« הקודםהמשך »
puts forth a book, sentences his reason to the gantelope :
not the occasion of it; so as to the manner of its handling, that I carried not on the provocation, I appeal to all that have read my treatise, which is now animadverted on. The same person,
et initium dedit, et modum abstulit.' Some freedom of expression, that perhaps I might righteously have made use of, to prevent future exacerbations I designedly forbore. I know that some men must have Búoolva phuara. Expressions concerning them, had need be uvpoßpexɛīgi or like the letters, that men print one of another, which are oftentimes answerable to that of Augustus to Mæcenas; 'vale mel gemmeum, medulliæ ebur ex Hétruria, lasera-rietinum, adamas supernas, Tiberinum margaritum, cilniorum smaragde, jaspis figulorum, berille Porsennæ, carbunculum Italiæ,' kal iva ouvréuw mavra, &c. I hoped therefore this business had been at an issue ; others also were of the same mind; especially considering that he had almost professed against proceeding farther in this controversy in some other treatises and apologies. For my own part, I must profess my thoughts arose only from his long silence. The reason of this I knew could not be that of him in the poet, φιλεϊ γαρ όκνεϊν πραγμ’ ανήρ πράσσων μέγα: seeing he
• Την κενοδοξίαν ώς τελευταίον χιτώνα η ψυχή πέφυκεν αποτίθεσθαι.
could have done it as speedily as have written so much paper. The expressions in his books seemed to me, as the fermentation of a spirit, that at one time or other would boil over. I confess I was something delivered from the fear of it, when not long before the publishing of his confession and apology, I met with him, and had occasion of much conference with him at London, even about justification ; and he made not the least mention of this confutation of me, which he hath now published; but φιλλικοίς ένειδεν όμμασιν· but though this present contest might have been easily prevented (as the reader will instantly perceive), yet I presume the book was then wholly printed, and Mr. B. was not to lose his pains, nor the world the benefit thereof, nor the printer his ink and paper, for so slight a cause, as the preventing of the aspersion of me for an Antinomian.
But jacta est alea,' now it is out, we must make the best of it; and I hope the reader will excuse me in what follows, ως ουχ υπάρχων αλλά τιμωρούμενος.
But why must my arguments be answered, and myself confuted ? Two reasons hereof are given. The first by very many insinuations; namely, that I have delivered dangerous doctrines, such as subvert the foundation of the gospel, plain antinomianism; and these two positions are laid down to be confuted, viz. first, That the elect are justified from eternity, or from the death of Christ, before they believe. Secondly, That justification by faith, is but in foro conscientia, or in our own feeling, and terminated in conscience, and not in foro Dei: farther, then, conscience may be so called ; and my arguments for them are answered; chap. viii. p. 189. But what should a man do in this case? I have already published to Mr. B. and all the world, that I believe neither of these propositions ; must I take my oath of it, or get compurgators, or must we have no end of this quarrel ? Let Mr. B. prove any such thing, out of any thing I have written, and as Nonius says, out of Nævius, 'ei dum vivebo, fidelis ero.? I am sure this minds me of that passage in the Jewish liturgy, 'placeat tibi domine liberare me a lite difficili, et ab adversario difficili, sive is ad fædus tuum pertineat, sive non pertineat.' The following examination of the particulars excepted against by Mr. B. will make this
evident, whence it will appear, thats ulkpà apópaois ļoTL TOŪ īpašal kakūs. yea but,
Secondly,h two or three reverend brethren told him, that to that part which he hath considered, it was necessary
I should be confuted; who these reverend brethren are I know not; I presume they may be of those friends of Mr. B. that blame him for replying to Mr. Blake, but say for all the rest with whom he hath dealt (of whom I am forced to be one) that it is no matter, they deserved no better. Whoever they are, they might have had more mercy than not a little to pity poor men under the strokes of a heavy hand. Nor do I know what are the reasons of the brethren, why my name must be brought on this stage; nor perhaps is it meet they should be published. It may: be it is necessary that Mr. Owen should be confuted among Antinomians, and that ěk Tpítodoc. But what if it should appear in the issue, that Mr. Owen hath deserved better at their hands, and that this advice of theirs might have been spared ? But not to complain of I know not whom, to those reverend advisers I shall only say, είδε πάν έχει καλώς, τω, παιγνίω, δότε κρώτον, και πάντες υμείς μετά χαράς, ποππύσατε but if it appear in the issue, that I was charged with that which I never delivered, nor wrote, and that my arguments to one purpose, are answered in reference to another, and that this is the sum of Mr. B.'s discourse against me, I shall only recommend to them some verses of old Ennius, as I find them in Aus. Pop.
Nam qui lepide postulat alterum frustrari
Qui frustatur is frustra est, si non, ille est frustra. What then shall I do? I am imposed on to lay the foundation of all antinomianism (as Mr. Burgess is also), to maintain justification from eternity, or at least in the cross of Christ, of all that should believe; and justification by faith to be but the sense of it in our consciences (which last I know better and wiser men than myself that do, though I do not) and so reckoned amongst them that overthrow the whole gospel, and place the righteousness of Christ in the room of our own believing and repentance, rendering them useless.
h Mr. B.'s Preface. 1 'Aυτώ κακά τεύχοι ανήρ, άλλα κακά τεύχων» ήδε κακή βουλή των βουλεύσαντι κακίστη.
Shall I undertake to confute Mr. B.'s book, at least wherein we differ, and so acquit myself both from Antinomianism and Socinianism in the business in hand? But, 1. The things of this discourse are such, and the manner of handling them of that sort, that Mr. B. heartily in the close of his book, k begs pardon for them, who have necessitated him to spend so much time to so little purpose; kaì taūta πράσσων φόσκ’ άνήρ ουδέν ποιών. As I see not yet the necessity of his pains, so I desire his reverend advisers may thank him for this intercession, for I suppose myself (at least), not concerned therein. But this I can say, that I am so far from engaging into a long operose contest, in a matter of such importance and consequence, as the subject of that book is represented to bę, that I would rather burn my pens and books also, than serve a provocation so far, as to spend half that time therein, which the confutation of it would require from so slow and dull a person as myself.
2. He hath in his preface put such terrible conditions upon those that will answer him, that I know no man but must needs be affrighted with the thoughts of the attempt. He requires, that whoever undertake this work, be of a stronger judgment, and a more discerning head, than he; that he be a better proficient in these studies than he; that he be freer from prejudice than he; that he have more illumination and grace than he: that is, that he be a better, wiser, more holy, and learned man, than Mr. B. Now if we may take Mr. B.'s character, by what he discourseth of his mortification and sincerity, his freedom from prejudice, &c.; as there is no reason but that we should ; I profess I know not where to find his match, much less any to excel him, with whom I might intercede for his pains in the consideration of this treatise ; for as for myself, I am seriously so far from entertaining any such thoughts, in reference to Mr. B. that I dare not do it in reference to any one godly minister that I know in the world; yea, I am sure that. I am not in respect of all the qualifications mentioned, put together, to be preferred before any one of them. If it be said, that it is not requisite that a man should know this of himself, but
* Page 462.
only that he be so indeed; I must needs profess, that being told beforehand that such he must be, if he undertake this work, I am not able to discern how he should attempt it, and not proclaim himself, to have an opinion of his own qualifications, answerable to that which is required of him.
3. It is of some consideration, that a man that doth not know so much of him as I do, would by his writings take him to be immitis and immisericors a very Achilles, that will not pardon a man in his grave; but will take him up, and cut him in a thousand pieces. I verily believe, that if a man (who had nothing else to do), should gather into one heap all the expressions, which in his late books, confessions, and apologies, have a lovely aspect towards himself, as to ability, diligence, sincerity, on the one hand, with all those which are full of reproach and contempt towards others, on the other, the view of them could not but a little startle a man of so great modesty, and of such eminency in the mortification of pride as Mr. B. is. But,
Ουθείς έα αυτού τα κακά συνορά
Σαφώς ετέρου δ' αίχημονούντος όψεται. Had I not heard him profess how much he valued the peace of the church, and declare what his endeavours for it were, I could not but suppose upon evidences which I am unwilling to repeat together, that a humour of disputing and quarrelling, was very predominant in the man: however, though a profession may pass against all evidences of fact to the contrary whatever; yet I dare say that he lives not at απραγόπολις. .
That he hath been able to discern the positions he opposes in the beginning of his eighth chapter to be contained in any writings of mine, as maintained by me, I must impute to such a sharp sightedness, as was that of Caius Caligula; to whom, when he inquired of Vitellius whether he saw him not embracing the moon, it was replied, "solis (domine) vobis diis licet invicem videre.'
What shall I then do? Shall I put forth a creed, or an apology, to make it appear that indeed I am not concerned in any of Mr. Baxter's contests? But,
1. I dare not look upon myself of any such consideration to the world, as to write books to give them an account of