Изображения страниц

last Importance, plainly taught by the Church, as well as by the Scripture, in Terms ro express, That a great man in the Learned World, one of the eminent Heads and reputed Oracles of his University, (my worthy Friend, lately gone to Reft from his arduous Labours,) could not forbear to make the ingenuous acknowledgment, That I had the Articles of our Church clearly on my side. And when I minded him of a penetrating Expositor presiding in this Church, who (a little before,) bad endeavoured to give those Articles a Turn the Remonstrant way, He reply'd with some heat, 'Twill never do: and that it was a vain thing for any one to attempt it. Tho', at the same time, Himself thought fit to undertake the Vindication of that very Cause, which he confest was Opposite to the un doubted Sense of his own Church.

I am willing to think, That it was only (disputandi gratiâ,) to Tempt the Countrey-Parson. For when he first Mhew'd me his celebrated Book, (now Publish’d,) his expression was, That he had there Stab’d the Socinian Cause.


[ocr errors]

But I am apt to think That none who is in earnest on the part of Arminius, can ever give Socinus any Thrust to reach the Heart.

Tbofew Pelagians think fit to own the hateful Name, even while they stickle for the peftilent Doctrine ; According to S. Jerom's obfervation,That Pelagianism is the only Heresy, which is afhan'd to appear for the Cause åbroad, which its Fautors suggest and propagate in Corners: Yet Experience tells us, What Credit a prevailing Mode can give to things none of the Best. Tea, let thern be never so Indefensible, yet if smiling upon depraved Nature, they'll not want for Champions and Abetters to maintain the Cause, even to death. Full of Rebellion, I would dye, Or Fight, or Travel, or deny That thou hast ought to do with me.

Herb. So Raves the man who is in (not his Pure, but) his Corrupt Naturals. Naturam expellas furcâ licet, A 3


But whatever Palliators of man's wicked Apostacy may fly in my Face; Where I have begun to break up the Fallow.ground, I mall 110t take my hand of from this Plough.

And to see the Faith of Christ af faulted and Attack’d; not only, (as when it first set out,) by Open Adver. faries and Professed Infidels; But by such as Lurk within the Church, and pass under the Christian Name ; is enough to raise every Believer's Indignation, that would not be a Traytor to his own Professed Religion.

Indeed the Cause which I take upon me here to maintain, as it deserves, so it has, many much better Champions. But yet, I hope, it may receive no Detriment from my Concern in it: When it shall appear, That one of such small Accomplishments has yet so much to Say for it. And truly that which is of God needs little of Man; Where holy Scripture Jhall but be heard. But whoever they be, that can make light of what is spoken by the Lord; are not like to Regard what is said by the best Christian, or by the greatest Scholar



in the World. No, The lofty Opinion which they have of their own Sufficiency, makes 'em so Assuming; to Die Etate, as Oracles Infallible, to all the World; yea and to Model all the Word of God; and Teach men more by a few Words, in Seven Minutes, than any one that Labours in the Word and Do. Erine, Shall do in Seven Years. Alas, we Darken the matter : But they make it Plain : Plain indeed, That they would Explain the Faith of our Lord, quite out of the Church, and out of the World. Tho' they will not suffer us to Recede a tittle from the Express Words of Scripture ; when 'tis their Pleasure : Yet let us but offer to hold them to it; And then, 'Tis none of God's Word, but only our Sense: And what reason have they to be Determin’d by that? Their own Reason, (as the Candle of the Lord,) they are ready to fall down and Adoré. Not remembring, That still’tis but a Candle; And so Diminish'd since the Fall, as to Dwindle in the Socket. And all the Candles upon earth must


А 4

never offer to V'ye with the Sun in the Heavens: Nor can they with all their Light united together, ' ever make such a Day, as he alone does make.

Yet will they not give the Father of Lights leave to Reveal any thing, but what their Reason can Fathom, and grasp, and easily deal with. And if they abide still peremptory by it, That what's above our Reason to Conceive, is above our Faith to Believe: (Keeping strictly Tenacious of that Maxim,) they must turn such Scepticks, as to Disbelieve, not only the Infinite, Eternal Being of God; but the very Frame and Vnion of their own Souls and Bodies; and a hundred Incomprehensibles in common Nature, just before them; which will fo Baffle them, That they shall never be able to Re. folve Nicodemus's Question, How can these things be?

Tho' it's true, Men are not to pull out their own Eyes, because these cannot see guite within the Heavens; Nor Renounce their Understanding, because it is not Infinite, to parallel his that gave it. For Reason in its own Sphere,



« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »