Davenant - Houston-Packer Collection BT810 .D38 1641

68 a Beta in vit2 C'advini; Phi- lippus de his rebus ità fcríbere cce- perat,ut Ge- nevenfes qua6 Stoi- cum fatum invehentes notare qui- i bufdam vi- deatura The flbfälttte about theStoicks Fate, that one was call. into prifonbecaufe be di(fentedfrom Zeno. O miferable times ! &c. And by the te- flimony of Beza too, who fpeaking of Melanchthon faith; °'Philipbathfo written of thefe things, as if he meant to tax the Geneva-Divines for brangers-in ofDe¡liny. I. We may note the Circumftanceor the grounds of their opinions. The Stoicks (D) derive this neceffitie from the !Lures or the firft matter ; the Manichees from twoprima principia , eterna & coeterna, firft principles of all things eternall and coeternall; thefe laft, from the peremptory decree ofalmighty God. So that they differ in their grounds indeed: but in this difference the Stoicks and the Manichees in borne refpetds have the better. For it is better to derive this necef- fitie ofevil a&ions and unhappy events from an evil Godor the courfe of nature , then from the decreeof that Godwho is infinitely good. The fubftance of their opinions is all one : the groundwherein they differ is but accidentali to the errour. Which being fo , for this very reafon alone may this do- sfhine of Abfolute Reprobation be fufpeEted : becaufe thofe dreams of the Stoicks were exploded by the beft Philofo pliers of all forts ; and this of the Manichees was generally cryed-down by the Fathers , not onely as foolifh, but impi- ous and unworthy of enterteinment in a Chriftian heart or chriftian Common -wealth, not fo much for any thing cir- cumftantiall in it , as for the fubftance of theerrour, becaufe it made all things and events to be neceffary, and fo plucked up the roots ofvirtue, planted vice,, and left noplace for juft rewards or punifhments. Thefeare my reafons of the firft fort. Anfwer. Ou are miflaken in theopinion ofthe Sto- icks. For though they held a neceffary concatenation of caufes over-ruling all ex- ternall events , yet theywere ofanear kind to the Pelagians , and thought mans will fuch an abfolute Commandreffe , that for his goodneffe, virtues and happineffe a man need be beholding onely to himfelf. Vide r4ugufl.