab e [...]lis crea­t [...], sequitur [...]anas esse plurima [...] Th [...]o [...]ogorum de ordine, depend [...]tia vel rati­one divi [...]um volitionum, post quam inter illos constat quem ordinem, dependenti­am v [...]l ration [...]m habeant externa objecta inter se. The conscquent is true. They are vain indeed, though he deny it. And all his reasons p. 161, 162, &c. to prove that dantur i [...] creat [...]a rationes finales moventes divinam voluntatem, are but tri­flings with the ambigui­ties of the word Ratio and abuses of the word Causa, having before confessed that there is no Real Cause. And are there Causes that are not Real? 1. We grant the Crea­ture is an Object of Gods will: and the object is b [...] some called the mate­rial cause of the act in [...] [...] numero. 2. It is the Terminus and Reci­pient of the divine in­flux. 3. It may there­fore [...]e causa material [...]s of the diversity of the ef­fects of Gods influx as Received in patiente ex di [...]ersitate dispositions. 4. Our acts may be the effects of Gods Voliti­ons. 5. And may be second Causes of other effects. 6. Those other effects may be said to be Gods nearer ends, speak­ing of him after the man­ner of imperfect man. 7. Where our acts are not causes, they may be conditions sine quibus non, of many of Gods acts quoad effectus, (as sin is of punishment at least.) 8. In all these re­spects Gods Volition which is One in itself, may and must be deno­minated divers from the diversity of these effects and objects, which there­fore are the Ratio nomi­n [...]: And he that would prove any other Ratio or Cause of the first Cause, the will of God or any of his acts as in him­self, must first renounce all natural and Scholastical Theologie at least. He citeth Durand. Major, Richardus, &c. But Durandus 1. d. 41. q. 1. doth but say that Gods Acts are thus to be reckoned secundum rationem, as likening Gods reasoning or thoughts to ours, (ut. n. 7.) and not [...]uxta rei veritatem. Richard. is full for what I say; 1. d. 45. Voluntas sive volens de Deo secundum essentiam dicitur: non est aliud Velle, aliud Esse: But yet his Velle hoc speaketh not his esse quà esse; and therefore he addeth that when God is said scire aut velle, it is his Essence; but to say, Hoc aut illud scit aut vult is but to say, Hoc aut illud est sub­jectum scientiae vel voluntatis quae ipse Deus est. Et Voluntas Dei est prima & summa Causa omnium; cujus Causa non est quaerenda; & non est diversa Voluntas, sed diversa locutio de ea in Scripturis. And Richardus in loc. p. 141. saith but this, that Ipsius divini Velle nulla est ratio motiva, cum realiter idem sit quod Deus: Tamen Ordinationis quae est inter divinum velle & ipsum volitum bene est ratio aliqua respectu alicujus voliti. Which is no more than I have said. And as to Major, Ruiz did ill to cite him, who there professeth that Predestination and Volition is but Relatio rationis & denominatio ex­trinseca as to God. And his ordo signorum in mente divina is but the Scotists assimilating Gods acts to mans. Deus non propter hoc vult hoc, sed vult hoc esse propter hoc, that which [Page 63] we have to do is but to enquire, 1. De re, how one thing is a Cause or other means of another; 2. And so how God Decreed it to work and be.

410. And 1. It is agreed that the Creation was Gods first work (that we know of or have any thing to do with:) This had (as to the first part) no Antecedent Object, but produceth its effect, which some call its object. But the latter dayes works had an antecedent object, and also a pro­duced effect. And accordingly God Decreed from Eternity that this should be his first work. From whence by connotation that may be called, his first Decree.

411. That sin or the Permission of sin, or other meer Negatives, are not to have place among the asserted Means and Decrees, I am anon in due place to manifest.

412. 2. God having made man, did give him a Law both Natural and Positive: This was next done, and therefore decreed to be next done.

413. 3. Man having broke this Law, God judged him, and laid on him some indispensible penalties. This was decreed to be done in the third place.

414. 4. At the same time God promised Man the victory by the Wo­mans Seed, and giving him pardon of the destructive penalty, became his Redeemer, and put him under a Covenant of Grace; first given to man­kind in Adam, and afterwards in Noah. And this was decreed to be so done.

415. 5. Though all were thus put under this Covenant, and God for­sook none that first forsook not him, yet did he give more Grace to some, than to others, to Abel, e. g. than to Cain, so that those that did actually repent and believe and live to God, were justified and adopted and made heirs of life. And thus he decreed to do.

416. 6. Perseverance also was the effect of his special Grace, which accordingly is Decreed to be given.

417. 7. The Cainites, Canaanites and others that were the wicked Seed of wicked Parents, who forsook him and his Grace, he accordingly judged, punished and forsook: And so decreed.

418. 8. The Seed of the faithful he eminently blessed, especially of Abraham; whom he took (by reward) into a further special Covenant, superadded to the common Covenant of Grace, taking his Seed into a pe­culiar political and gracious relation to him, promising the multiplication and prosperity of them, and that the Saviour should come out of them: All which was so decreed to be done.

419. 9. The Messiah came in the fulness of time, and did and suf­fered all that is mentioned in the Gospel: And gave us a more perfect Edition of the Covenant of Grace, and greater grace with it, even more of the Spirit, with a better Ministry, Ordinances and Church-state: Which were so decreed to be done.

[Page 64] 420. 10. To some Nations of the Earth this second Edition of the Covenant of Grace, (that is, the Gospel) is freely promulgate or Preach­ed, who deserved it no more than others, while others for sin are left un­der the first darker Edition, and under desertions and grievous punish­ments, for their fore-fathers and their own violation of it.

421. 11. Where the Gospel cometh among many that all deserve re­jection for the resisting of grace, God giveth to some that grace which in­fallibly Converteth them, and consequently justifieth, adopteth and sancti­fieth them. All which he decreed.

422. 12. Giving also Perseverance as aforesaid, he finally justifieth all such in Judgement, and Glorifieth (Christ first, and) them with Christ: singly and conjunctly at the final consummation. And he Decreed to do all this accordingly.

423. If the Decree of God be called but One, for the Reasons before given, the Controversie is then at an end: But if it must be distinguished and called Many Decrees or parts, it must be either from the Effects o [...] from the supposed objects.

424. 1. If from the Effects, there will be no Controversie about the Decrees but what is first about the Effects themselves. And most of them now named are uncontroverted.

425. 2. And we cannot well denominate and distinguish the Decrees from any thing else but the Effects, (even as we do his operations, as Creation, Redemption, &c.) But the objects then are past doubt such as follow.

426. Viz. 1. The object of the Decree of Creation as such (distinct from the Effect) is Nothing: that is, There is no object.

427. 2. The object of the Decree of Legislation is man considered meerly in his Being and Naturals as such.

428. 3. The object of the Decree of the first Judgement, was man newly faln.

429. 4. The object of the Decree of the giving of the Promise of Christ, the New Covenant in the first Edition and pardon and grace by it, was faln man first judged.

430. 5. The object of the Common grace of that Covenant from first to last, is faln judged man brought under that Covenant of grace (ut nor­ma officii, judicii & beneficii.)

431. 6. The object of the Special grace of God (at first) viz. for ef­fectual Conversion, to men under that Covenant, was the same as last mentioned, Man brought under the Covenant of grace; of whom 1. Some were prepared and disposed by Common grace for Special. 2. And it's like some not, but suddenly surpirzed by mercy.

432. 7. The object of Abrahams special promise, (besides the Com­mon Covenant of grace) was Abraham eminent in faith and self-denying obedience to God: And afterward his Seed for his sake.

433. 8. The Object of the actual gift of Christ incarnate, and the per­fect Edition of the New Covenant by him, was the sinful world that had transgressed both the Law of Innocency and the first Edition of the Co­venant of grace, and the Jews that had broken Moses's Law.

434. 9. The object of the gift of the Gospel as promulgate or pub­lished is the same, adding, the world as now Redeemed by the Actual sa­crifice, Merits and Resurrection of Christ incarnate.

435. 10. The object of the Commonest grace of the Gospel Cove­nant, is Redeemed man brought under this Covenant as the Norma officii, judicii & beneficiorum (quoad jus;) or, subditi obligati.

[Page 65] 436. 11. The object of the grace of this Covenant proper to the Visible Church, and common to its members, are Visible Christians, or Ba­ptized Professours.

437. 12. The object of the first effectual grace of saving Conversion (saith and repentance) is certain persons Redeemed and brought under the obligation of this new Covenant; Of whom some are prepared by common grace, and (it's like) some are not.

438. 13. The object of the gift pardon, justification, adoption, the spirit of sanctification and right to life, (and all this in Christ by union) is a Penitent Believer, and the seed of such dedicated in Covenant to God.

439. 14. The object of many acts of auxiliary grace, and of higher degrees of grace is (ordinarily) such as have well used former degrees of special grace: But also, who God is freely pleased to give it to.

440. 15. The object of the grace of Perseverance is the same last men­tioned: If not all the Justified; which I reserve as almost our only re­al Controversie to handle in its proper place in the next Chapter.

441. 16. The object of the Act of Raising the dead is all the world, as appeareth in Joh. 5. 22. to 32.

442. 17. The object of the Justification of the soul alone at the first appearance is, the soul of a member of Christ, or one faithful and perse­vering August. ad Simplic. l [...]. [...]. qu. 2. Quia non inv [...] Deus opera in hominibus qu [...] [...]lig [...]t, id [...]o man [...] pro­positum justification is ips [...] ­us: s [...]d quia ill [...]d [...], ut justifi [...]t cred [...]nt [...]s, id [...]o inv [...]nit opera quae jam [...]li­gat ad r [...]gnum c [...]lor [...]. in his Covenant: or a Saint.

443. 18. The object of the final justification of the whole man, is a Saint [...]isen from the dead.

444. 19. The object of Glorifying Grace, is a member of Christ, or a Saint thus finally Justified (either in soul first, or in soul and body after as is said.)

445. 20. The object of Gods greatest felicitating complacency is the Glorified Church of all the holy ones: And the object of his utmost uni­versal complacency in the Creature, is the Glory of his image shining on the whole Universe in perfection: (As the object (as we may call it) of his Essential Volition, Love or Complacency, is Himself.)

And as these are the objects of the grace thus distinguished by the ef­fects, so are they of the will or Decree of giving it, as denominated ac­cording to the order of Execution. Besides which Davenant on one ac­count, and Twisse on another grant that quoad media there is no other for man to know.

446. By this it appeareth that the Corrupted Mass simply considered was the object of no one of all these graces. But the Corrupted Mass as Judged first, and after as Redeemed, and after as under Covenant, &c. Much less was it any effect of God, as corrupt.

447. The corrupted Mass iudged, was not as such the object of Gods discrimination by Election of some, and rejection of others: For they were commonly brought all under the Covenant of Grace, and had a com­mon sort of grace, before the discrimination.

SECT. XVI. Of the Order of the Decrees called Reprobation. And of Election and Re­probation in themselves.

448. ACcordingly in the order of execution we must reckon the ob­jects of that which some call Reprobation, answerable to what D'Orbellis in [...]. d. 40. [Distinguuntur, Scientia, Praescientia, Providentia, propositum, electio, dispo­sitio, praedestinatio & re­probatio. Haec differ [...]nt secundum rationem, licet sint idem reali [...]er in Deo. 1. Scientia Dei est certa Cognitio omnium praeteri­torum, praesentium, futuro­rum, fieri (que) possibilium tam bonorum quam malorum. 2. Praescientia est futuro­rum praecognitio—Repro­bati vero appropriate di­cuntur Praesciti—Pro­viden [...]a est praescient [...]a fu­turorum in quantum [...]nt [...] praescient [...] in [...]in [...]m or­dinabilia—3. Pro­pos [...]t [...] est actus Voluntati [...] Divin [...] tam respec [...] [...]uturo­rum ag [...]ndorum, quam per­mittendorum. 4. Electi [...] supra Propositum addit dis­cretionem electi à [...]uo con­trario, s [...]il. boni à malo. 5. Dispositio est praescientia faciendorum, respiciens fi­ [...]ri rei, & cognitionem; sicut provientia respicit esse rei postquam facta est—6. Praedestinatio est propositum divinae vo­luntatis, conferendi grati­am & gloriam praedestina­tis. 7. Reprobatio est propositum permittendi re­probatos permanere in ob­duratione finali, & [...]etri­bu [...]n [...]i eis interminabilem p [...]nam, propter corum ini­quitat [...]m.] is before said of Election: But order requireth that I first speak of Ele­ction and Reprobation as in themselves, what they are.

449. Election as to the etymologie I need not explain. It is taken 1. For a Temporary actual Taking one rather than another by way of Choice. Which is 1. By meer Volition, or Election of the will. 2. Or also by manual Apprehension or Executive Election (As a man taketh a woman to wife.) 2. Or it is taken for An Eternal Electing Decree of God.

450. Gods Executive Election in Time is twofold 1. By giving one man converting effectual Grace which he giveth not to another. 2. By taking confequently that Converted person to be one of his Adopted and Justified ones, as his choice peculiar treasure.

451. Gods Mental Election being an Act of his will, is either his meer Decree of the Event, 2. Or his Decree as efficient, 3. Or else his complacency. The first is eternal. The second is eternal ex parte Dei, but not ex parte effectus. The third is eternal as it is Gods essence, but is denominated Temporary by connotation of the object; as also may the second be: About these there needs no quarrel.

452. All the special grace which God giveth in Time, he decreed from Eternity to give: And though some decrees have special objects in esse cogni [...] supposed, none of them have a proper exterior cause.

453. It is not possible that any Creature can have any good which is not a pure gift of God, however he may require of man Conditions of Reception, in the order of Collation. Therefore the Decree must nee [...]s be free.

454. As to the question whether God elect men upon foresight of any good in them, enough is said before to answer it. If the question mean whether Gods Knowledge or Volition be first in themselves? I answer, neither; For nothing in him is before or after other. But if God might be spoken of as man, we must say that his Understanding is the first spe­cifying primiciple, and the will the first quoad exercitium actus. And there­fore that the Divine understanding represented to his will, the object i [...] its Eligibility. If the question be what is the objects represented eligi­bility in esse cognito vel Ideali, it is answered, 1. We must distinguish of the Divine Volitions called Elections by the divers effects: 1. (To pass by the rest) It is one thing to Elect to Glory, or Velle Glorificare; And here the object of Actual Glorification, is a persevering Saint: And you must distinguish Gods Volitions by his executions, or not at all (which you had rather.) 2. It is another thing to choose one to the first grace of faith or true Conversion. And here the object of the execution is, as is aforesaid, sometime one prepared by common grace (though without merit,) sometime one extraordinarily wicked: Look over what I said of the ob­jects, and the question of foresight is answered, as far as it belongeth to our enquiry.

455. Those that deny all special arbitrary Election, must deny all spe­cial arbitrary effectual differing grace: which I shall prove elsewhere by [Page 67] it self; And now referr such to Davenants Dissertation de praedest. where it is fully proved, and defended.

456. One thing which deceiveth such men is, that they forget that God standeth to man, not only in the Relation of a Rector per Leges, (for so he dealeth equally with all that make not the inequality themselves:) But also as a Proprietor and a Benefactor, in both which Relations he is free to do with his own as he pleaseth. And free Lords and Benefactors use not to distribute equally their gifts. Nor do they consider that de facto God visibly maketh wonderful inequalities; He maketh not men as great or good as Angels, nor Stars as glorious as the Sun: The whole sheweth us admirable variety, arbitrarily made by the great Benefactor, who giveth not to us a Reason of his will.

457. The word [ [...]] Reprobus, in Scripture is used no where that Jer. 6. 30. I remember, but Rom. 1. 28. 1 Cor. 9. 27. 2 Cor. 13. 5, 6, 7. 2 Tim. 3. 8. Tit. 1. 16. Heb. 6. And the word [Reprobation] is not used at all, as any act of God. But predestination and election are oft used on the better side, and rejecting, hating, forsaking on the other side. And elect­ing implyeth that some are not elect.

458. About the object of that which many call Reprobation, be sure to distinguish, between a true object of any Act, circa quod versatur, and which is subjectum inhaesionis, and a meer object of speech, or sub­jectum praedicationis: Else you will with many be ensnared to think that every subject or object of a predication which in the series of Gods judgements you meet with, is the object of some positive act of God.

459. And though we would quarrel with no man about meer words, yet lest words deceive you I add, that as the word Reprobation seemeth to signifie a positive Act, and yet a great part of the desertion of the Re­probates is by Gods preteritions and not-acting and privations; there­fore it is not the whole series that the word Reprobation aptly expresseth, but only some particular Acts.

460. The word Predestinate used Rom. 8. 29, 30. and Ephes. 1. 5. The presumption of the Schoolmen in defining the Act of predestination is tremendous: See Ruiz de provid. disp. 3. sect. 9. ad 11. who concludeth that Predestination is an Act of Gods Intellect, and a Practical act, and is Actus affirmans D [...]i vo­litionem libere decern [...]nt [...]m de finibus rerum & me­diis, &c. q. d. Volo Pe­trum beatificare & per talia media, &c. It is not this will, but the knowledge of it. 1 Cor. 2. 5. (it's [...] though not spoken of persons) Act. 4. 28. (translated [fore-determined]) when applyed to persons is ever taken in Scripture as an act of mercy: And the ancients Augustine, Prosper and Fulgentius use the words [Praedestinati & Praesoiti, the predestinate and the fore-known] as of late men use among us the words Elect and Reprobate.

461. Though men differ as their opinions lead them in the exposition of such texts as Vid. Bezam in Rom. 8. 28. de proposito. Rom. 8. 28, 29, 30. Ephes. 1. 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11. and some take them to speak of predestinating Individuals, and others only of species, that is, of believers, sufferers, Lovers of God, &c. yet as to the matter it self none that is judicious can or doth deny but that God eter­nally Predestinateth Individuals; The Jesuits commonly confess it, though they differ on the question, how far it is on fore-sight of faith: But that foreseen Believers individually are eternally elected to salvation, thev cannot deny. And the Learnedst Jesuits maintain that God giveth faith in time, and electeth Individuals to faith it self from eternity: That is, eternally decreed to give them faith, or to give them that Grace by which he fore-knew that in the advantagious circumstances in which he decreed to put them, they would freely, and he deereed should infallibly, believe.

462. The conceit and supposition of many, that Election and Repro­bation are such perfect contraries, as that they run pari passu, and that God willeth in the one just as he doth in the other, End and means, for matter and order, is a gross mistake. Augustine, Prosper, Eulgentius [Page 68] and Davenant of late, with many more have shewed, that God pre­destinateth Leg. Dauen. Dissert. de Praed. & Reprobat. copiose hae [...] probant [...]m. Et Zumel Disput. 5. §. 5. p. 335. & [...]. & objec [...]o elect. pag. 367, &c. men to Faith, and perseverance, and to Glory, and not only to Glo­ry upon the foresight of faith and perseverance: But that he p [...]edestinateth or decreeth men to damnation, only on the foresight of final impenitence and infidelity, but not to Impenitence or Infidelity it self.

463. The Grand difficulty that occasioneth all our Controversies here­in is, How to discern that God is the Author of all our Good, and yet not the Author of Sin, nor of Damnation saving for sin. And both parties are very desirous to hold and see that both these are true: Nay, both believe them: But they differ only in the way and method of manifest­ing it.

464. There are three opinions about Reprobation: 1. One is, that [...]od Positively decreed from eternity to glorifie his Justice in the damnation of the most, and to that end to occasion and permit their hardning and unbe­lief: so that Reprobation is Positive both as to the Act and Object. 2. The other is the opinion of the Synod of Dort (as expressed) defended at large by Davenant and many others, that Reprobation is Gods Positive Decree not to give saith and and repentance to the same men, and to damn them for impenitence and infidelity: and so is Positive quoad Actum, but Negative quoad Objectum, (as to the first part, not giving faith.) 3. The third is the Opinion of subtile Scotus and his followers, that in primo instanti Reprobation is Negative quoad Actum & Objectum; So Albertine before cited. that is, It is no Act of God at all, but only a Non-election or preterition: which is I suppose the meaning of Dr. Sterne of Dublin Co [...]ledge, who hath written a Latin Tractate maintaining that God Reprobateth none, that is, by any Act.

465. The method laid down by Scotus is this, [Offertur Voluntati s [...] hunc peccaturum vel peccare: Primo voluntas ejus circa hunc non habet Scot. 1. d. 47. Vid. Signa Mayronis in fine. Against Scotus his foun­dation, that God know­eth future contingents only ut Volita, saith Al­liac [...]in 1. q. 11. N. [Sed ista propositio non est intelligi­bil [...]s, 1. Quia talia in­stantia & prioritatem & posterioritatem esse in Deo no [...] est verum. 2. Quia impossibile est quod pro ali­quo instanti talis comple­xio de futuro sit neutra: Alias pro tune daretur medium in contradi [...]ione. 3. Quia pon [...] aliquid esse medium & rationem cog­ [...]oscendi in Divino intel­l [...]lu.] Velle: Velle [...]nim ipsum habere peccatum non potest. 2. Potest intelligere Voluntatem suam non volentem hoc: & tunc potest velle Volunt [...] ­tem suam non velle hoc: & ita dic [...]ur Volens sinere, & v [...] ­luntarie permittere: sicut ex alia parte praesentato sibi Juda, primo Deu [...] habet non Velle sibi Gloriam, & non primo Nolle—& potest tun [...] secundo reflectere super istam negationem actus & Velle eam: & ita V [...] ­lens sive voluntarie non eligit Judam finaliter peccaturum, & non nolitione [...] gloriae, sed non-volitionem gloriae.

466. It is notable that both Dr. Twisse and Bishop Davenant, do dis­claim this opinion of Scotus without offering us any one argument against it; which is so unusual a course with one of them, as would perswade one to think that they had not much to say against it, but (what they inti­mate) the harsh sound of the words, that God should be here a non-agent.

467. The truth seemeth to me, that as Davenant saith, Scotus was the first artifex of this ordering of various Acts in the mind of God: So here he saith too much, and is too bold, and feigneth a subsequent Volition of a former non-volition without cause or proof, meerly to scape the censure which yet he now incurreth, of making God too little active.

468. So far was Scotus from being the first Author of this Opinion, of a Negatio volendi peccatum in God, that their common Master Lombard Lombard. 1. d. 47. most expresly asserteth it, and that more plainly and soundly than these over-subtile men. Upon which his Commentators copiously dispute An in Deo p [...]ssit esse pur [...] omissio absque volitione & nolitione positiva? of which besides the Scotists and Nominals, you may see Aquin. 16. a. 2. Du­rand. 1. [...]. 47. q. 1. Ruiz de Volunt. disp. 8. sect. 3. concl. 2. Albertin. To. 1. princip. 4. q. 4. dub. 2. Vasquez 2. p. 1. disp. 79. num. 17, &c. [Page 69] Suarez Metaph. disp. 30. sect. 9. n. 59. Fonsec. Metap. li. 7. c. 8. q. 5. sect. 3. Aluiz Tract. 2. disp. 6. sect. 3. Montepil. 1. p. disp. 33. a. 8. c. 1. & 3. Durandus distinguisheth of contra & praeter Voluntatem, and saith that Voluntas etiam beneplaciti antecedens, quae est solum quaedam Velleitas, may be such as many things are praeter & contra eam. But Voluntas be­neplaciti consequens is such as nothing is contra eam, but sin is praeter eam; etiam mala fieri. Neque enim vult fieri, nec vult non fieri. I like not what he addeth: Idem forte diceret aliquis de quibusdam bonis quae fiunt merè à libero arbitrio, sed non de omnibus, viz. quae fiunt à prae­destinatis, &c.

469. And it is to be noted, that Durandus with other Schoolmen argue, that if sin were willed by God, God would be the Author of it: Gods Vo­lition, say they, being efficient. And Estius (a yet plainer Schoolman than Durand) saith, Quicquid sit Deo Volente, fit Deo authore: who also citing Aquinas's consent, saith, Omnimode tenenda est in hac parte doctrina ma­gistri, mala nec esse nec fieri Deo Volente. And against the vain distinction of Aquin. 1. q. 19. ar. 9. ad 1. & 3. [Deus non vult malum, sed vult malum fieri sen eventre] he saith that [Velle mala, & velle mala esse seu fieri] idem est. Voluntas enim adrem simpliciter, est ad rem ut sit.—Qui vult virtutem, vult virtutem esse; Qui vult peccatum, vult peccatum esse—neque aliud sit velle mala, & velle mala esse aut fieri. 1. d. 47. sect. 7. pag. 228. (It seemeth there were some then of Dr. Twisses and Rutherfords opinion.)

470. And that you may see Estius mind further in this, and also see all the Objections now used answered, I will here annex (though out of place) his answer to them.

Obj. 1. Sin is not committed Deo nolente: ergo Deo volente fit.

Resp. Neque nolente, neque volente Deo fiunt, sed permittente.

471. Obj. 2. Mala esse aut fieri bonum est 1. Ad perfectionem uni­versi, Aquin. 1. q. 1 [...]. art. 9. ad 3. answereth in the same manner. 2. Ad decorem, &c. Ita August. Enchir. 10. & 11. & c. 96. Bonum est ut sint mala.

Resp. Neg. Major: Et 1. Mala sunt Universi non ornatus & perfe­ctiones, sed id deformant, &c. 2. August. non dliud vult, quam Bonum esse mala permitti.

472. Obj. 3. They cannot be, unless God will them to be. August. Enchir. 95. Non fit aliquid nisi Omnipo [...]ens fieri velit.

Resp. The reason assumeth a falshood. And Augustine is interpreted as speaking only of the Permission as willed, and not the Event.

473. Obj. 4. Omne verum est à Deo: esse & fieri mal [...] verum est: Vid. Aquin. 1. d. 47. q. 2. ad 1. Ergo.

Resp. Non Hugonis sed sophistarum est: Nam verum qua verum est à Deo: De rebus malis sunt conceptus mentis veri. (Indeed malum qua objectum scientiae non est malum.)

474. Obj. 5. Aug. Enchir. 100. Peccatum non fit praeter Dei voluntatem, quod fit contra.

Resp. Loquitur de permissionis voluntate, non ipsius mali.

Albertinus words To. 1. Princip. 4. q. 4. dub. 2. pag. 297. I cited before for a Negation of Will.

475. Suarez distinguisheth of Gods Will Voluntarily determining to go Metap. disp. 130. sect. 9. num. 59. no further, and a will suspended without such a determination: And the first he denyeth not, but the latter he denyeth in God as imperfection: But upon reasons so weak, likening God to man, that I think them not worth the reciting.

476. No mortal man can prove, that God must needs have actual Vo­litions [Page 70] of Nothings as such. And consequently that he hath any such: And Yet let the Reader note, that though I hold that no man can prove a Po­sitive Volition or Noliti­on of Nothings (ordina­rily at least) and so would shorten the Con­troversie, yet my Conci­liation doth not at all rest on this, but will pro­ceed sufficiently if you say that God Positively willeth his Not-willing and his Permissions. that his perfection excludeth them not.

477. Yet I grant that he willeth the Truth of humane Negative Propo­sitions: For those are something, though about Nothing.

478. That such Decrees or Volitions de nihilo are not necessary, appear­eth, in that 1. Either they are necessary in All instances de nihilo, or only in some. Not in All: Ergo, not qua tales: For if only in some, it must be from some singular accidental reasons: A quatenus ad omne valet con­sequentia. That they are not necessary in all, is granted in that no man (that I know of) ever asserted it. And to assert it, is great presumption: For then there must be infinite Negative-Positive Decrees: As e. g. that there shall not be innumerable more Worlds, more Suns, more Atoms, that this and that and every particular atome or sand shall not be a Sun, a Star, an Earth, a Man, a Dog, a Fish, &c. And infinite Decrees, about every Stone; as many about every pile of grass, and as many about every crea­ture, what they shall not be. And infinite Decrees about infinite (or in­numerable) Possibles, that they shall not be existents, that they shall not be thus or thus named, &c. Who can prove or dare affirm, that all these Infinite Nothings, have Positive acts of Decretive Nolition from Eternity in God?

479. 2. We must not feign unnecessary Acts in God: But such Positive Nolitions of Nothings seem unnecessary: For Nothing will be nothing, without a Nolition, as well as with it: What need God Nill the Being of Petavius Vol. 1. li. 9. Theol. dogmat. de praedest. cap. 16. pag. 656. thus describeth the old opini­on of our Countrey-man Johan. Erigena Scotus, Docuit u [...]icam tantummo­do pradestinationem esse in Deo, qua electos ad aeter­nam foelicitat [...]m destinat: nullam outem ad aeternam esse damnationem. How near is this to the other Joh. Scotus Duns. See what Bishop Usher saith of this Scotus Erigena and Goteschalcus. Petavius saith, [Idem à Ca [...]olo Calvo unice dilectus erat.] See to this sense the De­crees Synodi Carisiacensis contra Gott [...]chaltum, in 1 Tom. Concil. Gallic. p. 66. more Worlds, more Creatures, more Names, &c. when it is not possible that ever they should be, unless he positively will and make them. Yea, if (per impossible) there were no God, Nothing would be Nothing still. To feign or call for a Divine Nolition to keep Nothing from becoming something, is too presuming.

480. 3. All those Schoolmen and Divines who tell us, that every Will of God, except his complacency and displicence, is effective, must needs be against a Positive Nolition of Nothings: For that effecteth nothing. If they say that they mean it only of Volitions and not of Nolitions, I answer, 1. Is not Gods Nolition a Velle non? What is it, but a Will that this or that shall not be? 2. And in man as Volitions are for some Good, so No­litions are for the depulsion of some Evil: But Indifferent-Nothings, that are in esse imaginato neither Good nor Evil, have no Volitions or Nolitions even in man.

481. 4. Gods Will is his Essence, variously denominated as variously terminated on the objects: But Nothing is no object, and so no terminati­on of Gods Will; and so no object to constitute an act in specie velindi­viduo by connotation or extrinsick denomination: Therefore God is not to be said to Will it, or Decree it. If you say, that it is something in the Idea of Gods Intellect; I answer, It is presumptuously asserted: Who can prove, or ought to feign that there is in God Idea's or Conceits of such nothings as never will be any thing, in the forms of somethings? For Nothing as nothing, hath no form to be conceived of.

482. Object. Thus you deny Nothings as such to be known of God. For if they cannot be the objects of his Nolitions, then neither of his Knowledge.

Answ. Properly Nothing as such, is not an object of Knowledge at all. But a Proposition de nihilo is: But of this more anon.

483. 5. Certainly God doth freely suspend or limit the Acts of his Power: Therefore he may for ought we know (that I say not, It is cer­tain [Page 71] that he doth) suspend or limit the Acts of his Will. God doth not make more Worlds, nor more Men, Birds, Beasts, Fishes, Plants, Stones, Sands, Atoms, Names, &c. than are and will be. He doth not sanctifie more than are and will be sanctified; nor give more grace to the sancti­fied than ever they will have: when he Could if he Would. And when the Principles of the Divine Nature are Co-equal, why should we say, that he who undenyably suspendeth the possible acts of one, freely, suspendeth not the acts of the Free Principle (the Will) itself? or is it like that one should be here active, and not the other?

484. 6. Positive Nolitions of Evil do seem in man to come from the Im­perfection of his created nature; As being Passive, and Capable of, or obnoxious to evil, or in danger of it, and so needeth defence against it, and his Nolitions are the defensive and depulsive principle. And though we must speak of God according to our mode, we must say nothing need­lesly which importeth weakness or passiveness or danger in him.

485. Again let the Reader note that my Cause lyeth not on this, but because I have said so much of it, I think meet to take notice of the most that is said against me: Vas­quez in 1. Tho. qu. 19. a. 3. disp. 79. c. 3. doth pur­posely confute Scotus, and affirmeth, that Gods will is not to be conceived of as Negative quoad actum about any Negatives; but that he hath a positive act of Nolition of every non-entity and non-futu­rum, and so (ut alibi) hath infinite nolitions of infinite non-futures. He himself confuteth their reason that say, God is not in potentia ut, velit, and I need not answer it. But he layeth all his cause on this as a demon­stration, (and maketh it a very useful doctrine for the explication of reprobation) that Quod­cunque non esse creaturae cujuscunque referri potest ad divinam Voluntatem ut objectum appetibile, quod ipsa velle possit: Ponamus Deum velle rem aliquam non esse: deinde ut dicatur negative se ha­bere, opus est variatio­nem aliquam intrinsecam esse aut in Deo, aut in rebus non futuris: At non, &c. Voluntas autem Dei non necessario negative se debet habere, quia illud non esse est app [...]tibile: The summ is, God can Positive Will non-entity, ergo he doth. And this is his All, to which elsewhere he oft referreth us. But let the sober Reader consider, 1. He confesseth, that Gods Will is his immutable and simple Essence, and in it self is not at all diversified to or by objects, but only extrinsecally denomi­nated diversly: so that all this is but de relatione & nomint. 2. And is it not presumption to frame a Logick of second notions, and say, This and not that is applicable to God, as if it were to man, when their Logical notions as to man him­self are so arbitrary? 3. He answereth none of the arguments to the contrary which I use. Nil frustra must be feign­ed of creatures: much less of God. 4. We being agreed that whoever be in the right, it inferreth no difference in God, but in our denominations of his Will, the seven cases here granted him; may fully satisfie them that will so deno­minate Gods Will. 5. But in a Physical and proper sense I deny his supposition. It is no Non-entity that is properly bonum & appetibile, though it may be Malum. Bonum as well as Unum & Verum are affectiones seu modi entis. Et ubi non est Ens non est modus. That which is not, is not Good; or appetibile. Morally we say improperly, It is good not to be sick, not to have an enemy, not to dye, &c. But we mean but 1. It is Good to live, to be well, to have all that good which an enemy would deprive us of, and 2. That it is Evil to, dye, to be sick, to have an enemy. We say, Its Good not to be erroneous, wicked, deprived of Heaven, &c. that is, It is Good to know truly, to be godly, to be glorified, and it is Evil to err, to be wicked, &c. 6. Gods Will is considered either as 1. Efficient, 2. Or as finally fulfilled and pleased. As Efficient it cannot Will nothing: for nothing is not made or caused. And impedit [...] ut [...]s fiat, may be by effecting the hindering Cause. And as final, or as fulfilled and pleased, Non-entity can properly be said to be but the not dis­pleasing of it. Nothing is no object of the Will: though a Proposition or in men an oppositive thought be somewhat. It seemeth to me a presumptuous playing with the Majesty of God to affirm, that we must ascribe to him infinite Positive Volitions that infinite Atoms, Names, &c. shall not be; when even to men we only ascribe reductively and morally, the nolition of things evil. 7. It is certain that God suspendeth his Velle & facere about non-entities? And why not as well his Nolle? or Velle non esse? as aforesaid. But here after others a late philosophical Physicion saith, that Nothings may be Bona Moralia, though not Naturalia. I answer, It is not true save by a reductive improper speech. Morality is Mo­dality. The negative Commandments forbid evil, and command the nolivion and resistance of it: To murder, &c. is evil: and to nill it and positively resist and subdue all in us that tendeth to it, is good: But the bare non occidere is not moral Good. All moral Good is radically in the Will, and no farther in any forbearance of an act, than a positive act of the Will makes it Obedience: And yet here I go not so far as Ockam, as I have said elsewhere. I grant that when the positive nolition and restraint of an act to which we are inclined or tempted, is the good of obedience, the not-doing of the Act is loco materiae circa quam, and so must go to an adequate conception of the duty, although it be no proper part, nor good in it self: But Ockam goeth further, and maintaineth that the external act of duty with the internal Voli­tion hath no more moral goodness than the Volition alone: But I think that the action is a subject (or loco subject [...]) of a derived secondary goodness, as Scotus asserteth. They that are against this, are moved with a fear, lest we make God an Idle Spectator, and not the Governour of the World. But they consider not, 1. That the suspension of his Powerful Operation inferreth no such thing: God is not Idle, because he Causeth not, or maketh not infi­nite Nothings (or possibles to exist:) Not is he the less Governour of the World: And yet Idleness and Government are words that more di­rectly signifie non-operation and operation, than any meer Volitions or Nolitions. Men may thrust out words, but no rational answer against this argument.

486. 2. And note well, that Gods not knowing, or not-nilling nothing is from his Perfection; and not any privative Ignorance or Negligence: For he knoweth all that is an object of Knowledge; and willeth all that his Wisdom judgeth meet to will (or nill respectively): So that to tell God that he is Ignorant if he know not an unintelligible object, or Idle if he Will or Nill not at our direction, is as much blasphemy, as to tell him [Page 72] that he is Impotent if he cannot sin, or cause Contradictions to be true: The case is the very same.

487. Object. But Scripture oft ascribeth both Nolitions of Nothings, and Knowledge of them unto God.

Answ. And so must we in that sense as the Scripture doth: We will say, and must say of some Nothings, that God Nilleth them. I hope the Lear­ned will not take it amiss, if I speak where the Schoolmen are too si­lent, as well as desire silence where they unprofitably speak, as long as the case is, 1. Weighty, 2. And made plain, 3. And I go the middle healing way.

488. In all these cases and respects we ascribe Nolitions unto God [...] I. He that by a Positive operation causeth a limited cause, may be said to cause the limitation of effects by consequence. And he that positively willeth realities with such limitations, from whence the consequence ne­cessarily followeth [Nothing else will ever be] is said Morally, or [...]re­putatively or by Consequence to Will that Nothing else shall be. And he that knoweth all things that belong to the perfection of knowledge, is improperly said to know all Nothings, in that he knoweth that Nothing more is or will be. And so as knowing Beings is by consequence reputatively or morally called the knowing of Nothings by men, we are sain to use such terms of imperfection even of God, lest we seem to make him Idle or Ig­norant. When we say, that God is the Cause that th [...]re is no more crea­tures, we mean but that he causeth not more creatures. And so to say, that God willeth that there shall be no more Worlds, meaneth but that God willeth not that there shall be more.

489. II. This Interpretative consequential Act, which is but morally so called, is fitlier expressed in the gross of universal Nothings, than of millions of imaginary particulars. It is fitter to say, that by willing a limited or finite World, God willed that there should be nothing more, than to say, He willed that there should not be a Sun in every mans pocket, or Heaven and Earth in every mans fist, &c. Though as to the truth all is one.

490. III. When God positively willeth the Positive hindering of a thing, he may morally be said to Nill the thing, or to Will that it shall not be. That there are Positive Impeditions of God (by Dr. Twisses leave) I have elsewhere proved: But then you must suppose that as the fountain of Nature, as it were by a Decree, he hath resolved to continue the Nature of things and his natural Concurse: which supposed, their Na­tures may incline them to such Action as needeth Positive Impedition. So God hindered the fire from burning, and the Lyons from killing Daniel (it's like) Dan. 3. & 6. Certainly if a man can stop a Cart-wheel with a Stone, or bind a man in chains, God can do the same. And mens In­clination to sin needeth a Positive Impedition. Now though non-agere is nothing, and hath no cause, yet he that destroyeth or hindereth the Cause of Action, is morally said to be the Cause that there is no Action: Though strictly it be but destroying the Cause of Action, and so preventing further action. And this moral language even of God is the fitter, because it is of Moral things.

491. IV. And here Gods Law being called his Will, though it be formally but de debito, yet being materially de re ipsa, a double reason will thence arise. For when God forbiddeth and condemneth sin, &c. 1. He doth very much to hinder it, and that positively (and so he doth by his grace), 2. And his prohibition may be called his Nolition sig­nified.

[Page 73] 492. V. And God properly willeth the Being and Truth of Negative propositions, [viz. This or that will not be.] and knoweth them (as made by man at least). And as I said, sin as the subject of a proposition is not sin, or hath no harm in it. As sin repented of, or the object of repen­tance and hatred maketh up a Virtue, and is not sin indeed, but the know­ledge of it: So here. But yet hence the phrase may be borrowed, and it may be said, that God Nilleth the existence of such Possibles, because he willeth the truth of the proposition, They shall not be.

493. VI. But here note, that when God is Morally and most fitly said to Nill such Nothings, it is not as Nothings, but as Possible Evils: For only Evil is the proper object of Positive Nolition: so that it may be spoken fullier of sin, than of other Nothings, even fitly in a Moral sense.

494. VII. Lastly, Acts of Will are ordinarily ascribed to God, when it is meer operations or privations that are meant; and so the phrase is as they say ab effectu ad affectum. When a man 1. Denyeth his aid, 2. And actually hindereth, it is a sign of nolition. And so from Gods 1. Not causing, 2. And his hindering, he is said to Nill that Nothing (that never shall be.) So much of the phrase.

495. Now for application. 1. Non-dare fidem, aut gratiam, not to con­vert, is Nothing; Therefore it is not Positively willed or decreed of of God: or at least no man can prove it so to be: So not-to give the Gospel, the Spirit, &c.

496. Yet note, that when mans sins have so forfeited such gifts that they are penally withheld, this non-agency hath the denomination of a Moral Act. And also that the making of the Penal Law, which maketh this Privation due as a punishment, was a positive act of God, and had a positive Volition. But Negations not-penal are not so.

497. 2. Not to hinder sin, or to Permit sin (barely as permission) is Nothing: (As elsewhere I have proved.) Therefore it hath no Positive Decree or Will: save that when it is penal, and the execution of a Law, that Law being a real natural being, and the Jus thence resulting a real relation and the executive Privation quid Morale, they are Willed and Decreed answerably as they are. To permit a man to be spiritually Dead is [not-to make him alive:] To permit his Darkness or Ignorance, [is not-to give him Light or Knowledge:] To permit his unbelief is [not-to cause him to believe.] To permit his want of Love, is [not-to give him Love.] To permit his positive sins of Malignity or Carnality, is but [not-to cure and hinder them by Grace or Providence,] supposing the Natural sup­port and concurse, whith the Author of Nature giveth to all things.

498. Therefore when Gods Acts in themselves are his Essence and all one, and are diversified but by connotation of divers objects, relatively and denominatively; when he knoweth all things uno intuitu, and wil­leth all that he willeth unica Volitione; when nihil physicum is no deno­minating terminus, of a physical act, (though so far as it may be called Moraliter, id est, Reputative aliquid, as a Privation, it may be said to de­nominate reputatively, as a quasi aliquid;) and that which is moraliter vel imputative nihil, cannot morally denominate; when both Non dare spiritum, gratiam, fidem, vitam, &c. and permittere infidelitatem; peo­catum, &c. are truly Nothing, and even in Reputative Moral sense, are wihil morale, when they are not penal; (And as antecedent to sin, they are not penal;) Judge now impartially whether 1. Those men deal not presumptuously with God, 2. And troublesomely with his Church, who assert the Being of Positive Decrees and Volitions in God about such Nul­lities, [Page 74] and raise Controversies about the Reasons and the Order of them, yea, unto dangerous inferences; when as 1. They can prove no such thing in God as they assert. 2. Nay, when we say so much to prove the contrary.

499. And here consider, whether Scotus himself assert not without all need or proof, that God hath a positive knowledge and reflexive Volition of his own Non-Volition? and so that a Nullity as to his own act, must be the terminus of a positive act? When that Nullity is neither God, nor a Creature, nor aliquid vel Dei vel Creaturae; and so seemeth to be no denominating terminus of a distinct act. Yet no doubt, God is not to be called Ignorant of such Nullities or Idle; for those are terms of pri­vation: If God be said either not to Know nothings or not to Wil [...] or Nill them, it is because it signifieth his Perfection: And no part of perfection is wanting to him. But we must not place his perfection in a conformity to our imperfect mode of knowing or willing.

500. For we dare not here presume peremptorily to determine Negative­ly, that God doth not positively Will his own non-agency or non-voliti­ons; because we know how dark we are and distant from God, and unfit to say any thing but certainties of him, as certain truth: But we abstain from the contrary assertion, as utterly unproved, and we will impute no needless acts to God as his Perfection: Though we yield to reputative moral deno­minations.

501. And so I contradict not the language of Aquinas 1. q. 14. 9. who saith, that God knoweth such non-entities as never will be, ut possibili [...]. And esse in potentia quamvis non in actu is more than nothing. But re­member that esse in potentia speaketh the esse Potentiae, but the possibile is a pure nothing. So that this is but to know the Potentia, and not any thing else. Yet no doubt but God knoweth all things as they are in him­self; that is, he knoweth that he can do all things, and knoweth what he knoweth and willeth; but this is no esse creatum but God himself, at least as to that which never will be. But if any will call it a knowing of things possible which are nothings, when God knoweth his own Power to make them, we quarrel not with words, while the sense is known.

502. But remember that it is not the Knowledge, but Decrees and Voliti­ons of God that our enquiry now is about: And Aquinas and his followers commonly say, that Gods will goeth not so far as his knowledge; and that he knoweth indeed mala ex bon [...] of which they are the privation (as no doubt he doth so far as it is not imperfection to be said to know them, or as they are objects of knowledge) but yet that Mala neque vult, neque [...] ­lit, sed tantum non-vult, as Lombard said.

503. Ockam Quodlib. 3. q. 6. hath the question, Utrum Cognitio intu [...] ­tiva potest esse de objecto cognito? And he 1. concludeth that per poten­tiam divinam potest esse de object [...] non existente; but he meaneth only quod fuit vel fuerit. 2. That naturally it cannot be. And faith that Con­tradictio est quod vis [...]o sit, & tamen illud quod videtur, non sit in effect [...] nec esse possit: Ideo contradictio est quod chimaera videatur intuitive: fed non est contradictio quod illud quod videtur nihil sit in actu extra ca [...] ­som suam, dummodo possit esse in effectu, vel aliquando fuerit in rerum natura—Unde Deus ab aeterno videt omnes res factibiles, & tamen [...]unc null [...] fuerunt—By which it is plain, that he meaneth as Aquinas, that it is not as Nothings, but as Possibles and Futures they are known even by God, saving that Aquinas and his followers judge that they are from eternity fore-known in their proper existence, by reason that all times and things are present in Eternity. Now to know a Possibility of a thing, is [Page 75] not to know the Thing: But to know the Power. For Possibile is nihil. And as Ockam proveth, that Universale is qualitas mentis, and is nothing else, nor any where else existent, so we may much more clearly say de Pos­sibili that besides Potentia it is nothing but the Conceptus mentis what that Power can do.

504. And if an Artificer get the Idea of a fabrick or frame which ne­ver was in the World, and Resolve to make such a real thing, that which is in his mind, is but his own Thought or Imagination, and nothing else: And to call it Domus vel Navis Possibilis, signifieth nothing else, or it is delusory.

505. Holkot Quodlib. li. 2. qu. 2. lit. C. D. E. ad primum dicit [Dico plane quod aliae res à Deo nullum esse habuerunt ab aeterno distinctum à Deo: Neque esse quidditativum, neque esse Potentiale, neque esse reprae­sentativum, secundum quod diversi antiquit us opinati sunt.] Quod pro­bat. Ad art. secundum he saith, that the Creatures had no being in God from eternity, but improperly good men have so spoken, because he knoweth them, and can produce them.

And ad art. 3. q. Whether it be true, that Rosa e. g. non existens, con­cipitur aut intelligitur? he reciteth twelve arguments for the affirmative, and then reciteth the negative as the opinion of others: And though he say not which side he taketh, yet he confuteth the arguments for the af­firmative, and bringeth nine arguments for the negative, which he saith nothing against.

Thomas's opinion of the question you may see in his Interpreters in 1. d. 36. & 1. q. 14. ar. 9. Ruiz de Scient. d. 17. Valent. 1. q. 14. punct. 7. Tanner. 1. d. 2. qu. 8. dub. 8. Gran. 1. p. Cont. 2. d. 5. Aluiz. tr. 2. d. 9.

506. Yet let it be still remembred that all this Controversie is not properly de re, but de modo loquendi; or of the extrinsick denomination of Gods Will, and not of his Will as in it self, which is his Essence, and but One. But yet here denominations must be carefully used.

507. And by the way, that you may understand what I mean by deno­minations, from connotation and relation to the terminating object, note what Ockam saith in Quodlib. 5. q. 25. that Conceptus est vel 1. Absolu­tus e. g. hominis, 2. Connotativus, e. g. albi, 3. Relativus, ut patris: & differunt in hoc: 1. Conceptus absolutus omnia sua significata significat aeque, primo, & uno modo,—in recto—2. Nomen Connotativum proprie significat primo unum, & aliud secundario, & unum in recto & aliud in obliquo—3. Conceptus relativus maxime concretus habet om­nes praedictas conditiones quas habet connotativus: sed differunt in hoc quod quandocunque conceptus connotativus vere praedicatur de aliquo, conveni­enter potest sibi addi suum absolutum, in aliquo solum: quia nihil est al­bum nisi sit album albedine: sed Relativo potest addi casus obliquus qui non est ejus absolutum—ut servi dominus—Omnis Conceptus Rela­tivus est Connotativus: at non è Converso.

508. If any shall think that he hath any advantage against what I have said by Scotus his opinion, that Voluntatis objectum non est Bonum tantum, sed & E [...]s; & Voluntas potest Velle Malum qua Malum; and that the Will hath other objects, praeter finem & media, viz. Entia absoluta not so related in the apprehension, and consequently that there may be a No­lition of Non Enti [...], and not only as Mala; And the like of Ockam in 3. d. 13. qu. 13. ad dub. 3. Gabr. Gregor. &c. Let him remember that the greater part of the Schoolmen are against this opinion; And that the owners of it, assert not this consequence of Divine Nolitions, commonly, but [Page 76] say as Guil. Camerar. ibid. p. 1. q. 2. pag. 158. that between Volitions Leg. Guil. Camerar. disp. moral. li. 1. q. 2. & 3. pag. 156. &c. & Phil. Fab. 1. d. 3. qu. 3. cap. 2. & q. 4. c. 7. Scot. 1. d. q. 4. ad 4. & q. 1. a. 2. & 2. d. 3. qu. 10. & d. 6. q. 1. & de Anima q. 19, 20, 21. and Nolitions there is this order, that Volitions go first, and we nill things only, because they consist not with what we first Willed. And Gods will need not to rise up with an actual opposition especially against its own acts or suspensions, where a non-agency will do the same thing.

An Additional Explication of Divine Nolitions.

LEst all this seem not clear enough in so mysterious a business, and be­cause I have oft insisted on it, I will yet add this further explication of my thoughts in these following Theses.

1. Understanding and Will in God being not the same thing as in man, we must not think that we have any other conceptions or expressions of them than Metaphorical or Analogical.

2. Therefore we must not say, Thus and Thus God understandeth and willeth, but After the manner of men we must thus conceive of it.

3. But there are several degrees of impropriety of speech: and in a greater degree repentings, wrath, hating, grief, &c. are in Scripture spoken of God; but in strict disputes the lesser degree must be chosen, that is, such conceptions as have least of imperfection.

4. In man the Will is an Appetite, and essentially connoteth the want of what we have an appetite to, or a self-insufficiency: but so it doth not in God.

5. And Nolitions in man yet signifie greater imperfection, viz. that there is some evil or hurtful thing which is at enmity to him, or against his good, and which he would be delivered from, or overcome: and it is in the will the beginning of a war, or resistance: But it is not so in God.

6. That which is Good we Will, and that which is Evil we Nill, and that which is neither, we neither Will nor Nill. Accordingly we must after the manner of men ascribe to God, 1. Volitions of Good, 2. Nolitions of Evil, 3. A Non-velle and Non-nolle of that which is neither.

7. Nothing is Good, but 1. God himself simply and primitively, and 2. The works of God secondarily and derivatively as the glory or splen­dour of his perfections is found in them, and as they are the products of his will: 3. And the Acts or Works of his creatures in a third degree.

8. The Goodness of the creature being essentially relative to Gods will, that is, Its conformity to it as its product, the creature is eo nomine Good because it is that which God willeth.

9. Hence the grand difficulty is resolved, Whether God could have made the World Better? No: not in the first and properest sense of created Goodness, because he cannot make it any other than what he willeth it to be: But he might make it otherwise and might diversifie it, and make par­ticular creatures Better to themselves and one another, which is a lower sense of Goodness: But in all diversifications they would be still perfectly Agree­able to his Will, and so be still equally Good or Best.

10. The Goodness of the third rank of beings (The Acts of Free-Agents) is their Conformity to his Law or Governing Regulating Will.

11. God hath as Creator and Motor become the Voluntary Root or Spring of Nature and natural motion, and accordingly stablished all se­cond causes as natural agents under him, and doth by them operate in a natural necessitating and constant way: And this is antecedent to his Laws [Page 77] to free agents: And this natural course of agency we must not expect that he should alter, but rarely by miracles.

12. Nothing is at enmity and Actively opponent to Gods natural agency or motion: for else there should be something besides God and his works which he must overcome: Though some natural motions may op­pose each other, yet all concurr to one end.

13. Non-entity or Nothingness, is not contrary to God as an opponent.

14. Therefore seeing Saith Alliac. Camerac. 1. q. 12. a. 1. B. [Repro­batio secundum aliquos est non-propositum dandi vi­tam aeternam. Et ille di­citur Reprobatus secundum aliquos cui Deus non pro­posuit dare vitam aeter­nam.] Et postea [Certum est de multis quod Deus non vult quod in bonis meritoriis perseverent—Et non vult quod conditio implea­tur; Quia si vellet uti (que) impleretur:] But he saith not [Vult non impleri, &c.] Gregorius non debuit in­ferre quod non misereri est effectus Reprobationis, cum sit ipsa Reprobatio. Id ibid. Nolle is not a meer Non velle, but a Velle-non, which is the war of the will against an opponent, and the root of opposition ad extra, it is an unmeet phrase to say that God doth Nil any Non-entity, or any meer Natural opposition to him: or that he Willeth any natural entity or motion which he effecteth not.

15. But God being secondarily the Rector of free-agents, and making them Laws to Rule their own Volitions and actions, he doth by those Laws oblige their reason and will, to restrain and resist some natural or sensitive appetites and inclinations, and so to resist some natural motions of God in nature, in which he is pleased to operate by second causes but in tantum and resistibly (as a stronger natural motion may resist a weaker.)

16. And God doth by his grace and help internal and external, assist them in that resisting agency which he obligeth them to.

17. Therefore God may two wayes be said to resist his own natural motion, by his Laws, and by his assisting grace: (But his Laws contradict not one another.)

18. To God as meer Rector therefore two things may be said to be op­ponent, 1. Such sensitive and natural inclinations and actions as are by Grace to be resisted; 2. And all moral evil.

19. And therefore as God may be said to Resist these, so also first to Nill them: And so to have Decrees against them.

20. Gods Volitions and Nolitions here are his essential will denomi­nated from the effects and objects. And that effect of God from which he is said to Nill both these, is as is said, 1. His Laws, 2. His grace or help. And in this we are agreed, 1. That he forbiddeth sin and com­mandeth us the restraint of appetites and senses, &c. 2. And that he help­eth us so to do: Therefore the rest of the School-Controversies here that trouble the world, are but logomachies, about the Names of Nolitions and Nolitive Decrees.

21. The thing properly willed by God in a Law, is but the debitum, the duty of the subject to do what is commanded, and not to do what is for­bidden.

22. It is not a meer non-agency that is meant by a prohibition, but a positive nolition of the subject, restraining him from the forbidden act: And all proper moral obedience or disobedience, Good or Evil, is prima­rily in the will, and no further secondarily in the exteriour act or re­straint, than as they are Voluntary; and in non-agency but in a third sense or instance as the consequent of nolition and the refraining act.

23. If any therefore will say in this sense, that God doth positively Nil the forbidden Act, and so will a non-entity sub ratione mali moralis in this remote sence, we will not contradict him but say as he.

24. And accordingly we may say that God hath a positive Decree of non-entities, or against moral evil; where non-agency is loco materiae, that is, in tantum, so far as to do all that he doth against it; but not absolutè ne eveniat, ubi evenit.

25. But we may not therefore speak so unaptly as to say that he will­eth [Page 78] positively all or any non-entity or non-futurity of meer naturals that are non-futura.

26. Therefore we may much less say it of his own Natural Impe­ditions, that he positively willeth non-impedire ubi non impedit: For he is not to be thought of as a restrainer of himself by Law or self-opposition. It is enough to say that non-vult impedire.

27. Much less may we say that positively vult non velle-impedire, lest we make another Velle necessary to that Velle, and so in infinitum. [...]annes in 1. q. 23. a. 3. p. 2 [...]. confe [...]eth that the sense of all this que­stion is but which way God, who is one pure act, unvaried about all varieties, is most conve­niently to be mentioned by us: and that Deus re­spect [...] culpae quae futura [...]at in reprobi [...] non habuit a [...]um voluntatis affirma­ti [...]um quo voluerit esse pec­ [...]ata, a [...] illos p [...]ccaturos. (Whence it followeth that All futures or exi­stents are not positively willed: Even the formale p [...]cati is quid [...]uturum.) But he thinks it most fit to say that God positively willeth the permission of sin, 1. Because it is Good. Ans [...]r. Nothing is [...]ther Good nor bad. 2. B [...] ause else the diffe­rence between the pre­destinate and reprobate would not fall under providence. Answ. As if giving that grace to on [...] which is not given to another, made no diffe­ [...]e. 3. Because else [...]n would come by cha [...]e as to Gods fore­knowledge. Answ. As if nothing would not be no­thing without a positive d [...]r [...]e that it shall be nothing? or God could not know a nothing, or a crime, as such, so far as it is quid intellect [...]i per­fe [...] [...]im [...] intelligibile, without positive willing it: How then knoweth he the fo [...]male peccati?

28. It is proper to say that Deus non vult permittere peccatum, ubi id non permittit; and that vult permittere aliquid indifferens quod per le­gem positive permissum est: quia permissio ista est quid positivum.

29. After the manner of men it may be said that consequentially he willeth or decreeth a thing, when he willeth or decreeth that from which it necessarily followeth, though it could not be proved that the will of God is directly terminated on that consequent thing it self: And so it may be said, that Qui vult quid majus, consequenter vult minus illud quod in majore includitur. And so as when God commandeth duty he doth more than politically permit it, he may be said eminenter to permit it, and so he may be said to will or decree his own permission of it: But that is not formaliter as permission, or a negative non-impedition, but eminenter, because he formally willeth the quid majus, viz. the command.

30. So God may be said eminenter to will his non dare gratiam, aut Gloriam, when he penally as a Judge, denyeth it to a sinner. But here the thing formally willed is a positive judicial denyal, rejection or ex­clusion of the sinner, which the privation followeth.

And now for the application of all this to our case it may be perceived, 1. That the very Controversie is such, as a sober Christian should be afraid to resolve on either side. Aristot ad Nichom. inq [...]it, Est hominis modi­ [...]ati non majorem in dispu­tando certitudinem aut subtilitatem explicationis dis [...]derare, quam rei ipsius de qua disseritur natura [...]tur. Han [...] sludiosis in m [...]oriam r [...]co, [...]t qu [...] sit [...]imis argu [...] in disseren­do contra Ecclesia d [...]ri­ [...]an de causa peccati, & contingentiae. Strigelius in Melan [...]th. Loc. pag. 297. Quisqu [...] plus [...]sto non sa­ [...]it, ill [...] sapit. It is a tremendous thing to poor sinful worms, who know not the nature of one arenula or pile of grass, or the soul of an insect, nor how the perceptions of a poor Bee is ordered in gathering her Honey and Wax, and making her Combes, &c. to determine insolently and contentiously in what order God conceiveth of things, or willeth them? which first and which second, and what reasons move him? and for what use and end each thing is willed? and whether he have positive Voliti­ons of every non-entity that it shall not exist then? &c. I am afraid lest my very opposing and rebuking of this presumption should be found guilty of bold prophaneness, while I so much meddle with so unsearchable a thing; which I should avoid, had not disputers and railing censurers made it necessary.

2. That though while we talk together familiarly and popularly, men may leave each other to liberty to say that God Decreeth non-entities, or willeth that Infinite species and individual nothings shall never be, yet to make this the matter of a Church-dispute, and censure those that say not as they say, and calumniate them as favouring some perillous errour, seemeth to me no better than diabolical.

3. All men that have the brains, hearts and faces of Christians who hold that all these distinctions signifie no true diversity in Gods will exparte sui, should openly tell the world in the beginning, middle and end of such disputes, that It is but about words that we dispute, even what Logical terms Artists must use in distinguishing of that which hath no real diversity? even about the dreadful Majesty of God and what Names to put on his simple volition?

4. And they should well bethink them how far it is safe, to think of that as divers which is not divers; and to multiply conceptions and distin­ctions [Page 79] of Gods simple essence beyond true necessity: and whether then to contend about the priority of such conceptions be more holy or pro­phane?

5. For all the reasons before given, If they will say that God Decreeth penally to deny or not to give Grace or Glory or any good thing to them that forfeit it, there is reason for the expression according to Scripture, af­ter the manner of man: But if they will fly higher and say that Gods Simple essential will, is to be called A positive Decree or Volition that Ju­das, e. g. shall not be named John, Thomas, &c. that there shall be milli­ons of distinct non-entities, &c. or that any positive Volition is of ne­cessity to non-futurities or non-existences in meer physical respects, where no positive action is necessary, (save only that by consequence he that de­creeth and willeth to make such and such finite creatures, may consequen­tially and improperly be said to will that there shall in general be no more, in that he willeth not that there shall be more, and they cannot be with­out his will,) I fear such are over-bold with God. And so are they that say that he hath a Positive Decree or Will, non dare Christum ante lapsum Adami, non dare fidem, non impedire peccatum, in such instances or cases wherein the [dare] is no Act of a Rector, nor the [negare] the posi­tive Law, judgement or penal denyal of a Judge, but only the dare belong­eth to a free Dominus-benefactor. Bannes ubi sup. p. 272. argueth [Omne ordina­bile in bonum finem quod invenitur existens, est voll­tum à Deo: sed Permissio peccati est, &c.] Ans. Per­missio illa quae nihil est, ne (que) exiestens est neque or­dinabile: De permission [...] autem activa verum est. So Ruiz de Praedef. Tract. 2. disp. 12. copiously pro­veth a positive will or decree of Permitting sin: But then he defineth Permission so as to in­clude both Production of circumstances and gene­ral concurse; And who denyeth that such posi­tive beings must have positive Causes? But what's that to meer non-impedition? (Thus still words are the matter of our quarrels.) Yet sect. 7. he confesseth that he findeth none of the an­cient Schoolmen that expresly say that the Per­mission of sin is fore-de­creed, nor that the Lat­er deliver it sub iisdem verbis. Adrian in q. de Clav. sol. 982. [Ret [...]nere nihil posi­tivi dicit, sed solum non solvere: & ergo non o­portet Claves esse, sicut nec Deum causam effectivam esse.] See Alliaco before cited shewing that Lombard took Permission of sin to be no Act, either Velle or Nolle, but a non-velle & non-efficere, which he him­self contradicteth not.

Penal permission or non-impedition of sin, and denying or not-giving grace, may be said to be decreed or willed, because God threatned them an­tecedently by a Positive Law, which should make them due, and that Law was the product of Gods will. Though strictly it is but the Positive Law and the Debitum poenae here that God willeth, which the non-impedire & non-dare gratiam follow.

But Gods not making men Angels, or Stars, or Suns, and his making us men, free and defectible, and his permitting the first sin, and his giving men no more grace antecedently (before forfeiture) as free benefactor & dominus suorum, none of these have the same reason on which to found such denominations of Gods will and essence.

And seeing Nolitions in man are the results of his Insufficiency and war against noxious evils, we must not ascribe such Imperfections to God; but only such Nolitions as his Actions as Rector per Leges & Judicia have made to signifie no imperfection, as being not contra nocumenta, but only contra injurias as against himself, & contra nocumenta as against his crea­tures, i. e. contra peccatum.

And now I may answer the solitary argument of Vasquez, mention­ed in the Margin (that non entia, non dare gratiam, non impedire pecca­tum, &c. may have aliquam rationem boni & amabilitatis, and so may be Willed, Loved or Decreed.)

Answ. 1. In meer Naturals, Negations are not properly any way good or evil; but Privations are Natural Evils, and not good.

2. To be occasio sinè qua non of good, (as sickness is of the Physi­cions honour, and sin of Gods,) is not any true ratio boni vel amabilis: The bonum & amabile is only the good that on that occasion is done: The occasion is neither efficient, constitutive or final cause of any good, nor any causal proper medium.

3. In Morals, meer Negations are neither good nor evil, nor have any Morality, but only Positives and Privations.

4. In morals God judicially doth that whence Penal privations follow, and he may penally non agere, non dare gratiam, to execute his Law, and demonstrate his truth and Justice on sinners, and occasion the perception [Page 80] of his mercy to others. And here the non-agere, non-dare, permittere, be­ing loco materiae volitae, may after our mode be said to be Volita seu de­creta, & bona. But properly it is not the non-entity, that is bonum or Volitum, but the positive Law and Judgement, and the relatio debiti p [...] ­nae, and the ratio poenae in the privation, and the demonstration of truth, justice, holiness, &c. therein.

5. But sinful privations, that is, sinful Volitions, nolitions, or non-V [...] ­litions of the Creature, are not properly per se or per accidens, propter se vel propter aliud good or amiable, or willed or decreed of God. And they that prove that God cannot be the Author of sin, because he cannot be Causa deficiens, must mean as much, or speak impertinently and deceit­fully.

It is not impertinent which Judicious Strangius saith, Lib. 3. c. 13. p. 677, 678. If Scientia Media be an useless conceit, how much more cum extenditur ad ejusmodi infinitas & vanissimas connexiones rerum disparatarum quae nunquam futurae sunt? (He instanceth in many, and addeth [De hac re Ariaga disp. to. 1. d. 21. sect. 7.—dicit, non sibi videri in Deo esse scientiam harum, quia talis scientia videtur plane im­pertinens: Ad quid enim nosceret Deus quid Chimaera esset factura sub tali conditione impossibili, &c.] Et ipse D. Twissus de Scient. Med. p. 472. Si plures Angelos Deus condidisset certe decrevisset ut etiam illi agerent ali­quid in Gloriam Dei: Nec tamen decretum aliquod hujusmodi Deo decen­ter tribui potest, &c.

I know the case is not just the same with that before us: but the reason is the same for both.

But still I profess that If it be not an injurious imputing imperfection to God to assign him positive Volitions of every negative, I shall concurr with them that do, and extend Gods Volitions as far as ever the object and his perfection will allow; And say of them as Judicious Blank doth of Gods knowledge (De Concord. lib. cum decret. 1. n. 64.) [Saltem ille minus periculose errat qui putat Deum scire ea quae forte scibilia non sunt, quam qui negat Deum scire quae revera scit, & quae intra Divinae omniscien­tiae objectum continentur.] So here; so be it that God be not feigned to will sin, I contend the less against them that say He positively willeth In­finite numerical Nothings, and his own non-acting. Bradward. l. 1. c. 13. Cor. 10, 11. brings in (too profoundly like one of Thom. Anglus his Er­go's) that God is the Causa prima of every no­thing (non esse) because he is so of negations: As if Nothing could be an ef­fect and have a Cause: or as if a negative concepti­on or proposition were not something, viz. a Thought or a Word, as well as an affirmative: Such workmen make the world with words.

509. BEing afraid of wearying the Reader I pass by other School-con­troversies here, and only propound to each mans Conscience, whether 1. He that is the affirmer of unproved acts of God, 2. And that about his secret unsearchable Volitions, 3. And of such acts as make the difficulties inextricable about Gods being the Cause of sin, be not on the far unsafer side, than he that only saith, Quae supra nos nihil ad nos? If these be not certainly false, they are certainly unproved, and therefore not to be here received.

510. And I say here as Buridane saith about the forementioned nature of Liberty, Ethic. li. 3. qu. 1. p. 152. Simpliciter & firmiter credere volo—quod Voluntas caeteris omnibus eodem modo se habentibu [...], potest in actus oppositos—Et nullus debet de via communi rece­dere propter rationes sibi insolubiles, specialiter in his quae fidem tangere possunt aut mores: Qui enim credit se omnia scire, & in nulla opinio­num suarum decipi, fatuus est. De festuca enim tibi sensibiliter praesen­tata, formabuntur centum rationes, vel quaestiones, de quibus contraris sapientissimi doctores opinabuntur: propter quod in qualibet harum de­ceptus [Page 81] erit alter ipforum vel ambo: Ideo non miror si in hac altissima materia non possum per rationes & solutiones satisfacere mihi ipst.]

511. To proceed in the application, Vasquez in 1. Tho. q. 23. a. 3. d. 95. c. 1. Sunt non-nulli Thomistae qui tam severe hanc sequuntur opi­nionem ut affirment, [...]un­dem ordinem servasse Deum in reprobatione quem in praedestinatione tenuit; scil. ut ante praevisa pecca­ta sola sua Voluntate de­creverit quosdam à regno Coelorum excludere, licet non ad poenam sensus destina­verit.—Deinde quos voluit excludere permiserit labi in peccatum ea inten­tione ut eos excluderet à regno sicut decreverat. Et c. 2. Parum ab hac sententia dissert Scotus, qui qu. 1. d. 41. asserit in Deo duplicem esse Reproba­tionem; alteram vocat Punitivam, alteram per­missivam—Et punitivae dari causam, & ex praevi­sis peccatis factam fuisse;—Permissivae non dari causam, quia quod homo permittatur labi in pri­mum peccatum, nulla ex parte illius datur causa: hujus enim solum nititur Scotus causam negare—Hinc ordinem hune in mente Divina assignat: (&c. ut alibi.) Scotum sequuntur Bassolis, Corduba, &c. Objicit Bradward. Pri­vationes ut eclipses, mors, &c. habent positivas cau­sas. To which what I have said is a sufficient answer. And 1. Some­times they have not; but only the cessation of a causation: 2. They ne­ver have a positive effi­cient of themselves, (for nothing is not made) but only a positive re­mover of the cause of that which the subject is deprived of, or an in­terposer or hinderer of the causation of it, e. g. of Light or life; And death hath no cause but that which ceaseth the causes of life. Reprobation is commonly looked at in the two most notable parts (as called,) 1. Gods Reprobating men to unbelief and impenitency; 2. His Reprobating men to final damna­tion. The last of these also is considered in the execution, 1. As Pri­vative. 2. As Positive, called Poena damni & sensus. And both (espe­cially the Privative part) are considerable, 1. As executed by man him­self on himself freely. 2. Or as executed by God: Concerning each of these observe,

512. 1. Not to Believe and Repent is no real entity: And not to Give faith and Repentance (as is said) is no real entity: And to Permit In­fedelity and Impenitency is no real entity (as is proved:) And not to De­cree the Giving of saith, and the hindering of unbelief is nothing: And (most clearly) besides these four nothings, nothing can be proved either existent or needful. All that cometh to pass, will come to pass without any more ado. Therefore.

513. As far as any mortal man can prove God hath no such Act of Reprobation at all, as is, 1. Either a Decree that a man shall not even­tually Repent. 2. Or a Decree not to give him Repentance. 3. Or a Decree to Permit his Impenitence. 4. Nor can we prove an after Voli­tion of his own former non Volition which is asserted by Scotus. But the three first we have great reason to lay by; and so not only to say as Davenant that this part of Reprobation is an Act negative quoad ob­jectum, but that it is no Act, and there is no other Reprobation as to this part save, 1. Gods not decreeing to give faith, 2. And his not giv­ing it.

514. 2. And as to Damnation, so much of it as consisteth in sin it self, God no otherwise causeth than as he doth all sin, which is properly, not at all; It being but the Act as an act which he causeth as the Cause of Nature, and not as sinfully qualified: and so no more decreeth this than other sin.

515. And most men little think how much of damnation lyeth in sin it self, and the privative consequents which need no other cause. 1. To be ignorant of God and Goodness. 2. To be void of the Love of God and Holiness, and Holy persons, and all the Holy employment of Heaven. 3. To be thereby void of all the Delights of Holy ones, which consist in such Knowledge, Love and Employment, Praise, Obedience, and holy Communion. 4. To be uncapable of the Reception of Divine compla­cency; as he that maketh himself blind is uncapable of the light, or he that maketh himself unlovely is uncapable of immediate Love. 5. To be defiled and diseased with all kind of sinful lusts, and malignity, and made like the Devil. 6. To have all sorts of Lusts in violence when they can have no fewel or satisfaction, and so to be tormented with these lusts. To have extream selfishness and Pride, when they have cast them­selves into the utmost shame and misery. 7. To see that no Creature can deliver them, and to despair of ever being better, as having no hope from God or any other. 8. To see or know that others enjoy the Glory and everlasting felicity which they have lost. 9. To think how easily once they might have attained it; and how it was offered freely to their choice. 10. To think of all the solicitations of mercy that importuned them, and all the time and means they had. 11. To think for how base a vanity they lost it, and that misery was their wilful choice. 12. To [Page 82] be tormented with envy and malice against God that forsaketh them, and against his Saints; And to feel conscience awakened setting home all their former folly; All this is nothing but sin and its own effects, which hath no Causation at all from God, but to continue the nature which he gave them, and is not bound to destroy. And how great a part of hell is this?

516. Nay we know not how much sensible Pain may be the consequent of their own sin, without any other Act of God, than his common con­tinuation of nature it self: As a man that eateth Arsnick, or unwholsome meat, is tormented by it, without any other act of God, than as the uni­versal Cause of Nature.

517. All this much of Damnation then being meerly the work of the sinner himself, so far as there is no Act of God in the execution, so far no man can prove any Positive Act of Volition or Decree.

518. But 1. As God in these is the universal cause of Nature, and so of natural acts, 2. And as in other instances he actually further punisheth them, 3. And as he actually made that Law which made these penalties the sinners due; so far God hath a Positive Decree and Volition, that these persons shall be damned: And moreover, as improperly or morally his not sanctifying them, and not saving them is called his Act, and is really their penalty, even so may his not-willing to save or glorifie them be called his Decree and will to damn them, if you will.

519. By this time we are ready to answer our first question, What are the objects of these several acta of God, so far as connotatively we must call them several.

And 1. Besides all before cited against Volitions de nihi­lo, see Ruiz de Vol. Dei, disp. 6. §. 1. p. 36. [An­tiquorum gravissimi senti­unt Deum non omnia Velle, sed ea duntarat bona quae in aliqua differentia tem­poris existunt: proinde possibilia que nunquam fu­tura sunt non amari à Deo, [...] Mala: & inde Deum not esse omni-volentem: & n [...]llam creaturam à Deo amari necessario: Ita Al­bertus, Alexand. Bo [...]vent. Richard. Gaby. Bannez, Zu­mel, Molina, Valentia, Scotus Against which he bringeth frivolous reasons, and asserteth, that God willeth as a material object, the Goodness which the Creature would have if it were made, and this as to all Creatures which never will be. What putid contradictions are here? to will Goodness which is no Goodness, of all Creatures which are no Creatures, as materi­al objects, which are no­things? God willeth his own Power, whence man calleth that Possible which is nothing. But was there from Eterni­ty any Possibles not-fu­ture to be willed? What was there from Eternity but God? And are all the [...]e Nothings God him­self? Gods not giving the Gospel to any persons, is no Act, and so hath no object. But reductively or improperly the object is, Man sinning against the grace of the first edition of the Law of Grace: that is, These are the subject de quo, of which it is truly said, They are without the Gospel.

520. 2. Gods not converting effectually some that have the Gospel, is no Act, and hath no object: But the subject of the Privation, called the Object, is, Some part of those men who have forfeited the helps of special Grace by their abuse or neglect of the Gospel and the Commoner grace which was given them.

521. 3. Gods not Pardoning, Justifying, Adopting and Sanctifying men, is no Act and hath no object: But the subject of the Privation, and object of the Laws contrary sentence, is, Impenitent, Unbeliev­ers, or the non-performers of the condition of Justification, &c. in the Covenant.

522. 4. Gods not Glorifying men, is no Act, nor the damnation which consisteth in sin as aforesaid, is none of Gods act: But the sen­tence of condemnation is Gods Act, and no doubt some other Posi­tive Execution. And the object of these is, All finally Impenitent Un­believers, and unholy ones, that is, who performed not the Condi­tion of that Edition of the Covenant of Grace which they were under.

523. And it being past all denyal that these are the objects of the Ex­ecutive Acts, we must say that these also are the objects of the Decrees accordingly, where a Decree is proved, and when we speak of them on­ly juxta ordinem executionis, and not Intentionis, which I laid by be­fore.

[Page 83] 524. And lest you recurr to it, once more I will recite (more of) Davenants words de ordine Intentionis. De Praed. & Reprob. cap. 1. p. 107. [1. Sciendum & tenendum est si Dei naturam & perfectionem in se consideremus, illum non prius unum videre, deinde aliud, neque pri­us hoc decernere aut velle, deinde illud; sed unico & simplicissimo actu, &c.—2. Ex parte tamen Rerum quae decrevit signa quaedam prioritatis & posterioritatis distingui possunt,—Hic tamen ob­servandum est, inter ipsos Scholasticos non admodum certam & constan­tem esse hanc doctrinam de hisce signis seu instantibus prioritatis—Scotus, qui primarius est ad haec signa fabricanda artifex, videtur non-nullis non solum eadem posuisse priora & posteriora secundum nostrum in­telligendi modum, sed etiam statuisse unum esse in ipso Deo prius natu­râ alio. (But from this he vindicateth him.) Ex adversa parte Occa­mus noster haec signa quocunque modo considerata negavit, in 1. d. 9. q. 3. Et Biel ejus sententiam amplexus haec signa oppugnavit. in 3. d. 2. q. 1. dub. 3. [Prioritates, in Divinis non sunt ponendae, sicut nec pluralitates actuum ordinatorum. Unus est enim Actus in Divinis, re & rati­one indistinctus, qui est ipsa essentia Divina.—ne secundum nostram quidem considerationem talem ordinem Prioritatis & posteriori­tatis concipi posse in decretis Divinis, ut talis consideratio non sit falsa speculatio.] If this hold, our Controversie of the order is at an end.

525. And he added the words even of a rigid Thomist [Domin. Bannes, quamvis non omnino explodat haec signa cum Biele, perpendens tamen discordiam Theologorum in his assignandis [Animadvertendum est, inquit, quam pro libito in negotio praedestinationis & reprobationis mul­tiplicentur instantiae à Theologis, & quam parum illa conferant ad assig­nandam rationem differentiae inter praedestinatos & reprobos. Liceat itaque hic paucis monere, non esse nimis confidendum, aut certo dogmati adhaerendum, ulli certo ordini decretorum divinorum, sive à Protestanti­bus, sive à Pontificiis assignato, cum difficile sit duos reperire, sive inter nostros, sive inter adversarios, qui ad amussim per omnia consentiant in hac serie decretorum divinorum describenda. Caveat it aque un [...]squisque ne talem considerationem praedestinationis & reprob inducat quae vel Di­vinae justitiae, vel gratiae gratuitae adversetur, & t [...]m non multum refert quo ordine prioritatis, &c.]

SECT. XVII. Of Gods Causing, and Decreeing Sin.

526. BUt because it is the avoiding of Gods Causing and Willing sin Of too many such en­quirers it may be said with Augustine, de Utilit. Cred [...]ndi cap. 18. Dum nimis quaerunt unde sit malum, nihil reperi [...]nt nisi malum. Obj. Omnis determinatio di [...]ina est immutabilis: Omnia siu [...]t Deo determi­nante: Ergo omnia siunt immut [...]hiliter. Respondet M [...]lan [...]th. Ad maj. Est immut [...]bil [...]s necessitate con­seq [...]entiae. Ad minor. Dissimil [...]s est determinatio in bonis & malis actioni­bus: Mala siunt, 1. Deo praesciente & non impedi­ [...]nte, non autem adjuvan­te vel impellente: Item, Deo sustentante naturam & suum opus: Item, Deo eventus certos decernente: Strigel. in Melancth. pag. 296. Carbo Compend. Thom. 1. q. 19. a. 9. Malum ut malum nullo app [...]titu potest appeti nisi per a [...]id [...]ns. Deus [...]ullo modo vult ma­lum Culpae—Deus neque vult si [...]ri malum, [...]que non vult, sed permitti. Ruiz de praedesin. Tr. 2. disp. 13. §. 3, 4. would prove a decree to permit mortal sin in the unjust and just ex destitutione & circumstantiis. And d. 16. §. 3. he tell [...]th us of many wayes by which God maketh sin the oc­casion of his Grace with­out causing or willing sin, in form or nearest matter. which is a great reason of these Controversies, I shall say some­what more particularly of that. About which there are various Opinions.

1. Some think (as Hobbs) that no acts of the will are so free as not to be necessitated, as the motions in an Engine, though unobserved by our selves, who see not the Concatenation of Causes.

527. 2. Some Dominicans, and our Dr. Twisse and Rutherford held, that no act natural or free can be done by any creature, without the Predeter­mination of Gods Physical efficient immediate Premotion, as the first total Cause of that act: But yet that this standeth with Liberty, because God caus­eth contingentia contingenter fieri. And that he so causeth every Act of sin in all its circumstances; and the totum materiale peccati; and all that the sinner causeth: But yet that he is not the Author of sin, nor causeth the form; Because 1. They say, that sin hath no efficient cause, but a defi­cient, which God is not, being not obliged to act: And sin is nothing, but a privation. 2. Because God is under no Law: and therefore though he do the same things that man doth, it is sin in man, but not in him: And saith Holkot, he is the cause of sin, but not the Author, because he commandeth it not by his Law. 3. At other times they say, that sin is formally a Relation of disconformity to the Law of God, and God causeth the whole act as circumstanced, but not the relation, which re­sulteth from it. 4. And God causeth not sin as sin, but as a means to his Glory, or as a punishment of former sin.

528. 3. Others say, as Camero, that the Intellect necessitateth the will, and the Objects and temptations necessitate the Intellect, and God caus­eth the Objects and Laws, and permitteth the Tempter.

529. 4. Others say, that God only as the Cause of Nature, 1. By Sup­port and Concurse necessary to all agents, causeth the Act as an Act in general, 2. And giveth Power also to act or not act freely, 3. And as Governour of the World doth that which he knew men would make an occasion of their sin, 4. And also by his Providence causeth many effects, of which mens sins are also a cause, 5. And after bringeth good out of their evil: 6. But as to the sin it self he is no cause of it, either as sin or pu­nishment, either of the form, or of the Act as morally specified, that is, as it is about this Forbidden object (or End) rather than another. And this opinion I take to be the undoubted truth.

530. Let it here be noted, 1. That the five things here granted are all certain truths, 2. And that they are as much as is necessary on Gods part, in respect to the events which we see; And unnecessaries are not to be asserted; 3. That they fully shew God to be the perfect Governour of the World, and all therein; 4. And yet to be no Author of sin: Let us con­sider of the particulars.

531. I. It is certain that God as Creator hath made man a Vital Agent, and therefore a self-actor (under him); and an Intellectual Agent, and therefore is not tyed to follow the perceptions of sense alone; And a Free-willing Agent, and therefore hath a Power to Act or not Act hic & nunc, or to choose or refuse, or to choose this rather than that as far as consisteth with his Necessary Volitions (which I acknowledged and enu­merated [Page 85] before: which is part of Gibieufs and Guil. Camerarius Scot. mean­ing by their servato ordine finis: Though I think that Annatus doth not unjustly accuse Gibieuf of confusion and unskilfulness in the managing of that matter.)

532. II. It is certain that as Motus vel Actio is quid Naturale, it is of God as the first Cause of Nature: Vid. Gregor. Arim. in 2. d. 28. q. 1. a. 3. ad arg. 8. & 12. whose judgement many School­men follow: Vasquez thus abbreviateth and reporteth him in 1 Tho. q. 23. d. 99. c. 4. [M [...] ­tionem Dei ordine causae priorem esse co-operatione & determinatione nostra in operibus bonis: at in ope­ribus peccati, etiam secun­dum substantiam & seclusa malitia priorem esse no­stram determination [...]m: & codem ordine baec inter se comparari in aeternita [...].—Ex quo inserunt De­um praefinisse opera bona ante det [...]rminati [...]n [...]m no­stram ullo modo praevisam; sed mala secundum substan­tiam nequaquam, nisi praecognita determinatione nostrae voluntatis. Vid. Marsil. in 1. q. 45. ar. 2. post 4. conclus. And so when a sinner acteth, it is not without this Universal first Cause: Whether God do it only, as Duran­dus thought, by the meer continuation of the nature of all things, Active and Mobile, or by any superadded concurse besides, is nothing to our pre­sent business; which only sheweth that God is the Cause.

533. III. It is certain that Governing Providence by doing good doth set before men that which they make an occasion of all their evil: Every thing is turned into sin by sinners, Titus 1. 15, 16. and to the unclean all things are unclean, through the uncleanness of their own minds and consciences: As to the pure and holy all things are pure and sanctified. Bad stomachs corrupt the wholsomest food. All Gods mercies are abused to sin.

534. It is certain that God fore-knew this: And yet that he is no way obliged to deny men life, or take it away, lest they abuse it, or deny men all those mercies, or remove them, which he foreseeth that they will turn to sin.

535. IV. It is certain that God often concurreth to the causing of the very same effect which sin also causeth; and so is as a concause of it with sin: And this effect is so near to the Act of sin, as that the sin it self is ost called by its name as if it were its nearest matter (which it is not.) And this is the occasion of the Great mistake of men in this case, that can­no [...] distinguish. Of which more anon in the instances.

536. V. And it is certain, that God as the Governour of the World, doth do much good by the occasion of mens sin. But this is not to turn the sin it self into good.

537. VI. And to these five operations of God, I add, as to his Volitions, that all this which he doth, he willeth or decreeth to do. And he hath no contrary will at all.

538. But that which we deny is, that He is any proper cause of the sin it self, efficient or deficient, culpable or not culpable, Physical or Moral; For the opening of which we must enquire what sin is, and what goeth to its being or constitution.

539. All grant that God is our Ruler by a Law, and also our ultimate End as he is Optimus & Amabilissimus, and that he is our absolute Owner: And that as rational free agents we that are his own, are also his Subjects and Beneficiaries, and made capable of Loving him as our ultimate end, and of obeying his Laws: And that sin is our Disobedience to these Laws, with our denying God our selves as his Own, and withholding or perverting the Love which we owe him as our End.

540. As Logick hath confounded us in most other cases by arbitrary unsuitable second notions (making us a Shoo not meet for the Foot,) so that it's easier to know Things without those unfit notions than with them; so hath it done here. Men may more easily know what sin is, and what it is to disobey a Law, and that either by doing what we should not, or by not doing what we are commanded, than they can know by what Logical or Metaphysical name it should be called: Whether a privation, or a relation, an act or no act, &c. But it is not only for Logicians that God made his Laws; nor is it only a Metaphysical Conscience that will accuse men or condemn them, and torment them for their sin.

[Page 86] 541. No Act meerly as an Act in genere is forbidden of God. For the soul is an Active nature, and can no more cease all action, than to be: though it can forbear a particular act as to this object, and at this time. And God is the Cause of Acts as such.

542. I have shewed before that as Action it self is no substance, but the mode or motion of a substance, so to choose this object rather than that, hath no more of Action in it than to have chosen the other, or than Ex to verb quod D [...]us con­c [...] at nobiscum ad actum peccati, prout facultas libe­ri arbitrii postulat, sive prius, sive posterius, sive simul, non sequitur maliti­am Deo esse tribuendam, cum illa solum ex modo operandi creaturae sequatur. Vasquez in 1 Tho. q. 23. d. 99. cap. 4. the general nature of action when existent hath: So that this Moral specifi­cation addeth not to the natural generical entity.

543. It is therefore 1. Acting, 2. Not acting, 3. Moral disposition, which are Commanded and Forbidden by God: And not any one only: and these not in themselves, but about the Materials commanded or for­bidden Objectively, in the Law. To Act on a forbidden object; Not to Act on an object when commanded, and to be viciously disposed to ei­ther, is a sin.

544. You may see then, that sin is a Connotative notion, yea, and a Relative notion; It connoteth a Ruler, a Law, and End, a Subject, and is thus variously Related.

545. As Subjection is the Root of Obedience, and all obedience Vir­tually, being A Consent to obey, and Love is the Root of benefits; so to forsake God simply as our Rector or our End, or our Owner, is Atheism practical, and all sin in one: But to violate only a particular precept de mediis, is but a particular sin.

546. God is the Cause of the Law which commandeth and forbiddeth, and God is the Cause of Nature, and Objects, and Action as Action: That therefore which he hath made mans part is to Love God and Holiness, and not to over-love the creature, nor to love it as our End or in his stead: and to do all that he commandeth, and not to do the particular acts about such particular objects as he forbiddeth.

547. The remote subject or relatum then of sin, is the person sinning; But the nearest is the Act, Omission or disposition; The fundamentum or ratio referendi is the said Acts, Omissions or dispositions, as such or such, about such or such objects, commanded or forbidden; which is a Relati­on; And the form of sin is the Moral Relation of Disobedience, or Dis­conformity to the Law. So that if you must needs have it in Logical no­tions, Sin is a Moral Relation, resulting from a Physical relation of Acti­ons, Omissions or dispositions of Gods subjects, which are modified contrary to his Law.

548. It is a Moral Relation as it is Disobedience, found in a Moral agent against a Law and Rector as such. It is a Physical Relation as the Act, &c. is prius naturâ quid naturale, about an object that is quid na­turale. Its fundamentum (of both relations: And one Relation may be sounded in another) is the Mode of the Act, Omission or disposition, as to an undue object, &c. as it is forbidden by the Law. Of the subjects and relatum I have spoken before.

549. So that the form of sin being Relative can have no Cause but that which causeth its fundamentum: and cannot possibly but result when that is laid.

550. It were an injury to God to feign him to make such a Law as should say, [Though thou hate me, see that that hatred be not Related for­mally as a breach of my Law,] or [I forbid thee not to commit Adulte­ry, but only forbid that thy Adultery be quid prohibitum or a sin.] For if God forbid not the act, it cannot be a sin: and if he forbid it, it must needs be sin; And so of omissions.

[Page 87] 551. They therefore that tell us, that sin is nothing, but a Privation, speak not satisfactorily, nor altogether truly. It is no substance indeed; nor any such Reality as Man cannot Cause without Gods Causing it (supposing his Universal Natural Support and Concurse.) But the thing forbidden is often Acts and Dispositions as well as Omissions: and the form of sin, is a Moral Relation, which hath so much reality as a Relation hath (if that be any). And that Relation hath a positive name; It is not only a meer Non-conformity, but also a Disconformity, becaused founded in See Dr. Wallis against the Lord Brooke of this, very well. Actual Volitions and Nolitions as forbidden, and not only in Omis­sions.

552. Subtile Ockam Quodl. 3. q. 15. disputing Utrum rectitudo & de­formitas actus differant à substantia actus? denyeth it; and after a Confu­tation of the common saying, that Deformitas est carentia rectitudinis debitae, & distinguitur ab actu, quod in peccato Actus est materiale, & carentia justitiae debitae inesse est formale, concludeth, [Quod deformitas non est carentia justitiae vel rectitudinis debitae inesse actui, sed est caren­tia rectitudinis debitae inesse voluntati: Quod non est aliud dicere, nisi quod voluntas obligatur aliquem actum elicere secundum praeceptum Divi­num quem non elicit; & ideo rectitudo actus non est aliud quam qui debuit elici secundum rectam rationem.] But I conceive, 1. That the rectitude of the Will can be nothing else but the rectitude of its acts, sus­pensions and dispositions; 2. That Ockam here describeth only sins of omis­sions, whereas the Rectitude of the Will is ofren also materially in not do­ing or willing what is forbidden. And with these two animadversions I am reconciled to Ockam: who addeth, [Ad aliud dico, Quod illud di­ctum de Materiali & Formali est falsum; Quia aut est peccatum commis­sionis aut omissionis: si primo modo, est Materiale sine formali: quia ibi non est carentia rectitudinis, debitae inesse actui: si secundo modo, tunc est ibi carentia quae est formale sine materiali.] Resp. 1. To the first I add, that It had been true, if it had been the Act as an act that had been for­bidden, or else the species of the act as quid naturale; But it being the Act not as an act in genere, but as this act thus modified or specified by an undue object, that Act with its Relation as quid physicum are presup­posed as the relatum to the moral relation of Pravity or Disconformity. And to the second I say, that it's true that Omission is not Materia Physi­ca; but it is an inadequate first conception of sin, and so is materia mo­raliter dicta vel loco materiae. And the Omission being considerable, 1. Quatenus Non-agere, 2. Qua privatio naturalis, 3. Qua & Privatio & disconformitas moralis, these three inadequate conceptions take up the whole nature of the sins of omission.

553. The same Ockam Quodl. 1. qu. 20. Utrum actus exterior habeat propriam bonitatem vel malitiam moralem? even as dependent on the Will? And he denyeth it against Scotus who affirmeth it: I will not trou­ble the Reader with their reasonings; not doubting but Ockam erred, and that it's true, 1. That no exterior act is Morally good or evil primarily, 2. But that secondarily and participatively as it is voluntary, there is a morality in the acts. Words, and deeds, and passions are under Law next to the Will, and in dependance on it. As the body conjunct with the soul is a secondary part of the man, so are our exterior acts of sin.

554. The conceit that making sin a meer nothing, doth seem to justifie God as not Causing it, is a meer vanity. For, 1. It justifieth the sinner more; who no more is the Cause of nothing than God. 2. Either man is able to do that Something or Act which sin is the privation of, without any other Power than he hath, or not. If he be, then even the [Page 88] Act of sin is not imputable to God: If he be not, then every sin is like our not making of a Sun, or Moon, or World: which if it be a culpable defect, they make God the first deficient.

555. He that would see more of this question of the essence of sin, may read Rada lib. 2. contr. 16. (who first ingenuously confesseth that Tho. and Scotus differ but in words and not in sense, and then layeth down eleven conclusions of little use.) And Marius Scribonius Cosmo. disp. 18. Scotus in 2. d. 37. Bonavent. in 2. d. 35. dub. 6. Henric. Quodl. 1. qu. 25. Alm [...]in. Moral. tract. 3. cap. 17. Richard. in 2. d. 34. ar. 1. qu. 7. Alex. Ale [...]s. 2. q. 94. memb. 2. Durand. 2. dis. 31. q. 2. Medin. 12. q. 71. ar. 6. Specially Vasquez 12. disp. 95. cap. 9. Guil. Camerar. Scot. Disput. Philos. Part. 1. Mor. q. 3. pag. 162, &c. Argent. in 1. d. 35. q. 1. ar. 2. Gabriel Biel 2. d. 36. q. unica. Valent. 1. 2. d. 2. q. 14. p. 3, &c. Suarez 1. 2. tract. de act. hum. d. 2. sect. 2. Azor. li. 4. c. 24. Tanner. 1. 2. disp. 2. q. 5. dub. 2. & 3. & disp. 4. q. 1. dub. 1. Vega in Trident. 6. c. 39. & li. 14. c. 13. Cordub. l. 3. q. 10. & Cajet. Zumel. Curiel, & alios in 1. 2. q. 19. ar. 4. & q. 71. ar. 6. And, who is usually sounder than most of them, Lombard himself Dist. 35. & Ripalda opening him and citing others dist. 34, 35.

But the ordinary Christian that understandeth but what Disobedience sig­nifieth, needeth none of them all.

556. It is not only Dr. Twisse (after confuted) that supposeth sin to be wil­led of God as conducible to the perfection of the World, but even Ruiz the Jesuite de Provid. dis. 2. sec [...]. 4. p. 27. maintaineth that Minus perfectus evasisset Mundus si nulla permitterentur pec­cata; nune autem [...]asit perfectior occasione peccato­rum: and citeth Aquin. Alexand. Albert. Bonav. Richard. Agid. Caiet. Ferrar. Marsil. for the same. But 1. An occa­sion is no cause nor me­dium, as such, and there­fore never the more wil­led, if that were true. 2. But I have before briefly confuted the Schoolmen on both sides about this question, viz. Particular Creatures would be to themselves better, were there no sin: but whatever possible al­terations were made by God, the Universe would be neither worse nor better than it is, as to that proper Goodness which must absolutely denominate it: For the Goodness of all Creatures is to be conform to the Creators Will, which is the denominating mea­sure of fundamentum; And so they are, and so they would be, were they al­tered: But sin is disform to his Commanding Will, and not conform to his Complacence or Efficient Will. He argueth, Had there been no sin, there had been no such exer­cise of Liberty, no Savi­our, &c. Answ. And are t [...]e Angels worse than man? And had not all this been as good, if God had willed it? Though the five acts of God forementioned about sin, are as far as we need to go, to the common Ends which we agree in, yet many ob­jections are made against this much as not sufficient, but God must have a greater hand in sin: And 1. They object, that to make God but an Universal Cause, is to put something in being, viz. the Act in specie morali, which God is not the Cause of; And so, 1. To make Him idle and unactive as to that: 2. To deifie man by making him a first Cause of that moral species. To which I shall lay down such answers as I think will satisfie the considerate, to this Objection which is indeed their All: But I am sorry that the subject occasioneth me to repeat what I said before.

557. 1. Remember that even an Act in genere is not a substance; And that the moral specification is less as to natural entity than it; in­deed making no addition of Entity to it, as was shewed. And Dr. Twiss asserteth, that this moral specification is not a proper specification of acts.

558. 2. Note that few dare say, that God is not Able to make a free agent with Power to choose or refuse without Gods further predetermining premotion. And if God can do it, we have no reason to debase his work, and think he did not.

559. 3. Note, that for God to make a self determining agent that shall act without his predetermination, is but to put forth his own Active Power with limitation or suspension, that is, To Will and Act or Ope­rate, so far and no further.

560. 4. And note, that this restriction of the Divine operation is not from any finiteness of his power, as if he could do no more, but from the freedom of his Will, and the Conduct of his Wisdom, who seeth it good to do no more.

561. 5. Above all note, that as all Divines agree, that God doth not Act ad ultimum posse, as natural agents do, so the truth is most evident in the finiteness of the World, and the effects of his Power: For God doth not make as many men or other creatures as he could do: He doth not make every man as strong, or wise, or good, or long-lived as he could do: He doth not make every Stone, or Clod, or Tree as Active as he could do, nor move every thing as swiftly as he could do. Now all that is undone which God could [Page 89] do, all possibles which are not existent or future, do tell us plainly that God doth freely suspend the action or operation of his Power, totally as to them: which is much more than to suspend it but in part with free agents, and to give them a Natural self-determining power, without fur­ther pre-moving predetermination of them. If all the World tell us, that he hath the far greater suspension, why should we think the less absurd?

562. 6. And Reason telleth us (what the Schoolmen oft say) that God who sheweth us that he delighteth in wonderful variety of his crea­tures, doth very fitly thus beautifie the Universe by a middle rank of creatures, that stand between Confirmed Angels, and the Brutes, viz. In­tellectual-free-agents, left to a natural Power of free choosing or refusing, without necessitation, in the midst of various objects, to prepare them by tryal for a better state.

563. 7. And note too, that we say not that Gods predetermination of mans will destroyeth its best Liberty: God can predetermine the will to Good as he doth the Angels, as a great blessing and felicity: To prede­termine the will physically, is to end that Liberty to that particular act, which consisted partly in being undertermined: But that Liberty which consisteth in deliverance from all true evil, is increased by such a Graci­ous predetermination: And therefore Jansenius pleadeth only for the ne­cessity of predetermination to Good by medicinal Grace, and not to Evil, or meer Natural actions. Yet we say, that even to Good, God can pro­cure the will to determine it self, by moral means, which infinite Wis­dom can sufficiently improve. But it is only 1. A natural power to act without predetermination from God or Others, 2. And a Liberty of Condition, from all predetermination ab extra, to evil (from God or Creatures) which I here assert and plead for in this cause.

564. 8. Much less do we take the Will from under the Power and Govern­ment of God: For, 1. It could have no self-determining Power but of God, one moment. 2. He giveth it this power, to make us capable sub­jects of Moral Sapiential Government. 3. He giveth us Governing Laws accordingly. 4. And he attaineth all his Ends and fulfilleth all his Will, as perfectly in consistency with our power and freedom as if we had none such at all: so that God hath his proper Will, whether men Will or not.

565. But the turning point of difficulty here is, Whether God is ever Causa partialis? and if we so make him, is it not injurious to his perfect operations? All our Controversies turn upon the decision of this one que­stion. See the End. For if we may conceive of God, as Scotus speaketh, like one that draweth at the same Ship with another; and the act of both must concurr to the effect; then all is easie, and we may say when men Love not God, repent not, believe not, &c. that God did his part, but the sinner did not his, and so the effect failed. As if a Father did resolve that he will help I remember one deri­deth John Goodwin for this similitude or the like, (Mr. Roborough.) his little Child to lift up a weight, and will put to nine hundred ninety nine parts of the strength that is necessary, but no more, because the Child shall do something (one part) to shew his willingness and obedience; Here if the thing be done, it is the Father that deserves nine hundred nine­ty nine parts of the praise: If it be undone, the Child only doth deserve the blame. But we have more to say.

566. Note therefore, 1. That here the Child hath in himself a Power independent on his Father, and therefore the whole effect is not to be ascribed to the Father. But man hath no Power but of God, and what he holdeth, yea, and useth in dependence on him. And therefore the praise [Page 90] of all his Power and his Acts as Acts are due to God. 2. And all the good Inclinations of his will, and all the Laws, promises, perswasions, threat­nings, mercies, afflictions, examples, convictions, which tend morally to turn his will, are from God; so that in every good Volition or action man doth no more than God did both enable him, command him, perswade him and help him to do, and so procure the actual determination of his will. So that de re we see how much God doth alwayes (besides that Grace may sometimes for ought I know otherwise predetermine:) And we see what man doth: And all that you can desire more is, that no man that doth any good act, should be able at that instant not to do it, or to do otherwise; and then it must follow that no man that omitteth a good act, or that sin­neth, could do otherwise: which are false. Molina maketh God Causam partialem 1. p. q. 14. a. 3. disp. 6. Sotus li. 2. Phys. disput. de cau­sis denyeth it; And Zu­mel disputeth against it in Disp. in 1, 2. Thom. p. 43. Concl. 2. And so do ma­ny others; And great diversity here is among them while some affirm and some deny, but none of us understand the my­sterie of divine concurse. So that here is only the lis de nomine left, An Deus sit Causa partialis? I think it fittest to say, that he is Causa totalis of his own Act, and of the effect as it is an Act, and of all that is laudable in it too, for the reasons aforesaid. But yet he is not the Causa sola, nor in that sense totalis of the Moral specification, as if when he giveth his Creature a Power of choosing or refusing freely, it could not be done, without his further physical predetermination.

567. And (under favour) I take the name Causa partialis, to be im­proper, and that it should properly be called Pars Causae: For when di­vers concurr in efficiency, all make but one proper efficient Cause. So say Ockam and Ga­briel Biel though Zumel call it a most improper mode of speaking, be­cause so no one Cause could be called Total: And why should it, if it be not? (except that God is above our order, and so not a Part.) Bonavent. in 1. dis. 38. q. 2. inquit, Futurum tri­plex est: Quoddam est cujus Deus est tota Causa, ut Creata: Quoddam cu­jus Creatura, aut Voluntas est Tota Causa, ut sunt de­fectus & peccata: Quod­dam cujus Deus & Creatu­ra simul sunt Causa, ut sunt opera naturalia & moralia; quia Deus co­operatur creaturae: Re­spe [...]u primi futuri Di­vina praescientia est tota causa: secundi non causa: tertii est Causa sed non tota. Gab. Bi [...]l in 2. d. 37. bringeth in Scotus saying [Licet Deus Volendo cau­sat omnia quae causat, non tamen ideo est Causa tota­lis: quia vult etiam se­cum concurrere alias cau­sas, & utrumque vult, & effectus esse, & secum con­currere Causas secundas, non diversis, sed una Voli­tione, nec unum plus alio, sed aeque utrumque & si­mul—Et nulla Creatu­ra est Causa totalis—Quia semper concurrit Deus ut Causa partialis—Et ad dub. 2. ex Greg. Arim. Nobiscum [...]anquam Causa partialis producit actum malum. Gregor. Arim. his words are (in 2. d. 34. a. 3.) Actus mali quem efficit Peccator, Deus est immedi­ata Causa: Partialis ta­men, co-efficiens actum eun­dem. Of Greg. Arim. see more in the conclusion of this Chapter. Now I suggest to the Learned Reader that is against me, How he will decide the forementioned hard question, Whether there be more Entity in God and the Creature than in God alone? It is dangerous saying Yea or Nay: and we know not well what to say: But for my part, as I said, I will not say that God is Pars Entitatis, nor yet that the Creature is not Ens, nor yet that it is God: But the solution must be either from the Equivocation of En­tity, or from the Creatures Inexistence in God, or from somewhat rather which I know not. And just so here; the question is, Whether Gods Cau­sation and Mans be more than Gods alone? And I will not say that Gods is a Part; nor yet that Mans is none, nor that it is the same with Gods: But that Gods acting and concurse are quite above the reach of Mortals.

568. But here again note what I said even now, 1. That it is no more sign of finiteness in God, nor dishonour to him, to be a limited or Par­tial Cause, than to be no Cause, and limited totally by suspension of the whole act: And yet so he is as to all Possibles which he doth not make or move. 2. And that it is his own free will only that thus limiteth him; As it doth from giving all men more grace, &c. So that really here is matter of satisfaction.

569. Though he offend me by making God the Cause of sin, I will here cite the words of our Countrey-man, Holkot Quodl. lib. 2. qu. 1. [Est sententia omnium Theologorum quod Deus est Causa immediata omnis rei productae, sic quod omni creaturae agenti, sive sit Natura sive Voluntas, Deus coagit: & sic imaginandum est quod in omni actione creaturae qua aliquid producit, Deus & Creatura sunt duae causae Partiales illius producti: Non sic imaginando quod Deus producit unam partem effectus, & crea­tura aliam, & ob hoc dicatur Causa partialis—sed ideo quia con­currunt in agendo vel causando—Unde tam causa universalis quam particularis dicitur communiter causa partialis: & ideo etiam Sol & Hom [...] sunt duae causae partiales hominis generandi; & similiter Vir & Mulier: Quia ad hoc quod aliquid dicitur causa partialis sufficit quod sit tale quod propter ipsum & quoddam aliud vel quaedam alia res ponatur in esse, sit quod illis positis res est, & aliquo istorum ablato res non fiet.]

[Page 91] 570. Further I desire that it may be specially noted, that God is our Creator in order of Nature before he is our Ruler; And that Nature is before Morality, (obedience or sin.) And that God as Creator first setled the order of Nature so, as that the Alteration of that Law or setled Or­der should not be ordinarily expected by us, though he can alter it: And therefore that man is man, and hath a Natural Power of Self-determinati­on, and that God upholdeth him, and concurreth as an Universal Cause, belongeth to this fore-setled natural order, and is presupposed to moral de­terminations and specifications, either as from God or man.

571. And note, that to Good Acts we have need of more Help from God, than this meer Natural Causality and Concurse. And therefore God affordeth us more accordingly; but not to all alike.

572. It is further objected, against this way, that our making Reproba­tion to Infidelity, Permission of sin, not-giving faith, &c. to be no Acts of God, cometh all to one as to mens sin and damnation; because man cannot believe, nor avoid sin, without those Acts of Grace which God withholdeth?

Answ. I confess it were all one if the supposition were true, as it is not: For we have proved after, that man hath power without those acts of Grace which God suspendeth, by that Common Grace which he giveth, to do more good and forbear more evil than they do: Of which in due place.

573. It is objected also, that while we make Gods Providence to fill the World with occasions of sin, which he fore-knoweth men will take to their damnation, yea, as long as God could prevent all sin, and save all souls, and yet will not, it cometh all to one which way soever you go in these Controversies.

I answer, 1. Undoubtedly Gods Judgements are unsearchable. But when we come into his Light, we shall be perfectly reconciled to them all. 2. And undoubtedly God doth whatsoever he will, and all that he thought meet to Decree or Will, shall come to pass in despight of sin. 3. And when we have said all, flesh and blood will be unsatisfied, till faith and the will of God do satisfie us. 4. But yet be it known to you, that there is a great difference between Gods permitting sin (after great means against it) and his causing it: Between the making of a free agent, and putting life or death in his choice; and his causing men unavoidably to sin, and then to damn them for it. The Holiness of Gods Nature will stand with the Being of sin, by mans causing; but not with Gods causing it. And the Truth of Gods Word must be considered.

574. If this were all one (to Damn men unavoidably, and to give them their free choice of Heaven or Hell, in the means) it is strange that so many Learned men as among the Jesuits, Arminians, Lutherans and Greeks, do hold no other Grace at all, but what leaveth man to such a free Choice, could ever be so satisfied: (when others hold that the Elect have more.)

SECT. XVIII. A Confutation of Dr. Twisse's Digr. 5. l. 2. sect. 1. Vind. Grat.

575. I Come now to consider of what is said by them that go further about Gods will or Causality as to sin. And because Dr. Twisse hath a peculiar Digression (Vindic. Grat. li. 2. p. 1. Digr. 4.) I will somewhat animadvert upon it. He beginneth [Sententia nostra haec est, Deum hactenus dici posse Velle peccatum quatenus vult ut peccatum [...]i­at—viz. ipso permittente: And so he maketh the question, An Dens Velit ut peccatum eveniat ipso permittente? Arminius thought God willed only his own Permission of the sin: Twisse saith, that he willed that sin should come to pass, God permitting it. Arminius his concession cannot be proved (as I have shewed;) But Twisses must be disproved. And 1. I will give you our Reasons against it. Bonavent. in 1. d. 46. q. 3. resolveth this question very plainly and truly [Mala [...]ieri nullatenus bo­num esse potest: sed bene occasio boni: And shewing the difference between Causa, Casus & Occasio, he saith that Causa est proce­dens & intendens: Casus p [...]ivat Intentionem sed non operationem: Occasio pri­vat utrumque. And he distinguisheth Occasion in­to that which hath rati­o [...]m Acti [...]i & excitat agentem; and that which hath but rationem passivi, as one by anothers evil exciteth himself to do good. And also between the evil and the ordina­bility to good. And saith the evil is but the occasio passiva of the good, and the ratio boni quod sub­sternitur, is occasio aliquo modo activa—Vide locum.

576. Let the Reader remember, that what the Author saith of Gods Willing, he also in the point of Predetermination saith of his working: viz. that he Causeth as much as he willeth: But I pass that by now because I have largely confuted it elsewhere. And to speak to One is to speak to both.

577. 1. All sober Christians are agreed, on what side soever, that God is not the Cause of sin, except some odd presumers who are con­demned by the generality: One or two spoke some hard words that way in Belgia, whom the Synod of Dort rejected: Mr. Archers Book was burnt for it by the Parliament or Westminster Synod. Beza himself (in Rom. 8. 28. & passim) abhorreth it as intolerable blasphemy. But this Doctrine in question plainly maketh God the Willer and Cause of sin: Yea more, very much more than wicked men or Devils are: which is not true.

578. For they make Men and Devils to be but a second pre-moved pre­determined Cause of the Act (of Volition and Execution) whence the formal obliquity necessarily resulteth: But 1. God is certainly the Cause of the Nature which is the Agent: 2. He is the Cause of the Law which maketh the act in specie to be sin: His saying, Thou shalt not commit Adultery or Murder, maketh Adultery and Murder to be sin, when they are committed, which they would not be without the Law. 3. God causeth and ordereth all the objects and occasions. 4. And now they also say that God willeth ut peccatum fiat, (and is the first predetermining Cause, even the total Cause, of all that is in the act and all its circum­stances, without which predetermination it could not be.) So that man doth but will what God first willeth, and act what God first moveth him unavoidably to act, as the pen in my hand. 5. And the Law and the Act being put in being, the Relative obliquity is but the necessary result, and hath no other cause.

579. And note here what Estius before cited (after Aquinas) saith that to Will that peccatum sit vel fiat, is all that the Sinner himself doth, when he willeth sin. And therefore it's a vain thing here to distinguish between willing sin, and willing the event, futurity and existence of it, ut peccatum fiat vel eveniat: (Though I confess I was long detained in suspense if not deceived by that distinction.) For he willeth sin, who willeth the existence of it, or that it be or come to pass.

[Page 93] 580. And note, that it is both matter and form, Act and obliquity which they say God willeth ut fiat: For it is sin: And forma dat nomen. It is not sin, but by the form of sin. But if they had said otherwise, it had been all one: For he that willeth the fundamentum, relate and corre­late, Saith Twisse Vindic. Gra [...]. li. 1. P. 1. Sect. 7. p. 137. [Posito quod velit per [...]ecti­ones istas manifestare, ne­cesse est non impediat in­gressum peccati, sed per­mittat.] 1. As if he had proved that God was not able to manifest his Mer­cy and Justice by Laws, and Illuminating men to know them, without ex­ecution by the occasion of sin? 2. Yet doth he make Christs death un­necessary and his satis­faction to Justice so far as that God could have accomplished our par­don and salvation ano­ther way if he would: And is sin better or more necessary than Christs sa­tisfaction? 3. And me­thinks they that lay so little on Moral means and operations of Grace in comparison of Physi­cal, should not give so much to sin, which were it a means (as it is not, but a Passive and oppo­site occasion) is but a moral means. And himself saith page 136. [Permissio peccati proprie medium est asse­quendi [...]inem à Deo praefix­um: At peccatum non est Medium proprie dictum, sive manifestandae Dei mi­sericordiae, sive justitiae: Media enim ejus sunt na­turae, ut ad ea facienda, mov [...]atur quis ex intenti­one finis.] Would the Reader have a better confuter of him than himself? But he there addeth that it is Materia etsi non medium, as stone and Timber to an House. And yet sin they say hath no matter besides the subject and object, but is a meer Privation of moral Rectitude. But if it be to the Devils Kingdom loco materiae, it is not so to Christs. Ra­ther, if a beggar Want a house, is that Want the Materia domus? no nor the Materia of his mercy or bounty that buildeth it. Thus the defectiveness of the subtilest wits abuseth God and his Church, when the Christi­an simplicity of modest souls with a holy life would honour him. So Sect. 9. pag. 137. Peccatum mihi videtur propri [...] dicendum esse materiam manifestandae Dei sive misericordi [...], sive i [...]stiti [...] poti [...]s quam medium: Permissionem vero pec­cati medium esse ejus manifestandae proprie dictum. But 1. how oft elsewhere doth he forget and contradict this? 2. Per­mission it self is nothing (being but non-impedire.) And is nothing, or non-agere, a proper means? But especi­ally I intreat the Reader to observe that in that very place Twisse and Arminius are herein professedly agreed, that it is the Permission of sin, and not the sin, that is the Divine medium (only one saith Praedestinationis, and the other providentia:) And yet they will differ while they agree: And I that differ from both, would agree with both. willeth the Relation.

581. There is nothing left to be said then, but that God willeth that sin be done, but not as sin, or because it is sin; But this is nothing. For, 1. Either none or few of the Reprobate do will sin because it is Sin, but because of the pleasure of sense or imagination, or for seeming good. 2. And if a man or Devil do maliciously Will sin as sin because it is against God, so doing is but one of their sins, which they say God willeth ut fiat before they willed it (and predetermined them to it:) so that here is nothing in it but what is first and chiefly of God.

582. If they say that God willeth it for the Glory of his Justice, and so do not wicked men, but for wicked ends or in enmity to God; I answer, That proveth that God hath a will which the wicked have not, but not that the wicked have any will which God hath not: For that Will and that Enmity to God still is but one of their sins which they say God first willeth ut fiat.

583. Obj. But it is only ut fiat ipso permittente, non faciente.

Answ. The hypocrisie of that addition maketh it but the worse in the assertors. For 1. They usually make Gods will effective of the thing willed. 2. They maintain that there is nothing in the act as circumstan­tiated which God is not the total first efficient Cause of. 3. They confess that the formal relation necessarily resulteth from the act and Law: And why then do they put in the word [permittente?] Would not that de­ceitfully insinuate to the Reader that the sinner doth something which God doth not do, but only permit, when they mean no such thing? For that is my second reason against them.

584. 2. By their doctrine God never permitteth sin (which is false:) For that which he Willeth and Causeth as the first total Cause, he cannot be said to Permit: To do a thing, and move another to do it, will not stand with proper permission.

585. Obj. But God preserveth our own Liberty in acting.

Answ. 1. By Liberty you mean nothing but Willingness as such, that God doth not make mens Nilling to be a Willing or contra in the same act. Which is but to say that God causeth me to Will sin, and not to Will-nill-it? 2. If you mean more, I deny that ever God gave Power to the Will, to Will or Nill contrary to the Volition and ph [...]sical premoving predetermination of the first cause. 3. But if all this were so, it's no­thing to the present case; and doth not prove that God is not the Cause of the sin, but only that man is a Cause also, caused by the first Cause; and that God Willeth and Causeth us to sin willingly and freely.

586. 3. By this means they make God equally to Will and Cause our Holiness and our sin: For they cannot possibly tell us what he doth more to Cause our Holiness, than to Will it, and to predetermine the will of man to it, (besides commanding it, which is a moral act, and we speak [Page 94] only of proper efficiency.) He doth but will that Holiness be, and cause all that hath any entity in it; And so they say he doth about sin.

587. Obj. He loveth our Holiness for it self, and so he doth not sin.

Answ. The first is denyed by themselves, if you speak of Gods end: For they confess that God only is his own end, for which he loveth all things: 2. And his Love is either his efficient or complacential Volition. 1. The efficient which is all that is now in question they must confess is equal to both, if he equally will the existence of both.

Object. But he hath a Complacence in Good only.

Answ. 1. He hath a Complacence in the fulfilling of his own will as efficient. Therefore if sin be the fulfilling of his Will, he hath a com­placency in it. The formal reason of a pleasing object to God is, as it is the fulfilling of his own Will; And to break his Law they make to be such: ergo, pleasing. 2. But if it were not so, that's nothing to our Case, of the efficient Will.

588. 4. To avoid tediousness, in sum, This opinion seemeth to me, to leave very little or no place for the Christian Religion. For 1. It overthroweth the formale objectum fidei, which is Veracitas Divina, and leaveth no certainty of any word of God: For if he do will and pre­determine by premotion, ut fiat omne mendacium, quod fit, then we have no way to know that he did not so by the Prophets and Apostles. 2. It maketh the Scripture false, which saith so much of Gods hatred and un­willingness of sin. 3. It obliterateth the notion of Gods Holiness, which is made the great reason of our holiness. 4. It maketh mans Holiness to be no Holiness, but a common or indifferent thing. 5. It maketh sin, so little odious (as being a Divine off-spring) as will destroy the hatred of it and care to avoid it. 6. It will thereby nullifie all our Godly sor­row, repenting, confession, and all practice of means against any sin. 7. It will hardly let men believe that Christ came into the world, and did and suffered so much to save men from sin, and to destroy it. 8. Or that it is the work of the Holy Ghost to sanctifie souls and mortifie sin. 9. It will hardly let men believe that there is any Hell, and that God will damn men for ever, for that which they did upon his prevolition and predeter­mination, unavoidably. 10. It seemeth to give Satans description to God, and more. For Satan can but tempt us to sin, but they make God absolutely to will that it be, and physically to predetermine us to it. And so Christ that came to destroy the work of the Devil, the father of lies, malice and murder, should come to destroy the work of God. 11. It tak­eth away the reason of Church discipline, and purity, and of our loving the Godly and hating wickedness. 12. It would tempt Magistrates accord­ingly to judge of vice and vertue, good and bad in the Common-wealth.

589. Now to their arguments. 1. Rev. 17. 17. [God put it into their hearts to do his will, and to agree to give up their Kingdoms to the beast.]

Answ. 1. He that readeth Dr. Hammonds exposition applying this to Alaricus sacking Rome, with the effects, will see that the very subject is so dubious and dark as not to be fit to found such a doctrine on. 2. It was the effect of the sin that God willed, and not the sin. 3. He is not said to put the sin into their hearts, whether pride, covetousness, cruelty, &c. but only to do his pleasure and agree (or make one decree) to give up &c. which he could most easily do by putting many good and lawful thoughts into their hearts, which with their own sins, would have that effect which he willed: If a thief have a will to rob, God may put it into his heart to go such or such a way, where a wicked man to be punished will be in his way.

[Page 95] 590. But for brevity, besides what is said, I shall farther direct the [...]mpartial Reader, how to answer all such objections: And withall let the [...]onfounding cavillers against distinguishing, see, what blasphemy and sub­version of Religion may enter, for want of one or two distinctions which [...]onfused heads regard not.

1. Be sure to distinguish the name of sin, from the nature. 2. And [...]emember that no outward act is sin any further than it is Voluntary (by privation or position of Volitions.) 3. Distinguish between the Act as it [...]s Agentis, and as it is in Passo. 4. And between the Act and the effect. 5. Between the effect of a single cause and of divers causes, making a compound effect. 6. And between a forbidden object compared with the [...]ontrary, and one forbidden object compared with another.

591. And then all this satisfying Truth will lye naked before you. 1. That the same name usually signifieth the sin and the effect of sin; or the Act as Acted and as Received. Adultery, Murder, Theft, usually sig­nifie the Acts of the Adulterer, Murderer, Thief, as done and as received [...]n Passo, and as effecting.

2. That the former only is the sin, viz. first the Volition, Nolition, or Non-Volition, and secondarily the imperate act as animated by the Will: And no more. The reception of this act in Passo is not sin (as such;) nor the most immediate effect of this act: It is but the effect of sin.

3. And you will see that the same effect may have several causes: a Good and bad; And so God may be a cause of that effect, which mans sin also concurreth to cause: And God doth not therefore Will or Cause the sin.

4. And you will see that God may morally cause the effect as it is on this object rather than another forbidden, though both make the act sinful, and yet not Cause it as it is exercised on either of those objects com­pared with such as are not forbidden.

592. And you will here plainly see that God hath many wayes to Cause the effect without willing or Causing the sin. As for instance, 1. He can do it by adding (as I said before) a good act to the sinners bad one. As when Caiaphas is willing to kill Christ, God can put into Caiaphas's De hoc vid. Ockam ubi supra. thoughts, the jealousie of the Romans over the Jews, and the visible dan­ger they are in if they should be thought to have another King: which thoughts in themselves are true and good: So he can put into Pharaoh's thoughts the loss of the Israelites service, which was not sinful of it self.The wise Reader that can impartially receive truth without respect of persons, may find much in Episcopii Institut. Theol. li. 4. sect. 4. de provident. in his answering all these Texts of Scripture, as mis-expounded by some. And his moderate opi­nion expressed in Con­clus. 2. in the end of that Section, how far do­ctrines are or are not damning which subvert the foundation, is lauda­ble, and his reason very good and clear, (viz. so far as they actually pre­vail with the will and practice: Even as our faith is saving as effectu­al and practical, and not as a dead opinion, so is error damning.) I think as he doth.

593. And 2. God can set that object before a sinner which he is most inclined to abuse: Which is not to Will his sin: But may proceed from Gods Willing the Effect. As if Absalom be by Pride and Lust enclined to Adultery, his Fathers Wives may be in his eye and way. And God may will to punish David by their passive pollution, without willing his act of sin at all, interior or exterior.

594. 3. And God can remove other objects out of the way, so that this object shall be solitary, or most obvious to the sinner. As if a drunken man were resolved to kill the next he met, God can keep Peter, John, &c. out of his way, and so Judas shall be the next.

595. 4. Yea God can suspend his own intrinsick concurse as to some one sinful act by which it will follow that it will fall upon another ob­ject. Many other such wayes God hath, which are unknown to us.

596. And if you suppose a man so inclined to Murder or Adultery as that he will exercise it on the next most provoking object, if God now did Cause the Act, as exercised on a forbidden object, compared with another [Page 96] it were to Cause the sin. But if he only be the moral Cause that he e. g. kill Judas rather than Peter, this is not to Cause sin: For to choose Judas rather than Peter for the object, is no sin: For, as I said, God c [...] do it only by removing Peter, and Willing that he shall be preserved.

597. Suppose a King that hath made Laws against Murder forekno [...] that a Robber is waiting in such a Road for a prey, and that a Traytor broke out of Prison will go that way, and so will be rob'd and kill'd, He may will or desire the Death of the Traytor as a punishment; He may restra [...] some that would travail that way before him; and may restrain some that would lay hold on the Robber, or drive him away, that so this Traytor may be killed: And yet only Permit, and not Will at all, the Robbers Will or Ac [...] as it is Agentis, but punish him for it, and hate it, and Will only the effect.

598. The next Text cited is, 1 Pet. 2. 8. Whereunto also they were ap­pointed (viz. to stumble on the rock of offence.) Resp. 1. This hath re­spect to Luke 2. 34. [he is set for the fall of many, &c.] and of Christs own words, that he that falleth on this stone shall be broken in pieces. And no more can hence be gathered, but that God hath decreed that as a Punishing Judge, 1. He will leave the rejecters of Christ to go on i [...] their own sinful way, 2. And that their opposition to him shall be the [...] ruine. So that 1. He doth not speak this of any but the rejecters of Christ that deserved it. 2. He speaketh not at all as willing their sin, but only as one that penally denyeth them further grace. 3. But the thing that he is said to Ordain them to, is not sin, but Ruine the consequent of their sin: The word [stumbling and falling] signifying their destra­ction.

599. The next Text is, 2 Thes. 2. God shall send them strong delusi­ons (or the acting of deceit) that they should believe a lye. Answ. Here is nothing signified, but 1. That God shall permit Magicians and false Teachers to vent deceits, 2. And permit wicked men to believe them: which is mentioned as a permitted consequent, and not as an end intend­ed by God: And the word sending is used because the permission was Penal for their sin. And his punishing-providence might morally cause the deceivers rather to go towards these men than towards others.

600. The next is Rom. 1. 24, 26, 28. God gave them up to uncle [...] ­ness, to vile affections, to a reprobate mind, &c.

Resp. Here is nothing at all said but a Penal desertion and permission, and no Will or Cause of sin in God.

601. The next is Act. 4. 28. To do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.

Answ. Here is nothing said of sin at all, but of the effect of it: All that was done on Christ, even all the effect in passo God fore-determined should be done: But the Act ut volentis & agentis he neither willed nor caused as on this forbidden object. And though elsewhere the Doctor deride this answer (that God decreed Christ should dye, or be sacrificed, and yet decreed not that the Jews or any one else should do it,) It is a great and necessary truth: He that willed the effect, and did much him­self to cause it, willed not the murderers sinful act: And permitting and fore­seeing it was enough.

602. The next is Isa. 10. 6. and so Amos 16. 17. Prov. 22. 14. 2 Sam. 12. 11. 1 King. 11. 31. & 12. 24. God sends the Assyrian as his rod. Thy Wife shall commit Adultery, and thy Children fall by the sword.] They that are hated of God shall fall therein—] David was foretold his Wives should be vitiated: The ten Tribes fell from Rehoboam: It was of God that he took not good counsel: Pharaohs heart was hardened by God.

[Page 97] Answ. The first is only a Prophesie, and a penal effect of sin, and no­thing of Gods Willing or Causing sin. And so is the second: Though God can send afflicters by the wayes before mentioned, without willing their sin. The third speaketh only of a penal permission of sin. And the rest all speak only of Gods penal permission of the sin, and his de­creeing and foretelling the effects of it, and his occasioning the sinner to take one sinful object (not as such, but) rather than another.

603. As the Wind hath its natural course, and so hath the Water, and the Miller Causeth neither of them, but supposing them, doth so set his Mill to Wind and Water that by the meer receptive qualification of the patient, they shall fulfil his will, and he is the Cause of the effect, viz. that they turn his Mill and grind his Corn: so is it easie for God to use mens sins (permitted) to his ends without willing them Even Vasq. in 1 Tho. q. 23. d. 49. c. 8. pag. 758. saith that Of mens [non respondere vocationi] God is Causa per accidens, ut removens prohibens, dum negat auxilium efficax congruum. But this is but a Controversie about a Logical name [causa per accidens] which Gi­bieuf and many others do with as good reason deny to be fitly applica­ble to God, as to mans sin..

604. Next the Doctor cometh with Reasons: And the first is, be­cause Pet. Alliac. Cam. 1. q. 14. A. [Secundum Brad­ward. & alios qui tenent quod Deus vult mala culpae, & quod respectu cujuslibet rei habet Velle vel nolle, nec habet solum non velle; Deus illo modo non per­mittit mala culpae fieri; sed ideo secundum hunc mo­dum dicitur permittere, quia non approbat ea, ne [...] impedit ea fieri cum poss [...]t—sed secundum Magi­strum Deus permittit ea, quia nec vult ea fieri, nec vult ea non fieri; quia si nollet non fierent, sed solum non vult: & per conse­quens non habet actum vo­luntatis respectu hujus quod est malum culpae fieri—] Saith Bonaventure, (that plain and honest School­man) li. 1. dis. 47. dub. 2. Di [...]nd [...]m quod non est sig [...]um quod De [...] velit illud quod [...] [...]i [...]itur; sed quod velit illud quod ex [...]o elicitur. Alli [...]co [...] q. 14. A. 1. Permittit qui. nec pr [...] ­cipit, nec [...], nec con­sulit, sed indul [...]t: & ta­lis Permissio est signum Vo­luntatis Dei: quia ali­quem actum significat in si [...] permittente: & ita Deu [...] non permittit mala cul­pae— [...] Permittit fieri quia nec habet Velle, nec habet nolle, sed solum non Velle ut flat: Et talis Permissio non est signum Divin [...] Voluntatis: quia [...]ullum actum Volendi significat in sic permittente: & isto modo secundum Mag. Deus permittit mala culpae. Permission is a sign of Willingness as well as command: And what is permitted (and that for good) infallibly cometh to pass.

Answ. All this is before confuted. If he really hol [...] with Brad­ward. li. 1. c. 33. that God willeth all that he permitteth, why is it denyed that he willeth the formale peccati as much as the materiale, seeing he permitteth it? But his citation of Bradwardine I think not my self obliged to regard; nor do I co [...]sent any more to that doctrine in Bradwardin [...] than in him. See Alliaco before of Bradward. It's false that non impedire effi­caciter is a sign that one wills the thing. The King that only forbiddeth drunkenness or murder by a Law with penalties, could also lock up or guard some men, and effectually keep them from the sin. And doth he Will it because he doth not so? And it's false that all cometh to pass, that is not hindered.

605. His second argument is spoken very plainly and grosly, viz. [Both sides confess that the substrate act is done, God not only willing it, but effecting it, v. g. Absalom's congress with his Fathers Concubines: Yea not only the congress as an exercised imperate act, but that the Voli­tion of congress, the internal elicite act, was efficiently and Principally of God: why then should it be denyed that the very evil and deformity of the act was done, God willing it, though not effecting it, or any way fail­ing of his duty? Especially when the Malice and Deformity doth necessa­rily follow the substrate act, in respect of the Creature though not of God.]

Answ. Hobbes could desire little more. But we vehemently deny that the substrate act is of God as it is morally specified, that is, as it is ex­ercised on this forbidden object rather than another lawful one ex parte eligentis: God did not as a principal efficient cause Absalom to Will that Congress with his Fathers Concubines, nor to Act it. The nature of the Wind and Water, and God as the Cause of Nature, cause the wind and water to act, and to act as they do, on their own part: But that they turn this wheel and milstone, and run in this Channel rather than ano­ther, is long of the Miller. Absalom's Motus qua motus, and qua cupido ordinata, was natural from God: but not as acted hic & nunc towards this object: And the Reception of the Act by that Object supposing his lust and action, might be morally and penally from God.

606. If you here bring forth the common Medusa's head, and tell me, that It is injurious to God that his act be determinable by a Creature, and so dependent; I confidently answer you for God, 1. No man is in­jurious to himself: And God did not wrong himself, when by making a Creature with free self-determining Power, he resolved so far (parti­ally) [Page 98] to suspend his own operation, so as not to necessitate the will: no more than he wrongeth himself by a Greater suspension, in making no more Worlds or Creatures.

2. You quite mistake: We do not at all alter or limit Gods Acts or influx, nor determine it, but terminate it, and determine of that effect which requireth both Causes, God and Man, and cannot be (ordinarily) by one alone, because God hath otherwise appointed. And again I be­seech the adversaries to note, How great and innumerable changes are made in the world, by the various Disposition of Recipients? The Rose and Vine and Weed and Dunghill, do not at all Change the Action of the Sun: but their various Reception and co-operation is the Cause, that its Act hath such various effects. And it is the Millers work in making a various and special Receptivity in his Channel, Wheels, &c. which causeth the variety of effects. And God hath enabled men Variously and freely to Receive his Influx.

607. His third Argument is, God giveth not that effectual Grace, without which he fore-knoweth sin will not be avoided: ergo he is willing that it be done.

Answ. I deny the Consequent: It only followeth that he doth not Ab­solutely and effectually Nill it. If the King have several subjects inclined to eat a luscious poyson; And his Children he effectually keepeth from it; one he locketh up, another he committeth to a Keeper, another he keep­eth the poison from: But to a Traytor he saith, [I once forgave thee, and saved thy life, and I now command thee that thou avoid this poison, and if thou do not, it will torment and kill thee; but if thou wilt take no warn­ing, take what thou gettest by it.] Can you prove that it is his Will that this man eat the poyson prohibited?

608. Next he citeth Augustines thred-bare sayings, and blameth Aqui­nas and Arminius for denying his Authority, and commendeth the greater reverence of Bellarmine: And so Anselm, Hugo, &c.

Answ. 1. We stick not on one mans Authority; God holdeth not his Holiness and the Church its Religion on Augustines authority. 2. Au­gustine hath ten times more plain enough for what I hold: See the places cited in Paul. Eiren. Triad. Patrum. 3. He knew it's like that Estius and many more expound Augustines words as terminating Gods Volition on his own permission, and not on the sin, or fieri. 4. I think plainly that Augustine there spake not of inward Volitions, but outward Acts, and that not as Agentis but in passo or the effects. And so it is true, that no mur­der, theft, treason, or other effect is produced in the world, but what God positively decreeth shall be produced, either by doing some effects himself (as drowning the world,) or permitting sinners to do them, while he causeth not their act but the Receptivity of the Passum, and so the ef­fect, &c.

609. Pag. 194. Retorting on Aquin. he thus argueth Because God doth will his own Goodness, therefore it is necessary that God will that sin be done, he permitting it. For it is not to will his essential Goodness, which needeth no acquisition, but he willeth to manifest his Goodness. But the evil of sin is not opposite to the manifesting of Gods Goodness: Yea no­thing is more So Twiss. contr. Armin. pro Junio pag. 91. dis­senteth from J [...]niu [...] that saith peceatum ad rationem universi facere per accidens, and saith Mibi vero dicen­dum videtur Peceatum con­ducibile esse per se ad bonum universi quatenus conducit ad illustrandos tales divi­nae majestatis radios—And if so, it must per se be Loved of God as Good. Yet contr. Corvin. he saith, that No sober man saith that sin is a medium of the executi­on of Reprobation, but only the Permission of sin. Reconcile them that can. conducible to it than this; I say to the manifesting of Gods Goodness by way of mercy in sparing or by way of Justice in pu­nishing.

Answ. Horresco recitans, 1. Gods Volition of his Essential Goodness is his Necessary Volition. 2. God hath no End to acquire, but alwayes hath his end, and is never without it. 3. If God had necessarily willed [Page 99] the particular way of manifesting his Goodness, then he doth all things necessarily, and could do no otherwise, and it seems by you could not manifest it without sin. 4. Doth he not manifest his Goodness as much to the Innumerable Glorious Angels, who never sinned? And would it not have been as much manifested to us if we had been as they? 5. The very indetermination of the will, and its mediate Liberty is not the high­est excellency of his Creatures: It is better than the sensitive Necessity of Bruits, and lower than the confirmed Necessity of the blessed: It is our defectibility. And the excellentest or Best of his works most honour Gods Goodness. 6. Is it not the strongest temptation that men have in this world to doubt of or dishonour the Goodness of God, to think how he permitteth the world to be drowned in wickedness, and be so like to hell? 7. Doth not Christ turn the Prayers of all Christians against your do­ctrine, viz. that Gods name may be hallowed, his Kingdom come, and his will done on earth as it is in Heaven (which is not by any sin?) 8. Do not your words tempt men to be indifferent to sin, if not to love it, if nothing be more conducible to honour Gods Goodness? 9. Is not that conclusion a great wrong to Christ, Scripture, Ministry and Holiness, as being no more conducible to manifest Gods Goodness than sin is? 10. It is not true that sin is any Cause, or true Means at all of glorifying God or doing any good. It is but a presupposed Evil, by delivering us from which God is glorified. As your eating poyson may occasion the ho­nour of an Antidote and Physicion: It is no Cause or proper medium of it, but only an occasion, and mischief sine quo non; But if God had not saved us from sin committed, he could have glorified himself in saving us from committing it: God loveth and is glorified most in that which is most like him as his Image, which is, the Holiest sinless soul. To be a medium to Gods glory is to be good: To be as conducible to it as any thing, is to be as good as any thing save God and his glory. But sin hath no Good, much less such good. Why else doth not God equally de­light in sin, and in the death of the wicked, as in holiness, repentance and our life? seeing all things are for himself, and that which glorifieth him most, is best. 11. Here also confusion causeth mischief: one distinction might have scattered this mist, viz. Between sin indeed and sin in notion. Sin indeed, or essence and existence never did good nor honoured God. Sin in notion or in esse objectivo is no sin, but the Matter of Vertue and 80 Joh. à Combis compend. Theol. l. 3. c. 1. tells us that sin is profitable three wayes, 1. Ut bene ordinatur, ut fur in pati­bulo. 2. Propter co-actio­nem, & amaritudinem. 3. Propter mall considera­tionem: And many po­pular Books say the like: But this is but abusive language tending to de­ceive: As if sin did good, because punishing sin, and repenting of it, and hating it do good: As if hating sin were sin. Thus unhappily is the world troubled by abused words. Holiness, and doth much good. When you say God knoweth sin from eter­nity, you'l say with Scotus, that in esse cognito sin was in God from Eternity: But so sin is not sin. David saith, My sin is ever before me, Psal. 51. And we daily Repent of it, and confess it: But this is but to have the Idea or conception of it in the mind, and so it is not sin indeed but the notion of it, which is in esse objectivo. Else it would defile us to think of it, and repent of it; whereas thus sin objectively is the mat­ter of the grace and duty of Repentance, Hatred, fear, watchfulness, pray­er, confession, &c. And so sin in esse objectivo as a grace may glorifie God.

610. To Aquin. that saith Malum non est appetibile he saith, that Ma­lum moris quod opponitur bono, est proprium uniuscujusque; meum malum bono meo—Though the sin of a man willing that which is forbid­den him be his sin,—yet it followeth not that God may not will this Evil of another: The Reason is, because it is not forbidden to God to will it: wherefore though it be evil and dishonest in man to will it to whom it is forbidden, yet not to God—And seeing that Moral Evil or sin is summè conducibile, chiefly or most conducible to make way to represent [Page 100] Gods Goodness, this abundantly sufficeth to prove it desirable to God—We say that this evil which we affirm to be willed of God, is not at all evil as it is objected to the will of God, but as to the will of the creature, being forbidden the creature, but not forbidden God.

Answ. Shall we preach thus to the people? Will this Doctrine con­vert souls to repentance or faith in Christ? 1. The question is not, Whe­ther to will sin be sin in God? But Whether he will and cause the sin of man? which you sadly assert.

2. Gods Glory is our End, and to forbear things prohibited is but the means: If sin conduce as much as Christ and Holiness to Gods Glory, why may we not desire it sub ratione medii, though not as praeceptum? We must desire that which is most conducible to Gods Glory.

3. Though God be under no Law, his Perfection of Nature and Will is the fountain of all Laws, and instead of a Law to him. And we must be Holy because our God is Holy.

4. It is still false that sin is any Medium to Gods Glory, or desirable, or hath any good.

5. God is Good and delighteth to do good. And he is the Just Ruler Of which vid. Gibieus at la [...]ge. of the World: And I would not have Kings take such Justice for a pattern as you describe, as if God vehemently forbad sin, and sent his Son, and Spirit, and Ministers as an Army against it into the World, and will da [...] men for it for ever, and yet willeth and causeth it, as summè conducibils August. de Nat. & Grat. c. 25. fol. 314. Non hoc eis dicimus quod sibi iste (Pelagius) opposuit, ut esset Causa Misericordiae Dei, necessarium fuisse pec­catum: Utinam non fuisset miseria, ne ista esset mi­sericordia necessaria. Id. ibid. cap. 31. Et altius Dei consilium fate­or me ignorare, cur etiam ipsam superbiam, quae in re [...]e factis animo insidi­atur humano, non cito De­us sanet, pro qua sanan­da illi piae animae cum lacrymis & magnis ge­mitibus supplicant, ut ad [...]am superandam & quo­dammodo calcandam & obterendam dextram co­nantibus porrigat. Even Vasquez the Jesu­ite saith of Gods deny­ing men grace, and of non-entities that God willeth them, thus [Non-esse alicujus rei secundum se quat [...]nus malum quod­dam ipsius rei est, non placet Deo—Sed sub alia ratione placere potest; nec enim in eo est omnis ratio mali. Nam in non-esse alicujus rei, potest compa­ratione ad reliquum uni­versum, vel ad justitiam vel ad poten [...]iam D [...]ialiqua ratio boni apparere, ob quā non tantum potest placere Deo, simplici complacentia, sed etiam efficaci volunta­ [...], qua discernat rem illam non facere: Similiter cum Deus alicui negat gratiam suam au [...] gloriam non pla­cet ut malū quoddam ips [...]s est, [...] Quia sicut non disp [...] ­cet persona, sic nec malum illius ut il [...]ius est placet [...] sed placet sub alio respect [...], sub quo etiam non potest non placere: qui [...] scili [...]t o [...]tenditur in eo potentia Dei, miser [...]cordia in elc­ctos, &c.] By this he will teach men to say so of sin: But 1. He con­fesseth that this contro­versie is not of any thing real in God; (as if he had distinct real acts); but only of the extrinse­cal denomination of Gods Essence. 2. He can give no reason why the malum poenae of a [...]rea­ture as such may not [...]e willed of God, as much as non-entity, though not finally for it self. 3. Non-entity hath not omnem rationem mali, but it is enough that it hath nullam rationem boni. 4. It is the imperfect conception of man that taketh Nothing to be any way Good. A n [...]ga­tione subjecti ad negatio­nem modi valet argumen­t [...]m: Non-entities are no true modes of the Universe. It is impro­per to say that Gods Power, Wisdom or Mer­cy is glorified by any nothing or non-entity: It is by some being that God is glorified. 5. It's a contradiction to say Voluntate efficaci vult ali­quid non esse: How is that efficax quae nihil efficit?—But God doth effi­caciously hinder many inclined agents to act according to their incli­nation. And that impe­dition may be a Positive act. So disp. 95. c. 9. he saith that the end of Gods Permitting sin, is often­dere divitias gratiae suae & liberalitatem qu [...] usus fuit erga praedestinat [...]s: de­negans congruas vocatio­nes reprobis, ostendit prae­destinatis, easdem vocati [...] ­nes, quibu [...] fu [...]runt ad glo­riam praeparati, grat [...] omnino ipsis fuisse dona­tas. But 1. Mans act comparing himself with another is quid reale, & v [...]lltum à Deo: And the proposition [that the other hath no grace] is quid reale, or [...]ns rationi [...]. But nothing declareth nothing. [...]. If Gods will be his simple essence, on­ly diversly denominated from effects and objects, how can nothing denomi­nate it but as non-effici­ent or not-willing? In­deed it might denomi­nate a Nolition existen­tiae, if an Act of Gods were necessary to hin­der existence; but not where non-efficere is e­nough. Antonine better saith, l. 1. §. 17. [...], &c. Ut, quantum ad Deos attinet ac suggestiones, adjutationes, inspirationes ab ipsis profectas, nihil obstet omnino quo minus juxta naturae praescriptum confestim vivam, nisi ipse tandem in culpa sim, qui Deorum submonitiones, & tantum non claras praece­ptiones, neutiquam obser­vem. I marvel the Doctor in­sisteth not on his own great Reason, viz. Futuri­ty is eternal, and there­fore hath an eternal cause, which is God: And he that willeth the futurity of sin, willeth the sin, that is, that sin shall be. This seemeth stronger than all the rest, if the antecedent were true: And so he might prove that the futurity of the very form of sin is God: For nothing is eternal but God: But the futurity of the form of sin (according to these men) is eternal (or ab aetern [...]): Ergo it is God. But saith excel­lent Le Blank de Con­cord. lib. cum decret. 1. n. 55, 56. Praesertim nullo modo probare possum quod Gu. Twis [...]us pluri­bus locis asserit, Decretum Dei & ejus Voluntatem esse solam & unicam Causam futuritionis cujuslibet e­ventus: e. g. inobedientiae Adami, &c. At inquit do­ctus ille vir, Futuritionis quae ab aeterno fuit, nulla Causa dari potest quae ab aeterno non fuit. Resp. Hoc supponit futuritionem esse aliquid reale à re ipsa di­stinctum, & quod causam aliam habeat quam res ipsa futura: At hoc falsis­simum: Nam futuritio nil aliud est quam respectus quidam rationis & extrin­ [...]eca denominatio rei futurae—Recte ponitur arg [...] ­mentum, Ab aeterno nihil fuit praet [...]r Deum: Ac pro­ [...]de futuriti [...] quae ab aeterno fuisse dicitur vel nihil reale fuit, vel fuit ipse Deus.—Quod est Causa cur res in tempore existat, idem plane Causa est cur res ab aeterno exti­tura fuerit. Sicut quod Causa est quod res ali­quando fuit, Causa est cur in aeternum dicetur praete­rita—Ad effectum futu­rum sufficit Causa futura, sicut ad praeteritum suf­ficit Causa praeterita—This is plain and easie truth. to his Ends, and saith [It is not evil to me, though it be to you. I'le [...] ­ment you for doing it, though it was by my Will and predetermination.] And what Justice should Kings rather imitate than Gods?

6. Sin is not malum Deo so as to Hurt him, or make him Guilty: But it is, so as to be a Violation of his Laws, and a contempt and dishonour to his Wisdom, Goodness, Greatness, Authority, Justice, Mercy, Truth, &c. If all the World joyned in hating and blaspheming God that made them, though you say, that this is not malum Dei, but malum nostri, and therefore God may will it ut fiat as a desirable thing, we cannot be content with such confusion. Malum is either Physicum vel morale; and either in ali­quo or contra aliquem. God is not capable 1. Of Physical Evil in him­self, and therefore we cannot hurt him; 2. Nor of Moral Evil, and there­fore he can have no sin or malignity. 3. But he is capable objectively of Injury; we can wrong him when we cannot hurt him. 4. And we are ca­pable of being Reputativè vel moraliter Hurters and destroyers of God, whom we cannot hurt: Because the sinner doth it quantum in se; and therefore is called an Enemy to God. It is no thanks to the wicked that there is a God, who would have none (as to his Holiness and Justice) if it were in his power.

Moreover, God is Good and doth good. And though he made Man freely, yet supposing that he will make him Man (a Rational free agent in his Image to Know and Love him)▪ it necessarily followeth that he must make him Holy. God cannot make a man in the Image of the Devil, and call it his own: As Parents generate Children in their own likeness, so God doth regenerate his own in his Image: He that thought it a good ar­gument, [What Communion hath light with darkness, Christ with Belial, &c.] would sure have taken our part in this, that God cannot be the Author or Cause of the Image of the Devil, and of the works of darkness.

611. Therefore where he addeth, that God Willeth Malum esse that sin be, as the Matter of exercising his mercy and justice, not as his sin, but tantum vult fieri malum alterius, I deny it with horror as a reproach of Gods holiness. The terminus à quo is not the Materia misericordia vel [Page 101] justitiae exercendae. God willeth the glory of his Mercy and Justice, in pardoning and punishing foreseen presupposed sin: But he willeth not the sin, but only our deliverance from it, or punishment for it. Suppose (per impossible) that the King had power to restrain all men from offending him, and yet saith, [I will do only what is Congruous to the Rational free nature of my subjects as such, and not all that I can do, and therefore will restrain them only by Laws, except some few beloved ones; but I will honour my Mercy and Justice on offenders.] Can you hence prove, that he willeth, decreeth or loveth ut appetibilia all the Treasons, Rebel­lions, Murders and Blasphemies that are committed? It is not these that he willeth ut Materiam, but deliverance from these as from the malum à quo. If your prodigal Son be addicted to Robbing, and you could lock him up, but you resolve that you will try him once more, and if he ro [...] you will let him suffer imprisonment and come to the Gallows, and then beg his Pardon, that suffering may hereafter be his warning; Here if you choose rightly it is not his Robbing that you will, no not ut sit vel fiat (for you had rather he would forbear:) But only his forsaking it, and his suffering to that end, on supposition that he rob again.

612. Pag. 105. He saith that [By the same reason as God might not will the being of sin, by his permission, he might not permit it.]

Answ. A raw unproved assertion: God might not make an Indifferent free-will, left to its own liberty, with a thousand warnings and helps against sin, unless he may also Desire them to sin. Prove this, else you say nothing.

613. He addeth that sin be or exist is not only Bonum per accidens, be­cause God will make it the matter of glorifying his mercy and justice; but it is ex natura sua quoddam ordinabile ad Gloriam Dei, & consequenter Bo­num est ex natura sua in genere conducibilis—

Answ. All unproved and false. 1. Sin is not so much as Bonum per ac­cidens. 2. God doth not make it the Matter of glorifying himself, but only glorifyeth his Mercy and Justice against it as the terminus à quo, and not by it as the matter, though it may be called an Occasion sine qua non, as to this particular act and way of his said glorification. 3. Much less is it conducible hereto, which implyeth a Medium that hath some natural or moral causality. 4. And least of all is it ex sua natura conducibile. It is not sin, but 1. Some effects or consequents of sin, 2. Our deliverance from sin, and the punishing of sin, which are conducible to Gods glory.

614. Next he insulteth over Aquinas twice, as unhappy and vain in his censures, with a Magna est Veritas & praevalebit: laborare potest, vinci non potest: And argueth that because ex permissione infallibiliter sequi­tur peccatum, therefore to permit sin is the same as to will that sin shall be ipso permittente.

Answ. 1. It's pity that sin should have so good an Advocate, and Gods Holiness so good an Adversary, through mistake. And that so unhappy a Cause should be managed so confidently and triumphantly, though it's well that it's done so weakly. 2. The falshood of his assertion about permission as general I have opened before. 1. Three sorts of things may be said to be Not hindered (which is all that Permission signifieth.) 1. Things bent to a certain motion, 1. By Natural inclination (as a Stone in the Air to descend) 2. Or by Moral Vitiosity, as the Will of a wicked man. 2. Things meerly indifferent; (1. Naturally, as some think the Air is to motion: 2. Morally: as suppose a Will such, to Good or Evil.) 3. Things averse to that Motion (as 1. Naturally a Stone to ascend, 2. Morally, as the will of an Angel or Saint to hate God, or the will of [Page 102] a wicked man to Love him.) Also you must distinguish between Not-hin­dering at all, and not hindering effectually.

And so it's clear, 1. That in the first case, the Motion will be if it be not hindered. But that it is not caused by not-hindering it, but by its proper moving causes. In the second case the consequence of futurity is false: And where the inclinations to good and evil (that is, to superi­our and inferiour prohibited good) are equal; yea, though antecedently somewhat unequal: Yet bare permission ascertaineth not futurity. 3. Much less in the third case; where the soul must have positive help or provocation. Sure he did not think that all or any ungodly men would in­fallibly Love God, if God did but Permit them.

But Gods Permitting or not hindering sin may respect divers acts. 1. I [...] God continue not his natural support, man will be no man, but be a [...] ­lated, and so will neither do good nor evil. 2. If God uphold mans n [...] ­ture, in its Integrity as it was in Adam, and give him not Moral means and helps of Grace, and his natural concurse, Adams sin would have neces­sarily followed. 3. If God give Adam both such support and means to stand, and do no more, Gods permission would not have inferred the cer­tainty of Adams sin, when he fell, any more than before: For God withdrew no grace from him which was necessary to his standing. 4. I [...] God give a lapsed sinful man Nature and common grace, it followeth not necessarily because God doth no more, that he will commit every sin that he is not further hindered from: but it's certain that he will not do the works to which special grace is necessary. 5. If God give to the faithful the Holy Spirit, and continue his influx necessary to the continuation of the Power and Habits of holy actions, with necessary means, and do no more, this man will do some good and some evil, and though he may be equally said to be Permitted to do this sin as another, yet he may do one and not another. 6. God totally permitteth no man to sin, but hindereth them many wayes, though he hinder not all alike. 7. It's possible for two men to have equal helps to duty and equal hinderances to sin (or the same man at several times,) and yet for one to do the duty and forbear the sin, and the other to commit the sin and omit the duty; As many School­men have copiously proved. Yet in this case Permission would be the same thing to both.

But if you use the word [Permission] as connoting the Event, then in­deed you may say that the event (from another cause) will follow. And Gods non-impedition will ab eventu actionis be extrinsecally denomi­nated Permission in the one case and not in the other. But this is but from your arbitrary use of the word.

615. Next the Doctor assaulteth Durandus who thus argueth, Gods will followeth only his approving Knowledge. But he knoweth not sin approv­ingly; being of purer eyes, &c. He answereth, ‘1. God approveth that sin be, though he approve not sin. 2. God willeth the manifestation of his mercy and justice: Ergo, he willeth the existence of sin as that which is necessarily required to it.

To which I reply, 1. The first answer is unproved and false. God ap­proveth not that sin be. If he did, few wicked men do more, as Esti [...]s saith: For it is not sin as sin or evil that they will, but that it be for other ends which seem good. 2. He phraseth it with his [ad qu [...]d necessario, &c.] as if God first willed this manifestation of his Justice, &c. as the end, and then sins existence as the means (yea, the necessary means): But this is false, as I have fully shewed. 1. And his own opini­on should confute it, that maketh one Decree only de mediis: And this [Page 103] particular Manifestation being some Acts of God, and not God himself, [...]or the Complacency of his Will, must needs be part of the media ad finem [...]timum. 2. And indeed sins existence is not a necessary means willed for [...]ods glory: but it is a presupposed mischief, our Deliverance from which [...] punishment for it, is willed for his glory: It is indeed necessary, but [...]ly necessitate existentiae in esse praecognito as a foreseen evil, and so pre­ [...]pposed to those acts of God which are the Means of his glory.

Therefore his assertion of a Notitia approbationis rei tanquam Bonae in [...]nere Conducibilis, etsi non honesti, is detestable.

616. Ibid. p. 196. He again saith, that Though it be dishonest in the [...]eature to sin, because forbidden, it is not dishonest in God to will that he [...] it by his permission, it being unice conducibile to his glory— [...]nsw. 1. Fie upon this conducibile and unicè too. 2. Fie upon this oft [...]peated [permittente non efficiente;] It is utterly lusory or immodest: [...]or a man that maintaineth that no sinner doth any thing in sinning, but [...]hat God as the first total cause predetermined his will to, even as to all [...]e entity in act and circumstances imaginable; and that in all omissions, [...] was a natural Impossibility to have done one omitted act without this [...]edetermining premotion: And for the man that in the next saith that [...]alum non est Objectum Volentis aut facientis, but ipsa effectio rei, I [...]y for this man yet to say, that the creature effecteth sin, and God effecteth [...] not, is too too gross. The common evasion is, that sin is not any [...]ing, and therefore not effectible: But why then do they say, that the [...]eature effecteth it? when they have said and defended, that the crea­ [...]re doth nothing but what God doth, and what he unavoidably maketh [...]m do.

617. Durandus argueth, that Sin cannot be judged convenient by a [...]ght understanding: Ergo, not by God. The Doctor answereth, That [...]es own sin cannot be judged convenient, but anothers may. He in­ [...]anceth 1. When a man willeth that an Usurer lend him money on usury: [...] When a Christian Prince willeth a Turk to swear to a League by Ma­ [...]met: 3. When God willed that Absalom should defile his Fathers Concu­ [...]nes. And he addeth, that for us to sin, is contrary to our right rea­ [...]n, because it is forbidden and hurtful to us: But for God to will that [...]e sin, is not contrary to his right reason, as not forbidden or hurtful [...] him.

Repl. 1. No man should will unlawful usury: He that willeth to Bor­ [...]w, though he cannot have it without usury, doth not will the usury, [...]ut the money non-obstante usura. As he that chooseth to travell with Blasphemer, rather than to go alone in danger, he doth not will his [...]lasphemy, but his company, non obstante blasphemia. 2. The same is to [...]e said of swearing by Mahomet: It is only the Oath as an Oath that is [...] be willed, and not as by Mahomet; that is not willed but unwillingly [...]dured. 3. Absaloms instance is answered before: God willed only [...]avids punishment, and the Passive Constupration as an effect of sin, [...]n a foresight of Absaloms active Volition and sin, and not as willing [...]is at all.

And we have hitherto thought that Gods holy Wisdom and will is the Cause of his holy Law, and much more against sin than mans is: And that God willeth not, and causeth not the sin of man: And is it now come to [...]his, that sin is contrary indeed to our right reason, but not to Gods, because [...]e is no subject: You may next say, that Holiness is meet for man, but not [...]or God.

[Page 104] 618. Pag. 197. Again he is at it, Bonum esse ut sint mala: Quia bo­num est ut Deus finem sibi praefixum assequatur: At hoc sine intervent [...] mali & peccati nullo modo potest.

Repl. 1. It is not per peccatum ut medium, though not sine peccat [...]. 2. Interventus therefore implyeth a falshood. For in esse cognito sin is antecedent or presupposed to the way of glorifying Justice and Mercy up­on sinners; sinners are the object: And consequently you must take it (as before proved) for antecedent to the Volition or simultaneous.

619. He urgeth, Oportet haereses esse, ut qui probati sunt manifesti fiant.

Answ. That neither meaneth that men ought to be Hereticks, nor yet that God loveth, willeth or approveth that there be heresies: But only 1. God decreeth to manifest the difference between the sound Christians and the rest: 2. And he foreseeth that there will be heresies. 3. There­fore he decreeth to try them by the occasion of those heresies which he foreseeth (and hateth.) The same is the case of all tryal by persecuti­ons: And God willeth not the sin of active per [...]ecution, but only the ef­fect or passive part. So that the oportet (by your own confession of it) signifieth no more than a Logical necessitas consequentiae, which [...]ore­knowledge without Volition will inferr.

620. He addeth [Obj. It sufficeth that God permit sin, (and not will it) Resp. But either the existency of sin infallibly followeth the Per­mission of it, or not: If not, Gods Intention may be frustrate: If yea, What matter is it, whether God will that sin shall be, he permitting, or s [...] permit it as that infallibly it will be? so we obtain either of these, it's all one to our cause of predestination.]

Repl. 1. If it be all one, take up with that agreement; and make [...] further difference with them that grant you enough. 2. In case of ve [...] ­ment Inclination to a sin, it would follow upon Gods total permission: (but God never totally permitteth sin.) But in other cases, it will not follow: that is, It is not a good consequence, that This or that sin will be done, because God doth no more to hinder it, than that which some­time hindereth it not. And yet Gods Intention is not frustrate: For [...] will infallibly come to pass, from its proper cause, which God fore­knoweth: And the consequence is good from his fore-knowledge. And is not that all one, as to the certainty of Gods intentions? 3. You phrase it as if sin followed Gods permission, as a deficient cause, or as that which cannot be otherwise, unless God do more to hinder it, and so we [...] necessary thence necessitate consequentis (or as others call it necessitate [...] ­tecedente) which is false, and oft denyed by your self. 4. The very truth is, Permission is a word of so great ambiguity and laxity, as re­lating to so many sorts of Impedition, that it is but delusory with [...] much distinguishing, to say sin will or will not follow it. If you restra [...] it to a non efficaciter impedire, as is usual, it taketh not away the amb [...] ­guity much. For still the question is, What must make it effectual, unless you call any impedition effectual meerly ab eventu, whatsoever it be [...] it self.

621. He saith that the Universe would not be perfect, if there wer [...] perfect holiness and no sin, and so no pardon or punishment. But [...] giveth us no proof, but confident assertion, at all. I need not say, th [...] It would be more perfect if there were no sin; It sufficeth me to say, tha [...] It would be as perfect: And so that it is not Necessary to the World perfection, that there be sin or Hell. God could have freely willed the contrary. And Gods Goodness could have been as fully manifested if i [...] [Page 105] had so pleased him, and his Holiness too, without sin or Hell. It's un­pleasing to me, that this good man pleadeth so hard against a necessity of Christs satisfaction for sin, (in another digression) and yet pleadeth as hard for a necessity of sin; As if it were more necessary to Gods Glo­ry than Christ.

622. It is very observable in all this controversie, that he asserteth pag. 198. [That it's past all controversie, that neither God, nor the most sinful creature, do will any thing, but as Good. And that no man can be instigated to malice (or evil) but only to the Act which is evil; because he that is instigated, is instigated to do something. But to the evil of an act, no efficiency is necessary, but deficience only.] How far this is true or false, I have opened before. I here only note, that he confesseth that he that causeth the Act of sin, (which he saith God doth more than man) causeth all that is causable.

623. Yet p. 199. he saith, Sin is of man only as the cause, when he professeth that man doth nothing but what God doth to cause it (yea, as the first total cause) and that as to Deficiency, man can do no more than he doth without predetermination, which if God withhold, man can no more help it, than make a World. So that all the mysterie of his lan­guage is this; that because man is under a Law, and God is not, there­fore man doing the same act as moved by God, must be called the only cause of sin, because it is no sin in God. But, if we spake as plain men ought to do, should it not rather be thus exprest by you [God is the chief cause of sin in man, but not in himself?]

624. Pag. 200, & 201. he hath the same over and over again, that Non abhorret à recta ratione Dei velle peccatum fieri ab hominibus—Quod ex se habet quod conducibile est ad [...]onum tanquam Materia scili­cet, non tantum idonea, sed & necessaria exercendae divinae justitiae & misericordiae: and that this manifestation conjunct with sin is Deo multò appetibilius, than that Good which sin depriveth us of (that is, Holiness:) Because this Holiness is only the Creatures Good, and the other is the Crea­tors Good. Answ. But as the assertion is all false, so the reason is vain: For if he distinguish the Creator and Creature as subjects, he is quite mi­staken: For both is the Creatures good, and neither the Creators: For to manifest Justice and Mercy is not Gods Essence as in it self, but his Work of Punishment and Mercy. And the glory of this, is but the resplendent ex­cellency of it as it is the appearance or Image of God. And all this is in the Creatures Holiness: The Holiness of Christs Humane Nature, and of Angels and Saints in Heaven is as much the Creators, as is his Works of Mercy and Justice; And Gods glory shineth as much in them: And it is the glory of his Goodness, if not of Mercy which preventeth sin and misery: yea, and of Mercy too: For though mercy relate to misery, it is as well to possible misery prevented, as to existe [...] misery removed: And if he speak not of Subjects, but Proprietors, the Bo [...]um Creaturae is also Creatoris.

SECT. XIX. The same doctrine in Rutherford de providentia confuted.

625. I Have been too long in confuting this Digression of Dr. Twisse which is contrary to the commonest doctrine of Protestants; and The summ of their opi­nion. I think soundeth not well in Christians ears: The summ of which is this: [Neither God nor Devil do will sin as it is evil; but God is the first willer of its existence, because it is in its own nature summe & unice conducibile to the manifestation of his Justice and mercy: And willing and Loving being all one in God, he thus singularly Loveth the existence of sin, above its contrary (holiness) for this end: And by Predetermining premotion (which he much more largely writeth for elsewhere) he causeth as the first total Cause all that man Causeth; But it is sin in man because for­bidden him, but not in God, because not forbidden him; And therefore God is not to be said to cause sin (though he cause all that is caused) but to permit it, because he causeth it not in himself; nor is he to be called a Defici­ent cause of our omissions, because he is not bound to Actuate us; but man is to be called the efficient and deficient cause, because he is under an ob­liging Law, Though God made that Law: And though he can no more than a stone act without physical predetermination, nor forbear acting when so acted, yet he is to be called free, because he is actually willing (or his will doth act) and because he is predetermined by none but God.] This is the true sence of their opinion as opened by themselves. I shall now briefly consider what Rutherford saith to the same sence.

626. Cap. 15. pag. 186. To Annatus charging Twisse as denying Gods permission of sin, because he maketh him the Nec omnino negari potest Voluntatem Dei esse Cau­sam rerum omnium quas fieri velit. Twiss. reci­tante etiam Rutherf. de Prov. c. 15. p. 186. See all their Reasons for Gods causing sin, or wil­ling its existence answer­ed by Ruiz de Vol. Dei disp. 26. p. 262, 263, 264, 265. As also against Gods pre­determining to the im­mediate materiale peccati: disp. 27. p. 270, &c. disp. 28, & 29, & 30, &c. us (que) ad p. 580. As to the common saying that God willeth not sin as sin; all men will con­fess (Dr. Twiss. often) that neither doth a wick­ed man do so. Peccans ut sic non intendit peccatum quoad illud quod est for­male in peccato, seu caren­tiam conformitatis; sed in­tendit actum ut est in ge­nere moris, inquit Aure­olus in 2. d. 42. a. 3. pag. 319. I will not conceal a more difficult argument than most of theirs, which may occurr to others: God caused (e. g. in Natha­na [...]l, Peter, &c.) this act of saith before Christs coming; [the Messiah is to come hereafter.] When Christ was come, this was false, and so evil: God still caused the faith which he gave them. Therefore he caused an untrue belief and evil, and that supernaturally. But I answ. 1. God caused the habit of their faith, and the act. The nature of the habit was in gene­ral A belief of all divine revelations: and in spe­cial A belief in the promi­sed Messiah. The termina­tion of the act on the Mes­siah as future rather than as Incarnate, required nothing positive in the Habit: The same Habit served to both acts, unless the latter being for the nobler act had some addition; but the former needed none. 2. And that this Habit might bring forth the act in that circumstance, no more was necessary but 1. Gods word [Christus venturus est.] 2. And Gods influx on the habited faculty to cause it to act according to that habit: So that when God had reversed that word [Christus venturus est] he was no longer the cause determining the mind to believe that word; but only the cause that the habit of faith was still towards Christ: But not at all sub ratione venturi. For the determining word was called in, and it was an imperfection not to know so much, where it was not a sin. Cause of the Act, the Li­berty and the Prohibition, and to Cause is not to Permit; he hath no bet­ter answer than to say, that God doth not permit the Act, nor the Evil of the Act, but he permitteth the evil act: and 2. To say that the Domi­nicans and Jesuits hold the same as he. Which is to jest with holy things, and not to argue. As if he said, God made neither the soul nor the body, and yet he made the man. What! is it (as it's said, that non animased unio est vita) so Doth God permit the Union of Actum and Mal [...]m? No, that he pretendeth not.

627. To prove that God willeth the existence of sin, he bringeth the instance of Joseph's case, Gen. 45. To which I say that the text saith not at all that God willed the Will or Act or Sin of Joseph's brethren; but only the Venditio passiva or effect and the consequents; Nay only the conse­quents are mentioned in the Texts: His replyes to the answers prove no more than the five things which I before asserted about sin. Nothing so much deceiveth them, as not distinguishing between the sinful act, and the effect or passion, when they are called by the same name (as Selling, Killing, &c.)

628. His next instance is of Christs death, of which I said enough be­fore: But 1. He understandeth his adversaries as ascribing only the Con­sequents [Page 107] of Crucifixion to Gods will; which is his mistake: It is Cruci­fixion it self passivè sumpta which they ascribe to it (some of them at least.) And let men too wise against God deride it as much as they will, God can will and Love that Christ be Crucified, and yet hate and not will the will and act of the Crucifiers, but only foresee it, as aforesaid. And let them jeer God as Idle or asleep, if he neither will nor effectually nill the sin; we will believe it to be his perfection and liberty, which they so deride. 2. And whereas he addeth that Active Verbs are used as Gen. 45. Misit me Deus, Isa. 53. Deus voluit eum conterere, Zech. 13. Ego percutiam Pastorem: and God delivered Christ to death: I answer, It is too too gross to perswade us hence that any of these Texts say that God willeth the sinners will or Act. [God sent me] speaketh Gods act, that is, his disposal of the effects and consequents of them: But doth this signifie, [God willed your malice or your act?] God did bruise Christ; which signifieth that he was a concause of his death: but not that he willed or Caused the Jews to will or act his death. And so of the rest.

629. The rest of his instances are such as I have answered before, or as the former answers fully invalidate; And therefore I will not weary my self and the Reader with them.

630. Cap. 18. p. 230. he asserteth, that [Sin is a Medium to Gods Glory, and that not per accidens but per se. Because sin by how much the worse it is in genere mali inhonesti, by so much the better and fitter means it is, in genere boni utilis & conducibilis to Gods glory, &c.] All which I have before confuted: and think not his defence of it worth re­peating.

631. Many assertions he hath cap. 18. which all depend on the false supposition that Sin is a medium per se of Gods glory, and the unproved supposition that God positively willeth the Permission of it (which is no­thing:) whence he inferreth that God Intendeth it in this and that order, and much other vanity. And still they confound sin in esse reali which is no medium, with sin in esse objectivo which may be a part of holiness, and no sin at all.

632. Cap. 19. he argueth, God useth men and devils in the very act of sinning as his instruments, viz. to punish, to try, to humble, &c. ergo, he willeth the event that they sin.

Resp. Here is deceitful ambiguity in the words [instruments] and [useth.] Properly an Instrument is an efficient cause moved by the prin­cipal to an effect above its proper virtue. And so a sinner in and by the Act of sinning is no Instrument of God. For God moveth him not to that Act as specified or circumstantiated so as is prohibited; And being not at all so moved by him (as David to murder Urias, and to vitiate his Wife) he is not properly thus his Instrument. But sometimes the word Instrument signifieth a presupposed Agent, whose Action another can improve to his own ends: As the wind and water are improperly called the Millers Instruments of turning his Mill; and the spring and poise are the Clock-makers Instruments of moving his Clock or Watch; and a Mastiff Dog is my Instrument to keep away Thieves; and a Grey­hound is my Instrument to kill a Hare, and a Ferret to catch a Rabbet, and a Hawke to catch a Partridge, &c. And yet we cause not at all the Nature or Motion of the Wind, or Water (but we can hinder the Water,) nor the nisus of the spring, nor the gravitation of the poise (but set the re­cipients so as that the effect shall be done as we would have it:) nor cause we the fierceness of the Mastiff, the inclination or motion of the greyhound, ferret, hawk, &c. but only tye them up and let them loose as our ends re­quire. [Page 108] But zeal maketh some men deride that God should be said to be no more the cause of sinning; and they cannot allow him the skill of every dull Artificer, or at least a will to use it, without willing and causing the thing which he forbiddeth.

2. And the word [using] signifieth, sometime using by motion, as I do my pen; and sometime by ordination, and adjoyning some concause, or fit­ting the receptivity of the patient to the effect as aforesaid; as we use; wind, water, dogs, hawks: Thus only sinners by sinning are Gods used instruments: supposing his natural concurse and support.

And they are not his Instruments thus neither in the same sence as these creatures are ours: For their fierceness, craft, inclination, action, is good, and we do and may will it for our ends: But sin is not good; And therefore God willeth not it at all, but only the consequent of it, or ef­fect: And that Effect is not Good, as it is the effect of sin, but as God setteth in, and causeth the same effect which a sinner causeth (as in ge­neration per concubitum illicitum.) But when God willeth and causeth the effect, and foreseeth and permitteth the sinful Volition and act, which concurreth to that effect, such a sin is improperly called his used instru­ment or medium, but properly is none.

633. To Gibieuf and others saying that God acteth not by sin as an instrument, and willeth it not, but the effects; he answereth that It's ab­surd, because the sin it self is castigatory, and hath such like effects; and therefore God need not will that effect as after it. But all this is from the fore-noted confusion: It is not only the distant effect, but the very im­mediate effect, which is the Act it self ut recipitur in passo, which God sometime is said to Will. As he willed that Jobs Cattle were taken away, and that Christ were killed, and that Malchus eare be cut off, and that Paul be scourged, and smitten on the mouth, and that the Apostles were oft imprisoned, &c. And yet God only foreseeth but willeth not that will and act of the agent, which he forbiddeth.

634. And here note, that when the name of the Effect or Passion connoteth the sinfulness of the Act, then it is less meet to say that God willeth it: As to say that he willeth that we be persecuted, murdered, slandered, belyed, &c. But if any will so speak, they must mean only the Passion, as distinct from the action: And then the difference is but in nu­do loquendi.

635. To those that object that thus he maketh God the chief author of sin, the effect being more to be ascribed to the Principal Cause than to the instrument, he first ill-applyeth some frivolous distinctions, and instanceth thus: [The hangman as the Judges instrument hangeth a man in malice or revenge: Ergo, the Judge much more, in revenge: Non sequitur.] Put­ting in Revenge which is but a Cause, as if it had been the Effect, which was in question.

And thus [The Sword that killeth a man is not culpable: ergo, nor the striker: Non sequitur.] As if the question had been of the Negation of an effect, and not of the position of it.

And thus [If two servants role a stone, one being commanded and one forbidden, one being father to the other; The Son (forbidden) roleth it unlawfully: ergo, the father (commanded) much more: non sequitur.] Resp. 1. As if the act of the Father and the Son were the same act, be­cause the effect is the same, which is notoriously false: unless de specie. 2. Whose Instrument do you suppose the Son to be? If the Fathers, it is because the Father commanded him contrary to the Master; And if so, the argument is good: The Sons act was a fault who obeyed: ergo, the fathers [Page 109] more who commanded him: saving that commanding maketh another no necessary Instrument, because he can disobey: But Gods premotion is sup­posed by you unavoidably to predetermine us.

636. But pag. 255. he giveth the true answer, that the consequence holdeth, not of a metaphorical improper Instrument, who hath somewhat of his own which he hath not from the principal agent, yea such have some­what of Principal Causality, and somewhat mixt of their own which they have not of God, besides the nature of a pure instrument: such are sinners to God. Therefore it holds not, that the horse halteth: ergo, the rider halteth (no nor causeth it.) Thus insciously he unsaith what laboriously he writeth a Book to prove: and the very same that I say. The Rider doth not cause the halting as it is halting at all; but only as it is Motion in genere: so doth God by sinful acts: That they are exercised on the for­bidden object rather than another, is not at all of God, but that they are Actions in genere is of God.

637. So p. 256. he well sayeth that the fault of the pen is not to be ascribed to the Writer, nor the effect as from that fault; nor of the Saw to the Sawyer; And so of the Sabeans robbing Job: And he asserteth, p. 257. that Diabolus & Impii homines sunt causae principales in actu pec­candi. And what need we more? Remember then that sin is an effect, and hath a Cause, and to make man a Principal Cause in actu peccandi is not to deifie him: And he saith p. 256. that if God were the moral im­peller as a principal agent, he were the principal cause of sin. But if you mean by moral impulse, only commanding it, let others judge whether Physical premotion be not much more than command: And whether I cause not my pen to write, though I command it not: And quoad terminum, to impel a man physically to moral acts, is moral impulse.

638. But the plausiblest argument is Cap. 20. p. 261. viz. God willeth sin as it is a Punishment of sin: Vid. Aureol. in 2. d. 37. p. 300, 301. shew­ing six wayes how sin is a punishment of sin, without God's willing the sin: But if we make it sin, he will make it be a punishment. ergo he willeth that the sin come to pass or be. And indeed Augustine saith much contr. Julian. to assert Gods wil­ling of sin as a Punishment of sin. But I answer this, 1. Even these men themselves oft say that God willeth not the formale peccati, but the materiale: And forma dat nomen: ergo he willeth not sin as a punish­ment, in proper sence.

2. Sin it self (though denyed by many Arminians) is verily a Punish­ment, and more to the Sinner himself than to any other. Gab. Bid in 2. d. 36. concludeth, 1. Omne peccatum est poena. 2. Non omnis culpa est peccati al­terius poena (viz. non prima.) 3. Omne pecca­tum posterius poena est prio­ris, & causa (nisi ulti­mum fuerit) posterioris. And Bonavent. there ci­ted by him sheweth how sin bringeth poenam damni & sensus. And he shew­eth there how each sin is its own punishment, the formale peccati being first, and the formale poena next in the same act: And how the latter sin is the punishment of the for­mer, as being an effect of it; For when we have cast away the Intention of the right end, there is nothing sufficient to hin­der more sin. Biel. ib. In a word, God antece­dently so formed nature, that if we will sin, that sin shall be our misery, and as a voluntary self-wounding, cause our pain, and let out our blood and life. And it is the most difficult part of the question, how God maketh sin a Punishment to the sinner himself; which yet I have plainly opened before, and here re­peat it. To be sin or disobedience and to be Punishment are no absolute entities, but are two Relations of one and the same Act; but not as referred to one and the same correlate. God is not at all the Cause of the Act which is sinful, in its forbidden mode and circumstances (as Claudicatio equi before said) but only in genere actus, or hujus actus when two sins are compared: But that the Act when done is sin and is punishment, God is the Cause of both: That is, he maketh mans nature first, and in that and by revelation, his Law: by which he first maketh mans duty, and telleth him what shall be sin if he do it: And next he doth by his threatning tell him, that this sin it self shall be the sinners own misery if he do it: As if (as aforesaid) God first made man of such a nature as that poyson would torment him ex natura rei: And then commandeth him to avoid it; And then threatneth that it shall torment and kill him if he eat it. Here now God maketh the Man and the Law: God maketh not the Act of sin as modified or oblique, or as that circumstantiated act. But when the act is caused by Man, God by his Law causeth two Relations to result, [Page 110] first that of sin, and then that of punishment. So that man first causeth the sinful act, and then that it is quid prohibitum, and quid poenale result from Gods Will and Law made before.

Now if God cause not that sin which is a punishment to our selves, he causeth not that which is a punishment to others; And yet supposing it, he maketh it a punishment to us and them, on several accounts.

639. But though God cause not the sin, yet when he hath before in his Law threatned to withhold his grace and spirit if we sin, without which grace and spirit we will sin, If God now for former sin do deny us, or withhold that grace or help which we need to keep us out of it, he is morally and improperly said to cause that sin as a punishment, because that penally he refuseth or forbeareth to save us from it, and so permitteth it (as is said.)

640. The Arminians grosly erre, if he cite them justly, Remonst. in Script. Synod. art. 1. p. 202. saying that God may predetermine and pre-or­dain the obstinate and rebellious to sin by his penal judgement, and yet those sins are not be reckoned to them for sins, nor increase their guilt: unless the word [sin] be used equivocally: For to have sin and no sin, are contra­ries. Whether God determine Ideots and Madmen to those acts which would be sin in others, as he doth Bruits, I leave to others.

641. I am weary of pursuing this ungrateful dispute. As to his con­troversie Q. Whether things be good because God willeth them? or he will them because they are good? against Camero cap. 22. Whether God will Justice and holiness be­cause it is good, or whether it be good because God willeth it? It troubleth me to read bitter and tedious disputes about that which one easie distincti­on putteth past all controversie. Of things ad extra Gods will is first the efficient, and then the ultimate end, as is oft said: Gods will as efficient giveth first the Being and then the Order to all things: or else they could never be what they are. All created Justice and Holiness is such, that is, Good (for Goodness is their essence) because Gods efficient will made them so: And then Gods final will taketh complacency in them or Loveth them because they are so. But if they talk of Goodness or Justice, &c. as it is in God, there is in him no effect and so no cause of himself or any thing in himself.

642. But some things God maketh moral duties by the very work of Creation, and Ordination of the World, without any other Law: And these are called Duties by the Law of Nature, because the very Natura rerum is a Law, that is, a signification of Gods will constituting mans du­ty. It is mans essence to be an Intellectual-free-agent; It is impossible that such an agent Created of God should not be Gods Creature, and Gods own, and dispositively a Moral governable agent, and that he should not owe God all that he is and hath and can do, and that God should not have the Jus Dominii & Imperii over him, and Jus ad summum ejus Amorem Deus non posset obligare nos ad hoc quod teneatur sibi non obedire: Quaero enim an tenetur obedire, an non? si sic, habetur propositum: quia tenetur & non tenetur, quod est impossibile—Consequentia patet, Quia teneri non obedire, est teneri ad aliquid. Pet. de Alli­aco 1. q. 14. T. Yet after he thinketh it possible for God to have made a Reasonable crea­ture not obliged; As if his very nature were not obligatory: His instance of the Mad is vain; for they are not actually Reasonable. Ockam presumptuously concludeth that God could command a man to hate God and make it meritorious, it being no contradiction: His fol­lower Greg. Arim. confu­teth him; And Camera­censis invalidateth the confutation, and leaveth it doubtful. But it is a con­tradiction to be a man, and not obliged by Na­ture to Love God; And a contradiction to be bound by nature to Love him, and yet stante na­tura bound to hate him: And a contradiction to hate God and be good or happy. It is a contradiction to be a Created Man, and not Gods Own, and his ob­liged Subject and Beneficiary. Therefore it is a contradiction that sub­mission, obedience and Love should not be his Moral duty and good, and that self-alienation, rebellion, or disobedience and hatred should be no sins.

643. To dispute then (as he doth with Camero and his follow­ers) Whether it be good ex natura rei, or by Gods meer free-will? is a strange dispute, and of most easie resolution. Either they speak of Gods creating will, or of some other subsequent Volition. Man is made man by Gods free creating will: And the foresaid Relations, and duties are made such by making him Man. And the duties of Love and Ju­stice to others are made such by his Creators placing him in a world where [Page 111] his Neighbours are about him, who are due objects; as a part of the so­ciety, This he himself confes­seth pag. 329, 330. like a Wheel in a Clock: The Creators will is before Nature, and therefore before natural duty, as the Cause before the effect. God could have made beasts instead of men, who had owed him no more than beasts can do. But from the Nature of a Man coexistent with God, his said du­ties to God so necessarily result, that it could not be otherwise; nor did there need any subsequent act of Gods will to make that duty.

644. But those that are not Duties by Nature, must have moreover a Vid. Durand. 1. d. 38. qi 4. n. 9, 10, 11. Scot. 3. d. 37. q. 1. Gabr. 3. d. 37. a. 2. Suarez de Legib. l. 2. c. 15. Aquin. 1, 2. q. 94. a. 5. & q. 100. a. 4. further act of Gods will as signified to make them so; As the Mosaical Ceremonies, our Sacraments, &c.

645. And many Natural Laws and duties are mutable, towards one another, because the very Nature and Natural Location or Order of the Things from which they did result, are mutable; And a word of God can make a change: when yet before such antecedent mutation, the duty must be duty still.

646. As to Mr. Rutherfords oft saying that Omnis actus entitativus simplex est moraliter de se indifferens, neque bonus neque malus; And then that per actum simplicem he meaneth such as include not the object, It is ludicrous or vain talk. There is no such Act as hath not an object, any more than physical form without matter. Quicunque movet, aliquid mo­vet; Quicunque intelligit, aut vult, aliquid intelligit aut vult, (vel se­ipsum vel aliud.) An Act without its object is but a partial or inadequate Generical conceptus of that Act which hath an object; or an abstract par­tial notion of an act. Why then doth he talk of that which is not? Had he said that every act is in the first instant rationis, or abstract-partial conception, an Act in genere, before it be intelligible as this or that act, about this or that object, he had spoken intelligibly as other men do.

647. Such another question many called Arminians much use, Whe­ther Whether Justice &c. be eternally good or have rationem boni aeternam? Justice &c. be eternally good? Or An dentur rationes boni & mali aeternae & indispensabiles? which needs no other solution than this last. There is no such thing as an Universal, existent per se and not in some Individual: And so no such thing as Love, Justice, &c. Bonum, Malum, which is not alicujus Justitia, Bonum, &c. There was no Creature from Eternity being Just or unjust, good or bad. But Gods perfect Nature But that Gods own eter­nal perfection hath in it that root of humane virtue (truth, justice, &c.) which therefore analogically have the same name (our holi­ness being Gods Image) I would prove to the Reader by this weighty reason: Because else we have no certainty that Gods word is true: For all our certainty is hence, that God cannot lye. But if Veracity be not in God, we cannot prove that. And if he have not that which is eminenter Justice, mercy, &c. how can we prove that he hath Veracity? might be called Eternally Just, in that he must necessarily be Just, if he had been a governour: And necessarily was Just, when he freely became a governour. And also this proposition was Eternally true, (if there were eternally propositions) [Si Homines existerent, Justitia in ipsis de­bita foret: & quandocunque Homines fuerint, Justitia in ipsis debita fue­rit.] But when all the sense of these questions is no more, but what Duties are natural, and what superadded (called Positive,) and what natural duties are immutable and what mutable, it's an unhappiness that the world must be troubled with such uncouth forms of speech as make the question unintelligible, till unravelled.

648. As to Rutherfords charge of Camero and his followers in France, Amyraldus, &c. with Semipelagianism and Arminianism and filthy opini­ons, it is but the effect of the good mans overweening, and conceitedness of his own apprehensions, which must be allowed or endured in most of these contenders; And the fruits of such disputes is like to be little better. But the worthy praises of Blondel, Dallaeus, Placeus, Capellus, Amyraldus, Te­stardus, &c. shall survive such reproach. And a thousand pitties it is, to read a good man Voluminously proving God to be a Willer of sins exi­stence, and a prime-predetermining Cause of all prohibited Volitions and acts, and reproaching the Jesuits, Lutherans, Arminians and Socinians [Page 112] as the great enemies of Gods Providence for denying this; As if he would tempt the World to think that Socinians were in the right, and that Jesu­ites, Lutherans and Arminians were the only defenders of the Holiness of God, whilst Calvinists made him the Lover of all the sin in the World, as the most appetible conducible Medium to his Glory.

649. But (to proceed) his next Argument is, cap. 23. Sin conferreth something to the splendor, ornament, and plenitude of the Universe: E [...] ­go, See Bonavent. well con­futing this in 1. d. 46. q. 3. Malum fieri nulla­tenus bonum esse, sed bene occasio boni. God willeth its existence: This is answered before. The antecedent is utterly unproved. Sin addeth nothing to the ornament or perfection of the World. His word is no proof.

650. Afterwards he heapeth up many frivolous arguments against that which he calleth reproachingly, The Idle Permission of sin; and saith, that it frustrateth the prayers of the Saints, and their patience, their gratitude, trust, hope, fear, joy, alloweth the arrogance of the persecuters, fighteth with Gods Wisdom, Clemency, Justice, Providence, with the Mini­stry of the Word, the Promises, Threatnings, with Ministers confirming [...] against sufferings, and it is blasphemously injurious to God, and contrary to the order of things in the world, that he should permit sin, and not will the being of it.

Resp. What is it that a man, yea, a pious man in a blind zeal of God and self-conceit, may not pour out confident words for? What a case is the poor Church in, when the unlearned people must be on both sides charged by their Teachers with blasphemy, what way ever they go? This man will tell them that they are Pag. 370. blasphemous, and overthrow all reason and Religion, if they say that God only Permitteth sin, and doth not him­self will the being of it, and move unavoidably all wills, and tongues, and hands, to all the blasphemies, persecutions, and murders that are done, and damn men for it when he hath done. And others will as confide [...]ly say that he is a Blasphemer, for charging God to be much more the cause of all forbidden acts of wickedness than Devils and men are, and the [...] damning them for it, and for putting God into the shape of the Devil, and painting him odious to humane nature, that man may not love him: What shall poor people think when they are thus torn and tormented by their holy Guides? But all his arguments are before answered, when I shewed him how many wayes God hath to secure the Effects and Events in the world, and attain all his Ends, and yet only Permit, and neither Will, nor Love, nor Cause the sin.

651. Cap. 26. he cometh to plead for Predetermination, and saith p. 385. God predetermineth us (to the Act of hating God) in linea me [...] physica, & non morali. Meer delusory words. He maketh it by the Law of Nature a sin to hate him, and then he maketh men hate him [...] linea physica & non morali! as if the moral sinfulness resulted not from the Law and act; that is, here from Nature it self, viz. of the Man and act, both which God made.

652. Pag. 386. he saith, that [Directa & expressa & efficax Dei V [...]li­tio, qua Vult ut sit seu fiat actus Dei odii, non facit Deum Malitia q [...] I confess Gab. Biel in 2. d. 37. speaketh too like these several atheologi­cal assertions: as do ma­ny others. per accidens sequitur actum, authorem.] Resp. But that per accidens is no reason of the denyal, if God cause that accident also, as the first cause. If he make a Law, and make the forbidden act, the relation of sinfulness is an Accident indeed, but ariseth from the said fundamentum so necessa­rily that it cannot be otherwise. But it should have made a holy Divine to tremble to have said, that God directly, expresly and effectually willeth mens Act of hating God, viz. that it exist or be.

[Page 113] 653. And it is false that he saith, that God is equally the Cause that men hate him, if he will the Act hypothetically, ineffectually and determi­ [...]ably by anothers will, as if he willed it efficaciously. And so when he maketh the Doctrine of Universal Concurse and Causation, as guilty as [...]is predetermining pre-motion. As if God could not make man a free- [...]iller and agent, and as the spring of Nature, enable him and concurr [...]o his Act as an Act, in genere, without causing it to terminate on the forbidden object in specie. As if it were impossible for the Sun to be [...]n universal cause of the stinking of a Dunghill and Weed, without being [...]he special: or as if God must be made the cause of every blasphemy, unless [...]e will make the blasphemer speechless, and of every villany, unless he will strike men dead to prevent it. This is not reverent and holy judging of the most holy God the Judge of all.

654. The summ of all his Vindication of God from being the chief Author of all sin (pag. 387. & passim) is but this one reason, God is under no Law. But if this be all, why do you not speak out what you mean, but hold that which you dare not name, viz. [That God is the chief So Bannes in 1. q. 23. [...]. 3. p. 270, 271. Voluntas hominis mal [...] est quia ex­ercet actum odii Dei sine regula rationis, immo contra legem Dei; Deus autem bona vol untate vult fieri illum actum, permit­tens defectum Caus [...] secun­d [...] in ipso, ut inde ali­quod majus bonum faciat: which is true of the act in genere, but not as it is Odium Dei. For so if he will it and cause it, he doth more than per­mit: and the defectus Causae secundae is that very odium as against God. And doth God cause the greatest sin that he may do good by it? He can do as much good with­out causing the evil. [...]nsuperable cause of all the sin of Devils and men for which he damneth [...]hem, and that both as to the matter and form; but yet thus to do is no sin in God himself, because he is under no Law.] This is your most [...]lain undoubted sense, or else your Book is non-sense; What need we then any further enquiry what you hold? It is delusion to pretend that you are accused for making God a sinner. We charge no such thing on you: But only for making him the chief insuperable cause of all the sins of men and Devils.

655. Pag. 400. he plainly professeth that the Will as a physical agent is the cause of the act as physical, and as under a Law, and that act is against the Law, so he is the cause of the Malitia actûs, and culpablo. So that God causing by his own confession both Act and Law, there is no modest subtersuge left for his not openly professing that he asserteth God to be the cause of all sin, the principal cause, both as to matter and form.

656. The rest of that Disputation striketh me with such horror in the reading, that I confess I have not the patience to proceed any further [...]n it, nor shall further thus exercise my Readers patience. The case is plain. Either Hobbs, or Free-will permitted, must carry the cause in the case of sin: There is no middle way. He that will read Ruiz and Ru­therfords answer impartially, needeth no more of mine for the confutati­on of his vain responses.

657. But cap. 29. p. 484. he falleth also on our most Learned and Judicious Dr. Field, because in his lib. 3. c. 3. of the Church he contra­dicteth his opinion; and it must move just indignation in the Reader that he addeth [idque probare conatur contra reformatas Ecclesias.] Unworthy injury to the Reformed Churches, more than to the worthy Dr. Field! How falsly are they interessed in your unhappy cause! See the Synod of Dort, where there is not a word for it. Is one Twiss with his Rutherford, or Maccovius, or a few such, the Reformed Churches? Let the Reader peruse the Articles of the Churches of England, Scotland, France, and all the rest, and see where he can find your Doctrine of Predetermination unto sin. Even Jansenius himself is against it among the Papists, when his Dominican Predecessors are the Fathers of it. Nothing more common with English Divines than (as you did before your self) to explicate Gods causing the acts of sinners, by the similitude of the Riders spurring a halting Horse, or the Suns making a Dunghill stink; which only speak the cause which we call universal, and is the very thing which we assert. [Page 114] And it is most unsavourily done, to get into the Chair and magisterially say [Fieldus vir alioqui doctus, in his controversiis minime se versat [...] esse prodit—& Zumelem Zumel in Disp. 1. Thom. de Voluntat. hom. & lib. arb. pag. 219, 220. Quod D [...]s non sit causa peccati, though he speak caute­sously and as in other mens names, yet con­cludeth plainly, that God is but the Causa U­niversalis of sin, and that man is the specify­ing determining cause, even que universalem de­terminat ad speciem con­cursus & actus ipsius, sive solum determinet eam for­maliter ad speciem, &c. Yet this is a high Tho­mist and defender of ab­solute grace. non satis intelligit, quippe non satis g [...] ­rus controversiarum Arminianarum, & scripsit dum aulam Armini [...] plus aequo faventem haberent. Thus magisterially did good Dr. Twisse censure Junius and Vossius (his Son-in-law) as men un­skilled in Scholastick Di­vinity, who were both most excellent men, and hit upon the reconciling truth, above most in their age. Junius his Discourse of predetermination is one of the first that ever I found that excellency in, and with his Irenicon is most worthy of great esteem.] But how easie is it for a man to overva­lue himself, and contemn another? I highly value the piety in Mr. [...] ­therfords Letters. I am no fit arbiter ingeniorum: But when I hear other men say that one Field was more Judicious than many Rutherfords, I c [...] ­fess by reading their several writings I find no temptation to deny it; And why should Field and consequently Davenant, Usher, Carlton, M [...] ­ton, Hall, the Synod of Dort, and I think the far greatest part of Pro­testants (I verily think fifty if not an hundred for one) who are against you, be made odious by the supposition of being not far enough from Arminians, rather than Maceovius, Twisse and Rutherford take it for a dis­grace, to hold the same opinions against Gods Holiness, which the D [...] ­nican Fryars hold, who have been the bloody Masters of the Inquisition, and murdered so many thousand Protestants or Waldenses and Alli­genses?

And that which he saith of Fields writing when the Court favoured Arminianism, is notoriously false, and such insinuations unworthy of so good a man as the speaker. Fields Works were printed singly before they were printed together in Folio. And his fifth Book was printed A [...] ­no 1610. and the words cited are in the third printed before. And the Synod of Dort was called An. 1618. and sate 1619. also; And King James was a zealous suppressor of Arminianism, and sent five or six Di­vines thither to that end. And long after in King Charles his dayes, Pet. Heylin in the life of Archbishop Laud will tell you, that the Armini [...] Bishops then were but five, Neale, Laud, Buckeridge, Corbet and Hows [...], to whom Learned Montague was after added: So that they durst not trust their Cause with a Convocation. Field then shall be a most Judicion worthy Divine, when partiality hath said its worst.

658. And what is his error? Why he saith that it's a contradiction to say that God causeth the Act (in all its state,) which is the Material [...] peccati, and causeth not the formale, which is inseparable. A foul er­ror indeed, to tell you that he that causeth the subjectum, fundament [...], rationem fundandi & terminum causeth the relation; and that he that maketh an European white and an African black causeth the dissimilit [...]de, and so doth he that maketh the straight Rule and the crooked line, th [...] forbidding Law, and the forbidden act.

659. Were it not that the necessity requireth such work, because such Books are in mens hands, I should think I had injured the Reader, by th [...] much: For my work is not to confute Books, but to assert sure recon­ciling truths. Otherwise the confutation of the rest of that Book (for Gods willing and causing all forbidden acts in their full state, and the ex­istence of sin) is most easily answered.

SECT. XX. The old Reconciling Doctrine of Augustine, Prosper and Fulgentius. And first Prosper ad Gallorum Qu.

660. IT is a strange thing to me that when Pelagius, Julian, Faustus, &c. thought Augustine a Novelist, and (as Usher asserteth) would have fastned the title of Predestination-Hereticks on his followers, and al­most all confess, that Augustine was, if not the first, yet the most notable publick Vindicator of absolute Predestination and Grace, yet the Judge­ment of Austin, with his Disciples Prosper and Fulgentius, doth not serve turn to quiet, if not to end these controversies, among those who profess to be their followers! when as they have so copiously and plainly writ­ten upon the case!

661. I intreat the Reader that is inclining to any extreams, but to read [...]over first those short answers of Prosper ad Capitul [...] Gallorum and ad Ob­jectiones Vincent. And most of the Sententiae de Capit. I shall think it worthy my labour to recite, to force them on the Readers observation, and let him see the highest old Doctrine of Gods Decrees.

Sent. 1. Whoever saith, that by Gods Predestination, as by fatal ne­cessity, men compelled into sins, are constrained to death, is not a Catho­lick. For Gods Predestination doth by no means make men bad, nor is the cause of any mans sin.

Sent. sup. 2. He that saith, that the Grace of Baptism received doth not take away Original sin from them that are not predestinated to life, is not a Catholick. For the Sacrament of Baptism, by which all sins He meaneth that those that sincerely covenant­ed with God in Baptism, were truly pardoned, though he thought some of them fell away and perished. are blotted out, is true even in them who will not remain in the truth, and for them that are not predestinated unto life.

Sent. sup. 3. He that saith, that they that are not predestinated to life, though they were in Christ regenerated by Baptism, and have lived piously and justly, it profitteth them nothing, but they are so long reserved till they fall to ruine, and they are not taken out of this life till this happen to them, as if the ruine of such men were to be referred to Gods constitution, is not a Catholick. For God doth not therefore prolong the time of any mans age, that by long living he should fall to ruine; and in his long living, fall from the right [...]aith: seeing long life is to be numbered with the gifts of God, by which a man should be better and not worse.

Sent. sup. 4. He that saith, that all are not called to Grace, if he speak of such as Christ is not declared to, is not to be reprehend­ed—

Sent. sup. 5. He that saith, that they that are called, are not equal­ly called, but some that they might believe, and some that they might not believe, as if to any man the Vocation were the cause of his not believing, saith not right. For though faith be not but by Gods Gift, and Mans Will, yet Infidelity is by mans will alone.

Sent. 6. He that saith, that Pree-will in Man is Nothing, but it's Gods predestination which worketh in men, whether it be to good or to evil, is not a Catholick: For Gods Grace doth not abolish mans choice (or free-will) but perfecteth it; and revoketh and reduceth it into the way from error, that that which was bad by its own liberty, may by the operation of Gods Spirit be made right. And Gods predestination is alwayes in Good; which knoweth how either to pardon with the [Page 116] praise of mercy, or punish with the praise of Justice, the sin which is committed by mans will alone.

Sent. 7. He that saith, that God for this cause giveth not Perseve­rance to some of his Children whom he regenerated in Christ, to whom he gave faith, hope and Love, because by Gods fore-knowledge and predestination they were not differenced from the mass of perdi­tion: If he mean that God endowed these men in Goodness, but would not have them remain in it, and that he was the cause of their t [...]rning away, he judgeth contrary to the Justice of God. For though Gods Omnipotence could have given the grace of standing to them that will fall, yet his grace doth not first forsake them, before they have for­saken it. And because he foresaw that they would do this by a Vo­luntary desertion, therefore he had them not in the Election of Pre­destination.

Sent. 8. He that saith, that God would not have all men saved; but a certain number that are predestinate, speaketh hardlier of the alti­tude of Gods unsearchable grace, than he should speak; Who would have all men to be saved, and to come to the acknowledgement of the truth; and fulfilleth the purpose of his will on them, whom being foreknown he predestinated, and being predestinate he called, being cal­led he justified, and being justified he glorified. Losing nothing of the fulness of the Gentiles, and of all the seed of Israel, for whom the eternal Kingdom was prepared in Christ before the foundation of the World. For all the World, is chosen out of all the World; And out of all men, all men are adopted—So that they that are saved are therefore saved, because God would have them saved: and they that perish, do perish because they deserve to perish.

Sent. 9. He that saith, that our Saviour was not Crucified for the Redemption of the whole World, looketh not to the Virtue of the Sa­crament (that is, Sacrifice) but to the part (or participation) of the unbelievers: When as the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, is the Price of the whole World. From which Price they are Aliens who being ei­ther delighted in their Captivity, will not be redeemed; or when they are redeemed return again to the same Captivity: For the Word of the Lord falleth not, nor is the redemption of the World evacuated: For though the World in the vessels of wrath knew not God, yet the World in the vessels of mercy knew him. Which God without their preceding Merits, took out of the power of darkness, and translated into the Kingdom of the Son of his Love.

Sent. 10. He that saith, that God substracteth from some the preach­ing of the Gospel, lest perceiving the preaching of the Gospel they should be saved, may decline the envy of the objection by the pa [...]o­nage of our Saviour himself, who would not work Miracles with some, that he saith would have believed had they seen them: And he forbad his Apostles to preach to some people; and now suffereth some Nations to live without his Grace—

Sent. 11. He that saith, that God by his Power compelleth men to sin, is deservedly reprehended: For God, who is the Author of Justice and Goodness, and all whose Statutes and Commands are against sin, is not to be thought to compell any to sin, and precipitate them from innocency into crimes: But if there be any of so profound impiety, as that they are reckoned to be beyond the remedy of correction, they re­ceive not an increase of their iniquity from God, but are made [...] by themselves: because they deserved to be left of God, and given up to [Page 117] themselves and to deceivers, for their former sins: that so their sin should be a punishment of their sin.

Sent. 12. He that saith, that obedience is withdrawn from some that are called and live piously and righteously, that they may cease to obey, doth think ill of Gods Goodness and Justice, as seeming to con­strain the godly to ungodliness, and to take away good mens innocency from them; When as He is the Giver and Keeper of godliness and inno­cency: He therefore that adhereth to God, is acted by the Spirit of God; but he that departeth from God, doth fall from his obedience (or cease it) by his own will.

Sent. 13. He that saith, that some men are not made by God to this end that they might obtain eternal life, but that they might be the ornaments of their times, and for the good of others, would speak better if he said, that God who is the Creator of all men, maketh not them in vain, who he foreseeth will not be partakers of life eternal: Because even in bad men, nature is Gods good work, and Justice in their damnation is laudable. But he cannot well be blamed that saith, that even by the condition of such the World is adorned But not by their sin i [...] self., and that those that hurt themselves by their own iniquity, are born for the good of others: For the multitude of the ungodly though innumerable is not disgraceful (or a deformity) to the World, or unprofitable to the Kingdom of God, seeing that by their propagation cometh the generation that is to be regenerate; and by tolerating and loving them, Gods people become the more illustrious.—

Sent. 14. He that saith, that they that believe not the preaching of the Gospel, are unbelievers by Gods predestination, and that God so de­creed, that they that believe not be unbelievers by his appointment (or decree) is not a Catholick: For as Faith which worketh by Love is Gods gift, so unbelief is none of Gods constitution: Because God know­eth how to ordain Punishment for sin, but not sin it self. And it fol­loweth not, that what he remitteth not, he committeth: The predestinate therefore liveth by the faith which is given him: The non-predestinate pe­rish by Voluntary and not constrained infidelity.

Sent. 15. He that saith, that Foreknowledge is the same with pre­destination, doubtless in our good works, conjoyneth (or mixeth) those two: For what we have of Gods gift, and is said to be foreknown, must needs be predestinate: And what is said to be predestinate, must needs be foreknown. But in our evil works, only the foreknowledge of God must be understood. Because as he foreknew and predestinated, the things which he doth himself, and giveth us to do: so he FORE­KNEW ONLY and DID NOT PREDESTINATE the things which he neither doth himself, nor requireth us to do.

SECT. XXI. Prosper's answers ad Object. Vincent.

662. I Will crave the Readers patience while I add the summ of hi [...] Answers also to some of the Objections of Vincentius.

Obj. 1. That Christ died not for all—

Resp. His death is a remedy in it self sufficient to profit all; but if it be not taken it will not heal.

Obj. 2. That God would not have all saved, though they would.

Resp. We must sincerely believe and profess that God would have all saved:—That many perish, is by the merit of them that perish: That many are saved, is the gift of him that saved them. For that the guilty are damned is Gods inculpable justice; that the guilty are justified is Gods unspeakable grace.

Obj. 3. That God made most of mankind that they might perish for ever.

Resp. God is the Creator of all men; but No man is made by him that he might perish: For the cause of being born is one, and the cause of perishing is another. That men are born is Gods gift; that they perish, is the sinners desert: He maketh men, that they may be men—

Obj. 4. That the most of men are made of God, not to do Gods will, but the Devils.

Resp. It is madness, and against reason to say that it is by Gods will that Gods will is not done: and that the damner of the Devil and his servants would have the Devil served.—

Obj. 5. That God is the author of our sin, in that he maketh mens wills evil, and maketh a substance which by natural motion cannot but sin.

Resp. This objection they make because we hold original sin and mi­sery—But we hold that whatever is of Nature is of God, and none of that which is contrary to Nature. But sin is contrary to nature, from whence cometh death, and all that is of death:—God is the author of no mans sin, but the Creator of his Nature, which voluntarily sinned, when it had Power not to sin; and by his own will man subjected himself to the deceiver. And it is not by Natural but by Captive Motion that he liveth in sin, till he die to sin, and live to God; which without grace he cannot do.

Obj. 6. That God maketh in men such a will as is in Devils, that of its own motion can and will do nothing but evil.

Resp. The whole world lyeth in wickedness—But even very bad men may be reconciled, and Devils cannot.—And God put not evil affections in men.

Obj. 7. That it is Gods will that a great part of Christians neither will nor can be saved.

Resp. If you speak of them who forsaking the Godliness of a Chri­stian conversation and faith, do irrevocably pass over into prophane er­rours and damnable manners, it's doubtless that having such a will, they will not be saved; and as long as they will not be saved, they can­not be saved. But it is by no means to be believed that such men fell into this desperate case by the will of God, when rather God lifteth up all that fall—For no man is raised or established but by his Grace. It is therefore Gods will that they continue in a good will; And he for­saketh [Page 119] no man before that man forsake him, and converteth many that do forsake him.

Obj. 8. That God will not have all Catholicks to persevere in the Catholick faith, but will have a great part of them to apostatize from it.

Resp. The same answer serveth to this blasphemy as to the for­mer.

Obj. 9. That God would have a great part of the Saints to fall from the purpose of holiness. The Reader must note that their common opi­nion then was that some true Saints do fall away▪ and perish.

Resp. This madness also needeth no other answer.

Obj. 10. That Adulteries and corrupting consecrate Virgins do come to pass because God predestinated them to fall.

Resp. It is a detestable and abominable opinion, which believeth God to be the author of any mans evil will or evil action: whose pre­destination (or decree) is never without Goodness and Justice That is, [of nothing but good and just.]. For all the wayes of God are mercy and truth: Adulteries and Corruptions of Virgins God knoweth not how to institute, but to damn; not to di­spose That is, ut sint▪, but to punish. Which evils when men commit, they serve their own lusts—Gods predestination neither exciteth, perswadeth or impelleth the fall, malignity, or lusts of sinners; but plainly pre­destinateth his own Judgement, by which he will reward every one ac­cording to what he hath done, whether good or evil: which Judge­ment would never be, if men sinned by the will of God. But be it will: And every man whom the discerning of Gods knowledge shall set at his left hand, shall be damned, because he executed not Gods will, but his own.

Obj. 11. When incest is committed between Fathers and their Daugh­ters, Mothers and their Sons, it is therefore done, because so God fore-de­creed that it should be done (or come to pass.)

Resp. Let the Dominicans not [...] ▪ this. If it were objected to the Devil himself, that he is the author and incenter of such villanies, I think that with some reason he might discharge himself of the envy, and overcome the committer of such wickedness by his own willing of them. Because though he be delight­ed with the madness of sinners, he can yet prove that he forced them not to sin. With what folly and madness then is that ascribed to God, which may not be wholly ascribed to the Devil, who is but the ad­jutor of the baits of sin, and not the Causer (Generater) of the Will? God then fore-decreed not that any such businesses should be done, nor prepared that soul to any such end, who will live wick­edly and filthily. But he was not ignorant that it would be such, and he fore-knew that he would justly judge of such. So that to his fore­decree nothing else can be referred, but either 1. That which belong­eth to the due retribution of Justice, 2. Or to the not due bestowing of grace.

Obj. 12. That by Gods fore-decree men are made of Children of God to be Children of the Devil; and of Temples of the Holy Ghost, the Temples of Devils; and of members of Christ, members of a Harlot.

Resp. Gods Predestination, though to us while we are in the perils of this life it be uncertain, with him is unchangeable—But those of whom it is said, They went out from us because they were not of us—did willingly go out, and willingly fall away. And be­cause they were foreknown to be such as would fall away, they were [Page 120] not predestinate. But they had been Predestinated, if they had been such as would have returned, and remained in holiness and truth, So that Gods fore-decree is to many a cause of standing, and to none a cause of falling.

Obj. 13. That all those faithful and Saints who are fore-decreed to eternal death, when they return to their vomit, seem indeed to do it by their own vice: but the cause of that vice is the fore-decree of God; which secretly withdraweth from them good wills.

Resp.—Indeed to all that relapse from faith to infidelity, from Holiness to filthiness, and are not purged by emendation before the end of their lives, nothing but eternal death is due: But it is wicked­ness to ascribe the cause of such ruines to God: who though he fore­know by his eternal knowledge, what reward he will give to every mans deserts, yet this his Impossibility of being deceived, doth not bring into any man either a necessity or a will Note this you that are for his first predetermi­ning all forbidden Voli­tions and acts. of sinning. If there­fore any man fall from Godliness, he is carryed headlong by his own will; he is drawn by his own concupiscence; he is deceived by his own perswasion. There the Father doth nothing; the Son doth no­thing; the Holy Ghost doth nothing: nor doth any thing of the will of God intervene in such a business; by whose help we know many are kept from falling, but none impelled to fall.

Obj. 14. That this great part of Christian faithful Catholicks and Saints who are fore-decreed to ruine and perdition, if they beg of God perseverance in Holiness, shall not obtain it, Because Gods decree can­not be changed, by which he fore-ordained, prepared and fitted them to fall away,

Resp. To the breach of the Law, to the neglect of Religion, to the corrupting of discipline, to the forsaking of the faith, to the perpetra­ting of any sin whatever, there is no predestination (or fore-decree) of God at all. Nor can it be that men should fall into such evils by him, by whom men rise out of such. If therefore men live in holi­ness, if they profit in virtue, if they remain in good studies, it is the manifest gift of God, without whom the fruit of no good work is ac­quired. But if men fall away from these, and pass over to vice and sin, God there sendeth them no evil temptation, nor doth he forsake him that will fall away, before he be forsaken by him. And for the most part he keepeth men from forsaking him, or if they depart doth cause them to return. But why he upholdeth one and not another, it is neither possible to comprehend, N. B. nor lawful to search; seeing it may suf­fice to know, both that it is of him that men stand, and it is not of him that they fall away.

Obj. 15. That all the faithful and Saints who are predestinated to eternal death; when they fall are so disposed of by God, that they neither can nor will be delivered by repentance.

Resp. Falsly said and foolishly: For they that fall away from faith and holiness, as they fell by their Wills, so by their Wills they rise not▪—But God taketh the way of amendment from none; not depriveth any of the possibility of good: For he that turneth him­self from God, taketh from himself both the will and the power of good. It's no good consequence, as the Objecters think, that God taketh away repentance from men, because he giveth it them not; and that he casteth down those that he taketh not up. For it is one thing to act the innocent into a crime (which God cannot [Page 121] do;) and another not to pardon the Criminal, which is the desert of sin.

Obj. 16. That this great part of the faithful and holy, which is fore­decreed to eternal death, when they pray to God in the Lords prayer, Let thy will be done, do only pray against themselves, viz. that they may fall and be ruined; because it is the will of God that they perish by eter­nal death.

Resp. The Truth saith not this, that it is the will of God that the faithful and Saints do fall from faith and innocency and perish. But Truth saith, This is the will of the Father that sent me, that of all that he hath given me I should lose none—But if by the generality of Vocation, and the abundance of Gods goodness, even those that will not persevere are mixt with the persevering, when these fall away from Godliness, they fall not (or are not forsaken) of Gods help, but of their own wills: nor are impelled to fall, nor cast off that they may forsake; but yet are fore-known to fall away by Him that cannot be deceived: And when they pray, Thy will be done, they pray not that they may fall—Which God will not do (or Cause) any way, by any means: For this by their own naughtiness, their own liberty will do: But this they pray against themselves, (which doubtless is Gods will) that when the Son of man shall come in his Majesty, &c. they that will not do Gods will, and yet pray, Let thy will be done, are heard in that which is Gods will, that the imitaters of the Devil be judg­ed with the Devil. For they that have despised Gods inviting will, shall feel his revenging will.

SECT. XXII. The words of Fulgentius to the same sence.

663. I Must crave of the Reader that he remember that my reciting the Judgement of these Fathers for the falling away and perish­ing of many that were in a state of Life, is not at all as declaring my own judgement, but Theirs; none then that I read of thinking otherwise. Except Jovinian be truly accused by Hierome, the brevity and obscurity of whose accusation and confutation, leaveth us very uncertain what it was that Jovinian held. But we are sure that the spirit o [...] uncharitableness and concention though in a good [...] learn [...]d man) had no [...]all hand in the stigm [...]zing of him and Vigilantius as Hereticks.. I shall (for the End sake) be yet a little more [...]edious in citing some of the sayings of Fulgentius.

Fulg. l. 1. de Verit. praedest. cap. 6. To good men God giveth what good they have, and keepeth it: But to the wicked and ungodly, God neither ever could prepare or give evil works, which they should damnably serve: nor did he ever put into them evil wills by which they should culpably will things unjust: but he prepared for them the punishment of Hell, that they might feel revenging justice in endless fire. An evil will is not of God: And therefore the just Judge doth punish it in men, because the good Creator findeth not in it the order of his Creation. And perseverance and contumacy in sin and pride, because it is not of Gods giving, is condemned by God revenging.

Et l. 1. ad Monim. c. 26. He will punish in the wicked, that they are bad, which he gave not, nor did he predestinate them to any ini­quity: and that they willed unjustly was none of his gift. And be­cause the persevering iniquity of an evil will, ought not to remain [Page 122] unpunished, he predestinated such to destruction, because he prepared just punishment for them—Observe that God predestinated wicked and ungodly men, to just punishment, not to any unju [...] work: to the penalty, not to the fault: to the punishment, n [...] to the transgression: to the destruction which the anger of a just judge requiteth sinners with; not to that destruction (or death) by which the iniquity of sinners provoketh Gods wrath against them. The Apostle calls them Vessels of wrath, not Vessels of sin.

Cap. 27. The wicked are not predestinated to the first death of the soul, but to the second death they are:—That which followeth the sentence of a just Judge; not that which preceded in the evil concu­piscence of the sinner.

Ibid. c. 23. It beseemeth believers to confess that the good and just God, fore-knew indeed that men would sin, (for all things to come are known to him. For they were not future, if they were not in his fore-knowledge:) But not that he predestinated any to sin. For if he predestinated man to any sin, he would not punish man for sin. For Gods predestination prepareth for men, either the godly remission of their sins, or the just punishment of them. God therefore could never predestinate man to that, which he had resolved both to forbid by his precept, and to wash away by his mercy, and punish by his justice. God therefore predestinated to eternal punishment, the wicked who he foreknew would persevere to the death in sin. Wherein as his fore-knowledge of mans iniquity is not to be blamed, so his predestinatio [...] of just revenge is to be praised: That we may acknowledge, that he predestinated not man to any sin, whom he predestinated to be punished deservedly for sin.

And ad Monimum li. 1. pag. (edit. Basil.) 68. reciting Augusti [...] words he saith [He taught that only pride was the cause of mans ini­quity, and that God predestinated not men to sin, but to damnation; and that they are not helped by God, the cause is in themselves and not in God.] The same he reciteth again ex lib. 2. Aug. de baptis. parvul. [that their wills be not helpt by grace, the cause is in them­selves and not in God.] The same he again repeateth pag. 69. 70, 71, 72. and [that Augustine's mind was that good works God both fore-knew and predestinated:—But evil works, that is, sin, he foreknew indeed, but did not predestinate (or decree.) For there is not Gods work, but his judgement. Therefore in sin Gods work is not, because that sin should be done was not decreed by him: But therefore there is his judgement, because it is not left unrevenged, that an evil man work­eth without God working.]

And ib. li. 1. pag. 15. [That which is not in his work, never was in predestination. Therefore men are not predestinated to sin.] So p. 29. And p. 31. and forward.

And p. 29. [No man justly sinneth though God justly permit him to sin: For he is justly forsaken of God, who forsaketh God. And because man forsaking God, sinneth, God forsaking man keepeth ju­stice.]

664. I am loth to weary the Reader with more. Should I do the like by Augustines words it would be too wearisome. His judgement is the very same as theirs. I will only cite one passage out of him, about mans Power to believe.

[Page 123] Tract. 53. in Johan. having shewed that God only foreknoweth mens sin, and foretelleth it (as the Jews) but causeth it not, he cometh to an­swer John 12. 39. They could not believe &c. If they could not how was it their sin?—saying,‘[You hear the question, brethren, and see how deep it is: But we answer as we can.—Why could they not believe? If you ask me, I quickly answer, Because they would not. For God foresaw their evil will, and foretold it by the Prophet—He blinded their eyes, &c. And I answer that their own wills deserved this also. For God blindeth and hardeneth, by forsaking and not help­ing; which he may do by a judgement secret, but not unjust. This all religious piety ought to hold unshaken. Far be it from us then to say that there is iniquity with God: If he help, he doth it mercifully; if he help not, he doth justly.]’

665. By all this the Reader may see past all doubt, that Augustine and his two disciples, (than whom none known to us in the whole world then went higher for Predestination and Grace) did plainly take up with this, that 1. GOD NEITHER CAUSED OR WILLED SIN, no, not ITS BEING, or the forbidden ACT.

2. That OUR SIN was of OUR SELVES.

3. That ALL GRACE and perserverance was OF GOD.

4. That ELECTION was ABSOLUTE of GOD's meer will, and not upon his foreknowledge of any merits of mans.

5. That God predestinated none to sin, but predestinated men to Pu­nishment, ONLY ON THE FORESIGHT of their wil­ful sin.

6. That he hardened men but by deserting them.

7. That he never forsook them till they forsook him first, and deserved it by sin.

In a word, that mans destruction is of himself, but his help of God; who resolvedly chooseth some to salvation, and helpeth them accordingly with that effectual grace, and especial perseverance, which he justly giveth not to others, though if he would he could.

SECT. XXIII. Healing Principles and Concessions of the Synod of Dort, &c.

666. I Know not how to conclude this discourse more suitably to my ends, than by opening to the Reader who is sensible of the Churches sin, misery and danger by our contentions and divisions, how much the parties whom I endeavour to reconcile, are agreed in judgement about these matters, and that in their own words. Remember still that it is not some few that run further than the rest (either Episcopius, Curcell [...], &c. on one side, or Maccovius, Rutherford or Dr. Twisse, or Alvarez and other Predeterminants on the other side,) whose particular opinions I can­not undertake to reconcile: But only the generality of the Calvinists who go no further than the Synod of Dort (which is my test of the party) and the moderate Arminians, Lutherans, and Jesuits (in these points) on the other side. And let none reproach me for putting in the Jesuites, for as I know that very few Calvinists fly near so high for Predetermination as the Dominicans do; so I know that (though Arminius himself was a sober man, and Episcopius is cryed up by some, as Volkelius and other So­cinians are by others, as most clearly rational, yet) there is none of them all that equal in accurateness of search and clearness of reason, either many of the ancient Schoolmen, or Suarez, Ruiz, Vasquez, Albertinus, and many other latter School Jesuits.

667. The first thing that I will desire of the Reader is to peruse those many healing concessions contained in the writings, especially Irenicons, of many Learned Calvinists already extant: Especially Davenants two dissertations, Dr. Sam. Wards works; the Judgements of Davenant, Morton, Hall, to Dury about this: Bishop Robert Abbots, and Bishop Carl­tons works oft on the by: Bishop Usher of Redemption, &c. Mr. Fenn [...]r of wilful Impenitency, and Hidden Manna, Joh. Bergius for Reconcil. I [...] ­dov. Crocii Syntag. Conrad. Bergii Praxis Can. Junii Irenicon and of prede­term. Paraei Irenicon. Amyrald. Defens. doct. Calv. & Irenicon. Testard. de nat. & Grat. Hotton. de toler. Theses Salmur. but above all Le Blanks Theses, Vossii Thess. & Histor. Pelag. Musculi Loc. Commun. And the ge­ral Irenicons, as all Durie's, Hall's Peacemaker and Pax terris, Burroughs Iren. Acontii stratagem. Satana (an excellent book) &c.

668. Next I will insert some words to this end, in the Synod of Dort.

I. About the first Article (of Predestination) they open free election, but mention no other Reprobation but Gods not-electing, or passing by, some whom he found in sin, and in the misery in quam se suâ culpâ praeci­pitarunt, &c. and not giving them effectual grace of Conversion, but leav­ing them in their sin. And can any doubt of this? or do any Jesuits or Arminians deny it?

Where also they declare that God is no cause of mens sin, but them­selves; And that the Children of the faithful are by Covenant so holy, that their salvation who dye in infancy is not to be doubted of: And that those that find not saving grace in themselves, but yet use the means, have no cause to be cast down at the mention of Reprobation.

669. II. About Christs death they say, that His satisfaction is of infinite value and price, abundantly sufficient to expiate the sins of all the world; And that the promise is that whoever believeth shall not perish, which is to be preached to all: And that many yet repent not, believe [Page 125] not, but perish, is not through any defect or insufficiency of Christs sa­crifice, but by their own fault. And that others believe is of undeserved grace.

670. III. In the third and fourth Art. sect. 8, 9. they say that the fault is not in Christ or the Gospel, that many that are called are not con­verted and come not, nor in God that calleth them and giveth them many gifts, but in the called themselves that receive not the word of life, &c. And that you may see that they hold a conditional will or decree not only of future but of non-future contingents, they say that ‘[As many as are called by the Gospel are seriously called, and God seriously and truly sheweth by his word, what would be acceptable to him, viz. that the called come to him.]’ So that here is a serious declaration of Gods will to those that never will come to him conditionally if they would come. These kind of notions please or displease men, as the interest of their opi­nions requireth.

671. And the confession of Pet. Molinaeus received by the Synod, is worthy observation pag. 290, 291. where he saith ‘[Sin is the Merito­rious Cause of Destination to punishment] And [Though natural cor­ruption be cause sufficient for Reprobation (as we kill new spawned Not only of punishment it self. Serpents before they hurt any) yet there is no doubt but that for what cause God damneth men, for the same he decreed to damn them: But he damneth reprobates for sins committed; For they suffer in hell not only for original sin, but for all actual sins; whence is the inequality of pu­nishment: Therefore God Decreed to damn them for the same sins: For nothing hindereth but that God who considereth men in natural corruption and pravity may consider them also polluted in the actual sins which they will thence commit. And among the sins for which any one is Destinated to punishment no doubt, is unbelief and rejection of the Gospel—No reason suffereth, that he should be Reprobated for rejecting of the Go­spel—to whom the Gospel was never revealed—That God destinated any to eternal punishment, without consideration of impeni­tence and unbelief, we neither say nor think—And though God predestinate the Elect to faith, he doth not predestinate the Reprobate to unbelief; For we must distinguish the media which God findeth in men, from those which he maketh. He findeth in men unbelief the means of damnation: But faith he findeth not, but maketh. Therefore he predestinateth to faith, but not to unbelief: For he predestinateth but to that which he decreed to make. Lastly, Impenitence in order goeth before Reprobation; but faith is after Election as being its effect—]’ Is not here enough to reconcile?

And next of Christs death he saith that ‘[It is abundantly sufficient to save all men in the world, if they would believe: And that all are not saved by it is not through the insufficiency of Christs death, but of their pravity and unbelief.]’

672. And pag. 295. he saith ‘that Arminius holdeth irresistible grace, and that the Elect are drawn of God by effectual grace, whose effect is most certain and infallible (by Congruity.)—’

673. The Brittish Divines in their Suffrage say that [Pag. 11. Th. 1. Expl. God in the decree of Election prepareth Glory, and effectual Rom. 9. 11. 15. 21▪ Joh. 10. 26. Rom. 6. 21. grace, intending that it shall be effectual: This he doth not for the Re­probate; and besides this negation, they know no act of Reprobation, as opposite to Election.]’

And they say that ‘[the Gospel and grace, are denyed to none but the [Page 126] unworthy (sinners,) And that God damneth none, nor destinateth none to damnation, but out of the consideration of sin.]’

674. The Hassian Divines ibid. Par. 2. pag. 34. say ‘[The just Judge (God) doth not for one cause Decree to punish; and for another execute it on the guilty, but both have the same cause: that is, both original and actual sin.]—’

675. The Helvetian Divines there say, p. 37. §. 12. ‘[Which is the Order and Number of Gods Decrees, seeing Gods thoughts and wayes are not as ours, and none of us are of his Council, we leave to Him alone whose understanding is infinite.]’

676. The Embdan Divines ibid. p. 75. say ‘[No one is predestinated by God to sin]’ which they there prove.

677. On the second Art. the Brittish Divines say (p. 78.) ‘[God having Act. 10. 43. Rom. 3. 24, 25. Ma [...]k 16. 15, 16. mercy on faln mankind, sent his Son, who gave himself a price of Rede [...] ­ption, for the sins of the whole world.’

Thes. 4. In this Merit of Christs death is founded the Universal Go­spel Promise—’

Th. 5. In the Church, where for this Gospel-promise salvation is offer­ed Isa. 59. ult. 2 Cor. 3. 6. Tit. 2. 11. 2 Cor. 5. 19. Luk. 10. 9, 11. Joh. 15. 22. Heb. 2. 3. & 4. 3. & 6. 4. Mat. 10. 15. to all, there is that administration of Grace, which is enough to convince all the impenitent and unbelieving, that they perish and [...]o [...]e the offered benefit, by their voluntary fault, and neglect or contempt of the Gospel.]’

678. On the second Article p. 103, 104, &c. there is the suffrage of the famous Matthias Martinius, in 26 Theses of universal Redemption, and seven Theses of special Redemption, and seventeen Errours rejected, so sound, so full, so accurate, that I know not whither to referr the Reader to see the whole controversie more shortly yet clearly and soundly opened: And therefore intreat him to peruse it, seeing I may not be so tedious as to transcribe it all; and know not how to leave out any.

679. To the same sence have Iselburge and Lud. Crocius adjoyned the [...] suffrages, the last being both brief and full.

680. The same Breme Divines say no more of Reprobation but these three Thes. 1. That there is a Decree of preterition as to special saving Rom. 9. 12, 19, &c. Mat. 7. 21. Deut. 4. 34. grace. 2. That none are condemned but justly, for their sins. 3. That others as unworthy are converted in Mercy: And if others had said no more of this, it had been never the worse.

And of Infants they say [Of only Believers Infants, who dye before they are capable of doctrine, we determine that they are beloved of God, P [...]tavius chideth Gerson, Biel, Cajetan, Catherinus for their found opinion of Infants salvation with­out Baptism. and saved, as holy by Covenant-relation: which Baptism is a Confir­mation of—]

SECT. XXIV. On the other side.

681. ON the other side read but Suarez and Ruiz to save me tran­scribing, and see what they grant (besides that Ariminens. and many old Schoolmen go as far as the Synodists, as the Dominicans do much further.) Petr. à S. Joseph. Suav. Concord. writing for Scientia Media, summeth up the difference between them and the Thomists (that is, the Arminians and Calvinists) so briefly as is worth the reading: In which he granteth,

1. [That God from eternity antecedently to any absolute foresight of merits (or preparation in us) did freely and of meer mercy elect all those to Glory that are saved:] But denyeth [that God antecedently to the absolute foresight of sin, did absolutely decree to exclude any from glory, or to addict them to eternal punishment: or that the Creation of Reprobates, and all natural or supernatural good conferred on them, are the effect of reprobation.]

2. He granteth that [the Decree of Predestination is certain and im­movable in three respects: 1. In that just so many shall certainly be saved as God hath predestinated. 2. In that the same species of men shall be saved whom God predestinated to glory: so that both materially and formally, the number of the predestinate is certain. 3. In that by the force of Predestination, anteceding all Merits That is, Rewardable act [...] of man., yea, and Causing them, God giveth to the predestinate, effectual helps of grace, by which they shall infallibly come to glory.]

And is not here a fair concession for peace? And must not the remain­ [...]ing differences be only 1. About words, 2. Or unsearchable Orders of Gods Decrees and Modes of operation? Read him further, and see.

682. Dion. Petavius the Jesuite is too large to transcribe. Vol. 1. Theol. Dogm. lib. 9. of Predestination is worth the reading; especially to know what the Fathers held of Gods Decrees, who generally agreed, that God Which he largely shew­eth in their own words; better than any that ever I saw, and may save the Reader much labour in the investigation of the sense of the Antients herein. decreed none to Hell, but upon foresight of their own sin. Though he himself doth furiously rail at Calvin, and Amyraldus, yet he so far ac­quitteth all other Calvinists save Beza and Piscator, and a few that he cal­leth meer fools, that he saith, They have all forsaken his opinion, and instanceth in the whole Synod of Dort, who he saith desert him. And he professeth that Augustines judgement may safely be held, which is it in­deed, that those now called Calvinists own, except in the point of perse­verance. See his lib. 10. c. 1. & 9, 10, 11.

But what a plague, livor and faction is to the Church and the owners souls, let but these ugly words of his be witness, lib. 10. cap. 14. p. 728. [Calvinus nocentem nullum, innocentes omnes damnari statuit] When [...]e had made Amyrald an impudent lyer, for proving Calvin to think otherwise. O take heed of the spirit of a Sect.

683. Suarez de Auxil. l. 3. cap. 6. about sufficient and effectual grace, See Zumel reciting the opinions of Molina, Bel­larmine and Suarez de Gratia efficaci, Part [...]. pag. 50, 51, &c. (into which all the other controversies fall,) confesseth that [Sufficient grace is that quod satis est ad efficiendum supernaturalem actum, quod tamen non facit, non ex insufficientia auxilii, sed ex libertate Voluntatis: But effectual grace is called such not only ab eventu & effectu, sed etiam quia vires praebet efficacissimas Voluntati, & singularem vim habet ad [Page 128] agendum.] And is here no ground for Christian Concord in this point?

But of this subject, I must speak more particularly in the Third Part.

684. Bellarmine himself hath enough I think to convince any man, I am told to my face that our Doctrine of Abso­lute Reprobation we have learned from the Pa­pists; Another professeth that the Jesuits ten of them for one favour the absolute irrespective de­cree, follow herein, as they think S. Austin, but especially their S. Thomas and Scotus, with all the rabble of rotten School­men, and the whole tribe at this day of the Dominicans, who are busie Zealots for the Cause, of whose consent some among us are not ashamed to brag. Twisse against Hoard li. 1. pag. 85. This reporter maketh us at one with Jesuites and Dominicans. And yet may we not be so with Protestants? that he must have a subtile contentious wit, that can find any great into­lerable difference herein between him and the Synod of Dort: (I Write not for them that will revile Gods truth, if Bellarmine do but own it.) De Grat. & lib. arb. li. 2. cap. 9. this is his proposition ‘[Though a Grace sufficient be given to all, yet no reason from us (or our part) can be given of Gods predestination,—By which we exclude not only Merits properly so called, but also the good use of free-will, o [...] grace, or both as foreseen of God, though it be not called Merit, but de congruo, and though it be not called a Cause, but a Condition [...] qua non praedestinaretur.] (And what else would you have excluded?) And he goeth on in divers Chapters at large to prove from Scriptures, Augustine, Tradition, Reason, that there is no foreseen Cause or Condi­tion of predestination in our selves.

685. And I desire the Reader to note his Order of the Decrees (for they must all be medling with the Order of Gods inward acts▪ But he doth i [...] most briefly and plainly thus) ib. cap. 9.

‘[According to our mode of understanding, this seemeth to be the Order of Predestination in Gods mind: 1. God foreseeth that if he make man he will fall with all his posterity; And withal he seeth th [...] he can deliver all or some as he please. 2. He decreeth (or willeth) to create man, and to permit him to fall, and mercifully to deliver some of the number of the fallen, leaving others justly in the mass of per­dition. 3. He contrived apt remedies for the saving of the elect: I [...] which the incarnation and passion of our Saviour hath the first place▪ 4. He approved those remedies, and then chose Christ and us in him, before the Constitution of the World. 5. He disposed, ordained, and in a sort commanded that so it should be done.]’

Is not this as high as the Synod of Dort goeth? yea, more rigid than many of the Suffrages? For he mentioneth no giving of Christ, or any remedy at all to any but the Elect, nor carrying the rest any further tha [...] the common mass of perdition, before they be forsaken; contrary to what Martinius, Crocius, Molinaeus, the Brittish Divines, and others delive­red to or in that Synod: And indeed it is unsound.

686. If you say, that he begins with a Scientia Conditionalis. I an­swer, It's no more than what all sober men will grant de re, that is, that God knew from eternity that if he so made man as he did, he would fall: or, if there were eternal propositions, God eternally knew the truth of this hypothetical proposition, [If I so make man, he will fall.] If this was quid intelligibile, no doubt but God knew it. But de ordine & de nomi­ne, whether it be fit to parcell out Gods knowledge (and Volitions) into such shreds and atoms, and so denominate them, let them look to it on both sides that trouble us with their divisions.

687. And note Bellarmines further explication [Of these acts▪ (saith he) the first is of the understanding, the second of the will, the third of the understanding, the fourth of the will, and the fifth of the under­standing; and in that last the essence of predestination especially con­sisteth.]’

688. Yea, cap. 15. whereas many distinguish predestination to faith or grace, from election to glory, and say that the latter is upon the foresight of faith as a condition, though the first be absolute, he opposeth them [Page 129] and copiously laboureth to prove ‘that election to glory is absolute with­out any foreseen condition in us, as well as that to grace: Though with­out something in us, we have not a Right to glory: Even (saith he) as if a Physicion were sure that by such a Medicine he can cure a man, and so resolveth to give it him, the Medicine is the Cause that he is cured, but not that it was ascertained by the decree of the Physicion before.’

689. And c. 15. ad obj. 2. he proveth Gods certain foreknowledge [...]erein, because ‘[Though all have pro loco & tempore sufficient grace to be converted if they will, yet indeed no man is converted, and no man persevereth, but he that hath the special gift of Repentance and Per­severance, which is not given to all, but to those only for whom God decreed it.]’

689. And to them that say, the Elect can refuse grace, he answereth [...]hat ‘[They can indeed; but it's certain that they will not; because God will call them so as he seeth so congruous, that they may not re­fuse his call: For thus true grace is refused by no hard heart, because it is given with a purpose to mollifie it. And there is no danger lest God should want skill or arguments, to perswade any man to what he please.]’

690. And indeed before de Gratia efficaci li. 1. cap. 12. he tells us, that [...]here are three opinions wherein the efficacy of grace consisteth: The first is, that it is called effectual only from the event, through mans con­ [...]ent: which he disproveth. The second, that it is only efficacious by ne­cessitating physical predetermination, which he thinks to be an error on [...]he other extream: And the third which he defendeth is [that it is effi­cacious by Gods will that it shall be so, and by the Congruity or moral [...]ptitude of inward and outward perswasions and means which God useth with a decree to turn the will.] And who can say that God cannot do this? or if he can, that he doth not? Is here yet any room left for quar­ [...]elling and bitter censures in this point? When even Bradwardin [...] holdeth, that Gods Voli­tion of mans act alone (which Bellarmine in­cludeth) is the effectual unresistible Grace [...] parte Dei operantis.

691. Lib. 2. cap. 16. he maketh two acts of Reprobation the very same that almost all the suffrages in the Synod of Dort assign, and the same doctrine that Davenant, and the Synod deliver. His first act of Reprobation is Negative, the second Positive; ‘[1. Non habet Volunta­tem eos salvandi, 2. Habet Voluntatem eos damnandi:] And as to the first, [Nulla datur ejus causa ex parte hominum, sieut neque praede­stinationis: Posterioris causa est praevisio peccati.] They are unmerci­ful contenders that this much Reprobation will not satisfie.

692. He proveth as the Calvinists do, ‘[that it was not so much as for original sin foreseen, that God is said to hate Esau; because then he would have hated Jacob also: but it must be referred to the [...]eer will of God, that one was loved to salvation, and the other so hated as not to be saved.]’ Just as the Synod of Dort saith.

693. Francisc. à Sancta Clara, alias Davenport, a Learned Scotist in his Deus, Nat. Grat. Probl. 1. pag. 3. describing Predestination out of Augu­stine, Arriba, Scotus, Suarez, &c. saith ‘[And with all these agreeth the description of Predestination Art. 17. of the English Confession.]’

694. And Probl. 2. of the Causes of Predestination he noteth that ‘[We mean not the Causes of Gods will, ex parte actus volendi, sed ex parte volit [...]rum, in quantum Deus vult unum esse propter aliud.] And on that supposition how easie is it to agree?

695. But he addeth ‘[If you had rather say as Suarez 1. p. l. 2. de praed. c. 1. that also ex parte actus divini (there is a Cause,) it must [Page 130] be, not as Gods act is absolutely considered, for so it is his essence that hath no cause; but as terminated on the Creature.]’

696. Pag. 7. he himself professeth, that when the Protestants say that ‘[on the part of the Predestinate there is not so much as any merito [...] ­ous Cause, Disposition or Condition, they speak but the common opi­nion of all the School Doctors, taking it properly and in Scripture sen [...]e.’And what Montague and the Arminians speak of foresight, he disown­eth, as contrary to Paul, August. Aquin. 1. p. q. 23. a. 5, &c. Scotus, Brad­wardine, Estius, Smisings,—Yea, he rejecteth Abbot Joachim who denying any Cause of predestination in God, yet asserted a cause of it by an aptitude in the Predestinate and the Reprobate, one being foreseen more humble and prepared for Grace, and the other more proud and unprepared] pag. 5, 6.

697. Yea (ordering Gods Decrees after the usual presumption) be Ruiz de Praedefin. tr. 2. disp. 6. sect. 2. p. 86, 87. Deus pro suo beneplacito de­crevit ab aeterno efficaciter causare liberas operationes honestas prius ratione quam illas praevideret ut abso­lute futuras—Unde in­fallibiliter sequitur liberi arbitrii operatio (neces­sitate consequentiae:) Pag. 87. 1. Scriptura fi­dem, sanctitatem & quod­libet discrimen sanctorum à reprobis, reducit ad electionem gratuitam: 2. Ex vi sortis, &c. 3. Di­vina electio absque me­ritis est causa quae dis­cernit justos ab impiis. Quamvis (n) liberum arbitrium sit secundaria causa s [...]ipsum discernens, qua potuit resistere vel consentire—Haec tamen liberi arbitrii cooperatio revocatur in Deum ut in primariam causam suaviter praedefinientem. E [...] Tr. 3. d. 18. sect. 3. p. 222. Ea merita nihil obsun [...] quidditati gratiae quae tanquam ex prima radic [...] nascuntur ex prima gratid data absque ullo prorsus merito: At [...]amen quodli­bet etiam levissimum & re­motissimum meritum de congruo, si ex illo nascitur prima gratia, vel propter illud datur, obesse quiddi­tati gratiae: Yea, he ad­deth p. 223. Conditio, ratio, vel occasio prorsus separata à merito, impetra­tione & dispositione, adhuc repugnaret (primae) gra­tiae: quoniam adhuc ma­neret debitum connaturali­tatis, quamvis abesset de­bitum obsequii. asserteth, ‘that God first intendeth our blessedness as the end, before he intendeth us grace, faith, &c. as the means: And therefore cannot do it for foreseen faith, &c. Yea, that he first decreed to give us bles­sedness, before he decreed to create us, as Scotus 3. d. 7. and Ovan [...] ibid. q. 3. a. 2. Yea, that God willeth all this, before he knoweth that it will be, as Scotus 1. d. 39. And that seeing all Gods Volitions of giving any good, are free, without any precedent Cause in man, it must needs be that the Decree of glory and not of grace only, must be without Merit. And he concludeth p. 13. that they have no quarrel here with the Doctrine of the Articles of the Church of England.

698. Probl. 3. he resolveth with Smisings, that the reason why this absolute decree of God consisteth with free-will, is because that God doth not only decree the event, but also the mode, that it shall be freely done: And therefore his decree doth not only consist with Liberty, but maketh it necessary.

699. His feigned order of the decrees is pag. 27. that ‘1. God decree­eth to glorifie, 2. To give grace and merits to obtain it, and that defi­nitively: 3. Then he foreseeth that they will concurr with grace. 4. Then he decreeth the execution, that glory shall be given them by the means of their operations.’

And of Reprobation; ‘1. That God effectually decreeth to do so much as he doth, on his part to give them glory; 2. And also so far to give them grace; 3. Then he foreseeth that they will not co-operate with that grace; 4. He decreeth to permit them to fall into sin; 5. And then decreeth their damnation.]’ I would not cite this man if he were a Thomist or Dominican (who are known to go higher than the Synod of Dort, though their reputation at home with their party tempt them to rail at the Calvinists:) But as he is a Scotist, and so of a middle profes­sion. (Though Dr. Twisse perceived how much their founding Gods fore­knowledge in his Volitions, advantaged him.)

700. Supposing you to remember the ordo signorum of his Master Sco­tus before cited, I adjoyn the order Doctoris illuminati (viz. Fra [...]. Mayronis) in li. 1. d. 41. q. 4. Sunt quatuor signa: Est ergo pri [...] in quo Judas & Petrus offeruntur Voluntati Divinae ut neutri: & t [...] Voluntas Divina ordinavit Petrum ad gloriam: nullum autem actum po­sitivum habuit circa Judam, secundum Augustinum. Secundum signum es [...] in quo ordinavit Petrum ad gratiam: & tunc circa Judam nullum act [...] positivum habuit. Tertium signum est in quo relinquuntur sibi ip [...]s [...] & uterque cadit in peccatum. Quartum signum est in quo Petrus res [...] ­git; [Page 131] Quia non potest permanere: quia praedestinatus intelligitur ex pri­mo signo. Judas autem non resurgit; eo quod non habet relevantem in Deo: ideo reprobatur.]

Here you see a Reprobation that is no Act of God, but a non-acting, or is negative quoad actum and not only quoad objectum. And he be­fore saith out of Scotus and with him [Ideo dico sicut dicit Doctor noster, Quod prius Deus videt merita quam reprobum; licet prius non vide at merita quam eligat:] which is the commonest Doctrine of the Schoolmen and other Papists, as well as Augustines.

701. So D'Orbellis in 1. d. 41. [Et dicunt quidam quod non est alia ra­tio quare Deus istum elegit, & non illum, nisi quia placet—Eo enim ipso quod placet, ideo rectum est, propter summam ipsius Voluntatis recti­tudinem—Sic dicit Scotus, quod licet non videatur aliqua ratio praedestinationis à parte praedestinati, aliquo modo prior praedestinatione; Reprobationis tamen est aliqua ratio, propter quam scilicet ista actio ter­minatur ad hoc objectum & non ad illud:—Cum Reprobare sit Velle Damnare, Reprobatio habet ex parte objecti, rationem, scilicet peccatum finale praevisum—Non videtur autem dicendum conformiter de Praede­stinatione & Reprobatione; Quia Bona Deo principaliter attribuuntur, Mala autem nobis. Quia tamen▪ Apostolus videtur totum ho [...] imperscru­tabile relinquere, Rom. 9. O altitudo, &c. ideo dicit Scotus quod eligatur opinio quae magis placet; Dum tamen servetur Libertas Divina, absque injustitia. Hoc autem debet fieri absque assertione pertinaci. Rationes namque particulares, propter quas ex parte diversorum Divina infe­runtur judicia, sunt imperscrutabiles.]

But note, that as to the first part of Reprobation, non velle dare gratiam, Scotus, Mayro, &c. hold it to be nothing, or no act at all.

702. And what D'Orbellis next addeth of Bonaventure setteth us at no further odds. [Bonav. dicit quod licet non sit aliqua ratio Causalis, seu me­ritoria, praedestinationis à parte praedestinati, (quia siquis posset de con­digno mereri primam gratiam, tunc Gratia non esset Gratia) Potest ta­men esse aliqua ratio congruitatis & condeoentiae praedestinationis; Non quantum ad significatum quod est Volitio Divina, sed quantum ad Conno­tatum quod est Gratia & Gloria. Potest enim dici quod Deus praedestinat istum proper praevisionem bonorum operum ut aliquo modo sunt à libero arbitrio: Licet enim Gratificatio vel Justificatio sit principaliter à Divina Voluntate, hoc tamen est cum cooperatione & praeparatione liberi arbitrii; quia ut Aug. Qui fecit te sine te non justificabit te sine te. Unde cum peccator facit quod in se est, meretur de congruo justificari, seu secundum quid, ex condecentia Divinae liberalitatis.]

But the true meaning of this is no more than Protestants commonly hold, that God giveth special Grace usually to such only as are prepared for it by more common Grace; and so this preparation is quid praevisum in Gods decree, but no Cause of his Act of Volition or decree.

703. And in the next words he granteth, that even this Preparation to special grace, is not alwayes necessary, [Deus tamen sine aliqua praepara­tione & cooperatione aliquos justificat, ut patet de sanctificatis in utero, & de parvulis post baptismum ad coelum evolantibus; aliis sine baptismo decedentibus—&c.]

704. And though they oft say, that God would have all men saved quantum in se, they mean not, that God doth all to it that he can, but that he maketh all capable of salvation, and so far helpeth them, that the failing shall not be on his part. For so Bonavent. ubi supra in 1. d. 47. a. 1. q. 1. explaineth it, plainly adding, that here Gods [Page 132] will connoteth not salvation it self, but only the said Capacity and helps.

705. Obj. But many say, that Predestination doth not necessitate the eve [...]. Answ. Twisse told you before that we are agreed all in this; It inferreth a Logical Necessity Consequentiae, though not a physical Consequentis: As Bonavent. 1. d. 40. q. 2. Ex parte rei evenientis nullam: ex parte De [...] praescientis aliquam; scilicet immutabilitatis certitudinem: Yea, as to grace and salvation it is certainly Causal as they confess.

706. Obj. Many say, that a predestinate person may be damned. Answ. Even as D'Orbellis in 1. d. 40. a. 2. [Ista propositio, [Pradestina­tus potest damnari] est falsa in sensu composito; & vera in sensu divise] Vide explicat. It is unchristian and unmanly to revile men that say the same that we do, meerly through distaste, or because we will not be at the labour to understand them.

707. Obj. We cannot be reconciled to them that give so much to mans free-will. Ans. How much do you mean? It's a dreadful thing to hear some good men ignorantly blaspheme God, as the chief cause of every villany in the World, meerly [...]poh a factious prejudice and partial op­position to other men, whom they never understood! Would it please you to hear that God draggeth men into sin as by the hair of the hea [...], when the Devil himself can but allure them? I know it would not. D [...] but make it plain as a granted thing, that God doth not Will or Love sin, and do more to Cause it, than the Devil, or the wickedest sinner himself doth, and you can scarce tell how to differ from the greater part of the Schoolmen themselves, or sober moderate Lutherans that are thought to be dissenters. Let it be the Devils work, and no good Christians, to paint God in the shape of the Father of lies and all iniquity: Our God is Holy, and Holiness becometh all that draw near him, and is the mark of all that shall see his face. Dear Brethren, let not us that daily and justly con­demn our selves for sin, and take such odious titles to our selves, make our selves yet Holier▪ than God, and make God a far greater Lover and Cause [...] of sin than we are.

I will add one description of Free-will out of the last named School­man, D'Orbellis a Scotist, in 2. sent. d. 25. dub. 2. And tell me what the most rigid opposer of Free-will can desire more. ‘[Q. Whether Free-will be equally in all that have it? Ans. Free-will may be compared 1. To that which it is free from, 2. And to that which it is free to 1. In the first sense, there is a threefold Liberty; 1. From constraint, 2. From sin, 3. From misery. Liberty from sin is not equally in good and bad, nor in man on earth and in Heaven. As Aug. Enchir. That's the freest will, that cannot at all serve sin. And Liberty from misery is not equally in all: But Liberty from constraint is equally in all, because the will cannot be forced. Though in God and the blessed there be a Ne­cessity of Immutability, yet not of Co-action. And necessity of Immu­tability, repugneth not Liberty: For the will is called Free simply, not because it so willeth this, as that it can will the contrary: but because that whatever it willeth, it desireth it by its own Empire; Because it so willeth any thing, that it willeth to will it: And therefore in the act of willing, it moveth it self, and useth dominion on it self; And so far it is called Free, though it be immutably ordained to it. But it were not so, if it were immutably ordain­ed and moved to sin. 2. But if free-will be compared to that to which it is free, viz. To do right (for as Anselm saith, It is a faculty or power to keep rectitude) so it is not equally in all: For this Power is in God of Himself; and in the Crea­tures received from God: And it is more in the confirmed than the noncon­firmed, [Page 133] and in the good than in the bad. And seeing to be able to sin, is a diminution of Liberty; therefore according to Anselm, to be able to sin, is no Liberty nor part of liberty▪ taking Free-will according to the Common Reason of it. But to have power as to the Act which de­formity is annext to, may well be a part of Liberty, not simply, but of Created Liberty. And so the deformity in the Act more agreeth with free-will as it is a Creature, or as it is of Nothing, than as it is Free.—Dub. 3. Can free-will be compelled? Answ. God can destroy it, but not force it; for that is a Contradiction: But he can well effectually in­cline it, and make it move it self freely to which part God will. But to sin he will not so incline it.

I think this is as high as you can desire. And yet there is nothing in all this, but what both parties may well bear with, and it hath indeed much soundness in it. But here he treateth only about equality of Liberty, but how much of it the unsanctified have, he elsewhere sheweth, and I have oft told you how much the most are agreed in it.

708. To conclude, The heart and summ of all our differences is how to make God the total first Cause of all Good, and not to make him the Cause of sin, and the damner of man for that which he himself insupera­bly causeth. I hope both sides hold fast both the conclusions (that our sin and destruction is chiefly of our selves, but in God is our help, and our good and happiness is all from Him.) And if they both hold this, it is not the difficulty of joyning them together, and opening Gods unsearch­able methods, that must disjoynt us, and draw us to withdraw our Love, or contemn each other, or disturb the Churches peace and unity.

709. Gregory Ariminensis and Gabr. Biel have come so near the rigid Dominicans that the Reader may think that they plainly say the same of Gods Causing all the Act of sin, as Alvarez, Twisse and Rutherford say. But let the Learned Reader note these things; 1. That over and over they affirm that though God Cause all the Act of sin, yet he is but the Causa partialis: I like not the phrase my self for the reasons before given; but by this they do greatly differ from the aforesaid Authors: see Greg. 2. d. 34, 35. ar. 3. frequently saying, that God is Causa partialis. And in answering Aureolus ad nonum he thus fully explaineth it: Dicendum quod Causa dupliciter potest accipi Totalis: Uno modo Totalis totalitate relata ad Causam; id est, sufficiens Causare effectum absque concursu alterius Causae praecise causando sicut Causat: & sic neganda est ista Consequen­tia: Quoniam nec Deus nec Creatura est sic Totalis Causa actus mali. Nunquam enim talis actus fieret, si De [...]s non Causaret [...]um; Neque etiam si Creatura non causaret, & Deus non aliter causaret, quam nunc de facto causat, concurrendo cum Creatura. Alio modo Totalis totulitate relata ad effectum, id est, totum effectum causaus: Et ejusdem poss [...]nt esse plures totales Causae: ejusdem enim Volitionis secundum totum est Causa Notitia & etiam Voluntas.

Here note, that 1. He taketh not Causa totalis for the same with Soli­taria. 2. That he asserteth only, that God causeth the Totum of the Act, but not by a total Causation of it: And that Gods way or sort of Causation is not sufficient to cause it if man concurred not, which they say he freely doth, and could do otherwise.

710. So that these mens way of freeing God from being the cause of sin is like Scotus his; As if (as I before made the similitude) a Fa­ther to try his Childs obedience, bids him lift up a Stone, which he cannot do of himself; and the Father holdeth his hand and joyneth his strength, yet not ad ultimum posse, but with a purposed restraint so far that if the Child will not put forth his degree of strength, [Page 134] it shall not be done. But who can comprehend the wayes of Divinè concurse?

711. And it is to be noted, that when Aureolus argueth, that [if God immediately concurr, either he determineth mans act, or man determineth Gods act, or neither; which are all absurd:] here Biel citeth Scotus as holding the third, and answering Neither, as no absurdity. But Greg. Arim. that seemeth to go higher, yet saith, [Ubi suprae ad 8. Juxta modum loquendi ar­guentis dico quod Deus sequitur determinationem Voluntatis: non qu [...] determinatio Voluntatis fit aliqua Entitas distincta à Voluntate & act [...] ejus, quia primo fiat à voluntate—nec intelligendo quod prius natura Vi­luntas agat actum quam Deus, proprie loquendo de priori natura: Quoni­am tunc sequeretur quod posset illum agere, Deo non coagente.—Sed ad hunc sensum dico Deum sequi Determinationem Voluntatis; Quoni­am ideo Deus agit illum actum, quia I think it should be [Eum.] cum Voluntas agit. Et non ideo qu [...] Deus agit, ideo Voluntas agit: & ideo magis proprie dicitur Deus coager [...] Voluntati in talem actum causandi, quam Voluntas dicatur coagere De [...].] You see that these Nominals do toto coelo differ from Alvarez, T [...]isse and Rutherford. (And yet Alvarez would fain be moderate in that one Disputation which Dr. Twisse in a peculiar Digression oppugneth.)

712. And note, that the thing which moved Gregory to go so far as he doth is, Lest God should be denyed to be the Cause of all Natural En­tity: But if you set before the will, the Creator (or Chief Good) and the Creature (or sensual pleasure) the Act in genere as a Volition is an Entity, or modus entis: But who can prove that comparatively as it is terminated on the Creature, rather than on the Creator, it hath any Natural Entity, more than the act in genere; or any modality which God is not able to give a Creature power to cause, or not cause, witho [...] predetermination from God or any other?

713. Yea, Ariminensis seemeth to mean this himself, when ibid. d. 34, 35. a. 2. ad 5. he saith [Deus [...]potest solus actum illum causare, & act [...] odiendi, id est, qui est odium Dei, & mendacium etiam potest causare▪ Non tamen potest causare actum odiendi Deum, seu odium Dei: neq [...] potest Causare Mendacium vel mentiri, neque potest causare actum [...] ­lum; Quare quemcunque actum causaret solus, licet ille nunc sit Odi [...] Dei vel mendacium, vel aliquis actus malus, si tamen Deus solus ill [...] causaret, sicut potest illum causare solus, non esset actus, neque odi [...]m De [...] vel mendacium.] But whatever he thought, I have before answered this difficulty of the Entity of the acts of sin.

I mention Ariminensis judgement the rather, because the Learned Calvinists commend him: And I remember when I once askt Arch-Bishop Usher which of the Schoolmen he most valued as the soundest, he said Greg. Ariminensis.

714. Is not all this doctrine from these men cited conformable to the doctrine of the Synod of Dort? Who in the conclusion name many positi­ons which they and all the Reformed Churches with them do, toto pect [...]re detestari, abhorr with all their hearts: Among which one is, Deum n [...] puroque Voluntatis arbitrio, absque omni peccati ullius respectu vel intuit [...], maximam mundi partem ad aeternam damnationem praedestinasse & cre­asse. And another is, Eodem modo quo electio fons est & causá fidei ac b [...] ­norum operum, reprobationem esse causam infidelitatis & impietatu: Another is, Multos fidelium infantes ab uberibus matrum innoxios abri [...] & tyrannice in Gehennam praecipitari, adeo ut iis nec Baptismus, nec Ec­clesiae in corum baptismo preces, prodesse queant.

[Page 135] And it is much to be noted, that in conclusion they desire all men to judge of the Doctrine of the Reformed Churches, not by Calumnies, nor by the Private sayings of some D [...]ctors, ant [...]ent or later, but by the publick Confessions of the Churches, [...] and by the Declaration of this Synod. Therefore not by the extreams of Beza, Piscator, Spanh [...]m [...]s, Twisse and Rutherford; but by what the Articles of the Churches subscribed by the Pastors do contain. Otherwise we shall be far more foolish than the Papists, who will not expose their Church to obioquy or division by standing to the sayings of Alvarez or Molina, or any private Doctor whosoever.

715. And it is notorious to any impartial-pe [...]user, that the whole fo [...] of the Doctrine of the Church of England, in the Articles, Catechism, Liturgie, Homilies, and all their publick Writings, was drawn up by men of Augustines judgement, who were for absolute Election, and Uni­versal sufficient Redemption and Grace ad posse, but for no Reprobation but on foresight of sin.

716. And it is greatly to be noted, with grief of heart, that among Good men, it is partly General prejudice, but chiefly the Interest of their Reputation with those among whom they live, which is the great impe­diment of the Churches Concord. The name of a Calvinist is so hate­ful among the Papists, that even the Predeterminant Dominicans who go higher than ever Calvin did, (and the Jansenists, who go as high in the main cause, and higher than the Synod of Dort,) do yet find it a matter of necessity to rail at Luther, Zuinglius, Calvin, &c. lest their party should think that they are turned Hereticks. And the Protestants that agree in some points with the Papists, are fain to rack the Papists words, to a worse sense than is meant, lest their fierce opposers should make men believe that they are half Papists, or err with them. And the moderate Calvinists are fain to stretch hard, that they may seem to differ more from the Arminians than they do, lest a self-conceited re­viler should blot their names with the suspicion of Arminianism. O doleful case of all the Churches! But where Protestants are few and made odious by the Papists, as differing from them further than they do, there Reputation is not so great a temptation; And there they freely confess their concord, where they do not differ. And so in Colloquia Torunensi c. 4. de grat. depuls. Calum. sect. 5, 6. all the Reformed Chur­ches of Poland with Joh. Bergius the Duke of Brandenburgs Chaplain, and others did profess, [Falso accusamur, quasi Mortis & Meriti Christi pr [...] omnibus sufficientiam negemus, aut virtutem imminuamus, cum potius idem hic quod ipsa Synodus Tridentina ses. 6. cap. 3. doceamus, viz. Etsi Christus pro omnibus mortuns sit, non omnes tamen mortis ejus benefici­um recipere, sed eos duntaxat quibus meritum passionis ejus communica­tur. Causam etiam seu culpam, cur non omnibus communicetur, nequa­quam in merito & morte Christi, sed in ipsis hominibus esse fatemur.] Here was no partial interest to make them afraid of being suspected to comply with Papists.

717. I end with this request to all my Brethren who by their averse­ness to the Doctrine of Common or Universal Grace, do keep open the Churches dangerous wounds, 1. That they will give Scripture leave to rule their judgements, and try whether it be possible to build special Grace, on any other foundation than presupposed common Grace? and whether to deny this, be not to deny the very tenor of the Gospel, and pull up the foundations of our Religion?

[Page 136] 2. That they will but read over Davenants two dissertations, and the second Tome (at least) of the Learned Dallaeus his Apology against Spa [...] ­hemius, that is, The words of an hundred and twenty antient Writers and Councils, beginning at Clemens Romanus, and ending with Theophylact, and sixty three Protestant Divines and Synods (to which I think I could add as many more, that speak more plainly to the point, or near it.) And if after all this they have so great a zeal to contract the Glory of Gods Mercy, and deny his Grace, as that they will cast off the judge­ment of all the antient Churches of Christ, and so many later, rather than acknowledge it, I shall cease disputing with them, and seek to quench the fire which they kindle in the Churches of Christ by Prayers and Tears.

The End of the First Part.
THE Second Part. OF GODS GOVERNMENT, AND MORAL WORKS.

THE Second Part OF GODS GOVERNMENT, AND MORAL WORKS. WHEREIN Of his Laws or Covenants, of Redemption, of suffici­ent and effectual Grace, of Faith, Justification, Works, Merits, Perseverance, certainty of Salva­tion, &c. so far as the Church-troubling-Contro­versies do require.

LONDON: Printed for Nevil Simmons, at the Princes Arms in St. Pauls Church-Yard. 1675.

The CONTENTS of these THESES cannot be well given you, without reciting too great a part of them: But rather than none, take this imperfect summary following.

  • Sect. I. OF mans first State and the first Law, and its penalty. Whe­ther Adam had a promise of Life? and whether that Promise or Covenant be now ceased as to all men? Page 27.
  • Sect. II. Of the first Edition of the Law or Covenant of Grace, that it was made with all Mankind in Adam and Noah: Of the Promise to Abraham: Of the Terms of the first Edition of the Universal Cove­nant of Grace. How far it is a Law of Nature. How far those without the Israelitish Church were under it: Of the Israelites Covenant, pag. 31.
  • Sect. III. Of Christ's Incarnation and our Redemption. The Law of Media­tion. What Christ undertook for us: How far he represented us [...] The true nature of his Satisfaction. Of his Righteousness and Merits, pag. 37.
  • Sect. IV. Of the Law of Grace or New Covenant in the last Edition. The Nature Conditions, and yet free Donations of it, pag. 42.
  • Sect. V. Of the giving of the Holy Ghost: His common and special Works: The extent of the New Covenant: Of the state of those that have not the Gospel: And what Law they are under, pag. 45.
  • Sect. VI. How far Christ died for all, and how far not, pag. 51.
  • Sect. VII. The antecedent and consequent Will of God, explained. Of Justi­fication by Faith. What faith it is; and what it doth, pag. 54.
  • Sect. VIII. Of Justification by Christ's Righteousness imputed. The false sense of Imputation opened and fully confuted. The true sense asserted. Whether Christ paid our Idem or Tantundem? Whe­ther he made his Satisfaction to God only as to a Rector, or as Dominus, vel pars laesa, or how? pag. 59.
  • Sect. IX. Of the sorts of Justification: And first of constitutive Justification. Of Righteousness: How far it is or is not in our own habits or acts. What Right the Covenant giveth the baptized to following helps and degrees of Grace. Further, what must be in our selves. Mans holi­ness is no dishonour to Gods Grace. How far Christ strippeth us of our own Righteousness. More against the false sense of Imputation; Objections answered, pag. 69.
  • Sect. X. Of Merit: The case plainly and briefly decided. The Gospel-Condi­tion or Merit, is but the accepting a free Gift according to its nature. Whether we may trust to our own Faith, Repentance, Holiness. The last Argument for the false sense of Imputation, answered, pag. 79.
  • Sect. XI. How Faith justifieth? whether as an Instrument? pag. 82.
  • Sect. XII. How far Repentance is a Condition of the Covenant: And what it is: Whether Faith or it be first: How Faith and Love differ, pag. 83.
  • Sect. XIII. Of the degrees of Pardon and Justification: Whether losable: And whether future sins be pardoned, pag. 85.
  • Sect. XIV. Of Justification by Sentence of the Judge: What it is, ibid.
  • [Page] Sect. XV. Of initial executive Pardon or Justification, in Sanctificati [...] How far necessary, yet imperfect, pag. 86.
  • Sect. XVI. Of assurance of Pardon: Of doubting: Whether it be D [...] Faith to believe ones own Justification or Salvation. The Sp [...] Testimony, pag. 88.
  • Sect. XVII. Of love to God as the end of Faith; and foretast of He [...] pag. 91.
  • Sect. XVIII. Of Perseverance, and its certainty in order to the comfort [...] certainty of Salvation. Few certain of Justification, and [...] of Perseverance. The words of the Synod of Dort. The [...] thers Judgment about certainty of perseverance, pag. 93
  • Sect. XIX. Of mortal Sin, or such as will not stand with the love of G [...] and a state of Justification, pag. 103.
  • Sect. XX. What Repentance for particular sins is necessary to par [...] pag. 106.
  • Sect. XXI. Some solution of all the former difficulties in twenty Prop [...] ons, 108.
  • Sect. XXII. Few certain of Salvation. The reconciling consequents of [...] pag. 112.
  • Sect. XXIII. The case of Perseverance further opened and applied, pag. 113.
  • Sect. XXIV. The sum and scope of this Discourse of Certainty, pag. 116.
  • Sect. XXV. Degrees of falling, and danger, pag. 118.
  • Sect. XXVI. Of final Justification at Judgment: More of the Agreem [...] Paul and James about Justification by Works, pag. 119.
  • Sect. XXVII. Of the number of the glorified and the damned, pag. 123.

A PREMONITION.

MY work at present is but to lay down so much of the Christian Doctrine briefly, as is necessary to be understood for the reconciling of the Controversies about Predestination, Providence, Grace and Free-will: And therefore pass over [...]any other weighty Points, and must not stand largely to prove all [...]s I go, which carrieth its own evidence: The true nature of the first [...]aw or Covenant deserveth a more accurate discussion than I can here [...]ake; and much passeth as certain with some, which hath but little [...]roof.

And here I meet with these different Opinions: 1. Some say that the [...]ondition of the first Covenant was not Innocency, but sincerity: And [...]at Innocency was only a Duty, necessary necessitate praecepti, but not [...]edii: or that it was ut medium necessary ad melius esse, or to some cer­ [...]in degrees of felicity, whereof it was a condition, but not to felicity it [...]lf. And that the Covenant of Grace doth herein agree with it; both [...]f them damning man only for mortal sin, and punishing them tempo­ [...]lly only for venial sin. And he seemeth to be of this mind, who saith [...]at, Do this and live, or Innocency or Works was the Condition only [...]f Moses Law, but that Adhere and Vanquish was the Condition of the [...]rst Covenant: But these are ambiguous unsatisfactory terms: If the [...]eaning be, [Adhere to God and his Law by perfect Innocency, and van­ [...]uish all temptations to Sin,] this is the same with that Innocency which [...]e say was the Condition. But if he mean only, [Adhere to me sin­ [...]erely by love as thy Ultimate End, and vanquish all temptations which [...]ould draw thee from me, to another Ultimate End or God,] this is [...]he same with the first opinion; which many Papists seem to hold.

2. But the more common Opinion is that which I assert, That Inno­ [...]ency was the Condition, not only of Life eternal, but of all the be­ [...]efits of Gods Covenant, and the least sin the forfeiture of all.

They that are for the first Opinion think, that if Adam had committed [...]ut a small or venial sin (as a sinful thought or desire after the forbidden [...]ruit, without the act or full consent) it had been against Gods natural Goodness and Justice to have condemned him to Hell for it. And con­ [...]quently that Christ died not to pardon the pains of Hell as due for such [...]ttle sins; but only temporal smaller punishments.

But God best knoweth his own Nature; And nature telleth us, That [...]ll sin deserveth punishment: And he that sinneth, so far removeth his [...]eart from God, and forfeiteth his Spirit or Grace: And he that hath [...]nce so turned from God in the least degree, cannot of himself return [...]or heal himself; and had no promise of Gods Grace to do it: And [...]herefore it is not to be supposed that he should sin no more, but such a [...]inute sin; for greater will come in presently at that breach, unless God [...]ecover him, which he was not in Justice bound to do: And no one know­ [...]th so well as God how much malignity is in the smallest sin; And it was as [...]asie for sinless Adam to have continued sinless, as for carnal men now [...]o forbear gross sin. And he that sinneth deserveth not Heaven or Life; [...]nd there are divers degrees of punishment in Hell, according to the [Page 2] degrees of Sin: And Christ died for all our sins: therefore they d [...] every one deserve death: which consisted not with a right to Life: therefore not with a right to Heaven: And an immortal Soul was not naturally to be annihilated; therefore to live in some punishment as se­parated: And Rom. 3. 9. all were under Sin, yet all had not gross S [...] ▪ Rom. 6. 23. The wages of Sin is Death. Rom. 5. 12. Death passed on al [...], for that all have sinned. Rom. 2. 12. As many as have sinned with [...] Law, shall perish without Law. And we must pray for the pardon of a [...] Sin: And unpardoned Sin will damn men. These are the reasons [...] this side.

They of the other Opinion say, That the Gospel-Covenant shewe [...] Gods Nature as well as the first Law: That God had not been unjust i [...] ­deed, if he had permitted him to fall into great Sin, and so to peri [...] who committed the least: for he so permitted Adam to commit the first that was before innocent: But the Justice of God bound him not so it do: nor would have damned a Lover of God, for a small Sin, no more than now: That we must not feign a Law which we cannot prove▪ That God changeth not his holy Nature, and therefore not that Law, which is the expression of it: That Christ died for all Sin, and all needs pardon; but that proveth not that the least deserved death, much less Hell; but that by Christ's Death the deserved punishment must be re­mitted; that all, even Infants, are guilty of mortal Sin in Adam: The Death is the wages of that Sin which brought it, but not of the least: That Adam's Law was not severer than that by Moses, which saith, D [...] this and live, and yet condemned not men for smaller sins; That God proclaimeth pardon of some Sin, in the very Law of Nature as from his Nature, Exod. 34. and the Second Commandment, That Nature teacheth all the World to believe it: That God said not to Adam, [ [...] the day that thou thinkest a vain thought,] but [That thou eatest,] &c. That mortal Sin is pardonable by Christ which else could not by the first Law: but God could otherwise have pardoned a vain thought, if he would: That no Text of Scripture saith, that every Sin deserveth Hell, nor is threatned with Death.]

And as the condition of the Penalty, so the condition of the Promise to Adam is here also controverted by Divines: 1. Some say that the condition of Life was personal, perfect, perpetual Obedience till [...] change; which God would make as he did by Henoch when it pleased him: (which seemeth to me the probablest Opinion).

2. Others think that Adam was to have continued in Eden for ever under that same conditional Law (which is less probable.)

3. Others think, that had he over-come the first temptation, but so far as to adhere and vanquish, that is, to continue the love of God, and not to eat that Fruit, or commit any other mortal Sin, which of its nature killeth Love, he had been confirmed, as the promised Re­ward.

4. I have lately met with an exceeding ingenious M. S. (written part­ly against my self, after others) which asserteth, 1. That the Glory of Justice is the end of Gods Government. 2. That Do this (perfectly) and live, or Sin (at all) and die, are the constant terms of Justice under every Covenant. 3. That if Adam had performed but one [...] of Obedience, by that Law, he should have been rewarded with confir­mation, or the Holy Ghost (as the Angels) and with everlasting life. 4. That now all our Reward is only the Act of Gods Justice, giving [...] life, as merited by us in Christ on the terms of the Law that saith, Do this [Page 3] and live, Sin and die; in whom we are perfectly innocent and reward­able; and we have no rewardable Righteousness, nor any to justifie us; but perfect Innocency imputed; because as not to be a Sinner is no merit of a Reward, so pardon of Sin is no Title to a Reward, &c.

It is not my present task to clear up all these Difficulties, (having done more towards it in my Methodus Theologiae); but only so much as our present conciliatory work requireth: But yet because I and the matter in hand are nearly concerned in the M. S. I shall briefly animad­vert on all the substance of it; having first said of the condition of the penalty but a few words.

I. I am loth to confound the certainties with the uncertainties, in this matter. 1. It is certain, that Gods Law of Nature was mans first and principal Law; to which the supernatural Revelations were added, and comparatively few.

2. It is certain that Gods Law was perfect, and that both as the im­press and expression of Gods perfect Wisdom and Holiness, and as the Rule of Perfection to Adam: And therefore that it obliged him to per­fection.

3. But this Perfection to which he was obliged, was not at first, all that his nature would be capable of at last; It was not his duty the first hour of his life, to Know or Do as much as after the longest time and experience, and as much as in heavenly perfection: But he was bound to Know, and Love, and Do at first, as much as at that time his nature was capable of, supposing necessary Concauses and Objects.

4. This is summed up in, Loving God with all the Heart, Mind and Might. But the All in maturity and after full experience, and in Glory, is more than the All in unexperienced juniority. To know, love and obey God, to the utmost intention of his present natural Power, supposing due Objects, media and concauses, was Adam's duty and all defective­ness herein was culpable, or sin.

5. All sin of its own nature deserveth punishment: Therefore so would the least culpable thought or word in Adam, or the least culpable defect in the extent or intention of any holy affection in him.

6. It is certain that Adam's eating the forbidden Fruit, or any one such sin as consisteth not with the predominancy of his Love to God as God, in habit, such as is now inconsistent with true Grace, and is called mortal, was to be punished with death temporal and eternal, according to the Justice of that Law.

7. They are different questions, 1. What God might do. 2. What he would do, (as decreed). 3. What he must do, (as necessary because of Justice or Veracity), to the breaker of that Law. And it is clear that God might, as an Act of Justice, punish the least culpable thought, or re­missness of degree of Love, with Annihilation, or with any pain-ever­lasting, which to the Sinner were no worse than Annihilation. Because, 1. Antecedently to his Law, he might have done that much as an affliction without sin. 2. And after he did no way (that I know of) oblige himself to the contrary to a Sinner, before the Covenant of Grace. 3. And having threatned punishment in general, he might choose what punishment he saw fit.

8. What God would do as decreed, the prediction or the event only can tell us.

9. That God must (by necessity of Justice and Truth) punish the least sinful thought or remissness, with some degree of punishment, ac­cording to that Law, seemeth to me somewhat clear.

[Page 4] 1. And yet it is more clear that it is various degrees of punishment which are comprized in the word [Death] or [Filius mortis] in the threatning; And that we cannot say, that Justice made it necessary to God to punish the least vain thought or remissness with the greatest punish­ment, or damnation.

But (as to the uncertainties) 1. With what degree of punishment God in Justice must, or would have punished a vain thought, or any sin consistent with his habitual prevalent love? 2. Or whether a vain ☞ thought must needs have separated Soul and Body, or caused that which we call Hell? 3. Or whether God could in Justice have par­doned that vain thought, upon less satisfaction than the sufferings of Christ? These with many others are questions too hard for me, what ever they may be to wiser men.

But I am satisfied that God would never have damned in Hell any Soul that had the habitual predominant love of God, though culpably remiss, and otherwise sinful, while he remained such; yea that Hell and such love of God are inconsistent: And therefore if any such sin would have damned Adam, it must be by further quenching and expelling the Spirit of Grace, or forfeiting and losing Divine assistance, and so first losing that habit of love. The rest I leave to the more illuminated.

II. Now as to the M. S. (said to be written by a young man of New England, deceased, M. W.) it hath so much accurateness, that in reading it, I greatly lament the Authors death, before maturity and converse had rectified some of his notions, and he had longer improved his excellent understanding for the Church. And because my Doctrine is particu­larly opposed in it, I shall stay to animadvert on the substance of the Book.

And it may be reduced to these Propositions.

1. The great fundamental point of it is, That man was made to glorifie Gods Justice for ever.

Animad. This is a great truth, not well considered by many: But it is but a part of the truth, which is, That man was made to glorifie Gods Vit [...] Power, Wisdom and Love, and is governed eminently by Wisdom, making ORDER, and justly keeping it, together with mercy, because the glory of Holiness and Love also is the end. Which I have more carefully opened hereafter.

§. 2. M. S. The reason of special government is, That man is causa con­silip; Though as he desireth and seeketh good in general, he is but a natural Agent: And therefore Twisse erreth in saying, that God [...]iay punish an in­nocent man, because he may afflict a beast.

Ans. 1. By causa consilio he meaneth a rational free Agent, having an Intellect and Free-will; This indeed maketh and proveth man a subject made to be morally governed. But when he had laid all his stress on this Free-will under the name of causa consilio, he went too far in seeming with Gibieuf (whom he citeth and followeth as his great Light▪) to confine the name of true liberty to the Amplitude and Holiness of the Will, which is another kind of Liberty: And (as Armatus truly saith) Gibieuf was fitter for a scraphick pious Discourse (in a Platonick strain) than for such Controversies. 2. As Rada and other Scotists well prove, there is no Act of the Will, even to good in general, which is not free, though some be necessary, and the inclination is natural and not free. 3. Yea he proveth, that there is no such thing as a Volition of any good ingenere, saving as the generical nature of good is found in some parti­cular (in esse cognito.) 4. Twisse was not so weak as to call that p [...]nish­ment [Page 5] which is not for sin, but calleth it Affliction or Cruciatum only. And he speaketh not what God may do by his ordinate Will: But I think that you are in the right, and he in the wrong, because the very making us men, and so governed Subjects, is a declaration of Gods ordi­nate Will, not to make us miserable but for sin.

3. M. S. Adam's whole man was sanctified, and so fitted to obey, and to glorifie Justice: His free-will was not an indifferency, but (as Gib.) that noble virtue of his Soul, by which he could go above all created good, so that Liberty and Eupraxy or Obedience are all one: But we cannot stir an inch to God, above the Creature. Liberty is to imitate God, whose Will closeth with himself, and resteth in himself for ever: And mutability is but an adjunct of our Liberty.

An. I have better opened and distinguished Liberty before, Lib. 1. Natural Liberty is to be distinguished from moral, which you describe; and vehemently assert the former under the name of causa consilio that cannot be forced: But meer indifferency or mutability is no Liberty it self.

4. M. S. Adam was not made with notions in his Mind, no more than with colours in his Eyes; but he was made able and fit to see God in the frame of Nature, especially in his own Will, as inclined to universal good—.

An. Scaliger and others think, that Idea's are born in us, which ma­keth the Chicken fly at the shadow of the Kite, &c. But I rather say as you, that it is but a Disposition; which will so easily act, that some call it an Idea, and it is the same thing that they mean while they differ about the name.

§. 5. M. S. Do this and live, is the way that Justice will be glorified in: And that doing would merit life, Adam either knew by nature, or su­pernaturally, at least was confirmed in it by supernatural revelation.

An. This is all true.

§. 6. M. S. Do this and live, as the only terms of life are a Catholick and Theological axiom: Not the words; but Energetick Wisdom printed on the frame. And the meaning is, close with the last end; or with the true Universal God as such, which is the sum of the Decalogue: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, &c. The Wills closing with God: And Obedience is in the subordinate faculties executing the pleasure of the Will.]

An. 1. Obedience is first in the Will it self. 2. Tou do not intelligi­bly acquaint us whether by [Do this] you mean any sincere closing with God as▪ God and our End, above all Creatures, as the godly now do, though with culpable remissness and imperfections; or only the most perfect Love and Obedience, without any imperfection or remissness, or vain irregular thought that is culpable. But by [Do this] I perceive you mean, Take God for thy God, and love, adore, and trust him.

§. 7. M. S. This was to be expressed by eating of the Tree of Life, and not of that of Good and Evil, sacramentally, to acknowledge also the Soveraignty of God.

An. 1. All Obedience formally respecteth Gods Soveraignty. 2. No doubt the Trees were symbolical, and the remembrance of them should yet teach us to prefer living to God, before a selfish, disturstful, needless knowledge; the increase of which increaseth sorrow. 3. But that Adam was commanded to eat of the Tree of Life, I cannot prove, unless the general obligation to choose the best was as a Command.

§. 8. M. S. To be naturally happy is proper to God: therefore Adam was to be led to it freely by a Covenant.

[Page 6] An. To be happy necessarily, and independently, and primarily, is proper to God: But you can never prove it any contradiction or impos­sible for God to make a Creature naturally happy; nor that there are not such.

§. 9. Here the M. S. citeth some words of his Gibieuf, making our Being in God initially, and finally to be our state of amplitude and liberty, and our going out from God, to be our particularity and state of necessity; as if we were pre-existent in God, and our individuation ceased upon o [...] return into him as our End.

An. But these are Platonick Phantasms; And Gibieuf who was a devout Oratorian, and talketh too oft of our Deification, as Benedict [...] de Benedictis, Barbanson, Baker, and other Fryers that talk phanatically, must be read with caution and exception; and as the Soul need not fear too near a Union with God, as the loss of its individuation, so neither must it desire or hope for such.

§. 10. M. S. An unchangeable state of Happiness in the love of God, is called Eternal Life.

An. No doubt but that is called Eternal Life in the fullest sense, which actually endureth to eternity as to that particular Subject: And so, 1. The life of Glory perfectively. 2. And a confirmed state of Sanctity here initially, are usually called Eternal Life. But 3. Whether the los­sable state, which the Angels fell from, and Adam fell from, or that measure of Grace, which the ancient Fathers thought the justified may fall from, be never so called also, I cannot prove.

§. 11. M. S. Adam's promised Happiness, was, 1. Essential, in this perfect holiness or love of God. 2. Complemental, in the enjoying God i [...] all the sanctified Creatures in that Paradise, but not to be translated to Hea­ven, which Christ only procureth us.

An. I inclined to that Opinion 26 years ago, when I wrote the Apho­risms which you oppose: But I now incline more to the contrary, and rather think man should have been translated to Heaven as Henoch and Elias were, upon many reasons, which I now pass by: Though I take it yet to be scarce certain to us.

§. 12. M. S. The Holiness of God, is his loving himself as his End; And the third Person proceeding by a reflex act of the infinite Will and self-love of God, is therefore called the Holy Spirit.

An. 1. This notion of Gods Holiness (that it is his Self-love) is not to be contemned; It seemeth to be so, with this limitation, that you con­fine not his Holiness to this, but take this only as the most eminent among the inadequate conceptions of it: For his whole Transcendency, in Being, Life and Knowledg, as being adoreable by the Creature, and its End, and the Fountain of all created Goodness, and specially of Morality, is also Gods Holiness. 2. But the saying that God is his own End, seemeth im­proper, though tolerable if spoken but analogically: For God neither hath nor is to himself a Cause nor an Effect, a Beginning nor an End. 3. That the third Person proceedeth by a reflex Act of the infinite Will, many School-men boldly say: And so some say, that he is Gods actual self-love, which is [...]he same that you call his Holiness: And some say, that he is the Divine Will or Love considered in it self, as distinct from Vital Power, and Intellect (or Wisdom.) But of this I have spoken more largely else-where.

§. 13. M. S. Adam's promised Reward was, to be fixed in an unchange­able state of pleasing God, by this Holy Spirit: not by infusing any new quality which should unchangeably fasten him to the Rule, (for no created thing can unchangeably keep a man from falling.)

[Page 7] An. 1. The promise to Adam is very obscure: But Happiness it must needs be, and everlasting: 2. But it is past my reach to conceive how the Spirit of God can fix man in perfect holiness without any fixing qua­lity (as it's called) on his Soul. A constant Act the Soul must have: And 1. If that Act be caused by any Divine Impulse, disposing the Soul so to act, then that disposition is a quality. 2. And if there be not both disposition and habit, then the Soul will not in Glory be habitually, or qualitatively holy, but only actually. 3. And a habit-acting being per­fecter than an act without a habit (or inclination) the Soul will be more imperfect in Glory, than in this state of Grace. 4. Operari sequi­tur esse: God fitteth all his Creatures to their works. And as when he will give Immortality, he will give a Nature fit for Immortality, even indissoluble and incorruptible; so when he giveth perpetuity of Love, he giveth a nature or habits fit for perpetual Action. Christ saith, A good Tree bringeth forth good fruit, and an evil Tree evil fruit: Make the Tree good, and his fruit good. 5. The Operations of Love in Glory, should be ex potentia aut violentia, aut neutra, if there were no intrinsick disposition or inclination to them. In a word, it is a contradiction, for a Soul to be perfectly holy, and not have the perfection of inclination to its Acts.

3. But if the meaning were, that no holy quality alone sufficeth, with­out Gods Influx, that were no more than what must be faid of every Creature: without Divine Influx no Creature can be or operate a mo­ment: No created thing of it self, without God, can continue; How then should it keep a man from falling: But if the Soul have any more goodness of nature or inclination in it than the Devils have, it must be a created thing, or God himself: If only God, that proveth not a Saint to be himself better than a Devil, as to nature or disposition, but only that God in him is better.

His reason why the Sun is naturally fixed to its Operations, but not a glorified Soul, is (§. 14. M. S.) that one is a natural, and the other a voluntary Agent: One, as Gibieuf saith, Non agit, sed agitur, the other doth agere & non tantum agitur.]

An. 1. Gibieuf and you were deceived, in thinking that such naturals non agunt: Passive matter doth not Act ex principio essentiali (unless Dr. Glissons and Campanellas Doctrine hold true.) But the three Active Natures, Intellectual, Sensitive and Vegetative (and so Fire and the Sun) do ex principio Activo essentali agere: but nothing doth Act, without an Antecedent Influx to action from the first Cause, in which it is pas­sive: For no Creature is Independent. 2. Voluntas est quaedam Natura, quamvis libera: To move naturally only and not freely is proper to Agents meerly natural, distinct from free: But to move freely, and yet from a fixed principle, which shall infallibly determine the Soul to act freely, is not a contradiction; nor that which Gibieuf should deny to the glorified.

§. 15. M. S. Man, though a Creature, is the first Cause of his own action: He moveth and sets himself on work: else he were not causa consilio: But not immutable: else he were no Creature.

An. You set up Free-will and Power more grosly in terms than I dare do, though, I suppose, our meaning is the same. Had I said thus, what had I heard? I only say, that man may be a causa prima secundum quid, of the moral specification or modification of his own Actions: But he is simpliciter no causa prima of the Action in genere actionis: else he were God. But a causa principalis he may be called, though not prima. 2. You never proved that God cannot make a Creature naturally [Page 8] immutable dependently on himself, that is, such as will never change unless God change them; nor that Jesus Christ is not such in his Huma­nity.

§. 16. M. S. This confirmation is not by being in Heaven; but by the Holy Ghosts special working on the Soul, revealing still Gods Perfections to it.

An. And doth this Operation of the Holy Ghost make the Soul never the better, in nature or disposition, but only in Act? Though it's true, that no habits immutably fix without the Influct of the Holy Ghost.

§. 17. M. S. Merit is the suitableness of the work to the wages.

An. Merit is manifold, and needs better explication: In the Comm [...] ­tative Justice of meer Proprietors, merit is indeed the Comparative value of things, and in works, their suitableness as you say to the wages, that is, their equal worth. But in distributive governing Justice, there is no wages, but only Reward: And merit is the moral aptitude for Reward: which is as various as the Law is that one is governed by: There are five sorts of Law, that by five sorts or ways of Justice, require five sorts of merit: 1. Gods Law of Innocency to Adam: where Justice called no­thing, but personal perfect Obedience, Merit: 2. Gods Law to the Mediator, who was obliged perfectly to keep, 1. The whole Law of Nature. 2. The Law of Moses. 3. A peculiar Law of Mediation (to die, rise, do Miracles, &c.) The keeping of all this was Christ's Merit. 3. There is Christ's Law of Grace to fallen man (in the first, and in the perfect Editions,) where our keeping of it, is by Gospel-Justice called in Scripture [...], our worthiness or merit, that is, in tantum, secun­dum quid, in relation to that Law. That is to repent and believe, to love God and obey him sincerely. 4. There is the Law of Moses, peculiar to the Jews, which hath its peculiar required merit. 5. And there are the Laws of Men appointed and allowed of God, which have their pecu­liar Justice and Merit. All these are not to be confounded, much less all denied, as if there were no merit but between Proprietors in Commu­tative Justice; In which sense no Creature can merit of God.

§. 18. M. S. According to that Covenant, any one Act of Obedience in Adam would have merited confirmation and eternal life; that is, one act of holy love.

An. I believe it not, because it is not written, nor naturally revealed, that I know of. My reasons against it are, 1. It is dangerous to add to Gods Word.

2. The words [In the day that thou eatest thou shalt die] seemeth to look further than to one first act or day, and is as much as whensoever thou eatest; though he should obey till that time.

3. It is utterly improbable that Adam did not perform one Act of Love or Obedience before his Fall. For, 1. We are uncertain how long he stood; However confident some Rabbins, and Broughton and some others are, that it was the same day in which he was created. 2. You confess he was made with powers sanctified and fitted to obey. 3. Gods Law of Love was written in his heart, and as old as himself; and could not but oblige a fit subject to the act. And he must sin all that while that he loved not God as God. 4. He had many thoughts and affections all that while; which were sinful if not animated by holy Love, and done in Obedience to God. 5. He spent some time, which was sinfully spent, if not spent in Love and Obedience. 6. God spake to him, and so had sensible Communion with him, which must needs [Page 9] oblige him to some love. 7. He had a Law given him to dress and keep the Garden, which if he accepted not by consent in Obedience to God, he sinned. 8. He gave names to all the Creatures upon Gods bringing them to him; which must be done obediently or sinfully. 9. He had the Law of Marriage given him, with the Woman; which if he received not in love and obedience he sinned. 10. He had all the World before him to shew him Gods Perfections, and if yet he had not one act of love to God as God, he hainously sinned. 11. He had the Law of Love and Obedience given him by way of Covenant, that is, binding him presently to consent; And he could not delay a willing con­sent one minute or hour without sin: And consent is Love and Obedi­ence in the first act. 12. He loved himself, and his Wife, and other Creatures before his Fall: But if he loved not God before, then he all that while loved himself, his Wife, and all the Creatures more than God, yea without God: And then they were his Idols. 13. Else he never used one Creature holily before his Fall, and therefore sinfully. 14. You make Adam to have had less actual good before his Fall than the weakest Christian now; If not than many wicked men; who have some moral good secundum quid, though not simpliciter.

4. I do not think that the Reward which Christ was to have for his fulfilling the Law was immutability or confirmation: For I think he had that in his very nature, by the Unity of the Divine and Humane in one Person. But I think that the perfect Glory of his Humanity was part of his Reward, Phil. 2. 7, 8, 9. Heb. 12. 23, &c. And therefore that Glory hath much more in it, than confirmation in Grace: But it's plain in the Gospel, that it was not only one Act of Obedience, which was Christs condition, in order to his receiving the Fruits or full Reward of his Merits: But it was perfect Holiness of Nature and Life to the end of his course on Earth. Else you must say that Christ's first Act of Obedience was his performance of his Covenant-Condition, and all the rest for some other purpose only; which is absurd.

5. One act of our Obedience now is not the fulfilling of all the Con­dition of the Covenant of Grace, nor entitleth us alone to Glory, unless God cut off our life as soon as that act is done: Perseverance to the end is part of our Condition of Glory. And we know of no such diffe­rence between Adam's Covenant or Case and ours, as will prove it other­wise with him.

6. Else it would make the Condition of the Covenant of Grace to be much harder and severer than of the Law of Innocency; which is not likely: To perform one act of Love and Obedience, is not so hard as to do it to the death, though we lose our lives in the expressions of it.

Object. But our first Faith giveth us Right to the Spirit of Confirmation and Immutability, though more must be done for Perfection.

Answ. 1. It appeareth then that Perfection and Glory is more than Confirmation. 2. It is certain, that the Regenerate are mutable as to the degrees of Grace, and are far from Perfection at the first. 3. The generality of the Fathers and ancient Churches thought that true Justifi­cation, and Right to Heaven, and true Love to God, was lost by many: And Austin himself and his Followers so thought. 4. And they that think otherwise yet know, that Glory is still given us (quoad jus in the Promise) on condition of our perseverance: And we should hardly find so many Threatnings against them that fall away, if all might so easily know that the first act of Obedience doth so fix us, and give us in justice a Right to Immutability.

[Page 10] §. 19. M. S. The Arguments to prove that any one Act had the pròmise of Immutability and Glory are these, Argument 1. If God were to declare his rewarding Justice, then he must reward one act. Thus Bradwardi [...] also chideth his Master Lombard, as inclining to Pelagius, for holding that Adam could have forborn Sin by his Free-will, without Gods sp [...]d [...]l Grace, that is, his Will that so it should be: which he saith was necess [...] ­ry before the Fall as well as since: and that else Adam by once not s [...] ­ning, when tempted, had merited Confirmation, as he saith the Angels did, being tempted by Leviathan, lib. 2. c. 10.

An. 1. God was not obliged to any Reward, but according to the tenor of his Law. Prove that his Law promised Glory or Immutability for one act? 2. Bonum est ex causis integris: one act is but a small pa [...] of a mans life. The Promise was to the whole course only. 3. God did reward every act: His acceptance, and the continuance of all [...]he blessings of that Paradise, and the comfort of his Love, was a gre [...] Reward.

§. 20. M. S. If one act of Obedience deserved unchangeable Happines [...] then God must bestow it. But, &c.]

An. I deny the minor: One act deserved it not. No act deserved in Commutative Justice: And no act deserved it of governing Justice, but such as the Law antecedently made it due to.

§. 21. M. S. Merit, it is a fuitableness of the work to the wages. [...] that please God are under his good pleasure; the fruit of which must be [...] enjoying of his Spirits infinite assistance. This Adam might have claimed [...] Justice, and gloried: for one act deserveth a Reward.]

An. This is sufficiently answered; 1. Wages strictly taken is M [...] given by a Proprietary commutatively: It's blasphemy to say that God can owe any Creature such, for he can receive nothing but his own. The word when used to us, is improperly taken: But praemium a Re­ward we have; but no work deserveth that, but by the ordinate Justice of the Law. Some few Papists talk of a dignity ex proportione oper [...], but the Scotists and the wisest of them deny any but, 1. Ex congruitate. 2. Ex pacto. Your suitableness may signifie either, 1. A congruity ad fines regiminis; or else ad praemium qua promissum: And thus it's true▪ But it's not proved that any one act was such. 2. Or it may [...]ignifie a suitableness in proportion ex simplici dignitate operis, obliging the Gover­nor antecedently to his Law. 2. Or obliging God as Proprietor to compensation; And so it is untrue, that Merit is a suitableness of the work to the wages, here.

2. It's unproved that Gods pleasedness must ever be shewed by the Spirits infinite assistance: or that one act deserved this. It's unlike that the Angels that kept not their first state, did never one act of Obe­dience, nor were never under Gods approbation; Prov. 16. 7. When a mans ways please the Lord, he maketh his Enemies to be at peace with him: God saith, This [...]is a Reward: You say less than eternal life is none; 1 King. 3. 10. The speech of Solomon pleased the Lord: And yet one would think by his filthiness, and Idolatry, and forsaking God, that he was not glorified, nor made immutable. With the Sacrifice of Alms God is well pleased, Heb. 13. 16. Phil. 4. 18. and with Relation-Duties, Col. 3. 20. And yet all that did them (even sincerely) were not glo­rified then, nor absolutely immutable.

§. 22. M. S. Arg. 2. Unchangeable misery would have been the reward of one sin: Ergo, &c.]

[Page 11] An. I deny the consequen [...]e: Misery was threatned to one sin; Glory was not promised to one act of Obedience. Obedience, during life, is certainly due from Man to God: He that denieth it him in one act, denieth him his due: But he that giveth it him in one act, giveth him but little of his due. Your Argument is like these: The Souldier that is a Traytor in one act, deserveth death: Therefore he that watch­eth or fighteth but once deserveth all his wages and honour. The Son that curseth his Father once, deserveth punishment▪ Therefore he that obeyeth him once deserveth the Inheritance. He that is bound to pay an hundred pound forfeiteth his Bond if he leave a penny unpaid: Therefore he forfeits it not if he pay but a penny: The Servant that is hired for a day or year, doth forfeit his wages if he be idle or rebel an hour or a day: Therefore he deserveth his wages, if he do Service but an hour or a day: The disease of one part may kill a man: Therefore the health of one part only will keep a man alive. He that is hired to build a House or a Ship well, forfeits his wages for one hole, or gross defect: Therefore he deserveth his wages if he lay but one Brick or Board. But bonum est ex causts integris.

§. 23. M. S. His Sin is more his own than his Obedience. Ans. The assistance of the Spirit could not take place in the first act, because not de­served: And his Obedience would have been as much his own as his Sin.

An. This is quite beyond the Jesuites: 1. It's true that the rewarding gift or help of the Spirit (for confirmation) was not given Adam to his first act: But it's not true that he had no help of the Spirit: If you will not call Gods necessary Grace, which you said did sanctifie all his powers, by the name of the Spirits help; you must say, It was the help of God the Father, Son