« ZurückWeiter »
his brethren, let me to mine ; Let us not fall our by the by the dear bonds of brotherhood, by our love to our common mother the Church, by our holy care, and zeal of the prosperous fuccesse of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus, Let us all compose our hearts to peace ; and reft our selves in those common truths, which sober mindes shall find abundantly fufficient whether for our knowledg, or salvation.
I have done, and now I make no other account, but that it will fall out with me, as it commonly doth with him, that offers to part a fray; both parts will perhaps drive at me for wishing them no worse then peace. My ambition of the publick tranquility shall willingly carry me through this hazard : Let both beat me, so their quarrel may cease; I shall rejoyce in chose blowes and scarres, which I shall cake for the Churches safery : Mens fingers do fu itch' after the maintenance of their own opinions, that they can hardly contain themlelves from flying upon the faireft moderation of any Ulmpire. Yet I may safely profess, that herein I have carried
felf so indifferently, that as I have hid my own Judgment, sol have rather seemed partiall against my own resolutions. If any Man object, that I have not fully stated che questions on boch fides, and drawn my accorded propositions out of the heart of those Teners, which boch parcs wi'l yield to be their own in an adversaries sence, wichout waving any consequences, that shall be deduced there from, Let him receive answcar to the former of these, that it were a fit task for him, that intended a full tractation of the points controverced, and is already too much done by others, my drift is only to pick out of both what may sound towards concord. He that would describe the way to fome remote City of marque, thinkes it not needful to map our before the Traveller every Town, and Village of all the Shires, through which he should pass, but only fers down those that lye in his road.
Tɔ the latter, that it is a more strict rule, then needs to be put upon an Agent for peace. For as it is but just on the one side, that every man should be allowed to be his own interpreter, and prejudice and ill will can never make good gloffe : So on the other side, it is lawful and meet for moderate mindes to make their beft use of those savory and wholesome sentences which fall
from the better moode of an adversary, such, lo farr, as they come home to me, shall gladly reconcile him to me. Let him look how in the rest he can be reconciled to himself; Very shame shall at the last drive such a one ( if he be ingenuous) from incompatible propofitions.
In the mean time the good, that he offers, I will not refuse , and leave the evil to his avoiding: As a man, that meets with a flack debror, will not be unwilling to take what small fummes he can get, till either more may come in, or he may conveniently fue for the rest. It is good to hold the ground we have got, till by the power
of truth we can recover more. Not that I could readily take up with the palpable Equivocations of an Arriss, or Pelagim ; No wise Chapman will suffor himself to be paid with dips. Truth, and Fallhood will necessarily descry chemselves; Neither is it hard for a judicious Reader to discerne a difference betwixt yielding, and dissembling ; Where I sec a man constant to himself in a favourable affertion, I have reason to construe it, as a fair comming off towards reconcilement. If nothing but the rigour of opinions Thall be stood upon , what Hope can there be of Peace ? To shut up therefore, if what I have here meant well, be as well taken, and well improved, I shall have comfort in the quieting of many Hearts, and many Tongues : If not, at least I shall have comfort in the quictnesse of mine own heart; which tels me I have wished well to the Church of God. To whose awful sentence I do most humbly submit my self, and these my poor endeavours, profefsing my
self ready to eat, whatsoever word shee fhall dislike and delirous to buy her peace even with blood.
Now the God of peace evcline the hearts of men, as to zeal of truth, foto love of peace: And since we are fallen upon those points, which are dispxtable to the worlds end ( as we see in the praaise both of the Romih, And Germane and Netherlandish Churches ) the same God compose the minds of men to a wise moderation, and binde up their lips in a safe, and discreet filence, that if our brains muft needs differ, yet our hearts and tongues may be ever one, Amen
GR A CE
MY good Mr. B. You send me flowers from
Garden, and Look for lorne in returne out of minc;I do not more willingly send you these, then I do thankfully receive the other : I could not keep my hand from the
paper, upon the receit of your Letters , though now in the midst of my artendance : As my desire of your satisfaction cals me to write fomthing, fo my other inaployments force me to brevity, in a question wherein it were easy to be endleffe: I am sorry that any of our new Excuti-fidians should pester your Suffolk ; although glad in this, that they could not Light upon a soyle more fruitful of able oppugners: it is a wonder to me, to think that men fhould Labour to be witty, to rob themselves of comfort : Good Sir. Let me know these new Disciples of Leyden ; that I may note them with that black cole they are worthy of ; Troublers of a better peace then that of the Church, the peace of the Christian soul : they pretend antiquity; What heresy doth not so? What marvell is.
is, if they would wrest Fathers to them, while they use Scripture is felffo violently; For that their first instance of Hymenew and Alexaxder how vain it is like themselves?
Nothing can be more plain then that those men were grossc hyppocrites; who doubes therefore but they might fall from all that good, they pretended co have; What is this to prove that a true child of God may do so: buc (say they ) these men "had faith and a good conscience ; True, such a faith and goodnesse of conscience
be incident into a Worldly counterfeit. Yca but (they seply), a true juftifying faith ; I think such a one as their own ; rather I may say these men desevre not the praise of Himereus his faith; which is nothing in this place but Orthodoxe do&rine ; How oft doch St. Pauluse the word so, to his Timothy, i Tim. 4. 1. In the latter times fome Naall depart from the faith ; interpreted in the next words, and shall give heed to fpirits of error, and do&rines of Devills; and 2 Tim. 3. 8. He describes his false teachers by this tidle, Reproba:e concerning the faith ; Which I think no man will expound of the grace, but he Doctrine: Yet (say they) there is no neceflicy binds us to that sense here : But the scope of this place compared with o
evince it ; That which followes plainly points us to this meaning that they might learn not to blasphere ) Their sin was therefore an Apostasy from the Doftrine of the Gospel, and casting foul aspersions upon that profession; so that an oppofition to wholesome Doctrine was their shipwrack : They except yer; A good conscience is added to this faich; therefore it must needs be meant of justifying faith ; Do but turne your eyes to 1 Tim. 3.9. where (as in a commentary upon this place ) you fhall finde faith and good conscience so conjoyned;char yet the Doctrinc, not the verrue of faich is significd: St. Paul describes his Deacon there by his spiritual wealth ; Having the mystery of faith in pure conscience : No man can be so grofse to take the mystery of faith for the grace of faith ; or for any other then the same Author in the fame chapter cals the mystery of Godlyness : It is indeed fit that a good conscience should be the cofer, where truth of Christian Doctrine is the treasure ; Therefore both are justly commanded together; and likely each accompanies other in their loss, and that of Irenew is found true of all hereticks; fententiam impiam, vitam luxuriofam, br.Yea but Hymenews and Alexander had both these then, and loft boch:
They had both in ourward profession, nor in inward tincerity; that rule is certain and eternal, If they had been of us, they had concinued with us; nothing is more ordinary with the Spirit of God then to suppose us such as we pretend ; that he might give us an example of Charity in the censure of each other: of which kind is that nored place, Heb. 10.29. And counteth the blood of the Testament wherewith he w.us fan&ifged an unholy thing and those unusual clogies which are given to the Churches, to whom the Apostolical letters were directed.
This place therefore intends no other but that Himenew and Alexairder,
which were once professors of the Christian doctrine, and such as lived orderly in an unblameable, and outwardly holy fa fhion to the World, bad now turn'd their copy; caft off the profession which they made, and were fallen both to loosenesse of manners, & calumniation of the truth they had abandoned.
For that other Scripture, Rom. 8. 12, 13. No place can be more effectual to cut the throat of this uncomfortable heresy : St. Paul writes to a mixt company; it were strange if all the Romans should have been truly sanctifyed ; those which were yet carnal he threats with death, if ye live after the flesh ye shall dye ; Those which are regenerate ( contrary to the wicked paradox of those men) he affures of life ; If ye mortifie the deeds of the fleslo by the Spirit, ye shall live: How doch he exclude the Spirit of bondage to fear; which these good guides would lead in again ; how confidently doch he averr the inward teftimony of Gods Spirit to ours; and ascribes that voice to it which bars all doubt and disappointment;}and tels us by the powerful assurance of this Abba, we are sons, and if sons heirs, coheirs with Christ; Let them now go and say;that God may disinherit his own son, that he may cast off his adopted : But,say they, to the same regenerate persons he applyes these two clauses, and faith at once, ye have received the Spirit of a loption, and yet,if
ye walk after the fleshoye sball die ; what followes of this commination ? any assertion of the possibility of Apostasy in the regenerare ? Nothing lesse: These threats are to make us take better hold, and to walk more warily; as a father that hath for his little son on horseback (it is Zanchies comparison ) bids him hold faft, or else he shall fall; though he uphold him the while;that both he may cause him hereby to fit faft and call che more carneftlyfor his supportation. But the scope of