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Full text of "The works of John Owen"

FlilKCETOJS'. N. J. 

No. (Mse, _3^:^^^^;^. 

No. Shelf, ,_._Secti<^-^_ J/- 

Ko. Bool: _ Z^*^' ' ""' 

The J(»lni ^1. Krebs Donation. 

V. 7 















And sold by J. Parker, Oxford ; Deighlon and Sons, Cambridge ; D. Brown, 
Waugh and Innes, and H. S. Baynes and Co. Edinburgh ; Chalmers and 
Collins, and M. Ogle, Glasgow ; M. Keene, and R. M. Tims, Dublin. 






The entrance into an answer to Mr. G.'s arguments against the doctrine of the 
saints' perseverance : his sixth argument about tlie usefulness of the doctrine 
under consideration to tlie work of the ministry, proposed. His proof of 
the minor pro|)Osition, considered and answered. Many pretenders to pro- 
mote godliness by false doctrines. Mr. G.'s common interest in this argu- 
ment. His proofs of the usefulness of his doctrine unto the promotion of 
godliness ; considered and answered. The inconsequence of his arguing dis- 
covered. The doctrine by him opposed, mistaken, ignorantly, or wilfully. 
Objections proposed by Mr. G. to himself to be answered. The objection 
as proposed, disowned. Certainty of tlie love of God, in what sense a mo- 
tive to obedience. The doctrine of apostacy denies ilie unchangeableness of 
God's love to believers : placetli qualifications in tlie room of persons. How 
the doctrine of perseverance proraiseth the continuance of the love of God to 
believers. Certainty of reward, encouraging to regular actions. Promises 
made to persons qualified, not suspended upon those qualifications. Means 
appointed of God for the accomplishment of a determined end, certain. 
Means not always conditions. Mr. G.'s strange inference concerning the 
Scripture, considered; The word of God by him undervalued, and subjected 
to the judgment of vain men, as to its truth and authority. The pretended 
reason of the former proceeding discussed. The Scripture the sole judge of 
what is to be ascribed to God, and believed concerning him. The doctrine 
of tlie saints' perseverance, falsely imposed on, and vindicated. Mr. G.'s 
next objection made to himself, against his doctrine : its unseasonableness as 
to the argument in hand, demonstrated. No assurance of the love of God, 
nor peace left the saints by the doctrine of apostacy. The ground of peace 
and assurance by it taken away. Ground of Paul's consolation ; 1 Cor. ix. 
S7. The meaning of the word aSoxijuo;. Another plea against the doctrine 
atieiupted to be proved by Mr. G. That attempt considered. Not the 
weakness of the flesh naturally, but the strength of lust spiritually pretend- 
ed. The cause of sin in the saints farther discussed. The power ascribed 
by Mr. G. to men, for tlie strengthening and making willing the Spirit in 
them, considered. The aptness of the saints to perform, what, and whence. 


The opposition they have in them thereunto. Gospel obedience how easy. 
The conclusion. Answer to chap. xiii. of his book proposed 1 

CHAP. xir. 

Mr. G.'s entrance and preface to his arguments from the apostacy of the saints 
considered. The weakness of his first argument : the import of it. Answer 
to that first argument. Doctrine may pretend to give God the glory of being 
no accepter of persons, and yet be false : justification by works of that rank 
and order. Acceptation of persons what, and wherein it cousisteth. No 
place for it with God : contrary to distributive justice. The doctrine of the 
saints' perseverance charged with rendering God an accepter of persons, un- 
justly : what it says looking this way. The sum of the charge against if, 
considered and removed. Mr. G.'s second argument, and the weight by iiim 
hung thereon : the original of this argument: by whom somewhat insisted 
on. The argument itself in his words, proposed : of the use and end of the 
ministry : whether weakened by the doctrine of perseverance. Entrance 
into an answer to that argument. The foundation laid of it false, and when : 
it falsely imposeth on the doctrine of perseverance, sundry things by it dis- 
claimed : the first considered. The iniquity of those impositions farther dis- 
covered. The true state of the difference as to this argument, declared. 
The argument satisfied. The reinforcement of the minor attempted, and 
considered. The manner of God's operations with, and in, natural and vo- 
luntary agents, compared. EtBcacy of grace and liberty' in man, consistent. 
An objection to himself framed by Mr. G. ; that objection rectified. Perseve- 
rance, how absolutely and simply necessary, how not. The removal of the pre- 
tended objection farther insisted on by I\Ir. G. That discourse discussed, and 
manifested to be weak and sophistical. The consistency of exhortations and 
promises farther cleared. The manner of the operation of grace, in and upon 
the wills of men, considered. The inconsistency of exhortations with the ef- 
ficacy of grace, disputed by Mr. G. That discourse removed, and the use 
of exhortations farther cleared. Obedience to them twofold, habitual, ac- 
tual : of the physical operation of grace and means of the word : their com- 
pliance and use. How the one and the other atlect the will. Inclination to 
persevere when wrought in believers. Of the manner of God's operation on 
the wills of men : JMr. G.'s discourse and judgment, considered. Effects fol- 
low as to their kind, their next causes. The same act of the will physical 
and moral upon several accounts : those accounts considered. God, by the 
real efficacy of the Spirit, produceth in us acts of the will, morally good : 
that confirmed from Scripture : conclusion from thence. Of the terms, phy- 
sical, moral, and necessary, and their use in things of the nature under con- 
sideration. Moral causes of physical effects. The concurrence of physical 
and moral causes for producing the same effect: the efiTicacy of grace and ex- 
hortations. Physical and necessary, how distinguished. Moral and not ne- 
cessary. Confounded by Mr. G. Mr. G.'s farther progress considered. 
What operation of God on the will of man he allows. All physical opera- 
tion by him excluded. Mr. G.'s sense of the difference between the work- 
ing of God and a minister on the will : that it is but gradual : considered and 
removed. All working of God on the will by him confined to persuasion ; per- 
suasion gives no strength or ability to the ])erson persuaded. All immediate 
acting of CJod to good in men, by Mr. G. utterly excluded. Wherein God's 
persuading men doth consist, according to Mr. G. 1 Cor. iii. 9. considered. 
Of tlieconcurrence of diverse agents to the production of the sameeti'ect. The 



sum of the 7th section of chap. 13. The will how necessitated, how free. In 
what sense Mr. G. allows God's persuasions tu be irresistible. The dealings of 
God and men ill-compared. Paul's exhortation to the use of means, where 
the end was certain. Acts x.viv. considered. God deals with men as men, 
exhorting them, and as corrupted men, assisting them. Of promises of tem- 
poral things, whetlier all conditional. What conditiou in the promise made 
to Paul ; Acts xxvii. Farther of that promise, its infallibility and means of 
accomplishment. The same considerations farther prosecuted. Of promises 
of perseverance, and what relations to perform in conjunction. Mr. G.'s 
opposition hereunto. Promises and protestations in conjunction. 1 Cor. x. 
12, 13. discussed. An absolute promise of perseverance therem evinced. 
Phil. ii. 12, 13. to the same purpose considered. Mr. G.'s interpretation of 
that place proposed, removed. Heb. vi. 4, 5. 9. to the same purpose, in- 
sisted on. Of the consistency of threatenings with the promises of perseve- 
rance. Mr. G.'s opposition hereunto, considered and removed. What pro- 
mises of perseverance are asserted, how absolute and infrustrable. Fear of 
hell and punishment twofold. The fear, intended to be ingenerat.ed by 
threatenings, not inconsistent with the assurance given by promises. Five 
considerations about the use of threatenings : the first, &c. Hypocrites how 
threatened for apostacy: of the end and aim of God in threatenings. Of the 
proper end and efficacy of threatenings, with reference unto true believers. 
Fear of hell and punishment, how far a principle of obedience ui the saints. 
Of Noah's fear ; Heb. xi. 7. Mr. G.'s farther arguings for the efficacy of 
the fear of hell, unto obedience in the saints ; proposed, considered, re- 
moved. 1 John iv. 18. considered. Of the obedience of saints to their hea- 
venly Father, compared to the obedience of children to their natural 
parents : Mr. G.'s monstrous conception about this thing. How fe.-ir, or 
love, and in what sense, are principles of obedience. That which is done 
from fear, not done w illingly, nor cheerfully. How fear, and what fear, hath 
torment. Of the nature and use of promises. Close of the answer to this 

. , = 25 



The maintainers and propagaters of the several doctrines under contest, taken 
into consideration. The necessity of so doing from Mr. G. undertaking to 
make the comparison. This inquiry confined to those of our own nation. 
The chief assertors of this doctrine of the saints' perseverance in this nation 
since it received any opposition, what was their ministry, and what their 
lives. Mr. G.'s plea in this case. The first objection against his doctrine 
by him proposed, second, and third. His answers to these objections consi- 
dered : removed. His own word and testimony otfered against the expe- 
rience of thousands. The persons pointed to by liim, and commended, con- 
sidered. The principles of those persons he opposeth, vindicated. Of the 
doctrine of tlie primitive Christians, as to this head of religion. Grounds of 
mistake in reference to their judgments. The first reformers constant to 
themselves in their doctrine of the saints' perseverance. Of the influence 
of Mr. Perkins's judgment on the propagation of the doctrine of the saints' 
perseverance. Who the persons were of whom his judgment is supposed 
to have such an influence. The consent of foreign churches making void 
this surmise. What influence the doctrine of the saints' perseverance had 
into the holiness of its professors. Of the unworthiness of the persons who 
in this nation have asserted the doctrine of apostacy : the suitableness of 


tliis doctrine to tliiir practices. Mr. G.'s attempt to take otY this charge. 
How far men's doctrines may be judged by tlieir lives. Mr. O.'s reasons 
wliy episcopaiists arrainianised, the first. Consid<"red and disproved. His 
discord, &c. General apostacy of men entertaining the Arrainian tenets. 
The close 95 


]Mr. G.'s third argument proposed and considered. Tlie drama borrowed by 
Mr. G. to make good this argument. The frame of speech ascribed to God 
according to our doctrine by the remonstrants weighed and considered. 
The dealing of God with man, and the importance of his exhortations, ac- 
cording to the doctrine of the saints' perseverance manifested. In what 
sense, and to what end, exhortations and threatenings are made to believers. 
The fallacious ground of this argument of Mr. G. Mr. G.'s fourth argu- 
ment proposed to consideration, considered. Eternal life, how and in what 
sense a reward of perseverance. The enforcement of the major proposition 
considered. The proposition new moulded, to make it of concernment to 
our doctrine, and denied : from the example of the obedience of Jesus 
Christ. Efficacy of grace not inconsistent with reward. The argument 
enforced with a new consideration : that consideration examined, and 
removed. Farther of the consistency of effectual grace, and gospel ex- 
hortations I 117 


Mr. G.'s fifth argument for the apostacy of true believers. The weight of this 
argument taken from the sins of believers. The difTerence between the sins 
of believers and unregenerate persons proposed to consideration, James i. 
14, 15. The rise and progress of lust and sin. The fountain of all sin, in 
all persons, is lust. Rom. vii. 7. Observations clearing the dillerence be- 
tween regenerate and unregenerate persons in their sinning, as to the com- 
mon fountain of all sin : the first. The second, of ilie universality of lust in 
the soul by nature. The third, in two inferences : the first, unregenerate 
men sin with tlieir whole consent. The second inference concerning the 
reign of sin, and reigning sin. The fourth, concerning the universal pos- 
session of the soul by renewing grace. Tlie fifth, that true grace bears rule 
•wherever it be. Inferences from the former considerations. The first, that 
in every regenerate person there are diverse principles of all moral opera- 
tions. Rom. vii. 19, 20. opened. The second, that sin cannot reign in a 
regenerate person. The third, that regenerate persons sin not with their 
whole consent. Answer to the argument at the entrance proposed. Be- 
lievers never sin with their whole consent and wills. ]\Ir. G.'s attempt to re- 
move the answer. His exceptions considered and removed. Plurality of 
■wills in the same person, in the Scripture sense : of the opposition between 
flesh and spirit : that no regenerate person sins with his full consent, proved. 
Of the Spirit, and his lustings iu us. The actings of the Spirit in us free, 
not suspended on any conditions in us. The same farther manifested. 
Mr. G.'s discourse of the first and second motions of the Spirit considered. 
The same considerations farther carried on. Peter Martyr's testimony con- 
sidered. Rom. vii. 19, 20. considered. Difference between the opposition 
made to sin in persons regenerate, and that in persons unregenerate, farther 
argued. Of the sense of Rom. vii. and in what sense believers do the works 
of the flesh. The close of these considerations. The answer to the argu- 


lueut at the entrance of the chapter opened. The argument new fornscd : 
the major proposition limited, and granted, and the minor denied. The 
proof of the major considered: Gal. v. 21. Eph. v. 5, 6. 1 Cor. vi. 9, 10. 
Believers how concerned in comminations. Threatening proper to unbe- 
lievers for their sins. Farther objections proposed and removed. Of the 
progress of saints in tempting to sin. The eifect of lust in temptations. 
DifiFerence between regenerate and unregenerate persons as to the tempting 
of lust, 1. in respect of universality; 2. of power. Objections answered. 
Whether believers sin only out of infirmity. Whether believers may sin 
out of malice, and with deliberation. Of the state of believers, who upon 
their sin may be excommunicated. Whether the body of Christ may be 
dismembered. What body of Christ it is that is intended. Mr. G.'s 
thoughts to this purpose examined. Mr. G.'s discourse of the way where- 
by Christ keeps or may keep his members examined. Members of Christ 
cannot become members of Satan : 1 Cor, vi. 15. considered, of the sense 
and use of the word apaj. Christ takes members out of the power of Satan, 
gives up none to him. Repetition of regeneration asserted by the doctrine 
of apostacy. The repetition disproved. Mr. G.'s notion of regeneration 
examined at large and rebuked. Relation between God and his children 
indissoluble. The farther progress of lust for the production of sin ; it draws 
off, and entangles: drawing away, what it is. The distance between rege- 
nerate and unregenerate persons in their being drawn away by lust. J'arther 
description of him who is drawn away by lust; and of the difference for- 
merly mentioned. Of lust's enticing. How far this may befall regenerate men. 
To do sin, Rom. vii. what it intendeth. Lust's conceiving, wherein it con- 
sists. Of the bringing forth of sin, and how far the saints of God may pro- 
ceed therein. 1 John iii. 9. opened : the scope of the place discovered : vin- 
dicated. The words farther opened. The proposition in the words uni- 
versal : inferences from thence. The subject of that proposition considered, 
every one that is born of God, what is affirmed of them. What meant by 
committing of sin. Mr. G.'s opposition to the sense of that expression given. 
Reasons for the confirmation of it. Mr. G.'s reasons against it, proposed 
and considered. The farther exposition of the word carried on : how he 
that is born of God cannot sin : several kinds of impossibility. Mr. G.'s 
attempt to answer the argument from this place, particularly examined. The 
reasons of the proposition in tlie text considered : of the seed of God abid- 
oth : the nature of that seed, what it is, wherein it consists. Of the abiding 
of this seed. Of the latter part of the apostle's reason, he is born of God : 
our argument from the words. Mr. G.'s endeavour to evade that argument ; 
his exposition of the words removed. Farther of the meaning of tlie word 
abideth. The close 128 


Mr. G.'s seventh argument about the tendency of the doctrine of the saints' 
apostacy as to their consolation, proposed. Considered : what that doctrine 
offereth for the consolation of the saints, offered ; the impossibility of its 
affording the least true consolation manifested. The influence of the doc- 
trine of the saints' perseverance into tiieir consolation. The medium where- 
by Mr. G. confirms his argument examined; what kind of nurse for the 
peace and consolation of the saints, the doctrine of apostacy is ; whether 
their obedience be furthered by it; what are the causes and springs of true 
consolation. Mr. G.'s eighth arguuient propos-ed to consideration. Answer 



thereunto, tlie ruinor proposition considered; the Holy Ghost not afraid of 
the saints' miscarriages. The confirmation of his minor proposition, proposed 
and considered. Tlie discourse assigned to the Holy Gliost by Mr. G. ac- 
cording to our principles. Considered. Exceptions against it : the first. 
The second. The third. The fourth. The fifth. The sixth. The seventh. 
The foundation of Rlr. G.'s pageant everted. The proceedings of the Holy 
Ghost in exhortations according to our principles. Sophisms in the furiner 
discourse farther discovered. His farther plea in this case proposed. Con- 
sidered. The instance of Christ and his obedience, considered and vindi- 
cated as to the application of it, to the business in hand. Mr. G.'s last 
argument proposed. Examined. 1 John ii. 19. explained. Vindicated. 
Argument from thence for the perseverance of the saints. Mr. G.'s excep- 
tions thereunto. Considered and removed. The same words farther pe- 
rused. Mr. G.'s consent with the remonstrants manifested by his transcrip- 
tions from their synodalia. Our argument from 1 John ii. 19. fully cleared. 
The conclusion of the examination of Mr. G.'s arguments for the apostacy of 
the saints • 215 


The cause of proceeding in this chapter. Mr. G.'s attempt, chap. 12. of his 
book. Of the preface to Mr. G.'s discourse. Whether doctrine renders 
men proud and presumptuous. Mr. G.'s rule of judging of doctrines calied 
to tlie rule. Doctrine pretending to promote godliness, how far an argument 
of the truth. Mr. G.'s pretended advantages in judging of truths examined. 
The first, of his knowledge of the general course of the Scriptures. Of the 
experiences of his own heart. And his observations of the ways of others. 
Of his rational abilities. Ezek. xviii. S-l, 25. proposed to consideration. Mr. 
G.'s sense of this place. The words opened ; observations for the open- 
ing of the text. The words farther weighed ; an entrance into the answer 
to the argument from hence : the word hypothetical not absolute. Mr. G.'s 
answer proposed and considered. Whether the words are hypothetical. 
The severals of the text considered ; the righteous man spoken of, who. 
Mr. G.'s proof of his interpretation of a righteous man considered. Dr. 
Prideaux's sense of the righteous person here intended, considered. Of 
the commination in the words : shall die. The sense of the words : what 
death intended. Close of the consideration of the text insisted on. Matt, 
xviii. 32, 33. taken into a review. Whether the love of God be mutable, 
what the love of God is. 1 Cor. ix. 27. In what sense it was possible for 
Paul to become a reprobate. The proper sense of the place insisted on, 
manifested. Of the meaning of the word aJoxj^uoc. The scope of the place 
farther cleared. Heb. vi. 4 — 6. x. 26, 27. proposed to consideration : whe- 
ther the words be conditional. The genuine and true meaning of the place 
opened, in six observations. Mr. G.'s exceptions to the exposition of the 
words insisted on, removed. The persons intended not true believers : this 
evinced on sundry considerations. The particulars of the text vindicated. 
Of the illuminations mentioned in the text. Of the acknowledgment of the 
truth ascribed to the person mentioned. Of the sanctifications mentioned 
in the texts. Of tasting the heavenly gift. To be made partakers of the 
Holy Ghost, what. Of tasting the good word of God, and power of the 
world to come. Of the progress made by man not really regenerate in the 
things of God. The close of our considerations on these texts. Hob. x. 
38, 39. Mr. G.'s arguing from tlicnce : considered ;md answered : of the 


right translation of the word : Beza vindicated, as also our English transla- 
tions. The words of the text, effectual to prove the saints' perseverance. 
Of the parable of the stony ground ; Matt. xiii. 20, 21. Mr. G.'s arguing 
from the place proposed and considered. The similitude in the parable far- 
ther considered. An argument from the text, to prove the persons described 
not to be true believers. 2 Pet. ii. 18 — 22. Mr. G.'s arguings from this 
place considered, &c. ' 250 

Preface 327 


The foundation of the whole ensuing discourse laid in Rom. viii. 13. The 
words of the apostle opened. The certain connexion between true mortifica- 
tion and salvation. Mortification the work of believers. The Spirit the 
principal efficient cause of it. What meant by the body in the words of the 
apostle. What by the deeds of the body. Life in what sense promised to 
this duty. 331 


The principal assertion concerning the necessity of mortification proposed to 
confirmation. Mortification the duty of the best believers ; Col. iii. 5. 1 Cor. 
ix. 27. Indwelling sin always abides ; no perfection in this life ; Phil. iii. 
12. 1 Cor. xiii. 12. 2 Pet. iii. 18. Gal. v. 17, &c. The activity of abiding 
sin in believers ; Rom. vii. 23. James iv. 5. Heb. xii. 1. Its fruitfulness and 
tendency. Every lust aims at the height in its kind. The Spirit and new 
nature given to contend against indwelling sin ; Gal. v. 17. 2 Pet. i. 4, 5. 
Rom. vii. 23. The fearful issue of the neglect of mortification ; Rev. iii. 2. 
Heb. iii. 13. The first general principle of the whole discourse hence con- 
firmed. Want of this duty lamented. • • ' 336 


The second general principle of the means of mortification proposed to confir- 
mation. The Spirit the only author of this work. Vanity of Popish mortifi- 
cation discovered. Many means of it used by them not appointed of God. 
Those appointed by him abused. The mistakes of others in this business. 
The Spirit is promised believers for this work; Ezek. i. 19. xxxvi. 26. All 
that we receive from Christ, is by the Spirit. How the Spirit mortifies sin ; 
Gal. V. 19 — 23. The several ways of his operations to this end proposed. 
How his work, and our duty 344 


U'he last principle ; of the usefulness of mortification. The vigour and comfort 
of our spiritual lives depend on our mortification. In what sense. Not ab- 
solutely and necessarily ; Psal. Ixxxviii. Heman's condiiion. Not as on the 
next and immediate cause. As a means ; by removing of the contrary. The 
desperate effects of any unmortified lust : it weakens the soul; Psal. xxxviii. 

VOL. VII. b 



3. 8. sundry ways, and darkens it. All graces improved by the mortlficatiua 

of sin. The best evidence of sincerity. S50 


The principal intendment of the whole discourse proposed. The first main case 
of conscience stated. What it is to mortify any sin, negatively considered. 
Not the utter destruction of it in this life. Not the dissimulation of it. Not 
the improvement of any natural principle. Not the diversion of it. Not an 
occasional conquest. Occasional conquests of sin, what, and when. Upon 
the eruption of sin. In time of danger or trouble. SS^ 


The mortification of sin in particular described. The several parts and de- 
grees thereof. The habitual weakening of its root and principal. The 
power of lust to tempt. Differences of that power as to persons and times. 
Constant fighting against sin. The parts thereof considered. Success 
against it. The sum of this discourse considered 358 


General rules, without which no lust will be mortified. No mortification unless 
a man be a believer. Danger of attempting mortification of sin by unregene- 
rate persons. The duty of unconverted persons, as to this business of morti- 
cation, considered. Tlie vanity of tlie Papist's attempts, and rules for morti- 
fication thence discovered SSi 


The second general rule proposed. Without universal sincerity for the morti- 
fying of every lust, no lust will be mortified. Partial mortification always 
from a corru[)t principle. Perplexity of temptation from a lust, oftentimes a 
chastening for otlier negligences 373 


Particular directions in relation to the foregoing case proposed. First, Consi- 
der the dangerous symptoifis of any lust. 1. Inveterateness. 2. Peace ob- 
tained under it ; the several ways whereby that is done. 3. Frequency of 
success in its seductions. 4. The soul's fighting against it, with arguments 
only taken from the event. 5. Its being attended with judiciary hardness. 
6. Its withstanding particular dealings from God. The state of persons in 
whom these things are found 377 


The second particular direction. Get a clear sense of, 1. The guilt of tlie sin 
perplexing. Considerations for help therein proposed. 2. The danger 
manifold. (1,) Hardening. (2.) Temporal correction. (3.) Loss of peace 
and strength. (4.) Eternal destruction. Rules for this management of the 
consideration. 3. The evil of it. (1.) In grieving the Spirit. (2.) Wound- ^ 

ing tiie new creature -^^^ 


The third direction proposed. Load thy conscience with the guilt of the per- 
plexing distemper. The ways and means whereby that may be done. The 



fourth direction. Vehement desire for deli verance. The fifth. Some dis- 
tempers rooted deeply in men's natural tempers. Considerations of such 
distempers, ways of dealings with them. The sixth direction. Occasions 
and advantages of sin to be prevented. The seventh direction. The first 
actings of sin vigorously to be opposed. 393 

The eighth direction. Thoughtfulness of the excellency of the majesty of 
God. Our unacquaintedness with him, proposed and considered 400 


The ninth direction. When the heart is disquieted by sin, speak no peace to 
it, until God speak it. Peace, without detestation of sin, unsound. So is 
peace measured out unto ourselves. How we may know when we measure 
out peace unto ourselves. Directions as to that inquiry. The vanitj^ of 
speaking peace slightly. Also of doing it on one singular account, not uni- 
versally 409 


The general use of the foregoing directions. The great direction for the ac- 
complishment of the work aimed at. Act faith on Christ ; the several ways 
whereby this may be done. Consideration of the fulness in Christ for re- 
lief proposed. Great expectations from Christ ; grounds of these expecta- 
tions. His mercifulness, his faithfulness. Event of such expectations. On 
the part of Christ. On the part of believers. Faith peculiarly to be acted 
on the death of Christ; Rom. vi. 3 — 6. The work of the Spirit in this 
whole business 420 

Preface 433 


The words of the text, that are the foundation of the ensuing discourse. The 
occasion of the words, with their dependance ; the things specially aimed at 
in them. Things considerable in the words as to the general purpose in 
hand. Of the general nature of temptation wherein it consists. The special 
nature of temptation. Temptation taken actively and passively. How God 
tempts any. His ends in so doing. The way whereby he doth it : of temp- 
tation in its special nature : of the actions of it. The true nature of tempta- 
tion stated 437 


What it is to enter into temptation. Not barely being tempted. Not to be 
conquered by it. To fall into it. The force of that expression. Things 
required unto entering into temptation. Satan or lust more than ordinarily 
importunate. The soul's entanglement. Seasons of such entanglements dis- 
covered. Of the hour of temptation. Rev. iii. 18. what it is. How any 
temptation comes to its hour. How it may be known when it is so come. 
The means of prevention prescribed by our Saviour. Of watching, and v»hat 
is intended thereby. Of prayer • 444 




The doctrine. Grounds of it ; our Saviour's direction in this case. His pro- 
mise of preservation. Issues of men entering into temptation. 1. Of un- 
grounded professors. 2. Of the choicest saints, Adam, Abraham, David. 
Self-consideration as to our own \\eakness. The power of a man's heart to 
withstand temptation considered. The considerations that it useth for that 
purpose. The power of temptation, it darkens the mind. The several ways 
whereby it dotli so. 1. By fixing the imaginations. 2. By entangling the 
affections. 3. Temptations give fuel to lust. 4. The end of temptation 
considered, with the issue of the former temptations ; some objections an- 
swered • 449 


Particular cases proposed to consideration : the first its restitution in sundry 
particulars ; several discoveries of tlie state of a soul entering into temp- 
tation ' 469 


The second case proposed, or inquiries resolved. What are the best directions, 
to prevent entering into temptation ; those directions laid down. The direc- 
tions given by our Saviour; ' Watcli and pray.' What is included therein. 
1. Sense of tlie danger of temptation. 2. That it is not in our power to keep 
ourselves. 3. Faitli in promises of preservation. Of prayer in particular. 
Of watching 476 


Of watching that we enter not into temptation : the nature and efficacy of that 
duty. The first part of it, as to the special seasons of temptation. 1. 
The season ; in unusual prosperity. The 2. In a slumber of grace. 3. 
A season of great spiritual enjoyments. The 4. A season of self-confi- 
dence • 481 


Several acts of watchfulness against temptation proposed. Watch the heart. 
What it is to be watched in and about. Of the snares lying in men's natural 
tempers. Of peculiar lusts. Of occasions suited to them. Watching to 
lay in provision against temptation. Directions for watchfulness m the first 
approaches of temptation. Directions after entering into temptations 486 

The last general direction, Rev. iii. 10. watch against temptation by constant 
keeping the word of Christ's patience, what that word is ; how it is kept ; 
Low the keeping of it will keep us from the power of temptation 494 

General exhortation to the duty prescribed 508 






The entrance into an answer to Mr. G.'s arguments against the doctrine of 
the saints' perseverance : his sixth argument about the usefulness of the 
doctrine under consideration to the work of the ministry, proposed. His 
proof of the minor proposition ; considered and answered. Many pre- 
tenders to promote godlinessby false doctrines. Mr. G .^ s common interest 
in this argument. His proofs of the usefulness of his doctrine unto the 
promotion of godliness ; considered and answered. The inconsequence of 
his arguing discovered. The doctrine by him opposed, mistaken , ignorantly 
or wilfully. Objectiojis proposed by Mr. G. to himself to be answered. 
The objection as proposed, disowned. Certainty of the love of God, in what 
sense a motive to obedience. The doctrine qfapostucy denies the unchange- 
ableness of God's love to believers : placeth qualifications in the room of 
persons. How the doctrine of perseverance promiseth the continuance of 
the love of God to believers. Certainty of reward, encouraging to regular 
actions. Promises made to persons qualified, not suspended upon those 
qualifications. Means appointed of God for the accomplishment of a de- 
termined end, certain. Means not always conditions. Mr. G.'s strange 
inference concerning the Scripture, considered. The word of God by him 
undervalued, and subjected to the judgment of vain men, as toils truth and 
authority. The pretended reason of the former proceeding discussed. The 
Scripture the sole judge of what is to be ascribed to God, and believed con- 
cerning him. The doctrine of the saints' perseverance, falsely imposed on, 
and vindicated. Mr. G.'s next objection made to himself, against his doc- 
trine: its unseasonableness, as to the argument in hand, demonstrated. 
No assurance of the love of God, nor peace left the saints by the doctrine 
of apostacy. The ground of peace and assurance by it taken away. 
Ground of Paul's consolation ; 1 Cor. ix. 27. The meaning of the word 
dSoKifiog. Another plea agaiyist the doctrine attempted to be proved by 
Mr. G. That attempt considered. Not the weakness of the flesh naturally, 
but the strength of lust spiritually pretended. The cause of sin in the 
saints farther discussed. The power ascribed by Mr. G. to men, for the 
strengthening and making willing the Spirit in them, considered. The 
aptness of the saints to perform, what, and whence. The opposition they 
have in them thereunto. Gospel obedience how easy. The conclusion, An-» 
swerto chap. xiii. of his book proposed. 

The argument, wherein Mr. Goodwin exposeth the doctrine 
under contest to the trial, concerning its usefulness, as tq 



the promotion of godliness, in the hearts and ways of them 
by whom it is received, he thus proposeth. chap. 13. sect. 
32. p. 333. 'That doctrine, which is according to godliness, 
and whose natural and proper tendency is to promote god- 
liness in the hearts and lives of men, is evangelical, and of 
unquestionable comportance with the truth ; such is the 
doctrine which teacheth the possibility of the saints' declin- 
ing, both totally and finally :' ergo. 

Of this argument he goeth about to establish the respec- 
tive propositions, so as to make them serviceable to the en- 
forcement of the conclusion he aimeth at, for the exaltation 
of the Helena, whereon he is enamoured : and for the major 
proposition (about which, rightly understood, we are remote 
from contesting with him or any else, and will willingly and 
cheerfully at any time drive the cause in difference to issue, 
upon the singular testimony of the truth wrapped up in it) 
he thus confirmeth it. 

'The reason of the major proposition, though the truth of 
it needed no light but its own to be seen by, is, because the 
gospel itself is a doctrine which is according unto godliness, 
a ministry of godliness ; is a doctrine, truth, and mystery, 
calculated, contrived, and framed by God with a singular 
aptness, and choiceness of ingredients, for the advancement 
of godliness in the world ; therefore what particular doctrine 
is of the same Spirit, tendency, and import, must needs be a 
natural branch thereof, and hath perfect accord with it ; this 
proposition then is unquestionable.' 

Ans. According to the principles formerly laid down, I 
have something to say (though not to the proposition itself, 
as in the terms it lieth, but) only as to the fixedness and 
staidness of it, that it may not be a nose of wax, to be 
turned to and fro at every one's pleasure, to serve their turns ; 
for what sort of men is there in the world professing the 
name of Christ, that do not lay claim to an interest in this 
proposition, for the confirmation of their opinions. It is but 
as a common exordium in rhetoric, a useless flourish ; the 
doctrine which is according to godliness, that is, which the 
Scripture teacheth to be true, and to serve for the promotion 
of godliness (not what doctrine soever any dark brain-sick 
creature doth apprehend so to do), in the state and condition 
wherein the saints of God walk with him, is a branch of the 


g^ospel : I add, in the state and condition, wherein we walk 
with God 5 for in the state of innocency, the doctrine of the 
law, as a covenant of life, was of singular aptness, and use- 
fulness to promote obedience, which yet is not therefore any 
branch or part of the gospel, but opposite to it, and destruc- 
tive of it. All the advantage then Mr. Goodwin can expect 
from this argument to his cause, dependeth upon the proof 
of the minor proposition, which also must be effected in 
answerable proportion to the restrictions and qualifications 
given to the major, or the whole will be void and of none 
effect. That is, he must prove it by the testimony of God, 
to be according to godliness, and not give us in (by a pure 
begging of the thing in question), that it is so in his appre- 
hension, and according to the principles whereon he doth 
proceed, in the teaching and asserting of godliness. Mr. 
Goodwin knows that there is no less difference between him 
and us, about the nature and causes of godliness, than there 
is about the perseverance of the saints ; and therefore his 
asserting any doctrine to be suited to the promotion of god- 
liness, that assertion being proportioned to his other hypo- 
thesis of his own, wherein we accord not with him, and in 
particular to his notions of the causes and nature of godli- 
ness, with which conceptions of his we have no communion, 
it cannot be of any weight with us, unless he prove his affir- 
mation according to the limitations before expressed ; now 
this he attempteth in the words following: 

'What doctrine,' saith he, 'can there be more proper and 
powerful to promote godliness, in the hearts and lives of men, 
than that, which on the one hand, promiseth a crown of bless- 
edness and eternal glory to those that live godlily without 
declining; and on the other hand, threateneth the vengeance 
of hell fire eternally against those, that shall turn aside into 
profaneness, and not return by repentance : whereas the doc- 
trine which promiseth, and that with all possible certainty 
and assurance, all fulness of blessedness and glory, to those 
that shall at any time be godly, though they shall the very 
next day or hour degenerate, and turn loose, and profane; 
and continue never so long in such a course, is most mani- 
festly destructive to godliness, and encouraging above mea- 
sure unto profaneness.' 

Jns. There are two parts of this discourse: the one 
B 2 


(KaraaKtvaaTiKri, or) confirmatory of his own thesis ; the other 
(avaCTKfuaoTtK?), or) destructive of that which he opposeth : 
for the first, it is upon the matter all that he produceth for 
the confirmation of his minor proposition, wherein any sin- 
gular concernment of his opinion doth lie : now that being, 
in a sound sense, the common inheritance of all that profess 
the truth, under what deceits or mistakes soever; the sum 
of what is here insisted on, is, that the doctrine he maintain- 
eth concerning 'the possibility of the saints' defection, pro- 
iT\iseth a crown to them that continue in obedience, and 
threateneth vengeance of fire to them that turn to profane- 
ness,' which taken as a proof of his former assertion is liable 
to some small exceptions. As, 

1. That this doth not at all prove the doctrine to be a 
branch or parcel of the gospel, it being, as it standeth seve- 
rally by itself, the pure tenor of the covenant of works, 
which we confess to have been of singular importance for 
the propagation of godliness and holiness, in them to whom 
it was given, or with whom it was made ; being given and 
made for that very end and purpose ; but that this alone by 
itself is a peculiar branch or parcel of the gospel, or that 
it is of such singular importance for the carrying on of gos- 
pel-obedience, as so by itself proposed, that should here 
have been proved. 

2. As it is also a part of the gospel declaring the faith- 
fulness of God, and the end and issue of the proposal of the 
gospel unto men, and of their receiving or refusing of it, so 
it is altogether foreign to the doctrine of Mr. Goodwin un- 
der contest : and he might as well have said, that the doc- 
trine of apostacy is of singular import for the promotion of 
holiness, because the doctrine of justification by faith is so ; 
for what force of consequence is betwixt these two? That 
God is a rewarder of them that obey him, and a punisher of 
them that rebel against him, is an incentive to obedience : 
therefore the doctrine that true believers united lo Jesus 
Christ, may utterly fall out of the favour of God, and turn 
from their obedience, and be damned for ever, there beino- 
no promise of God for their preservation, is also an incentive 
to holiness. 

3. What virtue soever there may be in this truth, for the 
furtherance and promotion of holiness in the world, our doc- 


trine layeth as clear claim to it as yours ; that is, there is 
not any thing in the least in it inconsistent therewithal ; 
we grant, God threateneth the vengeance of hell fire unto 
those that turn aside from their profession of holiness, mto 
profaneness, the gospel itself becoming thereby unto them 
* a savour of death unto death ;' the Lord thereby proclaim- 
ing to all the world, that the ' wages of sin' and infidelity 
is death, and that 'he that believeth not, shall be damned ;' 
but that any thing can hence be inferred for the apostacy of 
true believers, or how this assertion cometh to be appro- 
priated to that doctrine, we see not. 

The latter part of this discourse, whereby its author aim- 
eth to exclude the doctrine hitherto asserted by us, from 
any claim laid to usefulness for the promotion of godliness, 
is either a mistake of it, through ignorance of the opinion 
he hath undertaken to oppose, or a wilful perverting of it, 
contrary to his own science and conscience. Is that the 
doctrine you oppose? Is it so proposed by those who 
through grace have laboured to explain and vindicate it ? 
Doth not the main weight of the doctrine turn on this hinge, 
that God hath promised to his saints, true believers, such 
supplies of the Spirit and grace, as that they shall never 
degenerate unto such loose and profane courses, as are de- 
structive to godliness? Doubtless that doctrine is of a most 
spotless untainted innocency, which its adversaries dare not 
venture to strangle, before they have violently and treacher- 
ously deflowered it. 

And thus Mr. Goodwin leaveth his arguments in the 
dust, like the ostriches' eggs under the feet of men, to be 
trampled on with ease. 

The residue of this discourse onwards to the next argu- 
ment, being spent in the answering of pretended objections, 
put in against himself in the behalf of the doctrine of perse- 
verance, not at all called out by the import of his present 
arguments and discourses, I might pass them over: but in- 
asmuch as that which is spoken thereunto, tendeth to the 
farther clearing of what formerly hath been evidenced, con- 
cerning the suitableness of the doctrine contended for, unto 
the promotion of holiness, I shall farther consider what he 
draweth forth on this occasion. Sect. 33. he giveth us an 
objection ; and a fourfold answer thereunto, pp. 333—335. 


That which he calleth an objection he layeth down in these 
words : 

' If it be objected and said : yea, but assurance of the 
unchangeableness of God's love towards him that is godly, 
is both a more effectual and persuading- motive unto godli- 
ness, and more encouraging to a persevering in godliness, 
than a doubtfulness or uncertainty, whether God will be con- 
stant in his affection, to such a man or no ; certainty of re- 
ward is more encouraging unto action, than uncertainty.' 

Ans. If any one hath been so weak, as to make use of 
this plea in behalf of that doctrine it seemeth to defend 
(which I scarcely believe), it will, I doubt not, be an easy 
task to undertake, that he shall be no more admitted, or en- 
tertained, as an advocate in this cause. The assurance of 
the unchangeableness of God's love to them that are godly, 
is but onie part of the doctrine in hand, and that such as 
may perhaps be common to it with that which is brought into 
competition with it. It is the assurance of the unchange- 
ableness of God's love to a man, to keep him up to godli- 
ness, to preserve him in that state and condition of holiness 
to the end, and of the certainty of the continuance of the 
love of God unto him. on that account and in that way, that 
is that great gospel motive to obedience, wherein, as its pe- 
culiar, our doctrine glorieth, as hath formerly been mani- 
fested. Perhaps Mr. Goodwin doth not think, that any man 
is bound to lay more blocks in his own way, than he judgeth 
himself well aisle to remove; and therefore he framed that 
objection so, that he might be sure to return at least a spe- 
cious answer thereunto, and this he attempteth accordingly, 
and telleth us in his first paragraph three things : 

1. 'That the doctrine teaching the saints' defection, doth 
also maintain the unchangeableness of the love of God, to 
them that are godly.' 

Am. But what love (I pray you) is that, which when it 
might prevent it, will yet suffer those godly ones, to become 
such ungodly villains and wretches, as that it sliall be ut- 
terly impossible for the Lord to continue his love to them'' 
Is the love you mention indeed a love to their persons, or 
only an approbation of their duties and qualifications ? If the 
first, whence is it that God ceaseth at any time to love them? 
Doth he change, and alter his love like the sons of men ? Why, 


they change, therefore he changeth also. That God changeth 
not, and therefore we, who are subject to change, are yet 
preserved from being consumed, we have heard ; but that 
upon the change that is in men, God also should change, we 
are yet to be instructed ; and the immutability of God, hath 
taken greater hold upon our understandings and in our hearts, 
than that we should easily receive any thing so diametri- 
cally opposite thereunto. If the love mentioned be only an 
approbation of the qualifications that are in them, and of the 
duties that they do perform, then is it no more a love to 
them or to their persons, than it is to the persons of the most 
profligate wretches that live. The object is duty, solely 
wherever it may be found, and not any person at all ; for it 
is an act of God's approving, not purposing or determining, 
will. This is not our sense of the continuance of the love 
of God to them that are godly ; so that there is no com- 
parison betwixt the doctrines under contest, as to the assert- 
ing of the love of God to believers, or to them that are 
godly. Wherefore, he saith, 

2. 'That the doctrine he opposeth, promiseth God's love 
and the unchangeable continuance of it unto men, though 
they change to profaneness.' Though this is said over and 
over a hundred times, yet 1 cannot believe it, because the 
doctrine openly affirmeth the continuance of the love of 
God to them that are godly, to be effectually and eventually 
preventive of any such profaneness, as is inconsistent there- 
withal ; and therefore much more vain is that, which he af- 
firmeth in the third place : 

3. Namely, That * the doctrine of the perseverance of the 
saints, doth not so much absolutely promise the love of God 
to them that are godly, as it promiseth it conditionally to 
them that are profane, in case they have been godly ; that 
is, it teacheth that God promiseth the certain continuance 
of his love to him that is godly, on condition he cease to 
be so and turn profane.' 

'Claudite jamrivos pueri' we have enough of this 


2. He addeth yet, ' Neither is certainty of reward, in 
every sense or kind, more encouraging unto action, than un- 
certainty in some kind ; to promise with all possible assur- 
ance, the same reward or prize to him that shall not run in 


the race, which is promised to him that shall run, is not 
more encouraging unto men, thus to run, than to promise it 
conditionally upon their running, which is a promising of 
it with uncertainty in this respect, because it is uncertain 
whether men will run in the said race, or no ; and conse- 
quently, whether they shall receive the said prize or no, 
upon such a promise. Uncertainty of reward is then, and 
in such cases, more encouraging unto action than certainty, 
when the certainty of obtaining or receiving it, is suspended 
upon the act, not when it is assured unto men whether they 
act or no.' 

Ans. 1. Persuade your servants, your labourers, if you 
can, of that great encouragement that lies in the uncertainty 
of a reward, above that which may be had from an assur- 
ance thereof: we are not as yet of that mind ; and yet, 

2. We do not lay the only motive unto obedience, ten- 
dered by the doctrine we contest for, on the certainty of 
reward which it asserteth ; which yet is such, that without 
it all other must needs be of little purpose ; but it hath also 
other advantageous influences into the promotion of holi- 
ness, which in part have been insisted on. 

3. It seemeth, we say that God promiseth 'a reward to 
them that shall not run a race,' because we maintain, that 
he promiseth it to none, but those who do run in a race ; 
promising withal to give them strength, power, and will, 
that they may do so to the end. 

2. For the close, which amounteth to this, that the cer- 
tainty of reward, when it is uncertain (for so it is made to 
be when it is suspended on actions that are uncertain) is 
more encouraging to action, than certainty of reward not so 
suspended ; 1 shall add only (because I know not indeed 
how this discourse hangeth on the business under considera- 
tion), that we neither suspend the certainty of reward upon 
our actions in the sense intimated, neither do we say, that 
it is assured to men whether they act or no ; but say, that 
the reward which is of grace, through the unchangeable love 
of God, shall be given to them that act in holiness, and 
through the same love shall all believers be kept to such an 
acting of holiness, as God thinketh good to carry them out 
unto, for the ' fulfilling of all the good pleasure of his good- 
ness in them, and making them jneet for the inheritance of 


his saints in light ;' we do not think mediums designed of 
God for the accomplishment of any end, are such con- 
ditions of the end, that it is suspended on them in uncer- 
tainty, in respect of the issue before its accomplishment. 
Neither do we grant, nor can it be proved, that God assigneth 
any medium for the accomplishment of a determinate end 
(such as we have proved the salvation of all believers to be), 
and leave it in such a condition, as that not only it shall be 
effected and produced, suitably to the nature of the imme- 
diate cause of which it is, whether free, necessary, or con- 
tingent, but also shall be so far uncertain, as that it may or 
may not, be wrought and accomplished. 

The former part of this third paragraph is but a repeti- 
tion of an assertion, which upon the credit of his own single 
testimony, we have had often tendered ; viz. ' That an as- 
surance given him that is godly, of the love of God, not 
depending on any thing in him, which it is uncertain whe- 
ther he will perform or no, is no motive to men to continue 
in the ways of holiness.' This (as I said before) I cannot 
close withal ; that that which is a motive to faith and love, 
and eminently suited to the stirring of them up, and setting 
them on work, is also a motive to the obedience, which is 
called love and obedience of faith, hath been declared. If 
there be any thing of the new and heavenly nature in the 
soul, any quality or disposition of a child therein, what can 
be more effectual to promote or advance the fear, honour, 
and reverence of God in it, than an assurance of his Spirit 
to continue and preserve them in those ways which are well 
pleasing unto him. It is confessed, that in many promises 
of acceptation here and reward hereafter, the things and 
duties, that are the means and ways of enjoying the one, 
and attaining the other, are mentioned not as conditions of 
the grace and love of God to them, to whom the promises 
are made, as though they should depend on any thing of 
their uncertain accomplishment as hath been declared, but 
only as the means and ways, which God hath appointed for 
men to use, and walk in unto those ends, and which he 
hath absolutely promised to work in them, and to continue 
to them. 

4. The close of this paragraph, in the fourth place, de- 
serveth a little more clear consideration, it containing an 


assertion which some would not believe, when it was told 
them, and hath stumbled not a few at the repetition of it. 
Thus then he proceedeth. 

' Besides, whether any such assurance of the unchange- 
ableness of the love of God towards him that is godly, as 
the objection speaketh of, can be effectually, and upon suf- 
ficient grounds cleared and proved, is very questionable, yea, 
I conceive there is more reason to judge otherwise than so. 
Yea, that which is more, I verily believe, that in case any 
such assurance of the unchangeableness of God's love, were 
to be found in, or could regularly be deduced from, the 
Scriptures, it were a just ground, to any intelligent and con- 
sidering man, to question their authority, and whether they 
were from God or no ; for, that a God infinitely righteous 
and holy, should irreversibly assure the immortal and unde- 
filed inheritance of his grace and favour, unto any creature 
whatsoever; so that though this creature should prove never 
so abominable in his sight, never so outrageously and des- 
perately wicked and profane, he should not be at liberty 
to withhold his inheritance from him, is a saying doubtless 
too hard for any man, who rightly understandeth and con- 
sidereth the nature of God, to bear.' 

Ans. The love mentioned in the foregoing objection, is 
that which God beareth to them that are godly in Jesus Christ, 
exerting itself partly in his gracious acceptation of their 
persons in the Son of his love, partly in giving to them of 
his Holy Spirit and grace, so that they shall never depart 
utterly and wickedly from him, and forsake him, or reject 
him from being their God. Whether an assurance of this 
love may on good grounds, be given to believers, hath been 
already considered, and the affirmative, I hope in some good 
measure confirmed. The farther demonstration of it await- 
ing its proper season, which the will of God shall give unto 
it. This Mr. Goodwin saith to him is questionable ; yea, I 
suppose it is with him out of question, that it cannot be, 
else surely he would not have taken so much pains in la- 
bouring to disprove it; and that this is his resolved judg- 
ment, he manifesteth in the next words, ' 1 verily believe, 
that in case any such assurance were to be found in,' &c. 
That is, * Si Deus homini non placuerit, Deus non erit.' 
What more contemptible could the Pagans of old have 


spoken of their dunghill deities, with their amphibolous 
oracles? were it not fitter language for the Indian conju- 
rors, who beat and afflict their hellish gods, if they answer 
not according to their desires ? The whole authority of God, 
and of his word in the Scriptures, is here cast down before 
the consideration of an intelligent man (forsooth) or * a vain 
man, that would be wise, but is like the wild ass's colt ;' 
and this intelligent man, it seems, may contend to reject 
the word of God, and yet be accounted most wise ; of old, 
the prophet thought not so. To what end is any farther 
dispute ? If the Scripture speaketh not to Mr. Goodwin's 
mind (for doubtless he is an intelligent and considering 
man), he seeth sufficient ground to question its authority. 
By what way possible, any man can moi^e advance himself 
into the throne of God, than by entertaining such thoughts 
and conceptions as these, I know not. An intelligent man 
is supposed to have from himself, and his own wisdom and 
intelligence, considerations of God's nature and perfection, 
by which he is to regulate and measure all things, that are 
affirmed of God, or his will, in the Scripture. If what is so 
delivered suit these conceptions of his, that Scripture where- 
in it is delivered may pass for canonical and authentic ; if 
otherwise, 'eadem facilitate rejicitur qua asseritur;' which 
was sometimes spoken of traditionals ; but it seems may now 
be extended to the written word. The Scripture is sup- 
posed to hold out things contrary to what this intelligent 
man hath conceived and considered, and this is asserted as 
a just ground to question its authority. And if this be not 
a progress in the contempt of the word of God to whatever 
yet Papists, Socinians, or enthusiasts have attempted, I am 
deceived. ' To the law and to the testimony,' with all the 
conceptions and notions of the most intelligent man, 'if 
they answer not to this rule, it is because there is no truth 
in them.' 

But he addeth the reason of this bold assertion : for, 
saith he, ' That a God infinitely righteous and holy, should 
irreversibly,' &,c. 

A?is. Neither yet doth this at all mend the matter. Nei- 
ther doth the particular instance given alter at all, but con- 
firm, the first general assertion : viz. that ' if there be any 
thing in the Scriptures contrary to those thoughts of God, 


which an intelligent man (without the Scripture) doth con- 
ceive of him, he hath just grounds to question their autho- 
rity,' which wholly casts down the word of God from its ex- 
cellency, and setteth a poor, dark, blind creature, under the 
notion of an intelligent man, at liberty from his subjection 
thereunto, making him his own rule and guide as to his ap- 
prehensions of God and his will : and is it possible that such 
a thought should enter into the heart of a man fearing God, 
and reverencing his word, which God hath magnified above all 
his name ? There is scarce any one truth in the whole book of 
God, but some men, passing in the world for intelligent and 
considering men, do look upon it and profess it to be un- 
worthy of an infinitely righteous and holy God. So do the 
Socinians think of the doctrine of the satisfaction of Christ, 
the great treasure of the church ; at the rate that men pass 
at in this world, it will be difficult to exclude many of them 
from the number of intelligent and considering men ; and 
are they not all absolved here by Mr. G. in this principle, 
from bowing to the authority of God in the Scriptures, 
having just ground to question, whether they are from God 
or no. The case is the same with the Papists and others in 
sundry particulars. Frame the supposition how you wnll, 
in things never so uncouth and strange, yet if this be the 
position, that in things which appear so to men, upon their 
consideration, if any thing in the Scripture be held out, or 
may be deduced from this to the contrary, they are at liberty 
from submitting their understandings to them, and may ar- 
raign them as false and supposititious, their whole divine 
authority is unquestionably cast down to the ground, and 
trampled on by the feet of men. Km ravra /uiv Trpog ravra. 
God will take care for the vindication of the honour of his 

2. The opposition here made by Mr. Goodwin, and im- 
posed on his adversaries, is, as hath been shewed, wretchedly 
false, not once spoken or owned by them with whom he hath 
to do, not having the least colour given unto it by the doc- 
trine they maintain ; yea, is diametrically opposite there- 
unto. The main of what they teach, and which Mr. Good- 
win hath opposed in this treatise, endeavouring to answer ' 
that eminent place of 1 John iii. 9. with many others pro- 
duced and argued to that purpose, is, that God will, ac- 


cording to the tenor of the covenant of grace, so write his 
law in the hearts of his, and put his fear in their inward 
parts, that they shall never depart from him, so as to become 
desperately and outrageously profane, but be preserved such 
to the end, as that the Lord with the greatest advantage of 
glory to his infinite wisdom, righteousness, and holiness, 
may irreversibly assure the immortal inheritance of his love 
and favour unto them. So that Mr. Goodwin's discourse to 
the end of this section, concerning the continuance of the 
love of God to them that are wicked, with an equal measure 
of favour to them that are godly, according to this doctrine, is 
vain and grossly sophistical, and such as he himself knoweth 
to be so. To say, ' every one that doth evil is good in the sight 
of the Lord, and that he delighteth in him,' that is, he ap- 
proveth wicked and ungodly men, we know is sufficiently 
dishonourable to him: but yet to say that he delighteth in 
his church and people, washed and made holy in the blood 
of Christ, notwithstanding their failings, or their being 
sometime overtaken with great sins, when he pleaseth, in an 
extraordinary way, for ends best known to himself, to per- 
mit them to fall into them (which yet he doth seldom and 
rarely), is that which himself affirmeth and ascribeth to him- 
self in innumerable places of Scripture (if their authority 
may pass unquestioned), to the praise of the glory of his 
grace. But it seemeth, if we take any care, that Mr. Good- 
win may not call the authority of the Scriptures into question 
(being fully resolved, that the doctrine of the saints' perse- 
verance is unworthy of a holy and righteous God), we must 
give over all attempts of farther deducing it from them ; but 
yet for the present, we shall consider what he hath farther 
to object against it. 

Sect. 34. He farther objecteth against himself and his 
doctrine, in the behalf of that which he doth oppose in these 
words : 

' It is possible, that yet some will farther object against 
the argument in hand ; unless the saints be assured of the 
perpetuity of their standing in the grace and favour of God, 
they must needs be under fears of falling away, and so of pe- 
rishing ; and fear we know is of a discouraging and enfee- 
bling nature ; an enemy unto such actions, which men of 
confidence and courage are apt to undertake.' 


Ans. What this objection maketh in this place, I know 
not; it neither asserteth any eminency in the doctrine by 
Mr. Goodwin opposed, as to the promotion of godliness, 
nor immediately challengeth that which he doth maintain of 
a contrary tendency, but only intimateth, that the saints' 
consolation and peace is weakened by unnecessary fears, 
such as his opinion is apt to ingenerate in them ; but how»- 
ever thus far I own it, as to the main of the observation in 
hand, that the doctrine of the apostacy of believers is apt 
and suited to cut the saints of God and heirs of the promise 
short of that strong consolation, which he is so abundantly 
willing that they should receive, and to fill their souls and 
perplex their consciences with cares, fears, and manifold 
entanglements, suited to weaken their faith and love, and 
alienate their hearts from that delight in God, which they 
are called, and otherwise would be carried forth, unto. They 
being all of them in some measure acquainted with the 
strength, subtilty, and power of indwelling sin, the advan- 
tages of Satan in his manifold temptations, the eminent suc- 
cess which they see every day the ' principalities and 
powers in heavenly places,' which they wrestle withal, to have 
against them, and being herewithal taught, that there is nei- 
ther purpose nor promise of God for their preservation, that 
there is nothing to that purpose in the covenant of grace; 
the consideration of their condition must of necessity fill 
them with innumerable perplexities, and make them their 
own tormentors all their days; thus far, I say, I own the ob- 
jection; that it is not properly courage or confidence, but 
faith, love, and reverence, that are the principles of our ac- 
tions in walking with God, hath been declared. 

But what saith Mr. Goodwin to the objection, as by him- 
self laid down? beside what he relateth, of his conquest of 
it in other places, he addeth, 

' That the saints, notwithstanding the possibility of their 
final falling away, have, or may have, such an assurance of 
the perpetuity of their standing, in the grace and favour of 
God, as may exclude all fear, at least that which is of a 
discouraging or enfeebling nature ; the apostle, as we have 
formerly shewed, lived at a very excellent rate both of cou- 
rage and confidence ; notwithstanding he knew that it was 
possible for him to become a reprobate ; the assurance he had. 


that upon a diligent use of those means, which he knew as- 
suredly God would vouchsafe unto him, he should prevent 
his being a reprobate, was a golden foundation unto him, of 
that confidence and courage wherein he equalized the holy 
angels themselves.' 

Ans. The grounds asserted by Mr, Goodwin, on which 
believers may build the assurance pretended, of the perpe- 
tuity of their standing in the grace and favour of God, not- 
withstanding the possibility of their defection (the asser- 
tion whereof costs no less, than the denying of all, or any 
influence from the purpose, promises, covenant, or oath of 
God, or mediation of Christ, into their preservation), I have 
formerly considered : and manifested them to be so exceed- 
ing unable to bear any such building of confidence upon, 
as is pretended, that it is almost a miracle how any thoughts 
of such a structure on such quicksands, could ever find 
place in the mind of a man any thing seriously acquainted 
with the ways of God ; the whole of the saints' preservation 
in the love and favour of God (as it is also expressed in this 
section) is resolved into men's self-considerations, and en- 
deavours. Being weary it seemeth of leaning on the power 
of God, to be kept thereby unto eternal salvation, men begin 
to trust to themselves, and their own abilities, to be their own 
keepers: but what will they do in the end thereof? The 
sum of what Mr. Goodwin hath formerly said and what he 
repeateth again to the end of this section, is, ' men need not 
fear their falling away, though it is possible, seeing they 
may easily prevent it, if they will ;' expressions sufficiently 
contemptive of the grace of God, and the salvation that God 
assureth us thereby ; an assertion, which those ancients, 
which Mr. Goodwin laboureth to draw into communion with 
him, would have rejected, and cast out as heretical. Man's 
ability thus to preserve himself in the grace and favour of 
God to the end, is either from himself, or from the grace of 
God? If from himself, let us know, what that ability is, 
and wherein it doth consist, and how he comes ■ y it ? Christ 
telleth us, that "without him we can do nothing;' and the 
apostle, ' that we are not sufficient of ourselves to think a 
good thought, but that all our sufficiency is of God :' so that 
this self-ability for preservation, extendeth not to the think- 
ing a good thought : indeed is nothing. Is it from the grace 


of God? Then the assurance of it must be, either because 
God promised absolutely, so to ' work in him to will and to 
do of his own good pleasure,' as that he should certainly be 
preserved, which you will not say (as I suppose), or because 
he will so afford him his grace, as that lie may make use of 
it to the end proposed, if he please : but now, what assur- 
ance hath he that he shall so make use of his grace, as to 
make it effectual for the end designed ? And is this good 
use of grace, of himself, or of grace also ? If of himself, it is 
nothing ; as was shewed from that of our Saviour ; John xv. 
5. Neither can a man promise himself much assistance, from 
the ability of doing nothing at all. If you shall say it is of 
grace, the same question ariseth as formerly, manifesting 
that there is not the least assurance imaginable, of our con- 
tinuance in the grace and favour of God, but what ariseth 
from his faithful promises (efficaciously overcoming all in- 
terveniences) that we shall so do. 

2. He telleth us, that * Paul lived at an excellent rate of 
assurance, and yet knew that it was possible for him to be a 
reprobate ;' I confess indeed he lived at an excellent rate of 
assurance, which he manifesteth himself to have received 
upon such principles and foundations, as were common to 
him with all true believers ; Rom. viii. 32 — 35. That it was 
possible in respect of the event, that he might have been a 
reprobate who was chosen from eternity, is not proved. He 
saith indeed, 1 Cor. ix. 27. ' I keep my body in subjection, 
lest by any means I should be found 'ASo/c<juoc.' That by 
aSoKt/uoc there, any more is intended than not approved or 
accepted in that service he had in hand, Mr. Goodwin la- 
boureth not to evince ; and if that be the sense of the words 
(as the scope of the whole manifesteth it to be), then all that 
Paul there expresseth is, that he endeavoured always to ap- 
prove himself, and by all means, an acceptable workman, not 
to be rejected, or disallowed in the labour of preaching the 
gospel which he had undertaken ; and we acknowledge that 
this thought and contrivance may well become him, who 
liveth at the greatest rate of assurance that God affordeth 
to any here below; yea, that such thoughts and endeavours 
do naturally and genuinely flow from the assurance of the 
love of God we also grant. But yet, supposing that being 
a reprobate, by a metonymy of the effect, may here signify 


to be damned, how doth this prove, that it was possible in 
respect of the event, that he should be damned ? Why, be- 
cause he laboured that he might iiot be so ; that is, no man 
can use the means of avoiding any thing, but he must be un- 
certain, whether in the use of those means it may be avoided 
or no; this looketh like begging the thing in question; Paul 
labouring and endeavouring in the ways expressed, evidently 
manifesteth such a labour and endeavour, in such a way, to 
be the appointed means of avoiding the condition of being 
adoKijuog. That there is an infallible connexion betwixt the 
use of such means, and the deliverance from that state, is 
proved. But that Paul had not assurance of the sufficiency 
of the grace of God with him, for his certain use of those 
means, and certain infallible deliverance from that end, no- 
thing in the least is intimated in the text, or brought in from 
any place else, by Mr. Goodwin, to give colour thereunto. 
But of this Scripture at large afterward. 

Supposing himself to have fairly quit himself of the for- 
mer plea, in the behalf of our doctrine, as by himself pro- 
posed, he addeth another pretension in the behalf of the 
same plea formerly produced, which he attempteth also to 
take out of the way, having in some measure prepared it, in 
his proposal of it for an easy removal. Thus then he pro- 
ceedeth ; * To pretend that the weakness of the flesh in the 
best of saints considered, and their aptness to go astray, 
they must needs lie under many troublesome and tormenting 
fears of perishing, unless they have some promise or assur- 
ance from God to support them, notwithstanding any de- 
clinings or goings astray incident unto them, yet they shall 
not lose his favour, or perish, is to pretend nothing but 
what hath been thoroughly answered already, especially in 
chap. 9.' 

Alls. Before I can admit this plea to be put in, in our be- 
half, I shall crave leave a little to rectify, and point it more 
sharply against the doctrine it aimeth to oppose. I say then, 

1. It is not the 'weakness of the flesh,' or the feebleness 
and disability of our natural man to act in, orgo through with, 
great duties and trials, but the strength and wilfulness of the 
flesh, i. e. of the corrupted man, even in the best of saints, 
continually provoking and seducing them with sometimes 
an insuperable efficacy, leading them captive, and working 



in them continually, with a thousand baits and wiles (as 
hath been in part discovered), labouring to turn them aside 
from God, that fills the saints of God with tormenting, per- 
plexing fears of perishing, and must needs do so, if they have 
no promise of God for their preservation ; besides all this 
strength and wilfulness of the flesh, they are exposed to the 
assaults of other most dreadful adversaries, wrestling with 
principalities and powers in heavenly places, and contending 
wuth the world, as it lieth under the curse, all their days ; to 
refer all the oppositions that believers meet withal, in the 
course of their obedience, and which may fill them with fears 
that they shall one day perish, if not supported by an al- 
mighty hand, and * kept by the power of God through faith 
unto salvation/ unto the weakness of the flesh, which, in the 
place where the expression is used, plainly pointeth at the 
disability of the natural man to abide in, and go through 
with great duties and trials, is a most vain and empty con- 
templation. Those who have to do with God in the matter 
of gospel obedience, and know what it is indeed * to serve 
him under temptations,' can tell you another manner of story : 
and among them, Mr. Goodwin could do so to the purpose, 
when his thoughts were not prejudiced by any biassing opi- 
nions that must be leaned unto. 

2. We do not say that the saints of God, in the condi- 
tion mentioned, stand in need of any promise of God, that 
notwithstanding any declinings or goings astray incident 
unto them, they shall not lose his favour or perish ; but that 
they shall have such a presence of his Spirit, and sufficiency 
of his grace with them all their days, that they shall never, 
notwithstanding all the oppositions and difficulties they meet 
withal, utterly fail in their faith, nor be prevailed against, to 
depart wickedly and utterly from God. And now I see not 
but that supposing that it is necessary, that the saints be de- 
livered from troublesome perplexing fears of perishing, and 
that God hath madeprovision for that end and purpose, which 
that he hath, seems to be granted by our author : I say, I 
cannot see but that this plea, striketh at the very heart of 
the apostacy of saints, though not very fitly brought in, in 
this place, in reference to the argument that occasioned it ; 
but our author, knowing his faculty to lie more in evading 
what is objected against him, than in urging arg^uraents for 


his own opinion, doth every where upon the first proposal 
of any argument, divert to other considerations and to the 
answering of objections, though perhaps not at all to the 
plea in hand, nor any way occasioned by it. But what saith 
he now, in defence of his dearly beloved, thus attempted, to 
vindicate it from this sore imputation of robbing and de- 
spoiling the saints of God of their peace and assurance 
purchased for them at no less rate than the blood of the 
Lord Jesus ? He telleth you then three.things : 

1. * That the weakness of the flesh, or aptness of miscar- 
rying through this, is no reasonable ground of fear to any 
true believer, of his perishing : considering that no man 
loseth, or forfeiteth the grace and favour of God, through 
sins of weakness or infirmity : it is only the strength of sin, 
and corruption in men, that exposeth to the danger of losing 
the love of God.' 

Ans. The latter part of these words plainly discovers the 
vanity of the former, as produced for any such end and pur- 
pose as that in hand : for though I willingly grant, that that 
which is termed the weakness of the flesh, is enough to make 
any man whatever fear, that he shall not hold out in the 
course of his obedience to the end, if he have no promise of 
supportment and preservation by an almighty power (not- 
withstanding it is affirmed, that it draweth men only to sins 
of weakness or infirmity, which I thought had not been 
called so from weakness of the flesh, but of grace in believers) 
yet it is the strength, the power, the law, the subtilty of the 
flesh, or indwelling sin, that is the matter of our plea in this 
case. Not that which Paul gloried in, even his infirmity, but 
that which made him cry out,* * Oh ! wretched man that I 
am, who shall deliver me from the body of this death ;' and 
from the distress by reason whereof he found no deliverance, 
but only in the assured love of God in Jesus Christ. So that, 
notwithstanding this reply, shaped to fortify the minds of 
men against their failings, upon the account of the weakness 
of grace, rather than of the flesh (which yet it is not able to 
do, for if there be no promise to the contrary, why may not 
the principle which carrieth men forth to lesser, carry them 
also forth to greater, and more provoking sins, what boun- 
daries will you prescribe unto these sins of infirmity ?) The 

* Rom. vii. viii. 1, 

c 2 


pretension from the strength of the flesh (yea, from the 
weakness of it) holdeth good against the saints' establish- 
ment in peace and assurance, upon the account of their being 
destitute of any promise of preservation by God. 

2. ' If the saints be willing/ saith he, ' to strengthen the 
Spirit in them, and make him willing proportionably to the 
means prescribed, and vouchsafed unto them by God for 
such a purpose, this will fully balance the weakness of the 
flesh, and prevent the miscarriages and breaking out hereof; 
this I say then (saith the apostle). Walk in the Spirit, and ye 
shall not fulfil the lusts of the flesh ; and again. If you be 
led by the Spirit you are not under the law, and consequently, 
are in no danger of losing the favour of God, or of perishing 
for such sins, which under the conduct of the Spirit you are 
subject unto.' 

Ans. But that all now must be taken in good part, and 
nothing called strange or uncouth, since we have passed the 
pikes in the last section, I should somewhat admire at the 
doctrine of this paragraph ; for, 

1. Here is a willing in reference to a great spiritual duty 
supposed in men, antecedent to any assistance of him who 
'vvorketh to will and to do of his own good pleasure.' What 
he worketh, he worketh by the Spirit. But this is a willing 
in us, distinct from, and antecedent to, the appearing of the 
Spirit for the strengthening thereof. 

2. That whereas we have hitherto imagined that the 
Spirit strengtheneth the saints, and that their supportment 
had been from him, as we partly also before declared (at 
least we did our mind to be so persuaded), it seemeth they 
' strengthen the Spirit in them,' and not he them ; how or by 
what means, or by what principles in them it is, that so they 
do, is not declared. Besides, what is here intended by the 
Spirit is not manifested; if it be the holy and blessed Spirit 
of God, he hath no need of our strengthening ; he is able of 
himself, to 'make us meet for the inheritance of the saints in 
light;' if it be the gracious principles that are bestowed upon 
the saints, that are intended, the 'new creature,' the 'inward 
man,' called the Spirit in the Scripture, in opposition to the 
flesh, if our strengthening this Spirit, be any thing, but the 
acting of the graces intended thereby in us, 1 know not what 
you mean. Especially, in what is or consists their acting 


to make 'the Spirit willing proportionably to the means we 
do receive,' am I to seek : to say, that we receive outward 
means of God (for so they must be, being distinguished from 
the Spirit), and thereupon of ourselves do make the Spirit 
willing, and strengthen him to the performance of God, 
surely holds out a very sufficient power in spiritual things, 
inbred in us, and abiding with us, whereof there is not the 
least line or appearance in the whole book of God, nor in 
any author urged by Mr. Goodwin to give countenance to 
his persuasion : neither, 

2. Is the sura of all this answer any other but this : ' If we 
are willing, and will prevent all miscarriages from the weak- 
ness of the flesh, we may.' But how we become willing so to 
do, and what assurance we have, that we shall be so willing, 
seeing all in us by nature, as to any spiritual duty, is' flesh, 
is not intimated in the least; this is strenuously supposed all 
along, that to be willing unto spiritual good, in a spiritual 
manner, is wholly in our own power, and an easy thing it is, 
no doubt ; the plea in hand is, that such is the strength of 
indwelling sin in the best of the saints, and so easily doth it 
beset them, that if they have not some promise of God to as- 
sure them, that they shall have constant supply of grace 
from him, and by his power be preserved, it is impossible 
but that they must be filled with perplexing fears, that they 
shall not hold out in giving him willing obedience to the 
end ; their will being in an especial manner entangled with 
the power of sin. It is answered, ' If men be but willing, &,c. 
they need not fear this, or any such issue ;' (i. e.) If they do 
the thing which they fear, and have reasons invincible to 
fear, that they shall not, they need not fear, but that they 
shall do it; which is nothing but an absurd begging of the 
thing in question. Neither is there any thing in the Scrip- 
ture that will give a pass to this beggar, or shelter him from 
due correction. The apostle indeed saith, that 'If we walk 
in the Spirit, we shall not fulfil the lusts of the flesh.' And 
good reason there is for it, for as he told us, these are con- 
trary to one another, and opposite to one another, and bring 
forth such divers and contrary fruits in them, in whom they 
are, that if we walk in the one, we sholl not fulfil the lusts 
of the other. But what assurance have we, that we shall 

• John iii. 6, 


walk in the Spirit, if it be not hence, that God hath pro- 
mised ' that his Spirit shall never depart from us,' and if we 
are led by the Spirit we are not under the law; which by 
the way, letteth us see that the Spirit leadeth us, that is, 
maketh us willing and strengtheneth us, not we him ; but on 
what account, shall or dare any man promise to himself, that 
the Spirit will continue so to do, if God hath not promised that 
he shall so do ? or if his leading of us, be only on condition 
that we be willing to be led, how shall we be in the least 
ascertained (supposing us in any measure acquainted with 
the power of indwelling sin), that we shall be alwayso willing: 
let then this pass with what was said before, as nothing to the 
thing in hand. 

3. * It is answered then (thirdly and lastly), there is no 
such aptness or proneness unto sin, sins I mean of a disin- 
heriting import in saints, or true believers, as is pretended : 
but on the contrary, a strong propension or inclination unto 
righteousness reigneth in them; we heard formerly from the 
apostle, 1 John iii. 9. 'That he that is born of God cannot 
sin:' and also from 1 John v. 3. From these suppositions, 
with many other of like import, it is evident that there 
is a pregnant, strong, over-powering propension, in all true 
believers to walk holily, and to live righteously, so that 
to refrain sinning in the kind intended, is no such great 
mastery, no such'matter of difficulty, unto such men ; and 
that when they are overcome and fall into sin, it is through 
amere voluntary neglect ; and thus we see all things impar- 
tially weighed, and debated to and fro, that the doctrine 
which supposeth a possibility of the saints' declining, is the 
doctrine which is according to godliness, and the corrival of 
it an enemy thereto.' 

Ans. We have here an assertion, an inference, and a 
conclusion ; the assertion is, that there is ' no such aptness 
and proneness to sin in believers, as is intimated ;' and ' that 
because there is such a strong propensity in them to right- 
eousness,' which that they have is proved from sundry places 
of Scripture ; that is, because the Spirit is in believers, the 
flesh is not in them. Because they have a new man in them, 
they have not an old ; because they have a principle of life, 
they have not a body of death. That is, where the Spirit 
lusteth against the flesh, the flesh lusteth not against the 


Spirit. We thought the doctrine of Paul, Rom. vii. Gal. v. 
and in innumerable other places, with the experience of all 
the saints in the world had lain against this piece of sophis- 
try. It is true, their propension unto righteousness reigneth 
in them, but it is as true, their propension unto sin, rebelleth 
in them. Though the land be conquered for Christ, yet the 
Canaanites will dwell in it ; and if the saints leave off but 
one day, the work of killing, crucifying, and mortifying, 
they will quickly find an actual rebellion in them, not easy 
to be suppressed : they have indeed a propension to holiness 
ruling in them, but also a propension unto sin dwelling in 
them, so that * when they would do good, evil is present with 
them, and the good they would do, they cannot ;' but when 
Mr. Goodwin can prove this consequence, that saints have 
strong inclinations to righteousness, therefore they have not 
so to sin, for my part I will forbear for ever disputing with 
him ; if he can beat us, not only from Scripture, but all our 
spiritual sense and experience, doubtless it is no purpose to 
contend any longer with him. Hence then, 

2. He inferreth, that to abstain from sinning, that is, sin- 
ning customarily, and against conscience, so as to endanger 
the loss of the favour of God, is no such great mastery, no 
such matter of difficulty to such men. This abstaining from 
such sins, on the one hand, is the whole course of our gos- 
pel obedience, which it seemeth, however it be compared to 
* running in a race,' ' striving for masteries,' called ' resisting 
unto blood,' ' wrestling with principalities and powers,' re- 
quiring for its carrying on the ' exceeding greatness of the 
power of God,' with suitable * help in time of need from 
Jesus Christ,' who is sensible of the weight of it, as no small 
matter, knowing what it is to serve Giod in temptations, yet 
is it indeed but a trifling thing, a matter of no great diffi- 
culty or mastery : do men watch, pray, contend, fight, wres- 
tle with God and Satan, doth the Lord put forth his power, 
and the Lord Jesus Christ continually intercede for the pre- 
servation of the saints, ' Ad quid perditio haec V to what end 
is all this toil and labour, about a thing of little or no weight ? 
' Egregiara vero laudera !' We know indeed, the yoke of 
Christ is easy, and his * commandment not grievous ; that we 
can do all things through him that enableth us,' but to make 
gospel obedience, so slight a thing, that it is no great mas- 


tery, or matter of no great commendation, to hold out in it 
to the end, this we were to learn till now, and are as yet 
slow of heart to receive it. 

The conclusion is, * lo, Psean, vicimus :' ' all things un- 
partially weighed, the case is ours, and godliness exceed- 
ingly promoted by the doctrine of the possibility of the 
saints' defection ("OTrep e^u Sa^m), and thecorrival of it an 
enemy to it :' to prove which not one word in the argument 
hath been spoken, nor, to free the other from a charge of a 
direct contrary importance, one word to the purpose ; and of 
Mr. Goodwin's sixth argument for his doctrine of the apos- 
tacy of saints, this is the end. 

But this is not all he hath to say in this case in hand. 
Indeed, the main design of his whole thirteenth chapter, con- 
sisting of forty-one sections, and about so many pages in his 
book, and containing all which in an argumentative way he 
insisteth on in the case in hand, looketh this way; and there- 
fore, having already plucked away one of the main props of 
that discourse, I shall apply myself to take away those which 
do remain, that the whole may justly fall to the ground; 
and therefore shall as briefly as I can, consider the whole of 
that discourse, containing nine arguments against the per- 
severance of saints, for the possibilityof their total and final 



3Ii\ G.'s entrance and preface to his arguments from the aposlacy of the 
saints considered. The weakness of his first argument: the import of it. 
Answer to that first argument. Doctrine may pretend to give God the 
glory of being no accepter of persons, and yet he false: justification by 
■works of that rank and order. Acceptation of persons what, and wherein 
it consisteth. No place for it tvith God: contrary to distributive justice. 
The doctrine of the saints' perseverance charged with rendering God an 
accepter of persons, unjustly ; irhat it says looking this way. The sum 
of the charge against it, considered and removed. Mr. G.'s second argu- 
ment, and the weight by him hung thereon: the original of this argumeyit : 
by whom somewhat insisted on. The argument itself in his tvords, pro- 
posed: of the use and end of the ministry : whether iceakened by the doc- 
trine of perseverance. Entrance into an answer to that argument. The 
foundation laid of it false, and when: it falsely imposeth on the doctrine of 
perseverance, sundry things by it disclaimed: the first considered. The 
iniquity of those impositions farther discovered. The true state of the 
difference as to this argimient, declared. The argument satisfied. The 
reinforcement of the minor attempted, and considered. The jnanner of 
God's operations with, and in, natural and voluntary agents, compared. 
Efficacy of grace and liberty in man, consistent. An objection to himself 
framed by Mr. G. ; that objection rectified. Perseverance, how absolutely 
and simply necessary, how not. The removal of the pretended objection 
farther insisted on by Mr. G. That discourse discussed, and manifested 
to be weak and sophistical. The consistency of exhortations and promises 
farther cleared. The manner of the operation of grace, in and upon the 
wills of men, considered. The inconsistency of exhortations with the effi- 
cacy of grace, disputed by Mr. G. That discourse removed, and the use 
of exhortations farther cleared. Obedience to them twofold, habitual ac- 
tual: of the physical operation of grace and means of the word: their com- 
pliance and use. How the one and the other affect the will. Inclination 
to persevere when ivrought in believers. Of the manner of God's opera- 
tion on the wills of men : Mr. G.'s discourse and judgment, considered. 
Effects follow as to their kind, their next causes. The same act of the will 
physical and moral upon several accounts: those accounts considered. God 
by the real efficacy of the Spirit, produceth in us acts of the will, morally 
good: that confirmed from Scripture : conclusion froin thence. Of the 
terms, physical, moral, and necessary, and their use in things of the na- 
ture under consideration. Moral causes of physical effects. The con- 
currence of physical and moral causes for producing the same effect: the 
efficacy of grace and exhortations. Physical and necessary, how distin- 
guished. Moral and not necessary. ConJ'uunded by Mr. G. Mr, G.'s 
farther progress considered. What operation of God on the will of man 
he allows. All physical operation by him excluded. Mr. G.'s sense of 
the difference beliveen the working of God and a minister on the will: that 


it is hut gradual: considered and removed. All working of God on the 
will hy him confined to persuasion: persuasion f/ives no strength or ability 
to the person persuaded. A II immediate acting of God to good in men, by 
Mr. G. utterly excluded. Wherein God's persuading men doth consist, 
according to Mr. G. 1 Cor. iii, i). considered. Of the concurrence of 
diverse agents to the production of the same effect. The sum of the 1th 
section of chap. 13. The will liow necessitated, how free. In what sense 
Mr. G. allows God's persuasions to be irresistible. The dealings of God 
and men ill-compared. Paul's exhortation to the use of means, where the 
Old was certain, Acts xxiv. considered. God deals with men as men, 
exhorting them, and as corrupted men, assistiny them. Of promises of 
temporal things, whether all conditional. What condition in the promise 
made to Paid ; Acts xxvii. Farther of that promise, its infallibility and 
means of accomplishment. The same considerations farther prosecuted. 
Of promises of perseverance, and what relations to perform in conjunction, 
Mr. G.'s opposition hereunto. Promises and protestations in conjunction. 
1 Cor. X, 12, 13. discussed. An absolute promise of perseverance therein 
evinced. Phil. i. 12, 13. to the same purpose, considered. Mr. G.'sinter- 
pretation of that place proposed, removed. Heb. vi. 4, 5. 9. to the same 
purpose, insisted on. Of the consistency of threatenings with the protnises 
of perseverance. 3Ir.G.'s opposition hereunto, considered and removed. 
What promises of perseverance are asserted, how absolute and iufruslrahle. 
Fear of lieli and punishinent twofold. The fear intended to be ingene- 
rated by threatenings, not inconsistent with the assurance given by pro- 
wises. Five considerations about the use of threatenings: the first, ^-c. 
Hypocrites how threatened for apostacy: of the end and aim of God in 
threatenings. Of the proper end and efficacy of threateninys, with refer- 
ence unto true lelievers. Fear of hell and punishment, how far a principle 
of obedience in the saints. Of Noah's fear ; Heb. xi. 7. 3Ir. G.'s far- 
ther arguings for the efficacy of the fear of hell, unto obedience in the 
saints; proposed, considered, removed. 1 Joliii iv. 18. considered. Of 
the obedience of saints to their heavenly Father, compared to the obedience 
of children to their natural parents: Mr. G.'s monstrous conception about 
this thing. How fear or love, and in what sense, are principles of obedi- 
ence. That which is done from fear, not done willinyly, nor cheerfully. 
Hoiv fear, and what fear, hath torment. Of the nature and use of pro- 
mises. Close of the answer to this argument. 

It will he needless to use many words unto the discourse of 
the first section; seeing it will not in the least prejudice our 
cause in hand, to leave Mr. Goodwin in full possession of 
all the glory of the rhetoric thereof. For although I cannot 
close with him in the exposition given of that expression, 
1 Tira.vi. 16. 'God inhabiteth light inaccessible,' something, 
in my weak apprehension, much more glorious and divine 
being comprised therein, than what it is here turned aside 
unto ; neither am 1 in the least convinced of the truth T^g 


airoS6(T£wg of the former discourse, in the close of the whole, 
asserting a deliverance to be obtained from our thoughts of 
the doctrine of the defection of the saints, which he inti- 
mateth to be, that it is anti-evangelical, tormenting, and 
bringing souls under bondage, by a narrow and unprejudi- 
cate search into it, finding myself every day more and more 
confirmed in thoughts of that kind concerning it, by my en- 
gagement into such an inquiry, which hath been observed 
in this present discourse, as far as my weakness will permit ; 
yet it being not in the least argumentative, but for the whole 
frame and intendment of it commune exordium, and that which 
any man of any opinion in the world might make use of, I 
shall not insist upon it. 

His second section containeth his first argument, drawn 
forth in the defence of his doctrine of the possibility (as he 
calleth it, but indeed what it is, we have heard) of the de- 
fection of believers ; of this, I presume he intended no more 
use but (as a forlorn) to begin a light skirmish with his ad- 
versaries, ordering it to retreat to his main body advancing 
after, or desperately casting it away, to abate the edge of his 
combatant's weapons, it is so weak and feeble ; and, there- 
fore, I shall be very brief in the consideration of it ; thus 
then he proposeth it. 

' That doctrine which rendereth God free from the un- 
righteousness which the Scripture calleth the respecting of 
persons of men, is a doctrine of perfect consistence with the 
Scripture, and the truth ; the doctrine which teacheth the 
possibility of the saints' declining, and this unto death, is a 
doctrine of this import: ergo.' 

Arts. 1. The first proposition must be supposed universal, 
or else the whole will quickly be manifested to be uncon- 
clusive. If it be only indefinite, and so equivalent (as it 
lieth) to a particular, the conclusion is from all particulars, 
and of no force, as Mr. Goodwin well knoweth. Take it 
universally, and I say it is evidently false, and might easily 
be disproved by innumerable instances. Not that any error 
or falsehood, can indeed give God the glory of any one of his 
attributes ; but that they may be fitted and suited for such a 
service, were not their throats cut, and their mouths stopped, 
by the lies that are in them, which Mr. Goodwin's doctrine 
is no less liable to than any other, and not at all exempted 


from that condition, by its seeming subserviency unto God's 
ap7-osopolepsia. Doth not the doctrine of justification by 
works, even in the most rigid sense of it, according to the 
tenor of the old covenant, absolutely render God free from 
the unrighteousness of accepting of persons ? and yet for all 
that, it hath not one jot the more of truth in it, nor is it the 
less anti-evangelical. This foundation then being removed, 
whatever is built upon it mole ruit sua. Neither is it in any 
measure restored, or laid anew, by the reason of it given by 
Mr. G. viz. 'That the Scripture affirmeth in sundry places 
that God is no accepter of persons :' for he that shall hence 
conclude, that whatever doctrine affirmeth, directly, or by 
consequence, that God is no accepter of persons, whatever 
other abomination it is evidently teeming withal, is yet 
true, and according to the mind of God, shall have leave, 
notwithstanding the antiquated statute of our university 
against it, to go and read logic at Stamford. On this ac- 
count, do but provide that a doctrine be not guilty of any 
one crime, and you may conclude that it is guilty of none. 
For instance, that doctrine which impeacheth not the omni- 
presence of the Deity, is true and according to the Scripture, 
for the Scripture aboundeth with clear testimonies of the 
presence of God in all places. Now the doctrine of the ubi- 
quity of the human nature of Christ, doth no way impeach 
the omnipresence of the Deity ; therefore it is true and ac- 
cording to Scripture. 

I might supersede all farther considerations of this argu- 
ment, having rendered it altogether useless, and unservice- 
able in this warfare, by breaking its right leg, or rather 
crutch, whereon it leaned : but something also may be added 
to the minor, because of its reflection in the close of its 
proof upon the doctrine we maintain, intimating an incon- 
sistency of it, with that excellency of God spoken of; namely, 
that he is no accepter of persons. 

' P rosopolepsia , or accepting of persons, is an evil in 
judgment, when he who is to determine in causes of righte- 
ousness, hath respect to personal things, that concern not 
the merit of the cause in hand, and judgeth accordingly.' 
This properly can have no place in God, us to any bestowing 
of free grace, mercy, or pardon ; there is room made for it, 
only when the things that are bestowed, or wrought, by it. 



are such, as in justice are due; it being an iniquity solely 
and directly opposed to distributive justice/ that rendereth 
to every one according to what is righteous and due. That 
with God there be no accepting of persons there is no more 
required, but this, that he appoint and determine equal 
punishments to equal faults, and give equal rewards to 
equal deservings. If he will dispose of his pardoning mercy, 
and free grace to some in Christ not to others, who shall 
say unto him what dost thou? May he not do what he will 
with his own ? So he giveth a penny to him that laboureth 
all day, he may give a penny also to him that worketh but 
one hour. Now suppose that Mr. G.'s doctrine render God 
free from this (or rather chargeth him not with it), yet if 
withal it calleth his truth, righteousness, faithfulness, oath, 
and immutability into question, shall it pass for a truth, or 
be embraced ever the sooner ? 

But the sting of this argument lieth in the tail, or close 
of it, in the reflection insisted on, upon the common doctrine 
of perseverance as it is called : viz. that it teacheth God to 
be an accepter of persons: this is Mr. Goodwin's way of 
arguing all along; when at any time he -hath proposed a 
proof of the doctrine he goeth about to establish, finding 
that as something heavy work to lie upon his hand, and not 
much to be said in the case, he instantly turneth about and 
falleth upon his adversaries, in declaiming against whom, 
he hath a rich and overflowing vein. There is scarce any 
one of his arguments, in the pursuit and improvement whereof, 
one fourth part of it is spoken to that head, wherein he is 

But wherein is the common doctrine of perseverance 
guilty of this great crime? It teacheth, that he that be- 
lieveth shall be saved, and he that believeth not, shall be 
damned. It teacheth, that God hath allotted equal punish- 
ments to equal transgressions, and appointed equal re- 
wards to equal ways of obedience. That the wages of every 
sin is death, and that every sinner must die, unless it be 
those, concerning whom God himself saith,!^ ' Deliver them, 
I have found a ransom :' that he is alike displeased with 
sin in whomsoever it is, and that in a peculiar and eminent 
manner when it is found in his own. Indeed, if this be to 

» Exod. xxiii. 2, 3. 6—9. Job. xxxi. 34. b Job. xxxiii. 24. 


impute acceptation of persons to God, to say, * that he hath 
mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will, he 
hardeneth ;' that is, tender to his own, as a Father to his only 
child that serveth him, and will recover them (being faithful 
in his promises) from their sins, and heal their backslidings, 
though he suffer others to lie wallowing in their rebellions, 
and pollutions all their days ; that he will not give pardon 
to any sinner, but upon faith and repentance, but will give 
faith and repentance to those whom he hath chosen, and 
given unto Jesus Christ, to be saved : if this, I say, be ac- 
ceptance of persons, our doctrine owneth the imputation of 
ascribing it to God, and glorieth in it : we being ascertained 
that God taketh all this to himself, clearly, and plentifully 
in the word of truth. 

The sum of what our author gives in, to make good his 
charge upon the common doctrine of perseverance is. That 
it affirmeth, ' that thoug-h saints and believers fall into the 
same sins of adultery and idolatry, and the like, with other 
men, yet they are not dealt withal as other men, but con- 
tinued in love and favour of God.' To wave the considera- 
tion of the false impositions (by the way) on the doctrine 
opposed (as that is that it teacheth the saints to fall into, 
and to continue in them to the significancy of that expres- 
sion, 'never so long' under abominations), and to join issue 
upon the whole of the matter, I say, 

1. That in and with this doctrine, and in perfect har- 
mony and consistency therewith, we maintain, thaf^ the 
judgment of God is the same in respect of every sin in 
whomsoever it is, and that he that doth it on that account, 
is worthy of death ; and, 

2. That the sentence of the law, is the same towards all, 
cursing*^ every one that continueth not in all things written 
in the book thereof, to do them. 

3. That in and under the gospel, wherein a remedy is 
provided in reference to the rigour and severity of both the 
former apprehensions, yet the judge of all, dealeth with all 
men equally, accoording to the tenor of it, * He that be- 
lieveth shall be saved, and he that believeth not shall be 
damned ;' men in the same condition, shall have the same 
recompense of reward ; but you will sav, do not the same 

« Rom. i. 32. ^ Deut. xxvii. 26. 


sins, put men into the same condition, and deserve the same 
punishment in one as in another? 

Ans, 1. They do deserve the same punishment: God is 
equally provoked, and had not Christ answered for the sins 
of believers, they could not, they should not, have escaped 
the wrath due to them. 2. That the same sins do not argue 
men always under the gospel, to be in the same condition, 
as shall be afterward fully manifested : for, (1 .) They do not 
find them in the same state : some are in a state of death 
and sin, others of life and grace, being translated from the 
one to the other, having a title to the promise of mercy in 
Christ. (2.) And chiefly, as there is a twofold justification 
of the person and of the fact, and the one may be without 
the other, so there is a twofold condemnation of disappro- 
bation of the fact, and of the person ; as to the particular 
disapprobation of God in respect of any sinful act, it is the 
same in reference unto all persons, believers and unbelievers : 
as to their persons, there are in the gospel other ingredients 
to the judgment of them, beside particular facts, or acts, in 
answer to the law or the rule of righteousness, viz. faith 
and repentance, which alter the case of the person, even 
before the judgment-seat of God : to suppose the saints to 
fall into the same sins with other men, in the same manner, 
and to continue in them, without faith and repentance, is to 
beg the thing in question. Suppose them to have (what we 
afErm God hath promised) those conditions of evangelical 
mercy, and Mr. Goodwin himself, will grant it no acceptance 
of persons, to deal otherwise with them, than with others 
who have committed like sins with them, in whom those 
conditions are not wrought or found ; that is, ' he that be- 
lieveth shall be saved, he that believeth not shall be damned.' 
This is all we say in this thing : but of the difference between 
believers and imbelievers in their sinning, we shall speak 
afterward at large, to the full removal of this and another 
objection. For the present this shall suffice, though be- 
lievers fall, or may fall into the same sins with other men, 
yet they fall not into them in the same manner with them, 
and they have a relief provided, to prevent the deadly ma- 
lignity of sin, which those who believe not, have no interest 
in, nor right unto. 

Mr. Goodwin's second argument, is that which of all 


others in this case, he seemeth to lay most weight upon, 
and which he pursueth at large in seventeen pages, and as 
many sections, treating in it concerning the ministry of the 
gospel, and the usefulness of the exhortations, threatenings, 
and promises thereof. For an entrance into the considera- 
tion of it, J must needs say, 'Non venitex pharetris ista sa- 
gitta tuis.' For besides, that Mr. Goodwin hath taken very 
little pains in the improvement of it (considering how it was 
provided to his hand by the remonstrants at the synod of 
Dort, and that which he hath done farther, consisting in a 
mere useless and needless stuffing of it, with sundry notions 
taken out of their first argument and fifth *De modo conver- 
sionis' of the manner of the Spirit's operation in and upon 
the soul, in its first conversion to God), it was the old song 
of the Pelagians and Semi-Pelagians, in their dealing with 
Austin, Fulgentius, Hilarius, Prosper, by them at large 
confuted, renewed by Castalio and Erasmus against Luther, 
after it had been sifted and rejected by the more learned 
schoolmen in former ao;es. Whatever it be, and however it 
is now come to hand, being taught to speak our language, 
and that in the best fashion, the consideration of it must 
not be declined. And thus it is proposed : 

' If the common doctrine of perseverance, rendereth the 
ministry of the gospel, so far as it concerneth the perse- 
verance of the saints, vain, impertinent, and void, then is it 
not a doctrine of God, but of men, and consequently that 
which opposeth it is the truth : but certain it is, that the 
said doctrine, is of this unchristian tendency and import ; 
ergo.' The first part of the consequent of the major is grant- 
ed. The work of the ministry, being for the edification of 
the body of Christ, and the perfecting of the saints, (Eph. iv. 
12, 13.) that which frustrateth the end whereunto of Christ 
himself it is desio-ned, can be no truth of his. Of the farther 
inference, that the doctrine which opposeth it, or is set up 
in opposition to it, is the truth, more will be spoken after- 
ward. For the present I cannot but insist upon the former 
observation. That notwithstanding, Mr. Goodwin's pre- 
tence of proving and arguing for the doctrine he maintains, 
yet upon the matter, he hath not any thing to say, in the 
carrying on of that design, but instantly falls to his old work 
of raising objections, in their very setting up prepared to be 


cast down (for the most part), which with all his might he 
laboured to remove. 

The stress of the whole (as far as we are concerned in it) 
lieth on the minor, which is tluis farther attempted to be 
made good : the minor proposition is demonstrated thus : 
'The doctrine which rendereth the labour and faithfulness of 
a minister in pressing such exhortations, threatenings, and 
promises, which tend to the preservation of the saints, in 
faith and holiness to the end, useless, rendereth the minis- 
try of the gospel, as far as it concerneth the encouragement 
or enabling of the saints to persevere, needless and vain : 
but guilty of such a tendency as this, is the commonly re- 
ceived doctrine of perseverance : ergo.' 

Ans. This labour might have been saved, and both these 
syllogisms very easily reduced to one : but then another 
seeming argument (as we shall find afterward) insisted on, 
would have been prevented. Our trade in such cases as this 
is by weight, and not by number : the minor then, is still to 
be confirmed ; which he laboureth thus to do : 

' The common doctrine of perseverance, requireth and 
commandeth all saints or believers to be fully persuaded, 
and this with the greatest and most indubitable certainty of 
faith, that there is an absolute and utter impossibility, either 
of a total, or a final, defection of their faith : that thouo-h 
tliey should fall into ten thousand enormous and most 
abominable sins, and lie wallowing in them, like a swine in 
the mire, yet they should remain all the while in an estate 
of grace, and that God will, by a strong hand of irresistible 
grace, bring them off from their sins by repentance, before 
they die : but the doctrine which requireth and commandeth 
all this, and much more of like import, to be confidently be- 
lieved by true believers, rendereth the pressing of all ex- 
hortations, threatenings, promises upon them in order to 
prevail with them, or to make them carefully to persevere, 
bootless and unnecessary : ergo.' 

Alls. 1. What weight Mr. Goodwin (with all those with 
whom as to his undertaking under consideration he is in fel- 
lowship) doth lay upon this argument, is known to all. The 
whole foundation of what is afterward at large insisted on, 
for the establishment of it, being laid upon the proof of the 
minor proposition formerly denied, here laid down. It will 



easily be granted, that it was incumbent on him to make 
sure work here, and not to leave any thing liable to any just 
exception. An error or a mistake in the foundation, is not 
easily recoverable ; all that is afterward heaped up, beareth 
itself on a supposition of the truth of what is here delivered. 
If this fail in the least, we may spare our labour, as to any 
farther consideration of what followeth. Now the main of 
the proof here in!?isted on, lieth, in the declaration of that 
which he calleth, the common doctrine of perseverance, and 
concerning this, he informeth his reader : 

1. ' That it commandeth all saints to be fully persuaded, 
and that with the greatest and most indubitable certainty of 
faith, that there is an absolute and utter impossibility either 
of a total, or final defection of their faith.' 

Ans. 1. What is the intendment of these aggravating ex- 
pressions of ' fully persuaded, greatest and most indubitable 
certainty of faith,' I know not. Will it please you, if it 
should require them to be persuaded, but not fully per- 
suaded, believe it, but with little and dubitable certainty of 
faith, or uncertainty rather? Full persuasion, greatest certain- 
ty, without doubting or staggering, are all of their perfections 
of faith, and of the saints in believing: which without doubt 
they are, in all that they are to believe, to press after: so 
that all this is no more, but that this doctrine requireth men 
to believe what it affirraeth God to have promised. It re- 
quireth men to mix the promises of God with faith, crimen 
in anditurn. But though the manner of believing which it 
requireth, be not blamabie, yet the thing which it pro- 
poseth to be believed is false. What is that? That there is 
an absolute or utter impossibility either of a total or final 
defection of the faith of true believers. Its requiring this to 
be believed is the bottom, and also corner-stone, of Mr. 
Goodwin's ensuing argument : if it doth not do this, he hath 
nothing in this place to say to it. Let him then produce any 
one that ever wrote in the defence of it, that liath in terms, 
or by just consequence, delivered any such thing, and on 
herbam; there shall be an end of this dispute. I presume 
Mr. Goodwin knoweth what is meant by an absolute and 
utter impossibility. An absolute repugnancy unto being, 
in the nature of the things themselves concerning whicii 
any allirmation is, and not any external or foreign considera- 


tion doth entitle any thing to an absolute and utter impossi- 
bility ; did ever any one affirm, that in the nature of the 
"thing itself, the defection of the saints is absolutely impos- 
sible ? Is it not by them that believe the perseverance of the 
saints constantly affirmed that in themselves they are apt, 
yea, prone to fall away, and their faith to decay and die, 
which in itself possibly may be done, though Mr. Goodwin 
cannot tolerably shew how. The whole certainty of their 
continuance in, and of the preservation of, their faith, de- 
pends merely on supposition of something that is extrinsical 
in respect of them and of their state, which as to their condi- 
tion might or might not be. Farther, the perseverance of 
the saints, is by the same persons constantly affirmed to 
be carried on, and to be perfected in and by the use of 
means. It is their keeping by the power of God through 
faith unto salvation ; and can then an absolute impossibility 
of their defection be asserted, or only that which is so upon 
supposition, viz. of the purpose of God, &c. There was no 
absolute impossibility that the bones of Christ should not 
be broken, they being in themselves as liable to be broken 
as his flesh to be pierced ; yet in respect of the event, it was 
impossible they should be so. I cannot well imagine that 
Mr. Goodwin is not fully persuaded with the greatest and 
most indubitable certainty that a persuasion in things of 
this kind will admit, that the common doctrine of perseve- 
rance, doth not require saints to believe, that there is an ab- 
solute impossibility of their defection,but only that God hath 
promised to preserve them from that which in themselves, 
and in respect of any thing in them, they are obnoxious unto, 
in and by the use of the means, suited and appointed by 
him to the carrying on of that work and compassing of the 
end proposed. But yet it pleaseth him here to make show 
of a contrary apprehension, and to shew his confidence 
therein, he aggravates it, with this annexed supposition and 
case : ' It doth so,' saith he, ' though they should fall into 
ten thousand enormous and most abominable sins, and lie 
wallowing in them like swine in the mire, yet that they shall 
remain all the while in an estate of grace.' 

Am. Truly this is such an enormous and an abominable 
calumny, that I cannot but admire how any sober and ra- 
tional man, durst venture upon the owning of it; the ques- 

D 2 


tion now is, what faith the doctrine insisted on ingenerates in 
particular persons, that should enervate and make void the 
exhortations, &,c. of the ministry ? Now though tlie doctrine 
should teach this indefinitely, that though men did sin so 
and so, as is here expressed, yet they should be kept in a 
state of grace as is mentioned (which yet is loudly and 
palpably false, as hath been declared), yet that it doth require 
particular men to believe for themselves, and in reference to 
the guidance of their own ways, that they may 'lie and wal- 
low in their sin like swine in the mire, and yet continue 
in a state of grace and acceptation with God,' is so notori- 
ously contrary to the whole tenor of the doctrine, the genius 
and nature of it, with all the arguments whereby it is asserted 
and maintained, that if conscience had but in the least been 
advised withal in this contest, this charge had been with- 
out doubt omitted : all that is produced for the confirmation 
of this strange imposition on the persuasion under consider- 
ation, is his own testimony that makes the charge, 'that it is 
the known voice of the common doctrine of perseverance,' 
and that being said is laid as a foundation of all that follows. 
The whole discourse still relating to a supposition that this 
is the doctrine which it opposeth, from the very next words 
to the end. Nor is there the least farther attempt for the 
confirmation of this grand assertion; but is this the known 
voice of our doctrine of perseverance? Whoever heard 
it but Mr. G. and men of the like projudicate spirits against 
the truth? The worst that can be charged with looking this 
way, is its asserting the promised efficacy of the grace of 
God, for the preserving of believers by the use of means, 
from such wallowing in abominable sins, as is supposed 
that it affirms they may be exposed unto. In brief, it 
says not, 

First, That all believers are certain of their perseve- 
rance ; nor, 

Secondly, That any one can be certain of it upon such 
supposals as are here mentioned: such a persuasion would 
not be from him that calls them ; nor, 

Thirdly, That the end can be- obtained without the use 
of means, though by them it shall certainly be so; but. 

Fourthly, That all the hope of their perseverance, is built 
on the promises of God, to preserve them by and in the use 



of means : so that in truth there is no need of any farther 
process for the removiug of the argument insisted on, but 
only a disclaimer of the doctrine by it opposed, if it be that 
which is here expressed. 

That indeed which Mr. Goodwin hath to dispute against, 
if he will deal fairly and candidly in the carrying on of his 
design, is this : 'That the certainty of an end to be obtained 
by means suited thereunto, doth not enervate nor render 
vain the use of those means, appointed for the accomplish- 
ment of that end.' The perseverance of the saints is the 
thing here proposed to be accomplished : that this shall be 
certainly affected and brought about, according to the pro- 
mises of God for the affecting of it, God hath appointed the 
means under debate, to be managed by the ministry of the 
gospel : that the promise of God concerning the saints, per- 
severance to be wrought and effected, as by others so by 
these means in their kind, doth not invalidate or render use- 
less and vain the use of those means, but indeed establishes 
them, and ascribes to them their proper efficacy, is that which 
in this doctrine is asserted, and which Mr. Goodwin ought 
to have disproved, if he would have acquitted himself as a 
fair antagonist in this cause ; the promise, we say, that He- 
zekiah*" had of the continuance of his life, did not make use- 
less, but called for, the ' plaister of figs' that was appointed 
for the healing of his sore. 

I might then, as I said, save myself the labour of farther 
engaging, for the casting down of this fabric, built on the 
sandy foundations of falsehood and mistake. But because 
something may fall in of that which follovveth, more indeed 
to the purpose than an orderly pursuit of these assertions 
laid down in the entrance would require, that may more di- 
rectly rise up against the cause in whose defence I am en- 
gaged, I shall consider the whole ensuing discourse, which 
without doubt will administer farther occasion for the illus- 
tration or confirmation of the truth in hand. He proceeds 
then : 

' The reason of the minor is, because a certain knowledge 
and persuasion, that God will by an irresistible hand of 
power, preserve a man, in the state of grace, how desperately 

'' ba. xxwiii. 5. 21. 


careless, negligent, or wicked, soever he shall be, clearly 
dissolves the usefulness and necessity of all other means 
whatsoever, in reference to this end. If I know certainly 
that the corn which I have sown in my field will, whether I 
wake or sleep, grow and prosper, would it not be a very im- 
pertinent address, for any man to come to me, and admo- 
nish me in a serious and grave manner, to take heed I sleep 
not, but keep myself waking lest my corn should not grow 
or prosper, or that it may grow and prosper; if my corn 
grows, thrives, and prospers, by the irresistible hand of God, 
by the course of a natural and standing providence, my 
watchfulness, in order to a procurement of these things, is 
absolutely vain,' &.c. 

Ans. That this is not the doctrine which Mr. Goodwin 
hath undertaken to oppose, hath been more than once alrea- 
dy declared; that he is not able with any colour of rea- 
son to oppose it, unless he first impose his own false and 
vain inferences upon it, and them upon his reader, for the 
doctrine itself from his constant course of proceeding 
against it, is also evident; what advantage this is like in 
the close, to prove to his cause in the judgment of conside- 
rate men, the event will discover: the assertion of the sta- 
bility of the promises of God in Jesus Christ given to be- 
lievers, concerning his effectual preserving them to the end, 
from such sins as are absolutely inconsistent with his grace 
and favour according to the tenor of the new covenant, or 
such continuance in any sin as is of the same importance, 
by his Spirit and grace, in the use of means, doth no way 
tend to the begetting in any a certain knowledge, assur- 
ance, and persuasion, that God will continue them in a state 
of grace, how ' desperately careless or wicked soever they 
shall be.' 

What is intended by the frequent repetition of this gross 
sophistry, or what success with the intelligent Christian 
ponderers of things he can hope for thereby, I am not nble 
to guess; neither is any improvement in the least given to 
what the intendment of this argument is, so far as the com- 
mon doctrine of perseverance is concerned therein, from the 
comparison ensuing instituted between the growth of corn, 
and the walking of believers in obedience before God ; fin- 
notwithstanding the identity in respect of the comparison 


of that expression ' irresistible/ which indeed is proper to 
neither, there is a wide difference between the growing of 
corn in a mere natural way, and the moral actings of an in- 
telligent rational creature ; whatever operations of God are 
about and in the one or the other, yet they are suited to their 
subjects about which they are ; God carries on the growth 
of corn by a way of natural and necessary causes, but his 
acting of rational agents is by such ways and means, as 
may entirely preserve their liberty ; that is, preserving them 
in their being, and leaving them to be such agents. As then 
God causeth the corn to grow by the shining of his sun, 
and the falling of his rain, so he causeth believers to per- 
se\^€i'e in obedience, by exhortations, promises, and threat- 
enings, and such ways and means, as are suited to such 
agents as they are. The fallacy of this discourse, lies in an 
insinuation that God by his effectual (or as they are called 
irresistible) operations for the preservation of believers in 
gospel obedience (a thing he hath undertaken over and 
over, to perform), doth change their nature, and render thera 
not free and intelligent agents, fit to be wrought upon by 
the proposal of suitable and desirable objects to their un- 
derstandings, but mere brute and natural principles of all 
operations flowing from them ; a conceit as gross and ridi- 
culous, as certainly destructive to all the efficacy of the 
grace of God. All the rest of this section as far as it con- 
cerns us is only an affirming this way and that, that an as- 
surance of the end to be obtained by the use of means, ren- 
ders those means altogether useless; which when he proves, 
the controversy may be nearer to an issue, than otherwise 
he hath any reason to hope that it is or will be, to his ad- 

Sect. 4. Leaving the farther confirmation of his argu- 
ment, he enters upon the removal of a plea insisted on, to 
the justification of the doctrine opposed, and vindication of 
it from the crime wherewith here by him it is charged; this 
he tells you is, that the exhortations, comminations, and 
promises, spoken of, are means appointed of God for the 
accomplishing and effecting of the perseverance of the 
saints, which he hath made simply and absolutely necessary 
by his decree. * This,' he saith, * hath neither any logical 
nor theological virtue in it, for the purpose for which it is 


produced ; but is a notion irrelative to the business, the ac- 
commodation whereof it pretends.' 

Alls. It may be so; suffer you to frame the objection, 
and who will doubt of your abilities of giving an answer; 
but who, I pray, says that God by his decree, hath made the 
perseverance of the saints simply and absolutely necessary; 
that it is certain in respect of the event, from the decree of 
God, we grant; and do we thereby overthrow the means 
whereby it is to be accomplished ? Yea, we establish them; 
we are of the mind that God hath purposed, and thereupon 
promised, the accomplishment of many things (as the sell- 
ing of Joseph into Egypt, the bringing of the children of 
Israel from thence, and the like), which yet were to be car- 
ried on to their accomplishment, and brought about through 
innumerable contingencies, by the free, rational, delibera- 
tive actings of men ; if by ' simply and absolutely necessary,' 
you intend that the thing decreed is to be wrought of men, 
simply and absolutely, necessarily by their operations, as 
to the manner of them, we simply and absolutely deny any 
such decree ; if by those expressions you improperly intend 
only the certainty of the event, or accomplishment of the 
thing decreed with respect to the m'eans appointed and fitted 
thereunto, we say this establisheth those means, neither 
have they the nature of means to an end from any reason 
whatever, but as so appointed of God thereunto. But he 
jiroceeds in the proof of his former assertion, and says, 

* First, That the exhortations whereby the saints are ex- 
horted to perseverance, are no means by which the promises 
of perseverance made, as our adversaries suppose, to them 
are accomplished or effected, is thus clearly evinced: what- 
soever is a means for the bringing of any thing to pass, 
ought not to contain any thing in it, repugnant or contrary 
unto that which is intended to be brought to pass by it, for 
means ought to be subordinate to their ends, not repugnant; 
but the Scripture exhortations unto perseverance, contain 
that which is repugnant to the promises of perseverance, if 
supposed such as our adversaries suppose them to be, there- 
fore they can by no means effect those promises ; the minor 
is evident by the light of this consideration ; such exhorta- 
tions as these to the saints : Take heed lest at any time there 
be an evil heart of unbelief in you ; lest you be hardened 


through the deceitfulness of sin ; lest you fall from grace, 
least you receive the grace of God in vain ; lest you fall 
from your own steadfastness; — in their native and proper 
tendency import a danger, and serve to raise a fear in men, 
lest the danger imported, should come upon them ; where- 
as such promises as these made unto the same persons, and 
that not conditionally as is supposed, that there shall never 
be a heart of unbelief in you; that they shall never be hard- 
ened through the deceitfulness of sin ; that they shall never 
fall away from the grace of God; exclude all danger or pos- 
sibility of falling away, and tend directly to prevent or ex- 
tinguish all fear in men of any such danger ; therefore, such 
exhortations are in their nature and genuine import, con- 
trary to such promises in theirs, and consequently can be 
no means of bringing them to pass.' 

Alls. 1. Exhortations are not so properly the means 
whereby the promises are accomplished, as the means where- 
by the things mentioned in the promises are wrought; God, 
by and through them, stirring up those graces, whicli he 
promises to work, continue, and to increase in his saints. 

2. ' Exhortations divine,' must be so apprehended as to 
be subservient to an end, in rei-pect of God foreknown and 
determined ; it is true, we exhort men (or may) to those things 
of whose event we are wholly uncertain; but to God this 
cannot be ascribed : he doth foreknow, and hath fore-de- 
termined the end and issue that every one of his exhorta- 
tions shall have; and therefore such a nature and no other 
is to be ascribed to them, as is consistent with, and subser- 
vient to, a determined end. 

3. To the confirmation of his minor proposition, the an- 
swer is easy from the consideration; first, of the end of the 
exhortations insisted on unto perseverance ; and then of the 
promises of perseverance themselves, which are no way in- 
consistent therewith. For the first, I say, those exhorta- 
tions, 'take heed lest there be in you an evil heart of unbe- 
lief/ and the like, are not given to ingenerate a fear of fallin^y 
away (which is a thing in itself evil and opposite unto that 
steadfastness of faith, and full assurance, which we should 
press unto, so far is it from any act of faitliful obedience, 
that God should aim to work in the hearts of his, and a|)ply 
means thereunto), but only to beget a holy cure and dili- 


gence in them to whom they are made or given for the using 
of the means appointed of God, for the avoiding of the evil 
threatened to follow upon a neglect of them ; which directly 
falls in and sweetly conspires with the end and use of the 
promises of perseverance by ns urged and insisted upon. 
Nothing is imported by tliem, but only the connexion that 
is between the things mentioned in tliem ; as unbelief, and 
rejection from God. This God aims at in those exhorta- 
tions, in their particular respect unto believers, that by them 
they may be stirred up to the use of those means, which he 
hath appointed for them, to be by them preserved in the 
grace and mercy, which he hath infallibly promised to con- 
tinue to them. 

And, 4. The end of the promises of perseverance on wliich 
we have insisted, being their mixing with faith to establish 
the souls of the saints, in believing the kindness and faith- 
fulness of God in his covenant in Jesus Christ, they do not 
take away nor prevent all danger of perishing, and so con- 
seqiiently not that fear in any measure which stirs them up 
so to the use of means that they may not perish, but only 
are elTectual for their deliverance out of those dangers, which 
are apt and able of themselves to destroy them : as our Sa- 
viour himself prays for them, John xvii. 15. 'I pray not that 
thou shouldcst take them out of the world' (where, whilst 
they are, they will be sure to meet with dangers and per- 
plexities enough), 'but that thou shouldest keep them from 
the evil,' wherewith they must reckon to be exercised. There 
is not then the least contrariety or diverse aspect, between 
the assurance of faith about the end, which the promises 
tend unto, and the care and godly fear about the means in- 
stituted and appointed with respect to the end, which ex- 
hortations do beget, and will notwithstanding those pro- 

5. The greatest inconsistency that can be imagined, be- 
tween exhortations and promises, as by us explained, is no 
more than this, that in one place God promiseth that unto 
us, as his grace, which in another he requires of us as our 
duty, between which two, whoever feigns an opposition, he 
doth his endeavour to set the covenant of grace, as to us 
proposed and declared, at variance with itself. 

The whole ensuing discourse unto sect 12. drawing deep 


upon another controversy (viz. 'the manner of the operation 
of grace'), and being for the most part borrowed from what 
is delivered on that head in the^ Arminian writino^s, mioht 
be passed over, as not of any necessary consideration in this 
place. What we assign to the exhortations of the word, and 
their consistency with whatever else we teach of the saints' 
perseverance, being already heard, this argument is at its 
proper issue. But the task midertaken is not to be waved 
or avoided, I shall therefore proceed to the discussion of it. 
Thus then he goes on : 

' If,' saith he, ' such exhortations as we speak of, be a means 
to effect the perseverance, which our adversaries suppose 
to be promised in the saints, then must the act of perseve- 
rance in the saints, necessarily depend upon them; so as that 
it cannot nor will not be effected without them, i. e. without 
the saints submitting themselves to them. But persevering 
upon these terms clearly supposeth a possibility of non-per- 
severing, for whatsoever dependeth upon a mutable condi- 
tion, and which possibly may not be performed, may be also 
possible never to come to pass.' 

Ans. 1. Exhortations are improperly said to be a means 
to 'effect perseverance :' we say only that they are means to 
stir up, quicken, and increase those graces in the exercise 
whereof the saints, according to the purpose and promise of 
God, do persevere. 

2. The perseverance of the saints doth consist in the 
abiding and continuance of those graces in them, which 
those exhortations do so stir up, and farther or increase. 
And in that regard there is a connexion between the per- 
severance of the saints, and the exhortations mentioned : 
yea, a dependance of the one on the other. But this depend- 
ance ariseth not from the nature of the things themselves, 
whence such a certainty as is asserted would not arise, but 
from the purpose and appointment of God that they should 
be effectual to that end : and therefore, 

3. A perseverance on these terms supposeth a possibility 
of non-persevering,if you regard only the nature of the things 
themselves, and set aside all consideration of the purpose 
and promises of God concerning the end, which is to beg 
the thing in hand ; yea, the promise of God extends itself 

^Acta Synodal. 


to the certain accomplishment of'tlie saints' submission to 
those exhortations ; so that the end aimed at doth not de- 
pend on a mutable condition (if 1 understand any thing of 
that expression, so unsuited to the business in hand), the 
performance of the condition (or the. yielding of such obedi- 
ence as is required to the essence of the "saints' perseverance) 
being certain also from the promises of God. 

liis fifth section is as follovvelh, ' If it be said, thatthe said 
exhortations are means of the saints' persevering in this re- 
spect, because God by his Spirit irresistibly and infrustra- 
bly draws and persuades the saints to obey these exhorta- 
tions, as nieans of their persevering : I answer. It cannot be 
proved that God doth draw or persuade his saints upon any 
such terms to obey these exhortations, nay, frequent expe- 
lience sheweth, and our adversaries' doctrine frequently men- 
tioned, expressly granteth that the saints many times are so 
far from obeying these exhortations, that they walk for a 
long time in full opposition to tliem, as in security, loose- 
ness, vile practices : nor have they yet proved, nor (I believe) 
ever will prove bat that they may walk, yea and that many 
have thus walked, I mean in full opposition to the said ex- 
hortations to their dying day. Secondly, If God by his 
Spirit irresistibly dravvs his saints to obey the exhortations 
we speak of, he thus draweth them either by such a force or 
power ima:iediately acted upon their wills by which they are 
made willing to obey them ; or else he maketh use of the 
said exhortations so to work or affect their wills, that they 
become willing accordingly : if the former be asserted ; 
Then first, the said exhortations are no means wliereby the 
perseverance of the saints is effected, but God irresistibly 
by his S[)irit; for if the will be thus immediately affected 
by God after such a manner, and wrought to such a bent 
and inclination, as that it cannot but obey the said exhorta- 
tions, or do the things which the said exhortations require, 
then would it have done the same things whether there had 
been any such exhortations in being or no, and consequently 
these exhortations could have no manner of efficiency about 
their perseverance ; for the will, according to the common 
saying, is of itself a blind faculty, and follows its own pre- 
dominant bent and inclination, without taking knowledge 
whether the ways and actions towards which it stands bent. 


be commanded oi' exliorted unto by God or no : 2. If the will 
of a saint be immediately so affected by God, that it stands 
inclined and bent to do the things which are pvojier to cause 
them to persevere ; then is this bent and inclination wrought 
in the will of such a person, after his being a saint, and con- 
sequently is not essential to him as a saint, but merely acci- 
dental and adventitious: and if so, then is there no incli- 
nation or bent in the will of a saint, as such, or from his first 
being a saint to persevere, or to do the things which accom- 
pany perseverance, but they come to be wrought in him af- 
terward ; which how consistent it is with the principles either 
of reason or religion, or their own, I am content that my ad- 
versaries themselves should judge. 3. If God doth imme- 
diately and irresistibly incline, or move the wills of the 
saints to do the things which accompany perseverance, the 
said exhortations can be no means of effecting this perse- 
verance; for the will being physically and irresistibly acted 
and drawn by God, to do such and such things, needeth no 
addition of moral means, such as exhortations are (if they be 
any) in order hereunto; what a man is necessitated to, he 
needeth no farther help or means to do it. 4. The things 
which accompany perseverance, impart a continuance in faith 
and love to the end ; if then the wills of the saints be imme- 
diately and irresistibly moved by God thus to continue, I 
mean in faith and love to the end, what place is there for 
exhortations to come in with their efficiency towards that 
perseverance? Need they be exhorted to continue in faith 
and love, or to persevere after the end ? Thus then we clearly 
see, that the former of the two consequents mentioned can- 
not stand; God doth not by .his Spirit irresistibly draw or 
move the wills of the saints, to do the things Vv'hich are ne- 
cessary for the procuring their perseverance immediately, 
or without the instrumental interposure of the said exhor- 

^4ns. First, the intendment of this, as also of some fol- 
lowing sections, is to prove and manifest, that the use of ex- 
hortations cannotconsist v.ith the efficacy of internal grace, 
and the work of the Spirit in producing and effecting tliose 
graces in us, which in those exhortations we are provoked 
and stirred up unto. A very sad undertaking, truly, to my 
apprehension, and for wluch the church of God ^vill scarce 
ever return thanks to them that shall engage in it; he was 


of another mind, who cried ' Da Domine quod jubes, et jube 
quod vis ;' yea, and the Holy Ghost hath in innumerable 
places of Scripture expressed himself of another mind, pro- 
mising to work effectually in us, what he requires earnestly 
of us ; by the one manifesting the efficacy of his grace, by the 
other the exigency of the duty which is incumbent upon us. 
Nay, never any saint of God once prayed in his life, seeking 
any thing at the hand of God, but was of another mind, if he 
understood his own supplications. To what is here urged 
against this catholic faith of believers, I say. 

That exhortations are the means of perseverance, inas- 
much as by them in their place and kind, and with them, the 
Spirit of God effectually works this perseverance or the 
matter of it in the saints. Those cloudy expressions of * ir- 
resistibly and unfrustrably,' we own no farther than as they 
denote the certainty of the event, and not the manner of the 
Spirit's operation, which also they do very unhandsomely. 
We leave out then in the proposal of our judgment about the 
use of exhortations, which Mr. Goodwin opposeth, those 
terms, and add in their room, 'by and by with those exhorta- 
tions,' which he omits. 

Hesaith then, 'This cannot be proved, because the saints 
live, and die oftentimes, in opposition and disobedience unto 
these exhortations.' 

But obedience is twofold : First, As to the general frame 
of the heart, obedience in the habit; and so it is false that 
the saints live at any time in an ordinary course, much less 
die in opposition to those exhortations ; tlie law of God 
being written in tlieir, hearts, and they delighting in it in 
their inward man, they abide therein ; the fiuit of obedience 
for the most part being brought forth by them ; and this suf- 
ficeth as to their perseverance. 

Secondly, It regardeth particular acts of obedience, and 
in respect of them we all say, that yet they all sin (' Opti- 
mus ille est, qui minimis urgetur'), but this prejudiceth not 
their perseverance, nor the general end of the exhortations 
afforded them for that purpose. 

But he adds, secondly, ' If God by his Spirit irresistibly 
draws his saints to persevere, iit supra.' 

But this is sorry sophistry, which may be felt, as they say, 
through a pair of mittins : for. 

First, Who says that God works by force immediately 


tipon the wills of men ? Or who makes force and power to 
be terms equivalent ? Or that God cannot put forth the * ex- 
ceeding greatness of his power in them that believe,' but he 
must force or compel their w ills : or that he cannot ' work 
in us to will and to do of his own good pleasure,' immediately 
working in and with our wills, but he must so force them. 

Secondly, Whence ariseth the disjunctive force of this 
argument? Either by immediate actings upon their wills, or 
he makes use of those exhortations ? As though the one way 
were exclusive of the other, and that the Scripture did not 
abundantly and plentifully ascribe both these unto God ; 
both that he exhorts us to know him, love him, believe in 
him, and gives us an understanding, and a heart so to 
do ; working faith and love in us, by the exceeding efficacy 
of his power and Spirit : I say then, that God works imme- 
diately by his Spirit, in and on the wills of his saints : that 
is, he puts forth a real physical power that is not contained 
in those exhortations, though he doth it by, and in, and with 
them : the irapotency that is in us to do good, is not amiss 
termed ethico-pliysica ; both natural and moral ; and the ap- 
plications of God to the soul in their doing good, are both 
really and physically efficient, and moral also ; the one con- 
sisting in the efficacy of his Spirit, the other lying in the 
exhortations of the word ; yet so as that the efficacy of the 
Spirit is exerted by, and with the moral efficacy of the word; 
his works beino; but grace or the law in the heart, the word 
being the law written, so that all the ensuing reasonings are 
bottomed upon things 7nak divisa, that stand in a sweet har- 
mony and compliance with each other. 

But Mr. Goodwin tells you ' that if God work by his 
Spirit and his grace immediately on the wills of men, to 
cause them to persevere, then are exhortations no means of 
their perseverance.' 

Why so, I pray ? It seems we must have no internal ef- 
fectual grace from God, or no outward exhortations of the 
v/ord ; but he tells you it must be so, because, if the will be 
physically and irresistibly acted and drav.'n by God, to do 
such and such things, itneedeth no addition of moral means, 
such are exhortations thereunto : that is, if the will be ef- 
fectually inclined to the ways of God, by his grace, there is 
then no need of the exhortations of the word. But yet, 


First, the Spirit of God though lie have an immediate ef- 
ficacy of liis own, by and with those exhortations, yet by 
those exhortations he also inclines the will ; and as he works 
on the will as corrupt and impotent, by his grace, so he 
works on the will (as the will, or as such a faculty is apt to 
be wrought upon by a mediation of the understanding) by 

Secondly, To say obedience would have been produced 
and wrought had there been no exhortations, is not required 
of us, what efficacy soever we ascribe to grace, unless we 
also deny exhortations to be appointed of God, and to be 
used by the Spirit of God, for the producing of that obe- 
dience. Neither, 

Thirdly, Doth God work upon the will as a distinct fa- 
culty alone of itself, without suiting his operations to the 
other faculties of the soul ? nor is grace to be wrought or 
carried on in us, merely as we have wills, but as we have 
understandings also, whereby the exhortations he is pleased 
to use, maybe conveyed to the will and affect it in their kind ; 
in a word, this is but repeating what was said before; 'if 
there be any effectual grace, there is no use of exhortations ; 
if exhortations be the means of continuino; or increasin<^ 
grace, what need the efficacy of grace or immediate actings 
of the Spirit, working in us ' to will and to do of God's good 
pleasure :' W iuU validity there is in these inferences, will be 
easily discerned; God worketh grace in men, as men, and 
as men impotent and corrupted by sin; as men, he vvorks 
upon them by means suited to their rational being, by pre- 
, cepts and exhortations: but as men impotent and corrupt 
by sin, they stand in need of his effectual power, to work 
that in them, which he requireth of them : of the terms 
wherewith his arguing in this case is clouded and darkened, 
enough hath been remarked already. 

His second argument to this purpose, viz. 'That the in- 
clination of the will to good, and to pei'severe in a saint, 
must be after his being made a saint;' is as weak and no 
less sophistical than the former; that inclination is radi- 
cally wrought in every believer at his conversion, the Spirit 
being bestowed on him, which shall abide with him for ever, 
and the seed of God laid in his heart that shall remain, and 
never utterly (ail, with an habitual inclination to the exercise 


of all those graces wherein their persevering doth consist. 
Actually this is wrought in them according to the particular 
duties and actings of grace, that are required of them, 
which they are carried forth unto, by the daily influence of 
life, power, and grace, which they receive from Christ their 
head, without whom they can do nothing. 

Neither is the third exception of any more validity, being 
only a repetition of what was spoken before, rendered some- 
thing more impedite, dark, and intricate, by the terms of 
'physically, irresistibly,' and ' necessitated,' which how far, 
and wherein, we do allow, hath been frequently declared. The 
sum of what is spoken amounts to this: ' God's real work in 
and upon the soul by his Spirit, and grace, is inconsistent 
with the exhortations to obedience :' which we have before 
disproved, and do reject it as an assertion destructive to all 
the efficacy of the grace of God, and the whole work of it, 
upon the souls of men. 

What his fourth argument also is, but a repetition of the 
same things before crudely asserted in other terms, let them 
apprehend that can ; ' if God work faith and love, in the 
hearts of his saints, and support them in them to the end, 
what place is left for exhortations V I say their own proper 
place, the place of means ; of means appointed by God to 
stir up his to perseverance, and which himself makes by his 
Spirit, and the immediate efficacy thereof, effectual to that 
endand purpose ; and 1 know no use of that query, * Are ex- 
hortations effectual to persuade men to persevere after the 
end?' being built only on his false hypothesis, and beo-gino- 
of the thing in question, viz. That if God work faith and love, 
and continuance of them in our hearts effectually by his 
grace, there is no need, no use of exhortations, though God 
so work them, by and with those exhortations ; and this is 
his first attempt, upon the first member of the division made 
by himself, wherein what success he hath obtained is left to 
the judgment of the reader; and, but that I shall not, having 
now the part of one that answers incumbent on me, tuv.i 
aside unto the proof of things denied, I should easily con- 
firm what hath been given in for the removal of his objec- 
tions, from the testimony of God, by innumerable places of 

He proceeds then, sect. 6. and says,' Secondly, neither can 

VOL. Vll. E 


the latter of the said consequences stand, God doth not 
make use of the said exhortations, to influence or effect the 
wills of the saints upon any such terms, as hereby to make 
them infallibly, infrustrably, necessitatingly, willing to per- 
severe, or to do the things upon which perseverance de- 

* For, first. If so, then one and the same act of the will 
should be both physical and moral, and so be specifically 
distinguished in, and from itself; for so far as it is produced 
by the irresistible force or power of the Spirit of God, it 
must needs be physical, the said irresistible working of the 
Spirit, being a physical action, and so not proper to produce 
a moral effect ; again, as far as the said exhortations are 
means to produce or raise this act of the will, or contribute 
any thing towards it, it must needs be moral,because exhorta- 
tions are moral causes, and so not capable of producing phy- 
sical, natural, or necessary effects ; now then if it be impossi- 
ble that one and the same act of the will should be both phy- 
sical and moral, that is necessary and not necessary, impossi- 
ble also it is, that it should be produced by the irresistible 
working of God, and by exhortations of this joint efficiency. 

' It may be objected, they who hold or grant such an in- 
fluence, or operation of the Spirit of God, upon the will which 
is frustrable, or resistible, do, or must suppose it to be a phy- 
sical action, as well as that which is irresistible ; if so, then 
the act of the will, so far as it is raised by the means of this 
action, or operation of God, must according to the tenor of 
the former arguments be physical also, and so the pretended 
impossibility, is no more avoided by this opinion than by 
the other. 

' I answer : Though such an operation of God upon the 
will, as is here mentioned, be in respect of God, and of the 
manner of its proceeding from him physical, yet in respect 
of the nature and substance of it, it is properly moral, be- 
cause it impresseth, and affecteth the will upon which it is 
acted, after the manner of moral causes, properly so called, 
that is, persuadingly, not ravishingly, or necessitatingly. 
When a minister of the gospel in his preaching presseth or 
persuade th men to such and such duties or actions, this act 
as it proceedeth from him, I mean as it is raised by his natu- 
ral abilities of understanding or speaking, is physical or na- 


tural, but in respect of the substance or native tendency of 
it, it is clearly moral, viz. because it tendeth to incline or 
move the wills of men, to such or such elections, without 
necessitating- them thereunto; and so comports with those 
arguments or exhortations in their manner of efficiency by 
which he presseth or moveth them to such things ; by the 
way to prevent stumbling and quarrelling, it no way follows 
from the premises, that a minister in his preaching or per- 
suading unto duties should do as much as God himself doth 
in or towards the persuading of men hereunto, it only follows 
that the minister doth co-operate with God, which the apo- 
stle himself affirms in order to one and the same effect, (i. e.) 
that he operateth in one and the same kind of efficiency 
with God, morally or persuadingly, not necessitating, for 
where one necessitates, and another only persuades, they 
cannot be said to co-operate, or work the one with the other, 
no more than two, when the one runs and the other walks a 
soft pace, can be said to go or walk together. But when 
two persuade in one and the same action, one may persuade 
more effectually by many degrees than the other, may have 
a peculiar act or method of persuading above the other.' 

That which is now undertaken to be proved is, that God 
doth not make use of exhortations, as means for the esta- 
blishing of the saints in believing, and confirming their per- 
severance ; this is that which by us is assigned unto them, 
and this is all that the nature of them doth require, that they 
should be used unto : the certainty of the event whereunto 
they are applied depending not on their nature, as such 
means, but on the purpose of God, to use them for that end 
which he hath designed, and promised to bring about and 

Before he ventures on any opposition to the intendment 
of this assertion, he phraseth it so, as either to render it un- 
intelligible to himself and others, or (if any thing be signified 
by the expressions he useth) to divert it wholly from the 
mind of them, and their sense, with whom he hath to do : 
who ever said that God by exhortations, doth influence the 
wills of men upon such terms, as to make them* infrustrably 
and necessitatingly willing to persevere.' Or, can he tell us 
what is the meaning of those terms, ' infrustrably, necessita- 
tingly willing to persevere ;' though it is easy to guess at what 

E 2 


he here intends, yet it is far above my shallow capacity, to 
reach the sense of these expressions. How any of these 
terms, relating to the event and issue of things, and in what 
sense they may be used, I have often shewed; as relating 
either to the manner of God's operation in and upon the 
will, or the will's elicitation of its own act (any fartiier than 
by relation to that axiom, ' Unumquodque quod est, dum est, 
necesse est'), they express neither our sense, nor any body's 
else that I know ; that which I shall make bold to take up 
for Mr. Goodwin's intendment is ; that God doth not by ex- 
hortations effectually cause the saints to persevere ; to be 
willing to persevere, is to persevere: to be necessitatingly will- 
ing, is, I know not what: now if such an efficacy be ascribed 
to exhortations, as teaches the certainty of the effect, so that 
the certainty of the effect, as to the event, should be asserted 
to depend on them as such means, this is nothing to us ; we 
ascribe an efficacy to them in propria geneye, hut the certainty 
of that event to whose production they concur, we affirm, as 
hath been abundantly declared, to depend on other causes. 

But the proof of what is here asserted, outruns for un- 
couth strangeness, the assertion itself, equis albis, as they 
say : for, saith he, ' If this be so' (that is, as you have heard 
above, how, neither he nor we know) ' then the same act of 
the will should be both physical and moral ;' and. 

First, Why so ? Because physical and moral means are 
used for the producing of it ; as though sundry causes of se- 
veral kinds, might not concur to produce one uniform effect, 
far enough from a necessity of receiving so much as a deno- 
mination from each of them ; in the concurrence of several 
causes, whereof some may be free and contingent, others natu- 
ral and necessary, the effect absolutely follows its next and 
immediate cause alone ; God causes the sun to shine freely ; 
yet is the shining of the sun, a necessary effect of the sun, 
and not any way free or contingent. God determined the 
piercing of Christ's side, and so as to the event made it ne- 
cessary, but yet was the doing of it in them that did it free, 
as to the manner of its doing, and no way necessary. 

But, secondly, suppose the same act of the will, should 
be said to be both physical and moral upon several accounts? 
And what if every act of the will in and about things good or 
bad be so I And it be utterly impossible it should be other- 


wise ? Yea, ' but then the same act should be specifically 
distinguished in and from itself.' 

Yea, but who told you so? The terms of physical and 
moral, as related to the acts of the will, are very far from 
constituting different kinds or species of acts ; being only 
several denominations of the same individual acts upon se- 
veral regards and accounts; the acts of the will as they flow 
from that natural faculty, or are elicited thereby, are all phy- 
sical : but as they relate to a law, whence they are good, or 
evil, they are moral ; the one term expresseth their being, 
the other their regularity and conformity to some rule where- 
unto their agents are obliged : Quid digiium tanto ? If by 
physical and moral, Mr. Goodwin intends necessary and 
free, being the first that ever abused those words, and in that 
abuse of them not consistent with himself (affirming after- 
ward, the act of a minister's preaching, as proceeding from 
his abilities of understanding and speaking, to be physical 
or natural, which yet he will not aver to be necessary, but 
free), he should have told us so, and then though we would 
not grant that the same act, may not in several respects be 
both necessary and free, the latter in respect of the manner 
of its performance, and nature of its immediate cause, the 
former in respect of the event and the determination of its 
first causes, yet its consequent is so palpably false, as to the 
advancing of his former assertion, that it would have been di' 
rectly denied without any farther trouble. 

But he adds : * It must needs be physical, because it is 
produced by the physical working of the Spirit of God, which 
being a physical action cannot produce a moral effect.' 

Ans. By physical operation of God on and with the will, 
we understand only that which is really and effectually so, 
as different from that which is only moral, and by way of 
motive and persuasion ; now this we say is twofold. The 
first consisting in the concourse of God as the first cause, 
and author of all beings to the producing of every entity; 
such as the acts of the wills of men are ; and this in such a 
way, as is not only consistent with the liberty of the will, in 
all its acts and actings whatever; but also, as is the founda- 
tion of all the liberty that the will hath in its actings; and 
in respect of this influence of God, the effect produced is only 
physical or natural, having such a being as is proper to it; 


as also it is in respect of the will itself, and its concurrence 
in operation. The other is that which Mr. Goodwin here 
calls ' the irresistible force or power of the Spirit:' distin- 
guishing the efficacy of the Spirit and grace of God, in their 
working in us, to will, and to do, producing those effects, as 
they are good and gracious, in reference to their rise, end, 
and rule, whereunto they are related. This then is that which 
by Mr. Goodwin is here asserted ; ' that if there be such an 
effectual real working of the Spirit and grace of God in us 
to the producing of any act of the wills of men, they cannot 
be moral.' That is, they cannot have any goodness in them 
beyond that which is entitative ; and so far, are we now ar- 
rived. All efficacious working of the Spirit of God on us 
must be excluded, or all we do is good for nothing ; away 
with all promises, all prayers, yea, the whole covenant of 
grace, they serve for no other end, but to keep us from doing 
good ; let us hear the Scripture speak a little in this cause ; 
Deut. XXX.6. *The Lord thy God will circumcise thy heartand 
the heart of thy seed, to love the Lord thy God with all thy 
heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.' Jer. xxxi. 
33. * This shall be the covenant that I will make with 
the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord; 1 will 
put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; 
and will be their God, and they shall be my people.' Chop. 
xxxii. 39. * I will give them one heart, and one way that they 
may fear me for ever, for the good of them, and their children 
after them.' Ezek. xxxvi. 26, 27. 'A new heart also will I o-ive 
you, and a new spirit will I put within you : and I will take 
away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a 
heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause 
you to w^alk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments 
and do them.' Acts xvi. 14. ' God opened the heart of 
Lydia, that she attended to the things spoken of Paul.' Phil. 
i. 29. * It is given to you in the behalf of Christ, not only to 
believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake ;' and, chap. ii. 
13. ' For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to 
do of his own good pleasure ;' as also Eph. i. 19. * That ye 
may know what is the exceeding greatness of his power to 
usward who believe, according to the working of his mighty 
power, which he wrought in Christ when he raised him from 
the dead ;' and, 2 Thess. i. 11. ' We pray always for you that 


our God would fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness 
and the work of faith with power ;' so also in 2 Cor. v. 17. 
' If any man be in Christ he is a new creature :' for, Eph. ii. 
4, 5. * God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith 
he loved us, when even we were dead in sins, hath quickened 
us together with Christ ;' causing us, chap. iv. 24. * to put 
on that new man which after God is created in righteous- 
ness and true holiness ;' with the like assertions, John iii. 3. 
James i. 18. 1 Pet. i. 23. John v. 21. 2 Cor. iii. 5, &c. 

What may be thought of these and the like expressions? 
Do they hold out any real, effectual, internal work of the 
Spirit and grace of God, distinct from moral persuasions, or 
do they not? If they do, how comes any thing so wrought 
in us, and by us to be morally good ? If they do not, we 
may bid farewell imto all renewing, regenerating, assisting, 
effectual grace of God. That God then by his Spirit and 
grace cannot enable us to act morally, and according to a 
rule, is not yet proved ; what follows ? 

Saith he, ' So far as exhortations are means to produce 
these acts, they must be moral, for moral causes are not 
capable of producing natural or physical effects.' 

But if Mr. Goodwin think that in this controversy, 'physi- 
cal,' and * necessary,' as applied to effects, are laodwanovvra, 
he is heavenly wide. Physical denotes only their being ne- 
cessary, a manner of being as to some of them which have 
physically a being. The term natural is ambiguous, and 
sometimes used in the one sense, sometimes in the other ; 
sometimes it denotes that which is only, sometimes that 
which is in such a kind ; by a physical effect, we understand 
an effect with respect to its real existency, as by a moral 
effect, an effect in respect of its regularity. And now, why 
may not a moral cause have an influence in its own kind, to 
the production of a physical effect? I mean an influence 
suited to its own nature and manner of operation by the way 
of motive and persuasion? What would you think of him 
that should persuade you to lift your hand above your head, 
to try how high you could reach, or whether your arm were 
not out of joint? 

Secondly, It hath been sufficiently shewed before, that 
with these exhortations, which work as appointed means, 
morally God exerteth an effectual power for the real pro- 


duction of that whereunto the exhortation tends, dealing 
thus with our whole souls suitably to the nature of all their 
faculties, as every one of them is fitted and suited to be 
wrought upon, for the accomplishment of the end he aims 
at, and in the manner that he intends ; briefly, to every act 
of the will as an act hi geiiere entis there is required a really 
operative and physical concurrence of the providential power 
of God in its own order, as the first cause. To every act, 
as good or gracious, the operative concurrence and influence 
of the Spirit of grace; which yet hinders not but that, by 
exhortations, men may be provoked and stirred up to the 
performance of acts as such, and to the performance of them, 
as good and gracious. 

This being not the direct controversy in hand, I do but 
touch upon it ; concerning that which follows, I should per- 
haps say, we have found anguem in herba, but being so tooth- 
less and stingless as it is to any that in the least attend to 
it, it may be only termed, the pad in the straw. Physical 
and moral are taken to be terms, it seems, equipolent to 
necessary, and not necessary ; which is such a wresting of 
the terms themselves, and their known use, as men shall not 
likely meet withal : hence is it that acts physical and ne- 
cessary are the same ; every act of the most free agent under 
heaven, yea in heaven or earth, is, in its own nature and 
being, physical; acts also are moral, i. e, good or evil, con- 
sequently in order of nature to their existence (of which 
necessary, or not necessary, are the adjunct manner), in re- 
ference to the rule, or law, whereunto their conformity is re- 
quired. How moral and not necessary come to be terms of 
the same import, Mr. Goodwin will declare perhaps here- 
after, when he shall have leisure to teach as much new phi- 
losophy, as he hath already done divinity ; in the mean time 
we deny, that any influence from God on the wills of men, 
doth make any act of them necessary as to the manner of its 
production; and so this first argument for the inconsistency 
of the use of exhortations with the real efficiency of the 
grace and Spirit of God, is concluded. 

That which follows in this section to the end, is a pre- 
tended answer to an objection of our author's own framing; 
being only introduced, to give farther advantage, to express 
himself against any real efficiency of the Spirit, or grace of 


God, in the hearts or on the wills of men. Not to insist 
upon his darkening the discourse in hand, from his miserable 
confounding of those terms physical and moral, formerly- 
discovered, I shall, as near as I can, close with his aim in it, 
for the more clear consideration thereof. 

First, he tells us, * That the operation of God on the will 
of man, is, in respect of its proceeding from him, physical, 
but in respect of its natureand substance, it is properly moral.' 

But, first, If a man should ask Mr. Goodwin, what he in- 
tends by this operation of God on the will of man, to the end 
intended, I fear he would be very hard put to it, to instance 
in any particular : it is sufficiently evident, he acknowledgeth 
none in this kind, but what consists in the exhortations of 
the word. 

Secondly, Having told us before, that physical is as much 
as necessary, and moral as not necessary : how comes it 
about that the same operation of God, the same act of his 
power, is become in several regards physical and moral ? 
That is, necessary and not necessary ? Is Mr. Goodwin re- 
conciled to the assertion, that the same thing may be said 
to be necessary, and not necessary, in sundry respects? 

Thirdly, How comes the same actor operation, in respect 
of its manner of proceeding from its agent, to be physical, 
and in respect of its substance to be moral; or, is any act 
moral in respect of its substance, or is its morality an ad- 
junct of it, in respect of the regard it hath to some rule, and 
farther end : it is an easy thing for any to heap up such 
crude assertions, and in the mean time not to know what 
they say, nor whereof they do affirm; but the reason, why 
the acts of God intimated are moral, is because they per- 
suade the will only, or work persuadingly, not ravishingly, 
or necessitatingly : that is, in plain terms, there is no opera- 
tion of the grace or Spirit of God, in the working of any 
good in the heart or wills of men, but only what consisteth 
in persuasion of them thereunto. For any real efficiency, 
as to the communication of strength, in working in us ' to 
will and to do,' it is wholly excluded ; God only persuades, 
men have the power in themselves, and of themselves they 
do it, let the Scripture say what it will to the contrary ; for 
those terms of ravishingly, or necessitatingly, which are op- 
posed to this moral persuasion, whereunto the operations of 


God, for the production of any good in us, are tied up and 
confined, we have been now so inured to them, that they 
do not at all startle us. When Mr. Goodwin shall manifest, 
that God cannot by the greatness of his power, work in us 
to will, without ravishing- our wills, if we guess aright at the 
intendment of that expression, he will advance to a con- 
siderable success in this contest, not only against us, but 
God himself. 

But an objection presents itself to our author, which he 
sees a necessity to attempt the removal of, lest an apprehen- 
sion of its truth, should prove prejudicial to the receiving 
of his dictates. And this it is : ' That if it be so, that God 
worketh on the will of man by the way of persuasion only, 
he doth no more than the ministers of the gospel do, who 
persuade men by the word to that which is good.' To this he 
tells you, ' That it indeed follows, that God and ministers 
work on the will of man in the same way, with the same kind 
of efficiency, but yet in respect of degrees, God may per- 
suade more effectually than a minister.' 

First, That all really efficient, internal working grace of 
God was denied by Mr. Goodwin, was before discovered ; here 
only it is more plainly asserted. All the workings of God 
on the wills of men unto good, are merely by persuasion : 
persuasion we know gives no strength, adds no power, to 
him that is persuaded to any thing ; it only provokes him 
and irritates him to put forth, exert, and exercise the power 
which is in himself, unto the things whereunto he is per- 
suaded, upon the motives and grounds of persuasion pro- 
posed to him; and the whole effect produced on that account, 
is, in solidum, to be ascribed to the really efficient cause of 
it, howsoever incited or stirred up. Whereas then, men by 
nature are dead, blind, unbelieving, enemies to God, he per- 
suades them only to exert the power that is in them, and 
thereby to live, see, believe, and be reconciled to him : and 
this is to exalt the free grace of God by Jesus Christ. We 
know full well who have gone before you in these paths, 
but shall heartily pray, tliat none of the saints of God may 
follow after you, into this contempt of the work of his grace. 

Secondly, If nothing but persuasion be allowed to God in 
the work of men's conversion, and in the carrying on of their 


obedience to the end, wherein doth the persuasion of God 
consist, in distinction from the persuasion used in and from 
the word by ministers, which it is pretended that it may excel 
(though it is not aflfirmed that it doth) many degrees. Let 
it be considered, I say, in what acts of the will, or power of 
God, his persuasion, so distinct as above mentioned, doth 
consist: let us know what arguments he useth, by what 
means he applies them, how he conveys them to the wills of 
men, that are not coincident with those of the ministry. I 
suppose, ^t last, it will be found, that there is no other ope- 
ration of God in persuading men, as to the ends under con- 
sideration, but only what lies or consists in the persuading 
of the word by the ministers thereof ; God looking on with- 
out the exerting of any efficacy whatever, which is indeed 
that which is aimed at, and is really exclusive of the grace 
of God, from any hand in the conversion of sinners, or pre- 
servation of believers. 

Thirdly, He doth not indeed assert any such persuading 
of God ; but only tells you, that from what he hath spoken, it 
doth not follow, * that God doth no more than ministers in 
persuading men ; and that when two persuade to one and 
the same action, one may be more effectual in his persuad- 
ing than another :' but that God is so, or how he is so, or 
wherein his peculiar persuasions do consist, there is not in 
his discourse the least intimation. 

Fourthly, There is in men a different power as to per- 
suasion ; some having a faculty that way, far more eminent 
and effectual than others, according to their skill and profi- 
ciency in oratory and persuasive arts ; this only is ascribed 
to God, that he so excels us, as one man excels another: but 
how that excellency of his is exerted, that is not to be un- 
derstood. But there is proof tendered you of all this, from 
1 Cor. iii. 9. where ministers are said, * to co-operate with 
God, which they cannot do, unless it be with the same kind 
of efficiency ; (well said ;) and that when one works necessi- 
tatingly, and another by persuasion, they cannot be said to 
co-operate, no more than one that runs, or another that walks, 
can be said to walk together.' Certainly our author never 
dreamed, that any man whatever would put himself to the 
trouble of examining these dictates, or he would have been 
more wary of his asserting them, and we had not had so much 


not only new and strange divinity, but new and uncouth 
philosophy, heaped up without any considerable endeavour 
of proof or confirmation. 

First, That two agents cannot concur or co-operate to 
the producing of the same effect, but with the same kind of 
efficiency, is a rare notion indeed: was he never persuaded 
to do any thing in his life ? What thinks he of David's and 
the Amorite's killing of Uriah? of a judge and an executioner 
slaying a malefactor; of God and Satan moving David to 
number the people ; of God and Joseph's brethren sending 
him to Egypt? But what need I mention instances? Who 
knows not that this so confounds all causes efficient, and 
that principal and instrumental, material, final, formal, which 
in their production of effects, have all their distinct efficiency, 
and yet their co-operation. 

Secondly, The proof from the Scripture mentioned, ex- 
tends only to the interesting of ministers in the great honour 
of co-operating with God, in the work of begetting and in- 
creasing faith in their own sphere, according to the work to 
them committed. But that God and they do work with the 
same kind of efficiency, it is the main intendment of the 
apostle in the place cited, 1 Cor. iii. to disprove. He tells 
you indeed, there is a work of planting and watering, com- 
mitted to the ministers of the gospel ; but the giving of in- 
crease (a peculiar working with a distinct kind of efficiency), 
that is alone to be ascribed to God. It is, I say, his design 
(who every where abundantly informs us, that ' Faith is the 
gift of God, wrought in us by the exceeding greatness of his 
power') to prove in this place, that though the dispensation 
of the word of the gospel be committed unto men, yet their 
whole ministry will be vain, and of none effect, unless by an 
immediate efficacy or working of his Spirit, giving and be- 
stowing faith on his elect, God do give an increase. 

Thirdly, For the term of ' necessitating' put upon the real 
effectual work of God's grace on the wills of men, giving 
them power, assistance, and working in them to will and to 
do, as different from that which is purely moral or persuasive, 
only which communicates no strength or power, 1 shall need 
no more, but to reject it with the same facility, wherewith 
it is imposed on us. The similitude of one walking, and 
another running, wherewith the inconsistency of a real effi- 


cient work of grace, with persuasions, so far as that they 
should be said to co-operate to the producing of the same 
effect, doth not in the least illustrate what it is intended to 
set off; for though one run and another go softly (as suppose 
one carrying a little loaf, another a great burden of meat for a 
supper), and both going to the same place. Why may not they 
be said to co-operate to the providing of the same supper? 
Must all agents that co-operate to the producing of the same 
effect, be together in one place? You may as soon bring hea- 
ven and hell together as prove it. And why must real effi- 
ciency be compared to running, and persuasion to soft walk- 
ing? as though one were supposed to carry on the work faster 
than the other: when we say only, that in the one there is a 
distinct power exerted from what is in the other; which that 
it may be done, might be proved by a thousand instances, and 
illustrated by as many similitudes, if any pleasure were taken 
to abound in causa J'acili. God or man then co-operate in re- 
spect of the tendency of their working unto the event, not 
in respect of the kinds of their efficiency. 

Of the seventh section (whereon we shall not need long 
to insist), which in the entrance frames an objection and 
pretends an answer to it, there are three parts. In the first 
he says, that we affirm, ' That though the will be necessi- 
tated by God, yet it is free in her election, which how it may 
be he understands not.' But if this were all the inconve- 
nience that Mr. G. could not understand how to salve the 
operation of God in man, with the liberty of his will, seeing 
as wise men as himself have herein been content to capti- 
vate their understandings to the obedience of faith, it were 
not much to be stumbled at; but the truth is, the chimera 
whose nature he professeth himself unacquainted withal, is 
created in his own imagination, where it is easy for every 
man to frame such notions, as neither himself nor any else 
can bring to a consistency with reason or truth. Of neces- 
sitating; the will to election, we have had occasion more than 
once already to treat, and shall not burden the reader with 
needless repetitions. 

In the second division of the section, he gives you his 
judgment of the manner of the work of God upon the soul 
unto the doing of that which is good, and the effect pro- 
duced thereby ; whereof the one, as was said before, consists 


in persuasions, which he says * are thus far irresistible, that 
they who are to be persuaded cannot liinder but that God 
may persuade them or exhort them, though he prevail not 
with them.' Which doubtless is a notable exaltation of his 
grace. Thus Mr. Goodwin works irresistibly with one or 
other, perhaps every day : and the effect of this persuasion 
is (that is, when it is effectual), that impression which it 
leaves upon the soul to the things whereunto it is persuaded. 
As the case is in the dealing of men one with another, for 
my part, I see no reason why our author should so often, 
so heedfully, deliver his judgment concerning this thing, es- 
pecially without the least attempt of any scriptural proof or 
endeavour to answer those innumerable clear and express 
places of Scripture, which he knows are every where, and on 
all occasions, produced and insisted on, to prove a real effi- 
cient acting of God in and with the wills of men, for the pro- 
ducing, working, and accomplishing that which is good in 
a way distinct from that of persuasion, which contributes no 
real strength to the person persuaded, concurring only meta- 
phorically in the producing of the effect. Let this at last 
then suffice ; we are abundantly convinced of his denial of 
the work of God's grace in the salvation of souls. 

In the third place, we have a rhetorical flourish over that 
which he hath been laying out his strength against all this 
while, being a mere repetition of what hath been already 
tendered, and given into consideration over and over. If 
God cause the saints effectually to persevere (his terms of 
irresistibly and necessitating, have been long since dis- 
charged from any farther attendance or service in this war- 
fare) by exhortations, then are all his promises of perse- 
verance in vain. But why so? May not God enjoin the use 
of means, and promise by them the attainment of the end? 
May he not promise that to us, which he will work himself 
eflTectually in us ? If God effectually work in us, to give us 
by what means soever a new heart, may he not promise to 
give us a new heart ? ' Yea, but amongst men this would be 
incongruous, yea, ridiculous, that a father should promise 
his son an inheritance, and then persuade him to take heed 
that he may obtain it.' 

But, first. If this be incongruous, yea, ridiculous, amongst 
men in their dealings with one another, doth it therefore 


follow, that it must be so as to God's dealings with men? 
' Are his thoughts as our thoughts, and his ways as our 
ways V Is not the wisdom of God foolishness with men, and 
theirs much more so with him? Are men bound in their 
dealings with others, to consider them not only in their na- 
tural and civil relations, but as impotent and corrupted men, 
as God in his dealings with them doth ? 

Secondly, Neither is this course so ridicvdous amongst 
men, as Mr. Goodwin imagineth ; that a father having pro- 
mised his son an inheritance, and instated it on him, or as- 
sured it to him, should exhort and persuade him to behave 
himself worthy of his kindness, and to take heed that he 
come to the enjoyment of the inheritance which he hath 
provided for him, by the means that he hath appointed (for 
the prescription of means for the enjoyment of the hiherit- 
ance must be supposed to go along with the promise and 
assurance), is far from being a course so ridiculous as is pre- 

Neither, thirdly. Is this similitude analogous with that 
which it is produced to illustrate. For, 

1. A man may know how, and when, and on what ac- 
count, an inheritance is settled on him by his father. Of 
what God promiseth, Ave have faith only, not knowledge, 
properly so called ; nor always the assurance of faith, as 
to the enjoyment of the thing promised, but the adher- 
ence of faith, as to the truth and faithfulness of the pro- 
miser. Nor, 

2. Can a father work in his son that obedience which he 
requireth of him, as he can do, who * creates a new heart in 
us and writes his law and fear therein,' 

3. This absolute engagement to bestow an inheritance, 
whether the means of obtaining it be used and insisted on or 
no, is a thing most remote from what we ascribe to the Lord 
in his promises of perseverance, which are only that believers 
shall persevere by the use of means, which means he exhorts 
them to use, and yet dealing with them in a covenant of grace 
and mercy, entered into upon account of their utter insuffi- 
ciency in themselves to do the things that are well pleasing 
to him, whereunto they are so exhorted. He himself effec- 
tually and graciously, according to the tenor of that cove- 
nant, works in them what he requires of them, bearing them 


forth, in the power of his grace, to the use of the means ap- 

His sections eight and nine, contain and endeavour for 
the taking off an instance usually given of pressing to the 
use of means, where the end is infallibly promised to be ac- 
complished and brought about in and by the use of those 
means. And this is in the passage of Paul, Acts xxvii. 
whereof something formerly hath been spoken ; Paul re- 
ceives a promise from God, 'That none of the lives of the per- 
sons with him in the ship should perish;' this he declares 
to his company ; and how deeply he was concerned in the ac- 
complishment of the promise, and his prediction thereupon, 
upon the account of the undertaking wherein, against almost 
all the world, he was then engaged, and the cause for which 
he was committed to their company and custody, was for- 
merly declared. Notwithstanding this, he afterward ex- 
horts them, and directs to the use of all means imaginable, 
that were suitable for the fulfilling of the promise he had, and 
the prediction he had made. Evident it is then, that there 
is no inconsistency, nor any thing unbecoming any perfec- 
tion in God, in that compliance of promises and exhorta- 
tions which we insist upon : he having directed Paul, to 
walk in that very way and path. God, we say, in the cove- 
nant of grace, hath promised that his saints * shall never 
leave him, nor forsake him:' that he will abide in unchangfe- 
able constancy to be their God ; that he will preserve them, 
and keep them in his hand unto the kingdom of his Son in 
glory, saving his redeemed ones, with an everlasting salva- 
tion, to the accomplishment of the end promised, which he 
will upon the account of his truth and faithfulness bring 
about, by means suitable unto, and instituted by him for that 
end. In the compassing and effecting of this great work, 
God dealeth with men under a twofold consideration. 

First, As rational creatures; so he discovers to them the 
end promised, with its excellency, loveliness, and satisfac- 
tion, thereby stirring up in them desires after it, as that emi- 
nent and proportioned good, which they iu the utmost issue 
of their thoughts and desires aim at. Farther, on the fore- 
mentioned account, that they are rational creatures, endued 
with a rational appetite or will, for the choosing of that which 
is good, and an understanding to judge of it, and of the 


means for the attainment of the end ; God reveals to them 
the means conducing to the end, proposing them to them to 
be chosen and embraced, and closed withal for the compass- 
ing of the end proposed. And that they may be yet dealt 
withal agreeably to their nature, and those principles in them, 
which they are created withal, that God might have glory 
by their acting suitably to such a nature, and such princi- 
ples, he exhorts and provokes them to choose those ways 
and means, which he hath so allotted (as before mentioned) 
for the end aimed at ; and that they should be thus dealt 
withal, their very natural condition of being free intellectual 
agents doth require. 

Secondly, As sinners or agents disenabled in themselves 
for the work prescribed to them, and required of them, for 
the attaining of the end they aim at, namely, in spiritual 
things : and on that account, he puts forth towards them, 
and in them, the efficacy of his power, for the immediate and 
special working of those things in them, and by them, and 
which, as rational creatures bound unto an orderly obedience, 
they are pressed and exhorted unto. To manifest the incon- 
sistency of such a procedure, and the unanswerableness of 
it, to the infinite wisdom of God (though the Scriptures ex- 
pressly deliver it in innumerable places, as hath been shewn) 
is that which by Mr. Goodwin is in this discourse attempted. 
His particular endeavour in the place under consideration is, 
to manifest that, when God promiseth to bring about and 
effect any thing infallibly (by the use of means), it is in vain 
altogether, that any exhortation should be urged on them, 
who are to use the means so appointed, for the accomplish- 
ment of it. And to the instance above mentioned, concern- 
ing Paul, he replies, chap. 13. sect. 8. 

* First, It is the generally received opinion of divines, that 
promises of temporal good things are still conditional, and 
not absolute ; which opinion they maintain upon grounds 
not easily shaken. Now evident it is, that the promise under 
question, was a promise of this nature and kind, relating only 
to the preservation of the temporal lives of men.' 

A}is. That all promises of temporal things without ex- 
ception, are conditional, that is, so as to be suspended on 
any conditions, not promised to be wrought with equal as- 
surance to that which depends on them, is not the judgment 
VOL. vii. F 


of any divine I know, unless it be of Mr. Goodwin, and 
those of the same persuasion with him in the matter of our 
present controversy. Whoever but they will say (if they 
will), that the promise of bring-ing the children of Israel out 
of Egypt was conditional ? Let them that do say so assign 
the condition on which the accomplishment of that promise 
was suspended. The promise made to the parents of Samson 
of his birth and mighty actions, what condition was it sus- 
pended on? And yet was it a promise of a temporal thing. 
Though this may be accounted a general rule, because for 
the most part it is so, yet may not God make a particular 
exception thereunto 1 Did he not so in the case of Hezekiah, 
as to his living fifteen years, as also in those cases before 
mentioned? It is true all such promises have appointed, 
means for their accomplishment, but not conditions whereon 
their fulfilling is absolutely suspended. 

But he adds, 'Those words of Paul to the centurion and 
soldiers lately mentioned (Except these abide in the ship ye 
cannot be safe), undeniably prove the said promise to have 
been not absolute, but conditional ; for in case God should 
have promised absolutely and without all exception that 
they should have been safe, Paul had plainly contradicted 
the truth of it by affirming, not that they should not, but 
that they could not, be safe, otherwise than upon the condi- 
tion of the mariners abiding in the ship.' 

Afts. 1. This is boldly ventured ; God promiseth that the 
end shall be accomplished ; Paul exhorteth to the use of the 
means for the attainment of that end, and in that contradicts 
the truth of God's promise, if it be not conditional ; and 
why so? Who ever said that God promised that they should 
be safe and preserved in the neglect of means? They were 
men, and not stones, that God promised so to safeguard. 
And it was by his blessing upon means that he intended to 
preserve them ; therefore, he that stirred them up to the use 
of means, contradicted the promise, unless it were condi- 
tional. Paul says nideed, they could not be safe unless the 
mariners abode in the ship; not suspending the certainty of 
God's promise upon their continuance in the ship, but ma- 
nifestino- the means whereby God would bring about their 

That which ensues in the two following exceptions (as. 


Paul's persuading them to take meat, which conduced to 
their safety, and their casting the wheat into the sea for the 
same end), amounts no higher than the aftirmations already 
considered. Asserting an infallible promise of an end to be 
attained by means, and an exhortation to the use of means, 
with the actual use of them on the account of their neces- 
sity as means, are inconsistent; which is plainly, without 
the least show of proof or truth, to beg the thing in question. 

Neither is his case in hand at all promoted by comparing 
this particular promise given at such atime and season, with 
those general promises of earthly blessings made to the obe- 
dience of the Jews in the land of Canaan, mentioned Deut. 
xxviii. 3, 4. 

Of that which, sixthly, follows in the ninth section, being 
a marvellous pretty discourse about the promise here made, 
as thouo;h it should be only this, that though the ship were 
lost and miscarried, yet none of them in it should perish 
thereby (merely upon the account of the ship's miscarrying), 
though on some other account, they might be drowned at 
the same time; which upon narrow scanning he hath at last 
found out to be the sense of the place, may well deserve the 
consideration of them who have nothing else to do ; for my 
part I have other employment. 

That which we affirm concerning the words of God by 
his angel, to Paul, is, that they were such a promise as 
could not but infallibly be accomplished, according to the 
tenor of what is in those words expressed ; nor in respect of 
the faithfulness of God could it otherwise be, but that it 
must so fall out and come to pass as was appointed, although 
the accomplishment of it was to be brought about by the 
eminent blessing of God, upon the means that were to be 
used by them, to whom and concerning whom it was given. 

For, first. The promise was not only concerning the ma- 
riners and the rest in the ship, for the preservation of whom 
the means formerly mentioned were used, but of Paul's appear- 
ance before Caesar, a great and eminent work whereunto he was 
designed; Acts ix. 15. 'Fear not, Paul, thou must be brought 
before Caesar.' Look then what infallibility in respect of the 
event there was, as to Paul's appearance before Caesar, the 
same there w as in the preservation of the lives of the rest 
with him. Now although the staying of the mariners from 

F 2 


going out of the ship, was a means that Paul was kept alive 
to be brouglit before Csesar, yet can any one be so forsaken 
of common sense as to say, that it was the condition of the 
purpose of God, concerning the fulfilling of that testimony, 
which according to his appointment Paul was to make at 
Rome, with all the mighty and successful travel for the pro- 
pagation of the gospel, which he after this was engaged in, 
was it all now cast upon the fall of an uncertain condition, 
not at all determined of God as to its accomplishment '^ Doth 
the infinitely wise God delight to put the purposes of his 
heart, and those of so great concernment to the kingdom of 
his Son, and his own glory, in the everlasting welfare of in- 
numerable souls, to such uncertain hazards, which by various 
ways obvious and naked before his eyes, he could have pre- 
vented ? 

Secondly, It is part of the pfediction of Paul from the 
promise he had received (and therewith a revelation there- 
of), that they should be cast upon a certain island, God hav- 
ing some work for him there to do ; now was this part of 
the promise conditional or no ? If it be said that it was, let 
the condition on which it depended be assigned. Notliing 
can be imagined, unless it be that the wind sat in such or such 
a quarter ; it is then supposed that God promised Paul and his 
company, should be cast on an island for their preserva- 
tion, provided the wind served for that end or purpose : but 
who I pray commands the winds and seas ? Doth the v^ind 
so 'blow where it listeth,' as not to be at the command of 
its maker? It is not enough that we cast off his yoke and 
sovereignty from man, but must the residue of the creation 
be forced so to pay their homage to our free wills as to be 
exempted thereby from God's disposal? If this part of the 
promise were infallible and absolute, as to the certainty of 
its accomplishment, why not the other part of it also ? 

Thirdly, Paul makes confession of liis faith to his com- 
pany, concerning tlie accomplishment of this promise. I 
believe God, saith he, on omwg tartu kciO' uv Tpoirov XtXaAjjrat 
juot. It shall 'so come to pass in the same manner as it was 
told me ;' clearly engaging the truth and faithfulness of that 
God which he woi'sliipped (for his testimony to vvliose truth 
he was then in bonds) for the accomplishment of what he 
had spoken to them: viz. 'that not one of tliem should be 


lost.' Now supposing that anyone person had by any acci- 
dent fallen out of the ship, Mr. Goodwin tells you there had 
been no opportunity or possibility left unto God to have ful- 
filled his promise ; true, for it had been wholly frustrated, 
he having undertaken for the lives of every one of them ; 
but supposing that engagement of his, he that says any one 
might have so perished, is more careful doubtless to defend 
his own hypothesis than the honour of the truth and faith- 
fulness of God. 

Evident then it is, notwithstanding the tortures, racks, 
and wheels, applied by Mr. Goodwin to this text, with the 
confession pretended (and but pretended) to be extorted 
from it (which but that it hath gotten sanctuary under his 
name and wing, would be counted ridiculous), that here is 
a promise of God, making an event infallible and necessary 
in respect of its relation thereto, by a clear consistency with 
exhortations to the use of free and suitable means, for the 
accomplishment of the thing so promised. 

Sect. 10. He objects farther to himself, 'That in sundry 
places of Scripture, as 1 Cor. x. 12, 13. Phil.ii. 12, 13. Heb, 
vi. 4, 5. 9. there are promises of perseverance, and exhorta- 
tions unto it joined together, and therefore men who deny a 
regular and due consistency between them, do impute folly 
and weakness to the Holy Ghost.' Whereunto he answers 
sundry things to the end of the eleventh section. As, 

' First, They are many degrees nearer to the guilt of the 
crime specified, who affirm the conjunction mentioned to be 
found in the said Scriptures, than they who deny the legitima- 
cy of such a conjunction; the incongruity of the conjunction 
hath been sufficiently evinced, but that any such conjunc- 
tion is to be found either in the Scriptures quoted, or in any 
others, is no man's vision, but his who hath darkness for 

Aiis. If our adversary's ipse dixit may pass current, we 
shall quickly have small hopes left of carrying on the cause 
under consideration. AH our testimonies must be looked 
npon as cashiered long since from attending any longer on 
the trial in hand, and all our arguments as blown away like 
flies in the summer. The very things here in question, viz. 
That there is an inconsistency between promises of perse- 
verance, and exhortations to the use of the means whereby 


it may be effected ; that God hath made no such promises, 
or appointed no such exhortations, and that those who ap- 
prehend any such things have darkness for vision, are all 
confirmed by the renewed stamp of teste meipso ; to which 
proof 1 shall only say, 'Valeat quantum valere potest.' 

But he adds, 'That in none of the places cited, is there 
any promise of perseverance, is evident to him that shall 
duly consider the tenor and import of them. 

'For, first. It is one thing to say and teach, that God will 
so limit as well the force as the continuance of temptations, 
that the saints may be able to bear ; another to make a pro- 
mise of absolute perseverance ; yea, those very words. That 
ye may be able to bear it, clearly import, that all that is here 
promised unto the believing Corinthians, is an exhibiting of 
means to perseverance, if they will improve them according- 
ly, not an infallible certainty of their perseverance. And that 
caveat. Let him that thinketh he stands take heed lest he fall, 
plainly supposeth a possibility of his falling, who thinketh 
upon the best grounds that he standeth sure ; for that this 
caveat was not given to hypocrites or unsound believers, or 
to such who please themselves with a loose and groundless 
conceit of the goodness of their condition Godvvard, is evi- 
dent, because it were better that such men should fall from 
their present standing of a groundless conceit, than continue 
their standing ; nor would the apostle have ever cautioned 
Buch to take heed of falling away, whose condition was more 
like to be made better than worse by their falling. And be- 
sides, to understand the said caveat of loose believers, over- 
throws the pertinency of it to their cause who insist upon it, 
to prove a due consistency between exhortations to perse- 
verance, and promises to perseverance, as is evident. If then 
it be directed to true and sound believers, it clearly suppos- 
eth a possibility at least of their falling, in case they shall 
not take heed, or else their taking heed would be no means, 
at least no necessary means, of their standing. And farther, 
it supposeth also a possi])ility at least of their non-taking 
heed, or that they might possibly not take heed hereof, other- 
wise the caveat or admonition had been in vain ; men have 
no need of being admonished to do that which they are under 
no possibility to omit. If then the standing or persevering 
of the saints depends upon their taking heed lest they fall. 


and their taking heed in this kind be such a thing which 
they may possibly omit, evident it is that there is a possi- 
bility of their non-persevering.' 

A/is. This last division of the tenth section labours to 
evince, that in the first of the places above mentioned, viz. 
1 Cor. X. 12, 13. there is not a promise of perseverance, in 
conjunction with exhortations unto the use of means unto 
that end. The words are, 'Wherefore, let him that thinketh 
he standeth take heed lest he fall. There hath no temptation 
taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, 
who will not suffer you to be tempted above what you are 
able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, 
that ye may be able to bear it.' But, 

First, It is not in the least measure necessary, or can be 
upon any account whatever required of us, that we should 
produce texts of Scripture in an immediate dependance and 
coherence in the same place, containing both the promises 
and exhortations mentioned ; they being for the most part 
proposed upon most different accounts, and for immediately 
different ends and purposes ; the one (namely), as in the re- 
velation of them, respecting of our consolation, the other our 
obedience. Nor can they ever the more be denied to be in a 
conjunction and consistency, though they were not to be 
found but in different places of Scripture (which that they 
are, especially as to that case which is questioned, hath 
been abundantly declared), than if they were still com- 
bined in the same coherence and connexion of words. But 

Secondly, I say there is, in the place forenamed, a most 
pathetical exhortation to the use of the means whereby we 
may persevere, and a most infallible promise, that we shall 
so persevere, and not, by any temptation whatever, be utterly 
cast down or separated from God in Christ. The first in ver. 
12. 'Wherefore, let him that thinketh he standeth, take heed 
lest he fall;' and ver. 14. 'Wherefore my dearly beloved 
flee from idolatry;' the latter in ver. 13. 'There hath no 
temptation taken you,' &c. First, That there is an exhortation 
to the use of means for perseverance, is not denied by our 
author, but granted, with an attempt to improve it for the 
furtherance of his own design. That there is a promise also 
of perseverance, is no less evident ; the diversion and turning 


away of any believer from God must be by temptation. 
Temptations are of various sorts, both in respect of their im- 
mediate rise, nature, and efficiency : whatever (whence ever 
it proceed) turns from God, more or less, in part or in whole, 
as is imagined, is temptation. Now the apostle here engageth 
the faithfulness of God in the preservation of believers from 
the power of temptations, so as it shall not prevail against 
them to the ends before specified. ' God (saith he) is faithful :' 
and there is no need of his mentioning that property of God, 
which is his immutable constancy in the performance of his 
promises, but only to assure believers, that he will preserve 
them as he hath spoken ; the thing promised by the apostle 
in the name of God, is (not only that the saints may be able 
tobear temptations that shall befal them, virtp o SwacrOe, and 
Tov ^vvaaOai vnag vrrevtyKHv, hdi\ in g quite anotherimportance 
than what is here intimated in tlie expression ' may be able,' 
in capital letters) that he will not suffer any temptation to 
come upon them, that shall be above that strength (and per- 
valent against it) which he will communicate to them : and 
for those which do befal them he will make way for their 
escaping, that with and by the strength received they may 
bear them. So that not only sufficiency of means to perse- 
vere, but perseverance itself by those means, and God's or- 
dering all things so in his faithfulness, that no assault shall 
befal them above the power of the strength given them to 
bear, is here asserted. Now the promise here given is either 
absolute or conditional. If absolute, that is, so far as that 
it shall infallibly be accomplished, not so depending on any 
thing that in respect of the event may, or may not be, as to 
be left at uncertainty for its fulfilling, it is all that is of us 
desired. If it shall be said that it is conditional, I desire 
that the condition from whence it is so said to be, may be 
assigned. If it shall be said (as it is) that it is ' in case they 
willingly suffer not themselves to be overcome of tempta- 
tions;' I ask, whether the strength and ability that God 
affords to his saints to resist temptations, be not in the 
strengthening and confirming their wills against them? And 
if so, whether this promise so interpreted doth not resolve 
itself into this proposition, 'I will not suffer my saints to be 
overborne by temptations, above the strength I will give them 
to bear, provided they be not pressed with temptations above 


the strength I give unto them.' The promise then is abso- 
lute, either that no temptations shall befal believers above 
that they have received, or, that strength not to be overcome, 
shall be afresh communicated to them upon the assaults of 
any new temptations. 

3. This being established, that here is a firm promise of 
perseverance, against which Mr. G. opposeth scarce any 
thing at all, and nothing at all to the purpose, his whole en- 
suing discourse falls of itself; for from the caveat used at 
the entrance of this promise, and the exhortation at the close, 
both tending to stir up the saints, to whom the promise is 
made (many of whom have no distinct assurance of their in- 
terest in this, or any other promise), to be heedfuUy careful 
in using the means of perseverance, and avoiding the sins 
that in their own nature tend to the interruption of it; no 
other possibility of falling away can be concluded, but such 
as may have a consistency with the faithfulness of God in 
the promise he hath given : that is, a possibility, as they say, 
* in sensudiviso,' without respect had to the infallibly prevent- 
ing causes of it; not 'in sensu composito.' A possibility in 
reference to the nature of the things themselves, which is a 
sufficient bottom for caveats to be given, and exhortations 
to be made to them concerned in them, not at all in respect 
of the purposes and promises of God, infallibly preventino- 
the reducing into act, of that possibility. These exceptions 
then notwithstanding, it appears in the 1 Cor. x. 1 — 14. 
there is a conjunction of a gracious promise of perseverance, 
with effectual exhortations to the use of means whereby we 
may persevere; and consequently, they who deny a due con- 
sistency between them, do impute folly or weakness to the 
Holy Ghost ; liirep t'Sa SdHai. 

He proceeds to the next place pointed to by himself, to 
prove a consistency between promises and exhortations 
under consideration : to wit, Phil. ii. -12, 13. 'Wherefore, 
my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence 
only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own 
salvation with fear and trembling : for it is God which worketh 
in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.' Evident 
it is, that you have here conjoined by the Holy Ghost as 
weighty and pathetical an exhortation, as he almost any 
where useth in the Scripture, with an assertion of grace, as 


eminently operative and effectual, as by any means can be 

But, saith he, ' It is one thin^ to affirm that God worketh 
in man as to vail so to do, i. e. to enable men to do or put 
in execution what they first will, or to assist in the doing or 
executing- itself, another to promise or work infallibly, and 
without all possibility of frustration in men, perseverance. 
There is little or no affinity between these : but how and in 
what sense God is said to be IvipyCjv, working in men both 
to will and to do of his good pleasure, we shall have occasion 
to open more at large in the latter part of this work.' 

Ans. I dare say, an indiffisrent reader will conclude, that 
Mr. Goodwin was very hard put to it for an answer, finding 
him contenting himself with such sorry shifts, and evident 
pervertings of the words of the text, as those here mentioned. 
For, first. How come the words to be changed into a work- 
ing, 'as to Vt^ill, so to do,' that is, perhaps, neither the one nor 
the other? who taught him to render koi to ^iXuv, koI to 
Ivepyeiv, 'as to will, so to do?' But, secondly. The chief of the 
sport made with the words, consists in the exposition given 
of them, as they lie in this new translation ; ' to work in thera 
as to will, so to do ; that is, to do ; what they first will ; not 
that he works in them to will, but that he assists them in 
doing what they first will.' But Vi'hat is now become of the 
tdtn qiidm, above mentioned ? how doth he work in them as 
to will, so to do, if he only assists them in doing, what of 
themselves without his assistance they first will? Rather 
than it shall be granted, that God by his grace works effec- 
tually on the wills of men, to the producing of their elicit 
acts of believing and obedience, any course may be war- 
ranted for the perverting of the expressions, w'here such an 
operation seems to be held out. Perhaps this persuasion also, 
of the efficacy of the grace of God on the wills of men, is 
such, that if it be found, in any place of Scripture, to be de- 
clared or asserted, it is enough to make wise and consider- 
ing prudent men to question their authority. But, thirdly, 
saith he, ' This is not infallibly to work perseverance.' I say, 
shew what else is required to perseverance, but to 'will and 
do,' according to the mind of God, which of his own good 
pleasure, he promiseth effectually to work in believers, and 
you say something that may render your reasonings const- 


derable ; but it seems we must be kept in abeyance for an 
answer to this, until his criticism be ready to manifest, how 
God is said to be Ivi^ywv, 'working in men,' perhaps what is 
never wrought without any such effect as is imagined. What 
may by him be brought forth to this purpose, time will shew. 
But if he be able to make 6 S'toc l(TTtv 6 £i'£p7aiv Iv vfxlv, ' God 
is working in you to will and to do,' foi'sooth from the parti- 
cipal expression of the verb, he will manifest more skill in 
Greek, than he hath hitherto in divinity, in all his learned 
treatises. So that here is a second instance of a conjunction 
of promises of perseverance, with exhortations to use the 
means suited thereunto; which whoso denies to have a just 
and sweet consistency, do charge the Holy Ghost with folly 
or w^eakness ; oTrap fSti ^ei^ai. 

Thirdly, The verses pointed to out of Heb. vi. 4, 5. 9. 
do not so directly express the conjunction insisted on, as 
those places already considered do; only the discourse there 
used by the apostle is peremptory, that men may, without 
any disparagement to their wisdom or reason, earnestly deal 
with others, and exhort them to avoid falling away from God, 
though they are fully persuaded, that those whom they so 
exhort, by the help of those exhortations, and upon other 
considerations, shall abide with God to the end, or be at- 
tended with things accompanying salvation. But had Mr. 
Goodwin been pleased to look to the following verses, 
wherein the apostle gives an account of the ground of this 
persuasion of his, he might have found something to exer- 
cise the best of his skill upon. The words are, * Beloved, 
we are persuaded better things of you, and things that ac- 
company salvation, though we thus speak : for God is not 
unrighteous to forget your w^ork and labour of love which 
ye have shewed towards his name, in that ye have minis- 
tered to the saints, and do minister: and we desire that every 
one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of 
hope unto the end.' He tells them, ver. 10. it is upon the ac- 
count of the righteousness of God, in carrying on the work 
of their labour of love which was begun in them, and which 
they had shewn or manifested, that he had this persuasion 
concerning them; which, in the ensuing verses, he farther 
pursues, clearing up the engagement of the righteousness of 
God in his oatl) ; of which elsewhere. So that notwilhstand- 


ing any thing attempted to the contrary, evident it is that, in 
carrying- on the work of our salvation, the Holy Ghost doth 
make use of promises of effectual grace for perseverance, and 
eminent exhortations to abide with God, in such a harmony 
and consistency, as is well suited to the things themselves, 
and in a course which taV;es sanctuary under the shade of 
his wisdom from all the charges of folly and weakness, which 
poor weak and foolish men may, under their temptations, 
and in their darkness, rise up against it withal; whether there 
are express promises of perseverance in the Scripture, some 
advantage I hope will be given to the pious reader to judge, 
from what hath been spoken, and what, by the Lord's assist- 
ance, may be insisted on to that purpose. 

Unto this debate about the exhortations of the word we 
find a discourse of the same nature and importance subjoined 
about the threatenings that are therein, which, as it is as- 
serted, are rendered useless and ineftectualfor the end where- 
unto they are of God appointed, by that doctrine of perse- 
verance, which is opposed. We freely acknowledge, that if 
any doctrine whatever, do enervate and render vain any or- 
dinance or institution of God as to the ends and purposes 
whereunto it is of him appointed, that that doctrine is not 
of God, whose paths are all plain and equal, and whose com- 
mands do not interfere one with another. Now that the 
principles of the doctrine of perseverance do destroy the effi- 
ciency of threatenings, is attempted to be proved by an in- 
duction of observations, which being the sum of all that is 
spoken to this head, must be transcribed at large, and is as 

Sect 12. * If the principles of the doctrine we speak of, 
dissolve the efficiency of the said threatenings towards the 
end, for the accomplishment whereof they are given, then 
they render them unsavoury, useless, and vain : but the prin- 
ciples of this doctrine are guilty of this offence : ergo. The 
terms of the major proposition are sufficient witness of the 
truth thereof; in order to the proof of the minor, we suppose, 
first, that the end intended by God in such threatenings, which 
threaten those that shall tipostatize with eternal death, is to 
prevent apostacy in the saints, and to work or cause them to 
persevere. 2. That this is one of the principles of the com- 
mon doctrine of perseverance, God hath absolutely promised 


final perseverance unto the saints ; and this another, God 
will certainly, infrustrably, and infallibly work this perse- 
verance in the saints. These two things only supposed, the 
light of the truth of the said minor proposition breaks forth 
from between them with much evidence and power: for, first, 
If the said threatenings be intended by God for the pre- 
vention of the apostacy of the saints, and consequently to 
effect their perseverance, the way and manner wherein this 
end intended by God is to be effected by them, must needs 
be by their ingenerating or raising a fear or apprehension in 
the saints of eternal death ; it being the native property of 
fear, mixed with hope, to awaken and provoke men to the 
use of such means which are proper to prevent the danger or 
evil feared ; there is no other way imaginable how or where- 
by the threatenings we speak of should operate towards the 
perseverance of the saints for the preventing of their apos- 
tacy, but that mentioned, viz. by working in them a fear or 
dread of the evil threatened. Therefore, secondly. Evident 
it is, that such promises made, and made known unto the 
saints, by which they are made incapable of any such fear, 
are absolutely destructive of the efficiency, which is proper 
to the said threatenings, to exhibit towards the prevention 
of apostacy in the saints, or for the causing of them to per- 
severe. And, lastly. It is every whit as evident, that such 
promises, whereby God should assure the saints, that they 
shall not apostatize, but persevere, are apt and proper to ren- 
der them incapable of all fear of eternal death, and conse- 
quently are apparently obstructive of, and destructive unto, 
the native tendency of the said threatenings towards and 
about the perseverance of the saints. These threatenino-s can 
do nothing, contribute nothing, towards the perseverance of 
the saints, but by the mediation of the fear of evil in them 
upon their non-persevering ; therefore, whatsoever hardens 
them against this fear, or renders them incapable of it, super- 
sedes all the virtue and vigour which are to be found in 
these threatenings, for or towards the effecting of their per- 

Alls. First, Be it granted, that one end of God in his 
threatenings, is to prevent apostacy in the saints, by stirring 
them up to take careful heed to the ways and means whereby 
they may persevere^ and that they no otherwise work or cause 


perseverance, but as they so stir up and provoke men to the 
things wherein they are to abide; but this is not their only 
end. They are also discoveries to all the world of the seve- 
rity of God against sin, and that it is his judgment that they 
•who commit it are worthy of death. 

Secondly, If by absolute promises of final perseverance, 
you intend such promises of peiseverance, in and by the use 
of means, instituted and appointed by God himself, for the 
accomplishment of the end promised, which are not made 
or given, upon the consideration of any worth in them to 
whom they a^-e made, nor do depend, as to their accomplish- 
ment, on any such condition in them as in the event and 
issue may not be fulfilled, this observation also is granted. 
You may add also, that God will certainly, eftectually, and 
infallibly work in them an abiding with him to the end, or 
put his law in their hearts, that they shall never depart from 
him. If by infrustrably also, you intend only that he will so 
work it as that his counsel and purpose shall not in the end 
be frustrated or disappointed, we grant that also, for he hath 
said 'his counsel shall stand and he will do all his pleasure.' 

These things being thus supported, let us try the infer- 
ences from them, that must make good the former assertion, 
concerning the frustration of the use of comminations by 
them, for they are singled out to bear the weight of this 

To the first assumption then and inference I say. There 
is a twofold fear of eternal death and destruction. 1. An 
anxious perplexing fear, in respect of the end itself. 2. A 
watchful careful fear, in respect of the means leading there- 
unto. In respect of the first, it is utterly denied, that the 
use and end of the threatenings of God, in respect of his 
saints, are to ingenerate any such fear in them, it being di- 
rectly opposed to that faith, assurance, peace, boldness, con- 
solation, and joy, that God is pleased to afford to them, and 
abundantly exhorts them to live up unto: yea, an anxious 
abiding fear of hell, is fully contrary to that very conditional 
assurance of salvation, which Mr. Goodwin himself, in re- 
spect of their present condition, allows to them. Nor hath 
the Lord instituted his ordinances at such a difference and 
opposition one to another, as that, at the same time, towards 
the same persons, they should be effectual to beget opposite 


and contrary frames and principles. For the other, or a 
watchful heedful fear for the avoiding of the way and means, 
that would lead them, and do lead others, to destruction, 
that is not in the least inconsistent with any assurance, that 
God is pleased by his promises to give to his saints of their 
perseverance. God will have them expect their persever- 
ance in the way wherein he hath promised it ; that is, by 
the use of such and such means, helps, and advantages, as 
he hath appointed for the effectual accomplishment thereof. 
And therefore nothing is in vain or uselessly applied to 
them, which, according to his appointment, is suited to the 
stirring of them up to the use of the means ordained for that 
end, as before mentioned. Therefore, to Mr. Goodwin's se- 
cond assertion, which he calls ' evident ;' I say. 

First, That it is not the making, or the bare making known 
to the saints of the promises of God, that will work the end 
for which they are given to them, or enable them to mix them 
with faith ; and according to the strength of that, and not 
according to the truth that is in the promises themselves, is 
their assurance of the things promised. And therefore, not- 
withstanding all the clear promises of perseverance which 
are made, and made known to them, we see very many of 
them not to come up to any such assurance thereof, as to be 
freed from the first sort of fear mentioned ; which yet is the 
proper issue of unbelief, to the begetting whereof in them, 
God hath not instituted any ordinance. 

Secondly, That none of the saints of God are, by the pro- 
mises of grace which we assert, freed from that fear which is 
the proper product and effect of God's comminations in re- 
spect of them; and therefore by them there is no obstruction 
laid in the way of the proper efficiency of those threateninos. 
What is added, in the third and last place, is only a repetition 
of what was before spoken, without any attempt of proof; 
unless he would have it looked upon as a conclusion from 
the premises, whose weakness being discovered as to the 
intent and purpose in hand, we need not farther trouble our- 
selves with it. Instead of Mr. Goodwin's, now considered, 
take these few observations, which will give so much light 
into the whole matter under debate, as may supersede his 
whole ensuing discourse. 

First then. It may be observed (as it was, by the way, in 


the foregoing discourse), that notwithstanding the promises 
of perseverance which are given to the saints, yet many there 
are. who are not enabled all their days to mix them with faith 
(although their interest and portion lie in them, no less than 
theirs who, through grace, attain the greatest assurance), and 
on that account do never all their days get free from some 
bondage, by reason of the fear of death and destruction. And 
in respect of such as these, the comminations and threaten- 
ings insisted on, may have much of that end accomplished 
which, by Mr. Goodwin, is assigned to them ; not that such 
a frame is directly aimed at in them, Christ dying to deliver 
them, who, by reason of death, were in bondage all their days, 
from that bondage which the fear of death for sin doth keep 
the souls of men in, and under, but that it follows and will 
follow upon their darkness and weakness of faith. 

Secondly, That the promises of perseverance being of 
the effecting and accomplishment of it, by and in the use 
of means, do not nor will g-ive deliverance to them to whom 
they are made from fear of death and hell, but only whilst 
they conscientiously use the means appointed for them to 
walk in : so that upon their deflexion from the rule which is 
attended v.'ith mercy and peace, the threatenings of God to 
sin and sinners, to apostacy and apostates,dolay hold on them 
in their full force and efficacy ; especially to the ingenerat- 
ing in them a terror of the Lord (as the apostle speaks) and 
an abhorrency of their ways, a loathing of them as not good, 
that would cause them to fall into the hands of the living 
God. So that all Mr. Goodwin's arguings, not being levied 
against the certainty of perseverance, but men's certainty 
that they shall persevere (which some never attain unto, some 
lose either in whole or in part, oftentimes), are not to the 
business in hand. 

Thirdly, That eternal death and destruction is not the 
only subject of God's threatenings, nor all the evil that they 
may have a fear of whom he deals withal by them; deser- 
tion, rejection, rebukes, sharp and keen arrows, blows of 
God's hand, temporal death itself, with the like, are also 
threatened; yea, and so oi'ten in an eminent and dreadful 
manner, have been inflicted, that though they might be sup- 
posed to have always some comfortable assurance of deliver- 
ance from the wrath that is to come, yet the threatenings 


of God may be suited to beget in them this fear of evil to 
such a height, as may make their ' bowels to flow like water, 
rottenness to enter into their bones, and all their joints to 

Fourthly, That the end of the threatenings of God, being 
to discover to men the connexion that is, by his appoint- 
ment, between the sins exagitated and the punishment 
threatened, whence the fear mentioned doth consequently 
ensue, they may obtain their full and primary effect, though 
that fear be not ingenerated, if they be prevailed on by any 
other considerations, so that the sin be avoided. 

Fifthly, That when the saints do walk orderly, regularly, 
and closely with God, in the use of means by him appoint- 
ed, and so doing, from the promises of perseverance, do re- 
ceive a comfortable assurance, that they shall be kept by 
the power of God through faith unto salvation, the begettino- 
in them of fears of death and hell, is neither useful in itself, 
nor are they intended of God to be their portion. But if at 
any time they turn aside from the holy commandment, and 
thereby fail of the persuasion of their perseverance (as their 
faith will be by such means impaired), though the certainty 
of the thing itself be no less infallible than formerly, yet by 
the threatenings of God to them it maybe needful, to rouse 
them (by the terrors of the Lord in them) from the condition 
whereinto they have cast themselves. 

I doubt not but that from the light of these and the like 
considerations which might farther be insisted on, it will 
appear that there may be and is an harmonious consistency 
between the promises and threatenings of the Scripture, not- 
withstanding the mist that is raised in a long and tedious 
discourse to interrupt the evidence thereof. 

In the 13th section, under pretence of answering an 
objection, a long discourse is drawn forth farther to varnish 
over what was before spoken. Nothing of importance to my 
best observation being added, it may be reduced to these 
four heads : 

First, An assertion, 'That the threats against apostacy 
do not belong to hypocrites ; that is, to them that are not 
really regenerate, let their profession be what it will; for 
hypocrites ought not to persevere in the way wherein they 
are to the end, and therefore there is no danger of their fall- 

VOL. VII. o 


ing away from it.' Which is a ridiculous piece of sophistry; 
for though they may not be exhorted to continue in their 
hypocrisy which corrupts and vitiates their profession, yet 
they may in their profession, which in itself is good. And 
though there is no danger of leaving their hypocrisy, yet 
there is of their waxing worse and worse, by falling from the 
beginnings of grace which they have received, the profes- 
sion which they have made, and the regular conversation 
which they have entered upon. So that notwithstanding 
any thing said to the contrary, the comminations under con- 
sideration may principally belong to some kind of profes- 
sors, who notwithstanding all their gifts and common graces 
which they have received, yet in a large sense may be termed 
hypocrites, as they are opposed to them who have received 
the Spirit with true and saving grace. 

Secondly, He says, ' It is evident that they belong unto 
true believers from Heb. vi. 4—6. 9. x. 26, 27. 29.' but if 
there were no better evidence of the concernment of true be- 
lievers in the threatenings made to apostacy, than what can 
be drawn from the places mentioned, I dare undertake that 
Mr. Goodwin shall never prove any such concernment of 
theirs therein, whilst his eyes are open ; but about this I 
shall not at present contend. 

Thirdly, He tells us, 'That the end and aim of God in 
these threatenings is the good of believers.' Of which as far 
as they are concerned in them, I mucii less doubt, than I do 
of the clearness of the proof of this assertion, from Psal. 
Ixxxv. 8. * I will hear what God the Lord will speak, for he 
will speak peace to his people and to his saints, but let them 
not turn again to folly.' A place that I presume was 
hooked in here violently, for want of a fitter opportunity to 
wrest it with a by-interpretation, because it looks so hardly 
on the doctrine which our author hath undertaken to defend. 
But let this pass also. 

His fourth assertion, which he pursues at large, or rather 
with many words, is, * That these threatenings have no ten- 
dency to the good of believers, but only by begetting in them 
a fear of hell and destruction; which that they ought to do, 
is strongly proved from Luke xii. 4, 5. where we are bid 
to fear him who can cast both body and soul into hell-fire.' 
Now though the logic of this argument doth scarce appear 


to me, or the strength of the inference from the text, there 
being a great difference between ' fearing him who can cast 
both body and soul into hell-fire,' and fearing of hell-fire ; 
between fearing God for his severity and power, in opposi- 
tion to the weakness and limitedness of persecutors (even 
whilst we ' fear not their fears, but sanctify the Lord of 
Hosts in our hearts, making him our dread and our fear'), 
and such a fear of punishment as is inconsistent with the 
promises of God that we shall be preserved in obedience, 
and so be free from it. Yet I shall consider the following 
discourse that is built thereon. Supposing all that Mr. 
Goodwin observes from this text, and that the reason of the 
fear here enjoined, is taken from the power of God to cast 
into hell, yet the whole of the argument thence amounts but 
thus far, because such who are threatened to be persecuted 
by men who can only kill their bodies, ought rather to fear 
God who can extend his power of punishing to the destruc- 
tion of body and soul : of those that offend him, therefore, 
there is such a fear ingenerated in the saints by the threaten- 
inas of the word, as is inconsistent with the truth of God's 
steadfastness in his covenant with them, to keep them up to 
obedience unto the end. 

Sect, the 14th, he farther pleads from Heb. xi. 7. 
2 Kings xxii. 19, 20. * That the eminentest, holiest men that 
live may do many things from a principle of fear, or of being 
afraid of the judgments of God that they should come upon 
them, and upon that account have been put upon ways that 
were acceptable to God.' 

Am. We know that the ' fear of the Lord is the begin- 
ning of wisdom :' and the fear ' of the Lord and his good- 
ness,' is a great mercy of the covenant of grace. This is 
not the thing here pleaded for : it is a thing quite of another 
nature, even that ascribed to the strange nations that were 
transplanted into Samaria, by the king of Syria, upon the 
captivity and removal of the ten tribes, and frightened by 
lions that destroyed some of them, who did yet continue to 
worship their own idols, under the dread of God which was 
upon them, which is called, ' the fear of the Lord.' To com- 
plete this fear it is required that a man have such an appre- 
hension of the coming of hell and wrath upon him, as that 
he be not relieved against it, by any interposal of promise, or 

G 2 


ought else, from God, that he should be preserved in the way 
and path whereby he shall assuredly find deliverance from 
that which he fears. How far this kind of fear, the fear of 
hell, not as declarative of the terror of the Lord, but as pro- 
bable to betide and befal the persons so fearing it, and that 
solely considered as an evil to himself, maybe a principle of 
any act of acceptable gospel obedience is not cleared by 
Mr. Goodwin, nor easily will be so. For, 

1 . That it is not the intendment of any divine threatenings 
to beget such a fear, in reference to them that believe, hath 
been declared. 

2. It is no fruit or product of the Spirit of life and love, 
which, as hath been shewn, is the principle of all our obedi- 
ence and walking with God. 

3. It holds out a frame of spirit directly contrary to what 
we are called and admitted unto under the gospel ; ' for God 
hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, of love, 
and of a sound mind ;' 2 Tim. i. 7. and Rom. viii. 15. ' We 
have not received the spirit of bondage unto fear, but the 
spirit of adoption whereby we cry, Abba Father.' The spirit 
of this fear and dread, and the bondage that attends it, is at 
open variance with the spirit of liberty, boldness, power, 
adoption, and a sound mind wherewith believers are endued. 

4. It is that which the Lord Christ intended to remove 
and take away from his, by his death ; Heb.ii. 15. ' He died 
that he might deliver them, who for fear of death were in 
bondage all their days.' 

This fear then, I say, which is neither promise of the 
covenant, nor fruit of the Spirit, nor product of saving faith, 
will scarce, upon strict inquiry, be found to be any great fur- 
therer of the saints' obedience ; what use the Lord is pleased 
to make of this dread and terror in the hearts of any of his, 
for the hedging up their ways from folly, and staving them 
off from any actual evil when through the strength of temp- 
tation they do begin to cast off the law of life and love where- 
by they are governed, is not in the least prejudiced by any 
thing asserted in the doctrine of the saints' perseverance ; 
towards some, who, though they are persuaded of the perse- 
verance of the saints indefinitely, yet have no persuasion, or 
at least no prevailing cheering assurance that themselves are 


saints (which Mr. Goodwin thinks to be the condition of far 
the greatest joart of believers) it hath its full power and ex- 
tent, its whole efficacy depending on the apprehensions of 
the mind wherein it is. Towards the residue, who upon 
abiding grounds and sure foundations have obtained a com- 
fortable, spiritual persuasion of their own interest in the pro- 
mises of God, that the consideration of hell and judgment 
as the due debt of sin and necessary vindication of the glory 
of God hath also its effects and influence, as far as God is 
pleased to exercise them therewith, acquainting them con- 
tinually with his terror, and filling them with an abhorrency 
of those ways which in and of themselves, tend to so dismal 
an end and issue, hath been declared. 

Secondly, The places of Scripture mentioned by Mr, 
Goodwin doubtless will not reach his intendment. Of Noah 
it is said, that he was tuAa/Bac after he was TpavfxaTKj^tlg, 
being warned of God of that flood that was for to come upon 
the world of ungodly men, and the salvation of himself and 
his family by the ark ; being filled with the reverence of 
God and assured of his own preservation, he industriously 
sets himself about the use of the means, whereby it was to 
be accomplished. That because a man assured of an end 
from God himself, in and by the use of means, did with a re- 
verential fear of God, not of any evil threatened which he 
was to be preserved from, set himself to a conscientious use 
of means whereby the promised end of God's own institution 
is to be brought about ; therefore the fear of hell (such a 
fear as hath been described) is one principle of the obedi- 
ence of the saints in their walking with God, and such as 
they ought to cherish, as being a means appointed of God 
for that end and purpose, is an argument of no great value 
here with us. Neither surely will the conclusion intended 
be more evidently educed, from the tenderness of the heart 
of Josiah under the preaching of the law mentioned in the 
second place, and therefore I shall not need to call it into 

But it is added farther, sect. 14. p. 314. * The present 
state and frame of the hearts and souls of the saints duly 
considered, which are made up as well of flesh and corrup- 
tion, as of spirit and grace, the former having need of bri- 
dles for restraint, as well, as the latter of spurs for quicken- 


ing, evident it is that arguments or motives drawn from fear 
of punisliment, are as necessary and proper for them in re- 
spect of the one, as incitements from love, in respect of the 
other, A whip for the horse (says Solomon), a bridle for the 
ass, and a rod for the fool's back. The flesh even in the wisest 
of men, is a fool, and would be unruly without a rod ever and 
anon shaken over it ; nor should God have made such gra- 
cious, bountiful, and effectual provision, for the perseverance 
of the saints, as now he hath done, had he not engaged as 
well the passion of fear within them, as of love, to be their 
guardian keeper. It is true perfect love casteth out fear, but 
who amongst the saints themselves can say either that his 
heart is clean, or his love perfect ? Perfect love casteth out 
flesh, as well as fear ; yea, true love until flesh be cast out 
preserveth fear, for its assistant and fellow-helper ; the flesh 
would soon make love a wanton, and entice her unto folly, did 
not fear dissolve the enchantment and protect her chastity/ 
Of this last division of the 34th section, there are two parts : 
The first confirmative of what was spoken before, concerninp- 
the usefulness of the fear of hell and punishment for the fur- 
thering of the saints' obedience. The other responsatory to 
what is urged. to the contrary from 1 John iv. 18. 'Perfect 
love casteth out fear.' For the first, it is granted, that there 
are those two contrary principles of flesh and spirit, corrup- 
tion and grace, in the hearts of all, even the best and most 
eminent saints, whilst they continue here below. But that 
these two, should be principles acting themselves in their 
obedience, the one moved, incited, and stirred up by love, 
the other from the fear whereof we are speaking, is a fleshly, 
dark, anti-evangelical conceit. That the principle in believers 
which the Scripture calls flesh, and corruption, needs incite- 
ment to obedience, or is to be incited thereunto, as is afl^irmed, 
is no less corrupt than what was before mentioned . Look, what- 
soever influence flesh or corruption hath into any of our obe- 
dience, so far that obedience is vitiated, corrupted, rendered 
unclean and unacceptable before God. The flesh is to be cru- 
cified, slain, destroyed, not stirred up, and provoked to obe- 
dience, being indeed disobedience in the abstract? enmity 
to God. You may as well persuade darkness to shine, as the 
flesh to obey ; it is not a fool (as that allusion bespeaks it 
from Prov, xxvi. 3.) that would ever and anon be unruly. 


were not a rod shaken over him ; but it is folly itself, that is 
not to be cured, but killed, not stirred up, but mortified. 
How that is to be done, hath been formerly at large declared: 
it is by the Spirit's bringing the cross and power of the death 
of Christ into the heart of the sinner, and not by any consi- 
deration of hell, and punishment, that we can take upon our- 
selves (which never did, nor never will, mortify any sin, to the 
end of the world) that this work is to be wrought. 

Secondly, That which is added of God's bountiful provi- 
sion for the perseverance of the saints by engaging the pas- 
sion of fear, as well as love, is of no better a frame or con- 
stitution than that which went before. That our gracious 
Father had made fuller, larger, and more certain provision for 
our perseverance, than any can be afforded by the engaging 
of our passions, by consideration of punishment or reward, 
I hope, hath been sufficiently demonstrated ; and if Mr. 
Goodwin intend no more by his love, and fear of God, than 
the engaging of those natural passions in us, by the conside- 
rations intimated, I shall not be rival with him in his per- 
suasion. The love we intend is a fruit of the Spirit of God in 
us, and the fear contended about, of the spirit of bondage : 
which though it be not pressed on us as our duty, yet we 
hope that bountiful provision is made for our perseverance, 
as shall effectually support and preserve us to the end. 
Blessed be his name, his saints have many better guardians 
and keepers, than a bondage frame of Spirit, upon the ac- 
count of the wrath to come, from whence they are delivered by 
Christ : they are in his own hand, and in the hand of his Son, 
and are ' kept through faith by his power to salvation.' Ifthis 
be the end of Mr. Goodwin's preaching the threatenings of 
God at any time, viz. that the natural passion of fear, being 
stirred up with the apprehensions of hell, the flesh that is in 
man, may be incited to obedience, I hope he hath not many 
consenting with him in the same intendment. 

Thirdly, To an objection framed from 1 John iv. 18. 
That 'perfect love casts out fear,' he tells us ; First, 'That it 
maybe so, but whose love is perfect.' Secondly, 'That love 
cherisheth fear, until the flesh be quite cast out.' Thirdly, 
'That the flesh would make love wanton and entice it to folly, 
did not fear dissolve the enchantment.' But, 

First, Though love be not perfectto all degrees of per- 


fection here, yet it may have, yea it hath in the saints the 
perfection of uprightness and sincerity, which is all that is 
here intended, and all that is required to it, for the casting out 
of that tornienting fear cf which the apostle speaks. 'Fear,' 
saith he, ' liath torment:' and if our love cannot amount 
to that perfection, as to cast it out, it being only to be cast out 
thereby, it is impossible we should ever be freed from tor- 
ment all our days, or be filled with joy and consolation in 
btlievino-; which would frustrate the glorious design of God, 
which he hath sworn himself willing to pursue, Heb. vi. 13. 
and the great end of the death of Christ, which he hath per- 
fectly accomplished, Heb. ii. 15. 

Secondly, It is true ; there is a fear that love cherisheth; 
the fear that God hath promised in the covenant of grace, 
to preserve in our hearts all our days ; but to say it che- 
risheth the fear we speak of, and which the Holy Ghost in 
this place intendeth, is expressly to make the Holy Ghost a 
liar, and to contradict him to his face. 

Thirdly, What love in us is that, that the flesh can or 
may entice to folly? Are the fruits of the Spirit of God, 
graces of his own working and creating in us, of such a tem- 
per and constitution, as that they may be enticed to unclean- 
ness and folly ? And is it possible that such a thought should 
enter into the heart of a man, professing the doctrine of the 
gospel? That ink should stain paper, with such filth cast 
upon the Spirit and grace of God ? The fear of hell erewhile 
was suited to the use of the flesh, but now (it seems) it serves 
to keep the love of God itself in order, that otherwise would 
wax wanton, fleshly, and foolish. Foolish love, that wiil 
attempt to cast out this tormenting fear, not being able to 
preserve itself from lolly, without its assistance. 

Sect. 15. is spent in an answer endeavoured to an ob- 
jection, placed in the beginning of it in these words : 

* If it be farther demanded. But doth it not argue servility 
in men, to be drawn by the iron cord of the fear of hell, to 
do what is their duty to do ? Or doth any other service or 
obedience become sons and children, but only that which is 
free and proceedeth from love?' 

Hereunto you have a threefold answer returned. 
First, ' That Ciod requires that it should be so ;' which is a 
downright begging of the question. 


Secondly, He puts a difference between the obedience of 
children to their parents, and of the saints unto God; the 
discourse whereof discovering some mysteries of the new 
doctrine of grace, much pressed and insisted on, take as fol- 
lows. 'There is a very different consideration of the obedi- 
ence of children to their natural parents, and of the obe- 
dience of the children of God unto their heavenly Father; 
the obedience of the former, is but by the inspiration of na- 
ture, and is an act not so much raised by deliberation, or 
flowing from the will, by an interposure of judgment and 
conscience to produce the election, as arising from an in- 
nate propension in men, accompanying the very constituting 
principles of their nature and being; whereas the latter, the 
obedience of the children of God, is taught by precepts: and 
the principle of it, I mean tliat rational frame of heart, out 
of which they subject themselves to God, is planted in the 
souls of men by the engagement of reason, judgment, and 
conscience, to consider those grounds, arguments, and mo- 
tives, by which their heavenly Father judgeth it meet to 
work and fashion them unto such a frame ; so that, though 
the obedience of natural children to their natural parents, 
be the more genuine and commendable, when it flows freely 
from the pure instinct of nature, and is not drawn from them 
by fear of punishment, yet the obedience of the children of 
God is then most genuine and commendable, and like unto 
itself when it is produced and raised in the soul, by a joint 
influence and contribution, not of one or of some but of all 
those arguments, reasons, motives, inducements whatever, 
and how many soever they be, by which their heavenly Fa- 
ther useth to plant and work it in them ; for in this case and 
in this only, it hath most of God, of the Spirit of God, of the 
wisdom of God, of the goodness of God : in and upon this 
account it is likeliest to be most free, uniform, and perma- 

The sum of this answer amounts to these three things : 

First, That there is an instinct or inspiration of nature in 
children to yield obedience to their parents. 

Secondly, That there is no such spiritual instinct or in- 
clination in the saints to yield obedience to God. 

Thirdly, That the obedience of the saints ariseth merely 
and solely from such considerations of the reason of that obe- 


dience, which they apprehend in contradiction to any such 
genuine principles as might incline their hearts thereunto. 
For the first. That the obedience of children to their pa- 
rents, though it be a prime dictate of the law of nature where- 
with they are endued, proceedeth from a pure instinct, any 
otherwise than as a principle suiting and inclining them to 
the acts of that obedience, so as to exclude the promoting 
and carrying of it on, upon the moral consideration of duty, 
piety, &,c. it is in vain for Mr, Goodwin to go about to per- 
suade us, unless he could not only corrode the word of God 
where it presseth that obedience as a duty, but also charm 
us into beasts of the field, which are acted by such a brute 
instinct, not to be improved, stirred up, or drawn forth into 
exercise by deliberation or consideration. There is, it is true, 
in children an impress of the power of the law of nature, suit- 
ing them to obedience (which yet in many hath been quite 
cast out and obliterated, being not of the constituting prin- 
ciples of their nature, which whilst they have their being as 
such, cannot be thrown out of them), and carrying them out 
unto it with delight, ease, and complacency (as habits do 
to suitable actings), but withal that this principle is not regu- 
lated and directed as our obedience to God by a rule, and 
stirred up to exert itself, and they in whom it is, provoked 
by rational and conscientious considerations, to the perform- 
ance of their duty in that obedience, is so contrary to the 
experience, I suppose, of all sharers wdth us in our mortality, 
that it will hardly be admitted into debate. But, 

Secondly, The worst part of this story lies in the mid- 
dle of it, in the exclusion of any such spiritual principle in 
believers, as should carry them out unto obedience, at least 
to any such as is not begotten in their minds by rational 
considerations ; whatever may be granted of acquired ha- 
bits of grace (which, that the first should be, that a spiri- 
tual habit should be acquired by natural actings, is a most 
ridiculous fiction), all infused habits of grace that should 
imprint upon the soul a new natural inclination to obedi- 
ence, that should fashion and frame the hearts of men into 
a state and condition suited for, and carry them out unto, 
spiritual obedience, are here decried. All it seems that the 
Scripture hath told us of our utter insufficiency, deadness, 
disability, indisposedness to anything that is good, without 


a new life and principle, all that we have apprehended and 
believed concerning the 'new heart and Spirit given us, the 
new nature, new creature, divine nature, inward man, grace 
in the heart, making the root good that the fruit may be so ;' 
all that the saints have expressed concerning their delight 
in God, love to God upon the account of his writing his 
laws in their hearts and spirits, is a mere delusion. There 
is no principle of any heavenly, spiritual life, no new na- 
ture with its bent and instinct lying towards God and obe- 
dience to him, wrought in the saints, or bestowed on them 
by the Holy Spirit of grace. If this be so we may even fairly 
shut our Bibles, and go learn this new gospel of such as 
are able to instruct us therein : wherefore I say. 

Thirdly, That as in children there is an instinct, an in- 
clination of nature, to induce them and carry them out to 
obedience to their natural parents, which yet is directed, 
regulated, provoked, and stirred up, and they thereby, to 
that obedience, by motives and considerations suited to 
work upon their minds and consciences, to prevail with them 
thereunto ; so also in believers, the children of God who are 
'begotten of the will of God,' of the 'word of truth,' and 
born again, not of the will of the flesh but of'the will of God,' 
there is a new spiritual principle, a constituting principle 
of their spiritual lives wrought and implanted in them by 
the Spirit of God; a principle of faith, love, enabling them 
for, suiting them unto, and inciting them to, that obedience 
which is acceptable and well-pleasing to their Father which 
is in heaven ; in which obedience, as they are regulated by 
the word, so they are stirred up unto it by all those motives, 
which the Lord in his infinite wisdom hath fitted to prevail 
on persons endued with such a principle from himself, as 
they are. It is not incumbent on me to enter upon the proof 
and demonstration of a title to a truth, which the saints of 
God have held so long in unquestionable possession, no- 
thing at all being brought to invalidate it, but only a bare 
insinuation that it is not so. Then, 

Fourthly, I deny not but that the saints of God are 
stirred up to obedience, by all the considerations and in- 
ducements which God lays before them and proposeth to 
them, for that end and purpose ; and as he hath spread a 
principle of obedience over their whole souls, all their fa- 


culties and affections, so he hath provided in his word, mo- 
tives and inducements to the obedience he requires, which 
are suited unto, and fit to work upon, all that is within them 
(as the prophet speaks), to live to him ; their love, fear, 
hope, desires, are all managed within, and provoked with- 
out to that end and purpose. But how it will thence follow, 
that it is the intendment of God by his threatenings, to in- 
generate such a fear of hell in them, as is inconsistent with 
an assurance of his faithfulness in his promises not to leave 
them, but to preserve them to his heavenly kingdom, I pro- 
fess I know not. The obedience of the saints, we look upon 
to proceed from a principle wrought in them with a higher 
energy and efficacy, than mere desires of God to implant it 
by arguments and motives ; that is, by persuading them to 
it, without the least real contribution of strength or power, 
or the ingrafting the word in them, in, with, and by, a new 
principle of life ; and if this be the Phyllis of our author's 
doctrine, solus haheto. Such a working of obedience, we 
cannot think to have any thing of God, of the Spirit of God, 
of the wisdom of God, or the goodness of God, in it, being 
exceedingly remote from the way and manner of God's work- 
ing in the saints, as held out in the word of truth, and inef- 
fectual to the end proposed, in that condition wherein they 
are. The true use of the threatenings of wrath in refer- 
ence to them who by Christ are delivered from it, hath been 
before manifested and insisted on. 

In the last division of this section, he labours to prove 
that what is done from a principle of fear may be done will- 
ingly and cheerfully, as well as that which is done from a 
principle of love. To which briefly I say, 

First, Neither fear nor love as they are mere natural af- 
fections, are any jirinciple of spiritual obedience as such. 

Secondly, That we are so far from denying the usefulness 
of the fear of the Lord to the obedience of the saints ; that 
the continuance thereof in them to the end, is the great 
promise, for the certain accomplishment whereof we do 

Thirdly, That fear of hell in believers, as a part of the 
wrath of God, from which tliey are delivered by Christ, be- 
ing oj)posed to all their grace of faith, love, hope, &c. is no 
principle of obedience in them, whatever influence it may 


have on them as to restraint when managed by the hand of 
God's grace. 

Fourthly, That yet believers can never be delivered from 
it but by faith in the blood of Christ, attended with sincere 
and upright walking with God ; which when they fail of, 
though that fear supposed to be predominant in the soul, 
be inconsistent with any comfortable cheering assurance of 
the favour of God, yet it is not with the certain continuance 
to them of the thing itself, upon the account of the pro- 
mises of God. 

Section the sixteenth contains a large discourse in an- 
swer to the apostle, affirming that fear hath torment, which 
is denied by our author upon sundry considerations ; the 
fear he intends is a fear of hell, and wrath to come ; this he 
supposeth to be of such predominancy in the soul, as to be 
a principle of obedience unto God ; that this can be with- 
out torment, disquiet, bondage, and vexation, he will not 
easily evince to the consciences of them, who have at any 
time been exercised under such a frame ; what fear is con- 
sistent with hope, what incursions upon the souls of the 
saints are made by dread and bondage, the fear of hell, and 
the use of such fears, how some are, though true believers, 
scarcely delivered from such fears, all their days, I have 
formerly declared ; and that may suffice as to all our con- 
cernment in this discourse. 

In the seventeenth section, somewhat is attempted as to 
promises, answerable to what hath been done concerning 
exhortations and threatenings. The words used to this end 
are many ; the sum is, that the use of promises in stirring 
men up to obedience, is solely in the proposal of a good 
thing, or good things to them to whom the promises are 
made, which they may attain, or come short of. Now if 
men are assured, as this doctrine supposeth they may be, 
that they shall attain the end, whether they use the means 
or no, how can they possibly be incited by the promises to 
the use of means proposed for the enjoyment of the end pro- 
mised: that this is the substance of his discourse, I pre- 
sume himself will confess, and it being the winding up of a 
tedious argument, I shall briefly manifest its usefulness, and 
lay it aside. I say then. 

First, What is the true use of the promises of God, and 


what influence they have into the obedience and holiness of 
the saints, hath been formerly declared. Neither is any 
thing there asserted, of their genuine and natural tendency 
to the ends expressed, enervated in the least by any thing 
here insisted on, or intimated by Mr. Goodwin ; so that 
without more trouble 1 might refer the reader thither to 
evince the falseness of Mr. Goodwin's assertions, concerning 
the uselessness of the promises unto perseverance, upon a 
supposition that there are promises of perseverance. 

Secondly, Though we affirm that all true saints shall per- 
severe, yet we do not say, that all that are so, do know them- 
selves to be so ; and towards them at least the promises may 
have their efficacy in that way, which Mr. Goodwin hath by 
his authority confined them to work in. 

Thirdly, We say that our Saviour was fully persuaded, 
that in the issue of his undertakings and sufferings, he should 
be * glorified with his Father,' according to his promise : and 
yet upon the account of that glory which he was so assured 
of, being set before him, he addressed himself to the sharpest 
and most difficult passage to it, that ever any one ente"red on ; 
* He endured the cross, despised the shame, for the glory's 
sake,' whereof he had assurance; Heb. xii. And why may 
not this be the state of them to whom in his so doing he was 
a captain of salvation ? Why may not the glory and reward 
set before them, though enjoyed in a full assurance of faith, 
in the excellency of it, when possessed, as promised, stir 
them up to the means leading thereunto. 

Fourthly, The truth is, the more we are assured with the 
assurance of faith (not of presumption), that we shall certainly 
obtain and enjoy the end whereunto the means we use do 
lead (as is the assurance that ariseth from the promises of 
God), the more eminently are we pressed in a gospel way, if 
we walk in the spirit of the gospel, to give up ourselves to 
obedience to that God and Father, who hath appointed so 
precious and lovely means, as are the paths of grace, for the 
obtaining of so glorious an end as that whereunto we are 
appointed. And thus I doubt not but that it is manifest, by 
these considerations of Mr. Goodwin's objections to the con- 
trary, that the doctrine of the perseverance of the saints, as 
by us taught and delivered, doth not only fall in a sweet 
compliance with all the means of grace, especially those ap- 


pointed by God to establish the saints in faith and obedience, 
that is, to work perseverance in them, but also to be emi- 
nently useful to give life, vigour, power, and efficacy, in a 
peculiar gospel manner, to all exhortations, threatenings, 
and promises appointed and applied by God, to that end and 


The maintainers and propagators of the several doctrines under contest, 
taken into consideratiori. The necessity of so doing from Mr. G. under- 
taking to make the comparison. This inquiry confined to those of our 
own nation. The chief assertors of this doctrine of the saints' perseverance 
in this nation since it received any opposition, what was their ministry 
and what their lives, 3Tr, G,'s plea in this case. The first objection 
against his doctrine by him proposed, second, and third. His answers to 
these objections considered: removed. His oivn ivord and testimony of- 
fered against the experience of thousands. The persons pointed to by him, 
and commended, considered. The principles of those persons he opposeth, 
vindicated. Of the doctrine oj' the primitive Christians, as to this head of 
religion. Grounds of mistake in reference to their judgments. The first 
reformers constant to themselves in their doctrine of the saints' persever- 
ance. Of the influence of Mr. Perkins's judgment on the propagation of 
the doctrine of the saints' perseverance. Who the persons were on whom 
his judgment is supposed to have such an infuence. The consent of foreign 
churches making void this surmise. What influence the doctrine of the 
saints' perseverance had into the holiness of its prvj'essors. Of the un- 
worthiness of the persons who in this nation have asserted the doctrine of 
apostacy: the suitableness oj' this doctrine to their practices. Mr. G.'s 
attempt to take off this charge. How far men's doctrines may be judged 
by their lives. Mr. G.'s reasons ichy episcopalists arminianised, the first. 
Considered and disproved. His discord, S)C. General apostacy of men 
entertaining the A rminian tenets. The close. 

As to the matter in hand, about the usefulness of the doc- 
trine of the perseverance of the saints, in and unto the mi- 
nistry of the gospel, and the obstruction pretended to be 
laid unto it thereby, it may be somewhat conducing and of 
concernment to consider who the persons are and were, and 
what hath been and is the presence of God with them, in 
their ministry who have been assertors and zealous main- 
tainers of this doctrine : and withal who they were, and what 
they have been in their ministry, and the dispensation of the 
word committed unto them, who have risen up in opposition 


thereunto ; how also those different parties have approved 
their profession to the world, and acquitted themselves in 
their generation in their walking with God, may be worth 
our consideration. Doubtless, if the doctrine, whose decla- 
ration and defence we have thus far engaged in, be of such 
a pernicious tendency, as is pretended, so destructive to 
gospel obedience, and so evidently rendering that great or- 
dinance of the ministry useless, it may be traced to its pro- 
duct of these effects, in some measure, in the lives, conver- 
sations and ministry of those, who have most zealously es- 
poused it, most earnestly contended for it, and been most 
given up to the form and mould thereof. It were a thing 
every way miraculous if any root should for the most part 
bring forth fruits disagreeing to the nature of it. 

A task this is (I confess), which, were we not necessitated 
unto, I covild easily dispense with myself from engaging 
therein. But, Mr. Goodwin having voluntarily entered the 
list, as to this particular, and instated a comparison between 
the abettors of the several doctrines under contest, chap. 9. 
of his book (a matter we should not have expected from any 
other man), it could not but be thought a gross neglect of 
duty, and high ingratitude, towards those great and blessed 
souls, who in former and latter days, with indefatigable pains 
and eminent success watered the vineyard of the Lord, with 
the dew of this doctrine, to decline the consideration of the 
comparison made, and dressed up to our hand. jVow be- 
cause it is a peculiar task allotted to us, to manifest the em- 
bracement of this truth, by those who in the primitive church, 
were of greatest note and eminency for piety, judgment, 
and skill, in dividing the word aright with ; the professed 
opposition made unto it, by such, as those with whom they 
lived, and succeeding ages, have branded for men unsound 
in the faith, and leaving the good old paths, wherein the 
saints of old found peace to their souls : as also to manifest 
the receiving and propagation of it, by all (not any one of 
name excepted) those great and famous persons whom the 
Lord was pleased to employ in the reformation of his church, 
walking in this, as in sundry other particulars, closer up to 
the truth of the gospel, than some of their brethren, that at 
the same time fell off from that church, which was long be- 
fore fallen off from the truth, I shall in my present inquiry. 


confine myself to those of our own nation, who have been 
of renown in their generation for their labour in the Lord, 
and of name among the saints for their work in the service 
of the gospel. 

For the one half of that small space of time, which is 
passed since the breaking forth of the light of the gospel in 
this nation, we are disenabled from pursuing the comparison 
instituted : the one part being not to be considered, or at 
least not being; considerable. The time when first head was 
made against the truth we profess, and criminations like those 
managed by Mr. Goodwin hatched and contrived to assault 
it withal, was, when it had been eminently delivered to the 
saints of this nation, and all the churches of Christ, by Rey- 
nolds, Whitakers, Greenhara, and others like to them, their 
fellow-labourers in the Lord's vineyard. The poor weak 
worms of this present generation, who embrace the same 
doctrine with these men of name, are thought to be free 
(some of them at least) from being destroyed by the poison- 
ous and pernicious embracing of it, by their own weakness 
and disability to discern the natural genuine consequences 
and tendency, in the progress of that, which in the root and 
foundation they embrace. Their ignorance of their own doc- 
trine in its compass and extent, is the mother of that devo- 
tion, which in them is nourished thereby. So our great 
masters tell us, against whose kingly authority in these 
things there is no rising up. For the persons formerly 
named, the like relief cannot be supposed. He that shall 
provide an apology for them, affirming that they understood 
not the state, nature, consequences, and tendencies of the 
doctrines they received, defended, preached, contended for, 
will scarce be able by any following defensative, to vindi- 
cate his own credit for so doing. In the lives, then, and the 
ministry of those men, and such as those, if any where, are the 
fruits of this doctrine to be seen. If it corrupted not their 
lives, nor weakened their ministry ; if it turned not them aside 
from the paths of gospel obedience, nor weakened their hands 
in the dispensation of the word, in the promises, threatenings, 
and exhortations thereof, to the conversion of souls and 
building up of those who by their ministry were called, in 
their most holy faith, it cannot but be a strong presumption 
that there is no such venomous infectious quality in this 
VOL. vii. H 


doctrine, as of late some chemical divines pretend them- 
selves to be able to extract out of it. Now, what I pray, 
were these men? What were their lives? What was their 
ministry? All those who now oppose Mr. Goodwin's doc- 
trine, do it either out of ignorance, or to comply with great- 
ness, and men in authority, thereby to make up themselves 
in their ambitious and worldly aims, and to prevail them- 
selves upon the opinion of men : for what cause else in the 
world can be imagined why they should so engage? What 
though they really believed the whole fabric of his doctrine 
wherein he hath departed from the faith he once (as they 
say) professed to be a lie ; a lie of dangerous and pernicious 
consequence to the souls of men, a lie derogatory to the 
glory of God, the efficacy of grace, the merit of the death 
of Christ, and the honour of the gospel, and full of discon- 
solation to poor souls, being in and under temptation. What 
though they suppose it secretly to undermine the main funda- 
mentals of the covenant of grace, and covertly to substitute 
another covenant in the room thereof? What though they 
have observed that the doctrine they have received, was em- 
braced, preached, prized, by all those great and blessed 
souls, which, in the last generation, God magnified with the 
conversion of so many thousands in this nation, given into 
their ministry, whilst they spent their days under continual 
afflictions and persecutions? What though they have the 
general known consent of all the reformed churches beyond 
the seas with them, in their zeal for the doctrine under con- 
sideration? What though, under these and the like appre- 
hensions, they profess in the presence of God, his holy 
angels and men, that the eternal interest of the precious 
souls of men, is more valuable to them ten thousand times 
than their own lives, and that that is the sole reason of their 
opposition to Mr. G. in his attempts against the doctrine 
they have so received and embraced, yet it is meet for us to 
judge, and for all 'to whom evil surmises are not esteemed 
to be among the works of the flesh,' that all their opposition, 
is nothing but a compliance with and pursuit of those worldly, 
low, and wretched aims, that they are filled withal. But as 
to those persons before-mentioned, what shall we say? Their 
piety, literature, zeal, diligence, industry, labour with suc- 
cess in the work of the ministry (and that under manifold 


discouragements), are so renowned in the world, that how or 
wherewith they shall be shifted off, from being considerable 
in their testimony, I cannot imagine. If ever persons in 
these latter ages had written upon their breasts, ' Holiness to 
the Lord,' if ever any bare about, a ' conformity to the death 
and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ ;' they may put in 
for an eminent esteem and name among them ; and will 
doubtless be found at last to be of the thirty, if they attain 
not to the first rank of tRe worthies of Christ, in these ends 
of the world. How is it that they were not retarded, in the 
course of their gospel obedience, by their entertainment of 
this wretched doctrine of the saints' perseverance ? But 
what though they kept themselves personally from the pol- 
lution of it, yet possibly their ministry was defiled and ren- 
dered useless by it. And who, 1 pray, is it, that in this ge- 
neration can so support himself with success in the ministry, 
as to rise up with this accusation against them? Many 
thousands who were their crown, their glory, and rejoicing 
in Christ, are fallen asleep, and some continue to this day. 
Of the reasons given by Mr. Goodwin why all the zealous, 
fruitful preachers, of former days, embraced this doctrine, 
we shall instantly undertake the consideration. In the mean 
time this seems strange, that God should magnify and make 
famous the ministry of so many, throughout the world, and 
give in that visible blessing to their labours therein, which 
hath filled this island with such an increase of children to 
Sion, as that she hath not lengthened the cords of her taber- 
nacle, to such an extent and compass, in any proportionable 
spot of earth under heaven, if any one eminent part of their 
doctrine, and that whereon they laid great weight in their 
ministry, which they pressed with as much fervency and con- 
tention of spirit as any head of the like importance, should 
indeed be so apparently destructive of holiness, and of such 
a direct and irresistible efficiency to render useless that great 
ordinance of the ministry committed to them, as this is cla- 
moured to be. What will be the success of them, in their 
ministry, who shall undertake to deny and oppose it, I hope 
the people of God in this nation, will not have many 
instances to judge by. The best conjecture we can for 
the present make of what will be hereafter, must be taken 
from what hath already come to pass ; and the best guess of 

H 2 


v\hat events will be, is to be raised from the consideration 
of what iK'.th been ; from a like disposition of causes, to an 
answerableness of events. 

A^'hat Mr. Goodwin hath to plead in this case he insists 
on, chap. 9. sect. 24—27. pp. 167—172. The sum and aim 
of his discourse, is, to apologise for his doctrine against 
sundry objections, which in the observations of men it is 
liable and obnoxious unto. Now tiiese are such as whatever 
the issue of their consideration prove, doubtless it can be 
of no advantage unto his cause, that his doctrine is so readily 
exposed to them. 

The first of these is, that the doctrine he opposeth, and 
in opposition whereunto that is set up, which he so indus- 
triously asserts, hath generally been received and embraced 
by men eminent in piety and godliness, famous on that ac- 
count in their generations, with the generality of the people 
of God with them. And this is attended with that which 
naturally ensues thereon, viz. The scandalousness of the 
most of them (yea, of them all of this nation is it spoken), 
who have formerly asserted the doctrine which Mr. Goodwin 
hath lately espoused. Whereunto, in the third place, an ob- 
servation is subjoined, of the ' ordinary defection of men to 
loose and unsavoury practices, after they have once drank in 
the principles of that opinion, which he now so industri- 
ously mixeth and tempereth for thi in.' It is usually said 
there is no smoke, but where there is some fire; it would be 
strange if such observations as these, should be readily and 
generally made by men, concerning the doctrine under con- 
test, unless there were some evident occasion administered 
by it thereunto. And I must needs say, that if they prove 
true, and hold under examination, they will become as 
urging a prejudice, as can lightly be laid against any cause 
in religion whatsoever. The gospel being a doctrine ac- 
cording unto godliness, several persuasions pretending to 
be parts and portions thereof, if one shall be foun;! to be 
the constant faith and profession of those, who also have 
the life and power of godliness in them; the other to be 
maintained by evil men and seducers, who, upon their re- 
ceiving it, do also wax worse and Vvorse; it is no small ad- 
vantage to the first, in its plea for admittance to the right 
sind title of a truth of the gospel. 


To evade this charge Mr. Goodwin premises this in 

'The experience asserted in the objection, is not so un- 
questio'.iable in point of truth, but that if the asserters were 
put home upon the proof, they would, I fear (doubtless he 
rather hopes it), accoinit, more in presumption than in rea- 
sonableness of argument. For if persons of the one judg- 
ment and of the other, were duly compared together, I verilv 
believe there would be found every whit as full a proportion 
of men, truly conscientious and religious, amongst those 
whose judgments stand, and have stood for a possibility of 
falling away, as on the other side : but through a foolish and 
unsavoury kind of partiality, we are rpt, on all hands, ac- 
cording to the proverb, to account our own geese for swans, 
and other men's swans geese. Certain I am, that if the writ- 
ings of men of the one judgment and of the other, be com- 
pared together, and an estimate made from thence of the 
religion, worth, and holiness of the authors respectively, 
those who oppose the common doctrine of perseverance, do 
accoinit it no robbery to make themselves every way equal 
in this honour with their opposers. The truth is, if it be 
lawful for me to utter what I really apprehend, and judge in 
the case, I do not find that spirit of holiness, to breathe with 
that authority, height, or excellency of power, in the writings 
of the latter, which I am very sensible of in the writings of 
the former. These call for righteousness, holiness, and all 
manner of Christian conversation, with every whit as high 
a hand as the other, and add nothing to check, obstruct, or 
enfeeble the authority of their demands in this kind ; when 
as the other, though they be sore many times in their exhor- 
tations and conjurements unto holiness ; yet other while 
render both these and themselves in them contemptible, by 
avouching such principles, which cut the very sinews and 
strength of such their exhortations, and fully balance all 
the weight of those motives, by which they seek to bind 
them upon the consciences of men. And for men truly holy 
and conscientious, doubtless the primitive Christians for 
three hundred years together and upwards, next after the 
times of the apostles, will fidly balance with an a]>undant 
snr|>lusage, both for numbers and truth of godliness, all 
those in the reformed churches; who since Calvin's days. 


have adhered to the common doctrine of perseverance. And 
that the churches of Christ more generally during the said 
space of three hundred years and more, held a possibility of 
a total and final defection, even in true and sound believers, 
is so clear from the records yet extant of those times, that 
it cannot be denied.' 

Aiis. To let pass Mr. Goodwin's proverb, with its appli- 
cation (it being very facile to return it to its author, there 
being nothing in the world by him proposed to induce us to 
such an estimation of his associates, in the work of teach- 
ing the doctrine of the saints' apostacy, and their labours 
therein, or any other undertaking of theirs, as he labours to 
beget, in gilding over their worth and writings, but only 
his ow^n judgment and an overweening of their geese for 
swans), let us see what is offered by him to evince the ex- 
perience asserted, not to be so unquestionable as is pretend- 
ed. He offers, first, his own affirmation, ' That if an estimate 
may be made of men's worth and holiness by their writings, 
those who oppose the doctrine of the saints' perseverance, 
will be found, in the promotion of holiness and practice of 
it, to outgo their adversaries.' ' Their writings.' he tells us, 
'breathe forth a spirit of holiness, such as he cannot find in 
the writings of others.' But, first, for this you have only Mr. 
Goodwin's naked single testimony; and that, opposed to 
the common experience of the people of God. What weight 
this is like to bear with men, the event will shew. It is a 
l)ard thing for one man, upon his bare word, to undertake to 
persuade a multitude, that what their eyes see, and their 
ears hear, is not so; Mr. Goodwin had need have Pythago- 
rean disciples for the embracing of these dictates of his. The 
experience of thousands is placed to confirm the observa- 
tion insisted on : saith Mr. Goodwin, * It is not so, they are 
in my judgment all deceived.' But, 

Secondly, Who are they in whose writings Mr. Goodwin 
hath found such a spirit of holiness, ' breathino- with autho- 
rity, as is not to be found out, nor perceived, in the writings 
of them, that assert the doctrine of the perseverance of the 
saints?' Calvin, Zanchius, Beza, &c. and (to confine our- _ 
selves to home) Reynolds, Whitaker, Perkins, Greenham, 
Dodd, Preston, Boulton, Sibbs, Rogers, Culverwell, Cot- 
ton, 8cc. (whose fame, upon this very account, of the eminent 


and effectual breathing of a spirit of holiness in their writ- 
ings, is gone out into all the nations about us, and their re- 
membrance is blessed at home and abroad), are some of the 
men who have, as hath been shewed, laboured in watering the 
vineyard of the Lord, with the dew and rain of this doctrine. 
Who, or where, are they who have excelled them in this un- 
dertaking? Let the men be named, and the writings pro- 
duced, that Mr, Goodwin may have some joined with him, 
in a search after, and judgment of, that spirit that breathes 
so excellently in them, that we be not forced to take his tes- 
timony of we know not what nor whom. Those amongst our- 
selves of chiefest name, who have appeared in the cause that 
Mr. Goodwin hath now undertaken, are Tompson, Monta- 
gue, &c. with an obscure rabble of that generation. I shall 
easily allow Mr. Goodwin to be a man more sharp-sighted 
than the most of those with whom he hath to do, in this pre- 
sent contest; as also to have his senses more exercised, in 
the writings of those eminent persons last named. But yet 
that he is sensible of such a spirit of holiness, breathing in 
their writings (which for the most part are stuffed with cruel 
scoffings at the professors of it, and horrible contempt of all 
clftse walking with God), I cannot easily and readily believe ; 
should he add to them Arminius, with all that followed him, 
in the Low Countries, their most learned Corvinus, drunk 
and sober ; as also such among the Papists and Lutherans 
as are his companions in this work, and swell them all with 
the rhetoric of his commendations until they break, I dare 
say he will never be able, before indifferent judges, to make 
out his assertion of the excellency of their writings, for the 
furtherance of holiness, compared with the labours of those 
great and holy souls, who have, both among ourselves and 
abroad, laboured in the work I am at present engaged in. 
The world of men professing the reformed religion have long 
since in their judgments determined this difference, nor doth 
it deserve any farther debate. 

Secondly, * That those who maintain that perseverance 
of the saints, are sore indeed in their exhortations to holi- 
ness, but contemptible in their principles upon which they 
should build those exhortations,' is an insinuation that Mr. 
Goodwin sometimes makes use of, handsomely to beg the 
thing in question, when he despairs to cai'ry it by any con- 


vincing argument in a fair dispute. That the principles of 
this doctrine are eminently serviceable to the furtherance 
and promotion of holiness, hath been formerly evinced be- 
yond all possibility of contradiction from them, who in any 
measure understand what true godliness is, and wherein it 
doth consist. Neither ought Mr. Goodwin, if he would be 
esteemed as a man disputing for his persuasion, so often to 
beg the thing in question: knowing full well that he hath 
not so deserved of them with whom he hath to do, as to 
obtain any thing of this nature, on those terms, at their 

Thirdly, What was the judgment of the primitive Chris- 
tians, as in others, so in and about tliis head of Christian 
religion, is best known from that rule of doctrine, which it 
is confessed they attended unto, being delivered unto them ; 
and in the defence whereof, and to give testimony whereto, 
so many thousands of them 'loved not their lives unto death.' 
Of those that committed over to posterity any thing of their 
thoughts in that space of time limited by Mr. Goodwin (viz. 
three hundred years), he names but two; of whom I shall 
not say, that if they failed in their apprehensions of the truth 
in this matter, it is not the only thing wherein they so failed : 
and yet that it can be evident in the least, that they were 
consenting in judgment with IVIr. Goodwin, wherewith from 
us he differs, is absolutely denied. This elsewhere is already 
farther considered. It is a common observation, and not 
destitute of a great evidence of truth, that the liberty of ex- 
pression which is used by men in the delivery of any doc- 
trine, especially if it be done obiter^ by the way, before some 
opposition hath been framed and stated thereunto, hath given 
advantage to those following of them (when death hath pre- 
vented all possibility for them to explain themselves, and 
their own thoughts) to draw them into a participation with 
them, in that which their souls abhorred. The plea of Arius 
and his associates, concerning the judgment of the doctors 
of the church, in the days before him, about the great article 
of our faith, the Deity of Christ, is known. That there are 
in many of the ancients, sundry expressions seemingly va- 
rying from that doctrine we assert, upon the account of their 
different apprehensions of the terms of faith, being 'regene- 
rated,' * holiness,' and the like (which are all of them still with 


US, as in the Scripture, of various significdtions, and not 
clearly expressive of any one sense intended by them, until 
distinguished), is not denied. Speaking of all those who had 
been baptized, and made profession of their faith as believ- 
ers, it is no wonder if they granted that some believers might 
fall away. But yet in the mean time the most eminent of 
them constantly affirmed, that there is a sort of believers, 
who, upon the matter with thern, were the only true and real 
believers (being such as we formerly described) tliat could 
not fall either totally or finally ; but as for this, I hope full 
satisfaction is tendered the learned reader in the preface of 
this discourse. So that these exceptions notwithstanding, 
the prejudices that Mr. Goodwin's doctrine labours under, 
from the opposition made to it, and against it, in the defence 
of that which it riseth up to overthrow, by that generation 
of the saints of God, lies upon the shoulders thereof, as a 
burden too heavy for it to bear. 

Secondly, Mr. Goodwin farther proceeds, sect. 27. to 
inform us of some other mistakes in the instance given, to 
make good the former observation. For as for Calvin, Mus- 
culus. Martyr, Bucer, with the ministers of this nation, who, 
in the last generation, so zealously opposed the persecutions 
and innovations of some returning with speed and violence 
to Rome, he tells us 'they weie very far from having their 
judgments settled, as to the doctrine under contest, so as 
resolvedly to have embraced the one, and rejected the other.' 

I should willingly walk in the high way for the manifes- 
tation and clear eviction of the untruth of this suorp-estion • 
viz. by producing their testimonies in abundant plentiful 
manner, to confirm their clearness and resolution in the truth 
we profess, with their zealous endeavours for the establish- 
ment, confirmation, and propagation of it, but that some i'ew 
considerations delivered me from engaging in so facile a task. 

First, I am not able to persuade myself, that any man 
who ever read the writings of the first sort of men mentioned, 
and knows the constant doctrine, to this day, of the churches 
which they planted and watered, or ever did hear of the lat- 
ter, will entertain this assertion of Mr. Goodwin's with any 
thing but admir-cition upon what grounds he should make 
it. And, 


Secondly, Himself discovering in part on what account 
he doth it, namely, because of their exhortations to watch- 
fulness, carefulness, and close walking with God, with their 
denunciations of threatenings to them that abide not in the 
faith, which he fancies to be inconsistent with the doctrine 
of perseverance, so as by him opposed (which inconsistency 
we have long since fully manifested to be the issue and off- 
spring of his own imagination, begotten of it by the cunning 
sophistry of his Pelagian friends), I know not why I should 
farther insist upon the wiping away of this reproach, cast 
upon those blessed souls whom God so magnified in the 
work of the gospel of his Son in their generation. I remem- 
ber Navaret, a Dominican friar, upon his observation of the 
subtilties of the Jesuits, to wrest many sayings of the an- 
cients in favour of their opinions, in those doctrines where- 
in those two orders are at variance, affirms, ' that he was afraid 
that when he was dead, although he had written and dis- 
puted so much against them, they would produce him for a 
testimony and witness on their side.' What he feared con- 
cerning himself, Mr. Goodwin hath attempted, concerning 
many more worthy persons : cutting off sentences from what 
goes before, and follows after, restraining general expres- 
sions, imposing his own hypothesis on his reader, in making 
applicationof what he quotes out of any author, he hath spent 
one whole chapter to persuade the world, that men of as great 
abilities and judgments as any in the world since the apo- 
stles fell asleep, have usually expressed themselves in a direct 
contradiction, to what they are eminently and notoriously 
known, as their professed deliberate judgments, to have main- 

Secondly, He farther informs us, how this doctrine of 
the perseverance of the saints, came to be so generally en- 
tertained by the godly, zealous, and able ministers of this 
nation, that when we see how they fell into it, their testi- 
mony given thereto, may be of less validity with us. 

'This,' he telleth you, 'was the permission of Mr. Per- 
kins's judgment, to be overruled by the texts of Scripture 
commonly insisted on for the proof of this doctrine : the 
great worth of the person commended therefore the worth 
of the opinion, and he verily believeth, as men were then 
induced to receive this ojjinion, so, to a relinquishment of 


it, they want nothing but the countenance and authority of 
some person of popular acceptance to go before them. And 
the reason he giveth of this his faith is, the observation of 
the principles they usually hold forth, especially in the ap- 
plicatory part of their sermons.' 

A?is. What and who they were, who are thus represented 
by Mr, Goodwin, in their receiving and embracing of that 
doctrine, which with the great travail of their souls all their 
days they preached, and pressed to and upon others, is 
known to all. The persons I named before (one of them 
only excepted) with all those eminent burning, and shin- 
ing lights, which for so many years have laboured, with re- 
nown and success, to the astonishment of the world, in the 
preaching of the gospel in this nation, are the men intended. 
Doubtless such thoughts have not in former days been en- 
tertained of them, however the contemplation of any man's 
own ability may now raise him to contempt of them. Mr. 
Perkins received this doctrine, and therefore all the godly 
ministers of this nation did so to. If any one of the like 
esteem with him did fall off from it (now whom they should 
obtain to lead them, of equal reputation and acceptance 
with him who hath in vain attempted it, I know not), they 
would quickly follow (not like shepherds, but sheep) into 
an opposition thereunto. Those who have not very slight 
thoughts of them, which doubtless they that are fallen 
asleep did not deserve, will scarcely suppose that they en- 
tertained a truth of so great importance as this upon so easy 
terms as these insinuated ; or that they would have parted 
with it at so cheap a rate. 

Farther, Why the ministers of England should be 
thought to entertain this doctrine merely upon the authority 
and countenance of Mr. Perkins given thereunto, when the 
universality of the teachers of all other reformed churches, 
of the same confession in other things with them, did also 
embrace the same doctrine, and do continue in profession of 
it to this day, what reason can be assigned? Had there been 
a particular inducement to the ministers of England for the 
receiving of it, which was altogether foreign unto them, 
who as to our nation are foreigners, whence is it that there 
should be such a coincidence of their judgments with them 
therein ? Or why may not ours be thought to take it ujion 


the same account with them, upon Avhose Judgments and 
underbtaudiugs the autliority of Mr. Perkins cannot be sup- 
posed to have any influence ? Is Mr. G. tlie only person, 
who in this nation hath impartially weighed all things of 
concernment, to the refusing or embracing any matters or 
doctrines in religion ? Have no other, in the sincerity of 
their hearts, searched the Scriptures, and earnestly begged 
the guidance of the Spirit, according to that encouraging 
promise left by their Master, that they should receive him 
KO doing? The good Lord take aw^ay from us all iiigh 
thoughts of ourselves, and all contempt of them that profess 
the fear of the Lord, with whom we have to do. For the 
reason of Mr. Goodwin's faith in this thino-, concerning- the 
readiness of the godly ministers of this nation, to aposta- 
tize from the doctrine of the saints' perseverance, namely, 
their manifesting themselves to be possessed of many prin- 
ciples of a contrary tendency unto it, in the appiicatory 
parts of their sermons, the vanity of it hath been long since 
discovered ; so that there is no farther need to lay open the 
unreasonableness thereof. 

Mr. Goodwin, mistrusting his ability to persuade men, 
that the persons of whom he hath discoursed were not clear 
in their judgments, as to an opposition to that doctrine 
which he positively owneth, and zealously contendeth for ; 
and knowing that it cannot be denied but that they were men 
of eminency for godliness, and close vvalkiiig in communion 
with God all their days : yet he excepteth, as his last refuge, 
'That it cannot be manifested, that this opinion had the least 
influence in their pious conversation, which is wholly to be 
ascribed to other commendable principles that they em- 
braced.' This indeed may be said of any part of the doc- 
trine whatsoever that they received, and some of them suf- 
fered for. Atheists may say it, of the whole profession of 
Christianity, and ascribe the goodness of the lives of the 
best of them that profess it, to some other princi])les com- 
mon to them with the residue of mankind, and not at all to 
any of those whereby they are distinguished, as such. Tiiis 
they professed to have a powerful efficacy to prevail with 
them ibr that exactness in walking with God, which by his 
grace they attained vmto. And why thcv should not bo 
believed herein, as fur as any men whatever, beaiinu the 


like testimony to any doctrine whatever, I know not. Be- 
sides, the intendment of this instance of the persons and 
their piety who formerly believed and spake forth this doc- 
trine, was, to manifest, by an eminent experiment, that there 
was not in it, nor is, any tendency to acontraiy frame unto 
piety and holiness, which it is injuriously charged withal ; 
and if by the consideration thereof, we do not obtain that 
it hath a proper and direct serviceableness to the promo- 
tion of godliness, yet at least we have a convincing demon- 
stration that it is no way obstructive to it. 

Nextly. sect. 26. Mr. Goodwin entereth upon his de- 
fensative to the charge against his doctrine, whose founda- 
tion is laid in the unvvorthiness of its authors in this nation 
before it fell upon his hand. These he confesseth to be the 
worst of our late bishops, with such as Romanized, and ty- 
rannized among them, with their clergy creatures and fa- 
vourites, persons many of them of superstition, looseness, 
and much profaneness. Of the apology shaped for the 
clearing of the doctrine he maintaineth from a participation 
with them in their unworthiness, there are three parts. In 
the first whereof, he denieth, that this doctrine did any way 
induce them to the looseness that was found upon them ; 
in the other two, giveth as many reasons of their receiving 
of it, and cleaving to it. 

As for the first part, I shall willingly assent to him that 
the holiness or unholiness of professors, is not to be 
charged on the religion they profess (I mean appearing ho- 
liness in the profession of it), unless there be an evidence 
of a connexion betwixt their principles and practices ; which 
in this case, to us and our apprehension of them who charge 
this doctrine vi'ith the miscarriages of those men, there is: 
at least we may insist on this, that there is a suitableness in 
the whole system of the doctrine, whereof the apostacy of 
the saints is an eminent parcel, to that frame of spirit which 
is in men of loose and superstitious ways, enemies of the 
grace of God and power of godliness. Neither can there 
any other reason be tolerably assigned or alleged, for the 
embracement of that doctrine, by those persons formerly 
mentioned, but only their ignorance of, and envy to, the 
great mysteries of the gospel, the covenant of grace, with 
union, communion, and close walking with God. A design 


was upon tliem written with the beams of the sun, to cry up 
a barren, outside, light, and loose profession, with a vain, 
superstitious, self-invented worship of God, instead of the 
power of a gospel-conversation and ordinances of Christ ac- 
cording to his appointment. ' Seeking after a righteousness 
as it were by the works of the law, and being ignorant of 
the righteousness of Christ,' they found the whole doctrine 
whose defence Mr.G. hath lately undertaken, suited to their 
prniciples and aims ; and therefore with greediness drank it 
down like water, until they were swelled with the dropsy of 
pride and self-conceit, beyond what they could bear. What- 
ever be now pretended, it was little disputed then, and ia 
those days which Mr. Goodwin pointeth unto, but that 
looseness of life, inclination to popery, enmity to the power 
of godliness, were at the bottom of the entertainment of the 
Arminian principles, by that generation of men. 

But Mr. G. proceedeth to alleviate this charge, and in- 
forms us thus, 'That if the soundness and rottenness of opi- 
nions, should be esteemed by the goodness or badness of 
the lives of any parcel or number of persons professing the 
same, as well the opinion of atheism, which denieth the be- 
ing of any God, as the opinion of polytheism, wdiich afiirmeth 
a plurality of gods, must be esteemed better and more sound, 
than that which maintaineth the being of one God and of 
one only ; for certain it is, that there have been many hea- 
thens professors some of the one, and some of the other of 
those opinions, who have quitted themselves upon fairer 
terms of honour and approbation in their lives than many 
Christians, professing of the last opinion, have done.' 

I am not willing to wring this nose too far, lest blood 
should follow ; the lives of many atheists and pagans are 
preferred before the lives of many professing Christianity. 
By 'professors of Christianity,' Mr. Goodwin intendeth those 
who are so indeed, and seasoned with the power of the 
principles of that religion, or such only as, making an out- 
ward profession of it, are indeed acted with principles quite 
of another nature, which, notwithstanding all their profes- 
sion, rendereth them, in the truth of the thincr itself, * ene- 
miGs of the cross of Christ, their god being their belly, their 
glory being in their shame, and their end being destruction ;' 
JMiilip, iii, 18, 19. If the former be intended, as the asser- 


tion is most false, the gospel only effectually ' teaching 
men to deny all ungodliness, and to live soberly, righte- 
ously, and godly in this present world,' so it tendeth di- 
rectly to the highest derogation from the honour of our 
Lord Jesus Christ, and of his glorious gospel. He that 
would be thoroughly acquainted with the notorious untruth 
of this insinuation, let him a little consult Tertullian, Ar- 
nobius, Lactantius, Austin, and others, handling the lives 
and conversations of the best of the polytheists and hea- 
thens, before and in their days, if he be not contented to 
take a shorter course, and rest in the authority of the apo- 
stle, or rather of the Holy Ghost, describing them and their 
conversations to the life, as they lay under the just hard- 
ening judgments of God ; Rom. i. 18. to the end. If the 
latter sort of men called Christians be intended, the compa- 
rison instituted between them and atheists, is to no pur- 
pose ; they themselves being disclaimed and disowned by 
Christ and his gospel, and reckoned among them with whom 
they are compared; so that, upon the matter, this is but the 
comparing one sort of atheists with another, and giving in 
a judgment, that of all, those are worst, whose practices 
are so, and yet pacify their own consciences, and deceive the 
world, with a pretence and flourish of a glorious profession. 
I shall not now enter upon any long inquiry what influ- 
ence the ungodly and profane lives of any ought to have 
upon the judgments of men, in discovering and discerning 
of the doctrines that they bring, especially if such as con- 
sent in any doctrine, do also concur in a dissoluteness of 
conversation. That it will be of no small consideration, the 
experience of all ages hath evinced. The Athenians re- 
fused a virtuous law, because the person was vicious who 
proposed it; and it is generally esteemed that there is a 
correspondency betwixt the principles and practices of 
those men, who earnestly profess the promotion of those 
principles, so that they are mutual producers or advantagers 
one of another. This is all at present that was aimed at in 
the charge upon Mr. Goodwin's doctrine, which he under- 
takes to wave. It was generally embraced at its first broach- 
ing in our world, by men only of a loose and scandalous 
conversation, superstitious in their ways of worship, and 
enemies of the power of godliness ; which being confessed, 
for the argument from thence, 'valeat quantum valere potest.' 


But Mr. Goodwin oriveth us two reasons, why this doc- 
trine of his was so gladly received, and zealously asserted 
by that generation of men. The first which he telleth you 
is plain and easy to be given in, is this : * Being professed 
enemies to the most religious and zealous preachers and 
ministers of the land, with their adherents, whom they 
termed puritans, whom they both hated and feared, as a ge- 
neration of men, by whom, rather than any other, they appre- 
hended themselves in dano;er of beino- dethroned, * Nee eos 
fefellit Opinio.' Upon this ground they judged it a very 
material point of their interest to oppose and keep under 
this faction, as they termed them ; in order thereunto they 
studied and cast about how to weaken their interest and 
repute, with the generality of the people, or at least with all 
those that were intelligent, and in that respect considerable ; 
to this end wisely considering, tliat nothing was like to pre- 
judice them more in their esteem with most men, than to 
detect them of error and unsoundness in their doctrine, and 
perceiving wiihal (as with half an eye they might, being so 
fully disengaged as they were from all high thoughts of 
those that held them) that they were not in any doctrine 
besides which they were generally known to hold and teach, 
more obnoxious to such a detection, than in those which 
they held and taught in opposition to the remonstrants. 
Hereupon they politically fell to profess and teach remon- 
strantism, that so they might have the more frequent occasion 
and opportunity to lay open the puritan doctrine before 
the people, and to shew the inconsistency of it with the 
Scriptures, as also with many of the most manifest princi- 
ples as well of reason as religion besides.' 

Ans. That this is a most vain and groundless conjecture, 
T presume any one that will but cast back his thoughts 
upon the posture of affairs during the reign of that genera- 
tion of men, and a little consider the ways and means 
whereby they were, tlnough the righteous hand of God, re- 
<luced to that condition and state wherein they now are, will 
<iuickly determine. The truth is, they were so far from ad- 
vantaging tliemselves against their adversaries, and prevail- 
ing upon them, in the esteem of the most rational and know- 
ing men in the nation, by their entertaining the Arminian 
doctrine, that utterly, on the other side, they dishonoured 
their cause of ceremonies, <liscipline, and conformitv, which 


with success they had so long carried on ^with the genera- 
lity of the nation, and exposed themselves to the power of 
the people of the land in parliament, from whence, as to all 
other differences, they were sheltered by an appearance of 
legal constitutions ; so that after some forward person of 
that faction (the most contemptible indeed as to any real 
worth, one or two individuals only excepted, of the whole 
tribe) had, upon the grounds fore-mentioned, taken up and 
made profession of the opiilions and doctrine we are speak- 
ing of, they fell daily before their adversaries, as to the es- 
teem of all, or at least the greatest part of those who cor- 
dially and thoroughly adhered to them as to the discipline 
and worship then established. Certainly the prelatical 
party themselves vvill not say, they prevailed on that hand, 
as to any ends and purposes for the establishment of their 
interest, or making good their ground against their op- 
posers. Nay, the most sober and learned of that sort of 
men do, to this day, ascribe, in no small measure, the down- 
fal of the whole fabric whereof they were parts and mem- 
bers, to the precipitating rashness and folly of some few, in 
advancing and pressing the Arminian errors that they them- 
selves were given up unto. As for the zealous and godly 
ministers of the nation, usually termed Puritans (who are 
here acknowledged by Mr, Goodwin to have all generally 
opposed the doctrine he striveth to build up), though they- 
had in many parliaments, wherein the most intelligent and 
rational men of the nation are usually convened, made by 
their friends sundry attempts for their relief against the per- 
secutions of the other, as is evidenced by their petitions 
and addresses still on record, yet were never able to attain 
the least redress of their grievances, nor to get one step of 
ground against their adversaries, until the advantage of 
their Arminianism was administered unto them, on which by 
several degrees they prevailed themselves in the issue to 
the utter breaking of the yoke of their task-masters. It is 
true, he who * takes the crafty in their own imaginations, 
and mixeth the counsel of the wise with madness and folly, 
causing them to err in their ways as a drunken man in his 
vomit,' doth oftentimes turn the devices of men upon their 
own heads, and make those things subservient to their ruin, 
which they fixed upon as the most expedient mediums for 
VOL. vii. I 


their establishment and continuance; such perhaps Avas the 
case with them in their canonical oath attempted to be im- 
posed in one of their last convocations. But that the tak- 
ing up and asserting of the Arminian doctrine was a design 
of that party of men, to get upon the judgments and affec- 
tions of the people, and to expose the puritanical preachers 
to their contempt and reproach, is an imagination that can- 
not likely fall upon any one, who had his eyes open in the 
days wherein those things were publicly acted on the stage 
of this nation. For that insinuation in the close of Mr. 
Goodwin's discourse, concerning tlie advantages given that 
sort of men, by the inconsistency of the doctrine of the pu- 
ritans (which they opposed) with the principles of religion 
and reason, I shall only say, that, it being once more through 
the providence of God called forth to a public debate, it 
neither standeth nor falleth to the judgment of any single 
man, much less of one who is professedly engaged in an op- 
position thereunto. 

Another reason of the same evidence with the former, is 
tendered in these words : 'It is generally known that the ca- 
thedral generation of men throughout Christendom, were 
generally great admirers of the old learning (as some call it), 
I mean the writings and tenets of the fathers, and of Aus- 
tin more especially, and that they frequently made shield 
and buckler of their authority to defend themselves against 
the pens and opinions of later writers, whom their manner 
was, according to the exigency of their interest (at least as 
they conceived), to slight and vilify in comparison of the 
other. Now the judgment of the fathers more generally, 
and of Austin more particularly, stood for the possibility 
of the saints' defection, both total and final, wherein it 
seemeth the greater part of our modern reformed divines 
have departed from them.' 

That this pretence is no whit better than that before, 
will be evidenced by the light of this one consideration, viz. 
That those among the bishops and their adherents, who were 
indeed most zealous of, and best versed in, the writino-s of 
the fathers, were generally of the same judgment about the 
grace of Christ and the will of man, &c. with the residue of 
the reformed churches, and the puritan preachers of our own 
nation. They were a company of sciolists in comparison. 


and men of nothing, who arniinianized : men, as the bishop 
of Lincohi once told them, whose ' learning lay in a few un- 
learned liturgies.' It is true, they had gotten to such a head 
and to such a height, not long before their fall, that they 
w^ere ready to accuse and charge their associates as to dis- 
cipline, worship, and ceremony of Puritanism, who failed not 
to retort Arminianism and popery back again to them. We 
know who said of the other, that they were * tan turn non in 
episcopatu Puritani ;' and who returned to him and his as- 
sociates, 'Tantum non uxoratu Pontificii.' The truth is, 
those among them, as there were many among them, both 
bishops and men (as they speak and think) of inferior orders, 
who were solidly learned, especially in the writings of the 
ancients (of whom many are yet alive, and some are fallen 
asleep), were universally, almost to a man, of the same judg- 
ment with Calvin, in the heads of our religion under consi- 
deration. Jewell, Abbot, Morton, Usher, Hall, Davenant, 
and Prideaux (great names among the world of learned men), 
with a considerable retinue of men of repute for literature 
and devotion (with whom on no account whatever the ar- 
rainianizing party of the prelates and their followers are to 
be named the same day), have sufficiently testified their 
thoughts in this matter to all the world. From what am- 
biguity of expression it is, that any sentence is stolen from 
Austin, and others of the ancients, seeming to countenance 
the doctrine of the saints' apostacy, hath been elsewhere 
discovered, and may farther be manifested as occasion shall 
be administered. And without pretence to any great skill 
in the old learning, this I dare assert (whereof I have given 
some account in the preface to the reader), that not one of 
the ancients (much less Austin) did ever maintain such an 
apostacy of saints, and such a perseverance, as that which 
Mr. Goodwin contendeth for. 

This being that which Mr. Goodwin hath to offer for the 
clearing of the doctrine he maintaineth, from the two first 
parts of the charge exhibited against il, he applieth himself, 
in the last place, to contend with a common observation 
made by Christians, weighing and pondering the principles 
and ways of men in the days wherein we live ; namely, the 
'degeneracy of the most of men, who at any time embrace it, 
from their former profession, and their turning aside to the 



paths of looseness and folly.' An observation which, if true 
(though Mr. Goodwin is pleased to assert, that any consider- 
ing man, like himself, will lauo;h it to scorn), will not easily 
be digested in the thoughts of them, that are willing to 
weigh aright the usual presence of God with his truths, es- 
pecially at the first embracement and entertainment of them. 
Neither will this observation be diverted from pursuing the 
doctrine against which it is lifted up, by comparing it with 
that of 'the unhappiness of marriages made between cousin- 
germans,' there being nothing in that relation, that should 
be a disposing cause, to any such issue as is pretended ; 
much less with that farther observation, that some ' aposta- 
tize from the Protestant religion, yea, from Christianity itself;' 
there being not the least parity, or indeed analogy, in the 
instances. If it might be affirmed of men, that after their 
embracing of Christianity or the Protestant religion, they 
generally decline and grow worse (as to their moral conver- 
sation), than they were before, I do not know at present 
what apology could be readily fixed on, that might free the 
one, and the other, from grievous scandal. To fall from a 
profession of any religion, or any head or part of a religion, 
upon the account of the corruption that is in them, that so 
fall from it, is rather an honour than a reproach to the reli- 
gion so deserted. But in and upon the embracement of 
any religion or doctrine in religion, for men to decline from 
that, which is the proper end of all true religion (which is 
the observation that riseth up against the doctrine Mr. 
Goodwin asserteth in reference to very many that embrace 
it), doubtless is not the crown and glory of that which they 
profess. Neither is this observation built on so slight ex- 
perience, as to be muzzled with proverbs of swallows and 
woodcocks. The streets of our cities and paths of our vil- 
lages being full of those fowls, or rather foul spirits, that 
give strength unto it. 

This is the whole of what Mr. Goodwin thought good to 
tender for the protection of his doctrine, from the charge 
laid down at the entrance of this digression ; on the consi- 
deration whereof, I doubt not but it is evident how unable 
he is to shield it from the wound intended unto it thereby. 
And shall we now, can we, entertain any other thoughts of 
it, but that (having constantly hitherto been denied and op- 


posed by the most zealous, painful, godly, successful preachers 
of the gospel, that these latter ages have been, through the 
goodness of God, blessed withal, entertained chiefly by men 
of loose dissohate principles and practices, enemies to the 
power of godliness, and the profession thereof, and strongly 
suspected to corrupt the minds and conversations of men 
that do embrace it) it is the only serviceable relief and as- 
sistance for the making of the ministry of the gospel useful 
and fruitful, ingenerating holiness and obedience in the lives 
and ways of men. 


Mr. G.'s third argument proposed and considered. The drama borrowed 
hij Mr. G. to mrtke good this ar(jument. The frame of speech ascribed to 
God according to our doctrine by the remonstrants weighed and con- 
sidered. The dealing of God with man, and the importance of his ex- 
hortations, according to the doctrine of the saints' perseverance manifested. 
In what sense, and to n-hat end, exhortations and threatenings are made 
to believers. The fallacious ground of this argument of Mr. G. Mr. 
G.'s. fourth argument proposed to consideration, considered. Eternal 
life, how and in what se7ise a rev:ard of perseverance. The enforcement 
of the major proposition considered. Tlie proposition new moulded, to 
make it of concernment to our doctrine, and denied: from the example of 
the obedience of Jesus Christ. Efficacy of grace not inconsistent with re- 
ward. The argument enforced with a new consideration : that considera- 
tion examined, and removed. Farther of the consistency of effectual 
grace, and gospel exhortations, 

A THIRD argument is proposed, sect. 18. chap. 13. in these 
words: 'That doctrine which representeth God as weak, in- 
congruous, and incoherent with himself, in his applications 
unto men, is not from God, and consequently that which 
contradicteth it, must needs be the truth: but the doctrine 
of perseverance, opposed by us, putteth this great dishonour 
upon God, representeth him weak, incongruous,' &c. ergo. 
For the proof of the minor proposition, to make good the 
charge in it exhibited against the doctrine of perseverance, 
there is a dramatical scheme induced, to whose framintr and 
application IMr. Goodwin contributed no more but the pains 
of a trans!ator,taking it from the Anti-synod, pp. 276, 277. in 


these words : * You that truly believe in my Son, and have 
been once made partakers of my Holy Spirit, and therefore 
are fully persuaded and assured from my will and command 
given unto you in that behalf, yea, according to the infallible 
word of truth which you have from me, that you cannot pos- 
sibly, no not by all the most horrid sins and abominable 
practices, that you shall or can commit, fall away either to- 
tally or finally from your faith; for in the midst of your 
foulest actions and courses there remains a seed in you which 
is sufficient to make you true believers, and to preserve you 
from falling away finally, that it is impossible you should 
dre in your sins; you that know and are assured, that I v\ill 
by an irresistible hand work perseverance in you, and conse- 
quently that you are out of all danger of condemnation, and 
that heaven and salvation belong unto you, and are as good 
as yours already, so that nothing but giving of thanks ap- 
pertains to you, which also you know that I will, do what 
you will in the meantime, necessitate you mito; you, I say, 
that are fully and thoroughly persuaded and possessed with 
the truth of all these things, I earnestly charge, admonish, 
exhort, and beseech, that ye take heed to yourselves, that 
ye continue in the faith, that there be not at any time an 
evil heart of unbelief in any to depart from the living God, 
that you fall not from your own steadfastness ; yea, I declare 
and profess unto you, that if you shall draw back, my soul 
shall have no pleasure in you, that if you shall deny me, I 
will deny you, that if you be again overcome of the lusts of 
the world, and be entangled herewith, that your latter end 
shall be worse than your beginning, that if you shall turn 
away, all your former righteousness shall not be remembered, 
but you shall die in your sins, and suffer the vengeance of 
eternal fire. On the other hand, if you shall continue to the 
end, my promise is, that you shall be saved ; therefore, strive 
to enter in at the strait gate, quit yourselves like men, 
labour for the meat that endureth unto everlastino- life, and 
be not slothful, but followers of them, who through faith 
and patience inherit the promises. He that shall duly weigh 
and consider wdiat a senseless and indeed ridiculous incon- 
gruity there is, between these exhortations, adjurations, 
threatenings, and latter promises, and those declarations, ap- 
plications, and former promises, doubtless will confess, that 


either the one or the other of them are not from God, or ac- 
cording to the mind of God.' 

^/is. The incongruity of this fiction, with the doctrine it 
is framed against, is so easily manifested, that it will not 
much concern us, to consider the incongruity that the seve- 
ral parts of it have one with another. For, 

First, The whole foundation of this fanatic fabric, is ridi- 
culous in itself, and ridiculously imposed on the doctrine of 
perseverance. For whereas it says, not that all saints have 
any comfortable assurance of their perseverance, and so may, 
by all gospel ways whatever, by promises and threatenings, 
be stirred up to the use of those means whereby perseverance 
is wrought, and assurance obtained ; so it says, that no one 
saint in the world, ever had, can have, or was, taught to ex- 
pect his perseverance, or the least sense or assurance of it, 
under such an uncouth supposition, as falling into and con- 
tinuing in sins and abominations; the promises they have 
to assure them of their inseparable abode with God to the 
end, are, 'that he will write his law in their hearts, and put 
his fear in their inward parts ; that they shall never depart 
from him;' and they shall be kept up thereto, by the use of 
means suitable as appointed of God for the attaining of the 
end proposed, being 'kept by the power of God, but through 
faith, unto salvation.' God doth not call (nor doth the doctrine 
of perseverance of the saints, or of the stability and unchange- 
ableness of his promises in Christ to believers, assert it) any 
to believe that they shall never fall away from him, what 
sins and rebellions soever they fall into ; neither hath he 
promised any such things unto them, but only that he will, 
through his grace, preserve them in the use of means from 
such rebellions, as are inconsistent with his love and free ac- 
ceptation through Christ, according to the tenor of the cove- 
nant of grace ; so that instead of the first part of this fiction, 
whose inconsistency with the latter is after argued, let tiiis, 
according to the analogy of our doctrine, be instituted, 

'You that truly believe in my Son Jesus Christ, and are 
made partakers of my Holy Spirit, who being heirs of the 
promises, and so have a right to that abundant consolation, 
that joy in believing, which I am willing all of you should 
receive ; 1 know your fears, doubts, perplexities, and tempta- 
tions, your failings, sins, and backslidings, and what sad 


thoughts on the account of the evil of your own hearts and 
ways you are exposed to, as that you shall never abide, nor 
be able to continue with me, and in my love, to the end : let 
the feeble knees be strengthened, and the hands that hang 
down be lifted up : behold, 1 have ordained good works for 
you to walk in, as the way wherein you are to walk for the 
attainment of the end of your faith, the salvation of your 
souls ; and to quicken you and stir you up hereunto, I have 
provided and established effectual ordinances, revealed in 
the word of my grace, whereunto you are to attend, and in 
the use of them, according to my mind, to grow up into ho- 
liness, in all manner of holy conversation, watching, fighting, 
resisting, contending with, and against, all the spiritual 
enemies of your souls. And as for me, this is my covenant 
with you, that my Spirit, which gives efficacy to all the 
means, ordinances, and advantages of gospel obedience, 
which I have afforded unto you, by whom I will fulfil in 
you all the good pleasure of my goodness, and the work of 
faith with power, so making you meet for the inheritance of 
the saints in light, and preserving you to my heavenly king- 
dom, shall never depart from you; so tliatyou, also, having 
my law written in your hearts, shall never utterly and wick- 
edly depart from me. And for such sins and follies as you 
shall be overtaken withal, I will graciously heal your back- 
slidings, and receive you freely.' 

This is the language of the doctrine we maintain, which 
is not (we full well know) obnoxious to any exceptions or 
consequences whatever, but such as bold and prejudiced 
men, for the countenance of their vain conceits and opinions, 
will venture at any time to impose and fasten on the most 
precious truths of the gospel. That God should say to be- 
lievers, as is imposed on him, ' Fall into what sins they will, 
or abominations they can, yet he will have them believe, 
that by an irresistible hand, he will necessitate them to per- 
severe ;' that is, in and under their apostacy (which is evi- 
dently implied in their falling into sins and abominations in 
the manner insisted on), is a ridiculous fiction, to the imagi- 
nation whereof the least colour is not supplied, by the doc- 
trine intended to be traduced thereby. 

Secondly, For the ensuing exhortations, promises, and 
threatenings, as far as they are really evangelical, whose use 


and tendency is argued to be inconsistent with the doctrine 
before proposed, I have formerly manifested. What is their 
proper use and efficacy in respect of believers, and their 
consistency with the truth we maintain, apprehended as it is 
indeed, and not vvizarded with ugly and dreadful appear- 
ances, will I presume scarcely be called in question by any, 
who having received * a kingdom that cannot be shaken,' do 
know what it is to ' serve dod acceptably, with reverence and 
godly fear.' It is true, they are made unto, and have their 
use in reference unto them that believe, and shall persevere 
therein : but they are not given unto them, as men assured 
of their perseverance ; but as men called to the use of means 
for the establishing of their souls in the ways of obedience. 
They are not, in the method of the gospel, irrationally hap- 
ped on such intimations of unchangeable love, or proposed 
under such wild conditionals and suppositions, as here by 
our author; but annexed to the appointment of those ways 
of grace and peace, which God calls his saints unto, being 
suited to work upon the new nature wherewith they are en- 
dued, as spreading itself over all the faculties of their ra- 
tional souls, wherein are principles fit to be excited to ope- 
ration, by exhortations and promises. 

Thirdly, All that is indeed argumentative in this dis- 
course, is built on this foundation; that a spiritual assurance 
of attaining the end by the use of means, is discouraging 
and dissuasive to the use of those means. A proposition so 
uncouth in itself, so contradictory to the experience of all 
the saints of God, so derogatory to the glory and honour of 
Jesus Christ himself (who in all his obedience had doubtless 
an assurance of the end of it all), as any thing that can well 
fall into the imaginations of the hearts of men. Might not 
the devil have thus replied upon our Saviour, when he tempted 
him to turn stones into bread, and cast himself from a pin- 
nacle of the temple, and received answer, that ' man lives not 
by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the 
mouth of God?' But alas, 'thou Jesus the Son of the livino- 
God, that art persuaded thou art so, and that God will pre- 
serve thee, whether thou usest any means or no, that thou 
shalt never be starved for want of bread, nor hurt thyself by 
any fall, whatever thou dost, the angels having charge that 
no evil shall come nigh thee, nor thy foot be hurt against a 


Stone, thou mayest now cast thyself headlong from the tem- 
ple, to manifest thy assm-ance of the love and faithfulness of 
God with his promises to thee.' If our Saviour thought it 
sufficient to stop the mouth of the devil, to manifest from 
Scripture, that notwithstanding the assurance from God that 
any one hath of the end, yet he is to use the means tending 
thereunto, (a neglect whereof is a sinful tempting of God); 
we shall not need to go farther for an answer to the same 
kind of ohjections in the mouth of any adversary whatever. 

His nineteenth section containeth his fourth argument, 
in these words : 

' If there be no possibility of the saints falling away finally, 
then is their persevering incapable of reward from God. But 
their final perseverance is not incapable of reward from God : 
ergo. The minor proposition I presume contains nothing but 
what is the sense of those who deny the conclusion : or, how- 
ever, it contains nothing but what is the express sense of the 
Lord Christ, where hesaith. That he that endureth to the end, 
the same shall be saved ; therefore, I suppose we shall be ex- 
cused from farther proof of this, without any prejudice to 
the cause in hand.' 

Ans. I grant eternal life may be called the reward of 
perseverance in the sense that the Scripture useth that word, 
applied to the matter in hand ; it is afterward neither pro- 
cured by (properly and morally as the deserving cause), nor 
proportioned unto, the obedience of them by wiiom it is at- 
tained ; a reward it is, that withal is the free gift of God, 
and an inheritance purchased by Jesus Christ ; a reward of 
bounty, and not of justice, in respect of them upon whom it 
is bestowed, but only of faithfulness in reference to the pro- 
mise of it : a reward, by being a gracious encouragement, 
as the end of our obedience, not as the procurement or de- 
sert of it; so we grant it a reward of perseverance, though 
those words of our Saviour, ' he that endureth to the end, 
the same shall be saved,' expressed a consequence of things 
only, and not a connexion of casuality of the one upon the 
other : of the foundation of this discourse concerning a pos- 
sibility of declining, immediate consideration shall be had. 
He proceeds then: 

'The consequence of the major proposition stands firm 
upon this foundation ; No act of the creature whereunto it is 


necessitated, or which it cannot possibly decline, or but do, 
is, by any law of God or rule of justice, rewardable; theie- 
fore, if the saints be necessitated by God to persevere finally, 
so that he leaves unto them no possibility of declining finally, 
their final perseverance is not, according to any law of God 
or man, nor indeed to any principles of reason or equity, ca- 
pable of reward ; no whit more than actions merely natural 
are : nay, of the two, there seems to be more reason why acts 
merely natural (as for example, eating, drinking, breathing,, 
sleeping) should be rewarded, inasmuch as these flow in a 
way of necessity, yet from an inward principle and connatu- 
ral to the agent, than such actions whereunto the agent is 
constrained, necessitated, and determined, by a principle of 
power from without, and which is not intrinsical to it.' 

And this is the strength of the argument, which will 
quickly appear to be very weakness. For, 

First, The efficacy of these expressions (whereunto it is 
necessitated, and from which they cannot possibly decline), 
as to their influence into this argument, ariseth clearly from 
their ambiguity; we deny any to be necessitated to perse- 
vere, or that our doctrine affirms any such thing, taking that 
expression to hold out a power upon their wills in their opera- 
tions, inconsistent with the utmost liberty whereof in spirit- 
ual things (having received a spiritual principle) men are ca- 
pable. They are not so necessitated to persevere as that all 
the acts of their obedience, whereby they do persevere, should 
not be free but necessary, indeed they are not at all, nor in 
any sense, necessitated to persevere : there is no necessity 
attends their perseverance, but only in respect of the event, 
with reference to the unchangeable purpose and infallible 
promise of God ; the like may be said of that other expres- 
sion ' possibility of declining :' God leaves in them a pos- 
sibility of declining, as to their way and manner of walking 
with him, though he leaves not to them a possibility of de- 
clining or falling totally from him, as to the issue and event 
of the whole matter, which doth not in the least necessitate 
them to, or in, any of their operations. 

Secondly, The proposition must be cast into another 
mould, before it will be of any determinate signification in 
opposition to the doctrine it opposeth ; and tuned to an- 
other mood, before it will give a certain sound to any battle 


against it; and this is, that no act of the creature that is 
wrought in order to the obtaining of any end jDroraised to 
be certainly attained thereby, is revvardable of God (though 
for perseverance it is not any act of the creature, but only 
a modus of its obedience); and thus it looks towards the con- 
cernment of this doctrine; yet before this proposition pass, 
to omit sundry other things that would gladly rise to the 
destruction of it, I desire one query may be assailed con- 
cerning the obedience of Jesus Christ, whether it were not 
necessary that the end of his obedience should follow? And 
whether it were not impossible he should decline from his 
obedience ? And if it were, whether it were impossible that 
God should give a reward thereunto ? 

But, thirdly. The intendment of this proposition, as far 
as it concerns us (and that indeed is with a respect to our 
doctrine of the efficacy of grace, and not this of persever- 
ance), is this, 'That which is wrought in us, by the effectual 
grace of God, is not capable of reward from God ;' a propo- 
sition, which though capable of some plea and colour, taking 
'reward' in a pure legal sense; supposing the persons seek- 
ing after it, to do it by a service and duties proportioned 
unto it, yet is so openly and directly contradictory to the 
tenor and design of God in the covenant of grace by Jesus 
Christ, with the whole dispensation of the Spirit given to 
abide with believers, for all the ends and purposes as to their 
obedience, as I shall content myself to deny it, expecting 
Mr. Goodwin's proofs of it. When 'rivers run backward, heavy 
things ascend/ &c. 

Fourthly, For the flourish added to these assertions, by 
comparing the acts of the saints' obedience upon a supposi- 
tion of the grace of God ' working them in them,' with their 
natural actions of 'eating, drinking, sleeping,' as to their ten- 
dency to exalt the glory of God in rewarding, it proceeds 
either from gross ignorance of the doctrine opposed, or wil- 
ful prevaricating from that light of it which he hath who 
ever taught that God's operations in and towards believers, 
as to their perseverance in faith and obedience, did consist 
in an outward constraint of an unwilling principle. God 
gives a principle of obedience to them, he writes and im- 
plants his law in their hearts, and moves them eflfectually to 
act suitably to that inward principle they have so received; 


which though spiritual and supernatural in respect of its rise 
and manner of bestowing, yet is connatural to them in re- 
spect of its being a principle of operation. VVe are not then 
in the least beholding to our author for his following con- 
cession. ' That as a prince may give great things to them that 
eat, and drink, and breathe, but not as rewards, so God may 
give eternal life to them that are so necessitated by him to 
persevere, though not as a reward.' For although we will not 
contend with God about eternal life ; that he give it us un- 
der the notion of a reward, and desire to be much affected 
with the consideration of it, as a free oift of o-vace, an emi- 
nent purchase of the blood of God, and look upon it merely 
as a revv'ard of bounty, so called as being the end whereunto 
our obedience is suited and the rest of our labours, yet we 
say, in an evangelical sense and acceptation, it is properly 
so proposed to that obedience and perseverance therein, 
which is wrought in us by the efficacy of the grace of God, 
as it lies in a tendency unto that end, which to be attained 
by those means, he hath infallibly determined. 

He proceeds, therefore, to enforce his argument with a 
new consideration. 

' If we speak of rewards promised in order to the moving 
or inclining of the wills of men towards such or such actions 
and ways, of which kind also the rewards mentioned in the 
Scriptures, as yet remaining to be conferred by God upon 
men, are, the case is yet more clear ; viz. That they are ap- 
propriate unto such actions and ways, unto the election and 
choice, whereof men are not necessitated in one kind or 
other ; especially not by any physical or foreign power : 
for to what purpose should a reward be promised unto me, 
to persuade or make me willing to engage in such or such a 
course, or to perform such and such a service, in case I be ne- 
cessitated to the same engagement or performance other- 
ways? Or what place is there left for a moral inducement, 
where a physical necessity hath done the execution ? Or if the 
moral inducement hath done the execution, and sufficiently 
raised and engaged the will to the action, with what congruity 
of reason, yea, or common sense, can a physical necessity be 

Jns. What there is more in this than what went before, 
unless sophistry and falsity, I see not. For, first. Though I 
conceive that eternal life is proposed in the Scripture as our 


reward, rather upon the account of supporting and cheering 
our spirits in the deficiencies, temptations, and entanglements 
attending our obedience, than directly to engage unto obe- 
dience (though consequently it doth that also), vvhereunto we 
liave so many other unconquerable engagements and induce- 
ments; yet the consideration thereof in that sense also, as it 
moves the wills of men to actions suitable to the attainment 
of it, is very well consistent with the doctrine in hand. That 
old calumny, a hundred times repeated and insisted on in 
this contest, of our wills being necessitated and deprived of 
their choice and election, unless it could be tolerably made 
good, will be of no use to Mr. Goodwin as to his present 
purpose. The whole strength of this argumentation is built 
on this supposal; That the effectual grace of God in its 
working the will and deed in believers, or the Spirit's doing 
of it by grace, with God's fore-determination of events, doth 
take away the liberty of the will, inducing into it a necessary 
manner of operation, determining it to one, antecedently in 
order of time to its ovvn determination of itself, which is false, 
and no v.ise inferred from the doctrine under consideration. 
Yea, as God's providential concurrence with men and deter- 
mination of their wills, to all their actions as actions is the 
principle of all their natural liberty; so his gracious concur- 
rence with them, or operations in them, as unto scriptural 
effects, working in them to will, is the principle of all their 
true spiritual liberty : ' when the Son makes us free, then are 
we free indeed.' The reward then is proposed to an under- 
standing enlightened, a will quickened and made free by 
grace, to stir them up to actions suitable to them, who are 
in expectation of so bountiful a close of their obedience : 
(which actions are yet wrought in them by the Spirit of God, 
whose fruits th.ey are) and this to very good purpose, in the 
hearts of all thatknow whatitisto walk^with God, and to serve 
him in the midst of temptations, unless they are under the 
power of some such particular error, as turns away their eyes 
from believing the truth. 

Secondly, The opposition here pretended between a phy- 
sical necessitating, and a moral inducement, for the })ro- 
ducing of the same effect, is in plain terms intended be- 
tween tlie efficacy of God's internal grace, and the use of ex- 
ternal exhortations and motives ; if God give an internal 
i>riucii)le, orspiritual habit, fitting for, inclining to, spiritual 


actions and duties ; if he follows the work so begun in us 
(who yet of ourselves can do nothing, nor are sufficient to 
think a good thought) with continual supplies of his Spirit 
and grace, ' working daily in us according to the exceeding 
greatness of his power, the things that are well pleasing in 
his sight,' then, though he work upon us, as creatures endued 
with reason, understandings, wills, and affections, receiving 
glory from us according to the nature he hath endued us 
withal, all exhortations and encouragements to obedience re- 
quired at our hands, are vain and foolish ; now because we 
think this to be the very wisdom of God, and the opposition 
made unto it to be a mere invention of Satan, to magnify 
corrupted nature, and decry all the efficacy of the grace of 
the new covenant, we must have something besides and be- 
yond the naked assertion of our author, to cause us once to 
believe it. 

Thirdly, The great execution that is made by moral in- 
ducement solely, without any internally efficacious grace, in 
the way of gospel obedience, is often supposed, but not once 
attempted to be put upon the proof or demonstration; it 
shall then suffice to deny that any persuasions, outward 
motives, or inducements whatever, are able of themselves to 
raise, engage, and carry out, the will unto action, so that any 
good spiritual action should be brought forth on that account, 
without the effectual influence and physical operation of in- 
ternal grace; and Mr. Goodwin is left to prove it, together 
with such other assertions derogatory to the free grace of 
God, dogmatically imposed upon his reader in this chapter, 
whereof some have been already remarked, and others may 
in due time. The residue of this section (the 13th), spent 
to prove that eternal life is given as a reward to perseverance, 
having already manifested the full consistency of the propo- 
sition, in a gospel acceptation of the word ' reward,' with what- 
ever we teach of the perseverance of the saints, I suppose 
myself miconcerned in : and, therefore, passing by the tri- 
umphant conclusion of this argument asserting an absolute 
power in men to exhibit or, decline from, obedience, I shall oq 
on to that, which, in my apprehension, is of more import- 
ance, and will give occasion to a discourse, I hope, not un- 
useful or unprofitable to the reader; I shall therefore assi^-n 
it a peculiar place and chapter to itself. 



Ml'. G.^sfflh argument for the apostact/ of true believers. The weight of 
this argument taken from the sins of believers. The difference between 
the sins of believers and unregencrate persons proposed to consideration, 
James i, 14, 15. The rise and progress of lust and sin. The fountain 
of all sin, in all persons, is lust, Rotn. vii. 7. Observations dealing 
the difference between regenerate and imrcyenerate persons in their sin- 
ning, as to the common fountain of all sin: the first. The seco)id, of the 
unirersality nf lust in the soul bif nature. The third, in two inferences : 
the first, nnregcnerate men sin with their whole consent. The second in- 
ference concerning the reign of sin, and reigning sin. The fourth, con- 
cerning the universal possession of the soul by renewing grace. The fflh, 
that true grace bears rule wherever it be. Inferences from the former 
considerations. The first, that in every regenerate person there are di- 
verse principles of all moral operations: Rom. vii. 19, 20. opened. The 
second, that sin cannot reign in a regenerate pers'in. The third, that re- 
generate persons sin not with their whole consent. Answer to the arr/u- 
vient at the entrance proposed. Believers never sin icith their ivhole con- 
sent and wills. Mr. G.'s attempt to remove the answer. His exceptions 
considered and removed. Plurality of wills in the same person, in the 
Scripture sense : of the opposition between fiesh and spirit: that no rege- 
nerate person sins leith his full consent, proved. Of the Spirit, and his 
lustinys in us. The actings of the Spirit in us free, not suspended on any 
conditions in us . The same farther manifested. Mr. G.'s discourse of 
the first and second motions of the Spirit considered. The same conside- 
rations farther carried on. Peter Martyr s testimony considered. Rom. 
\ii. 19, 2l>. considered. Difference between the opposition made to sin in 
persons regenerate, and that in persons unregenerute, farther argued. Of 
the sense of Rom. vii. and in what sense believers do the ivoihs of the 
flesh. The close of these considerations. The answer to the argument at 
the entrance of the chapter opened. The argument new formed: the 
viajor proposition limited, and granted, and the minor denied. The proof 
of the major considered: Gal. \. 21. Ej^h. v. 5, 6". 1 Cor. vi, 9, 10. Be- 
lievers how concerned in comminutions. Threatening proper to unbelievers 
for their sins. Farther objections proposed and removed. Of the pro - 
o-ress of saints intemptiny to sin. 'J he effect of lust in temptations. Dif- 
ference between regenerate and unreyenerate persons as to the tempting of 
Inst, 1. in respect of unirersality ; 2. of power. Objections answered. 
Whether believers sin only out of infirmity. Whether believers may sin 
out of mil lice, and with deliberation, Of the state of believers, who upon 
their sin may be excommunicated. Whether the body of Christ may be 
dismembered. What body of Christ it is thai is intended. Mr. G.'s 
thoughts to this purpose examined. 3Ir. G.'s discourse of the way ivhere- 
by Christ keeps or may keep his inembers examined. Members of Christ 
cannot become members of Satan: 1 Cor. \\. 13. considered, of the sense 


and use of the wordapaQ. Christ takes members out of the power of Satan, 
gives vp none to him. Repetition of regeneration asserted by the doctrine 
of apostacy. The repetition disproved. Mr. O.'s notion of regenera- 
tion examined at large and rebuked- Relation between God and his chil- 
dren indissoluble. The farther progress of lust for the production of sin ; 
it draws o/f, and entaiigles: draioing away, what it is. The distance be- 
tween reyenerate a)id unreyenerate persons in their being drawn away by 
Just. Farther description of hitn who is draivn away by lust ; and of the 
difference formerly mentioned. Of lusts enticing. How far this may 
befall regenerate men. To do sin, Rom. vii. what it intendeth. Lusts 
conceiving, wherein it consists. Of the bringing forth of sin, and how far 
the saints of God may proceed therein. 1 John iii. 9. opened: the scope of 
the place discovered: vindicated. The words farther opened. The pro- 
position in the words universal : inferences from thence. The subject of 
that proposition considered, every one that is born of God, what is affirmed 
of them. What meant by committing of sin. Mr. G.'s oppositio?i to the 
sense of that expression given. Reasons for the confirmation of it. Mr. 
G.'s reasons against it, proposed and con.iidered. The farther exposition 
of the word carried on: how he that is born of God cannot sin: several 
kinds of impossibility. Mr. G.'s attempt to answer the argument from 
this place, particularly examined. The reasons of the proposition in 
the text considered : of the seed of God abideth: the nature of that seed, 
what it is, wherein it consists. Of the abiding of this seed. Of the latter 
part of the apostle's reason, he is born of God: our argument from the 
words. Mr. G.'s endeavour to evade that argument ; his exposition of the 
words removed. Farther of the meaning of the word abideth. The 

Mr. Goodwin's fifth argument for the saints' apostacy, is 
taken from the consideration of the sins which they have 
fallen into, or possibly may so do, and it is thus proposed, 
sect. 20. 

'They who are in a capacity, or possibility of perpetrating 
the works of the flesh, are in a possibility of perishing, and 
consequently in a possibility of falling away, and that finally 
from the grace and favour of God, in case they be in an 
estate of his grace and favour at the present; but the saints, 
or true believers, are in a possibility of perpetrating the 
works of the flesh, and therefore also they are in a possibility 
of perishing, and so of falling away from the grace and fa- 
vour of God, wherein at present they stand. The major pro- 
position of this argument, to wit, they who are in a possi- 
bility of perpetrating, or customarily acting the works of 
the flesh, are in a possibility of perishing, is clearly proved 



from all such Scriptures which exclude all workers of ini- 
quity, and fulfillers of the lusts of the flesh from the king- 
dom of God ; of which sort are many ; of the which, saith the 
apostle, speaking of the lusts of the flesh, adultery, fornication, 
&.C. I tell you, as I have also told you in times past, that they 
who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God; so 
again. For this ye know, that no whoremonger, or unclean 
person, nor covetous man, who is an idolator,hath any inherit- 
ance ofthe kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive 
you with vain words, for because of these things cometh the 
wrath of God upon the children of disobedience : yet again. 
Know ye not that the unrighteous shall never inherit the 
kingdom, of God ? Be not deceived, neither fornicators, nor 
idolaters shall inherit the kingdom of God. From such pas- 
sages as these, which are very frequent in the Scriptures, it 
is as clear as the light of the sun at noon-day, that they who 
may possibly commit such sins as those specified, adultery, 
fornication, idolatry, may as possibly perish and be for ever 
excluded the kingdom of God.' 

jijis. Because of all arguments whatever used against 
the truth we assert, this seems to me to wear the best 
colours on its back, and to have its face best painted ; viz. 
with that plea ofthe ' inconsistency of sin wath the favour and 
acception of God' seeming to have a tendency to caution be- 
lievers in their ways and walkings, to be more careful in 
watching against temptations, I shall more largely insist on 
what the Lord hath been pleased to reveal concerning the 
sins and failings of such as he is yet pleased to accept in a 
covenant of mercy, whom though he chastens and sorely 
rebukes, yet he ' gives not their souls over unto death, nor 
takes his loving-kindness from them for ever;' now because 
the inside and strength of this objection, consists in a com- 
parison instituted between the sins of believers, and the sins 
of unregenerate persons, which being laid in the balance are 
found of equal burdensomeness unto God, and therefore are 
in expectance of a like reward from him, I shall in the first 
place, before I come in particular to answer the argument 
proposed, manifest the difference that is between regenerate 
persons and unregenerate ia their sinning, and consequently 
also between their sins, wherein such principles shall be laid 


down and proved, as may with an easy application remove 
all that is added in the farther carrying on, and endeavoured 
vindication of the argument in hand. 

A foundation of this discourse we have laid in James i. 
14, 15. ' But every man is tempted,' saith the Holy Ghost, 
' when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then 
whenlusthath conceived, it bringeth forth sin : and sin, when 
it is finished, bringeth forth death.' The Holy Ghost dis- 
covers the fountain of all sin, and pursues it in the streams 
of it into the dead sea, vvhereinto it falls ; all sin whatever 
is from temptation, and that which tempts to all sin is the 
cause of all sin; this fountain of sin is here discovered, the 
principle, proper, criminal cause of sin, in the beginning of 
ver. 14. The adversative 'but' is exclusive of any other faulty 
cause of sin, that should principally fall under our consi- 
deration, especially of God, of whom mention was made im- 
mediately before ; now this is affirmed to be every man's 
lust. The general way and means that this original of all 
sin useth for the production of it is also discovered ; and that 
is, temptation. Every man's own lust tempts him ; the pro- 
gress also it makes in carrying on of sin whereunto it tempts, 
is farther described in the several parts and degrees of it. 

1. It draws away and entices, and the persons towards 
whom it exerts this efficacy, are drawn away or enticed. 

2. Itconceives. ' Lust conceives:' the subject being prepared, 
answering its drawing away and enticing, without more ado, 
it conceives sin, and then it brings forth into action ; that 
is, either into open perpetration, or deliberate determination 
of its accomplishment, and then it finisheth sin, or comes up 
to the whole work that sin tends to : whereunto is subjoined 
the dismal end and issue of this progress of sin, which is 
death : eternal death is in the womb of finished sin, and will 
be brought forth by it. 

This being the progress of sin from the first rise which 
is lust, to the last end which is death, the way and path 
that the best and most refined unregenerate men in the world 
do never thoroughly forsake, though they may sometimes 
step out of it, or be stopped in it ; a way wherein whoever 
walks to the end, maybe sure to find the end ; I shall con- 
sider the several particulars laid down, and shew in them all, 
at least the most material, the difference thot is betv/een be- 

K 2 


lievers and unbelievers, whilst they do walk or may walk in 
in this path, and then manifest where, and when, all saints 
break out of it for ever; so that they come not to the close 
thereof; and therein shall give a full answer unto the whole 
strength and design of the argument in hand, which consist- 
eth, as was said, in a comparison instituted between the sins 
and demerits of believers and unbelievers. 

First, The fountain, "principle, and cause of all sin what- 
ever, in all persons whatever, is lust; every one's own Inst is 
the cause of his ow n sin : this is the mother, womb, Q.nd J'omes 
of sin, which Paul says he had not been acquainted withal, 
but by the law; Rom. vii. 7. ' Nay, I had not known sin 
but by the law : for I had not known lust, except the law had 
said, Thou shalt not covet.' That which in the entrance he 
calls sin indefinitely, in the close he particularly terms lust ; 
as being the hidden secret cause of all sin, and which once 
discovered swallows up the thoughts of all other sin, it being 
altogether in vain to deal with them, or to set a man's self in 
opposition to them, whilst this sinful womb of them is alive 
and prevalent ; this is that which we call original sin, as to 
that part of it which consists in the universal alienation of 
our hearts from God, and unconquerable, habitual, natural 
inclination of tliem to every thing that is evil ; for this sin 
works in us 'all manner of concupiscence;' Rom. vii. 8. This, 
I say, is the womb, cause, and principle of sin, both in be- 
lievers and unbelievers ; the root on which the bitter fruit 
of it doth grow wherever it is ; no man ever sins but it is 
from his own lust. And in this there is an agreement be- 
tween the sins of believers and others, they are all from the 
same fountain, yet not such an agreement but that there is 
a difference herein also. For the clearing whereof observe. 
First, That by nature this lust, which is the principle of 
sin, is seated in all the faculties of the soul, receiving divers 
appellations according to the variety of the subjects wOierein 
it is; and is sometimes expressed in terms of privation, want, 
and deficiency, sometimes by positive inclination to evil. 
In the understanding it is blindness, darkness, giddiness, 
folly, madness. In the will, obstinacy and rebellion. In 
the heart and affections, pride, stubbornness, hardness, sen- 
suality. In all negatively and privatively, death : positively, 
lust, corruption, flesh, concupiscence, sin, the old inan, and 


the like. There is nothino; in the soul of a man that hath 
the least influence into any action as moral, but is wholly 
possessed with this depraved vrcious habit, and exerts itself 
always, and only, in a suitableness thereunto. 

Secondly, That this lust hath so taken possession of men 
by nature, that in reference to any spiritual act or duty they 
are nothing else but lust and flesh; that which is 'born of 
the flesh is flesh ;' John iii. 6. It is all so, it is all spiritual 
flesh; that is, it is wholly and habitually corrupt, as to the 
doing any thing that is good. If any thing in a man might 
seem to be exempted, it should be his mind, the seat of all 
those things which are commonly called the 'relics of the 
image of God,' but that also is flesh as the apostle at large 
asserts it, Rom. viii. and 'enmity to God;' neither is it of 
any weight which is objected, ' that there is in unregene- 
rate men, the knowledge of the truth which they retain in 
ungodliness; Rom. i. 18. conscience accusing, and excu- 
sing; Rom. ii. 14. the knowledge of sin which is by the 
law, with sundry other endowments which, they say, doubt- 
less are not flesh.' I answer, they are all flesh, in the sense 
that the Scripture useth that word ; the Holy Ghost speaks 
of nothing in man, in reference unto any duty of obedience 
Jinto God, but it is either flesh or Spirit, these two compre- 
hend every man in the world; 'every man is either in the 
flesh, or in the Spirit ;' Rom. viii. The utmost improvement 
of all natural faculties whatever, the most complete subjec- 
(ion whereunto they are brought by convictions, yet leaves 
the same impotency in them to spiritual good, as they were 
born with all the same habitual inclination to sin, however 
entangled and hampered from going out to the actual perpe-" 
trating of it ; neither are they themselves any thing the better, 
nor hath God any thing of that glory by them, which ariseth 
from the willing obedience of his creatures. 

Thirdly, It being the state of every man's proper lust, 
which is the fountain of all sin, two things will follow. 

First, That in whomsoever it is, in its compass and power 
as above described, as it is in every unregenerate man, how- 
ever convinced of sin, he sins with his full and whole con- 
sent ; all that is within him consents to every sin he commits ; 
unregenerate men sin. with their whole hearts and souls. In 
every act their carnal minds are not, will not be, subject to 


the law of God; their wills and all their affections delight 
in sin ; and this because there is no principle in them, that 
should make any opposition to sin; I mean such a spiritual 
opposition, as would really take off from their full consent. 
It is true consciience repines, witnesses against sin, reproves, 
rebukes, excuses or accuses ; but conscience is no real prin- 
ciple of operation, but either a judge of what is done, or to 
be done, or a moral inducer to doing or not doing; and 
whatever conscience doth, however it tumultuate, rebuke, 
chide, persuade, trouble, cry, and the like, whatever convic- 
tion of the guilt of sin may shew into the judgment, yet sin 
hath the consent of the whole soul. Every thing that hath 
a real influence into operation consents thereto, originally 
and radically, however any principle may be dared by con- 
science. To take off any thing from full consent, there 
must be something of a spiritual repugnancy in the mind 
and will, which when lust is thus enthroned, there is not. 

Secondly, That sin reigneth in such persons, many have 
been the inquiries of learned men about reigning of sin. As 
what sins maybe said to reign, and what not? Whether sins 
of ignorance may reign, as well as sins against knowledge ? 
What little sins may be said to reign, as well as great? 
Whether frequent relapses into any sin, prove that sin to be 
reigning ? Whether sin may reign in a regenerate person ? 
Or whether a saint may fall into reigning sin, whereabout 
divines of great note and name have differed all upon a 
false bottom and supposal. The Scripture gives no ground 
for any such inquiries or disputes, or cases of conscience, as 
some men have raised hereupon : and indeed, I would this 
were the only instance, of men's creating cases of conscience, 
and answering them, when indeed and in truth, there are no 
such things ; so ensnaring the consciences of men, and en- 
tangling more by their cases, than they deliver by their re- 
sohitions. The truth is, there is no mention of any reigning 
sin, or the reigning of any sin in the whole book of God, 
taking sin for this or that particular sin ; but of the reign of 
this indwelling original lust, or fountain of all sin, there is 
frequent mention. Whilst that holds its power and univer- 
sality in the soul, and is not restrained, nor straitened by 
the indwelling Spirit of grace, with a new vital principle of 
no less extent, and of more power than it, be the actual sins 


few or more, known or vinknown, little or great, all is one ; 
sin reigns, and such a person is under the power and domi- 
nion of sin : so that in plain terms, to have sin reign, is to 
be unconverted ; and to have sin not to reign, is to be con- 
verted, to have received a new principle of life from above. 
This is evident from the fifth and sixth chapters of the epistle 
to the Romans ; the seat of this doctrine of reigning sin, the 
opposition insisted on by the apostle, is between the reign of 
sin and grace ; and in pursuit thereof, he manifests how true 
believers are translated from the one to the other. To have 
siu reign is to be in a state of sin; to have grace reign, is to 
be in a state of grace.^ So, chap. v. 21. 'As sin reigned unto 
death, so grace reigns through righteousness unto eternal 
life by Jesus Christ our Lord.' The sin he speaks of, is that 
whereof he treats in all that chapter ; the sin of nature, the 
lust whereof we speak, this by nature reigneth unto death ; 
but when grace comes by Jesus Christ, the soul is delivered 
from the power thereof. So in the whole sixth chapter, it is our 
change of state and condition that the apostle insists on, in 
our delivery from the reign of sin; and he tells us, this is 
that that destroys it, our being under grace, ver. 14. 'Sin 
shall not have dominion over you, because you are not under 
the law, but under grace ;' plainly then, there are two lords 
and rulers, and these are original or indwelling sin and grace 
or the Spirit of it; the first lord, the apostle discovers with 
his entrance upon his rule and dominion, chap. v. and this 
all men by nature are under ; the second he describes, chap. vi. 
which sets out the rule and reign of grace in believers by 
Jesus Christ. And then. 

Thirdly, The place that both these lords have in this life 
in a believer, chap. 7. This then is the only reigning sin, 
and in whomsoever it is in its power and compass as it is in 
all unregenerate men, in them, and in them only, doth sin 
reign, and every sin they commit is with full consent (as 
was manifested before), in exact willing obedience to the 
sovereign lord that reigns in them. 

Fourthly, Observe that the grace, new creature, principle 
or spiritual life that is given to, bestowed on, and wrought 
in all, and only, believers, be it in the lowest and most remiss 
-degree that can be imagined, is yet no less universally spread 
over the whole soul, than the contrary habit and principle of 


lust and sin, whereof we have spoken. In the understanding 
it is light in the Lord; in the will, life; in the affections, 
love, delight, &c. those being reconciled, who were alien- 
ated by wicked works. Wherever there is any thing, the 
least of grace, there something of it is in every thing of the 
soul, that is a capable seat for good or evil habits, or dis- 
positions ; ' He that is in Christ is a new creature ;' 2 Cor. 
v. 17. not renewed in one or other particular, 'he is a new 

Fifthly, That wherever true grace is, in what degree so- 
ever, there it bears rule ; though sin be in the same subject 
with it ; as sin reigns before grace comes, so grace reigns 
when it doth once come : and the reason is, because sin hav- 
ing the first rule and dominion in the heart, abiding there, 
there is neither room nor place for grace, but what is made 
by conquest. Now whoever enters into a possession by 
right of conquest, what resistance soever be made, if he pre- 
vail to a conquest, he reigns. In every regenerate man, 
though grace be never so weak, and corruption never so 
strong, yet properly the sovereignty belongs to grace. Hav- 
ing entered upon the soul, and all the powers of it by con- 
quest so long as it abides, there it doth reign ; so that to 
say a regenerate man may fall into reigning sin, as it is com- 
monly expressed (though as we have manifested no sin reigns, 
but the sin of nature, as no good act reigneth, but the spi- 
rit and habit of grace), and yet continue regenerate, is all one 
as to say, he may have, and not have true grace at the same 

Now from these considerations, some farther inferences 
may be made. First, That in every regenerate person, there 
are in a spiritual sense, two principles of all his actings : 
two wills ; there is the will of the flesh, and there is the will 
of the Spirit; a regenerate man is spiritually, and in Scrip- 
ture expression, two men; a new man and an old ; an inward 
man and a body of death ; and hath two wills, having two na- 
tures, not as natural faculties, but as moral principles of ope- 
ration ; and this keejis all his actions as moral, from being 
perfect, absolute, or complete, in any kind. He doth good 
with his whole heart upon the account of sincerity, but he 
doth not good with his whole heart upon the account of per- 
fection ; and when he doth evil there is still a non-submit- 


ting, an unconsenting principle ; this the apostle complains 
of, and declares, Rom. vii. 19, 20. ' The good that 1 would, 
I do not, but the evil which I would not, that do I ; now if 
I do that 1 would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin 
that dwells in me ; I find then a law, that when I would do 
good, evil is present with me ; for 1 delight in the law of 
God after the inward man.' There is an ' T and an ' F at op- 
position, a will and not willing; a doing and not doing; a 
delighting and not delighting, all in the same person ; so 
that there is this difference at the entrance, between what 
sin soever of regenerate persons and others, though the prin- 
ciple of sinning be the same, for the kind and nature of it in 
them and others; all sin, every man's sins, be who he will, 
believer or unbeliever, being tempted by his own lust : yet 
that lust possesseth the whole soul, and take;i in the virtual 
consent of the whole man, notwithstanding the control and 
checks of conscience, the light of the judgment, in him that 
is miregenerate ; but in every regenerate person, there is an 
unconsenting principle, which is as truly the man himself, 
that doth not concur in sin, that doth expressly dissent from 
it, as the other is from whence it flows. 

Secondly, That sin neither can, doth, nor ever shall, reio-n 
in regenerate persons. The reason of this I acquainted you 
with before, and the apostle thinks this a sufiicient proof of 
this assertion, because ' they are under grace;' Rom. vii. 14. 
Whilst the principle of grace abides in them, which reio-ns 
wherever it be, or the free acceptance of God in the o-ospel 
is towards them, it is impossible upon the account of any 
actual sin whatever, whereinto they may fall, that sin should 
reign in them : nothing gives sin a reign and dominion, but 
a total defect of all true grace whatever, not only as to the 
exerting itself, but as to any habitual relicts of it; it may 
be overwhelmed sometimes with temptations and corruptions, 
but it is grace still, as the least spark of fire is fire, thouoh 
it should be covered with never so great an heap of ashes, 
and it reigns then. 

Thirdly, That regenerate persons sin not with their whole 
and full consent. Consent may be taken two ways ; first, 
morally, for the approbation of the thing done ; so the apos- 
tle says, that in the inward man, he did 'consent to the law, 
that it was good ;' Rom. vii. 16. that is, he did approve it as 


such, like it, delight in it as good ; and thus a regenerate 
man never consents to sin; no, nor unregenerate persons 
neither, unless they are such as being 'past feeling, are given 
up to work lasciviousness with greediness :' a regenerate per- 
son is so far from thus consenting to sin, that before it, in 
it, after it, he utterly condemns, disallows, hates it as in him- 
self, and by himself committed. Secondly, consent maybe 
taken in a physical sense, for the concurrence of the com- 
manding, and acting principles of the soul unto its opera- 
tions : and in this sense, an unregenerate man sins with his 
full consent, and his whole will ; a regenerate man doth not, 
cannot do so. For though there is not in that consent to 
sin, which his will inclined by the remaining disposition of 
sin in it, doth give an actual sensible reaction of the other 
principle, yet there is an express not consenting; and by the 
power that it hath in the soul (for habits have power in and 
over the subjects wherein they are), it preserves it from being 
wholly engaged into sin ; and this is the great intendment of 
the apostle, Rom. vii. 19 — 22. 

From what hath been spoken will easily appear what an- 
swer may be given to the former argument, to wit, that not- 
withstanding any sins that either the Scripture or the ex- 
perience of men, do evince that the saints may fall into, yet 
that they never sin or perpetrate sin with their full and whole 
consent, whereby they should be looked upon, in and under 
their sins, in the same state and condition with unregenerate 
persons in whom sin reigneth, committing the same sin, and 
how insufficient any thing produced by Mr. Goodwin, in de- 
fence of the argument laid down at the entrance of this chap- 
ter, as to remove the answer given unto it from believers not 
sinning with their whole consent, may easily be demonstrated. 
This he thus proposeth : 

'Some to maintain this position, That all the sins of true 
believers are sins of infirmity, lay hold on this shield, such men, 
they say, never sin with their whole wills, or with full con- 
sent, therefore they never sin but through infirmity ; that 
they never sin with full consent, they conceive they prove 
sufficiently from that of the apostle. For the good that I 
would, I do not, but the evil that I would not, that I do. Now 
if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but 
sin that dwellcth in mo. I answer, first, that the saints 


cannot sin but with their whole wills or full consents, is un- 
deniably proved by this consideration : viz. Because other- 
wise there should be not only a plurality or diversity, but 
also a contrariety of wills in the same person, at one and 
the same instant of time, viz. when the supposed act of evil 
is produced. Now it is an impossibility of the first evidence, 
that there should be a plurality of acts, and these contrary 
one to the other in the same subject or agent, at one or the 
same instant of time ; it is true, between the first movings of 
the flesh in a man towards the committing of the sin, and the 
completing of the sin by an actual and external patration 
of it, there may be successively in him not only a plurality, 
but even a contrariety of volitions or motions of the will, 
according to what the Scripture speaketh concerning the 
flesh lusting against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the 
flesh; but when the flesh, having prevailed in the combat, 
bringeth forth her desire into act, the Spirit ceaseth from 
his act of lusting ; otherwise it would follow that the flesh 
is greater and stronger in her lusting, than the Spirit of God 
in his ; and that when the flesh lusteth after the perpetration 
of such or such a sin, the Spirit as to the hindering of it lust- 
eth but in vain, which is contrary to that of the apostle. 
Greater is he that is in you (speaking as it is clear of the 
Spirit of God unto true believers), than he that is in the 
world ; meaning Satan and all his auxiliaries, sin, flesh, cor- 

A)is. What we intend by the saints not sinning with their 
whole wills hath been declared; that there is not a consist- 
ency in the explanation we have given, Mr. Goodwin as- 
serts, because it would infer ' a plurality, yea a contrariety 
of wills in the same person at the same time.' That there 
is a plurality, yea a contrariety of wills in the Scripture 
sense of the expression of the will of a man, was before from 
the Scripture declared ; not a plurality of wills in a physi- 
cal sense, as the will is a natural faculty of the soul, but in 
a moral and analogical sense, as it is taken for a habit or 
principle of good or evil. The will is a natural faculty; one 
nature hath one will ; in every regenerate man there are two 
natures, the new or divine, and the old or corrupted. In 
the same sense there are in him two wills, as was declared. 
But, saith he, 'It is an impossibility of the first evidence 


that tliere should be a plurality of acts in the same subject, 
at the same time, and these contrary one to another.' But, 

1. If you intend acts in a moral consideration, unless 
you add about the same object, which you do not, this as- 
sertion is so far from any evidence of truth, that it is ridi- 
culously false ; may not the same person love God, and hate 
the devil at the same time ? But, 

2. How pass you so suddenly from a plurality of wills, 
to a plurality of acts ? by the will we intend (in the sense 
wherein we speak of it) an habit, not any act ; i. e. The will 
as habitually invested with a new principle, and not as ac- 
tually willing from thence, and by virtue thereof. Arminius, 
from whom our author borrows this discourse, fell not into 
this sophistry ; he tells you, ' There cannot be contrary wills 
or volitions about the same act ;' but is it with Mr. G. or 
Arminius, an impossibility that there should be a mixed ac- 
tion partly voluntary, and partly involuntary? actions whose 
principles are from without by persuasion may be, so a man's 
throwing his goods in the sea to save his own life ; now the 
principles whereof we speak, flesh and grace, are internal 
and contrary; and shall not the actions that proceed from a 
faculty wherein such contrary principles have their resi- 
dence, be partly voluntary, partly involuntary ? 

3. But he tells you, ' That though there might be lusting 
of the Spirit against the flesh before the act of sin, yet when 
it comes to the acting of it then it ceaseth, and so the act 
is wrought with the whole will.' 

First, Though this were so, yet tliis doth not prove but 
that the action is mixed, and not absolutely and wholly vo- 
luntary. Mixed actions are so esteemed from the antece- 
dent deliberation and dissent, though the will be at length 
prevailed upon thereunto, and I have shewed before that in 
the very action there is a virtual dissent, because of the op- 
posite principle that is in the will. But, 

Secondly, How doth it appear that the Spirit doth not 
'1 I st againt the flesh' (though not to a prevalency) even in 
the exertion of the acts of sin? In every good act that a 
man doth, because evil is present with him, though the pre- 
valency be of the part of the Spirit, and the principle of 
grace, yet the flesh also with its lustings doth always in part 
corrupt it; thence are all the spots, stains, and imperfec- 


tions, of the holy things and duties of the saints ; and if the 
flesh in its lusting, will inmix itself with our good actions 
to their defilement and impairing, why may not the Spirit in 
the ill, not inmix itself and its lustings therewith, but bear 
off from the full influence of the will into them which other- 
wise it would have. 

But saith he, ' If the Spirit doth not cease lusting before 
the flesh bring forth the act of sin, then is the Spirit con- 
quered by the flesh, contrary to that of the apostle, 1 John 
iv. 4. Stronger is he that is in you, than he that is in the 
world.' But, 

First, If from hence the flesh must be thought and con- 
ceived to be stronger than the Spirit, because it prevails in 
any act unto sin, notwithstanding the contending of the 
Spirit, how much more must it be judged to prevail over it 
and to conquer it, if it cause it utterly to cease, and not to 
strive at all? He that restrains another that he shall not op- 
pose him at all, hath a greater power than he who conquers 
him in his resistance ; but why doth Mr. Goodwin fear 
least the flesh should be asserted to be stronger in us than 
the Spirit ? Is not his whole design to prove that it is, or 
may be, so much stronger and more prevalent than it, that 
whereas it is confessed on all hands, that the Spirit doth 
never wholly conquer the flesh, that it shall not remain in 
the saints in this life, yet that the flesh doth wholly pre- 
vail over the Spirit and conquer it to an utter expulsion of 
it, out of the hearts of them in whom it is. 

Secondly, In the prevalency of the flesh, it is not the 
Spirit himself that is conquered, but only some motions, 
and actings of him in the heart; now though some particu- 
lar actings and motions of his may not come out eventually 
unto success, yet if he generally bears rule in the heart, he 
is not to be said (even as in us and acting in us), not to be 
stronger than the flesh. He is, as in us, on this account, 
said to be stronger than he that is in the world, because 
notwithstanding all the opposition that is against us, he pre- 
serveth us in our state and condition of acceptation with 
God, and walking with him with an upright heart, in good 
works and duties for the most part, though sometimes the 
flesh prevails unto sin, from which yet he recovers us by 


Thirdly, To speak a little to Mr. Goodwin's sense ; by 
the Spirit's insufficiency it is manifest from the text urged, 
and from what follows in the same place, that he intends not 
a spiritual vital principle in the will, having its residence 
there, with its contrary principle the flesh (perhaps he will 
grant no such thing), but the Spirit of God himself. How now 
doth this Spirit lust? Not formally doubtless, but by caus- 
ing us so to do ; and how doth it do that in Mr. Goodwin's 
judgment? Merely by persuading of us so to do; so that to 
have the flesh prevail against the Spirit, is nothing in his 
sense, but to have sin prevail, and the motives of the flesh 
above the motives used by the Spirit, which may be done, 
and yet the Spirit continue unquestionably stronger than 
the flesh. 

Fourthly, The sum is. If the Spirit and the flesh, lust 
and grace, may be looked on as habitual qualities and princi- 
ples in the wills of the same persons, so that though a man 
hath but one will, yet by reason of these contrary qualities, 
he is to be esteemed as two diverse principles of operation, 
it is evident that having contrary inclinations continually, 
the will hath in its actings, a relation to both these princi- 
ples, so that no sin is committed by such a one with his 
whole will and full consent ; that contrary qualities in a re- 
miss degree may be in the same subject, is known ; ' Lippis 
et tonsoribus ;' these adverse principles the flesh and 
Spirit, are as those contrary qualities of the same subject ; 
and the inclinations, yea and the illicit acts of the will, are 
of the same nature with them ; so that in the same act they 
may both be working, though not with equal efficacy. Not- 
withstanding any thing then said to the contrary, it appears 
that in the sins which the saints fall into, they do not sin 
with their whole wills and full consent ; which of itself is a 
sufficient answer to the foregoing argument. 

Sect. 25. contains a discourse, too long to be imposed 
upon the reader by a transcription : there are three parts of 
it, the first rendering a reason, whence it is, tliat if the ' Spirit 
be stronger than the flesh, yet the flesh doth often prevail 
in its lustinos.' 

The second, * The way of the Spirit's return, to act in us 
after its motions have been rejected.' 

The third endeavours a proof of the proposition denied. 


'That the saints sin with their full and whole consent, by 
the example of David.' 

For the first, he tells you, ' That the Spirit acts not to 
the utmost efficacy of its vigour and strength, but only when 
his preventing motions are entertained ; and seconded, with 
a suitable concurrence in the hearts and wills of men; 
through a deficiency, and neglect whereof, he is said to be 
grieved, and quenched ; i. e. to cease from other actings, 
or movings in men. This truth, is the ground of such and 
such sayings, in the Epistles of Paul ; For if ye live after 
the flesh, ye shall die ; but if ye through the Spirit do mor- 
tify the deeds of the body, ye shall live ; for as many as are 
led by the Spirit of God, they are the Sons of God,'&c. 

Alls. The Spirit here intended by Mr. Goodwin, is the holy 
and blessed Spirit of grace. What his actings to the just 
efficacy of his vigour and strength are, Mr. Goodwin doth 
not explain, nor indeed (notwithstanding the seeming sig- 
nificancy of that expression), is able. It must be to act, either 
as much as he can, or as much as he will. That the Holy 
Spirit in opposing sin, acts to the utmost extent of his om- 
nipotency in any, I suppose will not be affirmed. If it be 
as much as he will, then the sense is, he will not in such 
cases, act as much as he will ; what that signifiies, we want 
some other expressive phrase to declare. To let this pass ; 
let us see in the next place, what his actings to this just 
efficacy are suspended upon, it is then in case ' his first pre- 
venting motions be received, and seconded.' 

But then secondly, What are these ' first preventing mo- 
tions' of the Spirit? And what is it to entertain them with 
a suitable concurrence of the will? For the first, Mr. Good- 
win tells us in this section, they are ' motions of a cool and 
soft inspiration;' such cloudy expressions, in a thing of this 
moment, are we forced to embrace. ' Preventing motions of 
the Spirit,' are either internal physical acts in, with, and 
upon the wills of men, working in them to will and to do 
■ (called ' preventing' from the actings of the wills themselves), 
or they are moral insinuations and persuasions to good, ac- 
cording to the analogy of the doctrine Mr. Goodwin hath 
espoused ; it is the latter only, that are here intended. The 
* preventing motions of the Spirit,' are his moral persuasions 
of the will, to the good proposed to its consideration. 


See then in the next place, what it is to ' second, and en- 
tertain these motions with a suitable concvnrence in the 
heart and will ;' now this must be, either to yield obedience 
to these motions, and do the good persuaded unto, or some- 
thing else ; if any thing else, we desire to know of Mr. 
Goodwin, what it is, and wherein it consists ; if it be to do 
the good persuaded to, then what becomes I pray you of 
those ' subsequenthelps,' which are suspended upon this obe- 
dience, when the thing itself is already performed, which 
their help and assistance is required unto ? They may well 
be called 'subsequent motions,' which are never used nor ap- 
plied, but when the things, whereunto they move, and pro- 
voke, are before-hand accomplished and performed, yea they 
are suspended on that condition. 

Farther, Wherein do these ' subsequent helps' (as it is ex- 
pressed) which move at a more high and glorious rate con- 
sist? We have had it sufficiently argued already to a tho- 
rough conviction of what is Mr, Goodwin's judgment in this 
matter; viz. that he acknowledgeth no operations in or 
upon the wills of men, but what are moral, by the way of 
persuasion; contending to the utmost efficacy of his vigour 
and strength in disputing, that there is an inconsistency 
between physical internal operations, in or upon the will of 
men, and moral exhortations, or persuasions, as to the pro- 
duction of the same effect. This then is the frame of this 
fine discourse ; if upon the Spirit's first persuasion to good, 
men yield obedience and do it accordingly, the Spirit will 
then with more power and vigour, move them when they 
have done it, and persuade them to do it ; that this dis- 
course of his doth readily administer occasion, and advan- 
tage to retort upon him his third argument formerly consi- 
dered, of imposing incoherent and inconsistent reasonings, 
and actings upon God in his dealings with men, the intelli- 
gent reader will quickly find out; and it were an easy thing 
to erect a theatre, and upon Mr. Goodwin's principles, to 
personate the Almighty, with an incongruous, and incohe- 
rent discourse ; but we fear God. 

Thirdly, That the Spirit is grieved with the sins of be- 
lievers, and their walking unworthily of, or not answerably 
to, the grace they have received, is clear ; Eph. iv. 31. The 
apostle admonisheth believers to abstain from the sins he 


there enumerates, and consequently others of the like im- 
port, having put on and learned Christ, unto sanctification, 
that they do not grieve the Spirit, from whom they have 
received that great mercy and privilege of being sealed to 
the day of redemption. But that, therefore, the subsequent 
and more effectual motions of the Spirit, are not free as the 
first, but suspended on our performance of that which he 
first moves unto, and so, consequently, that there is neither 
first nor second motion of the Spirit, but may be rendered 
useless and fruitless, or be for ever prevented, is an argu- 
ment not unlike that of the Papists, ' Peter, feed my sheep, 
therefore, the pope is head of the church.' 

The ensuing discourse also is not to be passed without 
a little animadversion : thus then he proceeds ; ' Believers/ 
saith he, ' do then mortify the deeds of the body by the 
Spirit, when they join their wills unto his, in his preventing 
motions of grace, and so draw and obtain farther strength 
and assistance from him, in order to the great and difficult 
work of mortification, in respect of which concurrence also 
with the Spirit, in his first and more gentle applications of 
himself to them, they are said to be led by the Spirit, as, in 
their comportments with him, in his higher and farther ap- 
plication, they become filled with the Spirit, according to 
the expression of the apostle, Be ye filled with the Spirit ; 
i. e. follow the Spirit close in his present motions and sug- 
gestions within you, and you shall be filled with him, i. e. 
ye shall find him moving and assisting you upon all occa- 
sions at a higher and more glorious rate.' 

Ans. First, What this 'joining of our wills to the will of 
the Spirit,' is, was in part manifested before ; the will of the 
Spirit,' is, that we be mortified. His motions hereunto are 
his persuasions, that we be so ; to join our wills to his, is, 
in our will, to answer the will of the Spirit; that is, upon 
the Spirit's motions we mortify ourselves. By this also he 
tells us, we draw or obtain farther strength or assistance 
from the Spirit, for that work which we have done already ; 
but how so ? why he tells you afterward, that this is the 
law of the Spirit. It seems then, that by doing one thing, 
we obtain or procure the assistance of the Spirit for another, 
and that by a law ; I ask by what law ? by the law of works? 
by that law the apostle tells you, that we do not at all re- 



ceive the Spirit; therefore,by a parity of reason, we obtain not 
any farther supplies from him, by that law : by the law of 
faith or grace ? that law knows nothing of such terms, as 
that we should, by any acting of ours, procure the Holy 
Spirit of God, which he freely bestows, according to the 
main tenor of that law. Farther; How is this second grace 
obtained, and what is the law of the Spirit therein ? is it ob- 
tained ex congrvo, or ex condiguo? produce the rule of God's 
proceeding with his saints, or any of the sons of men, in the 
matter of any gracious behovement of his, and you will out- 
do whatever your predecessors, whether Pelagians, Papists, 
Arminians, or Socinians, could yet attain unto. Our Lord 
hath told us, ' that without him we can do nothing; yea, all 
our sufficiency is of God, and without him we cannot think 
a good thought ; that he works in us to will and to do ; not 
only beginning, but perfecting every good work, fulfilling 
in us all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work 
of faith with power,' ascribing the whole of the great work 
of salvation to himself and his Holy Spirit, working freely 
and graciously, as he wills and pleaseth. Of this order of 
his dealing with men, that his first, or preventing grace 
should be free, but his subsequent grace procured by us, and 
bestowed on us according to our working, and co-operation 
with his first grace, invented by Pelagius, Julianus, and 
Celestinus, and here introduced anew by Mr. Goodwin, he 
informs us nothing at all. In brief, this whole discourse 
is the mere Pelagian figment, wrapped up in general, cloudy 
expressions, with allusions to some Scripture phrases (which 
profane as well as erring Spirits are prone to), concerning 
the bestowing ol" the grace of God, according to the differ- 
ing deportments, and deservings of men, differencing them- 
selves from others, and, in comparison of them, holding out 
what tliey have not received. 

But, secondly, ' To answer the first and gentle motions 
of the Spirit, is to be led by him, and then we shall be filled 
by the Spirit.' But how doth Mr. Goodwin prove, that to 
be 'led by the Spirit,' is to answer his first gentle motions, 
and thereby to obtain his farther and more glorious actings 
and persuasions? Is it safe, thus to make bold with the 
word of God? or is not this to wrest it, as ignorant and un- 
stable men do, unto perdition ? Saints, 'being led by the 


Spirit of God,' and * walking after the Spirit,' are, in Rom. 
viii. expressions of that effectual sanctification exerting it- 
self in their conversation and walking with God, which the 
Spirit of God worketh in them, and which is their duty to 
come up unto, in opposition to ' living or walking after the 
flesh.' If this now be attained, and the saints come up unto 
it, antecedently to the subsequent grace of the Spirit, what 
is that subsequent grace, which is so gloriously expressed, 
and wherein doth it consist? Neither doth that expression 
of * led by the Spirit,' hold out the concurrence or comport- 
ment of their wills, as it is phrased, with the gentle motion 
of the Spirit, but the powerful and effectual operation of the 
Spirit, as to their holiness and walking with God. HvtvinaTL 
Qeov ciyovTai, is not, ' they comport or concur with the Spirit 
in his motions;' but by the Spirit they are acted, and carried 
out to the things of God. Neither hath this any relation to 
or coherence with that of the Ephesians, v. 18. ' Be filled with 
the Spirit;' neither is there any such intendment in the ex- 
pression, as is here intimated, of a promise of receiving more 
of the Spirit, on condition of that compliance, concurrence, 
and comportance, with his motions, as is intimated. That 
the Spirit is sometimes taken for his graces, sometimes for 
his gifts, habitually, sometimes for his actual operations, is 
known. The apostle in that place dissuading the Ephesians 
from turning aside to such carnal, sinful refreshments, as 
men of the world went out unto, bids them, ' not be drunk 
with wine, wherein is excess,' but to be 'filled with the Spi- 
rit :' to take their refreshment in the joys of the Spirit, speak- 
ing to ' themselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs;' 
ver. 20. Could I once imagine that Mr. Goodwin had the 
least thought, that indeed there was any thing in the Scrip- 
ture, looking towards his intendment in the producing of 
it, I should farther manifest the mistake thereof. To play 
thus with the word of God, is a liberty we dare not make use 
of yet. 

•■, Thirdly, He concludes, 'That the reason why believers 
are overcome by the lustings of the flesh, is not because the 
Spirit is not stronger than the flesh, but because men have 
more will to hearken to the lusts of the flesh, than to the 

Foitunam priaini caiitabo, ct nobile belhuiu' 
L 2 


This is the issue of all the former swelling discourse ; 
men's sins are from their own wills, and not because the 
Spirit is not stronger than the flesh. And whoever doubted 
it; the conclusion you were to prove, is, /That believers sin 
with their whole will and full consent of their wills, and that 
the new principle that is in them, doth not cause their wills 
to decline from acting in sin to the just efficacy of all their 
strength and vigour.' But of this ovdl ypv, for the insinua- 
tion in that expression of the * will hearkening to the lusts of 
the flesh, and not the lusting of the Spirit,' in a sovereign in- 
difl^erency to both and a liberty for the performance of either, 
in a way exclusive of good or vicious habitual principles of 
operation in the will itself, I shall not now divert to the con- 
sideration of. 

What else remains in this section, either doth not concern 
the business in hand, as the fine notions of the Spirit's return 
to move believers, when his motions have been rejected, with 
the manner whereof, according to his conception, must be 
afterward considered apart, as the fall of David into adul- 
tery and murder ; if there be need to go forth to the consi- 
deration of his examples and instances : and therefore, I 
shall not longer insist upon it; only the close of it, consist- 
ing of an inference made from some words of Peter Martyr, 
deserves consideration. 'Upon David's sin,' saith he, 'Peter 
Martyr makes this observation. That the saints themselves 
being once fallen into sin, would always remain in the pollu- 
tion of it, did not God by his mighty word bring them out 
of it; which saying of Martyr clearly also implies, that the 
saints many times sin with their whole wills and full con- 
sents, because were any part of their wills bent against the 
committing of the sin at the time when it is committed, they 
would questionless return to themselves and repent imme- 
diately after, the heat and violence of the lust being over, by 
reason of the satisfaction that hath been given thereunto.* 

Afis. The close insinuation in Peter Martyr's words, of 
the saints sinning with their whole wills, and the logic of 
Mr. Goodwin's inference from them, I believe is very much 
hidden from the reader. To the theology of it, I say, that 
the saints Trapa tu ttXugtov, do immediately return to God 
by repentance (as Peter did) upon their surprisals into sin ; 
nor have they any rest in a condition of the eclipse of the 


countenance of God from them, as upon sin it is always 
more or less ; of David's particular case, mention may after- 
ward be made. But the proof, ' that they sin with their 
whole wills and full consent, because they would continue 
in sin did not the Lord relieve and deliver them by his 
word and grace,' is admirable. I would adventure to cast 
this argument into as many shapes as it is tolerably capable 
of, had I the least hope to cause it to appear any way argu- 
mentative. We deny then that believers have any such power 
habitually residing in them, as whereby, without any new 
supplies of the Spirit or concurrence of actual grace, they 
can effectually and eventually recover themselves from any 
sin whatever. Which supplies of the Spirit and grace we 
say, and have proved, are freely promised to them in the co- 
venant of grace. But what will here follow to the support- 
ment of Mr. Goodwin's hypothesis, that therefore in all 
their sins or any of their sins, they ' sin with the full and 
whole consent of their wills,' I suppose he alone knows. 

Sect. 26. He endeavours to take off that of the apostle, 
Rom. vii. 19, 20. from appearing against him in this cause 
of the saints sinning with their whole wills and consents, 
not not-willing the things they do. To this end he tells us, 
'That when the apostle saith. The evil which I would not that 
I do, his meaning is not that he did that which, at the same 
time that he did it, he was not willing either in whole or in 
part to do, but that he sometimes did that, upon a surprisal 
by temptation or through incogitancy, which he was not ha- 
bitually willing or disposed in the inward man to do : but 
this no ways implies but that, at the time when he did the 
evil he speaks of, he did it with the full and entire consent 
of his will.' 

Atis. 1. It is probable the apostle knew his own meaning, 
and also how to express it, having so good a teacher to that 
end and purpose as he had ; now he assures us, in the person 
of a regenerate man, that as what he would he did not, so 
what he didjhe would not, he hated it, ver. 15, 16. And again, 
he did that which he would not, and therein consented to 
the law by his not willing of that he did, that it was good ; 
which whether it express not a renitency of the will, to that 
which was done in part, and so far as to make the action it- 
self remiss, and not to enwrap the whole consent of the will. 


he f'arlher declares, ver. 17. telling us, that there is a perfect 
unconsenting I, or internal principle, in the very doing of 
evil ; ' It is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in nie.' 

2. The apostle doth not say, what he was not habitually 
willing- to, but what he was habitually unwilling to; that is, 
what the bent of his will lay habitually against, having ac- 
tual inclinations and elicit acts always to the contrary, 
though sometimes overcome. IVeither in his discoursing of 
it, doth he mention at all the surprisal of sin upon the inco- 
gitancy and inadvertency, but the constant frame and tem- 
per of a regenerate man, upon the powerful acting and striv- 
ing of the principle of lust and sin dwelling in him, and re- 
maining with him ; which, saith the apostle, doth often carry 
them out to do those things which are contrary to the prin- 
ciple of the inward man, which habitually condemns and ac- 
tually wills not, or rather nills, the things that are so done, 
even in their doing. And this doth manifest sufficiently, 
that when he did the evil he speaks of, he did it not with 
the full and entire consent of his will, as men do in whom 
there is no such principle opposite to sin and sinning, as is 
in him that is regenerate ; there being very much taken off 
by the habitual principle of grace that is in them, and its 
constant inclination to the contrary. 

But he farther argues, ' If we shall affirm, that the con- 
trary bent or motions of his will, at other times, is a suffi- 
cient proof, that when he did the evil we speak of, he did it 
not with his whole will, or fulness of consent, in such a sense 
is a distinguishing character betwixt men regenerate and un- 
regenerate, we shall bring Herod, and Pilate, and probably 
Judas himself, into the list of men reoenerate, with a thou- 
sand more whom the Scripture knows not, under any such 
name or relation; viz. all those whose judgments and con- 
sciences stand against the evil of the ways and practices 
wherein they walk.' 

And this he proves at large to the end of the section, in 
the instance of Herod and Pilate proceeding against their 
own judgments and consciences, in the killing of John and 
of our Saviour. 

Ans. First, We do not only assert a contrary bent and 
inclination in the wills of believers at other times, but also 
that in and under the prevalency of indwelling sin, there is 


in them an I that doth it not, and a not-willing it, from a 
principle, though, by reason of the present prevalency of the 
other, its actings and stirrings are not so sensibly perceived. 
So that though they prevail not to the total prevention of 
the will, from exerting the act of sin, yet they prevail to the 
impairing, weakening, and making remiss, its consent there- 

Secondly, The residue of this paragraph is intolerably 
■sophistical, confounding the renitency of the inward man, 
the principle of grace that is in the wills of believers, with 
the convictions of the judgments and consciences of unre- 
generate persons, and their striving against sin on that ac- 
count. The judgments and consciences of wicked men, tell 
them what they ought to do, and what they ought not to do, 
without respect to the principle in their wills that is predo- 
minant. But the apostle mentions the actings of the will 
itself, from his own regenerate principle. We wholly deny 
ihat any unregenerate man hath any vital principle in his 
will not consenting to sin, whatever the dictates of his judg- 
ment and conscience may be ; or how effectual soever to 
prevail unto an abstinence from sin. To discover the dif- 
ferences that are between the contest that is between the 
wills in unregenerate men wholly set upon sin on the one 
liand, and their judgments and consciences enlightened to 
an apprehension and approving of better things on the other, 
and the contest that is between the flesh and Spirit lusting 
to contrary things in the same will, as it is in regenerate 
men, is a common place ; that I shall not go forth unto. We 
grant, then, that in unregenerate men there may be, there is, 
and was in some degree perhaps in Herod, in Pilate, a con- 
viction of conscience and judgment, that the things they do 
are evil ; but say withal, that all this being foreign to their 
wills, it hinders not but that they sin with the full uncon* 
trolled consent of their wills, which are at perfect liberty, 
or rather in perfect bondage vinto sin. That the Spirit should 
lust against the flesh, and the flesh against the Spirit, both 
in the same will (as it appears they do. Gal. v. 1 9 — 23. for the 
fruits that they both bring forth, as acts of the will), in any un- 
regenerate man, we deny ; and this is that, and not the for- 
mer, which abates and takes off" from the will's consent to sin. 
He concludes the whole; 'And to the passage of the 


apostle, mentioned Rom. vii. I answer farther, that when he 
saith, The evil which I would not, that do I, he doth not 
speak of what he always and in all cases did, much less of 
what was possible for him to do, but of what he did ordina- 
rily and frequently, or of what was very incident unto him, 
through the infirmity of the flesh, viz. throug,h inconside- 
rateness and anticipation by temptations to do such things, 
which when he was in a watchful and considerate posture, 
and from under the malignant influence of a temptation, he 
was altoffether averse unto : now what a man doth ordina- 
rily is one thing, and what he doth sometimes and in some 
particular cases, especially what it is possible for him to do, 
is another. That true believers, whilst such, ordinarily sin 
not upon worse terms, than those mentioned by the apostle 
concerning his sinning, I easily grant ; but it no ways fol- 
loweth from hence, that therefore they never sin upon other 
terms, much less that it is impossible that they should sin 
upon others ; and thus we see all things thoroughly and im- 
partially argued, and debated to and fro, that even true be- 
lievers themselves, as well as others, may do those works of 
the flesh, which exclude from the kingdom of God, and that, 
in respect thereof, they are subject to this exclusion as well 
as other men.' 

The sum of this part of the reply is, that what Paul 
speaks is true, of the ordinary course of believers, but not 
of extraordinary surprisals ; this seems, I say, to be the ten- 
dency of it, though the direct sense of the whole is not so 
obvious to me : by that expression, 'the evil that I would not, 
that I do,' you intend either the expression of ' he would not/ 
or 'that he did ;' if the latter, then you say he did not sin or- 
dinarily and frequently, but only upon surprisals, which is 
freely granted, but is not at all to your purpose, but ra- 
ther much against it. If you attend that part of it, which 
holds out its renitency against the evil he did, in the expres- 
sion of ' I would not,' then you say, it was not ordinary with 
the apostle to nill the evil that he did, but in case of sur- 
prisal to sin, which I believe is not intended; for is it cre- 
dible, that any one should think that, in the ordinary course 
of a man's walking, there should be no opposition made to 
sin, the falling whereinto men are liable, but upon surprisals 
and anticipationsby temptation, as it is phrased, there should. 


Nor is it on the other side that he intends the things that he 
did ordinarily, but was surprised by temptation ; then it might 
be otherwise. But, first, is a saint to be supposed to sin or- 
dinarily, to sin not prevailed on by temptation? is not all sin 
from temptation ? do they sin actually but upon the surpri- 
sal of temptation? To impose this upon the apostle, that he 
should say, Truly for the most part, or in my ordinary walk- 
ing, I do not sin, but withal, I will it not, but when I am sur- 
prised with temptations, then it is otherwise with me, there 
is no renitency in my will to sin, is doubtless to wrong him; 
he doth not limit his not willing of the evil he did to any 
consideration whatever, but speaks it generally-, as the con- 
stant state and condition of things with him. 

Secondly, In the beginning of this section, the nilling of 
sin was antecedent to the sin : here, it is something that 
may be allowed in ordinary cases, but not at all in extraor- 
dinary ; so that these two expositions put together amount 
to thus much. Ordinarily the opostle. "^iitecedent to any 
sinning before the lusting of the Spirit cei'.sed, did not will 
the thing that he did, which was evil, but in case of tempta- 
tion it was not so ; that is, antecedently to his acting of that 
which was evil, he had no opposition in the inward man unto 
it, nor lusting of the Spirit against it, which how it can be 
made good against him, whose heart is upright, and who 
hates every evil way, I know not. 

Thirdly, It is confessed, that ordinarily believers sin at 
no worse a rate than that expressed by the apostle ; but what 
doth that contain? It would not be referred to their doing 
of sins; then you grant that which all this while you have 
endeavoured to oppose, and are reconciled to your own con- 
tradiction in the first evidence, sin cannot ordinarily or ex- 
traordinarily be committed but by an act of the will, and yet 
ordinarily there is a dissent of the will also thereunto. If 
you adhere to your other former interpretation, that the 
willins: aoainst sin committed, is antecedent to the commit- 
ment of it, and laid asleep before the perpetration of any 
sin, then this also is imposed on you, that there are sins 
whereunto they may be surprised by temptations, that, an- 
tecedently to the commitment of them, they do not, not-will ; 
that as to them, 'the Spirit lusteth not against the flesh ;' 
which is notoriously false ; for the flesh lusteth against the 

154 DOCTiuxE or tmi: saints' perseveraxce 

Spirit and all the ways of it, and all the fruits thereof, and 
the Spirit lusteth against the flesh, with all its ways and 

Fourthly, It appears then that this being the description 
of a regenerate man, which the apostle gives, as to indwell- 
ing sin, and all the fruits thereof, that it is most ridiculous 
to exempt his frame in respect of such sins as they may fall 
into by surprisals of temptations, from this description of 
him, and so to frame this distinction to the apostle's general 
rule, that it holds in cases ordinary, but not in extraordinary, 
when nothing in the whole context gives the least allowance 
or continuance to such a limitation. 

It appears then notwithstanding any thing oifered here 
to the contrary, upon due consideration of it, that believers 
sin not with their whole wills and full consents, at any time, 
nor under the power of what temptation soever they may fall 
for a season, and that because of the residence of this prin- 
ciple of a contrary tendency unto sin in their wills, which is 
always acting, either directly in inclining unto good, or in 
taking off, or making remiss, the consent of the will to sin, 
notwithstanding the prevalency of the principle opposite 
thereunto, by its committing of sin. 

And hence have we sufficient light for the weakenino- of 
the argument proposed in the beginning of this chapter. For 
though it is weak in its foundation (as shall be shewed), con- 
cluding to what the saints may do, from what is forbidden 
them to do, that prohibition being the ordinance of God 
certainly to preserve them from it, yet taking it for granted 
that they may fall into the sin intimated, yet seeing they do 
it not customarily, not maliciously, not with the full and 
whole consent of their wills, that there is a principle in them 
still opposing sin, though at any time weakened by sin, and 
the conclusion of that argument concerns them not. I say 
then, first, to the major proposition, they who are in a ca- 
pacity and possibility, that is, a universal possibility, not 
only in respect of an internal principle, but of all outward 
prohibiting causes, as the purpose and promise of God, of 
perpetrating the works of the flesh, not of bringing forth 
any fruits of the lusting of the flesh, which are in the best, 
willingly and ordinarily with the full and whole consent of 
their wills, in which sense alone such works of the flesh are 


absolutely exclusive from the kingdom of heaven, they may 
possibly fall out of the favour of God and into destruction. 
This proposition being thus limited, and the terms of it 
cleared, for to cause it to pass ; I absolutely deny the minor, 
that true believers do, or can so sin ; that is, so bring forth 
the works of the flesh, as to leave no room for the continu- 
ance of mercy to them, according to the tenor of the cove- 
nant of grace. 

But now frame the proposition so, as the assumption 
may comprise believers, and we shall quickly know what to 
judge of it; 'Those who are in a capacity or possibility of 
falling into such sins, as deserve rejection from God, or of 
perpetrating works of the flesh, though they do so overborne 
by the power of temptation, nilling the things they do, not 
alaiding in their sins, may fall totally and finally from God : 
but believers may so do.' As the matter is thus stated, the 
assumption may be allowed to pass upon believers, but we 
absolutely deny the major proposition in the sense wherein 
it is urged. I shall only add, that when we deny that be- 
lievers can possibly fall away, it is not any absolute impos- 
sibility we intend, nor an impossibility with respect to any 
principle in them, only that in and from itself is not pe- 
rishable, nor an impossibility in respect of the manner of 
their acting, but such a one as, principally respecting the 
outward removing cause of such an actual defection, will in- 
fallibly prevent the event of it. And thus is the cloud raised 
by this fifth argument dispelled and scattered by the light 
of the very first consideration of the difterence in sinning, 
that is, between regenerate and unregenerate men : so that 
it will be an easy thing to remove and take away what after- 
ward is insisted on for the reinforcement and confirmation of 
the several propositions of it. 

The major proposition he confirms from Gal. v. 21. Eph. 
V. 5, 6. 1 Cor. vi. 9, 10. all affirming, that neither whore- 
mongers, nor adulterers, nor idolaters, nor the like, have any 
inheritance in the kingdom of God, or can be saved. That the 
intendment of the apostle is concerning them, who live in a 
course of such sins, who sin with their whole wills, and from 
an evil root, with whose sap they are wholly leavened and 
tainted throughout, not them who, through the strength of 
temptation, and the surprisals of it, not without the renitency 


in their wills, unto all sin, any sin, the sin wherewith they 
are overtaken, may possibly fall into any such sin (as did 
David and Peter), was before declared, and in that sense we 
grant the proposition. 

For the proof of the minor proposition, which should be. 
that believers may perpetrate the work of the flesh, in the 
sense intended in the places of Scripture before mentioned, 
he insists on two things. First, The direction of those Scrip- 
tures unto believers. Secondly, The experience of the ways 
of such persons, that is, of believers. The apostle tells be- 
lievers, that they who commit such and such things, with 
such and such circumstances in their commitment, cannot 
be saved ; therefore, believers may commit those sins in the 
manner intended. What hath been said before of the use of 
threatenings, and denunciations of judgments on impenitent 
sinners, in respect of believers, will givea sufiicient account 
(if there be need of any) for our denial of this consequence; 
and for the second, that the experience of such men's ways 
and walking evinceth it; it is a plain begging of the thing 
under debate, and an assuming of that which was proposed 
to be proved, a thing unjustly charged by him on his adver- 
saries, as though they should confess, that believers might 
sin to the extent of the lines drawn out in the places of 
Scripture mentioned, and yet not lose their faith, when, be- 
cause they cannot lose their faith, they deny that they can 
sin to that compass of excess and riot intimated. 

I cannot see, then, to what end and purpose the whole 
ensuing discourse, from the beginning of this argument to 
the end of the 21st sect. is. It is acknowledged that all those 
places do concern believers ; the intendment of the Holy 
Ghost in them being to discover to them, the nature of the sin 
specified, and the end of the committing of them, in the 
way intended, and that God purposes to proceed according 
to the importance of what is threatened to those sins, so 
committed, with all that do them, that so they may walk 
watchfully and carefully, avoiding not only those things 
themselves, but all the ways and means leading to them 
(though if any one of them sin any of those sins without 
the deadly attendants of them mentioned in Scripture, they 
have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous); 
but that from thence it may be inferred, that believers may. 


and some do sin, and that God intends, as it is expressed, 
to destroy them if they so do, when he hath promised they 
shall never do so, is a very weak and ridiculous argumenta- 
tion : they are a medium of acquainting them with the de- 
sert of sin, the tenor of the law to them that are under it, 
and the riches of grace in their deliverance. 

It is true, unbelievers are, as you say, * in our judgment' 
(and I wonder what yours is in the case), ' in a state of exclu- 
sion from the kingdom of God, whether they perpetrate the 
works of the flesh mentioned or no :' unbelief is in our judg- 
ment, sufficient of itself to exclude any one from the king- 
dom of God. But yet withal in our judgment (and we de- 
sire to know yours) it is impossible that unbelievers (we mean 
those who are adults) should not perpetrate the same evils 
mentioned, or others of the same import, all the 'thoughts 
and imaginations of their hearts being evil, and that con- 
tinually,' and thereupon be farther exposed to the wrath of 
God which is revealed against all that do evil. If therefore 
the discovery of a man's desperate condition, that he may 
be stirred up to labour and strive for a deliverance from it, 
doth concern him, then these and the like passages do pro- 
perly and primarily concern unbelievers, whose state with 
the issue of it, is particularly described therein. And to 
say (as our author doth) * that it is a vain thing for the Spirit 
of God to threaten wrath to men upon the committing of 
sin, if by unbelief they are exposed antecedently to that 
wrath,' is to question the wisdom of him with whom (what- 
ever become of us poor worms) he cannot contend. He 
hath told us, that all men by nature are * children of wrath 
and unclean,' so far as not to be able to enter into the king- 
dom of heaven, unless they be washed and born again,and yet 
we hope, without the least deficiency in wisdom, hath farther 
revealed his wrath from heaven, against the ensuing ungod- 
liness that is committed by these children of wrath, to be ex- 
ecuted in tribulation and anguish against every soul that so 
doth evil. Not to detain the reader, what hath been said, 
and shall farther be argued, concerning the difference that 
is between believers and unbelievers in their sinning, with 
that also which hath been spoken of the concernment of be- 
lievers, in these and the like passages of Scripture, suffi- 
ciently arguing that no such inference as is made for the con- 


firmation of the assumption of tlie argument under consi- 
deration according to Mr. Goodwin's thoughts and appre- 
hensions of it, can possibly be drawn out from them. 

Sect. 22. is a pretty pageant, and by the reader's favour 
I shall shew it him once more. ' If it be objected that true 
believers have a promise from God that they shall never lose 
their faith, I answer, first, That this hath oft been said, but 
never so much as once proved. Secondly, Upon examination 
of those Scriptures wherein such promises of God are pre- 
tended to reside, or to be found, we find no such thing iri 
them, we find indeed many promises of their perseverance, 
but all of them conditional, and such whose performance in 
respect of actual and complete perseverance, is suspended 
upon the diligent and careful use of means by men to per- 
severe. And lastly, to affirm that true believers can by no 
commission of sin or sins whatsoever, how frequently soever 
reiterated, how long continued in soever, ever make ship- 
wreck of their faith or fall away from the grace and favour 
of God so as to perish, what is it but to provoke the flesh 
to an outrageousness in sinning, and to encourage that which 
remains of the old man in them to bestir itself in all ways of 
unriohteousness ? And doubtless the brino-ing of that doc- 
trine hath been the casting of a snare upon the world, and 
hath caused many, whose feet God hath guided into ways 
of peace, to adventure so far into desperateness of sinning, 
that, through the just judgment of God, their hearts never 
served them to return.' 

Ana. First, The foundation of this whole discourse, is a 
supposal of promises of preserving believers in their faith, 
upon the ridiculous supposition after mentioned, to be as- 
serted by the doctrine of the saints' perseverance, and the 
defenders of it, which Mr. Goodwin knows full well to be 
far otherwise. 

Secondly, Ithath sufficiently been proved, that believers 
have a promise, yea many promises, to be kept by the power 
pf God, from all and any such sin, or any such circumstance 
of sin, or continuance in sin, as is wholly inconsistent with 
believing, and that therefore they shall be preserved in be- 

Thirdly, Upon our calling the examination of the proofs 
of this assertion to an account, we have found them to be 


made up of trivial exceptions and sophistical suppositions, 
confident beggings, and cravings of the things under con- 
test and debate (all the endeavours to prove the promises 
of perseverance to be conditional, having also involved in 
them an absolute contradiction to the truth and to them- 
selves), no way sufficient to evince, that the promises and 
work of God's grace are suspended, upon any conditions in 
men whatsoever. 

And, fourthly. We say, that the intrusion of this vain 
hypothesis, that believers should continue so, under the 
consideration here intimated by you of sin, when the main 
of the doctrine contended for, consists in a full and plain 
denial that they can, or shall, fall under them (according 
to the import of 1 John iii. 9. immediately to be insisted 
on, being preserved by the Spirit and grace of him who so 
works his law in their hearts, that they shall never depart 
from him), is the great engine you have used in all your at- 
tempts against it, being indeed a mere begging of the thing 
in question. 

? Fifthly, That there is nothing in this doctrine, in the 
least, suited to turn aside the saints of God from the holy 
commandment, but that, on the contrary, it is of an excel- 
lent usefulness, and effectual influence for the promotion of 
all manner of godliness, in those that are truly saints, how- 
soever any man may abuse it (as any other discovery of the 
grace of God), turning it into lasciviousness, hath been de- 
clared : what use hath been made of the contrary doctrine 
in the world, we have hitherto had experience ; only in the 
Pelagians, Papists, Socinians, and Arminians, and with what 
fruits of it they have abounded, the church of God doth 
partly know : what it is like to bring forth, being now trans- 
lated into another soil, or rather, having won over to it 
men sometimes of another profession, is somewhat, though 
not altogether, yet in obeyance. 

Let us then, with the apostle, having proceeded thus witli 
Mr. Goodwin, that a foundation may be the better laid, for 
the removal of what he farther adds, proceed to consider 
the progress of sin, and to remark from thence the differ- 
ence that is between regenerate and unregenerate men i» 
their sinning. 

The second thing proposed in the apostle's discourse of 


the rise and progress of sin, is the general way that lust 
proceedeth in, for the bringing of it forth, and that is temp- 
tation ; ' Every one is tempted of his own lust :' this is the 
general way that lust proceeds in, for the production of ac- 
tual sin ; it tempts, and he in whom it is, is tempted ; there 
is a temptation unto sin only, and a temptation unto sin by 
sin ; the first is no sin in him that is so tempted ; our Sa- 
viour was so tempted ; * he was tempted of the devil;' Matt. 
iv. 1. * He was in all points tempted like as we are, without 
sin :' that his temptations were unto sin, is apparent from 
the story of them ; * but the prince of this world coming 
had nothing in him ;' John xiv. 30. found nothing in him 
to answer and close with his temptations ; and therefore, 
though he was tempted, yet was he without sin. Now 
though this sort of temptations from Satan, are not originally 
our sins, but his, yet there being tinder in our souls that 
kindles more or less, in and upon every injection of his fiery 
darts, there being something in us to meet many, if not all, of 
his temptations, they prove, in some measure, in the issue, 
to be ours : indeed Satan sometimes ventures upon us, in 
things wherein he hath doubtless small hope of any concur- 
rence, and so seems rather to aim at our disquiet, than our 
sins ; as in those whom he perplexes with hard and blas- 
phemous thoug! , of Goc, . thin , so contradictory to the 
very principles not of grace only, but of that whereby we are 
men, that it is utterly impossible there should be any assent 
of the soul thereunto ; to think of God, as God, is to think 
of him every thing that is good, pure, great, excellent, in- 
comprehensible in all perfection : now at the same time, to 
have any apprehensions of a direct contradictory importance, 
the mind of man is not capable. Were it not for the unbe- 
lief, causeless fears, and discontentments, that in many do 
ensue upon temptations of this nature, which are conse- 
quents, and not effects of it, Satan might keep this dart in 
his own forge, for any mischief he is like to do with it. The 
apostle speaks here of temptations by sin as well as unto 
sin; and these are men's sins, as well as their temptations; 
they are temptations, as tending to farther evil ; they are 
sins, as being irregular and devious from the rule. Now this 
tempting of lust compriseth two things. 

First, The general active inclination of the heart unto 


sin, though not fixed as unto any particular act, or way of 
sin; the ' motus primo primi ;' of this you have that testi- 
mony of God concerning man, in the state of nature ; Gen. 
vi- 5. ' Every figment of the thought of his heart, is only 
evil every day;' the figment or imagination of the thoughts, 
is the very root of them ; their general moulding, or active 
preparing of the mind, for the exerting of them ; so 1 Chron. 
xxviii. 9. ' God understandeth all the imaginations of the 
thoughts :' the figment of them ; the next disposition of 
the soul unto them; and 2 Chron. xxix. 19. 'Keep this for 
ever in the imagination of the thoughts of their hearts,' or 
keep their hearts in a continual framing posture and condi- 
tion, of such good thoughts. This, I say, is the first way of 
lust's, temptation ; it makes a mint of the heart, to frame 
readily all manner of evil desires and thoughts, that they 
may as our Saviour speaks ' proceed out of the heart ;' Matt. 
XV. 19. Their actual fixing on any object, is their pro- 
ceeding, antecedent whereunto they are framed and formed 
in the heart ; lust actually disposeth, inclines, bends, the 
heart to things suitable to itself, or the corrupt habitual 
principle which hath its residence in us. 

Secondly, The actual tumultuating of lust, and working 
with all its power and policy, in stirring up, provoking to, 
and drawing out, thoughts and contrivances of sin, with de- 
light and complacency in inconceivable variety; the seve- 
ral degrees of its progress herein being afterward described. 
In the first of these there is no small diflTerence between 
regenerate and unregenerate persons, and that in these two 

First, In its universality. In unregenerate men, ' every 
figment of their heartis only evil and that every day ;' there 
is a universality of actings expressed positively, and exclu- 
sively, to any actings of another kind; 'every figment of 
their heart is only evil;' and of time, 'every day ;' whatever 
good they seem to do, or do, whatever duties they perform, 
that in them all, which is the proper figment of their heart, 
is only evil. On this account, take any duty they do, any 
work they perform, and weigh it in the balance, and it will 
be found in respect of principles, and circumstances, or aims, 
to be wholly evil ; that indeed there is nothing in it that 
is acceptable to God ; and their hearts are casting, minting, 



and coining sin, all the day long. With believers it is not 
so, there is also a good treasure in their hearts, from whence 
they bring out good things; there is a good root in them 
that bears good fruit: though they are, or may be overtaken 
with many sins, yea with great sins, yet lust doth not tempt 
them as it doth unregenerate men, with a perpetual conti- 
nual active inclination unto evil, even some way or other in 
all the good they do. The Spirit is in them, and will, and 
doth, in what state soever they are, dispose their hearts to 
faith, love, meekness, and actuates those graces, at least in 
the elicit acts of the will ; for ' a good tree will bring forth 
good fruit.' Never any believer is or was so deserted of God, 
or did so forsake God, as that every ' figment of his heart 
should be evil only, and that continually;' that no one act 
of sin can possibly expel his habit of grace, hath been for- 
merly shewed ; neither is he ever cast into such a condition, 
but from the good principle that is in him. There is a pant- 
ing after God, longing for his salvation with more or less efti- 
cacy; the spark is warm and glowing, though under ashes. 

Secondly, In respect of pov/er. Lust tempts in unrege- 
nerate men out of an absolute uncontrollable dominion, and 
that with a morally irresistible efficacy; all its dominion, 
as hath been shewed, and very much of its strength is lost 
in believers ; this is the intendment of the apostle's dis- 
course Rom, vi. concerning the crucifying of sin, by the 
death of Christ. The power, strength, vigour, and efficacy, 
of it, is so far abated, weakened, mortified, that it cannot so 
effectually impel unto sin, as it doth Avhen it is in perfect 
life and strength. 

But you will say then. If lust be thus weakened in be- 
lievers, more than in others, how comes it to pass, that they 
do at any time fall into such great and heinous sins, as some- 
times they do, and have done? Will not this argue them to 
be even worse than unregenerate persons, seeing they fall 
into sin upon easier terms, and with less violence of impulse 
from indwelling sin than they ? 

Ans. First, The examples of believers falling into great 
sins, are rare, and such as by no means are to be accommo- 
dated to their state, in their ordinary walking with God. It 
is true there are examples of such falls recorded in the Scrip- 
ture, that they might light lie as buoys to all generations, to 


caution men of their danger, when the waves of temptation 
arise, to shew what is in man, in the best of men, to keep 
all the saints of God humble, self-empty, and in a continual 
dependance on him, in whom are all their springs, from whom 
are all their supplies ; but as they are mostly all Old Testa- 
ment examples, before grace for grace was given out by 
Jesus Christ, so they are by no means farther to be urged, 
nor are, but only to shew that it is possible that God can 
keep alive the root, when the tree is cut down to the ground ; 
and cause it to bud again by the scent of the water of his 
Spirit, flowing towards it. 

Secondly, That believers fall not into great sins at any 
time, by the mere strength of indwelling sin, unless it be in 
conjunction with some violent outward temptation, exceed- 
ingly surprising them, either by weakening all ways and 
means whereby the principle of grace should exert itself, 
as in the case of Peter j or by sudden heightening of their 
corruption by some overpowering objects, attended with all 
circumstances of prevalency, not without God's withholding 
his special grace in an eminent manner, for ends best known 
to himself, as in the case of David. Hence it is, that even in 
such sins, we say, they sin out of infirmity, that is, not out of 
prepense deliberation as to sin ; not out of malice, not out of 
love to, or delight in sin ; but merely through want of 
strength, when overborn by the power of temptations. 

This Mr. Goodwin frames as an objection to himself, in 
the pursuit of the vindication of the argument under consi- 
derations ; sect. 23. 

' Others plead that there is no reason to conceive that 
true believers, though they perpetrate the works of the flesh, 
should be excluded from the kingdom of heaven upon this 
account; because when they sin in this kind, they sin out 
of infirmity, and not out of malice.' 

Alls. I was not to choose what objections Mr. Goodwin 
should answer, nor had the framing of them which he chose 
to deal withal; and, therefore, must be contented with them, 
as he is pleased to afford them to us ; only if I may be al- 
lowed to speak in this case, and I know I have the consent 
of many concerned in it, I should somewhat otherwise frame 
this objection or answer; being partly persuaded, that Mr. 
Goodwin did not find it, but framed it himself, into the shape 

M 2 


wherein it here appears. I say then, that the saints of God 
sin out of infirmity only, not maliciously, nor dedita opera in 
cool blood, nor with their whole hearts, but purely upon the 
account of the weakness of their graces, being overpowered 
by the strength of temptation, and therefore cannot so per- 
petrate the works of the flesh, and in such away as must ac- 
cording to the tenor of the covenant wherein they walk with 
God, not only deserve rejection and damnation, but also be 
absolutely and indispensably exclusive of them, from the 
kingdom of God. What Mr. Goodwin hath drawn forth to 
take off, in any measure, the truth of this assertion, shall be 
considered. He says then, 

' To say that true believers, or any other men do perpetrate 
the works of the flesh, out of infirmity, involves a contradic- 
tion : for to do the works of the flesh, implies the dominion 
of the flesh in the doers of them, which in sins of infirmity 
hath no place ; the apostle clearly insinuates the nature of 
sins of infirmity in that to the Galatians ; Beloved if any man 
be overtaken with a fault (TrpoXr](j)6ri), be prevented, or taken 
at unawares. When a man's foot is taken in the snare of a 
temptation, only through a defect of that spiritual watch- 
fulness over himself and his ways which he ought to keep 
constantly, and so sinneth contrary to the habitual and 
standing frame of his heart, this man sinneth out of infir- 
mity ; but he that thus sinneth cannot in Scripture phrase 
be said either to walk, or to live according to the flesh, or 
to do the works of the flesh, or to do the lusts or desires of 
the flesh, because none of these are any where ascribed unto, 
or charged upon, true believers, but only upon such persons 
who are enemies unto God, and children of death.' 

j4ns. This being the substance of all that is spoken to the 
business in hand, I have transcribed it at large, that with its 
answer it may at once lie under the reader's view. I say 

First, We give this reason that believers, 'cannot perpe- 
trate the works of the flesh' in the sense contended about, be- 
cause they sin out of infirmity, and do not say that they so 
'perpetrate the works of the flesh out of infirmity.' But if by 
perpetrating the works of the flesh, you intend only the bring- 
ing forth at any time, or under any temptation whatsoever, any 
fruits of the flesh, such as every sin is, that this may not be 


done out of infirmity, or that it involves a contradiction to 
say so, is indeed not to know what you say, to contradict 
yourself, and to deny that there be any sins of infirmity at 
all, which that there are you granted in the words foregoing, 
and describe the nature of it in the words following. They 
doubtless in whom the flesh always lusteth against the Spirit 
are sometimes led away and enticed by their own lusts, so 
as to bring forth the fruits of it. 

Secondly, If 'to do the works of the flesh/ imports with 
you, as indeed in itself it doth, the predominancy and do- 
minion of the flesh in them that do the works thereof, we 
wholly deny that believers can so do the works of the flesh; 
as upon other reasons, so partly because they sin out of in- 
firmity, which sufficiently argues that the flesh hath not the 
dominion in them ; for then they should not through infir- 
mity be captivated to it, but should willingly yield up their 
* members, as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin.' 

Thirdly, The description you give of a sin of infirmity 
from Gal. vi. 1. is that alone which we acknowledge may 
befall believers, thouo;h it hath sometimes befallen them in 
greater sins. It is evident from hence, that a sin becometh 
a sin of infirmity, not from the nature of it, but from the man- 
ner of men's falling into it. The greatest actual sin, may be 
a sin of infirmity, and the least, a sin of presumption. It is 
possible a believer may be overtaken, or rather surprised, 
with any sin, so he be overtaken or surprised. A surprisal 
into sin through the power of temptation, subtilty of Satan, 
strength of indwelling sin, contrary to the habitual standing 
frame of the heart (not always neither through a defect of 
watchfulness), is all that we grant a believer may be liable 
to : and so upon Mr. Goodwin's confession, he sins only out 
of infirmity ; such sins being not exclusive of the love and 
favour of God. And, therefore. 

Fourthly, We say that true believers cannot be said to 
walk 'according to the flesh,' to do the ' works of the flesh,' to 
do the 'lusts and desires of the flesh,' which the Holy Ghost 
so cautions them against; which, as Mr. Goodwin observes, 
are none of them charged upon true believers, but only such 
persons as are enemies of God, and children of wrath; so 
that those expressions hold out to believers only what they 


ought to avoid in the use of the means which God graciously 
affords them, and do not discover any thing of the will of 
God, that he will suffer them, contrary to his many faithful 
promises, to fall into them. And so the close of this dis- 
course is contrary to the beginning, Mr. Goodwin granting 
that true believers cannot fall into these sins, but only such 
as are enemies to God ; and yet he hath no way to prove 
that true believers may cease to be so, but because they may 
fall into these sins, which that they may do, he here emi- 
nently denies. Wherefore he adds : 

'If by sinning out of malice they mean sinning with de- 
liberation, with plotting, and contriving the methods and 
means of their sinning ; sinning against judgment, against 
the dictates of conscience (and what they should mean by 
sinning out of malice but sinning upon such terms as these 
I understand not), certain it is that true believers may so sin 
out of malice, or at least such as were true believers before 
such sinning, and this our adversaries themselves confess.' 

Ans. All this falls heavy on the shoulders (as it is sup- 
posed) of poor David, and yet we think it evident, that God 
'took not his Holy Spirit from him,' but that his covenant 
continued with him, ' ordered in all things and sure,' and 
that 'sin had not dominion over him.' The reasons of this 
persuasion of ours concerning him, shall farther be insisted 
on, when we come to the consideration of his case in par- 
ticular; in the mean time I confess the dreadful falls of some 
of the saints of God, are rather to be bcAvailed than agora- 
vated ; and the riches of God's grace in their recovery, to be 
admired than searched into. Yet we say. 

First, That no one believer whatever in the world, upon 
any temptation whatever, did fall into any sin of malice, that 
is, accompanied with any hjitred of God, or despite of his 
grace, or whole delight of his will in the sin, whereunto he 
was by temptation for a season captivated ; and though they 
may fall into sin, against their judgments and dictates of 
their consciences, as every sin whatever, that they have, or 
may have knowledge of, or acquaintance with, in their own 
hearts and ways, is ; yet this doth not make them to sin out 
of malice ; for that would leave no distinction between sins 
of infirmity, whcreinto men are surprised by temptation, and 


of malice. Even sins of infirmity being in general and par- 
ticular directly contrary to the dictates of their enlightened, 
sanctified judgments and consciences. . 

Secondly, For sinning ' with deliberation, plotting, and 
contriving the methods and means of sinning' (the proof 
whereof, that so they may do, will lie as was before ob- 
served, on the instance of David), I say it being the will of 
God for ends and purposes known to his infinite wisdom, 
to give us, as to his fall, his dark side, and his sin to the 
full, with the temptations wherewith he was at first sur- 
prised ; and afterward violently hurried upon carnal reason- 
ings and considerations of the state whereinto he had cast 
himself, having lost his old friend and counsellor as to any 
shines of his countenance for a season, not acquainting us 
at all with the frame, and working, and striving of his 
Spirit, in, and under that fall ; I shall not dare to draw his 
case into a rule, that what he then did a believer now may 
do, judging of his frame in doing of it, only by what is ex- 
pressed. That believers may have morosam cogitationem, or 
deliberation upon some sins, whereunto they are tempted, 
upon the strength of indwelling sin, which may possibly so 
overcome and prevail against the workings of grace for a 
season, as to set the flesh at liberty to make contrivances to 
fufil the lusts thereof, I say, many have granted, and I shall 
not (for the sake of poor returning souls, whose backslidings 
God hath promised to heal) deny ; but yet I say, all their 
actings in this kind, are but like the desperate actings of a 
man in a fever, who may have some kind of contrivance 
with himself to do mischief (as I have known some myself), 
and aim at opportunities for the accomplishment of it ; all 
the faculties of their souls being discomposed, and rendered 
unserviceable to them through their distemper ; through the 
violence of temptation, and the tumultuating of lusts, the 
whole new man may be for a season so shattered, and his 
parts laid out of the way, as to such a due answering to 
another, that the whole may be serviceable to the work of 
faith (as a disordered army, wherein is all its fundamental 
strength as well as when it is rallied in battalia, is altogether 
unserviceable, until it be reduced to order), that sin taking 
the opportunity to fill their corrupt part (as far as it is cor- 
rupt) with its pleasure and desirableness, and so to set the 


thoughts of it on work to continue means for its accom- 
plishment. Now as through the goodness of their Father, 
and supplies of grace, which through the covenant thereof, 
they do receive, this distemper seizeth not believers but 
rarely and extraordinarily, so it doth no way prove them to 
sin with malice, or without hatred of, and opposition (secret 
opposition, which may be as secret, as some inclinations to 
sin are not known to ourselves) to, the things they do in and 
imder that condition. 

That which follows in this section being suited to the 
apprehension of some particular men, though of great name 
and esteem, accordino- to their worth and desert in the church 
of God, as Ursin, Parseus, and the rest, about reigning sin; 
wherein (as I have declared) my thoughts fall not in with 
them, I shall not need to insist any longer upon it. Paraeus, 
after all his aggravations of the sins of believers, yet adds 
that they sin not (nor did David) ex contemptu Dei, but 
through a preoccupation or surprisal of sin; which I believe 
to be the persuasion of far the greatest number of saints in 
the world, whatever Mr. Goodwin is pleased to think or 
say to the contrary. Nor is their apprehension weakened by 
Nathan's charging upon David, ' his despising of the com- 
mandment of the Lord' in doingevil ; which, as it is virtually 
done in every sin, and in great sins in an eminent manner, 
so that it did amount indeed, not only to a consequential 
but a formal voluntary contempt of God, Mr. Goodwin shall 
never prove. A father often and severely chargeth upon 
his son a despising of his commands, when he hath been 
carried out to transgress it, when yet he knows his son ho- 
nourethandreverenceth him in his heart, and is exceedingly 
remote from any resolved contempt of him. 

The close of all is a concession of the contra-remou- 
strants at tlie Hague conference ; ' that believers might fall 
into such sins, as that the church according to the command- 
ment of Christ, must pronounce that they shall no longei' 
abide in her communion, and that they shall have no part 
in the kingdom of Christ;' which being made an argument 
for the a))Ostacy of the saints, 1 shall consider how it is here 
improved by Mr, Goodwin. 

' Certainly,' saith he, ' their sense was, that true believers 
may sin above the rate of those who sin out of infirmity. 


insomuch as there is no commandment of Christ, that any 
church of his should eject such persons out of their commu- 
nion, who sin out of infirmity only ; so that by the confession 
of our adversaries themselves, even true believers may per- 
petrate such sins, which are of a deeper demerit, than to be 
numbered amongst sins of infirmity ; yea such sins, for which 
the church of Christ, according to the commandment of 
Christ, stands bound to judge them for ever excluded from 
the kingdom of God without repentance; from whence it 
undeniably follows, that they may commit such sins, whereby 
their faith in Christ will be totally lost, because there is no 
condemnation unto those that are by faith in Jesus Christ, 
whether they repent or not, and therefore they that stand in 
need of repentance, to give them a right and title to the 
kingdom of God, are no sons of God by faith ; for were they 
sons, they would be heirs also, and consequently have right 
and title to the inheritance ; so that to pretend that howso- 
ever the saints may fall into great and grievous sins, yet 
they shall certainly be renewed again by repentance before 
tliey die, though this be an assertion without any bottom on 
reason or truth, yet doth it no ways oppose, but suppose 
rather a possibility of the total defection of faith in true 

Ahs. First, That true believers may sin above the rate of 
sins of infirmity, because they may so sin, as that according 
to the appointment of Jesus Christ, they may be cast out of 
a particular church, is not attempted to be proved. Doth Mr. 
Goodwin think none may be excommunicated but such as 
have sinned themselves out of the state of grace ? That a man 
may through infirmity, fall into some such sin, as for it to 
be amoved from a church society (that amotion being an 
ordinance of Christ, for his recovery from that sin), I know 
not that it can be reasonably questioned. So that by our 
confession, that true believers may so sin, as to be rio-hte- 
ously cast out of the external visible society of a particular 
church, doth no way enforce us to acknowledge that they 
may sin above the rate of them, who are overtaken with, or 
surprised in sin, upon the account of their weakness or in- 

Secondly, The church of Christ in rejecting of one from 
its society, according to the appointment of Jesus Christ, is 

170 j)octiii:ne of the saiXts' perse vera xce 

so fur from being obliged to Judge any one for ever excluded 
from the kingdom of God ; that they do so reject a man, 
that he may never be excluded from that kingdom. It is true, 
he may be ecclesiastically and declaratively excluded from 
the visible kingdom of God, and his right and title to the 
outward administration of the good things thereof; but that 
such a one is, and must be thought to be, properly and really 
excluded from his interest in the love of God, and grace of 
the covenant (being still by the appointment of God, and 
command of Christ, left under the power of an ordinance, 
annexed by him), to the administration of that covenant, it 
doth not follow. 

Thirdly, The non-restoration of persons cast out of com- 
munion by the church, to their place in the kingdom of God, 
but upon repentance, holds proportion with what was spoken 
before upon exclusion. The repentance intended is such as 
is necessary for the satisfaction of the church, as to its ex- 
pressness and being known ; yet we grant withal, that all 
sins whatever without repentance, in that kind and degree, 
that is appointed and accepted of God, are exclusive of the 
kingdom of God; and we do much wonder that Mr. Good- 
win to the text, Rom. viii. 1. should add, 'whether they re- 
pent or not' which is not only beyond the sense of what 
went before, but directly contrary to that which follows after, 
' that walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit.' Not to re- 
pent of sin, is doubtless to 'walk after the flesh,' and no one 
of them who are freed from condemnation in Christ, doth 
ffood and sinneth not : the words we confess, are not the 
condition in the intention of God, on which their non-con- 
demnation is suspended, but yet they are a description in- 
fallible of them, who through grace are made partakers of it. 
We say then, that believers may so fall, as that being on that 
account rejected from the communion of the church, so as 
not to be restored, but upon the evidence of their repentance 
(and wc say that repentance is required for all sins, or men 
cannot be saved, wondering what Mr. Goodwin, according 
to his principles intends by the addition to the text of Rom. 
viii. 1. unless it be, that no man stands in need of repentance, 
unless he have cast off" all faith and interest in God ; a most 
anti-evangelical assertion), and yet not commit such sins, as 
whereby their faith must needs be wholly lost. 


Fourthly, There is a twofold right and title to the king- 
dom of God; a right and title by the profession of a true 
faith to the external kingdom of God, in regard of its out- 
ward administration, and a right and title to the eternal 
kingdom of God by the possession of a true faith in Christ. 
The former, as it is taken for jus in re, believers may loose for 
a season ; though they may not in respect of a remote, ori- 
ginal, fundamental root which abides ; the latter they never 
loose, nor forfeit: we say also that repentance for sin being 
a thing promised of God, for those that come to him in Christ, 
upon the account of the engagement of his grace for the 
perseverance of believers ; all such fallers into sin, shall cer- 
tainly return to the Lord by repentance, who heals their 
backslidings, which Mr, Goodwin hath not been able to dis- 
prove ; of whose arguments, and his endeavours to vindicate 
them from exceptions, this is the chief. 

But yet there being two or three things that Mr. Good- 
win is pleased to add to what went before, as objections 
against his doctrine in general, though not of this last argu- 
ment's concernment, any more than of any others he makes 
use of, because there are in them considerations of good ad- 
vantage to the truth in hand, I shall a little insist upon them, 
before I proceed with my intended discourse. 

The first is, that the 'doctrine of the saints' apostacy, 
maimeth or dismembereth the body of Christ, and brings in 
an uncouth and unseemly interchange of members between 
Christ and the soul ;' which howsoever slighted by Mr. Good- 
win, is a plea not of the least importance in the case in hand. 
The body of Christ intended, is that mystical and spiritual, 
not that political and visible ; his body in respect of the real 
union of every member of it, unto him as the head described 
by the apostle in its relation unto him ; Eph. iv. 15, 16. *It 
grows up unto him in all things which is the head, even 
Christ, from whom the whole body fitly joined together and 
compacted, by that which every joint supplieth according to 
the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh 
increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love :' so 
also, Col. ii. 19. The body we intend, whereof Christ is the 
head, is that, not only in a political sense, as the supreme 
governor of it, but in a spiritual, according to the analogy 
of a head natural, from whence life and all influence of it 


unto the members do flow. Of this body, some are in their 
spirits already consummated, and made perfect in heaven ; 
some are as yet pursuing their warfare in all parts of the 
world, pressing forward to the mark of the high-calling set 
before them. Now that any member of his body, * bone of 
the bone, flesh of the flesh of Christ,' given him to make up 
his fulness, and mystical perfection jointed unto him, washed 
in his blood and loved by him, according to the love and 
care of a head to its members, should be plucked ofl", to be 
cast into the fire ; and after it hath so closely and vitally been 
admitted into the participation of his fulness and increase, 
being united to him, become a child of the devil, an enemy 
to him, and sometimes fellow-members, so as to hate his 
head, and to be hated of his head (when yet no man ever 
yet hated his own flesh), this we suppose no way to answer 
that inexpressibly intense love, which the Lord Jesus bears 
towards his members, and to be exceedingly derogatory to 
his honour and glory, in reference with his dealing to Satan, 
the great enemy of his kingdom. But to this Mr. Goodwin 
answers : 

First, ' For dismembering the body of Christ, is it not 
the law of Christ himself in every particular church or body 
of his, that as any of their members putrify and discover 
themselves to be rotten and corrupt, they should be cut off 
by the spiritual sword of excommunication, and doth not 
such a dismembering as this, rather tend to the honouring 
and adorning the body of Christ, than any ways to maim or 
deform it? And for such a dismembering of the body of 
Christ which the doctrine in hand supposeth to be causable 
by the members themselves, by the voluntary disfaithing of 
themselves through sin and wickedness ; neither is tlie per- 
mission of this, upon such terms as it is permitted, either 
unworthy Christ or inconvenient to the body itself.' Keply, 

First, That there is no argument will tolerably arise from 
what is practicable and comely in a visible ecclesiastical 
body of Christ, to the mystical spiritual body ; that is, from 
a particular visible to the catholic church of Christ. As to 
the matter in hand, this is evident by the light of this single 
consideration, tliat in such an ecclesiastical body of Christ, 
there are always or may be, and Christ himself in the rules 
and laws that he hath given for the government thereof did 


suppose that there always would be, good and bad, true 
saints and empty professors ; whereas in the body whereof 
we treat, there is no soul actually instated, but who is ac- 
tually united to the head, by the inhabitation of the same 
Spirit. There never was nor shall to eternity any dead 
member be of that body. They are all living stones, built 
upon him who is the foundation. Now surely this is an in- 
ference attended with darkness to be felt, because it may be 
comely for those to whom the administration of ordinances 
in the visible church of Christ is committed, to cut ofFa dead 
member from the membership which he holds by his confes- 
sion of the faith, when he discovers himself not to answer 
the confession he hath made in his walking and conversa- 
tion. Therefore, Christ himself doth cut off, or one way 
or other, loose any living members of his body mystical, 
and actually by faith instated in the unity of his body with 
him. And if it shall be objected that even living members, 
and such as are truly so, may yet for and at a season, be cut 
off from a visible particular body of Christ ; I answer, 

1. It is true, they may so, in respect of their ordinary 
present right to tlie enjoyment of ordinances, not in respect 
of their remote fundamental right that still abides. 

2. They are so, or may be so, for their amendment, not 
for their destruction. That separation for a season being an 
expression of as much love and tenderness to them in Christ, 
as his joining of them to the body was from whence they are 
so separated. And, 

3. This makes not at all to the impairing of the true com- 
pleteness of the mystical body of Christ and the perfection 
of its parts ; for as in particular visible bodies of Christ 
there may be, and are, dead members which have no place 
in the body, but are as excrescencies in the vine, and yet 
the body is not rendered monstrous by them ; so a true 
member may be removed and the body not to be maimed in 
the least : the member, though perhaps from any such vi- 
sible body, for a season, and yet the true spiritual sick and 
pining, continuing a member thereof still. Now there is no- 
thing of all this that will in any measure agree to the pluck- 
ing off a member from the mystical body of Christ, whereof 
alone we speak. If any should be so separated, it must not 
only be to his present actual enjoyment of union, but to the 


loss of his Spirit also, and with him of all right and title, 
plea, or claim whatever to any interest therein. Neither is 
it possible that it should be a means for the correction and 
amendment of such a one ; it lying in a direct tendency to 
inevitable destruction; separation from all interest in Christ 
can look no other way; so that still the uncouthness of such 
a procedure abideth. 

Secondly, The reason that is added to put some colour 
and gloss upon this assertion, viz. 'That such persons as are 
affirmed to be so separated from the body of Christ, do vo- 
luntarily disfaith (as it is called) themselves, is not to the 
purpose in hand.' For, 

1. The question is, about the thing itself, whereunto this 
answer de mudo, is not satisfactory ; it is urged by the argu- 
ment, that it cannot be allowed any way, the answer is, it 
is done this way. 

2. Were Mr. Goodwin desired to explain unto us the 
manner how believers voluntarily do, or may disfaith them- 
selves, I suppose he would meet with no small difficulties in 
the undertaking. However this sounds handsomely. 

3. That they should so disfaith themselves, through sin 
and wickedness, without being overcome by the temptations 
of Satan, and the power of the enemies with whom they 
have to do and wrestle, doubtless will not be affirmed, whilst 
they continue in their right wits, and if they lose them, it 
will be difficult to manifest how they can voluntarily disfaith 
themselves. The state wherein they are described to be by 
Mr. Goodwin, and the considerations which for their pre- 
servation he allows them, should not, methinks, suffer him 
to suppose that of their own accord, without provocations 
or temptations, they will wilfully ruin their own souls. Now 
that believers should by the power of any temptation or op- 
position whatever, or what affliction soever, arising against 
them, be prevailed upon to the loss of their faith, and so to 
their dismembering from Christ, is that which is objected as 
an unseemly uncouth thing, which in this answer Mr. Good- 
win earnestly begs may not be so esteemed, and more he 
adds not as yet. 

The following discourse wherein he i)ursues the business 
in hand, is so pretty, as that I cannot but once more present 
it to the render. Saith ho. 


' As to a politic or civil corporation, it is better that the 
governors should permit the members respectively to go or 
be at liberty, that so they may follow their business and oc- 
cupations in the world upon the better terms, though by oc- 
casion of this liberty they may behave themselves in sundry 
kinds very unworthily; than it would be to keep them close 
prisoners, though hereby the said inconveniences certainly 
be prevented ; in like manner it is much better for the body 
of Christ, and for the respective members of it, that he 
should leave them at liberty to obey and serve God, and fol- 
low the important affairs of their souls freely and v>/ithout 
any physical necessitation, though some do turn this liberty 
into wantonness, and so into destruction, than it would be to 
deprive them of this liberty and to cause and constrain them 
to any course whatsoever out of necessity : though it is true 
the committing of much sin and iniquity would be prevented 
hereby in many; the dismembering of the body of Christ's 
apostles, by the apostacy of Judas was no disparagement 
either to Christ himself, or it.' 

Ails. The sum of the whole discourse is, that the Lord 
Jesus Christ hath no way to keep and secure his members 
to himself, that none of them perish, but by taking away 
their liberty which rather than do, it is more to his honour 
to let them abuse it, to their everlasting destruction ; and to 
this end sundry fine supposals are scattered through the 
whole discourse. As, 

1. That the liberty of believers is a liberty to sin, which 
they may abuse to their own destruction. The apostle is of 
another mind; Rom. vi. 17 — 19. 'God be thanked that ye 
were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart 
that form of doctrine, which was delivered you. Being 
then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteous- 
ness,' &c. 2. That there is no real efficacy of grace that will 
certainly fulfil in believers the good pleasure of God's good- 
ness, and bring forth the fruits of an abiding holiness, but 
what must needs deprive them in whom it is of their liberty: 
and suitably hereunto ; 3. That God having through Christ 
made his saints spiritually free from sin unto righteousness, 
so that v.'ith the utmost liberty that they are capable of as 
creatures, they shall surely do good, cannot by his Spirit 
continue them in that condition, infallibly without the de- 
struction of their liberty. 4. That the spiritual operation of 


God in and with the wills of men, induceth a necessita- 
tion as to their manner of operation, that they must act on 
that account, as necessary and not as free agents : with 
such other the like supposals, which are so many gross 
figments whereof Mr. G. shall be able to prove no one to 
eternity. For the removal then of all the fine words here 
tendered out of our way, it may suffice to tell their author, 
that he who is made redemption to his saints, that sets them 
free from their bondage to sin, by his Spirit, which is always 
accompanied with liberty, and makes them willing, ready, 
and free to righteousness and holiness in the day of his 
power towards them, whose effectual grace enlargeth and 
improves all their faculties in their operations, with the 
choicest attendances as to the manner of their working, can, 
and doth, by, in, and with, the perfect exercise of their liberty, 
keep them to himself, in their union and communion with 
him for ever. That this pretended liberty unto sin, is a 
bondage from which Christ frees his saints, neither is any 
thing that can be imagined more derogatory to the glory of 
his grace, than to affirm, that he cannot keep those com- 
mitted to him infallibly to the end, without depriving them of 
the liberty which they have alone through him. Of physical 
necessitation enough hath been spoken before ; Judas was 
never a member of the body of Christ, or of Christ in the 
acceptation whereof we speak. By the body of the apostles, 
is intended only their number, of which Judas (though he was 
never of that body whereof they were members) was one. 

Farther, the wickedness of ihis apprehension, that Christ 
should loose any of those, who are true and living members 
of his mystical body, is aggravated upon the account of that 
state and condition, whereinto he parts with them. They 
being thereby made members of Satan, and his kingdom ; 
God and the devil so interchanging children to the great 
dishonour and reproach of his name: to this Mr. Goodwin 
replies, in the twenty-eighth section. 

' For the interchange of members between Christ and Sa- 
tan, the Scripture presenteth it as a thing possible, yea, as 
frequent and ordinary ; Know ye not (saith the apostle) that 
your bodies are the members of Christ? Shall I then take 
the members of Christ, and make them the members of an 
harlot? In the original it is, "Apa? ouv to. imiXij too Xpicrrov 
TToiriaio, 8cc. i. e. taking away the members of Christ, shall I 


make them, &c. meaning that true believers who only are 
the members of Christ disrelate themselves to him, cease to 
be members of his body, whilst they live in a course of whore- 
dom and adultery, and make themselves members of another 
far different relation, viz. of those harlots, with whom they wil- 
fully commit sin, and consequently in such a sense of the devil.' 

Alls. First, For the sense of that place of the apostle, 
1 Cor. vi. 15. as far as it relates to the merit of the cause in 
hand, I shall have occasion to speak unto it at large here- 
after, and so shall not anticipate myself, or reader ; for the 
present I deny that there is the least mention made of any 
interchange of members between Christ and the devil, much 
less of any such thing as frequent and ordinary ; it is true 
the apostle says that he that is 'joined to an harlot makes 
his members the members of an harlot/ and on that consi- 
deration and conclusion, with part of the dignity of believ- 
ers, whose persons are all the members of Christ, persuades 
them from the sin of fornication ; that they may so much as 
fall into that sin, he doth not here intimate. That men not 
only in respect of themselves, and their principles of sin, and 
proneness unto it within, with the prevalency of tempta- 
tions, but also eventually, notwithstanding any regard or re- 
spect to other external prohibiting causes, may fall into all 
the sins from which they are dehorted, Mr. Goodwin hath 
not proved as yet, nor shall I live to see him do it. 

Secondly, For a man to make himself the ' member of an 
harlot,' is no more but to commit fornication : which whe- 
ther it be Mr. Goodwin's judgment or no, that none can fall 
into or be surprised with, but he is ipso facto cut of from 
the body of Christ thereby, I know not; taking in the con- 
sideration of what was spoken before, concerning the man- 
ner of regenerate persons sinning, with what shall be farther 
argued, I must profess I dare not say so ; in the meantime 
it is punctually denied, that believers can fall into, or live in 
a course of whoredom and adultery, and without such a course 
they cease not, according to Mr. Goodwin's sense of these 
words, to be members of Christ, nor do they otherwise be- 
come members of the devil. There is nothing here then that 
intimates such an interchange in the least. 

Thirdly, For Mr. Goodwin's criticism upon the word 
agaq : it is hardly worth taking notice of. 

VOL. vii. N 


For first, If by taking, there be meant taking away, the 
sense must be, that they are first taken away from being 
members of Christ (the word expressing a time past in that 
tendency) and then made members of an harlot: which first, 
is not suited to the mind of Mr. Goodwin, who endeavours 
to prove their ceasing to be members of Christ, by becom- 
ing members of an harlot; the efficient cause of their ceas- 
ing to be joined to Christ, consisting in their being joined 
with an harlot. And secondly, destroys the whole of the 
apostle's reasoning in the place, from the great unworthiness 
of such a way or practice, as making the members of Christ, 
to be 'the members of an harlot,' because none should so be 
made, but those who had first ceased to be members of Christ; 
and so his assertion instead of an effectual persuasive, should 
upon the matter be entangled in a contradiction to itself. 

And secondly, As there is nothing in the place to in- 
force that sense of the word, so there is nothing in ihe word 
to impose that sense upon theplace. When our Saviour speaks 
to his disciples, Luke ix. 3. firj^lv alpere fie ri'iv dcov, he doth 
not bid them take nothing away for their journey, but' take 
nothing with them.' And so Mark vi. 8. where his com- 
mand is, that fxrj^tv alpoimv tig oSbv; and in that of Matt iv. 
6. when the devil urged to our Saviour, 67rt x^ioCov apovai 
<T£, he did not intimate that the angels should take him away 
in their hands, but support him from hurt : when Jesus, John 
xi. 41 . yps Tovg ncji^aXiiiovg avio, he did not take away his eyes 
out of his head, and cast them upward, no more then the 
angel did his hand, when ypt rriv xtipa tig tov ovpavbv. Rev. 
X. 5. or the apostles their voice, when ypav (pwvriv Trpbg rbv 
S'fov, Acts iv. 24. Nor doth Christ command us to take away 
his yoke, in that heavenly word of his, "Ajoart tov (^vyiiv /lov 
c^' ti/iac* Matt. xi. 29. so that here is little help left to (his 
sense imposed on the place, under consideration, from the 
importance of the word, and so consequently not the least 
countenance given to that horrible interchange of members 
between Christ and the devil, which is asserted as a usual 
and frequent thing. 

What he addeth in the close of the section, is no less 
considerable than the beginning of it ; for, saith he, ' if it be 
no dishonour to Christ, to take in such as have been mem- 
bers of the devil, why should it be any disparagement to him 


to reject such, who by their wicked and abominable ways 
render themselves unworthy of such a relation.' 

Ans. Believers hold not their relation to Christ, upon 
any worthiness that is in themselves for it, but upon the ac- 
count merely of grace, according to the tenour of the cove- 
nant of mercy. That they may fall into such wicked and 
abominable ways, as shall render them altogether unmeet 
for that relation, according to the law of it, is that great 
argument called petitio principii, which Mr. Goodwin hath 
used in this case a hundred times. But the comparison 
instituted in the first words is admirable ; confessed it is, 
that it is no dishonour to Jesus Christ; yea, that it is his 
great honour, seeing ' he came to destroy the works of the 
devil, to bind the strong man, to spoil his goods, to destroy 
him that had the power of death, and to deliver them who 
by reason of death were in bondage all their days, to deli- 
ver his people from their sins, washing them in his blood, 
and to make them a peculiar people unto himself, zealous 
of good works.' That it is no dishonour, I say, for him to 
translate them from the power of Satan, into his own king- 
dom, making them meet for the inheritance of the saints in 
light, by redeeming them from their vain conversation, to 
do according as he intended, and to take his own, given him 
of his Father, out of the hands of the tyrant which held them 
under bondage. Therefore, having undertaken to keep them 
and preserve them, having so overcome Satan in them, for 
them, by them, broken the head of the serpent, it is no dis- 
honour for him, to lose ground given for his inheritance, 
with his subjects, members, brethren, children, bone of his 
bone, and flesh of his flesh, into the hand of the devil again. 
What fort is so strong as to hold out against such a bat- 
tery ? If it be no honour for Christ to bind Satan and to 
spoil his goods, then it is no dishonour for him to be bound 
by Satan and to have his goods spoiled. 

Another burden upon the shoulders of Mr. Goodwin's 
doctrine, whereof he labours to deliver it, is the great absur- 
dity of the repetition of regeneration, whereof there is no 
mention at all in the Scripture, and which yet must be as- 
serted by him, unless he will affirm all that fall away at any 
time irrecoverably to perish ; which howsoever he waves at 
present, were with much more probability, according to 

N 2 


his own principles, to be maintained, than what he insist- 
eth on. 

'But this repetition of regeneration,' saith he, 'is not 
unworthy God, and for men a blessed and happy accommo- 
dation. Whether it be 'unworthy God' or no, the Scripture 
and the nature of the thing will declare. The ' accommoda- 
tion' that it seems to afford unto men, being a plain encou- 
ragement to sin at the highest rate imaginable, will perhaps 
not be found so happy and blessed unto them. With great 
noise and clamour, hath a charge been managed against the 
doctrine of the saints' perseverance, upon the account of its 
giving supportment to the thoughts of men, in and under 
the ways of sin : whether truth and righteousness have been 
regarded in that charge, hath been considered. Doubtless 
it were a matter of no difficulty, clearly to evince that this 
doctrine of the * repetition of regeneration,' is of the very 
same tendency and import, which is falsely and injuriously 
charged upon that of the perseverance of the saints ; the 
worst that a man thinks he can do by any act of sin, is but 
to sin himself quite out of the f^ivour of God, into a state of 
death, and desert of wrath. He can no farther injure his 
soul, than to cast it into the condition of men by nature. 
Tell this man, now, whom you suppose to be under the 
temptation to sin, at least that he hath in him that great 
fool the flesh, which longs for blessed accommodations to 
itself, whilst it makes provision to fulfil its lusts, that if he 
should so do, this is an ordinary thing for men to do, and 
yet to be renewed again and to have a second regeneration ; 
do you not encourage him to venture boldly to satisfy his 
sinful desires, having such a relief against the worst that 
his thouohts and fears can suogest to him? 

But whatever it be in respect of God or men, yet that so 
it may be Mr. Goodwin proves from Heb. vi. 6. where it is 
said, ' that it is impossible to renew some to repentance,' 
wherefore some may be renewed ; and in Jude 12. men are 
said to be 'twice dead,' therefore, they may live twice spiri- 
tually : the first proof seems somewhat uncouth. The per- 
sons spoken of in that place are in Mr. G.'s judgment be- 
lievers; there is no place of Scripture wherein he more tri- 
umphs in his endeavoured confirmation of his thesis. The 
Holy Ghost says expressly of them, that it is impossible to 


renew them ; therefore, says Mr. G, it is possible ; what is 
of emphasis in the argument mentioned ariseth from two 
things. 1. That they are true believers ; of which afterward. 
2. That they fall totally away. This then is the importance 
of Mr. Goodwin's plea, from this place ; * If true believers 
fall totally away, it is impossible they should be renewed to 
repentance ; therefore, if true believers fall totally away, it is 
possible they should be renewed to and by repentance.' That 
there is a falling away, and a renewing again by repentance 
of the same persons, we grant. That falling away is partial 
only, which is incident unto true believers, who, when God 
heals their backslidings, are renewed by repentance. To 
be renewed also by repentance, is taken either for the reno- 
vation of our natures, and our change as unto state and con- 
dition, and so it is the same with regeneration and not to 
be repeated ; or for a recovery by repentance in respect of 
personal failings, so it is the daily work of our lives. Jude 
says, some are ' twice dead \ that is, utterly so, an hyperbo- 
lical expression to aggravate their condition. Those to 
whom the gospel is a ' savour of death unto death,' may well 
be said to be ' twice dead ;' unto the death that they are in- 
volved in, and are obnoxious to by nature ; they add a se- 
cond death, or rather, seal up their souls under the power 
and misery of the other, by contempt of the means of life 
and recovery ; therefore, regeneration may be reiterated ; 
' Quod erat demonstrandum.' 

Much of the section that remains, is taken up in declar- 
ing in many words, without the least attempt of proof, that 
it is agreeable to the honour of God, to renew men totally 
fallen away; that is, when those who have been quickened 
by him, washed in the blood of his Son, made partakers of 
the divine nature, embraced in the arms of his love, shall 
despise all this, disfaith themselves, reject the Lord and his 
love, trample on the blood of the covenant, kill their souls 
by depriving them of spiritual life, proclaim to all the world, 
their dislike of him, and his covenant of grace; yet though 
he hath not any where revealed, that he will permit any one 
so to do, or that he will accept of them again, upon their 
so doing; yet Mr. Goodwin, affirming that for him so to do, 
is agreeable to his holiness and righteousness, it is fit that 
those who conceive themselves bound to believe whatever 
he says, should think so too ; for my part I am at liberty. 


I should not farther pursue this discourse, nor insist on 
this digression, but that Mr. Goodwin hath taken advantage 
by the mention of regeneration, to deliver some rare notions 
of the nature of it, which deserve a little our farther taking 
notice of, for which end doubtless he published them. To 
make way then for his intendment, he informs us, sect. 29. 
'That regeneration itself, according to the grammatical and 
proper signification of the word imports a reiteration, or repe- 
tition of some generation or other. It cannot import a repe- 
tition of the natural generation of men ; the sense of Nico- 
demus in this point was orthodox, who judged such a thing- 
impossible ; therefore, it must import a repetition of a spiri- 
tual generation, unless we shall say (which I think is the 
road opinion) that it signifies only the spiritual genera- 
tion, with a kind of reflection upon, and unto the birth na- 

jlns. First, That the grammatical sense of the word im- 
ports 'a reiteration of some generation,' is only said ; ava hath 
other significations in composition, besides the intimating 
of a reiteration of the same thing : either in specie or indi- 
vidually, the same again ; ita\ivjivr](jia would seem rather to 
inforce such an interpretation, than avayiiniaiq, which yet it 
doth not: it is spoken of that which hath no birth properly 
at all, as Philo de Mundo, ju)) fxovov ^^ooav rov koctjuou kutt]- 
yooHv aWa Kcii TraXivyevricruiv avatptiv' ava of itself is only 

Xwpov av vX)/fvTo— Horn. 'OS. s. through a woody coun- 
try ; avaaTaaiQ, resurrection, doth not import again, after 
another rising before, but a restoration from a lost state; so 
is iraXivytvrima used. Matt. xix. 28. To be regenerate, is to 
have a new, and another generation, not any one repeated. 
In the place mentioned of John by Mr. Goodwin, there is 
mention neither of a 'repetition of a former generation,' nor 
directly of a new one ; though it be so, it is not there called 
so. Our Saviour at first says, tavfii) rtg yivt)^)) avw^Ev, * un- 
less a man be born from above,' as the word is elsewhere 
rendered, and properly signifies, as John iii. 31. John xix. 
11. Mark xv. 38. James iii. 17. and sometimes of old or for- 
mer days, as Acts xxvi. 5. once only, it signifies 'again,' Gal. 
iv. 9. but there joined with TraXtr, which restrains it. And 
in the exposition afterward of what he intended by that ex- 
pression, he calls it simply a being ' born of the water and 


the spirit/ ver. 5. without the least intimation of the repe- 
tition of any birth, but only the asserting of a new spiritual 
one ; called a birth, indeed, with allusion to the birth natural, 
whixjh is the road opinion, well beaten ever since Christ first 
trod that path. Besides, the very same thing which is ex- 
pressed under the name of regeneration, being a spiritual 
birth, which a man had not before, is also delivered unto us 
in such words and terms, as manifest no reiteration of any 
state, condition, or thing to be included therein, as conver- 
sion to God, a quickening from death, sanctification by the 
spirit, &c. all which manifest the induction of a new life and 
form, and not the repetition of another. Hence the ancients 
called baptism, regeneration; being the initial ordinance of 
Christianity, and expressive of the new life, which in, and 
through Christ, we receive; and that from Tit. iii. 5. Rege- 
neration, then, neither in the import of the word, nor in the 
nature of the thing, doth require a reiteration of any gene- 
ration, but only the addition of a new one, to that which a 
man hath before ; and whereunto this doth allude. The re- 
ceiving of a new spiritual birth and life, is our regeneration, 
renovation, resurrection, quickening, implanting into Christ, 
and the like : so that the foundation of all the ensuing dis- 
course, is a mere quagmire, where no firm footing can be ob- 
tained ; and of the same nature is that which ensues. ' It is,' 
saith he, ' the common sense of divines, that the two gene- 
rations mentioned, the natural and spiritual, are membra di~ 
videntia, and contra-distinguished the one unto the other ; 
and so the apostle Peter too seems to state and represent 
them, as also our Saviour himself;' John iii. 6. Now there 
can hardly any instance be given, where the introducing of 
one contrary form or quality into the subject, is termed a rei- 
teration, or repetition of the other ; calefaction (for example) 
is never termed a repetition of frigefaction, nor calefaction 
called a reiteration of frigefaction ; nor when a regenerate 
or mortified man dieth his natural death, is he said to reite- 
terate or repeat his spiritual death. 

Ans. That in the term ' regeneration' two births are im- 
plied, may be granted ; that the same is intimated to be re- 
peated, is denied, and not proved at all ; and, therefore, 
Mr. Goodwill says well, that the introducing of a contrary 
form, is not called the reiteration of another, no more is it 


here ; our new birth is called our regeneration, or new gene- 
ration, in allusion to our natural birth, not as a repetition of 
it ; neither is the allusion in respect of the contrary qualities, 
wherewith the one and the other are attended ; but in respect 
of the things themselves, in which regard, as they are not 
the same, so they are not contrary, but diverse. They are 
both births, the one natural, the other spiritual ; natural and 
spiritual in that sense, are not contrary qualities, but diverse 
adjuncts ; and so are the two births compared, 1 Pet. i. 23. 
Johni. 13. In which last place our regeneration is expressed 
under the simple term of being born, with distinction to the 
natural birth, and not the least intimation of the iteration of 
any birth or generation subjoined; so also is it, James i. 18. so 
that hitherto little progress is made by Mr. Goodwin towards 
his intendment whatever it be. Thus then he expresseth it : 

' I rather/ saith he, ' conceive that regeneration, which the 
Scripture makes appropriable only unto persons living to 
years of discretion, who generally in the days of their youth, 
degenerate from the innocency of their childhood and 
younger years, and corrupt themselves with the principles 
and ways of the world; relates not to the natural generation 
as such, I mean, as natural, but unto the spiritual estate and 
condition of men in respect of their natural generation and 
birth, in and upon which they are if not simply and abso- 
lutely yet comparatively, innocent, harmless, free from pride 
and malice ; and in respect of these qualifications, in grace 
and favour with God, upon the account of the death and suf- 
ferings of Christ for them, as we shall afterward prove.' 

Here you have the sum of the design, and the doctrine of 
regeneration cleared from all those vain and erroneous opi- 
nions, wherewith it hath so long been clouded. It is the 
returning of men into the good state and condition wherein 
they are born, after they have degenerated into ways of wick- 
edness ; we thought it had been the quickening of them, who 
are by nature dead in trespasses and sins, their being begot- 
ten again by the will of God, the bestowing of a new princi- 
ple of Spirit and life upon them, a translation from death to 
life, the opening of blind eyes, making them who were dark- 
ness, to be light in the Lord. It seems we have all this while 
been in the dark, and that regeneration indeed, is only a re- 
turning to that condition from whence we thought it had 


been a delivery ; but let us a little see the demonstration of 
this new notion of regeneration. 

First, he saith, ' The Scripture makes it appropriable only 
to them who come to years of discretion.' Sir, your proof; 
we cannot take your bare word in a thing of this importance. 
In the place yourself chose to mention, as the foundation 
you laid of the inferences you are now making, our Saviour 
says, it is a being ' born of the Spirit;' doth the Scripture 
make this appropriable only unto men of discretion ? Men 
only of discretion, then, can enter into the kingdom of God ; 
for none, ' not so born of the Spirit shall enter therein ;' 
John iii. 5. If none but men of discretion can be born of 
the Spirit, then infants have no other birth but only that of 
the flesh ; and ' that which is born of the flesh is flesh ;' ver. 6. 
not capable of entering into the kingdom of heaven. Surely 
you better deserve the title of ' durus pater infantum,' than 
he to whom of old it was given ; perhaps a grosser figment 
was never framed by a man of discretion. 

Secondly, It is true, infants are comparatively innocent, 
in respect of actual transgressions ; but equally innocent and 
guilty with sinners of discretion, in respect of natural state 
and condition. They are no less obnoxious to that death, 
from whence our regeneration is a delivery, by the bestow- 
ing of a new spiritual life, than a sinner of a hundred years 
old : a returning to this condition, it seems, is a regenera- 
tion, ' Quantum est in rebus inane !' 

Thirdly, The qualifications of infants, not regenerated, 
are merely negative, and that in respect of the acts of sin, not 
the habitual seed and root of thera ; for in them dwells no 
good ; that in respect of these qualifications of innocency 
that are in them by nature antecedent to any regeneration 
(all Vv^hich are resolved into a natural impotency of perpe- 
trating sin), they are accepted in grace and favour with God, 
had been another new notion, had not Pelagius and Socinus 
before you fallen upon it: ' without faith it is impossible to 
please God;' Heb. xi. 6. and his wrath ' abides on them that 
believe not ;' John iii. 36. That infants have or may have faith, 
and not be regenerated, will scarcely be granted by them 
who believe the Spirit of Christ to cause regeneration where 
he is bestowed ; Tit. iii. 5. and all faith to be the fruit of 
that Spirit ; Gal. v. 26, 27. Farther, for the qualification ^f 


infants by nature ; how are they brought clean, from that 
which is unclean ? Are they not conceived in sin and brought 
forth in iniquity ? Or was that David's hard case alone? If 
they are born of the flesh, and are flesh; if they are unclean, 
how come they to be in that estate, upon the account of 
their qualifications accepted in the love and favour of him, 
who is of purer eyes than to behold iniquity ? If this be the 
doctrine of regeneration that Mr. G. preaches, I desire the 
Lord to bless them that belono- unto him, in a deliverance 
from attending thereunto. Oftheeff'ects of the death of Christ, 
in respect of all children I shall not now treat ; that they should 
be saved by Christ, not washed in his blood, not sanctified 
by his Spirit (which to be is to be regenerate), is another 
new notion of the new gospel. 

The countenance which Mr. Goodwin would beg to his 
doctrine, from tliat of our Saviour to his disciples, * except 
ye be turned and become as little children ye cannot enter 
into the kingdom of God ;' reproving their ambition and 
worldly thoughts, from which they were to be weaned, that 
they might be fit for that gospel state and employment 
whereunto he called them, and wherein they were to serve 
him, does no more advantage him nor the cause he hath un- 
dertaken, than that other caution of our Saviour to the same 
persons, to be 'wise as serpents and innocent as doves/ 
would do him that should undertake to prove that Christians 
ought to become pigeons or snakes. Thus much then we 
have learned of the mind of Mr. G. by his digression; 1. 
That no children are regenerate ; 2. That they are all ac- 
cepted with God through Christ, upon the account of the 
good qualifications that are in them ; 3. That regeneration 
is a man's returning to the state wherein he is born ; and 
having taken out this lesson, which we shall never learn by 
heart whilst we live, we may now proceed. 

I shall only add to the main of the business in hand, that 
so long as a man is a child of God, he cannot, he need not, 
to repeat his regeneration. But that one who hath been 
the child of God, should cease to be the child of God, is 
somewhat strange. How can that be done amongst men? 
that he should cease to be such a man's son, who was his 
son ? Those things that stand in relation, upon any thing 
that is past, and therefore irrevocable, cannot have their 


beins;s continued, and their relation dissolved ; it is impos- 
sible but that cause and effect raustbe related one to another; 
such is the relation between father and son ; the foundation 
of it is an act past and irrevocable, and therefore the relation 
itself is indissoluble. Is it not so with God and his children? 
when they once stand in that relation, it cannot be dis- 
solved. But of these things hitherto. 

To proceed with that place of Scripture v.'hich I laid as 
the foundation of this discourse. The general w^ay of lust's 
dealinor vvith the soul, the brincrino- forth of sin, whereof 
there are two acts expressed, ver. 14. the oneofdrawing 
away, the other enticing, is to be insisted on. Upon the 
first, the person tempted is l^eXKOfxsvoQ, drawn off, or drawn 
away ; and upon the second, he is ^eXia^o/mavcg, enticed, or 

The first stirring of sin is to draw away the soul from 
whaitit ougiit to be fixed upon, by its rising up irregularly 
to some delightful object. For a man to be drawn away by 
his lust, is to have his lust drawn out to some object suited 
to it, wherein it deiighteth. Now this drawing away, de- 
noteth two thinp;s. 

1. The turning of the soul from the actual rectitude of 
its frame towards God. Though the soul cannot always be 
in actual exercise of grace towards God, yet it ought always 
to be in an immediate readiness to any spiritual duty, upon 
the account whereof, when occasion is administered, it doth 
as naturally go forth to God, as a vessel full of water floweth 
forth when vent is given unto it. Hence we are commanded 
to pray always. Our Saviour giveth a parable to instruct 
his disciples, that tliey ought to pray TravTore ; Luke xviii. 1. 
And we are commanded to pray aSiaXtiVrwe, ' without ceasing 
or intermission,' 1 Thess. v. 17. which the same apostle in 
another place calleth praying Iv iravA ruTTd) ' in every place :' 
namely, as occasion is administered. It is not the perpetual 
exercise of this duty (as the Jews some of them have ridicu- 
lously interpreted the first psalm of 'reading the law day 
and night'), which v^ould shutout and cut off all other duties, 
not only «>f men's callings and employments as to this life, 
but all other duties of the ways and worship of God what- 
ever; but it is only the readiness and promptitude of the 
heart in its constant frame to that necessary duty, that is 


required ; now he who is l^eXKOfievog by lust, is drawn off 
from this frame ; that is, he is interrupted in it by his lust, 
diverting unto some sinful object. And as to this particular, 
there is a great difference betwixt the sinning of believers, 
and those who arise not beyond that height which the power 
of conviction beareth them oftentimes up unto. For, 

1. The main of a true believer's watching in his whole 
life, and in the course of his walking with God, is directed 
against this off-drawing from that habitual frame of his 
heart by lust and sin. His great business is, as the apostle 
telleth us, to ' take the whole armour of God to him,' that 
sin if it be possible, may make no approach to his soul ; 
Eph. vi. 13. It is to keep up their spirits to a 'hate of 
every evil way and to delight in God continually;' and be- 
cause they cannot attain in this life unto perfection, they 
cry out of the power of sin leading them captives to the law 
thereof. They would have their wills dead to sin, vkolly 
dead, and have trouble that they are not so, as to the general 
frame of their spirits how oft soever they be drawn off. For 
other persons they have truly no such frame at all, what- 
ever they may be cut into the likeness of, by the sharpness 
of Scriptural convictions that come upon them ; and there- 
fore they watch not, as to the keeping of it. The deeper 
you dive into them, the more near you come to their hearts, 
the worse they are ; their very inward parts is wickedness. 
I speak now of the ordinary frame of the one and other. 

This drawing off by sin in believers, is by the power of 
sin, in opposition to their will. Their wills lie against it to 
the utmost : they would not, as was shewed, be so drawn 
off. But as for the others, as hath been shewn, however 
their minds may be enlightened, and their consciences 
awakened, and their affections corrected and restrained, 
their wills are wholly dead in sin. 

Secondly, When a man is tstAico/ievoc or drawn away, there 
are stricken out between the lust and the pleasing object, 
some glances of the heart, with thoughts of sin. When lust 
hath gone thus far, if a violent temptation fall in, the person 
to whom it doth so befall, may be carried, or rather hurried 
out and surprised into no small advance towards the perpe- 
tration of sin, without the least delight in the sin or consent 
of the will unto it, if he be a godly man. So was it in the 


case of David, in the cutting of the lap of the garment of 
Saul. Lust stirred in him, drew him off from his frame of 
dependance on God, and by the advantage of Saul's presence 
stirred up thoughts of self-security, and advantage in him, 
which carried him almost to the very act of sin, before he 
recovered himself. Then, I say, is a man drawn away, not 
only in respect to the term from whence, but also of that 
whereunto, when the thoughts of the object presented as 
suitable to lust are cast in, though immediately rejected. 
This I intend by this acting of sin ; which, although it be 
our sin, as having its rise and spring in us, and is continually 
to be lamented, yet when it is not accompanied witli any de- 
light of the heart or consent of the will, but the thought of 
it, is like a piece of fiery iron cast into water which maketh 
a sudden commotion or noise, but yet is suddenly quenched. 
It is that which regenerate men are and may be subject to ; 
which also keepeth them humble all their days. There is 
more in this drawing away, than a single thought or appre- 
hension of evil amounts to (which may be without the least 
sin. ' To know evil is not evil') but yet is short of the soul's 
consent unto it. 

The second way wherein lust proceedeth in tempting is 
by enticing the soul, and he who is so dealt withal by it is 
said to be SaAEa^OjUtvoc, *to be enticed.' There is something 
more in this, than in being only drawn away. The word 
here used is twice mentioned in the Second Epistle of Peter, 
chap. ii. Once it is rendered to ' beguile,' AtXEa^orrfc 
^pvX^Q aarripLicTovQ, ver. 14. and in the other ' alluring,' 
ver. 18. It Cometh (as is commonly known) from AeXiag, 
a 'bait,' which is from AoXeap or AoXoc, 'deceit,' because the 
end of a bait is to deceive, and to catch by deceiving. 
Thence SeXea^w is to entice, to allure, to entangle, as men 
do fishes and birds with baits. That which by this expres- 
sion the Holy Ghost intendeth, is the prevalency of lust in 
drawing the soul unto that, which is by the Casuits termed 
deledatio morosa, ' a secret delight' in the evil, abiding some 
space upon it. So that it would do that which it is tempted 
and enticed unto, were it not forbidden ; as the fish liketh 
the bait well enough, but is afraid of the hook. The soul 
for a season is captived to like the sin, and so is under the 
power of it, but is afraid of the guilt. It sticketh only at 


this, ' how shall it do this great thino- and sin a2;ainst the 
Lord. Now though the mind never frame any intention of 
fulfilling the evil, wherewith the soul is thus entangl J, or 
of committing that sin whereunto it is allured and enticed, 
yet the aifections having been cast into the mould of sin for 
a season, and conformed unto it by delight (which is the 
conformity of the affections to the thino- deliohted in), this 
IS a high degree of sin ; and that because it is directly con- 
trary to that ' death unto sin,' and the * crucifying of the t^esh 
and the lusts thereof,' which we are continually called unto. 
It is in a sense, a making 'provision for the flesh to fulfil the 
lusts thereof:' provision is made though the flesh be not 
suffered to feed thereon, but only delight itself with behold- 
ing of it. 

I shall not deny but this also may befall a true believer, it 
being chiefly implied in Rom. vii. but yet with wide dif- 
ference, from the condition of other persons, in their being 
under the power of the deceits and beguilements of sin. For 
first. This neither doth nor can grow to be the habitual frame 
of their hearts ; because, as the apostle telleth us, ' they are 
dead to sin and cannot live any longer therein ;' Rom. vi. 2. 
and, ' their old man is crucified with Christ, that the body of 
sin might be destroyed;' ver. 6. Now though a man should 
abstain from all actual sins or open committing of sin all 
his days, yet if he have any habitual delight in sin, and de- 
fileth his soul with delightful contemplations of sin, heliveth 
to sin and not to God, which a believer cannot do, for he is 
* not under the law but under grace.' To abide in this state, 
is to ' wear the garment spotted with the flesh.' But now 
take another person, however heightened and wrought up 
by convictions, unless it be when conscience is stirred up, 
and some affrightment is put upon him, he can as his leisure 
affords, give his heart the swing in inordinate affections, or 
what else pleaseth and suiteth his state, condition, temper, 
and the like. 

2. A believer is exceedingly troubled upon the account 
of his being at any time led captive to the power of sin in 
this kind ; and the review of the frame of his spirit, wherein 
his affections were by delight conformed to any sin, is a 
matter of sore trouble and deep humiliation to him. I am 
of Austin's mind, 'De Nup. Concupis.'cap. 8. that it is this 


perpetrating of sin, and not the actual committing of it, 
which the apostle complaineth of; Rom. vii. Two things 
persuade me hereunto. First, That it is the ordinary course 
and walkino; of a regenerate man, that Paul describeth in 
that place ; and not his extraordinary falls and failings, un- 
der great and extraordinary temptations. This is evident 
from the whole manner of his discourse, and scope of the 
place. Now ordinarily, through the grace of God, the saints 
do not do outwardly and practically the things they would 
not; that is, commit sin actually, as to the outward act; 
but they are ordinarily only swayed to this entanglement 
by the baits of sin. Secondly, It is the sole work of in- 
dwelling sin, that the apostle there describeth, as it is in it- 
self, and not as it is advantaged by olhor temptations, in 
which it carrieth not believers out to actual sins, as to such 
accomplishment of them, which is their state in respect of 
great temptations only. It is then, I say, the great burden 
of their souls, that they have been in their affections at any 
time dealing with the baits of sin, which causeth them to 
cry out for help, and filleth them with a perpetual self-ab- 
horrency and condemnation. 

3. In such surprisals of sin, although the affections may 
be ensnared, and the judgment and conscience by their 
tumultiiating, dethroned for a season, yet the will still 
maketh head against sin in believers, and crieth out, that 
whether it will or no, it is captived and violently overborne, 
calling for relief, like a man surprised by an enemy. There 
is an active renitencv in the will against sin, whose bait is 
exposed to the soul, and wherewith it is enticed, allured, or 
entangled ; when, of all the faculties of the soul, if any thing 
be done in any act of sin in unregenerate men, the will is 
the ringleader. Conscience may grumble, and judgment 
may plead, but the will runneth headlong to it. And thus 
far have I (by way of digression) proceeded in the difference 
there is, betwixt regenerate and unregenerate men, as to the 
root and foundation of sin, as also to their ordinary walking. 
What is farther added by the apostle in the two following 
degrees, in the place mentioned, because thence also may 
some light be obtained to the business in hand, shall be 
briefly insisted on. . 

The next thing in the progress of sin, is lust's ' conceiving.* 


When it hath turned off the heart from its communion with 
God, or consideration of its duty, and entangled or hampered 
the affections in dehght with the sinful object proposed, 
prevailing with the soul to dwell with some complacency 
upon the thoughts of sin, it then falleth to ' conceiving;' that 
is, it warms, foments, cherisheth thoughts and deH";hts of 
the sin entertained, until it so far prevail upon the will (in 
them in whose wills there is an opposition unto it), that 
being wearied out with the solicitations of the flesh, it giveth 
over its power, as to its actual predominant exercise, and 
sensibly dissenteth not, from the sin whereunto it is tempted. 
That this may sometimes befall a regenerate person, I have 
granted before, and what is the difference herein betwixt 
them, and unregenerate persons, may be collected from what 
hath been already delivered. 

Of the next step of sin, which is, its bringing forth, or 
the actual accomplishment of the sin so conceived as above 
expressed, there is the same reason. Iiktu, 'it bringeth out' 
of its womb, the child of sin, which it had conceived ; it is 
the actual perpetration of sin formerly consented unto, that 
is expressed under this metaphor. I hsiive little to add upon 
this head, to what was formerly spoken. For, 

1. As they are not the sins of daily infirmities that are 
here intended, in the place of the apostle under considera- 
tion, but such as lie in an immediate tendency unto death, 
as to their eminent guilt ; as also being the fruit of the 
heart's conception of sin, by fomenting and warming 
thoughts of sin, with delight, until consent unto it be pre- 
valent in the soul, so falls of this nature in the saints, are 
extraordinary, and always attended with their loss of peace, 
the weakening of their faith, wounding of their souls, and 
obnoxiousness, without repentance unto death. God, in- 
deed, hath provided better things for them, but for them- 
selves, they have done their endeavour, to destroy their 
own souls. 

2. That God never suffereth his saints to fall thus, but 
it is for the accomplishment of some very glorious end of 
his, in their afflictions, trials, patience, humiliation, which 
he will bring about. These ends of God are many and va- 
rious : I shall not enter into a particular discourse concern- 
ing them. 


3. That an impenitent continuance in and under the 
guilt of such a sin, is a sore sign of a heart, that neither 
hath, nor ever had any true faith. In others, there is a truth 
of that of Austin, who affirmed, that he dared say that it 
might be good for some, to have fallen into some eminent 
particular sin, for their humiliation and caution all their 

4, That this frequent conception of sin, and bringing of 
it forth, in persons who have been heightened by convic- 
tion to a great regularity of walking and conversation, 
is the means whereby they, do go forth unto that which 
is mentioned in the last place, which is finishing of sin ; 
that is, so to be brought under the power of it, as to com- 
plete the whole work of sin. Now men bring it forth by the 
the temptations, and upon the surprisals forementioned ; but 
they that come to finish it, or do the work of it, in them it 
will bring forth death. This I take to be the intendment of 
that expression, 'A/jiapTia airoTeXefr^HCFa, ' sin perfected.' The 
word airoTeXdv, is nowhere used in the New Testament; 
TeXeTv, and IttitsXhv, are ; there is rrjv vofxov nXeiv, which is, 
not to do any one act which the law requireth, but to walk 
studiously and constantly, according to the rule thereof; 
and so cTrtriXeTv, as the apostle useth it, Philip, i. 6. where 
we translate it, as here, uTroreXiiv. To * perfect the good 
work,' is to walk in the way of grace and the gospel, unto 
the end. So to 'perfect sin,' is to fulfil the work of sin, and 
to walk in the way of sin, to be under the dominion and 
reign of sin so far, as to be carried out in a course of sin- 
ning ; and this is that alone, which we exempt believers 
from ; which, that they are exempted from, unto all that hath 
formerly been spoken, I shall add the consideration of one 
place of Scripture, being turned aside from my thoughts of 
handling this at large, as the second part of the doctrine of 
the saints' perseverance, the former being grown under my 
hands, beyond expectation. 

Now this place is, the 1 John iii. 9. 'Whatsoever is born 
of God, doth not commit sin, for his seed remaineth in him, 
and he cannot sin because he is born of God,' A place of 
Scripture, that always hath amazed the adversaries of the 
doctrine, which hitherto, through the grace of God, we have 
asserted ; being in itself, fully sufficient to captivate every 



understanding unto the obedience of its truth, that is not 
resolved to cleave to a contrary conclusion, let what demon- 
stration soever lie against it. In the defence of the doc- 
trine under consideration, should we use expressions of the 
same importance with these here used by the apostle, as 
we should abundantly satisfy ourselves, that we had deli- 
vered our minds and sense to the understanding of any in- 
different person, with whom we might have to do ; so we 
should by no means avoid all those imputations of folly 
and error, that our doctrine sufTereth under, from the men 
that have entertained an enmity against it, as it is held forth 
in equivalent expressions by us. The authority of the Holy 
Ghost hath gained thus much upon our adversaries, that 
when he asserteth in express, and expressive terms, the very 
thing or things that in us are called folly, that evasions 
should be studied, and pains taken to rack his words, to a 
sense which they will not bear, rather than plainly to deny 
his authority. But let the words, with the scope and ten- 
dency be considered. 1. The scope and intendment of the 
apostle in the place is to give a discriminating character of 
the children of God, and the children of the devil; thus he 
fully expresseth himself unto us, ver. 10. ' In this,' saith he, 
'the children of God are manifested, and the children of 
the devil; whosoever doth not righteousness is not of God, 
neither he that loveth not his brother.' And withal to press 
on an exhortation against sin, whereunto he useth the argu- 
ment that lieth in the following words : ' If any one sin that 
thinketh himself to be born of God, he deceiveth himself;' 
ver. 7. ' Little children let no man deceive you ; he that 
doth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. He 
that committeth sin is of the devil.' But how proveth he 
this? In these words, ' Whosoever is born of God sinnetli 
not;' doth not, cannot sin. Such is the genius and nature 
of the children of God, of them that are born of him, that 
they do not, they cannot sin. You are persuaded that you 
are so born of God ; therefore, you must press after such a 
frame, such an iiigenie and disposition, such a principle, as 
that thereby you cannot sin ; it must manifest itself to be 
in you, if you be the children of God. 

Now whereas it is offered by Mr. Goodwin, cap. 10. 
sect. 27. p. 194. 'That the context, or scope of the whole 


place, doth not invite such an exposition as is usually in- 
sisted on, because (saith he) the intent and drift of the apo- 
stle from ver. 3. even to the end of the chapter (as he that 
doth but run the context over may read), is not to shew or 
argue, whether the sons of God may possibly in time so de- 
generate, as to live sinfully and die impenitently; but to 
evince this, that those who claim the great honour and pri- 
vilege of being the children of God, cannot justify or make 
good this claim neither unto others, nor unto themselves, 
but by a holy and Christian life and conversation. Now it is 
one thing to argue and prove, who are the sons of God at 
present ; another, whether they who are such at present must 
of necessity always so continue. The former is the apostle's 
theme in the context, the latter he is wholly silent of.' 

I say, it is evident that the scope of the place is to evince, 
that in the children of God, those that are born of him, 
there is such a principle, genius, a new nature, as that upon 
the account thereof, they cannot sin ; and therefore, that those 
who have not such principles in them, whatever their pre- 
tences be, are not indeed born of God ; and in this he ma- 
nifesteth, that those who are indeed born of God, cannot 
possibly so degenerate, as to fall into total impenitency, so 
as to become children of the devil, which he emphatically 

2. He doth indeed declare, that none can make good 
their title to be children of God, but those who can justify 
their claim, by a holy and Christian conversation; but yet 
moreover, he maketh good the assertion by this farther dis- 
covery which he maketh of their new nature, to be such, as 
that they cannot sin, or degenerate into a condition of lying 
under the power of a vain conversation : so that though his 
intent should not be primarily, to manifest that those who 
are at present the children of God, cannot apostatize, but 
must so continue, yet it is to confirm their nature and ge- 
nius, to be such, with the principles which from God they 
have received, that so it shall be with them, so they shall 
abide ; and to this he is not silent, but eminently expressive. 

The context being thus clear, the words themselves are a 
proposition or thesis, and a reason for the confirmation of 
the truth of that proposition. The proposition is ready at 
hand in the words ; ' He that is born of God, doth not, can- 

o 2 


not commit sin.' The reason of the proposition confirming 
the truth thereof, is twofold ; 1. Because he is born of God ; 
2. Because his seed whereof he is so born, remaineth. 

The proposition is universal. Hag 6 yeyevrffxivog Ik tov 
^eov, 'every one that is born of God;' whence these two 
things ensue. 1. The truth of it hath a necessary cause or 
causes ; universal propositions must have so, or they are not 
true. If that which is their ground may be otherwise, it in- 
validates their certainty; such then must be the cause of 
this assertion of the apostle. 

2. That it compriseth all and every one that is interested 
in that which is the cause of the certainty of this universal 
assertion or proposition ; every one who is ' born of God,' 
that hath this seed, be he young or old, weak or strong, wise 
or foolish, exercised in the ways of God, or newly entered 
into them, all is one ; whosoever is thus interested in the 
foundation, is equally interested in the inference. 

In the proposition itself may be considered the subject, 
and what is affirmed of it. The subject is, * every one that is 
born of God.' That which is affirmed of it is, 'sinneth not, 
cannot sin.' 

1. For the first, viz. the subject. They are those which 
are 'born of God,' and who they are that are so born of God, 
the Scripture is clear in; neither is there any difference of 
importance, as to the intendment of this expression. Those 
who suppose that believers of some erainency only are de- 
noted in it, do not consider that all believers whatever are 
sharers in the grace intended therein ; they are all said to be 
* born again, not of the will of flesh but of God ;' John. i. 13. 
For it is ascribed to all believers on the name of Christ, ver. 
12. ' He begetteth them all of his own will;' Jam. i. 18. as 
also, 1 Pet. i. 23. he is said to 'beget them,' as to 'quicken 
them;' Eph. ii. 1. and they to be born of him, as they are 
quickened or raised from the dead. Two things are inti- 
mated in this expression. 

1. A new principle, habit, or spiritual life, which such 
persons have ; hence they are said to be * born ;' as they who 
are born in the world are partakers of a vital principle that 
is the foundation of all their actions; so have they here a new 
life, a new vital principle; by their being born are they made 
partakers of it. 


2. The divine original of that principle or life, is from 
God. They have the principle of life, immediately from him, 
and therefore are said to be born of God, and both these con- 
siderations are here used as descriptions of the subject : and 
in the close of the reason of the proposition, they are insisted 
on, as the cause of that effect of not sinning; 'he sinneth not 
because he is born of God;' both the nature of the principle 
itself which in itself is abiding, and the rise or original that 
it hath from God, have an influence into that casuality that 
is ascribed to it ; but about this there can be no great 

Secondly, That which is affirmed of every such per- 
son is, that he 'committeth not sin.' That this expression is 
to be attended with its restrictions and limitations is evident, 
from that contrariety w^herein, in its whole latitude, it stand- 
eth to sundry other testimonies in the book of God ; yea, in 
this very epistle. * There is none that doth good and sinneth 
not,' saith Solomon, I Kings viii. and ' In many things we 
sin all,' saith James, in James iii. 4. And this apostle put- 
teth all out of question, by convincing the best of saints, 
that have 'communion with the Father and Son,' that by 
saying we have no sin, by a denial of it, we involve ourselves 
in the guilt of it. 'If we (we apostles, we who have fellow- 
ship with the Father and the Son) say we have no sin, we 
deceive ourselves ;' 1 John. i. 8. 'Doth not commit sin,' then, 
cannot be taken absolutely for doth not sin at all. There 
is a synecdoche in the words ; and they must be restrained 
to some kind of sin, or to some manner or degree in, or of 
sinning. Some say 'he doth not, cannot sin,' is, they do not 
commit sin with delight, not deliberately and with their full 
and whole will, without reluctancy and opposition in their 
wills unto sin (which reluctancy is at a vast distance from 
the reluctancy that is raised in wicked men from the convic- 
tions of their conscience and judgment), which sense is can- 
vassed by Mr. Goodwin to no advantage at all, sect. 25. 
For in the way and manner formerly explained, this may 
well take place. ' Committeth not sin' then, is, doth not so 
commit sin as that sin should reign in him spoken of, and 
prevail with him to death. There is an emphasis and intention 
in the words, 'committeth not sin;' that is, doth not so com- 
mit it, as to be given up to the power of it ; he doth not 


commit sin in such a way as to be separated from commu- 
nion with God thereby ; which is only done when sin taketh 
the rule or reign in any person. 

This exposition, Mr. Goodwin saith,'if it can be made to 
stand upright, will bear the weight of the whole cause de- 
pending alone, but as it is, it argueth weakness to determine 
for our own sense, in a controversy or question, without 
giving a very substantial reason for the exposition.' I doubt 
if Mr. Goodwin's discourses in this treatise were to be tried 
by this rule, a man might upon very substantial grounds and 
reasons, call many of his assertions into controversy ; and 
because he addeth, ' that such is his hard hap he can meet 
with no reasons at all,' I must needs question whether he 
made any diligent search or no; to this purpose shall supply 
him with one or two, that lie hard at hand. 

This then to be the intendment of the words is evident: 

1. From the scope of the place and aim of the apostle 
therein : this is to distinguish, as was said, betwixt the chil- 
dren of God and of the devil. The children of the devil 
commit sin, ver. 8. ' He that committeth sin is of the devil,' 
as he giveth an instance of one that did so sin, ver. 12. ' Cain/ 
saith he, 'was of the devil, he was of that wicked one and he 
committeth sin.' How did Cain commit sin ? Impenitently, 
to death, that is the committing of sin which is ascribed to 
them that are of the devil, of the wicked one , now, saith 
he, 'whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin ;' that 
is, he doth not so commit sin as the children of the devil, 
that wicked one do ; he sins not to death with impenitency. 

2. The same apostle doth most eminently clear his own 
intendment in this expression, chap. v. 17, 18. of this epistle, 
'All unrighteousness is sin ; there is a sin not unto death, we 
know that whosoever is born of God, sinneth not, but he 
that is begotten of God, keepeth himself, and that wicked 
one toucheth him not.' That expression, ver. 18. 'sinneth 
not,' standeth in opposition to the sin mentioned, ver. 17. 
sin unto death : ' there is a sin unto death ;' but he that is 
born of God sinneth not unto death. So that both the con- 
text and the exposition of the words given in a parallel place, 
affordeth us the sense insisted on. 

Three reasons are attended by Mr. Goodwin against tliis 
exposition, 'and many more (saith he) are at hand,' which it 


seems he is willing to spare for another season. Of those 
that he is pleased to use, I have already considered that 
which is of the chiefest importance, being taken from the 
scope of the place. It hath been already declared, not only 
that the sense by him urged is not suitable to the intend- 
ment of the Holy Ghost, and that Mr. G. is not a little mis- 
taken in his analysis of the chapter, but that the exposition 
insisted on by us, is from thence enforced. 

His other reasons are, first, 'That the grammar or letter 
of the phrase breatheth not the least air of such a sense.' 

Ans. That the expression is synecdochical was before 
affirmed, what it importeth under the power of that figure, is 
the grammatical sense of the words. To the grammatical 
regularity and signification of them, doth their figurativeness 
belong. Let the words be restrained as the figure requireth, 
and the sense is most proper, as was signified. 

But secondly, saith he, ' The phrase of committing sin, 
is nowhere in the Scripture found in such a sense, as to sin 
with final impenitency, or to sin to death.' 

Ans. The contrary hath been demonstrated. The same 
phrase necessarily importeth no less, ver. 8. of this chapter, 
and an equivalent expression beyond all contradiction in- 
tending the same, chap. v. 17, 18. Besides, a phrase may be 
so circumstantiated, as to be in one only place, restrained 
to a sense, which it doth not elsewhere necessarily import. 
So that notwithstanding these exceptions, the exposition of 
the words is clear as before given in. And yet this is all 
Mr. G. produceth as his ground and foundation, whereon 
to stand in denying this proposition, 'he that is born of God 
sinneth not;' that is, falleth not under the power of reigning 
sin, sinneth not to death as the children of the wicked one, 
which I shall leave under that consideration wherewith it is 
educed from the scope of the text, and the parallel place of 
chap. v. 16, 17. The truth is, there is not much need to con- 
tend about this expression, Mr. G. granting that the intend- 
ment of it is, * that such as are born of God do not walk or- 
dinarily and customarily in any ways of known sin,' sect. 
28. ' Which,' as he saith, ' is the import of that phrase 
TTotav (ifiapTiav (the contrary whereof might yet be easily 
evinced), he maketh no trade or occupation of sinning; that 


is, he doth not sin in an inconsistency of communion with 
God, in the covenant of his grace. Now in this sense he 
granteth his proposition, ' he that is born of God sinneth not/ 
i. e. ordinarily or customarily; that is, so as not be accepted 
of God ; that is, no believer sinneth at such a rate as not to 
be accepted with God. Add now hereunto the ground and 
reason of this assertion, viz. His being born of God, and the 
abiding of the seed in him, and we have obtained all that we 
desire to evince from this place. Because such a one is 
born of God (which is a reason which holdeth good to eter- 
nity being an act irrevocably past), and because the seed 
abideth in him, he cannot sin ordinarily or customarily : 
which kind of sinning alone (as is supposed) can eject the 
abiding seed ; that is, he sinneth not beyond the rate of sins 
of infirmity, nor in any such way as should render him inca- 
pable of communion or acceptance with God. 

The apostle nextly advanceth farther with his design and 
saith, ' He that is born of God cannot sin :' that is, that sin 
which he sinneth not, he cannot sin ; he cannot fall under 
the power of reigning sin unto death. I confess the words 
can and cannot, are variously used in the Scriptures ; some 
kind of impossibility in one respect or other (for things may 
be in some regard impossible, that are not so absolutely) it 
alway denoteth. The whole of the variety in this kind, may 
be referred to two heads. 

1. That which is morally impossible. Of that it is said, 
that it cannot be done ; 2 Cor. xiii. 8. saith Paul, ' we can 
do nothing against the truth :' and Acts iv. 20. say the apos- 
tles, ' we cannot but speak the things we have seen and 
heard.' It was morally impossible that ever any thino- 
should have been done by Paul against the truth ; or that 
the apostles, having received the Spirit, should not speak 
what they had seen and heard of Christ. And of many 
things that are thus morally impossible, there are most cer- 
tain and determinate causes, as to make the thing so impos- 
sible, as in respect of the event, to be absolutely impossible. 
It is morally impossible that the devil sliould do that which 
is spiritually good, and yet absolutely impossible. There is 
more in many a thing that is morally impossible than a mere 
opposition to justice ; as we say, ' Illud possumus quod jure 


possumus.' The causes of moral impossibility may be such, 
as to tie up the thing which it relateth unto, in an everlast- 
ing nonfuturition. There is also, 

2. An impossibility that is physical, from the nature of 
the things themselves. So Jer. xiii. 23. ' Can the Ethiopian 
change his skin?' that is, he cannot. Matt.vii. 18. ' A good 
tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can an evil tree 
bring forth good fruit.' That is, nothing can act contrary 
to its own natural principles : and as we shall see afterward, 
there is of this impossibility in the ' cannot' here mentioned. 
They cannot do it, upon the account of the new spiritual 
nature wherewith they are endued . 

Now there may be a third kind of impossibility in spi- 
ritual things, arising from both these, which one hath not 
ineptly called the ethico-physical, or morally-natural, par- 
takino; of the nature of both the other. It is moral because 
it relateth to duty, what is to be done or not to be dono : 
and it is physical because it relateth to a cause or principle 
that can, or cannot produce the effect. So our Saviour tell- 
eth the Pharisees; 'How can ye being evil, speak good 
things ?' Or ye cannot ; Matt. xii. 34. * You cannot hear my 
words;' John viii. 43. It was morally impossible theyshould 
either speak or hear, that is, either believe or do that which 
is spiritually good, having no principles that should enable 
them thereunto, having no root that should bear up unto 
fruit, being evil trees in themselves, and having a principle, 
a root continually, universally, uninterruptedly, inclining 
and disposing them another way, to acts of a quite contrary 
nature. Of this kind is that impossibility here intimated. 
The effect denied is morally impossible, upon the account 
of the internal physical cause hindering of it. 

However then the word in the Scripture may be variously 
taken, yet here it is from adjacent circumstances evidently 
restrained to such a signification as in respect of the event, 
absolutely rejecteth the thing denied. The gradation of the 
apostle also leadeth us to it. ' He sinneth not,' nay, * he can- 
not sin.' * He cannot sin,' riseth in the assertion of that before 
expressed, ' he sinneth not :' which absolutely rejecteth the 
gloss that some seek to put upon the words, namely, that 
cannot sin is no more but cannot sin easily ; and cannot sin 
but as it were with difficulty ; such is the antipathy and ha- 


bitual opposition which they have to sin j' which Mr. Good- 
win adhereth unto : for besides. 

That this is in itself false, there being no such antipathy 
in any to sin, but that they may easily fall into it, yea and 
with great difficulty and labour do restrain from it, as the 
apostle argueth at large, Rom. vii. so is it also flatly contra- 
dictory to the words themselves. The apostle saith, ' he that 
is born of God sinneth not, cannot sin ;' he can sin, saith 
this gloss, though difficultly ; now he that can sin difficultly, 
can sin: can sin, and cannot sin, are flatly contradictory ; 
he cannot then sin at all, the sin that is intended in the place 
of whom it is said, ' he cannot sin.' 

Thus we have cleared the first proposition in the words, 
both as to the subject, 'every one that is born of God,' and 
the predicate, ' sinneth not, cannot sin ;' which last expres- 
sion, taken in its only proper and most usual signification, 
dpnoteth an impossibility of the event, and plainly confirm- 
eth in direct terms the position we insist on from the words. 

Mr. Goodwin knoweth not well (if I am able to gather 
any thing of his thoughts, from his expressions to the argu- 
ment in hand) what to say to this assertion of the apostles. 
The argument he intendeth to deal withal from the place he 
casteth into this form ; he that sinneth not, neither can sin, 
cannot fall away. ' Whosoever is born of God sinneth not, 
neither can sin.' Ergo. 

Coming to the consideration of that expression * cannot 
sin/ he findeth out, as he supposeth, four several accepta- 
tions in the Scripture, of the word ' cannot' and giveth us 
an account of his thoughts upon the consideration of them; 
that in respect of these senses both propositions are false. 
Now one of the propositions being the express language and 
literal expression of the Holy Ghost, not varied in the least, 
there is no way to relieve himself, from being thought and 
conceived to give the lie to the blessed Spirit of God, by flatly 
denying what he peremptorily affirmeth, but only by deny- 
ing the word * cannot' to be taken in this place, in any of 
the senses before-mentioned. Doth he then fix on this 
course for his own extrication ? Doth he give in another 
sense of the word, which he accepts and grants that in that 
sense the affirmation of the Holy Ghost may be true ? Not 
in the least. Yea plainly for one of the senses he supposeth 


himself to have found out of the word ' cannot,' viz. That it 
is said of men, they cannot do such or such a thing, because 
of their averseness and indisposition to it, which he exem- 
plifieth in that of Christ to the Pharisees, John viii. 43. he 
afterward more than intimateth, that this is the sense, 
wherein the words 'cannot sin' are in this place to be taken; 
sect. 34. So that he will not allow the Holy Ghost to speak 
the truth, although he take his words in what sense he 
pleaseth. Yea, and adding a fifth sense, sect. 31. which is 
all it seemeth he could find out (for we have heard not of 
any more), he denieth that to be the meaning of the place, 
and so shutteth up the mind of the Holy Ghost into some of 
those significations, wherein if the words be taken, he saith, 
they are false. The discourse of Mr. Goodwin, sect. 28 — 30. 
(being taken up with the consideration of the various signi- 
fications of the word 'cannot' and his inferences thereon; 
taking it in this place, this way or that way, then it is so or 
so, shewing himself very skilful at fencing and warding oflf 
the force of our arguments, as perhaps his thoughts of him- 
self were upon a review of what he had done) we are not 
concerned in. And though it were very easy to manifest 
that in the distribution of his instances, for the exemplifi- 
cation of the several significations which in part he feigneth, 
and fasteneth upon the words, he hath been overtaken with 
many gross mistakes, some of them occasioned by other 
corrupt principles than those now under consideration, yet 
none of the senses insisted on by him, coming really up to 
the intendment of the Holy Ghost without any disadvantage 
to our cause in hand, being wholly unconcerned therein, we 
may pass by that whole harangue. 

That which looketh towards the argument under consi- 
deration, appeareth first in sect. 31. which he thus proposeth. 
'If the said argument understandeth the phrase 'cannot sin' 
according to the fifth and last import mentioned of the word 
'cannot,' wherein it soundeth an utter and absolute incapa- 
city and impossibility, then in this sense the major propo- 
sition is granted : viz. he that doth not, nor can sin, cannot 
fall away from his faith ; yet the minor is tardy which saith. 
Whosoever is born of God sinneth not, neither can sin ; for 
he that is born of God is in no such incapacity of sinning; 
of sinning I mean in the sense formerly asserted to the Scrip- 


ture in hand, which amounteth to an absolute impossibility 
for him so to sin.' 

Alls. Because this seemeth to be the sense intended in 
the argument, and the minor proposition in this sense to be 
built upon the Scripture in hand, let us consider whether 
the reason which is assigned for the said assertion, doth ne- 
cessarily enforce such a sense thereon. What we under- 
stand by this phrase both as to that sin that is here intended, 
and that impossibility of committing it, or falling into it 
often in that expression ' cannot' hath been before dis- 
covered. An impossibility it is of the event, from the 
causes above-mentioned that the Holy Ghost intendeth. An 
utter and absolute incapacity to sin, on any account, we as- 
sert not; an impossibility of so sinning, in respect of the 
event, for the reasons and from the causes above-mentioned, 
the Holy Ghost averreth. In this sense the first proposi- 
tion is granted. He that doth not commit sin nor can sin, 
cannot fall away from his faith, or can utterly lose it. The 
minor, which is the express language of the Holy Ghost, is 
questioned and found tardy ; that is, as I suppose, false ; and 
the reason is added, namely, * that he that is born of God is 
in no such incapacity of sinning ;' that is, of sinning in that 
kind of sinning which is here intended, which amounteth to 
an impossibility for him so to sin : not to play fast and loose, 
under those ambiguous expressions of incapacity and abso- 
lute impossibility, the event is positively denied upon the 
account of the prohibiting causes of it, and the incapacity 
asserted, relateth not to the internal frame and principle 
only, but respecteth also other considerations. Whether 
these are such as to bear the weight of this exposition, is 
that which cometh nextly to be discussed, viz. the causes of 
this state and condition, of those who are thus born of God, 
and the reasons investing that universal proposition, * every 
one that is born of God cannot sin:' with a necessary truth. 
In the reasons added of the former affirmation, there is 
an emphatical distribution of the two parts of the predicate 
of the former proposition, by the way of ascending to a 
more vehement confirmation of them. ' He that is born of 
Godsinneth not ;' but why so ? ' His seed remaineth ; neither 
can he sin ;' why so? ' because he is born of God.' It is an 
expressive pursuit of the same thing, and not a redoubling 


of the proposition ; and this contexture of the words, is so 
emphatically significant, that it seemeth strange how any- 
head of opposition can be made against it. There is no 
reason, then, to resolve the words into two propositions of 
distinct consideration each from other; it being one and the 
same thing that the apostle intendeth to express, though 
proceeding to heighten the certainty of the thing, in the 
minds of them to whom he delivered it, by the contexture of 
the words which he maketh use of. What is meant, or in- 
tended by the ' seed of God,' we need not dispute ; the ar- 
gument of the apostle lieth not in the words * seed of God,' 
nor in the word ' abideth,' but in the whole, ' The seed of 
God abideth ;' and therefore it were to no purpose at all, to 
follow Mr. Goodwin in his considerations of the word 'seed,' 
and then of the ' seed of God,' and then of the word * abideth,' 
divided one from another. The sum of his long answer is, 
the word * seed' doth not import any such thing as is aimed 
at from the text, nor the word ' abide,' but to the whole 
proposition, ' the seed of God abideth in him ;' as produced 
to confirm the former assertion of the not sinning of the per- 
sons spoken of, there is nothing spoken at all ; I shall there- 
fore briefly confirm the argument in hand, by the strength 
here communicated unto it, by the Holy Ghost, and then 
consider what is answered to any part of it, or objected to 
the interpretation insisted on. That, ' he that sinneth not, 
neither can sin,' in the sense explained, shall never fall away 
totally or finally from God, is granted. That believers sin 
not, nor can sin, so, or in the manner mentioned, besides 
the testimony of the Holy Ghost, worthy of all acceptation 
in the clear assertion of it, we have the reason thereof mani- 
fested, in the discovery of the causes of its truth. The first 
reason is, 'because the seed of God abideth in them.' A 
tacit grant seemeth to be made ; that fruit sometimes may 
not visibly appear upon them, as the case is with a tree in 
winter, when it casts its leaves : but its seed remaineth. 
Grace may abide in the habit, in, and under a winter of 
temptation, though it doth not exert itself in bearing any 
such actual fruit, as may be ordinarily visible. The word 
of God is sometimes called 'seed incorruptible ;' seedcausa- 
tively, as being an instrument in the hand of God, whereby 
he planteth the seed of life and holiness in the heart ; that 


it is not the outward word, but that which is produced, and 
effected by it, through the efficacy of the Spirit of God, that 
is by seed intended, is evident from the use and nature of 
it. And it is abiding in the person in whom it is. What- 
ever it is, it is called 'seed,' not in respect of that from 
whence it cometh, as is the cause and reason of that appel- 
lation of other seed, but in respect of that vphich it pro- 
duceth, which ariseth and ensueth upon it : and it is called 
the 'seed of God,' because Godusethit for the regeneration 
of his. Being from God, being the principle of the regene- 
ration of them in whom it is, abiding in them even when it 
hath brought forth fruit, and continuing so to do, it can be 
no other but the new creature, new nature, inward man, new 
principle of life, or habit of grace, that is bestowed upon all 
believers, whence they are regenerate, quickened, or born 
again, of which we have spoken before. 

This seed, saith the Holy Ghost, abideth, or remaineth 
in him. Whatever falling or withering he may seem to 
have, or hath, this seed, the seed of God remaineth in him. 
The principle of his new life abideth ; some exceptions are 
made as we shall see afterward, to the signification of the 
word (fxivei) 'remaineth,' and instances given where it signi- 
fieth for ' to be,' and denoteth the essence of a thing, not its 
duration. That to abide, or remain, is the proper signifi- 
cation of the word, 1 suppose will not be questioned. That 
it may in some place be used in another sense, is not dis- 
puted. All that lieth under consideration here, is, whether 
the word in this place be used properly, according to its 
genuine and first signification, or no ? It supposeth indeed 
* to be' also ; but properly signifieth only to abide or remain. 
Now if nothing can be advanced from the text, or context, 
from the matter treated on, or the parallel significancy of 
some expression that is in conjunction with it, that should 
enforce us to carry it from its proper use and signification, 
the instancing of other places, if any such be, wherein it is 
restrained to denote being, and not duration, is altogether 
impertinent to the business in hand. When an argument is 
urgevl from any place of Scripture, to pick out any word in 
the text, and to manifest that it hath been used improperly 
in some other place, and therefore must be so in tiiat, is a 
procedure so far from an ingenious answer, that it will 


scarce pass for a tolerable shift or evasion. To remain, then, 
or to abide, is the proper signification of this word, and 
nothing is in the least offered to manifest that it must ne- 
cessarily in this place be diverted from its proper use. 

According to the import of the word, the seed of God 
remaineth in believers ; now that remaining of the seed, is 
the cause of their not sinning that sin, or in that manner, 
as the apostle here denieth them to be liable to sin. For 
that is the reason he giveth why they cannot sin, even 
because the seed of God remaineth in them. Mr. Goodwin 
granteth, that this seed remaineth in believers always, unless 
they sin by a total defection from God. Of not sinning 
the sin of total defection from God, the remaining or 
abiding of this seed is the cause. Whilst that abideth, they 
cannot sin, that sin, for it is an unquestionable cause and 
uncontrollable of their not so doing. This seed therefore 
must be utterly lost, and taken away, before any such sin 
can be committed. Now if the seed cannot be lost, without 
the commission of the sin which cannot be committed till 
it be lost, neither can the seed be lost, nor the sin be com- 
mitted. The same thing cannot be before and after itself. 
He that cannot go such a journey, unless he have such a 
horse, and cannot have such a horse unless he go such a 
journey, is like to stay at home. In what sense the words 
* cannot sin' are to be taken, was before declared. That 
there are sins innumerable, whereinto men may fall notwith- 
standing this seed, is confessed. Under them all, this seed 
abideth ; so it w^ould not do under that which we cannot 
sin, because it abideth ; but because it abideth, that sin 
cannot be committed. 

The latter part of the reason of the apostle's assertion, is, 
' for he is born of God ;' which is indeed a driving on the 
former to its head and fountain. What it is to be born of 
God we need not dispute. It was sufficiently discovered in 
the mention that was made before of the seed of God. God, 
by his Holy Spirit bestowing on us a new spiritual life which 
by nature we have not, and in respect of whose want we are 
said to be dead, is frequently said to beget us ; James i. 14. 
and we are said to be born of God. He is the sovereign 
disposer, dispenser, and supreme fountain of that life, which 
is so bestowed on us, which we are begotten again unto, and 


are born with, and by ; and Jesus Christ the mediator, is 
also said to have this ' life in himself,' John v. because he hath 
received the Spirit of the Father, to give to his, for their 
quickening; who taketh of his, and thereby begetteth them 
anew. And this life which believers thus receive, and 
whereby indeed radically they become believers, is every 
where in Scripture noted as permanent and abiding. In 
respect of the original of it, it is said to be * from above, from 
heaven, of the will of God, of God ;' as to its principle, to 
be 'not of flesh, or blood, or of the will of man,' or of any 
thing done by us, but of the 'seed of God, incorruptible 
seed, seed that abideth ;' in respect of its duration to be 
eternal, and that it may so be, to be safe-guarded, being 
* hid in God with Christ,' In this place 'receiving this life 
from God,' is placed as the cause; and 'cannot sin,' as the 
effect. He cannot sin, for, or because he is born of God. 
The connexion that is between this cause and effect, or 
wherein the causality of being born of God to a not sinning 
doth consist, needs not be inquired into. That it hath such 
a causality, the Holy Ghost hath asserted, and our argument 
resteth thereon. If that be the nature of regeneration, or 
being born of God, that it doth exclude apostacy, then he 
that is regenerate, or born of God, as every believer is, 
cannot so sin as to apostatize, or fall totally from God ; but 
that such is the nature of regeneration whereby any one 
is born of God, the Holy Ghost here declareth ; for he de- 
nieth apostacy upon the account of regeneration ; 'he cannot 
sin because he is born of God,' which is that which we in- 
tended to demonstrate from this text of Scripture. 

To evade the force of this argument, Mr. Goodwin (as 
hath been declared) undertaketh to give an exposition of 
this place of Scripture, turning every stone, and labouring 
to wrest every word in it. The several significations of the 
words in other places are set out, and suppositions made of 
taking them this way, or that way : but in what sense the 
scope of the matter treated on, the most usual, known, com- 
mon, acceptations call for their use in this place, nothing 
is spoken ; neither is any clear answer once attempted to 
be given to the words of the text, speaking out, and home, 
to the conclusion we intend, or to the argument thence de- 
duced. What I can gather up from sect 31, and forwards, 


that may obstruct the thoughts of any, in closing with the 
interpretation given, I shall consider, and remove out of the 
way. 1. Then, he giveth you this interpretation of these 
words, * sinneth not, or cannot sin: Every one that hath 
been born of God sinneth not ; i. e. Whosoever hath by the 
word and Spirit of God been made partaker of the divine 
nature, so as to resemble God in the frame and constitution 
of his heart and soul, doth not under such a frame, or change 
of heart as this make a trade or practice of sinning, or walk- 
ing in any course of inordinateness in the world. Yea(saith 
he) in the latter proposition, every such person doth not only 
or simply refrain sinning in such a sense, but he cannot sin; 
(i. e.) he hath a strong and potent disposition in him which 
carrieth him another way, for he hath a strong antipathy or 
averseness of heart and soul against all sin, especially all 
such kind of sinning.' 

A/ts. 1. What is meant by being * born of God,' the way 
whereby any come so to be, the universality of the expression 
requiring a necessary cause of its severity, with the like at- 
tendencies of the proposition have been before declared. 

2. What Mr. Goodwin intendeth by such a frame and 
constitution of spirit and soul, as may resemble God, with 
his denial of the bestowing on us from God a vital principle 
of grace, wherein the renovation in us of his image should 
consist, hath in part also been already discovered, and will 
yet farther be so, in our consideration of his rare notion of 
regeneration, and its consisting in a man's return to the in- 
nocent and harmless estate wherein he was born. 

3. That ' sinneth not' is sinneth not that sin, or so sinneth, 
not as to break his relation to God as a child, hath been al- 
ready also manifested, and the reader is not to be burdened 
with repetition. 

4. In the interpretation given of the latter phrase ' he can- 
not sin,' I c&nnot so sin against the light of the text, as to 
join with Mr. Goodwin in it. It is not the antipathy of his 
heart to sin, but the course of his walking with God, in re- 
spect of sin, that the apostle treateth on. His internal prin- 
cipleing against sin, he hath, from being born of God, and 
the abiding of his seed in him, of v/hich this, that * he cannot 
sin,' is asserted as the eft'ect. ' He cannot sin ;' that is, he can- 
not so sill, upon the account of his being born of God 

VOL. VII. p 


(thence indeed he hath not only a potent disposition another 
way, and antipathy to evil, but a vital principle, with an 
everlasting enmity, and repugnancy to, and inconsistency 
with, any such sin, or sinning as is intimated); and that he 
cannot sin, is the consequent and effect thereof, and is so 
affirmed to be, by the Holy Ghost. 

Nextly, Mr. Goodwin giveth you the reason of this as- 
sertion used by the apostle, why such a one, as of whom he 
speakethjsinnethnot, and cannot sin. * Now the reason, saith 
the apostle, why such a person committetli not sin in the 
sense explained, is because his seed, the seed of God, by 
whom, of which, he was born of him, remaineth in him, (i. e.) 
is, or hath an actual and present being, or residence in him : 
and that in this place it doth not signify any perpetual abi- 
ding, or any abiding in relation to the future, is evident ; be- 
cause the abiding of the seed here spoken of, is given as the 
reason, why he that is born of God, doth not commit sin, 
(i. e.) doth not frequently walk in any course of known sin. 
Now nothing in respect of any future permanency or conti- 
nuance of being, can be looked upon as the cause of an effect, 
but only in respect of the present being or residence of it. 
The reason why the soul moveth to-day, is not because it will 
move or act the body to-morrow, or because it is in the body 
to-day, upon such terms, that it will be in to-morrow also 
much less because it is an immortal substance ; but simply 
because it is now or this day in the body. So the reason 
why angels at this day do the will of God, is not because 
they have such a principle of holiness, or obedience in them, 
which they cannot put off, or lose to eternity, but because 
of such a principle as we speak of, residing in them at pre- 
sent : therefore, when John assigneth the remaining of the 
seed of God in him that is born of him, for the reason why 
he doth not commit sin, certain it is that by this remaining of 
the seed he meaneth nothing else but the present residence 
or abode thereof in this person ; and if his intent had been 
either to assert, or imply a perpetual residence of this seed 
in him tliat is born of God, it had been much more proper 
for him to have saved it for a reason of the latter proposi- 
tion. He that is born of God cannot sin, than to have sub- 
joined it as a reason of the former ; for though the future 
continuance of the thing in being, can be no reason of tlie ef- 


feet present, yet it will be a ground or reason of the continu- 
ance of a present effect.' 

Ans. I have thus at large transcribed this discourse, be- 
cause it is the sum of what Mr. Goodwin hath to offer for 
the weakening of our argument from this place ; of what 
weight this is, will quickly appear. For, 

1 . This reason, * the seed abideth in him,' though brought 
in illatively, in respect of what was said before, ' he doth not 
commit sin,' yet hath its causal influence chiefly into that 
which followeth, 'he cannot sin.' To make good what was 
first spoken, of his not committing sin that is born of God, 
the apostle discovereth the cause of it, which so far secureth 
the truth of that expression, as that it causeth it to ascend, 
and call them up higher, to a certain impossibility of doing 
of that which was only at first simply denied. Neither is 
this assertion, ' the seed of God abideth in him,' any other- 
wise a reason of the first assertion, * he committeth not sin,' 
than as it is the cause of the latter, ' he cannot sin.' Now Mr. 
Goodwin granteth, in the close of his discourse, that the future 
continuance of a thing in being, is, or may be, the cause of the 
continuance of an effect which at present it produceth ; and 
what Mr. Goodwin may more curiously discover of the in- 
tent of the apostle, his words plainly assert the continuance 
and abode of the seed of God in them in whom it is ; and 
using: it as he doth, for a reason of the latter clause of that 
proposition, * he cannot sin,' he speaketh properly enough, 
so great a master (of one language at least) as Mr. Goodwin 
being judge. 

2. The reason insisted on by the apostle, is neither from 
the word ' seed' nor from the word ' abideth' nor from the 
nature of the seed simply considered, nor from its perma- 
nency and continuance, * the seed abideth ;' so that it is no 
exception to the intendment of the apostle, to assert the 
abiding of the seed, not to be a sufficient cause of the pro- 
position, because its abiding or permanency is not a cause 
of present not sinning, for it is not asserted that it is. His 
present not sinning in whom it is, is from God, his being born 
of God by the seed, his continuance and estate of not sin- 
ning (botli which are intended), is from the abiding of the 
seed. The whole condition of the person, that ' he sinneth 
not, neither can sin' (which terms regard his continued 

p 2 


estate) is from the whole proposition, ' the seed of God abi- 
deth in him.' Separate the permanency of the seed, which 
is asserted in the consideration of it, and it respects only 
and solely, the continuance of the effect which is produced 
by it as seed, or of the estate wherein any one is placed, by 
being born of God. All that Mr. Goodwin hath to offer in 
this case, is, that the abiding of the seed, is so asserted to be 
the reason of that part of the proposition ' he commits not 
sin,' as not to be the cause rrig avE,iiatioc, ' he cannot sin ;' 
when the abiding of the seed, singly considered, is not used 
as any reason at all of the first, nor in the proposition as it 
lieth, ' the seed abideth' any otherwise, but as it is the cause 
of the latter, ' he cannot sin.' 

3. Ev^en the expression 'he committeth not sin,' de- 
noteth not only the present actual frame and walking of him 
of whom it is spoken, but his estate and condition : being 
once born of God he committeth not sin ; no one that is so 
born of God doth ; none in the state and condition of a re- 
generate person doth so ; that is, in his course and walking 
to the end ; and this is argued not so much distinctly to the 
permanency of the seed, as from the seed with such an 

4. Mr. Goodwin's allusions to the soul, and the obe- 
dience of angels, are of little use or none at all to the illus- 
tration of the business in hand. For though the reason 
why the soul moveth the body to-day, is not because it will 
move it to-morrow, yet the reason why the body moveth 
and cannot but do so, is because it hath the soul abiding in 
it, and he that shall say, ' he that liveth, moveth, for he hath 
a soul abiding in him and cannot but move,' shall speak pro- 
perly enough. And the reason why the angels do the will 
of God in heaven, that is, actually continue in so doing is, 
because they have such a confirmed and uncontrollable 
principle of obedience. So that all these exceptions amount 
not to the least weakening of the apostle's arguments. 

Sect. 32. Our author giveth two instances (o prove that 
the word fxivH in the Scripture, signifieth sometimes only to 
be, and not to abide, and they are, the one, John xiv. and 
the other, 1 John iii. 14. And one argument to manifest 
that in the place under consideration, it must needs signify 
a present abode and being, and not a continuance, 8vc. 


Ans. 1. If any such places be found, yet it is confessed 
that it is an unusual sense of the word, and a thousand 
places of that kind, will not enforce it to be so taken in 
another place, unless the circumstances of it, and matter 
whereabout it treateth, enforce that sense, and will not bear 
that which is proper. 

2. Mr. G. doth not make it good by the instances he 
produceth, that the word is tied up in any place, to denote 
precisely only the being of a thing, without relation to its 
abidins and continuance. Of the one, John xiv. 17. * But 
ye know him because he remaineth with you, and shall be in 
you :' saith he, ' the latter clause. Shall be in you, will be 
found a mere tautology, if the other phrase, Abideth with 
you, importeth a perpetual residence or inbeing.' 

But that this phrase * abideth with you' importeth the 
same with the phrase in the foregoing verse, where it is 
clearly expounded by the addition of the term ' for ever' 
(that he may abide with you for ever), 1 suppose cannot be 
questioned. Nor, 

2. Is there any tlie least appearance of a tautology in the 
words. His remaining with believers, being the thing pro- 
mised, and his inbeing, the manner of his abode with them. 
Also the 1 John xiv. nivu Ivt(^ S-ovarw, doth not simply de- 
note an estate or condition, but an estate or condition in 
its nature, without the interposition of almighty grace, 
abiding and permanent : so that neither have we yet any 
instance of restraining the significancy of the word, as pre- 
tended, produced : nor if any place could be so, would it 
in the least enforce that acceptation of the word in this place 
contended about. Wherefore, Mr. Goodwin, as I said, add- 
eth an argument, to evince that the word must necessarily 
be taken in the sense by him insisted on in this place, which 
is indeed a course to the purpose, if his argument prove so 
in any measure; it is this: 'Because such a signification of 
it, would render the sense altogether inconsistent with the 
scope of the apostle, which is to exhort Christians unto 
righteousness and love of the brethren ; now it is contrary to 
common sense itself, to signify unto those whom we persuade 
to any duty, any such tiling which imports an absolute cer- 
tainty or necessity of their doing it, whether they take care or 
use any means for the doing of it or no : and a clear case it is. 


that the certainty of a perpetual remahiing of the seed of 
God in those that are born of him, importeth a like cer- 
tainty of their perpetual performance of that duty whereunto 
they are exhorted.' 

Ans. If this be all it might have been spared. The argu- 
ment consisteth of two parts : 1. An aspersion of the infinite 
wisdom of God, with a procedure contrary to all reason and 
common sense. 2. A begging of the thing in question, be- 
twixt its author and its adversaries. That there is anything 
at all in the text, even according to our interpretation of it, 
that importeth an absolute necessity of men's doing any- 
thing, whether they take care to use the means of doing 
it or no, the reader must judge. The abiding of the seed 
is that, we say, which shall effectually cause them, in 
whom it is to use the means of not sinning, that eventually 
they may not do so ; and that a certainty of the use of 
means is imported, is no argument to prove that their neces- 
sity of persevering is proved, whether they use means, yea 
or no. To take care to use means, is amongst the means 
appointed to be used ; and this they shall do, upon the ac- 
count of the abiding seed. That indeed, which is opposed, 
is, that God cannot promise to work effectually in us by the 
use of means, for the accomplishment of an appointed end, 
but that withal rendereth useless and vain, all his exhorta- 
tions to us to use those means. This is Mr. Goodwin's ar- 
gument from the place itself, to enforce that improper ac- 
ceptation of the word ' reraaineth' in us. 

What remaineth of Mr. Goodwin's long discourse upon 
this text of Scripture, is but a fencing with himself and rais- 
ing of objections, and answering of them suitably to his own 
principles, wherein we are not in the least concerned. There 
is not any thing from the beginning to the end of it, that 
tendeth to impeach our interpretation of the place, or im- 
pede the progress of our argument, but only a flourish set 
upon his own exposition, which if he were desired to give in 
briefly, and in terms of a plain downright significancy, I am 
verily persuaded, he would be hardly put to it, to let us 
know what his mind and conceptions of this place of Scrip- 
ture are. But of this subject, and in answer to his fifth ar- 
gument with the chapter, this is the issue. 



Mr. G.'s seventh argument about the tendeneij of the doctrine of the saints' 
apostacy as to their consolation proposed. Considered: what that doctrine 
offer eth for the consolation of the saints, offered; the iinpossibility of its 
affording the least true consolation manifested. The infiuencc of tlte doc-^ 
trine of the saints^ perseverance into their consolation. The medium 
whereby Mr. G. confirms his argument examined ; what hind of nurse for 
the peace and consolation of the saints, the doctrine of apostacy is, whether 
their obedience be furthered by it; what are the causes and springs of true 
consolation. Mr. G.^s eighth argument proposed to consideration. An- 
swer thereunto, the minor proposition considered ; the Hohj Ghost 7iot 
afraid of the saiiits' miscarriages. The confirmation of his minor propo- 
sition proposed and considered. The discourse assigned to the Holy Ghost 
by Mr. G. according to our principles. Considered. Exceptions against 
it, the first. The second. The third. The fourth. The fifth. The sixth. 
The seventh. The foundation of 3Ir. G.'s pageant everted. The proceed- 
ings of the Holy Ghost in exhortations according to our principles. So- 
phisms in the former discourse farther discovered. His farther plea 
in this case proposed. Considered. The instance of Christ aiid his obe- 
dience considered and vindicated as to the application of it, to the business 
in hand. 3Ir. G.'s last argument proposed. Examined. 1 Jolin ii. 19. 

. explained. Vindicated. Argument from thence for the perseverance of 
the saints. Mr. G.'s exceptions thereunto. Considered and removed. The 
same words farther perused. Mr. G.'s consent with the remonstrants 
manifested by his trasci'iptions from their synodalia. Our arymnentfrom 
1 Jolin ii. 19. fidly cleared. The conclusion of the examination of Mr. 
G.'s arguments for the apostacy of the saints. 

The seventh arg-ument which Mr. Goodwin insi^teth upon 
in the 36th section of his 13th chapter contains one of the 
greatest rarities he hath to shew in the whole pack, con- 
cerning the influence of the doctrine of the saints' apostacy 
into their consolation in their walking with God, an under- 
taking so uncapahle of any logical confirmation, as that 
though Mr. Goodwin interweave his discourse concernino- it 
vv'ith a syllogism, yet he quickly leaves that thorny path 
and pursues it only with a rhetorical flourish of words, found 
out and set in order to deceive. At the head then of his 
discourse he placeth this argument, as it is called : 

'That doctrine whose genuine and proper tendency is 
to advance the peace and joy of the saints in believino-, is of 
a natural sympathy vith the gospel, and upon this account 


a truth ; such is the doctrine, whicli informeth the saints of 
a possibility of their total and final falling away.' Ergo. 

The proposition of this syllogism he supposes we will grant, 
and (not to trouble the reader with the qualifications and limi- 
tations formerly annexed to that which proposed the further- 
ance of the obedience of the saints, as a proof of the truth of 
any doctrine) for my part I do. For the proof of the assumption 
wherein alone Mr. Goodwin's interest in this arsrument doth 
lie, he refers us to his 9th chapter ; where, as he tells us (if we 
may believe him), he hath^indeniably demonstrated the truth 
of it. But we have considered whatever looks that way in 
that chapter, and have found it all as chaff and stubble, 
before the breath of the Spirit of the Lord in the word. 
That which lies upon his shoulders to support (a burden 
too heavy for him to bear), and whose demonstration he 
hath undertaken is, that it tends to the peace, joy, and con- 
solation of the saints of God, in tlieir walking with him 
(which arises from and solely depends upon that assurance 
they have of their eternal fruition of him through Christ) to 
be instructed ; that indeed they are in themselves weak, un- 
able to do any thing as they ought, that they have no strength 
to continue in the mercy of God, but carry about with them 
a body of death, and that they are continually exposed to a 
world of temptations, whereby many strong men fall down, 
are thrust through and slain every day; and that in this 
condition there is no consideration of the immutability or 
unchangeableness of God, that may secure them of the con- 
tinuance of his love to them ; no eternal purpose of his that 
he will preserve them, and keep them, through his power ; no 
promise of not leaving them, or of giving them such supplies 
of his Spirit and grace that they shall never forsake, nor leave 
him; nothing in the covenant, or oath of God whereby it is 
confirmed, to assure them of an abiding, and not-to-be-de- 
stroyed communion with him; that Christ by his death and 
oblation hath not so taken away the guilt of their sins, nor 
laid such a sure foundation for the destruction of the power 
of them, as that they shall not arise either way to their ruin; 
that he intercedes not for their preservation in faitli and ho- 
liness, upon the account of which state and condition of 
things, many of the most eminent saints that ever served 
God in, this world have utterly fallen out of his love and 


favour, and have been cast out of covenant, from whence, 
though perhaps some few have been recovered, yet for the 
greatest part of them, have perished everlastingly (as is the 
state in reference unto many in every generation): only such 
may do well to consider what a fearful and desperate issue 
their apostacy will have, if they should so fall, and what an 
eminent reward, with what glory is proposed to them, if they 
persevere. That I say the instruction of the saints, in this 
doctrine, is a singular means of promoting their consolation 
and establishing their peace, is that which (doubtless with 
undervaluing thoughts of all with whom he hath to do) he 
hath undertaken to prove. I doubt not but that Mr. Good- 
win thought sometimes of the good old rule, 'Sumitemate- 
riam vestris,| qui scribitis, equam viribus: etversate diu,quid 
ferre recusent quid valeant humeri.' Self-confidence is 
hereby settled and fixed with considerations ; and though 
Mr. G. in the close of this section, tells us, ' that sundry 
godly and seriously religious persons, when they heard this 
doctrine published which he now asserts, with their whole 
hearts blessed God for it:' yet truly I cannot but question 
•whether, yea, I must positively deny that ever any saint of 
God received consolation by the doctrine of the saints'apos- 
tacy, a lie exceedingly unsuited to the production of any 
such effect, any farthei- than that all error whatsoever is apt 
to defile and cauterize the conscience, so deceiving it with 
senselessness for peace. Perhaps some of Mr. Goodwin's 
hearers, who either were so ignorant, or so negligent, as not 
to be acquainted with this doctrine before, in the attempts 
made for that the propagation of it, by the latter brood of 
prelates and Arminians amongst us, upon his delivery of it 
with enticing words of human wisdom, helped on by the 
venerable esteem they have of his transcendent parts and 
abilities, though the cunning of Satan, improving the itchino- 
after new doctrines, which is fallen upon the minds and 
spirits of many professors in this age, have rejoiced under 
the shadow of this bramble, set up to rule in their conore- 
gation ; and (according as is the constant manner of all, in 
our daysthatare ensnared with any error be it never so per- 
nicious) have blessed God for it, professing they never found 
rest nor peace before ; yet I no way question for such as 
fear the Lord, and are yet bowed down under the weioht. 


and carried away with the strength of Mr. Goodwin's rhe- 
toric for a season, will quickly find a fire proceeding out of 
that newly enthroned doctrine, preying upon and consuming 
all their joy, peace, and consolation, or (which I rather 
hope) a fire proceeding out of tlieir faith (the faith once 
delivered to the saints), to the utter confusion and consump- 
tion of this bramble scratching error. In the meantime if the 
eminent appearance of many thousands of the saints of God 
in this nation (whereof many are fallen asleep, and many 
continue to this day), testifying and bearing witness to the 
joy and consolation they have found, and that upon spi- 
ritual demonstrative grounds, in being cast into the mould of 
the doctrine of the saints' perseverance for many days, be 
of no weight with Mr. Goodwin, I know not why his single 
testimony (which yet as to the matter of fact I no way ques- 
tion) concerning some few persons by himself seduced into 
a persuasion of their apostacy, blessing God for the dis- 
covery made to them (the constant practice of all persons in 
their first entanglement, in the foulest and grossest errors 
whatever), should sway us much to any good liking of it. 

The influence of the doctrine of the saints' perseverance 
into their consolation, hath been sufficiently already evinced, 
when we manifested the support of their faith and love, 
the conquest of their fear and troubJes thereby ; so that I 
shall not need farther to insist thereon. It was in my 
thoughts, indeed, to have handled the nature of gospel con- 
solation, that which God is so abundantly willing the heirs 
of promise should receive, at large, both as to the nature and 
causes of it, the means of its preservation, the oppositions 
that lie against it, and by all the considerations of it, to 
have manifested, that it is utterly impossible to keep it alive 
one moment in the heart of a believer, without the contri- 
bution of supportment it receives from the doctrine in hand. 
And that those who refuse to receive it, as usually delivered, 
indeed have none, nor can have any drop of it, but what is 
instilled into them, from and by the power and efficacy, 
which secretly in and upon their hearts that truth hath, 
which in words they oppose ; all their peace and comfort 
being indeed absolutely proportioned to thatwhich the doc- 
trine of the saints' perseverance tends to confirm, and to 
nothing else. But this disccyii'se growing under my hands 


beyond all thought or expectation, I shall now onlykeeil 
close to the removal of the exceptions made against it, and 
hasten to a close. 

I must not leave this argument, v/ithout taking notice 
of the medium, whereby Mr. Goodwin supposeth himself 
to have confirmed the truth of the assumption, laid down 
at the entrance, or to have manifested 'the good complexion 
(as he phrases it) of that nurse he hath provided' for the 
consolation'of the saints : a nurse with breasts of flint and a 
heart of iron, hath this cruel man provided for them; a nurse 
whom God will never admit into his family, nor ever ex- 
pose his children's lives to any such wolf, or tiger, as will 
certainly starve them, if not devour them ; rather a curst, 
yea an accursed stepdame, than a nurse ; who, when the 
children ask for bread, gives them a stone ; and when they 
beg for fish, gives them a scorpion; a false and treacherous 
hirelino-, doino; not the least service for God, but labouring 
to stir up strife in his family, to set his poor children, and 
their heavenly Father at variance, filling them with hard 
thouo'hts of him, as one that takes little or no care for them, 
and discouraging them in that obedience, which he requireth 
at their hands, continually belieing their Father to theni, and 
that in reference to the most desirable excellencies of his 
faithfulness, truth, mercy, and grace ; never speaking one 
good or comfortable word to them all their days, nor once 
urging them to do their duty, but withholding a rod, yea 
scorpions over their backs ; and casting the eternal flames 
of hell into their faces; this is that sanguine, indeed truly 
spiritually bloody complexion of this new nurse, which is 
offered to be received in the room of that sad melancholy 
piece, of the perseverance of the saints. Thus then he 

' The consolation of true believers, depends upon their 
obedience, their obedience is furthered by this doctrine, and 
therefore their consolation also.' 

Ans. What are the springs of true spiritual heavenly con- 
solation, the consolation which God is willing believers 
should receive, whence it flows, the means of its conti- 
nuance and increase, how remote it is from a sole depen- 
dency on our own obedience, hath been in part before de- 
clared ; but yet if the next assertion can be made good, viz. 


* That tlie doctrine of the saints' apostacy, hath a tendency 
instituted of God, to the promotion of their obedience and 
hohness,' I shall not contend about the other, concerning 
the issuing of their consolation from thence. All that really 
is offered in the behalf of apostacy, as to its serviceableness 
in this kind is, that it is suited to ingenerate in believers 
a fear of hell, which will put thera upon all ways of morti- 
fying the flesh, and the fruits of it, which otherwise would 
bring them thereunto. And is this indeed the great mystery 
of the gospel? Is this Christ's way of dealing with his saints? 
Or is it not a falling from grace, to return again unto the 
law ? Those of whom alone we speak, who are concerned in 
this business are all of them taken into the glorious liberty 
of the sons of God, are every one of them partakers of that 
Spirit with whom is liberty, are all endued with a living 
principle of grace, faith, and love, and are constrained by 
the love of Christ to live to him, are all under grace and 
not under the law, have their sins in some measure begun 
to be mortified, and the flesh with the lusts thereof, the old 
man, with all his ways and wills crucified by the death and 
cross of Christ, brought with their, power and eflicacy by 
the Spirit into their hearts, are all delivered from that bond- 
age wherein they were for fear of death and hell all their 
days, by having Christ made redem])tion unto them. I say 
that these persons should be most effectually stirred up to 
obedience, by the dread and terror of that iron rod of ven- 
geance and hell, and that they should be so, by God's ap- 
pointment, is such a new, such another gospel, as if preached 
by an angel from heaven, we should not receive. That in- 
deed no motive can be taken from hence, or from any tiling 
in the doctrine by Mr. Goodwin contended for, suited to the 
principle of gospel obedience in the saints, that no sin or 
lust whatsoever was ever mortified by it, that it is a clog, 
hinderance, and burden, to all saints as far as they have to 
do with it, in the ways of God, hath been before demon- 
strated ; and therefore, leaving it with all the consolation 
that it affords, unto those who of God are given up there- 
unto, we proceed to the consideration of another argument, 
his eighth in this case, which is thus proposed, sect. 37. 

'Th;it doctrine which evacuates and turns into weakness 
and folly, all the gracious counsels of the Holy Ghost, 


which consist partly in the diligent information which he 
gives unto the saints from place to place, concerning the 
hostile, cruel, and bloody mind and intention of Satan 
against them'; partly in detecting and making known all his 
subtle stratagems, his plots, methods, and dangerous ma- 
chinations against them; partly also in furnishing them with 
special weapons of all sorts, whereby they may be able to 
grapple with him, and to triumph over him ; partly again in 
those frequent admonitions and exhortations, to quit them- 
selves like men in resisting him, which are found in the 
Scripture ; and lastly in professing his fear lest Satan 
should circumvent and deceive them ; that doctrine, I say, 
which reflects disparagement and vanity upon all these most 
serious^ and gracious applications of the Holy Ghost, must 
needs be a doctrine of vanity and error, and consequently that 
which opposeth it by a like necessity, a truth ; but such is 
the common doctrine of absolute and infallible perseve- 
rance.' Ergo. 

Ans. Not to engage into any needless contest about ways 
of arguing, when the design and strength o^ the argument 
is evident, I shall only remark two things upon this. 

First, The Holy Ghost professing his fear lest Satan 
should bep'uile believers, is a mistake. It was Paul that 
was so afraid, not the Holy Ghost, though he wrote that fear 
by the appointment and inspiration of the Holy Ghost. The 
apostle was jealous lest the saints should by the craft of 
Satan be seduced into errors and miscarriages, which yet 
argues not their final defection ; this, indeed, he records of 
himself; but of the fears of the Holy Ghost, arising from his 
uncertainty of those issues of the things and want of power 
to prevent the coming on of the things feared, I suppose 
there is no mention. And, 

Secondly, Tliat the consequent of the supposition in the 
inference made upon it, is not so clear to me as to Mr. 
Goodwin, viz. ' Suppose any doctrine to be false, whatsoever 
doctrine is set up in opposition to it, is true.' I have known, 
and so hath Mr. Goodwin also, when the truth hath lain 
between opposite doctrines, assaulted by both, entertained 
by neither; with these observations I pass the major of this 
syllogism, the minor he thus confirms : 

'If the saints be in no possibility of being finally over- 


come by Satan, or the miscarrying in the great and most 
important business of their salvation by his snares and sub- 
tleties, all that operoseness and diligence of the Holy Ghost, 
in those late-mehtioned addressments of his unto them, in 
order to their final conquest over Satan, will be found of 
very light consequence, of little concernment to them : yea, 
if the said addressments of the Holy Ghost, be compared 
with the state and condition of the saints, as the said doc- 
trince of perseverance representeth and affirmeth it to be, 
the utter uselessness and impertinency of them, will much 
more evidently appear.* 

Alls. \V^hat possibility or not possibility the saints are in 
of final apostacy from God, what assurance themselves have, 
may have, or have not, concerning their perseverance, with 
what is the use of admonitions and exhortations to them in 
that condition, hath been already declared ; for the present, 
I shall only add, that let their final apostacy, in respect of 
the event be never so impossible, yet in the state and con- 
dition wherein they are, and from the things which they are 
exercised about, with the principles on which they proceed, 
and the ways whereby they are led on, considerations enough 
ma/ be raised to set forth those exhortations, admonitions, 
and encouragements, appointed by the Holy Ghost, to be 
used and insisted on in the administration of the word, in 
the beauty and splendour of infinite wisdom, love, and kind- 
ness. The glory of God being so eminently concerned, as 
it is in the obedience and fruitfulness of the saints ; the ho- 
nour of the Lord Jesus in this w^orld, with the advancement 
and propagation of the gospel, in like manner relating there- 
unto ; their own peace lying so much as it doth upon their 
close walking with God, the Spirit being so grieved by their 
fallinsinto sin, as he is, God so dishonoured, and themselves 
exposed to such fearful desertions, darkness, trouble, sor- 
row, and disquietments, as they are, upon their being over- 
come by the temptations of Satan, and prevailed upon to 
turn aside into ways and sins short of total apostacy, and it 
being the purpose of'the Lord, to lead them on in obedience, 
in ways suitable to that nature, he created them withal, and 
that new nature wherewith he hath endued them (both apt 
to be wrought upon by motives, exhortations, and persua- 
sions), witliout any suchsupposal, as that of final a[)Ostacy; 


tliere is a sufficient bottom and foundation of exalting the 
motives and admonitions insisted on, to the possession of 
that glory, of wisdom, and goodness which is their due. But 
Mr. Goodwin having borrowed another pageant from tlie re- 
monstrants, had a great mind to shew it to the world in its 
English dress, and therefore introduces the Holy Ghost, 
tlius speaking in the admonitions above pointed at: 

'Suppose we then the Holy Ghost should speak thus 
unto the saints. Oh ye that truly believe, who by virtue of 
the promises of that God that cannot lie, are fully persuaded 
and possessed that ye shall be kept by God, by his irresist- 
ible grace, in true faith until death ; so that though Satan 
should set all his wits on work, and by all his stratagems, 
snares, and cunning devices, seek to destroy you ; yea, though 
he should entice you away from God, by the allurements of 
the world, and entangle you with them again, yea, and should 
cause you to run and rush headlong against the light of your 
own consciences, into all manner of horrid sins, yet shall all 
bis attempts and assaults upon you in every kind be in vain, 
and you shall be in never the more danger, or possibility of 
perishing : unto you, I say, attend and consider how sore 
and dangerous a contest you are like to be engaged in, for 
you are to wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against 
principalities and powers, the governors of this world, and 
spiritual wickednesses, against that old serpent the devil, the 
great red dragon who was a murderer from the beginning, 
and who still goes about like a roaring lion, seeking whom 
he may devour, who will set himself with all his might, to 
thrust you headlong into all manner of sins, and so to sepa- 
rate between you and your God for ever; and truly I am 
afraid, lest as the serpent by his subtlety deceived Eve, so 
your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity which 
is in Jesus Christ, lest the tempter should any way tempt 
you, and my labour about you be ia vain ; therefore watch, 
pray, resist him steadfast in the faith ; take unto you the 
whole armour of God, that you may be able to resist in an 
evil day, and having done all things stand fast; stand, hav- 
ing your loins girt with the girdle of truth, and the breast- 
plate of righteousness upon you : woukl such an oration or 
speech as this be any way worthy the infinite wisdom of the 
Holy Ghost? Or is it not the part of a very weak and sim- 


pie person to admonish a man, and that in a most serious and 
solemn manner of a dansfer threatenino- him, or hano-ins: over 
his head, and withal to instruct him with great variety qf di- 
rection and caution how to escape this danger, when as both 
himself knows, and the person admonished knows likewise, 
that it is a thing altogether impossible that ever the danger 
should befall him, or the evil against which he is so solemnly 
cautioned come upon him? Therefore those who make the 
Holy Ghost to have part and fellowship in such weakness as 
this are most insufferably injurious unto him.' 

A)is. To support the stage for to act this part of the pa- 
geant in hand upon, there are many supposals fixed by our 
author, that are to bear up the weight of the whole, which 
upon trial will appear to be arrant false pretences, painted 
antics, that have not the least strength or efficacy for the 
end and purpose whereunto they are applied. 

First, It is supposed that the end of all these admoni- 
tions, is merely and solely to prevent the saints from final 
apostacy ; and that they are to beware of the wiles and as- 
saults of Satan, only lest he prevail over them, to cause them 
to depart utterly from God ; that this is supposed in this 
discourse is evident, because upon the granting of a promise, 
that they shall not be so prevailed against, they are judged 
all useless and ridiculous : now who knows not but that Sa- 
tan may win now, and in some measure prevail against the 
saints, to the dishonour of God, the reproach of the gospel, 
grieving of the Spirit, and scandal of the church, although 
they fall not totally and finally from God ; and that many 
of those admonitions tend to the preservation of believers 
from such falls and failings, is more evident than to need 
any demonstration by consideration of the particular in- 

Secondly, It supposeth, as is expressed, that believers 
may fall into 'all manner of horrid sins and abominations,' 
which is the thing m question, and l)y us punctually denied : 
whatever their surprisals may be, yet there are sins which 
they cannot fall into : and the great abomination of every 
sin, that it is committed with the whole heart, and with full 
consent, they are not at all e.\:i)osed or liable unto, as hath 
been proved. 

Thirdly, That there is an inconsistency between promises 


and precepts, in reference to the same object; that God 
should promise to work any thing effectually in us, and yet 
require it of us is thought ridiculous, and on this account 
the great folly here imputedto the discourse framed for the 
Holy Ghost, is proposed to consist in this, that God should 
exhort us, to watch against the assaults of the devil, and 
yet promise that by his grace he will effectually work in us, 
and for us, the very same thing; a supposal destructive to 
the whole nature of the new covenant, easily disproved by 
innumerable instances. 

Fourthly, That believers are to be wrought upon to obe- 
dience always, whatever the frame of their spirits be, by the 
same ways and means ; thence it is that promises, promises 
of highest and greatest assurance, are in this discourse, 
coupled with cautions of the deepest charge, as though they 
must at the same time operate the same way to believers, or 
else the Holy Ghost be liable to be traduced, as inconsistent 
with himself. When the great variety that is in their spi- 
ritual frame and temper, the manifold temptations where- 
with they are assaulted, the light and dark places they walk 
through &c. give occasion sufficient to the exercising to- 
wards them, all the 'piping' and 'mourning' that is provided 
for them. 

Fifthly, That all believers are assured of their persever- 
ance, and that to such a degree as not to fear any apostacy, 
or to care what becomes of them (that is assured to pre- 
sumption not believing), and therefore are those cautions 
and admonitions of the Holy Ghost on that account, tending 
to stir up in them any godly care or fear rendered frustrate ; 
when Mr. Goodwin himself thinks that very few of them, do 
upon any good and abiding foundation, know themselves to 
be believers. And we never once supposed that all of them 
have assurance of their perseverance, nor any of them upon 
the terms here proposed ; all the strength of what is here 
insinuated, lies in this, that God gives assurance to men of 
the steadfastness and constancy of his love, under supjjosal 
of their falling into all manner of abominable sins; which 
supposal alone renders an inconsistency between the sense 
of the promises we embrace, and that of the admonitions 
that are given to the saints charging them to walk heedfully 
and to watch diligently against the attempts and assaults of 

VOL. Vll. Q 


Satan. Now this supposal is in itself false and ridiculous : 
neither ever did the Lord, nor do we ever say he did, tender 
men assurance of his love on such terms ; neither is it pos- 
sible for any one for ever to have a true persuasion of his own 
perseverance under such notions. 

Sixthly, That there is an inconsistency betwixt faithful 
promises of attaining an end by the use of means, and ex- 
hortation with admonitions to make use of those means; so 
that if it be supposed that God promiseth that Satan shall 
not in the issue prevail over us, prescribing to us the means 
whereby we shall be preserved from his prevalency, it is in 
vain to deal with us for the application of ourselves, unto 
the use of those means. 

Seventhly, It is also supposed that an assurance of the 
love of God and the continuance of it to the saints unto the 
end, so that they shall be never utterly rejected by him is an 
effectual way and means to induce them to carnal and loose 
walking, and a negligence in those things which are a pro- 
vocation to the eyes of his glory; and therefore, if he promise 
faithfully never to leave us nor forsake us, it is an induce- 
ment for us to conclude, let the devil now take his swing 
and do with us what he pleaseth. To exhort us to take care 
for the avoidance of his subtleties and opposition is a thing 
altogether ridiculous : the vanity of this supposal, hath been 
sufficiently before discovered and itself disproved. 

Upon such hypotheses as these, I say, upon such painted 
posts, is the whole pageant erected which we are here en- 
gaged withal ; and these being easily cast down, the whole 
rushes to the ground, in the room whereof, according to our 
principles, this following discourse may be supplied. 

You that are true believers, called, justified, sanctified, by 
the Spirit and blood of Christ, adopted into my family, in- 
grafted in and united unto the Son of my love; I know your 
weakness, insufficiency, disability, darkness, how that with- 
out my Son and continual supply of his Spirit you can do 
nothing ; the power of your indwelling sin, is not hid from 
me, how with violence it leads you captive to the law thereof; 
and though ye do believe, yet I know you have yet also 
some unhealed unbelief, and on that account are often over- 
whelmed with fears, sorrows, disconsolations, and troubles, 
and are ready often to think that your way is passed over 


from me, and your judgment hidden from your God : and in 
this condition, I know the assaults, temptations, and ojopo- 
sitions of Satan that you are exposed to, how he goes up and 
down like a roaring lion seeking to destroy you ; his ways, 
methods, wiles and baits (that he lays for you, and whereby 
he seeks to destroy you) are many, he acts against you as 
a serpent subtilely and wisely ; as a lion dreadfully and fear- 
fully, and with snares not of you, by yourselves to be re- 
sisted : you have principalities and powers to wrestle withal, 
and the darts of the wicked one to defend yourselves against, 
wherefore beware of him, be not ignorant of his devices, 
stand fast in the faith, take to you the whole armour of God, 
resist him, overcome him, cast him out by prayer, and the 
blood of the Lamb, watch night and day that you be not 
surprised nor seduced (as Eve was) by him, that he turn you 
not out of the way into paths leading to destruction, and 
thrust you headlong into such sins as will be a dishonour to 
me, a grief to my Spirit, a scandal to the church, and bitter- 
ness to your own souls ; and as for me, who know your dis- 
ability of yourselves to do any of these things, and so to 
hold to the end, because it pleased me to love you, and set 
my heart upon you, having chosen you before the founda- 
tion of the world, that you should be holy and unblameable 
before me in love, and having given my only Son unto you, 
who is your peace, and through whom you have received the 
atonement, with whom I will not deny you or withhold from 
you any thing that may safeguard your abiding with me unto 
salvation ; I will, through the riches of my grace, work all 
your works for you, fulfilling in you all the good pleasure of 
my goodness and the work of faith with power ; 1 will tread 
down Satan, this cruel, proud, malicious, bloody, enemy of 
your souls, under your feet; and though at any time he foil 
you, yet ye shall not be cast down, for I will take you up, 
and will certainly preserve you by my power, to the end of 
your hope, the salvation of your souls ; whatever betide you, 
or befall you, I will never leave you, nor forsake you ; the 
mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my 
kindness shall never be removed from you ; comfort ye, be 
of good courage, and run with joy the race that is set be- 
fore you. 

This, I say, is the language which according to the 

Q 2 


tenor of the doctrine whose maintenance we are engaged in, 
God speaks to his saints and believers, and if there be folly 
and inconsistency found therein, let the Scriptures vindicate 
and plead for themselves. 

Secondly, For the close of this discourse of our author, 
charging this course of procedure with folly, viz. to give 
admonition to the use of means, when the end is certainly 
determined to issue upon the use of those means, he must 
first evince it as to the application of it to the business in 
hand, before 1 can close with him in the managing thereof: 
for the present I rather think the folly of this charge, as far 
as it looks towards the doctrine under consideration to arise 
from other things. As, 

First, An impertinent comparison instituted betw^een God 
and man in their admonitions and dealings with men ; as 
though nothing might beseem him in spiritual things of 
eternal concernment, but what is squared to the rules of our 
proceedings one towards another, in things natural or civil. 

Secondly, A false supposal that the end is promised and 
assured to any, without or besides the use of means, or walk- 
ing according to the rules, precepts, and instructions given 
for that purpose, or for attainment of the end so promised. 
Now what folly there is to charge men to use means for the 
attaining of an end, when they are, altliough exhorted, also 
assured, that in their so doing, they shall attain the end 
aimed at, is yet under contest ; and may pass for the present 
with those other ridiculous supposals, formerly mentioned. 

But Mr. Goodwin proceeds farther in the vindication of 
this argument, sect. 38. 

' And whereas/ saith he, 'they still plead, or pretend ra- 
ther, that such admonitions as these lately specified may 
well stand with an unconditioned promise of perseverance, 
we have formerly shewed, that they are not able to make 
good this plea, nor to give any reasonable account of it, 
whereas they add that their sense and opinion is not, that 
it is a thmg absolutely or every way impossible for true be- 
lievers to fall away totally or finally from their faith, but 
that they willingly grant that true believers, what through 
their own weakness, and what through the subtle baits and 
temptations of Satan, may so fall away. 


' I answer, But this is but a fig-leaf sought out to cover 
the nakedness of their opinion, which hath no strength at 
all nor weight in it. For what though it were in a thousand 
other respects never so possible for true believers to perish, 
yet if it be altogether impossible in such a respect which 
overrules all those others, and which will and of necessity 
must hinder the coming of it to pass, all those other not- 
withstanding, it is to be judged simply and absolutely im- 
possible, and all those respects whereby it is pretended pos- 
sible are not to be brought into account in such a case.' 

Alls. Whether we ra'e able to make good our plea con- 
cerning the consistency of admonitions with the promises 
of perseverance, Mr. Goodwin is not the sole judge ; neither 
do either we or our plea stand or fall at his arbitrement ; 
what hath been lately spoken for the reinforcement of that 
plea against his exceptions, he may if he please, take time 
to consider. 

Secondly, For what is now added in this place as a part 
of that plea of ours, as it is here proposed we own not ; we 
do not grant that true believers may fall away on any ac- 
count whatever totally and finally, if the expression, ' may 
fall away,' relate to the issue and event ; we say, indeed, that 
by the temptations of Satan believers may be prevailed 
against, to the committing of many sins, the root whereof 
is in themselves, whilst the lust remains in them which 
tempteth and ensnareth them, whereby God may be disho- 
noured, and their own consciences wounded, which is a suf- 
ficient ground and bottom for all the admonitions that are 
given them to beware of his deceits, to strengthen them- 
selves against his assaults, and to be built upon, though 
through the 2;race and faithfulness of God and his o-oodwill 
manifested and secured unto them in his covenant and pro- 
mises, he can never totally prevail against them. 

We say, moreover, that it is not from believers them- 
selves, nor any thing in them, nor from any faith that they 
have received, that they cannot so fall finally away ; there 
being in them a proneness to sin, and the seed of all sin still 
remaining, yea a root of bitterness ready to spring up and 
trouble them ; but from those outward principles of the will, 
purposes, covenant, and promises of God which we have 


formerly insisted on. Farther, that there is no need of 
granting any such possibility, taking that term as relating 
to the issue and event, and not the internal principle of ope- 
ration in men, to manifest the harmony that is between the 
admonitions under consideration, and the promises we have 
msisted on ; it being sufficiently evinced on other conside- 
rations ; so that Mr. Goodwin's ensuing discourse concern- 
ing absolute impossibility is not at all related to any thing 
that we have asserted. 

Thirdly, Neither yet doth the reason by Mr. Goodwin 
produced, in any measure convince what he intends, though 
we be not concerned therein ; he will not easily persuade us 
that that which is possible in any respect, much less in 
many, and impossible only in one, is always to be judged 
simply and absolutely impossible; much less are we con- 
cerned in it, who say that simply and absolutely the falling 
away of believers is possible, namely, as the term ' possible' 
relates to the principle of operation in them; but in some 
respects only it is impossible, that is, not of itself, but in 
respect of the external prohibiting cause. It was absolutely 
and simply possible, that the bones of our Saviour should 
have been broken, in the nature of the thing itself; impos- 
sible, in respect of the decree of God ; so are a thousand 
things absolutely possible in their own nature, as to the 
power of the causes whereby they might be produced, but 
impossible in respect of some external prohibiting cause ; 
absolutely possible in respect of their proper cause and 
principle ; impossible in respect of the event, upon the ac- 
count of some external prohibiting cause as was shewed. 
So it is in the business in hand ; we assert not any possi- 
bility in respect of the event ; as though in the issue it 
might so come to pass, that believers should fall totally and 
finally from God, which is the thing we oppose ; but grant 
it, in respect of the causes of such apostacy, with refer- 
ence to the nature of the thing itself; though how the pos- 
sibility might be reduced into act Mr. Goodwin cannot de- 
clare ; as for the close of this section concerning the abso- 
lute, peremptory, irresistible, decree of perseverance which 
he ascribes to us as our assertion, when he shall have con- 
vinced us of the conditional, non-peremptory, reversible, de- 


cree of God, which he endeavours to introduce in the place 
thereof, he may hear more of us, in the meantime fxivofiiv 

Sect. 39, 40. He seeks to alleviate the instance com- 
monly given of our Saviour Christ, who though assured of 
the end (and in respect of whom it was utterly impossible 
that his glorious exaltation should not follow in the issue, he 
being wholly out of all danger of being detained under the 
power of death), yet he laboured, and prayed, and fasted, 
and resisted Satan's temptations, and watched against him, 
and dealt with him by weapons taken out of the word of 
God; and in especial when the devil urged him with the 
argument in hand, 'That there is no need of means or the 
using of them, when there is a certainty of the end, and an 
impossibility that it should otherwise fall out, or the end 
not be brought about and accomplished,' as he did when he 
tempted him to ' cast himself headlong from a pinnacle of 
the temple,' because the ' angels had charge over him, that 
not so much as his foot should be hurt against a stone,' 
whatever he did; as Satan intimated, which is the tenor 
of the argument wherewith we have to do, he returns to 
him the very answer that we insist upon, viz. that though 
it be the good pleasure of God to bring us to the end we 
aim at, yet are we not to tempt him by a neglect of the 
means which he hath appointed ; it is true, there are argu- 
ments used to us that could have no place with Christ, be- 
ing taken from the estate and condition of infirmity and 
weakness through sin, wherein we are ; which is a ground 
only of an inference, that if Christ who was 'holy, harmless, 
undefiled, separate from sinners,' did yet watch and pray 
and contend against Satan, much more should we do so. 
But this doth not at all take off from the parity of reason 
that is in the case of diligent using of the means for the 
compassing of the end, that in some respect is under an im- 
possibility of not being accomplished ; for the removal of 
this instance Mr. Goodwin enters into a large discourse of 
the cause and reason vesting the Lord Christ with an immu- 
tability in good, and how it is not competent to any crea- 
ture ; which that it is, never entered into the thoughts of 
any to assert that I ever heard of; nor is it of the least im- 
portance to the removal of our instance as to its servicea- 


bleness unto the end, for which it is produced ; he tells us 
also, * That in case men be caused necessitatingly and una- 
voidably to act righteously, it will take away all rewarda- 
bleness from their actings ; and the reason is, because such 
a necessitatino- of them, makes them merely passive, they 
having not any internal principle of their own to contract 
such a necessity ;' which discourse is pursued with many 
other words to the same purpose ; and a discourse it is, 

First, exceeding irrelative to the business in hand ; there 
is not any thing now under consideration, that should mi- 
nister occasion at all, to consider the manner of our yielding 
obedience, and the way of God's grace, in the bringing forth 
the fruits thereof, but only of the consistency that is between 
admonitions for the using of the means, when it is supposed 
impossible that the end prevented by them should ever come 
to pass, which may, or may not be so, whatever be the 
manner and way of our yielding obedience upon the exer- 
tion of the efficacy of the grace of God ; diversion is one of 
Mr. Goodwin's ordinary ways of warding those blows, which 
he is not able to bear. 

Secondly, False charging a crime on the doctrine which 
he doth oppose whereof it is not guilty ; neither it, nor they 
that maintain it, affirming that there is a necessitation upon 
the wills of men by the grace of God, such a necessitation 
as should in the least prejudice their freedom, or cause them 
to elicit their acts as principles natural and necessary; all 
the necessity ascribed by them to the efficacy of the opera- 
tion of the grace of God, respects only the event ; they say 
it is necessary that the good be done, which God works in 
us by his grace, when he works it in usj but for the manner 
of its doing, they say, it is wrought suitably to the state and 
condition of the internal principle whence it is to proceed, 
and doth so, and of the agents whereby it is wrought, which 
are free. Neither do they say that good is not wrought by 
any native and inward principle that is in men, unless they 
will allow no principle to be native but what is in them by 
nature ; and then indeed they say, that though naturally 
and physically there is, yet morally and spiritually there is 
not in them any native principle to that which is spiritually 
good; seeing in that sense, 'no good thing dwells in men.' 
But if it may suffice to evince that they work from a native 


inward principle, that their wills which are their natural 
faculties, quickened, improved and heightened, by inward, 
indwelling habits of grace, properly theirs when bestowed 
on them, are the principles of all their actings, then they as- 
sert them to work no less from a native internal principle 
than Christ himself did ; so that notwithstanding this diver- 
sion given in to supply the absence of an answer, the in- 
stance as to that alone, wherein the parallel was intended, 
stands unmoved, and Mr. Goodwin's whole charge of folly 
and inconsistency on the proceeding of the Holy Ghost 
falls to the ground, which is the issue of his eighth argu- 
ment in this case ; his last follows. 

The last argument which he proposeth sect. 41. and ends 
his chapter withal, is faint, and as the droppings after a 
shower, will easily be blown over. He thus proposeth it : 

'That doctrine which naturally and directly tendeth to 
beget and foment jealousies, and evil surmises between bre- 
thren in Christ, or such as ought cordially to love, reve- 
rence, and honour one another, is not confederate with the 
gospel, nor from God, and consequently that which contra- 
dicteth it must needs be a truth : the common doctrine of un- 
questionable and unconditional perseverance, is a doctrine 
of this tendency, apt to beget and foment jealousies, sus- 
picions and evil surmises between brethren, or such as 
ought to love and respect one the other as brethren in 
Christ.' Ergo. 

A?is. Not to take notice of any thing by the by, which 
sundry expressions and one inference at the least, in this ar- 
gument do readily administer occasion unto ; I await the 
proof of the minor, which in the following discourse 
amounts to this: 'that judging all those who fall finally 
away not to have been true believers, we cannot but have 
evil surmises, of all that stand, that they are not true be- 
lievers, seeing as good as they have fallen away ; hence jea- 
lousies of their hypocrisy will arise.' And he tells us for his 
part, he knows no Christian in the world, that he hath more 
reason to judge a true believer, than he had to judge some 
who are turned wretched apostates. To which I say briefly. 

First, I doubt not but Mr. Goodwin knows full well, that 
this is not a rule given us to make a judgment of believers 
by, with whom we walk, and towards whom it is required 


we bear " * love without dissimulation,' toward such as shew 
us their faith by their works; our rule of walking from the 
principle of love and charity is laid down in 1 Cor. xiii. And 
if all that any man knows at this day professors in this 
world, should turn apostates, save only one, and he had 
reckoned that one, and them that are apostatized, before 
their apostacy, of the same rank of believers, and had no 
evil thoughts of that one above the rest, he was bound with- 
out any evil surmises to believe all things, and to hope all 
things, and not to let go his sincere love towards that one, em- 
bracing of him, delighting in him, holding communion with 
him to his lives end without suspicion of hypocrisy, or other 
hard thoughts of him unless he also should degenerate. 
It is said, John ii, 23. that many believed on Christ because 
of the profession of faith that they made ; and, John vi. 34. 
they pray earnestly to be fed with the bread of life ; so that 
they were accounted among his disciples, ver. 60, and yet 
upon a temptation they left our Saviour, and walked no 
more with him, ver. 66. Now notwithstanding the profession 
of these men our Saviour plainly says, that they believed not, 
ver. 64. They falling thus away who had professed to be- 
lieve, and were accounted as believers, so called and named 
among the disciples of Christ, and Christ declaring on the 
account of their apostacy, that indeed they did never be- 
lieve, how was it that the remaining twelve had not hard 
thoughts and jealousies one of another (especially consi- 
dering that there was one hypocrite still left among them), 
whether they had true faith or no, seeing our Saviour had 
declared that those who so fell off, as those before-men- 
tioned, had none? Doubtless they were instructed to walk 
by a better and straighter rule, than that Mr. Goodwin here 
assigns to believers ; let who will or can fall away, whilst 
we are taught of God to love one another, and are acted by 
the principle of love which thinks no evil, and do contend 
against evil surmises as the works of the flesh ; there is not 
any thing in the least attending the discovery of one man's 
hypocrisy, to work us to a persuasion that another (not in 
any thing discovered) is so also ; that because we see some 
goodly house fall under storms and temptations to the 
ground, and so manifest itself to have been built on the 

* Rom. xii. 18. 


sand, that therefore we must conclude that those which- 
stand, are not built upon the rock, is not suited to any prin- 
ciple or rule that our master hath given us to walk by, in 
order to the exercise of that love, which he calleth for in us 
towards one another. 

Secondly, I say this way of proceeding in our thoughts 
and judgments doth the Holy Ghost lead us to, 1 John ii. 
19. The apostle, giving an account of some who had for- 
merly walked with him in the profession of the faith, and of 
the fellowship which they had with the Father and Son, fell 
away from Christ into an opposition against him, so far as 
to deserve the title of antichrists, having not only forsaken 
the gospel, but making it also their business to oppose it, 
and to seduce others from the simplicity of the same ; these 
he informs the scattered believers of the Jews were apos- 
tates, having formerly walked with them, but deserted their 
fellowship, and thereby manifested themselves never to have 
been true believers, nor ever indeed to have had fellowship 
with the Father and the Son, no more than they of whom our 
Saviour spake in the place before-mentioned ; and yet 
doubtless the apostle may not be supposed to lay a foun- 
dation for jealousies, evil suspicions, and surmises among 
believers, though he plainly and evidently affirm that those 
who fall away were never true believers, and that if they 
had been so, they would have continued in their faith and 
fellowship with the people of God. 'They went out from 
us,' saith he, 'but they were not of us ; for if they had been of 
us, they would (no doubt) have continued with us; but they 
went out, that they might be made manifest that they were 
not all of us.' 

A passage, by the way, clearly confirming the main of the 
doctrine we have hitherto insisted on ; and therefore I shall 
turn aside, before I come to the close of this chapter, having 
this occasion administered, to vindicate it from the ex- 
ceptions Mr. Goodwin gives in against the testimony it 
bears in this case. 

The argument that it readily furnisheth us withal, is of 
this import ; * If all they who fall away totally from the fel- 
lowship and society of the church and saints of God, what- 
ever their profession were before that apostacy, were never 
true believers, and are thereby manifested never to have 


been so, then those who are true believers cannot fall away :' 
but the first is true, therefore the latter ; the words are so 
disposed as to be cast into an hypothetical proposition, 
which virtually includes a double argument as every discreet 
axiom doth ; it is not thus, therefore thus ; if true believers 
might so depart and apostatize as those here mentioned, no 
unquestionable proof could be drawn from such apostacy, 
that men were never true believers, which yet is plainly in- 
sisted on, in the text. 

Mr. Goodwin, cap. 10. sect. 21— 24, pp. 189—192. ga- 
thers up sundry exceptions from the remonstrants which 
(as they also did) he opposeth to this interpretation of the 
words, and the inferences from them insisted on ; I shall 
briefly consider and remove them in that order as by him 
they are laid down. He saith. 

First, ' This inference presumeth many things, for which 
neither it, nor any the authors of it, will ever be able to give 
any good security of proof. As 

' First, That this phrase, They were not of us, imports 
that they were never true believers ; this certainly can never 
be proved, because there is another sense, and this every 
whit as proper to the words, and more commodious for the 
context and scope of the place, which may be given of them, 
as we shall see anon.' 

Ans. That there is not any thing presumed for the 
eduction of the inference proposed, but what is either di-, 
rectly expressed, or evidently included, in the words of the 
text, will appear in the farther consideration of what Mr. 
Goodwin hath to offer to the contrary. That expression. 
They were not of us, imports evidently, that they were not 
of them, in the fellowship and communion which he was 
now exhorting believers to continue and abide in. He tells 
them at the head of this discourse, cap. 1. 3. that the end of 
his writing to them, was to draw them into, and keep them 
in communion with himself, and the saints with him ; which 
communion or fellowship, he tells them, * they had with the 
Father and the Son.' But as for the persons, of whom in 
these words he is' speaking to them, describing them by 
their former and present condition, with the causes of it, he 
tells them, that though they abode with them for a season, 
yet they were never of them, as to the communion and fel- 


lowship they had with the Father and Son, and so were never 
true members of the church : the only reason Mr. Goodwin 
gives to invalidate this sense of the words is, that he is 
able to give another meaning of them (in his own judgment) 
more projDcr to the words, and more commodious to the 
scope of the place : which, w'hether it have any more efficacy 
to take in the force and evidence of the interpretation given, 
lying plain and clear in the first view of the words and con- 
text, than it hath to evade the eduction of any truth what- 
ever, from any place of Scripture whatever, seeing some or 
other suppose themselves able to give another sense of the 
words, let the reader judge. But he adds, 

* Secondly, That this expression. They were of us, signi- 
fies that they were true believers is presumed ; of the un- 
certainty of this supposition we shall,' saith he, 'give the like 

Ans. When we come to take Mr. Goodwin's farther ac- 
count, we shall be able (I make no doubt) to reckon with 
him, and to discharge his bill ; in the meantime, we say, 
that supposition, ' if they had been of us' (whence our in- 
ference in made), evidently includes a fellowship and com- 
munion with the apostle and true believers in their fellow- 
ship with God, which is asserted as a certain foundation 
of men's abidino- in the communion of the saints. 

But, says he, 

* Thirdly, It is supposed, that these words. They went 
cut from us, signify their final defection, or abdication of 
the apostle's communion, or their total and final renunciation 
of Christ, his church, and gospel; this supposition hath no 
bottom at all, or colour for it.' 

Ans. Divide not the words from their coherence, and 
the intendment of the place, and the signification denied is 
too evident and clear for any one, with the least colour of 
reason, to rise up against it ; 'they went out,' so out from the 
communion of the church, as to become antichrists, op- 
posers of Christ, and seducers from him, and certainly in so 
doing, did totally desert the communion of the apostle, re- 
nounce the Lord Christ, as by him preached, and forsook 
utterly both church and gospel, as to any fellowship with 
the one or the other : and we know full well, what is the 
bottom of this and the like assertions, 'that such and such 


things have no bottom at all ;' which never yet failed Mr. 
Goodwin at his need. 

' Fourthly,' saith he, ' It is supposed that this clause. They 
would no doubt have continued with us, signifies they would 
have continued in the same faith, wherein we persevere and 
continue ; nor is there,' saith he, ' any competent reason to 
enforce this sense of those words, because neither doth the 
grammatical tenor of them require it, and much less the 
scope of the passage.' 

j4iis. The fellowship John invited believers unto, and to 
continue in (as hath often been observed with him), and the 
saints with him, was that which they held with the Father 
and the Son, to continue with them therein, in the literal 
grammatical sense of the words, is to continue in the faith : 
it being faith whereby they have that fellowship or com- 
munion ; this also is evident from the scope of the whole 
passage, and is here only impotently denied. But, saith he, 

' Fifthly, The said inference supposeth that John cer- 
tainly knew that all those who for the present remained in 
his communion, were true believers ; for, if they were not 
true believers, they that were gone out from them in the 
sense contended for, might be said to be of them, that is, 
persons of the same condition with them ; but how impro- 
bable this is, I mean that John should infallibly know, that 
all those who has yet continued with them, were true be- 
lievers, I refer to consideration.' 

Am. Had Mr. Goodwin a little poised this passage before 
he took it up, perhaps he would have cast it away, as an 
useless trifle ; but his masters having insisted on it, per- 
haps he thought it not meet to question their judgments in 
tb3 least, for fear of being at liberty to deal so with them 
in matters of greater importance. I say then that there is 
not the least colour for any such supposal from the in- 
ference we make from the text ; nor is there any thing of 
that nature intimated, or suggested in the words, or argu- 
ment from them ; the body of them whom the apostates for- 
sook, were true believers ; and their abiding in the fellow- 
ship of the saints, was a manifestation of it sufficient for 
them to be owned as such, which the others manifested 
themselves never to have been, by their apostacy. But, 
saith he. 


'Sixthly, The inference under contest yet farther supposeth, 
that John certainly knew, that they who were now gone out 
from them, neither were now, nor eVer before, true believers; 
yea, and that he certainly knew this by their departure or 
going out from them.' 

Ans. This is the very thing that the apostle affirms, that 
he certainly knew those apostates never to have been true 
believers, and that by their apostacy, or falling totally from 
the gospel, becoming seducers and opposers of Christ ; let 
him argue it out with the Holy Ghost, if he can, whose plain 
and clear expression this is, and that confirmed by the en- 
suing argument of the perseverance of them who were true 
believers, and whose fellowship is with the saints, in their 
communion with the Father and the Son ; wherefore, saith he, 

' Lastly, It presumeth yet farther, that all true believers do 
always abide in the external communion of the church; and 
that when men do not so abide they plainly declare herein, 
that they never were true believers, which is not only a ma- 
nifest untruth, but expressly contrary to the doctrine itself 
of those men who assert the inference; for they teach (as we 
heard before) that a true believer may fall so foully and so 
far, that the church, according to the command of Christ, 
may be constrained to testify that she cannot tolerate them 
in her external communion, nor that ever they shall have 
any part or portion in the kingdom of Christ, unless they 
repent ; doubtless to be cast out of the church according to 
the institution and command of Christ (who commands no 
such thing but upon very heinous and high unchristian mis- 
demeanours) is of every whit as sad importance, as a volun- 
tary desertion of the churches' communion can be for a 

Ans. It supposeth that no true believers fall so off from 
the church, as to become antichrists, opposers of Christ and 
the church, so as to deny that Christ is come in the flesh, 
which was the great business of the antichrists in those 
days ; it is true, and granted by us, that a true believer may 
forsake the outward communion of some particular church 
for a season, yea, and that upon his irregular walking and 
not according to the rule of Christ, he may, by the authority 
of such a church, be rejected from its communion for his 
amendment and recovery into the right way, of which be- 


fore : but that a true believer can voluntarily desert the 
communion of the saints, and become an antichrist, that 
this text denies, and we from it, and the many other wit- 
nesses of the same truth, that have been produced: notwith- 
standing then all Mr. Goodwin's exceptions, there is nothing 
presumed in the inference, we make from these words, but 
what is either expressly contained, or evidently included in 

But Mr. Goodwin will not thus give over; he prefers his 
exceptions to this testimony in another whole section ; which, 
because the demonstration of the truth in hand from this 

, place, though here handled by the by, is of great import- 
ance, and such as by its single strength is sufficient utterly 
to cast to the ground the figment set up in opposition to it, 
I shall present entirely to the reader (that our author may be 
heard out and nothing omitted that he pleads, for the waving 
of the force of the argument in hand) that whole section. 
Thus then he proceeds : 

* Suppose that these two suppositions be granted to the 

' inference makers; first, that this phrase, To go out from us, 
signifies voluntarily to forsake the society and communion 
of Christians ; and secondly, that this expression. To be of 
us, signifies true and inward communion with those from 
whom they went out, yet will not these contributions suffice, 
for the firm building of the said inference; the reason is, 
because the apostle expressly saith, that they would have 
continued with us; not that they would have continued 
such as they were, in respect of the truth or essence of their 
faith ; and if the apostle's scope in this place were to prove or 
affirm that they who are once true Christians, or believers, 
always continue such; then, when he saith they would have 
continued with us, he must of necessity mean, either that 
they would have continued faithful as we continue faithful, 
or else that they would have continued always in our society, 
or in the profession of Christianity : but that neither of these 
senses are of any tolerable consistency, is evident by the light 
of this consideration; viz. That the apostle then must have 
known, that the person he speaks of, and who went out from 
them, neither were nor ever had been true Christian believers, 
when they went thus from them ; now if he had this know- 
ledge of them, it must be supposed either that he had it by 


extraordinary revelation (but this is very improbable, and 
howsoever cannot be proved), or else that he gained and 
obtained it by their departure or going out from them ; but 
that this could be no sufficient argument or ground to beget 
any such knowledge in the apostle concerning them, is evi- 
dent from hence, because it may very easily, and doth very 
frequently come to pass, that they who are true Christians, 
do not always continue in the society to which they have 
joined themselves, no nor yet in the external profession of 
Christianity itself; yea, our opposers themselves, frequently 
and without scruple teach, that even true believers them- 
selves, may through fear, or shame, or extremity of suffer- 
ings, be brought to deny Christ, and without any danger of 
being shipwrecked of their faith, forbear making a profession 
of the name of Christ afterward.' 

Alls. First, What is meant and intended by those expres- 
sions 'went out from us,' and 'to be of us' hath been declared; 
we are not to teach the Holy Ghost to speak ; whatever 
conceit we may have of our own abilities, when we deal with 
worms of the earth like ourselves, to his will, to his expres- 
sions, we must vail and submit; he is pleased to phrase their 
continuance in the faith, their 'continuance with us,' that is, 
with the saints in the fellowship and communion of the gos- 
pel, which they had with God in Christ ; the expression is 
clear and evident to the purpose in hand, and there is no con- 
tending against it. 

Secondly, We do not say, that it is the direct scope and 
intent of the apostle in this place, to prove that those who 
are true believers cannot fall away and depart from the 
faith, which he afterward doth to the purpose, chap. iii. 9. 
but his mind and intendment was, to manifest, that those 
who forsake the society of Christians, and become anti- 
christs and seducers, were indeed never true believers ; 
using the other hypothesis as a medium for the confirmation 
of this assertion. 

Thirdly, By that phrase, they ' would have continued with 
us,' the apostle intends their continuance in the society and 
fellowship of the faithful by the profession of Jesus Christ, 
whom now they opposed, denying him to be come in the 
flesh ; that is, they would not have so fallen oif, as they have 
done, upon the account of the estate and condition of true 




believers and real saints, who are kept by the power of God 
to salvation. 

Fourthly, The apostle did know, and professed himself 
to know, that they were not, nor ever had been true believers, 
when they were once so gone out from them, as they went; 
as our Saviour Christ professed them not to have been true 
believers, who followed him for awhile, were called and ac- 
counted his disciples, when they fell in an hour of tempta- 
tion ; neither have we the least reason to suppose, that the 
apostle had this knowledge by revelation, seeing the thing 
itself in reference and proportion to the principles he lays 
down of the continuance of believers, did openly proclaim it. 
Fifthly, That true Christians or believers can so fall 
away from the society of the saints as those here mentioned 
did, is denied ; and a grant of it ought not to be begged at 
our hands; it is true, that (as was before granted) a true be- 
liever may for a season desert the communion or fellowship 
of a church wherein he hath walked, and that causelessly; 
yea, he may be surprised through infirmity to deny under 
mighty temptations, in words for a moment the Lord Christ, 
whom yet his heart loves and honours, as in the case of 
Peter was too evident, but that such a one may forsake the 
external profession of Christianity, or cease profession-mak- 
ing, and betake himself to a contrary interest, opposing 
Christ and his ways, as those here insisted on did; that is 
denied, and not the least attempt of proof made to the con- 

Whilst I was upon consideration of these exceptions of 
Mr. Goodwin's to our testimony from this text of Scripture 
by us insisted on, there came to my hands his exposition on 
the 9th chapter to the Romans ; in the epistle whereof to 
the reader, he is pleased, sect. 6, studiously to wave the im- 
putation of having borrowed tliis exposition from Arminius 
and his followers : an apology perhaps unworthy his pru- 
dence, and great abilities ; which testimony yet I fear, by 
having cast an eye on the body of the discourse, will scarcely 
be received by his reader, without the help of that vulgar 
proverb 'good wits jump:' but yet on that occasion I can- 
not but say, however he hath dealt in that treatise, this dis- 
course I have under consideration is purely translated from 
them, the condition of very much of what hath been already 


considered, having the same which I had there thought to 
have manifested, by placing their Latin against his English 
in the margin : but these things are personal, not belong- 
ing to the cause in hand. Mr. G. is sufficiently known to have 
abilities of his own, such as wherewith he hath done (in 
sundry particulars) considerable service to the truth, as 
sometimes they have been unhappily engaged in ways of 
a contrary nature and tendency. 

It being evident from these considerations that our 
author is not able in the least to take off this witness from 
speaking home to the very heart of the cause in hand, that 
it may not seem to be weakened and impaired by him in the 
least : I shall farther consider that diversion which he would 
entice the words unto, from their proper channel and intend- 
ment, and so leave the apostacy of the saints dead at the foot 
of it. He gives us then, (sect. 23, 24.) an exposition of this 
place of Scripture, upon the rack whereof, it seems not to 
speak what formerly we received from its mouth : for the 
occasion of the words, he says, 

' For the true meaning of this place, it is to be considered 
that the apostle's intent in the words was to prevent or heal 
an offence, that weak Christians might take at the doctrine 
which was taught and spread abroad by those antichrists or 
antichristian teachers, spoken of in the former verse ; and 
they are said to have been many, and that especially be- 
cause they had sometimes lived and conversed with the 
apostles themselves in Christian churches, and had professed 
the same faith and doctrine with them ; by reason hereof 
some Christians not so considerate or judicious as others, 
might possibly think or conceive, that surely all things were 
not well with the apostles, and those Christian societies with 
which they consorted ; there was something not as it ought 
to have been, either in doctrine or manners, or both, which 
ministered an occasion to these men to break communion 
with them, and to leave them.' 

Ans. First, The intendment of the apostle in the context, 
is evidently to caution believers against seducers, acquaint- 
ing them also with the sweet and gracious provision that 
God had made for their preservation, in the abiding, teach- 
ing, anointing, bestowed, on them : in the verse under pre- 
sent consideration, he gives them a description of the per- 
il 2 


sons that did seduce them, in respect of their present state 
and condition ; they were apostates ; who, though they had 
sometimes made profession of the faith, yet indeed were 
never true believers, nor had any. fellowship with Jesus 
Christ, as he and the saints had, which also they had abun- 
dantly manifested by their open apostacy, and ensuing op- 
position to the doctrine of the gospel, and the eternal life 
manifested therein. 

Secondly, That any Christians whatsoever, from the con- 
sideration of these seducers falling away did entertain any 
suspicion that all things were not well in that society of 
which the apostle speaks (not with the apostles which were 
all dead, himself only excepted, when John wrote this epis- 
tle), either as to doctrine or manners, so supposing them to 
take part with the apostates in their departure, is a surmise 
whereunto there is not any thing in the least contributed 
in the text or context, nor any thing like to it, being a mere 
invention of our author, found out to serve this turn, and 
confidently without any induction looking that way, or at- 
tempt of proof, imposed upon his credulous reader; if men 
may assume to themselves a liberty of creating occasions of 
words, discourses, or expressions in the Scripture, no manner 
of way insinuated nor suggested therein, they may wTest it 
to what they please, and confirm whatever they have a mind 

This false foundation being laid, he proceeds to build 
upon it, and suitably thereunto feigns the apostle to speak 
what never entered into his heart, and unto that whereof he 
had no occasion administered. 

' To this,' saith he, ' the apostle answereth partly by con- 
cession, partly by exception; first by concession, in those 
words. They went out from us; which words do not so much 
import their utter declining or forsaking the apostles' com- 
munion, as the advantage or opportunity which they had to 
gain credit and respect, both to the doctrine and persons 
among professors of Christianity in the world ; inasmuch as 
they came forth from the apostles themselves as men sent 
and commissioned by them to teach ; the same phrase is 
used in this sense, and with the same import where the apo- 
stles write thus to the brethren of the Gentiles ; Acts xv. 24. 
Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain that went out from 


US have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, say- 
ing, You must be circumcised and keep the law, to whom we 
gave no such commandment ; so that in this clause, They 
went out from us, the apostle grants ; first. That those an- 
tichristian teachers had indeed for a time held communion 
with them ; and secondly. That hereby they had the greater 
opportunity, of doing harm in the world, by their false doc- 
trines. But secondly. He answers farther by way of ex- 
ception. But they were not of us, whilst yet they conversed 
with us, they were not men of the same spirit and principles 
with us ; we walked in the profession of the gospel, with 
single and upright hearts, not aiming at any singular great- 
ness, or worldly accommodations in one kind or other; these 
men loved this present world, and when they found the sim- 
plicity of the gospel would not accommodate them to their 
minds, they brake with us, and with the truth of the gospel 
itself at once.' 

Jus. First, I suppose it is evident, at the first view, that 
this new gloss of the apostle's words is inconsistent with 
that, which v/as proposed for the occasion of them in the 
words foregoing ; there an aspersion is said to be cast upon 
the churches and societies whereof the apostle speaks, from 
the departure of these seducers from them, as though they 
were not sound in faith or manners ; here an insinuation 
quite of another tendency is suggested, as though these 
persons found continuance in their teachings and seductions, 
from the society and communion which they had had with 
the apostles ; as though they had pretended to come from 
them by commission, and so instead of casting reproach 
upon them by their departure, did assume authority to 
themselves, by their having been with them. But to the thing 
itself I say. 

Secondly, That the apostle is not answering any ob- 
jection, but describing the state and condition of the anti- 
christs and seducers, concerning whom and their seduction 
he cautioneth believers, hath been formerly beyond contra- 
diction manifested and maintained ; that expression, then, 
* they went out from us,' is not an answer (by concession) to 
an objection, but a description of seducers by their apostacy ; 
which words also in their regard to the persons as before by 
him described, do manifest their utter declining and forsaking 


the communion of the saints, they so going from them, as 
also going into an opposition to the doctrme of the gospel. 

Thirdly, That the apostle here insinuates an advantage 
these antichrists had, to seduce from their former commu- 
nion with him (a thing not in the least suggested, as was 
observed, in the occasion of the words, as laid down 
by Mr. Goodwin himself), is proved from the use of the 
words, * they went out from us ;' Acts xv. 24. Whence this 
undeniable argument may be educed. Some who went 
out from the apostle, had repute and authority in their 
preaching thereby ; these antichrists went out from the 
apostle, therefore they had repute and authority thereby. 
Younger men than either Mr. Goodwin or myself, know well 
enough what to make of this argument; besides, though 
there be an agreement in that one expression, all the neigh- 
bouring parts of the description, manifest that in the things 
themselves, there and here pointed at, there is no affinity : 
those in the Acts pretended to abide still in the ' communion 
and faith of the apostles,' these here expressively departed 
both from the one and the other, to an opposition of them 
both : the former seemed to have pretended a commission 
from the apostles; these, according to Mr. Goodwin himself, 
did so far declare against them, that it was a scandal to 
some, fearing that all had not been well among the apostles. 

Fourthly, That which is called an answer by way of ex- 
ception, as in it lies the expression of it so used upon the 
matter, is as much as we urge from these words ; the import 
of them is said to be, * they were not of us, though they 
were with us, yet they were not such as we are, did not 
walk in that uprightness of heart as we do, they were not 
men of the same principles, and spirit with us ;' that is, they 
were not true, thorough, sincere, and sound believers at all, 
no not while they conversed with the apostles. Now evident 
it is that in those words, as is manifest by the assuming of 
them again for the use of an inference ensuing, ' for if they 
had been of us, they would have continued with us,' the 
apostle yields a reason and account, how they came to apos- 
tatize and fall to the opposition of the gospel from the 
profession wherein they walked ; it was because they were 
not men of thorough and sound principles, true believers ; 
and consequently, he supposcth and implicth, that if they 


liad been so they would not, they couhl not, have so upois- 
tatized ; for if tliey might, there had been no weight in the 
account given of the reason of their revolt. 

In what follows, that these v/ords, ' but they were not of 
US, do not necessarily imply they were believers formerly, 
but perhaps they had been so, and were before fallen away, 
being choked by the cares of the world ;' an observation is 
insinuated, directly opposite to the apostle's design, and 
such as makes his whole discourse ridiculous. An account 
lie gives of men's falling away from the faith, and tells them 
it is because, though they have been professors, yet they 
were never true believers; yea but perhaps they were true 
believers, and then fell avv-ay, and after that fell away ; that 
is, they fell from the faith, and then fell from the faith ; for 
that is plainly ijitimated in, and is the sense of this doubty 

But to proceed with his exposition ; he says, * It follows. 
For if they had been of us, they would no doubt have con 
tinned with us ; in these words the apostle gives a reason of 
his exception, telling them to whom he writes that this 
was a sign and argument that those antichristian teachers, 
were not of them in the sense declared ; viz. That they did 
not continue with them ; that is, they quitted their former 
intimacy and converse with the apostles, refused to steer 
the same course, to walk by the same principles, any longer 
with them, which, saith he, doubtless they would not have 
done, had they been as sincerely affected towards Jesus 
Christ and the gospel as we : by which assertion John 
plainly vindicated himself and the Christian churches of his 
communion, from giving any just occasion of offence unto 
those men, whereby they should be any ways induced to 
forsake them, and resolves their unworthy departure of this 
kind into their own carnal and corrupt hearts, which lusted 
after some fleshly accommodations and contentments, that 
were not to be obtained or enjoyed in a sincere profession 
of the gospel with the apostles, and those who were perfect 
of heart with them.' 

Ans. First, That no aspersion was cast on John, or the 
churches of his communion by the apostacy of the anti- 
christs, of whom he speaks, from which he should need to 
vindicate himself and them, was before declared, There 


was not, indeed, nor possibly could be, the least occasion 
for any surmise of evil concerning them from whom men 
departed, in turning ungodly opposers of Christ ; for any 
thing that is here offered, it is but an obscuring of the light 
that breaks forth from the words, for the discerning of the 
truth in hand ; it is grnnted that the apostle manifests, that 
they were not of them, that is, true, upright, sound believers, 
that walked with a right foot in the doctrine of the gospel, 
because they forsook the communion of the saints, to fall 
into the condition of antichristianism, wherein they were 
now engaged. Now if this be an argument that a man was 
never a true believer, in the highest profession that he makes, 
because he falls from it and forsakes it, certainly those that 
are true believers, cannot so fall from their steadfastness ; or 
the argument will be of no evidence or conviction at all ; 
neither is any thing here offered by Mr. Goodwin, but what 
upon a thorough consideration, doth confirm the inferences 
we insist upon, and make to the work in hand : truth will 
at one time or other, lead captive those who are most skilful 
in their rebellion against it. 

What is added, sect. 24., concerning the righteous judg- 
ment of God, and the gracious tendency of his dispensations 
to his church's use, in suffering these wretches so to dis- 
cover themselves, and be manifested what they were, I op- 
pose not. The discovery that was made, was of what they 
had been before ; that is, not true believers, and not what now 
they were : yea, by what they now shewed themselves to be, 
was made manifest what before they were ; words of the like 
import you have, 1 Cor. xi. 19. * For there must be also 
heresies among you, that they which are approved may be 
made manifest among you ;' as here those who fall away are 
manifested to be corrupt, so there are those who abide to be 

From what hath been occasionally spoken of the intend- 
ment and scope of this place, of the design which the apos- 
tle had in hand, of the direct sense of the words themselves, 
Mr. Goodwin's exceptions to our interpretation of the words 
and inferences from it being wholly removed, and his expo- 
sition which he advanceth in the room of that insisted on, 
manifested to be, as to the occasion and scope of the place 
assigned, utterly foreign unto it, and as to explication of the 


particulars of it, not of any strength or consistency for the 
obscuring of the true sense and meaning of the place, in the 
eye of an intelligent reader ; it is evidently concluded beyond 
all colourable contradiction, that those who are true be- 
lievers indeed, having obtained communion with the Father 
and his Son Christ Jesus, cannot fall into a total relinquish- 
ment of Christ, or of the faith of the gospel, so as to have no 
portion nor interest in the communion they formerly enjoyed. 
To return to Mr. Goodwin's close of this 13th chapter, 
and nine arguments, as he calls them, from v/hich he labours 
to evince the apostacy of believers, he shuts up the whole 
with a declamation against, and reviling of the doctrine he 
opposeth, with many opprobrious and reproachful expres- 
sions ; calling it an impostor, and an appearance of Satan in 
the likeness of an angel of light, with such like terms of re- 
proach, as his rhetoric at every turn is ready to furnish him 
withal ; threatening it farther, with calling it in question be- 
fore I know not how many learned men of all sorts, and to 
disprove it by their testimony concerning it ; and so all that 
is required for its destruction is, or shall be speedily des- 
patched. God knows how to defend his truth, and as he 
hath done this in particular, against as fierce assaults as any 
Mr. Goodwin hath made, or is like to make against it, so I 
no way doubt he will continue to do. It is not the first 
time, that it hath been conformable to its author ; in under- 
going the contradiction of men, and being laden with re- 
proaches, and crucified among the theivish principles of 
error and profaneness. Hitherto it hath not wanted in due 
time its resurrection, and that continually with a new glory, 
and an added estimation to what before it obtained among* 
the saints of God ; and I no way doubt, but that it will grow 
more and more, until the perfect day, when those opinions 
and inventions of men, derogatory to the grace and cove- 
nant of God, his truth, unchangeableness, and faithfulness, 
which now make long their shades to eclipse the beauty 
and lustre of it, shall consume and vanish away before its 
brightness. In which persuasion I doubt not, but the rea- 
der will be confirmed with me, upon the farther considera- 
tion of what Mr. Goodwin's endeavours are in opposition 
thereto, wherewith now by the grace of God, contrary to my 
first intendment, I shall proceed. 



The cause of proceeding in this chapter. Mr. G.'s attempt, chap. 1-2. of his 
book. Of the preface to Mr. G.'s discourse. Whether doctrine renders 
men proud and presumptuous. Mr. G. 's rule ofjudfjiug ofdoct rines culled 
to the rule. Doctrine prettndiuy to promote godliness, Loicfar an arr/utucut 
of the truth. BIr. G.'s pretended advantayes injudginy of truths examined. 
The first, of his knoivledgeof the general course of the Scriptures, Of the 
experiences of his own heart. AndJiis observations of the ivays of otlters. 
Of his rational abilities. Ezck. xviii. 24, 25. proposed to consideration. 
Mr. G.'s sense of this place. The words opened; observations for the open- 
ing of ilie text. The words farther weighed ; an entrance into the anstoer 
to the argument from hence: the ivord hypothetical not absolute. Mr. G.'s 
answer proposed and considered. Whether the teords are hypothetical. 
The severals of the le::t considered ; the riyhteous 7nan spoken of, who. 
Mr. G.'s proof of his interpretation of a righteous man considered. Dr. 
Prideaux's sense of the righteous jjerson here intended, considered. Of 
the commination in tlie ivoi'ds : shall die. The sense of the words : what 
death intended. Close of the consideration of the text insisted on. Matt, 
xviii. 32, 33. taken into a revieiv. Whether the love of God be mutable, 
what the love of God is. \ Cor. ix. 27. Jn what sense it was possible 
for Paul to become a reprobate. The proper sense of the place insisted 
on, manifested. Of the meaiiiny of the word acoKipog. The scope (f the 
place farther cleared. Hcb. vi. 4 — G. x. 26, 27. proposed to conside- 
ration: whether the coords be conditional. 21ie yennine and true meaning 
of the place opened, in six observations. 3Ir. G.'s exceptions to the expo- 
sition of the words insisted on, removed. The persons intended not true 
believers: this evinced on sundry considerations. The particidars of the 
texts vindicated. Of the illuminations mentioned in the text. Of the ac- 
knowledgment of the truth ascribed io the person mentioned. Of the sanc- 
tifications mentioned in the texts. Of tasting the heavenly gift. To be 
made partakers of the Holy Ghost, what. Of tasti7ig the yood icord <f 
God, and power of the world to come. Of the progress made by man not 
really reyenerate in the things of God. Tlie close of our consideratio7is 
on these texts. Hcb. x. 38, 39. 3Ir. G.'s arguing from thence: con- 
sidered and answered: of the right translation of the word: Beza vindi- 
cated, as also our JEnglish translations. The words of the text, effectual 
to prove the saints' perseverance. Of the parable if the stony ground ; 
Matt. xiii. 20, 21. Mr. G.'s arguing from the place proposed and con- 
sidered. The similitude in the parable farther considered. An argument 
from the text, to prove the j)erso7is described not to be true believers, 2 Pet. 
ii. 18 — 22. Mr. G.'s arguinysfrom this place considered, ^c. 

Though I could willingly be spared the labour of all tliat 
must ensue to the end of this treatise, yet it being made ne- 


cessary by the endeavours of men not delighting in the 
truth which hitherto we have asserted, for the opposition 
thereof, and lying I hope under the power and efficacy of 
that heavenly exhortation of * contending earnestly for the 
faith once delivered to the saints,' I shall with all cheerful- 
ness address myself thereunto ; yea, the service and homage 
I owe to the truth itself, causing this engagement for its 
rescue from imder the captivity wherein by the chains of 
Mr. Goodwin's rhetoric it hath been sometimes detained, 
being increased and doubled by the pressing and violent 
wresting of sundry texts of Scripture to serve in the same 
design of bondaging the truth with him, is a farther incitation 
to add ray weak endeavours, to break open those doors and 
bars which he hath shut and fastened upon them both, for 
their joint deliverance. 

In Mr. Goodwin's 12th chapter he takes into participa- 
tion with him, as is pretended, eight places of Scripture, endea- 
vouring by all means possible to compel them to speak com- 
fortable words, for the relief of his fainting and dying cause. 
Whether he hath prevailed with them to the least compli- 
ance, or whether he will not be found to proclaim in their 
name what they never once acknowledged unto him, will be 
tried out in the process of our consideration of them. 

In the first and second section he fronts the discourse 
intended with an eloquent oration, partly concerning the 
tendency of the doctrine of th'^ saints' perseverance, which 
he girds himself now more closely to contend withal, partly 
concerning himself, his own ability, industry, skill, diligence, 
and observation of doctrines and persons, with his rules in 
judging of the one and the other. 

For the first, he informs us, that his judgment is, ' that 
many who might have attained a crown of glory, by a pre- 
sumptuous conceit of the impossibility of their miscarrying, 
are now like to suffer the vengeance of eternal fire ; men 
thereby gratifying the flesh, with wresting the Scripture to 
the encouragement thereof.' 

That the proud and presumptuous conceits of men are 
like to have no other issue or effect than the betraying of 
their souls to all manner of looseness and abomination, so 
exposing them to the ' vengeance of eternal fire,' we are well 
assured ; and therefore, ' knowing the terror of the Lord do 


persuade men/ what we are able, to cast down all high thoughts 
and imaginations concerning their own abilities to do good, 
to believe, to obey the gospel, or to abide in the faith there- 
of, and to roll themselves freely, fully, wholly, on the free 
grace and faithfulness of God, in the covenant of mercy, ra- 
tified in the blood of his Son, wherein they shall be assured 
to find peace to their souls. On this foundation do we build 
all our endeavours, for the exalting the sovereign, free, effec- 
tual grace of God, in opposition to the proud and presump- 
tuous conceits of men, concerning their own inbred, native 
power in spiritual things ; an apprehension whereof we are 
well assured, disposeth the heart into such a frame as God 
abhors, and prepares the soul to a battle against him, in the 
highest and most abominable rebellion imaginable. I no 
ways doubt, that the ways and means whereby innumerable 
poor creatures have been hardened to their eternal ruin, have 
had all their springs and fountains lie in this one wretched 
reserve, of a power in themselves to turn to God, and to 
abide with him. That any one by mixing the promises of 
God with faith, wherein the Lord hath graciously assured 
him, that seeing he hath no strength in himself to continue 
in his mercy, he will preserve and keep him in and through 
the Son of his love, hath ever been, or ever can be turned 
wholly aside to any way or path not acceptable to God, or 
not ending in everlasting peace, will never be made good 
whilst the gospel of Christ finds honour and credit amongst 
any of the sons of men. There may be some indeed, who are 
strangers to the covenant of promise, whatever they do pre- 
tend, who may turn this grace of God in the gospel, as also 
that of the satisfaction of Christ, redemption by his blood, 
and justification by faith, the whole doctrine of the covenant 
of grace in Christ, into lasciviousness ; but shall their unbe- 
lief make the faith of God of none effect ? shall their wick- 
edness and rebellion, prejudice the mercy, peace, and con- 
solation of the saints ? Because the gospel is to them ' the 
savour of death unto death,' may it not be the ' savour of life 
unto life' unto them that do embrace it? Whatever then be 
the disasters (of whicli themselves are the sole cause) of men 
with their presumptuous conceits of the impossibility of mis- 
carrying, seeing every presumptuous conceit of what kind 
soever is a desperate miscarriage, their ruin and destruction 


cannot in the least be ascribed to that doctrine which calls 
for faith in the promises of God, a faith working by love, and 
decrying all presumptuous conceits whatever. A doctrine 
without which, and the necessary concomitant doctrines 
thereof, the whole bottom of men's walking with God, and 
of their obedience, is nothing but presumption and conceit, 
whereby setting aside the cold fits they are sometimes cast 
into, by the checks of their consciences, they spend their 
days in the distemper of a fever of pride and folly. 

In the ensuing discourse, Mr. Goodwin informs us of 
these two things. First, What rule he proceeds by in judg- 
ing of the truth of contrary opinions, when (as he phraseth 
it) the tongue of the Scripture seems to be cloven about 

And secondly. Of his own advantages and abilities to 
makearioht iudsfment accordino; to that rule. The rule he 
attends unto upon the information he hath given us is, * the 
consideration of which of the opinions that are at any time ri- 
vals for his judgment and acceptation, tend most unto god- 
liness ; the gospel being the truth which is according to god- 
liness,' of his own advantao;es and abilities to make a riarht 
judgment according to this rule, there are several heads and 
springs ; as his * knowledge of the general 'course of the 
Scripture, the experience of his own heart, his long observa- 
tion of the spirits and ways of men, but chiefly that light of 
reason and understanding which he hath.' And by this rule, 
with these abilities proceeding in the examination of the 
doctrine of the saints' perseverance, he condemns it and 
casts it out as an abominable 'thing, preferring that concern- 
ing their final defection far above it. Some considerations 
I shall add to attend upon his rule and principles. 

First, It is most certain, ' that the gospel is a doctrine ac- 
cordingunto godliness,' whose immediate and direct tendency, 
as in the whole frame and course of it, so in every particular 
branch and stream is to promote that obedience to God in 
Christ, which we call godliness. This is the will of God re- 
vealed therein even our sanctification, and whatever doctrine 
it be that is suited to turn men off from walking with God in 
that way of holiness, it carries its brand in its face, whereby 
every one that finds it, may know that it is of the unclean 
spirit, the evil one. But yet that there may be fearful and 


desperate deceits in the hearts of men judging of truths, pre- 
tending their rise and original from the gospel, hy their suita- 
bleness to the promotion of godliness and holiness, hath 
been before in part declared, and the experience of all ages 
doth sufficiently manifest. Among all those who profess 
the name of Christ more or less in the world, though in 
and under the most antichristian opposition to him, who is 
there that doth not pretend that this tendency of opinions 
unto godliness, or their disserviceableness thereunto, hath a 
great influence into the guidance of their judgment in the re- 
ceiving or rejecting of them. On the account of its destruc- 
tiveness to godliness and obedience do the Socinians reject 
the satisfaction and merit of Christ ; and on the account of 
conducingness thereunto, do the Papists assert and build up 
the doctrines of their own merits, penance, satisfaction and 
the like. On that principle did they seem to be acted, who 
pressed legal and judicial suppositions with a shew of wis- 
dom or will worship, and humility and neglecting the body ; 
Col. ii. 23. Neither did they fail of their plea concerning 
promotion of godliness in the worship of God, who reviled, 
rejected, and persecuted the ordinances of Christ in this ge- 
neration, to set up their own abominations in the room. Yea, 
it is generally the first word wherewith every aboip.ination 
opens its mouth in the world, though the men of those abo- 
minations do rather suppose this pretence of godliness to be 
serviceable for the promotion of their opinions, than their 
opinions any way really useful to the promotion of godliness. 
Neither need we go far to inquire after the reasons of men's 
raiscari'iages, pretending to judge of truth according to this 
rule, seeing they lie at hand, and are exposed to the view of 
all ; for besides that very many of the pretenders to this plea 
may be justly suspected to be men of corrupt minds, dealing 
falsely and treacherously with their own souls and the truth, 
the pretence of furthering holiness being one of the cunning 
sleights wherewith they lie in wait to deceive, which may 
justly be suspected of them who, together with this plea, 
and whilst they make it, are apparently themselves loose 
and remote from the power of a gospel conversation, as the 
case hath been with not a few of the most eminent assertors 
of Arminianism, how few are there in the world, who have in- 
deed a true notion and apprehension of the nature of holi- 


ness in its whole compass and extent, as in the fountain, 
causes, vise, and use, and end thereof. And if men know 
not indeed what holiness is, how shall they judge what doc- 
trine or opinion is conducing to the furtherance thereof, or 
is obstructive to it? Give me a man who is persuaded that 
he hath power in himself, being by the discovery of a rule 
directed thereinto, to yield that obedience to God which he 
doth require, who supposeth that threats of hell and de- 
struction are the greatest, and most powerful and effectual 
motive unto that obedience ; that the Spirit and grace of God 
to work and create a new heart in him as a suitable principle 
of all holy actings, are not purchased nor procured for him 
by the blood of Christ; nor is there any holiness wrought in 
him by the almighty efficacy of that Spirit and grace, he 
having a sufficiency in himself for those things ; that there is 
not a real physical concurrence of the grace of God for the 
production of every good act whatever; and that he is jus- 
tified upon the account of any act or part of his obedience, 
or the whole; and I shall not be much moved or shaken with 
the judgment of that man, concerning the serviceableness 
and suitableness of any doctrine or doctrines to the further- 
ance of godliness and holiness. There are also many dif- 
ferent opinions about the nature of godliness, what it is, 
and wherein it doth consist. I desire to be informed how a 
man may be directed in his examination of those opinions, 
supposing him in a strait and exigency of thoughts between 
them, in considering which of them is best suited to the pro- 
motion of godliness. I do not intend in the least to dero- 
gate from the certain and undoubted truth of what was pre- 
mised at the beginning of this discourse; viz. 'That every gos- 
pel rule whatever is certainly conducing to the fartherance 
of gospel obedience in them that receive it in the love and 
power thereof ;' every error being in its utmost activity (es- 
pecially in corrupting the principles of it) obstructive there- 
unto ; much less do we in any measure decline the trial of 
the doctrine which I assert, in opposition to the apostacy of 
the saints, by this touchstone of its usefulness to holiness, 
having formerly manifested its eminent activity and efficacy 
in that service, and the utter averseness of its corrival to 
lend any assistance thereunto. But yet I say, in an inquiry 
after, and dijudication of truth, whatever I have been or 


may be straitened between different persuasions, 1 have 
and shall rather close, in the practice of holiness, in prayer, 
faith, and waiting upon God; to search the Scripture, to at- 
tend wholly to that rule, having plentiful promises for gui- 
dance and direction, than to weigh in any rational conside- 
ration of my own, what is conducing to holiness, what not ; 
especially in many truths which have their usefulness in this 
service, as is the case of most gospel ordinances and insti- 
tutions of worship, not from the connexion of things, but the 
mere will of the appointer. Of those doctrines, I confess, 
which following on to know the Lord, we know from his 
word to be from him, and in which doing the will of Christ 
are revealed to us to be his will, a peculiar valuation is to be 
set on the head of them which appear to be peculiarly and 
eminently serviceable to the promotion and furthering our 
obedience ; as also, that all opinions whatever, that are in 
the least seducers from the power, truth, and spirituality of 
obedience are not of God, and are eonomine to be rejected; yet, 
having a more sure rule to attend unto, I dare not make my 
appi'ehensions concerning the tendency of doctrines any rule, 
if God hath not so spoken of them for the judging of their 
truth or falsehood ; if my thoughts are not shut up and de- 
termined by the power of the word. 

The next proposal made by Mr. Goodwin, is of the ad- 
vantages he hath to judge of truths, which he hath done unto 
plenary satisfaction, according to the rule now considered. 
The first thing he offereth to induce us to close with him in 
his judgment of opinions is, ' the knowledge he hath of the 
general course of the Scripture ;' what is intended by ' the ge- 
neral course of the Scripture,' well I know not; and so am 
notable to judge of Mr. Goodwin's knowledge thereof by 
any thing exposed to public view. If by ' the general course 
of the Scriptures,' the matter of them is intended, the im- 
portance of the expression seems to be coincident with the 
analogy or proportion of faith, a safe rule of prophecy ; but 
whatever Mr. Goodwin's knowledge may be of this, I am 
not perfectly satisfied that he hath kept close unto it in 
many doctrines of his book entitled' Redemption Redeemed;' 
and so the weight of his skill in judging of truths on this 
foundation, will not balance what I have to lay against it, for 
the inducement of other thoughts, than those of closing 


v/ith him. The ' course of the Scripture,' cannot import t!)e 
manner of the expressions therein used : in that there is so 
great and so much variety therein, that it can scarce be cast 
into one course and current : and if the general scope, aim, 
and tendency of the Scripture may pass for the course of it, 
there is not any one thing that hes so evident and clear 
therein, as the decrying of all that ability and strength, and 
power to do good in men, v^'hich Mr. Goodwin so much 
pleads for, and asserts to be in tbeui ; with an exaltation of 
that rich and free grace in the efficacy and the power of it, 
which he so much opposeth. 

The 'experimental knowledge he hath of his own heart, 
the workings and reasonings thereof;' a thing common to him 
with others, and what advantages he hath thereby I shall 
not consider. Only this I shall dare to say, that I would 
not for all the world, have no experience in my heart of the 
truth of many things which Mr. Goodwin in this treatise op- 
poseth ; or that my weak experience of the grace of God, 
should not rise above that frame of heart and spirit, which 
the teachings of it seem to discover. I doubt a person 
under the covenant of works, heightened with convictions, 
and a low or common work of the Spirit, induced thereby 
to some regular walking before God, may reach the utmost 
of what in this treatise is required to render a man a saint, 
truly gracious, regenerate, and a believer. And in this also 
1 doubt not, lies the deceit of what is thirdly insisted on, 
viz. * His observation of the ways and spirits of men, their 
firstinos and lastino-s in relifiion.' A sort of men there are 
in the world, who escape the outward pollution of it, and are 
clean in their own eyes, though they are never washed from 
their iniquities, who having been under strong convictions 
by the power of the law, and broken thereby from the course 
of their sin, attending to the word of the gospel with a tem- 
porary faith, do go forth unto a profession of religion, and 
walking with God so far as to have all the lineaments of true 
believers, as Mr. Goodwin somewhere speaks, drawn in their 
faces, hearing the word gladly as did Herod, receiving it with 
joy as did the stony ground, attending to it with delight, as 
they did in Ezek. xxxiii. 31. Repenting of former sins, {'ts 
Ahab and Judas, until they are reckoned among true be- 
lievers, as was Judas and those John ii. 23. who yet were 

VOL. VII. s 


never united unto Jesus Christ, of whose ways and walking 
Mr. Goodwin seems to have made observation, and found 
many of them to end in visible apostacy. But that this ob- 
servation of them, should cause him to judge them when 
apostatized to have been true believers, or that he is thereby 
advantaged to determine concerning the truth of several opi- 
nions pretending to his acceptance, I cannot grant, nor doth 
he go about to prove. 

For what he mentions in the last place, of the ' light of 
reason and understanding' which he hath, I do not only 
grant him to have it in common, as he saith, with other men, 
for the kind of it, but also as to the degrees of it to be much 
advanced therein, above the generality of men ; yet I must 
needs tell him in the close, that all these helps and advan- 
tages, seeming to be drawn forth and advanced in opposition 
to that one great assistance which we enjoy by promise 
of Christ, of his Spirit leading us into all truth, and teach- 
ing us from God by his own anointing, are to me hay and 
stubble, yea, loss and dung, of no value nor esteem. Had we 
not other ways and means, helps and advantages to come to 
the knowledge of the truth, than these here unfolded and 
spread by Mr. Goodwin, actum esset, we should never per- 
ceive the things that are of God. The fox was acquainted 
with many wiles and devices ; the cat knew loium magnum 
wherein she found safety. Attendance to the word, according 
to the direction of the usual known rules and helps agreed 
on for the interpretation of it, with humble dependance on 
God, waiting for the guidance of his Spirit according to the 
promise of his dear Son; asking him of him continually that 
he may dwell with us, anoint and lead us into all truth, with 
an utter abrenunciation of all our skill, abilities, wisdom and 
any resting on them, knowing that it is God alone that gives 
us understanding, is the course that hitherto hath been used 
in our inquiry after the mind of God in the doctrine under 
consideration, and which the Lord assisting shall be heeded 
and kept close unto, in that discussion of the texts of Scrip- 
ture wrested by Mr. Goodwin, as by others before him, to 
give countenance to his opposition to the truth hitherto 
uttered, confirmed and vindicated from his contradictions 

The place of Scripture first insisted on, and on the ac- 


count whereof he triumphs with the greatest confidence of 
success, is that of Ezek. xviii. 24, 25. Unto which words 
he subjoins a triumphant exulting exclamation. 

'Whatmore,' saith he, 'can the understanding, judgment, 
soul, and conscience of a man, reasonably desire for the es- 
tablishment in any truth whatsoever, than is delivered by God 
himself in this passage, to evince tlie possibility of a righte- 
ous man's declining from his righteousness, and that unto 

The counsel given of old to the king, may not b« unsea- 
sonable to Mr. Goodwin in that dominion which he exer- 
ciseth in his own thoughts in this work of his, 'let not hira 
that putteth on his armour boast like him that putteth it 
off.' You have but newly entered the lists ^ and that with 
all pressed soldiers, unwilling so much as once to appear in 
that service they are forced to. If you will but suspend 
your triumph, until we have made a little trial of your forces, 
and your skill in managing of them to the battle, perhaps 
you may be a little taken off from this confidence of success, 
notwithstanding the facing of this Scripture upon the truth, 
being cut off and taken away from that coherence and con- 
nexion, and station wherein it is placed of God (which is not 
at the least inquired into), it will be found in that issue to 
bear it no ill will at all. As will also be manifested by the 
light of the ensuing consideration. 

1. The matter under inquiry, and into a disquisition of 
whose state we have hitherto been engaged, is the condition 
of the saints of God ; and his dealing with them, in and 
under the covenant of grace in general. For our guidance 
and direction herein, a text of Scripture evincing the righte- 
ousness of God's dealings with a number of persons in a 
peculiar case, which was under debate, is produced, and by 
the tenor of this, and according to the tenor of the rea- 
sonings therein, must all the promises of God, in the cove- 
nant of grace, made and ratified by the blood of Christ, be 
regulated and interpreted. We have been told by as learned 
a man as Mr. Goodwin, that promises made to the people of 
the Jews peculiarly, and suited to the peculiar state and 
condition wherein they were, do not concern the people of 
God in general. And why may not the same be the condi- 

"' s 2 


tion of threatenings given out upon a parallel account ; ' Com- 
pedes quas fecit ipse ut ferat sequum est.' 

2. That it is the determination and stating of a particular 
controversy, between God and the people of the Jews, suited 
to a peculiar dispensation of his providence towards them 
which is here proposed, is evident from the occasion of the 
words laid down, ver. 2, 3. 'What mean ye &.c. that use this 
proverb concerning the land of Israel, saying, the fathers 
have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on 
edge ? As I live saith the Lord,' &,c. It is the use of a pro- 
verb concerning the land of Israel, that God is descrying 
and disprovine: the truth of the proverb itself under consi- 
deration, and that this should be the standard and rule of 
God's proceeding with his people, in the covenant of mercy, 
no man that seems to have either understanding, judgment 
or conscience can reasonably imagine. 

3. That it is not the nature and tenor of the covenant 
of grace, and God's dealing with his chosen secret ones, his 
saints, true believers, as to their eternal condition, which in 
these words is intended, but the manifestation of the righte- 
ousness of God in dealing with that people of the Jews, in 
a peculiar dispensation of his providence, towards the body 
of that people, and the nation in general, appears farther 
from the occasion of the words, and the provocation given 
the Lord to make use of these expressions unto them. The 
proverb that God cuts out of their lips and mouths, by the 
sword of his righteousness in these words, was concerning 
the land of Israel : used perhaps mostly by them in capti- 
vity : but it was concerning the land of Israel, not concerning 
the eternal state and condition of the saints of God, but con- 
cerning the land of Israel, ver. 2. God had of old given 
that land to that people by promise, and continued them in 
it for many generations ; until at length for their wickedness, 
idolatry, abomination, and obstinacy in their evil ways, he 
caused them to be carried captive unto Babylon. In that 
captivity the Lord revenged upon them not only the sins of 
the present generation, but as he told them, also those of 
their forefathers; especially the abomination, cruelty, idola- 
try exercised in the days of Manasseh, taking this season 
for his work of vengeance in the generations following, who 


also SO far walked in the steps of their forefathers, as to jus- 
tify all God's proceedings against them. Being wasted and 
removed from their own land by the righteous judgment of 
God, they considered the land of Israel that was promised 
to them (though upon their good behaviour therein), and 
how instead of a plentiful enjoyment of all things in peace 
and quietness therein, there were now a small remnant in 
captivity, the rest, the far greatest part, being destroyed by 
the sword and famine in that land. In this state and condi- 
tion, being as all other of their frame and principle, prone 
to justify themselves, they had hatched a proverb among 
themselves concerning the land of Israel promised to them, 
exceedingly opprobrious and reproachful to the justice of 
God, in his dealings with them. The sum of the intendment 
of this saying that was grown rife amongst them, was, that 
for the sin of their forefathers, many, yea the greatest part 
of them were slain in the land of Israel, and the rest carried 
from it into bondage and captivity. To vindicate the righte- 
ousness and equity of his ways, the impartiality of his judg- 
ments, the Lord recounts to them by his prophet many of 
their sins, whereof themselves with their fathers were guilty, 
in the land of their nativity, and for which he had brought 
all that calamity and desolation upon them, whereof they did 
complain; affirming under many supposals of rising and 
falling, that principle of rising and falling, that principle he 
laid down in the entrance of his dealings with them, that 
every one of them sutfered for his own iniquity, whatever 
they suffered, whether death or other banishment, and not 
for the sins of their forefathers 5 whatever influence they 
might have upon the procuring of the general vengeance, 
that overtook the whole nation in the midst of their iniquity. 
This being the aim, scope, and tendency of the place, the 
import of the words and tenor of God's intendment in them, 
I cannot but wonder how any man of understanding and 
conscience can once imagine that God hath given any tes- 
timony to the possibility of falling out of covenant with him, 
of those whom he hath taken nigh to himself through the 
blood of his Son, in the everlasting bond thereof. As though 
it were any thing of his dealing with the saints, in reference 
to their spiritual and eternal condition, that the Lord here 
reveals his will about ; being only the tenor of his dealings 


with the house of Israel in reference to the land of Ca- 

4. This is farther manifest in that principle and rule of 
God's proceedings in the matter laid down, ver. 4. which is 
not only a line from, but also directly opposite unto, that 
which is the principle in the covenant of grace. 'The soul 
that sinneth he shall die.' That soul and person and not 
another, when in that covenant of grace, he ' sets forth his 
Son to be a propitiation, through faith in his blood, giving 
him up to death for all, causing the just to die for the un- 
just,' the soul that never sinned for the souls that had sinned, 
that they might go free. And I would fain know on what 
solid grounds an answer may be given to the Socinians 
triumphing in the4th verse, against the satisfaction of Christ, 
no less than Mr. Goodwin, in the 24, 25. against the perse- 
verance of the saints, if you do not manifest the whole ten- 
dency of this place to be acommodated to God's providen- 
tial dispensation of temporal judgments and mercies in re- 
spect of that people, and the covenant whereby they held 
the land of Canaan ; and not at all to respect the general 
dispensation of his righteousness and grace in the blood of 
Christ. So that, 

5. The whole purport and intendment of the Scripture 
under consideration is only to manifest the tenor of God's 
righteous proceeding with the people of Israel, in respect of 
his dispensation towards them in reference to the land of 
Canaan; convincing them of their own abominations, con- 
futing the profane proverb invented and reared up in the 
reproach of his righteousness, beating them from the vain 
pretence of being punished for their fathers sins, and the 
conceit of their own righteousness, which that people was 
perpetually puffed up withal ; he lets them know that his 
dealing with them, and his ways towards them, were equal 
and righteous, in that there was none of them but was pu- 
nished for his own sin ; and though some of them might 
have made some profession and done some good, yet upon 
the whole matter first or last, they had all declined, and 
therefore ought to own the punishment of their sins ; God 
dealing severely, and unto death and destruction, with none 
but those who either wholly or upon the sum of the matter, 
turned away from his judgments and statutes. So that. 


6. This being the tenor and importance of the words in- 
sisted on, this their tendency, aim, and accommodation to 
the objection levied against the righteousness of God in 
dealing with that people, this their rise and end, their spring 
and fall, it is evident beyond all contradiction from any 
thing but prejudice itself, that all the inquiries and dis- 
putes about them, as whether the declaration of the mind 
of God in them be hypothetical or absolute ; what is meant 
by the righteous person, what by his turning away, and what 
by the death threatened (all which expressions of the text 
are in themselves ambio;uous, and must be limited from the 
circumstances of place), are altogether useless and needless, 
the words utterly refusing any accommodation to the busi- 
ness of our present debate. So that, 

7, This dependance of the words, scope of the context, 
design of the place, and intendment of God in it, the accom- 
modation of the whole discourse to the removal of the ob- 
jection, and disproving of the proverbial self justification of 
a sinful people, the only directories in the investigation of 
the true, proper, native, genuine sense and meaning of them, 
eyed, weighed, nor considered by Mr. Goodwin, who knew 
how much it was to his advantage to rend away these two 
verses from the body of the prophet's discourse, I might 
well supersede any farther proceedings in the examination 
of what he has prepared for a reply to the answers com- 
monly given to the argument taken from this place ; yet that 
all security imaginable may be given to the reader, of the 
inofFensiveness of this place as to the truth we maintain, I 
shall briefly manifest that Mr. Goodwin hath not indeed ef- 
fectually taken up and off, any one answer, or any one par- 
cel of any such, that hath usually been given by our divines 
unto the objection ao;ainstthe doctrine of perseverance hence 

That which naturally first offers itself, to our considera- 
tion is, the form and tenor of the expression here used ; 
which is not of an absolute nature, but hypothetical. The 
import of the words is, ' If a righteous man turn from his 
righteousness and continue therein he shall die.' True, say 
they who make use of this consideration, God here pro- 
poses the desert of sin, and the connexion that is by his ap- 
pointment, between apostacy and the punishment thereunto 


allotted ; but this not at all infers that any one who is truly 
righteous, shall or may everlastingly so apostatize. Such 
comminations as these God maketh use of to caution be- 
lievers of the evil of apostacy, and thereby to preserve them 
from it, as their tendency to that end, by the appointment 
of God, and their efficacy thereunto, hath been declared. 
So that to say, because God says, ' If a righteous man turn 
from his righteousness he shall die ;' the whole emphasis 
lying in the connexion, that is between such turning away, 
and dying, to conclude (considering what is the proper use 
and intendment of snch threatenings) that a man truly righ- 
teous may so fall away, is to build up that which the text 
contributes not any thing to in the least. ' 

Against this plea Mr. Goodwin riseth up with much 
contempt and indignation; chap. 12. sect. 9. in these 
words : 

' But this sanctuary hath also been profaned by some of 
the chief guardians themselves of that cause, for the pro- 
tection and safety whereof it was built. There needs no 
more be done (though much more might be done, yea and 
hath been done by others) than that learned doctor (so lately 
named), hath done himself for the demolishing of it. Having 
propounded the argument from the place in Ezekiel accord- 
ing to the import of the interpretation asserted by us y Some 
saith he, answer that a condition proves nothing in being; 
vwhich how true soever it may be in respect of such hypo- 
theticals, which are made use of only for the amplification 
of matters, and serve for the aggravating either of the diffi- 
culty or indignity of a thing; (as if I should climb up into 
heaven thou art there, Psal. cxxxix. it >vere ridiculous to 
infer, therefore a man may climb up into heaven ;) yet such 
conditional sayings, upon which admonitions, promises, or 
threatenings arebuilt, do at least suppose something in pos- 
sibility, however by virtue of their tenor and form, they 
suppose nothing in being. For no man seriously intending 
to encourage a student in his way would speak thus to him; 
If thou wilt get all the books in the University Library by 
heart, thou shalt be doctor this commencement. Beside in 
the case in hand, he that had a mind to deride the prophet, 
might readily come upon him thus: but a righteous man ac- 
cording to the judgment of those that are orthodox, cannot 


turn away from his righteousness ; therefore your threaten- 
ing is in vain. Thus we see to how little purpose it is to 
seek for starting holes in such logic quirks as these. Thus 
far the great assertor of the Synod of Dort, and the cause 
which they maintained to shew the vanity of such a sense 
or construction, put upon the words now in debate, which 
shall render them merely conditional, and will not allow 
them to import so inuch as a possibility of any thing con- 
tained or expressed in them.' 

Ans. 1. Doctor Prideaux's choosing not to lay the weight 
of this answer, to the argument of the Arminians from this 
place, on the hypothetical manner of the expression used 
therein, is called a 'defiling the sanctuary by the guardians 
of the cause whose protection it undertakes. Crimina rasis, 
librat in antithesis ; doctas posuisse figuras laudatur?' What 
are my thoughts of it, I need not express, being unconcerned 
in the business, as knowing it not at all needful to be insist- 
ed on, for the purpose for which it is produced, the text look- 
ing not at all towards the doctrines under consideration ; yet 
I must needs say, I am not satisfied with the doctor's attempt 
for the removal of it, nor with what is farther added by the 
remonstrants, in the place which we are sent unto by Mr. 
Goodwin's marginal directions, though it should be granted, 
that such conditional expressions do suppose, or may (for 
that they always do is' not affirmed, and in some cases it is 
evident they do not) that there is something in posse, as the 
doctor speaks, whereunto they do relate, yet they do not in- 
fer, that the possibility may by no means be hindered from 
ever being reduced into act. We grant a possibility of de- 
sertion in believers, in respect of their own principles of 
operation, which is ground sufficient for to give occasion to 
such hypothetical expressions, as contain comminations 
and threatenings in them, but yet notwithstanding that pos- 
sibility on that account supposed, yet the bringing forth of 
that possibility into an actual accomplishment, may not be 
effectually prevented by the Spirit and grace of God, the 
doctor says nothing. This 1 say is ground sufficient for 
such hypothetical comminations, that in respect of them to 
whom they are made, it is possible to incur the thing threat- 
ened, by the means therein mentioned, which yet upon other 
accounts is not possible. That God who says, if the * righ- 

266 doctuixp: of the saints' peuseveuance 

teous man turn from his rigliteousness, he shall die,' and says 
so on purpose to preserve righteous men from so doing, 
knowing full well, that the thing in respect of themselves, 
of whom and to whom he speaks, is sufficiently possible to 
give a clear foundation to that expression. So that if Mr. 
Goodwin hath not something of his own to add, he will find 
little relief from the conceptions of that learned doctor : 
wherein yet, I should not have translated some phrases and 
expressions, as Mr. G. hatli made bold to do. 

He adds therefore, p. 276. 'To say that God putteth a case 
in such solemnity and emphaticalness of words and phrase, 
as are remarkable all along in the carriage of the place in 
hand, of which there is no possibility that it should ever 
happen, or be exemplified in reality of event ; and this in 
vindication of himself, and the equity of his dealings and 
proceedings with men, is to bring a scandal and reproach of 
weakness upon that infinite wisdom of his, which magnifies 
itself in all his works, which also is so much the more un- 
worthy and unpardonable, when there is a sense commodious 
every way worthy, as well the infinite wisdom as the good- 
ness of God, pertinent and proper to the occasion he hath 
in hand, which offers itself plainly and clearly,' So far he. 

And this is all it seems which Mr. Goodwin hath to add : 
and indeed this all is nothing at all, but only the repetition 
of what was urged before from the doctor, in more swelling 
and less significant terms. What possibility there is in the 
thing, hath been before manifested; that this possibility 
should necessarily be exemplified in reality of event to give 
significancy to this expression, I suppose is not Mr. Good- 
win's own intendment ; true believers according to the doc- 
trine he asserts (as he pretends) are only in such a remote 
possibility of apostacy, as that it can scarce be called dan- 
ger. Now doubtless it is possible that such a remote pos- 
sibility may never be reduced into act. But now if Mr. 
Goodwin will not be contented with such a possibility, as 
may, but also will have that must be exemplified in reality 
of event, he is advanced from a possibility in all, to a ne- 
cessity in some to apostatize. 

2. Had Mr. G. a little more attended to what here drops 
from him, viz. 'that the words are used for the vindication of 
the justice of the proceedings of God,' namely, in the parti- 


cular case formerly opened and cleared, perhaps he would 
himself have judged the edge of this weapon to be so far 
blunted as to render it wholly useless to him, in the com- 
bat wherein he is engaged ; I hope at least that by the light 
of this spark, he may apprehend the emphaticalness of all 
the expressions used in this place to be pointed towards the 
particular case under consideration, and not in the least to 
be expressive of the possibility he contends for; God knows 
what beseems his own infinite wisdom, and hath given us 
rules to judge thereof, as far as we are called thereto in his 
word ; and from thence, whether Mr. Goodwin will pardon 
us or no in our so doing, we doubt not to evince, that it 
exceedingly becomes the infinite wise God, emphatically to 
express that connexion, that is between one thing and an- 
other (sin and punishment, believing and salvation) by his 
appointment, though some never believe unto salvation, nor 
some sin, to the actual inflicting of punishment on them; 
and as for Mr. Goodwin's commodious sense of this place, 
we see not any advantage in it, for any but those who are 
engaged into an opposition to the covenant of the grace of 
God, and his faithfulness therein : so that once more upon 
the whole matter, this text is discharged from farther at- 
tendance in the trial of the truth in hand. 

The severals of the text come nextly under consideration, 
and amongst them ; First, The subject spoken of (that we 
may take the words in some order, Mr. G. having roved up 
and down, backwards and forwards, from one end of the 
text to the other, without any at all) and this is, a 'righteous 
man,' that is such a one as is described, ver. 5 — 9. but if a 
man &c. that is, such a one that walks up to the judgments 
and statutes and ordinances of God, so far as they were of 
him required in the covenant of the land of Canaan, and ac- 
cording to the tenor of it, whereby they held their posses- 
sion therein, whereby heavenly things were also shadowed 
out : that this is the person intended, this his righteousness, 
and that the matter upon which he is here tried, is clear in 
the contexts beyond all possible contradiction. So that 
all farther inquiries into what righteousness is intended, is 
altogether needless ; what with any colour of probability 
can be pretended from hence, as to the matter in hand, arises 
from the analogy of God's dealings with men in the tenor of 


the covenant of grace, and the covenant of the land of Israel, 
which yet are eminently distinguished in the very founda- 
tion of them : the one being built upon this bottom, * the 
soul that sinneth it shall die ;' the other upon a dispensation 
of another import, as has been declared : we do then plainly 
supererogate as to the cause in hand, by the confutation of 
the answers, which Mr. Good win farther attempts to remove, 
and his endeavour therein, which yet shall not be declined. 
Sect. 8. One opposition by some insisted on, of this 
term a righteous man, is thus proposed by Mr. Goodwin : 
'notwithstanding some formerly (it seems) in favour of the 
doctrine, attempted an escape from that sword of Ezekiel 
lately drawn against it, by pretending that by the righteous 
man mentioned in the passages in hand, is not meant a per- 
son truly and really righteous, but a kind of formal hypo- 
crite, or outside professor of righteousness.' 

Those who insist on this interpretation of the place, tell 
you that in the commands of God, there is the mere end of 
them considerable, and the manner of their performance, 
which is as the life and form of the obedience of them which 
is acceptable to God. Farther, that many persons wrought 
upon by the power of conviction from the law of God, and 
enabled in some measure with common gifts and graces, do 
go forth in such a way to the performance of the command 
of God, as to the substance and matter of them (wherein 
also they are not hypocritical in the strict sense of tlie word, 
but sincere), and so are called and counted righteous, com- 
paratively so, in respect of those who live in open rebellion 
against the Lord and his ways : and such as these they say, 
as they are oftentimes useful in their generations, and bring 
glory to God by their profession, so (especially under the old 
legal dispensation of the covenant) they were rewarded in 
a plentiful manner of God in this life, in the enjoyment of the 
abundance of all things in peace and quietness. Of this 
sort of men, that is men upright and righteous in their deal- 
ings with men, and in the world, conscientious in their trust, 
yielding professed subjection to the judgments and institu- 
tions of God, performing outwardly all known duties of re- 
ligious men, they say, that after they have made a profes- 
sion of some good continuance, having never attained union 
with God in Christ, nor being built on the rock, many do 


fell into all manner of spiritual and sensual abominations, 
exposing themselves to all the judgments and vengeance of 
God in this life, which also under the Old Testament gene- 
rally overtook them, God being (as here he pleads) righteous 
therein : in this description of the righteous person here in- 
tended, there is no occasion in the least administered to Mr. 
Goodwin to relieve himself against it, by that which in the 
close of this section he borrows from Dr. Prideaux, viz. 'That 
if the righteous man, should turn himself away from his 
counterfeit and hypocritical righteousness, he should rather 
live than die :' for they say not that this righteousness is 
hypocritical or counterfeit, but true and sincere in its kind ; 
only the person himself is supposed not to be partaker of 
the righteousness of God in Christ, and a principle of life 
from him, which should alter his obedience, render it spi- 
ritual and acceptable to God in the Son of his love. 

What more says Mr. Goodwin unto this exposition of 
the words ? With many scornful expressions cast both upon 
it (as by himself stated and laid down) and the synod of 
Dort, he tells you it was rejected by the synod. That 
some in the synod looking on it perhaps under such sense 
and apprehension as Mr. G. proposeth it in, did not see 
cause to close with it, may be true. Yet that it was re- 
jected by the synod, Mr. Goodwin can by no means prove, 
whatever he is pleased to say and to insult thereon, upon 
the judgments of very learned men, whom he hath no rea- 
son upon any account in the world to despise. The labours 
of very many of them praising them in the gates of Sion, 
exceedingly above the cry and clamour of all reproaches 
whatever mustered to their dishonour. But to let pass 
those poor contemptible wretches, let us see how this mas- 
ter in our Israel, in his indignation deals with this silly 
shift, whereby poor men strive to avoid his fury. Says he 

* And indeed the whole series and carriage of the context, 
from ver. 20. to the end of the chapter, demonstratively 
evinceth, that by the righteous man all along, is meant such 
a man as was or is truly righteous ; and who, had he perse- 
vered in that way of righteousness, wherein he sometimes 
walked, should have worn the crown of righteousness, and 
received the reward of a righteous man. As by the wicked 


man all along opposed to him, is meant not a person seem- 
ingly wicked, but truly and really so (as is acknowledged on 
all hands), so that the antithesis or opposition between the 
righteous and the wicked, running so visibly quite through 
the body of the discourse, must needs be dissolved, if by the 
righteous man should be meant, a person seemingly righte- 
ous only; he that is righteous in this sense being truly and 
really wicked,' 

^iis. The main series and context of the chapter, with- 
out the least endeavour to give any light or illustration 
thereunto, by the scope, occasion, or dependance of the 
parts of it one upon another, does more than once stand 
Mr. Goodwin in stead, when nothing else presents itself to 
his relief. It is true the whole context of the chapter, 
grants the persons spoken of to be righteous in the per- 
formance of the duties mentioned in the chapter, in opposi- 
tion to the wicked man and his intentions and ways described 
therein, in proportion to the dispensation of the covenant, 
whose rule and principle is placed in the head of ver. 20. 
which Mr. Goodwin directs us unto; viz. 'the soul thatsin- 
neth it shall die ;' and as there is nothing in all this contrary 
to any thing in this exposition by Mr. Goodwin opposed, 
so there is not any thing more proved, nor once attempted 
to be here by Mr. Goodwin himself, than what is confessed 

It is acknowledged that the person spoken of is truly 
and really righteous, with that kind of righteousness which 
is intended, and wherein if he continued he was to receive 
the reward of righteousness then under consideration ; and 
yet, though such a one might be truly and really united unto 
Christ, yet there is nothing in the text nor context, enforc- 
ing that such a one and none else is intended here; and 
more in this case Mr. Goodwin hath not to add ; nor doth 
he threaten us with any more than he hath delivered, as he 
did upon tlie consideration of the tenor of the words, and 
our inquiry whether they are of an hypothetical or absolute 
nature and importance. 

It is true he adds, that ' Calvin in his exposition on the 
place, notwithstanding his wariness to manage it so, as that 
the doctrine of perseverance whicli he maintained, might 
suffer no damacre (which perhaps Mr. G. was not so wary in 


expressing, contending so much as he does, to manifest, 
that he had thoughts lying another way), and therefore, as- 
serting the person here spoken of, to be a person seemingly 
righteous only, yet lets fall such things as declared nothing 
to be wanting in this righteous person but perseverance.' 
But that Calvin grants in any expression of his, this person 
or him concerned herein, to be in such an estate as to want 
nothing but perseverance, to render them everlastingly 
blessed, is notoriously false ; neither does any thing in the 
expressions cited by Mr. Goodwin come from the body of 
his discourse, in the least look that way, as might easily 
be manifested, did I judge it meet in a contest of this na- 
ture, to trade in the authorities of men; so that I cannot but 
wonder with what confidence he is pleased to impose such 
a sense upon his words ; all this while then, notwithstand- 
ing any thing our author hath to say to the contrary, the 
righteous person here intended may be only such a one as 
was described in the entrance of this consideration of his; 
and_:that it is not requisite from the text or context that he 
should^be any other, is more evident than that it is to be 
contended against. 

Sect. 7. He deals with another exposition of the words, 
which hath no small countenance given unto it from the 
Scriptures, which for to prevail himself upon an expression 
or two, by the by, he sets down in the words of Dr. Pri- 
deaux, Lect. 6. and they are these. ' There is,' saith he, ' a 
double righteousness, one inherent, or of works, by which 
we are sanctified ; another, imputed, or of faith, whereby 
we are justified ; a righteous man may turn aside from his 
own righteousness ; viz. from his holiness, and fall into very 
heinous sins ; but it doth not follow from hence, that there- 
fore he hath wholly shaken off from him (or out of him), 
the righteousness of Christ.' To this he adorns a threefold 
reply : 

1. 'The doctor here presents us with a piece of new 
divinity, in making sanctification and justification, no more 
intimate friends, than that one can live without the compa- 
ny and presence of the other. Doubtless if a man's justi- 
fication may stay behind when his holiness is departed, that 
assertion of the apostle will hardly stand ; without holiness 
no man shall see the Lord ; Heb. xii. 14. And if they that 


are Christ's (i. e. who believe in Christ, and thereby are jus- 
tified), have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts, 
(another assertion of the same apostle), how their relation 
unto Christ should stand, and yet their holiness sink and 
fall, I understand not. But I leave his friends to be his 
enemies in this.' 

Ans. How little advantage Mr, Goodwin hath obtained 
by attempting a diversion from the consideration of the 
matter insisted on (which is all he doth in this paragraph) 
will quickly appear. From the righteousness of sanctifica- 
tion there is, or may be supposed, a twofold fall. First, from 
the exercises of it, in all or any of the fruits thereof, accord- 
ing to the will of God. Secondly, From the habit and prin- 
ciple of it, in respect of its root and groundwork in the soul ; 
it is the former that the doctor asserts. A man, saith he, may 
fall away from the zealous practice of the duties of holiness, 
and with, or under violence of temptation (as to fruit-bearing) 
decay in close walking, until the whole seem really to die, 
so as through the righteous judgment of God, to be exposed 
to calamities, corrections, and punishments in this life, yea, 
the o-reat death itself, as it fell out in the case of Josiah, 
who fell by the sword in undertaking against the mind and 
will of God : but now for the work and principles of holi- 
ness, none who have once received it, can ever cast it up, 
and become wholly without; and between this and the 
righteousness of justification, there is that strict connexion, 
that the one cannot, doth nut consist without the other. If 
now Mr. Goodwin understands not, how a justified, sancti- 
fied person, may decline from the ways and pretences of 
holiness for a season, so as to provoke the Lord to deal 
sharply, yea, and sometimes terribly with him, take ven- 
oeance of his invention, and yet that person not lose his 
relation to Christ, nor his interest in the love and favour of 
God, I shall not presume to instruct him in the knowledge 
thereof. But refer him to them who are better able so to do, 
wherein upon the account of his aptness to hear as well as 
teach, I presume their undertakings will not be difficult. 
He adds, 

2. * He seems by his word, peiiitus, wholly, throughly, or 
altogether, to be singular also in another strain of divinity, 
and to teach 7nagis and minus in justification. For in saying 


that from a man's apostatizing from his own righteousness, 
it doth not follow that therefore he hath wholly or altogether 
shaken off the imputed righteousness of Christ ; doth he not 
imply, that a man may shake off some part of the righteous- 
ness of Christ from him, and yet keep another part of it 
upon him ? Or else that by sinning, he may come to wear 
the entire garment or clothing of it so loosely, that it will 
be ready to drop or fall off from him every hour? And con- 
sequently that the righteousness of Christ sits faster and 
closer upon some than upon others ; yea, upon the same 
person at one time than another.' 

Ans. That this is a second attempt, for to lead the reader 
off from the consideration of the business in hand, and to 
prepare him by a diversion, to an acceptation of what he 
afterward tenders in way of reply, that he may not perceive 
how insufficient it is for the purpose, by an immediate com- 
paring of it with the answer itself, is evident. Truly, when 
in my younger days, I was wont to hear that doctor in his 
lectures and other exercises, I did not think then I should 
have afterward found him called in question for want of skill 
to express himself and the sense of his mind in Latin, he 
having a readiness and dexterity in that language equal to 
any that ever I knew ; neither yet am I convinced that his 
word penitus, upon which Mr. Goodwin criticiseth (being 
commonly, as might be by innumerable instances be made 
good, used to increase and make emphatical the import of 
the word wherewith it is associated) will evince any such 
meaning in his expression, as is there intended by Mr. 
Goodwin. Justification is, and it was so taught by the doc- 
tor, to be (Lect. de Just.) in respect of all persons that are 
partakers of it equal ; and equal to every person so par- 
taking of it, at all times ; though in regard of sense and per- 
ception, and the peace and comfort, wherewith (when per- 
ceived, and felt) it is attended, it is no less subject to in- 
creases and wanings than sanctification itself. So that this 
also might be intended by the doctor without the least 
strain of new divinity, that justified and sanctified persons, 
though they might so decline from the course of close walk- 
ing with God, as for a season to be like a tree in winter, 
whose substance is in his roots, his leaves and fruit fallino- 
off, ceasing to bring forth the fruits of holiness in such de- 



grees as formerly, and so lose their sense of acceptation 
with God through Christ, and the peace, with consolation 
and joy wherewith it is attended, yet they could not, nor 
should not, wholly be cast out of the favour of God ; the 
nature and essence of their justification being abiding. And 
what singular strain of divinity there is in the tendency of 
such a discourse I know not. Besides, that teaching of 
magis and minus in justification should be any singular thing 
in Mr. Goodwin, I do not well understand ; for if the matter 
of our righteousness, or that upon the imputation whereof 
unto us, we are justified, may have its degrees, and receive 
magis and minus, as certainly our faith may and doth ; why 
our justification may not do so too, I see no reason. But 
he comes at length to the matter, and addeth, 

3, 'Lastly, Were it granted unto the doctor, that from a 
man's turning aside from his own holiness, it doth not fol- 
low that therefore he hath wholly divested himself of the 
righteousness of Christ imputed ; yet from God's determina- 
tion, or pronouncing a man to be in an estate of condemna- 
tion, and of death, it follows roundly, that therefore he is di- 
vested of the righteousness of Christ imputed (if ever he 
were invested with it before), because no man with that 
righteousness upon him, can be in such an estate. Now we 
have upon several grounds proved, that the righteous man 
under that apostacy wherein Ezekiel describes and presents 
him, is pronounced by God, a child, not of a temporal, but 
eternal death and condemnation ; this, indeed, the doctor 
denies, but gives no reason of his denial, for which I blame 
him not. Only I must crave leave to say, that the chair 
weigheth not so much as one good argument with me ; 
much less, as many. So that all this while, he that spake, 
and still speaks unto the world by Ezekiel, is no friend to 
that doctrine which denieth a possibility of a righteous 
man's declining even unto death.' 

Ans. If this be all that Mr. Goodwin hath to say for the 
removal of this answer, that cuts the throat of his argument 
if it be not removed, he hath little reason for the confidence 
wherewith he closeth it, concerning God's speaking in this 
place of Ezekiel, against that doctrine which in innumera- 
,ble places of his word he hath taught us, as a doctrine en- 
wrapping no small portion of that grace, which in a covenant 


of mercy he dispenseth to his chosen, redeemed, justified, 
sanctified ones : neither is here any need to add the weight 
of the chair (wherein yet that person spoke of behaved him- 
self worthily in his generation, and was in his exercises 
herein, by no means by Mr. Goodwin to be despised) be laid 
upon the reasonings of the doctor in this case, they proving 
singly of themselves too heavy for Mr. Goodwin to bear. 
In brief, that the substance of the reply in hand is merely a 
begging of the thing in question, airy one that hath but half 
an eye in the business of this nature, may easily discern ; 
that it is supposed that a man truly righteous and justified 
in the blood of Christ, may so fall away as to be pronounced 
of God to be in a state of damnation, and so fallen really 
from his former condition, (Rom. viii. 1.) is the thing that 
Mr. Goodwin hath to prove. Now, saith he, this must needs 
be so, because God here upon such a supposal, pronounceth 
such a man to be in the estate of condemnation; what this is 
with other men, I know not; but to me, it is no proof at all; 
nor should I believe that to be the sense of the place, though 
in variety of expressions he should significantly affirm it a 
thousand times. The I'eader also is misinformed, that the 
doctor attempts not any proof, that by death, eternal death 
is not in this place intended ; he that shall consult the place 
will find himself abused ; but we must speak more of this 

And this is all our author oflfers as to the persons spoken 
of in the place of Scripture under consideration ; wherein, 
though he hath taken some pains to little or no purpose, to 
take off" the exposition of the words, and the description of 
the person given by others, yet he hath not attempted to 
give so much as one argument to confirm the sense he would 
impose on us concerning the condition of the person 
spoken of; and I must crave leave to say, that naked as- 
sertions, be they never so many, in the chair or out, weigh 
not so much with me, as one good argument, much less as 

There is nothing remains to consideration, but only the 
comminatory part of the words, or the expression of the pu- 
nishment allotted of God, to such as walk in the ways of 
apostacy here expressed, 'in his tresspass that he hath tres- 
passed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he 

T 2 


die ;' that is, be shall be dealt withal, as many of their na- 
tion were in the land of Israel; my judgments shall over- 
take him ; it shall not advantage him, that either he had 
godly parents that have walked with me, or that he himself 
had so behaved himself in a way of righteousness, as before 
described, if he turn to the profaneness and abominations 
which are laid down as the ways of wicked men, or into 
any paths like them, he shall even die, or be punished for 
his sins, accordino; to the tenor of the truth laid down in 
the entrance of the chapter, and repeated again ver. 20. 
* the soul that sinneth it shall die.' But now whereas it 
might be replied, that such a one, notwithstanding his de- 
generacy, might yet perhaps recover himself to his former 
way of walking, obedience, and righteousness in conversa- 
tion; and is there then no hope, nor help for him, but hav- 
ing once so apostatized, he must suffer for it? To prevent 
any such misprision of the mind of God, there is added the 
terms of his duration in that state of apostacy, that is even 
unto death ; if he committeth iniquity, and dieth in it, that 
is, repents not of it, before his death, the judgments of God 
shall find him out, as was before expressed. If by his re- 
pentance, he prevent not his calamities, he shall end his sin- 
ning in destruction ; in which expressions of the person's 
continuance in his apostatized condition, and of the judg- 
ments of God falling on him on that account, there is not 
the least appearance of any tautology or incongruity in the 
sense ; the same word is used to express diverse concern- 
ments of it, which is no tautology ; though the same word 
be used, yet the same thing is not intended ; tautology re- 
flects on things, not words; otherwise there must be a tau- 
tology wherever there is an avravaKXamg, as John i. 4. 'to 
commit iniquity, and to die therein,' is no more but to con- 
tinue in his iniquity impenitently until death; now to say 
that a man was put to death for his fault, because he com- 
mitted it, and continued impenitent in it, even unto the 
death which he was adjudged to, and which was inflicted on 
him for his fault, is an incoherent expression, it seems will 
puzzle as great a master of language as Mr. G. to make 

Mr. G. endeavours to make the punishment threatened 
in the words *he shall die for his iniquity,' precisely and 


exclusively to signify eternal death (which the former inter- 
pretation doth not exclude), which he is no way able to 
make good. What he offers sect. 3. concerning the incon- 
gruity of the sense, and tautology of the expression of it, 
be not so understood, hath been already removed ; the com- 
parison ensuing instituted between these words, and those 
of 1 Cor. ix. 10. should have been enforced with some con- 
sideration of the coincidence of the scope of either place, 
with the expressions used in them ; and though repentance 
(which is also added) will not deliver them from temporal 
or natural death, yet it will and may as [it] did Ahab in part, 
from having that death inflicted in the way of an extraordi- 
nary judgment. 

Sect. 4. Mr. Goodwin offers sundry things, all of the 
same importance and tendency, all animated by the same 
fallacies or mistakes, to make good the sense he insists on, 
exclusively to all others, of these words, *he shall die,' and 
he tells you, that, ' if the righteousness such men have done 
shall come into no account, that it shall not profit him as 
to his temporal deliverance, then it is impossible it should 
profit him as to his eternal salvation.' But first, according 
to our interpretation of the words, there is no necessity in- 
cumbent on us to affirm that the persons mentioned shall 
obtain salvation, though we say that eternal death is not 
precisely threatened in the words ; but yet, that a man may 
not by the just hand of God be punished with temporal 
death for his faults and iniquities (as Josiah fell by the 
sword), and yet have his righteousness reckoned to him as 
to his great recompense of reward, is a strain of doctrine 
that Mr. Goodwin will scarce abide by. I dare not say that 
all who died in the wilderness of the children of Israel, went 
to hell, and came short of eternal life ; and yet they all fell 
there because of their iniquities. But he adds. 

Sect. 4. ' Again, that which God here threateneth against 
that double or twofold iniquity of backsliding, is opposed 
to that life which is promised to repentance and persever- 
ance in their well-doing ; but this life is confessed by all to 
be eternal life, therefore, the death opposite to it, must needs 
be eternal, or the second death. When the apostle saith. The 
wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life 
through Christ Jesus our Lord, Rom. vi. 23. is it not evi- 


dent from the antithesis, or opposition in the tendency be- 
tween the death and life mentioned in it, that by that death, 
which he affirms to be the wages of sin, is meant eternal 
death, how else will the opposition stand ?' 

Ans. It is true the life and death here mentioned, the one 
promised ver. 9. the other threatened in those insisted on, 
are opposed, and of what nature and kind the one is, of 
the same is the other to be esteemed. It is also confessed, 
that the life promised in the covenant of mercy to repent- 
ance is eternal life, and the wages of sin mentioned in the 
law is death eternal ; but that therefore, that must be the 
sense of the words when they are made use of, in answer to 
an objection expressed in a proverb concerning the land of 
Israel, and when it was temporal death that was complained 
of before in the proverb, the 'fathers have eaten sour grapes, 
and the children's teeth are set on edge' (they did not 
complain that they were damned for their fathers' sins), that 
Mr. Goodwin doth not attempt to prove ; and I do not blame 
him for his silence therein. He says yet again, 

' When God in the Scriptures threatens impenitent 
persons with death for their sins, doubtless he intends and 
means, eternal death, or that death which is the wages of 
sin. Otherwise we have no sufficient ground to believe or 
think, that men dying in their sins without repentance, shall 
suffer the vengeance of eternal fire, not only a temporal or 
natural death ; which those who are righteous and truly 
eminent themselves suffer as well as they ; therefore, tosay 
that God threatens impenitent apostates (in the place in 
hand), with a temporal death only, when as elsewhere he 
threatens impenitency under the lightest guilt of all, with 
eternal death, is in effect, to represent him as vehement and 
sore in his dissuasives from ordinary and lesser sins, as in- 
different and remiss in dissuading from sins of the greatest 

^iis. The sum of this reason is, if the death there threat- 
ened to those men of our present contest be not death 
eternal, we have no sufficient ground to believe that God 
will inflict any death on impenitent apostates, but only that 
which is temporal or natural, which others die as well as 
they ; and why so, I beseech you ? is there no other place of 
Scripture, whence it may be evinced, that eternal death is 


the wages of sin ? Or is every place thereof where death is 
threatened to sin, so circumstantiated as this place is? Is 
the threatening everywhere given out upon the like occasion, 
and to be accommodated to the like state of things ? These 
discourses are exceeding loose, sophistical, and inconclusive ; 
neither is a violent death counted natural, though it be the 
dissolution of nature. 

Neither is there any thing more added by Mr. Goodwin 
in all his considerations of the words of this passage of 
the Scriptures, than what we have insisted on : that he 
nextly mentioneth (that if God here threateneth impenitent 
sinners only with temporal death, then why should the most 
profligate sinners fear any other punishment?) is of more 
energy, for the confirmation and building up the sense 
which he imposeth on the words, than that which went 
before, they with whom he hath to do, will tell him that he 
doth all along most vainly assume, and beg the thing in 
question ; viz. That the persons intimated, are absolutely 
impenitent sinners : and not so under some considerations 
only ; that is, that do never recover themselves from their 
degeneracy from close walking with God ; nor do the words 
indeed necessarily import any thing else ; and for impenitent 
sinners in general (not those who are only so termed) there 
are testimonies sufficient in the scriptures concerning God's 
righteous judgment, in their eternal condemnation. 

And this is the first testimony produced by Mr. G. for 
the proof of the saint's apostacy ; a witness which of all 
others he doth most rely upon, and which he bringeth in 
with the greatest acclamation of success (before the trial), 
imaginable. That when he hath brought him forth, he gives 
us no account in the least, whence he comes, what is his 
business, or what he aims to confirm, nor can make good 
his speaking one word on his behalf. Indeed as the matter 
is handled, I something question whether lightly a weaker 
argument hath been leaned on, in a case of so great im- 
portance, than that which from these words is drawn for the 
apostacy of the saints ; for as we have not the least attempt 
made, to give us an account of the context, scope, and in- 
tendment of the place (by which yet the expressions in the 
verses insisted on must be regulated), no more can any one 
expression in it, be made good, to be of that sense and sig- 


nification, which yet alone will, or can yield, the least ad- 
vantage to the cause, for whose protection it is so earnestly 
called upon. Now the leaders and captains of the forces 
Mr. Goodwin hath mustered in this 12th chapter being 
thus discharged, the residue, or the followers thereof, will 
easily be prevailed with, to return every one to his own 
place in peace. 

The next place of Scripture produced to consideration, 
Mr. Goodwin ushers in, sect. 11. with a description of the 
adversaries with whom in this context he hath to do, and 
sets them off to public view, with the desirable qualifica- 
tions of ignorance, prejudice, and partiality, having it seems, 
neither ingenuity enough candidly and fairly themselves to 
search into, and to weigh the Scriptures, wherein the case 
in question is clearly determined ; nor skill enough to un- 
derstand and receive them, when so dexterously opened to 
their hand by Mr. G. What they are, the Lord knoweth, 
will judge, determine, and in the appointed time declare : 
and it may be the day that shall manifest all things, will 
vindicate them from those reproaches ; in the meantime, 
such expressions as these lie in the middle, between all 
parties at variance, exposed to the use of any that is pleased 
to take them up : the place insisted on in the sequel of this 
preface, is the parable of our Saviour, Matt, xviii. 32, 33. 
the whole extent of the parable is from ver. 20. to the end 
of the chapter. Hence Mr. G. thus inferreth, sect. 11. 

* Evident it is from our Saviour's rendition or application 
of the parable (so likewise shall my heavenly Father do 
also unto you, if, &c. speaking unto his disciples, ver. 1. 
and to Peter more particularly, ver. 21.) that persons truly 
regenerate, and justified before God (for such were they, to 
whom in special manner he addresseth the parable, and the 
application of it, and indeed the whole carriage of the 
parable sheweth, that it was calculated and formed only for 
such) may through high misdemeanours in sinning, as, for 
example, by unmercifulness, cruelty, oppression, &c. turn 
themselves out of the justifying grace and favour of God, 
quench the Spirit of regeneration, and come to have their 
portions with hypocrites and unbelievers.' 

Ans. 1. This is not the only occasion whereupon we have 
tp deal with this parable : the Socinians wrest it also with 


violence, to disprove the satisfaction of Christ, from the 
mention that is made in it of the free forgiveness of sins 
and the Lord's enjoining others to do what he did ; they 
doubtless being to forgive without satisfaction given or 
made, as to any crimes committed againt them. Mr. Good- 
win, with much less probability of drawing nigh to the in- 
tendment of our Saviour in this place, makes use of it, or 
rather abuses it, to countenance his doctrine of the apostacy 
of the saints : to both, I say, parables have their bounds and 
limits, their lines and proportions, scope and peculiar in- 
tendment, beyond which they prove nothing at all : to wring 
the nose of a parable or similitude, to force it to an uni- 
versal compliance, will bring forth blood. There is nothing 
so sottish, or foolish, or contradictious in, and to itself, as 
may not be. countenanced, from teaching parables to be in- 
structive, and proving, in every parcel or expression that 
attends them. The intendment of the parable here used, 
that wherein from the proportion, andanswerableness of the 
comparats it argueth, is neither that God forgives without 
satisfaction to his justice, being the judge of all the world, 
. nor that believers may fall away by sins of unmercifulness 
and oppression, and so perish everlastingly ; but that men 
upon the account of mercy and forgiveness received from 
God in Christ, ought to extend mercy and kindness to their 
brethren, God threatening and revenging unmercifulness 
and oppression, in and on whomsoever it is found ; whether 
it be ignorance in us, or what it be, the Lord knows, and 
will judge : but we are not able to stretch the lines of this 
parable one step towards what Mr. Goodwin would lengthen 
them unto ; that no persons whatever, must or ought to 
expect the grace and pardoning mercy of God to them, 
who have no bowels of compassion towards their brethren 
is clearly taught ; in making the rest of the circumstances 
of the parable argumentative, we cannot join with our ad- 
versary, he himself in his so doing working merely for his 
own ends. 

2. Finding his exposition of this parable liable and ob- 
noxious to an exception, in that it renders God changeable 
in his dealings with men, and a knot to be cast on his 
doctrine, which he is not able to untie, he ventures boldly 
to cut it in pieces, by affirming ' that indeed God loves no 


man at all, with any love, but the approbation of the quali- 
fications that are in him, and that he cannot be said to 
change in reference of that, which is not in him at all ;* 
this he sets out, and illustrates variously with the dealings 
of men, and the laws that are made amongst them, rewarding 
what is good, and punishing what is evil, &.c. words fully 
fitted in his apprehension, to the clearing of God from any 
shadow of alteration in that course of proceeding which to 
him he ascribes, and tells you, 'the root of the mistake con- 
cerning the love of God' towards any man's person, lies in 
that ' capital erroi", of personal election,' or a purpose of God 
to give grace and glory to any one in Christ : kukov Kopa- 
Kog KaKUJvwov. That Mr. Goodwin doth at all understand 
the love of God, if his apprehension of it be uniform to 
what he expresseth here in disputation, I must question. 
An eternal, unchangeable love of God, to some, in Christ, 
is not now my task to demonstrate ; it may through the 
patience and goodness of God, find a place in my weak en- 
deavours for the Lord, ere long; : when it will be a matter of 
delight to consider the Scriptures and testimonies of an- 
tiquity, that Mr. G. will produce for the eversion of such a 
personal election; for the present I shall only take notice of 
the face of his judgment in the thing, which, sect. 13. he 
here delivers : ' all the love which God bears to men, or to 
any person of man, is either in respect of their nature, and 
as they are men, in respect of which he bears a general or 
common love to them, or in respect of their qualification 
as they are. good men, in one degree or other, in respect 
whereof he bears a more special love to them.' What that 
common love is, in Mr. Goodwin's doctrine, which God 
bears to all men, as men, we know full well : he also himself 
is not unacquainted how often it hath been demonstrated to 
be a vain and foolish figment (in the sense by him and his 
associates obtruded on us) derogatory to all the glorious 
properties of the nature of God, and inconsistent with any 
thing;, that of himself he hath revealed. The demonstration 
and farther eviction whereof waits its season, which I hope 
draweth on. The special love which he bears persons in 
respect of their qualifications, is only his approbation of 
those qualifications, wherever they are, and in whomsoever : 
that these qualifications are faith, love, repentance, gospel 


obedience, &c. is not called into question. I would fain 
know of Mr. Goodwin, on what account and consideration, 
some men, and not all, are translated from the condition of 
being objects of God's common love, to become objects of 
his peculiar love ; or from whence spring these qualifications, 
which are the procurement of it ; whether they are from any 
love of God to them, in whom they are ? . If not, on what 
account do men come to have faith, love, obedience, &c. If 
they are from any love of God, whether it be from the com- 
mon love of God to man, as men ? And if so, why are not 
all men endowed with those qualifications? If from his pe- 
culiar love, how come they to be the effects and causes of 
the same thing ? Or whether indeed this assertion be not 
destructive to the whole covenant of grace, and the effectual 
dispensations of it in the blood of Christ ? And to his 
second testimony I shall add no more. 

The third place insisted on, is that of the apostle, 1 Cor. 
ix. 27. Hence he thus argueth : 

* If Paul, after his conversion unto Christ, was in a possi- 
bility of being, or becoming a reprobate, or cast away, then 
may true believers fall away, both totally and finally (for fi- 
nally ever includes totally) but the antecedent is true : Paul 
after his conversion, was in the possibility mentioned; e7-go. 
The major proposition, I presume, will pass without con- 

j4m. That Mr. Goodwin is not able to make good either 
of the propositions in this syllogism, will evidently appear 
in the conclusion of our examination, of what he draws 
forth, new and old to that purpose; of the major he gives 
you only this account : * It will pass, I presume, without con- 
trol.' But by his favour, unless cleared from ambiguity of 
expressions and fallacy, it is not like to obtain so fair a pas- 
sage as is presumed and fancied. 

Though the term of ' possibility' in the supposition, and 
'may be,' in the inference, seem to be equipollent, yet to ren- 
der them of the same significancy, as to the argument in 
hand, they must both be used in the same respect; but if a 
possibility of being a reprobate (that is, one rejected of 
God, by a metonymy of the effect), be ascribed to Paul in 
respect of himself, and the infirmity of his own will as to 
abiding with God, in which case alone there is any appear 


ance of truth in the assumption of this supposition, and the 
term of * may be/ in respect of believers falling totally and 
finally away, respects the event and purpose, decrees or 
promise of God, concerning it (in which sense alone, it is 
any step to the purpose in hand), I deny the inference, and 
thereby at the very entrance, give check and control to 
Mr. Goodwin's procedure. That which is possible to come 
to pass, that term 'possible,' affecting the end, or coming to 
pass, must be every way, and in all respects possible : this 
is the intendment of the inference. That which is possible 
in respect of some certain causes, or principles (the terras 
of possibility affecting the thing itself, whereof it is spoken 
in its next causes) may be impossible on another account ; 
and in this sense only is there any colour of truth contained 
in the supposition ; so that the major proposition of this syl- 
logism, is laid up and secured for doing any farther service 
in this case. 

The minor is, ' But Paul after his conversion was in a pos- 
sibility of becoming a reprobate or cast-away.' 

ylns. He was not in respect of the event, upon the ac- 
count of the purpose and promises of God of him and to 
him made in Christ ; though any such possibility may be 
affirmed of him, in respect of himself, and his own will, not 
confirmed in grace, unto an impossibility of swerving : 
now this proposition he thus farther attempts syllogistically 
to confirm. 

'That which Paul was very solicitous and industrious to 
prevent, he was in a possibility of suffering or being made. 
But Paul was very solicitous and industrious to prevent his 
being made a cast-away, as the Scripture in hand plainly 
avoucheth ; he kept under his body and brought it in sub- 
jection ; in order to prevent his becoming a cast-away: ergo, 
he was in danger or possibility of being made a cast-away. 
The reason of the consequence in the major proposition, is, 
because no man of understanding will be solicitous to prevent 
or hinder the coming to pass of such a thing, the coming to 
pass whereof, he knows to be impossible.' 

Alls. Once more. The major is questioned. Paul might 
and ought to labour in the use of means, for the preventing 
of that, which in respect of hirasell' he might possibly run 
into, God having appointed those means to be used for the 


prevention of the end feared and avoided ; although in re- 
spect of some other preventing cause, it was impossible he 
should so do. He who complained * that in him, that is in 
his flesh dwelleth no good, that he had a law in his members 
leading him captive to the law of sin, and sin working in 
him all manner of concupisence' for whose prevention from 
running out into a course of sinning, God hath appointed 
means to be used, might use those means for that end, not- 
withstanding that God had immutably purposed, and faith- 
fully promised, that in the use of those means, he should 
attain the end aimed at. And the reason Mr. Goodwin 
gives for the confirmation of the consequence is no other, 
but that which we have so often exploded ; viz. That a man 
need not, ought not to use means for attaining of any end, 
though appointed and instituted of God for that end and 
purpose ; if so be the end for which they are ordained shall 
certainly and infallibly be compassed and accomplished by 
. them. Our Saviour Christ thought meet to use the ordinary 
ways for the preservation of his life, notwithstanding the 
promise of keeping him by the angels : and Hezekiah neg- 
lected not the means of life, notwithstanding the infallible 
promise of living so long, which he had received : Paul was 
careful in the use of means, to prevent that which in himself 
it was possible for him to run into, though he had or might 
have assurance, that through the faithfulness and power of 
God, in the use of those means (as an antecedent of the 
consequent, though not the conditions of the event), he 
should be preserved certainly and infallibly from what he 
was so in himself apt unto. So that whatever be the pecu- 
liar intendment of the apostle in this place, taking the term 
aSoKtjuoc in the largest sense possible, and in a significancy 
of the greatest compass, yet nothing will regularly be inferred 
thence, to the least prejudice of the doctrine I have under- 
taken to maintain. 

And this may suffice as to the utmost of what Mr. Good- 
win's argument from this place doth reach unto. There is 
another, and that a more proper sense of the place, and ac- 
commodated to the context and scope of the apostle where- 
with the doctrine endeavoured to be confirmed from hence, 
hath not the least pretence of communication. And this 
ariseth (as was before manifested) from the scope of the place. 


with the proper uative signification of the word aSoKi/Jiog, 
here translated a cast-away. 

The business that the apostle hath in hand, from ver. 15. 
of the chapter, and which he presses to the end, is a relation 
of his own principles, ways, and deportment in the great 
work of the preaching of the gospel to him committed ; in 
the last words of the chapter he acquaints us with one espe- 
cial aim he had in the carrying on of that work, through 
the whole course of his employment therein. And is his 
such care and endeavour after personal mortification, holi- 
ness, and self-denial, that he might no way be lifted up, nor 
entangled with the revelations made to him ; therein pro- 
viding in the midst of the great certainty and assurance 
which he had, ver. 26. that he might approve himself a 
workman not needing to be ashamed, as not only preaching 
to others for their good, but himself also accepted of God, 
in the discharge of that employment, as one that had dealt 
uprightly and faithfully therein : ver. 17. he acquaints us 
with what is the state and condition of them that preach the 
gospel, their work may go on, and yet themselves not be 
approved in the work : this he laboured to prevent; walking 
uprightly, faithfully, sincerely, zealously, humbly, in the dis- 
charge of his duty : fxij-jroyg aXXoig Kripv^ag, saith he, avrog 
aSoKtjuoc yfvw/xat, ' least having preached to others he should 
not himself be approved and accepted in that work, and so 
lose the reward mentioned,' ver. 17. peculiar to them, who 
walk in the discharge of their duty with a right foot, ac- 
cording to the mind of God. The whole context, design, 
and scope of the apostle, with the native signification of the 
word a^oKi/jLog, leading us evidently and directly to this in- 
terpretation, it is sufficiently clear, that Mr. Goodwin is like 
to find little shelter for his apostacy, in this assertion of the 
apostle. And besides, whatever be the importance of the 
word, the apostle mentions not any thing but his conscien- 
tious diligent use of the means, for the attaining of an end, 
which end yet may fully be promised of God to be so brought 
about and accomplished. 

Mr. Goodwin tells us indeed, that the word ddoKifiog ' is in 
the writings of the apostle, constantly translated reprobate ; 
as Rom. i. 28. 2 Cor. xiii. 5—7. 2 Tim. iii. 8. Tit. i. 16. or 
is expressed by a word equivalent, as Heb. vi. 8.' How rightly 


this is done, in his judgment he tells us not: that it is so 
done, serves his turn ; and he hath no cause farther to trou- 
ble himself about it. The truth is, in most of the places in- 
timated, the word is so restrained, either from the causes of 
the thing expressed, as Rom. i. 28. or the condition of the 
persons of whom it is affirmed, with some adjunct in the use 
of it, as 2 Tim. iii. 8. Tit. i. 16. that it necessarily imports a 
disallowance or rejection of God, as to the whole state and 
condition wherein they are of whom it is asserted, joined 
with a profligate disposition to farther abominations in them- 
selves ; that in any place it imports, what Mr. Goodwin 
would wrest it here unto, a man finally rejected of God, 
whatever may be the thought of others, he will not assert: 
and whatever the translation be, I would know of him, whe- 
ther in any place, where the word is used, he doth indeed 
understand it in any other sense, than that which here he 
opposes ; only with this difference, that in other places it 
regards the general condition and state of them, concerning 
whom it is affirmed ; here only the condition of a man, re- 
strained to the particular case of labouring in the ministry, 
which is under consideration, 2 Cor. xiii. 5 — 7. The word 
cannot be extended any farther than to signify a condition 
of men, when they are not accepted nor approved ; which is 
the sense of the word contended for ; nor yet Heb. vi. 8. 
though it be attended with those several qualifications of 
*nigh unto cursing,' &c. The apostle ascending by degrees in 
the description of the state of the unfruitful barren land, 
says first it is a^oKinog, or disallowed by the husbandman, 
as that which he hath spent his cost and labour about in 
vain ; so that not only the original first signification of the 
word (as is known) stands for- the sense contended for, but 
it is also evidently restrained to that sense by the context, 
design, and scope of the place, with the intendment of the 
apostle therein ; the word being the same that in all other 
places of the writings of the same apostle, unless where it is 
measured, as to its extent and compass, by some adjoined 
expression, which is interpretative of it, as to the particular 
place, being still of the same signification. 

Mr. Goodwin's ensuing discourse, is concerning the judg- 
ment of expositors upon the place, particularly naming Chry- 
sostom, Calvin, Musculus, Deodate, the English annotators. 


of whom notwithstanding, not any one do appear for hiin, 
so unhappy is he in his quotations, though sundry of good 
note (and amongst them Piscator himself) do interpret the 
word in the sense by him contended for ; knowing full well, 
that it may be allowed in its utmost significancy, without 
the least prejudice to the doctrine of the saints' persever- 
ance, as hath been manifested : of these mentioned by Mr. 
Goodwin, there is not any one, from first to last, but re- 
strained the word to the reproachableness or inreproachable- 
ness of the apostle, in the discharge of the work of the mi- 
nistry, the sense of it, which we also insist upon; to spend 
time and labour in searching the expressions of particular 
men, weighing and considering the coherences, design, and 
circumstances of their writings, is beside my intention ; 
the judgment of what hath been affirmed is left to the in- 
telligent reader, who supposeth it of his concernment to in- 
quire particularly into it. 

What is added of the scope of the place, sect. 15. p. 280. 
alone requires any farther consideration ; this he then thus 
proposeth : 

5. ' The scope of the place from ver. 23. evinceth the le- 
gitimacy of such a sense in both^ above all contradiction ; 
for the apostle, having asserted this for the reason, motive, 
and end, why he had made himself a servant to all men, in 
bearing with all men's weaknesses and humours in the course 
of his ministry; viz. that he might be partaker of the gospel 
(i. e. of the saving benefit or blessing of the gospel) with 
them, ver. 23. and again, that what he did, he did to obtain 
an incorruptible crown ; ver. 25. plainly sheweth, that that 
which he sought to prevent, by running and fighting at such 
a high rate as he did, was not the blame and disparagement 
of some such misbehaviour, under which notwithstanding he 
might retain the saving love of God, but the loss of his part 
and portion in the gospel, and of that incorruptible crown 
which he sought by that severe hand, which he still held 
over himself, to obtain.' 

A?ts. The scope of the place was before manifested, in 
answer to its dependance on the whole discourse foregoing, 
from ver. 15. where the apostle enters upon the relation of 
his deportment, in the work and service of the gospel, with 
a particular eye to his carriage therein, as to his use or for- 


bearance, of the allowance of temporal things, from them to 
whom he preached, which was due to him by all right, where- 
by any claim in any kind whatever may be pursued, toge- 
ther with the express institution of the Lord Jesus Christ, 
by him before laid down. In this course he behaved him- 
self with wisdom, zeal, and diligence, having many glorious 
aims in his eye, as also being full of a sense of the duty in- 
cumbent on him, ver. 6. to whose performance he was con- 
strained by the law of Jesus Christ, as he also here expresses. 
Among other things that provoked him to, and supported 
him in, his hard labour and travel was, the love he bare to 
the gospel, and that he might have with others fellowship 
in the propagation and declaration of the glorious message 
thereof. This is his intendment ver. 23. tovto Se, &c. For 
the gospel's sake, or the love he bare to it, he desired with 
others to be partaker of it ; that is, of the excellent work of 
preaching of it ; for of the benefit of the gospel he might 
have been partaker with other believers, though he had never 
been set apart to its promulgation. In his whole discourse 
he still speaks accommodately to his business in hand; for 
the describing of his work of apostleship, in preaching the 
glorious gospel of Jesus Christ ; and as to the end of this 
work, he acquaints us that there was proposed before him 
the incorruptible crown of his Master's approbation (upon 
his lawful running and striving in the way of the ministry, 
whereto he was called), the peculiar glory of them whom he 
is pleased to employ in this service ; and though the cause of 
his fighting at that rate as he did was not wholly the fear 
of non-approbation in that work, a necessity of duty being 
incumbent on him, which he was to discharge, yet he that 
knows how to value the crown of approbation from Christ, 
the holy angels and the church, of having faithfully dis- 
charged the office of a steward in dispensing the things of 
God, will think it sufficiently effectual to stir up any one to 
the utmost expense of love, pains, and diligence, that he 
may not come short of it : and of Mr. Goodwin's proof this 
is the issue. 

His next is from Heb. vi. 4 — 7. with x. 26, 27. which he 
brings in, attended with the ensuing discourse, sect. 18. 

* The next passage we shall insist upon to evince the pos- 
sibility of a final defection in the saints, openeth itself in 



these words ; For it is impossible for those who were once 
enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were 
made partakers of the Holy Ghost, and have tasted of the 
good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, if 
they shall 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. For the earth, which drinketh 
in the rain, that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs 
meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from 
God. But that which beareth thorns and briers, is rejected 
and is nigh unto cursing, whose end is to be burned. An- 
swerable hereunto is another in the same Epistle ; For if 
we sin wilfully after we have received the knowledge of the 
truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a cer- 
tain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, 
which shall devour the adversaries. He that despised Moses's 
law died without mercy under two or three witnesses. Of 
how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, 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 unto the 
Spirit of grace. Evident it is, that in these two passages 
the Holy Ghost, after a serious manner, and with a very pa- 
thetic and moving strain of speech and discourse (scarce 
the bke to be found in all the Scriptures) admonisheth those 
who are at present true believers, to take heed of relapsing 
into the ways of their former ignorance and impiety. This 
caveat or admonition he presseth by an argument of this im- 
port; that in case they shall thus relapse, there will be very 
little or no hope at all, of their recovery or return to the 
estate of faith and grace, wherein now they stand. Before 
the faces of such sayings and passages as these, rightly un- 
derstood and duly considered, there is no standing for that 
doctrine, which denies a possibility either of a total or final 
defection of the saints. But this light also is darkened in 
the heavens, by the interposition of the vails of these two 
exceptions : 1. That the apostle in the said passages af- 
firms nothing positively, concerning the falling away of 
those he speaks of, but only conditionally and upon suppo- 
sition. 2. That he doth not speak of true and sound be- 
lievers, but of hypocrites, and such who had faith only in 


shew, not in substance. The former of these exceptions 
hath been ah'eady nonsuited, and that by some of the ablest 
patrons themselves of the cause of perseverance ; where we 
were taught from a pen of that learning, that such condi- 
tional sayings, upon which admonitions, promises, or threat- 
enings are built, do at least suppose something impossible, 
however, by virtue of their tenor and form, they suppose 
nothing in being. But, 

* As to the places in hand, there is not any hypothetical 
sign, or conditional particle to be found in either of them, as 
they come from the Holy Ghost, and are carried in the ori- 
ginal. Those two ifs, appearing in the English translation, 
the one in the former place, the other in the latter, shew (it 
may be) the translators' inclination to the cause, but not 
their faithfulness in their engagement ; an infirmity where- 
unto they were very subject, as we shall have occasion to 
take notice of the second time ere long, in another instance 
of the like partiality. But the tenor of both the passages in 
hand, is so ordered by the apostle, that he plainly declares, 
how great and fearful the danger is, or will be, when be- 
lievers do, or shall fall away, not if, or in case they shall 
fall away.' 

Ans. Of the two answers, which as himself signifieth, are 
usually given to the objections from these places of Scrip- 
ture, that Mr. Goodwin doth not fairly acquit his hands of 
either, will quickly appear. 

1. To the first, that the form of speech used by the apo- 
stle in both places is conditional, whence there is no argu- 
ing to the event, without begging the thing in question, or 
supposal, that the condition in all respects may be fulfilled, 
where it requires only to the constitution of it as a condi- 
tion in the place of arguing, wherein it is used, that it may 
be possible in some only, he opposeth. 

That some of them, who have wrote for the 'doctrine of 
the saints' perseverance,' have disclaimed the use of it, as to 
its application to the place in Ezekiel formerly considered ; 
but yet leaving them to the liberty of their judgment, who 
are so minded, that the reason given by them, and here again 
repeated by Mr. Goodwin, doth not in the least enforce any 
to let go this answer to the objection proposed, that shall be 
pleased to insist upon it, hath been manifested. 



To this Mr. Goodwin farther adds that weighty obser- 
vation, that the word 'if,' is not in the original, and thence 
takes occasion to fall foul upon the translators, as having cor- 
rujDted the passages out of favour to the doctrine contended 
for. I wish they had never worse mistaken, nor shewed 
more partiality in any other place; for first, will Mr. Good- 
win deny that a proposition cannot be hypothetical, nor an 
expression conditional, unless the word 'if,' be expressed? 
were it worth the labour, instances might abundantly be 
given him in that language wiiereof we speak, to the con- 
trary. He that shall say to him as he is journeying, going 
the right hand way you will meet with thieves, may be doubt- 
less said to speak conditionally, no less than he that should 
expressly tell him, ' If you go the way on the right hand 
vou shall meet with thieves.' Secondly, What clear sense 
and significancy can be given the words, without the sup- 
plement of the conditional conjunction, or some other term 
equipolent thereunto, Mr. Goodwithhath not declared. 'For 
it is impossible for those who were once enlightened,' &c. 
and they falling away : as the words (verbum de verbo) lie 
in the text, is scarce in English a congurous or significant 
expression : yea, koX TrapaireaovTag in the syntax and cohe- 
rence wherein it lies, is most properly and directly rendered, 
* if they fall away ;' as is also the force of the expression, 
chap. X. 26. Yea, thirdly, the connexion of the translation 
mentioned by Mr. Goodwin, doth not in the least relieve 
him, as to the delivery of the words from a sense, liypothe- 
tical. ' When they fall away'(though his ' when,' be no more 
in the text, than the translators' ' if), doth either include a 
supposition, that they shall and must fall away certainly, 
and so requires the event of the thing whereof it is spoken, 
or it is expressive only of the condition, whereon the event 
is suspended ; if it be taken in the first sense, all believers 
must fall away : if in the latter none may, notwithstanding 
any thing in this text (so learnedly restored to its true sig- 
nificancy), the words only pointing at the connexion, that is 
between apostacy and punishment. Notwithstanding then 
any thing here offered to the contrary, those who alHrm that 
nothing can certainly be concluded from these places for the 
apostacy of any, be they who they will that are intended in 
them, because they are conditional assertions, manifesting 


only the connexion between the sin and punishment ex- 
pressed, need not be ashamed of, nor recoil from their affir- 
mation in the least. 

For mine own part, I confess, I do not in any measure 
think it needful to insist upon the conditionals of these as- 
sertions of the Holy Ghost, as to the removal of any, or all 
the oppositions that from them of old, or of late have been 
raised and framed against the doctrine of the saints' perse- 
verance, there being in neither of the texts insisted on, either 
name or thing inquired after ; nor any one of all the severals 
inquired into, and constantly in the Scriptures used in the 
description of the saints and believers of whom we speak. 
This I shall briefly in the first place demonstrate, and then 
proceed with the consideration of what is offered by Mr. 
Goodwin in opposition thereunto. Some few observations 
will lead us through the first part of this work designed. I 
say then, 

1. There is an inferior common work of the Holy Ghost, 
in the dispensation of the word upon many to whom it is 
preached, causing in them a great alteration and change, as 
to light, knowledge, abilities, gifts, affections, life, and con- 
versation, when the persons so wrought upon are not 
quickened, regenerate, nor made new creatures, nor united 
to Jesus Christ. I suppose there will not be need for me 
to insist on the proof of this proposition, the truth of it being 
notoriously known and confessed as I supposed amongst all 
that profess the name of Christ. 

2. That in persons thus wrought upon, there is or may 
be, such an assent upon light and conviction to the truths 
proposed and preached to them, as is true in its kind, not 
counterfeit, giving and affording them in whom it is 
wrought, profession of the faith, and that sometimes with 
constancy to the death, or the giving of their bodies to be 
burned, with persuasions (whence they are called believers), 
of a future enjoyment of a glorious and blessed condition, 
filling them with ravished affections and rejoicings in hope, 
which they profess suitable to the expectation they have, of 
such a state and condition. This also might be easily 
evinced by innumerable instances and examples from the 
Scripture, if need required. 

3. That the persons in and upon whom this work is 


wrought, cannot be said to be hypocrites in the most proper 
sense of thatword : that is, such as counterfeit and pretend 
themselves to be that, which they know they are not ; nor 
to have faith only in shew, and not in substance, as though 
they made a shew and pretence only of an assent to the 
things they professed ; their high gifts, knowledge, faith, 
change of affections and conversation, being in their own 
kind true (as the faith of devils is), and yet notwithstand- 
ing all this they are in bondage, and at best seek for a righ- 
teousness as it were by the works of the law, and in the 
issue, Christ proves to tjiem of none effect. 

4. That among these persons, many are oftentimes en- 
dued with excellent gifts, lovely parts, qualifications, and 
abilites, rendering them exceeding useful, acceptable, and 
serviceable to the church of God, becoming vessels in his 
house, to hold and convey to others the precious liquor of 
the gospel, though their nature in themselves be not changed, 
they remaining wood and stone still. 

5. That much of the work wrought in and upon this 
sort of persons by the Spirit and word, lies in its own nature 
in a direct tendency to their relinquishment of their sins 
and self-righteousness, and to a closing with God in Christ, 
having a mighty prevalency upon them to cause them to 
amend their ways, and to labour after life and salvation : 
from which to apostatize and fall off, upon the account of 
the tendency mentioned of these beginnings is dangerous, 
and for the most part pernicious. 

6. That persons under convictions and works of the 
Spirit formerly mentioned, partakers of the gifts, light, and 
knowledge, spoken of, with those other endowments attend- 
ing them, are capacitated for the sin against the Holy Ghost, 
or the unpardonable apostacy from God. 

These things being commonly known, and as far as I 
know, universally granted, I affirm that the persons men- 
tioned and intended in these places, are such as have been 
now described, and not the believers or saints, concerning 
whom alone our contest is. 

Mr. Goodwin replies, sect. 19. p. 183. 

*To the latter exception which pretends to find only hy- 
pocrites, and not true believers, staged in both passages, we 
likewise answer, that it glosseth no whit better than the 


former, if not much worse, considering that the persons 
presented in the said passages, are described by such cha- 
racters, and signal excellencies which the Scriptures are wont 
to appropriate unto saints and true believers, and that when 
they intend to shew them in the best and greatest of their 
glory : what we say herein, will, I suppose, be made above 
all gainsaying, by instancing particulars.' 

A)fs. That this is most remote from truth, and that there 
is not here any one discriminating character of true be- 
lievers, so far are the expressions from setting them out in 
any signal eminency, will appear from these ensuing consi- 

1. There is no mention of faith or believing, either in 
express terms, or in terms of an equivalent significancy in 
either of the places mentioned. Therefore true believers 
are not the persons intended to be described in these 
places. Did the Holy Ghost intend to describe believers, 
it is very strange that he should not call them so, nor 
make mention of any one of those principles in them 
from whence, and whereby they are such. Wherefore I 

2. There is not any thing ascribed here to the persons 
spoken of, which belongs peculiarly to true believers, as 
such, or that constitutes them to be such, and which yet are 
things plainly and positively asserted and described in in- 
numerable other places of Scripture ; that the persons de- 
scribed are, ' called according to the purpose of God, quick- 
ened, born again or regenerated, justified, united to Christ, 
sanctified by the Spirit, adopted, made sons of God,' and 
the like, which are the usual expressions of believers, point- 
ing out their discriminating form as such, is not in the least 
intimated in the text, context, or any concernment of it. 
That they are elected of God, redeemed of Christ, sanctified 
by the Spirit, that they are made holy, is not at all af- 

3. The persons intended, are ver. 8. chap. vi. compared 
to the ground upon which the rain falls, and beareth 
thorns and briers. True believers, whilst they are so, are not 
such as do bring forth nothing but 'thorns and briers;' 
faith itself being a ' herb meet for him by whom they are 


4. Things that accompany salvation, are better things 
than any in the persons mentioned were to be found. This 
the apostle asserts, ver. 9. 'we are persuaded better things 
of you, and things that accompany salvation.' Now neither 
of these, either better things, or things that accompany sal- 
vation, were upon them whose apostacy the apostle sup- 
poseth. The exceptive particle at the entrance, with the 
apologetical design of the whole verse, ascribes such things 
to the saints, to whom the apostle speaks, as they were not 
partakers of, concerning whom he had immediately before 
discoursed. The faith of God's elect, whereby we are jus- 
tified, is doubtless of the 'things that accompany salvation.' 

5. The persons intended by the apostle, were such, as 
' had need to be taught again the first principles of the ora- 
cles of God ;' chap. v. 12. that were ' unskilful in a word of 
righteousness;' ver. 15. that had not their ' senses exercised 
to discern good and evil ;' ver. 14. and are plainly distin- 
guished from them, to whom the promise made to Abra- 
ham doth properly belong ; chap. vi. 9 — 14, Sec. 

6. True believers are opposed in the discourse of the 
apostle, chap. vi. unto these persons lying under a possi- 
bility of apostacy, so far as they are cast under it, by the 
conditional discourse of it, upon sundry accounts. As, 

1, Of their works and labour of love shewed to the 
name of God ; ver. 10. of their preservation from the righte- 
ousness or faithfulness of God, in his promises; ver, 11. Of 
the immutability of the counsels of God, and his oath for the 
preservation of them; ver. 13. 17, 18. Of their sure and 
steadfast anchor of hope ; ver. 19, &c. Upon all which con- 
siderations it is abundantly evident, that they are not be- 
lievers, the children of God, justified, sanctified, adopted 
saints, of whom the apostle treats in the passages in- 
sisted on. 

Sect. 28. Mr. Goodwin urges sundry reasons to prove 
that they are not hypocrites or outside professors only, but 
true believers that are described. If by hypocrites and out- 
side professors he intends those who are grossly so, pre- 
tending to be what they are not, and what they know them- 
selves not to be, we contend not about it : if by those ex- 
pressions he compriseth also those whom we characterized 
in the entrance of this discourse, who unto their profession 


of the faith, have also added those gifts and endowments, 
with the like, which we mentioned, notwithstanding all their 
advancement in light, conviction, joy, usefulness, conver- 
sation, do yet come short of union with Christ, I shall join 
issue with him, in the consideration of his reasons offered 
to be pregnant of proof for the confirmation of his assertion. 
He tells you, sect. 28. p. 288. 

* 1. There is no clause, phrase, or word, in either of the 
places, any ways characteristical or descriptive of hypocrisy, 
or hypocrites, there are none of those colours to be seen, 
which are wont to be used in drawing or limning the por- 
traitures or shapes of those beasts, as distinguished from 
creatures of a better kind. All the lineaments of the per- 
sons presented in these tables, before the mention of their 
falling away, become the best and fairest faces of the saints 
(as hath been proved), and are not to be found in any other. 
Yea, the greatest and most intelligent believer under heaven, 
hath no reason but to desire part and fellowship with the 
hypocrites here described, in all those characters and pro- 
perties which are attributed unto them before their falling 
away, or sinning wilfully.' 

Ans. 1. The design of the apostle is not to discover, or 
give any characters of hypocrites, to manifest them to be 
such, but to declare the excellencies that are, or may be 
found in them, from the enjoyment of all which they may 
decline, and sin against the mercy and grace of them, to the 
aggravation of their condemnation. Neither had any lines 
used to particularize those beasts in their shape, wherein 
they differ from believers, been at all useful to the apostle's 
purpose ; his aim being only to draw those wherein they are 
like them, and conformable to them. Neither, 

2. Is it questioned whether these things here mentioned, 
may be found in true believers, and become them very well, 
rendering their faces beautiful, but whether there be not 
something else than what is here mentioned, that should 
give them being, as such, and life, without which these 
things are little better than painting. Nor, 

3. Is it at all to the purpose, that believers may desire a 
participation in these characters with the persons described, 
but whether they who have no other characters or marks 
upon them of true believers, than what are here mentioned. 


must necessarily be so accounted, or will of God be so ac- 
cepted. Many a believer may desire the gifts of those hy- 
pocrites, who have not one dram of the grace, wherewith he 
is quickened. So that this first reason as pregnant as it 
seems of proof, is only indeed swelled and puffed up with 
wind and vanity. He adds, 

' 2. True believers, are in estate of honour, and are 
lifted up on high towards the heavens, in which respect they 
have from whence to fall. But hypocrites are as near hell 
already as lightly they can be, till they be actually fallen into 
it. From whence then are they capable of fallings? Men of 
estates may fail and break, but beggars are in no such dan- 
ger. If hypocrites fall away, it must be from their hy- 
pocrisy, but this is rather a rising than a fall. A beggar 
cannot be said to break but only when he gets an estate. 
When he doth this, the beggar is broke.' 

Ans. All that here is added, arises merely from the am- 
biguity of the word hyjjocrites ; the persons that fall, are on 
all hands supposed to have, and enjoy all, that is made 
mention of in the texts insisted on, so that they have so much 
to fall from, as that thereupon Mr. Goodwin thinks them true 
believers. They have all the heights to tumble from, which 
we before mentioned, and very many others, that it is no easy 
task to declare. They fall from the excellencies they have, 
and not the hypocrisy, with which they are vitiated ; from 
the profession of the faith, with honesty of conversation, &c. 
not from the want of root, or being built on the rock : so that 
this pretended pregnant reason is as barren as the former, 
to the production of the assertion laid down to be proved by 
it. He adds, 

' 3. It is no punishment at all to hypocrites to be under 
no possibility of being renewed again by repentance. Nay, 
in case they should fall away, it would be a benefit and 
blessing unto them, to be under an impossibility of being- 
renewed again. For if this were their case it would be im- 
possible for them to be ever hypocrites again, and (doubt- 
less) it is no great judgment upon any man to be incapable 
of such a preferment.' 

Ans. 1. Whether it be no punishment for them who have 
been in so good a way, a way of such tendency unto salva- 
tion, and such usefulness to the gospel, as these persons 


are supposed to be in ; not to be renewed again to that state 
and condition, but to be shut up unrecoverably under the 
power of darkness and unbelief, unto eternal wrath, when 
before they were in a fair way for hfe and salvation, others 
will judge beside Mr. Goodwin, Neither is there an affir- 
mation of their falling away from their hypocrisy, and be- 
ing renewed again thereunto, in any thing we assert in the 
exposition of this place, but their falling away from gifts 
and common graces, with the impossibility of what kind 
soever it be, of being renewed to an enjoyment of them any 
more. His fourth and last attempt follows. 

* 4. And lastly, It stands off, forty foot at least, from all 
probability, that the apostle writing only unto those, whom 
he judged true and sound believers (as appears from seve- 
ral places in the epistle, as cliap. iii. 14. vi. 9, &c.) should 
in the most serious, emphatical and weighty passages here- 
of, admonish them of such evils or dangers, which only con- 
cerned other men, and whereunto themselves were not at 
all obnoxious, yea and whereunto if they had been obnox- 
ious, all the cautions, admonitions, warnings, threatenings, 
in the world would not (according to their principles, with 
whom we have now to do) have relieved or delivered them. 
To say that such admonitions are a means to preserve those 
from apostacy, who are by other means (as suppose the ab- 
solute decree of God, or the interposal of his irresistible 
power for their perseverance, or the like) in no possibility 
of apostatizing, as to say that washing is a means to make 
snow white, or the rearing up of a pillar in the air a means 
to keep the heavens from falling. But more of this in the 
chapter following.' 

Ans. What exact measure soever Mr. Goodwin seemeth 
to have taken of the distance of our assertion from all pro- 
bability (which he hath accurately performed, if we may 
take his word), yet upon due consideration it evidently 
appears, that he is not able to disprove it, from coming close 
up to the absolute truth of the meaning and scope of the 
Holy Ghost in the places under consideration. For besides 
what hath been already argued, and proved, it is evident, 

1. That the apostle wrote promiscuously to all that pro- 
fess the name of Christ and his gospel, of whom he tells 
you, chap. iii. 14. (one of the places we are directed to by 


Mr. Goodwin) that those only are made * partakers of Christ, 
who hold the beginning of their confidence to the end ;' for 
the rest, notwithstanding all their glorious profession, gifts, 
and attainments, yet they are not truly made partakers of 
Christ (whereby he cuts the throat of Mr. Goodwin's whole 
cause), and chap. vi. 9. that there were amongst them, who 
had attained things accompanying salvation, and better 
things than any of those had done, who notwithstanding 
their profession, yet held it not fast without wavering, but 
every day fell away; so that though he judged no particu- 
lars before their apostacy, yet he partly intimates, that all 
professors were not true believers, and therefore, does teach 
them all to make sure work in closing with Christ, lest 
they turn apostates and perish in so doing. 

2. That conditional comminations and threatenings, dis- 
covering the connexion that is between the antecedent and 
consequent, that is in the proposition of them, are and may 
be of use to the saints of God, preserved from the end 
threatened and the cause deserving it, upon the accounts, 
reasons, and causes, that have been plentifully insisted on, 
hath more than once been declared ; and the objections to 
the contrary the same with those here insisted on, answered 
and removed. This being all that Mr. Goodwin hath to 
offer, by the way of reason, to exclude the persons formerly 
described to be the only concernment of the place of Scrip- 
ture insisted on, there remains nothing but only the consi- 
deration of the severals of the passages debated, wherein 
by the light that hath already broken forth, from the cir- 
cumstances, aims, ends, and connexion of the places, we 
may so far receive direction, as not to be at all stumbled in 
our progress. 

With the consideration of the several expressions in the 
passages under debate, Mr. Goodwin proceedeth, sect. 19. 
and first insisteth on that of chap. vi. where it is said that 
they were uira^ <^h)Ti(r^iv7zg, once enlightened ; whence he 
thus argues. 

* Believers are said to be enlightened, and to be children 
of light in the Lord; 2 Cor. iv. 6. Heb. x. 32. Luke xvi. 8. 
Eph. V. 8. therefore they who here are said to be enlight- 
ened were true believers.' 

Ans. 1. 1 shall not insist upon the various intcrprcta- 


tions of this place, and reading of the word ^wrto-S'tvrsc, very 
many, and that not improbably, affirming, that their partici- 
pation of the ordinance of baptism is here only intended by 
it, for v.'hich exposition much might be offered were it 
needful, or much conducing to our business in hand. Nor, 

2. Shall I labour to manifest that persons may be en- 
lightened, and yet never come to Christ savingly by faith, 
to attain union with him and justification by him, a thing 
Mr. G. will not deny himself, or if he should, it were a very 
facile thing to convince him of his mistake, by a sole en- 
treaty (if he would be pleased to give an account of his faith 
in this business at our entreaty) of him to declare what he 
intends by illumination, whence it would quickly appear, 
how unsuitable it is to his own principles to deny, that it 
may be in them, who yet never come to be, or at least by 
virtue thereof may not be said to be true believers ; but this 
only I shall add, 

3. That Mr. G. doubtless knowing that this argument 
(which withal the texts of Scripture, whereby he illustrates 
it he borrows of the remonstrants) hath been again and 
again excepted against, as illogical and unconcluding, and 
inconsistent with the principles of them that use it, ought 
not crudely again have imposed it upon his reader without 
some attempt at least, to free it from the charge of imperti- 
nency, weakness, and folly, wherewith it is burdened. Illu- 
mination is ascribed to believers, illumination is ascribed 
to these men, therefore, these persons are believers ; a lit- 
tle consideration will recover to Mr. Goodwin's mind the 
force of this argument, so far as that he will scarce use it 
any more. 

Sect. 20. He takes up another expression from chap. x. 
12. That they are^said to receive liriyvojaiv Trig aXr/^tmc, 'the 
acknowledgement of the truth ;' whence he argues in the 
same manner and form, as he had newly done from the term 
of illumination ; kTriyvioaig a\7]ddag ' is ascribed to believers,' 
therefore, they are all so, to whom it is ascribed. 

But he tells you in particular that, sect. 20. ' in the latter 
of the said passages the persons spoken of are said to have 
received l-Kiyvtjjaiv rCov d\i)6dag, i. e. ' the acknowledgement 
of the truth ;' which expression, doth not signify the bare 
notion of what the gospel teacheth, of which they are ca- 


pable who are the most professed enemies thereof, but such 
a consenting and subjection thereunto, which worketh effec- 
tually in men to a separating of themselves from sin and 
sinners. This is the constant import of the phrase in the 

Ans. All this may be granted, yet nothing hence con- 
cluded, to evince the persons to whom it is ascribed to be 
true believers ; men may be so wrought upon, and con- 
vinced by the word and Spirit, sent forth to convince the 
world of sin, righteousness, and judgment, as to acknow- 
ledge the truth of the gospel, to profess subjection to the 
gospel, and to yield to it so far as to separate themselves 
from sin and sinners, in such a manner and to such a de- 
gree (not dissembling but answering their convictions), as 
to bless themselves oftentimes in their own condition, and 
to obtain an esteem with the people of God to be such in- 
deed, as they profess themselves to be, and yet come short 
of that union and communion with the Lord Christ, which 
all true believers are made partakers of. It is not of any 
use or importance to examine the particular places men- 
tioned by Mr. Goodwin, wherein as he supposeth the ex- 
pression of the knowledge or acknowledgement of the truth 
denotes that which is saving, and comprehendeth true faith, 
unless he attempted to prove from them, that the word could 
signify nothing else, or that a man might not be brought to 
an acknowledgement of the truth, but that he must of ne- 
cessity be a true believer ; neither of which he doth, or if he 
did, could he possibly give any seeming probability to. 
There may be a knowing of the things of the gospel in men, 
and yet they may come short of the happiness of them that 
do them ; there is a knowledge of Christ, that yet is barren 
as to the fruit of holiness. 

3. In the next place the persons queried about, arc said 
to be ' sanctified by the blood of the covenant;' of this Mr. 
Goodwin says, sect 21. i. e. 'By their sprinkling herewith, 
to be sprinkled from such who refuse this sprinkling: as 
likewise from the pollution's and defilements of the world. To 
be sanctified when applied unto persons, is not found in any 
other sense throughout the New Testament, unless it be 
where persons bear the consideration of things ; 1 Cor. vii. 
14. But of this signification of the word which we claim in 



this place, instances are so frequent and obvious, that we 
shall not need to mention any.' 

j4ns. 1. If no more be intended in this expression, but what 
Mr. Goodwin gives us in the exposition of it, viz. that they 
are so sprinkled with it, as to be separate from them that re- 
fuse this sprinkling (that is openly), as likewise from the pol- 
lution and defilements of the world, we shall not need to con- 
tend about it : for men may be so sprinkled, and have such an 
efficacy of conviction come upon them by the preaching of 
the cross, and blood-shedding of Christ, as to be separated 
from those who professedly despise it, and the open publica- 
tion of the word, and yet be far from having ' consciences 
purged from dead works to serve the living God.' And, 

2. That the term of ' sanctifying,' when applied to per- 
sons, is not used in any other sense than what is by Mr. 
Goodwin here expressed, is an assertion that will be ren- 
dered useless until Mr. Goodwin be pleased to give it an edge 
by explaining in what sense he here intends to play it. Of 
the term ' sanctifying' there are, as hath been declared, two 
more eminent and known significations. First, to separate 
from common use, state or condition, to dedicate, consecrate, 
and set apart to God by profession of his will, in a peculiar 
manner is frequently so expressed. Secondly, really to pu- 
rify, cleanse with spiritual purity, opposed to the defilement 
of sin is denoted thereby. In the exposition given of the 
place here used by Mr. G. he mentions both. Separation, 
and that chiefly, as the nature of the sanctification whereof 
he speaks, as also some kind of spiritual cleansing from sin : 
but in what sense he precisely would have us to understand 
him he doth not tell us. 

I somewhat question, whether it be used in the Epistle to 
the Hebrews in any other sense than the former, which was 
the Temple sense of the word ; the apostle using many 
terms of the old worship in their first signification; however, 
that it is used in that sense, in the New Testament, appro- 
priated to persons, without any such respect as that men- 
tioned by Mr. G. is sufficiently evinced by that of our 
Saviour, John xvii. 19. imlp cwtCov lyio ayia^o) l/javTov, ex- 
pressing his dedicating and separating himself to his office ; 
and more instances may be had, if we stood in any need 
of them. 


3. That many are said to be sanctified and holy in the 
latter sense, as it signifieth spiritual purity, in respect of 
their profession of themselves so to be, and some men's es- 
teem of them, who yet were never wholly and truly purged 
from their sin, nor ever had received the Holy Spirit of pro- 
mise, who alone is able to purge their hearts, dotli not now 
want its demonstration, that work hath been somewhile 
since performed. So that Mr. G. makes not any progress at 
all, in the proof of what he has undertaken, viz. that they are 
true believers in the sense of that denomination which we 
assert, who in these places are described. For a close, Iv 
i^ iijiaa^t}, is far more properly referred to Christ, than -to the 
persons spoken of, and that sense the remonstrants them- 
selves do not oppose. 

That they are said, chap. vi. 4. ' to have tasted the hea- 
venly gift' is urged in the next place, sect. 22. to prove them 
true believers ; both the object and the act are here in ques- 
tion, what is meant by the heavenly gift, and what by tast- 
ing of it. I shall not look into the text beyond the peculiar 
concernment of the cause in hand : somewhat might be 
oflered for the farther clearing of one and other. At present 
it sufficeth that be the heavenly gift what it will, the per- 
sons of our contest, are said only to taste of it : which though 
absolutely, and in itself, is not an extenuating expression, 
but denotes a matter of high aggravation of the sin of apos- 
tacy, in that they were admitted to some taste and relish of 
the excellency and sweetness of the heavenly gift ; yet com- 
paratively to their feeding on it, digesting it, growing there- 
by, it clearly denotes their coming short of such a partici- 
pation of it, who do but taste of it. That to taste, doth not 
in the first genuine signification in things natural, signify to 
eat and digest meat, so as to grow by it, I suppose needs no 
proof; that in that sense it is used in the Scriptures, John 
ii. 9. Matt, xxvii. 34. is by Mr. Goodwin confessed. This 
he tells you is only when the taste or relish of things is de- 
sired to be known : but that our Saviour tasted of the gall 
and vinegar out of a desire to know the relish of it, he will 
hardly persuade those who are accustomed to give never so 
easy a belief to his assertions. By the ' heavenly gift' Mr. G. 
in the first place intends Jesus Christ : now if by tasting- 
eating and drinking of Christ be intended as is here pleaded 


Christ himself will determine this strife, telling us that who- 
soever eateth his flesh shall be saved ; John vi. 35. 49 — 51. 
54 — 57. So that either to taste, is not to eat, or they that 
taste cannot perish. 

Three things are urged by Mr. Goodwin to give proof of 
his interpretation of these words of the Holy Ghost. Saith he, 

' 1. Whatsoever is meant by this heavenly gift, certain is 
it that by tasting, is not meant any light or superficial im- 
pression made upon the hearts or souls of men, through the 
sense or apprehension of it, but an emphatical, inward and 
effectuous relish and sense of the excellent and heavenly 
sweetness and pleasantness of it, opposed to a bare specu- 
lation or naked apprehension thereof. The reason hereof 
is, because the tasting of this heavenly gift here spoken of, 
is not mentioned by the apostle in a way of easing or exten- 
uating the sin of those that should fall away from Christ; 
but by way of aggravation and exaggeration of the heinous- 
ness and unreasonableness thereof, and withal more fully to 
declare and assert the equitableness of that severity in God> 
which is here denounced against those, that shall sin the 
great sin of apostacy here spoken of. It must needs be much 
more unworthy and provoking in the sight of God, for a man 
to turn his back upon and renounce those ways, that pro- 
fession, wherein God hath come home to him, and answered 
the joy of his heart abundantly, than it would be in case he 
had only heard of great matters, and had his head filled, but 
had really found and felt nothing with his heart and soul 
truly excellent and glorious. 

' 2. And besides, the very word itself, to taste, ordinarily 
in Scripture, imports a real communion with, or participa- 
tion and enjoyment (if the thing be good) of, that which was 
said to be tasted. O taste, and see,^ saith David, that 
the Lord is good. His intent doubtless was not to invite 
men to a slight or superficial taste of the goodness of God, 
but to a real, cordial, and thorough experiment and satisfac- 
tory enjoyment of it. So when he that made the great in- 
vitation in the parable, expressed himself thus to his ser- 
vants :^ For I say unto you, that none of those who were 
bidden shall taste of my supper. His meaning clearly was 
that they should not partake of the sweetness, and benefit 

» Psal. xxxiv. 8. Luke xiv. 24. 


with those who should accept of his invitation, and come 
unto it. In like manner when Peter speaketh thus to his 
Christian Jews,'' If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gra- 
cious; his meaning (questionless) is not to press his exhorta- 
tion directed unto them in the former verse upon a conside- 
ration of any light or vanishing taste, such as hypocrites and 
false-hearted Christians may have, of the graciousness of 
the Lord, but of such a taste, wherein they had had a real, 
inward, and sensible experiment thereof. 

'3. And besides, according to the sense of our adver- 
saries in the present debate, if the taste of the heavenly gift 
we speak of should imply no more, but only a faint or weak 
perception of the sweetness and glorious excellency of it, yet 
even this may be sufficient to evince truth of grace and faith 
in men. For their opinion is, that a man may be a true believer 
with a grain of mustard-seed only, i. e. with a very slender 
relish and taste of spiritual things ; yea, their sense is, that 
in some cases of desertion, and under the guilt of some enor- 
mous courses, they may have little or no taste of them at all.' 

Ans. 1. To the first discourse, considering what hath been 
already delivered, I shall only add, that although it be no 
aggravation of the sin of apostacy, that they who fall into it, 
have but ' tasted of the heavenly gift,' yet it is that they 
have tasted of it: that taste of its relish, preciousness, and 
sweetness, which they have obtained, whereby they are dis- 
tinguished from them whose blindness and hardness keeps 
them up to a total disrelish and contempt of it, is abundantly 
enough to render their sin heinous and abominable. When 
men by the preaching of the word, shall be startled in 
their sins, troubled in their consciences, forced to seek 
out for a remedy, and shall come so far as to have some 
(though but a light) taste of the excellency of the gospel, 
and the remedy provided for sinners in Jesus Christ, and 
then through the strength of their lusts and corruptions, 
shall cast it off, reject it, and spit out of their mouth, as it were, 
all that of it whereby they found the least favour in it, no 
creature under heaven can be guilty of more abominable 
undervaluing of the Lord Christ, and the love of God in him, 
than such persons. What degree of love, joy, repentance, 
peace, faith, persons many times arrive unto, when with 

f 1 Pet. ii. J. 


Herod they have heard the word gladly, and done many 
things willingly, &c. hath been by others abundantly de- 
monstrated. This sufficeth our present purpose, that they 
do make such a progress in the ways of God, and find so 
much excellency in the treasure of grace and mercy, which 
he hath provided in Jesus Christ, and tenders in the gospel 
that he cannot but look upon their apostacy and renuncia- 
tion of him (whereby they proclaim to all the world as much 
as in them lies, that there is not that real goodness, worth, 
and excellency to be found in him, as some pretend) as the 
highest scorn and contempt of him, and his love in Christ, 
and revenges it accordingly. 

2. To the second, which consists of instances collected 
by the remonstrants to manifest the use of the word * tasting' 
to be other than what we here confine it to. I say, 1. That 
the word as it is applied to spirituals, being borrowed and 
metaphorical, not in its analogy to be extended beyond 
making trial, for our coming to some knowledge of a thing 
in its nature, the use of it in one place cannot prescribe to 
the sense of it in another, no more than any other metapho- 
rical expression whatever ; but it must in the several places 
of its residence, be interpreted according to the most pecu- 
liar restriction that the matter treated of doth require. If 
then, Mr. G . can prove that any thing in this place under 
consideration enforces such a sense, all his other instances 
are needless-; if he cannot, they are useless. 

It might easily be manifested, and hath been done by 
others already, that in all the places mentioned by Mr. Good- 
win, the word is not expressly significant of any thorough, 
solid eating and participation, or that which is said to be 
tasted, as is pretended. But to manifest this, is not our con- 
cernment; there being no reason in the world to enforce any 
such sense as is contended for in the place under present 

3. To the third, wherein he argues with his predecessors 
from our opinion concerning faith, a brief reply w ill suffice. 
That a faint, weak perception and relish of heavenly things, 
is sufiicient to make a man a believer, is so far from being 
our opinion, that we utterly disclaim them from being be- 
lievers to whom this is ascribed, if nothing else be added in 
their description, from whence they may be so esteemed. It 

X 2 


is true, faith is sometimes little, and weak in the exercise of 
it, yea a man may be so overtaken with temptations, or so 
clouded under desertions, as that it may not deport itself 
with any such considerable vigour, as to be consolatory to 
him in whom it is, or demonstrative of him unto others to be 
what he is ; but we say that the weakest, lowest, meanes 
measure and degree of this faith, is yet grounded and fixed 
in the heart, where though it be not always alike lively and 
active, yet it is always alive, and gives life. How far be- 
lievers may fall into the guilt of enormous courses, has been 
already manifested. The intendment of the expression, is 
to disadvantage the persuasion he opposeth. We do not 
grant that believers may fall into any enormities, but only 
what God himself affirms they may, and yet not utterly be 
cast out of his love and favour in Jesus Christ. Farther, the 
the weakest faith, of which we affirm that it may be true and 
saving, though it may have no great perception nor deep 
taste of heavenly things for the present, yet hath it always 
that of adherence to God in Christ, which is exceedingly 
exalted above any such perception of heavenly things what- 
ever, that may be had or obtained without it : so that from 
the consideration of what hath been spoken, we may safely 
conclude, that Mr. G. hath not been able to advance one step 
in his intendment, to prove that the persons here described 
are true believers. 

I know no sufficient ground or reason to induce me to 
any large consideration of the other two or three expressions 
that remain, and that are insisted on by Mr. G. seeing it is 
evident from their associates, which have been already ex- 
amined, that there is none of them can speak one word to the 
business in hand. I shall, therefore, discharge them from any 
farther attendance, in the service they have been forced unto. 

The next privilege insisted on, which to these persons is 
ascribed, is, * that they are made partakers of the Holy Ghost.' 
In men's participation of the Holy Ghost, either the gifts or 
graces of the Holy Ghost are intended. The graces of the 
Holy Ghost, are either more common and inchoative, or spe- 
cial and completing of the work of conversion; that it is the 
peculiar regenerating grace of God, that is intended in this 
expression, of being ' made partakers of the Holy Ghost,' and 
not the gifts of the Spirit, or those common graces of illumi- 


iiation, unto which persons not truly converted, but only- 
wrought upon by an effectual conviction in the preaching of 
the word, may attain, Mr. G. is no way able to prove. And 
there is also, this consideration rising up with strength and 
power, against that interpretation ; viz. that those that are 
so made partakers of the Spirit as to be regenerated, quick- 
ened, sealed, comforted thereby, which are some of the pe- 
culiar acts of his g-race, in and towards the souls of those that 
believe, can never lose him, nor be deprived of him, as was 
manifested before at large, being sealed and confirmed, not 
only in the present enjoyment of the love and favour of God, 
but also unto the full fruition of the glory, which is pro- 
vided for them, and therefore cannot fall away, as these are 
supposed to do. What there is in Mr. Goodwin's discourse, 
on this passage, sect. 23, 24. to weaken in the least what is 
usually answered, or farther to enforce his exposition of the 
place, I am not able to apprehend, and shall therefore pro- 
ceed with what remaineth. 

All that follows in the place of the apostle under con- 
test, is regulated by the word ' taste :' ' They have tasted of 
the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come.^ 
What the sense and importance of that word is, hath been 
already declared : neither can it be proved that the persons 
here described, do so taste of the good word of God, as to 
mix the promises of it with faith ; or of the powers of the 
world to come, as to receive them in power in their hearts 
by believing ; so that farther contest about these words seems 
to be altogether needless. 

How far men may proceed in the ways of God, what 
progress they may make in amendment of life, what gifts 
and common graces they may receive, what light and know- 
ledge they may be endued withal, what kind of faith, joy, re- 
pentance, sorrow, delight, love, they may have in and about 
spiritual things ; what desire of mercy and heaven, what 
useful gifts for the church's edification they may receive, 
how far they may persuade their own souls, and upon what 
grounds, thattheir condition God-ward is good and saving, 
and beget an opinion in others that they are true believers, 
and yet come short of union with Christ, building their 
houses on the sand, &c. i§ the daily task of the preachers 
of the gospel to manifest, in their pressing that exhortation 


of the apostle unto their hearers, to examine and try them- 
selves in the midst of their profession, whether Christ be 
in them of a truth or no. I shall not now enter upon that 
labour; the reader knows where to find enough in the wri- 
tings of holy and learned men of this nation, to evince that 
men may arrive at the utmost height of what is in this place 
of the apostle by the Holy Ghost ascribed to the persons of 
whom he speaks, and yet come short of the state of true 
believers. Mr. G. indeed tells us, sect. 27. 

' The premises relating to the two passages yet under 
debate, considered, I am so far from questioning whether 
the apostle speaks of true and sound believers in them, that 
I verily judge, that he purposely sought out several of the 
most emphatical and signal characters of believers ; yea, 
such which are hardly, or rather not at all, to be found in 
the ordinary sort of true believers, but only in those that 
are most eminent amongst them, that so he and such, who 
though sound, yet were weak in the faith, might fall away 
and perish, but that even such also, who were lifted up nearer 
unto heaven than their fellows, might through carelessness 
and carnal security, dash themselves in pieces against the 
same stone, and make shipwreck of their souls, as well as they.' 

Ans. 1. The house built on the sand, may oftentimes be 
built higher, have more fair parapets and battlements, v/in- 
dows and ornaments, than that which is built upon the 
rock ; yet all gifts and privileges, equal not one grace, in 
respect of light, knowledge, gifts, and many manifestations 
of the Spirit ; such who never come up to that faith which 
gives real union and communion with Jesus Christ, may far 
outgo those that do. 

2. That there is any thing mentioned, or any characters 
given of believers, much less such as are singular and not 
common to all, Mr. G. hath not in any measure been able to 
evince. There is not the meanest believer in the world but 
he is a child of God, and heir of the promises, and brother 
of the Lord Christ ; hath union with him, hath his living in 
him, is quickened, justified, sanctified, hath Christ made to 
him wisdom, &c. hath his righteousness in God, and his life 
hid in him in Christ, is passed from death to life, brings 
forth fruit, and is dear to God as the apple of his eye, ac- 
cepted with him, approved of him, as his temple wherein 


he delighteth to dwell. That any thing in this place men- 
tioned and insisted on, any characters we have given of the 
persons whom we have considered, do excel or equal, or 
denote any thing in the same kind, with these and the like 
excellencies of the meanest believers, will never be proved, 
if we may judge of future successes from the issue of all 
former attempts for that end and purpose. 

And this is the issue of Mr. Goodwin's third testimony 
produced to confirm the doctrine of the saints' apostacy, 
but hypothetically, and under such a form of expression as 
may not be argued from, nor of saints and true believers at 
all. His fourth followeth. 

His fourth testimony he produceth, and endeavours to ma- 
nage for the advantage of his cause, sect. 31. in these words : 
* The next Scripture testimony we shall produce and 
briefly urge in the cause now under maintenance, is in the 
same epistle with the former, and speaketh these words : 
Now the just shall live by faith, but if any man draw back, 
my soul shall have no pleasure in him. Our English trans- 
lators, out of good will, doubtless, to a bad cause, have al- 
most defaced this testimony, by substituting any man for 
the just man, for whereas they translate. But if any man 
draw back, the original readeth, kol Uiv wTrotrrt/XrjTat, i. e. 
and if, or but if, he, i. e, the just man who should live by 
his faith, viz. if he continues in it, shall draw back. Beza 
himself likewise before them, had stained the honour of his 
faithfulness, with the same blot in his triinslation. But the 
mind of the Holy Ghost in the words is plain and without 
parable ; viz. that if the just man who lives, i. e. who at pre- 
sent enjoys the favour of God, and thereby is supported in 
all his trials, and should live always by his faith, if he con- 
tinues in it, as Parens well glosseth, shall draw back, or 
shall be withdrawn, viz. through fear or sloth, (as the word 
properly signifieth ; see Acts xx. 27.) from his believing, my 
soul shall have no pleasure in him, i. e. (according to the 
import of the Hebraism) my soul shall hate or abhor him to 
death ; as it is also expounded in the words immediately 
following; But we are not of those who draw back to per- 
dition, but, &c. From hence then evident it is, that such a 
man who is a just or righteous man, and under promise 
of living for ever by his faith (and therefore also, a true and 


sound believer), may draw back, or be withdrawn, to the 
contracting of the hatred of God, and to destruction in the 
end. The forlorn hope of evading, because the sentence is hy- 
pothetical or conditional, not positive, hath been routed over 
andover, yea and is abandoned by some of the great masters 
themselves of that cause, unto the defence whereof it pre- 
tendeth. And however, in this place, it would be most pre- 
posterous. For if it should be supposed, that the just man 
who is in a way and under a promise of living by his faith, 
were in no danger or possibility of drawing back, and that 
to the loss of the favour of God, and ruin of his soul, God 
must be conceived to speak here at no better rate of wisdom 
or understanding, than thus; The just shall live by his 
faith : but if he shall do that, which is simply and utterly 
impossible for him to do, my soul shall have no pleasure in 
him. What savour of wisdom, yea or~of common sense, 
is there in admonishing or cautioning men against such evils, 
which there is no possibility for them to fall into, yea and 
this known unto themselves ? Therefore this testimony, for 
confirmation of the doctrine we maintain, is like a king upon 
his throne, against whom there is no rising up.' 

Ans. What small cause Mr. Goodwin hath to quarrel 
with Bezaor other translators, and with how little advantage 
to his cause this text is produced, shall out of hand be made 

1 . The words as they cry are, 'O dl SiKotoc t/c iriaTewg ^T/o-tTot, 
Koi lav vTTOCTTeiXriTai, ovk evSofcei 17 ^wx*'/ i"^" ^^ avTi^' r}fj.HQ Si 
oi/K £<T/L(£V vTToaToArig elg cnrtoXnav, aWa TTicmojg elg 7repnroii]cnv 
xpvxriQ- In the foregoing part of the chapter, tlie apostle had 
treated of two sorts of persons : 1. Such as to forsake the as- 
semblies of the saints, withdrew from the church and ordi- 
nances of Christ; and so by degrees fell off with a total and 
everlasting backsliding ; of these the apostle speaks, de- 
scribing their ways and end, from ver. 25. unto ver.32. thence 
forward. 2. He speaks to them and of them, who abode in their 
persecutions, and under all their afflictions, to hold fast their 
confidence, which he also farther exhorts them to, that by 'pa- 
tient abiding in well-doing, they might receive the reward ;' 
concerning these both, having told them of the unshaken 
kingdom of Christ, that should be brought in, notwithstand- 
ing the apostacy of many, of whose iniquity God would take 


vengeance on ; he lays down that eminent promise of the 
gospel, * the just by faith shall live,' words often used to ex- 
press the state and condition of believers, of those who are 
truly and unfeignedly so ; the Lord being faitb.ful in his 
promise, ' the.ijustified person shall live,' or obtain life ever- 
lasting. It is the promise of eternal life, that is here given 
them, as that which they had not as yet received, but in 
patience they were to wait to receive, after they had done the 
whole will of God : that any of these should so draw back, 
as that the Lord's soul should have no pleasure in them, is 
directly contrary to the promise here made of their living. 
The particle icai, in the next words, is plainly adversative 
and exceptive, as it is very many times in the New Testa- 
ment ; and that as to the persons of whom he is speaking : 
at Zif^erai, tlie period is full, the description of the state of 
the just by faith is completed, and in the next words, the 
state of backsliders is entered upon; koX mv vTroorfiArjrat 
referring to them, whom by their apostacy and subduction 
of themselves from Christian assemblies, he had before de- 
scribed ; there is an ellipsis in the words to be supplied, 
but some indefinite term, to give them the sense intended : 
this Beza and our translators have done by that excepted 
against causelessly by Mr. G. for if a translator may make 
the text speak significantly in the language whereunto he 
translates it, the introduction of such supplements is al- 
lowed him. 

2. The following expression puts it out of all question, 
that this was the intendment of the apostle ; for he expressly 
makes mention, and that in reference to what was spoken 
before of two sorts of people, to whom his former expressions 
are respectively to be accommodated ; the words are i]idHg Se 
ovK, as above. Mr. Goodwin, to make us believe that he took 
notice of these words, hath this passage of them (as it is 
also expounded in the words immediately following), but we 
are not of them who draw back to perdition ; but, &.c. but 
what, I pray, is expounded in these words; 'that drawers 
back shall be destroyed V this is all he takes notice of in 
them. Evidently the words are an application of the former 
assertions unto several persons : there are, says he, some 
who are ttjq viroaToXrjgi and some that arerij^ tt'kttewq: those, 
saith he, who are r>)c virotrroXrig, they shall be destroyed , 


those who are tij^ tt'kttbwc, they shall live ; evidently and be- 
yond all contradiction, assigning his former assertions of, 
*the just shall live by faith/ and, 'if any man shall draw 
back/ to several persons, by a distribution of their lot and 
portions to them. In ver. 28. he lays dowi;^in thesis the 
state and condition of believers and backslid rs : in ver. 29. 
he makes application of the position he laid down to him- 
self and them; 1. Negatively, that they were not of the 
former sort of them that draw back, &c. 2. PositiTely, that 
they were of the rest of them that believed : and those ex- 
pressions, ver. 29. ouk tafx^v vTToaToXfjg, uXXu iriaTtiog, do un- 
deniably affirm two sorts of. persons in both places to be 
spoken of, and that lav viroaTeiXriTai can by no means be- re- 
ferred to our diKmog, which would intermix them, whom 
the apostle as to their present state and future condition, 
held out in a contradistinction one to the other, unto the 
end. All that ensues in Mr. Goodwin's discourse, being 
built upon this sandy foundation, that it is the believer, of 
whom God affirms that he shall live by faith, who is sup- 
posed to be Trig viroaroXng, contrary to the express assertion 
of the apostle, it needs no farther consideration, although 
he is not able to manifest any strength in conclusion drawn 
from suppositions of events, whicli may be possible in one 
sense, and in another impossible. 

But before we pass farther, may not this witness which 
Mr. Goodwin hath attempted in vain to suborn to appear 
and speak in his cause, be demanded what he can speak, 
or what he knows of the truth of that which he is produced 
to oppose. This then it confesseth and deniethnot, at first 
word, that of professors there are two sorts; some are vtroaro- 
\r]g, of such as do or may draw back unto perdition ; some 
iriaTSwg, which believe to the saving of the soul, and that in 
opposition to the others. Also, that those who withdraw 
are not tticttewc, not true believers, nor ever were, notwith- 
standing all their profession and what their gifts and attain- 
ments, in and under their profession. So that the testimony 
produced, keepeth still its place, and is ' as a king upon his 
throne, against whom there is no rising up/ but yet speaks 
quite contrary, clearly, evidently, distinctly, to what is pre- 
tended ; both on the one hand and the other, is our thesis 
undeniably confirmed in ihis place of the apostle. If all 


those who fall away to perdition were never truly or really 
of the faith, then those who are of the fa,ith cannot fall away ; 
but they who fall away to perdition, were never truly nor 
really of the faith, or true believers, ergo. The reason 
of the consequent of the first proposition is evident; for 
their not being of the faith is plainly included as the rea- 
son of their apostacy, and their being of the faith, intimated 
as that which would have preserved them from such de- 
fection ; the minor is the apostles, we are not wTroo-roXfjCj 
of them that draw back, but of them that believe, which 
plainly distinguisheth them that draw back from believers. 
Again, if true believers shall live, and continue to the saving 
of their souls, in opposition to them that fall away to per- 
dition, then they shall certainly persevere in their faith : 
for these two are but one and the same ; but that true be- 
lievers shall live, and believe to the saving of their souls, in 
opposition to them that draw back, or subduct themselves 
to perdition, is the assertion of the Holy Ghost ; ergo. I pre- 
sume by this time Mr. Goodwin is plainly convinced that 
indeed he had as good, yea and much better, for the advan- 
tage of his cause in hand, have let his witness have abode in 
quietness, and not entreated him so severely to denounce 
judgment against that doctrine which he seeks by him to 

Sect. 32. the parable of the stony ground. Matt. xiii. 20, 
21. comes next to consideration; the words chosen to be 
insisted on are in the verses mentioned, ' but he that received 
the seed into stony places, is he that heareth the word, and 
anon with joy receiveth it, yet hath he not root in himself, 
but dureth for awhile,' &c. That by the stony ground is meant 
true believers, is that which Mr. Goodwin undertakes to prove : 
but how in his whole discourse, J profess I perceive not : I 
must take leave to profess that I cannot find any thing 
looking like a proof or argument to evince it, from the be- 
ginning to the end of this discourse, though something be 
offered to take off the arguments that are used to prove it 
to be otherwise. Doth Mr. Goodwin think that men will 
easily believe that faith, which hath neither root, fruit, nor 
continuance, to be true and saving faith ? doubtless they 
might have very low apprehensions of saving faith, union 
with Christ, justification, sanctification, adoption, &,c. 


wherewith it is attended, who can once entertain any such 
imaoination : that which is tendered to induce us to such a 
persuasion, tuay briefly be considered. 

Saith he, sect. 32. 'Now" those signified by the stony 
ground, he expressly calleth irpoaKaipovg, i. e. persons who 
continue for a time, or a season, i. e. (as Luke explaineth), 
6i TTpbg Kuipbv TTKTTevovui, who believe for a season, so that 
those who only for a time believe, and afterward make de- 
fection from Christ, and from the gospel, are nevertheless 
numbered and ranked by him amongst believers. The words 
in Luke are very particular. They on the rock, are they 
which when they hear, receive the word with joy; and those 
have no root, which for awhile believe, and in time of 
temptation fall away. From whence it appears, that the 
hearers here described, are not compared to the rock or 
stony ground, for the hardness of their hearts, forasmuch 
as they are said to receive the word with joy, which argues 
an ingenuity and teachableness of spirit in them ; and is 
elsewhere (viz. Acts ii. 41.) taken knowledge of by the Holy 
Ghost, as an index or sign of a true believer ; but for such a 
property, disposition, or temper as this ; viz. not to give or 
afford the word so received, a radication in their hearts and 
souls, so intimous, serioug, and solid, which should be suffi- 
cient to maintain their belief of it, and good affections to it, 
against all such occurrences in the world, which may oppose, 
or attempt either the one or the other.' 

^Hs. 1. The first reason intimated, is, that they are said 
to be irpocTKaipoi, a term given them plainly to distinguish 
them from true believers ; men that make a profession for a 
season, expressly opposed to them who receive the word in 
good and honest hearts. If the word had denoted any ex- 
cellency, any thing that was good in them, then there had 
been some pretence to have insisted on it, to prove them 
true believers ; but to demonstrate the truth of their faith 
from their hypocrisy, and their excellencies from that which 
expressly denotes their unworthiness, is a strange way of 
arguing. They are persons, saith our Saviour, that make 
profession for a little while, and then decay, not like them 
who receive the word in good and honest souls ; therefore 
saith Mr. G. they are true believers ; but, 

2. In Luke they are said to believe for a season : Mr. 


Goodwin is not now to learn, how often in the Scripture they 
are said to believe, who only profess the faith of the gospel, 
though the root of the matter be not in them ; that of 
John ii. 23 — 25. may suffice for undeniable instance ; or John 
vi. 64. may farther expound it : their believing for a season, 
is but the lifeless, worthless, fruitless profession for a season, 
as their destruction from the good ground doth manifest. 

3. They are said to 'receive the word with joy, which ar- 
gues ingenuity and tractableness of spirit in them :' no more 
than in Herod, who heard the word gladly ; or in the Jews, 
when the preaching of Ezekiel was pleasant or desirable to 
thenl; or those described, Isa. Iviii. 2. 'who sought God 
daily,' and delighted to know his ways, in the midst of their 
abominable practices. From the similitude itself, he yet far- 
ther attempts this uncouth assertion. 

' But as the blade which springs from one and the same 
kind of seed, as suppose from wheat or any other grain, 
though sown in different, yea or contrary soils, is yet of the 
same species or kind, the nature of the soil not changing the 
specifical nature of the seed that is sown in it, and God 
giving to every seed its own body, of what temper soever 
the ground is, where it is sown : in like manner that faith, 
which springs from the same seed of the gospel must needs 
be of one and the same nature and kind, though this seed be 
sown in the hearts of never so differing a constitution and 
frame; the temper of the heart, be it what it will not 
being able specifically to alter either the gospel or the na- 
tural fruit issuing from it. And as a blade or ear of wheat, 
though it be blasted before the harvest, is not hereby proved 
not to have been a true blade or ear of wheat before it was 
blasted, in like manner the withering or decay of any man's 
faith, by what means or occasion soever, before his death, 
doth not prove it to have been a false, counterfeit, or hypo- 
critical faith, or a faith of any other kind than that which is 
true, real, and permanent unto the end.' 

Ans. 1. It hath been formerly observed, that similitudes 
are not argumentative, beyond the extent of that particular 
wherein their nature, as such, doth consist. The intend- 
ment of Christ in this parable, is to manifest that many hear 
the word in vain, and bring forth no fruit of it at all : of 


these, one sort is compared to stony ground, that brings 
forth a blade, but no fruit : no fruit, is no spirit, though 
there be a blade, or no blade. The difference between the 
one's receiving of seed, and the others manifested by our 
Saviour in this parable, is in this, that one brings forth fruit, 
and the other doth not : farther, the seed of wheat, or the 
like brings forth its fruit in a natural way ; and, therefore, 
whatever it brings forth, follows in some measure the nature 
of the seed, but that seed of the gospel brings forth its fruit 
in a moral way, and therefore may have effects of sundry na- 
tures ; that which the seed of wheat brings forth is wheat, 
but that which the gospel brings forth is not gospel but 
faith, besides what the wheat brings forth, if it come not, 
nor ever will to be wheat in the ear, it is but grass, and not 
of the same nature and kind, with that which is wheat ac- 
tually, though virtually and originally there be the nature of 
wheat in the root, yet actually wheat is not in the blade, that 
hath not, nor ever will have ear. If the seed of wheat be so 
corrupted in the soil where it is sown, that it cannot bring- 
forth fruit, that which it doth bring forth, whatever it be, is 
of a different nature from that which is brought forth to per- 
fection, by the seed of wheat in good ground. Again, faith 
is brought forth by the seed of the gospel, when the promises 
and exhortations of the gospel being preached unto men, do 
prevail on them, to give assent unto the truth of it: that 
every such effect wrought, is true justifying faith, giving 
union with Jesus Christ, Mr. Goodwin cannot prove ; that 
effects specifically different, may be brought forth by the 
same seed of the gospel, seeing to some it is a savour of life 
unto life, and to some a savour of death unto death, needs 
not much proving. Some receive the word, and turn it into 
wantonness, some are cast into the mould of it, and are trans- 
lated into the same image; if the temper of the heart, as is 
said, is not able specifically to alter the gospel : but that 
there may not fruit of various kinds be born in the heart 
that assents to it, that receives it in the upper crust and 
skin of it, is the question. Neither is it a blade occasionally 
withering before the harvest, but a slight receiving of the 
seed, so as that it can never bring forth fruit that is inti- 
mated. In sum, tliis whole discourse is a great piece of so- 
phistry, in comparing natural and moral causes in the pro- 


ducing of their effects, a thing not intended in the parable, 
and whereabout he that will busy himself, ' jungat vulpes, et 
mulgeathircos.' This is that which our Saviour teacheth us 
in the similitude of seed sown in the stony ground. The 
word is preached unto some men, who are affected with it 
for a season, assent unto it, but not coming up to a cordial 
close with it, after awhile wither away : and such as these, 
we say, were never true believers : a small matter will serve 
to make a man a true believer, if these are such. What ten- 
dency this doctrine may have to lull men asleep in security, 
when Christ is not in them of a truth, may easily appear 
and be judged : if men who are distinguished from other be- 
lievers, by such signal differences as these here are, may 
yet pass for true believers, justified, sanctified, adopted 
ones, ' solvi mortales curas,' the way to heaven is laid open 
to thousands, who I fear will never come to the end of the 

What remains of Mr. G.'s discourse on this text, is spent 
in answering some objections which are made against his 
interpretation of the place ; it grows now late, and this task 
grows so heavy on my hand, that I cannot satisfy myself 
in the repetition of any thing spoken before, or delivered, 
which would necessarily enforce a particular consideration 
of what Mr. G. here insists on, let him at his leisure an- 
swer this one argument, and I shall trouble him no farther 
in this matter. 

That faith which hath neither root nor fruit, neither sound 
heart, nor good life, that by and by, readily and easily yields 
upon temptation to a total defection, is not true, saving, jus- 
tifying faith. The root of faith, taken spiritually, is the 
habit of it in the heart ; a spiritual living habit, which if it 
reside not in the heart, all assent whatever wants the nature 
of faith, true and saving; the fruits of faith are good works 
and new obedience ; that faith which hath not works, James 
tells you, is dead ; dead and living faith doubtless differ 
specifically. Again, faith purifieth the heart, and when a 
heart is wholly polluted, corrupted, naught and false, there 
dwells no faith in that heart; it is impossible it should be 
in a heart, and not at least radically and fundamentally pu- 
rify it : farther, Mr. Goodwin hath told us, that true believers 
are so fortified against apostacy, that they are in only a pos- 


sibility, in no probability, or great danger of" total apos- 
tacy : and, therefore, they who presently and readily fall 
away, cannot be of those, who are scarce in any danger of so 
doing, upon any account whatever: but that the faith here 
mentioned, hath neither root nor fruit, good heart to dwell 
in, nor good life attending it, but instantly upon trial aiid 
temptation, vanisheth to nothing, we are taught in the text 
itself: therefore, the faith here mentioned, is not true nor 
saving faith. That it hath no root is expressly affirmed, ver. 
21. and all the rest of the qualities mentioned are evidenced 
from the opposition wherein they who are these believers, 
are set unto true believers, they receive the word in ' good 
and honest hearts/ they bring * forth fruit with patience,' 
they ' endure in time of trial ;' like the house built on the 
rock, when the house built on the sand falls to the ground. 

One word more with this witness before we part : they 
who receive the word in good and honest hearts, and keep 
it, do bring forth fruit with patience, and fall not away under 
temptation. So saith the testimony; but all true believers 
receive the word in good and honest hearts : ergo. Which 
is the voice of Mr. Goodwin's fourth witness in this cause. 

The 2 Pet. ii. 18 — 22. is forced to bring up the rear of 
the testimonies by Mr. G. produced to convince the world of 
the truth and righteousness of his doctrine of the saints 
apostacy, ending his whole discourse in the mire. Observa- 
tions from the text or context, from the words themselves, 
or the coherence to educe his conclusion from, he insists 
not on. Many excellent words we have concerning the clear- 
ness and evidence of this testimony, and the impossibility 
of avoiding what hence he concludes, w« want not, but we 
have been too often inured to such a way of proceeding to 
be now moved at it, or troubled about it, were the waters 
deep, they would not make such a noise. The state and 
condition of men here described by the apostle, is so justly 
delineated to the eye, by the practice of men in the world 
to whom the gospel is preached, that I do not a little won- 
der how any man exercised in the ministry, should once sur- 
mise that they are true believers of whom he here treats ; 
taking the words in the sense wherein they are commonly 
received, and in the utmost extent, who sees them not daily 
exemplified in and upon them, who are yet far enough from 


the faith of God's elect. By the dispensation of the word, 
especially when managed by a skilful master of assemblies, 
men are every day so brought under the power of their con- 
victions, and the light communicated to them, as to ackwow- 
ledge the truth and power of the word, and in obedience, 
thereunto to leave off, avoid, and abhor the ways and courses 
wherein the men of the world, either not hearing the word 
at all, or not so wrought upon by it, do pollute themselves 
and wallow with all manner of sensuality ; and yet are not 
changed in their natures, so as to become new creatures, but 
continue indeed, and in the sight of God, dogs and swine, 
oftentimes returning to their vomit and mire, though some 
of them hold out in the professions to the end ; and these 
are they, whom commonly our divines have deciphered un- 
der the name of formalists, having a ' form of godliness but 
denying the power of it,' who are here all at once by Mr. 
Goodwin interested in Christ, and ' the inheritance of the 
saints in light.' To make good his enterprise he argues from 
the remonstrants, sect. 40. p. 297. 

' 1. If the said expressions import nothing, but what hy- 
pocrites, and that' in sensucomposito,' i. e. whilst hypocrites, 
are capable of, then may those be hypocrites, who are sepa- 
rated from men that live in error, and from the pollutions of 
the world, and that through the knowledge of Jesys Christ: 
and on the other hand those may be saints, and sound be- 
lievers, who wallow in all manner of filthiness, and defile 
themselves daily with the pollutions of the world. This 
consequence, according to the principles and known tenets 
of our adversaries, is legitimate and true, inasmuch as they 
hold that true believers may fall so foul and so far, that the 
church, according to Christ's institution may be constrained 
to testify that they cannot bear them in their outward com- 
munion, and that they shall have no part in the kingdom of 
Christ, except they repent, &c. But whether this be whole- 
some and sound divinity or no, to teach that they who are 
separate from sinners, and live holily and blamelessly in this 
present world, and this by means of the knowledge of Jesus 
Christ, may be hypocrites and children of perdition, and they 
on the other hand who are companions of thieves, mur- 
derers, adulterers, &c. saints and sound believers, I leave to 



men whose judgments are not turned upside down with pre- 
judice to determine.' 

1. Sundry things might be observed from the text, to 
render this discourse altogether useless, as to the end for 
which itis produced : as 1. That sundry copies, ver. 13. in- 
stead of o\u)g read oXiyov, who almost, or in a little way or 
measure, so escaped as is said. 2. That it is not said, that 
those who are so escaped may apostatize ; it is said, indeed, 
that the false prophets and teachers, deXea^ovaiv do lay baits 
for them, as the fisher doth for the fish that he would take, 
by proposing unto them a liberty, as to all manner of impu- 
rity and uncleanness, but that in so doing, they prevail over 
them is not affirmed. 3. The conditional expression, ver. 
20. may be used in reference to the false prophets, and not 
to them that are said to ' escape the pollutions of the world;' 
and if to them, that nothing can be argued from thence, hath 
plentifully upon .several occasions been already demon- 
strated: but to suffer Mr. B. to leap over all these blots in his 
entrance, and to take the words in his own sense and con- 
nexion ; I say, 

1. In what large and improper sense, such persons as we 
treat of, are termed hypocrites, hatli been declared. Those 
who pretend to be godward, what they knew themselves not 
to be, making a pretence of religion, to colour and counte- 
nance themin vice and vicious practises, or sensual courses, 
wherein they allow and bless themselves, we intend not : but 
such as in some sincerity, under the enjoyment and improve- 
ment of gifts and privileges, do or may walk conscientiously, 
as Paul before his conversion, and yet are not unitedto Christ. 

2. Of these we say, that they may so escape, &c. but 
that sound believers, may wallow in all manner of sinfulness, 
and defile themselves with all manner of pollutions, we say 
not : nor will any instance given amount to the height and 
intendment of those expressions, they being all alleviated 
by sundry considerations, necessarily to be taken in with 
that of their sinning. 

3. If we may compare the worst of a saint, with the best 
of a formal professor, and make an estimate of the states 
and conditions of them both, we may cast the ballance on 
the wrong side. 


4. We do say that Simon Peter was a believer when he 
denied Christ, and Simon Magus a hypocrite, and 'in the 
bond of iniquity, when it was said he believed. We do say, 
that a man may be alive notwithstanding many wounds and 
much filth upon him, and a man may be dead, without either 
the one or the other, in that eminently visible manner. He 

' 2. The'persons here spoken of, are said to have, ovrwg, 
truly and really escaped from those, who live in error. 
Doubtless a hypocrite cannot be said, truly or really, but in 
shew or appearance at most, to have made such an escape 
(I mean from men who live in error), considering that for 
matter of reality and truth, remaining in hypocrisy, he lives 
in one of the greatest and foulest errors that is.' 

The whole force of this second exception, lies upon the 
ambiguity of the term ' hypocrite ;' though such as pretend 
religion, and the worship of God, to be a colour and pretext 
for the free and uncontroled practising of vile abomina- 
tions, may not be said so to escape it, yet such as these we 
have before described, with their convictions, light, gifts, 
duties, good conscience, &c. may truly and really escape 
from them, and their ways who pollute themselves with the 
errors of idolatry, false-worship, superstition, and the pollu- 
tions of practices against the light of nature, and their own 
convictions. It is added that, 

* 3. A hypocrite, whose foot is already in the snare of 
death, cannot upon any tolerable account, either of reason 
or common sense, be said to be allured (i. e. by allurements 
to be deceived) or overcome by the pollutions of the world, 
no more than a fish that is already in the net, or fast upon 
the hook, can be said to be allured by a bait held to her.' 

Arts. But he that hath been so far prevailed upon by the 
preaching of the word, as to relinquish and renounce the 
practices of uncleanness; wherein he sometime wallowed 
and rolled himself, may be prevailed upon and overcome by 
temptations, to backslide into the same abominable prac- 
tices, wherein he was formerly engaged, deserting that way 
and course of attending to the word, and yielding obedience 
thereunto, which he had entertained, that in its own nature 
tended to a better end. 

y 2 


4. Says he, ' Hypocrites are nowhere said, neither can 
they w'tih. any congruity to Scripture phrase, be said to have 
escaped the pollutions of the world through the acknowledg- 
ment (for so the word tTrtyvwcrif,- should be translated) of Jesus 
Christ, the acknowledgment of the truth, and so of Christ 
and of God, constantly in the Scriptures, importing a sound 
and saving work of conversion : as we lately observed in this 
chap. sect. 20.' 

Ans. It sufficeth that the thing itself intimated, is suffi- 
ciently revealed in the Scriptures, and confirmed by the ex- 
amples of all those who have acknowledged the truth of the 
word to the putting on a form of godliness, though they 
come not up to the power or saving practice of it ; and truly 
I cannot but admit, that any one who hath had never so lit- 
tle experience in the work of the ministry, or made never so 
little observation of religion, should once suppose that all 
such persons must needs be accounted true believers, re- 
generate, &c. 

Mr. Goodwin shuts up this chapter with a declaration 
concerning the usefulness of cautions and admonitions given 
to believers, about backsliding, upon a supposition of an in- 
fallible - promise of God for their perseverance. I presume 
the reader is weary as well as myself, and having in the last 
chapter, heard him out to the full, what he is able to say to 
this common-place of opposition to the doctrine we have 
thus far asserted, and offered those considerations of the 
ways of God's dealings with believers, to preserve them in 
the course of their obedience, and walking with him which 
I hope, through the mercy and goodness of God, may be sa- 
tisfactory to them that shall weigh them, I shall not burden 
him with the repetition of any thing already delivered, nor 
do judge it needful for to add any thing more. 











Christiax Readeu, 

I SH7\.LL in a few words acquaint thee with the rea- 
sons that obtained my consent to the publishing of the 
ensuing discourse. The consideration of the present 
state and condition of the generality of professors, the 
visible evidences of the frame of their hearts and 
spirits, manifesting a great disability of dealing with 
the temptations, wherewith from the peace they have 
in the world, and the divisions that they have among 
themselves, they are encompassed, holds the chief place 
amongst them. This I am assured is of so great im- 
portance, that if hereby I only occasion others to press 
more effectually on the consciences of men, the work 
of considering their ways, and to give more clear di- 
rection for the compassing of the end proposed, I shall 
well esteem of my lot in this undertaking. This was 
seconded by an observation of some men's dangerous 
mistakes, who of late days have taken upon them to 
give directions for the mortification of sin, who being 
unacquainted with the mystery of the gospel, and the 
efficacy of the death of Christ, have anew imposed the 
yoke of a self-wrought-out mortification on the necks 
of their disciples, which neither they, nor their fore- 
fathers were ever able to bear. A mortification they 
cry up and press, suitable to that of the gospel, neither 
in respect of nature, subject, causes, means, nor effects ; 


which constantly produces the deplorable issues of su- 
perstition, self-righteousness, and anxiety of conscience, 
in them who take up the burden which is so bound 
for them. 

What is here proposed in weakness, I humbly hope 
will answer the spirit and letter of the gospel, with the 
experiences of them, who know what it is to walk with 
God, according to the tenor of the covenant of grace. 
So that if not this, yet certainly something of this kind is 
very necessary at this season, for the promotion and 
furtherance of this work of gospel mortification in the 
hearts of believers, and their direction in paths safe, 
and wherein they may find rest to their souls. Some- 
thing I have to add, as to what in particular relates 
unto myself. Having preached on this subject unto 
some comfortable success, through the grace of him 
that administereth seed to the sower, I was pressed by 
sundry persons, in whose hearts are the ways of God, 
thus to publish what I had delivered, with such ad- 
ditions and alterations, as I should judge necessary. 
Under the inducement of their desires, I called to re- 
membrance the debt, wherein I have now for some 
years stood engaged unto sundry noble and worthy 
Christian friends, as to a treatise of communion with God, 
some while since promised to them ;* and thereon ap- 
prehended, that if 1 could not hereby compound for the 
greater debt, yet I might possibly tender them this dis- 
course of variance with themselves, as interest for their 
forbearance of that of peace and communion with God. 
Besides, I considered that I had been providentially 
engaged in the public debate of sundry controversies 

* Since the first edition of IhU treatise, that other also is published. 


in religion, which might seem to claim something in 
another kind, of more general use, as a fruit of choice, 
not necessity : on these and the like accounts, is this 
short discourse brought forth to public view, and now 
presented unto thee. I hope I may own in sincerity, 
that my heart's desire unto God, and the chief design 
of my life in the station wherein the good providence 
of God hath placed me, are, that mortification and uni- 
versal holiness may be promoted in my own, and in 
the hearts and ways of others, to the glory of God, that 
so the gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, 
may be adorned in all things ; for the compassing of 
which end, if this little discourse (of the publishing 
whereof this is the sum of the account I shall give) may 
in any thing be useful to the least of the saints, it will 
be looked on as a return of the weak prayers, where- 
with it is attended by its unworthy author, 







Thefoundationof the whole ensuing discourse laid in Rom. viii. 13, The 
■words of the apostle opened. The certain connexion between true morti- 
fication and salvation. Mortification the work of believers. The Spirit 
the principle efficient cause of it. What meant by the body in the words 
of the apostle. What by the deeds of the body. Life in what sense pro- 
mised to this duty. 

That what I have of direction to contribute to the carrying 
on of the work of mortification in believers, may receive 
order and perspicuity, I shall lay the foundation of it in 
those words of the apostle^ Rom. viii. 13. *If ye by the 
Spirit do mortify the deeds of the flesh, ye shall live ;' and 
reduce the whole to an improvement of the great evangelical 
truth and mystery contained in them. 

The apostle having made a recapitulation of his doctrine 
of justification by faith, and the blessed estate and condition 
of them, who are made by grace partakers thereof, ver. 1 — 
3. of this chapter, proceeds to improve it to the holiness and 
consolation of believers. 

Among his arguments and motives unto holiness,' the 
verse mentioned containeth one, from the contrary events 
and effects of holiness and sin. ' If ye live after the flesh, ye 
shall die.' What it is to ' live after the flesh,' and what it is 
to * die,' that being not my present aim and business, I shall 
no otherwise explain, than as they will fall in with the sense 
of the latter words of the verse, as before proposed. 

In the words peculiarly designed for the foundation of 
the ensuing discourse, there is. 

First, A duty prescribed ; ' mortify the deds of the body.' 

Secondly, The persons are denoted to whom it is pre- 
scribed ; ' ye, if ye mortify.' 


Thirdly, There is in them a promise annexed to that 
duty; ' ye shall live.' 

Fourthly, The cause or means of the performance of 
this duty, the Spirit; *if ye through the Spirit,' 

Fifthly, The conditionality of the whole proposition, 
wherein duty, means, and promise are contained ; * if ye,' 8cc. 

1. The first thing occurring in the words as they lie 
in the entire proposition, is the conditional note, el St, * but if.' 
Conditionals in such propositions may denote two things, 

(1.) The uncertainty of the event or thing promised, in 
respect of them to whom the duty is prescribed. And this 
takes place where the condition is absolutely necessary unto 
the issue, and depends not itself on any determinate cause, 
known to him to whom it is prescribed. So we say, 'if we 
live, we will do such a thing.' This cannot be the intend- 
ment of the conditional expression in this place. Of the 
persons to whom these words are spoken, it is said, ver. 1. of 
the same chapter, 'There is no condemnation to them.' 

(2.) The certainty of the coherence and connexion that 
is between the things spoken of. As we say to a sick man, 
If you will take such a potion, or use such a remedy, you 
will be well. The thing we solely intend to express, is the 
certainty of the connexion that is between the potion or re- 
medy, and health. And this is the use of it here. The cer- 
tain connexion that is between the mortifying of the deeds 
of the body, and living, is intimated in this conditional 

Now the connexion and coherence of things being ma- 
nifold, as of cause and effect, of way and means, and the 
end ; this between mortification and life, is not of cause and 
effect properly and strictly ; ' For eternal life is the gift of 
God through Jesus Christ;' Rom. vi. 23. but of means and 
end. God hath appointed this means for the attaining that 
end, which he hath freely promised. Means, though ne- 
cessary, have a fair subordination to an end of free promise. 
A gift and procuring cause in him to whom it is given, are 
inconsistent. The intendment then of this proposition, as 
conditional, is, that there is a certain infallible connexion 
and coherence between true mortification and eternal life : 
if you use this means, you shall obtain that end ; if you do 
mortify, you shall live. And herein lies the main motive 
unto, and enforcement of the duty prescribed. 


2. The next thing we meet withal in the words is, the 
persons to whom this duty is prescribed ; and that is ex- 
pressed in the word 'ye,' in the original included in the 
verb, ^avciTovTe, ' if ye mortify ;' that is, ye believers ; ye to 
whom * there is no condemnation,' ver. 1. ye that are * not in 
the flesh, butin the Spirit,' ver. 5. who are 'quickened by 
the Spirit of Christ,' ver. 10, 11. to you is this duty pre- 
scribed. The pressing of this duty immediately on any 
other is a notable fruit of that superstition and self-righte- 
ousness that the world is full of; the great work and design 
of devout men ignorant of the gospel; Rom. x. 3, 4. John 
XV. 5, Now, this description of the persons, in conjunction 
with the prescription of the duty, is the main foundation of 
the ensuing discourse, as it lies in this thesis or proposition. 

The choicest believers, who are assuredly freed from the 
condemning power of sin, ought yet to make it their busi- 
ness, all their days, to mortify the indwelling power of sin. 

3. The principal efficient cause of the performance of 
this duty, is the Spirit; d dlTrvev/naTi, 'if by the Spirit.' 
The Spirit here is the Spirit mentioned, ver. 11. the Spirit 
of Christ, the Spirit of God, that ' dwells in us,' ver. 9. that 
' quickens us,* ver. 11. ' the Holy Ghost,' ver. 14. the ' Spirit 
of adoption,' ver. 15. the Spirit 'that maketh intercession 
for us,' ver. 26. All other ways of mortification are vain, all 
helps leave us helpless, it must be done by the Spirit. Men, 
as the apostle? intimates, Rom. ix. 30 — 32. may attempt 
this work on "other principles, by means and advantages 
administered on other accounts, as they always have done, 
and do ; but, saith he, this is the work of the Spirit, by him 
alone is it to be wrought, and by no other power is it to 
be brought about. Mortification from a self-strength, car- 
ried on by ways of self-invention, unto the end of a self- 
righteousness, is the soul and substance of all false religion 
in the world. And this is a second principle of my en- 
suing discourse. 

4. The duty itself; ' Mortify the deeds of the body,' is 
nextly to be remarked. 

Three things are here to be inquired into. (1.) What is 
meant by the body. (2.) What by the deeds of the body. 
(3.) What by mortifying of them. 

(1.) The body in the close of the verse, is the same with 


the flesh in the beginning. ' If ye live after the flesh, ye 
shall die/ but if ye * mortify the deeds of the body/ that is, 
of the flesh. It is that which the apostle hath all along dis- 
coursed of, under the name of the flesh, which is evident 
from the prosecution of the antithesis between the Spirit and 
the flesh, before and after. The body then here is taken for 
that corruption and depravity of our natures, whereof the 
body in a great part, is the seat and instrument : the very 
members of the body being made servants unto unrighteous- 
ness thereby ; Rom. vi. 19. It is indwelling sin, the cor- 
rupted flesh or lust, that is intended. Many reasons might 
be given of this metonymical expression, that I shall not 
now insist on. The body here is the same with TraXmbg 
av^pwTTog, and aCofxa ttiq afxapTiag, the * old man,' and the 
'body of sin/ Rom. vi. 6. or it may synecdochically express 
the whole person considered as corrupted, and the seat of 
lusts, and distempered affections. 

(2.) The deeds of the body ; the word is vpa^Eig, which 
indeed denoteth the outward actions chiefly. The works of 
the flesh, as they are called, to. epya Tijg aapKoc ; Gal. v. 19. 
which are there said to be manifest; and are enumerated. 
Now, though the outward deeds are here only expressed, 
yet the inward and next causes are chiefly intended, the 'axe 
is to be laid to the root of the tree / the deeds of the flesh 
are to be mortified in their causes, from whence they spring; 
the apostle calls them deeds, as that which every lust tends 
unto; though it do but conceive and prove abortive, it aims 
to bring forth a perfect sin. 

Havino- both in the seventh, and the beg-innins of this 
chapter, treated of indwelling lust and sin, as the fountain 
and principle of all sinful actions, he here mentions its de- 
struction under the name of the effects, which it doth pro- 
duce : TTpa^HQ Tov OMfxaroQ, are as much as (ppwvrjfia Tijg aapKog, 
Rom. viii. 6. the ' wisdom of the flesh,' by a metonymy of 
the same nature with the former ; or as the 7ra3'/j/uara, and 
^iiri^vixiai, the 'passions and lusts of the flesh ;' Gal. v. 24. 
whence the deeds and fruits of it do arise ; and in this sense 
is the body used, ver. 10. ' The body is dead because of sin.' 

(3.) To mortify ; d ^avaTovn, ' if ye put to death ;' a me- 
taphorical expression, taken from the putting of any living 
thing to death. To kill a man, or any other living thing, is 


to take away the principle of all his strength, vigour, and 
power, so that he cannot act or exert, or put forth any proper 
actings of his own ; so it is in this case. Indwelling sin is 
compared to a person, a living person, called ' the old man,' 
with his faculties, and properties, his wisdom, craft, subtlety, 
strength; this, says the apostle, must be killed, put to death, 
mortified, that is, have its power, life, vigour, and strength, to 
produce its effects, taken away by the Spirit. It is indeed, 
meritoriously, and by way of example, utterly mortified and 
slain by the cross of Christ ; and the old man is thence said 
to be 'crucified with Christ;' Rom. vi. 6. and 'ourselves to 
be dead with him;' ver. 8. and really initially in regeneration, 
Rom. vi. 3 — 5. when a principle contrary to it, and destruc- 
tive of it. Gal. V. 17. is planted in our hearts ; but the whole 
work is by degrees to be carried on towards perfection all 
our days. Of this more- in the process of our discourse. 
The intendment of the apostle in this prescription of the 
duty mentioned, is, that the mortification of indwelling sin, 
remaining in our mortal bodies, that it may not have life and 
power to bring forth the works or deeds of the flesh, is the 
constant duty of believers. 

5. The promise unto this duty is life ; * Ye shall live.' The 
life promised, is opposed to the death threatened in the 
clause foregoing. * If ye live after the flesh, ye shall die ;' 
which the same apostle expresseth, * Ye shall of the flesh 
reap corruption;' Gal. vi. 8. or destruction from God. Now, 
perhaps the word may not only intend eternal life, but also 
the spiritual life in Christ, which here we have, not as to the 
essence and being of it, which is already enjoined by be- 
lievers, but as to the joy, comfort, and vigour of it; as the 
apostle says in another case, 'Now I live if ye stand fast;' 
1 Thess. iii. 8. Now my life will do me good ; I shall have 
joy and comfort with my life ; ye shall live, lead a good, 
vigorous, comfortable, spiritual life whilst you are here, and 
obtain eternal life hereafter. 

Supposing what was said before of the connexion be- 
tween mortification and eternal life, as of means and end, I 
shall add only, as a second motive to the duty prescribed, 

The vigour, and power, and comfort, of our spiritual life, 
depends on the mortification of the deeds of the flesh. 



The piiiicipal asse>ti<m conccrnhiy the necessity of mortification proposed to 
confirmation, 31ortifivation the duty of the best believers; Col. iii, 5. 

1 Cor. ix. 27. Indwel/iny sin always abides ; no perfection in this life ; 
Phil. iii. 12. 1 Cor. xiii. 12. 2 Pet. iii. 18. Gal, v. 17, ^r. The activity 
of abiding sin in believers; nom. vii. 23. James iv. 5. Hcb. xii. 1. Its 

fruitfxdness and tendency. Every lust aims at the height in its hind. The 
Spirit and new nature given to contend against indwelling sin ; Gal. v. 17. 

2 Pet. i. 4, 5. Rom. vii. 23. The fearful issue of the neglect of mortifi- 
cation ; Rev. iii. 2. Heb. iii. 13. The first general principle of the whole 
discourse hence confirmed. Want of this duty lamented. 

Having laid this foundation, a brief confirmation of the 
forementioned principal deductions will lead me to what 
I chiefly intend. 

I. That the choicest believers, who are assuredly freed 
from the condemning power of sin, ought yet to make it their 
business all their days to mortify the indwelling powerof sin. 

So the apostle, Col. iii. 5. * Mortify therefore your mem- 
bers, which are upon earth.' Whom speaks he to ? Such as 
were 'risen with Christ,' ver. 1. such as were 'dead with him,' 
ver.3. such as whose life Christ was, and who should 'appear 
with him in glory ;' ver. 4. Do you mortify, do you make 
it your daily work, be always at it whilst you live ; cease 
not a day from this work, be killing sin, or it will be killing 
you; your being dead with Christ virtually, your being 
quickened with him, will nort excuse you from this work. 
And our Saviour tells us, how his Father deals with every 
branch in him that beareth fruit; every true and living 
branch, ' He purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit ;' 
John XV. 2. He prunes it, and that not for a day or two, but 
whilst it is a branch in this world. And the apostle tells 
you what was his practice, 1 Cor. ix. 27. ' I keep under my 
body, and bring it into subjection.' I do it, saith he, daily, 
it is the work of my life, I omit it not, this is ray business. 
And if this were the work and business of Paul who was so 
incomparably exalted in grace, revelations, enjoyments, pri- 
vileges, consolations, above the ordinary measure of believers ; 
where may we possibly bottom an exemption from this work 
and duty whilst we are in this world. Some brief account of 
the reasons hereof may be given. 


1. Indwelling sin always abides, whilst we are in this 
world, therefore it is always to be mortified. The vain, fool- 
ish, and ignorant disputes of men about perfect keeping the 
commands of God, of perfection in this life, of being wholly 
and perfectly dead to sin, 1 meddle not now with. It is 
more than probable, that the men of those abominations 
never knew what belonged to the keeping of any one of 
God's commands, and are so much below perfection of de- 
grees, that they never attained to a perfection of parts in 
obedience, or universal obedience in sincerity. And there- 
fore, many in our days who have talked of perfection, have 
been, wiser, and have affirmed it to consist in knowing no 
difference between good and evil. Not that they are perfect 
in the things we call good, but that all is alike to them, and 
the height of wickedness is their perfection. Others who 
have found out a new way to it, by denying original in- 
dwelling sin, and a tempering the spirituality of the law of 
God, unto men's carnal hearts ; as they have sufficiently dis- 
covered themselves to be ignorant of the life of Christ and 
the power of it in believers ; so they have invented a new 
righteousness that the gospel knows not of, being vainly 
puffed up by their fleshly minds. For us, who dare not 
be wise above what is written, nor boast by other men's 
lines of what God hath not done for us, we say, that in- 
dwelling sin lives in us in some measure and degree whilst 
we are in this world. We dare not speak as ' though we had 
already attained, or were already perfect ;' Phil. iii. 12. our 
inward man is to be renewed day by day, whilst here we 
live, 2 Cor. iv. 16. and according to the renovations of th.e 
new, are the breaches and decays of the old. Whilst we are 
here, we 'know but in part;' 1 Cor. xiii. 12. having a re- 
maining darkness to be gradually removed by our ' growth 
in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ;' 2 Pet. iii. 18. 
And * the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, so that we cannot 
do the things that we would;' Gal. v. 17. and are therefore 
defective in our obedience, as well as in our light; 1 John 
i. 8. We have a ' body of death;' Rom. vii. 24. from 
whence we are not delivered, but by the death of our bodies, 
Phil. iii. 21.- Now it being our duty to mortify, to be killing 
of sin whilst it is in us, we must be at work. He that is ap- 
pointed to kill an enemy, if he leave striking before the other 

VOL. VII. z 


ceases living, doth but half his work ; Gal. vi. 9. Heb. xii. 1 
2Cor. vii. 1. 

2. Sin doth not only still abide in us, but is still acting, 
still labouring to bring forth the deeds of the flesh; when 
sin lets us alone, we may let sin alone : but as sin is never 
less quiet, than when it seems to be most quiet ; and its 
waters are for the most part deep, when they are still ; so 
ought our contrivances against it to be vigorous at all times, 
and in all conditions, even where there is least suspicibn. 
Sin doth not only abide in us, but the law of the ' members 
is still rebelling against the law of the mind ;' Rom. vii. 23. 
and the spirit that dwells in us lusteth to envy; James iv. 5. 
It is always in continual work, ' the flesh lusteth against the 
Spirit;' Gal. v. 17. lust is still tempting and conceiving sin, 
James i. 14. in every moral action, it is always either in- 
dining to evil, or hindering from that which is good, or dis- 
framing the spirit from communion with God, it inclines to 
evil; 'The evil that I would not, that I do/ saith the apostle, 
Rom. vii. 19. whence is that? why, 'because in me, that is, 
in my flesh, dwelleth no good thing ;' and it hinders from 
good; 'the good that I would do, that I do not;' ver. 19. 
upon the same account, either I do it not, or not as I should ; 
all my holy things being defiled by this sin. ' The flesh lust- 
eth against the Spirit, that ye cannot do the things that ye 
would;' Gal. v. 17. and it unframes our spirit; and thence 
is called the sin that so 'easily besets us ;' Heb. xii. 1. on 
which account are those grievous complaints that the apostle 
makes of it, Rom. vii. So that sin is always acting, always 
conceiving, always seducing and tempting. Who can say that 
he had ever any thing to do with God, or for God, that in- 
dwelling sin had not a hand in the corrupting of what he did ? 
And this trade will it drive more or less all our days. If then 
sin will be always acting, if we be not always mortifying, 
we are lost creatures. He that stands still, and suffers his 
enemies to double blows upon him without resistance, will 
undoubtedly be conquered in the issue. If sin be subtle, 
watchful, strong, and always at work in the business of killing 
our souls, and we be slothful, negligent, foolish, in proceed- 
ing to the ruin thereof, can we expect a comfortable event ? 
There is not a day but sin foils, or is foiled ; prevails or is 
prevailed on : and it will be so whilst we live in this world. 


I shall discharge him from this duty, who can bring sin 
to a composition, to a cessation of arms in this warfare, if it 
will spare him any one day, in any one duty (provided he be 
a person that is acquainted with the spirituality of obedience 
and the subtlety of sin), let him say to his soul, as to this 
duty ; Soul, take thy rest. The saints whose souls breathe 
after deliverance from its perplexing rebellion, know there 
is no safety against it, but in a constant warfare. 

3. Sin will not only be striving, acting, rebelling, troubling, 
disquieting, but if let alone, if not continually mortified, it will 
bring forth great, cursed, scandalous, soul-destroying sins. 
The apostle tells us what the works and fruits of it are. Gal. 
V. 19—21. 'The works of the flesh are manifest, which are 
adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, 
witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulation, wrath, strife, sedi- 
tions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revilings, 
and such like.' You know what it did in David, and sundry 
others. Sin aims always at the utmost : every time it rises 
up to tempt or entice, might it have its own course, it would 
go out to the utmost sin in that kind. Every unclean thought 
or glance would be adultery, if it could ; every covetous de- 
sire would be oppression; every thought of unbelief would 
be atheism, might it grow to its head. Men may come to 
that, that sin may not be heard speaking a scandalous word 
in their hearts ; that is, provoking to any great sin with 
scandal in its mouth ; but yet every rise of lust, might it 
have its course, would come to the height of villany : it is 
like the grave, that is never satisfied. And herein lies no 
small share of the deceitfulness of sin, by which it prevails 
to the hardening of men, and so to their ruin ; Heb. iii. 13. 
it is modest as it were in its first motions and proposals ; but 
having once got footing in the heart by them, it constantly 
makes good its ground, and presseth on to some farther de- 
grees in the same kind. This new acting and pressing for- 
ward, makes the soul take little notice of what an entrance 
to a falling off' from God is already made ; it thinks all is in- 
different well, if there be no farther progress ; and so far as 
the soul is made insensible of any sin, that is, as to such a 
cause as the gospel requireth, so far it is hardened : but 
sin is still pressing forward ; and that because it hath no 
bounds but utter reUnquishment of God, and opposition to 

z 2 


him; that it proceeds towards its height by degrees making 
good the ground it hath got by hardness, is not from its 
nature, but its deceitfulness. Now nothing can prevent this, 
but mortification ; that withers the root and strikes at the 
head of sin every hour ; that whatever it aims at, it is crossed 
in. There is not the best saint in the world, but if he should 
give over this duty, would fall into as many cursed sins as 
ever any did of his kind. 

4. This is one main reason why the Spirit and the new 
nature is given unto us, that we may have a principle within, 
whereby to oppose sin and lust. ' The flesh lusteth against 
the Spirit :' well ! and what then ? * why the Spirit also lust- 
eth against the flesh ;' Gal. v. 17. There is a propensity in 
the Spirit, or spiritual new nature, to be acting against the 
flesh, as well as in the flesh to be acting against the Spirit : 
so 2 Pet i. 4, 5. It is our participation of the divine na- 
ture, that gives us an escape from the pollutions that are in 
the world through lust: and Rom vii. 23. there is a law of 
the mind, as well as a law of the members. Now this is, 
first, the most unjust, and unreasonable thing in the world ; 
when two combatants are engaged, to bind one, and keep 
him up from doing his utmost, and to leave the other at li- 
berty to wound him at his pleasure. And, secondly, the 
foolisheth thing in the world, to bind him who fights for 
our eternal condition, and to let him alone who seeks and 
violently attempts our everlasting ruin. The contest is for 
our lives and souls. Not to be daily employing the Spirit 
and new nature, for the mortifying of sin, is to neglect that 
excellent succour, which God hath given us against our 
greatest enemy. If we neglect to make use of what we have 
received, God may justly hold his hand from giving us more. 
His graces, as well as his gifts, are bestowed on us, to use, 
exercise, and trade with. Not to be daily mortifying sin, is to 
sin against the goodness, kindness, wisdom, grace, and love 
of God, who hath furnished us with a principle of doing it. 

5. Negligence in this duty, casts the soul into a perfect 
contrary condition to that which the apostle affirms was his; 
2 Cor. iv. 16. * Though our outward man perish, our inward 
man is renewed day by day.' In these the inward man perish- 
eth, and the outward man is renewed day by day. Sin is as the 
house of David, and grace as the house of Saul. Exercise and 


success are the two main cherishers of grace in the heart; when 
it is suffered to lie still, it withers and decays ; the things of 
it are ready to die. Rev. iii. 2. and sin gets ground towards 
the hardening of the heart; Heb. iii. 13. This is that which 
I intend, by the omission of this duty, grace withers, lust 
flourisheth, and the frame of the heart grows worse and 
worse ; and the Lord knows what desperate and fearful issues 
it hath had with many. Where sin, through the neglect of 
mortification gets a considerable victory, it breaks the bones 
of the soul, Psal. xxxi. 10. li. 8. and makes a man weak, 
sick, and ready to die, Psal. xxxviii. 3 — 5. that he cannot 
look up ; Psal. xl. 12. Isa. xxxiii. 24. and when poor creatures 
will take blow after blow, wound after wound, foil after foil, 
and never rouse up themselves to a vigorous opposition, 
can they expect any thing but to be hardened through the 
deceitfulness of sin, and that their souls should bleed to 
death? 2 John 8. Indeed it is a sad thing to consider the 
fearful issues of this neglect, which lie under our eyes every 
day. See we not those, whom we knew humble, melting, 
broken hearted Christians, tender and fearful to offend, zea- 
lous for God, and all his ways, his sabbaths, and ordinances, 
grown through a neglect of watching unto this duty, earthly,, 
carnal, cold, wrathful, complying with the men of the world, 
and things of the world, to the scandal of religion, and the 
fearful temptation of them that know them ? The truth is, 
what between placing mortification in a rigid stubborn frame 
of spirit, which is for the most part, earthly, legal, censori- 
ous, partial, consistent with wrath, envy, malice, pride, on 
the one hand, and pretences of liberty, grace, and I know 
not what on the other, true evangelical mortification is almost 
lost amongst us, of which afterward. 

6. It is our duty to be perfecting holiness in the 'fear of 
the Lord;' 2 Cor. vii. 1. to be growing in grace every day, 
1 Pet. ii. 2. 2 Pet. iii. 18. to be renewing our inward man 
day by day ; 2 Cor. iv. 16, Now this cannot be done without 
the daily mortifying of sin : sin sets its strength against 
every act of holiness, and against every degree we grow to. 
Let not that man think he makes any progress in holiness, 
who walks not over the bellies of his lusts ; he who doth not 
kill sin in his way, takes no steps towards his journey's end. 
He who finds not opposition from it, and who sets not him- 


self in every particular to its mortification, is at peace with 
it, not dying to it. • 

This then is the first general principle of our ensuing dis- 
course ; notwithstanding the meritorious mortification, if I 
may so speak, of all and every sin in the cross of Christ; 
notwithstanding the real foundation of universal mortifica- 
tion laid in our first conversion, by conviction of sin, humi- 
liation for sin, and the implantation of a new principle, op- 
posite to it, and destructive of it; yet sin doth so remain, so 
act, and work, in the best of believers, whilst they live in 
this world, that the constant daily mortification of it is all 
their days incumbent on them. Before I proceed to the con- 
sideration of the next principle, I cannot but by the way 
complain of many professors of these days ; who, instead of 
brinsino; forth such 2:reat and evident fruits of mortification 
as are expected, scarce bear any leaves of it. There is in- 
deed a broad light fallen upon the men of this generation ; 
and together therewith many spiritual gifts communicated, 
which with some other considerations have wonderfully en- 
larged the bounds of professors and profession ; both they 
and it are exceedingly multiplied and increased. Hence 
there is a noise of religion and religious duties in every 
corner; preaching in abundance; and that not in an empty, 
lio-ht, trivial, and vain manner, as formerly, but to a good 
proportion of a spiritual gift ; so that if you wjU measure 
the number of believers, by light, gifts, and profession, the 
church may have cause to say, Wl^o hath borne me all these ? 
But now if you will take the measure of them by this great 
discriminating grace of Christians, perhaps you will find 
their number not so multiplied. Where almost is that pro- 
fessor, who owes his conversion to these days of light, and 
so talks and professes at such a rate of spirituality, as few 
in former days were in any measure acquainted witli (I will 
not judge them, but perhaps boasting what the Lord hath 
done in them), that doth not give evidence of a miserably 
unmortified heart? If vain spending of time, idleness, unpro- 
fitableness in men's places, envy, strife, variance, emulations, 
wrath, pride, worldliness, selfishness, 1 Cor. i. be badges 
of Christians, we have them on us, and amongst us, in abun- 
dance. And if it be so with them, who have much light, 
and which we hope is saving ; what shall we say of some 


who would be accounted religious, and yet despise gospel 
light, and for the duty we have in hand, know no more of it, 
but what consists in men's denying themselves sometimes 
in outward enjoyments, which is one of the outmost branches 
of it, which yet they will seldom practise. The good Lord 
send out a spirit of mortification to cure our distempers, or 
we are in a sad condition. 

There are two evils which certainly attend erery unmor- 
tified professor; the first in himself, the other in respect of 

(1.) In himself. Let him pretend what he will, he hath 
slight thoughts of sin ; at least of sins of daily infirmity. 
The root of an unmortified course, is the digestion of sin 
without bitterness in the heart. When a man hath con- 
firmed his imagination to such an apprehension of grace 
and mercy, as to be able without bitterness to swallow and 
digest daily sins, that man is at tlie very brink of turning 
the grace of God into lasciviousness, and being hardened 
by the deceitfulness of sin. Neither is there a greater evi- 
dence of a false and rotten heart in the world, than to drive 
such a trade. To use the blood of Christ, which is given 
to cleanse us; 1 John i. 7. Tit. ii. 14. the exaltation of 
Christ, which is to give us repentance ; Acts v. 31. the doc- 
trine of grace, which teaches us to deny all ungodliness ; 
Tit. ii. 11, 12. to countenance sin is a rebellion, that in the 
issue will break the bones. At this door have g-one out from 
us, most of the professors that have apostatized in the days 
wherein we live, for awhile they were most of them under 
convictions ; these kept them unto duties, and brought them 
to profession. So they * escaped the pollutions that are in 
the world, through the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ ;' 
2 Pet. ii. 20. But having got an acquaintance with the doc- 
trine of the gospel, and beizig weary of duty, for which they 
had no principle, they began to countenance themselves in 
manifold neglects, from the doctrine of grace. Now when 
once this evil had laid hold of them, they speedily tumbled 
into perdition. 

(2.) To others. It hath an evil influence on them, on a 
twofold account. 

[1.] It hardens them, by begetting in them a persuasion 
that they are in as good condition as the best professors. 


Whatever ihey see in theni, is so stained for want of this 
mortification, that it is of no value with them ; they have a 
zeal for religion, but it is accompanied with want of forbear- 
ance, and universal righteousness. They deny prodigality, 
but with worldliness ; they separate from the world, but live 
wholly to themselves, taking no care to exercise loving- 
kindness in the earth ; or they talk spiritually, and live 
vaiiily ; mention communion with God, and are every way 
conformed to the world, boasting of forgiveness of sin, and 
never forgiving others; and with such considerations do 
poor creatures harden their hearts in their unregeneracy. 

[2.] They deceive them in making them believe, that if 
they can come up to tlieir condition, it shall be well with 
them : and so it grows an easy thing, to have the great 
temptation of repute in religion to wrestle withal ; when 
they may go far beyond them, as to what a])pears in them, 
and yet come short of eternal life ; but of these things, and 
all the evils of unmortified walking, afterward. 


The second general principle of the means of mortification proposed to con- 
firmation. The Spirit the only author of this work. Vanity of Popish 
inortification discovered. Blany means of it used hy them 7iot appointed 
of God. Those appointed hy him abused. The mistahes of others in this 
business. The Spirit is promised believers for this work ; Ezek. i. 19. 
xxxvi. 2(5. All that we receive from Christ, is ly the Spirit. How 
the Spirit mortifies sin ; Gal. v. 19 — 2.3. The several ways of hi^ opera- 
tions to this end proposed. How his work, and our duty. 

The next principle relates to the great sovereign cause of 
the mortification treated of, which, in the words laid for 
the foundation of this discourse, is said to be the Spirit ; 
that is, the Holy Ghost, as was evinced. 

He only is suflScient for this work ; all ways and means 
without him are as a thing of nought; and he is the great 
efficient of it, he works in us as he pleases. 

1. In vain do men seek other remedies, they shall not be 
healed by them. What several ways have been prescribed 
for this, to have sin mortified is known. The greatest part 
of Popish rtligioh, of that which looks most like religion in 


their profession, consists in mistaken ways and means of 
mortification. This is the pretence of their rough garments, 
whereby they deceive. Their vows, orders, fastings, pe- 
nances, are all built on this ground, they are all for the mor- 
tifying of sin. Their preachings, sermons, and books of de- 
votion, they look all this way. Hence those who interpret the 
locusts that came out of the bottomless pit, R-ev. ix. 2. to 
be the friars of the Romish church, who are said to torment 
men, so ' that they should seek death and not find it,' ver. 6. 
think, that they did it by their stinging sermons, whereby 
they convinced them of sin, but being not able to discover 
the remedy for the healing and mortifying of it, they keep 
them in such perpetual anguish and terror, and such trou- 
ble in their consciences, that they desired to die. This I say 
is the substance and glory of their religion : but what with 
their labouring to mortify dead creatures, ignorant of the na- 
ture and end of the work, what with the poison they mixed 
with it, in their persuasion of its merit, yea, supererogation, 
(as they style their unnecessary merit, with a proud barba- 
rous title) their glory is their shame ; but of them and their 
mortification, more afterward : chap. viii. 

That the ways and means to be used for the mortification 
of sin invented by them, are still insisted on and prescribed 
for the same end by some, who should have more light and 
knowledge of the gospel, is known. Such directions to this 
purpose have of late been given by some, and are greedily 
catched at by others professing themselves Protestants, as 
might have become Popish devotionists three or four hun- 
dred years ago. Such outside endeavours, such bodily ex- 
ercises, such self-performances, such merely legal duties, 
without the least mention of Christ, or his Spirit, are var- 
nished over with swelling words of vanity, for the only 
means and expedients for the mortification of sin, as disco- 
ver a deep-rooted unacquaintedness with the power of God, 
and mystery of the gospel. The consideration hereof was 
one motive to the publishing of this plain discourse. 

Now the reasons why the Papists can never with all 
their endeavours truly mortify any one sin, amongst others, 

(1.) Because many of the ways and means they use and 
insist upon, fot this end, were never appointed of God for 


that purpose. Now there is nothing in religion that hath 
any efficacy for compassing an end, but it hath it from God's 
appointment of it to that purpose. Such as these are their 
rough garments, their vows, penances, disciplines, their 
course of monastical life, and the like, concerning all which 
Godwin say, 'Who hath required these things at your hands?' 
And ' In vain do you worship me, teaching for doctrine the 
traditions of men.' Of the same nature are sundry self- 
vexations, insisted on by others. 

(2.) Because those things that are appointed of God as 
means, are not used by them in their due place and order ; 
such as are praying, fasting, watching, meditation, and the 
like ; these have their use in the business in hand. But 
whereas they are all to be looked on as streams, they look 
on them as the fountain. Whereas they effect and accom- 
plish the end, as means only subordinate to the Spirit and 
faith, they look on them to do it by virtue of the work 
wrought. If they fast so much, and pray so much, and keep 
their hours and times, the work is done ; as the apostle 
says of some in another case, they are always learning, never 
coming to the knowledge of the trutli ; so they are always 
mortifying, but never come to any sound mortification. In 
a word, they have sundry means to mortify the natural man, 
as to the natural life here we lead ; none to mortify lust or 

This is the general mistake of men ignorant of the gos- 
pel about this thing ; and it lies at the bottom of very much 
of that superstition and will-worship that hath been brought 
into the world. What horrible self macerations were prac- 
tised by some of the ancient authors of monastical devotion? 
what violence did they offer to nature ? what extremity of 
sufferings did they put themselves upon ? search their ways 
and principles to the bottom, and you will find, that it had 
no other root but this mistake ; namely, that attempting 
rigid mortification they fell upon the natural man, instead of 
'he corrupt old man ; upon the body wherein we live, in- 
- jad of the body of death. 

Neitiier will the natural Popery that is in others do it. 
Men are galled with the guilt of a sin that hath prevailed 
over them ; they instantly promise to themselves and God, 
that they will do so no more ; they watch over themselves, 


and pray for a season, until this heat waxes cold, and the 
sense of sin is worn off, and so mortification goes also, 
and sin returns to its former dominion : duties are excellent 
food for an healthy soul ; they are no physic for a sick soul. 
He that turns his meat into his medicine, must expect no 
great operation. Spiritually sick men cannot sweat out 
their distemper with working. But this is the way of men 
who deceive their own souls, as we shall see afterward. 

That none of these ways are sufficient, is evident from 
the nature of the work itself that is to be done ; it is a work 
that requires so many concurrent actings in it as no self- 
endeavour can reach unto, and is of that kind, that an Al- 
mighty energy is necessary for its accomplishment, as shall 
be afterward manifested. 

2. It is then the work of the Spirit. For 

(1.) He is promised of God to be given unto us to do 
this work ; the taking away of the stony heart, that is, the 
stubborn, proud, rebellious, unbelieving heart, is in general 
the work of mortification that we treat of. Now this is still 
promised to be done by the Spirit; Ezek. xi. 19. xxxvi. 26. 
' I will give my Spirit, and take away the stony heart;' and 
by the Spirit of God is this work wrought, when all means 
fail; Isa. Ivii. 17, 18. 

(2.) We have all our mortification from the gift of Christ, 
and all the gifts of Christ are communicated to us, and 
given us by the Spirit of Christ. 'Without Christ we can 
do nothing ;' John xv. 5. all communications of supplies 
and relief in the beginnings, increasings, actings, of any 
grace whatever from him, are by the Spirit, by whom he 
alone works in, and upon believers. From him we have 
our mortification ; ' He is exalted and made a prince, and a 
Saviour, to give repentance unto us ; Acts v. 31. and of our 
repentance our mortification is no small portion. How doth 
he do it? Having received the promise of the Holy Ghost, 
he sends him abroad for that end; Acts ii. 33. you know 
the manifold promises he made of sending the Spirit, as 
TertuUian speaks, ' Vicariam navare operam,' to do the 
works that he had to accomplish in us. 

The resolution of one or two questions, will now lead me 
nearer to what I principally intend. 

How doth the Spirit mortify sin ? 


I answer, in general, three ways. 

[1.] By causing our hearts to abound in grace and the 
fruits that are contrary to the flesh, and the fruits thereof, 
and principles of them. So the apostle opposes the fruits 
of the flesh, and of the Spirit : the fruits of the flesh, says 
he, are so and so ; Gal. v. 19, 20. but, says he, the fruits of 
the Spirit are quite contrary, quite of another sort ; ver. 
22, 23. yea, but whatif these are in us, and do abound, may 
not the other abound also ? No, says he, ver. 24. 'They that 
are Christ's, have crucified the flesh with the affections and 
lusts :' but how? why, ver. 25, ' By living in the Spirit, and 
walking after the Spirit,' that is, by the abounding of these 
graces of the Spirit in us, and walking according to them. 
For, saith the apostle, these are ' contrary one to another,' 
ver. 17. so that they cannot both be in the same subject, in 
any intense or high degree. This ' renewing of us by the 
Holy Ghost,' as it is called, Tit. iii. 5. is one great way of 
mortification ; he causes us to grow, thrive, flourish, and 
abound, in those graces vv'hich are contrary, opposite, and 
destructive, to all the fruits of the flesh, and to the quiet or 
thriving of indwelling sin itself. 

[2.] By a real, physical efficiency on the root and habit 
of sin, for the weakening, destroying, and taking it away. 
Hence he is called a ' Spirit of judgment and burning ;' 
Isa. iv. 4. really consuming and destroying our lusts. He 
takes away the stony heart by an almighty efiiciency ; for 
as he begins the work as to its kind, so he carries it on as 
to its degrees. He is the fire which burns up the very root 
of lust. 

[o.] He brings the cross of Christ into the heart of a sinner 
by faith, and gives us communion with Christ in his death, 
and fellowship in his sufferings; of the manner whereof 
more afterward. 

If this be the work of the Spirit alone, how i<s it that we 
are exhorted to it? Seeing the Spirit of God only can do 
it, let the work be left wholly to him. 

[1.] It is no otherwise the work of the Spirit, but as all 
graces and good works, which are in us, are his ; he works 
in us to 'will and to do of his own good pleasure;' Phil. ii. 13. 
He works all ' our works in us ;' Isa. xxvi. 12. ' the work of 
faith with power;' 2 Thess. i. 11. Col. ii. 12. He causes us 


to pray, and is a Spirit of supplication; Rom. viii. 26. Zech. 
xii. 10. and yet we are exhorted, and are to be exhorted, to 
all these. 

[2.j He doth not so work our raortification in us, as not 
to keep it still an act of our obedience. The Holy Ghost 
works in us, and upon us, as we are fit to be wrought in, and 
upon; that is, so as to preserve our own liberty and i'vee 
obedience. He works upon our understandings, wills, con- 
sciences, and affections, agreeably to their own natures; he 
works in us, and with us, not against us, or without us ; so 
that his assistance is an encouragement, as to the facilitating 
of the work, and no occasion of neglect, as to the work 
itself. And indeed I might here bewail the endless, foolish 
labour of poor souls, who, being convinced of sin, and not 
able to stand against the power of their convictions, do set 
themselves by innumerable perplexing ways and duties to 
keep down sin, but being strangers to the Spirit of God, all 
in vain. They combat without victory, have war without 
peace, and are in slavery all their da,ys. They spend their 
strength for tliat which is not bread, and their labour for 
that which profiteth not. 

This is the saddest warfare that any poor creature can be 
engaged in. A soul under the power of conviction from the 
law, is pressed to fight against sin, but hath no strength for 
the combat. They cannot but fight, and they can never 
conquer, they are like men thrust on the sword of enemies, 
on purpose to be slain. The law drives them on, and sin 
beats them back. Sometimes they think indeed that they 
have foiled sin ; when they have only raised a dust that they 
see it not; that is they distemper their natural affections of 
fear, sorrow, and anguish, which makes them believe that 
sin is conquered, when it is not touched. By that time they 
are cold, they must. to the battle again ; and the lust which 
they thought to be slain, appears to have had no wound. 

And if the case be so sad with them who do labour and 
strive, and yet enter not into the kingdom ; what is their 
condition who despise all this ? who are perpetually under 
the power and dominion of sin, and love to have it so ; and 
are troubled at nothing, but that they cannot make sufficient 
provision for the flesh to fulfil the lusts thereof? 



The last principle ; of the usefulness of mortification. The vigour and 
comfort of our spiritual lives depend on our mortification. In what sense. 
Not absolutely and necessarily , Psal. Ixxxviii. Heman's condition. Not 
as on the next and immediate cause. As a means ; by removing of the 
contrary. The desperate effects of any iinmortified lust : it weakens the 
soul, Psal. xxxviii. 3. 8. sundry ways, and darkens it. All graces im- 
proved by the mortification of sin. The best evidence of sincerity. 

The last principle I shall insist on, omitting first, The ne- 
cessity of mortification unto life ; and, secondly. The cer- 
tainty of life upon mortification, is. 

That the life, vigour, and comfort, of our spiritual life 
depends much on our mortification of sin. 

Strength, and comfort, and power, and peace, in our 
walking with God, are the things of our desires. Were any 
of us asked seriously, what it is that troubles us, we must 
refer it to one of these heads ; either we want strength, or 
power, vigour, and life, in our obedience, in our walking 
with God ; or we want peace, comfort, and consolation 
therein. Whatever it is that may befall a believer, that 
doth not belong to one of these two heads, doth not deserve 
to be mentioned in the days of our complaints. 

Now all these do much depend on a constant course of 
mortification ; concerning which observe, 

1. I do not say they proceed from it, as though they 
were necessarily tied to it. A man may be carried on in a 
constant course of mortification all his days, and yet per- 
haps never enjoy a good day of peace and consolation. So 
it was wath Heman, Psal. Ixxxviii. his life was a life of per- 
petual mortification, and walking with God, yet terrors and 
wounds were his portion all his days. But God singled out 
Heman a choice friend, to make him an example to them 
that afterward should be in distress. Canst thou complain 
if it be no otherwise with thee than it was with Heman, that 
eminent servant of God ? and this shall be his praise to the 
end of the world ; God makes it his prerogative to speak 
peace and consolation; Isa. Ivii. 18, 19. 'I will do that 
work, says God: I will comfort him;' ver. 18. but how ? 


by an immediate work of the new creation ; * I create it/ 
says God. The use of means for the obtaining of peace is 
ours ; the bestowing of it is God's prerogative. 

2. In the ways instituted by God for to give us life, 
vigour, courage, and consolation, mortification is not one 
of the immediate causes of it. They are the privileges of 
our adoption made known to our souls that give us imme- 
diately these things. ' The Spirit bearing witness with our 
spirits that we are the children of God :' giving us a new 
name, and a white stone; adoption and justification; that 
is, as to the sense and knowledge of them, are the immediate 
causes (in the hand of the Spirit) of these things. But this, 
1 say, 

3. In our ordinary walking with God, and in an ordinary 
course of his dealing with us, the vigour and comfort of 
our spiritual lives, depends much on our mortification, not 
only as a * causa sine qua non,' but as a thing that hath an 
effectual influence thereinto. For, 

(1.) This alone keeps sin from depriving us of the one 
and the other. 

Every unmortified sin will certainly do two things. 
[1.] It will weaken the soul, and deprive it of its vigour. 
[2.] It will darken the soul and deprive it of its comfort and 

1. It weakens the soul and deprives it of its strength. 
When David had for awhile harboured an unmortified lust 
in his heart, it broke all his bones, and left him no spiritual 
strength ; hence he complained that he was sick, weak, 
wounded, faint ; ' There is,' saith he, * no soundness in me ;' 
Psal.xxxviii. 3. * I am feeble and sore broken ;' ver. 8. 'yea, 
I cannot so much as look up ;' Psal. xl. 12. An unmortified 
lust will drink up the spirit, and all the vigour of the soul, 
and weaken it for all duties. For, 

1. It untunes and unframes the heart itself by entangling 
its affections. It diverts the heart from the spiritual frame 
that is required for vigorous communion with God. It lays 
hold on the affections, rendering its object beloved and de- 
sirable ; so expelling the love of the Father, 1 John ii. 1. 
iii. 17. so that the soul cannot say uprightly and truly to 
God, Thou art my portion, having something else that it 
loves. Fear, desire, hope, which are the choice affections 


of the soul, that should be full of God, will be one way or 
other entangled with it. 

2. It fills the thoughts with contrivances about it. 
Thoughts are the gr^at purveyors of the soul, to bring in 
provision to satisfy its affections ; and if sin renaain unmor- 
tified in the heart, they must ever and anon be making pro- 
vision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof. They must 
glaze, adorn, and dress the objects of the flesh, and bring 
them home to give satisfaction. And this they are able to 
do, in the service of a defiled imagination, beyond all ex- 

3. It breaks out and actually hinders duty. The ambi- 
tious man must by studying, and the worldling must be 
working or contriving, and the sensual vain person provid- 
ing himself for vanity, when they should be engaged in the 
worship of God. 

Were this my present business, to set forth the breaches, 
ruin, weakness, desolations, that one unraortified lust will 
bring upon a soul, this discourse must be extended much 
beyond my intendment. 

[2.] As sin weakens, so it darkens the soul. It is a cloud, 
a thick cloud, that spreads itself over the face of the soul, 
and intercepts all the beams of God's love and favour. It 
takes away all sense of the privilege of our adoption; and 
if the soul begins to gather up thoughts of consolation, sin 
quickly scatters them. Of which afterward. 

Now in this regard doth the vigour and power of our 
spiritual life depend on our mortification. It is the only 
means of the removal of that, which will allow us neither 
the one nor the other. Men that are sick and wounded un- 
der the power of lust, make many applications for help ; 
they cry to God when the perplexity of their thoughts over- 
whelms them ; even to God do they cry, but are not deliver- 
ed ; in vain do they use many remedies, * they shall not be 
healed;' so Hos. v. 13. * Ephraim saw his sickness, and Judah 
his wound,' and attempted sundry remedies ; nothing will do 
until they come, ver. 15. to acknowledge their ofience. 
Men may see their sickness and wounds, but yet, if they 
make not due applications, their cure will not be afl'ected. 

(2.) Mortification prunes all the graces of God, and 
makes room for them in our hearts to ^'ow. The life and 


vigour of our spiritual lives consists in the vigour and flou- 
rishing of the plants of grace in our hearts. Now as you 
may see in a garden, let there be a precious herb planted, 
and let the ground be untilled, and weeds grow about it, 
perhaps it will live still, but be a poor, withering, unuseful 
thing ; you must look and search for it, and sometimes can 
scarce find it ; and when you do, you can scarce know it, 
whether it be the plant you look for or no ; and suppose it be 
you can make no use of it at all ; when let another of the 
same kind be set in ground, naturally as barren and bad as 
the other; but let it be well weeded, and every thing that 
is noxious and hurtful removed from it, it flourishes and 
thrives ; you may see it at first look into the garden, and 
have it for your use when you please. So it is with the 
graces of the Spirit that are planted in our hearts. That is 
true ; they are still, they abide in a heart where there is some 
neglect of mortification ; but they are ready to die ; Rev. 
iii. 2. they are withering and decaying. The h-eart is like 
the sluggards field, so overgrown with weeds, that you can 
scarce see the good corn. Such a man may search for faith, 
love, and zeal, and scarce be able to find any ; and if he do 
discover that these graces are there, yet alive, and sincere ; 
yet they are so weak, so clogged with lusts, that they are of 
very little use ; they remain indeed, but are ready to die. 
But now let the heart be cleansed by mortification, the 
weeds of lust constantly and daily rooted up (as they spring 
daily, nature being their proper soil), let room be made for 
grace to thrive and flourish ; how will every grace act its 
part, and be ready for every use and purpose. 

(3.) As to our peace ; as their is nothing that hath any 
evidence of sincerity without it, so I know nothing that hath 
such an evidence of sincerity in it ; which is no small foun- 
dation of our peace. Mortification is the soul's vigorous 
opposition to self, wherein sincerity is most evident. 




The principal intendment of the whole discourse proposed. The first maia 
case of conscience stated. What it is to mortify any sin, negatively con- 
sidered. Not the utter destruction of it in this life. Not the dissinmla- 
tion of it. Not the improvement of any natural principle. Not the di- 
version of it. Not an occasional conquest. Occasional conquests of sin, 
what, and when. Upon the eruption of sin. In time of danger or 

These things being premised, I come to my principal in- 
tention, of handling some questions or practical cases that 
present themselves in this business of mortification of sin 
in believers. 

The first, which is the head of all the rest, and vvhere- 
unto they are reduced, may be considered as laying under 
the ensuing proposal. 

Suppose a man to be a true believer, and yet finds in 
himself a powerful indwelling sin, leading him captive to 
the law of it, consuming his heart with trouble, perplex- 
ino- his thoughts, weakening his soul, as to duties of com- 
munion with God, disquieting him as to peace, and perhaps 
defiling his conscience, and exposing him to hardening 
throuo-h the deceitfulness of sin, what shall he do? What 
course shall he take and insist on, for the mortification of 
this sin, lust, distemper, or corruption, to such a degree, as 
that though it be not utterly destroyed, yet, in his contest 
with it, he may be enabled to keep up power, strength, and 
peace, in communion with God ? 

In answer to this important inquiry, I shall do these 

I. Shew what it is to mortify any sin ; and that both 
neo-atively and positively, that we be not mistaken in the 

II. Give general directions for such things, as without 
which it will be utterly impossible for any one to get any sin 
truly and spiritually mortified. 

III. Draw out the particulars whereby this is to be done: 
in the whole carrying on this consideration, that it is not of 
the doctrine of mortification in general, but only in re- 


ference to the particular case before proposed, that I am 

1 . To mortify a sin, is not utterly to kill, root it out, and 
destroy it, that it should have no more hold at all, nor resi- 
dence in our hearts. It is true, this is that which is aimed 
at, but this is not in this life to be accomplished. There is 
no man that truly sets himself to mortify any sin, but he 
aims at, intends, desires its utter destruction ; that it should 
leave neither root nor fruit in the heart or life. He would 
so kill it, that it should never move or stir any more, cry or 
call, seduce or tempt, to eternity. Its not being is the thing 
aimed at. Now though doubtless there may by the Spirit 
and grace of Christ a wonderful success and eminency of 
victory against any sin be attained, so that a man may have 
almost constant triumph over it; yet an utter killing and 
destruction of it, that it should not be, is not in this life to 
be expected. This Paul assures us of, Phil. iii. 12. 'Not 
as though I had already attained, or were already perfect.' 
He was a choice saint, a pattern for believers, who in faith 
and love, and all the fruits of the Spirit, had not his fellow 
in the world ; and on that account ascribes perfection to 
himself, in comparison of others, ver. 15. yet he had not at- 
tained ; he was not perfect, but was following after : still 
a vile body he had, and we have, that must be changed 
by the great power of Christ at last; ver. 21. This we would 
have, but God sees it best for us, that we should be com- 
plete in nothing in ourselves ; that in all things we must be 
complete in Christ, which is best for us ; Col. ii. 10. 

2. I think I need not say, it is not the dissimulation of a 
sin ; when a' man on some outward respects forsakes the 
practice of any sin ; men perhaps may look on him as a 
changed man ; God knows that to his former iniquity he 
hath added cursed hypocrisy, and is got in a safer path to 
hell, than he was in before. He hath got another heart 
than he had, that is, more cunning, not a new heart, that is, 
more holy. 

3. The mortification of sin consists not in the improve- 
ment of a quiet, sedate nature. Some men have an advan- 
tage by their natural constitution, so far, as that they are 
not exposed to such violence of unruly passions, and tumul- 
tuous affections, as many others are. Let now these men 

2 A 2 


cultivate and improve their natural frame and temper, by 
discipline, consideration, and prudence, and they may seem 
to themselves and others, very mortified men, when perhaps 
their hearts are a standing sink of all abominations; some 
man is never so much troubled all his life perhaps with anger 
and passion, nor doth trouble others, as another is almost 
every day ; and yet the latter hath done more to the mortifi- 
cation of the sin than the former. Let not such persons try 
their mortification by such things, as their natural temper 
gives no life or vigour to : let them bring themselves to self- 
denial, unbelief, envy, or some such spiritual sin, and they 
will have a better view of themselves. 

4. A sin is not mortified, when it is only diverted. 
Simon Magus for a season left his sorceries ; but his covet- 
ousness and ambition that set him on work, remained still, 
and would have been acting another way : therefore Peter 
tells him, *1 perceive thou art in the gall of bitterness ;' not- 
withstanding the profession thou hast made, notwithstand- 
ing thy relinquishment of thy sorceries, thy lust is as pow- 
erful as ever in thee : the same lust, only the streams of it 
are diverted : it now exerts and puts forth itself another 
way, but it is the old gall of bitterness still. A man may be 
sensible of a lust, set himself against the eruptions of it, 
take care that it shall not break forth as it hath done ; but 
in the meantime suffer the same corrupted habit to vent it- 
self some other way. As he who heals and skins a running 
sore, thinks himself cured, but in the meantime his flesh fes- 
teretli by the corruption of the same humour, and breaks 
out in another place. And this diversion, with the altera- 
tions that attend it, often befalls men, on accounts wholly 
foreign unto grace ; change of the course of life that a man 
was in ; of relations, interests, designs, may effect it ; yea, 
the very alterations in men's constitutions, occasioned by a 
natural progress in the course of their lives, may produce 
such changes as these ; men in age, do not usually persist 
in the pursuit of youthful lusts, although they have never 
mortified any one of them. And the same is the case of 
bartering of lusts, and leaving to serve one, that a man may 
serve another. He that changes pride for worldliness, sen- 
suality for pharisaism, vanity in himself to the contempt of 
others ; let him not think that he hath mortified the sin tiiat 


he seems to have left. He hath changed his master, but is 
a servant still. 

5. Occasional conquests of sin do not amount to a mor- 
tifying of it. 

There are two occasions or seasons, wherein a man who 
is contending with any sin, may seem to himself to have 
mortified it. 

1. When it hath had some sad eruption to the disturb- 
ance of his peace, terror of his conscience, dread of 
scandal, and evident provocation of God. This awakens 
and stirs up all that is in the man, and amazes him, fills him 
with abhorrency of sin, and himself for it ; sends him to God, 
makes him cry out as for life, to abhor his lust as hell, and 
to set himself against it. The whole man, spiritual and na- 
tural, being now awaked, sin shrinks in its head, appears not, 
but lies as dead before him. As when one that hath drawn 
nigh to an army in the night, and hath killed a principal 
person ; instantly the guards awake, men are roused up, and 
strict inquiry is made after the enemy: who in the meantime, 
until the noise and tumult be over, hides himself, or lies 
like one that is dead, yet with firm resolution to do the like 
mischief again, upon the like opportunity. Upon the sin 
among the Corinthians, see how they muster up themselves 
for the surprisal and destruction of it ; 2 Epist. chap. vii. 11. 
So it is in a person, when a breach hath been made upon his 
conscience, quiet, perhaps credit, by his lust, in some erup- 
tion of actual sin, carefulness, indignation, desire, fear, re- 
venge, are all set on work about it, and against it. And lust 
is quiet for a season, being run down before them; but when 
the hurry is over, and the inquest past, the thief appears 
again alive, and is as busy as ever at his work. 

2. In a time of some judgment, calamity, or pressing af- 
fliction; the heart is then taken up with thoughts and con- 
trivances of flying from the present troubles, fears, and dan- 
gers : this, as a convinced person concludes, is to be done, 
only by relinquishment of sin, which gains peace with God. 
It is the anger of God in every afiliction that galls a con- 
vinced person. To be quit of this, men resolve at such times 
against their sins. Sin shall never more have any place in 
them ; they will never again give up themselves to the ser- 
vice of it. Accordingly sin is quiet, stirs not, seems to be 


mortified ; not indeed that it hath received any one wound, 
but merely because the soul hath possessed its faculties, 
whereby it should exert itself, with thoughts inconsistent 
with the motions thereof ; which, when they are laid aside, 
sin returns again to its former life and vigour. So they, 
Psal. Ixxviii. 32 — 38. are a full instance and description 
of this frame of spirit, whereof I speak. * For all this they 
sinned still and believed not for his wondrous works. There- 
fore their days did he consume in vanity, and their years in 
trouble. When he slew them, then they sought him, and 
they returned, and inquired early after God. And they re- 
membered that God was their rock, and the high God their 
redeemer. Nevertheless, they did flatter him with their 
mouth, and they lied unto him with their tongues. For their 
heart was not right with him, neither were they steadfast in 
his covenant.' I no way doubt, but that when they sought, 
and returned, and inquired early after God, they did it 
with full purpose of heart, as to the relinquishment of their 
sLns ; it is expressed in the word * returned.' To turn or 
return to the Lord, is by a relinquishment of sin. This they 
did early, with earnestness and diligence ; but yet their sin 
was unmortified for all this ; ver. 36, 37. and this is the state 
of many humiliations in the days of affliction, and a great 
.deceit in the hearts of believers themselves, lies oftentimes 

These, and many other ways there are, whereby poor 
souls deceive themselves, and suppose they have mortified 
their lusts, when they live and are mighty, and on every oc- 
casion break forth to their disturbance and disquietness. 


The mortification of sin in particular described. The several parts and de- 
grees thereof. The hahilual iveaheniug of its root and principal. The 
power of lust to tempt. Differences of that potver as to persons and times. 
Constant fighting u(jainsl sin. The parts thereof considered. Success 
against it. The sum of this discourse considered. 

What it is to mortify a sin in general which will make far- 
ther way for particular directions, isnextly to be considered. 
The mortification of a lust consists in three things. 


1. An habitual weakening of it. Every lust is a depraved 
habit or disposition, continually inclining the heart to evil. 
Thence is that description of him, who hath no lust truly 
mortified ; Gen. vi. 5- * Every imagination of the thoughts 
of his heart is only evil continually,' He is always under 
the power of a strong bent and inclination to sin. And 
the reason why a natural man is not always, perpetually, in 
the pursuit of some one lust night and day, is, because he 
hath many to serve, every one crying to be satisfied ; thence 
he is carried on with great variety, but still in general he lies 
towards the satisfaction of self. 

We will suppose then the lust or distemper, whose mor- 
tification is inquired after, to be in itself a strong, deeply 
rooted, habitual inclination and bent of will and aflfections, 
unto some actual sin, as to the matter of it, though not under 
that formal consideration, always stirring up imaginations, 
thoughts, and contrivances about the object of it. Hence 
men are said to have their hearts set upon evil, the bent of 
their spirits lies towards it, to make provision for the flesh.* 
And a sinful depraved habit, as in many other things, so in 
this, differs from all natural or moral habits whatever; for 
whereas they incline the soul gently and suitably to itself, 
sinful habits impel with violence and impetuousness : whence 
lusts are said to fight or wage war against the soul;'' 1 Pet. ii. 
11. to rebel, or rise up in war with that conduct and opposi- 
tion which is usual therein j*^ Rom. vii. 23. to lead captive, or 
effectually captivating upon success in battle : all works of 
great violence and impetuousness. 

I mis;ht manifest fully from that description we have of 
it, Rom. vii. how it will darken the mind, extinguish con- 
victions, dethrone reason, interrupt the power and influence 
of any considerations, that may be brought to hamper it, and 
break through all into a flame. But this is not my present 
business. Now the first thing in mortification is the weak- 
ening of this habit of sin or lust, that it shall not with that 
violence, earnestness, frequency, rise up, conceive, tumul- 
tuate, provoke, entice, disquiet, as naturally it is apt to do ; 
James i. 14, 15. 

I shall desire to give one caution or rule by the way ; 

" Eom. xiii. 14. 



and it is this. Though every lust doth in its own nature, 
equally, universally incline and impel to sin, yet this must 
be granted with these two limitations. 

(1.) One lust, or a lust in one man, may receive many ac- 
cidental improvements, heightenings, and strengthenings, 
which may give it life, power, and vigour, exceedingly above 
what another lust hath, or the same lust, that is of the same 
kind and nature, in another man. When a lust falls in with the 
natural constitutions and temper, with a suitable course of 
life, with occasions ; orv?hen Satan hath got a fit handle to 
it to manage it, as he hath a thousand ways so to do ; that 
lust grows violent and impetuous above others, or more than 
the same lust in another man ; then the steams of it darken 
the mind so, that though a man knows the same things as 
formerly, yet they have no power nor influence on the 
will, but corrupt affections and passions are set by it at li- 

But especially, lust gets strength by temptation : when 
a suitable temptation falls in with a lust, it gives it a new 
life, vigour, power, violence, and rage, which it seemed not 
before to have, or to be capable of. Instances to this pur- 
pose might be multiplied ; but it is the design of some part 
of another treatise to evince this observation. 

(2.) Some lusts are far more sensible and discernable in 
their violent actings than others. Paul puts a difference 
between uncleanness and all other sins; 1 Cor. vi. 18. ' Flee 
fornication. Every sin that a man doth, is without the body; 
but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own 
body.' Hence the motions of that sin are more sensible, 
more discernable than of others ; when perhaps, the love of 
the world, or the like, is in a person no less habitually predo- 
minant than that, yet it makes not so great a combustion in 
the whole man. 

And on this account some men may go in their own 
thoughts and in the eyes of the world, for mortified men ; 
who yet have in them no less predominancy of lust, than 
those who cry out with astonishment upon the account of 
its perplexing tumultuatings. Yea then those who have by 
the power of it, been hurried into scandalous sins ; only 
their lusts are in and about things, which raise not such a 
tumult in the soul, about which they are exercised with a 


calmer frame of spirit ; the very fabrick of nature being not 
so nearly concerned in them, as in some other. 

I say, then, that the first thing in mortification is the 
weakening of this habit, that it shall not impel and tu- 
multuate as formerly, that it shall not entice and draw 
aside, that it shall not disquiet and perplex the killing of its 
life, vigour, promptness, and readiness to be stirring. This 
is called ' crucifying the flesh with the lusts thereof;' Gal. v. 
24. that is, taking away its blood and spirits, that give it 
strength and powder. The wasting of the body of death day 
by day; 2 Cor. iv. 16. As a man nailed to the cross; he 
first struggles, and strives, and cries out with great strength 
and might ; but as his blood and spirits waste, his strivings 
are faint and seldom, his cries low and hoarse, scarce to 
be heard. When a man first sets on a lust or distemper, to 
deal with it, it struggles with great violence to break loose ; 
it cries with earnestness and impatience to be satisfied and 
relieved ; but when by mortification the blood and spirits of 
it are let out, it moves seldom and faintly, cries sparino-Iy^ 
and is scarce heard in the heart ; it may have sometimes a 
dying pang, that makes an appearance of great vigour and 
strength, but it is quickly over, especially if it be kept from 
considerable success. This the apostle describes as in the 
whole chapter, so especially ver. 6. chap. vi. to the Romans. 
Sin,saith he, is crucified; it is fastened to the cross ; to what 
end ? ' that the body of death may be destroyed ;' the power 
of sin weakened, and abolished by little and little ; that 
'henceforth we should not serve sin;' that is, that sin might 
not incline, impel us with such efficacy, as to make us ser- 
vants to it, as it hath done heretofore. And this is spoken 
not only with respect to carnal and sensual affections, or de- 
sires of worldly things ; not only in respect of the lust of the 
flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, but also as 
to the flesh, that is in the mind and will, in that opposition 
unto God, which is in us by nature. Of what nature soever 
the troubling distemper be, by what ways soever it make it- 
self out, either by impelling to evil or hindering from that 
which is good, the rule is the same. And unless this be 
done effectually, all after contention will not compass the 
end aimed at. A man may beat down the bitter fruit from 
an evil tree, until he is weary; whilst the root abides in 


strengtli and vigour, the beating down of the present f'rui? 
will not hinder it from bringing forth more ; this is the folly 
of some men ; they set themselves with all earnestness and 
diligence against the appearing eruption of lust; but leaving 
the principle and root untouched, perhaps unsearched out, 
they make but little or no progress in this work of mortifi- 

2. In constant fighting and contending against sin. To 
be able always to be laying load on sin, is no small degree of 
mortification. When sin is strono- and vioorous, the soul is 
scarce able to make any head against it : it sighs, and groans, 
and mourns, and is troubled, as David speaks of himself, but 
seldom has sin in the pursuit ; David complains that his sin 
had taken ' fast hold upon him, that he could not look up;' 
Psal. xl. 12. how little then was he able to fioht aoainst it ? 
Now sundry things are required unto, and comprised in this 
fiohtins; ao;ainst sin. 

(1.) To know that a man hath such an enemy to deal withal ; 
to take notice of it, to consider it as an enemy indeed, and 
one that is to be destroyed by all means possible, is required 
hereunto. As I said before, the contest is vigorous and ha- 
zardous ; it is about the things of eternity. When therefore 
men have slight and transient thoughts of their lusts, it is 
no great sign that they are mortified, or that they are in a 
way for their mortification. This is, every man's knowing 
*the plague of his own heart;' 1 Kings viii. 38. without 
which no other work can be done. It is to be feared that 
very many have little knowledge of the main enemy, that 
they carry about them in their bosoms. This makes them 
ready to justify themselves, and to be impatient of reproof 
or admonition, not knowing that they are in any danger ; 
2 Chron. xvi. 10. 

(2.) To labour to be acquainted with the ways, wills, me- 
thods, advantages, and occasions of its success, is the be- 
sinnine; of this warfare. So do men deal with enemies. 
They inquire out their councils and designs, ponder their 
ends, consider how and by what means they have formerly 
prevailed, that they may be prevented ; in this consists the 
greatest skill in conduct. Take this away, and all waging 
of war, wherein is the greatest improvement of human wis- 
dom and industry, would be brutish. So do they deal 


with lust, who mortify it indeed; not only when it is actually 
vexing, enticing, and seducing; but in their retirements they 
consider, this is our enemy, this is his way and progress, 
these are his advantages, thus hath he prevailed, and thus 
he will do, if not prevented. So David, * My sin is ever be- 
fore me ;' Psal. li. 3. 

(3.) To load it daily with all the things which shall after 
be mentioned, that are grievous, killing, and destructive to 
it, is the height of this contest ; such a one never thinks his 
lust dead, because it is quiet, but labours still to give it new 
wounds, new blows every day. So the apostle; Col. iii. 5. 

Now whilst the soul is in this condition, whilst it is thus 
dealing, it is certainly uppermost, sin is under the sword and 

3. In success ; frequent success against any lust, is an- 
other part and evidence of mortification. By success I un- 
derstand not a mere disappointment of sin, that it be not 
brought forth, nor accomplished ; but a victory over it, and 
pursuit of it to a complete conquest : for instance, when the 
heart finds sin at any time at work, seducing, forming ima- 
ginations to make provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts 
thereof, it instantly apprehends sin, and brings it to the law 
of God, and love of Christ; condemns it, follows it with ex- 
ecution to the uttermost. Now, I say, when a man comes to 
this state and condition, that lust is weakened in the root 
and principle, that its motions and actions are fewer and 
weaker than formerly, so that they are not able to hinder his 
duty, nor interrupt his peace, when he can in a quiet, sedate 
frame of spirit, find out, and fight against sin, and have suc- 
cess against it, then sin is mortified in some considerable 
measure ; and notwithstanding all its opposition, a man may 
have peace with God all his days. 

Unto these heads then do I refer the mortification aimed 
at ; that is, of any one perplexing distemper, whereby the 
general pravity and corruption of our nature attempts to 
exert and put forth itself. 

1. First, the weakening of its indwelling disposition, 
whereby it inclines, entices, impels to evil, rebels, opposes, 
fights against God, by the implanting, habitual residence, 
and cherishing of a principle of grace, thM stands in direct 
opposition to it, and is destructive of it, is the foundation of 


it. So by the implanting and growth of humility is pride 
weakened, passion by patience, uncleanness by purity ot" 
mind and conscience, love of this world by heavenly-mind- 
edness, which are graces of the Spirit, or the same habitual 
grace variously acting itself by the Holy Ghost, according 
to the variety or diversity of the objects about which it is 
exercised ; as the other are several lusts, or the same natural 
corruption variously acting itself according to the various 
advantages and occasions that it meets withal. 

2. The promptness, alacrity, vigour of the spirit, or new 
man in contending with, cheerful fighting against the lust 
spoken of, by all the ways, and with all the means that are 
appointed thereunto, constantly using the succours provided 
against its motions and actings, is a second thing hereunto 

3. Success unto several degrees attends these two. Now 
this, if the distemper hath not an unconquerable advantage 
from its natural situation, may possibly be to such a uni- 
versal conquest, as the soul may never more sensibly feel its 
opposition, and'shall however assuredly raise to an allowance 
of peace to the conscience, according to the tenor of the 
covenant of grace. 


General rules, without which no lust will be mortified. No mortijieation 
unless a man he a believer. Dojigei's of attempting mortification of si7i btf 
unregenerate persons. The duty »f unconverted persons, as to this bu- 
siness of mortification, considered. The vanity of the Papists' attempts, 
and rules for mortification thence discovered. 

The ways and means, whereby a soul may proceed to the 
mortification of any particular lust and sin, which Satan 
takes advantage by, to disquiet and weaken him, comes next 
under consideration. 

Now there are some general considerations to be pre- 
mised concerning some principles and foundations of this 
work, without which no man in the world, be he never so 
much raised by convictions, and resolved for the mortification 
of any sin, can attain thereunto. 


General rules and principles, withaut which no sin will 
he ever mortified, are these : 

1. Unless a man be a believer, that is, one that is truly 
ingrafted into Christ, he can never mortify any one sin; I 
do not say, unless he know himself to be so, but unless in- 
deed he be so. 

Mortification is the work of believers ; R,om. viii. 13. ' If 
ye through the Spirit,' &.c. Ye believers, to whom there is 
no condemnation; ver. 1. They alone are exhorted to it. 
Col. iii. 5. ' Mortify therefore your members that are upon 
the earth.' Who should mortify? You who ' are risen with 
Christ ;' ver. 1 . ' whose life is hid with Christ in God ; ver. 3. 
who * shall appear with him in glory;' ver. 4. An unrege- 
nerate man may do something like it, but the work itself, so 
as it may be acceptable with God, he can never perform. 
You know what a picture of it is drawn in some of the phi- 
losophers, Seneca, Tully, Epictetus ; what affectionate dis- 
courses they have of contempt of the world and self, of re- 
gulating and conquering all exorbitant affections and pas- 
sions. The lives of most of them manifested, that their 
maxims differed as much from true mortification, as the sun 
painted on a sign-post, from the sun in the firmament; they 
had neither light nor heat. Their own Lucian sufficiently 
manifests what they all were. There is no death of sin, 
without the death of Christ. You know what attempts there 
are made after it, by the Papists, in their vows, penances, 
and satisfactions ; I dare say of them (I mean as many of 
them as act upon the principles of their church, as they call 
it) what Paul says of Israel in point of righteousness ; Rom. 
ix. 31, 32. they have followed after mortification, but they 
have not attained to it ; wherefore ? Because they ' seek it 
not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law.' The 
same is the state and condition of all amongst ourselves, who 
in obedience to their convictions, and awakened consciences, 
do attempt a relinquishment of sin ; they follow after it, but 
they do not attain it. 

It is true, it is, it will be required of every person what- 
ever, that hears the law or gospel preached, that he mortify 
sin ; it is his duty, but it is not his immediate duty. It is 
his duty to do it, but to do it in God's way. If you require 
your servant to pay so much money for you in such a place. 


but first to go and take it up in another; it is his duty to 
pay the money appointed, and you will blame him if he do 
it not; yet it was not his immediate duty ; he was first to 
take it up, according to your direction. So it is in this 
case : sin is to be mortified, but something is to be done in 
the first place to enable us thereunto. 

I have proved that it is the Spirit alone that can mortify 
sin; he is promised to do it, and all other means without 
him are empty and vain. How shall he then mortify sin, 
that hath not the Spirit? A man may easier see without 
eyes, speak without 'a tongue, than truly mortify one sin 
without the Spirit. IVow how is he attained ? It is the 
Spirit of Christ, and as the apostle says, 'If we have not 
the Spirit of Christ, we are none of his ;' Rom. viii. 9. So, if 
we are Christ's, have an interest in him, we have the Spirit, 
and so alone have power for mortification. This the apo- 
stle discourses at large ; Rom. viii. 8. ' So that they that are 
in the flesh cannot please God.' It is the inference and con- 
clusion he makes of his foregoing discourse about our na- 
tural state and condition, and the enmity we have unto God 
and his law therein. If we are in the flesh, if we have not the 
Spirit, we cannot do any thing that should please God. But 
what is our deliverance from this condition? ver. 9. 'But ye 
are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit 
of God dwell in you :' ye believers, that have the Spirit of 
Christ, ye are not in the flesh. There is no way of deliver- 
ance from the state and condition of being in the flesh, but 
by the Spirit of Christ ; and what if this Spirit of Christ be 
in you? why then you are mortified ; ver. 10. 'the body is 
dead because of sin,' or unto it : mortification is carried on ; 
the new man is quickened to righteousness. This the apo- 
stle proves, ver. 11. from the union we have with Christ by 
the Spirit, which will produce suitable operations in us, to 
what it wrought in him. All attempts, then, for mortifi- 
cation of any lust, without an interest in Christ, are vain. 
Many men that are galled with, and for sin, the arrows of 
Christ for conviction, by the preaching of the word, or some 
affliction having been made sharp in their hearts, do vigour- 
ously set themselves against tliis or that particular lust, 
wherewith their consciences have been most disquieted, or 
perplexed. But poor creatures ! they labour in the fire, and 


llieir work consumeth. When the Spirit of Christ comes to 
this work, he will be as refiner's fire, and as fuller's soap, 
and he will purge men as gold and as silver ; Mai. iii. 3. take 
away their dross and tin, their filth and blood, as Isa. iv. 3. 
but men must be gold and silver in the bottom, or else re- 
fining will do them no good. The prophet gives us the sad 
issue of wicked men's utmost attempts for mortification, by 
what means soever that God affords them ; Jer. vi. 29, 30. 
' The bellows are burnt, and the lead is consumed of the fire, 
the founder melteth in vain, reprobate silver shall men call 
them, because the Lord hath rejected them.' And what is 
the reason hereof? ver. 28. they were brass and iron when 
they were put into the furnace. Men may refine brass and 
iron long enough, before they will be good silver. 

I say, then, mortification is not the present business of 
unregenerate men. God calls them not to it as yet ; con- 
version is their work. The conversion of the whole soul, 
not the mortification of this or that particular lust. You 
would laugh at a man that you should see setting up a great 
fabric, and never take any care for a foundation ; especially 
if you should see him so foolish, as that having a thousand 
experiences, that what he built one day fell down another, 
he would yet continue in the same course. So it is with 
convinced persons ; though they plainly see, that what 
ground they get against sin one day, they lose another, yet 
they will go on in the same road still, without inquiring 
where the destructive flaw in their progress lies. When the 
Jews, upon the conviction of their sin were cut to the heart ; 
Acts ii. 37. and cried out 'What shall we do?' What doth 
Peter direct them to do ? does he bid them go and mortify 
their pride, wrath, malice, cruelty, and the like ? No, he 
knew that was not their present work, but he calls them to 
conversion and faith in Christ in general ; ver. 38. Let the 
soul be first thoroughly converted, and then ' looking on 
him whom they had pierced,' humiliation and mortification 
will ensue. Thus when John came to preach repentance 
and conversion, he said, 'The axe is now laid to the root of 
the tree ;' Matt .iii. 19. The Pharisees had been laying heavy 
burdens, imposing tedious duties, and rigid means of morti- 
fication in fastings, washings, and the like ; all in vain : 
says John, the doctrine of conversion is for you, the axe in 


my hand is laid to the root. And our Saviour tells us, what 
is to be doae in this case; says he, *Do men gather grapes 
from thorns?' Matt. vi. 16. But suppose a thorn be well 
pruned, and cut, and have pains taken with him ? Yea, but 
he will never bear figs ; ver. 17, 18. it cannot be but every 
tree will bring forth fruit accordinfj to its own kind. What 
is then to be done ? he tells us. Matt. xii. 33. ' Make the tree 
good, and his fruit will be good :' the root must be dealt 
with, the nature of the tree changed, or no good fruit will 
be brought forth. 

This is that I aim at ; unless a man be regenerate, unless 
he be a believer, all attempts that he can make for mortifi- 
cation, be they never so specious and promising, all means 
he can use, let him follow them with never so much dili- 
gence, earnestness, watchfulness, and intention of mind and 
spirit, are to no purpose. In vain shall he use many reme- 
dies, he shall not be healed. Yea, there are sundry despe- 
rate evils attending an endeavour in convinced persons, that 
are no more but so, to perform this duty. 

[1.] The mind and soul is taken up about that which is 
not the man's proper business, and so he is diverted from 
that which is so. God lays hold by his word and judgments 
on some sin in him, galls his conscience, disquiets his heart, 
deprives him of his rest ; now other diversions will not 
serve his turn ; he must apply himself to the work before 
him. The business in hand being to awake the whole man 
unto a consideration of the state and condition wherein he 
is, that he might be brought home to God ; instead hereof, 
he sets himself to mortify the sin that galls him, which is 
a pure issue of self-love, to be freed from his trouble; and 
not at all to the work he is called unto ; and so is diverted 
from it. Thus God tells us of Ephraim, when he spread his 
net upon them, and brought them down as the fowls of 
heaven, and chastised them ; Hos. vii. 12. caught them, en- 
tangled them, convinced them that they could not escape ; 
saith he of them, 'They return, but not to the Most High:' 
they set themselves to a relinquishment of sin, but not in 
that manner by universal conversion, as God called for it. 
Thus are men diverted from coming unto God, by the most 
glorious ways that they can fix upon to come to him by. 
And this is one of the most common deceits whereby men 


ruin their own souls ; I wish that some whose trade it is to 
daub with untempered morter in the things of God, did not 
teach this deceit, and cause the people to err, by their igno- 
rance; what do men do? What oft-times are they directed 
unto, when their consciences are galled by sin and disquiet- 
ment, from the Lord who hath laid hold upon them ? Is not 
a relinquishment of the sin as to practice, that they are in 
some fruits of it, perplexed withal, and making head against 
it, the sum of v/hat they apply themselves unto, and is not 
the gospel end of their convictions lost thereby? here men 
abide and perish. 

[2.] This duly being a thing good in itself, in its proper 
place, a duty evidencing sincerity, bringing home peace to 
the conscience, a man finding himself really engaged in it, 
his mind and heart set against this or that sin, with purpose 
and resolution to have no more to do with it, he is ready to 
conclude, that his state and condition is good, and so to 
delude his own soul. For, 

1st. When his conscience hath been made sick with sin, 
and he could find no rest; when he should go to the great 
physician of souls, and get healing in his blood ; the man 
by this engagement against sin, pacifies and quiets his con- 
science, and sits down without going to Christ at all. Ah ! 
how many poor souls are thus deluded to eternity ! when 
Ephraim saw his sickness, he sent to King Jareb ; Hos. v. 
13. which kept him off from God. The whole bundle of 
the Popish religion is made up of designs, and contrivances 
to pacify conscience without Christ: all described by the 
apostle ; Kom. x. 4. 

2ndly. By this means men satisfy themselves that their 
state and condition is good, seeing they do that which is a 
work good in itself, and they do not do it to be seen. They 
know they would have the work done in sincerity, and so 
are hardened in a kind of self-righteousness. 

[3.] When a man hath thus for a season been deluded, 
and hath deceived his own soul, and finds in a long course 
of life, that indeed his sin is not mortified, or if he hath 
changed one, he hath gotten another, he begins at length to 
think, that all contending is in vain, he shall never be able 
to prevail. He is making a dam against water that in- 
creaseth on him. Hereupon he gives over, as one despair- 

VOL. VII. . 2b 


ing of any success, and yields up himself to the power of 
sin, and that habit of formality that he hath gotten. 

And this is the usual issue with persons attempting the 
mortification of sin, without an interest in Christ first ob- 
tained. It deludes them, hardens them, destroys them. And 
therefore we see that there are not usually more vile and 
desperate sinners in the world, than such as having by 
conviction been put on this course, have found it fruit- 
less, and deserted it without a discovery of Christ. And 
this is the substance of the religion and godliness of the 
choicest formalists in the world ; and of all those, who in 
the Roman synagogue are drawn to mortification, as they 
drive Indians to baptism, or cattle to water. I sav then, 
that mortification is the work of believers, and believers 
only. To kill sin is the work of living men, where men are 
dead, as all unbelievers, the best of them are dead, sin is 
alive, and will live. 

2. It is the work of faith ; the peculiar work of faith. 
Now, if there be a work to be done that will be effected by 
one only instrument, it is the greatest madness for any to 
attempt the doing of it, that hath not that instrument. Now 
it is faith that purifies the heart ; Acts xv. 9. or, as Peter 
Speaks, ' we purify our souls in obeying the truth through 
the Spirit;' 1 Pet. i. 22. And without it it will not be done. 

What hath been spoken I suppose is sufficient to make 
good my first general rule : be sure to get an interest in 
Christ ; if you intend to mortify any sin without it, it will 
never be done. 

Oh. You will say, What then would you have unregene- 
rate men, that are convinced of the evil of sin do ? Shall 
they cease striving against sin, live dissolutely, give their 
lusts their swing, and be as bad as the worst of men? This 
were a way to set the whole world into confusion, to bring 
all things into darkness, to set open the flood-gates of lust, 
and lay the reins upon the necks of men to rush into all sin 
with delight and greediness, like the horse into the battle. 

Ans. 1. God forbid. It is to be looked on as a great issue 
of the wisdom, goodness, and love of God, that by manifold 
ways and means he is pleased to restrain the sons of men, 
from running forth into that compass of excess and riot, 
which the depravedness of their nature would carry them out 


unto with violence. By what way soever this is done, it is 
an issue of the care, kindness, and goodness of God, with- 
out which the whole earth would be a hell of sin and con- 

2. There is a peculiar convincing power in the word, 
which God is oftentimes pleased to put forth to the wound- 
ing, amazing, and, in some sort, humbling of sinners, though 
they are never converted. And the word is to be preached 
though it hath this end, yet not with this end. Let then the 
word be preached, and the sins of men rebuked, lust will 
be restrained, and some oppositions will be made against sin, 
though that be not the effect aimed at. 

3. Though this be the work of the word and Spirit, and 
it be good in itself, yet it is not profitable nor available as to 
the main end in them, in whom it is wrought ; they are still 
in the gall of bitterness, and under the power of darkness. 

4. Let men know it is their duty, but in its proper place ; 
I take not men from mortification, but put them upon con- 
version. He that shall call a man from mending a hole in 
the wall of his house, to quench a fire that is consuming the 
whole building, is not his enemy. Poor soul ! it is not thy 
sore finger, but thy hectic fever that thou art to apply thy- 
self to the consideration of. Thou settest thyself against a 
particular sin, and dost not consider that thou art nothing 
but sin. 

Let me add this to them who are preachers of the word, 
or intend through the good hand of God that employment. 
It is their duty to plead with men about their sins, to lay 
load on particular sins, but always remember, that it be 
done with that which is the proper end of law and gospel : 
that is, that they make use of the sin they speak against, 
to the discovery of the state and condition wherein the 
sinner is ; otherwise, haply they may work men to formality 
and hypocrisy, but little of the true end of preaching the 
gospel will be brought about. It will not avail to beat a 
man off from his drunkenness, into a sober formality. A 
skilful master of the assemblies lays his axe at the root, drives 
still at the heart. To enveigh against particular sins of ig- 
norant, unregenerate persons, such as the land is full of, is 
a good work : but yet, though it may be done with great ef- 
ficacy, vigour, and success, if this be all the effect of it, that 

2 B 2 


they are set upon the most sedulous endeavours of morti- 
fying their sins preached down, all that is done, is but like 
the beating of an enemy in an open field, and driving him 
into an impregnable castle, not to be prevailed against. Get 
you at any time a sinner at the advantage, on the account 
of any one sin whatever, have you any thing to take hold 
of him by, bring it to his state and condition, drive it up to 
the head, and there deal with him : to break men off parti- 
cular sins, and not to break their hearts, is to deprive our- 
selves of advantages of dealing with them. 

And herein is the Roman mortification grievously pec- 
cant ; they drive all sorts of persons to it, without the least 
consideration, whether they have a principle for it or no. 
Yea, they are so far from calling on men to believe, that 
they may be able to mortify their lusts ; that they call men 
to mortification, instead of believing. The truth is, they 
neither know what it is to believe, nor what mortification 
itself intends. Faith with them is but a general assent to 
the doctrine taught in their church ; and mortification the 
betaking of a man by a vow to some certain course of life, 
wherein he denies himself something of the use of the things 
of this world, not without a considerable compensation. 
Such men know neither the Scriptures, nor the power of 
God. Their boasting of their mortification, is but their 
glorying in their shame. Some casuists among ourselves, 
who, overlooking the necessity of regeneration, do avowedly 
give this for a direction to all sorts of persons, that com- 
plain of any sin or lust, that they should vow against it, at 
least for a season, a month or so, seem to have a scantling 
of light in the mystery of the gospel, much like that of Ni- 
codemus, when he came first to Christ. They bid men vow 
to abstain from their sin for a season. This commonly makes 
their lust more impetuous. Perhaps with great perplexity 
they keep their word : perhaps not, which increases their 
guilt and torment. Is their sin at all mortified hereby? Do 
they find a conquest over it? Is their condition changed, 
though they attain a relinquishment of it ? Are they not 
still in the gall of bitterness ? Is not this to put men to make 
brick, if not without straw, yet, which is worse, without 
strength? What promise hath any unregenerate man to 
countenance him in this work ? What assistance for the 


performance of it ? Can sin be killed without an interest in 
the death of Christ, or mortified without the Spirit ? If such 
directions should prevail to change men's lives, as seldom 
they do, yet they never reach to the change of their hearts or 
conditions. They may make men self-justitiaries, or hypo- 
crites, not Christians. It grieves me oft-times to see poor 
souls, that have a zeal for God, and a desire of eternal wel- 
fare, kept by such directors and directions, under a hard, 
burdensome, outside worship and service of God, with many 
specious endeavours for mortification, in an utter ignorance 
of the righteousness of Christ, and unacquaiiitedness with 
his Spirit, all their days. Persons and things of this kind, 
I know too many. If ever God shine into their hearts, to 
give them the knowledge of his glory in the face of his Son 
Jesus Christ, they will see the folly of their present way. 


The second general rule proposed. Without universal sincerity for the mor- 
tifying of every lust, uo lust will be mortified. Partial mortification al- 
ways from a corrupt pnnciple. Perplexity of temptation from a lust, 
oftentimes a chastening for other negligences. 

The second principle, which to this purpose I shall propose, 
is this : 

Without sincerity and diligence in a universality of obe- 
dience, there is no mortification of any one perplexing lust 
to be obtained. 

The other was to the person, this to the thing itself. I 
shall a little explain this position. 

A man finds any lust to bring him into the condition for- 
merly described, it is powerful, strong, tumultuating, leads 
captive, vexes, disquiets, takes away peace ; he is not able 
to bear it, wherefore he sets himself against it, prays against 
it, groans under it, sighs to be delivered ; but in the mean- 
time, perhaps, in other duties, in constant communion with 
God, in reading, prayer, and meditation, in other ways that 
are not of the same kind with the lust wherewith he is trou- 
bled, he is loose and negligent ; let not that man think that 
ever he shall arrive to the mortification of the lust he is per- 


plexed withal. This is a condition that not seldom befalls 
men in their pilgrimage. The Israelites, under a sense of 
their sin drew nigh to God with much diligence and ear- 
nestness, with fasting and prayer ; Isa. Iviii. many expres- 
sions are made of their earnestness in the work;ver, 2. 'They 
seek me daily, and delight to know my ways, they ask of 
me the ordinances of justice, they take delight in approach- 
ing unto God.' But God rejects all ; their fast is a remedy 
that will not heal them, and the reason given of it, ver. 5 
— 7, is, because they were particular in this duty. They 
attended diligently to that, but in others were negligent and 
careless. He that hath a running sore (it is the Scripture 
expression) upon him, arising from an ill habit of body, con- 
tracted by intemperance and ill diet ; let him apply himself 
with what diligence and skill he can, to the cure of his sore, 
if he leave the general habit of his body under distempers, 
his labour and travail will be in vain. So will his attempts 
be, that shall endeavour to stop a bloody issue of sin and 
filth in his soul, and is not equally careful of his universal 
spiritual temperature and constitution. For, 

1. This kind of endeavour for mortification, proceeds 
from a corrupt principle, ground, and foundation, so that it 
will never proceed to a good issue. The true and accepta- 
ble principles of mortification shall be afterward insisted on. 
Hatred of sin, as sin, not only as galling or disquieting, a 
sense of the love of Christ in the cross, lies at the bottom 
of all true spiritual mortification. Now it is certain, that 
that which I speak of, proceeds from self-love. Thou set- 
test thyself with all diligence and earnestness to mortify 
such a lust or sin ; what is the reason of it ? It disquiets 
thee, it hath taken away thy peace, it fills thy heart with 
sorrow, and trouble, and fear ; thou hast no rest because of 
it; yea, but friend, thou hast neglected prayer or reading, 
thou hast been vain and loose in thy conversation in other 
things, that have not been of the same nature with that lust 
wherewith thou art perplexed ; these are no less sins and 
evils, than those under which thou groanest; Jesus Christ 
bled for them also. Why dost thou not set thyself against 
them also? If thou hatest sin as sin, every evil way, thou 
wouldst be no less watchful against every thing that grieves 
and disquiets the Spirit of God, than against that which 


gtieves and disquiets thine own soul. It is evident that thou 
contendest against sin, merely because of thy own trouble by 
it. Would thy conscience be quiet under it, thou wouldst 
let it alone. Did it not disquiet thee, it should not be dis- 
quieted by thee. Now, canst thou think that God will set 
in with such hypocritical endeavours, that ever his Spirit 
will bear witness to the treachery and falsehood of thy spi- 
rit? Dost thou think he will ease thee of that which per- 
plexeth thee, that thou mayest be at liberty to that which 
no less grieves him ? No, says God, here is one, if he could 
be rid of this lust I should never hear of him more ; let him 
wrestle with this or he is lost. Let not any man think to 
do his own work, that will not do God's. God's work con- 
sists in universal obedience ; to be freed of the present per- 
plexity is their own only. Hence is that of the apostle, 
2 Cor. vii. 1. * Cleanse yourselves from all pollution of flesh 
and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of the Lord.' If 
we will do any thing, we must do all things. So then it is 
not only an intense opposition to this or that peculiar lust, 
but a universal humble frame and temper of heart, with 
wtach fulness over every evil, and for the performance of 
every duty that is accepted. 

2. How knowest thou but that God hath suffered the lust 
wherewith thou hast been perplexed, to get strength in thee, 
and power over thee, to chasten thee for thy other negli- 
gences, and common lukewarmness in walking before him; 
at least to awaken thee to the consideration of thy ways, 
that thou mayest make a thorough work and change in thy 
course of walking with him ? 

The rage and predominancy of a particular lust is com- 
monly the fruit and issue of a careless, negligent course in 
general ; and that upon a double account. 

(1.) As its natural effects, if I may so say. Lust, as I 
shewed, in general, lies in the heart of every one, even the 
the best, whilst he lives ; and think not that the Scripture 
speaks in vain, that it is subtle, cunning, crafty, that it se- 
duces, entices, fights, rebels. Whilst a man keeps a dili- 
gent watch over his heart, its root and fountain ; whilst above 
all keepings, he keeps his heart, whence are the issues of 
life and death, lust withers, and dies in it. But if through 
negligence it makes an eruptioji any particular way, gets a 


passage to the thoughts by the affections, and from them, 
and by them, perhaps breaks out into open sin in the 
conversation ; the strength of it bears that way it hath 
found out, and that way mainly it urgeth, until, having got 
a passage, it then vexes and disquiets, and is not easily to 
be restrained : thus perhaps a man may be put to wrestle all 
his days in sorrow, with that, which by a strict and univer- 
sal watch might easily have been prevented. 

(2.) As I said, God oftentimes suffers it to chasten our 
other negligences : for as with wicked men, he gives them 
up to one sin, as the judgment of another, a greater for the 
punishment of a less, or one that will hold them more firmly 
and securely, for that which they might have possibly obtain- 
ed a deliverance from f so even with his own, he may, he doth, 
leave them sometimes, to some vexatious distempers, either 
to prevent or cure some other evil. So was the messenger 
of Satan let loose on Paul, that he * might not be lifted up 
through the abundance of spiritual revelation.''' Was it not 
a correction to Peter's vain confidence, that he was left to 
deny his master? Now if this be the state and condition of 
lust in its prevalency, that God oftentimes suffers it so to 
prevail, at least to admonish us, and to humble us, perhaps 
to chasten and correct us for our general loose and careless 
walking, is it possible that the effect should be removed, 
and the cause continued ; that the particular lust should 
be mortified, and the general course be unreformed ? He 
then that would really, thoroughly, and acceptably mor- 
tify any disquieting lust, let him take care to be equally di- 
ligent in all parts of obedience, and know that every lust, 
every omission of duty, is burdensome to God, though but 
one, is so to him.'= Whilst there abides a treachery in the 
heart to indulge to any negligence in not pressing univer- 
sally to all perfection in obedience, the soul is weak, as not 
giving faith its whole work ; and selfish, as considering more 
the trouble of sin, than the filth and guilt of it, and lives 
under a constant provocation of God, so that it may not ex- 
pect any comfortable issue in any spiritual duty that it doth 
undertake, much less in this under consideration, which re- 
quires another principle and frame of spirit for its occom- 

» Rom. i. 36. >> 2 Cor. xii. 7. * Isa. .\Iiii.31. 



Particular directions in relation to the foregoing case proposed. First , 
Consider the dangerous symptoms of any lust. 1. Inveterateness. 2. Peace 
obtained under it; the several ways whereby that is done. 3. Frequency 
of success in its seductions. 4. The soul's fighting against it, with argu- 
ments only taken from the enent. 5. Its being attended with judiciary 
hardness. Q. Its withstanding particular dealings from God. The state 
of persons in whom these things are found. 

The foregoing general rules being supposed, particular di- 
rections to the soul, for its guidance under the sense of a 
disquieting lust or distemper, being the main thing I aim at, 
come next to be proposed. Now of these some are previous 
and preparatory, and in some of them the work itself is con- 
tained. Of the first sort are these ensuing. 

1. Consider what dangerous symptoms thy lust hath 
attending or accompanying it. Whether it hath any deadly 
mark on it or no ; if it hath, extraordinary remedies are to 
be used ; an ordinary course of mortification v/ill not do it. 

You will say, what are these dangerous marks and symp- 
toms, the desperate attendances of an indwelling lust that 
you intend? Some of them I shall name. 

(1.) Inveterateness; if it hath lain long corrupting in thy 
heart, if thou hast suffered it to abide in power and pre- 
valency, without attempting vigorously the killing of it, and 
the healing of the wounds thou hast received by it, for some 
long season, thy distemper is dangerous. Hast thou permit- 
ted worldliness, ambition, greediness of study, to eat up other 
duties; the duties wherein thou oughtest to hold constant 
communion with God, for some long season ? or uncleanness 
to defile thy heart, with vain and foolish and wicked imagina- 
tions for many days? Thy lust hath a dangerous symptom. 
So was the case with David, Psal. xxxviii. 5. ' My wounds 
stink and are corrupt because of my foolishness.' When a 
lust hath lain long in the heart, corrupting, festering, canker- 
ing, it brings the soul to awoful condition. In such a case 
an ordinary course of humiliation will not do the work: 
whatever it be, it will by this means insinuate itself more or 
less into all the faculties of tiie soul, and habituate the affec- 
tions to its company and society ; it grows familiar to the 


mind and conscience, that they do not startle at it as a 
strange thing, but are bold with it as that which they are 
wonted unto ; yea, it will get such advantage by this means, 
as oftentimes to exert and put forth itself, without having 
any notice taken of it at all ; as it seems to have been with 
Joseph in his swearing by the life of Pharaoh. Unless some 
extraordinary course be taken, such a person hath no 
ground in the world to expect that his latter end shall be 
peace. For, 

[1.] How will he be able to distinguish between the long 
abode of an unmortified lust, and the dominion of sin, which 
cannot befall a regenerate person? 

[2.] How can he promise himself, that it shall ever be 
otherwise with him, or that his lust will cease tumultuating 
and seducing, when he sees it fixed and abiding, and hath 
done so for many days, and hath gone through variety of 
conditions with him? It may be it hath tried mercies and 
afflictions, and those possibly so remarkable, that the soul 
could not avoid the taking special notice of them ; it may be 
it hath weathered out many a storm ; and passed under much 
variety of gifts in the administration of the word ; and will 
it prove an easy thing, to dislodge an inmate pleading a little 
by prescription ? Old neglected wounds are often mortal, 
always dangerous. Indwelling distempers grow rusty and 
stubborn, by continuance in ease and quiet. Lust is such 
an inmate, as if it can plead time and some prescription, will 
not easily be ejected. As it never dies of itself, so if it be 
not daily killed, it will always gather strength. 

(2.) Secret pleas of the heart for the countenancing of 
itself, and keeping up its peace, notwithstanding the abiding 
of a lust, without a vigorous gospel attempt for its mortifi- 
cation, is another dangerous symptom of a deadly distemper 
in the heart. Now there be several ways whereby this may 
be done ; I shall name some of them. As, 

[1.] When upon thoughts, perplexing thoughts about sin, 
instead of applying himself to the destruction of it, a man 
searches his heart to see wliat evidences he can find of a 
good condition, notwithstanding that sin and lust, so that 
it may go well with him. 

For a man to gather up his experiences of God, to call 
them to mind, to collect them, consider, try, improve them. 


is an excellent thing ; a duty practised by all the saints ; 
commended in the Old Testament and the ^New. This was 
David's work, when he * communed with his own heart/ and 
called to remembrance the former loving-kindness of the 
Lord." This is the duty that Paul sets us to practise ; 2 Cor. 
xiii. 5. And as it is in itself excellent, so it hath beauty 
added to it, by a proper season, a time of trial, or tempta- 
tion, or disquietness of the heart about sin, is a picture of 
silver to set off this golden apple, as Solomon speaks ; but 
now to do it, for this end, to satisfy conscience, which cries, 
and calls for another purpose, is a desperate device of a 
heart in love with sin. When a man's conscience shall deal 
with him, when God shall rebuke him for the sinful distem- 
per of his heart, if he, instead of applying himself to get 
that sin pardoned in the blood of Christ and mortified by 
his Spirit, shall relieve himself by any such other evidences 
as he hath, or thinks himself to have, and so disentangle 
himself from under the yoke, that God was putting on his 
neck ; his condition is very dangerous, his wound hardly 
curable. Thus the Jews, under the gallings of their own 
consciences, and the convincing preachings of our Saviour, 
supported themselves with this, that they were Abraham's 
children, and on that account accepted with God, and so 
countenanced themselves in all abominable wickedness, to 
their utter ruin. 

This is in some degree, a blessing of a man's self, and 
saying that upon one account or other he shall have peace, 
* although he adds drunkenness to thirst ;' love of sin, un- 
dervaluation of peace, and of all tastes of love from God, are 
enwrapped in such a frame : such a one plainly shews, that 
if he can but keep up hope of escaping the * wrath for to 
come,' he can be well content, to be unfruitful in the world, 
at any distance from God, that is not final separation. What 
is to be expected from such a heart? 

[2.] By applying grace and mercy to an unmortified sin, 
or one not sincerely endeavoured to be mortified, is this de- 
ceit carried on. This is a sign of a heart greatly entangled 
with the love of sin. When a man hath secret thoughts in 
his heart, not unlike those of Naaman, about his worshipping 
in the house of Rimmon ;'' in all other things I will walk with 

• Psal. Ixxvii. 6—9. •> 2 Kings v. 18, 


God, but in this thing, God be merciful unto me ; his con- 
dition is sad. Itis true, indeed, a resolution to this purjjose, 
to indulge a man's self in any sin on the account of mercy, 
seems to be, and doubtless in any course, is altogether in- 
consistent with Christian sincerity, and is a badge of a hy- 
pocrite, and is the ' turning of the grace of God into wanton- 
ness;'"^ yet I doubt not, but through the craft of Satan, and 
their own remaining unbelief, the children of God may them- 
selves sometimes be ensnared with this deceit of sin ; or else 
Paul would never have so cautioned them against it, as he 
doth; Rom. vi. 1, 2. Yea, indeed, there is nothing more 
natural, than for fleshly reasonings to grow high and strong 
upon this account. The flesh would feign be indulged unto 
upon the account of grace : and every word that is spoken 
of mercy, it stands ready to catch at, and to pervert it, to its 
own corrupt aims and purposes. To apply mercy then to a 
sin not vigorously mortified, is to fulfil the end of the flesh 
upon the gospel. 

These and many other ways and wiles, a deceitful heart 
will sometimes make use of, to countenance itself in its 
abominations. Now, when a man with his sin is in this con- 
dition, that there is a secret liking of the sin prevalent in 
his heart, and though his will be not wholly set upon it, yet 
he hath an imperfect velleity towards it, he would practise 
it, were it not for such and such considerations, and here- 
upon relieves himself other ways than by the mortification 
and pardon of it in the blood of Christ; that man's wounds 
stink and are corrupt, and he will without speedy deliver- 
ance be at the door of death. 

(3.) Frequency of success in sin's seduction, in obtaining 
the prevailing consent of the will unto it, is another dan- 
gerous symptom. This is that, I mean, when the sin spoken 
of gets the consent of the will, with some delight, though it 
be not actually outwardly perpetrated, yet it hath success. 
A man may not be able upon outward considerations, to go 
alono" with sin, to that which James calls the finishing of 
it,"^ as to the outward acts of sin, when yet the will of sinning 
may be actually obtained, then hath it, I say, success. Now 
if any lust be able thus far to prevail in the soul of any man, 
as his condition may possibly be very bad, and himself be 

« Judc 1. •* Jamts i. 11, 15, 


imregenerate, so it cannot possibly be very good, but danger- 
ous ; and it is all one upon the matter, whether this be done 
by the choice of the will, or by inadvertency. For that in- 
advertency itself is in a manner chosen. When we are in- 
advertent and negligent, where we are bound to watchful- 
ness and carefulness, that inadvertency doth not take off 
from the voluntariness of what we do thereupon ; for al- 
though men do not choose and resolve to be negligent and 
inadvertent, yet if they choose the things that will make 
them so, they choose inadvertency itself, as a thing may be 
chosen in its cause. 

And let not men think that the evil of their hearts is in 
any measure extenuated, because they seem for the most 
part to be surprised into that consent which they seem to 
give unto it; for it is negligence of their duty in watching 
over their hearts, that betrays them into that surprisal. 

(4.) When a m.an fighteth against his sin only with argu- 
ments from the issue, or the punishment due unto it ; this 
is a sign, that sin hath taken great possession of the will, 
and that in the heart there is a superfluity of naughtiness. 
Such a man as opposes nothing to the seduction of sin and 
lust in his heart, but fear of shame among men, or hell from 
God, is sufficiently resolved to do the sin, if there were no 
punishment attending it, which, what it differs from living 
in the practice of sin, I know not. Those who are Christ's, 
and are acted in their obedience upon gospel principles, have 
the death of Christ, the love of God, the detestable nature 
of sin, the preciousness of communion with God, a deep 
grounded abhorrency of sin, as sin, to oppose to any se- 
duction of sin ; to all the workings, strivings, fightings of 
lust in their hearts. So did Joseph, ' How shall I do this 
great evii,'saithhe, 'and sin against the Lord?' my good and 
gracious God.^ And Paul, * The love of Christ constrains 
us;^ and having received these promises, let us cleanse 
ourselves from all pollution, of flesh and spirit;' 2 Cor. vii. 1. 
But now if a man be so under the power of his lust, that he 
hath nothing but law to oppose it withal, if he cannot fight 
against it with gospel weapons, but deals with it altogether 
with hell and judgment, which are the proper arms of the 
law, it is most evident, that sin hath possessed itself of his 
e Gen. xxxix. 9. f 2 Cor. v. 14. 


will and affections, to a very great prevalency and con- 

Such a person hath cast off, as to the particular spoken 
of, the conduct of renewing grace, and is kept from ruin only 
by restraining grace : and so far is he fallen from grace, and 
returned under the power of the law ; and can it be thought 
that this is not a great provocation to Christ, that men should 
cast off his easy gentle yoke and rule, and cast themselves 
under the iron yoke of the law, merely out of indulgence 
unto their lusts? 

Try thyself by this also, when thou art by sin driven to make 
a stand, so that thou must either serve it, and rush at the 
command of it into folly, like the horse into the battle, or 
make head against it to suppress it ; what dost thou say to 
thy soul? what dost thou expostulate with thyself? Is this 
all, hell will be the end of this course, vengeance will meet 
with me, and find me out? It is time for thee to look about 
thee, evil lies at the door. Paul's main argument to evince 
that sin shall not have dominion over believers, is, that they 
* are not under the law, but under grace ;' Rom. vi. 14. If 
thy contendings against sin be all on legal accounts, from 
leoal principles and motives, what assurance canst thou at- 
tain unto, that sin shall not have dominion over thee, which 
will be thy ruin ? 

Yea know that this reserve will not long hold out : if 
thy lust hath driven thee from stronger gospel forts, it will 
speedily prevail against this also ; do not suppose that such 
considerations will deliver thee, when thou hast voluntarily 
given up to thine enemy those helps and means of preserva- 
tion which have a thousand times their strengh ; rest as- 
suredly in this, that unless thou recover thyself with speed, 
from this condition, the thing that thou fearest will come 
upon thee ; what gospel principles do not, legal motives 
cannot do. 

(5.) When it is probable that there is, or may be somewhat 
of judiciary hardness, or at least of chastening punishment in 
thy lust as disquieting. This is another dangerous symptom, 
that God doth sometimes leave even those of his own, under 
the perplexing power, at least of some lust or sin, to correct 
them for furmer sins, negligence, and folly, I no way doubt. 
Hence was that complaint of the church, ' Why hast thou 


hardened us from the fear of thy name?' Isa. Ixiii. 17. 
That this is his way of dealing with unregenerate men, no 
man questions. But how shall a man know whether there be 
any thing of God's chastening hand, in his being left to the 
disquietment of his distemper ? Ans. Examine thy heart and 
ways, what was the state and condition of thy soul before 
thou fellest into the entanglements of that sin, which now 
thou so complainest of? Hadst thou been negligent in 
duties? Hadst thou lived inordinately to thyself? Is there 
the guilt of any great sin lying upon thee unrepented of? 
A new sin may be permitted, as well as a new affliction sent 
to bring an old sin to remembrance. 

Hast thou received any eminent mercy, protection, de- 
liverance, which thou didst not improve, in a due manner, 
nor wast thankful for? or hast been exercised with any af- 
fliction, without labouring for the appointed end of it? or 
hast thou been wanting to the opportunities of glorifying 
God in thy generation, which in his good providence he had 
graciously afforded unto thee ? or hast thou conformed thy- 
self unto the world and the men of it, through the abound- 
ing of temptations in the days wherein thou livest? 

If thou findest this to have been thy state, awake, call 
upon God, thou art fast asleep in a storm of anger round 
about thee. 

(6.) When thy lust hath already withstood particular 
dealings from God against it. This condition is described, 
Isa. Ivii. 17. 'For the iniquity of his covetousness I was 
wroth, and smote him, I hid me and was wroth, and he 
went on frowardly in the way of his heart. God had dealt 
with them about their prevailing lust, and that several ways, 
by affliction and desertion, but they held out against all. 
This is a sad condition, which nothing but mere sovereign 
grace (as God expresses it in the next verse) can relieve a 
man in, and which no man ought to promise himself, or 
bear himself upon. God oftentimes in his providential 
dispensations meets with a man, and speaks particularly to 
the evil of his heart, as he did to Joseph's brethren in their 
selling of him into Egypt. This makes the man reflect on 
his sin, and judge himself in particular for it. God makes 
it to be the voice of the danger, affliction, trouble, sickness, 
that he is in, or under. Sometimes in reading of the vi'ord. 


God makes a man stay on something that cuts him to the 
heart, and shakes him as to his present condition. More 
frequently in the hearing of the word preached, his great 
ordinance for conviction, conversion, and edification, doth 
he meet with men. God often hews men by the sword of 
his word in that ordinance ; strikes directly on their bosom 
beloved lust; startles the sinner, makes him engage into the 
mortification and relinquishment of the evil of his heart. 
Now if his lust have taken such hold on him, as to enforce 
him to break these bonds of the Lord, and to cast these 
cords from him ; if it overcomes these convictions, and gets 
again into its old posture; if it can cure the wounds it so 
receives, that soul is in a sad condition. 

Unspeakable are the evils which attend such a frame of 
heart: every particular warning to a man in such an estate 
is an inestimable mercy ; how then doth he despise God in 
them, who holds out against them ; and what infinite pa- 
tience is this in God, that he doth not cast off such a one, 
and swear in his wu^ath, that he shall never enter into his 

These and many other evidences are there of a lust that 
is dangerous, if not mortal. As our Saviour said of the evil 
spirit, * This kind, goes not out but by fasting and prayer;' 
so say I, of lusts of this kind ; an ordinary course of morti- 
fication will not do it, extraordinary ways must be fixed on. 

This is the fifth particular direction ; consider whether 
the lust or sin, you are contending with, hath any of these 
dangerous symptoms attending of it. Before I proceed, I 
must give one caution by the way, lest any be deceived by 
what hath been spoken. Whereas, I say, the things and 
evils above-mentioned may befall true believers, let not any 
that finds the same things in himself, thence or from thence 
conclude, that he is a true believer. These are the evils that 
believers may fall into, and be ensnared withal, not the 
things that constitute a believer. A man may as well con- 
clude that he is a believer, because he is an adulterer ; be- 
cause David that was so, fell into adultery ; as conclude it 
from the signs foregoing ; which are the evils of sin and 
Satan in the hearts of believers. The 7th chapter of the 
Romans contains the description of a regenerate man. He 
that shall comsider what is spoken of his dark side, of his 


unregenerate part, of the indwelling power and violence of 
sin remaining in him, and because he finds the like in himself, 
conclude that he is a regenerate man, will be deceived in 
his reckoning. It is all one as if you should argue, a wise 
man may be sick and wounded, yea, do some things foolishly, 
therefore every one, who is sick and wounded, and does 
things foolishly is a wise man. Or as if a silly deformed 
creature hearing one speaking of a beautiful person, should 
say that he had a mark or a scar that much disfigured him, 
should conclude that because he hath himself scars, and 
moles, and warts, that he also is beautiful. If you will have 
evidences of your being believers, it must be from those 
things that constitute men believers. He that hath these 
things in himself, may safely conclude, if I am a believei', I 
am a most miserable one. But that any man is so, he must 
look for other evidences, if he will have peace. 


The second particular direction. Get a clear sense of , 1. The guilt of 
the sin perplexing. Considerations for help therein proposed. 2. The 
da^iger manifold. {\.) Hardening. {2.) Temporal correction, (3.) Loss 
of peace and strength. (4.) Eternal destruction. Rules for this ma- 
nagement of the consideration. 3. The evil of it. (1.) In grieving 
the Spirit. (2.) Wowiding the new creature. 

The second direction is this: Get a clear and abiding sense 
upon thy mind and conscience of the guilt, danger, and evil, 
of that sin, wherewith thou art perplexed. 

1. Of the guilt of it. It is one of the deceits of a pre- 
vailing lust, to extenuate its own guilt. Is it not a little 
one ? ' When I go and bow myself in the house of Rimmon, 
God be merciful to me in this thing.' Though this be bad, 
yet it is not so bad, as such and such an evil ; others of the 
people of God have had such a frame ; yea, what dreadful 
actual sins have some of them fallen into. Innumerable 
ways there are, whereby sin diverts the mind from a right 
and due apprehension of its guilt. Its noisome exhalations 
darken the mind, that it cannot make a right judgment of 
things. Perplexings reasonings, extenuating promises, tu- 

VOL. VII. 2 c 

38G MORTll-lCA'J I0\ OF SIX 

multuating desires, treacherous purposes of reliuquishment, 
hopes of mercy ; all have their share in disturbing the mind, 
in its consideration of the guilt of a prevailing lust. The 
prophet tells us, that lust will do thus wholly, when it comes 
to the height; Hos. iv. 11. ' Whoredom and wine, and new 
wine take away the heart;' the heart, i. e. the understanding, 
as it is often used in the Scripture. And as they accom- 
plish this work to the height in unregenerate persons, so 
in part in regenerate also. Solomon tells you of him who 
was enticed by the lewd woman, that he was among the 
simple ones, he was ' a young man void of understanding ;' 
Prov, vii. 7. And wherein did his folly appear? Why, says 
he, in the 23d ver. ' He knew not that it was for his life ;' 
he considered not the guilt of the evil that he was involved 
in. And the Lord rendering a reason why his dealings with 
Ephraim took no better effect, gives this account; 'Ephraim 
is like a silly dove, without heart ;' Hos. vii. 11, had no un- 
derstanding of his own miserable condition. Had it been 
possible that David should have lain so long in the guilt of 
of that abominable sin, but that he had innumerable corrupt 
reasonings, hindering him from taking a clear view of its 
ugliness and guilt in the glass of the law ; this made the 
prophet that was sent for his awaking, in his dealings with 
him, to shut up all subterfuges and pretences, by his para- 
ble ; that so he might fall fully under a sense of the guilt of 
it. This is the proper issue of lust in the heart, it darkens the 
mind that it shall not judge aright of its guilt, and many 
other ways it hath for its own extenuation, that I shall not 
now insist on. 

Let this then be the first care of him that w^ould mortify 
sin, to fix a right judgment of its guilt in his mind. To 
which end take these considerations to thy assistance. 

(1.) Though the power of sin be weakened by inherent 
grace, in them that have it, that sin shall not have dominion 
over them, as it hath over others ; yet the guilt of sin that 
doth yet abide and remain, is aggravated and heightened by 
it; Horn. vi. 1,2. *What shall we say then? Shall we con- 
tinue in sin that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall 
we that are dead to sin live any longer therein V How shall 
we that are dead ; the emphasis is on the word *we.' How 
shall we do it, who, as he afterward describes it, have received 


grace from Christ to the contrary ? We doubtless are more 
evil than any ; if we do it. I shall not insist on the special 
aggravations of the sins of such persons ; how they sin 
against more love, mercy, grace, assistance, relief, means, 
and deliverances, than others. But let this consideration 
abide in thy mind; there is inconceivably more evil and 
guilt in the evil of thy heart, that doth remain, than there 
would be in so much sin, if thou hadst no grace at all. Ob- 

(2.) That as God sees abundance of beauty and excel- 
lency in the desires of the heart of his servants, more than 
in any the most glorious works of other men, yea, more than 
in most of their own outward performances, which have a 
greater mixture of sin, than the desires and pantings of 
grace in the heart have, so God sees a great deal of evil in 
the working of lust in their hearts, yea, and more than in the 
open, notorious acts of wicked men, or in many outward 
sins whereinto the saints may fall, seeing against them 
there is more opposition made, and more humiliation gene- 
rally follows them. Thus Christ, dealing with his decaying 
children, goes to the root with them ; lays aside their pro- 
fession; Rev. iii. 15. I know thee, thou art quite another 
thing than thou professest, and this makes thee abominable. 
So then ; let these things and the like considerations 
iead thee to a clear sense of the guilt of thy indwelling lust, 
that there may be no room in thy heart for extenuating, or 
excusing thoughts, whereby sin insensibly will get strength 
and prevail. 

2. Consider the danger of it, which is manifold. 
(1.) Of being hardened by its deceitfulness; this the apo- 
stle sorely charges on the Hebrews, chap. iii. 12, 13. 'Take 
heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of 
unbelief, in departing from the living God. But exhort one 
another daily, while it is called To-day; lest any of you be 
hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.' Take heed, 
saith he, use all means, consider your temptations, watch 
diligently, there is a treachery, a deceit in sin, that tends to 
the hardening of your hearts from the fear of God. The 
hardening here mentioned is to the utmost ; utter obdura 
tion, sin tends to it, and every distemper and lust will make 
at least some progress towards it. Thou that wast tender, 

2 c 2 


and didst use to melt under the word, under afflictions, wilt 
grow as some have profanely spoken, sermon proof, and 
sickness proof; thou that didst tremble at the presence of 
God, thoughts of death, and appearance before him, when 
thou hadst more assurance of his love than now thou hast, 
shalt have a stoutness upon thy spirit, not to be moved by 
these things. Thy soul and thy sin shall be spoken of, and 
spoken to, and thou shalt not be at all concerned ; but shalt 
be able to pass over duties, praying, hearing, reading, and 
thy heart not in the least affected. Sin will grow a light 
thing to thee; thou wilt pass it by as a thing of nought ; 
this it will grow to, and what will be the end of such a con- 
dition? can a sadder thing befall thee? is it not enough to 
make any heart to tremble to think of being brought into 
that estate, wherein he should have slight thoughts of sin? 
slight thoughts of grace, of mercy, of the blood of Christ, of 
the law, heaven and hell, come all in at the same season : 
take heed, this is that thy lust is working towards; the 
hardening of the heart, searing of the conscience, blinding of 
the mind, stupifying of the affections, and deceiving of the 
whole soul. 

(2.) The danger of some great temporal correction, which 
the Scripture calls vengeance, judgment, and punishment ; 
Psal. Ixxxix. 30 — 33. Though God should not utterly cast 
thee off for this abomination that lies in thy heart, yet he 
will visit thee with the rod ; though he pardon and forgive, 
he will take vengeance of thy inventions. O remember 
David and all his troubles ; look on him flying into the 
wilderness, and consider the hand of God upon him. Is it 
nothing to thee, that God should kill thy child in anger, 
ruin thy estate in anger, break thy bones in anger, suffer 
thee to be a scandal and reproach in anger, kill thee, de- 
stroy thee, make thee lie down in darkness, in anger ? Is it 
nothing that he should punish, ruin, and undo others for thy 
sake ? Let me not be mistaken I I do not mean, that God 
doth send all these things always on his in anger; God for- 
bid. But this, I say, that when he doth so deal with thee, 
and thy conscience bears witness with him, what thy pro- 
vocations have been, thou wilt find his dealings full of bit- 
terness to thy soul. If thou fearest not these things, I fear 
thou art under hardness. 


. (3.) Loss of peace and strength all a man's days. To 
have peace with God, to have strength to walk before God, 
is the sum of the great promises of the covenant of grace. 
In these things is the life of our souls. Without them in 
some comfortable measure, to live, is to die. What good 
will our lives do us, if we see not the face of God sometimes 
in peace ? If we have not some strength to walk with him? 
Now both these will an unmortified lust certainly deprive 
the souls of men of. This case is so evident in David, as 
that nothing can be more clear. How often doth he com- 
plain that his bones were broken, his soul disquieted, his 
wounds grievous on this account ? Take other instances ; 
Isa. Ivii. 18. ' For the iniquity of his covetousness I was 
wrath, and hid myself.' What peace, I pray, is there to a 
soul while God hides himself; or strength whilst he smites? 
Hos. V. 15. 'I will go and return to my place, until they 
acknowledge their offence, and seek ray face.' I will leave 
them, hide my face, and what will become of their peace 
and strength? If ever then thou hast enjoyed peace with 
God, if ever his terrors have made thee afraid, if ever thou 
hast had strength to walk with him, or ever hast mourned 
in thy prayer, and been troubled because of thy weakness, 
think of this danger that hangs over thy head. It is per- 
haps but a little while and thou shalt see the face of God 
in peace no more. Perhaps by to-morrow thou shalt not be 
able to pray, read, hear, or perform any duties with the 
least cheerfulness, hfe, or vigour ; and possibly thou mayest 
never see a quiet hour whilst thou livest ; that thou mayest 
carry about thee broken bones, full of pain and terror all 
the days of thy life ; yea, perhaps God will shoot his arrows 
at thee, and fill thee with anguish and disquietness, with 
fears and perplexities ; make thee a terror and an astonish- 
ment to thyself and others, shew thee hell and wrath every 
moment; frighten and scare thee with sad apprehensions of 
his hatred, so that thy sore shall run in the night season, 
and thy soul shall refuse comfort ; so that thou shalt wish 
death rather than life, yea, thy soul may choose strangling. 
Consider this a little, though God should not utterly de- 
stroy thee, yet he might cast thee into this condition, 
wherein thou shalt have quick and living apprehensions of 
thy destruction. Wont thy heart to thoughts hereof. Let 


it know what is like to be the issue of its state, leave not 
this consideration, until thou hast made thy soul to tremble 
within thee. 

(4.) There is the danger of eternal destruction. 

For the due management of this consideration, observe, 

[1.] That there is such a connexion between a continu- 
ance in sin, and eternal destruction, that though God does 
resolve to deliver some from a continuance in sin, that they 
may not be destroyed, yet he will deliver none from destruc- 
tion, that continue in sin. So that whilst any one lies un- 
der an abiding power of sin, the threats of destruction and 
everlasting separation from God are to be held out to him; 
so Heb. iii. 12. to which add chap. x. 38. This is the rule 
of God's proceeding. If any man depart from him, ' draw 
back through unbelief, God's soul hath no pleasure in him, 
that is, his indignation shall pursue him to destruction ; so 
evidently. Gal. vi. 8. 

[2.] That he who is so entangled as above described under 
the power of any corruption, can have at that present no clear 
prevailing evidence of his interest in the covenant, by the 
efficacy whereof he may be delivered from fear of destruc- 
tion. So that destruction from the Lord may justly be a terror 
to him; and he may, he ought to look upon it, as that which 
will be the end of his course and ways. ' There is no con- 
demnation to them that are in Christ Jesus ;' Rom. viii. 1. 
true; but who shall have the comfort of this assertion? 
Who may assume it to himself? 'They that walk after the 
Spirit, and not after the flesh.' But you will say, Is not 
this to persuade men to unbelief? I answer, no ; there is a 
twofold j udgment that a man may make of himself ; first, of his 
person, and secondly, of his ways. It is the judgment of his 
ways, not his person that I speak of; let a man get the best 
evidence for his person that he can, yet to judge that an evil 
way will end in destruction, is his duty, not to do it is athe- 
ism. I do not say, that in such a condition a man ought to 
throw away the evidences of his personal interest in Christ; 
but I say, he cannot keep them. There is a 'twofold con- 
demnation of a man's self ; First, In respect of desert, when 
the soul concludes, that it deserves to be cast out of the 
presence of God ; and this is so far from a business of un- 
belief, that it is an effect of faith. Secondly, With respect 


to the issue and event; when the soul concludes it shall be 
damned. I do not say this is the duty of any one, nor do I 
call them to it, but this I say, that the end of the way where- 
in a man is, ought by him to be concluded to be death, that 
he may be provoked to fly from it. And this is another con- 
sideration, that ought to dwell upon such a soul, if it desire 
to be freed from the entanglement of its lusts. 

3. Consider the evils of it ; I mean its present evils. 
Danger respects what is to come ; evil what is present. 
Some of the many evils that attend an unmortifiedlust may 
be mentioned, 

(1.) It grieves the holy and blessed Spirit, which is given 
to believers to dwell in them, and abide with them. So the 
apostle, Eph, iv. 25 — 29. dehorting them from many lusts 
and sins, gives this as the great motive of it, ver. 30. 'Grieve 
not the Holy Spirit, whereby you are sealed to the day of 
of redemption.' Grieve not that Spirit of God, saith he, 
whereby you receive so many and so great benefits, of which 
he instances in one signal and comprehensive one; 'sealing 
to the day of redemption.' He is grieved by it, as a tender 
and loving friend is grieved at the unkindness of his friend, 
of whom he hath well deserved ; so is it with this tender 
and loving Spirit, who hath chosen our hearts for a habita- 
tion to dwell in, and there to do for us all that our souls de- 
sire. He is grieved by our harbouring his enemies, and 
those whom he is to destroy in our hearts, with him. He 
doth not afflict willingly, nor grieve us; Lam. iii. 33. and 
shall we daily grieve him? Thus is he said sometimes to be 
vexed, sometimes grieved at his heart, to express the great- 
est sense of our provocation. Now if there be any thing of 
gracious ingenuity left in the soul, if it be not utterly hard- 
ened by the deceitfulness of sin, this consideration will cer- 
tainly affect it. Consider who and what thou art, who the 
Spirit is that is grieved, what he hath done for thee, what 
he comes to thy soul about, what he hath already done in 
thee, and be ashamed. Among those who walk with God, 
there is no greater motive and incentive unto universal ho- 
liness, and the preserving of their hearts and spirits, in all 
purity and cleanness than this, that the blessed Spirit, who 
hath undertaken to dwell in them as temples of God, and to 
preserve them meet for him who so dwells in them, is con- 
tinually considering what they give entertainment in their 


hearts unto, and rejoiceth when his temple is kept undefiled ; 
that was a high aggravation of the sin of Zimri, that he 
brought his adulteress into the congregation in the sight of 
Moses and the rest, who were weeping for the sins of the 
people ; Numb. xxv. G. and is it not a high aggravation of 
the countenancing a lust, or suffering it to abide in the heart, 
when it is (as it must be, if we are believers), entertained 
under the peculiar eye and view of the Holy Ghost; taking 
care to preserve his tabernacle pure and holy. 

(2.) The Lord Jesus Christ is wounded afresh by it; his 
new creature in the heart is wounded; his love is foiled; 
his adversary gratified. As a total relinquishment of him, 
by the deceitfulness of sin, is the crucifying him afresh, and 
the ' putting of him to open shame ;' so every harbouring of 
sin that he came to destroy, wounds and grieves him. 

(3.) It will take away a man's usefulness in his genera- 
tion. His works, his endeavours, his labours, seldom receive 
blessing from God. If he be a preacher, God commonly 
blows upon his ministry, that he shall labour in the fire, and 
not be honoured with any success, or doing any work for 
God ; and the like may be spoken of other conditions. The 
world is at this day full of poor withering professors ; how 
few are there that walk in any beauty or glory ; how bar- 
ren, how useless, are they for the most part? Amongst the 
many reasons that may be assigned of this sad estate, it may 
justly be feared, that this is none of the least effectual ; many 
men harbour spirit-devouring lusts, in their bosoms, that 
lie as worms, at the root of their obedience and corrode and 
weaken it day by day. All graces, all the ways and means 
whereby any graces may be exercised and improved, are pre- 
judiced by this means; and as to any success God blasts 
such men's undertakings. 

This then is my second direction, and it regards the op- 
position that is to be made to lust, in respect of its habitual 
residence in the soul ; keep alive upon thy heart, these or 
the like considerations of its guilt, danger, and evil ; be 
much in the meditation of these things. Cause thy heart 
to dwell and abide upon them. Engage thy thoughts into 
these considerations, let them not go off, nor wander from 
them, until they begin to have a powerful influence upon thy 
soul ; until they make it to tremble. 



The third direction proposed. Load thy conscience tvith the guilt of the 
perplexing distemper. The ways and means tvhereby that may be done. 
The fourth direction. Vehement desire for deliverance. The fifth. 
Some distempers rooted deeply in men's natural tempers. Considerations 
of such distempers: ways of dealings with them. The sixth direction. 
Occasions and advantages of sin to be prevented. The seventh direction. 
The first actings of sin vigorously to be opposed. 

This is my third direction. 

Load thy conscience with the guilt of it. Not only con- 
sider that it hath a guilt, but load thy conscience with the 
guilt of its actual eruptions and distui'bances. 

For the right improvement of this rule, I shall give some 
particular directions. 

1. Take God's method in it, and begin with generals, 
and so descend to particulars. 

(1.) Charge thy conscience with that guilt which appears 
in it, from the rectitude and holiness of the law. Bring the 
holy law of God into thy conscience, lay thy corruption to 
it ; pray that thou mayest be affected with it. Consider the 
holiness, spirituality, fiery severity, inwardness, absoluteness 
of the law ; and see how thou canst stand before it. Be 
much, I say, in affecting thy conscience with the terror of 
the Lord in the law, and how righteous it is, that every one 
of thy transgressions should receive a recompense of reward. 
Perhaps thy conscience will invent shifts and evasions to 
keep off the power of this consideration, as that the con- 
demning power of the law doth not belong to thee, thou 
art set free from it, and the like ; and so, though thou be not 
conformable to it, yet thou needest not to be so much trou- 
bled at it. But, 

[1.] Tell thy conscience, that it cannot manage any 
evidence to the purpose, that thou art free from the con- 
demning power of sin, whilst thy unmortified lust lies in thy 
heart; so that perhaps the law may make good its plea 
against thee, for a full dominion, and then thou art a lost 
creature. Wherefore it is best to ponder to the utmost, 
what it hath to say. 


Assuredly, he that pleads in the most secret reserve of 
his heart, that he is freed from the condemning power of the 
law, thereby secretly to countenance himself in giving the 
least allowance unto any sin or lust, is not able on gospel 
grounds, to manage any evidence unto any tolerable spiri- 
tual security, that indeed he is in a due manner freed from 
what he so pretends himself to be delivered. 

[2.] Whatever be the issue, yet the law hath commission 
from God to seize upon transgressors, wherever it find them, 
and so bring them before his throne, where they are to plead 
for themselves. This is thy present case, the law hath found 
thee out; and before God it wall bring thee, if thou canst 
plead a pardon, well and good, if not, the law will do its 

[3.] However, this is the proper work of the law, to dis- 
cover sin in the guilt of it, to awake and humble the soul 
for it, to be a glass to represent sin in its colours ; and if 
thou deniest to deal with it on this account, it is not through 
faith, but through the hardness of thy heart, and the deceit- 
fulness of sin. 

This is a door that too many professors liave gone out 
at, unto open apostacy ; such a deliverance from the law 
they have pretended, as that they would consult its guid- 
ance and direction no more; they would measure their sin 
by it no more ; by little and little this principle hath insen- 
sibly, from the notion of it, proceeded to influence their 
practical understandings; and, having taken possession there, 
hath turned the will and affections loose to all manner of 

By such ways, I say then as these, persuade thy con- 
science to hearken diligently to what the law speaks in the 
name of the Lord unto thee, about thy lust and corruption. 
Oh ! if thy ears be open, it will speak with a voice that shall 
make thee tremble, that shall cast thee to the ground, and fill 
thee with astonishment. If ever thou wilt mortify thy cor- 
ruptions, thou must tie up thy conscience to the law, shut 
it from all shifts and exceptions, until it owns its guilt with 
a clear and thorough apprehension ; so that thence, as David 
speaks, thy ' iniquity may ever be before thee.' 

(2.) Bring thy lust to the gospel ; not for relief, but for 
farther conviction of its guilt, look on him whom thou hast 


pierced, and be in bitterness. Say to thy soul. What have 
I done; what love, what mercy, what blood, what grace 
have I despised and trampled on ? Is this the return I make 
to the Father, for his love, to the Son for his blood, to the 
Holy Ghost for his grace? Do I thus requite the Lord? 
Have I defiled the heart that Christ died to wash, that the 
blessed Spirit hath chosen to dwell in? And can I keep 
myself out of the dust? What can I say to the dear Lord 
Jesus? How shall I hold up my head with any boldness be- 
fore him ? Do I account communion with him of so little 
value, that for this vile lust's sake, I have scarce left him any 
room in my heart? How shall I escape, if I neglect so great 
salvation? In the meantime, what shall I say to the Lord? 
Love, mercy, grace, goodness, peace, joy, consolation, I 
have despised them all, and esteemed them as a thing of 
nought, that I might harbour a lust in my heart. Have I 
obtained a view of God's fatherly coimtenance, that I might 
behold his face, and provoke him to his face? Was my soul 
washed, that room might be made for new defilements? 
Shall I endeavour to disappoint the end of the death of 
Christ? Shall I daily grieve that Spirit whereby I am sealed 
to the day of redemption ? Entertain thy conscience daily 
with this treaty. See if it can stand before this aggrava- 
tion of its guilt. If this make it not sink in some measure 
and melt, I fear thy case is dangerous. 

2. Descend to particulars. As under the general head 
of the gospel, all the benefits of it are to be considered, as 
redemption, justification, and the like; so in particular, 
consider the management of the love of them towards thine 
own soul, for the aggravation of the guilt of thy corrup- 
tion. As, 

(1.) Consider the infinite patience and forbearance of 
God towards thee in particular. Consider what advantages 
he might have taken against thee, to have made thee a 
shame and a reproach in this world, and an object of wrath 
for ever. How thou hast dealt treacherously and falsely 
with him from time to time, flattered him with thy lips, but 
broken all promises and engagements, and that by the. 
means of that sin thou art now in pursuit of; and yet he 
hath spared thee from time to time, although thou seemest 
boldly to have put it to the trial how long he could hold 


out. And wilt thou yet sin against him? Wilt thou yet 
weary him and make him to serve with thy corruptions ? 

' Hast thou not often been ready to conclude thyself, that 
it was utterly impossible that he should bear any longer 
with thee ; that he would cast thee off, and be gracious no 
more ; that all his forbearance was exhausted, and hell and 
wrath was even ready prepared for thee? and yet above all 
thy expectation he hath returned with visitations of love. 
And wilt thou yet abide in the provocation of the eyes of 
his glory ? 

(2.) How often hast thou been at the door of being har- 
dened by the deceitfulness of sin ; and by the infinite rich 
grace of God hast been recovered to communion with him 
again ? 

Hast thou not found grace decaying ; delight in duties, 
ordinances, and prayer, meditation vanishing ; inclinations 
to loose careless walking thriving, and they who before en- 
tangled almost beyond recovery ? hast thou not found thy- 
self engaged in such ways, societies, companies, and that 
with delight, as God abhors? and wilt thou venture any 
more to the brink of hardness ? 

(3.) All God's gracious dealings with thee in providen- 
tial dispensations, deliverances, afflictions, mercies, enjoy- 
ments, all ought here to take place. By these, I say, and 
the like means, load thy conscience, and leave it not, until 
it be thoroughly affected with the guilt of thy indwelling 
corruption, until it is sensible of its wound, and lie in the 
dust before the Lord ; unless this be done to the purpose, 
all other endeavours are to no purpose. Whilst the con- 
science hath any means to alleviate the guilt of sin, the 
soul will never vigorously attempt its mortification. 

(4.) Being thus affected with thy sin, in the next place, 
get a constant longing, breathing after deliverance from the 
power of it. Suffer not thy heart one moment to be con- 
tented with thy present frame and condition. Longing de- 
sires after any thing, in things natural and civil, are of no 
value nor consideration, any farther, but as they incite and 
stir up the person in whom they are, to a diligent use of 
means, for the bringing about the thing aimed at. In spi- 
ritual things it is otherwise. Longing, breathing, and pant- 
ing after deliverance, is a grace in itself, that hath a mighty 


power to conform the soul into the likeness of the thing 
longed after. Hence the apostle, describing the repentance 
and godly sorrow of the Corinthians, reckons this as one emi- 
nent grace that was then set on work ; vehement desire ; 
2 Cor. vii. 11. And in this case of indwelling sin, and the 
power of it, what frame doth he express himself to be in ; 
Rom. vii. 24. His heart breaks out with longings, into a 
most passionate expression of desire of deliverance. Now 
if this be the frame of saints, upon the general consideration 
of indwelling sin, how is it to be heightened and increased, 
when thereunto is added the perplexing rage and power of 
any particular lust and corruption ? Assure thyself, unless 
thou longest for deliverance, thou shalt not have it. 

This will make the heart watchful for all opportunities 
of advantage against its enemy ; and ready to close with 
any assistances that are afforded for its destruction : strong 
desires are the very life of that praying always which is en- 
joined us, in all condition, and in none is more necessary 
than in this; they set faith and hope on work, and are the 
soul's moving after the Lord. 

Get thy heart then into a panting and breathing frame, 
long, sigh, cry out; you know the example of David, I shall 
not need to insist on it. 

The fifth direction is. 

Fifthly, Consider whether the distemper with which thou 
art perplexed, be not rooted in thy nature, and cherished, 
fomented, and heightened from thy constitution. Aprone- 
ness to some sins may doubtless lie in the natural temper 
and disposition of men. In this case consider, 

1. This is not in the least an extenuation of the guilt of 
thy sin. Some with an open profaneness will ascribe gross 
enormities to their temper and disposition. And whether 
others may not relieve themselves from the pressing guilt of 
their distempers by the same consideration, I know not. It 
is from the fall, from the original depravation of our natures, 
that the fomes and nourishment of any sin abides in our na- 
tural temper. David reckons his being shapen in iniquity and 
conception in sin,* as an aggravation of his following sin, not 
a lessening or extenuation of it. That thou art peculiarly in- 
clined unto any sinful distemper, is but a peculiar breaking 

a Psal. li. 5. 


out of original lust in thy nature, which should peculiarly 
abase and humble thee. 

2. That thou hast to fix upon on this account, in re- 
ference to thy walking with God, is that so great an advan- 
tage is given to sin, as also to Satan, by this thy temper and 
disposition, that without extraordinary watchfulness, care, 
and diligence, they will assuredly prevail against thy soul. 
Thousands have been on this account hurried headlong to 
hell, who otherwise at least might have gone at a more gen- 
tle, less provoking, less mischievous rate. 

3. For the mortification of any distemper, so rooted in 
the nature of a man, unto all other ways and means, already 
named or farther to be insisted on, there is one expedient 
peculiarly suited. This is that of tlie apostle, 1 Cor. ix. 27. 
* I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection.' The 
bringing of the very body into subjection, is an ordinance 
of God tending to the mortification of sin. This gives 
check unto the natural root of the distemper, and withers it 
by taking away its fatness of soil. Perhaps, because the 
Papists, men ignorant of the righteousness of Christ, the 
work of his Spirit, and whole business in hand, have laid 
the whole weight and stress of mortification in voluntary 
services and penances, leading to the subjection of the body, 
knowing indeed the true nature neither of sin nor mortifica- 
tion; it may on the other side be a temptation to some, to 
neglect some means of humiliation which by God himself 
are owned and appointed. The bringing of the body into 
subjection in the case insisted on, by cutting short the na- 
tural appetite, by fasting, watching, and the like, is doubt- 
less acceptable to God, so it be done with the ensuing limi- 

(1.) That the outward weakening and impairing of the 
body be not looked upon as a thing good in itself, or that 
any mortification doth consist therein, which were again to 
bring us under carnal ordinances ; but only as a means for 
the end proposed, the weakening of any distemper in its 
natural root and seat. A man may have leanness of body 
and soul together. 

(2.) That the means whereby this is done, namely, by 
fasting and watching, and the like, be not looked on as things 
that in themselves, and by virtue of their own power, can 


produce true mortification of any sin ; for if they would, 
sin might be mortified without any help of the Spirit, in 
any unregenerate person in the world. They are to be 
looked on only as ways whereby the Spirit may, and some- 
times doth, put forth strength for the accomplishing of his 
own work, especially in the case mentioned. Want of a 
right understanding, and due improvement of these and the 
like considerations, hath raised a mortification among the 
Papists, that may be better applied to horses, and other 
beasts of the field, than to believers. 

This is the sum of what hath been spoken ; when the 
distemper complained of seems to be rooted in the natural 
temper and constitution, in applying our souls to a partici- 
pation of the blood and Spirit of Christ, an endeavour is to 
be used to g-ive check in the wav of God to the natural root 
of that distemper. 

The sixth direction is, 

Sixthly, Consider what occasions, what advantages thy 
distemper hath taken to exert and put forth itself, and watch 
against them all. 

This is one part of that duty which our blessed Saviour 
recommends to his disciples under the name of watching; 
Mark xiii. 37. ' I say unto you all, watch ;' which in Luke 
xxi. 34. is, 'Take heed that your hearts be not overcharged;' 
watch against all eruptions of thy corruptions. I mean 
that duty which David professed himself to be exercised 
unto ; ' I have,' saith he, * kept myself from mine iniquity.' 
He watched all the ways and workings of his iniquity, to 
prevent them, to rise up against them. This is that which 
we are called unto under the name of considering our ways ; 
consider what ways, what companies, what opportunities, 
what studies, what businesses, what conditions, have at any 
time given, or do usually give advantages to thy distem- 
pers, and set thyself heedfuUy against them all. Men will 
do this with respect unto their bodily infirmities and dis- 
tempers. The seasons, the diet, the air that have proved 
offensive, shall be avoided. Are the things of the soul of 
less importance ? Know that he that dares to dally with oc- 
casions of sin, will dare to sin. He that will venture upon 
temptations unto wickedness, will venture upon wickedness. 
Hazael thought he should not be so wicked as the prophet 


told him he would be ; to convince him, the prophet tells 
him no more, but ' Thou shalt be king of Syria.' If he will 
venture on temptations unto cruelty, he will be cruel. Tell 
a man he shall commit such and such sins, he will startle 
at it ; if you can convince him, that he will venture on such 
occasions and temptations of them, he will have little 
ground left for his confidence. Particular directions be- 
longing to this head are many, not now to be insisted on. 
But because this head is of no less of importance than the 
whole doctrine here handled, I have at large in another trea- 
tise, about entering into temptations treated of it. 

The seventh direction is, 

Seventhly, Rise mightily against the first actings of thy 
distemper, its first conceptions ; suffer it not to get the 
least ground. Do not say. Thus far it shall go, and no far- 
ther. If it have allowance for one step, it will take another. 
It is impossible to fix bounds to sin. It is like water in a 
channel ; if it once break out, it will have its course. Its 
not acting is easier to be compassed, than its bounding. 
Therefore doth James give that gradation and process of 
lust, chap. i. 14, 15. that we may stop at the entrance. 
Dost thou find thy corruption to begin to entangle thy 
thoughts ? rise up with all thy strength against it, with no 
less indignation, than if it had fully accomplished what it 
aims at ; consider what an unclean thought would have ; it 
would have thee roll thyself in folly and filth. Ask envy 
what it would have ; murder and destruction is at the end 
of it. Set thyself against it with no less vigour, than if it 
had utterly debased thee to wickedness. Without this 
course thou wilt not prevail. As sin gets ground in the af- 
fections to delight in, it gets also upon the understanding 
to slight it. 


The eighth direction. Thoiightfulness of the excellency of the majesty of 
God. Our unacquaintedness with him, proposed and considered. 

Eighthly, Use and exercise thyself to such meditations as 
may serve to fill thee at all times with self-abasement and 
thoughts of thine own vileness ; as. 


1. Be much in thouohtfulness of the excellency of the 
majesty of God and thine infinite inconceivable distance 
from him ; many thoughts of it cannot but fill thee with a 
sense of thine own vileness, which strikes deep at the root 
of any indwelling sin. When Job comes to a clear disco- 
very of the greatness and the excellency of God, he is filled 
with self-abhorrence, and is pressed to humiliation ; Job 
xlii. 5, 6, And in what state doth the prophet Habakkuk 
affirm himself to be cast upon the apprehension of th^ ma- 
jesty of God ? chap. iii. 16. ' With God,' says Job, ' is terri- 
ble majesty." Hence were the thoughts of them of old, 
that when they had seen God, they should die. The Scrip- 
ture abounds in this self-abasing consideration, comparing 
the men of the earth to grasshoppers, to vanity, the dust of 
the balance in respect of God.*^ Be much in thoughts of 
this nature, to abase the pride of thy heart, and to keep thy 
soul humble within thee. There is nothing will render thee 
a greater indisposition to be imposed on by the deceits of 
sin, than such a frame of heart. Think greatly of the great- 
ness of God. 

2. Think much of thine unacquaintedness with him. 
Though thou knowest enough to keep thee low and humble, 
yet how little a portion is it that thou knowest of him? The 
contemplation hereof cast that wise man into that appre- 
hension of himself, which he expresses; Prov. xxx. 2 4. 
' Surely I am more brutish than any man, and have not the 
understanding of a man. I neither learned wisdom, nor 
have the knowledge of the holy. Who hath ascended up 
into heaven or descended? Who hath gathered the wind in 
his fists ? Who hath bound the waters in a garment ? Who 
hath established the ends of the earth ? What is his name, 
and what is his Son's name, if thou canst tell V Labour with 
this also to take down the pride of thy heart. What dost 
thou know of God? How little a portion is it? How im- 
mense is he in his nature ? Canst thou look without terror 
into the abyss of eternity ? Thou canst not bear the rays of 
his glorious being. 

Because 1 look on this consideration of great use in our 
"walking with God, so far as it may have a consistency with 
that filial boldness which is given us in Jesus Christ to draw 

a Job xxxvii. 22. ^ Isa. xl. 13—15. 

VOL. VII. 2 D 


nigh to the throne of" grace, I shall farther insist upon it, to 
give an abiding impression of it to the souls of thera who 
desire to walk humbly with God. 

Consider then, I say, to keep thy heart in continual awe 
of the majesty of God, that persons of the most high and 
eminent attainment, of the nearest and most familiar com- 
munion with God, do yet in this life know but a very little 
of him, and his glory. God reveals his name to Moses, the 
most glorious attributes that he hath manifested in the co- 
venant of grace ; Exod. xxxiv. 5, 6. yet all are but the back- 
parts of God. All that he knows by it, is but little, low, 
compared to the perfection of his glory. Hence it is with 
peculiar reference to JVIoses, that it is said * No man hath 
seen God at any time ;' John i. 18. of him in comparison with 
Christ doth he speak, ver. 17. and of him it is here said, 
'No man,' no not Moses, the most eminent among them,* hath 
seen God at any time.' We speak much of God, can talk 
of him, his ways, his works, his counsels, all the day long ; 
the truth is, we know very little of him; our thoughts, our 
meditations, our expressions of him are low, many of them 
unworthy of his glory, none of them reaching his perfec- 

You will say, that Moses was under the law, wlien God 
wrapped up himself in darkness, and his mind in types and 
clouds and dark institutions. Under the glorious shining 
of the gospel, which hath brought light and immortality to 
light, God being revealed from his own bosom, we now 
know him much more clearly, and as he is ; we see his face 
now, and not his back-parts only, as Moses did. 

AnsA.l acknowledge a vast, and almost inconceivable dif- 
ference between the acquaintance we now have with God, af- 
ter his speaking to us by his own Son,*^ and that which the ge- 
nerality of the saints had under the law : for although their 
eyes were as good, sharp, and clear as ours, their faith and 
spiritual understanding, not behind ours, the object as glo- 
rious unto them, as unto us, yet our day is more clear than 
theirs was ; the clouds are blown away and scattered,** the 
shadows of the night are gone and fled away, the sun is risen, 
and the means of sight is made more eminent and clear than 
formerly. Yet, 

« Ueh. i. 11. '' Cant. iv. 6. 


2. That peculiar sight which Moses had of God, Exod. 
xxxiv. was a gospel-sight, a sight of God, as gracious, &c. 
and yet, it is called but his back-parts, that is, but low and 
mean, in comparison of his excellencies and perfections. 

3. The apostle, exalting to the utmost this glory of light, 
above that of the law, manifesting that now the veil causing 
darkness, is taken away ; so that with open or uncovered 
face* we behold the glory of the Lord, tells us how ; 'as in a 
glass;' 2 Cor. iii. 18. in a glass, how is that? Clearly; per- 
fectly? alas ! no. He tells you how that is, 1 Cor. xiii. 12, 
'We see" through a glass darkly,' saith he ; it is not a tele- 
scope that helps us to see things afar off, concerning which 
the apostle speaks : and yet what poor helps are they ? How 
short do we come of the truth of things, notwithstanding 
their assistance? It is a looking-glass whereunto he alludes 
(where are only obscure species and images of things, and 
not the things themselves), and a sight therein that he com- 
pares our knowledge to. He tells you also that all that we 
doseeSi£f707rTpou,'by'or 'through this glass,' isinalvijfxaTi, in 
'a riddle,' in darkness and obscurity. And speaking of him- 
self, who surely was much more clear-sighted than any now 
living, he tells us, that he saw but Ik inepovg, ' in part ;' he saw 
but the back-parts of heavenly things; ver. 12. and compares 
all the knowledge he had attained of God, to that he had of 
things when he was a child ; ver. 11. it is a fxipog, short of the 
rd riXuov : yea, such as naTapyi)^{i<T£Tm, ' it shall be destroyed,' 
or done away. We know what weak, feeble, uncertain no- 
tions and apprehensions, children have of things of any ab- 
struse consideration: how when they grew up with any im- 
provements of parts and abilities those conceptions vanish, 
and they are ashamed of them. It is the commendation of 
a child to love, honour, believe, and obey his father ; but for 
his science and notions, his father knows his childishness 
and folly. Notwithstanding all our confidence of high at- 
tainments, all our notions of God are but childish in respect 
of his infinite perfections. We lisp and babble, and say we 
know not what, for the most part, in our most accurate, as 
we think, conceptions and notions of God. We may love, 
honour, believe, and obey our father, and therewith he ac- 
cepts our child!ish thoughts, for they are but childish. We 

^ 'AyaHSHa'KvfA.fAiVi} Wfoa-ajra;. 

2 D 2 


see but his back-parts, we know but little of him. Hence is 
that promise, wherewith we are so often supported, and com- 
forted in our distress; 'We shall see him as he is;' we 
shall 'see him face to face ;' 'know as we are known ; com- 
prehend that for which we are comprehended ;' 1 Cor. xv. 12. 
1 John iii. 2. and positively, 'Now we see him not:' all 
concluding that here we see but his back-parts, not as he is, 
but in a dark, obscure representation; not in the perfection 
of his glory. 

The queen of Sheba had heard much of Solomon, and 
framed many great thoughts of his magnificence, in her mind 
thereupon ; but when she came and saw his glory, she was 
forced to confess, that the one half of the truth had not been 
told her. We may suppose that we have here attained great 
knowledge, clear and high thoughts of God ; but alas ! 
when he shall bring us into his presence we shall cry out, 
we never knew him as he is. The thousandth part of his 
glory and perfection and blessedness, never entered into our 

The apostle tells us, 1 John iii. 2. that 'we know not what 
we ourselves shall be ;' what we shall find ourselves in the 
issue; much less will it enter into our hearts to conceive, 
what God is, and what we shall find him to be. Consider 
either him who is to be known, or the way whereby we know 
him ; and this will farther appear. 

(1.) We know so little of God, because it is God who is 
thus to be known ; that is, he who hath described himself to 
us very much by this, that we cannot know him; what else 
doth he intend where he calls himself invisible, incompre- 
hensible, and the like? that is, he whom we do not, cannot 
know as he is : and our farther progress consists more in 
knowing what he is not, than what he is. Thus is he de- 
scribed to be immortal, infinite ; that is, he is not as we are, 
mortal, finite, and limited. Hence is that glorious descrip- 
tion of him, 1 Tim. vi. IG. 'Who only hath immortality 
dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto, 
whom no man hath seen nor can see.' His light is such as 
no creature can approach unto : he is not seen, not because 
he cannot be seen, but because we cannot bear the sight of 
him. The light of God, in whom is no darkness, forbids all 
access to him by any creature whatever: we who cannot be- 


hold the sun in its glory, are too weak to bear the beams of 
infinite brightness. On this consideration, as was said, the 
wise man professeth himself * a very beast, and not to have 
the understanding of a man ;' Prov. xxx. 2. that is, he knew 
nothing in comparison of God ; so that he seemed to have 
lost all his understanding, when once he came to the consi- 
deration of him, his work, and his ways. 

In this consideration, let our souls descend to some par- 

[1.] For the being of God ; we are- so far from a know- 
ledge of it, so as to be able to instruct one another therein 
by words and expressions of it, as that to frame any concep- 
tions in our mind, with such species and impressions of 
things, as we receive the knowledge of all other things by, 
is to make an idol to ourselves, and so to worship a god of 
our own making, and not the God that made us. We may 
as well and as lawfully hew him out of wood, or stone, as 
form him a being in our minds, suited to our apprehensions. 
The utmost of the best of our thoughts of the being of God, 
is, that we can have no thoughts of it. Our knowledge of a 
being is but low, when it mounts no higher, but only to know 
that we know it not. 

[2.] There be some things of God, which he himself hath 
taught us to speak of, and to regulate our expressions of 
them ; but when we have so done, we see not the things 
themselves, we know them not : to believe and admire is all 
that we attain to. We profess, as we are taught, that God 
is infinite, omnipotent, eternal : and we know what disputes 
and notions there are about omnipresence, immensity, infi- 
niteness, and eternity. We have, I say, words and notions 
about these things, but as to the things themselves, what do 
we know ? What do we comprehend of them? Can the mind 
of man do any more but swallow itself up in an infinite abyss, 
which is as nothing ; give itself up to what it cannot con- 
ceive, much less express? Is notour understanding brutish 
in the contemplation of such things ? And is as if it were- 
not? Yea, the perfection of our understanding, is, not to un- 
derstand, and to rest there : they are but the back-parts of 
eternity and infiniteness that we have a glimpse of. What 
shall I say of the Trinity, or the subsistence of distinct per- 
sons in the same individual essence? a mystery, by many de- 


nied because by none understood ; a mystery, wbose every 
letter is mysterious. Who can declare the generation of the 
Son, the procession of the Spirit, or the difference of the one 
from the other? But I shall not farther instance in particu- 
lars. That infinite and inconceivable distance that is be- 
tween him and us, keeps us in the dark as to any sight of 
his face, or clear apprehension of his perfections. We 
know him rather by what he does, than by what he is ; by 
his doing us good, than by his essential goodness, and how 
little a portion of him, as Job speaks, is hereby discovered? 

2. We know little of God, because it is faith alone 
whereby here we know him ; I shall not now discourse about 
the remaining impressions on the hearts of all men by na- 
ture, that there is a God, nor what they may rationally be 
taught concerning that God, from the works of his creation 
and providence, which they see and behold ; it is confes- 
sedly, and that upon the woful experience of all ages, so 
weak, low, dark, confused, that none ever on that account 
glorified Gpd as they ought ; but notwithstanding all their 
knowledge of God, were indeed without God in the world: 

The chief, and upon the matter, almost only acquaintance 
we have with God, and his dispensations of himself, is by 
faith. ' He that cometh to God must believe that he is, and 
that he is a rewarder of them that seek him;' Heb. xi. 6. our 
knowledge of him, and his lewarding (the bottom of our 
obedience or coming to him), is believing. 'We walk by 
faith, and not by sight;' 2 Cor. v. 7. Sm Trtarswc ov dla tldovg' 
by faith, and so by faith, as not to have any express idea, 
image, or species of that which we believe ; faith is all the 
argument we have of things not seen ; Heb. xi. 1. I might 
here insist upon the nature of it, and from all its concomi- 
tants and concernments manifest, that we know but the 
back-parts of what we know by faith only. As to its rise, 
it is built purely upon the testimony of him, whom we have 
not seen : as the apostle speaks, ' How can ye love him 
whom ye have not seen?' that is, whom you know not, but 
by faith, that he is : faith receives all upon his testimony, 
whom it receives to be, only on his own testimony. As to 
its nature it is an assent upon testimony, not an evidence 
upon demonstration ; and the object of it is, as was said be- 
fore, above us. Hence our faith, as was formerly observed. 


is called a 'seeing darkly as in a glass :' all that we know 
this way (and all that we know of God, we know this way) 
is but low, and dark, and obscure. 

But you will say, all this is true, but yet it is only so to 
them that know not God ; perhaps as he is revealed in Jesus 
Christ: with them who do so it is otherwise. It is true, 
* No man hath seen God at any time, but the only begotten 
Son he hath revealed him;' John i. 17, 18. and 'the Son of 
God is now come, and hath given us an understanding that 
we may know him that is true ;' 1 John v. 20. The illumina- 
tion of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of 
God, shineth upon believers ; 2 Cor. iv. 4. yea, and ' God 
who commanded light to shine out of darkness, shines into 
their hearts to give them the knowledge of his glory in the 
face of his Son ;' ver.6. So that 'though we were darkness, 
yet we are now light in the Lord;' Eph. v. 8. And the apo- 
stle says, ' We all with open face behold the glory of the 
Lord ;' 2 Cor. iii. 18. and we are now so far from being in 
such darkness, or at such a distance from God, that 'our 
communion and fellowship is with the Father and the Son ;' 
1 John i. 3. the light of the gospel whereby now God is re- 
vealed is glorious ; not a star, but the sun in his beauty is 
risen upon us, and the veil is taken from our faces ; so that 
though unbelievers, yea, and perhaps some weak believers, 
may be in some darkness, yet those of any growth, or con- 
siderable attainments have a clear sight and view of the face 
of God in Jesus Christ. 

To which I answer, 

1. The truth is we all of us know enough of him to love 
him more than we do, to delight in him and serve him, be- 
lieve him, obey him, put our trust in him above all that we 
have hitherto attained. Our darkness and weakness is no 
plea for our negligence and disobedience. Who is it that 
hath walked up to the knowledge that he hath had of the per- 
fections, excellencies and will of God? God's end in giving us 
any knowledge of himself here, is that we may glorify him 
as God ; that is, love him, serve him, believe and obey him, 
o-ive him all the honour and glory that is due from poor sin- 
ful creatures, to a sin-pardoning God and Creator; we must 
all acknowledge that we were never thoroughly transformed 
into the image of that knowledge which we have had. And 


had we used our talents well, we might have been trusted 
with more. 

2. Comparatively; that knowledge which we have of 
God by the revelation of Jesus Christ in the gospel, is ex- 
ceeding eminent and glorious. It is so in comparison of 
any knowledge of God, that might otherwise be attained, or 
was delivered in the law under the Old Testament, which 
had but the shadow of good things, not the express image of 
them ; this the apostle pursues at large, 2 Cor. iii. Christ hath 
now in these last days, revealed the Father from his own 
bosom, declared his name, made known his mind, will, and 
council in a far more clear, eminent, distinct manner, than 
he did formerly, whilst he kept his people under the pade- 
gogy of the law, and this is that which for the most part is 
intended in the places before-mentioned; the clear, perspi- 
cuous delivery and declaration of God and his will in the 
gospel, is expressly exalted in comparison of any other way 
of revelation of himself. 

3. The difference between believers and unbelievers as to 
knowledge, is not so much in the matter of their knowledge, 
as in the manner of knowing. Unbelievers, some of them 
may know more, and be able to say more of God, his per- 
fections and his will, than many believers ; but they know 
nothing as they ought, nothing in a right manner, nothing 
spiritually and savingly; nothing with a holy, heavenly, 
light. The excellency of a believer is not, that he hath a 
large apprehension of things, but that what he doth appre- 
hend, which perhaps may be very little, he sees it in the 
light of the Spirit of God, in a saving soul-transforming 
light: and this is that which gives us communion with God, 
and not prying thoughts, or curious raised notions. 

4. Jesus Christ by his word and Spirit reveals to the 
hearts of all his, God as a Father, as a God in covenant, as 
a rewarder, every way sufficiently to teach us to obey him 
here, and to lead us to his bosom, to lie down there in the 
fruition of him to eternity. But yet now, 

5. Notwithstanding all this, it is but a little portion we 
know of him, we see but his back-parts. For, 

(1.) The intendment of all gospel revelation is not to 

unveil God's essential glory, that we should see him as he 

4s, but merely to declare so much of him as he knows suf- 


ficient to be a bottom of our faith, love, obedience, and com- 
ing to him : that is, of the faith which here he expects from 
us. Such services as beseem poor creatures in the midst of 
temptations ; but when he calls us to eternal admiration and 
contemplation, without interruption, he will make a new 
mannerof discovery of himself, and the whole shape of things, 
as it now lies before us, will depart as a shadow. 

(2.) We are dull and slow of heart to receive the things 
that are in the word revealed. God by our infirmity and 
weakness, keeping us in continual dependance on him, for 
teachings and revelations of himself out of his word, never 
in this world bringing any soul to the utmost of what is from 
the word to be made out and discovered ; so that although 
the way of revelation in the gospel be clear and evident, 
yet we know little of the things themselves that are re- 

Let us then revive the use and intendment of this consi- 
deration; will not a due apprehension of this inconceivable 
greatness of God, and that infinite distance wherein we 
stand from him, fill the soul with a holy and awful fear of 
him ; so as to keep it in a frame, unsuited to the thriving or 
flourishing of any lustwhatever? Let the soul be continually 
wonted to reverential thoughts of God's greatness and om- 
nipresence, and it will be much upon its watch, as to any 
undue deportments ; consider him with whom you have to 
do ; even ' our God is a consuming fire;' and in your great- 
est abashments athispresence and eye, know that your very 
nature is too narrow to bear] apprehensions suitable to his 
essential glory. 

CHAP. xin. 

The ninth direction. When the heart is disquieted by sin, speak no peace to 
it, until God speak it. Peace, without detestation of sin, unsound. So is 
peace measured out unto ourselves. Hoio we may hnoiv when tve measure 
our peace unto ourselves. Directions as to that inquiry. The vanity of 
speaking peace slightly. Also of doing it on one singnlar account, not uni- 

Ninthly, In case God disquiet the heart about the guilt of 
its distempers, either in respect of its root and indwelling. 


or in respect of any eruptions of it, take heed thou speakest 
not peace to thyself before God speaks it ; but hearken 
what he says to thy soul. This is our next direction ; with- 
out the observation whereof, the heart will be exceedingly 
exposed to the deceitfulness of sin. 

This is a business of great importance. It is a sad thing 
for a man to deceive his own soul herein. All the warnings 
God gives us in tenderness to our souls, to try and examine 
ourselves, do tend to the preventing of this great evil of 
speaking peace groundlessly to ourselves, which is upon the 
issue to bless ourselves, in an opposition to God. It is not 
my business to insist upon the danger of it, but to help 
believers to prevent it, and to let them know when they 
do so. 

To manage this direction aright observe, 

1. That as it is the great prerogative and sovereignty of 
God, to give grace to whom he pleases (' ?Ie hath mercy on 
whom he will;' Rom. ix; 16. and among all the sons of men, 
he calls whom he will, and sanctifies whom he will), so among 
those so called and justified, and whom he will save, he yet 
reserves this privilege to himself, to speak peace to whom he 
pleaseth, and in what degree he pleaseth, even amongst them 
on whom he hath bestowed grace. He is the God of all con- 
solation, in an especial manner in his dealing with believers: 
that is, of the good things that he keeps locked up in his 
family, and gives out of it to all his children at his pleasure. 
This the Lord insists on, Isa. Ivii. 16 — 18. itis the case under 
consideration that is there insisted on. When God says he 
will heal their breaches and disconsolations, he assumes this 
privilege to himself in an especial manner, ' I create it;' ver. 
19. even in respect of these poor wounded creatures I create 
it, and according to my sovereignty make it out as I please. 

Hence as it is with the collation of grace in reference to 
them that are in the state of nature; God doth it in great 
curiosity, and his proceedings therein in taking and leaving, 
as to outward appearances, quite besides and contrary oft- 
times to all probable expectations ; so is it in his communi- 
cations of peace and joy in reference unto them that are in 
the state of grace ; he gives them out oft-times quite besides 
our expectation, as to any appearing grounds of his dispen- 


2. As God creates it for whom he pleaseth, so it is the 
prerogative of Christ to speak it home to the conscience. 
Speaking to the church of Laodicea, who had healed her 
wounds falsely, and spoke peace to herself when she ought 
not, he takes to himself that title, * I am the Amen, the faith- 
ful witness ;' Rev. iii. 14, He bears testimony concerning our 
condition as it is indeed ; we may possibly mistake, and trou- 
ble ourselves in vain, or flatter ourselves upon false grounds, 
but he is the Amen, the faithful witness ; and what he speaks 
of our state and condition, that it is indeed. Isa. xi. 3. He 
is said not to judge according to the sight of the eye, not 
according to any outward appearance, or any thing that may 
be subject to a mistake, as we are apt to do; but he shall 
judge and determine every cause as it is indeed. 

Take these two previous observations, and I shall give 
some rules whereby men may know whether Gocf speaks 
peace to them, or whether they speak peace to themselves only. 

1. Men certainly speak peace to themselves, when their 
so doing is not attended yvith the greatest detestation ima- 
ginable of that sin in reference whereunto they do speak 
peace to themselves, and abhorrency of themselves for it. 
When men are wounded by sin, disquieted and perplexed, 
and knowing that there is no remedy for them, but only in 
the mercies of God, through the blood of Christ, do there- 
fore look to him, and to the promises of the covenant in him, 
and thereupon quiet their hearts that it shall be well with 
them, and that God will be exalted, that he maybe gracious 
to them, and yet their souls are not wrought to the greatest 
detestation of the sin or sins, upon the account whereof they 
are disquieted, this is to heal themselves, and not to be 
healed of God. This is but a great and strong wind, that 
the Lord is nigh unto, but the Lord is not in the wind. 
When men do truly look upon Christ whom they have 
pierced, without which there is no healing or peace, they 
will mourn ; Zech. xii. 10. they will mourn for him, even 
upon this account, and detest the sin that pierced him. 
When we go to Christ for healing, faith eyes him peculiarly 
as one pierced. Faith takes several views of Christ, accord- 
ing to the occasions of address to him, and communion 
with him that it hath. Sometimes it views his holiness, 
sometimes his power, sometimes his love, his favour with 


his Father. And when it goes for healing and peace, it 
looks especially on the blood of the covenant, on his suffer- 
ings ; for by his 'stripes are we healed, and the chastisement 
of our peace was upon him;' Isa. liii. 5. when we look for 
healing, his stripes are to be eyed ; not in the outward story 
of them, which is the course of Popish devotionists, but in 
the love, kindness, mystery, and design of the cross ; and 
when we look for peace, his chastisements must be in our eye. 
Now this, I say, if it be done according to the mind of God, 
and in the strength of that Spirit which is poured out on 
believers, it will beo-et a detestation of that sin or sins, for 
which healing and peace is sought. So Ezek. xvi. 60, 61. 
* Nevertheless I will remember ray covenant with thee in the 
days of thy youth, and I will establish unto thee an everlast- 
ing covenant.' And what then? 'Then thou shalt remember 
thy wayo and be ashamed.' When God comes home to speak 
peace in a sure covenant of it, it fills the soul with shame 
for all the ways whereby it hath been alienated from him. 
And one of the things that the apostle mentions as attending 
that godly sorrow, which is accompanied with repentance 
unto salvation, never to be repented of, is revenge : ' Yea, 
what revenge?' 2 Cor. vii. 11. They reflected on their mis- 
carriages with indignation and revenge for their folly in them. 
When Job comes up to a thorough healing, he cries,' Now 
I abhor myself;' Job xlii. 6. and until he did so, he had no 
abiding peace. He might perhaps have made up himself 
with that doctrine of free grace which was so excellently 
preached by Elihu, chap, xxxiii. from ver. 14. unto 29. but 
he had then but skinned his wounds, he must come to self- 
abhorrency if he come to healing. So was it with those in 
Psal. Ixxviii. 33. 35. in their great trouble and perplexity, 
for and upon the account of sin ; I doubt not but upon ad- 
dress they made to God in Christ (for that so they did, is 
evident from the titles they gave him, they call him their 
rock and their redeemer, two words every where pointing- 
out the Lord Christ) they speak peace to themselves, but 
was it sound and abiding? No, it passed away as the early 
dew, God speaks not one word of peace to their souls. But 
why had they not peace ? Why, because in tiieir address to 
God, they flattered him : but how doth that appear? ver. 37. 
'Their heart was not right with him, neither were they 


steadfast :' they had not a detestation nor rehnquishment of 
that sin in reference whereunto they spake peace to them- 
selves. Let a man make what application he will for healing 
and peace, let him do it to the true physician, let him do it 
the right way, let him quiet his heart in the promises of the 
covenant; yet when peace is spoken, if it be not attended 
with the detestation and abhorrency of that sin, which was 
the wound, and caused the disquietment, this is no peace of 
God's creating, but of our own purchasing. It is but a 
skinning over the wound, whilst the core lies at the bottom, 
which will putrify, and corrupt, and corrode, until it break 
out again, with noisomeness, vexation, and danger. Let not 
poor souls that walk in such a path as this, who are more 
sensible of the trouble of sin, than of the pollution of un- 
cleanness that attend it ; who address themselves for mercy, 
yea, to the Lord in Christ, they address themselves for 
mercy, but yet will keep the sweet morsel of their sin under 
their tongue ; let them, I say, never think to have true and 
solid peace. For instance, thou findest thy heart running 
out after the world, and it disturbs thee in thy communion 
with God ; the Spirit speaks expressly to thee, ' He that 
loveth the world, the love of the Father is not in him.''' This 
puts thee on dealing with God in Christ for the healing of 
thy soul, the quieting of thy conscience ; but yet withal a 
thorough detestation of the evil itself abides not upon thee ; 
yea, perhaps that is liked well enough, but only in respect 
of the consequences of it : perhaps thou raayest be saved, 
yet as through fire, and God will have some work with 
thee before he hath done, but thou wilt have little peace in 
this life, thou wilt be sick and fainting all thy days ; Isa. 
Ivii. 17. This is a deceit that lies at the root of the peace 
of many professors, and wastes it : they deal with all their 
strength about mercy and pardon ; and seem to have great 
communion with God in their so doing ; they lie before him, 
bewail their sins and follies, that any one would think, yea, they 
think themselves that surely they and their sins are now 
parted, and so receive in mercy that satisfies their hearts for 
a little season ; but when a thorough search comes to be made, 
there hath been some secret reserve for the folly or follies 
treated about ; at least there hath not been that thorough ab- 

» 1 John ii. 15. 


Iiorrency of it, which is necessary ; and their whole peace is 
quickly discovered to be weak and rotten; scarce abiding 
any longer than the words of begging it are in their mouths. 
2. When men measure out peace to themselves upon the 
conclusions that their convictions and rational principles 
will carry them out unto ; this is a false peace and will not 
abide. I shall a little explain what I mean hereby. A man 
hath got a wound by sin, he hath a conviction of some sin 
upon his conscience, he hath not walked uprightly as be- 
cometh the gospel ; all is not well and right between God 
and his soul. He considers now what is to be done ; light he 
hath, and knows what path he must take, and how his soul 
hath been formerly healed. Considering that the promises 
of God are the outward means of application for the healing 
of his sores, and quieting of his heart, he goes to them, 
searches them out, finds out some one, or more of them, 
whose literal expressions are directly suited to his condition : 
says he to himself, God speaks in this promise, here I will 
take myself a plaister, as long and broad as my wound, and 
so brino-s the word of the promise to his condition, and sets 
him down in peace. This is another appearance upon the 
mount, the Lord is near, but the Lord is not in it. It hath 
not been the work of the Spirit, who alone can convince us 
of sin and righteousness and judgment;'' but the mere 
actings of the intelligent rational soul. As there are three 
sorts of lives, we say, the vegetative, the sensitive, and the 
rational or intelligent: somethings have only the vegetative, 
some the sensitive also, and that includes the former ; some 
have the rational, which takes in and supposes both the 
other. Now he that hath the rational, doth not only act 
suitably to that principle, but also to both the others he 
grows and is sensible. It is so with men in the things of 
God ; some are mere natural and rational men ; some have 
a superadded conviction with illumination ; and some are truly 
regenerate. Now he that hath the latter hath also both the 
former ; and therefore he acts sometimes upon the principles 
of the rational, sometimes upon the principles of the enlight- 
ened man. His true spiritual life is not the principle of all 
his motions ; he acts not always in the strength thereof, 
neither are all his fruits from that root. In this case that I 

b John xvi. 8. 


speak of, he acts merely upon the principle of conviction 
and illumination, whereby his first naturals are heightened; 
but the Spirit breathes not at all upon all these waters. 
Take an instance : suppose the wound and disquiet of the 
soul to be upon the account of relapses, which whatever 
the evil or folly be, though for the matter of it never so small, 
yet there are no wounds deeper than those that are given the 
soul on that account, nor disquietments greater. In the