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ANIMADVERSIONS Written by the Right Reverend Father in God JOHN, Lord Biſhop of SARISBURY, upon a Treatiſe intitled Gods love to Mankind.

[printer's device of Roger Daniel]

Alma Mater

CAMBRIDGE: Printed by Roger Daniel Printer to the Ʋniverſity. 1641.

I Have peruſed theſe Anim­adverſions upon a Treatiſe intitled Gods love to Mankind, and now acknowledge them thus corrected for mine own.

JO. SARUM.

Addenda & Emendanda.

Page 13. line 6. adde, It is truly ſaid by Abulenſis. 107.21. after Being adde, As for death, it is a privation of bodily life and bodily pain, but it is no abſolute privation of the being either of body or ſoul. 129. title, reade mens ſinnes. 149. 20. they would never. 169. 3. as an. 185. 15. three Indignities. 202. 3. put-in (H). 218. 4. adde, We in this place think it rather reſpecteth all mankind, unto whom God of­fereth life upon the condition of believing. 224. title, The Sublapſa­rian doctrine. 246. 30. adde, Pelagians onely excepted. 255. 28. for eligendos reade fideles. 263. 28. put-out muſt. 303. 16. was therein.

In the margin.

Page 86. for Comment. reade, Sent. ſuper. 97. for aetern. reade, occulta. 157. 8. put O. 161. 15. P. 240. 3. A. 305. 16. M. 355. 28. Vide Calvin. in Hoſeam, c. 14. v. 1. pag. 340. lin. 1. K. 379. for Doct. reade, Decl. 416. 3. C. 433. 30. L. 462. 5. C.

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ANIMADVERSIONS upon a Treatiſe lately publiſh­ed and intitled,

Gods love to Mankind, Manifeſted by diſproving his Abſolute decree for their Damnation.

Hoſ. 13.9. O Iſrael, thou haſt deſtroyed thy ſelf: but in me is thy help.
Wiſd. 1.12, 13.

Seek not death in the errour of your life; and pull not upon your ſelves deſtruction with the works of your hands.

For God made not death: neither hath he pleaſure in the destruction of the living.

Concerning the Title of this book.

THe generall love of God towards mankind is ſo clearly teſtified in holy Scripture, and ſo demon­ſtrated by the manifold effects of Gods goodneſſe and mercy extended to every particular man in this world, that to doubt thereof were infidelity, and to denie it, plain blaſphemie: yet for all this, if any ſhall go about to magnifie the common love of God extended promiſcuouſly to2 all men, that thereby he obſcureth the ſpe­ciall love and mercy of God prepared from all eternitie and beſtowed in due time upon elect men, this may lead the ignorant and unlearned into a dangerous errour: And therefore obliquely to oppoſe the eternall, free and abſolute decree of Predeſtination or Election under colour of diſapproving an abſolute decree for any mans Damnation, befitteth not any Divine who acknow­ledgeth the truth of that doctrine which the Scriptures have delivered, St Auguſtine cleared, and the Church of England eſta­bliſhed in the xviith Article. But if the Au­thour of this treatiſe had no other aim, then the overthrowing of ſuch an eternall decree of Predeſtination and Preterition as is fondly ſuppoſed will ſave men whether they repent or not repent, believe or not believe, perſevere or not perſevere; and ſuch an abſolute decree of Reprobation as will damne men though they ſhould repent and believe, or will hinder any man from repenting and believing, or will cauſe and work any mans impenitency or infidelity; we both wiſh, and ſhall endeavour together with him to root ſuch erroneous fanſies out of all Chriſtian minds.

The place cited out of Hoſea, with ma­ny others which might be alledged, will eaſily prove that Man is the authour of his3 own ſinne and the procurer of his own damnation, and God onely the Judge and puniſher: But withall they prove as clearly that Man is not the procurer of his own Predeſtination, nor the deſerver of his own Salvation by his foreſeen faith and perſeve­rance: but God is he who according to his abſolute and infallible purpoſe giveth in time that grace unto his elect which before all time he decreed ſhould be an effectuall means to bring them unto glory.

To the Reader.

THe Authour of this Treatiſe was perſwaded to penne the reaſons of his opinion againſt abſolute Reprobation, that he might ſatisfie a worthie friend of his, who required it. What ſatisfaction that learned gentleman, his friend, hath received by theſe reaſons, I know not: but ſure I am, they have given good content to ſome others, who have read them, and do ſtill deſire a copie of them for their further uſe. To eaſe whoſe pains in transſcribing this treatiſe, it doth now appear in this form. If any of contrary opinion ſhall undertake to anſwer or refute it, I wiſh he would ſet down his opinion and reaſons with that perſpicuitie and modestie that our Authour hath ſet down his. Such a courſe of diſputing will gain more credit to himſelf and his cauſe, then voluminous vagaries a­bout impertinent things. If any ſhall uſe railing ſpeeches, or unneceſſary diverſions from the cauſe, I ſhall ever interpret that to be a ſtrong ſigne of a weak cauſe; or at leaſt I ſhall think it to be an argument of an obſtinate mind, who neither knoweth how to yeeld to the truth nor to defend his errour. I hope the Reader who loveth his own ſalvation will be a more indifferent judge in a queſtion which concerneth him ſo nearly. And ſo I leave him to Gods bleſsing.

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An anſwer to the Preface, with ſome propoſi­tions concerning the true nature of Predeſtination or Election.

THe Title of the Book juſtly rejecteth an abſolute Decree for the damnation of any particular perſon: for ſuch a decree was never enacted in Gods eternall counſel, nor ever publiſhed in his revealed word. But for abſolute Reprobation, if by this word be underſtood onely that Preterition, Non-election, or negative decree of Predeſti­nation, which is contradictorily oppoſed to the decree of Election, the one is as abſolute as the other, and neither dependeth upon the foreſeen difference of mens actions, but up­on the abſolute will of God. For if God from eternitie abſolutely elected ſome unto the infallible atteinment of Grace and Glo­ry, we cannot but grant that thoſe who are not compriſed within this abſolute decree are as abſolutely paſſed by as the other are choſen. The decree of Damnation there­fore muſt not be confounded with the de­cree of negative Predeſtination, which (ac­cording to the phraſe of the School rather then of the Scripture) is uſually termed Re­probation. By which term of Reprobation ſome underſtand onely the deniall of Ele­ction or Predeſtination. And becauſe the ne­gation is to be meaſured by the affirmation,5 unleſſe we be agreed what is meant when we ſay, Peter was predeſtinated before the foun­dations of the world were layd, we can never rightly judge what is meant when on the contrary we avouch, Judas was reprobated before the foundations of the world were layd. Some others under the name of Reprobati­on involve not onely the negative decree of preparing ſuch effectuall grace as would bring men moſt certainly unto glory, but an affirmative decree alſo for the puniſhing of men eternally in hell-fire.

So farre forth as this Authour ſeemeth to oppoſe the abſolute decree of Predeſti­nation, and the abſolute decree of negative Reprobation or Non-election, reducing them to the contrary foreſeen conditions of good or bad acts in men, he croſſeth the received Doctrine of the Church of England. But if he intend onely to prove, that the adjudi­cation of men unto eternall life or eternall death, and the temporall introduction of men into the kingdome of heaven, or caſting of men into the torments of hell, are always accompanied with the Divine preſcience or intuition of contrary acts or qualities in thoſe which are to be ſaved or condemned; we hold it and acknowledge it a moſt cer­tain truth. Yet we muſt here adde, that Predeſtination and Preterition are eternall acts immanent in God the Creatour, where­as6 Salvation and Damnation are temporall effects terminated unto the creature: and therefore the latter may be ſuſpended upon many conditions, though the former be in God never ſo abſolute.

The Treatiſe inſuing would have had much more perſpicuitie, if the Authour had briefly and plainly ſet down what he under­ſtandeth by this word Predeſtination or E­lection, and whether he conceive it to be an abſolute or a conditionall Decree. If conditionall; he ſhould have ſhewed us with whom God conditioned, upon what terms, and where the conditions ſtand upon record. If he grant abſolute Predeſtinati­on, his plea for conditionate Preterition will be to little purpoſe with thoſe who underſtand that the abſolute Election of ſuch a certain number doth in eodem ſigno ra­tionis as abſolutely imply a certain number of men not elected.

The wiſdome of our Church of England in the xviith Article layeth down the do­ctrine of Predeſtination, and doth not ſo much as in one word meddle with the point of Reprobation; leaving men to conceive that the one is the bare negation or deniall of that ſpeciall favour and benefit which is freely intended and mercifully beſtowed in the other. Would to God the children of this Church had imitated the wiſdome of7 their Mother, and had not taken a quite contrary courſe, balking the doctrine of Predeſtination, and breaking-in abruptly upon the doctrine of Reprobation.

I know not whether I ſhould think him more defective, who in diſputing about Reprobation runneth out into im­pertinent vagaries, or him that undertaketh the handling of this queſtion without pre­miſing and opening the true nature of Pre­deſtination.

And no man need fear but (with all that are judicious, religious, and loving their own ſalvation) that manner of handling this controverſie will be beſt accepted, which ſo reduceth mans Sinne and Damnation to himſelf, as withall it forgetteth not to re­duce his Juſtification, Sanctification, Glo­rification not to any foreſeen goodneſſe ſpringing out of mans free-will, but to the free mercy of God, according to his eternall purpoſe effectually working in men thoſe gifts and acts of grace which are the means to bring them unto glo­rie.

Having thus briefly ſpoken of the Title and Preface, I will lay down ſuch funda­mentall doctrines concerning Predeſtinati­on or Election as I conceive are grounded upon the xviith Article, and have alwayes been taken for the common received do­ctrine8 of our Church; the contradictory by our Univerſities and reverend Biſhops (when they were broched) having been alwayes held and cenſured for erroneous. This done, I will go along with the Trea­tiſe it ſelf, not intending to defend the par­ticular opinions of any forrein or home­bred Divines, exorbitant from the doctrine of our own Church, but onely to defend our well-ſettled doctrine againſt all oppo­ſers of what names or ſects ſoever.

Propoſitions concerning the nature of Prede­ſtination, and wherein it properly conſiſt­eth, with certain Corollaries apper­teining thereunto.

Propoſ. 1PRedeſtination is an eternall decree or purpoſe of God, in time cauſing effectu­all grace in all thoſe whom he hath choſen, and by this effectuall grace bringing them infallibly unto glory.

For proof of this propoſition theſe pla­ces of Scripture might ſerve; Rom. 8.29, 30. Epheſ. 1.4, 5, &c. Luke 12.32. Matth. 24.24.

The definitions of Predeſtination prove the ſame. As that of St Auguſtine, De Bono Perſeverantiae, c. 14. of the Schoolmen; Prae­paratio gratiae in praeſenti & gloriae in futuro. Amongſt the reſt, of Aquinas;aap. 1. q. 23. art. 2. Praedeſtina­tio eſt ratio ordinis aliquorum in ſalutem aeter­nam9 in mente Divina exſiſtens. of the Jeſuite Vaſquez; Praedeſtinatio eſt propoſitum aeternum Dei quo gratiam alicui praeparat in vitam ae­ternam. And laſtly Arminius himſelf giveth us this deſcription;bbDiſp. publ. Theſ. 15. Praedeſtinatio eſt decre­tum beneplaciti Dei in Chriſto, quo apud ſe ab aeterno ſtatuit, fideles quos fide donare decrevit vitâ aeternâ donare. In all theſe deſcripti­ons, Predeſtination conteineth an eternall, abſolute, infallible decree, as well for the giving of grace effectuall unto certain per­ſons here, as the bringing of the ſame per­ſons unto glory hereafter. Arminius per­ceiving this, in his private diſputationsccTheſ. 40. wi­peth out thoſe words, quos fide donare de­crevit, which he had uſed in his publick.

Predeſtination being an immanent andCoroll. 1eternall act of the Divine underſtanding and will, cannot be conceived as dependent up­on any foreſeen temporall acts of Mans free-will.

A prime and eternall cauſe cannot de­pend upon the ſelf-ſame temporall effects which are thereby cauſed. If therefore Predeſtination be the prime and eternall cauſe from whence Peters faith, repen­tance and perſeverance were derived, his foreſeen faith, repentance and perſeverance cannot in any good ſenſe be imagined ante­cedent cauſes, merits, conditions or motives unto the Divine Predeſtination.

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The Jeſuite Vaſquez,ddIn 1. diſp. 89. though he found Predeſtination unto glory upon foreſeen merits, yet in this he is ſounder then the Ar­minians, in that he maketh the differencing of the Predeſtinate from the Reprobated to beginne before all abſolute previſion of their free-will conſenting the one way or the other. And our learned Biſhop of Nor­wich Dr Overall explaining the xviith Ar­ticle hath theſe words, Noſtra Eccleſia con­jungit particulare decretum abſolutum, non ex praeſcientia humanae fidei aut voluntatis depen­dens, ſed ex propoſito Divinae voluntatis & gra­tiae de his quos Deus elegit in Chriſto liberan­dis, cum generali & conditionata voluntate, ſeu generali promiſsione, &c. Where he evidently acknowledgeth an eternall, ſecret, abſolute Decree, predeſtinating particular perſons unto eternall life without all dependency upon their foreſeen faith or perſeverance; though therewithall he conjoyn an open, re­vealed and Evangelicall Decree of bring­ing men into the poſſeſſion of eternall life by the way and upon the condition of their faith, repentance and perſeverance.

Propoſ. 2Election or Predeſtination findeth or conſidereth all mere men in one and the ſelf-ſame condition: and it is the grace prepared for them in Predeſtination which maketh the predeſtinate become holy & happy men.

If Predeſtination be conceived as ante­cedent11 to the fall, then it taketh all men in ſtatu innocentis, and ſo alike. If it be conſi­dered in ſtatu lapſo, then it alſo findeth all the ſonnes of Adam alike miſerable and damnable.

They who will have God in his DivineCoroll. 2Predeſtination to behold all men, and elect thoſe men conſequently whom he conſi­dereth as believing and perſevering in faith and holineſſe unto the laſt gaſp, are in an errour. For 1. this is to elect or predeſti­nate men not conſidered in ſtatu integro, nor in ſtatu lapſo, but in ſtatu reparato, & tantùm non glorificato. 2. Again, this is not to bring Faith, Holineſſe, Perſeverance, out of the gracious benefit of Election, but to bring Election out of the foreſeen acts of Believing, Obeying, Perſevering, quite con­trary to the doctrine of our Church and of the truth. 3. Laſt of all, if we admit this opinion of conditionate Predeſtination, fol­lowing upon the eternall foreſight of mens finall obedience and perſeverance, we muſt of neceſſity grant that the grace or benefit of Predeſtination affordeth no man any help at all in the way unto eternall ſalvation or glorification: which no Chriſtian eare can patiently heare. For how can that be the cauſe leading infallibly in the way unto eter­nall life, which cometh not ſo much as in­to conſideration untill a man have runne12 out his race in faith and godlineſſe, and be arrived at heaven-gates? Such a falſely-na­med Predeſtination might more truly and properly have been called a Poſtdeſtinati­on. But call it how they pleaſe, it enacteth onely per modum legis, That men thus living and dying ſhall be received into the king­dome of heaven: but it doth not per mo­dum decreti operantis infallibly work thoſe graces and gracious actions whereby men are brought unto heaven.

Propoſ. 3The grace prepared for the Elect in Gods eternall Predeſtination, and beſtowed upon them in the temporall diſpenſation, ſo cau­ſeth their belief, repentance, perſeverance, as that it impoſeth no neceſſity or violent coaction upon the wills of men, but cauſeth their free and voluntary endeavours.

That the grace prepared in Predeſtina­tion is an infallible cauſe producing faith and perſeverance in all the elect, appeareth from the nature and eſſence of Predeſtina­tion: which being a ſpeciall part of the Di­vine providence, is diſtinguiſhed from that more generall providence, by appointing and applying ſuch means as never fail to produce the end whereunto they are fitted.

So that St Auguſtine feareth not to in­ferre, That if the grace prepared for the elect in their Predeſtination ſhould not work the intended end, which is their glorifica­tion;13 aut vinceretur aut falleretur Deus, God himſelf muſt either be overcome or de­ceived. Yet he withall defendeth, That this effectuall grace hath no violent coactive operation upon the will, but cauſeth it to work by its own freedome. eeAbul. in 3. Reg. cap. 12. Stat libertas arbitrii cum Divina motione voluntatem no­ſtram ad id quod vult applicante. And St Auguſtine to the ſame purpoſe, Deus omni­potentiſsimâ facilitate convertit, ac volentes ex nolentibus facit. In which few words he conjoyneth the invincible operation of the grace of God with the free operation of mans will. Nay the grace flowing from the decree of Predeſtination is ſo farre from putting a neceſſitation upon the will, as that it is the very cauſe which freeth the will from the ſlavery of ſinne, and maketh it freely to move and work in all good acts. It giveth the will and the deed; and therefore it implyeth a contradiction to ſay, it ma­keth a man do any good by way of ne­ceſsitation. ffBern. De lib. arbitr.Ʋbi conſenſus, ibi voluntas: ubi voluntas, ibi libertas. Whenas there­fore God had eternally predeſtinated Pe­ter to believe in Chriſt, to repent, to per­ſevere, he did by ſpeciall grace move him and work him to the moſt free and willing performance of all theſe things; according to that of St Auguſtine, Cùm Deus vult fie­ri quod non niſi volentibus hominibus opor­tet14 fieri, inclinat eorum corda ut hoc velint. They who refuſe to acknowledge this power of Gods will over mans will, do not perceive how they ſtumble at the firſt article of the Apoſtles creed.

Coroll. 3Thoſe horrible conſequents which the ancient Semi-Pelagians would have forced upon Auguſtines opinion of abſolute Pre­deſtination, are of no force: As for exam­ple;ggFaust. Rheg. If the Divine Predeſtination be ab­ſolute, nemo vigilet, nemo jejunet, nemo libi­dini contradicat, &c. And again; If Pre­deſtination be abſolute, ad vitam rectam non ſuo ductu, ſed violento tantùm Dei im­perio homines pertrahuntur. In a word; If abſolute Predeſtination unto grace and glo­ry be granted, intra gratiae vocabulum abſ­conditur fatale venenum. Theſe with many other inferences of the ſame ſtamp Fauſtus & others of the Semipelagian ſect would needs thruſt upon the doctrine of Predeſtination: and as for themſelves, they boldly main­teined theſe propoſitions, as it were in de­fiance of Gods abſolute and free Election;hhProſp. Epiſt. ad. Aug. Hoc propoſitum vocationis Dei, quo eligen­dorum & rejiciendorum dicitur facta diſcretio ſecundùm quod placuit Creatori, lapſis curam reſurgendi adimit, ſanctis occaſionem affert, &c. Prior eſt hominis obedientia quàm Dei gratia. Initium ſalutis ex eo eſt qui ſalva­tur, non ex Deo qui ſalvat. And Fauſtus15 Rhegienſis hath the like or worſe: Salus hominis non in praedeſtinatione Factoris, ſed in operatione famulantis collocata eſt. Non eſt ſpecialis circa credentes Dei munificentia. Prae­deſtinatio ad justitiam pertinet. Niſi praeſcî­entia exploraverit, praedeſtinatio nihil de­cernit. Juſtitia periclitabitur ſi ſine merito indignus eligitur.

Unto all theſe and the like inferences and opinions we briefly anſwer three things. Firſt, That Predeſtination is abſolute, not becauſe it intendeth the bringing of any man unto eternall life without performing the conditions which God requireth in the Goſpel, as Repenting, Believing, Perſeve­ring, and the like; but becauſe God in his moſt gracious decree of Election doth as abſolutely and certainly ordain men unto ſaving grace as unto everlaſting glory. Se­condly, That in the Divine Predeſtination there is alwayes included a preſcience of the faith and perſeverance of all ſuch as are elected: yet ſo, that this preſcience is not the antecedent motive unto their Ele­ction; but this foreſeen faith and perſeve­rance is a conſequent fruit or effect of the Divine Election. Laſtly, That there is a decree conditionall eſtabliſhed by God concerning mans ſalvation, namely, That if any man repent, believe and perſevere, he ſhall moſt certainly be ſaved. But we ſay it is16 an abuſe of the Word, to call this the de­cree of Gods Election or Predeſtination. For the truth of this decree may ſtand good and firm though no man living ſhould be­lieve or attein unto eternall life. But the Divine Predeſtination or Election is ſuch a decree as infallibly in ſome men produceth faith, and bringeth unto eternall life a cer­tain number of perſons known onely unto God himſelf.

To ſhut up this Corollary; We do not onely avouch the doctrine of S. Auguſtine concerning abſolute Predeſtination to be true, allowed by our Church, and eaſily cleared from all thoſe abſurd conſequences which the Adverſaries would fain faſten upon it; but we further avouch, That the new-deviſed plat-form of Predeſtination grounded by Arminius upon foreſeen faith and perſeverance, is falſe, vain, and diſagree­ing from the notion of Predeſtination root­ed in the hearts of all catholick and ortho­dox Chriſtians. For his Predeſtination is ſettled upon theſe foure pillars.

1. The firſt is, an abſolute decree of giving Chriſt for a Mediatour and Redeemer unto mankind conſidered as fallen, in the ſtate of ſinne.

2. Another abſolute decree, To receive in­to favour all ſuch as ſhall repent and be­lieve, and to ſave them perſevering unto17 the end; as alſo, To leave the impeni­tent and unfaithfull under Gods wrath, and to condemn them as men out of Chriſt.

3. A third decree, Effectually to afford and adminiſter unto all men ſufficient and ne­ceſſary means of breeding faith and re­pentance.

4. The fourth and laſt, a decree, To ſave or condemne certain ſingular perſons, grounded upon the Divine foreſight who will repent, believe and perſevere, and who will not.

To this plat-form in generall we ſay, That the marſhalling of the eternall imma­nent acts of the Divine underſtanding or will into Firſt, Second, Third, Fourth, is a weak imagination of mans brain, and ſo uncertain that amongſt twenty who give us ſuch delineations of Gods eternall decrees, you ſhall not find two who agree between themſelves in numbring them and order­ing them; but where one maketh foure, an­other maketh five, ſix, or ſeven, &c. and that which one man ſetteth in the firſt place, another ſetteth in the laſt: and in brief, e­very man ordereth them ſecundùm ſuum mo­dum imaginandi. To build therefore any doctrines of faith upon the Prioritie or Po­ſterioritie of ſuch decrees, is to build caſtles in the aire. For as Hilarius ſpeaketh,18iiDe Trin. lib. 12. Omnia penès Deum aequabili aeternitatis infi­nitate conſiſtunt.

Now to come more particularly to Ar­minius his decrees. Whereas the true de­cree of Election or Predeſtination is an Operative Practicall decree, preparing from all eternitie and in time certainly cau­ſing grace and glorie in ſingular perſons e­lected; Arminius hath given us Enunciative Doctrinall decrees concerning the generall cauſes and means of ſalvation, apperteining promiſcuouſly unto all men, whether elect­ed or not elected, conjoyned with an act of Divine preſcience, which cauſeth not Peters Faith, Repentance, Perſeverance, Salvati­on, but rather Peters Faith, Repentance and Perſeverance cauſe or draw after them his Predeſtination. So that in the whole ſeries of Arminius his Predeſtination there is not one decree to be found which cauſeth infal­libly in any ſingular man Juſtification, San­ctification or Glorification.

1. His firſt decree is very defective, be­cauſe it giveth us a predeſtinated Media­tour and Redeemer in ſeparato ſigno rationis from the perſons predeſtinated infallibly to participate the benefit of this Mediatour and Redeemer, which is reconciliation and ef­fectuall grace in this world, and eternall glory hereafter. For as it were an abſurd imagination to conceive that God firſt de­creed19 to make Adams head, and then by an­other decree to make him members ſubor­dinate to his head; ſo is it, to frame a parti­cular decree for the Predeſtination of Chriſt, and then to deviſe another for the Predeſtination of his ſubordinate members.

2. His ſecond decree is a decree reveal­ed about the manner how many in time muſt be brought unto heaven, and not the ſecret decree wherein God from all eterni­ty predeſtinated thoſe whom he pleaſed unto the infallible obteining of the king­dome of heaven: ſo that this eternall de­cree, Quicunque crediderit & perſeveraverit ſalvus erit, might ſtand true though no man in the world ſhould either believe or be ſaved. But the decree of Election or Pre­deſtination doth imply, per modum cauſae in­fallibiliter operantis, the faith, perſeverance and ſalvation of a number of ſingular per­ſons known unto God, and cannot be ve­rified otherwiſe.

3. His third decree hath the ſame fault: For God may (in his ſenſe) ſufficiently and effectually adminiſter the means of grace and ſalvation unto millions of men who notwithſtanding will never attein ſalvation. But that adminiſtration of grace which floweth from the decree of Predeſtination never failed to bring thoſe particular per­ſons unto whom it is mercifully vouch­ſafed,20 unto the ſtate of glorification. Theſe decrees hitherto concern Cain as well as Abel, and Judas as well as Peter; and there­fore as yet we ſee in them no decree of Ele­ction.

4. His laſt decree is it wherein onely the Divine Predeſtination is formally and eſſen­tially placed by Arminius: and yet this hath as little in it of reall Predeſtination or Election as the former. For, Firſt it is a decree for the temporall and actuall intro­duction of certain ſingular perſons into the kingdome of glory; whereas Predeſtina­tion is a decree fore-appointing and pre­paring that effectuall grace whereby thoſe perſons were infallibly brought unto glo­rie. Secondly, this decree is founded upon the preſcience of mans right uſe of Gods grace: But the decree of Predeſtination cauſeth the right uſe of grace. kkAquin. Qu. De Praedeſtin.Hoc ipſum velle accipere gratiam eſt ex praedeſtinatione Divina.

This diſcourſe concerning Predeſtinati­on is neceſſary for the true underſtanding of Reprobation: And it is probable that thoſe who erre in the one are not free from errour in the other.

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Gods Love to Mankind.

SIR,

I Have ſent you here the reaſons vvhich have moved me (A) to change my opinion in ſome controverſies of late debated betvveen the Re­monſtrants and their Oppoſites.

I do the rather (B) preſent them unto you,

1. That I may ſhevv the due reſpect vvhich I bear your Worſhip with my forwardneſſe to anſvver your deſires, as I can vvith regard to conſcience.

2. That you may ſee that I diſſent not vvithout cauſe, but have reaſon on my ſide.

3. That if I can be convinced that my grounds are vveak and inſufficient, I may think better of the opinion vvhich I have forſaken then I can for the preſent.

In the delivery of my motives I vvill proceed in this order: 1. I will ſtate the opinion which I diſlike. 2. I vvill lay dovvn my reaſons againſt it.

Touching the firſt your Worſhip knovveth theſe tvvo things very vvell:

  • 1. That (C) the main〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉and queſtion in theſe controverſies, and that on vvhich the reſt do hang, is, What the decrees of God are touching the everlaſting condition of men, and hovv they are ordered.
  • 2. That the men vvho have diſputed theſe things, may be reduced to tvvo ſorts and ſides.

The firſt ſide (D) affirmeth, That there is an Abſolute and Peremptorie decree proceeding from the alone pleaſure of God, without any conſideration of mens finall impeniten­cy and unbelief: by vvhich God caſteth men off from grace and glory, and ſhutteth up the farre greater part (even of thoſe that are called by the preaching of the Goſpel to re­pentance and ſalvation) under invincible and unavoydable ſinne and damnation.

The other ſide diſavovving any ſuch decree, ſay, That Gods decree of caſting men off for ever, is grounded upon the fore­ſight of their continuance in ſinne and unbelief, both avoyda­ble by grace, and conſequently inferring no mans damnati­on neceſſarily.

The firſt ſide is divided: For

1. Some (E) of them preſent man to God in the decree22 of Reprobation, lookt on out of or above the Fall; and ſay, That God of his mere pleaſure antecedent to all ſinne in the creature, originall or actuall, did decree to glorifie his Sove­reignty and Juſtice in the eternall rejection and damnation of the greateſt part of mankind, as the end; and in their unavoydable ſinne and impenitency, as the means. And this vvay go Calvine, Beza, Zanchius, Piſcator, Gomarus, and ſome of our ovvn countreymen.

2. The reſt (F) of that ſide thinking to avoyd the great inconveniences to vvhich that Supralapſarian vvay lyeth o­pen, fall down a little lovver, and preſent man to God in his decree of Reprobation, lying in the Fall and under the guilt of originall ſinne, ſaying, That God looking upon miſe­rable mankind lying in Adams ſinne, did decree the great­eſt number of men (even thoſe whom he calleth to repen­tance and ſalvation by the preaching of the Goſpel) to hell-torments for ever and vvithout all remedy, for the declaration of his ſevere Juſtice. This way vvent the Synod.

The difference (G) betvveen them is not much, and even in their ovvn account too ſmall a diſcord to cauſe a breach. Notvvithſtanding this petty difference therefore, they agree vvell enough together, as vve may ſee in the Hague-Confe­rence and Synod.

In the Conference at Hague the Contra-remonſtrants have theſe vvords;(a)(a)Col. Hag. Brand. pag 37. Quoad ſententia­rum diverſi­tatem in hoc argumento, quòd Deus reſpexit ho­minem in hoc decreto nondum cre­atum, vel creatum & lapſum; quia hoc ad fun­damentum hujus doctri­ne non per­tinet, liben­ter alii alios aequitate Chriſtianâ toleramus. As touching the diverſitie of opinions in this argument, viz. That God looked at man in this de­cree, not yet created, or created and fallen; becauſe this be­longeth not to the foundation of this doctrine, we do in Chri­stian equity bear with one another.

After this in the Synod at Dort they permitted Gomarus to ſet dovvn his judgement in the upper vvay. And the Dele­gates of South-Holland vvere very indifferent vvhich vvay they took: For theſe are their vvords,(b)(b)Act. Syn. part. 3. pag. 48. An Deus in eligendo conſideraverit homines ut lapſos, an etiam ut nondum lapſos, exiſtimant non eſſe neceſſarium ut deſiniatur, modò ſtatuatur Deum in eligendo conſide­raſſe homines in pari ſtatu. Whether God in choo­ſing conſidered men as fallen, or elſe as not fallen, they (the Delegates of South-Holland) think it is not neceſſary to be determined, ſo it be held, that God in chooſing conſidered men in a like eſtate. (c)(c)Antidot. Remonſtr. pag. 32. Maccovius (H) alſo Profeſſour of Di­vinity at Franeker, a violent and ſtiff mainteiner of the moſt unſavoury ſpeeches vvhich have been uttered in this Contro­verſie,23 and one that undertook in the very Synod to make good againſt Lubbert his fellovv-Profeſſour, That God did(d)(d)Velle peccata, or­dinare ho­mines ad peccatum quà pecca­tum, & neu­tiquam velle ut omnes homines ſal­ventur, &c will ſinnes, ordain men to ſinne, and would not at all that all men be ſaved; and beſides this, openly and peremptorily affirmed, That except theſe things were held and mainteined by them, they could not poſſibly keep their ovvn ground, but muſt come over to the Remonſtrants: this man vvas not onely not cenſured, but publickly declared in the Synod to be pure and orthodox, and diſmiſſed onely with this kind and friendly admonition, That he ſhould hereafter take heed of ſuch words as might give offenſe to tender ears, and could not well down with thoſe who are yet uncapable of ſuch myſteries.

By theſe inſtances it appeareth that they of the firſt ſide can eaſily bear one vvith another in this difference. And (to ſay the truth) there is no reaſon vvhy they ſhould quarrel about circumſtances, ſeeing they agree in the ſubſtance. For they both (I) contend,

1. That the moving-cauſe of Reprobation is the alone vvill of God, and not the ſinne of man, originall or actuall.

2. That the finall impenitency and damnation of Re­probates are neceſſary and unavoydable by Gods abſolute decree.

Theſe tvvo things are the maxima gravamina, principall grievances, that the other ſide ſtick at. So that theſe tvvo paths meet at laſt in the ſame vvay.

Both theſe opinions of the firſt ſide I diſlike.

My reaſons why, are of tvvo ſorts;

  • 1. Such as firſt made me to queſtion their truth.
  • 2. Such as convince me of their untruth.

Anſwer.

THe Remonſtrants in this controver­ſie concerning Election, Preterition, or negative Reprobation, have not one­ly the Contra-remonſtrants for their Op­poſites, but the Church of England al­ſo; which holdeth the middle way, as the learned Biſhop of Norwich hath plainly ſhewed: The change of your24 opinion, therefore is not to be blamed, un­leſſe where from one extremity you have run into the other.

A friend might have been ſatisfied in this kind by private conference, or writing, though his Majeſties Declaration had not been broken by printing and publiſhing ſuch controverſiall points.

The main〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉is not, What are the Decrees of God onely concerning the finall conditions of men; but, What are the De­crees of God concerning the different pre­paration of grace, whereby ſome are guided infallibly unto ſalvation, others are permit­ted through their own corruption or vo­luntary tranſgreſſion to fall into damnation. As for the ordering of ſuch eternall De­crees by firſt, ſecond, third, fourth inſtantia rationis (as they term them) it is a School-deviſe unknown to the Ancients, and ne­ver attempted by any with good ſuc­ceſſe.

No ſide affirmeth an abſolute decree by force whereof Perſons not elected are cast off from grace: for the non-elect An­gels and many millions of men not prede­ſtinated have had a great meaſure of grace beſtowed upon them. Reprobation is not a deniall of ſufficient grace, but a deniall of ſuch ſpeciall grace as God knoweth would infallibly bring them to glory.

25

Neither doth the decree of Preterition ſhut up any man under a neceſsitie of ſinning and being damned; but it permitteth men voluntarily and freely to run into damnable ſinnes, and through their voluntary impeni­tency to incurre eternall damnation. aaProſp. ad Obj. Vinc. Reſp. 10. Non curſus ruentium, nec malignitatem iniquorum, neque cupiditates peccantium praedeſtinatio Dei aut excitavit, aut ſuaſit, aut impulit, &c. bbReſp. 15.Nemini Deus correctionis adimit viam, nec quenquam boni poſsibilitate deſpoliat.

And laſt of all, abſolute Predeſtination, and abſolute Reprobation or Non-election, do not exclude or deny the eternall intuition of Faith and Perſeverance in the Elect, nor the eternall conſideration of Infidelitie and Impenitency in the Non-elect; but they de­ny ſuch a conſideration of good or bad acts foreſeen in men as cauſeth or precedeth the different decrees of God in electing ſome men mercifully unto ſalvation, and leaving others through their own default to plunge themſelves into eternall damnation.

If by caſting off men for ever you mean the eternall excluſion of the damned from the bleſſed preſence of God, and their eter­nall tormenting in hell, no ſide will deny but this is grounded upon the foreſight of their finall continuance in ſinne: yet ſo, that as the finall continuance of Peter in faith was not a cauſe, condition or motive fore­ſeen,26 and ſo determining the Divine will to elect him; but the Divine Election was the cauſe which afterwards produced in him that foreſeen faith. So the foreſeen finall continuance of Judas in ſinne and infi­delitie was not it which determined the Di­vine will to paſſe-by him in his decree of ele­cting ſingular perſons unto the infallible at­teinment of eternall life; but being thus paſ­ſed-by, God foreſeeth that through the vo­luntary obſtinacy of his own will (not by any neceſſitating violence of Gods decree) he will live and die in ſinne and impenitency, and for his voluntary ſinne and impenitency deſerve and undergo eternall torments.

Thoſe who in ordering the eternall De­crees, place Predeſtination and negative Re­probation before the conſideration of the fall, are not few for number, nor men of any late ſect. ccLib. 1. diſt. 41. Lib. 3. diſt. 19.Scotus with the whole army of Scotiſts, the greater number of late School-Divines, are of this opinion: And Suarez by name; whoſe words are theſe,ddIn 3. diſp. 5. p. 103. Probabiliorem exiſtimo communem ſententi­am Theologorum aſſerentium electionem homi­num praedestinatorum anteceſsiſſe permiſsionem originalis peccati.

As for Calvine, he never troubled himſelf with theſe imaginary Priorities and Poſte­riorities in the eternall immanent operations of God: but all that he aimed at was to27 prove, That the fall foreſeen could not be cauſe or motive unto God of ſome mens Election and others Reprobation. As for the intuition or Divine conſideration of all mankind in ſtatu lapſo, Calvine in plain terms avoucheth it;eeDe aeter­na Dei Praedeſt. Poſtquam Paulus, Deum ex perdita maſſa eligere & reprobare quos illi viſum eſt, docuit, quare & quomodo id fiat adeò non expedit, ut potiùs expave­ſcens, &c.

And this Preſuppoſition of ſinne conſi­dered in perſons, whether elected or not elected, whether to be ſaved or to be dam­ned, is moſt convenient for helping our un­derſtanding in this deep myſtery. But if any ſhall thereby conceive that the eternall Vo­litions or Intuitions of God have any reall poſterioritie or prioritie in the Divine will and underſtanding, he deceiveth himſelf, and troubleth others with vain jangling. ffRuiz. De volunt. p. 250. Ʋti­litas diſtinguendi haec inſtantia rationis, non eſt, ut ille modus intelligendi retineatur, ſed ut viam aperiat veritati, quae aperta relinquatur.

God did eternally decree to glorifie him­ſelf in the ſalvation of ſome and damnation of others; which the event doth plainly de­monſtrate: But for thoſe in whoſe ſalvation he decreed to glorifie his Mercy, he worketh in them the means of their ſalvation, faith, repentance, perſeverance in faith and godli­neſſe, by an influx of grace into their ſouls,28 by a powerfull yet not violent, by a moſt ſweet and yet moſt infallible guidance of their wills; in and over which God hath a more predominant power then themſelves. As for thoſe in whoſe damnation God glo­rifieth his Sovereigntie and Juſtice, he doth it not by an influx of malice into their ſouls, nor by unavoydable wreſting of their wills unto any particular ſinne; but leaveth all ſinfull defective actions to their own ſinfull defective wills, which wanting the ſpeciall grace and effectuall guidance proceeding from Divine Predeſtination, never fail to run themſelves willingly and wittingly up­on their own damnation. The means whereby men are brought unto ſalvation, are reall effects of the Divine Election wrought by Gods Spirit; as the light and heat of the air is by the ſun: But the means whereby men are carried to their damnati­on, grow from themſelves; as coldneſſe and darkneſſe of the air is from it ſelf.

As for thoſe whom you term Sublapſari­ans, you ſhould have taken notice, that in this number you muſt put all who imbrace S. Auguſtines doctrine, and who have ſubſcribed to the XVII Article of our Church. Now theſe do as well oppoſe themſelves againſt the conditionate Election and Preterition, built upon the foreſight of mens good or bad acts, lately brought in29 by Arminius, as unto the extreme harſh opi­nions of Piſcator, Gomarus, or whomſo­ever. So that by joyning your ſelf with the Remonſtrants, you have as clearly for­ſaken the doctrine of the Church of Eng­land, as of Beza, Zanchius, or Piſcator.

The deſcription of their opinion whom you term Sublapſarians, will not agree unto all who reject the conditionate Predeſtina­tion and Reprobation of the Remonſtrants. For many with S. Auguſtine & our Church, condemne this as erroneous who notwith­ſtanding make no abſolute decree adjudging men to hell-torments with an excluding of all preconſideration of ſin: But they grant an abſolute decree of not effectually freeing many men from their eſtate of Sinne, and an abſolute decree of permitting many men to want the joyes of Heaven, and an abſolute decree of puniſhing ſuch mens foreſeen ſins voluntarily committed and voluntarily con­tinued by eternall torments in Hell.

Thoſe who are paſſed-by in the eternall decree of God are not by any force of the decree left without the benefit which the Scriptures promiſe upon condition of re­pentance, no more then thoſe whom God hath eternally elected are by virtue of that decree freed from the puniſhment which ſuppoſing their impenitency muſt light upon them. Notwithſtanding the abſolute eter­nall30 decrees of Election and Reprobation, the revealed Evangelicall decrees ſtand in their full force. If Cain repent and live well, he ſhall be pardoned and ſaved: If Peter repent not, and perſevere in his ſinne, he ſhall be damned. And yet farther (not to determine whether ſufficient grace be of­fered to every particular perſon in the world or no) we may reſolutely determine, that the diſtinct abſolute decree of Electing ſome infallibly unto perſeverance in grace and at­teinment of glory, and of Paſſing-by and re­jecting others, is no good argument to prove that therefore the non-elected are left with­out all remedy or ſufficient means of ſalva­tion. Adam was not predeſtinated to ſtand in the ſtate of his innocency, yet he was not thereby excluded or bereft of ſufficient means of ſtanding. From the decree of Preterition or Reprobation, it well follow­eth, Judas is reprobated; Therefore he will not uſe the remedies or means which God offereth for his ſalvation. But it is not good conſequence to ſay, Therefore God hath not given him ſufficient remedies or means to eſcape damnation, were not his own wicked will the onely hindrance.

The Synod of Dort injoyned men to ſet down their particular judgements concern­ing Predeſtination and Reprobation; and therefore they had no reaſon to forbid any31 man to ſet down plainly his own opinion. And ſince the Divine underſtanding doth not conſider or behold this after that, but all together in one inſtant of eternitie, there is no cauſe why men ſhould ſtiffly contend about theſe Priorities and Poſteriorities, which are humane imaginations, or intelle­ctûs noſtri fictiones, as ſome truly term them.

Maccovius was upon a by-occaſion brought before the Synod; and the buſineſſe betwixt him & Lubbertus was committed to the examination of ſome few Delegates, ac­cording to whoſe report he was diſmiſſed.

Unto the objection of ordaining men unto ſin, his anſwer was, That God did not ordain any man unto ſin efficiendo, but permittendo.

For his denying of a will in God for the ſaving of all men, he underſtood it of the abſolute effectuall operative will, not of the conditionall and approbative will of God.

They both confeſſe, that the Divine un­derſtanding could not but eternally foreſee the originall and actuall ſinne which ſhould finally cleave unto every particular man who ſhould afterwards be born into this world: but they for all this deny, that the moving cauſes whereupon God diſtinguiſhed men into Elect and Non-elect, was the fore­ſeen faith of ſome, and the foreſeen infide­litie and impenitency of others. The ſtate of men under ſinne was common to all: the mercy of God in effectually freeing from ſinne was due to none.

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MY reaſons of the firſt ſort do indifferently reſpect and make againſt both, and I will ſet them down againſt both together. My ſecond ſort of reaſons I will divide, delivering ſome of them againſt the upper and more rigid way, others againſt the lower and more moderate way.

I begin with thoſe reaſons which firſt moved me to queſtion the truth of abſolute Reprobation, as it is taught both wayes. They are theſe foure which follow.

1. Reaſon NOVELTY1 The Novelty (A) of this opinion. Abſolute and inevita­ble Reprobation hath little or no footing in Antiquitie. The upper way was never taught or approved by any of the Fa­thers (even the ſtouteſt defenders of Grace againſt the Pela­gians) for the ſpace of ſix hundred (I may ſay eight hundred) years after Chriſt: nor the lower way till the time of S. Augu­ſtine, which was about foure hundred years after Chriſt. They did generally agree upon the contrary concluſion, and taught men in their times, That it was poſſible (B) for them to be ſaved which in the event were not ſaved, and to have repented, which repented not; and, That there was no decree of God which did lay a neceſſity of periſhing upon any ſonne of Adam. This that I ſay Mr Calvine himſelf doth freely acknowledge, ſpeak­ing of Election and Reprobation according (C) to Gods fore­knowledge;eeCalv. Inſt. lib. 3. c. 22. Sect. 1. Neque haec vulgò recepta opinio ſolius vulgi eſt: habuit enim ſeculis omnibus ma­gnos autores. This commonly received opi­nion, ſaith he, (of a conditionall reſpective decree) is not the opinion onely of the com­mon people, but hath had great authours in all ages. Reverend Beza likewiſe ſpeak­ing of the ſame opinion, hath theſe words to the ſame purpoſe;ffBeza, in cap. 11. ad Rom. v. 35. In quem errorem ſanè turpiſſimum Origenes ve­teres pleroſque tum Graecos tum Lati­nos adegit. Into which ſurely moſt foul errour Origen hath driven many of the Ancients both Greek and Latine. To the ſame effect alſo Proſper, S. Augu­ſtines follower, hath a remarkable ſpeech:ggProſper, in Epiſt. ad Aug. prope finem. Penè omnium parem inveniri & unam ſententiam, quâ propoſitum & praede­ſtinationem Dei ſecundùm praeſcienti­am receperunt: ut ob hoc Deus alios vaſa contumeliae, alios honoris va­ſa fecerit, quia finem uniuſcujuſqueprae­viderit, & ſub ipſo gratiae adjutorio in qua futurus eſſet voluntate & actione praeſcierit. Almoſt all the Ancients, ſaith he, did grant with one conſent, that God decreed mens ends according to his foreſight of their actions, and not otherwiſe. To theſe ſpeeches let me adde that of Remigius Archbiſhop of Lyons, who to Rabanus Archbiſhop of Mentz, objecting that S Au­guſtine wrote a book called Hypognoſticon againſt Pelagius and Caeleſtius, wherein he denied that Reprobates were properlyhhUſh. hiſt. Gott. pag. 107 praedeſtinati ad interitum, predeſtinate to deſtruction, an­ſwereth, That S. Augustine ſaid not ſo: but ſome other man (as33 it is ſuppoſed) to purge the Church of that calumny which ſome ill-affected ones did caſt upon it, namely, That it taught that God by his Predeſtination did impoſe upon men a neceſſity of periſhing, did withdraw the word PREDESTINATION from the point of Reprobates, and gave it onely to the Elect; and ſo gave great oc­caſion of further errour and miſtake. In this ſpeech of his is clearly implied, that it was (D) the conſtant doctrine of the Church then, that Reprobates lie under no neceſſitating de­cree of perdition.

The truth of this charge may further appear by a few par­ticular inſtances. Minutius Felix bringeth in the Pagans ob­jecting to the Chriſtians, That they held the events of all things to be inevitable, and did feigne and frame to themſelves an un­juſt God, who did puniſh in men their unavoidable deſtinies, not their ill choiſes. This is the objection;iiMin. Felix, pag. 23. Quic­quid agimus, ut alii fato, ità vos Deo addicitis: ini­quum igitur Deum ſingi­tis, qui ſorte in hominibus puniat, non voluntatem. Whatſoever we do, as others to Fate, ſo ye aſcribe to God: ye make therefore to your ſelves an unjuſt God, who puniſheth in men their lot, not their will. To this he anſwereth,kkIdem, pag. 116. Illud farum eſt, quod de uno­quoque Deus fatus eſt. Chriſtians hold no other Fates then Gods decrees;llIbid. Qui cùm univer­ſam praeſcit materiam, pro meritis & qualitati­bus ſingulo­rum etiam ſata deter­minat, & ità in nobis non genitura ple­ctitur, ſed in­genii natura punitur. who foreknowing all men and their actions, did accordingly determine their retributions.

S. Hierome an eager oppoſer of the Pelagians, in many places of his writings ſaith the ſame thing;mmHieron. ad Galat. c. 1. v. 15. Ex praeſcientia Dei evenit, ut quem juſtum futurum ſcit, priùs diligat quàm oriatur ex utero; & quem peccatorem, oderit antequam peccet. From the fore­knowledge of God it cometh to paſſe, that who he knoweth will be righteous, him he loveth before he cometh out of the wombe; and who he knoweth will be a ſinner, him he hateth before he ſin­neth. In another place he ſpeaketh to the ſame purpoſe,nnAd c. 1. Malac. Dilectio & odium Dei vel ex praeſcientia naſcitur futurorum, vel ex operibus; alioquin novimus quod omnia Deus diligat, nec quicquam eorum oderit quae creavit. The love and hatred of God ariſeth either from the foreſight of fu­ture things, or from the works; otherwiſe we know that God lo­veth all things, nor doth he hate any thing that he hath made. And in his book againſt Pelagius he ſaith,ooLib. 3. contra Pelag. Eligit Deus quem bonum cernit, God chooſeth whom he ſeeth to be good.

The ſumme of all which ſpeeches is but this, That (E) there is no decree of damning or ſaving men, but what is built up­on Gods Foreknowledge of the evil and good actions of men. Fulgentius is plain for that too:ppFulgent. lib. 1. ad Monimum; Quos praeſcivit Deus hanc vitam in peccato terminaturos, praedeſtinavit ſupplicio interminabili puniendos Thoſe whom God foreſaw would die in ſinne, he decreed ſhould live in endleſſe pu­niſhment. I may take-in S. Auguſtine and Proſper alſo, who are judged to be the Patrones of the Abſolute decree, as it is34 ſet down the Sublapſarian way: Even they do many times let fall ſuch ſpeeches as cannot fairly be reconciled with abſolute Reprobation. I will onely cite Proſper: (for S. Auguſtine ſpeaketh in him.) He diſcourſing of ſome that fall away à ſanctitate ad immunditiem, from holineſſe to uncleanneſſe, ſaith,qqProſp. ad Object. 3. Gall. Non ex eo neceſſitatem pereundi ha­buerunt quia praedeſtinati non ſunt; ſed ideo praede­ſtinati non ſunt, quia ta­les futuri ex voluntaria praevaricati­one praeſciti ſunt. They that fall away from holineſſe to uncleanneſſe, lie not under a neceſſity of periſhing becauſe they were not predeſtinate; but therefore they were not predestinate, becauſe they were fore­known to be ſuch by voluntary prevarication. Not long after ſpeaking of the ſame men he ſaith,rrProſp. Reſp. ad Object. 7. Quia illos ruturos pro­priâ volun­tate praeſci­vit, ob hoc à filiis perditi­onis nullâ praedeſtinati­one diſcrevit. Becauſe God foreſaw they would periſh by their own free-will, therefore he did not by any predestination ſever them from the children of perdition. And again in his anſwer to the xiith Objection he hath theſe words,ſſIbid. Reſp. ad Object. 12. Vires obedi­entiae non ideo cuiquam ſubtraxit quia eum nō praedeſtina­vit; ſed quia receſſurum ab ipſa obe­dientia eſſe praevidit, ideo eum non prae­deſtinavit. God hath not withdrawn from any man ability to yield obedi­ence becauſe he hath not predeſtinated him; but becauſe he fore­ſaw he would fall from obedience, therefore he hath not predeſti­nated him.

I will ſhut up the inſtances of that age with the judgement of the Councel at Arles againſt the Pelagians in the yeare CDXC, or thereabout. This Councel ſubſcribed to the letter which was written by Fauſtus againſt Lucidus the Predeſti­narian, and made the Anathemaes (F) and curſes which therein he denounceth againſt him and ſuch like, to be their own: Some of which were theſe;ttAnathema illi qui dixerit illum qui periit non accepiſſe ut ſalvus eſſe poſſit. Curſed be the man that ſhall ſay that the man that periſheth might not have been ſaved and again,uuAnathema illi qui dixerit quòd vas contumeliae non poſſit aſſurgere ut ſit vas in honorem. Curſed be the man that ſhall ſay that a veſſel of diſho­nour may not riſe to be a veſſel of honour.

A teſtimony or two I will borrow likewiſe from ſome per­ſons of note, and thoſe S. Auguſtines followers too, who lived about foure hundred yeares after S. Auguſtines time. Remi­gius the great patrone of Gottſchalk the zealous preacher and publiſher of Abſolute reprobation in thoſe times, in his anſwer to that epiſtle which we ſuppoſe to be the Epiſtle of Rabanus, to Rabanus ſaying That God didvvvvBiſhop Uſher, hiſt. Gottſc. p. 53, & 54. Sanabiles facere nationes orbis terrarum. make the nations of the world healthfull, and that he doth velle omnes homines ſalvos fieri, will that all men be ſaved; he giveth ſuch an anſwer as cannot ſtand with Abſolute reprobation:xxEx hoc omnino verum eſt, quia nemini Deus imponit neceſſitatem per­eundi, ſicut nemini imponit neceſſitatem malè agendi. This, ſaith he, is very true, becauſe God layeth on no man a neceſſity of periſhing,35 as he hath laid on none a neceſſitie of ſinning. And a little after he is plainer:yyQuos ve­riſſimè prae­ſcivit impios & iniquos futuros, & in ſua impie­tate & ini­quitate per­manſuros, ju­ſtis & rectiſ­ſimis de cau­ſis decrevit, ſtatuit &praedeſtinavit perituros: ſicut ipſe ait, Qui peccave­rit mihi, ipſum delebo de li­bro meo. Thoſe whom God did foreknow would live and die in their wickedneſſe, for reaſons moſt juſt he decreed ſhould periſh: as himſelf ſaith, Him which ſinneth againſt me, even him will I blot out of my book.

In the Valentine Synod aſſembled in favour of Gottſchalk we may find theſe words,zzCan. 2. Nec ipſos malos ideo perire, quia boni eſ­ſe non potue­runt, ſed quia boni eſſe no­luerunt, ſuóque vitio in maſſa da­mnationis vel merito originali vel etiam actuali permanſerunt. Therefore do the wicked periſh, not becauſe they could not, but becauſe they would not be good, and by their own fault originall or actuall alſo, remained in the maſſe of perdition. And in the end of their third Canon they de­nounce Anathema to thoſe that hold that men are ſo predeſti­nated unto evil as that they cannot be otherwiſe:aaCan. 3. Verùm aliquos ad malum prae­deſtinatos eſſe Divinâ poteſtate, ut aliud eſſe non poſſint, non ſolùm non credimus, ſed etiam ſi ſunt qui tantum malum credere velint, cum omni deteſtatione, ſicut A­rauſicana Synodus, illis Anathema dicimus. That any ſhould be (ſaith the Councel) predeſtinated to evil by the power of God, ſo as he cannot be otherwiſe, we do not onely not believe, but alſo if there be any that will believe ſo great an evil, with all deteſtation we denounce them accurſed, as the Arauſicane Councel alſo did. By theſe teſtimonies (which are but a few of many) it appeareth that abſolute and inevitable Reprobation found but cold enterteinment from Antiquity.

Which conſidering, I began to call it into queſtion. For albeit I make not the deciſions and determinations of the Fa­thers or Councels the rules of my faith, becauſe they are but men, and therefore ſubject to errour; yet I honour their gray hairs, and their grave aſſemblies, and do vehemently miſtruſt thoſe doctrines which they never taught or approved, but miſ­liked and condemned.

Anſwer.

ABſolute negative Reprobation is no no­vell opinion: But on the contrary, That Gods immanent and eternall acts of Prede­ſtination and Reprobation can be in poteſtate praedeſtinatorum & reprobatorum, is novell and falſe.

The Ancients before S. Auguſtine grant­ed a Preſcience in God of all the future36 good and bad acts of men: but their good acts they derived from Predeſtination; their bad, from their own Free-will, and not from the Reprobation. And as for the ſen­tence of Damnation, it layeth hold upon them, non quà non-electi, ſed quà impii. In all this Auguſtine differeth not from thoſe Fathers that went before him.

The terms of Poſsible and Impoſsible be­ing taken in divers ſenſes afford the Remon­ſtrants many advantages amongſt the igno­rant, in their diſputes againſt abſolute Ele­ction and Reprobation. It is therefore to be obſerved, that in Scriptures, Fathers, School-men, and all manner of Authours, and in the common uſe of all languages, ma­ny acts or events wherein no neceſſitie or inforcement is laid upon mens wills, are notwithſtanding ſaid impoſſible to be o­therwiſe then they are. But for the eternall Divine decrees of Predeſtination and Re­probation, to ſay that they are or ever were in potestate praedeſtinatorum aut reprobatorum, is contrary to the very eſſence & formalitie of Decrees. Thoſe things wherein men may agere or non agere, are ſaid to be in their own power: But Predeſtination and Reprobati­on are immanent acts of the Divine will and underſtanding, and therefore it is impoſſible that they ſhould be either way in poteſtate voluntatis humanae. aaAuguſt. De Spir. & lit. c. 31. Hoc quiſque in ſua pote­ſtate37 habere dicitur, quod ſi vult facit, ſi non vult non facit.

Now for the acts of believing, repenting, and atteining unto ſalvation, we ſay not that theſe are ſimply impoſſible, or that the decree of God leaveth a neceſſitie of peri­ſhing upon the non-elect. Perditio tua ex te, is as true in their Doctrine which maintein Abſolute and oppoſe Conditionall Prede­ſtination and Reprobation, as in the Decree of the Remonſtrants.

The Remonſtrants grant an eternall Pre­ſcience of many mens infidelitie and impe­nitencie, and thereupon an eternall immu­table decree of their damnation: and yet they hold (and that truly) that thereby no neceſſitie of infidelitie or impenitencie, no impoſſibilitie of believing or repenting is laid upon men. They muſt give us leave to ſay the ſame of Predeſtination, untill they can demonſtrate how this doth more in­fringe the libertie of mans will then the o­ther. If we reſpect that neceſſitie which is called Neceſsitas Infallibilitatis, Anſelmus maketh it alike in both:bbDe Con­cord. c. 2. Neceſſe eſt fieri quae praeſciuntur & quae praedeſtinantur. If we call that an impoſſible act or event which cannot ſtand in ſenſu compoſito when the contrary is preſuppoſed, the Divine preſcience maketh believing, repenting and being ſaved as im­poſſible unto Cain, Judas, or any perſon re­probated38 upon preſcience, as when they are reprobated upon Gods mere will. But the truth is, neither the one nor the other can ſtand cum eventu contrario; and yet both the one and the other do ſtand cum poſsibilitate ad eventum contrarium.

Conditionall decrees of Salvation and Damnation have been publiſhed in the Go­ſpel, and are acknowledged by all Divines: but conditionall Decrees of eternall Prede­ſtination and Preterition are not found in Scripture, nor allowed of by the Church of England. Every man knoweth where to find theſe conditionall decrees, If any man believe and repent, he ſhall be ſaved; If any man continue in infidelitie and impenitencie, he ſhall be damned: But it will be hard for any Remonſtrant to ſhew theſe other, If any man believe, he ſhall be predeſtinated; If he believe not, he ſhall not be predeſtinated. Faith is a temporall effect produced in thoſe which were elected from eternitie, not a foreſeen condition drawing after it Gods eternall E­lection. And infidelitie and finall impeni­tencie are faults voluntarily proceeding out of the wicked hearts of men eternally re­probated, not preceding the eternall act of Reprobation but the temporall act of their judiciall Condemnation. As for the Fa­thers which grounded Predeſtination up­on Preſcience, they underſtoodccVide Aug. De bono perſever. c. 18. a pra­cticall39 Divine preſcience, not a bare ſpe­culative.

No Divine that acknowledgeth the Om­niſcience of God and his eternall Preſcience of all future actions and events, will denie, that God in the ſame eternitie wherein he elected ſome and paſſed-by others, foreſaw both what the one and what the other would do, and what contrary ends they would come unto. But the queſtion is not, Whether God from all eternitie had ſuch a foreſight, but, Whether the different actions of men foreſeen cauſed the different decrees of their Election and Preterition. As for their different ends, namely, that the one atteineth ſalvation after this life, and the o­ther undergo eternall damnation, this we confeſſe to follow upon their contrary acti­ons of Believing, Repenting, and Not-be­lieving, Not-repenting. Neither were they otherwiſe by any eternall decree appointed unto damnation, then with reſpect unto the juſt deſert of their ſinne. It is truly ſaid by Calvine,ddIn 2. ad Theſſ. cap. 2. Reprobi ſuo delicto morti devo­ti ſunt; non pereunt niſi qui digni ſunt. & Zanchius,eeDe Natu­ra Dei, l. 5. p. 712. Peccatum non eſt cauſa rejectionis, ſed eſt cauſa damnationis.

For the phraſe, Praedeſtinati ad interitum; it is manifeſt that Auguſtine and his follow­ers applied it unto all ſuch as were not prae­deſtinati ad gloriam: though the word Electi40 was never uſed by them in that ſenſeffVide Aug. tract. 48. in Joan. & De Civit. l. 15. c. 1. & En­chir. c. 100. & in Pſal. 13. .

That which Auguſtine denied was a Pre­deſtination of reprobates unto ſinne: But as for their Predeſtination unto the juſt pu­niſhment of their ſinnes, namely death and deſtruction, Auguſtine, ProſperggVide Proſp. ad Cap. Gall reſp. 19. & ad Object. Vincent. reſp. 10, 11. , Fulgenti­ushhVide Ful­gent. ad Mon l 1. c. 7. 14 & 18. were never afraid to acknowledge it.

As for Hincmarus his fanſie, that the book called Hypognoſticon or Hypomneſticon, was written by S. Auguſtine himſelf, and that in the ſixth book thereof he retracted what before he delivered concerning praede­ſtinati ad interitum, is falſe and frivolous, and ſufficiently confuted by Remigius. Yet we willingly grant, that in the moſt ſtrict and proper ſenſe the word Predestination doth onely reſpect the good ſupernaturall qualities and acts which God worketh in men elected, and the ſupernaturall bleſſed end whereunto he bringeth them by the foreſaid means. And the reaſon hereof is, becauſeiiAquin. 1. q. 23. art. 1. Deſtination is the direction of a thing unto ſuch a ſcope as by its own ſtrength and nature it could never move un­to. Thus the arrow is deſtinated unto the mark, whereunto of it ſelf it could never move. Now men are too ready to move in the way of wickedneſſe, and to carrie them­ſelves unto deſtruction: and therefore as God cannot predeſtinate men unto ſinne, ſo he doth not properly predeſtinate them un­to41 their damnation (for then he ſhould be a working cauſe thereof) but he preordina­teth their juſt damnation as a recompenſe of their ſinne and rebellionkkVide Ful­gent. ad Monim. l. 1. c. 17 Bed. l. 1. qu. art. 13. . So that if by Predeſtinating ad interitum we underſtand the cauſing and effectuall working of any mans deſtruction, God cannot be ſaid prae­deſtinare ad interitum: But if we onely un­derſtand the preordaining of thoſe to da­mnation whom God foreſaw deſerving and working the ſame, we neither think nor ſpeak otherwiſe then the orthodox Fathers did.

It is ſtill the conſtant Doctrine of thoſe that teach abſolute Predeſtination and Re­probation, That neither perſons elected lie under a neceſsitating decree of doing well and being ſaved, nor perſons not-elected under a neceſsitating decree of doing ill and being damned. The eternall decrees of Gods will take not away the libertie of mans will; and therefore the Pagan objections were Paganiſh.

The eternall decree of ſaving or damning men is conjoyned with an eternall foreſight of the obedience of men ſaved, and diſobe­dience of men to be damned; but with this difference: The foreſeen good actions of the elect were neither antecedent conditi­ons moving God to elect them, nor merito­rious cauſes of their ſalvation: but the fore­ſeen42 finall eſtate of the wicked in their ſins, was the intuition of a moſt juſt and merito­rious cauſe of their damnation. As for E­lection and Preterition, all men being repre­ſented unto God electing as in the common maſſe of ſin and miſerie, there can be found no oppoſite qualities or actions in men whereupon to ground the oppoſite decrees of Gods eternall Election and Reprobati­on. And therefore we think that ſaying of Calvine warrantable,llInſtit. l. 3. c. 22. Deus in negotio prae­deſtinationis non egreditur extra ſeipſum. To which we adde another of the ſame Au­thour;mmIbid. c. 23. §. 3. Si judicio mortis obnoxii ſunt omnes naturali conditione quos Dominus ad mortem praedeſtinat, ſi ex corrupta maſsa deſumti ſunt omnes, non mirum ſi damnationi ſubjaceant.

There needed no ſuch pains in heaping up Fathers for proof of this concluſion, That there is no decree of damning men other­wiſe then upon the guilt, and for the miſde­ſerts of their ſinnes. Not onely Fulgentius, Auguſtine, Proſper, but Calvine, Beza, and others whom you make Supralapſarians, have conſtantly defended this true do­ctrine. Calvine;nnDeaeter. Praed. p. 709. Quiſque ſibi propriâ incre­dulitate eſt damnationis autor. Beza;ooAnnot. in 9. ad Rom. ver. 15. Ineptè faciunt, qui Reprobationis decretum cum Dam­natione confundunt: cùm hujus cauſa manife­sta ſit, nempe peccatum; illius verò, ſola Dei voluntas. Zanchius;ppLib. 5. De attrib. qu. 3. pag. 506. Certum eſt, Deum, ſic­ut43 propter peccata impios punit, ſic etiam de­creviſſe illos propter haec peccata punire.

This Authour is doubly miſtaken: Firſt, in that he conceiveth a conditionate Prede­ſtination or Election grounded upon Pre­ſcience of mens good actions; whereas no ſuch good actions can be foreſeen in men conſidered in ſtatu maſſae corruptae, but as they are cauſed by that grace which was eternally prepared for them in their Prede­ſtination, and actually beſtowed upon them in their effectuall Vocation, Juſtification, Sanctification. This conditionall Prede­ſtination upon foreſight of mens goodneſſe or holineſſe, was the errour which Augu­ſtine aſcribeth to the Pelagians:qqAug. De Praedeſt. Sanct. l. 1. c. 18. Praeſciebat ergò, ait Pelagianus, qui futuri eſſent ſancti per liberae voluntatis arbitrium, & ideo eos ante mundi conſtitutionem in ipſa ſua praeſcientia, quâ tales futuros eſſe praeſcivit, elegit. But what ſaith S. Auguſtine to this point? rrIbid.Non quia futuri eramus ſancti, ſed ut eſſemus, nos elegit. Ideo quippe tales eramus futuri, quia elegit ipſe praedeſtinans ut tales per gratiam eſ­ſemus.

Secondly, he is miſtaken, in thinking thoſe ſpeeches of the Fathers cannot fairly ſtand with abſolute Non-election, Preter­ition or negative Reprobation, which im­port a decree of poſitive or punitive Repro­bation, that is, of damnation, no otherwiſe44 grounded then upon preconſideration of ſinne. For though God out of the corru­pted maſſe of mankind electeth ſome men unto the means and end of ſalvation, mere­ly of his own gracious good pleaſure in Chriſt, yet he enacteth no decree of dam­ning men for his pleaſure, but for their own ſinne and miſdeſerts. And as for negatio praedeſtinationis; it is not a working cauſe of any mans ſinne or damnation, though it contein a decree of not working their deli­verie, of not working their effectuall ſalva­tion. But farre be it from God that it ſhould import a decree neceſſitating their perdition and eternall deſtruction. As men not com­priſed within the decree of Predeſtination commit ſinne willingly and greedily, ſo they run on to their own deſtruction volun­tarily, and not carried by any neceſſitating force flowing out of the decree of Repro­bation.

Whereas Auguſtine or ProſperſſAd Ca. Gall. reſp. 3. ſeem to fetch the cauſe negatae praedeſtinationis or ne­gativae reprobationis (as ſome call it) from the foreſeen diſobedience of men, their pur­poſe is to ſhew, That the finall continuance of any man in the ſtate of ſinne, and his finall falling into the ſtate of damnation is not cauſed by the negative act of Predeſtination: and further, That where men are foreſeen of God as ending their lives in ſinne, there is a45 ſufficient reaſon to inferre, Ideo non fuerunt ex praedeſtinatis, or, Ideo Deus eos non praedeſti­navit. But that this foreſight of their per­ſonall ſinnes was the cauſe of the Divine de­cree of their Non-election whereby they ſtand diſtinguiſhed from the elect, was no part of the Fathers meaning. So that the eternall previſion of ſome mens perſeve­rance in faith and godlineſſe, and of other mens perſeverance in infidelity and ungodli­neſſe, was not the ground, cauſe or reaſon of the oppoſite decrees of Election and Pre­terition; but a proof that there are ſuch di­ſtinct or different decrees concerning men.

Laſt of all, this foreſight of God concern­ing men left to the deficiency of their own wicked wills, and through infidelity and im­piety procuring their own deſtruction, is not alledged as a cauſe why this man rather then another was not predeſtinated, but as a cer­tain note and an infallible conſequent of men not predeſtinated; cauſa probationis, non rei ipſius.

Thoſe curſes may be moſt juſt, granting that poſitive Reprobation, which is perem­torium decretum puniendi, never proceedeth ex ſolo Dei beneplacito: though we hold there­withall, that negative Reprobation, which is abſolutum decretum non praedeſtinandi, de­pendeth onely upon Gods free pleaſure. For it is no errour to ſay, that non-election or ne­gative46 Reprobation may ſtand together with a poſſibilitie of avoiding ſinne and damnati­on. The non-elect angels had this poſſibili­ty; all mankind generally in Adam had this poſſibility: and yet every ſingular perſon was not predeſtinated. And if God were ſo pleaſed to give as ſufficient grace to every particular man in the world as he gave to Adam in his creation, yet the oppoſite de­crees of Election and Preterition or nega­tive Reprobation may ſtand firm and good. The reaſon is evident: Becauſe Predeſtinati­on is not a bare ordination of men unto eter­nall life by ſufficient means, which make the event onely poſſible; but a mercifull provi­dence in ordering ſuch means for the elect as make the event infallible and infruſtrable. On the other ſide, Preterition or negative Reprobation is not a decree neceſſarily ex­cluding perſons not-elect from all poſſible means of ſalvation; but a decree permitting ſuch out of the freedome of their own wills to neglect and abuſe ſuch means of their ſal­vation: which abuſe foreſeen of God, is unto him a juſt cauſe of their damnation.

As for veſſels of Honour and Diſhonour; we grant, that not onely men may but do conti­nually from veſſels of Diſhonour riſe to be veſſels of Honour. For when any man whatſoever, who hath lived in infidelity & uncleanneſſe of life, believeth, repenteth,47 and leadeth a holy life, then a veſſel of Diſ­honour becometh a veſſel of Honour. But if by veſſels of Honour you underſtand the Elect, and by veſſels of Diſhonour the Non-elect; and conceive ſuch a change, that men not-elected may by acts of their own make themſelves elected; this is a fanſie contrary to truth, and rejected of all orthodox and judicious Divines: who conſent, Nec praede­ſtinationem eſſe in poteſtate praedeſtinati ſed praedeſtinantis, nec reprobationem in poteſtate reprobati ſed reprobantis. For we underſtand the Divine Reprobation, where there is not a Predeſtination unto effectuall and infalli­ble means of eternall life. Now who can ſay, that it is in the power of mans will ei­ther to procure or hinder ſuch a decree?

All the teſtimonies of the ancient Fathers here cited, do not prove the eternall decrees of Election and Non-election to be conditi­onall, or to depend upon the contrary fore­ſeen actions of mens will; But they prove two other things, which we willingly grant: 1. That theſe decrees neceſſitate no mans will unto good actions, much leſſe unto wic­ked. 2. That wicked men are not therefore damned becauſe they were not predeſtina­ted, but becauſe they lived and died obſti­nate in ſinne.

As for the poſſibility which men non-elected have, either to believe or to eſchew48 this or that ſinne, and ſo to eſcape condem­nation. The Fathers, when they conſider that the wills of men not-elected do com­mit all their evil acts freely, uſually ſay, that they had a power to have done the contrary: But when they conſider the in­fallible certainty of their impietie and in­fidelity, then many times they pronounce it a thing impoſſible that they ſhould un­feignedly repent, perſeverantly believe, and finally attein ſalvation: Of which man­ner of phraſe of ſpeech we have frequent examples in Scripture, Fathers, Schoolmen, and all kind of Authours.

He that embraceth the opinion of the orthodox Fathers, cannot hold Predeſtina­tion to be grounded upon the previſion of perſeverant faith, ſince they confeſſe Perſe­verance to be an effect of Election; nor the decree of negative Reprobation to be grounded upon foreſight of infidelitie, ſince Infidelity is a conſequent thereof.

Treatiſe.

2. Reaſon UNVVIL­lingneſſe to be tried.II. Its Unvvillingneſſe to abide the triall. I find that the authours and abettours of it have been very backvvard to bring it to the ſtandart; not onely vvhen they have been called upon by their adverſaries to have it vveighed, but alſo vvhen they have been intreated thereto by their chief Magiſtrates, vvho might have compelled them: A ſhrevvd argument (me thinks) that it is too light.

In the diſputation at Mompelgart, Anno 1586. held be­tween Beza and Jacobus Andreae, vvith ſome ſeconds on both49 ſides, Beza and his company having diſputed vvith the Lu­theranes about the Perſon of Chriſt and the Lords Supper, vvhen they came to this point, did decline the ſifting of it, and gave this reaſon among others, That it could not then be publickly diſputed ofbbBeza in Coll. Mom­pelg. p. 373. Sine grayi eorum offen­diculo qui tanti myſte­rii capaces non ſunt. without the great ſcandal and hurt of the ignorant, and unacquainted with theſe high my­ſteries. ccBrand. Coll. Hag. pag. 57. The Contra-remonſtrants alſo in their Conference with the oppoſite parties at the Hague, in the yeare 1611, could not be drawn to diſpute with them about this point, but delivered a petition to the States of Holland and Weſt-Friezland that they might not be urged to it, reſolving rather to break off the conference then to meddle with it. In the Synod likewiſe at Dort, in the yeares 1618 and 1619, the Remonſtrants vvere vvarned by the Preſident of the SynodddActa Syn. part. 1. pag. 133. Ut de Electione potiùs quàm de odioſa Reprobatio­nis materia agerent. That they ſhould rather diſpute of the point of Election then the odious point of Reprobation.

Can this Doctrine be a truth, and yet bluſh at the light, which maketh all things manifeſt? eſpecially conſidering theſe things: 1. That Reprobation is a principall head of Divini­ty, by the vvell or ill ſtating and ordering of vvhich the glory of God and the good of Religion is much promoted or hin­dered. 2. That there is ſuch a neceſſary connexion betvveen the points of Election and Reprobation (both being parts of Predeſtination) that the one cannot well be handled vvithout the other. 3. That the Doctrine of Reprobation was the chief cauſe of all the uprores in the Church at that time. 4. That it vvas accuſed vvith open mouth and challenged of falſhood, and therefore bound in juſtice to purge it ſelf of the crimination. 5. That the Remonſtrants did not at that time deſire that it ſhould be talked of among the common people, vvho might have ſtumbled at it, but diſputed of among the judicious and learned, vvho (as the threſhing oxen vvhich were to beat the corn out of the husk) are to bolt out thoſe truths vvhich are couched a••hidden in the letter of the Scriptures.

That the Doctrine vvhich is loth to abide the triall even of learned men, carrieth vvith it a ſhrevvd ſuſpicion of falſhood, the heathen Oratour ſhall vvitneſſe for me: vvho to Epicurus, ſaying that he vvould not publiſh his opinion to the ſimple people, vvho might happily take offenſe at it, anſvvereth thus;eeCicero, de fin. bon. & mal. l. 2. pag. 115. Aut tu eadem iſta dic in judicio; ant ſi coronam times, dic in ſenatu, Nunquam facies. Cur niſi quòd turpis eſt oratio? Declare thine opinion in the place of judgement; or if thou50 art afraid of the aſſembly there, declare it in the Senate-houſe, among thoſe grave and judicious perſons. Thou wilt never do it: and why, but becauſe it is a foul and diſhoneſt opi­nion?

This ſtriving to lie cloſe is (peradventure) no infallible ar­gument of a bad cauſe, yet it is a very probable one. For true religion (as Vives ſaith) is not a thing guildd over, but gold it ſelf: The more that is ſcraped and diſcovered, the brighter and goodlier it is; and ſo is the truth. ffVives, De ver. fidei, l. 1. p. 16. Pu­riorem ac nitidiorem illam reddit belium, quàm paadversùs gentes.Diſputa­tions illuſtrate and ſet forth true opinions more then ſilence can. Let us not fear therefore (ſaith he) leſt our Faith when it is laid open, appear filthy to the eyes of the beholders. ggMetuant hoc aliae re­ligiones falſae & umbratilesLet falſe and ſuperficiall religions, in which there is no ſoundneſſe, be afraid of this. The Jew is loth to reaſon vvith the Chriſtian touching his Lavv, and the Turk is for­bidden to diſpute of his Alcoran, becauſe their Religions are brittle, like glſſe broken with the leaſt touch: But the Chriſtian,hhVives, l. 4. pag. 429. Qui veritate ſuâ ſidit, nihil reformidat examen in­genii, imò advocat & quantum po­teſt exacuit. vvho is confident of the goodneſſe of his Faith, feareth no examination, but rather as much as may be, ſoli­citeth and provoketh his adverſary to the combat. Truth, vvhether it be in men or doctrines, is beſt vvhen it is unco­vered: it coveteth no corners, though Errour do; but it is vvilling to abide the triall. iiPſal. 139.23, 24.Search me, O Lord, and know my heart; try me, and know my thoughts, and ſee if there be any way of wickedneſſe in me, ſaith the Prophet David, knovving his heart to be vvithout guile. And our Saviour tel­leth us,kkJohn 3.20, 21. That every one that doeth evil, hateth the light, and cometh not to it, lest his deeds ſhould be reproved: but he that doeth truth, cometh to the light, that his deeds might be made manifeſt that they are wrought in God. As St Paul ſaith of an heretick,**Tit. 3.11. He is〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, ſelf-condem­ned; ſo we may ſay of hereſie and untruth, It condemneth it ſelf, and by nothing more then by refuſing the touchſtone. He is to be thought an empty ſcholar, vvho is loth to be ap­poſed; and his gold to be light and counterfeit, who vvill not have it toucht and vveighed; and thoſe opinions to be but errours, vvhich vvould ſo vvillingly vvalk in a miſt and dvvell in ſilence, vvhen it concerneth the peace of the Church ſo much to have them examined.

51

Anſwer.

IF Ʋnwillingneſſe to abide the tryall be an ar­gument of a bad cauſe, never men ſhew­ed themſelves more unwilling to abide the tryall of their doctrine in this controverſie of Predeſtination and Reprobation then the Remonſtrants. At the Synod of Dort, it being ordered by all the power Civil and Eccleſiaſticall which was in the Common-wealth or Church, that the Remonſtrants cited ſhould lay down their opinion con­cerning Predeſtination and Reprobation, together with their reaſons, and ſo expect the anſwer of the Synod; they firſt, con­trary to all reaſon and to the duty which they ought to their chief magiſtrates, would begin at the point of Reprobation, or do nothing at all. And as if this had not ſuf­ficiently expreſſed their perverſeneſſe, they refuſed to ſet down their own tenents, and to confirm them; and would needs make themſelves opponents, and put the Synod to anſwer ſuch objections or cavills as for the moſt part were ſcraped together out of the writings of men either dead long ſince, or not there to anſwer for themſelves: with whom the Synod had no reaſon then to meddle.

It was intended and yielded unto them, that the point of Reprobation ſhould alſo52 be treated upon in due place and time. That which was denied them, was their prepoſte­rous demand of ſetting Reprobation be­fore Election; whereas Reprobation, being the negative act of Election, cannot be well ſtated, ordered or underſtood, if men will needs begin at the wrong end.

It is true that the doctrine of Reproba­tion was the chief cauſe of uprores on the Re­monſtrant party: But the doctrine of Con­ditionall Predeſtination, whereby they en­deavoured to ſet the rotten Dagon of mans Free-will before and above the Ark of Gods ſpeciall predeſtinating Grace, was it which chiefly offended both the orthodox miniſters & people in the Belgick Churches. And if any were ever bound in juſtice and duty to purge themſelves from crimina­tion, it lay then upon the Remonſtrants, who were cited unto the Synod by publick Au­thoritie, ſo to do; and not upon the Synod, to ſubmit themſelves unto the wilfulneſſe of thoſe who appeared there as delinquents. If here in our Church of England the Non-conformitants ſummoned to lay down their own opinions concerning their Pres­byteriall Parity together with their proofs and arguments, ſhould refuſe to do it, and ſtiffly ſtand upon it that they will firſt op­poſe the Epiſcopall authoritie, which hath given all the offenſe, and hear what the Bi­ſhops53 can ſay for themſelves, it would be deemed an inſolent part, and not ſo long to­lerated as it was by the Synod of Dort. And yet this was juſt the caſe and behavi­our of the Remonſtrants: which this Au­thour doth not onely endeavour to juſtifie, but to caſt an aſperſion upon the Synod for not obeying thoſe who in ſuch a caſe owed obedience unto them.

And yet that it may further appear how fearfull the Remonſtrants were of clearly and plainly opening their own tenents at that time; When by reaſon of their obſti­nacy the Synod was reſolved to diſmiſſe them, and yet deſired withall to know their doctrine concerning the controverſed articles, it was asked of them ſeverally, whether they now acknowledged for their doctrine that which formerly they had ſet down in Collatione Hagienſi, and ſince pub­liſhed in print unto the world; not one of the fourteen could be drawn to ſay in plain and expreſſe terms, that he either held that doctrine for true, or that he held it not. If Unwillingneſſe therefore to come to open tryall be a ſigne of falſe doctrine, you had ſmall reaſon to become a Re­monſtrant.

The queſtion was not, Whether the con­troverſie of Reprobation were to be treat­ed upon or no, but, Whether the Remon­ſtrants54 were to preſcribe the Synod their order and proceeding, or the Synod them. And then the Remonſtrants deviſed ano­ther ſhift to put off the declaring and open­ing their own doctrine; and that was, That unleſſe they might be promiſed beforehand a libertyaaAct. Syn. Dordrecht. Seſſ. 42. eo modo cauſam ſuam proponendi, explicandi & defendendi, prout ipſi neceſſari­um judicarent, they refuſed any farther to proceed in laying down their opinions. If the Synod had been ſo fooliſh as to make the Remonſtrants the moderatours, in all likelihood they had ſat there till this day, perchance to their lives end, and yet never have brought one controverſie to an end.

If this Authour had been truly inform­ed how the Remonſtrants carried them­ſelves in ſuppreſſing their own opinions, and onely aiming at the exagitating of other mens, he would have forborn his excurſi­on into this common place. But it ſhould ſeem he was more willing to believe what he deſired ſhould be true, then to enquire what indeed was true.

If Striving to lie cloſe be a probable argu­ment of a bad cauſe, thoſe who are afraid to deal with the more lightſome part of this controverſie, which concerneth Election and Predeſtination, and thruſt themſelves, without borrowing any light from this, into the other (which taken by it ſelf is55 much more dark and obſcure,) are the men who ſtrive to wrap themſelves and others in an obſcure and dark cloud. Our Church of England was more willing and deſirous to ſet down expreſſely the doctrine of ab­ſolute Predeſtination, I mean of Predeſti­nation cauſing faith and perſeverance, then it was of abſolute negative Reprobation, I mean of ſuch Reprobation as implyeth in God a will of permitting ſome mens finall impietie and impenitencie, and of juſtly or­daining them unto puniſhment for the ſame: And yet the latter doth plainly follow up­pon the truth of the former. It was wiſ­dome, & not Jewiſh or Turkiſh fear, which made our Church ſo clear in the Article for abſolute Predeſtination, and yet ſo reſerved in the other; eaſily perceiving that Prede­ſtination of ſome men cannot be affirmed, but Non-predeſtination or Preterition or negative Reprobation (call it as you pleaſe) of ſome others muſt needs therewith be un­derſtood.

Though Truth be beſt uncovered, yet all truths are not of the ſame nature, nor a­like profitable to be debated upon: Yet for the truth of abſolute Reprobation, ſo farre forth as it is connexed and conjoyned with abſolute Predeſtination; when the main in­tent of the Remonſtrants is by oppoſing of the former to overthrow the latter, it im­porteth56 thoſe who have ſubſcribed to the xviith Article not to ſuffer it to be obliquely undermined.

Treatiſe.

3. Reaſon INFAMIE.III. The (A) Infamy of it. It is an opinion (eſpecially as it is defended the upper vvay) odious to the Papiſts, opening their foul mouths againſt our Church and Religion; abhor­red (mainteined either vvay) by all the Lutheranes, vvho for this very Tenet call us damned Calviniſts, think us unworthy to be above ground, and in their vvritings proteſt that they vvill rather unite themſelves to the Papiſts then to us: And it is alſo diſtaſtfull to all the Greek Churches, vvhich are very many. Molin in his Anatomie, ſpeaking of the Supra­lapſarian Doctrine, ſaith,llMolin. Anat. Arm. c. 12. de Praedest. If it ſhould be ſo that God hath reprobated men vvithout the conſideration of ſinne, or hath ordained them to ſinne, yet it is the part of a vviſe man to conceal theſe things, or not to knovv them, rather then to utter them;mmQuia enun­ciata injici­unt ſcrupu­los, & anſam praebent ad­verſariis in­famandi veram reli­gionem. Sir Edwine Sandys, pag. 172. Becauſe when they are taught and defended they fill mens heads with ſcruples, and give occaſion to the adverſaries of defaming the true religion. The ſame may as truly be ſaid of the Sublapſarian vvay: For (as I have ſaid) they are in ſubſtance all one. And Sr. Edwine Sandys is of the ſame mind too: For in his moſt excellent Book called A Sur­vey of the ſtate of religion in the Weſtern parts of the world, ſpeaking of the deadly diviſion betvveen the Lutheranes and Calviniſts in Germany, he hath theſe vvords, That though the Palſgrave and Landtgrave have with great judgement and wiſdome, to asſlake thoſe flames, impoſed ſilence in that part to the Miniſters of their party, hoping the charitie and diſcretion of the other partie would have done the like; yet it falleth out otherwiſe: For both the Lutherane preachers rail as bitterly againſt them in their pulpits as ever, and their Princes and people have them in as great deteſtation, not for­bearing to profeſſe openly, that they will return to the Papa­cy rather then ever admit that Sacramentary and (B) Predeſtinary peſtilence. For theſe two points are the ground of the quarrel, and the latter more ſcandalous at this day then the former. And in the ſame book, pag. 194. and 198. ſpeaking of men whom he commendeth for ſingular learning57 and pietie (whoſe judgement he ſo ſetteth down as that he declareth it to be his ovvn) he ſaith, that they think it were no blemiſh for the (C) Reformed Doctours to reviſe their doctrines, and to rebate the rigour of certain ſpeculative opi­nions (for ſo he is pleaſed to call them) eſpecially touching the eternall decrees of God: wherein ſome of their chief au­thours have run into ſuch an extreme to all Romiſh doctrine, as to have exceedingly ſcandalized all other Churches with­all, yea and many of their own to reſt very ill ſatisfied.

At the cloſing up of the Conference at Mompelgart,**Coll. Momp. p. 566, 567. Oſiand. Hiſt. Eccleſ. p. 1040. Cent. 16. vvhen Frederick Earl of Wortenberg exhorted his Divines to acknovvledge Beza and his company for brethren, and to declare it by giving them their hand, they utterly refuſed, ſaying they would pray to God to open their eyes, and vvould do them any office of humanitie and charitie, but they vvould not give them the right hand of brotherhood, becauſe they were proved to be guiltie errorum teterrimorum, of moſt pe­ſtilent errours, among which this they reckoned for one.

Hemingius left his ovvn ſide, and joyned vvith us in the point of the Sacrament: but he vvould come no nearer, main­teining alvvayes a diſtance in this.

And as for the Grecians, we learn alſo by Sir Edwine San­dys his Relation,**Pag. 237. that they do mightily diſſent from that doctrine touching the eternall counſels of God which Calvine (as ſome conceive) firſt (D) fully revealed or rather intro­duced into the Chriſtian world, and ſince ſome of his friends and followers have ſeconded, as thinking it very injurious to the goodneſſe of God, and directly and immediately oppoſite to his very nature. In regard of which one of their Biſhops hath written a book againſt it, which hath been ſent to Ge­neva, and there received.

It is a morſell vvhich the greateſt part of Chriſtian Churches cannot ſwallovv: and therefore (I think) it ſhould not very eaſily vvithout ſuſpicion down with us.

And to ſay one thing more; Beſides this infamie of it among Chriſtians, it is very probable, that among the too many ſcandals given to the Jews by Chriſtians, among whom they dwell, this doctrine is not one of the leaſt rubs in the vvay of their converſion. **Pag. 223, 224.For they think it a (E) bad opi­nion (ſaith the ſame judicious & learned Gentleman) which ſome of great name have ſeemed to hold, That God in his everlaſting and abſolute pleaſure ſhould affect the extreme miſery of any of his creatures for the ſhewing of his justice and58 ſeverity in tormenting them, or that the calamity, caſting­away and damnation of ſome ſhould abſolutely and neceſſa­rily redound more to his glory then the felicity of them all; conſidering that his nature is mere goodneſſe and happineſſe, and hath no affinitie with rigour or miſery. This is my third reaſon.

Anſwer.

VVHereas this Authour goeth about to make men believe that there lieth a common infamy upon the opinion of the Supralapſarians; if that which he calleth the Supralapſarians upper way be onely that way which conceiveth the decrees of Predeſtina­tion & Preterition in order of prioritie ante­cedent to the Permiſſion of ſinne, & there­fore much more to the Previſion, it is ſo farre from being odious to the Romaniſts as that it is an opinion commonly received amongſt them, as before hath been ſhewed. But if he bring this under the name of the Supralapſarian Doctrine, That any men are ordained unto damnation without all con­ſideration of ſinne, this is a calumnie of their Adverſaries, not an infamie ſticking to the opinion it ſelf. And indeed it is impoſſible, that God, who by his infinite knowledge ſeeth not one thing after another as wee, but all things together by one infinite and eternall act, ſhould predeſtinate or repro­bate without previſion or conſideration of ſinne. That onely which is mainteined by the judicious in the upper way, is this, That59 originall ſinne though eternally foreſeen by God, yet neither was nor could be the cauſe why Peter was predeſtinated, and Ju­das not; ſeeing it was foreſeen in both a­like, and made them both ex aequo reproba­biles: Which ſheweth that it was Gods free pleaſure to make a difference by Election and Not-election, where there was no fore­ſeen difference in regard of originall cor­ruption.

So likewiſe for actuall ſinnes, as Infideli­tie, Impenitencie, and the like, and for all good acts, as Repenting, Believing, Perſe­vering; no man can truly ſay, that God electeth ſome men and paſſeth-by others without the eternall cognition or conſide­ration of theſe future actions. This were either to make God ignorant, or diſcurſive, conſidering firſt one thing, then another, as we our ſelves do.

But the conſideration of good or bad actions which is denied in the point of Ele­ction and Non-election, is ſuch a conſide­ration as procureth and draweth after it the diſtinct oppoſite decrees of Election or ne­gative Reprobation.

As for the introduction of ſome men into the kingdome of heaven, and the ab­jection of others into the torments of hell; it is willingly granted, that the holy and good acts of the one are foreappointed60 and foreſeen as the way and means where­by God will bring them thither; and the voluntary wicked actions of the other, as the means whereby, and the miſdeſerts for which they are brought into hell, and there juſtly tormented.

As for the Lutheranes, that bring-in a con­ditionate Predeſtination; No man can look into Luthers works, but muſt needs ſee they have forſaken their own Maſter: and therefore they are leſſe to be regarded when they rail upon the Calviniſts.

For the Greek Churches; If they tread in the ſteps of the learned and ancient Greek Fathers, they may found Predeſtina­tion upon Preſcience, but not upon the Pe­lagian or Arminian Preſcience, which they make merely intuitive, and cauſed by the ob­ject foreſeen; but by a Preſcience practi­call or factive of that good which it fore­ſeeth in the Elected, and permiſsive of thoſe voluntary evil actions which are foreſeen in the Non-elected, and alſo preparative of their juſt puniſhment.

The Sublapſarian way of conſidering this high myſtery of Predeſtination and nega­tive Reprobation, is the way which the Church of England taketh, as the more eaſy for our underſtanding. And it ſo walketh in this way, that it maketh Prede­ſtination an abſolute decree of giving grace61 and glory unto the predeſtinate, and not a conditionate decree foreſeeing their graci­ous actions, and thereupon predeſtinating them: And by this it ſilently teacheth us what to think of negative Reprobation, which cannot be ſevered from Election.

If you embrace the late Lutheranes o­pinion, and bring within the compaſſe of the Predeſtinary peſtilence the doctrine of Predeſtination which they diſallow, you manifeſtly brand the Church of England with this note of infamy, and might as well charge us with the Sacramentary peſtilence for denying their feigned Conſubſtantiati­on and Orall manducation of the fleſh of Chriſt, as with the Predestinary peſtilence for denying their Conditionall Predeſtina­tion upon foreſight of mens belief in Chriſt. The Lutheranes make Predeſtina­tion or Election nothing elſe but a revealed decree of beſtowing eternall life upon thoſe which ſhall perſeverantly believe in Chriſt; and conſequently they make Reprobation nothing elſe but the revealed will of God to condemne all thoſe who ſhall continue in their infidelity and obſtinacy. Our Church acknowledgeth the truth of ſuch decrees; but it placeth not Election or Re­probation in ſuch generall conditionate de­crees. The decree of Election or Predeſti­nation is by us conceivedaaVide Pe­nott. pag. 398. an act of Gods62 abſolute will by effectuall grace mercifully ordaining certain perſons unto the infallible atteinment of glory. In this decree, Faith, Perſeverance, and all ſaving graces are not in order of nature the foreſeen conditions but the afterſeen effects of Predeſtination.

So likewiſe our Church conceiveth Re­probation to bebbVide Pe­nott. pag. 393. negativus actus praedeſti­nationis, a free act of the Divine will deny­ing the ſpeciall benefit or favour of Pre­deſtination (which is the preparation of grace, infallibly bringing men unto glory) to ſome certain perſons. As for poſitive Reprobation (which is eternall damnation) this our Church foundeth upon the guilt and demerit of mans ſinne. We ſay there­fore with a learned writer of the Romiſh Church (to whom you think this opinion to be ſo odious)ccRuiz. De Praedoſt. & Repr. diſp. 2. §. 2. pag. 19. Omnibus hominibus con­ſideratis ſub eſſe poſsibili priùs ratione quàm praedeſtinarentur aut reprobarentur, nulla fuit ratio diſcriminis quae potuerit Divinam vo­luntatem inclinare ut praedeſtinationem Judae negaret potiùs quàm Paulo. And again,ddIbid. pag. 22. Nulla ſcientia viſionis ultimò formalitérqueconſtituit reprobationem, ſed potiùs totam re­probationem ſupponit ex parte objecti. So that all they, whether Lutheranes or Remon­ſtrants, who make Predeſtination nothing but the will of God to ſave believers, and Reprobation or Preterition nothing elſe but63 the will of God to damne unbelievers, re­tein for faſhions ſake the old words, but ob­trude a new notion of thoſe words upon the Chriſtian Church.

In vain therefore it is to diſpute with thoſe about Election and Preterition who reject all the definitions or deſcriptions gi­ven by ancient Divines, and bring new ones of their own coyning.

If in explicating the decree of Predeſti­nation (which is a decree preparing ſpeciall and effectuall grace for the predeſtinate) and handling the oppoſite decree of Preter­ition or negative Reprobation (which is a Decree, not of denying all grace, nor of cauſing any malice, but onely of denying ſpeciall grace) ſome of the Reformed Do­ctours have run into any extremity, it be­cometh judicious Divines not to run into another extremitie, by founding Election and Preterition upon the foreſeen acts of mans will, but to keep the middle way, and to remember the old ſaying, Ità fugias praeter caſam.

That which exaſperateth the Lutheranes againſt Calvines doctrine, was their own collection, That it made God the authour of ſinne, and a damner of men to hell-tor­ments onely for his mere pleaſure, which opinions are juſtly to be deteſted: But Cal­vine both by his own writings, and by di­vers64 learned writerseeVide Cra­kanthorp. Defenſe Angl. c. 35. & Biſhop of Ely his Defenſe of the ortho­dox faith, p. 228. of our Church hath been ſufficiently cleared from theſe falſe and malicious calumniations.

Jacobus Andreae is no competent judge over Beza his antagoniſt: and if he were, yet we deny, that the rejecting of conditio­nate Predeſtination is to be reckoned amongſt his errours.

They are groſſely deceived who think Calvine was the firſt that defended Abſo­lute Predeſtination and Reprobation, and who oppoſed Conditionate Predeſtination and Reprobation grounded upon the preſci­ence of the good and bad acts of the Elect and Non-elect. Auguſtine, Proſper, Ful­gentius, all who oppoſed the Semipelagians, were of this mind: And amongſt the Pa­piſts themſelvesffVide Car­thuſianum, in 1. Sent. diſp. 41. p. 549. & Valentia­num, tom. 1 diſp. 1. qu. 23. De re­prob. punct. 3. ubi agnoſcit multos ſcholaſticos idem ſen­tire cum Calvino. Vde Sua­rez. Opuſc. l. 2. pag. 174, &c. Ex noſtris, Paul. Fer. Schol. orth. c. 28. & Fr. White, De­fenſe of the Orthodox way, p. 231. the fanſie of conditi­onall Predeſtination and Reprobation is commonly rejected. Any man who un­derſtandeth that God out of his own free-will and ſpeciall mercy hath elected ſome unto the infallible means and bleſſed end of eternall life, may as eaſily conceive that out of his own free-will he hath denyed the ſaid ſpeciall mercy unto ſome others, and ſo per­mitted them to fail in the atteinment of eternall life: For if thatggPenott. p. 393. be true (which all orthodox Divines are agreed upon) that both the materiall and formall number of men e­lected, or (as other term it) the numerus nu­merans65 and numerus numeratus, is eternally deſigned according to Gods own good plea­ſure, it muſt needs be acknowledged, that in eodem ſigno rationis there is a number alſo of men not elected, who are left out in this gracious deſignation. Suarez giveth a ſa­tisfactory reaſon why there can be no cru­eltie or injuſtice in this negative Reproba­tion,hhOpuſc. l. 2. pag. 175. Quia haec non-electio non est poena, ſed est ſolùm quaedam negatio gratuiti beneficii quod Deus ut ſupremus Dominus negare poteſt.

This may well be eſteemed a bad opinion: But non-praedeſtinatio, non-electio, or nega­tiva reprobatio importeth no ſuch thing; as is evident in angelis non-electis.

It is one thing to affect the extreme miſery of his Creature for the end of ſhewing his ju­ſtice in tormenting it; another, for God toiiPen. pag. 398. ſuffer ſome of his Creatures through their own default to fall into extreme miſery, to reſolve not to free them, and to decree their juſt puniſhment. And if any one will go about to bind God to pre­pare effectuall grace for all men we an­ſwer, It is lawfull for God to do as he liſt­eth with his own. And it is uſuall with God to diſpence aſwell ſupernaturall as naturall benefits according to his own abſo­lute will and free pleaſure. If God ſhould neceſſitate any mans finall impenitency, that66 ſo he might afterwards caſt him into hell, this were to affect his miſery: but the ſinne and obſtinacy in ſinne of all the damned, was their own and voluntary, not of Gods cauſing, much leſſe neceſſitating.

God is not to learn of us what maketh moſt for his own glory. He could have up­held the Angels which made a voluntary apoſtaſie from him; he could have upheld our firſt Parents; he could by his ſpeciall and effectuall grace have brought every par­ticular man in the world unto ſalvation: and all this he could undoubtedly have done without prejudice to the Creatures free­will: But ſince we know and ſee he hath done otherwiſe, we muſt confeſſe that this order of Divine Providence, whereby he hath decreed to guide and bring ſome infal­libly unto eternall happineſſe, and whereby he hath decreed to permit ſome infallibly to fall into eternall miſery, doth make moſt for his glory.

Treatiſe.

4. Reaſon AFFINI­TY to FateIV. The fourth, its Affinitie vvith the old exploded er­rours of the Stoicks and Manichees.

The opinion (A) of the Stoicks vvas, That all actions and events vvere unavoydable, determined either by the revolu­tions of the heavens, and the qualities of ſuch ſtarres as reigned at mens births, or by the concatenation of naturall things and the diſpoſition of the firſt matter, all things be­ing ſo put together from eternitie that one thing muſt needs follovv another as it doth; and the prima materia67 being ſo diſpoſed, that things cannot ſucceſſively come to paſſe othervviſe then they do, but muſt of neceſſitie be as they are, even invito Deo, though God vvould have ſome things to be othervviſe then they are.

The Manichees held, That all mens actions, good or evil, vvere determined too; good actions by a good God, vvho vvas the authour of all good things that vvere created, and of all good actions that came to paſſe in the vvorld; evil acti­ons by an evil God, vvho vvas the primum principium mali, the prime authour of all evil things or actions that were extant in the vvorld.

The mainteiners of the abſolute decree do ſay one of theſe tvvo things, either, That all actions, naturall and mo­rall, good and evil, and all events likevviſe, are abſolutely neceſſary; ſo the Supralapſarians: or, That all mens ends (at leaſt) are unalterable and indeterminable by the povver of their vvills; ſo the Sublapſarians: And this is upon the matter all one with the former. For firſt, (B) in vain is our freedome in the actions and means, if the end at vvhich they drive be pitched and determined; ſith all actions are for the ends ſake, that it might be obteined by them, vvhich vvithout them could not. And ſecondly, the deter­mination of the end doth neceſſarily involve the means that precede that end; as if a man be fore-determined to damnation, he muſt unavoydably ſinne, elſe he could not be damned.

Novv in theſe three opinions vve may note tvvo things.

1. The Subſtance and formalitie of them, which is an un­avoidableneſſe of mens actions and ends whatſoever they be. In this all of them agree, all holding that in all things, at leaſt in all mens ends, undeclinable Fates and inſuperable Neceſſitie do domineere. And therefore (C) Melanchthon doth not ſtick ſundry times in his Common places to call this Abſolute decree fatum Stoicum & tabulas Parcarum, Stoi­call fate and the Deſtinies tables. He alſo chargeth the Church of Geneva (the great Patrone of it) with a labour to bring-in the Stoicks errour, as we may ſee in a certain E­piſtle of Melanchthons to Peucer, where he hath theſe words;nnMelanch. in Epiſt. ad Peu­cer. Scribit ad me Laelius, de Stoico fato uſqueadeò litem Genevae moveri, ut quidam in carcerem conjectus ſipropterea quòd à Zenone differret. O miſera temporal Doctrina ſalutis peregrinis qui­buſdam dubitationibus obſcuratur. Lelius writeth unto me, that in Geneva there is ſuch ſtrife68 about the Stoicks Fate, that one was caſt into priſon becauſe he diſſented from Zeno. O miſerable times! &c. And by the te­ſtimony of Beza too, who ſpeaking of Melanchthon ſaith;ooBeza in vita Calvini; Phi­lippus de his rebus ità ſcribere coe­perat, ut Ge­nevenſes quaſi Stoi­cum fatum invehentes notare qui­buſdam vi­deatur. Philip hath ſo written of theſe things, as if he meant to tax the Geneva-Divines for bringers-in of Deſtiny.

2. We may note the Circumſtance or the grounds of their opinions. The Stoicks (D) derive this neceſſitie from the ſtarres or the firſt matter; the Manichees from two prima principia, aeterna & coaeterna, firſt principles of all things eternall and coeternall; theſe laſt, from the peremptory decree of almighty God. So that they differ in their grounds indeed: but in this difference the Stoicks and the Manichees in ſome reſpects have the better. For it is better to derive this neceſ­ſitie of evil actions and unhappy events from an evil God or the courſe of nature, then from the decree of that God who is infinitely good. The ſubſtance of their opinions is all one: the ground wherein they differ is but accidentall to the errour.

Which being ſo, for this very reaſon alone may this do­ctrine of Abſolute Reprobation be ſuſpected: becauſe thoſe dreams of the Stoicks were exploded by the beſt Philoſo­phers of all ſorts; and this of the Manichees was generally cryed-down by the Fathers, not onely as fooliſh, but impi­ous and unworthy of enterteinment in a Chriſtian heart or chriſtian Common-wealth, not ſo much for any thing cir­cumſtantiall in