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" For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into 
the apostles of Christ," &c. — 2 Cor. xi. 13 — 15. 

" Be not ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me," &c. — 2 Tim. i. 8. 

" Though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you, 
than that which we have preached, let him be accursed." — Gal. i. 8. 

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Entered, according to the act of Congress, in the year 1847, by William 
Hudson and William S. Young, in the clerk's office of the District Court 
of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. 


In preparing this work for the press, the spelling 
has been generally modernized, the exceedingly 
bad pointing of the old English edition corrected, 
for some words and phrases whose meaning has 
altered, expressions now in use have been substi- 
tuted, but always with the utmost care to give the 
exact idea, quotations in the original languages 
not translated by the author, have been translated 
in all cases where it appeared to be necessary for 
carrying forward the train of thought; where any 
are left without translation, it is because this ne- 
cessity was not considered to exist; a few foot- 
notes have been added, which, with the translations, 
have been marked thus (t,) and, finally, a few 
words, not in all more than two or three lines, 
containing local allusions, have been omitted. No 

other change has been made. 

l* v 



Clear, scriptural statements of gospel truth, and 
of the grounds of the Christian faith, are always 
acceptable to the intelligent Christian : to the less 
informed, they are eminently profitable. Faith is 
grounded upon testimony : the faith of the Chris- 
tian, upon the testimony of God speaking in the 
scriptures. The Christian's faith is no mere pre- 
judice or fancy; it is not the fruit of fear or of 
sympathy ; it has its seat in an enlightened under- 
standing; it is ever the result of a full conviction 
of the judgment. Hence, the value of such works 
as Lyford's, in which the truth is held up dis- 
tinctly to our view, and that, moreover, in con- 



trast with the opposite errors; and in which ar- 
guments in defence of truth, on the one hand, and 
against error, on the other, are scripturally stated, 
illustrated, and applied. 

This volume is eminently calculated to aid the 
inquirer after truth, and, also, to assist the believer 
in his endeavours to attain such an acquaintance 
with the grounds of his faith, as will enable him to 
" give an answer to every man that asketh him a 
reason of his hope." 1 Peter, iii. 15. The plan of 
salvation by free grace, is here exhibited with very 
great perspicuity, and defended with no ordinary 
ability; and we know of no error noticed in these 
pages, against which the inquirer does not now 
need to be warned, and the Christian armed. 
Those portions of the work in which the very 
foundations of our faith — the authenticity, and suf- 
ficiency of the scriptures — are examined, and their 
solidity confirmed against the infidel and the pa- 
pist, are singularly appropriate to our own times; 
for on these points the enemy seems to be direct- 
ing not a little of his energies : those in which gos- 
pel truth is explained, and its principles employed 
in the way of practical application to the diversi- 


fied circumstances of the godly, will be found, by 
the divine blessing, as fruitful of edification now as 
they have ever been. The work is committed to 
that divine blessing, the absolute necessity of which, 
to any good and spiritual result, it is one of its 
primary objects to confirm. (t) 




Op you that are ministers, I humbly crave three things: 
1. Your pardon for this my audacious undertaking ; it is 
a work best befitting the protestors themselves, or some 
other able divine, who is a man of greater parts and learn- 
ing, better versed in controversies, new and old, than I am, 
or pretend to be. In the church there are two ranks of 
teachers; some whose work is dolare lapides; others, ipsos 
artifices: our people are like rough stones dug out of the 
quarry. By the hammer of God's word, many of them 
are, by his blessing upon our labours, made polished stones 
for God's temple. But we ourselves need polishing by 
the skill and learning of others; for they dig deep to 
search out hidden knowledge, they hunt and catch the 
venison, which we so readily dress, and dish out to our 
hearers. Let them have the honour of their gifts and 
labours. It is the work of an age to produce a sound 



learned man, and none Dut dunghill-spirits will undervalue 
such precious jewels. 

2. If any think himself causelessly charged with error, 
I beseech him not to impute that to me; for I neither 
choose my adversary, nor my argument, but take up both 
as drawn up by the testimony of faithful ministers. And 
although it be no fair dealing to take up an ill report of 
another, and it is not my manner to take upon trust 
what I believe, or propose to others to be believed ; yet 
thus far I hope I may be excused, because every one's 
error, which I tax by name, or by some characterizing cir- 
cumstance, I do it upon my own certain knowledge that 
it is their opinion by the testimony of their own writings. 
As for the rest, I name none, I asperse none, I charge 
none ; only this I do, known vulgar errors I endeavour to 
confute; and this I may do, without asking who is the 
father, and without wronging the unknown author of them. 

3. Seeing it has pleased God, when I came to the end 
of the eleventh chapter, to put a period to my studies, by 
the great increase of my disease upon me ; my humble re- 
quest to some of my brethren of the clergy, is, that if it be 
not too mean a condescension, that they will be pleased to 
go on where I left off, and so to finish the work, unless 
they judge it more fit to draw all anew with their own 
more learned pencil. The work is likely to be profitable 
to the people of this nation, especially in such a time as 

You that are the people, I crave leave, first, to admonish; 
secondly, to exhort. 

First, Let no man beguile you with fair words, under 


the gilded notions of saints. Accept no man's face 
against the least truth of Jesus. If any come to you in 
great humility, and show of love, in sheep's clothing, and 
bring new and strange doctrines; if he go about to cause 
divisions; if he be one that forsakes ordinances, vilifies 
ministers, and the old way of holy walking with God; you 
are bound in conscience not to receive him into your 
houses, but to avoid him: (Jude ver. 19; 2 John v. 9, 10; 
Rom. xvi. 17,) you sin, if you do not. 

Against such corruptions of pure doctrine, Ignatius 
Martyr, in his epistle ad Trallianos, page 6S, most 
gravely warns all Christians in these words: 

Sunt quidam vaniloqui, et mentis seductores, non 
Christiani, sed Christum mercantes, et cauponantes 
verbum Evangelii, qui venerium erroris commiscentes 
dulci blandimento, sicut cenometi, ut qui biberit illius 
potits gustabilem sensum, dulcedine captus, inobser- 
vanter morti addicatur. 

There are certain vain talkers and seducers, not Chris- 
tians, but such as make merchandise of Christ and his gos- 
pel, who mingle the poison of their errors with sweet and 
pleasant words, as vintners that mingle honey with their 
wine, so that he which drinketh of that pleasant cup, being 
delighted with the taste, is unawares mortally poisoned. 
Thus that holy martyr who lived in the apostle John's 

It is an unworthy, temporizing, and a soul-destroying, 

flattering speech, of one that says, "Heresy in a good man 

is no sin, and heresy, though the matter be ever so gross, 

if it be not affected, if there be no design of the will in it, 



is no sin." But you, beloved, remember what the scrip* 
ture says of heresy, "There shall be false teachers among 
you, which shall privily bring in damnable heresies." 2 Pet. 
ii. 1. Heresies are damnable, though privily and unawares 
brought in. Another apostle tells you, that "it is a fear- 
ful judgment to believe a lie;" (2 Thess. ii. 11, 12,) and 
heresy is a lie. And if it be so damnable, not to believe 
necessary truths, what is it to hold that which is most op- 
posite to truth, gross heresies? Lastly, observe what a 
third apostle says, (2 John v. 9, 10,) " Whosoever trans- 
gresseth and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not 
God; he that continueth in the doctrine of Christ, hath 
both the Father and the Son." The testimony of three 
apostles, I hope, will establish your hearts against the so- 
phistry and power of all seducers, and not suffer you to 
think or speak favourably of the least corruptions of 
Christ's blessed gospel ; it is matter of jealousy to him. 
Read 2 Cor. xi. 2, 3. 

Secondly, I exhort, that you carefully observe the 
method and scope of this book, which is to lay before you 
certain distinctions upon the most material, yet perverted 
points of religion in these days, that so the chaff being 
sorted from the wheat, you may see on which side of the 
distinction the truth lies, and in which the fallacy. All 
things are set down as perspicuously as the nature of the 
matter will permit ; yet some things you must read over 
twice or thrice, else you will not discern things that differ. 
It is chiefly intended for your edification and confirmation. 
The God of truth guide you into all saving truths. Amen. 



,, ^» "•"•) 



And it was in the same state of comfort, namely, the looking- for 
the appearance of the great God, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ, which 
did uphold oar dear deceased friend and brother, whose funeral 
we are now to solemnize, in the long time of his sickness; and in 
whatever former trials the Lord was pleased to exercise with him, 
he still had an eye to that blessed hope, which he did so firmly be- 
lieve was laid up for him. There are material pithy expressions of 
his own, to this purpose, with which I think fit to acquaint you, out 
of two or three of the last Christian letters I received from him. In 
one of them he thus expresses himself: " However it shall please 
God to dispose of my health, ] rest comfortably assured of his ever- 
lasting love to me in his Son, Christ Jesus; who loved me, and gave 
himself for me." In another, thus: "In the use of the means I 
wait, what the Lord will do with me: I know it shall be well with 
me at the last, having so many pledges of his everlasting love to sup- 
port me." In a third, he hath these words : " My wasting continues, 
and my stomach also fails me, but my God fails me not: in him I 
have refreshings, in the consideration and experience of the great 
things he hath done for me here, and in the contemplation of far 
greater things yet prepared for me." Some few days before his dis- 
solution, being desired to give some that visited him a little taste of 
his present hopes, together with the grounds of them, for their com- 
fort and instruction, he cheerfully answered, "I will let you know 
how it is with me, and upon what ground I stand." Then stretching 
forth his hand, he spake to this effect: " Here is the grave, the wrath 
of God, and devouring flames, the just punishment of sin, on the one 
side, and here am I, a poor sinful soul, on the other; but this is my 
eomfort; the covenant of grace, which is established upon so many 
sure promises, hath saved all. There is an act of oblivion passed in 
heaven : ' I will forgive their iniquities, and their sins will I remem- 


ber no more,' saith God. This is the blessed privilege of ajl within 
the covenant, among whom I am one. For I find the Spirit, which 
is promised, bestowed on me, in the blessed effects of it upon my 
soul, the pledges of God's eternal love: by it, I know my interest in 
Christ, who is the foundation of the covenant, and therefore ray sins 
being laid on him, shall never be charged on me." When the time 
of his dissolution approached, he called for his nearest relations, his 
wife, and children; he commended them to God, the living God, the 
everlasting Father, with blessings, and prayers that they may have 
their part and interest in the everlasting covenant, laying a charge 
upon them all, that they should continue still to give themselves to 
reading the scriptures. When the earthly house of his tabernacle 
was even upon the point of being dissolved, with much ado he uttered 
these words : " My dissolution is more comfortable to me than my 
marriage-day. l iS'ow thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory 
through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be 
ye steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord • 
forasmuch as you know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord. 7 ' 7 
1 Cor. xv. 57, 58. 

Though it was the desire of our deceased brother, that 1 should 
not make any solemn narration of his demeanour here among you, 
yet I cannot but speak something of him, that we may glorify God 
in him, and for him; and to stir up myself, and you, to an imitation 
of those graces of God, which were so eminent in him. We are 
to take special notice of it, that by the strength of God's grace, 
he remained steadfast and unmoveable in the articles of our holy 
religion, in these declining times. Being asked at one time, 
Why he continued so resolved in his way, when many in divers 
things altered their opinions'? His answer was this, Because he 
grounded himself upon the word of God, which is not altered. He 
was not a reed shaken with the wind, but a pillar in the house of 
God. He could profess with holy Job, according to his degree 
and measure, "But he knoweth the way that I take, when he hath 
tried me, I shall come forth as gold; my foot hath held his steps, his 
way have I kept, and not declined, neither have I gone back from the 
commandment of his lips. I have esteemed the words of his mouth 
more than my necessary food." Job xxiii. 10 — 12. He could pro- 
fess with the Psalmist, " I have stuck unto thy testimonies, and thy 
testimonies have I taken as a heritage for ever; for they are the re- 
joicing of my heart." Psal. cxix. 31, 111. With those sincere con- 
verts, " He continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellow- 
ship,' and breaking of bread, and prayers:" (Acts ii. 42.) in breaking 
of bread, when as we have so many half-ministers of late, who only 
preach the word without administering the seals, the sacraments 
which are annexed to it. He had a singular dexterity in catechising, 
in opening the grounds of our holy religion, in a perspicuous clear 
manner, to the capacity of the meanest. He did feed Christ's lambs, 
as well as his sheep. He took great delight in it, he would often 
say, " That if he had done any good here among you, it was by ca- 
techising." Where let me in a word commend this necessary part, 
though so generally neglected, of our ministerial function, to his fel» 


low-labourers, who have so lovingly assisted him for so long time 
together; that they would effectually set themselves to it, that so 
they may, by God's blessing, reap the like benefit and comfort that 
he did. How cheerful was he in his going out, and coming in among 
you, in public, and in private! How was his heart lifted up in the 
ways of the Lord! He served the Lord with his spirit, in the 
gospel of his Son: he was a workman that need not be ashamed; he 
preached in demonstration of the Spirit, and in power: he was able 
to convince gainsayers. In his sermon, which he was importuned 
to print at Oxford, after he had preached it there, how does he woo 
those that are off from family exercises, to remember from whence 
they are fallen, and to do their first works. His words are to this 
effect, When you were wont to pray with your families, to repeat 
sermons, to instruct and catechise your children and servants, was 
not that your best time? and it is a great pity they did not listen to 
the voice of the charmer, who charmed so wisely. He went over 
the whole body of divinity among you. He acquainted you with the 
whole counsel of God. He spent himself for you. God grant your 
profiting may prove in some sort answerable to his endeavours. He 
was constant in the duty of prayer and supplication, with thanks- 
giving; it was a branch of his daily devotions, that God would be 
pleased to assist him mightily in his last conflict; and he did, as he 
told some of his friends that were about him, reap the benefit of it. 
He was so far from being affrighted at the approach of death, that he 
lifted up his hands, and his eyes, and with a serene cheerful counte- 
nance yielded up his soul into the hands of his faithful Creator and 
Redeemer. He was daily mindful of you, the people of this place. 
of which he had the pastoral charge, in his prayers. Not long before 
his departure, he lifted up his heart to God, for a good successor for 
you, as Moses, the servant of the Lord did, when he was to be 
gathered to his fathers. Num. xxvii. 16, "Let the Lord, the God of 
the spirits of all flesh, set a man over the congregation, which may 
go out and in before them; that the congregation of the Lord be not 
a9 sheep which have no shepherd." The Lord make good that gra- 
cious promise to you, "'And I will give you pastors after mine own 
heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding." Jer. 
iii. 15. Only acknowledge your iniquity, as the prophet exhorts, 
(verse 13,) That you have transgressed against the Lord your God, 
and that you have not obeyed his voice, which so oft sounded forth 
unto you in his ministry. Now suffer, I beseech you, one word 
more of exhortation, and it is that of the apostle; " And we desire, 
that every one of you do show the same diligence, to the full assu- 
rance of hope to the end. That ye be not slothful, but followers of 
them, who through faith and patience inherit the promises."* Heb. vi. 
11, 12. O that this may be the issue of our thoughts and medita- 
tions, as touching our deceased brother, and fellow-labourer, and your 
faithful minister, of our coming to the house of mourning, of our ac- 
companying the hearse, of our solemn assembling of ourselves in this 
place, that we may be excited by occasion hereof, and so effectually 
wrought upon, that we may tread in his steps. Non est amicorum 
prosequi defunctos ignavo questu, sed, quep voluerint, meminisse, quae 


mandaverint, exequi. It is not sufficient for friends, that they wail a I 
mourn over those that are departed from them after a dull and fruit- 
less manner, but it is by all means required that they follow the coun- 
sel and good advice they gave them, that they imitate the good ex- 
ample they left behind them. Let us think with ourselves, that we 
hear our deceased brother, and your pastor, speaking thus to us, as 
the apostle did to the Philippians: " Finally, brethren, whatsoever 
things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are 
just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, what- 
soever things are of good report: if there be any virtue ; if there be 
any praise, think on these things. Those things which ye have 
both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do." Phil. iv. 
8, 9. And then we shall be in a capacity to expect the blessing there 
promised, and the God of peace shall be with you. 


The first clause. — 1 give and bequeath unto the President and Fel- 
lows of Magdalen College, in Oxford, for the time being, and their 
successors for ever, the sum of one hundred and twenty pounds, to be 
paid unto them by my executrix, within seven years, next after my 
decease; and by them, or my executrix, and overseers, to be laid out, 
to raise an exhibition for, and towards the maintenance of a godly 
poor scholar of that college, in manner and form as is here expressed, 
that is to say, my will is, that the scholar, to be chosen from time to 
time to partake of this yearly exhibition, shall be nominated, and 
chosen by the votes of the President, the senior Dean of Arts, and the 
Moderator of that form, whether logic, or philosophy, wherein the 
said young scholar shall be a disputant, or by any two of them. And 
my earnest desire, and will is, that the scholar to be nominated from 
time to time, to partake of this small encouragement of studiousness 
and piety, be such a one, and so qualified, as may give the best evi- 
dences for the present, of his sobriety, ingenuity, studiousness, and 
proficiency, and for the future, the best hopes of being a godly, able, 
and profitable minister of the gospel, in the church of Christ. It 
being dedicated to God, by way of thankfulness, for his mercy to me, 
in that college, and in way of restitution, for a sum of money, which, 
according to the corrupt customs of those days, I received for the 
resignation of my fellowship in that college. 

The second clause. — And now I commend myself and them all, my 
dear wife and children, unto God's grace and mercy, giving thanks 
unto him from my soul, for revealing his Son Jesus Christ in me, and 
to me, and for justifying me, and his whole church, freely by his grace, 
through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus, and for honouring me 
to be a minister of the gospel. And I do humbly beseech the God of all 
grace and mercy, to continue and preserve the power and purity of his 
gospel in this land, together with a faithful and learned ministry to 
dispense the same. Also, my humble prayer to the God of all grace 
is, that he will be pleased, out of the riches of his grace and goodness, 
to guide and preserve all my poor children, and all his people, into 
all saving 1 truths. 


Introduction, ----- page 25 


Errors against the divine authority of the Holy Scriptures. 

Sect. 1. Of their error, who hold the scriptures to be but 

human, and so no rule to walk by, not able to 

discover a divine God, 30 

The scripture is of divine authority, the supreme 

judge, determining in matters of faith and duty, 

what is good, and what is evil, 32 

Use 1. Therefore in all your actings and opinions be sure 

to get scripture on your side, 37 

Use 2. To vindicate the divine authority of scripture 

against four sorts that weaken it, 39 

1. Of papists, who set up the church's authority 

above the scripture, 40 

2. Of their error, who appeal from scripture to the 

Spirit for trials of truth, &c, - - 40 

What we allow of the Spirit's revelation, what 

not, ------ 41 

3. Of their error, who set up reason as the judge, 47 
What use to be made of reason, and what not, 47 

4. Of their error, who leave scripture, and appeal 

to providences, as the rule of men's persua- 
sions and actions, 52 
What use to make of providences, 52 
) And what not, ----- 55 

Quest. Into what is our faith finally resolved, and where- 
upon does it rest and stay itself? - - 59 
Sect. 2. Of their error, who deny the authority of the Old 
The ceremonial law is still a teacher of moral 

duties, ------ 62 

Sect. 3. Whether the scriptures in English are the word of 

God, and the foundation of Christian religion, 67 



The divine truth of God's word is presented to us 

in our English Bibles ; 70 

And how the unlearned are assured thereof, - 72 

Quest. How to judge of the true sense or interpretation 

of scripture, ----- 74 
Sect. 4. Of their error, who teach that no writing whatso- 
ever, whether translations or original, are the 

foundation of Christian religion, 77 

Eternal life is in the scriptures, and no where else, 77 

The efficacy of scripture in six things, 78 

How they testify of Christ, 80 
Use. Reproof of them that neglect their own salvation, 

because they neglect the knowledge of scripture, 82 

False ends in reading scripture, 83 

When hath a Christian found Christ in the scripture, 85 


Errors against the nature and essence of God, and against 

the Trinity, answered and cleared. 
Sect. 1. God has no personal bodily shape, 88 

How human parts and passions are ascribed to 

God in scripture, - - 89 

Sect. 2, 3. Of their error, who say, that it is a wretched dis- 
tinction to distinguish between essence and 
person in the Godhead, 91 

There are three persons in one nature of the 

Godhead, ----- 92 

What a person in the Trinity is, 93 

Sect. 4. Only the Son, not the Father, nor the Holy Ghost, 

was incarnate to suffer for the sinning creature, 99 

Sect. 5. Of their error, who teach, that God is the author. 

not only of actions, but also of the depravity ana 

sinfulness in them, - 102 

What hand God hath in and about sin, - - 106 

God's permissive will no rule of our actions, - 108 


Errors against the Deity of the Son of God. 

Sect. 1. Christ, the Son of God, is true God, equal, and of 
the same nature, power, and eternity with the 
Father,- ----- HO 

Sect. 2. Yet not two Sons, nor two Gods, but Christ is God 

and man in one person, - - - 114 

Sect. 3. Christ is Mediator according to both his natures, 118 

How Christ shall be subject to his Father, - 121 

The personal union, the ground of Christ's merit- 
ing, and of our access to God, - 122 


it is betw 
Christ and us. 

Of the union that is between God and Christ, and between 


Sect. 1. There is a strict union between Christ and the 

Father, and between Christ and us ; - - 125 

Dock Of a threefold union in scripture. 1. Essential. 

2. Personal. 3. Spiritual, - 126 

Sect. 2. Of the union between Christ and us, - - 129 

What it is, ----- 131 

Sect. 3. The manner and means by which it is made, - 133 

Whether our union with Christ be completed with- 
out and before faith, - - - - 136 
Why it is necessary, - - - 138 
Uses. Comforts and privileges arising out of our union 

with Christ, - - - - 139 

How our union with Christ may be tried and evi- 
denced, ------ 142 


Errors against the Deity of the Holy Ghost cleared. 

Sect. 1. The Holy Ghost is a person in the Trinity to be 

worshipped and glorified, - - - 149 

The word of God, and the works of the Holy 

Ghost, show him to be God, - - - 150 

Sect. 2. Jin Spiritus Sanctus sit nuda virtus Dei patris } - 153 

Quest. Whether the indwelling of the Spirit in the godly, 

is only of the gifts, or also of his person, - 156 

The Holy Ghost is worshipped, - 157 

The properties of God are ascribed unto him, - 158 

Sect. 3. Of the sin against the Holy Ghost, - - 159 

What it is, - - - - - 159 

Consolations to the weak and troubled, showing 

who do not sin against the Holy Ghost, - - 165 

And terror to the presumptuous, - - - 168 

Sect. 4. Of quenching the Spirit, - 170 

When, how, and by whom is the Spirit quenched, 170 

Beware of quenching the Spirit, - - - 174 

Helps to preserve you from that great sin, - 176 


Errors against God's eternal decree of election and repro- 
bation, cleared and answered. 
Sect. 1. Of predestination, and what it is, - - 179 

Sect. 2. The elect, and none but they, shall be saved, - 182 

This doctrine is no hinderance to piety, nor holy 

endeavours, ----- 189 

But a furtherance thereunto, - 190 

God's love is infinite, though but few be saved, - 192 

Sect. 3, God chooses some, and passes by others in the 
same condition, and that without respect to faith, 
or works foreseen, as a consideration moving him 
thereunto, - - 194 

1. We are chosen in Christ, - 195 

Not without respect to Christ. - - 196 


2. God does not ordain any to damnation, but sin- 
ners, and for sin, both original and actual. - 199 

Yet foreseen faith in the one, and unbelief in the 
other, are not as conditions or qualifications re- 
quired in the parties elected or rejected, - 202 

A brief examination of the doctrine of Arrainians 
touching election and reprobation : they err in 
four things, ----- 203 

Three arguments against election upon faith fore- 
seen, ------ 210 

Some passages of Romans ix. considered, - 214 

Some objections of the author of " God's Love to 

Mankind," proposed and answered, - - 217 

In particular, three objections answered, - 220 

Odious absurdities falsely charged on our doctrine 

of election, removed, - 224 

Whether God is bound to give ability to believe, 

to all those to whom the gospel is preached, - 225 

Sect. 4. The reprobate condition of men and angels shall 

be regained, ----- 226 


Errors about original sin, &c. 

Sect. 1. Of God's covenant of life and obedience with Adam. 231 

Sect. 2. Adam, by transgressing that first covenant, diet 
plunge himself and all his posterity into a state 
of sin and death, - 232 

The effects of that transgression upon his pos- 
terity, - - - - - - 235 

Quest. How all sinned in Adam, - 237 

Three particular evils we received from Adam, 1. 
Imputation of his sin. 2. Corruption of our na- 
ture. 3. Death, 239 
Some objections cleared, ... 241 
Quest. What death it is that was threatened to Adam's 

transgression, ----- 244 

Some objections answered, - 246 

Sect. 3. All mankind continue and lie under that sad state 
of sin and death, till they are regenerated, and 
effectually planted into Christ, the second Adam, 
by whom alone we have deliverance, - - 248 

Use. To bewail our cursed estate in nature, - - 251 


Errors against Jesus Christ our Mediator. 

Sect. 1. Of their error, who deny that Christ purchased 

life, love, and salvation to his elect, - - 254 

Sect. 2. How God's love gave Christ, and yet Christ's 
blood purchased God's love and salvation to 
sinners, - 255 



Of universal redemption, and some mistakes therein cleared. 
Sect. 1. A brief view of the Arminian doctrine touching 

this point, - 258 

Christ was not given to satisfy for all the sins of 

mankind; nor for the sins of them that perish, 262 

Three reasons against Christ's dying for all men, 262 

Redemption is universal in three respects, - 266 

Christ's death sufficient, not effectual unto all, - 268 

Sect. 2. Of the Father's purpose, and Christ's intention in 
dying : .they intended the spiritual benefit of the 
church, not of all the world, - 268 

Of that distinction of impetration and application 
of redemption, Christ not only merited, but con- 
ferred remission of sins by his death, - - 270 
Five objections answered, that place 1 Tim. ii. 4, 

5, 6, opened, - - . - 271 

Hebrews ii. 9, cleared, - 273 

2Peter,ii. 1, 274 

Quest. How Christ took the sin of Adam, satisfied for 

it, yet died not for all, - - 276 

Of severing the seed of the woman from the seed of 

the serpent, - - - - - 277 

1 Corinthians, xv. 22, cleared, - 278 

Use. The doctrine of redemption by Christ's death to be 

preached to all men, - - - 281 

Some errors thereabouts cleared, - 282 


Of universal grace sufficient for all, and of man's natural 

free will to supernatural good. 
Sect. 1. Whether God gives unto all men sufficient means 

and helps of grace unto salvation, - - 284 

"What grace is sufficient, - 284 

It is not afforded to all, - 285 

Two objections answered, - 288 

Sect 2. Of man's free will and ability to spiritual good, - 290 

The Arminian doctrine, touching universal grace 

I and free will, 290 

Quest. Whether means being granted, it is in the power 
of man's free will to convert himself, to accept 
or refuse grace, - 295 

Answ. Distinction between the freedom and power of 

man's will, ----- 297 

Three reasons against the strength of man's natural 
free will as to his first uprising from the state of 
sin and death, 298 

Objections for the strength of free will against the 

will's freedom, which we grant, - - 303 

The gospel is not the cause of men's condemnation, 306 


Quest. Whether threats, or exhortations, &c, be all in 

vain, and the will be not free, - - 306 

The use and help of this doctrine to discern truth 
from falsehood in sundry cases and disputes, - 307 


Of errors against the ground of faith, and the true nature of 

justification by faith. 
Sect. 1. Of their error, who teach, that they who are with- 
out the gospel, have sufficient means of faith, the 
sun, moon, and stars, - - - - 310 

The creatures reveal not Christ, nor means of faith, 311 

Faith is purely supernatural in three respects, - 312 

That place Heb. xi. 6, expounded, - - 316 

Sect. 2. Quest. Whether faithful actions be absolutely re- 
quired as the only things by which the man is 
justified, ----- 318 

The conclusion opposite hereunto contains three 
parts or doctrines. 
Doct. 1. That faithful actions are not separate from true 
faith, nor from the party justified, but flow from 
faith inseparably, as effects and fruits thereof, 318 

Doct. 2. Faithful actions are separated from faith in the 
act of justifying, they are not joined with faith 
in that action- here faith is alone, - - 320 

Objections removed, - - - - 323 

Doct. 3. Faithful actions not the only things by which 

the man is justified, - 324 

Sect. 3. 1. Not as causes, - 325 

2. Not as our evangelical righteousness accepted 
instead of fulfilling the law, - 325 

3. Not as means to apply Christ's righteousness, 326 

4. Nor lastly, are they the only things by which 

the man is justified, as by a condition, - 327 

Here first what we hold, and we deny, as touching 

conditions and qualifications, - - - 327 

Quest. 1. Particularly two questions are resolved. 1. 
Whether the addition of the words, (as by a 
condition,) be a fit salvo for those words, as 
the only things, &c, - 330 

2. Whether they be indeed an antecedent condi- 
tion to justification, - 330 
Four reasons to the contrary. 1. From the nature 

of the covenant, - 333 

2. From the gift of God, 336 

3. From the nature of faith and repentance, - 337 

4. From the order of faith and works, - - 339 
Two grand arguments for concurrence of works 

with faith to justification, answered, - - 339 

Those places, James ii. 21, and Rom. iv. 18, 22, 

opened, - - - - - - 341, 342 




For every one that useth milk, is unskilful in the word of righteousness, for 
he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those 
who by reason of use, have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. 
— Heb. v. 13, 14. 

The apostle from verse 11 of chapter v., to verse 13 of 
chapter vi., makes a digression, in which he sharply re- 
proves the Hebrews for their non-proficiency in the doc- 
trine of Christ, that he might thus provoke them to a 
greater needfulness and attention to those deep points, 
which he is about to speak of afterwards. The scope of 
our ministry is, first to beget children to God, and then to 
build them up in the faith. At first, men are but children 
in understanding, and they must be fed with milk, that is, 
with the first principles of religion, doctrines easy to be 
understood : but as it is a thing abhorrent to nature, to be 
children still, we desire to outgrow our childish nature 
and understanding, to become grown men: so in religion 
it is a great deformity, and a sign of gross negligence, still 
to stick in the A. B. C, as it were, of the doctrine of 
Christ 5 we must be men in understanding, perfectly 
rooted and stablished in the faith, as we have been taught, 
Col. ii. 7, that is, according to the time and means vouch- 
safed to us; not like children, tossed to and fro with every 
wind of doctrine, Eph. iv. 14. But, "our love must 
abound more and more in knowledge, and in all judgment," 
Phil. ii. 9, 10, that we may be able to try and approve 
things that differ, and so be sincere, and without offence, 
that our hearts may be comforted; being knit together in 
love, unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, 


to the acknowledgment of the mystery of God, and of the 
Father, and of Christ, that no man be able to beguile us 
with enticing words, nor spoil us through philosophy and 
vain deceit, by the cunning craftiness of men, that lie in 
wait to deceive, Col. ii. 2, 4, 8. In this, their great 
negligence is taxed, and they are provoked to a more 
full and large measure of introduction into the mysteries 
of the gospel, that they may be able, by diligent hearing, 
reading, and studying of the word, to discern both good 
and evil, what is sound, what is unsound, to choose the 
good, and refuse the evil. That is the scope. 

Now for the meaning of the words. First. The per- 
sons. By babes, he understands weak and unskilful pro- 
fessors; and by men of full age, he means Christians 
grown up to sound understanding in the mysteries of 
God. Secondly. Their food. By milk, he understands 
the plainest and easiest principles of religion; by strong 
meat, the more profound and difficult points of the Chris- 
tian faith, such as is the analogy between the priesthood 
of Melchizedec, and of Christ, of which he was about to 
speak, chapter v. 11, and of whom he had many things to 
say, and hard to be uttered, because they were dull of 
hearing. Thirdly. Their praise and dispraise. Of the 
weak, he says, that they are unskilful and inexperienced 
in the word of righteousness, that is, in the doctrine of the 
gospel; the main subject of which is, the true and only 
righteousness of faith, that is of Christ, imputed to us, by 
the grace of God, and the righteousness of sanctification, 
which is wrought in us by the Spirit of Christ: this was 
the fault of the weak Christians. Of the strong Christians, 
he says, that they are able to deal in higher points, able 
to apprehend and digest them in their spiritual judgment. 
As solid and hard meats are not proper food for children, 
but for men of full age and strength to feed on: so high 
and profound doctrine is not fitting for novices, but for 
Christians of ripe age. These he calls perfect, or of full 
age, not absolutely, for the best do see but through a glass 
darkly, but comparatively in respect of the weak, whom 
he likens to babes. Fourthly. The means of ripeness. 
These perfect ones, by reason of long use and practice, have 
their senses exercised, as in a school or university, scho- 
lars have their wits sharpened and exercised (ysyvpvaansva) 


by frequent disputations: by means of which they grow 
expert, and able to discern fallacies in matters of logic; so 
are these Christians in matters of religion able to discern 
what is sound, what sophistical and unsound, able to sepa- 
rate the chaff from the wheat, truth from error. He that 
is thus exercised hath a distinguishing faculty. As the 
taste distinguishes meats, and the eye perceives colours, 
and the ear sounds; so can .this man's understanding spi- 
ritually discern between colour and colour, between taste 
and taste, between light and darkness, between sour and 
sweet, between food and poison, between good and evil; 
even as artists in any faculty can quickly perceive when 
their work is well or ill done: and this is the commenda- 
tion of the strong. Babes are not to be dispraised simply 
because babes, because they are children, but because they 
are babes and children in understanding, when they might 
and ought to be men capable of higher instructions. 

From the words, thus opened, I observe four doctrines, 
not intending to prosecute them at large, but to touch 
upon them by way of introduction to the principal matter 

Doct. 1. Amongst those who are true professors of the 
gospel, there are degrees of knowledge in Christianity, 
some are weak, like babes, some are strong, like men 
grown to ripe age, yet all are the children of God. Rom. 
xiv. 1. " Him that is weak in the faith receive." 1 Cor. iii. 1. 
" And I, brethren, could not speak unto you, as unto spiri- 
tual, but as unto carnal," that is, less spiritual, even as unto 
babes in Christ. 

Use. " We that are strong, ought to bear the infirmities 
of the weak," Rom. xv. 1, and not to please ourselves. In 
our congregations, all are not of one capacity, all God's 
household must be fed ; we must not disdain the matter 
preached, because it is familiar and plain to us. Children 
must have their food. 

Doct. 2. The blessed word of God is the food of souls, 
both for the weak and for the strong; there is milk for 
babes, and strong meat for them of full age, and both of 
them are nourished by it in their spiritual life, to life 
eternal. But whether it be milk or strong meat, easy or 
more profound doctrine, it is still food. For, first. Christ 
himself is the bread that came down from heaven. John vi. 


33, 48. Secondly. The word of God is bread of life, 
wheat, wine, milk, &c. Thirdly. Ministers are stewards, 
to give every one his portion of meat, and shepherds, to 
feed the sheep and lambs of Christ. John xxi. 15. 

Use 1. Then ministers must prepare doctrines, which 
may be wholesome as food, it must have some nourishing 
quality in it. Ever remember that, (2 Cor. iv. 2,) " not 
handling the word of God deceitfully, but by manifestation 
of the truth, commending ourselves to every man's con- 
science in the sight of God." Food first. To refresh the 
weary. Secondly. To strengthen the weak. Thirdly. To 
make the healthy grow and increase. 

Use 2. People must receive the word as food. Here is 
a threefold direction: first, for preparation; lay aside all 
malice and guile, (1 Pet. ii. 1, James i. 21,) get a sound and 
pure appetite for pure milk, for pure ends, to grow there- 
by. The second is, for reception, as an engrafted word, 
as food digested and turned into our substance. Not as 
the vintner that tastes of many vessels, but swallows none. 
The third is, for retention, and practice, chew the cud, 
and walk in the strength of it, &c. 

Doct. 3. It is a fault to be children in knowledge still, 
we must endeavour to conceive spiritual things aright, to 
discern things that differ, good from evil, truth from er- 
ror. Truth and error lie, many times, near together, and 
look alike: it is needful therefore, that we have a spirit of 
discerning. First. Some Christians are weak in graces, 
and have but little strength over their corruptions and 
temptations: they must labour for strengthening grace. 
Eph. iii. 16. Secondly. Some are weak in knowledge, as 
in my text. These know first, but few things; secondly, 
low things; and thirdly, all but weakly and unstably, 
which discovers itself, — First. Because, like children, they 
are fickle, delighted with new things. Secondly. Easily 
cheated out of sound principles, and godly ways. Thirdly. 
Because confused, confounding things which should be 
divided, &c. 

Doct. 4. The means to outgrow childishness in know- 
ledge is, to have our wits or senses exercised in scripture 
doctrines, and scripture distinctions; for by reason of use 
and exercise, we attain that ability and dexterity to dis- 
cern things that differ. Thus you see that to diligence ia 


hearing, Christians must add prudence in discerning. The 
end of scripture is to make us wise to salvation, wise 
to discern the voice of the tempter from God's voice, to 
know a false prophet, though he comes in sheep's cloth- 
ing. It is a shame for a carpenter, or goldsmith, or ma- 
thematician, not to know the use of the instruments of 
his profession, as of the square and rule, of the touch- 
stone, &c. Now religion is every man's profession and 
trade, and it concerns all its professors to be acquainted 
with the doctrine and intents thereof: and to help you to 
attain this end and skill, I know no readier way, than to 
lead you by the hand through the mist and labyrinth of 
some of the most notorious, general, and pernicious errors 
with which this age is bewitched, like those men that 
were smitten with blindness, and led into Samaria instead 
of Dothan, 2 Kings, vi. 19, who were in the midst of 
dangers, and knew it not. And because I desire to avoid 
all suspicion of feigning and loading men with errors, of 
which they are not guilty: I shall take them up as they 
are laid down by the London ministers, in their testimony 
to the truth of Jesus Christ, against the errors, heresies, 
and blasphemies of these times.* 

* London Testimony, A. D., 1647. 





The first and most dangerous error is of them that deny 
or overthrow the divine authority of the scriptures, making 
the word of God of none effect. There is nothing more 
contrary to the corrupt nature of man than the scriptures; 
nothing more contrary to the kingdom of Satan than the 
scriptures. And therefore, lest his impostures and de- 
ceits should be discovered by the light of the word, he 
sets himself by all means to overthrow the scriptures, to 
enervate and weaken their authority, and the high esteem 
we ought to have of them. Satan has many arts and de- 
vices to undermine and destroy the church of Christ. 
Sometimes by open persecution, as in the first three 
hundred years after Christ; secondly, by false apostles, 
and false brethren, which arise and speak perverse things, 
bring in damnable heresies, denying the Lord that bought 
them, and the very Godhead of Christ and his satisfaction. 
Such were the Arians, and those swarms of heretics which 
were hatched by the warmth of peace and favour bestowed 
on the church in the age next following, and the Socini- 
ans of this age. Rev. viii. 10, 11, we read of a great star, 
burning like a lamp that fell from heaven: the name of 
the star is Wormwood; it made the waters bitter, and 
many died of the waters, because they were bitter. When 
the burning stars of the church fall from heaven, their 
pernicious doctrines are like wormwood, which kill them 
that drink thereof. Thirdly, sometimes by setting and 
fomenting divisions among Christians — preacher against 
preacher, church against church — well knowing that a 
house divided against itself cannot stand. Fourthly. But 
all this might be to little purpose, so long as we have a 
sure word of prophecy, a sure rule to have recourse to 
upon all occasions, as to a light that shines in the darkest 
times, as to living, speaking oracles, holding forth to us 
the mind of God, by which truth is manifested, and coun- 
terfeit doctrines discovered. 


I shall not trouble you with the popish controversies 
concerning the scripture, but apply myself to the errors 
of the present age. The sectarian errors in particular, 
concerning the scriptures, are three, in these express 
words of the London Testimony. 

First. That the scripture, whether true manuscript or 
not — whether Hebrew, Greek, or English — is but human, 
and so not able to discover a divine God. 

The second is, that it is no foundation of Christian re- 
ligion, to believe that the English scriptures (or that book, 
or rather volume of books, called the Bible, translated out 
of the original Hebrew and Greek copies into the English 
tongue) are the word of God. 

The third is, that undoubtedly no writings whatever, 
whether translations or originals, are the foundation of the 
Christian religion. 

For discovery and confutation of these accursed errors, I 
choose for my text the words of Christ, " Search the 
scriptures," &c. — John v. 39. The great question of all 
religion was here in debate between Christ and the Jews, 
touching the person, calling, and doctrine of Christ, whe- 
ther they were of God. The Jews denied it; Christ 
proves it by four testimonies. First, of his Father, ver. 

32, " I bear not witness of myself, there is another that 
beareth witness of me, and I know that his witness is 
true." The Father bore witness to Christ at his baptism, 
by that voice from heaven, in the audience of all the peo- 
ple, saying, (Matt. iii. 17,) "This is my beloved Son, in 
whom I am well pleased," as Christ applies it, ver. 37, of 
this chapter. And at his transfiguration, (Matt. xvii. 25,) 
which testimony the apostle Peter highly magnifies, say- 
ing that he " received from God the Father honour and 
glory, when there came such a voice to him from that 
excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am 
well pleased." 

The second testimony is that of John the Baptist, who 
was sent from God, and acknowledged by the Jews, ver. 

33, " You sent unto John, and he bare witness unto the 
truth." But, says Christ, " I receive not testimony from 
man;" that is, I do not rest nor stand so much upon John's 
testimony; only I make use of it, as a man approved by 
yourselves, that you might believe, ver. 34; for if ye be- 
lieve John, you will believe in me. 


The third testimony is by his works, ver. 36, "But I 
have greater witness than that of John, for the works 
which the Father hath given me to finish, bear witness 
of me, that the Father sent me ; hut ye receive not my 
Father's testimony concerning me, because his word is 
not in you;" ye know not your own scriptures, ver. 38. 

The fourth testimony is by the scriptures, even the 
writings of Moses and the prophets; by them Christ of- 
fers to be tried and judged, ver. 39. " Search the scrip- 
tures :" as if he should say, If those scriptures which you 
daily read, and acknowledge to be of God, if they testify 
not of me, then reject me as a counterfeit; but if they do, 
then take heed that ye refuse me not. Christ doth appeal 
to their own judgments, you think (and you think aright) 
that salvation is to be found in the scriptures. If you 
search them as you ought, with an intent to find the Mes- 
siah — the time, person, office, doctrine, and description of 
the Messiah — you will find that they testify of me, " for 
they are they which testify of me," ver. 39. 

The words clearly hold forth these four truths, opposite 
to the forecited errors. Doct. 1. That the scripture is of 
divine authority, the supreme and last judge determining 
in all things (which God has ordained to salvation) what 
is good and what is evil, what is sound and what unsound, 
what is of God and to be believed, and what not; and into 
it our faith finally resolves and rests itself, as being of di- 
vine authority, from whence there is no appeal. There- 
fore, in this debate touching the person, office, and doc- 
trine of the Messiah, Christ appeals to the scriptures, to 
be tried by them: they must justify or condemn all men's 
opinions and actions. 

Doct. 2. The scriptures of the Old Testament are still 
of divine authority to the churches of Christ under the 
gospel, to try, judge and determine in matters of faith and 
duty; so that any doctrine or opinion, as also any moral 
action by them justified or condemned, is to be accounted 
justified or condemned by God himself. The inference 
is clear; for at that time there was no other part of 
God's will committed to writing, but that of the Old 

Doct. 3. To believe the scriptures, (which we are to 
search,) whether in the originals or in the English trans- 


lation, to be the word of God, and to contain in them the 
mind and will of God concerning man's salvation, is a ne- 
cessary foundation of the Christian religion; else to what 
end did Christ bid the Jews search the scriptures, if the 
belief of what we search be not the foundation of our re- 
ligion? Therefore, the proper end of that search is to 
beget faith and religion to those Jews, with whom he 
had to deal; and for Englishmen to believe the English 
scriptures to be God's word is as necessary a foundation 
of our religion, as it is for the Jews to believe the same 
word in the Hebrew text to be of God. 

Doct. 4. The written word of God, both in the origi- 
nals and true translations of them, is the foundatioa of 
eternal life, and of all things that lead to it, (for in them 
ye think ye have eternal life,) and so ye have indeed, be- 
cause they preach Christ, &c. 

I begin with the first doctrine, namely, that the scrip- 
ture is of divine authority; the last and supreme judge in 
matters of faith and duty. This is proved by the judg- 
ment and practice of our Saviour, in deciding matters of 
controversy in religion by scripture. Thus, in that dif- 
ference between the Pharisees and Sadducees about the 
resurrection, he determines the controversy by scripture, 
Matt. xxii. 29: "Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures." 
As if he said, See what the scripture speaks of that point. 
And accordingly the question was judged on the Phari- 
sees' side; namely, that there was a resurrection. Again, 
when that lawyer proposed a question about salvation, 
Christ sends him to the scriptures to be resolved; "How 
readest thou?" (Luke x. 26,) what is written? Thus in 
doubtful times, when different opinions and ways were 
countenanced, the people are directed, Isa. viii. 20, to re- 
sort " to the law and to the testimony." The writings of 
Moses and the prophets are called the testimony, because 
they testify God's mind to man, and therefore to it we 
appeal for determination of every matter. And Peter, 
writing to all that had obtained the like precious faith 
with the apostles, commends the scriptures as the highest 
and surest foundation of faith. " We have a more sure 
word of prophecy, to which ye do well that ye take heed, 
as unto a light." 2 Pet. i. 19. Ye do ill, says the sectary, 
because it is a living upon the letter, and a way beneath, 


for infant Christians to walk by; it is but human. The 
apostle Peter says ye do well. And which of these two 
shall we believe? — them that say ye do ill, or Peter, that 
says ye do well? But, to observe Peter's reason: ye do 
well to take heed to the scripture, because it is not human; 
" it came not by the will of man, but holy men of God 
spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost," ver. 21. 

Again, the scripture has in it all the properties of a su- 
preme judge. What the law is in the commonwealth, the 
same is the scripture in the church. As the law has su- 
preme authority to judge and determine between man and 
man in all causes civil, so hath the scripture in the church 
for matters of faith and salvation. And as in matters of 
controversy between man and man we say, Let the law 
try it, and there we rest; so is the scripture for matters 
of salvation. None is higher than God, whose voice and 
law it is, and therefore it is supreme. 

Now, the properties of a supreme judge or ruler are 
especially three. First, infallibility and fulness of know- 
ledge, by which we are assured that his verdict is true; 
for if a judge be weak in knowledge, if he does not clearly 
understand the matter of which he is to judge, if he him- 
self may be deceived, then he cannot be a competent 
judge, he cannot be supreme; it is fit there should be an 
appeal from him. But now the scripture delivers the in- 
fallible truths of God; God is not deceived, neither doth 
he deceive any man. And it delivers all truths that are 
sufficient and needful for salvation; 2 Tim. iii. 15, "The 
scriptures are able to make one wise unto salvation;" now 
that is sufficient knowledge for any man, that can save 
him. And this the scripture performs, as it is proved, 
ver. 16, by an enumeration of all things necessary for sal- 
vation. First, the scripture teaches me what doctrines I 
must hold, and what I should not hold; "it is profitable 
for doctrine." Secondly, it confutes my errors; it is pro- 
fitable for reproof, or for confutation of error. Thirdly, 
for practice, what is good and what is evil the scripture 
instructs us fully; therefore he says "it instructs in right- 
eousness;" that is, in all points of duty, teaching me what 
I must do. Fourthly, if I go astray, it is profitable for 
correction, st? sttwopdaaw, to set me right again. And 
these four things it does so fully, that by it the man 


of God is made perfect, thoroughly furnished, unto all 
parts of his office, that is, first, to teach the principles of 
the Christian religion. Secondly, reproof of errors and 
false doctrines. Thirdly, for correction of life and evil 
manners. Fourthly, instructions in the precepts of holy 
life and Christian conversation. And these things are 
easy enough to be understood. These are the true say- 
ings of God, when we teach you that we are by nature 
children of wrath, and the necessity of regeneration; that 
we have redemption by faith in Christ's blood; that there 
shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and 
unjust, and of the judgment to come. Also, when we 
teach you that you must repent of your sins; amend your 
lives; take care to profit by hearing the word; keep the 
Sabbath; exercise yourselves in the duties of prayer, 
praise, charity, humility, temperance, mercy, justice, 
peaceableness, &c. When we teach and persuade such 
things as these, we have clear and full scripture on our 
side, and may say of all the scripture, as John, of his reve- 
lation, " These sayings are faithful and true, because the 
Lord God of the prophets sent them to show these things 
unto his servants." — Rev. xxii. 6. 

The second property is impartiality. He that is su- 
preme among men needs not, through fear or favour, to 
be partial in judgment, because he is above all: he must 
not accept the person of any, nor regard the faces of men. 
Now the scripture is like God the law-giver, who accepts 
no man's person: they that walk in the light of the word 
are blessed; they that do not are accursed: "for we call 
unto God the Father, who, without respect of persons, 
judgeth according to every man's works." 1 Pet. i. 17. 
He makes no difference between Jew or Gentile, bond or 
free: and as God himself is no respecter of persons, so 
neither is his word. The apostle James calls it " a per- 
fect law of liberty." Jam. i. 25. The scripture will flat- 
ter none; it justifies the doers and condemns the trans- 
gressors, without partiality. Lying, perjury, covetous- 
ness, ambition, rebellion, murder, oppression of the peo- 
ple in their properties, estates, and consciences, by unjust 
subscriptions, bribery, unmercifulness, &c, are sin in pro- 
testants as well as papists; in a parliament and committee, 
as well as in a court or council table; in a reputed saint, 


as well as in a reputed carnal man. Though men dare 
not say so, yet the scripture dares. "Tribulation and 
anguish upon the soul of every one that doeth evil ; upon 
the Jew first, and also upon the Gentile." Rom. ii. 9. If 
the Jew (one of God's church) be guilty, him first will 
God punish. " You have I known of all the nations of 
the earth, therefore will I punish you for all your iniqui- 
ties." Amos iii. 2; Rom. ii. 1, 2. God is a righteous 

The third property is authority. There is no appeal 
from the supreme; this belongs not to every judge. It is 
the peculiar prerogative of the supreme. Such a judge is 
the scripture; there lies no appeal from it. If the scrip- 
ture justify thee and thy actions, none can condemn thee: 
but if the scripture condemn thee, none can comfort thee. 
A man would not lie under a scripture curse for all the 
world; it will take hold on thee most certainly. Bring a 
crooked thing to the rule, and you will perceive the 
crookedness of it. Take a suspected piece of silver, one 
says it is good, another says it is not: bring it to the 
touchstone, that shows the truth. Scripture is the su- 
preme law, judge, and rule; every man's opinions and 
actions must stand or fall by it. And hence it follows, 

That the scripture is not human, but of divine autho- 
rity. For no man, or number of men, can challenge such 
a supreme power to be judge of all consciences, to be lord 
of all men's faith, to be the trier of all hearts, the rule of 
all lives. No man is thus above another, though the 
things we preach and decree in synods be for the matter 
of them obligatory, as holding forth the mind of God, yet 
not for the authority of us that speak, or write, or decree 
them. But the scripture is the voice of God; the judg- 
ment of God in scripture is authentic and immutable, and 
shall stand for or against us at the last day. The writings 
and minds of men give way one to another, and are mend- 
ed one by another. But that which must correct all is 
the scripture; when that speaks, all must stop. There- 
fore hath the Lord given it to all, and made it common 
to all, that by it all controversies might be decided, all 
doubts resolved, all heresies confuted, all truths established, 
every conscience guided, and every man's life framed. 
Nothing is sound, holy, just, or true, which does not 


agree with scripture: and nothing is unsound, unjust, un- 
holy, untrue, that is agreeable to it. 

Use 1. If the scripture be the last and supreme judge, 
determining in matters of faith and duty what is sound 
and what unsound, then be sure, in all your actions and 
opinions, to get scripture on your side. Amidst all the 
varieties of men's actings, sidings, and opinions in these 
days, there is none of them all that we can take comfort 
in, any farther than they are grounded on and warranted 
by scripture. It is a childish way of reasoning, and a 
poor comfort for any one to plead thus: I am of this or 
that side, of this or that sect, (as suppose Paul or Cephas,) 
unless you can make it appear that you are of Christ, and 
that God's word is on your side. It is not what this or 
that particular man says, be he never so high in reputa- 
tion for wisdom or holiness. Nay, not what a nation of 
men say, but what the Lord says: "for, not he whom 
men, but he whom the Lord approves, is accepted." — 2 
Cor. x. 18. Therefore, be sure that ye do nothing, hold 
nothing, count nothing holy, just, or good, but what the 
scripture does account. Dare not thou to call evil good, 
or good evil; dare not thou to "put darkness for light 
and light for darkness " (Isa. v. 20) for any man's sake, 
or in favour of any side. The scripture lays a curse upon 
them that do so, and there will be a review and a reversing 
of all such wrong. Therefore be thou willing to be judged, 
ordered, and confuted, by scripture. 

In matters speculative, in our disputes against papists, 
we willingly admit the scripture to be judge; why not 
also in practicals? — in disputes against our lusts, against 
our friends, against our own and their evil and crooked 
ways? Men will hold what they list, such points as they 
never learned from scripture — and do what they list, tram- 
ple the law of God and man under foot — and yet take it 
ill to be reproved, confuted, or ordered by scripture. Nay, 
some have so impudently proclaimed their atheistical con- 
tempt of scripture, that they have not blushed to say, this 
is a malignant chapter, a malignant text, or a malignant 
psalm, when they and their actions have not been able to 
resist nor endure the brightness of that light, testifying 
of the unwarrantableness of their doings. Oh, how do 
men strive and struggle against the light, to shuffle off the 


sentences of scripture, as if in some cases it were defec- 
tive, and no competent judge of actions! This is real 
popery. Whereas the scripture is full and clear, but all 
the darkness and difficulty ariseth from the deceitfulness 
of our hearts; we are in love with our own ways, and 
cannot submit our lusts to be arraigned and judged by 
scripture. 0! let every sincere Christian thus resolve: if 
the word be of highest authority, then I must give it the 
highest place in my heart; I must live by the word, and 
act by the word, and die by the word. Perhaps thou 
mightest enjoy many worldly advantages and favours if 
thou wouldst comply with corrupt times and men, and so 
avoid many worldly troubles. But the word of God puts 
a bar: my judge is against me in the business; the word 
of God is in my heart as a burning fire: it tells me I must 
not choose sin to avoid afflictions; it tells me that the load 
of one sin is heavier than many afflictions: I cannot com- 
ply with such and such ways, because my heart stands in 
awe of God's word. Perhaps princes and the grandees 
of the world do sit and censure thee, but the honest heart 
that owns this doctrine will say, I had rather offend and 
displease them all, than offend Thy word, which must be 
my judge and theirs. ft I have hid thy word in my heart, 
that I might not sin against thee." — Ps. cxix. 161. 

Take two motives to quicken this resolution. First, 
It is a comfort. If thou canst give the word the highest 
place in thy heart, then in every condition thou canst with 
comfort appeal to God to judge for thee, and say, Lord, I 
am willing to be ordered by it, I acknowledge its divine 
authority. I desire, if I be in error in any thing, to be 
confuted by it; if ignorant, to be instructed by it; if I am 
in the truth, to be kept by it; when I go astray, to be re- 
called by it. The things I know not, teach thou me: I do 
not desire to seek any evasion to avoid the stroke or light 
of it. If thou canst say this in truth of heart, then thou 
mayest with comfort appeal to God in any estate. 

Observe the temper and workings of thy heart; when 
thou readest and hearest the word, does thy heart smite 
and reproach thee for any matter? or canst thou not read 
or hear every part of the word opened and applied with 
that wonted boldness, comfort and confidence, (as that 12th 
chapter to the Romans, against resisting the higher powers, 


the 15th Psalm, against usjry, the epistles of Peter and 
Jude, against mocking, proud, empty, disobedient secta- 
ries,) it is a sign thou dost strive to shake off the autho- 
rity of the word, that thy heart is not upright; and be 
sure of this, thou shalt lie down in sorrow, thou canst not 
with boldness appeal to God to clear thy innocency and 
integrity, "For if thy heart condemn thee, God is greater 
than thy heart, and knoweth all things/' John iii. 20: he 
will much more condemn thee. And "There is no dark- 
ness nor shadow of death where the workers of iniquity 
may hide themselves," Job xxxiv. 22. 

Second. It is a means of reformation. To acknowledge 
the divine and supreme authority of scripture practically 
would be a notable means to reform the gross evils among 
us, both in church and state, the great confusions that are 
among us, the contempt of ordinances, ministry, Sabbaths, 
sacraments, &c. If we would yield to the judgment of 
scripture, and call that heresy, or schism, or lying, per- 
jury, or oppression, &c, which the scripture calls so, and 
submit to its sentence in each particular, we should soon 
have a visible reformation of great evils, both public and 
in our persons and families, when we go about to persuade 
you to take pains to get knowledge, to examine, and try 
your spiritual estate, to make conscience of God's wor- 
ship, to hear with care, to profit by hearing, to sanctify 
the Sabbath, to exercise chastity, mercy, truth, sobriety, 
peaceableness, &c, among ourselves, we are sure we have 
scripture on our side. And men have nothing but hu- 
mour, custom, lust, and obstinacy to oppose against it. — 
Never look for a reformation where lust will be a rule ; 
where revenge, and covetousness, and ambition, and fac- 
tion will be the judge ; but let the pure word of God rule 
in our councils, parliaments, assemblies, cities and transac- 
tions, we should soon be a holy people, a praise in the 
earth. And remember, that if we will not yield to the 
judgment of scripture now, to our conversion and amend- 
ment, we shall ere long be forced to yield to its authority 
and judgment to our confusion. Thus much for the first 
use, namely, to acknowledge the divine authority of scrip- 
ture, practically, in matters of sin and duty. 

Use 2. Is to vindicate the authority of scripture against 
all such as oppose or weaken it, and make it of none effect. 


A fourfold error is here to be confuted. The first, of 
them that make the church the judge over scriptures. We 
embrace its ministry, we build not upon its authority. I 
shall not trouble the reader with confutations of papists, 
who overthrow its high authority and esteem two manner 
of ways. First, by setting the authority of the church 
above the scriptures: Major est authoritas ecclesiae, quam 
scripturae.* They teach that the church, that is, the Pope 
in his chair, by reason of his infallibility, is the judge on 
earth, determining which books are scripture, and which 
not, what is the sense and meaning of scripture, against 
whose judgment and determination there is no disputing 
or contravening. Secondly, they overthrow its supreme 
authority by equalizing their traditions with the scripture. 
" Traditiones sunt pari pietatis affectu cum scripturis re- 
cipiendae."t A strange pride to set up other doctrines, 
which the scriptures never taught, to bind the conscience 
with the commandments and decrees of men. 

But the error I am now to deal with is that of them 
that appeal to the spirit of the blasphemous anti-scriptu- 
rist, under which name I comprehend all such as either 
deny them to be divinely inspired and given of God, or 
else allowing their divine authority, yet refuse to submit 
to scripture as the supreme and all-sufficient judge, pre- 
tending to other divine revelations besides and beyond the 
written word, to which upon all occasions they appeal, as 
if the scriptures were not able to acquaint the soul with 
the highest discoveries of God's truth and mind. If they 
be urged with any proof out of the Old Testament, they 
reject it, as if the Old Testament were antiquated, and out 
of date: if they be pressed with a place in the New Tes- 
tament, then they say, that is not the meaning which we 
produce, because, say they, you have not the Spirit, the 
Spirit teaches us otherwise. And thus, under pretence of 
inspirations of the Holy Ghost, and improvements beyond 
and above all scripture, they strike at the root, and blow 
up the very foundation, of all faith and religion, of all our 
hopes and comforts. These are the devil's engineers. — 
These flatly disauthorize the word of God, and all that is 
built upon it; for with the scripture all religion must 
needs fall to ruin, or at least stand upon uncertainties, for 

* w The authority of the church is greater than that of scripture." 

t " Traditions are to be received with the same reverence as scripture." 


every one may pretend to the Spirit with as much reason 
as any one, and perhaps one of these spirits quite contra- 
ry to the other, and so there can be no evidence of truth 
or untruth, of sin or duty, but every one is left to be his 
own judge and rule, and every one will be in the truth, 
because he thinks so. Here therefore of their error, who 
appeal from scripture to the Spirit for trial of truth, and 
for deciding of doubts. 

For the clear discovery of this error, I shall declare two 
things : First, what we are to hold touching the Spirit's 
revealing to us the mind of God ; secondly, what we are 
to detest and abhor touching that matter. For the former, 
we hold and teach that the Spirit of God, which indited 
the scripture, is a Spirit of revelation and illumination, 
given to all God's people, for the acknowledging and un- 
derstanding the mysteries of salvation and the things that 
belong to our spiritual estate ; which otherwise cannot be 
understood by any mere natural understanding, or unre- 
generate man, though he has the scriptures in his hand, 
and reads them, Eph. i. 17, 1 Cor. ii. 14. God by his Spi- 
rit has in the scriptures fully revealed the mysteries of 
Christ ; yet no man, who has no more light than the na- 
tural light of his understanding, can conceive them aright, 
unless God by his Spirit reveal them to his heart. There 
is a two-fold light, one external, shining in the word, 2 
Peter i. 19, another internal, shining and bringing into 
our hearts the knowledge of the glory of God in the face 
of Jesus Christ, 2 Cor. iv. 6, so that God gives both light 
to the word and eye-sight to the soul, (Rev. iii. 18, Eph. 
i. 18.) God set lights in the firmament, and an eye in 
the body to see them. If I point with my finger to the 
moon or a star, which a man would see, and he has not 
eyes to see my finger or the star, the fault is not for want 
of showing, nor in the star for want of light, but in his 
eyes, that are blind and cannot see. So the scripture 
is a light, but all have not eyes to discern and see it. To 
have this inward light, to see the things of God, is pecu- 
liar to God's elect. Others have eyes and see not, ears 
and hear not, nor understand. But the Spirit searches 
and makes known the deep things of God, and that two 
manner of ways : First, in the scripture. Secondly to our 

hearts. "Eye hath not seen the things which God hath 



prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed 
them unto us by his Spirit, for the Spirit searcheth all 
things, yea, the deep things of God ; for what man know- 
eth the things of man, save the spirit of man, which is in 
him ? Even so the things of God knoweth no man, but 
the Spirit of God," 1 Cor. ii. 9, 10, 1 1. And for this cause 
it is that Paul prays for the Ephesians, that " God would 
give them the Spirit of revelation in the knowledge of 
Christ, to enlighten the eyes of their understanding," 
Eph. i. 17, IS. 

Where note first, that by the Spirit of revelation is not 
meant that extraordinary revelation, whereby things were 
made known to the prophets, but that ordinary gift of il- 
lumination, or that light, which the Spirit causes to shine 
into our minds, by help of which, spiritual things are 
made manifest to the eye of the understanding; even as 
by the light of the sun, things bodily are made manifest 
to the eye of the body. 

Note, secondly, that the apostle prays this for those 
who enjoyed the outward light of the gospel preached to 
them, yet he prays for a farther mercy, namely, that the 
eyes of their understandings might be enlightened to see 
that light which was come into the world. All means 
and rules are vain, unless God give eyes to see, as he 
opened Hagar's eyes to see the well of water; therefore 
David prayed, Open thou mine eyes, that I may see the 
wonders of thy law. Psal. cxix. 18. Thus the Spirit of 
God is a Spirit of sanctification and illumination, enabling 
us to see more than we could see by the mere help of rea- 
son, and this Spirit is promised to the people of God, to 
guide them into all saving truths. 1 John ii. 26, 27. "These 
things have I written unto you, concerning them that se- 
duce you. But the same anointing teacheth you all things, 
and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, 
ye shall abide in him." By these places, you see, that we 
have need of the Spirit to enlighten our minds to understand 
the scriptures, as those two disciples; whose understand- 
ings the Lord opened, that they might understand the 
scriptures. Luke xxiv. And in this sense, we acknow- 
ledge the Spirit of God to be with us, to abide with us, and 
to teach us. 

But this is the Spirit of God, speaking to us in and by 
the scripture, not beside or beyond it. It is one thing to 


say the Spirit teacheth us by scripture, and another thing 
to pretend the Spirit's teaching, besides or beyond, or 
contrary to the scripture; the one is a divine truth, the 
other is vile Montanism, namely, to hold immediate revela- 
tions without the word, and these as infallible as scripture 
itself, as if men might appeal from scripture, to those re- 
velations, and in them finally to stay our faith, and 
ground our practice. This is a monstrous delusion of the 
devil, of all men to be detested and abhorred, and if a man 
shall pretend to such immediate inspirations, he is to be 
rejected as an instrument of Satan : 2 Thes. ii. 2. " We be- 
seech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus 
Christ, that ye be not shaken in mind, nor troubled, neither 
by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter. Let no man de- 
ceive you by any means." Here are three ways of deceit, 
and the first is their boasting of the Spirit, against whom, 
as if he should say, be not troubled by any doctrine or 
opinion raised and vented under pretence of the Spirit's 
inspiration ; such instincts and inspirations of the Spirit 
are the usual pretences of impostors; they walk in their 
spirit, yet lie falsely, says, Micah ii. 1 1. Against all such 
fanatical enthusiasts, the Lord has sufficiently forewarned 
us: 1 John iv. 1. "Beloved, believe not every spirit" or 
doctrine held forth under the name of the Spirit. You 
see the apostle's zeal in this point, Gal. i. 8, " If we, or an 
angel from heaven, preach any other gospel, let him be 
accursed." The second means of deceit is by word. It 
seems that the false preachers pretended to have heard it 
from Paul's mouth. The third means is forged writings, 
under Paul's name. Thus they fathered their error upon 
Paul. But the first is our present case. They boasted 
of the Spirit. 

Take three reasons against making this private spirit 
the judge and rule for trial of truths. Such appeals and 
pretences are not to be admitted, 

First. Because in scripture is made known to us " the 
manifold wisdom of God," Eph. iii. ; " the mysteries of 
the kingdom of God," Matt. xi. ; " the full assurance of 
understanding to the acknowledgment of the mystery of 
God, and of Christ," Col. ii. 2, 3; "in whom are hid all 
the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." Now, if in 
scripture, God hath manifested his divine wisdom, the 


mysteries of God, of Christ, and his kingdom, and that in 
full assurance of understanding, what higher discoveries 
can be expected by such pretended inspirations? for such 
discoveries are either the same with those in the word, or 
diverse from it. If the same, then why fly they from scrip- 
ture to another spirit, the motives of which are not dis- 
cernible by others, nor demonstrable to others; if they be 
diverse from the word, then they fall under the curse, 
Gal. i. 8: they are accursed by the public Spirit, that 
speaks in the word. 

Again, to appeal from the judgment of scripture to the 
instincts and dictates of the Spirit, is to set the Spirit of 
God, for so they call their visions and enthusiasm, though 
falsely, in opposition to itself, and the private spirit against 
the public Spirit, that indited the scripture. Now it is 
blasphemous to affirm, that the Holy Ghost should declare 
any thing in secret to any man, different from what it has 
declared to the whole church in the public tables of the 
covenant. The Spirit of God speaking in scripture is the 
public Spirit. " Knowing this," says Peter, " that no 
prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation." 
A private spirit is that which one man hath, and not 
another; and therefore it is but the figment of men's 
brains. But the public Spirit, which is the Holy Ghost, 
did move in all the holy penmen of scripture, 2 Peter, i. 
20. The same Spirit of Christ spake in the prophets of 
old before the flood, and since, in all that followed after, 
1 Peter, i. 10, 11; and therefore they all spake the same 
things, for the apostles said no other things than " those 
which the prophets and Moses did say should come," Acts 
xvi. 22. Now, therefore, with what colour of reason can 
men say the Spirit suggests this or that thing to them, 
which was never suggested to any of the prophets or apos- 
tles, but only to themselves? These therefore are but 
conceits of sick brains, and Satanical illusions. 

But, finally, put the case that the Spirit is given to some 
men to expound scripture infallibly, this assistance may 
determine my own assent, and give my own heart full 
satisfaction; but it can be no judge between me and 
another concerning the meaning of a place in controversy, 
because I cannot prove to another, that the sense I give is 
suggested by God's Spirit. I cannot secure another, that 


I speak by the Spirit; for he may pretend to do so too. 
Therefore the Spirit's speaking in us must be evidenced 
by its agreement with the Spirit speaking in the word. 
And so our faith is finally resolved into the divine autho- 
rity of scripture, as you shall see anon. 

Obj. 1. But it is said, 2 Peter, i. 19, "Until the day 
dawn, and the day-star, that is, Jesus Christ, arise in your 
hearts;" but when once he is risen, ye may lay aside the 
scriptures, as ye use to put out the candle, when the morn- 
ing light shineth. 

Ans. The apostle compares the light of the law with the 
light of the gospel. The times of the law were like the 
night, in which candles are lighted, the times of the gos- 
pel, like day-light, in which the sun shines. The whole 
Jewish church was enlightened by the prophetic word, 
during the night of Christ's absence, who is the " sun of 
righteousness," the "morning star" of the church, en- 
lightening our hearts by his bright beams, without having 
any more need of the shadows, figures, and weak direc- 
tions of the law. Yet, secondly, he testifies of that light, 
that it was a sure word, sufficient to enlighten the church, 
and able to guide them to Christ; and it was to the Jews 
of greater certainty and credit, than the apostles' report 
of a voice from heaven. The doctrine of the prophets 
was a more sure foundation of faith to the Jews, than 
those particular revelations made to certain persons, not 
as the foundations of faith, but as props and bearers up of 
it. This is the meaning of that place: by which you see 
what a wild and wide inference it is, that some make, as 
if we were beholden to scripture to set up Christ in our 
hearts ; but when that is done, then we must not live any 
longer upon the letter, it being a way beneath, for infant 
Christians to walk with God in, as if to live in the Spirit 
were to lay aside the scripture. 

Obj. 2. A like objection is framed against scripture 
from 1 Cor. xiii. 11, 12. " When I became a man, I put 
away childish things: now we see in a glass darkly," and 
therefore if we would see clearly, we must lay aside the 
glass, and look beyond scripture; we must put away these 
childish things. 

Ans. The apostle is there comparing our present state 
of grace with our future state of glory, and says, that there 


is such a difference between our present knowledge, and 
that which we shall enjoy hereafter in the life to come, as 
there is between the seeing of a man's image in the glass, 
and looking him full in the face. In the glass we have 
but the species or resemblance of a thing, not the thing it- 
self; so here we see God in the glass of his word, sacra- 
ments and works; but then immediately, and in his proper 
shape, "face to face, even as he is; then shall we know, 
even as we are known," 1 John, iii. 2; that is, perfectly 
and clearly. Paul does not here compare a Christian in 
his minority, using the scripture as a glass to see with, 
and in his full growth, casting away that glass; but he 
compares the state of grace and glory together, as appears 
particularly, verse 9, " now we know in part :" we are 
now in that state, which hath need of help of tongues and 
other gifts, which shall then vanish away, verse 8, and 
more plainly, verse 13, " now abideth faith, hope, charity ." 
He speaks of a state, when faith shall cease, and charity 
remain, and then these glasses for representation of things 
shall be done away, we shall not need any more word or 
sacraments, we shall see God as he is. Faith shall be 
turned into vision, but in this life faith is the chief grace, 
by which we " see him who is invisible." Heb. xi. 27. 
And therefore, whilst we are on earth, we must with 
all care, conscience, reverence, and thankfulness, make 
use of this glass, the scripture, wherein we see the image 
of God's glory, wisdom, grace, goodness, &c; lest other- 
wise we err in judgment, and stumble in vision, and in- 
stead of higher discoveries of unrevealed light, and glo- 
rious truths, we come to have our eyes blinded, and our 
hearts infatuated to embrace the fancies of men's brains, 
and delusions of Satan, for the mysteries of God; for when 
once we throw aside this glass, we shall be deceived, as 
Adam was, and lose that knowledge of God which once 
we had. Therefore, when you hear men pretend to have 
new instincts of the Spirit, to discoveries above and beyond 
scripture, though they be as eminent in your esteem as 
an apostle, or an angel of God, they are only the devil's 
instruments, who would by that means weaken the autho- 
rity of the word to set up his own delusions. Let us remem- 
ber that of Deut. xxix. 29, "Secret things belong to the 
Lord our God, but things revealed, to us and our children." 


In this he says, things revealed, it is evident, God hath 
concealed other things, which we have no other means to 
know, and therefore ought not to inquire into them, ac- 
cording to that of Paul, Col. ii. 18, 19, where he notes as 
a mark of seducers, and one cause of misleading into error, 
that they intrude into things which they have not seen. 

2. Of their error, who set up reason as judge, and so finally 
resolve their faith into reason. Qui secundum rationis 
judicium oracula sacra volunt esse interpretanda. The 
principles of Socinianism are two ; first, corrupt reason, 
second, scripture depraved. No rational man will deny 
the use of reason in judging in matters of faith, yet if you 
admit it to be the rule by which to measure the mysteries 
of faith, and to judge the sense of scripture, you will be 
forced to deprave the scripture to satisfy your reason. 

Now, that you may discern between good and ill on 
this point, I shall show two things: 1, what we are to 
hold touching the use of reason in matters of faith and re- 
ligion; 2, what we are not to hold touching its dominion 
in judging, &c. 

First. We are to hold, that reason is the eye of the soul, 
or that organ, which lets into the soul that divine light, 
which both begets faith, and upon which, faith finally rests 
itself. Reason is not the thing on which our faith rests, 
but the faculty by which we see the light. God wrote 
his mind to reasonable creatures, not to brute beasts, who, 
by way of discourse, weighing what goes before, and what 
follows the text, and comparing scripture with scripture, 
one place with another, come to understand his will and 
mind. Many miss, because they do not diligently make 
so much use of reason, conference, and helps of art, as 
they will to find out the meaning of a poet, or statute- 

We are commanded to search the Scriptures, to try the 
spirits, to try all things, to judge what the apostles say, 
&c. Now these are acts of reason and choice, by the help 
of which we come to be able to give a reason of our own 
faith, and to convince the adversaries. You cannot per- 
suade a man to Christianity, unless you show him a rea- 
son for it. If you say your church is the true church, you 
must show a reason for it; if you urge a scripture, men 
will judge whether the words alleged, speak your sense 


or not; and if they may judge, then they may reject your 
allegation, if impertinent. 

Seeing we ourselves are the persons, that must be sure 
of the truth of our religion, (every man lives by his own 
faith,) else we perish for ever. And seeing there are so 
many sects, opinions, and ways of arguing, such a variety 
of persuasions and beliefs in the world, it nearly concerns 
all men to consider which persuasion relies on the surest 
ground. Whatever the outward medium or means be, to 
show us the mind of God, whether ordinary or super- 
natural, reason helps us to make use of them for embracing 
the truth, and rejecting the error. The judgment and 
determination of the word of God, as Dr. Field excellently 
says, is that wherein we finally rest the rule of our faith; 
and the light of divine understanding is that, whereby we 
judge all things. 

Secondly. The mysteries of faith, though riot to be 
reached and comprehended by reason, yea, though in their 
proper nature they be contrary to the dictates of reason,* 
and irreconcilable by any thing that is within the compass 
of reason, as ex nihilo nihil fit, says reason, and ex nihilo 
omnia fiunt, says faith; The dead cannot return again to 
life, says reason; The dead bones shall live again, says 
faith: yet the soul being overswayed by a higher prin- 
ciple, sees the greatest reason in the world to believe them 
all, because the Spirit reveals them to be of God. It is all 
the reason in the world to believe God speaking to us. 
We must believe any thing which God speaks or reveals, 
though the thing itself seem never so unreasonable; for 
reason tells me, that all which God speaks, must needs be 
true and good, and how strange soever it seems to flesh 
and blood; and so my faith is resolved into the divine 
truth and authority of God's word, and our reason is cap- 
tivated, 2 Cor. x. 5, to that higher principle, to believe 
what we see revealed, because it is revealed by God. 

Thirdly. As I have reason to believe all that God speaks, 
because he is a God of truth and cannot lie, so I have rea- 
son also to believe, that the doctrine of scripture is God's 
revealed mind and will. It is not sufficient to the ground- 
ing of faith to say, I believe all that God reveals to be 

* " That is, of reason as found in man fallen and depraved. They are not con- 
trary to right reason." 


true, but we must also believe, that these are the things 
which God has revealed. We confess, says Dr. Field, 
that faith may rightly be said to be a firm assent without 
evidence, of many things believed in themselves; but yet 
the medium, by force whereof we are drawn to believe, 
must be evident to us. As if I be asked, why I believe 
the incarnation, death, and resurrection of Christ, I 
answer, Because God's word testifies of them as things 
most certain and true. If you ask me farther, How know 
you that God hath revealed these things? I answer, By 
infallible testimonies and signs from heaven. By which, 
my reason is convinced, that those writings are of God, 
and so I can prove that a Christian has more reason for 
his religion, than any other, whether Jew, Turk, or 

By these three positions, you see the great use and force 
of reason in matters of faith. It lets into my soul the 
divine light of the word; it tells me I have reason to be- 
lieve what seems contrary to reason, because God hath 
spoken it, and it assures me that God hath spoken those 
heavenly mysteries. 

Secondly. But yet, for all this, we must not make 
reason the rule to measure faith by, nor the judge accord- 
ing to whose dictates the scriptures must be expounded. 
For example, That there is a Trinity of persons in the 
Godhead, the scripture is clear, 1 John v. 7: "There are 
three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, 
and the Holy Ghost, and these three are one." So shall I 
now expound this scripture according to the dictates of 
reason, and say, That because it seems impossible to rea- 
son, that three, should be one God; therefore, the mean- 
ing of that place must be this; Those three are one by 
consent of minds and wills! God forbid, for so a thousand 
men may be one. But the text itself, verse 8, shows how 
precisely the Holy Ghost spake, when he said, These 
three are one, more than by consent of testimony, because, 
verse 8, he varies the phrase, and says of the spirit, water, 
and blood, that they agree in one. Therefore, to be one, 
verse 7, is more than to ag.-ee in one, verse 8. If because? 
I cannot conceive in reason, how Christ and his Father 
can be one, therefore I shall seek to find out an interpre- 
tation, which may agree with my reason, this is clearly to 



set reason in the chair above scripture, and scripture must 
be made to submit to our sense, not we to the sense of the 
mystery revealed. Socinians will not believe, without a 
reason or evidence from the thing revealed. They will 
consult with the dictates of reason about an article of faith, 
and accordingly expound it, upon that ground, nullo modo 
verum esse potest, cui ratio prorsus, communisque sensus 
repugnat :* and hereupon they deny the person and office 
of Christ, the resurrection of the same body, the decrees 
of God, &c. 

But we are to put a difference between giving a reason 
of our believing, and a reason of the thing believed. I 
believe the doctrine of the Trinity, and of Christ's incar- 
nation, that Esau was rejected, and Jacob loved, &c, and 
the reason of my belief is, because so it is written. But 
to demonstrate these truths, by evidence from the nature 
of things, or else to disbelieve them, this sovereignty of 
reason is the ruin of all faith and religion. 

Some things are evident in themselves, as the principles 
of geometry; as, that every whole and entire thing is big- 
ger than a part of it, &c. Some things are not evident in 
themselves, but are made known to us, both that they are, 
and what they are, by a foreign medium, without the 
compass of the things themselves. Of this sort are all 
those things which we are persuaded of by the report of 
others; and this is the certainty of that knowledge which 
we have of things believed; the truth of them in them- 
selves appears not to us, nor is seen of us, and in this re- 
spect, faith is truly said to be an assent without evidence, 
upon the credit of the revealer. In these points, reason 
reacheth but the to 6Vt, that such points are the truths of 
God. But the & 6V* is hid from us, we cannot show a 
reason how such things should be. The sum is, to tie our 
faith to reason, and form our belief by the dictates of rea- 
son, so as to refuse to believe any thing without evidence 
from the nature of the thing, is a dangerous pride, setting 
up reason above the will of God revealed, to arraign scrip- 
ture at the bar of reason: a thing not to be admitted, and 
that for these two reasons: 

First. Because our understandings are weak in things 

* " That cannot possibly be true, which is repugnant to reason and common 


of nature, as the wind, a feather, Job xxxix. 13, " Gavest 
thou wings and feathers unto the ostrich?" Much more 
blind is our reason in mysteries of the kingdom of heaven: 
They are hid from the wise and prudent, they are foolish- 
ness to the scribes and disputers of this world, 2 Cor. i. 20: 
yea, at best, there is a great deal of blindness and weak- 
ness in our understandings, 1 Cor. ii. 11, we know but in 
part, 1 Cor. xiii. 12, yea, the law of our minds and reason 
rebels against the law of God, and much ado we have to 
bring all our xoyio^«j, reasonings, in captivity to the truth, 
2 Cor. x. 5. Now this blind, weak, rebellious reason of 
ours is to be regulated, corrected, enlightened by the 
word, but not to regulate the word; for that which is to 
be regulated, cannot be the rule to regulate. That which 
is weak and blind, is not fit to judge that which is perfect, 
that which is all light, all truth, all pure, must not be 
judged and regulated by that which is subject to error and 
mistakes. " I have need to be baptized of thee," said John 
to Christ, "and comest thou to me?" So of our reason we 
may say, I have need to be regulated and amended by thee, 
O blessed word, and comest thou to me? 

Secondly. Reason is denied to be the rule and judge of 
belief, for the same cause, that we denied the private pre- 
tended spirit to be judge for the trial of truths, viz.: Be- 
cause I cannot prove to another, that mine is the right 
reason. He pretends reason and so do I. Experience 
shows, that different men have different reasons, and dif- 
ferent expositions. He thinks he speaks as much reason 
as I. We are not certain that this or that is the right 
meaning of a text if a man hath nothing to assure him but 
the seeming of his own reason; which reason, others think 
they have as well as he. Indeed, if we compare our own 
reason with the reason and authority of other men which 
have decreed thus and thus, then we must give the pre- 
eminence to our own reason when a clearer evidence is 
propounded. Every one is to judge for himself, and it is 
unreasonable to assent to a lesser evidence when a clearer 
is propounded. It is true, because few are able to judge 
for themselves, God has provided guides to help them, 
yet Christians must not resign their wits and senses to 
follow any human guide whatsoever: our guides must not 
lead us blindfolded, neither must we put out our eyes to 


follow them; we must see the reason and grounds upon 
which they go, and so follow them by our own reason. 
With my eyes I see my guide's light; he tells me this is 
firm ground, you may go upon it, and I see it to be so. By 
my reason, I see his reason, and so follow him like a man 
of understanding, not like a beast, that is led, and knows 
not whither. I have the advantage of his reason, and my 
own too. 

3. We now speak of their error, who appeal from scrip- 
ture to providence, and leaving the scriptures, make pro- 
vidence the rule of their persuasions and actions: for 
there is yet another error of those that weaken the su- 
preme authority of scripture, and make it of small effect 
by appealing to success of providence, declaring, as they 
conceive, the will of God, and what he likes or dislikes, 
and so judge thereby of the good or evil of many things. 

Now that you may have your senses exercised, to dis- 
cern between good and evil in this point also; I shall 
show, first, what use we are to make of the passages and 
dispensations of providence; secondly, what is not war- 
rantable to be built thereupon. 

Use 1. — For the former, we ought to give glory to God 
in all his wonderful works of providence, and that in 
these four particulars: — 1. We must take serious notice 
of his doings; for, the Lord hath done his marvellous 
works, that they ought to be had in remembrance, PsaL 
cxv. 2, yea, we must talk of his wondrous works, and 
say, This hath the Lord done, and it is marvellous in our 
eyes, Psal. cxviii. 23. The works of the Lord are great, 
sought out of all that have pleasure therein, Psal. cxi. 2, 4. 
But an unwise man regardeth them not. Lord, saith 
David, how great are thy works! and thy thoughts are 
very deep: a brutish man knoweth not this, neither doth 
a fool understand this, Psal. xcii. 5, 6; and therefore God 
is angry: because they regard not the works of the Lord, 
nor the operations of his hands, he shall destroy them, and 
not build them up, Psal. xxviii. 5. 

2. We must so observe them, as to learn righteousness 
thereby: for, when thy judgments are in the earth, the 
inhabitants of the world, such as have grace in them, will 
learn righteousness, saith the Lord, though the wicked 
will deal unjustly still, and not behold the majesty of the 


Lord, Isa. xxvi. 9, 10. By the serious meditation of pro- 
vidences much is to be learned; as, first, sometimes by 
it we may learn to humble our souls under his mighty 
hand, and to amend our ways, and to tremble before him, 
the people shall hear and see, and do no more so wickedly. 
Secondly. Sometimes we learn to see God's love and 
faithfulness, and so grow up into a dependence on him in 
like cases. Thy faithfulness and truth shall be my shield 
and buckler, Psal. xci. 4. He shall deliver thee in six 
troubles, yea in seven, there shall no evil touch thee, Job 
v. 19. Thirdly. We may learn content, cheerfulness, 
thankfulness in a low estate, &c, by God's dealings with 
ourselves and others. Fourthly. Providences do some- 
times call us to suffering, to martyrdom to bear witness to 
his truth, and against the sins of the world. 

3. Providence overrules the plots, counsels, and works 
ol men, yea their vices, and their natural imaginations, to 
bring to pass his own work, either of mercy or of judg- 
ment. The creature does his own will, works after his 
own lusts, drives on his own designs; but all this while 
God is above them, and brings to pass his own counsels, 
sometimes for mercy; as in the case of Christ; Herod, and 
Pontius Pilate, and the Jews laid their heads together, 
they were "gathered together against Christ," that was 
their work. But God's work was carried on by their 
wicked hands "To do whatsoever thy hand and thy coun- 
sel determined before to be done," Acts iv. 42. Some- 
times for judgment, as Isa. x. 5, " Assyrian! the rod of 
mine anger, and the staff in their hand, is mine indigna- 
tion ; I will send him against a hypocritical nation, I will 
give him a charge to take the spoil, and to tread down 
like the mire in the street." This is God's work by the 
Assyrians, to scourge his people. But the Assyrian did 
not propose to himself any such end as to serve God, but 
he drove on his own designs of ambition and covetousness, 
for he saith, verse 7, " He meaneth not so, neither doth 
his heart think so: but it is in his heart to destroy and cut 
off nations, not a few." Ezek. xxix. 18, Yea, Nebuchad 
nezzar, in warring against Tyrus, is said to have wrought 
for God, and God pays him his wages, verse 20, " I have 
given him the land of Egypt for his labour wherewith he 
served against Tyrus, because they wrought for me, saith 



the Lord God." Though they did not know his will, nor 
had any intention to obey it, yet by their wicked hands 
the Lord executed his judgment on Tyrus. 

4. Many times the passages of Providence are so 
strange, and in that darkness, that we cannot see God's 
liking or disliking by them, as in Job's case, we cannot 
tell what judgment to form upon them. Job xi. 7, " Canst 
thou by searching find out God ? Canst thou find out the 
Almighty unto perfection?" "His judgments are un- 
searchable, and past finding out," Rom. xi. 33. Job could 
not find out God in his workings, though he sought it di- 
ligently. Job xxiii. 8, 9, " Behold, I go forward, but he 
is not there, and backward, but I cannot perceive him : on 
the left hand, where he doth work, but I cannot behold 
him ; he hideth himself on the right hand, that I cannot 
see him : but he knoweth the way that 1 take." Job ix. 
10, 11, 12, "He doeth great things, past finding out; lo, 
he goeth by me, and I see him not; he passeth on, also, 
but I perceive him not: behold, he taketh away, who can 
hinder him ? Who will say unto him, What doest thou ?" 
Sometimes the Lord works by his prerogative, and there 
is no reason to be given for u. The Lord knows all our 
ways, paths, and turnings, but we cannot find out the rea- 
son of his dealings. Yet we must still conclude, that in 
all God's acts of providence in the changes and alterations 
of the world, we must acknowledge his justice, sovereign- 
ty, power and wisdom. Though the instruments and 
their works be wicked, though his ways be far above and 
out of our sight, his footsteps are in the clouds, and in the 
great waters, yet every mouth must confess, that " Holy, 
holy, holy, is the Lord God of hosts, the whole earth is 
full of his glory," Isa. vi. 5. This did the angels pro- 
claim before the throne of God, when he sat to judge the 
earth. And so Jeremiah, though he understood not the 
reason of God's proceedings, yet he acknowledges that 
" God is righteous in all that he doth." Jer. xii. 1, 
" Righteous art thou, Lord, when I plead with thee," &c. 
Job gives God the glory of his holiness and justice, though 
he knew not why the Lord should deal so severely with 
him. Job ix. 15, " Whom, though I were righteous, yet 
would I not answer ; but I would make my supplication 
to my Judge." Thus we are to judge of the passages of 


Providence, we must observe them, learn by them, con- 
sidering that he works by wicked instruments, that his 
goings out are sometimes hid from us, yet ever just and 

Secondly. What we deny to Providence. We must 
not make Providence a rule or judge cf our duty, nor to 
be a warrant of our actions : we must not accept the most 
signal demonstrations of Providence against a scripture 
rule e No alterations of times, no successes of Providence, 
no afflictions, no cross accident, should cause a godly soul 
to alter his principles, nor to depart from the words of in- 
struction which we have received from the mouth of God, 
to build ourselves new persuasions and actions, upon new 
principles of providential favours or dis-favours. Learn 
this from Job's holy resolution, Job xxiii. 9, " Though I 
cannot see him in his dealings towards me, yet my foot 
hath held his steps, his ways have 1 kept, and not declined, 
neither have I gone back from the commandment of his 
lips: " see Psa. cxix. 83, 84, 87. Nothing of Providence 
must alter the rule. 

This is proved by five reasons: 1. Because God uses 
wicked men for his instruments, and prospers their cause. 
The prophet, (Habakkuk, i. 13,) expostulates with the 
Lord, and calls them wicked ; " Wherefore lookest thou 
upon them that deal treacherously, and holdest thy tongue 
when the wicked devoureth the more righteous than he, 
and makest men as the fishes of the sea, that have no ruler 
over them." Here you see God's vengeance executed by 
men that were far worse. Again, if providential suc- 
cesses declare God's liking and our duty, and that they are 
judges of the goodness of a cause, then let the Mahomme- 
dans rejoice and boast in religion, as they do, saying, God 
with an almighty hand from heaven hath approved it with 
invincible prevailings against the Christians, &c. If Pro- 
vidence must frame our judgment of any matter, or cause, 
or opinion, then let Antiochus, the type of Antichrist, be 
a saint, and judged to have God on his side, when he so 
miserably wasted the Jews. In Dan. viii. 9, 10, 11, we 
read, that out of one of them, (namely, of the Seleucidos, 
which reigned in Asia and Babylon,) came forth a little 
horn, that is, Antiochus Epiphanies, toward the south, 
that is, Egypt, and towards the east, that is, Persia, both 


of which were conquered by Antiochus, and towards the 
pleasant land, that is, the land of Israel, so called for its 
blessed privileges: against these that tyrant wonderfully 
prevailed, ver. 10, for "He waxed great, even to the host 
of heaven," (that is, to war against God's church,) " and 
cast down some of the host, and of the stars, to the ground, 
and stamped upon them." Yea, verse 11, " He magni- 
fied himself even to the prince of the host, and by him 
the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of his 
sanctuary was cast down." And ver. 12, "A host was 
given against the daily sacrifice, by reason of transgres- 
sion, and it cast down the truth to the ground, and it prac- 
tised and prospered," Dan. xi. 30. Here is a wonderful 
success ; and many of the Jews seeing him thus prosper, 
began to alter their religion, to forsake the holy covenant, 
" for arms did stand on his part," that is, power and vic- 
tory, "and such as did wickedly against the covenant, he 
corrupted by flatteries," &c. I demand now, was the 
cause of Antiochus just and good, because he prospered ? 
Or did those Jews do well that changed their minds and 
their religion, and fell to the conqueror's side, as if God's 
mind had been hereby declared to alter the established 
worship, or that idolatry pleased him better than the daily 
sacrifice, which was now taken away? God forbid! — 
Lastly, if successes must sway our opinions and practices, 
then why do we not turn Papists, and worship the beast, 
Rev. xiii. 7, " To whom it was given to make war with 
the saints, and to overcome them ?" What shall we think ? 
Doth God by this success approve of the beast, or of his 
war? Or must the saints now alter their principles, and 
worship the beast? The text, (ver. 8,) tells us that the 
great majority of people, (which hang their religion upon 
providence,) shall worship him all, except they whose 
names are written in the book of life. Thus you see how 
God prospers the worst cause, and the vilest of men ; how 
the Lord makes use of wicked instruments to punish a 
hypocritical church. And they are the worst of men, 
even men that do wickedly against the covenant, who 
change their opinions with successes, and depart from the 
written truth, as if God and his word were changed with 
the change of the world. Read Jer. xii. 1, 2, 3. 

2. If providence may set up new rules of opinion and 


practice, then you may as well cast lots of what opinion 
and religion, of what side and persuasion you will be : for 
as much as a lot is guided by divine Providence, Prov. 
xvi. 33, " The lot is cast into the lap, but the whole dis- 
posing thereof is of the Lord. 

3. If successes of providence may determine God's will 
and our duty, then you will be often forced to justify and 
condemn the same cause, and the same persons, when this 
side prospers, now, God, say they, hath declared him- 
self, owned their cause from heaven. But what if provi- 
dence decide against them ? What if the Lord blasts their 
counsels and their power? Then the contrary judgment 
is to be made, namely, that God doth not own our cause, 
or approve our doings; then we must by the same rule 
condemn ourselves and our former acting, — unless you 
will say, that providences may prescribe duty when they 
make for us, but not when they stand against us : and when 
God seems to plead the cause of our adversaries; but this 
were children's play so to argue. 

4. If providences alter the state of the question, then a 
project or design, singularly wicked, and abhorrent to na- 
ture and religion, if it succeed well, ceases to be evil; 
which cannot enter into the thoughts of any but an Athe- 
ist: Felix scelus is scelus still.* It is a sure rule in di- 
vinity, that malum in se (such are the sins against the 
moral law) cannot be made good by any circumstances 
whatsoever. Sin is sin still; murder and perjury, &c, 
are sins still, and no success can or ought to alter our judg- 
ment concerning them. 

5. Nay, lastly, it is a judgment from God to prosper in 
wickedness, and therefore no sign of his approbation. 
Ps. xcii. 7, " When the workers of iniquity do flourish, it 
is that they shall be destroyed for ever." Theirs is a sad 
reckoning. Everlasting destruction for their present pros- 
perity. " The prosperity of fools destroys them," Prov. 
i. 32 ; through God's just wrath their hearts are hardened, 
that they cannot repent. " Because they have no changes, 
therefore they fear not God." Ps. lv. 19. Their constant 
and uninterrupted prosperity is the reason of their perse- 
verance in wickedness and contempt of God. Through 
long continuance of sinning they grow obdurate and hard- 

* " Successful crime is crime still." 


ened to their utter destruction. God sends troubles and 
afflictions to his children in mercy, a.nd gives prosperity 
to the ungodly in wrath. Let God lay on me any afflic- 
tion, rather than suffer me to prosper in the way that is 
evil. A hard heart is a fearful judgment; and Solomon 
observes (Eccl. viii. 11, 12) that impenitence is the fruit 
of such prosperity. " Because sentence against an evil 
work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the 
sons of men is fully set in them to do evil." They bless 
themselves and say, No evil shall happen. But what says 
the Lord? (ver. 12,) "Though a sinner does evil a hun- 
dred times, and his days be prolonged, yet surely I know 
that it shall not be well with the wicked:" their damna- 
tion slumbereth not; it is every day nearer and nearer, 
and the longer it stays, the more heavy it will be. It 
comes with feet of wool, but it will strike with hands of 
lead; " though it be given him to be in safety, whereon he 
resteth," and feareth no danger, " yet his eyes," (that is, 
God's eyes) " are upon their ways. They are exalted for 
a little while, but are gone, and brought low; they are 
taken out of the way as all others, and cut off as the tops 
of the ears of corn." See Job xxiv. 23, 24. 

I conclude, therefore, that providences are oftener a 
temptation than a rule — a trial of our uprightness, not a 
rule for our consciences. He is a poor silly soul, and yet 
a presumptuous undertaker, that is not assured of the just- 
ness of his cause till the success determine it. 

But is there no judging of God's liking by his provi- 

Ans. First. There is much of providence in great 
actions, but not of his will and liking, as has been shown. 
Secondly. Providence following a promise is a token of 
his love and liking. So Joshua might take comfort in his 
successful war. Jos. xxiii. 14, "Not one good thing 
failed." Thirdly. It is no comfort at all to be the rod 
and instrument of God's anger or vindictive providence 
on wicked men ; for so was the king of Assyria, &c. ; Isa. x. 
So were Jeroboam and Jehu, &c. Fourthly. It is no com- 
fort to say, the will of God is fulfilled by us; and if it 
were not his will, this could not have been done. True; 
yet wo to that man by whose sins and vices God brings 
to pass his own work. " The Son of man goeth, as it is 


written of him;" Judas and Pilate did no more than what 
was written, and what the hand and counsel of God had 
determined before to be done; u yet wo be to that man 
by whom the Son of man is betrayed; good had it been 
for that man that he had never been born." The instru- 
ment may be damned, though God make him his scourge: 
when the child is corrected, the rod is cast into the fire. 

Thus I have at last finished my second use, wherein I 
have vindicated the supreme authority of scripture against 
a fourfold error. First, of them that would place this au- 
thority in the church. Second, of them who appeal from 
scripture to the Spirit. Third, of them that make reason 
the supreme judge. The fourth, of them that expound 
scripture according to providences. 

There remains one question to be solved, for the close 
of this whole matter, namely, — Into what, then, is our 
faith finally resolved, and whereupon doth it stay itself, 
seeing the aforementioned things, the church, the Spirit, 
reason, and providence, though their help and ministry be 
needful, yet our faith is not built upon them, as hath been 

Ans. The authority and truth of God speaking in the 
scripture is that upon which our faith is built, and doth 
finally stay itself. The ministry of the church, the illumi- 
nation of the Spirit, the right use of reason, are the choicest 
helps, by which we believe, by which we see the law and 
will of God. But they are not the law itself: the divine 
truth and authority of God's word is that which secures 
our consciences. 

To the grounding of faith it is necessary that we know, 
first, what is the truth revealed, else we cannot believe it, 
nor rest upon an unknown truth. Secondly, that God has 
indeed revealed and declared those truths; and then the 
soul rests upon it, as a sure anchor of faith and hope. If 
you ask what it is that I believe? I answer, I believe the 
blessed doctrines of salvation by Jesus Christ. If you ask 
why I believe all this, and why I will venture my soul to 
all eternity on that doctrine? I answer, because it is the 
revealed will of God concerning us; this is the way of 
salvation which God has made known to the sons of men. 
If you ask, farther, How I know that God has revealed 
them? I answer, by a two-fold certainty; one of faith, the 


other of experience. First, I do infallibly by faith be- 
lieve the revelation; not upon the credit of any other reve- 
lation, but for itself, the Lord giving testimony thereto, 
not only by the constant testimony of the church, which 
cannot universally deceive, nor only by miracles from 
heaven, bearing witness to the apostles' doctrine, (John v. 
32, 36, Luke i. 4,) but chiefly by its own proper divine 
light, which shines therein. The truth contained in scrip- 
ture is a light, and is discerned by the sons of light. It 
docs by its own light persuade us; and in all cases, doubts, 
and questions, it clearly testifies with us or against us. 
Which light is of that nature, that it gives testimony to 
itself, and receives authority from no other, as the sun is 
not seen by any light but his own, and we discern sweet 
from sour by its own taste. And the means for opening 
our eyes to see this light (whereby our consciences are 
assured that we rest in God) are different. First. Some 
private; as reading, prayer, comparing places, consent of 
churches in all ages, helps of learning, and reason sancti- 
fied. Secondly. Some public; as the ministry of the 
word, which is the ordinance of God to get this assurance; 
which act of the church is not authority to secure me, but 
ministry to show me that which shall secure me; which 
ministry is founded on the scripture itself, in that from 
thence it fetches the reason that persuades me, and shows 
the light that infallibly assures me. Thirdly. But the 
chief help to show me and assure me of this light is the 
Holy Spirit, given to God's children, in and by the use 
of the former means, to open our understandings, to en- 
lighten our minds, that we may know and believe the 
words of this life, and the things which are freely given 
unto us of God. 1 John ii. 20; Eph. i. 17, 18; 1 John 
v. 6, 9. In which light thus shown unto us faith stays 
itself, without craving any farther testimony or proof, in 
the same manner that the philosopher proves that with 
the same sense we see and are assured we see. Thus I 
know by the certainty of faith resting upon its object, that 
the doctrine of scripture is from God. This is a certainty 
in respect of the understanding. 

2. To which we add that other certainty of experience, 
which is a certainty in respect of the affections and of the 
spiritual man. This is the Spirit's seal set to God's truth; 


namely, the light of the word. When it is thus shown 
unto us, it works such strange and supernatural effects upon 
the soul; it "renews us in the spirit of our minds;" we, 
beholding this " glory of God " in the gospel, are " changed 
into the same image," (2 Cor. iii. 18;) it mightily con- 
vinces our consciences; it "pulls down our strong holds 
of sin;" it " casts down our imaginations and reasonings," 
which would " exalt themselves " against the u knowledge 
of God," (2 Cor. x. 4, 5;) it inflames the heart with the 
love of God and hatred of sin; it fills the heart with joy 
and peace, such as the world cannot give; it persuades us 
of the truth and goodness of the will of God, and of the 
things revealed; and all this by way of spiritual taste and 
feeling, so that the things apprehended by us in divine 
knowledge are more certainly discerned in the certainty 
of experience than any thing is discerned in the light of 
natural understanding, which has the certainty of specula- 
tion only, but not of experience. " How sweet are thy 
words unto my mouth! they are sweeter than honey and 
the honeycomb." Ps. cxix. 

They that are thus taught, know assuredly, that they 
have heard God himself. In the former way, the light of 
divine reason causes approbation of the things they believe. 
In the latter, the purity and power of divine knowledge 
causes a taste and feeling of the things they hear. And 
they that are thus established in the faith, so plainly see 
God present with them in his word, that if all the world 
should be turned into miracles, it could not remove them 
from the certainty of their persuasion; you cannot dissuade 
a Christian of the truth of his religion, you cannot make 
him think meanly of Christ, nor of the doctrine of redemp- 
tion, nor of the duties of sanctification; his heart is fixed, 
trusting in the Lord. So then we conclude, that the true 
reason of our faith, and the ground on which it finally stays 
itself, is the authority of God himself, whom we most cer- 
tainly discern, and feel, to speak in the word of faith, 
which is preached unto us. 

Thus much of my first doctrine: the supreme and divine 
authority of the scriptures, to determine in all matters of 
faith and practice. 



" Search the scriptures," &c. At that time there were 
no other scriptures penned, but those of the Old Testament: 
hence my second doctrine is this, that the scriptures of the 
Old Testament are still of divine authority to the churches 
of Christ under the gospel, to judge and determine in mat- 
ters of faith, and duty, &c. To what end should we search 
the scriptures if they were no longer of authority and 
power to instruct, command and direct our belief, and 
practice? But sin is to be judged sin, and duty to be es- 
teemed duty, and faith to be accounted faith according to 
the Old Testament, and therefore their authority is unques- 
tionable. For proof, observe how Christ and his apostles 
in the New Testament witness to the authority of the Old. 
Mat. vii. 12:" Whatsoever you would," &c, " For this is the 
law and the prophets." Under the law, and the prophets, 
Christ comprehends the whole Old Testament, and tells 
his hearers, they must do as they would be done to, because 
the law and the prophets teach and require it. Christ did 
not bring a weak proof. Add to this, the practice and 
advice of Christ, Luke xxiv. 25, 27. He reproves the two 
disciples for not believing the prophets, and then " begin- 
ning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto 
them in all the scriptures, the things concerning himself." 
Paul says, " our faith and salvation is built upon the foun- 
dation of the apostles and the prophets;" Eph. ii. 20, now 
if that foundation be destroyed, what will become of our 
faith? and therefore "Christ opened their understandings, 
that they might understand the scripture," verse 45. What 
need of this, if those scriptures were now abrogated ? If 
Moses and the prophets were removed by the preaching 
of the gospel, why did Christ open their understandings to 
understand them, and not rather tell them, that they were 
abolished ? Why did Christ lay the foundation of the 
Christian faith upon that which was not ? 

This answers their objection, who say, the Old Testa- 
ment was of force, till Christ's death and resurrection; but 
when the New Testament was confirmed by the death of 
the testator, then the Old was void. But here you see 
Christ, after his resurrection, turns those two disciples to 


those writings for grounding of their faith. Christ might 
have told them of new gospel truths, if any such had been ; 
but he refers them to the scriptures, and heightens their 
abilities to understand and believe them, as a sure anchor 
of their faith. And so in the parable, Luke xvi. 29, the 
advice given by Christ to save the living from going to 
hell, is this, "They have Moses and the prophets, hear 
them," therefore they are not to be rejected, as of no use 
to save or damn. 

Consider the example of the apostles in all their preach- 
ings. They acknowledge the authority of the Old Testa- 
ment. Peter, Acts ii., when he would convince the Jews 
of the resurrection of Christ, and bring them to faith on 
him whom they had betrayed and slain, makes all good 
out of the Old Testament, quoted thrice from verse 25, to 
36. And this was after Christ's ascension. 

It is objected by some, that Christ spake to his disciples 
by and from scripture: but when he was gone into heaven, 
then he refers them to the teaching of the Holy Ghost, 
which he had promised to send unto them. John. xvi. 13. 
" He will guide you into all truth, and show you things to 

Ans. Christ speaks of the extraordinary gifts of the Spirit 
to the apostles after Christ's ascension : by help of which, re- 
siding and abiding in them, they should be privileged from 
erring, and made to understand many things concerning 
Christ's kingdom which as yet they understood not; but 
here is not a syllable of setting up a teacher that should 
overthrow the scripture. Yea, this objection is answered 
by the former example of Peter; for Peter brought his 
proofs out of the Old Testament, after the pouring forth of 
the Holy Ghost upon them. Ver. 16, 17. " These are not 
drunken, as ye suppose," &c. At that time the Holy Ghost 
was already descended on the apostles, and they spake with 
tongues, ver. 3. But they had never a tongue to slight 
the writings of the Old Testament; but Peter, though in- 
spired by the Holy Ghost, yet brought all his proofs from 
thence. Consider the practice of Paul, who, contending 
for the faith of Jesus, confirms his doctrine from thence, 
Acts xxvi. 22, " saying none other things, than those which 
Moses and the prophets did say should come, that Christ 
should suffer," &c. So he confirms his doctrine of the re- 


surrection out of the scripture. 1 Cor. xv. 4. Lastly, in 
this sort did Philip make use of the prophets for the con- 
version of the eunuch. Acts viii. 35. " He began at that 
scripture, and preached unto him Jesus." Thus you see 
the authority of those books is alleged by Christ and his 
apostles, and made use of to lay the foundation of faith, to 
convince sin, to convert souls, to keep men from coming 
into the place of torment ; and all this after Christ's ascen- 
sion, and the coming of the Holy Ghost, and therefore 
are so to be acknowledged, and received by us for the same 
uses. " Because salvation is of the Jews." John iv. 22. 
The doctrine of salvation was a sacred treasure committed 
to that people; if their religion was not true, ours is false; 
if their scriptures are vain, our faith is vain also. This 
was the Jews' pre-eminence, "chiefly, because 1o them 
were committed the oracles of God," Rom. iii. 3, which 
Stephen " calls lively oracles," Acts vii. 38, because de- 
livered, vivd voce, and because they serve to make alive 
the dead soul, and the fathers received them to deliver 
to us. 

Those books of the Old Testament, are either historical, 
prophetical, or doctrinal. The historical and prophetical 
are to this day the grounds of our faith in the points of 
creation and providence ; of the fall and misery of man, of 
the coming of the Messiah, of his person and office, and of 
salvation by him. And, also, of admonition, and reproofs, 
and instructions for holy life. The doctrinal parts, as the 
law of Moses, the Psalms, Proverbs, and many passages of 
the prophets, have their use of instruction in faith and ho- 
liness, in the right use of God's worship and ordinances. 
Every one of these parts is of perpetual use and authority, 
to command and regulate our faith and manners. It was 
true, it is true, and will be for ever true, they did teach the 
church of God of old, they do the same to us, and will do 
the same to the world's end ; so that whosoever is under a 
promise of the Old Testament, may rejoice, and take com- 
fort in it ; or if under a curse, let him tremble, if under a 
command, let him obey it, if under prophecy, let him rest 
upon it. We find gospel-graces regard Old Testament 
proofs. Heb. xiii. 5. " Let your conversation be without 
covetousness ; for he hath said, I will never leave thee." 
And gospel duties urged upon Old Testament precepts, as 


Eph. vi. 3. " Honour thy father and mother, which is the 
first commandment with promise." 

Quest. What would you say of that part, which is typi- 
cal and ceremonial ? 

Ans. Though they cease and be abolished as to our 
practice, yet they are perpetual, and still a part of holy 
scripture, as for our teaching and learning, the types and 
figures of the law are a kind of prophecies, for they do, in 
certain actions, set forth Christ to come, and the benefits 
by him ; as the prophets did by their words and writings, 
they still teach and instruct, and we may fetch arguments 
of faith and duty from them, as Paul does in his epistle to 
the Hebrews, and other places. As for example, if the 
question was between us and the Socinians, whether Christ 
by dying did make an atonement for sin. We say, yea, 
and the law and the daily burnt-offering and sin-offerings 
do teach the same. If ye ask of the manner how ? Ans. 
It is by sprinkling the sinner, that is, by applying it to our 
own souls. If the question be about ministers and their 
maintenance. In the New Testament, the apostle proves 
it to be the people's duty from the Law. 1 Cor. ix. 7. 
" Who goes a warfare at his own charge ?" That is Paul's 
argument ; ministers must be paid as well as soldiers, and 
he fortifies his reason by the testimony of the Old Testa- 
ment, verse 8, " Say I these things as a man ? Or saith 
not the law the same ? For it is written in the law of 
Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox, that 
treadeth out the corn." The same proof he uses upon 
another occasion. 1 Tim. v. 17, 18. 

Obj. But Paul's proof is faulty, because it is a ceremo- 
nial proof, and so denies Christ to be come in the flesh. 
Ans. God intended in that law, to teach us some thing, 
that is moral, namely, that God doth take care for minis- 
ters, and for his labourers in his word, more than for oxen; 
and if that law be written for our sakes, then why may not 
other things written in the ceremonial law teach a moral 
duty, as well as that ? The ceremonial law, as it sets forth 
Christ, so it also does the duty of Christians in their holy 
administrations. Thus the ft purging out of leaven " taught 
the putting away of filthy affections from our holy services, 
and polluted people from the society of the church. 1 Cor. 
V. 7, 13. So the "sprinkling of the unclean," teaches that 



when we present any service to the Lord, we must renew 
our repentance, and not come with defiled hearts or hands, 
(I Tim. ii. 8,) by the "consecrating of the first-fruits" we 
are taught that we ought to be consecrated as holy unto 
the Lord, as "a kind of first-fruits of his creatures." Jam. i. 
18, Rev. xiv. 4. We are not subject to those ordinances 
to do them, we offer not the sacrifice, because Christ is 
come; yet look in what they signify, and serve for our 
learning, as is said. 

Obj. But there is (Heb. vii. 18,) "A disannulling of the 
commandment for the weakness and unprofitableness of it." 
Ans. The meaning is this, that the blood of those sacri- 
fices did not take away sin by any power or virtue that 
was in them. They of themselves are weak and beggarly, 
if any body should rest in them, as the carnal Jews did ; 
and therefore, he says, those ordinances were to cease, and 
give place, when the true sacrifice, Jesus Christ was offered, 
which alone did and could take away sin. " The law 
made nothing perfect," (Heb. vii. 19,) but in their relative 
use and end, they did lead unto Christ, that better hope 
who made all perfect ; for his blood served " for the re- 
demption of sins and transgressions, which were com- 
mitted under the first testament." Heb. ix. 15. So that 
the way of salvation taught then in types, and now with- 
out them, the substance of the covenant, is one and the 
same, only that former manner of administering waxeth 
old, and is put into a new way, which is significantly ex- 
pressed. Heb. vii. 12. There is fistaesais ta von*; not an 
abolishing of the substance of the covenant, but a transpo- 
sition of it another way. As a tenant, that holds by copy, 
if he obtain to hold in fee, the latter grant doth indeed ac- 
tually annul the former tenure, yet not the former benefiU 
His tenure is mended, being changed into fee-simple: so 
the coming of the New Testament doth better our tenure, 
but alters not the promises, commands, counsels in the Old. 
For as the substance of the priesthood was not to end, as 
having no more a being on the earth, but only translated 
upon other persons, (I will take of the gentiles for priests 
and Levites, Isa. lxvi. 21;) so the matter of the covenant 
was not destroyed, and quite taken away, but only changed 
into another form, other sacraments, and yet the same; 
other for the sign, the same for substance, the same spiri 


tual meat and drink, the same rock, Jesus Christ. 1 Cor. 
x. 3, 4. 

I answer, that when the apostle there speaks of disan- 
nulling the Old Testament, he does not mean the books of 
the Old Testament, but that old manner of publishing, ad- 
ministering, and applying the covenant. The books of the 
Old Testament had Christ for their principal scope and 
subject. Moses wrote of me: if ye believe Moses, you 
would believe me, if ye believe not Moses, ye cannot 
soundly believe the apostles, John v. 46. Thus they rea- 
soned and persuaded the things concerning Jesus out of the 
law and prophets, Acts xxviii. 23. Wherefore we con- 
clude that the scriptures of the Old Testament are to be 
retained still in force, as the good word of God written for 
our learning, and a word that still speaks unto us as unto 
children, in doctrines, in exhortations, in consolations, 1 
Cor. x. 11. 




Now, that ye may discern the truth, and avoid the dan- 
ger of this wicked error, I oppose unto it my third doctrine, 
which is this, namely, to believe the scriptures, which we 
are bid to search, whether in the original or in the English 
translations, to be the word of God, that is, to contain in 
them the mind and will of God, concerning man's salva- 
tion, is a necessary foundation of the Christian religion, that 
is, of our faith and worship, of our profession and practice, 
else to what end did Christ bid us "search the scriptures,'' 
if the believing of what we search and find to be the word 
of God is not the foundation of our religion? To what 
end should I search the Bible, rather than any other book, 
if I do not think it to be of God? And I therefore search 


it that I may know what religion to be of, that is, what I 
must believe and profess; what God I must worship, and 
in what manner. The end of that searching was to beget 
faith and true religion in those unbelieving Jews with whom 
Christ had to deal. If I believe it not to be of God, I can 
have no foundation for my religion. For true religion is 
not the product of natural reason, or human wisdom, but 
of the will of God, declaring all matters of faith, of wor- 
ship, and life. No man hath known God at any time, and 
as long as the world was without the revealed will of God, 
they wandered after the imaginations of their own hearts: 
Acts xiv. 16. So he tells the Galatians, c. iv. 8, " When 
ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by na- 
ture are no gods." That which is not God by nature is 
not God at all: there were gods of men's making: the gods 
of the nations were not gods at all, except in the opinion 
and conceit of them that made them so. "We know that 
an idol is nothing," 1 Cor. viii. 4, that is, nothing indeed, 
nothing except in the conceit of the idolater, it is no such 
thing as he takes it to be. Now that which is a God of 
man's making is not God. The Lord chargeth the people 
with this folly, "They sacrificed unto devils, not to God, 
to gods whom they knew not, to new gods that came new- 
ly up," Deut. xxxii. 17, Isa. xliii. 12, Jud. v. 85 whereas 
the true God is not a made God, he is a God whether we 
think it or not, he is God by his own nature, the ever 
living and eternal God, in the knowledge and true worship 
of him all true religion consists, and therefore, in compas- 
sion to the world, God sent unto the Jews, first his word, 
his statutes, and ordinances, a choice privilege. "Chiefly, 
because unto them were committed the oracles of God," 
Rom. iii. 3. And in the "fulness of time" he brought the 
Gentiles into fellowship with the Jews, and "turned them 
from their vanities unto the living God, which made hea- 
ven and earth, the sea, and all things therein," Acts xiv. 
15. "You know," says Paul to the Thessalonians, 1 Ep. 
i. 9, "how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living 
and true God." 

All religion is either the invention of men, or of God; 
if our religion be after the inventions and commandments 
of men, it is all vain. Mark vii. 7, "In vain do they wor- 
ship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men," 


although they carry the greatest show of wisdom, humili- 
ty, and austerit} 7 . Col. ii. 23. That which the Lord hath 
commanded us, that only may we do, " Whatsoever things 
I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add there- 
to, nor diminish from it," Deut. xii. 32. His will re- 
vealed is the only true ground of all religion, and the mea- 
sure of his worship ; if we do any thing contrary, nay, if 
any thing besides what he commands, it is abomination. 
The prophet Jeremiah, speaking of the people's inventing 
additional services, condemns them in this very respect, 
because " God commanded them not, nor spake it, neither 
came it into his mind," Jer. xix. 5. If it came not into 
his mind, then not from his mind to us ; and therefore that 
religion is all vain. Let this, then, be first settled in your 
minds, that the word of God is the only foundation of the 
Christian religion. 

And for the right grounding of our religion, it is neces- 
sary that we believe it to be so. To believe the scriptures 
to be the word of God is the foundation of the Christian 
religion, " We are built upon the foundation (that is, upon 
the doctrine) of the prophets and apostles," Eph. ii. 20,21, 
and faith causeth us to rest thereon, hence it is called the 
word of faith ; it must be received as from God, believed 
as God's word ; if we do not believe it to be the word of 
God, we have no reason to ground our religion upon it, 
more than upon the Alcoran ; if we do not believe it to be 
the word of God, we have no faith, and consequently, no 
religion. Thus Christ argueth, John v. 46, 47, " Had ye 
believed Moses, you would have believed me ; but if ye be- 
lieve not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?" To 
believe the scriptures to be the word of God is the ground of 
faith, and therefore the foundation of the Christian religion. 

Objection. Yea, but to believe the English scriptures, 
or the Bible translated into English, to be the word of God; 
this is no foundation of the Christian religion. 

This is but an old piece of popery in an independent 
dress. The papists, to discredit our translations, and to 
keep the people from reading the scriptures, and so to keep 
up the church's authority, are wont to cavil, and say the 
English scriptures are no foundation of the Christian religion. 
Thus that Jesuit, with whom Doctor White has to do, lays 
this for his first conclusion, namely, that the scriptures 

70 god's word the foundation 

alone, especially as translated into the English tongue, can- 
not be the rule of faith. He gives two reasons for his as- 
sertion. The first is, because these translations are not in- 
fallible, as the rule of faith must be; for neither were the 
scriptures immediately written by the Holy Ghost in our 
language, neither were the translators assisted by the Spi- 
rit infallible, as appears by the frequent changing and cor- 
recting of the translations, which shows that some of them 
were defective. How can an unlearned man be sure that 
this translation, which now I have, or you have, does not 
err, unless you admit the authority of the church, to assure 
us, that such and such a translation doth not err? 

For answer, I lay down these two conclusions: — First. 
That divine truth in English is as truly the word of God 
as the same scriptures delivered in the original Hebrew or 
Greek; yet with this difference, that the same is perfectly, 
immediately, and most absolutely in the original Hebrew 
and Greek : in other translations, as the vessels wherein it 
is presented to us, and as far forth as they do agree with 
the original. Every translation agreeing with the original 
in the matter is the same canonical scripture that Hebrew 
or Greek is, even as it is the same water which is in the 
fountain and in the stream: we say this is the water of 
such or such a well or spring, because it came from thence; 
so it is in this business, when the apostles spake the won- 
derful works of God in the languages of all nations that 
were at Jerusalem, wherein they were born, (Acts ii. 8, 
11;) the doctrine was the same to all, of the same truth 
and divine authority in the several languages. And this 
doctrine is the rule we seek for, and the foundation upon 
which our religion is grounded; and it is all one thing, 
whether it be brought to my understanding in Welch, or 
English, or Greek, or Latin. All language or writing is 
but the vessel, the symbol or declaration of the rule, not 
the rule itself. It is a certain form or means by which the 
divine truth cometh to us, as things are contained in their 
words, and because the doctrine and matter of the text is 
not made known unto me but by words, and a language 
which I understand, therefore I say the scripture in Eng- 
lish is the rule and ground of my faith, whereupon I rely- 
ing, have not a human, but a divine authority for my faith. 
Even as an " unbeliever " coming to our sermons is " con- 


vinced of all" and "judged of all," (1 Cor. xiv. 24,) and 
will acknowledge the divine truth of God, although by a 
human voice in preaching it be conveyed to him, so I en- 
joy the infallible doctrine of the scripture, though by a 
man's translation it be manifested unto me. 

My second conclusion is this: that to believe this to 
be so, that is, to believe the scriptures in English to be the 
word of God, is a necessary means for grounding faith and 
religion in the hearts of all. 

The reason is, because the rule of faith must be, first, 
certain, and secondly, known. For if it be not certain, it 
is no rule at all; and if it be not known, it is no rule to us. 
Wherefore God has taught us by corporal letters which we 
see and read, what he would have us believe concerning 
him. But to him that heareth not, or that believeth not, 
truth and error, light and darkness is all one. Observe the 
apostle's reasoning: " How shall they call on him in whom 
they have not believed?" Rom. x. 14, (believing, you see, 
is the foundation of that part of the Christian religion, 
namely, holy invocation) "and how shall they believe in 
him of whom they have not heard?" If they do not un- 
derstand the mind of God by hearing, and hearing it as 
from God, as " the word of God and not of man," (1 Thes. 
ii. 13,) it is no more than if they heard a piece of Virgil, 
or Caesar's Commentaries; for how can we preach to the 
convincing of consciences, and settling of their souls in the 
way of religion, except they be persuaded that he that 
preacheth speaketh from God. Lastly. What comfort can 
there be in that religion which we are not persuaded is of 
God? No religion is able to bring us unto God but that 
which came from God ; if I doubt of that, I have no reli- 
gion at all. 

Obj. 1. But how can we believe the scriptures translated 
into English to be of God, seeing translations are not so 
infallible as the rule of faith must be ; in many places they 
do not agree with the originals ? Ans. Let the English 
translation of the Bible stand for true until the Jesuit or 
the sectary be able to prove the contrary. 0, but I cannot 
believe them to be true, because the translators were not 
assisted immediately by the Holy Ghost. Ans. Such ex- 
traordinary assistance is needful to one that shall indite 
any part of scripture, but not to a translator; for a man, by 

72 god's word the foundation 

his skill in both languages, by the ordinary helps of prayer 
and industry, is able to open in the English tongue what 
was before locked up in the original Hebrew or Greek. 
As a Spanish or Danish ambassador delivers his message 
and receives his answer by an interpreter. The interpreter 
needs not any inspiration, but by his skill in both lan- 
guages, and his fidelity, he delivers the true mind of one 
nation to another. So it is in this case; the translator is 
God's interpreter to a strange people. 

Obj. 2. Oh, but by the frequent changes and variable 
translations, it seems that some have erred. Ans. 1. Our 
English speech doth vary and change. Books of law and 
history, written in old English three hundred years ago, 
are hardly understood now, and therefore there will need 
a new translation of them, yet without any alteration in 
the matter. So in respect of words and manner of speech, 
a translation may be defective, when it is not erroneous as 
to the sense. Ans. 2. We do not say this or that transla- 
tion is the rule and judge, but the divine truth translated; 
the knowledge whereof is brought to us in the translation, 
as the vessel wherein the rule is presented to us, as said 

Obj. 3. Oh, but how can I be assured that the divine 
truth is brought in our translation, rather than in yours, 
which seems to favour the contrary side and opinion? or 
that either of them is infallible, seeing the translator, being 
but a man, may err? And how shall an unlearned man 
be sure that this or that translation erreth not? 

Ans. He knows it three ways. First, by the ministry. 
Secondly, by the light itself shining in our translation. 
Thirdly, by the testimony and approbation of the guides 
of the Church. " Philip said to the Eunuch, Understand- 
est thou what thou readest? And he said, How can I, ex- 
cept some man should guide me?" Acts viii. 31. God 
hath set guides to his church, and he endues them with 
ability and fidelity to guide his people. " The priest's lips 
should keep knowledge, and the people should seek the 
law at his mouth, for he is the messenger of the Lord of 
hosts." Mai. ii. 7. Lock up a new apprentice and a shop 
of tools together, and he will come forth as ignorant as he 
went in; but let his master show him the use of those 
tools, and then, by having his senses exercised, he under- 


stands the use of them, not so much by the authority of his 
master as by the reason which his master shows him; then 
he manages- the trade upon the same reason that his master 
did: so lock up an unlearned man and a Bible together, 
and he will come forth as ignorant in matters of faith as he 
went in, if you afford no helps; but give him a guide to 
open the scriptures, and then he understands the doctrine, 
that it is of God. The translation is done by the ministry 
of the church, and industry of certain men. And although 
..hey be not privileged from mistakes, yet we know infal- 
libly that they have not erred in the matter: we know it, 
I say, by the same means whereby we know other truths 
and articles of faith, namely, by the light of the doctrine 
translated; for the doctrine contained in the .scripture is a 
light, and so it abideth, into what language soever it be 
translated, and the children of light know it, and discern 
it, (as is at large discoursed already,) for they "know his 
voice from all others." John x. 

And seeing they have faithfully presented the truth of 
the scriptures in our own language, we know that the 
translation itself is agreeable to the originals, for a false 
translation does not carry in it the truth of God. Besides 
this, ignorant people may rest secure on this point, because 
our translation hath the approbation of the guides of our 
church, and of other reformed churches, and stands unre- 
futed against the cavils and malice of the adversary. The 
testimony of friends, and foes too, has the force of a twofold 
testimony : " The Jews said, We know that God spake unto 
Moses." John ix. 29. How did they know it? They 
were not living in Moses' days; yet they knew it by the 
constant and uncontradicted tradition of that ehurch from 
Moses' time till Christ's. God spake in the presence and 
hearing of three-score thousand men, besides women and 
children, who were eye-witnesses of many wonders, by 
which the ministry of Moses was confirmed, and the cer- 
tainty thereof delivered down from age to age, with the 
consent of the prophets, who lived and bare witness from 
time to time; the last of which gives this testimony to Mo- 
ses' ministry, "Remember ye the law of Moses, my ser- 
vant, which I commanded him in Horeb." Mai. iv. 4. By 
the like testimony and ministry of the church may our 
people rest assured of the present truth of our translation. 


"Why herein is a marvellous thing, that ye know not." 
The same testimony should produce belief in Christ as it 
did in Moses. Some things are first known and then be- 
lieved, as Christ said to Thomas, " Because thou hast seen, 
thou hast believed," (John xx. 29;) other things are first 
believed, and then made evident afterward; as that the 
scriptures are God's word, which is evidenced to us more 
and more by the power of God speaking to our hearts in 
the scripture, and giving us such a taste and feeling of spi- 
ritual and eternal things as we can never be removed from 
the certainty of that persuasion. We say as the people of 
Samaria to that woman, John iv., " Now we believe, not 
because of thy sayings," (as at the first they did, ver. 39,) 
"but because of his own word," (ver. 41,) "for we have 
heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the 
Christ, the Saviour of the world." 

The second grand reason whereby the Jesuit would 
prove that the scriptures alone, especially as they are trans- 
lated into English, cannot be the rule of faith, is this: be- 
cause the unlearned cannot read or understand them; yea ? 
learned men are not sure that they rightly understand 
them, since it is certain that the same words of scripture 
different persons understand and expound differently, so 
that all cannot expound aright; one exposition is contrary 
to another, and therefore their expositions cannot be that 
rule of faith which we seek. Yea, there is nothing more 
common among our sectaries than to reproach and slander 
our ministry, telling our people that their priests have de- 
luded them, they have falsified the word of God, &c. 

Here, therefore, it will not be unseasonable to answer 
this profitable question, namely, How plain, ordinary Chris- 
tians may discern the true sense of scripture from false and 
counterfeit ? How a Christian may judge of the true sense. 

For direction herein I shall speak first by way of prepa- 
ration to the party that would not be deceived; secondly, 
to the rule itself, our right judging. 

First, as for the party, if thou desire to know the truth, 
be sure to read and hear " with singleness of heart," (see 
Ps. xxv. 9, Prov. viii. 9;) lay by all prejudged conceits and 
affections, and then, " as new-born babes, desire the sincere 
milk of the word, that ye may live and grow thereby." 
John vii.; John viii. 32; 1 Pet. ii. 2. 


Secondly. Now for the rules of right judging and dis- 
cerning the true sense of scripture, I shall only name them, 
They are these four : 

1. The sense or exposition given of any place of scrip- 
ture must agree with the general scope of scripture, which 
is to set forth the excellencies of God — his grace, wisdom, 
mercy, &c, — and to abase man, to bring us back to God, 
to possess and enjoy him, to be partakers of his holiness 
and glorious excellencies. Acts xxvi. 18; Eph. ii. 1, 18. 
The general scope of scripture is to make us holy; and 
whatever interpretation draws us from duty, if the fruit 
and effect of the exposition lead to sin and looseness, it is 
a false sense, it is not of the Spirit of God : mark what 
their doctrine drives at, and " by the fruit " of their doc- 
trine "ye shall know them." Matt. vii. 15, 16. 

2. The sense and exposition that is given of any place 
of scripture must agree with the analogy of faith — with the 
general rules and articles of Christian verity received by 
the churches of Christ. Our exposition must not cross the 
articles of faith: the building must be answerable to the 
foundation, and so "hold fast the form of sound words." 
Rom. xii. 6; 1 Cor. iii. 10, 11; 2 Tim. i. 13. New lights, 
new, uncouth, unsound words and expressions, are to be 
suspected of carrying in them an erroneous and corrupt 

3. The sense and exposition given of any place of scrip- 
ture must be such as the words, in their true, literal, and 
grammatical construction, will yield and bear, else it is a 
false sense. No commentary must overthrow the text. 
Every exposition must be such as the words in their true 
signification, being proper or figurative, do yield. No ex- 
position of scripture is to be accepted which the words, 
taken with their scope, will not bear. The literal sense is 
not only that which the words do properly afford, but also 
that which they afford in their borrowed sense, according 
to the intention of him that speaks, and the matter which 
he would have understood by the comparisons with which 
things are compared. So that consider what it is that God 
would have us understand by the words of scripture pro- 
perly used, or figuratively, that is, the literal sense and the 
true meaning of the place. Here you must remember, also, 
that the intent and scope of the place is to be gathered by 

76 god's word the foundation 

what goes before and what follows after the text that is in 
debate: you must not take a part of a scripture sense, and 
leave out the other part. 

4. The fourth and last rule to judge between a true and 
false sense is this. You must compare one place with ano- 
ther; and the plainer places must be the rule to expound 
the more obscure. But beware that ye never accept of a 
mystical and dark place against a plain place; never for- 
sake a plain place to follow those which are dark and mys- 
terious. It is the pride of many, both preachers and others, 
to be dealing in the darkest places of scripture, (of Daniel 
and the Revelation.) and by the sound of some words not 
well understood, to raise strange conceits and new truths^ 
as they call them, and accordingly put themselves upon 
unwarrantable actions and practices, contrary to known 

Obj. Why do not you that are preachers better agree in 
your expositions? You differ among yourselves, and upon 
the same text preach different doctrines. Ans. I. Though 
we make different observations upon the same text, yet not 
one contrary to another. The fulness of scripture is such, 
that one man sees farther than another into a text; yet all 
bear witness to the same truth of God. Peter and John 
came both of them to the sepulchre to see whether Christ 
were risen. John came first, yet went not in, only he saw 
the linen clothes lying; but Simon Peter went into the se- 
pulchre, and took a particular view of all things; yet both 
saw enough, and both were witnesses to the same truth. 
So it is in expounding of scriptures, some see and declare 
the truth in a general way; they come first to the sepul- 
chre: others dive deeper into the meaning, yet both are 
witnesses to the same Jesus, and to the word of his truth, 
One true sense may be uttered in different forms. 2. I an- 
swer, that for substance of doctrine, there is a sweet har- 
mony among the reformed churches; so that you may go 
into a thousand congregations where our old, sound minis- 
ters are the lights that shine, and you shall find that they 
all speak the same thing, preach the same Jesus Christ, and 
walk after the same Spirit 




Against which I oppose my fourth doctrine, namely, 
that salvation and eternal life is to be found in scripture, 
and no where else, and therefore it must needs be the foun- 
dation of the Christian religion. This is Christ's reason 
why we should search the scriptures, namely, because in 
them ye think ye have eternal life; and ye are not de- 
ceived in so thinking, because they are they that testify of 
me. If the scripture be the only foundation of salvation, 
it must also be the only foundation of the Christian reli- 

Whereas it is said, no writing whatsoever is the founda- 
tion of the Christian religion. If by writing he mean the 
writer's or printer's art, if any fallacy or emphasis lie in 
that, it is too silly and childish a sophism in so serious a 
matter, for paper and ink is not the foundation of our faith. 
But if by writing he mean the things written, and deny 
them to be the foundation of the Christian religion, he is a 
blasphemous antiscripturist, a presumptuous heretic, and an 
enemy to the salvation of mankind. 

For proof of our point observe these places: "These 
things are written that ye might believe, and that believing 
j T e might have life through his name," John xx. 31. In 
which words note that the great things of our religion are 
built upon the things that are written in John's gospel : so, 
" The gospel is the power of God unto salvation," Rom. i. 
36, with 2 Tim. iii. 15, " From a child thou hast known the 
scriptures, which are able to make thee wise to salvation." 
So, Jam. i. 21, "Receive with meekness the engrafted 
word, which is able to save your souls." Many are the 
titles and attributes given to scripture, which report unto 
us their power,, purity, and efficacy. It is called "The 
word of life," Phil. ii. 16; "the word of grace, which is 
able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among 
them that are sanctified," Acts xx. 32; "The word of truth, 
the gospel of your salvation, the ground of faith," Eph. i. 
13; "The word of the kingdom," Matt. xiii. 19. And upon 



this blessed foundation the church of God is built, (Epb. 
ii. 20.) The household of God are built upon the founda- 
tion of the apostles and prophets; not upon their persons? 
but their doctrine. The doctrinal foundation is that which 
the church is built upon. Now, if the things written in 
scripture be able to do all things— to build us up, to save 
our souls ; if it be the word of truth on which we trust, 
and upon which the church is built, &c, then it must needs 
be acknowledged the foundation of our Christian religion. 
Now, if they have a new religion, which is neither able to 
beget faith nor to save their souls, then I yield indeed that 
it is not grounded on scripture; neither is it the Christian 
religion: but if our religion be sufficient for these blessed 
ends and effects, then it has the written word for its founda- 
tion, and is in truth the religion of Christ. 

1. Because, as scripture alone is able to reveal and make 
known to us the way of life, so scripture knowledge only 
is powerful and effectual to work saving graces. All other 
knowledge is but foolishness as to the attaining of our last 
and highest end. All other knowledge is dead and weak; 
it has no power to change and renew the heart, to pull us 
out of the state of nature. By all the knowledge that men 
attain they are not converted, till it pleases God "to shine 
into their hearts the knowledge of the glory of God in the 
face of Jesus Christ." 2 Cor. iv. 6. But " the word of the 
Lord is perfect, converting the soul." Ps. xix. 7, 8. It is 
"powerful," and "works effectually in all that believe." 
See the efficacy of it in six things. 

First, it is powerful to pierce and break the stony heart. 
It is a " two-edged sword, dividing asunder the soul and 
the spirit," Heb. iv. 11: able to discover the deepest hypo- 
crite, it tells him what is flesh and what is spirit. When 
Felix heard Paul preach of " temperance and judgment to 
come," (Acts xxv.,) his heart trembled, though the behold- 
ers perceived it not. When the Jews heard Peter lay home 
to their charge the murdering and betraying of Christ, they 
were "pricked in their hearts, and said, What shall we do?" 
Acts ii. 

2. It is powerful to throw down imaginations and strong 
reasons, which are the unregenerate man's strong-holds of 
sin, whereby he stands out against the word of God. He 
will plead hard for his lust, his usury, and sinful gain ; for 


separation, for vain fashions in apparel, for sinful recrea- 
tions. In the minds of unregenerate men there are strange 
thoughts, which exalt themselves against the knowledge 
of Christ, and will not submit to him in obedience; and all 
because sin is rooted in the rational faculty. It is there as 
in a castle of defence, it urges reason for its allowance. 
Now what is it that can throw down this strong hold of 
carnal reason? The apostle tells you (2 Cor. x. 4, 5) the 
weapons of our warfare are mighty, through God, to cast 
down these strong holds and reasonings, and to bring them 
into captivity unto the obedience of Jesus Christ. Pro- 
duce now your strong reasons, and you shall find reason in 
the word to confute your reason. You shall see reason 
enough to cast away all your imaginations, and never to 
suffer your souls to hold up a weapon any longer against 

3. It is able to enlighten and bring to saving knowledge 
the simplest that shall read and hear with an honest heart. 
Ps. cxix. 130, "The entrance of thy word giveth light to 
the simple." The very first acquaintance with it makes 
you wise; yea, wiser than the aged and experienced. 

4. It is powerful to convert the soul, to reform the heart 
and life; "We beholding in the gospel, as in a glass, the 
glory of God, are changed into the same image, even as by 
the Spirit of God." 2 Cor. iii. 18. The quere is, "Where- 
withal shall a young man cleanse his way?" Ps. cxix. 9. 
Though lusts be strong, and temptations prevalent upon 
young men, yet let him but order himself by the word, 
his heart and ways will be cleansed. 

5. It is powerful to raise comfort and revive the broken- 
hearted, and the soul that is cast down in deepest amic- 
tions. Suppose any of us to be in such a case as is there 
described, (Job xxxiii. 21, 22,) it is not all the wisdom 
of the world that can comfort a wounded soul and a droop- 
ing spirit. But if there be an "interpreter, one among a 
thousand to show unto man his uprightness, then he is 
gracious unto him." The Lord has ordained that the fruit 
of the lips shall give peace; "I will lead him and restore 
comforts unto him, and to his mourners: 1 create the fruit 
of the lips, peace," &c. Isa. lvii. 18, 19. "The Lord hath 
given to his servants the tongue of the learned, that they 
should know how to speak a word in season to him that is 

80 god's word the foundation 

weary, to give the oil of gladness for the spirit of heavi- 
ness." lsa. 1. 4; Isa. lxi. 3. 

Lastly, it is powerful to preserve them that be called 
against all temptations, and to build them up unto glory. 
The word of God is the sword of the Spirit, and by it the 
Christian shall stand against, and be able to quench, all the 
fiery darts of Satan. Let the devil assault and do his worst, 
yet let the Christian but stand to his weapons, hold fast the 
word, and he shall overcome. 

Thus in the scripture ye find life, because the word is so 
effectual to do you good, to convert your souls, to pull 
down Satan's throne, and to build up the soul in grace. It 
is a hammer to break the hard heart, a fire to purge the 
drossy heart, a light to shine into the dark heart, and oil 
to revive the broken heart; armour of proof to establish 
the weak and tempted heart. If these precious things be 
matters of the Christian religion, then surely the written 
word is the foundation of it, or else your religion is not 

2. Eternal life is in the scriptures, because they testify 
of Christ; they set forth Christ, who is "the way, the truth, 
and the life," (John xiv. 6 :) " they are they that testify of 
me," says Christ." In them ye find life, because in them 
ye find Christ. So far as by the scriptures we get acquaint- 
ance with Christ, so far we are acquainted with salvation, 
and no farther. For if you knew all the histories and all 
the prophecies, if ye had the whole Bible by heart, if by it 
you could judge of all disputes, yet, till you find Christ 
there, you cannot find life: the scriptures are to us saving, 
because they bring us unto Christ. John (1 Ep. v. 11, 12) 
tells us that "life is in the Son, and he that hath the Son 
hath life; he that hath not the Son, hath not life." If you 
miss of Christ in the scripture, (as the blinded Jews do, 
who, though they read the Old Testament daily, yet " even 
to this day, when Moses is read, the veil is upon their 
heart," 2 Cor. iii. 15, they "do not look to the end of that 
which is abolished," ver. 13,) you miss of the way, the 
truth, and the life. Again, Paul (2 Tim. i. 1) says that 
" the promise of life is in Christ Jesus;" and the end of his 
apostleship is to declare the same to the world in that very 
epistle. Now, if life be in Christ, and if Christ himself be 
the subject matter of our religion, then surely the scrip- 


tures, which testify of Christ, must needs be the founda- 
tion of it, or else our religion is not Christian. 

Quest. Where and how do the scriptures testify of Christ, 
and life in him ? 

Ans. Four manner of ways. First, in the promises: 
"The seed of the woman shall bruise the serpent's head." 
Gen. iii. 15. And again, Gen. xxii. IS, "In thy seed shall 
all the nations of the earth be blessed;" with many other 
to like purpose. 2. In the prophecies concerning Christ 
and his offices, concerning his strange conception and birth; 
" A virgin shall conceive and bring forth a son," &c. Isa. 
v. 14. Concerning his death and resurrection; "He shall 
make his righteous soul a sacrifice for sin. He shall be 
numbered among the transgressors, but he shall not see 
corruption." Isa. liii. 10, 12; Ps. xvi. 10. 3. In types and 
figures. First, some are personal ; as Jonah was a figure 
of his abode in the grave, and rising again the third day. 
Melchisedec, an eminent type of his priestly office ; Sam- 
son and David, of his victory over the church's enemies. 
Secondly, some are types real, as the passover lamb slain, 
and the blood sprinkled to save the Israelites from the de- 
stroying angel : so Christ, our passover, is sacrificed for 
us. The brazen serpent, a type of Christ's being lifted up 
upon the cross. The daily burnt offering by the blood of 
the sacrifices to make atonement for the people. The 
scape-goat carrying away the people's sins that were con- 
fessed and put upon his head. The blood of the heifer that 
was carried into the most holy place, a token of Christ's 
blood wherewith he entered into heaven. The water 
of sprinkling the unclean, a figure of our sanctification 
by the sprinkling of Christ's blood on us, &c. 4. In 
the doctrines of Moses and the prophets, Deut. xviii. 
15, "A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto 
you, like unto me: him shall you hear in all things." So 
Psal. ii. "Kiss the Son," whom God hath set upon his holy 
hill, "lest he be angry," &c. In brief, you can hardly read 
a piece of scripture but you will find a promise, or a pro- 
phecy, or a type and figure, concerning his person and 
office, concerning his merit, his grace, his Spirit, or some 
precept concerning his will and commandment, how we 
must receive him, and how we must walk in him. The 
scriptures are full of Christ: Christ is the subject, scope, 

82 god's word the foundation 

and end to which they all drive. Thus much concerning 
our second reason of the doctrine. 

Use 1. Now the use. It is first for reproof; for, is this 
true, that salvation and eternal life is in the scripture and 
no where else, then it convinceth the world that few in- 
deed intend their own salvation, because few care to be 
acquainted with the scriptures. No man's desire of the 
end (salvation) is greater than his care to use the means 
(the saving knowledge of the scripture.) If you indeed 
prized scripture knowledge, as the field wherein the trea- 
sure of grace and life is to be found, you would read and 
hear them more frequently, and constantly, and with de- 
light; you would prize a good minister, who is able to 
break unto you the bread of life; you would attend the 
ordinances, on the Lord's day especially. And how can 
we in charity think, that such persons seriously mind their 
own eternal good that do so grossly slight the word of life? 
Remember that of Psal. cxix. 155, "Salvation is far from 
the wicked." Why? "For they seek not thy statutes." 
It is not that I tell you this, but David tells you so, yea, 
the Holy Ghost tells you so, and therefore I pray you to 
lay to heart that which Paul spake to the Jews, Acts xiii. 
46, a It was necessary that the word of God should first 
have been spoken to you, but seeing you put it from you, 
and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, we turn 
to the gentiles." To disregard the word is, in the account 
of Paul, (Rom. xv. 32,) to disregard one's own salvation. 
" He that refuseth instruction despiseth his own soul," as 
if it were not worth the looking after. 

But consider, that salvation is the greatest thing, that one 
needful thing that a Christian hath to regard in this world. 
Luke x. 42. What is all your wealth and bravery? all 
your mirth and jollity? What is all, or any thing you 
have, if in the end you come short of salvation ? Your 
salvation is the thing we aim at, and pray for, and preach 
for, and for which we take pains to hold forth the w T ord of 
life. It is the end for which Christ died, and rose again. 
The end for which, with so much love, and such a miracle 
of mercies, he hath preserved unto you the Bible. 

Use 2. Be persuaded henceforth to show your esteem 
of your soul's eternal good, by your esteem of the word of 
life, and manifest your esteem of the word of life hy your 
readiness and cheerfulness to be ordered and ruled thereby 


If indeed you esteem it as the word of life, you will be 
guided by it, you will be afraid to transgress it, you will 
make God's statutes your delight, and your counsellors, 
your heart will stand in awe of it, Psal. cxix. 24; you will 
hold nothing, you will take nothing in hand, but by advice 
and allowance from God's word, you will choose rather to 
have all the world against you, than one sentence of God's 
word. God's word is fitted for all estates, callings, and 
conditions of mankind. If you are a magistrate, it teaches 
how to rule; if a subject, how to obey; if you are a mi- 
nister, it teaches you how to preach ; if a hearer, how to 
hear; if you are a husband, or a father, or a master, &c, it 
teaches you how to behave yourselves. It gives direction 
for our apparel, sports, labour, gain, and giving; for our 
buying and selling, for our speech and silence, for our 
company and solitude. You will need direction out of the 
word for every estate and condition of life, for times of 
health and sickness, for affliction and prosperity, for good 
and ill report. This word of the Lord is exceeding large. 
Psal. xcvi. Now if you desire to find it a word of life to 
you, you must be ordered and guided by it, else it will ac- 
cuse and condemn you. If instead of this, you will consult 
with humours, with men, with worldly ends and interests, 
with carnal reason; if you count it foolish preciseness to 
tie one's self strictly to that rule, if when you are sick, or 
distressed, or in want, or injured, &c, you will choose to 
follow other rules, the word of life will be to you a word 
of death, because you choose the paths of death. 

Use 3. The third use is for direction. Study Christ in 
the scriptures. In them ye find life, because in them ye 
find Christ. Let your eye and aim be upon Christ. Look 
what things the scriptures testify concerning Christ, and 
in what way; for by the same things, and in the same way, 
must we endeavour to find him. In the promises, prophe- 
cies, types, and commands, we must see how they lead to 
Christ. Many people have lower and baser aims in the 
study and search of scriptures. There are false ends in 
reading the scriptures. 

First. There are in scripture many rarities of knowledge, 
which are not to be found elsewhere. Rare speculations 
of the Deity, of creation, and providence, sundry passages 
of antiquity and history, which furnishes a quaint wit with 


choice matter of discourse; and thus many gentlemen, and 
other speculative men, schoolmen, and critics read the 
scripture, who yet all their life-time are strangers to Christ: 
and you may know it by this, their delight is most in such 
books and sermons, and their inquiries mostly run upon 
such matters, as have least edification, the least relish and 
touch of conscience of heaven : such as the temple which 
Samson pulled down, how it could stand upon two pillars, 
being of that capacity, and so near together as to be reached 
by his arms at once; the cubits of Noah's ark, what size 
they were of; at what time Job lived; how many devils 
can be in one body; what Paul's preachments were, and 
how he was in the body or out of the body, and not know 
it; and a multitude of such questions, which serve to sa- 
tisfy men's curiosity, rather than edify in the faith. 

Secondly, others search the scriptures to pervert them, 
not so much out of a desire to know and obey the truth, 
as to quarrel, and move doubts and quirks to pervert the 
known received truths of God. The scriptures challenge 
in all men's minds a superlative commanding authority; 
and every sect would fain have the scriptures to speak on 
their side. Now here is the fault: many first take up an 
opinion, and then afterwards seek out scripture to make it 
good; they bring an opinion to the scriptures, whereas it 
should first arise, and be received from scripture, And 
hence it is that the scripture is wrested. The contentious 
and heretical wits do search the scriptures to make good 
what they have conceived in their own brains; and so the 
scripture is made, as it were, the broker to set off notions 
which men have forged in their own brains. Thus many 
opinionists search the scriptures, doting about questions 
which gender strife rather than edifying, and so are kept 
from acquaintance with Christ all their days, even by 
scripture itself mis-studied. 

Lastly, others read scriptures as a task, for form and 
fashion-sake, as if the chapter read or heard were all their 
duty. The truth is, there is no better task, than constantly 
to read or hear the scriptures, and most of us are negligent 
that way, every odd trifling occasion diverts us from that 
duty: and unless we tie ourselves to such tasks we should 
hardly find time to converse with God in his word. It is 
a pious and Christian fashion in every family to keep set 


times of prayer and reading of scrip- _J\ „ u " xt De a 
task, it is naught : it proves but a meftt , l ^ e ^ereise, 
which a child may do, as well as men of u ^ r ? an ^ ln g-. 

This therefore remains your duty in the study ui s . cri p- 
ture, to study Christ, to know something that may pro- 
cure or evidence your interest in Christ, to instruct you in 
the word of righteousness, to bring you near to God, else 
you read, and search, and hear, and at last are far from 
eternal life, because unacquainted with Christ. Therefore 
propose to yourselves such heads of knowledge, namely, to 
learn what Christ is in relation to his Father, in relation to 
his church and people; what promises, what fulness, what 
merit, what riches of grace, there is in him, what his Spirit 
is to us, and in us, what his will is concerning us, and what 
our duty is concerning him. Christ hath done all that he 
should do for us, and we must do what sinners ought to do 
in obedience to him. 

All this knowledge of him must be, first, distinct and 
clear; we should be able to give an account of what we 
believe, and why we believe it. Secondly, it must be a 
savoury knowledge, seasoning the heart with the good 
knowledge of Christ, transforming us into his image: even 
as by the taste of wine and honey we know the sweetness 
and goodness of them experimentally, so the learning of 
Christ is not only literal, but spiritual and operative; it 
expels from the mind that natural blindness and hardness 
of heart — that senselessness and searedness of conscience — 
by which u natural men are alienated from the life of God, 
through the ignorance that is in them; who, being past 
feeling, have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to 
work all uncleanness, with greediness." Eph. iv. 19, 20. 
But with them that have rightly learned Christ it is other- 
wise. As when the sun arises darkness goes away, or, 
when life comes the grave-clothes are cast off, so you that 
have learned Christ, and have been taught by him, will 
"put off, concerning your former conversation, the old 
man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;" 
you will be "renewed in the spirit of your mind;" you 
will "put on the new man, which, after God, is created in 
righteousness and true holiness." Eph. iv. 21,24. 

Thou hast never found Christ in the scripture till thou 
be taken off from all thy false and carnal confidences, which 


were thy rocks and, accounted thy gain, wherein thou 
trustest, and till thou find this work of the scripture upon 
thee, to settle thy soul upon Christ, to unite thee to Christ, 
of him./k'iid from him to partake of life and righteousness, 
oT grace and peace — till thou bear fruit upon that new 
stock. 6 1 am the vine, ye are the branches." According 
as your "oot is, so is your fruit. In old Adam your root 
is rottemess, and the fruit you reap is corruption. Gal. vi. 
8. But 'He that abideth in me, and I in him," says Christ, 
"the sane bringeth forth much fruit," (John xv. 5;) new 
and pleaant fruit, better than that which grows upon the 
stock ofnature, which is the wild olive tree. Rom. xi. 24. 
The sanctifying Spirit, which Christ gives, is in thee as a 
" well of water springing up unto eternal life." John iv. 14. 
Thus I have at last despatched all my four doctrines con- 
cerning the scripture, which serve to establish our hearts 
against the dangerous errors of these days against the holy 
scripture. The scope of all which is to withdraw the soul 
from th< written word, and so to undo it to all eternity. 
Hasretic cum ex scripturis arguuntur in accusationem 
convertmtur ipsarum scripturarum, quasi non recti 
habeant. Iren. 1. 3, c. 2.* And from this fountain (namely, 
of scripture vilified or misunderstood) do spring all the fol- 
lowing errors noted in the London Testimony. But the 
points handled upon this first head, being well digested, 
will be of great use to make you wise to discern both good 
and evil in the errors following, of which I am now to 
speak in order. 



It becomes all good men to speak and think of the sa- 
cred majesty of God with all humility, sobriety, and awful 
reverence. "With God is terrible majesty; touching the 
Almighty we cannot find him out unto perfection: He is 

* "Heretics, wh, n con futed with the scriptures, begin to accuse the scriptures 
themselves of error." (t ) 


excellent in power, and in judgment, and in plenty of jus- 
tice; men do therefore fear him: he respecteth not any 
that are wise of heart: If a man speak, surely he shall 
be swallowed up." Job xi. 7; Jobxxxvii. 20, 23, 24. 
Immensity is one of God's attributes, and therefore he 
is incomprehensible; we cannot comprehend the infinity 
of his essence, nor draw near the light of his glory, nor 
penetrate the secrets of his providence. He that thinks 
himself wise of heart, and able by discourse of reason to 
find out the Almighty, shall be swallowed up by the bright- 
ness of that glory; as he that gazes on the body of the sun, 
his eyes are dazzled, and not able to see what before he 
did see. 

It is noted out of Socrates, 1. 1, c. 8, that Alexander, 
bishop of Alexandria, discoursing, in the presence of his 
clergy, too curiously of the mysterious trinity and unity, 
gave occasion to Arius (who envied the bishop's honour) 
to think that he denied the trinity of persons, (which was 
the error of Sabellius) whereas the bishop intended only 
the unity of nature in the Godhead. Against this Arius 
drove so furiously that, to confute Sabellius, and in him, as 
he thought, the bishop, he distinguished the natures too, 
as if the Son and Holy Ghost were not of the same nature 
with God the Father. And so to secure the article of the 
trinity, to cast disgrace upon the bishop, he destroyed the 
unity. It best becomes our faith, and the weakness of our 
understandings, to content ourselves with things revealed 
— with the quod fit (the fact) that God i-s one, and that the 
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are one in nature, though 
distinct persons, without prying curiously into the modus 
or manner how such a thing can be, or the cur fit, why 
this should be, rather than that. Intricate disputes about 
such mysteries as can hardly be explained by us, nor well 
understood by the people, are fruitless and dangerous, tend- 
ing to introduce discord into the church, or blasphemy. 
Wherefore I shall endeavour, in the most plain, convincing 
way I can, to bear witness to the truth of God against the 
errors here recited concerning the blessed Trinity, that so 
your knowledge may be distinct and clear, not confound- 
ing things that should be distinguished, nor dividing things 
that should not be divided. 




1. That God has a personal shape. First, because Adam 
had, who was made in the likeness of God in personal 
shape; secondly, God showed unto Moses his back-parts, 
therefore if God has back-parts and a face, he has a shape. 

That God has a personal shape is directly against ex- 
press scripture. Deut. xiv. 12, 15, Moses gives the reason 
why the people should not go about to represent God by 
any visible shape or image, because God has none ; " Ye 
heard the voice of words, but ye saw no similitude, only 
ye heard a voice." If God had a personal shape, he might 
be seen and represented by a picture; but he is "a Spirit," 
(which hath not flesh and bones,) John iv. 24, an eternal, 
invisible Spirit, saith Paul, 1 Tim. i. 17, "Now to God 
eternal, immortal, invisible." God is invisible to our 
bodily eyes ; he is seen by faith, not by the eye ; that 
seeing of God is reserved for the life to come, (Heb. xi. 
27; Matt. v. 8; 1 John iii. 2;) and therefore he cannot be 
likened unto any thing that is seen, Isa. xl. 18, with Acts 
xvii. 29, " We ought not to think that the Godhead is like 
unto gold or silver, or stone graven by art and man's de- 
vice." We ought to think that God has a visible shape, 
says the sectary; we ought not to think so, says the scrip- 
ture: God has a shape, say they; God has not a shape, says 
the scripture. Now which of these speak truth ? Let us 
next consider their proofs. 

Obj. 1. Adam, say they, had a personal shape, and Adam 
was rifade in the likeness of God; therefore God has a 
shape. Ans. God's image or likeness in Adam was spi- 
ritual; in righteousness and holiness of truth, not bodily. 
Eph. iv. 24. The heathen are condemned because they 
" changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image 
made like to corruptible man," Rom. i. 23. It was a hea- 
thenish sin to represent the glorious God under the shape 
of a man. God plagued them for it, ver. 24; which he 
would not have done if man were like to God, or God to 
man, in a personal, visible shape. 

Obj. 2. If God has back-parts, and a face, he has a shape. 
Ans. We must distinguish what is spoken of God properly 


and what is spoken of him <w8parto7ta9t>s after the manner 
of men: for a man, because he is but a man, cannot speak 
to God but as a man, and therefore God speaks again to 
him after the manner of men; because man would not un- 
derstand otherwise what God is, nor what his will is. 
Thus we read (Exod. xxxiii. 19, 20, 23,) of God's face and 
back-parts. Moses desired to see God's glory, verse 18, 
" I beseech thee (said Moses) show me thy glory." The 
Lord in answer tells him, " I will proclaim the name of 
the Lord before thee, I will be gracious to whom I will be 
gracious, &c. But thou canst not see my face, for no man 
can see me and live. Thou shalt see my back-parts, but my 
face shall not be seen." The meaning is, that God in him- 
self is incomprehensible: my face, that is, the glory of my 
majesty, thou canst not see, but my back-parts thou shalt 
see, that is, the faithful can have but some glimpses, and 
obscure traces of God's essence and glory, as if one should 
see a man's back, or the glance of his cheek. Here " we 
see God through a glass darkly, but hereafter face to face," 
says the apostle, 1 Cor. xiii. 13. God did make known to 
Moses some characters of the Divine nature, whereby 
Moses might conceive what a God he was, and this is 
called a proclaiming the name of the Lord, because as men 
are known by their names from one another, so the Lord 
is known and discerned from all false gods, and from all the 
creatures by these proprieties of his nature, which he pro- 
claimed to Moses. Exod. xxxiv. 5, 6, "And the Lord 
descended in the cloud, and proclaimed the name of the 
Lord; and the Lord passed before him, and proclaimed the 
Lord, the Lord God gracious, and merciful, and long- 
suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping 
mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity, transgression, and 
sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty." These 
are the name of God, by which, as by a name, he is known 
from all other things, for none but God can assume those 
titles, "I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious; 
and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy." 
Moses desired to know God's name, Exod. iii. 14. "And 
God said to Moses, I am that I am," that is, 1 am an eter- 
nal being, who have my being of myself. Thus God is 
known by his essence, He is Jah, and Jehovah, that eter- 
nal being, and by his properties and actions. This is by 



God himself expounded to be his back-parts, that is, a 
knowledge that we have of him by his word, revealing his 
nature unto us; and it is opposed to the seeing of God 
"face to face." The face and back-parts of God do but 
distinguish an obscure and weak knowledge of God, from 
that full and perfect seeing of him in the life to come. 
Thus men used to speak and express themselves. Thus 
we read, that the scripture ascribes to God, hands, eyes, 
feet; as, "His eyes are in every place beholding the evil 
and the good." "God will require it with his hand." 
"The place of the soles of his feet is his sanctuary," &c. 
Prov. xv. 3; Psal. x. 14; Ezek. xliii. 7. In such speeches 
the scripture humbles itself to our capacities. Such ex- 
pressions signify the like actions in God, done with hands, 
as men perform by their hands, eyes, and feet, that is, God 
sees our ways, God is strong to revenge all wrongs, to 
perform all his promises and judgments without hands or 
eyes, as men do the like actions by their hands and eyes. 

Again, we read that the scripture ascribes to God hu- 
man passions, as joy, grief, anger, wrath, repentance, &c. 
We may not think that God is subject to like passions as a 
man is. When the priests of Jupiter would have done sa- 
crifice to Paul and Barnabas, supposing they had been gods 
in human shape, the apostles reproves their folly, saying 
unto them, " Sirs, why do ye these things, we are not 
gods, we are men of like passions with you:" Acts xxiv. 
15. So that God is distinguished from men, because he 
is not of the like passions with them. But such expres- 
sions you must understand to be spoken after the manner 
of men, for by such manner of speeches we understand the 
nature of God, namely, that he hates all sin, that he delights 
in uprightness. As men show their dislike of a thing, by 
anger, by grieving, by repenting, by punishing, by chang- 
ing their minds, &c, so the scripture, by the like things, 
sets forth God's displeasure against sin, and the evil ways 
of mankind: so for joy and delight, &c. These things 
being attributed to God, show that God is pleased with the 
ways of righteousness and holiness, as men are well pleased 
with those things wherein they take joy and delight. 

Lastly, in like manner we speak to God in prayer. 
When we say, " Lord, turn from me thy fierce anger, 
let it repent thee of the evil ; let the Lord delight in us to 


do us good," &c. Numb. xiv. 14, 16, 18. Our speech is 
according to our conceit of things, and by such speeches to 
God, we show, not what God is in himself, subject to 
changes, &c, but what we would have him towards us, and 
what to do for us. 

Through want of this distinction, many have gross con- 
ceits of the divine nature. First, some have gross conceits 
of God in their minds, as if he were like unto man, or 
might be worshipped with men's hands, or as if he dwelt 
in temples made with hands, or were confined to this or 
that place for worship, to this or that picture, &c. Others 
make a quite contrary use of it. To what end, say they, 
is your fasting and weeping, your prayers and repentings, 
do you think that God changes his mind ? No, but yet 
we think, that God shows what he will be to an humble, 
praying, repenting people, by taking to himself such names 
and affections as in men. And by them we may comfort- 
ably gather that God will be good to us in such ways ; 
because as men are merciful and good to them that are 
sorry for their offences, and humble themselves, and seek 
their favour; so is God to us. The reason is, because 
these good things which are qualities in us, are nature in 
God : he is just, holy, and good by nature. In essentia 
divind, nee aliud nee accidens, the simplicity and pure- 
ness of his nature admits of no mixtures or compositions, 
either of substance with his substance, or accidents added 
to his substance. Therefere it is said in the abstract, God 
is love, God is light. Now if we that are partakers of the 
divine nature can show forth mercy and goodness, truth 
and kindness, much more God, whose nature it is; he will 
be such a God to us. 



I conceive that the intent of that senseless error, is to 
confound essence and person in the Deity, and to deny the 
Trinity of persons, in the unity of essence, as by their third 
error doth expressly appear, which saith; That it is a 


wretched distinction to distinguish betwixt essence and 
person. There being such an affinity between these two 
errors, the same argument will serve to confute both. 

1. Against both which I lay down these two conclusions, 
First, that in scripture the name of God is sometimes taken 
essentially, and sometimes personally: essentially, as Deut. 
vi. 4, * Hear, Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord." 
God is but one being, and none is beside him. So Isa. xlv. 
5, 6, " I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no 
God besides me." Which places and expressions make 
known to us the whole Godhead as he is opposed to false 
gods, and to creatures. When God is set against creatures, 
or mentioned with other things that are not God, then the 
word is taken essentially. 

Sometimes it is taken personally, to signify of the per- 
sons in the Trinity. And so it is taken when any person 
is named with another, as John i. 1, "The Word was with 
God, and the Word was God," that is, Jesus Christ, the 
Word and Son of God, was with God the Father. So in 
that apostolical benediction, 2 Cor. xiii. 14, "The grace of 
our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellow- 
ship of the Holy Ghost," &c. Here all three persons are 
named, and the love of God is there taken personally for 
the love of God the Father; by which it appears, that to 
take God otherwise than personally, is not to mistake him. 

2. Against their third error I lay down this conclusion, 
namely, there are three persons in one individual nature 
of the Deity. 

The scripture teaches us to distinguish between essence 
and person, or between the divine nature and the persons 
that partake of that nature. The Godhead is to be consi- 
dered in the unity of his nature, and in the trinity of per- 
sons. The same divine nature is communicated to three 
persons; the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy 
Ghost, God; yet the persons are not so divided as to make 
three Gods, nor the nature so one as to deny the three per- 
sons. There is but one God in being, whose name is lam, 
Exod. iii. 14. This cannot be denied to mean God in es- 
sence, for it is the proper meaning of that name. And this 
one God in essence is three persons, Father, Son, and Holy 
Ghost. We must acknowledge three distinct persons sub- 
sisting in the Godhead: Matt, xxviii. 19, "Go teach and 


baptize them in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of 
the Holy Ghost." Here three are joined together, to whom 
equally we perform worship and promise our obedience, 
and of whom we expect remission of sins, and everlasting 
salvation. Hence our argument is thus framed: Into whose 
name we are baptized, He is the most high God, (for we 
must not be baptized in the name of Paul, or Apollos, or 
any creature whatever;) but we are baptized into the name 
of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost: therefore the Father, 
Son, and Holy Ghost are that one, eternal, most high God, 
who alone is to be worshipped, and who alone is able to 
forgive our sins and save our souls. 

This is necessary to the true knowledge of God, and 
after this manner God has revealed himself in scripture. 
And he that does not acknowledge it, does not know God 
as he ought, neither can he worship him aright. There- 
fore, to help your understandings in this great mystery, I 
will show, first, what a person in the Deity is, and, se- 
condly, give farther proofs of my second conclusion. 

First, by person we do not mean a multiplication of sub- 
stances in particular, that subsist apart, having in them the 
self-same general nature ; as, for example, Peter, James, 
and John, who are human persons, under the species of 
man, subsist apart and separate, one from another. The 
persons in the Godhead are not so ; they are not three par- 
ticular substances, to whom one general nature is common : 
for then there would be three particular Gods, as James, 
Peter, and John are three singular men ; but three that 
subsist by one substance, which itself is particular, yet they 
all three have it, and their several ways of having it is that 
which makes their personal distinction. Take it in the 
words of the judicious Hooker : "The Lord our God is but 
one God, in which indivisible unity we adore the Father 
as altogether of himself, we glorify that consubstantiai 
word, which is the Son; we bless and magnify that coes- 
sential Spirit, eternally proceeding from both, which is the 
Holy Ghost. Seeing, therefore, the Father is of none, the 
Son is of the Father, and the Spirit is of both, they are by 
these their several properties really distinguishable each 
from other : for the substance of God, with this property 
to be of none, doth make the person of the Father; the 
very self-same substance in number, with this property to 


be of the Father, maketh the person of the Son ; the very 
same substance, having this property of proceeding from 
the other two, maketh the person of the Holy Ghost. So 
that in every person there is implied both the substance 
of God, which is one, and also that property which causeth 
the same person really and truly to differ from the other 
two. Every person hath his own subsistence, which no 
other besides hath, although there be others besides that 
are of the same substance." Eccles. Polit. lib. v. sec. 51. 

Quest. What is a person in the Trinity? Ans. It is 
whole God, not absolutely considered, but by way of some 
personal properties. It is a manner of being in the God- 
head, or a distinct subsistence, not a quality, having the 
whole Godhead in it. Usher, p. 78. To this so clear and 
safe an expression of so incomprehensible a mystery, I 
shall not presume to add more words; only I wish the use 
of Athanasius' creed were restored to the church, and well 
understood of all the people. 

Obj. Oh! but we do not read in scripture that the Fa- 
ther, Son, and Holy Ghost are called three persons in the 
Godhead ; the term person is not fit to be used, because it 
implies three particular substances, existing severally and 
apart, which cannot agree to the Deity, which is but one. 

Ans. It may be so indeed in your corrupt imagination. 
If you will measure the being and subsisting of God by 
rules of logic and human reason, then you cannot conceive 
a unity in a trinity — how one should be three persons, and 
not three divided or severed substances. Howbeit, in the 
description of a divine person now given, you see clearly 
how essence and person are distinguished according to the 
doctrine of the scripture. Yea, the scripture uses not only 
words which signify as much as we mean by person, but 
the very word [person] itself, Heb. i. 3, where Christ is 
called the express image of God's person; he is called " the 
brightness of his Father's glory:" I say his Father's glory; 
for the apostle speaks of the Son in all this chapter, ver. 2, 
5, because as the Father is glorious, so is Christ his Son 
glorious with the same glory. John xvii. 5, " Father, glo- 
rify thou me with thine own self, with the glory which I 
had with thee before the world was." What glory was 
that? Not a created glory, (for there was nothing created 
before the beginning of the world,) it must needs be an un- 


created glory. So he is called " the Lord of glory/' 1 Cor. 
ii. 8. Again, he is called the express image of his Father's 
person. If the Father be a person, then so is the Son, and 
so is the Holy Ghost, there being three named to be God. 
Consider that by what name one of them is distinguished, 
by the same, doubtless, the others are distinguished. He 
does not say Christ is the image of his nature, but tr^ vvto- 
etaasus avta, of his personal subsistence. Then, there is 
one person of the Father, and another of the Son; the 
Father is one person, the Son is another person of the 
Godhead, having his own proper subsistence, as the Father 
hath; even as the signet's impression answers all the linea- 
ments and proportions of the seal, and as the letters and 
words printed upon paper are the character, and answer to 
the image of the types or the letters set by the printer. So 
here is one person answering to another. Angels and holy 
men are the image of God's holiness, but not of his person. 
Nothing can be the express image of God's person but he 
that is a divine person, for personalhy is the thing wherein 
they are alike and resemble each other. 

I now proceed to give you farther proofs of my second 
conclusion, namely, that there are three persons in one in- 
dividual nature of the Deity. You have seen this proved 
by the institution of our baptism; see the same truth con- 
firmed at the baptizing of Christ, where are three distinct 
persons, and names, and personal actions, (Matt. iii. 16, 17.) 
First, there is Christ, the party baptized, coming out of the 
water; secondly, there is the Spirit of God descending like 
a dove, and abiding on him, (non levi tantum motu, sed 
corporali specie;*) thirdly, there is God the Father, testi- 
fying of Christ by a voice from heaven, " This is my be- 
loved Son, in whom I am well pleased." Here is the per- 
son of the Father, and the person of the Son, and of the 
Spirit of God in a bodily shape, which abiding in a bodily 
shape is a personal action. These three persons are of the 
same dignity and authority, as appears by that apostolical 
benediction, (2 Cor. xiii. 14,) "The grace of our Lord 
Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of 
the Holy Ghost be with you." Here are three sorts of 
mercies wished and prayed for, from three distinct per- 
sons, as concurring jointly to the church's salvation; mer- 
* " JNot only as with a gentle motion, but in a corporeal appearance." (t) 


cies which, as they cannot be given by any creatures, so 
neither may they be prayed for from any that is not God. 
To this purpose it is worth observing by what kind of ar- 
gument the apostle persuades the Corinthians to unity, (1 
Cor. xii. 4 — 6.) It is taken from the unity of that God 
from whom all their gifts proceed. "There are diversities 
of gifts, but the same Spirit," (the Spirit in that place is 
not a gift, but a person bestowing gifts.) " And there are 
differences of administrations, but the same Lord; and 
there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God 
which worketh all in all." The force of Paul's reasoning 
is this: All, whatsoever ye have, whether gifts, or minis- 
trations, or miraculous operations, proceed from one God; 
but those mentioned in the text are bestowed partly from 
the Holy Spirit, partly from the Lord Jesus, partly from 
God the Father; therefore Father, Son, and Holy Ghost 
are that one God in whom ye ought to be at unity, because 
the bestowers of all your several gifts are one. But let 
John conclude this point. 1 John v. 7, "There are three 
that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the 
Holy Ghost, and these three are one." How one? By 
consent and agreement. So the holy angels and good men 
are one, and so the witnesses on earth (ver. 8) are one, 
" the spirit, the water, and the blood, these three agree in 
one," as if the apostle did purposely intend to note a dif- 
ference between the unity of essence and the unity of con- 
sents, (he says, signanter*) the witnesses in heaven are one, 
the witnesses on earth are not one, they only agree in one. 
From all which places laid together I conclude, that to dis- 
tinguish between essence and person is a holy truth of 
God, and one of the foundations of the Christian faith and 
religion. And it is the blasphemy of an heretical brain, 
wretchedly subverted and turned from the truth, to affirm 
that to distinguish between essence and person is a wretched 

Touching the manner how the Son is begotten of the 
Father, and how, or in what manner the Holy Ghost pro- 
ceeds from them both, seeing it is not expressed in scrip- 
ture, it shall suffice us to give glory to God, and believe it, 
because he hath revealed it, rather than search curiously 
into that which is not revealed. If our own generation and 
* " Pointing out a distinction." (t) 


frame in our mother's womb, (Psal. xiii. 9, 14, 15,) be above 
our capacity, it is no marvel, though the mystery of the 
eternal generation of the Son of God cannot be compre- 
hended. Eccl. xi. 15. And if the wind, which is but a 
creature, be so hard to know, that a man " knoweth not 
from whence it cometh, and whither it goeth;" (John iii. 3,) 
it is no marvel if the proceeding of the Holy Ghost be un- 
searchable. Of their errors against the Deity of the Son 
of God, and of the Holy Ghost, I shall speak in the chap- 
ters following. 

Use 1. This doctrine touching the distinction between 
the essence and the persons in the Godhead, serves for our 
direction in the worshipping of God. The persons are not 
to be divided; for as it is common to all the persons to hear 
prayers, to forgive sin, to save souls, &c, so must our ser- 
vice be directed to the whole Trinity; yet carrying in our 
minds, that their order in working is agreeable to their 
order in subsisting. Col. iii. 17. Thus we call upon God 
the Father, in the name and mediation of the Son, by the 
assistance of the Holy Ghost. Eph. vi. 18. Thus Daniel 
prayed, Dan. ix. 17. " Now therefore, our God, hear the 
prayer of thy servant, and his supplication, for the Lord's 
sake." See Eph. ii. 18, where the apostle joins all three 
persons together; "for through him, that is Christ, we both 
(Jews and Gentiles) have an access by one Spirit unto the 

There is a sweet harmony in the blessed Trinity, all 
concurring to our salvation, " God was in Christ reconciling 
the world to himself, by the blood of his cross, through the 
sanctification of the Spirit." 2 Cor. v. 19; Col. i. 20. "We 
are bound to give thanks for you, brethren, because God 
hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation, through 
sanctification of the Spirit, and belief of the truth, to the 
obtaining of the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ." 2 Thes. 
ii. 14. So that as it was said in the creation, " Let us 
make man," so now it may be said, Let us redeem lost 
man, all joining in the decree, and in the means of bring- 
ing the elect to life. As man is said to believe with the 
whole heart, because many faculties of the soul concur in 
embracing Christ, the mind to conceive, the will to con- 
sent, the heart to trust, &c, so in this business the Lord 
-our Maker is our Redeemer. The unity of their nature 


teaches us not to divide them in our minds when we wor- 
ship God ; and the distinction of their persons teaches us 
not to confound their order of working. 

Use 2. In this doctrine we see the reason, why some 
things are ascribed to the whole Trinity: namely, because 
they all partake of one and the same divine nature, and 
some things again are peculiar and proper to each person 
by himself. First, some properties and actions belong 
alike to all three; as to be almighty, gracious, just, holy, 
and good, to be co-equal; the Son thought it no robbery to 
be equal with the Father; to be co-eternal and of the same 
time; Christ (as God) was begotten from all eternity: so 
he himself saith in the name of wisdom, in these words, 
(Prov. viii. 24, 25,) "When there were no depths, then was 
I begotten, or brought forth, before the mountains or hills 
were settled, was I brought forth," and therefore Isaiah (ix. 
6,) calleth the Son, " the everlasting Father," to be equal 
in majesty, honour, and worship; "For all men must 
honour the Son, even as they honour the Father, for he that 
honoureth not the Son, honoureth not the Father," John 
v. 23, " And as the Father hath life in himself, so he hath 
given to the Son to have life in himself, verse 25. Lastly, 
by reason of the unity of the Godhead, they have all one 
will ; what the Father willeth, the same also doth the Son 
and the Holy Ghost will, without crossing or varying one 
from another. Christ saith, "Father, I will that they whom 
thou hast given me, be with me, where I am," John xvii. 
24. "And this is the will of the Father, that of all which he 
hath given me, I should lose nothing," John vi. 39. The 
Holy Ghost willeth the same, for " he shall receive of mine, 
and show it unto you, all things that the Father hath are 
mine, therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, for he is 
sent from the Father." John xvi. 14, 15. Here Christ 
shows the unity of essence in the holy Trinity, and the 
community of power, wisdom, sanctity, truth, glory, and 
majesty. It is an ancient rule among divines, opera Trini- 
tatis ad extra surd indivisa; all three persons concur in 
the actions, which are terminated in the creatures, they 
proceed from the same will in them all, as to decree, to 
create, to govern, to sanctify: according as it is said, Job 
xxxv. 10, "Where is God my makers?" in the plural 
number; so Isa. liv. 5, " Thy Maker is thy husband," in the 


Hebrew it is conjuges tui, fact ores tui, thy Makers is 
thine husbands, which notes a plurality of persons in one 
and the same action. Junius applies it to the holy Trinity. 
Yet there are some properties peculiar and proper to 
each person by himself, which are not communicable to the 
other two. The Father begets, the Son is begotten, the 
Holy Ghost proceeds. And as there is an order of sub- 
sisting, so also of working, the Father worketh all things 
of himself as the original and fountain of action in the Son, 
and by the Holy Ghost; the Son worketh from and with 
the Father, John i. 3, " All things were made by him, and 
without him was not any thing made, that was made:" the 
Holy Ghost worketh from them both; for "he shall take 
of mine/' saith Christ, the Son worketh from the Father 
by the Holy Ghost; the Holy Ghost worketh from them 
both, John xiv. 25, " The Comforter, which is the Holy 
Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall 
teach you all things:" and John xv. 26, it is said, that "the 
Comforter, whom I will send unto you from the Father, 
even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the 
Father." Now this order of working is also peculiar to 
each person; they ehange not places. And among these 
peculiar works this is one, that the Son only took flesh, and 
suffered for man's transgressions, and not the Father, nor 
the Holy Ghost, as is falsely affirmed in their fourth error, 
of which in the next place. 



(Lond. Test., p. 6.) 

This wretched assertion is contrary to plain places of 
scripture, which expressly teach that the Son only took 
flesh and suffered for the transgressions of man, and not 
the Father, nor the Holy Ghost. John i. 14, "The Word 
was made flesh;" that is, Jesus Christ, the eternal and es- 
sential Word of God, which "was in the beginning with 
God, and was God, by whom all things were made;" John 
i. 1, 3, compared with Gal. iv. 4, 5, " But when the ful- 
ness of time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a 


woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were 
under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons." 
In this place are plainly distinguished, first, the person 
sending, God the Father, and the person sent, his Son. 
Secondly, ye have the incarnation of the Son only; his 
Son was made of a woman. Thirdly, that the Son only 
suffered /or our transgressions; for "He was made under 
the law to redeem us." Fourthly, the end why he sent 
his Son to take flesh, and to suffer for us, was to make us 
sons. Add hereunto that as the Father sent the Son, so 
his incarnation was by the power of the Holy Ghost. Luke 
i. 35, "The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the 
power of the Highest shall overshadow thee." 

It is impious, therefore, to affirm that either the Father 
or the Holy Ghost were incarnate, or that they suffered 
for the transgressing creatures. The apostle says expressly 
that " Jesus was delivered for our offences, and raised again 
for our justification," Rom. iv. 25, and Rom. v. 10, "While 
we were enemies, we were reconciled unto God by the 
death of his Son." "It is Christ, therefore, that died," 
(Rom. viii. 34,) not the Father nor the Holy Ghost. It is 
Jesus Christ to whom this properly belongs, that he 
"washed us from our sins in his own blood," (Rev. i. 5.) 
Then, as the Father and the Holy Ghost did not take flesh, 
so neither did they die or suffer for our sins. It is true, 
indeed, that the Son and the Holy Ghost have the self-same 
uncreated essence or substance in themselves, as well as 
the Father, (otherwise they should have had no true God- 
head,) yet this hinders not the incarnation of one person 
without the incarnation of the other two. The essence or 
nature of God, by reason of its infinite simplicity, cannot 
be divided into parts; yet, seeing it is after one manner in 
the Father, nempe aytwrjtas, without receiving it from any 
other, and after another manner in the Son, namely, by 
generation, and after another manner in the Holy Ghost, 
namely, by proceeding, hence it is that the human nature 
might well be taken into the subsistence of one person, 
according to its manner of subsisting, and yet not be taken 
into the other two persons, which have their proper way 
of subsisting. Let us hear how Mr. Hooker expresses this 
mystery. When God became man, says he, lest we should 
err in applying this to the person of the Father or of the 


Spirit, Peter's confession unto Christ was, (Matt. xvi. 6, 
John i. 14,) "Thou art the Son of the living God;" and 
John's exposition thereof was made plain, that it is the 
Word which was made flesh. The Father and the Holy 
Ghost, says Damascen, have no communion with the incar- 
nation of the Word, otherwise than by approbation and as- 
sent; notwithstanding, forasmuch as the Word and Deity 
are one subject, we must beware that we exclude not the 
nature of God from incarnation, and so make the Son of 
God incarnate not to be very God, for undoubtedly even 
the nature of God itself, in the only person of the Son, is 
incarnate; in him dwelleth the fulness of the Godhead 
bodily, (Col. ii. 9,) and hath taken to itself flesh; where- 
fore incarnation may neither be granted to any person, but 
only to one, nor yet denied to that nature, which is com- 
mon to all three. 

In this mystery of the incarnation we must carefully dis- 
tinguish between the efficient cause and the matter or the 
subject of it, or between the beginning from which it is 
wrought; terminus h quo and the terminus in quo, 
wherein it is finished. The whole Trinity is the efficient 
cause of the incarnation, which did begin this work which 
should be terminated in the Son. But the subject of in- 
carnation is only the Son, who alone was clothed with our 
flesh; which divines express by the similitude of three vir- 
gins embroidering and making a garment by their joint la- 
bour, which only one of them shall wear. 

Quest. But why was it requisite the Son should take our 
flesh, rather than either of the other two persons? Ans. 
This was most meet, first, because, as all things were made 
by him, so all should be restored by him. Col. i. 16, "By 
him were all things created that are in heaven, and that 
are in earth;" therefore by him did "God reconcile all 
things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things 
in earth or things in heaven:" our Maker is our Redeemer 
and Saviour. Secondly. Because by the natural Son of 
God we are made the sons of God by adoption and grace. 
" He was made of a woman, made under the law, for this 
end, that we might receive the adoption of sons," (Gal. v. 
5,) so that we could not have been sons but by the incarna- 
tion of the Son of God. By uniting us to the Son of God 
we are made children of our heavenly Father; Heb. ii. 10, 



" For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom 
are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the 
Captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings:" Jesus 
Christ, " to bring many sons unto glory, did take of our 
flesh and blood, that through death he might deliver us 
from him that had the power of death," ver. 14. Christ, 
the only Son of God by nature, was made like unto his 
brethren, to bring them to glory. By our union to 
Christ, the natural Son of God, we also become the « sons 
of God, heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ;" we are 
joined with the natural Son of God in his honour of being 
a son, and in the benefit of being an heir, (Rom. viii. 17.) 
The root of our adoption or sonship is by the eternal Son 
of God, and we are sons of God because of Christ, who is, 
first, the Son of God ; for God is first the Father of Christ, 
then our Father, as Christ himself says, John xx. 17, "We 
that are born the children of wrath, are made the children 
of God by grace," in and through our union with him, 
who is the natural Son of God, the Mediator between God 
and us. Therefore, seeing the second person alone is the 
Son, and we claim the inheritance by no other title but by 
our sonship, it behooved the Son of God to be made the 
Son of Man, rather than either of the other persons, that 
the sons of men, having by him obtained that right and 
privilege, might be made his brethren and fellow-heirs. 



horrid blasphemy! Is this a comfort for believers? 
Is it not the ready way to seal up to them their damnation, 
through the hardness and impenitency of their hearts? 
For how can they repent that impute their sins not to 
themselves for their humiliation and amendment, but to 
God as the author of them? We sinners should lay our 
sins upon Christ, as our sacrifice who was " offered to bear 
the sins of many," (Heb. ix. 28;) but to impute them to 
God, as the author of them, is an abominable blasphemy. 


For proof, consider these places of scripture: 1 John L 
5, " God is light," a pure, perfect light, " and in him is no 
darkness at all." There is not the least mixture of any 
evil in him, as the psalmist speaks; Ps. v. 4, " Thou art 
not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness, neither shall 
evil dwell with thee." God cannot be, defiled with evil 
from others; God cannot be tempted with evil, no evil 
can dwell with him; neither does God, who is nothing but 
light, defile any man. Nay, he has no hand in the sins of 
men, for "he tempteth no man," (James i. 13.) If God 
do not so much as tempt to sin, then much less is he the 
author of their sins, either by instilling into man any evil, 
or by commanding or forcing him to sin, or causing him 
to act irregularly, wickedly, and unholily. 

For it is against, and inconsistent with the nature of God. 
If God has a hand in men's sinfulness, as much, or more, 
than they themselves, then he is a sinner, as they are; and 
so he should not be God. We have so much to do in our 
own sinfulness, that it makes us truly sinners: and if God 
have more hand in our very sinfulness, then he is a greater 
sinner than we are, and so he should cease to be God. 
God is holy and good, yea, so transcendently good, that 
none is good but God, " None is holy as the Lord, there is 
none besides him." 1 Sam. ii. 2. "Holy, holy, holy is 
the Lord God of Hosts ;" so holy, that the prophet cried 
out, "Wo is me, for I am undone." Why ? " Because I 
am a man of unclean lips, and mine eyes have seen the 
King, the Lord of Hosts." Isa. vi. 3, 5. God is so infi- 
nitely holy, that men cannot endure his presence, by rea- 
son of their uncleanness. " God is a God of purer eyes than 
to behold evil," or to look on iniquity with any liking, or 
countenancing of it; (Hab. i. 13,) and man so unclean, that 
he cannot look upon so holy a Lord God. But if God 
were the author of man's sinfulness, he would like his own 
work ; there need not be such a dread in man, by reason 
of his own uncleanness. Yea, if he had so great a hand in 
man's sinfulness as they themselves, then he should delight 
in evil, for so does man. God doth hate, forbid, threaten, 
and punish all sin, therefore he cannot be the author of any 
sin, Zech. viii. 17, "Let no man imagine evil in his heart 
against his neighbour, and love no false oath, for all these 
are things that I hate, saith the Lord." And he taketh 


vengeance on them, Rom. i. 18, "for the wrath of God is 
revealed from heaven, against all ungodliness and un- 
righteousness of men. Tribulation and anguish upon every 
soul of man that doeth evil," whether he be Jew or Gentile. 
Rom. ii. 9. Now how could God be a punisher and re- 
venger of sin, if he were the author of it ? There is no 
such unrighteousness with God, therefore let us take to 
ourselves the shame and blame of all our sins, and attribute 
them to the right cause, the devil, and our own corrupt 
hearts. 1 John ii. 16, "For all that is in the world, the 
lusts of the flesh, the lusts of the eye, and the pride of life, 
is not of the Father, but is of the world:" it is not of 
God ; that is clear. Ye must look out some other author. 

Quest. But does not God will the evil of sin ? If he 
did not in some sort will it, sin could not have entered into 
the world whether he would or not; and is not his will the 
cause of the being and existing of such things as he 
willeth, &c. 

Ans. We must distinguish between the will of God 
commanding and approving, permitting and governing. 
Again, we must consider two things in sin, really distinct 
the one from the other, namely, the action to which sin 
cleaves, and the deformity, pravity or corruption of the 
action, that is, when the action declines from the rule of 
God's word : and this properly is sin, or the form of it. 
The action is, as it were, the matter or subject wherein sin 
resides. Hence, in answer to the question, I lay down 
these conclusions: 

First, that God never wills sin by his commanding will. 
God said "Let there be light," and it was so ; but he never 
said, let there be sin. Christ said to the leper, "I will, be 
thou clean," but God never said to any man, I will, be thou 
unclean. Nor by his approving will; for that which is 
sinfully evil, God's will is not carried to it with love or 
liking, yea, he hates it, as has been already proved. 

Secondly, as God made all things, so he upholds them in 
their being, and motions, and actions, both good and bad, 
so that no man could either move to an action, or have a 
being to act, if God sustained not. "In him we live, and 
move, and have our being;" (Acts xvii. 28,) yet God is 
not the cause of the pravity or sinfulness of any action. 
Therefore you cannot say, that in God you commit adul- 


tery, in God you swear, &c. The positive act, to which 
sin cleaves, is of God in the same sort that all other actions 
of the creatures are; but the obliquity of the creature's 
actings, are to be ascribed to their own proper cause, 
namely, the devil and the corrupt nature of man. And of 
the actions of the creatures are those sayings of school-men 
to be understood, namely, that no second cause can move 
without the agency of the first. And the first cause runs 
into the effect of the second causes. All creatures work in 
the power of God. This is meant of man's created qualities 
and actions, not of the crookedness and pravity of his 
actions, which have not God for their maker. The rider 
causes the horse to go, but not his halting, that proceeds 
from another cause. 

Thirdly, though God does not make sin, yet he willingly 
permits the sins of mankind. But his permissive will is 
not the cause of any man's sin. There is no evil in the 
world, which God knows not of, or whether God will or 
not for that were to deny his omnipotency. God did per- 
mit and suffer Adam to fall, that is, God did not hinder it 
by his omnipotent power, nor by his extraordinary grace. 
God is said to permit sin, when he does not effectually and 
powerfully hinder it, but leaves the creature to its own 
freedom and inclination; as Acts xiv. 16, it is said, that 
" God suffered all nations to walk in their own ways," and 
Psa. lxxxi. 11, 12, u Israel would none of me, so I gave 
them up to their own hearts' lusts, and they walked in their 
own counsels." Howbeit, God's permitting sin, is not the 
cause of sin. Indeed, if God did infuse any evil into man's 
mind, or create any corruption in man's will, which was 
not there before: or if God by his providence did infuse 
any constraint into the mind of man to enforce it, or any 
error to seduce it, or impose any necessity to bind it, then 
we should make him the author of sin. But he does none 
of all this. He hates all sin, he forbids it absolutely; 
within us by the light of the Spirit, without us by the 
commandments. Isa. xxx. 21; Rom. ii. 15; Deut. xxvii. 
26. The first entrance of sin into the world, and the con- 
tinuance of it in the world, was by the voluntary action of 
man's will corrupting itself. God permitted the fall of 
man not by instilling into him any evil, nor by taking from 
him any ability to do good, but by suffering Satan to tempt 


him, and leaving man to the liberty and mutability of his 
own will, (Jam. i. 13,) who sinned freely with a whole and 
entire will, and hearkened to the voice of the serpent, more 
than the voice of his God. 

Quest. If then any ask, what God has to do about, and 
concerning sin? it is reduced to three actions: 

First, he sustains mankind, and upholds his being in all 
its powers and faculties: "My Father worketh hitherto,' ' 
he upholds the works of his creation, and governs them 

Secondly, he leaves the sinner to himself; to his own 
wit and strength, to his own lusts, counsels, and temp- 
tations; he withholds his grace, being bound to no man, 
whence it follows, that their hearts harden, and the bent 
of their natural inclinations leads them to several sins, ac- 
cording to the variety of objects which are set before them, 
and of temptations to which they are exposed, and so they 
are carried to several sins, even as they are led. As a 
water-course runs downwards by its own weight when the 
dam that pent it up is removed, thus God is said (John, 
xii. 40,) to "blind their eyes, and harden their hearts :" 
not by creating sin in them, as he does grace in the elect, 
but by withholding the influences and supplies of his grace, 
which should soften them, and by offering them sundry 
objects, which they convert to occasions of sin, and they 
have no will to do otherwise. He hardens (Rom. ix. 19,) 
by not showing mercy, as in the winter by the absence of 
the sun, the natural coldness of the air and earth causes 
frost and ice. 

Thirdly, God orders and governs the wicked actions of 
men to bring to pass certain good effects which the sinner 
never intended, nor could they flow from the nature of 
those evil actions, but God over-rules all the evil actions 
of the creatures, sometimes to punish a faithless and stub- 
born generation, sometimes for the glory of his justice in 
the shame and punishment of the sinner himself, sometimes 
to manifest his glory, mercy, and goodness towards his 
church and people, so as their sufferings are turned to their 
comfort. So that God is not only a bare permitter of evil 
works, but a powerful governor of them to his glory. 
Thus Joseph's brethren sent him into Egypt out of envy, 
but God sent him to provide for his church, and to bring 


him to that honour which was foretold in his dream that 
his brethren's sheaves should bow down before Joseph's. 
Thus Shimei cursed David. He did it to drive David to 
despair, but God directed it to humble him: and God is 
said to bid Shimei curse him, because he gave him an oc- 
casion to vent his malice against the house of David : like 
a surgeon, who with his lancet, opens the wounds, and lets 
out the corruption that was in the boil before. 

Lastly, Pilate, Judas, and the Jews, had all of them a 
hand in crucifying Christ: Pilate, to please the people, and 
to keep his credit with Caesar; Judas, for love of the mo- 
ney, and the Jews, that our Saviour, Christ, should not 
reign over them. These all did their own work; they 
drove on their own designs. And God did his work 
by them, namely, to save many souls alive. Acts ii. 23; 
iv. 28. 

Use 1. By this which has been said you may see a rea- 
son why, when God and man are declared to meet in one 
and the same action, (as in Joseph's sending into Egypt, 
&c.,) man is guilty and justly condemned, and God remains 
without all stain of sin, and justly punishes the sinner; 
namely, because in una et eddem re, quam fecerunt, non 
est eadem causa ob quam fecerunt: the cause from whence 
the action comes is not the same in God and in the sinner. 
Joseph's brethren sold him into Egypt out of envy; God 
sent him there in mercy. Judas sold his Master out of 
covetousness, and the Jews of envy, but God gave Christ 
of his mere love. In short, men do their own work and 
wills; they intend not to obey God in their sinful doings: 
God overrules them to his glory and the church's good. 
A physician lets blood by leeches: the leeches do but their 
office, which is to suck blood; they intend not the good of 
the sick party, or any service to the physician. Howbeit, 
the physician orders by his skill the natural quality of that 
worm unto that which by nature it could not do, namely, 
the health of the patient. So the Lord brings his work to 
pass by the hands of wicked men; they ignorantly, and 
against their wills, serve the providence of God, even when 
they rebel against him. And for this it is that such men 
are justly damned, though God's providence be thereby 
served, because they fulfilled their own lusts, and if good 
be brought out of such actions, it is no thanks to them. 


"The Son of Man goeth as it is written of him, but wo to 
that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed." God's 
purpose was by that means fulfilled, yet Judas is damned 
for his pains. 

Use 2. From this difference between the commanding 
will of God, and his permissive or governing will, name- 
ly, that only good things are commanded and effected by 
him, and evil things are permitted and ordered, but not 
cajsed by him, should teach us not to cast our sins upon 
God, upon his providence or decrees, as Adam did, when 
he said, (Gen. iii. 12,) "The woman which thou gavest to 
be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat," lest 
God proceed to judgment with us as he did with Adam; 
ver. 17, "Unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened 
to the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree of which 
I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it; cursed 
is the ground for thy sake, dust thou art, and unto dust 
thou shalt return." Thy only way to find mercy is to 
give glory to God, and take shame to thyself; to humble 
thyself before thy Judge, as Daniel did, Dan. ix. 8, 9, " 
Lord ! to us belongeth confusion of face, because we have 
sinned against thee; but to the Lord our God belongeth 
righteousness, (ver. 7,) and mercies, and forgiveness." 
And with Job ix. 15, to say, "How shall I answer him? 
whom, though I were righteous, yet would I not answer, 
but I would make supplication to my Judge." Say unto 
the Lord, " Thou art a God that hast no pleasure in wick- 
edness," (Ps. v. 4;) thou dost not will iniquity, much less 
effect it: sin is not the effect of thy power, but the defect 
of my corrupt will, I will therefore "acknowledge my 
transgressions, that thou mayest be justified when thou 
speakest, and clear when thou judgest: Thou, Lord, art 
just in all that is brought upon us, for thou hast done right, 
but we have done wickedly." It is double iniquity to 
bring God, the fountain of goodness, into partnership with 
our sins: if God were the cause of sin, he were not good; 
and if he be not good, he is not God; but being all good, 
he would not suffer evil to be, unless, being also omnipo- 
tent, he knew how to bring good out of evil. 

Use 3. This doctrine also teaches us not to take God's 
permissive will for our warrant. God's revealed, com- 
manding, approving will is the only rule of our actions, 


and in doing it alone may men take comfort. We cannot 
justify ourselves or others in things done against God's re- 
vealed will, though it comes to pass not quite wholly with- 
out his providential, permissive will. Let no man bear 
himself out upon this principle, that it was the will of God 
it should be thus and thus, else it could never have come 
to pass, because nothing comes to pass whether God will 
or no: }^et, wo to that man who shall do evil upon that 
account; his damnation is just. It was God's will to suf- 
fer Abel to be killed, yet wo to Cain that slew him; " Thy 
brother's blood crieth." It was God's will that Christ 
should be put to death, yet they were murderers that did 
it. Acts ii. 23. It was God's will that the king of Baby- 
lon should take the city of Jerusalem, yet "The violence 
done to me, and to my flesh, be upon Babylon, shall the 
inhabitants of Sion say: And my blood be upon the inha-' 
bitants of Chaldea, shall Jerusalem say: Therefore thus 
saith the Lord, Behold ! I will plead thy cause, and take 
vengeance for thee, and Babylon shall become heaps, a 
dwelling-place for dragons," &c. Jer. Ii. 35, 37. "Yea, 
happy shall he be called that taketh and dasheth thy little 
ones against the stones." Ps. cxxxvii. 9. 

The reason is, because such persons cannot say, God is 
with us to approve us: they cannot say, We are workers 
together with God — God set us on work. Such persons 
are under God's permissive will, which has for its end his 
own glory in the world's just punishment, not the good of 
the parties instrumental. In obeying God's commanding 
will a man shall have praise of God ; but not of the former, 
because therein they serve not God, they obey not God, 
they glorify not God; and if they thank him for prosper- 
ing in evil ways, they abuse and dishonour him the more, 
whereas in truth they serve their own lusts. And hence, 
note one difference between a godly man and a hypocrite. 
God works in and by the godly, but he worketh by the 
wicked, not in them; they are as means passive in the 
hand of God: that is, though the Lord uses them, yet they 
have no knowledge nor intention to serve or please God in 
the things they do, but as brute beasts they follow their 
own lusts and imaginations, which God in his wisdom 
overrules to execute his will in the just punishment of 
others, or in the wonderful deliverance of his church. Isa. 


xliv. 16, 28. But as for the godly, they desire to be work- 
ers with God ; first to know, and then to do his will. And 
God works in them as well as by them; they are active 
means or instruments in the things they do; God uses 
them, yet they have reason, knowledge, and understand- 
ing in themselves to move and direct themselves by God's 
word to God's glory; and for this cause the work of the 
godly is acceptable to God, but not the work of the wicked, 
although they do the same thing which the godly do. 
Ezra and Nehemiah, Zerubbabel and Joshua the son of 
Josedech, David also, and Solomon, were another kind of 
instruments and servants of the Lord, in rebuilding and re- 
establishing the temple and the worship thereof, than Ar- 
taxerxes or Darius, or any of the kings of Persia. There- 
fore, let every godly man pray and practise that of Ps. 
cxliii. 10, "Teach me to do thy will, for thou art my God; 
thy Spirit is good, lead me in the land of uprightness." 



The scope of these errors is to deny Christ to be God, 
and to make him a mere man; greater than ordinary men, 
but not equal to his Father in respect of Godhead. Against 
all which I oppose, as an undoubted truth, this doctrine, 
namely, that Christ, the Son of God, is true God, equal 
and of the same nature, power, and eternity with the Fa- 
ther, far above all created natures, God blessed for ever. 

This is confirmed by many evident testimonies of scrip- 

First. He is in scripture expressly called God, Jehovah, 


the most high God. Isa. ix. 6, " Unto us a Son is given, 
his name shall be called Wonderful, the Mighty God." 
The child that was born, the Son that was given, is " the 
Mighty God, the everlasting Father." The Jews charged 
Christ with blasphemy, because he said that " God was his 
Father, making himself equal with God," John v. 18. "And 
because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God." John 
x. 3. The force of their reason is this, that the natural 
Son of God is God, equal with God, as the natural son of 
a man is man, equal and of the same substance with his 
father. So, Isa. vii. 1, the virgin's Son is called " Imma- 
nuel," which, being interpreted, is " God with us." Matt, 
i. 23. God, begotten of his Father from all eternity, and 
with us, by taking our flesh of the virgin. Christ is called 
God properly and absolutely in his nature, by the apostle, 
Rom. ix. 5, "That same Christ which came of the Father, 
as concerning the flesh, he is over all, God blessed for ever. 
Amen." The apostle there distinguishes in Christ two 
natures, God and man; and as truly as he is man of the 
seed of David, so truly he is God over all, blessed for ever. 
Again, it is said that " Christ Jesus being in the form of 
God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God." Phil, 
ii. 6. If he were but a man, it were robbery in the high- 
est degree to make himself equal with God. God is 
wronged and robbed of his majesty and glory when any 
creature shall make himself God's equal. Lastly. "In 
Christ dwells all the fulness of the Godhead bodily," (Col. 
ii. 9;) that is, personally in the flesh of Christ: he does 
not say (as Dr. Prideaux well observes) *cu> to ra^pwjua fto - 
tytos, Divinitatis, as if he were homo Divinus, and no 
more, but nav to rt^pw^a dsotrito^ Deitatis, the Godhead 
itself, and therefore he is Deus Summus, the most high 
God. Of those places of scripture, this is the sum and 
substance: Jesus Christ, the virgin's Son, is the mighty 
God, the Son of God, equal with God, God with us, God 
over all; not a petty God, but God over all, who thought 
it not robbery to be equal with God; " God manifest in the 
flesh," (1 Tim. iii. 16;) yea, all the fulness of the Godhead 
dwells in him. 

Secondly. Our divines prove the Son to be true God 
by comparing the Old Testament with the New; for what 
the Old Testament speaks of Jehovah, who is God, the 


New Testament applies to Christ. As, for example, Numb- 
xxi. 5, " The people spake against God, and against Moses," 
with Ps. xcv. 9, " come let us worship, and kneel before 
the Lord our maker, for he is our God," ver. 6, 7. "Your 
fathers," says God, " tempted me, proved me, and saw my 
works forty years." This Paul applies to Christ, (1 Cor. 
x. 9,) " Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them tempt- 
ed, and were destroyed of serpents." Numb. xxi. 6. There- 
fore Christ is Jehovah. Again, Ps. xlv. 6, God the Father 
speaks to God the Son thus, " Thy throne, God, is for 
ever and ever." This is applied to Christ, Heb. i. 8, " Unto 
the Son he saith, Thy throne, God, is for ever and ever, 
a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom." 
Again, Isa. xli. 4, "I the Lord am the first, and with the 
last, I am he." This is also applied to Christ, Rev. i. 17, 
"Fear not, 1 am the first and the last:" also, Rev. xxi. 6. 
Lastly. In Isa. vi. 1, the Lord is presented to the prophet in 
great majesty: " I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high, 
and lifted up," &c. This is applied to Christ, John xii. 41, 
"These things said Isaiah, when he saw his glory, and 
spake of him." Now what things were they that Isaiah 
then said? See Isa. vi. 9, 10. He said, " Make the heart 
of this people fat, and their ears heavy, lest they see with 
their eyes, and understand with their hearts," &c. These 
very words are repeated by John, chap. xii. 39, 40, and 
applied to Christ's obstinate, unbelieving hearers. "They 
could not believe, because Isaiah said, He hath blinded their 
eyes, and hardened their hearts," &c. Consider, When did 
Isaiah say these things? When he saw his glory, and spake 
of him, that is, of Christ, the Lord of glory. 

Thirdly. Christ's works are the works of a God; none 
could do them but he that is God. 

First. " All things were made by him, and without him 
was not any thing made that was made." John i. 3. He 
made the world, and he supports the world. He " upholds 
all things by the word of his power." Col. i. 15, 16; Heb. 
i. 13. He that made the world is God: so says the apos- 
tle, Heb. iii. 4, " Every house is builded by some man, but 
he that built all things is God." 

Secondly. He forgives sins. " Who can forgive sins 
but God only?" Yet so does Christ, therefore he is God, 
Mark ii. 7, 9, 10. 


Thirdly. He understood the thoughts of men. Mark ii. 
8, "Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned 
within themselves; He said unto them, "Why reason you 
these things in your hearts?*' It seems they uttered not 
their thoughts, yet Christ knew them. And when the 
Scribes and Pharisees watched him, whether he would 
heal on the Sabbath day, it is said that " he kiaew their 
thoughts." Luke vi. 8. It is the property of God alone 
to know and search the heart. " The heart of man is de- 
ceitful above all things, who can know it? I the Lord 
search the heart, I try the reins, even to give to every man 
according to his ways." Jer. xvii. 10. Therefore Christ is 
very God, for " all the churches shall know" (says he, Rev. 
ii. 23,) " that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts, 
and I will give to every one of you according to your 

Fourthly. He gives the Holy Ghost, which none can 
do but God. John xv. 26, "I will send the Comforter 
unto you from my Father." " When he ascended up on 
high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men, 
even the gift of the Holy Ghost." Acts i. 8, with John 
vii. 39. 

Fifthly. What should I say of his miraculous works, 
performed by his own power, word, and will? He raised 
the dead, commanded the devils to come forth out of them 
that were possessed, (Mark ix. 18;) at his word the wind 
and the seas are calm, they obey him. He did this by his 
own power. Yea, he gives this power unto others. Mark 
xvi. 18, "They shall cast out devils, they shall speak with 
new tongues, they shall take up serpents, and if they drink 
any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them," &c. Men re- 
ceive the gift of miracles from God, but no man can be- 
stow it upon others. 

These are the works of Christ, of which we may say as 
himself does, John xv. 24, " I have done among them the 
works which none other man did." For can any but God 
create the world? — forgive sins? — search and try the 
hearts? — give the Holy Ghost? — work miracles by his 
own will and word? Christ does all this, therefore he is 
the Almighty God. 

Fourthly. Christ is worshipped as God, and that by the 
commandment of the Father. Heb. i. 16, "When he 



bringeth the first-begotten into the world, he saith, Let 
all the angels of God worship him." (See, also, Phil. ii. 
10; 1 Pet. iii. 22; Acts vii. 59.) How great is he to whom 
the angels must perform worship and service ! Thomas, 
the apostle, adores him, saying unto him, (John xx. 28,) 
" My Lord and my God." And they are blessed that do 
in like wanner acknowledge him for their Lord and their 
God. Now God does not communicate his worship to any 
to whom he does not communicate his nature. "My glory 
will I not give to another." Isa. xlii. 8, No creature is 
capable of worship, because it cannot be God. "Thou 
shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou 
serve," said Christ to the devil, (Matt. iv. 10.) The angel 
that was employed to show John the Revelation refused to 
be worshipped, saying, " See thou do it not, I am thy fel- 
low servant, worship God." Rev. xxii. 8. Christ is wor- 
shipped as God, therefore he is very and true God. 

Much more might be said to this purpose; but this is 
enough to make you detest and abhor those forementioned 
lies and blasphemies, namely, that Christ is a mighty God, 
not almighty, that there is but a difference in degree be- 
tween Him, and Moses, and us, and that he is not equal 
with the Father, &c. For if he be God, then he must 
needs be almighty, because God is not weak; and seeing he 
is God, he must needs be equal with God the Father, for 
in the unity of essence there can be no inequality. 

And what has the heretic to say against this fundamen- 
tal truth ? He objects that to make Christ equal with 
his Father, is to make a false Christ, or an idol-Christ, or 
two gods; it implies polytheosie, or apotheosie, that is, 
many gods, or a man-god. 

Ans. 1. To the intent you may have yourselves exer- 
cised to discern both good and evil, in this great mystery, 
you must carefully consider in Christ, two distinct natures, 
God and man, retaining their distinct properties: the pro- 
perties belonging to man are not swallowed up in the 
Godhead, nor the properties of the Godhead communicated 
to the manhood. 2. That these two natures are united in 
person. Christ is not divided into two persons, but the 
son of man is taken into the subsistence of the second per- 
son in Trinity, and so God and man are not two, but one 


This distinction is not the invention of man's brain, 
but the doctrine of the Holy Ghost, which distinguishes 
in Christ, two natures, flesh and Godhead; Rom. i. 3,4, 
" Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was 
made of the seed of David, according to the flesh, and de- 
clared to be the Son of God with power, according to the 
Spirit of holiness," that is, according to his divine nature. 
So (Rom. ix. 5,) Paul distinguishes in Christ two natures, 
one human flesh, of the seed of the Father, "of whom, as 
concerning the flesh, Christ came." But has he any other 
nature ? Yes, He is also " God over all blessed for ever." 
Christ, according to the flesh, is the son of David, but ac- 
cording to the Spirit of power, He is the Son of God. He 
is of the Jews in one respect. He is not of the Jews, but 
God over them, in another respect. Note how particularly 
the scripture distinguishes between the person assuming, 
and the nature assumed, Heb. ii. 16, " He took not on him 
the nature of angels, but he took on him the seed of Abra- 
ham." The Son of God, remaining God, took on him the 
seed of Abraham. He saved what he took, He saved not 
the angels that fell, because he took not their nature. So 
Phil. ii. 7, "He, being equal with God, took upon him the 
form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men, 
very man as we are, in all things, sin only excepted." 

Now that these two natures are united in the one per- 
son of Immanuel, is also evident by those scriptures, which 
teach that " the Word was made flesh." John i. 14. Made 
flesh, that is, he became a man of a reasonable soul, and 
human body, not by the changing of the Godhead, but by 
assuming the manhood. In which respect, he is said "to 
be born of the mother," and " made of a woman." Mat. i. 
16, Gal. iv. 4. And the "fulness of the Godhead to dwell 
in him bodily." Col. ii. 9. It does not dwell by way of 
influence or gifts, but bodily, that is personally, conjoining 
two natures in one and the same person, which is that one 
Mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus. 1 
Tim. ii. 9. The Holy Ghost sanctified the seed of the 
Virgin, and united it to the person of the eternal Son of 
God: whereupon it is said, Luke i. 35, "That that holy 
thing, which shall be born of thee, shall be called the Son 
of God." The Son that is born of the Virgin, is the Son 
of God, by birth; and why? Because of this union, and 


so the Virgin is called, the mother of our Lord ; now she 
cannot be the mother of God in any other respect, but 
only because the child of her body was united and made 
one with the Son of God: otherwise there should be two 
persons, and two Sons, one of the Virgin Mary, and 
another of God : but the human nature being assumed into 
the person of the Son of God, and being prevented from 
any personal subsistency in itself, does not make a new 
person, but only adds a new nature to the old person, so 
making one Christ, God and man : even as we see one tree 
set into another, and it grows in the stock, but has no sub- 
sistence of its own, save only in the stock and root of that 
tree, into which it was grafted, yet there are two natures, 
and two kinds of fruit upon one stock : so in Christ, though 
there are two natures, yet both being united in one per- 
son, there is but one Son of God, and one Christ. 

This truth is carefully to be remembered and kept, be- 
cause the confounding of the natures, which are two, and 
the dividing of the person, which is but one, have been the 
occasion of the most gross mistakes and errors in this ar- 
ticle of our Christian faith, as is noted by Mr. Hooker. 
Four principal heresies there are, as he has well observed 
and succinctly laid together, which have in these things 
withstood the truth: Arians, by bending themselves against 
the Deity of Christ: Appollinarians, by maiming and mis- 
interpreting that which belongs to his human nature; Nes- 
torians, by rending Christ asunder, dividing him into two 
persons; the followers of Eutyches, by confounding in 
his person those natures, which they should distinguish. 
Against these, there have been four most famous ancient 
general councils; namely, the Council of Nice, to define 
against Arians; against Appollinarians, the Council of Con- 
stantinople ; the Council of Ephesus against Nestorians; 
against Eutychians, the Chalcedon Council. In four words, 
a?^0ttj, tfstawj, a8i>aip£T?u>s, aovyzvtus, truly, perfectly, indivi- 
sibly, distinctly ; the first applied to his being God, the 
second to his being man, the third to his being of both, 
one, and the fourth to his still continuing in that one, both. 
Within the compass of which four heads, I may truly affirm, 
that all heresies which touch the person of Christ, whether 
they have risen in these latter days, or in any age hereto- 
fore, may be, with great facility, brought to confine them- 


selves, the Christian belief confirmed, and the foresaid 
heresies confuted. 

Use 1. According to this rule you must diligently ob- 
serve in scripture, what things are ascribed to Christ in 
respect of his divine nature, human nature, and whole per- 
son. By doing this we shall escape many mistakes and 
errors, we shall understand many passages of scripture, 
\vhich seem to contradict each other, and how the works 
wrought in our flesh, are counted the works of the whole 
person, and so meritorious to our salvation. 

As for example, Christ is David's son, and David's Lord: 
He is the Son of Mary, yet the God, and Maker, and Sa- 
viour of Mary. He is the man that was never in heaven, 
and yet in heaven, when he spake on earth; John iii. 13, 
" No man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came 
down from heaven, even the Son of Man, which is in 
heaven." Christ says, * My Father is greater than I ;" and 
yet he is equal with God, one with his Father. Christ is 
that "Son born to us" in time, and yet "the mighty God, 
the everlasting Father, without beginning of days," &c. Isa. 
ix. 6. If it be demanded how these things can stand together ? 
your distinction tells you, because he is both God and man 
in one person, therefore his name is Wonderful, he is the 
Son of Mary and of David, as he is man, and David's 
Lord, and Mary's Maker, in respect of his Godhead: he is 
equal with his Father, as touching his Godhead, inferior 
to the Father, as touching his manhood, &c. ; as in Atha- 
nasius' Creed it is expressed. 

Thus, touching the person of Christ, it clears to our 
understandings, so that we can say, those things which 
seem to contradict each other, are true in him, because 
some things are proper to him, and ascribed to him, as he 
is God, as when he saith, Rev. i. 8, " I am Alpha and 
Omega, the beginning and the ending, which is, and which 
was, and which is to come, the Almighty." Here is om- 
nipotence and eternity ascribed unto him. Again, other 
things are proper to him as man; as that he was born, and 
died, and was crucified through weakness, &c. 

Again, it enables us to discern good and evil touching 
the office and actions of Christ; how Christ is Mediator, 
secundum utramque naturam* As, for example, 1 Cor 
* " According to each nature." (t) 


ii. 8, it is said, " they crucified the Lord of glory," the Jews 
could not crucify God, yet because they crucified that man 
which was one with God, they are said to crucify the Lord 
of glory. So Acts xx. 28, it is said, that "God purchased 
the church with his own blood:" God has no blood, yet 
the blood of Christ was the blood of God, because that man 
whom they crucified, was one person with God. Thus the 
scripture distinguishes, 1 Pet. iii. 18, " He was put to death 
in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit." Christ suffered 
death, not in the divine, but in the human nature, yet it is 
said to be the blood of God, because that man which was 
crucified was one with the second person in the Deity. By 
virtue of this union of two natures into one person, it 
comes to pass, that those things, which are proper to each 
nature apart, being severally considered, are applied to 
whole Christ, the Mediator. As, that he is the man, that 
is "God's fellow," and, also, " the Lord our righteousness." 
(Zech. xiii. 7, Jer. xxiii. 6.) He is "the resurrection and 
the life:" he "washed our sins in his own blood:" and, 
"he became obedient unto death, even the death of the 
cross," &c. Rev. i. 5, Phil. ii. 8. The works of each na- 
ture, are the works of the whole person. The obedience 
of Christ performed in his human nature, is the obedience 
of whole Christ. 

It is true, indeed, the properties of the divine nature in 
Christ, are not given to the human, nor the properties of 
the human nature to the divine: as it cannot be said that 
the divine nature was athirst, or weary, or wept, or died. 
Neither can it be said, that the human nature is omnipo- 
tent, or creator of the world, or omniscient, or present in 
all places at once, &c, yet that which is proper to one na- 
ture, is spoken of the whole person. Thus, the person 
which is God and man, died and rose again, and is omni- 
potent, and knows all things, &c, even as a man is said to 
understand, to believe, to repent, &c, yet his hand and his 
foot do not understand, but the intellectual part of the soul, 
as it is operative in such a part of the body. Howbeit, 
such knowledge is ascribed to the whole man, because the 
hand and foot are parts of that man which understand. 
Again, when a man is killed, the soul is not killed, yet the 
man is said to be killed, because of the union of soul and 
body into one person of a man. So it is in this mystery. 


Hence our divines conclude, that mediatoris opera sunt 
QeavSpixa, they are the works of God-man, having in them 
something of God, and something of man. As that of John 
x. 18, "I lay down my life of myself: I have power to 
lay it down, and I have power to take it up again." In 
that Christ has a life to lay down, it is human; but in that 
he has power to take it up again, that is divine. And the 
reason is, quia ilia persona ea omnia in se vere et reipsa 
continet, quae Deo vero, et vero homini competunt, that 
is, because the person of Christ really contains in itself all 
the properties which belong to a true God and a true man. 
And seeing God has honoured our nature to be the flesh of 
the Son of God, and has made it his own inseparable habi- 
tation, we cannot now conceive, how God should, without 
man, either exercise divine power, or receive divine praise; 
for man is in both an associate of Deity, because he is that 
man of whom God himself is a part. To be the way, the 
truth, and the life; to be our wisdom, righteousness, sancti- 
fication, resurrection; to be the peace of the world, the 
hope of the fathers, the heir of all things, to be that 
supreme Head, unto whom all power both in heaven and 
earth is given. These are titles above the dignity and 
worth of any mere man, yet true of Christ; even in that 
he is man, but man with whom deity is personally joined, 
of both which natures, there is a co-operation often to the 
same effect, and an association always. 

By this doctrine of two natures joined in one person, 
you see it comes to pass, that some actions are ascribed to 
Christ, as God, because his Deity alone is the well-spring, 
from which they flow. Some things, as man, because they 
issue from his mere human nature. Some things jointly, as 
both God and man, because both natures concur as principles 
thereunto; and so Christ is truly said, in that respect, to 
work both as God and as man to one and the same effect, 
sometimes, by co-operation, always by an undivided asso- 
ciation, as has been shown. 

Use 2. There is yet a farther benefit in this doctrine, 
namely, to answer most doubts, and to decide most ques- 
tions about the person of Christ, I will instance only in 
two principal objections of the adversary. 

Obj. 1. It is said in 1 Cor. xv. 28, "When all things 
shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself 


be subject unto him, that put all things under him, that 
God may be all in all." When he hath delivered up his 
mediatory kingdom to his Father, the Son shall remain 
still subject unto him. How then is he equal to his 
Father ? 

I answer, the Son himself in that capacity, wherein he 
has hitherto reigned, shall be subject, that is, Christ in his 
exalted and glorified manhood, shall be subject ; for in that 
nature Christ has been established king of the whole world, 
especially of his church, to gather and govern it, and to de- 
stroy every enemy of its salvation. So the apostle teaches, 
Eph. i. 20 — 22, " God set him at his own right hand in 
the heavenly places, far above al\ principalities and powers, 
and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not 
only in this world, but also in that which is to come, and 
hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be head 
over all things to the church," with 1 Pet. iii. 22, " By the 
resurrection of Jesus, who is gone into heaven, and is on 
the right hand of God, angels, and authorities, and powers, 
being made subject unto him." You see that Christ risen 
from the dead, is set above all things that can be named, 
God only excepted, which did "put all things under him," 
verse 27, for we may not think that the Father, by bestow- 
ing the office of a king upon the Son, has dispossessed him- 
self of his sovereign dominion. But when this exalted Son 
of God has judged the world, and shall have finished his 
work in bringing his elect to glory, then this King himself 
shall surrender up that king-ship, which hitherto he has 
exercised by the ministry of men, angels, word, and ordi- 
nances, and God shall reign immediately over his church, 
in a manner altogether new, namely, by himself, without 
ministry of men or angels, &c. 

Thus we may gather in what way the Son shall be sub- 
ject unto God that gave him that power, by the reason 
that here is rendered of his subjection, which is this, "that 
God may be all in all," that is, when Christ shall have 
brought his work to an end, and all former administrations 
of his kingdom cease, then shall God be all in all; that is, 
then shall God communicate himself, his light, life, bless- 
edness, love, and glory to his church in a most glorious, 
sweet, unutterable, immediate communion, which indeed 
will not a whit d J sannul Christ's kingdom, but only change 


the manner and form thereof into a more sublime and per- 
fect one. 

Hence I conclude, first, ascertain in what capacity the 
Son was exalted to reign over all; in the same capacity 
shall he be subject to make way for a new and more excel- 
lent manner of reign over the church. But the Son, as Son 
of man, was raised and exalted to rule, as is aforesaid, 
therefore the same Son, in the same capacity, in that as- 
sumed nature, together with his body, the church, and his 
manner of governing it, shall be subject to make way to 
that new and unspeakably glorious way of God's immediate 
communicating himself to his elect throughout all eternity. 

Secondly, 1 conclude with the words of Parasus, in loc. 
Sicut Jilius tradit regnum Deo, el Patri, sic etiam sub- 
jicietur Patri, non exuendo naturam, aut potentiam 
divinam, sed deponendo partes mediatoris, et mutando 
praesentem sui regni station, ut immediate ipse cum 
Patre et Spiritu Sancto in seternum regnet, that is, look 
in what respect Christ shall deliver up the kingdom to his 
Father, in the same respect shall he be subject to his 
Father, namely, not by putting off his divine nature, or 
power, but by ceasing to reign as Mediator, changing the 
present way and state of his kingdom into a better, where- 
in he, with the Father and the Holy Ghost, shall imme- 
diately rule and dwell in the glorified saints for evermore. 
This I take to be the plain meaning of that hard place of 

Obj. 2. Another objection is this: The Son received 
power, honour, and kingdom from the Father, and there- 
fore he is not God equal with the Father. 

Ans. 1. He received power as Mediator, not as God. 
Such expressions show us the order and distinction be- 
tween the person in the Trinity, and that ministration 
which, as Mediator, he was to perform. Acts ii. 36, " Let 
the whole house of Israel know assuredly that God hath 
made that same Jesus, whom ye crucified, both Lord and 
Christ." In which words you see who it is that received 
power and lordship: it is that Jesus whom they crucified: 
in that capacity his Father is greater than he, (John xiv. 
28,) but they do not note a diversity of natures, in which 
respect the Father and the Son are one. John x. 30. 

Ans. 2. Note diligently there is a double giving and re- 


ceiving from the Father; one by grace, the other by natu- 
ral generation and communication of his divine nature. By 
the gift of eternal generation Christ has received of the 
Father one and the self-same substance which the Father 
has of himself, not received of any other, for he is the Fa- 
ther of lights; Christ is God by being of God, light by is- 
suing out of light: artcmyac^a i^j 8o|^j, Jam. i. 17; Heb. i. 3. 
This divine nature Christ has in common with his Father; 
not bestowed by way of benevolence and favour, so the 
manhood of Christ doth receive, and is inferior to the God- 
head, but received of the Father by that wonderful and 
eternal generation: so that in the Trinity there is alius 
atque alius, non aliud atque aliud, divers persons, but 
not of different substances; and so the Son remaining in 
the Father, and not divided from him, is God equal with 
his Father. 

All things which Christ has received by grace we ought 
to apply to the manhood of Christ; amongst which the 
first and chiefest gift is the personal union, because there 
can be no greater grace shown to man than that God 
should vouchsafe to unite man's nature to the person of 
his only begotten Son. John iii. 35. By means of which 
" the Father loveth the Son," as man, " and hath given all 
things into his hand." As the Father hath life in himself, 
the Son in himself hath life also by the gift of the Father. 
John v. 26. This receiving by favour that which we had 
not by nature shows an inferiority in the receiver: but that 
other receiving, by natural and eternal generation, notes 
a community of essence in both, and so an equality. 

Use 3. From this doctrine of the Godhead taking flesh 
you have the true ground of Christ's merits to save us. If 
he were but a mere man, all the obedience he could per- 
form were no more than what is due to the law, and there- 
fore could not redound to the profit of others; much less 
could it satisfy for our offences, seeing it was due to the 
law though the offence had never been done: whereas now, 
by this union of both natures in one person, the obedience 
of Christ performed in the manhood is become of infinite 
merit, as being the obedience of God. 1 Pet. i. 19. It 
behooved Christ to be man, that he might suffer death ; 
he must also be God, that he might be able to bear and 
overcome the punishment of sin. Man's nature can suffer 


death, but not overcome it. The divine nature cannot suf- 
fer death, but can overcome all things. And he must be 
God and man in one person, that the sufferings performed 
in the human nature might be of value and efficacy to save. 
2 Cor. xiii. 4. 

Use 4. Lastly. Hence you may see what ground we 
have of access to God here by prayer, and of hope to stand 
before him with boldness in his glorious kingdom. The 
ground of both is the same ; namely, that that rich grace 
of God, wherein he hath vouchsafed to unite man's nature 
to his own person, was a singular act of love both to Jesus, 
as he is the Son of man, (for " the Father loveth the Son," 
whom he has made so nigh unto himself,) and to the rest 
of mankind, because under the shadow of his wing we draw 
nigh to God, and can call him Father. John iii. 16; John 
iv. 35. Christ is united to God, and we to Christ; "For 
which cause he is not ashamed to call us brethren." " And 
God is not ashamed to be called their God." Heb. ii. 11; 
Heb. xi. 16. " Having therefore boldness to enter into the 
holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way 
which he hath consecrated to us through the veil, that is 
to say, his flesh, and having" (one of our kind) "a 
High Priest over the house of God," (who is able to make 
us welcome, and to present us without spot unto his Fa- 
ther,) " let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance 
of faith." Heb. x. 19 — 21. Christ has carried our flesh 
into heaven, he is "the forerunner for us entered," (Heb. 
vi. 20;) he hath thereby made way for after-comers to enter 
^lso. It was the high priest's privilege, under the law, 
that he alone might enter into the holy of holies, but that 
privilege is now made common to all believers by this new 
and living way, namely, his flesh, or his human nature. 
The best way to bring man to God is, that God should be- 
come man, that men, by the bands of nature with him, 
might be helped up to the bands of grace with God. " Ye 
are Christ's, and Christ is God's," says Paul, (2 Cor. iii.;) 
as if he had said, because you are Christ's, therefore you 
are God's. The way to come to God is by coming to the 
man Christ; this he calls " a new and living way," because 
Christ liveth for ever to help them all to heaven who seek 
God in that way. Like Elias' chariot, so is Christ's man- 
hood and sufferings; get up here by faith in him, and he 
will carry you up to God in heaven. 


And when we are entered, we shall, without terror, 
make good our standing there, and behold the majesty of 
God. God is a " consuming fire " to the " sinners in Sion," 
(Isa. xxxiii. 14,) and the " hypocrites " dare not behold his 
face; but the man Christ Jesus dwells in those "everlast- 
ing burnings:" He is like the bush that burned, yet was 
not consumed; and they that are Christ's shall "see the 
face of God," and live. " There shall be no more curse, 
but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and 
his servants shall serve him, and they shall see his face." 
1 John iii. 2; Rev. xxii. 3, 4. The first link of this happy 
communion with God is the union of the manhood to De- 
ity; the second is the uniting of the church to Christ: 
Christ is one with God, and we are one with Christ, who 
therefore brings us unto God, to be one with him for ever- 
more, as shall be fully declared in the next chapter. 



" At that day you shall know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I 
in you." — John xiv. 20. 

In the 14th chapter of John, ver. 11, Christ says to Phi- 
lip, " Believe me, that I am in the Father, and the Father 
in me." And because the apostles did not take so much 
notice of a divine power in Christ as they ought, our Sa- 
viour, after he had comforted them by the promise of send- 
ing "another Comforter" to supply his bodily absence, 
promises (ver. 20) that there is a day at hand (meaning his 
resurrection, of whieh he last spake, ver. 18, 19,) wherein 
they should more fully understand that near conjunction 
and union that is betwixt the Father and him, and between 
him and them: " At that day ye shall know that I am in 
my Father, and you in me, and I in you:" I will send the 
Holy Ghost, by whom ye shall be confirmed in all truth,, 
and enabled to see clearly the communion which I have 
with the Father (" for the Father dwelleth in me, and doeth 


the works," ver. 10,) and with you, for I am in you, and 
do all things in you and for you. God is the fountain of 
all our happiness; our final good is to enjoy God. Now, 
some course must be taken to make us partakers of the 
goodness and blessedness that is in God; for, seeing all 
goodness is originally in God, and man is at such a wide 
distance from him, therefore was the second person, God, 
manifested in the flesh, that, being one with God and one 
with us, he might convey to us that goodness and blessed- 
ness which we wanted. There is God the fountain, man 
the empty cistern, Christ the conduit-pipe, to convey grace 
and life from the fountain. Now the pipe must come 
home both to the fountain and to the cistern, else there is 
no communion between the cistern and the fountain; so it 
is in this business. The first step of conjoining and com- 
municating of God to man is Christ manifest in the flesh; 
by means of whom, as he was one with the Father by eter- 
nal communion of the divine essence, so he is with us by 
union of his person with us; and so he is both in the Fa- 
ther and in us, and knits us both together. This is the 
sum of my text, namely, to teach us that there is a strict 
union between Christ and the Father, and between Christ 
and us; I am in the Father, and the Father in me; I am in 
you, and you in me. 

This doctrine, and this text are miserably abused, by 
many misunderstood, and by some of a Satanical, proud 
spirit, heightened to blasphemy, as if we were one person 
with Christ, and Christ so with us as with the Son of Mary. 
Robert Watsfield thus expresses himself upon that text, 
John xiv. 20. " Such a union, that God and Christ, and 
the saints shall be all individual, all one, the fulness of the 
Godhead shall dwell in us bodily, God shall be as fully 
and as really manifest in the flesh of the saints, here in this 
life, as ever he was in the flesh of our Elder Brother, or that 
flesh that was crucified at Jerusalem." So the opinionists 
of New England affirmed, that as Christ was once made 
flesh, so he is now made flesh in us, ere we be carried to 
perfection. Thus Henry Nichols, the oldest father of the 
family of love, is not ashamed to speak and teach that God 
was all that the man was, and man was all that God was, 
so making God and man one substance and being. And 
so, to put on Christ is in their sense, to have the being of 



Christ in us, as when it is said, that Christ dwells in out 
hearts by faith, they understand it of a real and essential 
heing. Thus men puffed up with spiritual pride, and con- 
ceit of their union with God, and God with them, tremble 
not to say they are Godded with God, and Christed with 
Christ. Whereas, upon examination and trial of their opi- 
nions and practices, it will appear, that they are rather 
Satanized with Satan, who sits as a lying spirit in their de- 
luded minds, and as a prince, the power of the world in 
their fleshly, covetous, proud, false, disobedient hearts and 
lives, than Christed with Christ. We shall come to the 
trial in the uses. 

Now seeing the point of union with Christ is of great 
importance, and the very foundation of all communion and 
comforts from him; and seeing it is so misunderstood and 
perverted, as we have seen, even in these our days, there- 
fore you must give the more diligent heed to have your 
senses exercised, and your understandings cleared up to 
discern good and evil, truth from error, in this mysterious 
point of our religion. 

You must know, that all union is not of one sort, there 
is a threefold union with God mentioned in scripture : — 
1. Essential. 2. Personal. 3. Spiritual. 1. Essential, so 
God and Christ his eternal Son, are one; 2. Personal, so 
the Son of man, and the Son of God, are one; 3. Spiritual, 
so Christ and we, his church, are one. 

First, Essential. Thus God and Christ are one, one in 
essence, of the same substance, John x. 30, "I and my 
Father are one." The Father is in the Son, because by 
eternal generation he communicates himself unto the Son, 
and so Christ is God of God, Light of Light, and the Son 
is in the Father, because he proceeded forth and came from 
the Father, (John viii. 42,) yet not divided or separated 
from the Father, and so the Son is light in light, the only 
begotten Son is in the bosom of the Father. The Son is 
in the Father, as brightness is in the light, which comes 
from the light, and remains in it; the one is still in the 
other, because they are one undivided substance, and can- 
not possibly be separated. It is not so between us and our 
children, for though the parents are in their children, as 
the cause of their being, and the matter of which they con- 
sist, yet they exist apart and by themselves, being several 


men, and so they act apart, as several persons ; the father 
dies, when the child lives, the one wills what the other 
dislikes, &c. But in this mystery it is far otherwise, the 
substances are the same, not divided; and therefore the 
Son, who is the Father's offspring, is in the Father, as 
light in that light out of which it flows without separation ; 
the Father is in the Son, as light in that light, which causes 
and leaves it not. 

This essential unity is manifested by the sameness of 
their operations. God's power is in Christ, therefore his 
essence is in Christ. Thus Christ himself argues, John 
x. 38, " If I do the works of my Father, then know and 
believe that the Father is in me, and 1 in him." By this 
we may understand that saying of Christ to Philip, John 
xiv. 9 — 11, "He that hath seen me, hath seen the Father, 
and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father? Believest 
thou not, that I am in the Father, and the Father in me ? 
The words that I speak unto you, I speak not of myself, 
but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. 
Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in 
me, or else believe me for the very works' sake." As 
if he had said, it is a token of our essential unity, because 
we are one in will, worship, and divine operations; what 
the one wills and loves, the other wills and loves also; the 
words of comfort and peace which I speak, says Christ, the 
Father speaks, and the works that I do, he does. There- 
fore look well on me, and on my words and works, and in 
me thou shalt know the Father by his divine goodness, 
power and will. 

Secondly, Personal union is that of the Son of man with 
the Son of God, and in this kind is no man one with God, 
save only the son of Mary, who was taken into unity of 
his person, as has been shown, and now dwells in God, as 
an inmate with God, and is thereby Lord of lords, and 
King of kings. His incarnation causes him, as he is a 
man, to be now in the Father, and the Father in him, be- 
cause he is one with that person, who is in, and one with 
the Father. John, i. 14: Col. ii. 9. God is not so in any, 
as he is in Christ, neither is any other creature so in God, 
as the human nature of Christ is. His name alone rs 
" Wonderful, Immanuel, God with us," and man with 
God. Thus you see how it is said by Christ, " The Father 
is in me, and I in the Father." 


Use. Is our Christ thus in the Father ? Then surely he 
is exceeding dear to him, and there is the fountain and 
foundation of all God's love to us. He that is so nearly 
and inseparably in God by participation of his being, must 
needs be in his heart by an infinite affection of love, " This 
is my beloved Son;" (John iii. 36,) none so loved of God, 
because none so in God, and for his sake he loveth all that 
are Christ's. John iii. 35, " The Father loveth the Son," 
not with a new, or changeable love, but with an eternal 
natural love, and because he so loveth him, he hath " given 
all things into his hand," that whosoever is coupled to 
Christ, is sure to be loved of the Father also; Christ brings 
us into his Father's love, for the Son loveth us as the 
Father loved him. John xv. 9, " As my Father hath loved 
me, so have I loved you." What of that ? Yes, it is much 
for our consolation, because the love of God towards us, 
begins not in us; but it is grounded on his fatherhood in 
Christ, and it descends to us from the everlasting bowels 
of God the Father, and of Christ. Hereupon it follows, 
that if ye have the Son's love, ye have the Father's also. 
See John xiv. 23, " If any man love me, my Father will 
love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode 
with him." The Son brings the Father with him into our 
hearts, Christ has his Father's love, by reason of his union 
with him, and we have it by reason of our union with 
Christ. John xvii. 26, " I have declared unto them thy 
name, that the love, wherewith thou hast loved me, may 
be in them, and I in them;" as if he should say, that thou 
may est love them for my sake, and for their union with 
me, as thou hast loved me, their Head, for my union's sake 
with thee. Whole Christ is dearly loved of the Father, 
because we are of his body, who is one with the Father, 
"you are Christ's, and Christ is God's:" yea, you are God's, 
because you are Christ's. The way to get God to be our 
God, is to get union with Christ. This must be our method 
to get God; for " he that hath the Son hath the Father also; 
till we get into Christ, we are strangers to God, yea, ene- 
mies to God, without strength, hopeless, helpless creatures: 
but by our union with the Son, it comes to pass, that his 
Father is our Father, and his God our God: "It is the 
Father's will that he that seeth and believeth on the Son, 
may have everlasting life." John vi. 40. 





Now follows the third kind of union, namely, that spirit- 
ual union which is between Christ and his church, whereby 
we are incorporated and made members of that mystical 
body whereof Christ is Head. Eph. v. 30, " We are mem- 
bers of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones." 

Doct. There is a mutual union or in-being of Christ in a 
Christian, and of a Christian in Christ: or thus we are 
united to the person of Christ, so as to be one with him. 
Thou art in Christ, and Christ in thee. 

So, (John vi. 56,) " He that eateth my flesh and drink- 
eth my blood, dwelleth in me and I in him." There is 
that mutual in-dwelling we speak of, and the means of it 
is our eating his flesh and drinking his blood ; we are as 
truly joined to his person as our meat and drink is with 
our bodies. This eating is not carnal and bodily, but yet 
true and real ; for spiritual things are real things. Christ 
is compared to food, and faith to eating, because it causes 
the soul to receive Christ — to feed and to satisfy itself upon 
his love and merits as with marrow and fatness. Christ's 
flesh was given for the life of the world, ratione acquisi- 
tionis, when he laid down his life for it ; and it is given 
to the world, ratione applicationis, when it is offered to 
us in the gospel and in the sacraments. And Christ is 
eaten when the soul receives and embraces him by a per- 
sonal particular faith. 

Again, consider that of John xvii. 21 — 23. Christ there 
prays thus for believers, that they may be one; "as thou, 
Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one 
in us:" that is, that they may be united among themselves 
in the same spirit of faith and love, and that the bond of 
their union may be their joint interest and communion 
which they have in us. As if he should say, because all 
true believers are one in us, in us they all meet; therefore 
they should be one among themselves, as members of one 
body, under one head, Christ Jesus, sons of one Father, 
who is over all and in all, they that are in God must be 


one among themselves, Eph. iv. 5. This our union and 
meeting in one God, in one Lord Jesus Christ, is the only 
true ground and bond of union among Christians. 

It follows, (ver. 22,) " And the glory which thou gavest 
me, I have given them, that they may be one, even as we 
are" one. The church's union with Christ, her Head, is the 
church's glory. Note first. It is an unspeakable glory be- 
stowed on the human nature of Christ to be united to the 
Godhead. This " glory," says Christ, * thou gavest me." 
Note, secondly, Christ says, This glory "I have given 
them;" they are partakers of it, because they are united 
unto me, and by me unto thee. The Son of Mary is in 
the first degree of glorious union, being united unto God 
personally. We, the sons of men, are, in a second degree, 
partakers of that glory, being really united to the Man 
Christ, received of the Father; namely, to be one with 
God. He bestows on us, namely, to be one with himself, 
and by him to be one with God; as it follows, (ver. 23,) 
"I in them, and thou in me." Here God is in Christ 
(thou in me) and Christ in us (I in them.) Here is God, 
Christ, and us; Christ is the link that joins us to God: I 
in them, (there is Christ in us;) and thou in me, (there is 
God in Christ.) So that in Christ God and we meet, and 
so the glory which God gave to Christ, he gives to us, and 
so we are made perfect in one, being firmly and for ever 
united and knit unto God; from whence it follows, unde- 
niably, all the world must confess and grant it, that thou 
hast sent me, and hast loved them as thou hast loved me; 
they whom thou hast honoured, to be brought so near to 
thyself in a blessed union, must needs be near to thee in 
most tender affection. It is a glory to Christ to be one 
with the Father. It is a glory to a Christian to be one 
with Christ, and it is the glory of Christians to be one 
among themselves. Thus much for proof of the point. 

For farther explication of this mystery I shall show four 
things. First, what kind of union this is that we have 
with Christ: secondly, the manner and means by which it 
is made: thirdly, the necessity of it: fourthly, the uses. 

1. What kind of union is it that we have with Christ? 

I answer first, negatively, it is not a personal union. 
We are not one person with Christ. 

Secondly. It is not a corporeal or bodily union, such as 


in the joints of the body. My hand and my foot are united 
to my head by skin, flesh, and sinews. The joints of the 
body are compacted by bodily ligaments. It is not so be- 
tween Christ and us. Christ is in heaven, and we on earth; 
and as touching local and bodily union, we are absent from 
the Lord. This union is spiritual. 

Thirdly. It is not only mental, or in conceit, or specu- 
lative, by imagination, but real, and a thing existing, extra 
mentem, whether we conceit it or not. There is a real 
relation and respect between parties, as between father 
and son, head and foot. It is a father, it is a son, it is a 
member, whether we think it or not. So here, Christ and 
we are one, not only in speculation or imagination, but 
really, whether you think it or not; and that union pro- 
duces real effects and operations in us, therefore the union 
is real. 

Fourthly. Christ and we are one, not only by covenant 
and mutual consent. This is much, but this is not all. 
Christ is ours by his own act and will, and we are his by 
our own act and will. The obligation is mutual. God by 
his covenant makes over himself to be our God, and ^ 
restipulate and make over ourselves to be his people. Ezek. 
xvi. 8, " I entered into a covenant with thee, and thou be- 
camest mine." This is like a marriage covenant, by virtue 
of which man and wife are one person in law, so are Christ 
and the church. Eph. v. 31, 32, "A man shall leave fa- 
ther and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and 
they two shall be one flesh." As it is in this civil con- 
tract, so it is between Christ and us: ver. 32, "This is a 
great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the 
church." By virtue of this covenant the church says, 
(Cant vi. 3,) " My beloved is mine, and I am his." Christ 
and a Christian are linked together in covenant, and have 
given themselves each to other, (Isa. liv. 1:) first, freely; 
second, fully. 

First, freely. Christ looks for no portion with us; he 
takes us in our rags, when we were enemies, and without 
strength, and had never done any thing pleasing to him ; 
he loves us freely. And we take Christ freely, with a free 
consent of heart and will, not compulsatorily. Many in 
times of danger, in time of sickness and death, will seem 
earnest for Christ, ! nothing but Christ. In their afflic- 


tions they seek him early, but when the danger is past, 
their affection is cooled, and Christ is laid aside. In a storm 
the mariners will throw their goods into the sea to save 
their lives. This is a forced act, but our taking of Christ 
is not so, it is by way of choice. 

Secondly, Christ gives himself to us fully, and wholly. 
All his riches are ours. With Christ God gives all things. 
And we again do fully give up ourselves to him. We are 
for him in one thing as well as in another: against all 
crosses, persecutions. We accept Christ with all those con- 
ditions which are proposed in the gospel, we submit every 
opposite desire to his will, we take him with full consent 
to be our Lord and King, our God and Saviour. Thus 
Christ is ours, and we are his by covenant : and both parties 
have testified and ratified the consent by the sacrament of 
baptism, in which, as by a solemn instrument in law, he 
receives us into his flock and family, to bestow upon us 
the blessing of the covenant; and we, as by a solemn oath, 
together with our names, do give up ourselves to the pro- 
fession, worship, and service of that God, who is Father, 
Son, and Holy Ghost. This bond by mutual covenant and 
consent, makes us very nigh to each other. But though 
this be much, yet this is not all, there is a farther degree 
of union between Christ and a Christian. And, 

Fifthly, it is a spiritual and real union, whereby Christ 
and a believer are knit together. Our very persons, soul 
and body, are coupled to the person of Christ by the same 
Holy Ghost, which dwelleth in him and in us. "Hereby 
we know, that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he 
hath given us of his Spirit." 1 John, iv. 13. This real 
union is set forth by two similitudes especially. One of a 
head and members: as the members of the body are by 
joints and bands knit to the head, so is the church to Christ: 
"From whom the whole body by joints and bands, having 
nourishment ministered and knit together, increaseth with 
the increase of God." Col. ii. 19. To understand this, you 
must remember, that there are two heads of mankind, 
Adam and Christ, and we are in Christ, and Christ in us, 
as Adam is in us, and we in Adam. When God created 
Adam, he created us, we were in his loins naturally, and 
as many as descend from Adam, have in themselves the 
root out of which they spring. So we have Christ in us, 


being branches springing out of him: for Christ took, not 
any man's person, but our nature, and sanctified it, (Heb. 
ii. 11,) and so is become the head of a spiritual offspring 
among men. Consider Christ as he is man, he is "bone of 
our bone, and flesh of our flesh," (for that he is the son of 
Adam, Luke iii. last verse,) he took part of the children's 
flesh and blood. Heb. ii. 14. But take us in our spiritual 
being, as we are new-born, and so " we are bone of his bone," 
Eph. v. 30. And so Adam and all regenerate persons are 
Christ's offspring; "A new workmanship, created in Christ 
Jesus unto good works," Eph. ii. 10. Yea, we are his 
seed, as says the prophet, " He shall see his seed," Isa. liii. 10. 
The sons of God have God's own Son as their second Adam 
from heaven, whose race and progeny they are by spiritual 
and heavenly birth: "the second Adam is made a quicken- 
ing spirit," 1 Cor. xv. 45. Adam is in us as the original 
cause of our nature, and the corruption of our nature, called 
" the old man." Christ is in us as the original cause of 
our restoration to life, and of our new nature, called "the 
new man." 

The second similitude, whereby this near union is set 
forth, is that of the vine and branches: John xv. 5, " I am 
the vine, ye are the branches." Now the root is, and lives 
in the branch, and the branch in the root: so Christ lives 
in us. He is the root that bears us, and we live in him, 
(Gal. ii. 20,) as says the apostle, Rom. xi. 17, 24, "We 
that are wild by nature, are graffed, contrary to nature, into 
a good olive tree, and so partake of the root and fatness of 
the olive tree." We have a conjunction, not only with 
the virtue and merit of Christ, but with his person, as the 
branch has with the vine. He that drinks a cup of wine, 
partakes of the fruit of the vine, yet not so as the branch 
does, for the branch is in the vine, it subsists and lives in 
the root, and the root lives in the branch. " I am the vine, 
ye are the branches: he that abideth in me, and I in him, 
the same bringeth forth much fruit." John xv. 5. The root 
is not without the branch, nor the branch without the root, 
the}* are joined the one to the other; so we are branches 
springing out of Christ the root, in whom we still abide. 
Thus you see what kind of union we have with Christ. 

Secondly, What is the manner and means by which it is 
made ? What are the bonds ? 


They are two; first, the principal is his Spirit, that 
quickening Spirit, which from him, the Head, is diffused to 
the enlivening of all his members, and knitting them in- 
separably to himself. Life is originally from the Father, 
(1 John v. 11,) and comes not to us but by the Son, nor by 
the Son to any of us in particular, but through the Spirit, 
Rom. viii. 9, " If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he 
is none of his." The first ground of our communion with 
Christ is his assumed nature, which being joined to the 
Godhead, is the well-spring from whence all life and grace 
are derived to us; but that which actually joins Christ and 
us together is the Holy Ghost, which is given, (Rom. v. 5,) 
and truly resides both in him and in us, (1 Cor. iii. 16,) 
making us "free from the law of sin and death," Rom. 
viii. 2. As the body that has many members, and one 
soul in them all, is one body with the head, by reason of 
that one soul in them all; so are Christ and his church but 
one, by reason of that one Spirit which is in him and in us; 
Eph. iv. 4, " There is one body, and one Spirit." This is 
Paul's reason to prove our union with Christ, because u by 
one Spirit we are all baptized into one body, and have 
been all made to drink into one Spirit." 1 Cor. xii. 13. 

This must needs be the first and principal means of 
union, because till he lay hold of us, we are as withered 
branches, and dead bones. He does not join such dead 
souls to himself, therefore the first degree of communion 
with Christ must needs consist in the participation of his 
Spirit, (Eph. v. 26, 27,) which Spirit has in us a double 
work, one to put us in possession of the person of Christ, 
uniting us to him by faith in our first conversion, where- 
by we are partakers of the merit and virtue of his blood, to 
take away the curse, which rested on us, and stopped the 
course of communion with God. The other work is the 
actual influence of grace, whereby we begin to live the life 
of grace, (Gal. v. 25,) mortifying our corruptions, and 
rising to newness of life, and so are by him led on from 
one degree to another, till grace be finished in glory. 

You see, then, that the chief bond to unite us to Christ, 
is the Holy Spirit, both in respect of his presence, and also 
as he is a Spirit of graces, fitting us for union with Christ: 
after which sort, he is not in the reprobate, though he fill 
all places. This is on Christ's part. 


The second bond of this union on our parts is faith, 
which is the first and more general effect and instrument 
of the Spirit of Christ in us, disposing and enabling us to 
embrace and cleave to him. Hence it is said, Eph. iii. 17, 
"That Christ doth dwell in our hearts by faith;" and "by 
faith we put on Christ" Gal. iii. 26, 27. For as faith is 
the gift of God, and the fruit of the Spirit: (Eph. ii. S; Gal. 
v. 22 9 ) so also it is the instrument of the Spirit to receive 
from God whatever benefits and graces are purchased by 
Christ, and offered to us in the gospel. Rom. v. 1, 2, " We 
are justified by faith through our Lord Jesus Christ, by 
whom also we have access by faith into the grace where- 
in we stand." And again, Gal. v. 5, " We through the 
Spirit do wait for the hope of righteousness by faith." 
When the word tells us there is no salvation without re- 
mission of sins, and no remission but by the favour of God 
through the blood of Christ; that there is no good thing in 
us, unless it be given us from above, no hope of salvation 
by any thing that we can do or suffer, and that all that are 
laden with the burden of their sins may freely come and 
be eased; then comes the Spirit and enlightens our minds, 
and bows our hearts to believe these things, and to close 
with Christ so freely offered to us, and then is the knot 
of union knit between Christ and the soul. 

This inward hold-fast which Christ has of us, and we of 
him, is mutual, he apprehends us in our perishing condi- 
tion, and we apprehend him, (Phil. iii. 12,) just as a man 
fallen into water, reaches his hand to us, and we put forth 
our hand to catch hold of him. There is hand in hand, 
Christ clasping us by his Spirit, we him by the hand of 
faith. Christ first seeks us that were lost, and by his 
Spirit lays hold on us; then do we that fled from him, 
turn to him, and lay hold on Christ. Jesus first speaks to 
us, as once to Mary, John xx. 16. She heard him speak 
before, (verse 15,) but knew him not: but now Christ 
speaks to her heart in the voice of a friend. Jesus says 
unto her, Mary, my friend Mary. Then she turned her- 
self and said unto him, Rabboni, it is my Master, it is my 
Christ, my Lord, my love, that was crucified. Thus 
Christ speaks to our hearts, John, Thomas, &c, "Why 
weepest thou? Whom seekest thou?" (John vi. 37, John 
xvii. 10,) and the heart forthwith answers with joy, O ! my 


Master, my Christ: here is a joyful meeting, and happy 
closing, between Christ and the soul. Thus God gives 
Christ to us, and us to Christ, and so he says of all God's 
elect, " All thine are mine, we are Christ's, and Christ is 

Amongst the errors rejected by their Synod in New 
England, this was one, namely, That we are completely 
united to Christ, before, or without any faith wrought in 
us by the Spirit. Of which error, because Mr. Cotton was 
supposed to give some occasion, this question, amongi 
others, was proposed to him by certain ministers of those 
churches, before the Assembly met, namely, Whether our 
union with Christ is complete before and without faith. 
Whereto (saith Mr. Cotton,) I gave this answer, not with- 
out, nor before the habit or gift of faith, but before the act 
of faith, that is, not before Christ has wrought faith in us, 
for in uniting himself to us, he works faith in us, yet in 
order of nature, before our faith puts forth itself to lay hold 
on him. 

This answer, if expressed only in those words, namely, 
(not before Christ has wrought faith in us, for in uniting 
himself to us, he works faith in us,) had been more clear 
and full, whereas by distinguishing the habit from the act 
of faith, and affirming that we are united to Christ by the 
Spirit, before our faith puts forth any act to lay hold on 
Christ, is very ambiguous, and unsatisfactory. 

For, first, it seems to savour of the leaven of antinomi- 
anism and enthusiasm; namely, that the Spirit does all 
without us, witnesses our justification absolutely without 
relation to any thing in us, and so unites us to Christ, 
without us, or any act of ours concurring therein. 

Secondly, it is inconsistent with itself, for what does the 
working of faith in us avail, as to our uniting to Christ, 
more than the working of patience, or any other grace, if 
the union be complete before our faith puts forth itself to 
lay hold on Christ. 

Thirdly, to distinguish between the habit and act of faith, 
has no place, neither can it be rightly applied to the point 
in hand; for our faith is begun in action, it begins in the 
acts of consent and adherence, and therefore if the Spirit 
unites us to Christ, before and without any act of faith, it 
unites us before and without any faith at all. 


In moral philosophy, the habit of virtue is nothing but 
a settled disposition or permanent quality facilitating action 
through long custom, and is therefore called an acquired 
habit. But the scriptures speak more divinely, calling the 
principles of grace the seed of God : " He that is born of 
God sinneth not, because his seed remaineth in him." 1 John 
jii. 9. Now what is that seed, by which we are born of 
God? Peter (1st Ep. i. 23,) tells you it is the " word of 
truth, the gospel of your salvation," which being received 
in the heart, "liveth and abideth in you." Whence I thus 
argue : the seed of faith, is the beginning of faith : but the 
word actually heard and embraced is that seed of God; 
therefore our faith is begun in action. Again (Gal. iii. 2,) 
the apostle says, that " we receive the Spirit by the hear- 
ing of faith," that is, by the doctrine of faith; as if he 
should say, the Spirit of God is given and conveyed in 
and with, the gospel preached : by both which concurring, 
faith is wrought in the heart, and clasps Jesus Christ. By 
the hearing of faith the Spirit is received, and by the Spirit 
the grace of faith, and so Christ unites himself to us by 
his own act, enlivening us, and making the word powerful 
to convert us, and we again unite to him by our own act 
of faith, receiving him thus offered to us. 

The union then is begun by action of the Spirit on us, 
and of faith put forth by us to lay hold on Christ. Hence 
it follows, that if this union be complete before the act of 
faith put forth to lay hold on Christ, it is complete without 
faith at all. Now when faith is thus wrought in us, by 
reason of its permanency in us, and also because it is the 
root of spiritual actions, it is called the habit of faith, (not 
according to scripture-phrase, but the language of philoso- 
phers and school-men,) yet an abused habit, because it is 
gotten not by customable actions or use, but by the ope- 
ration of God's Spirit in the word preached; it is the "faith 
of the operation of God." Col. ii. 12. 

How far the forementioned ministers were satisfied with 
Mr. Cotton's answer, it is not material to inquire: only the 
Lord of his mercy continue and increase their amiable 
communion together. Howbeit, when that question was 
brought into that assembly, they resolved and decreed 
against union with Christ before faith, roundly and entirely, 
without mincing or distinguishing the habit and act of faith, 



in these words, "The term [united] being understood of that 
spiritual relation of men to Christ, whereby they come 
to have life and right to all other blessings in Christ, 1 John 
v. 12: and the term completely implying a presence of 
all those bands and ligaments, and means, as are required 
in the word, or any ways necessary to the making up of 
the union; we now conceive that this assertion is erroneous, 
and contrary to scripture, which either expressly mentions 
faith, when it speaks of this union, (Eph. iii. 17, "That 
Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith." Gal. ii. 20, 
"Christ lives in me by faith:") or ever implies it in those 
phrases, that express union, as coming to Christ, John vi. 
35, and eating and drinking Christ, ver. 47, compared with 
ver. 54, having the Son, 1 John v. 12, and receiving Christ, 
John i. 12, and marriage to Christ, Eph. v. 32. If there 
be no dwelling of Christ in us, no coming to him, no re- 
ceiving him, no eating or drinking him, no being married 
to him before and without faith, then we are not united to 
Christ before faith: but the former is true, therefore also 
the latter." Thus much of the manner and means of this 
union. The third question follows. 

3. Is such a union between Christ and a Christian neces- 
sary to salvation ? 

Yes: because it is the ground of our partaking in all that 
Christ ever did or suffered. Though there be water in the 
well, and light in the sun, and help in a medicine, what is 
all this to thee, unless thou hast some means to partake 
thereof? So except we be truly partakers of Christ, and 
as really possessed of his Spirit, as we are of the body of 
sin and death from old Adam, all that we speak of eternal 
life is but a dream. " Christ within you is the hope of 
glory." Col. i. 27. There is Christ without us, Christ 
dead, and risen, and ascended: and "in Christ are laid up 
all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." There is 
merit enough, and mercy enough in Christ; but what is 
this to thee, if thou art a stranger to him, and only hearest 
the report of such things ? It is useless to go about to lay 
hold on any thing that Christ ever did or suffered, except 
ye have fellowship with Christ It is not the performance 
of this or that duty, or a course of duties, that will serve 
thy turn, unless Christ be in thee, and thou in him: " He 
that hath the Son hath life, and he that hath not the Son 
bath not life." 1 John v. 11, 12. When a stranger sees a 


scion graffed into a living stock, what means this art, thinks 
he ? Why may not as well two dry sticks be tied to- 
gether? The answer is, this engrafture is necessary, to 
the end the twig may partake of the sap that is in the root, 
and live; for else the twig cannot live of itself. The case 
is ours, John xv. 4. Now then seeing life and righteous- 
ness, and all fulness, is in Christ, and no where else, and 
seeing it is God's pleasure, that "of his fulness we should 
all receive, and grace for grace," John i. 16, this union 
is necessary. 

Lastly, seeing " Christ is the head over all things to the 
church, which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth 
all in all:" (Eph. i. 23,) therefore none can be filled, ex- 
cept he fill them; none can live, except they live by him. 
All spiritual riches must be had in Christ, and no where 
else, which can never be imagined or expected, until you 
be united to Christ, as has been said. Now follow some 
uses of the point. 

Use 1. Let the sound Christian take notice of the honour 
and dignity bestowed on him, that he should be one with 
the Son of God. Esther, a poor captive maid, was honoured 
to be made the wife of king Ahasuerus; and David counted 
it a great honour to be son-in-law to king Saul. But be- 
hold a greater than Ahasuerus, or Saul, is here: for, "truly 
our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus 
Christ." 1 John i. 3. The highest pitch of honour that a 
poor soul is capable of in this world, is to be united to God, 
the eternal fountain of all blessedness and goodness. " Be- 
hold ! what love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we 
should be called the sons of God." 1 John iii. 1. Now 
how this ought to affect our hearts, see verse 4, " These 
things write we unto you, that your joy may be full." 
This fellowship fills the heart with joy; whatever worldly 
abasements we lie under, yet this one thing advances a 
Christian above all others: Christ is thine, and thou art his; 
thou hast friendship, yea, union with the Head of the church, 
who is now at the right hand of God. 

Use 2. A sound Christian is the only truly honourable 
person in the world. Ye that are Christ's, take notice of 
the sweet mercies, privileges, and comforts that arise to you 
from this union with Christ, for they are unutterable. 

First, you may be sure, that your persons are tenderly 
beloved. Christ is loved more than any other, because he 



is in God after another manner than any other is, and we 
are loved for the same reason, because we are one with 
Christ: he loves us as parts of himself, " as my Father loved 
me, so have I loved you." John xv. 9. This near con- 
junction breeds love. Ye that are Christ's, you are near 
his heart: as a signet upon his right hand, you are his 
peculiar treasure, his delight, his beloved ones. Christ 
loves a Christian above every creature. He delights in us 
as the price of his own blood. And he expresses this love 
by terms of love and delight; my spouse, my little flock, 
little children, friends, my portion, my peculiar treasure. 
In a word, "we are a chosen generation, a royal priest- 
hood, a peculiar people." (Deut. xxxii. 9; Exod. xix. 5; 1 
Pet. ii. 9.) " How fair and pleasant art thou, love, for de- 
lights!" says Christ to the church, Cant. vii. 6. And ver. 
10, the church says to Christ, " 1 am my beloved's, and his 
desire is towards me." 

Secondly, by means of this union, we have a property 
in Christ, and a right to all that ever he did or suffered for 
mankind. All is yours, because you are his. Christ is my 
Christ, my Lord, my Saviour, my Rock, my Portion, my 
Righteousness, my Peace, my Redeemer, my Lord, and my 
God, may every true believer say. 2 Cor. v. 14. John xiv. 
19. Rom. viii. 34. John i. 16. Eph. i. 23. And with him, 
all that is his, is ours. His Father is our Father, his king- 
dom is our kingdom, his merits, death, resurrection, they 
are ours; his righteousness, his Spirit, his victories, his 
graces, they are ours: we have a share in them all, 1 Cor. 
iii. 23, "All things are yours," because "you are Christ's," 
because thou art one with him. Search the Bible; gather 
out of it what is the portion of the elect, and what the 
riches of the inheritance of the saints in light, what great 
things Christ has received to bestow on others, and then 
sit down and bless God that ever thou wert born, praise 
him that ever thou wert made so near to Christ ; for thou 
mayest say, all this is mine. Christ has a peculiar interest 
and right in you : he may claim you, and all that is yours, 
because you are his; and we may claim all that is Christ's, 
because he is ours. " We are heirs together with Christ:" 
God having given us his Son, " how shall he not with him, 
freely give us all things?" Rom. viii. 32. 

The papists disputing against our justification by the 


righteousness of Christ, and pleading for a justification by 
inherent righteousness, demand of us, How we can be just 
by the righteousness of another? Can the wall (say they) 
be white, by the whiteness that is in my hand? Or can I 
live by the bread which another eats? So neither can we 
be just by the justice of another. 

Our answer is, Christ and the believer are not two, but 
one. Christ is the bread of life, and the believer eats him 
by faith. Peter cannot be saved by the righteousness that 
is in Paul, because they are two; but the members are 
saved by the righteousness of their Head, because Head and 
members are not two. This is no such strange thing in 
natural and civil relations. Can an apple-tree live by the 
juice and sap of a crab-stock? Yes, if it be graffed into the 
stock. Can a woman be honoured by the honour that is 
bestowed upon a man? Yes, if she be married to him. 
Can a debtor be discharged by another man's money ? 
Yes, if he be my surety ; for I and my surety are one in 
obligation and construction of the law. Christ and we 
make but one church; He as head, we as members. 

Thirdly, Great comfort arises from this doctrine to a 
poor Christian in regard of his manifold weaknesses and 
frailties. Christ is ours, and we are his. This assures us 
of pity and acceptance, "The bruised reed he will not 
break, nor quench the smoking flax." Isa. xlii. 3. We 
bear with great infirmities in our own children, wives, and 
friends; because they are ours, therefore we will not cast 
them off. If they are sick or weak, do we turn them out 
of doors? Nay, but we cherish, and pity them the more. 
So does Christ pity us ; for the believer is dearer to Christ 
than our nearest relations can be to us. If a member of 
our body is lame, or wounded, do we dash it against the 
wall? or cut it off in anger, and say, who would be troubled 
with such a hand, or such a foot? Do we not rather wrap 
it up, that it may be healed ? Another, perhaps, can 
hardly endure the sight of our sores, yet we dress it, and 
handle it gently, and why ? because it is ours, because there 
is life in it, because it is one of our members. So is Christ 
to the believer, he heals the broken-hearted, he seeks that 
one sheep that is gone astray. Those that " come to him," 
he will "in no wise cast out." "Like as a father pitieth 
his child, so is the Lord merciful to them that fear him." 


Psal. ciii. 13. He welcomes the prodigal son: "As one 
whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you: you 
shall suckand be dandled uponher knees : And when yousee 
this, your heart shall rejoice, and your bones shall flourish 
like an herb." Isa. lxvi. 12, 13, 14. This should raise our 
spirits against all spiritual discomforts ; I am his, and he is 
mine, he will not cast off for ever, he will not lose anyone 
of his. 

Use 3. The third use is for trial and examination, whe- 
ther this knot be knit between Christ and us, whether 
Christ be in thee, and thou in him. You have seen before 
the necessity of being in Christ; because, except we be 
really one with him, all that we speak of eternal life, or 
expect from him, is but a dream. There is no true grace, 
or true peace, but what flows from communion with Christ ; 
all the rest are but counterfeit. 

The main thing in this trial will be, whether you have 
in you the Spirit of Christ, "For he that is joined to the 
Lord, is one Spirit," 1 Cor. vi. 17. There is but one soul, 
as it were, in two bodies. " We know that he abideth in 
us by the Spirit which he hath given us," says John, 1 Ep. 
iii. 24. Now, our union with Christ is a secret and hidden 
thing; and it is known to us by the same Spirit that dwell- 
eth in us, and in him. To have Christ in us, and his Spirit 
in us, are promiscuously put the one for the other, Rom. viii. 
9, 10, because Christ and his Spirit are never sundered. 
And seeingall sorts and sects of men, professing Christianity, 
may pretend to have the Spirit of Christ, as well as that 
they have Christ himself, therefore this must be our task to 
inquire what kind of Spirit the Spirit of Christ is. 

Amidst the manifold evidences of Christ's Spirit in any 
soul, I shall pitch upon these two only. First, it is a 
Spirit of holy sympathy and fellow-feeling; Secondly, of 
conformity and likeness to Christ. 

First, if Christ be in thee, and thou in him, there will 
arise a spiritual sympathy and fellow-feeling in thy heart: 
thou wilt be tenderly affected with the honour of Christ, 
and the prosperity of his gospel, church and kingdom, in 
all the world. If the same soul were in my child that is 
in me, then what I love, he would love; when I rejoiced, 
or grieved, so would he. So, in the body, if the head ache, 
all the body is ill at ease ; if one member suffer, all the 


members suffer with it; if one member be honoured, all the 
members rejoice with it ; and why so ? It is by reason of 
one soul that is in all those members. So is it in the body 
of Christ, his friends and foes are mine : that which Christ 
loves, I love; that which Christ hates, I hate; that which 
grieves him, grieves me. 

Christ hath a fellow-feeling; First, of our sufferings. 
" Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me ?" Acts ix. 4, 5. 
Christ himself was out of his reach, but Christ takes the 
injuries done to his members, as done to himself. Ver. 5, 
" I am Jesus whom thou persecutest." " He that toucheth 
you, toucheth the apple of mine eye." Zech. ii. 8. 

Secondly, of our infirmities and temptations; "For that 
he himself was made like unto his brethren, and was tempt- 
ed, he knoweth how to succour them that are tempted." 
Heb. ii. 18. 

Thirdly, Christ takes the good done to us, as done to 
himself, Matt. xxv. 40, "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto 
one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto 
me." In like manner is the sound Christian touched and 
affected with the honour or dishonour that befalls Christ. 
He can say with truth of heart, "The reproaches of them 
that reproached thee are fallen upon me." The reproaches 
that befall religion through the miscarriages of its profes- 
sors, are a grief to a godly man. So the godly in the pro- 
phet Zephaniah's time, who laid to heart the calamities of 
the church, and the corruptions thereof, are singled out as 
the special objects of God's favour; Zeph. iii. 18, « I will 
gather them that be sorrowful for the solemn assembly, 
who are of thee, to whom the reproach of it was a burden." 
The solemn assemblies, the Sabbaths, the public worship 
and ordinances of God, these were things most precious to 
the godly, highly prized and rejoiced in, and the want of 
them was their sorrow and lamentation, and the rather be- 
cause their enemies, in their exile, did mock at their Sab- 
baths, and twit them with their religion. Lam. i. 7. Psal. 
xlii. 3. This reproach done to religion is a burden to the 
true child and member of the church. So in these our 
days, the name and religion of Christ are greatly dis- 
honoured through the miscarriages of many professors : 
Christ may justly complain of our people, that call them- 
selves the godly party, as once Jacob did of his two sons, 


Simeon and Levi, who treacherously, and contrary to their 
covenant, slew the Shechemites: Gen. xxxiv. 30, "You 
have troubled me, to make me stink among the inhabitants 
of the land :" as if he should say, you have disgraced me 
and my religion, and the God whom we serve ; the very 
Canaanites must needs abhor both us and our religion. 
Now they that have in them any spark of the Spirit of 
Christ cannot choose but be troubled, when Christ, whom 
they love, is so dishonoured and evil spoken of. "Many 
walk (says Paul, Phil. iii. 18.) of whom I tell you, even 
weeping, that they are enemies of the cross of Christ." 
Any wrong done to Christ, any disgrace that reflects upon 
his name, wounds the heart of a true Christian. 

But on the other side, when Christ's name, gospel and 
kingdom is magnified, it is the joy and rejoicing of the 
heart of any one that has the Spirit of Christ in him. Yea, 
it is more dear and precious to him than his own credit or 
profit. When some preached Christ at Philippi, out of a 
design to add affliction to Paul's bonds, however, it went 
with Paul, so Christ were preached, he rejoiced. Phil. i. 
18. Paul was a man variously reported and censured. 
But (says he) whether ye count me mad or sober, it is not 
much material, I will not shape my doctrine to please men 
or times, because the love of Christ is dearer to me than 
myself; "If we be beside ourselves, (2 Cor. v. 13,) it is to 
God;" that is, I do not care for being held a mad man 
for God's service; and he gives a reason, ver. 14, because 
the infinite love of Christ who died for us, interchangeably 
binds us to consecrate to him our honour and credit, yea, 
our whole life, which we hold by his benefit. It was an 
excellent speech of Joshua, in his prayer when the people 
fled before the men of Ai: "The Canaanites (says he) and 
all the inhabitants of the land, shall hear of it, and shall 
environ us round, and cut off our name from the earth." 
This might justly be for a lamentation: yet there was some- 
thing that did stick nearer to his heart than their own 
name, and that was the glory of God, for so he adds, "And 
what wilt thou do unto thy great name?" Josh. vii. 9. As 
if he should say, provide for the glory of thy great name, 
whatever become of us, and though our name be cut off. 

The second trial whether Christ be in us, is taken from 
our conformity and likeness to Jesus Christ; for as we have 


borne the image of the first Adam, in sin and shame, so we 
must bear the image of Christ, the second Adam, in holi- 
ness and power. If Christ be in you, he will soon trans- 
form you into his own likeness; for he is a quickening 
Spirit: he mortifies lusts, and quickens to newness of life. 
So says the apostle, Rom. viii. 10, "If Christ be in you, 
the body is dead because of sin, but the spirit is life because 
of righteousness;" as if he should say, The presence of 
Christ's Spirit in us is manifested by our mortification of 
the old man, and renovation, or vivification, of the new 
man. The body is subject to death (ver. 11,) by reason of 
the remainders of sin, but our spiritual part is alive, and 
has in it the seeds of eternal life, by reason of righteousness 
wherewith it is endued. By virtue of which Spirit dwell- 
ing in us, our mortal bodies also shall be quickened, and 
raised to glory. So (Gal. v. 24, 25,) he says, "They that 
are Christ's, have crucified the flesh with the affections and 
lusts." Christ dwells not in a heart where lusts bear sway. 
Christ destroys in us the works of the devil. The Spirit 
of Christ is operative, like fire; it is not idle, but effectual, 
and its first operation is to subdue its contrary, and to trans- 
form the soul into his own likeness. Christ is a living 
Head, a spiritual Head, a holy Head. We may not think 
that we can be dead members of that living Head, or un- 
holy members of a holy head: " If we say we have fellow- 
ship with him, and walk in darkness, we* lie, and do not 
the truth," 1 John i. 6; for if we have fellowship with him, 
we must "walk in the light, as he is in the light." Ver. 7. 
No man counts that a member of his body which is not 
quickened by his soul; and no man counts that a true mem- 
ber of his body, which does not grow like the parts of a 
man's body in human shape: if his foot be like the foot of 
a beast, or his hands like the claws of a bird, we count it a 
monstrous birth. Christ is not severed from his Spirit, nor 
his Spirit from the operations of his Spirit; therefore it is 
said, " If we live in the Spirit, let us walk in the Spirit." 
Gal. v. 26. This is the trial of Christ in us. 

To apply. " Ye were sometimes darkness." Are ye so 
still? Ye "were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, 
serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and 
envy, hateful, and hating one another." Tit. iii. 3. Are ye 
so still ? Ye "were by nature dead in trespasses and sins," 


Eph. ii. 1,2, without knowledge, without foUh, "walking 
according to the course of this world," in excess of wine, 
rioting, and drunkenness, lasciviousness, &c. Is it so stili? 
If yea, then Christ is not in you, nor you in him. Consider, 
thou that pretendest to union with Christ, what hast thou 
gotten by all thy communion with him? All ivornmunion 
with the creature is of an alterative power. If we be cold, 
by communion with the fire, we get heat: if we be hungry, 
or thirsty, or faint, by communion with the creatures of 
bread, and drink, and food, we are filled, and cheered, and 
revived, as Jonathan with tasting honey. If we are sick, 
by taking physic, we are relieved. And shall not our com- 
munion with Christ, the Lord of life, be much more pow- 
erful to quicken and change our dead hearts, to spiritualize 
our sinful affections, to alter our vain conversation? If you 
think otherwise, you ascribe more efficacy to the creature 
than to the Creator. 

Again, consider the apostle's rule, 1 John ii. 6, " He that 
saith, He abideth in him, ought himself also to walk even 
as Christ walked." In the 10th of Ezekiel, there is shown 
to the prophet a vision of wheels and cherubims; ver. 16, 
17, " when the cherubims went, the wheels went by them; 
when they stood, these stood, and when they were lifted 
up, these lift up themselves also; for the Spirit of the living 
creature was in the wheels." This resembles and may 
serve to illustrate our present point. A Christian walks 
as Christ walked; which way Christ moves, they move; 
which way Christ leads, they follow: and why? Because 
the Spirit of Christ is in them. 

Now, observe how Christ walked. Take him in his 
Father's family, he is obedient to his parents. Take him 
in his own family, he instructs them, and prays with them. 
Take him in the commonwealth, he is subject to authority; 
He pays tribute, he renders unto Caesar the things that are 
Caesar's. Take him in the church, he is a constant hearer, 
he goes to the synagogues every Sabbath day; he is a care- 
ful observer of all God's ordinances from the first to the 
last, though the ministers were corrupt in their office. Take 
him in his calling, it is his meat and his drink to be doing 
his Father's will; He seeks not his own glory, but the 
glory of him that sent him. Consider him in his carriage 
towards others, he is lowly and meek in company, he is 


still doing some good. Consider him in his sufferings, he 
is patient under them, not rendering evil for evil, nor re- 
viling for reviling. Thus Christ walked. Now, how 
walkest thou? after this pattern, or contrary thereto? 
Take thee in the family, thou art " disobedient to parents, 
unthankful, unholy, without natural affection," 2 Tim. iii. 
1; and yet wilt thou say, Christ is in me, and I in him? In 
the commonwealth thou resistest the power that is estab- 
lished, thou rebellest, and risest up against thy Christian 
governor; thou "despisest dominion, and speakest evil of 
dignities;" Rom. xiii. 1; Jude v. 8: thou takest away from 
Caesar "the things that are Caesar's;" (even those things 
which are so peculiarly his, as that they can be nobody's 
else, namely, his life and his crown.) And yet is Christ 
in thee? Is this the Spirit of Christ? In the church thou 
art a separatist; thou art one that causest divisions, and 
despisest ordinances, a church forsaker, &c. And yet is 
Christ one with thee? In thy undertakings thou art a self- 
seeker, 2 Tim. iii. 2. Thou seekest thy own glory, thy 
own ends, interests, and advantages, let the public sink or 
swim, and yet is Christ in thee? Instead of being meek 
and lowly in spirit, thou art proud, fierce, a false accuser; 
thou wilt revenge all injuries; if reviled, thou wilt revile 
again; thou wilt give as good as he brings; and yet is 
Christ in thee? In Christ's lips was found no guile; in 
thy lips is found nothing but guile, falsifying of vows, 
oaths, protestations, declarations; deceit and guile go not 
out of our streets; the words of thy mouth are softer than 
oil, and yet are they very swords; the poison of asps is 
under thy lips. And art thou a Christian, one with Christ, 
and Christ with thee? Art thou like Christ? 

Were it not a blasphemous contradiction to imagine a 
drunken Christ? a perjured Christ? a rebellious Christ? a 
minister-hating Christ? an oppressing, covetous Christ? a 
lying, false, accusing Christ? a railing Christ? an adulterous 
Christ? a sacrilegious Christ? &c. Thou art such a one; 
and yet, for all this, wilt boast and say, I am in Christ, and 
Christ in me. thou false heart, and deluded soul! Are 
these the ways of Christ? Do they savour of Christ's 
Spirit? If he that abideth in Christ, must walk as Christ 
walked, then I am sure thou abidest not in him; the works 
that thou doest, savour of another spirit, even the prince of 


the power of the air, the spirit that worketh in the chil- 
dren of disobedience. Where Christ is, he ruleth: if Christ 
be in thee, he liveth in thee; he is the lively root of spiri- 
tual and gracious actings; he begets in thee a new soul, new 
principles of life and obedience, he transforms thee to his 
own likeness. " If you abide in me, and I in you, you will 
bring forth much fruit." John xv. 5. But this apparent 
unconformity, and unlikeness to Christ, plainly show that 
thou hast no real union or communion with him; if Christ 
be not fashioned in you, you are none of his. Every thing 
acts as it lives, according to the principle of life that is in 
it; if Christ were in you, you would live like a Christian. 

Now consider, what life you live? Whom do you re- 
semble, Christ, or Satan ? Which way move you ? What 
are your aims? your delights? your speeches? your con- 
versations? How well do you resemble Christ in them 
all ? I put it to the judgment of your own consciences, 
whether they that be dead in sin, senseless, fearless, over- 
shoes, over-boots, bold, active in ways that are contrary to 
Christ, whether Christ and they are one? Dost think in 
thy conscience, that such persons are one with Christ who 
are so unlike him? "As many as are led by the Spirit, 
are sons of God; but if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die." 

Use 4. How to maintain this union with Christ. Here 
two things are useful. First, renewed repentance, where- 
by the conscience is kept pure and undefiled. The meta- 
phor of quenching the Spirit shows that all uneleanness 
in the heart is like water cast on the fire, which damps it, 
and puts it out: so does the unclean spirit grieve and 
quench the joy, the vigour, the heat of the Spirit of Christ 
in us: therefore cleanse thy heart of thy daily pollutions. 
Let not Christ and the unclean spirit lodge together. 
Secondly, ply all means by which the passage between 
God and thy soul may be kept open: hear God's voice 
every day, and let him hear thine every day; be not a 
stranger to him. As in the body obstructions hinder the 
health of it, so it is in business of the soul. The passage 
between God and us must be kept open and clean 




The errors cited in the London Testimony, p. 7, are 
these three. " First, That the Holy Ghost is only a minis- 
tering Spirit, so that as there is one principal Spirit among 
the evil angels, known in scripture by the name of Satan, 
even so there is one principal Spirit among the good an- 
gels, called by the name of the Advocate, or, the Holy 

" Secondly, That the Holy Ghost is no more omnipre- 
sent than the devil; the Holy Ghost is no otherwise omni- 
present in the hearts of the faithful, than Satan, the unclean 
spirit, is in the hearts of the wicked. 

" Thirdly, That the worshipping of the Holy Spirit of 
God, is such a plant as God never set in his word." 

These errors, as also the former about the Trinity and 
the Deity of Christ, are but the shameful spewings and 
foamings of that diabolical spirit, which long since reigned 
in the old Arians, and at this day in our Socinians. 

Against all these errors, I shall content myself to lay 
down, as an undoubted truth, this one conclusion, that the 
Holy Ghost is a person in the Deity, distinct from the 
Father and the Son, together with the Father and the Son 
to be worshipped and glorified. 

This one conclusion takes in all the forementioned errors; 
for if he be a person in the Deity, then he is not a crea- 
ture, then he is not merely the gift, or energy of God : then 
he is every where, otherwise than any created angel is, 
and then he must be worshipped as God. 

Now because this truth is sufficiently proved already in 
the doctrine of the Trinity, (for those scriptures which 
prove a trinity of persons, do prove the personality of the 
Holy Ghost,) I shall content myself with some few proofs 
peculiar to the point in hand. I shall reduce my arguments 
to these four heads. 

First, The Holy Ghost is expressly in scripture called 
God. Acts v. 3, 4, 9, Peter reproving Ananias for lying 



to the Holy Ghost, says, " Thou hast not lied unto men, 
but unto God;" therefore the Holy Ghost is God. Paul 
proves that our bodies are " the temples of the living God," 
(2 Cor. vi. 16,) because "of the Holy Ghost which dwelleth 
in us." 1 Cor. vi. 19, " Know ye not that your body is the 
temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you ?" He that in 
one place is called the Holy Ghost, in the other place is 
called the living God. So again, compare Isa. viii. 8, 9, 
with Acts xxviii. 25, 26. In Isaiah it is said, " I heard the 
voice of the Lord, him that sat on the throne, (verse 1,) 
saying, Whom shall I send ? Then said I, Here am I, send 
me. And he (that is the Lord) said, Go and tell this 
people. Hear ye indeed," &c. This place is expressly 
applied by Paul, and expounded of the Holy Ghost. Acts 
xxviii. 25, 26, "They departed after that Paul had spoken 
one word, well spake the Holy Ghost by Isaiah the pro- 
phet unto our fathers, saying, Go unto this people, and say, 
Hearing ye shall hear, and not understand," &c. The Lord 
that sent Isaiah on that errand, is in the Acts called the 
Holy Ghost; therefore the Holy Ghost is God. 

The second reason is taken from the works which are 
ascribed to the Holy Ghost, which cannot be done by any 
creature, much less by a quality or gift: none but God 
can do them. Such works are these: 

First, Works of creation; Job says, " The Spirit of God 
hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given 
me life." Job xxxiii. 4. The framing of the body of Christ 
of the seed of the virgin, was the work of a God; it was a 
creation above the power of nature, or of any creature. 
Jer. xxxi. 22, " I create a new thing in the earth, a woman 
shall compass a man." This new great work was done by 
the Holy Ghost. Mat. i. 20, " Fear not to take unto thee 
Mary, thy wife, for that which is conceived in her, is of 
the Holy Ghost." Luke i. 35. The Holy Ghost was the 
author of that miraculous conception, it was by the power 
of the Holy Ghost; ver. 18, "She was found with child 
of the Holy Ghost." 

The second work is our regeneration, which is ascribed 
to the Holy Ghost, 1 Pet. i. 2, " Elect, according to the 
fore- knowledge of God the Father, through sanctification 
of the Spirit, and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ." 


Here you have the concurrence of all three persons in the 
salvation of man, the Father electing us, the Holy Ghost 
sanctifying us, Jesus Christ shedding his blood for us: so 
our Saviour (John iii. 3, 5,) ascribes our new birth to the 
Holy Ghost, " Except a man be born (wiodsv) from above," 
(that is, of the Spirit, which is from above,) " he cannot 
enter the kingdom of God." 

A third work is the bestowing of spiritual gifts and 
graces. " There are diversities of gifts, of administrations, 
and of operations; but it is the same God, the same Spirit, 
which worketh all in all." 1 Cor. xii. 3, 11. There were 
poured forth on the church gifts of knowledge, of tongues, 
of working miracles, there are several energies put forth, 
but all these work that one, and the self-same Spirit. The 
gifts are many, the Spirit one; therefore the Spirit is not 
the gifts; for then the Spirit also should be many, and not 
one, or else the gifts should be but one, and not many. In 
this place, the gifts and the giver are several things, really 
distinguished. So Gal. v. 22, "The fruit of the Spirit is 
love, joy, peace," &c. The Spirit, and the graces of the 
Spirit are several things; the works and the worker are 
not the same thing. 

Fourthly, There are divers other works ascribed to the 
Holy Ghost, which are the proper actions of a person who 
is God, and which cannot be understood de virtute soli 
Patri proprid* and therefore they do clearly manifest, 
Spiritum Sanctum non esse virtutem Patris,-\ (such as 
was in the apostles, when they did their miracles, they did 
them by the finger of God, by the power of God's Spirit) 
but a person in the Godhead, distinct from the Father: 
such are sending of apostles to the ministry, Acts xiii. 2, 
" And as they ministered unto the Lord, and fasted, the 
Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the 
work whereunto I have called them." Observe in that 
place a double sending, one ministerial, by the prophets and 
teachers that were at Antioch: ver. 3, "They fasted and 
prayed, and laid their hands on them, and sent them away :" 
the other authoritative, and by express command, verse 4, 
" So they being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed 
unto Seleucia," &c. 

• " Of the power peculiar to the Father." (t) 

t K That the Holy Ghost is not merely the power of the Father." (t) 


Fifthly, The Holy Ghost inspired and spoke in the pro- 
phets, and revealed things to come. Peter ascribes the in- 
diting of Scripture to the Holy Ghost : 2 Pet. i. 20, "Holy 
men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy 
Ghost." Yea, the Holy Ghost is said to speak by them 
Acts i. 16. " This Scripture must needs be fulfilled which 
the Holy Ghost spake by the mouth of David concerning 
Judas," &c. To speak, to indite, and enable the prophets 
to speak of things to come, are actions agreeing to none 
but to a person: here the gift of prophecy bestowed, is 
evidently distinguished from the donor, ver. 8 : there Christ 
says to the apostles, "Ye shall receive power after that the 
Holy Ghost is come upon you." So that the Holy Ghost 
is the person that endued them with that power: the thing 
received was the power of apostleship; the giver of that 
power is the Holy Ghost. 

Sixthly, Of this nature is the appearing of the Holy 
Ghost in a bodily shape. Luke iii. 22, The Holy Ghost 
descended in a bodily shape, like a dove, upon Christ at 
his baptism, and is brought in as a third person, witnessing 
to Christ's baptism, and his inauguration into his office. 
Now how can an accident take to itself a bodily shape, 
seeing it has no subsistence of its own ? 

Now, to gather up this second argument, I demand, The 
Holy Ghost, is he a Creator, or a creature? If a Creator, 
then he is God; if a creature, then he cannot do these 
works. He could not create the body of Christ, he could 
not regenerate us, nor be the bestower of those spiritual 
gifts, &c. These and the like operations are ascribed to 
the Holy Ghost properly, as the author, and efficient cause, 
(not figuratively, as when it is said, "The blood of Abel 
crieth," &c.,) yea, as the principal cause, not as a quality, 
or instrument, distinct from God, by which God works; be- 
cause in God such instrumental causes have no place, who 
works all things per immediationem suppositi, by him- 

It is true, indeed, that the words Spirit and Holy Ghost 
do sometimes signify the gifts, the power and graces of 
the Holy Ghost; as when it is said, "The Holy Ghost 
was given by the laying on of the apostles' hands," Acts 
viii. 17, and that "they had not heard whether there were 
any Holy Ghost," Acts xix. 2; that is, they had not heard 


of that visible miraculous manifestation of the Holy Ghost. 
Eph. v. 18, "Be not drunk with wine, but be ye filled 
with the Spirit/' &c. But is this all that is spoken of the 
Holy Ghost? Is the Holy Ghost nothing else but these 
gifts and graces? Or is it possible that the forementioned 
operations and works of creation, regeneration, donation 
of gifts, sending of apostles, speaking by their mouths, and 
appearing in a bodily shape, can be ascribed to any other 
than to a divine person? 

The Arians were of opinion, that besides God's own eter- 
nal wisdom, there is a Wisdom which God created before 
all things, to the end that he might thereby create all things 
else; and that this created Wisdom was the Word that took 
flesh; so making Christ but a creature. The same blasphe- 
my do the Socinians breathe out against God's most Holy 
Spirit, denying him to be a person in the Deity, and affirm- 
ing that the Holy Ghost is but virtus quadam Dei, rea- 
liter ab ipso distincta per quam ipse ea, quae ad salutis 
nostrse negotium pertinent, operetur; that is, the Holy 
Ghost is nothing but a certain kind of virtue, power, or 
influence, which God puts forth in producing this or that 
effect for the good of the church. As power to heal is the 
virtue of some herbs: the virtue or efficacy of fire to heat 
the water, so here the heretic calls the Holy Ghost a cre- 
ated ministering Spirit among the good angels. 

To clear this matter, let the question be this, Jin Spi- 
rit us Sanctus sit nuda virtus Dei Patris* 

This I deny, and prove the contrary from three places 
of Scripture. The first is Christ's words, John xvi. 13, 14, 
describing the Holy Ghost in this manner: -" He shall not 
speak of himself. He shall glorify me, for he shall receive 
of mine, and shall show it unto you." Now this cannot 
possibly be understood of God the Father, nor of the vir- 
tue of the Father, because the Father does not receive from 
the Son, neither does the Father speak from the Son, but 
of himself, because the Son is of the Father, and the Father 
is not of the Son; therefore we find in Scripture that the 
Father sends the Son, but never that the Son sends the Fa- 
ther. In the like manner, because the Holy Ghost pro- 
ceeds from the Father and the Son, we find that both the 

* « Whether the Holy Ghost be merely the power of the Father?" (t) 




Father and the Son send the Holy Ghost, and act by him; 
but never that the Holy Ghost sends or acts by either the 
Father or the Son. "All things that the Father hath are 
mine," says Christ, ver. 15, that is, the Son receives from 
him, as coming from him; and so whatsoever the Holy 
Ghost has, he has it not of himself, ver. 13, but from the 
Son, " He shall receive of mine and show it unto you," ver. 
14; he being a person proceeding as well from the Son, as 
from the Father. Hence, it is evident, that the Holy 
Ghost being sent by Christ, and receiving of Christ, and 
speaking from Christ, " He shall receive of mine, and show 
it unto you," is in order of subsisting and working after 
the Son, and therefore not a quality or virtue of the Fa- 
ther, who gives to, and speaks by the Son, not the Son by 
the Father, as has been said. 

The second is that 1 John v. 7, "There are three that 
bear record in heaven," to us, men, on earth, that Jesus is 
the Messias, that Jesus is the Son of God, ver. 5, 9, by 
glorious effects proper to each of them; the Father, by 
voice, the Son, who is the eternal Word of the Father, 
by his doctrine and works which the Father gave him to 
finish; he brought life and immortality to light by the 
gospel, and the Holy Ghost by the wonderful effusion of 
miraculous gifts, outwardly testifying, and by inward wit- 
ness, sealing to our hearts the truth of the gospel.* This 
shows of what great weight the heavenly testimony is that 
the Father hath given of the Son (ver. 9,) unto whom agree 
both the Son himself, and the Holy Ghost who is truth 
itself, and cannot bear false witness of Christ, ver. 6. 
Hence it is evident, that there are three distinct witnesses 
in heaven. The Father testifies of Christ, that he is his 
Son; the Son testifies of himself that he came forth from 
the Father, and the Holy Ghost bears witness to them both, 
and confirms both their testimonies, John v. 37. John viii. 
42. Now apply this to our present purpose. If the Holy 
Ghost be but the virtue of the Father, his testimony is 
twice repeated; and there would not be three, but only two 
witnesses in heaven, the Father, the Son, and the virtue of 
the Father again, if the Holy Ghost be but the virtue of 
the Father. 

* See Matt. iii. 7. John v. 36, 37. Acts ii. 22. 2 Tim. 10. Acts xv. with 
Acts xxiv. 33. 


The third place is John xv. 6, " When the Comforter is 
come, whom I will send unto you, even the Spirit of 
truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify 
of me." Note first, that this is another Comforter distinct 
from the Father and the Son. Secondly, that he proceeds 
from the Father. How does the Holy Spirit proceed from 
the Father; as a creator, or as a creature? as a thing finite, 
or infinite? (For it is a very dream to imagine an energy, 
or virtue, which is neither creator, nor a creature.) If as 
Creator, and infinite, then he is God; if as a creature, then 
he could not be at once in the hearts of all believers in the 
world, neither could he be worshipped, as by the Scripture 
he ought to be, as you shall see by and by. 

Quest. But the Holy Ghost is called " the power of the 
Highest," Luke i. 35. ? Ans. Admit that; but withal we 
say, that he is Virtus Dei essentialis, non accidentalis ; 
he is so virtus Dei, that he is also virtus Deus, the power 
of God, the power which is the Lord, from whom, as from 
the Lord, the apostles received the virtue of the Holy 
Ghost (Acts i. 9,) for the works of their ministry, from that 
essential virtue, which is God the Holy Ghost, who pro- 
ceedeth from the Father, not as the creatures do, that were 
made by God's bare word of command, (Psal. xxxiii. 6,) 
nor as an accident may come from a subject, nor as one 
finite substance may be produced by another; but the pro- 
ceeding of the Holy Ghost from the Father is in a spiri- 
tual manner, by communication of the same essence, who 
is therefore himself of infinite power and virtue. Isa. xi. 
2, 4, "The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him (that is, 
upon the stem of Jesse) the Spirit of wisdom and under- 
standing, the Spirit of counsel and might, and with the 
breath of his lips he shall slay the wicked." This glorious 
proceeding of the Holy Ghost from the Father is more 
than the pouring forth of a gift; and it is mentioned by our 
Saviour in that place, as a means to assure his apostles, that 
he is indeed the Comforter, able to support them against 
the hatred of the world, because he proceeds from the Fa- 

I shall conclude this point with a reason, demonstrating 
that the Holy Ghost is not nuda virtus Dei Patris, and 
the reason is taken from the personal inhabitation of the 
Holy Ghost in the regenerate. The Holy Ghost dwells in 


the godly, as in his temple, and that in-dwelling is not only 
of the gifts, but also of the person of the Holy Ghost; and 
therefore the Holy Ghost is more than the gifts or efficacy 
of God. When I speak of a personal in-dwelling of the 
Holy Ghost in the regenerate, you must not conceive that 
thereby he makes us one person with himself, or that he 
communicates to us any personal or divine property of 
his own, for that is incommunicable, but that the Holy 
Ghost, who, as God is every where, is present in the elect 
with his own gifts in an admirable manner to enlighten, 
and strengthen, to establish and quicken, to govern and 
lead them, to seal and witness with them their spiritual 
state and condition. This is evident by these scriptures: 
Rom. v. 5, "The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts 
by the Holy Ghost, which is given to us." The sense of 
God's love, like a precious ointment, is shed abroad in our 
hearts, causing us to feel that we are beloved of God : and 
this is done by the Holy Ghost, which is given to us. The 
Holy Ghost is not that love, but he is given to us, to make 
us taste how gracious the Lord is. So (John xiv. 16, 17,) 
that promised Comforter, which proceeds from the Father, 
is the Holy Ghost himself; and of him Christ says, "That 
he shall abide with you, for he dvvelleth with you, and 
shall be in you." 

The fourth place is, 2 Tim. i. 14, "That good thing 
which was committed to thee, keep, by the Holy Ghost, 
which dwelleth in us." That good thing is fitly under- 
stood to be the precious treasure of sound and wholesome 
doctrine, which is committed to thy trust, to be preserved 
and transmitted to others; and withal, the talent of those 
gifts and graces, wherewith Timothy was furnished for the 
discharge of his office. 1 Tim. vi. 10. Which trust, though 
it be hard to keep, considering what oppositions of science 
it meets withal, yet the Holy Spirit is mighty, enduing us 
with power to keep it. The Holy Ghost that keeps the 
good gifts of grace in us, and enables us to perform the 
trust committed to us, is not the gifts, but the person of the 
Holy Ghost distinct from them, and this Holy Ghost is said 
to dwell in us for that purpose. 

Having thus dispelled that thick mist, with which the 
Socinians strive to obscure the clear truth of God, I shall 
more briefly despatch my other reasons, which prove the 
Deity of the Holy Ghost. 


My third argument is taken from that honour and wor- 
ship which is given to him in scripture. Mat. xxviii. 19, 
" Baptize them in the name of the Father, of the Son, and 
of the Holy Ghost." Baptism is a part of divine worship. 
To be baptized into one's name, signifies that we are conse- 
crated to his worship and service, to put our trust in him for 
salvation and remission of sins. Now we are not baptized 
into the name of a gift; it must be a person, and that person 
must be God too, for it is a sin to be baptized into the 
name of Paul, or any other creature, which cannot forgive 
sins, neither ought to be worshipped. And seeing the 
Holy Ghost is joined with the Father and the Son in this 
divine honour and worship, therefore also in the fellowship 
of the Godhead. Were it not a gross injury to the text to 
read the words thus, baptize them in the name of the 
Father, of the Son, and of the virtue of the Father? For 
the Father being named, the efficacy, or virtue of the 
Father is included, and it were altogether vain to repeat 
one person twice in three words. 

Again, the apostle prays to the Holy Ghost, and blesses 
the church in the name of the Holy Ghost, 2 Cor. xiii. 14, 
" The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, 
and the communion of the Holy Ghost be with )'ou all." 
Here the Holy Ghost is invoked for a blessing in like manner 
as the Father and the Son are ; therefore he is God with them. 
Paul prays to all three, and acknowledges a power in them 
all, to bless the Corinthians to eternity. By communica- 
tion of the Holy Ghost, we come to be partakers of the 
grace of Christ, and the love of the Father : and if we have 
the love of God, and the merits of the Son made ours by 
the comfortable presence and operation of the Holy Ghost, 
then we are a blessed people indeed. The Father loves 
us, and gave us his Son; the Son redeems and justifies us 
freely by his grace; the Holy Ghost communicates and 
seals to us, both the love of the Father, and the merit of 
his Son. In these three things the salvation of mankind 
consists, which are all comprehended in the apostolical be- 
nediction. Look from whom grace is wished, and in 
whose name the church is blessed, the same is God. Rev. 
i. 4, 5. 

Thirdly, an oath is a part of divine worship, and the 
apostle (Rom. ix. 1,) attests the Holy Ghost as a witness 


of the truth of this his oath or asseveration, "I say the truth 
in Christ, my conscience also bearing me witness in the 
Holy Ghost/' The church of God in all ages has wor- 
shipped the Holy Ghost. In our creed we profess our 
faith in him, and in that doxology, worthy to be retained 
in the churches, — " Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, 
and to the Holy Ghost, world without end:" and all that 
are not heretics will say Amen. 

My fourth reason is taken from certain divine proper- 
ties, which are ascribed to the Holy Ghost: as, 

First, that he is immensus et ubique, in all places at 
once. Psal. cxxxix. 7, "Whither shall I go from thy 
Spirit, or whither shall I flee from thy presence ?" Rom. 
viii. 9, " If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is 
none of his." Therefore he is infinite, and in ten thousand 
places at once. Every creature is circumscribed by its 
nature, but the Holy Ghost has a nature not circumscribed, 
therefore he is not a creature, but a God. 

Secondly, the Holy Ghost is omniscient, and knows all 
things, even the secrets of hearts, else he could not * bear 
witness with our spirits, that we are the children of God;" 
(Acts i. 24; Acts v. 2, 3; Rom. viii. 16,) else he could 
not bear witness with Paul's conscience, of the truth of 
his inward affection to the Jews. Rom. ix. 7. Else he 
could not "reveal and search all things, yea, the deep 
things of God." 1 Cor. ii. 10. Else he could not "lead 
the apostles into all truth," John xvi. 13. 

Thirdly, He is omnipotent; else he could not enable 
the apostles to work miracles. The gospel was spread 
"through mighty signs and wonders by the power of the 
Spirit of God." Rom. xv. 19. 

My fifth reason is taken from the punishment of those 
that sin against the Holy Ghost. Mat. xii. 31, 32, " But 
the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be for- 
given." We sin against men, but our sinning against men 
does not involve us in damnation. All sin is first, and 
properly, committed only against God; and because there 
is a sin against the Holy Ghost, and that sin is unpardon- 
able, therefore the Holy Ghost is God. Thus much in 
vindication of this fundamental truth from the blasphemies 
above named. 




In my last reason is declared the Deity of the Holy 
Ghost, by the fearful vengeance that i^ executed on them 
that commit the sin against the Holy Ghost. Let us briefly 
inquire, what that sin against the Holy Ghost is, which is 
unpardonable, and must not be prayed for ? 

We shall best find out the nature of this sin, by compar- 
ing three places of scripture together. The first is that of 
Mark iii. 29, 30, " He that shall blaspheme against the 
Holy Ghost, hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of 
eternal damnation, because they said he hath an unclean 
spirit." B%aa^ix£(.v rtapa to Shaitfsw fq» $9i[Mp>, a Isedenda 
Jama, et existimalione alicujus, and so to blaspheme the 
Holy Ghost, is to cast reproaches on him. 

Note the reason why these scribes are said at this time 
to blaspheme. It was because they did ascribe that mira- 
cle to Beelzebub, which was indeed done by the power of 
the Holy Ghost, ver. 28, by the finger of God. So is the 
reason here expressed, ver. 30, " because they said, he hath 
an unclean spirit," and Mat. xii. 32, because " they spake 
that word against the Holy Ghost." These scribes and 
pharisees did of malice oppose Christ, and misconstrue his 
works, casting that reproach upon him, lest the people 
should acknowledge him to be the true Messiah, as ap- 
pears by the reasons which Christ uses to convince them 
of their senseless, false accusation. Christ's manner of 
casting out devils, was with such heavenly majesty and 
authority, as that his enemies knew it was by the Spirit of 
God (for here our Lord takes that for granted) saying, "If 
I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then is the kingdom 
of God come unto you;" Mat. xii. 28; and, therefore, you 
are malicious opposers of the kingdom of God in my person. 
So then our Saviour's speaking here of the sin against the 
Holy Ghost, by occasion of their malicious attributing that 
to Satan, which they could not but know was the finger of 
God, gives us to understand, that this sin is a wilful and 
malicious rejecting and opposing of Jesus Christ, and of the 
way of salvation by him, after that the Holy Ghost has 



enlightened and convicted the party of the salvation offered 
to the world by Christ: or it is a malicious opposing the 
truth of the gospel, made known to us by the Holy Ghost* 

A learned man correcting the common opinion of divines 
touching this point, thinks that this is it, which is called 
the sin against the Holy Ghost; when men will not be con- 
vinced by miracles, that Jesus is the Christ! 

Against which definition, 1 oppose three things: — First, 
That miracles are not a sole-sufficient conviction to beget 
faith. The Jews require a sign, and they saw enough, and 
yet believed not John xii. 37, " For though Christ had 
done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not 
on him." The proper end of miracles was to bring the 
minds of men to the marking of the doctrine, that accom- 
panied them, that by marking it, the efficacy thereof might 
lay hold on them, and convert them, which it did in very 
many; but when God withheld this efficacy, that it inclined 
not the mind, then the men believed not, though they saw 
the miracles. John vi. 2, 26. We read, that when John 
heard in prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his 
disciples, (Mat. xi.) and said, "Art thou he that should 
come, or do we look for another?" Jesus answered and 
said, "Go and show John again those things which you 
hear and see. The blind receive their sight, and the lame 
walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead 
are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to 
them." Christ answers John's message by his works done; 
yet because those works alone do not demonstrate him to 
be the Lord Christ, therefore Christ refers him to those 
marks which the prophets had foretold, that so their belief 
might be grounded on the doctrine of the prophets, not on 
the miracles alone; — the concurrence of Christ's miracles 
with the holy teaching of the prophets showing him to be 
the Messiah that was to come. 

Secondly, Men (says this author) will not be convinced. 
Will not? It is not in our choice, whether we will be 
convinced or not. It is in our choice, whether we will 
hear or not. But if we hear, it is not in our choice whe- 
ther the secrets of our hearts shall be made manifest, yea 
or no. 1 Cor. tfiv. 24, 25, " If all prophesy, and there 

* Dick on Matt xii. 32. 

t Baxt. Rest, part ii. 3, 5. 


come in one that believeth not, he is convinced of all, and 
judged of all; and thus the secrets of his heart are made 
manifest, and so falling down on his face, he will worship 
God, and say, that God is in you of a truth." Many are 
convinced against their wills, as that they shall come to 
judgment. They would be ignorant of it, but cannot; they 
would persuade themselves, that usury and sacrilege are 
no sins, but cannot. Others are not convinced, though 
they desire it. The heretic uses means to prove his way 
to be truth. He would persuade himself that he is in the 
right, but cannot; and, therefore, the apostle says, he is 
self-condemned, Tit. iii. 10, 14, because he holds on his 
way against the convictions of his own conscience; it is 
not in my choice whether I will understand, and remem- 
ber. These are not commanded faculties. 

Thirdly, I demand, are miracles a convincing way of 
revealing Jesus Christ? Were the Jews that saw them 
really convinced, or were they not? If not, then they do 
not sin against the Holy Ghost which are not convinced by 
them; for (as this author himself says) no man is bound to 
believe that which was never convincingly revealed. If 
they are a convincing means, and if those Jews, which saw 
Christ's miracles, were really convinced, and yet opposed 
Christ's kingdom, then human nature is capable of sinning 
against the Holy Ghost in the way that our divines have 
denned that sin, that is, maliciously, after the knowledge 
of the truth: and so did those Jews sin, by the testimony 
of that very text which Mr. Baxter alleges for his opinion, 
namely, John xv. 24, " If I had not done among them the 
works which none other man did, they had not had sin; 
but now they have both seen and hated both me and my 
Father." They hated Christ after they had seen and 
known him. It is not an act incompatible with the ra- 
tional soul (as he supposes) to hate God and Christ, whom 
we have seen and known. 

This will farther appear by consideration of two other 
places of scripture, which I intimated, namely, Heb. vi. 4, 
6, " It is impossible for those, who were once enlightened, 
and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made par- 
takers of the Holy Ghost, if they fall away, to renew them 
again unto repentance, seeing they crucify to themselves 
the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame." 



Note, it is the unpardonable sin that is here described, 
because their repentance is impossible. Concerning which, 
I observe two things: 

First, The venomous nature of it, expressed by these 
words, " They crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, 
and put him to an open shame," that is, as the Jews in 
crucifying Christ did count Christ no better than a com- 
mon malefactor, and put him to shame; so an apostate from 
Christ's doctrine puts him to the like shame. He says, in 
effect, Christ is a deceiver, his doctrine is false, his blood 
is no better than the blood of a common malefactor; he 
allows the act of Judas, and the Jews, in crucifying Christ; 
and if Christ were upon earth again, he would then be as 
spiteful an enemy to him as ever the Jews were. 

Obj. 0, but this does not amount to the sin against the 
Holy Ghost, for Christ prayed for them that crucified him, 
and many of them were converted at Peter's sermon, (Acts 
ii. 41,) which had been his betrayers and murderers. The 
scripture says, that through ignorance they did it; for had 
they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of 
glory: Acts iii. 17; 1 Cor. ii. 8. Now, if they that cruci- 
fied Christ at first, did not sin against the Holy Ghost, how 
can the apostate so sin, who doth but act the same again? 

Ans. Consider, therefore, the second thing in the apos- 
tate's sin, which makes his case worse than the Jews. They 
put Christ to all this shame, they do him this despite after 
knowledge and profession, whereas the Jews never pro- 
fessed nor acknowledged him. To renounce Christ and 
put him to this shame, after you have been once enlight- 
ened with the knowledge of the truth, and have tasted the 
heavenly gift of justification, and some peace of conscience 
through hope of the pardon of sins, and were made par- 
takers of the Holy Ghost, that is, of many gifts of the Holy 
Ghost, ordinary, or extraordinary, and have tasted the good 
word of God, that is, have found some sweetness in the 
word of God, like the stony ground hearer; and the pow- 
ers of the world to come, that is, have felt, as it were, the 
joys of heaven; if after all this, you shall fall away, and 
cast scorn and contempt upon the doctrine of Christ, your 
case is desperate, there is no hope of your repentance, you 
are nigh unto cursing. 

The third place is Heb. x. 26, 29, "If we sin wilfully 
after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, 


there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, &c, of how- 
much sorer punishment shall he be thought worthy, who 
hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted 
the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, 
an unholy thing, and hath done despite to the Spirit of 
grace ?" 

Here the apostle speaks of the sin against the Holy 
Ghost, which hath done despite to the Spirit of grace, and 
hath no sacrifice to purge it. Hereof he forewarns some 
who, in purpose of apostacy, withdrew themselves from 
church assemblies. De coetibus ecclesiasticis intelligitur, 
quos subterfugiebant nonnulli propter aliorum Judseo- 
rum metum: Separation from the church assemblies, is a 
step to apostacy. 

The sin itself is described, first, by the matter, secondly, 
by the manner of it. For the matter of it, it is expressed 
in these words, the apostate from the faith of Christ, is a 
wilful adversary to Christ, one that sets himself contrary 
to Christ, a partaker of Satan's nature, and Satan's profes- 
sion, Zech. iii. 1. Secondly, he is said to tread under foot 
the Son of God, to do as much scorn and indignity unto 
Christ, as if he did him this personal violence. By tread- 
ing his truth and covenant under their feet, as swine do 
pearls, they show what a base estimation they have of 
Christ. Thirdly, he counts the blood of the covenant an 
unholy thing: (xoww.) % The covenant of grace is establish- 
ed in the blood of Christ, his blood is precious, it is blood 
of expiation, it consecrates and purifies unto God. This 
precious, powerful, saving blood, the apostate counts xowov 
m/xa, they make no more account of it than of the blood of 
some malefactor or of a brute beast. Fourthly, he does 
despite to the Spirit of grace, in opposing and disgracing 
the gospel, and speaking reproachfully of it, they blaspheme 
or reproach the Holy Spirit of God, as if all that his Spirit 
had taught them and convinced them of, were an untruth; 
they give the lie to the Holy Ghost, while they say, in 
effect, that Christ and his doctrine are not worthy to be 
avowed; they do in a scornful manner, reject the work 
of the Holy Ghost, testifying and convincing them of, and 
sealing to them the truth of the gospel. This is the na- 
ture of this sin. 

Secondly, for the manner. All this is done sxacw^ sponte. 


of his own inclination, without force of temptation; such 
people sin against the Holy Ghost. Mr. Dickson observes 
very well, That the sin here described, is not any particu- 
lar sin against the law, but against the gospel; not a sin 
against some point of truth, but against Christ's whole doc- 
trine; not of infirmity, but wilfulness; not of rashness, but 
of deliberation, wittingly and willingly; not of ignorance, 
but after illumination. Such as Jews turned Christians, 
revolting from Christianity back again to their former hos- 
tility against Christ, did commit, and so are for ever se- 
cluded from mercy, forasmuch as they who wilfully reject 
and scorn the only sacrifice of the New Testament, the 
blood of the Lord Jesus, and the benefit thereof, there is 
no other sacrifice nor means left to help such a one. 

Now the sum of what has been spoken out of these three 
places of scripture, may be thus collected: to blaspheme 
the Holy Ghost, to cast reproaches upon the means of con- 
version, ascribing the work of the Holy Ghost to the de- 
vil, to put Christ and his gospel to an open shame, to set 
ones' self against them as an adversary, to account basely of 
Christ, and of his blood, and of his covenant, and spitefully 
to oppose and reject the Holy Spirit in his works of grace; 
and all this after knowledge and profession of the gospel. 
This is the sin against the Holy Ghost, and is comprehended 
in the brief definition, which I had laid down, namely, the 
sin against the Holy Ghost, is a malicious, scornful re- 
proaching and opposing the truth of the gospel, made 
known to us by the Holy Ghost. 

Obj. I think (says Mr. Baxter) none can be guilty of 
malice against truth, as truth ; and to be at enmity with 
truth, because it is an enemy to our sensual desires, is a 
sin that every man in the world is in some measure guilty 
of, therefore that is not the true definition of the sin against 
the Holy Ghost. 

Ans. " He that doeth evil, hateth the light, neither cometh 
to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved," John iii. 20. 
Some of the Jews both saw and hated both Christ and his 
Father, John xv. 24. Cain hated his brother, because his 
own works were evil, and his brother's righteous. Now 
to hate the light, because of its intrinsical properties, 
namely, to discover and to reprove men's evil deeds, Eph. 
v. 13; to bear malice against the truth, because it is an ene- 


my to my lie ; to hate my brother, because his works are 
righteous, and my own evil; What is this short of op- 
posing the truth, because it is truth ? But if you spitefully 
oppose trufh, and cast reproaches upon it, only because it 
appears an enemy to your sensual lusts, especially if it be 
after illumination, and tasting and professing the good 
word of God, this is no excuse, but rather a manifestation 
of this great sin, because such a person treads Jesus Christ, 
and his covenant of grace under foot. He treads him under 
all those base lusts, which he prefers before him. And 
thus to oppose truth, by Mr. Baxter's leave, I think very 
few men in the world are guilty of. 

Use 1. The point thus opened, serves first, for conso- 
lation to the weak and wounded in spirit, to support them 
against despair. Many are cast into terror of soul, fearing 
that they have sinned against the Holy Ghost, because they 
have been wilful sinners: and Satan is wont to bear in this 
temptation with much vehemency,»-abusing the testimony 
of a guilty and troubled conscience against itself, driving 
it to conclude more bitterly against itself, than the sins 
wherewith it is charged can bear. It is true, indeed, that 
many who never proceeded thus far in wickedness, shall 
never taste of mercy, because they refuse to hear his voice, 
they will not come home to Christ's terms proposed in the 
gospel, they will not lay down the price for the pearl. Every 
known sin that a man lives in will be his ruin. But here 
the distressed soul's temptation is, that he is incapable of 

Now to repel that temptation, let him for his comfort, 
know for certain, from the doctrine delivered, aad ponder 
well these five particulars: 

First, That infidels, and ignorant persons, do not com- 
mit the sin against the Holy Ghost, though they do mali- 
ciously blaspheme and persecute the truth, as the heathen 
emperors did, and the Turks at this day. Paul was a per- 
secutor, and a blasphemer, and injurious; but, says he, "I 
obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly, in unbelief," 2 
Tim. ii. 13. His ignorance was not the cause why he ob- 
tained mercy, but why he was not utterly excluded from 
mercy, as if he should say, if I had done so much against 
the name of Christ, after knowledge and profession, as I 
did before in the days of my ignorance and unbelief, I had 


never found mercy. But now, though his sin were greaf, 
yet not unpardonable, because he did it ignorantly. The 
like is to be judged of other spiteful opposers of the truth; 
they are not excluded from mercy, if they repent. And 
why? because they were never enlightened, they never 
tasted the good word of God. And Paul is set forth as an 
example and pattern of mercy and hope, to all such as have 
been enemies to Christ through ignorance and unbelief, in 
that sweet ver. 16, of 1 Tim. i., " Howbeit, for this cause I 
obtained mercy, that in me, first, Jesus Christ might show 
forth all long-suffering for a pattern to them which should 
hereafter believe on him to everlasting life." 

Secondly, Neither does every one that has sinned against 
his knowledge and conscience, commit the sin against the 
Holy Ghost. For so did Peter sin in forswearing his 
Master; so did David sin against his knowledge in the 
matter of Uriah; so did Adam sin; and yet they repented, 
and obtained mercy, through the sprinkling of the blood 
of Christ. The reason is, because they fell through force 
of temptation, through weakness, not in despite, nor out of 
ill will, or a bare esteem of the truth. They never were 
adversaries to the truth which they once professed. 

Thirdly, Nor is every backslider from the truth which 
once he professed, presently judged to sin against the Holy 
Ghost. In the primitive times, many, to save their lives, 
outwardly denied the known truth, and some in Queen 
Mary's days did the like, who yet afterwards repented, 
and became blessed witnesses to the truth, as Cranmer, &c. 

It was the error of the Novatians, that if a man, in time 
of persecution, had denied the truth, though he repented, 
yet his sin could not be forgiven, using that speech of our 
Saviour; Luke xii. 9, 10, " He that denieth me before men, 
shall be denied before the angels of God." To whom Cy- 
prian made this answer, Negat negantem, nunquid et 
pcenitentem? Did Christ ever deny him that repents 
and confesses his name? Luke xii. 8. No, " He will not 
bruise the broken reed," &c. Cyprian said of Novatian, 
in detestation of his cruel opinion, that he is, misericordize 
hostis, interfector pcenitentise, doctor superbise, veritcttis 
corrupt or, per ditor charitatis :* nay, he calls it haeresis 

* The foe of mercy, the murderer of repentance, the teacher of pride, the cor- 
rupter of truth, and the destroyer of charity. 


Caina, the heresy of Cain, who said, "My sin is greater 
than can be forgiven." Mentiris Cain, it is false, Cain, 
there is place for repentance, and if for repentance, then 
for remission also, because they did not maliciously nor 
willingly depart from the truth, but overcome with fear. 
Christ sent a message of peace to Peter, Mark xvi. 7, "Go 
and tell Peter that I am risen, and I go before you into 
Galilee, and there ye shall see me;" he that denied me, as 
well as the rest. Peter had need of spiritual comfort, 
therefore go and tell Peter. Thus God sends a message 
of peace to the lapsed, troubled soul. Tell such a man or 
such a woman, " I am the Lord, the Lord gracious and 
merciful, long-suffering, abundant in goodness and truth." 
Tell him, " I the Lord will love thee freely, and heal thy 
backslid ings," Hos. xiv. 4. Spira denied some articles of 
the protestant religion, through fear of death and loss of 
his estate. How the Lord dealt with him, as touching his 
final and everlasting condition, it is not for me to judge: 
yet considering his temptations and fears, I conceive he 
sinned not against the Holy Ghost. Howbeit, it pleased 
the Lord to make him a sad spectacle of his displeasure, to 
let others see what a fearful thing it is to deny Christ and 
his gospel before men in any respect whatsoever, and so 
our apostle, intending to arm and strengthen the persecuted 
Hebrews against falling away, sets before them (Heb. x. 
27,) the danger of forsaking the truth upon any occasion 
whatsoever. And surely if men did foresee their own dan- 
ger before they fall, as they do feel the terror of it after- 
wards, all the terrors in the world, nor all the allurements 
thereof would prevail with them to renounce the least point 
of true religion and godliness. " He that loveth his life 
shall lose it, and he that hateth his life in this world, shall 
keep it unto life eternal," John xii. 25. 

Fourthly, Nor are we to think, that there are certain 
gross and heinous sins which cannot be forgiven, though 
the sinners repent never so bitterly of them. All the 
grievous sins committed by all men in the world, against 
the Law of God, if they were met in one soul, do not 
amount to the sin against the Holy Ghost. They are par- 
donable, and have been pardoned in several persons. 

The reason is, because the promises of the gospel except 
no sorts of sins, and the sufficiency of Christ's satisfaction 


exceeds all the sins of all the world. They that were the 
betrayers and murderers of Christ, were converted at Pe- 
ter's sermon, and saved. Acts ii. 23, 37. Paul was a blas- 
phemer, yea, he caused others to blaspheme, yet he ob- 
tained mercy, Acts xxvi. 11. Spira blasphemed God, in 
saying, "I would I were above God; for 1 know he will 
not have mercy on me," And what sin can be greater 
than blasphemy? Yet the text (Matt. xii. 31,) says, that 
"all manner of sin and blasphemy against God shall be 
forgiven unto men " upon their repentance, this only 
"against the Holy Ghost" excepted, and that is excepted, 
because there is no means left to bring them to repentance, 
and so their sin is incurable and unpardonable. 

Fifthly, It is a sure sign that ye have not sinned against 
the Holy Ghost so long as your soul mourns after Christ, 
and loves Jesus Christ, and will not quit him, nor his gos- 
pel, and cannot endure to think of a separation from him, 
but are using all means to recover peace with God. So 
long as it is thus with any of you, you have not sinned 
against the Holy Ghost. Although to your perplexed and 
amazed spirits, and even despairing souls, by reason of the 
present sense of wrath, it may be borne in against you by 
Satan, that you are past recovery and hope of mercy, yet, 
indeed, and in God's esteem, you are not among Christ's 
adversaries, but reckoned among his friends and lovers. 
The accusation of your own conscience in this case is not 
to be taken against the judgment of the scripture, which 
says, that " Christ is a prince exalted to give repentance 
and remission of sins unto Israel," Acts v. 31. He that 
gives repentance, declares his purpose to give remission 
also. The apostate from Christ cannot be saved, because 
he cannot be renewed again unto repentance, Heb. vi. 6, 
therefore if you be renewed again unto repentance, your 
salvation is certain. This I have given in caution upon 
this point, lest any falling grievously, should despair upon 
this conceit, that it is in vain to pray, or to repent, and 
seek God's face, seeing by those very motions and desires 
you are evidenced not to have sinned against the Holy 

Use 2. The second use is for terror to two sorts: First, 
To all bold and presumptuous sinners, scoffers, and de- 
spisers, who, like swine, trample under foot the precious 



word of grace, scorn the instructions thereof, and resist 
the inward motions of the Spirit, which strive to bring 
them off from the ways of death and ungodliness. It is a 
dangerous matter to oppose Christ and his gospel, to scoff, 
and scorn, and jest at it, and to speak ill of the work of 
grace in his children, as to ascribe it to the devil, &c. This 
shows an inward hatred of the holy and good ways of God. 
Whatsoever such persons may think of themselves, I dare 
affirm it, that if they had lived when Christ did, heard his 
sermons, and seen his miracles, they would have hated 
him as much as the Jews then did, because there is the 
same spite and venom in their spirits against the ways and 
work of grace now, and against the doctrine of Christ, and 
the prophets, left upon record in scripture, as there was in 
those Jews which killed the prophets, when they had 
heard their sermons, and their reproofs by word of mouth. 
O take heed, as you love salvation, how you harden your- 
selves in error, and how you do the least despite to the 
Spirit of grace. 

The second sort of men are our church-forsakers, and 
minister-haters. These are men that have been enlight- 
ened, and tasted the good and sweetness of God's word, and 
public ordinances. They have loved our persons, reve- 
renced our doctrines and teaching, acknowledged us the in- 
struments of the work of grace upon their souls. Now, to 
see such persons turn scoffers and haters of our persons and 
office, despisers and blasphemous reproachers of our doc- 
trine, to make a mock at our preaching, calling us decei- 
vers of the people, Baal's priests, blind guides, &c. ; this is 
a fearful falling away from, and opposing of the kingdom 
of Jesus Christ, even after knowledge and profession of 
the truth: their apostacy lies near to the sin against the 
Holy Ghost: and methinks the curse of God is upon their 
souls, seeing very few of them are renewed again unto re- 
pentance, but, like apostates, they grow worse and worse, 
deceiving and being deceived. 2 Tim. iii. 13. Whilst 
they promise themselves liberty, they are become the ser- 
vants of corruption, twice dead. take heed, lest that 
come upon you, "He that is filthy, let him be filthy still; 
and because I have purged, and thou wast not purged : 
thou shalt no more be purged, till 1 cause my fury to rest 
upon thee." Rev. xxii. 11. Ezek. xxiv. 13. 




Use 3. Is for warning. He that would not sin against 
the Holy Ghost, must beware how he quenches the Spirit. 
Quenching is a borrowed term, taken from fire, whose 
light and heat we put out by the casting on of water. The 
Spirit is compared to fire, both in respect of the light that 
it gives to the understanding, and of the heat and fervour 
it imparts to our affections. Now the Spirit is quenched, 
when we put out the light which he shines into us, and sup- 
press the good motions which he kindles in us. We must 
not quench the Spirit, that is, whatever workings the Spirit 
of God has in us, enlightening, renewing, sanctifying, re- 
straining, checking, directing, comforting, sealing, leading, 
moving, &c. This is the Spirit, and these are the opera- 
tions, which we must not repel, resist, reject, stifle, nor in 
any wise oppose. We must not suffer them to die in us, 
much less set up counsels and motions, contrary there- 

Quest. When, how, and by whom is the Spirit of God 
quenched ? 

Ans. The operations of the Holy Ghost may be reduced 
to two general heads: 

First, He is to us a Spirit of light, to enlighten our dark 
minds with the knowledge of heavenly truth ; he shines 
into our hearts the knowledge of God, and of his will, yea, 
the deep mysteries of godliness. He also discovers to us 
the deep and hidden things of our own hearts, the desperate 
wickedness and deceitfulness thereof, the cursed state that 
we are in by nature. It convinces us of our unbelief, se- 
curity, hypocrisy, false ends and ways ; it informs us of our 
duty, and the things which belong to our peace. 

The second general operation of the Holy Spirit is, to 
kindle in us good motions, holy purposes, thoughts, desires, 
affections, and resolutions. There is naturally in the heart 
of man much deadness and deceitfulness, great indisposed- 
ness to the thing that is good, great proneness to evil, &c. 
Now the Spirit kindles in us good motions, and desires after 
the best things, remorse for sin, fear of wrath, joy in the 


hope of mercy, certain excitements to embrace the word 
of life. Isa. xxx. 21, "Thine ears shall hear a voice be- 
hind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye 
turn to the right harxl or to the left." God there promises 
an outward teacher, "Thine eyes shall see thy teachers:'' 
and an inward teacher, which accompanies the outward 
ministry : and few there be in the church, but one time or 
another feel such secret motions and suggestions to holiness, 
powerfully stirring them up to faith and repentance : secret 
compunctions for sin ; secret purposes of becoming new 
creatures, sweet delight in drawing nigh unto God, &c. 

Now in answer to the question, I reply the Spirit is 
quenched, when he is not obeyed, when he is resisted, when 
he is grieved, and opposed in either of these operations by 
contrary counsels, lustings and motions, by corrupt reason- 
ings and imaginations, whereby the sweet breathings of 
the Holy Spirit are stifled, and suffered to die within us 
without fruit. Take a view of it in both kinds. 

First, the Spirit is quenched in its first operation upon 
our souls, by two degrees. First, when this candle of the 
Lord is put out, when we hide our eyes from the light, and 
say within ourselves to the Almighty, " Depart from us, 
we desire not the knowledge of thy ways : What is the 
Almighty, that we should serve him ? and what profit shall 
we have if we pray to him ?" Job xxi. 14. When we 
"say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophe- 
sy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things; 
get thee out of the way, turn aside out of the path, cause 
the Holy One of Israel to cease from us." Isa. xxx. 10, 11. 
When men are willingly ignorant of those sins which they 
are not yet willing to forsake, and of those duties which 
they are not yet willing to practise, this is a quenching 
of the Spirit. It is a sign of a graceless heart, when men 
will shun the light, seek evasions to avoid the stroke of a 
searching ministry, when men will not read such books, nor 
such chapters of the Bible, nor hear such doctrines discoursed 
of, wherein their own case is handled or touched ; when peo- 
ple are unwilling to be dealt withal touching their spiri- 
tual estate, their opinions and practices, and seeing a light 
arising do blow it out, and hide their faces from it. "Their 
eyes have they closed, lest they should see and be convert- 
ed." Matt. xiii. 15. This is one degree of quenching the 


A second degree of quenching the Spirit, as he is a Spirit 
of light and illumination, is when men go against their 
knowledge, and depart from the truth. Their first care is 
not to see the light, for it is a trouble to them; but when 
that cannot be hid, the next work is to rebel against the 
light, like those of whom Job speaks, Job xiv. 13, "They 
are of those that rebel against the light, they abide not in 
the paths thereof." This is a sad case, to know well, and do 
the contrary. " The wrath of God (says Paul, Rom. i. 18,) 
is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness, and unrigh- 
teousness of men, which hold the truth in unrighteous- 
ness," who suppress it, forcing their own minds; they 
know better than they do : it is an enslaving the truth by 
their perverseness, making it an underling to their lusts, so 
that it cannot exercise command over their consciences and 

Wretched men and women, with whom God has dealt 
graciously in showing them their misery by nature, and 
given them a taste and sight of good things, by means 
whereof they had escaped the common sins and pollutions 
of the world, and the sins of their former ignorance and 
vanity, and yet contrary to all this light, forsake the holy 
path and the holy commandment given them, and take li- 
berty to live in the practice of gross sins ; some of cove- 
tousness, and oppression, others of wantonness, others of 
bodily and spiritual uncleanness, like brute beasts, accord- 
ing as they are led, 2 Pet. ii. 21 : "Better had it been 
never to have known the way of (truth and) righteousness, 
than after they have known it, to turn from the holy com- 
mandment given unto them ; the latter end is worse with 
them than the beginning." It was bad with them before 
they knew Christ, while they lived in a state of darkness 
and ignorance : it is worse now, seeing they go against the 
light; they have no excuse for their sin. 

Francis Spira's case is worthy to be set before your eyes* 
He having embraced, by God's mercy, the doctrine of Christ 
taught by the protestants, was for this brought before the 
pope's commissioner, and forced to subscribe and seal a 
paper containing a renunciation of the said points of Chris- 
tian doctrine. Hereupon he fell into a fearful despairing 
of mercy, and could not be comforted. One asked him, 
whether he did it willingly, or not? "That is nothing to 


the purpose, (said he,) Christ will not be denied, no, not 
in word, though in heart I never denied him. I knew, 
(said he,) that justification is to be expected by Christ, and 
I denied and abjured it, to the end I might keep this frail 
life from adversity, and my children from poverty. And 
now, behold, how bitter this life is to me; and God only 
knows what shall become of this my family; but surely no 
good is likely to betide them, but rather daily worse and 
worse, and such a ruin at the length, as that one stone shall 
not be left upon another." 0, it is a fearful sin in any 
man to force another to go against his knowledge, as the 
pope's legate here did Spira. Paul bewailed it, Acts xxvi. 
11, that he had compelled poor Christians to blaspheme. 
And it is a fearful sin to be compelled to quench the light 
that is in us, to preserve this frail life from adversity, and 
our children from poverty. He that shall so save his life, 
shall lose it. God is justly provoked to take his Spirit of 
grace and comfort quite away, as he did from Spira, who 
said, that " there was never such a spectacle of so exceed- 
ing misery, as I am." 

Secondly, We come to the second general operation of 
the Spirit, as he is a Spirit of holiness, kindling in us good 
motions, and holy desires and purposes. And here the 
Spirit is quenched in us and by us, when he is disobeyed 
and resisted in his reproofs and admonitions, in his guidance, 
and leading us on to our conversion, or the exercise of 
Christian graces and duties. See this sin, Nehem. ix. 30, 
"Thou testifiedst against them by thy Spirit in thy pro- 
phets, yet would they not give ear." This sin is thus set 
forth also, Zech. vii. 9 — 12, "Thus speaketh the Lord 
of hosts, saying, Execute true judgment, show mercy and 
compassion every man to his brother, and oppress not the 
widow nor the fatherless, the stranger nor the poor, and 
let none of you imagine evil against his brother in your 
heart; but they refused to hearken, and pulled away the 
shoulder, and stopped their ears, that they should not hear: 
yea, they made their hearts as an adamant stone, lest they 
should hear the law, and the words which the Lord of 
hosts hath sent in his Spirit by the former prophets." 
This is here called (Eph. iv. 30,) quenching the Spirit, 
and elsewhere, grieving the Spirit; and by Stephen, Acts 
yii. 51, resisting the Holy Ghost. When they heard Ste- 



phen's words, " they were cut to the heart, and gnashed ofi 
him with their teeth; they stopped their ears, and ran upon 
him with one accord, and stoned him," ver. 54, 57. This 
sin is committed usually through carelessness, ingratitude, 
and carnality of the heart. Many sweet motions and stir- 
rings of the Spirit, die without fruit. There is a spiritual 
sloth grows upon Christians through the fatness of their 
hearts, by reason whereof, those glowings of thy conscience, 
those sparks of the holy fire kindled by the Spirit, decay 
and cool in thee, and become like a coal of fire raked up 
under a heap of ashes. 

To apply. I vvill demand, and let thy conscience answer 
to these particulars. How many holy purposes hast thou 
had, that never came to the birth? How many resolutions 
never yet fulfilled? How often hast thou been checked, 
and stirred up to a constant course of religious duties, which 
yet thou hast not begun? How often has it been in thy 
heart never to come near the house of such a light woman, 
and yet, thou hast broken thy resolution, till a secret wound 
has pierced thy heart? How often has God sent thee such 
messages, as Pilate's wife sent to him concerning Christ, 
"Have thou nothing to do with that just man?" Meddle 
not in such an unjust action; wind thyself out of such and 
such state combinations; get thy foot out of the snare; keep 
thyself pure from the blood of all men; join not, nor be 
thou instrumental in the oppressing and undoing of such 
and such men; defile not thyself with the sin of sacrilege, 
and robbing of churches; deliver thy soul from unrighteous 
and cruel men, stand not in their counsels, &c. And yet 
thou hast baffled thy conscience, and hardened thy heart 
against all these warnings from Heaven. How many mo- 
tions and purposes hast thou had on thy waking bed, to 
make restitution of lands and goods ill gotten? to leave off 
bribery, false accusation, usury, violence, and fraud? How 
often hast thou said, I will not suffer the accursed thing, 
Achan's wedge, to be among my stuff, and yet when thou 
comest abroad, and seest the courses of the world, thou hast 
laid it up in thy tent, though it be as a canker in thy con- 
science, and in thy estate to posterity? How often has 
God by his Spirit, in the ministry of his word, met with 
thy beloved sin, and even made thy heart to melt, so that 
thou hast gone from the church with a resolution to become 


a new man, and yet thou hast suppressed and quelled those 
holy thoughts and resolutions, by setting up contrary rea- 
sonings and imaginations? How many sermons hast thou 
struggled withal, and at last got the victory over them, and 
cast them all out of thy heart and practice? What shifts 
hast thou used to chase away those qualms of conscience? 
How often hast thou been almost persuaded to be a Christian, 
and yet dissuaded again by some base and vain temptation? 
How often at the receiving of the sacrament, hast thou re- 
newed thy covenant, and made promises of better obedi- 
ence, and yet remainest as vile as ever? Thus thou hast 
dallied with repentance, and thy salvation, despised thy 
God and his counsels, refused to be reformed, and quenched 
the Spirit of grace. I wish thee to remember that sad pas- 
sage of Spira's: "1 tell you," said he, "when at Venice I 
did first abjure my profession, and so, as it were, drew an 
indenture, the Spirit of God often admonished me; and 
when at Cittadella, I did, as it were, set to my seal, the 
Spirit of God often suggested unto me, do not write, Spira, 
do not seal; yet I resisted the Holy Ghost, and did both; 
at that very instant, I did evidently feel a wound inflicted 
in my very will; so although I can say, I would believe, 
yet can I not say, I will believe. 0, now I cannot, God 
hath denied me the power of will." 

We live in a subscribing age, we must swear and not 
swear; covenant for the king one while, another while en- 
gage against the king. And what multitudes of knowing 
Christians are there, whose consciences have been enlarged 
to take in all the points of this compass? and all to preserve 
this frail life from adversity, and their children from po- 
verty. what reluctances and contradictions of your own 
hearts and consciences have you wrestled with? Has not 
the Spirit of God often suggested unto thee, as once to 
Spira, do not engage with men of Belial, do not subscribe? 
and yet thou hast done both. What shifts and evasions 
has thy deceitful heart studied? What forced senses and 
salvos has it found out to put by all those motions of God's 
Spirit? Hast thou not set thy wit above thy conscience? 
and thy lust, the love of the world, carnal self, above them 
both? And so, as it were, sold thyself to do evil? What 
wilt thou do? Can thy heart endure, or thy hands be 
strong, when the Lord shall deal with thee? What terror 
will seize on thee, when the hand-writing shall be shown 


against thy most solemn oath, and thy oath against thy 
hand-writing? A time of change will come, and then these 
hidden things shall be brought to light, then it will be made 
manifest, that thou fearedst men more than God, and lovedst 
the present world more than truth and righteousness; then 
it will be made manifest, how many checks and secret im- 
pulses of the Spirit thou hast resisted, what pains thou hast 
taken to blind the world, and what craft thou hast used to 
deceive thine own soul. 

that the words of your faithful admonisher might be 
accepted with you this day, and sink down into your hearts, 
and work upon you a godly sorrow not to be repented of, 
lest you miss of the Holy Spirit to be your Comforter, 
whom you refused for your guide and counsellor, lest you 
miss of the comforts and joy of the Holy Ghost when you 
have most need of them. And you will miss them, unless 
you repent as David did, Psal. v. And this shall be a sign 
to you, that thus it will be with you, because, now you do 
not love to hear that matter spoken of: a sadness, a trem- 
bling, and chilliness, seizes on your spirits when these 
things are seriously put home to you: if the crowing of a 
cock, the voice of a silly man trouble you, how will you 
endure the sound of the last trumpet ? " If your hearts 
condemn you, God is greater than your hearts, and knoweth 
all things." 1 John iii. 20. 0, my friends, quench not, 
quench not the Spirit. " They that follow lying vanities, 
forsake their own mercy. ,, Jonah ii. 3. 

Use 4. For help. Helps to preserve you from this great 
sin, are two: first, a tender and awful regard to all the or- 
dinances of God's worship. " My heart," says David, 
" standeth in awe of thy law." Psal. cxix. They have in 
them a quickening virtue, as fuel to the fire, and oil to the 
lamps in the temple, to keep alive the holy fire upon the 
altar, and in the golden candlestick: so are God's word, 
prayer, and sacraments, to the light and heat which the 
Spirit kindles in us. He that despises, or carelessly uses 
God's ordinances, will soon find his lamp burn dim, and 
his heart grow cold. God's Spirit is communicated in and 
by his ordinances. " The Spirit is received by the hearing 
of faith," (Gal. iii. 2,) and by the same means it is cherished. 
You know by experience, that withdrawing the fuel slacks 
the fire; the food pines the body; the rain kills the herbs 


and withers the grass. So in this business, for look what 
fuel is to the fire, and food to the body, and rain to the 
earth, the same is communion with God in prayer, preach- 
ing, sacraments, meditation, conference, and godly books 
to our souls, whereby they are watered and refreshed with 
dews and influences from heaven. The devil desires no 
better advantage to starve the work and life of grace in 
men, than by bringing them to neglect daily communion' 
with God in the duties of worship. 

Second help, learn to live above the world, above the 
good things and evils of the world. 

Love of the world, is the cankerworm of grace, it eats 
out, by degrees, the love of the Father, (1 John ii. 15,) even 
as the weeds starve, and draw away the moisture that 
should nourish the corn and herbs. Luke viii. 14, Christ 
compares worldliness to thorns, which choke the good seed. 
When the love of the world enters in, it takes up the time, 
the thoughts, the passions, and affections which should be 
bestowed on better things. A Christian, whilst he is on 
earth, should live in heaven, have his joys, his treasure, his 
heart in heaven. Faith sets us above the world ; " By faith 
Moses refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter: 
by faith he forsook Egypt, as seeing him who is invisible: 
( Heb. xi. 24, 27,) by faith Abraham forsook his own country, 
not knowing whither he went: by faith he sojourned in the 
land of promise, as in a strange country, for he looked for 
a city, which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is 
God." Heb. xi. 8 — 10. Faith sets the soul above the best 
things of the world, and all this while the Spirit is not 
quenched. It also sets the soul above the worst things of 
the world; it overlooks all the threats, dangers, and oppo- 
sitions of a graceless corrupt world. Moses went on with his 
work of bringing the people out of " Egypt, not fearing 
the wrath of the king." What enabled him to do so? His 
faith, whereby he "saw him who is invisible." Faith shows 
us a mightier power than any that is against us; a mightier 
grace than any that can be offered to us; a mightier wrath 
than any that is threatened to us. Faith answers all doubts, 
overcomes all fears and terrors, it sets us upon the Rock that 
is higher than all. u This is the victory that overcometh 
the world, even our faith." 1 John iv, 5. 

Hear Spira once more concerning this matter, "A Chris- 


tian must be strong and unconquerable, not carrying an ob- 
scure profession, but resolute,expressing the image of Christ, 
and holding out against all opposition to the last breath. It 
is no such small matter to be assured of sincerity; a man 
had need to be exceeding strongly grounded in the truth, 
before he can be able to affirm such a matter as you do; it 
is not the performance of a few outward duties, but a 
mighty constant labour, with all intention of heart and af- 
fection, with full desire and endeavour continually to set 
forth God's glory. There must be neither fear of legates, 
inquisitors, prisons, nor any death whatsoever." Faith 
sets us above the worst things of the world. He that can 
be poor, may be honest; he that can deny all, is not in 
danger to quench the Spirit, nor to follow false guides. Be- 
ware how thou take in a holy profession to love of the 
world. A new piece must not be added to that old gar- 
ment. Beware, lest under all thy fair show of Christianity, 
there lodge in thy heart the love of money, and worldly 
riches, or the love of men's praise, rather than God's ap- 
probation; or the fleshly fear of those that can kill the 
body, more than of God, who can cast both body and soul 
into hell. I say, beware how these lusts lodge in thy heart: 
if they do, they will cause thee, for satisfaction of thy am- 
bition, avarice, and earthly affections, to sell Christ and his 
truth, and his church, and to quench the sweetest motions 
of the Spirit, when a fit temptation is offered. 

Thus much of the Deity of the Holy Ghost, and of sin- 
ning against him. 



There are three here recited by the London Testimony, 
page 8. 

" 1. That they labour to deny God and Christ, and their 
own salvation, who, falsifying and misconstruing the case 
of election and predestination, make as though none should 
ever be saved, but the elect and predestinated. And they 


which preach, that none shall be saved, but the elect and 
predestinate are notable liars. 

" 2. That it is not suitable to God, to pick and choose 
among men, in showing mercy to one in misery, and to 
pass by another in the like condition in every respect; for 
he may as well cease to be, as to withhold mercy from any 
one in misery. 

"3. That the reprobate condition of men and angels 
shall be regained. We call them reprobates only for dis- 
tinction sake." 

It becomes every creature rather to admire the depths 
of God's wisdom, and unsearchable judgments, (Rom. xi. 
33,) than curiously to pry into his secrets, or dispute the 
reasons, and methods of his counsels and decrees; yet, as on 
the one side, to examine and judge of them by the reach 
of human reason is a high presumption; so totally to ne- 
glect the knowledge of so much as God is pleased to reveal 
of his purposes touching man's eternal estate, under a pre- 
tence that we cannot find out God to perfection, is on the 
other side great unthankfulness, and inexcusable laziness. 
Therefore with all humility, and soberness of mind, 1 shall 
enter upon this argument, confining myself to things re- 
vealed, and to the scripture expressions, as near as possible. 

Now to the intent you may have your senses exercised 
to discern good from evil, truth from falsehood, in this 
high subject, I shall lay down the truth of God in opposi- 
tion to the forementioned errors, in these four conclusions. 

First, the scriptures teach that God did choose, before 
the foundations of the world were laid out, of lost mankind, 
certain persons to obtain salvation by Jesus Christ, out of 
his mere good pleasure to the praise of his glorious grace, 
and pass by the rest, to perish in and for their sins, to the 
glory of his justice. 

See this truth proved in five several branches of the 
conclusion. First, that God did elect and ordain certain 
persons to obtain salvation by Jesus Christ, are the express 
words of the apostle; 1 Thes. v. 9, "God hath not ap- 
pointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by Jesus Christ." 
Then some are appointed to wrath, and some to salvation. 
There is a separation between men and men. The church 
of God is his house; "But in a great house, there are not 
only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood, and of 


earth, and some to honour, and some to dishonour." 2 Tim. 
ii. 10; Rom. ix. 22, 23. So it is in the church. And 
who these persons are in particular, is determinately known ; 
"The Lord knoweth them that are his." 2 Tim. ii. 19. 
The Lord has not only appointed a certain kind of men to 
be saved, namely, such as shall believe, and obey the gos- 
pel, but who they are by name, according as it is said, Rom. 
ix. 13, " Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated." " I 
know whom I have chosen." John xiii. 18. God knows 
the elect by their names; for " their names are written in 
the book of life." Rev. xiii. 8. There is a peculiar personal 
distinction between the elect and others, with their pecu- 
liar privileges; "All that dwell on the earth shall worship 
the beast, whose names were not written in the book of life 
of the Lamb;" they shall not be deceived, nor overcome by 
the beast. So our Saviour bids his disciples " rejoice in this, 
because your names are written in heaven." Luke x. 20. A 
comparison taken from the custom in great cities, to enrol 
their free denizens in a book, by their names. God does not 
stand in need of any such remembrancer as a book, but 
that is written for our comfort, that we may rest assured of 
God's eternal love to us in particular; and though our 
names be not written in scripture, thou Thomas, or Peter, 
shalt be saved, yet they are written in heaven, in God's 
book of predestination. 

Secondly, this choice was made before the foundation of 
the world. Eph. i. 4, Our names were written in the 
Lamb's book of life, not when we first came to believe, 
but before ihe world was. Rev. xvii. 8; 2 Tim. i. 9. And 
so our Saviour shall welcome the elect into his Father's 
kingdom, saying, "Come, ye blessed of my Father," 
(blessed of my Father, because the Father chose them to 
be his children,) "inherit the kingdom prepared for you 
from the foundation of the world." Here Christ gives 
them possession in time, but the kingdom was prepared 
for them before the world was: even as our heirs enter 
upon their inheritances when they come to be of age, 
though it were purchased for them before they were born. 

Thirdly, they were chosen out of lost mankind. In 
Adam all died, and forfeited that first covenant. The Lord 
had mercy on some, drawing them out of that corrupted 
lump, to make us his children by Christ: " We are all of us, 


by nature, children of wrath, even as others." Eph. ii. 3. 
We were not so by our creation, but by the fall of Adam, 
therefore God, of his infinite mercy, did choose us in Christ, 
and "predestinate us to the adoption of children by Jesus 
Christ" Eph. i. 5. Adam was the son of God, and if he 
had so continued, we need not have been predestinated to 
a new sonship by adoption, but having lost our first son- 
ship, and become children of wrath, God predestinated us 
to the adoption of children by Jesus Christ. Now a pre- 
destination in Christ presupposes a fall, or a lapsed and 
forlorn estate. Man fallen is therefore the object of divine 

Fourthly, God did choose some rather than others, out 
of his mere good pleasure. There was no cause, motive, 
or condition in the party chosen, moving the Lord to 
choose him and pass by others, but whereas God might 
have utterly rejected all, of his free grace and mercy he 
had compassion on some. Thus the apostle teaches, Eph. 
i. 5, that he did " predestinate us according to the good 
pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace." 
If he had chosen some, as Peter, for example, because he 
foresaw they would be good, and die in the faith; and had 
refused others, as Judas, because he foresaw they would be 
wicked and obstinate despisers of his gospel, this had not 
been an act of grace, it had not set forth the glory of that 
attribute, but rather of his distributive justice. But that 
which God mainly intended in this free choice, was the 
praise of the glory of his grace, that man should find no- 
thing to admire, or boast in, but in the rich grace of God. 
And of this free choice, Paul gives an instance in Jacob and 
Esau, Rom. ix. 11, "The children being not yet born, 
neither having done good or evil, that the purpose of God, 
according to election, might stand, not of works, but of him 
that calleth. It was said, The elder shall serve the younger, 
Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated." These two 
brethren were every way equal before the Lord, as the 
clay before the potter; and the difference between them 
stood, not in works which the one had done, or should do, 
more than the other, but in the will of God, who "hath 
mercy on whom he will have mercy," verses 15, 17, and 
" whom he will, he hardeneth:" on the one he shows the 
"riches of his glory," on the other his "just wrath," verses 


22, 23. So then it remains a sure truth, that a we are pre- 
destinated according to the purpose of him, who worketh 
all things after the counsel of his own will." Eph. i. 11. 
He takes counsel from none other, he goes not out of 
himself for a reason of this his doing, but his purpose stands 
upon the counsel of his own will. 

Fifthly, and lastly, he passes by others to perish in their 
sins, to the glory of his justice and power. In the repro- 
bate, God shows his justice and his power. Rom. ix. 22. 

First, his power and sovereignty in not showing mercy 
on them as well as on the elect, who were in the same 
lump of misery. And, 

Secondly, his justice, because in the party non-elected, 
or passed by, there is enough to condemn him, so that the 
Lord does freely, yet justly, reject him. In Esau God saw 
enough to hate him; there was his justice. Yet that he 
did hate him rather than Jacob, therein he showed his free 
power: " As the potter hath power over the clay of the 
same lump," every way the same, "to make one vessel 
unto honour, and another unto dishonour." Rom. ix. 21. 

Thus you see our first conclusion proved, namely, that 
God has chosen some to life, and not others, and what is 

Second. Now follows our second conclusion, namely, 
that the elect, and none but the elect, shall be saved. That 
this is a truth, and no lie, is evidenced by four places of 
scripture: Rom. viii. 30, "Whom he predestinated, them 
he also called; and whom he called, them he also justified, 
and whom he justified, them he also glorified." The num- 
ber of the glorified ones does not exceed the number of pre- 
destinated ones; " Whom he predestinated, them he also glo- 
rified;" hos, non alios. In that golden chain of salvation, 
the first and last links are joined together by two middle 
links. There is such a concatenation of them all, that if 
you break one link, the whole chain is broken, and if you 
are held by one link, you are held by all, and shall partake 
of all: these things are reciprocal, and of equal extent. If 
it were hos, and alios, then first it were no advantage to 
these, (hos,) that they are predestinate, or justified, or 
called. Secondly, if others beside the predestinate were 
glorified, then it must be the meaning of the words, " Whom 
he did predestinate, them he also called," and a great many 


more; and whom he called, them, and many others besides 
them, he justified; and whom he justified, them, and many 
besides them, he also glorified; for (according to their 
opinion) many besides the elect are saved. But will any 
man that is in his wits dare affirm, that any are glorified, 
which were never justified? or that any are justified, which 
were never called ? or that any are called, who were never 
predestinated ? This they must affirm, that hold that 
others besides the predestinate shall be saved. But the 
demonstrative article with the copulative, tutus x<u, being 
thrice repeated (" them also, them also, them also,") must 
necessarily evince, that these, and none but these, are 
called, justified, or glorified. 

The next place is John xvii. 9, 10, "I pray for them, I 
pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast 
given me out of the world, for they are thine, and all mine 
are thine, and thine are mine." Note here four things; 
first, that there are two sorts of men, some are given to 
Christ out of the world, verse 6, some are still in and of 
the world. Secondly, note for what end they are given to 
Christ, namely, That he should manifest the name and 
glory of God unto them, that is, that Christ should redeem 
them, and fit them for glory, verses 6, 8. Thirdly, they 
were thine, says Christ, before they were mine; "Thine 
they were, and thou gavest them me;" thou hadst a right 
of property in them, and therefore a right to give to me. 
But how were they thine ? How they thine, more than 
the rest of the world ? Surely, because they were the 
elect of God, thine they were by eternal election. Fourthly, 
note, that the elect and the redeemed are of equal extent, 
" All thine are mine, and all mine are thine." As if he 
should say, as thou hadst made thine elect members of my 
body, to the end that I should redeem them: so I have 
made them thy children, that thou mayest own them for 
thine, by communicating to them the love of friendship. 
All thine by election, are mine by purchase; and because 
they are mine, therefore they are thine; " You are Christ's, 
and Christ is God's." None but the elect are given to 
Christ, therefore none but they are saved. 

The next place is Matt. xxiv. 31, At the end of the 
world " Christ shall send his angels with a great sound of 
a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the 


four winds, from one end of heaven to the other." Not 
one of them shall be lost or forgotten. But for what end 
are they gathered ? " He shall set them at his right hand, 
and sever them from the rest, as a shepherd divideth the 
sheep from the goats, and shall say unto them, Come, ye 
blessed children of my Father, receive the kingdom pre- 
pared for you." Matt. xxv. 32, 34. Here is a blessed ga- 
thering unto Christ ; but who are thus gathered ? They 
are his elect, all his elect, and none else. And surely, 
they that are left out of the number of these gathered ones, 
shall not be received into the kingdom of his Father, for it 
was never prepared for them. 

My last sort of proofs shall be from those places, which 
testify God's special love in preparing for the elect the 
means of salvation, and making the same effectual to them, 
which yet are not so to others. When the seventy returned, 
and had told our Saviour what good success their preach- 
ing had, (Luke xix. 20, 21,) whereas the Jews repented 
not at his own preaching and miracles, Matt. xi. 20, he 
breaks forth into an admiration of God's love to his despised 
ones who believed on him, when wiser than they did not; 
"I thank thee, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because 
thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and 
hast revealed them unto babes." It does not go by wit, or 
learning, or strength of natural parts; but thus it is, "even 
because it so seemed good in thy sight," ver. 25, 26. So 
among Paul's hearers, Acts xiii. 48. Some spake against 
the things which were spoken by Paul; but "as many as 
were ordained to eternal life, believed." God's free and eter- 
nal mercy ordained the means, as he had the end, eternal life ; 
and withal, he blessed the means unto that end. Those 
gentiles were not fitted for eternal life before they believed, 
but being fore-ordained to life, they embraced the word of 
life, the means thereto. 

But most remarkable to our purpose, is that of Paul, 
Rom. xi. 7, "Israel hath not obtained that which he seek- 
eth for, but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were 
blinded." The apostle having discussed that sad theme of 
the rejection of the Jews, and showed how their rejection 
might well consist with the truth of God's promises; he 
answers that doubt by distinguishing of their persons. 
There were two sorts of Jews (as of Abraham's children) 


one carnal, the other spiritual; there was a Jew outwardly, 
and a Jew inwardly ; the one sought righteousness by the 
works of the law, and missed it; Rom. ix. 32, the other 
sought it by faith, and obtained what they sought ; and so 
the one sort (which were the body of that church and 
state) are rejected, the other, being but a small remnant, or 
parcel torn from the rest, are still within the covenant. 
But whence proceeds this difference, that some obtained 
not what they sought, that Christ was a rock of offence to 
some, and precious to others ? The text tells you, " the 
election obtained it, the rest were blinded/' 

This is the apostle's resolution upon the question pro- 
pounded, Rom. xi. 1. "Hath God cast away his people? 
God forbid." He proves it first in himself, I am a Jew, 
therefore all are not cast away, because I am not. Second- 
ly, "God hath not cast away his people whom he foreknew," 
that is, whom he loved and marked out for his own from 
everlasting. God's approbation of us by reason of our 
faith, is an after knowledge, and doth follow in puncto ra- 
tionis, and in mente divina, an act of man's will. Fore- 
knowledge in this place cannot be expounded by approba- 
tion, but it imports as much as fore-ordaining or election. 
Thirdly, As in the days of Elijah, God had reserved a 
people from the common defection of those times, "even so 
at this time there is a remnant;" Rom. xi. 5, 6. How so? 
According to the election of grace, not whereby men 
choose grace, but whereby God chooses us of his mercy. 
It follows ver. 7. What then ? Let us draw to some con- 
clusion : How stands the matter? Thus it stands, and 
this is the conclusion, "The election hath obtained it," that 
is, life and righteousness, " and the rest were blinded." 
Let men sweat out their brains, this must be yielded; the 
elect have a pre-eminence above the rest, they obtained it, 
the rest were blinded. 

Out of these scriptures laid together, it is clear : First, 
that when several persons hear the same sermons, see the 
same miracles, enjoy the same doctrine, and means of sal- 
vation, yet to some it proves a savour of life, a converting 
word, to others, a rock of. offence. Secondly, that the 
God of grace does "shine into their hearts, the light of the 
knowledge of the glory of God, in the face of Jesus Christ;" 
but "the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them 



which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of 
Christ should shine unto them." 2 Cor. iv. 4, 6. 

Hence our argument may be thus gathered, none are 
saved, but they to whom the means are made effectual to 
their conversion ; but the elect only are thus effectually 
wrought upon, therefore they only are saved; and we that 
preach this doctrine, are not notable liars, but the faithful 
witnesses of God. 

To this truth do all the reformed churches bear witness. 
Let us hear the judgment and determination of our own 
church of England in 39 Articles; Article 17, where both 
our conclusions are thus confirmed, and soundly expressed. 

" Predestination to life is the everlasting purpose of God, 
whereby, before the foundations of the world were laid, he 
hath constantly decreed by his counsel secret to us, to de- 
liver from curse and damnation, those whom he hath cho- 
sen in Christ out of mankind, and to bring them, by Christ, 
to everlasting salvation, as vessels made to honour; where- 
fore they which be endued with so excellent a benefit of 
God, be called according to God's purpose; by his Spirit 
working in due season, they, through grace, obey the call- 
ing, they be justified freely, they be made sons of God by 
adoption, they be made like the image of his only begotten 
Son, Jesus Christ, they walk religiously in good works, and 
at length, by God's mercv, they attain to everlasting feli- 

Obj. 1. This doctrine is a hinderance to piety, and to the 
salvation of many, for to what (say they) should the gos- 
pel be preached to reprobates? In vain is all prayer, and 
preaching, and seeking, if none shall ever be saved but the 
elect. Let men do what they can, if they be not elected, 
their endeavours be all in vain; and on the other side, if 
they be elected, they shall be saved, though they live in 
pleasure, and be regardless of good duties. There cannot 
one soul's estate be altered, yea, the gospel preached to re- 
probates does them no good, but rather mischief, increa- 
seth their condemnation. These are the cavils and calum- 
nies, usually cast upon this doctrine to make it odious. 

To these I answer: first, That this doctrine tells no man 
in particular, who is elected, or who rejected. We cannot 
tell who are reprobates, nay, no man can know himself to 
be a reprobate, for his sins are not above God's grace. God 


can change his heart, even when he is breathing out curses 
and threatenings against the name of Christ, as he did 
Paul's; (Acts ix.,) God is above thy naughty heart, and he 
can change it at the ninth, or eleventh, or at the last hour 
of the day. No man can know himself to be a reprobate, 
and therefore we preach the gospel to men as sinners, not 
as elect or reprobate, to all sinners without exception, to 
the greatest of sinners; we bid them come to Christ, and 
he will refresh and heal them, Mat. xi. 28. We challenge 
all the world to name any one man or woman, that ever 
repented in vain, or sought the Lord in vain; and, therefore, 
to shut the door of grace and mercy against thyself, which 
we set wide open, upon a conceit that the gospel will do 
thee no good, if thou be a reprobate, is a grievous tempta- 
tion of the devil, the enemy of thy salvation. Art thou a 
sinner? then reason thus, Jesus Christ came into the world 
to save sinners, the chief of sinners, I have patterns of great 
sinners that were received to mercy; therefore, look upon 
Christ as he is offered to thee in the gospel, believe and 
live, embrace him and live. It is a preposterous course, 
instead of obeying the gospel, and studying to be found in 
Christ, to be inquisitive whether we were elected from 
eternity or not. The last clause of the 17th article before 
mentioned, is very weighty to this purpose. The words are 
these: " We must receive God's promises in such wise, as 
they be generally set forth unto us in holy scripture; and 
in our doings, that will of God is to be followed, which we 
have expressly declared unto us in the word of God:" and 
that will of God is, that we preach the gospel to every 
creature; and that every creature may come to Christ, and 
" drink of the water of life freely," and that " whosoever 
cometh unto him, he will in no wise cast out." Praying, 
and preaching, and seeking are not in vain, for "every one 
that seeketh findeth, and he that asketh receiveth, and to 
him that knocketh it shall be opened," Luke xi. 9, 10. It 
was a good saying of Sarah Wight to a gentlewoman in 
spiritual distress that came to be comforted, " Go," said 
she, "say to God, heal me, I have sinned; heal my back- 
slidings." " Oh, but I am no better for saying it, when I 
have no heart nor spirit to pray." "Yet, (said Sarah Wight) 
say it, though you be no better, because God bids you say 
it. Say it and say it again, till he heal you; it may be he 


will come in when you say it, if you can but say it with 
your lips: the everlasting arms of God will reach you when 
you cannot reach him." We must look at God's revealed 
will, that we should pray and wait on him in his ways: 
Peter bade Simon Magus pray: Acts viii. 22. In preach- 
ing the gospel, light, motion and power goes out to all, 
which they that resist are destroyed, not because they could 
not believe, but because they resist, and will not obey; 
God's election takes no man off from duty. 

Secondly, I answer, That the gospel was, and is, intended 
only for the elect, although many reprobates enjoy the mi- 
nistration thereof, and many outward blessings, because 
they are mingled in the world with the elect, to whom 
only it is directed. Judas was among the apostles. This 
I take to be clear from the scripture, which saith, that the 
hidden wisdom of God in the mystery of the gospel, was 
ordained unto our glory, that is, to our glorification, that 
by the knowledge thereof, God's people might obtain ce- 
lestial glory, (1 Cor. ii. 7.) But most plain and full is that 
of 2 Tim. ii. 9, 10, where he says, that the doctrine which 
he taught, and the afflictions which he endured in defence 
of it, were intended for the elect's sake, " I endure all 
things for the elect's sake, that they may obtain the salva- 
tion which is in Jesus Christ:" Acts xviii. 10. All that 
he did, or suffered, was for the furthering of the salvation 
of God's elect. God gave this reason why Paul should 
preach at Corinth in despite of all opposition, " because I 
have much people in this city." 

By the like reason I suppose it may be gathered, that 
where God has no people, there shall be no preaching, and 
where he removes his candlestick, it is a sad sign that he 
has no people in that place. The gospel is preached to the 
reprobate accidentally only; neither does the Lord seek any 
advantage against them by it: he needs it not, he has enough 
against them for violating that first covenant. See this 
John iii. 17, " God sent not his Son into the world to con- 
demn the world, but that the world through him might be 
saved." This our Saviour proves by a disjunction, ver. 18. 
Thus all the world is distributed into two sorts, they are 
either believers or unbelievers: Christ came not to condemn 
believers, for " he that believeth on him is not condemned." 
Nor did he come to condemn them that believe not, for 


"he that believeth not is condemned already," to wit, by 
the sentence of the law, "Cursed is every one that sinneth," 
so that Christ should not need to come into the world to 
condemn it. God need not ask any farther matter of con- 
demnation against them, we do not go to any reprobate, 
and say to him, believe in Jesus Christ, but we preach the 
gospel to all sinners, because, for aught we know, all that 
hear us may be saved. 

Thirdly, This doctrine is no hinderance to piety, nor to 
Christian endeavours after grace and salvation, as will ap- 
pear to any one, that shall consider, either the nature of 
God's decree, or the fruits and effects thereof. 

1. For the nature of it. God's decree is not a simple, 
absolute, peremptory ordaining of an end without means, 
but together with the end he decrees and ordains the means 
thereto. Therefore it is said, that "We are chosen in 
Christ, and predestinated to the adoption of children by 
Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will." 
Eph. i. 4, 5. That fvSo^ta or good pleasure of his will, in- 
cludes Christ; and so the act of predestination is not abso- 
lute, but relative, it is with respect to Christ. For how 
can we be predestinated to the adoption of children, but in 
Christ, the natural Son of God ? Thus (2 Thes. ii. 13,) 
we are said to be "chosen unto salvation through sanctifi- 
cation of the Spirit, and belief of the truth, whereunto he 
hath called you by our gospel." So also Peter sets forth 
God's decree: 1 Pet. i. 2, "Elect, according to the fore- 
knowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the 
Spirit unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus 
Christ." You see how these things are complex, and 
joined together. God's act choosing us, the end subordi- 
nate, obedience and sprinkling of Christ's blood, ultimate, 
our salvation; intended not abstractly, live as we please, 
but in and through sanctification and belief of the truth. 

2. God's decree is every way holy, just, and good, if you 
consider the effects and fruits of it. " He hath chosen us, 
that we should be holy and without blame before him in 
love." Eph. i. 4. So the apostle describes an elect vessel : 
2 Tim. ii. 21, " If a man purge himself from these, he shall 
be a vessel of honour, sanctified, and meet for the Master's 
use, and prepared unto every good work." The elect are 
not a profane, barren, unclean, fruitless kind of men, good 


for nothing; but sanctified, and fruitful in good works, 
Paul makes it a sign of our election, 1 Thes. i. 5, 6, " Be- 
cause they received the gospel, not only in word, but in 
power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance." 

3. And lastly, Peter (2 Peter i. 10,) shows how we may 
"make our calling and election" sure to our own souls, 
namely, " if we do these things," which he mentions, ver. 

From these considerations I thus argue : that doctrine, 
which teaches men to get the knowledge of their election 
by good works, which teaches that the elect depart from 
iniquity who receive the word of God in power, and obey 
it, and live holily and unblameably, and that all this is ac- 
cording to the purpose of God's decree from whence it 
flows, as from a fountain. This doctrine, I say, mightily 
encourages and provokes to piety, and to all holy and godly 
endeavours. But such is the doctrine of predestination, as 
it is taught by us; therefore they are injurious to God and 
his truth, who cast their contempt of religion, and their 
wretched pretences of laziness and looseness upon God's 
predestination. See it in two particulars: 

First, This doctrine, soberly taught and preached, is a 
singular encouragement to them that are as yet unconverted, 
to labour for holiness. The Lord freely offers mercy and 
pardon in Christ, if I will but forsake my sins ; he assures 
me, that if 1 seek and strive, I shall not seek in vain ; he 
waits that he may be merciful unto me. The gospel as- 
sures me, that though my present walking leads to the 
chambers of death, yet it does not conclude that my repro- 
bation is sealed. God still calls after me, and by the means 
of grace, which are a part of predestination unto life, I am 
assured, that it is not in vain to take pains about my sal- 
vation. Where means are used, the end will be obtained; 
" Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteous- 
ness, for they shall be satisfied." The gospel assures me, 
that if I receive the word in power, and give it a divine 
authority over my conscience, if I depart from iniquity, 
and labour to be holy, that then I have in my bosom the 
seals of my election, that I am a vessel of honour; that if 
I obey God's call, I may know that I was predestinated, 
and shall be glorified. 

Hence, I thus reason with myself. Is not the favour of 


God, and knowledge of my election to life, worth all 
these pains that I shall take, in the duties of religion, to 
attain it? And all those sweet and pleasant sins which I 
am to relinquish for it — if I live in them, will they recom- 
pense the loss of my soul ? of my God ? of eternal glory ? 
Shall I for worldly advantages to myself or my children, 
be contented to endure eternal torments? Is there not 
much more sweetness in the peace of a pure conscience, 
washed and justified in the blood of Christ, than in all the 
world's contentments? 

The proper result of such a consultation, and the proper 
consequence upon such principles, is this: 1 will strive to 
be holy, to purify my conscience from all iniquity, for by 
that I know that I am elected, that I am a vessel of mercy, 
and shall be glorified. I will " give all diligence to make 
my calling and election sure," for I know that I will not 
lose my labour, I shall never fall. Sarah Wight said she 
was sure to be damned, so said Mrs. Honywood; but they 
were both of them safe in the everlasting arms of the Al- 
mighty, for they were holy, they hated sin, and loved 
godliness. I henceforth abhor and detest that mad rea- 
soning, If you be elected, you shall be saved, live as you 
please; if not elected, do what you can you shall not be 
saved ; for they which do what they can are not reprobated, 
and they which live holily are elected. 

What stronger motives than these to piety and holy en- 
deavours, can be set before an unconverted man? 

Secondly, God's election preached to believers, is to 
them the strongest bond of holiness and religion; and that 
three ways especially. 

1. It is a sure rock of consolation, because they see 
themselves in God's everlasting arms. In the book of their 
purified consciences, they read their names written in the 
book of life, they comfort themselves in this, that " the 
Lord knoweth them that are his," and his foundation is 
sure, not one of them is lost. It greatly establishes and 
confirms their faith of eternal salvation to be enjoyed 
through Christ. 

2. It fervently kindles their love towards God, who 
loved them first with such a free, undeserved, everlasting 
love. How does this ravish the soul of the believer, when 
he remembers how God set his love upon him before he 


was, how he has pitied him in his blood, followed him with 
his grace, not suffering him to perish, though he himself 
were unwilling to return, and what a weight of glory God 
has prepared for him in heaven for evermore! This incon- 
ceivable love yet more inflames our hearts with love to 
him again, when we consider, that he has done all this for 
us, rather than for others, which were in the same condem- 
nation with us. He chose us, and passed by many thou- 
sands, every way as good as ourselves. There was nothing 
in us that could move him, but " the good pleasure of his 
own will," and "the riches of grace." Eph. i. 5 — 7. 
Here is a glorious grace, here is the riches of grace, never 
sufficiently admired, never sufficiently magnified by us. 
Whereupon the soul of the believer is filled with praises 
of the Lord. ! what am I, that the Lord should be thus 
mindful of me ? ! what shall I render unto the Lord 
for all the riches of his mercy on my soul, when he might 
have glorified his justice on me as a vessel of wrath ? This 
draws the believer's mind to high and heavenly resolu- 
tions. He counts nothing dear to him for God's sake, 
who thus loved him. 

3. It makes them careful to walk with God, to walk 
worthy of him, to embrace and hold fast those blessed 
means, by which God has decreed to bring us to himself. 

Thus piety is advanced, holy endeavours encouraged by 
this doctrine, both in them that helieve, and in them that 
are yet unconverted. But neither is God, nor Christ, nor 
man's salvation, denied by this doctrine, as is falsely 
charged by the adversary. 

Obj. 2. Another inconvenience with which they charge 
this doctrine, is, that if the love of God be limited to a few, 
it is far from being infinite. 

The answer is easy. The infinitude of God's love is not 
measured by the object. For if all men in the world were 
taken to mercy, his love were nevertheless infinite, because 
all creatures are but a finite object: but infinite is that which 
is not bounded, nor has any limits, and so God's love in 
choosing a few, is infinite three manner of ways. 

First, In regard to time. It is without beginning or 
ending, it is from everlasting to everlasting. 

Secondly, In regard to the efficacy put forth. To save, 
though but few, though but one soul, requires an infinite 


price, the precious blood of„ Christ, to satisfy an infinite 
Majesty that was offended; an infinite power to raise dead 
souls, and dead bodies. Ephesians ii. 4, 5, "God, who is 
rich in mercy, for his great love, wherewith he loved us, 
even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us toge- 
ther with Christ." Man's love is bounded, partly by the 
finiteness of our nature, partly by outward hinderances. 
We cannot please or help a friend that is absent, or in the 
hands of a powerful enemy, or in the sea, out of our reach 
or knowledge, though we loved him never so dearly. But 
nothing can hinder God's love, "he hath mercy on whom 
he will." If he will have mercy, nothing can hinder it, 
because it is infinite in working, above all inward indispo- 
sedness, or outward operation. 

Thirdly, It is infinite in regard to its fountain, and the 
extent of it, and the means of putting itself forth. It was 
an infinite love in God, to give his Son, his only Son, the 
Son of his love, to become a curse and a reproach, to save, 
not friends, but enemies that hated him. "In this was 
manifested the love of God towards us, because he sent his 
only begotten Son into the world, that we might live 
through him: Herein is love, not that we loved God, but 
that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for 
our sins," 1 John, iv. 9, 10. This love is so immense, that 
it cannot be comprehended, as it is in itself. It is without 
breadth, or length, or depth, or height, Eph. iii. 18. Ye 
cannot fathom the bottom of it, nor reach the height of it, 
nor find out the breadth of it. When you have seen as far 
as you can, a new horizon appears ; it is yet farther than 
you see. There is no end of his goodness, and you shall 
live in the length of it, but never come to the end of it. 

Now therefore it is a false inference to say, if the love of 
God be limited to a few, it is far from being infinite. Bless- 
ed be his holy name for his infinite love to my one poor 
soul! my soul, bless thou the Lord for the depth of his love, 
for " he loved thee, because he loved thee." Deut. vii. 7, 8. 
His love, and the grounds of it, are unsearchable, past find- 
ing out! Bless the Lord for the height of his love, for it is 
above thy mightiest sins, sins committed against heaven ! 
" As the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his 
mercy towards them that fear him." Psal. ciii. 11. Yea, 
it is not only above thy sins, but above thy thoughts. 


When thou thinkest his mercy is at a stand, and will par- 
don no more, then will he multiply to pardon; "For my 
thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my 
ways, saith the Lord; for as the heavens are higher than 
the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my 
thoughts than your thoughts," Isa. lv. 8, 9. Bless the 
Lord for the breadth of his love, which "healeth all thy 
diseases, w T ho forgiveth all thine iniquities, who redeemeth 
thy life from destruction," and knoweth thy soul in all ad- 
versities! Psal. ciii. 3. The plaster of his love is every 
way as large as the sores of thy soul or body. Lastly, 
bless him for the length of his love. He has loved me 
from the beginning, and "whom he loveth, he loveth to 
the end." He has pardoned thee from Egypt hitherto, and 
he will be thy God even unto death, and in death ! Bless 
the Lord, because "his mercy endureth for ever." 



Against which error I lay down this truth for my third 
conclusion, namely, it suits well with the wisdom, truth, 
justice, and goodness of God, to show mercy to some in 
misery, and to pass by others in the same condition, and 
that without the consideration or foresight of any goodness 
in them whom he chooseth, more than in them whom he 
passes by, moving him thereto. If there were foreseen 
any goodness in one more than in another, the condition 
being every way the same, he shows mercy to one, not to 
another. This is clear in those two brothers, Jacob and 
Esau. Rom. ix. 10. They were every way equal, they 
had both one father, and one mother, born at one birth. 
" When they were not yet born," and neither of them "had 
done good or evil," yet even then (that the purpose of God 
according to election, might stand, not of works, but of 
him that calleth) it w T as said, Jacob have I loved, Esau have 
I hated. Consider these two brethren, either as examples, 
or as types of God's election and reprobation; the matter 
is the same, for the antitype must answer to the type, and 


the type, you see, excludes all difference in the object. 
They were the same before God, yet the one was taken, 
the other left. And so stands the case in choosing, or re- 
jecting all others. God is a most free agent, "He hath 
mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will 
he hardeneth," ver. IS, even as "the potter hath power 
over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel to ho- 
nour, another to dishonour." 

Obj. But if the potter see his metal, some to be finer 
than others, will he not take the best clay for the choicest 
work? Ans. But in the text, the sameness of the clay is 
urged. If one part of the lump be fit, the other unfit, it 
were not the same; whereas the apostle's clear intent is, to 
prove that all men are the same before God, and that the 
difference made between one and another, does not arise 
from any diversity in the object, but in the will and power 
of God, who has mercy on some, because he will, and not 
on others, because he will not. 

Now, that you may have a clear judgment in this mat- 
ter, you must consider the parties elected, or rejected, two 
manner of ways: 

First, Absolutely in themselves, as objects presented be- 
fore the Lord to be disposed of, either in a way of mercy 
or justice: and then we say that God's act, electing unto 
salvation, does not exclude Christ, it does not absolutely 
intend the end, glory, but with relation to Christ, in whom 
we are chosen; by whom, and with whom, we are glorified 
together. So for God's act reprobating, we say that God 
rejected none but sinners; and for sin. We do not hold, 
that God would have men perish, because it is his will, 
but because of their sins. The ground of this assertion is 
this, (Qitaecunque Deus in tempore, ea ab seterno decre- 
vit facere.*) Look what men, and by what means, the 
Lord does in time, actually save, or condemn ; the same 
men, and by the same means, did he from everlasting, de- 
termine to save or to condemn. Acts xv. 18. And there- 
fore seeing God does in time actually save in, and by, 
and for Christ, those only which believe in him, therefore 
such he decreed to save; and seeing in the execution of 
his wrath, he condemns none but sinners, and for sin, there- 
fore he decreed none but such to be damned. God's pro- 

* " Whatever God does in time, that he decreed from eternity to do." (t) 


ceeding in the execution, manifests what was his purpose 
and intention from everlasting. 

But secondly, consider the persons elected or rejected 
comparatively, comparing the one with the other, and then 
we say, that they are both alike before God. God does 
not choose Jacob, or Peter for any goodness that he saw in 
them, more than in Esau or Judas. Neither does he re- 
probate Esau or Judas for any wickedness, or unbelief that 
is in them, more than in the other; but being both in the 
same condemnation, he chooses one, and refuses another, 
even because he will : according to the good pleasure of his 
will. This shall be proved anon. 

But let us first go over again the several branches of this 
distinction, for the better explanation and confirmation of 
the same. In the first branch of this distinction there are 
two distinct things affirmed. 

First, That God's act electing to salvation, is with refer- 
ence to Christ. God decreed to save lost mankind, those 
which should believe in his Son. I do not say that he 
chose them because they believed in his Son; for amongst 
the lost sons of Adam, where shall he find such faith? In 
the lost sons of Adam there can be no cause, or motive, 
why God should have mercy on them, but only his own 
infinitely gracious disposition, which moved him to show 
mercy where none was due. Titus iii. 4. There is this 
difference between the decrees of election and reprobation. 
Of reprobation we may say, that the damnation, to which 
the wicked are adjudged, is for their sins; but of election, 
we cannot say, that the salvation to which they are chosen, 
is for their goodness. If ye seek a cause why God showed 
mercy on them, you shall seek and not find, for it is wholly 
of free grace, without respect of any goodness that God 
foresaw in us. Why God should give Christ to us, no 
reason can be rendered, but because " he loved us." Why 
he showed mercy upon any one at all of the lost sons of 
Adam, nothing moved him but his own infinite goodness. 
Lastly, Why he chose some, and passed by others in the 
same condition of sin and misery, no reason can be ren- 
dered, but his own will, for " he hath mercy on whom he 
will." In the whole business of predestination, God aimed 
at this, namely, in the one sort, to show the glory, par centis 
misericordias, of his sparing, pitying mercy; in the othe? 


sort, the glory of his punishing justice. "When the kind- 
ness and love of God towards man appeared;" (Titus iii. 
4,) that which was long hid in God did now appear, and 
by that which appeared, we know what was hid; and 
what that is, see verse 5, " He saved us, not by works of 
righteousness which we had done, but according to his 

Quest. What respect to Christ hath God's electing act ? 
How are we chosen in Christ? Ans. I answer in the 
words of our divines in the Synod of Dort; the second 
Thesis, Christies est caput et fundamentum electorum, 
&c. Christ is the head and foundation of the elect, in 
whom are prepared and disposed all saving mercies, which 
in due time are actually bestowed on them. God's grace 
is not communicated to us immediately, but in, and through 
Christ; if there were no Christ, there would be no election 
of us. God has loved us, and given his Son to us first, and 
then, us to his Son. "Thine they were, and thou gavest 
them me." John xvii. 6. God's act electing has reference 
to Christ two manner of ways. 

First, Christ is ordained Head of a new body, or race of 
men, opposite to the first, whereof Adam was head, "in 
whom all men have sinned, and are dead," which God by 
his election from everlasting, framed and appointed, that 
in him they might all be gathered together, and by him be 
made partakers of his grace, life, and glory. This decree 
God brings to pass in due time, bestowing all his favours 
upon his church in their sacred communion with Christ: 
" He hath chosen us in Christ," is, as if he had said, Nos 
plane perditos in primo Mamo, per prsedestinationem 
donatos fuisse secundo, ut in eo, ac per eum Dei fa- 
vorem et vitam aeternam consequeremur: Christus ipse 
prsedestinatur incarnandus, et miseris atque lapsis in 
redemptorem mittendus, et in hoc incarnando Dei Filio 
homines prsedestinati fuerunt ad vitam.* We were 
presented to God, as lost in our first head, Adam; therefore 
God gave a second Head, Jesus Christ. But where are 
his members, seeing none can descend from Christ by pro- 
pagation ? God makes them by election; God predesti- 
nated us to the adoption of children by Jesus Christ; he 

* Davenant, p. 120, 


chose us out of lost mankind, and gave us to his own Son? 
to be made sons by our communion with him, 

Now although we know little of the order of God's de- 
crees, by reason of our narrow understandings, and there- 
fore it is not fit to move disputes thereon, yet I conceive 
that they mistake, who think that God first predestinates 
to life a certain number of men, and then, by occasion of 
them, did ordain Christ, only as the subordinate means of 
executing that decree. My opinion is grounded on these 
scriptures, Rom. viii. 29, God did predestinate us "to be 
conformed to the image of his Son." Now seeing Christ 
is the pattern, according to which we are predestinated to 
be conformed, it must needs be that the pattern is first 
formed, and then they that are fashioned according to the 
pattern. Again, (Eph. i. 5,) "We are predestinated unto 
the adoption of children by Jesus Christ." Our adoptions 
unto sonship is in the natural Son. Rom. viii. 17. This 
is the order, " I go to my Father and your Father, and to 
my God and your God." Christ is the first beloved, and 
we the second beloveds. Christ is "the image of the in- 
visible God, the first-born of every creature," and " he is 
before all things," and he " is the Head of the body, 
the Church." Col. i. 15, 17, 18. We "are blessed in 
Christ ;" even as he has God for his God by covenant, so 
we have this blessing of election in Christ, God-man, as 
the Head and first elect, after whom, and in whom, all his 
members by order of nature are elected. 

Secondly, We are chosen in Christ, as Mediator; for 
God's purpose of giving eternal life, presupposes a purpose 
of giving a Mediator, and his purpose of giving a Mediator, 
presupposes an intention of satisfying his justice for the 
sins of his elect, that so his love might justly save, and his 
giving a Mediator to satisfy his justice for the sins of his 
elect, presupposes a good will and intention to save them; 
for it was an infinite love to mankind, when as it was not 
in the wit or power of man to satisfy for one soul, that God 
should provide a price out of his own store. His mere 
love gave Christ to us, the same love gave us to Christ. 

Thus you see what reference God's electing act has to 
Christ. He has chosen us in Christ, as our Head, and we 
members to be conformed to him, and as Mediator to make 
way for his love; for " he hath appointed us, not unto wrath, 


but to obtain salvation by Jesus Christ." 1 Thes. v. 9. So 
then that word, in him, to choose us in him, does not de- 
note the state of the person chosen; or as if his faith were 
a condition to make him eligible, for faith is the gift of 
God ; neither does it imply that Christ's satisfaction is the 
meritorious cause of our election; for " God loved us when 
we were enemies, and chose us in our blood," and sent his 
Son to reconcile us to himself, 2 Cor. v. 18, 19, "All 
things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by 
Jesus Christ," see Rom. v. 8; Ez. xvi. 6; 1 John iv. 9, 14. 
God did not elect us, because Christ was sent to die for us; 
but because he would reconcile us to himself, therefore he 
sent his Son to die; the sending of his Son is the fruit of 
God's love, not the cause thereof, as you shall see more 

To choose us in him, therefore, relates to the act of God 
electing, not to the object, about which it is exercised, and 
so that phrase, in him, notes the order, in which we come 
to be elected, not the cause of election: and it carries this 
sense ; it pleased the Lord of his infinite love and pity to 
lost mankind, to appoint Jesus Christ to take our nature, 
to be a Head and Mediator to all those whom he should 
choose out of that state of sin and misery; and because we 
were not capable of an immediate union with God, there- 
fore God ordained that all good things, intended and pre- 
pared by the love of election, should be enjoyed by our 
sacred communion with him, in whom, as in the store- 
house of grace, they are laid up, and disposed, and " in 
whom we are blessed with all spiritual blessings in hea- 
venly things." Col. ii. 3; Eph. iv. 3. 

This first branch of our distinction, cuts off all profane 
conceits about the decrees of God, inasmuch as all the 
elect have intimate and sacred communion with Christ. 

Now follows the second thing affirmed in our distinc- 
tion which concerns reprobation, it is this, consider the 
parties rejected absolutely in themselves, as objects pre- 
sented before the Lord^to be disposed of in a way of jus- 
tice, and then our position is this, God does not condemn, 
neither did he decree, or ordain any to condemnation, but 
sinners, and for sin. God shows mercy, because he will, 
but he will not have men to perish, because it is his will, 
but because of their sins. "Tribulation and anguish upon 



every soul of man that doeth evil." Rom. ii. 9. That is 
the rule. 

Reprobation is a pretention, or passing by, or a purpose 
not to have mercy upon, some of the lost sons of Adam, 
but to leave them to perish in their sins. Our reformed 
divines warily distinguish a- twofold act in reprobation. 
The first negative; namely, propositum non miserendi 
seu pretereundi, a purpose not to have mercy on them ; 
the other position, namely, propositum damnandi, et or- 
dinatio ad eccitium, ut just am pcenam, a purpose to ex- 
ecute wrath on transgressors, because of their sins, his jus- 
tice so requiring. But these two acts are not to be severed, 
forasmuch as those on whom he will not have mercy, he 
intends to punish for their sins: for to my apprehension, 
there is no other decree of reprobation, but this purpose of 
God, to execute that judiciary sentence of death on all 
mankind, for breach of the first covenant of obedience made 
with Adam, which covenant, the wicked break more and 
more by their daily sins, and so work out their own dam- 
nation, by their hypocrisy, disobedience, and wilful con- 
tempt of God's word. 

That first covenant stands still in force against all the 
world. All are under it; and God's justice must be satis- 
fied for all the disobedience of the sons of Adam : yet with 
this gracious and blessed difference; God punishes the sins 
of the elect in the person of Christ, but the sins of others 
in their own persons ; on the one sort, he shows the seve- 
rity of his law and justice ; on the other, the rich mercy of 
the gospel. This is the grace of the gospel so much mag- 
nified by the apostle. Not that the "law is made void" 
by it; but whereas God might have required full payment 
and satisfaction in our own persons, he accepts it in the 
person of Christ, and so we have a protection against the 
damnatory sentence of sin and the law; which, seeing the 
unregenerate world, being out of Christ, have not, they 
must answer for themselves. 

The state of nature in which we remain until we are re- 
generate, and planted effectually into Christ, is first a state 
of condemnation. John iii. 3. Secondly, it is a state of 
death in sin. Eph. ii. 3, " Dead in trespasses and sins." 
Thirdly, a state of enmity, they are enemies to God, and 
God to them. Rom. viii. 7, "The carnal mind is enmity 


against God, it is not subject to the law of God." Fourthly, 
a state of insufficiency to help ourselves. Rom. v. 6, " We 
were without strength." And is it a light thing to be 
found in such a state as this ? Is it a light thing to be 
dead in trespasses and sins ? to be an enemy to God ? to 
be a child of wrath ? May not God justly cast off, and 
punish such a generation and race of men ? And what 
shall we do, if God did not deliver us from this state of 
death ? In this state God finds us all: out of this state he 
chooses some. In this state he leaves others to go on in 
sin, and perish for ever. And this is what I said before, 
namely, that God does not condemn, nor decree to condemn 
any, but sinners, and for sin, original and actual. And so 
did our divines conclude in the Synod of Dort, Deus ne- 
minem damnat, aut damnationi destinat, nisi ex con- 
siderations peccati. 

This is farther proved by these reasons following: 1. No 
man is ordained to punishment, justly, but for some fault: 
but damnation is an act of punishing-justice, therefore it 
presupposes a fault going before it. God will not deal 
with them by way of sovereignty or power, but of justice. 
They shall not say, that they are overpowered, and so cast 
into hell, but at the day of the declaration of God's righteous 
judgments, their mouths shall be stopped, and all ungodly 
ones be convinced of all their evil deeds which they have 

2. The reprobate are called " vessels of wrath," Rom. 
ix. 22. Now the wrath of God is against sin, and only 
against sin, according as it is said, Rom. i. 18, "The wrath 
of God is revealed from heaven, against all ungodliness and 
unrighteousness of men." 

3. And lastly, Such as God punishes in time, such only 
did he decree before time to be punished; for there is not 
one rule of punishing,and another of decreeing punishments. 
God's execution shows his intention, and therefore, seeing 
he actually punishes none but for sin, I conclude that he 
does not reprobate or ordain to punishment, any but sin- 
ners, and that for sin. 

Use. Wherefore, as in our protestant writers, I judge it 
better to leave out those unscriptural terms of absolute, 
peremptory, irrespective, decree of reprobation, because 
they minister matter of strife, by occasion of which, our 


doctrine is misrepresented, and rendered odious with hor- 
rid consequences; so I humbly crave leave to declare on 
behalf of the protestant religion, accounting for the protes- 
tant doctrine, not what this or that doctor holds, or teaches, 
but what is set forth by the protestant churches in their 
public Confessions of Faith, and in their synodical acts, 
that we hold not, that God created men to show his power 
in their destruction; neither do we hold, that God ever 
decreed to punish his reasonable creature, as it is a creature, 
or that God would have men to perish, because it is his will, 
without respect of the creature's sin deserving punishment. 
This branch of our distinction thus opened, cuts off all 
blasphemous conceits about God's decree of reprobation. 

Now follows the second branch of our distinction, which 
is this, if ye consider the persons elected, or rejected, com- 
pared one with the other, then, they are both alike before 
the Lord; and God does not choose one, or refuse the 
other, for any goodness or wickedness, for any faith or un- 
belief that he sees in one more than in the other, but 
merely because it is his good pleasure to do so. If ye ask 
why Peter is chosen rather than Judas, or why Judas is 
rejected rather than Peter, there is no cause, motive or con- 
dition in the parties themselves, to be rendered of this dis- 
crimination, but only God's good pleasure, which he pur- 
posed in himself; which the apostle calls "The mystery 
of his will," Eph. i. 9, and " the counsel of his own will," 
verse 11. And herein God shows the freeness of his grace, 
and the sovereignty of his power: " T will have mercy on 
whom I will have mercy, and whom he will, he har- 
deneth." Rom. ix. 15, 18. 

This is that truth which 1 promised to prove, namely, 
that it is suitable to God to show mercy to some in misery, 
and to pass by others in the same condition, and that, with- 
out consideration or foresight of faith or any other quality 
in them whom he chooses, more than in them whom he 
rejects. In this comparative sense the nature of God's 
election is best discerned. If God loved all to life, there 
would be love indeed, but no election; for he that takes all, 
makes no choice of any. If he did choose upon foresight 
of faith, as a condition in the object to be chosen, then 
election should not stand in the will and purpose of him 
that calleth, but of him that is called; it would be "of him 


that willeth, and of him that runneth," and " not of God 
that showeth mercy." Rom. ix. 11, 16. 

To come to the proofs, I shall give you a short view of 
the Arminian doctrine touching this matter, the rather that 
our adversaries may see from whose sparks it is that they 
have kindled their new lights. 

At the Synod of Dort, the Arminians thus declare their 
opinion, touching election and reprobation, namely, 

Est duplex decretum praedestinationis, primum ge- 
nerate, quo constituit Deus pro liberrimo suo arbitratu 
credentes salvare, incredulos reprobare, id est, ex multis 
possibilibus unam certain quandam rationem in mente 
sua designare et statuere, secundum quam salvare velit 
et damnare; estqueelectio conditionis seu modi quo vult 

First, That God hath decreed in general to save such as 
believe in Christ, and to cast away unbelievers, not deter- 
mining of particular persons which shall be saved, and who 
not. But whereas there were many other qualities which 
God might have pitched upon, to be made the condition 
of our election and salvation, he did out of his good 
pleasure, appoint faith to be that condition. And on the 
contrary, unbelief to be the condition or cause of repro- 

Secundum est speciale, quo constituit juxta praece- 
dens illud decretum, hos salvare, illos perdere, id est, 
hos consideratos, ut jideles asternas vitas destinare; illos 
consideratos, ut injideles, sive qui credere nolunt, asternas 
morti atque exitio addicere. 

Secondly, As for particular persons, God chooseth none 
more than others, till he see whether they believe or not. 

Primum illud decretum Dei liberrimum est, nul- 
lamque causam aliam habet, quam puram-putam Dei 
voluntatem; posterius decretum, quia priori innixum 
est, fidei atque infidelitatis intuilum presupponit inni- 
titurque praescientiae Dei qua ab aeterno scivit, quinam 
juxta ejusmodi administrationem mediorum credituri 
sint, et per sever aturi. Armin. Antiperkins. p. 119. ^tem, 
pages 756, 757. 

Thirdly, And because many that believe may fall away, 
and many that believed not, may repent and believe in 


Christ, therefore they teach that believers themselves are 
not fully and peremptorily elected, till they are about to 
die, having persevered in the faith; nor unbelievers repro- 
bated, but upon consideration of their final impenitency 
and unbelief. No man, say they, is reprobated, till the 
point of death, when there is no more place for repentance. 

Qui ad Jinem usque vitas in fide perseverant et in e&- 
dem moriuntur, hos solos elect os intelligi volumus, quae 
causa etiam est, cur peremptoriae electionis mentioncm 
fecerimus; idcirco electio haec ad gloriam dupliciter con- 
siderari potest, vel sub ratione finis, cum media, quae 
obtinendo isti fini sunt necessaria, conferantur; quae 
quia respui, et rejici possunt, ideo earn electionem ad 
gloriam intelligi volumus, quae peremploria est et 
asternae salutis communicationem actualem sibi con- 
junctam habet, et dicitur electio sub ratione prasmii, 
cum scilicet Deus Mis actu conferre vult gloriam, tan- 
quam fidei et obedientise ab illisprcestitae mercedem, ac 
praemium. Acta et scripta synodaliaRemonstrantium Art. 
i. pp. 5 — 8. 

Lastly, Though God from eternity knew who they 
were that would believe, and who would not, and accord- 
ingly did ordain them to life or death, yet all this was done 
out of his foresight of their faith, and unbelief, as conditions 
required in the parties elected or rejected, and going be- 
fore, and leading or determining the act of God's will then 
put forth, in regard of which foresight of his, which be- 
holdeth all things as present, which are to come, they all 
were unto God, and in his consideration, as having per- 
formed the condition of faith and obedience actually, and 
thereon were elected and rewarded with glory; the other 
with everlasting shame.* 

* The author in these paragraphs does not give a translation, but a summary 
of the sections in detail. We append a literal translation, as follows: — 

"There is a double decree of predestination: the first, general, in which God 
decreed, of his own sovereignty, to save believers, to reprobate unbelievers, that is, 
out of many methods, to designate and fix one certain method by which he would 
save or damn. Election is the choice of the condition or method, according to 
which he will save. 

"The second is special, by which God, in accordance with the preceding de- 
cree, decreed to save some and to damn others, that is, to predestinate some, re- 
garded as believers, to eternal life, to condemn to death and ruin, others, regarded 
as unbelievers. 

" That first decree, is most free, and has no other cause than the mere good 


This is the sum and substance of their doctrine, where- 
in they err four ways: 

First, In that they ascribe to God only a general decree 
to save, quoddam genus hominum tantum, non quos- 
dam certos homines, not particular persons, but such a 
sort of men, believers in general. They make election to 
be, not of particular persons, but of a quality, and of those 
persons in whom he finds that quality, namely, of faith and 
obedience, those persons he elects to salvation, for the 
quality he finds in them. Though it be true, that God has 
appointed faith to be the means by which he will actually 
bring his elect to salvation, according to that of the apostle, 
(2 Thess. ii. 13,) " God hath from the beginning chosen you 
to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit, and belief 
of the truth," yet this is not the decree of election, much 
less the whole and entire decree of election so much ad- 
mired and celebrated by the apostle. 

For 1, By his decree God ordains certain persons to sal- 
vation, not things, or qualities, as has been proved, sec- 
tion i. of this 6th chapter. These qualities come in as 
means subordinated for the fulfilling and execution of the 
decree, as in the place now cited. Those words, " through 
sanctification of the Spirit, and belief of the truth," respect 
the end, salvation, as the means leading to it, not the act 
of God electing, as if the cause and condition thereof, as 
shall be proved by and by. 

Besides, 2. This general election is no election at all, for 
by it, Peter, for example, is no more chosen than Judas. 
If Peter happen to live and die a believer, then he is cho- 
sen, and upon the same terms Judas is one of God's elect. 
Yea, Peter may be the reprobate, and Judas the elect, for 

pleasure of God: the latter, because it depends upon the former, presupposes a 
respect to their belief or unbelief, and rests upon the prescience of God by which 
he knew from eternity, who, according to the administration of the means, would 
believe, and persevere to the end. 

" Those who persevere in the faith to the end of their lives, and die in the 
same — these only we regard as the elect: and this is the reason why we speak 
of a peremptory election: and, besides, this election can be considered in a two- 
fold aspect; either as an end, when the means necessary to the attainment of that 
end are furnished; which means can be despised and rejected: so we wish that 
election to glory, which is peremptory and has the actual communication of eter- 
nal iile connected with it, to be understood: it is called election under the idea 
of a reward, namely, as God wills actually to confer glory upon them, as the 
price and reward of that obedience which they have rendered."* ( f ) 

* Acts and Synodical Records of the Remonstrants, Art. i. pp. 5 — 8. 



any thing that God has done for the one more than the 
other. Yea, Clement, and all those blessed souls, whose 
"names were written in the book of life/' (Phil. iv. 3; 
Rev. xvii. 8,) were no more elected to life, according to 
their doctrine, than they that are now damned in hell. 

3. The scripture speaks expressly of an individual, no- 
minal, particular election of those that are heirs of glory. 
God hath chosen us and you, "your names are written in 
heaven." " The Lord knoweth them that are his." 2 Tim. 
ii. 19. He knoweth them all by their names, distinctly, 
being built upon his own foundation, and sealed as it were 
with his own seal in the book of life. He knows them 
after another manner than he knows Hymeneus or Phi- 
letus; he knows them to stablish them, when others slide 
away from the truth; to keep them, when others are lost; 
even as a man knows all his goods, and cattle, and neigh- 
bours, but his wife and children after a special manner, to 
provide portions for them, according to that which is said, 
(Mat. xxv. 34,) "Come, ye blessed of my Father, receive 
the kingdom prepared for you." At the end of the world 
there shall be a separation made between men and men, 
"as a shepherd divideth the sheep from the goats," verse 32. 
Now upon the separation, the kingdom is given to them 
for whom it was prepared. It was not prepared for some, 
and given to others. It is at last given to certain particular 
persons, therefore for them it was prepared in God's pre- 

Second, They err in saying that there were many other 
things which God might have chosen to be the conditions 
of our election and salvation, but God, according to the 
good pleasure of his will, did freely make choice of faith 
in Christ to be that condition. First, Let it be considered, 
how basely these men obscure the glory of God's grace, 
" wherein he hath made us accepted in the Beloved." For 
by this account, those high and glorious expressions of our 
being "predestinated according to the good pleasure of his 
will, to the praise of the glory of his grace, according to 
the riches of his grace, the mystery of his will," (Eph. i. 
6 — 9,) shall amount to no more than this, that God, instead 
of our persons, has chosen a quality, and that without any 
great thanks or cause of admiration, for he might have 
made choice of other qualities as well as that. what a 
flat, jejune, empty conceit is this of so high a mercy! 


But secondly, Tell me in good earnest, is there any 
other way, — or many other ways possible to make us 
the children of God, besides faith in Christ Jesus? Gal. iii. 
26. Christ prayed, " Father, if it be possible, let this cup 
pass from me." Christ's prayer was heard, and if it had 
been possible by any other way, to save a sinner, Christ 
had not died. " There is no name under heaven " given, by 
which men must be saved, "neither is there salvation in any 
other," but in Christ, nor any other means to be partakers 
of Christ, but by faith. Acts iv. 12; Heb. iii. 14. Thus is 
Christ's righteousness obscured, and made void; for if 
there are many other conditions that would serve the turn, 
Christ died in vain. 

Thirdly, How shamefully is the wisdom of God obscured 
by this doctrine! It was beyond the wit of man or angel 
to devise a way, how a sinner might be justified, and God 
remain just. " Where is the wise ? where is the scribe ? 
where is the disputer of this world ? When the world by 
wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness 
of preaching, to save them that believe." 1 Cor. i. 20, 21. 
None of the princes of the world knew it; nay, the holy 
angels stand amazed, admiring the wisdom of God in con- 
triving man's salvation; for "to them is made known by 
the church, the manifold wisdom of God," (1 Peter, i. 12; 
Eph. iii. 10,) that wisdom, which is so highly extolled 
above all understanding, "the wisdom of God in a mystery, 
the hidden wisdom of God, wherein he hath abounded to- 
ward us in all wisdom and prudence." 1 Cor. ii. 7; Eph. 
i. 8. Now why did God (I may speak with reverence) 
set his wisdom at work to find out this way for his mercy, if 
this be but one way of many as possible as this ? It is a pity 
an Arminian wit had not been called to counsel, he could 
have told of twenty other ways as fit to be the conditions 
of election and salvation, as faith in Christ Jesus. But we 
must not wonder at this, if we call to mind, that when they 
speak of faith in Christ, they take it for the -to credere, for 
the very act of believing, as it is a quality, not an instru- 
ment laying hold on Christ, and then indeed many other 
conditions might have been thought on and accepted, ac- 
cording to the good pleasure of his will. Thus God might 
have appointed prudence, or valour, or charity, or tempe- 
rance, or patience, to be the conditions of salvation, and de- 


creed that those persons, in whom he should find the 
quality resolved on, should be elected and glorified. But 
abandoning this carnal, Jewish, legal, dunghill conceit, of 
setting up in our own imaginations any other possible con- 
dition of mercy, let us labour to be " found in Christ," not 
having any other righteousness, but the u righteousness of 
God, which is by faith." 

Thirdly, They err in saying that, fidelis per 'sever aturus^ 
a believer on the point of death, is the object of God's 
complete, full, and irrevocable election unto life. They 
hold, that believers in this life are elected, yet with an 
election that is incomplete, revocable, and alterable. God is 
falsely said to suspend his full determination of any man, 
till he is dying, and has actually performed the condition 
required in objecto eligibili, in the party to be chosen, 
namely, perseverance in faith. The ground of this error 
is another error, namely, that true believers may fall away, 
and so he that is an elect vessel to-day, may be a reprobate 
to-morrow, or before he die. Fatemur enim non illu- 
bentes, eos qui ad tempus vera fide credunt, pro isto 
tempore in gratia esse, etproinde non minor e jure electos 
dici posse, qudm justificaios; quia videlicet in statu 
illo sunt, in quo si perseverarent, re verd selernam glo- 
riam consecuturi essent, tamen a fide sua deficere pos- 
sunt, imb non raro deficiunt.* This is their judgment 
declared at the Synod of Dort. 

I shall not here overthrow the ground of this error. It 
shall suffice to discover the falsehood of the opinion by two 

First, The apostle's order in that golden chain, (Rom. 
viii. 30,) is quite contrary to it, and is perverted by this 
opinion; for the links must be new placed, thus, whom he 
did foreknow, them he called, and whom he called, them 
he justified, and whom he justified, — being now actual be- 
lievers, — them he predestinated (predestination must come 
in there) and then immediately, whom he thus predesti- 
nated, them he glorified. The text says, that we are pre- 
destinated before we are called or justified. They say, nay, 

* « For we willingly confess that those who, for a time, believe with true faith, 
are, for that time, in a state of grace, and hence, may as properly be said to be 
elected as justified, inasmuch as they are in that state in which, if they persevere, 
they shall actually obtain eternal life: nevertheless they can fall from their faith — 
nay, they do often so fall." (0 


but we are first called and justified, being actually in Christ 
by faith, and then predestinated. The text says, we are 
elected before the world was made. They say, we are not 
elected till the world is ended, as to us. How can this 
opinion consist with those plain words of the apostle, 2 
Tim. i. 9, "He called us with a holy calling, according to 
his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ 
Jesus, before the world began." Note, first, that the " pur- 
pose" and "grace" of God there, goes before our "holy 
calling," for our calling is according to that purpose. 
Secondly, that this purpose and grace was given to us 
" before the world began." We were the subjects of divine 
election, when that grace was first given to us, and that 
was not in the end of our lives, but before the beginning 
of them. 

Secondly, This opinion confounds predestination with 
glorification, as if they were not two, but one and the same 
thing. For thus they teach, that God's full and determi- 
nate election of certain persons to glory, is to be considered 
sub ratione prasmii, under the notion of a reward, cu?n 
illis actu et reipsa conferre vult gloriam, tanquam Jidei 
et obediential, ab illis prasstitae mercedem et prsemium; 
et hanc electionem ad gloriam hie intelligi volumus, 
quae peremptoria est et asternas salutis communica- 
tionem actualem et realem sibi conjunclam habet. 
When believers have finished their course, then they re- 
ceive eternal life as the reward of their faith and obedience, 
which they call election; and of that kind of election, say 
they, we would be understood, which has joined with it 
the actual communication of glory. And wherein does 
this election differ from glorification itself? The reward- 
ing and crowning of the faithful with eternal life, is it not 
their glorification ? At the end of our days, when we re- 
ceive the end of our hopes, the salvation of our souls, we 
are not then to be looked upon as persons to be chosen, 
but already chosen, and now to be brought into possession 
of that which was so long ago prepared for them. I con- 
clude with that of Paul, (2 Tim. iv. 7, 8,) « I have finished 
the course, I have kept the faith: henceforth," &c. — What 
henceforth does he expect? that God should elect him to 
a crown of life ? No, but he expects that God should now 
bestow it. " Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown;" 




that is, upon the finishing of his course, and keeping of the 
faith, the very next thing is the giving of the crown. 

Lastly, By this opinion, election and predestination are 
quite thrust out of doors. There is no election till we 
have finished our course, say they, and when we have 
finished it, then immediately comes our glorification, at 
which time, as there will be no need of election, so there 
will be no place for it. Thus is the great mystery of God's 
grace, that first grace, from whence are derived all other 
graces and helps effectual for the obtaining of our blessed 
end, made void, and to have no place in the course of 
man's salvation. 

Fourthly, I come now to their fourth error, which 
grounds the act of God's predestination upon his foresight 
of man's faith, or of some goodness in them whom he 
chooses, more than in others whom he rejects. Con- 
trary to which error, I have laid my third conclusion, and 
it is the sum of the second branch of my distinction; 
namely, if you consider the persons elected and reprobated 
as compared one with the other, then they are both aljke 
before the Lord. God does not choose one for any faith 
or goodness foreseen in him, more than in the other, whom 
he rejects, but merely because it is his good pleasure so to 
do. True it. is, that they which believe and obey the gos- 
pel, are the elect of God. It is also true, that God fore- 
sees all things that are to come, good and evil. But false 
it is, that our election depends upon such conditions fore- 
seen. The truth of my assertion is evinced by the fol- 
lowing arguments. 

1. If election go before our faith and obedience, then 
faith and obedience are not the causes, or foregoing condi- 
tions, upon which our election depends; but election goes 
before faith and obedience, we were elected before we had 
faith, or were considered as having faith, therefore God's 
election does not depend on them. The first part of this 
argument is clear in common sense, for that which is done 
already, does not depend on a condition or quality that 
follows after. The minor proposition, namely, that election 
goes before faith, is proved by these two places of scrip- 
ture. First, that place Rom. viii. 30, «« Whom he did pre- 
destinate, them he also called," &c. It is evident, that glo- 
rifying comes after justifying, justifying after calling, call- 



ing after predestinating or choosing to life; therefore 
these graces are after predestination, not causes of it; faith 
and obedience to the gospel come after calling, no man 
has faith till he is called by the gospel, and calling comes 
after predestination; therefore faith itself must needs come 
after predestination. Secondly, Faith and holiness are the 
fruits and effects of election; therefore not the causes, or 
preceding conditions thereof. The effect is ever after the 
cause, the fountain is before the stream. Now God's love 
in our election is the fountain from whence the blessed 
streams of faith, adoption, and sanctification flow; for so it is 
written, "God hath chosen us in Christ, that we should be 
holy," not because we were holy, "unto the adoption of 
children through faith in Christ Jesus;" (Eph. i. 4, 5,) not 
because we were so. Our holiness and our adoption are 
things that we are chosen to, and follow election; but are 
not things going before, and which we are chosen for. 
Hence faith is called "the faith of God's elect," because to 
them " it is given to believe, and to know the mysteries of 
the kingdom of God," (Titus i. 1; Phil. i. 29,) according 
to that saying, (Acts xiii. 48,) "As many as were ordained 
to eternal life, believed:" which plainly teaches, that God's 
ordaining to life went before their believing. It is not said, 
" as many as believed," before-hand, " were ordained to 
life;" but "as many as were ordained to life, believed." 
God's mercy ordained the means, as he did the end, and 
the means proved effectual to them, not to all that heard it. 
Objection: If it be objected, that election does indeed 
go before faith, or any other condition actually per- 
formed, but not before the foresight of it, the answer is 
easy, namely: to God, things foreseen are as if they were 
present. God beholds all things to come, as present, and 
therefore, if election do not depend upon actual faith, nei- 
ther does it upon the foresight of it, conditiones prsestitse, 
and prasscitse performed and foreseen, are all one in this 
dispute; and if one be excluded, so are the other also. 
And surely, if God's foresight had altered the case between 
the two brothers, Jacob and Esau, he could have said, that 
though for the present they were both alike, "having done 
neither good nor evil," (Rom. ix. 11;) yet in God's fore- 
sight they were not equal, and therefore "God loved the 
one, and hated the other," but not allowing of any such 


quirk, he places the difference between them only in the 
purpose of him that calleth. These works of faith, holi- 
ness, obedience, and the like, as in time they flowed from 
the grace of God, so they were foreseen likewise no other- 
wise than effects of his grace in us, and consequently not 
as causes or inducements to God to elect us to eternal life, 
as will farther appear by the other arguments that follow. 
2. Our second argument is this, God foresees no good 
in the creature, which himself does not intend to work. 
Every spiritual good in us is of God's own working, there- 
fore he cannot foresee it in us, unless he have decreed to 
work it in us; (Isa. xxvi. 12; Phil. ii. 13;) for every thing 
that comes to pass, presupposes some act of God's will, 
(either permissive, and ordinative, or operative,) seeing 
against or without his will nothing can be; and if a thing 
never be, it cannot be foreseen. Scientia visionis sequitur 
voluntatis decretum, is a true rule. Quod prsescivit 
Deus, proescit (saith Arminius) quia futurum est; et 
ideo futurum est, quia voluit Deus, qui operatur omnia 
secundum propositum voluntatis suae. That which God 
foresees, he foresees it because it shall come to pass, and it 
shall come to pass, because God has commanded or willed 
it. Hence it is, that I said just now, God cannot foresee 
any good faith in us, unless he have decreed to work it in 
us. Where shall God find faith, seeing he has "shut up 
all in unbelief?" Rom. xi. 32; Gal. iii. 22. "The scrip- 
ture hath concluded, (or shut up) all under sin." "There is 
not one that doeth good, no, not one." "Faith is not of 
ourselves, it is the gift of God." (Ephes. ii. 8.) So then 
he finds not faith in his elect, but gives them faith. Se- 
condly, and if he give it them, that he might elect us, the 
case is still the same, and the difficulty the same; for the 
question will still be, why does God give faith to some and 
not to others? Why does not God make all men willing 
to believe and obey ? And the answer must be the same, 
which we give to them that ask, why does God choose 
some and not others in the same condition? It must at 
last be all resolved into his own will, "He hath mercy on 
whom he will." His grace is his own, he may give it 
where he will, and if he have given grace to any of us, let 
us praise him for his mercy, and when we see others left 
without grace, let us reverence him for his unsearchable 


This argument may be presented in a more easy form 
thus; I demand concerning God's elect, Did God find 
them good, and so choose them ? or make them good, that 
he might choose them? or did he choose them when they 
were sinners to make them good and holy ? First, God 
did not find them good, and so choose, for then there is 
some good in the creatures, which God has not wrought, 
yea, that great good of turning ourselves to God by faith, 
whereas others having the same helps, turned not; this can- 
not be admitted of by God's word for two reasons: First, 
because then man should have whereof to glory, as having 
made himself to differ. Secondly, because it would follow, 
that we first chose him, not he us, contrary to that John 
xv. 16, " You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you;" 
for by the doctrine of election upon foresight of our faith 
embracing Christ, it will follow, that we first chose Christ 
by faith, and not he : us we embrace him first, and then 
God elects us. 

Secondly, did God make us holy, that we might be eli- 
gible, or fit objects of our election? No; but he chose us 
when we were lost sinners, he pitied us in our blood, he 
chose us that we should be holy, he found us not holy. 
Paul says that "God justifieth the ungodly;" Rom. iv. 5, 
and if we were ungodly, when we were justified, then it 
is certain we were so when we were chosen; for justifica- 
tion is after predestination, therefore he chose the ungodly, 
and unholy, and strangers, that they might be made godly, 
and holy, and children through grace. Rom. viii. 30. 

Thirdly, if God gave us faith first, and then upon sight 
thereof, chose us, yet this would no whit benefit the cause, 
or remove the inconvenience and absurdities, for the re*- 
moval of which, this election upon foreseen faith, was first 
invented. For still it is God's grace that makes thee to 
differ. If he foresee in us nothing but what he himself 
works of his mere grace, then his act of election does not 
depend upon any foreseen quality in us, as a condition 
thereof, moving God to elect; for all proceeds from him- 
self, and then the difficulty is still the same. For tell me, 
why did God give grace to the one, and not to the other? 
Why faith to one, and not to others ? That which an- 
swers this question will answer this other also, why did God 
decree to save one, and not another ? And the answer to 
both, can be no other than because it so pleased him. 


Our third argument against foreseen faith, as the condi- 
tion before-hand required in the party to be chosen, is this; 
because it perverts, enervates, and overthrows the Apos- 
tle's reasoning in Romans, 9th chapter. For this provisional 
election being granted, you may read many verses of that 
backward. You must read, verse 2 &c., thus, The children 
being before God as already born, and having done the 
one good, the other evil, (Jacob being looked upon, as one 
that feared God, Esau as a profane person that sold his 
birth-right,) that the purpose of God, acording to election 
might stand, not of him that calleth, but of works, It was 
said, godly Jacob have I loved, profane Esau have I hated, 
and so there is no unrighteousness with God; "for he saith, 
I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy," nay, not 
so, for then there were unrighteousness with God, but I 
will have mercy on whom I find cause to have mercy: 
So then it is of him that willeth, and of him that runneth, 
and not of God that showeth mercy. Thou needest not 
say then unto me, why doth he yet find fault, forasmuch 
as there is a plain reason of his will to be assigned, namely: 
God has regard to faith in one, and infidelity in the other, 
and " therefore, man, who art thou, that replies! against 
God?" thou hast no cause to expostulate with God, seeing 
he can give this account to the creature of his actions, that 
his decree proceeds not upon terms of will or sovereignty, 
but of justice and equity, rendering to every man according 
to his deeds. It is free for God to choose faith to be the 
condition going before election, and it is just with God to 
cast away them that will not submit to this condition ; for 
ver. 21, "the potter hath power of the clay, to make one 
vessel to honour, another to dishonour," yet he is not to 
be blamed, if when he sees a good piece of clay fit matter 
for a curious vessel, he prefer that before a coarser clay, 
that will not endure to be wrought to a good vessel? 

According to that opinion this is the sense and drift of that 
scripture, which, because it directly contradicts and over- 
throws the scope of the Apostle, is to be abhorred, as mea- 
suring the mysteries of God by, and arraigning his un- 
searchable ways at the bar of carnal reason. 

To conclude this point, I note more particularly, four 
things in that ninth chapter to the Romans, which can no 
ways consist with this opinion of provisional election. 


First, the Apostle discoursing of the casting off of some 
of the Jews, and not others, does industriously and accu- 
rately presuppose and press an equality and parity, and 
exclude all consideration of inequality by reason of good 
or evil in the persons, as the moving cause or condition 
why one should be chosen, and not the other; as Jacob and 
Esau, children of one father, and one mother, not yet born, 
having done neither good nor evil, &c. And so in the com- 
parison of the potter, he shows God's freedom to choose 
or refuse, when the persons are every way as the same 
clay, in the same case, in the same condition. 

Secondly, By what analogy of reason can Esau, who had 
as yet done no evil, be a type or figure of men rejected for 
doing evil, for persevering in unbelief; and how can Jacob, 
who had as yet done no good, be a type and figure of men 
elected, for the good they have done, for their perseve- 
rance in faith? 

Thirdly, That instance of the potter. If the potter should 
thus reason and resolve with himself: if the whole lump 
be capable of an excellent form, then I will make it up all 
into vessels of honour, but else into vessels for baser uses — 
if he should thus reason, then where were his " power over 
the clay ?" Would it not then follow, that it was in the 
clay, and not in the power of the potter, that this is a ves- 
sel for best uses, and that for baser ? 

Fourthly, It would cease to be a mystery; there would 
be no cause to wonder and admire at Paul's doctrine of 
election and reprobation; neither were there any cause 
why Paul should move such an objection, " Why doth God 
find fault? for who hath resisted his will?" (verse 19,) and 
at last answer the objection, and stop man's mouth with 
the absoluteness and freedom of God's will, if there were 
any other cause or condition in the persons themselves, of 
their election and reprobation. The answer had been easy. 
This hath God done, because he saw good in one, and ob- 
stinate impenitency in the other. Although the will of 
God be always grounded upon reason for whatsoever he 
does, yet he is not to give an account to us of his actions, 
why he disposeth thus and thus of men; and therefore the 
apostle stops the mouth of all that move such curious ques- 
tions, with "Nay, but man, who art thou that repliest 
against God?" The apostle saith, (Eph. i. 11,) that " God 


worketh all things after the counsel of his own will." 
Note from thence, that the things which he decrees and 
purposes, are most perfectly wise and good; there is reason 
enough in God for whatsoever he does, for he does all 
things by counsel; yet secondly, it is a counsel of his will, 
and therefore unsearchable; we must not measure it by our 
reason, considering that the will of God is unsearchable; 
no man hath been " his counsellor." 

Thus I have at length despatched my three conclusions, 
namely, — First, That there is such a decree as God's fore- 
ordaining men's future estate, and what that decree is. 
Secondly, That none but the elect are saved. Thirdly, 
That God shows mercy to some in misery, and passes 
by others in the same condition, and that, without the fore- 
sight of any condition in the party chosen. What has the 
adversary to reply against this truth? 

Obj. 1. He says, It is not suitable to God to pick and 
choose among men, in showing mercy, because he may as 
well cease to be, as to withhold mercy from any one in 
misery; if he did, the defect must be in his heart, or in his 
ability: now know it is not for want of ability, if God show 
not mercy at atl; and to ascribe it to his heart, or his will, 
is to blaspheme his excellent name and nature. 

The answer is easy. First, God is a most free agent, 
and therefore does show mercy, not by any necessity of 
nature, but according to the freeness of his will, "I will 
have mercy on whom I will have mercy," and who shall 
challenge him for it? Secondly, If God were to distri- 
bute justice, then all men in the same case should speed 
alike; but election is an act, not of justice, but of grace and 
favour. His grace is his own, he may give it where he 
will, and none have cause to complain. Let it suffice, God 
owes us nothing, except death for our sins. Acts of justice 
are deserved, but acts of grace are free, not due, nor de- 
served by any one. Thirdly, God will be glorified in his 
justice as well as in his mercy. Rom. ix. 17,22, 23, "For 
this cause I raised thee up, that my name might be declared 
throughout all the earth," therefore it is not blaspheming 
his excellent name, to say, that God will not have mercy 
on all. 

This doctrine of election is suitable, first, to God's wis- 
dom, forasmuch as in contriving the salvation of a sinner, 


is made known the manifold wisdom of God. 2. To his 
justice, which takes vengeance on all the sins of mankind, 
either in their own persons, or in the person of Christ. 
3. To his truth, who will perform his covenant made 
with Abraham, though many of Abraham's posterity be 
cast away. " What if some did not believe, shall their un- 
belief make the faith of God without effect? God forbid.'' 
Rom. iii. 3. 4. To his holiness; for he ordains none to 
salvation, but "through sanctification of the Spirit;" he 
chooseth us in Christ. 5. And lastly, it is suitable to 
his love and goodness, who will make some partakers of 
his blessedness, not being willing that all should perish, 
though all had destroyed themselves. 

Obj. 2. The strongest arguments that I have met withal 
in English, against God's decree, of reprobation especially, 
are managed by the author of that book, entitled, God's 
Love to Mankind, a close disputant. And to confess the 
truth, I think his arguments against the supralapsarian way, 
to be unanswerable. But Mr. Hurd having set down our 
opinion, as he thought good himself, and not as the truth 
is; for he feigneth us to hold an absolute decree of repro- 
bation by the will of God, without respect to sin; his 
words are these, page 3, They both, says he, (that is, both 
they of supralapsarian and sublapsarian judgment) contend, 
that the moving cause of reprobation is the will of God 
alone, and not the sin of man, original or actual. I say, 
our doctrine being thus misrepresented, and the question 
misstated, as you may perceive by the doctrine delivered 
in this chapter; all his pains and arguments serve to refute 
his own fancies, not our assertion. 

The members and parts of the distinction abovemen- 
tioned, being fitly and warily applied, do discover the 
falsehood and invalidity of most of his arguments. As, for 
example, we do not hold, neither does it follow of our 

First, That God exercises any such absolute dominion or 
sovereignty over the reasonable creatures, as to create such 
infinite multitudes of men, that he might torment them for 
ever, after a short life here ended, without any fault at 
all of theirs pre-existing in his eternal mind; for we have 
proved, that God does neither condemn nor decree to be 
condemned, any but sinners, and for sin. Nor, 


Secondly, Do we hold, that God decreed Adam to fall, 
otherwise than by permitting it; he never decreed either 
to do sin, or command it to be done, neither did any decree 
of God force Adam to sin. Adam sinned most freely, he 
broke a most easy commandment, "Thou shalt not eat of 
the tree of knowledge:" he had but one commandment, he 
broke that; he believed the voice of the tempter, which 
said, "Thou shalt. not die," more than the voice of God, 
which told him, " He should die in the day that he did eat 

Thirdly, Nor does it follow of our doctrine, that God in 
permitting Adam's fall, was the author of his sin, or of any 
sins that followed thereupon. It is true, that God suffers 
sin to be, else there could be none, if God would absolutely 
hinder it. Acts xiv. 16. And it is as true, that a permis- 
sive decree is no cause of sin, but it is merely extrinsical to 
the sinner, and has no influence at all upon the sin. If a 
feeble house be upheld by props, he that shall take away 
those props, is the cause of the fall of that house. But the 
case is not so between God and Adam. Adam was made, 
not feeble, but upright, and able to stand; God did not in- 
stil into his mind any evil; nay, God did not withdraw or 
take from him any grace or strength formerly given him, 
only he did not hinder him from falling, who was able to 
stand if he would: no power or fraud of Satan could have 
vanquished him, unless he would voluntarily yield, which 
he did, and therefore had no excuse for his sin, when God 
called to an account. Wherefore Mr. Hurd does ill to 
charge our doctrine with this foul aspersion, that God did 
bring men into an estate in which they cannot avoid sin, 
and then leave the reprobate irrecoverably in it: for " God 
made man upright, but he sought out many inventions." 
"By one man's disobedience, many were made sinners; 
by one man's offence, death reigned by one." Eccl. vii. 19; 
Rom. v. 17, 19. We owe our sin and misery to our first 
parents' breach of covenant. To show it in a comparison: 
suppose some father, or master of a family, should cast out 
of his house the mother that has played the harlot, and all 
her bastard brood, were not this just? And if the children 
should complain of hard usage, and plead their innocency, 
saying, What evil have we done? might not the master 
of the house say to them, Go plead with your mother, she 


is not my wife, neither are you my children, therefore 
away with mother and seed together? Thus did God 
say to a generation of idolaters, who were upon the point 
of being divorced from God, and cast off from being his 
people, " Lo-ammi, ye are not my people, and I will not 
be your God." Hosea i. 9. They are brought in complain- 
ing of God's dealings with them; the Lord stops their 
mouths, and says to them, "Plead with your mother," as 
if he should say, do not contend or quarrel with me, but 
plead with your mother, (Hosea ii. 2,) " For she is not my 
wife, she hath broken covenant with me by her idolatries, 
neither am I her husband, and therefore I will not have 
mercy upon her children, for they be children of whore- 
dom," verse 4. In like manner may God say to all that 
charge God for their being rejected in their natural state; 
go plead with Adam, for he broke covenant with me, he 
wilfully disobeyed my voice, and so brought on himself 
and his posterity the sentence of death threatened in case 
he should transgress. Of this I shall speak again in the 
next chapter of original sin. 

Fourthly, We do not hold, nor does it follow of our 
doctrine, that God's decree determines man's will to sin, 
or lays any necessity of sinning upon it. Adam, and all 
men after him, sin voluntarily of their own will, and, by 
way of choice, they refuse to hearken. Wicked men are 
authors of their own offences, they choose them, plot them, 
purpose, and commit them. "God tempteth no man to 
evil," (James i. 13,) much less forceth, or necessitateth 
any to evil. The reason is, because, wherever these two 
things concur, namely, freedom from violence and neces- 
sity, with the full consent of reason, there is the whole and 
true nature of liberty. Though God's providence orders 
and governs the evil wills and actions of men, yet he de- 
termines them not to evil; they act from principles of their 
reason and judgment, whereby they judge of things good or 
evil, which accordingly they freely choose, or refuse; do, 
or leave undone. 

It does not follow, then, that all things come to pass of 
necessity, because of God's decree or foreknowledge. Our 
memory is not the cause of things past, neither is our fore- 
knowledge, of things to come. God foresees all things that 
are to come, both things certain, and things contingent, and 


his foreknowledge is not deceived, yet his will and fore- 
sight lay no necessity upon man's will. Wicked men act 
wickedly and freely, because wickedness is in their wills; 
godly men act graciously and freely, because grace is in 
their wills: grace is in their wills moving them and in- 
clining them to the thing that is good; their wills are set 
at liberty by grace, which sanctifies their reason and judg- 
ment, their consultations, and the bent of their wills. God 
does not infuse any constraint in the mind of man to en- 
force it, nor any error to seduce it, nor impose any neces- 
sity to bind it. All things work according to the law of 
their creation, natural agents naturally, voluntary agents 
voluntarily; the godly are not good against their wills, for 
of unwilling, God makes willing to the thing that is good ; 
and as for the wicked, he need not force or make them 
willing to evil, or unwilling to good, for they are so by 

Fifthly, It does not follow of our doctrine, that all en- 
deavours after life and salvation are in vain, for by " giving 
diligence," we may "make our calling and election sure." 
2 Peter i. 10. And certainly he does not labour in vain, 
that attains to that knowledge and sw T eet assurance. If ye 
seek, knock, hearken, and obey, ye are the elect of God, as 
is declared above. 

I shall examine two or three of Mr. Hurd's strongest 
objections, and so conclude this section. 

Obj. 1. It is objected, "That our doctrine of predesti- 
nation makes God a liar, a dissembler. The scripture says 
1 God willeth not the death of a sinner,' that < he hath no 
pleasure in the death of him that dieth ;' (Ez. xviii. 23, 32; 
Ez. xxxiii. 11,) and yet you say, that 'he hath shut up 
many millions of men, lying in the fall, under the sentence 
of death, under the bars of an everlasting and irrevocable 
decree.' How can these stand together?" 

1 answer: First, If God had pleasure in the death of a 
sinner, he w T ould not have been at such cost for the saving 
of so many millions of souls, as he has been by the incar- 
nation, death, sufferings, resurrection, and ascension of his 
dear Son; and by establishing such a course of ordinances 
for the conversion and salvation of sinners. 

Secondly, God is resolved to execute the sentence of 
death upon many of the lost sons of Adam for breach of 


that first covenant; and so he told Adam beforehand, that 
he would do; here is no dissembling in all this. 

Thirdly, Both these propositions are true; " God willeth 
the death of a sinner," and " God willeth not the death of 
a sinner." Sinners that enjoy the means of grace are of 
two sorts. Some there are whose hearts melt and relent 
when they hear God's voice; they hearken and obey, 
and turn from the evil of their doings; and God willeth 
not the death of such. Others there are that stop the ear, 
refuse to return, they will not come up to the terms of the 
gospel; and God willeth the punishment of such, that is, 
their death; "The wrath of God is revealed from heaven 
against all unrighteousness of men." Rom. i. IS. This is 
plain dealing, here is no dissembling in all this: and this 
is the very case of them, in Ez. xviii. 21, 23, 32, "If the 
wicked turn from his sins that he hath committed, he shall 
surely live and not die; have I any pleasure at all that the 
wicked should die, saith the Lord, and not that he should 
return from his ways and live ?" Here God commends 
his love to poor sinners that repent, and his impartial justice 
against all that commit iniquity, verse 26. God yet willeth 
not the sin of a sinner, nor his obstinacy in sin; yet he 
willeth the punishment of obstinate sinners, which is death; 
if God did not in some sort will the death of a sinner, how 
could he judge the world? To punish for sin is a work of 
justice, as to pardon sin is a work of mercy; and God 
willeth the work of his own justice, " God will wound the 
hairy scalp of such as go on still in their trespasses." 

Obj. 2. Yea, "But how can it stand with the truth and 
justice of God, to offer Christ and salvation by the gospel 
to many thousands of reprobates, to whom he hath pre- 
cisely in his absolute purpose, denied both a power to be- 
lieve, and a Christ to believe in? And how can he in 
equity require faith in such, and be angry with them for 
not believing? Can we say, that God does in good 
earnest will that those men should believe, whom he will 
not furnish with necessary power to believe?" 

I answer two things: First, That though Christ, together 
with the gift of faith, and grace effectual to conversion, be 
given only to the elect; yet salvation by the gospel is ge- 
nerally and promiscuously offered to all sinners, for two rea- 
sons: first, because we do not know who are elect, or who 



are reprobates; the gospel finds them all sinners alike, and 
all alike capable of salvation. The time of separation is 
not yet come, neither are we able to make such a separa- 
tion, neither is it our office; the angels shall do that at the 
end of the world. He that is not converted to-day, may 
be converted to-morrow; our commission is, "Preach the 
gospel to every creature." Again; the offer is gene- 
ral, to the intent that none of the elect might be lost, and 
that all mouths might be stopped; seeing none are excluded 
that do not exclude themselves: they might all find mercy, 
if they would but submit to the gospel. 

Secondly, I answer out of Rom. ix., where you have, 
first, our doctrine, verse 18, " He hath mercy on whom he 
will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth:" se- 
condly, there is your objection, verse 19, "Thou wilt say 
then, Why doth he yet find fault? for who hath resisted his 
will ?" Thirdly, you have Paul's answer to your objec- 
tion, verse 20, " Nay, but, man, who art thou that repliest 
against God ? Hath not the potter power over the clay ?" 
&c. In the passage note two things: first, that those who 
are under mercy, he mollifies, the rest, he hardens; that 
one is softened, is of mercy, the others are hardened by 
withholding his grace and mercy; even as darkness and 
frost are caused by the absence of the sun, the sun is not 
the cause of darkness, nor of the waters congealing into 
ice, but yet both follow naturally upon the absence of the 
sun. Secondly, If the question be asked, why God molli- 
fies some, and hardens others? The text says, it is because 
he will : " whom he will, he hardeneth." Upon this arises 
your objection; if God will not have mercy upon us, but 
will leave us to be hardened, why then does he find fault 
with us for our hardness of heart, seeing his will must 
stand ? This is the force of your objection. Now mark 
the apostle's answer, verse 20, " man, who art thou that 
repliest against God ?" The meaning of his answer is this, 
namely: God may justly find fault with thy hardness of 
heart, though he, for his part, will not mollify it; and with 
thy unbelief, though he intend not to give thee effectual 
means of faith. He may justly find fault, with thy ungodly 
courses, though he give thee no account, besides his own 
will, why he will not soften thy heart: as if he should say, 
" Who art thou that repliest against God?" it is enough to 


tell thee that God will give grace and mercy to others, and 
none to thee. His grace is his own, his gifts are his own, 
he may give them to whom he will, and who shall chal- 
lenge him for it? He owes thee nothing, but death for 
thy sins; he is not bound to restore thee. 

Obj. 3. "It is true, that God simply and absolutely is 
bound to no man, because he is a most free dispenser of 
his own favours, where, and to whom he will; but yet he 
is conditionally bound two ways: First, Promittendo, 
promise is a debt; if therefore God has made a promise of 
any gift, or grace to any man, his promise binds him to 
performance. Secondly, Legem ferendo, by giving men 
a law to keep, which, without supernatural grace, they can 
no more keep than eat a rock. God, indeed, is not bound 
to restore those abilities, which we once received and lost 
in Adam; but now seeing God hath vouchsafed to enter 
into a new covenant of peace with men, when he needed 
not, and in that covenant requires obedience at men's 
hands, even at theirs who perish, with promise of eternal 
life to every man, if he obey and keep the covenant, and 
punishing with everlasting death the disobedient: these 
particulars supposed, the most free God is now engaged to 
give ability of believing to men; nor can he justly, without 
this gift, punish the disobedient; the giving of the new 
covenant presupposes either an ability in the sinner to be- 
lieve and repent, or a purpose in God to give them that 
ability, else he could not justify and punish the disobedient 
and unbeliever." 

I answer three things: First, That to believe in God, 
and every word of his, either promising life or threatening 
death, was a duty and an ability given to Adam. Adam's 
sin was unbelief; and therefore he may justly require to 
be believed and obeyed of all Adam's posterity. Habitual 
faith respects all possible objects that shall be revealed, as 
well as those that are actually revealed; and God does not 
give a new special faith, when he presents a new object to 
be believed. Abraham believed the creation of the world, 
by the same faith that he believed that he should have a son: 
and therefore, though it were not suitable to the state of 
innocency for Adam to believe in a Mediator actually, yet 
by the faith which he had, he could, and ought to believe 
every promise that should proceed out of the mouth of 


God; as we need not new eyes to see new objects; the 
same visual faculty which sees things present, can see 
things which shall be hereafter laid before it. Adam had 
no need to behold the brazen serpent, because he was not 
stung; but if Adam had been in the wilderness when that 
serpent was lifted up, he could have seen it with his para- 
dise eyes, as his posterity did. So is the present case in 
regard of habitual and actual faith in order to Christ to be 

Ans. 2. But to come nearer home to the purpose; I 
grant, that the giving of a law to the creature presupposes 
an ability in the creature, already received, or to be given, 
to perform the conditions therein required; God does not 
propose life and death to his creatures upon a condition 
impossible; and such an ability does God engage to bestow 
in the new covenant. So runs the tenor of the new co- 
venant, Heb. x. 11, 12, "This is the covenant that I will 
make with the house of Israel, after those days, saith the 
Lord, I will put my laws in their mind, and write them in 
their hearts, and I will be to them a God, and they shall 
be to me a people; and I will be merciful to their un- 
righteousness, and their sins and iniquities will I remem- 
ber no more." Here are three things distinctly to be con- 
sidered: — 1. The matter, and chief blessing of the cove- 
nant on God's part, "I will be to them a God," &c. 2. 
There is expressed the bond and condition of it on our part, 
and this is faith and obedience, signified in those words, of 
putting God's laws in our minds, &c. So God required 
of Abraham; (Gen. xvii. 1,) "Walk before me, and be 
thou perfect." 3. There is also a promise and declaration, 
that God will work this condition, by which men shall 
have an interest in the covenant, and a right to the bless- 
ing of it, " I will put my laws in their minds." The mat- 
ter of our duty is the matter of God's promise; that which 
God requires of us, he undertakes to work in us. He re- 
quires that we should know the Lord, and he promises we 
shall be all taught of God; he requires that we walk in 
obedience uprightly before him; and, that because we shall 
not fail of doing our duty on our parts, he promises to 
write his laws in our hearts. First, The grand blessing of 
the covenant is, I will be their God, and pardon their sins. 
Secondly, The qualifications of the persons, to whom this 


promise is made; they are such, in whose hearts God's 
laws are written, that is, such as believe. Thirdly, The 
efficient cause of this their faith, I will write, I will change 
their hearts, I will give them faith. Thus you see that 
God performs what he is bound to, legem ferendo, by 
giving a new covenant. 

Obj. "Yea, but he does not write his law in the minds 
of the reprobates." Ans. His covenant is not with them, 
and therefore his covenant does not bind him to give them 
faith ; " all are not Israel which are of Israel, neither be- 
cause they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children, 
but in Isaac shall thy seed be called." The covenant is 
made with the children of the promise, and therefore, 
though he give not ability of believing to them that are 
not of his covenant, he is not to be blamed ; God's pro- 
mises are still verified and performed in the elect, in whose 
behalf they were made. 

Obj. " Yea, but then the reprobate are punished for not 
fulfilling and observing the conditions of a covenant, which 
was never made for them. Why then does God punish 
them for their unbelief?" Ans. They outwardly embrace 
the covenant, being accidentally taken into the congrega- 
tion of the faithful, by reason of their mixture and joint 
profession of the same God with them, when all the 
while they are in the state of nature, and so go on in re- 
bellion against God, against greater light, against their own 
knowledge, and are justly punished; not because they can- 
not believe and repent, but because they will not; not for 
what they cannot do, but for not doing what their own 
conscience tells them they might have done, as you will 
see in my third answer. 

Hitherto you have seen, first, that God gave ability to all 
in Adam. Secondly, That he renews his gifts of grace to- 
wards all them whom he has taken again into a new cove- 
nant. I proceed, and, 

Ans. Thirdly, The rest are justly punished, because 
they love their sins more than God, and go on in disobe- 
dience against God's revealed will, and walk in the flesh, 
even as others do, that know not Christ; and therefore 
they having received more, God may require more at their 
hands. It is true, we can do nothing till God enables us, 
yet they do not what they are able; and what is that? 



Though I cannot by my own strength rise from death in 
sin, yet an earnest care whereby I deliberate, is that means 
which the Spirit uses to prevent (lead me on) me, and 
therefore, if I will be saved or reclaimed from sin, I must 
admit deliberation and consultation about my spiritual 
estate, as the prodigal did, as the first motion that God 
casts into my mind for the effecting thereof, and not stay 
till I feel some violent and sensible impulse enforcing me, 
but accept even that small motion of care and consultation, 
the which to cast away, is to reject God's offer inviting me 
to my uprising. Again, though we have not power to 
convert ourselves, yet all men have power to use the out- 
ward means, and liberty to hear the voice of God's word 
and Spirit inviting them to consider their state, which 
is sufficient to make them inexcusable, if they resist it. 
Finally, God works some things in us, without us, as good 
motions, which by his Spirit he casts into us as we lie 
plunged in sin, whereby he awakes us, and bids us think 
of our uprising. God works some things in us, and with 
us, as a good will to receive those motions, and not to re- 
sist the Spirit. God works some things in us and by us, as 
all such good works, as the motion of the Spirit teaches us 
to do. Thus far that learned author has taught us. These 
things the reprobate have ability to do, namely, to consult, 
to use outward means, to yield to good motions, which see- 
ing they have no will to do, God may justly punish their 
wilful impenitence. 

Thus, through the assistance of God's Holy Spirit, I have 
finished this weighty point. The conclusion of all is, Our 
destruction is from ourselves, but our salvation is from the 
Lord, who showeth mercy: "How unsearchable are his 
judgments, and his ways past finding out; for who hath 
known the mind of the Lord ? or who hath been his coun- 
sellor? or who hath first given to him, and it shall be re- 
compensed unto him again." Rom. xi. 33, 35. 



Against which error, I oppose this truth, that the state 
of reprobate men and angels in hell, is unchangeable, and 


never to be regained. I say of men in hell, or after this 
life; for of such I suppose the author speaks, because he 
joins them with the reprobate angels, who are kept under 
everlasting chains of darkness, to the judgment of the great 
day. Their state in misery is unalterable; the devils shall 
never recover heaven again, and reprobate men shall never 
be made elect; of miserable they shall never be made 
happy, they shall never regain the happiness of Adam in 
an earthly paradise, nor of the glorified saints in the king- 
dom of saved ones. Arminians tell us of a reprobation 
of men in this life, which is but conditional, and incom- 
plete, and therefore reversible, if they repent; but after 
this life their damnation is sealed, in the grave there is no 
wisdom, and in hell there is no repentance, and from hell 
there is no redemption. The scripture is plain and full on 
this point: Mat. xxv. 41, " Christ shall say to them on the 
left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, 
prepared for the devil and his angels." The wicked shall 
then be parted from the godly for ever; (verse 46,) "These 
shall go away into everlasting punishment, but the righ- 
teous into life eternal." Hell was first prepared for the 
devils, but because men cleave to the devil, and forsake 
God, therefore their portion is with the devils in hell for 
evermore. If their condition were alterable, then the fire 
were not everlasting; but the scripture tells us, that "the 
ungodly men, together with the angels that kept not their 
first estate, shall suffer the vengeance of eternal fire;" their 
" worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched," (Jude v. 
6, 7; Mark ix. 44,) the remorse of an evil conscience for 
ever afflicts them, and their pain is endless. 

The reason is, because after death and judgment, there 
are no means of recovery. If men desire to escape that 
judgment, they must now, whilst they are in this life, 
hearken, and be obedient to the gospel of salvation. Eter- 
nal life is gained or lost in this world; after death comes 
judgment, there is no place for repentance, no preaching, 
nor warnings, nor means of conversion, nay, nor yet any 
heart or will to repent. 

This unalterable condition of the damned is taught in 
that parable, (Luke xvi. 26,) "Besides all this, there is a 
great gulf fixed, so that they which would pass from hence 
to you, cannot, neither can they pass from us that would 


come from thence." There is a vast distance, so that none 
can pass from heaven to hell, nor from hell to heaven; as 
the blessedness of these, so the misery of the other, is un- 
changeable, and everlasting. The means to keep men 
from coming into this place of torment, is appointed for 
the living; (verse 29,) " They have Moses and the pro- 
phets; let them hear them:" if they neglect that salvation 
whilst it is offered them, if they will not be persuaded by 
the word of God, there is no other means left, they will 
certainly come into that place of torment, and perish ever- 

Use 1. that men had hearts to believe, and be affected 
with this truth. Take off thy thoughts awhile from the 
deluding world, and suffer thy heart to be fixed upon 
eternity. Sequester and set thyself sadly to consider what 
eternity is, what it is to be eternally miserable. Cast in 
thy mind so many thousands of years, as thou canst num- 
ber, and when thou hast brought it to the highest number, 
there is ten thousand times more yet to come. If a 
sparrow should drink but once in a year one drop of the 
sea-water, yet in time he would drink up all the water in 
the sea, because the sea is a finite creature, and is made up 
of many drops: if thou lay in hell so long as a sparrow is 
drinking the sea dry, and then be delivered, yet there 
would be an end; but when that is done, yet there are 
ten thousand times as many seas and years more to come 
of thy misery; it is for ever, for ever! that word for 
ever, is a killing word, it is a despairing word, it is a heart- 
breaking word. that it might prove a heart-breaking 
word to thee here, that it may not prove a heart-tormenting 
word to thee hereafter. 

Try and consider. Canst thou endure thy finger in the 
flame now for an hour? Were it not a great torment to 
be kept alive in flames of fire for the space of an hour? of 
a whole day? of a thousand years? How woful, then, is 
their case, that must endure it for ever in hell with the 
devils? Pray, pray, that God would give thee a believing 
heart, a melting heart, a relenting heart, to lay to heart the 
things that belong to thy everlasting peace, before they are 
hid from thy eyes. Believe not vain words of vain men, 
which serve to harden fools in their sin, whilst they per- 
suade them that there is no hell, or that the state of the 


damned is recoverable. If thou wilt not believe this truth 
now, thou shalt believe and feel it hereafter to thy cost. 
Is it not a strange thing said, that there should be atheists 
on earth, and none in hell ? poor souls, they know there 
is a just God, which taketh vengeance, though they would 
not believe it whilst they lived. If the damned in hell 
had leave to enjoy but one of the days of the Son of Man, 
of grace, which you now enjoy, what zealous creatures 
would they be for their own salvation ! How fervent in 
spirit, serving the Lord! How restless, till they had got 
the pardon of their sins sealed to their consciences! How 
infinitely would they despise all worldly honours and 
riches in comparison of peace of conscience, or one dram 
of grace! one good look from the pleased face of God, 
would be worth all the world to them. let it be thus 
precious to thee now! It is the property of a fool to say, 
when it is too late, would God I had done this or that. 
Let every wise-hearted Christian strive to be such a one 
now, as he shall wish at that day that he had been. Cast 
away every thing, every lust, every desire, every dear 
attraction, that may betray thy soul to eternal misery: 
Remember the words of our blessed Saviour, Mark ix. 43, 
" If thy hand offend thee, cut it off; if thy foot offend thee, 
cut it off;" ver. 45/' If thine eye offend thee, pluck it out:" 
ver. 47, "It is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of 
God maimed, than having two hands, or two feet, or two 
eyes, to be cast into hell," into the fire that never shall be 
be quenched, "where the worm dieth not, and the fire is not 
quenched." " The fire is not quenched," is thrice repeated, 
to show how hard we are of belief of the judgment to 
come, how willing we are to go to heaven, and yet enjoy 
all our lusts, and our carnal desires. How grievous is it 
to our nature, to part with a right hand, or a right eye, that 
is, with our sins of gain, of credit, of esteem in the world, 
which are as dear to us, as useful to us, as necessary to us, 
as our right hands, or right eyes: yet this must be done; 
and it is better to be without them all, to cast them all 
from us, than with them to be cast into hell "where the 
worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched." 

Use 2. Learn hence to judge of the odious and dangerous 
nature of sin, which casts the soul into eternal misery. 
The heart of man is apt to quarrel with this truth, to dis- 



pute and say, How can it stand with the goodness, yea, 
with the justice of God, for a momentary small offence, to 
punish so severely for evermore? Divines answer, that it 
is just, because men sin against an infinite majesty; that 
the higher the person is, against whom we offend, the 
greater punishment is inflicted ; and that is true. Secondly, 
vye answer, that men sin in eterno suo, if they should 
live here for ever, they would rebel against God for ever, 
and therefore they are justly punished, in eterno Dei, and 
that is true too. But surely it is our ignorance of the ma- 
lignant nature of sin, and of the infinite holiness and jus- 
tice of God, that makes us astonished at this; "God en- 
dureth with much long-suffering the vessels of wrath," 
Rom. ix. 22. If we were so provoked and abused as God 
is, we should not endure them so long: if we would but 
ascribe to God as much as we do to an earthly judge, we 
should learn to tremble before him, and not suffer our 
hearts to rise against him. When we see a malefactor 
hanged, drawn and quartered, or hanged alive in iron 
chains, we conclude that surely that man was some grie- 
vous offender; by the greatness of his punishment, we 
gather the greatness of the offence: let us conclude so for 
our righteous God, and say, surely sin is a most bitter and 
heinous thing, else God would never punish it so severely : 
"Let God be true, and every man a liar." Let us say, 
with David, " I acknowledge my transgressions, I have done 
evil in thy sight, that thou mightest be justified when 
thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest." God will 
be found clear and without blemish in his judgments, that 
" every mouth may be stopped/' Psal. cvii. 42. 



HELL FOR adam's sin, yea, men have no more reason to blame 


Against this grand error, I lay down this fundamental 
truth, namely, that Adam, by transgressing the first cove- 


nant of life and obedience, plunged himself and all his pos- 
terity into a state of sin and death, under which they all lie 
and perish, until they are redeemed by Christ, the second 

In this doctrine there are three branches distinctly to be 
observed : 

First, That God made with Adam a covenant of life and 

Secondly, Adam broke that covenant by his disobedience, 
and so brought himself and his posterity into a state of sin 
and death. 

Thirdly, That we lie under that state of sin and misery, 
till we are regenerate and planted into Christ, by whom 
alone we have deliverance from it. 

Of the first branch. The happiness of man in his created 
state, was established in the way of a covenant, and it con- 
sisted of two parts; the one showing what God commanded 
and required of Adam by the way of duty, and what he 
would do for Adam upon the performance thereof, the other 
shows the creature's duty, binding himself to obey the will 
of the Creator in all things. It was a covenant of works, 
wherein life was promised upon condition of Adam's per- 
fect and entire obedience, and death threatened in case of 
his disobedience. In this covenant there were some things 
required and some things forbidden, with promises and 
threats annexed, and outward seals added for confirmation. 
The thing required was entire obedience, the promise there- 
to annexed was the promise of everlasting life, and in token 
thereof God gave Adam to u eat of the tree of life." The 
thing forbidden, was to " eat of the tree of knowledge of 
good and evil ;" the threatening annexed was death, " In 
the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die;" die 
everlastingly ; and that tree served as a warning to our 
first parents of their mutable condition, and of the danger 
that would follow upon their transgressing ; so sealing the 
threatening of that covenant G en. iii. 1 1 . Said God, « Who 
told thee that thou wast naked ? Hast thou eaten of the 
tree whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not 
eat ?" There needed nothing else to condemn them, they 
were forced by the guilt of their own consciences " to hide 
themselves from God's presence," verse 8. 

You see, then, first, here is a formal covenant of life and 



death: secondly, you may observe, also, that the first cove- 
nant had promises of "life eternal," Luke x. 25. The 
question was concerning " life eternal," how he might " in- 
herit " it. Christ bids him « keep the commandments," 
and he should have his desire ; from whence the inference 
is clear that the promise of life made to the keeping of the 
commandments was eternal life. And so much the Lord 
himself expresses, Gen. iii. 22, when he drove Adam out 
of paradise, " Lest he should put forth his hand and take 
of the tree of life, and live for ever." The life, then, which 
that tree signified and sealed to man was life everlasting. 
And it is used to express that eternal life which the re- 
deemed of the Lord shall enjoy for ever in heaven. Rev. 
ii. 7, " To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the 
tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God." 
Lastly, in this covenant there was some kind of grace, be- 
cause God might have required obedience at his creature's 
hands without any such promise. Secondly, because that 
reward to live for ever was above the merits of Adam's 
obedience. Thirdly, especially considering that Adam's 
ability to perform that condition of life was of God's own 
donation; and this is almost as much grace as some men 
allow in the new covenant. Howbeit, this covenant was 
a covenant of works, a conditional, legal covenant; because 
the terms on which the promise of life was grounded was 
Adam's own personal and perfect obedience ; whereas in 
the new covenant of grace it is grounded on and made good 
to us for the righteousness of the Mediator. This was the 
covenant of man's creation,made with all mankind in Adam, 
their head, and by it all the world are bound to be holy 
and perfect, as God made them at first. This covenant he 
broke, and forfeited the life promised in it, and brought 
himself and his posterity under the curse, as in the second 
branch is to be declared. 

Secondly, You see how Adam by transgression broke 
and forfeited that first covenant. Let us now consider the 
effects of his fall: and first upon himself; for he plunged 
himself into a state of sin and misery, which is expressed 
by that threatening, Gen. ii. 17, "Thou shalt surely die." 
This threatening taking hold of Adam comprehends three 

First, The Joss of his felicity, pack and be gone, no place 


for a rebel. Secondly, the loss of the image of God. In- 
stead of knowledge, his "understanding is darkened, not 
able to discern the things of the Spirit of God ;" instead of 
holiness and righteousness, he is " dead in trespasses and 
sins," he " comes short of the glory of God," he does al- 
ways in all things offend God, being able to do nothing 
that can please God. Adam is now to be driven as an ex- 
ile out of paradise ; he must not taste of the tree of life. — 
Thirdly, he lost his sweet communion with God ; he was 
wont to talk with God and not be afraid, but now he flies 
from his presence ; he was afraid when he heard his voice, 
the voice of his God : guilt, and shame, and fear took hold 
of the sinning creature. And thus Adam dies in his spirit, 
he hath neither power, wisdom, nor will to do that which 
is well pleasing to the Lord ; he lost the favour of God, 
and is now in a state of enmity against God. God and 
Adam were now two, as we say, without any desire or suf- 
ficiency on man's part to make reconciliation, if the Lord 
had not looked upon them in the blessed seed : he lost also 
his complete and sweet dominion over the creatures. — 
These are his losses. 

Secondly. Another effect of this fall upon himself, was 
that universal corruption of his nature in all the powers 
and faculties of his soul and body: Adam now was not like 
Adam; he was not the same man: he was comely, though 
naked, before the fall, but now uncomely, as a dead corpse 
is ghastly to be beheld, though it were lovely and delight- 
ful to us when it was living. They knew evil now expe- 
rimentally. Adam's fall brought, not only a privation of 
goodness, but a contrary evil disposition upon the whole 
man; as sickness is not only an absence of health, but a 
malignant quality seizing on the spirits, bringing an evil 
habit of body. Man's sin is not only that transgression of 
Adam by which he sinned, and we with him, but another 
which ariseth out of this, even that infection of all the 
powers and members, both of soul and body, by which we 
are inclined to evil, and that continually, which as poison 
put into a cup of wine makes it deadly, dispersing itself 
throughout the same: so in like manner Adam's first sin 
poisoned his whole nature, so that no sound part is found 
in him, from the crown of the head to the sole of the foot. 
His understanding is filled with blindness and darkness, 




and favoureth not the things which are of God. His con- 
science is wounded with guilt, having lost both its purity and 
peace. His will is captive, and of no strength to do good, 
&c. And from this corrupt fountain issued a stream of ac- 
tual sins in the course of their lives. How many sins pre- 
sently appeared in their carriage towards God ? they ex- 
cused and cloaked their sin; Adam puts it upon his wife, 
and she upon the serpent. They hide and fly from God, 
they allege a cause of their fear, namely, their nakedness, 
whereas it was their eating of the forbidden tree that made 
them afraid ; they betook themselves to false coverts, they 
sewed fig leaves to hide their nakedness ; but how to reco- 
ver the favour of God they had no knowledge. Thus it 
was with our first parents when they had sinned. 

There is yet a third effect of their fall, and that is death. 
By sin an entry was made to death, to the dissolution 
of nature. " Dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt re- 
turn," Gen. iii. 19. Under which sentence of death are 
comprehended all the sorrows and miseries of this life, the 
forerunners of death, as may be gathered from the Lord's 
proceeding in his sentence against Adam and Eve, " Cursed 
is the ground for thy sake, in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all 
the days of thy life ; thorns also and thistles shall it bring 
forth to thee ; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field," (as 
the beasts of the earth did,) and shalt no longer eat of the 
fruits of paradise, " in the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat 
bread, till thou return to the ground ; for out of it wast thou 
taken." Gen. iii. 17, 18, 19. 

From whence I gather, that the fearful and horrible 
plagues which God threatens and executes in the world are 
a part of that death which God threatened for their trans- 
gression, Gen. ii. 17, for we die daily. 

Yea, lastly, for sin he became subject to miseries after 
death, the wrath of God for evermore, which we call eter- 
nal death, signified by driving them out of Paradise from 
the presence of God, and from the tree of life ; of which 
the remediless fears, and deep doubts, and fearful expecta- 
tions of vengeance to come, are sure signs and tokens. By 
reason of which terrors that follow death the unreconciled 
souls are "all their lifetime subject to bondage." Heb. ii. 
15. If man's misery were ended with his life, they would 
eat and drink and be merry while they may, they would 


not be in bondage under fear of death, but those strokes of 
fear and sadness, those enslaving thoughts, which the se- 
rious apprehension of death imprints upon the soul, whe- 
ther men will or not, show the effect of the law of nature 
upon their hearts, tind that the sentence of death is extend- 
ed beyond our bodily dissolution at death ; the sting of 
conscience is a forerunner of judgment to come, of wrath 
after death, even as our outward miseries are of our tem- 
poral death. 

Thus of the effect of the fall upon Adam himself, it fol- 
lows that we consider, 

Secondly, (Helvet. Confirmat. cap. 8. Qualis /actus 
est a lapsu, tales sunt omnes, qui ex ipso prognati sunt, 
peccato inquam morti, variisque obnoxii calamitati- 
bus.) The same effects upon Adam's fall are upon all his 
posterity, whom with himself he plunged into a state of 
sin and misery; all those sad effects beforementioned wo- 
ful mankind lies under; for look in what case Adam was 
when he had sinned, such is our case as soon as we are born 
of him ; wherefore that cursed state of mankind is in scrip- 
ture called "the old man," Eph. ii. 22, "the flesh," Rom. 
viii. 7, 8, "the law in our members," Rom. vii. 23, "the 
image of the first " Adam, 1 Cor. xv. 49, " as we have 
borne the image of the earthly," &c. This is the state of 
man by nature. 

Now, that all mankind takes part with Adam and Eve 
in their fall, and in the woful effects of it, I shall prove, 

1. By the very words of the apostle Paul, Rom. v. 12, 
" By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin." 
Sin and death are come upon all mankind, we find and feel 
by experience. But how came this mischief upon us ? — 
" By one man," says the apostle, nothing can be spoken 
more plainly with the tongue. Yea, but how can that be, 
that all should be undone by one man, seeing at that time 
all were not? Would you fain know the reason of this? 
Can you not content yourselves to know* that it is so, unless 
you know the manner how it is so ? Well, Paul tells you 
that too: " Death passed upon all, for that all have sinned," 
or in whom all have sinned. £<j> w in quo, namely, Ada- 
mo; so Beza, and many others, render it, showing that 
em, is often taken for sv, as Mark ii. 4, Heb. ix. 17. And 
so our margin doth allow it to be read, "in whom all have 


sinned." And this reading best agrees with Paul's scope 
and argument; for here the apostle renders a reason, not 
nakedly why all men die, for then it had been sufficient to 
say because all have sinned, but signally, why from one 
man sin and death entered upon all the world, and the rea- 
son of this is, because in that one man, (as being the root, 
and having in him the nature of all men that ever were to 
be in the world,) all have sinned. But take the word (** 
w) causally, for eo quod, inasmuch, or because " all have 
sinned," the force of the apostle's argument is still the 
same ; for how have all that die sinned, if not in that one 
man ? No man dies that has not sinned [Nemo potest 
snbjici poznoe, nisi qui reus est culpae*) but many thou- 
sands die, (namely, infants,) who never sinned at all, if they 
sinned not in Adam ; therefore in that one man we all sinned ; 
for we that are men were subject unto death when we were 
infants, as well as those that die in their infancy. So that 
£$ co (inasmuch) as "all have sinned," must be understood 
in that one man, for else many thousands die which had 
never sinned, which is contrary to the express words of 
this text, and of the verses following, where the apostle 
proves that all sinned in that one man. Observe the apos- 
tle's reasoning, verse 13, " Until the law, namely, of Moses, 
sin was in the world," and therefore a law which was 
transgressed, because " where there is no law sin is not 
imputed," there is no transgression. Again observe, that 
the transgression of that law brought death ; so verse 14, 
" Death reigned from Adam to Moses ;" if there were no 
sin, nor a law broken from Adam to Moses, there would 
have been no death. Now what law was that ? It was 
the law of our creation, which Adam broke. And what 
sin was there from Adam's time which caused death? — 
Ans. Not only actual sin, which is called u a sinning after 
the similitude of Adam's transgression," but original sin, 
in which infants are born, and for which they die ; for so 
it is said, " Death reigned over them that had not sinned 
after the similitude of Adam's transgression," that is, ac- 
tually ; they never sinned by their own act in their own 
persons, yet they die. What follows of that ? Therefore 
they sinned in Adam, in whom all mankind received the 
sentence of death, according to that declaration of the apos- 
* " No one can be punished who is not guilty of a crime." — (t) 


tie, 1 Cor. xv. 22, "In Adam all die," therefore, in Adam 
all sinned. 

Lastly, Rom. v. 15. It is delivered as an undoubted 
truth, " Through the offence of one many be dead." Are 
these empty sounds ? Are they not plain words of truth ? 
Then let us gather up this argument. The thing to be 
proved was this, That Adam plunged all his posterity into 
a state of sin and death. This is proved by the words of 
the text, " By one man sin and death entered into the 
world." How so? "Because in him all sinned." How 
does that appear ? Because no man dies that has not sinned, 
yet infants die that never sinned in their own person by 
their own act. And is that just ? Yes, because the law 
of their creation was broken by their father Adam ; there- 
fore " through the offence of one many be dead." 

This clears that objection of Anabaptists ; infants are un- 
der no law, therefore sin is not imputed to them. Ans. In- 
fants have transgression imputed to them, and death for 
transgression, therefore they are under some law, though 
not under Moses' law, yet under Adam's law, in whose 
loins they were. 

Obj. How were we in Adam ? And how may it appear 
to be just that all mankind should be involved in sin and 
misery by that one man's offence ? Ans. We were in 
Adam two manner of ways : 

First, Legally, as head of that first covenant, with him 
and his posterity that was to come of his loins, God entered 
into a covenant of life and obedience ; Adam was not a pri- 
vate man in his business, he and his children were to stand 
and fall according to the tenor of that covenant: he re- 
ceived the grace, the mercy, and promises of that covenant, 
and strength to perform it, for all, and so he forfeited the 
same for all : even as in our law a landlord contracts for 
himself and children, to hold such and such lands, under 
such and such conditions, the which, if the father forfeit, 
he forfeits the whole estate that was granted both from 
himself and children. Thus we see also, that God implies 
(includes) children with their parents in other covenants 
and promises, as he promised the land to Abraham and to 
his seed after him, when as yet he had no child, Acts vii. 5, 
so Deut. xxix. 14, 15. God made a covenant with "Israel, 
with the captains of your tribes, your elders, and your offi- 


cers, with all the men of Israel," verse 10, and " with your 
little ones," verse 11, "and not with them only that stand 
here with us this day before the Lord, but also with him 
that is not here with us this day," that is, with the child- 
ren that shall be born. And if parents may contract for 
their children, yea, seeing God himself takes into the same 
covenant the fathers and their children, why should it seem 
strange that he should do the like to Adam and his seed, 
especially considering that he was the root in whom all 
mankind was created, and out of which all mankind was 
to spring in their generations ; in whom we all had our 
being, as in the seed, and the principles of our future ex- 
istence ; forasmuch, then, as children are parts of their pa- 
rents, and seeing we are parties to that first covenant, which 
is broken, we are born rei debendi, though not agendi ; 
we owe a debt of obedience which we cannot perform, and 
so may blame ourselves for breach of covenant, and God 
is just. 

Secondly, We were in Adam naturally; we were in his 
loins, as a part of him when he fell, so that whatever alte- 
ration befell the human nature, it is common to us, of which 
nature we are a part. All the seed of man was in Adam, 
and therefore, that seed being wholly corrupted, we that 
come of him must needs be corrupted also. All the branches 
of an oak, all its leaves and boughs, were in the root, though 
when the tree was first planted not any of them appeared. 
Now, " if the root be holy, so are the branches ;" but if 
the root be sour and poisoned, so are the branches ; we are 
"a seed of evil doers, a generation of vipers," young ser- 
pents of the old, and young serpents are worthy to die, 
because of their kind, and the venom that is in them. God 
looks upon all mankind ; he sees not in them his image 
which he first stamped on them, but the clean contrary, 
even of the seed of the serpent. And we have reason to 
blame ourselves for being such vile and unclean creatures ; 
and God is just in casting away the young serpent with the 
old, the " children of whoredoms," with their adulterous 

Obj. Yea, but there was nothing of us in Adam but our 
bodies, and the body is sinless, it hath not sinned till it be 
infected with the soul by transgression of a law; and the 
soul, coming from God, is innocent till it meet with a com- 


mandment and break it ; therefore in Adam all sinned not, 
all sin is by our own act. 

Answer: First, God gave to Adam an ability to increase 
and multiply his kind by generation ; Gen. i. 28, "Be fruitful, 
and multiply, and replenish the earth/' as he did to other 
creatures: and so man begets man, the whole man begets 
the whole man, consisting of soul and body. 

Secondly, So likewise for the seat of sin, we say, that 
neither the soul alone, nor the body alone, but the whole 
man (which consists of both, and differs from both,) is the 
subject or seat of sin. The soul was not created out of the 
body, but in the body, Zech. xii. 1, " God formeth the 
spirit of man within him," and so soul and body make one 
man, so that the body does not without the soul, nor the 
soul without the body commit sin, but both together, as 
they make a son of Adam, are infected with sin, that is, 
with that inbred inhabiting sin and wickedness, which 
cleaves to all the seed of Adam, like a leprosy. It is an idle 
fancy, to say, that the soul is infected from the body, or 
the body from the soul; but both are infected from Adam, 
from whom, by the law or decree of propagation, and na- 
tural generation, the whole man has its beginning : Gen. 
v. 3, " Adam begat a son in his own likeness ;" a son con- 
sisting of soul and body, in his own likeness, that is, in his 
sinful likeness; for" who can bring a clean thing out of an 
unclean ? not one :" Job xiv. 4. To conclude, we receive 
three evils from Adam's fall : first, imputation of his sin; 
secondly, corruption of our nature; and thirdly, death. 

First, for imputation of Adam's disobedience : The text 
is express, Rom. v. 16, "The judgment was by one (of- 
fence) to condemnation." In this place, Adam and Christ 
are compared together, as the two head-men of mankind, 
in their different estate of nature and grace : Adam was the 
natural head of all men; Christ is the head of the spiritual 
offspring. They agree in this property of communicating 
their conditions to those who are theirs. Adam is the head 
of sin and death, Christ is the head of righteousness and 
life. As in the present text, "judgment was by one to 
condemnation," that is, that one offence was imputed to all 
to condemnation, so " the free gift is of many offences unto 
justification." Christ takes away the condemnation which 
that sin brought. then, but what shall we do for all our 


actual sins? The text shows you, Christ takes away not 
only that offence, but all our personal sins too, " The free 
gift is of many offences unto justification;" many offences 
are freely forgiven, and all our other sins shall not be im- 
puted to us. The comparison is this: As Adam's offence 
is ours by imputation, it was imputed for condemnation ; 
so Christ's righteousness is ours by imputation, it is im- 
puted to justification, see ver. 18, "As by the offence of 
one, judgment came upon all men to condemnation ; even 
so, by the righteousness of one, the free gift came upon all 
to justification of life." Quemadmodum ergo in Christo 
obedierunt, et obediendofacti simt justi, ver. 19, it a in 
Jidamo omnes peccaverunt, ver. 19. All that are in 
Christ partake of his righteousness, and all that are yet in 
old Adam partake of his guilt. 

The second evil received from Adam's fall, is the cor- 
ruption of our nature, the which, what it is, and how great, 
you may see above in the losses and depravity, which the 
committing of that first sin brought upon our first parents, 
the same poisonous effects does it work in the souls of their 
posterity, as the loss of God's favour, and of God's image, 
the corruption of all the faculties of our souls and bodies ; 
in a word, " we are dead in sins and trespasses," wherein, 
before the grace of Christ renewing and delivering us, "we 
walked according to the course of the world," (a bad pat- 
tern to walk by,) "according to the prince of the power 
of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of 
disobedience," (we are under the power of the Devil, ac- 
tuated by him to do his will,) " amongst whom also, we all 
had our conversation in times past, in the lusts of our flesh, 
fulfilling the desires of the flesh, and of the mind; and 
were by nature the children of wrath, even as others." 
This is a sad description of our corruption by nature. The 
three enemies of our salvation, the world, the flesh, the 
devil, were our guides : The lusts of the world, the lusts 
of the devil, and the lusts of our own hearts, these are the 
things we could do, and delight to do them, it was natural 
to us. In this woful, dead, rotten, poisoned, corrupt, estate, 
we were all born, and must confess, with David, Psal. li. 5, 
" Behold I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mo- 
ther conceive me." David sinned not in being conceived 
and born, for these, being the works of God and nature, 


are good. But David and we all are sinners from the 
birth; he and we were conceived and born in sin, a seed of 
evil doers. This is the natural condition of all mankind 
received from our father Adam. " By one man's disobe- 
dience many were made sinners/' in our own persons. So 
by Christ our corrupt nature is renewed, and we are 
"made holy and righteous." Romans, v. 19. We are 
sanctified in Christ, the second Adam, and " quickened to 
newness of life," Ephesians, ii. 1, 5. 

Before I pass to the third evil received by Adam, two 
objections come to be cleared : 

First, how could Adam lose that which he never had? 
The image of God in Adam, was a human perfection only, 
say some. Adam was made a reasonable, wise, and under- 
standing man. He was in a perfect, moral, sinless condi- 
tion; but if we could attain the perfection that was in Adam, 
it would be no more than a moral and human perfection; 
they that have but the first Adam's wisdom, are still of the 
earth, earthly. It was not that wisdom and understanding, 
nor that purity and righteousness, with which the second 
Adam was endued, and which all believers are made par- 
takers of in the days of the gospel; he was not partaker of 
the Divine nature; it was a condition free from pain and 
sorrow, a condition of human perfection, not a spiritual 
perfection. Thus that famous seducer, Thomas Collier, (in 
his book called the Marrow of Christianity, and dignified 
by an epistle commendatory of Mr. Saltmarsh, as discover- 
ing some principles of truth meet to be known of all 
saints,) vents his poisonous errors, which are as rottenness 
in the bones. And thus poor Christians are gulled and 
bewitched by such false lights, whilst they read their books 
with greediness and admiration, wherein is mixed a poi- 
sonous cup of dangerous and wicked errors, with some pre- 
cious truths, which the simple drink up altogether, for 
want of having their senses exercised, to discover the dif- 
ference between sugar and ratsbane, between truth and 

But to answer the objection, the scripture is clear, that 
the image of God in Adam consisted chiefly and properly 
in a conformity to the nature and will of God in "holiness 
and righteousness," as the apostle teaches, Eph. iv. 23, 24, 
" Be ye renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on 



that new man, which after God is created in righteousness 
and true holiness," with Col. iii. 10, "And have put on the 
new man, which is renewed in knowledge, after the image 
of him that created him." Note three things: 

First, The old man to be put off with his deeds, is our 
corrupt nature in Adam, the flesh with its affections and 
lusts: The new man to be put on, is the new creature, or 
the graces of the Spirit: it is that universal purity, which 
is begun in the souls of the regenerate, by the working of 
the Spirit, by which our natural corruption is more and 
more subdued, and our souls endued with holy qualities, 
according to the image of Christ. 

Secondly, We are said to be renewed to this image, which 
gives us to understand, that some time we had it. That 
which is renewed, is the same that was at first bestowed; 
the Spirit of renovation restores us what we received in 
our creation, and was lost ; whatsoever is renewed was 
once had, and lost. Now our renovation by Ghrist stands 
in knowledge, in the spirit of our mind, and in righteous- 
ness, and true holiness; therefore in those qualities stood 
the image of God in our first creation. 

Thirdly, which is yet more plain, by the words of both 
texts, Eph. iv. 24; Col. iii. 10; which say, that "the new 
man is created in righteousness and holiness after God," 
that is, after the likeness of God himself, who did create 
him; God created Adam, we are renewed after the image 
of the Creator, and that was in knowledge, righteousness 
and holiness: Adam could not lose that which he never 
had ; Adam lost spiritual life, holiness and righteousness, 
therefore he had them. 

Objection 2. By Adam's sin, all of us have weak natures, 
but not corrupt natures, from the birth. Some speak of 
original sin, as a great infelicity, not a sin : as for a child to be 
born with one eye, or withered arm, we say it is his mis- 
fortune, but not his sin, or fault: Are we to think so 
slightly of original sins ? 

Ans. No; the text says not, we are weak, and therefore 
die, but that all have sinned, and through the offence of one 
man are made sinners, (which is more than a weakness and 
proneness to sin) and therefore all die. This indwelling 
sin is that poisoned fountain, out of which arises all that 
rebellion, that is in us, against the will of God, Rom. vii. 20. 


And it is that "law in our members, which wars against 
the law of our mind, and bringeth us captive to the law of 
sin and death;" by which every one is tempted, "when he 
is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed; then when lust 
hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin," and death at last, as 
James teaches, James i. 13, 14. Indeed, carnal men make 
light of this corruption of nature, because they do not feel 
it. Paul was alive in his own conceit; he was sinful, though 
he knew it not, sinful by nature, " before the command- 
ment came," but discerned not his woful state and spiritual 
bondage, under corruption, till " the commandment came " 
to his knowledge ; then he played Rex and slew him, ver. S. 
And in this respect, we all have cause to bewail, not our 
weakness, but our wickedness, and to pray, not only for 
strength, but for mercy, to pardon and cleanse us from our 
birth-sin, as David did; and to strive, not only to keep our- 
selves unspotted of gross sins, but to be regenerated and 
born again, else we are undone for ever. 

Of all the sons of Adam, Christ alone needed no regene- 
ration, because he was not conceived and born in sin, as all 
others are: but except we be born again, we cannot enter 
into the kingdom of heaven. 

The third evil, which came upon us by Adam's fall, is 
Death, as has been largely shown in our first and general 
proof of this point, from Rom. v. 12, and I will not repeat. 
But what death? That is the question: 

My adversary's position is, that no man shall ever perish 
in hell for Adam's sin. The Anabaptists hold, that Adam 
brought vanity and corruption upon all his posterity; the 
earth, and every creature in it, is subject to vanity, yet those 
that die, and have corruption by Adam's sin, shall not be 
cast into hell; for the Lord says, " The soul that sinneth, it 
shall die, the son shall not bear the iniquity of the father," 
Ezekiel xviii. 20. 

Ans. No man is cast into hell for Adam's sin, himself 
being innocent; but in Adam we all sinned, as has been 
proved: no man dies of another's disease, but if we are in- 
fected with the same, we die of our own disease; the pro- 
phet Ezekiel says, that "the just child of a wicked father 
shall live: if he seeth all that his father hath done, and con- 
sidereth, and doth not the like, he shall surely live," ver. 
14, 18; but if the son commit the like sins as the father did, 



then "they shall bear their own iniquity," ver. 13. This 
is our case in relation to Adam, we are all wicked sons of 
a wicked father, there is none of us that doeth good, no, 
not one: all Adam's sons are wrapped in his sin, all are 
under that common guilt: bring forth a clean son out of 
Adam's loins, and he shall live: there is duplex reatus, 
proprius, et communis, I am guilty of some sins, which 
another is not, and another is guilty of sins which I am not; 
we have our proper faults. But this one offence, of which 
Paul speaks, Rom. v. 12, 16, 19, involves us all in one com- 
mon guilt; by it all of us being in Adam's loins, are alike 
guilty; and therefore even by that rule (The soul that sin- 
neth it shall die) we must all die, because we all have 
sinned. Sicut omnium hominum natura, ita etiam 
omnium voluntas originaliier fuit in Jldamo. 

Ans. As for the kind of death which God threatened to 
the transgression, we see it is, First, a temporal death, for 
infants die daily. Grant that Adam's sin brought but a 
temporal death on his children, yet this proves that they 
were sinners, and guilty in Adam, else they should not have 
died: and unless you confess, that infants are sinners in 
Adam, you cannot maintain the justice of God for inflicting 
temporal death on infants, according to that rule, Ezekiel 
xviii. 20. But, 

Secondly, If you grant infants to be sinners in Adam, 
then it will follow, that the same death, which is the wages 
of sin, is their due, unless they be redeemed by Christ. 

Thirdly, Again, consider what death it is that Christ 
delivers us from, that kind of death must be confessed to 
be due to sin, as its wages: but Christ delivers us not only 
from a temporal death in our resurrection, but from ever- 
lasting death in hell, as the apostle Paul teaches, 1 Thes, 
i. 10, "Even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to 
come," so Rom. v. 9, " Being justified by his blood, we 
shall be saved from wrath through him." After death 
then comes the judgment. Now to what end should 
Christ judge the dead, if there were no other death than 
the dissolution of our souls from the body? But there is 
another death, which is an everlasting separation from the 
presence of God. 2 Thes. i. 8, 9, " He shall come in flames 
of fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God, and 
that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, who 


shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the 
presence of the Lord." To conclude, Adam, by his sin, 
deprived himself of Paradise, it is true, but not an earthly- 
Paradise only; he plunged himself into a state of death, 
not only temporal, but in hell: and they that can dispute 
against this truth now, shall be forced to confess it here- 
after, and to bewail themselves for what Adam did before 
they were born, unless Christ redeem them. 

Obj. 1. Adam was not condemned for his own sin, 
therefore shall any of his posterity be? Ans. Yes, unless 
they be redeemed by Christ, the second Adam; Adam de- 
served condemnation, but God has mercy on whom he 
will; all that are sinners alike, deserve the like condemna- 
tion; but God of his free grace plucks some out of the fire, 
and gives them remedy by faith in Christ. 

Obj. 2. Mr. Hurd thus argues, Threats are denounced 
always against actual sins; we never read that they are 
thundered against us for original sin; they intimate, there- 
fore, that the sins, for which men go to hell, are their 
actual sins only. 

Ans. Original sin is the greatest of all others, the seed, 
the sink, the source, and spring of all other sins. This 
flesh is of so damnable a nature, that unless our " old man 
be crucified with Christ," unless that " body of sin " be 
"destroyed," unless we "crucify the flesh with its affec- 
tions and lusts," we are " none of Christ's," and if none 
of his, then we are " under the law, dead in trespasses and 
sins;" (Rom. vi. 6; Gal. v. 24,) our flesh, our unregenerate 
flesh, carries more souls to hell, than all our actual sins, for 
there is no repentance nor mercy for any actual sins, nor 
victory over them, till this " old man be crucified," till 
" the body of sin be destroyed, that henceforth we should 
not serve sin." Rom. vi. 6. Now what can be spoken 
more sad to any soul, than this, Thou art none of Christ's? 
" If you live after the flesh, ye shall die," therefore flesh 
brings death; "That which is born of the flesh is flesh," 
and " Except ye be born again, ye cannot see the kingdom 
of God:" (Rom. viii. 13, John iii. 3, 6,) our being in the 
flesh in our natural state, excludes us from the kingdom of 
heaven. These things we read thundered against original 
sin; our old man will kill us, unless it be crucified; our 
body of sin will destroy us, unless it be destroyed by the 



body of Christ; our flesh will shut us out of heaven, unless 
we be new-born. And yet do we never read, that threats 
are thundered out against us for original sin? Are these 
empty sounds? Do they not threaten death against us? 
Surely, unless men were dead, they could not choose but 
hear and tremble at these thunderings against this original, 
inbred, indwelling corruption, and in due sense thereof, 
cry out with the apostle, (Rom. vii. 24, 25,) " Who shall 
deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God " 
for deliverance " by Jesus Christ," else it would undo me 
for ever. 

Obj. 3. " If we be fallen into the guilt of the first sin, 
and the corruption of nature only, because we were in 
Adam's loins when he sinned, and derive our being from 
him, then it will follow, that we stand guilty of all the sins 
which Adam committed from his fall to his life's end; for 
we were in his loins as well after his fall, as before, and in 
every passage and variation of his life; he was still a prin- 
ciple of mankind. But where do we read that we are 
guilty of any other of his sins? therefore not of the first: 
And if w T e are guilty of Adam's first transgression, then 
much more of the sins of our immediate parents, in whose 
loins we were, when they sinned. But children are not 
guilty of their parents' faults, therefore not of Adam's. 

Ans. The scripture ascribes that sin and misery, which 
entered into the world, and invaded all mankind, to Adam's 
first sin only, as ye may see Rom. v. 15, 16, 17, &c. " The 
judgment was by one offence unto condemnation," and 
herewith we should rest content. The Lord thus ordain- 
ing and covenanting with Adam, the head of all mankind, 
that all should stand or fall with him: wherefore, when he 
broke the covenant, he forfeited all, and so brought all 
under the imputation of his sin: which is not unusual in 
covenants and contracts between men, as has been shown 
before. We were legally in Adam, as parties contracting 
in that first covenant. We see, by experience, the truth 
of our doctrine, namely, that all Adam's posterity, even 
infants, die, we wonder at the cause, the apostle tells us, 
" because in Adam all have sinned, in whom we all were." 
This we cavil against, and are loath to believe it. As for 
Adam's other actual sins, the standing, or fall of mankind 
did not depend on them, the Lord not imputing them to 


us, because upon them the articles of the covenant did not 
depend. Even as we see a conqueror grant some castle 
or town to be held by the besieged upon certain articles; 
upon breach of the articles, the castle or town is forfeited, 
and is imputed to all that be in the castle; but their other 
particular evil speeches, or actions against him that granted 
their articles, are not considered: So in this case. 

Obj. 4. But does it agree with the goodness and justice 
of God to punish Adam and all mankind so fearfully, for 
eating a little fruit? 

Ans. That transgression of our first parents, was a hor- 
rible departing and falling from God the Creator, to their 
Arch-enemy, the devil, whom they believed and obeyed, 
rather than the voice of their God; they were not content 
with their blessed condition, but despising it, they with- 
drew themselves from the power of God, from his law and 
obedience, and wilfully broke that easy commandment 
given to them, and so rejecting God, were justly rejected 
of God, and brought upon themselves that death, which 
was threatened. 

It was not so little an offence, as most men think it to 
be. Rev. Bishop Usher shows the heinousness of that re- 
volt, and that it did in some sort, contain within it the 
breach of all the commandments: See Sum of Christian 
Religion, page 134. 

Obj. 5. The last objection is here rejected by our adver- 
saries, as a reason of their opinion, that we are not in 
danger of hell for Adam's sin; for say they, if we had 
been to suffer in hell, in relation to Adam or the law, then 
Christ also should have suffered in hell for us, which he 
did not. 

Ans. That does not follow. He that delivers a debtor 
out of prison, need not himself lie in prison; it is enough 
that he satisfy the law, and discharge all the debt: so in 
this business, Christ is our surety appointed of God to bear 
our sins, he entered into our bonds, he was " made under 
the law to redeem us, that were under the law;" he was 
" made a curse for us, to redeem us from the curse of the 
law;" he did " bear our sins in his own body upon the 
cross, blotting out the hand-writing of ordinances that was 
against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the 
way, nailing it to his cross; and having spoiled principal!- 


ties and powers, he made a show of them openly, triumph- 
ing over them in it." Hell is the prison into which all 
are cast, which do not agree with their adversary, and 
there they lie, because they cannot make satisfaction to 
the law, because they cannot pay the utmost farthing; it 
they could have satisfied the debt, they need not have gone 
to hell, the which seeing Christ our surety did, it was no 
way requisite, that he should suffer in the place of the 
damned. And therefore I pass by as frivolous, those 
questions; whether Christ discharged this debt by way 
of solution, or by way of satisfaction? Whether his suf- 
ferings were the payment of the very debt, or of something 
else in its stead? It is sufficient that he has " cancelled the 
hand-writing that was against us;" that "he hath borne 
our griefs," that " he was wounded for our transgressions," 
that " the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and by 
his stripes we are healed," and that in him God is well 
pleased with us, having "laid upon him the iniquity of us 
all." And I conclude this third point, namely, that seeing 
the Lord threatened death to Adam's trangression, and the 
Scripture tells us, " Death is the wages of sin," and that 
"Jesus delivered us from the wrath to come," therefore 
that covenant threatened a future wrath to all sinners, 
under which they lie till they are redeemed by Christ, 
which is the third and last branch of our doctrine, briefly 
to be touched. 

You have seen, first, how God made a covenant with 
Adam; secondly, how Adam bj^ breaking it plunged him- 
self, and all his posterity, into a state of sin and death. 

The third branch follows, namely, that all men lie under 
the breach and curse of that first covenant, till they are 
actually regenerated, and planted into Christ, the second 
Adam, by whom alone we have deliverance from it. This 
is evident by our Saviour's words, (John viii. 36,) "If the 
Son shall make you free, then are you free indeed." The 
natural man, howsoever he thinks himself free, yet in truth 
is in bondage under sin, in the gall of bitterness and bond 
of iniquity, the very servant of corruption, and in that 
state shall for ever remain, unless the Son make him free. 
For, alas, what else can relieve you? It is not the wisdom of 
Plato, the learning of Aristotle, nor the justice of Aristides, 
&c, nor all the honesty, and seeming virtues of those 


heathen worthies. It is not all the moral honesty, and ci- 
vility of Christians, nor their outward privileges in Chris- 
tianity. It is not any or all of this that can serve the 
turn: whatever is short of Christ, whatever is short of re- 
generation, is short of salvation. It is nothing but Christ, 
the second Adam, in whom the new covenant of grace is 
established, that can deliver man from the state of sin and 
misery, in which all are born. 

It offends the ears of many, especially scholars, to hear 
us say, that those ancient philosophers and searchers of 
wisdom, that all who ever were born of Adam, whether 
Turks, Pagans, or Christians, are under sin and death. 
They cannot conceive that men of such honesty, and de- 
votion in their way should be damned. They cry out 
against this doctrine, as harsh and uncharitable. But what 
is the reason of this? Surely, because they do not well 
understand, or do not remember the nature of the covenant 
of works, and the state of all men under it, till they are 
actually planted into Christ. Men do not consider under 
what covenant they are, they do not hear the voice of that 
covenant, shutting up all under wrath, who do not perform 
absolute, perpetual, personal, and sinless obedience; the 
covenant of works knows no mercy, it curses every trans- 
gression; it accepts not of repentance, nor of doing our 
best; all men out of Christ are "under the law," that is, 
under these strict terms, to do it, or die. Indeed, if sal- 
vation were disposed and bestowed according to men's 
good intentions, or moral honesty, or the like good works, 
then there were hope of moral heathens, Turks, papists, 
and merely civilized protestants. But, poor souls, all this 
while you look for salvation in the covenant of works ; 
know therefore for certain, that " He that hath the Son 
hath life, he that hath not the Son, hath not life." " There 
is no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus," (1 
John v. 12; Rom. viii. 1,) and nothing but condemnation 
to them that are out of Christ. A man may really be 
under the law, and but seemingly under grace; many 
thousands apply to themselves the promise of the gospel, 
and of the new covenant, when they are not gotten one 
step out of the old Adam, when they are still under the 
law; you must look to it, that your state be changed, that 
ye be translated from the covenant of nature to Jesus Christ 


effectually, and then you are under grace, then are ye free 
indeed. Christ restores us all that we lost in Adam. 

By the first Adam, I told you we have three evils. 
First, Imputation of his transgression; secondly, corrup- 
tion of our nature; thirdly, death. Answerable to which 
we have three good things by Christ; first, imputation of 
his righteousness; secondly, renewing of nature; thirdly, 
life. These things are evidently set forth in that compa- 
rison, which Paul makes between Christ and Adam, Rom. 
v. 14. 

First, For imputation of Christ's righteousness, (verses 
16, IS,) "The judgment was by one offence to condem- 
nation, but the free gift is of many offences to justification;" 
and, (verse 18,) " As by the offence of one, judgment came 
upon all to condemnation, even so by the righteousness of 
one, the free gift came upon all men to the justification of 

Secondly, For renewing our nature, Christ makes new 
creatures. We are " circumcised in him, with the circum- 
cision made without hands, in putting off the body of the 
sins of the flesh: and you being dead in your sins, and the 
uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together 
with him." 2 Cor. v. 17: Col. ii. 11, 13. 

Thirdly, Lastly, for life, (Rom. v. 17,) "Much more 
they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of 
righteousness, shall reign in life by one Jesus Christ." 
And, again, (verse 21,) "As sin hath reigned unto death, 
even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eter- 
nal life by Jesus Christ our Lord." In which comparison 
of Christ and Adam, you see that we gain in Christ what 
we lost in Adam. Grace is as powerful to save, as sin to 
destroy. Guilt by Adam, righteousness by Christ; cor- 
ruption by Adam, regeneration by Christ ; death by Adam, 
eternal life by Christ: where, for conclusion, I would have 
this one thing especially noted in this comparison of Christ 
with Adam, namely, that our redemption by Christ, is a 
sure proof of our undoing by Adam. Now take away the 
former, the transgression of all men in Adam, and you 
overthrow the latter, to wit, the redemption of the world 
by Christ : if any did not fall in Adam, they need no re- 
demption by Christ; but seeing all need to be redeemed 
by Christ, therefore all fell in Adam, which is the sub- 


stance of the truth delivered against the heretical position 
laid down in the London Testimony above. 

Use. That which remains is, by way of use, to humble 
every soul of us under the sense of our cursed state in 
nature. To make us observe the crossings, the rebellings, 
the untoward ness, and indisposition that is in our hearts 
against the will of God. It is evident that we are born in 
sin, because we need not to be taught to sin, as we are 
taught every art that is not natural : we must be taught to 
read, to write, to work in this or that art ; but we sin with- 
out teaching, as the young snake hisses and stings. 

We should repent and bewail our original corruption, 
especially the lustings and workings of our old man, with 
the several aggravations thereof: 1. In regard to this univer- 
sality, and spreading over all the parts and faculties of our 
soul and body, the mind, the conscience, and the heart, the 
will, the memory, the affections: all the members of the 
body, are instruments of it, all parts are affected with its 
poison. 2. In regard to its closeness, and adherence to us, 
as close as our flesh, as our members. It casts a contagion 
and defilement upon our best actions. 3. In regard to its 
strength, and power to hinder good, to incline to evil. 
4. In regard to its policies and compliances, of its reason- 
ings and temptations. 5. In regard to its fruitfulness, con- 
tinually it works in us to bring forth fruit unto death. 

These, and such like aggravations, of this birth-sin, are 
excellently drawn by that learned man, Dr. Reynolds, who 
has with much spiritual skill and observation, dissected 
that body of sin, by which others may be brought to see 
and bewail their wretched state in nature. How light so- 
ever many reckon of this sin, it is that which costs the 
children of God more sighs and groans, more shame and 
bitter conflicts, than all their actual sins. You see how 
the apostle Paul mourned and struggled under it, Rom. vii. 
It is it which costs the ministers of Christ more pains to 
convince people of, to make them sensible of their state in 
it, than of any of their actual sins. Men are not easily 
convinced of their natural blindness, ignorance, unbelief, 
hypocrisy, security, hardness, and deceitful ness of heart, 
and that beadroll of lusts and wickedness, that is in the best 
civilized unregenerate man or woman in the world. O 
that God, who raised Christ from the dead, would, by the 


same mighty power of his Spirit quicken every soul among 
you that is dead in trespasses and sins, and make you to 
lay it to your hearts, that if you are not better than nature 
made you, you are undone for ever, that if you are not re- 
generated, you are under the law, and must answer for 
yourselves, and have no Mediator. 

1. That you may see yourselves in a state of death and 
condemnation. 2. In a state of enmity and opposition to 
God, and every thing that is holy and good, even " the 
wisdom of the flesh is enmity against God." 3. That you 
are in a state of insufficiency every way to help yourselves, 
that so you may more seriously, with hungering and thirst- 
ing, seek to Christ for help. Of redemption by Christ, 
we are to speak in the next Chapter. 

By this that has been said, are discovered and cleared, 
first, many vulgar mistakes about the image of God in 
Adam. Secondly, how all sinned in Adam. Thirdly, what 
death was threatened for sin. And fourthly, man's wretched 
state by nature. 



Here are four gross errors uttered with great boldness j 
first, that hypostatical union and communion of properties, 
are but real contradictions, and the frog-like croaking of 
the dragon, the beast, and the false prophets, &c. 

Of the union of Godhead and manhood in the one person 
of Christ, and of the communion of properties by virtue of 
that union, I have spoken enough already, (chapter 4,) and 
therefore shall speak nothing more to this bold blasphemy. 
Now of the second error, which affirms, "That spiritual 
life, breath, or soul, are subject to the grave, as well as the 
body or flesh; for Christ's soul, as well as his flesh, was in 
hell, that is, the grave, or bonds of death, so that he wholly 
died for us." For this matter will be more fitly treated of 
hereafter, wherein is expressly handled the doctrine of 
the future state of men's souls only. To affirm that his 


soul was in the grave, as well as his flesh, is contrary to 
those scriptures, which testify that Christ, our Mediator, 
at his death, yielded up the ghost, commending his spirit 
into the hands of his Father, as Stephen did, promising the 
converted thief, that the same day he should be with him 
in paradise, (Luke xxiii. 43,) which surely is not the grave. 
His body only was taken down from the tree, and laid in 
a sepulchre. And whereas it is said, that Christ's " soul 
was not left in hell," (Acts ii. 31,) the text expounds itself 
of the resurrection of Christ, for the apostle Peter, com- 
paring David and Christ together, says, that " David is 
both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto 
this day." David is not risen from the grave, his body 
sees corruption: but of Christ it is said, that "his soul was 
not left in hell, neither did his flesh see corruption." Soul, 
then, in this place, cannot be taken properly for the spiritual 
part of man, but the life of Christ, as it is expressed, (verse 
24,) "Whom God raised up from the dead, having loosed the 
pains of death," that is, the power of death, and bonds of 
the grave, ft because it was not possible that he should be 
holden of it." 

The third error is scarcely fit to be repeated, it is surely 
the foam of a distempered brain; for what sober man would 
affirm, " That Christ ascended upwards from the earth, into 
some part of the celestial bodies, and that without doubt 
he must be in the most excellent, glorious, and heavenly 
part thereof, which is the sun?" 

Poetical wits make sport with a man in the moon; but 
did it ever enter into the heart of a Christian, to think that 
the body of Christ is in the sun? The Scripture teaches 
us to speak more soberly and reverently of that article and 
mystery of our faith, namely, That our Lord Christ, when 
-he had finished his sufferings, and overcome death by his 
resurrection, went up into heaven to the right hand of the 
Majesty on high, that he might fill all things, and for ever 
appear as an advocate in the presence of God for us, and 
there to sit and rule, till all his enemies be made his foot- 
stool. There Stephen saw him "standing on the right 
hand of God." And the angels told the apostles, Acts i. 
11, that " this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into 
heaven (not into the sun) shall so come in like manner, as 
ye have seen him go into heaven." He went into heaven, 


and from thence he shall come in great glory * to convince 
all ungodly men of all their hard speeches, which they have 
spoken against him." 

That which best deserves our examination in this eighth 
chapter, is this fourth error, " That Christ did not, by his 
death, purchase life and salvation, no, not for the elect; for 
it was not the end of God in loving Christ, to purchase 
love and life, but Christ himself was purchased by love, 
that he might make out love, and purchase us to love; for 
Christ came not to reconcile God to men, but men to 
God," &c. 

These affected expressions vary from the form of sound 
words used in scripture; and though there is something of 
truth in them, yet for the doctrine and substance of them, 
they are unsound, and lead into a dangerous error, even 
denying the virtue of Christ's blood. 

Now that you may discern what is truth, and what is 
falsehood in them, you must distinguish a two-fold love of 
God ; there is amor benevolentise, the love of God's good 
will, and this is one of his attributes,, namely, his free grace, 
which is the first moving wheel in the work of man's re- 
demption: from this love it is, that God sent his Son into 
the world, John iii. 16, "God so loved the world that he 
gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in 
him should not perish, but have everlasting life." This 
love was hid in God from ages and generations, but now 
" the grace of God, which bringeth salvation, hath appeared 
to all men," especially in this, " because God sent his only 
begotten Son into the w T orld, that we might live through 
him." This love is not purchased by Christ, for this love 
gave Christ. 

Secondly, But there is another love, amor amiciiise, a 
love of friendship and reconciliation between God and man, 
who was at enmity with God: Cum salvandi affectus 
esset in Deo, ej usque egressus ajustitid pro peccato laesd 
impediretur, ablato per intervenientem satisfactionem 
impediment o^ affectus iste in effectum exiit. Scripta. 
Remonst. p. 283. And this is the proper effect of Christ's 
blood, according to that 2 Cor. v., " God was in Christ re- 
conciling the world to himself, having made peace through 
the blood of his cross, to reconcile all things to himself, 
and you that were sometimes alienated, and enemies in 


your minds by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled 
in the body of his flesh through death." Reconciliation 
is between persons at odds, and Christ's death removed the 
enmity between God and man, namely, the law of trans- 
gressions, the justice of God, the truth of God in that sen- 
tence against transgressors. All which stood between God 
and us, as a rock of separation, through which it was im- 
possible for God's pleased face to shine upon the sinner: if 
Christ had not made peace through the blood of his cross, 
we had lain for ever under the weight of his wrath. He 
procured for us his Father's pardon; "Father, forgive 
them;" without which pardon we must have been beaten 
with many stripes, and borne the punishment of our own 
sins in our own bodies and souls for evermore. 

Thus you see, how love gave Christ, and how Christ 
purchased love for sinners, "He delivered us from the 
wrath to come," 1 Thes. i. 10. Wrath is gone forth upon 
all through Adam's transgression. All unbelievers are 
under wrath, and there remain eternally: John iii. 36, "He 
that believeth not the Son, the wrath of God abideth on 
him." And so every believer may truly say, they were 
once children of wrath, in a state of wrath; but now are 
really delivered from the wrath to come; when of unbe- 
lievers, they were made believers. 

Therefore we are to hold it as a precious truth of God, 
that Christ our mediator did by his blood truly and really 
purchase life and salvation for the elect from the hand of 
his Father, that " he gave himself a ransom for all to be 
testified in due time," 1 Tim. ii. 6, that " the Son of man 
came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give 
his life a ransom for many," Matt. xx. 28; that "by his 
blood he obtained eternal redemption for us," Heb. ix. 12. 
Those words %vi pov, avt&viffm, %vt^ai^ signify, a satisfactory 
price paid for setting free a captive taken in war, or other- 
wise, and detained by the enemy as prisoner, till he be 
ransomed; and being applied to Christ, it signifies that 
price which Christ paid to the justice of God, detaining us 
sinners, as captives, in the hands of our enemies, Satan, 
death, and hell. And that price was not silver or gold, or 
any such " corruptible thing," but " the precious blood of 
Christ, as of a lamb without blemish." Christ himself was 
that price given, his righteous soul for our sinful souls, and 


being accepted of the Father on our behalf, we are set free 
from God's wrath, and from Satan, who was as God's jailer 
or officer, under whose power we were kept; but, as in our 
law, when once the law is satisfied, and the prisoner dis- 
charged by the judge, the jailer has no farther power to 
detain the prisoner; so the price of our ransom being paid 
by Christ, and accepted by God our judge, the devil has 
no farther power over us, our souls are set at liberty. 

Here, for conclusion, note that one's redemption may be 
procured two manner of ways, either by strong hand, or 
else by a price paid. In the former way Christ has re- 
deemed us out of the hand of the devil, namely, not by 
giving any price or satisfaction to him, but by strong hand; 
Christ conquered the devil, " he spoiled principalities and 
powers," and so delivered us out of hi-s hand by way of 
rescue, as Abraham rescued Lot out of the hands of Che- 
dorlaomer, who had taken him prisoner. Christ bound 
that strong man, and so delivered us as a prey out of his 
teeth: but he was to deal otherwise with God, not by way 
of force, but by way of a price paid to the justice of God ; 
he delivered us from his wrath to come, without which 
satisfactory price, life and salvation could never be procured 
to our poor souls; and, therefore, the apostle Paul calls the 
inheritance of the saints in heaven, "a purchased posses- 
sion," Eph. i. 14. And again, he is said "to purchase his 
church with his own blood," Acts xx. 28. Now if Christ 
purchased his church by his own blood, and atoned for our 
sins by his blood, Eph. i. 7, and purchased the heavenly 
inheritance by his blood, v. 14, how say these men, that 
Christ did not purchase life and salvation, no, not for the 
elect? Christ does not only hold forth love and life, but 
he first purchased it, and then held it forth; he was first 
offered for sinners, and then offered to sinners by the gos- 
pel; "This word God sent unto the children of Israel 
preaching peace by Jesus Christ," Acts x. 36. "Thus it 
is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to 
rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and 
remission of sins should be preached in his name among all 
nations," Luke xxiv. 46, 47. 

So if the question be, whether Christ did purchase love 
and life for the elect? The answer is, first, that he did 
purchase the love of reconciliation for sinners, though not 


the love of God's grace which gave Christ. And secondly, 
this purchase was made by a price satisfactory, and of value 
answerable to the souls redeemed and the inheritance pur- 
chased; a price, I say, paid not to Satan, but to the justice 
of God. 



You have seen how Christ has purchased life, and 
liberty, salvation, and remission of sins. The next great 
question is, for whom he has done all this, whether for all 
men whatsoever, or for his church only. 

The errors noted in the London Testimony, page 9, 10, 
are these especially; first, That Christ was given to satisfy 
for the sin of Adam, and for all the sins of mankind. Se- 
condly, That Christ intended the benefits of his death, 
namely, remission of sins, and eternal life to all, even to 
those who draw back to perdition, as well as for those who 
believe to the saving of the soul. 

2. Those other words, namely, that if Christ died only 
for some, and yet God commanded the gospel to be preached 
to all, then God commands a lie to be preached to the most 
part of men; and that they take away the true gospel and 
ground of faith, and introduce a false gospel, which affords 
men no ground to believe. Those words, 1 say, are rather 
arguments to prove the former opinions, than a distinct 
opinion from them; and so they shall be considered in the 

The third error, namely, is, That though heathens, hypo- 
crites, and devils, have for a time damned themselves, yet 
by the covenant of general redemption, our God will de- 
liver those prisoners out of the pit of hell; and they, with 
those few that are believers, shall feel and possess in due 
time the blessedness of it, to their everlasting salvation and 

This error, namely, of the redemption and possibility of 
saving the damned, has been confuted already. Never did 



the greatest patrons of general redemption extend the be- 
nefit of it to finally impenitent persons, much less to the 
damned; it being so flat against the scripture, which says, 
that " he that believeth not the Son, shall not see life, but 
the wrath of God abideth on him," John iii. 36; and if they 
be once damned, their state is unchangeable; if the soul be 
once lost, " What shall a man give in exchange for his 
soul?" Matt. xvi. 26. There is " no redemption from hell." 

My business, therefore, will be to help your understand- 
ings in the two branches. of the former opinions, namely, 
concerning Christ's satisfaction by his death upon the cross, 
for all the sins of all mankind; and concerning the inten- 
tion of the Father and the Son, namely, that all should par- 
take of the benefits of it, even the damned. 

But before 1 enter upon discussing the point, I shall 
crave leave to present to the reader, a short view of the 
doctrine of the Arminians, touching this point, as they 
themselves have declared it at the synod of Dort, in that 
large and subtle book of theirs, entitled, Scripta Synodalia 
Dordracena Ministrorum Remonstrantium circum se- 
cundum de Universalitate mortis Christi Jirticulum. 
They set down their opinion in these Theses, p. 280. 

1. Pretium redemptionis quod Christus Patri suo 
obtulit, non tantum in se, et per se loti generi humano 
redimendo sufficiens est, sed etiam pro omnibus et sin- 
gulis hominibus ex decreto, voluntate, et gratia Dei 
Patris persolutum est, ideoq. a participation fructuum 
mortis Christi, nemo absoluto et antecedent e Dei decreto 
precise exclusus est. 

1. The price of redemption, which Christ offered up to 
his Father, is not only sufficient in itself, to save all man- 
kind, but it was also paid for all and every man by the 
decree and gracious will of the Father; and, therefore, from 
partaking the fruit of his death, no man is excluded by any 
absolute decree of God. 

2. Christus merito mortis suae Deum Patrem universo 
generi humano hactenus reconciliavit, ut Pater propter 
ipsius meritum, salvd justitia et veritate sua novum 
gratise fozdus cum peccatoribus et damnationi obnoxiis 
hominibus, inire et sancire potuerit et voluerit. 

2. Christ, by the merit of his death, has thus far recon- 
ciled his Father to all mankind, as that his Father, for his 


death's sake, is enabled and willing to make a new cove- 
nant of grace with lost sinners, without any injury done to 
his justice or truth, or without any let or hinderance from 
his justice and truth. 

3. Etsi Christus pro omnibus et singulis hominibus 
reconciliationem cum Deo, et remissionem peccatorum 
promeruerit, nemo tamen secundum novi et gratiosi 
foederis pactum aliter, quam per Jidem beneficiorum 
morte Christi partorum reipsa Jit particeps, nee peccata 
hominibus peccatoribus remittuntur, antequam actu 
et vere in Christum credant. 

3. Although Christ hath merited reconciliation, and re- 
mission of sins for all and every man in the world, yet 
according to the tenor of the New Covenant, no man is 
actually partaker of the benefits of Christ's death, but by 
faith, neither are men's sins forgiven, until they do actually 
and truly believe in Christ. 

Then follows a declaration of their sense and meaning 
in those theses, concerning the death of Christ in these 
words following. 

1. Kedemptio sive reconciliatio et satisf actio nihil 
aliud est quam partis offensse placatio, sive actio vel 
passio talis qua offenso alicui satis jit hactenus, ut in 
gratiam cum eo qui offendit redire velit. Hinc est, quod 
electi, cum sint dilecti summa ac peremptoria dilectione, 
reconciliari et redimi, nee possunt, nee necesse habent, 
page 281. 

1. Redemption, reconciliation, and satisfaction, is nothing 
else but the pacifying of a party offended by some action 
or suffering, wherewith the party offended is satisfied so 
far, as that he will receive into favour the party offending; 
hence it is, that the elect, seeing God entirely loves them, 
cannot be said to be redeemed, or reconciled ; neither is 
there any need of reconciliation for them. 

2. Reconciliationem hanc sive propitiationem, ac- 
tionem Jesu Christi essestaluimus, qudjustitias divinse, 
quse obstaculo erat quominus peccatores sine ulld odii 
contra peccatum declaratione in gratiam secum recipere 
vellet, satisfactum est. Affectum hujus esse dicimus 
divinse gratiae impetrationem, id est, non quidem actu- 
alem nostri omnium restitutionem in gratiam; sed 
restitutionem in talem statum, in quo Deus nobis, non 


obstante amplius justitia vindicatrice, secundum gra- 
tise, et misericordias suae affectum, de novo beneficia sua 
communicare et potest et vult, ea lege et conditioner qua 
sapientise ipsius consultum videtur, (page 283.) 

2. This reconciliation is the work of Christ, whereby he 
hath satisfied God's justice, and removed that impediment, 
which hindered the actual receiving of sinners into favour, 
till God had showed his hatred against sin. The effect of 
this work of Christ, is the impetration and procuring of 
God's favour, by which impetration or obtaining of God's 
favour, we do understand an actual restoring of all men 
into peace with God ; but the restoring of them into a con- 
dition or estate, in which God may now, without wronging 
his justice, communicate of his grace unto us, and is ready 
to do it upon such terms and conditions, as himself shall 
limit and appoint. 

3. 1st a conditio est Jidei et obedientise postulatum, 
sub promisso gratise et comminatione poznae sancitum: 
proinde hdc conditione posita, fieri potest, ex natura 
rei ipsius, ut fructus impetratae gratise ad eos non per- 
veniat, quibus tamen-impetrata est, id est, its non ap- 
plicetur id quod impetratum est, quia Deo mandanti 
resistere possunt omnes et singuli propria sua volun- 
tate et malitia. Gratia enim hsec impetrata est pecca- 
toribus, quatenus in communi lapsus et peccati statu; 
aliisque peccatis, {exceptd sola impcenitentid) conside- 
rantur, et quidem ea lege, ut fructus ejus gratise solis 
fidelibus (qud talibus) obtingat, in fidelibus verb et re- 
bellibus, {qua talibus) non obtinget, eodemque loco ha- 
bentur, tanquam si gratia impetrata ipsis nunquam 

Juisset, page 284, 2S6. 

3. Those terms and conditions, are faith and obedience, 
required and established under promises of mercy, and 
threaten ings of punishment, this being the condition of our 
reconciliation, it is possible, and not against the nature of 
the covenant, that the benefit of this grace obtained for all, 
shall not be enjoyed by any of them, for whom it was ob- 
tained and intended, because all and every one may resist 
the command of God, requiring of them faith and repent- 
ance, through their own wilfulness and wickedness. For 
this universal grace is obtained to sinners, as they are con- 
sidered in the common state of the fall, and of all their 


other sins (impenitence only excepted,) yet with that con- 
dition, that the benefit of that grace shall actually be applied 
and partaken of only by believers; but unbelievers, and 
such as resist and rebel against the grace offered, are in as 
bad case, as if Christ had never died for them, nor obtained 
any favour at God's hands for them. 

4. Effectus ille quern impetratae reconciliationis voce 
designamus, pertinet adomnes et singulos nullo prorsus 
discrimine vel temporis, vel aetatis, vel personarum, vel 
locorum ; adeo ut omnes et singuli a Deo propter Chris- 
tum eo loco habeantur: ut, 1. Neminem eorum propter 
solum Adami peccatum eeternis cruciatibus punire velit. 
2. Neminem vocatorum etiam ob peccata actualia, voca- 
tionem ad fidem et resipiscentiam antecedentia U se 
rejicere, sed omnium et singuloru misereri velit, si modo 
actu ipso a peccatis resipiscant,et in Christum credant 
vitamque in melius commuient. 3. Neminem eorum, 
qui in Christum credunt ob infirmitates et imbecilli- 
tates, quae quidem vere tales sunt condemnare velit, 
sed solos tantum illos fructu gratiae impetratae pri- 
vare, et eterna poena afficere, qui nova et vincibili 
contumacia ac rebellione divinam gratiam aspernan- 
tur, benefactorem, et redemptorem suum respuunt, et 
seterna vita ipsi sese indignos reddunt propria sua 
incredulitate et inobedientia. Qui propterea quod cre- 
dere nolint in hunc redemptorem suum, cum per gra- 
tiam possint, reos sese faciunt justissimi supplicii, et 
effectu impetratae reconciliationis culpa ac merito suo 
privant. Page 285. 

4. That effect of Christ's death which we call purchased 
or procured reconciliation, pertains to all and every man in- 
differently, without any difference of time, or age, or per- 
sons, or places, in so much, that all men whatsoever, are for 
Christ's sake, in such respect with God, that first, he will 
punish none of them with eternal death for the sin of 
Adam only : secondly, that God will reject none of them 
that be called for any of their actual sins committed before 
their calling, but he will have mercy upon them all, if they 
actually repent, and believe, and amend their lives: thirdly, 
that God will not condemn any of them that believe in 
Christ, for their daily sins of infirmity and weakness: but 
such, and only such, as by their new and wilful obstinacy, 


spurn at the grace offered, and despise their Redeemer, they 
judge themselves unworthy of eternal life, and justly de- 
prive themselves of the benefit of that grace which was 
purchased and procured for them ; because they would not 
believe in Christ, when as by the help of grace they could, 
they are deservedly deprived of the mercy which Christ 
procured for them, and make themselves guilty of their 
own just condemnation. 

By this short draught of the Arminian doctrine, you 
may perceive from what corrupt fountain these new and 
bitter streams of false doctrines have flowed. — And it may 
serve to make us bewail the giddiness, partiality, and un- 
discerning spirit of our people, who in the compass of ten 
or twelve years, cry down Arminianism in a party, against 
whom they are prejudiced, and cry it up again, and admire 
it, when it is set forth in an independent dress. Most 
people (Jam. ii. 1,) "hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ 
with respect of persons." 

The particular errors of this declaration will fall under 
consideration, in handling the main question, which now 

Against the two errors before-mentioned, I oppose these 
two positions as the most certain doctrine of the scripture, 
namely, first, Christ was not given to satisfy for all the 
sins of all mankind; the price of redemption was not paid 
for all and every man, that is, in their room and stead ; his 
blood was not shed to satisfy the justice of God, and to ob- 
tain reconciliation and remission for the sins of them that 
perish, as well as of them that are saved. 

The second is, that Christ in dying, intended a spiritual 
benefit to his church, neither was it the intention of God 
the Father in giving his Son, nor of his Son in laying down 
his life, that all and every man should be redeemed by it. 

For proof of the former, I offer these reasons; first, they 
who are reconciled by Christ's death, are saved by his 
life. So Paul, (Rom. v. 10,) " If when we were enemies we 
were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much 
more being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life." But 
all are not saved by his life, therefore all are not reconciled 
and redeemed by his death. 

Obj. Christ paid a ransom for all, even for them that 
perish, but they, through unbelief, did not apply it. Ans. 


This is no solution to the argument, but a farther confir- 
mation, showing a reason why all are not ransomed by the 
price of Christ's death, namely, because it is not given to 
all to believe on the Son of God: if it were paid for all, 
then should all be set free; for what wise man will pay a 
great price for a captive, if he knows for certain, that the 
prisoner shall receive no benefit by it ? Deliverance of the 
captive is the very end for which his ransom was paid, and 
therefore, seeing that end is not enjoyed by all, we gather, 
that it was not paid for all. Christ will not lose the price 
of his own blood. " Those whom thou gavest me, I have 
kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition," 
and he is lost, because he was not given to me to save. Of 
that distinction between the impetration, or procuring of 
reconciliation for all, and the application thereof, 1 shall 
speak anon. 

My second reason is this, The wrath of God remains on 
them that perish, therefore they were never redeemed 
from it. Conceive it thus, to die for one, is by his own 
death, to free another from death; to die ejus loco, et vice, 
in his room and stead, that the other may live, as 2 Sam. 
xviii. 33, " Would God I had died for thee, Absalom, 
my son, my son;" that is, 0! that I had died, and thou 
hadst lived, that my life had gone for thine. Thus Christ 
died for us, (Rom. v. 6, 8,) "While we were yet sinners 
Christ died for us," that is, to deliver us from death, 
according as it is written, (Gal. iii. 13,) "Christ hath re- 
deemed us from the curse, being made a curse for us." 
Christ being made a curse for us, removes the curse from 
us; but if the curse still rest on us, it is because he was 
not made a curse for us. God punishes the sins of the 
elect upon the person of Christ, but the sins of others, that 
do not believe, in their own persons, (John viii. 24,) there- 
fore if any bear the punishment in his own person, it is a 
sign that Christ hath not borne it for him. If any be cast 
into prison, till he pay the utmost farthing, it is a sign that 
Christ the surety, has not paid the debt for him. The ar- 
gument may be thus framed. None of those for whom 
Christ died, are condemned. " Who shall condemn ? It 
is Christ that died." Rom. viii. 34. The force of that con- 
solation is this, that none of those for whom Christ died 
are condemned: but there are many thousands that are 


condemned, therefore there are thousands for whom Christ 
did not die. 

My third argument is taken from the falsehoods and 
absurdities, which follow upon this Arminian doctrine. 
For if Christ died to satisfy for all men alike, promiscu- 
ously and indifferently, as they are the sons of Adam, and 
all mankind alike redeemed, and restored to a state of grace 
by the merit of his death; then this is done either actu- 
ally, and absolutely, or under condition of faith ; if actually 
and really, then none could perish, be they Turks, pagans, 
or infidels: but this the Arminians themselves disclaim; 
they teach, that though remission of sins be procured, me- 
rited, and acquired for all, yet none partake thereof actu- 
ally, but believers: if conditionally, that is, for so many of 
them as will believe in the Redeemer, then it will follow, 
that possibly Christ's death may be in vain, and so instead 
of dying for all, he died for none, because, say they, Christ's 
work in dying is perfect in every respect; etiamsi impe- 
trata redemptio nulli individuo, aciu ipso, fuisset ap- 
plicata; though no particular man or woman in the world 
were ever saved by it. But grant that some fulfil the con- 
ditions of the new covenant, yet of this doctrine of Christ's 
dying for all, and not saving all for whom he died, it 
Would follow, that Christ died in vain, and shed his blood 
in vain, and in vain procured reconciliation for the greatest 
part of mankind, seeing the greatest part of mankind are 
not believers. Now it is grossly wrong to afiirm, that Christ 
died in vain, either for all, or for the greatest part of men; 
that opinion is not to be admitted, which makes Christ to 
have died in vain, (1 Cor. xv. 17,) "If Christ be not raised, 
your faith is vain, ye are yet in your sins;" but so does 
this doctrine, it makes Christ to have died in vain, if not 
in respect to all, yet the greater part of mankind. That 
opinion is not to be received, which denies Christ's special 
love to them for whom he died, for " greater love hath no 
man than this, that, a man lay down his life for his friends." 
John xv. 13. But so does this opinion of universal re- 
demption; for hereb)' it follows, that Christ died for some, 
whom he did not entirely love; hereby it will follow, that 
Cain and Judas are as truly redeemed by Christ, and as 
much beholden to Christ for his death, as Peter and Abel; 
for by this doctrine Christ has done his part for all alike; 


he intended salvation no more to one than to another; he 
died not for any man or woman by name, but for all in 
general, which is contrary to that of Paul, (Gal. ii. 20,) 
"Christ loved me, and so gave himself for me." The 
" redeemed " of the " Lord " are " called by their names." 
Isaiah xliii. 1, " I have formed thee, I have blotted out thy 
transgressions as a cloud." The Lord knows all his crea- 
tures whom he has formed and made, so also whom he has 
redeemed. Isa. xliv. 21, 22. And they are a peculiar 
people, called out of the world, as in that thanksgiving 
song, (Rev. v. 9,) "Thou hast redeemed us to God by thy 
blood, out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and 
nation," and "marked" or "sealed us up for the Lord's 
people." Rev. vii. 5. Of such a tribe so many, yea, 
" Christ calleth his own sheep by name," (John x. 3,) 
their names are written in the Lamb's book of life; there- 
fore, to say, that Christ died for some whom he did not 
entirely love, or that he entirely loved any that are damned, 
or that his sheep can be plucked out of his hand, and perish 
everlastingly, is a base reproach to our blessed Redeemer. 
It gives the lie to the scripture, and yet is the undeniable 
consequent of their doctrine. Thus much for the proof of 
my first position. 

Now, because the scriptures speaking of redemption pur- 
chased by Christ's death, sometimes express it in general 
terms, as (1 Tim. ii. 6,) "Christ Jesus gave himself a ran- 
som for all;" and so (Heb. ii. 9,) that "he by the grace of 
God should taste death for every man." Here is all, and 
every man; and that place 1 John ii. 2, " He is the propiti- 
ation for our sins, and not for ours only, but for the sins of 
the whole world." Sometimes, again, the scripture speaks 
of redemption in a more limited manner, as that Christ laid 
down his life "for his friends," (John xv. 13,) "for his 
sheep," (John x. 15,) for his "church;" (Eph. v. 25,) 
" Christ loved the church, and gave himself for it," &c. 

Now that you may have your senses exercised to discern 
good and evil, truth and error in this point, you must dis- 
tinguish between the sufficiency and efficacy of Christ's 
death: we say, that Christ died sufficiently for all, but not 
effectually for all, for that were an absurd manner of speech. 
But this we say, that the death of Christ is that one only, 
and perfect sacrifice, oblation, and satisfaction for sins, in 
- 23 


which God is well pleased with man, and by which God 
intended to save all that come to him; and it is in itself of 
infinite value and price, abundantly sufficient to take away 
the sins of the whole world; and if any perish, it is not 
through the weakness or insufficiency of that sacrifice, but 
through their own unbelief; by man's own fault it proves 
ineffectual to the salvation of many. This common sove- 
reign medicine for souls, made of Christ's blood, must be 
embraced and applied, else it avails not; it is effectual to 
them that believe. 

According to the first branch of this distinction, we teach 
that redemption by Christ's death, is universal in three 

First, For the price and merit of it: in Christ's sacrifice 
there is merit enough for all the sins that ever were, or 
shall be committed; yea, if there were ten thousand worlds 
to be redeemed, they needed no other price, no other satis- 
faction to please God, God is fully contented with this one 
of his Son: for it being the death of the eternal Son of 
God, it is of infinite value above all the souls, and above 
ail the sins of the sons of men; it is a universal remedy. 

Secondly, It is general and universal for the promise and 
offer of it; upon the all-sufficiency and merit of Christ's 
death is grounded a universal promiseof salvation, according 
to which, all that believe in him actually receive remission 
of sins, and life everlasting; the promise of life in Christ's 
death is universal to "all men;" the gospel is to be preached 
to " every creature," so that there is no man living that 
may not lay hold on that offer, no man is forbidden to come 
in, and take of the water of life freely, that has a mind to 
do it, (Rev. xxii. 17,) "Whosoever will, let him come 
and drink of the water of life freely." You cannot wish a 
larger promise, nor an easier condition, " Whosoever will, 
let him come;" there is none excluded, but such as will 
not come in, nor acknowledge him, nor deny themselves, 
and their own righteousness, their carnal reason, and sweet 
contentments for his sake. Why then do men cavil at the 
doctrine of redemption, as if it were not large enough ? Is 
it too straight and narrow to take in Episcopius, or Corvi- 
nus, or any of the Arminian subscribers? No; do they 
know any man in the world, to whom the offer of salva- 
tion may not be freely and truly made ? No, not one, the 


finally impenitent, and wilful contemners of Christ only 
excepted. Whose cause then do they so hotly plead? 
Let every one that is athirst, come; let every one that is 
grieved with sin, come; let every one that longs for salva- 
tion, come, and he shall find rest to his soul; he shall find 
Christ to be his God, and his mighty Redeemer; he shall 
feel the virtue and efficacy of Christ's death. 

Thirdly, Redemption is general or universal, in respect 
of the means, sincerely calling all men to fellowship with 
Christ, and of God's grace in him, namely, the word and 
sacraments. The manner of administration of this grace 
in the death of Christ is universal and complete; so that if 
there were a thousand worlds more to be saved, they 
needed no other gospel, no other sacraments, no other 
means to convert them, no new law to make them parta- 
kers of remission of sins by the death of Christ; and these 
are seen and known of all men, easy to be understood, 
preached, and published, not in a corner, but on the house- 
top, to all nations; "their sound is gone forth into all the 
earth :" our commission is, "Go into all the world, preach 
the gospel to every creature:" (Mark xvi. 16.) "It is the 
power of God to salvation, to the Jew first, and also to the 
Gentile," (Rom. i. 16,) and it is also real and sincere, for 
in the gospel there is nothing false or dissembled. What- 
ever is offered or promised to men, the same shall be made 
good to them by God, the author of the gospel; we offer 
salvation to all that will receive it, and it is sealed to them 
by the sacraments, and it shall be made good to all them 
that receive it in truth; we do not promise mercy and life 
to any that continue in their sins, that stand off from Christ; 
but to as many as receive him, they shall be the sons of 
God. And our word is true, it shall be made good to you; 
the Lord says not in vain to any man, "Come unto me, 
and I will ease you:" yea, so full and sufficient is this call- 
ing and preaching of life by the gospel, that they who 
hear it, and obey it not, are avtoxataxpctoi,, self-condemned: 
they must condemn themselves for their own obstinacy 
and contempt. If they are not converted by the means, 
they will be forced to confess, Thou, Lord, wouldst have 
healed and gathered us, but we would not. The will of 
God touching salvation, has been so fully "spoken to them," 
that they "have no excuse for their sin." John xv. 22, 


Thus you see, how redemption, by Christ's death, is 
universal, namely, first, in respect of the price and merit: 
Secondly, of the promise and offer of it to all: thirdly, in 
respect of the means, by which men are brought to faith; 
and therefore that inference is unsound, which says, that 
by our doctrine we take away the true gospel, and intro- 
duce a false, which affords no ground to believe; ground 
enough, you see, if you have hearts to accept of Christ 
upon true gospel terms. 

Yet according to the second branch of our distinction, 
we teach, that Christ's death is not effectual to all: the fruit 
and benefit of it is not received by all. 

First, For God has not tied himself by any promise in 
the New Testament, to communicate that grace to all. 
Many people never heard of the name of Christ; and of 
them that have heard, all do not believe; (Rom. x. 16,) 
"They have not all obeyed the gospel;. for Isaiah saith, 
Who hath believed our report?" 

Secondly, God has not tied himself to give faith to all 
that hear it, Acts xxviii. 24, u Some believed the things 
that were spoken, and some believed not; according to the 
prophecy of Isaiah," ver. 26, " Hearing, ye shall hear, and 
not understand. " " Behold, ye despisers, and wonder, and 
perish; for I work a work in your days, which you shall 
in no wise believe, though a man declare it unto you," Acts 
xiii. 41. This benefit is not effectually applied to any but 
to those whom the Father draws, and has given to Christ 
to be fitted for glory. Christ so died for all, that all which 
believe shall have remission of sins, and be justified from 
all things, from which they could never be justified by any 
thing that they could do or suffer. But in his death, he so 
properly intended the good of God's elect, that they should 
in due time be made partakers of the benefits purchased, 
Christ being made theirs, and they his, as I am now to 
show in our second position, which, in opposition to the se- 
cond error, I thus lay down, namely,— 

That God the Father, in giving his Son, and Christ, in 
dying for sinners, intended a special benefit to his church; 
neither does it appear, that they intended that all, and every 
man should be saved by it, much less such as trust in lying 
vanities, and draw back to perdition. The scripture terms 
are very significant to this purpose, Eph. v. 26 3 " Christ 


loved the church, and gave himself for it, that he might 
present it to himself a glorious church." So Acts xx. 28, 
He is said to "purchase the church with his own blood." 
Again, John xv. 13, "1 lay down my life for my friends," 
and "for my sheep," John x. 15. 

Of this there are two evident proofs: first, The event 
itself. God's counsels and intentions have a certain fulfil- 
ling (what he decreed and purposed must stand) and, there- 
fore, he intended not to redeem all, because all are not re- 
deemed, those whom God does not pardon in time, he did 
not decree before time to pardon them; "The Lord doth 
whatsoever he will in heaven and earth," Psal. cxv.; and 
because he does not save Judas, therefore he willed it not : 
%fl.n quod vult, non potest omnipotens? Vel {quod absit) 
velit salvare omnes homines, et non potuit? Quid ergo 
restat, nisi ut ille, qui omnia quxcunque voluit, fecit; 
ideo hoc non faciat, quia nolit, non quia non possit : 
quia sicut vere omnia quae voluit, fecit, it a vere noluit, 
quse non fecit; as Remigius, archbishop of Lyons, in his 
defence of Gotteschalc, notably argues: God does all things 
that he will, and what he does not, he wills not. 

A second evident proof (that Christ, in dying, intended 
a special benefit to his church) is taken from his office of 
intercession, by which the merit of his death is effectually 
applied to our actual reconciliation. The grace of redemp- 
tion purchased for the church, is not barely conditional, if 
men will fulfil the conditions of the new covenant; but for 
the merit and intercession of Christ, there is bestowed on 
them the spirit of regeneration, faith, and perseverance, 
whereby they shall effectually obtain the benefits purchased, 
namely, remission of sins, and life everlasting. 

The third reason: The new covenant is established in 
the blood of Christ, and it contains two chief blessings or 
promises, namely, free pardon of sin, and the writing of 
his laws in our hearts, that is, the conditions of the new 
covenant, which God requires of us. He promises to 
"write them in our hearts." He does not leave it to our 
frail wills, whether we will perform them or not; but he 
gives the ability and graces themselves, by which we shall 
infallibly be led on to salvation; and for this purpose, Christ 
did not only die for us, but rose again, and sits at the right 
hand of God, making intercession for us. John xvii. 9, " I 



pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given 
me, for they are thine:" and again, ver. 24, " Father, I will 
that they also whom thou hast given me, be with me, where 
I am." And so Peter teaches, Acts v. 31, that " God hath 
exalted Christ with his own right hand, to be a Prince and 
Saviour, to give repentance to Israel and remission of sins." 
Christ not only provides a price for our souls, but " gives 
gifts unto men," Eph. iv. 10, he draws all hearts unto him, 
and " being made Head of the church (which is his body) 
he filleth all in all," Eph. i. 22, so that his death, which is 
sufficient for all, may be effectually applied to the justifica- 
tion and reconciliation of the elect. 

The Arminians absurdly divide between the impetration 
or obtaining of remission of sins for all, and the application 
of it to all. 

First, They teach, that Christ, by the merit of his death, 
has procured that God, without injury to his justice, may 
enter into a new covenant of grace with mankind, upon 
what conditions he pleases, and so has opened a door of 
mercy to all men, that if they perform those conditions, 
they may be saved : but, as for the actual application and 
remission of sins, he has not procured that for any man. 

Secondly, also, That Christ, by his death, has made God 
placabilem, but not placatum, that is, procured a freedom, 
that God may be reconciled if he will, and if other condi- 
tions concur, but not an actual reconciliation. Thus, whilst 
they seem to advance and extend the comfort of Christ's 
death, they debase the efficacy of it, and divide his death 
from his resurrection and intercession, as if he were not 
an intercessor for all those for whom he is a reconciler, and 
for whom he is said to have died. 

Contrary to which, we teach, that the impetration, or 
procuring of pardon for us by his death, and the application 
thereof are not divided, they are of equal extent; as many 
as Christ died for, for them also he rose again, and makes 
intercession for the effectual obtaining of the fruit of his 
merits. According to that notable gradation of the apostle, 
" He that spared not his own Son, how shall he not with 
him also freely give us all things? It is Christ that died, 
yea, rather that is risen again, who is even at the right hand 
of God, who also maketh intercession for us," Rom. viii. 
32, 34. They say, Christ's death has its end, though none 


have benefit by it; but Christ has then, and not till then, 
attained the end of his death, when he has actually brought 
them into a state of grace and glory, according to that of 1 
Pet. iii. 18, and John x. 15, "I lay down my life for the 
sheep;" mark what follows, ver. 28, "And I give unto 
them eternal life, and they shall never perish;" John xiv. 
13, "I go to prepare a place for you; I will come again and 
receive you unto myself, that where I am, there ye may be 
also." Christ is the mediator between God and man; in 
respect of God a full satisfaction to the divine justice is 
given and taken ; God's wrath for the sins of the elect is 
suffered and overcome; he rests contented and appeased, 
the debt-book is crossed, and the hand-writing cancelled; 
and Christ is justified in the Spirit from all our sins. And 
as to us, Christ has an intention to save all those for whom 
he shed his blood, and for that purpose " he ever liveth to 
make intercession for them," Heb. vii. 25. Thus you see 
how Christ in dying, intended the good of his church, as 
appears partly by the event itself, partly by the course that 
he took for the effectual application of it to his elect. 

From whence also we may infer, as to the main question, 
that Christ did not die for all men, because he does not 
pray for all the world; for whom he died, for them he 
makes intercession: on the contrary, for whom he prays 
not, for them he died not; the same persons are redeemed 
and prayed for; "There is one mediator of all, who gave 
himself a ransom for all," 1 Tim. ii. 5, 6. 

Thus I have endeavoured to make good my two posi- 
tions against the two forementioned errors; it remains, that 
I clear some objections. 

Obj. 1. First, from scripture, 1 John ii. 2, "He is the 
propitiation, not for our sins only, but for the sins of the 
whole world." Ans. That is, not only for us Jews (John, 
who spake, was a Jew) but for the rest of the world, Gen- 
tiles. The distinction of nations is taken away, and "in 
Christ Jesus both Jew and Gentile are all one," Gal. iii. 28; 
the body of Christ is made up of all nations in the world, 
"He is salvation to the ends of the earth," Eph. ii. 14. 

Obj. 2. 1 Tim. ii. 4—6, "Who will have all men to be 
saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth; for there 
is one God and one Mediator between God and man, the 
man Christ Jesus, who gave himself a ransom for all." 


Ans. By all here cannot be meant all the men that ever 
were, or shall be, in the world; seeing the text is express, 
that " God in times past suffered all nations to walk in their 
own ways," not regarding or giving them means to come 
to the knowledge of the truth, Acts. xiv. 16, as now he 
doth "command all men every where to repent," Acts xvii. 
30. Cain, Judas, the beast, and the false prophet, and those 
scoffers, that were ordained of old to condemnation; can we 
reasonably think that God would have them to be saved? 
By all, therefore, must be meant, first, all sorts of men, 
kings, subjects, bond and free of every nation under hea- 
ven, according to Rev. v. 9, "Thou hast redeemed us to 
God by thy blood out of every kindred and tongue, and 
people and nation." He does not say, the whole ldndred, 
and tongue, and nation, but some out of every sort. 

Again, all, of all nations that shall believe on his name, so 
is all expounded and limited: thus "Abraham" is said to be 
"the father of us all," Rom. iv. 16, that is, of all believers, 
both Jew r s and Gentiles, John iii. 16; Rom.iii. 22. Christ's 
church is a world of believers, God will have them all come 
to the knowledge of the truth; the gospel teaches us, that 
" there is one God, and one Mediator," and one ransom paid 
for all, namely, whereas in times past, several nations had 
several gods and mediators, and proposed to themselves 
several ways of salvation; says the apostle, This is not 
truth, for there is one God, and one Mediator, and one ran- 
somer of all. There are not several ways and ransoms, nor 
several Mediators, by wmich men may be saved, but one for 
all men, and all men must be reconciled to God by his death 
and intercession. This I take to be the meaning of that whole 
passage of scripture, " A ransom for all;" Non quia nullus 
hominum est, qui per illius justitiam non justificetur, 
sed quia pr aster ejus justitiam nemo justificetur, omnes 
ergo per primum Jidam in condemnationem, el omnes 
per novissimum Adam in justificationem, quia nemo 
in condemnationem, nisi per ilium; nemo in justifica- 
tionem, nisi per istum : Tali sensu et illud accipien- 
dum est; sicut in *fldamo omnes moriuntur, it a in 
Christo omnes vivificabuntur : vere enim in Adamo 
omnes moriuntur, quia nemo in mortem nisi per ilium; 
et vere in Christo omnes vivificabuntur, quia nemo in 
ilia resurrectione vitas nisi per ipsum, quo etiam sensu 


manifestissime illud in Psalmo cxlv. 14, dictum est ; 
"The Lord upholdeth all that fall, and raiseth up all those 
that be bowed down," because he saves whom he will out 
of every kind and sort of sinners that are fallen, or else 
because none of all that be bowed down, are raised up, but 
by him, not by their own strength, but by his mercy. Thus 
Remigius wittily and solidly argues this point in his de- 
fence against Gotteschalc. 

Obj. 3. The third place is that of Heb. ii. 9, "That he, 
by the grace of God, should taste death for every man," 
vrtep rtavtos, " for all men." Ans. The apostle shows the 
end of Christ's suffering, and abasement for awhile, be- 
neath the angels, to be, not for himself, but for our cause; 
and, therefore, it ought to be glorious in our eyes. And 
this should be the more precious to us; first, because he 
did not die for a few, but for all believers, for all afflicted 
consciences, for all penitent, broken-hearted sinners; every 
believer has an interest in that death of his. Christ had a 
particular respect to every particular soul; he did not die 
for mankind in general, and for none in particular (as Ar- 
minians absurdly teach) but for me, and for thee, for my 
sins, and thy sins, for every sheep of his fold. Here is a 
sure ground of a particular applicatory faith for every man ; 
he knows them, and gives to them eternal life, and .will 
not lose one of them, but seeks and saves every wandering 
sheep, and so every man is bound to love him, and magnify 
him for it, and to apply the fruit of it to himself. He tasted 
death for me, therefore I shall not come into condemnation. 
Secondly, this universal vrtep 7t<wto$ does not include infi- 
dels, or impenitent contemners of Christ, but such as are 
characterized in the verses following: ver. 10, they are 
called "sons to be brought to glory;" ver. 11, they are of 
the " same nature with Christ," as the first fruits were of 
the same nature with the whole crop; the first fruits, under 
the law, sanctifies the crop, so does Christ sanctify us; 
" Christ that sanctifieth, and we that are sanctified, are all 
of one, for which cause he is not ashamed to call them bre- 
thren." The band of nature between Christ and us, is 
reckoned to those only, who are sanctified: with none other 
will Christ reckon kindred; and ver. 16, "he taketh hold 
of the seed of Abraham." 

Thus you see how (every man) in that text is extended 



to all poor sinners that embrace salvation by Christ, to each 
particular hungry soul, yet it is limited and restrained to 
such only; " God so loved the world, that he gave his only 
begotten Son:" For whom? for believers, for all believers, 
for none but believers. The general words, world, all, 
every man, being limited in some places of scripture, must 
be understood with that limitation in all other places, though 
it is not expressed. 

Objection 3. The fourth place of scripture is 2 Peter 
ii. 1, "They shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying 
the Lord that bought them," with Heb. x. 20, he speaks 
of some, who "counted the blood of the covenant, where- 
with they were sanctified, an unholy thing:" by which it 
seems, that Christ died not only for them that believe to 
salvation, but also for them that deny him, and tread under 
foot his blood, by which they were sanctified. 

Answer. First, this place is a prophecy of dangerous 
times, by reason of "false teachers, who shall bring in 
damnable sects and doctrines, even denying the Lord that 
bought them." — It may fitly be termed a prophetical de- 
scription of a Socinian. The Socinian denies both the 
lordship, or godhead of Christ, and also his satisfaction; 
they deny that our souls are the purchase of his blood. 
What is this to universal redemption? Yes, very much, 
may they say, because they that deny Christ's merits are 
said to be bought by him. They that are saved are bought 
by him, and if they which perish are also bought by him, 
then he died for all men without exception. 

Secondly, In scripture things are said to be what they 
seemed to be, and by the rule of profession what they 
ought to be. They once professed that they looked for 
redemption by Christ, and therefore denying Christ, they 
deny him that bought them, of whom they said, he re- 
deemed us. And this is the great aggravation of their 
apostacy; that they forsake him, who, as themselves con- 
fess, had shed his blood to redeem them, and had provided 
a sufficient price for them. He that ransoms a prisoner, 
has gotten the right and title of lord and master over him. 
Now as it is a cursed sin for a ransomed captive to renounce 
such a lord and master, that bought him, so is it a damn- 
able sin to renounce Christ, such a Christ as laid down his 
life for us. As far as they were believers, so far are they 


in scripture-account said to be redeemed, or bought: but in 
scripture-account they were believers, and therefore in scrip- 
ture-account said to be redeemed, and so denying Christ, 
they are said to deny the Lord that bought them. 

This manner of speaking, according to scripture-account, 
will farther be cleared by consideration of that other place, 
Heb. x. 29, to "tread the blood of Christ under foot," is 
the same in effect as to "deny the Lord that bought them," 
that is, to account it as "common blood," and that Christ 
is not worthy to be owned, or professed, or trusted on, as 
Lord of life; yet such a person is said to be "sanctified by 
the blood of the covenant." 

But how can that be ? Can any that perish be said to 
be sanctified by the blood of the covenant, that is, by the 
blood of Christ? 

I answer in the words of learned Mr. Dickson, on the 
place; his words are full and significant, and the doctrine 
sound: There is a two-fold sanctification, one to the "puri- 
fying of the flesh;" and there is a sanctification to the 
"purifying of the conscience from dead works to serve the 
living God," Heb. ix. 13, 14. The sanctification external, 
to the purifying of the flesh, consists in a man's separation 
from the world, and dedication to God's service by calling 
and covenant, common to all the members of the visible 
church, and it is of force thus far, as to bring a man into 
estimation for a saint before men and unto the common 
privileges of the church. Whereupon as men, so God also 
speaks to him, and of him, as one of his people, and deals 
with him in his external dispensations, as with one of his 
own people. In this Sense all the congregation of Israel, 
and every one of them is called holy, Numb. xvi. 3. 

The sanctification internal, by renovation, consists in a 
man's separation from the state of nature to the state of 
grace, from his old condition, to be a new creature indeed. 
By this latter sort a reprobate cannot be called, sanctified, 
or redeemed, and bought; but by the former he may be 
called, sanctified, and that by virtue of the blood of the 
covenant, although he should not get farther good thereby; 
for as the blood of Christ has virtue to cleanse the con- 
science, and renew the soul, which comes to it truly and 
spiritually, so it must have force to do that which is less, 
that is, purify the flesh, and the external condition of the 


man, who comes to it outwardly only, as the types did 
under the law; whereupon a hypocrite in the Christian 
church must be accounted one of the congregation of the 
saints, as well as a hypocrite under the law was so called, 
because Christ's blood cannot be inferior to the types, which 
were of this force to sanctify men to the purifying of the 
flesh. In this distinction you see what account the scrip- 
ture has of all the members of the visible church, and how 
it speaks of them, as of God's own people, as if they were 
really that which by covenant and vow they seem and pro- 
fess to be. And in this sense all of them are sanctified, 
and all bought and redeemed by the blood of the covenant. 

The fifth and strongest objection is this, the sin of Adam 
was the sin of the world. Christ took the sin and fault of 
the first Adam upon him, and therefore the sin of the world 
of man, whose nature was in Adam ; and taking the sin 
upon himself, he withal takes the curse and condemnation 
of the whole upon him, to recover man out of his undone 
condition. And this is the ground of that assertion of the 
Arminians, namely, that God will punish no man whatever 
for the only sin of Adam. Christ took away original guilt 
from all mankind, and so none are condemned or repro- 
bated, but for actual sins. Thus the author of " God's Love 
to Mankind ;" If God, says he, have no pleasure in the death 
of the wicked, much less in the death of men, either alto- 
gether innocent, or tainted only with original sin. Thus 
others also affirm, that seeing Christ bore the sin and con- 
demnation of all that sinned in Adam, therefore all are 
saved from that death and curse pronounced, and so the 
whole world have a redemption by Christ, until Adam's 
posterity, committing other sins, draw on themselves new 

To which I answer, First, The end and effect of Christ's 
death is to answer the law, to take away the curse of the 
first covenant, to redeem us that were under the law, that 
we might be made the sons of God. 

Secondly, That all men lie and continue in that sad state 
under the covenant of w ; orks, till regenerated, and brought 
under the covenant of grace, which is done " by faith in 
Christ Jesus," Gal. iv. 29. 

Thirdly, I answer, that Christ taking away (peccatum 
mundi) Adam's sin, (original sin from the elect) must do 


as much to save one, as to save all, and that which serves 
for one is sufficient for all the sons of Adam: howbeit, as 
God did once draw out of that polluted mass one man, pure 
from all touch of sin's infection; so he can, and does, daily 
sever a great number of children out of that condemned 
seed, pulling them out of the fire, to set them free from the 
breach and curse of that first covenant, by giving them 
faith, and drawing them to Christ ; all the rest remaining 
in the first Adam, and so under the law of transgressions. 
This severance of the seed was noted at the beginning, 
(when as yet the seed was not multiplied) in that enmity 
which the Lord put between the seed of the woman, and 
the seed of the serpent; Gen. iii. 15, "I will put enmity 
between thee and the woman, between thy seed and her 
seed." The seed of the serpent, without doubt, are the 
generation of the wicked; the seed of the woman is first 
Christ, then all that are his; between whom and the brood 
of the serpent, there is to this day deadly enmity. 

Secondly note, that here Christ is promised to the woman 
and her seed, not to the serpent and his seed. Here is a 
seed which shall overcome; and they are first, Christ, for 
"he hath destroyed him that had the power of death, that 
is, the devil." And secondly, Christians, who resisting 
the devil steadfastly in faith, "The God of peace bruises 
Satan under their feet;" and here is also a seed to be con- 
quered, and that is, the serpent and his brood; to the one 
Christ is given a redeemer, and deliverer, to the other he 
is appointed for their overthrow. Christ, you see, was not 
intended for all the seed of Adam. 

Again, this precious seed is, by a mark of distinction, 
called Abraham's seed, and it is said, that Christ took that 
on him, for he taketh hold of the seed of Abraham, when 
they were flying away, and in danger, but he let the rest 
go. Thus, to be Christ's, and to be Abraham's seed, is of 
the same extent; Gal. iii. 29, "If ye be Christ's, then are 
ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise." 

Lastly, note, in that place, Heb. ix. 15, that Christ's 
death was for the redemption of sins, that were under the 
first covenant. 

Then all men's sins are redeemed. No; there is a limi- 
tation, namely, that "by means of death, they which are 
called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance." 



Christ's death was the means to redeem transgressions, but 
this is limited to them, whom God is pleased to call. And 
so Rom. v. 17. After he had compared Adam and Christ, 
and what each of them give to their descendant branches; 
he limits this last all, to all that "receive the gift of righ- 
teousness;" they shall "reign in life by one Christ Jesus." 
Thus, you see, that God can redeem the transgressions of 
the first covenant by Christ, in the name, and on the behalf 
of a part of the seed of Adam, and condemn the same upon 
the residue, the seed of the Serpent. 

Obj. " But as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all 
be made alive," all died in Adam, 1 Cor. xv. 22, there- 
fore all made alive by Christ. Ans. That which goes be- 
fore, and that which follows the text, show plainly that the 
Apostle speaks here of believers, that they shall with com- 
fort rise again; and this he proves partly by their com- 
munion with Christ their head, verses 16, 20, partly by 
comparing Christ with Adam, verse 21, Christ is as able 
to save, as Adam to destroy. 

Obj. But how shall all be made alive in Christ, as all 
died in Adam, seeing all that were lost in Adam are not 
restored to life by Christ? Ans. There is a three-fold life: 
The first is natural, of the body; the second is spiritual, 
from the death of sin; the third is eternal, the life of glory. 
First, In this chapter of the resurrection, Paul does not 
speak of our rising to a spiritual life, for no man is quick- 
ened to a spiritual life at the resurrection: they that died 
in an unregenerate state, will be found dead at that day in 
their sins; our spiritual quickening is only in this life. 
Secondly, Therefore by " Christ shall all be made alive," 
is meant, that they shall be raised from that death, under 
which all are now kept prisoners; "the last enemy that 
shall be destroyed is death:" Christ shall give us the vic- 
tory over the grave, and cause us to triumph and say, " 
death, where is thy sting? grave, where is thy victory?" 

Thirdly, As for the life of glory, this is indeed bestowed 
at the resurrection, but not on all that died in Adam, not 
on all that shall be raised by the power of Christ, for " all 
that are in the grave shall hear the voice of the Son of God, 
and shall come forth, they that have done good to the re- 
surrection of life, and they that have done evil to the re- 
surrection of damnation." John v. 28, 29. 


So then, there is a natural life by the living soul, as it is 
written, 1 Cor. xv. 45, " The first man was made a living 
soul," that is, to live a bodily life here, by virtue of the 
soul united to the body, and yet the soul has not power to 
keep us from dissolution, nor to join the same again, being 
once dissolved. "The last Adam was made a quickening 
spirit," that is, appointed of God to restore life to the dead, 
and to make them immortal, and incorruptible, as he him- 
self is; for "he shall change our vile bodies, that they may 
be made like unto his glorious body." Phil. iii. 21. "And 
so shall we ever be with the Lord." 1 Thes. iv. 17. This 
is the life of glory, and this we have from Christ. 

The former, namely, the living soul Adam had, and of 
him we all receive it: but the everlasting life he had only 
upon condition, and as it were, in reversion, not in actual 
possession; for Adam was not possessed of that life which 
angels now live with God, and which we hope to live 
with him after our restoration. Adam, by his fall, fell 
from both; he forfeited both estates, namely, life natural, 
which he had in possession, and the life eternal, which was 
promised upon condition of obedience. Now Christ re- 
stores that natural life to all the sons of Adam, to all our 
whole nature. That supernatural and eternal life Christ 
restores too, but not promiscuously to all. Why? for 
Adam was never seized of it, Adam never performed the 
condition, to which that life was annexed; therefore that 
which Adam had only in conditional reversion is restored 
by Christ, not as a debt to human nature, but as a debt to 
his own perfect righteousness, which he gives by way of a 
special grace to those only that are Christ's; that is, to so 
many as are not only of that mass or lump, whereof Adam 
was the first formed, but of the new creation, of the new 
lump, whereof Christ is the first fruits to sanctify it, and 
so we find the apostle speak of the restriction, verse 23, 
" Every man in his own order, Christ the first fruits, after- 
ward they that are Christ's at his coming." And indeed 
the apostle calling Christ the "first fruits of them that 
sleep," has a spiritual meaning for the consolation of the 
believing Corinthians, and so it was sufficient to show, that 
as Adam brought death on all his, so Christ brings life to 
all his, by virtue of that life, or quickening spirit which is 
in him. Verse 47, " The first man is of the earth, earthy;" 



Adam was an earthy man, made of the earth, fed by the 
earth, in his constitution mortal, apt to return to the earth, 
and by reason of sin, subject to a necessity of dying. 
And such are all the sons of men born into the world, 
verse 48 ; " for as is the earthy, such are they that are 
earthy." Christ, "the second Adam, is the Lord from 
heaven. " The Lord from heaven took our nature, because 
his body was formed by the Holy Ghost, and united to the 
Divine Person, and in this respect his generation was 
divine and heavenly. And so they that are Christ's are 
called heavenly men, their names are written in heaven, 
and at the resurrection they shall be conformed to that 
heavenly man; they shall be heavenly men too, having 
their bodies made spiritual, immortal, incorruptible, as 
now Christ, after his resurrection, has; for so it follows, 
verse 49, " As we have borne the image of the earthy," 
in this mortal condition; so at the resurrection "we shall 
bear the image of the heavenly," in glory, and incorrup- 
tion; and he brings this proof of it, verse 50; " Now this I 
say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the king- 
dom of God." By flesh and blood, in this place, he does 
not mean carnal men, such as walk after the flesh (though 
it is true, that such persons shall never enter heaven) but 
rather this, such flesh and blood as ours is now, maintained 
by corporeal meats and drinks, of a mortal and corruptible 
nature, cannot inherit the kingdom of God; for so it fol- 
lows, "Neither doth corruption inherit incorruption," and 
"all must be changed" or die, that so " this corruptible 
shall put on incorruption, and this mortal put on immor- 
tality." This is the plain meaning of the apostle in this 
place, and it shows that Adam and Christ in their several 
conditions, qualifications, and states, were common persons, 
and are the patterns to which those, whom they represented 
are conformed; and because the wicked are not represented 
by Christ, therefore their rising is not sanctified nor blessed 
by Christ's rising. And it gives us reason to conclude, 
that God is able to put such a worth into the sufferings of 
Christ, that it is able to satisfy the law for the transgressions 
of all, and effectual to save all that come unto God by 
him, and to condemn sin in others, even the sin of the first 
Adam, as well as their actual sins, and yet not punish the 
gin of Adam twice, namely, upon Christ, and the sinner 


too. The Lord knows how to save the seed of the woman, 
and to reserve the seed of the serpent to be bruised and 

Use 1. Let this doctrine of redemption admonish you 
to see, and seriously to study to be of the number of 
Christ's little flock. Remember, not all that hear are 
saved, unless by hearing you obey the gospel of Christ. 
"My sheep hear my voice, and they follow me." Do 
not dream of universal redemption; the gospel is salvation 
to every one that believetk, not to one man more. 

Use 2, This doctrine affords us a sufficient ground of 
preaching the gospel to every creature, and of praying for 
all men. Consider these clear truths by me now delivered, 

First, That Christ, according to his Father's will and 
counsel, has paid a sufficient price to save all that believe 
and repent, and if all believe, they may be saved, yea, they 
shall be saved. 

Secondly, That the sacrifice of Christ really sanctifies all 
those for whom it was offered, because all they for whom 
Christ gave himself, them also he sanctifies, and saves to 
the uttermost. Non merendo tantum et materiam re- 
conciliationis procurando, sed etiam efficaciter salutem 
operando et applicando; that is, not only by meriting 
their reconciliation, but also really applying and bestowing 
the same, else he would not be a perfect Saviour to them. 

Thirdly, Christ has actually reconciled to God, by his 
blood, all such, and none but such, as believe: the impeni- 
tent are not redeemed, he has not obtained mercy and 
peace for them. 

Fourthly, Christ came not into the world to condemn it, 
but to save it; for all the world are either believers, or un- 
believers: "he that believeth on him is not condemned." 
As for the unbelievers, they are condemned already, being 
under the law; their farther condemnation and aggra- 
vation of their rebellion against God, is, per accidens, 
through their own maliciousness, not through the blessed 
word which they hear. 

Fifthly, All men that hear are bound to believe and em- 
brace the gospel, and Christ therein offered, and to repent 
of their sins; which, if they refuse to do, if they will not 
come in, they justly perish. 




Sixthly, Christ's death is the foundation of all our mer- 
cies, which actually we receive for pardon and purchase; as 
of our vocation, justification ; and it has not attained its end, 
until he has brought many sons to glory; for he has satis- 
fied for every evil, and merited every good thing for us: 
there is no sin or sinner above his merits and mercy. 

These precious truths contained in our doctrine, are a 
sufficient ground of preaching the gospel to every creature; 
and they afford us a visible ground, upon which the beloved 
of God, every humble soul, may accept of peace, and so 
come to have faith and hope in God: and likewise a visible 
rule of rejecting all who wilfully contemn their own peace, 
or refuse to return, and judge themselves unworthy of eter- 
nal life. 

Secondly, Here is also a sufficient warrant of praying for 
all men ; there is no man living but may be saved, for 
aught we know: there is merit enough in Christ, and spirit 
enough in Christ, and grace enough in his gospel. They 
which are dead may live. He that believeth is already 
passed from death to life; and he that believeth not as yet, 
may be a child of God, we helping forward their conver- 
sion by our prayers; we cannot know any man, no man 
can know himself to be a reprobate; there is hope of forgive- 
ness, so long as there is possibility of repentance. The 
apostle Paul requires " prayers to be made for all men," 
because ik God will have all to be saved." 1 Tim. ii. 1, 4. 
And Paul himself prayed ; "My heart's desire and prayer 
for Israel is, that they may be saved." We sin not in 
praying so, though many are not saved, because there is 
ground for it in God's revealed will, concurring with the 
universal merit of Christ, and the general offer of salvation 
by the gospel. 

Obj. The author of " God's Love to Mankind," says, 
" That our doctrine of Christ's dying for all sufficiently, not 
intentionally, takes away all comfort, for if God intended 
that he should die for all, yet he intended it upon such a 
condition, which he purposed not to give ability to perform. 
To which we reply, that in their general conditional way 
of redemption, they cannot comfort a distressed soul, but 
only upon his faith and repentance; and that we do, and 
can do in our way ; and whether it be safer to ascribe the 
working of faith to God, or to man's frail will; whether 


it be better to depend on God by prayer for the efficacy of 
his Spirit, to convert us, to create in us new hearts, and to 
write his laws in our hearts, or to rely on his own strength, 
we shall examine in the next chapter. 

In the meanwhile, methinks an Arminian can hardly 
bear a part with the redeemed ones, fully and heartily in 
that triumphant song of thanksgiving to the Lamb, when 
he shall, as a shepherd, or as a bridegroom, bring all his 
blessed train with him into heaven, to behold and enjoy 
his own glory for evermore, saying, " Worthy is the Lamb 
that was slain, to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, 
and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing; for thou 
hast redeemed us by thy blood, out of every kindred, and 
tongue, and people, and nation." Rev. v. 8, 12. I say it is 
hard for him to bear a part heartily in that song of praises, 
when his heart thinks as his tongue has professed, that he 
is no more beholden to the Lamb for his redemption, than 
Cain or Judas, and all the lost. 



You have heard how the Arminians teach; first, that 
God has not chosen to salvation any particular individual 
persons, but only a certain kind of men, believers in gene- 
ral, and so, as none are excluded, so none are appointed to 
life but on condition of perseverance in the faith. Secondly, 
they teach, that Christ died for all indifferently under the 
same condition, and not for any particular persons, and so 
no man is chosen or redeemed more than another by any 
act of God, but eveiitualiter, according as they will, or 
will not embrace the gospel. Agreeably to which, they 
teach in the third place, that God has decreed to give to 
all sufficient means of salvation, sufficient grace exciting, 
and preventing universally and indifferently to all, the 
which they who do not resist, but by the good use of free 


will assent to, and co-operate with, are both elected and re- 
deemed, but they which resist, and will not join, or co- 
operate with this motion of grace, are not elected, neither 
shall they be saved ; so that our work in this chapter will 
be to solve these two questions. 

First, Whether God gives to all men sufficient means 
and helps of grace to salvation ? 

The second is, Whether the use of these means being 
granted, it be in the power of man's free will to convert 
himself, to accept or refuse the grace offered? 

To the former question I shall speak but briefly, as being 
preparatory to the other. 

Here we must first consider, what is sufficient grace ? 
Sufficient in every kind of causes, is that which being ap- 
plied and intended to that end, procures its effect, and re- 
moves all impediments that stand in the way. If any thing 
can hinder the cause, that it does not produce its intended 
effect, that cause is deficient, not sufficient. It is so in 
natural things, as in physic. A medicine that is sufficient 
for such a cure, if applied, removes all impediments, and 
performs all intentions of the physician, requisite to the 
cure. But if any other medicine be required for the cure, 
then the first was not sufficient. So converting grace, or 
grace sufficient to the conversion of a sinner, is that, which 
being set to work upon the soul, removes every impedi- 
ment, and " fulfils all the good pleasure of God's goodness 
in us, and the work of faith with power:" (2 Thes. i. 11,) 
but if some other helps are necessary, then that grace was 
not sufficient. Arminians teach that grace sufficient to 
conversion is given to all, even to some that are never ac- 
tually converted, and accordingly they distinguish between 
grace sufficient and effectual. Sufficient grace, say they, 
is of great force to the conversion of a sinner, yet not 
always effectual by reason of our fault. But it is then ef- 
fectual, cum novam illi contumaciam et rebellionem 
homo non opponit, quam ex se opponere potuisset.* And 
a little after, speaking of resisting God's grace, they say, 
that a man may carry himself in such sort against God by 
evil actions, ut Us positis Dei gratia ipsum actu non 
convertat, etiam tunc, cum ipsum conversum serio vult, 

" When a man offers not that resistance, which it is in his power of himself 
to offer." r (t) 

Sree will to supernatural good. 285 

et convertere aggressus fuit.* Hence I thus argue, that 
grace is not sufficient to salvation, which meeting with a 
dead heart and obstinate will, leaves the sinner unconverted, 
even then when God intended to convert him, and most 
seriously endeavours it. But according to their doctrine, 
the most saving grace of God being applied to the conver- 
sion of a sinner, meeting with an obstinate will, does not 
actually convert him, no, not though God intended it, and 
endeavour it; therefore grace sufficient for salvation is not 
given to all. It is natural to us, and the greatest evil in our 
nature, and that which most directly opposes the work of 
grace, and hinders our salvation, to be of a dead heart, that 
swinishly treads under foot the Son of God, and wilfully 
refuses to accept the grace offered. And, on the contrary, 
it is the great work of grace to quicken the dead heart, and 
to take out of us that heart of stone; and therefore the 
grace of God, when it has done all that it can, or will do, 
to convert a sinner, if it does not this, if it change not the 
heart, if it does not remove this grand impediment to the 
soul's recovery, when it is intended and applied for that 
purpose; it is not sufficient, but deficient, because it does 
not bring to pass its own most proper work. 

Again, you must distinguish between that which is suf- 
ficient, quoad gradum, in a certain kind and degree, and 
that which is thoroughly sufficient, ad ipsum conversionis.\ 
In this dispute our question is not of the former, namely, 
of grace sufficient to lead men on in some degree towards 
their conversion, but of the latter, namely, of gratia suf- 
Jiciens ad salutem. This we deny to be given to all, and 
by the Arminians' own doctrine it stands undeniable; for 
neither is that sufficient illumination which leaves the mind 
in the dark, that it sees no more excellency in Christ than 
in all the creatures, neither is that sufficient conviction of 
sin and our own unrighteousness, which leaves the sinner 
irresolute to forsake his sins and his own unrighteousness; 
neither is that sufficient exciting grace, which leaves the 
will dead, unexcited, and unpersuaded as yet to return to 
the Lord; neither is that sufficient converting grace, or 
grace sufficient for salvation, which after all that it ought 

* " That on account of his doings, the grace of God does not actually convert 
him; even then, when God seriously wishes, and attempts his conversion." (tl 
X " To the finishing of the act of conversion." (tj 


to do, or has to do, leaves the soul unconverted, and in a 
state of death. 

If we say, that God's grace and man's will are joint 
causes, so that grace does its part, and man's will must do 
the rest, yet still it remains true, that it is not grace suffi- 
cient for salvation, because that which does but its part, is 
not sufficient for the whole; as a great burden is borne be- 
tween two, because one is not sufficient to bear it; but 
more of this in the next question. 

This doctrine of universal grace afforded to all, is con- 
trary to the experience of all ages; many people have 
never heard of the name of Christ. And how then shall 
they " believe in him of whom they have not heard ?" 
Rom. x. 14. It is a special grace that God sends the light 
of his gospel to any people, when the rest of the world sits 
in "darkness and the shadow of death." Psal. cxlvii. 19, 
20, "He showeth his word unto Jacob; he hath not dealt 
so with any nation." Paul bids the Ephesians remember 
their condition "in times past," namely, " without hope 
and without God in the world." And why without hope? 
Because without the gospel and knowledge of Christ. And 
in another place he tells us, that " the world by wisdom 
knew not God, and therefore it pleased God, by the foolish- 
ness of preaching, to save them that believe." 1 Cor. i. 21. 
To imagine that there is any means sufficient for salvation 
without Christ, is to overthrow the foundation of the gos- 
pel; for "he that hath not the Son hath not life." 1 John 
v. 12. 

Obj. Some imagine, that pagans, who live according to 
law of nature and right reason, have the knowledge of 
Christ and salvation bestowed on them, by a secret and 
extraordinary revelation, though unknown to us. Ans. 
This is a bold and senseless assertion: for, 

First, " How can they hear without a preacher?" Rom. 
x. 14. 

Secondly, How can Paul's words stand good, that pagans 
were without hope in the world, if by the good use of 
their natural parts they shall undoubtedly obtain the know- 
ledge of Christ? 

Thirdly, How can we imagine, that those poor souls, 
which sit in darkness under the power of Satan, should 
ever use their free will well, until Christ makes them free? 


Seeing as the apostle witnesses of the heathen, " There is 
none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after 
God, there is none that doeth good, no, not one;" (Rom. 
iii. 11, 12,) there cannot an instance be given of any hea- 
then, who by the good use of his natural will, ever ob- 
tained the addition of supernatural and saving knowledge, 
" no, not one," says the apostle, but on the contrary, they 
made ill use of that light, which they had; "When they 
knew God, they glorified him, not as God, but became vain 
in their imaginations." Rom. i. 21. 

Fourthly, " Without me," adds Christ, " ye can do no- 
thing," John xv. 5. He says not little, or not much, but 
nothing. If they had any strength, though small, then 
Christ said not truly, " Without me ye can do nothing." If 
they had none, then where is free will? Who ever used 
free will without the help of Christ preceding? By the 
knowledge of Christ's gospel we are taught the good use 
of our wills; and if Christ's grace gives that good use, Christ 
goes before us, and enables us: then he is not given after- 
wards as the reward of our well willing. 

Fifthly, This assertion establishes one of the grossest 
points of Popery and Pelagianism, namely, the merit of 
congruity; for they say that if a man do what is in him- 
self, God gives him supernatural grace: and Pelagius, long 
before them, taught Gratiam Dei omnibus dari ex me- 
rito pro bono usu liberi arbitrii, Syn. Dort, part 1, page 

Lastly, What promise, rule, or example have we of be- 
stowing saving grace on the heathen in such a way, or in 
and for such respects? This presumptuous assertion, with- 
out proofs, we detest: it overthrows the faith and its mi- 
nistry; it establishes paganism, and frustrates the whole 
new covenant of grace. 

We come now to consider of all that live within the sound 
of the gospel. Sufficient grace for salvation is not given 
to all the visible members of the church, therefore not to 
all men. Moses declared of many of the Israelites that 
had seen the signs and wonders in Egypt, yet " the Lord 
hath not given you a heart to perceive, and eyes to see, and 
ears to hear, unto this day," Deut. xxix. 4. And Christ, 
putting a difference between his disciples and the pharisees, 
says, « To you it is given to know the mysteries of the 


kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given," Matt, xiii 
11. How should men attain to saving grace, unless it be 
given? And all receive it not because it is not given to 
all; for to them it is not given. 

Obj. But they which hear, and understand not, have the 
same measure of grace with them that obeyed, only these 
would embrace the gospel and the other would not ; and so 
the grace which was sufficient in itself becomes insufficient 
through their own fault. 

Ans. God does more for Peter than for Judas; they that 
hear and obey, have a greater measure of God's powerful 
grace than they which still harden their hearts: there is an 
exceeding greatness of his power, Eph. i. 12, put forth in 
them that believe more than in them that hear and believe 
not. In you that believe, there is an emphasis; not the 
like power in them that believe not. God opened the heart 
of Lydia; " He gives us both to will and to do," Eph. i. 
13. He does not wait for our wills, but gives us, velle, to 
will of his own good pleasure, whereas others want that 
will to believe, though you say they had power to believe, 
and to co-operate with God's grace. Of this more in the 
next question. 

Obj. 2. It may be objected out of Bishop Lake's paper, 
thus, grace is universal ex instituto divino, though not de 
facto, through man's fault, for God made a covenant of 
grace with Adam, as a common person, to be communica- 
ted to his posterity, as appears in that Cain as well as Abel 
offered a sacrifice, which is a work of the new covenant. 
And again with Noah and his family; so that if you look 
to the beginnings of the church, you will find that the co- 
venant, by God's institution, was universal with all man- 
kind, as was the covenant of works, though many of Adam's 
and Noah's posterity departed from the church, and God 
was not bound by any condition of the covenant to call 
them home again. Now the covenant being universal, so 
is the covenant of grace, and ability to keep it; one branch 
whereof is this, " I will write my laws in their hearts," 
therefore all the confederates have grace sufficient for their 
salvation bestowed on them. 

Ans. 1. All are not confederates, therefore not within the 
promise. Ans. 2. It does not appear that God made cove- 
nant with Adam as a common person, to be communicated 
to all his posterity, but to the woman and her seed, not to 


the serpent's seed, plainly distinguishing between the seeds, 
though all came of Adam. Cain offered a sacrifice without 
faith: he was the seed of the serpent, of " that wicked one," 
1 John iii. 12, as John terms him; and Christ tells the Pha- 
risees that " they were of their father, the devil." 

I shall close this point with the observation of Bishop 
Davenant; Illud observetis velim, nos in hac thesi nos- 
tra (scilicet non datur omnibus auxilium sufficient ad 
salutem) hand inflcias ire, in causis universalibus a 
Deo institutis (quales sunt mors Christi, prasdicatio 
Evangelii, institutio sacramentorum ) reconditum esse 
thesaurum gratiss in se sufficientis ad salutem omni- 
um; sed illud solummodo defender e, Deum neque tene- 
ri, ut ex hoc thesauro sufficient em gratiam impertiat 
omnibus et singulis mor talibus, neque per providentiatn 
suam de facto procurare, ut ea omnibus impertiatur. 
The covenant is offered to all, but all are not confederates 
with him; some are confederate with Satan; "The Lord 
knows them that are his," and " in their hearts he writes 
his laws." 

Use. Let us bless God for his mercy to us whom he hath 
called to fellowship with Christ ; our wit, and spirits, and 
strength were better spent and drawn forth in praises to 
his holy name for this wonderful rich grace bestowed on 
our nation, and upon any of our souls in particular; for that 
he has given us eyes to see, and ears to hear, and hearts to 
consider the things which belong to our eternal peace, than 
in long disputes what he has, or does, or is bound to be- 
stow on others. God is free, and just, and holy in all 
his gifts of grace. Therefore let my soul for ever bless the 
Lord, who has subdued mine iniquities, and wrought all 
my works in me, and of his own will begotten me again 
to a lively hope by the word of truth. And let all the 
Christian nations glorify God for his mercy, as it is writ- 
ten, " Praise the Lord, all ye Gentiles, and laud him, all ye 
people;" Rom. xv. 9, 11, for he hath made known the 
riches of his glory on you whom he had called; of you it 
may be said, " I will call them my people, which were not 
my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved; and 
in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my 
people, there shall they be called the children of the living 
God." Rom. ix. 25, 26. 



of man's free will and ability to spiritual good. 

The errors cited by the London Testimony touching the 
natural man's free will, are two. 

First, That the gospel is the ministry of life not in it- 
self only, but in respect of men's power to believe it when 
it is preached or declared to them. For, say they, men 
are not blind for want, of eyes, but for want of light; and 
when light or truth is discovered to them, they have facul- 
ties suitable, fit, and apt to receive it. And if God should 
deprive men of all ability and power to repent, and believe, 
and turn to him, and then should still be moving and per- 
suading them, urging and pressing them to believe and turn 
to him, even those that perish, as well as those which are 
saved : this would seem somewhat harder than injustice it- 
self. As if a king, having caused a man's legs to be cut 
off, though in a way of justice, should persuade this man to 
run a race. 

The second error is this : Natural men may do such 
things as vvhereunto God hath by way of promise annexed 
grace, and acceptation as to believing; and, if it be possible 
that they may believe, then they may do such things 
whereunto God hath, by way of promise, annexed grace 
and acceptation. 

That faith has the promise of acceptation annexed to it 
no man ever doubted ; and that natural men may be brought 
to believe is as unquestionable. But of the manner how 
faith is wrought in the heart, and what influence free will 
contributes thereto, will be handled in confutation of the 
former error, and therefore I shall not speak distinctly of 
this second error, the rather because so much of it as savours 
of the merit of congruity is already confuted, in answer to 
an objection in my second reason about universal grace ; 
and something of the same matter will again fall in, in 
handling the main point 

Before I enter upon it, give me leave (and I think it will 
be profitable) to present you with a short view of the Ar- 
minian doctrine, touching the corruption and conversion 
of a sinner, that you may see at whose forge these new 


adversaries sharpen their goads and ploughshares. In their 
book entitled, Scripta Remonslrantium, &c, exhibited 
to the synod of Dort, they thus declare their opinion touch- 
ing the third and fourth articles, De gratia Dei in con- 
vcrsione hominis. 

1. Voluntatem quod attinet, de ed it a pronunciamus, 
tit statuamus earn in statu irregenerationis non habere 
potentiam ad volendum ullum salutare bonum: Neque 
enim id velle potest voluntas, quod in illo statu intel- 
lect us scire et monstrare non potest, page 6. 

1. The will of man in the state of unregeneracy, has not 
power to will any saving or spiritual good; because the 
understanding in that state, is blind, and cannot reach a 
spiritual object till it be revealed, and, therefore, the will 
cannot will it. 

2. In statu verb vocationis et regenerations, quia in- 
tellectus rursum boni salutaris cognitione donatus est, 
voluntas libertatem et potentiam habet bonum volendi 
(accedente scilicet praeter illuminationem supernatura- 
lis quoque potentiss collatione) et malum ex se volendi, 
libertatem volendi indifferenter tarn bonum salutare, 
quam malum, in static lapsus voluntati adesse nega- 
mus, cam tamen libertatem, quse voluntati essentialis 
est, retinuit, nempe quia potuit libere in malo occupari, 
sive hoc volendo, illud nolendo, sive uno proposito ob- 
jecto illud volendo, vel non volendo, page 6, 7. 

2. But in the state of vocation and regeneration, because 
the understanding is endued with the knowledge of spi- 
ritual things, the will recovers its freedom and power to 
will the thing that is goodj by the help of that illumination, 
and of a supernatural strength bestowed on it; indeed, in 
its lapsed state, the will cannot indifferently will spiritual 
good and evil: howbeit, that liberty which is essential to 
the will, namely, to bend itself to contrary objects within 
its reach, or about the same object to will it, or not will it, 
it still retains, page 7. 

3. Gratise Divinse actus in conversione hominis; (pri- 
mo) Gratia excitans est gratiosa et impromerita Spi- 
ritus Sancti operatio, qua primum intellectum rerum 
salutarium cognitione imbuit, et per eandem illumi- 
nationem in ipsam voluntatem agil ; vocatur et prse- 
veniens quia nost^im volitionern prsevenit, page 14. 

292 of man's free will and 

3. Of the acts of God's grace in the conversion of a sin- 
ner. First, exciting grace is that free and undeserved work 
of the Holy Spirit, whereby he enlightens the understand- 
ing with the knowledge of saving truths, and by the un- 
derstanding works upon the will, stirring it up to yield 
assent to the things revealed. It is also called preventing 
grace, because it goes before any act of our own wills. 

4. Adjuvans verb gratia est, quae voluntatem juvai, 
et effective cum ed concurrit ad producendum actum: 
vacatur hasc co-operans, quia cum voluntate operatur: 
et subsequens respectu prxvenientis et excitantis Gra- 
tide, page 15. 

4. Helping grace is that which helps the will, and effec- 
tually joins or concurs with it, in producing the act of faith. 
It is called co-operating grace, because it works together 
with the will in the act of conversion; and subsequent 
grace, because it follows or sets in with the will, yielding 
and not making new resistance against the work of grace, 
as it might have done. 

5. Ordo aciuum divinas gratias: cum tria in homine 
corrupto regeneratione egeant, mens, voluntas, affectus; 
triplici huic subjecto, triplices gratias divinas actus ac» 

1. Mentem Deus verbo etSpiritus sui illuminations 
illustrat; et si quando Veritas clare et perspicue a Spi- 
ritu Sancto menti prsesentetur non potest intellectus ex 
se illi illuminationi resistere, sed ab objecto ita propo- 
sito determinatur ad assent iendum, p. 16. 

2. Voluntatem Deus Jlectit et inclinat ad actum 
Jidei et obedientias, ita ut voluntas per illam operatio- 
nem non solum potuit obedire, sed et obediat, quoties 
obedit, non ex se, aut per se, aut a se. Jlddimus etiam 
supematuralem potentiam credendi, voluntati conferri 
immediala Dei actione, modo ilia actio voluntatem non 
necessitet antecedenter, et liberiatem potentiamque non 
volendi tollat. 

3. Deus quoque affectus nostros corrigit; quibus af~ 
fectibus castigaiis et in ordinem redactis, promptior et 
facilior redditur voluntas ad exercendos pietatis actus ? 
p. 17. 

5. The order of the acts of God's grace ; whereas three 
things in corrupt man need regeneration, namely, the 


mind, will, and affections, there are three acts of grace ap- 
plicable for remedy. 

First, God enlightens the mind with the light of his 
word and Spirit; which, when it is clearly presented to 
the understanding, it cannot resist that light, but is bound 
to assent to the object so proposed. 

Secondly, God bows and inclines the will to the act of 
faith and obedience, so far that the will, whenever it does 
obey, not only can, but also does obey, not of, or from, or 
by itself. We say, moreover, that there is given to the 
will a supernatural power to believe, by the immediate 
working of God upon it, provided, that the action of God 
do not necessitate the will to consent, nor take away its 
liberty and power to dissent, or not to believe. 

Thirdly, God also corrects our affections, which, being 
hastened, and ordered, the will is made more prompt and 
ready to exercise the acts of piety. 

6. Huic suae conversioni homo obicem ponere potest, 
et ponit saepe. Quare dicimus voluntatem ad volendum 
bonum non necessitari, sed hominem posse ex se rests- 
tere, id est, non velle, et ssepe actu non velle, page 17. 
Jmo positis omnibus operationibus quibus ad conver- 
sionem in hominibus efficiendam Deus utitur, conversio 
ssepe non sequitur, conversio contingens est et incerta, 
quia libera, page 21. 

6. It is in the power of man to put a bar to this his own 
conversion, and he does often hinder it; wherefore we say, 
that the will is not necessitated to choose the good; but he 
can, and oft-times does, resist and refuse it, yea, all those 
operations which God uses to the conversion of a sinner, 
being put forth, yet conversion of the man does not always 
follow. Man's conversion is contingent and uncertain, 
because free. 

7. Si quaeratur, quae causa sit, cur hie convertatur, 
ille non? Respondemus, hie convertitur, quia Deus 
hunc non opponentem novam contumaciam convertit ; 
ille non convertitur, quia novam contumaciam opponit. 
Quaeres, cur hie opponit novam contumaciam, alter 
non? Respondemus, hie opponit, quia vult; ille non 
opponit, quia gratia movetur, ne opponere velit. Quae- 
res, annon ille qui non opponit novam contumaciam, et 
per consequens convertitur, majorem habeat gratiam, 


294 op man's free will, and 

quarn qui opponit, et non convertifur? Respondemm 
antecedentem et prsevenientem gratiam sequalem esse 
posse, sed co-operantem habet prior, non posterior. 

7. If a reason be demanded, Why this man is converted? 
and not that man ? we answer, This man is converted, be- 
cause he not opposing a new rebellion and contumacy, God 
converts him; the other is not converted, because he op- 
poses a new perverseness against the offer of grace. Se- 
condly, you demand, Why this man is obstinate to rebel., 
and not the other? We answer, This man resists because 
he will ; the other does not, because he is moved of God, 
not to resist. If you demand whether he who does not 
resist, and so is converted, has a greater measure of grace 
given him, than he which does resist his own conversion? 
We answer, That the exciting and preventing grace in 
both, is equal; but co-operating grace the one has, not 
the other. 

This is a great part of their doctrine touching the cor- 
ruption and liberty of man's free will in things spiritual, 
in which I note two things. 

First, That it is evident, that all which they so largely 
speak of grace, as if they meant to ascribe the beginning, 
progress, and perfection of all good to the grace of God, 
is but a mockery; for if it be in the will to resist the same 
work of grace, by which another is converted, or to em- 
brace the same grace, which another rejected ; if after all 
the labour which God uses, or will bestow for the conver- 
sion of the soul, the party may oppose and hinder it, if all 
that they ascribe to grace be but to reveal the doctrine of 
the gospel for enlightening the mind, and to stir up the 
affections, and to give power to the will to believe, yet so 
as that notwithstanding that power, the will is still in 
sequilibrio, whether it will turn to God, or not; I say, if 
after all that, they say, the will must strike the stroke, and 
determine the matter; what is this, but to set up the power 
of nature, and diminish the work of grace, to magnify man, 
and rob God of his glory? 

Secondly, 1 observe also, that in the opinion, both of 
these old Arminians, and our new adversaries, the will, in 
its natural state, is clogged with two impediments, namety, 
want of light revealed, and perverseness of affections, which 
being removed by the gospel, brings life and immortality 


to light, then the will is at liberty to exercise its innate 
and essential liberty, (for it lost it not by the fall,) to act 
upon those supernatural objects either well or ill; a man in 
his natural estate, being by them compared to a man in the 
dark, he wants not eyes, but light. Bring him a light and 
he sees again. Or as a man in prison, knock off his bolts, 
and open the prison doors, and he is at liberty to go away. 
So, say they, it is in this business. But the contrary will 
be made appear in our answer to our second question, which 
now follows. 

Question. Whether the use of those means being granted, 
it is in the power of man's free-will to convert himself; to 
accept or refuse the grace offered? It is denied. This 
must be the state of the question, for so they declare them- 
selves, namely, "That the gospel is the ministry of life, not 
in itself only, but in respect of men's power to believe it 
when it is preached or declared to them." This we deny; 
for God in raising a soul to life, does not only afford means, 
but opens our understandings to conceive, and causes the 
heart to hearken. The apostles had the scriptures; they 
read the prophecies concerning Christ, Luke xxiv. 25, 44. 
But one thing more was needful to form a right faith in 
them; and what was that? See verse 45, "Then opened 
he their understandings, that they might understand the 
scriptures." It is true of every natural man, that which 
Paul speaks of the Jews, 2 Cor. iii. 14, "There is a vail 
upon the heart in reading the scriptures, until it be done 
away in Christ." Therefore Paul prays for the Ephesians, 
that " God would give them a spirit of wisdom and revela- 
tion in the knowledge of Christ, that the eyes of your un- 
derstanding being enlightened, ye may know." Ephes. 
i. 18. He writes to them that had the gospel preached to 
them already; but he knew that they wanted sight, as well 
as light, and therefore prayed that God would give them 
eyes to see and understand. 

We that are ministers can hold forth the light; but there 
is a farther ministry required, even the Spirit of the living 
God, to write the gospel, not "in tables of stone," but "in 
the fleshly tables of the heart." 2 Cor. iii. 3. If it be 
written on with ink, or upon tables of stone, if that were 
enough, then he would not speak of another writing by the 
Spirit of God in the tables of the heart, but now he pro- 


mises "to write his laws in our hearts," and therefore let 
us humbly beg, and thankfully receive that mercy, and not 
trust to our own strength. God does not regenerate thy 
soul, that it may be able to know him, and yet not know 
him, or that it may be able to believe, and yet not believe; 
or that it might be able to love him, and yet not love him ; 
but he therefore makes thee able to know, to believe, and 
love, that thou mayest indeed both know, believe, and love 
him; he works not only posse, but velle; "God worketh 
in you both to will, and to do, of his own good pleasure." 
Phil. ii. 13. We must "work out our own salvation," that 
is, employ all our abilities and endeavours to get salvation, 
and that with all holy reverence, humility, and carefulness, 
verse 12; but it is the Lord's work to frame us to will and 
to do, and that not according to our endeavours, but of his 
good pleasure. 

Now, to help your understandings in this matter, and to 
prevent confusion in discourse, you must carefully distin- 
guish, First, between the freedom and power of man's will. 
We acknowledge, that liberty and freedom are natural to 
the will, the good or evil which we will, we will freely; 
but as for our strength and ability to rise up from a state 
of sin and death, by the power of our own wills, that we 
deny: that strength is from the Spirit of grace and regene- 

Secondly. Again you must distinguish between the will 
free from compulsion and necessity, and from the bondage 
of corruption. We acknowledge that man's will is free 
from compulsion, either to sin, or to virtue. There is no 
force, or constraint, or outward necessity laid upon the 
will; but in respect of bondage to sin, under which all men 
are sold, Romans vii. 14 ; so the will is in bondage, till 
Christ make it free, Romans vi. 17, 20. It acts freely, but 
not graciously, till it is renewed by grace, and then so far 
as it is regenerate, it wills things that are good. The will 
of a natural man in its greatest bondage, is free from com- 
pulsion, and constraint, and in its greatest liberty it is in 
bondage under sin. 

Obj. The doctrine of protestants is traduced by Papists, 
Arminians, and Anabaptists, as if we made man a stock, 
or a stone; as if God converted him whether he would or 
not; as if God by his predestination and decrees, compelled 


and laid a necessity upon men to sin, or as if men were un- 
justly blamed, exhorted, reproved, for not believing, for 
not doing their duty, if they have not free-will, &c. 

We answer : First, every man's will is free ; whatever 
it does, it does freely : when wicked men sin, rebel against 
the light, resist the truth, they do it freely ; when godly 
men embrace Christ, when they forsake the ways of death, 
they do it freely, for else it were not a will ; the outward 
man may be forced, as in a storm, to cast the wares into 
the sea ; in -danger, to deliver up one's money to save the 
life. And this we do, after a sort, freely; because, of two 
evils, we choose the least. The will is a natural faculty, 
and therefore free to its own actions, which are in its reach 
and compass. 

Secondly, we teach, that the will is still free from com- 
pulsion, or constraint : wicked men are not forced to sin, 
nor good men to come to Christ ; they desire him, they 
prize him above every thing that can be set against him. 
But we confess, that in respect of the bondage of sin, it is 
a corrupt free-will : all men, by nature, are servants of sin, 
and so continue till " Christ makes them free." Man by 
the fall is spoiled, not of his will, but of the soundness of 
his will ; they will freely, but not well, and therefore that 
good-will by which we embrace Christ, and the things of 
the Spirit, is not a natural faculty born with us into the 
world, but renewed in us by the Spirit of grace in regene- 
ration ; and all the saints, so far as they are regenerate, have 
a good, and a holy will, made alive to God, "even when 
we were dead in trespasses and sins, he hath quickened us 
together with Christ," and then "we yield ourselves to 
God, as they that are alive from the dead." 

But the question is, of the strength and power of an un- 
regenerate man's will, as to his first uprising from the state 
of sin and death ; whether it have any power to convert it- 
self, to raise itself to spiritual actions, to do any thing to- 
wards its own justification; or whether there is in the will 
before regeneration, vis activa, an active force to believe, 
and raise itself by the only help of exciting and preventing 
grace? This is denied in scripture; and man's weakness 
and insufficiency to help himself, acknowledged, because 
we are dead in sins and trespasses, enemies to God in our 
minds, and " without strength." And what spiritual good 


can be expected from such blind, carnal souls, till the Spirit 
of God come and renew them ? When the Spirit of grace 
first takes hold of us, it finds us in our blood, and says 
unto us, Live : it finds us in a dead sleep, and therefore it 
says, "Awake, thou that sleepest, arise from the dead, and 
Christ shall give thee light." 

There is in all a power to will; but to will well, that is 
of renewing grace. Amongst many reasons, I shall content 
myself with these three. 

The first is taken from the nature of regeneration, which 
is the work of the Spirit, making a new creature, restoring 
the spiritual life of grace to the soul that was spiritually 
dead in trespasses and sins. Thus the scripture speaks of 
regeneration; "The sons of God," says John, John i. 
13, "are born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, 
nor of the will of man, but of God." Note two things; 
first, that God's children must be born again. A child of 
nature, so long as he is such, is not the child of God: 
secondly, in this new birth, the will of man, and of the 
flesh, is expressly excluded, and God's power alone set up. 
Now, if the first act of our uprising be ascribed partly to 
God, and partly to us; to God, because he, by exciting 
grace, enlightens the mind, and stirs up the affections; to 
us, because we will co-operate with that holy motion and 
persuasion; then the work is his and ours together; then 
the will of man, and of the flesh, must not be excluded, 
and John's words must be corrected, and read thus: The 
sons of God, which are born both of the will of man and 
of God. Yea, that which is least will be ascribed to God, 
namely, to minister sufficient grace; and to our wills, that 
which is of greatest moment, namely, to make that grace 
effectual, or effectually to turn itself, as if to conversion, it 
were sufficient that the will be excited and helped, and not 
also healed and quickened. 

From this quickening grace is our first awakening and 
rising from sin, " Of his own will begat he us with the 
word of truth," James i. 18. The instrument is the word, 
the author and efficient cause is the will of God, not the 
will of him that is- begotten; for the same thing is not the 
parent and the child, nothing can beget itself; we are they 
that are begotten, and born, and God is our father that 
begat us; " He hath made us, and not we ourselves," Psal. 


c. 3. As we cannot make ourselves, so neither can we re- 
generate ourselves; therefore, the apostle says, " we are" 
not our own, but a his workmanship, created in Christ 
Jesus unto good works." See that place; it is very full to 
our purpose; Eph. ii. S — 10, "By grace ye are saved, 
through faith, and that not of yourselves," (not of any 
active power in your wills, ad actus spirituales eli- 
ciendos) " it is the gift of God," Why should he so ex- 
pressly say, not of ourselves, if ourselves did so much as our 
adversaries affirm? The apostle goes on with another not; 
" not of works, lest any man should boast," (all is of grace) 
"for we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto 
good works;" we must first be created in Christ, ere we 
can do works of the spiritual life; he works in us new 
wills, and new hearts, by which we believe unto salvation. 

I demand, whether these spiritual actions of faith, love, 
and obedience, arise from a natural, or from a spiritual 
root and seed? Not from a natural; for " that which is 
born of the flesh, is flesh." John iii. 6. Every tree brings 
forth fruit according to its kind; and if not from a natural 
root, then not from the will of an unregenerate person. 
Nay, not from the will at all, by the Arminians' doctrine; 
for they hold that the will was never endued at first with 
spiritual qualities and gifts, and therefore by the fall, it 
could not lose them; and accordingly in man's regenera- 
tion, they say, that spiritual gifts are not infused, or planted 
in the will; only at the first God planted that natural free- 
dom in the will, ad volendum vel malum, vel bonum, 
which by the fall, was clogged and hindered from acting 
by the blindness of the mind, and perverseness of the af- 
fections; which impediments being removed by preventing 
grace, the will can, and does, exercise its native freedom, 
of willing, or not willing good and evil. Now hence I 
infer, that if the understanding and the affections are the 
only subject of regeneration, and that the will, in puris 
naturalibus, as it is a natural faculty, without any spiritual 
qualities seasoning it, only being set at liberty, as abovesaid, 
have vim activam ad spirit ualia, to convert itself to God ; 
then it follows, that spiritual actions and graces have their 
rise, and grow upon the stock, and out of the seed of na- 
ture, w r hich is contrary both to express scripture and reason. 

Secondly, Well then it remains, that spiritual fruit must 
spring from a spiritual root, or seed; and what is that? 


You shall see in three places of scripture, 1 John v. 1, 
" Whosoever believeth is born of God;" and so 1 John iv. 
7, "Every one that loveth is born of God;" with John 
xv. 5, " As the branch cannot bear fruit except it abide in 
the vine, no more can ye, except ye abide in me; for with- 
out me," as your root, " you can do nothing." Now con- 
sider, which of these is the first, to believe, to love, and to 
bear fruit, or to be born of God? and to be in Christ the 
root? Surely, to be born of God, is before believing and 
loving, for we therefore believe and love, because, says the 
text, we are born of God, and have his seed in us; and we 
therefore bear fruits of grace and piety, because we are in 
Christ the root; "Thou bearest not the root, but the root 
thee." Hence, I conclude, that although there is no dis- 
cernible distance of time between God's act begetting us 
to the faith, and our act of turning to God, yet in order of 
working, and causality, the work of God must needs be 
first to heal, to change, to rectify, and make obedient our 
crooked wills, to take away that inbred repugnancy, which 
is in our wills against the will of God, before we can obey 
the call of Christ; non ideo currit rota, ut rotunda sit 9 
sed quia rotunda est* In order of working; first, Grace 
gives life and qualities to the dead will; and then being 
renewed, it wills the conversion, and becomes a voluntary 
instrument of God to apprehend his grace offered, and to 
work forward with it ; but, as I said, this it does, not by 
its own natural strength, but by virtue of the seed of grace, 
and new life that God has put into it; first make the tree 
good, and then his fruit good. 

Thus you see how the grace of God first turns us, and 
then we are turned ; there is first a seed of God in us, which, 
because it lives and abides in us, therefore we believe in 
him, and love him ; and this seed or root is the first be- 
ginning of all our spiritual life, and the good that follows 
thereupon : let God have the glory of his own grace. 

Thirdly, and lastly, If such a power of man's will be ac- 
knowledged ; Paul's questions, 1 Cor. iv. 7, "Who maketh 
thee to differ from another ? And what hast thou that thou 
didst not receive ?" will easily be answered, but in a sense 
quite contrary to his mind : for this opinion of free-will 
being true, I may answer, I have made myself to differ by 

* "The wheel does not turn that it may be round, but because it wround."(t) 


doing that which was in my power to do, which another 
would not do, though it were as well in his power, as in 
mine; for I and they were alike partakers of exciting 
grace ; and God was as ready to receive them to mercy, as 
myself, if they would believe and repent ; but they, by the 
liberty of their wills, refused that grace, and remained un- 
converted ; and I, by the same liberty of my will, embraced 
it, and so am converted, and brought into a state of grace. 
And so to the other question ; " What hast thou, that thou 
didst not receive?" I may answer, I have determined 
mine own will to the first act of believing; which power 
I received from no grace of God, but had it by nature in 
my own will. 

How inconsistent are these things with the doctrine of 
God's grace ; and how abhorrent to the hearts of Chris- 
tians, who, by experience, have felt the work of grace upon 
themselves! I sometimes wonder, how it comes to pass 
that among the patrons of free-will, so few of them give 
evidence that they are gracious men ; moralized civil men 
they are ; but I fear many of them are strangers to the 
power of grace ; they speak little experimentally of regene- 
ration, and the work of grace in the soul. Either let them 
use their free-will better, or if they cannot, let them not 
say and hold, that men can ; but let them fly to God for 
his grace to heal them, to his Spirit to draw them, to his 
power to make them sufficient. 

Thus you see what is to be thought ; first, of the freedom 
of man's will; secondly, of its strength and power, which 
is proved to be none ("for being servants of sin, we are 
free from righteousness.") Romans vi. 20. First, because 
we are born, not of the will of man, but of God : Secondly, 
because the natural will cannot be the seed and root of 
spiritual qualities; Thirdly, because it is not in man to 
make himself differ from another. 

I conclude this point with those savoury and wholesome 
words of the tenth article of the church of England. "The 
condition of man, after the fall pf Adam, is such, that he 
cannot turn and prepare himself by his own natural strength, 
and good works, to faith, and calling upon God ; wherefore 
we have no power to do good works, pleasant and accept- 
able to God, without the grace of God preventing us, that 
we may have a good-will, and working with us, when we 
have that good will." 


Against this doctrine, sundry things are objected : I will 
instance only in two or three particulars. Against the 
freedom of will, which we grant, it is objected, that that 
is not the true nature of freedom, to act freely, and without 
compulsion : but true freedom of will, say they, stands in 
indifference between two objects, whereby it can bend it- 
self equally to good or evil, to accept or refuse the offer of 
grace, and therefore, say they, if God determine the will 
in our conversion, its liberty is violated- I answer four 
things: First, why should it seem a strange thing, that God, 
who made our wills, should move and rule in them without 
doing violence to their nature? Secondly, it is best with 
us when God determines our wills, for then we are sure 
ever to choose the thing that is good ; for God inclines 
them only to good, to evil w r e can determine them fast 
enough, ourselves. Thirdly, The true nature of free-will 
does not consist in an indifference to contrary things, as 
to good and evil ; for by their own confession, in our lapsed 
state, the will acts freely in evil ; but it has not a liberty 
and power to will spiritual good, as well as evil: and they 
give the reason, because in this state the mind is void of 
the knowledge of spiritual good, and therefore the will 
cannot desire it. And, again, in heaven the will has not 
liberty of indifference to choose evil as well as good, and 
the reason is, because in that state of perfection, the mind 
shall be filled with the meditation, and delight itself only 
in that which is holy and good ; and yet in both these 
states, namely, of unregeneracy, and glory, they do with 
us acknowledge, that the will is free. 

In what, then, stands the true nature of liberty, if not in 
such an indifference? I answer, in the free choice of our 
will, arising from the judgment of our own understandings. 
This or that I judge to be good or evil; and, accordingly, 
I freely choose or forsake it: wherever these two concur, 
namely, first, freedom from violence and necessity, and 
secondly, the full consent of our own reason ; there is the 
whole and true nature of liberty. 

Fourthly, God, in converting us, does not take away the 
liberty of will, but its obstinacy; Base gratia a nullo 
duro corde respuitur, ideo enim tribuitur, ut cordis 
duritia primitus auferatur. And why should they con- 
tend for such a liberty of will, as a part of its perfection 


and excellency, which is indeed its greatest weakness, 
wickedness, and shame, namely, to be able to resist the 
grace of God intending our conversion. that I had no 
bitter root in my will of rebelling against the will of God ! 
Lord, let there never be but one will between thee and 
me ; though I fail in many things, yet let not my will be 
false. Let me ever be able, with comfort, to say with the 
Apostle, "The evil which I do, I allow not; and if I do 
that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that 
dwelleth in me," (Romans vii. 15, 20.) The Apostle Paul 
bewails the rebellion of his heart; he disclaims all its lust- 
ings, " It is not I." Who is it then ? Is it not a part of 
thy will's liberty to " war against the law of God ?" Yes, 
of a base corrupt will ; for it is sin in me ; call it what you 
will, it is sin, " it is sin that dwelleth in me." that I 
were delivered from that liberty ; it is sin, it is a wretched 
liberty. then let not vain man glory in his shame. Let 
us bewail not only our own evil wills, but even the prone- 
ness that is in us to will any thing against God. 

Against the weakness and impotency of our wills, it is 
objected as above: If God should deprive men of all ability 
and power to believe, and yet be still moving and pressing 
them to believe, this would seem harder than injustice it- 
self, &c, yea, this would represent the glorious God in his 
greatest expressions of mercy, grace, and love to the world, 
rather as laughing the world to scorn in that great misery 
wherein it is plunged, than as a God any way truly desirous, 
or intending to relieve it. Lond. Test, page 11. 

1 answer three things : — First, to fasten inferences upon 
God, is a dangerous presumption: take heed of it, lest ye 
be found to charge God foolishly, "Will you speak wick- 
edly for God, and talk deceitfully for him," Job xiii., as 
defenders of his honour ? He needs it not ; to salve his 
justice, as you apprehend it, will you deny his grace? 

Secondly, God does not cut off any man's legs, and then 
bid him walk — " God made man upright, but he himself 
found out many inventions. Eccl. vii. 29. The bondage of 
our will is not to be laid upon God, but upon Adam's fall, 
which is the proper root whence that impotency in our 
wills arises. The creature is turned away from his Maker. 
May not the Lord call upon him to return, and pay his 
due obedience ? Nay, is it not a mercy that he seeks 


those that were lost? or did you not like the manner and 
course that he has taken, to make the offer of grace to the 
lost world ? Will you quarrel at it, because it is so gene- 
ral ? Perhaps more general than are the wills of men to 
receive it. 

Thirdly, God endues men with principles and gifts of 
reason, judgment, memory, conscience, understanding, by 
the use and improvement of which they are capable of 
being convinced of sin, and of Christ's readiness and ability 
to save, also to give credit to the things they hear. Yea, 
moreover, God works in the hearts of men that live under 
the preaching of the gospel, certain effects, by which people 
are led on towards their conversion ; such as knowledge 
of God's will, sense of sin, fear of wrath, belief of the curse 
of the law, consultations and purposes to seek for delive- 
ance, and to forsake sin, some joy and hopes upon possibi- 
lity of pardon. 

By all which effects, they perceive that God calls them 
to repentance and mercy, and accordingly are almost per- 
suaded to be Christians indeed. Yet through the subtilty 
of the Devil, who stealeth away the good seed that was 
sown, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the 
word, so that they, who after all this, remain in their 
natural and sinful state, their own hearts tell them that 
they have dealt ungraciously with God's Spirit, that they 
have striven against the light, that they have not done what 
was in their power to do ; yea, I am persuaded, that there 
are not any of those who live under the gospel, and are so 
pathetically moved and pressed to repent (as in the objec- 
tion is alleged) but they must confess that they are damned, 
not because they could not believe and turn to God, but 
because they would not, because other things were loved 
above Christ, because they forsook their own mercy, and 
so are justly left to their own hearts' lusts. The godly 
themselves know by experience, that they also have many 
times grieved the Spirit, and hardened themselves against 
God, especially in the days of their unregeneracy, and 
should have likewise perished, had not the Lord followed 
them with his grace. The sum is, they that perish must 
ascribe the fault of their non-conversion to themselves ; 
and they whose hearts God hath farther mollified, must 
ascribe the praise thereof to his grace. Why God 


follows the one with grace and leaves the other to his own 
heart's lusts, is a question that belongs to that mystery, " 
the depth of the wisdom and knowledge of God," (we can- 
not fathom it.) "How unsearchable are his judgments, 
and his ways past finding out ! Who hath first given unto 
him, and it shall be recompensed again ?" Rom. xi. 33, 35. 

The rest of their reasons against our doctrine, are but 
complaints and frettings, as it were, against God ; I will 
name but one more : — If salvation is not to be had, but 
only by Christ through faith, and that condemnation comes 
on them through unbelief, and yet God afforded them not 
power to believe ; then the damnation of the most part of 
men was an inevitable effect of the death of Christ, and 
their condition more desperate, considered with those 
means, than before, it being able to condemn them, but not 
bring them to faith. 

A most absurd inference. For, First, men's damna- 
tion is not the effect, nor the end of Christ's dying ; his 
death is the life of men. 

Secondly, What then ? Is it a consequence of his death? 
Neither so, for they had perished, though Christ had never 
died; namely, for transgressing the first covenant. 

Thirdly, What then ? Is Christ's death an occasion of 
the damnation of any man ? Not so neither, for though we 
doubt not to say with the scripture, that " Christ is a stone 
of stumbling, and a rock of offence to many," 1 Pet. ii. 8, 
yet he is not properly and simply an occasion of their 
perishing, for they were under condemnation already, John 
iii. 18, only their unbelief leaves them under their former 
sad condition, with some increase to their condemnation, 
because the)?- show new obstinacy, and more disobedience 
against God than others that never saw the light: as it 
there follows, ver. 19: "This is the condemnation (the 
just and great condemnation) that light is come into the 
world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because 
their deeds were evil." Lastly, Christ's death is not in 
itself an occasion of increasing their condemnation but 
merely accidentally, by reason of man's disobedience, as 
Peter expressly speaks ; " He is a stone of stumbling." 
To whom ? " To them that be disobedient." 1 Pet. ii. 7, 8, 
which stumble at the word, being disobedient. In himself 
he is altogether precious and the Lord of life. Paul 



says of the law, that " Sin, taking occasion by the com 
mandment, wrought in him all manner of concupiscence.'" 
Rom. vii. 8. Did the law work concupiscence in Paul ? 
No; but sin by the law did; sin taking occasion by the 
law did. The like may be said in this case, Christ is holy, 
his death a savour of life, no man's ruin is the effect of 
Christ's death. What then ? Through men's own diso- 
bedient hearts, that love darkness rather than light, the 
justness and aggravation of their condemnation is mani- 

Thus you see with how little connexion, or show of 
reason, men's damnation is charged on Christ's death, 
whereas, at the most, it is but an occasion, an accidental 
occasion, not in its own nature, but from man's own 
wickedness ; an occasion, not of their ruin ; (for they 
were undone before, and no man's unbelief first puts him 
under condemnation, but leaves him there under wrath,) 
but of a higher degree of condemnation, because they 
neglect so great salvation, and tread the Son of God under 

Lastly, it is objected, are not threats, exhortations, all in 
vain ? Ans. This will be sufficient for you to remember, that 
all those invitations, exhortations, patient waitings, warn- 
ings, threats, &c, which you meet with every where in 
Scripture, do not show what our power is to co-operate to 
our first uprising from our sinful state. — But first, what the 
creature's duty is to his Creator. Secondly, what we can 
do by grace preceding and renewing us, not of ourselves. 
Thirdly, what God intends to do for his elect by those 
means, for they are God's power unto salvation, and God 
by calling on us causes the deaf, yea the dead to " hear the 
voice of the Son of God, and to live," John v. 25, by knock- 
ing, he awakens them that are in a dead sleep; by calling, 
he causes us to hear his voice and return. Now God 
shows what he intends to do for us, because the precepts, 
which require duty of us, are in other places of scripture 
turned into promises. Thus he requires Israel to il circum- 
cise their hearts," Deut. x. 16, xxx. 6; he promises that (t he 
will do it for them." Thus, he requires, Ezek. xviii. 31, 
"Make ye a new heart, for why will ye die, house of Isra- 
el ?" xxxvi. 26; he promises to "give them a new heart and 
a new spirit;" God's precepts show our duty, and when we 


see that he turns his precepts into promises, it reminds us 
of his mercy and our own weakness. If the performance 
of the condition of the new covenant were left to our own 
power, it would not be to us a ministry of life and right- 
eousness; for we are no more able of ourselves to believe, 
than to keep the law: therefore he says, "This is the cove- 
nant that I will make with the house of Israel after those 
days, saith the Lord ; I will put my laws into their mind, 
and write them in their hearts," &c. Heb. viii. 10. The 
conditions which God requires of us, he works in us, God 
requires us to repent, and he gives repentance, 2 Tim. ii. 
26. He bids us "come to Christ," and he draws us to 
Christ, John vi. 66. If God should give us only a possi- 
bility to believe and to turn to him, and should leave the 
acting of it to our wills, we should even do as our first 
parents did, depart from God, and never bring that possi- 
bility into act. 

Fourthly, Such invitations, warnings, &c, show what it 
is that we ought to beg at the throne of grace, seeing we 
have not the sufficiency of ourselves, namely, that he would 
work our works in us, that he would circumcise our hearts, 
and give us new hearts, &c; and finally, that we ought to 
ascribe the whole glory of our salvation to his rich and 
unspeakable grace. 

By the former distinctions and doctrine, the people are 
helped to discern truth and falsehood, good and evil in 
sundry cases. As, for example, 

If the question in discourse be, whether God's decree, 
ordaining the events of things, does not take away the free- 
ness of man's will? The answer is no; because God has 
decreed not only the things themselves which shall be, but 
also the manner how they shall be. Some things work 
naturally, some things proceed from necessary causes, which 
being put, the event always follows, as heat from fire; some 
things work voluntarily, and the event comes to pass freely, 
because they depend on voluntary causes, as to build a col- 
lege, or hospital, and so of all human actions. Some things 
happen contingently, and as it were by chance, in respect 
of us, because they have no known or constant cause, as 
walking in an orchard, an apple falls upon my head, my 
walking is not the cause that the apple fell, nor the apple 
of my walking there. Now God decreeing that voluntary 


agents shall work freely, therefore his decree does not take 
away my freedom, but rather establishes it. The selling of 
Joseph into Egypt, God decreed, yet it was done freely 
and willingly by Joseph's brethren: the reason is, because 
the root of true freedom is in the free judgment of our own 
reason, and, therefore, every man acts freely, because he 
chooses that which seems best and most reasonable, not 
being constrained by any external force or principle, but 
by the persuasion of his own mind. 

If the question be, concerning the conversion of a sinner, 
because God's grace works powerfully, and man's will is 
but passive, or is the subject whereon God works in the first 
act of our conversion, and not a cause co-operating with 
God, that, therefore, man is made a stock or stone, &c, — the 
answer is, not so; because, to will is of nature, to will well 
is of grace; so that when God frames us to w T ill well, he 
does not change or destroy the natural faculty, but heals it, 
and leads it to a better object; and this he does non cogendo, 
sedsuadendo: the soul sees the greatest reason in the world 
to embrace the greatest good which is now offered to it; and 
the man thirsts after it, and wills it with all his heart and 
might. give me Christ, or else 1 die! give me Christ 
whatever he cost me! Is this to take away man's freedom, 
so freely to choose the best? And so fully to consent to 
the will of God? Then, Lord, let my will never be free; 
Lord, set my heart at liberty, to run the way of thy com- 
mandments, to run after thee, which way soever thou 
d rawest me. In all this there is nothing taken from the 
will, but goodness added to its actings. To will, and to 
will well, are not two several acts, but one and the same 
act; which as it is an act of willing, it is of man; as it is a 
gracious willing, it is of God. Is this dealing of God upon 
a free agent, remaining free, as if he dealt upon a stock or 
a stone? 

If the question in discourse be, do wicked men sin freely, 
or of necessity and compulsion? The answer is, corrup- 
tion is in their wills, and, therefore, they sin willingly, not 
by any external constraint; and until they are regenerate, 
every motion of their will is more or less sinful. As in 
an instrument that is out of tune, if you sound it, it will 
jar in the sounding. Wicked men, when they sin, sin of 
their own, Nemine jubente, suadente, cogente; you need 


not compel them: yea, they sin with delight, and some- 
times with deliberation. Sin is most natural to them; it is 
their flesh. 

Obj. But if the corrupt will can do no other thing but 
sin, then it sins necessarily, and not freely. Ans. Not so; 
forasmuch as that naturalness shows the greatest freeness. 
As, for example, I am naturally inclined to this or that 
recreation, therefore, I follow it with the greatest willing- 
ness. Evil cleaves to natural men's will and actions; but 
yet when they choose the thing that is evil, that evil choice 
is not from external necessity; they do it willingly, after 
the imagination of their own hearts; yea, so freely do they 
follow and choose the evil, that they can and do deliberate, 
and take counsel about it, so that they can forbear when 
they see cause, and then fall to it again. The corrupt na- 
ture that is in/ wicked men, does not bind them up to this 
or that evil action, nor at this or that particular time; they 
can plot and contrive by their wits and counsels, what evil 
to do, when and which way to accomplish it; and when 
they are resolved upon a way, they can change their minds, 
if they see any danger or miscarriage attend their enter- 
prises. All which shows how freely wicked men do evil. 
Let them bewail it, and not hardej Uheir vhearts against God, 
by casting any blame upon hTS"h"oly wU!7~dT hoping to ex- 
cuse the wickedness of their actions, by the wickedness of 
their hearts and inclinations; nor, lastly, by listening to the 
profane scoffs of carnal wits: whenever the day of your 
visitation is come, you will bewail yourselves in this respect 
chiefly, that you have sinned against God with a full will 
(for so is the unregenerate will, it is a full will, in no part 
good) and so freely with delight and pleasure. 



It is not my purpose in this treatise, to follow every 
brain-sick sectary in his wild goose chase, nor to attempt 


the confutation of every absurd sentence that falls from 
their pens: many of their fooleries are not worthy of notice. 
The material errors cited in this chapter are two. 

First, Concerning the ground and means of faith, (ac- 
cording to which, faith will be accounted natural, or super- 
natural:) their error is thus expressed: 

" They that are without the gospel written or preached, 
have sufficient means of believing; they that have only the 
heavens, the sun, moon, and stars, and the goodness of God 
in the government of the world, have reason sufficient, if 
not in abundance, to think the same thoughts, and judge 
the same judgment with those that have the letter of the 
gospel, (namely, in the matter of believing.) For this, 
two reasons are alleged. 1. They have the substance of 
the gospel, namely, the willingness and readiness of God 
to be reconciled to the w T orld preached to them by those 
foresaid apostles, the sun, and moon, and stars, &c. 2. Be- 
cause in the creatures they have sufficient means of believ- 
ing. First, that God is: secondly, that he is a rewarder of 
those that diligently seek him, which is all the faith or be- 
lief that the apostle makes, simply and absolute^, necessary 
to bring a man to God, that is, into grace and favour with 

Against these gross errors I lay down this positive conclu- 
sion, namely, that the substance of the gospel; nay, not the 
least glimpse thereof is, or can be made known to us in the 
creatures, and, therefore, they which want the letter of the 
gospel, have not means sufficient to bring them to saving 
faith; neither can they think the same thoughts, nor judge 
the same judgment, that those do, who have the letter of 
the gospel. 

1. The sun, moon, and stars, and the government of the 
world, are but dumb apostles to preach the mystery of sal- 
vation; the eternal power and Godhead are clearly seen and 
understood by the things that are made; so that by this 
goodly frame of the world, the sun, moon, and stars, men 
by natural reason, may gather, that God is eternal, because 
he is before all things which are made; and powerful, be- 
cause he could make such a world of nothing; and accord- 
ingly, that the Godhead is not like to the "image of a cor- 
ruptible man, or birds, or four-footed beasts, or creeping 
things;" under all which forms the heathen worshipped a 


deity, and " served the creature more than the Creator." 
The apostle shows the vanity of men's imaginations : for it 
is contrary to reason, that God, which made the world, 
should be like to such weak, dying, perishing creatures; 
and much more that such creatures should be worshipped 
and served, prayed to, or depended on for help; and there- 
fore he tells us, that in their base conceits of the Godhead, 
and in their idolatrous image-creature worship, they " be- 
came brutish;" they did not show themselves men, and, 
therefore, were without excuse in that respect. A wor- 
shipper of images, of creatures, has no excuse for his sin, 
because he has reason enough to dictate the contrary. 
Now, if in the great works of the creation, they could not 
apprehend aright the nature of the Godhead, how shall they 
be able to see and find in them the hidden mystery of the 
gospel? "The mystery that was hid from ages and gene- 
rations," hid in God, hid from generations of men, yea, 
from angels in heaven, to whom " the manifold wisdom of 
God is made known by the church." " God at sundry 
times, and in divers manners, spake in times past unto the 
fathers concerning Christ by the prophets." But did he 
ever speak of Christ by the dumb creatures? What should 
1 say more? The apostle is clear, "The world by" all its 
" wisdom knew not God," 1 Cor. i. 21, till "it pleased God 
to reveal it by the foolishness of preaching," ver. 8. It 
never entered into the heart of man to think of salvation 
by the cross; of an imputed righteousness by a Mediator, 
of God manifest in the flesh, made under the law, &c, and 
many other such like points of the gospel: none of these 
things ever " entered into the heart of man to conceive," 
1 Cor. ii. 9: the knowledge and belief of these things comes 
only by hearing, and by the revelation of Jesus Christ in 
the gospel. All that ever studied righteousness, I mean 
the best and wisest of heathen philosophers, never sought 
it in a way of faith, but. in a way of works, of moral cor- 
rectives of vice, and rules of common justice, and human 
prudence. But did ever any one of them so much as dream 
of a Mediator? or of justification by faith? 

2. Hereof follows the second branch of our conclusion, 
namely, that they which want the light and letter of the 
gospel, have not sufficient means of believing. The object 
of faith is not revealed in the creatures. How then can 


there be any faith without the gospel? " How can they 
believe in him of whom they have not heard ?" It is a 
thing impossible. "And how can they hear without a 
preacher?" Rom. xiv. 15. A preacher of the gospel of 
peace, that brings glad tidings of good things? that is also 
impossible. And " how can they preach except they be 
sent?" If there be no sending, no preaching, no hearing, 
there can be no believing. And so the apostle concludes, 
ver. 17, "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by 
the word of God." This is the only true ground of faith; 
and all that would get faith, must hearken to the gospel, as 
it was taught and published by the true and living apostles 
of Jesus Christ, and is continued in the church by such as 
succeed them, who are " ministers, by whom ye believe," 
and "labourers together with God," to make the world 
" obedient to the faith." 

The reason of this is, because true faith, by which man 
is justified, is purely supernatural, it is above nature to teach 
it, or to work it. It is purely supernatural, first, in respect 
of the object, which is Christ crucified for our sins. The 
things to be believed are above the reach of man's natural 
reason; u Flesh and blood hath not revealed this unto thee, 
but my Father which is in heaven." This our Saviour 
spake of Peter's faith, Matt. xvi. 17. 

It is a groundless invention of some, to say, that heathens 
might have an implicit faith in Christ; that is, habitually to 
believe all things contained in scripture, although actually 
they knew not what was contained in it; and that an ex- 
plicit particular belief of Christ was not then necessary. 
For they could have none at all, because they had not 
Christ for their object: but to yvafov ta 9sh, that which might 
be known of God by the creation. That distinction of 
faith implicit and explicit, cannot take place where the 
object of faith is not known and embraced. Implicit faith 
is that of man)' weak Christians, who believe in Christ for 
salvation, that he died to save his people from their sins; 
or this they rest on, though many particulars touching the 
manner of the incarnation, death, resurrection, intercession 
of Christ, and justification, and of the definition of faith, 
&c, be not clearly known to them; the faith of Cornelius 
and the eunuch was such. Faith explicit, is when Chris- 
tians can distinctly go from point to point, manifesting their 


knowledge in the mystery of Christ. These two are only 
degrees of the same faith, the one weak, the other strong, 
for they both meet in one object, Christ Jesus. But to tell 
of an implicit faith in heathens, which have a kind of know- 
ledge of God, but not Christ for their object, is an invention 
to delude the simple; they could have neither habit nor act 
of faith, when the object of faith was altogether unknown 
to them. 

Much after this manner do the popish priests delude their 
people, by the doctrine of an implicit faith; for they teach, 
that the people are not bound to know what the matter of 
their faith is; it suffices that they believe as the church be- 
lieves, upon assurance that the church believes all things 
necessary; but what those things are which the church be- 
lieves, they need not inquire. Thus they exclude know- 
ledge from faith, and place it in assent only, in a blind and 
general assent, whereas without knowledge there can be no 
faith; and without supernatural revelation there can be no 
knowledge of the things that are to be believed. 

Secondly, Faith is purely supernatural, in regard of the 
manner of coming by it; it is given from above. To be- 
lieve is the work of God, as has been sufficiently evinced 
in the former chapter; and although, when we believe, we 
see sufficient to believe, yet to make the heart close with 
Jesus Christ, is an effect of God's powerful grace. Hence 
it is that the apostle prays for the Thessalonians, that "God 
would count them worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the 
good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with 
power," 2 Thes. i. 11: in which place the apostle teaches 
two things: first, That the whole beginning and progress 
of our salvation, is to be ascribed to the good pleasure of 
God's goodness: secondly, that the work of faith is carried 
on with power; Christ is the "author and finisher of our 
faith," Heb. xii. 2, and because it is so many ways assaulted, 
therefore " by the power of God we are kept through faith 
unto salvation," 1 Pet. i. 5. And truly, what less than a 
divine power is able thus to draw the soul to Christ? to 
forsake all, that we may be found in him? to forsake our 
own friends, houses, lands, and present worldly enjoyments, 
for his sake? yea, which is most of all, to forsake our own 
righteousness, and venture all upon an unseen Christ, upon 
a crucified Christ? to venture our precious souls, and our 


eternal condition upon one whom we never saw, "yet be- 
lieving we rejoice with joy unspeakable, and full of glory,' 7 
1 Pet. i. 8. 

3d. Faith is purely supernatural, in regard to its admira- 
ble effects and workings. First, inward, for first, it purifies 
the heart; secondly, it pacifies the conscience; thirdly, it 
fills the heart with joy, even in the midst of tribulations; 
fourthly, it makes us able to withstand and to quench all 
the fiery darts of Satan, and to fight, and overcome princi- 
palities and powers. Secondly, Outward effects. You see 
the admirable effects of faith in the fathers, Noah, Abraham, 
Moses, &c, Heb. xi., who, by faith, forsook their own coun- 
try, to live as pilgrims in a strange country; chose afflictions 
rather than worldly honours, bearing up in doing the will 
of God against all the threats and wrath of kings, as seeing 
him who is invisible; " Others, through faith, subdued king- 
doms, wrought righteousness, stopped the mouths of lions, 
quenched the violence of fire, out of weakness were made 
strong, waxed valiant in fight," &c, verses 33, 34. Faith 
makes us overlook all difficulties and temptations, which 
may hinder us in the course of our obedience; it shows us 
the all-sufficiency of God, his faithfulness and power; it 
works by love, and frames us to obey the will of God in 
all things, in difficult cases, in hard duties, which nature 
abhors, as Abraham's sacrificing his son, &c. 

Lastly, the victories of faith are admirable, 1 John v. 4: 
*' This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our 
faith ;" it overcomes the terrors and flatteries of the world, 
temptations on the right hand and on the left; it makes 
the soul overcome death itself, yea, the worst of deaths 
that persecutors could invent to inflict on the servants of 
Christ. Rev. xii. 11. 

Consider now what a thing faith is, and can nature do 
this ? Such effects as these so far above nature, can they 
arise from a root in nature? These supernatural and 
spiritual effects show that faith is of a divine and heavenly 

Now you will easily perceive the weakness of these two 
reasons by which this error is supported, 

First, it is alleged that they who are without the gospel 
have sufficient means of believing, because they have the 
willingness and readiness of God to be reconciled to the 


word preached to them by those dumb apostles, the sun, 
moon, &c., and the bountifulness of God in the government 
of the world. 

Ans. First, in the creatures, whereby God has provided 
for our sustentation in this natural life, we may gather, 
that " God is good to all, and his mercy is over all his 
works : he preserves both man and beast, he spreads a table 
for every living thing, he opens his hand and fills them 
with good." 

Again, in the creation of the world, and the dominion 
given to man over the creatures, we may see what honour 
and dignity the Lord put upon man in his creation. The 
Psalmist's meditation of God's works is sweet, Psal. viii. 
3, 4: « When I consider the heavens, the work of thy fin- 
gers, the moon, and the stars, which thou hast ordained, 
then I say, What is man ?" What a rare, excellent, 
honourable, piece of the creation is man, for whose use 
these things were made? If the heavens, sun, moon, 
and stars be so glorious, how glorious a creature is man, 
" that thou art mindful of him, that thou hast crowned him 
with glory and honour, that thou madsthim to have domi- 
nion over the works of thy hands, that thou hast put all 
things under his feet, as sheep and oxen," &c. We may 
fitly meditate on our primitive greatness and excellency by 
creation, and bewail our sinful rebellion against so good a 
God. But what character of God's reconciliation to the 
world can be read in all this book of the creatures ? God's 
goodness to us as we are creatures, is one thing, and as we 
are sinners to be reconciled, is another: the former is a 
general goodness; he is good to all, and sendeth rain to the 
just and unjust; yea, thus he is good to the brute crea- 
tures. But as for that spiritual goodness of God in sending 
his Son to die for us, this is not seen in the creatures. 
Nay, farther, we that have the best improvement of the 
light of nature, by the help of the light of God's word, 
cannot infer God's readiness to be reconciled to the world 
by his general goodness in governing the world. "No 
man knows love or hatred by all that is before him ;" it 
were but a wild and weak argument to reason," God gave 
Esau a blessing: " Behold, thy dwelling shall be the fatness 
of the earth, and of the dew of heaven from above," Gen. 
xxvii. 39 ; therefore God is willing to be reconciled to Esau 


in the blood of Christ. The general goodness of God in 
creation, and his spiritual mercies of redemption are not 
of the same kind, they are different sorts of mercies: neither 
can we conclude or infer the latter from the former, 

Secondly, It is alleged that they have sufficient means' 
of believing ; First, That God is. Secondly, And that he 
is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him, which, say 
they, is all the faith that is absolutely necessary to bring a 
man into favour with God, Heb. xi. 6. 

I answer, First, If that general belief concerning God 
were all the faith that is necessary to salvation, or if it be 
sufficient to bring men into favour with God, I do not see 
why the devils may not be saved, seeing they believe the 
same. Secondly, This general confused belief is not ai! 
the faith that is required. Our Saviour requires more, John 
xiv. 2, "Ye believe in God, believe also in me;" and again, 
John xvii. 3, "This is eternal life, that they might know 
thee the only true God." But is that enough? No; but 
ye must add, "and Jesus Christ whom he hath sent;" "for 
if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins;" 
Christ says, "I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man 
cometh unto the Father but by me," John xiv. 6; therefore 
by the bare help and knowledge of the creatures, no man 
can come to God; he will miss his way that misses Christ. 
Thirdly, Forasmuch as the apostle there speaks of such a 
faith by which we please God and are accepted with him^ 
therefore it cannot be meant of such a general, philosophi- 
cal knowledge of God, (as that he is the Almighty Creator 
and Governor of all things,) but what a God he is to us 
after the fall, and that he is a rewarder of them that seek 
help and relief by that way which himself has revealed, 
that is, by faith in the Mediator. Faith is that grace which 
unites us to Christ, in whom Gad is well pleased with us, 
and, therefore, except a man believe God's all-sufficiency 
and merciful bountiful ness in Christ to supply all his wants, 
he cannot come to him in a way that is acceptable. And 
so the meaning of the words is this, He that comes unto 
God must believe, not only that he is creator and governor 
of all things, but also Redeemer all-sufficient and gracious 
to relieve sinners; and also that he is a rewarder of them 
that seek him, not in a way of works legally, as the hea- 
then do, who conceive it shall go well with good men,, and 


ill with wicked men, but evangelically, in a way of faith in 
the Mediator, as Enoch did, of whom it is testified, that 
though he were furnished with many other glorious vir- 
tues, yet by none of them did he please God, but only by 
his faith. 

And for confirmation of this exposition, some properties 
of justifying faith are fitly noted, to be contained in the 
apostle's words, by Mr. Dickson, in loc. As first, " That 
it makes a man sensible of his own indigence and misery, 
else it could not send him a begging. Secondly, It emp- 
ties him of the confidence of his own and all the creatures' 
help, else it could not send the man away for all these to 
God. Thirdly, It points out God both able and willing to 
help, else it could not encourage a man to take course for 
relief in him. Fourthly, It sets a man at work to use the 
appointed means to find God ; and so it brings a man to 
deny himself, and to have communion with God." This 
is the faith spoken of in the text, and it is not taught by the 
creatures, nor found in them that want the gospel. 

Use. What a wonderful madness and horrid ingratitude 
is it in those men, who enjoy the gospel of life, to speak of 
another way of getting faith and salvation? It is an infi- 
nite mercy, for which man is ever bound to bless God, as 
Zacharias did, Luke i. 68, 77, and saj r , " Blessed be the 
Lord God of Israel, who hath visited and redeemed his 
people, and given knowledge of salvation unto them by the 
remission of their sins, through the tender mercy of God, 
whereby the day-spring from on high hath visited us, to 
give light to them that sit in darkness and the shadow of 
death, and to guide our feet in the way of peace." How 
are the spirits of the penmen of Scripture raised up in ad- 
miration and praises of God for this mercy ! "Blessed be 
the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ," &c. So 
they begin their epistles ; and again, " I thank God upon 
every remembrance of you for your fellowship in the gos- 
pel." The Gentiles glorify God for this mercy, "Praise 
the Lord, all ye Gentiles," &c. Do we thus requite God 
for this infinite mercy, to tell people they may get faith 
and be saved without it ? It is true, say they, the way of 
life is more clearly seen in the gospel, but yet men might 
be saved in their old way. O ! cursed speech! ! let us 
tjemble and beware lest this horrid ingratitude provoke 


the Lord to remove his candlestick, and leave us in the 
dark to grope like blind men, and to perish everlastingly 
in our own deceiving ! What honest intention or meaning 
can there be in these men that fancy a gospel in the crea- 
tures ? The mischief of that doctrine is unspeakable. 

First, It makes void the gospel and plucks up the foun- 
dation of religion, and sets up salvation without faith in 
Christ. Secondly, It makes void and needless the minis- 
try, and brings the preaching of the gospel into base repute. 
Thirdly, It pulls down ordinances as useless and unneces- 
sary. Fourthly, It opens a gap to paganism and profane- 
ness. To this degree of madness does God give them over, 
who think they can never set themselves at a distance far 
enough from the precise preachers of the gospel. But let 
them remember, that in their madness of opposition, they 
forsake the doctrine of the church, which teaches thus, Art 
18, "They also are to be had accursed that presume to say 
that every man shall be saved by the law or sect which he 
professeth, so that he be diligent to frame his life accord- 
ing to that law and the light of nature; for holy Scripture 
doth set out unto us only the name of Jesus Christ whereby 
men must be saved." 

The second error cited in this chapter, is against the true 
nature of justification, in these words : 

Neither Paul nor James exclude or separate faithful ac- 
tions, or acts of faith, from faith, or the condition of justifi- 
cation, but absolutely requiring them as the only things by 
which the man is justified. 

Against which I oppose this conclusion, as the plain truth 
of God, namely, that faithful actions; first, though they 
flow from faith inseparably as fruits and qualities; yet, se- 
condly, they are separated from faith, or the condition of jus- 
tification; and thirdly, are not absolutely required as the 
things, much less the only things, by which the man is 

This conclusion has three parts or doctrines which 1 will 
prove severally. 

First, Faithful actions, such as Paul commends in Abra- 
ham, and James requires in every believer, are not sepa- 
rated from true faith, nor from the party justified; but they 
flow from faith inseparably, as effects and fruits of it. This 
needs not long proof, for "faith purifies the heart," Acts 


xv. 2. As the spring purges itself from mud and dust that 
is cast into it; so faith and lusts cannot lodge or dwell to- 
gether; the believing heart will cast it out like poison. 

Again, "Faith worketh by love/' Gal. v. 6. It is a cha- 
racter, or mark, by which a sound Christian is known and 
distinguished from the unsound. It is not circumcision, or 
any such outward privilege or performance that can make 
a good Christian, " but faith, that worketh by love," that 
is, that frames the heart to obey God's will out of the love 
it bears to God. " This is the love of God," an effect and 
sign of it ; " that we keep his commandments, and his com- 
mandments are not grievous." 1 John v. 3. Faith believes 
God commanding, threatening, directing, as well as pro- 
mising, and yields unto God a suitable obedience to every 
part of the revealed will of God cheerfully ; it is not grie- 
vous; and universally to obey God in one thing as in 
another, because, as James says, there is the same authority 
and bond upon the conscience in all the commandments. 
God spake all these words ; and he that said, Do not com- 
mit adultery, said also, Do not kill ; and, therefore, who- 
soever shall offend in one point, out of an evil conscience 
or false heart, is guilty of all. 

Faith is that which carries us on in the course of obedi- 
ence, and the more faith we have to see God in his all-suf- 
ficiency and other attributes, the more constant, sincere, 
and sound we are in our obedience ; ye see the admirable 
effects of faith in Heb. xi. By faith Abel served God. 
Enoch walked with God. Noah went on with building 
his ark against all the scoffs and discouragements of that 
age. Abraham left his country, withheld not his son, his 
only son, from God. Moses went through with that diffi- 
cult undertaking, he despised worldly honours and terrors 
of the king, &c. Faith will make us follow God in diffi- 
cult duties and promises : when faith fails, then our obedi- 
ence fails. Abraham failed in denying his wife, through 
fear he fell, he conferred with carnal reason, "I thought 
they will slay me for my wife's sake," Gen. xx. 2, 11. It 
is faith that keeps us close to God. 

Use. The more are they to be wondered at, who plead 
for obedience of faith, to make it justifying, yet think that 
true faith does not always bring forth good works, and that 
it is possible to believe truly, and not to live accordingly, 


that a man may see and like the promises of spiritual and 
eternal joys, and yet for the present, embrace the contrary : 
and this, though it be not a justifying faith, yet it may be 
a true faith for so much as it is, or it is one part of true 
faith. I would call this rather the faith of devils, feigned 
and counterfeit faith ; it is not that 7ti$i$ wwjtox^vto^ 1 Tim. 
i. 5, which is commended in all true Christians. See, 
therefore, that you approve the trueness of your faith by 
its fruits of obedience ; and although you will not bring 
your faithful actions into the conditions of your being jus- 
tified, yet bring them forth as fruits, witnessing that you 
are partakers of Christ, and that Christ liveth in you. 

The second part of my conclusion is this : faithful actions 
are separated from faith in the act of justifying, or from the 
condition of justification: they are not joined with faith in 
that action. Here faith is alone, we are justified by faith 
only, without the help or concurrence of other faithful 
actions. For the clear understanding of this, you are to 

First, That man being guilty of the breach of God's law, 
is subject to the penalty of it, condemnation ; he cannot be 
restored again, unless he brings a righteousness to satisfy 
this law again. 

Secondly, This righteousness is not our own inherent 
justice, but the obedience of Christ alone, by which he ful- 
filled the whole law most perfectly for us. We affirm that 
every child of God has in him true sanctification and holi- 
ness, enabling him to exercise repentance, hope, charity, 
&c. But we deny these, or any of them, to be the justice 
whereby the bond of God's law is answered, and we ap- 
pear righteous before God's judgment seat. But the very 
thing that makes us accepted as just, is the obedience of 
Christ, not our faithful actions. 

Thirdly, " For the deriving of this righteousness to us, 
two things must be done, one on God's behalf, another on 
our own ; that which God does is the imputation of Christ's 
obedience to us for the pardon of our sins, and making our 
persons acceptable, as if ourselves had never sinned. That 
which we do is believing in Christ, and so receiving that 
which God offers, both which actions, when they meet, 
God's offering Christ, and our receiving him, the justifica- 
tion of the poor sinner is formally accomplished." 


Fourthly, This righteousness is derived to us by faith 
only, without the concurrence of other graces, or faithful 
actions to complete it. When we say faith only, the mean- 
ing is not to exclude repentance, love, and good works 
from faith, seeing faith is always accompanied with good 
works, as the sun is with its light, and fire with heat ; and 
though the works themselves justify not, yet being the 
effects of the same faith, have their proper use to sanctify us, 
which is necessary to salvation, as well as justification, be- 
cause God brings no man to glory by justifying him alone, 
but by sanctifying him also. The meaning then is, to ex- 
clude all other graces and faithful actions from being either 
the righteousness that makes us accepted to eternal life, or 
the means whereby that righteousness is applied to us. 

Of all the graces with which the soul of the Christian is 
adorned, there is none of them that is accepted for our 
righteousness, but the righteousness of faith, that is, of 
Jesus Christ, who is the Lord our righteousness, and is ap- 
plied to us by faith, and by no other grace. This is mani- 
fest in scripture, which sets up faith alone in this business. 
Rom. iii. 21. " The righteousness of God without the law 
is manifested, even the righteousness of God, which is by 
faith of Jesus Christ unto all, and upon all that believe, for 
there is no difference." 

Note first, That there is a righteousness of God emi- 
nently so called, besides the righteousness of the law (which 
is God's righteousness also) and that is the righteousness 
of God in Christ, even "the righteousness of God by faith 
of Jesus Christ," 2 Cor. v. 21. Now this righteousness is 
manifested for our justification " without the law." 

Secondly note, how this righteousness comes upon us. 
The text says, "it is unto all, and upon all that believe." 
Here may seem to be a tautology, because it is said, " The 
righteousness of God by faith is upon all that believe." 
The righteousness of faith, upon all that have faith ! A tau- 
tology; no. But that plainly shows both what our righte- 
ousness is, and what is the means of making it ours, namely, 
faith alone; the righteousness of God is upon us by the faith 
of them that believe, not by any of their other graces. It 
follows, v. 24, " Being justified freely by his grace through 
the redemption that is in Jesus Christ," " Therefore it is 
of faith, that it might be by grace," Rom. iv. 16. Now if 


faithful actions, or works, were joined, it were not of faith 
alone, and if not of faith alone, then not of grace. But all 
is placed in Christ through faith, v. 25, " Whom God hath 
set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to 
declare his righteousness for the remission of sins." The 
apostle goes on, ver. 27, " Where is boasting then?" As 
if he should say, such a way of mercy is established, whereby 
boasting " is excluded ;" that no man may boast over an- 
other. " B}' what law " is boasting excluded? " Of works? 
Nay," for if some have the condition of works, they may 
boast over others that want them. By what law then is 
boasting cut off? "By the law of faith;" for faith brings 
one and the same righteousness of Christ to all; it stops all 
mouths; there is no difference between one and another in 
Christ Jesus, whether they be Jew, or Gentile, they are all 
one in Christ Jesus; there is no room for boasting, and, 
therefore, not for works. So the apostle concludes, ver. 27, 
" Therefore we conclude, that a man is justified by faith 
without the deeds of the law," that is, by faith only. 

This is confirmed by David's testimony. " David de- 
scribeth the blessedness of a man." He is one, " to whom 
the Lord imputeth righteousness without works," Rom. iv. 
6; that is, the righteousness of Christ to remission of sins, 
without any of our works; for which cause it is called " the 
righteousness of faith," ver. 11. These exclusive terms, 
"Not by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus 
Christ;" "by faith without the deeds of the law;" "right- 
eousness without works." These expressions fully teach, 
that faith is alone in this great business, that though Chris- 
tians are adorned with many good qualities and graces, yet 
God has only regard to their faith, which makes them re- 
nounce all confidence in their own works, and seek life and 
salvation in Christ, in whom they put their trust. 

Here, to close this second part of my doctrine, you must 
remember, that when so great matters are put upon faith 
alone, faith is not considered as a work or quality, but in 
its relation to Christ, and as it is an act or instrument of 
the soul receiving and apprehending Christ set forth to the 
sinning creature: as they that were stung with fiery ser- 
pents in the wilderness, were healed by looking upon the 
brazen serpent, that was lifted up; so the wounded soul is 
cured of its sins by looking to Christ, the antitype, to that 


brazen serpent. And this looking is called by Christ him- 
self believing, John iii. 14, 15, "As Moses lifted up the 
serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of man be lifted 
up, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but 
have eternal life." And although the eye has many other 
uses and objects, yet by none of them was the party healed 
of his deadly sting, but by looking on the brazen serpent. 
So faith has many other objects and uses in the Christian 
life, yet by none of them is the sinner justified, but by ap- 
prehending or looking upon, and applying Christ set forth 
in the promises of the gospel, and resting thereon for mercy 
and salvation. Faith acts upon Christ in heaven, and it acts 
upon our own hearts to subdue lusts, and frame it to obe- 
dience. By the former we are justified, not by the latter. 

Before I proceed to my third doctrine, an objection must 
be answered. For it is objected, that when it is so often 
said, that we are justified by faith without works, without 
the deeds of the law, that the word (works, and deeds of 
the law) in those places signify one of these two things, 
either perfect legal obedience, or circumcision, and such like 
judicial observances, and so it is truly said, we are justified 
by faith without them, that is, without such perfect absolute 
unsinning obedience, and without such judicial observances, 
but yet not excluding, but including sincere obedience. 

Ans. But are not your faithful actions the works and 
deeds of the moral law? That is, such as the law requires 
you to do? yes; why then they are excluded from faith in 
this business. Paul excludes the works of the ceremonial 
law from having any hand in our justification, but not them 
only, but all works of the moral law also. For, 

First, His words are general, and without limitation, 
Rom. iv. 6, " Blessed is the man unto whom God imputeth 
righteousness without works/' without any works; and 
ver. 5, " to him that worketh not," (observers of the cere- 
monial law are not called workers) " but believeth in him 
that justifieth the ungodly, to him his faith is imputed for 
righteousness." What works are they, the want of which 
maketh one an ungodly man? Are they not works of the 
moral law? Yet he that has not wrought them, but for 
lack of them deserves to be called an ungodly man; if he 
believe, his faith is counted for righteousness. 

Secondly, Paul excludes the works of that law that was 


given to all men, to the Gentiles, as well as the Jews; the 
works of that law, which stops every mouth, and curses 
every transgressor; that law which works wrath, and by 
which is the knowledge of sin. This must needs be the 
moral law; for of the ceremonial law none of these things 
can be affirmed. " We have before proved " (says he, Rom. 
iii. 9, namely, in his former dispute) " both Jews and Gen- 
tiles, that they are all under sin," and, therefore, concludes, 
ver. 28, 30, that "a man is justified by faith without the 
deeds of the moral law," the Gentile's law; "seeing it is 
one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and 
the uncircumcision through faith." Thus you see the point 
clearly proved, namely, that we are justified by faith only, 
without the deeds of the moral law, or any thing in it con- 

The third part of my conclusion is this, that faithful ac- 
tions are not required as the only things by which the man 
is justified. 

First, Because the only thing by which a man is justi- 
fied, is that which answers the accusation and sentence un- 
der which all sinners lie before God's tribunal and judgment 
seat. What is it that you will plead to the law and justice 
of God at that day, why the sentence of death should not 
take hold of you? Will you plead your faithful actions? 
Can they answer the law? Can you hope by them to be 
pronounced innocent, absolved from death, and adjudged 
to life eternal? no; then you will plead Christ's righte- 
ousness. " It is Christ that died and rose again;" he was 
" made under the law to redeem us that were under the 
law," &c. This is the thing, the only thing, by which the 
law is satisfied, by which we stand just and righteous before 
the judgment seat of God; and, therefore, the only thing 
by which a man is justified. Their words broadly deli- 
vered, are thus a gross and manifest falsehood: there are not 
two only things by which a man is justified; if Christ's 
righteousness be indeed the only thing, then our faithful 
actions are not. 

If they are the only things by which the man is justified, 
then either first, as causes; or secondly, as our evangelical 
righteousness, accepted instead of the fulfilling the law; or 
thirdly, as the means of the application of Christ's righte- 
ousness; or fourthly, as conditions preparing the subject to 


its justification, or as a causa sine qud non, without which 
the party is not justified. But in no sound sense can our 
actions, or any of our inherent righteousness, be the only 
things by which the man is justified. I will prove it by 

1. Not as causes, having any worthiness in them, on ac- 
count of which the person should be accepted ; partly be- 
cause they are imperfect, and need pardon; and partly be- 
cause they are the gifts of God's grace, and so make us 
debtors to him, and not him a debtor to us. 

2. Not as our evangelical righteousness accepted instead 
of our fulfilling the law. Arminians teach, Fozdus illud 
novum gratiae, quod Deus Pater per mortis Christi 
interventum cum hominibus pepigit, non in eo consis- 
tere, quod per Jidem, quatenus meritum Christi appre- 
hendit, coram Deo justijicemur; sed in hoc, quod Deus 
abrogatd perfect d obedientice legalis exactione, Jidem 
ipsam, et Jidei obedientiam iiiiperfectam pro perfectd 
legis obedientid reputet, et vitas seternae praemio gra- 
tiose dignam censeat; that is, the grace of the new cove- 
nant stands in this, that God accepts our faith, and our sin- 
cere obedience, though imperfect, to justification, instead of 
that full, perfect, and sinless obedience, which the law re- 
quireth; our faith and faithful actions shall be instead of 
fulfilling the whole law of God. 

A gross «rror: for, first, God spared not his own Son 
when he made his soul a sacrifice for sin; he exacted of 
Christ our surety, full payment and satisfaction for all our 
sins; he did not abate him one ace, when he made him a 
curse for us. The reason of this is, because the law being 
part of God's will, and given to man out of the justice of 
God, it must take its effect, that so " God may be just, and 
the justifier of him that believeth in Jesus:" Rom. iii. 26, 
and so Christ satisfies the word of his Father (" Thou shall 
die the death") and the conscience of the sinner in that 
righteousness is full and perfect. Again, God's judgment 
is according to truth, and, therefore, he never pronounces 
a man righteous that is not so. " The righteousness of the 
law is fulfilled in us that believe," Rom. x. 4. The justice 
of God is no loser in justifying the elect freely, and for just 
nothing of their own. Finally, if our evangelical obedience 
were accepted for our justification instead of perfect legal 


obedience, then we were justified by works, by the deeds 
of the law, by an inherent righteousness; for such are all 
our faithful actions, they are a conformity to the law, and 
a part of that obedience which the law requires of us. He 
that fulfils the law by perfect obedience, and he that obeys 
it in all the parts of it sincerely, they both of them are 
workers; and if that which they do is their righteousness, 
then are they justified by the deeds of the law. Secondly, 
How then holds the difference assigned by the apostle, 
between the worker and the believer in the manner of ob- 
taining righteousness? How sets he the worker and be- 
liever in direct opposition in the point of justification? How 
does he describe the righteousness of the believer to be 
without works, Rom. iv. 5, 6, " The Lord imputeth righ- 
teousness without works." And what righteousness can 
that be? Inherent righteousness it cannot be, for that is 
not without works, it must needs therefore be Christ's 
righteousness, according as it is said, "By the obedience 
of one many are made righteous;" Rom. v. 19. Christ's 
righteousness is made ours of God; 2 Cor. v. 21, "We are 
made the righteousness of God in him," that is, righteous 
by such a righteousness, as God requires and imputes 
to us. Thirdly, whatsoever may occasion boasting in man 
is excluded, Rom. iii. 27. Now as great occasion of boast- 
ing is left to man in the act of faith, and its obedience, as 
in any work of the law whatever, inasmuch as according 
to these men's doctrine, these would believe; others would 
not, though they had the same helps and means. 

Note this therefore for conclusion of this point, that the 
grace of the new covenant does not stand in this, that God 
accepts our imperfect obedience loco impletionis totius 
legis, that God accepts a pepper corn instead of his full 
rent, as Mr. Baxter glosses it, a jejune and empty conceit 
of so high a mystery. But that glorious rich magnificent 
grace of the gospel, so much magnified and exalted by the 
apostle to the praise and glory of God's rich mercy and love 
to mankind, stands in this,— that whereas God's justice re- 
quires full satisfaction, and he in justice might have re- 
quired the same at our hands, he has provided the price, 
and accepts the full payment at the hands of our Mediator. 

3. Nor thirdly, as means to apply Christ's righteousness. 
This is the pre-eminence of faith to obtain this blessing of 


righteousness at God's hands, as has been proved already. 
The righteousness of the gospel is that which is performed 
in the person of Christ; it is He that died, and overcame. 
Now these personal actions cannot be ours by any other 
means, but by imputation, which is God's gracious act 
ascribing to us, what Christ did and suffered in our names, 
and counting it ours no less than if we had performed it in 
our own persons; and the thing imputed is not received, 
apprehended, and applied by our charity, or repentance, or 
any other grace, but by faith only. 

Because the grant of life, and pardon of sins is made over 
to us in the promises, which are the proper object of faith, 
not of other graces: the act and proper object of charity, is 
compassion to them that are in misery; the proper act and 
object of repentance, is sorrow for sin, &c. So the pro- 
mises are the object of faith; promises are to be believed, 
and the soul receives them by faith. See that place, Rom. 
v. 17, where believers are described to be such, as "receive 
the abundance of grace, and of the gift of righteousness." 
Here is a gift (righteousness of Christ) the relative act to 
giving, is receiving, namely, by faith, as by a hand, so that 
faith only hath fitness to receive the gift of righteousness, 
and it causes the soul to rest on them in peace. And thus 
the just shall live by faith on the promises. But the law 
is not of faith. As if he should say, it is not enough to 
believe a law, but you must do it. Look upon the law, we 
do it; look upon the promises, we believe them, and by 
faith in them we live, Gal. iii. 11, 12, with Heb. x. 38, 39. 

Nor, lastly, are faithful actions the only things by which 
the man is justified, or by a condition, as causa sine qua 
non. We all acknowledge, that faith, repentance, new 
obedience, are in a sound sense conditions required of all 
that are within the covenant of grace, and all that look to 
be justified by the blood of Christ, must be also sanctified 
by the Spirit of Christ, 1 Cor. vi. 11, so Acts ii. 38, " Re- 
pent and be baptized for the remission of sins;" so 1 John 
i. 6, " If we say that we have fellowship with him, and 
walk in darkness, we lie." We freely profess, that God, 
who justifies the ungodly, that is, all humble, broken, laden 
sinners, that come to him for just nothing, without consi- 
deration of any thing in them, moving him thereunto, will 
never justify an impenitent infidel, one that goes on still in 


his wickedness. We strictly and vehemently urge, that 
there is an inseparable connexion between justification and 
sanctifieation in the sinner that is received unto mercy, 
(though we deny a dependence of justification upon sancti- 
fieation) and that upon these grounds. 

First, From the nature of faith. Faith is wrought in the 
heart by the gospel, which humbles the sinner, and shows 
him his misery, and so drives him to Christ for help. This 
same faith both justifies us, as it acts upon Christ set forth 
a propitiation for sin; and it sanctifies us, as it acts upon 
our own heart, purging out the natural filthiness that is in 

Secondly, From our in-being in Christ, as the root, " He 
that hath the Son, hath life," 1 John v. 12. And we that 
were a wild olive tree by nature, being planted into Christ, 
our wild nature is changed, and we partake of the fatness 
of the true olive, that is, of the graces that are in Christ 
the root, of whose fulness we receive in our measure, and 
are become new creatures. 

Thirdly, From the nature of Christ's death, which as it 
has a merit to expiate all sin ; so it has an efficacy with it 
to crucify the old man with its lusts. The blood of the 
sacrifices, sprinkled on the sinner, sanctifies to the purifying 
of the flesh. Much more does the blood of Christ purge 
the conscience (not only from guilt) but from dead works 
to serve the living God, Heb. ix. 13. 

Let us consider a little what influence the death of Christ 
has in our mortification, and sanctifieation; what influence 
it has in our justification, is evident. But how it destroys 
the power of sin in us, is not altogether so obvious and 
clear. Christ died, therefore sin dies in me. What is the 
reason of that inference? How has that death upon the 
cross an influence in my heart to kill sin in me? Is it only 
by way of congruity, because Christ died for my sins; 
therefore I should hate sin, which God so much hated, and 
which put Christ to that cursed death? That is something, 
but that is not all; for Christ's death kills sin in us effica- 
ciously, Rom. vi. 6, our old man is crucified with Christ, 
that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth 
we should not serve sin. This comes to pass by virtue of 
our communion with him; "If one died for all, then were 
all dead," 2 Cor. v. 14, and our old man is crucified with 


Christ. But before our old man can be crucified with 

1. Sin must be imputed to him. He took our whole sin 
and fault upon himself, he was made as it were, a lump of 
sin, and so he stood upon the cross as clothed with our 
old man, having as it were the "hand-writing of ordinances, 
which was contrary to us," hanging about his neck. 

2. Now this whole body of sin he "nailed to the cross," 
Col. ii. 14, he "took it out of the way;" he not only con- 
demned sin in his flesh, but he destroyed the power of sin 
in the world, and that two manner of ways: First, because 
in his cross he "spoiled principalities and powers," the 
spirit which ruled in the children of disobedience, the 
prince of the world, was judged. Christ was manifested 
to "destroy the works of the devil/' Secondly, paction- 
ally, because having performed that work, he received 
"the promise of the Father," that is, the Holy Ghost, that 
he should have " life in himself," and " execute judgment, 
to turn the people of Israel to the Lord," and that he should 
"see of his seed," Isa. liii. 10, 11. 

3. This being done by Christ our head, as a public per- 
son in the room of all the elect, we having communion 
with him by faith, are made partakers of all that he did, or 
suffered, or conquered ; all is as really ours, as if we had 
done it in our own persons. As in the first Adam, there 
was a spring of human nature corrupted, derived to us by 
natural generation ; so in the second Adam there is a foun- 
tain of the same nature restored, and derived to us by spi- 
ritual regeneration, so that by fellowship with Christ in 
his sufferings, our body of sin is destroyed ; and we have 
from him an inherent sanctification, as well as an imputed 
righteousness; 1 Cor. i. 30, "He is made unto us wisdom, 
and righteousness, and sanctification." 

Thus you see that we urge holiness and sanctification, 
and their necessary connexion with justification, upon as 
sure and strict grounds, as those who make them condi- 
tions of justification ; and in our ordinary preaching we 
do not hesitate to call faith, repentance, and holiness, the 
conditions of the new covenant,* the way for the ransomed 
to walk in, which way whosoever findeth not, or having 
found it, walks not, shall never be saved, because God 

* This phraseology it is safer to avoid. (1) 



saves none but by justification and sanctification both. The 
former is to acquit us from the condemnation of the law, 
the latter is to conform us to the gospel, and to go the way 
that leads to God. 

But when we meet with men of corrupt principles, who 
first deny that faith justifies, as an instrument relatively, but 
only as a condition within us, that is, as a qualification, or 
act; secondly, that Jides loco impletionis totius legis; 
thirdly, who set up our works, and rank them with faith 
in the point of justification, so that those glorious things, 
which are spoken of justification by faith, are affirmed also 
of other virtues and faithful actions, and faith is no more 
than other graces, and other graces are as much as faith; 
all which together make up that condition by which the 
man is justified — such broad, material, effectual conditions, 
pulling down faith, that it shall be but as a single star in 
the constellation of graces, and setting up works in the 
same throne and dignity, we detest, as tending directly to 
subvert the gospel of salvation, in like sort as the papists 
do by their doctrine of works. We deny, with the Apostle, 
the union of our works with faith, as to our justification, 
and we perform them as duties, whereto God has tied us, 
upon other terms, namely, as the fruits of faith, the way 
by which God will lead us to himself. Our learned di- 
vines explain it by this comparison. A king freely 
bestows a place in the court upon his subject; this his 
free gift binds him over to come to court to receive it; 
and having so done, to discharge the place with all dili- 
gence and attendance, and yet the subject cannot say, that 
either his going or attendance procured the place, but only 
the king's free gift put him into it ; so it is in our sanctifi- 
cation, which is the way that leads to the kingdom, which 
God has freely given us, and the duty which that gift 
calleth us to, and therefore necessary in its own kind and 
order, and not otherwise. You see what we hold touch- 
ing conditions, and in what sense we so speak. 

Now it remains that I prove the fourth branch of my 
third doctrine. 

Here I will consider two things; First, whether the ad- 
dition of that word (as by condition,) be a sufficient salvo 
to make the former words sound doctrine? Secondly, 
whether faithful actions, or the purpose of them be indeed 


an antecedent condition, or qualification of the subject to 
its justification, to make him capable thereof? 

To the former, 1 say, that it is not a fit salvo ; for the 
proposition itself in terminis, being untrue, the limitation 
is very flat, because the word (only things) imports more 
than a personal qualification, even that condition which is 
only in the person of Christ. Why says he not plainly, 
they are the only personal conditions, and not the only 
things, seeing no personal conditions whatever are the 
things by which the man is justified? 

Let us consider expressions scattered up and down in 
that Practical Catechism, and then judge whether limita- 
tion (as by a condition) be a pertinent salvo to make the 
sense good: for instance, "many acts of Abraham's faith 
are mentioned in the New Testament, but especially two 
there are, by which, in two trials of his faith, he approved 
himself to God, so far, as that God imputed them to him 
for righteousness, that is, accepted of those acts of his as 
graciously as if he had performed unsinning obedience, had 
lived exactly without any slip or fall all his life." And 
again, a little after, he saith, "That will hold true of you 
(as of Abraham,) that if your heart be sincerely given up 
to Christ, if there be in you a resolution of uniform obe- 
dience unto Christ, and such as would hold in time of temp- 
tation; this will be certainly accepted by God to thy jus- 
tification; nay, if God try thee only with one promise (be 
it spiritual or temporal) if thou confidently depend on the 
truth without any doubting, this will be accepted of God 
to thy justification without any farther acts of faith, or obe- 
dience to his commands, in case, or supposing there were 
no such command as yet given to thee: but if our receiving 
of Christ in heart and resolution be such, as will not fructify 
in its due season, it is not fit to be accepted by God to our 

Observe here two gross errors; First, that the thing im- 
puted, and accepted to our justification, is our own obedi- 
ence, (in resolution or performance.) Secondly, that God 
accepts those acts of faith instead of, or as well as if we 
performed perfect unsinning obedience. Whereas the 
scripture is full and clear, that the thing accepted and im- 
puted to our justification, is not our weak imperfect obedi- 
ence, residing in, and performed by our ownselves, but the 


spotless and all-sufficient righteousness of Jesus Christ, per- 
formed by Christ, residing in the person of Christ, and im- 
puted by God to us. That which is imputed to us, is not 
inherent in us, it is not our own. Righteousness imputed 
and inherent in this dispute, are quite contrary; if it be 
imputed, it is not inherent; if it be inherent, it is not by 

Now let us apply the salvo, and see if it can make the 
sense sound doctrine. God graciously accepts sincere acts of 
obedience, instead of unsinning obedience to the whole law, 
(as a condition in the subject to be justified :) this is absurd; 

For then first, Man's personal obedience is the material 
cause of his justification, as truly and really as perfect obe- 
dience in Adam was his righteousness ; for by their own 
doings they both are accepted. This is indeed to make 
the gospel a covenant of works, a conditional covenant. 
In the covenant of works (which is properly conditional) 
there were but two persons, God promising life, and man 
with his personal conditions of obedience ; and here it is 
true, God accepts his creatures' obedience as the condition 
or terms on which he performed his part of the covenant. 
But in the covenant of grace, there is a third person, namely, 
the Mediator; and here the Mediator's righteousness is that 
which is accepted instead of perfect legal obedience; his 
obedience is the only condition, upon which depends the 
fulfilling of all the mercies of the covenant, the sinner's 
righteousness is not considered. This is the difference be- 
tween the law and gospel, that covenant was performed for 
the righteousness which should have been found in our- 
selves; but here the things covenanted are applied and pro- 
cured for the righteousness of the Mediator. 

Secondly, consider the inconsistency of the proposition, 
with its limitation. A condition (he says,) has no effi- 
ciency in it; but if God accept any thing instead of the 
whole law, that thing is of greatest efficiency. To affirm 
that man's faithful actions are the things imputed, and ac- 
cepted for his justification, yea, that they are accepted in- 
stead of perfect obedience, is to make them more than 
conditions — even ingredients constituting a fit matter to 
be accepted on our behalf; they are now made intrinsical 
to the matter of our justification, with which they are com- 
plete and fit to be accepted by God for our justification, 


whereas conditions qualifying the person, are altogether 
extrinsical to the matter of our justification. 

It is then a mere gull, to say that our own actions justify 
as conditions or qualifications of the person, seeing no per- 
sonal condition or qualification whatever justifies, that is, 
is imputed, or accepted to our justification. It is as if a 
Jesuit should defend the pope's infallibility, by saying the 
pope is the infallible and unerring judge of controversies, 
not as a man, but as head of the church, or that he has 
power over temporalities in order to spiritualities, whereas 
there is no such order, no such headship over the church. 
Thus of the first question. 

Question 2. Whether faithful actions, or the purpose of 
them are indeed an antecedent condition or qualification of 
the subject to his justification, to make him capable thereof. 

I answer: First, take faith as a condition, that is, in a 
notion distinct from instrument or relative, it is no other 
than a work of ours, as any other virtue is. 

Secondly, take faith with all its actings upon precepts, 
promises, commandments, threats, with all your obedience, 
giving up your heart to God in all things; take all toge- 
ther, they have in them no other than the nature of good 
works, good qualities and actions. And, 

Thirdly, although by them the party justified is dis- 
tinguished from him that is not justified, and a true be- 
liever from a false, yet none of these good works, nor all 
together, are the conditions of a sinner's justification. The 
first reason is from the nature of the free covenant of grace; 
the sum of which is, that "we are justified freely by his 
grace, through the redemption that is in Christ," Rom. iii. 
24; from all our sins, without consideration of any thing 
that we could do or suffer. God receives a sinner into fa- 
vour gratis, for just nothing, "to the praise of the glory of 
his grace, wherein he hath freely accepted us in the Be- 
loved." Eph. i. 6. In which place note two things; 
First, that there is nothing in us moving the Lord to make 
this covenant of mercy and promises, freely by his grace. 
Secondly, that there is nothing in us as a consideration, 
ground, or condition of fulfilling those promises being made, 
"Your sins are forgiven for his name's sake," 1 John ii. 12. 
All we have is by a deed of gift, it is all gratis, of mere 
mercy and good-will. 


I illustrate it by this comparison of two beggars. Both 
come to a rich man, bewail their case : and say "We must 
starve and perish, if thou relieve us not," &c. But the one 
pleads thus: "Sir, though you have now forgotten me, yet 
I have been an ancient servant to you and your father: I 
ever wished well to your family ; I never purloined or 
wasted your goods, &c. And though I have now played 
the lewd prodigal, yet I beseech you to pity me in my 
misery." This man cries out of his want and misery, but 
he brings a consideration or condition to move pity. The 
other brings nothing but words of aggravation and self- 
condemnation; "Sir, I confess I have hated you, and been 
your enemy, I have plotted your ruin, I have spoken and 
done all the mischief I could against you, you may hang 
me, &c, yet I beseech you, sir, pity me in my misery." 
Here is no qualification or consideration to move pity, 
none at all. This is the sinner's case; he comes heavy- 
laden, his sins like a talent of lead upon his conscience, and 
in bitterness of spirit cries out, "Lord, be merciful to me, a 
sinner, I have sinned against heaven and against thee: I am 
as full of sin and misery as the devil can make me, I have 
been an ungodly wretch until this moment, have mercy 
upon me, and according to the multitude of thy compas- 
sions, blot out all mine offences. 0, may such a vile wretch 
come ?" Yes. "Shall he find pardon ?" Yes, " I will ease 
you." " 0, but I can say nothing for myself;" yet " come 
without money and without price." " I am the worst of 
sinners, I have not a good motion in my heart; men and 
brethren, what shall I do?" Christ calls thee, "come unto 
me and I will give thee rest." Mat. ix. 13. The father of 
the prodigal fell upon his neck and kissed him. All that 
the devil, or thine own conscience can make of thee, is but 
a sinner, a chief sinner, an ungodly person, and such Christ 
came to call, Rom. iv. 5, God is said to "justify the ungod- 
ly," that is, an ungodly person coming to Christ is accept- 
ed, and has his sins forgiven; of unjust, he is made just. 
The state of a sinner, when pardoning mercy first acquits 
him, is a state of guilt and condemnation. 

The proper subject of justification, or of pardoning mercy, 
is a guilty soul ; it finds the person ungodly, and under 
wrath, it sets him at liberty, it says to him, Thou shalt not 
die, thy sins are forgiven thee. Terminus a quo, the state 


from which a sinner is brought, is a state of sin and wrath, 
terminus ad quern, the state to which he is brought, is a 
state of righteousness imputed, whereby he is now a just 
man, his sins all covered, and he made a blessed man, Me- 
dium per quod, the means by which the guilty party pass 
from condemnation to life is faith, given us at this instant 
of our conversion, not as a condition pre-existent in the 
party to be justified, but as an instrument enabling the soul 
now to reach forth itself to lay hold on Christ thus freely 
offered, and to close with the Lord Jesus. Even as the 
hand of a beggar or a prisoner reaches forth itself to receive 
a gift to pay his debts. In the same minute of time a man 
is ungodly and justified, an enemy and a friend. As Christ 
made the blind to see, that is, him, who just now was 
blind, so God "justifies the ungodly," that is, him that just 
now was ungodly ; when he came to Christ, he was un- 
godly, "when we were enemies, we were reconciled;" that 
is, he that just now was an enemy is reconciled ; till he 
received his pardon he was an enemy. And what qualifi- 
cations and conditions are, or can be found in such a person 
to make him capable of his justification 1 Yes, says the 
objector, his sorrow for what is past, and his purpose to be 
ungodly no more, his giving up himself to sincere obedience 
for time to come — this is the condition of his being pardon- 
ed, and received into mercy. Ans. It is true, all this God 
looks for at his hands, and gives him grace to do so. God 
having received him, and forgiven him all his sins, lets fall 
all actions against the sinner, and so makes him a blessed 
man. God now expects that he should hold up no weapons 
against him, but walk in uprightness before him. But 
this is not the condition of his being pardoned for sins past. 
God pardons him freely, without consideration of any thing 
that he has done, or can do hereafter. Sincere obedience 
is due every day, and may be a condition of our continu- 
ance in God's favour. But how can it be accepted for sins 
of times past? Are sins past pardoned on that condition ? 
But these are duties required of us upon other terms, as 
has been shown in the comparison of a beneficial office 
freely bestowed by the king on his subject; he cannot say 
that his discharge of the place was a condition of the king's 
bestowing it, for the king's free gift put him into the place, 
but it is a duty which that gift calls him to. 


This leads me to my second reason, taken irom the na- 
ture of gospel conditions, they are gifts of the new covenant 
promised, therefore not properly conditions previously re- 
quired. God gives us the grace for time to come, to become 
new creatures. God gives repentance as well as remission 
of sins. Acts v. 31. God gives the new heart ; and there- 
fore these things which God himself works, cannot be con- 
ditions to him to pardon our sins. Indeed this sincere, 
hearty, resigning ourselves unto the Lord, may be to us a 
condition of our peace, and a help to apply the promises to 
our own souls in particular, evidences to see ourselves in a 
state of grace. 

There is a double act of faith, one direct, pitching the 
soul upon Christ, and this is that by which I am justified, 
from whence arises in the soul a secret joy and peace, and 
a wonderful love to Christ, and a willingness to live to 
him, to resign ourselves to him, &c. 

The other act of faith is reflex, whereby the soul looks 
inward to try its state, and finding these holy dispositions 
wrought in the heart, whereto are annexed promises of 
mercy and salvation, concludes itself to be the Lord's. 
He can say, " I am Christ's, and Christ is mine." Note 
here, that I am justified because I believe in Christ, not 
because I find that my faith is sound; howbeit, by this 
I gather boldness and joy in believing. These gracious 
purposes and faithful actions, are not the ground of my be- 
lieving, but of my applying. He that believes and repents 
shall be saved ; I believe and repent, therefore I shall be 
saved. These gracious qualities in the heart, do not at 
first produce faith, they are not the mother of faith, they 
are the fruits of our marriage to Christ, Rom. vii. 4: yet the 
daughter may nourish the mother in time of need ; so do 
these graces comfort the soul, and witness our fellowship 
with Christ. 

Obj. But unless I do believe and repent, I shall not be 
saved, I do not only lose my assurance and the comfort of 
the reflex act of faith, but I am not justified at all in the 
court of heaven, unless I repent, &c. 

Ans. True, because God justifies none, but the same 
whom he sanctifies, as we proved by the connexion there 
is between justification and sanctification. " The grace of 
God which bringeth salvation, teaches us to deny ungodli- 


ness and worldly lusts, and to live soberly, righteously, 
and godly, in this present world," Tit. ii. 12 ; yet this does 
not amount to an antecedent condition of our justification. 
And you shall know it by this, because, though I fail in 
point of faith, as Sarah did, and in point of duty, as Peter 
did, yet we are not forthwith unjustified, the covenant of 
mercy is not forfeited ; for one of those better promises 
belonging to the new covenant, is to pardon the failings of 
the covenanters. Better promises, because God not only 
keeps that faith which is in all covenants, namely, to per- 
form his promise, if we perform our duty ; but he promises 
also to forgive our failings, and cause us to fear him ; he 
does not take the forfeiture upon our failings, but pardons 
us; "If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, 
Jesus Christ the righteous," &c. If the covenant were 
purely conditional, if it were grounded upon our obedience, 
as a condition or consideration, then that failing, it were 
lost and forfeited (as in the first covenant, which was truly 
conditional,) but it being grounded on Christ, there is a 
standing righteousness unto which we may "have recourse, 
to obtain mercy, and find help in every time of need," 
Heb. iv. 16. And for which righteousness' sake God ac- 
cepts us, notwithstanding our failings; "1 have prayed for 
thee, that thy faith fail not." Luke xxii. 32. 

The third reason is taken from the nature of faith and 
repentance, they are emptying graces, they do not bring 
any condition or consideration with them. Faith finding 
nothing at home, seeks and receives all from another. 
Faith makes us deny ourselves,and renounce our own right- 
eousness, it sends us to Christ with an open hand which 
lets fall all that was in it, to receive a pardon at God's hand, 
as the beggar does an aim. See how the apostle abases 
and empties himself, Phil. iii. 7, 9, "What things were gain 
to me, those I counted loss for Christ ; yea, and I count all 
things but dung, that I may win Christ, and be found in 
him, not having mine own righteousness," &c. Faith is 
passive in receiving the pardon ; it is the hand or instru- 
ment of the soul to receive God's promises. Now the gift 
is most free and unconditional, yet it must be received by 
the party that needs it, else it will do him no good ; and 
that is all that faith has to do to make us sons ; "As many 
as received him, to them gave he power to become the 


sons of God," John i. 12. So repentance, it is an empty- 
ing grace ; repentance makes us abhor ourselves, accuse, 
judge, and condemn ourselves, and put our mouth in the 
dust, and be dumb before the Lord. Now how can that 
which condemns me, be a condition of my pardon ? A 
condition furnishes me with a plea, why I should have this 
or that, but faith and repentance cast away all such pleas, 
empty us all of goodness, lays us low at God's feet, as a 
company of condemned creatures, every one saying, " I am 
no more worthy to be called thy son." Does this faith 
look like a constellation of graces, all which together, are 
that faith which is required as the condition of our being 
justified ? A strange faith; for by this reckoning sorrow 
for sin is a part of faith, and so is charity, and so is tempe- 
rance, &c, and all these together make up a lusty condition 
of our being justified ! This is that condition we deny. 

Obj. Yea, but such a faith is required as is a receiving 
of the whole of Christ, a cordial assent to his commands, 
as well as promises, as our King, Priest, and Prophet. — 
Ans. There are two sorts of believers, some receive Christ 
only in a general notion of a Saviour, not as a Lord to rule 
them ; and they do not receive Christ aright : others re- 
ceive him entirely in all his offices, as he is set forth in the 
gospel ; but yet tell me, is whole Christ received and ap- 
plied to every purpose? to that one purpose of justification? 
The whole Christ is received to a Christian's several needs: 
I receive Christ as my Prophet, but Christ does not justify 
me, as he is my Prophet, or my King. Christ, as my 
Prophet, is made unto me wisdom; I need him for that. 
As he is my King, he is made unto me redemption, for the 
final delivery of my body. And as he is my Priest, he is 
made unto me righteousness and sanctification ; the office 
of a Priest being to make an atonement, and to purify the 
unclean. So that whole Christ is the foundation and root of 
the whole covenant; whole Christ is commensurate to our 
whole redemption, and we must not look for any part 
thereof out of Christ; for in him we are complete, yet 
whole Christ is not the necessary or proportionable object 
of each single blessing of the covenant. And therefore it 
is but a fallacy to say true faith receives whole Christ ; 
therefore the receiving of him in his commands, threats, 
&c, is a condition of our justification. 


Fourthly. These good works, purposes of obedience, 
&c, which make up the condition of our being justified, 
do they go before the pardon of our sins, or follow after ? 
If they go before, they are the works of an enemy, and 
cannot qualify us for a pardon ; for they need pardon them- 
selves : if they follow after, then they are not conditions, 
because the work is done already, the person being already 
justified by his faith ; he cannot be justified by those duties 
which follow after, unless you will say that the continuance 
of our justification depends upon perseverance in those holy 
purposes, and as our first entrance into a state of justifica- 
tion was upon- condition of works, so our standing in that 
grace is owed to sincere obedience. Both which are di- 
rectly contrary to the apostle, who teaches, Rom. v. 2, 
that both our access and our standing in that grace and fa- 
vour of God, is by faith: it is "from faith to faith;" and the 
apostle declares his whole justification both in his first con- 
version, and in that time wherein he wrought, Phil. iii. 9. 
10, yea, at the day of resurrection, to be wholly completed 
and finished in faith. Here come two grand arguments 
for union of works with faith: First, that without which, 
(according to James' opinion,) we are not justified, and 
by which, joined with faith, we are justified, that is not 
excluded from faith, or the condition of justification, but 
required together with faith, as the only things by which 
(as by a condition) the man is justified. But without ac- 
tions of faith (in James' opinion) we are not justified, and 
by them we are justified, and not by faith only; therefore 
faithful actions are not excluded, but required together with 
faith, as the only things by which (as by a condition) the 
man is justified. To which I answer three things: 

First, That the foundation of the argument laid down in 
the major proposition, is absolutely false, which in plain 
terms is this, namely, that faith alone does not justify, but 
that works are joined with faith in the act of justifying, 
(for so are the express words, ".by which, joined with faith," 
and "required together with faith,") and therefore the minor 
is totally to be denied, which assumes and affirms, that 
without faithful actions joined with faith, we are not justi- 
fied, and with them we are. This error I have sufficiently 
confuted in the second part of my conclusion of this second 
section of this chapter. 


Secondly, I answer, there is a two-fold joining with an- 
other, (of works with faith) one as fruits are with tho 
tree, or as fellow-qualities in the same subject; secondly, 
as fellow- workers to the same effect; in the former sense, 
works are joined with faith, not in the latter. I illustrate 
it thus: — In fire there are two qualities joined together, 
heat and light; without light fire does not heat the water, 
because fire is not without light, yet the light conduces 
nothing to the heating of the water. Now it would be a 
sophism thus to argue, — that without which the fire does not 
heat the water, and with which joined together, it does 
heat it, that is the thing by which the water is made hot; 
because, though they be joined together as fellow-qualities 
in the same subject, yet not as fellow- workers to make the 
water hot: so it is a gross fallacy to prove the union or 
concurrence of works with faith to our justification, because 
faithful actions are never separated from faith; for though 
they are fellow-qualities in the same sanctified soul, yet 
they are not fellow-workers to our justification in any sense 
whatever. Faith must so justify, that (in that work) no 
other thing may share in it, not repentance itself. To the 
words then I answer, that in this present argument, those 
words {without which, and by which joined) denote not a 
presence, or an association of faith and works, but a con- 
currence in that great work; we are justified by faith with 
works associative (faith is not without them) but not by 
faith and works copulative. Now in the argument faith and 
works are coupled as fellow-workers to the same effect; 
and, therefore, that assertion I utterly reject. 

As to whether this is James' opinion, that works are joined 
with faith in the act of justification: how does that ap- 
pear? They will tell us, by James' direct affirmation, chap, 
ii. 24, V Ye see, then, that by works," that is, by actions of 
faith, " a man is justified, and not by faith only;" and again, 
verse 20, " Faith without works is dead," and so not such, 
as by which we are justified. 

I answer, first, We must gather the apostle's meaning 
from the drift of the place, which is not to show what place 
faith has in justification, for that is Paul's drift, Rom. iv. 5, 
but to show what faith it is that has place in justification 
against Solifidians. So the learned Weemse, whereto our 
learned Dr. Hammond seems to accord, saying, "That 


James, dealing not with the Jews, but with another kind 
of adversaries, presumptuous fiduciaries, has no occasion to 
add that exclusive part to shut out works, but rather to 
prevent, or cure that other disease, which he saw the 
minds of men, through mistake and abuse of Paul's doc- 
trine, possessed with, or subject to, thinking that a dead 
habit of faith would serve the turn. And whereas, some 
few lines before, James saith, verse 21, that ' Abraham was 
justified by works;' he expounds it thus, namely, that his 
faith approves itself by faithful actions, particularly by of- 
fering up his son." Now if this be the drift of James (as 
it is most clearly) then it cannot reasonably be imputed to 
James, as his opinion, that a man is both justified by works 
and by faith joined together. But that by the works of 
Abraham and Rahab, their faith was justified and declared 
to be a true and living, not a false and dead faith; yea, they 
themselves were thereby justified and declared to be true 
believers indeed, truly righteous before God, and not in 
show and profession only. 

Secondly, To the place itself of James ii. 24, " Ye see 
then, how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith 
only." I answer, that the words are not copulative, as if a 
man were justified both by works and faith; but disjunctive, 
containing two parts, one affirmative, " by works a man is 
justified;" the other negative, "not by faith only;" and 
both parts are true, according to the apostle's scope and 
argument. First, "By works a man is justified;" you 
must understand, as Abraham was, verse 21, that is, he was 
justified and declared to be a true believer, and a righteous 
person, when he offered up Isaac; (" Now I know that thou 
fearest God," it was now declared, " seeing thou hast not 
withheld thy son," Gen. xxii. 12.) God had made trial 
before of Abraham's faith, and " counted it to him for righ- 
teousness;" Abraham was justified before Isaac was born, 
Gen. xv. 6. And now the Lord makes a new trial of his 
faith in a point of obedience, namely, the offering up of 
Isaac; and by this experiment God justified the fidelity of 
Abraham. This act of obedience crowned and renowned 
his faith, "inasmuch as he, which had received the pro- 
mises, offered up his only begotten Son," Heb. xi. 17, and 
" against hope, believed in hope, he staggered not at the 
promise of God, and, therefore, it was imputed unto him 



or righteousness," Rom. iv. 18, 20, 22. "Was not Abra- 
;am our father justified by works, when he offered up his 
on?" How does James prove that he was? By the tes- 
imony of scripture, verse 23, "And the scripture was ful- 
illed, which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was im- 
puted to him for righteousness." He sa) T s, that "Abraham 
was justified by works," verse 21, and proves it, because 
the scripture says, he was "justified by faith." A strange 
proof, but of great force, to show that by works here, James 
understands a working faith; for the offering up of Isaac 
was a manifest sign that Abraham believed God, " being 
fully persuaded, that what he had promised, he was able 
also to perform," Rom. iv. 21; it was Abraham's faith that 
made him ready to perform such an act of obedience. Faith 
wrought this great work, and what could faith do more to 
show itself a perfect faith? Faith grows stronger and 
stronger, the more it is exercised; and by works faith is 
made perfect, etstecuey, it attains its end, as the tree is per- 
fect, when it has brought forth its fruit, and until it has 
yielded its fruit, it is not perfect. And from this example 
James gathers, verse 24, that the faith by which a man is 
justified, is not a bare profession of the gospel, but such a 
faith as Abraham's was, fruitful in works of obedience. 

So Secondly, the other part of the text (" not by faith 
only ") is to be understood of the bare profession of faith, 
which can yield no solid comfort to yourselves or your 
friends, of your own justification; not by faith only, that is, 
not by the faith which is alone, and so a dead faith is not 
the true justifying faith; and the use of all this is to dis- 
cover the vain presumption of Solifidians, and that Chris- 
tians may be sound in the faith. 

To conclude. This proposition is true, man is justified 
only by faith in Christ Jesus, that is Paul's proposition, 
and James never denied it. And this proposition is true, 
man is not justified by faith, which is alone, and this is 
what James affirms, and Paul never denied, ver. 17, "Even 
so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone." It does 
not follow then, in James' opinion, that a man is justified 
both by works and by faith, because he stands for a faith 
that works by love. We press obedience of faith, yet deny 
the concurrence of obedience with faith, to make us just 
before God. And this meaning is pointed out to us, verse 


14, where the apostle speaks of the "having faith with 
works," but not of justifying by works with faith. 

Thus I have, at length, despatched the answer to that 
grand argument taken out of James. The second is like it, 
cast in the same mould, taken out of Paul, and, therefore, 
it will receive the same answer. It is thus formed: 

Obj. He that affirms Abraham to be justified by that 
faith, which, however it was tried, answers God in actions 
of faith, does not exclude actions of faith from faith, or the 
condition of our justification, but absolutely requires them 
as the only things by which (as by a condition) the man is 
justified. But Paul affirms Abraham to be justified by that 
faith, which, however it was tried, did answer God in ac- 
tions of faith; therefore Paul does not exclude faithful ac- 
tions from faith, or the condition of our justification, but 
absolutely requires them, &c. 

Ans. I distinguish, and deny the major. He that affirms 
Abraham to be justified by that faith, which being tried, 
did answer God in actions of faith, does not exclude actions 
of faith, that is, from faith itself, or from the nature of faith, 
yet he does exclude them from the office of faith, and from 
fellowship in justifying (as has been often said.) Faith alone 
justifies us relatively, as possessing us of the object, Christ 
Jesus: but faith with all its actions, and habits, and constel- 
lation of graces, considered as a condition or work, cannot 
justify a man before God. 

As for the minor, it is endeavoured to be proved by two 
places of scripture, Rom. iv. 18, 20, 22, " Who against hope 
believed in hope," &c. And " therefore it was imputed to 
him for righteousness:" for all which acts of faith he was 
justified, compared with Heb. xi. 8, 9, 10, "By faith Abra- 
ham, when he was called to go out into a place, which he 
should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed," &c. These 
are acts of faith, in all kinds of trial, by which he was, and 
without which he should not be justified. 

Now, it is confessed, that Abraham was justified by such 
a faith, as did answer God in all trials, but not in virtue of 
those trials. These were acts of faith; but we deny, that 
for them Abraham was justified; neither does any thing in 
the text countenance such an assertion. For, first, Abra- 
ham was justified, Gen. xv. 6, before any of those acts 
mentioned, Rom. iv. 18, 20, were performed, which follow 


after in Gen. xvii. 16, 17, and do peculiarly respect the 
birth of Isaac. Secondly, And whereas the word (" there- 
fore it was imputed," &c.,) may seem to imply some ex- 
cellency and virtue in the very act of his faith, wherefore 
it was imputed for righteousness: I demand whether it 
were imputed in respect that he believed, or in respect that 
•he believed in this full measure? If in respect of his mea- 
sure, then it will follow, that only such a measure of faith 
suffices to justification; which would exclude the apostles, 
and many thousands of true believers from justification: and 
I think none dare affirm it. But if faith simply in what 
measure soever, then it affords us this comfortable doctrine, 
namely, that we, putting our trust in God for righteousness, 
giving credit to the truth of his promise of blessedness in 
the promised seed, (for this was the substance of Abraham's 
faith, I shall have a seed, in whom all nations, and myself 
also, shall be blessed; for God at that time preached the 
gospel to Abraham, Gal. ill- 8,) are accepted and blessed in 
that beloved one. And lest any should say, What is this 
to us? The apostle tells us, verse 23, 24, that "it was not 
written for his sake alone," as matter of his glory and pri- 
vilege, "but for us also," for our profit and comfort, "to 
whom it shall be imputed;" yea, if we believe such strange 
promises; nay, but " if we believe on him that raised up 
Jesus from the dead, who died for our sins, and rose again 
for our justification." This is the proper and only subject 
of faith justifying, and this is that which is imputed to us 
for righteousness. As for that place, Heb. xi. 8, 9, he 
speaks of the obedience of faith, what it will make a Chris- 
tian do, not of justification. 

Thus I have finished the third part of my conclusion, 
namely, faithful actions are not the only things by which 
a man is justified: first, not as causes. Secondly, not as our 
evangelical righteousness. Thirdly, not as means of apply- 
ing Christ's righteousness. Fourthly, not as conditions 
properly. Where is showed, what we hold, and what we 
deny touching conditions and qualifications, particularly 
two questions are solved. First, Whether the addition of 
the word (as a condition) be a fit salvo for those words 
(the only things by which, &c.) Secondly, Whether they 
be indeed an antecedent condition to justification? Denied. 
The first reason is, from the nature of the covenant of grace. 


The second reason is, because they are gifts and promises 
of the new covenant The third reason is, from the nature 
of faith and repentance. The fourth reason is, from the 
order of faith and works, with an answer to two grand 
arguments, one out of James, the other out of Paul, for the 
concurrence of faithful actions, with faith to our justifica- 

From the doctrine laid down I reject as erroneous, the 
opinion of those, who teach, first, Fidem non esse Donum 
morte Christi partum nee novi foederis promissum, sed 
ejus conditionem, quae libere ab homine exse prcestetur, 
that is, that faith is not a gift purchased by Christ's death, 
nor a promise of the new covenant, but a condition which 
we must bring, on our parts. Secondly, that God chose 
Jlctum fidei loco impletionis totius legis, the act of faith 
instead of the legal righteousness. Thirdly, that without 
the addition of works, any other act, or part, or notion 
of faith, would be insufficient to justification, and that it is 
the consummation of faith by charity, and good works, that 
God accepts in Christ to justification. Fourthly, of them 
that teach, that faith is not an instrument, but only a con- 
dition of justification, and so has no other place in our jus- 
tification, than charity, or other virtues; all which are a 
part of that condition, without which, pardon shall not be- 
long to me. Fifthly, that we are justified by obedience, 
as truly as we are by faith; so making obedience the con- 
dition of the covenant of justification. Sixthly, that faith 
receives the pardon, but does not thereby justify. To re- 
ceive forgiveness is an act of faith, but it does not justify 
by so doing. 



MR. HUDSON. Dear Sir,— I am highly pleased to learn your intention 
to republish "Lyford's Plain Man's Senses Exercised," (&c It is an 
excellent work; one of the best specimens of the rich evangelical writings of that 
age of admirable books — the age of Man ton, and Owen, and Howe. I know of 
no volume better suited for a family library. Any one familiar with Lyford's 
arguments, will have little to fear from the subtilties of Popish, Pelagian, Infidel, 
or Universalist errorists. This book is a complete armory of tried weapons against 
all these. Throughout it is sound in doctrine. The style is plain, but always 
perspicuous. In short, I know of no work which comprehends, in so small bounds, 
so much seasonable argument upon those religious controversies with which even 
the private Christian should always have a competent acquaintance, and which 
is as loudly called for now as it was at the period when this volume was written. 
1 do most cheerfully commend your undertaking, and hope you will be sustained 
in it. 1 should have added, that this work is not merely controversial, it is also 
highly practical. A fine strain of evangelical sentiment pervades it throughout 
Yours, truly, James M. Willson, 

Pastor of the Reformed Presbyterian Congregation, Cherry St, Phila. 

"Lyford's Plain Man's Senses Exercised," is a work which I had oc- 
casion to examine some months ago, and which I can cordially recommend as a 
sound and evangelical book. J. F. Berg, 

Pastor of the First German Reformed Church, Philadelphia. 

From an examination of "Lyford's Plain Man's Senses Exercised," 
I most cordially concur in the above recommendations. 

John B. Dales, 
Pastor of the First Associate Reformed Church, Philadelphia. 

1 cordially concur in the above recommendations. 

Samuel B. Wylie. 
Sen.Pastor of the First Reformed Presbyterian Congregation in Philadelphia. 

"Lyford's Plain Man's Senses Exercised," is a most excellent work. 
— I can cheerfully unite in the above recommendations. 

Samuel O. Wylie, 
Pastor of the Reformed Presbyterian Congregation, Philadelphia. 

I am perfectly satisfied that " Lyford's Plain Man's Senses Exercised," 
&&, contains a rich treasure of divine truth, the perusal of which would enrich 
the mind and warm the heart I cheerfully concur with the brethren above 
named, in recommending its reprint C. C. Cuyler, 

Pastor of the Second Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia. 

Having examined Lyford's work, 1 have much pleasure in uniting with brethren 
in the above recommendation. Arch. Tddehope, 

Pastor of the Ninth Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia. 

I have some acquaintance with the above work, and know the high estimation 
in which it is held by all evangelical Christians who have had access to it 
Scarcely any uninspired volume contains so much sound and useful matter in so 
brief a space. It is exceedingly rare, even in England, and its republication in 
this country will, J believe, be eminently beneficial to the cause of truth and 
piety. George B. Ide, 

Pastor of the First Baptist Church, Philadelphia, 


An examination of Lyford's work has led me to a cheerful concurrence in the 
foregoing recommendations. I am persuaded that the republication of it will tend 
to promote the spread of sound and scriptural views of "the doctrine which is 
according to godliness." Richard Newton, 

Rector of St. Paul's Church, Philadelphia. 

A cursory examination of "Lyford's Plain Man's Senses Exercised,'' 
&&, has exalted the author m my estimation to the rank of his evangelical contem- 
poraries, Owen, Charnock, and Thomas Goodwin. The English Divines of that 
age were, in many important respects, superior even to those of the reformation. 
Without endorsing every sentiment or view in the work before me, I cannot but 
regard its republication as well calculated to perpetuate and extend the knowledge 
of real Gospel truth, and as eminently suited to these times. 

J. H. Fowles, 
Rector of the Church of the Epiphany. 

Having examined "Lyford's Plain Man's Senses Exercised," &c I 
fully concur in the foregoing recommendation of the work, and ardently desire to 
see a book of such practical utility in every family library. C. Webster, 

Pastor of the 1st Associate Congregation, Philadelphia. 

A treasure of fundamental Christian doctrines, clearly and logically, though 
quaintly, expressed, and ably defended against the prominent errors that have 
cursed the church in all ages, — a library of Theology in itself. Without mi- 
nutely endorsing all its views, I have no scruple or hesitation in commending it 
as a work of great value. J. Lansing Burrows, 

Pastor of Broad Street Baptist Church. 

1 think the republication of a work so rare and valuable as " Lyford's Plain 
Man's Senses Exercised," is eminently desirable. Having examined it with 
some care, I can recommend it as eminently sound in doctrine, and attractive in 
style. Of the age and class to which the author belonged, moderns may well 
say, u there were giants in those days." Thomas Bra i nerd, 

Pastor of the Third Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia. 

Having examined " Lyford's Plain Man's Senses Exercised," I cor- 
dially unite in recommending its republication. John M'Dowell, 

Pastor of the Spring Garden Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia. 

I have carefully examined "The Plain Man's Senses Exercised, to dis- 
cern both Good and Evil," and take pleasure in expressing my decided ap- 
probation of the work. Its publication I regard as peculiarly seasonable, and its 
perusal cannot fail to profit the sincere inquirer after truth. 

Joseph T. Cooper, 
Pastor of Second Associate Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia. 

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