Owen - BX9315 O81

THE LIFE OF THE AUTHOR. HE derived his pedigree from Lewis Owen, of Kywn, near Dollegelle, Esq. who was lineally descended from a younger son of Kewelyn ap Gwrgan, prince of Gla- morgan, lord of Cardiffe; this being the last family of the five regal tribes of Wales. Henry Owen, the fa- ther of the Dr. was for some time minister at Stadham in Oxfordshire, and reckoned a strict puritan. John Owen was his second son, who was born at Stadham, 1616. Such was his proficiency in learning, that he was admitted to the university at about 12 years of age. He then pursued his studies with such diligence that for several years he allowed himself but four hours sleep in a night. His whole aim and ambition was, as he himself afterwardsconfessed with shame and sorrow, to rise to some eminence in church or state, to each of which he was indifferent. When Laud imposed sever- al superstitious rites on the universityof Oxford, Mr. Owen had received so much light that his conscience could not submit to them; and God had now made such gracious impressions on his heart as inspired him with a zeal for the purity of his worship, and reformation in the church. The change of his judgment soon dis- covered itself on this occasion; whereupon his friends forsook him as one infected with puritanism, and hebe- came so obnoxious to the Laudensian party that he was forced to leave the college. About this time he was exercised with many perplexing thoughts about his spi- ritual state, which with his outward troubles, threw him into a deep melancholy which lasted three months, and it was near five years before he attained to asettled peace. When the civil war commenced, he owned the parliament's cause; which his uncle, who had supported him at college, being a zealous royalist, so vehemently resented, that he turned him at once out of his favour, and settled his estate upon another person. Ile then lived as chaplain with a person of honour, who though a royal- ist, used him with great civility; but he going at length into the king's army, Mr. Owen went to London, where he was a perfect stranger. He went one L.ord's-day to .ldermanbury church with a view to hear Mr. Calamy; but after waitinga long time, a country minister (of whom he never could hear any thing any more) came into the pulpit, and preachedon Matth. viii. 26. which discourse was blest for the removing of his doubts, and laid the foundation of that solid peace and comfort which he afterwards enjoyed as long as he lived. His bodily health was now restored, and he wrote his book called A Display of Arminianism, which made way for his advancement. The committee for ejecting scandalous ministers presented him, on account of it, with the living of Fordham in Essex, where be continued a year and a half, to the great- satisfaction of the parish and country round about. On a report that the sequestrated incumbent was dead, the patron, who had no regard. for Mr. Owen, presented the living to another; where- upon the people at Coggeshall, about five miles dis- tant, invited him to be their minister, and the earl of Warwick, the patron, readily gave him the living; where he preached to a more judicious and more nume- rous congregation, (seldom fewer than 2000) withgreat success. Hitherto he had been a Presbyterian; but upon further inquiry he was convinced that the congre- gational plan was most agreeable to the New Testa.. ment; he accordingly formed a church upon it, which long flourished, and subsists in good condition to this _ day. So great a man could not beconcealed. He was sent for to preach before the parliament, which he did April 29, 1646, on Acts xvi. 2. and several timesafter- wards on special occasions, particularly the very day after the death of Charles I. His discourse was on, Jer. xv. 19, 20. which deserves to be recorded as aper- petual monument of his integrity, wisdom, and modesty. Soon after, calling upon General Fairfax, (with whom he became acquainted at the siege of Colchester) he met with Cromwell, who laying his hands upon his shoul- ders, said to him, « Sir, you are tare person 'must be ac- quainted witk;" and from this time contracted an inti- mate friendship with hint, which continued to his death. He informed him of his intended expedition into Ire- land, and insisted upon his company there to reside in.

THE LITE or THE AUTHOR. thecollege at Dublin. With great reluctance, and after much deliberation; Mr. Owen complied, and continued there about a year and a half, preaching and overseeing the affairs of the college. He then returned to Cogge- shall, but was soon called to preach at Whitehall. In September 1650, Cromwell required him to go with him into Scotland, and he being averse togo, pro- cured an order of parliament. He staid at Edinburgh about half a year, and once more returned to his people at Coggesball, with whom he hoped to have spent the remainder of his days. But he was soon afterwards called by the house of commons to the deanry of Christ- Church, Oxford, which, with the consent of his church, he accepted; and in the following year,. (when he was also diplomated D. D.) he was chosen vice-chancellor of the university, in which office he continued about five years. This honourable trust be managed with singular prudence. He took care to restrain the vici- ous, to encourage the pious, to prefer men of learning and industry, and under his administration the whole body of that university was visibly reduced to good or- der, and furnished with a number of excellentscholars, and persons of distinguished piety. He discovered great moderation both towards Presbyterians and Epis- copalians, to the former of whom he gave several va- cant livings at his disposal, and the latter he was ever ready to oblige. A large congregation of them, statedly celebrateddivine service very near him, according to the liturgy of the church of England, but he never gave them the least disturbance, though he was often urged to it. He was hospitable in his house, generous in his favours, and charitable to the poor, especially to poor scholars, some of whom he took into his own family, and maintained at his own .charge, giving them academical education. He still redeemed time for his studies, preachingeveryother Lord's-dayat St. Mary's, and often at Stadham, and other adjacent places, and writing smite excellent books. In 1657 he gave place to De. Conant as vicechancellor, and in 1659 he was cast out of his deanry, not long after Richard's being made protector. It has been said*, that he had a prin- * Mr. Baxter says in his Life, " Dr. Owen and his assistants did the main-work " In the Memoirs of Dr. Owen this i ontradicted, with some degreeof asperity. Dr. Calamy as warmly maintains it, by relat- ingwhat Dr. Manton haddeclared to several then living, vie " that be- ing invited to the meeting at Wallingford-house. standing in a passage, cipal hand indeposing Richard, but this hehimself and his friends solemnly denied. After the Dr. had quitted his public station, he retired to Stadham, where he pos- sessed a good estate, and lived privately, till the pzrse- cution grew so hot that he was obliged to remove frónt place to place, and at length came to London, where he preached as he had opportunity, and continued writing. His animadversions on a Popish book, called Fiat lux (for which Sir E. Nichols procured him the bishop of London's licence) recommending him to the esteem of the lord chancellor Hyde, who assured him, that " he had deserved the best ofany English Protestant of lateyears, and that the chards Mao bound to own and advance hiss," at the same'time offering him prefer- ment, if he would accept it: but expressed his surprise that so learned a man-should embrace the novel opinion or Independency. The Dr. offered to prove that it was practised for several hundred years after Christ, a- gainst any bishop his lordship should please to appoint. They had further discourse about liberty of consci- ence, &c. But notwithstanding all thegood servicethe Dr.. had done the church of England, he was persecut- ed from place to place, and once very narrowly escap- ed being seized by some troopers at Oxford, who came in pursuitof him to the house wherehe was, but rode off on being toldby the mistress that he was gone early that morning, which she thought had been the case. When laid aside here, he had thoughts of going into New-England, where he was invited to the government of their university,, but he was stopped by particular or- ders from the king. He was afterwards invited to be professor of divinity in the United Provinces; but he felt such a love for his native country, that he couldnot quit it so long as there was any opportunity of being serviceablein it. During Charles's indulgence he was assiduous in preaching, and set up a lecture, to which many persons of quality and eminent citizens resorted. he distinctly heard Dr. Own say with vehemence, "He mug come dome, and he shall come down But this is no decisive evidence, as the Dr. might not then be speakingof the protector: and it is confessed that Dr. Manton did not no understand him till after the event. Mr. Baxter however stands exculpated from any intention to peepegátefalse- hood concerning Mr. Owen, by what Mr. Silvestee relates in his pre- face, " That hewrote to Mrs. Owen, in a most affectionateand respectful manner, to desire her to send him what she could in favour of the Dr. that Ile might insert it, or expungethe above passage; but that his offer was rejected with contempt"

THE LIFE OF The writings which he still continued to produce drew upon him the admiration and respect of several persons ofhonour, who were much delighted in his conversation, particularly the earl of Orrery, the earl ofAnglesea, lord Willoughby of Parkhaus, lord Wharton, lord Berkley, and Sir John Trevor. When he was at Tunbridge theduke of York sent for him, and several times dis- coursed with him concerning the Dissenters, &c. and after his return to London he was sent for by king Charles himself, who discoursed with him two hours, assuring him of his favour and respect, telling him be might have access to him when he would. At the same time he assured the Dr. he was for liberty of conscience, and was sensible of the wrong that had been done to the Dissenters; as a testimony of which he gave him 1000 guineas to distribute among those who had suffered the most. The Dr. had some friends also among the bi- shops, particularly Dr. Wilkins, bishop of Chester, and Dr. Barlow, bishop of Lincoln, formerly his tutor, who . when be applied to him on behalf of JohnBunyan) promised to s' deny himnothing that he could legallydo;" though in this case he hardly fulfilled his word. This bishop once asked the Dr. " What canyou object to our liturgical worship which I cannot answer?" The Dr.'s answer occasioned the bishop to make a pause; on which the Dr. said, " Don't answer suddenly, but take time till our next meeting," which never happened. His great worth procured him the esteem of many strangers who resorted to him from foreign parts; and many fo- reign divines having read his Latin works, learned En- glish for the benefit of the rest. His correspondence with the learned abroad was great, and several travelled into England to see and converse with him. His many labours brought upon him frequent infirmities, whereby he was greatly taken off from his public service, tho' not rendered useless, for he was continually writing whenever he was able to sit up. At lengthhe retired to Kensing- ton. As he was once coming from thence to London, two informers seized upon his carriage, but he was dis- charged upon the interposition of Sir Edmond Godfrey, a justice of the peace, who happened to come by at that instant. The Dr. afterwards removed to an house of his own at Ealing, where he finished his course. He there employed his thoughts on the other world, as one who was drawing near it, which produced his Medita- tions on the Glory of Christ, in which he breathed out the devotion ofa soul continually growing in the temper of the heavenly state. Mr. Wood's ill-natured reflec- THE AUTHOR. 6 Lion, as thathe didvery unwillingly lay down hishead and die," needs no other answer than the following extract from a letter which he dictated to a particular friend but two days before his death: « I am going to him whom G° my soul has loved, or rather who has loved me with " an everlasting love, which is the whole ground of all " my consolation. The passage is very irksome and ,< wearisome, through strong pains of various serfs, ft which are all issued in an intermitting fever. All " things were provided to carry me to London to-day, " according to the advice of my physicians; but we are " all disappointed, by my utter disability to undertake thejourney. I am leaving the ship of the church in 4, a storm; but whilst the great Pilot is in it, the loss " of a.poor under-rower will be inconsiderable. Live, and pray, and hope, and wait patiently, and do not " despond: the promise stands invincible, that he will never leave us, nor forsake us," &c. He died on Bartholomew-day, 1683, aged 67. His character (which is drawn at length in his Memoirs) may be briefly summed up as follows: As to his person; Isis stature was tall; his visage grave, majestic and comely; his aspect and deportment, genteel; his mental abilities, incomparable; his temper, afiuble and courteous; his common discourse moderately facetious. He was a great master of his passions, especially that of anger; and possessed great serenity of mind, neither elated with honour or estate, nor depressed with difficulties. Ofgreat moderation in his judgment, and of a charit- able spirit, willing to think the best of all men as far as he could, not confining Christianity to a party. A friend of peace, and a diligent promoter of it among Christians. In point of learning, he was one of the brightest ornaments of the university of Oxford. Mr. Wood, after some base reflections, thinks fit to own, that " He was a person well skilled in the tongues, « Rabinical learning, and Jewish rites; that he had a great command of his English pen, and was one of " the fairest and genteelest writers that appeared against the church of England." His Christian temper iu managing controversy was indeed admirable. He was well acquainted with men and things, and would shrewdly guess a man's temper and designs on the first acquaintance. His labours as a minister of the gospel were incredible. He was an excellent preacher, having a good elocution, graceful and affectionate. Hecould, on all occasions, without any premeditation, express himself pertinently onany subject; yet his sermons were

4 THE LIFE OF T » mostly well studied and digested, though he generally used no notes in the pulpit. His piety and devotion were eminent, and his experimental knowledge of spi- ritual things were very great. In all relations he behav- ed himself like a great Christian. [It ought to be men- tioned (as one of his successors observes) to Dr. Owen's bpnour, that he seems to have been one of the first of our countrymenwho entertained just and liberalnotions of the right of private judgment, and of toleration; which he was honest and zealous enough to maintain in his writings, whenthe times were the least encou- raging, for he not' only published two pleas for in- dulgenceand toleration in 1667, when the Dissenters HE AUTHOR. were suffering persecution under Charles II. but took the same side much earlier, pleading very cogently against intolerance, in an essay for the practice of church-government, and a discourse of toleration, both which are printed in the collection of his sermons and tracts; and clearly appear to have been written, and were probably first published about the beginning of 1647, when the parliament was arrived at full power, and he was much in repute.] He was buried at Bunhill, with uncommon respect, where he has a tombstone with a Latin inscription; the following is an accurate English translation ofit: JOHN Owen, D. D. Born in the county ofOxford, The son ofan eminent minister, Himself more eminent,' And worthy to he enrolled Among the first divines of theage. Furnished withhuman literature In all its kinds, And in its highest degrees, He called forth all his knowledge, In an orderly train, To serve the interests of religion, Andminister in the sanctuary ofhis God. In divinity, practical, polemic, and casuistical, He excelled others, and was in all equal to himself. The Arminian, Socinian, and Popish errors, Those Hydras, whose contaminating breath, And deadly poison infested the church, Ire, wills more than Herculean labour, Repulsed, vanquished, and destroyed. The whole ceconomy of redeeming grace, Revealed and applied by the Holy Spirit, IIe deeply investigated, and communicated to others, Having first felt its divine energy, According to its draught in the holy scriptures, Transfused into his own bosom. Superior to all terrene pursuits, Ile constantly cherished, and largely experienced That blissful communion with Deity He so admirably describes in his writings. While on the road to heaven His elevated mind Almost comprehended Its full glories and joys. When he was consulted On cases of conscience, His resolution contained The wisdom of an oracle. ' He was a scribe every way instructed In the mysteries of the kingdom ofGod. In conversation he held up to many, In his public discourses to more,. In his publications from the press to all, Who were set out for the celestial Zion, The effulgent lamp ofevangelical truth To guide their steps to immortal glory. While he was thus diffusing his divine light, With his own inward sensations, And the observation ofhis afflicted friends, His earthly tabernacle gradually decayed, Till at length his deeply-sanctified soul, Longing for the fruition of its God, Quitted the body: in younger age A most comely and majestic form; But in the latter stages of life, Depressed by constant infirmities, Emaciated by frequent diseases, And aboveall crushed under the weight Of intense and unremitting studies, It became an incommodious mansion For the vigorous exertion of the spirit In the service of its God. He left the world on a day* Dreadful to the church By the cruelties of men, But blissful to himself By the plaudit of his God, August 24, 1683. Aged 67. The ever-memorable Bartholomew-day, 1662, when the good ministers to the umber of 2000 wereejected from their livings, or silent+ ed, for eon- compliance with the Act ofUniformity. _

XPIïTOAOI'1A: A DECLARATION OF THE GLORIOUS MYSTERY OF THE _PERSON OF CHRIST, &c. th CHAP. I. PETER'S CONFESSION, Matth. xvi. 16. CONCEITS OF THE PAPISTS THEREON. THE SUBSTANCE AND EXCELLENCY OF THAT CONFESSION. OUR blessed Saviour inquiring of his disciples their apprehensions concerning his person, and their faith in him, Simon Peter, as he was usually the forwardest on all such occasions, through his peculiar endowments of faith and zeal, returns an answer in the name of them all, Matth. xvi. 16. And Simon Peter answeredand said, Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God. Baronius, and sundry others of the Roman church, do affirm, that the Lord Christ herein did prescribe the form of a general council. For here, say they, the principal article of our Christian faith was declared and determined by Peter, whereuntoall the rest of the apostles, as in duty they were obliged, did give their consent and suffrage. This was done, as they suppose, that a rile and law might be given unto future ages, how to enact and determine articles of faith. For it is to be done by the successors of Peter presiding in councils, as it was now done by Peter in this assembly of Christ and his apostles. But they seem to forget that Christ,himsself was now present, and therefore could have no vicar, seeing he presided in his own person. All the claim they lay un- to the necessity of such a visible head of the church on the earth, as may determine articles of faith, is from the absence of Christ since his ascension into heaven, But that he should also have a sultstitute whilst he was present, is somewhat uncouth. And whilst they live they shall never make the Popepresident, where Christ is present. The truth is, he doth not propose unto his disciples_ the framing of an article of truth: but inquires after their awn faith, which they expressed in this confession. Such things as these will prejudice carnal interest, and the prepossession of the minds of men with corrupt imaginations, cause them, to advent ture on, to the scandal, yea,. ruin of religion. This short, but illustrious confession of Peter, corn. priseth eminently the whole truth concerning the per- son and office of Christ, Of his person, in that al- though he was the Son of man, under which appel- lation he made his inquiry, ("" Whom do men say that.

4 THE PERSONOF CHRIST THE ONLY OCR I the Son of man am?") yet he was not only so, but quired in all the disciples of' Christ; for with the h the Eternal Son of the living God. Of his office, that man believeth unto righteousness, andwith the mo be was the Christ, he whom God had anointed to be confession is made unto salvation, Rom. x. 10. the Saviour of the church, in the discharge of his king- The first thing which he speaksunto, is the fait) Iy, priestly, and prophetical power. Instances of the Peter, who made this confession; without this no like brief confessions we have elsewhere in the Scrip- ward confession is of any use or advantage. For e ture, Rom. x. g. as If thou shalt confess with thy the devils knew him to be the Holy One of God, Li mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thy heart, iv. 34. yet would he not permit them to speak it, M. that God raised him from thedead, thon shalt be saved. i. 34. That which gives glory unto God in any cáß- 1 John iv. 2. " Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus fession, and which gives us an laterec: in the-truce' Christ is come in the flesh, is of God. And everyspi- confessed is the believing of the heart, which is as rit thatconfesseth not that Jesus Christ income. in the righteousness. With respect hereunto, the Lord speo flesh, is not of God." And it is manifest, that all di- ver. 17. « And Jesus answered and said unto him, Ille. vine truths have such a concatenation among them- ed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hat selves, and do all of them so centre in the person of not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is i Christ, as vested with his offices towards- the church, heaven." that they are all virtually comprised in this confession. He commends and sets forthtj I-;ç ;' :f Peter, (; And they will be soaccounted unto all who destroy them From its eject; (2.) From its cázpse. Its effect is, that it not by contrary errors and imaginations inconsistent . made him blessed in whom it was. For it is not only with them; though it be the duty of all men to obtain _ a blessed thing to believe and know JËsus Christ, as it the express knowledge of them in particular, accord- is called life eternal, John xvii. 3.; but it is u >x e:4;ett ing unto the means thereof which they do enjoy. The gives an immediate interest in the blessed state ofadop ' danger.of men's souls lieth not, iota disability to attain don,justification, and acceptance with God, John i. 1{. a comprehension of longer or more subtle confessions of I (s.) The immediate cause of this faith is divine revel: faith, but in embracing things contrary unto, or in- tien. It is not the effect or product of our own abil consistent with this foundation thereof. Whatever it ties, the best of which are butfah and blood. Th be whereby men cease to' hold the head, how small faith which rendersthemblessed in whom it is, is wrong' soccer it seem, that alone is pernicious, Col. ii. 18, in them, by the power- of God revealing Christ un 19. their souls. Those who have more abilities of their ow This cofession, therefore, as containing the sum and unto this end than Peter had, we are not concerned ii substance of that faith, which they were called to give 2. He speaks unto the confession itself acquaintin testimony unto, end concerning which their trial was his disciples with the nature and use of it, which fret approaching, is approved by our Saviour: and not only the beginning he principally designed, ver. 1 S. And so, but eminent privileges are granted unto him that say unto thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this roc made it, and in him unto the whole church, that should will/ buildmy church: and the gates ofhellshall notpre live in thesame faith and confession, ver. 17, 18. "And vail against it. - Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, From the speaking of these words unto Peter, then Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood bath not revealed is a controversy raised in the world, whether the Lori itunto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And Christ himself, or the Pope of Rome, be the rock where I say also unto thee, thou art Peter, and upon this rock on the church is built. And unto that state are thous will I build my church; and the gates of hell shall not come in religion among them that are called Christians prevail against it." that the greatest number is for the Pope, and against Two things doth our Saviour consider iu the answer Christ in this matter. And they have good reason for returned unto his inquiry. (1.) The faith of Peter in their choice. For if Christ be the rock whereon the this confession, the faithof him that made it. (2.) The church is built, whereas he is a living stone, those that nature and truthof the confession; both which are re- are laid and built on him must be lively stones also, as

WHEREON THE CHURCH IS BUILT. this apostle assures us, 1 Epist. ii. 4, 5. they must be like unto Christ himself, partakingof his nature, quick- ened by his Spirit, so as it were to be bone of his bone, and ,Mesh of his flesh, Eph. v. 10. Nor can any be built on him, but by a living faith, effectual in univer- sal obedience. These things the generality of men like not at all. And therefore the fabric of the living tem- ple on this foundation is usually but small, seldom con- spicuousor outwardly glorious. But ifthe pope be this rock, all the Papists in the world, or all that have a mind so to be, be they ever so wicked and ungodly, may be built upon him, and be made partakers of all that deliverance from the powers of hell, which that rock can afford them. And all this may beobtained at a very easy rate. For theacknowledgment of the pope's sovereign authority in the church, is all that is required thereunto. How they bring in the claim of their pope by Peter, his being at Rome, being bishop of Rome, dying at Rome, fixing his chair at Rome, devoting and transmitting all his right, title, power and authority, every thing but his faith, holiness, and labour in the ministry, unto the pope, I shall not here enquire; I have done it elsewhere. Here is fixed the root of the tree, which is grown great, like that in Nebuchadnez- zar's dream, until it is become a receptacle for the beasts of the field, and the fowls of the air, sensual men, and unclean spirits. 1 shall therefore briefly lay an axe un- to the root of it, by evidencing that it is not the person of Peter who confessed Christ, but theperson of Christ whom Peter confessed, that is the rock on whom the church is built. 1. The variation of the expressionsprove undeniably that our Saviour intended that weshould not understand the person of Peter to be the rock. He takes occasion from his name to declare what he designed, but no more. And loop also, unto thee, thou art Peter. He had given him this name before at his first calling, John i. 42. Now he givesthe reason ofhis so doing, namely, because of the illustrious confession that heshould make of the rock of the church. As the name of God, un- der the Old Testament, was called on persons, and things and places, becauseof some especial relation un- to him; wherefore, the expression is varied on pur- pose, to declare, that whatever be the signification of the name Peter, yet the person so called was not the rock intended. The words are r s nisgc,, sat lei role,rñ 5 wins. Had he intended the person of Peter, he would have expressed it plainly, reo orirt, sw h; coi; Thou art a rock, and on thee will I build. At least the gender had not been altered, but he would have said, i,r; Tarn so sente, which would have given some colour to this ima- gination. Theexception which they lay hereunto, from the use of Cephas in the Syriac, which was the name of Peter, and signifies a rock or a stone, lies not only a- gainst the authentic authority of the Greek original but of their own translation of it, which reads the words, Tu est Feints, et super bane petram. 2. If the church was built on theperson ofPeter, then when he died the church must utterly fail. For no building can possibly abide when its foundation is re- movedand taken away. Wherefore they tell us they do not intend by the personofPeter, that singular in- dividual person alone to be this rock; but heand his successors the bishops of Rome are so. But this story of his successors at Rome is a shameful fable. Ifthe pope of Rome be a true believer, he succeeds in common with all other believers unto the privileges which' belong unto this confession. If he be not, he bath neither lot nor portion in this matter. But the pretence is utterly vainon another account also. Theapostle shewing the insufficiency of the Aaronicalpriesthood, wherein there was a successionof God'sown appointment, affirms that it could not bring the church unto a perfect state, be- cause the high priests died oneafter another, and so were many, Heb. vii. 8, 23, 24. And thereon he shews that the church cannot be consummated or perfected, unless it rest wholly in and on him, wholives for ever, and was made a Priest after thepower ofan endless life. And if the Holy Ghost judged the state of the Jewish church to be weak and imperfect, because it rested on high priests that died one after another, although their suc- cession was expressly ordained of God himself; shall we suppose that the Lord Christ, who came to consummate the church, and to bring it unto the most perfect state whereof in this world it is capable, should build it on a succession of dying men, concerning which succession there is not the least intimation that it is appointed of God? And as unto the matter offact, we know both what interruptions it hath received, and what monsters it bath produced, both sufficiently manifesting that it is not of God. 3. There is but one rock, but one foundation. There B

6 THE PERSON OH CHRISTTHE ONLY ROCK is no mention in the scripture oftwo rocks of the church. anointed, is the foundation of the church, the rock whereon it is built. 2. The power and policy of hell will be always en- gaged in opposition unto the relation of the church unto this foundation, or the building of it on this rock. g. The church that isbuilt on this rock, shall never be disjoined from it, or prevailed against by the opposi- tion of the gates of hell. The two former of theseI shall speak briefly unto, my principal design being a demonstration of a truth that ariseth from the consideration of them all. The foundation of the church is twofold. (1.) Beal. (2.) Doctrinal. And in both ways Christ alone is the foundation. The real foundation of the church he is, by virtue of the mysticalunion of it unto him, with all the benefits whereof from thence, and thereby it is made partaker. For thence alone-bath it spiritual life, grace, mercy, perfection and glory, Eph. iv. 16, 16. Col. ii. 19. And he is the doctrinal foundation of it, in that the faith or doctrine concerning him and his offices, is that divine truth which in a peculiar manner animates and constitutesthe church of the New Testament, Eph. ii. 19, 20, 21, 22. Without the faith and confession here- of, no one person belongs unto that church. I know not what ii now believed, but I judge it will not yet be denied, that the external formal cause of the church of the NewTestament, is the confessionof the faith con- cerning the person, offices, and grace of Christ, with what isof us required thereon. inwhatsense we assert these things, will be-afterwards fully cleared. That the Lord Christ is thus the foundation of the church, is testified unto, Ise. xxviii. 16. "Thus with the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation, a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner- stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth, shall not make haste." It is among the bold inroads, that in this late age have been made on the vitals of religion, that some in com- pliance with the Jews, have attempted the application of this promise unto Hezekiah. Theviolence they have offered herein to the mind ofthe Holy Ghost might be - evidenced- from every word of the context. But the in- terpretation and application of the last words of this promise by the apostles, leave no pretence unto this insinuation: " He thatbelieves on him, shall not be a- shamed or confounded," Rom. ix. 33. chap. x. 11. 1 Pet. ii. 6. that is, he shall be eternally saved; which it In what others invent to this purpose we are not con- cerned. And the rock and the foundation are the same; for the rock is that whereon the church is built, that is the foundation. But that the Lard Christ is this single rock and foundation of the church, we shall prove im- mediately. Wherefore neither Peter himself, nor his pretended successors can be this rock. As for any other rock, it belongs not unto our religion: they that have framed it mayuse it as they please. For they that make such things, are like unto the things they make. Se is every one that trnsteth in them, Psal. cxv. 8. But their rock is not like our Bock, themselves beingjudges, unless they will absolutely equal the pope unto Jesus Christ. 4. Immediately after this declaration of our Saviour's purpose to build his church on the rock, he reveals un- to his disciples the way and manner how he would lay its foundation, namely, in his death and sufferings, ver. 21. And thereon, this supposed rock, being a little left un- to his own stability, shewed himself to be but a reed sha- ken with the wind. For he is so far from putting him- self under the weight of the building, that he attempts an obstruction of its. foundation. He began to rebuke Christ himself for mentioning his sufferings, wherein alone the foundation of the gospel-church was to be laid, ver. 22. And hereon he received the severest re- buke that ever the Lord Jesus gave unto any of his disciples, ver. 23. And so it is known that afterwards through surprisal and temptation, he did what lay in him to recal that confession which here he made, and whereon the church was to be built. For that no flesh might glory in itself, he that was singular in this con- fession of Christ, was so also in the denial of him. And if he in his own person manifested how unmeet he was to be the foundationof the church, they must be strange- ly infatuated who can suppose his pretended successors so to be. But some menwill rather have the church to be utterly without any foundation, than that it should not bethe pope. The vanity of this pretence being removed, the sub- stance of the great mystery contained in the attestation given by our Saviour unto the confession of Peter, and the promise thereunto annexed, may be comprised in the ensuing assertions. 1. Theperson of Christ, the Son of the living God, as vested with his offices, whereunto he was called and

wirtnet614. THE d is the highest blasphemy to apply unto any other but Jesus Christ alone. He therefore is alone that founda- tion which God hath laid in and of the church, see Psalm cxviii. 22. Matth. xxi. 42. Mark xii. 10. Luke xx. 17. Acts iv. 11. 1 Pet. ii. 4. Eph. ii. 20, 21, 22. Zech. iii. 9. Hf10.CÌf ì3 ßt1ILT. ^/ But this fundamental truth of Christ being the only foundation of the church, is so expressly determined by the apostle St. Paul, as not to need any farther confir- mation, 1 Cor. iii. 11. F'or otherfoundationcart no man lay, but that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. CHAP. II. OPPOSITION MADE UNTO THE CHURCH AS BUILT ON THE PERSON OF CHRIST. THESE 1;. H are in the words of our Saviour unto Peter, concerning the foundation of the church, a promise of its preservation, and aprediction of the opposition that should be made thereunto. And accordingly all things are come to pass, and carrying on towards a complete accomplishment. For (that we may begin with theop position foretold) the power and policy ofhell ever were, and ever will be engaged in opposition unto the church built onthisfoundation ; that is, the faith of it concerning his person, office, and grace, whereby it is built onhim. This, as unto what is past concerning matter of fact; whereof therefore I. must give a brief account; and then` we shall examine what evidences we have of the same endeavour at present. The gates ofhell, as all agree, are the power and po- licy of it; or the actings of Satan both as a lion, and as a serpent, by rage, and by subtilty. But whereas in these hings he acts not visibly in his own person, but by his gents, he bath always had two sorts of them employed his service. By the one he executes his rage, and by the other his craft; he animates the one as a lion, the other as a serpent: in the one he acts as the dragon, in the other as the beast that had two horns like the lamb, but spoke like the dragon. The first is the unbelieving world, the Other apostates and seducers of all sorts. Wherefore his work in this kind is of a double nature; the one an effect of his power and rage, acted by the world in persecution, the other of his policy and craft, acted by heretics in seduction. In both he designs to separate the church from its foundation. The opposition of the first sort he began against the person of Christ immediately in his human na- ture. Fraud he first once attempted in his temptation, Matth. iv. but quickly found that that way he could make no approach unto him. The princeof this world came, but had nothing in him. Wherefore he betook himself unto openforce, andby all means possible sought his destruction; so also the more at any time thechurch is by faith and watchfulness secured against seduction, the more doth he rage against it in open persecution. And for the example and comfort of the church, in its con- formity unto him, no means were left unattempted that might instigate and prepare the world for his ruin. Reproaches, contempt, scorn, false and lying accusations by his suggestions, were heaped on him on every hand. Hereby in the whole course of his ministry, he endured the contradiction of sinners against himself, Heb. xii. 3. And there is herein blessed provision made of inestim- able consolation, for all those who are predestinated to be conformed unto his image, when God shall help them by faith to make use of his example. He calls them to take up his cross andfollow him; and he hath shewed them what is in it by his own bearing of it. Contempt, reproach, despiteful usage, calumnies, false accusations, wrestings of his words, blaspheming of bis doctrine, re_ vilings of his person, all that he said and did as to his principles about human government, and moral conver- sation, encompassed him all his days. And he bath as- sured his followers, that such and no other, at least for the most part, shall be their lot in this world. And some in all ages have an experience of it in an eminent man- ner. But have they any reason to complain? why should theservantlook for better measure than the Master met withal? To be made like unto him in the worst of evils, for his sake, is the best and most honourable condition in this world. God help some to believe it. Hereby was way made for his death. Butin the whole it was manifested, how infinitely in all his subtilty and

$ OPPOSITION MADE UNTO THE CHURCH malice Satan falls short of thecontrivanceof divine wis- dom and power. For all that he attained by effecting his death, in the hour of darkness, was but the breaking of his own head, the destruction ofhis works, with the ruin of his kingdom: and what yet remains to consum- mate his eternal misery, he shall himself work out in his opposition unto the church. His restless malice and darkness will not suffer him to give over the pursuit of his rage, until nothing remains to give him a full en- trance into endless torments, which he hasteneth every day. For when he shall have filled up the measure of his sins, and of the sins of the world in being instru- mental unto hisrage, eternal judgmentshall put all things unto their issue. Through that shall he, with the world, enter into everlasting flames, and the whole church built on the rock into rest and glory. No sooner did the churchof the New Testament begin to arise on this foundation, but the whole world of Jews and Gentiles set themselves with open force to destroy it. And all that they contended with the church about was their faith and confession of it, that Jesus was the Christ, the Son ofthe living God. This foundation they would cast it from, or exterminate it out of the earth. What were the endeavours of the gates ofhell in this kind, with what heightof rage, with what bloody and inhuman cruelties they were exercised and executed, we have some obscure remembrance in the stories that re- main, from the martyrdom of Stephen unto the days of Constantine. But although there be enough remaining on record to give us aview of the insatiable malice of the old murderer, and anastonishingrepresentation ofhuman nature degenerating into his image, in the perpetration of all horrid inhuman cruelties, yet is it all as nothing, in comparison of that prospect which the last day will giveof them, when the earth shall disclose all the blood that it bath received, and the righteous Judge shall lay open all the contrivances for its effusion, with the rage and malice wherewith they were attended. The same rage continueth yet unalloyed in its principles. And although God in many places restrain and shut it up in his providence, by the circumstances of human affairs, yet as it bath the least advantage, as it finds any door open unto it, it endeavours to act itself in lesser or higher degrees. But whatever dismal appearance of things there may be in the world, we need not fear the ruin of the church by the most bloody oppositions. Former experiences will give security against future events. It is built on the Rock, and those gates ofhell shall not pre- vail against it. The second way whereby Satan attempted the same end, and yet continueth so to do, was bypernicious er- rors and heresies. For all the heresies wherewith the church was assaulted and pestered for some centuries of years, were oppositions unto their faith in the person of Christ. I shall briefly reflect on the heads of this oppo- sition, because they are nosy after a revolution of so many ages, lifting up themselves again, though under new vizards and pretences. They were of three sorts. 1. That which introducedother doctrinesand notions of divine things, absolutely exclusive of the person and mediation of Christ. Such was that of the Gnostics, begun as it is supposed by Simon the magician. A sort of people they were with whom the first churches, after the decease of the apostles, were exceedingly pestered, and the faith ofmany was overthrown. For instead of Christ, and God in him reconciling the world unto himself, and the obedience of faith thereon according unto the gospel, they introduced endless fables, genea- logies, and conjugationsofdeities, or divine powers, which practically issued in this, that Christ was such an ema- nation oflight and knowledge in them, as made them per. feet; that is, it took away all differences of good and evil, and gave them liberty to do what they pleases without sense of sin, or danger of punishment. Thi was the first way that Satan attempted the faith of th church, namely, by substituting a perfecting light av knowledge in the room of the person of Christ; and, f aught I know, it may be one of the last ways wherei,- hewill endeavourthe accomplishment ofthesame design. Nor had I made mention of these pernicious imaginations, which have lain rotting in oblivion for so many genera- tions, but that some again endeavour to revive them, at least so far as they were advanced and directed against the faith and knowledge of the person of Christ. 2. Satan attempted the same work by them who denied his divine nature, that is, in effect denied him to be the Son of the living God, on the faith whereof the church is built. And these were of two sorts. 1. Such as plainly and openly denied him to have any pre-existence unto his conception and birth of the holy virgin. Such were the Ebionites, Samosetanians, -and Photinians. For they all affirmed him to be a mere

AS RUILT ON THE PERSON OF CHRIST. 9 man, and no more, though miraculously conceived and acknowledgment, that the divine nature which he had, was originally createdof God, and produced out of no- thing, witha double blasphemy, denying him to be the true God, and making a god of a mere creature. But in all these attempts, the opposition of the gatesofhell unto the church, respected faith in the person of Christ as the Son of the living God. Secondly, By some his humannature was opposed; for no stone did Satan leave unturned in the pursuit of his great design. And that which in all these things heaim- ed at, was the substitution of a false Christ, in the room of him, who in one person was both the Son of man and the Son of the living God. And herein he infected the minds ofmen with endlessimaginations. Some denied him to have any real human nature, but to have been a phantasm, an appearance, a dispensation, a mere cloud acted by divine power: some that he was made of heavenlyflesh, brought from above, and which, as some also affirmed, was aparcel ofthe divine nature. Some affirmed, that his body was not animated as ours are, by a rational soul, but was immediately acted by the power of the Divine Being, which was unto it in the roomofa living sou]. Some that his body was of an mtherial na- ture, and was at length turned into the sun; with many. such diabolical delusions. And there yet want not at- tempts in these days, of various sorts, to destroy the ve- rity of his human nature; and I know not what some late phantastical opinions about the nature of glorified bodies may tend unto The design of Satan in all these pernicious imaginations, is to break the cognation and alliance between Christ in his human nature and the church, whereon the salvation of it doth absolutely depend. Thirdly, He raised a vehement opposition against the hypos atical union, dr the union of these two natures in one person. Thus he did in the Nestorian heresy, which greatly, and for a long time pestered the church. The authors and promoters of this opinion, granted the Lord Christ to have a divine nature, to be the Son of the living God. They also acknowledged the truth of his human nature, that he was truly a man even as we are. But the personal union between these two natures they denied. An union, they said, there was between them, but such as consisted, only in love, power, and care. God did, as they imagined, eminently and power- fully manifest himself in the man Christ Jesus, had him C I born of the virgin, as some of them granted; though denied, as it is said, by the Ebionites; on which account he was called the Son of God. This attempt lay di- rectly against the everlastingRock, and would have sub- stituted sand in the room of it. For no better is the best of human nature to make a foundation for the church, if not united unto the divine. Many in those days fol- lowed those pernicious ways; yet the foundation ofGod stood sure, nor was the church moved from it. But yet after a revolution of so many ages, is the same endea- vour.again engaged in. The old enemy taking advan- tage ofthe prevalency ofatheism and profaneness among those that are called Christians, doth again employ the same engine to overthrow the faith of the church, and that with more subtilty than formerly in the Socinians. For their faith, or rather unbeliefconcerning the person of Christ, is the same with these before mentioned. And what avain wanton generation admire and applaud in their sophistical reasonings, is no more but what the primitive church triumphed over through faith, in the most subtile management of the Samosetanians, Photi- nians, and others. An evidence it is, that Satan is not unknowingunto the workings of that vanity and dark- ness, of those corrupt affections in the minds of men, whereby they are disposed unto a contempt of the mys- tery of the gospel. Who would have thought, that the old exploded pernicious errors of the Samosetanians, Photinians, and Pelagians, against the powerand grace of Christ, should enter on the world again with so much ostentation and triumph, as they do at this day? But many men, so far as I can observe, are fallen into such a dislikeof the Christ ofGod, that every thing concern- ing his person, Spirit, andgrace, is an abomination un- to them. It is not want of understanding to compre- hend doctrines, but hatred unto the things themselves, whereby such persons are seduced. And there is no- thing of this nature, whereunto nature, as corrupted, doth not contribute its utmost assistance. 2. There were such asopposed his divine nature, under pretence of declaring it another way than the faith of the church did rest in. So it was with the Arians, in whom the gatesofhell seemed once to be near a preva- lency. For the whole professing world almost, wasonce surprised into that heresy. In words they acknowledg- ed his divine person; but added, as a limitation of that

10 OPPO%ITtON MADE in an especial regard and 'love, and didmore act in him than in any other. But that the Son of God assumed our nature intopersonal subsistence with himself, where- by, whole Christ was one person, and all his mediatory acts were the acts of that one person, of him who was both God and man; this they would not acknowledge. And this pernicious imagination, though it seem to make great concessions of truth, doth no less effectually avert the foundation of the church than the former: for ifthe divine and human nature of Christ, do not constitute one individual person, all that he did for us was:only as a man, which would have been altogether insufficient for the salvation of the church, nor had God redeemed it with his own blood. This seems to be the opinion of some amongst us at thisday, about thepersonof Christ. They acknowledge the being of theEternal Word, the Son of God; and they allow in the like manner, the verity of his human nature, or own that man Christ Jesus; only they say that the Eternal Word was in him and with him in the same kind, as it is with other be- lievers; but in a supreme degree of manifestation and power. But though in these things there is a great en- deavour to put a new colour and appearance on old ima- ginations, the design of Satan is one and the same in them all, namely, to oppose the building of the church upon its proper sole foundation. And these things shall be afterwards expressly spoken unto. I intend no more in theseinstances, but briefly to de- monstrate, that the principal opposition ofthe gates of hell unto the church, lay always unto the building of it by faith on the person of Christ. It were easy also to demonstrate, that Mahometism, which bath been so sore a stroke unto the Christianpro- fession, is nothing but n concurrence and combination of these two ways, of force and fraud, in opposition tinto the person of Christ. It is true, that Satan after all this, by another way attempted the doctrine ofthe offices and grace ofChrist, with the worship ofGod in him. And this hebath car. tied so far, as that it issued in a fatal Anticliristian apos- tasy: which is not of my present consideration. But we may proceed to what is of ourown immediate concernment. And the same work with that before de- scribed, is still carried on. The person of Christ, the faith of the church concerning it, the relation of the church unto it, thebuilding ofthe church on it, the life UNTO ?IIE ettt,ctCII and preservation of the church thereby, are the things that the gates ofhell are engaged in an opposition unto. For, 9. It is known with whet subtilty and urgency his di- vine nature and person are opposed by the Socinians. What an accession is made daily unto their incredulity, what inclination ofmind multitudes do manifest towards their pernicious ways, are alsoevident unto all who have any concernment in or for religion. But this argument I have laboured in on other occasions. 2. Many who expressly deny not his divine person, yet seem to grow weary of any concernment therein. A natural religion; or none at all, pleaseth them better than faith in God by Jesus Christ. That any thing more is necessary in religion, but what natural light will discover and conduct us in, with themoral dutiesof righteousness and honesty which it directs unto, there are too many that will not acknowledge. What is be- yond the line of nature and reason, is rejected as unin- telligible mysteries or follies. The person and grace of Christ are supposed to breed all the disturbance in religion. Without them, the common notions of the Divine being and goodness, will guide men sufficiently unto eternal blessedness; theydid sobeforethe comingof Christ in the flesh, and may do so now heis gone to heaven. 3. There are some who have so ordered the frameof objective religion, as that it is very uncertain whether they leave any place for the personofChrist in it or no. For besides their denial of the hypostaticalunion of his natures, they ascribe all that unto a light within then[, which God will affect only by Christ as a Mediator. What are the internal actings of their minds, as unto faith and trust towards him, I know not: but from their outward profession he seems to be almost excluded. 4. There are not a fewwho pretend high unto reli- gion and devotion, who declare no erroneous concep- tions about the doctrine of the personof Christ, who yet manifest themselves not to have that regard unto him, which the gospel prescribes and requires. Hence have we so many discourses published about religion, the practical holiness and duties of obedience, written with great elegancy of style, and seriousness in argu- ment, wherein wecan meet with little or nothing where- in Jesus Christ, his office, or his graceare concerned;