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THE OPEN DOOR For MANS Appoach to GOD. OR, A VINDICATION of the Record of GOD Concerning the Extent of the Death of CHRIST in its Object.

In Anſwer to a Treatiſe of Maſter Iohn Owen, of Cogſhall in Eſſex, about that Subject.

By John Horn, a Servant of God in the Goſpel of his Son, and Preacher thereof at Lyn in Norffolk.

The Grace of God that bringeth Salvation to All Men, hath appeared, teach­ing us to deny ungodlineſs, and worldly luſts, and to live ſoberly, righteouſly, and godly in this preſent world, &c. Tit. 2.11, 12, 13.
God ſo loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoſoever be­lieveth on him ſhould not periſh, but have eternal life. John 3.16.
And he is the propitiation for our Sins, and not for ours only, but alſo for the whole world's. 1 John 2.2.
Myſticus ſol ille juſtitiae omnibus ortus eſt, omnibus venit, omnibus paſſus eſt, & omnibus reſurrexit, ideo autem paſſus eſt ut tolleret peccatum mundi: Si quis autem non credit in Chriſtum, generali beneficio ipſe ſe fraudat. Ambroſ.
Ut ſi quis clauſis feneſtris radios ſolis excludat; non ideo ſol non ortus eſt omnibus, quia colore ejus ſe ipſe fraudavit, nam quod ſolis eſt praeroga­tivam ſuam ſervat: quod autem imprudent is, communis a ſe gratiam lu­cis excludit. Ambroſ. in Pſal. 118. ſecund. vulg. Lat. Octon. Octavo
Omnia probate, quod bonum eſt tenete.

London, Printed by Robert White, and are to be ſold by Giles Calvert, at his Shop, at the Sign of the Black-Spred. Eagle at the Weſt End of Pauls. 1650.

REader, My neceſſitated abſence from the Preſs hath occaſioned ſome miſtakes both of words and pointings in the printing, which (leaſt envy take occaſion by them to traduce me with the ſimple, and ingenuity it ſelf be at a loſs) I have here ſhewed thee how thou ſhouldſt correct, Viz.

In the Epiſtle to the Reader.

PAge 14 Line 6 read 2, for 1. p. 18 l. 18 r. them. p. 26 l. 15 r. that rule. p. 28 l. 29 r. lately. In the Anſwer. Pa. 12 Lin 22 r. 〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. p. 15 l. 18r. call. p 23 l. 10 r. too. p. 24 marg. r. ver. 18. p. 27 l. 11 r. as are then not ſo. p. 28 l. 1, 2 r. Pſal. 78. Mat. 18. p. 45 l. 36 t John 5. p 48 l. 6 r. dawne. p 49. l. 25 r. they would not. p. 54 l 2 put the ſtop after ſecond. p. 56 l. 15 r. oppoſe. p. 67 l. 20 r. but as an example. p. 75 l. 38 r. rather without marks. p. 80 l. 35 r. third. p 84 l. 29 r. liked not to have. p. 85 l. 8 r. talents, alike open. p. 87 l. 30 r. not that ſome. p. 95 l. 1 r. then. p. 118 l. 17 r. Job 5. p. 125 l. 26 r. conferrer. p. 131 l. 21 r. having given. p. 132 l. 29 r. diſtinguiſhed. p. 141 l. 6, 11 r. if we. p. 142 l. 38 r. had. p. 143 l. 38 r. nor. p. 148 l. 38 r. quia poſt omnia. p. 156 l. 6 r. yet. p. 161 l. 20 r. pact. p 173 l. 3 r. Grecians. p. 176 l. 29 r. City. l 30 r. 2 Chron. 28. p. 177 l. 39 r. that. p. 178 l. 24 r. that that declares. l. 35 r. Saviour having. p. 182 l. 3 r. them. p. 184 l. 7 r. denies. l. 9 r. 1 will. p. 185 l. 3 r. is as. l. 25 r. theſe words. p. 191 l. 8 r. that it doth not. l. 33 r. contain. p. 195 l. 2 r. ſtung. p. 200 l. 14 r. them or without. p. 203 l. 36 r. nor had they any. p. 204 l. 29 r. lts. p 207 l. 11 r. of. l. 20 r. warn. l. ibid. r. any. p. 223 l. 2 r Luc. 19. p. 229 l. 4 r. miſtate. p. 235 l. 32 r. its. p 236 l. 35. r. reference. p. 238 l. 22 r. to all which we. p. 255 l. 13 l. delivered from. p. 259 l. 16 blot out we. p. 262 l. 17 r. would. p 263 l. 8 r. to whom they. p. 265 l. 14 put the comma after here. p. 268 l. 18 r. alſo. p. 271 l. 38 r. as frothy. p. 279 l. 17 r. that. p. 297 l. 17 r. becauſe. l. 28 r. righteouſneſs of the Law. p. 299 l. 21, 26 put a parentheſts before (As, and after So) p. 300 l. 22 take away the ſtop at name, and read name for. p. 305 l. 25 r. mea, p. 306 l. 26 r. ſomething. p. 319 l. 4 r. Repro〈…〉

To the Honorable, Colonel Valentine Walton, One of the Members of the Supream Authority of this Commonwealth, and of the Council of State, and Governor of the Garriſons of Lyn, Yarmouth, Crowland, and the Ile of Ely, &c. AND ALSO To the Right Worſhipful, Mr. Thomas Toll, Bur­geſs for the Town of Lyn Regis, and Mr. Miles Corbet, Burgeſs for the Town of Yarmouth in Norfolk. Eſquires, both Members of the ſaid Supream Authority, &c. Grace, and Mercy, and Peace in the knowledge of God, and of Jeſus Chriſt our LORD.

Honorable, and Right Worſhipfull,

IT was the ſaying of Socrates, as**Zenoph. de dictis & factis, So­cratis. Xenophon relates,aaBy〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. That ungrateful perſons are to be numbred amongſt the unjuſt, and thatbb〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. by how much the more and greater favours any have received, ſo much the unjuſter he is, if he be unthankeful. Yea, and ſo hateful was the crime of Ingratitude to the Perſians (as the ſame Xenophon tells us) that they uſed to teach their children to abhor and condemn it, andccZenoph. de Cyri paediâ lib. 1. 〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, &c. ſeverely to puniſh thoſe that were guilty of it, as conceiving (& that not amiſs) That Ingratitude is that curſed Principle (and a compendium of Vices) that leads thoſe in whom its planted, and by whom its nouriſhed, to be inju­rious to, and neglective of both God and man, and to be attended with a ſhameleſs impudency, which is the very Ringleader unto all filthineſs and abomination. And verily Sir, as they gueſſed not amiſs (for theddIngratum ſi dixeris, omnia dixeris. holy Scriptures couplese 2 Tim. 3.2, 3. unthankefulneſs with unholineſs, yea, puts it before it, as the inlet to profaneneſs, and follows it with want of natural affections,Deut. 32.14, 15. truce breaking, falſe accuſing, &c. and elſewhere ſpeaks of it as the beginning of Apoſtacy) ſo are their ſayings, eſpecially conſidera­ble with reference unto God, the ſupream fountain and ſoveraign Au­thor of all good, towards whom unthankefulneſs is ſo much the greater injuſtice, as he exceeds and excels all others in favors towards us. If we ſhould go about to number up his kindneſſes,Pſal. 40.7. they would ariſe to ſuch a reckoning as is far beyond us. Great and many are his kindneſſes to us in this life, as his giving us life, breath, limbs, ſtrength, health, food and raiment, the ſhining of the Sun, the falling of the rain, with fruitful Seaſons, peace, liberty and gladneſs, victories over enemies, and good ſucceſſes, Day to day uttereth ſpeech, and night to night uttereth knowledge, and they all are Evidences and Witneſſes of his goodneſs. But whence all theſe to ſinful unworthy creatures,Rom. 2.14. & 1.32. whoſe conſciences daily accuſe us of evils, and tell us death and vengeance is due unto us? Sure­ly as the Scriptures ſay they are the beamings of his bright goodneſs, the iſſues, or out-flowings of the life in Chriſt, which is the light of men, which life was and is in him through his ſufferings for us. Joh. 1.4, 5. For verily Adam forfeited for himſelf and us, what ever might evidence goodneſs towards us, even life it ſelf, and all other mercies thereof, ſo as had God dealt with us after the demerit of his ſin, nothing but wrath and miſery had been upon us. But verily Chriſt ſtepping in, upholds all things, and makes them conſiſt and ſtand together for our uſe and ſervice. Yea, there-through alſo have we in theſe latter days, that which is yet more precious, the Publiſhing of the Word and Goſpel of God, ordered unto all Nations the end and tendency of all, which too is to lead us to repentance, that repenting of our evils againſt one ſo good to us, he might ſhew us greater things ſtill, even the bleſſings of a better life, prepared and made ready in Chriſt Jeſus for us, pardon, and peace, and ſpirit, and eternal happineſs. And ſurely the gift of Chriſt, and his death and ſuf­ferings for us, muſt needs it ſelf be an ineſtimable favour, and deſerve at our hands unutterable thanks, which is the way and inlet, yea, in a maner, the onely procuring cauſe under the good Will of God of all theſe mercies. How then are men in generall bound unto thankefulneſs, but eſpecially we in this Nation, that enjoy the Scriptures, and publiſh­ing of the Goſpel therein, which many other Nations have wickedly put away from themſelves and their poſterities? their ſupream powers yielding up themſelves to the power of darkneſs, and neither imbracing the Word of Truth themſelves, nor permitting it to others. Yea, what cauſe of thanks have we to God, that hath broken yokes of Tyranny and Oppreſſion from off us, that formerly hindered mens receit, and free con­feſſion of his goodneſs? What ſalvations hath God wrought for us in the midſt of this earth? What plots hath he diſcovered? What deſigns of the enemies of Sion hath he defeated? How hath he guided Counſels, and ſtrengthened Armies to deliver us from the Power and Oppreſſi­ons of thoſe who being ingrateful to God themſelves for his goodneſs, could not indure that others ſhould acknowledge it aright, and be truly thankeful? And, O that we alſo after ſuch an addition of favors above what all have in common, may not run into that horrid ſin of unthank­fulneſs, nor reject the tidings of his great goodneſs, and by obſerving lying vanities, forſake our own mercies, much leſs abuſe and turn it in­to wantonneſs. 〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. Epheſ. 5.3, 4. Surely for theſe things comes the wrath of God upon the children of unperſwaſibleneſs. Yea, not onely deſtructions, and deſolati­ons of Perſons, Families, Cities, Countries, and Nations here, but alſo hereafter eternal vengeance.

Now of the evil of unthankefulneſs, dear Sirs, how greatly guilty are they, who though they confeſs men faulty for it, and can aggravate the evil of it above my Rhetorick, yet make it a part of their buſineſs and Religion, with zeal and earneſtneſs, to perſwade the moſt of men, that they have cauſe to doubt whether they have any thing in good will from God, and ſo by conſequence, whether any real ground and cauſe to be thankeful to him, while they hold forth to them, that Chriſt died but for a few, and the reſt are the objects of his hatred from everlaſting, and all they have, even the Gospel it ſelf, they have in hatred and diſpleaſure from him; and ſo onely to this end, that they may work out, and increaſe their own miſery by them? Againſt which their evil Doctrine I have written this inſuing Treatiſe, in which I have indeavoured to remove that froth of wit, and humane reaſon, and high thoughts of error, which are with ſo great noiſe of Orthodoxneſs (equivalent to the Romaniſts cry of Catholike) lifted up againſt the Apoſtles Doctrine: and to ſhew that God is good, really good to All, but eſpecially to thoſe that his good­neſs makes good, and thankefully through faith to live unto him. And ſo alſo that all have real cauſe of believing, and living thankefully, do­ing good after his example to All, but eſpecially to the good, and the believing; and that the unbelief of his goodneſs, and unthankefulneſs to him for it, is the true cauſe of multitudes periſhing. And now, Dear Sirs, that I might not run into that odious evil of ingratitude toward you, from whom as inſtruments in the good hand of God, I acknowledge I have received very much favor and kindneſs, and under whom I enjoy my Place and Liberty of Goſpel-preaching, (and many others with me have received many ingagements of thanks for and to you) having finiſhed this Treatiſe, I am imboldened to thruſt it out into the world, under your Protection and Patronages, under God and the Lord Jeſus, to whom ſupreamly I have devoted my ſelf and ſervice. I hope your Honors will not expect it ſhould exceed its Author, in whom you know weakneſs, but I hope you will take it in good part, as a Teſtimony of my thankefulneſs. I expect it will meet with oppoſitions good ſtore againſt it, as is always the Lot of Truth in an unthankeful world, eſpecially from thoſe it argues guilty of mens unthankefulneſs; may it but finde with you, that entertainment Truth ſhould have with the Saints, ſo far as you ſhall ſee Truth held forth in it, I ſhall rejoyce therein concerning you. For whom (with your beloved Conſorts, and all yours) My deſire is, That God would pleaſe ſo to order, guide, and keep you, that walking righteouſly in the earth, and ſerving your generation with faithfulneſs in the Work of God, you may receive the reward of the righteous in eter­nal life, by Jeſus Chriſt our Lord, in whom I remain,

Your Honour, and Worſhips, faith­fully to ſerve you in the Goſpel, JOHN HORN.

A Brief Reviſe of ſome few Paſſages.

THere is a paſſage, good Reader, in the Epiſtle to the Reader, Pag. 14. viz. where I ſay, That none, till brought into Chriſt, can make any profitable uſe of, or rightly underſtand the Doctrines of Election and Reprobation, of which I deſire thy candid and favourable conſtruction, as ſpoken of (as they are moſt uſually looked upon) as ſecret Decrees and Counſels of God about the future eſtates of men, and not as acts or executions of decrees paſ­ſing upon men in time: for indeed in this latter ſenſe the Scripture (and we anſwerably may) doth ſpeak of them more intelligibly and profitably. As when it ſays, The Lord hath ſet apart for him­ſelf the man that is godly, Pſal. 4.3. Such a chuſing, or ſetting apart for himſelf as is there ſpoken of, is, and may be profitably pro­pounded as an inducement unto godlineſs: Alſo when its ſaid, That God, for ſuch wilfull refuſings of him, and his Word, Truth, and Grace, caſt off, reprobated or gave over ſuch and ſuch men, as in Pſal. 81.9, 10, 11, 14. Jer. 6.16, 30. Rom. 1.28. Such a pro­pounding of Reprobation may both be apprehended, and good uſe may be made of it to, and by men yet unrenewed, to deter them from their obſtinacy in evill, and warn them to give diligent heed to God, leſt they ſhould be ſo dealt with; but in ſuch a maner of ſpeak­ing of, and propounding theſe things, I would not be underſtood there, but as under thoſe tearms men underſtand hidden, abſtruſe acts of the Counſell and Will of God in himſelf from everlaſting.

In Pag. 21. of the ſame Epiſtle, there is lapſus memoriae; a miſtake of Hubberdine for Dr. Buckneham, through the defect of my memo­ry, I not then having the Martyrology by me.

In Pag. 74. lin. 15, 16, 17, &c. ſome interlined paſſages of Mr. Owens Inferences were miſtaken, and miſplaced by the Printer. It ſhould have been printed thus, All that Chriſt dyed for: 1. He gives (that is, compels) to believe (an inference wholly groundleſs from that Text, it ſpeaking of actuall believers, and not of faith, as a thing yet to be given them.) 2. All that he dyed for, he juſtifies, makes righ­teous, and brings them to glory. 3. All he dyed for, he makes Inter­ceſſion for, for collating on them all the choiſe benefits of his death.

In Pag. 75. Where I ſay, The aſcribing an antecedent will, Whoſe fulfilling depends on any free contingent act of ours, fals not upon us; my meaning is, it fals not upon what I ſaid in the beginning of that Chapter, about Impretration and Application: That that fol­lows, viz. But I conceive, &c. ſhould have been (yet I conceive that without injury to God, that may be called an Antecedent will, which re­ſpects ſome Antecedent condition in us, in reſpect of ſome will of God, re­ſpecting us as its proper object in a conſequent condition) in which I hope the ingenuous Reader will conceive that I ſpeak of the Actings or determinations of Gods will, which are called ſometime〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, and not that I aſſert, that there are in God divers Wills, or Principia volendi; for that would be all one, as to aſſert divers Gods, or di­vers Eſſences of the ſame God.

What I ſay in Pag. 58. About Chriſts meriting his own exaltation in the humane nature, is ſo clear, that I hope none will deny it; and yet I find that Zanchy was ſomewhat queſtioned about it by ſome in his time; the learned Reader may ſee his defence of himſelf, and his confirmation of the Orthodoxneſs of that aſſertion, by the Te­ſtimony of divers of the Ancient Fathers, as Auguſtine, Jerome, Ambroſe, Beda, &c. in Epiſt ad Lectorem, tractatui de Fide Chri­ſtianâ (five Confeſſioni ſuae) praefixâ; amongſt the reſt, that of Au­guſtine is curt and pithy, in Phil. 2.10. Wherefore God hath high­ly exalted him. Humilitas claritatis meritum, olaritas humilitireis praemium ſed hoc factum eſt in formâ ſervi, &c. And by Humility he merited his glory, and his glory was the reward of his humility, but this was not in the form of God, but in the form of a ſervant, or as he was made man, &c. Zanchies Aſſertion that occaſioned that de­fence is thus. De Relig. Chriſt. Cap. 11. Apho. 15. Credimus Chriſtum ſuâ perfectâ obedientiâ, non ſolùm ſibi, ſed etiam nobis vitam aeternam promeruiſſe, &c.

What I ſay, Pag. 125 to that place in Phil. 1.29. That the phraſe〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉ſhould rather be tranſlated, As pertaining to Chriſt, is the judgment of divers Learned men as well as mine. Zanchi renders it, Pro Chriſti, id eſt, In Chriſti negotio, vid. Zanch. in loc. Beza: In negotio Chriſto, ad verbum, in eo quod pro Chriſto ſuſcipitur, alioqui (inquit) redundaret articulus〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. bez. Annot. in loc. Camerarius in loc. thus,〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, quod attinet ad Chri­ſtum, ea vobis contigit gratia, &c.

In Pag. 173. That of [every herb] I think (upon further con••­deration) may be numbered amongſt thoſe places which ſpeak〈◊〉the ſpecies or ſorts of things, and ſo the ſenſe is, they took the tenth individual of every ſpecies of herbs: but yet that will make nothing to prove the word All to be taken ſo in the places in queſtion.

To the Reader.


WHoſoever thou art, quaedam tecum vellem in limine; I have a word or two to ſay to thee be­fore thou goeſt any further. I deſire thee to per­uſe this Treatiſe throughly, for it cannot harm thee, but if thou beeſt not thine own hindrance it may profit thee. Though it be hoſtile, its only againſt that that would hinder thee of good, or obſtruct thoſe paſſages by which thou mighteſt be led out to do good. It pleads for God and thy good, yea the common good of all that do not wilfully deprive them­ſelves thereof for vanity. It pleads for Love: to defend and maintain that God loves thee, and to let thee ſee that there is good ground and cauſe for thy loving him; And its the nature of love to ſtand enemy to nothing but that that hinders its courſe, and keeps the parties loved from the good it wiſhes them. It pleads for a truth, a part of that Doctrine of truth, which the Apoſtle and Teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth, both inſtructed our Fathers in,1 Tim. 2.4, 5, 6, 7. and left upon record for us their poſterity; namely, that God wills that men be ſaved, and come to the knowledg of truth; and that evidenced in this, that as there is but one God, ſo there is one Mediator between God and men, the Man Chriſt Jeſus (by whom God diſpenſes his goodneſs, and makes known his good will to us, and by whom we may have acceſs to him, and he is ready to accept of and imbrace us) He having given himſelf a Ranſome for all. 〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉.A truth to be teſtified to men in due (or pro­per, or in their own) times. A truth it is though in theſe dayes cover­ed over with reproachful tearms of error and hereſie, and (as from the beginning the way of Chriſt hath been) every where ill ſpoken of, and exploded as little better then blaſphemy. Such force hath Satan, (Gods and mans adverſary) in the hearts of many, that they love not, nor believe that that ſpeaks good of God to them, and that which might do them good. But marvel not at that, good Reader, for this beam of truth findes no worſe entertainment herein then the body of Truth it ſelf, then the word of God made fleſh and manifeſted in the fleſh met with in the dayes of his fleſh. Came not He from the boſome of the Father to open his name unto men, and to ſhew to them the way of their ſalvation? was not he truly Jeſus, the ſalvation of God, and Sa­viour of the world? one that came to teach men the knowledg of God, and lead them unto life? But O what courſe uſage did He finde? Did not the world abominate him, as if he had been a Devil incarnate, filled with Satan, the great deceiver of mankinde, leading them to De­ſtruction! how often did they cry out againſt him, and offer to lay violent hands upon him, as if he was unworthy to live amongst them? What evil laws enacted they againſt him, caſting out of their Synagogues (meetings and fellowſhips) thoſe that would own him? Did they not call a councel about him and condemnhim, therein and crave, yea al­moſt force it upon the Secular power, to deliver him up to be crucified by them, till they got their wills in that matter on him? how did they after his condemnation all-to revile, mock and taunt him, yea diſpite­fully intreat and kill him? And as if they would leave no ſtone unre­moved for effecting their deſignes upon him, they ſeal him up in his Se­pulcher, and ſet a guard to keep him therein. And who I pray were the perſons that thus uſed him? Were they not the generality of the people, but principally the Prieſts and Rulers, the zealous and devout, the ſee­ming godly party, that were ſo ſtrict for tithing mint and rue, for keep­ing Sabbaths, keeping out errors and blaſphemies, as that a man that judged by the outſide, would have ſworn they were the holieſt people and beſt beloved of God, that the world contained. The wiſe, the pru­dent, the powerful, the Scribes, Phariſes, and Rulers of the people? But I pray was Chriſt leſs the Son of God or the great Truth of truths, becauſe he found ſo bad entertainment by theſe prudent zealots? becauſe they condemned him and put him to Death, was he therefore really guilty of that deceit and blasphemy with which they charged him? was it not indeed (as himſelf told them) becauſe he ſpake the truth to them, and they could not endure to hear it from him? Becauſe he teſtified of them that their deeds were evil, and their doctrine viti­ous which they ſet ſo high a price upon? many good deeds have I done (ſaith He) for which of them do ye ſtone me? And truly, friend, ſo have men dealt with this truth in hand, Its cryed out upon as a Doctrine of Satan, as error and blaſphemy, as the moſt pernicious Doctrine that can be taught almoſt, they ſit upon it in councel and con­demn it, they have reviled it, railed on it, mocked, taunted it, yea have they not crucified it and almoſt killed it, and all this too hath been acted by the Learned. Prudent, Rabbies, Scribes and Rulers, but what evil hath it done? Why, diſturb the Churches peace? ſo they ſaid Chriſt and the Goſpel did their Synagogues. Deprives believers of their com­fort? nay tis but them that believe it not (as Chriſt did them that be­lieved not in him) not any right believers, as we ſhall ſhew, they can prove it guilty of no evil, and therefore let not their charges of it move thee, Veritas magna eſt & praevalebit: let them bury it, and ſet a guard upon it, baniſh it their cities, countries, kingdomes, ſtrike hands with Satan himſelf, and combine with the gates and powers of hell to under it; out it will and ſhall, and ſhall be received. As Moſes lift up the Serpent in the wilderneſs, ſo ſhall the ſon of man be lifted up, that whoſoever believeth in him may not periſh but have eternal life. For truth is truth though hated and reproached; its cauſe is juſt, their accuſations groundleſs, their oppoſite poſitions Antichriſtian, but it ſelf divine, no nicety or fancy, but of great concernment, it being a truth that glorifies God and brings good news or tidings to men: which with thy patience, I ſhall a little demonſtrate, with the differences of their Anti-poſition of Chriſts dying only for an elect number in theſe following particulars.

1. Its a doctrine that gives glory to God, and magnifies his mercy or goodneſs and juſtice toward the ſons of men in his dealings with them, whereas the opinion it oppoſeth detracts from his glory in thoſe particu­lars. Firſt, I ſay it commends and magnifies the goodneſs of God in the exerciſe of his mercy, while it ſpeaks of him as love it ſelf; one that is good, and therefore doth good, good to All, a lover and Saviour of man­kinde, and of the world in general; one that delights not in the death of the wicked, nor would that any ſhould periſh and run themſelves in­to deſtruction, but rather come to repentance and live; to which end it ſhewes that he hath provided a means for baniſhed mankinde to be brought back by to him again from that eſtate of miſery unto which they were baniſhed, yea that to that end he enlightens, manifeſts his truth, calls to look to him, lades with benefits, waytes with patience up­on ſinners, chaſtens them in mercy, to keep their ſouls from the pit, and to inlighten them with the light of the living: and all this not bounded up to a few, the far fewer part of men, but in ſome degree or other inlarged generally to all. And is not this a commendation of him as good and loving? is it not the nature of love to diffuſe it ſelf abroad? to extend it ſelf to all, as well as to burn intenſively to any? And

2. Doth not that that ſpeakes of God as ſo mercifull, illuſtrate alſo his juſtice the more brightly; when it ſhewes his wrath and vengeance to come upon men for abuſing love, undervaluing goodneſs, and for not accepting his grace? can any thing be thought more juſt then to puniſh him that tranſgreſſes a command of an Au­thority, in it ſelf not onely lawful, but alſo good and Fatherly? that not only by its ſoveraignty might exact, but alſo by its clemency and good­neſs did deſerve obedience to its injunctions from all under it? ſuch as this doctrine declares Gods dealings with men by way of juſtice to be, not only in reſpect of Adam our firſt parent, and all in him, but alſo in reſpect of us in our particulars: and yet we aſcribe his Soveraignty to him in all things too; while we ſay all theſe his diſpenſations are not neceſſitated to him, but free and voluntary; ſo as that his giving Chriſt & the ſtreams of goodneſs, that come to us through Chriſt, were all of his good will, not of our works; yea his extending theſe or thoſe means, longer or ſhorter time, with leſs or greater power, are all free diſpenſations according to his will; the Law he gives to men, and the rewards he propounds, all according to his own will, only we ſay he acts forth this his Soveraignty towards all in a moſt equal diſpenſation, in which he juſtifies himſelf to all that plead with him to be good and holy. And yet this doctrine leaves him at liberty too, to do to any one more or leſs, to make one more exemplary and ſingular in mercy, and another in ſeverity, as he pleaſes.

But now the doctrine oppoſed by us, derogates from God in theſe things; for it ſpeakes of him in reſpect of moſt, as an Abaddon, not a Saviour, an〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉not,〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉; not a friend and lover of men, but a hater and deſtroyer of them; for what elſe I pray you ſpeakes that language that they preach as a truth concerning the greateſt part of men, that God hates them from eternity, and ſo in hatred made them, and neceſſitated their ſinning and periſhing? Is this to repreſent God lovely and gracious, or dreadful, and one that delights in mans miſery and ru­ine? I know they ſay his love is but velle bonum creaturis, to will that that is good to creatures, and ſo that he may be ſaid to love them in that he gives them outward good things; in which I conceive they either give too ſcant a definition of his love, or call that good in it, that upon ſecond thoughts, if made their own portion, they would ſcarcely deem ſo. I conceive his love is rather to be thus defined, A velle bonum creaturis, quo iis benè eſſe poſſit: a willing good things to creatures for their good, for otherwiſe the willing of a good thing is not good, if it have in it a deſtructive intention, as for a man to will another a maſſy Wedge of Gold that he might caſt him into the Sea and drown him with it; and yet ſuch is their doctrine of Gods willing good things to moſt, for they make his firſt or eternal thoughts of them as to them­ſelves to be their miſery, and ſo all the bounty, patience, and whatſo­ever they have from him, to be to that end that they might by them ar­rive at it, as ſome have ſaid; Gods dealings with ſome men are as if one ſhould hang a man in a Goldchain, or tie a wedg of Gold about his neck to ſink him. Quis talia fando temperet à lachrymis? Now while they thus deny the extent of his mercy and goodneſs, and give ſuch direful repreſentations of him, they alſo by conſequence obſcure his juſtice; for whereas his juſtice is illuſtrated by mercy, they that ob­ſcure this muſt needs obſcure the other alſo. Juſtice is then ſeen in acts Retributive, when voluntary unneceſſitated tranſgreſſions are ſe­verely puniſhed, and by how much the more have been the advantages, incouragements, and liberty afforded for doing what is required, ſo much the cleerer is the equity of puniſhing the fault committed; How do they then cleer or magnifie Gods juſtice that make him to puniſh only neceſſitated wickedneſs? Yea that make the Decree of eternal vengeance upon ſuch and ſuch perſons to be in order of nature, Antece­daneous to any conſideration of ſin deſerving it? for theſe to be ſome of their conceptions and the ſum of their expreſſions too, they well know that are acquainted with any thing in this controverſie. Now I pro­pound to any rational underſtanding, whether of theſe two moſt declare and glorifie juſtice for a maſter to puniſh his ſervant for not doing ſome­thing that he could not do, or doing what he could not but do, yea what he himſelf neceſſitates him to do? or for a maſter to puniſh his ſervant for that he gave him command and ability; yea alſo incouragement, and promiſed aſſiſtance for doing, and he voluntarily and ſlothfully neg­lected or refuſed to do it? Sure any man that hath his wits about him, will ſay this latter. But now againſt this particular I know what they object, and its Mr. Owens in his preface;They ſay the earth­worms of the world muſt not preſcribe to God, what way to glorifie himſelf in: its rather for us to aſcribe that glory to him that he makes his own, then deviſe ways for his glory by our inventions, and ſpeak lies in his behalf;which things are in themſelves rightly ſpoken, onely they therein intimate that thoſe things which we have ſaid of God, are of our deviſing and aſcribing to him, which he neither aſcribes to himſelf nor owneth at our hands, to take off which we ſhall come to another particular, viz. That

2. The perſwaſion I have defended, is a truth of Gods own reveal­ing, and not of our deviſing, but on the contrary, theirs a falſhood, not revealed by him, but deviſed by them; in which they as well give God the lye, as deny him to be love. What I here defend is grounded on the Scripture-expreſſions, in maintaining which I indeavor to keep cloſe to them, and ſubject reaſon to faith, theirs have no Scripture ex­preſſion to maintain it, but leans upon reaſon, exalting it ſelf againſt faith. They are the plain Scripture expreſſions, that God is love, hath loved the world, is good to all, the Saviour of all men, eſpecially of them that believe, that he delights in mercy, but delights not that the wicked ſhould die, but rather turn and live, that he is not willing that any ſhould periſh, but that all come to Repentance; that his goodneſs, for­bearance and long-ſuffering, is not to be deſpiſed, it leading to repen­tance, even ſuch, as not repenting, treaſure up wrath to themſelves a­gainſt the day of wrath, &c. So alſo that Chriſt dyed for all and every one, that he gave himſelf a ranſome for all, and is the propitiation for the ſins of the whole world; if any hear him and believe not, he doth not judg him, becauſe he came not to judg the world, but to ſave the world. That thoſe whom he ſhall judg to death, he will ſo judge for their not believing in the light he gave them, for not hearing his voice, not receiving the truth, but impriſoning it in unrighteouſneſs, &c. theſe and many ſuch like are the revelations and expreſſions of the Holy Ghoſt in the Scriptures, upon which we ground our perſwaſion, deſiring ſimply to believe and hold them for true, yea though all things therein held forth, we knew not how by reaſon to comprehend, judging him true, and his word pure and perfect, but our reaſons and wiſdom a­gainſt it, and where it Judges it abſurd, to be folly, and bruitiſhneſs. We believe and receive alſo all thoſe places that they produce to us, as that he came to ſave his people, gave himſelf for his Church. Sheep, &c. that the Saints and faithful were elected in Chriſt Jeſus before the foundation of the world; that God ſaid to Rebecca concerning Jacob and Eſau before they were born, or had done good or evil, that the elder of them (with his poſterity) ſhould ſerve the younger (with his) and that God ſaid by Malachy, that he loved the one and hated the other, and that God chuſes not either according to birth or works in us, which is the thing the Apoſtle brings it to prove, but that he hated either of them from Eternity, and before they had done either good or evil, or that he ſo hated the greater part of mankinde, that God loved only his elect and choſen, that he is only their Saviour; that Chriſt died only for them, and gave himſelf a ranſom only for his ſheep and Church, and did not die for the greateſt part of men, nor hath any fitneſs or ſuffici­ency as a mediator for them to ſave them; that God did make the greateſt part of men with intention to deſtroy them, and never bare any good will to them, that they periſh for ever for the ſin of Adam, and that their condemnation is aggravated by their after ſins, for their neglecting that that was never for them, and for not repenting and believing on him, though there was neither object meet for them to be­lieve on, nor any power vouchſafed to them from God, by which in attend­ing to God in the meanes propounded, they might have been brought to repent and believe, that all that Chriſt died for, ſhall be ſaved eternally, and none of them ſhall periſh; theſe and the like poſitions maintained by them, we finde no Scripture aſſerting, and ſo have no divine ground of believing: but to maintain them they rely on their reaſons, adding to, and detracting from the Scripture-expreſſions as they pleaſe, yea, plainly contradicting them, making particular affirmative propoſitions in Scripture equipollent to univerſal affirmatives, as, We, or the Church are ſanctified by his Death, ergo All that he died for: and particular Af­firmatives, to be repugnant and contradictory to univerſal Affirmatives, as, He gave himſelf for us, ergo, Not for all; gave his life as a ſhepherd for his ſheep, ergo, he gave not himſelf a ranſome for all men: and many ſuch inept and unſcholarlike inferences their wiſdomes make to main­tain and ſtrengthen their deviſed Aſſertions, drawing concluſions by them openly contradictory to the Scripture-expreſſions; as ergo He died not for all and every one: God would not that all men ſhould be ſaved, &c. I would Maſter Owen, and the reſt of his minde, would be content that God ſhould be true, and reaſon be judged abſurd and vain where it oppoſes him; that he may have but that glory of his mercy, goodneſs, truth and Juſtice, that he in the Scriptures aſſerts to himſelf, we ſhould wil­lingly hold us to that bargain with them. But alas how injurious they are to the truth of God too, and how unbelieving of, and contradictory to the Scriptures, thou mayſt ſee by this litle taſt here given, and more fully I hope by the treatiſe itſelf here preſented to thee as an anſwer to him; but yet I have not ſet before thee all the good and uſefulneſs of the truth here defended, nor all the evil of theirs oppoſed. For

3. This truth is profitable too for men, both in reſpect of themſelves and others, in both which regards too their counter-poſitions are injuri­ous: Firſt, In reſpect of mens ſelves to whom its propounded, & who are to believe and receive it, its profitable for them to hear and receive it, becauſe it preſents to them an object for their faith, a motive to repent, believe, ſerve, and love God, and matter of comfort to them that lye in ſadneſs and diſtreſs, for want of ſeeing ground to hope in him; for this preſents God as loving and gracious to them; and what can be a greater motive to a man to liſten to God, then that his Doctrine comes in love and good will, and brings good to him? or what ſo powerful as love to break a man off from evils againſt him? a loving carriage in David toward Saul, melts him into tears, and brings him from ſeeking to harm him, to confeſs his evil and give good language to him; how much more ſhall the love of God preached to men, and believed by them, work upon them,Rom. 2.4, 5. Pſal. 36.7, 8. or elſe they ſhall be left the more excuſeleſs, and God ſhall be the more glorified in their deſtruction? It is not commands to re­pent, but love and goodneſs in him that is offended, that indeed leads and brings in the heart to true repentance. So what will ſo effectually draw a ſoul to truſt in God, as when it hears and believes the goodneſs of God? Mansheart is ſo conſcious of its own evil, that neither commands or pro­miſes (eſpecially being ſo uncertain whether they appertain to us or no) will draw us in to betruſt our ſelves with God,1 John 4.19. except we perceive ſome real Teſtimonies of his love firſt towards us. And what ſo ſtrong a cord to love and ſervice of him, as to ſee his love preventing us? Love ſeen and believed in him,Tit. 3.4, 5. begets love and ſervice in us to him. We love him be­cauſe he loved us firſt. Such our contrariety to God in our ſelves, and ſuch our apprehenſions of his contrariety to us, that till our hearts be purged from both by the demonſtrations of his love and goodneſs, we will not love and ſerve him, not ſerve him in love, without which our ſervice is not acceptable and delightful to him, ſo that from this love of God preached and believed, ſprings true obedience, and the hearty keeping of Gods Comandmments. Yea herein it is that men ſee their ſins moſt exactly odious, and are abaſed in the ſight of them. True, the Law ſaies what is good and evil, righteous and ſinful, but the Goſpel ſhews moſt lively the hainouſneſs of that ſin, while it preſents it not otherwiſe to be expiated then by the bloud of Gods own Son, and ſhews otherway no remiſſion, yea this love and goodneſs at once both humbles for ſin againſt God, and leads to hope in, and expect good from God; yea and while it ſpeaks not of an abſolute certainty of life and happi­neſs for all, for whom Chriſt died, but theſe things to be certainly obtained in ſubmiſſion to him, believing on him, and yielding up to his Spirit, it leads the ſoul to ſerve the Lord with an holy fear, and to re­joyce in him with trembling, through which holy fear the heart is pre­ſerved from departing from him. So that this doctrine from the very word and Oracle of God, diſcovers to thee or any man (while yet not ſinning that great ſin to death) an object meet to look upon and admire, God meet to be turned to, ſought after, hoped in, and ſerved; yea, is a motive to, and a ground, foundation and ſpring of true comfort and godlineſs, of all which the contrary poſition deprives a man; No man by that beeing able as from the word of God to ſee good and right ground of loving, hoping in, and ſerving God, till he ſee that he do love, hope in, and ſerve him; there being nothing that bears witneſs of God to any particular ſoul (in their doctrine) that he loves and hath good will towards it, untill it ſee the diſcriminating, and diſtinguiſhing, electing love of God towards it, which is not to be ſeen by climbing up into heaven to ſearch into Gods ſecrets, but by finding in themſelves faith and ſanctification (they ſay) and thoſe too, ſuch as are ſo and ſo qualified, as may evidence them to be fruits of election, and ſo men muſt have the effects before and without their proper cauſe, which is love diſcovered to men. Tit. 3.4, 5, 6. they muſt have all theſe, Repentance, Faith, Love to God and men, Juſtification, Sanctification, yea and per­haps too eternal Glory before they ſhall ſee any ſolid ground or motive to repent, believe in him, ſerve and love him, or that Chriſt hath done any thing for them, by vertue of which he can juſtifie and ſanctifie them, and bring them to glory with him. And ſo they are not lead to deny ungodlineſs, and worldly luſts, and to live ſoberly, righteouſly, and godlily, by Gods grace appearing in the Goſpel to them, but deny ungodlineſs, and live godlily (or rather pretend and ſeem to do ſo) that ſo grace might appear to them, and that they might ſee the goſpel declaration to belong to them. The Goſpel doctrine is to them but like the law, that is, a doctrine that conſiſts of duties commanded, with pro­miſes and threatnings annexed, without Goſpel motives of Gods love propounded; the viewing of which things the Spirit of Love breaths in, to lead, and to produce the things required; and ſo their endeavours after thoſe works and duties are looked upon as the fruits of grace and goodneſs, yea as the arguments of their Electi­on paſt, and future happineſs, when they may be as far from both as the Phariſee that denied Gods free Grace to Publicans and ſinners, and yet judged himſelf a partaker of Gods Grace by his works of righ­teouſneſs, magnifying grace againſt free will, and thanking God as giving ſuch grace in thoſe things which were but the products of his will, neglecting and abiding ignorant of that grace in Chriſt, which would have truly corrected both his Judgment and will; ſuch the effect of this limiting, reſtraining doctrine as theirs alſo was. Men are led hereby to bottom the Goſpel it ſelf, with all arguments of love and goodneſs therein leading to faith and repentance, upon their faith and repentance, which they pretend they may have, before they know whether they have any ſolid ground for them or no, as if they could winde in themſelves into the perception of Gods love by their frames and endeavors, and not firſt be wrought up to them by the love and goodneſs of God perceived by them; and as if men ſhould look to themſelves and their endeavors, as the glaſs through which they ſhall ſee Gods love as for them; and not rather upon God and Chriſt as de­clared in the Goſpel to love them, as the glaſs in which they may ſee their obligation to God in Chriſt, and be moved to, and ſtrengthened in their ſeeking after him & hoping in him. In that their way thou mayſt ſee that God commands thee to repent or change thy minde, to Judg him good and to love him, and that he threatens thee if thou doſt not, and promiſes great things to thee if thou doſt, but whether thou beeſt one of them that he intends any good in his promiſes to, or that art in a poſſibili­ty of attaining them, or only haſt them propounded to thy hearing, with­out good will towards thee (but that thou mighteſt thereby have the greater deſtruction) that by it thou knoweſt not; for it preſents no act of love from him that (according to it) thou canſt ſay reſpects thee, or takes thee in as the object of it; only do all thoſe things firſt, repent, believe, love, ſerve him, and then it ſhall be true for thee to believe that he hath good will to thee: a moſt prepoſterous way, that doth to men as Pharaoh to the Iſraelites, takes away their ſtraw, and bids them get it themſelves, and yet exacts their number of brick; takes away that declaration of Gods love and good will to men that ſhould properly move them to repent, believe, &c. and ſets men upon ſeek­ing arguments and demonſtrations of theſe to themſelves, and yet not fail to perform thoſe duties required of them. A doctrine it is that preſents leſs love to this or that man, then the Law it ſelf did (where­as the Apoſtle magnifies the true Goſpel as more excellent and more un vailed) for it ſet ſome certain demonſtrations of Gods goodneſs to the Iſraelites before them, as his bringing them out of Egypt, chuſing them in their Fathers to be a peculiar people to him, and many typical ſacrifices repreſenting Chriſts death for them, upon which they were commanded to love and ſerve him, but for ought this tells thee, thou wert hated by him from all eternity, yea this ſuggeſts to thee that all he doth to thee, may be but to bring thee to miſery. Nay I might ſafely ſay, Gods dealings with the Gentiles repreſented more goodneſs as to their particulars, without ſuggeſtions of eternal hatred of them, then this kind of Gospell-preaching aſcertains any one man of (as yet unregenerate) as truly goodneſs, and out of good will to him in particular. And O how in­jurious is that doctrine to men that withholds the moſt abſolute & per­fect motive to their duties, and way to meet with conſolation. Whence it comes to paſs, that firſt many are led by it into preſumption, to lean upon themſelves, and their own works, as evidences of that diſtinguiſh­ing love of God, that makes them ſure of ſalvation (as the Phariſee Luke. 18.9, 10.) and ſo of their being pure and righteous, when as yet they have never believed, and through faith received that love of God into their hearts thats preached in the Goſpel, to waſh and purify them, yea to bring them out of themſelves into Chriſt, that they might be reckoned after him, & conformed to him, to ſalvation. Theſe are of thoſe that juſtifie themſelves, and labour to eſtabliſh a righteouſneſs of their own, and are ignorant of, and fight againſt the righteouſneſs of God; de­ſpiſing others, and hindring them of that Goſpel of grace that ſhould be opened to them; ſtumbling as much that the Death of Jeſus Chriſt ſhould be preached to all, to ungodly and ſinners not ſo qualified as they, as ever did the preſumptuous proud Phariſees, that Chriſt ſhould eat and drink with Publicans and ſinners, and that his Apoſtles ſhould preach the Gospel to the uncircumciſed Gentiles.

2. Others again are held in bondage all their dayes, and are ever ready to fall into deſperation, while not having the Love of God, and his goodneſs and grace propounded to them, as for them, that ſhould beget faith, hope, fruitfulneſs, &c. or being hindered from believing it, as ſo propounded by occaſion of this limiting doctrine, and yet being preſſed on to believe, repent, be humble and broken, that ſo they may know that God hath good will to them, and hath given his Son for them, they labor and ſtrive, and finde nothing which they can attain to, ſuf­ficient to demonſtrate their election, and ſo that there is any thing in Chriſts mediation for their wearied ſouls to reſt on; but on the contra­ry, the more they look into themſelves, the worſe they finde themſelves, and the leſs ground to think God loves them, and ſo by conſequence, to hope in, believe on, love and ſerve him. The former throw by the corner ſtone, the ſure foundation, Gods good will in Chriſt held forth to them in the Goſpel, making that but a ſuperſtructure built upon their frames, endeavours and conceptions. The latter are Wholly without any founda­tion, but ſlote up and down without any ſetling: yea, and

3. Others go between both theſe, halting ſometimes the one way, and ſometimes the other: as they finde good frames (as they conceive) ſo they grow confident of their righteouſneſs, and like the Phariſee, dare go to God and thank him: and as they finde flaws again in their works and performances, ſo they ſink down again, and are ready to con­clude that God never loved them, in the mean time how Hagariſh, ſelfiſh, phariſaicall, and ſlaviſh are all their ſervices to him! So that God is deprived of that ſervice and affection that he ſhould have from them, and themſelves of that good, incouragement, and comfort that they might have from him.

And yet this is not all the evil that this doctrine doth to men, for it alſo in the very bowels of it holds forth an undenyable liberty to men, as yet unregenerate, to reaſon after this maner. Either they are ſuch as Chriſt died for, or not: if the firſt, then they are well enough, for all their ſins are ſatisfied for that they either have done or ſhall do, they may ſin freely, it cannot hurt them, for Chriſt hath drunk up every drop of wrath due to them, and ſhall not ſhed one drop of bloud more, or ſuffer any pain more then he hath for any thing they ſhall do againſt him; nor yet can God in Juſtice damn them, his Son having dyed for them; and therefore they will take no care, but follow their own wayes. If it be ſaid, ah but this will diſhonour God, and hurt others. What care unregenerate perſons for God or others, if they know not that God cares for them? its themſelves they moſt look at, and they can eaſily anſwer, his grace will be commended by forgiving them; and when they know he loves them, and gives them the grace, then they ſhall glorify him: And for others, if Chriſt died for them, it cannot hurt them, all is paid for that they ſhall commit, by occaſion of their walking, and they cannot miſs of eternal Salvation; otherwiſe, no matter what becomes of them, God cares not for them, and why ſhould they? If the latter (that Chriſt died not for them) then they cannot avoid ſuffering to the utmoſt what Gods hatred of them will lead him to inflict upon them: he hates them, and what cauſe have they then to love and ſerve Him? Why ſhould they deprive themſelves of cer­tain preſent ſatisfactions to their mindes, to avoid what they no way can, or get that which no way is poſſible, or which they muſt have notwithſtanding if Chriſt hath died for them? So that be I one of theſe or thoſe (may ſuch a one ſay) its beſt for me to take my pleaſure here, at leaſt till God make me do otherwiſe, for if Chriſt died for me, I ſhall have the pleaſure of ſuch ſins here, and happineſs hereafter too; if not, then I had better have my pleaſure here, then not at all. This kinde of reaſoning, I ſay, that directly tends to looſeneſs and neglect of the means of Salvation, ſprings from the bowels of this Doctrine; whereas from the truth that I have endeavoured to defend, no ſuch bad conſequence follows, but it ſets before men ſure ground of hoping in, and loving God, and yet cauſe of watchfulneſs and diligence to ſeek him, leaſt by neglecting him they deprive their Souls of that good he ſet before them. Its true, many in that way perhaps may not yeild up to ſuch reaſoning as I have ſaid, but yet the Doctrine gives them ground for it, nor can the defenders of it be able to diſprove it. Its true again, ſome that believe the truth may abuſe it, but it gives no fair ground for it, as may eaſily be ſeen: we are not to judge of doctrines by mens practices that hold them, becauſe their conſciences and practick principles may contradict their erronious ſpeculations; or their wills and affections cauſe them to warp from their true principles of judgment. A Phariſaical Saul may walk more ſtrictly then a Chriſtian Corinth, but by their natural undeniable influences into mens practices we may judg that to be erronious, that leaves men to, and upholds them in a looſe practiſe, not that that is turned from, into a looſe practice, which it doth diſcountenance.

I know it is ſometime objected againſt what I plead for, that by it a man may be led to take liberty to ſin, and do what he pleaſes, for he may repent when he pleaſes, its in his own power. But to that I ſay, its a ſlander caſt falſly upon our doctrine. For we deny that its in a mans power to repent and believe, as, and when he will, but only as, and when God gives it him, when God works upon him, and affords ability to him, and that he gives alſo in ſuch means as he hath pitcht on, and when he pleaſes: ſo that its needful that men neglect no opportunities that he preſents to them, nor preſume upon their power or Gods patience; for though we affirm that God gives them his help in his ſeaſons, and ſuccors them in the day of ſalvation, yet if that be neglected or re­ceived in vain, God may juſtly cut it ſhort with them, and therefore it ſtands men in hand to take his times and ſeaſons, and lay hold on his ſtrength when he reaches it forth to them, for (as one ſayes well) qui promiſit poenitenti veniam, non promiſit procraſtinanti poenitenti­am. But to paſs from this particular. Of their doctrine its further obſervable, That

1. Its injurious alſo in reſpect of mens doing good to others, while it takes away thoſe motives of doing good, that the truth propounds unto them; For firſt as it obſcures the apprehenſions of Gods goodneſs in mens ſelves, which are moſt effectual motives to do good to others. If he ſo loved us, we ought alſo to love one another. So alſo, Secondly, It takes a­way Gods example of being good to all, and rather preſents him as an example of pretending one thing, and intending another, as if we might hate, and ſeek to harm ſome men in our hearts, ſo we do but ſpeak them kindely, and thats to love and be merciful as God is. Yea, and it puts us upon a ſtraight, whom really to love and pitty, becauſe we cannot be certain whom God loves and pitties, and ſo that we do not love whom God hateth. And thirdly, It takes away that doctrine that we ſhould hold forth, that word of life by which we ſhould win men, for it makes it uncertain to them that undertake to preach, whom they ſhould hold forth Goſpel motives of Repentance and Faith to, I mean, any good will in God toward them to be teſtified to them, to draw them to re­pent and believe in him; whence many Miniſters are put to it about Gospel preaching, yea in ſtead thereof become teachers of the Law, and jumble Law and Gospel together, ſo that they confound them, that they neither preach Law or Gospel, but a mingle mangle of both, not know­ing what they ſay, nor whereof they affirm; talking of duties to them that want principles to perform them rightly, and not declaring to them that doctrine of Gods goodneſs that ſhould, by declaring his love to them rightly principle them: telling men of believing, and of the fruits and priviledges of faith, but not holding forth Chriſt to men as one that dyed for them, and ſo is become a ſure foundation for their faith: Yea, telling men that are yet in unregeneracy, of election and reproba­tion, though none can underſtand them aright, or make uſe of them profitably, till brought into Chriſt, in whom Election is, and for reject­ing whom God rejecteth and reprobateth: an unprofitable doctrine to them, and good for little, as many teach it to ſuch, but either to lead men to a careleſs preſumption or drive them into desperation. Nay, in ſtead of preaching Gospel to every creature, they cannot preach Gospel in a certain ſound (ſo as they or the hearer may ſay its Gospel to him) to any creature, except they preſume they firſt ſee in him ſome fruits of E­lection. And ſo I conceive its a doctrine very ſerviceable to Satans de­ſign of hindering men from ſeeing that glorious grace of God in Chriſt, in and by which they ſhould be turned into him, the contrary to all which is evidently affirmable of the Doctrine there pleaded for.

Ʋpon theſe, and ſuch like differences (good Reader) as alſo to ſtop the clamors of ſome, and herein give anſwer to them that deny me li­berty thereof otherwiſe, was I moved to undertake this task of grapling with Mr. Owen in this controverſie; not for any hopes I have to finde preferment and advantage in this world, the hopes of which I have thrown behinde me, and deſire further ſo to do for Chriſt, being well acquainted with the worlds temper in this matter. I know its ever an enemy to the truth of God, and to its own good, through the ſubtile working of Satan, with the craftineſs of the ſeeming prudent men, high in eſteem with it. I know (for I ſometimes hear) how ſu­porbous, ſupercilious men deride the ſimplicity of the words and Goſpel of Chriſt, how generally they fling againſt it, and caſt dirt upon it; ſo that we may truly ſay, the viſage and form of Chriſt is marred more then any form, and the truth of God in this matter rendred more contemptible then any doctrine; they that will not abide an argument or two to their faces, yet if they get into a Pulpit where none may inter­rupt them, or elſewhere, where there are none to anſwer them (like the hypocritical mockers at feaſts ſpoken of Pſal. 35.16. ) then they will gird and argue ſtrenuouſly againſt it, or deride and vilifie thoſe that preach it, and more ingenuous men, and confident of their cauſe ap­pear in print againſt it. I know the moſt odious names of Pelagianiſm, Semipelagianiſm, and Arminianiſm are caſt upon it, as Sa­maratiniſm, and Sathaniſm too were often caſt on Chriſt to make him odious and fear people from him: on the other ſide, their device is clothed with the names of ſound and Orthodox doctrine, and ſhews its pedegree as high as Proſper, and Saint Auſtin. The world deals with theſe two doctrines, as ſome would have the Kingdom deal with Presbyterie, and Independency (as they call them) as Tamars Midwiſe dealt with her two children. It ſays concerning their doctrine as ſhe of Zarah, this came out firſt, it is the eldeſt brother, and they would have a Scarlet thred upon it, eſtabliſh it by a civil bloody Sanction, and ſo authorize it to ſuppreſs the truth that is oppoſed by them; of which they ſay, as ſhe of the ſuppoſed yonger, but indeed the Elder (for Chriſt was in his bowels and he came out firſt) its name ſhall be Pharez, its a maker of Schiſm, upon it and its Preach­ers be charged our breaches and diviſions; and ſo they vilifie and re­proach Chriſt whoſe it is, and who is in it, and who for all the others forwardneſs will give it the dominion. I know the truth of the old adage, Obſequium amicos, veritas odium parit, flattery is befriend­ed, and conformity to mens determinations is eſteemed, but the truth is hated. I look for my cleaving in this to the word of God, to be ranked with the worſt of Hereticks, and to meet with no better name with this generation then Chriſt and his former ſervants have met with in theirs. I look to have my name caſt out as odious, and made to ſtink in the noſtrils of men (or elſe Satan and his inſtruments will want of their will) while they that oppoſe the truth of God grow fa­mous: but I much matter not, its but the reward with men that Chriſt hath appointed for his followers: Its his ſaying to his ſervants, ye ſhall be hated of all men for my names ſake; and its properly the name of Chriſt, viz. That he is〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. The Saviour of the World, that is defended by us, and its his conſolation too, that the ſer­vant is not greater then his Lord; If they call the Maſter of the houſe Beelzebub, how much more them of his houſhold? and again, Bleſſed are yee when men ſhall hate you, and when they ſhall ſeparate you from their companies (as ſome have endeavoured) and ſhall re­proach you, and caſt out your names as evil for the Son of mans ſake; rejoyce yee in that day, and leap for joy, for great is your reward in Heaven, for in the like manner did their Fathers unto the Prophets. We have in our dayes too, them that can〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, ſcoff and deride my weakneſs in ſuch an undertaking, that will ſay in their puff-pride (ſwelling in conceits of their learning and abilities) as ſometimes the Athenians did of poor Paul,〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉; What will this illiterate babler ſay? Our age will afford thoſe that read and preach the commendations of the Prophets and Apoſtles, gar­niſhing their writings (though they believe them not) as their fathers did their Sepulchres, but yet will oppoſe and hate thoſe that follow their footſteps, and cleave cloſe to the word of God that they have pub­liſhed. Non ignota loquor. I have the experience of ſome things of this nature, and know that truth cannot be ſincerely profeſt at eaſier rate then ſuch courſe uſage; the glimmerings of it in inferior ſtreams, when ſtuck to amongst the Heathens, found ſuch uſage, and tis nothing better amongst us called Chriſtians; if an**Bona conſci­entia fiduci­am mihi dat. Honeſti amo­re illud ſine l­ge & poena co­lo: caeteri pa­rietibus, janu­is, velis tegun­tur: ego ſub dio in propa­tulo ago: om­nium oculis & inqui ſiti­oni expoſitus Deo me probo. Epict. Epictetus approve himſelf to God, ſufferings will follow, as he expreſſes it. Cum haec facio, eve­nit ut malè audiam, imò ut vapulem; at quid mirum à pueris et fatuis, et qui ulcera ſua tangi nolunt? Truth will gall ſome mens con­ſciences, and then they will kick againſt it, ſo he found it, ſo may I too, idque etiam a prudentibus & populi ſenioribus qui ſibi ſapientiae titulum quaſi proprium arrogant. O let the Goſpel produce its fruits in me parallel in this matter to his following expreſſions (ut affectum nec mutem, nec mittam, ut eos ipſos qui me verberant diligam, tan­quam pater omnium, tanquam frater, that my love may overflow their ignorance or envy, and I may overcome their evil with goodneſs, as the Apoſtle counſels, ſeeking their good as if they were my friends and Lovers; yea though they ſhall (as ſome perhaps will) do by my good will as too many do by Gods, render me hatred for it, at leaſt deſpiſe and ſcorn it. As I look not for much better from the moſt, ſo ſhall I not be much troubled if Io finde it. May but God accept and uphold me, and good men approve me, though not for the worth of my perfor­mance yet for the readineſs of my endeavours, and any be thereby be­nefited, I ſhall be contented.

But ſtay, I muſt ſpeak to one or two objections, I know ſome honeſt hearts, (for I would not be conceived to think that none ſuch may diſſent from me may be ſnared with the other perſwaſion, & be filled full of ſcruples about this doctrine, as conceiving it croſs to what the Scripture ſaies of Eelction and to go too far in extending it to the Heathen that never heard of him, & as aſcribing to man too much in his ſalvation, eſtabliſh­ing his free-will more then gods free grace. Which things though they be ſpoken to in the Treatiſe, Yet give me leave to ſay a word or two about them here too for thy further ſatisfaction if it may be, premiſing firſt, That in the matters of God, we are to exalt faith above reaſon, admit his word for our ſure guide, not our wiſdome,2 Pet. 1.19. 1 Cor. 3.18. knowing that our wiſdom in the things of God is but fooliſhneſs, his word the truth, and his Goſpel, the wiſdom of God unto Salvation to them that believe it. Thence if any man ſeem to be wiſe in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wiſe, let him be ſo much a fool as to judge God true and wiſe not making his own blind reaſon, the meaſure of Gods unſearch­able wiſdome, and of the truth of his holy words, as if all we can fathom and conceive ground for, is true and no more, and ſo all the reſt to be cut off that is above our reach, or croſſes our reaſonings; leaſt that befal us, that befel both Jew and Gentile in the like caſe, pre­tending to be wiſe we become fools thinking to mend Gods words, and carve them into a better faſhion for our inſtruction in the knowledge of him by our additions, detractions, limitations, and contradictions, as we think good (as they did his works by their inventions) we (as they) turn the truth of God into a lye,Rom. 1.25. and change the Glory of the incorrup­tible God, into an Image made to the capacity of corruptible men. I cannot but commend to thee therefore that of Eraſmus, Deſine diſ­ceptare, incipe credere ita citius intelliges; only I would have thee apply it to Gods words (not to mine or any mans elſe, but as they evi­dently agree with Gods) and ſo its one in meaning with what himſelf ſays. Iſa. 7.9.If thou wilt not believe, thou ſhalt not underſtand or be eſta­bliſhed, thou wilt either miſtake or be waved up and down with ſpeci­ous arguments; but in minding his ſayings and doing his will, in yield­ing up to him in the light and power he affords thee, thou ſhalt under­ſtand doctrines,John 7.17. whether they be of God or of men.

Of this alſo be thou admoniſhed, to prefer Gods ſayings before mans traditions, the Apoſtles expreſſions before mens gloſſes and lame dedu­ctions: for when men leave Gods word, to lean upon men, and have the fear of God taught them by their Traditions becauſe of their Authori­ty, learning or ſeeming Sanctity, God juſtly leaves them, and then they lean on to run into deluſion, infatuating their underſtandings, becauſe they refuſed to give glory to Him. But to ſpeak a word to thoſe par­ticulars.

1. For the matter of Election, I no whit deny it, nor doth it rightly looked on as the Scripture expreſſes it, any whit contradict the extent of Chriſts Death. I confeſs, that it was made either in Maſſa pura, or in Maſſa corrupta ſimply (as they ſpeak) I finde no where aſſerted, but in Chriſt, which I conceive holds forth a view of Chriſt, as mediator in the act of Election, as in him as mediator we are bleſſed, and ſo that the Election of believers was made in him, tanquam in Radice; as in Abra­ham, Iſaac, and Iacob, God choſe their ſeed the Iſraelites, ſo in Chriſt Jeſus in chooſing him in the manhood into unity with God, and to be the ſtore-houſe and treaſure of all divine bleſſings, he is ſaid to have choſen to the ſame priviledges (I mean by way of participation of his fulneſs) thoſe that after are brought into him, and believe on him. As he is in the humane nature, choſen to be the holy one of Iſrael (as united to the Divine) ſo we are choſen in him to be holy, a dedicate people, and ſelect portion for his inhabitation (as the Temple in that ſenſe with the Land and People of Iſrael were called holy) and to be blameleſs before him in love, that is, as preſented without blame and reproof in Chriſt, and to be made blameleſs by Chriſt, and ſo thoſe that are believers in Chriſt, are bleſſed, and were ſo choſen to bleſſing, holineſs and blameleſneſs in him from eternity; (as the preſent Freemen of Lynn might be ſaid to have been by foregoing Kings, choſen to ſuch priviledges as they have now, in the firſt chuſing it to be a Corporation, and in thoſe that were then made members of it, though many of theſe preſent members (per­haps all of them) were then in their progenitors other Country-men) ſo I ſay thoſe that are now belivers, were in Chriſt before the Worlds foundation, choſen to the priviledges they have in and by him, being alſo foreknown of God, both that they ſhould be in Chriſt, and as owned in Chriſt, and predeſtinuted in that his foreknowledge and own­ing to be made like his Son, whom in order of nature he had fore­ordained as their pattern to dye, riſe, and be glorified, in all which he ordained his foreknown ones, even them that believe in him ſhould be conformed to him, and unto which he called them, and in that confor­mity in ſufferings, juſtifies and maintains them, and (as he hath done, ſo yet) he doth bring them to glory with him. Yea in his calling men, we deny not his liberty of pulling in more powerfully, preſerving from general Apoſtacies, actuall chuſing and ordaining in his Son glorified to their hearts, whom he pleaſes, and as he pleaſes: but that either any company of men, as in themſelves, & as of the world, uncal­ed, are ever called (or ſignified by the word) Elect; much leſe that any were choſen to be the object of Chriſts death, and the others left out (Election being ever coupled with (or reſpecting) mens calling to Chriſt, and right to his priviledges, not Chriſts dying) I can no where finde in Scripture. Beſides that which is more ſecret and myſterious in his decree or dealings, we neither confound with what he hath done in the death of Chriſt for us and declares in the Goſpel to us as the object of our faith, or motive to believe, and that in which he ſo calls, puls in, and ſaveth according to his good pleaſure. Nor dare we make them to run croſs to the Scriptures, that more plainly declare his good will and love to men, acknowledging rather our want of capacity to comprehend thoſe more abſtruſe things, then daring to call in queſtion the extent of the truth of his other expreſſions that are more fitted to our underſtanding, and ſpeak to the more intelligible principles of Chriſtian Religion. Nor finde we warrant for making our narrow conceptions of thoſe more abſtruſe things of God (which are ever deli­vered in Scripture without any oppoſition to, or limitation of the things we treat of) to be the meaſure of, and to give limits to them: they that ſo do, both contradicting the Scripture expreſſions in the things we ſpeak to, and ſwarving alſo from them and their method in propound­ing and ſpeaking of thoſe things of Election and Reprobation by which they meaſure them.

2. For the Heathens that have not had the Goſpel opened to them, they put us needleſly upon that, to ſtumble men about the truth of our doctrine: for we could content our ſelves with the Scripture expreſ­ſions of all and every one, and the whole world, unlimitedly, without running into any nice ſpeculations; but when men propound that to us, I know not upon what ground we ſhould ſay, Chriſt died not for them, except the Scripture did in ſome place exclude them from being of that all, for which he dyed: if any man can finde an exception as to them, I ſhall liſten to it, but for my part I have not yet met with it. And to make exceptions without warrant in the word of God about the mat­ters of the Goſpels doctrine, I judg very dangerous. I know there are many cavils of reaſon which have ſome ſpecious colour for it, but they all amount to no more then thoſe admirations of its ignorance and enmi­ty in other caſes,2 Cor. 10.4. How can this thing be? they are but high imaginati­ons and thoughts, exalting themſelves againſt obedience to the faith of Jeſus,Math. 16.24. which are to be captivated to faith, not faith to them. Reaſon being a part of that ſelf of ours, which he that will be Chriſts Diſciple muſt deny, in what it would ſtop us from receiving the doctrines he pro­pounds to us. So that this is but a trick of Satan, to ſtir up men to caſt ſuch ſtumbling conſiderations in their own and others way, that they might not believe and have the benefit of the truth declared to them: to whom its beſt to ſay, Get thee behinde me Satan, to leave diſputing and inquiring into things more ſecret, and ſay either produce me ſome Scripture that ſaith, he dyed not for them, or elſe be ſilent. Its good in ſuch caſes to take what Chriſt ſaid to Peter, curiouſly inquiſitive after John, for a ſatisfactory anſwer. How God deals with them (further then the Scripture ſays) what is that to thee? they ſhall be found ex­cuſeleſs when Chriſt ſhall Judg them, and therefore follow thou Chriſt in the receit of his word and let not any ſeeming abſurdities, to thy rea­ſon, prevaile to impede thee. And ſo we might ſay to Mr. Owens Cui bono quaeſo? about them that periſh, what good doth the death of Chriſt to them? which reaſonings are but of the ſpawn of the Serpents wiſdom pretending to teach our reaſon the knowledg of good and evil from the beginning. Such a queſtion might have been as well made by many Iſraelites in the wilderneſs: might not reaſon thus have led them to argue, either God abſolutely willed to poſſeſs us all of Ca­naan, or only ſome few of us; if the firſt, how come ſo many of us to periſh ſhort of it, if the latter, then I pray, Cui bono? to what end, or what good was in the deliverance of the reſt from Egypt, ſeeing they had as good have dyed there, as have been conſumed in the Wilderneſs? Nay if our corrupt and blinde reaſon ſhall be umpire, then what Satan and unbelief ſuggeſts, is righter then what God himſelf ſaith, for did not the Iſraelites periſh in the Wilderneſs many of them (as their reaſon and unbelief ſuggeſted) and did they attain to Canaan, though that was the promiſe ſet before them? but as we ſaid before, Let God be true, and every man in his beſt wiſdom but a blinde fool and liar. We durſt not believe our carnal reaſonings against Gods word, nor exclude, inlarge, or limit his word by our own hearts dictates, but as we ſee God in other places inſtruct us to it. Not but that we can give reaſ­onable anſwers to their reaſons againſt Chriſts dying for the Hea­then; they being all faln in Adam, and the ſentence being executable upon them, and all men in him in the day that he ſinned, ſo that what life and mercies of life, with goodneſs leading to ſeek after God, and to repent, they do injoy, may well and neceſſarily be conceived to ſpring from Chriſts interpoſing himſelf as mediator and ranſome; But yet if any can ſhew that Chriſt died but for all in theſe latter times, or that the Goſpel is preached to, and ſhew it by Scripture proofs, we will be willing ſo to interpret thoſe general expreſſions, till when we cannot admit of that interpretation.

O,Object. but we muſt not believe Scriptures as they lye in their litteral expreſſions, for that is dangerous, and will introduce tranſubſtantiati­on, and to believe Chriſt to be a door, a vine, &c. there are in the Scriptures many figurative expreſſions.

To which I anſwer,Anſw. that this is another ſtumbling block caſt in our way, much what like to what the Papiſts uſed to object againſt the Scriptures being tranſlated into the Engliſh tongue, for fear the Bakers and Plawmen not underſtanding ſome paſſages, ſhould be diſ­heartned from, or miſcarry in their callings: things without any great ſhew of weight, worth other anſwering, then Mr. Latimer gave to Hubberdine. That in ſome places we are to take the Scripture as it lies, none that are ſober doubt. Now if this objection ſuit not to the Scriptures in general, but only to ſome places, then who ſhall tell us what they are in which it ſuits not? Sure the Apoſtles ſpeak plainly in laying the foundation truths that are propounded to bring men to be­lieve, for if the language there be ſtrange, who ſhall underſtand what it is that is ſaid? if the trumpet there give an uncertain ſound, who ſhall prepare himſelf to battel? Now this point we ſpeak of, namely the death of Chriſt, and for whom it is, is fundamental, and the propoſi­tions that the Apoſtle, the Teacher of the Gentiles lays down as the Teſtimony he Preached in the other parts of them, are very plain and perſpicuous; And that this only, that he gave himſelf a ranſom for all, ſhould be obſcure, is a groundleſs evaſion of them that do not believe the truth; ſeeing in their preachings of the Goſpel he himſelf tels us they put no vaile over their faces in their miniſtration, but manifeſt­ed the truth to every ones conſcience, which ſure they did not, if they ſpake ſo figuratively, that many might miſtake, and few could per­ceive their meaning, as is pretended. Its true, the Goſpel is a myſtery, but yet a myſtery now revealed; many things hard to be underſtood, ſays Peter, ſpeaking of Pauls writings, but thats ſpoken particularly in the things of Chriſts ſecond coming, the word is in the Original〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, not〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, in which things, not in which writings. Again the ſpeeches that are figurative, are generally conſpicuous by the maner of ſpeaking, as plain as Latimers Fox preaching in a Monkes Cowle, and ſometimes expreſly called parables, but no ſuch thing is conſpicuous in thoſe places, except in the alluſive words of ranſom and propitiation, nor will the places bear ſuch limitations as they ſpeak of, as the following Treatiſe proveth. As for that inference of tranſubſtantiation, we deny it (or the reſt) proveable upon that ſuppoſal; No one Scripture ſaying, that ei­ther Chriſt called the bread his body, or the cup he took in his hand his blood, more then that he ſaid to the Jews, deſtroy the Temple that he was walking in, John 2. but by this he might mean and indeed point to his preſent body, and by this Cup his preſent inſtant ſufferings that he was about to undergo, which the Scripture and himſelf alſo cals a Cup, and the Cup that his Father gave him, much leſs ſay they that the one or other was turned into his natural body or blood, nor is the parallel fair between the doctrines of the Goſpel preached, as the firſt principles of faith, and theſe Sacramental and more myſterious ſpeeches. Gen. 17.14, 15. with ver. 2, 3, 21.As inept it is almoſt as to make the Every fowl and beaſt that entered into the Ark, to be a fit expoſition of the Every man that Chriſt dyed for; whereas the Scripture there expreſly limits them to ſeavens, and to two and two of every kinde, and excludes the reſt, and there is no ſuch limitation to any ſums, numbers, qualities or conditions about Chriſts death; they would hiſs at men that ſhould produce ſuch places to parallel, and limit the All and Every that ſhall ariſe, or give an ac­count of themſelves to God by: which ſhews them to be〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉abſurd and fooliſh men in theſe their reaſonings for want of faith. Theſe and ſuch like rubs are ſorry Remoraes to any that are capable of under­ſtanding reaſon, and will Judg impartially in this controverſie.

3. For free will, we ſay that God deales not with men as with ſtocks and ſtones, and ſo much all generally grant us. But what other I pray are men, if their wils have no power or freedome given it of God to act this or that, but as external powers carry them? if they can only go quò fata trahunt, whether they are neceſſitated, can avoid no evil that they commit, or do no good that they neglect? And yet (good reader) mi­ſtake me not, I believe man hath no power but what is given him of God, either in naturalls or in ſpiritualls: nor any power or liberty to ſpi­ritual acts till ſome ſpiritual force or power come to him from God. That men are naturally dead in ſins and trespaſſes, and wholly ſtran­gers to the life of God, cannot come to Chriſt except God draw them; and when they are brought to him they cannot of themſelves, as of them­ſelves, think any good thought, thats right and approveable, without the grace of God. But I believe that God in naturals hath given men (as more underſtanding, ſo alſo) more liberty of choice then the bruit beaſts, & to them more then to inſenſitive creatures, and in reference to ſpiri­tual life, he hath and doth afford means to the natural man ſuited to his liberty and power, to make choice or refuſe to make uſe of, as to read the Scriptures, hear the word, look upon and view his works, &c. and we conceive, that though thoſe things have no natural ability in them to to ſave or ſpirituallize ſuch as uſe them, nor the acts of men in uſing them, can do any more thereto, then the blinde mans waſhing in cold water to open his eyes. Yet in as much as God uſeth to work in them as mediums: and ſends forth his Spirit with them to inlighten and draw men, they are juſtly guilty of their own deſtruction that neglect thoſe things when God affords them. Yea further, I underſtand and believe, that God by his goodneſs, and with and in thoſe means prevents men, and wroks in them, manifeſting his truth in them, and giving them a diſcerning apprehenſion of it, with convincing or drawing power; and that he then gives them ability to do what they could not before, as to acknowledg the folly he ſhews them, confeſs the truth and goodneſs he makes evident to them, ſtrive againſt the ways they ſee harm them, &c. though yet theſe are not ſpiritual acts of divine and Chriſt like life, they ſpringing from ſelf-love, and deſire of their own proper good, not out of love to God. But they, that when they are ſo prevented, and in ſuch preventions reproved, called, allured to liſten further to God in the means afforded, do ſtop their ears, cloſe their eyes, harden their hearts, impriſon the truth they ſee, and neglect to uſe the power given them in theſe ſtrivings of Gods truth with them, are juſtly guilty of their own deſtruction, ſhould God there leave them, and ſtrive no longer with them: and they that turn at ſuch reproofs, and liſten yet to the truth, that ſpeaks to them, and do not ſlothfully neglect the power and liberty therein given them, may meet (yea are in the way to meet) with further operations of the truth to convert and heal them, to give life, yea di­vine principles of life, hope in God, and faith in God to them; he having ſaid, that ſuch as turn at his reproofs ſhall have the Spirit poured upon them, and his words made known to them, and they that liſten to him (though dead) ſhall live, &c. and that meerly out of his grace and good will toward them, not out of either merits of Congruity or Condignity found in them. Though that God paſſes by many rebellions in ſuch caſes, and out of more abundant love, where he pleaſes, draws more prevailingly even thoſe that have more rebelled, & many times paſſes by thoſe that have leſs, may be eaſily proved And wherein this, or any thing in this, either contradicteth or jarreth with the Scriptures, I as yet ſee not. That men may exerciſe or uſe their inatural faculties in the things in which God uſeth to ſhine in light to men as well as in others, as to hear the word, as well as to hear other diſcourſes, I ſee no ground of denying, though they cannot hear with ſuch pleaſure and delight as they do other things, till ſomething there heard doth take them, yet hear they may; and mens negligence in ſuch things is called ſlothfulneſs (which ſtands not in a mans not doing what he cannot, but in not aſ­ſaying to do according to liberty and might) and rebellion, when joyned with wilfulneſs. Now whereas its ſaid, that ſhould men do to the utmoſt what they can, by that light and power given, yet that their doing would not ſave them. To that I anſwer, that its not material, for firſt, as to the buſineſs in hand, its enough that they have power and liberty from God to do more then they do. 2. Its granted, that no act that God gives any man power to do, can ſave him by its ſelf. Its not of him that willeth, or of him that runneth,Rom. 9.6. but of God that ſheweth mercy: but is not he that bids them liſten to him, and gives them light to ſee and diſcern ſuch truths, and motion to own and follow them, able to ſave them? or doth he any where give any intimation, that upon their acting forth in theſe his workings in and with them, according to the power and liberty he gives, he will refuſe to do any thing more for them, by which they ſhould be brought nearer to him, ſo as they might be ſaved? If they have, then indeed they may well be ſlothful, and ſay, I had as good ſtay where I am, and ſtifle what I ſee, for yeelding up to it will not ſave me, nor will God do any thing to that purpoſe further for me, and ſo their ſlothfulneſs and rebellion may finde ſome excuſe; If not, then it appertaines to them to hear his voice, and (as Caleb ſaid in another caſe) only not to re­bel, nor be ſlothful, and let God alone with what pertains further to their eternal welfare; which if they refuſe to do, they have no excuſe, in as much as for ought they know, and that God hath ſaid to the con­trary (nay rather by what he ſays he would have done for others, had they harkened to his voice, they might hopefully conceive that) he would have revealed greater things to them,Pſal. 1.14, 15. Iſa. 48.17, 18. and put forth greater acts of power about them, and ſo have ſaved them. So that they cannot ex­cuſe themſelves with pleading, as the evil ſlothful ſervant (and as many teach men to plead) that God is a hard Maſter, gathering where he ſtrawed not, and reaping where he ſowed not, they cannot ſay he refuſed to give them faith, and further grace or knowledg of himſelf, requiſite to ſave them; ſeeing they were unfaithful in that ta­lent he gave them, which had they improved as he willed and inabled them, they might have had more for ought they or any know, given them. That ſuch are Gods dealings with men, as are above declared, many Scriptures intimate, as that he manifeſts his truth in them, and they ſay to him, Depart from us, &c. His goodneſs leads men to repen­tance, they ſhut their eyes, and cloſe their ears, leaſt they ſhould ſee, hear, underſtand, and be converted, and ſo God ſhould heal them, for which things God alſo many times in juſt judgment blindes, deafs and hardens them too, and ſeals them up to their deſtruction, but he firſt ſtrives with men, and reproves them, bids them turn at his re­proofs, and he will pour out his ſpirit upon them, and tells them when he gives them up, it was becauſe they would none of him, would not hear him, would not chuſe his fear, liked not to have the know­ledg of him, and ſayes, had they hearkened to him, their peace had been as the Rivers, and their righteouſneſs as the waves of the ſea, and he would have done thus and thus for them with many ſuch like ex­preſſions: but that any Scripture ſays, that as men are naturally dead in ſins and trespaſſes, ſo he manifeſts no truth to them, or gives no power with that truth manifeſted by which they might grope after him, would not, did they walk out in what he gives them, give any more knowledg of Himſelf or Son unto them, and would not bring them to believe, &c. We are yet to learn: or that ever any did ſo, and were there left by him notwithſtanding, and were condemned by him. Theſe things I ſay we neither finde plainly expreſſed in Scripture, nor dark­lier intimated.

And that this derogates at all from Gods glory, or liberty to ſhew more mercy, as, and where he pleaſes, I would fain have any man to de­monſtrate to me. Yea, I appeale to any equal Judg, whether this clears not the equity of Gods way far more, and ſuits not better with the Scripture expreſſions, then to ſay, he gives them no ſuch power or li­berty, and yet condemns them for not doing what they no waies might have done, and doing what was no waies to be avoided by them, requi­ring of men to act out all that ſtrength that in Adam was given, and puniſhing them as they fail in that. Surely by the rule Jew and Gentile ſhould both alike be puniſhed (they both equally by nature being deſti­tute of that righteouſnes and ſtrength) and not one more then another, according to more or leſs now vouchſafed to them. So that this Ob­jection about free will is a meer rub caſt in thy way too; no ſuch con­cluſion being provable by Scripture, as that God gives to many men no power or liberty to do any thing that he requiers of them, or that did they conſtantly act forth according to what he gives them, yet he would do nothing more to them, that would lead them to ſalvation; or that Chriſt dyed only for ſuch as he gives liberty to, ſo as to bring them in actually and effectually to believe on him, and be ſaved by him, as ſhall be ſeen in the enſuing Anſwers to Maſter Owen. As for other queſtions [as whether any be brought to ſalvation by God, that improve that liberty he gives them? or any that are not more extraordinarily over-powred by him?] as they are matters of curioſity, by which many men detain themſelves from doing that that God ſets before them, and from ſtriving to enter the ſtrait gate for their particulars, ſo I ſhall wave them, and draw to a concluſion.

Only whereas by mentioning the ſtrait gate, I am minded of another ſtumble that ſome hit on, viz. That this doctrine makes the way to hea­ven broader then God hath made it, and the gate wider, and tends to daube up men with untempered morter, and to heal their hurts ſlight­ly; Objections that I hear ſometimes urged with that pretence and con­fidence of ſtrength in them, that a man would judg them to have ſome weight indeed, though I rather pity, and could lament their miſtakes, then admire their acuteneſs in ſuch charges: I ſhall briefly ſay a word or two thereto. Ʋnderſtand therefore I pray thee, that the ſtraitneſs of a gate ſtands not in this, that its opened but for a few, nor the wide­neſs of it, in that its opened for many; a narrow gate or paſſage may be expoſed to, and open for all, or for any that will go through it, and a wider paſſage may ſtand open but for few: beſides its not here as in other doors or gates, that the throng of paſſengers preſſes men, and makes them finde hard entrance: No, in this ſpiritual gate the more enterers the eaſier, the number of believers rather facilitates the paſſage, then makes it difficult; but the narrowneſs of the gate ſtands in this, that this grace expoſed to all, hath ſuch operations upon them that enter it, to empty and abaſe them in themſelves, and for denying their wiſdom, righ­teouſneſs, reaſon, confidence in works; and the enterers of it meet with ſuch calumnies, reproaches, ſufferings, &c. that its difficult to be en­tred, few can finde in their hearts to ſtoop to ſuch abaſement and ſuf­ferings as it leads to; Chriſt is a ſtrait gate, as rubbing ſo much of man off in their liſtening to him and walking after him, not in his being given for but a few of men, for if that was the ſtraitneſs of it, he might be wide enough for them that he died for, and they might finde no dif­ficulty in entring into God by him. As for daubing up ſouls with untem­pered morter, and healing their hurts ſlightly, there might indeed be ſome colour of charging us with it, if we taught men as they do, That all that Chriſt died for, ſhall certainly be ſaved, and no ſin imputed to them, or if we only told men that Chriſt died for them all; but we de­liver no ſuch doctrine as the firſt, nor finde juſt ground for it by any Scripture-expreſſion, and beſides the latter, we in preaching the Goſpel endeavour to bring men to ſee their need of having Chriſt, in that they cannot have life but in having him, and in being emptied of themſelves, and found in him, and ſo we endeavour to bring men to that ſelf-emptineſs of wiſdom, ſtrength and righteouſ­neſs of their own, which they who thus object are many of them afraid to be brought to, which is the wounding work of the Goſpel, which when they are brought to, we apply no other plaiſter to them, then Chriſts ſufferings,Zech. 13.10. Gal. 2.20, 21. Rom. 3.3. by thoſe we endeavour both to wound men in diſcovering the hainouſneſs of their ſins thereby, and their emptineſs of true righteouſneſs and wiſdom, which things are beſt to be ſeen in his croſs; and again, to heale them, in ſetting before them the greatneſs of Gods love therein toward them, and the incouragement it affordeth to wait on him for giving forth his Spirit to them, to unite them to his Son, and ſo to impart his Sons priviledges to them, which when they are brought to, their ſores are truly healed; for if this be to heal them ſlightly, and the blood and grace of Chriſt be but untempered morter, then I know not wherewith truly to heal them; for my part, I deſire healing to my ſoul by no o­ther Medicine: Their daubings that tell ſouls they may know that Chriſt loves them by their good deſires and indeavours, ſtrifts and labours, from hope in, and by which, ſouls ſhould rather be taken, my ſoul abhorreth; they being indeed but untempered morter that God appointed not for mens reſt and healing. They are thoſe dawbings that make many believe that they are in Chriſt already, who have no more then what the Phariſee (Luke 18.11. ) and the falſe Apoſtles (2 Cor. 10.7. ) boaſted of, who truſted in themſelves, that they were Chriſts, The direct way which) by nurſing up ſouls in ſelf confidence that they are in Chriſt) keeps many a ſoul from coming unto Chriſt, and ſeek­ing throughly after Chriſt, for which ſuch daubers ſhall one day anſwer.

But I have exceeded the bounds of an Epiſtle. I ſhall ſay no more as to the doctrine, only why I rather anſwered to Maſter Owen, then any other, I give thee theſe reaſons. The good report I heard of him for ingenuity and learning, and the high eſteemes this his book had with many, the freeneſs of it from ingaging any one particular, more then ſome others lightly publiſht, and the deſire of a worſhipful, and loving friend or two, that I would peruſe it, made me rather give it theſe en­ſuing Anſwers; the ſubſtance of others being alſo in it, ſo that in Anſwering him, little of them can be ſaid to be un­anſwered. I confeſs, at firſt I thought only to overthrow his main pillars upon which his diſcourſe leaneth, and leave his Arguments to fall with them; but finding it his deſire, that the anſwer would not only vellicare, ſpeak but to here and there a paſſage; to avoid that imputation, I armed my ſelf with a little more patience, and went through with it Chapter by Chapter, as thou ſeeſt, only omitting that occaſional diſcourſe againſt ſome Socinians that in his third book he inſerteth, it having nothing in it againſt me, but rather on my ſide.

I know that I am no whit worthy to be compared with him in learning, ſo called, in which both time, opportunities, and his own diligence have given him much ſuperiority and advantage over me. But I hope I am not behinde hand with him in fair dealing with, and pertinent ſpeaking to an argument. What I have done in this Anſwer, and whether I have refelled his Ar­guments or not, I muſt leave to thy judgment.

If thou findeſt it unſatisfactory (as I hope to intelligent and impartiall men it will not be) judge it rather my weakneſs in handling the matter, then the cauſes wrongneſs; accept my in­deavours, and paſs by my infirmities. In fairneſs of language I conceive I am not ſhort of him, though I may be in elegancy of expreſſion. If upon reading this Treatiſe, thou beeſt perſwa­ded of the truth of what it defendeth, reſt not in the bare be­lief of it, as if that was enough for thee, but follow on to in­quire and ſeek after God, that hath ſuch good will toward thee; and walk out in what he diſcovers of himſelf to thee, that ſo he may be pleaſed to diſcover himſelf more to thee, and draw thee by his Spirit into union with, and conformity to his Son, that thou mayeſt have the utmoſt healing that the death of Chriſt brings to the believer, even ſalvation, with eternal glory. The right uſe of truth is in being lead from the world and thy own ſelf to God by it, and ſo attaining the end propounded to thee in it.

If thou, not liking what is writ wilt, reply upon me, I deſire thee to do it ſoberly, and as a ſeeker of truth rather then of victory, bate pride and paſſion, which will but darken thine underſtanding, and nothing advantage thee in thy anſwering; and take heed leſt for fear of loſing thine honour, or for deſire to get any, thou robbeſt God of the honour of his truth, and ſhutteſt thine eyes againſt thoſe flaſhes of his light that he darts into thee. Better loſe thine honour, then ingage againſt Gods truth for it.

If thou likeſt the truth pleaded for, but findeſt defect or wri­neſs in any of my expreſſions in aſſerting it, I ſhall be wil­ling to be helpt to ſee better by thy ſpectacles, if thou pleaſeſt to lend them me. In a word, I ſay to thee with the Poet,

Si quid noviſti rectius iſtis,
Candidus imperti; Si non, his utere mecum.

And ſo committing thee, with my ſelf, and this enſuing Treatiſe to Gods protection, I remain

Thy friend and ſervant in the Goſpel of Chriſt Jeſus, John Horn.

ΘΥΡΑ ΑΝΕΩΓΜΕΝΗ., OR A VINDICATION OF THE RECORD of GOD, Concerning The extent of the Death of Chriſt, in Anſwer to Mr. Iohn Owen of Cogſhall in Eſſex.

The Preface.

WHereas God (who is love it ſelf) beholding mankinde faln, and through the ſubtlety of the Serpent plunged into death and miſery, was pleaſed out of pitty towards him, to finde out a way for his recovery, even to ſend forth his own proper Son, his Word and Wiſdom, to take upon him the nature of man ſo faln, with the infirmities, weakneſſes, death and miſery attending it (yea the whole puniſhment that the ſin of man had in that fall contracted to it) that ſo he dying for man, man might be delivered out of that death; and life and immortality might be again brought to light; yea, whereas the Son of God2 having accordingly given himſelf a ranſom for all, it hath pleaſed the Father (out of the ſame love he bare to man in ſending him) further to provide for his good, in exalting this his Son that ſuffer­ed, and making him Lord and Chriſt, a Prince and Saviour, one that ſhould have (and anſwerably hath) power and authority over all things, and Salvation in him; authority and fitneſs to ſave and deliver out of evil, and to bring to life and glory, whoever of the perſons of men liſten and look to him for Salvation; whoever obey his Word, ſubmit to his Spirit, and give up themſelves to be ordered by him; and to that end hath in theſe laſt dayes given forth a commiſſion, to certain Elected and choſen perſons, appointed for that purpoſe by him, to be his Witneſſes and Em­baſſadors to the whole world in general, to proclaim, publiſh, and declare this that God hath done, in, and by Chriſt Jeſus for them, and to let them know his good will toward them, that he would not that any of them ſhould periſh, but all come to Repentance, and to the knowledg, or acknowledgment of his truth, that they might be ſaved (to which end he hath alſo given and conſtituted his Son to be a witneſs, and a Leader to conduct them to Salvati­on) and upon theſe grounds hath willed them to exhort, command, intreat, and urge all and every man (as they have opportunity to it) to accept this grace, believe the Goſpel, repent and turn to God from their dead works, and from their follies, and to Jeſus as the only one conſtituted by him to be his Salvation, even to the ends of the earth. So it is, that ſince theſe holy men of God, to whom the tenor of the Goſpel and doctrine of truth was firſt committed, have faln aſleep, the vigilant and wicked enemy of man­kinde hath not only through his ſubtlety prevailed with multitudes of thoſe men to whom this proclamation hath been made, to reject, perſecute, and put away this Embaſſage, both from themſelves and peoples under them, and poſterities ſucceeding them, and with many others to be ſlothful, and not to take care to propagate this Doctrine of their Lord and Maſter, but alſo by occaſion of this wickedneſs, and ſlothfulneſs of men, many that pretend them­ſelves to be underſtanding men, and ſervants of God unto their brethren, have come with a counter-doctrine pretending to have better inſight into the minde of God, then the letter of the Apoſto­lical preaching doth hold forth (even as at firſt Satan pretended to the woman to have a more ſublime knowledg of the minde of3 God and to teach her better underſtanding of it then in the ſimple belief of Gods words to them, they had attained) telling men that God ſent not his Son for all of them, but only for here and there one, they nor any man elſe not knowing who they be, and that Chriſt gave himſelf only for them, and for no others: and this they pretend to have from a more Seraphical underſtanding of a more ſecret will of God, by which means they both contradict the tenor of the holy Commiſſion delivered out to his Saints, and left by them upon record for us, by the inſtinct of his ſpirit; and take away thoſe certain and more excellent grounds, motives, and in­ducements to believe, repent, ſeek after, and love God, which that Commiſſion affordeth, making the Goſpel to give ſuch an uncertain ſound, that none can by it be induced to prepare himſelf to battel, as is more largely ſhewed in the Epiſtle to the Reader. In which doing they greatly deny, at leaſt diſſerve the Lord that bought them, in that in ſtead of making him lovely to all, and an object meet for all to commit themſelves to, and forſake all for the worſhipping and confeſſing of, they render it doubtful what one hath cauſe ſo to do, and not rather to hate him as a fore (yea eternal) hater of them, that had ſuch deſire to their miſery, as therefore to create them, yea therefore to do all that he doth about them, that they might at laſt for ever be more heavily tormented by him. So that they do herein as a company of ſlaves or perſidious Traitors ſhould do to a King, who having made open proclamation of ſatisfaction received by the hand of ſome Prince,