Owen - Houston-Packer Collection BT768 .O9 1654

A Preface to the Reader. n6" 4`.31°r:ÿ zá µú4,1¿4& ras1; geva ó9sdOAncséppaßw :va} iveaviavoleyro¡.úzt,7z' Ness xsei- uo. An is confirmed and Ratified by the earneft ofthe Spirit , that is given to them that be- lieve. Of thofe that lived after the daysofthe forementioned , (I meaneall of them but the lift) that I may not cloy the Reader , I (hall not mention any , until the bulnefs of Divinity and the profeflion ofít,was taken upby the School-men and Canonifls , who from a mixture ofDivine and Humane principles , framed the whole body ofit anew , and gave it over into the poffeflìon of the prefent Roìn{/b Church , moulded for the molt part to the worldly carnal Interefts of them on whom they had their Dependency , in their feveral generations. But yet as therewas none ofthofe , but one way or Other, was eminently conducing to the carryingon of the myftery of Iniquity by depraving , perverting, and corrupting oneTruth or otherofthe Gofpe! , fo all of them did not in all Things equally corrupttheir waies, but gave fomeTeftimony more or lefs to fome Truths , as they received them from thofe that went before them ; fo fell it out in the matter of theGrace ofGod , and the Corruptionof the IVature ofman : though Come ofthem laboured to corrode, and corrupt the ancient received Do&rive thereof ,to tome againe contendedwith all their might in theirway , and by their Arguments to defend it; as is evident in the Inftance ofBradìvardine, crying out to God, and cíN_an to help in the CaufeofGod.againft the Telethons in his Dayes , in particular complai- ning of thegreat Mafterof their Divinity. So that notwithftanding all their Corruptions, theftenfuing Principles pafs currently among the moft eminent ofThem, as to the Doctrine under confideration,which continue in credit withmany of their Sophiflical Succeffours to this Day. I ThatTerfeverance it agrace of Cod , bellowed accordingto Predeflination, or Ele£lian, onmen; that is, that God gives it to Believers , that are Tredeflinated,and EleEl d. 2 That on whomtoever the Grace ofPerfeverance is beftowed , they do Perfevere to the end; tine[ it is impolfible in fome fenfe , that they fhouid otherwife Doe. 3 That nonewho are not predeftinate, what grace foever theymay bemade partakers of in this world , íhahl constantly continue to the end. 4 That no Believer can by his own ftrength or power(incited,or ftirred up,by what man- like, or rational confiderationfo ever ) Perfevere in the Faith;the GraceofPerfeverance being a gift of God : It is true; that their Judgments being perverted by fundry other Cor- rupt Principles , about theNature, andEfficacy of Sacraments , with their Conveyance of Grace , ix opere operaéo,and out ofIgnorance of the RighteoufnefsofGod, and theReal work ofRegeneration, they generally maintaine(though Rrad»ardine punctually expreft himfelfe riobe ofanother mind ) that many Perlons not Predeftinate, may come to believe,yet fall away and perifh. Now the Truth is , it isproperly no part ofthe Controverfy under confideration,whether, or how far, and in what fenfe, menby Reafon ofthe Profeflion, & Participation ofOrdinan- ceswith the work, & effe&ofcommon Graceupon them may be fayd to beTrue Believers; but the whole,upon the matter,ofwhat weplead for is comprifed in the Affections now afcri- bed to them;which that it is done upon fufficient grounds,will be manifeft by calling in fome few, ofthemolt eminentofThem, to fpeak in their own words, what their thoughts were in this matter. To bring them in, I delire that one who (thoughnoneofThem)was eminentin his under- takings for a mixture ofDivinity,and Law,in thofe dayes wherin they had their eminent rife and Original may be heard. And that is gratian, who after his manner bath Collelled many things to thePurpofeinhand:p.x.c.333eie pan.di/.a:Charitae(faithhe)ei junlIa Dea infepe- retbiliter,&unita,t in omnibus Temper a.AndEleffi quippe, fir adBonumtendunt,ut ad meta perpetranda non redeent;&,Poteft difcurfus,&mobilisas Spiritus f?c mtelligi.ln San(larum quip- pe eordibus juxt,?quafdam virtutesTemper permanet;juxta quafàam vera receffurus venir , ventu- res recedit:in fideerenim,O.Spe,&Charleate,& bonis aliis,fine quibsuadCceleftempeeriam nonpo. left eeniri(fcut eft Humilitae,Cafiitou juflitia ari, Mfericordie)perfeilorum cord,* non deferit:in Trephetie verbvirtute , doElrinofacundiel,tíhlireculorum exhibition, faitalignandoadefl quandofefsebtrahit,Anfwering the obje&ion,of the Spirits departurefrom them,onwhom he is bellowed He diftinguifhethof the refpects , uponthe account whereof , he may be laid fo to do ; inrefile& ofCome Common gifts ( fayth he) he maywithdraw himfelfe from them on whom he is bellowed but notin refile&of Habitual San&ifyinggrace. Among the School-men there is none ofgreater name, & eminency, for Learning,Devoti- on, and Subtilty,then our Bradwardin, whowas Proctor of this Vniverftty, iii theyeare 1325; and