Owen - Houston-Packer Collection BT768 .O9 1654

A Preface to the Reader. on that Occafion wrote exprefly and at largeon the controverted do&sines. Which is the Condition of Athanafrui, Bafsl, Gregory, and fome others in that Arian Controverfy ; And in the !aft place Emceed thofe who livedafter furconcuflìons,which are oflets ormoreefteem, according as the Doctrines enquired after were leis or more corrupted in the general Apo - flacyof the latter dayes. According to this order Our firft period of time will be with the Rifeof the Pelagian Herejy,which gaveOccafion to the through,full,andCleare difcuflion of the wholedo&nne concerning the grace ofGod ; whereof that inwhole defence we.are en- gag'd is no (mall portion : Thenext ofthofe whomGod railed up to make head againft that Subtil oppofer ofhis Grace withhis followers , during thefpace of an tooyeares and Rime- what onwards,enfuing the promulgation of that herefy:What havebeen the thoughts ofmen in the latter Agesuntil The Reformation andofthe Romenifs lince to this day, manifefted in a few pregnant inftances,will takeup the third part of this defigne. Of the judgment ofthe Reformed Churches , as they arecommonly called , I (hall (peak particularly in thechofe of this difcourfe. For thefirsofthefe ! not to infift on thepaucity ofwriters inthe firft 300 yeares , fundry tingle perlons in the following Ages, hawing feverallywritten three timesas much , as wehave left and remainingof all the others ( the names ofmany who are faid to havewritten,being preferv'd by EuJebita Eerief:Hifhand Hierome lib:defcript: their writings being perifhed in their dayes) nor in general of thatcorruption,whereunto They have almoft every one ofthem been unqueftionablyexpos'd , I muffbe forced to preface the nomination of them with fome Coeliderations : The firft inthat known paffageofHeg'ßpus , in Eufeb Hi/l:Ecclef:'lib,3.a6. `4sáß tcsxe<v f 7án xedrmv, zup JávO xdszleAgl icthnda ais d"i i¢eÿs did 'Aaosát.rvv xaP94 d7açopyv ÉiTn¢e ßiu70,9- , rmpst,múset 7ti ti ysveá. ixxivn Pfd ori7cú5 úH.o- «ts 4 ¿K,:, owtcsinar.úaeü m tray4e0 , 4 49sé s- s'vcmr dex,ir is i sßavev ti adman , d7á a' 4f i7eeoMA- óvg!As dsazmc, h rya ä74 v.44'466'411 91I 'Amsónur>,e+sro,.e:vn yotseñ Aorrtly id's asxsçsu i sol7drnse as es yu4(n'71s, 4svAtvv avymary ávssanpcssssi'mxspar. So far tfel letting out thecorruption ofthe Church EGenas to doctrine,immediatly after theApoftles fell afleep:whereofwhofoever will impartially , and with difingagedJudgments lerach into thewritings, that of thofe days do remaine, will perhaps find more Caule than iscommonly imagined,with him to Cornplaine. z The main work of the writersofthe firft Ages, being to contend withHeatheniJb Ido- laters,toconvince them of theirmadnefs,and folly,to write Apologies for the worfitipofGod in Chrift inGeneral,fo todiffwade their Rulers fromperfecutioio,or in contefting with Heri- tieks, for the molt patt appearing tobe men either corrupt in their lives, or mad and brainfick ( as we fay) as to their Imaginations,or denyingtheTruth of the perfon ofChrifh, what can we expert from them , as delivered direaly and on let purpofe to the matter ofour prefent conteft? Someprinciples may inthem polfrbly be difcovered,from whence by a regular dedu- dion , fome Light may be obtained into their thoughts concerning the points in difference. Thus7univa thinks , and not without caute, that the wholebufinefsofPredeflinatian,may be ftated upon thisone principle , that faith is thefreeGift of Godflowing fromhis Predeflination and Mercy; and concerning this,(faith he) Hocantes omnespatres uno confenfu ex Chriflo Paulo agnoverunt;Ipfe ?ultimo Martyr inApoloq: z: &GravifineveroClemens e4lexandri- nut in h is alioquinpalefrá non itaexercitatus set fecula: Hom:lib:z. Baflii & Yalen- tinidogm e/fe dicit, quódfidesa nature fit. Confi'd. Semen. Pet. Baroni: without this what Ad- vantage can be taken or what tile can be made for the difcovery ofthe mind ofanyof the eintients; by cropping of fome occafional expreffionsfrom their occafions and aimes,I know not. Efpetially , would I more peremptorily affirme this could I imagine any of themwrote as Hierome affirmes ofhimfelfe, that he fometimes did. Epif. ad Augufl:which is among his 89z. ltagv ( saith he) tat fmpliciterPacer , legi hoc crania , eí° in mente seaplurima coacervans, uccita notario vet mea , vet atiendi5lavi, nec ordinis, nee verborum intendusnetfenfuum mentor: fhould any one fay fo ofhimfelfe in thefe da'ys,he would be accounted little betterthen a mad man: much then on this Account(or at leaft not much to the purpofe) is not to beexpelled from thefathrers of the firft Ages. 3 Another obfervation to our purpofe, lyes well expreffed in thebeginning of thefour- teenth chapter of Bellarmins fecond Book de Grau&lib:Arb.Prater Scriptural edferuntalia Teflimoniapatrum;laith he fpeaking of thofe who oppofedGod's free 'Predeflination:to which he fubjoynes : 2égv eft 'hoc novas eArgumentumfedantiquiffnom. Scribit enimS. Profper in Epiftoíaad S. Anguflinum,Gallas psifententiam ejrofdemAuguflini dePredeflinationecalumasi- abautnr,illudpoti f mmns'objicerefalito: quódeafententia dot!rine veternm videbatur effe contraria. Sed relponiet idemAngufiinue inl ib :de bono per(everantia,veteres parres,quiante pelagiumfia- ruerunt, quaf}ionem iffam nunquam accurate traElaffefed incidenter foluns , cí' quaff per eranfuum B 3 illam