« السابقةمتابعة »
To the First, it ought to be only neceffary to obferve, that as the Elect cannot fail of Salvation, nor be deceived by any falfe Prophets, or Interpreters of Scripture; or in whatever Senfe, they understand the word Prophet: They ought to be eafy and unconcerned above all other Believers, for no falfe Doctrine can make void the eternal Decrees of Almighty God.---And as for the Univerfality of the Redemption; if it be an unTruth, it can no Way be their Lofs. The Number of the Elect can neither be leffened or increased, according to their own Principles and Opinions. Therefore, if they would act confiftently, they ought to be neutral, or rather unmoved at any Kind of Doctrines taught in the World. They have a Right to fit quiet and happy under their own Vine and Fig-tree, because they must be faved by the pre-determined Council of that God, whom no Power can refift or frustrate his Will.---Secondly, in Respect to the rational Divines: They have no juft Title to this proud Diftinction. For they, who never underflood or explained the phyfical Ground of Redemption, cannot be called rational: This character belongs only to the mystical Writers,
Writers, or the Spiritualizers of the Law and Gospel. The first may inculcate the moral Precepts of the Scripture, and the (a) Word of Exhortation: They are useful. against falfe Pretences to divine Illumination, and in their Line and Sphere may teach the relative Duties enjoined by the Gofpel. But they have by no Means the Gift of Prophefying, and of fulfilling the Part of (b) Prophets, Apoftles, Evangelifts, Paftors and Teachers, who are always neceflary for the feveral Claffes of Babes, young Men and Elders in' Chrift, to divide the Word of Truth according to their Growth in the Knowledge of Jefus, their Lord. And it has been too much their vain and bold Attempt to meafure Revelation and divine Things by their own Reafon, as if it was equal to the Heighth and Depth of all Truth. Hence these Rdtionalis, like the Men of Babel, difperfe different Ways, and make ufe of different Tongues. Arminius, Epifcopius and Curcellæus take one Road; Socinus and the Fratres Poloni another; which Luther and Calvin had done before: While the fpiritual Writers
(a) Rom, xii. 8.
(b) Eph. iv. 11.
Writers have one Lip and Tongue of inter
preting, never contradicting the Ground of a real Regeneration which proceeds from the . Gift of a new Seed from Chrift, or as an (c) excellent Writer expreffes it, " The reimplanted Image of God is only a Seed fown which must grow up to Maturity and Perfection by Stages, until it arrive at *the full Stature of a Man in Chrift." This is the one only Root, and good Works are the Fruit of this Seed incorruptible, and begotten into Man by the fecret Power of Chrift.---True Reafon then is true Divinity; and true Divinity is true Philofophy. For both the Law and the Gofpel, have a phyfical and moral Part: The phylical one is the Power of Regeneration by a (d) new Seed engrafted, or breathed into us by Chrift: The moral Ground is the gradual Purification of the Will and Affections. Yet, certainly the Tree may as well grow without any Roat, as Man can be renewed after the moral Image of God and Chrift, unless the Seed of the Word, that is, Jefus Chrift,
(c) The Hon. Archibald Campbell in his Effay on the Eucharift, at the End of his middle State, p. 315, (d) James i. 21. I. Pet. i. 23.
John iii. 6.
be re-implanted into our earthen Veffels ---The rational Divines then are at most only moral Writers; the Spiritual Divines are better Moralifts and Philofophers at the fame Time, and claim a just Title to Rationalifts, because they explain the inner Ground and Rear Jon of Redemption by the Blood of Chrift, and by his Spirit. Now, the Objections to the Doctrine will arise from thefe following Heads. First, from the few Witnesses and Teachers of the Spiritual Senfe, and the Rarity of its being preached.---There have been (c) Witnesses fufficient in every Age, but like the Prophets under the Law, they have been out-Voiced by the Multitude of falfe Ones. It is, however, a mean Pretence to measure Truth of any Kind by Number. Popery would then excel Proteftantifm: "The Doctrines of Mahomet and Heathen"ifm would be fuperior to both the ather: "For, (f) a great Faction is many Perfons, yet but one Party; and that is but
(e) See a long Catalogue of these Writers in La Theologie Germanique, the Book fo much admired by that great Man, Luther. (f) Dr. Whichcot's Aphorifm, 504. Vid, Irhovii Palingenesia Veterum, p. 507.
one Opinion: Such a Faction is but one
* are ye
(g) John iii. 10. (h) I. Cor. iii. 2.