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vines and men of learning, answer any of those
writo ings which are extant against that Socinian justification which he here approves and contends for, or those written by the divines of the church of England on the same subject, in the proof of what he denies, and confutation of what he affirms, they may deserve to be taken notice of in the same rank and order with those with whom they associate themselves. And yet I will not say, but that these cavilling exceptions giving a sufficient intimation of what some men would be at, if ability and opportunity did occur, may give occasion also unto a renewed vindication of the truths opposed by them, in a way suited unto the use and edification of the church, in due time and season.
From p. 185. of my book, he retires upon his new tri. umph unto p. 176. as hoping to hook something from thence, that might contribute unto the furtherance of his ingenious design, although my discourse in that place have no concernment in what he treateth about. But let him be heard to what purpose he pleaseth. Thus therefore he proceeds, p. 315. The Dr. makes a great flourish with some Scripture phrases, that there is almost nothing that Christ hath done, but what we are said to do it with him; we are crucified with him, we are dead with him, buried with him, quickened together with him : in the actings of Christ there is by virtue of the compact between him as mediator and the Father, such an assured foundation laid, that by communication of the fruit of these actings unto those in whose stead he performed them, they are said in the participation of these fruits to have done the same things with him. But he is quite out in the reason of these expressions, which is not that we are accounted to do the same tþings which Christ did; for the things here mentioned belong to the peculiar office of his mediation, which he told us before were not reckoned as done by us, but because we do some things like them; our dying to sin, is a conformity to the death of Christ; and our walking in newness of life, is our conformity to his resurrection, and the consideration of the death and resurrection of Christ, is very powerful to engage us to die to sin, and to rise unto a new life ; and this is the true reason of these phrases.'
Any man may perceive from what he is pleased here himself to report of my words, that I was not treating about the imputation of the righteousness of Christ, which he is now inveighing against; and it will be much more evident unto every one that shall cast an eye on that discourse; but the design of this confused rambling I have been forced now frequently to give an account of, and shall if it be possible trouble the reader with it no more. The present difference between us, which he was ambitious to represent, is only this, that whereas it seems he will allow that those expressions of our being crucified with Christ, dead with him, buried with him, quickened with him, do intend nothing but only our doing of something like unto that which Christ did, I do add moreover, that we do those things by the virtue and efficacyof the grace which is communicated unto us, from wbat the Lord Christ so did and acted for us, as the mediator of the new covenant, whereby alone we partake of their power, communicate in their virtue, and are conformed unto him as our head; wherein I know I have, as the testimony of the Scripture, so the judgment of the Catholic church of Christ on my side, and am very little concerned in the censure of this
person that I am quite out in the reason of these expressions.
For what remains of his discourse, so far as I am concerned in it, it is made up of such expositions of some texts of Scripture, as issue for the most part in a direct contradiction to the text itself, or some express passages of the context. So doth that of Gal. iv. 4, 5. which he first undertakes to speak unto, giving us nothing but what was first invented by Crellius, in his book against Grotius, and is almost translated verbatim out of the comment of Schlichtingius upon the place; the remainder of them corruptly socinianizing, against the sense of the church of God. Hereunto are added such pitiful mistakes, with reflections on me for distinguishing between obeying and suffering (which conceit he most profoundly disproves by shewing that one may obey in suffering, and that Christ did so, against him who hath written more about the obedience of Christ in dying, or laying down his life for us, than he seems to have read on the same subject, as also concerning the ends and uses of his death, which I challenge him and all his companions to answer and disprove if they can), as I cannot satisfy myself
in the farther consideration of, no not with that speed and haste of writing now used, which nothing could give countenance unto, but the meanness of the occasion, and unprofitableness of the argument in hand. Wherefore, this being the manner of the man, I am not able to give an account unto myself or the reader of the mispense of more time in the review of such impertinencies ; I shall add a few things and conclude.
First, I desire to know whether this author will abide by what he asserts, as his own judgment, in opposition unto what he puts in his exception against in my discourse, p. 320. “All the influence which the sacrifices of Christ's death, and the righteousness of his life, that I can find in the Scripture is, that to this we owe the covenant of grace;' that is, as he afterward explains himself, · That God would for the sake of Christ.enter into a new covenant with mankind, wherein he promiseth pardon of sin and eternal life to them that believe and obey the gospel.' I leave him herein to his second thoughts, for as he hath now expressed himself, there is no reconciliation of his assertion to common sense, or the fundamental principles of Christian religion. That God entered into the new covenant originally only for the sake of those things whereby that covenant was ratified and confirmed, and that Christ was so the mediator of the new covenant;
that he died not for the redemption of transgressions under the first covenant, whereby the whole consideration of his satisfaction and of redemption properly so called, is excluded; that there is no consideration to be had of his purchase of the inheritance of grace and glory, with many other things of the same importance, and that the gospel or the doctrine of the gospel is the new covenant, which is only a perspicuous declaration of it, are things that may become these new sons of the church of England, which the elder church would not have borne withal.
Secondly, The reader may take notice, that in some other discourses of mine now published, which were all of them finished before I had the advantage to peruse the friendly and judicious animadversions of this author, he will find most of the matters which he excepts against, both cleared, proved, and vindicated. And that those principles which he directs his opposition against, are so established, as that I neither expect nor fear any such assault upon them from this sort of men, as becometh a serious debate on things of this nature.
Thirdly, That I have confined myself in the consideration of this author's discourse unto what I was personally concerned in, without looking at, or accepting of the advantages which offered themselves of reflecting upon him, either as unto the matter of his discourses, or unto the manner of expressing himself in its delivery. For (besides that I have no mind, and that for many reasons, to enter voluntarily into any contest with this man), the mistakes which he hath apparently been led unto by ignorance or prejudice, his fulsome errors against the Scripture, the doctrine of the ancient church, and the church of England, are so multiplied and scattered throughout the whole, that a discovery and confutation of them will scarce deserve the expense of time that must be wasted therein, until a more plausible countenance or strenuous defence be given unto them. And as for what he aimeth at, I know well enough where to find the whole of it, handled with more civility and appearance of reason, and therefore when I am free or resolved to treat concerning them, I shall do so in the consideration of what is taught by his authors and masters, and not of what he hath borrowed from them.
Fourthly, I shall assure the reader, that as a thousand of such trifling cavillers or revilers, as I have had some to deal withal, shall neither discourage nor hinder me in the remaining service which I may have yet to fulfil in the patience of God for the church of Christ, and truth of the gospel ; nor it
may be occasion me any more to divert in the least unto the consideration of what they whisper or clamour, unless they are able to betake themselves unto a more sober and Christian way of handling things in controversy ; so if they will not or dare not forego this supposed advantage of reproaching the doctrine of nonconformists, under which pretence they openly and as yet securely scorn and deride them, when they are all of them the avowed doctrines of all the reformed churches, and of this of England in particular; and if they think it not meet to oppose themselves and endeavours, unto those writings which have been composed and published professedly in the declaration and defence of
the truth scoffed at and impugned by them, but choose rather to exercise their skill and anger on passages rent out of practical discourses, accommodated in the manner of their delivery unto the capacity of the community of believers, as it is fit they should be; I do suppose that at one time or other, from one hand or another, they may meet with some such discoursé concerning justification, and the imputation of the righteousness of Christ, as may give them occasion to be quiet, or to exercise the best of their skill and industry in an opposition unto it; as many such there are already extant, which they wisely take no notice of, but only rave against oc-asional passages in discourses of another nature; unless they resolve on no occasion to forego the shelter they have betaken themselves unto.