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THE Fulneſs and Freeneſs OF GODS GRACE IN JESUS CHRIST, DECLARED In two general Points: Firſt, That Perſonal Election is no ground of the Saints perſeverance in the Grace of God by Jeſus Chriſt.

Secondly, In what ſenſe the Scriptures ſpeake the Saints Perſeverance in that Grace.

The Third Part.

By FRANCIS DUKE.

LONDON, Printed by T. N. for Wil. Milward, without Weſtminſter Hall Gate, and Miles Michael within the Gate, 1656.

The Epiſtle to the Reader.

IN my firſt Treatiſe are four grounds or principles in the first four Chapters: The first is our natural perfection in A­dam by Creation: The ſecond is Gods Covenant with us in Adam, the onely and alone Covenant of works made with man: theſe two ſtates were diſtinct each from other, before the Fall. The third is the Fall of the whole World, by Adams one offence once committed. The fourth is the reſtauration of the fallen World by Jeſus Chriſt the ſecond Adam: And my ſecond Treatiſe handles this one general point, that is, In it is proved what is Gods final end, for which he made all things in Heaven and in Earth, and that he made choyce principally of ſeven meanes to ac­compliſh that end. This third Treatiſe principally treats of three things: Firſt, That Perſonal Election is no ground of the Saints perſeverance in the Grace of God by Jeſus Christ. The ſecond proves in what ſenſe the Scriptures ſpeake, the Saints Perſeverance in that Grace. The third is a diſproving of the falſe Do­ctrine of the Familiſts, and the Quakers; in particular againſt Lieutenant Colonel John Lilburn.

The Contents of ſeveral principal things contained in this Treatiſe.

FIrſt, Againſt perſonal Election, theſe Scriptures following are opened, Rom. 1.9, 13. In this Paul repeats a Record, recorded by Malachy; and the thing recorded is expounded by God himſelf, that is, what his purpoſe was in that buſineſs. Pag. 1. 2. 3.

The ſecond Text, Acts 13.48. As many as were ordained to e­ternal life beleeved. p. 4, 5, 6.

A third Text is the 17. of John, opened from p. 6. to p. 18.

Fourthly, Theſe ſeveral Texts are opened. Jer. 31.3.31, 32, 33. Jer. 32.39, 40. Rom. 11.15, 27. Heb. 8.8, 9, 10. Heb. 10.16, 17. p. 19. 20. 21.

Alſo it is opened in what ſenſe the word Elect originally did a­riſe in its uſe and application in the Old and New Teſtaments. p. 22. 23, 24.

Alſo the Text is opened, Eccleſ, 12.7. The words are theſe, Then ſhall the duſt return to the Earth as it was, and the Spirit ſhall re­turn to God that gave it: This againſt the Familiſts, from p. 24. to 32.

Alſo againſt them, ſee p. 33. to 36. All theſe fall under the firſt head, as againſt perſonal Election.

Theſe following fall under the ſecond Head.

Firſt, It is opened, how a man that is no Saint, may become a Saint, and ſo to be in a capacity to the ſaid perſeverance. p. 41. to 46.

The firſt ground of the Saints perſeverance is the power of Gods Spirit, and the exerciſe of their Faith and other Graces.

The ſecond ground is the immortal Seed of Gods Word, ſown in their mindes by the hand of Gods Spirit.

Alſo here is opened a threefold diſtinction, as to the will of man, from p. 42. to 54.

A third ground of the Saints perſeverance ſo as they ſhall ne­ver totally nor finally fall, is Chriſts more full and conſtant ma­nifeſtation of himſelf by his Spirit to the minde of beleevers, which ſo exerciſe their graces, as before is ſaid, by which he holds the will of a beleever to himſelf, actually or virtually at the leaſt, from p. 55. to 60.

To beleevers is peculiar a twofold righteouſneſs, and to no men elſe, wherein is briefly opened, how Abraham and Rahab were ju­ſtified by works, or working out their own ſalvation, from p. 60. to 68.

How the nature of true love doth ariſe in the Saints minde. Al­ſo a definition of Love, and its natural properties, declared from p. 68. to 74.

Alſo the patience of the Saints, as to its perfect work, is opened from p. 75. to 80.

Alſo that God greatly afflicts ſome holy men, not for tryal, nor for chaſtizement, nor for ſin primarily, but for ſome eminent re­ſpects, from p. 80. to 92.

Chap. 13. In which is anſwered, Lieut. Col. John Lilburn his ſix particulars, as to the Doctrine of the Quakers.

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CHAP. I. In this Treatiſe is handled two general Points:

FIrſt, That perſonal Election is no ground of the Saints perſeverance in the grace of God by Jeſus Chriſt.

Secondly, In what ſenſe the ſacred Scriptures ſpeaks the per­ſeverance of the Saints in that grace.

But I will firſt briefly touch upon two things, by way of Introduction.

And firſt, By Saints is meant no more but this,Rom. 5.17, 18. EPheſ. 1.1. John 1.12. Man that hath inherent righteouſneſs, or holineſs, and ſo doth by a right beleef receive abundance of grace, and the gift of righteouſneſs, which came upon all men to juſtification of life. Theſe are Saints in deed and truth, and none other are the Sons of God; for as many as received him, to them he gave prerogative to be the Sons of God; Even to as many as beleeve in his name.

Secondly, The perſonal Elections which are erro­neous, are three; firſt, the Superlapſarian way.

Secondly, The Lapſarian way.

Thirdly, An Election of ſome mens perſons upon2 Gods fore-ſight of their perſeverance in faith and works.

The firſt is no more but this, That God elected ſome mens perſons infallibly to eternal life, without reſpect to Adam's ſin or their owne, onely upon his Soveraign right over his Creature; And in Reproba­tion, Not mans undeſerving is the cauſe of Repro­bation, but the will of God to reprobate.

Secondly, the Lapſarian way is no more but this, That God conſidered all mankind as fallen in Adam, and elected ſome mens perſons out of that Fall in­fallibly unto eternal life, and left all the reſt of man­kind in that miſery unrecoverably unto Eternity, without any means as effectual unto them.

Thirdly, Perſonal Election in this ſenſe is no more but as is ſaid, That God upon his foreſight of their perſeverance in faith and works unto the end, infal­libly elected them unto Eternal life. So much for Introduction.

And as concerning the firſt general point, to carry it on clearly, I will follow this Method, to open the ſcope of thoſe Texts which is ſuppoſed do primarily prove the ſaid Elections; and the firſt text that I will pitch upon hath relation to Gen. 25.22,Gen. 25.22, 23. Mal. 1.1, 2, 3. Ezek. 16.3. Rom. 9.9, 10, 11, 12, & 13. 23. & Mal. 1.1, 1, 2, 3. And the Text that is grounded upon theſe two Texts is Rom. 9.13. The words are theſe; For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpoſe of God according to Ele­ction might ſtand, not of Works, but of him that calleth. It was ſaid unto her (that is, Rebecca) The elder ſhall ſerve the younger, as it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Eſau have I hated; Therefore when Rebecca had conceived (as God had promiſed) the children ſtrug­ling3 together in her wombe, thereupon ſhe ſaid, If it it be ſo, Why am I thus? wherefore ſhe went to enquire of Jehovah; whereupon concerning Eſau and Jacob God declares his purpoſe, That he conſidered thoſe two children in her wombe, not as two perſons indivi­dually, but as two roots univerſally, in National reſpects; For ſaith God unto Rebecca, Two Nations are in thy wombe, and two manner of people ſhall be ſepa­rated from thy bowels, and the one people ſhall be ſtron­ger than the other people, the elder ſhall ſerve the younger.

Now the ground why God elected one Nation in the younger childe Jacob, and rejected the other in the loyns of the elder childe Eſau, was to figure, that the children of the fleſh, as ſuch, ſhould not be coun­ted as children unto God, but the children of the Pro­miſe, as leading to faith in Chriſt, and born again, not of the will of the Fleſh, but of the Spirit, ſhall be counted the Children of God, as faithful Abra­ham.

A ſecond ground why God elected that Nation in Jacob's loyns, was, to be his onely viſible Church in all the world, to uphold his Name till Shilo came in the fleſh, namely Chriſt.

A third ground why God did ſo at that time, was this, Becauſe when he declared this purpoſe to Re­becca, his name in Chriſt to deſtroy the works of the Devil,Gen. 11.8. & 10.32. & 12.1, 2, 3, 4. Joſh. 24.2 & 23.15 Ezek. 16.3, 4, 5, 6. was as it were extinguiſhed out of the world And the ground why it was ſo extinct, was this, For at that time all Nations and all the Families of the Earth were Apoſtates from the ſaid poſture by which they might receive eternal life: I ſay all Families ex­cept one, and that was the family of Sem, and that4 alſo began to Apoſtate to Idols, as appears in Terah Abraham's Father, therefore God commanded him to depart from his Fathers houſe, and then promiſed him (having no childe) this Nation to iſſue from his loyns and Iſaac's and Jacob's, and all comprehended in theſe words, So ſhall thy Seed be.

Again, God did not onely then at that time elect the Jews unborn to be the viſible Church of Chriſt, but alſo at the ſame time predeſtinated the Gentiles into the ſame poſture,Gal. 3.8. by which alſo they might re­ceive eternal life by promiſe to Abraham; whence ſaith the Apoſtle,And what that poſt­ture is, is at larg de­clared in my ſecond Treatiſe. The Scriptures foreſeeing that God would juſtifie the Heathen through faith, preached the Goſpel before unto Abraham, ſaying, In thee ſhall all Nations of the Earth be bleſſed. So that the ſcope and drift of all theſe Texts is ſo far from main­taining the aforeſaid Elections, that it is againſt them all, for the Text onely ſpeaks of a National not a Perſonal Election; and of a National Rejection, not a Perſonal.

A ſecond Text which is ſuppoſed to ſpeak for Per­ſonal Elections, as a ground of the Saints perſeve­rance, are theſe words, As many as were ordained to eternal life, beleeved: But as before, ſo now, to find the true meaning of this Text,Acts. 13.98. is to keep cloſe to that which it aims at. Verſ. 42. The Apoſtle having prea­ched Chriſt to the Jews in their Synagogue, there­upon ſome Gentiles then preſent, beſought the Apo­ſtles that theſe words might be preached to them the next Sabbath; whereupon the next Sabbath day, Verſ. 44. came almoſt the whole City together to hear the word of God. And then ſome of the ſaid Elect of God, namely the Jews, ſeeing the multitude they3 were filled with envy, and ſpake againſt thoſe things which were ſpoken by Paul, contradicting and Blaſphe­ming, Verſ. 45. whereupon the Apoſtle ſpake to the blaſpheming Jews, and ſaid, It was neceſſary that the Word of God ſhould firſt have been ſpoken to you; but ſeeing you put it away from you, and judge your ſelves unworthy of eternal life, (that is, of that poſture wherein you might have received eternal life) Lo, we turn to the Gentiles, Verſ. 47. For ſo hath the Lord comman­ded us, ſaying, I have ſet thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou ſhouldeſt be for ſalvation to the ends of the Earth. Verſ. 48. When the Gentiles heard this, that is, thoſe words of the prophecie concerning themſelves to be admitted into the poſture by which they might receive eternal life, then they were glad, and glorified the Word of the Lord; that is, in beleef of the ſaid pro­phecie, for they had been 1800 yeers excluded from the ſaid poſture, becauſe the Oracles of God were before confined only unto the Nation of the Jews, not at all to come amongſt the Gentiles until Chriſt came; yet did not all that multitude beleeve, for ſome were in the caſe of final. Impenitency, through their prece­dent obſtinacy; as alſo were ſome of the Jews, and therefore God denied them the ſpirit of faith to be­leeve, verſ. 41. Behold ye deſpiſers, and wonder, and pe­riſh, for I work a work in your dayes, a work which you ſhal in no wiſe beleeve, though a man declare it unto you. Therefore Verſ. 51. the Apoſtles ſhooke off the duſt of their feet to witneſſe againſt thoſe unbeleeving Jews that were his viſible members, and ſo his ſheep; but being denied the gift of faith, therefore not his ſheep,John 10.26. John 10. 26. Ye beleeve not, becauſe ye are not of my ſheep, as I ſaid unto you. So as the meaning of theſe6 words, (As many as were ordained to eternal life) is no more but this, That God predeſtinated or ordained by promiſe to Abraham that the Gentiles ſhould be called into that poſture by which they might receive eternal life; From this ground it was that the Scriptures did foreſee, that God would juſtifie the Heathen through faith, and upon this ground the Apoſtle doth apply to beleeving Gentiles, That Gods calling of them is ac­cording to his purpoſe, to be made like unto Chriſt, and the firſt born among many Brethren,Rom. 8.28, 29, 30. and to be ju­ſtified and glorified, was now fulfilled; So that the ſcope of theſe Texts makes nothing for Perſonal E­lections, but ſets forth the rejoycing of the Gentiles, in the demonſtration of Gods ordaining them to the ſaid poſture by promiſe to Abraham, and conveyed to them under this prophecie.

CHAP. II. In which the 17th. Chapter of JOHN is opened.

THis Chapter is ſuppoſed to prove theſe Perſonal Elections as the ground of the Saints perſeve­rance: Some of the words are theſe, which our Lord ſpake to his Father of himſelf; Thou haſt given him power over all fleſh, that he ſhould give eternal life to as many as thou haſt given him, &c.

Theſe words naturally divide themſelves into four branches:

Firſt, The power given him by his Father.

Secondly, The extent of that power, over all fleſh.

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Thirdly, The End wherefore, That he ſhould give Eternal life.

Fourthly, The Reſtraint or Bounds to which this Eternal life is limited, Not to all, but to ſome.

To the firſt:Deut. 6.4. This power was not given to him by his Father, as he is the one Jehovah, for ſo it was his owne, and therefore could not be given him;What is meant by that ſe­venth means is at large declared in my ſecond Treatiſe. Matt. 28.18. Nor may it be ſaid to be given him as he is the ſecond Elohim in the one Jehovah, ſimply conſidered, for ſo he is not Chriſt: But moſt properly it was given him of his Father, the firſt Elohim in the one Jehovah, as he was perſonally God-man, the ſeed of the Woman, the ſecond Adam and ſeventh means to carry on his Fathers final end; for which very end his Father gave him all power both in heaven and in earth.

Secondly, the Extent of that power is over all fleſh, which reacheth all humane Nature, none excepted; for by this power all mankind ſhall be either ſaved or damned, according to the tenor of the Goſpel, as is at large proved in my ſecond Treatiſe, Chap. 12. Not by any power from the Covenant of the firſt Adam, nor by that ſuppoſed Law of Works delive­red by God to Moſes; But all fleſh, ever ſince the Fall, ſtands under the univerſal grace of God in Jeſus Chriſt before faith; or elſe in the ſpecial grace of God through Jeſus Chriſt after faith, as is proved at large in my two former Treatiſes.

Thirdly, the End wherfore this power was given him is, That he ſhould be the only diſpenſer of his Fathers gift of Eternal life; wherefore he onely reacheth this gift of Eternal life in the ſacred Oracles of the Old and New Teſtament, by the hand of his Spirit in the Miniſtery, by the Apoſtles and others; for ſo onely8 this Eternal life comes expreſly to be known to man, that by beleef he may receive the gift thereof, as in his very next words to his Father is implyed, Verſ. 3. This is life Eternal, that they may know thee the onely true God, and Jeſus Chriſt whom thou haſt ſent; For man is onely capable of his deepeſt miſery, or his higheſt felicity, by his knowable powers; that is, as he is a reaſonable creature.

Fourthly, the reſtraint or limitation to which this eternall life is bound, that is, not unto all, but unto ſome, to as many as thou haſt given him, and no more, for that is implyed; Now there are ſeverall ſorts of men, which the Father hath given to Chriſt, and in ſeveral reſpects in order to his final end, but they may be all reduced to three heads:

Firſt, his Father gave him twelve men of all fleſh, and no more, primarily to be his diſpenſers under himſelfe of this gift of eternal life.

Secondly, the Father gave him all right beleevers to be the myſtical members of his body, and no more of all fleſh, except all dying in infancy or the like, for all ſuch are his myſtical members, as is proved in my firſt Treatiſe, Pag. 36, 37.

Thirdly, ſome part of all fleſh as have Apoſtatized ſo farr from this poſture, as to become dead in ſinnes and treſpaſſes, are given to Chriſt that he may give them eternal life, and ſome of them are not, nor ever ſhall; and thoſe that are given him, are given him ſome at one time, and ſome at another.

And firſt concerning the twelve, they were not created by him as he was Chriſt, and therefore were given him of his Father, as is proved by his own words, Verſ. 8. I have given them the words which thou gaveſt9 me. Verſ. 11. Holy Father, keep through thine own name thoſe that thou haſt given me. Verſ. 12. While I was with them in the World, I kept them in thy name, thoſe that thou gaveſt me. Verſ. 20. Neither pray I for theſe alone, but for them alſo which ſhall beleeve in me, through their word: Therefore it is clear, That theſe twelve Apoſtles were given him of his Father of all fleſh, and no more, To be primarily under him, the diſpenſers of his word to deſtroy the works of the Devil, out of the minds of men.

But I will propound foure Queries, for the further clearing of this 17th Chapter of John, in which will fall the other two heads formerly mentioned.

Firſt Quere, How can thoſe men which rightly be­leeve, be one, even as Chriſt and his Father is one? I in them, they in me, That they may be made perfect in one, verſ. 23.

Anſw. That which made God, and all humane na­ture two, (I mean not in Eſſence; for ſo they were never one, nor could, not never ſhall be;) But that which made God and man two, was mans error, or ſinn, And ſo in the fall, the Apoſtate Angels and man were totally one in wills and operations; And on the contrary, God and man were perfect in one, be­fore the fall; becauſe then, in relation to Gods will, mans will was created perfect, becauſe he was created perfect in holineſs and righteouſneſs, and during that eſtate, were perfect in one; But ſeeing they were diſ­joyned, and made two by the fall, now Chriſt by his word and ſpirit, doth make the will of God and man perfect in one, in the perfection of parts in this life; but the perfection of degrees is reſerved for the life to come; and then the Fathers will, Chriſts will, and the10 will of the Saints ſhall be perfect in one, that is, the Fathers final end to his own glory.

This was Chriſts glory he had with the Father, be­fore the World was, Verſ. 5. That God before the World was, did elect and ordain (as it were) that drop of humane Seed, to be in time aſſumed, and ſo to be perſonally God-man, that he might make God and man perfect in one;1 Pet. 1.20. Gen. 3.15. or elſe, That the Apoſtate An­gels, and all ungodly men, ſhould be made one in mi­ſery to all eternity. And thus Gods final end herein, is fully perfected upon all fleſh, as to that Text, It ſhall bruiſe thy head.

The ſecond Quere is verſe. 16. What meaneth our Lord by theſe words; They are not of the World, even as I am not of the World?

Anſw. As he was not of the World of men, which ſet down their content and happineſs in this Worlds good; but he uſed it, as if he uſed it not. So the A­poſtles, and all right Belleevers, were of the ſame mind in ſome degree; and therefore he ſaid, They are not of the World, as I am not of the World.

Secondly, The Apoſtles and right Beleevers are not of the World, as Chriſt was not of the World, becauſe they do receive, and obey the world of Chriſt, which the World does not; Chriſt perfectly, they imperfectly, but truly, Verſ. 14. I gave them thy word, and the World hated them, becauſe they are not of the World, as I am not of the World. And concerning the Apoſtles, he ſaith, Verſ. 8. I gave them thy words which thou gaveſt me, and they have received them, and have known aſſuredly, that I came out from thee, and they have beleeved that thou didſt ſend me.

Again, The Apoſtles were not of the World, as11 he was not of the World, becauſe he engaged himſelf in life and Doctrine, in oppoſition to the Apoſtate World, both men and Angels. And ſo in ſome de­gree did the Apoſtles and all Beleevers, and ſo they were not of the World, as he was not of the World; from this ground it is, that he ſaid to his Father, I pray not for the World, that is for them, as to their courſe of life and converſation, but for them which thou haſt given me out of the World, that is, Apoſtles and Be­leevers, that thou wouldeſt keep them from the evil.

The third Quere; What meaneth our Lord by theſe words; for their ſakes, ſanctifie I my ſelf, that they alſo may be ſanctified through thy truth?

Anſw. He meaneth, that the Apoſtles ſhould be ſanctified by his word of truth, becauſe by it he did ſanctifie himſelf to his work, as it reſpected his Fathers final end. Therefore curſed be for ever that Do­ctrine of the ſneaking Quakers, and our Familiſtical ranting Popelings, by whom the Apoſtate Angels en­devour to adulterate the moſt pure Oracles of God, the old and new Teſtaments.

Secondly, Although he thus prayes, that it might ſanctifie them in their work, as it had done him, yet we muſt note this by the way, he was not unholy be­fore; for if we conſider him as the ſecond in the one Jehovah, ſo he was infinite in holineſs, or perſonally God-man; for ſo he was perfectly holy, becauſe that humane ſeed which was elect out of the fallen Maſſe, to be aſſumed in the courſe of nature, in the womb of the Virgin was totally ſeparated from the leaſt tin­cture of the nature of Devils, (ſin I mean) becauſe the Virgin was over-ſhadowed by the Holy Ghoſt, there­fore that holy thing was called the Son of the moſt12 high,Luk. 1.35 that is, above all created natures, in a ſuperlative degree.

Queſt. If you ask me, how could he be ſanctified by the word of truth, who was ſo ſanctified in his di­vine and humane nature?

Anſw. Very well,Heb. 5.8. for as he did grow in ſtature and wiſdom, ſo he learned obedience by the things he ſuffered, that is,Luk. 2.40, 52. he did grow in degrees of heavenly wiſdom, in the ſacred Oracles of God, that is the old Teſtament, and alſo in the words which himſelf received from his Fa­ther, and gave them to his Apoſtles in the 8. v. of Jo: 17. which now to us is the new Teſtament, and as he did grow from Child-hood to a youth, or young man, to a perfect man, he ſtill kept cloſe to his Fathers words, from whence he was able to diſpute with the Doctors at 12. years age, & to diſpute with the Devils, alledging, It is written, and cuſtom makes another na­ture in good,Luk. 4.4.8. as well as in evil; for we ſee by his ſuffer­ings, he learned obedi-ence, that is better and better.

Object. If it be objected,Object. That if he were more perfect then formerly, conſequently he was formerly leſſe perfect, conſequently, he ſinned, becauſe he fell ſhort of his Fathers will.

I anſwer,Anſw. Not ſo, for his Fathers Law requires man to love God, but with all his ſoul, and all his ſtrength, and his Neighbour as himſelf; but no more then is proper to his kinde: Therefore he ſinned not. And for his divine nature, it being without limits in its Eſſence, is without Law in his operations.

Again, he being not created, as was the firſt A­dam, a perfect man at once; but being born of Wo­man, came to it by degrees, as is formerly proved, yet in every degree, he did (as himſelf ſaith) alwayes13 thoſe things that pleaſed his Father,Jo. 8.29. therefore he ſin­ned not. Again, Our Lord did not thus ſanctifie himſelf onely to accompliſh his Fathers final end himſelf, but alſo for his Apoſtles ſake; for ſaith he, for their ſakes ſanctifie I my ſelf, that is, to give them example, how to go on miniſterially, in that which himſelf hath done fundamentally; whence in the 18th verſe, he ſaith, As thou haſt ſent me into the World, even ſo I have ſent them into the World; that is, to a World of Heathens, and to a world of proud formal profeſſors, the Jewes, his Elect Spouſe; for he came to his own, and his own received him not. To this end he gave his Commande­ment to the Apoſtles, to go forth to the World,Jo. 1.11. ſay­ing, Goe ye therefore, and teach all Nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghoſt, teaching them to obſerve whatſoever I have commanded you; and loe, I am with you alwayes, that is,Mat. 19.28 by my ſpirit; for that is implyed.

Again, He ſanctified himſelf for all beleevers, that he that ſanctifieth, & they that are ſanctified, may be one, not only in ſufferings, but in holineſs inſome degree in this life, and to be perfect in one in the next,Heb. 2.11 as is pro­ved; for he did know, as ſatans lies believed by our firſt Parents, & we in them, was und is the univerſal ground of all unholineſs and ungodlineſs; ſo on the contrary, he did know that his Fathers truth beleeved and obeyed, is the univerſal ground of all true holineſs and godli­neſs, and therefore prayed, ſanctified them with the truth, thy word is truth; that is, the only & alone truth, ſo to do by the ſpirit of truth, which goes along with that word, which the world that lives in weakneſs knowes not.

Therefore O you friends of the Bride-groom, keep cloſe to the pure truth of the Oracles of God, for the14 grounds of your Doctrines, expoſitions and applica­tions, and be content with the ſimplicity thereof, and look not too much upon this, or that mans expo­ſitions, as to put too much ſtreſſe upon any mans wit or learning; for their miſtakes are numerous. But a­bove all, keep to the four grounds manifeſted in the Oracles of God; for in themſelves they are infal­lible:

The firſt is, Mans pure naturals as he was created by God; for in holineſs and righteouſneſs created he him.

The ſecond ground is the Covenant of works be­tween God and Adam, and theſe two States were diſtinct, and each did ſtand alone, before mans fall.

The third ground is the fall of man.

The fourth ground is the reſtauration of the whole Creation by Chriſt the ſecond Adam.

The which four grounds in ſome meaſure are o­pened in the four firſt Chapters of my firſt Treatiſe: upon which grounds that firſt Book, my ſecond Book, and this third Book are built, by him who makes uſe of the fooliſh things of the World,1 Cor. 1.27. to condemn the wiſe; and when you ſee a Bee work beyond his wit, then know there is a greater efficient than it.

Again, The Father gave not only twelve men of all fleſh to be Chriſts Apoſtles, nor only all right be­leevers of all fleſh, to be his myſtical members here; but if they continue to the end, to be triumphant in Heaven to eternity; But alſo he gave him ſome part of all fleſh, which by Apoſtacie are become dead in ſins and treſpaſſes to that poſture, in which once they might have received life: yet ſome of theſe men are15 given to him at one time, and yet given him at ano­ther; and ſome of them are denyed him for ever; and theſe various reſpects are the grounds of our Saviours words in theſe cond verſe, That he ſhould give eternal life to as many as thou haſt given him.

Thus God denied the Gentiles to Chriſt, about 1800. years, being dead in ſins and in treſpaſſes, ex­cepting ſome few as is proved in the 7th Chapter of my firſt Treatiſe, and denied them the reſidence of his Oracles, the ſaid time for their Apoſtacy at Babel, until Chriſt was come in the fleſh.

Again, When Chriſt came in the fleſh,Jo. 12. God gave him many of thoſe Gentiles, dead in ſins, to hear the voyce of the Son of God, and live in that poſture in which they might receive eternal life: yet ſome are denyed him to this day, and remain Heathens, and ſhall, till the fulneſs of the Gentiles come in; in the interim, many periſh, becauſe denyed to Chriſt.

Again, When God called us Gentiles to come to receive life in the ſaid poſture, or to be either, as is proved; for before there was no way but death to moſt men, yet at that time he denyed the Jews to Chriſt, for crucifying the Lord of glory, and his blood is upon them; for to this day they remained dead in ſins and treſpaſſes; for in Holland, where the Goſpel is preached, it is no Goſpel to them, becauſe God (as yet) denies them the ſpirit of faith, as he hath done theſe 1600. years, except it may bee to ſome few.

Again, Thus were ſome of thoſe denyed the gift of Faith, while our Lord lived amongſt them, where­fore he ſaid unto them, Ye are not my ſheep; that is, although my Sheep as from Abrahams fleſh,Jo. 1.16.25, 26. yet16 not my Sheep, as in Abrahams ſpirit of faith.

And although the whole body of that Church E­lect, ſtill ſtands cut off for their unbeleef, yet there will come a time, when they ſhall be given to Chriſt. The Apoſtle ſaith, Rom. 11. If the caſting away of them be the reconciliation of the World,Rom. 11.8.12, 15, 16, 20, 25. what ſhall the receiving be, but life from death?

Now I come to the fourth Quere. How is it, that Rom. 5.18. The Text affirms, as by the offence of one Judgement came upon all men to condemnation; e­ven ſo by the righteouſneſs of one, the free gift came upon all men to juſtification of life? And yet this 17th of John reſtrains that gift of life but to ſome.

I anſwer, That juſtification was univerſal to all man-kind, and to all alike, and the extent of the im­putation of that righteouſneſs was to the whole Crea­tion, from whence it was put into a poſture of travail from that bondage of corruption, which it fell into by Adam, to be partakers of the glorious liberty of the Sons of God, and it travelleth until now, as ſaith the Text.

Again, I anſwer, That the gift of eternal life in the 17th of John, is particular, and peculiar to him that receives that gift of righteouſneſs by Faith, in two re­ſpects, which that univerſal juſtification was not.

As firſt, He that receives this imputed gift of righ­teouſneſs, God pardons that mans ſins, although nu­merous againſt the mercy of God in Jeſus Chriſt, which that univerſal juſtification did not; for it onely pardoned the gift and puniſhment of Adams one of­fence, once committed, to him and all his poſterity, but it pardoned no more.

Secondly, That man which by beleef receives17 that imputed gift of righteouſneſs, is poſſeſſed of e­ternal life, in this World; for the Text ſaith, he that beleeveth hath eternal life, which that univerſal juſtifica­tion did not give: it onely gave right to eternal life, but no more.

And the truth is, the Apoſtle in the fifth of the Ro­mans, points out this particular juſtification, and that univerſal juſtification.

The particular juſtification in theſe words; for if by one mans offence death reigned by one, much more they which receive abundance of grace, and of the gift of righ­teouſneſs, ſhall reign in life, by one, Jeſus Chriſt: But mark the Text; It refers this particular Juſtification onely to Beleevers, that receive that gift of righte­ouſneſs, Verſ. 17. and in the 18. Verſe, the Apoſtle layes down that univerſal Juſtification in theſe words: Therefore as by the offence of one, Judgement came upon all men to condemnation, even ſo by the righteouſneſs of one, the free gift came upon all men to Juſtification of life.

Obj. It will be objected,Object. our Lord ſaith, Father, I will that thoſe which thou haſt given me be with me, even where I am, that they may behold my glory which thou haſt given me, for thou loveſt me before the foundations of the world, Verſ. 24. Therefore thoſe that are given by the Fa­ther to Chriſt, cannot but be infallibly brought to be­hold that his glory to Eternity; For it is impoſſible but that Chriſts prayer muſt be granted, becauſe he alwayes did that which was pleaſing in his Fathers ſight.

Anſw. True it is,Anſw. that Chriſt did alwayes ſo, and therefore ſo in this prayer; and therefore it ſhall be granted: But the queſtion in hand is not, whether his18 prayer ſhall be granted, but in what ſenſe he prayed; for it cannot be in the ſenſe alledged, becauſe it is proved in this Chapter, that the Father gave him 12. men of all fleſh, and yet one of them which his Father gave him, ſhall not behold that glory, becauſe our Lord affirmes, it had been good for him, he had never been born; and in this Chapter, he ſaith, one of them is loſt, and became the ſon of perdition.

Again, right beleevers of all fleſh are given by the Father to Chriſt, to be his myſtical members and him­ſelf to be head to that body, from which ground he made this prayer in behalf of them, that they might behold that his glory; but we muſt mark the reaſon and ground of his prayer, why his Father ſhould grant it, In theſe words, Thou loveſt me before the foundations of the world. And of his members he ſaith; Thou haſt loved them as thou haſt loved me. V. 23. Now it is already proved in what ſenſe our Lord himſelf was loved of his father before the world was, namely to be the ſea­venth meanes, or ſecond Adam infailibly to accompliſh his Fathers final end; Therefore it neceſsarily fol­lowes, That all his members are loved with the ſame love as they adhere to Chriſt in reſpect of his Fathers final end to his glory and not otherwiſe; This is ex­preſſed by our Lord himſelf, John 12.26. If any man ſerve me, let him follow me, for where I am, there ſhall alſo my ſervant be; If any man ſerve me, him will my Father love, otherwiſe not, for that is implyed, becauſe our Lord puts it upon if and if, If any man ſerve me &c. For if our Lord himſelf be loved unto the ſaid reſpect of his Fathers glory, as to be compleated in his final end by him; Conſequently this his prayer is according to that level and not otherwiſe, as plainly19 appears in the comparing the 26th Verſ. of the 12. of John, with this 24th Verſ. in the 17th of John; But what Gods final end is, here, I paſs it over, becauſe it is proved in the firſt and 12th Chapter, of my ſecond Treatiſe.

So much for the opening of the 17th Chapter of John; which proves, that the Saints perſeverance hath no dependance upon the ſuppoſed perſonal Ele­ctions, which neither this Chapter nor any other doth own.

CHAP. III. In which are opened ſeveral other Texts, to the purpoſe aforeſaid.

BEhold the dayes come, ſaith the Lord,Jer. 31.3.31, 22, 33 That I will make a new Covenant with the houſe of Iſrael, and with the houſe of Judah, Not according to the Covenant I made with their Fathers, &c. But this ſhall be the Covenant that I will make with the houſe of Iſrael, After thoſe dayes, ſaith the Lord; I will put my Law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts, &c. By that word, in thoſe dayes is meant, as is expreſſed in the 17. Verſe: There is hope in the latter end, ſaith Jehovah, that thy Children ſhall come to their own border, that is, their own Land, and re­turn into that poſture, wherein they may receive eternal life, as is implyed in theſe words, I will write my Law in their hearts, further implying, that formerly they were dead in ſins and treſpaſſes. To the ſame purpoſe he ſaith, I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear me for ever, for the good of them and their Chil­dren20 after them. Jer. 32.39, 40.And I will make an everlaſting Covenant with them, and I will not turn away from them, to do them good. In the next words, he ſhewes wherein principal­ly their good conſiſts, I will put my fear in their hearts, that they ſhall never depart from me: onely note this by the way, That this fearing of God for ever, and a Covenant that ſhall laſt for ever, and that they ſhall never depart from him, is in no ſenſe ſpoken in refe­rence to perſonal election, as the ground of the Saints perſeverance in the grace of God, by Jeſus Chriſt; for all this ſtory points onely at the Jews, Gods elect vi­ſible Church, and theſe words as to them imply two things;

Firſt, That God had formerly turned away from them, from doing of them good many years, yet he continued them to be, and ſo to be diſtinguiſhed in all Ages, and Generations, as that they are known by the name of Jews, as Abrahams off-ſpring, to this day.

Secondly, Theſe words further point out, That al­though they are now no viſible Church of Chriſt, yet after their converſion into the ſaid poſture, they ſhall never totally depart from being Chriſts viſible Church, unto the Worlds end, as they have been ma­ny hundred years, and are at this day; and that is meant, when God ſaith, I will make an ever laſting Co­venant with thee, as to the ſame effect in the 3. Verſe, And in that he ſaith,Rom. 11.15.27. Heb. 8.8, 9, 10. Heb. 10.16, 17. I will give them one heart, and one way, that they may fear me for ever: And to this point the Apoſtle ſpeaks, Rom. 11.15, 27. and to the ſame purpoſe, Heb. 8.8, 9, 10. and Heb. 10.16, 17. So that it is clear, theſe Texts ſpeak nothing to the mainte­nance of perſonal Election, as I ſaidefore. Onely I21 marvail, that ſo many godly learned men, ſhould be ſo bold to infer from the Apoſtles words,Rom. 9.13. Eſau have I hated: That Eſau was perſonally reprobated to eter­nity; for the Apoſtle doth onely repeat a Record, as it is written by Malachy, and Malachy followes God, de­claring his purpoſe to Rebecca, concerning thoſe Chil­dren, That they were the Roots of two Nations, and he purpoſed the one Nation ſhould be his viſible Church, and the other (being the elder Brother) ſhould not, that no fleſh as fleſh ſhould glory in his ſight; and in this ſenſe he ſaith, Eſau have I hated, as is formerly proved in this, and both my other Treatiſes.

Again, For further clearing of the truth, againſt thoſe threefold erroneous Elections, I will prove the original uſe of the word Elect, and in what ſenſe that word is applyed in the old and new Teſtament; For inſtance, many hundreds of years after Eſau and Ja­cob were dead, came the burthen of the word of Jeho­vah by Malachy, I have loved you, ſaith Jehovah; yet ye ſay, wherein haſt thou loved us? was not Eſau Ja­cobs Brother, ſaith Jehovah? yet I loved Jacob, and ha­ted Eſau, and laid his Mountains, and his Heritage waſte; And to Jacobs Nation, Verſ. 5. he ſaith, your eyes ſhall ſee, and you ſhall ſay, Jehovah will be magnified from the border of Iſrael. And to Iſraels Nation Jſaiah applies the word Elect, which, as to them,Iſa. 44.1, 2. was the original uſe of this word: Yet hear now, O Jacob my Servant, and Iſrael whom I have Elect; Thus ſaith Jehovah, that made thee, and formed thee from the womb, he will help thee; fear not, O Jacob my Servant, and thou righ­teous whom I have Elect. But thou Iſrael art my Servant,Iſa. 41.8, 9. Jacob, whom I have Elect, the ſeed of Abraham my22 friend. And in the 9th Verſe, Thou whom I have taken from the ends of the Earth, and called thee from the chief men thereof, and ſaid unto thee, thou art my Servant, I have elected thee, and not caſt thee away. From this ground our Saviour (ſpeaking of the deſtruction of this viſible Church Elect after his death, he concludes thoſe dayes of vengeance ſhall be ſhortened: except thoſe dayes ſhould be ſhortened, there ſhould be no fleſh ſaved. Mat, 24.2. and from 15. to 22.But for the Elects ſake, thoſe dayes ſhall be ſhortened; implying no fleſh, otherwiſe of Abra­ham his friend, whould be reſerved for a future call, to the ſaid poſture in which they might receive the gift of eternal life. Dan. 11.15. 1 King. 3.8.So the Prophet ſaith, thy Servant is in the midſt of thine Elect people, whom thou haſt elected: likewiſe, O ſeed of Jacob his Servant, ye Children of Jacob his Elect ones:1 Chron. 16.13. ſo that in the old Teſtament, we ſee the original of this word Elect, and the application of it, hath not the leaſt ſenſe to any perſonal Electi­ons; but to a viſible Church, or to its individual members under the ſame capacity.

Secondly, It is applyed to the ſame ſenſe, and none other in the new Teſtament. To the viſible Church of Coloſ. the Apoſtle ſaith, Put on therefore as the Elect of God,Col. 3.12. 1 Theſ. 1.4.7. bowels of mercy, &c. likewiſe to the viſible Church he ſaith, knowing Brethren beloved, your election of God, for our Goſpel came not unto you in word onely, but alſo in power. Verſ. 7. So that you were an example to all that beleeve in Macedonia and Accaia, that is, that beleeve according to the judgement of charity; for of ſuch onely the viſible Churches under the Goſpel were conſtituted, being admitted by Baptiſme. So Peter applyes the word Elect, to the viſible members23 of Chriſt, ſcattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Aſia,1 Pet. 1.1, 2. and Bithinia, Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through ſanctification of the ſpirit, unto obedience, &c.

So Paul ſtileth the Goſpel, whoſe moſt proper reſi­dence is in the viſible Churches of Chriſt, and their beleeving there in the faith of Gods Elect, Paul,Tit. 1.1. a Servant of God, and a Servant of Jeſus Chriſt, accor­ding to the Faith of Gods Elect, and acknowledging of the truth which is after godlineſs: likewiſe ſaith Paul, I endure all things for the Elects ſake,2 Tim. 2.2.10. that they may alſo obtain the ſalvation which is in Chriſt Jeſus, with eternal glory.

Sometimes this word Elect is applyed to particular members of the viſible Church,2 Joh. 1.13. the elder unto the Elect Lady and her Children,1 Joh. 1.13. whom I love in the truth, the Children of thine Elect Siſter great thee, Amen.

Sometimes this word Elect is applyed to the univer­ſall viſible Church of Chriſt; but moſt particularly, to all right beleevers therein; And ſhall not God a­venge his own Elect,Luk. 18.7. which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? I tell you, he will avenge them ſpeedily; and ſo he did avenge divers times the viſible Church of the Jews upon their Ad­verſaries, as he now doth on the behalf of the Church of the Gentiles, againſt their enemies. And ſome­times this word Elect is applyed more cloſe, as to the inviſible members of Chriſt, which are thoſe that purely worſhip him in ſpirit and in truth; And the Pſalmiſt ſaith, Thou chooſeſt to thy ſelf the godly man;Pſal. 4. for theſe are ſuch as are known to God onely, and not to men infallibly: Hence ſaith the Apoſtle, the foun­dation24 of God ſtandeth ſure, the Lord knoweth thoſe that are his infallibly (for thats implyed.) 2 Tim. 2.19.To this point our Saviour ſpeaks, Then ſhall he ſend his Angels, and gather together his Elect from the four winds,Mark 13.27. Mat. 24.31. from the utmoſt part of Heaven; And he ſhall ſend his Angels with the great ſound of Trumpet, and they ſhall gather to­gether his Elect from the four winds, from one end of Heaven to the other. So that the ſcope of the new Teſtament concerning Election, runs according to the ſcope of the old; but neither ſpeaks for the foreſaid threefold erroneous elections.

CHAP. IV. Anſwering ſome familiſtical Objections againſt the premiſes.

FOr they deny all Elections and rejections of man­kind, as well thoſe that are true, as thoſe that are falſe, both from ſeveral Texts which I have anſwered in my ſecond Treatiſe,Eccleſ. 12.7. and from Eccleſ. 12.7. the words are, Then ſhall the duſt return to the Earth, as it was, and the ſpirit ſhall return to God that gave it; that is (ſay they) the body being returned to his duſt, the ſpirit returns to God, to be eſſentially his nature; and therefore there ſhall be no individuals of men, to be ſaved or damned to eternity; for all ſhall be God.

This Objection takes for granted, that to be a truth,Anſw. 1which is a lye, and unpoſſible; for Pſal. 147.5. The Text affirms,Pſal. 147.5. God is infinite, and the Heathen man could ſay, He is all Center, and no circumfe­rence, and an infinite admits of no diminition,25 nor addition; for then it ceaſeth to be infi­nite.

Secondly, I anſwer; according to the being of a thing ſuch is its operation: therefore if the ſpirit which is in man be infinite, let it produce ſuitable ope­rations, and wee'l beleeve it, as did our Lord that was perſonally God-man: yet the divine nature did not a­nimate a humane body, as doth the ſoul and ſpirit of man (as theſe men dream;) and he did produce ſuitable actions, for he laid down his humane body in death, and took it up again: he walked on the waters with the ſoals of his feet, and in an inſtant turned wa­ter into wine, and gave the man ſight that was born blind. And if they be God, why do they not cauſe the Sun to go back ſo many degrees as pleaſeth them, and command the Seas and the winds to obey them; for Chriſt by his heavenly Doctrine, confirmed by nu­merous miracles, was mightily declared to be the Son of God:Rom. 1.4. 2 Tim. 3.12, 13. but you are declared to be as you are (as ſaith the Apoſtle) that is, evill men and ſeducers ſhall wax worſe and worſe, deceiving and being deceived.

Again I anſwer, 'Tis true, The ſpirit returneth to God who gave it; but it is one thing, that it returns to God, another thing, that it returns to be God, which is impoſſible, as is proved.

But you will demand of me, in what ſenſe, accor­ding to the Text, doth the ſpirit of man return to God that gave it?

I anſwer negatively and affirmatively:

Negatively thus; The Spirit is no neerer in its na­ture, to the nature of God, when it is out of the body, than when it is in the body; for both body and ſpirit do live, and move, and have their being in his eſſence,26 for the Text ſaith,Act. 17.28. In him we live, and move, and have our being.

Again I anſwer, As that being, which all created natures have, is bottomed in the being and eſſence of God, on which it depends, ſo as it cannot move the breadth of a hair, further or neerer, by its own local motion, nor by death, neither by annihilating it ſelf: for even wicked men are ſo bottomed upon his being, that they may be, to be tormented to eternity, although they ſeek death, or annihilation, ſo ſaith the Text. They ſhall ſeek death,Rev. 6. and ſhall not find it, and ſhall deſire to die, and death ſhall flye from them: and the ground why he will thus continue men and Angels to eterni­ty, is for his final ends ſake, for which he made all, that they might be Veſſels of honour, or diſhonour, according to their works.

Secondly, Affirmatively I anſwer, the ſpirit of man returns neerer to God, in its own apprehenſion of him when it is out, then when it was in the body, both of good and bad men: for while it is in the body, there are ſeveral mediums that do interpoſe its apprehenſi­ons of God: but when it hath left the body, theſe me­diums do vaniſh, and therefore it hath then a more im­mediate apprehenſion of God.

But you will ask me, what are theſe mediums?

I anſwer, they are primarily three:

The firſt is, its body of ſenſe, in which it is invol­ved, and the ſpirit while it lives in it, receives all ob­jects by its five ſenſes, as doth a Bruit.

The ſecond medium, is the frame of this inferior World, it being alſo but an object of ſenſe; but be­ing out of the body, this alſo vaniſheth, as to the rea­ſonable ſoul, for then the ſpirit of man ſeeth by its27 own light, a light ſuitable to its own nature: but what it is we know not; for although the light and darkneſs of this World is light and darkneſs to our ſenſe, yet to God they are neither; for darkneſs and light are both alike to thee, ſaith the Pſalmiſt:Pſal. 139.11, 12. ſo is it to the ſpi­rits of all good and bad men and Angels, being the next created nature to the uncreate nature of God.

How,Queſt. and by what light doth God ſee and perceive thing?

I anſwer, by his own light. If you ask me what that light is, I anſwer, it is his Eſſence. And if you ask me what his Eſſence is, I anſwer, none, but himſelf can tell; no created nature, either of men or An­gels.

The Text ſaith, God is light, and in him is no dark­neſſe at all, who only hath immortality, and dwelleth in that light which no man can approach unto,1 Joh. 1.5. 1 Tim. 6.16. whom no man hath ſeen, nor can ſee, To whom be honour and power e­verlaſtingly, Amen.

But it will be objected, the Text ſaith,1 Joh. 3.2. we ſhall know him as he is: As it is in the Text, it is true, that is, when Chriſt who is God-man ſhall appear, we ſhall ſee him as he is, and every man that hath this hope in him, purifieth himſelf, even as he is pure; and thus we ſhall know him as he is, that is, as he ſhall be plea­ſed to manifeſt himſelf according to our meaſure or capacity; the which manifeſtations are three, the Scripture ſpeaks of no more.

Queſt. What is the firſt?

It is this inferior World,Anſw. as travelling by the force of Chriſts imputed righteouſneſs (as is proved) whence it is, That his tender mercies are over all his works. Pſal. 147.6.From this ground ariſeth his kindneſs to the28 juſt and unjuſt,Mat. 5.45. Acts 17.27. that they ſhould ſeek the Lord, if hap­pily they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us, and this is the firſt manifeſtation.

Queſt. What's the ſecond?

Anſw. His ſacred Oracles, the old and new Teſtament, a far more neer and clear manifeſtation of God, yet this is dark,1 Cor. 13.12. and thorough a glaſſe in compariſon of the third.

What's the third manifeſtation? Queſt.

It is the Heaven of Heavens,Anſw. a place purpoſely cre­ated by God the moſt immediate expreſſions of him­ſelf, in moſt ſplendide luſtre of divine glory, that An­gels or man made perfect in a ſpirituallized body, can be capable of in their ultimate comprehenſions: I ſay, a place created, becauſe whatſoever is a Creature, is li­mited in its Eſſence, and therefore confinable to place, and this is according to our meaſure; for no Creature is able to behold the naked Eſſence of the infinite Jehovah, wherein our comprehenſions would be confounded or ſwallowed up; for it is only proper to his infinite Eſſence, to be without circumference. Hence we may obſerve, the ſilly and ſhallow ſeduce­ments of theſe worms, I mean, the Familiſtical crew, who dreamingly think that they are he.

But you will ask this Queſtion,Queſt. How the infinite Eſ­ſence of God can be both out and in the natures, mo­tions and lives of perſons and things, and not He to be their Eſſence, nor they his by mixture of na­tures?

That in regard the Text affirms, That in him, we live,Anſw. move, and have our being, it is unqueſtionably true in it ſelf, he being infinite, and the word him29 points out he, as not we; and the word we, points out we as not he; and it is one thing that it is ſo, and an­other thing for men and Angels, piercingly to know the manner how it is; for although the Angels know it much more than we can, that are in an Elementary body of ſenſe and ſin, yet there is ſuch a diſproporti­on betwixt a finite and an infinite, that they can never reach the manner how. That ſecret efflux by which the Divine nature continues the being of Creatures in himſelf, that they can never reach, it being ſo imme­diate, and they know not how themſelves live and move; for they cannot know beyond their created meaſure received from their maker. But as for us, we muſt beleeve it, becauſe the Text ſaith it, and there reſt: and as for the manner how, it is only known to God himſelf; for the truth is, we know little or no­thing; we know not the manner how a pile of graſſe groweth, or how one hair of our head, nor the manner how our ſtature is increaſed; for it is one thing to know we are increaſed, and another thing to know the manner how: in which we can do no more than the Mother knowes how the bones of her Infant growes in her womb, or whether it be male or female, till it be born. And the Text ſaith, Loe, theſe are parts of his wayes, but how little a part is heard of him;Job 26.14. Eccleſ. 11.5. as thou knoweſt not what is the way of the ſpirit, nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her which is with Child: even ſo thou knoweſt not the works of God which maketh all.

Again, The ſpirit of man returns to God who gave it, that is, for an enjoyment of his preſence and love, which is better than life: thus the Apoſtate Angels went out from God,Pſal. 63.3. for they left their own habitati­on30 and were puffed up, they did aſpire to be God him­ſelf, as did we in our firſt Parents, to be as Gods: and thus do the Familiſtical Quakers, and fall into the con­demnation of the Devil, but the ſpirit of man may re­turn to God that gave it. Jud. v. 6. 1 Tim. 3.6.As the ſpirit of right beleevers do, and enjoy his love, which is better than life: but this is not the returning to God meant in the Text.

In your ſecond Treatiſe,Object. and in this it is affirmed, that whatſoever is in God, is he: therefore that po­tency, and radical vertue which you ſay was in God himſelf, out of which he produced all Creatures, con­ſequently that vertue and all Creatures are as God himſelf, eſpecially the ſpirit of man is Gods own Eſ­ſence, and ſhall (as the Familiſts ſay) return into the ſame Eſſence, conſequently there ſhall remain no in­dividuals exiſtently to be damned, or ſaved in bliſſe or torments to eternity.

This concluſion thus drawn from the premiſes,Anſw. ari­ſes from their ignorance of two things: the one is, not knowing or beleeving the Scriptures; for if the Scriptures were known and beleeved, this Objection would have died in its conception, and never come to its birth, becauſe it poſitively denies what the Scripi­ture affirms, that is, Gods final end, for which he made both men and Angels, and all things ſubſervient to them and their uſe; And in this end, the whole Ocean of all his glory terminates; conſequently denies An­gels and Spirits, and the Reſurrection, as did the Sad­duces: but to thoſe ſeduced ſpirits, our Lord an­ſwered, and ſaid unto them, Ye do erre, not knowing the Scriptures. And this error is the firſt ground upon which this Objection is built: But our Lord ſtayed not31 there, but ſaid, neither do ye know the power of God,Mat. 22.29. Act. 23.8. that is, not knowing or beleeving his infiniteneſs, and the Text affirms he is infinite: therefore your ignorance of this is a ſecond ground of your objection: And you meaſure him by your reaſon, or your reaſoning, which is as if you would empty the Ocean into an Egg-ſhe: therefore you cannto but erre. And for further expla­nation, how Gods potency and vertue which was eſ­ſentially in himſelf, and ſpirited out of himſelf by Creation, yet is not now himſelf, I refer the Reader to my ſecond Treatiſe, pag. 104, 105, 106.

But ſecondly I anſwer, that all Creatures in Hea­ven and in Earth, principally men and Angels are but a remote ſhadow of his being, and not his being which is the fountain of life; for they are all but meer de­pendents upon his Eſſence, as Job affirms of the Earth. It hangs by nothing, that is, no created thing but de­pendent upon him, as an accident to a ſubſtance: as for example, witheneſs upon a wall depends on the wall, yet the wall was a wall before, and will be when that whiteneſs ſhall be waſhed off: ſo God was before all things were created in its dependence upon him.

And he will be the ſame, though he ſhould pleaſe to waſh away the whole Creation by an annihilation; but for his final ends ſake, he will never do this, as is proved: And thou O man, who thus diſputeſt to be he, art but a remote ſhadow of him, and canſt thou i­magine the ſhadow of thy body to be thee, or to com­prehend what thou art? much leſſe art thou he, or ever wilt be, nor able to comprehend him. But do thou diſpute, and beleeve thine own diſputings,2 Chron. 20.20. And I will beleeve the Lord and his Prophets, ſo ſhall I ſurely proſper32 but he that will not ſo beleeve ſhall be damned. Mark 16.16.And in that word he points at thee, if thou repent not; for the wan­ton deſpiſing, and ſuch diſputing out thy precious time againſt Gods long patience, which (as by a hand of mercy) would lead thee to return unto himſelf, to be happy for ever; for at the end of our lives, when the duſt returns to the Earth as it was, the ſpirit ſhall return to God that gave it, and can do no other; for then it will be ſtripped of all thoſe mediums which did interpoſe its naked approach to God in its apprehenſion, and ſhall ſee it ſelf returned to the alone diſpoſing of God; and this is the meaning of the Text, and the ſpi­rit ſhall return to God that gave it; that is, to be ſent to its place of weal or woe,Luk. 12. 7. according to his works, as is figuratively laid down between Dives and Lazrus. So much for anſwer to the blaſphemous abuſe of this Text.

CHAP. V. In which is further amplified, the Errors of the Fami­liſts and four Quere's anſwered, as to the point of Election.

ANd in the firſt place, take notice from what ground theſe men deny the ſacred Oracles of God, and prayer to him as our heavenly Father, and all Or­dinances as tending to mans ſalvation, that is, from the ſame ground that the Angels fell, which is, that they abode not in the truth of God, and from the ſame ground that we in our firſt Parents fell, beleeving not his word of truth. So this ſort of men forſake the33 truth and beleeve a lie, that is a fancy, which they name a light within them, and the divine nature and Chriſt, they call their light by the name of Chriſt. But what ſaith our Lord to theſe men? Joh. 8.44.Ye are of your Fa­ther the Devil, and the luſts of your Father ye will do; and concludes, he is a lyer, and the Father of lies.

But you wil ſay, your own grounds imply,Object. you need not pray, as it is in that which you call the Lords Prayer, your Father in Heaven, becauſe you affirm, you are in his Eſſence, and cannot be out of it. Then if he be ſo neer you, what need you pray to him at all? much leſſe as in Heaven a great way off?

Though it be true, that he is ſo near us,Anſw. yet that is falſe which you infer form thence, That we need not pray; for we need to pray, becauſe of the foreſaid mediums between our ſpirit and he, and it is formerly proved, thoſe mediums are three;

That is, this World being but an object of ſenſe, and the body of man being but a ſenſitive thing, and the ſpirit of it ſelf involed in a body of ſin, and of errors and miſtakes,

Therefore although he be ſo neer, we have great cauſe to pray unto him, to manifeſt himſelf unto our ſpirits, as did he, that ſaid, Lord I beleeve, help my un­beleef.

Again I anſwer, The nature of ſin in our mind, car­ries in it enmity to God, and therefore our minde be­ing conſcious to our ſin, in our apprehenſions keeps at a diſtance from him: therefore (as neer as he is unto us) we had need to pray unto him, to ſhew himſelf to us; for it is one thing that he is ſo neer, and another thing to beleeve that he is ſo neer; as for ex­ample, If a man be as neer to one that is blind, as poſ­ſible34 may be, if he neither feel him nor hear him, he is to him as if he were 1000. miles off; and this is our caſe, by reaſon of theſe three mediums before ſpecifi­ed: therefore we have need to pray to God to draw neer to us, not in his Eſſence, for neerer he cannot be, but in the manifeſtation of his mercy and goodneſs he may.

Again, Our Lord taught us to pray to our Father, as in Heaven, becauſe it is the ultimate manifeſtation of his tranſcendent glory, that Men and Angels can be capable of, and a place created purpoſely for that end, in which we ſhall center in him to all eternity: therefore we begin our Lords Prayer with Our Father which art in Heaven, and conclude it with Thine is the Kingdom, power and glory.

Again, Becauſe it is Jehovah that makes a barren Wilderneſs fruitful, and a fruitful Land barren, there­fore he (being ſo neer us) we may the rather pray, Give us this day our daily bread, that is, a competent maintenance for us and ours, during this life, which is our day.

Again, Becauſe the Apoſtate Angels do multiply and advance their Kingdom of darkneſs, by mens be­leeving lies, and lying vanities, ſo forſaking their own mercies, and principally this Familiſtical Crew, ſeem­ingly Angels of light to deceive: therefore in re­gard God is ſo neer unto us, I ſay we may the rather pray, Let thy Kingdom come, and will be done, by remo­ving thoſe numerous errors and blaſphemies, which darken his glorious Oracles, not in themſelves, but as to men.

Again, In regard the heart of man at the beſt, is as a Fountain of error, he being ſo neer unto us, we may35 the rather pray him to purifie our hearts, that we may by a ſimplified beleef ſee where we are, even in him­ſelf.

Again, In regard Jehovah is ſo neer unto us, from this ground it is, the Apoſtle exhorts all that are truly godly, ſaying, Let your moderation be known to all men. The Lord is at hand, be careful for nothing, but in every thing by prayer and ſupplication with thankſ­giving, let your requeſts be made known unto God.

Therefore the Objection is frivolus, that we need not pray, becauſe God is ſo neer us.

From this ground, that Jehovah is ſo neer, did a­riſe that ſingular moderation in Moſes, as to this ſen­ſitives Worlds glory;Heb. 11.24.27. for he refuſed to be called the Son of the Kings Daughter, eſteeming the reproach of Chriſt greater riches than the Treaſures of Egypt, and endured, as ſeeing him which is inviſible; and Da­vid when he was in his right mind, beheld Jehovah, (which is inviſible to ſenſe) ſaying,Pſal. 23.4. Though I walk through the vale of the ſhadow of death, yet I will fear none evil, for thou art with me; And having done with the Familiſts till I meet with them again, I return to the clearing of the point of univerſal Election, by anſwer­ing of foure Quere's.

Was not Election out of the fallen Maſſe,Quere. 1perſonal, for the fall was acted by two individual perſons, Adam and his Wife?

Although the fall was of two individuals,Anſw. male and female, yet the fall was not perſonal, but univerſal, and that of the whole kind.

How can that be? Queſt.

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Very well;Anſw. for as God rejected Eſau, and elected Jacob in the womb, yet neither perſonally rejected, nor elected, although they had a perſonal exiſtence, as appeares by their ſtrugling in the womb: He calls them two Nations, and two manner of people to be ſeparated from her bowels, ſo in this male and female God conſidered all mankind radically in the Seed: from this ground the Text ſaith, In Adam all die; yet note this by the way, our firſt Parents (in this caſe) were onely the Root materially, but not formally, for the formal cauſe why all mankind might tranſgreſs in that one offence, was Gods Covenant with Adam, for life and death eternal, as is proved in my firſt Trea­tiſe, page 22. Therefore the fall was not perſonal but univerſal, conſequently ſo was the Election. In the Seed of the Woman Chriſt the Lord as comprehen­ding the whole Maſſe.

If the whole Maſſe were elected,Quere. 2then no part was rejected, and Election is altogether improper, where there is no rejection.

We muſt conſider the Apoſtate Angels and man,Anſw. in that fall, as two diſtinct natures in one reſpect, and yet but one nature in another reſpect; For inſtance, as they were Angelical and humane natures, ſo they were two diſtinct; but as both natures in the fall were totally diabolical, ſo they were but one: therefore when they both were thus one in the fall, then God elected the humane nature out of that diabolical na­ture, to mercy in the promiſed Seed; but left the Angelical nature in that diabolical nature, rejected from all mercy for ever. And all comprehended in theſe words to the Serpent their Inſtrument, I will put enmity between thee and the Woman,Gen. 3.1 5 and between thy37 Seed and her Seed, it ſhall bruiſe thy head, &c. For he in no wiſe took the nature of Angels: but here we ſee, he did take the Seed of the Woman to mercy, ſo that here is a proper rejection, conſequently a proper E­lection.

From what did that Univerſal Election,Quere. 3free all mankind?

It freed all mankind from three things,Anſw.

Firſt, from thoſe dreadful defections, croſſe ope­rations, and hideous repreſentations, which by the ju­ſtice of God in the fall, was to come upon the whole Creation, as is proved in the third Chapter of my firſt Treatiſe.

Secondly, It freed all mankind from the total na­ture of Devils; for in mercy it was reduced, but to a Seed, and is called rightly, the Seed of original ſin, for two reaſons; Firſt, becauſe this Seed is derived to all men, in their natural Generations, and ſo remains in this life, in the very beſt of men, Chriſt only excepted; becauſe all may know the total nature of it, through mercy, was reduced to be but a Seed, and ſo may mag­nifie Gods mercy, for that univerſal Election, and for freedom from ſo great an evil, and to a poſſibility of all their good.

A ſecond reaſon is this; for without this Seed of Devils (ſin I mean) thus iſſuing in humane nature, it is not capable of eternal life in Gods gift, through Chriſts imputed righteouſneſs; for the whole needed not the Phyſitian, but the ſick, and he came not to call the righteous, but ſinners to repentance: therefore all thoſe that fancie themſelves to be without ſin and righteous, as do that pack of Familiſts, or Quakers, or to obtain eternal life by their own merits, as joyned38 with the righteouſneſs of Chriſt, or by works of ſu­per-erogation, as do the Romaniſts, are all quite out of any capacity to be ſaved by him; but not out of a ca­pacity to be damned by their own error, if they re­pent not.

A third thing from which all mankind are freed by the ſaid Univerſal Election, is from that joynt con­demnation with the Devils in torment, and reproba­tion to eternity. So as for Adams one offence, never any man periſhed, as at large is proved in the fourth Chapter of my firſt Treatiſe.

Quere. 4After what manner was that Univerſal Election, out of that fallen Maſſe?

It was after this manner,Anſw. Firſt, it was purpoſed by God, before the World or Man did exiſt, as is proved in the firſt Chapter of my ſecond Treatiſe;Eph. 1.3, 4. And the Text affirms, that all ſpiritual bleſſings which belee­vers have, it is according as he hath choſen us in Chriſt, before the foundations of the World.

Again, It was after this manner, the foundation of this Election out of the fallen Maſſe, was laid in the ſeed of the woman, perſonally God-man; for the Text ſaith, he choſe us in him, wherefore he did not aſ­ſume the perſon of any man into perſonal union, but the nature of every man, which contains the univerſal nature of all men; for he aſſumed it in the womb of the Virgin, as already is proved, and will yet more ful­ly appear in due place.

Again, This Election was after this manner, God conſidered not man, without all reſpect to works, good or evil, nor upon his foreſight of mans faith and works; but he conſidered man in the fallen Maſſe, unholy and under blame, and not loved; for the Text39 ſaith, He choſe us in him, that we might be holy, and without blame before him in love. Now this word choſe us in its full drift, is to be underſtood, in a twofold re­ſpect, that is, reſtrictively and univerſally: reſtrictive­ly thus, He choſe us beleevers among men, which receive his gift of righteouſneſs into the poſſeſſion of eternal life in this World, and to the adoption of Sons; for (as the Text ſaith) God elected to himſelf a godly man, ſo it alſo ſaith,Pſal. 4.3. Joh. 1.1 2. He that beleeveth hath eternal life. And to as many as beleeved in his name, he gave prerogative to be called the Sons of God, that is, by adoption; And thus the word choſe us reſtrictively conſidered, is onely beleevers, as were they to whom this Epiſtle was written.

Secondly, This word, He choſe us, is to be under­ſtood univerſally of humane nature, as ſuch in oppoſi­tion to the nature of fallen Angels, and ſo it compre­hends all in the fallen Maſſe, as unholy, and under blame, and not loved, ſave in the ſeed of the woman. And thus in after times, when man did univerſally a­poſtate into perdition with the Apoſtate Angels, then, as a continued act of this univerſal Election, and as a continued act of the Apoſtate Angels rejection, he ta­keth hold on mankind, to ſtay him from ſinking, but left the Angels ſtill to ſink; And hence it is, the Text ſaith, That he in no wayes taketh hold of the nature of An­gels, but of the Seed of Abraham he taketh hold, that is, in electing a viſible Church of humane nature, as ſuch, in the loins of Jacob in his Mothers womb. This point is further amplified in my ſecond Treatiſe, page 24, 25, 26, 27. Now the rule of truth leads me to two con­cluſions from the premiſes.

Firſt, To give a right judgement of the ſuppoſed40 Elections,Nota. that is, being ſimply conſidered in them­ſelves, they are neither more nor leſſe than three lies, becauſe the truth of God owns none of the three, nei­ther ought we.

Secondly, To give a right judgement of the god­ly learned, touching this controverſie, that in them it is an error of love, as to Gods glory, and not that they love to erre, they being at the leaſt friends of the Bridegroom.

But if you ſay unto me (as it hath been ſaid by ſome) that I may erre,Queſt. in underſtanding the Scri­ptures, as well as others, eſpecially being illiterate.

1. True it is,Anſw. I am illiterate, and he that thinks he can ſo ſpeak or write, that he cannot erre, he erres in ſo thinking of himſelf.

2. Secondly I anſwer, If I or any man elſe keep cloſe to the ſimplicity of the ſacred Scriptures in their drift or ſcope (according to mine or his Talent,) Then Gods ſpirit will keep me, or any man elſe to his truth, and ſo from error, as he ſaith unto the Church of Philadelphia, Becauſe thou haſt kept the word of my patience,Rev. 3.10 I alſo will keep thee from the houre of tem­ptation. And as before, so I ſay again, when you ſee a Bee work beyond its wit, then know, there is a grea­ter efficient than it.

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CHAP. VI. In which is begun the ſecond general point, that is, in what ſenſe the Scripture ſpeaks, the Saints per­ſeverance in the grace of God by Jeſus Chriſt.

THis point falls aſunder into two general parts, the one remote, and leſſe proper, ſerving only for in­troduction: the ſecond is the very point it ſelf.

The firſt is no more but this, how a man may attain to, or become a Saint? one means remote is, the U­niverſal Election before ſpoken of; for until then it was as poſſible for the Devil to become a Saint, as a­ny Son of Adam.

Another remote meanes, is the taking away of the guilt and puniſhment of Adams one offence, from the whole Creation in general, and from man in particu­lar, by the univerſal imputation of the righteouſneſs of Chriſt the ſecond Adam; for till then, the damned in Hell were as capable to be Saints as any Son of Adam.

A third remote means is, That in regard man total­ly loſt all righteouſneſs and holineſs in that fall, there­fore if God had not written his Law in the minde of man by the ſpirit of Chriſt, from whence man by na­ture does the things contained in the Law, or Oracles of God, man had been utterly uncapable ever to be­come a Saint.

A fourth remote meanes is this,Rom. 2. To becom a Saint, man muſt do as did thoſe heathens, Rom. 2. they have­ing not the Law or Oracles of God reſident with them? Queſt. what did they or what could they do that42 knew not Chriſt, the Text anſwers, they did by a pa­tient continuance in wel doing, ſeeke glory, honour, Immortality and eternal life, that is, implicitly and vir­tually, they came towards Chriſt whom they knew not, for they could not know him expreſly, have­ing not the Oracles of God.

Then what could thoſe Heathens find,Queſt. though they did ſo ſeek, certainly they did find, for Chriſt hath promiſed, thoſe that ſeek ſhall find.

But what did thoſe Heathens find? Anſw.

Two things which made good the promiſe of Chriſt unto them. Queſt.

The firſt was Circumciſion,Anſw. which was by nature, Rom. 2.26. By nature, that is, by the force of the Law, written in their nature, and the voyce of God in Chriſt, ſpeaking kindly to man in the whole frame of nature, from whence they became Saints, Verſ. 29. that is, they were holy; for ſaith the Text, their Cir­cumciſion is that of the heart in the ſpirit, not in the letter, whoſe praiſe is not of men but of God.

But doth the Text affirm,Queſt. that theſe Heathens were ſaved?

Yes,Anſw. As certainly as were the Jewes; for God would render unto every man according to his deeds; to them, who by a patient continuance in well doing, ſeek glory and honour, immortality, eternal life, to the Jew firſt,Rom. 2.6, 7. from 10. to 15. and alſo to the Gentile; for there is no reſpect of perſons with God.

What can men that live within the ſound of the Goſpel,Queſt. do more to become Saints, than they that ne­ver heard the Goſpel preached.

They that are under the Goſpel may do more than the other,Anſoe. becauſe the difference is much; for the43 things that they ſeek, which are under the Goſpel, are much more clearly manifeſted: therefore God will much more circumciſe their hearts, as he did Lydia's, opening her underſtanding to what Paul preached; and as to Paul himſelf ſeeking immortality, and eternal life in a patient well doing; for he ſaith, he lived un­blameable, that is, in the truth of God, though through ignorance he perſecuted that truth under the notion of error; but ſaith he, I did it ignorantly, and therefore obtained mercy. Thus the young man in the Goſpel, by a patient continuance in well doing, did ſeek to Chriſt, ſaying, Good Maſter, what ſhall I do to obtain eternal life; and he anſwered to what our Lord ſaid, All this have I done from my youth: but mark what entertainment our Lord gave him in two parti­culars; firſt, he looked on him, that is, ſeriouſly, and loved him, ſaith the Text. Secondly, He put him upon this, that it was not in the power of his own ſeeking, to finde what he ſought, but in his to give, therefore he put him upon that which he was never a­ble to do. That was, to ſell all he had, and follow him; ſo he led him to become a fool in himſelf, that he might ſubmit to Chriſt, to make him wiſe: from this ground it is, that God commands man to plow up the fallow grounds of his heart,Deut. 10.16.30. Jer. 4.3, 4. and to circumciſe his heart, and then promiſes, that himſelf will circumciſe it; and thus man becomes a Saint.

How could Chriſt look upon him,Queſt. and be ſo plea­ſed with man before faith, when another Text affirms, Without faith it is impoſſible to pleaſe God.

It is one thing for God to be ſo pleaſed with man before faith,Anſ. comming to Chriſt, and another thing for God to be ſo pleaſed with man, as to give him poſ­ſeſsion44 of eternal life, as to all right beleevers he doth, becauſe it lies in the nature of the thing, that is, of right beleef to poſſeſs it ſelf of eternal life, in receive­ing Chriſts righteouſneſs, as the eye poſſeſſes it ſelf of the light, which a man, before faith can never do, and ſo theſe Texts are reconciled.

What if theſe men ſo ſeeking honour and glory,Queſt. &c. die before faith? ſhall theſe mens caſe be no better then thoſe that ſit down contented in this Worlds good, and ſeek no further, nor no better then men openly prophane?

The Univerſal Juſtification;Anſw. it did not only par­don Adams ſin to all men, but alſo gives every man a right to eternal life, and no man can looſe that right, but by refuſing to come to Chriſt, which thoſe that ſo ſeek, as is deſcribed, do not, therefore they looſe not their right.

It may be objected,Object. that they dying without poſ­ſeſsion of it by faith, do looſe their right, and conſe­quently, they periſh for ever.

If they do die without poſſeſsion of it by faith,Anſw. yet die ſo ſeeking, as is deſcribed, actually, or but virtu­ally, they ſhall hold their right, and have poſſeſsion to eternity when they die; for God hath not only ſaved all mankind without faith, from the damnation due unto them in Adams ſin; but alſo all mankind dying in infancy, notwithſtanding original ſin, ſhall be ſaved, and be poſſeſſed of eternal life, as is proved in my firſt Treatiſe, p. 36, 37.

Again, To binde mans eternal life to faith, it is to make an Idol of our faith; as for example, becauſe my eye which is a dark body, which receives the light, ſhall I therefore prefer this dark body before45 the light; And I will ask any beleever this queſtion, if it were Abraham himſelf, what gives him right to e­ternal life? Is it not pardon of ſin, and that gift of e­ternal life, as included in the imputation of Chriſts righteouſneſs, in which he is the light of life to man? or is it the dark body of his own faith or beleef?

CHAP. VII. In which is opened the manner how the Saints perſevere in the Grace of God, by Jeſus Chriſt, according to the Scriptures.

FIrſt, A word or two for introduction, That al­though there be a difference between men that ſeek honour and glory, as is diſcribed, and betwixt thoſe that are dead in ſins, and in treſpaſſes, before the gift of faith: yet after, there is no difference, but both are alike poſſeſſed of eternal life; for he that rightly be­leeveth hath eternal life, whatſoever he was be­fore.

A ſecond thing premiſed is this, what is meant by the grace of God in Jeſus Chriſt?

I anſwer, Two things, the firſt is Gods merciful acceptance of a beleevers perſon, as a myſtical mem­ber of the body of his Son, and to be his adopted Son in him, and ſo to no men elſe.

Secondly, By grace is meant his endowing of them by the work of his ſpirit, with inherent righte­ouſneſs, every man according to his meaſure, as of Faith, and love, and patience, &c. and theſe men are called new Creatures, and none elſe.

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If you ask me,Queſt. why I diſtinguiſh between right be­leevers, and true beleevers? I anſwer, An ungodly may beleeve truly, but never rightly, in order to his own eternal life. So Balaam beleeved that Oracle tru­ly which the ſpirit of God dropped from his lips, but not rightly; Firſt, Becauſe his mind creeped on the earth, or earthly contentments, like the Serpent which God curſed, for they run greedily after the error of Balaam for reward. Secondly, Becauſe he leaped over a ſanctified life,Epiſt. Jude 11. onely deſiring to die the death of the righteous: Thus did the proud and covetous Prieſts, Phariſees and Scribes, the great profeſſors of thoſe times, truly beleeve the Oracles of God, de­livered them by Moſes, to be the word of God: but they did not beleeve rightly for if ſo, they would have embraced the Lord of glory, and never imbrew­ed their hands in his blood: therefore I diſtinguiſh be­tween right beleevers, and true beleevers; ſo now I come to the point;

The Saints perſeverance. And in the firſt place it is grounded upon that which may ever be diſtinguiſhed, but never ſeparated in this buſineſs, that is, the power of Chriſts ſpirit, and the Saints exerciſe of their gra­ces already received. And thus they are kept by the power of God; through faith unto ſalvation, that is, in perſeverance unto ſalvation. 1 Pet. 1.5.9. Receiving the end of your Faith, even the ſal­vation of your ſouls, Wherefore gird up the loines of your mindes, be ſober, and hope to the end, Verſ. 13.7. The trial of your Faith being much more precious than of Gold, which periſheth. Verſ. 1.21. That your Faith and hope may be in God: from this ground it is, the Apoſtle gives them this rule, Gird up the loins of your47 minds for the Grace which is brought unto you, ſeeing you have purified your ſelves in obeying the truth through the ſpirit unto unfaigned love of the truth, ſee that you love one another with a pure heart fervently: in this work of the Saints perſeverance, the power of Chriſts ſpirit, and the exerciſe of their graces formerly received, may ever be diſtinguiſhed, but never ſeparated, as is formerly ſaid.

Again Peter in his ſecond Epiſtle,2 Pet. 1.3. comes more cloſe to the point of perſeverance, even to be eſtabliſhed immoveably according as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain to life and Godlineſſe: thereupon he enforces the exhortation; Giving all diligence, adde to your faith virtue, and to your virtue knowledge, add to your knowledge temperance, and to your temperance patience, and to your patience godlineſs, and to godlineſs brotherly kindneſs, and to brotherly kindneſs charity; and then renders them this reaſon, why they ſhould ſo do; for if theſe things be in you, and abound, they make you, that you ſhall neither be barren, nor unfruitful in the know­ledge of our Lord and Saviour Jeſus Chriſt,Joh. 13.17, 13. wherefore the rather Brethren, give diligence to make your Calling and Election ſure. Verſ. 11. whereupon he drawes up a peremptory concluſion, If you do theſe things ye ſhall ne­ver fall, that is, neither totally nor finally, from the grace of God in Jeſus Chriſt. Thus our Lord himſelf to his eleven Apoſtles, excluding Judas, ſaith, If ye know theſe things, happy are, ye if ye do them, I ſpeak not of you all, I know whom I have choſen; for he chuſeth to him­ſelf a godly man, his myſtical member.

A ſecond ground of the Saints perſeverance is this,Pſal. 4.3. the ſeed of Gods word, by the hand of his ſpirit ſowne in their hearts, being born again, not of a corruptible48 ſeed, but of immortal by the word of God, which li­veth and abideth for ever, Verſ. 23, 25. The word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the Goſpel is preached unto you, and the ground why the word is immortal to the mind of beleevers is this, that although the word as printed or preached by the Tongue of man to man, be no more but a humane expreſſion, or dead letter, yet the thing therein con­tained, is to man the unchangeable minde of Jehovah, and he will make it good upon them, according to the tenor of the Goſpel, for the works which they have done in the body, whether they be good or evill to e­ternity. And thus the word of God is a ſeed that pe­riſheth not, but is immortal in both reſpects; for it is in this caſe (in ſome ſort) as it is with ſeed in natures production of bodies, which in one reſpect; is periſh­able; for all humane bodies return to the duſt; and in another reſpect, it is not periſhable, for that ſeed hath continued its kind from the Creation, and ſo ſhall to the worlds end, becauſe the ſeed carrieth in it a ſpi­rit of life virtually. To this alludes Peter, calling Gods word an immortal ſeed; and hence ſaith our Savi­our, The words that I ſpeak unto you are ſpirit and life. Joh. 6.55, 63.It is the ſpirit that quickeneth, the fleſh profiteth no­thing. And as it is in the natural ſeed, ſo it is in the ſpi­ritual ſeed in ſome ſort: if it be not ſowne, or do not fall in a right place, or on a proper ſubject, it looſeth its natural force or life to produce its effect: ſo is it in this caſe, as to the perſeverance of the Saints, never totally, nor finally to fall away; for although by their inherent righteouſneſs (or circumciſion of the heart) the ſpirit of Chriſt hath made their mindes a fit ſub­ject to receive that ſeed,Gal. 5. 2 Cor. 2.14, 15, 16. and ſo to grow: yet if the49 Saints afterwards do quench the ſpirits force, not as to it ſelf, but as to them in their perſeverance; for in the mind of a wicked man, the ſeed of Gods word hath its force as to its ſelf; but it hath not its force, as to that mans happineſs. Hence it is, that the word is a ſweet favour unto God, in them that periſh, in the de­monſtration of his merciful juſtice to eternity, for all are damned by the tenor of the Goſpel. And that the ſeed of Gods word doth thus take various effects, ac­cording to the mindes of men in which it falls, is af­firmed by our Lord himſelf, in his expoſition of the parable of the ſeed; for when he hath ſaid, the ſeed is the word of God, thereupon he explains its various effects in the mindes of good and bad men, and there­upon, to his Apoſtles he ſaith,Luk. 8. from 4. to 18. Take heed therefore how you heare.

But if it be objected,Queſt. That this is no general Rule becauſe unto ſome it was given to underſtand the myſteries of the Kingdom, Verſ. 10. to others not.

It is a general Rule ordinarily,Anſw. and the ſeed of Gods word doth take effect, according to the ſubject it falls into, according as they do improve their Talent, ei­ther to come to Chriſt before faith, as is deſcribed, or after faith, as you have it here. Our Lord ſaith unto ſuch, as well as unto others, Take heed how you hear; and this is a general rule, except in caſes extraordinary, ſuch is that in the 10. Verſe, Unto you it is given to un­derſtand the myſteries of the Kingdom, &c. And thus our Lord when he aſcended, he gave gifts unto men, ſome to be Apoſtles, &c. Not for their own ſake, but for the ſake of his Fathers final end to his glory, in carrying on the aforeſaid particular branch againſt the50 deſign of the Apoſtate Angels, what this particular branch is, is amplified in my ſecond Treatiſe; and there­fore it was given to the Apoſtles, but not to others, to underſtand the myſteries of the Kingdom, clearly and infallibly; and it is clear, that this is meant by the Apoſtles; for the firſt verſe of the Chapter ſaith, the twelve were with him, and in the 9th Verſe, they put a queſtion, which drew this anſwer from him in the 10. Verſe, therefore this makes nothing againſt the afore­ſaid ordinary rule.

Here we muſt remember two things, as to the per­ſeverance of the Saints, to the foreſaid ſtability, that is, they ſtand in relation to a twofold contingency, un­til they have arived to that ſtability, not to fall; the firſt is, the tenor of the Goſpel, the rule of mercy and juſtice, according to which, if they do not exer­ciſe their graces, they may fall away totally; but if they do, they may go on from ſtrength to ſtrength in Sion, or be eſtabliſhed as is proved; And this is the firſt contingency. And the ground why the Lord in this caſe hath put all mankind and the Saints thus up­on contingency is, it ſuits with his final end, for which he made both men and Angels, as formerly is proved.

The ſecond Contingency is, the natural liberty of the will, purpoſely ſo created by God, and that alſo with reſpect to his final end: ſo any man, let him be what he will, or can be (Chriſt excepted) or any Saint, not yet attained to that ſtability, may be a Veſſel of ho­nour, or diſhonour to eternity.

But to clear this point concerning the will of man, we muſt alwayes conſider it under three di­ſtinctions.

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The firſt is its natural liberty, and that is, it choo­ſeth or refuſeth all Objects, or things preſented to it, as it likes, or diſlikes them, and this remains in good and bad men on Earth, and alſo in Heaven and in Hell, becauſe it is the very nature of the reaſonable ſoul.

The ſecond diſtinction is, the natural property of mans will, which is this, to look to good, either as it appears good, or as it is indeed the very true good. And as the eye doth naturally follow light, ſo this na­tural property of mans will doth follow good, accor­ding as it apprehends it to be ſo. This alſo is natural to the very eſſence of the ſoul, and neither of theſe can be loſt, but by annihilation of the reaſonable ſoul, which God will never annihilate, becauſe it will make void his final end: therefore neither of theſe were loſt in Adams fall.

The third diſtinction is, as concerning the freedom of the will to righteouſneſs, that is, rightly to chooſe Gods word, and God himſelf as his cheefeſt good, and rightly to refuſe whatſoever is contrary to this.

Man in the fall loſt all this totally, and whatſoever elſe did tend to bleſſedneſs; for although God crea­ted his nature in righteouſneſs and holineſs, yet holi­neſs and righteouſneſs was not his nature; for if it had been ſo, it could not have been loſt in the fall; for the being of the Creature depended not upon the ſtanding or falling of Adam, but upon the Eſſence of God onely. Now that which did depend upon his ſtanding or falling, was every thing that any way ten­ded to his happineſs, and nothing elſe: therefore the Lord Jeſus Chriſt, by all his works, does no way ex­tend to the being, but to the bleſſedneſes of the Crea­tures;52 wherefore if man would have bleſſedneſs, he muſt look only to Chriſt, and keep to his rules; for he is the Authour of eternal ſalvation, to all that obey him, otherwiſe not, for that's implyed.

If it be objected,Object. that conſequently it followes, that the ſalvation of the Saints is altogether uncertain, and ſo there is a poſſibility, that none ſhall be ſaved.

'Tis true,Anſw. there is ſuch a poſſibility in the nature of the two foreſaid Contingencies; as alſo in the nature of original ſin, to byas the will to evil; and in theſe three reſpects, it is poſſible that all the Saints may fail of ſalvation: yet notwithſtanding, the Contingencies pronounced by the tenor of the Goſpel, that is, He that beleeves, and continues to the end ſhall be ſaved, that's implyed, if not, ſhall be damned. And notwithſtanding the wills natural liberty, or the wills being thus by­aſſed by original ſin, yet it is far more poſſible for all the Saints to be ſaved, then it is poſſible for them to be damned; for the Goſpel-tenor pronounces ſalva­tion to beleevers, and they are by faith poſſeſſed of the chiefeſt good: therefore the wills natural liberty hath more reaſon to keep to the higheſt good, which it hath poſſeſſion of, becauſe it is ſuitable to the natu­ral property of the will to follow good, as the eye to follow light: therefore much more this true good of which it is poſſeſſed before any other ſeeming good. And whereas the will is byaſſed by original ſin to e­vil, the will in the Saints is much more byaſſed ac­cording to the degrees of their graces, to that which is good by Regeneration, becauſe Regeneration in the nature of it, contains (virtually at leaſt) the ſpirit of love, of power, and a ſound minde: therefore it is more poſſible, that all the Saints ſhall be ſaved, then any53 of them ſhould fail of ſalvation, by the three Con­tingencies aforeſaid.

If it be objected,Object. That Satans temptations and the Worlds alurements, do forcibly draw out original ſin, to a cuſtom in actual ſin; and ſo it is likewiſe poſ­ſible, that the Saints may fall totally from good to evil.

If they exerciſe that degree of their ſpirit of love,Anſw. of power, and a ſound minde, then they ſhall finde, that he that is in them, is ſtronger then a world of De­vils, and wicked men, and their own corruptions, to carry them on from ſtrength to ſtrength in Syon, to that ſtability as never to fall, as is formerly proved.

If it be objected,Object. The Saints through negligence in exerciſe of their graces, may looſe their firſt love, and make ſhipwrack of that faith and conſcience that was once good, and ſo may fall totally away.

In this caſe there is far more danger,Anſw. then in the former contingencies, except they return in time; but if they do timely return, although their ſtrength be brought very lowe and weak, yet if they do return in that ſmall ſtrength which remains, they may be ſaved for two reaſons,

Firſt, Becauſe, then God will pardon their ſin; for to the Saints it is, that the Text ſaith, If any man ſin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jeſus Chriſt, the righteous, who is the propitiation for our ſins, &c.

Secondly, If they return in time, in that ſmall ſtrength which remains, Chriſt by his ſpirit will aſſiſt and comfort them in that return, if their ſtrength be but as a bruiſed Reed, or ſmoaking Flax; for to ſuch54 he ſaith, Come unto me all ye that are weary and heavy la­den, and I will refreſh you.

Thus he did to David and Peter, and ſo he will to a­ny other; for he is the ſame God to the Saints which ſuffer ſhip-wrack by their own negligence, now, as then.

But they muſt thus come and return, which is re­pentance; for God forceth, or compelleth the will of no man, for then mans will is no will, no more then he doth make a man to be man, without a reaſonable ſoul, for ſo he is no man.

Again I anſwer, If the Saints do give diligence, and ſhake off negligence, adding to their faith vertue, as is deſcribed, then God will make his word of an im­mortal force, by the power of Chriſts ſpirit, and keep them through faith unto ſalvation, and eſtabliſh them as Mount Sion, that ſhall never be moved: therefore it is far more poſſible, that all the Saints may be ſa­ved, then to fail of ſalvation.

Now the ground of the point is this, To the Saints that ſo exerciſe as a reward of their works, and labor of love through divers temptations, God will habi­tually manifeſt himſelf virtually to the will, which will draw the will habitually, and hold it to himſelf, virtually at leaſt, and on this particular, depends their ſtability: But what this manifeſtation is, ſhall be proved in the next Chapter.

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CHAP. VIII. In which is proved, what is that manifeſtation that ſo drawes the will, to keep to God, virtually at the leaſt.

FIrſt, It is written, Luke 24. Luk. 24.13.Our Lord appeared to the eleven Apoſtles, and the two men that went to Emmaus, and opened to them the Oracles of God, which ſpake of himſelf. Ver. 44. And the Text ſaith, Then he opened their underſtanding, that they might un­derſtand the Scriptures, that is, more clearly, the myſtery of his ſufferings and Reſurrection. Verſes 45, 46, 47. This further clearing of the underſtanding in the Saints, in order to their perſeverance, and to the A­poſtles, in order to their Miniſtery, contains in it two things; The one is right information to the under­ſtanding of the word of God, as here we ſee Chriſt to theſe two men, informs them of his ſufferings and Re­ſurrection. The other is, He illuminates their minds by his ſpirit, to a more right underſtanding of his word; and ſo this illumination adds more light to the underſtanding of the truth of God in his holy Ora­cles, and ſo the will is rightly drawn to God: for as ſin and error ſhuts up the underſtanding and will of the Saints, hindering their perſeverance: ſo this in­formation and illumination carries them on to the ſaid ſtability: for the underſtanding, from the force of this illumination and information, brings God in Chriſt to the will, as its cheefeſt good: wherefore the will by its natural liberty, cannot but freely chooſe it; nor by its natural property cannot but follow it, as the eye followeth light. Thus the will is forcibly56 drawn according to its own natural liberty and proper­ty.

Secondly,Joh. 14.21. Our Lord ſpeaks to this point, as it is written, John 14.21. He that hath my Commandements and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me; and he that lo­veth me, ſhall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifeſt my ſelf to him, that is, virtually and habitually to keep his minde to Chriſt,Rev. 3.10 Rev. 3.10. Be­cauſe thou haſt kept the word of my patience, I will alſo keep thee in the houre of temptation, &c. likewiſe 1 Theſ. 5.14. to Verſ. 24. The Apoſtle having laid down ma­ny particulars, concludes upon the Saints obſervance of them, Faithful is he who calleth you, who alſo will do it; and the Saints having inwardly left in part, the force of this drawing of their mindes to Chrſt, they cry out, Draw us O Lord, and we will follow thee. And this is it when God ſaith,Hoſ. 11.4 Cant. 1.1.13. I draw them with the cords of a man, and bowels of love.

If the will of the Saints cannot refuſe God thus manifeſted,Obj. but according to the degrees of their ſanctification freely follow him; How came it to paſſe, that the Angels refuſed a greater manifeſtation of God, voluntarily? for they forſook their own habi­tation.

It is hard to clear this Objection,Anſw. becauſe in the order of nature, God hath as it were, locked up the excellency of every ſuperior Creature, from the Crea­ture inferior. As all Vigitables apprehend not the na­ture of the excellency of ſenſitives, ſo the excellency of ſpirits is not apprehended by ſenſitives: therefore it is, that mans body cannot apprehend his reaſonable ſoul, although it animates it: neither does the reaſo­nable ſoul apprehend the nature and excellency of57 Angels, much leſſe do the Angels apprehend the in­finite God, but as he is pleaſed to ſtoop down to their capacities, in manifeſtation of himſelf; but what that manifeſtation was, we know not, nor how the Angels did forſake it, becauſe it is proved, that this is locked up from us; but whatſoever that manifeſtation was, it ſtood for a time contingent, that they might, or they might not fall; for the Text ſaith, He found not ſtability in the Angels.

And the ground why it muſt thus ſtand upon a con­tingency for a time, is this, That they could not be e­ſtabliſhed in any condition of weale or woe, but ac­cording as they did exerciſe what they had, either right or wrong, and the ground of that is this, God made the Angels as well as men, with reference to his final end, That they might be made Veſſels of honour or diſhonour to eternity, according to their works.

But after what manner God proceeded ſo to make them Veſſels of honour or diſhonour, is darkly pointed at, as by a Law ſuitable to them, and what that Law was, and that they did tranſgreſs that Law, and for the grounds and reaſons why God hath e­lected ſome Angels to ſtability in eternal felicity, and rejected the reſt irrevocably to eternal miſery, I refer the Reader to the 13th Chapter of my ſecond Treatiſe.

From the premiſes thus proved, obſerve, why God by the Prophets and the Apoſtles, and by our Lord himſelf, in commending or blaming men for their actions, principally refers it to the will, as,