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ARGUMENT AGAINST THE DOCTRINE FROM THE SINS OF BELIEVERS.
Mr G.'s fifth argument for the apostasy of true believers—The weight of this argument
taken from the sins of believers-The difference between the sins of believers and
unregenerate persons proposed to consideration, James i. 14, 15–The rise and pro-
gress of lust and sin- The fountain of all sin in all persons is lust, Rom. vii. 7-
Observations clearing the difference between regenerate and unregenerate persons
in their sinning, as to the common fountain of all sin-The first—The second, of the
universality of lust in the soul by nature—The third, in two inferences: the first,
unregenerate men sin with their whole consent; the second inference, concerning the
reign of sin and reigning sin-The fourth, concerning the universal possession of the
soul by renewing grace-The fifth, that true grace bears rule wherever it be-Infer-
ences—The first, that in every regenerate person there are diverse principles of all
moral operations-Rom. vii. 19-22 opened-The second, that sin cannot reign in a re-
generate person- The third, that regenerate persons sin not with their whole consent
- Answer to the argument at the entrance proposed-Believers never sin with their
whole consent and wills-Mr U.'s attempt to remove the answer-His exceptions
considered and removed-Plurality of wills in the same person, in the Scripture
sense-Of the opposition between flesh and Spirit-That no regenerate person sins
with his full consent proved—of the Spirit and his lustings in us-The actings of
the Spirit in us free, not suspended on any conditions in us-Mr G.'s discourse
of the first and second motions of the Spirit considered- The same considerations
farther carried on-Peter Martyr's testimony considered - Rom. vii. 19-22 considered
-Difference between the opposition made to sin in persons regenerate and that
argued--Of the sense of Rom. vii., and in what sense
believers do the works of the flesh-The close of these considerations—The answer
to the argument at the entrance of the chapter opened–The argument new formed
-The major proposition limited and granted, and the minor denied— The proof of
the major considered—Gal. v. 21; Eph. v. 5, 6; 1 Cor. vi. 9, 10-Believers how con-
cerned in comminations—Threatenings proper to unbelievers for their sins-Farther
objections proposed and removed-of the progress of lust in tempting to sin-The
effect of lust in temptations-Difference between regenerate and unregenerate per-
sons as to the tempting of lust: 1. In respect of universality; 2. Of power-Objec-
tions answered-Whether believers sin only out of infirmity-Whether believers
may sin out of malice and with deliberation-Of the state of believers who upon
their sin may be excommunicated-Whether the body of Christ may be dismem-
bered-What body of Christ it is that is intended-Nr G.'s thoughts to this pur-
pose examined-Mr G.'s discourse of the way whereby Christ keeps or may keep his
members examined-Members of Christ cannot become members of Satan-1 Cor.
vi. 15 considered-Of the sense and use of the word čpas-Christ takes his members
out of the power of Satan, gives up none to him-Repetition of regeneration asserted
by the doctrine of apostasy-The repetition disproved-Mr G.'s notion of regenera-
soluble-The farther progress of lust for the production of sin—Drawing away, what
it is The difference between regenerate and unregenerate persons in their being
drawn away by lust-Farther description of him who is drawn away by lust-Of lust's
enticing-How far this may befall regenerate men- 1-To do sin, Rom. vii., what it in.
tendeth-Lust conceiving, wherein it consists-Of the bringing forth of sin, and how
far the saints of God may proceed therein-1 John iii. 9 opened—The scope of the
place discovered -The proposition in the words universal - Inferences—The subject
TIIE BEARING OF THE DOCTRINE OF THE SAINTS' APOSTASY ON THEIR CONSOLATION.
Mr G.'s seventh argument, about the tendency of the doctrine of the saints' apostasy
as to their consolation, considered - What that doctrine offereth for the consolation
of the saints stated–The impossibility of its affording the least true consolation
manifested–The influence of the doctrine of the saints' perseverance into their con-
solation-The medium whereby Mr G. confirms his argument examined—What kind
of nurse for the peace and consolation of the saints the doctrine of apostasy is -
Whether their obedience he furthered by it-What are the causes and springs of
true consolation-Mr G.'s eighth argument proposed to consideration-Answer there.
unto-The minor proposition considered–The Holy Ghost not afraid of the saints'
iniscarriages - The confirmation of his minor proposition proposed and considered-
The discourse assigned to the Holy Ghost by Mr G., according to our principles,
considered Exceptions against it-The foundation of Mr G.'s pageant everted— The
procedure of the Holy Ghost in exhortations, according to our principles-Sophisms
in the former discourse farther discovered-His farther plea in this case proposed,
considered -The instance of Christ and his obedience considered and vindicated, as
to the application of it to the business in hand-Mr G.'s last argument examined -
1 John ii. 19 explained-Argument from thence for the perseverance of the saints
-Mr G.'s cxceptions thereunto considered and removed – The same words farther
pursued - Mr G.'s consent with the Remonstrants manifested by his transcriptions
from their Synodalin -Our argument from 1 John ii. 19 fully cleared-The conclu.
sion of the examination of Mr G.'s arguments for the apostasy of the saints, 578
A REVIEW OF PASSAGES IN SCRIPTORE ADDUCED TO PROVE THE APOSTASY OF SAINTS.
The cause of proceeding in this chapter-Mr G.'s attempt, chap. xii. of his book--Of
the preface to Mr G.'s discourse-Whether doctrine renders men proud and pre-
sumptuous --Mr G.'s rule of judging of doctrines called to the rule-Doctrine pre-
tending to promote godliness, how far an argument of the truth-Mr G.'s pretended
advantages in judging of truths examined–The first, of his knowledge of the general
course of the Scriptures-Of the experience of his own heart-And his observations
of the ways of others-Of his rational abilities-- Ezek. xviii. 24, 25, proposed to con-
sideration-Mr G.'s sense of this place—The words opened-An entrance into the
answer to the argument from hence-The words hypothetical, not absolute-Mr G.'s
answer proposed and considered - Whether the words are hypothetical- The severals
of the text considered-The "righteous man" spoken of, whom - Mr G.'s proof of his
interpretation of a “righteous man" considered-Dr Prideaux's sense of the right-
eous person here intended considered-Of the commination in the words “Shall
die”-The sense of the words-- What death intended-Close of the consideration
of the text insisted on--Matt xviii. 32-35, taken into a review--Whether the love
of God be mutable-What the love of God is-1 Cor. ix. 27; in what sense it was
possible for Paul to become a reprobate-The proper sense of the place insisted on
manifested-Of the meaning of the word é dózijos --The scope of the place farther
cleared-Heb. vi. 4-8, n. 26–29, proposed to consideration- Whether the words be
conditional – The genuine and true meaning of the place opened in six observations
- Mr G.'s exceptions removed-The persons intended not true believers—The parti-
culars of the text vindicated-Of the illumination mentioned in the text, etc. Of the
progress made by men not really regenerate in the things of God--The close of our
considerations on these texts-Heb. x. 38, 39-Mr G.'s arguing from thence answered
--Of the right translation of the words--Beza vindicated, as also our English trans-
lators-The words of the text effectual to prove the saints' perseverance - Of the
parable of the stony ground. Matt. xiii. 20, 21 - Mr G.'s arguing from the place con.
sidered--An argument from the text to prove the persona described not to be true
believers--2 Pet. ii. 18-22– Mr G.'s arguings from this place considered, etc., 606
1. ETERNALL PRINCIPLES
OF JESUS CHRIST.
With some DIGRESSIONS Concerning 1. The Immediate effects of the Death of Christ. 2. Personall Indwelling of the
Spirit. 3. Union with Christ. 4. Nature of Gospell promises, &c.
ALSO A PREFACE Manifesting the Judgement of the Antients concerning the Truth contended for: with a Discourse touching the Epistles of IGNATIUS; The EPISCOPACY in them Asserted; and some Animadversions on Dr H: H: his Dissertations
on that Subject.
By JOHN OWEN Servant of Jesus Christ
in the Worke of the Gospell.
OXFORD Printed by LEON. LICHFIELD Printer to the University, for Tho. Robinson.
Anno Dom: 1654
John Goodwin, in reply to whom the following large treatise on the Doctrine of the Perseverance of the Saints was written, has been aptly described by Calamy as "a man by himself.” An Arminian in creed, an Independent in church-government, and a Republican in politics," he was against every man, and had almost every man against him.” Estranged, by a singular idiosyncrasy of opinions, from all the leading parties of his time, dying in such obscurity that no record of the circumstances in which he left the world has been transmitted, stigmatized with unmerited reproach by the chief historian of his age, and long reputed the very type of extravagance and eccentricity in religion and politics, he has been more recently claimed as the precursor of a most influential religious body, and all honour rendered to him as the Wycliffe of Method. ism,—anticipating the theological views of its founder, Wesley, and redeeming them from the charge of novelty. Stronger expressions of respect and praise Goodwin never received from his contemporaries than are to be found in the pages of his antagonist, Owen, who, eulogizing his "worth,” his “diligence,” and his "great abilities,” affirms that "nothing not great, not considerable, not in some way eminent, is by any spoken of him, either consenting with him or dissenting from him."
He was born in Norfolk in 1693, was made a Fellow of Queen's College, Cambridge, in 1617, and in 1633, as the choice of the parishioners, was presented to the vicarage of St Stephen's, Coleman Street, London. He escaped the vengeance of Laud, for some “ breach of the canons," by the promise of amendment and submission for the future. He published in 1642 a treatise on justification, entitled “ Imputatio fidei;” in which he maintains that faith, not the righteousness of Christ, “ is that which God imputes to a believer for righteousness." Having rendered himself obnoxious to the Presbyterians during their brief supremacy, partly by his doctrinal sentiments, and partly by his literary efforts against them, he lost his vicarage by a decision of the Committee for Plundered Ministers, in 1645; but he appears to have been reinstated in it during the ascendency of Cromwell, whom he had effectually served by some pamphlets justifying the proceedings of the army against the Parliament in 1648; and more especially by a tract entitled “The Obstructors of Justice," in which he defended the High Court of Justice in passing sentence of death against Charles I. On the Restoration, by an order of the House of Commons, proceedings were instituted conjointly against John Milton and John Goodwin, for the same crime of publishing in vindication of the king's death. After a debate of several hours, it was agreed in Parliament that the life of Goodwin should be spared; but as he was declared in. capable of holding any office, ecclesiastical, civil, or military, he was again deprived of his vicarage. His death took place in 1665. His private character seems to have been beyond reproach. The odium resting on his memory must be ascribed chiefly to his defence of the execution of Charles I., and to the statements of Bishop Burnet respecting his connection with the Fifth-monarchy Men. On the former point many good men privately held the same opinion as Goodwin; and some, such as Canne and Milton, published in defence of it. When Burnet accuses him of being “thorough-paced in temporal matters” for Cromwell, there might be a colour of truth in the charge: but when he speaks of Goodwin as “heading" the Fifth-monarchy Men, filling all men with the expectation of a millennium, “that it looked like a madness possessing them," and representing kingship as “ the great antichrist that hindered Christ being set on his throne;" and when Toplady, improving upon the story, insinuates that Venner, the leader of these fanatics in their insurrection, preached and held his meetings in Goodwin's place of worship, for no reason that we can discover but that Goodwin and Venner seem to have held their meetings in the same street, we are constrained to question both the accu
racy of the statement as well as the spirit from which it emanated. His enemies, such 29 Prynne and Edwards, never in all they wrote against him urged such an accusation. In his own writings he affirms the lawfulness of civil magistracy, and of monarchy in particular; and in some of his tracts condemns the excesses of the Fifth-monarchy Men. The specific statements of Burnet, however, cannot well be met by a general charge against him as an inaccurate historian. Mr Macaulay has thrown over the bishop the shield of his high authority, denouncing such a charge as “altogether unjust.” Goodwin may have held some millenarian views akin to the notion of a fifth monarchy, while he blames in severe terms the attempt to forestall and introduce it by violence and bloodshed. In one of the passages from his writings, quoted by Professor Jackson, in his able but somewhat impassioned biography of Goodwin, in order to disprove his connection with the Fifth-monarchy Men, there is a sentence which, discriminating the dogma itself from the excesses of its abettors, sustains our conjecture, and we have seen nothing in the other passages inconsistent with it:—“ Amongst the persons known by the name of the Fifth-monarchy Men (not so much from their opinion touching the said monarchy, as by that fierce and restless spirit which worketh in them to bring it into the world by unhallowed methods), you will learn to speak evil of those that are in dignity," etc. On this supposition, while committed to some premillennial notions, on which the representations of the bishop were founded, Goodwin might be altogether undeserving of the odious imputation which they affix upon his memory.
It was no weak fanatic, therefore, against whom Owen in this instance entered the lists. . His work, “Redemption Redeemed,” is a monument of literary diligence and ability; and Owen seems almost to envy the copious and powerful diction which enlivens its controversial details. It was his intention to discuss all the points embraced in the Quinquarticular Controversy; but he overtook only two of them in the work now mentioned, -universal redemption, and the perseverance of the saints. The latter topic, occupying about a third part of his work, naturally arose out of the former, when he sought to prove that Christ died for those who ultimately perish, even though for a season they may have been in a state of grace. Owen, in his reply, confines himself to the subject of the perseverance of the saints; first proving the doctrine by general arguments, and then considering its practical effects in the obedience and consolation of the saints, a minute refutation of Goodwin's views being interwoven with both parts of his work. On the subject of universal redemption our author had already given his views to the world in his treatise, “ The Death of Death,” etc. Long as the following treatise is, however, he intimates his desire to enter still farther on some points in which he was at issue with Goodwin. Though the present work was written while he was burdened with heavy duties as Vice-Chancellor at Oxford, the former part of it is prepared with sufficient care, and relieved with some sprightliness in the composition. The leading fallacy of his opponent, in supposing that the perseverance of the saints implied the continuance of men in gracious privilege though they should become wicked to a degree incompatible with genuine faith, and evincing that they never possessed it, -a fallacy which begs the whole question in dispute,—he compares to “a sturdy beggar," which hath been “often corrected, and sent away grumbling and hungry, and, were it not for pure necessity, would never once be owned any more by its master." 'The latter part of the work, though able and dexterous in tracking all the sinuosities of the opposing arguments, betrays haste in composition, occasioning unusual difficulty in eliciting, by amended punctuation, the real meaning of many paragraphs and sentences; and the termination is singularly abrupt. He had reserved one of his principal arguments, founded on the oath of God, for the close, as entitled to the “honour of being the last word in the contest;" but concludes without giving it any place in the discussion at all. Perhaps this haste and abruptness are to be explained by the fact that before he had finished this work, the commands of the Council of State were laid upon bim to undertake a reply to the Socinian productions of Biddle;—a task which he esecuted at great length in his “ Vindiciæ Evangelicæ." On the whole, however, in rrgard to the present work, there is no treatise in the language so conclusive and so complete in vindication of the doctrine which it is designed to illustrate and defend.
In the preface a historical account is given of the doctrine from the earliest ages of the church. The confusion alleged to exist in it is not very perplexing, if attention be paid to the “catena patrum,” - the succession of authors to whom he appeals in proof of what the view of the church has been in past ages on the subject of the doctrine under consideration. It is embarrassed, however, by a discussion of the authen. ticity of the Ignatian Epistles; on which, at the close of the preface, we have appended å note, indicating the present state of the controversy respecting them. The leading