Imágenes de páginas
[ocr errors][merged small]

There is no created being, or second cause whatsoever, but dependeth upon the first and supreme Cause or Being, which is God: and this as well in the second as in the first act; I mean as well in the motions and operations issuing from, or performed by, every of them, as in their simple existence or being itself


Though there be as absolute and essential a dependence of second causes upon the first, in point of motion, action, and operation, as of simple existence or being; yet are not the motions, actions, or operations of second causes, at least ordinarily, so immediately or precisely determined by that dependence which they have upon the first cause as their respective beings are

CHAPTER III. Concerning the foreknowledge and knowledge of God; and the difference between these, and his desires, purposes, intentions, and decrees; and how these also are distinguished the one from the other

CHAPTER IV. Concerning the perfection of God, in his nature and being, and some things clearly deducible from it; particularly in simplicity, actuality, and goodness in decrees . - - - - - CHAPTER V. Four several veins or correspondences of Scriptures propounded, holding forth the death of Christ for all men, without exception of any. The first of these argued - CHAPTER VI. Wherein several texts of the second sort of Scriptures, propounded Chap. V., as holding forth the Universality of Redemption by Christ, are discussed . CHAPTER VII. The third sort, or consort of Scriptures, mentioned Chap. V., as clearly asserting the Doctrine hitherto maintained, argued, and managed to the same point - - - CHAPTER VIII. Wherein the Scriptures of the fourth and last association, propounded Chap. W., as pregnant also with that great truth hitherto maintained, are impartially weighed and considered - - - CHAPTER IX. Containing a digression about the commonly received Doctrine of Perseverance, occasioned by several passages in the preceding chapter, wherein the benefit and comfort of that doctrine, which teacheth a possibility of the saints' declining even to destruction, is avouched and clearly evicted, above the other.

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

. 177

[merged small][ocr errors]


Exhibiteth several grounds and reasons whereby the universality of redemp-
tion by Christ, or Christ's dying for all men, without exception, is demon-
stratively evicted

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

to the


P. Rovost of ki Ng's college, AND vice-chance Llor or Tue UNIVERsity of cAM bri DGE:

Tog EThert with The REST OF THE



REveREND and right worthy Gentlemen, Friends, and Brethren in Christ, how either yourselves or others will interpret this Dedication, I am, I confess, no such seer as to be able to foresee; and were the foresight hereof to be bought, I should strain myself very little to make the purchase. I have the witness within me, whose prerogative it is to laugh all jealousies and suggestions of men to scorn, which rise up in opposition to his testimony, clearly assuring me that the oracles consulted by me about this Dedication were neither any undervaluing of you, nor overvaluing of myself, or of the piece here presented unto you, nor any desire of drawing respects from you, either to my person or any thing that is mine; much less any malignity of desire to cause you to drink of my cup, or to bring you under the same cloud of disparagement with me, which the world hath spread round about me. Praise unto his grace, who hath taught me some weak rudiments of his heavenly art of drawing light out of darkness, for mine own use, I have not been for so many years together trampled upon to so little purpose, as to remain yet either ignorant or insensible of mine own vileness, and what element I am nearest allied unto; or so tender and querulous as either to complain of the weight of those who still “go over me as the stones in the street,” or to project the sufferings of others in order to my own solace and relief. My long deprivation and want of respects from men is now turned to an athletic habit, somewhat after the manner of those who by long fasting lose their appetites, and withal, either contract or find an ability or contentedness of nature to live with little or no meat afterwards. I can, (iv ro, ivovyanoivri us xpiro,” Philip. iv. 13,) from the dunghill whereon I sit, with much contentment and sufficient enjoyment of myself, behold my brethren on thrones round about me. The prize, then, that I run for in my dedicatory applications unto you is, by the opportunity and advantage hereof, to excite, provoke, and engage, and this, if it may be, beyond and above all reasonableness of pretence to decline the service, those whom I judged the most able, and not the least willing among their brethren, to bless the world, labouring and turmoiling itself under its own vanity and folly, by bringing forth the glorious Creator and ever-blessed Redeemer of it out of their pavilions of darkness into a clear and perfect light, to be beheld, reverenced, and adored in all their glory; to be possessed, enjoyed, delighted in, in all their beauty, sweetness, and desirableness, by the inhabitants of the earth. I know you have no need to be taught; but possibly you may have some need to consider that your gifts, parts, learning, knowledge, wisdom, books, studies, opportunities, pleasant mansions, will all suddenly make company for that which is not, and never turn to any account of true greatness unto you, nor of any interest worthy the lightest thoughts of truly prudent and considering men, unless they shall, by a serious and solemn act of consecration, be consigned over unto, and interested in, that great service of God and men whereby that blessed union between them shall be promoted and advanced, the foundations whereof have been by so high an hand of grace laid in the blood of Jesus Christ. You know the saying of the great Prophet of the world,—“He that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad,” Matt. xii. 30. Whatsoever shall not suffer, yea, and offer itself to be taken and carried along by and with Jesus Christ, in that grand and sublime motion wherein he moveth daily, according to the counsel of his Father, in a straight course for the saving of the world, will most certainly be dissipated and shattered all to nothing, by the irresistible dint and force thereof; how much more that which shall stand in his way, obstruct, and oppose him in this his motion! Especially gifts, parts, reason, understanding in men, improved and raised, or under means and opportunities of being improved and raised by study, learning, knowledge, if these do not make one shoulder with Jesus Christ in lifting up the world from the gates of death ; much more in case they shall disadvantage and indispose the world to a receiving

* Non est arrogantia, sed fides, prædicare ea qua, accepisti.-Aug.

« AnteriorContinuar »