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Note amongh them, however Voluminous, however Refuted and Worthlefs, but they have been careful to preserve it, and encourage its Revival : whilft we inglori, ously leave the Produktions of the Cham, pions of our Communion to Moths and Oblivion.
Whether we have been happy in the Choice of the Tracts now Reprinted, we muft allow our felves too Partial to detérmin: On which account, we shall not run out into long Encomiums upon them, but give a brief account of them and their Authors, and leave them, as we must do, to the Judgment of others.
The first of them with great Perspicuity and Brevity layeth down the several oa pinions about Predestination, and the obje£tions which most of them seem liable to ; and propofeth one, as the most Free from jujt Exception, and Satisfa&tory in folving the Difficulties which crowd in upon us, when we are Laboring to form fome De. termination about the Order and Manner of that deep and abftrufe matter. The Reader will find that the Author advana
ceth his Notions in a regular Method, and sets them in an advantageous Light, by ė. vincing their consistency with Reason and Scripture: He may with Pleasure behold the Terms made use of in these disputes clearly explained, many knotty Difficulties removed, the several questions, depending on this of Predestination and each other; fairly stated in all their several Branches, accurately Handled and judiciously Deter. mined: "and it will be withal apparent ; that the proper Decision of each Question confirms what is on other Grounds concluded in the rest, and all together strengthen and establish the Positions at first laid down. In short we doubt not but it may be said without Vanity, that more Satisfa£tion may be had from a careful perufal of these few Sheets than from many Volumes on the Same Subječt; and that there is not a more happy Clue, for preventing Mens bewildering themselves in the infinite Labyrinths of these Disputes, than this Träłt. These Excellencies preserved it in the Studies of some Judicious and Learned Persons, when it was lost almost every where else į it hath been nearly followed in many things, by a Celebrated and Valuable * Writer in Divinity; and was recommended by T Another, to be used as an introdučtion to the reading of these Controversies.
We may by the way observe that the fourth and fifth Opinions proposed by Plaifere seem to be very little different, or rather the latter to be only the other more fully expressed, and better guarded from Cazils and Exceptions : and if so, the Objections made by him against the first of them must be of no great weight, as they do not indeed appear to be, if they are well considered. Put the Name of a Remonstrant or Arminian was in his days very adious, nothing being more common in many of the invective Writings of that Age, than ta jumble Arminians, Papists, and Atheists together, as if they were Synonimous Terms : It is no wonder therefore that the Author endevored to Screen himself a little from the iniquity of the Times, by distinguishing his Tenets from
* Dr. Claget on the Operations of the holy Spirit. Dr. Bennet's Direction for Studying a Body of Divinity. Pag.17.
those of the Arminians; which Caution
We have not been able to inform our felves, where the Author of this Treatise was Born, or had his Education: there being a large Chalm in the Matricula about the time of bis Admission. Possibly he might be a Relation of Dr. Tho. Plaifere, who was the Lady Margaret's Profeffor of Divinity in Cambridge till the Tear 1609, and if so, it is not unlikely that he as well as the other, might be of St. John's College. However it is most probable that he was brought up in Cambridge: for Sidney Sufl. College being founded in 1999, he was admitted the year following into a Fellowship found. ed there by Mr Smith Citizen of London; and in the same year he had both the sacred Orders conferr'd on him by John the Suffragan Bp. of Colchester. In the Year 160s he was * Presented by John Jermin Esq. of Debden in Suffolk to the Rectory of that Parish, in which he continued about 25 Tears, without other
* E Libr. Inftitut. Ep. Norvia,
addition to his Fortunes that we can hear of, and we suppose ended his Life there.
The Appendix to this is newly Added; of which we shall say nothing, but that we kope the Hypothefis proposed in it will meet with a candid Reception; it having so much Humanity in it that a good natured Man would will it to be well grounded, if it be not.
Dr. Potter's Letter was occafioned by fome Exceptions which were made to certain Passages in a * Sermon of his still Exftant, which was Preached at his Uncle Dr. Barnaby Potter's Confecration to the See of Carlisle. The pleasing account which he gives in it of the Manner of his Converfion from a violent Opposer to a Favorer of the Arminian Tenets, and the great Piety and sweetness of Temper which he Manifests, adds Weight and Luftre to his Judgment, and the Cause he pleads for.
He was Born at Kendal in Westmorland, and at fifteen years old was Clerk, and afteru:ards Tabarder of Queen's Col. * On. Joh. 21, 17.