Owen - Houston-Packer Collection BT768 .O9 1654

A Preface to the Rcacfer. asgroundlefs,fo that we (hall not need to take them into the flax of thecontroverfy in hand, though I íhall have oceafion once more to reflect upon them , when I come to theconfidera- tion of thedoctrine of the School-men, in reference to the opinion propofed to debate. The mayne of our enquiry , is after the Turpofe, Covenant , and premifes of God , the underta- king ofChrift, the fuppliesof Grace promifed and bellowed in him tonwhich accounts we doe eifert and maintaine ; That all true Believers who are in being fo, interetîed in all thole caufes ofprefervation , !hall infallibly be preferved unto the end , in the favourof God, and fach a courfeof Gofpel obedience as he will accept in JelusChrift. That, ( as was formerly fayd) which at prefect I aymeat in Reference to this Truthis , to declare it's Rife and Progrefs, itscourfe, and oppofition, which it bath found in feveral Ages of the Church , with it's diateand condition at this day , in refpeet ofAcceptance with the people ofGod. lt's rife , with all other divine truths , it owes only to Revelation fromGod , manifefted in the Scriptures of the Old and new Teflament ; :Come of the molt eminent places wherein it is delivered in the old Teftament are ; Gen: 3. 17, chap : 17. I. Dent: 33.3. yofh: r.5. I Sato: 12.22.Pjal:I,3.Pfa1:23,4,6. Pja1:37.39,40 Pfal:52.8,9.T1a1 :89.31,322,33,34, 35. Tf81: 33.9,10,55. Pfat:92.13.c -c. If 27 3,4.1f: 46.4,11: 59,2i.1f:54.9,1o.1f :4.4, 5:Ifi4o.27,28,26,30.1f :43.1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8.7er: 3.3, 31 ,32,33,34.3er:3z.38,39.4o.Ezek 36. 25,26,27. Hofea:2.19,z0.Zach:10.12.(Ma1:3.6: with innumerable other places. In the new Teftament Godhash not lefs this truth , andworkof his Grace without witnefs; as in fundry other places,io it is teftifiedunto,tMath;6.13.Mar.7.i4,25Mat. X 2.20.Mat:I6.18.M4r24. 24. L(4,1.70, 71,72, 73, 74,75 .Lak¿:8.5,8.Lukaz.321oh:3,36. 7oh.4.13,14,16.Ych.s.24.4oh: 6.35,36,37,38,39,57}oh :7.38.1oh:8.35, foh: to.27,z8,z9,3o.7sh:13.1. yob:14 15,16,17.74: 16.27 feh:17. throughout:All :z.47.A11:13.48.Ro:6.14.Ram:8.í,16,17,z8,29,30,31,32,33, 34, &c. 1 Cor:t.8,9, I Cor: 10.13,14, I Cor:15.49,58. z Cor:I.21,Eph:1.13,14.Eph.3,17. Eph:4 3o.Eph.5.23,Ga1:2.2a:Phi1:1.6,Phi1:z.13. 1 The/:5.24.2Tim:4.17,18. Pit:t.l.Flrb: 6.19.Hrb:10.38,39. Heb:1z.He6:9.14.Heb:a3.5i21. I Pet.1.2,3,4,5. 1 7oh.z 19,24. I yob:3. 9,19. 17oh,5.14,18.7ude1 Rev:20.6. So plentifullybath theLord fecured thistarred Truth wherein hehash enwrapped fomuch,( ifnot , as in the means of conveyance thewhole ) of that peace , confolation , and Joy , whichhe is willing the/mires ofpromife fhould receive. Whether the faith hereofthus plentifully delivered to the Saints, found Acceptance with the primitive Chriflians,to the moll ofwhom it was given not only tobelieve,but info to fullerfor Chrill tome is unqueftionable. And I know no better proofofwhat thofe fiat Churches did believe ,than by !hewing what they ought tobelieve, which I (hall unqueflionablybe per- fwaded they did believe , unlefs molt pregnant Teftimony be givenof their ApoJlacy. 1 hat Past believed itfor himfelfe,and concerning others is evident.Ro.8.38,3 a. í Cor.I.8,9.Phio': 1.6. Heb. 6..9,50, are fufficient proofofhis faith herein:That he built up others in the fame perfivaf,on , to the enjoyment ofthe fame peace and Affurance with himfelfe , is undenyable. And if there be any demonftration tobe made ofthe beliefeof thefit ft Chriftians , ofany e- vidence comparable unto this,I fhall not deny but that it ought to beattended unto.( But that we maynot feemwilling todecline the Confiderationof what thofe who went beforeus in the feveral Ages andGenerations paff , apprehended and haveby any means communicated unto us , of their thoughts about the bufneffe ofour conteft , ( havingno reafon fo tobe) f (hall after a little preparation made to that work prefect theReader with fomething of my Obfervations to that end and purpofe. Of theAuthority of theAncients in matters ofReligion and worthipof God,ofthe Right ale and improvement of theirwritings of the feveral Confiderations thatate to be had and exercifed by them who would read them with profit and Advantage,after many difputes and comets between the Pap!fls , and Divinesofthe ReformedChurches , the whole concernment of thatControverfy , is fo clearely Rated , Mannagedand refolved by Mounfeiur ?Vie in his Bookof the Right aft oftbe Fathers, that I fuppofe all farther labour in that kind'may be well (pared. Thofe who intend to weigh their Teftimony to any head ofChriffianDoelrine, doecommonly diffinguifh them into three greaterperiods oftime :' The firft of thefe is corn- prehenfiveofthem,who livedand wrotebefore theDacirine, concerning which theyare called out to give in theirthoughts and verdict , had received any frgnal oppofition , andeminent dif cuffion in the Church on that acccount. Such are the Writers of the firft 300 yeares , be- fore the21iiceneCounfel , in reference to the Doctrine of the Trinity: and fo the fucceeding writers, before The ftatingof the (Macedonian, Eutichian, and Neflorian Heretics. In the next arethey ranked who bare thebsrthen andheat ofthe Oppofitionmade to any Truth, and on