Owen - Houston-Packer Collection BT768 .O9 1654

A Preface to the Reader there is no queftion but that of two perfonscontinuing in the fame work or opinion one may doe it our ofpertinacy, the other out ofperfeverance, yet amongftmen who judge ofthe minds ofothers, by their fruits, and of the Asof their minds by their objects, there two dif- pofitions or Habits are univerfally diftinguifhed,as before,by Varro. Hence theTermes of pertinacy and obffinacj being thrall into the definition of herify, by them who renouncing any infallible living Judge and determiner in matters of faith , to make way for the inflictingof punifhment on the entertainers andmaintainers thereof , they take no thought of proving it foci), but onlybecaufe it is found in perlonsembracing fuch errours The tame Affeétion of mind , with the fame fruites anddemonftrations ofit in perfonsembracing the Truth,woaid by the fame men be termed perfeverance. But this is not that whereof I Treat. Evangellicalperfeverance,ts from the Scripture at large explained in the Rookjr felfe. As it relates toour Acceptation with God and the immutabilityofJuftification ( which is the the cheife and molt eminent part ofthe Doctrine contended for , ) as it bath no conformity in any thing , with the moralperfeverance before defcribed, fo indeed', it is notcomprehended in thatfetid notionand lignification ofthe word it felfe , which denotes the continuation of tome Ad, or Ads in us, and not the uninterruptiblenefsof any Ad ofGod. This then is the caufeofperfeverance,rather than perfeverance it felte ; yet fuch a caufe,as being efiabii(hed, the effectwill certainly and uncuntrolably enfue. They who goe about toaffert a perfeve- rance of Saints,cot off from theabfolste unchangablenefs of thedecree , purpofe , and Love of God , attended with apofbilityofa contrary Event, and that not only in refped of the free manner of it's carrying on, whereby he that wills toperfevere , may not will fo to doe,but al- fo in resfpedof the ilfueand end it fdfe , will , I doubt not , if they are ferions in what they pretend, find themfelves entangled in their undertaking. As perfeverance is a Grace in the fubjeli onwhom it isbeftowed , fo it relates either to the fpiritual habit offaith, or the prin- ciple ofnew life they have received fromGod , or tothe actual performance of thofe duties wherin they ought to abide. In the firl:t fenfe it confifts in thepoint ofbeing, or not being. Whiten the habit offaith remaines , there is in refped thereof an uninterrupted perfeverance in him in whom itis; and this wecontend for. As itrefpeds Athens flowing from that Habit and principle ; fo it expatiates it felfe in alarge fieild. For as it imports not at all a perpetual performance offuck Ads without Intermifon, ( which were naturally as well as fpiritually impofíible,whileft we carry about us abody ofdeath,) fo neither doth it neceffarily implya confiant tenour ofproceeding in the performanceof them , but is çonfiftent with a change in degrees ofperformance, and in otherrefpeds alto, not now to be infiftedon. Perfeverance in this fenfe being the uninterrupted continuance ofHabitual grace , in the hearts of Believers without intercijbon , with fuch awalkingin obedience , as God according to the tenour ofthe new covenant will accept,upon the wholeof the matter , it is in it's own nature , ( as every thingalto is thatbath not its being from its felfe) liable and obnoxious to Alteration ; and therefore mutt be built and repos'd on that which is in it (cite immutable, that it may be ren dred on that fuppofition , immutable alto. Therefore is Perfeverance in this fente refolved in- to that Carafe of it before mentioned which to doe is the cheife endeavour ofthe following Treatife. Of the Groundleffnefs of theiropinion,who grantingfinal perfeverance, doe yet pleadfor thepoffibility of afinal Ipoftacy,andan intercifion of faith no more need be fpoken, but what upon the account labmentioned bath been argued already. Some difcourfes have paned both ofold,and oflate,concerning the nature ofthis perfeverance,and wherein it doth propperly conlift. Many affirme it not really to differ from the habit offaith and love it felfe, for which 73 radevardineearneftlyrcontends, Lib z.deCam: dei: cap. at. Concluding his difputation , that Perfeverantia Habitualis, ell jufiitiahabitualiter prefervata,peefeverantia s 4flualis, ellj'uf iria perfeverantia ipfum verb perfeverare , eft juflitiamprefervare. Whereupon (fuo more) he infectesthis corollary. food semenperfeverantia nullam rem abfolu- tam effentialiterfgnifecat, fedaccidentaliter, er relative,Charitatem videlicet,fve jnfiitiam,cum refpeifufesturapermanfionis Continue te in farm; & quad non inprobabiliterpoffeediciperfe- verantiameffe ipfamrelationem bijou : And therefore in the next Chapter, to that objeflion, If perfeverance be no morebut charity or righteoufnets , then every one that bath once ob- teined there, or true grace, mule alto perfevere ; He retornes no Anfwer at all: plainly intinu- ating his Judgment to be fo ; of which afterwards t and therefore he fpends his thirteenth Chapter of the fame Book toprove, that the Holy Spirit is that o-luxilium , as he called it, whereby any perfevere. AndChap: t. He tefolves all pre( ry ationfrom net being overcomeby Tentation , or not be- ing tempted to a prei)encie ( thefame for fubftancewith perfeverance) into thewill and purpofe