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quence, that saints have strong inclinations to righteousness, therefore they have not so to sin, for my part I will forbear for ever disputing with him. If he can beat us, not only froin Scripture, but from all our spiritual sense and experience, doubtless it is to no purpose to contend any longer with him. Hence, then,

,He inferreth that “to abstain from sinning,"—that is, sinning customarily and against conscience, so as to endanger the loss of the favour of God,—“is no such great mastery, no such matter of difficulty, to such men.” This abstaining from such sins on the one hand is the whole course of our gospel obedience; which, it seemeth, however it be compared to "running in a race," "striving for masteries,” and be called "resisting unto blood," " wrestling with principalities and powers," and requiring for its carrying on “the exceeding greatness of the

power of God,” with suitable “ help in time of need” from Jesus Christ, who is sensible of the weight of it, as no small matter, knowing what it is to “serve God in temptations,” yet is it indeed but a trifling thing, a matter of no great difficulty or mastery. Do men watch, pray, contend, fight, wrestle with God and Satan? Doth the Lord put forth his power, and the Lord Jesus Christ continually intercede, for the preservation of the saints? “Ad quid perditio hæc?" To whai end is all this toil and labour about a thing of little or no weight? “Egregiam vero laudem!” We know, indeed, the “yoke of Christ is easy, and his commandments not grievous; that we can do all things through him that enableth us:" but to make gospel obedience so slight a thing that it is no great mastery, or matter of no great commendation to hold out in it to the end, this we were to learn till now, and are as yet slow of heart to receive it.

The conclusion is, “lö, Paan, vicimus." “ All things impartially weighed, the case is ours, and godliness exceedingly promoted by the doctrine of the possibility of the saints' defection ("Ozep du deičar), and the corrival of it an enemy to it;"—to prove which not one word in the argument hath been spoken, nor to free the other from a charge of a direct contrary importance, one word to the purpose. And of Mr Goodwin's sixth argument for his doctrine of the apostasy of saints, this is the end.

But this is not all he hath to say in this case in hand. Indeed the main design of his whole 13th chapter, consisting of forty-one sections, and about so many pages in his book, and containing all which, in an argumentative way, he insisteth on in the case in hand, looketh this way; and therefore, having already plucked away one of the main props of that discourse, I shall apply myself to take away those which do remain, that the whole may justly fall to the ground, and therefore shall, as briefly as I can, consider the whole of that discourse, containing nine arguments against the perseverance of saints, for the possibility of their total and final defection.

CHAPTER XII.

OBJECTIONS TO THE DOCTRINE REFUTED.

Mr G.'s entrance and preface to his arguments from the apostasy of the saints

considered— The weakness of his first argument - The import of it—Answer to that first argument-Doctrine may pretend to give God the glory of being no accepter of persons, and yet be false—Justification by works of that rank and order—Acceptation of persons, what, and wherein it consisteth-No place for it with God—Contrary to distributive justice—The doctrine of the saints’ perseverance charged with rendering God an accepter of persons unjustly, What it says looking this way— The sum of the charge against it considered and removed—Mr G.'s second argument, and the weight by him hung thereon

- The original of this argument_By whom somewhat insisted on- - The argument itself in his words proposed—Of the use and end of the ministryWhether weakened by the doctrine of perseverance-Entrance into an answer to that argument—The foundation laid of it false, and why-It falsely imposeth on the doctrine of perseverance sundry things by it disclaimed—The first considered— The iniquity of those impositions farther discovered— The true state of the difference as to this argument declared— The argument rectified–The re-enforcement of the minor attempted and considered— The manner of God's operations with and in natural and voluntary agents compared—Efficacy of grace and liberty in man consistent-An objection to himself framed by Mr G.–That objection rectified—Perseverance, how "absolutely and simply necessary,” how not—The removal of the pretended objection farther insisted on by Mr G.–That discourse discussed, and manifested to be weak and sophistical—The consistency of exhortations and promises farther cleared— The manner of the operation of grace in and upon the wills of men considered— The inconsistency of exhortations with the efficacy of grace disputed by Mr G.–That discourse removed, and the use of exhortations farther clearedObedience to them twofold, habitual, actual_Of the physical operation of grace and means of the word— Their compliance and use—How the one and the other affect the will—Inclination to persevere when wrought in believers—Of the manner of God's operation on the wills of men.-Mr G.'s discourse and judgi considered-Effects follow, as to their kind, their next causes—The same act of the will physical and moral upon several accounts—Those accounts considered— God, by the real efficacy of the Spirit, produceth in us acts of the will morally good—That confirmed from Scripture -Conclusion from thence-Of the terms “physical,” “ moral,” and “necessary," and their use in things of the nature under consideration–Moral causes of physical effects—The concurrence of physical and moral causes for producing the same effect — The efficacy of grace and exhortations—“ Physical” and “necessary,” how distinguished—“Moral” and “not necessary” confounded by Mr G.-Mr G.’s farther progress considered—What operation of God on the will of man he allows—All physical operation by him excluded—Mr G.'s sense of the difference between the working of God and a minister on the will, that it is but gradual; considered and removed—All working of God on the will by him confined to persuasion-Persuasion gives no strength or ability to the person persuaded—All immediate actings of God to good in men by Mr G. utterly excluded—Wherein God's persuading men doth consist, according to Mr G. -I Cor. iii. 9 considered_Of the concurren

ence of divers agents to the production of the same effect—The sum of the seventh section of chap. xiii. — The will, how necessitated, how frre-In what sense Mr G. allows God's per

suasions to be irresistible—The dealings of God and men ill compared--Paul's exhortation to the use of means, when the end was certain, Acts xxvii. 21-36, considered—God deals with men as men, exhorting them; and as corrupted men, assisting them—Of promises of temporal things, whether all conditionalWhat condition in the promise made to Paul, Acts xxvii. 24—Farther of that promise; its infallibility and means of accomplishment—The same considerations farther prosecuted—Of promises of perseverance and exhortations to perform in conjunction-Mr G.'s opposition hereunto–Promises and exhortations in conjunction-1 Cor. x. 12, 13 discussed—An absolute promise of perseverance therein evinced-Phil. ii. 12, 13, to the same purpose, considered—Mr G.'s interpretation of that place proposed, removed—Heb. vi. 4-6, 9, to the same purpose insisted on—Of the consistency of threatenings with the promises of perseverance-Mr G.'s opposition hereunto considered and removed—What promises of perseverance are asserted; how absolute and infrustrable-Fear, of hell and punishment twofold—The fear intended to be ingenerated by threatenings not inconsistent with the assurance given by promises—Five considerations about the use of threatenings—The first, etc. --Hypocrites, how threatened for apostasy—Of the end and aim of God in threateninys–Of the proper end and efficacy of threatenings with reference unto true believers—Fear of hell and punishment, how far a principle of obedience in the saints Of Noah's fear, Heb. xi. 7-Mr G.'s farther arguings for the efficacy of the fear of hell unto obedience in the saints proposed, considered, removed-1 John iv. 18 considered_Of the obedience of saints to their heavenly Father, compared to the obedience of children to their natural parents—Mr G.'s monstrous conception about this thing—How fear and love are principles of obedience, and in what sense That which is done from fear not done willingly nor cheerfully-How fear, and what fear, hath torment_Of the nature and use of promises—Close of the answer to this argument.

It will be needless to use many words unto the discourse of the first section, seeing it will not in the least prejudice our cause in hand to leave Mr Goodwin in full possession of all the glory of the rhetoric thereof; for although I cannot close with him in the exposition given of that expression, 1 Tim. vi. 16, “God inhabiteth light inaccessible,” something, in my weak apprehension, much more glorious and divine being comprised therein than what it is here turned aside unto (neither am I in the least convinced of the truth oñs & Toddsws of the former discourse, in the close of the whole, asserting a deliverance to be obtained from our thoughts of the doctrine of the defection of the saints, which he intimateth to be [evangelical], that it is anti-evangelical, tormenting, and bringing souls under bondage, by a narrow and unprejudicate search into it, finding myself every day more and more confirmed in thoughts of that kind concerning it by my engagement into such an inquiry, which hath been observed in this present discourse as far as my weakness will permit), yet it being not in the least argumentative, but, for the whole frame and intendment of it, commune exordium, and that which any man of any opinion in the world might make use of, I shall not insist upon

it.

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His second section containeth his first argument, drawn forth in the defence of his doctrine of the “possibility” (as he calleth it, but indeed what it is we have heard) “of the defection of believers.” Of this I presume he intended no more use but (as a forlorn) to begin a light skirmish with his adversaries, ordering it to retreat to his main body advancing after, or desperately casting it away, to abate the edge of his combatants' weapons, it is so weak and feeble; and therefore I shall be very brief in the consideration of it. Thus, then, he proposeth it:

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

Ans. The first proposition must be supposed universal, or else the whole will quickly be manifested to be unconclusive. If it be only indefinite, and so equivalent, as it lieth, to a particular, the conclusion is from all particulars, and of no force, as Mr Goodwin well knoweth. Take it universally, and I say it is evidently false, and might easily be disproved by innumerable instances. Not that any error or falsehood can indeed give God the glory of any one of his attributes, but that they may be fitted and suited for such a service, were not their throats cut and their mouths stopped by the lies that are in them; which Mr Goodwin's doctrine is no less liable to than any other, and not at all exempted from that condition by its seeming subserviency unto God's aprosopolepsia. Doth not the doctrine of justification by works, even in the most rigid sense of it, according to the tenor of the old covenant, absolutely render God free from the unrighteousness of accepting of persons? and yet, for all that, it hath not one jot the more of truth in it, nor is it the less anti-evangelical. This foundation, then, being removed, whatever is built upon it mole ruit suá. Neither is it in any measure restored or laid anew by the reason of it given by Mr Goodwin, namely," That the Scripture

“ affirmeth in sundry places that God is no accepter of persons;" for he that shall hence conclude that whatever doctrine affirmeth, directly or by consequence, that God is no accepter of persons, whatever other abomination it is evidently teeming withal, is yet true and according to the mind of God, shall have leave, notwithstanding the antiquated statute of our university against it, to go and read logic at Stamford. On this account do but prove that a doctrine be not guilty of any one crime, and you may conclude that it is guilty of none.

For instance, that doctrine which impeacheth not the omnipresence of the Deity is true and according to the Scripture, for the Scripture aboundeth with clear testimonies of the presence of God in all places; now the doctrine of the ubiquity of the human

nature of Christ doth no way impeach the omnipresence of the Deity: therefore it is true and according to Scripture!

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

Prosopolepsia, or accepting of persons, is an evil in judgment, when he who is to determine in causes of righteousness hath respect to personal things, that concern not the merit of the cause in hand, and judgeth accordingly. This properly can have no place in God as to any bestowing of free grace, mercy, or pardon. There is room made for it only when the things that are bestowed or wrought by it are such as in justice are due; it being an iniquity solely and directly opposed to distributive justice, that rendereth to every one according to what is righteous and due.' That with God there be no accepting of persons there is no more required but this, that he appoint and determine equal punishments to equal faults, and give equal rewards to equal deservings. If he will dispose of his pardoning mercy and free grace to some in Christ, not to others, who shall say unto him, “What doest thou?" May he not do what he will with his own? So he giveth a penny to him that laboureth all day, he may give a penny also to him that worketh but one hour. Now, suppose that Mr Goodwin's doctrine render God free from this (or rather chargeth him not with it), yet if withal it calleth his truth, righteousness, faithfulness, oath, and immutability into question, shall it pass for a truth, or be embraced ever the sooner?

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

But wherein is the common doctrine of perseverance" guilty of this great crime? It teacheth that “he that believeth shall be saved, and he that believeth not shall be damned.” It teacheth that God hath allotted equal punishments to equal transgressions, and appointed

· Exod. xxiii. 2, 3, 6-9; Job xxxi. 34.'

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