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To The
Right Worshipfull
Provost of King's College;
VICE-CHANCELOUR of the University
of Cambridge. – These present.


BECAUSE I understand, that Mr. Cradock[1] was pleased, not long since, to say; (He knows, to whom;) that some of Us deal disingenuously with you: in speaking against some of your Tenents; without dealing with you in private: though I <2> doe not fancy, as some others, this affected word Ingenuous; and I wish, the thing itself were not idolized; to the prejudice of Saving Grace: yet, if I must use the word; truely, Sir, I desire to be so ingenuous with you; as, out of that ancient and still continued love and respect I bear you, to crave leave to tell you; that my heart hath bin much exercised about you: and that, especially since your being Vice-chancelour, I have seldom hear’d you preach; but that something hath bin delivered by you, and that so authoritatively, and with the big words, sometimes of "divinest reason," and sometimes of "more than mathematical demonstration;" that hath very much grieved me; and, I beleive, others with me: and yesterday, as much as any time. I pass-by many things in your sermon; and crave leave to note three or foure.

I. Your second Position, - “that all those things, wherein good men differ, may not be determined from Scripture; and that itt in some places seems to be for the one part, and in some other places for the other.” – I take to be unsafe and unsound.

II. Your first advice, - “that we wou’d be confined to Scripture words and expressions; in which all parties agree; and not press other forms of words, which are from fallible men: and this wou’d be for the peace of Christendom.” – I look-at, as more dangerous: and verily beleive; that Christ by his bloud never intended to purchase such a peace; in which the most Orthodox, (for that word I <3> must use; though it be now-a-days stomached:) with Papists, Arians, Socinians, and all the worst of Hæretiques, must be all put into a bag together; and, let them hold and maintain their own, though never so damnable hæresies; yet, as long as they agree with Us in Scripture expressions, they must be accorded-with. – And yet,

III. Your second Advice gives your ingenuous man liberty to propound his own different conceptions; and, it may be, to brand the contrary opinion with the black mark of “Divinity taught in Hell:” which will take-away as much peace; as the former Advice promised to give us. This libertas prophetandi, in most that ever hitherto pressed it, did semper aliquid monstri alere: and when I discerne, whose footsteps appear in these two Advices; I am very sorry to see Dr. Whichcot, whom I so much love and honour, to tread in them. Of both these advices, what ground there was from the Text[2] ; I leave indifferent to men to judge. Sir, your heart, I beleive, was full of them; and that was the reason of that so importune propounding of them. And although you told us, You cou’d not pass them by; yet My dulness is such, as to think; many a good minister wou’d have made as profitable a sermon, from that text: and, having insisted on Christ’s giving Repentance, which You omitted; wou’d never have thought of those notions: and, it may be, wou’d have as much smiled at Him, <4> that shou’d have told him; that the text cou’d not be well handled, without them: as at Him, that shou’d have said; that a Commencement oration cou’d not have been made, without a large discourse of Recta Ratio[3] .

IV. Your discourse about Reconciliation; that “it doth not operate on God, but on Us; “that e nobis nascitur, &c;” is Divinity, which my heart riseth against: and though, if you meant, that for God so to dissemble and overlook sin, as to be reconciled to them that continue in it; is an impossibility to the nature of God, and Divinity (as your deepe word had it,) taught in Hell; *** yet to say, that the ground of God’s reconciliation is from any thing in Us; and not from His free grace, freely justifying the ungodly; is to deny one of the fundamental truths of the Gospel, that derives from Heaven; which, I bless God, lyeth neer to my heart: it is dearer to me, than my life: and therfore you will pardon me, in this my bolder παῤῥησία and freeness: in which if I have exceeded, you will easily impute all oversights to the straytes of an hour; which I had, to write this letter; and a copy of it. And, Sir, altho’ your Speech and Answers the last Commencement were, in the judgement of abler men than my self, against My Commencement Position the former year[4] ; <5> and your first yesterday Advice directly against My Commencement Sermon; and what You delivered yesterday about Reconciliation, if I mistake not, flatly against what I have preached for you in Trinity pulpit*[5] : yet in holy reverence I call God to wittness, that all this I have laid aside; nor hath it putt any quickness into my pen. But Zeal for God’s Glory and Truth; Desire, that young ones may not be tainted; and that Your name and repute may not be blemished; and that My self with other your friends may not be grieved, but comforted and edified by your ministry, and so may have more incouragement to attend upon it; have been the weights upon my Spirit, that thus sett the wheel a-going: which, if upon the wheels, in Solomon's phrase,[6] will have better access to you; and acceptance with you: which with my humble service I desire to present; and subscribe myself, Sir,

Your unfeigned Friend and Servant,

September 8, 1651.





I Received your letter, last night; and my sleep since hath been mostly meditation thereon: and in the issue, my thoughts suggest; If I be faulty, “let the Righteous reprove me; it shall not break my head[7] :” and blessed be the man, that rids me of an Error!

Sir, I assure you, I have taken many things of late years, since your return to the University, very kindly from you; and have layd them up by me, as certain expressions of your faithfullness to me; but your plain dealings with me in this your letter, I preferr before all the rest: and I do give you the advantage therein of a Messenger sent to me from Heaven. Onely I must examine the things that you say; for, saith the Apostle, “shou’d an angel from heaven bring, &c.[8]

Sir, I do speak my heart to you, I do not dissemble, I have had you all along in very high esteem; and have borne you reverence, beyond what you do or can imagine; having in me a living and quick sense of my first relation <7> to you: and, of all men alive, I have least affected to differ from You; or to call in quæstion either what You have done or said or thought: but your judgement I have regarded with reverence and respect. I do not, I can not, forgett my four first yeares’ education in the University under you; and I think, I have principles by me, I then received from You. In the next place I acknowledge Dr. Hill rising-up in the same place, as to Me; and continuing the relation of Tutor to me, or the next three years; and my inward hearty Friend, before and since. And give me leave to superadde Dr. Arrowsmith, though not in that relation to me; a later acquaintance indeed, but my friend of choice; a companion of my special delight: whom in my former years I have acquainted with all my heart, I have told him all my thoughts; and I have scarcely either spoken or thought better of a man; in respect of the sweetness of his spirit, and amiableness of his conversation.

Sir, to my great grief and trouble, I have been of late very sensible of an abatement of former familiarity and openness; and we have not conversed with that singleness and simplicity of heart, as heretofore: our Hearts have not seemed to be together, when our Persons have bin: but we have looked upon one another, rather with shieness and fear; than with former love and good-will. I have sometimes attempted to make a discovery of the matter; but I have mett with reservedness, and an endeavour to decline all discourse of that nature: where <8> upon I resolved, that time wou’d work-out all displicency and offence; and lead into a good understanding. Sir, your letter hath now given me the happiest advantage possible; by discovering to me the cordolium: I am freely willing, heartily ready, to be accountable, to give satisfaction. If I have done prejudice to saving grace, by idolizing natural ingenuity; the Lord reprove itt to me, and discover to me this sin, by any hand whatsoëver. If I have given true cause of offense and grief, to the hearts of good men; I desire, I may know itt: I shall be ready to deprecate itt. If I have any way tainted the minds of young ones with errour and falshood; blessed be the man, whosoëver he be, that confutes that errour. I heartily pray, that no man may receive an Opinion from me; but onely abide in the Truth: I never hear with better acceptance, and greater delight; than when the speaker professeth to correct a mistake: I wou’d be, I am sure, a lover and pursuer of Truth.

Now, Sir, to deal clearly with you; the matter of your letter meets with no guilt in my conscience: I am not self-convinced; not self-condemned: either you have mistaken me; or, in my understanding, it is God’s truth you do reprove. To make this appear to you, I will give you an account in particulars.

For the matter of my Commencement Speech; I must stand to it, as a manifest truth of God; of great importance: it was well considered by me; God was sought, for direction and assistence; and hath bin since acknow <9> ledged, by me. I shou’d sin against God, stante hoc judicio, to decline it, to disown it. And I assure you, Sir, preaching seven years since at Trinity lecture, on the first chapter to the Romans; and taking notice withall of somewhat in the second; these phrases of the Apostle, concerning men not under a gospel dispensation – τὸ γνωστὸν τοῦ θεοῦ, I. v. 19. leaving the natural use, v. 27. without natural affection, v. 31. holding truth in unrighteousness, v. 18. τὰ ἀόρατα ἀυτοῦ τοῖς ποιήμασι νοούμενα, v. 20. γνόντες τὸν θεὸν, v. 21. ἐις ἀσύνετον καρδίαν, ἐις πάθη ἀτιμίας, ἐις ἀδόκιμον νοῦν, v. 28. ἔθνη τὰ τοῦ νόμου ποιῇ φύσει, II. v. 14. and ἑαυτοῖς νόμος – have forced upon me all those notions I do entertain, or have publiquely delivered; concerning natural light, or the use of reason. I now forbear many other parallel scriptures, to establish the truth; and instance onely in these: my sermon-notes upon which lying yet by me of seven year’s date, being a good evidence for me; that the notion itself, was by me publiquely declared, long before your Commencement Quæstion[9] . And indeed I took not offense at your quæstion; but was well enough satisfied in your explication and defense of it: thinking, if we differed in some expression, yet we agreed in sense and meaning. And, I assure you, that the primary intention of my Commencement speech was, de certitudine et dignitate Christianae religionis; thinking that a subject worthy <10> such a meeting, and to edification: wherto whatsoëver I said, of its satisfactoriness to true Reason, the mind and understanding of man, came in as accessory; and primarily neither foreseen nor intended. What befell us in disputation, was sudden, occasional, unthought-of; it may be, before the answer, as little known to me, as the argument; wherof however I have no record by me: and therfore I referr that part to Conference; wherby the memory of the argument may call-back the memory of the answer.

Concerning your Commencement Sermon; truly I doe not think, it hath bin in my memory, of many months; till your letter yesternight caused me to recall it: sure I am, I had no consideration of it; in my late preparing or preaching of my sermon: neyther do I now know, whether there be any inconsistency; between what you then said, and I since. Concerning sermons you have preached for me at Trinity; (which truly is a great obligation upon me: and I hope, you will not impute such baseness to me; as indignly to reflect upon so great a respect and kindness to me:) as I was not present to hear, so to this hour I know no more, ’bate what is in your letter, concerning them; than onely that my wife still told me, how much she was revived by your excellent paines, as I think, upon “We, as ambassadours, beseech you to be reconciled[10] .” But to call in quæstion or contradict you, in <11> aught you had taught, was neyther in the sense of my mind; nor indeed, within the compasse of my possibility: the things being wholely unknown to me.

In the last place, concerning my late sermon; I have betaken my self to my notes, my rule in speaking; and I shall give you the Positions: as I find them written, and remember them spoken.

“I. I perswade myself; that all truly good men among us, do substantially agree; in all things saving.

“II. That some things, wherein we differ, are not certainly determined in Scripture; but that which both parties say, seems to have countenance somewhere or other. Yea, I think, God may have reserved somewhat from us, as not hujus temporis; or His secret, and that He wou’d not have us know. Nolite altum sapere, in this case.

“III. The proposal for peace---That all be looked-upon as fallible, which is ultra et citra scripturam.”---And, Sir, is there on earth power to adde, alter or change? is not the foundation of Protestancy, Sacra scriptura est adaequata regula fidei? are not scripture formes of words sufficient, yea aptest, to convey and carry all saving truth to the mindes and understandings of men? Farther I argued thus for peace among good Christians. – “Good men, differing in their own expressions, yet agree in scripture formes of words: acknowledging, the meaning of the holy Ghost in them is true; and they endeavour to understand and finde it out, as <12> well as they can: therfore they shou’d continue friends; and think, they agree; rather than think, they do not agree; (because they do agree, in what is God’s and infallible; though they differ, in what is their own and fallible:) and upon this consideration forbear one another; and not impose their own, either sense or phrase.” And I think, all Protestants hold; that Cuilibet Christiano conceditur judicium discretionis: against the Pope’s usurpation of Judex infallibilis visibilis in rebus fidei.

And truly, Sir, I think; I shou’d give a great deal too little to the wisdom of God in Scripture: if I shou’d not think it, without any humane supplement, sufficient; to convince Popery, to assert the divinity of Christ, and to declare the notion of His death, and to secure the mindes of men from whatsoëver supposed hæresy or blasphemy. And I perswade my-self; that good men have light enough, and direction plain and full enough, from Scripture; to enable them to discover and decline such wicked company, as your letter supposeth. And, Sir, wheras you say; you discerne, in whose footsteppes I tread: if you meane any late author, I can assure you; I can shew you all these matters in a Position in Emanuel college chappel, at Problemes[11] made by me, fourteene yeares agoe, de potestate et regimine ecclesiae: which I wonder that those times shou’d beare, and not these. <13> So that it is true, that you saye; my heart was full: for indeed, my head hath bin possessed with this truth, these manie yeares; and I have long since freely reasoned and disputed it, with some of the ancientest and in chiefe place in the university: so that I am not late or newe in that persuasion; concerning scripture sufficiency and non-imposing.

“IV. The proposal for progress and growth in knowledge – That an ingenuous-spirited Christian, after application to God, and diligent use of meanes to finde-out truth; might fairely propose, without offense taken, what upon search he findes cause to beleeve; and whereon he will venture his own soule.” This (I said) might be converse to mutual edification; and without disturbance to the world: and so I have long thought; and do continue to think so still: and, if herein I be in an errour, I shou’d be glad to be shewn it.

For the point of Reconciliation – I shall write you out a coppy of my notes, in that point: wherby you will easily understand, how you wrong both my wordes and meaning.

“Christ doth not save us; by onely doing for us, without us: yea, we come at that, which Christ hath done for us, within us. For, in order of execution, it is, as the wordes are placed in the text; Repentance, before Forgiveness of sins: Christ is to be acknowledged, as a principle of grace in us; as well as an advocate for us. For the scripture holdes-forth Christ to us, under a double notion; <14> 1. to be felt in us, as the new man; in contradiction to the old man: as a divine nature; in contra-distinction to the degenerate and apostate nature: and as a principle of heavenly life; contrary to the life of sin, and spirit of the world: 2. to be beleeved-on by us, as a sacrifice for the expiation and atonement of sin; as an advocate and meanes of reconciliation between God and Man. And Christ doth not dividedly performe these offices; one, and not the other. For reconciliation between God and Us, is not wrought, as somtimes it is said and pretended to be in the world, between parties mutually incensed and exasperated one against another: when the urgency of a case makes them to forbear hostility, and acting one against the other; their inward antipathie and enmitie in the mean while rather increased, inflamed: because they take not up the difference fairely, nor come to agree in the cause; but causa continens odii still continues: so that, though an amnestie be consented-to, yet are they not friendes; but in heart enemies. Wherfore our saviour, to distinguish, saith; If ye from your heartes forgive not, &c.[12] But with God there can not be reconciliation; without Our becoming God-like: for God’s acts are not false, overly, imperfect; God cannot make a vaine shew; God, being perfectly under the power of goodness, can <15> not denie himself: because, if he shou’d, he wou’d depart from goodnesse; which is impossible to God. Therfore We must yeelde, be subdued to the rules of goodnesse, receeve stamps and impressions from God; and God can not be farther pleased, than goodnesse takes place. They therfore deceeve and flatter themselves extreamly; who thinke of reconciliation with God, by meanes of a Saviour, acting upon God in their behalfe; and not also working in or upon them, to make them God-like. Nothing is more impossible than this; as being against the nature of God: which is in perfect agreement with goodnesse, and hath an absolute antipathie against iniquity, unrighteousnesse and sin. And we cannot imagine, that God by his Will and Pleasure can go against his Nature and Being.” [The phrase, ‘Divinity minted or taught in Hell;’ I finde not in my notes: but it was suddainly spoken; upon this abuse of God and cheat of our-selves.] “To put this upon a Saviour to doe; and impotently to flatter our-selves in the conceit of such a thing, which a parte Dei ponit repugnantiam; were, instead of reconciling Heaven and Earth, to divide God against Himselfe. And this is a demonstration in Divinity; beyond which no demonstration in Astronomie is more certain. If we wou’d be true to our-selves, let our faith have no contradiction from within us; let not our sense give our conceits the lye; let us taste and see, &c.-”


Now, whether there be anie thing in all this, contrary to “free grace, freely justifying the ungodly;” as you seeme to inferr: I leave to your self upon second thoughts to judge. Or whether this whole discourse be not, as was by me intended, wholely pointed against those, that “turn the grace of God into wantonnesse;” and pretend to be reconciled to God, through Justification; wheras they continue enemies to God, through want of Sanctification; and the renewing of the spirit by Christ.

Sir, You wrong me very much; in mis-quoting, oritur e nobis; and attributing it to the ground of our acceptance with God. I finde in my notes these wordes, Salvatio nascitur e nobis, suscipitura nobis;” in the gloss I had upon the wordes, viz.the true notion of salvation: a saviour to give repentance and forgiveness. Some look at salvation, as at a thing at distance from them; the benefit of some convenient place to be in; exemtion from punishment; freedom from enemies abroad: but it is the mending of our natures, and the safety of our persons, our health and strength within our selves,” [Nothing in this is intended to leave-out the authour of our salvation; or a quo salvatio oritur:] “and our good state and condition with God; the work of grace and favour towards us and upon us; our being restored to righteousnesse, goodnesse and truth; and our being reconciled to God, so as we may truly finde the kingdom of God within us.---” * * *




HAVING now at last this morning, since tenn o’clock, gotten a little free liberty from company, to consider of your large letter; in which your love putt you to so much paines in writing it: I have borrowed two or three houres from my preparation for to-morrowe’s sermon; to give you a shorte and suddaine account of my thoughts about itt.

And first, Sir, I cannot but very thankfully acknowledge your favour and love; in that your so earnest care and endeavour for my satisfaction: and your pious ingenuity; in being so desirous, in case you shou’d be out of the way, of better information and direction. For those larger expressions of your greater respects, to the two others you mention, and my selfe; whatever They may be, I, who do or shou’d know my own meanness; do freely and really, without glozing, professe my selfe unworthy of them: and therfore must impute them, to your goodnesse, wholely; and not at all, to anie deserts in my self. What expressions of strangenesse you have of late observed in Them, I must leave to You <18> and Them: for my selfe, this I can very truly say; that as, from my first knowledge of you, I have ever loved you; so, since my returne hither, your great worth in your self, and much kindnesse to me, have obliged me more affectionately to honour you. This indeed, I must confesse, is my – I cannot well say whether, Temper or Weaknesse; it may be both: that I have no skill in court-complements and dissemblings; to hide distastes in the disguise of a counterfeit smile. I have learnt it from Sir Francis Bacon; that an unreserved openesse and freenesse have bin ever eminent in those, that have bin most manly and generous: I am none of them; butt in this foe farr like them, that I desire to deale plainely with all: especially with those, whom I most respect. And truly, Sir, if there have bin any abatement of intimacy and freedom, either in Them or Myselfe; I think, in your letter you have layd your finger on that sore. I think for Them, I am sure for My-self, that the onely cordolium is and hath bin; that we fear, the truth of Christ, much dearer than dearest friendes, hath bin and may be prejudiced; and so young ones in the universitie tainted, and others greeved, by a veine of doctrine; which runnes up and down in manie of Your discourses, and [in those] of some others of verie great worth; whom We verie much honour, and whom You head, as some think; though, for this last particular, I verily think otherwise. A brief synopsis, or some fewe particulars of it, I shall present You with by-and-bye.


Sir, you take too much paines, in clearing your-self from reflecting upon me, in your Commencement speech and answers and last Lord’s-day’s sermon. In my letter I from my heart told you, I heeded it not: I beleeve, it was not ex intentione operantis; whatsoever it were, operis. If the truth of God be not opposed; I hope, He will quiet my heart; though I be.

For what you say, about your commencement speech and answers; “that the matter of it is a manifest truth, and of great importance; your declared judgement seven yeares before, out of Romans the first and second; in which manie passages, which you cite, seeme to make for it; that you were not offended with my quæstion, but satisfied with my explication; and that your intention in that speech was de certitudine et dignitate Christianae religionis; and what was spoken about Reason was accessary, and not primarily intended:” – Give me leave freely and playnely to expresse my-selfe – That a discourse de certitudine, &c. was indeed an argument fitt for such a meeting: but that certainely I beleeve, most of your auditours wou’d have judged, might have bin more satisfactorily and theologically made-out, from the certainty of divine testimonie, and faith in it; than of reason: and wou’d gladly then, and at other times, have Faith to have bin advanced; rather than Reason cried-up: which is yet so frequently [done], that it is now cramte, not bis but centies cocta; and so proves nauseous: and <20> your then so large discourse about it, but the fourth edition of what manie of them had before, in your position, determination, sermons, at Trinity and otherwhere. And for strangers, ministers and others, who had before but sinister thoughts of your judgement in that particular; their prejudice was more confirmed: and so increased, that it hath bin a greefe to divers of your friendes to hear and read what they doe of you in that kinde; and that from all quarters: So that I beleeve, it had bin your wisdom to have forborne: but they apprehended it to be then carried-on with a high hand, both by your selfe and others; so as rendered most of your auditours more disaffected than satisfied: who conceeve, that that saying of “the candle of the Lord, &c.[13] ” so over-frequentlie quoted, makes nothing to that purpose; and those instances out of Rom. I and II as little: the first of the places relating to the searching of our owne, or, as Piscator conceeveth, of another’s heart and actions; not of divine truths: and the latter to what is Theologiæ Naturalis, in which natural reason is of more use; not to what is purely super-natural and evangelical: in which what use yet there is and may be of reason, and the exercise of itt; in my position I endeavoured to expresse. But that our faith shou’d be ultimately resolved in rationem rei, ex parte objecti; and that ex parte subjecti, ratio humana shou’d be summus judex; which was expressly asserted by you, in your <21> answer to my argument: as I then said, it was new, so now I thinke it very strange divinity. And for that you then said, and now in one part of your letter write; that all protestants hold, that Cuilibet Christiano conceditur judicium discretionis; it is very true, as you well adde in your letter, against the Pope’s usurpation of Judex infallibilis visibilis in rebus fidei: a true beleever shou’d not be a brute, but have somthing above a Collier’s faith[14] ; implicity to beleeve, whatever the Pope and his church saith: nay, he is to be amongst those ἐυγενέστεροι[15] , and it is a part of the ingenuousnesse of his spirit, as he is a man, especiallie as a Christian, ἀνακρίνειν, to search, and with the judgement of discretion to judge, whatever the best men suggest. But you will please to observe, what is there said; “they searched the scriptures, whether those things were so”: by which it appears, that the scriptures were the rule, by which they judged of the doctrine delivered to them: so that what the scripture or divine testimonie of God held-out, they withoute dispute beleeved: and judged, not itt; but man’s doctrine, by itt. And although man’s understanding be subjectum naturaliter receptivum illuminationis supernaturalis; and, eo nomine, when Faith acts, Reason acts also: yet this is verie farr from resolving Faith into Reason. Au'stine from the word hath taught me; quod scimus, debemus rationi; quae credimus, authoritati. – <22> But I have forgotten my-selfe; in so farr launching into a dispute, which I intended not, about the Commencement buisnesse. – I more briefly touch upon what you write, about your last sermon: in which you say, “you have betaken your-selfe to your notes; which are your rule of speaking”: but, I suppose, such a rule, as you doe not strictely tie your-selfe unto; as appeares by your first marginal[16] annotation in your letter. And truly, Sir, were I not so conscious to my owne dulness and unfaythfulness of memorie, I shou’d be very prone to think; that your delivery in the pulpitt and these notes differ: and the rather, because I perceeve others, of better judgements and memories than my-selfe, agree with me in thinking; that you spake to the sense, that in my former letter I expressed. But I am confident, you write; as you apprehend, you spake: and we must beleeve Your notes, rather than Our memories: and therfore I shall followe then; and, as I goe along, compare them with my letter: in which, it may be, I might in some thinges be mistaken.

When you persuade yourself, that “all truly good men among us do substantially agree; in all thinges saving”: that word substantially is a good salvo; but – those things saving – itt may be, we do not agree what is meant by them. What and how manie they are, manie good men differ in; and, it may be, you and I <23> doe: I beleeve, those fundamentall saving thinges are, in some mens’ judgements, butt very few; and they leave out of them very many substantial truths; in which if good men shou’d differ, itt wou’d be very uncomfortable: and, as I wrote, itt wou’d be verie unsafe and unsound to say, that they are not certainely determined in the scriptures; butt that they shou’d seeme, in some places or other, to countenance the two contrary parties. Some thinges of lesse consequence, I grant, may not particularly be determined by scripture; but by consequences: and though some other thinges, of greater consequence and higher nature, may be “God’s secrets”; yet I beleeve, whatever God reveles or delivers in scripture, they are so farr hujus temporis, I meane hujus vitæ et mundi; that, although they be not curiously to be inquired into and judged and measured by our reason and understanding; yet they are, so farr as delivered by God, humblie to be beleeved and submitted-to: and so are by God determined in the scriptures, though we may not easily determine of them. And this perfection I give to the scripture; which, in your next paragraph, you insist upon: for whereas, in your first proposal, I conceeved itt dangerous; that, “in case both parties hold to scripture expressions,” though they may differ, and that dangerouslie, in their contrary interpretations of them; “they shou’d agree”: - as a manifest syncretism with the worste of hæretiques; who will not denie the wordes of scripture: and therfore in councils and synods they have con <24> stantely framed some wordes, to expresse the true meaning of scripture; against heterodoxie: which as You in publique, so divers times in private I have heard others expresse a dislike of insisting-upon, as fallible. –

You ask me, “whether on earth there be any power to adde alter or change; and whether it be not the foundation of protestancy, Scriptura sacra est adaequata regula fidei; and are not scripture-formes sufficient, yea aptest, to convey all saving truths to the mindes and understandings of men?” And afterward, You “think, you shou’d give a great deele too little to the wisdom of God in scripture: if you shou’d not think it sufficient, without any human supplement, to convince popery; and to assert the divinitie of Christ, &c; from whatsoever supposed hæresie or blasphemie: and I you are persuaded; that good men have light enough from scripture, to inable them to discover and decline such wicked company; &c: and that you argued for peace among good Christians; who, tho’ differing in their own expressions, yet agree in scripture formes of wordes; &c: and therfore shou’d continue friends; and think, they rather agree; than not: because they do agree, in what is God’s and infallible, though they differ, in what is their own and fallible.” – I answer – That I beleeve, there is no power on earth to adde alter or change the scriptures; which are the adæquate rule of faith: but I verilie beleeve too; that true explications and interpretations of the wordes <25> of scripture, though in different wordes from itt, are no such additions or alterations. Nor dare I condemn ancient and modern councils and synods, in their ὀμοόυσιος, ἀχωρίστως, ἀτρέπτως, ἀσυγχύτως, persona, &c; nor other orthodox commentators and paraphrasts; as guilty of such a prophane violation: nor, I beleeve, will you yourself; who, it may be, too much affect schoole-expressions: which often rather darken the discourses, than illustrate the truth. These are no human supplements; as though the scripture without them were imperfect: but they onely argue an imperfection in our understandings; which need such helps and glosses, to reade what is written; though in its selfe it be sufficientlie legible. I beleeve alsoe; that scripture formes of wordes are sufficient; and, in a true sense, aptest; to convey to us all saving truth: for in such truths, necessarie to salvation, we truly hold; that the scripture, κατὰ τὸ ῥητὸν, is playne and evident: but those thinges, which are so saving, You before supposed all good men agreed-in; they were those other thinges, in which you conceeved they differ, which heere you speak-of: and, even in those thinges most saving, though to a cleare and undistorted eye they are cleare enough; yet, if the minde and judgement be weake; it may be, the same truth of scripture, fullie cleare in its selfe, may be spoken in other wordes more playnely to such a weak capacitie: The childe, it may be, will better understande the mother’s lisping, than when she speakes more plainelie. All childrens’ catechismes are not made-up of the <26> express wordes of scripture; other wordes, expressing the true sense of them, may more distinctely and particularly discover anie corruption: which was the occasion of orthodox divines in all ages framing of newe wordes and expressions; more punctuallie to holde-out old truths, againste hæretiques’ innovations: that as They, in their owne wordes, give a false sense of scripture; so We, in ours, may give a true. Nor is this, by anie orthodox divines that I knowe of, accounted anie diminution of the wisdom of God in scripture; though some others have accounted it soe: (of whom bye-and-bye;) who are guilty not onely of “supposed hæresies and blasphemies,” as your worde is; but of real ones. And although goode men, as you say, have light enough from scripture, to discover and decline such wicked companie; yet truly I must not oppose orthodox explications of scripture to scripture: but thankfullie acknowledge it a great mercie of God; that, by such helps, I may the better understand scripture; and so better discover their depravations of itt: which, whilst I am weake and unwarie, I may be the sooner deluded by; if I must be so charitable as to agree with them, if they adhære to the infallible expressions of scripture; onely differ from man’s expressions, which are but fallible. – But you “argued thus, for peace among good Christians; who, agreeing in scripture formes of wordes, shou’d rather think, they do agree; than not: and because they differ onely in their owne expressions, which are fallible.” – How I shoulde think that they agree, when <27> they hold contradictory assertions; I cannot think: and for who are good Christians, when every one, that is indeed so, is prone to think another so; and when hæretiques of old, and divers of later times, have bin sober and temperate; nec sine larva summae pietatis: - I think, that we shou’d look rather to their doctrines, than their persons.

I said, I was sorrie to see you treade, in these proposals, in some bodies footsteppes: to wihch you answer; “that, if I meane anie late authour, you assure me; that these matters you had in a Probleme, fourteene yeares since; and therfore wonder, that those times shou’d beare them; and not these: so that you acknowledge, your heart is full, and head hath bin possessed, of these truths, these manie yeares; and have long since freely reasoned and disputed them with the ancientest, and such as were in chiefe place, in the universitie; &c.” – Sir, those, whose footsteppes I observed, were the Socinians and Arminians; the latter wherof, I conceeve, you have bin everie where reading, in their workes; and most largely, in their Apologie: and those very things, which You hint, They dilate. And truly I wou’d not have my good friend come near those mens’ tentes: though J. Goodwin[17] , like a colonel, can march up in the face of <28> all such imputations. Sir, God knows my heart, that from itt I doe free you in my thoughtes from such aspersions; as having heard you declaring your selfe againste their characteristical tenents: and accordinglie have constantly cleared you, both by letter and worde of mouth; when both wayes I have too frequentlie found you in that kind aspersed.

I doe not well understand the latter end of this paragraph of your letter; which I suppose, in your haste, you left imperfect: but if it be, as I thinke it is; that you are not late nor newe in that persuasion of scripture sufficiency, &c; I hope that, more than fourteene years since, you were settled in that persuasion: in which Timothy was, when much younger[18] : but if in your position then you did soe assert scripture sufficiency, as to take-away or diminish the due use of confessions of faith and catechismes, &c; which in other wordes do explaine scripture expressions, and meet-with emergent errours and hæresies; in so doing you trode in the Arminians’ stepps: who do therfore decrie them; because they finde their heterodoxies mett-with by them. And if it were fourteene years since, you were then but a yonge divine; and might be more subject to mistake: in which, by those reasonings and disputes which you mention, it may seeme; that those ancientest and chief ones of the universitie you disputed with, were not altogether of your minde: and therfore, although, what <29> we suck-in betime, we hardly discharge ourselves of, afterward; yet, be your head and heart never so fullie possessed with such notions, it will be your greater advantage to be the sooner dispossessed of them.

Your next is about “an ingenuous-spirited Christian’s liberty, after application to God, and diligent use of meanes to finde-out truth; fairely to propose, without offense taken, what upon search he findes cause to beleeve; and whereon he will venture his soule: and this conduceth”, you think, “to mutual edification; and that, withoute disturbance to the world. And thus, as you have thought, so you continue to think; &c:” --- I acknowledge the case, as you have written itt, warily proposed: the man must be ‘ingenuous’; provided he bee so really: ‘make application to God’; if in sinceritie, a directe way to be guided by Him: ‘with a diligent use of meanes to finde-out truth’; if with single heart and eye, not likelie to misse itt: ‘he fairely and without offense proposeth’; it is not expressed, whether onely in private; or alsoe in publique: and the truth may be so fundamentall, and so established; both by God, in his worde; and by Christian magistrates, in their constitutions and lawes; that the contrarie will verie hardly be so fairelie proposed, as not to fall foule and with offense both on the weake, to their staggering; and the strong, to their greefe: but it is ‘that, which upon search he findes cause to beleeve; and wheron he will venture his soule’: this last clause, of <30> venturing his soule, I do not much heede; such efficacie of errour may so seize on a man, that he may with great confidence beleeve a lie[19] : but, as you put the case, he doth not only beleeve; but findes cause to do so: if so, that justifies both God[20] ; and man[21] : and therfore God forbidde, that I shoulde condemne him! This conduceth to mutual edification; and is withoute disturbance: and if anie be troubled, it is as some are with Christ himselfe[22] , and his gospell[23] ; it is their faulte, not his: though some truthes are not of so great import in themselves, or so necessarie to be knowen; that they shou’d force us upon the disturbance of others contrarily minded, by our unseasonable inforcing them. But, in case the man onely think, he findes cause to beleeve; and itt be indeed a non-causa pro causa: though he shoulde be trulie ingenuous; manie in this kind upon designe personating such a temper: and though he shoulde seek to God for guidance; He often answering some according to their Idol set-up in their heartes[24] : truths may be such, and so fundamentall, and so established; that he shoulde rather stifle his owne first scrupling thoughtes, and check him selfe rather, than speake them out; to the endangering of others[25] . And trulie, such for the moste part are those truths; which now-a-daies They call in quæstion, who plead moste for this liberty: such are Socinians, Arminians, and the colluries of all sortes of Sectaries amongst us; who under the protection of this Liberty, <31> which they so crie-up, run-out into all the wildest and foulest extravagances. And therfore whatever an Episcopius, a --[26] , a J--[27] , or a Junius Brutus, might pleade; yett for a lover and assertour of Truth, either to be a full unison with them, or were it but even ---[28] ; as, att all times, woulde bee but unsuitable; so, at such a time, in which such a principle hath let Hell break loose; in my poor thoughts, is very unsafe: att leaste, very unseasonable.

For the point of Reconciliation, you give me (I thank you) a coppy of your notes: “whereby,” you say, “I will easily understand; how I have wronged both your wordes and meaning: your discourse being both intended and pointed againste them; who pretend to reconciliation with God, in justification; and continue enemies to God, for want of sanctification: in which,” you say, “Christ doth not save us, by onlie doing for us, without us: yea, we come-at that, which Christ hath done for us, with God; by what he doth for us, within us; for in order of execution, it is as the wordes are placed in the text; Repentance before Forgiveness &c: For the Scripture holdes-forth Christ to us, under a double notions; 1. to be felt in us, as the new-man; &c. 2. to be beleeved-on by us, as a sacrifice and advocate for attonement and reconciliation; &c. "God cannot make a vaine shew; God, being perfectlie under the power of goodness, can <32> not denie himself; &c. nor can be farther pleased, than goodness takes place: they therfore deceeve themselves; who think of reconciliation, by meanes of a saviour acting upon God, in their behalfe; and not also working in and upon them, to make them God-like.”

Sir, I acknowledge, your notes have helpt my memorie: I did think, you had simply denied Christ’s working upon God, in our reconciliation: and had you putt-in the word onlie, before the word acting; I had not bin so subject to have mistaken: and yett I was not alone in the mistake; and so, I hope, you will rather say, I was in the wronge; than that I wronged your wordes or meaning: being doubtfull, what you said; and therfore inserted two parentheses in that paragraph of my letter, (if I mistake itt not, and if you meant.) And itt seemeth, you did meane, as I there wrote: and therfore, as to that particular, as I have receeved your satisfaction; so I crave your pardon.

Some other things in this there are, in which I crave your second thoughts; as you referre me to mine: especially about the order of those two notions, under which Christ is held-out to us in the gospell; that he is first felt in us, as the new man; before he is beleeved-on by us, as a sacrifice and advocate: in this I neede a little more light and proofe. If by beleefe you mean, assurance that Christ is our expiation and advocate; I shall not easilie dissent from you: for in ordinarie course, as God workes, so he gives us to feele somthing wrought, in us; before he bring us to that assurance of our peace and pardon: <33> that worke of the spirit, with the witnesse of the spirit, being the matter of our evidence: though I dare not absolutelie say, that a sinner, converted immediatelie before death, may not have, from the wittness of the spirit, assurance of his peace; though by reason of shorteness of time, weakeness of bodie and head, and confusion of spirit in regard of his former sinnfull life, he hath little eyther time or abilitie or list to reflect-upon what God hath now in the instant wrought in him. But if by beleefe you mean, faith’s relying or casting himselfe upon God in Christ for mercie; I beleeve, the experience of manie a humble sinner will be a wittness; that hee hath in this sense beleeved in Christ, as a sacrifice and advocate for him; when as yett he could not say, he hath felt anie thing of the newe man in him: I mean, as to his feeling: for, as for the reallitie of the worke; whomsoëver and whensoëver God justifieth, hee also sanctifieth: and, for the order of nature; seeing that faith is before the ἀποτέλσεμα of justification, and faith can not bee withoute a renewall; I was never much against Ferinus his opinion; that sanctification, that is, first sanctification or regeneration or vocation, is in nature before justification: in which sense I admitte what you say, ‘that wee come-at that which Christ hath done for us with God, by what hee doth for us within us.’ And for that which you adde; that ‘in order of execution, repentance is before forgiveness’; - I grant itt; in the full accomplishment of itt: <34> but yett so, as that God, not onlie in his eternall election had before purposed, and by the death of his Son after purchased, our reconciliation: but, even in the execution of that purpose, and application of that purchase, Hee is before us; and his setting-out first that happie meeting of our fulle reconciliation[29] . Nor in this doth God make a vaine shew; nor is itt contrarie to his goodness, freely to justifie the ungodly, such as are so immediate antecedenter ad justificationem, though not consequenter; so as to continue such: for so indeed God cannot be farther pleased, than goodness takes place:’ and, that hee may bee pleased, hee ever takes order; that sanctification shall ever be joyned with justification.

Sir, in the last passage of your letter you say; “I wrong you very much; in misquoting, oritur e nobis; and attributing itt to the ground of our acceptance with God: you onlie said itt of salvation, to express the true notion of it; that, whereas some think, it is a thing at distance from them; freedom from enemies abroad: Itt is the mending of our natures, and the safetie of our persons; the worke of grace within us, and is favour towards us; our being restored to righteousness and goodness, and reconciled to God.”

Sir, I am sorry, that I shoulde give you occasion the second time to say, I have wrong’d you again; and this second time very much: it was not my single apprehension, that your wordes, as <35> you delivered them, did seem to look at the ground of our reconciliation. And this nascitur e nobis, in the true and constant acceptation of that worde, looks suspiciouslie that way. That you said itt of salvation, helpes but little: for that is a large worde: and both in it’s sense and I beleeve your’s, conteins reconciliation in itt. And trulie, Sir; to say, that eyther salvation or reconciliation nascitur e nobis; is, in my poore judgement, a very dangerous expression: sure I am, a stranger to scripture manner of speaking: which, as all shoulde much heed; so I expect that You will, especiallie: who before, in contradistinction of the fallible expressions and formes of wordes of man’s making, judged, and that trulie, scripture expressions to be aptest to conveye all saving truths to our understandings. And I shou’d be glad to knowe, what author you quoted that sentence out of; unless it were your owne: as I have bin apte to think, that both in your sermons and privatt discourse you do often, as it were, quote your-selfe; in uttering latine sentences and axiomes, both in Logick Philosophie Law and Divinitie, which are of your owne making. Butt, whose-soëver itt was, and what-ever orthodox exposition you give of itt; in which yett you still sett the worke of God within us, before his worke about us; yett, that of eyther reconciliation or salvation it shou’d be said, that nascitur e nobis; I must ever humbly conceeve, that it is not according to that ὑποτύπωσις ὑγικινόντων λόγων[30] , <36> which wee shou’d hold fast, and not part from.

Sir, by this time I have quite tired-out myselfe; and fear, I shall much more tire you, with these weake lines; that were written as fast as my hande could runne, and that by fittes and states, as my company and other occasions still calling mee away wou’d give leave: else you had receeved them on saturday; but necessarie occasions prevented mee. It may bee, they will come to you too soone, now; being suddaine raw thoughts, unworthie of your more mature judgement: but, although they will express my weaknesse; yett itt will be enough, if you can read in them my love to you and God’s truth: from which double ground itt is, although I have wearied you too much alreadie, that I crave leave yett farther to burden your patience; in making good what I promised, in the beginnyng of my letter, about what hath bin a trouble to some, as concerning some others; and to speake out my whole heart and thoughts, about your-self.

Sir, for yourself; from your first coming to Cambridge, I trulie said, I loved you: as finding you then studious and pious, and very loving and observant of me. I remember, I then thought you somwhat cloudie and obscure In your expressions: but I then left you. Since I have heard; that, when you came to be a Lecturer in the colledge, you in a great measure for the yeare laid-aside other studies; and betook yourself to Philosophie and Metaphysicks: which, some think, you were then so immersed <37> in; that ever since you have bin cast into that mould, both in your privatt discourse, and preaching; both for wordes and notions: both which, I fear, have rendered your ministry less edifying: as partlie not being well understood, by very manie of your auditours; and less affecting the heart, when so buisying the head to understand both wordes and things. And how richly usefull a spirituall plaine powerfull ministry wou’d bee in the universitie; I need not tell you: but that, in former times, when the quæstion was, why Cambridge men were accounted more profitable preachers than Oxford men; Mr. Baynes said, the reason was, that God had, from the first reformation, blessed Cambridge with exemplary plaine and spirituall preachers; and so goodlie pictures hung before the women conceeving, helpt to make the birth more beautifull. When times were very evil, God in mercie kept your spirit uprighte; which, with your other worth, brought you as into repute with others, so into the place of the universitie preacher; wherein God hath hitherto preserved you: and may Hee keepe you still, and make you much more fruitefull and serviceable! And I beseeche you, Sir, when God returns you to that taske, that you woulde think much of I Cor. xiv. 19, affect not to speak in schoole-language; nor to runne-out in schoole-notions: it is farre different from the scripture, both style and matter: it was begot in the depth off anti-christian darkeness; and, very both good and learned men judge, will vanish in darkeness; at the light of brighter day: <38> which wee hope is approching. Some are readie to think; that your great authors, you steere your course by, are Dr. Field, Dr. Jackson, Dr. Hammond; all three very learned men: the middle sufficiently obscure; and both hee and the last, I must needs think, too corrupt. Whilest you were fellow here, you were cast into the companie of very learned and ingenious men; who, I fear, at least some of them, studyed other authors, more than the scriptures; and Plato and his schollars, above others: in whom, I must needs acknowledge, from the little insight I have into them; I finde manie excellent and divine expressions: and as we are wont more to listen to and wonder at a Parrot, speaking a few wordes; than a Man, that speaks manie more, and more plainlie; and all intelligibly: so whilest wee finde such gemmes in such dunghills, where wee less expected them; and hear some such divine things from them; wee have bin too much drawen-away with admiration of them. And hence in part hath runne a veine of doctrine; which divers very able and worthy men, whom from my heart I much honour, are, I fear, too much knowen by. – The power of Nature, in Morals, too much advanced – Reason hath too much given to itt, in the mysteries of Faith. – A recta ratio much talkt-of; which I cannot tell, where to finde. – Mind and Understanding is all; Heart and Will little spoken of. – The decrees of God quæstion’d and quarrel’d; because, according to our reason, wee cannot comprehend; how they may stande with His goodness: which, according to <39> your phrase, Hee is under the power of. – Those our Philosophers, and other Heathens, made fairer candidates for Heaven; than the scriptures seeme to allowe of: and They, in their virtues, preferred before Christians, overtaken with weakenesses. – A kinde of a Moral Divinitie minted; onlie with a little tincture of Christ added: nay, a Platonique faith unites to God. – Inherent righteousnesse so preached, as if not with the prejudice of imputed righteousness, which hath sometimes very unseemlie language given it; yett much said of the one, and very little or nothing of the other. This was not Paul's manner of preaching. – This inherent righteousness may bee perfect in this life. – An Estate of Love, in this life; above a life of Faith. – And some broad expressions, as though in this life wee may be above Ordinances:- with divers other principles of religion, by some very doubtfullie spoken of. – And, in case anie cannot so well digest these, I must needs say, I coulde not but wonder to heare some ingenuous men complayning, in the pulpitt and elsewhere, of their rixae et lites; and that, about notions and speculations, sects and superstitions; as all opinions are accounted, which a man may hold, and yett bee never the better man for them: and so, that there is a God and a Christ, will thus come to bee but a notion and speculation. Sir, these are some of the moste (if my wearie head coulde remember more, my hand, though wearie, shoulde write them; because I woulde now, once for all unbosom my-selfe to you:) of the cordolia; which I, and other of your friends, <40> have bin affected with: And although, God knowes, wee love you and Them; yet you will not take it ill, if wee love what wee conceeve the truth of God more: and therefore can not desert itt; though wee bee little able to maintain itt. And I hope, that the thoughts of your being reputed a Wise man, and both you and They Learned men; will not stoppe your eares to the weaker suggests of your true friend: and the rather; because, whatever otherwise your worth and abilitie is; yett I knowe you are not ignorant, what verie sinister thoughts are conceived, and reportes scattered, both of your selfe and some others: which from my soule I desire may, by your fulle and plaine appearing for the truth of God, be reallie confuted: and that wee may joyne head and heart and hand, and with one shoulder, in the worke of the Lord; growing up in the truth in love; which was one of the greatest encouragements I had, in my returne to Cambridge; as hoping to have much helpe in this kinde, by the companie and assistance of such friendes; whom I so much honoured, and so intirely loved: as the contrarie hath bin the trouble of my spirit, in such an unhappie disappointment. – Sir, will you pardon this unreasonable tediousness; and this open-hearted and plaine-spoken freeness? itt hath bin from the integrity of the heart of

Your unworthy Friend;


Cambride; Sept.

15. 1651.




YOU conceive I said; that Faith is ultimately to be resolved in rationem rei, ex parte objecti; and ratio humana to be summus judex, ex parte subjecti:-

I shall give you an account, what I have said; and what I do mean. There are veritates, quae fundantur in rationibus rerum; atque harum est theologia naturalis: as, that Deus est optimus, as well as maximus; that creatura tenetur Deo obsequi, secundum posse. There are veritates, quae nituntur revelatione Dei; atque harum est fides divina:[31] as doctrina de Christo expiatore, redemptore, liberatore; revelatio[32] de creatione in circumstantiis. And ratio subjecti doth judicare de ratione objecti; et de materia revelationis: but by judicare, I mean not an authoritative act; but a perceptive and apprehensive act: as when[33] visus judicat de coloribus, auditus de sonis. For a judging discerning faculty is wholy[34] regulated in its apprehensions a ratione objecti, sive a qualitate materiae: nam intellectus nullum habet libertatem circa suum objectum; non facit rem aliter se habere, sed percipit rem ut est; et concipit secundum imaginem receptam: hoc est, <42> judicat. Atque veritas, a parte intellectus, consistit in conformitate cum veritate rei. I have full assurance; that matters of faith are so, as they are reveled; because they are reveled by God: who alone hath power over them, to make them as they are; and is infallibly true, and necessarily good. [I am satisfied, that they are reveled by God; 1. ab argumentis insitis, sive artificialibus;[35] h. e. in artificio rei sitis: et 2. a ductu divini spiritus: for, as St. August. saith, si spiritus sanctus mihi non persuaserit, hasce litteras esse a Deo datas; nondum mihi persuasit Christiano esse.] For those things, which, quantum ad me, are matters of faith; as they are reveled by God: apud Deum sunt materia libertatis et beneplaciti; et ergo, antecedenter ad determinationem Dei, possent aliter esse: and God might otherwise have determined them. But materia theologiae naturalis intrinsecam habet necessitatem, aut infallibilem[36] connexionem terminorum: In materia theologiae naturalis I do scire; because I can demonstrate, ex principiis certis necessariis et infallibilibus: in materia fidei I do credere; because I take things to bee so, as reveled by God: which, if God woulde, might have bin otherwise; because absolutely and of themselves they were in an indifferency. Hence it appears, that materia fidei cannot bee[37] contra rationem rei; because materia fidei est materia voluntatis et libertatis; et ratio rei est materia necessitatis et naturae: as, it cannot bee de fide, Deum non esse optimum; vel, creaturam non de <43> here Deo subesse. When therfore wee declare anie thing to be secundum rationem rei, and therfore necessarilie so; wee do noe prejudice to faith: because fides versatur in alia materia; scil. in materia, quae cedit sub arbitrio; et necessitatem naturae non habet. [Credendum est voluntatem Dei, etiam in occultissimis, esse rationabilissimam. Bonavent. Certain it is, that religion is the truest and highest reason; as, on the contrarie, irreligion is sottishness.]

I do withoute scruple beleeve what God hath reveled, and as He hath reveled; because God is infinite in knowledge, infallible in truth, and necessarily good: whence He cannot deficere, or declare contra veritatem facti, rationem rei; or, in matters of his own voluntary determination, otherwise than as He hath resolved them: And in omni materia libertatis Deus habet supremam potestatem statuendi. I do proxime[38] et immediate resolve my faith into divine revelation in scripture; and therein rest, with assurance and confidence: as foreknowing, lumine naturae, that what God reveles is certainly true, and infallible: whom I knowe to be infinite in understanding and knowledge; and in full agreement and necessarie conjunction with goodness and truth. [Neither am I lighte of faith in beleeving[39] : but I knowe, that matters of my faith are matters of divine revelation, as I said before in the margent, a qualitate materiae, quae est θεοπρεπὴς, de qua intellectus judicat; et per ductum divini spiritus, a quo intellectus illuminatur et in <44> stituitur.] And when I have before mee a matter of faith, or peece of divine revelation; I do judicare de sensu: not by making what sense I will; but by finding out God’s meaning. For the power I have of judging, is not a matter of will and pleasure; but a matter of spiritual sensation and apprehension: and is as much regulated and determined per qualitatem materiae, as gustus per gustabile. And, if I bee fond or partial, or gratifie anie corruption, I am obnoxious to God, and doe it att my peril: God making an accounte, that hee hath spoken plaine enough to be understood; if I am serious.

To give you what I mean together – 1. there is, which is necessarie; and cannot be otherwise: as, bonum est amare Deum. 2. there is, which is in itself contingent; and determinable at the pleasure of Him, who hath power: as, whether man shou’d bee or no. 3. there is, which is declared by Him, who is infallible;[40] as expiatio peccatorum in sanguine Christi. The first is subjectum natauralis scientiae; and is in ratione rei: the second is, materia libertatis et beneplaciti Dei: the third is, materia fidei. So proximum motivum scientiae est ratio objectiva sive ratio rei: at ratio motiva fidei est revelatio Dei. [So you see, I agree with you in your quotation out of S. Aug: quod scimus, debemus rationi; quae credimus, authoritati.] Religio autem complectitur et naturalem scientiam,[41] et fidem divinam: so that there is in religion both demonstrabile et credibile; credibile, propter authoritatem dicentis; demonstrabile, per necessitatem rei. And no opposition between them; quia versantur in alia et alia materia: <45> scil. fides, in contingenti simpliciter et in se; scientia autem, in necessaria. Yett, if anie think fitt to call them of the first kinde matters of faith; as they are declared in scripture: since scripture awakens our incogitancy, because of our apostasie and degeneracy: I liste not in this respect to contende with him. Onlie lett him then remember; that they are allsoe of themselves knowable: and stand not on the foundation of revelation onlie. But lett him not think, there is anie thing de fide; which is contrarie to natural knowledge. [Mr. Perkins, Calvine, and others, acknowledge; that the doctrine of faith will well consist with the principles of reason: and doth not destroy that knowledge of God, which is lumine naturae.] Contra rationem rei, in naturalibus, est impossibile: contra rationem rei, in moralibus, est malum et deforme. When God demands and challenges,[42] “Are not my wayes equal?” doth not hee appeale to man’s principles and rules, wherby hee is able to discerne and judge; whereby God shall be justified, and Man convinced? Certainely, natural light and conscience condemnes iniquitie; and gives testimonie to wayes of righteousnesse. If this bee not so, unde Deus judicabit mundum infidelium negativè; and where ignorantia scripturarum est omnino invincibilis?

But I fullie persuade my-selfe: that you and I do not disagree herein, in respect of our inward sense and meaning: and if wee differ onlie in expression, I press it not; but think an other’s expressions may be apter and fitter than mine: I am not such an ἀυθάδης.


The summe of what I said, in my speech, in sermons, and otherwise; amountes to this – that materia theologiae naturalis is demonstrable, by reason; and that materia fidei sacris litteris contenta est summe credibilis; and satisfactorie to reason:[43] and unbiassed reason, not in a compromise with sense, not ingaged in a worldlie designe, findes no matter of exception againste it. In the meane while acknowledging, and my reason easily telles mee so; that, if God deign to speak to mee of himself and his owne affaires, actes of his infinite wisdom and power; I shall hear illustriora et longe majora finito intellectu: and which transcend my understanding, far beyond the transcendency of the sunne, not wrapt-up in cloudes, to my sight. But this transcendency lies in amplitudine et plenitudine objecti; non in contradictione rationis: [Nos sumus Deo et felicitati nostrae omnino impares:] and in this case I may be most illuminated, in respect of my selfe; when I least comprehend the object. Quicquid recipitur, ad modum recipientis recipitur:[44] the bucket, most filled in the sea, yett least conteines the ocean.


You say, “it is now Crambe, non bis sed centie cocta; &c”.[45] – I have, at several times, examined several pointes by the same principle; sc. per rationem rei: as indeed tota materia theologiae naturalis is so examinable: and certainlie, this is not ad nauseam recoquere cramben; no more than it is, upon all occasions, in matters of faith, to prove by scripture: for it is a new examination, in an other matter; and ratio hujus et illius rei are two things: though universallie, secundum rationem rei in materia necessaria judicare, be the same principle; as also it is, in omni materia fidei judicare secundum revelationem a Deo factam in scripturis.

You say, “auditours wou’d have bin better satisfied; if I had theologically discoursed de certitudine et diginitate Christianae religionis, from divine testimonie and faith in itt; rather than by reason, &c:” – Sir, it was τὸ ζητούμενον,[46] whether religio Christiana did niti authoritate Dei; were indeed from God; and so were materia fidei: so that I was to shewe, that itt was θεοπρεπὴς, and to prove that, a qualitate materiae: and that itt is, beyond all conviction or controule of humane reason. And I endeavoured to make it appeare; that the truth declared by God, concerning our relief by Christ, was amiable, gratefull, acceptable to minde and understanding, and such as spake ittselfe from God; as our Saviour spake himselfe to be Christ, to the inward sense of the Samaritans[47] . And to this purpose reason was <48> made use of, as a receiver, as a discerner, as a principle to be instructed and taught; not as an author or inventer or controuler of what God speakes: Divine truth allwaies carrying it’s own light and evidence; so as that the mind receiving itt is illuminated, edified, satisfied. Sacra scriptura est ἀυτόπιστος est Deo digna, est Fide digna: it speaks for itt selfe, it recommendes itt selfe to its subject, itt satisfies the reason of the minde; procures it’s owne enterteinment, by it’s owne excellencie. I adde allsoe; that the persuasion of the holie spirit contributes to the minde’s assurance and satisfaction. I receive the truth of Christian religion, in a way of illumination affection and choice: I my selfe am taken with itt, as understanding and knowing itt; I reteine itt, as a wellcome guest; itt is not forced into mee, but I lett it in; yett soe as taught of God: and I see cause for my continuance to embrace itt. Do I dishonour my faith, or do anie wrong to itt; to tell the worlde, that my minde and understanding are satisfied in itt? I have noe reason against itt; yea, the highest and purest reason is for itt! [What doth God speak to, but my reason? and shoulde not that, which is spoken-to, heare? should itt not judge, discerne, conceeve, what is God’s meaning?]

In what is next in your letter, You say and acknowledge, what I contend-for; that wee should “ανακρίνειν. &c; that natural reason is of use, in evangelical matters; but more, in matters theologiae naturalis.”[48] In the last place of this section, you fall-off from the <49> quæstion; when you say – “They beleeved without dispute, what the scripture held-out; and judged not itt, but man’s doctrine by itt.” My businesse was to prove the divine authoritie of scripture; or the truth of Christian religion: after this is done, then we will examine mens doctrine by itt: but, to prove ἀυτοπιστίαν scripturae, I must consider scripture, secundum materiam; not produce itt, as a wittness.

When you say; that “τὸ γνωστὸν τοῦ θεοῦ concernes not truths, but the searching of hearts; our owne, and others:” I cannot herein guesse at your meaning. Somewhat following, you say, belongs to matters theologiae naturalis; wherein wee agree: To that purpose I produced those texts, in my letter to you; and I understand τὸ γνωστὸν so too; scil. de cognoscibili per lumen naturae. [I since guesse, that this might referre to that other place; “Candle of the Lord”: a place,[49] [50] I now sent you not; but, you say, over-quoted by mee: I do persuade my self; that is in the wordes, which I have alledged them for. You instance in the use of the principle; and I insisted on the qualitie fittness and sufficiencie of the principle; as from God, and in the hands of God: for a candle is res illuminata illuminans.]

When you say, “that cuilibet Christiano conceditur judicium discretionis, is true; as against the Pope &c:” I conceeve itt universallie true: as in omni materia, so contra omnes personas. And I must either see cause, why I beleeve the scripture; in whole and in part: or <50> my faith must bee fides implicita[51] ; soe farre as I doe not see cause.

These five protestant principles have ledde mee into all the conclusions I lay-out, about the rule of faith. – 1. Sacra scriptura est ἀυτόπιστος. 2. Sacra scriptura est adaequata regula fidei. 3. Omnia ad salutem necessaria perspicue traduntur in scripturis. 4. Cuilibet Christiano conceditur judicium discretionis. 5. Quilibet adundet in suo sensu: and Fides non est cogenda[52] . I understand them all, in a real and full sense; according to the import of the wordes, and what necessarilie followes from them: and so, I verilie persuade my-selfe, they will patronize my four next following conclusions.

You say[53] ; it may bee, You and I may differ; in the number of things saving: I hope, wee doe not differ, in the enterteining of anie thing saving; because of Omnia perspicue traduntur, one of the five principles: and it is not equallie necessarie to determine the number, as to enterteine the saving principles. I do enterteine the whole scripture; and in the sense my understanding telles me, the holie Ghost meant: using all meanes and helpes I hear-of in the worlde, so farre as I have opportunitie; viz. Fathers, Councils, Expositors, Comments, Confessions, Systemes; and what manie convened have agreed, I have considered, wherein they have agreed, with greater reverence: because <51> ratio plurium hominum is the best in the world; especiallie, if they have bin free from the suspicion of action and partialitie: which, you knowe, verie manie councils were not. [You mistake me [therfore]; if you think, I mean to lay-aside the endeavours of Fathers, Councils, or any good men, to cleare-up scripture-truth against errour: but I abate of the degree of certaintie, in what is so done, of what I finde in scripture.

Is there not also an imperfection in the understandings of those, who make interpretations? so that, though wee thank them for their good will, and make use of their paines; yett everie one for himselfe is to discerne, an glosséma corrumpat vel illustret textum. A laudable endeavour of them I acknowledge; and I am beholden to them for their help; and I will dulie consider what they say: but I am not sure, because They so resolve; I must see with my owne eyes; my own understanding must be satisfied: otherwise I equalize them to the pen-men of scripture.]

And I persuade myselfe, because of omnia perspicue &c; that Hee, who with an honest intention of finding-out the will of God, in order to conformity therewith and obedience thereto; seeking to God to teach him; searcheth carefullie holie scripture: will misse of nothing saving. Notwithstanding the greatest difference, that ever I hear’d-of; yett I beleeve, no good man leave-out anie fundamental: yea, I am apte to think; that manie, who have bin exasperated one against another; are farre nearer to one another in sense, than in wordes. In respect <52> of God, who searcheth hearts, they agree; more than in the view of the worlde, which onlie sees outward expressions. [I beleeve, for one real difference, in matters of consequence, betwen persons considerable; there are twentie mistakes of meanings: and coulde they see one another’s heartes, they woulde thinke better one of another. [But] opposites too often study to represent each other in the worst sense: I perceeve itt, in men alive; therfore suspect itt of the dead. If once disaffected to each other, they never after deele fairely with one another.]

In what you next say, for a good while together; either wee do not differ; or itt is not a pointe, wherein I did engage; and I will not multiplie quæstions, or meddle with other matters; since I onlie intend to give you an account of what I delivered: or, if we do differ, I doe not perceeve my-selfe confuted.

[I agree with you, that things reveled in scripture are to be matters of our enquirie; and that wee are not curiouslie to pry into God’s secrets: μὴ ὑπερφρονεῖν παρ' ὃ δεὶ φρονεῖν, ἀλλὰ φρονεῖν εἰς τὸ σὼφρονειν.[54] but still, I say, fundamentals are so cleare; that there is little danger of good men differing about them.]

For the quæstion about an ingenuous man’s libertie; you resolve my case with mee, and as I doe; and then dispute the quæstion about a pretender and deceiver: I follow you not in any newe quæstion; I leave his opposer to take care to distinguish: my case was in actu signato, and <53> so determinable; your’s is in actu exercito, et cum omnibus circumstantiis individuantibus. Singularium non est scientia. For my owne part, I plead not for libertie of proposing; though I wou’d be verie glad not to bee imposed-upon:[55] for I understand our Saviour, “Cast not your pearles &c. lest they rent you[56] ; &c.” as granting a dispensation for reservation and secresy; in case persons will bee mischievous. [You[57] seeme to argue againste an ingenuous libertie; because Hæretiques have bin unexceptionable, and of unblameable life: but, on the other side, I finde; scripture-hæretiques are infamous in their life.[58]

What is added of Socinians, Arminians, &c;[59] in respect of mee, is groundless: I have given no cause nor occasion; I rather approve him, who said; Non sum Christianus alicujus nominis: I may as well be called a Papist, or Mahometan; Pagan, or Atheïst. And trulie, Sir, you are wholely mistaken, in the whole course of my studies:[60] you say, you finde me largelie in their Apologia; to my knowledge I never sawe, or heard of the booke before: much lesse have I read a tittle of itt. I shou’d lay-open my weakeness, if I shou’d tell you; how little I have read, of the bookes and authours you mention: of tenn yeares past, nothing at all. I know not, who shou’d bee your informer: but trulie, in a thousand guesses, you cou’d not have bin farther off from the <54> truth of the thing. And for schoole-men; I doe not think, I have spent four and twentie houres in them divisim, these fourteene yeares. Dr. Field on the Church I ree’d over, eighteene yeares agoe; but have not looked into him, I beleeve, these tenn yeares: Jackson and Hammond I have a little lookt into, here and there, a good while since; but have not read the hundredth parte of either of them: trulie I shame myselfe to tell you, how little I have bin acquainted with bookes; but for your satisfaction I doe: while fellow of Emmanuel colledge, employment with pupills tooke my time from mee. I have not read manie bookes; but I have studyed a fewe: meditation and invention hath bin rather my life, than reading: and trulie I have more read Calvine, and Perkins, and Beza; than all the bookes, authors, or names you mention. I have allwaies expected reason, for what men saye; less valuing persons or authoritie, in the stating and resolving of truth: and therfore have read Them most, where I have founde itt. I have not lookt-at anie thing, as more than an opinion; which hath not bin under-propt by convincing reason, or plaine and satisfactorie scripture. Had I given lesse to Scripture, than I have don; I beleeve, I had better avoyded, than I have don, those offences againste mee; whereof you advertise mee, that manie have taken them.[61] If I know my owne heart; nothing of worldlie designe, or respect to aught less than the honour of God, and the safetie of my soule, rules in mee; to the ba <55> lancing of my judgement, in the discerning of truth: I keepe my selfe free, to followe reason and scripture; and I am never engaged againste them, whosoëver shewes them mee. I rather affect to speake with them, who differ from mee; than those, who I thinke, agree with mee; (I speake of matter of opinions; for about fundamentalls I am satisfied:) that I may be ridde of my misapprehensions: wherein I daylie suspect my selfe; and see cause to thinke, that I may bee in some errours; as well as I have bin: whereof I have had experience.---But this is vanitie, to use such a περιαυτολογία. I am ashamed to thinke; what I have don; and cou’d blot itt oute agen: but to satisfie you, wherein you have mee in suspicion; though itt bee folly in mee to do itt, I lett itt go. You seeme in your letter to anatomize my life; but the description doth not characterize mee: you cou’d hardlie have shot farther from the marke. That I mighte not causelesslie suffer in your thoughtes, I have written you somthing that is true: wherein yett I applaude not my-self; but itt is my necessitie: bene novi, quam sit mihi curta supellex.

[You say; because Hæretiques,[62] in their wordes, say what is false; therefore Wee, in our wordes, what is true; and this, in thinges ultra citráque scripturam: but the quæstion will bee, Who shall bee the judge? shall a forreigne power command my inwarde sense? To speake indeed I will aske leave; but I must thinke, as I see cause.[63] Unlesse you say, some <56> have a priviledge of infallible interpretation; or that I may safelie repose on that interpretation, which some give; I do not conceeve, how you can make good somthing that you say within 14 lines of the bottom of the second page.]

Whereas you suggeste, that “Fundamentalls maye be shaken and endangered; by such a free proposal: &c.” – Truely, I thinke, this cannot worthily be conceeved of such truths: magna est veritas, et praevalebit: veritas non quaerit angulos: the foundations of truths necessarie to salvation are so immoveablie layd by God; that no power, eyther of the Devil or of the degenerate world, can overturne them: and the lighte of them is so fulle, so cleare, so satisfactorie; that no ingenuous unengaged teachable minde, as everie good man’s mind shou’d bee, can bee mistaken about them. Omnia perspicue traduntur, &c.

In the nexte place you brand those, who have pleaded for such a libertie; “Socinians, Arminians, colluries of sectaries, &c.”[64] – [Do wee not agree with Papistes, in what they hold that is true? the world understandes not the point, you and I reason about; when Socinians and Arminians are spoken-of] May wee temper and qualifie Divinitie with prudential considerations? May wee do God’s work for him; taking itt oute of his handes? or is itt not better to leave the case to Deus providebit? Cuilibet Christiano est judicium discretionis,[65] is the foundation of Protestancy: therfore everie Christian must think and beleeve, as hee findes cause. And shall hee speak in religion, otherwise <57> than he thinkes; or, if hee bee asked, shall hee answer false? [The greate engagement upon men, to hold them to truth; is: that att a man’s perill itt is, to runne away with a lie.] Truth is Truth; whosoever hath spoken itt, or howsoëver itt hath bin abused:[66] butt if this libertie may not bee allowed to the universitie, wherfore do wee study? wee have nothing to do, but to gett good memories; and to learne by heart. Methinks, in what you say here, you do not sufficientlie consider; who principallie standes charged, and is the grand super-intendent over truth in the[67] worlde.

In the point of Justification, what I said and meant was this; that the beginnings of Grace are wrought in us, before God actuallie justifies sinners.[68] Dantur praeparatoria ad justificationem, hath bin frequentlie determined in the schooles by Dr. Ward. A sinner non omnino in motu conversionis est subjectum incapax, i. e. non susceptibile, justificationis: and this you do not onlie acknowledge, but att large explaine and give a farther accounte of, for which I heartilie thanke you.

By first and second, in the double notion of Christ; I considered distinction, rather than order.[69]

Whereas you continue to take offence at that speech of mine, de interna nostra salute; nascitur e nobis, suscipitur a nobis. --- give mee leave to make use of a proverb of Solomon; “The wringing of the nose bringeth forth bloud”[70] : Where the sense is not to be <58> reproved, wee shoulde not make a man offender for a worde[71] .[72] 1. I meant itt distinctlie; or in a contra-distinction to those thinges, quae extra nos sunt vel circa nos; et sic minus nostra: nam quae maxime nostra sunt, nobiscum portamus: but not independentlie, in respect of God; qui intimior nobis est intimo nostro.

That precept of wisdom,[73] “Acknowledge Him in all thy wayes;” I am sure, over-rules mee; head, heart, hand: itt is the inward sense of my soule, digested into a temper, complexion, constition. I never leave God oute; I ever give Him the principal place; Omnia a Deo, Omnia sub Deo, Omnia cum bono Deo. In the sense of my minde, I was verie farre from taking from God; to give to myselfe: God is reallie all in all to mee; I hold of Him, derive from Him, hope in Him, expect from Him: there is nothing more written in my heart, than the sense of my dependencie upon Him: there is nothing, that I am more free to acknowledge: than His influence, operation and presence: so farre was itt from mee to understand what you fetch out of the wordes; that nothing seemes to mee more horrid, monstrous, violent, contra-natural: my heart riseth with indignation against such a thing; I have a perfecte antipathie in my soule againste itt: I shoulde sinne againste all the experience I have of God in my life; if I shoulde say or thinke such a thing.[74]

2. In conjunction with a passive exegetical; in which case the latter is explicative and re <59> strictive; yea, as it were corrective of the former: and the latter wholelie over-rules and subdues the former; and becomes master of the sense.[75]

3. Itt was pursued with a comment, which you dislike not: whereto I now referre myselfe.

4. Itt was but as a glosse, upon the wordes of the text; “Repentance and Forgiveness”: and I spake itt of Repentance, respectively as in Us; whereas I had before considered Repentance, respectively to Christ; as his gift.

5. The explication of Christ’s giving us Repentance, is to give to Us to repent: and repentance is truely our acte, sub Deo. Deus operatur per modum purae efficientiae: Voluntas creata producit vitalitatem et formalitatem actus. God is not properlie said to repente in us, but to work repentance in us: Wee are truely and properlie said to repente, sub assistentia, motu, ductu, divini spiritus; or as in composition with God’s grace. – Causa creata co-operatur ad omnem actum – all saye.[76]

Whereas you adde, that I doe not keepe to ὑποτύπωσις ὑγιαινόντων λόγων. – which concernes mee remarkablie; who so plead for scripture-expressions: - 1. των ἑαυτῶν σωτηριάν κατεργάζεσθε[77] , I conceeve to be a deeper phrase; as also others I coulde alledge[78] . 2. I accordinglie submitte that phrase, as also I doe all others that are mine, to the censure and examination of everie hearer; and am farre from imposing of itt: remembring S. Aug: si quid proponitur contra rationem, aut sacras litteras; meliore authoritate rejicitur, quam asseritur.


In the nexte place you advise mee “not to affect schoole-phrases and learning, in preaching; nor the use of Philosophie and Metaphysicks.”[79] Truelie, Sir, understanding that I oughte not to “do the worke of the Lord negligentlie”[80] ; but to serve Him in the utmoste use and improvement of myself, and what God hath given me: I have, to my best, endeavoured to confirme truth, and convince the understandings of men therein: and to that purpose, as I have bin able, have made use of all those principles; that derive from God, and speak him in the world: thinking, that the efficacie of the application depended upon the solid confirmation of the doctrine. And I am sure, I have all along bin well understood; by persons of honest heartes, but of meane place and education: and I have had the blessing of the soules of such, at their departure out of the world. I thanke God, my conscience telles me; that I have not herein affected worldlie shewe: but the reall service of truth. And I have alwaies found in myself, that such preaching of Others hath most commanded my heart; which hath most illuminated my head. My way hath bin; first to make-out, then to confirme, lastlie to apply: making more use of the principles of God’s creation in man, in matters of reason and natural light; than I have don, in matters of faith.[81] ---The time I have spent in Philosophers, I have no cause to repent-of; and the use I have made of them, I <61> dare not disowne: I heartily thank God, for what I have found in them; neyther have I, upon this occasion, one jot less loved the scriptures. I find the Philosophers that I have read, good; so farre as they go: and it makes me secrettlie blush before God, when I find eyther my head heart or life challenged by them: which, I must confesse, I have often found. I have somtimes publiquelie declared, what points of religion I have found excellentlie held-forthe by them; and I never found them enemies to the faith of the gospel. I think, St. Aug. saith of St. Paul; non destruit verum, quod invenit in latere Paganorum: and our Savour reproves the Jewes, by Tyre and Sidon. I have thought itt profitable to provoke to jealousie lazie or loose Christians, by Philosophers; as Paul did the Jewes, by the Gentiles, enterteining the faith of Christ. –[82]

By what rule you judge; that Hee, who useth a Latine or Greek phrase or sentence in an English discourse, must needs quote; I do not understand: much less, upon that account, be thought to quote himselfe.[83]

Some things I shou’d have said before; which, though out of place, (for I have but broken pieces of time; and I putt things down, as they come into my head:) I crave leave here to adde – That some impute itt to mee, as Socinianism; that I assert the use of reason, in sacris. – If a Socinian thinks, he can by reason convince of falsehood any thing of Christian religion; and I joyne issue with him, on this point; and shew him, that there is nothing of true reason <62> againste anie thing of Christian faith; do answer all his objections; which somtimes I have don: and more-over shewe him, that the substantials of Christian faith; especiallie, capita de Christo expiatore, redemptore, liberatore, as reveled in scripture; are the most credible matters in the world: answerable to the desire of a man at a losse in himselfe, satisfactorie to his earnest, longing, awakened expectation from God: I conceeve, in this case, I deserve as little to be called a Socinian as David, for extorting Goliah's sword out of his hand, and cutting the master’s head off with itt, did deserve to be esteemed a Philistine.[84]

For the points you impute to mee and others, or to mee or others, whom I suppose you think I value---some of them I knowe nothing of; others I must denie wholely; and some, I conceeve, are mistaken.

“The power of nature, in morals, too much advanced: too much given to reason, in matters of faith.” – Of these I have, in the foregoing part of this discourse, given account; and thereto I referre my selfe: and I think, I have not given too much.[85] [God is acknowledged principal; Understanding, a discerning power; Principles, received from God, to be employed under Him.]

“A recta ratio talkt-of; which I cannot tell, where to find” –[86] Surelie, a recta ratio may there be found; where vera fides is to be found.


“Mind and Understanding is all: Heart and Will little spoken-of.” – I beleeve this findes no authour. [In vulgar use,[87] Mind comprehends Understanding and Will.]

“The decrees of God quæstion’d and quarrell’d, &c.” --- I do not remember, that I have heard anie one call them in quæstion: and I knowe none, that submits not to them; as they are declared in scripture: finding there no inconsistencie in them with goodnesse, or the rationes rerum.[88]

“Philosophers made fairer candidates, &c.” For their eternal state, I have left them to God: I dare not affirm; that God neyther did, nor coulde, revele aught of Christ to them; or accept them, in and through Christ.[89]

“Philosophers in their virtues, preferred before Christians, over-taken with weakenesses" – A great mistake! itt was allowing themselves in Sin; envie, spight, malice, fury, &c; things, which speak Hell, as it were, broken loose; and come-up upon the world: turners of the grace of God into lasciviousness, whom the Apostle doth more decrie. Privatio malignitatem ponit, negatio absentiam formæ.[90]

“A kinde of moral Divinitie minted, &c.” - This I understand not. [Our Saviour insists much on moral Divinitie[91] . St. Paul neglects itt not[92] . St. James is whole in itt; so as to seeme less to mind Faith. St. Peter and St. John abundant in that you call minted moralitie. – Do not, Sir, disserve one truth; to <64> serve another. – Sunt omnes divinæ veritates amicæ veritates.][93]

“Inhærent righteousness so preached, &c.” I am stranger to anie thing; eyther truely, in respect of itselfe; or intentionallie, in respect of the person; spoken to the prejudice of the righteousness by faith.

“Inhærent righteousness, perfect in this life.” – I knowe nothing beyonde a sincere endeavour after itt; and a dis-allowing of all iniquitie, so farre as known or suspected, and diligent search without partialitie.[94]

“An estate of Love, above a life of Faith.” I wish, I had it! O that my heart were enamoured, inflamed with love to God! O that I were united to Him; as by faith, so by love![95] [96]

“Above Ordinances” – In my apprehension, the person was mistaken by such as so interpreted him; hee onlie meant Formalities.[97]

“Divers other principles of religion by some verie doubtfullie spoken-of.” – Wherein I am concerned, I hope to give an account; when they are particularized in. For I am under the power of the Apostle’s rule;[98] “Be readie to render a reason”; and I will give to anie an account of my religion: and I will learn truth of anie.

“Complaints in pulpitts, and elsewhere, of rixae and lites; about notions and speculations, sects and superstitions, &c.” – I cannot guesse, whom this shou’d referre to; neyther knowe I the matter.[99] But whereas you <65> subjoyne – “that there is a God, may come to bee accounted a notion and speculation:” --- I thinke, there is noe danger of that: because Deum esse, est scibile et demonstrabile;[100] and Christum esse, est materia fidei: and I say with St. Aug: as before in the margent; si spiritus hoc non persuaserit, nondum mihi persuasit Christiano esse. --- I do not conceeve, that they who have endeavoured by their proposalls to prevent differences among good men, or to allay heat; if in all apprehensions they do not meete, and upon this account have given reasons for moderation, in matters of opinion or curiositie of speculation;[101] I say, I do not think; that they have comprehended anie such pointes, as you instance in, under the name of opinion, or matter of speculation. Neyther is hee to bee thought to undervalue one pointe of religion; who speakes little of itt, when his argument is another: but is rather to bee thought to keepe close to his text.[102] * * * *



ITT being Truth, not Victorie, that wee contend-for; reciprocare serram wou’d give but a harsh sound to ingenuous eares: and both your time and mine wou’d bee unthriftilie <66> mispent, in such needless contests. I shall therfore contract things, as much as I can. --- For your large and learned discourse, in the three first pages of your letter; wherein you give an account of what you have said, and what you do meane:---for the substance of itt, I accord with you: and though I do not affect λεπτολογεῖν, et minutias captare; yett give mee leave, by way of annotation onlie, and in transitu, to touch upon a verie fewe things; and then verie succinctlie to speak-to what hath bin the matter of the eyther seeming or real difference.

a True: but so, as that there is fides divina of the former sorte of truthes; quatenus revelantur: which, in the second page, you are not unwilling to allow.

b I beleeve, in somthing more than bare circumstances.

c I admitt of the distinction of “authoritative and perceptive”; which others expresse by judicium decisionis et discretionis. Faith, I acknowledge, is the act of an intelligent or rational creature: so that Understanding and Reason are necessarie; both ad recipiendum divinam revelationem, et ad eliciendum actum fidei: but that so, as that in manie things I must credere much more, than I can ratione percipere. If in scripture I perceeve, that a Trinity in Unity is reveled, as a divine truth; and so, in the matter of God’s decrees: though I cannot fullie perceeve or comprehend them, I will neyther doubt nor quarrell them; but humbly beleeve them: and so Reason’s judging of them <67> falls short of the eye’s judging of Colours. If, in true proprietie of speech, visus may be said to judge of them; and it doth not rather belong to an inward an higher facultie.

d True; the understanding cannot rightlie judge otherwise, than the thing is: veritas rei being regula veritatis intellectus.[103] But our present dispute is, about the power of Reason to judge of matters of Faith: And as the Apostle[104] speakes of “a spirit of wisdom and revelation”; so wee conceeve, that to our right understanding such mysteries, ex parte subjecti, hee must bee a spirit of wisdom; and so ratio must bee divinitus illuminata: and, ex parte objecti, a spirit of revelation; and so objectum must bee revelatum. And this revelation must bee of the formalitie of the object, which is understood and beleeved; and so, by this illumination of the understanding and revelation of the object, the discerning faculties is fully regulated in its apprehensions of these mysteries: and therfore I cannot tell, whether you may say; “it is wholely regulated, a ratione objecti, &c.

e From these argumenta artificialia insita, and this materia Deo digna; I belleve, a man may affirmativè argue to his satisfaction, in matters of faith; as from such arguments Divines rightly argue the Scripures to bee the worde of God: but I beleeve too, that in arguing negativè, that such and such particulars are not matters of faith; wee had need bee very warie, <68> how wee conclude: for although that, which reallie and indeed is materia Deo indigna, cannot bee matter of faith; yett that, which seemes so to us, may bee. And I beleeve, both Arminians and others have bin too bold; to reject that which in Scripture is playne enough reveled: as concerning some of God’s decrees: because they eyther can not or will not apprehend, how themselves may bee Deo digna.

f Wee fullie yeeld, that materia fidei is not contrarie to reason: butt then wee beleeve, itt is in manie things much above itt: as you afterwards say, that this transcendencie lieth not in contradictione rationis, but in amplitudine et plenitudine objecti: and that may bee too bigge for our understanding to comprehend; though not for our faith to beleeve. And as that, which you cite out of Bonaventure, is true; Credendum est, voluntatem Dei, etiam in occultissimis, esse rationabilissimam: so is this allso, which I adde, out of the same authour; Facit enim ad rationem virtutis, ut fides credat sine ratione.

g As proximè et immediatè, so I hope you mean ultimò too: so I understand the following wordes, “and therein rest”: my faith, both first and last, I resolve into Gods revelation. But I pray, Sir, look over the notes of one of your late sermons in St. Marie's; (I do not remember the text:) and towards the latter end of itt, if I do not much forgett, you did, with some confidence, assert the last resolution in rationem rei: as the like was asserted, in the dispute at the Commencement.


h The second and third parts of this distribution, as to the thing in hand, do coïncidere: they are both materia fidei; as the first is scientiae and fidei too; quatenus a Deo revelatur.

i You meane, I suppose; that religion, quoäd objectum, reacheth to such things which may naturallie bee knowen; as well as to what are beleeved from divine revelation: otherwise divine faith, the first part of divinitie, doth in cognoscendis vel potius credendis take-up the whole of religion, as religion; especiallie, as Christian.

k The justice of righteousness of God is theologiae naturalis: and therfore that which I wou’d say here, is; that in theologia naturali, Deus ad nos nostraeque rationis judicium provocat[105] ; in rebus fidei supernaturalis, rationem contemnit: nostraéque intelligentiae, cum caecutiens immo caeca fit, nullam rationem habet[106] .

l I am not herewith unsatisfied; if reason will be satisfied and content, that divine revelation shall bee above itt; and that faith may beleeve, what reason cannot comprehend; as you afterwards grant: and if in the speech you had spoken as much of faith, as you did of reason; and had as much asserted the transcendencie of faith above reason, as you did the agreableness of itt with, or the non-contradiction of itt to, reason; you thereby wou’d have don your faith right and honour; as by what you did (as you say in the bottom of this page) you did it no wrong or dishonour. However, I must <70> still think, you had don your-self more right; if you had then treated on another argument.

m If that Crambe be nauseous, I crave pardon for my incivilitie in that expression. – To what you adde in this paragraph, I onlie say; 1. I wish, that you wou’d please more ordinariely to choose rather such texts and arguments to treat-of, which are fidei divinae; they wou’d bee most apt to begett divine faith in the hearers: and not so much and so often such; as, you say, are examinable by ratio rei: and so by the nature of your matter in hand you shou’d not bee, as you think, necessitated so to handle itt. 2. Though the scriptures, which are so full of such truths, may out of themselves abundantly furnish us to cleare you; without being over-much beholden to such kind of rational discourses. 3. I pray, Sir, consider the Prophets’ and Apostles’ sermons: whether they bee generally upon such arguments; and what is their manner of handling them: whether knottie and obscure, to buisy and amuse the brain; and not rather plaine and facile, and in the demonstration of the Spirit; rather than of this kind of reason: the more to affect the heart.

n When, in the former papers, you said; that the intention of your speech was de certitudine et dignitate Christianae religionis: I then did; and now do think; that the dignitas et certitudo may more theologicallie bee demonstrated, from the certaintie of divine testimonie; and of faith in itt, by that divine testimonie: I in part meant scripture; which I <71> think, shou’d bee so farre distinguished from that, which is most properly called Christian religion, as that which conteines itt; and so my bee a full proof of itt: and though it may be not to a Heathen, yett to a Christian auditorie, such as yours was: and, even to the Heathens themselves; though, I freely acknowledge, these arguments, taken from the matter and other particulars that are insita in the scripture, are verie strong and good; and more proper for such an adversarie: yett 1. they of themselves are not sufficient to persuade; for which I referre you to your quotation out of Au'stine, in the margent of the page[107] . 2. besides, the certainty of divine testimonie; which bears full wittness from heaven to the Christian religion, contained in scripture: as namelie, the foretelling and fulfilling of prophesies concerning Christ, and his Apostles’ and others’ miracles to confirme itt, are arguments; which not only to a Christian’s but a Pagan’s understanding and conscience speake God as much, if not more fully and directely, and to as much conviction; as anie of those arguments, which are taken a ratione rei. And therfore, as you knowe; a learned man[108] , who hath latelie written a tract of the reasonableness of Christian religion; 'speciallie useth that argument, as most convincing. There is verie good matter, in manie of the Heathens’ writings; and such, as is θεοπρεπής. but they want such miracles, and other divine testimonies, to ratifie them; which the truth <72> of scripture and Christian religion is honoured and confirmed by.

o And therfore I did not, I think, so falle-off from the quæstion: as conceeving, 1. I may prove the truth of Christian religion, which was τὸ ζητούμενον, by the divine authoritie of the scripture. 2. If that be quæstioned, the proofe of it is not, as your rule is, “I must consider scripture secundum materiam”: there is no such absolute necessitie of itt, that it cannot be proved otherwise – itt may, by the certaintie of the testimonie, both of God in prophesies and miracles; and of the beleevers faith: in which there are manie things, which give more than a humane testimonie to itt.

p For what you say, to that of Prov. xx. 27; that, “I instance in the use of the principle; and You instiste-on the qualitie fittness and sufficiencie of itt, as from God and in His hand; as res illuminata illuminans: and so you persuade yourself; that is in the wordes, which you have alledged them for:” – I answer; 1. that I indeed instance in the use of the principle: and that use to which by interpreters, and by both the sense and context of the wordes, they are there applied: and itt is rimari res hominum, non Dei[109] : and no more can from the place bee inforced. And when hee saith, it is “the candle of the Lord”, for this use; we can no more inferre thence, that itt is so for farther use; in the things of God and mysteries of faith: than hee, that saith <73> such a man is the King’s searcher in the Custom-house, to finde-out merchants’ conceled goods; can thence inferre, that hee is so to search-out the King’s Council: or, because a candle can helpe to search-out a dark corner in the house; that therfore itt can in a dark night help mee to see the heavens. 2. Though some interpreters adde; not onlie man’s secrets, but God’s councils; yett they explaine themselves to meane that Grace, which out of his love hee reveleth by his worde; and infuseth by his spirit: and so “the spirit of a man” is, as itt were, naturaliter capax divinae illuminationis; so being by the spirit illuminated, wee denie not but it can perceeve the things of God; which otherwise it cannot[110] : In these things especiallie, however there is a spirit in a man; yett the inspiration of the Almightie giveth understanding.

I meant not, onlie Papistes; though this judicium discretionis is by our divines asserted against them: but, as you say, contra omnes personas: the quæstion is; whether, as you adde, in omni materia? nor will I in that gainsay you; if wee agree in the right meaning of judicium discretionis. I take itt, as Davenant[111] and our other divines do; who, though they <74> do truely assert such a judicium; yett you knowe, in what sense: they denie itt to bee judex, so I am sure they will not allowe itt to bee summus judex, in rebus fidei; which in the Commencement-house was asserted: but of that perceptive judgement, which you speak-of before, I have also before said somthing; and therfore no more now. And as for those protestant principles, which you mention; the Quilibet abundet in suo sensu, is but the Vulgar’s bad translation of the Apostle’s πληροφορείσθω[112] , and may be of dangerous consequence: and therfore rejected by our divines. Neque haec sententia Christiana esse potest, is Beza's judgement of itt. The Apostle’s πληροφορία requires our own certioratio; but not from our own conceptions, but from the revelation of the spirit and word of God. For the other, Fides non est cogenda; in a true sense I admitt it: but how farre the reall and full sense of itt and the former principle will intrude, and the necessarie consequents of them; I cannot tell: and therfore, till I knowe that, I must ἐπέχειν. And, before I goe farther, to close-up all about the power of ratio, in rebus fidei; I have in publique[113] given as much to it, in theologia, both naturali and supernaturali; as I think you in reason can require: but in these supernatural mysteries <75> of faith, I beleeve, as you well express it, itt is not to be accounted either authour, inventer, or controller. 1. itt was never able to finde them out at firste. 2. when reveled, not able fullie to comprehend them; must not bee such a judge of them, as to arraigne them att it’s barre: so as, if they be eyther reallie above itt, yea or seeme to bee contrarie to itt, to reject them; as, in the matter of God’s decrees, is too frequent with Arminians and others: or so as lastlie to resolve them eyther in rationem rei, ex parte objecti; or in rationem nostram, tanquam summum judicem, ex parte subjecti. If those, and some other such particulars, which I expressed in my position, be granted; there will reallie be little controversie: and if they were clearlie and plainlie in publique declared; itt wou’d take-away manie men’s suspicions and misprisions. And if withall you and others wou’d please so farre to denie your selves; as to forbeare the insisting-on these arguments, of the power of nature and reason, in your discourses; which in scripture are rather abased, than exalted: it wou’d prevente heats and oppositions, which att all times are uncomfortable; and especiallie, in these crasie times, may prove of verie ill consequence to the Universitie. And I beseech you, Sir, not to bee offended att my faithfull playnness with you: your and others’ so much going in another strayne, hath not onlie much offended and opened the mouths of verie manie considerable men of another judgement; but allso made some others applaude themselves in their cor <76> rupte judgement: as conceeving and concluding, though I beleeve falselie, that they have their abetters amongste Us.

r Sir, what followes of the fourth page, so farre as I can well read and understand itt, I do not dissent from itt. As for the hopefulness of good men’s less differing in things saving; and that through siding and passion, differences betwen them appear, and seem to bee, more than they are; I denied neyther of these: but I then said, and yett thinke; that they may not onlie differ, in the number of Fundamentals; but also in their resolved judgements, about verie material truths; and that, without mistaking one another’s mindes, or making one another’s judgements other and worse than they are; and yett on both handes agree in scripture-expressions: in which case, as better to former their judgements, and to discover worse men’s errours, great use was of other than scripture wordes and expressions; and this, without anie alteration of, or addition to, or derogation from, the holie scriptures: which was the thing I spake-to in my former paper.

s For matter of imposing-upon, I am not guiltie. In the Assemblie, I gave my vote with others; that the Confession of Faith, putt-out by Authoritie, shoulde not bee required to bee eyther sworne or subscribed-too; wee having bin burnt in the hand in that kind before: but so as not to be publickly preached or written against; which indeede is contrarie to that “libertie of prophesying”; which some so call-for; but, you ay, you plead not for; <77> though your second advice in your sermon seemed, in mine and other men’s eyes, to look fullie that way: but I beleeve, what you now write; and onlie adde, that as you plead not for that libertie; so what hath bin said by others, hath not bin to impose on you; but onlie as freelie to assert, what they think is truth; as what you did assert was so, in your judgement: and therfore were not culpable of maintaining rixas et lites; as hath bin charged. Though I heartilie and humblie desire of God; that wee may either so inwardlie agree, or outwardlie not express disagreement; that we may not give occasion of advantage, to more sortes of men than one; that watch for our halting.

t That which I spake of Hæretiques’ being sober and temperate &c; was not to your second proposal, about liberty of proposing, &c; but to your first, of agreeing with them that agree in scripture expressions: And whereas it was pleaded, that such agreement was desired amongst good men; I replied, that it was not so easie to know, who they were: seeing Hæretiques were not sine larva pietatis, and were somtimes sober and temperate; not – “unexceptionable and of unblameable life”; as your wordes are. Whereas you find Scripture Hæretiques infamous in their life; I easilie grant itt of those Gnostique Borboritae[114] , and <78> verie manie others, which authours speak-of. And yett in scripture I finde false prophets, in sheep’s cloathing[115] ; and those in Timothy, having a forme of godlinesse[116] ; Pharisees, whited sepulchres[117] ; which is enough to express that larva pietatis I spake-of. Arius and Novatus and others, at least for a time, speciouslie devout and pious; and all that I read of St. Francis in Bonaventure, and of Loyola in Ribadeneira, and of Bellarmine in Fulligatti, I do not look-at as Legend; what Bertius and others say of Arminius, you know; often those, that have bin most pestilent, have bin, in outward demeanour, at least for a time, sober; and some severe: but sobrii ad evertendum rempublicam: enough to justifie what I said; that wee are rather to look to their doctrines, than their persons.

v For that of Socinians and Arminians; seeing I ingenuouslie cleared you, from those imputations; both in my own thoughts, and against others misprisions; I hope, you will cleare mee, from being in that kind injurious to you: nor will you take in ill part my cordiall good wishes which I expressed, that so good a friend might not bee in confinio of such men’s tentes: and although hee, that hath the name of Christ called upon him, may and ought, in the sense you meane, to say, -- Non sum Christianus ullius nominis: yett, when diversities of judgements have unhappilie begotten diversi <79> ties of denominations; I had rather, by reason of my adhæring to the truth, that Calvine maintained; men shoulde call mee a Calvinist: than by reason of eyther an indifferencie, or by a propending to somthing that Socinians or Arminians hold; men, though unjustlie and sinfullie, shoulde besmeare mee with their appellation.

w As to what followes in this page, concerning your studies; I must intreate your pardon, as of my too greate boldness, in that it may bee unseasonable freeness; so of my mistakes, occasioned by my mis-apprehension, or rather mis-information: and I crave leave onlie to adde; 1. as to that about the Schoole-men; when I spake of them, I understood, not onlie that narrower compass of them; which some make, from Albensis[118] to Biel; but so as to take-in <80> Vasquez, Suarez, and other later authours of that kind: your perusing of whom so little in so manie yeares, but that you say itt and I beleeve you, I cannot but wonder: and must conclude; that eyther those fewe houres of your converse with them made a verie deepe impression in you, moulding you much that way; or, as nascitur non fit Poëta, that the natural frame of your head was much in that channel: which must keepe us from wondering, or finding faulte; if in your discourses the streames do so much answer the fountain. 2. They, that told mee of Field, Jackson, Hammond, added also Chillingworth, and Hooker's Ecclesiastical Politie: in the first booke whereof, though it bee manie yeares since I redde itt, and I have itt not nowe by mee; if I forgett not, there bee divers things; which divers discourses now-a-dayes much symbolize with. 3. I verilie thought, you had rea’d the Apologia Remonstrantium; a booke, which, when it came out, we so greedilie bought and rea’d: as justifying their Confession of Faith before putt-out, againste the examen of the Contra-Remonstrants: in which they speake out more fullie, than they had don before; and in both which of their bookes they are large in the argument wee speak-of. 4. What you say of your little reading and more meditating; I impute to your great modestie, in lessening your own due: or if, as I have cause, I must beleeve you; as I cannot but much approve your course of Meditation; so give mee leave to intreat you, to give dili <81> gence to Reading. I have thought, that Bernard was in the right; when hee said, lectio, sine meditatione, arida est; meditatio, sine lectione, erronea. In our meditations, wee may unawares slip into an errour; which, because our own, of our own selves, we are hardlie restrained from[119] ; from which another’s hand may easilie helpe mee up. And if, for that and other ends, I would gladlie conferre with the living; the same motive may persuade mee to converse with others, that are dead; in their writings: and the rather, because they use to bee more digested; than others' extemporarie discourses: especiallie, if, as you do, we make choice of those, that are most pious and learned. I look-at it, as a kind of Communion of Saints; in which I may expect a greater blessing: but so, as not resting on their authoritie. And shoulde not their writings bee better than my thoughts, yett with mee I find itt thus; that by reading I have more hints, and better rise, for more and better notions; than otherwise of myself I shou’d have reached unto: hereby I shall bee better acquainted with the true historie, stating, and phrasing, of any point of controversie; which otherwise I shall too often stumble-att. ------- But, Sir, may you not justlie disdeigne this my follie; in suggesting that to Him, who needes no spurrs to itt; and better knowes itt, than hee who presumes to suggest itt! Scultetus’ character, which in his Speculationes Evangelicae hee gives <82> of And: Osiander, of which from my heart I cleare you; makes mee afraid to bee ἀυτοδιδακτος. [See Scultet: Lib. II. cap. v. p. 16.]

x In the half of this page, Sir, you express so much ingenuity and integrity; and withall so much condescension, for my satisfaction; that, although you say, you are ashamed in the writing of itt; yett I may more blush in receiving itt. I from my soule free you from designe; I beleeve, you love and seeke the truth; and yett think, you may in some things mistake. You say, that I seeme to “anatomize your life”: God help mee more to search into my own heart; that I may not bee so much mistaken, in the one; as it seemeth I am, in the other! God knowes, I am not wont to look verie much into others; who have so much to look-after, in my-self. What I did herein, I intreate you to thinke, and I wou’d not deceeve you, was not from an ill-minded or buisy curiositie; but out of love and faithfullness, having such an occasion, to hint somthing what others said and I somwhat feared: and if you will please to do as much for mee, such “balm shall not break my head.”

y For this in the margent; I freelie grant imperfection, in the best interpreters; nor did I ever allow them the priviledge of infallible interpretation: and, if my pen wrote itt, my heart never thought itt. And trulie I have, as carefullie as I cou’d in these straits of time, rea’d over the place you mention in my second page; and can neyther there, nor anie where else in my whole paper, finde anie such wordes; or anie other; from which I can <83> think, how anie such inference can bee made. The like I must say of what followes; where you say, that I suggest; Fundamentalls may bee shaken and endangered, by such a free proposall: Nothing, all the paper over, that I can find; which either saith or suggesteth anie such matter: I spake of the staggering of weake men; no tittle of the shaking of fundamentall truths: and therfore some of your following lines might have bin spared. --- Yett this let mee now say; that if such an expression, of the shaking fundamentall truths, had fallen from my penne; itt might verie well have been justified: and that, from Scripture. Not as though the truth in itt self coulde bee so shaken, as to weaken itt: but such speeches respect partlie intentionem operantis, vel operis; and partlie the effect, which thereupon followes; in the minds of weak and unstable persons. And so not onlie the Ark may bee shaken; but even the foundations may bee destroyed[120] : (and if you consult interpreters upon this place, you will finde; that I do not wrest itt, in applying itt to this purpose:) as the Apostle presumes, they may; in his μὴ πάλιν θεμέλιον καταβαλλόμενον[121]

z What I said, I think, is verie justifiable; that, when both Hæretiques and the Orthodoxe hold to Scripture expressions; and They, in their wordes, give a false sense of them; the other in theirs may give a true: not to command anie man’s inwarde sense; as you wou’d seeme to inferre: but, as in three of foure lines before I had said; by expressing the <84> true sense more particularlie and distinctlie, to discover their corrupt one: which, I added, was the occasion of orthodoxe Divines’ framing of newe wordes and expressions; more punctuallie to hold-out old truths, against Hæretiques’ innovations. And what is amisse in all this, I can not see; nor have you shewen mee.

α Sir, here ’bate mee a little: I said not; that All, that so pleaded, were such: but my wordes were, such for the most part: and that, if neede, bee, I shall bee able to justifie: namelie, of those that have written of that argument: whom onlie I related to. But I impute this to your haste, and broken pieces of time, which after you speak of; as I do most of what followeth in this page: as that; “May wee temper and qualifie divinitie with prudential considerations”? I see not, how this relates to what immediatelie went before of Socinians and Arminians; who are in this kind as faultie as anie. If you said itt, in reference to interpreters’ or synods’ framing of wordes for clearing of scripture, against others’ false glosses; I think itt a verie harsh censure, and wholelie unjustifiable: if both this and what followes, to the forcing and imposing upon others judgements; you make to yourself and adversarie, where you found none.

ϐ I do not remember, itt is so stiled by our Divines: and, shou’d itt by some, both they and you will give mee leave to think; that there are other foundations of Protestancie, lower and of more importance.


β“Truth is Truth, whosoëver speakes itt: and I will readily agree with Papist, Socinian, or anie; so farre as hee asserts itt: because itt is not His, but God’s.” ---- But this libertas prophetandi I take to bee no such Truth: and I do not the more like itt, but rather the more suspect itt; because Socinians and Arminians do so much pleade for itt: and that, as itt is apparent, out of design; that they might not be hindred in diffusing their poison, in their other corrupt tenents; which they are more commonlie knowen by: though the worlde is not now so ignorant of Socinianism and Arminianism, as to confine the one to the denial of Christ’s divinitie and satisfaction &c; or the other to the five controverted articles. This of libertas prophetandi, you cannot but knowe, that they are generallie noted for; and this, in the Countrie, as well as in the Universitie; it may be, in the Universitie most: and therfore the proposall of this libertie there, may be most taken notice of in the proposer; as itt may bee of more ill influence unto the yonge auditours: and a student in Divinitie neede not be confined, as you speak, to “the getting of a good memorie and learning by heart”; his invention and judgement will have buis’ness more than enough, in aright understanding and more full clearing of receeved truths; and finding-out others, that itt may bee, yett lie hid; without such a libertie of opposing, or doubtfullie disputing, περὶ τῶν πεπληροφορουμενών. much more without a Cartesian ἐποχὴ or supposing them for er <86> rours, or not established truths; till I coming de novo, withoute anie prepossession of them, shall study and reason my selfe into a beleife of them. And somthing sounding this way, I thought I heard, within this twelvemonth, out of the pulpitte.

γ By this your last expression, I think, I now better understand your meaning before; about which I doubted: and, itt may bee, mistook: that, whereas in my former paper I spake of this libertie, as dangerous to the weake; and because symbolizing with Arminians and Socinians, the asserting of it by a lover of truth was at all times unsuitable; and especiallie, in these so erroneous times, unsafe; at least, very unseasonable. ------ “This, you conceeve, was a suggestion; that Fundamentalls may bee shaken and endangered: which cou’d not worthilie be conceeved --- that this was to temper and qualifie Divinitie with prudential considerations --- the taking of God’s work out of his handes, &c; and not sufficientlie to consider, who principallie standes charged, and is the grand Superintendent of truth in the world.” ----- If this, Sir, bee your meaning; I must professe to you, that I am not convinced; eyther of anie unworthie conception, or inconsiderate expression. Not in saying, if I had said itt, that fundamentall truths mighte be shaken; of which before: And the restraining of such a libertie is no tempering or qualifying Divinitie with prudential considerations: unlesse it can bee proved, that such a Toleration be <87> true Divinitie; or everie thing that by such a sufferance may bee vented. A prudential prevention of the corruption, of what is true Divinitie; will, I hope, bee no fault in him; who is a faithfull and wise servant[122] : And his keeping of the depositum, which he is betrusted-with by is master[123] , doth not take his master’s worke out of his hand; but acknowledgeth Him principallie charged with his own truth; and to bee the grand Superintendent of itt in the world: whilst, as a Steward under his Lord, hee, according to his dutie[124] , is faithfull to his trust; in being carefull, that not onlie his fellow-servant may not be infected; whom hee hath the charge of: but that the truth ittself, though it cannot be in ittself weakened or over-mastered, may not bee corrupted or blemished; which hee is bound earnestlie to contend for.[125]

δ Those “beginnings of grace,” which you mention, are, I suppose, much-what the same with, or itt may bee less than, that first sanctification, or regeneration; which I spake-of. And that “actuallie justifying,” which you adde, the same with what I called ἀποτέλεσμα of justification: so that herein, I hope, wee shall not differ. For those “preparations to justification,” which Dr. Ward[126] so frequentlie determined in the <88> schooles; and which Papistes do so much dispute-for: I professe, I coulde never yett so ripen my thoughts about them; as peremptorilie to determine them, one way or other. Sure I am; that manie good Divines determine againste them: and I think, in some cases, when God doth suddainlie come upon some sinners, flagrante facinore; and then presentlie convert them: itt will bee verie hard to discern them. That expression of yours, of “a sinner non omnino in motu conversionis &c”; I do not well understand: unless your meaning bee; that a sinner, qua talis, without anie movings toward conversion &c – if so; though, as I said, before your ἀποτέλεσμα of justification, in puncto rationis, a renovation goeth first; which doth elicere actum fidei, by which we are actuallie justified: yett in hoc motu God moves first; and, so farre as Justification consists in pardon of sinne, itt is verie considerable; whether immediate antecedenter itt hath for it’s object a sinner, as a sinner, under the guilt and in the state of sinne; though it do not so leave him: and so God properlie justifie the ungodlie.


ε In your paper, κατὰ τὸ ῥητὸν, order is considered and expressed; and not onlie distinction.

ζ I think, You pinch too hard; in calling that, “a wringing of the nose”; which was but a wiping-away of that which dropt from itt: and in applying that[127] , which is spoken of scorners, and such as watch for iniquitie, in catching-at and perverting the right wordes of the Prophets; to mee, who in a friendlie way did expresse to you my dissatisfaction with an unjustifiable expression.

η I cordiallie embrace, what you herein so orthodoxlie piouslie and patheticallie express; of your so depending on God: and of his being all in all. And I verilie beleeve, you meane much more by itt; than Papistes and Arminians &c do, in their large expressions of the influence of the first cause into the second; in itt’s operations both of nature and grace: who, notwithstanding that, give too too much to man and his free will. A great asserter whereof in our time, in his verses upon his quæstion in the commencement house, had these two for the close –

Scire tuum nihil est, oculis ni Gratia praesit;

Ni praesit votis, Velle tuum nihil est.

Ϟ By that “conjunction with a passive exegetical,” I suppose you meane the addition of recipitur a nobis: and so that recipitur so <90> “qualifies and corrects” your nascitur; that it prevents anie such sense, as was feared and objected. I woulde not λίαν ἐξετάζειν. else, I coulde think; if, according to Popish or Arminian doctrine, gratia oblata per liberum arbitrium recipitur; this woulde bee a moral nascitur.

θ I acknowledge, voluntas creata, or creatura, is the subjectum or principium quod, (in subordination to God, the principium a quo) that doth formaliter producere actum credendi et poenitendi: but I woulde not willinglie express it, by producere vitalitatem actus; though that word may be tolerable, in a school-sense; but dubious, in sensu theologiae puriori.

ι I conceeve; that κατεργάζεσθε is not of so deepe a sense, as nascitur: for although somtimes in Scripture it expresseth a meritorious efficiencie[128] ; [Somtimes idem quod κατορθῶ, ita prospere ago, ut potiar: and somtimes vinco, supero; when I obteine by labour and overcome difficulties:] yett verie often, both in other authours and Scripture, it signifieth anie efficiencie in general; even of a cause sine qua non, and a cause per accidens[129] : and therfore much more, a medium administrans; or a cause, so called propter solam praesentiae necessitatem: as our Divines commonlie and trulie answer the Papistes; who, in their disputes about good workes in reference to Salvation, bring II Cor. iv. 17. and this of Phil. ii. 12. and urge the word κατεργάζεσθε against us. A nasci therfore, in the <91> true importe of itt, doth signifie more than such a κατεργὰζεσθε. and itt is a farre different thing to say, a beleever now by faith, and the improvement of grace receeved, doth by working, as a means, come to salvation; and to say, that grace or salvation ab eo nascitur.

κ Itt was a supplicatorie advice, that you would not affecte to speake in schoole-language; nor to runne-out in schoole-notions: not – “the use of Philosophie and Metaphysiques”.

λ Your care not to “do the worke of the Lord negligently”; but to improve your utmost in His service, and solidlie to confirm His truth; I both beleeve and approve-of: neyther did I, nor do I think; in what you have done, you have affected worldlie glorie: and what blessings you have had from the soules, eyther of living or dying men, I rejoyce in; and desire, they may be multiplied a thousand fold: and shou’d hope, it wou’d bee so; if you wou’d please to listen to my advice or desire before mentioned: in being more playne and facile in your discourses. For although, as you say, you have bin all along well understood; by persons of honest heartes, but of meane place and education: and, as I may adde, you have herein bin more than approved; by diverse schollars, upon diverse grounds: yett itt will not bee amisse for you to hear also, what very many others say. Vox populi, in this is, vox Dei. And this lett mee say; I know divers, of honest heartes, of several conditions and educa <92> tions; that have bin verie farre, with all their best attention, from being able all along to understand you. Some of meane place and education may have stronger parts; which meeting with honest heartes, will better be able to go along with you: but Jacob will drive-on, לְרֶגֶל הִיְלָדִים[130]

μ Your both reading and making use of Philosophers; especiallie, in shaming loose and scandalous Christians with their better principles or practises; I do not remember, that eyther in my paper or otherwise, I ever did blame in you: provided it bee onlie to the shaming of profane and loose Gospellers; without giving occasion of casting shame upon the Gospel ittself. What I have bin in this kind so affected with, in the reading of Salvian and some others; I cannot bee disaffected, in hearing the like from you. Though this you will give me leave to adde; that the Scripture scarce aniewhere speaks particularlie of the Philosophers and wise men of the Heathens, with approbation and honour; but generallie with dislike and contempt. And tho’ in some fewe places, itt upbraids the children of the church, in their abominations; with the more commendable practises of the heathen: yet farre oftener itt speakes of them, as abominable; and of their principles and practises, as of rockes to bee avoyded; than as of fayre patternes to bee imitated. And therfore we shou’d followe Scrip <93> ture’s pattern; if wee shou’d more insist-on their darkness, ignorance, their falling short of and coming cross to Christ; than on the admiring and advancing of their knowledge and virtues: which att best were but dim and dead, whilst not enlighten’d and enliven’d by Christ. I think itt verie strange, that you shou’d say; that “those you have redde, you have found good; so farre as they have gon:” in those fewe that I have redde, I have found them scattering a great deale of what is bad, with what is good in them; all along in the way--- as also, that you adde; “that you never found them enemies to the truth of the Gospell.” Primitive Christians found them such; even amongst the chiefest and subtlest enemies they hadde to deale with: and Tertullian eyther was of an other mind from you, or rea’d other Philosophers than you do; when he called them Haeresium Patriarchas.

ν It was not so said absolutely; but qualified with a parentheticall---as itt were. And though hereinn I would not præscribe, yett I must needs say; that the ordinarie use of most is, when in English sermons and discourses they make use of Latine or Greek sentences; they intende, that their auditours shou’d take them for quotations from, or expressions of, other men: and not their own. Which course trulie I approve-of; and so do manie better than I: and although I admitted of Grotius his excuse, in his præface to his annotations on the Evangelists; that hee for <94> bare mentioning of names, in his quotations--- quod ea videam factioso hoc saeculo magis ad oblimandum quam ad defaecandum judicium valere; (who yett for the moste parte writes his quotations in a distinct character; that wee may know them not to bee his owne:) yett I beginne to bee half of the mind, that itt is the fairest and most satisfactorie way, in such quotations; to express the authour, as well as the sentence: that the reader or auditour may have better meanes to know, whether itt be wholelie His; and not wholelie or in parte ours.

ξ The generall purporte of this paragraph I freelie yeeld to. For the Socinian’s fallacie is his Reason; againste which I may oppose mine: and I fullie accord with Aquinas, in this very poynte thus expressing himselfe--- Cum fides infallibili veritate innitatur, impossibile ut sit de verbo demonstrari contrarium; manifestum est, probationes quae contra fidem inducuntur, non esse demonstrationes; sed solubilia argumenta.

ο For this I referre myselfe allso to what is said before.

πI meant a recta ratio in corrupte nature: and there I cannot finde righte, but more or lesse distorted and depraved. Where Faith is, there is a renewall of God’s image; in knowledge, as well as holiness and righteousness: and there a liberum arbitrium ad bonum spirituale is in parte renewed, as well as a recta ratio; and a beleefe of that, to which reason cannot reach.

ϖ I believe, itt doth; as manie can wittness: and although somtimes mind in our En <95> glish use of the worde include the will; as, when we say, wee have no mind to such a thing; yett in most ordinarie acception, mind and understanding are synonymous.

ρ As they are declared Rom. ix; and explayned by those Divines, which wee must account orthodoxe; they have bin conceeved inconsistent with that goodness, and those rationes rerum; which some frame for their ideas.

σ I beleeve; that, as you cannot affirme, that God did not; so neyther, that hee did revele Christ to them; the Scipture seeming to speak otherwise of them: and therfore itt had bin best, to have left them in silence to their judge.

ς I suppose, you heere give mee the wordes of your notes: which if you confined your speech to, I must acknowledge a mistake.

τ Our saviour did not come to destroye the moral law; and therfore hee could not bee againste moral duties: and, Gnostique Libertines in the Apostles’ time arising, no wonder that the Apostle that wrote last, spake to Dutie; as Paul, in laying the foundation, spake much for Faith. God forbidde, Sir, that I shoulde, as you phrase it, “disserve one truth; to serve an other”! And I think, in my preaching, I use to presse inward grace and outward obedience; as much as some others. And woulde you, and some others, as fullie and as frequentlie insist on “free justification, by the imputation of Christ’s righteousnesse;” as you and <96> they do on inhærent holiness and righteousness: that no disservice may be done to that, by pressing of this; matter of complaynte wou’d bee prevented: but, when this is insisted upon; with the slighting terms of notions and speculations given to the other, when contended-for; - to mee itt is juste matter of offence.

Τ Some have expressed a perfection above this.

υ Hee, that hath “Faith, which worketh by Love;” cannot but joyne Love with his Faith: but trulie, Sir, I hope, you do not desire in this life (in which the Apostle saith, “wee walke by faith”[131] ; and “itt is our life”[132] ;) to come to such an estate of Love above Faith; that, with some of our high-flowen menne, you might heere bee above Faith: which onlie in an other worlde is swallowed-up into Vision; and so ceaseth, in some respects; though, in some other, itt even there abides to eternitie.

Ϟ In the sermon on Matth. v. 20. Ordinances spoken-of were more than Formalities.

φ Itt hath bin too often said in publique by some: and wee had more than a touch of itt, in this daye’s sermon.

χ But yett, if that bee but a notion and speculation; which a man may holde, and not bee the better man for itt: trulie, by this rule, Deum esse and Christum esse may come to bee no better than notions and speculations.


ψ They were all such things, as a man may holde and bee never the better man; and they may bee the most substantiall fundamentalls: and disputes about God and Christ were particularlie named.

ω I will not take upon mee, to choose other men’s texts for them: but yett I shou’d bee glad, that Gospell-preachers wou’d please to think of such; as wou’d leade them to insist “upon Justification by Faith”, and “imputed Righteousness”: and not onlie, or almost onlie, on such; as give them occasion to speak of “inhærent righteousness”: of the advancing of Faith above Reason, and of the Impotencie and Weakness of Nature; rather than the Power of itt: that Faith is the condition of the convenant of Grace &c. – But I, that have bin too bold, in this long letter, with your Time, in this particular; may bee conceeved almost impudente in being so over-bold with Your and Others Libertie – But I crave pardon for all: and nowe that I have freelie opened my minde to you; I have don what, in faithfullness to God and you, I thought I might bee bound to. I commend You and the successe of all to God; and rest Your verie playne, but verie true Friende;

AT –.

Oct. 8; 1651.

When you have looked over these papers, if they bee worthe your labour to do so; I desire you wou’d please to returne them: as not having anie coppy of them.




I Have observed; that replies upon replies prove more troublesom, than profitable: and the farther they go-on, still the less of matter; but exceptions, on one side and other, against wordes and phrases: also omnis ingenii acies post primum impetum hebescit. Yett, since I preferre to give You satisfaction, before anie other buisness; somthing I shall farther adde: leaving manie things to discourse.

a. b.Creatio est cognoscibilis, lumine naturae; et scriptura insuper attestatur: quo respectu dici potest esse de fide. Modus autem et circumstantiae creationis unice innotescunt per revelationem a Deo; ideóque non nisi materia fidei.

c“You say, in manie things wee must credere much more than wee can ratione percipere”. in your f you quoted mee, that the transcendencie lies in amplitudine et plenitudine objecti; non in contradictione rationis: and were therwith satisfied.

Credere includit Cognoscere; aliter fides est implicita: and I do not so much reach the thing, as beleeve in general, what God means is true.


I call in quæstion none of God’s counsils or decrees; anie where reveled in scripture; [Mr. Perkins and Calvine and best interpreters give for a rule, in finding-out the sense of scripture: never a sense contrarie to the common principles of reason and natural light.] my reason hath nothing againste them; but admires and adores: yett I much doubt, notwithstanding what you said before of orthodox explications, to help our imperfections; whether anie fallible creature can adde anie thing to them, or make them farther out: and whether itt bee not presumption to attempte itt; without speciall commission. – Verie proper and ordinarie to say, that facultates singulae judicant de rationibus suorum objectorum. –

As non semper significat aequalitatem, sed similitudinem exempli gratia, illustrationis ergo: simile non est idem, nec per omnia simile: similitudo non currit quatuor pedibus. Aliquod luminosum transcendenter se habet ad vim visivae facultatis; sicut aliquod credibile ad intellectum.

d “But our present dispute is about the power of Reason to judge of matters of Faith:” so after in [q] – Did you ever find mee leaving God out, or not acknowledging Him principal, original; and the creature mere vanitie, dividedlie from him; a lye, in contradiction to him? I have declared the qualitie and fittness of the principle, as from God, in the hand of God; “the candle of the Lord”: Res illuminata illuminans. – With all my heart and soule I acknowledge and assert (and <100> wholelie depend thereon,) the holie Spirit’s superintendencie, conduct, presence, influence, guidance, government of man’s mind, in the discerning of the things of God. There is nothing, that I have more insisted upon; and more carefullie endeavoured to demonstrate de industria, upon texts purposelie chosen; occasionallie still interposing clauses to this purpose. Yea, itt had a large place in my speech; att which, you say, so much offence was taken. I am not clearer, fuller, in anie point: I experimentallie know itt, I thank God, to be true; I have wittness of itt within mee; itt is my sufficiencie, itt is my strength, itt is my securitie: God with mee is All in All.--- God forgive them the palpable breach of the ninth commandment; who have defamed mee in this kind! Nothing is less true of mee: I might rather have bin accused of anie eville in the world.---

Do not you yourself in your η say; “I cordiallie embrace what herein you so orthodoxlie, piouslie and patheticallie express?” --- I allwayes consider, and so express, the mind of man in conjunction with the good spirit of God. I abhorre and detest from my soule all creature-magnifying self-sufficiencie. I coulde be abundant herein: for my hearte is full of indignation againste this supposition. The most secrette sense of my soule echoes to that text by you quoted, Eph. j. 17; and all other of that nature. I know them to bee all true.

“I cannot tell, whether wholelie regulated a ratione objecti”. --- Yes; tanquam a regula; <101> which was that I spake to: but a Dei spiritu, tanquam ab illuminante et dirigente. So reason is not empowered contra Deum, aut sine Deo: but sub Deo is implied.

I acknowledged to you before, that formale motivum fidei est revelatio fidei: and you must allwayes remember; that there is in Religion, (I here understand Religion materialiter) scibile, per necessitatem materiae; as well as credibile, propter authoritatem dicentis: and ratio objecti rei never over-ruled, contradicted; and ratio subjecti allwayes directed, determined. In that, which is onlie matter of faith, revelation is all in all: so ratio objectiva is never againste itt: (you fullie grant with mee in your f, that materia fidei cannot bee contrarie to reason:) for that (I mean, ratio objectiva) is necessarie, infallible, immutable, positis terminis; as, supposita creatura capaci, eam debere Deo subesse: but in that, which is materia theologiae naturalis ex se, there is partim scientia, partim fides; sc. scientia rei in se et rationis objectivae; fides autem, quatenus revelatae.

e I do not think, that to ingenuitie and indifferencie, tempers, which qualifie to a reception from God; as carnalitie and designing do indispose: anie article of Christian faith seems to bee materia Deo indigna: and shoulde itt, itt woulde not bee in a man’s power to beleeve itt as from God, while itt so seems; though a man shou’d struggle with himself never so much. A man can not think againste the reason of his mind: that of necessitie must be satisfied.--- But, I think, a man may trulie <102> say of the grand articles of Christian faith; expiation, remission of sinnes: that to one acquainted with his own state and condition, and considerative of God’s goodness, the matter of those articles reveled is rather a matter expected as becoming God, Godlike; than eyther contrarie to reason, or unworthie of God. I beleeve, in the true use of understanding, a seerious and considerative mind wou’d bee apte to think; that eyther God wou’d pardon sinne, to penitents who reform, absolutelie; or else wou’d propose a way, in which --- and termes and conditions, on which hee wou’d forgive and bee reconciled: God being dulie looked upon, as the fountaine and original of goodness. So that, when the revelation of faith comes; the inward sense, awakened to the entertainment thereof, saith; ἝΥΡΗΚΑ. itt is, as I imagined; the thing expected proves; Christ, the desire of all nations: sc. the desire of their state: at least, the necessitie of their state.

So far am I from quarrelling with anie of the revelations of God; my reason is no where so satisfied, as in matter of Christian Faith.

g If I did say, the last resolution was in rationem rei; it was in materia necessaria; in objecto theologiae naturalis. Are not rationes boni et mali, aeternae et indispensabiles of this sorte? and have not you granted, that materia fidei cannot bee contra rationem rei? and, if so; put the case, this is evidentlie secundum rationem rei; as, that wee are to make conscience of eville: The loose Antinomian pretendes the libertie of the Gospell, against conscience of sinne: may <103> not I confidentlie conclude, that what hee saith cannot bee de fide; because itt is contra rationem rei? It is not dishonourable to Faith at all, to say; that itt doth acknowledge rationes rerum, tanquam prius natas, fixas et immobiles; makes no attempt upon them, endeavours no alteration in them. All these are necessarilie so, positis terminis: as, si sit creatura, ut Deo subsit: since fides hominum est in materia arbitraria, respectu voluntatis et beneplaciti Dei. [“Godly, soberly, righteously[133] .” Tria capita doctrinarum quae nituntur rationibus rerum. And these have not onlie acknowledgment, but Countenace protection and confirmation, under and by the grace of the gospell. Simus Homines, ut simus Christiani; said one.] For farther satisfaction herein, I referre you back agen to what immediatlie præceded, e. Sir, I doubte not, but upon farther consideration you will see this, as cleare as the sunne; and not at all derogatorie to faith, nor diminutive of God’s power. You have alreadie granted to mee, what is eyther æquipollent to itt, or necessarilie antecendent to itt; sc. quod materia fidei non potest esse contra rationem rei: if therfore I do prove a thing to bee contra rationem rei, I doe thereby destroy itt, as a matter of faith. I speake of the Truth and Realitie of the thing; not of what may seeme to fondness and partialitie. This principle will certainlie over-rule Antimonians; and there is no danger of acknowledging this rule in divinitie: for it will not bee, <104> what may seeme to this or that party, that is carnal; in a worldlie confederacie or designe; but onlie what reallie and in truth is contra rationem rei.

h The distinction is not vayne: because amplior est materia divinae libertatis, quam revelationis: in the second place I consider materiam libertatis; abstrahendo a revelatione: in the third, eandem materiam; sub revelatione. You cannot say, that God hath reveled to us all that he hath determined: nothing becomes a matter of our faith, till itt is a matter of divine revelation: for you well say, that revelatio Dei est de formali objecto fidei. Idem in diverso statu distingui potest a seipso.

i I acknowledge your distinction betwen religion, and Christian religion; preciselie this latter includes the former, and superaddes a forme. And I did meane, that religion had pro objecto et materiam scientiae naturalis, ortam e rationibus rerum; et materiam fidei, nixam authoritate Dei.

k I wou’d rather say, non vocat rationem ad consilium; than contemnit rationis captum. God indeed consults not with us; but with his own wisdom and goodness; (wee being patients and under his cure;) for the invention contrivance and provision of remedie: yett God proposeth, with respect to our understandings; viz. what they can receive, what they are able to beare. And indeed, the matter which hee doth propose, viz. expiation of sinne, in the blood of Christ; and our renovation by Him, into his divine spirit; are things gratefull to <105> man’s mind: and, in the sense before express’d, as it were, expected.

l If you had heard equallie and impartialie, and had not too soone conceeved a prejudice; you might have heard, as you desire, as much spoken of Faith as of Reason: also you had not missed of that, of the want of which you now complayne--- I meane, the excellencie and transcendencie of matters of faith to finite apprehension; and the happie superintendencie of the holie spirit over man’s mind: which two had large place in that Speech ---- But Acuit ira animum; ne possit cernere rectum[134] . Itt was then exprest, and hath bin since acknowledged, to you; that magnalia Dei are majora intellectu finito: wee are now but viatores; yea, when comprehensores in patria, beatitudo objectiva will be inadæquate, as too bigg for us; though the disproportion will bee to our advantage; the vessel more certain to bee filled, because of the sea’s dimensions. The peace of God, the life and salt of the world, is said to pass all understanding: yett the mind is never more filled, nor better satisfied, than in these things. This transcendencie of the object to the facultie, is not the mind’s greevance; but enlargement and happiness; because itt is not in a way of contradiction to the princi <106> ples of the mind: therfore in this case there is no danger of the mind’s being exasperated, and made to quarrel; but a fayre opportunitie of the mind’s being absorpt, ingulft in happiness.

Sir, you will pardon mee; upon this third provocation from you, I must not bee wanting to my own innocencie: at least not to God’s truth. I think, I did my self right, where I did God service: and in this respect I appeale from you to God. I well know, that the love of Truth ruled in my heart: and I then had, and still have, such evidence and assurance of being in the truth; that I cannot but think, I never spent hour in my life upon a better account. Sir, I had well considered the matter of the speech, before I came there; had resolved my self, upon manie thoughtes, of the certaintie, of the truth, of the importance and usefulness to the auditorie: when I understood your taking offence, and some others; I gave so much to your authoritie and judgement, that I re-examined all over againe: et tandem confirmatior evado; and am fullie settled in my thoughts, that the matter is unexceptionable; and that which must be stood-to: highlie tending to God’s honour, and worthie the Gospell: and there is nothing of realitie against itt, but mistakes, mis-apprehensions, jealousies, and misprisions. Sir, this I woulde not write to you; did I not think the honour of God and Truth engaged, the interest of soules concerned; and were not I my self so assured; as that thereto, if called to itt, I must give attestation with my life. Therefore, Sir, though I deerelie love you, in my relation to you; and highlie honour you, for your owne <107> worth: yett cannot I, out of respect to you, give-up so noble, so choice a truth; so antidotical against temptation, so satisfactorie, so convictive, so quietive; in so full confirmation, to my mind, of the truth of Christian religion. Sir, this knowledge, God being merciful to mee, I will keepe, till I die: not out of worldlie designe, but out of love to my soule. But if I finde itt greevous to others, I shall then onlie reserve itt to my selfe; or at most so farre onlie communicate, as I am admitted by superintendents; and desired by those, with whom I maintaine intimate converse: for itt is my judgement in the case, that noble truth is not to bee imposed or prostituted.[135]

m For the present, I confesse, I do extreamlie wonder att your advice; upon divers grounds: and att several things, which you say in this paragraph. But I do so reverence your person; that I shall dulie weigh and consider what you here offer.--- “Not so much nor so often to handle such texts, as are examinable by ratio rei.” Are not such truths of high importance, of clearest evidence and assurance, knowable lumine innato et naturali, quorum non potest esse ignorantia invincibilis? whereas de Christo there easilie may bee ignorantia invincibilis; which, as necessarie as the knowledge of Christ is to Salvation, neminem damnat: the neglect and contradiction whereof damnes, where Christ doth not----the knowledge and observance whereof necessarie, where Christ comes to save. I mean, the neglect and contradiction veritatum, quarum non est invincibilis ignorantia, damnes; whereas ignorantia in <108> vincibilis de Christo doth not damne. Such points are, the creature’s due observance of God, complyance with His will, surrender of self up to Him, dependence upon Him, acknowledgement of Him, affection settled on Him, reference to Him: good self-government and moderation in worldlie desires and affections; and composure in a still, quiet, calm, serene apprehension of God: the minde discharged of passion undue affection and molestation from sense: justice, righteousness, equall and fair dealing with men; no insolencie, usurpation, arrogancie, oppression: and a mulititude of such excellent doctrines; which, if settled in the heartes and lives of men, wou’d make this worlde resemble Heaven; whereas nowe the contrarie speak Hell broken loose. And too much and too often on these poyntes! The scriptures full of such truths: and I handle them too much and too often! and not discourse of them, rationallie! --- Sir, I oppose not rational to spiritual; for spiritual is most rational: But I contradistinguish rational to conceited, impotent, affected CANTING; (as I may call it; when the Ear receeves wordes, which offer no matter to the Understanding; make no impression on the inward sense.) And I think, where the demonstration of the spirit is, there is the highest purest reason; so as to satisfie, convince, command, the minde: things are most thorowlie seen-into, most cleerlie understood; the minde not so much amused with forms of Wordes, as made acquainted with the inwards of things; the reason of them and the necessarie connexion <109> of termes cleerlie layde-open to the mind and discovered. I have no skill at all in the Bible; if the Prophets, and Apostles, and our Saviour himselfe are not frequente in rationall arguments and argumentations. I acknowledge; that, in matters merelie arbitrarie, and of pure revelation; as manie matters they are engaged in are; [as matters of faith, matters divinæ voluntatis et beneplaciti; for which no rule but pleasure: for in gratuitis non fit injuria: as Matt. xx. 15.] they say, Deus dixit; and that is enough and most proper, in that case: but they carefullie make appear, that ratio rei is not to the contrarie. They do prove, per rationes rerum, in necessariis ex se; per authorinatem Dei, quoad ea quae determinantur a libera Dei voluntate. And this I dare undertake to make-out, by a thousand scriptures.

I allways thought; that that doth most affect and command the hearte; which doth most fullie satisfie and convince the minde: and what reacheth the minde, but reason; the reason of the thing? anima apta nata est subesse rationi: generosus animus hominis ducitur. And the choicest objects and matters admitt of the cleerest highest fullest reason: because they are most lightsom and bright. Ratio rei plus valet, urget magis, in Deo; quam in creaturis: in God, is allways infallibly, as shou’d bee; Deus certainlie optimus, as well as maximus: in the creatures, is and ought to be often divided. Whether I am “knottie and obscure,” in the apprehension of others; I am not so competent a judge: I well <110> understand myselfe. Judicium sit penes Auditores. I am nothing, but as God enables mee.

n & o Dignitas et certitudo Christianae religionis are not proveable, by testimonie of scripture; but subsequentlie to the demonstration of the divine authoritie of scripture: now since, as you well say, Christian religion is conteined in scripture, as the principal matter of itt; they both stand and fall together: and are proved or impugned by the same arguments. If I had don, as you præscribe; I shoulde then have removed the quæstion from Christian religion to the scripture: and must, iisdem argumentis, sc. ex qualitate materiae et per testimonium spiritus; have proved the divine authoritie of scripture.

There are but three heads of arguments, wherby to prove the authoritie of scripture: sc. 1. insita argumenta: which I comprehend under qualitas materiae. 2. testimonium spiritus divini. 3. tradition. Qualitas materiae consists of verie manie ingredients; as de qualitate materiae sunt, 1. antiquitas doctrinae. 2. sanctitas et puritas ejusdem. 3, finis; sc. extirpatio mali, et liberatio a reatu. 4. harmonia singularum partium inter se. 5. continuatio doctrinae successivis temporibus. 6. praedictiones, eventibus comprobatae. 7. explicatio fallaciarum Satanae et improborum. 8. virtus obligativa conscientiarum. 9. declaratio poenarum iniquitatum, quas scelerati de facto luunt. 10. enarratio invictae fidei, quae ubique in Martyribus triumphans est. 11. pietas scriptorum, et candor; in agnoscendis infirmitatibus suis, et in dando gloriam Deo. 12. miracula. These respectively qualifie the severall partes of <111> scripture: wherfore you cannot well contra-distinguish, as you do, the foretelling and fulfilling of prophesies and miracles: for these, and all the rest, are argumenta petita a ratione rei; atque sunt de qualitate materiae. Hence it appears; that I, proving the nobleness and truth of Christian religion per testimonium spiritus, et per qualitatem materiae; omitted no argument, but Tradition. Testimonium spiritus, though itt bee triumphant, where itt is; the spirit being his owne wittness, and carrying along his owne evidence: yet itt is but argumentum singulare: nothing to him, that feels itt not; though enough to him that doth: whereas, to assert and declare a θεοπρέπεια, a ratione rei, aut a qualitate materiae; is to use a generall argument, universallie conclusive. But I have you excused in this exception: if you had had my speech before you, this mistake on your part had bin prevented; and indeed, the greatest part of our difference is; that you mistake mee. So, you see, that Your two arguments, prophecies and miracles, are de materia scripturae: but why you adde “Faith in itt,” I cannot in the leaste imagine. I let itt pass in your former paper; being not able to find-out your meaning: and now you send itt mee agen; but without anie comment. For itt is but humana credulitas, and not fides divina; till I receeve upon divine authoritie: and this I am not negligentlie to suppose or imagine; but to have itt made-out to mee. For hee, that beleeves what God saith; without evidence, that God saith itt; doth not beleeve God, while <112> hee beleeves the thing that is from God: et eadem ratione, si contigisset, Alcorano Turcico credidisset; and for evidence might have alledged his faith in itt. I must therfore confess; that, in this paragraph of your’s, my mind receeves no satisfaction. My faith cannot bee argumentum pro scriptura; but authoritas scripturae est fidei pro fundamento et statumine.

p I receeve no satisfaction att all, in your scant and narrow interpretation of Prov. xx. 27. whereby you prejudice God’s talent, committed to our trust; and so lessen both our charge and work. The use, as you express itt, is inadæquate to the principle: [so farre as you weaken the principle in man, you also lessen man’s sinne and guilt; and so make man less accountable to God, and less obnoxious:] “The candle of the Lord” signifies no shallow thing: itt is a principle, which speakes much of God in the worlde; and is of great pregnancie: and, under the super-intendencie of God’s spirit, is of great sufficiencie and efficiencie. And, I am sure, itt hath verie manie parallel and consignificant scriptures; in the sense given by mee. For the purpose, for which you quote Job. xxxij. 8. and 1 or. ij. 14. I refer you back agen to d: I will as freelie and fullie acknowledge God, as I can possiblie; and will thankfullie learne of you to do itt more. I count itt true sacriledge, to take from God; to give to the Creature: yett I look att itt, as a dishonouring God, to nullify and make base his workes; and to think Hee made a sorrie worthless peece, fitt for no use; <113> when hee made man. I cannot but think of a noble able creature; when I reade ad imaginem et in similitudinem Dei: or if, in statu lapso, itt bee as nothing; then you vilifie the restitution by Christ: as more hereafter.

q By quilibet abundet suo sensu, I understand no more; than cuilibet Christiano judicium discretionis: and I shoulde rather have adjoined itt to that, as equivalent to itt; than to fides non est cogenda. This the fruite of haste ----- “So as lastlie to resolve in rationem rei, ex parte objecti; et in rationem nostram, tanquam summum judicem, ex parte subjecti.” --- Sir, I perceeve, you took verie deepe offence: else what your selfe quote heere of mine, wou’d give you satisfaction; viz. “perceptive judgement:” “neyther auther, nor inventer, nor controuler; as you well express itt.” For the former part – in rationem rei, ex parte objecti; I referre you back to g and d: because I woulde not repete. For the latter, in rationem tanquam judicem, ex parte subjecti: ---- I remember, I then told you; that it was improper to call the scripture judex; which connotes a person; but regula et norma fidei. [I then exprest myself; that judex tenetur sententiam ferre secundum legem; non pro suo arbitrio: atque judex est infra legem, et legi subjectus.] If I did say, summus judex; itt was respectively to persons, severallie considered; in the sense acknowledged by all Protestants.--- Cuilibet Christiano judicium discretionis; as against the Pope, who arrogates to himself to <114> be judex infallibis, visibilis; quoad sensum scripturae, et controversias fidei: so exclusively, in respect of fellow-creatures, not assumed by God in special, as His instruments; not indued with infallibilitie, quoad hoc: but submissively, in respect of God and revelation from Him; both of matter wordes and meaning: all which determine Us; and at our perill bee itt, if we willinglie mistake, or willfullie elude, his sense. God, who is καρδιογνώστης, is judge. Wherfore I marvaile, that you shoulde stick att itt so;[136] for the discerning to resolve in rationem hujus vel illius hominis, tanquam judicem, ex parte subjecti: in as much as everie Christian must have particular knowledge, must see with his own eyes, must not compromise, must himself bee satisfied: aliter redibit fides implicita, papistica, carbonaria: and wee must to Rome again. --- “Exalting the power of nature” --- To mee a strange imputation! I have indeed called upon men; supposing, as I ought, God to bee with them; to use and employ all gifts, both of grace and nature: the neglect of which, I am sure, will prove matter of self-conviction. But for this I referre you back to d. ----- “Suspicions and Misprisions – causing Heats and Oppositions – Your and some other’s so much going in an other strayne –” Where they are so groundless and causeless, and some take too much upon them; there is no certain remedie applyable: I do not think, while this temper continues, <115> offences can bee avoided. --- Sir, permitt me also animam liberare; and to deale freelie and cleerlie: and I pray, itt may bee without offence. Lett the matter of difference bee discovered: in order to a removall and a more inward closing. I cannot returne to that frame of spirit, in the judging and discerning the things of God; you here and there, in my apprehension, seeme to advise mee to. I have had, in the former parte of my life, experience thereof; and having freelie and fullie delivered myself up to God, to bee taught and ledde into truth; my minde is so framed and fashioned by Him, (or else I am greatlie deceeved in my religion;) that I can no more look back, than St. Paul, after Christ discovered to him, coulde returne into his former strayne.[137] I give much to the spirit of God, breathing in good men; with whom I converse, in the present worlde; in the universitie and other where: and think; that, if I may learne much by the writings of good men, in former ages; which you advise mee to; and, I hope, I do not neglect: that, by the actings of the divine spirit, in the minds of good men now alive, I may learn more: and I must not shutte my eyes against anie manifestations of God, in the times in which I live. The times, wherein I live, are more to mee; than anie else: the workes of God in them, which I am to discerne; direct in mee both principle affection and action. And I dare not blaspheme free and noble spirits in religion, who search after truth with indifference and ingenuitie: lest in so doing I should degenerate <116> into a spirit of Persecution, in the reallitie of the thing; though in another guise: For a mistaken spirit may conceit itt self to bee acted by the zeal of God. And I have observed; that, in former times, some; whose names and memories I otherwise honour, and value their writings; have bin sharp and censorious, severe and keen: even to the persecution of such, whom I doubte not but God had receeved. And I greatly feare; that some allso, in our times, do so too. And I do beleeve; that the destroying this spirit out of the Church, is a peece of the Reformation; which God, in these times of changes, aimes-att: and I feare to bee under the power of the anti-character to the worke that God is about; and to stand disaffected to what God is doing in the worlde. [Hereby I give not way to loose wilde phansies in religion; nor to bolde presumptions: but I do acknowledge true worth; and dulie consider what I finde cause to thinke God imprintes on the spirits of truely good men: who with honest heartes seeke to Him, to be ledde into truth.] --- Sir, you have now an account of the secret sense of my Soule; and I have told you, what God hath whispered in my eare: or else I am under such a delusion; as I think, God never delivers such up to; as with honest heartes seeke to Him. And I pray you, Sir, so farre as you value mee in religion, consider this thing with freedom; laying aside a-while præ-suppositions and præ-possessions. --- They, who differ from mee, in some apprehensions; though I may conceeve the things, as I apprehend them, weightie; and so, in respect <117> of my own person, I am bound: may bee as honest-hearted towards God and as well lovers of Truth; as I my-self am. In this case I must leave Them to runne Their hazard, of being right or wrong; as I must do Mine: everie one stands or falles to his owne master: [Neyther herein do I consider Men; as you seem to understand me: so much as the account they give for what they say. Some rules and principles being certain and infallible; with which no resolution, in matters less certain, may in anie wise clash.] And, where I suppose mistakings, in matters of weight; and itt is a hard matter for mee to determine an equall necessitie to several persons of different parts, education, apprehensions, and under various manifestations from God: as in the case of the “otherwise minded”[138] yet I have nothing harder to say, than that “God shall revele even this to them.” I persuade myself; if simple mis-apprehension, or ignorance, of some matters in religion for a time, through darker manifestation of them from God; were so extreamlie dangerous, as some imagine: our Saviour, in good affection, had sooner declared them; more fullie awakened the non-consideration of his disciples. ---- But, to returne to what I was saying before; I am out of doubte, that trulie good men, dear to God, fell under the persecution of the tongue, the pen, the mis-report, of persons of eminencie; whom, save in this, I do not condemne; but think them among the number of the bet <118> ter sort of their times: in causes, wherein they were not onlie honest-hearted and meant well; but were little, if at all, mistaken. And I pray God, our zeale, in these times, may bee so kindled with pure fire from God’s altar; that itt may rather warm, than burn; enliven rather, than enflame: and that the spirits of good men may truely be qualified with Gospell-principles, true fruites of the divine spirit. Gal. v. 22, 23. – And truely, I think; that the members of the Church, if not the leaders; notwithstanding all the perfections of times before us, so much pretended or applauded; in this point have verie much yett to learne. For I am persuaded; that Christian love and affection, among all partakers of the Gospell-grace is a point of such importance, and certain foundation; so pressed upon us by our Saviour, and his Apostles; that itt is not to be prejudiced, by supposals of differences, in points of religion anie wayes disputable; though thought weightie, as determined by the parties on eyther side: nor yett by the trulie different persuasions of those; who cannot bee satisfied, eyther in our conceited formes of expression; or particular determinations beyond scripture: which, as some have observed, have indeed enlarged Divinitie; but have lessened Charitie, and multiplied Divisions. For the maintenance of truth, is rather God’s charge; (John xvi. 13.) and the continuance of charitie, our’s: (Heb. xiij. 1.) “Let brotherlie love continue.” – There is not exception. Let him bee cautious, who limitts; as considering, that the account is <119> to bee given to God. I think, I may suppose, without offence; that the cunning Devill, who is allways vigilant to do mischeefe; may lay a snare, in the notion of Orthodoxie, againste Charitie. In paradiso Dei serpens latet in insidiis. And, as I said before, persons valuable for their love and desire of truth, differing from us, generallie meane better; than our prejudice, occasioned upon this difference, admitts us to conceeve of them: for I make account, that scripture is so cleare and satisfactorie, in matters of weighte; (Omnia necessaria perspicue traduntur:) that none, but They, who unworthily practise and design upon truth; can bee mistaken: and these in religion are not considerable; as not being under the power of itt, but serving ends: but, sure enough, where the Love of truth rules in the hearte, the Light of truth will guide the minde. I beleeve, itt is not to bee found; in scripture, or otherwhere; that honestie uprightness, integritie, are in conjunction with hæresie: and the scripture way is, to rectifie simple misapprehensions with tenderness. [Indeed that principle, of scripture’s perfection sufficiencie and perspicuitie, inclines me to think; that They, who fullie come-up to scripture; and set themselves with ingenuitie to find-out the sense; seeking to God, to guide them; being not under the power of anie lust, or corruption, or worldlie interest; will not substantiallie differ, in their resolved judgements about verie materiall things: as you seem to suppose, r.]

Sir, this I write to you, our of a good mind; and in the fear of God: with greate respect to <120> You, whom I deerlie love and highlie honour: I think, You write your heart to Mee; and so do I to You: Elijah despised not, what the Raven brought: I may bee mistaken; but I think, I am not. However, this is my judgement; and I am under the power of these apprehensions: and I pray to God, if I bee in the wrong, to revele farther unto mee; and blessed bee the messenger, sent to mee on His errand; the instrument Hee useth, to remove mee from my errour. --- Neyther is itt in my mind, by aught of this I write, to countenance anie loose libertie in religion: for I am well resolved concerning such, in the defence of whom I am engaged; that they are under the power of what in religion is most vital and characteristical. You were pleased to contra-distinguish Orthodoxie and Ingenuitie; which I choose rather to reconcile: and think, that they may fayrely stand together.

r In things or expressions, only determinable by scripture, extra ultra citra scripturam; how shall I discover more or less orthodox? who hath extarordinarie commission? who hath the priviledge of infallibilitie? who shall judge? by what warrant can we characterize or distinguish, by non-scripture phrase?

s For myselfe; I shall take no more libertie, than is allowed to mee: Impotentis est, non posse sibi soli sapere; et silere. But I shoulde bee glad; that everie other person, that is considerable in religion; shoulde both have and use the libertie, to tell mee; what he findes cause to beleeve or disbeleeve. – “Not <121> outwardlie to express disagreement &c,” --- Whatever others have don; I am sure, I am yett to beginne: and herein I shall followe your counsil.

t I never meant, that the cause shou’d bee estimated by men’s persons; but men’s expressions, by the rule of truth; and their pretenses, by the rule of goodness.

z I only say; itt wou’d signifie somthing: if you wou’d first resolve, who shall judge? [Vide r.]

α The Waldenses and Albigenses pleaded for itt: all under oppression have seen itt: Vexatio dat intellectum.

ϐ Itt is clearlie the foundation of Protestancie; as Judex infallibilis visibilis is of Popery.

β You make Socinianism and Arminianism less formidable: but surelie you do not well, movere terminos; much less, to multiplie differences. – Is itt enough? the religion of the nation? of one’s education? – You say, “in finding-out new truth, and cleering the old” --- Do you in earnest and consideratelie suppose this? --- 1. A good ground of Moderation, forbearance and tenderness. 2. This may do well, for his own use: but, according to your principles, hee may not propose to others what hee finds.

γ A steward’s diligence and fidelitie in his truste, is one thing; and his usurpation upon his Lord, is an other. Let the Lord make rules for his house; and the Steward take care for the observance of them. The trusted <122> must keep within the limits of his commission. Non amo nimium diligentes, officiosos nimium. Let not Uzzah reach-out his hand to the tottering ark: let not Saul's haste or danger put him on sacrificing. ---[139] “Contend-for the faith” – but against whom?[140] “ungodlie, turning the grace of God into lasciviousness, denyers of the Lord Jesus. – Is there heere a check to the spirit of ingenuitie? Yea rather, “woulde to God, that all the Lord’s people were Prophets.[141] ” Speak to my spirituall edification, who can.

ζ I onlie borrowed the Prophet’s phrase; not considering the context: my meaning was inoffensive “ – An unjustifiable phrase – recipitur, a moral nascitur.” I perceeve, itt is verie hard to remove an offence, once by you taken. Herein, I promised my self; I shou’d satisfie you: but you strain and stretch, to the utmoste possibilitie of the worser sense: in your η you are first satisfied, then doubte; but in your ϑ you are quite off againe. Certainely, that “voluntas creata doth formaliter producere actum credendi et poenitendi θ--- elicere actum fidei c – and faith the act of an intelligent rationall creature c – all which you say; importe as much as nascitur, in my sense.

θ Formaliter and Vitaliter are equivocall, in ordinarie use: atque usus et communis consensus sunt regula vocabulorum. Verba valent ut Numme. Loquendum cum Vulgo.


ιAbeonascitur” – Before, you did [falsif[142] ] torture, to make confess what was not there; heere, give my leave to say, mis-quote: itt was è not à: and these distinguish causes, matter and efficient; or cause and subject.

π Have I not allways considered the mind of man, in order to good; as in conjunction with the divine spirit? and is not Christ the foundation of recoverie in the creation? So that a recta ratio is to be found.

τ I think, our Saviour’s doctrine needes no apologie; nor that of his Apostles after him.

χ This is eternal life: to know thee, the onlie true God; and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.[143]

ω I have verie much heere to say: but I will reserve myself for another time. Are not the third chapter to the Philippians, and the third chapter to the Galatians, fulle in the arguments you desire? If so, you have an answer. For those you conjoyne with mee; I think, their excellencie lies in a reall and effectuall participation of Christ and of his spirit. I profess myself as full and cleere, as any one in the worlde; in that grand poynte, of our acceptance with God, in and through Christ: - Yett I confess, I cannot but marvaile; to see you balance matters of knowledge, againste principles of goodness; and seeme to insist-on Christ, less as a principle of divine nature in us; than as a sacrifice for us. I acknowledge, they both speak the rich grace of God in Christ to man: I mean, expiation of <124> sinne, in the bloud of Christ, and true participation of the divine nature, to the making of us trulie Godlike or conform to God, through Christ being formed in us: and I know not well – or rather dare not, compare them: both being the provision of Heaven, to make us capable of happiness; and fundamentallie necessarie to our safetie. But certainlie, if wee consider difficultie or danger, in relation to persons; as the subjects or receevers of these great blessings from Heaven: then one is more easilie understood and readilie pretended; when-as the other, as whollie contrarie to carrnalitie, is stuck-att and greatlie neglected. How easie to say, [many allso continuing to "make provision for the flesh, to fullfill the lustes thereof;[144] " while they so say and think;] Christ died for mee --- self-flatterie saying itt, as well as faith; -- and I do fiduciam in eo collocare – the greatest sinner having least matter of self-confidence:--- when-as whole inordinate self riseth-up in rebellion, against self-surrender into divine will; and real transformation of man into the spirit image and nature of Christ! And this latter being the great demonstration of the veritie of the subject’s faith of the former; itt may seeme, that the former may bee best secured, by the frequente confirmation of and much insisting-upon the latter: the former being understood once for ever, upon a full declaration and thorowe consideration of it; (for once knowen, and ever: intellectus post primum actum est in habitu, et transit in memoriam intellectivam; atque fides consolidat, comfortat, simplicem intelligentiam:) but <125> the latter being not otherwise to be knowen, than by being felt: which is not, save as sensualitie is mortified and crucified.

[In the Apostles’ times, Justification by Faith in Christ was not knowen; or not beleeved: whereas now it is both knowen, and generallie professed: in which respect itt may be well said to bee Doctrina illorum[145] temporum. Men are to be both informed satisfied and convinced about itt.]

In the Apostles’ times; to relinquish the Mosaical dispensation, and to entertein the Gospell-frame, and to acknowledge all types, promises, prophesies concerning God’s Messiah, fullfilled in this person Jesus Christ; signified in persons some more remarkable work of God: than now to acknowledge Christ, and profess some expectation from him; when-as itt is the religion of the Nation, and the first point of Education; and whosoever sticks at itt, is looked-att as a prodigie and monster. Now that Christ is more knowen and freelie professed, let him allso be inwardlie felt, and secretlie understood; as a principle of divine life within us, as well as a Saviour without us. [Christ is the Leaven of Heaven; sent into the world, and given to us; to leaven us into the nature of God.] And this, I conceeve, is worthie Gospell-preachers (as your phrase is) to do; in this progresse and proficiencie of Gospell knowledge and grace, and farther advance of the kingdom of the Messiah: “’speciallie, when-as wee live in a croud of menne; who indeede professe some zeale for <126> that happie poynt, of “Justification by Faith;” yett are sensiblie degenerated into the devilish nature of malice, spight, furie, envie, revenge; in this case, the justification of faith in the world; as allso the subject’s satisfaction, of the truth of itt in himself; is the certain conjunction of sanctification, holiness, and a divine nature, with itt; in the nature and reason of the thing, as allso God’s purpose and worke.

But, though I knowe, your jealousie and suspicion is groundless; in respect of mee and others: and that you are wholely mistaken, in your apprehensions: as somtime the tenn tribes were, concerning the two[146] : yett, because I highlie honour your person, and greatlie consider you in religion; and the matter is of high importance and consequence: I shall bee, as the suspected there, (from v. 21. to the end of the chapt.) zelous and earneste for your satisfaction: and therfore, to what I have here and there, occasionallie, now and before said, I farther adde --- I am verie free to acknowledge Christ, the onlie foundation; since the apostasie and sinne of man: Hee alone gave the stoppe to God’s just displeasure; His interposing prevayled with God, not to take the forfeiture; or, if taken, Hee procured the restauration and recoverie. Upon this accounte I acknowledge Christ, in parts of nature, reason and understanding; as well as in gifts of grace: so that Christ is not by mee anie where left-out, nor faith neglected; no, nor not advan <127> ed to a superioritie and supereminencie everie-where: for I beleeved, that I hold and enjoy my reason and understanding, by and under Christ. And what I have meant exprest and endeavoured all along hath bin; to call men to the due and carefull use and employment and improvement of what they hold by and under Christ. You have no cause to suspect mee for scant and narrow apprehensions of free grace, Christ’s merittes and divine goodness: yett I confess my shallowness; but that is my greevance and burthen: and I woulde have my apprehensions raised, and my thoughts of the Gospell enlarged. I attribute to the creature, upon itt’s own accounte, nothing but unworthiness inabilitie and insufficiencie: and look-at Christ, as the onlie ground of acceptance; and his spirit, as the onlie principle of enablement power and sufficiencie.

Sir, these things being by mee freelie and heartilie written and professed, as the most inward sense of my mind; bee pleased to look-back, and consider with your-self; how unsuitable to the frame and temper of my spirit, that representation hath bin; which you have made of mee to your selfe, in your own thoughts: so that I may say; that none hath less trulie knowen mee.

ϖ Give mee leave heere, though out of place, to adde --- What is in man more considerable, than that; which declares God’s law to him, pleades for the observation, accuseth for the breach, excuseth upon the performance?


ρ - The rule, whereby I must judge Orthodox – Those, who speak conformablie to my inward sense of God and his truth, to my impartial apprehension of the scripture-dictate, and the rationes rerum.

σ Who leaves them rather to their judge, than hee; who passeth no sentence upon them, as to their final estate?

υ “We walk by faith”, till wee bee comprehensors; till wee bee possessed of all that blessedness, which is promised and expected. A true complacential love signifies somthing of fruition, in what degree soëver: and whether, and how farre, a man may enter into this state in this life; let Him determine, who hath acted to the utmost extent permissible, of a trulie divine free and unrestrained faith: which is the prodromus thereto.

μ Sure, itt will not bee a casting shame on the Gospell; to say and shew, that what hath bin most worthie and like to divine, in severall ages of the world; hath held best and fulest conformitie with the Gospell. - ]

In reading Heathen authours, I have affected to imitate the Bee; rather than the Spider. When I said, “good, as farre as they have gon”; I did not exclude mixturam mali: but that they have don well in some truths, wherein they have engaged; (not doubting nevertheless of a farther advance, accedente lumine gratiae:) as, de fruitione ultimi finis; de tranquillitate animae; de contemptu mundi; de amore veri; de zelo rectitudinis et justitiae: These and other noble truths they have well defended and justi <129> fied; againste the base practise of the degenerating and apostatizing worlde. –

Est aliquid prodire tenus; si non datur ultra.

Ϟ Fides divina non contemnit regulam boni moralis. Now these things of them, as they are usefull to true beleevers; so they are reprochfull to vayne pretenders, who are not honest. Non semper causam criminantur, qui personam.

Ϟ Media ordinem mensuram et amabilitatem sumunt a Fine. Nunquam sistendum est in usu Mediorum: omnia Finibus perficiuntur. They, who mistake the Means for the End, may be reproved; without prejudice to the Means.

Sir, I will only superadde my craving your pardon for this tediousness; which I little intended, when I begunne. I perceeve, the matter under examination doth not lessen in our handes. If you can receeve anie satisfaction concerning Mee, by aught I have written; I have enough: Your-self I leave to your owne greater experience, and better thoughts. I shall not the less honour you; though my judgement do not wholelie come-up to you ----- When you have perused, I pray, return to mee this paper: for I have no coppy.




ALL the spare time I coulde gaine, since the receit of your last papers, has bin spent in writing-out a coppy of them: which, according to your desire, I return; with thanks for your paines in them, and with craving pardon, if I spare mine at present; (if at all) in replying to them. Currente rota urceus exit. Farther to engage, will make the worke long and bulkie; and my spare time is short and little: and I have other things to employ itt in. Your præface, though itt seeminglie shoote att rovers; yett, I guess, is particularlie levelled att my replies: which I desired, might be profitable; but, itt seemes, are troublesom. If “exceptions againste wordes and phrases,” I am content they shall go in the rank of that Canting, you afterwarde speak-of. “Omnis ingenii acies post primum impetum hebescit”---- so brittle the metal may bee; and if the assailant hath spent all his powder, and wroughte himselfe out of breath, in his first charge: and then a broom, worne to the stumpes, rather scratcheth, than cleanseth. But some heavie dull menne are awakened and come to them <131> selves, at the second or third encounter --- Bos lassus fortius figit pedem.

In the bodie of your after-discourse, in some things I finde you immovable; you being, as you write, under the power of them: and therfore itt would bee in vayne, as to them, for mee to move anie farther: itt is enough, that I have faithfullie expressed myself to you about them. In some other particulars, you satisfie mee, that your judgement is sound; for the main: though I remayne unsatisfied, in diverse things that you express about them. But that, which most dissuades mee from farther engaging, is; that up and down in those papers, though you express divers times more respect to mee, than I deserve; yett withall there are in divers places scattered some harde wordes: as, suspicions, jealousies, provocations, torturing (and itt was allmost falsifying) your wordes; your perceeving itt is harde to remove an offense once by mee taken; and that some take too much upon them, &c. ----- which must needs render mee verie disingenuous in your eyes: and therfore att present, I cannot but think itt best to forbear. However, when I can gaine anie little time, (and I hope itt will not bee long, before I shall;) I may putt down in writing some kind of reply to what in your papers I am not satisfied in: that, although I willinglie forbear your trouble; yett att leaste, when I am dead; some, that shall ’light on my papers, may see; that itt was not because I had nothing to say, that I now say nothing: but onely, that I <132> heartilie and humblie beseech God; that both You and I may bee kept in the Faith, and may followe the Truth in Love. ---- Which with desire and presents of my due respects, I remaine,


Yours, to love and honour you;


October 31. 1651.



SInce I know, if I know myselfe att all; hat {sic}, in the discerning of truth, I do not dallie; nor have anie worldlie designe: but with all indifferencie of mind do receeve from God, what I have assurance is from Him: I cannot practise upon my judgment; nor use anie force to command my understanding into other apprehensions, in the matter debated betwixt us; than I have exprest to you. For what sense wordes spoken by God bear, and what the reason of the thing appears to bee, to my understanding, assisted by God’s Spirit; themselves give law to mee, and wholely over-rule mee: so that itt is not in my power to fall-off from mine own persuasions conceptions and thoughts so grounded. Wherfore if, in this poynte of <133> discerning, we differ; there is no helpe for it: wee must forbear one another: and nothing is to bee done, unless so farre mutuallie to value each other’s judgements; as to think, that from such difference there is occasion given to each of us, to examin our own spirits; whether we reteine that indifferencie and ingenuitie in discerning, wee ought allwayes to bee cloathed withall. I think not the worse of You at all, for aught wherein wee differ; but conceeve, you see most cause to say and apprehend, as you do. My self I submitte to your censure: and will onlie say, that if you conceeve otherwise of mee, than as a lover of and pursuer after truth; you thinke amisse. For those passages, at which you seeme to take offense; and of which you make particular application to your self; I can assure you, that the sense of intention of my mind was innocent and harmless: and I am sure, nothing passed my penne; which signifies, in my sense, dis-respect toward you; or under-valuing your judgement. Some wordes you repete, were primarilie your own; what I said in the præface, I alledged as a principle for my action; other things reflected not upon you, as you seeme to expresse: least of all, ought you to have recalled a worde; blotted-out, before itt passed my handes; and a better putt into itt’s roome. Had I not highlie valued your person, and cordiallie affected to have given you satisfaction; I had not alienated myself and time from other occasions; which, being then a publique person,[147] I cou’d verie <134> hardlie do. And coulde I, syllabicallie and to a tittle, have said as you said, non reclamantibus judicio et conscientia; I was under a temptation to do itt, through the respect and honour I bear to your person; and a desire in mee, to keepe all fair. Sir, wherein I fall short of your expectation, I fail for truth’s sake; wherto alone I acknowledge my self addicted. So justifying nothing, contrarie to my due respect to your person, whom I honour and shall most readilie serve, I take leave; and rest,


Your’s in all Observance,

Benjamin Whichcote.


Novem. 3, 1651.


[1] Samuel Cradock, heretofore a pupil of Dr. Whichcote's at Emmanuel college, and at this time fellow there; became University Preacher, in this year 1651; and was afterwards presented by the college to the living of North-Cadbury in Somersetshire, where Whichcote and Cudworth were his two next and immediate predecessors, and whence he was ejected for non-conformity in 1662. He wrote and published many books; and died in 1706, aged 85. His younger brother was Zachary; afterwards Chaplain in ordinary to King Charles II, and Provost of Eton college.

[2] Probably, Luke xxiv. 47.

[3] Dr. Whichcote had been very large on this subject; in his speech at the Commencement of this year.

[4] Which his son Jonathan Tuckney, who printed it with the rest of his Latin pieces in 1679; calls vindicatio Fidei a superbo Rationis magisterio. The Sermon I have not seen; but I find one of his, on 2 Tim. i. 13. on the usefulness of compendiarie systemes, commended and referr'd to, in the epistle to the reader before the second edition in 1658, of the Assemblie's Confession and Catechisms: which is most probably that here hinted at.

[5] Dr. Whichcote preached a lecture at Trinity church in Cambridge, (as Arch-bishop Tillotson saith) for near 20 years together; which was continued, after he left off, by a combination of learned fellows of colleges: as Mr. Beardmore seems to say, in his Paper on the Archbishop's death; just publish'd by the reverend Mr. Birch.

[6] See the marginal reading, Prov. xxv. 11. and the Commentators on that text.

[7] Ps. cxli. 5.

[8] Gal. i. 8. See in the preface some account of Dr. Hill and Dr. Arrowsmith.

[9] Articuli Fidei non sunt ad normam humanæ rationis exigendi. Vid. A. T. Præsectionn. &c. part 2. page 1.

[10] 11 Cor. v. 20.

[11] Disputations in the college-chapels of Cambridge are called Problems.

[12] Matt. xviii. 35.

[13] Prov. xx. 27.

[14] Fides carbonaria, a proverbial phrase, us'd afterwards by Dr. Whichcote, lett. 3. and by Dr. Arrowsmith in his Tactica sacra, printed 1657.

[15] Acts xvii. 11.

[16] P. 15. N. B. What the M S. has in the margin, is here every where inserted in the text; but, for distinction sake, put within [hooks.]

[17] See the dedication and preface of John Goodwin's Redemption redeemed; which was printed this very year 1651 in Folio, and dedicated to the reverend Dr. Benjamin Whichcote Vice-Chancellor, and the other heads of colleges, &c. in the University of Cambridge. This work is often censured by our author's friend, Arrowsmith, in his Tactica sacra.

[18] 2 Tim. iii. 15, 16, 17.

[19] 2 Thess. ii. 11. John xvi. 2. Acts xxvi. 9.

[20] Ezek. xiv. 23.

[21] 1 Sam. xvii. 29.

[22] Matt. ii. 3.

[23] Matt. x. 34, 35.

[24] Ezek. xiv. 4.

[25] Prov. xxx. 32.

[26] These three blanks are in the MS; whether Dr. Tuckney wrote so at first, or Dr. Whichcote left them so in his copy, or Dr. Jeffery in the transcript he made from Dr. Whichcote, I cannot say.

[27] These three blanks are in the MS; whether Dr. Tuckney wrote so at first, or Dr. Whichcote left them so in his copy, or Dr. Jeffery in the transcript he made from Dr. Whichcote, I cannot say.

[28] These three blanks are in the MS; whether Dr. Tuckney wrote so at first, or Dr. Whichcote left them so in his copy, or Dr. Jeffery in the transcript he made from Dr. Whichcote, I cannot say.

[29] 11 Cor. v. 19. with 20.

[30] 11 Tim. i. 13.

[31] a

[32] b

[33] c

[34] d

[35] e

[36] Insolubilem.

[37] f

[38] g

[39] Prov. xiv. 15.

[40] h

[41] i

[42] k

[43] l

[44] This seems to have been a favourite Thought of Dr. Whichcote's. We have it again in his third Letter thus express'd; "Though the disproportion will be to our advantage, the vessel more certain to be filled, because of the sea's dimensions:" and otherwhere, Thus; "The ocean can but fill the vessel; which a much less quantity of water can do." The like occurs in a Sermon of Dr. Tuckney's before the House of Commons, 1643. "It is our Happinesse; not that our Vessel is so little, but that the Fountain is so full: &c." Balme of Gilead, p. 19/90.

[45] m

[46] n

[47] John iv. 42.

[48] o

[49] p

[50] Prov. xx. 27.

[51] q

[52] See Dr. Whichcote's third letter, q.

[53] r

[54] Rom. xii. 3.

[55] s

[56] Matth. vii. 6.

[57] t

[58] II Pet. ii. 1, 3. II Tim. iii. 8. Jude 4.

[59] v

[60] w

[61] x

[62] y

[63] z

[64] α

[65] ϐ

[66] β

[67] γ

[68] δ

[69] ε

[70] Prov. xxx. 33.

[71] Isai. xxix. 21.

[72] ζ

[73] Prov. iii. 6.

[74] η

[75] ϑ

[76] θ

[77] Phil. ii. 12.

[78] ι

[79] κ

[80] Jer. xlviii. 10.

[81] λ

[82] μ

[83] ν

[84] ξ

[85] ο

[86] π

[87] ϖ

[88] ρ

[89] σ

[90] ς

[91] Matth. chap. v. vi. vii.

[92] Phil. iv. 8.

[93] τ

[94] Τ

[95] υ

[96] I Cor. xiii. 13.

[97] Ϟ

[98] I Pet. iii. 15.

[99] φ

[100] χ

[101] ψ

[102] ω

[103] Intellectui.

[104] Eph. i. 17.

[105] Ezek. xviii. 25. Isai. i. 5. I. Cor. xi. 13.

[106] I Cor. i. 20.

[107] Page 42.

[108] Dr. Hammond.

[109] Zeph. i. 12.

[110] I Cor. ii. 4.

[111] John Davenant, D. D. Master of Queen's College, and Lady Margaret's Professor of Divinity at Cambridge: He was sent by King James to the synod of Dort; and at his Return from thence made Bishop of Salisbury. Some of his Lectures and Determinations are in print; and He had great Reputation, as a Divine.

[112] Rom. xiv. 5.

[113] Viz. when he kept Exercise for his Doctors degree at the public Commencement 1650, on this Thesis; Articuli Fidei ad normam humanæ Rationis non sunt exigendi; mentioned before.

[114] These were Haeretics, called Borboritae; and these joined with the Gnostics, as here, are often mentioned in our Author's Latin pieces; and in his friend Arrowsmith's Tactica sacra. Conf. κύλεσμα βορβόρου II Pet. ii. 22.

[115] Matt. vii. 15.

[116] II Tim. iii. 5.

[117] Matt. xxiii. 27.

[118] For Albensis, a learned friend conjectures, shou'd be rea'd Alensis, or Al. Alensis, i. e. Alexander Hales. And I find him so called by our author's great friend Dr. Arrowsmith, in his second oration, at the end of Tactica sacra: p. 14: as also by Dr. Tuckney himself in his Latin works; where he often quotes him. We might also read Albertus: and the same Dr. Arrowsmith observes, that after Alensis and Antesiodorensis had conducted Aristotle to the door of the Church; Albertus and Thomas carried him into the inmost recesses of it. Hottinger divides the schoolmen into three ages; which he calls Vetus Aetas, Media, and Nova: the first beginning with Lanfranc of Pavia, about A. D. 1020; the second with Albertus, about 200 years later; the last with Durandus de Sto Porciano, about 1330; and extending to the Reformation. The first age, he says, was pudentior; and towards the end of it lived Alex. Hales; the second was impudens & temeraria; in it flourish'd Albertus, T. Aquinas, Durandus, Duns Scotus, Bonaventure, Occam, &c: the last was longè impudentissima; in it liv'd and wrote Biel, Eekius, &c.

[119] Eccles. iv. 9, 10.

[120] Ps. xi. 3.

[121] Hebr. vi 1.

[122] Matt. xxiv. 45.

[123] I Tim. vi. 20.

[124] Matt.

[125] Jude iii.

[126] Samuel Ward D D. Scholar of Christ's College, Fellow of Emmanuel, and at last Master of Sidney; was very eminent as a Disputant and Determiner of Theological Questions, in Lady Margaret's Chair: which he filled after Davenant; and being turn'd-out and very severely handled in 1643, (which he survived a very little while) was then succeeded by Dr. Holdsworth, Master of Emmanuel; who was never admitted: being himself harass'd and persecuted, and at last turn'd-out of all his Preferments. Our Dr. Tuckney had his Mastership of Emmanuel College, Dr. Love, Master of Bennet, his Professorship &c. Dr. Ward was sent with Bishop Carlton, Dean Hall, and Dr. Davenant, to the synod of Dort; and died of the ill usage he met with, by Imprisonment and otherwise, in 1643.

[127] Isai. xxix. 21.

[128] Rom. i. 27. vii. 8. I Cor. v. 3.

[129] Rom. v. 3.

[130] Ad pedem puerorum. Gen. xxxiii. 14. i. e. softly, as the Children are able to bear.

[131] II Cor. v. 7.

[132] Gal. ii. 10.

[133] Tit. ii. 11, 12.

[134] Dr. Whichcote seems to have cited the old metrical Saw, by memory; so as not only not to have preserved the words and measure; but even not the sense of it. Acuit, in Latin, is from his purpose wholely; though sharpens, in English, is proper; in one sense of the word. The verse is, Impedit ira animum; ne possit cernere verum; if I remember it.

[135] Matt. x. 11, 13.

[136] The words "for the discerning" are extremely obscure, if not absolutely unintelligible; and seem to be out of place here.

[137] Hinc illae lacrymae!

[138] Phil. iii. 15.

[139] Jude 3.

[140] 4.

[141] Numb. xi. 29.

[142] Thus written in the MS, with a line drawn through it.

[143] John. xvii. 3.

[144] Rom. xiii. 14.

[145] Sic MS: but Q. whether it should not be horum.

[146] Josh. xxii. 10---21.

[147] Vice-chancellor of the University; which office he had laid-down, the morning this letter was written.

Cite as: Benjamin Whichcote, Eight Letters of Dr. Antony Tuckney, and Dr. Benjamin Whichcote (1753), 2nd pagination, i-xl, 1-134,, accessed 2023-12-01.