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creatures, and the honour of working and causing under him : but he never loseth any thing by communicating, nor hath the less himself by giving to his creatures: for if all that honour that is given to the creature were taken injuriously from God, then God would never have made the world, normade a saint; and then the worst creatures would least dishonour God: then he would not shine by the sun, but by himself immediately : and then he would never glorify either saint or angel. But on the contrary it is God's honour to work by adapted means; and all their honour is truly his. As all the commendation of a clock or watch is given to the workman. And though God do not all so immediately, as to use no means or second causes; yet is he never the further from the effect, but, ‘immediatione virtutis et suppositi’ is himself as near, as if he used none. Instance 11. The special providence of God, and his being the first universal cause, are conjunct with the culpability of sinners; and no man must put these asunder. Those that cannot see just how they are conjoined, may be sure that they are conjoined. It is no dishonour to an engineer that he can make a watch which shall go longer than he is moving it with his finger. Nor is it a dishonour to our Creator, that he can make a creature which can morally determine itself to an action as commanded or forbidden, without the predetermination of his Maker, though not without his universal concourse necessary to action as action. If Adam could not do this through the natural impossibility of it, then the law was, that he should die the death if he did not overcome God, or do that which was naturally impossible; and this was the nature of his sin. Few dare say, that God cannot make a free, self-determining agent: and if he can, we shall easily prove that he hath: and the force of their opposition then is vanished. Instance 111. The omniscience of God and his dominion, government and decrees, are conjunct with the liberty and sin of man : yet these by many are put asunder: as if God must either be ignorant or be the author of sin! As if he made one poor, by decreeing to make another rich As if he cannot be a perfect governor, unless he procure all his subjects perfectly to keep his laws As if all the fault of those that break the law, were to be laid upon the maker of the law." As if all God’s will ‘de debito” were not effective of its proper work, unless man fulfil it in the event! And as if it were possible for any creature to comprehend the way of the Creator's knowledge. Instance Iv. Many would separate nature and grace, which God the author of both conjoined. When grace supposeth nature, and in her garden soweth all her seed, and exciteth and rectifieth all her powers; yet these men talk as if mature had been annihilated, or grace came to annihilate it, and not to cure it. As if the leprosy and disease of nature were nature itself! And as if natural good had been lost as much as moral good As if man were not man till grace made him a man! Instance v. Many separate the natural power of a sinner from his moral impotency, and his natural freedom of will from his moral servitude, as if they were inconsistent, when they are conjunct. As if the natural faculty might not consist with an evil disposition: or a natural power with an habitual unwillingness to exercise it aright. And as if a sinner were not still a man. Instance v1. Many separate general and special grace and redemption, as inconsistent, when they are conjunct: when the general is the proper way and means of accomplishing the ends of the special grace, and is still supposed. As if God could not give more to some, if he give any thing to all. Or as if he gave nothing to all, if he give more to any. As if he could not deal equally and without difference with all as a legislator, and righteously with all as a judge, unless he deal equally and without difference with all as a benefactor, in the free distribution of his gifts. As if he were obliged to make every worm and beast a man, and every man a king, and every king an angel, and every clod a star, and every star a sun' Instance v11. Many separate the glory of God and man's salvation, God and man, in assigning the ultimate end of man! As if a moral intention might not take in both ! As if it were not “finis amantis’; and the end of a lover were not union in mutual love . As if love to God may not be for ever the final act, and God himself the final object: and as if, in this magnetic closure, though both may be called the end, yet there might not in the closing parties, be an infinite disproportion, and only one be ‘finis ultimate ultimus.’ Instance v1.11. Yea many would separate God from God, while they would separate God from heaven, and say that we must be content to be shut out of heaven for the love of God: when our heaven is the perfect love of God. And so they say in effect, that for the love of God we must be content to be shut out from the love of God. Instance Ix. Thus also the vulgar separate the mercy and the justice of God! As if God knew not better than man to whom his mercy should extend. And as if God be not merciful, if he will be a righteous governor, and unless he will suffer all the world to spit in his face and blaspheme him, and let his enemies go all unpunished. Instance x. Thus many separate threatenings and promises, fear and love, a perfect law and a pardoning Gospel. As if he that is a man, and hath both fear and love in his nature, must not make use of both for God and his salvation: and the lawgiver might not fit his laws to work on both. As if hell may not be feared, and heaven loved at once. Instance x 1. Thus hypocrites separate in conceit their seeming holiness and devotion to God from duties of justice and charity to men. As if they could serve God acceptably, and disobey him wilfully Or as if they could love him whom they never saw, and not love his image in his works and children, whom they daily see. As if they could hate and persecute Christ in his little ones, or at least neglect him, and yet sincerely love him in himself. Instance x11. Thus, by many, Scripture and tradition, divine faith and human faith are commonly opposed. Because the Papists have set tradition in a wrong place, many cast it away because it fits not that place: when man's tradition and ministerial revelation, is necessary to make known and bring down God’s revelation to us: and a subservient tradition is no disparagment to Scripture, though a supplemental tradition be: and man must be believed as man, though not as God: and he that will not believe man as man, shall scarce know what he hath to believe from God. Instance xiii. Thus many separate the sufficiency of the law and rule from the usefulness of an officer, minister, and judge. As if the law must be imperfect, or else need
no execution, and no judge for execution. Or as if the judge's execution were a supplement or addition to the law. As if the question, Who shall be the judge? did argue the law of insufficiency: and the promulgation and execution were not supposed. Instance xiv. Thus also many separate the necessity of a public judge, from the lawfulness and necessity of a private judgment, or discerning in all the rational subjects. As if God and man did govern only brutes: or we could obey a law, and not judge it to be a law, and to be obeyed: and not understand the sense of it, and what it doth command us. As if fools and madmen were the only subjects. As if your learning of Christ as his disciples, and meditating day and night in his law, and searching for wisdom in his Word, were a disobeying him as our king. As if it were a possible thing for subjects to obey, without a private judgment of discretion. Or as if there were any repugnancy between my judging what is the king's law, and his judging whether I am punishable for disobeying it. Or as if judging ourselves, contradicted our being judged of God. Instance xv. So, many separate between the operation of the Word and Spirit, the minister and Christ. As if the Spirit did not usually work by the Word: and Christ did not preach to us by his ministers and ambassadors. And as if they might despise his messengers, and not be taken for despisers of himself. Or might throw away the dish and keep the milk. Instance xv.1. Thus many separate the special love of saints from the common love of man as man. As if they could not love a saint, unless they may hate an enemy, and despise all others, and deny them the love which is answerable to their natural goodness. Instance xv.11. Thus many separate universal or catholic union and communion from particular. And some understand no communion but the universal, and some none but the particular. Some say we separate from them as to catholic communion, if we hold not local, particular communion with them; yea if we join not with them in every mode. As if I could be personally in ten thousand congregations at once, or else did separate from them all. Or, as if I separated from all mankind, if I differed from all men
in my visage or complexion. Or, as if I cannot be absent from many thousand churches, and yet honour them as true churches of Christ, and hold catholic communion with them in faith, hope, and love. Yea, though I durst not join with them personally in worship, for fear of some sinful condition which they impose. Or, as if I need not be a member of any ordered worshipping congregation, because I have a catholic faith and love to all the Christians in the world. Instance xviii. Thus are the outward and inward worship separated by many, who think that all which the body performeth is against the due spirituality; or that the spirituality is but fancy, and contrary to the form or outward part. As if the heart and the knee may not fitly bow together; nor decency of order concur with Spirit and truth. - Instance xix. Thus many separate faith and obedience: Paul's justification by faith, without the works of the law, from James's justification by works, and not by faith only, and Christ's justification by our words P. And thus they separate free grace and justification from any necessary condition, and from the rewardableness of obedience (which the ancients called merit): but of this at large elsewhere. Instance xx. And many separate prudence and zeal, meekness and resolution, the wisdom of the serpent and the innocency of the dove : yielding to no sin, and yet yielding in things lawful : maintaining our Christian liberty, and yet becoming all things to all men, if by any means we may save some. These Instances are enough, I will add no more. Direct. xv.111. ‘Take heed of falling into factions and parties in religion, (be the party great or small, high or low, in honour or dishonour); and take heed lest you be infected with a factious, censorious, uncharitable, hurting zeal: for these are much contrary to the interest, will, and Spirit of Christ. Therefore among all your readings, deeply suck in the doctrine of charity and peace, and read much, reconciling, moderating authors: such as Dury, Hall, Davenant, Crocius, Bergius, Martinius, Amyraldus, Dallaeus, Testardus, Calixtus, Hottonus, Junius, Paraeus, and Burroughs their Irenicons. The reading of such books extinguisheth the consuming flame of that infernal, envious zeal described James iii., and P Matt, xii. 37.