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% ^t\a (tStittion. 

> ■ \ 
■ 1 


' YOL. L . 



Alil> SolD BY J. RlDCWAY, YORK StXEBT, ST.-}AMtk'- SlVVR*> 

AMD W. Button, Patirkoitsr Rov 



Salvation of Metiy 306. Ofthf Covenant ofGrace^ 313* Of the Pari wUel 
the Father takes in the Covenant ^ 321, Of the Part which Christ has taken it 
the Covenant^ 331, Of Christ as the Covenant-head of the Ekctf 333^ Oj 
Christ as the Mediator of the Covenant^ 336, Of Christ as the Surety oftk 
Covenant y 347, Of Christ as the Testator of the Covenant^ 353. Of the CoH' 
eem the Spirit has in the Covenant ^ 357. Properties of the Covenant of Grace 
361. Of the Complacency and J)eUfht of Deity in fumiself 367. 


Of Creation in general, 375, Creation of jtngels, 384. Creation of Mant 
393, Providence of God^ 406, Confirmation of the Elect Jniels, 444. Fali 
of the Noi^lect Jngeh^ 445, Qf Man in a State of Innocence, 450, Of thi 
Law given to Adam, and the Covenant with him in a State of Innocence, 454, 
Of the Sin and Fall of Maitt 46 1 . Of the Na^re, Aggravation, and Effects oJ 
the Sin and Fall of Man, 468. Of the Imptaation of Adam's Sin toi his Poste^ 
rity, 473* Of the corruption of Human Nature, 481. Of Actual Sins cmi 
Transgressions, 49 1 • Of the Punishment of Sin, 497 » 



HAVING completed an exposition of the whole bible, the Bool^ both of the 
Old and of the New Testament ; I considered with myself what would be 
best next to engage in for the further instruction of the people under my care ; and my 
thoughts led me to enter upon a scheme of Doctrinal and Practical Divinity, firH the 
former and then the latter; the one being the foundation of die other, and both 
baling a close connexion with each other. Doctrine has an influence upon practice^ 
e^Koally evangeUcal doctrine, spirinially understood, affectionately embraced, and 
powerfully and fe^ngly experienced ; so true it what the apostle asserts, that the 
p'ocffG^dy that is, the doctrine of the grace of God, that hingtth salvatiw^ the 
good news, the glad tidings of salvation by Christ, which is peculiar to gospel doc« 
trine^ h€Ab apptared i9 aU mtn^ Gentiles as well as Jews, in the external ministry of 
die word ; teaching us^ to whom it comes with power and efficacy in the demon- 
fltntion of die Spirit, that denying nngvUinei^ and nxyorlAly lusts^ nve sbculd iive soberly^ 
Hghteamslyy and g^dfy in ibis present nv^ld. Where there is not the doctrine of 
hSAi, the obedience of faith cannot be expected. Where there is not the doctrine 
of die gospcly and men have not learned Christ, they live for the most part as if 
there was no God in the world, and (rive themselves up to work all sin with greedi- 
ness. And on the other hand, doctrine without practice, or a mere theory and 
speculadve knowledge of things, unless reduced to practice, is of no avail ; such are 
only vainly puffed up in their fleshly minds, profess to know God in word, but in 
works deny him, have a form of godliness without the power of it, a name to live 
hut are dead. Doctrine and practice should go together; and in order both to 
know and do the will of God, instruction in doctrine and practice is necessary ; and 
tbc one being first taught will le^d on to the other. This method of instruction, 
tbc apostle Paul has pointed out to us in some of his epistles, especially in the epistle 
tDthe Ephe?ians ; in which he first treats of eletHon, predestination, adoption, aC'* 
cepiance in Christ, redemption and j.ardon of sin, regeneration and other doc- 
trines of grace, and of the privileges of the saints under the gospel -dispensation ; 
tnd then inforces the several duties incumbent on them as men and Christians, re- 
•pecting them in tlieir several stations, in th^ church, in their families, and in the 
torld. So the apostle instructed Timothy^ first to tea<jh the wholesome word-i of 
<wr Lord Jesus, the doctrine that is according to godline.s3 3^d productive of it, and 
ftcn to exhort and press men to the duties of religion from evangelical motives and 
prindples. And he also enjoined Titus to affirm the doctrines of the gospehwith 
constancy and certainty, to this end, that they which l^ave believed in God might 
be careful to maintain good works. 

And now having finished my scheme of Doctrinal Divinity, at the ImportJnity 
of my friends I hay^ l^n prevailed, upon to publish it 


Systematical Divinity, I am sensible, is now become vcr}- unpopular. Formula 
and articles of faith, creeds, confesMons, catechisms, and summaries of divin 
truths, are greatly decried in our age ; and yet, \vh:t art or science soever but h: 
been reduced to a system? physic, metaphysic, logic, rhetoric, &c. Philosopli 
in general has had its several systems ; not to take notice of tive various sects an 
systems of philosophy in ancient times ; in the last age, the Cartesian system of ph 
losophy greatly obtained, as the Newtonian system now does. Astronomy in pai 
ticular has been considered as asvstem : sometimes called the system of the universe 
and sometimes the solar, or planetary system : the first that is known is what wa 
brought by Pythagoras into Greece and Italy, and from him called the Pythagorea 
system ; Jlnd which was followed by many of the first and ancient philosopher 
though for many years it lay neglected ; but has been of late ages revived, and noi 
much in vogue : the next is the Ptolemaic system, advanced by Ptolemy ; whic 
places the earth in the center of the univerr.e; and makes the heavens, with the sur 
moon, and stars, to revolve about it ; and which was universally embraced for man 
hundreds of years, till the Pythagorean system was revived by Copernicus, two c 
three hundred years ago, called, from him, the Copernican system. In short, m< 
dicinc, jurisprudence, or law, and every art and science, are reduced to a system g 
body ; which is no other than an assemblage or composition of the several doctrim 
or parts of a science ; and why fliould divuiity, the most noble science, be wirhoi 
a system ? Evangelical truths are spread and scattered about in the sacred Scrip 
tures ; and to gather them together, and dispose of them in a regular, orderly mt 
thod, surely cannot be disagreeable; but must be useful, for the more clear an^i icuous understanding them, for the better retaining them in memory, and t 
shew the connection, harmony, and agreement of them. Accordingly we find thj 
Christian writers, in ancient timrs, attempted somethi;:g of tliis nature ; as the seven 
formulas of faitli, symbols or creeds, made in tlic three or four centuries c 
Christianity ; the Stromata of Ciem:;is of Aiexandria ; the four books of Principle 
by Origen ; tlie divine Institutions of I-aclantius ; the large Catechism of Gregor 
Nyssene ; the Theology of Gregory Nazianzen ; the Exf»osition of the Apostles Syn 
bol, by Ruffiuus j and the Enchiridion of Austin, with many others that followed 
and since the Reformation, we luve had Kvdies or svstems of divinitv, and confe 
sions of feiih, better digested, and drawn up with greater accuracy and consistence 
and whicli liave been very serviceable to le«id n:en into the knowledge of evangelic 
doctrine, and confirm them in ii ; as well as to shew the agreement and harmoxi 
of sound divines and churches, in the more principal parts of it : and even thoi 
who now cry out against systems, confessions, and creeds, their predecessors ha 
those of their own ; Arius had his creed ; and the Socinians have their catechisn 
the Racovian catechism ; and the Remonstrants have published tlieir confession < 
hkh ; not to take notice of the several bodies of divinity published by Episcopiu 
Limborch, Curcellxus, and others. The Jews, in imitation of the Christians, hai 
reduced their theology to certain heads or articles of faith ; the chief, if not the fir 
that took tills method, was the ^unous Maimonides, who comprised their religioi 
tenets in thirteen articles ; after him R. Joseph Albo reduced them to three classe 
the existence of God, the law of Moses, and the doctrine of rewards and punisl 


But wbat niakcs most for our purpose, and is worthy of our example, arc the 
Scnpture compendiums or systems of doctrine and duty. What a compendium or 
body of laws is die decalogue or ten commands, drawn up and calculated more espe- 
cnQy for the use of the Jews, and suited to their circumstances ! a body of laws not 
to be equalled by the wisest legislators of Greece and Rome, Minos, Lycurgus, 
Zakucos, and Nunia ; nor by the laws of the twelve Roman tables, for order and 
tagularity, for clearness and perspicuity, for comprehensiveness and brevity ; being 
ifivided into two tables in the most perfect order ; the first respecting the worship 
of God and the duties owing to him, and the other respecting men and the mutual 
duties they owe to each other. As prayer is a very principal and incumbent duty 
on men wiili respect to God, our Lord has given a very comj^endious directory, as 
to the matter of it, in what is commonly called the Lord's prayer ; which consists 
of petiiious the most fiill, proper, and pertinent, and in the most regular order. 
And as to articles of faith or things to be believed, we have a creed made mention of 
m Heb. vi. i, a. consisting of six articles, repentance from dead works, faith towards 
God, the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, the rerurrection of the dead, 
and eternal judgment. These are commonly thought to be so many articles of the 
Christian faith ; but I rather think they are so many articles of the Jewish creed, em- 
braced and professed by believers under the Jewish dispensation ; since the Christian 
Hebrews are directed to consider them as the princij)!cs of the doctrine of Christ, 
a^ aa introduction, and as Itrading on to it, and which were in some sense to be 
kit and not laid again ; they were not to stick and stop here, but to go on to perfec- 
tion, by searching into and embracing doctrines more sublime and perfect, revealed 
in the go-.jK:! ; at least tiicv were not to be any Ion<;er intructcJ in tiie above articles 
i 1 the manner ti'cy had bLvn, but in a cit.irer miiiiicr, un-UteiidcJ with legal ccie- 
n.oiJe?, to view t!:e.n and n:i\].c r.e o; then. Thus for in'tance, they, the be* 
livvcr"?, Christian Hebrew-, were not to ler/a the d.)ctrinc <^f repent- nee from slain 
bea^t-S or to ^'giiify it by tl.ti-.i, u. th', y had been u^eJ to do; for e /cry sacrifice 
brought for sin, wiiicli they were no ion^^er obliged to, wn^ a tacit confession and 
aa acknowledgnient of iin, nnd xhty jvpcntcc! of it, r.nd deserved to die as the 
crcitLre did: but now rh.y v. ere lo e:..ti\ic evangelical rereiitance in the view of 
acriiciiled Cliri.r, and remission of sin hv Ins blood: and whereas thcv had been 
laiivht to have faith towards God, a> the God of J.rael, they were now moreover 
lo believe in Christ as the Son of God, the tri*e Mebsiali, the S-iviour of lost sin- 
UTi, without the intervention of acriiires, see jolm xiv. i. The doctri::c of bap- 
li>ms is to be understood or the ulverj ba])ti~ms, or bathin^^s aniong the Jcw<, 
:poken oi in Heb. ix. lo, which li:'.d a doctrine in them, teaching the cleansing vir- 
tue of the blood of Christ to wash in for sin and fjr unclc?jine5S : wiiieh thev were 
no more to leurri in this way, tut to apply immediate]) lo tl:e blood of Christ for 
tL And the doctrine of laying on of handi, respects t]:e laying on of the hands 
of the priests and people on the hcadi of the sacrilice<, whieli instructed in that 
great and evangelical truth, the transfer and imputation ol -in to Christ oiFered up 
io the room and stead of hii j)eople ; and which was to be taught and learnt no 
longer in that manner, since Christ was now made sin for his people, and had had 
tlieir sios imputed to him, which he had bore in his own body on the tree : and as 
for the doctrines of the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment, they were 

b 2 

ly iNtRODtJCtlOK* 

such as di^.tinguishod Jews and Gentiles, which latter were g;iTatly Strang^ t» t 
future state ; and though they were common to Jews and Christians, yet the be* 
lieving Hebrews were not to rest in the knowledge they had of these, as tajof^i 
under &e fortner dispensation ; bin to go on to perfecdon ; and to press forward 
Cowards a greirter share of knowledge of them and of (fther more sublime dolctfiiies i 
since life and immortality were brought to life by Christ in a clearer and br^^faler 
manner flirOugh ^e g<)spel. But all that I hiean by this is, that the principal 
doctrines of fkith under the Jewish dispensation are rediKed to a system, though to 
f>e irnprdved and perfected under fhe gospel dispensation. Those article!^ were but 
few ; though Gregory ■ observes, that according to the increase of times, the 
knowledge (rf saints increased, and the nearer they were to the confiing of th^ 
Saviour, the more fully they perceived the mysteries of salvation : and so the 
articles in the formulae and symbols of the first Christians vrdce but ftWy suitable 
to the drrtes in which they Sved, and as opposhe to the errors then broached ; and 
which were increased by new crrats that spning up^ which niade an increase of 
articles necessary ; otherwise the same ^fddes of faith were bellied by the ancients 
its by the later posterity, as Aqubiat concludes ^ i ** Articles of feith, says he, havie 
increased by siiccessSon of times, liot indeed as to the su&stance, but as to thcf 
explanation and express profe^sionr of them ; jfbf what are explicitly and under ^ 
greatar number believed by posterity, all the sattite weftf believed by the fathers 
before them, implicitly ui^er a lesser number." It is easy ta observe, that the 
first summaries of faith retorded by the most anciem writers went no farther than 
the doctrine of the iVinity, or what concerns the three Divirte Persons ; the 
doctrines of the heretics of the first ages being opposed to one or other of them i 
but when other heresies sprtmg up and other false doctrines were taught, it became 
necessary to add new articles, both to explain, defend, atnd secure truth, and to 
distinguish those who were sound in the faith of the go^l, from ihose that 
were not. 

Mention is made in the New Testament of a forrti of doctrine delfvercd, and a 
form of sound wonls that had been heard 2tnd was to be held fast, and of a pro^ 
portion or analogy of faith, according to which ministers were to prophesy or 
preach ; the first of these is spoken of in Rom. vu 17. Eut ye have tibtfedfftn the 
heart that form of ^erBrine. i^c. wliich is not to be understood of the Scriptures or 
written word delivered unto them ; but of the gospel and the doctrines of it preached 
by Che apostle in the ministry of the word to the Romans, which they had yielded 
the obedience of faith unto, and wliich was TOffo^, a t)'pe or pattern, as the word is ren- 
dered Heb. viii. 5. and an example, i Tim. iv. 11. according to which they were to 
conform their faith and practice ; and which in the next place referred to, 1 Tim. 
i. 13. is called vroroirwen;, translated a pattern, i £p. i. 16; a ferm exactly e»« 
pressed, always to be had in view, to be attended to, and followed ; and a delineation, 
such as a picture or the outlines of a portnut given by painters to their learners, 
always to be looked unto and imitated ; 4md such a form the apostle proposed tcr 
Timothy, carefuMy to respect axKigive infMrmadoa of to others as a nrie of fulb 

• Hemil, if. is Etdb apuU A^miw * Summa Theokij* Sec* lec* q». x. ardc. 7» 

i^tilODUCtlONi t 

lad {Midsce* ; wliich cannot be understood of the Scriptures, though of what is 
to them ; since it b what Timothy had heard of the apostle, either in his 
conversation, or in Ids public ministry, even a sett of gospel-doctrines col- 
kcted 0Qt of the Scriptures and confirmed by them, reduced into a system ; and 
tes dK aposde himself reduces liis ministry to these two heads, repentance towardi 
QtJ% nad/nth /•txl^nft tie Ldfd Jesus Christy Acts xx. 1 c. And a rich summary 
and glorious conapendium and chain of gospel-truths does he deliver, Rom. viii« 
30- wo^diy, as a form and pattern, to gospel-ministers to attend unto, and accor<i 
ding to it to regulate their ministrations. Once more, the apostle speaks of a pro- 
^QCtkio or an analogy of faith, Rom. xii. 6. UH^ether prophesy^ let us prophesy accor- 
dmg /» the fr^portMi ef faith ; by which faith Calvin, on the text observes, are 
Ineuit the first axioms of religion, to which whatsoever doctrines is not found to 
lomrer is convicted of falshood. And so Piscator, upon the words ; according to 
the analogy of faith, that is, so as that the interpretation of Scripture we bring is 
analogous to the articles of faith, that is, agreeing with them and consenting to them^ 
and not repugnant : and Paraeus on the text is more express ; '* analogy, he says, M 
iMt the same as rtieasure (ver. 3.) ^r measure is of one thing measured, but ana- 
logy is bet w een two tlungs that are analogous ; but the aposde seems to describe 
•ometbing more, namely, to prescribe a rule by which all prophesying is to b^ 
fc ected ; therefore by faith others understand the rule of Scripture and the axioms 0/ 
fiuth such as are comprehended in the symbol of the apostolic faith (or the apostle'a 
creed) which have in them a manifest truth ^om the Scriptures. Analogy is thtf 
evident harmony of feith and consent of the heads (or articles) of feith, to which 
whatever agrees is true, and whatever disagrees is false and adulterate. This is the 
rule of all prophesying (or preaching;) therefore, according to the rule of the 
sacred Scripture and the apostle's creed, all interpretations, disputations, questions 
and opinions in the church, are to be examined, that they may be conformable 
thereunto.'* And though what is now called the apostles creed might not be com- 
posed by them, nor so early as their tirfte ; yet the substance of it was agreeable tcf 
their doctrine, and therefore called theirs ; and there was a rcgulafidei^ a rule of 
foith, very near it in words, received, embraced, and professed very early in th^ 
Christian church ; which TertuUian ^ gives in these words, " the rule of faith is- 
truly one, solely immoveable and irreformable (not to be corrected and mendedj 
namely, f^i believing in the only God Almighty, the maker of the world, and in 
his son Jesus Christ, bom of the virgin Mary, crucified under Pontius Pilate, raised 
from the dead on the third day, received into heavrtn, sitting now at the right hand 
of the Father, who will comcf to judge the quick and dead by or at the resurrection 
•f the dead." And such a sett of principles these, as, or what are similar to them 
Mid accord with the word of God, may be called the analogy of faith. And a late 

c Odvia on d)C passagie Has these words, ** the apostle seems to me to command Timothy he be tena- 
ckNB of the iioctrhie he had learned, not only as ttf the substance, but as to il«e figure of the uraiion, (or form 
«f spefch or tett of words used) for t/TOTWOKTK, the word o^-edy is a lively expression of things as if 
ffdented CO the eye ; Paul knew hew easy is a lapse or deflection from the pure do.trine, ;)nd tlicrefore 
alidtously ouidooed Timodiy not to decline from the form of teaching he had iccetved." 

^De vlisin. \dand* c. !• vuL prescript, hxxcc c, 13. 


writci* « observes on the word analogy ; " The analogy, of faith biir divines call fiie 
•uni of heavenly doctrine coiicerning articles of feith, taken out of such passages of 
Scripture, where, as in their proper place, they are treated of in clear and plain 
words.*' Upon the whole, it seems no ways incongruous with the sacred writing^ 
but perfectly agreeable to them, that articles and heads of faith, or a summary of 
gospel-truths may be collected from them, to declare explicitly our belief of thenv 
fo strengthen the faith of others in them, to shew our agreement in them with other 
Christians in the principal parts of them, and to distinguish ourselves from those wha 
oppose tliC feith once dtiivered to the saints. 

It is strongly pleaded that articles and confessions of faith, in which men are tc^ 
agree, should be expressed in the bare words of the sacred Scriptures, and that 
nothing should be considered as a fundamental article that is niatter of controversy : 
as to the latter, if that was admitted, there would be scarce any article at all left us to 
believe; for what is there almost that is believed, but what is controverted by some, 
JDorany passage of Scripture brought in support of it, but the sense of it is called 
in question^ or perverted s for as Clemens of Alexandria says, '^ I do not think 
tiiere is any Scripture so happy as to be contradicted By none." As to the former^ 
tiiat we are to be tied up to the bare words of Scripture concerning any doctrine of 
feitb delivered in them ; though we ought to entertain the highest esteem of the 
words of Scripture, and have the greatest value for tiiem, as being clothed with such 
imajesty, and having such an energy in them, which the words that man's wisdom 
teacheti], have not j yet our sense of them cannot be expressed but in words lile- 
fally varying from them : and it should be settled what is meant by bare words of 
Scripture, whether of the original text Hebrew and Greek, or of any translation, as 
£nglish, &c. if the words of a translation, a man cannot be sure that this always 
does express the sense of Scripture, especially in passages diflScult and controverted ; 
if of the original, then both he tliat makes the confession, and they to whom it is 
made, ought to understand Hebrew and Greek ; and even every member of a church 
where a confession of i^th is required in order to communion ; and if this is to be 
made in die bare words of Scripture b« it in the words of a translation, without an 
cxpbnation of their sense of them in other words, it might introduce into a Chris^ 
tian community all sorts of errors that can be named, which would be utterly in- 
IDonsistent with its peace, concord, harmony, and union : moreover, to be obliged 
to express ourselves only in the words of Scripture, would be, i. to destroy all 
exposition and interpretation of Scripture j for without words different from, though 
agreeable to, the sacred Scriptures, we can never express our sense of them, nor 
explain them to others ac< ordiiig to the sense we have entertained of them ; and 
ihough no Scripture is of private interpretation, or a man's own interpretation, 
so as to be obliging on otliers, yet by this means it will beconK of no interpreta- 
tiDn at all, private or public, of a man's own or of others. It is indeed sometunes 
said that Scripture is the best interpreter of. Scripture, and which in some respects 
is ti-uc ; as when for the better understanding of a passage of Scripture another 

• Anatc^iam fidci nostntes dlciint summam coelcstis doctrinae de ariiculis fidci e talibus scriptune pctf- 
tsm locis, uot Claris^ jxrspicuis \erbisac, scu in propria scde, de iisagitur, Stockii Chvis Ling. s» 
^^v. Tel!, p. 627. 


more clear and expHcIt is set unto it and compared with it, and which serves t» 
throw light on it, and give a clearer discemnnent of it, and of its true sense ; bvH 
riien that light, discernment, and sense, cannot be expressed but in words literallf 
Afferent from them both. — 2. To be obliged to express ourselves about divioB 
things in the bare words of Scripture, must tend to make the ministry and 
preaching of the word in a great nieasure useless ; for then a minister of the word 
would have nothing else to do but to repeat or*read some select passages of Scriptuio 
relating to any particular subject, or collect a string of them, which rekr to th© 
tune subject, and deliver them without attempting any illustration of them, or- 
making use of any reasonings from them, to explain or strengthen any point of 
doctrine contained in them ; so that the people in common may as well in a nian- 
ncr stay at home and read the Scriptures in their private houses, as to attend on 
pubac ministrations. Surely the apostle Paul, ^ when he reasoned out of the 
Scriptures, opening and alledging that Christ must needs have suffered and risen 
again from the dead, and that this Jesus whom he preached was Christ," Act* 
xvii. St, 3. must in these his reasonings, explanations, and allegations, iise his own 
words; which, though they accorded witli the Scriptures, must literally vary fiiom 
them out of which he reasoned, and by which he elucidated and confirmed his 
arguments concerning the messiahship of Jesus, his suffering of death, and resur- 
rection from the dead : and though he said no other as to substance than what 
Moses and the prophets said concerning Christ, yet in words different fi^om theirs. 
According to this scheme all public ministrations must be at an end, as well as all 
writing in defence of truth ond for the confutation of errors, yea, — 3. This must 
in a great measure cramp ail religious convcrsp»iion about divine things, if not de- 
stroy it. To what purpose is it for th^m that fear God to meet frequently and 
jptak often one to another about the things of God and truths of the gospel, if they 
are not to make use of their own word;, to cy.prc^s their sen^e of thc^e things by 
them r and how in this way can tneir Christian touJ'crenccs be to mutual edifica- 
tion r how can they build up one another in their most holy fhith ? how can 
weaker and less experienced Christians receive any p.dvanta'^e from more knowing 
and stronger ones, if only they are to declare their sen^e of things in the bare 
words of Scripture? — 4. Indeed, as Dr Owen says % if this is the case, as it 
would be unlawful to speak or write otherwise than in the words of Scripture, sa 
ir would be unlawful to think or conceive in tlic mind any other than what the Scrip- 
lure expresses : the whole of what he says on this subject is worth repeating 
*' To deny the liberty, yea the necessity hereof | that is, of making use of suck 
Kords and expressions, as it may be, are not literally and formally contained ia 
Scripture, but only are unto our conceptions and apprehensions expository of what 
is so contained) is to deny all interpretation of the Scripture, alt endeavour.^ to 
express the sense of the words of it unto the understandings of one another, which 
is, in a word, to render the Scripture itself altogether useless ; if it is unlawful for 
me to speak or write what I conceive to be the sense of the words of Scripture, 
and the nature of the thing signified and expressed by them, it is unlawful for me 
aLo to think or conceive in my muid what is the sense of the wprds or nature o£ 

'Tl)c doctrine of the Trinity vindicavi^, P« **• 

• •• 


liie things ; which to say is to make brutes sf oaradves, ind to inu t fa te tht 
whole design of God in giWng unto us the great privilege of his wonL"*-'5. In 
this way, the sentiments of one man in any point of relignMi cannot b^ (fistin* 
gubhed from those of another, though diametrically <^posite ; so an Arian cad* 
not be known from an Athanasian ; both will say in the words of Scripture^ that 
Christ is the great Gp/ij the true Gody 4md aver ail Gad hksad ftr emr\ but 
^thout expressing themselves in their own words, their diflRprent sent imen ts will 
not be discerned ; the one holding that Christ is a created God, of a fike byt not dt 
the same substance with his Father ; the other that he is equal with him, of the 
same nature, substance, and glory : and he that believes the latterv surely it caimol 
be unlawful to express his belief of it in such words which declare the true sense 
of his mind. So a Sabellian or Unitarian and a Trinitarian, will neither of riion 
scruple to say in Scripture-terms wliat Christ says of himself and his Father, I ami 
wty Father are 9ne ; and yet the former holds, they are one in person or but one per* 
son ; whereas the latter affirms, that they are one in nature and essence, but two 
distinct persons ; and surely it must be lawful so to express himself, if this is tht 
leal sentiment of his mind. A Socinian and. an Anti-socinian will join in saying 
Christ the Wcrd it God^ and that he is the only heg^tten ef the Father^ and tha 
9nly begotten Son of God; and yet the one maintains that he is only Ood bf 
office, not by nature, and that he is the only begotten son of God by office or by 
adoption ; when the other believes that Christ is God by nature, and that h^ is th^ 
Son of the Father by natural and eternal generation, being begotten by him. It it 
necessary therefore they should make use of their own words to express their sen* 
timents by, or how otherwise should it be known that they differ from one aiyn 
ther ? and indeed this seems to be the grand reason why it is urged with so much 
vehemence, by some, tliat only Scripture words and phrases should be made use 
of, that their erroneous tenets may not be detected and exposed ; for as a learned 
man has observed *, such as cavil at the formulas (of sound doctrine used by the 
orthodox) and plead they should be very short, and composed in the bare words 
of Scripture, eos aliquid monfiri alere^ these nourish and cherish some monstrous 
notion, as the experience of all ages testify. And sometimes such persons tako 
detached passages of Scripture from different places, and join them togeth^, though 
they have no connexion and agreement with each other ; and such a method Irenaeiis ^ 
observes the ancient heretics took, who made use of passages of Soripture, ** that their 
figments might not seem to be without a testimony ; but passed over the order and 
eonnection of the Scriptures, and loofened the parts of truth as much as in them lay \** 
and who fidy compares such to one who should take tlie effigy of a king made of 
jewels and predous stones by a skilful artificer, and loosen and separate them, and 
of them make the form of a d<^ or a fox. — 6. It does not appear that those niei^ 
who are so strenuous for the use of Scripture-phrases only in aitides of religion,^ 
have a greater Tahie for the Scriptures than others ; nay, not so much; for if we, 
are to form a judgment of them by their sermons and writings, one would fhittt- 
they never read the Scriptures a| aU, or very little, smce they make such an infio* 
quent use of them: you slu^l tq^c^y hear a passage of Scriptuxe ({uoted by then% 

« WiuSusin Symbol. Eicscitat. s. «.. *l. ^ «!• * Adr. Hwts L x. c. i. p. 31, 

introduction; ix- 

in 1 sermon, or produced by them in their writings ; more frequently Seneca, Ci« 
cfTOp and others ; and it looks as if they thought it very unpoUte, and what might 
lervc to disgrace their more refined writings to fill their performances with them : 
and after all, it b easy to observe that these men, as the Arians formerly, and the 
Sodnians more lately, carry on their cause, aiid endea\'Our to support it by making 
u* of unscriptural words and phrases ; and therefore it is not with a very good 
gfKC that such nten, or those of the «ame cast witli them, object to the use of words 
and phrases not syllabically expresFed in Scripture ; and the rather, since the Arians 
were the first that began to make use of unscriptural phrases, as Athanasius af- 
fimis'. The Athana^ians had as good a right to U:;e the word o^ioHrioq as the Arians 
euwoMTio,-, and thereby explain their sense and defend their doctrine concerning the 
person of Christ, and his equality with Ood, against the latter, who introduced 
a phrase subversive of it ; and the Calvinists have as good authority to make use 
of the word Fatisfaction in the doctrine of expiation of sin and atonement for it, 
V the Sodnians and Remonstrants have for tlie use of the word acceptilation, 
whereby they seek to obsaire and weaken it. Words and phraies, though not 
liinaUy expressed in Scripture, yet if what is meant by them is to be found there, 
they may be lawfolly made use of; as some respecting the doctrine of the Trinity ; 
of these some are plainly expressed, which are used in treating of that doctrine, as 
natmrfj Gal. iv. 8. GoiilHaJ^ Col. ii. 9. Per/on^ die person of the Father, and 
the person of Christ, Heb. i. 3. 2 Cor. ii. 10. and iv. 6. and others dearly signi- 
fied, as essence, by tlie name of God, / am ^vlmt I am^ Exod. ill. 14. the unity 
or divine persons in it, John x. 30. a Trinity ot persons in the unity of essence, 
1 John V. 7. ihc generation of the Son by and of the Father, Ps. ii. 7, John i. 14, 18. 
2nd others respecting some j^eciillar dcHtriiies of revelation, concerning the state of 
njcii and the grace of Cliri>t ; as the imputation of Adam's sin to his posterity, 
Rom. V. 19. and the intputation of rlphfeousncss^ i. e. of Clirist's to them tliat be- 
lieve, which is nearly syllabically exi)ressed in Rom. iv. 6. and the imputation of 
iiii to Christ, who nuas made sin^ i. e. by imputation, a Cor. v. 21. And the 
atisfaction of Christ for sin, in all those plate? where it is signifitd that what Christ 
hss done and suffered in the room and stead of liis peo{)Ie is to the content of law 
and judice, and (jod is well pleased wuh it: and these are the principal words and 
phrases objected to, and which we shall not be pri^vailed upon to part with ea:>ily. 
And indeed, words and phrases, tlie xx'^c of which have long obtained in the churches 
of Christ, and the sense of them is well known, and serve aptly to convey the sense 
cf those thit use them ; it is unreasonable to require them to part with tliem, unless 
others, and those better words and phrases, are substituted in their room ; and such. 
2i are proposed should not be easily admitted without i^trict examination ; for there 
i> oftentimes a good deal of truth in that saying, qtii fingit no*va *Derha^ nova ^ignit 
dogmata ; he that coins new words, coins new doctrines ; whicti is notorious in the 
ase of Arius ; for not only Alexander ^, his bishop, charged him with raying, with- 
out Scripture, and what was never sdd before, thai God was not always a father, 
but there was a time when he was not a father ; and tljat the Word was not always, 

> Synod. Niccn. concr. hxm. Arian. decrct. p. 4T 7. 

^ Apyd Sxratf Hi»t. 1. i. c. 6. vii. Soxomen. HitC 1. t. c, 15. 

TO I. r. C 


but was msde ottt of things that were not ; tnd that there was a time when he wis 
tM a son : but Eusdnus', a favourer of his, also owns that the inspired writingi 
never used such phrases, rotf tfn. orrm, nmr^, 10 9(nt on m ntf that Christ was fradi 
non-entities, from things that are not, i. e. was nuuie out of nothing ; and that there 
was a time when he was not ; phrases, he says, they had never been used to. 

The subject of the following pages being theology, or what we call divinity^ 
it may be proper to consider the signification and use of the word, and from whence 
it has lis rise. I say, what we call divinity ; for it seems to be a word, as to the 
use of it in this subject, peculiar to us ; foreign writers never entitle their works 
of^this kind, c9rftu \^ fjflema vel medmlla Mvinitaiis^ a body or system, or mar- 
row of divinity, but corpus vel fjjlema vel mtduUa theehgia^ a body or system 
or marrow of theology. The word diviititas^ from whence our word divinity 
comes, is only used by Latin writers for deity or godhead ; but since custom and 
use have long fixed the sense of the word among us, to signify, when used on this 
subject, a treatise on the science of divine things, sacred truths, and Christian doc* 
trines, taken out of the Scriptures ; we need not scruple the use of it. The Jews 
seem to come nearest to us in the phrase which they use concerning it, calling it"^ 
n^nf^Kn vel nin^im nosn a science of divinity, or a divine science ; that is, a sci- 
ence or doctrine concerning divine things ; concerning God ; concerning his divi- 
nity and things belonging to him ; and which, in the main, is the same as to sense 
with the word theology, as will be seen hereafter ; and here, before we proceed any 
fartlier, it may not be Improper to observe, the distinction of the Jewish theology, 
or the two parts into which they divide it. The first they call nnvM'n nmvi^ the 
work of Bereshith or the creation ; for Bereshfth being the first word of Gen. i. x. 
In the beginning Chdcreattdy they frequently use it to signify the whole work of the 
creation ; so that this part of their dieology respects the creatures God has made, 
and the nature of them ; whereby the invisible things of God, as the apostle says, 
are discerned, even fats eternal power and godhead ; and this is their physics or na- 
tural Thedogy. The other branch is called nsano nvjro the work of the chariot", 
which appeUation is taken from die vision in Ezek. i. of tlte four living creatures in 
the form cf a chariot, which b the more abstruse and mysterious part of their theo- 
Idgy ; and may be called their metaphysics or supernatural theology ; and which 
treats of God, and of his divine attributes ; of the Messiah ; of angels, and the souls 
of men ; as in the book of Zohar^ and other cabalistic writings. But to go on. 

Theology is a Greek word, and signifies a discourse concerning God and things 
belonging to him ; it was first in use among the heathen poets and philosophers, and 
so the word tfaeologue. Lactandus says*^ the most ancient writers of Greece were 
called Theok)gues; these were their poets who wrote of their deities, and of the ge- 
nealogies of them ; Pberecydes is said to be the fint that wrote of divine things; 
soThalessays^iAjiisfacter tohiniihenGehehad thenanieof Theok)giie«; though 
some nnke Moseus, the son of Eumolphus, the first of this sort'; others give the 
tide to Orpheus. Pythagoras, die diadple of Fherecydesi has also this characters 

> Apud Thcodoitt. Hist.l. i. c xa. P YiL Buxtorf. Talmud. Lex. Col. 751. • Vid. 

Maimin. prxfat. al Moie Nevochim, par. x. • Oe Inc. ii* r Apud Lscft L i. ki 

vita pjus. 4 lb. ia vita Pi oecydis. ff lU Proaem. 


and P6rpliyi7 % by way of eminence, calb liim the Theologoe ; and who often In 
his writings speaks of the Theologues ' ; and this character was given to Plato; also 
Arisixide* makes mention of the Thcologues, as distinct from naturalists, or the 
natarai philosophers ; Cicero'' also speaks of them, and seems to design by them the 
poets, or the authors of mystic theok>gy. The Egyptians had their theplogy ^^ wWch 
dxy communicated to Darius, the father of Xerxes ; and so had the magi and the 
Chaldeans; of whom Democritus is said to learn theology and astrology'. The 
priests of Del^^os, are called by Plutarch ', the Theologues of Delphos. It is from 
hence now that these words Theology and Theologues have been borrowed, and 
made use of by Chrisdan writers ; and I see no impropriety in the use of them ; nor 
should they be thought the worse for their original, no more than other words 
wluch come from the same source ; for though these words are used of false ddties, 
and of persons that treat of them ; it follows not but that they may be used, with 
great propriety, of discourses concerning the true God, and things belonging to him, 
and of those that discourse of them. The first among Christians that has tlie titl<r of 
Theologue, or Divine, is St. John, the writer of the book of the Revehition ; for <o 
the inscription of the book runs, " the Revelation of St. John the Divine.'' In the 
Comphitensian edition, and so in the King of Spain's Bible, it is, *^ the Revelation 
of the holy Apostle and Evangelist, John the Divine." Whether this word Theo- 
logue, or Divine, was originally in the inscription of this book, I will not say ; 
but this may be said, that Origcn', a very early Christian writer, gives to John 
the title of the Divine, as it should seem from hence; and Athanasius*, in his ac- 
count of the sacred writings, calls the book of the Revelation, *^ the Revelation of 
John the Divine;*' and who also stiles him *' John the Evangelist and Divine." 
These words Theologue and Theology are to be met w'nh frequently in the am ie-nt 
fathers, in following ages, and in all ages, and in all Christian writeis to the prcsciit 
times. Upon the whole, it appears that 'I'heology, or Divinity, as we call it, is 
no other than a science or doctrine concerning God, or a discoursing and treating 
of things relating to him ; and that a Theologue, or a Divine, is one that under- 
stands, discourses, and treats of divine things ; and perhaps the Evangelifit John 
might have this title eminently given to him by the ancients, because of his writing 
concerning, and the record he bore to Christ, the Xcyoj, the esscnti 1 Word of God, 
to his proper Deity, divine Sonship, and distinct personality. Suidas** not only 
calls him the Divine and the Evangelist, but says, that he wrote theology ; by which 
he seems to mean the book of the Revelation, which book some have observed con- 
tains a complete body of Divinity. Here we are taught the divine authority and 
excellency of the sacred Scriptures ; that there is but one God, and that he only is 
to be worshipped, and not angels ; that God is the Triune God ; that there are 
diree Persons in the Godhead, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit ; that God is eternal^ 
the Creator, and Preserver of all things ^ that Christ is truly God and truly man ; 
that he is prophet, priest, and king ; that men are by nature wretched, blinds 

• De Abttincntia, 1. 1. c. 36. ^ de an»ro Nympharum. < De Abttincntia, 1. i. ». 43, 44. 47. 

ctdeancro N3[CDpharuiiu » Metaphysic. 1. 12. c. 6. 10. ^ Dc Divinarimie^l. 3. c. at. 

vid. Plato de A^pub. 1. 1. p. 605. * Diodorus Sic. L i. p. 85. * l.arrr. 1. 9. ijii viia ejus. 

' De defect. Orac, p. 417. vid. ib. 410, 436. > Homil. 2. io Evangel. Joan, i. t. 

• Synopf. s. ScripL p. 65, 132. • In voce luxinfi^ & in voce Koy»«c« 

C 2 


naked, poor^ tsA miserable ; that some gf all nations are redeemed by the blood of 
the I amb ; and that they are justified and washed from their sins in his blood ; the 
articles of the resurrection of the dead, the last judgment, the sad estate of the wicked, 
and the happiness of the saints, may be observed in it« 

And as we are upon this subject, it may not be amiss if we take a brief compen* 
dious view of the sate of theology ; or, if you please, divinity, from the beginning 
of it to the present time. Theology may be considered either as natural, which 
is from the light of nature, and is atuined unto through the use and exercise of it, 
or supernatural, wliich is come at by divine revelation. 

Natural theology may be considered either as it was in Adam before the fall, or 
as in him and his posterity since the fsill. Adam, before the fall, had great know* 
ledge of things, divine as well as natural, moral and civil ; he was created in the 
image of God, which image lay in knowledge, as well as in righteousness and holi- 
ness ; before he came short of this glory, and lost this image, or at least was greatly 
impaired and obliterated in him by sin, he knew much of God, of his nature and 
attributes, of his mind and will, and tiie worship of him ; he had knowledge of the 
persons in God, of a Trinity of persons who were concerned in the creation of all 
things, and in his own ; and without which he could Imvc had no true knowledge 
of God, nor have yielded the worship due to each divine pcnon : not that all the 
knowledge he had was innate, or sprung from the light of nature within himself; 
but in it he was assisted, and it was capable of being increased by things without, 
as by symbols, the tree of life in the midst of the garden, &;c. by positive precepts 
relating to the worship of God, and obedience to his will, as the prohibition to eat 
of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, the institution of marriage, &c. and 
through a constant and diligent contemplation of the works of creation ; nor can 
we suppose him to be altogether without the benetit and advantage of divine re- 
velation ; since he had such :: near and immediate intercourse and converse with 
God himself; and some things he could not have known without it ; as the creation 
of the world, the order and manner of it ; his own formation out of the dust of 
the earth ; and the formation of Eve from him, that she was flesh of his flesh, 
and bone of his botie, and was designed of God to be his wife, and an help-meet 
to him, and who should be the mother of all living ; with other things respecting 
^ the worship of God, and the manner of it, and the covenant made with him as a 
federal head to all his posterity that should spring from him. These, with many 
otlier things, no doubt, Adam had immediate knowledge of from God himself. 

But this kind of theology appeared with a different aspect in Adam after his £iU, 
and in his posterity ; by sin his mind was greatly beclouded, and his understanding 
darkened ; he lost much of his knowledge of God, and of his perfections, or he 
couU never have imagined tliat going among the trees of the garden wouM hide 
him from the presence of God, and secure him from his justice. What a notion 
must he have of the omnipresence of God? and what also of his omniscience, 
wlien he attempted to palliate and cover his sb by the excuse he made ? and he im- 
mediately lost his familiar intercourse with God, and communion with him, being 
drove out of the garden ; and as for his posterity, descending from him by ordinary 
generation, they ap: ear to be in the same case and circumstances, without God in 
the world, without any true knowledge of him, and fellowship with him ; they 


appor ID be in the image of the earthly and sinful Adam, and not to have the image 
ef God upon them ; they are alienated from the life of God, a ndtheir imderstan^np 
dvfcened as to the knowledge of divine and spiritual things ; and though tfanre are 
some xemuns of the light of nature in them, by which something of God may be 
known by them, even his eternal power and Godhead, by considering tlie works of 
cmtion, or else be inexcusable ; yet whatever they know of lum in theory, which 
does not anx>unt to a true knowledge of God, they are witliout a practical know- 
k(^e of him ; they glorify him not as God, and serve the creature more than the 
Creator; yea, wliat knowledge they have of God is very dim and obscure ; they are 
like persons in the dark, who grope about, if happily they may fieel after ium, and 
find him ; and what ridiculous notions have they entertained of Deity { and what 
gods have they feigned for themselves ! and have kiien into impiety and idolatry, 
polytheism and atheism : being without a divine revelation, they are without the true 
knowledge of the worship of God ; and therefore have introduced strange and 
absurd modes of worship ; as well as are at a loss what methods to take to reconcile 
God, offended with them for their sins, wlien at any time sensible thereof; and 
what means and ways to make use of to recommend themselves to him; and 
therefore have gone into practices the most shocking and detestable. Being destitute 
of a divine revelation, they can have no asbu ranee that God will pardon sin and 
sinners ; nor have they any knowledge of hi^ way of justifying sinners by tlie 
righteousness of his Son ; which are doctrines of pure revelation : tliey can Lave 
no knowledge of Christ as Mediator, and of the way of peace and reconciliation, 
of life and salvation by him, and so can have no true knowledge of God in Clnrist; 
fir ibis is life tttrual^ to imotv the only true Gotl^ anil Resits Christ foaljom Ije has stnt* 
There is no saving knowledge of (iod without ChrisC; wherefore the light of 
nature is insufficient to salvation ; lor though by it men may arrive to tiie know- 
ledge of a God as the Creator of :i!l chiiiv;s, \xl not to the knowledge oi Christ 
as the Saviour of men ; and witliout faith i'l tlicre can he no salvation : and 
though men may by means of it know in t»oine instance-: whr.t is dibpleasingtoCJod^ 
and what agreeable to him ; ivliat to be avoided, and what ro be ]>crfornied ; in 
which knowledge they are yet deficient ; reckoning such thing; to be no bins whida 
are grievous ones, as fornication, polygamy, suicide, &:c. yet even in the things 
they- do know, they do not in their practice answer to their knowledge of them ; 
and did they, they could not be saved by them ; for if by obedience to the dteds 
of the law of Moses none are justified and saved, then cerLiinly not by obcdicnee 
to the law and light of nature ; none can be saved withoiit faith in Clirist, and his 
righteousness; there is no pardon but by his blond; no acceptance with God but 
through him : things that the ligiic of nature 1 javcs \\\c\\ strangers to. But of tlie 
weakness and insufficiency of natural theology to iii.<:ruct men in the knowledge of 
divine things, destitute of a divine revelation, perhaps more may be said here- 
after, when the theology of the Pagans may be observed. 

Supernatural theology, or what is by pure revelation, may be next considered, in 
its original rise and progress ; and as it lias been improved and increased, or lias met 
with checks and obstructions. 

The state of this theologv may be considered as it was from the first appearance 
of it, after the fall of Adam, to the flood in the times of Noah, or throughout the 



dd world. What gave rise unto, and is the foundation of it, is what God pm^ 
sumnced to the serpent : // (the seed of the woman) sbaB hruise tky hemd^ and A^ 
tbah hnuH bis httl : diese words contain the principal articles of Christian dieologjr; 
as the incarnation of the Messiah, the Saviour of men; who should be tife sudwf 
the mjoma$tj roade of a woman, made flesh, and become a partaker of the flesh and 
blood of those he was to save : and this seems to be understood by our first parents ; 
bence it is thought that Eve ima^ned that this illustrious person was bom of her, 
when she brought forth her first- bom, saying, I have goiiim a man the Lerd, as 
some choose to render the word ; as £no8, the son of Seth, afterwards was expected 
to be the Redeemer of the world, according to the Cabbalists < ; and therefi>re was 
called Enos, the man, the famous excellent nuui ; as they say. Likewise the suf- 
ferings and death of Christ in the human nature, by means of the serpent Satan ; 
treading on whom, he, like a serpent, would turn himself, and bite his heel; 
wound him in his human nature, his inferior nature, called his heel, and so bring hinr 
to the dust of death. When the Messiah, by his sufferings and death, would bruise 
hb head, confound his schemes, destroy his works ; yea, destroy him himself, the 
devil, who had the power of death ; and abolish that, and make an end of sin, the 
cause of it, by giving full satisBsiction for it ; and so save and deliver his people from 
all the sad effects of it, eternal wrath, ruin, and damnation. This kind of theology 
received some further improvement, from the coats of fkin the Lord God made and 
cbthed our first parents with them, an emblem of the justifying righteousness of 
Christ, and of die garments of salvation wrought out by his obedience, suffmngs^ 
and death ; signified by slain beasts ; and wliich God puts upon his people, and 
clothes them with, through his gracious act of imputation ; and hence they are said 
to be justified by blood : and to which may be added, the hieroglyphic of the 
cherubim and flaming sword, placed at the end of the garden, to observe or point 
at the tree of life ; representing the prophets of the Old, and the ^x>sdes and 
ministers of the New Testament, being phiced and appointed to shew unto men 
the way of salvation by Christ, the tree of life. And what serves to throw more 
light on this evangelical theology, are the sacrifices ordered to be offered up ; and 
which were types of the sacrifice of Christ; and particularly that which was offered 
up by Abel, who, h faith in the sacrifice of Christ, eifferedmp a mare excellent saeri^ 
fee than Cain ; which also was a lamb, the firstling of his flock, and pointed at the 
lamb of God, who by his sacrifice takes away the sins of his people. Within 
tills period of time men seem to have increased in light, as to the worship of God, 
especially public worship ; for in the times of Enos, the grandson of Adam, men 
hegan to call npon the name ef the Lord, Prayer to God, and invocation of his 
name, were, no doubt, used before; but men increasing, and fiimilies becoming 
more numerous, they now met and joined together in carrying on social and public 
worship : and though there were conniptions in practice, within this period of 
time ; wicked Cain, whose works were evil, and who set a bad example to his pos* 
terity, he and they lived together, separate from the posterity of Sedi, indulging 
themselves in the gratification of sinfiil pleasures ; and it is said that in the times 
of Jared, some descended from the holy mountain, as it is called, to the company 

* Reuchlin. CaMs. L i.-p. 740. 


, in the valley, and mixed themselves with them, and took of their daughter! 
»; from whence sprung a race of giants and wicked men, who were the 
the flood. Lamech gave into the practice of bigamy ; and Pseudo-Berosus 
haX Ham lived a very vicious and profligate life before the flood ; yet there 
t appear to have been any corruption in doctrine and worship, or any idolatry 
xL Some indeed have pretended * that in the days of Enosh images were 
1, to excite the minds of creatures to pray to God by them as mediators ; but 
ud without any foundation. 

next period of time in which supernatural theology may be traced, is from 
d, in the times of Noah, to the giving of the law to Israel, in the times of 
Noah was instructed in it by his father Lamech, who expected ' great com- 
m him ; and, as some think, in spiritual as well as in civil things. Gen. v. %g, 
r, he instructed him in the true religion, as it was received from the first 
kdam ; and it was taught by Noah, and the knowledge of it conveyed to 
erity, partly in the ministry of the word by him ; for he was a preacher of 
jsness ; even of evangelical righteousness, of the righteousness of fiuth ; 
:h he was an heir, and therefore no doubt preached the same to others : and 
ly the sacrifices he oflered, which were of clean creatures he had knowledge 
distinction of; and which sacrifices were of a sweet savour to God, and ' 
rpical of the purity of Christ's sacrifice for sin, and of the acceptance of 
)d, which is to him of a sweet smelling savour. Moreover, the waters of the 
ind the ark in which Noah and his family were preserved, were a type of 
dgelical ordinance, the ordinance of baptism ; which is an emblem of the 
burial, and resurrection of Christ ; by which men are saved : for Noah and 
lily going into the ark, where, when the fountains of the great deep were 
up below, and the windows of heaven opened above, they were like persons 
I in water, and immersed in it, and as persons buried ; and when they came 
it, the water being carried off, it was like a resurrection, and as life from 
J ; the Hie figure^ or antitype nuhereunto^ the apostle says, even haptifm^ doth 
LL» save usy hy the resurrection of Jesus Christ signified thereby, i Pet. iii. ai. 
e the rainbow, the token of the covenant ; which, though not the covenant 
:c, yet of kindness and preservation ; was an emblem of peace and rccon- 
i by Christ, the mediator of the covenant of grace ; and may assure of the 
ing love of God to his people, and of the inimoveableness of the covenant 
peace with them, Isa. Hv. 9, lo. In the line of Shem, the son of Noah, 
»wledge of tliis kind of theology was continued : Noah's blessing of him is 
: by the Cabalists<, to contain his earnest desire that he might be the Retieemer 
. However, God was the Lord of Shem, known, owned, and professed 
; and he was the father of all the children of £ber. According to the 
Shem had a divinity-school, where the sons of Japhet, becoming proselytes, 
and which continued to the times of Isaac ; for he is reported to go thither 
fin- Rebecca ^ £ber also, according to them, had such a school; where 

q. L 3. p. 15. * Juchasin, fol. 134* 2. Shal^halet Hakababi fol. 74. ft. ' Keuchlin. lb. 

is. ut supra. ^ Targum Jon. ia Oc&. ix. ^^• £ Taig. Jems. & Jon. in Gen. sxv. 1 1 . 


Jacob *■ was a minister, sen'ant, or disciple : and so had Abraham in the hnci of 
Canaan ; and his three hundred tnitned senrants are supposed to be his catechamens ; 
andaisoin Haran, where Abrahani, it is said ', taught and proselyted the men, and 
Sarah the women ! however, this we are sure of, that he instructed and *• com- 
manded his children, and his hotishold after him, to keep the way of the Lord, and 
tD do justice and judgement," Gen. xviii. 19. Moreover, as the gospel was preached 
moo Abraham, Gal. iii. 8. there is no doubt liut that he preached it to others ; and 
as he had knowledge of the Mesbiah, who should spring from him, in whom all 
ntions of the earth would be blesseil, and who saw bis day and was glad ; so his 
gnuidson Jacob had a more clear and distinct view of him, as God's salvation, as 
ri»c Shiloh^ the peace-maker and prosixrous one, who should come, before civi^ 
farernment was removed from the Jews : and when come, multitudes should be 
fathered to him, (len. xlix. i o— 18. Idolatr}' within this period first began amoog 
fhrbuikiers of Babel: some say in the days of Semg", it was embraced by the 
Zabbms in ChaUea, and obtained in the femily of Terah, the father of Abra* 
fcim. The worship of the sun and moon pre^-ailed in the times of Job, in Arabia ; 
who lived about the time of the childreit of Israel being in Eg\'pt, and a little 
be fiii e their coming out of if ; who do rtot appear to have given into the idolatry of 
tfkat people. As for Job and his tliree friendj*, it i? plnin they had great knowledge 
•f God and divine things ; of tlie perfections of God ; of the impurity of humaa 
nature ; of the insufficiency of man's righteousness to justify him before God ; and 
€if the doctrine of redemption and salvation In* ChriM. 

The next period h from the giving of the law to Israel, by the hand of Moses, 
•o the times of David and the prophets ; in which supernatural theology was taught 
by types y as the passover, the manna, the brazen serpent, and other things ; which 
were emblems of Christ and his grace, and sah'ation by him : and by the sacrifices 
instituted, piitiatlarly the daily sacrifice morning and evening, and the annual sacri- 
Irccs on the day of atonenient ; which, besides all others, were txpical of, and led the 
feith of men to the expiation of sins, to be made by the sacrifice of Christ : the 
wliole ceremonial law, all that related to the priestr., their ganneiit*>, and their work 
and ofilce^ had an evangelical Mgnifi cation ; it was the Jews gospel, and which led 
them to Christ, and to an acquaintance with tlie things of Christ ; and to what make 
him, his grace and righteousness, necessary to salvation ; as tFie evil nature of sin ; 
the insufficiency of men to make atonement for it : to fulfill the law, and bring in a 
righteousness ansM*erable to it r liloses wrote of Christ, of his prophetic, priestly. 
Mid kingly offices, either by type or prophesy : the song of Moses in Deut. xxxii. 
«nd of Hannah, i Sam. ii. very clearly speak of the perfections of God, of his 
works of providence and grace, and of the Messiah. According to the Jews, there 
irts a dT^'inity-school in the times of Samuel. Naioth in Ramah is interpreted an 
house of doctrine, or school of instruction, of wliich Samuel was president ; where 
be stood over the prq)hets, teaching and instructing them, x Sam. xix. 18, 19. 
Scch schools there were in after-times, at Bethel, and Jericho, and Gilgftl ; even in 
the times of Elijah and Elislia ; where the sons or disciples of the prophets were 

k T.if^. Onk. & Jrtn. in Gen. xitv. tj, * Brrc^hlc R^iblsy % 39. fol. 35. I. ^ Suidas 

ia^.Ai- Arsjasty^ & in voce £<p«fp^« 


tniiied up in the knowledge of divine things t Kings ii. 3, 5. an4 iy. 38. in such a 
coll^ or house of insmicdony as the Targuniy Huldah, the prophetess dwelt at 
jenualem, % Kiags xjdi. i^ There were v^ithin this time some checks to the true 
knovledg? and worship of God, hy the idolatry of the calf at Sinai ; Baal-peor, on 
theborden of Moab ; and of Baalim and Ashtaroth, and other deities, after the 
dadi of Joshua, and in the times of the Judges. 

The period from the dmes of David, including them, to the Babylonish capti- 
fiiy, abounds with evangelic truths, and doctrines of supernatural theology. The 
FnlitB of David are fiill of spiritual and evangelic knowledge ; many intimations 
ire given of the sufferings and death of Christ, of his burial, resurrection from the 
fad, ascension to heaven, and session at the right hand of God ; and on which 
may blessings of grace depend, which could never have been known but by divine 
mrefadon. And the prophets which followed him speak out still more clearly of 
the incarnation of Christ ; point out the very place where he was to be bom, and 
the country where he would preach the gospel, to the illumination of those that sat 
In darkness. They plainly describe him in his person, his offices, the sufferings he 
should undergo, and the circumstances of them, and benefits arising from them ; 
diey bear witness to the doctrines of pardon of sin through him, and justification by 
Jam ; and of his bearing sin, and making sati'>kction for it : in short, a scheme of 
Cfangelic truths niay be deduced from the prophetic writings ; and, indeed, the great 
qxBtie Paul himself said no other things tlian what the prophets did. There were 
some sad revolts from the true God, and hb worship, within this compass of 
time, in the reigns of some of the kings of Israel and Judah ; as the idolatry of the 
dives in the reign of Jeroboam, and others of the kings of Israel ; and the idola- 
tries committed in the times of Ahaz, Manasseh, and Amon, kings of Judah, 
which issued in the captivities of both people. 

The period from the Babylonish captivity to the times of Christ, finish the Old 
Testament-dispensation. At the return of tlie Jews fi-om captivity, who brought 
no idolatrous worship with them, there was a reformation made by Ezra and Nehe- 
miah, with the prophets of their time ; or w ho quickly followed, as Haggai, Zachu- 
riah, and Malaclii ; who all prophe^icfl c»f Christ the Saviour, and of the salvation 
that should come by him ; with the several blessings of it ; and speak of his near 
approach, and point at tiie tirj.e of liis coming, and the work he should do when 
co-ne. But after the death of the^e prophets, and the Holy Spirit departed, and 
taere was no more prophecy, superncilunil theology began greatly to decline ; and 
the truths of revelation were neglected and despised ; and the doctrines and tradi- 
tions of men were preferred to the word of God, that wa? made of none effect by 
them. The sect of the Sadducees, a sort of free-thinkers, rose up j who taid there 
was no resurrection, nor angel, nor spirit : and thie sect of the Pharisees, a sort of 
free-wiilers, who set up traditions as the rule of men's worship, and which rose to 
in enormous bigness in the times of Christ, who severely inveighed again<:t them ; 
and which in ifter-times were compiled and pu: together in a volume, called, the 
Misnah, their traditional, or body of traditons : and tl.Is, in co\:r;c of time, occa- 
acne la large work fin'shed n Babylon, and from thence c !le:' the Babylonian 
Talmud; which is their doctrinal, or body of doctrii.e; full of fables, false glosses 
Vou L d 

liid intierprietatiool of Scriptures ; woi whick is the fbundadon of the e/rotieous ioc* - 
trines and practices oJT tUe Jews to this day. 

Jixii here I shall t^e leave to tnoscnbe the interpretation of the vision in 
Zech. V. 6 — ft. given by that teamed man George Eliezer Edzard", it being 
very ihgenfous and uocoitlnion, and much to our present purpose. This learned 
man observes, that the preceding vi»on of the flying roll describes the sad cor- 
ruption of manhen among the Jews, in the three or four former ages of the second 
temple ; doctrine remaining pretty sound among them ; which corntption of mail<« 
ners was punished by the incursions of the Lagidx and Seleucidir, kings of Egypt 
ijii, Syn'a, into Judea, as the vision represents. The following vision of a womnr 
sitting in an itfihahf and shut up in it, and then transported by two o&iet wametf 
Into the lahH of Shinar ; he thus interprets : by the nvcmany who, by way of cml« 
hency, is called wickednessy is to be understood the impious and false doctlinti 
devi!>«i'by the Pliarisees and Sadducees ; and other comipt doctors of the Jews id 
Ihe latter times of the second temple, and handed down to posterity ; compared to 
a woman, because it had nothing manly, nothing true, nothing s6lid in it ; and 
hioreover, caused its followers to commit spiritual fornication, and allured to it 
by its paints, flatteries, and prittle-prattle : and it is called wickedness because not 
only the less fundamentals, but the grand fundamentals, and principal articles of 
' faith, concerning the mystery of the Trinity, the Deity of the Son of God^ ailtf 
of the Holy Spirit, the person and office of the Messiah, were sadly defiled by it} 
and in the room of them were substituted, traditions, precepts, and inventions of 
men ; than which greater impiety cannot be thought of] and which issued in the 
contempt and rejection and crucifixion of the Messiah, sent as the Saviour of thfc 
world ; and in the persecution of the preachers of the gospel, and putting a stop to 
the course of it, as much as could be ; and which drew with it a train of other Sins. 
The epbab^ he thinks, designs the whole body of the people of the Jews, through- 
out Judea, Samaria, and Galilee; which ephab was first seen as empty^ ver. 6. 
and this being a dry measure^ with which wheat and such like things were mea- 
suredf the food of the body, a proper type of the heavenly doctrine, the food of 
the soul : by the emptiness of the ephah is intimated, that smmd doctrine, aboiU 
the time of the Messiah's coming, would be banished out of Judea, and the neigh- 
bouring parts : and most of the inhabitants thereof would be destitute of the know* 
Mge of the pure faith. And the wicked woman silting in the mijst •/ the ephab^ 
and filling it, not a comer of it, but the whole ; and b represented not as lying 
prostrate, but sitting ; denotes the total corruption of doctrine, its power and pre* 
valence, throi^hout judea, Samaria, and Galilee; obtaining m all places, syna- 
gogue^ schools, and seats, a^id pulpits, and among all sorts of inhabitants ; the txrn 
being crushed who professed the sound dbctrifie of the Trinity, and of the pers6a 
and office of the Mesaah* And whereas a UiUmi of kmd ^vu seen Ufiednp\ this 
signifies the divine decree concerning die destruction of die Jews and their polity 
by the Romans ; which should be most surdy executed on them, for their eorrup* 
tioR of doctrine, alid for sins that flowed ffoA thence. The Uftii^ up of thetalent, 
not only prefigured the near ai^roachiof the jndgptiQi^ bat ihe seldng it befiirt 

» Pi«r;iU id AnadMt M Tract. Bencot. 


Ae eyes of the pcaplk^ to be beheU through the minbtry of iQhrist, and bis apostl«| 
before it was executed ; that while there was hope,, if it mightiiei sonie nuj^ht be 
Wm^ to fepentanoe, and to the acknowledgmeat of the true MeKiah ; but this 
idKng of success, the talent was cast /«/» the ephah, and upon the woaum in itf 
flgnifybg the destruction of the Jews ; of which the angel that talked with Zacha* 
fiih the prophet, and who was no other than the Son of God, was the principal 
nibor; Vespasian, and the Roman army under him, being onlj ministers and 
iostniments. Not that hereby the woman, or tlie corrupt doctrine, was wholly 
tiliiiguished ; but it was depressed, and weakened, and reduced, and was among a 
'far only, great numbers of the doctors and disciples of it being slain, and many of 
bodi classes being exiled ; the temple and city burnt, heretofore the chief seat of 
h, and die schools throughout Judea destroyevi, in which it was pro{^gat(:d. But 
IB pnxess of time the Jews restored some schools in Palestine, as at Jabneth, Zip- 
poie, Caesarea, and Tiberias, in the last of which, R. Judah Hakkadosh compiled 
fht Bfisoah, about A. D. 150. and after that came out the Jerusalem Talmud, 
A. D. ftjQ. and after the death of the above Rabbi, his chief disciples went into 
UiyloD, and carried with them the greatest part of the doctors and their scholarv 
out of Falestine : to that doctrine by little and little disappeared in Judea, and 
catirdy about the year 340, when R. Hillell died, the last of those pro .:oted 
doctors in the land of Israel : and after this scarce any thing was heard of die 
schools av|d wise men of Palestine ; but schoob continued in Babylon for many 
ages ; and this is what b meant in the last }>art of tlie symbolic vision of Zachariali, 
by the fp^6 being carried by two women into the land of Shinar, that is Babylon : 
By these #>u« tvawrxi ara meant the Misnic and Gemaristic doctors ; the two heads 6f 
wb'ch were Raf and Samuel, whq went into Babylon a little after the death of R. 
Judah, the saint, and carried the woman, false doctrine, along wiili them ; these 
are said to have wings like tiarks^ fit fop lofig journies, to fly with on high, and 
with swiftness, into remote parts ; and fitly describes tlie ubove f)ersons transporting 
iheir filse doc-rine into the remote pans of Hubylon, far from Paiesiine \ carrying 
great numbers from thence, which tl.ey did without weariness, ad wiih as much 
celerity as they could : and th^ wzMii being in their wingi^ dwotes the cheerfulncnis 
inth which the Jewish. Rabbins p^irsued iheir studies til( ih^y had finished tlieir 
design, the Talmud, which they could not perfect without the l^npulse and help of 
an evil sririt, signified by the wind. And here in Babylon th^y i^ift a^ hauyf for 
their false doctrine, erected various schools, in which it was taught and propsv^^at^d } 
and SI it was eitahl'shed ivA fet on. its 9-wn h.ise^ and continued for 8do ytNirs or 
more. This is the senae \i'hich this ieai :ied nvan gives of the vision ; on wh^ch 1 
shall make no more remarks than I have done, by saving it is ingcnioub aixd Uh" 
comraon, and suits with die subject I am upon, which introdticed it, and opcii> 
the source of the corruption of doctrine among tlie Jews, and shews th^ continuunce 
fljf it, and the means thereof. 

Having traced supernatural theology, or divinity, to the times of ClirLst; let us. 
a iktie look back upon the theology of the P^ns, before we proceed any further, 
At, or a little after, the building of Babel, a^ the dispersion of the people, idola-i 
try beigan to appear ; the knowledge of the true God was greatly lost, and ihc 
worship of lain neglectqd. Some say this began b the days of Serug, but pcrhaj^)^ 



it might be earlier : ttfe first objects of it seem to be the sun and moon ; wMch it 
is certain obt^ed in the times of Job ; and then their kings and heroes, whom they 
deified after death ; and which at lei^ issued in a multiplicity of gods thrgughcait 
the several nations of tfje earth; and what of truth remained among them, was disr 
guircd with fables ; or,, to use the apostle's phrase, they ebamged tbt trmtb cf G^dimif 
'a he, and worshipped and served the creature m^re than tbe Creator ; their fix^h hearts 
being darkened. The theology of the Pagans, according to themselves, as Scaevola* 
and Varro^, was of three sorts, — i. Mystic, or ^bulous, which belonged to the 
poets, and was sung by them. — 2. Physic, or natural ; which belonged to. the phi- 
losophers, and were studied by them. — 3. Politic, or civil, which belong^ to 
princes, priests, and people ; being instituted by the one, exercised by the oAe^ 
and enjoined the people. Tbe first of these may well be called fabulous, as treating 
of the theogony and genedogy of their deities ; in which they say such things 
as are unworthy of deity ; ascribing to them thefts, murders, adulterieSi and aU 
manner of crimes ; afid therefore this kind of theology is condemned by the wiser 
sort of heathens as nugatory and scandalous ; the writers of this sort of tlieology 
were Sanchoniatho, the Phoenician ; and of the Grecians, Orpheus, Hesiod, Phe« 
recydes, &c. The second sort, called physic, or natural, was studied and taught 
by the philosophers ; who, rejecting the multiplicity of gods introduced by the 
poets, brought their theology to a more natural and rational form ; and supposed 
that there was but one supreme God, which they commonly make to be the sun ; 
at least as an emblem of him ; but at too great a distance to mind the affairs of the 
world, and therefore devised certain demons, which they considered as mediators 
between the supreme God and man : and the doctrines of these daemons, to which 
the apostle is thought to allude in x Tim. iv. i. were what the philos<^hers' had 
a concern with, and who treat of their nature, ofHce, and regard to men ; as did 
Thales, Pythagoras, Plato, and the Stoics. The third part, called politic, or civil, 
was instituted by legislators, statesmen, and politicians : the first among the Romans 
was Numa Pompilius ; this chiefly respected their gods, temples, altars, sacrifices, 
and rites of worship ; and was properly their idokitry ; the care of which belonged 
to the priests ; and this was ^njoined the common people, to keep them in obedience 
to the civil state. Thus things continued in the Gentile world, until the liglit of 
the gospel was sent among them ; the times before that were times of ign^rauet^ as 
the apostle calls them ; they were ignorant of the true God, and of the worship of 
him ; and of the Messiah, and salvation by him : theur state is truly described, 
£ph. ii. IS. that they were then wiibout Christy aliens fr^m tbe commomweahb of 
Israel, strangers from tbe covenants of pramise^ having no bope^ and without God im 
the world. And consequently, thev theology was insufficient for the salvation of 

But to return to supiematural theology, where we left it, having traced it to die ' 
times of Christ : at whose coming, and through whose nunistry, and that of his 
forerunner, and of his Apostles, it revived and lift up its head, and appeared in all 
its purity, splendour, and gloiy. John was a man sent from God, to bear witness 
to xhL light that was just rising, even Che sun of righteousness, the day-spcHig from 

S Apud. Auguicin. de Chr. M, L 4. c. S7. r Apud. lb. L 6. & 5. 

I NT&QDT7CTI0«« lod 

cattf^; te gretf G||^ llttt shoQld fii^iten thote tfact lat in darioiesi trfth a soperr 
natural U^ ; he dedaied the kingdom of Heaven, or gotpel-^lispensadon wasjt 
hand, and jun uahering in ; and pitached the baptism of repentiuioc for theronusao^ 
irf nn, and administered tbat gospel-ordinance. ^ God, who at sundry times and 
in divert manners, had spoke to the ftthers by the prophets, now spoke to men hf 
Ins Son ;'* {Dhrist hi$ only begotten son, who lay in hb bosom, came and declared 
him; who and what he was, and what was his mind and will: he brought the doc- 
trines i»f grace and truth with him ; and spoke such words of grace, truth^ and 
wisdom, a^ never man $poke ; hb doctrine was not human, but divine ; it was not 
Us gwn 3& man, he received it from his Father, and delivered to hb apostles ; who 
having a commisuon from him to preach it, and being qualified for it, with the 
gifts and grice$ of hb Spirit in great abundance, they went into all the world and 
preached the gospel to every creature; and difiiised the savour of hb knowledge in 
ffciy place; they had the deep things of God revealed unto them; things, which 
could never hav^ been discovered by the light of nature ; nor were revealed in die 
Jaw of Mpaes ; things ^ which eye had not seen, nor ear heard, nor ever entered into 
ik^ heart of man ;'' which the reason of men could never have descried ; ^* they 
spoke the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom which God or- 
dsined before the world unto our glory." In the books of the New Testament are 
written, as with a sun-beam, those truths of pure revelation, the doctrines of a Tri- 
luty of divine persons in the Godhead ; of the eternal Sonship, distinct personality and 
4eity of Christ, and of hb seveml omces as Mediator ; and of the distinct personality 
and ddty of the Holy Spirit ; and of hb operations of grace upon the soub of men ; 
fiftheey^dasdngand unchangeable love of the three divine persons to the elect; of 
the predestination of them to the adoption of children ; and of their eternal electioa 
}n Christ to grace and glory ; of the covenant of grace made with them in Christy 
and the blessings o| it ; of redemption by Christ, fiill pardon of sin through his blood, 
firee jusci^cation from sin by his righteousness, aod plenary satbfaction for it by hb 
atoning sacrifice ; of regeneration, or the new birth ; eifectual calling ; conversion, and 
sanctification, by the efficacious grace of the Spirit ; of the siunts final perseverance 
in grace to glory, and of the resurrection from the dead, and| a future state of im- 
mortal lifii; and happing : all which are brought to light by the gospel of Christ. 
And these are the sum and substance of supernatural theology, and the glory of it 
And whilst the apostles continued, and other ministers of the word raised up m 
Aeir times, these doctrines were held fest, and held forth with great clearness and 
perspicuity ; but as the historian says*, after the holy company of the apostles had 
ended their lives, and that generation was gone, which was worthy to hear the di- 
vine wisdom, then a system of impious error took place, through tlie deceit of false 
teachers 4 feke doctrine was attempted to be introduced, in opposition to the truth 
of the gospel, which had been preached ; not one of tlie apostles remaining to op- 
pose iL The doctrines of diviiiC revelation, Satan, by his emissaries, set himself 
m^s| to undermine and destroy, were the doctri. es of the Trinity ; the incarna- 
tion of Christ, of a vi^^n ; hb proper deity, as by some, and his real humanity, as 
kj others} hb etem^ Sonship, or hb being begotten of the Father before all worlds. 

^ Egcsippus apud. Euscb. Hwt. £ccl.l 3. c 3a. 

paii (HTROBirCTIOM. 

•Tbs fcfaool at AisnBdEia; fnm ythtnot aaaoe sefcral of the Chrisdaii doetoft, ai 
Pantaenos, Ckmcns, Origen^ Src served very much to comipc the simplicity of die 
fospel ; fyr d]0U|^ it mended thi^ Platonic phiiosophy, it maned the Chiistiaii 
doctrine ; and laid the foundation for Arianism and Pelagianism, which in after-timei 
to greatly dUturbed the church of God. As many of the frthen of the Christiaa 
fhurch were ori^nally P^;ansy they were better skilled in demolishing Pi^nism^ 
Ifaaa in building up Cbristianicy ; and indeed they set themselves more to destroy the 
•oe, than to illustrate and confirm the other : there was a purity in their lives, but a 
want of clearness, accuracy, and consistence in their doctrines : it would bf endless 
to relate how much the Christian doctrine was obscured by the heredcs th|t fote up 
in the h^cr port of the first century, and in tlie second, as well as after by Sabc^v 
HanSf Photinians, Samosaten|ans, Arians, Eutychians, Nestorians, Maccdoiiiiu)|| 
FeUgians, &c. though God was pleased to raise up instruments to stup their pror 
gress, and preserve the truth, and sometimes very eminent oneti at Athanasioa 
against die Arians, and Austin against the Pelagians. The gospel in its simplicity, 
through the power of divine gcace attending it, mside its way into the gentile world, 
in these first centuries, with great success ; and paganism decreased before it ; and 
which in the times of Constantii^e received a £ital blow in the Roman Empire ; and 
yet by degrees pagan rites and ceremonies were introduced into the Chribdan church ; 
and what with them, and errors in doctrine, and other things concurring, made way 
for the man of sin to appear ; and that mystery of iniquity, which had been secretly 
working from the times of die apostles, to shew its head openly $ and brought in 
the darkness of popery upon almost all that bore the Christian name. 

In the twelfth, thi^enth, and fou^^nth centuries, flourished a set of men 
called schoolmen ; these framed a new soit of divinity, called from them scholastic 
theology ; the first founder of which some make to be Damas^:ene, among the 
Greeks; and others Lanfranc, Archbish(^ of Canterbury, among the Ladns; 
though generally Peter Lpmbard is reckoned the father of these men ; who was fol- 
lowed by our countryman Alexander Hales ; and after him were Albertus Magnus, 
Bonaventure, and Thomas Aquinas ; and after them Duns Scotus, Durandus, and 
Otben; their divinity was founded ypon and confirmed by the philosophy of 
Aristotle ; and that not understood by them, and wrongly interpreted to them ; for 
as they could not read Aristotle in his own Unguage, the Greek, they were 
beholden to die Arabic interpreters of him, who led them wrong. Their thco* 
logy hy in contendous and litigious disputations ; in diomy questions, and subde 
distinctions ; and their whole scheme was chiefly dii-ected to support antichristiamsm, 
and the tenets of it; so that by dieir means popish darkness was the more in- 
creased, and Chriitian divimty was banished almost out of the world ; and wasonly 
. to be found among a few, among the Waldenses and Aibigenses, and the inhabitants 
of the valleys of Piedmont, and some part^kr penoos and their ^pHovirers, as 
WicklifF, John Huss, and Jerom of Pra^ ; and eo things continued till die refor- 
mation begun by Zuinglius and Luther, and carried on by o^ers^ by whose 
means evangelical light was spread through many nations in Europe ; die doctrines of 
ibe apostles were aevived, and supernatural tbe(J|o^oope more llited up its head; iie 
reformed churches published dieir confessions of ^th, and many eminent men wrote 
common places, and systems of diviiuty ; in which tfasy all agreed in the main^ to 

tttfRODUCTiofi* kxiii 

ini^DR die doctrines of reveladon ; as of the Trinity, and the Deity of the divint 
pcnoos in it, those of predestination and eternal election in Christ, of redemptioii 
\j him, pardon of sin by his blood, and justification by his righteousness. 
•But Satan, who envied the increasing light of the gospel, soon began to bestir 
iumself, andto play his old game which he had done with so much success in the first 
ages of Christianity ; having boen for a long time otherwise engaged, to nurse up^ 
tbe tntil of sin, and to bring him to the bright of his impiety and tyranny, and to 
support him in it : and now as his kingdom was like to be shook, if not subverted, by 
fbe doctrines of the reformation ; he, I say, goes to his old work again ; and revives 
Ae Sabellkn and Photinian errors, by the Socinians in Poland ; and tlie Pelagian er- 
rors, by the Arminians and remonstrants in Holland ; the pernicious influence of 
which has been'spread in other countries ; and, indeed, has dra-vn a veil over the glory 
of die refbrmadon, and the doctrines of it. And the doctrines of pure reveladon 
areahnost exploded ; and some are endeavouring to bring us, as fast as they can, uito 
a state of paganism, only somewhat refined : it is a day of darkness and gloomi- 
hess ; a day of clouds and of thick darkness ; the darkness is growing upon us, and 
night may be expected ; though for our relief it is declared, ** that at evening time it 
than be lighL'* Almost all the old heresies are revived, under a fond and fcx>lish 
Aodon of new light; when they are no other than what have been confuted over 
and over ; and men please themselves that they are their own inventions, when they 
are the devices of Satan, with which he has deceived men once and again ; and when 
men leave the sure word, the only rule of £puth and practice, and follow their own 
&ncies, and the dictates of their carnal minds, they must needs go wrong, and fall 
into labyrinths, out of which they cannot find their way : ** to the law and to the 
testimony, if they speak not according to this word, it is because ther«; is no light in 
them." Let us therefore search the Scriptures, to see whctiier doctrines advanced 
arc according to them or not, which I fear are little attended to. Upon the whole, 
*s ^ suggested at the beginning of this Introduction, I have but litde reason to think 
the following Work will meet with a favourable reception in general ; yet if it may 
be a means of preserving sacred truths, of enlightening the minds of any into them, 
or of establishing them in them, I shall not be concerned at what evil treatment I 
may meet with from the adversaries of theni ; and be it as it may, I shall have the 
satisfaction of having done the be:t I can for the promoting truth ; and of bearing a 
testimony to iL 





HAVINCj undertaken to wrltt a system of Theology, or a Body d( DoC« 
trinal Divinityi tod Theology being wiiing dbe dian a speaking of 
God, or a ^scournng cooceming him; his nature, names, perfeftioitt, aqii 
penoQS; his purposes, prondences, ways, worics^ and worl I shall bcgyi 
with die Bemg of Ood, an4 die proo^and evi^pce of it; which is the founda- 
doDof aS reli^OQ; for if there is no God, religion is a vain thing) and it mat* 
ters noc, neither What we believe, nor what we do ; since there is no superior 
Bring to whom we arc accountable for cither faith or pracdce. Some, because 
die Being of Cod is a first principle, which is not to be disputed; and because that 
there b one is a self-evident proposition, not to be disproved; have thought it 
should not be admitted^as a matter of debated' but since such is die malice of 
Satui, as to suggest the contrary to the minds of men; and such the badness of 
lome wicked men as to listen to it, and imbibe it; and such the weakness of 
(ame good men as to be harrassed and distressed with doubts about it, at times; 
it cannot be improper to endeavour to fortify our minds with reasons and ar-^ 
gmnentis against such suggestions and insinuations. 

My first argument to prove the Being pf a God, shall be taken firom the 
pneral consent of men of all nations, in all ages of the world; among whom the 
belief of it has universally obtained; which it is not reasonable to suppose would 
have obtained^ if it was not true. This has been observed by many heachen 
writers themselves. Aristotle says^, all men have a persuasion of Deity, or that 
dicrc is a God. Cicero observes^ " There is no nation so wild and savage, 
whose minds arc not imbued witli the opinion of the Gods; many entertain 

* So Aristotle itys, every problem ard proposuton is not to be disouted; they that doubt 
wlktber God utobe worshipped, and parenis iovei, are to be puntshco, and not disputed vriih* 
Tofic. 1. i« c. 9* ^Pc Coclo, 1« t. c* 3. *■ Tusculau. Q .cit. 1. 1. c 13. 



wrong notions of them ; but all suppose and own the divine power and nature.' 
And in another placc*^ he say<5, '* There is no animal besides man that has any 
knowledge of God; and of men there is no nation so untractablc and fierce, 
ahhoiigh it miy he ignorant what a G<xl it should have, yet is not ignorant 
that one should be had." And afl;ain% " It is the sense of all mankind, that it 
is innate in all, and is, as it were, engraven on the mind, that there is a God ; 
but what a one he is, in that thev varv ; but that he is, none denies." And to 
the same sense are the words ^ of Seneca, "There never was a nation so dis- 
solute and abandoned, so lawless and immoral, as to IvHeve there is no God." 
So -i'Eiianus* relates, "None of the baiharous nations ever fell into atheism, 
or doubted of the gods, whether they were or no, or whether they took care 
of human affairs or not; not the Indians, nor the Gauls, nor the Egj'ptians.** 
And Plutarcli '' has these remarkable words, " If you go over the earth, says 
he, you may find cities without walls, letters, kings, houses, wealth, and money, 
devoid of tlieatres and schools ; but a city without temples and gods, and where 
is no use of prayers, oaths, and oracles, nor s^rihces to obtain good or avert 
evil, no man ever saw." 'I'hc3c things were observed and said, when the 
true knowledge of God was in a great measure lost, and idolatry prevailed ; 
and yet even then, this was the general sense of mankind. In the first ages of 
the world, men universally believed in the true God, and worshipped him, as 
Adam and his sons, and their posterity, until the flood; nor does there appear 
any trace of idolatry before it, nor for some time after. The sins which 
caused that, and with which the world was filled, seem to be lewdness and un- 
cleanness, rapine and violence. Some think the tower of Babel was buUt for 
an idolatrous use; and it may Ix: that alx)ut that time idolatry was set up; as it 
is thought to have prevailed in the days of Serug: and it is very probable that 
when the greater part of the posterity of Noah's sons were dispersed throughout 
the earth, and settled in the distant pans of it; that as they were remote from 
those among whom the true worship of God was preser\ed; tliey, by degrees, 
lost sight ot the true G(xl, and foi-sook his worship; and this being the case, 
they began to worship the sun in his stead, and which led on to the worship of 
the moon, and the of heaven ; which seem to be the first objects of idolatrj-. 
This was as early as tlie tinies of Job, who plainly refers to it, ch. xxxi. 26, 27. 
And, indeed, when men had cast ofFthc true object of worship, what more natural 
to substitute in his room tlian the sun, moon, and stars, which were above them, 
visible by them, and so glorious in themselves, and so beneficial to the earth and 
men on it. Hence the people of Israel were exhorted to take care that their eyes 
were not ensnared at the sight of them, to fall down and worship them ; and 
which in after times they did, Deut. iv. 19. 2 Kings xxi. 3. It appears also 
that men took ^ ery early to the edif/ing of their heroes after death, their kings, 

•^DcLrglbuf,!, I. M3c Xalura D^orum, I. 2. 'Ep. 117. «Vir. Hill. I. s. C. Jl. 
So FLlo dc Lcgibus, 1. 10. p. 943. ^ Adv. Cglotcm, v^l.i. p. 1195. 


great pasonagcs, ciiher for llieir wiKclum ainl knowledge, or for their coiin^g" 
and valour, and manhal tN^'loits, and other thiiui;^; siiih were tlie Bel or Belus, 
of the Bab;ylci!ians; tlie iJaal-perT ot" t!ie Moahltesi and the Molech uf the 
Phoenicians; and'.thcrli -.ilin, lords, cr ki:u;s, meniioneJ in the scriptures: and 
sudiwercSatiir-i, Jiipiicr, ?\l■lr^, Mercury, Hercules; and the rest of the lahMe 
of the heathen deities ; a.i.l i.tdewd tlicir Lares an-l rcaatcs, or housh^dd »;;(.ds, 
were no other thiin ihe iiuaiv^s of iheir deLC;.:.e.l p.iier.ts, c»r more remote ances- 
tors, \vbt«&e niwinoiy ilvw revered; and in pr..\.»:s< ot time their deities becaiiUJ 
vers* numerous: they ii-ii 'ids many rnd loih maiiv: even wi:h the L.-ws, \vV»cn 
fiiicii into idolatry, thw*ir iM;d> were accoici i^ to the numbui' of ih^ir ci;i's, Jer. 
ii. 28. And as for the rrjutilv*, ihc*, ^vjr.^:i;p;>ed lihn'jct everv thiirjf ; not oi\W 
the sun, moon, and stars bjt :Iic c.irr'a, i:.-:, and water; and varitu'S sores of 
aniraals, as oxen, go<iis, ; -^l swir/j, ca;s and do\5Si the i'lbhcs of the livers, t!i3 
river-horse, and the croco^lii;:, tliose aiTipliilioUS cre.itLXwS; the fowls of the air, 
asthehuwk, stork, and ibi, ; andevc.i ins.a.*, the tiy; yea, creeping thinyjs, as 
seq)enLs, tlie beetle, &c. as also ve-;v.'£ui.L'5, onions, an-l garlic ; which occasioned 
thesatyrical' poet to say, suficua renri^ qulhus h.-r^- tun.uKtur hi hon'iSy matii'iuf 
Oholy nations, whose gods aie bord lii their ^ard^is! Nay, some have wor- 
shipped the devil himself, as bc/th \n ilv: I '..•.St and West Indie:. '^; and that for 
this reason, tiut he miglu r.ot hurt them. Xow though all this !>etrays the 
dreadful depravity of hunnn n.iturc; tlie wretched ignorance of mankind; and 
the sad stupidity men were sunk info; yet at the same time such shocking ido!- 
atrj', in all the branclvjs of it, is a full proof of the truth : nd force of my ar^;a- 
mcr.t, that all men, in ;:I1 a^^es and coiin-.ilco, huvi. jio.vse^svd of the notion 
of a God; since, railier ilun h.ivj. r.o CJ.J, -J icy h:i\-j clu)sen faKe ones; so 
dijply looted is a seii;>e of Dciiy ia l';j \\\\\v\s c^f liH men. 

I am sensible th;;l to thi;, II 1. «.! "'iM..:, tii.^c rJure have heei^, at diulrrent;, 
and in different coLimrics si..iiiL- pi:i:-.i:l:ii' wlio Iruc W\:\\ \.:c'.'»!u\l 
arhcists, deniers <'f the 'uln.^ o* :i (I -d. iviii .i^.xw of i!i'.-se isic.i v.<. 1 • (-"idv dcii • 
d-rsof thegods of thcii cuiiiiuv ; liuy mii-.iad i.: ili..-:n :is liuw.n.lw o; liu-iuii.r, 
a.> weak and insiifRcie:)! ro hJ^) liicii'. ; ;ivtIiL\ r.:i:.)iii!'!y m'.;.^hi ; juM a^ V.lljcih 
mocked at Baal, and his worsliirjirr .. a^.a i!i. v onmiwn p:opl.: because llu \ Sv> 
behaved towards their godi. U/.>:.tii i!;.-in .u.'.s, as iuh wKi didr/.: l;e- 
lievc there was any God. C) hv-> v . ? ^^.. .■.•. .mUwd, hi ui/^j tiiey {vJiidal ih.: 
gods from any concern with hu.*::.M I. :.:'■•- • :!i . .l\..uvh:i!i..'. v,'-. c»:*u: v jieu:u- 
ployed, and that such things wv;, 1.v....n ;.?':: iv.ij'.i ■. hiuIik ; l:i:v.ciiv'\^ui« i; •^/.m- 
dsur aiKl dignity to regard; ai.d i-.i \\\l.J\x :h'j Slliic sit.tiPu-i'L., :i-. Jii'me of ihe 
Je*.v&, Ezek. i\. 9. Zeph. i. 12. I'l.: ihtse men were nor diMiiers of the e>:istence 
of God, only of his providence as to the vS'. ir«^ of the world: and oihcrs have 
been rather practical than specuLtive athci^i^, iv. rht fv-ol In I's. \iv. i. who not 
only live as if tlicrc was no God ; but wi^a i\\ vLl ii hcaris tlieie \va6 none, raai'ii 

* Ji;\cx»l. Satyr. 15. v. 10. * Pctfr Martvr de ^.' r'n:.-.. D-r.-d. 1. 1. 9. Vartnimn. Na. 

^iCit. !. «. c, IS. 23. and 1. 6. C. 16. g/. ' Plutaic;.. J.c I';..;':i fhi! faph. 1. 1. c 7 


dnm bdieve there is none ; diat so diey might take dieir fill of sin, without being 
accountable to a superior being. The number of real speculadvc atheists haw 
been very fewy if any ; somehaveboldlyassertedtheirdisbdief of agod; btititit 
a question whether their hearts and mouths have agreed ; at least they have not been 
able to maintain their unbelief long " without some doubts and fears. And at fikOiC 
this only shews how much the reason of man may be debased; and how kiW it 
may sink when left to itself: these few instances are only particular^sccpriBftS tt> 
a general rule; which is not destroyed thereby, being contrary tothe Oomnon 
sense of mankind; even as it is no sufficient objection to the definition of man, as 
a rational creature, that there is now and then an idiot bom of hit race, so not to 
the general belief of Deity, that there is now and then an adieist in die worid. 

It is further objected, that there have been whole nations in Africa and America, 
who have no notion of Deity. But this is what has not been suiRciendy proved ; 
it depends upon the tesdmonies of traveUers, and what one affirms, another de- 
nies; so that nothing can with certainty be concluded from them. ** I should 
rather qtiestipn, says Herben, Lord Cherbury ", whether the light of the stm has 
shone on the remotest regions, than that the knowledge of die S upr eme Being is 
hidden from them ; since the sun is only conspicuous in its own sphere ; but the 
Supreme Bebg is seen in every thing. Diodorus Siculus* says, a fi^w of die 
Ethiopians were of opinion there was no God ; tliough before he had represented 
them as the first and most religious of all nadons, as attested by all andquity* The 
Hottentots, about the Cape of Good Hope, have been instanced in, as without aiiy 
knowledge of Deity : and certainly they are a most beastly and brutish people'that 
can be named, and the most degenerate of die human species, and have survived 
die common instincts of humanity i"; yet, according to Mr. Kolben's account of 
them, published some years zgp% they appear to have some sense of a Supitmt 
Being, and of infierior deides. They express a supersddous joy at new and fnU 
moons; and it is said they pray to a Being that dwells above; and offer sacrifice 
of the best things they have, with eyes lifted up to heaven ^ . And later discoveries 
of other nadons, shew the contrary to what has been asseitedof them; which as* 
serdons have arose either from want of indmate knowledge of them, and familiar 
acquaintance widi tfaem,or fixnn their dissolute, wicked and ineligious lives ; when, 
by conrersing with them, it appears that diey have a nodon of the sun, or sky, 
orsomediingoranodierbeing a sort of deity. Thus it has been observed of the 
Greenlanders*, diat " they had neither a religion nor idolatrous worship ; nor so 
much as any ceremonies to be perceived tending to it : hence the fine missionaries 
entertained a supposidon, diat there was not the least trace to be found among 

■ Plaio obtcrfCi, that do ma that embraced tfiis opinion from bu yooth» that tbcrc ia o* 
G«d, cfcr continued in it to old age, De Legibui, 1. lo. p. 947. " Oe Relig. Gent, c as- 

y. tts. •Biblioih. 1. 3. p. 14S. F See the Philos. Traoaact. Abrid. Vol. 5. part t. p. 15^ 
i See Dr. Wmu*« Strength and Weakncaa of bnnan reaaon. Vol. II. of hia worka, p. t6t. Set. 
f SCO Oviaston'a Voyage 10 Snrat, p. 489, 498, and Dampier'a Voyagch VoL I. p. 541, 
*Crantx'a Hiatory of Grecalaodi Vol. I. b. 3. cb. j. p. 199. 198. 


tUtok of any concepdon of a divine Being, especially sis they had no wovl to 
ttpiess him by* But when diey came to undcrscaiid their ian^ia^^c beitor, they 
iMlod<|Qit!e the lerene to be true^ from die notions they had, though very vagv9 
and irarioufi, concerning the soul, and concerning spirits ; aiul aUo from ticir 
uakHtt solicitude about the state after death. And nut onlv so, but thcv could 
|Udy gadier from a free dialogue they had with some pcrfc£l)y wild Grccnlauu* 
en, ifaat thdr ancestors must have believed a supfLmc Bcin|^, aud did ivuiler hint 
loras service; which dieir posterity neglected by lictle aiul hiilo, the Tuidicr thvy 
not remo ve d from more wise and civilized n:^rions ; till at last they lost every ju:^ 
€ODoq»tion of die Deity ; yet, after all, it i^ i):ianiiest, th:it a faliu id^x of a divine 
Being lies conceilcd in the minds even of dils pe< pie, because they dircifUy a^sei«C 
widMmt any ob)e£tion, to the doctrine of a Gcd, and his attributiis.*' And as 
to what is conchxled from the irreligious lives of the inhabitants of some na« 
doiiSt ¥rt need not be sent to Africa and America for such atheists a^ these; we 
hive enough cf them in our own nation; and I was just ready to say, we are a 
ntkm of aArists in this sense : and, indeed, all men in v.i\ unrcr^enerate staiei be 
diey Jewt or Gentiles, or live where diey may, they are o^ec;, atheists i as the 
apoede calls diem, Eph. ii. la. they are ** without God in the world, being 
mimmmimA from thc life of God,** ch. iv. 1 8. otherwise there is such a general sense 
sf deity in mankind; and such a natural inclination to reli^on, of some sort or 
r, diongh ever so bad, that some have thought thu^ man should rather be 
I a religious than a rational animal. I take no notice of the holy angels, 
idm worship God continually ; ncr of the devils, who believe there is one God 
tad tremble ; my argument being only concerned with men. 

The second argument shall be taken from the law and light of nature ; or from 
die gjeneral instinct in men, or impress of Deity on the mind of every man ; that 
is as soon as he begins to have the exercise of his rational powers, he thinks and 
spesks of God, and assents to the Being of a God. This follows upon the ibr-» 
mer, and is to be proved by it ; for as Cicero' says, ** l*he consent of ail nations 
in any thing, is to be reckoned dke law of nature." And since all nations a^ee 
in the belief of a Deity, that must be a part of the law of nature, inscribed on die 
heutof every man. Seneca" makes use of this to prove there is a God; " be- 
cause, says he, an opinion or sense of Deit}s is implanted in tlie minds of all 
men." And so likewise Cicero, as observed before ; and vk'fao calls them the no* 
dons of Deity implanted and innate. And whoever believes the Mosaic accoiuit 
of die creation of man, cannot doubt of this lK:ing his cas^c, when tirst created; 
iinoe he is said to be made in tlie image, and after thc iik;^ness of Gcd; for the 
image ilf God surely could not be impressed upon him, witliout having the k no w- 
kdge of him inqplanted in him; and though man by sinning has greatly cnme 
ihoit of this image, and glory of God, yet this light of nature is not wlioUy ob- 
scuredi nor the law of nature entirely obliterated in him ; there are some remaii s 
of it. There are some indeed among us, who deny there cue any innate ideas in 

\ Uc fnpra. ^ Ut fupra. 


the minds of men, and particularly concerning God : but to such writers and realf 
soners I pay hut litdc reir^rd ; wiicn the inspired apostle assures us, chat even tb% 
Gentiles, dc^stitute of the law of Aloses, have t!;c iuork of the law ivritUn inthei^ 
hearts^ Rom. ii. 15. which, as it regards duty to God, as well as man, necessari- 
ly supposes the knowledge of him ; as well as of tlie dilieieik.e between good and 
evil, as founded upon his nature and will: And though this light of nature is not 
lufficlent to lead men in their present state, to a true, spiritual and saving know- 
ledge of Gnd; yet it furnishes them with such a sense of him, as puts diem upon 
seeking him ; ^^ if haply they may feel and gT0[>e after him, and find hiiu,*' AdU 
x\ ii. 27. Ihce notices of a divine Being do not fluw from the previous instruc- 
tions of parents and others \ but from a natural instin^l ; at most, they arc only 
drawn forth by instrLifiion and teaching; "that there is a Dtity, VcUciua, the 
Epicurean, says\ nature itself has impressed the notion of, on the miiuUof all 
men; Ut what niiticu, vi jort of, he, thai haG not a certain anticipation 
of it without being targht it," or btfoie uuight ii, as Julian* expresses it: nor do 
these notices take their rise from sta te -policy ; or aic the eflc-dts of that original- 
ly : if this was the case, if it was the contrivance of poliricans to kerpir.eii in awe, 
and under subjection, it must be the contrivance of one man, or more united to- 
gether. If of one, say, who is the man? in whut age he Ii\ed, andwhcief and 
what is his name, or his sons names f If of more, say, v. hen uud where they ex.- 
isted? and who they weie tiiat met together? and whe:e they formed this s che m e? 
And let it be accounted for, if it can ; that such a number of sage and wide nKOp 
who have been in the world; that no man thould be oMc to get into the secset* 
and dctefl tlie fallacy and discover it, and free men from ilir mi] >or>ition. Besides^ 
these notices appeared beCoie any schcn:c of politics was formed ; or kings or civil 
xr.agistraies were in being. Plato '^ has refused this notion; and represents it 34 
a very pestilent one, bcth in private and in public. Nor are these notices by tradiv- 
tion from one to another; since traditions are peculiar to certain people: the 
Jc^s had theirs, and so had the Gentiles ; and particular natioXiS among them had 
separate ones from each other : but thef e are common to ail mankind : nor do they 
spring from a slavish fear and dread of punishment; for though it has been said', 
that fear makes gods, or produces a notion of Deity ; tlie contrary is tniei thdt 
Deity produces fear, as will be seen in a following argument. 

Under this head may be obscned the innate desire^ of men after lia[ipiness^ 
which are so boundless as not to be satisfied, l^tt a man have ever so great a 
compass of knowledge and understanding ; or possess ever so large a portion of 
wealth and riches ; or be indulged with tlic gratincaiion of his sensed to the highest 
degree ; or enjoy all tiie pleasure tlie whole creation can afford him ; yet after 
all, according to the wise man, the conclusion of the whole is, all is vanity and 
Vixation of spirit^ Eccles. ii. 17. Now tiiese desires are not in vain iniplanted, 

^ Apud Ciceron. de Natura Dcorum, 1. 1. *Apud Grotium de jure Belli, 1. 1. c. 90. •• 4^ 
Anuotat. in ibid. p. 334. 7 Pe Lcgibus, 1. 10. p. 948. ' Fiimui iooibt Dcot fecit iimof» 
Sutii Thcbaid. 1. 3. v» 66t« 

Book L or the being of god. 7 

Acre muift be an object answerable unto rhem ; a perfect Being, which is no 
oiher than God, who is the first caii'se arid last end of all things, of whom the 
Psalmist says^ Whom have J In keavvn but ihcc? and there h none on earth my 
Kuidtsires besides t/iee. Psalm Ixxiii. 25. 

The tliird argument proving the Being of God, shall be taken from the works 
of creation; concerning which the apostle says, t/:e invUible things of God^ from 
ike creation of the world, are clearly seen ; bc'ny^ understood lyjhc th':np that are 
Ruir, even his eternal power and Godhead^ Rom. i. 20. Phitarch % in answer t« 
a question, Whence have men the knowlcd^'^c of God ? rcplic*^, "Ihcy first re- 
ceive the knowledge of him from the beauty of thin;;s th:it a|)pcar ; for nothinp 
beautifiil is made in vain, nor hv chance, but wrouc^ht with son^e .nrt; that the 
world is beautiful, is manifest from the figure, the colour, and magnitude of it; 
and fiDm Ac variety of stars alx)ut the world." And these so clearly display the 
Being and power of God, as to leave the heathen without excuse, as the apostle 
cfcscTvcs; and as this, and other instances, shew. Most admirable was the rea- 
loning of a wild Greenlandcr^, which he declared to a commissionary to be the 
Tcaioning of his mind before his conversion ; "It is true, said he to him, we were 
ignorant heathens, and knew nothing of God, or a Saviour; and, indeed, who 
ihoDldtell us of him till you come? but thou must not ifnagine that no Grecn- 
famder thinks about these things. I mvsclfhiive often thought; akajak (a boat) 
widi all its tackle and implements, does not grow into existence of itfclf, but must 
faemade by the labour and ingenuity of man ; and one that docs not understand it, 
woakl direflly spoil it. Now the ircjncst biid has far more skill displayed in its 
anicture, than the best kaj.Lk ; and ikj n^.-jii can make a bird: But there is still a fai* 
greater art shewn in the formation of a man, tlian of any otlier creature. Who 
was it that made him? I bethought me that he proceeded from his parents, and 
they from their parents; but some must have hcizw the first parents; whence did 
they come ' c jrimon repon informs me, they frrc w out of the earth : but if so, why 
iocs it not still happen that men grow out of tLc earth? and from whence did this 
lame earth itself, the sea, liic sun, the moo.i, and stars, arise into existence ? Cer- 
tainly there mui«t l^e some E^ing w!..) made all rlijse things; a Being that always 
was, and can never cfusc to be. li.: must b.' :pf*x*Messibly more mighty, know- 
ing, and wise, than the wises: mri!i. Ht; must. i:c verv sfood coo, because (hat evo- 
ry thing that he has mndr is crooJ, i)sc;fV«], ar/J necessary for us. Ah, did I but 
know him, how would I lovc* lii:n iiiy'l h.'?noi:r him ! tJut who has seen hitn ? who 
has ever conversed with him r None 0^ ws poor men. Yet there may be men too 
that know something of him. O rhar I couli hut spjak witli such! therefore, 
said he, as soon as ever I heard you spealc of t^iis !<i oa: l]i.'i;i^, I believed ii directly, 
^ith all my heart; because I had so Ion 2, d»:is!r!;J t ^hjarii.'* A glaring proof 
diis, that a supreme Be: n~, the r :\%rc:iusc of ail li:: i-^.s. i>to be concluded from the 
^I'orks of creation. 'I lic notion of l!:c eternity c i' the world, has been imbibed by 
Some heathens but sufT.riL-niJy ( cm ■uccl bv otl:'jni. A pd even Arisrotle, to whom 

f De Piaciiis i'liilu.S;*;!. I. ! . c. C. p. H-7. '' Cr.'iUz'* Iliitory vf Greenland, ui fupra. 


i^ is ascribed, assem^ that '*it was an ancient doctrine, and what all nwa ic cci fri 
irom their ancestors ; that all things are of God, and consist hj him." And dioaB 
Alt bdieve the di\>ine revelation, cannot admit of any other doctriiiBi tnit fimit 
oqdode the notion of the etemicy of the worid, and of its being of itself i ainoe that 
assures us, that in tht beginning Go J cnatid the heavens and the earth : also dnC 
att dungs were made, not of things which do appear^ but out of nothing. Gen. i. I. 
KAb xi. ^ for, be it, that the heavens and th« eardi were made out of a chaos, or 
ant of preexistent matter ; it may be reasonably asked, out of what was die preex- 
ittint matter made ? the answer must be, out of nothing : since it was by ci:eation» 
iriiich is the production of something out of nothing; and which can ntver be 
fcrfbrmed by the creature ; for out of nothing, nothing can be made by diat. |f 
Aerefore all things are originally produced out of nothing, it must be by one dul 
is almighty, whom we righdy call God: No creature can produce itself i diit Vf 
tpolves such contradidions as can never be admitted; for ifien a creature miMt bi 
before itwas; as that which makes must be before that which is made: itmuttacc 
end operate before it exists ; and be and not be at one and the same times iwfaicb 
ere sQcb ^ring contradictions, as sufficiendy confute the creature's T"*^'nc tt- 
tetf ; and therefore its being must be owing to another cause ; even to God» the 
Creatw; for between a creature and God, there is no medium: and if it cooU be 
diought or said, that the most excellent creatures, men, made themselves ; 
die above contradicdons, which would be implied, it might be asked, why did 
diey make themselves wiser and better; since it is certain, they have knowled^ 
of beings superior to them ? and how is it that they know so litde of themajdves^ 
ctdicr of their bodies or their souls, if both were made by them ? and why are they 
Slot able to preserve themselves fh>m a dissolution to which they are aU subject? 
It may be further observed ; that effects, which depend upon causes in subocdioar 
don to one another, cannot be traced up ad infinitum*; but must be reduced te 
some first cause, where the inquiry must rest ; and that first cause is God. Now 
bere is an ample field to survey; which furnishes out a variety of objects, and 
all proofs of Deity. Tliere is nothing in the whole creation the mind can 
contemplate, the eye look upon, or die hand lay hold on, but what proclaims 
die Being of God. When we look up to the heavens ^ above us; the siny 
founding atmosphere; the air in which we breathe, which compresses our 
earth, and keeps it together; the fluid sether, and spreading sky, bespangled 
with stars of light, and adorned with the two great luminaries, the sun and mooDt 
especially the former, that inexaustible fountain of light and heat; and under 
whose benign influences, so many things are brought forth on earth; whose cir« 
cuit is &om one end of the heaven to the other; and there is nothing hid from 
the heat thereof: when we consider its form, magnitude, and viitue^ its proper 

* De Mundo, c. 6. * ayuftrtfrnt h aiumm «; ctcriifov iimii, Ariftot. MeUpkytic* L ta c. •• 
* Quit csttam vccors, ^ui am cum suspexerit in coelum deos esic noQ lentiit. Cicero. OrcU J0k 
DeHarufp. rrsp. *'j^ Puto dc L^gibaI, 1. la. p. 999. Zaicucus apud Diodor. Sicul. 1. tt* p^il* 
Kd. Rbodamaa. 

Book I. or THE BEINC OF GOD. 9 

Sstance from us, being not so near us as to scorch us ; nor so remote as to be 
oftio use to us; the motion given it at first, in which it has proceeded without 
ttopping, but once as is suppa^cd^ in the days of Joshua ; a motion it has had 
now almost six thousand years ; the course it has steered, and steers, so that all 
pats of the cmh, at one season or another, receive benefit by it ; and the way it 
bsbeen guided in, without varying or erring from it all this while. Whoever 
Ttflects on these things, must acknowledge it to be the work of an all-wise and 
almighty agent, we call God; and that it must be upheld, guided and directed by 
Iris hand alone. When we take a view of the earth, of the whole terraqueous 
globe, hanging on nothing, like a ball in the air, poized wltli its own weight ; the 
different parts of it, and all disposed for the use of man; stored with immense 
ridics in the bowels of it, and stocked with inhabitants upon it ; the various sorts 
of animals, of different forms and shapes, made, some for strength, some for 
twifmess, some for bearing burdens, and others for drawing carriages, some for 
fcod, and others for cloathing: the vast variety of the feathered tribes that cut 
Aedr; and the innumerable kinds of fishes that swim the ocean. The consi- 
deration of all this will oblige us to say, Lordy thou art Gody which hast made 
tke heaven J earth j and sea-, and all that in them is. Acts. iv. 25. in short, there 
is not a sheH in the ocean, nor a sand on the shore, nor a spire of grass in the 
field, nor any flower of different hue and smell in the garden, but what declare the 
Being of God : but especially our own composition is deserving of our notice • 
iic fiibric of the body, and the faculties of our souls. The body, its form and 
shape; whilst other animals look do\vnwards to the earth, os homini sublime dcdit 
DeuSj as the poet saysS man as a lofty countenance given him, to behold the 
heavens, to lift up his face to the stars; and for what is this erect posture given 
him, but to adore his Creator? And it is remarkable that there is a natural in- 
fcinct in men to lift up their hands and eyes to heaven, when either they have 
received any unexpected mercy, by way of tliankfiilness for it ; or are in any 
peat distres*:, as supplicating deliverance from it: which supposes a divine Being, 
to whom they owe the one, and from whom they expect the other. The several 
parts and members of the body are so framed and disposed, as to be subservient to 
one another ; so that the eye cannot say to the hand, I have no need of thee ; nor the 
head to the feet, I have no need of you. The same may be observed of the other 
members- The inward parts, which are weak and tender, and on which life 
fliudi depends, were they exposed, would be liable to much danger and hurt; but 
titx are cloathed with skin and flesh, and fenced with bones and sinews ; and 
every bone, and every nerve, and every muscle, are put in their proper places. All 
die organs of the senses, of sight, hearing, smelling, tasting, and feelinri:, are 
most wonderfully fitted for the purposes for which they are made. Galen an 
ancxeot noted physician, being atheistically inclined, was convinced of his impi- 
«qr by barely considering the admirable structure of the eye ; its various humours, 

'Of id. Mctamorph. 1. i. fib. a. v. 84, 85. Vid.Ciccroncm de NaLura Deorum, I. a. Hence 

ilf Greeks call auft •v^fwToy, from bis looking upward 1, Lactaac. deOrig. err. 1.2. c s. 
VOL. I. C 

10 OF THE B£1N0 OF GOD. 

tunicSi and provision for its defence and safety. Tbe various operations perform* 
ed in our bodies, many of which are done without our knowledge or vnil, are; 
enough to raise the highest admiration in us; as the circulation of the blood 
through all parts of the body, in a very small space of time ; the respiration of 
tbe lungs; the digestion of the food; the chylification of it; the mixing of the 
chyle with the blood ; tlie nourishment thereby communicated ; and which is 
sensibly perceived in the several parts of the body, and even in the more remote; 
which having been weakened and enfeebled by hunger, thii^t, and labour, are 
in an instant revived and strengthened; and the accretion and growth of parts 
by all tliis. To vlhich may be added other things worthy x>f notice; the facul- 
ty of speech, peculiar to man, and the organs of it; the features of their faces; 
and the shape of their bodies, which all dl.Fcr from one another; the constant 
supply of animal spirits ; the continuance of the vital heat, which outlasts fire 
itself; the slender threads and small fibres spread throughout the body, which 
hold and perform their office seventy or eighty years running: all which, when 
considered, will oblige us to say, with the inspired Psalmist, / am fearfully and 
wofiderfully made ; marvellous are thy usrh ; and that my soul kno%JLeth right 
uell: and will lead us to a6cnbe this curious piece of workmanship to no other 
than to the divine Being, the God of all flesh living ^ 

But the soul of man, the more noble part of him, more fully discovers the 
original author of him'' ; being possessed of such powers and faculties that none 
but God could give: it is endowed with an understanding, capable of receiving 
and framing ideas of all things knowable, in matters natural, civil, and religious; 
and with reason, to put these together, and compare them with each other, and 
discourse concerning them ; infer one thing from another, and draw conclusions 
from them: and with judgment, by which it passes sentence on things it takes 
cognizance of, and reasons upon; and determines for itself what is right or 
wrong ; and so eitlicr approves or disapproves : it has a mind susceptive of what 
is proposed unto it ; it can, by instruction or study, learn any language ; culti- 
vate any art and science ; and, with the help of some geographical principles, can 
travel over the globe, can be here and there at pleasure, in the four parts of the 
world; and in a short time, visit every city of note therein, and describe the 
situation of every country, witli their religion, manners, customs, &c. it can 
xtBcQ. on tilings past, and has a foresight of, and can forecast and provide for 
things to come : it has a will, to accept or reject, to embrace or refuse, what k 
proposed unto it; with the greatest freedom of choice, and with the most abso* 
lute power and sovereignty: It has afie£lions, of love and hatred, joy and grief, 
hope and fear, &c. according to the different objedls it is conversant with, Theie 
is also the conscience, which is to a man as a thousand witnesses, for luin or 
against him ; which, if it performs its office as it shouiddo, will accuse hiiaiRbea 

■ Sec aa excellent treatiieof Or. Nieowentyt, catM, The Religtotti Philoioph«rs ia which 
the Being and Perfefiiont of God are demonurated from the worki of creation, in a very grMt 
irariety of iutancea. ^ So Plato prof ct tbe Being of God from the loul of maO| dc Lcgibvt, p. gigfL 


he docs ill, and commend, or cxcu5e him, when he does well ; and from hence 
ari^c cither peace of mind, or dread of punishment, in some shape or anot!*er, 
cither here or hereafter: To which mav be added, the memorj', which i« a «^')^e- 
hou!8C of collections of things thought to be most valuable and useful ; where they 
are hid up, not in a confused, but orderly manner ; so as to be called for and ta- 
ken out upon ocrifion : here men of every character and profession lay rp their 
several stores, to hnve recourse unto, and fetch out, as their case and circum- 
stances may require. And besides this, there is the fancy or imagination, which 
can paint and describe to itself, in a lively manner, objects prcs?iucd to it, and it 
has entertained a conception of; yea, it can fancy and imagine things that never 
were, nor never will be : and, to (.bsenc no mc re, there is the po^^er of inven- 
don; which in some is more, in others less fertile; which, on a sudden, supplies 
wiA what is useful in case of an emergency. But above all, the soul of man is 
that wherein chiefly lay the image and likeness of God, when man was in his puie 
and innocent state; and though i: is now sadly depraved by sin, yet it is capable 
of being renewed by the spirit of God, and of hiving the grace of God implant- 
ed in it, and is endowed with immortality, and cannot die : now to whom can 
such a noble and excellent creature as this owe its original, but to the divine licing, 
who may, with great propriety be called, the Father of spirits, the Lord, tlie 
JefaoTah, who formeth the spirit of man within him. 

The fourth argument will be taken from the sustcntation and government of 
the world; the provision made for the supply of creatures, and especially of man, 
and for his safety. As the world, as we have seen, is made by a divine llcing, so 
by him it consists. Was there not s^ich an almighty Bei»:g, " wlio upholds nil ' 
things by the word of his power," they v. ..!'ld sink and full. Did he not bear up 
the pillars of the earth, they would trcmbi*: aiici sh-tke, and not be able to bear its 
weight: the most stately, firm, and well-built pal jc, vnlcs? r^-paiied and main- 
tained, will fall to decay and ruin; and so the grand and niaguihccr.l building of 
Ais world, would soon be dissolved, (-id not the divine agent that \v.i\de it, keep it 
up : as he that built all things is God, so he that supp(»rts the izl^nc of the uni- 
vcne must be $o too; no less than an almighty hand can prcser\-e and continue 
it; and which has done ii, without any visible appcaiance of age or decay, for al- 
most SIX thousand years ; and though there is such a vast number of creatures in 
the world, besides men, the benvts of the field, and ** the cattle on a thousand hills," 
die fowk of the air, and the fishes of the sea ; there is food provided for ihem all, 
and they have " every one their portion of meat in due season : " and a«: f<;r m-an* 
he is richly provided for, with a plenty and variety of all food ;hin^s; rot only 
for necessity, but for delight; every man has a nadc, busincri^, aid cmplovmcnt 
of life; or is put into such a situation and circuir.'t niccs, thi't. with care, dili- 
gence, and industry, he may have enou^'li for himj.d!';Uid family, muI lo h\):\rQ • 
the earth produces a variety of things for food and driiik fi^r hlin ; nid o? ,>tVi<'is 
hf medicine, for the continuance of health, and restoru'ion c' it. And can all this 
\t without the caic, providence, and interposition of u wlie aiul abiii^ihty Being' 


Can these ever be thought to be the tefFects of blind ch?ncc and fortune? Is it 
not plain and clear, that God iiereby «* has not left himself without a witness of 
his existence, and providence, in that he does good to all his creatures, and gives 
rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons; filling mens hearts with food and glad- 
ness; " and continuing the certain and constant revolutions of " summer and. 
winter, seed-time and harvest ;" as well as night and day, cold and heat ; all which 
have their peculiar usefulness and advantages to human life ; and cannot be at-, 
trlbuted to any thing else than the superintendcncy of the divine Eeing. 

And as there is a provision made for the wants of men, so for their safety : werc;^ 
it not that God had put the fear of man upon the wild beasts of tlie field, and ihe- 
dread of him in them, there would be no safecy for him, especially in some parts, 
of the world; and had he not put a natural instinct into them to avoid the habita-. 
tions of men, and to report to woods and desarts, and dwell in uninhabited places;, 
to prowl about for their prey in the night, and in the morning return to their cave$. 
and dens, and lurking-places; when men go forth to their work, they would, 
be in the utmost danger of their lives: yea, were it not for tlie overruling pro-, 
vidence of God, which governs the world, and restrains the lusts of men, Aom9^ 
esset homlni lupus \ " one man would be a wolf to anorlier ;" neither life nor pro-. 
perty would be secure; but must fall a p?cy to the rapine and violence of pow-. 
erful oppressors. Human laws, and civil magLstracy, do sometlnag to restraia 
men, but not every thing; notwithstanding these, we see what outrages are 
committed; and how grralcr still would be d; ir nuniLii, was it not for the in- 
terposition of divine providence : and even it is O'.r inj to a divine Being that 
there are human forms of government, and political fchemes framed, and laws; 
made for the better regulation of mankind, and ihjse continued; for it is by him, 
kings reign, and princes decree justice: and particularly, was it not for a divine, 
agency, such is the rage and malice of Satan, and his principalities and powers, 
whose numbers fill the surrounding air; and who go about our eartli like roar-, 
ing lions, seeking whom they may devour; were they not chained by 
almighty power, and limited by the providence of God, the whole race of mea 
woi'.ld be destroyed by them, at least the godly among tliem. 

The fifth argument may be taken from the uncommon heroic actions, prodigies, 
wonders, and miraculous things done in the world ; which cannot be thought to be 
done without a superior and divine influence. Heroic actions, such as that of 
Abraham, who, with three hundred houshold-servants, pursued after, and engageJi 
with four kings wlio had beaten five before, and recovered the goods they had. 
taken away : of Shamgar, who fought with and killed six hundred Philistines 
with an ox-goad: and of Samson, who slew a tliousand of them with the jaw- 
bone of an ass : of Jonadian, and his armour-bearer, who attacked and took a» 
garrison of the same people, and thiew a whole army of theirs into a panic and 
confusion; who had been for some time a tenor to the whole land of Israel:, 
and of David, a stripling, fighting with and conquering Goliath, a monstrous 
giant. These are scripture-instances s and if scripture is only regarded as a com^ 


mon history, these merit our notice and credit, as any of tlie relations in pro- 
fane hisicr}' ; in which arc recorded the niari;n'anlnious actions of heroes, kings, 
arjd generals of armies; their \voiii!;:iud succejscs, and amazing conquests; as 
of the Babylonians, Persians, Grecians, md Romans ; which made such soraii^'^s 
molutions and changes in kin^dums and states; all which can never be suppo- 
sed to be done w ithout supci ior power, mid the ovcrnding, influencing provi- 
dence of the divine Being; who inspiied men to dt) thiiv^s beyond their natural 
sldll and courage: prodit^ics, strange and wondfjifnl c\r:irs; for wliJch no natu- 
ral cause can be assigned; such as the stranp;c .^i^rhts seen in the air, and voices 
beard in tlie temple, before the dc^^tructiun c f Jtrrrsalcm; with other things, re- 
htedby Jo^ephus*, and confirmol by 'raci;us^, an heathen hi.stoiian; to which 
iliightbe added, many others, which histoiics abound ^viih: but besides these, 
things really miraculous have been wrought, such as are not only out of, and 
beyond the course of nature, but contrary to it, and to the settled laws of it; such, 
u me miracles of Moses and the prophets, and of Chiist and his apostles; which; 
arc recorded in the scriptures; and others in human writings; which are so well 
attested as oblige us to give credit to them : now, though these were not done to 
{irove a divine Being; which needs them not; yet they necessarily sup2K>se one, 
bj" whose power alone they are. performed. 

The sixth argument may bo Tcirmed from the prophecies of coniin^^mt future 
event?, and the exact fuhilment of them. TKib is wiiat is challen. *i'\ an*l re- 
quired from heathen deiticf, to prove tlieir li/iii to such a civaractw-r ; as being 
what none but God can do : Let them brin'; foiih and shew us what hh-^il h-'-ppen : 
or declare us thinrs for to conic: sh'jw the thiiy-s that aio t. coi-iL heieiJter; that 
we miy know ih^t ye are gods': wliich ia vvnat i.onc hvic ihi- crv.e (Sl'I can do, 
aiid has done; and which bi^i.v^ done, prov'js there is a Go<K anvl one th:.t Is 
truly so; instances of which tLcrc arc mafiv in tlic sacicd vvrlii;!^:;; pii.plixl^^^s 
which relate both to particular persons 'jm-.i ro whulc kingdoms and states; wh'cli 
have had their exact accomplishment; i^ur not 10 inisl on these, since ih^sc '.v!io 
arc aiheistically inclined, disbelieve ;he (.L\'ne revel;uion; let it he ohrci\-e(', ijivt 
tiio heathens have had their auguries, soot^ii.i.yi.i-s, divlnailonr, a'ul oracicj; b;/ 
tv!:ich pretentions have been made to f';ic'el {"::". nrc events. Tnat there is such 
a thing as divination, is baid to be ccmfirn*.c(i by 'lie c:>r:*^cnt of ail nations; and 
Is explained of a prescnsi^n and knowledi^e ol fuiure thiin^s"': nov» this beino 
granted, it may be reasoned upon, that it" there is a fc^cieiling of fuiure thinr;s> 
which certainly come to pa<^s, there must be a Cod, since non;i but a!i omnis- 
cient Being can, with certainty, foretel what shviii tome to pa<:'s which docs not 
(iepend on neccssar/ causes, and cannot be -'jrcfeen by the c^uiekcst siglit, and 
sharpest wit, and sagacity of a creature. 

The seventh argument may be ui :jea from ti\c fears of men, and the tortures 
of a guilty conscience, and the dread of a fiuurc state. Some are terribly af- 

' Dc Beilo Jud. 1. 6. c. 5. f. 3. '^ Hist. I. 5 . ۥ 13. Ui4i<ih xh. ?i, %a. <>*Ciccrode 
D'.viuAiiooe, !• 1. c, t. &de Lcgibus, I. 2. 


frighted at thunder and lightening, as Caligula, the Roman Emperor, used to be; 
who, at such times, would hide himself in, or under his bed; and yet this 
man set himself up for a god. Now these fears and frights arc not merely on 
account of the awful sound of the thunder, and the dreadful flashes of lighten- 
ing; but because of the divine and tremendous Being who is supposed to send 
them : the Heathens were sensible that thunder is the voice of God, as the 
fcriptures represent it, and therefore called their Jove, 'Jupiter tonam ; " the 
diundering Jupiter." Many have been so terrified in their consciences on ac- 
count of sin, that they could get no rest, nor enjoy peace any where, or by 
any means: as Cain, under the terrors of an evil conscience, fancied that 
^ every one that found him would slay him :" and those wicked traitDre,- 
Catiline and Jugurtha ; and those wicked emperors, those monsters in im- 
piety, Tiberius and Nero", and especially the latter, who was so tortured in 
his conscience, as if he was continually haunted by his mother's ghoit, and 
by furies with burning torches : and Hobbes, our English atheist, as he was 
reckoned, was wont to be very uneasy when alone in the dark : and Epicunif, 
the philosopher, though he taught men to despise death, and out-brave it; 
yet, when he perceived that he himself was about to die, was most terribly 
frighted ; and this has been the caJse of many others : bold and strong spirits, 
as atheistical persons love to be called, have been sometimes found to be very 
timorous and fearful. And, indeed, this is natural to all men, and which is a 
proof of a superior Being. Thus a wild Greenlander ^ argued, before he had 
knowledge of the true God : ^^ Man has an intelligent soul, is subject to no 
creature in the world ; and yet man is afraid of the future state : who is it 
that he is afraid of there } That must be a great Spirit tliat has dominion over 
us. O did we but know him ! O had we but him for our friend !" Now 
what do all these fears and tortures of conscience arise from, but from the 
guilt of sin, and a sense of a divine Being ; who is above men, and will call 
them to an account for their sins, and take vengeance on them ? And, indeed, 
the eternal punishment that will be inflicted on them, will greatly lie in the tor* 
turcs of their conscience, which is the worm tfiat will never die ; and, in a 
sense of divine wrath, which is that fire that will never be quenched. 

The eighth and last argument shall be taken from the judgments in the world; 
not only famine, sword, pestilence, earthquakes, &c. but such that have been 
inflicted on wicked men, atheisdcal persons, perjured ones, blasphemers, and 
the like. Not to take notice of the universal flood, which swept away a world 
of ungodly men ; and of the burning of Sodom and Gomorrah, with other ci- 
ties of the plain, by fire and brimstone from heaven ; which yet are abundantly 
confirmed by the testimonies of heathen writers ; nor of the awful instances in 
the New Testament, of Herod being smitten by an angel, and eaten of worms, 
and died, while the people was shouting him as a God, and he assented to their 

"Surtoii. Viti Tibcrii, c. 67. & N?ro. c. 34. Tacit. Anaal. 1. 6. c^ 9. *Crints*> History 
of Greenland, ut fupra. 


flattery ; and of Ananias and Sapptiira, being struck dead for lying unto God : 

besides these, there are innumerable instances of judgments, of the same, or a 

like kind, in all ages and countries, recorded in the histories of them ; and in our 

narion, and in our age, and within our knowledge; and who now can hear or 

Kad such awful judgments, and disbelieve the Being of God ? 

I l l I *— *- 


As what I shall say hereafter concerning God, his eflence, perfections, persons, 
works, and worship, and every thing relative to him, will be taken out of the 
sacred scriptures, and proved by them ; it will be necessary, before I proceed 
any faither, to secure die ground I go upon; and establish the divine authority 
of them; and shew that they ai-e a perfect, plain, and sure rule to go by; and 
are the standard of faidi and practice ; and to be read constantly, studied diligent* 
fy, and consulted with on all occasions. 

By die Scriptures, I understand the books of the Old and of the New Testa- 
jnenL The books of the Old Testament, are the five books of Moses ; Gene- 
sis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, sometimes called the Pen- 
tateuch ; the historical books, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, the two books of Samuel, 
dw two of Kings, the two of Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther; the po- 
etical books. Job, the Psabns, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Solomon's Song ; the 
prophetic books, the larger Prophets, Isaiah, Jeremiah, with tlie Lamentations, 
Ezekiel, and Daniel ; the lesser Prophets, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, 
Micah, Nahum, Zcphaniah, Haggai, Zechuriah, and Malachi. The books 
of the New Testament, the four Evangelists, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and 
John, and the Acts of the Apostles; the founccn Epistles of the Apostle Paul ; 
one of James; two of Peter; three of John; one of Jude, and the Revelation. 
These books are commonly called Canonical Scripture, because they have al- 
ways been received by the church into the canon, or rule of faith. I'he hooks 
of the Old Testament, by the Jewish church; witli which entirely agree Jose- 
phus's account of them, and the catalogue of them brought from the East, by Mc- 
Bto; and the books of both Testaments agree widi the account wiiich Origen 
gives of them in his time, and which have always been acknowledged by the 
christian church; and which testimony of botii churches, respecting them, de- 
serves our regard, and tends to corroborate their divine authority. Now diese 
irc the books which the apostle calls, all Scripture, or the whole of Scripture, 
laid by him to be given by inspiration of God : which include not only the books of 
ihe Old Testament, which had been long in being in liis time ; but the books 
of the New Testament, which were all of them then written, excepting the book 
of the Revelation ; since tliesc words of liis stand in an epistle supposed to be the 
hst that was written by him ; and however wliat is said by him is true of what 
aif^t be written aficrward^, for the uses he mentions, as well as before. 


From difc?e mrst be excluded, as nn-carn^nicaK the books that bear the name 
6f Apocrvpha; which are soTietinics hound uj) with the Bible, to the great scan- 
dal and riisgrr.ct* of ii; fot tlK;iij;li there may be some things in them worthy to 
be read, as hu^nnn writings; ihci-c is such a mixture of falshood and impiety, 
that they cannot by any means be allowed to be placed upon an equality widi 
tlie s:icrcd scriptures. Li!:e\^i5»e all such spurious Iwoks falsely ascribed to the 
apostle?;, or lo some .of the fit 51 chrisiians; as. The Gospel of the Infancy of 
Jesus; The Constitutions of the Apostles; Hermes's pustor, &c. which cany 
in them matufrsi niaiks ^^f imposture. To which may be added, all human 2sSi 
vnwriticn traditions, plc:idcd for by the popisis ; and all dreams and visions, and 
pretended revelations and prophecies, delivered our in later ages, by enthusiastic 
persons. Blessed be G>>.l, we ha\ e a more sure word of prophecy to attend un- 
to; concerning which, 1 shall, 

I. Observe ilic divine cuthoritv of the Scriptures, or shew, that they are from 
God, or insplvcd by him; th« y by in a claim to a divine original ; and the claim 
is just, as will be seen. I'hcy arc called the law, or doctrine of the Lord; the 
testimony of die Lord ; the statu ics of the Lord ; the commandment of the Lord; 
the fear of the Lord; and the i.idgments of the Lord; by the Psalmist David, 
Psal. ix. 7-*9. And the Proplicis fiequently introduce their prophecies and dis- 
courses, by saying, T/iovorti r^f the Lord camt lu them ; and with 'a. Thus saith 
ike Lordy La. i. 10. Jer. ii. i, 2. And our Lord expressly calls the scripture 
the word of God, John x. 35. as it is also called, Heb. iv. I2. And which 
God " at sundry times, and in divers manners, spake by the prophets ;" and by 
his Son, and his apostles, in later times, chap. i. i, 2. And is represented as 
the oracles of God, and may be safely consulted and depended on ; and accord- 
ing to which men arc to speak, Rom. iii. 2 . i Pet. i. 1 1. But before I proceed 
any further, in tlie proof of the divinity of die sacred Scriptures, I shall premise 
the following things. 

I. That when we say that the Scriptures are the word of God, or diat this 
word is of God; we do not mean that it was spoken with an articulate voice by 
him ; or written immediately by the finger of God : the law of the Decalogue, or 
the 7'cn Commands, indeed, were articulately spoken by him, and the writing 
of them, was the wririnr of God, Exod. xx. i. and xxxi. 18. and xxxii. 15. 
in which he ir.ight sei an example to his servants, in after times, to write what 
might be suggested to diein by him ; that it might remain to be read : it is 
enougli, that they were bid to write wiiat he delivered to tiiera, as Moses and 
odiers wcie ordered to do, Dc^ut. xxxi. jy. Jer. xxx. 2. Hab. ii. 2. Rev. i. 11. 19. 
and what wns ordered by tlic Lord to be written, it is the same as if ir was written 
by him'.olf ; and especially since djc penmen wrote as tlicy were directed, dicta- 
ted and inspired by him, r.nd ** sp.iki: as tiicy v.'cre moved by tiie Holy Ghost ;" 
for they did not iii>cak and write ui tiieir own head, and out of their own brains, 
tior according to dieir v.-iil; and when and what they pleaseil ; but according tii 


ihc will of God, and what lie suggested to dicm, and when he inspii-ed diexn, 
2 Pec. i. 21. 

II. Not all that is contained in the scriptures is of God. Some arc the 
words of others ; yea, some are tlie speeches of Satan, and very bad ones too ; 
as w*hen he suggested that Job was not a sincere worshipper of God ; and re- 
quested he might have leave to do an injury both to his property and to his per- 
son. Job. I. 9 — 1 1, and ii. 4 — 6. So when he tempted our Lord, and moved 
him to cast himself down from the pinnacle of the temple, and destroy himself; 
and not succeeding in that, urged him to fall down and worship him, Matt. iv. 
S, 9. But now tlic penmen of these books, in which these speeches are, were 
moved and directed by the Lord to commit them to writing ; so that though they 
themselves are not the word of God ; yet that thev are written, and are on re- 
cord, is of God ; and which was directed to, and done, to shew the malice, pride, 
blasphemy, and impiety, of that wicked spirit. There are also speeches of bad' 
men, as of Cain, Pharaoh, and others, ordered to be written, to discover the 
mae the corruption of human nature : and even of go<xl men, as of Moses, Da- 
wl, Jonah, and panicularly the friends of Job, and their long discourses, in 
whkh they said not that which was right of God, as Job did ; and he himself 
did not say in every speech of his what was riglit of God ; though he said more 
and what was righccr, than they did ; and yet these speeches arc on record, by 
divine order; to prove matteis of fact, to shew the weaknesses and frailties of 
the best of men. Some of tliC writei-s of iho Si ripturcs, as Moses, and the his- 
torical ones, being eye and ear witnesses of many things they wrote, could have 
wrote them of their own knowlcdrrc, and out of their own memories ; and 
o:hers they might take out of diaries, aiiiials, and j<:>urii'als, of their own and 
tonner times ; yet in all they wrote, they were uiulci the impulse and direction 
of God ; what to leave, and what to cake and iiiscri into their writings, and trans- 
mit to posterity. So that all they wrote may he truly said to be by divine au- 
thority. In tlie wTirings and discourses of the apostle Paul, are several quota- 
tions out of heatlien authors ; one out of Anitiis, when he was discouning be- 
V'Tt the wi<c men at Athens ; as certain^ says he, of your oinn pcets kave iM:ly 
^:r we are also his offsprings Acts xvii. 28. Anotlicr out of Menandcr ; LAI 
ammuKicatlciu corrupt roooJ nkinmrs, I Cor. xv. 33. And another out of 
Epimenides, a poetof Cicrc, a testimony of his against the Cretians, who said 
I'icy were, aKvavs liars, evil Ixjasts, slow bellies; which were produced ad hs- 
miKitn^ for greater conviction ; and which he was directed to quote and write in 
his epistles and discourses, for that reason. So that though the words are not of 
God, yet that they were quoted and written, was of God. 

III. Let It be observed, that not the matter of the scriptures only, but the ve- 
ry words in which they are written, arc of God, Some who are not for or- 
ganlcal inspiration, as they call it, think that the sacred writers vicie only hir- 
nishcdof God withjnatter, and had general ideas of things given tliem, and 

VOL. I. D 


were left to clothe Aem with their own w(irds» and to use their own stik ; whidi 
they suppose accounts for the difference of stile to be observed iii them: but if 
tfiis was the case, as it sometimes is with men* that they have clear and satisfac- 
tory ideas of diing^ in their own minds, and yet are at a loss for proper words 
to express and convey the sense of them to others; so it might be with die sa^ 
Cred writers, if words were not suggested to them, as well as matter; and then 
yn should be left at an uncertainty about die real sense of the holy spirit, if not 
led into a wrong one; it seems, therefore, most agreeable, that words also, as 
wdl as matter, were given by divine inspiration: and as for difiiercnce of stile, 
IS it was easy with God to dir^ to the use of proper words, so he could ao* 
commodate himself to the stile such persons were wont to use, and which was 
natiira) to d^em, iiod 9greeal4e tp their genius and circumstances; and this may 
l)e confimied from the testimonies of the writers themselves : says David, one 
of the writf$rs of the Old Testament, Th spirit e/tie Lord spake by mt^ and his 
Vf9rdwm in my ionpu^ % Sam. xxiii« 2. And the apostle Paul speaks of him^ 
self, and other inspired aposdes of the New Testament, fFhich things^ says he^ 
W€ spgakf mt in the words which tnaiCs wisdom teachethy hut which thcHofy Ghosi 
teaehethf i Cor. ii. 13. and it is the wridng, or the word of God as written, that 
tt» hy impiration ofGod^ % Tim. iii. 16, But then, 

IV. This is to be understood of the scriptures, as in die original languages in 
which they were written, and not of translations; unless it could be diought, 
that the translators of the Bible into the several languages of the nations into 
which it has been txanslated, were under the divine inspiration also in translating, 
and were directed of God to the use of words they have rendered the original by ; 
but diis is not reasonable to suppose, Tlie books of the Old Testament were 
written chiefly in die Hebrew language, unless some few passages in Jeremiah, 
Danid, Ezra, and E^sdier, in the Chaldee language; and the New Testament in 
Greek : in which languages they can only be reckoned canonical and authentic ; 
for this is like the charters and diplomas of princes; die wills or testaments of 
men ; or any deeds made by them ; only the original exemplar is authentic ; and 
not translations, and transcripdons, and copies of them, though ever so perfect^ 
and to the Bible, in its original languages, is every translation to be brought^ 
and by it to be examined, tried and judged, and to be corrected and amended: 
and if this was not the case, we should have no certain and infallible rule to go 
by; for it must be eidier all the translations together, or some one of them; 
not all of them, because they agree not in all things i not one ; for then the con- 
test would be between pne nati<^ and another which it should be, whether En- 
glish, Dutch, French, &c, and could one be agreed upon, it could not be read 
and understood by all ; so the papists, they plead for their vulgate Latin version ; 
which has been decreed authentic by the council of Trent; though it abounds 
with innumerable errors and mistakes; nay, so far do diey carry this affair, that 
they even assert diat the scriptures, in their originals, oofi[ht to submit to, and 
be corrected by their version j which is absmd and ridiculous. Let not now any 


be uneasy in their minds about translations on this account, because they Are 

not upon an equality widi the original text, and especially about our own; for 

IS it has been the will of Ood^ and appears absolutely necessary that so It should 

be, that the Bible should be translated into difierent languages, that all may read 

it, and some particularly may receive benefit by it; he has taken care, in his 

providence, to raise up men capable of such a performance, in various nations* 

and particularly in ours; for whenever a set of men have been engaged in thil 

work, as were in our nation, men well skilled in the languages, and partakers 

of the grace of God ; of sound principles, and of integrity and faithfulness, 

having the fear of Ood before dieir eyes; they have never failed of producing 

a translation worthy of acceptation; and in which, though they have ihistook 

some words and phrases, and erred in some lesser and lighter matten; yet not 

so as to afiect any momentous article of faith or practice ; and therefore such 

translations as ours may be regarded as the rule of faith. And if any scruple 

AouU remain on die minds of any on this account, it will be sufficient to re* 

move it, when it is observed, that the scriptures, in our English ttanslation, have 

been blessed of God, either by reading them in it, or by explaining diem ao 

cording to it, for the conversion, comfort, and edification of diousands and 

thousandsi And the same may be said of all others, so far as they agree with 

cfae original, that they are the rule of faith and practice, and alike useful. 

Here I cannot but observe the amazing ignorance and stupidity of some per-> 
ions, who take it into their heads to decry learning and learned men; for what 
would they have done for a Bible, had it not been for them as instruments? and 
if diey had it, so as to have been capable of reading it, God must have wrought 
1 aiiracle for them ; and continued that miracle in every nation, in every age, 
and to every individual; I mean the gift of tongues, in a supernatural ^^ay, as 
was bestowed upon the aposdes on die day of Pentecost; which there is no rea- 
son in the world ever to have expected. Bless God, therefore, and be thank* 
(ul that God has, in his providence, raised up such men to translate the Bible 
into the mother tongue of every nation, and particularly into ours ; and that he 
rill continues to raise up such who arc able to defend the translation made^ 
against erroneous persons, and enemies of the truth; and to correct and amend 
it in lesser matters, in which it may have failed, and clear and illustrate it by 
their learned notes u(K>n it. Having premised these things, I now proceed to 
prove the claim of the scriptures to a divine authority, which may be evinced 
from the following things. 

I. From the subject-matter of diem. — i. In general there is nothing in them 

unworthy of God ; nothing contrary to his truth and faithfulness, to his purity 

and holiness, to his wisdom and goodness, or to any of the perfections of his 

nature; there is no falshood nor contradicdon in them; they may with great 

pcopriety be called, as they are, the Scriptures of truth, and the word of truthf 

Dan. X. 21. Eph. i. 13. There is nothing impious or impure, absurd or ridi- 

cubus in chem ; as in the Al'»koran of Mahomet ; which is stuffed with impu^ 



ritics and impieties, as well as vith things foolish and absurd: or as In die Pagan 
treatises of their gods ; v hich abound with talcs of tlieir murders, adulteries, 
and thefts ; and the impure riies and ceremonies, and inhuman sacriiiccs used in 
the worship of them. — 2. The things contained in the Scriptures arc pure and 
holy : the holy Spirit dictated them, holy men sp(jke and wrote dicm, and they 
are justly called holy Scriptures, Rom. i. 2. and plainly shew they came from 
the holy God. The doctrines of diem are holy ; they arc doctrines according 
to godliness, and tend to promote it \ diey teacli and influence men to deny un- 
godliness and worldly lusts, and to live soberly, righteously, and godly: they 
are indeed, by some ignorant persons, charged with licentiousness ; but the chargei 
as it is false, it is easily removed, by observing the nature of the doctrines, and 
the effects of diem; the precepts the Scriptures cr.join, and the worship ihey re- 
quire, are strictly holy ; the law-part of them isholy, just, and good, Rom. vii. 12. 
It is holy in its own nature, and requires nothing but what is for the good of 
^en, what is but a reasonable service to God, and what is just between man 
and man ; it forbids whatever is evil, strikes at all sorts of sins, and sets them 
in a just light, exposes and condemns them. And hence it is that there is in 
natural men, whose canial minds are enmity to God, such a backwardness, 
yea, an aversion to reading the Scriptures ; because die doctrines and precepts 
of them are so pure and holy; dicy choose to read an idle romance, an impure 
novel, or any profane writings and histories, rather than die Bible ; and from 
whence may be drawn, no inconsiderable argument in favour of their being of 
God. The stile of the Scriptures is pure and holy, chaste and clean, free from 
all levity and ol)scenity, and from every thing that might be oftl-nsive to the car 
of the chaste and pious. And there are remarkable instances in the marginal 
readings of some passages in the Hebrew text, to- prevent diis; and care should 
be taken in all translations, to make use of language neat and clean ; and keep 
up, as much as may be, to the original purity of die Scriptures. — 3. Tlierc are 
some things recorded in die Scriptures, which could never have been known but 
by revelation from God himself; as particularly with rc,s|x:ci to the creation of the 
world, and the original of mankind; diat die world was made out of nothing; 
when made, how, and in what form and order, and how long it was in making; 
who were the first parents of mankind, when, how, and of what made; hence» 
without this revelation, men have run into strange, absurd, and extravagant no- 
tions about these things. Yea, the Scriptures infortn us what was done in eter- 
nity, which none but God himself could reveal, and make known to men ; as 
die choice of men in Christ to everlasting salvation, which was from the begin- 
ning; not of their being, nor of their conversation, nor of time ; but before time 
or they or the earth were, even "before die foundation of the world," Eph. i. 4. 
And also the council held between the divine persons, concerning the salvation 
of man ; for as there was a consultation held about making him; so about saving 
him; which may be caUed the council of peace, Zach. vi. 13. When "God 
was in Christ reconciling die world unto himself,'' and the scliemc of peace 


and Tccmdliationy and plan of salvation, ^^*erc fomicd and agreed upon: so the 
covcDUit of grace made with Christ from eternity, on behalf of the chosen 
ones; "whose "going forth in it were of ojd, from everlasting;" covenanting 
with his Fadier for them, and agreeing to be their Surety and Saviour; to be- 
come incamatey.and obey and suffer fpr them, and. so work out the salvation of 
dbem; representing their persons and taking the charge and care of them, and 
of all blessings of grace given, and of all promises made to them, in him, before 
the world began; in which covenant he was 5et up as Mediator, " from ever* 
lasting, or c\'er the eanh was," Prov. viii. 22, 23. Mic. v. 2. 2 Tim. i. 9. 
Eph. i. 3, 4. AH which could nc\'er have been known unless God himself 
had revealed them. — 4. There are some things recorded in the Scriptures as 
fbture, which God only could foreknow would be, and foretel with certainty 
diat they should be ; and which have accordingly come to pass, and proves the 
revelation to be of God. Some of them relate to particular persons, and con- 
tingent events ; as Josiah, who was prophesied of by n^me, as to be bom to 
die house of David, three or four hundred years before his birth, and what he 
ahould do; **ofier up the idolatrous priests on Jeroboam's altar, and bum mens 
bones on it;" all which exactly came to pass, see i Kings xiii. 2. ccttnpared 
widi 2 Kings xxiii. 1 7, 2C. Cyrus king of Persia also was prophesied of by name, 
more than two hundred years before his birth, and what he should do ; what 
conquests he should make, what immense riches he should possess ; and that he 
should let the captive Jews go free, without price or reward, and give orders 
for the rebuilding their temple; all which was punctually fulfilled, Isa. xllv. 28. 
and xlv. i — 3, 13. see Ezra i. 1—4. Others relate to kingdoms and states* 
and what should befal them ; as the Egyptians, Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, 
Assyrians, Babylonians, and others; of whose deslructicn Isaiah and Jeremiah 
prophesied, and who now are no more, have not so miicli as a name 01; cartli: 
and paiticularly many thin^^s arc foretold eonceming tlie Jews; as il'icir (I<>ant 
into Egj'pt, abode and bondage there, and coming from ilience with ^Tt^it i'\v\k> ; 
which was made known to their ?;i('at ;!!ue<tor Abraham, before ihcv wcie. 
Gen. XV. 14. sec Exod. xii. 35 — ^i, ihcir captivity in BabO(;n, and !v:rr.!n 
from thence after seventy years, Jcr. xxix. ic, 11. see Dan. ix. 2. an«! nil ihnv 
miseries and af&ictions in their last dcstruciion, iuul picsent stale, u:c pr- pljrti- 
callv described in Dcut. xxviii. and their exact case, for about sevens I'li \:iy\- 
dred years, is expressed in a few words; as well as ilieir future ci»r. version is 
prophesied of, Hos. iii. 4 — 5. But especially the prophecies conccriiluv:; Christ, 
arc worthy of notice; his incarnation and biith of a virgin ; the i)l:ire where h? 
should be born; of what nation, tribe, and family; his :iuf}'crings and dv.-jth, his 
burial, resurrection, ascension to heaven, and session at the right hund of ( iod: 
all which are plainly pointed out in prophecy; and which with niur.y otIjt.*r 
things relating to him, have had tlieir exact accoinplislimcnt in him. J o whit h 
might be added, predictions of the calling of rhe fjeiitilcs, by many of the pro- 
phets; and the abolition of pagani>m in die Ronvan emuirc; rhe rise, vuwei. 

22 or THE* HOLY SCRI>TUr6S. 

and niin of antkhrist; which are pirticularly upoken of in dx book 4f lbs 
Revelation ; great part of which prophetic kidk has been abeaiy fuIfiUetL -<« 
S* There are some things in the Scriptures, which^ though not 6ofltni#]r to 
reason, yet are above the capacity of men ever to have made i. &eovery of; 
as the Trinity of persons in the GfXihcad ; whose distinct mode of sohlhting is 
ihysteriotis to us $ the eternal generation of the Son of God« uhidi h inefiablc hf 
us ; his incarnation and birth of a virgin, under the power of the Holy Ghost; 
whidi b wonderful and umazing } the >in2on of ttte humsrn nature to Ms divine 
person ; which is^ " wicfiout controversy, the great mystery of godliness :'* the 
regeneration of men by the Spirit of God, and the manntfr of his oparacion on 
die souls of men ; which, on hearing of, ifiade a master of Israel say, '*How 
can these things he r'* and the resurreaion of the same body at the bit dayi 
reekoned by the Gentiles incredible ^ and which diings^ though revealed^ are not 
to be accounted for upon the pritKiiples of nature and reason^ '-> 6/ The things 
contained in the scriptures, whether doctrines or facts, are harmonious; the 
doctrines, though delivered at sundry timcs^ and in divers mannerB, are all of a 
piece ; no yea and nay, no discord and disagrdiement among them ; the two Tes* 
taments "are like two young rues that are twins )'* to Ivbicb s6me think they 
are compared in Cant. iv« 5. and vii. 3. and to the Cherubim over the mercy-- 
seat, which were of one beaten piece, were exactly alikci and looked to ont 
another, and both to the mercy-seat ; a type of Christy who is die foundation of 
the apostles and prophets, in which they unite, and both agree to lay ; the apostle 
Paul said none other things than what Moses and the prophets did say shouM be. 
And as to historical facts, what seeming contradictions may be observed in any 
of them, are easily reconciled, with a little care, diligence, and study ; and soma 
of these arise from the carelessness of transcribers putting one word or letter for 
another; and even these instances arc but few, and not very material ; and which 
never affect any article of faith or practice : such care has divine providenc4t 
taken of these peculiar and important writings, which with the harmony of 
them, shew them to be of God. 

II. 7'he stile and manner in which the Scriptures are written, is a further 
evidence of their divine original ; the majesty in which they appear, the autho« 
ritative manner in which they are delivered ; not asking, but demanding, atten* 
tion and a-^sent unto them ; and which commands reverence and acceptance of 
them ; the figures used to engage hereunto are inimitable by creatures ; and 
such as wouki be daring and presumptuous for any but God to use, with whom 
is terrible Majesty; such as. Hear, heavens and Iwi/lspeakf Deut« xxxii. I.. 
Isa. i. 2. the sublimity of the stile is such as exceeds all odier writings: Longi^ 
nus, an heathen orator, who wTote upon the Sublime, admired some passages 
in the wTitings of Moses, particularly. Gen. i. 3. That early composition^ 
the book of Job, abounds with such strong and lofty expressions as are not to 
be found in human writings, especially the speeches Jehovah himself delivered 
out of the whirlwind, chap, xxxviii, xxxix, xl, and xli. the bock of Psalms k 


liiH ofbrii^ figures and inimitable language, particularly see Ptal. xviii. 7 — 15. 
sndscuip^— *iO. andcxiii. 3 — 8. andcxxxix. 7 — 12. The prophecies of Isai- 
di ue fiiught with a rich treasure of divine elocution, which surpasses all that 
is C# bt met with in the writings of men^ and it is remarkable that in some of 
the inspirbd writers, who have been bred up in a rustic manner, are found some 
flf dieiiiott grand images, and lively picturesques, and liighest flights of lau- 
gOMlt 9S in Aoios the herdman, chap. iv. 13. and ix. 2, 6. 

III. Another argument for the divine authority of the Scriptures may be 
ttken fixxn the pemren and writers of them. -«- i. Many of these were men of 
an educa^on, in a low station of life, and were taken from the flock, or from 
die badp or from their nets, or other mean empbyments ; and what they wrote 
bodi as to matter and manner, were above and beyond their ordinary capacities, 
sad dicrefore must be of God -, what they wrote could not be of themselves ; but 
Aey ^ipakt and wrote as they were moved by the Holy Ghost/* — 2. They 
lifcd jo dillerent times and places, and were of different interests and capacities, 
and IP diflSxcat conditions and circumstances ; and yet they were all of the same 
leatinienc, they speak and wi'ite the same things, deliver out the same truths and 
doctrines^ and pnjoin the same moral duties of religion, and the same positive 
fRo^ts, accosdiog the different dispensations under which they were; and this 
5hews dia^ they weje dictated, and influenced in ail, by tlic same Spirit of God. 
-^ 3. Tbcy were holy and good men, partakers of tlie gracs of God » and there- 
fore couI4 never give into an imposture, nor deliver out a known lie, nor ob* 
mide a tiUkooA upon the world. — 4. They appear to be plain, honest, and 
faidifiil men ; they conceal not their own failings and iniirmicies ; so Moses pub- 
lidied his owi> weaknesses and inadvenencies, and spaioJ not the blemishes of 
Ihs hmilyi not of his more remote ancestor Levi, in die case of the Sheche- 
mises; nor of his immediate parents, their illegal marriage ; nor of his favourite 
people the Israelites, their rebellion, and obstinacy, and idolatn- : and the same 
xnay be observed of othet inspired writers. — 5. They \vcr<i disinterested men ; 
tkey souch^ i}Qt popular applause, nor worklly wealth, nor to aggrandize them- 
selves and jthcir families, Moses, when it was offered to him, by the Lord, to make 
of him a peat nation, and cut off the pC4)ple of I$r:iel for their sins, refused it 
more than pnce ; prefering the public good pf tliat people to his own advantage ; 
and diouj^ be was king in Jcshurun, he was not careful to have any of his 
posterity tQ s^jcceed him in his office ^ and though the priesthood was confer- 
red oi> Aanon his brother, and his sons, yet no other provision was made for 
his own family, than to attend the lower services of the tabernacle in common 
with the nest of his tribe: and of this disposition were the apostles of Christ, 
v4io left aU, and followed him^ and sought not the wealth of men, nor honour 
horn them ; but, on the contrary, exposed themselves to reproach, poverty, vex- 
ation, ^nd trouble; yea, to persecution, and death itself; which they would ne- 
ver have done, had they not been fully satisfied of their mission of God, and 
of their messagye from him; and thc^icfore could not be deterred from speaking 


and writing in his name, by the terrors and menaces of men, and by all the af- 
flictions, bonds, and persecution, and death in every shape, which awaited them. 
In short, the writers of the Scriptures seem to be men that neither could be. im- 
posed upon themselves, nor sought to impose on others; nor would it have been 
easy, had they been bad men, to have succeeded,' had they attempted it. 

IV. Another argument may be drawn from the many wonderful efiects. the 
sacred wiitings, attended with a divine power and influence, have had upon di» 
heaits and lives of men. Many have been converted from error, superstition, 
and idolatry, and from a vicious course of life, to embrace and profess" the 
truth, and to live a holy life and conversation, upon reading the scriptures» or? 
hearing them explained; and even some of great natural parts and learnings" 
who could not easily be prevailed upon to relinquish fonner tenets and practice8»' 
had they not had full and clear conviction of them. Tliis *^ Word of God has 
been quick and powerful, sliarper than a two-edged sword;" it has pierced and 
pjsnetraced into the recesses of the heart, and laid open the secrets of it; it 'has 
been the means of enlightening the mind, quickening the soul, rcgeneradng and: 
sanctifying the heart, and of producing faith, and every other gi'ace in it, and 
of st^cugtliening, comforting, and reviving the spirits of tlie people of God 
when in distress, by afllictions, or Satan*s temptations ; so that every good man 
has a testimony within himself of its divine authority, sec i John v. 9, xo. 

V. The testimony l)ore to tlie Scriptures by miracles, abundantly confirm the 
genuineness of tliem, and that they aic of God; such as were doj:r2 by Moses, 
•jiid die prophets of the Old Testament, and by the apostles of the New; even 
.such as are above, and contrary to the laws of nature, and are beyond the power 
of a creature to perform, and wliich only omnipotence itself could work: now 
these God would never do to establish the character of impostors, or to con- 
firm a lie; which yet he has done to witness the truth of divine revelation; 
^.tc Mark xvi. 20. Heb. ii. 3, 4. 

vT. The hatred and oppasition of men, and the enmity of devils, to them, 
afford no inconsiderable argument in favour of the divinity of them ; for were 
they of men, they would not have such a disgust at them, and disapprobation 
of thcni, and make such opposition to them : by these are to be known tlie 
spirit of truth, and the spirit of error; what is of the worid, and merely human, 
is approved by the men of the world; but what is of God, is rejected, 1 John 
iv. 5, 6. and if these writings were of Satan, and the work of forgery, impos- 
ture, and deceit, that wicked spirit would never have shewn such despite unto 
them, nor have taken such pains to tempt men, and prevail upon them not to 
read them; and to persuade otliers to use their utmost eflForts to corrupt or de- 
stroy them, and root them out of the world. 

VII. The awful judgment of God on such who have despised them, and 
have endeavoured 10 destroy them, are no mean evidence that they arc of God; 
who hereby has shewn his resentment of such conduct and behaviour; which 
might be illustrated by the instances of Antiochus Epiphanes, king of Syria,. 

Book !• or the holy scrtpture?# 25 

^Kho cut to pieces the copies of the book of xhz law whsrcver he found th^m* 
and burnt diem, and put to Jeith ill with .vhm the/ were, i Vlaccab. i. 59, 60. 
this man died of a violent disorder in his bowels, hfs bjdy Was covered with 
worms, his flesh flaked off, and vms attenleJ wirh an intollerable sicacli, 
2 Maccab. ix. 5—9. and of Dioclcsian, the Roman emperor, who by an edict, 
ordered all the sacred books to be burnt, that, if possible, he mi rht root Christi- 
anity out of the world; an.l once fancied that he h id done it; but when he found 
he had not accomplished his djsign, througli madness and despair, in the hei^ 
of his imperial glory, ab-iicatcd thj c:npire, and retired to a private life, and at 
last poisoned himself: the one shewed a despite to ili- books of the old Testa- 
ment, the other more especially to the books of the Mew Testament; and both 
were highly resented by tlie divine Being, who hereby shewed himself the au- 
thor of bt>th. Many more iiistanccs might be pnxlued, but these may sufiice. 

viit. The antiquity and co.itinuance of these writings may be improved into 
in argument in favour of them : Tertullian says, ^^ That which is most ancient 
is most true." Men from the bcrinnin:r knowlcdre of God, and of the 

or? 3 

way of salvation, and in what manner God was to be worshipped ; which could 
not be without a revelation ; though for some time it was not delivered in 
writing. The antediluvian patriarchs had it, and so the post-diluvian ones, to the 
times of Moses ; whose writings are the first, and arc more ancient than any 
profane writings, by many hundred of years ; the most early of that sort extant, 
tie the poems of Homer and Hesiod, who flourished al>out the times of Isaiah ; 
and the divine writings have l)cen preserved notwithstanding the malice of men 
and devils, some of them some thousand of years, when otlicr writings are lost 
and perished. 

To which may be added, that the Scriptures receive no small evidence of the 
authority of them, from t!ie testimonies of many heathen writers agrec;ng w;ch 
them, with respect to the cnronology, geography, and iiistorv of them; as con- 
-ceming the creation of the world, Noah's flood, the tower of Babel, cne confu- 
lion of languages, the peopling the earth by tiie sons of Noah, the burning of 
Sodom and Gomorrah ; wiJi many other things rJapecting tiic people of Israel, 
their origin, laws, &c '. I go on to consider, 

II. The perfection of the Scriptures. Wnen we assert the perfection of them 
we do not mean that they contain a perfect account of all tuat GoJ ivis done 
from the beginning of time, in the dispensations of his providence iii tiie world, 
and in the distributions of his grace to tiu sons of men ; tiuugh ihey relate 
much of the state and condition of die Churcli of God in all ages, and as it will 
be to tiie end of time. N or tli it they contain all the discourses, exhort. icions, 
ad:noiutions, cautions, and counsels of the prophets, delivered to tiie people of 
Israel, in the several ages of time* nor ail the sermons of tae aposdes, w.i.'ch 
ihey preached to the Jews, and a.nong the Geiuiles : nor are all uiat were said 

' See Galc't Cuuri of ihc GcotiiCi* 
YOU I. £ 


and done hy out Lord Jcsiis Christ recorded in tlicrh: there were many signs 
done by him which arc not written, wliich if ihcy should be written, as the 
evangelist obscr\-cs, €veti the xvorld itself could not contain the books thai simU 
ie wiiiteny John xx. 30. and xxi. 25. But then they relate all things necessary 
to salvation, every thing that ought to l)e belicvfd and done; and are a com- 
pleat, perfect standard of faith and practice: uliicli may be proved, 

I. From the author of them, who is God ; they are tlie word of God, and 
arc "given by inspiration of God;*' as is asscrteci in them, and has been clearly 
diewn. Now since God is the author of them, who is a perfect Being, ia 
tvhom is no dirlcness at all ; not of ignorance, error, and imperfection ; they 
coming from him, must be free from every thing of that kind; He is a rock, 
and his work is perfiDCt; as his works of creatl.;n. providence, and rodcmptioxi; 
so diis work of the Scriptures. 

II. From the name they go by, a Testament. We commonly divide the 
Scriptures into the Books of die Old Testament, and the Books of the New 
Testament; and that there was a first and a second Testament, an old and a new 
one, is plainly intimated, Hcb. ix. 15. Now a man's testament, or will, con- 
tains the whole of liis will and pleasure, concerning the disposition of his estate 
to whomsoever he pleases, or it is not properly his will and testament ; a manV 
testament, if it be confirmed, as the apostle ol '.serves, r.o man disanullethy or add' 
€th thereto^ Gal. iii. 15. Such the Scriptures are; they conra in the whole will 
of God, about the disposition of the blessings of grace, and of the heavenly in- 
faeritance, to those who are appointed by hiui heirs ; and being ratified and con- 
firmed by the biood of Christ, are so sure and firm as not to be disanuUed, and 
10 perfect that nothing can be added thereunto. 

III. From die epithet of perfect being expressly given unto diLm; The law 
tfthe Lord is perfect y Psal. xix. 7. which is to bo understood, not of the Dec»* 
logue, or Ten Commands, but of the doctrine of the Loid, as the phrase sigm* 
fies; even what was delivered in the sacrrd writings extant in the times of D^ 
▼id ; and if it was perfect then as to the sul)stance of it, then much more miMt 
St appear so by the accession of the prophets, and the books of the New Tes- 
tament since, in which there are plainer and clearer discoveries of the mind ^yA 
will of God. 

IT. From die essential parts of them, the Law and Gospel ; 10 which two 
heads the substance of them may be reduced. The Law is a perfect rule of duty . 
it contains what is the good^ acceptable^ and perfect will of God^ Rom. xii. 2. 
What he would have done, or not done; the whole duty of man, both toward 
God and man; all is comprehended in these two commands. Thou shalt love ihi 
Lord thy God with all thy hearty &c. and thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself^ 
Matt. xxii. 37—40. The Gospel is the perfect law, or doctrine of liberty, the 
aposde James speaks of» diap. i. 25. which proclaims the glorious liberty of die 
diiidren of God by Christ; and It is perfect, it treats of perfect things; of per- 
fect justification by Christ; of full pardon of sin Uuough his blood, and coin- 


pictttalvitibn lo him; and contains a [lerfcct plan of truth; every truth, ** as 
it is in Jesus ;" all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge : Ic is the whole, or 
dl the counsel of God, concerning the spirituiU suul eternal salvation of men, 
Aa% XX. 27. 

▼• From the integral parts of them : the Scriptures, containing all the books 
diat were wrirren by divine inspiration. The books of the Old Testament 
were compleat and perfect in tlje cijn.*s of Ciirlst; not one was warning, nor 
any mutilated and corrupted. The Jews, ho 5ays, have Moses and the pro- 
phets ; and he himself, beginning at M xses, anJ all the prop!iets, expoundtd in 
all tAe Scripiures^ the things cojiccnting himself^ Luke xvi. 24, and xxiv. 27, 
Sb diat they had not only tht; five books of M'>se.s, but all ihe prophets, and 
aB die scriptures of the Old Testament: my, h^ aUrms, that till heaven 
emrth pass^ one jct^ or one tittle^ shall in no wise pass from the law^ till all hefuU 
filled^ Matt. v. 18. The Jews had the oracles of God committed to their care, 
Kom. lii. 2. and thcvharc been faithful keepers of them: even some of them 
to superstition and scrupulous nicety, numbering not only the t)ooks and sectionsi 
bot abo the verses, and even the \ynnU and letters : and there never was, nor 
BOW is, any reason to be given why they had corniptcd, or would corrupt, 
my part of the Old Testament; on the coming of Christ if was not their in- 
teresr to do it; and even before that it was translated into the Greek tongue, 
b|f which they would have been detected; and after the coming of Christ they 
eoQld- not do it if they would, copies of it being in the hands of Chrisrians; 
who were able to coirect what they should conupt, had they done it: and 
whatever attempts may have l^een made by any under the christian name, to 
conupt some copies of either Testament, they may be, and have been detected; 
or whatever mistakes may be mude, through the carelessness of tianscribers 
of copies, thev are to be corrected by other copies, which God, in his pro- 
vidence, has preserved; and, as it seems, for such purposes: so tliat we have 
a perfect canon, or rule of faich and practice. It is objected to the perfection of 
(be books of Uie Old Testament, tliat the books of Natlian, Gad, and Iddo, the 
prophets mentioned thciein, arc L'jr t ; but rhcii it j.houlo be proved that these were 
inspired writings, aivl, iiideed, thii :hev arc idn:; they may be the same, as some 
think, with the books of Sa-.TiUcl, Kings, and Chronicles. And it is also object- 
ed to those of the New Tesiament, that there was an cpstle from Laodicea, 
CoL iv. 16. and another 10 ih? Corini.hians, distinc; tVom '.hose wc h.ave, 1 Cor. 
V. 9. neirher of them now ex=nnr: as to the first, is nc^: an epistle to Lao- 
4cca, bi!t from it ; and may t\.-:CT to one of the c]>i:»aes, we have, written by the 
apostle P«ul, when at pLice: and as to that to the Corir. Lilians, it does not 
•ppear to he another ar.d disunct, b;.t the same he was tlicii writiiig: but ad- 
mi:ting, for argumcnt-suke, th.ui^h it is not to he t^rantcJ, tlvi some book, or 
part of the inspired writings is lowSt; let it be proved, ir it can, thit any essen- 
lis! article oi faiih is lost with it; or tliat there is any aitirle of faith want- 
ing in the books we have: if this cannot be proved, then, notwitlistanding the 

je8 ' 6y the holy scriptures. 

pretended defecty we have still a perfect rule of faidi; which is what is con* 

tended for. 

VI. This may be further evinced from the charge that is given, " not to add 
unto, nor diminish from, any part of the sacred writings, law or gospel :" this is- 
strictly enjoined the Israelites to observe, with respect to the law, and the com- 
mandments of it, given them bv Moses, Dent, i v. 2 and xii. 32. And with res- 
pect to the gospel, the apostle Paul, savs, Though tve^ or an angel from htavtn^ 
f reach any other gosjel unto yoUy than that which we have preached unto ycu^-^-and 
ye have received^ let him he occur sedy Gal. i. 8, 9. And the wise man, or Agar* 
says of the Scriptures in his time, Every word of God is pure— add dura . 
not unto his words. And the apostle and evangelist John, closes the canoQ 
of tlie Scripture widi these remarkable words. If any man shall add unio then 
thingSy God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this hook; and if ^ 
any man shall take away from the words of the hook of this prophecy^ God shall tak^ 
awai his part out of the book of lifcy &cc. Rev. xxii. 18, 19. Now if there is 
nothing superfluous in ihe bcriprures, to be taken from them ; and nothing de- 
fective in them, which requires any addition Xo ihem : then they must be perfect. 

vir. This may be argued from the sufficiency of them to answer the ends. 
and purposes for which tliey arc written. As, for docuiney for nproof f§r^ 
corrcctieny and for instruction in righteousness^ 2 Tim. iii. 16. they are sufliici- 
ently profitable and useful for doctrine; there is no spiritual truth, nor evan- 
gelical doctrine, but what they contain; they are called the Scriptures of truth; 
not only because they come from the God of truth, and whatsoever is in them 
is truth ; but tliey contain all truth ; which the Spirit of God, the dictator of 
diem, guides into, and that by means of them; see Dan. x. 21. John xvi. 13. 
every doctrine is to be confirmed and established by them ; our Lord proved the 
things concerning himself, his person, office, suffisrings, and death, by them« 
Luke xxiv. 25 — 27. the apostle Paul reasoned out of the Scriptures, in con- 
firmation and defence of the doctrines he taught ; opening and alledging, that 
is, from the Scripoxres, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again 
from the dead; and that this Jesus is Christ, whom he preached; and, indeed, 
he said none other things than what Moses and the prophets did say should be, 
and which he was able to prove from thence, Acts xvii. 2, 3. and xxvi. 22, 23. 
Every doctrine proposed by men, to the assent of others, is not immediately to 
be credited; but to be tried and proved, and judged of by the holy Scriptures, 
which are to be searched, as they were by the Berseans, to see whether those 
things be so or no; and being found agreeable to them, they are to be believed, 
and held fast; for to the law and to the testimony; if men speak not according t9 
this wordy it is because there is no light in them^ Isa. viii. 20. see 1 John iv. I* 
I Thess. V. 21. Acts xvii. 11. and these are serviceable for reproof, for the 
detection, confutation, and conviction of error: thus Christ confuted the error 
of the Sadduces by the scriptures. Matt xxii. 29, 30. and the aposdes, with these^ 
warred a good warfare; these were their spiritual weaponSy the word of God is 


die twoid of the Spirit, they used in fighting the good ftght of faith, agiinst fiilao 
teachers; by sound doctrine, fetched from thence, they were able to convince and 
Hop the nK>uth$ of gainsayers : there never was an error, or heresy, broached in 
the worid yet, bnl what has been confuted bv the Scriptures ; and it is not possi- 
ble that any one can arise in opposition to " the faith once delivered," but what 
Biay receive its refutation from them. They are also of use for correction of every 
sin, internal or external ; of heart, lip, and life, secret or cp^n; sins of omission 
or coounission ; all are forbidden, reproved, and condemned by the law of God; 
vriiich says. Thou shalt not covet, nor do this, and that, and the other iniqui- 
ty, Rom. vii. 7. and xiii. 9. And the gospel agrees with the law herein; and 
what is contrary to the law, is to sound doctrine ; the gospel of tlie grace of 
God, teaches to ** deny ungodliness and worldly lusts," i Tim. i. 9— ii« 
Tit. ii. II, 12. There is not a sin tliat can be named, but what the Scriptures in- 
veigh against, forbid, and correct. And another end answered by them is, that 
diey are for instruction in righteousness, in every moral duty of religion, and 
in every positive precept of God, according to the diiFercnt di«peosations; they 
iitttnict in every thing of a moral or positive nature, and direct to observe all 
diat is commanded of God and Christ ; and now writings by which all such ends 
are answered, must needs be perfect and compleat. 

The Scriptures are sufficient to make a man of God perfect^ and thoroughly 
jurnhh him unto all good nuorh^ 2 Tim. iii. 17. Not a private good man only, 
but one in a public ch iracter and office ; a prophet, a preacher, and ministei 
rf the worJ; in which sense the pirase is used botii in the Old and New Testa- 
ment, I Sam. ix. 6. 7. i Tim. vi. 1 1. An acquaiiuance with these fits him for 
the work of the minisrrv, and furnislics him with sound doctrine, to deliver out 
to the edification of others; by mcarus of these he becomes ** a scrilw well instruct- 
cd in the kingdom of God ; and to be jHc to bring (;ut of hi& treasuie things 
oew and old :" and if they are able to make such a man perfect, tliey must be 
perfect themselves. 

Another use of the Scriptures, and an end to be, and which is, answered by 
them, is not only tlic learning and instiuction of private men, as well as thtjse 
of a pr.blic character; but to make them patient i:r.dcr afEictions, and comfort 
them in them, and give hope of deliverance out of tliem, as well as of eternal 
salvation hereafter; for the apostle says, I Whatsoever things were written afart^ 
timet wen written for our learning ; that we^ through patience and comfort of the 
Scriptures^ might have hope^ Rom. xv. 4. Nor is there any affiiciive circum- 
stance a good man can come into, but there is a promise in the word of God 
suitable to him In it; and which may be a means of enlivening, chearing, and 
CDmfoning him, Psal. cxix. 49, 50. yea, the ScriptuR\^ are written to promote 
and increase the spiritual joy of God's people, and that that joy might be fuU« 
and therefore must be full and perfect themselves, i John i. 3, 4. 

vni. The Scriptures are able to make a man wise unto salvutiony 2. Tim. iii. 
X^ One part of thqn being the gospel of salvation; which points out to fiica. 


die way of 57.1vation ; give^ an account of Christ, the author of it, aad of tb» 
salvation itself wrought out b\' him ; and deccribes the persons that have an ini>. 
terest in it, and shall enjoy it; and who, through the grace of God, are madft 
wise enough to see their need of it, seek after it, and embrace it; for it h nob 
barely bv reading the word they become so wise ; but tlirough the Spirit of wia* 
dpm and revelation opening their eyes to see what is contained in it, and ap«. 
plying it to tlwm ; whereby the gosj)cl becomes " die power of God unto salvai*. 
tion" to them. In short, the Scriptures contain all things in them necessary l» 
be believed, unto salvation ; and, indeed, tliev are written for this end, that imm 
mig^t believe that Jems is the Christy the Son of God; and that helierjing^ thep 
might have l*fe through his name^ John xx. 31. and hereby, under a divine in^ 
fluenceand blessing, they come to have the knowledge of God and Christ, and 
of God in Christ; which is the beginning, earnest, and pledge of ecemaL lifi^ 
John xvii. 3, I proceed, 

in. To ppove the perspicuity of the Scriptures; for si!;ce they are a rule of 
faidi and practice, they should be clear and plain, as they are: not that the^ 
aie all equally dear and plain; some paits of ihem, an J eome things, ui dicoit 
acB dark and obscure; but then by comparing splrirual tilings with spiritual, on 
those more dark passages with those that arc, they may be plainly un- 
derstood. Moreover, the light of the Scriptures h 5; 1)ecn a growing one ; it was 
but dim under the dispensation of the Uw of Moses; it became more dew. 
through the writings of the prophets; but !n st clear u:iJer the gospd-dispoD- 
sation; where, "as in a ghss, we behold, with open fiice, the glory of th» 
Lord;'* and of divine things: though in the gospel-dispensation, and in such 
clear writings and epistles as those of the apostle Pai L \\\\o used great idainnessi 
of speech, there are some things hard to he undcntood^ see 2 Cor. iii. 12-P-1& 
1 Pet. iii. 16. And this is so ordered on purpose to remove all contempt and^ 
loathing of the Scriptures, anJ to huroble the arrogance and pride of men, t» 
engage reverence of them, an(^ to excite Pttcntion to them, and to put men oa 
searching them wiih close Ftuily, application, and praver. Nor is every doctrine 
of the Scriptures expressed in so many words ; as the df)ctrine of tlie Trinity of 
Persons in the GoclhcLid; the eternal generation of the Son of God, his incar* 
jaatipn and satisfaction, &c. but then the things themselves signified by thefB|. 
arc clear an J j • .In; ard there are tenns and phrases answerable to them; or 
they are to be deduced iis^.w dience by just and necessary' consequences^ No^ 
are the Scriptures clear ard i:l y\ to every one that reads them; they are a-seal* 
od book, which neither learned nor unlearned men can understand and interpret 
without the Spirit of God, tlie dictator of them ; the natural man, by the nrnM 
light of nature, and dint of reason, though he may understand the gramnaaticfll 
sense of words ; yet he does not understand the meaning of them, at least in » 
spiritual way, with application to himself; and so far as he has any notion of 
them, he hns a disgust and contempt of them, for the most part ; yet thpy axK 
so fully expressed wd clearly revealed, that if th^ gospd is hid to any^ it i»l» 


Amk Aat^ish, tvho are left to the native darkness of their inindsy and to be 
"Mtnded b^ the god of this world," that the glorious light of die gospel might 
UriK shine into them, see Isa. xxix. ii, 12. i Cor. ii. 14. 2 Cor. iv. 3, 4. But 
tkn the ScripcuiX5« are plain to them that have a spiritu;£l understanding ; who 
we ^irimol men, and judge all things ; '* to whom it is given to know die mys^ 
Inies of the kiiigdom :" What are more clear and plain than the precepts c( 
fte law, commanding one thing to be done, and forbidding the doing of ano^ 
ihtr ? in what plain language are they expressed, Thou shalt have no other Godi 
Woito mtf Sec. Thou shalt not kill, 6cc P And how clearly is asseited the great 
4nA funidi[niental d«jccrine of the gospel, *' That salvation is alone by Jesus Christ, 
AnHigh Aie free grace of God; and not of the works of men?'* and so every 
4ui^ necessary of belief unto salvation. In abort, they are like a full and de^ 
4i^^, in which the lamb may walk, and the elephant swim, indifierent places. 
The perspicuity of the Scriptures may be urged. — i. From the author of 
Afcm, God, as'h^s been proved, who is the F ather of lights ; and therefoie what 
ccMMs from him must be light and clear, in whom is no darkness at all. -^ 
9. 'FvOm the ^tvei^l parts of them, and what they ai^e compared unto. The hv^ 
4ar legsd^Nut of them, is represented bv thin^ whidi are lir;ht, and give it; 31ir 
x9^nMhklm£Htisa'iampy and the law is lig/it^ Prov. vi. 23. The commandmenii 
HSS the kw, IS before observed, are clearly expressed ; and are a plain direction >tO 
men what to do, or shun ; the same David says of the word of the Lord in gener^ 
^ind'iBOfe explicitly 9 Thy word is a lamp unto my feit^ and a light -unto mypath^ 
PML cxix. 105. directing how to walk and act. The evangelical part of 4fae 
S tii^uyes t or the gospel, is compared to a glass, in which may clearly beheld, tbe 
^^efy<ff the-Lofd; of his person, offices, grace, and righteousness; and cvesjr 
ime-ef the gldrions truths and d/tcirines of it, 2 Cor. iii. 18. Hence the inini»- 
4M lif Afc wonl ate called the light of liie world ; because by caning and explain* 
fag;' file S^ripiUfes, they are instruirrents of enlightening men in the will (^ God, 
Md4ie tnyMerks'Of bis gtace, Matt. V. 14. — 3. From other testimonies of Scrip- 
'Mte, fieUrd<?idaflyfrofn Deut. xxx. 11 — 14. For this commandmentj which I conf 
^akdthi^^hh daj^irmv'hiidtnfrom thee ; neither is it fur off-^it Is not in heavenr^^ 
iSMitis^ltAej^ml fAi Ma^^hut the ivord is very nigh unto tkee\ in thy mouthy Mtid 
•m'thf^kidPif ihtft'fkik inayest ^do it. And if it is not hidden, nor at^a dictance 
^■od -ifiaccelsildc, Aen 4t diust be open, and the knowledge of it to be come 
at; «Bd Ais is «> be understood, not only of the law of Moses, but more es« 
•feeUI)^ <lf dift "gospel, the wordof faiih, preadicd by the aposdes, as the apostle 
9fttd ia aa i ' p ye tM t, vRoea. x. 6^ — 8. And the whole of Scripture is the sure word of 
yt^ffbMj , mrhettuhto men do well to take heed, as unto a lighc that ^hincth ina 
*4ilb^pb^:4ttd'SO'lhe'mtens of dispelling the darkness of ignorance, error, and 
unbelief; and of giving light all around, both with rc^pect to doctrine and Aa^ 
1y,%le aifte. ii.'«9.^-4. From exhortations to all sorts of people to read them 
*tdl'#lfo4ire'MMnttidftl ibr so doing. Not only die Kings of Israel were to 
Trii flfc'|jn»TftfrTliriIinn1, hnriill thntprnpir in irrnrril: andtherawasacBxtain 


dme of the year for them to assemble together to hear it read^ tnen, wonefli 
chiidrcn, and strangers ; but if it was not plain and clear, and easy to be under- 
stood, it would have been to no purpose for them to attend It, Deut. xvii. 19. 
and xxxL 11 — 13. Our Lord advises to '* search the Scriptures;" which tup- 
]X)sca them legible and intelligible, John v. 39. and the Beraeans are commended 
as more noUe than those of Thcssalonica ; because they searched the scriptures 
daily, and compared what they heard with tliem ; that they might know whether 
diey were right or no, Ac:s xvii. 11. see Kev. i. 3. — 5. From all sorts of per- 
sons being capable of reading them, and hearing them read, so as to understand 
diem. Thus in the times of Nehemiah and Ezra, persons of every sex and age» 
who were at years of maturity, and hud the exercise of their rational facultiesp 
liad die law read unto tliem, Neh. viii. 3. and Timothy, from a child, knew the 
holy Scriptuies, 2 Tim. iii. 15. believers, and regenerate persons of every rank 
and d^;ree, have knowledge of them, whether fathers, young men, or lit Je chil- 
dren, I John ii. 12 — 14. Nor is the public preaching of the word, andtha 
necessity of it, to be objected to all this; since that is, as ior conversion, so tor , 
greater edification and comfort, and for establishment in the truth, even though . 
it is known; and besides, serves to lead into a larger knowledge of it, and is the . 
ordinary means of guiding inio it, and of arriving to a more pcrtect acquaintance 
with it, I Cor. xiv. 3. 2 Pet. i. 12. Acts viii. 30, 31. Eph. iv. ii-*-i3. So . 
that it may be concluded, upon the whole, that the Scriptuies are 

A sure, cenain, and infallible rule to go by, with respect to things both to be . 
believed and done: a rule they are, Gal. vi. 16. And since they are of diviiie au- 
thority, and are perfect and plain, tliey are a sure rule, and to be depended 00; 
ThetesUm9ny tf the Lord is sute^ Psal. xix. 7. and a more sure woid of prophccj 
chin all others whatever, 2 Pet. i. 19, tliese are the witness of God and therefore ^ 
greater than man^s; and to be believed before any human testimony, iJohnv.9i ^ 
yea, must bereckoned infallible, since they are the scriptures of truch, and not only 
contain what is truth, and notliing but truth in them ; but have a true, even a divine 
testimony bore unto them, and come from the God of truth, who cannot Uct 
Dan. X. 21. Tit. i. 2. They are the judge of all religious controversies, to 
which all are to be brought, and by them deccrmincd; according to thee spiri- 
tual men, who have their senses exeicised, to discern between good and evil^ 
try and jud^^e all things. The Scripture is the best inierpreier of Scripture, .or 
the Spirit of God therein ; nor are the church or ics pastors, nor councils ani 
popes, tlie infallible interpreters tliereof ; there is a private interpretation of 
Scripture, which every christian may make, according to his ability and light; 
and there is a public one, by the preacher of the word ; but both are subject to^ 
and to be determined by the Scripture itself, which is the only certain and in- 
fallible rule of faith and practice. And, 

IV. 'I here seems to be a real necessity of such a rule in the present state of 
diings; and, indeed, a divine revelation was necessary to /.dam, in a state of - 
innocence; how, otherwise, should he Imve kiiown any uuog of tUe mwii^r of 


his creation ; of the state and condiHon In which he was created, after the image 
and in the likeness of God ; the extent of his power and authority over the crea- 
tion; by what means his animal life was to be supponed; in what manner God 
was to be served and worshipped by him, especially the parts of positive and in- 
stituted worship, both as to matter, time and place; and particularly the will of 
God, as to abstinence from eating of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good 
and evil ? And if our first parents stood in need of a divine revelation, as a rule 
and guide to them in their state of integrity ; then much more we in our present 
state of ignorance and depravity. And after the fall, it was owing to divine re- 
velation, that man had any knowledge of the way of his salvation, by the wo- 
man's seed; and of the appointment, nature, import, use, and end of saciifices; 
and though this revelation was for a time unwritten, and was handed down by 
tradition to the patriarchs before the flood, and for some time after, whilst the 
lives of men were of a long continuance, and it required but few hands to trans- 
mit it from one to another; but when men's lives were shortened, and it was the 
pleasure of God to make further and clearer discoveries of his mind and will, 
and to frame new laws and rules of worship, in different dispensations; it seem- 
ed proper and necessary to commit them to writing, both that they might re- 
main, and that they might be referred to in case of any doubt or difficulty about 
diem; and particularly that tlic ends before mentioned might be answered by 
them, which it was intended should be ; namely, the learning and instruction of 
men in matters of faith and practice, their peace, comfort and edification, 
Rom. XV. 4. 2 Tim. iii. 15 — 17. and the rather since nothing else was, and 
notliing less than the Scriptures are, a sufficient rule and guide in matters of re- 
li'^ion ; even not the light of natiuc and reason, so much talked of, and so highly 
exalted ; and since it has been set up as such against divine revelation, it may be 
proper to shew the insufficiency of it. Now the light of nature or reason, is not 
to be taken in an abstract sense, or considered only in theorv, wliat it has been, 
may be, or should be, but not subsisting in men or books ; as such it can be no 
role or guide at all to have recourse unto; and besides, reason in such sense, is 
not opposed to revelation; tliere is nothing in revelation contrary to reason, 
though there are things above it, and of which it is not a competent judge, and 
therefore can be no guidi in such matters ; but it must be considered as it is in 
hz\^ and as It subsists, cither in single individuals, or in whole bodies of men, 
and these unacquainted with, and unassisted by divine rcvei:ition; and then its 
»yfficiency, or rather insufficiency, will soon appear. If it is considered as in 
individuals, it may easily be observed it is not alike in all, but differs according 
to the circumstances of men, climate, constitution, education, tec, some have a 
greater share of it than others; and what is agreeable to the reason of one man, 
is not so to another; and therefore unless it was alike anJ equal in all, it can be 
no sure rule or guide to go by : let one of the most exalted genius be pitched 
upon, one of the wisest and safest philosophers of the Gcntiks. that has studied 

VOL. I. F 


nature most, atul arrived to the highest pitch of reason and good sense ; far 
in tance, let Socrates be the man, who is sometimes magnified as divine, and 
in whom the light oF nature and reason may be thought to be sublimated and 
raised to its highest pitch, in the Gentile world, without the help of revclauon; 
and yet, as it was in him, it must be a very deficient rule of faith and practice; 
for though he asserted the unity of the divine Being, and is said to die a martyr 
for it; yet he was not clear of the heathenish notions of inferior deities, and of 
worship to be given them ; for one of the last things spoken by him was, to de- 
sire his friends to fulfil a vow of bis, to offer a cock to ^sculapius, the god of . 
health; and he is most greviously belied, if he was not guilty of the love of boj'S 
in an unnatural way ; and besides, he himself bewails the weakness and dark- 
ness of human reason, and confessed the want of a guide. If the light of na- 
ture and reason be considered in large bodies of men, in whole nations, it will 
appear not to be the same in all. Some under the guidance of it have worship- 
ped one sort of deities, and some others ; have gone into different modes c: 
worship, and devised different rites and ceremonies, and followed different cus- 
toms and usages, and even {differed in things of a moral nature ; and as their 
forefathers, guided by this light, introduced, and established the said things; 
they, with all their observations, reflections, and reasonings on them, or in- 
crease of light, supposing they had any, were never able, by the light of nature ^ 
and reason in them, to prevail over, and demolish such idolatr}% and such pro- ' 
fane and wicked practices that obtained among them; and the insufficiency 
thereof, as a rule and guide in religion, will further appear by considering the 
the following particulars. 

I. That there is a God may be known by the light of nature; but who and 
what he is, men, destitute of a divine revelation, have been at a loss about. 
Multitudes have gone into polytheism, and have embraced for gods almost every 
thing in and under the heavens ; not only the sun, moon, and stars, and mortal 
men they have deified ; but various sorts of beasts, fishes, fowl, creeping things* 
and even forms of such that never existed : and some that have received the 
notion of a supreme Being, yet have also acknowledged a numerous train of in- 
ferior deities, and have worshipped tlie creature besides tlie Creator; whose folly 
is represented in a true and full light by the apostle, Rom. i. 19—25. and though 
the unity of the divine Being, is the \oice of reason as well as of revelation; 
yet by the former, without the latter, we could have had no certain notion, if 
any at all, of three divine Persons subsisting in the unity of the divine essence ; * 
and especially of the several parts they have taken in the ceconomy of man'f 
salvation ; for as for what Plato, and others have been supposed to say concern- 
ing a Trinity, it is very lame and imperfect, and what was borrowed from east- 
em tradition. 

II. Though the light of nature may teach men that God, their Creator and 
Benefactor, is to be worshipped by them ; and may direct them to some parts of 
w^orship, as to pray unto him for what they want, and riraifc hxin for what 


Acy have received ; yet a perfect plan of worship, acceptable to God, could 
never have been formed according to that; and especially that part of it co^dd 
not have been known which depends upon the arbitrary will of God, and con- 
sists of positive precepts and institutions; hence the Gentiles, left to that, and 
without a divine revelation, have introduced modes of worship the most absurd 
and ridiculous, as well as cruel and bloody, even human srrcrifices, and the 
ihoghter of their own children, as well as the most shocking scenes of debau- 
chery and uncleanness. 

III. By the light of nature men may know that they are not in the same con- 
dition and circumstances they originally were ; for when they consider things, 
they cannot imagine that they were made by a holy Being sibjcct to such ir- 
regular passions and unruly lusts which now prevail in them ; but in what state 
diey were made, and how they fell from that estate, and came into the present 
depraved one, they know not; and still less how to get out of it, and to be 
cuied of their irregularities : but divine revelation informs us how man was 
made upright, and like unto God ; and by what means he fell from his up- 
rightness into the sinful state he is in ; and how he may be recovered from it, 
and brought out of it by the regenerating and sanctifying grace of the Spirit of 
God, and not otherwise. 

rv. Though, as the apostle says, the Gentiles without the law, do hy nature tin 
things contained in tie law ; and are a law to themselves^ which shew the work ofthi 
law written on their hearts ; their consciences also bearing witness y and their thoughts 
the mean while accusing^ or else excusing one another^ Rom. ii. 14, 15. and so 
have some notion of the difference between moral good and evil ; yet tliis is not 
so clear and extensive, but that some of the greatest moralists among them, gave 
into the most notorious vices, and allowed of them, and recommended them ; 
Chrysippus' allowed of incest; Plato* commended community of wives; 
Socrates a plurality of wives, and which he enforced by his own example " ; 
Cicero "" pleaded for fornication ; the Stoics, a grave set of moralists, for the 
use of obscene words *, and recommended self-murder as becoming a wise 
man*, and as his duty to commit in some cases. So dim was this light of 
nature in things of a moral kind. 

V. Tliough in many cases reason taught them that certain vices were dis- 
agreeable to God, and resented by him, and he was displeased with diera, and 
would punisli for them ; and they were very desirous of appeasing him ; but 
then how to reconcile him to them, and recommend themselves to his favour, 
Acy were quite ignorant; and therefore took the most shocking and detestable 
mcdiods for it, as human sacrifices, and particularly, burning tlieir innocent 
infants. But revelation shews us the more excellent way. 

'Ueniutin Viucjus. •Vid. Crotiuro in Eph. 5 6. « Laeriiu* in Vltaijus. "Oral. 
84- pro Coelio. • Vid. Cicci«u. £p. L 9. ep. 28. « Vid, Lips. Manuduci, Sioic. Fbilo. 

iQpU. D isicn. sa. F« 365. 


VI. Men may, by the light of nature, have some notion of sin as an oflence 
to God, and of their need of forgiveness from him ; and from a general notion 
of his mercy, and of some instances of kindness to them, may entertain some 
faint ho|)e of the pardon of it; hut then they cannot beccnainof it from thence, 
or that even God will pardon sin at all, the sins of any man ; and still less how 
this can be done consistent with his holiness and justice; but through divine 
revelation we come at a clear and certain knowledge of tliis doctrine, and of its 
consistence with the divine perfections. 

VII. The light (f nature leaves men entirely without the knowledge of the 
way of salvation by die Son of God. And even without revelation, angels of 
themselves would not be able to know the way of saving sinful men, or how 
sinful men can be justified before God ; wherefore, in order to know dils, they . 
''desire to look into it," i Pet. i. 12. Some have thought that Socrates had 
some notion of it; who is made to say ^, '* It is necessary to wait till some ont 
teaches how to behave towards God and men:'* but then this respects only a 
man's outward conduct, and not his salvation : nor does the philosopher seem 
to have any clear notion of the instructer, and of the means he shonld use to 
instruct, and still less of the certainty of his coming; and besides, tlie xxdatcrof 
this, Plato might receive this as a tradition, in the East, whither it is well known 
he travelled for knowledge. But the divine revelation gives an account of this 
glorious Person, not merely as an Instructer of men in tlie way of their duty^ 
but as a Saviour of them from their sins ; and in what way he has wrought out 
our salvation, by his sacrifice, blood, and righteousness. 

* VIII. 1 helight of nature is far from giving any clear and certain account of the 
immortality of the soul, tlie resurrection of the body, and a future state of happi- 
ness and misery: as for die immortality of the soul, the heathens rather wislied 
it to be tine, than were fully satisfied of it ; they diat were for it, made use of 
but mean arguments to prove it ; and they themselves believed it only fide 
dimidiata^ as Minutius Felix * expresses it, with a divided faith ; they did, at 
it were, but half believe it; and as for die resurrection of die body, that was 
denied, as TertuUian says*, by every sect of die philosophers: and in what a 
low manner do they represent the happiness of the future state ; by walking in 
pleasant fields, by sitdng under fragrant bowers, and cooling shades, and by 
shelter from inclement weather; by viewing flowing fountains and purling 
streams; by carnal mirth, feasting, music, and dancing: and the misery of it, 
by being bound neck and heels together, or in chains, or fastened to rocks, and 
whipped by furies, with a scourge of serpents, or doomed to some laborious 
service. But not the least hint is given of the presence of God with the one^ 
nor of his absence from the odier ; nor of any sensadon of liis love or wrath* 
Let us therefore bless God that we have a better rule and guide to go by; 
*^ a more sure word of prophecy to take heed unto:" let us have constant i«* 

7 Plato in Alcibiad. s. p. 459. f Odav. p. 37. f De Pivscript. Harct. c 7« p« t38« 


coarse unto it, as the standaid of faiih and practice; and try every doctrine 
and practice by it, and believe and ace as th-it directs us, and letch every thiiig 
from it that luay be for our good, and the ^lory of God. 


JjEiKG about to treat of God, and of the tiiin:;s of God, it may be proper to 
begin with his names; the names of persons and tilings arc usually the first that 
are known of them; and if thcye arc not known, it cannot be thought that much, 
if any thing, is known of them; anJ whore th;? nnmc of God is not known, 
he himself cannot be known; and the ratlier the consideration of his name, or 
Dames, is worthy of regard, liccaiise they serve to lead into some knowledge of 
his nature and perfections ; and therefore a prc^ncr introduction to such a sub- 
ject. Indeed, properly speaking, since God is incomprehensible, he is not no- 
mioable; and being but cuc, he has no need of a name to distinguish him; and 
therefore Plato** says, he has no name; and hence he conimonlv calls him, 
« OF, tni, TTie Being. So when Moses asked the Lord, what he .should say to 
the children of Israel, should they ask the name of liim that sent him to them, 
he bid him say, I am that Iam\ that is, I'he eternal Bcin^^, the Being of bcin^rs; 
U'hich his name Jehovah is expressive of: nevertiiclcss, tliereare names ol God 
in the scriptures taken from one or other of his attributes, which are worthy of 

The names of God, as Zanchy' obser\'Cs, some of them respect him as the 
lubject, as Jehovah, Lord, God: odiers are prcdicuies, what are sj)oken of hiin, 
or attributed to him, as holy, just, good, &c. Some lespcct tlie rci..t!(»n the di- 
vine persons in the Godhead stand to each other, as Father, Son, and Spirit: 
others the relation of God to the creatures; and which are pnjpcily said ol him, 
and not them, as Creator, Prtjjerver, Ciovernor, &c. some are common to the 
three divine Persons, as Jehovah, God, Father, Spirit; and sonvj iLCi:lii.r to 
each, as the epithets of unl^egotten, begotten, proceeding lioin ihu Father and 
the Son: some are figurative and metaphorical, taken from creatures, to whom 
God is compared ; and ethers are proper names, by which he either calls hmi- 
idf, or is called by the prophets and Apostles, in the books of the Old and New 
Testament; which arc what will be particularly considered. 

I. Elohim is the first name of God we meet with in Scriprure, and is ti^nda- 
ted God, Gen. i. i. and is most frequently used throughout the whole Old 'I'es- 
tamcnt; sometimes, indeed, improperly of creatures, angels, and n-cn, and of 
false deities, Psal. viii. 5. and Ixxxii. i, 6. Jer. x. 1 1. but properly only of God. 
Some derive this word from a root, which signifies to curse and sware ; but 
aitodie reasons why this name la given to die divine being on tliat account, it 

^ Mfj* aps ora/jca i(iy avTB, in Parmrmdr, p. iiaot Ed. Ficin. So Ti i'.mcj^istut apud Lactant. 
laititut. 1. 1. c. ^ * I>e Natura Dei, 1, 1. r. 4. 


diflfcrcnt etymology of it; deriving it from a word*' which signifies to destroy; 
to which there seems to be a beautiful allubioii in Isai. xiii. 6. '"Destruction 
from Shaddai, the destroyer," who destroyed the old world, Sodom and Gomor- 
rah, the first-born of the Eg^'ptians, and Pharaoh and his host: though God is 
so called, previous to most of thci>e instances; indeed he is **thc lawgiver, that 
is able to save and to destroy ;" even to destroy body and soul in hell, with an 
everlasting destruction. And some render the word, the Darter, or Thunderer' ; 
whose darts aie his thunderbi>lis. Job vi. 4. Psal. xviii. 13, 14. The heathens 
called their chief god, Jvpiter tonans^ tlie diiinderer: and, perhaps, from another 
etymology of this word before given, from "W a breast. Some of their deities 
are represented as full of breasts ; so Ceres, Isis, and Diana. This name seems 
to be expressive of the all-sufF.cicncy of God, and of the supply of his creatures 
from it. 

V. Another of the names of God is, the Lord, or God of hosts; it is first 
mentioned in i Sam. i. 3, n . but frequently afieru'ards ; and is left untranslated 
in James v. 4. where the Lord is called, the Lord of Sahaoth^ not Sabbath^ as it 
is sometimes wrongly understood ; and as if it was the same with Lord of Sai" 
both J Matr. xii. 8. for though the words aie somewhat alike in sound, they are 
very different in sense; for Sabbath signifies rest, and Sabaoth hosts or armies: 
the Lord is the Gc-d of armies on earth, a man of war, expert in it; that teach- 
cth men*s hands to war, and their fingers to fight, and is the Generalissimo of 
them, as he was particr.larlv of the armies of Fsriel, as they arc called, Exod. 
vii. 4* which he brought out of Eg\'pt, and went at the head of them, and 
fought dieir battles for them ; see Exod. xiv. 14. and xv. 3. and who gives suc- 
<:cs8 and victorv on what side soever he takes : and he is the Lord of the hosts 
of tlic starry heavens ; the sun, moon, and stars, called the host of heaven, Gen^ 
ii. I. 2 Kings xxi. 3. and xxiii. 5. and by this military term, because under the 
Lord they sometimes fight, as the stars did against Sisera, Judg. v. 20. and also of 
the airy heavens; and die locusts that fly there are his army, Joel ii. 7, 1 1. and 
the meteors, thunder and lightening, snow and hail, which are laid up by hioti 
against the day of battle and war, are the artillery he sometimes brings forth 
against the enemies of his people ; as he did against the Egyptians and Ca» 
naanitcs Job xxxviii. 22, 23. Exod. ix. 23 — 25. Josh. x. ii. the angels 
also are the militia of heaven, and are called the heavenly host, Luke ii. ijw 
see I Kings xxii. 19. the place where the angels of God met Jacob, was 
called firom thence Mahanaim, Gen. xxxii. 11, 12. two hosts or armies, one 
going before him, and the other behind him ; or the one on one side him and die 
other on the other, to guard him ; hence they are said to encamp about dieiH 
that fear the Lord, Psal. xxxiv. 7. These arc the creatures of God by whom 
he is adored and served ; they are at his command, and sometimes employed in a 
military w^ay, to destroy his and his people's enemies ; see 2 Kings xix. 35. 
This name is expressive of God's dominion over all his creatures, and the several 
armies of them. 

'iTT'r va:tavit Buxtorf. ' So Schmidt In Job vi* 4. 

Book U Ot THE NAM&S O^ GOD. 4I 

VI. Another name of God is Adonai, or Adon, Gen. xv. 2. and is commonly 
rendered LonL Hence the Spanish word don for lord. God is so called, be- 
cause he is the Lord of the whole earth, Zech. iv. 14. Some ' derive it firom a 
word which signifies the basis, prop, or support of any thing ^ So a King in 
die Greek language is called iaa-txivfj because he Is the basis and support of his 
people: and so God is tlie support of all his creatures ; " he upholds all things 
by the word of his power;" he bears up the pillars of the earth; all men move 
and have their being in him ; and ''he upholds his saints with the right hand of 
his righteousness;'^ and even his Son, as man and mediator, Isai. xli. 10. and 
jdii. 1. Some think ii has the signification of a judge ° ; ''God is the judge of 
all the earth ;" and is a righteous one, protects and defends good men, and takes 
vengeance on the wicked; and will judge the world in righteousness at the las^ 
day. Though, perhaps, Hillerus"* is rightest in rendering it the cause, from 
which, and for which, all things are; as all things are made by the Lord, and 
for his will, pleasure, and glory, sec Rom. xi. 36. Heb. ii. 10. Rev. iv. it. 
Adon is used in the plural number of God, Mai. i. 6. and so Adonai is used of 
die Son, as well as of the father, Psal. cxi. i. and of the holy Spirit, Isai. vi. 8. 
compared with Acts xxviii. 25. Hence Adonis, with the heathens, the same 
with the sun, their chief delt}% according to Macrobius' , by whom Bacchus is 
called y Ebon, or rather £ldon; who, he says, is also the same with the sun. 

VII. The famous name of God is Jehovah; this is a name he takes to him- 
self, and claims it, Exod. vi. 3. Isai. xlii. 8. and is pecuUar to him ; his name 
alone is Jehovah, and incommunicable to anotlier, Psal. Ixxxiii. 18. because 
diis name, is predicated of God, as a necessary and self-cxistcnt beiiig, as a 
learned Jew* obsenxs, which no other is; for though it is sometimes spoken of 
another, yet not singly and properly, but with relation t® him. So the church 
is called Jehovah-sliammah, because of his presence with her, Ezek. xlviii. 35. 
The Jews, from a superstitious abuse of it, assert it to be inefTablc, and not to 
be pronounced, and even not to be read and written, and therefore they substi- 
tute other names instead of it, as Adonai, and Elohim. This might arise, ori- 
ginallv, from their very great awe and reverence of this name, according to 
Deut. xxviii. 58. but every name of God is reverend, and not to be taken in 
vain, nor used in common, nor with any degree of levity, Psal. cxi. 9. it is 
written with four letters only ; hence the Jews called it tetragrammatouy and is 
very probably the Ttrpouttug of the Pythagoreans, by which they swore ; and it is 
remarkable, that the word for God is so written in almost all languages; de- 
noting, it may be, that he is the God of the whole world ; and ought to be served 
and worshipped, and his name to be great and had in reverence in the four quar- 

• PiKhiut 10 Dissert, dc Sclah, ut supri. Alsted. Lcxic. Thcolog. p. 8«. * 'Tft* foundations, 
bises, Job XKXviii. 6. often rendered sockets in Exodus. » A ttt j dicavit. * Onomastic. 
SacT. p. 258. « Saturnal. Ux.c, 21. y Ibid. c. 18. * R. J -s* .h Albo in Scph:r IkA*- 
rim, I. <• Cm a8» 



tcrs of It; It talccs in all tenses, past, present, and to come': the words of the 
evangelist John arc a proper periphrasis of it; which is^ and which was^ and 
which is to comiy Rev. i. 4. or, shall Ar, as in chap. xvi. 5. it comes from the 
root rvr^ or n^n which signify, to be, -and is expressive of the essence of God^ 
of his necessary and self-existence, for God naturally and necessarily exists ; 
which cannot be said of any other : creatures owe their being to the arbitrary 
will of God; and so might be, and might not be as he pleased; but God exists 
in and of himself, he is a: self-existent and iiidcpendent Being, as he must needs 
be, since he is before all creatures, and therefore cannot have his being from them ; 
and he is the cause of theirs, and therefore must be independent of them; and 
yet, when we say he is sdf-existent, it must not be understood as if he made 
himself; for though he exists, he is not made. He is the Being of beings; all 
creatures have tlicir beings from him and in him, "the heavens, earth, and sea^ 
and all that is in tlicm;" he is the former and maker of all things; he is emi- 
nently the Being, and all in comparison of him are mere non-entities ; all nations 
and the inhabitants of them, are as nothing before him ; yea^ less than nothings and 
vanity^ Isai. xl. 17. 

VIII. Jah is another name of God, which is mentioned in Psal. Ixviii. 4. 
and cl. 6. Isai. xxvi. 4. though it may be only an abreviation or contraction 
of the word Jehovah, and may signify the same; according to Cocceius**, it 
comes from ntv Jcr. x. 7. and signifies decency, or what is meet and becoming. 

IX. Ejch is a name of God gave as a name of his to Moses, when he sent him 
to the children of Israel ; and Is translated I J M that I AAI^ Exod. iii. 13, 14. 
and may be rendered, I shall be what I shall be^ and what I have been ; so the 
Jews<^ interpret it ; "I am he that was, I am he that is now, and I am he that 
is to come, or shall be." It seems to be of the same signification w ith Jehovah, 
and to be derived from the same word, and is exi)ressive of the same things ; of 
the being and existence of God, of his eternity and immutability, and of his faith- 
fulness in performing his promises : our Lord has a manifest respect unto it, 
when he says, Before Abraham was I am^ John viii. 58. Hillerus** renders it 
/ remain^ that is, always the same. 

X. The names of God in the New Testament are these tvvo xvfiOi and Scof, 
the one is usually rendered Lord and the other God. The first is derived from 
jiM/p«, to be* , and signifies the same as Jehovali, to which it commonly answers, 
and denotes the essence or being of God; or from nupog^, power and authority ; 
and agrees with God, who has a sovereign power and authority over all crea- 
tures, having a property in them, by virtue of his creation of them ; it is gf^nerally 
UFcd of Christ, ** who is Lord of all," Acts x. 36. i Cor. viii. 6. Eph. iv. 4. 
The etymology of ^. of, God, is very different; as either from a word which sig- 
nifies to run, or from one tliat signifies to heat, or from one tliat signifies to 

" Buxtorf. de Nomin. Dei, Heb. •. 10. ^ Lexic. p. 283* ' Shemot Rabba, s. 3. fol. 93. j» 
' Oaomast. Sacr. p. 248. ^ Kuptif eft, exiftit, Suidas; %'jpw, sum, Scapula. 'xv;*;, auturiuts 
Kv;iOf autoricatem habeas, Scapula; 10 Philoi quit rcr. divio. Hcrcf, p. 484. 


lee; which seem to be calculated by the heathens for the sun, the object of their 
woishipy applicable to it, for its constant course, being ttie fountain of light and 
heat, and seeing all things, as they ai&nn : though each of tliem may be applied 
to the true God, who runs to the assistance of his people in distress, 2 Chron. 
xvi. 9. PsaL xlvi. i. is light itself, 'Uhe Fathei' of lights, and a consumintr fire,'* 
I John i. 5. Jam. i. 17. Hcb. xii. 29. and sees all men, their ways and works, 
and even their hcircs, the thoughts of them, Job xxxiv. 21, 22. i Sam. xvi. 7. 
Some derive it from a word which signifies to dispose; and which agrees with 
God, who disposes of, and orders all things 'Mn the annics of the heavens, and 
among the inliabitants of the earth, according to tlie council of his will/' and 
to answer the purp')ses of his own glory, and rlic good of his creatures l*h n:\rli 
perhaps, it may be best of all to derive it from a word wliich signifies fear \ 
and so describes God as the object of fear and reverence ; who is not only to be 
itood in awe of bv all tlie inhabitants of the earth, Psal. xxxiii. 8. but more es- 
|kxially is to be feared with a godly fear by his saints, Psal. Ixxxvii. 7. Hcb. xii. 28. 
and fear sometimes takes in the whole worship of God, both internal and exter- 
nal; ami so the true God, in distinction from others, is called, tlie Fear, that is, 
the God of Isaac, Gen. xxxi. 53. and frAm fear, is sometimes used in tJic Tar- 
gum ' for the true God, as it sometimes is of idols. 

From all these names of God we learn that Gtxl is, the eternal, immutable, 
and almighty Being, the Bein^ of beings, self-existent, and selt-sufEcient, and 
Ae object of religious worship and adoration. 


1 HERE is a natute that belongs to every creature, wliich is diiTicult to under. 
ttand: and so to God, tb.e CiOuior, whicii is most diiKcuit of all: tliat Naiurc 
may be predicated of God, is what tlic apostle aii^gcsis wlun he says, the Gala- 
tians, bcloic conversion, scr\cd ihcm, who h tii*:incj iini- no goJs^ Gal. iv. 8. 
which implies, that thui:^h liic idols tliCv h;id v.oishipjjcd were not, yet tlicre 
was one, that was by Nature, Gou; otllLlA^i^c tlicrc wouli! be an impropi.cty 
indenvinor it of them. Mention is also made of liU divine Naiare, 2 Pet. i. 4, 
which, indeed, is not the nature that is in God, but wiiat is iiihu:cdand iinpi.iit- 
«d in men in regeneration; so culled not oidy because it i^.lroin God, as its au- 
dior, but because it is die image of iiim, and bcais a llkeikcss and resembla.iee to 
him: but dien there must be a naiurc hi him to w.iiCii ^liis is siiiulai, being 
"created, after him, in ri^!itcoasue:>s -:iJ luc »^Jiilli^.^;'' or tacrc AOuiJ be no 

*-i.z:Tt* O'-'iT, ciirrcrr, so Fliio m Ciaiylo p. 173. C!ein. Al. o oii'.i?l. p. i^- vt" itJ.iviulisr.-r*?, 
icceiKicic vrl.Jitvri, cecnric,\cl .. 4"i« cii-woiiti , ku Cicm. A', biioinai iu fiac, li odoi. r'.iii pr^ 
*■ i". vfl a V.:; mii>r, Piilia .>; Mipra; :.;c4l ii vc. j1 cyjn 1- .-Ci iii^\ be ic."ii .o Zdif.iiy d** 
NVkuIici, 1. 1. c. 16. Al::-tl. L;.XiC. T.i.oiw^. p. 8. '' i-n^^u^u i-.tioiji. in Dcu.. Y.\xn. ij. 



propriety In the denomination of it from him. This is what is called Divinity 
Deity, or Godhead; which must not be thought to be *Mike to gold, silver, or 
stone, graven by art, or man's device ;" or to be in the similitude of any creature 
in a picture, painting or sculpture ; and which is to be seen and understood by 
the visible works of creation, and is what, ** in all its perfection and fulness, 
dwells bodily in Christ," Acts xvii. 29. Rom. i. ^o. Coi. ii. 9, it is the same 
with the form of God, in %vhich Christ is said to be, Phil. ii. 6. which designs not 
any external form, for God has no visible shape, but his internal Glor}', excellen* 
cy, nature, and perfections, in which ^'Christ is equal with him, and his fellow;" 
and he is not only the express image of him, but one with him: noc merely 
of a like, but of the same nature; so that he that sees the one, sees the other* 
Essence, which is the same thing with nature, is ascribed to, God ; he is said to 
be excellent nsinn in essence, Isai. xxviii. 29. for so the words may be ren-> 
dered, that is, he has the most excellent essence or being; this is contained in hit 
names, Jehovah, and I am that I am, which are expressive of his essence or being, 
as has been observed ; and we are required to believe that he is, that he has a 
being or essence, and does exist, Heb. xi. 6. and essence is that by which a per^- 
son or tiling is what it is, diat is its naturo ; and with respect to God, it is the 
same with his face, which cannot be seen, Exod. xxxiii. 20, 23. that is, cannot 
be perceived, understood, and fully comprehended, especially in the present state; 
and, indeed, though in t^)e future state siints will behold il;e face of God, and 
** see him face to face, and as he is," so far as they are capable of, yet it is imr 
possible for a finite mind, in its most exalted state, to comprehend the infinite 
Nature and Being of God. 

This nature is common to the three Persons in God, but not communicated 
from one to another; they endi of tlicm partake of it, and possess it as one un- 
divided nature ; they all enjoy it ; it is not a part of it that is enjoyed by one, 
and a part of it by another, but the whole by each ; as " all the fulness of thp 
Godhead dwells in Christ," sn in the holy Spirit ; and of the Father, there wilj 
be no doubt; these equally subsist in the unity of the divine essence, and that 
without any derivation or communication of it from one to another. I know 
it is repi'esentcd by some, who, otlierwise, are sound in the doctrine of the Tri- 
nity, that the divine natuie b communicated from the Father to the Son an4 
Spirit, and that he is /oru Dcitatis^ the fountain of Deity ;*' which, I think, 
are unsafe phrases ; since they seem to imply a priority in the Father to the 
oiher two persons ; for he that communicates must, at least in order of nature, 
and according to our conception of things* be prior to whom the conununicar 
tion is made ; and that he has a superabundant plenitude of Deity in him, pre- 
vious to tliis communication. It is better to say, that they arc self-existent, and 
exist together in the same undivided essence ; and jointly, equally, and as early 
one as the other, possess the same nature. 

The nature of God is, indeed, incomprehensible by us; somewhat of it may 
be apprehended, but it cannot be fully comprehended; Canst thou bj starching 

Book L or the nature of god. 45 

find fiut Godf Canst thau find out the AimWhty unto petfecthnf Job xi. 7. No: 

but then this docs not forbid us searching; and cn^jniring after him: though \vc 

cannot have adequate ideas of God, yet we should endeavour to get the best we 

can, and frame the best conceptions of him we are able ; that so we may serve 

and worship him, honour and glorify him, in the best manner. The worlds 

the heathen world, even the wisest in it, h ivisdom knfw not God^ i Cor. i. 2i, 

they knew, or might know, there was a God, but they did not know what he 

was, and so glorified him not as God. An heathen philosopher ' being asked 

Ais question, What God was? required a day to think of it; when that was 

op, he asked a second, and still more time ; and a reason of his dilatoriness 

being demanded of him, he replied, That the longer he considered of the qucs^ 

tjon, the more obscure it was to him. Yet, somewhat of God, of his nature 

and perfections, may be known by the light of nature, Rom. i. 19, 20- and 

more by divine revelation ; for though it may with proprictA' be said, what is his 

Momff or nature, if thou canst^ tell? Prov. xx>c. 4. yet him whom the heathens 

ignorantly worshipped, the apostle Paul declared unto them. Acts xvii. 23. and 

diough the Samaritans worshipped they knew not what, yet Clirist declared to 

die woman of Samaria, wh;it God, the object of spiritual worshi)), is ; saying 

God is a spirit; tliat is, he is of a spiritual nature, John iv. 22, 24. and this 

we may be sure is a true definition, description, and declaration of God, and of 

his nature ; since this was given by the Son of God, who lay in his bosom, 

and perfectly knew his nature, as well as his will; see John i. 18. Matt. xi. 27. 

and by which we are taught, 

1. That God is not a body, ami that we arc, in onr conceptions of him, to 
remove e\-ery thing from bim that is corporeal ; for spirit, and body or ticsh, arc 
opposed to one another, Isai. xxxi. 3. Luke xxiv. 30. aiul yet there have been 
some, both ancients and moderns, atlieistically inclined, who have asserted, ihat 
matter is God, and God is universal matter: and that the whole universe is 
God, and that extension is one of !iis attributes : and a sort of people called An - 
fhropomorphitcs, who bore the christian name, ascribed an hmnan body, and 
the parts of it, to God, in a proper sense, mistaking some passLiges of scripture; 
and the common people among the papists, have no other notion of God, than 
(if a grave old man: in this respect both Jews and Hcatiicns have betier no- 
tions ; of die Jews R. Joseph Albo'^, Maimonidcs', and others, deny that G'xl is 
a body, or consists of bodily parts: and of Heathens, Pytliagoras ', Xeno- 
phanes'^, Sallustius°, and others p, affirm God to be incoqiorcal ; and the Stoics 
say, he has not an human form**. But if God was matter, which is inert, un- 
active, and motionless, he could not be the maker and mover of all ihinr^s, as 
be is; yir in him we livc^ and move ^ and have our he'iN^y Acts xvii. 28. Matter 

'Simonidcii apud Cicero, de Natura Dcor. I. i. ^Scph.*r Ikkarini, I. 2. c. 6. 'HilrfiOt 
YesudeUatorah, c. i . s. 5. 6. "* Apud Lactant. dc Irn, c. ti. " Apud Ckroent. Stniinat. 

^^ p* 601. *De Diis&. Muodo, c. 2. f SoAiiitotlc, lacit. 1. 5. in Viu ejus, 4 Lacrt. 
i- 7. in V»u Zeno. 


is without consciousness, is not capable of thinking, and without understand- 
ing, wisdom, and knowledge ; and as it is not capuble of actiiig, so much less 
of doing, such works as require contrivance, skill, wisdom, and knowledge, as 
the works of creation and providence; and therefore if God was matter, he could 
not be the Creator and Governor of the world ; nor if a body, could he be om- 
nipresent; a body is not every where, cannot be in two places at the same time ; 
whereas God fills heaven and earch: ai.d was he of so huge a body as to take 
up all space, there would be no room for other bnlies, as there certainly 15; 
nor would he be invisible; a body is to be seen and fek; bi:t God is invisible 
and impalpable ; " no man hath seen God at any time ," and if a body, he would 
not be the most perfect of beings, as he is, since angels, aiid the souls of men, 
being spirits, are more excellent than bodies. 

It is no objection to this, that the parts of an human body are sometimes at- 
tributed to God ; since these are to be understood of him not in a proper, but in 
an improper and figurative sense, and denote some act and action, or attribute 
of his; thus his face denotes his sight and presence, in which aU things are. 
Gen. xix. 13. sometimes his favour and good will, and the manifestation of hit 
love and grace, Psal. xxvii. 8. and Ixxx. 3. and sometimes his wrath and hidig- 
sation against wicked men, Psal. xxxiv. 16. Rev. vi. 17. His eyes signify his 
omniscience, and all^ceing providence; concerned both with good men, to pro- 
tect and preserve them, and bestow good things on them ; and with bad men, ro 
destroy them, Irov. xv. 3. 2. Chron. xvi. 9. Amos ix. 8. His ears, his rea- 
diness to attend unto, and answer the requests of his people, and deliver them 
out of their troubles, Psal. xxxiv. 15. Isa. lix. i. His nose and nostrils, his 
acceptance of the persons and sacrifices of men. Gen. viii. 21. or his disgust at 
them, anger with them, and non-acceptance of them, Duet. xxix. 2C. Isai. Ixv. 5. 
Psal. xviii. 8. His mouth is expressive of his commands, promises* rhreaten- 
ings, and prophecies delivered out by him. Lam. iii. 29. Isai. i. 20. Jer. xxiii. i6. 
His arms and hands signify his power, and tiie exertion of it, as in making 
the heavens and the earth, and in other actions of his, Tsal. cii. 27. Job xxvi. 13. 
Psal. Ixxxix. 13. and cxviii. 16. Dcut. xxxiii. 27. 

Nor is it any proof of corporeity in God, that a divine person has sometimes 
appeared in an human form; so oue of the men tliat came to Abiaham, in the 
plains of Mamrc, was no other, than the Lord omniscient and omnipotent, as 
the aiter discourse wirh him shews. Gen. xviii. 3. And the man that wrestled 
with Jacob till break of day, was a divine person, of which Jacob was sensible j 
and therefore called the place where he wreftlcd with him, Peniel, the face of 
God, Gen. xxxii. 24, 30. So he that appeared to Manoah, aud his wife, Judg. 
xiii. 6, 10, 18. with other instances that might be mentioned. But then thesjc 
were appearances of tiic Son of God in an liuman form, and were presages of 
his future incarnation; for as for the Father, no man ever saw his shape, John v. 
37. and, it may be, the reason why the piwtf of an human body are so often as- 
cribed to God, may l)e on account of Cliribt's incuinacion, to prepare the minds 


of men for it, to inure them to ideas of it, to raise their expectation of it, and 
strengthen their faith in it; and the rather since these attributions were more fre* 
qucnt before the coming of Christ in the flesh, and very rarely used afterwards. 

Nor will the formation of man in the image, and after the likeness of God, 
afford a sufficient argument to prove that there is something coiporeal in God, 
seeing man has a soul or spirit, in which this image and likeness chiefly and 
principally lay; and which was-origiiiallv created in rii;hteousncss and holiness, 
in wisdom and knowledge: and though he has a body also; yet, inasmuch as a 
body was prepared in the council and covenant of grace, from eternity, for the 
Son of Gcxi to assume in time ; and in the book of God's eternal purposes, all 
the members of it were written \ which in continuance were fashioned ^ when as yet 
there was none of them^ Heb. x. 5. Psal. cxxxix. 16. God might, according to 
die idea of it in his eternal mind, form the body of the first man. 

II. The description of God, as a Spirit, teaches us to ascribe to God all the 
excellencies to be found in spirits in a more eminent manner, and to consider 
them as transcendent and infinite in him. By spirits, I understand not sub- 
tilized bodies, extracted out of various things ; nor the wind and air, so called be- 
cause invisible, and very piercing and i>enetrating, though bodies, and very 
ponderous ones; nor the spirits of animals, which are material, die, and go 
downwards to the earth : but rational spirits, angels, and the souls of men ; the 
former are called spirits, Zech. vi. 5. Heb. i. 13. and so are the latter. Job 
xxxii. 8- Heb. xii. 23. they are indeed created spirits, Psal. civ. 4. Zech. xii. !• 
but God an uncreated one, and is tlie Creator of these, and tlierefore said to be, 
"the Father of spirits," Heb. xii. 9. these are creatures of time, and finite be- 
ings; made since the world was, and are not every where: bu't God is an eternal 
infinite, and immense Spirit, from cveria.sting to everlasting; and whom " the hea- 
ven of heavens cannot contain ;" yet there are some excellencies in spirits, which 
may lead more easily to conceive somewhat of God, and of his divine nature. 

Spirits are immaterial, have no corporal parts, as flesh, blocxi, and bones, 
Luke xxiv. 39. and though eyes, hands, &c. are ascribed to God, yet not of 
ilesh. Job X. 4. but such as express what is suitable to spiritual beings in the most 
exalted sense. Spirits are incorniptible ; for having no matter about them, they 
arc not liable to corruption ; they are, indeed, capable of moral corruption, as 
appears from the angels that sini^ed, and from the depravity of tlie souls of men 
by the fall; but not of natural corruption: but God is not subject to corruption 
in any sense, and is therefore called tlie incorruptible Gody Rom. i. 23. Spirits 
arc immortal ; angels die not, Luke xx. 36. the souls of men cannot be killed, 
Klatt. X. 28. not consisting of parts, that are capable of being divided and se- 
parated, they cannot be brought to destruction. It is one of tlie characters of 
God, that he is immortal, yea, only hath immortality; and so more transcen- 
dentlvy and in a more eminent manner immortal than angtis, and the souls of 
men; he has it of himself, and underivatively, and is the giver of it to others, 
I Tim. i. 17. and vi. 16. Spirits are invisible; it is a vulgar mistake tiiat they 


are to be seen ; who ever saw the soul of a man ? or an angel, in its pure fonn.^ 
whenever they have made themselves visible, it has been by assuming another 
fonn« and human one. '* (iod is invisible and dwells in light, which no 
man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see/' i Tim. i. 17* 
and vi. i6. and therefore as no likeness and similitude of a spirit can be formed 
and taken, so none of God: who can tell of what colour, form and figure, 
shape and size, the soui of a man is ? nor can any describe the form and figure 
of an angel: as for the pictures, paintings, and sculptures of them, they are the 
fi*uit of mere fancy aiul imagination, and at most but emblematical : because 
angels have appeared in an human foim, therefore thev are painted as young 
men; and because of ih-'ir quick dispatch, and swiftness, in doing the errands 
and messages they have been sent upon, wings are given dicm ; but never wai 
8uch a creature in real being, or ever seen in the wiiole world, in any age, as 
a young roan with wings at his shoulders. So no likeness can be formed of God : 
no similitude was ever seen of him, and to whom can be likened and compar-" 
ed? Deut* iv. 12. Isai. xl. 18. and xlvi. 5. Some of tlie Heathens'' have ac- 
knowledged the invibibility of God, as a Spirit; and Aristotle* argues tlie invi- 
sibility of God, from the invisibility of tlie soul of man. 

But besides these properties, there are others still more excellent in spirits, by 
which they approach nearer to God, and bear a greater resemblance to hin^ 
and serve to give us clearer ideas of his nature ; they are living, active, endow- 
ed with understanding, will, and affections ; they are lively, have a principle of 
life ; angels are conunonly diought to be die living crcatui-cs in Ezckiel's vision ;' 
however, they are such, and so the souls of men : the body of Adam, U'hen first 
made, was a lifeless lump of clay ; but when God breathed into him the breath 
of life> " he became a living soul," Gen. ii. 7. God is the living God, has life 
in and of himself, and gives life to all creatures that have it. Spirits are active, 
and can operate upon others, as the souls of men on their bodies ; God is all 
act, actus simpliclssimusy as he is sometimes siiled, die most simple act ; there i$ 
nothing passive in him, as matter, to be wrought upon ; he works, and alwavs 
works; and "all creatures live aild move, and have their being in him," 
John v. 1 7. Acts xvii. 28. Spirits, angels, and the souls of men, are intelligent be- 
ings, have a faculty of understanding things natural and spiritual ; the understand-* 
ing of God is infinite, there is no searching of it, he understands himself, and all 
created beings, and their natures, Psal. cxlvii. 6. Isai. xl. 28. Spirits have the 
power of willing, they are voluntary- agents ; and God wills whatever he docs, 
and does whatever he wills ; his will is boundless, uncontioulable, and sovereign, 
Psal. cxv. 3. Dan. iv. 35. Spirits have the aflections of love, merry, pity, &c. 
God not only loves his creatures, but "is love itself," i John iv. 16. "His 
mercy is from everlasting to everlasting, on them that fear him;" and he pities 
them as a father pities his children, Psal. ciii. 13, 17. 

' PhilemoD Sc Orpheus apud [uftin, dc Monarch* p. 204, lOj. • Dc Mundo, c* 6. 10 MU 
Butiiu Fcliji, in o£Uvio, p. 35, 3€« 


Book If ' Of THE NATURE OP ODD. 49 

III. God being a Spirit, we learn that he is a simple' and uncompounded 
iBeing, and does not consist ot parts, as a body does ; his spirituality involves 
his simplicity ; some indeed consider this as an attribute of God; and his spin* 
tuatity also; and, indeed, evtry attribute of God, is God himself, is his nature, 
inl are only so many ways of considering it, or are so many displays of it. 
However, k is certain God is not composed of parts, in any sense; not in a 
physical seitte, of essential parts, as matter and form, of which b:xlies consist: 
nor of integral parts, al soul and body, of which men consist : nor in a metaphy^ 
ncal sense, as of essence and existence, ot act and power : nor in a logical sense^ 
as of kind and difference, substance and accident; all which would argue im« 
pofecdon, weaknete, and mutability. If God was composed of parts he would 
DOC be eternal, and absolutely the first Being, since the composing parts, would, 
at least, co-exist with him ; besides, the composing parts, in our conception ot 
Aem, would be prior to the compositum ; as the body and soul of man, of which 
he is composed, are prior to his being a man : and, beside, there must be a com- 
poser, who puts the parts together, and therefore must be before what is com- 
posed of them; all which is inconsistent with tlie eternity of GoA: nor would 
he be infinite and immense ; for either tliese parts are finite, or infinite ; if finite 
ihey can never compose an infinite Bemg ; and if infinite, there must be more 
t nfinif^ dian one, which implies a contradiction: nor would he be independent; 
fix what is composed of parts, depends upon those parts, and the union of them, 
by which it is preserved: nor would he be immutable, unalterable, and immor- 
tal; since what consists of parts, and depends upon the union of them, is liable 
to alteration, and to be resolved into those pans again, and so be dissolved and 
come to destruction. In short, he would not be the most perfect of Beings ; 
for as the more spiritual a being is, the more pet feet it is; and so it is, the more 
simple and uncompounded it is ; as even all things in nature arc more noble, 
and more pure, the moie free they arc from comj>r)siti()n and mixture. 

Nor is the simplicity of God to be disproved by tlic Trinity of Persons in the 
Godhead; for though there are three distinct persons, tlicre is but one nature 
and essence common to them all, and which is not parted and divided aiiiong them 
but is jointly and equally possessed by them ; nor do these persons ically dift'cr 
fiom die divine natuie and essence, nor from one another, but bv their distinct 
modes of subsisting ; so that thev only distingui^sh and modify, but do neither 
divide nor compose the divine natuic: nor is it to be disproved by the decrees of 
God; the decrees of God are wirhin himself, and, as it is commonly said, what* 
ever is in God, is God, and so are no other than God himself, as to the act of 
decreeing, though not with re-.jycct to the things dcerecd; and though they arc 
many and various, as to the objects of them, yet not in God, who, by one eter- 
nal act, in his infinite mind, has dccieed every tlung that has heen, is, or shall 

'•rXKjr T», wxl ravrx^ nx..r« t«:- lairu utti: ix'V. -.v, is simple, anJ lfa« of :iil flrnniu fiora 
b;i own idrai-^xeintioi always liniply m hij own u^Ttu, VlAiodc ilrpub, 1. 1. j*. ojoi. 
VOX,. I. II 


be ; and this is what Plato'* means by ev xai to>jm one and many in God ; on6 
as to his csfence ; many, as to the ideas and decrees in it^ which many are od&* 
noi is it to he disproved by the attributes of God ; for tliey are no othet than God 
hirfi5oir« and neither difitir iVum one another, but wiili respect to their objects^* 
ani c iTecr^, and in our manner of conce|)tion of dicm ; nor from the nature and 
cs!:er.(.e ot Gnd ; tliey are himself, and his nature; he is not only eternal, wise^ 
gr.od, Uvin-;, /'c*:. hutJ'x is eternity itself, wisdom itself, goodness itself, love it»- 
seit, 6cc. ar.d tiii^ic are not p^^ns of his narure, but displays of the same undivided 
fiacuic, and 'Hw cli'vn^it coni^idcrations of it, in which we view it; our jninda 
being .so wc'^k :is iu.>t to be able to conceive of God at once and together, and 
En the gioss, hs. die thing after another, and the same in different lights, that 
!vee mA\ bcitLr undcrsuM^ci it: thcbc several chings, called attributes, which axe 
one in God, are prolicatcd ot iihri, and ascribed to him distincdy, for helps to 
our finite undciMrjvJihgs, aitd lor the relief of uur minds; and that we, with moi< 
iacility and case, nii^Ju conceive of the n.iturc of God, and take in more of hioa 
as we can by parcels and p:e<L enseals, than in the whole; and so, as a learned 
Jew^ observes, all attiibuies arc only inicllc;:tual notions; by which are 
conoeived the perfections tliat are in the csbenec of Ciol, but in reality are no* 
diing but his essence i and which attiibutcs will be next considered* 


1 HE attributes of God are variously distlnguijicd bv divines; some distin* 
guish them into negative and positive, or affninaiive: the negative are sucl| 
as remove from him whatever is iniperfcci in crcarurc-»i such are infinity, im- 
mutabiUty, immortalitv^ &c. which deny him to be finite, mutable, and mortal; 
and, indeed, it is easiei to say what God is not, than what he is : the positive^ 
or affirmative, arc such as assert some perfection in God, which is In and of 
liimself; and which in the creatures, in any measure, is from him, as wisdon^ 
goodness, justice, holiness, &c. but tlic distinction is discarded by others; because 
in all negative attributes some positive excellency is found. Some distribute 
ihem into a two-fold order, first and second ; Attributes, or essendal propertief 
of die first order, decLirc tlie essence of God as in himself, such as his sim- 
plicity and perfection, infinity and immutability \ and attributes, or esential 
propel ties of the second order, which though primarily and properly, and 
naturally, and infinitelv, and in a more exccUeAt manner are in God, than in 
creatures; yet secondarilv, and in an analogical sense, are in them, there being 
tome similitude of them in diem, of which there is none df the former order in 
tliem; these are said to be life and immortahty, blessedness and glory. Again> 
some are said to be absolute, and others relative : absolute ones arc such 

« III Philcbo, 'p. 372, Sec, and in Fiiacnivlc| p. ti lO, Ac. ^ R.Jcfcph .Alb^ ia Scphv 
Ikkarim, 1. a. c. 8. 


as eternally agree with the essence of God, without respect to his creatures, 
and are expressed by names, Jehovah, Jah, &c. relative ones are such as agree 
vrith him in time, with some certain respect to his creatures, and are expressed 
by his being dieir Creator, Governor, Preserver, Redeemer, &c. some are 
called proper, as those before mentioned; and others figurative, signified by the 
parts of the human body, and the aflbctions of the mind, as observed in the 
preceding chapter: but the more commonly receive<I distinction of the attri- 
bates of God, is into the communicable and incommunicable ones ; the in- 
communicable attributes of God, are such as there is no appearance or shado\y 
of diem in creatures; as independence, immutability, immensity, and eternity: 
communicable ones, are such as are common to God, with men ; or, how- 
ever, of which there is some resemblance in men, as goodness, holiness, justice, 
and wisdom ; yet of tliese It may be said, that they are incommunicable, as 
they are in God, in whom they are infinite, and cannot, as such, be commu- 
nicated to finite creatures: none but God is essentially, originally, underivately* 
perfectly, and infinitely good, holy, just, and wise. But as God is defined a 
Spirit in Scripture, as has been observed, I sliull endeavour to sort the perfec- 
tions and attributes of GoJ in agreement with that : and with respect to his 
nature, as an uncreated Spirit, may be referred, besides his spirituality and sim- 
plicity, already considered, his immutability, and infinity, which includes his 
immensity, or omnipresence, and eternity : and with respect to it as active, and 
operative, the life of God, and his omnipotence: and with resj^ect to the facul- 
ties, as a rational spirit, particularly the understanding, to which may belong, 
his omniscience, and luanifolJ wisdom ; and the will, under which may be con- 
sidered the acts of that, and die sovereignty of it ; and the affections, to which 
may be reduced, the love, grace, mercy, hatred, anger, patience, and long-suf- 
fering of God: and lastly, under the notions of qualities and virtues, maybe 
considered, his gooilncss, holiness, justice, trudi, and fairiifulness ; and, as the 
complement of the whole, his perfection or all-sufficiency, glory, and blessed- 
ness: and in this order J sliiill consider them. And begin widi. 

The Immutability of Goili which arises from, and is closely comiectcd with 
his spiritualitv and simplicity, or is v»liat agrees with him, and is necessary to 
him as a spiritual, simple and unconipounded Being''. 

Immutability is an attribute which God claims, and cliallcnges as peculiar to 
himself; I am the Lord, I change wit, Mai. iii. 6. Mutability belongs to crea- 
tures, immutability to God onlv; creatures change, but he docs not; the hea- 
vens and the earth, which he made, arc not always the same; but *' he is 
the same for ever:" the visible heavens are often changing; they are somciimcs 
serene and clear, at other times covered w irh clouds and darkness, and filled with 
meteors, snow, rain, hail, &c. the fa^-c of the eartli ap^x^ars different at the va- 
iious seasons of the year, and is particularly renewed every spring: it has un- 

* TO TtiiV mfxirtShnriy aia-^iuttii liiai, Aridot. dc Coelo, 1. i. c, 9. xa; '^J'«o; a/MiTa^Ann;, Sallust. 
^e Dili, c. 1. 8t 


5^ OP 'tttt IMKft)TABILlTY OP CMXD. 

dergrihe one great change by a flobd, and will undergo anofticr by firt ; when thae, 
and tAe works that are thereiriy shall be burnt up ; and the heavens^ being on fir e^ shall 
iedissfilved; and the elements shall melt with jfervent heat; 2xA new heavens^ and 
c new earthy shall succeed, 2 Pet. iii. 10*- 13. to which changeableness ih 
them the unchangeableness of God is opposed : jIH ef them shall wax old like ^ 
garment y as a vesture shalt thou change them^ and they shall be changed; hit 
thou art the same^ and thy years shall have no endy Psal. cii. 25 — 27, The suA 
in die firmament, diat great luminary, and fountain of light and heat, in allu^ 
£on to which, God is called the Father of lights, has its parallaxes, or varioui 
iappearances, at morning, noon, and evening; it has its risings aiid settii^s; 
and never rises and sets at the same point in the heavens one day in the year, 
but always varies a little; it is sometimes under clouds, and in an eclipse; but 
With God is no variableness, ryfotK^arn or a parallax; the sun, at certaifi sea- 
sons of the year, passes from one tropic, and enters into another, as well al 
casts shades oti the earth ; but with God there is no shadow of turning, tfOvi^ 
or a trope, or tropic; diere is no mutation nor turning in him, nor shadow of 
any, James i. 17. see Job xxiii. 13. the inhabitants of heaven and earth ar6 
changeable, even the most excellent of them, angels and men : angels in theif* 
original nature and state, were subject to change, as the apostacy of many <X 
them have shewn ; who have changed both state and pbce ; they kept not theit- 
first estate, but left their own habitation, being obliged to the latter, because of 
the; for simiing against God, they were hurled out of heaven, and iasl 
down to helly and delivered into chains of darkness y to be reserved unto judgment^ 
Jude 6. 2 Pet. ii. 4, the angels which stood when the rest fell, are now indeed 
become impeccable, and are firmly settled in their state of integrity ; but then this 
is owing not to their own nature, but to the electing grace of God, in Christ* 
and to the confirming grace of Christ, tlieir head, v/ho is the head of all princi" 
fality and power y I Tim. v. 2 1 . Col. ii. 10. Man, at his best estate, his estate of 
innocence, and integrity, was altogether vanity : for though not sinful, yet being 
mutable, and left to the mutability of his will, which was his vanity, when 
tempted, fell into sin ; and though made upright, lost the rectitude of his nature ; 
tfiough made after the image of God, soon came sliort of that glory ; and though 
he had don^inion o\er the creatures, being in honour, he abode not loiig, but 
Wame like those he had the power over; and though placed in the most de* 
lightful and fiuitful spot in all the globe, yet rebelling against his Maker and 
Benefactor, was driven out from thence by him ; and is now a creature subject 
to iiuiumerable changes in life ; diseases of various sorts sieze his body, and 
change his beauty and his strength, and death at last turns him to corruption 
and dust; he is like the changeable grass of the field; flourishes a while, is then 
cut down, and whiihers away ; but God and his word endure for ever the same, 
J Pet. i. 24, 25. good men are very mutable, both in their inward and outwari 
estate: in spiritual afFairs; in the fiames of their minds, in the affections of 
their souls, in the exercise of grace, in their devotion and obedience to God^ 


Ind wonhipofhim: in temporal afFairs; what an instance of mutability waa 
Job, in his estate, in his family, and in his health and friends? well might he 
lay, changes and war are against wr, Job x. 17. and at lonoih came to his great 
and last change, death; as all men n:ust, even the best of men: indeed, in the 
future state, good men will be no more subject to change; their spirits will be 
made perfect, and sin no more, nor sorrow any more •, and their bodies, when 
tailed, will remain immortal, incomiptiblc, spiritual, powerful, and glorious ; 
bat this will be owing, not to themselves, but to the imchangeable grace and 
power of God : God only is in and of himself immutable ; and he is unchange- 
able in his nature, perfections, and purposes, and in his love and afiections to 
bis people, and in his covenant, and the blessings and promises of it; and even 
ia his threatenings. 

I. In his nature and essence, being simple, and devoid of all composition, at 
has been proved: the more simple and free from mixture and composition any 
diing is, the less subject to change. Gold and silver, being the purest and freest 
of aU metab irom composition, are not so alterable as others: spirits, being 
ODOompoinided, and not consisting of parts, are not so changeable as bodies; 
and God, being an infinite and uncreated Spirit, and free from composition in 
tftrj sense, is intirely and perfectly immutable : and since he is eternal, tlicre 
can be 00 change of time with him ; time doth not belong to him, only to a 
creature, which is the measure of its duration ; and began when a creature be- 
pn to be, and not before; but God is before all creatures; they being made by 
him, and so before time ; he was tlic same before the day was as now, and now 
as he was before; "even the same to -day, yesterday, and forever:" though 
he is the ancient of days, he does not become older and older ; he is no oldiT 
now than he ^'as millions of ages n^o, nor will be millions of ages to come; 
his eternity is an everlasting and unchangeable now ; Ht is the snmcj a7id hisyeari 
ikallhave no end^ Psal. cii. 27. see Heb. xiii. 8. and seeing he is intinitc, im- 
mense, and omnipresent ; there can be no change of place with him, for he fills 
heaven and earth with his presence ; he is every where, and cannot change or 
move from place to place; when therefore he is said to come down on earth, 
tar to depart from men, it is not to be understood of local motioii, or change of 
phce; but of some uncommon exertion of his power, and demonstration of his 
presence, or of the withdrawment of some benefit from them: but this will be 
considered more largely under the attribute of omnipresence, in its proper place. 
God is the most perfect Being, and therefore can admit of no change in his na- 
ture, neither of increase nor decrease, of addition nor diminution ; if he changes, 
it must be either for the better or the worse ; if for the better, then he was im- 
periiect before, and so not God: if for the worse, then he becomes imperfect; 
and the same follows; a Uke reasoning is used by Plato ^, and by another anci- 
tet philosopher', who asserts that God is good, impassible and unchangeable; 
fcr vriiatsoever is changed, says he, is either for die better or the worse; if for 
7 De RcpubKctf l.s. p. 6o6» f Salluttius dc Diis & Mtiado, c. x. 


the worse, it becomes Iwd; and if for the better, it was bad at first. Or if to 
changes from an infinitely perfect state, to another equally so, then diere must 
be more infinites than one, which is a contradiction. Again, if any change is 
made in him, it ma^t Ije either from somewhat within him, or, from somewhat 
wichoiit him ; if from within, he must consist of p:irts ; there must be another 
and another in him ; he must consist of act and power ; there must be not only 
something active in him, to work upon him, but a passive power to be wrought 
upon; which is contrary to his simplicity, already established; for, as a Jew* 
well argues, what necessarily exists of itself, has no other cause by which it can 
be changed ; nor that which changes, and that which is changed, cannot be to- 
gether ; for so there would be in it two, one which changes, and another whidi 
is changed, and so would be compound ; which is inconsistent with the simpli* 
city of God: if from somewhat without him, then there must be a superior to 
him, able to move and change him ; but he is the most high God ; there is nooB 
in heaven nor in earth above him; he is " God over all, blessed for ever/* 

Nor is the immutability of the divine nature to be disproved from the creation 
of the world, and all things in it; as when it is suggested, God, from a non- 
agent, became an agent, and acquired a new relation, that of a Creator, from 
whence mutability is argued: but it should be observed, that God had from all 
etemijty the same creative power, and would have had, if he had never created 
^ny thing; and when be put it forth in time, it was according to his unchange-* 
able will in eternity, and produced no change in him ; the change was in the crea- 
tures made, not in him the Maker; and though a relation results from hence, 
and which is real in creatures, is only nominal in the Creator, and makes no 
change in his nature. 

Nor the unchangeableness of the divine nature to be disproved by tlie incarna- 
tion of Christ; for though he, a divine Person, possessed of the divine nature, 
was made flesh, or became man ; the divine nature in him was not changed in* 
to the human nature, nor the human nature into the divine, nor a third natiits 
made out of tliem both ; was this the case, the divine nature would have been 
changeable; but so it was not; for as it has been commonly said, "Christ re- 
mained what he was, and assumed what he was not;" and what he assumed 
added nothing to his divine person; he was only manifest in tlie flesh; he nei- 
ther received any perfection, nor imperfection, from the human nature ; though 
that received dignity and honour by its union to him, and was adorned with the 
gifts and graces of the Spirit without measure, and is now advanced at the right 
hand of God. Nor was any change made in the divine nature by the sufierings 
of Christ ; the divine nature is impassible, and is one reason why Christ assum* 
cd the human nature, that he might be capable of suffering and dying in the 
room and stead of his people; and though the Lord of life and glory was cruci* 
fied, and God purchased die church with his own blood, and the blood of Christ 
is called the blood of the Son of God; yet he was crucified in the human na- 

* R. Jotepb AlbQ in Scpher Ikkaxiin, 1. a« c. 5. 


ture only, and his blood was slicd in that, to whith the divine person gave vir* 
tue and efficacy, through its union to it ; but received no change by all this. 

II. God is unchangeable in his perfections or attributes; which, though they 
ue die same with himself, his nature and essence, as has been observed; yet^ 
considering them separately, they are helps to our better understanding of it, and 
MTvepanicularly to illustrate the unchangeableness of it: thus, for instance, he 
is the same in his power as ever; though that has been displayed in various in« 
itances, in creation, providence* &c. it is not exhausted, nor in the least dimi- 
nished; his hand is not shortened, his strength is everlasting, his power eternal^ 
invariably the same: his knowledge is the same; his understanding his infinitCf 
it can neither be increased nor lessened; the knowledge of angels and men in- 
creases gradually; but not so the knowledge of God, he knows no more now 
dian he did from all eternity, he knew as much then as he does now; for he 
knows and sees all things together, and at once, in his vast eternal mind, and 
not one thing after another, as they appear in time ; things past, present, and 
ft) come, are all beheld by him in one view ; that is, which are so with respect 
to creatures, for with him there is no such consideration : his goodness, grace, 
and mercy, are immutable; though there has been such a profusion of his good- 
ness to his creatures, and so many good and perfect gifts have been bestowed 
on diem, it is still the same in him, without any abatement; he is abundant in 
it, and it endures continually the same: and so is his grace, which has been ex- 
ceedingly abundant ; he is as gracious and merciful as ever; "his mercy is from 
cveiiasting to everlasting, to them that fear him ;'* and his faithfulness he ne- 
ver suffers to fail ; even though men believe not, he abides faithful ; and the 
unbelief of men cannot make the faith or f lithfulncss of God without effect. 
And as he is glorious in holiness, that perfection never receives any tarrJsh, can 
never be sullied, but is always illustriously rhp same; there is no unrighteous- 
ness in God, he cannot change from holiness to unholiness, from righteousness 
to unrighteousness; he is the just one, that neither can nor will do iniquity; 
and so he is unchangeably good, and unchangeably happy, and immutable in 
every perfection. 

III. God is unchangeable in his purposes and decrees, there is a purpose for 
every thing, and a time for that purpose ; God has dctennined all that ever was, 
is, or shall be ; all come to pass according to the counsel of his will, and all his 
decrees are unchangeable ; they arc like the laws of the Medes and Persians, and 
more unalterable than they were ; they arc the mountains of brass Zechariaii saw 
in a vision, from whence proceed the providences of God, and tlic executioners 
cf them, Zech. vi. i. called mountains because of tlieir immovcableness, an4 
mountains of brass to denote tlicir greater firmness and srability : immucability 
is expressly spoken of the counsel of God, Heb. vi. 17. the purposes of God are 
always carried into execution, diey are never frustrated; it is not in the povver 
of men and devils to disannul them; whatever devices and counter-workings co 
them may be framed and formed, they are of no avail; ** thi coumel of the Lord 


sianJsfor ever.^^ Psal. xxxiii. ii. Prov. xix. 2i. and xxi. 30- Isai. xiv. 24, Vf 
and xlvi. 10. the purposes of God are within himself, Eph. i. 9. and what is in 
himself, is himself, and he can as soon cease to be as to alter his mind, or change 
his counsels; and they are eternal, Eph. iii. ii. no new thoughts arise in hi| 
mind, no new resolutions are formed in his breast, no new decrees are made by 
kim ; his counsels are of old ; and his purposes arc called counsels, because desigof 
wisely formed by men, are with consultation, and upon mature deliberation : an4 
such are the decrees of God, they are made with the highest wisdom by hlin, 
who is wonderful in counsel, and excellent in working, and so are unchang^ 
able : and besides, being all-knou'ing, he sees and declares the end from the be« 
ginning, and nothing unforeseen ever can appear to hinder the execution of hif 
Hitentions and determinations; which is somerimes the case with men: and he ja 
able to perform whatever he resolves upon ; there is no lack of wisdom, nor of 
power in him, as often is in men ; and he is faitlifiil to himself, his purposes ami 
decrees ; his counsels of old are faithfulness and truth ; or are truly and faithfiil- 
ly performed. 

Nor is the immutability of the decrees of God to be disproved by his provi« 
dences, which are many and various, unsearchable and past finding out, and 
which may seem to differ from, and clash with one another; for all the changes 
in providence, whether with respect to the world in general, or with respect to 
individuals, are according to his unchangeable will. Job was a remarkable inv 
stance of changes in providence, and yet he was fiilly persuaded of the unchange- 
able will of God in them, and which he strongly expresses ; He is in one mind^ 
end who can turn him ? and what his soul desircth^ even that he doth ; for he fer^ 
formeth the thing that is appointed for me; and many such things are with kim^ 
Job. xxiii. 13, 14. Nor is it to be disproved by the different declarations ofthe 
will of God, what he would have observed and done, in the different dispensa- 
tions of law and gospel. God, by Moses, ordered tlie children of Israel, to ob- 
serve certain laws, rites, and ceremonies, until the time of reformation, and then 
there was a disanulling of them ; the heavens and earth were shaken, that is, the 
whole Mosaic oeconomy and dispensation, whereby these were removed and lai4 
aside as useless, and other ordinances were fixed, to remain till Christ's second 
coming; but then die delivery of the one, and the time of their continuance, and 
the abolition of them, and the settling of the other gospel-ordinances to remaia 
to tlie end of the world, were all according to the unchangeable will of God. 

Nor is prayer any objection to the immutability of the divine will, which tt 
not to be altered by it; for when the mind of God is not towards a people to (V> 
them good, it cannot be turned to them by the most fervent and importunafis 
prayers of those who have the greatest interest in him, Jer. xv. i. and when he 
bestows blessings on a praying people, it is not for the sake of their prayers, 9I 
if he was inclined and turned by them : but for his own sake, and of his own so- 
'vereign will and pleasure. Should it be said, to what purpose then is prayer? it 
18 answered, this is the way and means God has appointed, for die communica^ 


doQ of the blessingjs of his goodness to his people; for though lie has purposed^ 
prorided, and promised them, yet he will be sought unto, to give dicm to them^ 
and it is their duty and privilege to ask them of him, and when they are bless- 
ed with a spirit of prayer, it forbodes well, and looks as if God intended to 
bestow the good things asked; and which shouU be asked always with suhmis- 
ibn to the will of God, saying, not my will, but thine be done. 

IV. God is unchangeable in his love and afiections to his people; "his love 
to diem is from everlasting to everlasting," without any variation in his own 
heart, however different the manifestations of it may be to them; he ever rests 
ia his love, and never alters, nothing can seperate from it, he is love itself, and 
k is as unchai^able as himself, the same to-<lay, yesterday, and for ever: the 
&II made no difierence in it, though the special objects of it fell with Adam, iki 
Us transgression, into the depths of sin and misery; this hindered not, but God 
continued his love, and manifested it in sending his Son to be the propitiation 
ibr dieir sins, and commended it, and gave a full proof and demonstration of 
k, in the delivery of Christ to death for them, even while they were yet sinners: 
DOT does the sinful state and condition they were brought into, and continue in 
from dieir birdi to their conversion, make any alteration in his love; but not- 
widistanding that, for the great love with which he loves them, he "quickens 
diem when dead in trespasses and sins;" he looks upon them in all the impu^ 
rky (^ dieir natural state, and says to thpm, live; and this lime, as it is a time 
of life, it is a time of open love; see Eph. ii. 4, 5. Ezek. xvi. 6—8. Tit. iii. 
3—5. Nor do the hidix^s of God's face from them after conversion, prove 
any change in his love to them ; for though he hides his face from them, and 
forsakes them for a moment, in a jittle seeming wrath, to shew his resentment 
at their sins, to bring them to a sense of them, to humble them before him, and 
to cause them to seek his face and favour; .yet with great mercies he gathers 
them again to himself, in the most tender manner, and witli loving-kindness, 
has mercy on them; and, for the strengtliening of their faith in his love, swears 
he will not be wroth with them ; and declares his loving-kindness to be more 
immoveable than hills and mountains, Isai. liv. 7—10. Afflictions are no evi- 
dence of a change of affections to them ; though he may thoroughly chastize 
Aem, and, as they may think, severely, yet he deals with them but as 
children, and, like Ephraim, they are his dear sons and daughters, and pleasant 
children, in whom he takes the utmost complacency and delight; chastenings 
are rather proofs of sonship, than arguments against it. God's rebukes of them 
are rebukes in love, and not in wradi and hot displeasure ; though he visits 
their transgressions with a rod and stripes, he does not utterly, nor at all, take 
away his loving-kindness in Christ from tliem, Jer. xxxi. 18, 20. Hcb. xii. 
6—8. Rev. iii. 19. Psal. Ixxxix. 32, 33. Nor is the unchangeableness of the 
love of God to his people to be disproved by his being said to be angry with 
them, and then to turn away his anger from them, Isa. xii. x . for anger is not 

VOL. I. I 


opposicB to love. Jacob was angry widi his Moiwd Rachel, and a father may 
be angry with his beloved child, and love him not the less. Wrath and hatred 
are opposed to love, which aie never in the heart of God towards his beloved 
t»es; besides, this ja-said after the manner of men, and according to our ap- 
prehension of things ; the Lord doing somewhat similar to men, when they are 
angry, who frown and turn aiivay; aixi when God frowns in his [M'ovidcnce, 
^nd deserts his people for a vdiile, they judge he his angry, when it only shews 
his displioency at their sins, but not at theu* persons ; and then, when he smiles 
upon them again, and manifests his pardoning grace and mercy, they conclude 
he has turned himadf from the fierceness of his anger, Psal. Ixxxv. 2, 3. 

V. God is unchangeabk in his covenant of grace. This was made with 
Christ from everlasting, and stands £ut with him ; it is as immoveable as a rocl^ 
and can never be broken ; the blessings of it are sure mercies, flow from the 
eovereign grace and mercy of God. and are sure and firm, being according to 
his unchangeaUe will, and are what he never repents of, nor revokes ; and be- 
ing once best owe d, are irreversible, and never taken away ; such as are blessed 
with them are always blessed, and it is not in the power of men and devils to 
Teverte them, Rom. xi. 29. and viii. 30W the promises of the covenant, which 
are gone out <^ his mouth and lq>s are unalterable ; what has been said of pul^ 
poses, may be said of promises, that they were made before the work! were, by 
God, that cannot lie, who is all-^wise, all4cnowing, and all-powerful, and faith- 
fill to perform them ; and besides, ^'all the promises are yea and amen in Christ/' 
'Nay* even God is unchangeable in his threatenings, he watches to bring the evil 
he has threatened, as well as the good he has promised j and he assuredly per- 
forms the one as die other, Dan. ix. 14. see Isai. i. 20. Jer. xxiii. 20. 

Nor is the tmchangeableness of God in his word, whether in a way of pro- 
mise or threatening, to be disproved by repentance being ascribed to him, whkh 
IS to be taken in a limited sense, for in some sense it is absolutely denied of him. 
Numb, xxiii. 19. i Sam. xv. 29. When it is spoken of him, it is to be uii» 
derstood improperly and figuratively, after the manner of men, he doing like 
what men do, when they repent, that is, undo what they have done; as a pot- 
ter, when he does not like a vessel he has made, breaks it to pieces: so whoa 
it repented God diat he had made man on earth, and Saul king. Gen. vi. 6. 
I Sam. XV. 1 1, he destroyed man from off the earth, whom he had created ; and 
took away the kingdom from Saul, and his family, and gave it to another: in 
doing whidi he did not change his mind, but his operations and providenccSy 
and that accoiding to his unchangeable will. 

Nor Is the Immutability of God, in his promises and threateaii^, to be dis- 
proved, by observing, that the promised good, and direatcned evil, are not al- 
ways done. For it should be considered, that what is promised or threatenedf 
IS either absolutely and unconditionally, or with a condition: now that wof 
thing promised or threatened, absolutely and unconditionally, is not performed 
must be denied j but if with a conditiooi and chat condition not perlormed, the 


dunge wQI appear to be not in God, but in men: and in all such cases wbero 
God does not what he said he would do, a condition is eidier expressed or im- 
plied; see Jer. xviii. &— lo. Thus God promised diat he would dwell in 
Zion, in Jerusalem, in the temple, and there should be his rest for ever, 
F^. cxxxii. 13, 14. and the people of Israel should dwell in their land, and 
cat die good of it; but then it was, piovided they were obedient to God, and 
abode in his service and worship, and kept his laws and ordinances, Isai. i. 19. 
but diey failing herein, he departed from them, and suffered them to be carried 
aptive: in all which there was a change of Us dispensations; but no change 
of his will. He threatened the Ninevites with the destruction of their city with^ 
in {any days, that is, unless they repented : they did repent, and were saved from 
mis, God repenting of what he had direatened. which, though a change of his 
outward conduct towards them, he threatftied them with, was no change of his 
wiU; for bodi their repentance, and their deliverance, were according to his 
anehangeable will, Jonah iii. 4, 10. Nor is the case of Hezekiah any objec* 
tioo 10 tlie immutabilitv of God; the outward declaration ordered to be made to 
him, was, that he should die and not live; as he must have done quickly, ae- 
coiding to the nature of second causes, his disease being mortal; but the secret 
wOI of God was, that he should live fifteen years longer, as he did; which im- 
plies neither contradiction nor change: the outwanl declaration was made to 
humble Hezekiah, to set him a praying, and to make use of means: whereby 
die oBchangeable will of God was accomplished. 



1 HE next Attribute of God to be considered is, his Infinity ; when we say 
that God is infinite, the meaning is, that he is unbounded and unlimited, un- 
measurable or immense, uivscarchablc and not to be comprehended. This attri- 
bute chiefly respects and includes the omnipresence and eternity of God; these 
are the two branches of it; he is not bounded by space, and therefore is every 
ithere; and he is not bounded by time, so he is eternal ^ : and that he is iu this 
sense infinite appears from his pTituality and simplicity, bcfoie established ; he 
is not a body, consisting of pans ; was he, he would be finite ; for body, or mat- 
tor, b a creature of time, and not eternal; and is limited to a certain place, and 
so not every where; but God is a Spirit: though this barely is not sufficient to 
prove him infinite; because there are finite spirits, as angels, and the souls of 
men ; these are created spirits, and have a beginning, though they will have no 
end ; \ . h:th is owing not to themselves, but to the power of God, that supports 
Aem in their being ^ who could, if he would, amiihilatc them ; and they are 
definitiv ly in some place, and so, on all accounts, finite: but God is an un- 

•« mmnnm •vfifo? ^fvm nM rm mmtfwf mprxjn TfX»f mvr ir»i^ AriftoU dc Cocloi I. 1. c. 9. 


created Spjrir; was before all time, so not bounded by it; and was before space 
or place were, and existed without it; and so not to be limited to it» and by it. 
He is the first Being, and from whom all others have their being; Befon Aim 
there was no God formed^ neither shall there be after him \ yea, he is the first and 
the last, Isai. xliii. lo. and xliv. 6. and therefore tliere is none before him nor 
above him, to limit and restrain him: he is an independent Being; all creatures 
depend on him, but he depends on none; all things are of him, through him, and 
to him, as the first cause and bst end of thcm^ : all creatures live, and move, 
and have their being in him; but not he in them: men, angels, good and bad, 
are clieckeJ and limited by him; but not he by them. He is immutable; this 
attribute has been already established ; but if he changes place, or is moved from 
place to place, or is sometimes in one place, and sometimes in another, he 
would be mutable: and if he rose frotn non-existence into existence, or there ii 
any end of his days, he would not be unchangeable; but he is the same, and 
his years shall have no end: Immutability infers both omnipresence and eterni- 
ty, the two branches of Infinity. We commonly say that sin is infinite, and 
the truest reason that can be given for it is, because God is the olgect of it; for 
as an act, it is finite, being the act of a finite creature; but with respect to the , 
object against whom it is committed, it is infinite, and requires an infinite satis- 
faction ; which none but an infinite person can give, and which Christ is in his 
divine nature, and so gave to his sufterings and death, in his human nature 
united to him, an infinite value and virtue, whereby justice had fi'om them an 
infinite 5:atisfaction. 

God is infiniee in all his attributes ; and which are indeed, himself, his nature, 
as has leen observed, and are separately considered by us, as a relief to our mind, 
and helps to oui better understanding it; and, perhaps, by observing some of 
th.'se distinctly, we may have a clearer idea of the infinity of God. His under- 
standing is infinite, as is expressly said, Psal. cxlvii. 5. it reaches to, and compre- 
hends ::11 things that arc, though ever so numerous ; to the innumerable company 
of angels in the highest heavens; to the innumerable stars in the lower ones; to 
the innumerable inhabitants of the earth, men, beasts, and fowl ; and to the in- 
nua.erable creatures that swim in the sea; yea, not only to all that are in being 
but to all things possible to be made, which God could have made if he would; 
these he sees and knows in his eternal nund, so that there is no searching of his 
under standings Isai. xl. 28. there is no end of it, and therefore infinite. The 
san e n.ay be said of his knowledge and wisdom, there is^ CoBo;, a depth, die 
aposl. ascribes, to both ; and which is not to be sounded by mortals, Rom. xi. 33. 
he Ls a God of knowledge, or knowledges, of all things that are knowaUe, 
I Sair. ii. 3. he is the only and the all- wise God; and in comparison of him 
tlie w i. dom of the wisest of creatures, the angels, is but folly, JoK iv.' x8* 
Ihe power of God is infinite; witli him nothing is impossible; his power bat 

* cMTiifov ttfs TO n, » f«im ofxv fAirri TiXn/nv fx><» Plato in Parmenidc, p. 11 17. nihil cam habcis 
CXlF€ffluiii| iabuuun ait ncccsie cii, Cicero de Diviaau !• a* c« 50* . ' 


never been excited to die uttermost; he that has made one world, could have 
made millions ; there is no end of his power, and his making of chat, proves his 
eternal power, that is, his infinite power; for nothing but infinite power could 
ever have made a world out of nothing, Rom. i. 20. Heb. xi. 3. His goodness 
b infinite, he is abundant in it, the earth is full of it, all creatures partake of ic, 
ind it endures continually; though there has been such a vast profusion of it 
bom the beginning of the world, in all ages, it still abounds: there is no end of 
it, it is infiinite, it is boundless ; nor can there be any addition to it ; it is infinite* 
If perfect, my goodness extends not to thee^ Psal. xvi. 2. God is infinice in his 
purity, holiness, and justice : there is none holy as he is ; or pure and righteous, 
vith him ; in comparison of him, the most holy creatures arc impure, and cover 
themselves before him. Job. iv. 17, 18. Isai. vi. 2, 3. in short, he is infinitely 
perfect, and infinitely blessed and happy. We rightly give him titles and 
epithets of inunense and incomprehensible, which belong to his infinity. He is 
jDunense, that is, unmeasurable; he measures all things, but is measured by 
none; who can take his dimensions? they are as high as heaven, what canst 
diou do? deeper than hell, what canst thou know? If the heavens above cannot 
be measured, and the foundations of the earth beneath cannot be searched out, 
how should he be measured or searched out to perfection that made all these? 
Job. xi. 7 — 9. Jer. xxxi. 37. As there is an height, a depth, a length and 
beaddi in the love of God, immeasurable, £ph. iii. 18. so there is in every at- 
tribute of God, and consequently in his nature; his immensity is his magnitude, 
and of his greatness it is said, that it is unsearchable, Psal. cxiv 3. and therefore, 
upon the whole, must be incomprehensible; not only cannot be compxdiended 
and circumscribed by space, or in place, for the heaven of heavens c^uuot con- 
lain bim ; but he is not to be comprehended by finite minds, that camicH conceive 
of him as he is; his onuiisciencc is too wonJcnui for them, and the tliuader of 
Us power who can understand ? Somewhat of him may be apprehended, but 
his nature and essence can never be comprehended, no not in a state of perfec- 
tion ; sooner may all the waters of the ocean be put into a nutshell, than that 
die infinite Being of God should be comprehended by angels or men, who are 
£nite creatures ; infinity is an attribute peculiar to Gcd, and, as has been observ- 
ed, its two chief branches are omnipresence and eternity ; which will be next 

The Omnipresence of God, or his ubiquity, which, as it is included in 
his infinity, is a branch of it, and strictly comicctcd with it, it must be strongly 
concluded from it; for if God is infinite, that is, unbounded with respect to space 
and place, then he must be every where; and tliis is to be proved from his pow- 
er, which is every where; as appears, not only in the creation of all tilings, 
at the heaven, and the heaven of heavens, the eartli, and the ends of them, 
and all that is in them; but in his providence, sup|)orting and sustaining 
them; for not only the creatures have their being in him, and from him, 
■ad therefore be must be near them; but ** be upholds all things by his pow-^ 


er," they consist in him, he provides for them, and preserves diem all; 
and which is the argument the apostle uses <o prove chat he is not far 
from them, Acts xvii. 27, 28. The omnipresence of God may be ar- 
gued from the distributions of his goodness to all ; to angels and glorified saints, 
who partake of his special favours ; to all men on earth, to whom he does 
not leave himself without a witness of his kindness to them, giving them food 
and raiment, and all things richly to enjoy ; he is present among them, and opens 
his hand and plentifully and liberally communicates to them : as well as from 
his universal government of the world by his wisdom ; for his kingdom rules 
over all, the kingdom of nature and providence is his, and ** he is the Govemor 
among the nations." And as he is every where by his power and providence, 
so he is by his knowledge; all things are naked and open to him, being all before 
him, and he present with them ; though he is in the highest heaven, he can see and 
judge through the dark clouds, and behold all the inhabitants of the world, and 
their actions : and since these attributes of power, wisdom, and knowledge, are 
no other than his nature, or than himself, he must be every where by his es- 
sence; and which is most clear from the omnipresence of the divine nature hi 
Christ, who, as a divine person, was inr heaven, when he, as man, was here on 
earth, John i. 18. and iii. 13. and, indeed, unless he was omnipresent, hecoiilB 
not be in whatsoever place two or three are gathered together in his name,* or 
be in the midst of the candlesticks, the churches, or with his ministers, to At 
end of the world, Matt, xviii. 20. and xxviii. 29. for though this is to be under- 
stood of his gracious presence, yet unless he was omnipresent, diis could not 
be vouchsafed to all the saints, and all the churches, in all ages, at difierem 
places, at the same time; as when they are worshipping in diHerent parts of the 
worid; as in Europe, so in America. Now if God, personally conadered, or 
in any one of the divine Persons, is omnipresent, then God, essentially considet^- 
ed, must be so. The presence of God may be observed in a different manner; 
there is his glorious presence in heaven, where he, in a most eminent manner, 
displays the glory of his majesty to angels, and the spirits of just men made per- 
fect; and there is his powerful and providential presence with all his creatures, 
giving them being, and supporting them in it; and there is his gracious presence 
with good men, regenerating, sanctifying, comforting, and refreshing them; 
dwelling in them, carrying on his work of grace in them, to fit them for himsetiF 
in glory; and all suppose his omnipresence: the heathens acknowledge this at- 
tribute; Anaxagoras calls him an infinite mind; and Pythagoras** defines him, 
a mind that is diffused throughout all the parts of the world, and goes through 
all nature ; and Sallustius ^ observes, that he is not contained or comprehended 
in place. So the Jews say^ the Shccinah, or divine Majesty, is every where; 
and they call God D>pD place, by an antiphrasis, as Buxtorf is observes, because 
he is illocal, who is not contained in any place, but gives place to all; and so the 

* Ambo apud LacianU dc fall, rrlig. ]. 1. c. 5. * Dc Diis c t. Jovia ooinia plcoii ViTflL 
Bucolic, eclog. 3. ' T. £ab« Bava Bathra, fol. s^. a. i Zo rad. D^ 


Jews themselves say ^, that he is the place of the world, but not the world his 
piicc« for he is without the world, and fills all worlds; and they furdier say ', he 
is so-called because in every place where the righteous are, he is with them; or 
as Abea Ezra^ expresses it, because every place is full of his glory ; agreeable to 
which Philoy the Jew ' , says, eumt taunm ^(arof^ he is place, full and sufficicat 
to himself. 

This attribute is most clearly expressed in several passages of scripture, as 
particularly in Ps:il. cxxxix. 7—10. where the Psalmist asks, IVhithtr shall I 
pfr%m thy Spirit ? which, if it is to be understood of the third Person, the Spi- 
lit of the Father, and of the Son ; if there is no going from him, then not from 
Acm, since the same nature is in the one as in the other \ if there is no going 
from God, personally considered, or as in any of the divine Persons, then not 
fiom kim, as essentially considered: or by his Spirit may be meant himself, for 
" G%dis a Spifit^^ John iv- 24. He adds. Or whither shall I fitefrom thypre^ 
«Ktf not his gracious presence, for a. good man would never seek to flee from 
dut, nothing being more desirable to him; nor is there any thing he more ear- 
aesdy dqnecates than to be cast away from it, Psal. iv. 6, 7. and li. 11. but 
Useuential presence, which is every where; it is in the Hebrew text from thy 
6oe; and face signifies the essence and nature of God, which is invisible and 
iooomprefacnsiUe, Exod. xxxiii. 20. then the.Psalmisl goes on to cnumcnite all 
places that couU be thought of to flee to, and yet God was there ; If I ascend 
H iMtufii, tkm art there \ could lie by any means climb up to heaven, there God 
is ia aU the glory of his Majesty ; there is his paLice, his habitation, and his 
ibrone. If I make my bed in hell^ thou art there : whether the pkce where 
die wicked are turned, and the apostate angels cast ; there God is sustaining them 
in their being, pouring in his wrath into their consciences, and continuing the 
punishment inflicted on them : or whether the grave is meant, which is some- 
times the sense of the word used, and is a bed to saints. Job xvii. 13. there God 
ii watching over their dust, preserving it from being lost, in order to raise it up 
at the last day. If I take the wings of the mornings and fly as fast as the mom« 
iog-lig^ which soon readies the furthest parts of the earth ; or as the rays of 
Ae SUD, wfaicli dart from Elast to West, at its rising, instantly ; and dwell in the 
attermost parts ^f the sea; in the most remote islands of it, or in tlie uttermost 
pans of the Western shore ; even there sliall thy hand lead me, and thy right 
hand shall hold me: there should be experience the providential goodness and 
ipecial £ivor of God to him; who leads, guides, and upholds his people at the 
ends of the earth, where some of them sometimes are, and where tliey have his 
psoence, Isai. xlv. 22. and xxiv. 16. see a like enumeration of places in Amos 
ix. 2, 3". Another passage of Scripture, proving the Omnipresence of G( d, 
k in Isai. Ixvi. I. Thus saith the Lord^ the heaven is my throne^ and the earth is 

^ Vid. Baal Aruch in Yoce Oipa * Prrke Elicser, c. 35. ^ Prcfat. ad Cnmincn\ in 

lib. £ftfacr, ' I*cg. Allcgor. 1. i. p. ^. "* Quofugit EnceUdr, qiMScumqiif. Mcr.-$srrt\or«& 
•* Cib j0«c Mmptf cru — — Vi^|[tl- 


myfootsfooL So immcn^ is he that he sits upon the one, and treads on die odier: 
Where is the house that ye build unto me? or where can a house be built far 
him ? what place can be found for him he is not possessed of, and does not dwell in 
ah-eady; Stephen, the proto-martyr, produces this to prove, that the most High 
dweUeth not in temples made with hands ; that is, cannot be included in dnem, 
and limited to them, since he is evety where, in heaven and in earth, Aas viiit 
47—50. But po where is the Omnipresence of God more expressly declared 
dian in Jrr. xxiii. 23, 24. Jm la God at hand^ saith the Lord^ and not afar §fff 
yea/ he is both; he not only observes persons and tlungs in heaven, which may 
be thought at iiagd, and near him ; but persons and things on earth, and diote 
at the greatest distance ; he is as near to, and as present with the one as the odiers 
and he sees and knows all that is done by them, as if he was at their elbow; 
and therefore adds, Can any hide themselves in secret places, that I shall not sec 
him saith the Lord? As some might foolishly imagine, supposing him to be li- 
mited and confined to heaven above, and was not present to see what was done 
below ; especially in the dark and distant places of the earth ; Do not I fill hea- 
ven and earth, saith the Lord ; not only with inhabitants, and with all thingiy 
die effects of his power and goodness ; but with his nature and essence, whidi 
exceeds all bounds of place and space. Hence the Jews call God by the nank 
fdAfahntj place; because he fills all places, and is contained in none; is illpcal 
and infinite. 

Nor is this to be disproved by other passages of scripture, which may seem^ 
at first sight, to discountenance or contradict it; not such as speak of men^s de- 
parting and fleeing from his presence, as Cain and Jonah are said to do, Gen. W, 
1 6. Jonah i. 3. for Cain only went either from the place where he and the Lord 
had been conversing; or from the public place of worship, at the east of the gar- 
den of Eden, where were the symbol of the divine presence, an altar, where he 
and his brother had sacrificed. Jonah's fleeing, was withdrawing himself froim 
the service of God, and declining to go on his en-and ; foolishly imagining, dia^ 
by going beyond sea, he should avoid being urged to his duty; but he soon found 
his mistake, and that God was every where, and could meet with him by sea and 
by land. Likewise, not such that represent God as descending from heaven ; as at 
the building of Babel, at the cry of the sin of Sodom, and on mount Sinai, Gcxl 
XI. 5, 7* and xviii. 21. Exod. xix. 18, 20. for these only denote some more dian 
ordinary manifestations of his presence, or exertion of his power; as at Babel, 
by confounding the language ; at Sodom, by destroying that, and the other cides; 
at Sinai, by giving the law out of the midst of fire, attended with thunder and 
lightening. Nor such as speak of the Lord not being with wicked men; par- 
ticularly what Moses said to tlic disobedient Israelites, The Lord is not among yov; 
and he wiil not he with you y Numb. xiv. 42, 43. which he might very truly say, 
since die ark of the covenant, the symbol of the divine presence, remained in the 
camp, and went not with them, 44. nor had they any reason to believe that God 
would be so with dicm, as to prosper and succeed Uicm, when they acted coii« 


tfarv to his express command : nor is God ever in such sense with wicked men» 

as with good men; namely, by his gracious presence: but this hinders not, but 

that he is with them by his omnipresence and power, supporting them in their 

being. Nor such passages which relate the departure of God from men ; as 

from Samson and Saul, Judg. xvi. 20. i Sam. xxviii. 15. since this only respects 

the withdrawment of uncommon I^odily strength from the one ; and wisdom and 

prudence, courage and greatness of soul, from the otlicr ; leaving him to the 

fears, distractions, and confusions of his mind ; without any hope of success in 

war: no such portions of scripture which express the desertions and distance of 

God from his people, and their desires that he would return to them, and not 

cast them away from his precencc, Psah x. i. and Ixxx. 14. and li. i. since these 

only respect his gracious prcj;ence, tlic deprivation of that, and the return of it; 

the manifestations of his love and favour, and the withdrawment and renewal 

of diera. And whereas it is urged against the omnipresence of God, that he is 

aid 10 be in heaven, and that to be his habitation ; and that men pray unto him 

asdieir Father in heaven, Psal. ckv, 3. Isai. Ixiii. 15. Matt. v. 9. In what 

peculiar sense God may be said to be in heaven, has been observed already ; nor 

is he ever said to be in heaven only^ but in many places to be on earth also, and 

cbewhere; see Deut. iv. 39. Isai. Ixvi. i. though he is not contained in any 

place, as not on the earth, so neither can the heaven of heavens contain him, 

I Kings viii. 27. he was before there was any space or place; his nature, and 

so this attribute of omnipi'csence, were the same tlien as now: and should it be 

asked, Where did he dwell tlicn? I answer, in himself, in his own immensity 

indctemitv; see Isai. Ivii. 15. The objection from tlie pcUution of the divine 

Being, through sordid and fiithy places, in which he must be, if omnipresent, 

scarce deserves any regard ; since bodies only touch them and arc c;ipuble of 

Wng defiled by them ; not spirits, even created ones, as angels, and the souls of 

men; as the angel in the fiithy den of lions wh':re Daniel was, was not; nor' 

Ae souls of men that are in fiitiiy bc.d;:'s; much less God, a pure, infinite, and 

UQcreuted Spirit, who can no more be effected by such ineaus, tlian ihc sun is, 

l>y its ravs striking on a uunghilL 

The Eternity ok God belongs to his infinity; for as he is not bounded 
by space, so neither by time, and therefore erenidl. He is often called the ever- 
lasiing God, and the King eternal. Gen. xxi. 31. Deut. xxxiii. 27. Lai. xl. 28. 
Jcr. X. 10. Rom. xvi. 28. i Tim. i. 17. yea, eternity irself, i Sam. xv. 29. 
and is said to inhabit it, Isai. Ivii. 1 5. These words, eternal, everlasting, and 
for e\er, are sometimes used in an unproper sense, as of things which are of a 
long duration, but limited, and have both a be;^inning and an end; as th^ e/c'r- 
lasting possession of the land of Canaan, granted in the everlasting coveiianc of 
circumcision, and yet lx)th are now at an end, Gen. xv i. 7, 8. the rites a d 
ceremonies of the law of Moses, are said to be ordinances aiid statutes iui ever; 
and yet they were designed to continue but for a tiniC; and luivc been lon^ siixe 

VOL. I. K 


abolishedy Numb. x. 8. and xv. 15. and xviii. 8, ii, 19, 23. the tempk bulk 
by Solomon is said to be a settled place for God to abide in for ever ; yea, he 
himself szy^, that he would put his name in it for ever; and il should be his rest 
for ever; and yet it has been demolished long ago, i Kings viii. 13, and ix. 3. 
Psal. cxxxii. 14. the thrones of David and Solomon are said to be established 
for ever, and yet, if taken in a literal sense, they are no more: indeed, if under- 
stood spiritually, as David\s Son and Antitype, his throne will be for ever and 
ever, 2 Sam. vii. la, 16. the earth is said to abide, and not be removed for ever, 
Psal. civ. 5. Ecclcs. i. 4. yet both that and the heavens shall perish, thou^ not 
as to substance, yet as to quality, form, figure, and present use. Sometimei 
this phrase for ever, only rcjipccts the year of jubilee, Exod. xxi. 6. and, at most, 
but during life, i Sam i. 21. 

Some creatrrcs and things are said to be everlasting, and even eternal, which 
have a bcgiiming, though they have no end : and this is what the schools call 
svitemity, as distinct from eternity : thus angeb, and the souls of men, being 
creature^ of God, have a beginning ; though, being immaterial and immortal, 
sliall never die. The happiness of the saints is called eternal glory, *^ an eternal 
weight of g'ory; eternal life; an eternal inheritance; an house eternal in the 
heavens," i Pet. v. 10. Tit. i. 2. 2 Cor. iv. 17. and v. i. Heb. ix. 15. And 
the misery of the wicked is signified by suffering the vengeance of eternal fire^ 
by everlasting fire, and everlasting punislimcnt, Jude 7. Matt. xxv. 41, 46. yet 
these have a beginning, tliough they will have no end ; and so are unproperly 
called eternal. 

Eternity, properly so called, is that which is without beginning and end", and 
is without succession, or docs not proceed in a succession of moments one after 
another; and is opposed to time, which has a beginning, goes on in a succes- 
sion, and has an end : it is the measure of a creature*s duration, and began when 
creature's began to be, and not before ; and is proper to them, and not eternity, 
which only belongs to God. Tliales being asked what God was, answered 
thus, what has neidier beginning nor end°, which is eternity. A Jewish wri- 
terP defines it, "in which tliere is no former nor latter; nor order, nor succes- 
sion of times ; it being without motion.'* And which Boetius "i expressed in a few 
words, ''Eternity is the interminable or unbounded and perfect possessionem 
life whole together." And is thus described. Before the mountains were brmght 
forth^ or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the worldy from everlasting to ever^ 
lasting^ thou art God^ Psal. xc. 2. 

Eternity, in this sense, is peculiar to God; as he only hath immortality, so he 
only has eternity ; which must be understood not of the Father, or first person 
only, but of the Son and Spirit also; who are, with the Father, the one God; 
and possess the same undivided nature ; of which, Eternity is an attribute. So 

" Ts J M^M, ayiytira no! of^afcm, Ariftot. £thiCi J. 6. C 3. *t( n ^mov, «« fvm u(yHt «X*k 
fiMff TiXii/rmr, Thalcf in Laert. I. 1. Viti ThaleC. r &• Jofcph Albo inSepher Ikkiriin, L t* 
c. 18. « ConfoUt. Pbilofoph. 1. 5. p. 137. 


Ae 3on, diough m to his human nature, was bom in the fulness of time ; yet, as to 
his divine nature, his goings forth were from of old, from everlasting : and as 
Me£ator, in his office capacity, he was set up from everlasting, or ever the earth 
was, Mic. V. 2. Prov. viii. 23, 24. The Spirit of God ^^'as concerned in the 
creation of the heavenis and the earth, and so must be before them ; and which 
is the only idea we have of eternity, that it is before time and creatures were. 
Gen. i. I, 2. Job xxvi. 13. Psal. xxxiii. 6. and, according to some, the Spirit 
11 called, the eternal Spirit^ Heb. ix. 14. Eternity is tnie of God, essentially 
considered, and in the sense explained, is to be proved ; and that he is without 
banning, without end, and without succession. 

1. That he is without beginning, or from cverlistin;r: this is put hv way of 
interrogation, Hab. i. 12. not as a matter of doubt, but of certainty, and is strong- 
ly affirmed, Ptol. xciii. 2. and may be proved, 

I. From his nature and being; as from his nece.«5arv self-existence: the 
existence of God is not arbitrarv, but necessarv : if arbitrarv, it mv^t be 
fiom his own will, or from the will of ahother; not from his own will, which 
would suppose him in being already ; and then he must be before he existed, 
and must be, and not be, at the same instant; which are such contradic- 
tions as cannot be endured: not from the will of another, for then that other 
would be both prior and superior to him, and so he God, and not he : it re- 
mains, diCTcfore, that he necessarily existed ; and if so, then he must be eter- 
nal: since there was none before him; nor can any reason be given why he 
diould necessarily exist at such an instant, and not before. His eternity may 
be argued from a state of non-existence he must hive been in, if not eternal; 
and if so, then there was an instant in which he was not, an J if tiicrc wris an 
instant in which he was not, then there was an instant in which there was no 
God; and if so, there may be one again in which he may cease to be; for that 
wUch once was not, may again not be; and this will brin^ us into tlie depth of 
adieism ; unless it could be suppo5;cd, which is quite irrational, that there was 
a God before him, and that there will be one after him ; but this is strongly de- 
med by himself; Before me there ivas no Godfonned'y neither shall there be after 
nu^ Isai. xliii* lO. The eternity of God may be infeixed from his immutabili- 
ty, which has been already established; these two go together, and prove each 
odicr, Psal. cii. 27. they are both to be observed in the great name of God, Je- 
hovah, which signifies, he is, and was, and is to come, and takes in all time; but 
he is bounded by none, and is eternally the same ; for if he is not eternal, he must 
have passed from non-existence into being; and what can be a greater change, 
dian to come out of nothing into being? Moreover, God is the most perfect 
Being; which he would not be, if not eternal; for not to be, or to have a be- 
ginning, is an imperfection; and it is an humbling consideration to man, a crea- 
ture of time, that he is but of yesterday y Job viii. 9. And if God was not eter* 

nal, let his bcginnii^ be when it may, in comparison of an eternity past, it would 



be but as vcstcrday ; which can never be admitted of. Add to this, that God is 
the first Cause of all things^ and therefore must be eternal : all w ise and thought- 
ful men acknowledge a first Cause ; and in their reasoning rise from one cause 
to another, until they arrive to a first Cause, and there stop, and which tlicy tru- 
ly call Godi for otherwise there would be no subordination of cause*: if there 
was not a first Cause, there would not be a second, nor a third, &c. but all 
would be first, and all eternal ; and if God is the fir^t Cause, then he is with- 
out a cause, and therefore must be eternal ; hence he is so often called the first 
and the last; a phrase expressive of his eternity, Isai. xli. 4. and xliv. 6. and 
xlviii. 12. He is the Creator of all things, the heavens, earth, and sea, and tl| 
that in them are; and therefore must be before all things, as every ariificet- is be- 
fore his work made by him ; and if before all creatures, tlicn before time, whk:lk 
begins with them, and therefore from eternity, since we can conceive of no^ 
thing before time but eternity. 

II. The Eternity of God may be proved from his attributes, several of wliidi 
arc said to be eternal, or from everlasting: tlie power of God is expressly called 
his eternal power; and is proved to be so by the works of creation, to wliichk 
must be prior, Rom. i. 20. The knowledge Goil has of all things is from eter- 
nity; though the things knov^m are in time, his knowledge of them is before time; 
Known unto God are all his works from the hrginning of the worldy air awvog from 
eternity. Acts xv. 18. The mercy of God is eternal, it is said to hc^/rom evir^ 
lasting to everlastings Psal. ciii. 17. And so the love of Gfxl, which is no other 
than himself, for God is lovcy 1 John iv. 16. his love to his Son, " the bright- 
ness of his glory, and the express image of his person," was from everlasting; 
before the canh, the hills, and mountains were formed, then was he by him, 
*' as one brought up with him," his darling and delight, Prov. viii. 30. our Lord 
himself says, his Father loved him before the foundation of the world, John xvii. 
24. and as early did he love his elect in him \ for he loved them as he loved himi 
v. 23. even with an everlasting love, a love which is both from everlastingt 
and to everlasting, Jcr. xxxi. 3. 

III. ITiat God is Eternal may be argued from his purposes, counsels, and 
decrees; which are said to be of old, that is, from everlasting, Isai, xxv. i. this 
is true of them in general ; for no new purposes and resolutions rise up, or are 
franited by him in his mind; for then there would be something in him which 
was not before ; which would imply mutability. Besides, they are expressly said 
to be eternal, Eph. iii. 1 1. and if they are eternal, then God, in whom they are, 
and by whom they are formed, must be eternal also. In particular, the purpoao 
of God, according to election, or his choice of men to everlasting lifi?, is eter- 
nal; not only was before men had done any good or ievil, Rom. ix. 11. but 
they were chosen by him from the beginning, 2 Thess. ii. 13. not from the be- 
ginning of the gospel coming to them, nor of their faith and conversion by it ; 
but from the beginning of time, and before time, even before the foundation of 
Ae world, as is in so many words expressed, Eph. i. 4. wherefore God, that 


chose them to salvation, must be crcriial. Christ is eminently calleil the 
elect of God, being a.*; Man and Mcdiat<:r, chosen out from among the people, 
isai. xlii. I. Psal. Ixxxix. 19. ami the apfiointment of Iiim, to he the Redeem- 
er and Saviour of men, or the preordination of him to ))eihc [^amh slain for the 
redemption of his people, was Ixjfore tlic foundation of the world, i Pet. i. 20. 
tnd therefore God, that foreordained him thereunto, must Ix; as early. 

IV. The Eternity of God may be concluded from the covenant of grace, 
idled, an everlasting covenant, 2 Sam. xxiii. 5. not only because it will endure 
immoveable and unalterable forever, but because it was from everlasting; for 
diough it is sometimes called a new covenant, yet not l>crausc newly made, or 
only newly manifested ; but because it is always new, and never waxes old. 
Christ, the Mediator of it, and with whom it was made, set up from ever- 
biting as such; and his goings forth in it, representing his people, and acting 
for them, were from of old, from everlasting, Prov. viii. 22, 23. Mic. v, 2. and 
he had a glory with God in it before the world l)ci;an, John xvii. 5. there were 
Ucssings of goodness laid up in it, and with whith Christ, the Mediator of it, 
was prevented; yea, the people of Gi;<l were hIo«scd with these spiritu;;! IjIcss- 
ings in Christ, as '*they were eho&en in him before the fouinLirion of the world; 
and had grace given them in him before the world lie^an,*' Kp!i. i. 3, 4. 2 Tim, 
L 9. Promises also were made as early to Chiist, and to them in him, into 
whose hands they were put, and in whom they are, yea and amen; p:iriicu- 
larly, eternal life was promised by God, ihatcinnot lie, before t!;c world was, 
Tit. I. 2. Now if there was a covenant made by God fro:ii eveiiastin^r, and 
Girist was set up by him so enilv, as the Mediator of it; and ihcrc were bless- 
ings of grace, and promises of grac\:, made by him l)cfore titiie was, then he 
must be from everlasting. 

V. It may be proved from the works of Goil in time: all i rcariires arc the 
works of his hands; all beings have their hcing from liim; an,l liiiie b/^iniii ng 
widi them, he that made them must be iK'forc al! tiinc, ami tlicivfv»re eternil: 
this is the argument used to j)iJ}ve t!ie eteriiirv ofCiirist, the \Vt»i\l, tluit he was 
in die beginning, that is, from eierniry wich (iod; '* because all tli'wrs were 
made by him, and that he is the first-born of cvcrv crejture, and btfove all 
diings, because all things are created by him, and by iiiin do all things c(;n- 
•isr," John i. 1—3. Col i. 15 — 17. and the same proves ilic cierrJtv of God; 
for all things are from him, and so have a kjiiuiin^; but he Irom whom tliey 
arc, is from none, has no cause of his being, and tiioreforc must be eternal. 
So creation is made a proof of his eternal power and GoJliead, Rom. i. 20. 
creation proves his eternity, and his eternity proves his deity. Hence Tiiales 
aaid', "The mast ancient of Beings is Go<l." 

II. That God is to everlasting, and withoui end, may be proved from his 
apirituaiity and simplicitv, already establislied ; what is mixed and compounded, 
aod consists of parts, may be resolved into Jiem again, and so be dissolved, as 


bodies may ; bur spirits, such as angds and the souls of men, being immateriaV 
are immortal, and continue forever; and God being a spirit, an infinite and 
uncreated one, simple, and uncompounded of parts, must much more be so; 
and therefore is called. The incorruptible God, Rom. i. 23. It may be argued 
from his independency, he is self-existent; the first Cause, and widiout any 
cause; he is the only Potenute, "God over all, blessed forever," and depen- 
dent on none; there is none above him, nor superior to him, that can put an 
end to his being; nor can it be thought, he being in such a state of infinite hap« 
piness, would ever put an end to it himself. His eternity is to be proved 
from his immutability; for those, as before observed, infer one another. God 
is immutable, and therefore without end; for what can be a greater change dum 
for a being not to be? Hence God is opposed to creatures, to mortal niCQ» 
whose flesh is as grass, the most changeable and perishing of any diii^» and 
even to the heaven and the earth, they being such; but he is unchangeably th^ 
same; and so there is no end of his years, i Pet. ii. 24, 25. Psal. cii, 26, 27. 
This may be inferred from his dominion and government; he is, and sits Kiag 
for ever; he is an everlasting King, his kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and 
his dominion is from generation to generation, and will never end, Jen x. la 
Psal. X. 16. and xxix. 10. Dan. iv. 3. and therefore he himself must be to ever- 
lasting. Moreover, he is not only called the living God, Jer. x. 10. but is of- 
ten said to live for ever and ever ^ Rev. iv. 9, 10. and x. 6. Hence his purpo- 
6es and decrees are never frustrated, because he ever lives to bring them into 
execution : men take up resolutions, and form schemes, which by reason of 
death, are never executed ; their purposes are broken, and their thoughts perish; 
but " the counsel of the Lord stands for ever ; and the thoughts of his heart to 
all generations," Psal. xxxiii. 1 1. and therefore he himself must endure for ever: 
his promises are all fulfilled; not only because he is able and faithful to perforaii 
but because he continues for ever to make them good ; and therefore is said tq 
*'kecp truth for ever," Psal. cxlvi. 6. His covenant is firm and sure; more 
immoveable than rocks and mountains ; it stands fast, with Christ, for ever, 
and God commands it for ever; because he ever lives to keep it. His love is 
to everlasting, as well as from it; he rests in it; nothing can seperaie from it; 
and " witli everlasting kindness he gathers his people, and has mercy on them;" 
and therefore must be for ever: his grace, mercy, and goodness, continually 
endure, and dicrefore he himself must; and "he will be the portion of his 
people forever;" tlieir everlasting all in all, and tliey shall reign and dwell 
with him for evermore. All which proves him to be without end, 

III. The Eternity of God, or his being from everlasting to everlasting, is 
without succession, or any distinctions of time succeeding one another, as nao- 
mcnts, minutes, hours, days, months, and years : the reasons are, because he 
existed before such were in being; Before the day was^ I am he^ Isai. xliii. 13. 
before there was a day, before the first day of tlie creation, before there were 
any days, consisting of so many hours, and these of so many minutes; and if 


his eternity past, may it be so called, was without successive duration, or with- 
out succeeding moments, and other distinctions of time, why not his duration 
dirough time, and to all eternity, in the same manner? Should it be said, that 
days and years are ascribed to God ; it is true, they are ; but it is in accomoda- 
tioii and coiidescren&ion to our weak minds, which are not capable of concciv* 
ii^ of duration, but as successive : and besides, those days and years ascribed 
to God, are expressly said not to be as ours, Job. x. v. he is, indeed, called. The 
Ajuitnt cf daysy Dan. vii. 13. not ancient in days, or through thein, as aged 
pasoQS are said to be in years, and well stricken in them; not so God: the 
neaning is, that he is more ancient dian days; he was before all days, and his 
dnration is not to be measured by them. And it may be observed, that the dif- 
fereaccs and distinctions of time, are together ascribed to God, and not as suc- 
ceeding one another; he is die same yesterday, to-day, and for ever; these are 
all at once, and together with him ; he is he vjJiich /j, and waty and is to comCf 
Hcb. xiii. 8. Rev. i. 4. these meet together in his name Jehovah'; and so in 
his nature ; he co-exists, with all the points of time, in time ; but is unmoved 
and unaficcted with any, as a rock in the rolling waves of the sea, or a tower 
in a torrent of gliding water; or as the gnomon or st\'le of a sun-dial, which 
has all the hours of the day surrounding it, and the sun, by it casts a shade upon 
diem, points at and distinguishes them, but the style stands firm and unmoved, 
and not affected thereby: hence it is that oyie day is with the Lord as a thousand 
pgrsi and a thmtsand years as one day^ 2 Pet. iii. 8. But if his duration was 
' ncoessive, or proceeded by succeeding moments, days, and years; one day 
would be but one day with him, and not a thousand ; and a diousand days would 
iDSwer to a thousand days, and not be as one only. Besides, if his duration 
was measured by a succession of moments, &c. then he would not he inmcnse, 
immutable, and perfect, as he is: not immense, or unmeasurablc, if to be niea- 
tared by minutes, hours, days, months, and years; whereas, as lie is not to be 
measured by space, so not by time: nor immutable; since he would be one 
minute what he was not before, even older, which cannot be said of God; for 
ai a Jewish writer* well observes, it cannot be said of him, that he is older now 
itan he was in the days of David, or when the world was created; for he is 
ahrays, both before the world was made, and after it will cease to be ; times 
make no change in him. Nor perfect ; for if his duration was successive, there 
wodd be every moment something past and gone, lost, and irrecoverable ; and 
lomething to come not yet arrived to and obtained ; and in otlier respects he 
mm be imperfea: the knowledge of God, proves him without successive du- 
ntion. God knows all diings, past, present, and to come, that is, which arc 
10 CO us ; not that they are so to him ; these he knows at once, and all together, 
not one thing after anodier, as they successively come into being ; all thing2» arc 

* PUto obtcrves, tint to ■ temporal bring we lay of iti " i: ii, tnd was. and will be;'* but 
Wtbc etcrnil Being, "m to trtyjMoov. to him only it is," m Tiinco, p. lOjt. < Joseph Aibd 
i^Stpbcff Ukatia, foL 66. 1. 


open and manifest to hiin at once and togetlier, not only what are pa.'Jt and pre- 
sent, but he ciiils thin^ that are not y<^t» us though ihcy were ; he sees and 
knows all in one view, in his alI'Com])rehcnding mind: and as his knowledge 
is not successive, so not his duration. Moreover, in successive duration, there 
is an order of former and bttcr ; there must be a beginning from whence every 
flux of time, every distinction proceeds; every moment and minute has a be- 
ginning, from whence it is reckoned, so every hour, day, month, and year: 
but as It is said of Christ, with respect to his divine nature, so it is true of God,- 
essentially considered, thit he has neither begimiin^ of tiays^ nor end of li/ff 
Heb. vii. 3. In short, God is Etemity itself, and inhal)its eteniity ; so he did .i 
before time, and without succession ; j>o he does throughout time; and so he 
will to all eternity. The very heathens^' themselves had a notion of their su- 
preme God, as eternal : and this is the definition 'JTIiales gave of God ; for being' ' 
asked, What is God? ans>vcred, Wliat has nci*^her beginning nor end; and 
therefore calls him, the most Ancient*, Sallustius* denied tliat the nature of ■ 
God was made, because it always was. 


ri A viNG considered tl\e attributes of Simplicity, Immutability, Infinity, Om- 
nipresence, and Eternity, whicli belong to God, as an uncreated, infinite, and 
eternal Spirit; and whidi dibtinguisli him from all other spirits. I shall now 
proceed to consider such as Ixriong to him as an active and operative Spirit, aa 
all spirits are, more or less ; but he is infinitely so, being acius^ purus^ H ilmr 
flicissimus ; he is all act ; and activity supposes life and operations; power, such 
as God performs, almighty power, or omnipotence ; \i Inch arc the attributes 
next to be considered ; and first his life. Some think diis is not a single per-* 
fection of God, but expressive of all the divine perfections ; and, indeed, it is 
his nature and essence, it is himself; and so is every other attribute his nature^ 
under different considerations, and as variously displayed ; wherefore this may 
be treated of as a distinct attribute; and a very eminent and fundamental one it 
is; by which God exerts his nature and essence, and displays all his perfections. 
And in order to apprehend somewhat of the life of God, for comprehend it 
we cannot, it may be necessary to consider life in the creatures, what that is ; 
and by rising from the lowest degree of life, to an higher, and from that to an 
higher still, we may form some idea of tlie life of God, though an inadequate 
one. Life is a principle in the creature by which it moves itself; what has mo- 
tion has life, and what has not is without it; as long as a creature has any mo- 
tion, it is supposed to have life; but when motionless, it is thought to be dead; 

" O pater, O hominum, ivumque «tcrna poteiias, Virgil. iEneid. 1. 10. v. 17. Alii DiitlU 
quaiido Dii non furranti sed Jupiter ab ztcrno fuit Deui, Porapon. Sabin. in ibid, ^iipciw t^aumf 
ATi;/Aovo; 11; trifw aium, Aristor. dc Mundo, c. 7. * Lacrt. Vita Thalet. i, i. p, t^i t^* Fill* 

Urch. Sept. Sap. Conviv. vol. a. p. 153* j^De Dili, c ># 

Book L OR THE LIFE OF C^U^ 73. 

thp phrases, to move» and to h^ve lifcy are synonymous, and express the sane 
thing; see Gen. vii. 2X — 23. but it is^not any kind of motion Uia: cm 1 y a 
claim to life; the sud, moon, and planet^ move, yet they are inani nitc; s.> a. 
dead carcass may be moved, though it cannot move; it is self-motion only chit 
Aews a creature to be alive, that is under a divine agency ; for all creatures live 
and naove and have dieir being ip and. of God^ and hence it is tliit such who 
only seem to have self-motion, are, in an, improper sen^e, said to live; a a 
fountain, flowing with \vater, is called livjng, Gen. xxvi. 19. to which the al- 
Igsion is in Cant* iv. 15. Jer. ii. 13. John iv. 10. and water that is stagnated in 
pooli and lakes, and remains unmoved, is dead. The lowest decree of real 
life is in vegetables, in herbs, plants, and trees ; which are truly said to live, 
^zdc. xlvii. 7, 9. &r though they have not a local motion, yet a motion of 
gpwih and increase; they become bigger and larger, and rise up to a greater 
height, and put forth leaves and fruit ; wtiich shews lite. In animals there is an 
lugher degree of life ; in them there is the breath of life, which is common with 
die bodies of men, who live the same animal life with them; these sire possess- 
ed of sensitive powers, of seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling, and feeling; ai;d 
ffitfcnm the common functions of life, eating, drinking, walking, &c. But 
peidier of these sorts of life can assist us in our ideas of the life of God ; there. 
hdiig nothing in theirs similar to his. There is an higher degree of life still, 
which is in rational creatures, angels, and the souls of men; by which they are 
opaUc not only of operating on bodies, on matter, without them* but of per* 
filming acts within themselves, by a self-motion, suit'ible to iheir nature, as 
spirits^ and rational ones ; sucli as to understand, to will, to choo$e, andrefi:.'e; 
kjve, and hate, &c. which may be called the motions of the miiid; as the fiist 
t|ioughts of, and inclinations to sin, are called, motions, Rom. vii. 5. Aud 
tow these internal acts of tlie mind, which are good in angels or men, and shc\^ 
4 rational life in them, most resemble what is in God ; who can, in, and of, 
^ by himself, understand all things, will and decree whatever he pleases; du^ 
kji-es and hates what is agreeable or disagreeable to him, &c. But what comc<[ 
neaiest to die life of God, that we can conceive of, is that which is in i^gcne* 
ated persons, who liavc a principle of spintual life, gr ice, and lioliuess, im- 
planlied. in them, by die Spirit of God, and arc made partakers of t!ie divine na- 
torc, Christ formed in them; " and they live, yet not they, but Christ ii\Cc in 
dieip j" and by havihg such a principle of lire wrou ;ht in them, they understand 
diviji^ and spiritual things ; they wiil that which is spiritually good, and d</ what 
is su^; the Spirit of God working in them a disposition thercuntj, and giving 
diem power to perform ; " being in Christ, and created in him uiit - good works,'* 
ibey perform vital spiritual acts, and live a li:e, a spiritual holy liie, and which 
it called, the life of God, unconverted men are strangers to, Epn. iv. 18. Now 
|||^ most resembles the life of God, especially, as it will be perfect aiid ciernal 
if^ a fiiture state, thougjb it comes abundantly short oi wnat is in God; eveiy 

VOL. 1. L 


imperfection in the life of angels and men, earned to its greatest height, must 
be rcirovcd froni God; and every thing that is great and excellent, must be 
ascril)ed to hini ; and as infinitely transcending what is in finite creatures. God 
is life essentially, life eternally, and life efficiently. 

I. God is life essentially, it is his nature and essence, it is himself, it is in 
and of himself, The natural life of creatures is not in and of ihcmsclvcs; 
biit is in God, and from him: the spiritual and eternal life of the saints is not in 
and of themselves ; but is from God, " hid wirh Christ in God." But die life 
of God is in and of himself; The Father hai life in himself y John v. 26- and so 
has the Son and Word of God, John i. i, 4. and likewise the Spirit, called, 
therefore, the Spirit of life ^ Rev. xi. 11. and what is true of all the Persons in 
the Godhead, they partaking of the same undivided nature and essence, and 
living the same life, is true of God, essentially considered. And as the life of 
God Is of himself, it is independent ; there is no cause from whence it is, or 
on which it depends. The natural and spiritual life of men is of God, dependi 
on him ; they live not so much their own life as anothcr^s ; they have dieir life 
from God in every sense, and are supported in it by him ; he is thy life^ and thi 
length of thy daysy Deut* xxx. 20. But God lives his own life; which as it ii 
without a cause, has no dependence on any other. It does not arise from any 
composition of parts, and the union of them, as the life, even the natural life, 
of man does, who consists of soul and body , and his life is the rcr.ult of the 
union of these, which, when dissolved, it ceases; for the body without, or 
separate from, the spirit, or soul, is dead, James ii..26. And the spiritual life 
of saints arises from the union of Christ and his Spirit, as a principle of life 
inito them ; which, could it be dissolved, as it cannot, death would ensue, even 
death spiritual and eternal : but God is a Spirit, a simple and uncompounded 
Being ; consists not of parts, from the union of which his life arises ; and so bit 
life is infinite, eternal, and immutable, as also most perfect. In the life of 
creatures, even in the highest degree, being finite and dependent, there is always 
something wanting ; but in God there is none ; he is EUShuddai, God all su^ 
iicient, blessed and happy in himself for evermore. 

The scriptures frequently speak of God as the living God, both in the Old 
and New Testament, Deut. v. 26. Josh. iii. 10. Psai. xlii. 2. and Ixxxiv. a. 
Matt. xvi. 16. 2 Cor. vi. 16. who has life in himself, and gives life to all that 
have it; and not the Father only, but the Son of God also, is called the living 
God, Heb. iii. 12. and the Spirit is called the Spirit of the living God, 2 Cor. 
iii. 3. each person is the living God, and God, essentially considered, is so; 
and this title and epithet he has in opposition to, and contradistinction from them 
that are not by nature God: the living God is opposed to idols, lifeless and 
motionless, Jer. x. 10— 16. Acts xiv. 15. i Thess. i. 9. he is distinguished by 
this essential attribute of his from the first objects of idolatrous worship, the sun» 
moon, aud stars, which are inanimate ; from heroes, kings, and emperors, deifi* 
ed after their deaJi; which idolatry was very early; and wor^hipplnj; them is 


called eating the sacrifices of the dead, Psal. cvi. 28. and from all linages pf 

wood, stone, brass, silver, and gold, whicli are dumb idols, and lifeless ones ; 

see Psal. cxv. 4—7. And God is not only acknowledged to be the living God, 

and to live for ever and ever, by some of the greatest pei'sonages, and proudest 

Dionarchs that ever were upon earth, and even had set up themselves for God, 

Dan. iv« 34. and vi. 26. but he asserts it of himself, which must be true, and 

may be depended on; And lift up my hand^ and say^ I live for ever ^ Deut. xxxii. 

4a yea, it is an oath of his affirming the same, and it is tlic common form of 

swearing with him, As I live, saith the Lord; and which is very frequently used 

by him, see Numb. xiv. 28. and this is no other than swearing by his life, which 

is himself s ** for when he could swear by no greater, he swore by himself," 

•Htib. vi. 13. and so both men and angels swear by the living God; '' by him 

that lives for ever and ever," Jcr. v. 2. and xii. 16. Dan. xii. 7. Rev. x. 5, 6. 

which distinguishes him from, and prefers liim to all other beings: and, indeed, 

be is most properly said to live; the life of creatures is no life in comparison of 

kis; especially the life of man : what is it? '* it is but a vapour, tliat appears 

ibr awhile, and then vanishes away,*' James iv. 14. But, 

II. God is life eternally^ without beginning, succession or end; he is with- 
out beginning of life or end of days, and without any variableness ; '* the same 
to-day, yesteiday, and for ever; he tliat is the true God, is also eternal life, 
I John V. 20. It is indeed said of Clirist, tlie Word and Son of God, that he 
is the eternal life, which was with tlic Father from eternity, before manifested 
onto men; and so lives from eternity to eternity; aud, as before obser\'ed, what 
is true of God personally, is true of him essentially considered; he lived from eter- 
nity, and will live for ever liiuI ever; as scvlhiI of tiie above scripture-testimonies 
assure us; and which may be concluded from the simplicity ;.i'iiis nature: whit 
consists of parts may he resolved into those parts again, and so cease to be; but 
God is a simple and uncompouniicd Being, us been estabiisacd: ni^t con* 
listing of parts, and so not capable of being reduced to them, or being dissolv- 
ed, aud therefore live for ever: and from his independency; he has no 
cause prior to him, fioni wiiox lie has received his life, or on whom it depends, 
Acre is none above him, .si-pcriur to him, that can take away his life from liim, 
« he can from his crentui;:s, who are Ixrlow liim, and dependent on him ; 
fcut he is alxjve all, and dependent on none. Likewise from his immutability ; 
there is no change, nor sh;idow of clunge, in him; and yet, if Ills life was not 
cteroal, he must be subject to the greatest of changes, death; but lie is the same 
and of his years there is no enJ^ Psil. cii. 27. The same argimicncs whiji 
prove his eternity, must prove also that he live^ for ever; lie is the true Cod^ 
tie lii/ing Godf and an everlasting ^^''jT* J^*^' ^« ^o* he is called imnioital, eter- 
nal, I Tim. i. 17. the very heathens have such a notion of Deity as i-nmoiul; 
nothing is more common witii them than to cail their gods, the immortal 
God, says Socrates^, is, 1 think, the very species or idea of life, and if any thing 

' Apud risloQ, in Phjcdo. p. 79. 

y6 OF THE LI^E OF GO'b. 

else is immortal, and confessed by all that he caiinot perish. Ariirt6tIeS hat 
this remarkable obsexvation, "The" energy, act, or operdtibn of God, is im- 
n^ortnlitv, this is everlasting life ; Wherefore there must needs be perpetual mo- 
tion in God.** And he reports', fhat Alcnfieon supposed diat the soul was im- 
mortal, because it was like to the immortals. But our God, die trvc God, is 
he who onlv hath rnnmorti*1ity, i Tim. vi. i6. that is, who hach it in'aad if 
himself, and gives it to others. Angels are immortal, they die hot; but'tfMH 
this immortality is n^^t of themselves, but of God, who supports biid Cddtinuts 
them in their bein.r; for as he made them out of nothing, hecoukl,ifhew<niU» 
annihilate them, and bring them to nothing aqain: die souls of men are Itn* 
mortal : they cannot' be killed, nor do they die with their bodies ; Inif dMn Whit 
has been said of angels may be said of them. The bodies of itient aftet'tbe ttb* 
svrrection, are inimortal ; this mortal then puts on immortality, Sliid ahMysIt 
d 'thed wilh' it, and e>'er continues ; biit this is the gift of God, zAd the rfect Of 
hi*^ \^ill and power; yea, even the bodies of the wickM arc immorftl, 'but nkt 
of themselves, ir is even against t^eir wills ; they choose and seek death, 'h%t 
cannot hue ir; their torni'ents are endless, and the smoke of thetn-aaoends fik 
ever 2nd ever. God only has immortality in and of himself. 

III. God is life efficiently, die source and spring, the audior and gHer lif' 
li^L- \o Cithers; WiiA thee is the fountain of life ^ ftal. xxxvi. 9. whidl he wcxid 
not be,' if he had not life in and of himself, essentially, originally, itiitipcaL 
ently, most properly, and in the most perfect manner. 

God is the autiior and giver of life, from the lowest to the highest 'degree Df 
it. The vegetative life, that is in herbs, plants, and trees, is ftokn him, aid 
suppf rted by him ; and he takes it away, when his spirit blows iipoii tfaetii 
Gen. I. II, 12. Isai. xl. 7. The animal life is owing to him; die life of ^ 
asii.nals, ofthe fishes in the sea, die fowl of the air, and the beasts of IlicPfidd; 
and he gives them life and breadi; and when he takes it away, they ^die, alid 
return to the dust. Gen. i. 20 — 25. Acts xvii. 25. Psal. civ. 29. The ratioml 
liie in angels and men, is from him ; angels are made rational living spirits by 
liim, and in bini they consist: to fiicn he grants life and favour, and his visitation 
preserves their spirit, and he is the God of their life, that gives it, and ccib* 
tinues it, and takes it kway at pleasure, Psal. xlii. 8. No creatine ciui giVe 
real life; men may paint to the life, as we say, but they cannot give life: ix> 
man can make a living fly; he may as soon make a world. 

The spiritual life that is in any ofthe sons of men, is from God. Meii,% 
a state of unregeneracy, are 'dead, d^ in' a moral and spiritual' seiiK; UsA 
wliilst they are corporally alive, diey are detid in trespasses and sins; tild'te- of chem dead as to them understanding of, xVill to, afiitetion'ihr' iirilalris 
morally and spiritually good ; and their' very living in sin isno odler thati dktdi: 
nor can diey quiclcen themselves; ndfiiing ^an give i^at ithas tiot; the icgfaw 
rcctiou oi the dead, in a corporal siense, rlcquires kliHi^typOM^; 'tndy'ib • 


ail sense, the exceeding greatness of God's power; so thlt it is not bf 
t or power of man, but by the Spirit and Power of the living God. It it 

idut of his rich mercy, and because of his great love, and by his abm^^ity 
r, quickens men dead in sin, dead in law, and exposed unto eternal 
; he speaks life umo them, when he calls them by his grace, breaths into 
ry bones the breath of life, aiid they live spiritually; a life of justifioataoa* 
ig^ the righteousness of Christ, which is the justiiication of lifct orad- 
s and intitles diem to eternal life; and a life of faith on Ciu-ist, and oflio- 
( from him; they live in no\vness of life, soberly, righteously, and godlj; 
h life is preserved in them, it springs up to everlasting life; it is hid and 
ed with Christ in God, is a never-dying one, and shall issue 4n emml 
in which all the three Persons in the Godhead are concemed, John y. 
25. and xi. 25. 'Rom.viii. 2. 

ienial life, so often spoke of in scripture, as what die saints shall enjbj hit 
ndre, is of God; it is what he has provided and prepared for diem in his 
cil and covenant; what they are fore-ordained unto in -his pmposes and 
)es, and do most certainly enjoy; what he who cannot lie>has promised to 

before die world be^an, and which is his free gift, and flows from his 
likvourand good will, through Clirist, Acts xiii. 48. Tit. L 2. Rom. vi. 23. 
in' which the Son and Spirit have a conceni; Christ came that 4S people 
trhave it, suid he gave-his flesh for the life of them ; it is put- into his ha^dsp 
!ie has a power to dispose of it, and give it to his sheep; fio that none of 
t^ball perish, but have it, i John v. 12. Johaxvii. 2. and x. a8. And die 
t, whose grace springs up to it, and issues in it; and he dwells in his peo- 
ar the earnest of it; and works them up for it, and brings them into the 
mjoyment of it. Now God must have life in die highest degree of it, as 
Aitdi even essentially, originally, infinitely, and perfectly; or he ccatd 
r-ghre life in every sense unto his creatures; and he must live for ever, lo 
iitoc eternal life, particularly to his people, and preserve them in it. 


IE of die names of God, in die Hebrew language, are dioug^t to bed&- 
1 ftom words- which signify firmness and stability, strength, and power; as 
oai, £!« £l-^Shaddai, which latter is always rendered almighty. Gen. xvii. i, 
d. "vL 3« 'and'very-frequendy in the book of Job; and: the Greek word 
ffMfiretf is tncd-of Gbdin die New Testament, and is translated almighty 
mnipomt,' Rev. i. Si'aiidiv. S.^andxix. 6. and power is one of ^ names 
hd. Matt. xxvr. 64. compared with Heb. i. 3. the angel said to -the virgin 
rjr, JKtJIrOpdjatUng shall bi imftasiUe^ Luke i. 37. and Epichanmis, the 
heDf'imdiesBroeexprefision''; and so Linns'": Omnipptenoo is essential to 
^Stroaot. L 5* pu t9> .i|4lMimim^Mf0aMM»««#fili/NinFifl«|Liaiifc 


God, it is his nature ; a weak Deity is an absurdity to the human mind : the 
very heathens &upposc their gods to be omnipotent, though without reason ; but 
we have reason sufficient to believe that tlie Lord our God, who is the true 
God, is Ahnighty; his operations abundantly prove it; though if he had never 
exerted his almighty power, nor declared it by any external visible works, it 
would have been the same in himself; for it being his nature and essence, was 
from eternity, before any such works were wrought, and will be when 
they shall be no more; and hence it is called, his eternal power, Rom. i. 20. 
and may be concluded from his being an uncreated eternal Spirit. All spirits 
are powerful, as their operations shew; we learn some- what of their power 
from our own spirits or souls,, which are endowed with the power and facul- 
ties of understanding, willing, reasoning, choosing and refusing, loving aql 
hating, &c. and not only so, but are able to operate upon tlie body; and |o 
quicken, move, direct and guide it to do wliatever they please, and that that ii 
capable of; and angelic spirits are more powerful still, they excel in 8trcng^^ 
and arc called mighty angels, Psal. ciii. 20. 2 Thcss. i. 7. and have done veqf 
strange and surprizing things ; one of them slew in one night one hundred ai|d 
eighty-five thousand men, in the Assyrian camp, 2 Kings xix. 35. and wh^ 
then cannot God, the uncreated and infinite Spirit, do ; who has endowed thefC 
with all their power, might, and strength ? can less than omnipotence be ascrib- 
ed to him ? This may be inferred from his infinicy. God is an infinite Bei^gi 
and so is every perfection of his ; his understanding is infinite, and such is lyi 
power; for, as a Jewish writer '* argues, since power is attributed to God, ic 
must be understood that it is infinite; for if it was finite, it might be conceived 
that there was a greater power thun his; and so privation would fall on God; 
as if there was not in him the greater power that is to be conceived of. He ii 
unlimited and unbounded, as to space, and so is omnipresent; and he is unlimju 
cd and unbounded as to time, and so is ettrnil ; and he is unlimited and un- 
bounded as to power, and so is omnipotent: to deny, or to call in question, 1^ 
omnipotence, is to limit tlie holy one of Israel, which ought not to be done; 
this the Israelites arc charged with, for distrusting his power to provide for them 
in the wilderness, Psal. Ixxviii. 19, 20, 41. The omniix)tencc of God may be ar- 
gued from his independency ; all creatures depend on him, but he depends on none; 
tliere is no cause prior to him, nor any superior to him, or above him, that c^ 
controul him ; none, who, if his hand is stretched out, can turn it back, or stpp 
it from proceeding to do what he will ; none can stay his Iiand, or say unto him 
what dost thou ? ^^ he does what he pleases in heaven and in earth,*' Dan. iv. 35. 
Moreover, tliis attribute of God may be confirmed by his perfection ; God is a 
most perfect being; but that he would not be if any thing was wanting in hioi: 
want of power in a creature is an imperfection, and would be so in God, was 
that his case ; but as he is great, his power is great ; there is an exuberancy» an 
exceeding greatness of power in him, beyond all conception and expression i Jio 

* Joseph Albo in Scphcr Ik^urim, fol. 68. 9. 

ft * 


is " able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we can ask or diink,** 
Eph. i. 19. and iii. 20. And this may be strcnq;thencd yet more by observing, 
the uselessness of many other perfections without it ; for what though he knows 
aU diings fit and proper to be done, for his own glory, and the good of his crea- 
tares, what does it signify, if he cannot do them ? and though he may, in the 
most sovereign manner, will, determine, and decree, such and such things to 
be done; of what avail is it if he cannot carry his will, determinations, anddc- 
cfces into execution? what dependence can there be upon his faidifulness in his 
promises, if he is not able also to perform ? and of what use is his goodness, or 
an inclination and disposition in him to do goo'l, if he cannot do it? or where is 
his justice in rendering to every man according to his works, if he cannot cxc- 
cme it? So that, upon the whole, it is a most certain truth, that power belongs 
to God, as the Psalmist says, Psal. Ixii. 1 1 . and to whom he ascribes it, even 
power and might, by which two words he expresses die greatness of power, su- 
peihtive power, power in the highest degree, even omnipotence, iChron. xxix. 
fl. and it may be observed, that in all the doxologies or ascriptions of glory to 
God, by angels and men, power or might is put into them. Rev. iv. 10, 1 1« 
snd ▼• 13. and vii. 11, 11. And indeed it belongs to no other; it is peculiar to 
God: nor is it communicable to a creature ; since that creature would then be 
God ; (or omnipotence is his nature ; nor is it even communicable to the human 
iBtiire of Christ, for the same reason; for though the human nature is united 
to a divine person, who is omnipotent, it does not become omnipotent tliereby ; 
diOQgh die two natures, divine and human, are closely united in Qirist; yet 
the properties of each are distinct iiud peculiar; and it is easy to observe, that 
die human nature of Christ was subject to various infirmities, though sinless 
•DCS, and stood in need of help, strength, and deliverance ; for which, as man, 
be prayed; and at last he was crucih'-'d, tiirough weakness, Heb. iv. 15. 
FnL xxii. 19, 20. 2 Cor. xiii. 4. And as for Matt, xxviii. 18. that is said not 
of die attribute of divine power, which is not given him, but is natural to him, 
u a divine person but of his authoriiy over »ill, uud their subjection to'him as 

The power of God reaches to all things, and therefore is, witli propriety, 
called Omnipotence ; all things are posvS.bie with God, and nothing impossible; 
this is said by an angel, and conllrmed by Ciirist, Luke i. 37. Mark xiv. 36. 
vvbac ih impossible with men is possible with God; wiiat cannot be done accord* 
BQg to the nature of things, the laws, rules, and course of nature, may be done 
l^the God of nature, who is above these, and not bound by them, atil some- 
lines acts contrary to them ; as when he stopped the sun in it:: coiiric, in tlic 
times of Joshua; made iron to swim by the hands of the prop^ec Elibha ; and 
suffered not fire to bum in die furnace of Nebuchadnezzar, so that tiic ihiee 
persons cast into it were not hurt by it, nor their clotlici, so much ar. ;in^cd» nor 
Ae smell of fere upon them; whereas, it is the nature ot' th.; sun to go on in i'> 
course, widiout fctoppiii^, m-r can anv cic:*ti :e :■.[. ii: aiid A.r ^.io!.'i>:'..'j'» L'_^ 


dies^ as iron, to sink in water; and for fire to bum. Tliere are some things, in* 
deed, which God cannot do, and which the scriptures express, as, that ie canm§i 
Jkwf himself i 2 Tim. ii. 13. nor do any thing that is contrary to his being, his 
honour- and glory, or subversive of it; thus for instance, he cannot make an- 
other- God^ diat would be contrary to himself, to the unity of his Bcjng, aiidibe. 
docbiation of his word; Hear^ O Israel^ the Lord our God ii one, Lord^ Dtu& 
▼i. 4. he cannot make a finite creature infinite; that would be to do the same^ 
and there would be more infinites than one, which is a contradiction; h^ cao^ 
not raise a creature to such dignity as to have divine perfections, ascribed to iCg. 
il has not, which would be a £alshood ; or to have religious worship and, adoiap 
tkm given it, which would be denying himself, detracting from his own gfotyi^ 
and giving it to another, when he only is to be served and worshipped: in sudi 
nanner it is also said of him, and he cannot lie, TiL i. 2. Heb. vi. 18. for d|i|^ 
would be contrary to his truth and faithfulness ; he can do nothing that is coQp 
tmy to his attributes ; he cannot commit iniquity, he neither will nor can d^, 
il; jfor that would be contrary to his holiness and righteousness; see Job xxxi^ 
JOy 12. and xxxvi. 23. he cannot do any thing that implies a contradictiop; lip- 
eannot make contradictions true ; a thing to be, and not to be at the same tij^i. 
or make a thing not to have been that has becn^; hie can make ^ thi^ nc|^t0, 
be, which is, or has been, he can destroy his own works ; but not make tha^^ 
So have existed, which has existed; nor make an human body to be Cycag[{ 
where ; nor accidents to subsist without subjects ; with many other things wji^ 
knply a manifest contradiction and falshood: but then these are iy> p^ejudicqi 
lo his omnipotence, nor prooft of weakness; they arise only out of thp 4!^%* 
dance and fulness of his power ; who can neither do a weak thiog Hor a wjbckjol 
thing, nor commit any falshood; to do, or attempt to do, any such^ tI4pig|» 
would be proofs of impotence, and not of omnipotence. 

The power of God may be considered as absolute, and as actual or onlimts* 
According to his absoKite power, he can do all things which are not contiscy 
to his nature and peifections, and which does not imply a contradiction; eveo 
though he has not done them nor never will : thus he could have raised up chit* 
dren to Abraham, out of stones, though he would not ; and have seqt twdve- 
legions of angels to deliver Christ out of the hands of his enemies; but did no^ 
Matt. iii. 9. and xxvi. 53. he th^it has made one world, and how many moir 
we know not for certainty, Heb, xi. 3. could liave made ten thousand; he that 
has made the stars in the heaven innumerable, could have vastly increased dipr 
number ; and he that has made an innumerable company of angels, and m^ 
on earth, as the sand of the sea, could have added to them infinitely more. 
The power of God lias never been exerted to its uttermost; it is sufficient ta 
entitle him to omnipotence, that he has done, and does, whatsoever he pleases* 
and that whatsoever is made, is made by him, and nothing without him; whic|^ 
IS what may be called, his ordinate and actual power; or what he has willed 

* So AgatboD apud ArUiou £ihic» 1. 6, c i« 



and detenmned, is actually done ; and of this there is abundant proofi as will 
appear by die following instances. 

I. In creation; the heaven, earth, and sea, and all that in them are, were 
created by God, is certain; and these visible works of creation, are proofs of 
ifae invisible attributes of God, and particularly, of his eternal power^ Acts iv. 24. 
Rom. i. 20. Creation is making something out of nothing; which none but 
omnipotence can effect; see Heb. xi. 3. no artificer, though ever so expert, can 
work without materials, whether he works in gold, silver, brass, iron, wood, 
stone, or in any thing else: the potter can cast his clay into what form and 
figure he pleases, according to his art, and make one vessel for one use, and 
tnodier for another; but he cannot make the least portion of clay: but God 
created the first matter out of which all things are made; and which were made 
oat of things not before existing by the omnipotent Being; whom the good wo- 
man animating her son to martyrdom, exhorted to acknowledge, 2 Maccab. vii. 
%8. Nor can any artificer work without tools; and the more curious his work, 
die more curious must his tools be ; but God can work without instruments, as 
he did in creation ; it was only by his all-commanding word that every thing 
ipmng into being. Gen. i. 3. &c. Psal. xxxvi. 9. and every thing created was 
was done at once ; creation is an instantaneous act, is without succession, and 
Tequires no lengih of time to do it in ; every thing on the several days of crea- 
tion were done immediately: On the first day God said, ** Let there be light ;*• 
and it immediately sprung out of darkness: on the second day he said, "Let 
Acre be a firmament," an expanse ; and at once the airy heaven was stretched 
out like a cunain around our earth: on the third day he said, " Let the earth 
bring fonh grass, herbs, and fruit-trees;" and the)'- arose directly out of it, in all 
their verdure and fruitfulness : on the fourth day he said, " Let there be lights 
in ihc heavens ;'* and no sooner was it said, but the sun, moon, and :tars, blaz- 
ed fonh in all their lustre and splcnlor: on the fiftli and sixth days orders were 
giren for the waters to bring forth fish, and foul, and beasts, and cattle of every 
kind; and they accordingly brought tliem forth in full perfection immediately ^ 
and last of all, man was at once made, complcat and perfect, out of the dust of 
the earth, and the breath of life was breathed into him ; and though there were 
ix days appointed, one for each of these works, yet they were instantaneously 
poformcd on those days ; and this time was allotted not on account of God, 
who could have done them all in a moment; but for the sake of men, who, when 
dicy read the history of the creation, there is a stop and pause at each work, 
that they may stand still and meditate upon it, and wonder at it. Whereas the 
vorks of men require time ; and those that are most curious, longer still. Add 
to all this, that the works of creation were done without weariness ; no labour 
of men is free from it: if it be the work of the brain, the fruit of close reason- 
ing, reading, meditation, and study; much study, the wise man savs, is a ivear:- 

tess cf thejleshj Ecclcs. xii. 12« or if it be manual operation, it is bbour and 
Vol. I. . . M 


fatigue ; but die everlasting God, the Creator of tlie ends of the earth, thou^ 
he has wrought such stupendous woxVs^ fainieth not^ ruitieris weary^ Isai, xl. 28. 
and though he is said to rest on the seventh day, yet not on account of fatigue; 
but to denote he had finished his work, brought it to perfecuon, and ceafied from 
it. And now, to what can all this be ascribed but to omnipotence? Which, 

11. Appears in the sustentaiion and support of all creatures, in the provinon 
made for them, with other wonderful works done in providence: all cieaturea 
live, move, and have their being in God ; as they are made by him, they consist 
by liim; " he upholds all things by the word of his power;" the heavens, the 
earth, and the pillars thereof, Acts xvii. 28. Col. i. 16, 17. Heb. i. 3. Psal. 
Ixxv. 3. which none but an almighty arm can do : and the manner in which tht 
v^orld, and all things in it, are preserved, and continue, is anoazing and surpriz- 
ing, and cannot be accounted tor, no other way than by the attribute of omni- 
potence ; for he stretchcth out the north over the empty place^ and hangeth the earth 
upon nothing ; he bindeth up the waters In his thick clouds^ and the cloud, is ftot 
rent under him; though these are no other tlian condensed air, which carry such 
burdens in them, and yet arc not burst by them — he has shut up the sea with 
doors; with clifts and rocks, and even with so weak a thing as sand; andsaid^ 
hitherto shalt thou come, and no further, and here shall thy proud waves be staid^^ 
and has caused the day-spring to knew its place^^divided a watercourse for ihf 
0Z'erfiowing of waters, and a way for the lightening of thunder, to cause it to rain 
on the earth; which none of the vanities of the Gentiles can do; he gives that 
andf-uitful seasons filling men's hearts with food and gladness, and provides for 
all the fowls of the air, and ^' the cattle on a thousand hills ;" see Job xxvi. 7, 8»' 
and xxxviii. 10 — 26. Acts xiv. 17. But what hand can do all these but aa 
almighty oner To which may be added, those wonderful events in providence^ 
which can only be accounted for by recurring to omnipotence, and to superna- 
tural power and aid; as the drowning of the whole world ; the burning of So* 
dom and Gomorrah, and the cities of the plain ; the strange exploits of some par^ 
ticular persons, as Jonathan and David ; the amazing victories obtained by a few 
over a multitude, sometimes by unarmed men, sometimes without fighting, and 
always by him that helps, wliether wiih many, or with them that have no pow- 
er, as the cases of Gideon, Jehoshaphat, and Asa shew; with various other thinga 
too numerous to mention, as the removing of mountains, shaking the earth, and 
the pillars of it, commanding the sun not to rise, and sealing up the stan, 
Job ix. 5, &c. 

III. The omnipotence of God may be seen in the redemption of men by 
Christ, in things leading to it, and in the completion of it: in the incamatiofi 
of Christ, and his birth of a virgin, which the angel ascribes to the power of the 
Highest, the most high God, with whom nothing is impossible, Luke !• 35, jy, 
and which was an expedient found out by infinite wisdom, to remove a difficul* 
ty which none but omnipotence coukl surmount, namely, to bring a dean thii^ 
out of an unclean; for it A'as necessary that the Saviour of men should b^ man, 

Book L or tH£ omnipotence op god. 83 

that tlie salvation shouM be wrought out in human nature, that so men might 
have* the benefit of it; and it was necessary that he should be free from sin, who 
became a sacrifice for it; yet how it could be, since all human nature was de- 
filed with sin, was the difficulty; which was got over, through omnipotence 
forming the human nature of Christ in the above manner: and which was also 
evident in the protection of him from the womb; in his infancy, from the malice 
of Herod; after his baptism, from the violence of Satan's temptations, who put 
him upon destroying himself; and from the wild beasts of the wilderness; and 
fiom all the snares and attempts of the Scribes and Pharisees, to take away his 
life before his time: and in the mimculous works wrought by him, which were 
prooft of his Messiahship ; such as causing the blind to sec, the deaf to hear, the 
damb to speak, the lame to >valk, and cleansing lepers, and even raising the 
dead to life; and which were such instances of omnipotence, as caused in those 
that saw them amazement at the mighty power of God, Matt. xi. 5. Luke ix. 43. 
md more especially this might be seen in making Christ, the man of God's 
right hand, strong for himself; in strengthening him in his human nature to 
work out salvation, which neidier men nor angels could have done, by fulfill* 
ing the law, and satisfying justice; in upholding him under the weight of sins 
andsuflferings; in enaUing him to bear the wrath of God, and the curses of a 
fighceous law, and to grapjde with all the powers of darkness, and to spoil 
diem, and make a triumph over them ; and in raising him from the dead (or 
justification, without which salvation would not have been compleat; and in 
which the exceeding greatness of the divine power was exerted; and whereby 
Christ was declared to be the Son of God with power, Eph. i. 19. Rom. ix. 4. 
IV. Almiglity power may be discerned in the conversion of sinners ; that is a 
creation, which is an act of omnipotence, as has been proved. Men, in con- 
version, are made new creatures ; " created in Christ, and after the image of 
God;" have new hearts and spirits, clean and upright ones, created in them; 
new principles of grace and holiness formed in them ; *' are turned from dark- 
ness to light, from the power of Satan unto Goti; and are made willing in the 
day of God's power" upon them, to be saved by Christ, and serve him; to sub- 
mit to his righteousness, and to part with tlieir sins and sinful companions : aH 
which are effects of the exceeding greamess of the power of God towards them 
and upon them : they are quickened when dead in sins, and raised by Christ, 
the resurrection and the life, from a death of sin to a life of grace ; the Spirit of 
life enters into them, and these dry bones live ; conversion is a resurrection, and 
that requires almighty power. And if we consider the means of it, generally 
speaking, *• the foolishness of preaching," the gospel put into earthen vessels, 
■fijT this end, that the excellency of the power of G<k1 may appear to be of God, 
and not of men ; and when these means are effectual, they arc the power of 
God unto salvation, 2 Cor. iv. 7. Rom. i. 16. And also the great opposition 
made to this work, through the enmity and lusts of men's hearts, the malice of 



fatigue ; but the everbsiing God, the Creator of the ends of die can]' 
he has wrought such stupendous work^, Jaimn/i not, neither i% wtory, ) 
and thoi'gh he is said to rest on the seventh day, yet not on accoun! 
but to denote he had finished his work, brought it to perfeaion, ar.-l 
it. And nnw, to what can all this be ascribed but tn omnipoteni 

II. appears in the suGtcnIation and support of all creatureR, 
niadi: for them, with other wonderful works dtine in provide! 
live, move, and have thtir being in God ; as they are made b\ 
by him; " he upholds all tilings by the word of his power,' 
cimh, and tiic pillars thereof, Acts xvii, 28. Col. i. 16, i 
Ixxv. 3. wlu'ch none hut an almighty arm can do: and thi .: 

World, and all things in it, are preserved, and continue, i- :ij 

ing, and cannot be accounted tor, no other way than I' . -mA 

potcncc; for he ilretclieth eat the north tverlhttmftf p' .ai^ 

upon noihiiig; he binJeth up tki waters in his thick -.. ^gLM 

rent undo him; diough ilicse are no Other Aao com!' .^M^R 

burdens in them, and yet arc not bunt by thein— - 
doors; widi clifts and rocks, and even with so w.-. 
hitherto shah thoH came, and no further, andhtrt s' 
and has eauied the daj-iprinj U ituui its place— 
tverfiotvlng ofvjaters, and a way for the lighten: 
tn the etitih; which none of the vanities of L' 
endfuiiful seasons filling men's hearts vjilh j ■ 
all the fowls of the air, and " the cattle on a 
and xxxviii. 10 — 26. Acts xiv. 17. But 
almighty one? To which may be added, l...^ "^ 
which can only be accounted for by recu7;i,-- 
tural power and aid; as the drowning of w_j™* 
doin and Gomorrah, and the cities of thr^ ^ . 
ticular persons, as Jonathan and David 
uver a multitude, sometimes by ui 
alwavf) by him that helps, whether 
cr, as tlie cases of Giilcon, Jchosliup 
too numerous to mention, 
the pillars of il, commanding ili 
Job ix. 5, &c, 

III. The oiiinipotcnce of 
Chriiit, in things leading iti 
of Christ, and his binh of a 
Highest, the most high Gi 
and which was an cxj 
ty which none but.omi 
out of an unclean ; for 

^" GOD, 85 

■ ; fvO !ii;n a.s an activt; 

., 01 OiPMiootcnce; I 

i\x\\ Co ]\':in as an iniel- 

'» uiidcrsi.-Mitlinj;, will, and 

. I* a miiu! .'ukI xmdci stanviing, 

■ .!, the aitilbut^hof knowledge 

1 shall bc":in with the liist of 

i-. Is objected to, and called in qucs- 

I i;il. Ixxiii. 1 1, particularly with le- 

-iiich doubts about it, and objections 10 

.i distance of God iii heaven, from nicn 

cinvi dark clouds which iiiu.rvcue bctvvccn 

1 aie easily answered by obstivinir the o»n- 

in all places ; and that the darkncbs hubs net 

-ill-penetrating eye, tiie darkness and the lir;!it 

.:\. 7 — 12. Jer. xxiii. 23, 24. Let it be further 

'. creatures there is knowLdge ; there is ini;cli in 

. :ian, before the fall, both of natural, diviiiC, and civil 

L.'icre is a remainder of it, notwithstanding the loss 

... is more, especially divine and spiritual knowledge, m 

■L renewed in knowledge. Now if there is kno.'.iLdc^e 

- of God, then much more in God himself. Besides, all 

.., in angels or men, comes from God ; he is a God of know- 

.. ^, of all knowledge, i Sam. ii. 3. the source and fouarain 

if must be in him in its perfection : knowledge of all things, 

ii. 1 spiritual, is from him, is taught and given by him; whcTC- 

• lie reasoning of the Psalmiot, i/t* t/iut Ucichts mim .(/.w.^-.V./r^t', 

r^^ijp Psal. xciv. 10. His knowledge may be inferred fi-m u'if. 

*■: actings of it; that he has a will is most certain, and wurks all 

. ,. the counsel of his will, which cannot be resisted, Kpii. i. ii- 

.. !<;. and this can never be supposed to be without knowicd^je; it is 

V vaid and believed of the will of man, that it is determined bv the last 

c understanding; and it cannot be imagined that God wills any thing 

ily and rashly; he must know what he wills, and nills, and to wliom 

:h any thing, or refuses, Rom. ix. 15, 18. and it appears from all his works, 

le works of creation, the heavens, earth, and sea, and all in them ; w liicli 

:ribcd to his wisdom, uri(!erstanding, and knowlt:dge, and c(uild never l)C 

without them, Prov. iii. u;, 2C. the jio'.crnment of the wuild, and iht. 


Satan, willing to keep possession ; the snares of the world, and the influence of 
wicked companions; it cannot be thought to be any thing short of the omnipo- 
tent hand of God, that snatches men, as brands, out of the burning : and the 
same power that is put forth in the beginning of the work of grace, is requisite 
to the carrying of it on: the rise, progress, and finishing of it, are not by might 
and power of men, but by the mighty, efficacious, and all-powerful grace of 
God, 2 Thess. i. 11. Zech. iv. 6. 

V. That the Lord God is omnipotent, may be evinced from the rise and pro- 
gress of Christianity, the success of the gospel, in the first times of it, and the 
continuance of it, notwithstanding the opposition of men and devils. The in- 
terest of Christ in the world rose from small beginnings ; it was like the litde 
stone cut out of the mountain without hands, which became a great mountaint 
and filled the '^^hole earth; and this by means of the preaching of the gospel; 
and that by such who, for the most part, were men illiterate, mean, and con* 
temptiblc, the foolish things of this world; and who were opposed by Jewidi 
Rabbins, and heathen philosophers, by monarchs, kings, and emperors, and by 
the whole world; yet these went forth, and Christ with them, conquering and 
to conquer, and were made to triumph in him over all their enemies every wherct 
ao that in a short time tlie universal monarchy of the earth, the whole Roman 
empire, became nominally christian ; and the gospel has lived through all the 
persecutions of Rome pagan and papal, and still continues, notwithstanding die 
craft of false teachers, and the force of furious persecutors ; and will remain and 
be the everlasting gospel; all which is owing to the mighty power of God. 

VI. The final perseverance of every particular believer in grace and holinesSv 
is a proof of the divine omnipotence ; it is because he is great in power, that not 
one of them fails ; otherwise their in-dwelling sins and corruptions would pre» 
vail over them; Satan's temptations be too powerful for them; and the snares 
of the world, the flatteries of it, would draw them aside ; but they are kept by 
the power of God, the mighty power of God, as in a garrison, through faith unto 
salvation, i Pet. i. 5. 

VII. The almighty power of God will be displayed in the resurrection of die 
dead; which considered, it need not be thought incredible; though otherwise it 
might; for what but the all commanding voice of the almighty God can ronse 
the dead, and raise them to life, and bring them out of their graves; *' some to 
the resurrection of life, and some to the resurrection of damnation?'* What else 
but bis almighty power can gather all nations before him, and oblige them to 
stand at the judgment-seat of Christ, to receive their several sentences? And 
what but his vengeful arm of omnipotence, can execute the sentence on millions 
and millions of devils and wicked men, in all the height of wrath, rage, fury, 
and rebellion? see Phil. iii. 2i. John v. 28, 29. Matt. xvv. 32—46. Rev. xx. 



Having considered such attributes of God, \vhich belong to him as an active 
and operative Spirit; as the Life of God, and his Power, or Omnipotence; I 
proceed to consider such perfections, which may be ascribed to him as an intel- 
ligent Spirit; to which, rational spirits, endowed with understanding, will, and 
aflfections, bear some similarit)^ God is said to have a miiul and understanding, 
Rom. xi. 34. Isai. xl. 28. to which may he referred, the attributes of knowledge 
and wisdom, which go together, Rom. xi. 33. I shall begin with the first of 
diese. And prove, 

I. That knowledge belongs to God. This is objected to, and called in ques- 
don, by impious and atheistical persons, Psal. Ixxiii. 11. particularly with re- 
ipcct to human affairs ; the grounds of which doubts about it, and objections to 
ic, seem to arise, partly from the supposed distance of Gud in heaven, from men 
on earth, and partly from the thick- ^nd dark clouds which intervene between 
them. Job xxii. 12 — 14. and which are easily answered by observing the om« 
nippcsence of God, or his presence in all places ; and that the darkness tiides not 
any thing from his all-piercing, all-penetrating eye, the darkness and tlie liglit 
bdng alike to him, Psal. cxxxix. 7 — 12. Jer. xxiii. 23, 24. Let it be further 
obiervedi that in all rational creatures there is knowledge ; there is mudi in 
angds, and so there was in man, before the fall, both of natural, divine, and civil 
ffaiflgs ; and since the fall there is a remainder of it, notwithstanding the loss 
sustained by it; and there is more, especially divine and spiritual knowledge, in 
regenerate men, who are renewed in knowledge. Now if there is knowledge 
in any of the creatures of God, then much more in God himself. Besides, all 
diat knowledge that is in angels or men, comes from God ; he is a God of know*- 
ledge, or knowledges, of all knowledge, i Sam. ii. 3. tlie source and fountain 
of it, and therefore it must be in him in its perfection: knowledge of all things, 
natural, civil, and spiritual, is from him, is taught and given by him; whoie- 
fine strong is tlie reasoning of the Psalmist, He that tcackes man knc.uleJgi^ 
shall lu not knowP Psal. xciv. 10. His knowledge may be inferred Innn his 
will, and the actings of it; that he has a will is most certain, and works all 
things after the coimsel of his will, which cannot be resisted, Epii. i. 1 1« 
Rom. ix. 19. and this can never be supposed to be without knowledge; it is 
generally said and believed of the will of man, that it is determined by the last 
act of the understanding; and it cannot be imagined that God wills any thing 
ignorantly and rashly ; he must know what he wills, and nills, and to whom 
he wills any thing, or refuses, Rom. ix. 15, iS. and it appears from all his works, 
from the works of creation, the heavens, earth, and sea, and all in them ; which 
are ascribed to his wisdom, understanding, and knowledge, and could never be 
made without them, Prov. iii. 19, 20. the government of tlic world, and tlie 


judcTTicnt of the last day, suppose and require the same, Rom. xi. 33. i Cor. ir. ^* 
\\'ii!i(;ut knowledge God would not be pertectly happy; the blessed one, and 
bieiscd for ever, as he is« It is knowledge tliat gives men the preference to die 
brute creation, and makes them happier than they. Job xxxv. 11. and the spin* 
tnal knowledge which good men have, pfives them a superior excellency and fe-i 
Kchy to bad men; and their happiness in a future state will lie, as fai perfect 
holiness, so in perfect knowledge, or to know, as they are known, 1 Cor. xiii. I2« 
In sliort, without knowledge, God would be no other than the idols of die Geo-' 
tiles, who have eyes, but see not; are the work of errors, and are falshood 
and vanity ; but the portion of Jacob is not like them, Jer. x. 14— -id. I go 

II. To shew the extent of the knowledge of God: it reaches to all thii^ 
John XX i. 17. I John iii. 20. and is therefore with great propriety called om- 
niscience, and which the very heathens^ ascrilic to God; and extend it ta 
thoughts. Thales" being asked, Whether a man doing ill, could lie hid to, or 
be concealed from God ? answei^ed, No, nor thinking neither. And Pindar^ 
says. If any man hopes that any thing will be concealed from God, he ii 

I. God knows himself, his nature and perfections : somewhat of this il 
known by creatures themselves, even by the very heathens, through the lig^ of 
nature, and in the glass of the creatures, wherein God has shewed it to them ; 
even his invisible things, his eternal i?o\ver and .Godhead, Rom, i. 19, 20. and 
^hich are more clearly displayed in Christ, and redemption by him ; and mors 
evidently seen by those who arc favoured with a divine re^'elation: and if crea- 
tures know something of God, though imperfectly, then he must know himself* 
in the most perfect manner : and rational creatures are endowed with knowledge 
of themselves, of their nature, and what belongs to diem, as angels may rea- 
sonably be supposed to be ; since even men, in their fallen and imperfect state*. 
know something of themselves, of the constitution, temperament, and texture 
of their bodies, and of the powers and faculties of their souls; what is in them, 
in the inmost recesses of their minds, their thoughts, purposes, and intentions, 
I Cor. ii. II. Nosce te ipsum^ Know thyself, has been reckoned a wise maxim 
with philosophers, and the first step to wisdom and knowledge; and good men» 
illuminated by the Spirit of God, attain to the highest degree of it ; and if crea* 
tures know themselves in any degree, infinitely much more must the Creator 
of all know himself. God knows himself in all his persons, and each person 
fully knows one another; the Father knows the Son, begotten by him, ani 
brought up with him; the Son knows the Father, in whose bosom he by; and 
the Spirit knows the Father and Son, whose Spirit he is, and from whom ha 
proceeds ; and the Father and Son know the Spirit, who is sent by Aem «8 die 

* 9um i^wvlio(e90«Xfiecicat warm ffl^ffoft Hciiod. Opera Sc Dici, 1. 1. v. tSj. >Apiicl Lacr& 
Vila ejus, Val. Maxim* 1* 7. c. 1. extern. 8. * Olymp. Ode 1. 10 Epichtimiu apud CkneoU 
SciOBiat. 1. $. p. 59|. 

Book L or the omniscience of god. 87 

Comfoner; see Matt. xi. 27. i Cor. ii. lO, ii. God knows the mode of each 
person's subsistence in the Deity, tlie p:itcrnicy of the Father, the generation of 
the Son, and the spiration of tlie Hoiy Ghost; that these three arc one, mvi on^ 
in three; three persons, but one God; which is a mystery incomprciicnsiliie by 
us; but inasmucl) as God, who knows his own nature best, has so dedaied it 
to be. it becomes us to vield the obedience of faith unto it; he knows his own 
thoughts, which are the deep things of God, aiul as much above us as tlie hea- 
vens axe above the eanh, and as mucli out of our reach; but he knows thcin, 
Jcr. xxix. 1 1, that is, his decrees, purposes and designs, as he needs must, since 
they are purposed in himself; he knows the things he has purposed, and the ejcact 
dine of the accomplishment of them, which he has reserved in hii» own power, 
£pik L XX. Eccles. iii. i. Ac:s i. 6. 

n. God knows all his creatures, there is not any creature, not one excepted. 
l/btf/i ml menifest in his sights Heb. iv. 13. Known unto him are all his 
norks; all diat his hand has wrought, Acts xv. 18. when he had finished his 
works of creation, he saw every thing that he made, looked over it and cobh 
■dered it, and4>ronounced it good. Gen. i. 31. and his eyes see all things in 
Aeir present state and condition ; he knows all things inanimate, all that is upon 
Aeeanh, herbs, grass, trees, &c. and all in the bowels of it, metals and minerals ; 
lU diit are in the heavens, not only the two great luminaries, the sun and moon, 
Acirnature, motion, rising and setting, with every thuig belonging to them, but 
iie sens innumerable ; he bringeth out their host by number, or them as a mighty 
amy, and numerous; and yet, as numerous as they are, he callcth them all by 
names ; such a distinct and particular knowledge has he of them, and that because 
hehath created them; and he upholds them in being, by the greatness ol his mi^ht, 
^^itainot §ne failethy Isai, xl. 26. he knows all the irrational creatures, the 
beasts of the field, "the cattle on a thousand hills;'* I ktniu, says ho, a'l i/:e 
fnols tfthe mountains^ Psal, 1. 10, 1 1. as worthless a bird as the sparrow is, not 
one of them falls on die ground, without the knowledge and will of God, Matt. 
X. 30. he knows all the fishes of the sea, and provided one to swallow Jonah, 
when thrown into it; and which, at his order, cast him on dry land again, Jo- 
nah i. 17. and ii. xo. And if Adam had such knowled;;^e of all creatures, as to 
^vc diem proper and suitable names, Gen. ii. 19, 20. and Solomon, a fallen 
•on of his, could spealk of trees j from the cedar in Lebanon, to the hyss*ip that 
V^ings otn of the waH; and of beasts^ fowl^ creeping things^ and fishes, 1 Kings 
i». 33. even of their nature, properties, use, and end; can it be thought incredi- 
hk that God, the Creator of thein, should have a distinct and perfect knowledge 
of all these ? he knows all rational beings, as angels and men ; the angels, though 
innumerable, being hb creatures, standing before him, beholding his face, and 
Mt ford^ by him as ministring spirits; the elect angels, whom he must know, 
ttoce he has chosen them and ptjt diem under Christ, the head of all principalis 
tf and power; and confirmed them, by his grace, in their happy state; and 
who stand on his right hand and kft, hcaricening to his voice, and ready to obey 


hiJ will ; and are employed by him in providential af&irs, and in things respect- 
ing ths heirs of salvation. Yea, the apostate angels, devils, are known by him, 
and are laid up in chains of darkness, reserved to the judgment of the great day, 
and are under the continual eye of God, and the restraints of his providence: 
the questions put to these by God, Job i. 7. and by Christ, Mark v. 9. do not 
imply any kind of ignorance of them ; the one is put to lead on to a discourse 
concerning Job, and the other to shew the greatness of the miracle wrought in 
casting them out. God knows all men, good and bad, all the sons of men, the 
inhabitants of the earth, wherever they are, in all places and in all ages, FsaL 
xxxiii. 13, 14. Prov. xv. 2. he knows their hearts, for he has fashioned diem 
alike, and is often said to be the searcher of them ; he knows the thoughts of the 
heart; as his word, so is he a discemer of them, Heb. iv. 12. see Psal. cxxxix. 
2* which is peculiar to God, and a strong proof of the Deity of Christ, 
die essential Word, Matt. ix. 4. John ii. 24, 25. Heb. iv. 12, 13. the evil 
thoughts of men, which are many and vain, Psal. xciv. 11 • and the good 
thoughts of men, as he must, since they are of him, and not of themselves; 
and he takes such notice of them, as to write a book of remembrance of them, 
s Cor. iii. 5. Mai. iii. 16. he knows the imaginations of the thoughts of 
die heart, die first modons to thought, whether good or bad, Gen. vi. 5* 
I Chron. xxviii. 9. he knows all the words of men, there is not one upoo 
dieir tongues, or uttered by them, but he knows it altogether, Psal. cxxxix. 4. 
the words of wicked men, even every idle word, which must be accounted f(» 
in the day of judgment ; and much more their blasphemies, oaths, and curses ; 
and all their hard speeches spoken against Christ and his people, Matt. xiL 36. 
Jude 1 5. And the words of good men, expressed in prayer and thanksgiving, and 
spiritual conversation with one anodier, Mai. iii. 16. And all the works and 
ways of men, Job xxxiv. 2 1 dieir civil ones, their down-sitting and uprisings 
going forth and coming in, Psal. cxxxix. 2, 3. and cxxi. 3, 8. and all their sin- 
ful ways and works, which will all be brought into judgment, and for which 
an account must be given at the bar of God, Eccles. xii. 14. 2 Cor. v. 10. at 
well as all die good works of God's people, who knows from what principles 
they spring, in what manner they are done, and with what views, and for 
what ends, Rev. ii. 2, 1 9. 

III. God knows all things whatever, as well as himself and the creatures : he 
knows all things possible to be done, diough dicy are not, nor never will be done ; 
such as have been observed under the preceding attribute ; and this knowledge is 
what is called by the schoolmen, " Knowledge of simple intelligence" of things 
that are not actually done. He knows what might be, and in course, would be, 
should he not prevent them by the interposition of his power and providence, 
and which lie determines to do: so he knew die wickedness and treachery of the 
men of Keilah to David, and that if he stayed there, they would deliver him up 
into the hands of Saul, and therefore gave him notice of it, that he might make 
his escape from them, and so prevent their giving him up, according to his 


determinate will, i Sam. xxiii. 11, 12. God knows die wickedness of some 

men*s hearts, that they would be guilty of the most shocking crimes, and that 

without number, if suffered to live, and therefore he takes them away by death ; 

and that such is the temper of some, that if they had a large share of riches, 

they would be so haughty and overbearing, there would be no living by them ; 

and that even some good men, if tliey had them, would be tempted to abuse 

them, to their own hurt, and tlierefore he gives them poverty. Moreover, God 

knows all things that have been, are, or shuU be ; and which the schools call, 

** knowledge of vision;" an intuitive view of all actual things; things past, 

present, and to come ; so called, not with respect to God, wiili whom nothing 

is past nor future, but all present ; but wich respect to us, and our measures -of 

time. He knows all former things, from the l)eginning of the world ; and which 

is a proof of Deity, and such a proof t!iat the idols of the Gentiles cannot give, 

nor any for them, Isai. xli. 22. and xliii. 9. all past transactions at the creation, 

die fall of Adam, and what followed on that ; the original of nations and their 

setdements in the world; wich various other occurrences to be met with only in 

the Bible, inspired by God; which, as it is the most ancient, so the truest and 

best history in the world: nodiing tliat has been can escape the knowledge of 

God, nor slip out of his mind and memory ; oblivion cannot be ascribed to him ; 

oonld he forget past facts, or they be lost to him, how could every tiling, open 

or secret, be brought into account, at the day of judgment, as it will? Ecclcs. 

xiL 14. Forgetting the sins of his people, and remembering them no more, 

are attributed to him after the manner of men ; who, wlicn they forgive one 

another, do, or sh'juid, forget olleaces. God sees and knows all things present; 

all are naked and open to Jiiin, lie sees all in one view; all that is done every 

wlicre; as he must, since he is present in all places; and all live, and move, and 

have their being in him. lie knows all cliings fucurc, all that will be, because 

he has determined ihcy ihall be; it is l:is \%ill tl^jat gives fulurition to them, and 

therefore he must certainly know what lie wills shall he : and this is another 

proof of Deity wanting :n heatiien idols, Isui. xli. 22, 23. and xliv. 7. and 

xlvi. 10. And this is what is calltvl Prescience or Fore-knowkd^e ; and of 

which Tcrtullian', many Iiundicds of years ago, obseiTcd, that there wore as many 

witnesses of it, as tiiere ar^.* pr^ .plicts ; and I may add, as there arc prohecies ; for 

allprohecy is founded on God's fore -knowledge ;.i»J prcJeterniination of things; 

and of this there are numerous instance:;; as of the Israelites bcina; in a Jiuange 

land four hundred years, vnd then coming out with great substance, Gen. xv. 

'3t '4- of their sevent)'^ vcars captivitv in Babylon, and deliverance from thence 

at the end of tliat time, Jcr. xxix. 10. with many other tilings relating to that 

people, and other nations; the prophecies of Daniel, concerning the four mo- 

aarchies; tlie predictions of the Old Testament, concerning the incarnation of 

Christ, his suflciing, death, resurrection, ascension, and ^e^bion at God^s right 

^ Ad\ . Marcion. 1. 2« c. j. 

VOL. u y 


Iiand. And what is the book of the Revelation but a prophecy, and so a proof 
of God*s fore-knowIedgc of future events, which should be in the cliurch and 
world, from the times of Christ to tlie end of the world? and this prescience, or 
forc-knowledgc of God, is not only of the effects of necessary causes, which 
necessarily will be, unless prevented by something extraordinary \ and of which^ 
men themselves may have knowledge ; and that things ponderous will fall down- 
wards, and liglit things move upwards ; and that fire put to combustible matter, 
will bum; but of things contingent, which, as to their nature> may or may not 
be, and which even de|>end upon the wills of men ; nnd which, with respect to 
second causes, arc hap and chance. Indeed, with res^Kct to God, there is no*> 
thing casual or contingent^; nothing comes to pass but what is decreed by him» 
what he has determined either to do himself, or by others, or suffer to be doDCy 
Lam. iii. 37, 38. that which is chance to others, is none to him; what more t 
chance-matter than a lot? yet though that is cast into the lap, and it is casual to 
men, how it will turn up, i/ie whole Jisposifig of it is of the Lordy Piov. xvi. 33. 
What more contingent than the imaginations, thoughts, and designs of men, 
what they will be? and yet these are foreknown before conceived in the mind, 
Deut. xxxi. 21. Psnl. rxxxix. ?. or than the voluntary actions of men? yet 
these are foreknown and foictold by the Lord, long before they are done; asdic 
names of persons given them, and wliat should be done by them ; as of Joslah, 
4hat he should oifcr the priests, \\\\A burn the bones of men on the altar at Bethel, 
see 1 Kings xiii. 2. and 2 Kings xxiii. 15, 16. and of Cyrus, that he should give 
orders for the building of the temple, and city of Jerusalem; and let the captive 
Jews go free without price, Isiii. xliv. 28. and xlv. 1;^. Rzra i. i — 3. all which 
were predicted of these persons by name, some luindreds of years before they 
were bom : how all this is reconcileable with the lilx:rty of man's will, is a dif- 
ficultv ; and therefore objected to the certain fore-know ledge and decree of God; 
but whether this difficulty can be removed, or no, the thing is not less certain: 
let it be observed, that God's decrees do not at all infringe the liberty of the wid, 
nor do not put any thing in it, nor lay any force upon it ; they only imply a neces- 
sity of the event, but not of a coaction, or force on the will ; nor do men feel any 
such force upon them ; ihey act as freely, and with the full consent of their will, 
whether good men or bad men, in what they do, as if there were no fore-know- 
ledge and determination of tliem by God ; good men willingly do what they do» 
under the influence of grace, though foreordained to it by the Lord, Eph. ii. lo. 
Phil. ii. 13. and so do wicked men; as Judas in betraying Christ, and the Jcwi 
in crucifying him; though both were "according to the determinate couDsd 
and fore-knowledge of God," Luke xxii. 22. Acts ii. 23. 

There is another sort of prescience, or fore-knowledge, the scriptures speak of; 
on which the election of persons to eternal life is founded, and according to which 
it is, Rom. viii. 30. i Pet. i. 2. which is not a fore-knowledge of faith, holinesf, 

^Mihi ne in Dcuxn quidem cadere vidcatur, at sciat quid casu & fortuito futurum sit; si 
cnimsc'itccite, iJlud cvenict; sin certe evenicti ouUa foriur.a est, Cicero de Divintiione, Lit. 


and good works, and perseverance therein, as causes of it ; for these are effects 
and fruits of election, which flow from it ; nor bare fore-knowledge of persons, 
but as joined wich love and affections to the objects of it ; and which is not ge* 
neral, but special ; The Lord knows them that arc his, 2 Tim. ii. 19. not in ge- 
neral, as he knows all men ; but distinctly, and particularly, he loves them, ap- 
proves of them, and delights in them, and takes a particular care of them; whilst 
of odiers he says, I know you not. Matt. vii. 23. that is, as his beloved and clio- 
sen ones. But as this belongs to the doctrine of predestination, I shall defer it 
to its proper place. 

III. Though enough has been said to prove the omniscience of God, by the 
enumeration of the above things ; yet this may receive further proof from die 
Kveral attributes of God: as from his infinity; God is infinite; he is unlimited 
and unbounded as to space, and so omnipresent ; he is unbounded as to time, 
ind so eternal ; and he is unbounded as to power, and so omnipotent; and he is 
unbounded as to knowledge, and so omniscient; there is no searching, no coming 
Id the end of his understanding. From his eternity ; he is from everlasting to 
c?erlasting, aiiJ therefore must know every thing that has been, is, or shall be. 
Men are but of yesterday, and therefore, comparatively, know nothing; an 
bngat vita brcvi^ ; science is of a large extent, and man's life but short, and 
he can gain but little of it. Likewise from the omnipresence of God; he is 
every where, in heaven, earth, and hell ; and therefore must know every crea- 
tarc, and every thing tiiat is done there, Psal. cxxxix. 7 — 12. and it may be 
observed, that what is said there of tliis attribute, follows upon an account of 
die omniscience of (jod, aiul serves to confirm it: it may be from the 
perfection of God; if any thing wws wanting in his knowledge, neither tlij^t, 
nor he hiin<»elf, would be perfect. If the circuit of t!ic sun is from one end of 
the heaven to the other, and notliing is hid on earth from irs lij;hr r.ncl licat; and 
hence the heathens* represent it as seeing all thinr^s; then much more may it be 
Siid of Gtxi, wlio is a sun, that he lookcth to the oicls of the earthy and seeth un- 
dn- the ivhole heujc/: ; see Psal. xix. 6. Job xxviii. 24. Fi o:n ilic several works 
cl" God his omniscience may be inferred ; he has made all tilings, and therefore 
must perfectlv know them; every artiticcr knows his o\^n work, its naairc, 
composition, parts, use, and end. God upholds all t', and is present with 
diem, and therefore must have knowledge of them ; he governs the world, or- 
ders, directs, and disposes of all things in it ; pro\ Ides for a.11 his creatures ;' feeds 
them, and gives them their ponion of meat in due seas(;ii ; and therefore must 
know them all: all the deeds of men, good and evil, public and private, will 
be all brought into judgment by him; which to do, requires omniscience; see 
Eccles. xii. 14. i Cor. iv. 5. Rev. ii. 23. 

IV. The manner in which God knows all things, is incomprehensible by us; 
we can say but little of it, " such knowledge is too woi'dcrlul for us," Psal. 
cxxxix. 6. we can better say in what manner he does noc know, than in what 

^)U>>^ o( «a»r ifc^-a, H.nnf r. Odyts. 11. v. ic8. & is. v. 8'3- Vid. Sophoclij Trachia. r. iQa» 


he does: he does not know things by revelation, by instruction, and commu- 
nication from another; or any way by which men come at the knowledge of 
things from others; for shall any teach God knoui'ledge P or who has taught him? 
Jobxxi. 22. Isai. xl, 13, 14. all things were known to God from eternity, when 
there were none In being to inform him of any thing: besides, to suppose this, 
is not only contrary to his eternity, but to his independency; for this wouM 
make him beholden to, and dependent on another, for his knowledge ; whereat 
'^ all things are of him, for him," and through him.** Nor is his knowle^ 
attained by reasoning, discoursing and inferring one thing from another, at, 
man's is ; who not only apprehends simple ideas, but joins and compounds them,, 
and infers other things from them ; but then this implies some degree of prior 
Ignorance ; or at best, imperfect knowledge, till the premises are clear, and the 
conclusion formed; which is not to be said of God : and this method of know- 
ledge would be contrary 'to the simplicity of his nature, which admits of no 
composition, as well as to his perfection : nor does he know thii^ by succes- 
cion, one after another ; for then it could not be said, that all things are naked 
and open to him ; only some at one time, and some at another ; which would 
also argue ignorance of some things, in one instant and another; and imper^ 
fcction of knowledge ; and would he contrary to his immutability, since every 
accession of knowledge would make an alteration in him ; whereas widi him 
there is no variableness ; he sees and knows all things at once and together, in 
one eternal view. In a word, he knows all things in himself, in his own cs* 
sence and nature ; he knows all things possible in his power, and all that he 
wills to do in his will, and all creatures in himself, as the first cause of them; 
in whose vast and eternal mind are all the original ideas of diem ; so that die 
knowledge of God is essential to hini, it is his nature and essence, and there- 
fore is incommunicable to a creature, and even to the human nature of Christ; 
which, though united to a divine person that is omniscient, yet does not thereby 
become omniscient ; and though the human soul of Christ may know more than 
the soul of any man, yet not every thing; see Mark xlii. 32. The knowledge 
of God is also infinite, Psal. cxlvii. 5. he knows himself, that is infinite; which 
he could not, unless his knowledge was infinite ; for it is impossible, as a Jew- 
ish" wTiter obser\cs, that he should know what is perfectly infinite, if his 
knowledge was not perfectly infinite ; for what is finite, can never comprehend 
that which is infinite ; and he knows all things ad infinitum ; there is no search- 
ing of his knowledge; it Is perfect, and nothing can be added to it, Job xxxvi. 4* 
and it is not conjectural, but certain, depending on his will ; he knew frx>m all 
eternity, most certainly, that all things would be, that are, because he deter- 
nuned they should be ; and his will cannot be frustrated, nor his ppwer resist* 

cd, Job xlii. 2. 

"* Joseph Albo in Sepher Ikkaxisii foL 6$. t* 




i HE next attribute of God, which requires our attention, is, the Wisdom of 
God, which belongs to him as an intelligent Spirit. This is a more comprehen- 
sive attribute than that of knowledge ; for it not only stipiK)ses that, but directs 
and uses it, in the best manner, and to tlie best ends and purposes; as well as 
ids power and goodness. I shall prove, 

L That wisdom is a perfection in God, and is in him in its utmost perfect 
tioii i it is consummate and infinite wisdom he is possessed of. No one that be- 
lieves the being of a God, can admit the least doubt of it. An unwise Being 
cannot be God. No man is wise, says Pythagoras", but God only. That 
widi him is wisdom, is frequently asserted in the sacred scriptures, Job xii. 12, 13. 
Dan* is. 20, 21. And, indeed, if this is, and is expected to be with ancient 
men, who have lived long, and have had a large experience of things ; then 
audi more, yea, infinitely more, may it be thought to he with him, who is 
the ancient of days, and from everlasting to everlasting God. He is no less 
Hvmdixcc times ssLidtobt the on/ywisfGodj Rom. xvi. 27. | Tim. i 17. Jude25. 
Not to the exclusion of his Son, who is called wisdoms, plurally, because of 
die infinite fulness of wisdom that dwells in him, Prov. i. 20. nor of the Spirit, 
who is the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, in the knowledge of him, Eph. i. 17. 
but widi respect to creatures, who have no wisdom, in comparison of him ; 
i)C angels, those knowing and wise beings, when compared with him, arc 
chargeable with folly, Job iv. 18. and as for *' man, though he would be wise, 
he is bom like a wild ass's colt;" and has very litde wisdom in things civil, 
none in things spiritual; and though he is wise to do evil, to do good he 
has no knowledge. God is all-wise ; he has all wisdom In him ; tliere is no 
defect of it in him ; there is nothing of it wanting in him, with respect to any 
thing whatever. Men may be wise in some things, and not in others ; but he 
is wise in every thing ; nemo sapit omnlhus horis ; no man is wise at all times ; 
the wisest of men sometimes say a foolish word, and do a foolish thing: but 
God, neither in his word, nor in any of his works, can be charged with fol- 
ly ; not an unwise saying appears in all the scriptures ; nor an unwise action 
in any of his works ; How manifold are thy works ^ O Lordy In wisdom hast 
tkm made them all I Psal. civ. 24. God is essentially wise ; there is the per- 
Kmal wisdom of God, which is Christ ; who is often spoken of as wisdom, and 
as die wisdom of God; see Prov. viii. 12 — 31. 1 Cor. i. 24. and there is his 
essential wisdom, the attribute now under consideration; which is no other than 
the nature and essence of God; it is himself; as he 'is love itself, and goodness 
itself, so he is wisdom itself; his wisdom cannot be separated from his essence; 
this would be contrary to his simplicity, and he would not be that simple and 

^ JLitrt. Vit. Philoioph. Pr«cai. p. St 


uncompoundcd Spirit he has been proved to be. God is wisdom efficiently; he 
15 the source and fountain of it, the God and giver of it; all that is in the angds 
of heaven comes from him; all that Adam had, or any of his sons; or was in 
Solomon, the wisest of men; or is in the politicians and philosophers of eveiy 
age ; or in every mechanic ; or appears in every art and science ; all is the gift of 
God ; and particularly, the highest and best of wisdom, spiritual wisdom, wisdom 
in the hidden part, the fear of God in the soul of man, is what God puts there; 
wherefore, as he that teacheth man knowledge, must have knowledge himself; 
so he that gives wisdom to the wise, must have infinite wisdom himself; for 
such is the wisdom of God, it is unsearchable; there is no tracing it; it has a 
Ca6ofy a depth, which is unfathomable, Rom. xi. 33. see Job xi. 6—9. and 
xxviii. 12 — 23. yet, though it cannot be traced out to the full, or be found one 
to perfection, there are some shining appearances and striking instances of it; 
which clearly and plainly prove that wisdom, in its utmost extent, is with hinu 
And which, 

II. Will be next observed. 

T. The wisdom of God appears in his purposes and decrees, and which ate 
therefore called his counsels, Isai. xxv. i. not that they are the effects of coo* 
sulration with himself or others; but because such resolutions and determina* 
tions with men are generally the wisest, which are formed on close thought, on 
mature deliberation, and on consultation with themselves and others. Hence 
the decrees of God, which are at once fixed with the highest wisdom, arc called 
counsels; though his counsels are without consultation, and his determinations 
without deliberation ; of which he has no need. As he sees in his understand^ 
ing, what is fittest to be done, his wisdom directs his will to determine, at oncey 
what shall be done ; and this is seen in appointing the end for which they are to 
he, in ordaining means suitable and conducive to that end, and in pitching 
upon the most proper time for execution ; and in guarding against every thing 
that may hinder that. The end for which God has appointed all that has bceUf 
or shall be, is himself, his own glory, the best end that can be proposed ; the 
Lord hath made, that is, appointed all things for himself; for the glonfying of 
himself, one or other of the perfections of his nature ; for as all things arc of 
him, as the efficient cause ; and are through him, as the wise orderer and dis- 
poser of them; so they arc to him, as the final cause, or last end of them, hit 
own gloiy, Prov. xvi. 4. Rom. xi. 36^ The means he fixes on to bring it 
about, are either extraordinary or ordinary; which latter are second causes de- 
pending upon him, the first Cause, and which are linked together, and under 
his direction and influence most certainly attain the end; see Hos. ii. 21, 22* 
and which is effected in the most seasonable time; for as there is a purpose for 
every thing done under thd heavens, there is a time fixed for every purpose; and 
as the times and seasons are in the power of God, and at his disposal, he pitches 
upon that which is the most suitable ; for he makes every thing beautiful in his 
time, Eccles. iii. i, 1 1. Acts i. 7. and being the omniscient God, he fcosces all 


future events, the end from the beginning; so that nothing unforeseen by him 
can occur to hinder the execution of his purposes ; wherefore his counsel shall 
stand, and he will do all his pleasure, Isai. xlvi. lo. and though there may be 
many devices formed to counter-work his designs, tliey are all in vain ; there is 
DO wisdom nor counsel against the Lord; he disappoints the devices of the crafty, 
and the counsel of the froward is carried headlong; so that his counsel always 
stands; and the thoughts of his heart, wliich are his decrees, are to all genera- 
tions. All this is true of the decrees of God in general. And if the princes of 
diis world, under a divine direction, form wise counsels, and make wise and 
righteous decrees ; with what greater, wi.:h what consummate wisdom, must the 
counsels and decrees of God himself be made ; concerning which tlie aposde 
breaks forth into this exclamation, the depths of the riches both of the wisdom 
mid knowledge of God! Rom. xi. 33. for he is there treating of the decrees of 
God, and particularly of tlie decrees of election ; and in which the wisdom of 
God appears, both in the end and means, and in the persons he has chosen: 
his end is the praise of his own grace, or the glorifying of his sovereign graco 
and mercy in the salvation of men, Rom. ix. 23. Eph. i. 5, 6. to shew the so- 
veidgnty of it, he passed this decree without any respect to the works of men, 
and before either good or evil were done ; and to shew that he is no respecter 
of persons, he chose some out of every nation, Jews and Gentiles ; and to shew 
the -freeness of his grace, he chose the foolish and weak things of this world, 
and diings that are not ; that no flesh should gloiy in his presence : and as he 
chose diose p2rsons to be holy, and to bring them to a state of holiness and hap* 
piness, and in a way consistent with his justice; he lias pitched upon means the 
wisest that could be devised, even "sanctification of the Spirit, and belief of the 
truth; the obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus," the righteousness and 
deadi of Christ, 2 Thess. ii. 13. i Pet. i. 2. So that this decree stands firm and 
stable ; not on the foot of men's works, but upon the will of God ; the clcciion 
tlways obtains, or its end is answered: those that are ordained to eternal life 
nost surely believe ; and they that are predestinated to it, are most certainly 
"caOed, justified and glorlfyed," Acts xIII. 48. Rom. vili. 30. The suboulinate 
end of election, is the salvation of the elect; that is wJiat they are appniiitcd to, 
I Thess. V. 9, the scheme and plan of vvliich salvation is so wisely formed, tli:u it 
'icalled the manifold wisdom of Gotl, in which there are various cii«iphys of It, 
Eph. iii. 10. and particularly, the counsel of peace, which was between Lhc F.urier 
ani the Son, Zech. vi. 13. for " God was in Christ reconciling the wot Id of his elect 
onto himself," planning the scheme of their peace and rcconcI!i:iri >n; not nn- 
poting their trespasses unto them? for then no reconcillailcn have been 
made; but to Christ, by whom atonement is made, and so salvation effected. 
But of the wisdom of God, in this d'^cres of salvation, with respect to the au- 
I thor, subjects, time, and manner, more hereafter, under anotlicr head. More^ 
over, the decree of God, respecting the leaving, passing by, and rejection of 
others, and punishing them for their sins, his end in which being for the ^lou^ 


fying of his justice in their condemnation, is without any imputation either of 
unrighteousness or folly; for what if God, willing to shew his wrath, his in- 
dignation against sin, and to make his power known, in taking vengeance 
on sinners, endured with much long-sufiering, their sinful course of life with 
much patience; even the vessels of wrath, justly deserving of it, fitted for de^ 
stmction by their own sins, he appointed them to it, Rom. ix. 23. What 
charge of injustice or folly can be brought against him? Yea, even such decreet 
of God as are about the sinfiil actions of men, are not destitute of wisdom, of 
the highest wisdom. The sin and fall of Adam, so momentous, and of sucb 
consequence as to affect all mankind, could never have been without the know- 
ledge and will of God; he could have prevented it if he would; but he left, ai 
he decreed to leave, man to die mutability of his will ; the consequence of whidi 
was his fall: and, as he designed, so in his infinite wisdom, he has OTemiled- 
this greatest of all evils ; the source of all that has been in the world since, for 
the greatest good, the salvation of men by Christ; whereby all his perfeccioiii 
are glorified : so the sinful actions of men are, by the permissive wiU of God^ 
suflfin^ to be, and are sometimes apparently overruled for some important cnd^ 
as die selling of Joseph into Egypt by his brethren ; and especially th^ cmcw 
fixion of Christ by the wicked Jews; both decreed by God. And so wickdl 
men are suffered to commit the grossest sins, as Pharaoh, that God may be glari- 
fiedin his justice, through inflicting his judgments on them ; by the execution of 
which he is known, and his name celebrated with praise and glory, Exod. ix. 16^ 
And likewise the failings and sins of God*s people serve for the humbling of 
diem, and the exercise of their graces ; and so arc oveniilcd for good. But then 
by this we are not authorized, nor encouraged to do evil, that good may come; 
God only can overrule it to seiTC any good purpose. / 

llie wisdom of God is displayed in his secret transactions with Christ in tiift 
covenant of grace ; it appears in making such a covenant which is ordered in all 
things, for his own glory, the glory of the three divine persons, Father, SoOf 
and Spirit ; and for the good of his people in time, and for tlieir everlasting hap- 
piness hereafter; being stored with promises and blessings of all sorts, peculiar* 
ly suitable for them: in appointing Christ to be the Mediator and Surety of it^ 
and putting the said promises and blessings into his hands, and also their persona^ 
for safety and security; all which were done in eternity. But, 

II. Tlie wisdom of God is more clearly manifested in his visible works in 
time; Lord^ how manifold arc thy vjorks^ in wisdom hast thou made them alll 
Psal. civ. 24. And, 

I. It appears in the works of creation: the making of the heavens and die 
earth is always ascribed to the wisdom, understanding, and discretion of Godf 
Psal. cxxxvi. 5. Prov. iii. 19, 20. Jer. x. 12. Whole volumes have been writ* 
ten on this subject, the wisdom of God in creation; and more mi^t; the sub* 
ject is not exhausted. If we look up to the starry heavens, and the luminariei^ 
the work of his fingers, curiously wrought; as what are wrought with the 

Book 1. cJf the wisdom of god. 97 

fingers of men usually are; we may observe a wonderful display of divine wis- 
dom ; in the sun that rules by day, and in the moon that rules by night, and in 
the stars also; all which shed their l>enign influences on the earth: particularly 
in the sun, the fountain of heat and light ; in the situation of it, not so far from 
the eaith as to be of no use to it, nor so near as to hurt it ; in its circular mo- 
tion, either about our earthy or on its own axis, whereby nothing is hid from 
die heat and light of it, at one time or another; and which performs its revolu- 
tions so punttually, and with so much regularity, and so Exactly answers the 
end of its destination, that it seems as if it was wise and knowing itself; the sun 
kn9welh hh going down^ Psalm civ. 19. If we descend into the airy region, 
and could but enter into the treasures of tlie snow and rain, which God has in 
Rser\'e there, and wisely distributes on the earth at proper times ; how he binds 
iq» die water in his thick cloud, and the cloud is not rent with the weight thereof; 
how he balances and poises these ponderous bodies, that they are not over-set, 
and bursty and fall with their own weight ; by which they would wash away 
diies, towns, and villager*, and the fruits of the earth ; but causes them to descend 
in gentte showers, and in small drops ; whereby tlie earth becomes fruitful ; we 
cannot but observe amazing wisdom. If we come down to the earth, we may 
behold, besides men, the innumerable inhabitants of it, placed on it to cultivate 
it; "die cattle on a thousand hills;" the pastures covered with flocks; the val- 
lies clothed with com; grass growing for the beasts, and herb for the service of 
man; '* wine to make his heart glad; oil to cause his face to shine; and bread 
diat sttengthens his heart," and in the bowels of it, metals and minerals of divers 
soits, gold, silver, brass, and iron, for artificers that work in each of tliom ; and 
all for the use, and to increase the wealth of men : the wisdom, as well as the 
goodness of God, must be discerned. The structure of the bodies of creatures 
is very wonderfully fitted for tlieir different actions and uses; fishes for swim- 
ming, birds for flying, beasts for walking and running ; some more slowly, and 
some more swiftly; but especially the texture of the human body, in all its parts, 
is very surprising, it being curiously wrought ; no embroidery, or work with a 
needle, exceeding it : the organs of the eye arc admirably fitted for seeing ; the 
parts of the car for hearing ; the instruments of speech, the tongue, mouth, and 
lips, for speaking; the hands and arms for working, and feet for walking; as 
well as all the other parts of tlie body, framed and disposed for various services; 
to which may be added, the 5ubscrviency of all creatures to one another, and 
especially to man, for whose sake the world was made, and all things in it; it 
was designed for an habitation for him, and was made and furnished with 
every thing for his use and service, for his convenience and pleasure, before he 
was created; and when lie was created, in the image of God, dominion was 
given him over the fishes of the sea, the fowls of the air, the beasts of the field; 
the herbage of the eanh was provided both for meat and medicine ; the cattle, 
iome for food, some for clothing, some for carriage, and some for cultivation 
•f the earth; and all were made for tlie glory of God, as the ultimate end; /(ft 

VOL. 1 O 


hhpleastfre they are and were created^ Rev. iv. 1 1. and all his works, in their 
vr^Yf praise him, declare his glory, and shew forth his iiandy work. 

2, The wisdom of God appears in the works of pro^ i Jeiice. It may be 
observed in the various returning seasons ; seed-time and hanxst, cold and heat, 
sununer and winter, night and day; which keep their constant revolutions and 
stated course ; scarce any thing ever preposterous. Rain is given from heaven, 
and fruitful seasons. In some of the eastern countries, as in Canaan, rain fell 
but twice a year, called the former and latter rain ; the one when the seed was 
sown, to bring it up, tlie other just before harvest, to plump the corn ; and both 
constantly fell at their usual and appointed times : and where rain is very scanXi 
as in Egypt, the river Nile overflows its banks, at a certain lime of the year; 
which leaving a slime, makes the eaith fiuitful, and answers all the purposes 
of rain. The provision made for all creatures, suitable to their natures, is an 
abundant proof of the wisdom of God; as it requires wisdom, as well as faith- 
fulness, in a steward, to give to every one under his care, their portion of meat 
in due season ; sa the wisdom of God is wonderfully displayed, not only in fill- 
ing men's hearts with food and gladness; but in giving to the beasts their food, 
every one agreeable to their nature, " and to the young ravens that cry ;" ia 
opening his hand of providence and satisfying the desires of all living ; in giving 
largely and liberally, and in a proper time, meat to all whose eyes wait on himi 
even his vast numerous family of creatures. He has the cb.argc over the earth, 
and disposes of the whole world, and all things in it ; he sits on tlir circle of die 
earth, and beholds all that arc in it, and that arc done in it; he places men in 
different stations of life, so as to have a dependence upon, and a connection wid| 
each other: he wisely governs, rules and overrules all things, for the mutual 
good of men, and his own glory: he docs all things after tlie counsel of his wiO, 
in the wisest and best manner, and to answer the best ends and purposes ; he or- 
ders the various scenes of prosperity and adversity, and sets the one against the 
other; so that there is no finding any thing after him, or making them other- 
wise and better than they are; particularly, he makcth all things work together 
for the good of his people; for the trial of their grace, and to make them meet 
for glory; nor is there any one trial or exercise tliey meet witli, but what dicie 
is a necessity of it, and is for the best; yea, there is inhnite wisdom in the molt 
intricate providences, and which arc now difficult to account for, and to rccoflr 
cilc to tlie promises and perfections of God ; but when the mystery of providence 
is finished, and the judgments of God are made tr.anifest, and all are seen in 
one view, in an harmonious connection togeiher ; the wisdom of God, in cverf 
part, will appear striking and amazing ; as when a man looks on the wTong nJB 
of a piece of tapestry, or only views it in detached piete5, he is scarcely able to 
make any thing of it; nor can he discern art and beauty in it ; but when it is ill 
put together, and viewed on its right side, the wisdom, the contrivance, andafl 
' of the maker arc observed with admiration. 

3- The wisdom of God is to be seen in the great work of redemption aiK 



salvation by^ Clirlst; Aereiu he hath abounded towards us^ in all wisdom andprw* 
denccj Eph. i. 7, 8. Wisdom and prudence are displayed in other works of 
God; but in this all wisdom and prudence^ and ths^t in abundance, and which 

In the person fixed upon to be the Redeemer. Not any of the sinful 
race of men, for they all having sinned, all need a Redeemer; nor can any one 
icdcem himself, and much less redeem another: nor any of the angels; for 
vhatr.'er good will they might bear to such work^ none were e^ual to it; an4 
dierefore God put no trust in them, nor committed any such trust unto them; 
Vut his own Son, him he appointed and fore-ordaincd to be the Redeemer of his 
diosen people ; the middle person in the Trinity, and most proper to be the Me- 
jator; the Word that was in the beginning with God, and was God, and by 
whom all things were made, and so equal to such an undertaking; the Son of 
God; and it was more seemly and suitable to his relation and character, as a 
$on, to be appointed, to be sent, and to obey, than either of the other persons^ 
ind particularly the Father; and by having two natures, divine and human,^ 
ymced in one pcrrson, the Immanuel, God with us, God manifest in the flesh, 
be was the fiHcst person to be employed in tliis service; partaking of both na- 
tores, he was ihs only proper person to be the Mediator between God and Man, 
Id be die day^-man, and lay his hand on both, and reconcile those two parties 
It variance, and to do v,'hat respected botli, even ** things pertaining to God, 
and to make recoucilimion fui the sins of the people." Being man, he could 
have compassion, as ho had, on the lost miserable race of men, and, in his love 
and pity, rcicem them ; he \v:i s capable of being made under the law, and yield- 
mg obedience to it; which, being broken by the sin of men, was necessary to 
his red-smpt'ion of them, aiij of sufFtTiPig the penalty of the law, death; both 
which hai c been done '.>y hi:n, aiii thereby the law is magnified, and made moic 
bonourablc, tlian it could liavc been by the obedience of all the angels in hea- 
ven, or hy the sufH rings of all the JMuncd in hell ; and hereby also satisfaction 
was made for sin, in the same nature chat sinned, which seemed necessary, or 
however, it was a wise disposition, that so it should be. But what most of all 
displays the wisdom of God in atTair, is, that since all human nature was 
dq)ravcd and corrupted wiJi sin, how a clean and sinless nature could be pro- 
duced out of an unclean one, wliich yet was necessary to making atone.neiii 
for sin in it ; which di.'Rcultv infiaicc wiyJom, and almighty power, have sur- 
mounted by Qirlst's birrh of a virgin, under ihc ovcrsliadowing of the Holy 
Ghost; whence what was born of her was the holy Tiling, and so could be, 
%xA was offered up, without spot to God. Add to this, that it was not an hu* 
man person, but an human nature, Christ assumed ; it was flesh he took, the 
iced of Abraham, and is called the holy Thin^, but not a person ; it never sub- 
ibted of itself, but from the moment of its production was taken into union 
with the person of the Sc.n of G(xl; which was wisely ordered for our good, 
and the glory of God; for had it been a distinct person of iisclfj the actions and 


sufferings of it would have been finite, and of no benefit to mankind i his righte- 
ousness would have been, though pure and spotless, but the righteousness of 
a creature; and could have been of no use, but to itself: whereas, through the 
union of the human nature, to the person of the Sun of God, it became the 
righteousness of God, and so imputable to many. Once more, through Christ's 
being man, he became our near kinsman, fiesh of our flesh, and bone of our 
bone ; and so the right of redemption belonged to him ; hence the same woid 
Goil^ in the Hebrew language, signifies both a redeemer and a near kinsman. 

But then the person pitched upon to be the Redeemer, is God as weiras 
man; and so as he had pity for men as man, he had a z^eal for God and hjs 
glory, as a divine person ; and would be, as he was, concerned for tl^e glori- 
fying all his divine perfections, one as well as another. Being God, he couU 
put an infinite virtue into his actions and sufiFerings, as man, whereby the eni 
of them would be sufficiently answered. Hence his rigliteousness is the righte- 
ousness of God, and is unto all, and upon all them that believe ; his blood, the 
blood of the Son of God, which cleanses from all sin; his sacrifice, the sacrifice 
of his whole human nature, in union with himr.df, a divine person; and so 
sufficient to put away sin, by a full satisfaction for it ; being God, he couU 
support the human nature, under the weight of all the sins of his people, and 
of all the wrath and punishment due unto them ; which otherwise must have 
been intolerable, Being the mighty God, he was mighty to save, and his ovvn 
arm has wrought out salvation. The great God, is our Saviour. Now the 
finding out such a fit person to be the Redeemer of men, is to be ascril>cd sole- 
ly to the wisdom of God: had all men been summoned together, and this de- 
clared unto them, that God was willing they shtniKl Ix- rcieemcd. could they 
pitch upon a proper person to redeem them ; :ind had th;: angels been called la 
to assist with their counsel, after long consultation, they would never hive been 
able to have proposed one fit for this work; for wlio could have thought of the 
Son of God, and proposed his becoming man, and suflering, and dying in the 
stead of men, to redeem them ? this is nodui deo vlndice di^nm ; what God 
only could have found out; and he claims it to himself; /, the only wise God, 
have found a ransom^ Job xxxiii. 24. see Psal. Ixxxix. 19. 20. 

1 he wisdom of God appears in the persons fixed iip'>n to be redeemed; no* 
all men, but some ; partly to shew the sovereignty of God, in redeeming whoin 
he pleases; and partly since all had sinned, and were deserving of death, to 
glorify his grace and mercy in the redemption of some, and his justice in the de- 
struction of others ; and in both to shew that he could, in right, have destroyed 
them all, if he pleased ; and likewise, that it might appear he was no respecter 
of persons, he has not limited the grace of redemption to any particular family 
or nation; but has redeemed some out of every nation, tongue, kindred, and 
people; and whereas his view therein is to magnify the riches of his grace, ir 
order to shew the frccness of it, he sent Christ to die for, and redeem, not th< 
good and the righteous, who appeared so to themselves and otliers, but ungodlj 
sinners, the worst and chief of sinners, Rom. v. 6— >io« 



». tt 
- *9 

le wisdom of God may be observed in the way and manner in which re- 
cion is obtaiuedi which being by the price of t!ie blood of Christ, and in 
y of full satisfaction to law*and justice; the dlAercnt claims of mercy and 
«» ^h.ich seemed to clash with one another, arc reconciled: mercy insijct- 
hat the sinner be pardoned and saved, th'it it might be glorified ; and jus* 
quired that the law should take place, its sentence be cxeaited, and pu- 
nent ioflicted, that so the rights and honours of law and justice might be 
taincd; which, by this happy- method wisdom has pitched upon, they both 
mercy and truth meet together, righteousness aud peace kiss each 
Sin is condemned in the flesh of Qirist, vengeance is taken on it, pu- 
nent inflicted for it» and yet the sinner saved from sin, from condemnation, 
h, and ruin. Redemption is also wrouglu out in a way most mortifying 
itan. Through envy he sought the ruin of men; contrived it, brought it 
out, and triumphed in it: but what a mortification must it be to that proud 
t, that one of the woman's seed he had ruined, sho4*id bruise his head; 
the Son of God should be manifested in nature, to destroy his worlcs, 
rstroy himself, to spoil his principalities, and redeem mankind ; and be ex- 
l in the same nature, to the highest pitch of honour and glory imaginable; 
tat the right hand of God; angels, authorities, principalities, and powers, 
« to him? 

he wisdom of God is to be discerned in the time of man's redemption; 
:h was the most opportune and seasonable; it was in due time; in ihc^iil- 
of time fixed and agreed upon between the Father and the tSon, and nu:st 
le fittest ; it was after the fuit!i and p:irifncc of God*8 people had been suf- 
ntly tried, even for the space of four thousand years froih rlic first hint of a 
?emer; after the Saviour, and his sacrifice, had been prefigured by types, 
ows, and sacrifices, for so hug a time, and the use, end, and efficacy of sa^ 
:es had been sufficiently known, and God would have tlicin no longer; th^ 
Christ, Lo, I come, &c. when the Gciuilc w(»rld was covt^-icd with dark- 
, blindness, and ignorance, and abounded with all kind of wickedness -, when 
orality, formality, hypocrisy, and neglect of the word and worship ot G(xl 
ng the Jews prevailed; by all which ic may be most clearly seen, there was 

of a Saviour and Redeemer ; for who cvm declare is generation, the wick- 
$s of it? then, in the infinite wisdom of God, Christ was sent to redeem 

. The wisdpm of God shines in the gospel, thr good news of salvation br 
ist; in its doctrines, and in its ordinances; that itjelf is called, i/:e wisdom cf 

in a mystery \ the hidden wisdom \ the manifold wisdom of Gvdy I Coi n. 7- 
.. iii. 10- every doctrine is a display of it; to instance only in jur.tifitation, 
the pardon of sin. Justification is by tlie free grace of God, and yet, in 
t justice; grace provided Christ to work out a righteousness ; grace accepts 

in the room and stead of sinners, and grace imputes it to them: the rightc- 
less of Christ, by which men arc jui-tined, is commensurate to tliC law and 

102 or THE WILL OF GOO. 

justice of God; so that '* God is just, whilst the justificr of him that bclieio 
in Jesus:" the grace of faith is v-lscly appointed to receive this righteousnes 
ii is of faitli, that it might appear to he of grac^ and that pride and boastir 
might be excluded ; which, had any other been appointed, would not have b« 
«o apparent ; this being a soul-humbling, a soul-emptying grace, which rccciv 
all from God, and gives him all the glor)': pardon of sin is of free grace, ai 
yet through the blood of Christ i and is both an act of grace and of justice i G< 
h just and faithful to forgive it, as well as gracious and merciful; he forgives si 
and takes vengeance on the inventions of the sinner: paidon proceeds upon tl 
foot of satisfaction, which grace provides; and so both grace and justice agn 
ii) it, and are glorified by it : the ordinances of the gospel are wisely instituti 
{o answer the end of them ; baptism to represent tlie overwhelming sufferinj 
gf Christ, his burial, and resurrection from the dead : the ordinance of the sv] 
per, to shew forth his death ; the bread broken is a proper emblem of his broke 
body ; the wine poured out, of his blood shed, and his soul poured out unto deal 
for sinners. Wisely has God appointed men, and not angels, to minister t! 
word, and administer ordinances; "men of the same passions with othexs] 
who may be heard and conversed with, without dread and terror ; fi-ail, mort 
men, earthen vessels, in which tliis treasure is put, that the excellency of A 
power may be of God, and not of men ; and a standing ministry is wisely fixe 
to be continued to the end of the world, for the use, relief, refreshmeot, at 
con^fort of God*s people, as well as the conversion of sinners ; and all for tl 
jlory of God. 

V. The wisdom of God may be seen in the government and preservation < 
the church of God, in all ages ; in guiding them by immediate revelation, wid 
out the written woxd, when the church was in a few families, and the lives < 
men long; then with written bws, statutes, and ordinances, suited to the ii 
fant-state of the church, among the people of Israel ; and now with ordinance 
more agreeable to its adult state, under the gospel-difpensation, throughout d 
world: and as it is a church and kingdom not of this world, it is supported, n 


by world! V, but spiritual means; and wonderfully has it been preserved, in < 
gges, and increased, amidst all the persecution of men ; no weapon form 
against it has prospered; and God has made it, and will still more make it to a 
pear that he rules in Jacob unto tlie ends of the carlh. 


Having considered the attributes ef God which telong to his undcrstandin 
as an intelligent Spirit, his knowledge and wisdom, I now proceed to consid 
his Will, and the sovereignty of it. And shall prove, 

I. That there is a Will in Gcxl. In all intelligent beings there is a will, 
well as an understanding; as in angels and men, so in God; as he has sm m 


derstan^g which is infinite and unsearchable; so he has a will, to do what he 
knows is most fitting to be done. His understanding influences and guides his 
will, and his will determines all his actions; and his will being thus wisely di- 
rected, is called, the counsel of his ivilly Eph. i. II. A will is frequently 
ascribed to God in scripture; The will of the Lord be done^ Acts xxi. 14. Who 
ias resisted his tuill^ Rom. ix. 19. Having made known unto us the mystcfj of 
his wiUj Eph. i. 9. and in many other places ; the will of God is no other than 
God himself willing ; it is essential to him ; it is his nature and essence ; it is not 
to be separated, or to be considered as distinct from it, or as a part of it, of 
iriiich it is composed ; which would be concraiy to the simplicity of God ; or 
to his being a simple uncompounded Spirit ; which has been established. Will 
is ascribed to each of the divine persons; to the Father, John vi. 39, 40. to the 
Son, as a divine person, John v. 21. and xvii. 24. and who also, as man, hat 
1 will cUstina from that, though subjected to it, John vi. 38. Luke xxii. 42. 
and tb the Spirit, who is said to forbid, and not to suffer some things to be done ; 
that by to nill them ; and to nill is an act of the will, as well as to will. Acts 
xvi. 6, 7. and he is said to divide his gifts to men severally, as he will, 1 Cor> 
im. IX. And these three, as they are the one God, they agree in one, in one 
mind and will. 

II. I shall next she^v what the will of God is : there is but one will In God ; 
tut for our better understanding it, it may be distinguished. I shall not trouble 
fte reader with all the distinctions of it made by men ; some are false, and others 
vain and useless; sudi as into absolute and conditional, antecedent and conse- 
quent, effectual and ineffectual, &c. the disthiction of the secret and revealed 
will of God has generally obtained among sound divines; the is proper- 
ly the will of God, the latter only a manilestation of it. Whatever Gcd has 
determined within himself, whether to do hinii>elf, or to do by others, or to suf- 
fer to be done, whilst it is in his own breast, and is not made known by any 
event in providence, or by prophecy, tj:>at is his secret will.; such are the deep 
diings of God, the thoughts of his hean, the counsels and deteimin-ilions of his 
miad; which are impenetrable to others; but when these open, by evcrits in pro- 
vidence, or by prophecy, then they become the revealed will of God. Gcd's 
secret will becomes revealed by events in providence, whtther it be considered 
general or special ; die general providence of God, with respect to the world 
and church, is no other than the execution, and so the mnnifestation of his se^ 
crct win, with respect to both; to the world, its production, the origin of na- 
dons, the settlement of them in the vaiious parrs of the world; the rise ofsratet 
and kir^doms, and particularly the four monarchies, and the succession of diem : 
trrthe church, in the line of Seth, from Adam, and in the line of Shem, from 
Noah, and in the people of Israel, from Abraham, to the coming of Christ: 
and the book of Revelation is a discovery of the secret will of God with re- 
spect CO both: from the coming of Christ to the end of tlie world; the grcatcst 
part of which has been fulfiliedi and the rt^t will be : as the destruction of an- 


tichrist, and the antichristian states; the conversion of the Jews, and the bring- 
ing III of the fulness of the Gentiles; and ilic spi ritual and personal kingdom of 
Christ. TThese arc now alrcadv revealed, tlv>ugh the time when they will take 
place is still in the secret will of God. TJie providence of God may be consi* 
deied as special, with rcspcti to p.inicuj»ir persons; there is a purpose or secret 
will of God, with respect to even/ man ; aiul tlicrc is a time fixed for every pur- 
pose; a time to be born, and a time to ni^'; and for every thing tltat bcfals men 
between their birth and death: all whit h open in time, in ]troviJence; and what 
was secret becomes revealed: so we know that we are bom, ;vho o»jr pa- 
rents, the time and circumstances of our bin'i, ::s related to as; v/e know 
what has befallen us, whether in an adverse or prosperous way; God has 
performed what is appointed for us, as Job says of him<;clf ; but then, as 
he observes, many suoh things arc with him, in his secret will. We know not 
what shall bcfal us; and though we know that we shall die, that is revealed; 
but when and where, in what manner and circumstance, we know not; that 
remains in the secret will of God. Some things which liclong to the secret will 
of God, become revealed by prophecy ; so it was made known to Abraham, 
that his seed, according to the secret will or purpose of God, should be in a laodi 
not theirs, four hundre({ years, and be afflicted, and come out with great sub- 
stance : nor did God hi Jc from Abraham what he sccrcdy willed to do, in de- 
stroying Sodom and Gomorrah : and, indeed, it has been usual for the Lord to 
do nothing but what he reveals to his servants the prophets; particularly all 
diintrs concerning Chrirst, his incarnation, offices, obedience, sufTerlngs, and 
dcaih, and the glory that should follow, were all signified beforehand, to the 
prophets, by the Spirit of Chrisl' in them. 

llic will of God, which he would have done by men, is revealed in the law, 
that is called his will, Rom. ii. i8. this was made known to Adam, bv inscrib- 
ing it on his heart, whereby he knew his duty to God, to lie performed by 
him; tliis, though sadly obliterated by sin, yet there are some remains of it in 
the Gentile;, who do by nature the things contained in it; which shew the work 
of the law written in their hearts : a new edition of this law was delivered to 
the Israelites, written on tables of stone, by the finger of God; according to 
which tliey were to behave themselves, and hold the tenure of the land of Ca- 
naan, and enjoy the privileges of it: and in regeneration the law of God is put 
into the inward parts, and written on the hearts of God's people ; who being 
transformed, by the renewing of their minds, come to know what is the good, 
perfect, and acceptable will of God, Rom. xii. 2. this respects man's duty both 
to God and men. 

There is tlie rc\'ealed will of God in the gospel j which respects the kind in- 
tentions, and gracious regards of God to men ; and discovers what before was 
his secret will concerning them ; as, that he has chosen some to everlasting life 
and happiness ; that he has appointed these to salvation by Christ ; and appointed 
him to be their Saviour; that Christ undertook to do tliis will of God, and camie 

Book I. Of tHfi WILL at GOD. 105 

from heaven to earth, to do it, and has finished it; and that it is the t^iU of God 
that these should be regenerated and sanctified; and "chat they should never 
perish, but have everiasting life/* Eph. i. 4, 5^ John vi. 38. I Thess^ iv. 3. 
Jolin vi. 39, 40. Matt, xviii. 14. But then, though all this is the revealed will 
of God, in theigo&pd, yet as to panicular persons intierested herein, it is, ill:* 
great measure, a secret; election of God, and so the rest^ may be known bf. 
die goipel coming with power into the hearty and by a work of grace upon it; 
and the knowledge of it should be sought after j yet it is not attained, to' but by 
lucfa who are favoured with a full assurance of iaich ; and as to othas, though 
it may, jn a judgment of charity, because of their declared experiences, their 
savoury discourses, and holy conversation, be concluded of them, that they arc 
Ae elect of God, &c. yet it cannot be certainly known, but by divine revela- 
tion, as it might be by the apostle, that Clement, and other fellow-labourers of 
Im, had their names written in the book of life, Phil. iv. 3. It is the revealed 
w31 of God, that there &hall be a resurrection of die dead, both of the just and 
iH^t; and that all must appear before the judgment-scat of Christ; that after 
deadi diere will be a judgment; and though it is revealed, that a day is fixed, 
a weD as a person appointed to judge the worid in righteousness; yet ** of that 
diy and hour knows no man ;** no, not the angels ; but God only. So that, upon 
the whole, though there is some foundation for this distinction of the secret and 
Rveakd will of God, yet it is not quite clear; there is a mixture, part of the 
wHl of God is, as yet, secret, and pan of it revealed, with respect to the same : 
subject, as what has been observed plainly shews. 

The most accurate distinction of the will of God, is into that of precept and 
pcrposc; or, the commanding and decreeing will of God. 

God's will of precept, or his commnnding will, is that which is often spoken 
of in scripture , as what should be done by men, and which is desirable they 
night have knowledge of, and b-i complcat in, Matt. vii. 21. and xii. 50. Col. 
i. 10. and iv. 12. This is the rule of men's duty; which consists of the fear of 
God, and lceepin£; his command: ; this is done but by a tew, and by none pcr- 
fecdy ; every bin is a transgrerisiun of it; wiicn it is done aright it is done in faith, 
from love, and to the gloiy of God : every good man desires to do it in the bes . 
laaimer, and, if it could be, pcrtcctly; even as it is done by angels in heaven- 
God, by the declaration of this his will, shews what he approves of, and what 
is acceptable to him, when done aright ; and is made to render men inexcusable, 
that do it not, and to make it appear right in justice to inflict punishment on 
luch persons. 

The decreeing will of God is only, properly speaking, his Will; the other 
tthis Word: this is die rule of his own actions; he does all things in heaven 
and earth after his will, the counsel of it; and this will is always done, cannot 
be resitted, frustrated, and made void ; he does whatever he wills ; ** his coun- 
id standi, and die dioughts of his heart are to all generations j" and this is some- i 

VOL. 1 p 

106 Oft TH£ WILL OF GOA. 

tiinei fulfilled ly diose who have no regavd td his will of precept, and ha^ no 
knowledge of dus» even while diey are doing it; as Herod and Ponttns Pilatey 
die Jewa and Gentiles* in doing what they did against Christ, Acts iv. 27» aS. 
and die ten kings, into whose hearts God put it to fulfil his will, in giving dieir 
kii^doins to the beast. Rev. xviL 17. and this will of God should be boie iii 
nund in every diing wc intend to do or go about; saying, if the Lord will, we 
irilldodiia, anddiat, and theother^ i Cor. iv. 19. James iv. 13—15. and thi» 
should be owned and acknowledged, and submitted to every sute and conditioii 
>of life, whether of prosperity or adversity, or in whatsoever befals us in our 
own persons, or in our friends and relations, Acts xxi. 14. and this propeily 
^leaking b the one and only will of God. I shall next enquire, 
III. What are the objects of it. 

I. God himself, not his Being, perfections, and modes of subsisting; as dit 
paternity of the Father; the generation of the Son ; and the spiration of the Spi* 
lit. These naturally and necessarily exist, and do not depend upon the will of 
God: but it is his own gloiy ; The Lord hath made all things for hiikiself ; diaC 
iSf for his own glory, Pro v. xvi. 4. He wills his own glory in all he docs; tM 
all dungs are of him, as the efficient Cause ; and through him, as the wise dis- 
poser of diem; so they arc to him, to his glory, as the final Cause, and last end 
cfall; and this he wills necessarily ; he cannot but will his own glory; aa*'h0 
will not give his glory to another ;" he cannot will it to another ; diat would be 
to deny himself. 

II. All things without himself, whether good or evil, ate the o1]jeets of his 
will, or what his will is some ^-ay or other concerned in: there is a difewnce, 
indeed, between the ohfccts of God's knowledge and power, and the otjects of 
his will; for though he knows all things knowable, in his understanding, and 
his power reaches to all that is possible, though not made ; yet he wills aot 
all diings willable, if the word may be allowed, clt that might be wittedi 
whecefi^re, as Amesius ^ observes, though God is said to be omniscient and om* 
nipotent, yet not omnivolent. 

i. All good things.— All things in nature; all things are made by him, and 
aU were originally good, that were made by him, even very good; and all wcbb 
inade according to his will; Thou hast creaud all things^ and for thy pUasun\ 
or by thy will, they ax4 and were created^ Rev. iv. 11. even the heavens, eaidi, 
ud sea, and all that in themare. — ^All things in providence. God's kingdom of 
ptoridenoe rules over all, and extends to all creatures, angels and men, and evesy 
Other, and to all events that befal them ; not a sparrow falls to the ground with- 
out the will of God ; He doth according to his zvill in the army of fuaven \ in die 
lieavesdy hosts of angels; and among the inhabitants of the earth, Dan. iv* 35. 
diere is nothing comes to pass but what God has willed, ordered, and appoint* 
cd; fVA9is he that saitht and it cometk to pass, when the Lord commamdeii k 
muf Laou iiii 37* AU things in graceare according to the will of God. All 

f McduUa Thcolo|. 1. 1. c 7. i. 47. 

Book L OF rnz will ov coo. 10^ 

^primal bbasiags in Qirist, sll grace given to the elect in Chiftt, before the 
vodd was; the choice gf them in Christ; predestination to adoption bf him; 
ndemptioa through bis bloo4; regeneration, tanctificadon, and the eternal in- 
bciilance; all art according to the good pleasure of his will, a Tim. L 9. Eph. 
fc ll« Jaqocs i. 18. i Thess* iv. 3. 

t. All evil things arc the objects of God's will. These are of two sort8«- 
I. Mabtmp€tM^^ the evil of afflictions; whether in a way of chastisement, or 
sf puishment: if in a way of chastisement, as tbey are to the people of God, 
Aey are according to die will of God; they do not spring out of the dust, nor 
fiome by chance; but are by the will, order, and appointment of God; as to 
faality, quantity, duration, ends, and uses, Job xxiii. 14. Mic. vi. 9. i Thess.' 
iii. 5. and which are consistent with the justice, holiness, wisdom, love, and 
fiMxbesa of God* If they are in a way of punishment, as tliey are to wicked 
Ud ungodly men; there is no reason to complain of them, since they are lest 
teidieir sins deserve; and not at all unworthy of a righteous God to will to 
oa them. Lam. iii. 39. all judgments, calamities, and diititssei, iriiich 
upon kingdoms nations, cities, towns, and particular penons, are all of 
God* md according to his will, Amos iii. 6. Not that God wiUs these tfainga 
for tbi aake of them; or as taking delight in the afflictions and miseries of his 
caRatii|C8,.Lam. iii. 33. Ezck. xviii. 32. but for die sake of some good: die af<» 
frl^^w of his people are for their spiritual good, as well as for bis own ^ory: 
nd die punishment of the wicked is for the glorifying of his justice.*^ 2. Mk^ 
km adfm^ or die evil of fuult and blame, that is, sin: about this there is some 
rfiflkulty how the will of God should be concerned in it, consistent with its pu* 
tity and holiness : that the will of God is some way or other concerned with it 
is most certain; for he either wills it or not wills it: the latter cannot be said, 
because nothing comes to pass, God not willing it. Lam. iii, 37. or he neither 
wilb it, nor not wills it; tliat is-, lie has no care about it, nor con<;em at all with 
k; and so it is without the verge, and not witliin the reacli of his providence; 
which cannot be admitted, and which none will say, but those who are atheisti- 
olly inclined, sec Ezck. ix. 9. Zcph. i. 12. Besides, as BezaP, and other di* 
vines argue, unless God Iiad voluntarily permitted sin to be, there could be no 
display, neirlicr of liis punitive justice, nor of his mercy : to which may be added 
that God*s foreknowledge of sin most fully proves his will in it; that God fore- 
Inew sin would be, is certain ; as the fall of Adam ; since he made a provision, 
in Chiiat, for die saving of men out of it, befoie it was ; and so other sins ; see 
tSsm. xii. 1 1, and xvi. 22, Now ccn»n and immutable foreknow-ledge, such 
IS the fbrc-knowledge of God is, is founded upon someceitain and immutable 
canse; which can be no other than the divine will; God foreknows, certainly^ 
Aat sych and such things will be ; because he has determined in his will riiey 
dull be. To set diis affair in the best light, it will be proper to consider, what 
ii in ski| and relative to it: there is the act (^ sin, and die^e is the guilt of sin^ 

y Maccov. Loc. Coamnn. c. 84. p. 19^. 


^hich is an obligation to puniahment, and the punishment itself. C!oncern!ng' 
t}ie two last there can be no difficulty; that God should will that men that sin 
should become guilty; be reckoned, accounted, and treated as such; or lie un«- 
der obligation to punishment; noi that he should will die punishment of tfiem, 
and appoint and foreordain them to it, for it, Prov. xvi. 4, Jude 4. The only 
difficulty is, about the act of sin j and tliis may be considered either as natural 
or moral; or the act, and the ataxy, disorder, irregularity, and vitioslty of it: atf 
an action, barely considered, it is of God, and according to his will} withoul 
which, and the concourse of his providence, none can be performed; he is the 
fountain and source of all action and motion; in him all live, move, and have 
their being. Acts xvii. 28. but then the vitiosity and irregularity of it, as it is an 
aberration from the law of God, and a transgression of it, is of men only; and 
God cannot be said to will this ; he forbids it, he abhors and detests it; he take« 
no pleasure in it ; he is of purer eyes than even to behold it, with approbation and 
delight. God c;>nnot will ii as sin, or for the sake of itself; but for the sake of some 
good to be brought about through it, as tlie fall of Adam, for the glorifying of bii 
justice and mercy, in punishing some of his posterity, and saving others: the sin 
of JoKph*s brethren selling him into Egypt, for the good of Joseph and hit fathePs 
femily, and others; and the sin of the Jews, in crucifying Christ, for die re^ 
demption and salvation of men. And besides, God may will one sin as a pu« 
nishment for another; as ic is most certain he has in the case of the Israelitest 
Hos, iv. 9-— 13. of the heathen philosophers, Rom. i. 28. and of the papists, 
2 Thess, ii. ^*-i2. Once more, though God may be said, in such senses, to will 
«in, yet he wills it in a different way than he wills that which is good ; he does 
not will to do it himself, nor to do it by others ; Gut permits it to be done; and 
which is not a bare p^eniiission, but a voluntary permission ; and is expressed by 
God's giving up men to their own hearts lusts, and by suffering them to walk 
in their own sinful ways, Psal, Ixxxi. 12, Acts xiv. 16. he wills it not by hit 
^ifective will, but by his pennisaive will ; and therefore cannot be chargeable 
widi being the autlior of sin ; since there is a wide difference betweefi doing it 
himself, and doing it by others, or ordering it to be dope, which only can maktt 
him the author of sin; and voluntarily permitting or suffciing it tu be done by 
others. I proceed to consider, 

IV. The nature and properties of the will of God. 
. I, It is natural and essential to him; it is his very nature and essence; his will 
is himself willing; and dieiefore there can be but 011^ will in God; for there is 
but one God, whose nature and essence is one; for though there are three per* 
sons in the Godliead, there is but one undivided nature common to them all, and so 
but one will; they are one, and they agree in one; God is in one mind, or will; 
though there may be distinctions of his will, and different objects of it» and dif 
vers ways in which be wiUs» yet it is by one single eternal act of his will, he 
wills all things. Hence also his will is incommunicable to a creature ; the will 
of God cannot otherwise be a creature's, but as that may appiove of it, aquiesce 


m it, aiul submit unto it ; even it was incommunicable to the human nature c-f 
Cnrist, though taken into union with the person of the Son of God; yet hit 
liinne will, ar.d his human will, arc distinct from each other, chough the one is 
lulqect to tlie other, John vi. 38. Luke xxii. 42. 

II. The will of God is eternal, as may he concluded from the attribute of eter- 
dcy; for if God is eternal, as he certainly is, even from everlasting to everlast* 
ing God, dien his will must be eternal, since it is his nature and essence: and 
from his immutability; who chajiges not, and with whom there is no shadow 
of turning; but if any new will arises in God in time, which was not in eter« 
nity, there would he a change in him ; he would not be the same in time he was 
in eternity ( nor the same in eternity he is in time; whereas he is the same 
jautdaj^ to-day, and for ever: and from the fore-knowledge of God, which is 
eternal J Known unto God are all his works^ from the beginning of the worlds or 
fipQinotemitv, Acts xv. 18. and now as God's fore-knowledge arises from his 
will, God foreknows will be, as has been observed, because he has deter- 
fflioedy iahifi will, what shall be; so if his knowledge is eternal, his will must 
be eternal. Likewise, this may be illustrated by the decree of election; that 
vai, certainly, before men had done either good or evil; was from the begin* 
ning, or from everlasting; even before tiie foundation of the world, Eph. i. 4. 
and as die decree and determination of the will of God was fio early, the same 
may be concluded of all others; add to all wiiich, the will of God is aincerned 
with all things that have been from the beginning of the world, now are, or sliaU 
be to the end of it; and therefore must be prior to the existence of the world, 
and things ia it; and if prior to them, then prior to time; and if prior to time, 
must be eternal; for we know of nothing before time but what is 

III. The will ofGcd is immutable: immut.tbility is expressly ascribevl to the 
counsel of God; that is, to the will md purpose of (Tod, Heb. vi. 17. and 
may be established from the attribute of imniucahility ; tor i( Gtkl is uncii:in^e- 
aUy the same, as he is, then his will must be the same, since it is his nature 
and essence: a change is made in the will of a creature, cirhrr by beginning to 
will what it did not before, or by cijasing to will what it lus willed: now the 
cause of beginning a new will, or willing what it did UDt, .supposes previous 
ignorance of the thing now l)egun to he willed; not kujwing the iicnciis and 
propriety of it, being ignorant of its nature, excellence, and utilicy; tor of an 
unknown thing there can be no desire and will: but such a cliungc of will can 
never take place in G(xi, on such a footing; since it is not oiiiy contrary t» 
his eternity and immutability, but to his knowledge, whose understanding is 
infinite: or a creature changes its will, when it ceases to will what it has willed . 
which is either of choice, or of obligation to it; of choice, when something 
unfoneen occurs, which causes it to cliange its will, and take another oourse : 
but nothing of this kind can befal God, before whom all things are at once and 
tog^her, naked and open ; oven from all eternity : or else of force, being obliged 
ttnco it, t>ccause it cannot accomplish its will, and therefore drops it, tad takes 


mother eoune; But who hath resisted his wSl* the will of God. so u to 
him to cease from it, and drop it? If God changes his will, it must be cither 
for the better or die worse ; and cither way it would betray imperfection in himt 
and want of wisdom ; God nuiy change his outward dispensations of difaigs, bnl 
he never changes his will: repentance attributed to him is no proof of it; He 
is in one mind, and who can turn him i his will is not to be turned nor alteredf 
Bo not by the prayers of his people. But of these things see more under dw 
attribute of immutability, before treated of. 

IV. The will of God is always efficacious ; there are no wishes, wouU-beeiv 
er feeble velleiiics in God; his will is always effected, never made nuU aai 
void; he does whatever he pleases, or wills; his counsel always stainds, and htt' 
ever does his pleasure;; otherwise he would not be almighty, as be is t it most 
be for want of power, if his will is not fulfilled, which cannot be said; at be 
is omnipotent, so is his will ; yea, Austin calls i it, his most ooinipoieBC will; 
if this was not the case, th^rc would be somewhat, or some one snpeiior te 
him s whereas he is God over all, the most High, higher than the hi^iesci eni 
can never be contradicted by any: and was his will inefiectual he would he 
frustrated and disappointed of his end: but as nothing comes to pass which owe 
rsays, and the Lord commands it not; so every thing the Lord sajrs, wills, eni 
eiders, most certainly comes to pass ; For tht Lwrd of hosts hath purfsed^ m4 
who shall Jnantml it? yea, he hath sworn, saying. Surely^ as I have ihrn^Aii 
js shall it com$ to pass\ and as I have purposed^ it shall standi Isai xiv. 24, 274 
Besides, if his will was not efficacious, or it failed of accomplishment, he 
would not be happy: when a man's will is ineffectual, and he cannot accomp-i 
lish it, it gives him uneasiness, it makes him unhappy ; but this cai| never bo 
said of God, who is the blessed, the blessed God, blessed for evermore, 

V. The will of God has no cause out of himself, for then there would be 
something prior to him, and greater and more excellent than he; as every cause 
is before its effect, and more excellent than that; and his will would be depen-i 
dent on another, and so he not be the independent Being he is: nor caa there 
be any impulsive or moving cause of his will; because there is in him 00 paa« 
sive power to work upon ; he is purely act, actus slmplicissimus^ a pure, active 
Spirit: if he consisted of act and power, he would not be the simple and un* 
compounded Spirit he is ; wherefore, to be impelled or moved by any cauiei 
would be contrary to his simplicity, before established: he may indeed be aaii 
to will one thing for another; but tlien that which he wills for anod^ert is na 
moving cause of his will ; these may have the nature of cause, and effixt b&v 
tween themselves ; but neither of d)em the cause of the will of God ; nor is (hjeie 
any final cause of what he wiUs and does but his own glory; and it would be 
madness to seek for a cause of his willing that: and from thb prc^erty of the 
will of God, it may be clearly discerned, that foreseen fiiith» holiness, aad good 

4 De Civitate Dei, 1. 13. c tt^ 


worki, ctnoot be the cause of God's will in the election of any to etetnat life I 
nd so the contraiyi no cause of his will in the rejection of otlxers. 

Ti. The will of God, for the same reason, is not conditional; for then it 
nould be dependent on the condition to be performed ; dnd not the will of God^ 
but die performance of the condition, would be the first and chief in the attain- 
Bent of the end thereby. And, to say no more, if, for instance, God willed 
to save all men conditionally ; tliat is, on condition of faith and repentance ; and 
to damn them if these conditions are wanting; who does not see that this con-> 
djdnial will, to save and to destroy, is equally the same? destruction is equally 
wOied IS salvation ; and were is the general love of God to men, so much talked 
di diere is none at all to any. 

Tli. The will of God is most free and sovereign; as appears, 

1. From die making of die world, and all things in it. That the world is 
•tonal, few have asserted; that it was made, and made by God, is generally 
qpeed; and by die will of God, as the scriptures assert, Kev. iv. ii. and the 
Oiaking of it, as to time and oxxler, and things contained in it, is owing to die 
sovereign will of God; to what else but to his sovereignty can it be ascribed, 
dtoC fae has not made more worlds than he has, who could, if he would, have 
mfe ten thousand worlds? or that he should make this worid when he did, and 
Ml sooner, when he could have made it millions of ages before, if be would ? 
or dut he should be six days making that, and all things in it, when he could 
have made diem all in a moment, if he pleased? or that he made this work] no 
larger dian it is, and made no more kinds and species of creatures than he lias, 
and those he has made no more numerous than they be ? no reason can be 
sttigned, but his sovereign will and pleasure. 

2. The sovereignty of the will of God appears in providence, and in the va- 
lioos events of it ; as in the births and deaths of men, which are neither of them 
of die w3t of men, but of the will of God; and there is a time for both fixed 
by bis will; and in which his sovereignty may be seen ; for to what else can it 
bt ascribed, that such and such men should be born, and brought into the 
iNxld, in such an age,, and not before ? and that they should go out of tlie 
worid at the rime, in the manner and circumstances they do? and that there 
skonldbe sudi difference in men, in their states, conditions, and circumstances 
lA life; that some should be rich, and others poor? riclies and poverty are both 
at die disposal of God, as Agur's prayer shews ; and God is the maker both of 
the rich and poor, not only as men, but as rich and poor men: and to what can 
dns difierence be attributed, but to the sovereign will of God ? some are raised 
to^wt honour and dignity; and others live in a very low, mean, and abject 
me; but promotion comes neither from the East, nor from the West, nor 
from ibe Soudi; but God puts down one, and sets up anotlier, as he pleases; 
and thete diderences and changes may be observed in the same persons, as in 
Jttf who was for many years the greatest man in all the East, and, on a sud<- 
den, was itri|C of aU his riches, honour, and glory, and upon a dunghill; and 


diirn, after a ^hile, restoitrd to twice die wealth and riches he had before. So 
Kcbuihadnerzar, the greatest monarch then on errih, and when in rhe most 
flour isliin;; ciicuinstances, and in the height of his graudure, was degraded 
from his dignity, as a man and monarch, and driven to dwell among beasts, and 
to become and live like one of them ; and. after all, was restorec^to his reason, 
and to his dironc, and furrtier greatnesK ; wliich extorted from him such an ac- 
knowledgment of the sovereign will of God as perhaps is no where more strong- 
ly expressed ; He doth according to his will in the amiy of heaven^ and among 
the inhabitants of the earth \ and none can stay his hand^ or say unto him^ what 
dost thou^ Dan. iv. 35. Some are free from sickness and diseases of body all 
tlieir days; their stiengrh is firm, and no bands in their death, but die in their* 
full strcngtii: whilst others drag on a life attended with a variety of infirmities 
and disorders, to their graves; and this is tlie case of the best of men: to 
vrljat can it be imputed, but to the sovereign will of God r and how otherwise 
can be accounted fur the many abortions, untimely births, infants that never/ 
saw light; and otlicrs, as soon as their eyes are opened in this world, are shut 
again; when others not only go through die stages of infancy, childhood, and 
fnanhocx], but arrive to a full age, and come to their graves like a shock of com 
fully ripe ? And a multitude of odier things might be observed, in providence ; 
which, though God has wise reasons fur them, are unaccountable to us, but are 
obliged to refer them to his sovereign will and pleasure ; who gives no account 
-of his mattcis to the children of men. 

3. Ihc will of God appears to be sovereign in things sacred, spiiitual, and 
religious,, both with respect to angels and men ; as that some of the angels should 
be elect, and confirmed by the grace of Christ, in the estate in which they were 
created, and be preserved from apostacy, whilst a large nunibcr of ttiem were 
suffered to rebel against God, and leave their first state; for which they were 
cast down from heaven to hell, and rescr\'ed in chains of darkness, to the judg- 
ment ot the great day, and no mercy shewn to any of them ; as has been to 
many of tire apastate race of Adam. What other reason can be given for all 
this, but the sovereign will of God? Among men, some God loves, and some 
he liute& ; and that before good or e\'il are done by thcrn ; some he chooses to 
everlasting happiness, and others he passes by and rejects; he has mercy on 
some, and hardens otliers ; just as he, in his sovereignty, wills and pleases : some 
are redeemed from among men, by Christ, even out of every kindred, tongue, 
people, and nation, whom he wills, and resolves to save; when others arc left 
to pcriiih in their sins: for which no other cause can be assigned than the sove- 
reign will and pleasure of God. According to which also he dispenses his gifts 
to meir, and these of different sorts; some fatting for public ser\'icc, as to mini- 
sters of the gospel; and such he makes whensoever he pleases, and gives them 
gilts dlfTciing from one anodier; to some greater to others less, to some one 
talent and to odiers five, dividing to ever)' man severally as he wills, according 
to Ills sovereign pleasure : the means cf grace, the ministry of the word and 


ordinances, in all ages, have been disposed of, just as seemed good in his sight; 
for many hundreds of years, God gave his word to Jacob, and his statutes unto 
Israel, and other nations knew them not; and these have been since distributed 
among the Gentiles, sometimes in one place, and sometimes in another; and 
how apparent is the sovereignty of God in favouring our British Isles, these 
Isles afar oiF, with the gospel, and gospel -ordinances, when so great a part of 
the world is denied them, and is covered with Pagan, Papal, and Mahometan 
darkness ? and still more it is manifest in that these outwaixl means are, to some, 
** the savour of life unto life, and to others the savour of death unto death.'* 
The special gifts of the grace of God, are bestowed upon men, according to 
the sovereign will of God ; of his own will he regenerates some, and not others ; 
caDs by his grace, whom he pleases, when and by what means, according to 
his purpose ; reveals the gospel, and the great things of it, to whom he would 
make them known ; and hides them from the wise and prudent; even so Father, 
nys Christ, for so it seemed good in thy sight ; nor does he give any other lea- 
100 for such a conduct. The graces of the Spirit of God are given to some, 
and not to others; as for instance, repentance, which is a grant from God, a 
gift of Christ, was bestowed on Peter, who denied his Lord ; and withheld from 
Judas, that betrayed him. Faith, which is the gift of God, all men have it 
not; to some it is only given, when others have a spirit of slumber, eyes that 
diey see not, and cars that they hear not. In short, eternal life, which is the 
free ^ft of God, through Christ, is given only by him, to as many as the Father 
has given him, and to these alike; the penny, which seems to mean etemsA 
kippiness, in the parable, is given to those who were called to labour in the 
vineyard in the eleventh hour, as to those who bore the heat and burden of the 
day : some' do much service for Christ, and others very little, and yet all share 
the same glory. To what can all this be resolved, but into the sovereign will 
of God ? who says. Is It not Icnvful for me to do what I will with my own ? 
Matt. XX. 1 5. But though the will of God is sovereign, it always acts wisely: 
some sovereign princes will things rashly and foolishly; but God wills nothing 
coiitnirv to his perfections of wisdom, justice, holiness, &c. and his will is there- 
fore callctl counsel^ and the counsel of his willy Isai. xxv. I. and xlvi. lo. Eph. i. 1 1. 

- f-^ " ^-^ 


Next to the attributes which belong to God, as an intelligent Spirit, to his 
nndentanding and will, may be considered, those which may be called Affec- 
tions; for though, properly speaking, there are none in God, he being a most 
pure and simple act, free from all commotion and perturbation; yet there being 
some things said and done by him, which are similar to affections in intelligent 
beings, they are ascribed to him ; as love, pity, hatred, anger, 6:c. from which 

VOL. I. Q 


must be removed every tiling that is carnal, sensual, or has any degree of 
perfection in it ; and among these, LfOve stands in the first place ; and this en 
so much into the nature of God, that it is said, GoJ is love^ i John iv. 8, 
So the Shekinah, or the divine majesty and glory, is, by the JewsS ca 
TOT\H Love; and the heathens give the same name to God; Plato expre 
calls liim Lov^; and Hcsiod' speaks of love as the fairest and most beaui 
9niong the immortal gods. In treating of this divine attribute, 1 sliall, 

I. Consider the objects of it. 

I. The principal object of the love of God is himself. Self-love is in all 
telligent beings ; nor is it discommendable, when it is not carried to a crim 
excess, and to the neglect of others; none are obliged to love odiers more t 
themselves, but as themselves, Matt. xxii. 39. *God first and chiefly i< 
himself; and hence he has nK»de himself, that is, his glory, the ultimate 
of all he docs in nature, providence, and grace, Prov. xvi. 4. Rom. xi. 36. 1 
iv. II. £ph. i. 6. and his happiness lies in contemplating himself, his na 
and perfections; in that love, complacency and delight he has in himself; 
needs he, nor can he have any thing out of himself that can add to his cssej 

The three divine Persons m the Godhead mutually love each other; the 
ther loves the Son and tlie Spirit, the Soii loves the Father and the Spirit, 
the Spirit loves the Father and the Son. That the Fatlicr loves the Soi 
more than once said, John iii. 35. and v. 20. and the Son is sometimes a 
the well-beloved and dear Son of God, Matt. iii. 17. and xvii, 5. Col. i, 13 
was from all eternity as *' one brought up witli him;** and was loved by 
before the foundation of the world; and that with a love of complacency 
delight; as he must, since ^' he is the brightness of his glory, tlic express in 
of his person," and is of die same nature, and posscsi»cd of all die same 
Actions with him, Prov. viii. 30, 31. John xvii. 24. Heb. i. 3. Col. ii. 9. 
he loved him as his Servant, as the Mediator, in his stale of humiliation, 
obedience, and under all his sufferings, and on account of them ; and 1 
\vhilst he bore his wrath as the sinner's Surety, he was the object of his lr)v 
his Son, Isai. xlii. i. Matt. iii. 17. John x. 17. and now he is at his right fa 
in human nature, he looks upon him with delight, and is wcU pleased wid: 
sacrifice, satisfaction, and righteousness. The Father loves the Spirit; b 
the very breath of him, from whence he has his name, and proceeding 1 
him, and possessing the same nature and essence widi him. Job xxxiii. 4. 
xxxiii. 6. John xv. 26. i Johin v, 7. The Son loves die Father, of whoi 
is begotten, with whom he was brought up, in whose bosom he lay fror 
eternity, as his own and only begotten Son; and as man, the law of God 

' ShiT hash! rim Rabba, fol. 15. t. & Lex. Cabal, p. 43. 44. ' Theogonia, v. tao. ' 
claruro illud eat & si qiicris rectum quoque & vcruon, ut eoa qui nobis carissimi esse del 
Kqtic ac nosmetipsos amemus; at TCro plus fieri nullo facto potest, ne optAadum qifide 
ia amicitta, ut me ille plus quam te amet, Cicero. Tusc. Quxst. 1. 3. 


in his heart; Ac sum of which is to love the Lord God with all the heart and 
ioul; and as Mediator he shewed his love to him by an oliedience to his com- 
mandment, even though that was to suiier death for his people, Psal. xl. 8. John 
xiv. 31. and X. 18. Phil. ii. 8. The Son also loves the Spirit, since he proceeds 
from him as from the Father, and is called the Spirit of the Son, Gal. iv. 6. and 
Christ often speaks of him with pleasuie and delight, Isai. xiviii. 16. and Ixi. i. 
John xiv. 16 — 26. and x«r. a6. and xvi. 7, 13. And the Spirit loves the Fa- 
dser and die Son, and sheds abroad the love of them both in the hearts of his 
people; he searches into the deep things of God, and reveals them to them ; and 
takes of the things of Christ, and shews them unto them; and so is both the 
Comforter of them, and the GloriAer of liim, i Cor. ii« 10 — 12. John 

xvi. 14. 

II. All that God has made is the ol^ect of his love ; all the works of crcn. 
don, when he had made them, he looked over them, and Saw that they were 
poijVerj good^ Gen. i. 31. he was well pleased, and delighted with them ; yea, 
he is said to rejoice In his works \ Psal. civ. 31. he upholds all creatures in their 
beii^ and is the Preserver of all, bo*h men and beasts ; and is good to all, and 
his tender mercies are over all his works, Psal xxxvi. 6. and cxlv. 9. and par- 
ticolariy, rational creatures are the objects of his care, love, and delight : he 
knres the holy angels, and has shewn his love to them in choosing them to hap- 
piness; hence they arc called elect ange/s^ 1 Tim. v. 21. by making Christ the 
head of them, by whom they are confinned in the estate in which thev were 
created. Col. ii. 10. and by adinitting them into his presence, allowing them to 
stand before him, and behold liis face, Malt, xviii. lo. vea, even the devils, as 
Ihcy are the creatures of God, «rc not hated by hlin, hut as thcv are aposriiic 
spirits from him : and so he beiii*s a general love 10 all men, as they arc his crea- 
tures, his offspring, and the \v(jvk of liis hriivls ; he supports them, preserves 
them, and bestows the bounties of his providence in common upon them, Aets 
xvii. 28. and xiv. 17. Matt. v. 45. but he be:irs a special love to elan men in 
Christ; which is called hh grcttt hz'e^ l^pli. ii. 4, v.liom he has chosen and bless- 
ed with all spiritual blessiiv.;s In him, Eph. i. 3, 4. and which love is distin- 
guished and di.scrimin-.tinc;, Mai. i. i, 2. Rom. ix. 1 1, 12. 1 go on, 

II. To Give some instaneev- of tlic love of (lod, particularly to chosen men 
in Christ, and who share in the love of Father, Son, and Spirit. 

The love of tlie Father has appeared in thinking of chcm, thouglits of peace ; 
in contriving and forming the iclicme of their peace and reconciliation in Christ, 
from eternity, 2 Cor. v. 18, 19. in ch(;osIng them in him from the bec;inniag, 
even from everiasting, to salvation, by him, 2 Thess. ii. 13. in putting their 
persons into the hands of Christ, and securing and preserving i]\^ m in him, 
Deut. xxxiii. 3. Jude i. in laying up all b!cssinii;s in him for them, and bless- 
ing them with them so eajlv, Kph. i. 3, 4. in appoiiitlng Christ to he the S:i- 
riour of them; in proviJin;^, promising, and scndini^ liim into tiie world, to 



work out their salvation, John iii. i6. i John iv. 9, 10. Tit. iii. 4, 5 in the 
pardon of their sins through the blood of Christ, Isai. xxxviii. 17. Eph. i. 7. 
in their adoption, i John iii. i. in their regeneration and conversion, Jer. 
xxxi. 3. Eph. ii. 4, 5. and in the gift of eternal life unto them, Rom. vi. 23. 
The love of the Son of God ap|)ear5 in espousing the persons of the electa 
those sons of men, in whom his delights were before the world was, Prur. 
viii. 31. Hos. ii. 19. in becoming their Surety for good, undcriaking their cause, 
engaging to do the will of God with that chearfulnc^s he did; ^hich was to 
work out their salvation, Psal. xl. 6 — 8. Hcb. vii. 22. in assuming their na« 
lure, iu the fiJncss cf time, to redeem them, work out a righteousness, and 
make reconciliation for them. Gal. iv. 4, 5. Rom. viii. 3, 4. Heb. ii. 14, i7» 
by giving himself a sacrifice for them ; laying down his life on their accoimt; 
and shedding his blood for the cleansing of their souls, and tlic remission of 
their sins, Eph. v. 2,25. Tit. ii. 14. i John iii. 16. Rev. i. 5. 

The love of the Spirit, of which mention is made in Rom. xv. 30. appears 
in his coming into the hearts of God's elect, to convince them of sin and righte- 
ousness, and to comfort them ; by shewing the grace of the covenant, and the 
blessings of it to them ; by opening and applying the promises of it ; and by 
shedding abroad the love of God in their hearts ; by implanting every grace in 
them, and drawing them forth into exercise ; by witnessing to tlicir spirits their 
adoption ; by assisting them in every duty, panicularly in prayer, making inter- 
cession for them, according to tlie will of God ; and in being the earnest^ 
pledge, and seal of them to tlic day of redemption, Johnxvi. 7, 8. Rom. viii. 
15—27, Eph. i. 13, 14. 

in. It may be proper next to consider die properties of the love of God to- 
wards chosen men, whicli will lead more into the nature of it. 

I. There is no cause of it out of God ; there is no motive or inducement to 
it in O^em, no loveliness in them to excite it ; all men by nature arc corrupt 
and abominable ; rather to be loathed than loved ; and those that are loved, are 
no bcttv] ilian others, all being under sin ; and are, " by nature, children of 
wrath, as others ;" as c'escrving of that as those that are not loved, Rom, iii. 9. 
Eph. ii. 3. what loveliness or beauty is in saints, is owing to the righteousness 
of Chiist, imputed to tlicm ; which is tliat comeliness that is put upon them, 
whereby they aie made perfectly comely; and to the sanctifying grace of the 
Spirit, whereby they are all glorious within, and appear in the beauties of holi« 
ncss : so that all this is the fruit of the love of God, and not the cause of it. 
Nor can it be any love in them to God, that is the cause of his to them; for 
thev had no love iu them when Christ died for them ; nor until regenerated by 
the Spirit of God ; and when they love him, it is because he liist loved them, 
1 John iv. 10, 19. and though Christ is said to love them that love him, and 
the Father is said to love them too -, yet this must not be understood of the first 
love of Gcd and Christ, unto them, nor of the first display of it ; but of fur» 
tlicr and larger manifestations of it to them*, and is descriptive of the persons 



who arc most certainly and evidently the objects of their love; but not as being 
the cause of it, Prov. viii. 17. John xiv. 21, 23, and xvi. 27. Nor are good 
works the cause of this love ; for this, at least, in one instunce of it« was be- 
fore either good or evil were done, Rom. ix. 11, 12, and in other instances it 
broke forth towards them, and broke in upon them while they were yet in their 
sins, and before they were capable of i>eribnning good works, Rom. v. 8. 1*ir. 
iii. 3, 4« Eph. ii. 2 — 4. and how can it be thought, tliat since the best works 
of men are so impure and imperfect as to be reckoned as filthy rags, that these 
shouM be the cause of God's love to men? no, even faith itself is not; thLt 
^^ is the gift of God,** and flows from electing love, and is a fruit and evidence 
of it, Eph. ii. 8. Acts xiii. 48. Tit. i. i. God loves men, not because they have 
faith; but they have faith given them, because God loves them ; it is true indeed, 
that ** without faith it is impossible to please God;*' thac is, to do tliose things 
which are pleasing in his sight; but then the persons of God's elect, may be, 
and are, well pleasing to God, in Christ, before faith, and without it. In siiort, 
the love of God purely flows from his good will and pleasure; who ** is graci- 
oos to whom he will be gracious," Exod. xxxiii. 19. it is thac pure river that 
proceeds out of the throne of God, and of tiic Lamb, as an emblem ot sove» 
reignity, Rom. xxi. i. as God loved the people of Israel because he loved them, 
or wouU love them; and for no otlier reason, Duet. vii. 7, 8. in like manner 
he loves his spiritual and mystical Israel. 

. II. The love of God is eternal, it does not commence in time, it is without 
beginning, it is from eternity : this is evident from die love of God to Christ, 
which was before the foundation of the world; and with the same love he loved 
him, he loved his people also, and as early, John xvii. 23, 24. and from various 
acts of love to tliem in eternity, Epli, i. 4. the covenant oi grace made with them, 
in which, grants of grace, and promises of gl<jry were made before the world be- 
gan; and Christ was set up as tlic Mediator of it from everlasting: all which 
arestrongproofsof love to them, 2 Tim. i. 9. Tit. i. 2. Prov. viii. 22, 23. 

III. The love of God is immutable, unalterable, and invariable; it is like 
himself, the same to-day, yesterday, and forever: and, indeed, God is love; 
it is his nature; it is himself; and therefore must be without any variablciiess, 
or shadow of turning. It admits of no distinctions, by which it appears to alter 
and vary. Some talk of a love of benevolence, by which God wishes or wills 
good to men ; and then comes on a love of beneficence, and he docs good to 
them, and works good in them : and then a love of complacency, and delight 
takes place, and not till then. But this is to make God changeable, as we are: 
the love of God admits of no degrees, it neither increases nor decreases; it is die 
same from the instant in eternity it was, without any change : it is needless to 
ask whether it is the same l>eforc as after conversion, since there were as great, 
if not greater gifts of love, bestowed on the object loved, before conversion, as 
after; such as the gift of God himself, in the everlasting covenant; the gift of 
his Son to die for them when in their sins; and the gift of the Spirit to them, in 


order to regenerate, quicken, and convert tficm ; heaven itself, eternal life, k 
not a greater gift than these ; and yet tliey were all before conversion, 'lliere 
never were any stops, lets, or impediments to this love ; not tlie fall of Adam» 
nor the sad effects of it; nor the actual sins and transgressions of God's people, 
in a state of nature; nor all their backslidings, after called by grace; for still hs 
loves them freely, Hos. xiv. 4. for God foreknew that they would tall in Adam, 
-with others, that diey would be transgressors from the womb, and do as evil as 
diey could; yet this hindered not his taking up thoughts of love towards them, 
his choice of them, and covenant with them. Conversion makes a change in 
them ; brings them from the power of Satan to God, from darkness to light, 
from bondage to liberty; from fellowship with evil men to communion with 
God: but it makes no change in the love of God; God changes his dispensa- 
tions and dealings with them, but never changes his love; he sometimes rebukes 
and chastizes them, but still he loves them; he sometimes hides his tace from 
them, but his love continues the same, Psal. Ixxxix. 29— 33, Isa. liv^.y-^icx 
the manifestations of his love are various ; to some they are greater, to ochcra 
less; and so to the same persons, at different times; but love m his own heait 
is unvariable and unchangeable. 

IV. The love of God endures for ever ; it is an everlasting love, in that senset 
Jer. xxxi. 3. it is the bond of union between God and Christ, and the elect; and 
it can never be dissolved ; nothing can separate it, nor separate from it, Roou viii. 
35 — 39. The union it is the bond of, is next to that, and like it, which is be« 
tween the three divine persons, John xvii. 2i, 23. The union between sool 
and body, may be, and is dissolved, at deatli ; but neither death nor lUe can se* 
paratc from this ; this loving kindness of God never departs ; though health, anA 
wealth, and friends, and life itself may depart, this never will, Isai. liv. i(X 
whatever God takes away, as all the said things may be taken away by him, 
he will never take away this, Psal. Ixxxix. 33. liaving loved his own which 
were in the world he loves them to the end, to the end oi their lives, to die end 
of time, and to all eternity, John xiii. i. 


1 HIS attribute may be considered, both as it is in God himself, and as dis* 
played in acts towards his creatures ; as in himself, it is himself; it is his na<- 
ture and essence; he is Grace itself, most amiable and lovely; hence so often 
called gracious in scripture: it is a character expressive of the amiubieness and 
loveliness of his nature : and thus he was before he had, and would have been 
for ever the same if be never had displayed his grace towards any of his ci-ea- 
tiires. And this appears from the loveliness of Christ, tlie image of the leather, 
the express image of his person ; who, to them that believe, is exceeding pre- 
cious, and altogether lovely -, when they behold his glory, as the only b^otten 


rftheFadier; die fulness of grace in hitn^ as Mediator; the purity, perfection, 
and beauty of hi« human nature, as in union with his divine person, in which 
ke was in high favour with God and men. Now if Christ, under these several 
considerations, is so graceful and amiaUe, he must needs be infinitely so, whose 
image he is, and who has all virtues, all excellencies, all perfections in him ; he 
ii said to be glorious in hoUnesSy Exod. xv. ii. And if he is so glorious and 
graceful, viewed in one perfection of his, what must he be when all put toge- 
dKT, and he is viewed in them all, his goodness, wisdom, power, justice, truths 
fcc ? and therefore is to be loved above all, and with all the heart, soul, and 
tiengdi; and hence it is that good men, as Maies, David, and others, desired 
to ice die face of God, so far as could be admitted, and they were capable of, 
Exod. xxxiii. 14, 15. Psal. xxvii. 7, 8. and cv. 4. and what a lovely sight had 
Moies of him in the clift of the rock, when he caused his goodness to pass, and 
fndaimed his name, a God gracious before him, Exod. xxxiii. 19. and xxxiv. 
L and to see the lovely face of God, so for as creatures are capable of, is the 
kqipiness of angels, and will be the happiness of saints to ail eternity. Matt, 
xviii. 10. I Cor. xiii. la. i John iii. 2. Rev. xxii. 4. 

The grace of God may be considered as displayed in acts of goodness towaidi 
Us creatures, especially men ; and is no other than his free favour and good will 
Id men; it is no other than love unmerited and undeserved, exercising and com-> 
Bimicating itself to them in a free and generous manner; which they are alto- 
gedier unworthy of. There are many things called grace, and the grace of 
God, because they fbw from his grace, and are the effects of it; as the gospd, 
1 Cor. vi. I. Gal. v. 4. Tit. ii. 1 1. gifts for preaching the gospel, Rom. xii. 6. 
Eph. iii. 7, 8. the blessings of grace, as justification, adoption, &c. Psal. 
bcxxiv. II. 2 Tim. i. 9. the several graces of the Spirit in regeneration, as 
fiuth, hope, love, &c. 2 Cor. ix. 8. Gal. ii. 9. but then diese arc to be distin- 
guished from grace in God ; as the Giver and the gift, the Fountain and the 
streams, the Cause and the efiect. The grace of God arises from the go'xlncss 
of his nature, and not from any thing in the creature ; and is exercised according 
to his sovereign will and pleasure ; / will be gracious to whom I will be pacious^ 
Exod. xxxiii. 19. It is independent of all merit and worth in creatures, and of 
lU works done by them, and is always opposed to them in scripture, Rom. xi. 6. 
a Tim. i.j9. Eph. ii. 8, 9. it is quite entirely free, as Austin" said long ago, 
pace is not grace, unless it is altogether free. As an attribute, it wholly and 
only resides in God ; and is only in men, as to the sense and perception of it, 
and die effects of it upon diem and in them, Rom. v. 5. and viii. 38. and it is 
only exhibited and displayed through Christ, in and through whom men are 
dected, adopted, redeemed, justified, pardoned, regenerated, and sanctified, 
Eph. i. 4*--7- Rom. iii. 24. Tit. iii. 5, 6. And though there are various gifts 
and blessings, and effects of it, it is but one in God; there is but one Fountain, 

^Nonraim Dei gratia, gratia erit nllo modo, niai gratuita fucrit omnimodo, Aug. contra 
fd^. dc PcGcat, Ori^inel. I. t< p- 338* 


from whence they all flow. With respect to creatures, die objects of it, some 
distinctions arc made concerning it, as of natural and supernatural grace« 
Nntural grace seems to sound oddly, and unless guarded against, may tend to 
confound nature and grace together; hut rightly applied and understood, may be 
admitted. What Adam enjoyed, in a state of integrity, above the rest of crea* 
tures, was all owing to the immerircd kindness and goodness of God, and so 
may be called grace; as the image of God, in which he was created; his holi- 
ness and righteousness; his knowledge and understanding; die communion he 
had with God, and his dominion over the creatures; and yet it was all natural: 
so many things which his posterity, in their fallen state enjoy, being altogether 
owing to the free fevour, and undeserved goodness of God, may be called grace : 
to have a being, and life, and the preservation of it, and the mercies of lik^ as 
food and raiment, which men are altogether unworthy of, are gifts and fivoun; 
and so may bear the name of grace, though only natural Uessings. Superna- 
tural grace includes all die blessings of grace bestowed upon any of the sons of 
fallen Adam ; and all the graces of die Spirit wrought in dicm ; and which will 
easily be allowed to be supernatural. But that Adam had any such, in a state 
of innocence, for my own part, I cannot see ; though some are of this opinion. 
Again, grace is, by some, distinguished into common or general, and special or 
pardcular. Common or general grace, if it may be so called, is what all men 
have ; as the light of nature and irason, which every man that comes into die 
worid is enlightened with; the tempcral blessings of life, the bounries of provi* 
dcnce, called the riches of God's goodness, or grace, Rom. ii. 4. which all par- 
take of, more or less ; and the continuance and preservation of life ; for '* God 
is the Saviour of all men," i Tim. iv. 10. Special or particular grace, is that 
which is peculiar to some persons only; such as electing, redeeming, justifying, 
pardoning, adopting, and sanctifying grace, Rom. viii. 30. and this special grace 
is, by some, distinguished into imputed and inherent grace : imputed grace is the 
hoh'ncss, obedience, and righteousness of Christ imputed to justification: inhe- 
rent grace is what is wrought in the heart, by die Spirit of God, in rq;enera- 
tion. But these distinctions, with others, only concern the eflects of the grace 
of God ; that itself is but one in God ; and is sure, firm, and immutable, as his 
nature is ; and is the eflBcient cause, source, and spring, of all good things en- 
joyed by men; and should be acknowledged, as it was by the aposde, By tAg 
grace of God I am what lam, I Cor. xv. 10. whether as a man, or as a minis- 
ter, or as a chrisdan ; and this is the final cause, or ulriraate end of all, that 
God does towards, upon, or in his elect, through Christ; all is to the glory 
of his grace^ Eph. i. 6. and is what appears, shines fordi, and is illustrious in< 
every part and branch of their salvation ; and therefore they arc said to be 
saved by grace^ Eph. ii. 5, 8. as will be evident by an enumeradon of them. 

I. The grace of God appears in the election of men to everlasdnglife ; and 
is therefore called the election of grace ; and is denied to be of works, Rom. xi- 
5. 6, and, indeed, diis act of die grace of God, passed in his eternal mind» 

Book I. OF THE GRAC£ OF GOD* 121 

before any works were clone, good or evil, and without any consideration of 
them, Rom. ix. ii. nor can any works truly good be done, until men become 
die workmansliip of God in regeneration ; and tlicn they arc the fruits and ef- 
fects of divine prc-ordi nation, Eph. li. lO. nor were men chosen in Christ be* 
cause they were holy, but riiat they niiglic be holy, Eph. i. 4. AiiJ sanctifi* 
cation, both internal mn\ extjnul, is a nic^uis fixed in ilie decree of election; 
aod is as absolute, unconillciunal, and certain, as the end, salvation, 2 Tlieh!^ 
iL 13. and all the true holiness that iv, has been, or will be in tlie world, tlows 
from electing grace; had it not been for diis, the world luid been as Sodom and 
Gomorrah, Rom. ix. 29. Election is also irrespective of faith; that is like- 
wise a means fixed in the decree, and most ceitainly follows upon ir, and is 
therefore called the faith of God's elect, 2 Thess. ii. 13. Acts xiii. 18. l*it. i. i. 
It remains, therefore, that election must be ascribed to the free favour, good 
will, and pleasure of God, to his unmerited grace and goodness, the true spring 
aad cause of it; and to shew forth which is the design of it, Rom. ix. 18, 23. 
Eph. 1. 4 — 6. 

II. The grace of God is displayed in the covenant he has made with his elect 
in Christ; this, with great propriety, is commonly called by us, the covenant 
of grace; though the phrase is not in so many words to be met with in scrip- 
tare; it is founded in the unmeriteil grace and mercy of God; and is made to 
establish and secure ihc glory of it, Psal. Ixxxix. 2, 3. It was free grace that 
moved God to make one, to which he was not otherwise obliged: it was free 
grace that called, and that moved Christ to engage with his Father in it, and 
which gave him to be the covcnunr of the people, Psal. xl. 6, 7. Isai. xlii. 6. 
it was free grace that stored it witli all spirituid blessings; by which it appears 
to be ortlered in all things for the gloi v of G(xl, and the good of his covenant- 
people; and these are grants of grace, made in ir to them in Christ, 2 Tim. i. 9. 
and it was free grace that filled it with exceeding great and precious promises; 
promises of grace and glorv, made before the woiki began; and which made 
them sure by an oatli to the heirs of thcni ; and who become heirs of them, not 
tfirough any merit of thciir,, but through the undeserved favour of God towards 

III. The grace of God is very manifest in the adoption of the rhoccn ones; 
die cause of which is, the good pleasure of the will of God; and the end of it, 
the glory of his grace, Eph. i. 5, 6. God, die adoj)ter, stood not in any need 
of sons; he had a Son, an onlv bcgottt-n Son, a beloved Son, the dear Son of 
his love, who always pleased him, his Son and Heir; the adopa-d are altoge- 
ther unworthy of such a favour, being " by nature children of wrath, as 
others;" and these men, and not angels, who are only servants in the family, 
to wait upon the children, the heirs of salvation, and minister un 10 th'jm: and 
not all the race of men, only some, and these no belter in themselves than 

others; and therefore their adoption cannot be ascribed to any riling else but the 
VOL I. & 


free and distinguishing grace of God; and into which relation they were taken 
before time, in the everlasting covenant; and Christ was sent to open the way, 
that they might receive this blessing of grace, and which they do by faith, the 
gift of God; for faith does not make them, only manifests them to be the sons 
of God; which relation is the ground of their having the Spirit, faith, and every 
other grace. Gal. iv. 4—6. 

IV. The grace of God shines very illustrious in redemption by Jesus Christ; 
free gi*ace set in£nite wisdom to work, to find out a proper person to be the re- 
deemer and saviour; and it found out Christ to be tlie ransom, and provided him 
to be the sacrifice. Job xxxiii. 24. his incarnation was owing to God's good 
will to men, Luke ii. 14. and his mission to his unmerited love, i John iv. lo. 
and it was by the grace of God he fasted death for men, Heb. ii. 9. and this 
for sinners, the chief of sinners, ungodly men, enemies in their minds by wicked 
works. In short, all that are redeemed and saved, whether Old or New -Tes- 
tament-saints, are saved by the grace of God and Christ, Acts xv. 11. 

V. The grace of God is very conspicuous in the justification of men before 
God, and acceptance with him ; which, in the strongest terms, is said to be of 
grace, to be by his grace, the grace of God, and freely by his grace, and that 
through the redemption that is in Christ, Tit. iii. 7. Rom. iii. 24. Free grace, 
by infinite wisdom, found out the way whereby sinful men might be just with 
God ; which otherwise never could have been ; namely, by not imputing their 
trespasses to them, but to Christ, the Surety free grace provided, whereby 
** God is just, and yet the jusiifier of him that believes in Jesus," 2 Cor. v. 19. 
Rom. iii. 25, 26. free grace appears in appointing Christ to work out, and bring 
in everlasting righteousness ; and in sending him in the likeness of sinful flesh to 
do it, Dan. ix. 24. Rom. viii. 3, 4. and it was free grace moved Clirist to come 
to do this will of God, and '* become the end of tlic law for righteousness ;" 
and it was free grace in God the Father to accept of this righteousness, in the 
room and stead of sinners, and to impute it, without works, unto them, as their 
justifying righteousness ; and in appointing faith to be die recipient of it, that 
so it might clearly appear to be of grace ; as the persons who are justified by it, 
being in themselves ungodly, more clearly shews it, Rom. iv. 5, 6, 16. Jus- 
tification is always denied to be of works; and the righteousness by which men 
are justified, is represented as a gift, a free gift, a gift by grace, as faith that 
receives it also is, Rom. iii. 20, 28. and v. 15 — 17. Eph. ii. 8. 

VI. Pardon of sin is according to the riches, fulness, and freeness of the grace 
of God, Eph. i. 7. the promise of it in the covenant is free, absolute, and un- 
conditional, Heb. viii. 12. the proclamation of it in the gospel, bore wimess to 
by all the prophets is the same, Exod. xxxiv. 6. Acts x. 43. and xliu 38. the 
blood of Christ was shed freely for it; and though it cost him dear, it is all of 
free grace to sinners, without money and without price. Christ is exalted as 
a prince to give it; and God, for Christ's sake, frankly forgives all trespasses. 

Book L OF TH£ GRACE OP GOD. 123 

Acts T. 31. Luke vii. 41, 42. Col. ii. 13. and it is vouchsafed to the worst and 
chief of sinners, i Tim. i. 13. and to great backsliders, ungrateful persons, guil- 
ty of sins of omission and commission, Hos. xiv. 4. Isai. xliii. 22 — 25. 

▼II. The grace of God is abundantly evident in regeneration, vocation and 
sanctificarion ; God regenerates men by his grace, and of his own good will 
and pleasure, James i. 18. and he calls them by his grace, and according to it, 
Gal. i. 15. 2 Tim. i. 9. and which always becomes effectual. There are some 
things which bear the name of grace, which ftill short of true sanctifying giace, 
at least what men call so, as restraining grace ; whereby some of God's people, 
before conversion, and some others, are kept from tlie commission of gross sins 
aihen fall into ; and external gifts of grace, as a rational knowledge of the gos- 
pd, historical faith, and even gifts for die public ministry; which persons may 
have, and yet be unknown by Christ, and be cast-aways. Also what some 
call sufficient grace, though wrongly; rather it should be called, insufficient; 
iisr diat can never be sufficient which is inefibctual ; as the means of giace of- 
ten are. There are other distinctions of grace, which are not very material, 
yet, if rightly explained and understood, may he allowed, as grace preparing, 
preventing, operating, and co-operating, and subsequent. Preparing grace must 
he understood not of preparations, and previous dispositions in men, and of 
them, to die grace pf God ; but what is of God himself, who prepares die 
heart, and makes it, by his grace, good ground, fit to receive the seed of the 
word cast into it, where it becomes the ingrafted word, Prov. xvi. i. Matt. xiii. 
23. Preventing grace is that in which God goes l)eforehand with men, and en- 
lightens their minds, teaches and instructs them in the knowledge of themselves 
and of Christ, and guides, directs, and draws them to him, John vi. 44, 45. 
Operating grace is th:it by which God works in men, both to will and to do, 
of his good pleasure, Phil. ii. 13. Co-operating grace is that by wliich men 
act, being acted or wrought upon, and by which they run, being drawn. Cant. 
i. 4. Subsequent grace is that by which rlie work of grace is carried on, and 
performed until tlie day of Christ, Phil. i. 6. Though there seems to be no 
great need of these distinctions; the most proper epithet of the grace of God, 
as displayed in regeneration, vocation, and conversion, is, that it is efficacious; 
it never fails of its effects: and it is always persevering grace, and is never lost 
or comes to nothing ; but issues in everlasting salvation; and all is owing to un- 
merited goodness. Every grace implanted in regeneration, flows from the tree 
favour and good will of Go<l. Faith is a gift, a frec-grace-gift, a distinguished 
gift; not given to all men, only to whom the L#ord pleases, Eph. ii. 8. 2 Thess. 
iii. 2. Repentance is a grant of God's grace, a gift of Christ, and a blessing 
of the covenant, Acts v. 31. and xi. 18. Ezek. xxxvi. 26. Hope is a good 
hope through grace; what men, in a state of nature, are without; and which 
God, of his free giacc, gives, 2 Thess. ii. 16. The same may be said of every 
other grace, love, humility, patience, &c. 

124 ^^ ^^^ MERCY OF GOD. 

viiT. Eternal life is the free gift of God, through Christ, a free-grace- gil 
through him, Rom. v5. 23. The introduction of ;ill tlie Lord's people into th 
enjoyment of it, will be attended with 'shouts and acclamations, crying grau 
grace, unto it ! Zech. iv. 7. and which will be the employment of saints to a 
eternity ; and so the great and ultimate end of God in their salvation, will fa 
answered, namely, the glory of his grace^ Eph. i. 6. 



i HE Mercy of God differs, in some respects, both from the love and .grao 
of God; from the love of God in its objects, and order of operation: in it 
objects ; which, though tlie same, are regarded under different consideration! 
Love pitched itself originally on objects, in the pure mass of crcatureship^ a 
unfdUen, diough it continues with them in their fallen state, and through a 
the imperfections of this life, to eternal happiness ; mercy supposes its objeci 
miserable, and so fallen : in order of operation ; for though they arc togethc 
in God, the one as early as the other, vet love seems to work by mercy,, an 
mercy from it; the objects being viewed as dead in sin, and for it, love stirs u 
mercy to quicken them with Christ, and in themselves ; Go^i who Ij rich in nut 
cjj for the great loz^e^ tec. Eph. ii. 4, 5. Mercy also differs from grace ; (c 
though all mercy is grace, because it is free, unmcrrittcd, undeserved; yet a 
grace is not mercy*; mCich grace and favour arc shewn to tlic elect angels; i 
the choice of them in Christ ; in the preservation of them from the apostac 
others of their species fell inio; in constituting Christ the head of .them, h 
whose grace they are confirmed in ilic state in whicli tliev were created ; an 
in their being indulged with the presence of God, and touiniunion with him 
they always beholding his face in heaven; all w!iic!i is abundant grace, but n< 
mercy ; since they never were miserable, and so not objects of mercy. X' 
things to be considered re.speciing this attribute, are, 

L The pro^xirties of it, whicli will lead more clearly into its nature, and A 
knowledge of it. 

I. Mercy is natural and essential to God; yea, it is his nature and essenc< 
hence he is often described as mcrcful, Exod. xxxiv. 6. Neli. ix. 17. Psal. cxv 
5. indeed it is not to be considered as a passion, or affection in God, as it is i 
men ; attended with grief and sorrow, widi anguish and anxiety of mind f< 
the party in misery ; which become the more veliement, the nearer the relatic 
is, and the stronger the love and affection is, bore to tlie object. Hence tl 
ctoic philosophers^, denied mercy to belong to good men, and so not to Go< 
and, indeed, it does not, in such sense, unless by an anthropopathy, or speal 
ing after the manner of men ; since he is free from all passion and perturbatic 

* Vl(?. ?.faccov. Thcolog. Quztt. loc. 13. p. 32. *Zenoapud Cicero. Orat. 23. pro M 
ijena, Lacrt. in Viuejui, !• 7. p« 512. Srncca dc Clementia, I. a. c. 41 5, 6« 


of mind. The Latin word Misericordia, signifies, as Zanchlus'^ observe.^, hav- 
ing another's misery at heart; but not a miserable heart, or one made so by tlie 
misery of another, especially as applied to Gixl ; with wliom it is no other than 
a propensity of his will to succour |)ersons in distress, whedier in a temporal 
or spiritual way ; and this is as essential to him as is his goodness; of which it 
iia branch: and therefore as God is essentially, originally, independently, and 
underivatively good, so is he in like manner merciful. This is one of the pci 
fections which are in some measure imi table by creatures ; Be ye merciful^ m 
jm Father is merciful, Luke vi. 36. The Sx:irtians', deny that mercy is es- 
tential to God, supposing that mercy and justice are opposite, whereas they arc 
not, not even in men; a man may be just, and yet merciful, merciful and yet 
just: and not caring to allow justice to be essential to God, which they think 
ihey must grant, if mercy is; which would establish the doctrine of Clu-ist's 
taiisfacciony and make that necessary which they do not chuse to embrace. 
But though mercy is natural and essential to G(xl, it is not nati: rally and neces- 
arily bore towards, and exercised on every object in misery : for then all would 
share in it, that are in misery, even all wicked men and devils , whereas it is 
certain they do not; but it is guided in the exercise of it by tlie love of God ; 
and is governed and influenced by his sovereign will; who hath mercy on vchom 
iiwill have mercy ^ Rom. ix. 15, 18. just as omnipotence is essential to God, 
but is not necessarily put forth to do every thing it could ; but is directed and 
{[oided by the will of God ; who does whatsoever he pleases. 

Ii« Mercy being essential to Go<l, or his nature and essence, nothing out of 
himself can be the cause of it; for then there would be a cause prior to him, 
the Cause of himself, and that would be God, and not he: the miscrv of a 
creature is not the cause of mercy in God; who is not to be moved and wrought 
upon as creatures are; being a most simple act, and liaving no passive power to 
work upon; besides, was tiiis the case, all must partake of mercv, since all arc 
miserable; which they do not; see Isai. xxvii. 1 1. nor are the merits of the crea- 
ture, or works of righteousness, the cause of mercy ; tliese are oj^posed to each 
other in the business of salvation, Tit. iii. 5. nor are those to whom mercv is 
shewn, more deserving than those to whom it is not; and oftentimes less deserv- 
ing, or more vile and sinful; see Rom. iii. 9. Eph. ii. 3. i C{;r. vi. 1 1. i Tim. 
i. 13. Nor are even tlie merits of Christ, or his obedience, sutFcrings, and 
death, the cause of mercy in God; for they are the fruits and effects of it, und 
flow from it; it is through the tender mercy of our Gody that the day-spring f om 
tnhigh hath visited us, Luke i. 78. that is, it is owing to mercy, that Cinist,* 
who is meant by the day-spring from on high, became incarnate, obeyed, suf- 
fered, and died, in our room and stead, and wrought out salvation for us. The 
mercy of God arises from the goodness of his nature, from his special love to 
his people, and from his sovereign will and pleasure ; who, as he loves whom lie 

7 Natura Dri, I. 4. c. 4. p. 371. *Socinuf dc Seiviitore, 1. i. par. 1. c. 1. Prxlcctioues, 

c 16. Xacov. Citechiim. c. 8. qu. so* 


pleases, and '^ is gracious to whom he will be gracious;" so *' he has mercy on 
whom he will have mercy," Exod. xxxiii. 19, 

III. The mercy of God is infinite: as his nature is infinite, so are each of 
his attributes. His understanding is infinite^ Psal. cxlvii. 5. and so his know- 
ledge, wisdom, justice, holiness, and goodness, and likewise his mercy; it is so 
in its nature and in its efiects ; and this appears both by bestowing an infinite 
good on men, which is Christ, who is the gift of God, and owing to the lovei 
grace, and mercy of God; and who though, as man, is finite; yet, in his diyine 
person, infinite ; and as such given, Isai. ix. 6. and by his delivering them from 
an infinite evU, sin: sin, as an act of the creature, is finite; but objectively, in- 
finite, as it is committed against God, the infinite Being, Psal. li. 4. and diere- 
fbre is not only infinite with respect to number, Job xxii. 5. but widi respectto 
its object, and also with respect to punishment for it ; the demerit of it is eternal 
death; and this cannot be endured at once, or answered for in a short time; il 
is carried on ad infinitunty without end ; and therefore spoken of as everlastii^ 
and eternal. Now mercy has provided for the forgiveness of sin, and for thi 

^deliverance of men from the punishment of it, and fiom being liable to it, 
Heb. viii. 12. 

IV. The mercy of God is eternal ; the eternity of mercy is expressed in thi 
same language as the eternity of God himself; and, indeed, since it is his natare, 
it must be as eternal as he himself is ; see Psal. xc. 2. and ciii. 17. it is from ever- 
lasting, as his love is ; which is to be proved by the instances of it, called his ten 
der mercies, which have been ever of old, or from everlasting, Psal. xxv. 6. tfw 
council and covenant of peace were in eternity; in which the scheme of recon- 
ciliatioil to God was formed, and the method of it settled, which supposed dien 
enemies, and so considered them as fallen creatures, and objects of mercy: and 
indeed, the covenant of grace, which was from everlasting, is a superstructun 
of meicy, Psal. Ixxxix. i — 3. and since mercy is from everlasting, not any thinj 
in time can be the cause of it ; not the misery of the creature, by the fall o 
Adam, nor works of righteousness done after conversion ; nor the obedience am 
sufferings of Christ; diings in time: and the mercy of God is to everlasting 
in its fruits and efFects ; it is kept with Christ, and for him, the Mediator of th« 
covenant; into whose hands are put all the promises and blessings of mercy; cal 
led, therefore, the sure mercies of Davids Psal. Ixxxix. 24, 28. Isai. Iv. 3. evei 
temporal blessings, which flbw from the mercy of God, are new every mom 
ing, and are daily continued ; and spiritual ones always remain ; the mercy o 
God never departs from his people, notwithstanding their backslidings ; an 
chough he chides them for them, and hides his face from them, yet still he ha 
mercy on them, Psal. Ixxxix. 30—33. Isai. liv. 6 — 10. Jer. iii. 12, 14. 

V The mercy of God is immutable, as he himself is, and his love also ; am 
theicfore the objects of it are not consumed, Mai, iii. 6. it is invariably the sanfv 
in every state and condition into which they come; it is, as the virgin Mary ex* 


presses it, from generation to geneiation, without any variation or change, 
Luke i. 50. 

VI. It is cofDinon to all the three divine persons, Father, Son, and Spirit; for 
as dieir is one common undivided essence, of which each equally partakes, the 
ame divine perfections and attributes belong to them, and so this of mercy : mer« 
cj is ascribed to the God and Father of Christ, i Peter i. 3. and to our Lord 
Jesus Christ; not only as Man, and Mediator, but as the true God, and eternal 
fife; to whose mercy we are to look for it, Jude 21. and to the blessed Spirit^ 
vho helps the infirmities of the saints, *^ and makes intercession for them with 
gniaiiings which cannot be uttered, Rom. viii. 26. 

VII, Mercy is displayed only in and through Christ; God out of Christ is a 
consmnif^ fire; it is only in him God proclaims his name,^ *' a God gracious 
.and merciful;'* he is the mercy-seat, and throne of grace, at wliich men obtaia 
nncy and find grace; he is tlie channel through which it flows, and through 
whom it, in its effects, is conveyed to the sons of men : tliey are right who 
CMtdiemselves not on the absolute mercy of God out of Christ; but upon hii 
mercy, as displayed in liim, as the publican did, Luke xviii. 13. In a word, it 
ii represented as great, large, and ample, and very abundant; wc read of a muU 
liciide of tender mercies ; and God is said to be rich and plenteous in it ; as will 
appear more fully by considering the objects and instances of it, Psdl. ciii. 1 1. 
and IL I. I Pet. i. 3. Eph. ii. 4. Psal. Ixxxvi 5. 

II. Tile objects of mercy may be next obsei'ved: and that this may appear in' 
a |dain and clear light, it will be proper to remark, that the mercy of God is 
general and special : with respect to tlie general mercy of God, all creatures are 
the objects of it ; the Lord is good to all^ and his tender mercies are over all his 
vwrtsf Psal. cxlv. 9. there is not a creature in all the carch bur partakes of it; 
hence says the Psalmist, The earthy O Lord is full of thy mercy! Psal. cxix. 64^ 
even die brute creation, the mute animals, share m it; it is owing to mercy that 
they are preserved in their beings, Psal. xxxvi. 5. 6. and that a provision of food 
is made for their sustenance; and who sometimes are in great distress, and when 
they cry to God he gives them their food, Joel i. 18, 20. Psal. civ. 27, 28. and 
cxlvii. 9. Job xxxviii. 41. All men, good and bad, partake of the piovidcntial 
goodness and mercy of God ; he is kind to th;: unthankful and unliolv, and makes 
the sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the 
unjust, Luke vi. 35. Matt. v. 45. He preserves and supports all men in their 
beings, and so is the Saviour of all, and esp^^cially of thcin that Ixrliev'e, i Tim. 
iv. 10. and gives them the necessaries of life, food and raiment, and all things 
richly to enjoy, both for convenience and pleasure: yea, even tlie devils tlicm- 
»elves partake of mercy, in some sense; for tlio'jgh (Jod lias not s[)aied them, 
w as to save them, and not condemn them ; yet he has given them a kind of re- 
prieve, and reserved them to tliejuJ-^mcnt of the great day ; so that tlicy are not 
yet in full torn.cnts, as their sins ha\e deserved ; and :*i. Go J punishes noi.c more^ 


but Ies5 than their sins require, this may he reasonahly supposed to be the cas 
of ilcvils, even hereafter. 

As to the special mercy tif God, none are the ohjccts of that but elect men* wh 
arc called vessels of mercy ^ Kom. ix. 23. because they are filled with it, eve 
^idi all spiritual blessings, which flow from it, and which arc bestowed on ther 
accunling as tlicy arc chosen in Clirist, Rpii. i. 3, 4. and so particularly regenc 
ration, which is accordinj^ to die abumlant mercy of God, they arc favourt 
with, being the elect of Goil, i Pet. 1. 2, 3. and there, as they arc redeemed b 
Christ, share in the special mercy and goodness of God ; and therefore are in 
dcr obligation to say, with wonder and tiiank fulness, *^ the Lord is good; an 
his mercy endures for ever," Psal. cvii. i, 2. and especially, being ciFectuall 
called by the grace of God, they appear to be the objects of mercy ; then the 
who had not obtained mercy, did not know their interest in it, nor actually en 
joyetl the blessings of it, now have obtained mercy; are blessed both wit 
knowledge of interest in it, and wich the oinrn possession of the blessings of i 
I Per. ii. ic. These are described sometimes by them that call upon the Lon 
to whom he is plenteous in mercy, Psal. Ixxxvi. 5. by "them that love hin 
aiul keep his commandments; to whom he shews his mercy," Exod. xx. i 
Nchcm. i. 5. Dan. ix. 4. and by them that fear him, and towards whom h 
mcicy always is, Psal. ciii. ii— -ly. Not that calling upon God, love to hin 
and observance of his coinniands, and the fear of him, are the causes of h; 
mercy to them, sine e tiiat is prior to all these, and is the cause of them ; bi 
these describe the persons who openly, and manifestly, share in the mercy < 
God, and to whom the eflects of it have been applied, and who may expect 
continuance of it, and l.irger discoveries and displays thereof to be made unl 
tlicip; as well as thty shew liiat the mercy of God is special and distinguish 
in^, and yei that it is not limited to any family or nation, but is enjoyed by a 
tliat love and fear tl;e ]A)rd in every nation, Acts x. 34, 35. 

III. The instances of mercy, to the objects of it, are many and various. 

I. It appears in election: it is, indeed, a controversy among divines, wheth< 
election is an act of love or of mercy : I am inclincil to be of the opinion of tho2 
who take it to be an act of love, and not mercy; as God chose literal Israel, b< 
cause he lovctl them, Deui. vii. 7, 8. so ypirituul Isiacl are first beloved,* ar 
then chosen, 2 The^s. ii. 13. electlo prarsur-pomt diicct}omm\ but then, thoug 
die decree of election llows from love, and not mercy ; yet God has in it decrci 
to shew mercy ; he has resolved within himself, saying, I will have mercy," ar 
\\\\\ save; and therefore in this decree he has appointed them not unto wrad 
wiiich they deserve, but to obtain salvation by Christ; which supposes thei 
f.iUcii creatures, and so objects of mercy: for the decree of electiort, may l^ di: 
tiji:;uishcd mVi the decree of the end, and the decree of the means: with rcspei 
t(; the end, the glory of God, men were considered as unfallen, in the pure ma 
out of which God dcsij^ned to make them for himself: but with respect to d 
nuMiis, n:vU:i»iJLioii by CiaiI^:, a:;d faith in him, die Redeemer, and sauctif 

Book t« 0» THE M&RCT Ot 60D« I29 

tarion of the Spirit ; here they were considered as fidlen creatutes ; and so^ with 
propriety, those chosen ones may be called vessels of mercy. 

II. The covenant of grace is a display of the mercy of God, as before ob- 
M t vtJ ; it is built upon mercy, and built up with it; it is stored with it, uid is 
faU of k. Mercy Called Christ to engage in it, and set him up as the Mediator 
^it, and prevented him with the blessings of goodness: die provisions of Christ 
M a Redeemer and Saviour in it ; of forgiveness of sins through his blood ; 
md of reconciliation and atonement by his sacrifice ; and of regeneration and 
luictl&cation by his Spirit, are so many displays of mercyi 

III. Redemption itself is a glaring instance of the mercy of Ood« Mercy 
ttiolved upon the redemption and salvation of the elect; being viewed as fallen 
in Adam^ and as sinners, mercy provided a Redeemer and Saviour of them, 2sd 
W their help upon him; and mercy called Chiist to underuke the work of 
Redemption, and engaged him in it ; mercy sent him, in the fulness of time, t<> 
viiit diem, and perform it; roetcy delivered him up into the hands of justice 
^nd death, in order to obtain it| and it is most illustriously glorified in it ; 'mercj 
fmdtruth iave met iogetAer, Psalm* lxxxv« 10. yea, Christ himself, in his lovo 
sad ptty^ has redeemed his {people, Isai. Ixiii. 9. 

- IV* The forgiveness of sin is another instance of the mercy of God, to which 
ic is fbequendy ascribed, PsaL li« i. Dan. ix. 9. Luke i. 77, 78. God has pro^ 
Duied ic in covenant, as the effect of his mercy; I will be mereiful t$ their aoi* 
figiieomsxess^ Heb. viii. 12. He has set forth Christ, in his purposes, to be 
tbe propitiation for die remission of sins; and has sent him, in time, to shed 
bis blood for it, Rom. iii. 25. and it is the mercy of God, which is the founda^ 
tion of hope of it ; and encourages sensible sinners to ask, and through which 
they obtain it, Psalm, cxxx. 7. Luke xviii. 13. i Tim. i. 13. 

V. The mercy of God is displayed in regeneration, to which that is ascribed 
>n I Pet. i. 3. and it Is wonderful and special mercy, to quicken a sinner dead 
in trespasses and sins ; to enlighten such that sit in darkness, and in the shadow 
of death; to deliver from the bondage of Satan, those diat axe led capdve by 
him at his will; to snatch them as brands out of die burning, and save firom 
everlasting fire ; to bring men out of a pit, wherein there was no water, no M- 
lief and comfort, and in which diey must otherwise die; and to reveal Qiriit 
po them, and in them, the hope of glory ; and give them a good hope, throu^ 
pace, of being for ever happy. These are some of the great and good things 
whkh God does for his people in effectual vocation, having compassion on 

VI. Compleat salvadon, and eternal life itself, flow from the mercy of God; 
besaves, **notby works of righteousness, but according to his mercy,'' Tic. iil. £* 
and when he shall put his people into the fiiU possession of salvadon, then dief 
shall find and obtain mercy in that d^y, even in the day of judgment, when 
diey shall go into life eternal; and therefore are now .directed to look uatot^S 
mercy of Christ for it, 2 Tim. u iS^ Judc 21. 

VOL. I. i 



1 HE Long-Sufiering of God, the same with his forfaeaiance and patienca^ 
arises finom his mercy, is a display of it, or is one way in which mercy shews 
itself; and so, by the Cabalistic Jews, it is said to Iwlong to the predicament of 
Chi5€d^ or mercy, as they express themselves * ; and it may be ohservedi that 
wherever God is said to be long-sufTcring, he is represented as gracious and 
merciful, or as of great mercy and kindness; and by this attribute, as by then 
and with them, he is pleased to describe and make known himself, for the en- 
couragement of &ith and hope in him, Exod. xxxiv. 6. Numb. xiv. x8. 
FsaL Ixxxvi. 15. and therefore the consideration of it very property follows 
that of mercy. The Hebrew word Q'DN pN which literally signifies long of 
both nostrils, is sometimes rendered long-suffering, as in the places referred to; 
and sometimes slvw to anger ^ Nehem. ix. 17. Psal. ciii. 8. and to which die 
GredL word fuu$fe&v/w, and fMutpo^yfua, in the New Testament, answer, Ronu 
ii. 4. 2 Pet. iii. 9, 15. the allusion is to the nose, the seat of anger, which 
restrains or shews it, as it is long or contracted. 

God is sometimes called, the God of patience, Rom. xv. 5. not only because 
he is die author and object of die grace of patience, and that is grateful to him; 
but because he is patient, or long-suffering in himself, and towards his crea- 
tures, and is a pattern of patience to them ; for this is one of the attributes of 
God, in which he may in some measure be imitated; see Eph. iv. 1, 2. 
CoL iii. 12. This is not to be considered as a quality, accident, passion, or 
affixdon in God, as in creatures; who bear with paucnce things grievous, dis- 
tressing, and torturing to them, Col. i. 1 1. but it is the very nature and essence 
of God, which is free from all passion and perturbarion, from all sufflering, 
grief, and pain; it springs from his goodness, and is as essential to him as that, 
and is joined with it, Rom. ii. 4. it is no other than a moderation of his angert 
a restraint of that, a deferring the effects of it, at least for a while, according 
to hissoveieign will; it is an extension and prolongation of mercy for a season; 
for mercy is always in it and with it; and in this it differs from it, diar the 
mercy of God is from everlasting to everlasting; but the long-suffering of God, 
as to the exercise of it, is only for a time, until seine certain end is answeredf 
and in which it issues; either in tlie damnation and destruction of the wickedt 
^hen they are fitted for it, Rom. ix. 22. or in the salvadon of God's electa 

2 pet. iii. 15. for it is exercised towards both, till each take place; which wiH 
be distincdy con&idered. 

L The long-suffering of God is exercised towards his chosen pieople, they art 
the 9S towards whom he is said to he long-iuffering, 2 Pet. iii. 9. even who are 
called beloved, 8. not only beloved of the aposde, and by one another, but by 
tba liOrd; and the elect according to the fon-knovrledge of God, i Pet. i. 2. 

f LczIc^Cabaliit. p. 155. 


for to the same persons are both epistles written ; and therefore being the beloved 
and diosen of God; it was his will that none of them should perish, but come 
to repentance; even all of the same character, and of the same company and so- 
ciety, die whole election of grace ; and until every one of these are called and 
brou^t to repentance, God is, and will be, long-sufiering towards diem; and 
kmg-suffering to the world for their sakes; wherefore Christ's not coming to 
judgment sooner than he will, is not owing to any negligence, dilatoriness,-^r 
ihckness in God, concerning die promise of it, but to the long-suflering of 
God; which has been eminently displayed with respect to die people of God. 

1. In the saints of die Old Testament dispensation, which rime is expressly 
called the firhearance of God^ Rom. iii. 25. The case stood thus ; Christ be- 
ame the Surety for them in eternity, engaged to assume dieir nature, pay their 
ddxs, and make sansfactionffer their sins : this was notified immediately after the 
&ff of Adam,' Gen. iii. 15. but it was four thousand yean from dience to the 
dme fixed in Daniel's prophecy, ** to finish transgression, to nudce an end of sin, 
ft) make reconciliation for iniquity, and bring in everlasting righteousness;" to 
die fulness of time when Qirist should come to redeem all his people, and par* 
ticularly, to obtain the redemption of transgressions that were under the first 
Testament, Dan. ix. 24. Gal. iv. 4. Hcb. ix. 15. Now all this time was a time 
of patience, forbearance, and long-suffering with God, in respect to his people 
under diis dispensation; he did not srir up his wrath, and execute it on them; 
Imt reserved it for his Son, their Surety; he forbore to inflict the punishment on 
Aem their sins deserved; he did not impute sin to them, place it to their account, 
charge it on them, and demand of them satisfaction for it ; but placed it to his 
Son's account, and expcrtcd satisfaction from him; he accepted of the sacrifi- 
ces of slain beasts, as vicarious ones in their stead, though they had no true va- 
lue, nor real efficacy in ihcm, to atone for sin ; only were typical of Christ's 
tacrificc ; and were to continue, and did, until diat should be olFered up ; God- 
waited till he should come and make his soul an offering for sin; and, upon his 
credit, bore with them, and bestowed the blessings of his grace on them : they 
u-cre justified by him on the foot of Chiisr's righteousness to be wrought out; 
and their sins pardoned, through his atoning sacrifice tp be offirred up; they 
were saved by the grace of the Lord Jesus, even as we are, and we as they ; they 
were carried to heaven, and glorified, before the payment of their debts were 
made by their Surety, before satisfaction for tlieir sins was given to justice, and 
before the actual redemption of them was obtained. All which, as It shews the 
tnist and confidence God put in his Son, so his forbearance and long-suffering 
towards Old Testament -saints; wiiich also has appeared, and docs appear, 

]!• In and towards cvexy one of his people in their state of unregeneracy, in 
evciy age and period of time, or of wiiatsover nation, or under whatsoever dis* 
pnsation they be; the Lord bears with them, whilst in a state of nature, and 
waits patiei^dy all that whiic^ to be gracious to ihem, Isai. xxx. 18, Tbae^ 




was much grace in his heart, in his Son, and in his covenant, laid up lor theai» 
This is abundantly displayed in conversion, when there is an abounding apd a 
superaboimding of it. But then the vocation and conversion of them is accord- 
ing to purpose; and as there is a time for every purpose^ for the ekccutioAof it, 
80 fpr this; and till that time comes, the Lord waits, forbears, sufiers much and 
long; he does not cut them off in their sins, as they deserve; but saves diemt 
and sometimes from very imminent dangers, to be called, a Tim* u 9. and with 
some he beaxs and waits a long time, who are called at the ninth and eleventh 
hours, andt as the thief on die cross, at the last day and hoar of his life; and he 
waits, as it were, in a longing manner ; speaking after the manner of ipeHf fyjkim 
Will it once hi f Jer. xiii. 27. 

in. The aposde Paul is a remarkable instance of God's long-suffering ; v^di 
was exercised towards hiip throughout all his blasphemy of Christ, his persecu- 
tion of his people, and the injuries he did unto them ; he waited, d^rough all, to 
be gracious to him; his eye was upon him, and his heart was towards him; and 
hence such notice is taken of him in that state, before the account is givea d 
bis vocation; see Acts vii. 58. and viii. i, 3. and ix. I. yea, he himself says. 
For this cause I obtained mercy ^ that in me first Jesus Christ might shewJorthaL 
long-sufferings for a pattern to them which should hereafter Ulieve on iim^ to lift 
everlastings I Tim. i. 16. meaning the people of the Jews, in the latter day: hii 
sense seems to be this, that as Christ bore much, and cxerciEcd great lohg-inf« 
fering towards him, and at last shewed him mercy; so he would bear with, and 
shew much long-suffering to the people of the Jews, of which that towards hin 
was a pattern, and which should issue in their salvation, as it had in his; ^^hei 
all Israel shall be seved^ Rom. xi. 25. God's long-suiFering towards them \i 
very great and very remarkable ; as ic was towards him ; diough they are undei 
ihe marks of his displeasure, he hss not stirred up all his wrath, so as to cut then 
off from being a people ; but has reser^'ed them for future dmes, and good thingi 
for them, and waits ta>be gracious to them. 

II. The long-sufFcring of God is exercised towards the ungodly, even toward 
the vessels of wrath, whom he endures vrith much long-sufTcring, dll they an 
fitted to destructioHy Rom. ix. 22. and this appears by his supporting them in thei 
beings, non^ithstanding their grievous provocations of him ; which arc such 
that it is amazing he does not at once strike them dead, as he did Ananias an 
Sapphira; or that the earth does pot at once open and swallow them up, as i 
did Dodian and Abiram. This can be attributed to nothing else but to his pa 
tience, forbearance, and long-suffering : and by the muldtude of his mercies be 
stowed upon them, who have many of them, more than other men ; and whid 
are called the riches of his goodness jforbearancCf and long-suffering \ see Job xxi 
7—13.. Psal. Ixxiii. 4 — 7. Rom. ii. 4. and by granting to many of them theoul 
ward means of grace, which are despised and rejected by them ; aiKl by deferrin 
^ his judgments on them ; which, because they are not speedily executed, thei 
hearts are set in them to do evil; they are more and more hardened, and pro 

Book L or the goode^ess of god. 133 

themselves impunity in sin. Now the ends of God's thus dealing with 

Atokf are partly for his own glory; to shew bis wrath, and make his power 

known \ to vindicate him from all cruelty and injusrice, when he righteously 

executes his wrath, and exerts his power in chcir destruction : as in the instance 

af Fharaohy Rom. ix. 17, 22, and partly for tlic sake of his own people who 

dwcU aftiong them, that they may not suffer with them ; thus he would have 

iptied Sodom« had there been ten rigbceous men in it, for their sakes ; and he for* 

kvB Id take vengeance on those that have shed tlic blood of his saintSi until the 

amnber of hia elect, in like manner, is fulfilled ; and he spares a wicked world 

fiom being burnt up and destroyed, until all his chosen ones are brought to re* 

peatance, Gen. xviii. 32, Rev. vi, 11. 2 Pet. iii. 9. and another end is for their 

frikes, that they may be rendered inexcusable, and the execution of wrath on them 

athsty appear jusc and righteous, Rom. ii. x — 5. 

There are many instances of the patience, forbearance, and long-suflcring of 
God, with respect to the wicked ; as in the men of the old world, when the 
kog-sufiermg of God waited in the days of Noah, i Pet. iii. 20. see Gen. vi. 3. 
snd in die inhabitants of Sodom, daring sinners, who had first hints of God*s 
iqikaBore, yet had mercy shewn them, a respite for a while, and then destroy^ 
sd by fire jfirom heaven, Gen. xtii. 1 3. and xiv. 11,21. and xviii. 2 1 . and xix. 24* 
k Pharaoh, refusing to let Israel go, whom God had spared some time, begin- 
aingwitb lighter judgments, then executed heavier ones; and at last drowned 
Imd, and his host in the red sea, Exod. v. 2. and vii. &c. and xiv. 17— 28* in 
Ae people of Isiael, in the wilderness, whose manners God suffered and bore 
with, and was grieved with them forty years. Acts xiii. 1 8. in tlie Amorites and 
Canaanites, until their sin was full, and till the land itself would bear iliem no 
^ODgtT; but spewed them out of it, Gen. xv. 16. Lev. xviii. 28. in the Gciitile 
world, during their times of ignorance. Acts xvii. 30. in fruitless professors of re- 
ligion, signified by the barren fig-tree, Luke xiii. 6 — 9. and in antichrist, during 
the time of bis reign, ^nd no longer. Rev. ii. 21. and xiii. 6. and xviii. 8. 


Having treated of the love, giace, mercy, and long-suffering of God, it will 
be proper to take some notice of his gooodness, from wlicnce they all proceed ^ 
for diat God loves any of his creatures, in the manner he docs, bestows favours 
upon them, shews mercy to them, and bears much with them, is owing to the 
goodness of his nature. Hence one of his names and titles by which he is 
described and made known, is, that of Good; tAou^ Lord^ an goody Psal. Ixxxvi* 
5. and in many other places ; when God proclaimed his name before Moses, 
(his was one part of it, abundant in goodness^ Exod. xxxiv. 6. Philo says^, 
God is die name of ggodness. And our English word God seems to be a con- 

^ Leg. AUeg. U t. p. 74. 


traction of the word Good; or, however, is the same with the German 
and Godt; which came as is thought^, from the Arabic word Gada, wh 
signified; so that the German and English name of the divine Being, in 
mon use, is taken from the attribute of his goodness. The name die he 
give to their supreme deity, is optimus^^ the best; he being not only go 
they supposed, and better than others, but the best of beings. Our Jel 
the true GcJd, is superlatively good ; good in the highest degree, good bcy< 
conception and expression. Cotta in Cicero*, charges Epicurus, with 
away from God the pioperty of the best and most excellent nature, by d 
the grace and goodness of God; for what, says he, is better, or what is mc 
cellent, than goodness and beneficence? It is a common notion, Sallustius 
that God is good; and Simplicius^ calls him, the Qoodness of goodi 
Concerning the goodness of God, let the following things be observed: 

r. Goodness is essential to God; without which he would not be Gc 
is 'by natute good **. The evil god of Cerdon and Marcion, is not di 
God ; and this being wanting in heathen deities, whatever pretensions no 
made unto it, excludes them fi'om the claim of deity ; yea, goodness is its* 
nature and essence of God ; as he is love itself, wisdom itself, &c. so he is 
ness itself, and it is himself, it includes his whole nature and essence. 
God promised Moses that he would make all his goodness pass before \ 
was not a sini^Ie attribute only, which was proclaimed and made knowi 
the several attributes of mercy, grace, long-sufFering, truth, faithfulness, j 
and holiness, Exod. yxxiii. 19. and xxxiv, 6, 7. The goodness of God 
distinct from his essence ; for thea he must be compounded of that, and 1 
sencc ; which is contrarj' to his simplicity : he is good in and of himself, j 
his own essence; and not by participation of another; for if he was no( 
of himself, and by his own essence; but of and by another; then there ' 
be some being both better than him, and prior to him; and so he would 1 
the eternal God, nor an independent Being, since he must depend on that 
whence he receives hi? goodness; nor would he be the most perfect! 
since what communicates goodness to him, must be more perfect than h< 
which, to say of Gcd, is very unbecoming. It remains, then, that 
essentially good ; is so in and of himself, by his own nature and essence. 

II. Goodness only l>clongs to God; he is soldy good; There is none 
but one; that isy God\ is the assertion of Christ, Matt. xix. 17. which 
be understood not to the exclusion of the Son, and Spirit of God, who arc, 
the Father, the one GckI; and so equally good; but with respect to crea 
who are not of themselves indcrivatively and independently good; this \i 
true of God. Whatever goodness is in creatures, it is all from him, who 
them good originally; or put mto them, or bestowed upon them, what 

' Viil. Hinckclman. Przfat. ad Alkoran. 'Optimos maximuaquidemanteopttiiiuta 
bencHcrntifisiiniis qu^m maximus, Cicero de Natura Dcorum, I. 2. * Ibid. 1. i. propc 
'Dc Diis, c. 1. c Id £picte:um« ^mya^t^ ya^ )ry ^voii, Uierocies io Carmio. Pyihag. ] 


they have: \i'hat goodness there is in the elect angels, who never simied; 
wtut goodness was in Adam, in a state of innocence; \v!i-.'.t goodness is in any 
good man, who partakes of the grace of God, or is or wHl be in the saints in 
heaven, is all from God; every good and perfect gift Q)mcs from him ; nor have 
creatures any diing but what they receive from him ; he is the source and foun* 
tain of all, and therefore all goodness, originally, ultimately, and solely, is to 
be referred to God. 

III. God is the summum bonum^ he is t* aya^ovj as Plato calls him the Good '; 
the chiefest good; the sum and substance of all felicity. Unwearied have been 
Ae pursuits of men to attain this; but have always failed, when they place it or 
o^ect it in any thing out of God, and short of him: innumerable have been 
Ae sentiments of men about it. Solomon seems to have reduce.! them to these 
duee, wisdom, riches, and pleasure ; and he made an experiment of them, 
irhat happiness could be enjoyed in them, as far as a king, a wise man, and a 
food man, could go ; and when he had finished it, pronounced all vanity and 
Hxadon of spirit. God only can make men happy; he is the Father of mer- 
cies, the Fountain of all goodness, the Source of all felicity. There may be a 
ifaew of jiappiness in such and such outwarf] circumstances of life, some may 
be in, with respect to the above things; but there is no solidity in them; he is 
the only happy man whose Gcd Is the Lord^ Psal. cxliv. 12 — i;. wherefore 
good men, who are sensible of the vanity of the creature, and all creature-^en- 
]oyments, pant aftor him, and are importunately desirous of the enjoyment of 
him, and cannot be satisfied without him, placing all their happiness in him: 
whilst others are saying, Who will shew us any good? taking up their content- 
ment in worldly good; they say, Lordy lift thou up the light of thy countenance 
MpOH us ; which gives the greatest pleasure, joy, and satisfaction, that can be 
had, Psal. iv. 6, 7. and xlii. i. andlxxiii. 25. 

IV There is nothing but goodness in God, and nothing but goixlness coni'js 
from him; there is no iniquity in him, nothing evil in his nntuie, no unrij'hte- 
ousncss in any of his ways and works; he is light Itself; all purity, holiiiess, 
tnidi, and gocdnes; and in him is no darkness at all, of sin, erroi, rfnd igno- 
rance, I John i. 5. nor does any thing that is evil come from him ; he is not 
theautlior of sin, nor does he impel, nor persuade to it, nor tempt with it; 
but strongly forbids it, under pain of his displeasure, James i. 13, 14. indeed, 
his decree is concerned about it; for it could not be, he not willing it by his 
pemiis&ive will; but then, though he suffers it to be, he overrules it for good; 
as in the case of the selling of Joseph, Gen. 1. 20. the evil of punishment of sin, 
orof a£3ictioo, is from God: in this sense there is no evil in a ciiy^ and the 
Lord hath not done itj Amos iii. 6. but then punishment of sin is a gcod, as it 
ii a vindication of die honour of divine justice, and of tlie righteous law of Cjod ; 
and the affliction of the people of Gpd is for their good; and all evil things of 
that kind work for tlicir good, bothi here and hereafter. 

' Dc Republic!, I, 6. p. 6S7. 


V. God IS infinitely good: as his nnderstandingy wbdom, knowledge, aof 
odier perfections of his, are infinite; so is his goodness ; he is abundant in k} 
it is so great* tliat it cannot be said hdw great it is ; finite minds camioC com-' 
))rehend it; the height, depth, length, and hrebdth of it, are unmeaauraMe ; ic 
knows no bounds nqr limits ; it is so perfect that nothing can be added to ir: &i9 
goodness of a creature extends net to God, nOr is it capable of comamnicatii^ 
any to him, who hath first ^iven to him^ &c. Rom. xi. 35, 36* 

VI. God is immutably and eternally good ; the goodness of treaturet b 
but as the monung cloud, and early dew, which soon passed away; 6l 
which there has been instances in angels and men: but the goodness of God ii 
invariably the same, and endures continually; and tiiough there has been, mk 
are, such lai^ communications of it to creatures, it is thosame as ever, Hoi 
lemains an inexhaustible fountain. 

▼IX. The goodness of God is communicative and diffusive ; he is good, and 
he does good ; " the whole eaith is full of his goodness," Psal. cxix« 68. aal 
xxxiii. 5. there is not a creature but what partakes of it, more or less, in lomtf 
maimer or another; but then it is communicated according to his sovereign will 
and pleasure. A heathen writer^ argues the goodness of God from the existenietf 
of die world ; since it is by die goodness of God the world iS} God must be al-* 
ways good. 

viti. This attribute of goodness belongs to each divine person, Fadier, Soii» 
and Spirit ; when Christ says, as quoted above, there Is none gooJy hut ^ne, thai 
fj, GoJ^ it is to be understood not of God personally considered, or of one 
person, to the exclusion of the other; but of God essentially considered: and 
die design of Christ was, to raiscf the mind of the ycung man to whom he spoke, 
to an higher opinion of himself than what he had; even of him, not as a mere 
man, whom, as such, he called good ; but as the true God, to whom this epithet^ 
in its highest sense, only belongs : and it is predicated of the Father, 2 Chron. 
XXX. 18. of Christ, John x. 1 1* and of the Spirit, Nehem. ix. 20. Psal. cxliii, la 
and they must, indeed, in the same sense, be good, since diey partake of ontf 
common undivided nature and essence, I John v. 7. 

The goodness of God, with respect to the several objects of it, may be con- 
sidered as general and special ; in like manner as his love and mercy. There 
is the general goodness of God, which is as extensive as his mercy ; Tike Lord 
is good to ally and his tender mercies are over all his works ^ Psal. cxlv. 9* All 
creatures are made by God, and as they came from him, they are all very good; 
there is a goodness put into diem, whereby they become good and beneficial to 
others, and especially to men : there is a goodness in inanimate creatures, in die 
metals and minerals of the earth ; in the luminaries of the heavens, the siin^ 
moon, and stars ; they are pleasant, good to look at, their form, magnitude, 
and splendor: they are profitably good; by their light they diemselves are seen; 
and other objects; by this men see to walk and work, and do the several 

Book I. or TH£ 6oodn£Ss ot Gob« 137 

of life; and through their kind and benign influences shed on 
earthy many precious fruits are bruoght fonh, and the advantages of them 
rfl men share in ; God mates fits sun to rise on the evil and on the goody Alatt. v. 45. 
which is one great instance of his general goodness. In the vegetable creation 
diere is a large display of the goodness of God ; some herbs, plants, and trees^ 
being good for medicine, others for food, both for the cattle of the field, and 
for die service of men, Psal. civ. 14, 15. Among the animals, some are foi^ 
one u«e, and some for another, and many are meat for men ; and even every 
creatnre of God is good, and to be received with thanksgiving, i Tim. iv. 4. 
and all creatures, both men and beast, partake of the goodness of God in the 
jAmeivJti on of them, Psal. xxxvi. 6. i Tim. iv. 10. and in the provision of 
fdod for them, Psal. civ. 27, 28, andcxlvi. 15, 16. andcxlvii. 8. Acts xiv. 16, 17. 
aiklxvii. 25, 28* I Tim. iv. 8. 

There is indeed a difference made by God, in the distribution of his general 
^bodness, in die effects of it ; which arc not imparted to all creatures alike* 
God gives more of his goodness to men than to brutes ; since he gives them 
xtawatk and understanding; whereby they become more knowing, and to be 
wiser than die beasts of the field, and the fowls of the heavens. Job xxxv. 1 1. 
and angels have a greater share of his goodness than men ; who excel as in 
strei^th, so in wisdom and knowledge ; hence man is said to be made a litde 
lower than the angels, Psal. viii. 5. and some men have a greater share in the 
general and providential goodness of God than others ; either have larger en- 
dowments of mind, are the wise and prudent of the world; or have more come- 
liness, strength, and health of body ; or are possessed of greater wealth and 
liches, Eccles. ix. 11. 

The special goodness of God, as to the effects of it, elect angels, and elect 
men» only partake of, which is sovereign and distinguishing -, God is good to 
the elect angels, in choosing them in Christ, preserving them from apostacy, 
confirming them in the estate they were created in, granting them nearness to 
himself) and many other peculiar favours ; when the angels diat sinned are not 
spared by him, but arc reserved to judgment, i Tim. v. 21. i Pet. ii. 4. Elect 
men, the spiritual and mystical Israel of God, have a share in his special good- 
nfcss; truly God is good to Israel^ Psal. Ixxiii. i. and that in a very distinguish- 
ing manner, as he is not to reprobates ; the election hath obtained all the special 
blessings of goodness, grace here, and glory hereafter ; light, life, and happi- 
ness; while the rest are blinded, Rom. xi. 7. they are made to differ from odiers 
dxreby in time, and to all eternity; and yet among them there are different dis- 
plays of divine goodness in the present state ; some have greater spiritual gifts 
for usefulness than others; some liave larger measures of grace; though diey 
have all the same grace, yet not to the same degree; they have all alike preci- 
ous faidi, but in some it is weaker, in others stronger; and some have more 
firitual light in the gospel, and more spiritual peace and joy, and larger dis- 

VOL. I. T 


Likewise distrust of the power and providence of God* munnuring at it^ an^ 
complaining of it; which was often the case of the Israelites; and by which 
they provoked the Lord to anger; so perjury, false swearing, the taking the 
name of God in vain, and hlaiphcmy of ir; profanation of the Lord's day, and 
neglect of his word, worship, and ordinances : and not these only, but sin^ 
against the second table of the iaw^ are higlily displeasing to God, and resent- 
ed by him; as disobedience to parents, murder, adultery, ilici'r, false -witness, 
covetousness, and every evil tiling, see Ir^iii. v. 24, 25. Now "who knorMeik tii 
power of God's anger? Psal. xc. 11. notliing can resist it, nor stand Ix:fore it; 
not rocks and mountains, which are overiumed and cast down by it ; nor the 
mightiest monarchs, nor the proudest morials, nor the stoutest and adamantine 
hearts; none can stand before God when once he is angry, Job ix« 5, I3« 
Psal. Ixxvi. 7. Nahum i. 6. 

II. 7I^<^ objects of the anger of God, or on whom it is exercised. God is 
angryivitk the wicked every dciy^?sdX. vii. ll. because they are daily sinnuig 
against him; tlicir whole lives are one continued scries and course of wickedj* 
ness; all they do is sin; their very actions in civil life, the ploughing of chf 
wicked, is sin; and all their leligious services arc but spUndida peccaio, shin- 
ing sins, and so arc displeasing to God, and resented by him ; tlicir sacrifices, 
brought with a wicked mind, without a right principle, and a right end, are 
an abomination to him, Prov. xxi. 4, 27. being in the flesh, in an unregene* 
rate state, they cannot please God, nor do the things which are pleasing in his 
sight; being destitute of the grace of God, and paiticularly of faith; **witIiout 
which it is impossible to please him." These, though Ciod is angry with them 
continually, yet they do not always appear under the vihihle and public tokens 
of his resentment; the rod of God is not on them; nor aie they in trouble, as 
other men, aiul have more than heart can wish ; oiicntimos liuir families, tiacks 
and herds, increase; and they spend their days in hcalih, weahli, and plea- 
sure, Job xxi. 7 — 13. Psal. Ixxiii. 3 — 12. and seem as if tliey were the favour- 
ites of h.caven, and think themselves to be such. But ihoui'^h God is slow to 
anger, as he is often described, moves j-lowly to expicss his anger; yet he must 
inost certainly do it in the issue of things; and though men may promise them- 
selves impuniiy in sin, and fancy they shall have peace when they walk after 
the imagination of their evil hearts, and add sin to sin; yet at length God will 
not spare them ; but his anger and jealousy shall smoke against them, and all 
the curses written in the law shall come upon them, Deut. xxix. 19, 20. 

Moreover, God is angry with his own special people, holy and good men; 
"^'e read of his anger being kindled against Aaron and Miriam, for speaking 
against Moses; and against Moses and Aaron, for not sanctifying him beforo 
the children of Israel ; insomuch that neither of them were admitted to enter the 
land of Canaan; and against David, Solomon, and otliers, for sins committed 
by them. And this is not at all inconsistent with the love of God unto them: 
anger is not opposite to love^ there may be anger in the nearest and dearest rela* 


tivcs; and where there is the most aiFjcrloD^.tc rej^ard to e:*ch ofher. the anger 
i>f Jacob was kindled Ligaiiist his beloved R irfK-l; jl f.uaer irsiv be an;jry willi 
his son, and chastize him for a fjiuU, and vc-r Jciirly lovo hin; dvA ii son may 
be angry with a father, as Jonachaii \v:is witii S'lui, vet bcirii true fiiial affirc- 
tion for him. God loves his pef)plc wit'i an cvori.iscing iuiJ iinchangcabic love, 
and never ahers and varies in ic; and yei may Ik- an^rj « , iluz is, displeased with 
them, and shew his resentment at sin coniirirted \ty liicin, by his chastizen^enc 
of them, and still continue his love to them; ff.r even tliat is done in lovst Bed- 
sides, tlie anger of God towards tiiem, is often oidy in (IkIi si:nso and appr&- 
hension of it ; when God goes fordi towards iliem, in some dispensations of his, 
which are not agreeable to them, they i oikIiuIl- Ik i> :iiie,ry with ihein; and 
when these dispensations are varied, then thvv Mi|>posi \\U an>;er is turned away 
from them, Isai. xii. i. so when lie iiides his i\n:c from them, and unbelief 
prevails, they intcrprete it, putting them t'l^^^lv in aiK;er, and shutting up h\$ 
lender mercies in anger, Psal. x:^vii. 9. and Ixxvii. g. wiien he seems to tuni a 
deaf ear to their prayers, and docs not give an im.^iediiicc answer to tbcm; tliis 
they call being angry against the prayer of his peojilo, I'scd. Ixxx. 4. and whea 
he afflicts tliem, in one way or anotlier, then tiney apprehend he comes forth 
ID anger against them; and ^'they have no soundness in their tiesh, Ixxausc of 
hb anger; n6r rest in their bone<i, because of tlieir sirs,'' Psal. xxxviii. j. but 
when he takes ofFhis afRi<.'ting hand, grants his graci^ius prc^^cnce, and manir 
fests his pardoning love and grace, then they conclude ho has turned himself 
from the fieiccncss of his anger, Psal. l::x>.v. 2, 3 now (his anj^nrent anger, or 
appearance of anger, endiocs but for a rr'-m-nt, I 'sal. xxm. 5. a veiy ^hort 'ipaoe 
of time indeed; though Gtxl hid.-^s his r-jc* thuii liis ;x\ •;)!<% auu ciiides 
for tlieir sins; yet he does not keep nn^cr tor c\ei-: tliis is ihc aiicriou l»y which 
he is disiinguisiied from otlier ^;, in thnt he urjins ijct his ani u foi ever, 
because he deligheih in mercy, P ah ciii. 9. Mic. vii. I'i. a\1\\ :;\ titir. the an^ver 
of God towards his people, dilfeijj tn m iiis ?-iic,cr to \\ icked ir.jii, Miu.e the one 
ib but for a moment, and the irCnu \?. roiiriinial. 

II. The Wiath of God is ticluut of h'lsrrca* unvn,, Dcut. xxlw 2 J., ic is h's 
anger not oi;ly kindlal and incen.icd, hut l>l(jwn up into a iLune; it ib the iiidi;>;- 
nationofhis anger, tlie fury, and herceness of ii, l>ai. \\\. 3."). \\\A xiii. 2^. 
Hos. xi. 9. and it seems to be no ether tJian his puniiive Justice, d:Ki includes 
his will to punish sinners according; to die demerit of thvui sins in strict ius-ice; 
his threaten! ngs to do it, and the actual execution of it; which is die ven;Vw«nce 
^hat belongs to him and he will rccomponce ; even his vindictive wiat!;, or Vi \\\\^^ 
ful judgment; What if God wiling to shew his vjiathy &.c? Rom. ix. 22. Tiic 
wrath of God may be considered, 

I. As temporary, or what is executed in the present life ; of which there have 
i^n many instances and examples, and diere will be more ; and a brief re« 
view of them will give a more enlarged idea of the wrath of God. Not to take 
Qocice of the apostate angels, whom God has cast down to hcU; wh^re, though 

142 or THE WRATH OF GOft. 

thrv niav not be in full tonncnt, vr,t ar- dreadful inr^tancrs of the wrzxh, of God 
ag'iinfit sin; since not one of them hivr been '^paicd, or have shared in pardon- 
in-:; grace and mercy. I rhiU only ob?;cr\'e what examples of it have been, or 
will bcj among n?rn. TTie first instance of it is in the condemnation of Adam, 
and all his potterif/, for the firct sin and for only one single sin of his. How 
great must that sin be ? what sitifulness must tliere be in it ? how gready must 
the divine Being be incensed by it ? in that, for it, he has caused «::eath, that is, 
his wrath to pass 5cntentiaUy on him, and all his offspring; so that, in conse--' 
quence of it, all the children of Adam arc the cliildren of God's wrath. The 
next i<; the drowninr of the old wond, when full of violence and corruption ; so 
that God repented he had made mau in it, and it grieved him to the heart; and 
in his wrath he determined to destioy man and beast in It ; and which he did, 
by bringing a flood on the world of the ungodly. Then follows another, 
though not so general; but limited and restrained to a part of the world; the 
cities of Soilom and Gomorrah, and others of the plain ; whose inhabitants be- 
ing notorious sinners, provoked the eyes of God's glory 10 such a degree, that 
he rained (ire and brimstone from heaven upon tbem; and set them a& an ex* 
ample and emblem of mens suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. The plagues 
inflicted on the Egyptians, for not letting Israel go, when demanded of them, 
is another instance of the wrath of God; for by inflictfhg these on them, he 
not only made a way to his anger, to shew it forth, as the Psalmist says ; btit^ 
as he also obseives, "he cast upon them the fierceness of his anger, wrath, in- 
dignation, and trouble," Psal. Ixxviii. 49, 50. The children of Israel them- 
selves, often provoked the Lord to wrath; and brought it down upon them, 
for their sin j ; as at Horeb, when they made the calf; at Tabcrah, Massah, 
and KiSicrh-hattaavah, whcr- thcv murmured against the Lord, Deut. ix. 8—22. 
as they did likewise at the report of the spies, concerning the land of Canaan; 
when "G(;d swove in hi"- wrarh, they thoiiid i^.ot enter into Ills rest." And 
again, upon the affair of Korah, and his accomplices, when wrath went forth 
from tliC Lord, and the plague be2;an. Numb. xiv. 23. and xvi. 46. Witness, 
also, tlieir several captivities; particularly their cnptivity in Babylon, through 
tneir mocking at, and misuse of the prnph^.ts of the Lord; so that \\Tath aro&c 
against them; and there was no remedy; and their last captivity, and dcstruc-r 
lion, by the Roiiians; when wrath came upon them to the uttermost; and 
under which wrath, and in which captivity they are to this day. Whenever 
tJie four sore judjTmcnts of God, the sword, famine, pestilence, and wild beasts, 
have been exercised in ttie world, as they often have been; they arc al- 
ways in wrath; and these with earthquakes, and such like uncommon events, 
are pre-significations, and fore-tokens of greater wrath yet to come; in a little 
while, the seven vials full of the wrath of God, will be poured forth on anti- 
christ, and on the antichristian states ; and the judgment of God will come on 
Babylon in one day. And when the end of all things is come, the earth, and 
all in it, will be burnt with fire, and the heavens melt away with fervent heat;- 

Book I. or THE WRATH OF GOD. I43 

die day of the Lord will bum like an oveiu and the wicked, like stuhble, will 
be burnt up by it, and will have neither root nor branch lefc : all which will be 
expressive of the great wrath of God. But there is no greater instmco of it, or 
what more fully demonstrates it, than what our Lord Jesus Christ suffered an;! 
endured as the Surety of his people, in their room and stead ; wheu, their sins 
being imputed to him, were found on him, and he was stricken for them; the 
3word of justice was sheathed in him ; the vindictive wratli of God was poured 
forth upon him, to the uttermost of the demerit of sin; God spared him not: 
how unconceivably great must his wrath be against sin, when God spared not 
in the least his own dearly beloved Son, but suffered him to be put to die most 
exquisite pain, both in body and soul, for the sins of his people ? 

II. There is the wrath of God thai is yet to come: the sciiptures speak of 
future wrath j wrath that will take place in the life which is to come; which, 
in part, commences at the death of wicked men ; and will be compleat at their 
resurrection from the dead, Matt. lii. 7. I Thess. i. 10. this is expressed by fire, 
dian which nothing is more intolerable; even devouring fire and everlasting 
fcamings, not to be endured; this is no other than die curse of the hw that is 
broken; which not only reaches to this life, but to that which is to come; it is 
the same with the second death ; which lies in a separation from God, and, in 
a sense of his hot displeasure; it is called hell and hcll-fire; the word for which, 
in die New Testament, is taken fi om Ge-hinnom, or the valley of Hinnom ; 
where the Jews burnt their children in sacrifice to Molech; and which place, 
from the beating of drums in it, that the shrieks of the children might not be 
lieard by their parents, was called Tophet; of whltli the prophet savs, as an 
emblem of hell-fiie, or the fiieof the divine wrath; Top/: it is ordahicH of old — 
the flit thereof h firiy and much wood: the brent h of the Lord^ like a itteam of 
br'tnhto/jey doth kindle it, Isai. xxx. 33. which is an awful re pre sen tii lion oi the 
wrath of God. And by whatsoever term this state of writli is expiesscd, it is 
always spoken of as whut will continue for ever: it is callcil (r»crlasii:ig fire, 
evcrbsting punishment > everlasting destruction, " the smoke of torjncni, that 
ascends for ever and ever;" and for the commencement of which, \i\ iis f'jll ox- 
teat, there is a day fixed, called, " the day of wrath, rn'l righteous jiidi^nv.-nt 
of God;" until which time God reser.cs wrath for his advd -rtrij:.; it Is laid wp 
in store with him, among hik treasures, and will he ever laying oni, ajid pour- 
ing forth. 

As to the objects of this wrath, sccin^r it is revealed ag^/mst 3.11 unrig!iteousn''Ps 
and ungodliness of men ; it lies against all tfiat are unria;hteoiiS and uii^otlly ; 
I and as all have sinned, and are under sin, all are children of'i.vrcth^ Epli. v. r^, 
Rom. i. 18. and iii. 9, 23. but there are some piiuiculaiiy de.^cribeJ, on whi^in 
tills wrath comes, and they are called children of nnob''d:e^icfy Kpjj. v. 5, (>. 
Col. iii. 5, 6. sucli who aic disobedient to the light of nature, relx;l against ii, 
and hold truth in unrighteousness, which that discovei's; and 50 as they sin wIjIi- 
outlaw, they peiish v/ithout law, K.01U. i, iB— -28- and u. r2. and vJk> ;»1.'.o 


arc (IJsDbedient to the Uiw of GoH, break it, and are convicted by it, as trans-i 
grcsnors, whom ii pronouncf s guilty , and is the m!in5tration of condemnation' 
an 1 death nnro tlicin ; :ind who are disobedient to the gosj>cl of Christ, obey noC 
the truth, but ol)cy uniic':hivV;u^r;es5, and arc slaves to theii sinful lusts and plea- 
sures; on those come inilI;."iPtion and \Vrrirh, tribulation and anguish; even on 
CATry soul of man that docs evil, 2 Tlicss. i. 8. Rom. ii. 8, 9. they are also ic- 
presented as unbeliever;; IJe that heUcvdh not the Sou^ shall not see lifc\ but 
the "jurath ',f Gzd abldiih on hhn : he tlvat d(K*3 not believe that Christ is the Son 
of God, that he is the Messiah and Saviour of men, the sentence of wrath, 
which the liw liar, pnescd on liim, ns a transgressor of that, remains; and since 
he denies ilivine n*wbnj)n, rejects the gospel-scheme, and disbelieves Christ aa 
a Saviour, and salyailoii by him, tliere is no help for him; wrath is on hirtii 
and ihat without remcdv, ii must abide: now it is not any sort of unbelief foi 
which this wraili is, arid abides; not ff>r that which is through the want of the 
means of faith, such as in heathens; for "how shall' they believe on him of 
whom thev have not heard?" Rom. x. 14, 17. nor which is through the want 
cf tlic special grace of faith, which is the gift of God, and peculiar to his elect, 
and which he only can give, and yet denies it; and which, witliout his grace 
vouchsafed, they can never have: but it is the disbelief of, the report of the gos- 
pel, by such who have the opportunity of reading and hearing it, and yet either 
attend not to the evidence of it; or, notwithstanding that, reject it; they receive 
not the record God has riven of hir. Son, and so make him a liar, than which 
nothing is more provoking to wrath, i John v. 10. This was the case of the 
Jews of old, John iii. 19. and is of the deists of the present age. In shon, the 
wrath of God comes upon nicn either for the sins against the light of nature, or 
against the law of God, or against the gospel of Clirlst. 

There are some on v.hom no wrath comes here, nor hereafter; who are the 
vessels of mercy, afore-prepared for glory: concerning whom Jehovah says, 
Jury IS not in me ; and to whom he is all love, love itself, Isai. xxvii. 4. i John 
iv, 16. being sinners indeed, and transgressors of the law of God, they are 
children of iv rath as others j Eph. ii. 3. which phrase not only means that they 
are deserving of wrath, but that, as they are sinners, they are found guilty of 
it; and not only found guiltv, but are condemned unto it; they arc really under 
tlie sentence of wrath, condemnation, and death ; they are obnoxious to the 
curse of the law, which is no odier than the wrath of God; they are liable to 
it, and in danger of it ; and being so near it, hdw is it that they escape it, and 
are secured from it? They are secured from it by die decree of God, who has 
ap[>oInted them not to wrath, but to obtain saltation, i Thess. v. 9. which de- 
cree is unfrustrable by the oath of God, who has swore that he will not be 
wrath witii them, Isai. liv. 9. which is immutable: by the suretyship-engage- 
ments of Christ for them, to bear it in their room; and till that was done, God 
foibjie to execute the sentence; called the forbearance of God, Rom. iii. 25. 
by Clurist's actually bearing the chastizemcnt of their peace; by being made a 



Book I. Olf THE IlAtRED OF GOD« I45 

curse for. them, and enduring the wrath of God in their room ; whereby he de- 
livered them from wrath to come, Psal. Ixxxix. 38. i Thcss. v. 10. and bv his 
Tightcoustiess imputed to them, through which, being justified, they are saved 
from wrath, Rom* v. 9. though even these persons may have, at ilnics, sonic 
apprehensions of the wrath of God ; as, particularly, under first awakenings, 
and convictions of sin ; when the law works a sense of wrath in tliem, and 
leaves in them a fearful looking for of judgment, and fiery indignation; when 
they flee to Christ, from wrath to come, and say, " Lord, save us, or we 
perish;" and afterwards, when under the hidings of God's face, or his afflicting 
hr&nd is upon them, they imagine tliat tlic wrath of God lies hard upon them, 
arid his fierce wrath goes o\cr tlicm, Psal. Ixxxviii. 7, i6. see Lam. iii. i. but 
in reality, there is no wrath comes upon them now; their afflictions and chas- 
tizements are all in love; and there will be no curse hereafter; but diey shall 
always see the face of God, and be '^ in his presence, where are fulness of joy^ 
and pleasures for evermore/* Rev. iii. 19. and xxii. 3, 4. 


1 h£b.e are some" that deny chat hatred belongs to God; or that he hates any 
&ing; and urge a passage in the book of Wisdom, chap. xi. 25. Thou lovest 
all beings, and hatcst none of these that thou hast made ; which is true of the 
creatures of God, as such ; for as they are made by him they are all very good; 
and arc loved, delighted in, and not hated by him. Nor is hatred to be consi- 
dered as a passion in hiin> as it is in men; who is a pure, active Spirit, and is 
solely agent, and not a patient; is not capable of suffering any thing: much less 
as it is a criminal passion, by whicli men, in their worst estate, are described, 
hateful^ and hating one afioihcr^ Tit. iii. 3. since he is a perfectly holy Being, 
and without iniqiiityi Yet the scriptures do, in many places, attribute to him 
hatred bodi of persons and things, Psal. v. 5. Zech. viii. 17. and most truly and 
rightly; and riiis may be concluded from love being in God, as has been shewn; 
though this is made use of as an argument against it, because opposite to it; 
but where there is love of any person or diing, there will be an hatred of that 
which is contrary to the object loved: thus good men, as they love those that 
are good, like themselves, and good things, so they hate that which is evil; they 
love God, the chiefest good; and they hate sin, the cliiefest evil, as diame- 
trically opposite to him, Psal. xcvii. to. Amos v. 15. So the righteous Lord, 
as he loves righteousness and righteous men, his people; as they are clothed in 
the righteousness of Christ, and found in the ways of righteousness ; so he hates 
unrighteousness, and unrighteous men; for to the Son of God be saith, thou 
hvtst righteousness^ and hatcst iniquity \ thercjore Gody thy God^ hath anointed 

* Aquinas contr. Gentiles, 1. j. c. 96. Vid. Franc ise. Silvester, in ibid* 
vol- I. U 



thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows^ Psal. xlv. 7. be5ide8, it is a vifttiei 
yea grace, in good men, to hate sin that dwells in them, and is comnlitted \r] 
them, as the apostle did, Rom. vii. 15. for without the grace of God it is not 
hated; and also to hate them that hate the Lord, as David did, and for the truth 
of which he appeals to God, Do not I hate thcm^ O Lord^ that hate thee f I 
hate them with perfect hatred^ Psal. cxxxix. 21, 22. Now if it Is a virtue, Of 
owing to the grace of God in them, that tliey do hate sin and sinners, then this 
must come from God, from whom all grace, and cverj' good gift comes; and 
consequently must be in him, in a higher degree, even in the most perfect man- 
ner ; to all which may be added, that hatred, when ascnbed to God, sometimes 
signifies no other than his will to punish sin and sinners, and his execution of. 
it, Psal. V. 5, 6. and so is an act of justice, of punitive justice \ And is Goduk- 
righteous^ who taketh vengeance f No ; he is righteous in tliat, as he is in all his 
^orks, Rom. iii. 5. For the further illustration of this point, I shall consider 
both what that is ; and who they arc God is said to hate. 

I. What this is he hates, i. e. sin. Tliis is consistent with his not hating 
any of his creatures for sin is no creature of his; he is not the author of 
sin; all the creatures he made were very good; but sin was not among tfaem; 
every creature of God is good, and not to be refused, rejected, and hated by 
snen ; as none are by God, as such ; but sin is not any of them. Sin must be 
hateful to God, since it is so contrary to his nature, to his will, and to his righ* 
teous law. All sin is an abomination to him ; but there arc some sins that are 
particularly observed as hated by him, as idolatry, Deut. xvi, 22. Jer. xliv. 3 — 5. 
perjurjs Zcch. viii. 17. all insincere and hypocritical acts of worship, Isai. i. 14. 
15. Amos v. 21. sins against the two tables of the law; as murder, which 
stands among the six things which God hates, Piov. vi. 16 — 18. fornication, 
adultery, community of wives; the deeds of the Nicolaitans he is said to hate. 
Rev. ii. 6, 15. theft, robbery, iapine, and violence of every sort; all kind of 
injury to tlie persons and properties of men, Psal. xi. 5. L^ai. Ixi. 8. and every 
evil tiling a man may imagine against his neighbour, Zecli. viii. 17. And all 
this is true of each of the divine persons. God the Father has shewn his hatred 
of sin by the judgments he has executed in castiijg down from heaven to hcU 
die angels diat sinned, driving Adam and Eve out of paradise, bringing a flood 
upon die world of the ungodly, mining fire and briiiistone on Sodom and Go- 
morrah ; with odier instances in following ages, and later ones ; and by die 
chastizements of his own people, when diey sin and transgress his law; but in 
nodiing more than by the condemnation of sin in die flesh of Christ, when he 
suffered in the room and stead of his people, as their Surety and Saviour; and 
so by the punishment of wicked men to all eternity. The Son of God has 
given sufficient pi oof of his loving righteousness, and hating iniquity, of whom 
diese diings are expressly said, Psal. xlv. 7. Heb. i. 8, 9. and are true of him 
as a divine person, and as Mediator, and as man; and diis he has done by in- 
vcigliing against the sins of the Je\y5 in his time; by his severe usage of the 


buyers andsellcn in the temple : and by his exhortations and thrcatenings to men 
to sin no more, lest worse tilings came unto them : and the Floly Ghost is not 
only grieved by the sinful actions and behaviour of men ; but may be vexed by 
them, so as to turn to be their enemy, and fight against them, Isai. Ixiii. 10. 
Which leads me to consider, 

II. Who they are that God hates. They arc sinners, workers of iniquity^ 
Fnl. V. 5. not men, as men, but as sinful men; and not all that sin, or have 
sin in tfaem ; tor then all would be hateil, for all have sinned in Adam, and by 
actual transgressions ; and none, even the best of men, are without it, Rom. 
ill. 23. X John i. 8. but workers of it, traders in it, whose whole lives are one 
continued series of sinning; to those it will be said, I never knew you; I lie* 
ver loved you, I always hated you ; depart from mc^ ye that work iniquity^ 
Matt. vii. 23. make a trade of it ; make it the business of their lives, continual-i 
ly and constandy commit it, John viii. 34. i John iii. 8, 9. and God is impartial, 
he hates all the workers of inic^uity ; and brings down his indignation and wratk^ 
triiulaiion and annuls Ay on every soul of man that does evily of the Jew firsts and 
elso of the Gentile^ Rom. ii. 8, 9. The scriptures speak of an hatred of some 
persons antecedent to sin, and without the consideration of it; which, though 
k may be attended with some difficulty to account for; yet may be understood 
in a good sense, and consistent with the perfections of God, and with what 
has been said of his hatred of sin and sinners; for thus it is said of Jacob and 
Esau, personally considered; Jacob have I lovedy hut Esau have I hated, Mai. 
i. 2. and which was before tlie one had done any good, or the other done any 
evil; as the apostle expressly says, Rom. ix. 11 — 13. The children not being yet 
borny neither having done any good or evil i that the purpose of Cody according to 
ejection^ might stand; net 0/ worts, but of him that calleth\ it was Miid unto her y 
to Rebekahy the mother of them, whilst they were in lier womb, tJiC elder shall 
^erve the younger ; as it is writtcny Jacob have I lovedy but Esau haw I hated. 
And what is said of these, is true of all the objects of election and non-election. 
And now let it be observed, that this hatred is to be understood, not of any po- 
sitive hatred in the heart of God towards them, but of a negative and comiiara- 
tive haired of them; that whereas while some are chosen of God, and preferred 
by him, and are appointed to obtain grace and glory, and to be brought to great 
dignity and honour; others are passed by, neglected, postponed, and set less by; 
which is called an hatred of them ; that is, a comparative one, in comparison 
of the love shewn, and the preference given to others ; in this sense the word is 
used in Luke xiv. 26. If any man hate not his fathery and mother y and wifcy 
and childreHy and breihreuy and sistersy yeay and his own life alsOy he cannot be 
my disciple: the meaning of which cannot be, that a man must have positivcL 
hatred of such near relations, and of his own life ; but diat he should be negli* 
g^t of diese in comparison of Christ; postpone them to him, set kss by them, 

have a less affection for them than him, and so prefer him unto them; in like 


148 or THE JOY OF GOD. 

sense arc we to understand the above expression concerning Esau, artd all re- 
probates: and that this may appear yet clear, it should be observed, that in 
this business there arc two acts of the divine will; the one is a will not to he- 
stow benefits of special goodness; not to give grace, nor to raise to honour and 
glory : and this God may do antecedent to, and without any consideration of 
sin; but act according to his sovereign will and pleasure ; since he is under no 
obligation to confer benefits, but miv bestow them on whom he pleases ; as' he 
himself says. Is it net linxjid for me to do %u/:at I wilt wil/i mine own f Matt. 

XX. ic. The other act of the divine will is, to ihflict evil; and that is always 

W • • • • • 

{orsin, and in consideration of it; for though sin is not the cause of the act of 

the will, it is the cause of the thing willed, which is not willed without the 
considcnition of it; they are tlie wicked God has made, or appointed ro the day 
of evil, and no other; ungodly men, whom he has fore-orJained to that con- 
demnation, vessels of wrath, titled for destruction by sin; on whom it is the 
•will of God to shew is wrath, and make his power known, Pn)v. xvi. 4. 
Jude 4. Rom. ix. 22. In the one act, hatred, or a denial of grace, is without tlic 
coTisiclenition of sin; in the other, hatred, or a will to punish, is with it; punish- 
ment being only willed for it: but then God never hates his elect in any sense 3 
they are always loved by him ; to which hatred is opposite : he may be an;^ry 
with them, and chastize them for their sins ; yea, he may, as he says, and as 
th -y apprehend, in a little wrath, hide his face from them ; but he never hates 
them ; though he hates tlicir sins, and s-uavs his resentment at them, he still 
loves them freely ; renews, and raises them up by repentance, when fallen into 
sin, and manifests and applies his pardoning grace to them, and never bcafis 
any hatred to their persons. 


Joy, which is often attributed to Go<l in the scriptures, bears some resemblance 
to the affection of joy in men; but is, by some philosophers'', denied of him; 
and, indeed, is not to be considered as a pai^sion in him, as in them ; and particu- 
larly, when in its height, or at an excess; as it is a transport of the mind, and 
carries it out of, and beyond itself, as it were ; as in the cases of Jacob, when 
the news of his son Joseph being alive were brought him ; and of the disciples^ 
when they heard of the resurrection of Christ, believed not for joy : and, indeed^ 
all aiTections tliat arc ascribed to God, are ascribed to him, not as in themselves^ 
but as to tlieir effects ; such and such effects being done by men, when so and 
so affected. Hence when similar ones are done by God, the like affections are 
ascribed to him; and this of joy is expressed by him in very different cfllrcts; as 
as in inflicting punishment, as well as in conferring benefits; in the one heie^ 
joices in the glory of his justice and holiness ; and in the other,, in the displays 

PSaUustius dcDiis, c, 14. Plato in Philebo, p. 384. 


of his grace and goodness; sec Deut. xxviii. 63. Though joy, as ascribed to 
God, seems to be no 6thcr than delight and complacency in persons and things; 
so some philosophers and schoolmen make chem to h? the same: or, however? 
take joy to be a species of delight; only they observe a difference, with rcsp^rct 
to brute anhnals, in whom there is delight, but not j<>y*^ ; it is also made a ques- 
tion with them^ whether delight is u, passi<;n? but my business with it is only as 
k concerns God, and is predicated of him ; and who may be suid, 

I. To rejoice and take delight and complacency in himself, in his own na- 
ture, and die perfections of it; in which there is an all-sufficiency, and so a ful- 
ness of content and satisfaction; and he rests infinitely well -pleased in himself. 
Hence Aquinas% who defines joy and delight a ccnain ipiietutioii, or rest of the 
will, in what is willed by it ; obser\*e$, that God must ^1 eatly rest quiet and sa- 
tisfied in himself, which is his principal volitum^ or what is w illcd by him, as 
having all-sufficiency in him, and therefore by his own will grcarly rcjaicx-s and 
delists in himself: and though he makes joy and d-^li j^ht in soine rcipcct to dif- 
fer; delight flowing from a good really conjoined, and joy being not only of 
that, but of something exterior; hence, liz says, it i> pliiiii God properly ccliglits 
in himself; but rejoices in himself and ouiers. So the Jews^ inteiprct i Chroa. 
xvi. 27. gladness in Kio place, of joy in himself. 

IX. He rejoices and takes delight and complacency in his works, Psal. civ. 31. 
In the works of creation, which, when he had finiSiied, he not only rested from 
diem, but rested in them, with deligiit in^d pltasure ; he looked them over, and 
pronounced them all very good; and he still appeals to have pleasure in them, 
by his continuance of them in ^;^lng, by upiioiamg all tilings by the word of his 
power: he rejoices and delights in tlic wor^s of his providence, in wiiich he is 
always concerned, John v. 17. ThCvSC, so far as they arc kncv/n by men, vieli 
an unspeakable delight and pleasuie in the contemplation of thctn : and especial- 
ly when they will be manifest; and though tiiey are now, many of them, un- 
searchable and past finding out, yet there is a dof.ih of riches, both of the wis- 
dom and knowledge of God in them ; but wliat delight must Ciod take in ttiem, 
being all according to his soverei;:;n will and pleasure: by whom they are seen 
and known in their beauty, harmony, arjd connection; and tfie springs and 
causes of them, and the several ends answered by them r God rejoices and cakes 
delight particularly in the great work of redemption, contrived by his infinite 
wisdom, and wrought out by his Son ; partly because of his own glory displayed 
dierein; as of bis love, grace, and mepcy, so of his truth and iaithfulness, holiness 
and justice; and partly because of the salvation of his pt;ople, secured thereby; 
a thing his heart was set upon from everlasting; what he resolved should be, and 
what he appointed them to: he rejoices and delights in his work of grace ou tlie 

lAquin. Sum. Th<olog. prinn 2 par. Quest 31. art. 3. & Avicnna io ibid. *^ Jbid. ait. i. 
k Aristot. apud ibid. ■ Coatr. Gentilci, 2. 1. c« 90. * J^« Joseph Albo 10 Scpher Uik«riu]| 
L t« c. 1^. 


hearts of his people; this is their beauty, evciithe beauty of holine&s which h* 
the king, greatly dtsires; by which they arc all glorious within, and well>plea 
ing in his sight; he delights in the graces which he himself, by his Spirit, h,\ 
wrought in them, and in the exercise of those graces, as drawn forth by hiv 
their faith, hope, love, fear, Sec. Ty:e Lord taketh pleasure in them that fear hi^ 
in those that hope in his mercy y Psal. cxlvii. 11. see Cant. iv. 9, 10. And ^ 
his people, as they arc his workmanship, his poem, curiously wrought by bic 
the works of his hands, in whom, and whereby he is glorified; he rejoices 
diem» and blesses on account of them, Isai. xix. 25. and Ix. 7,1, Wherefore 
III. He may be truly said to rejoice, delight, and take pleasure in his peofs 
iw he often is ; they are his Hephzibah, in whom he delights ; his Beulah, 
whom he is married; and therefore, as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, 
does the Lord rejoice over them, Psal. cxiix. 4. Isai. Ixii, 4, 5. not in all mes 
for there are some in whom he has no joy, vessels in whom he has no deUg 
and pleasure, Isai. ix. 17. and xxvii. 11. Mai. i. 10. but his special covena^ 
people, Jer. xxxii, 38-^41. and these not as creatures, and still less as sin ' 
creatures, either as considered in Adam, or in themselves, guilty and defile 
but as in Christ, in whom God is well pleased, and in all that are ia him 
chosen in him, and given to him ; so God the Father rejoiced in them frd 
everlasting ; for as his love to them, so his joy in them, is so early; it being 
love of complacency and delight ; and of which joy there are new expressic^ 
in conversion; see Luke xv. 7 — 24. And likewise the Son of God, was frc^ 
all eternity rejoicing in the habitable parts of the earth; and his delights wc 
with the sons of men, Prov. viii. 31. and which joy he felt under all his sorrow 
and suSeiings, when working out their salvation, Hcb. xii. 2. and which h 
expresses at their conversion ; that being the time of finding his lost people 
and, indepd, the day of his open espousals to them, and so of the gladness of h. 
heart, Luke xv. 3-— 5. Cant, iii: 1 1. and they will also be his joy, and crown c 
rejoicing, in the last day; ^hcn they shall be introduced into his presence, nc 
only with joy and gladness in themselves, but with it in him, who will prcser 
them before his Father and himself, with exceeding joy, Psal. xlv. 13, i^ 
Jude 24. and this joy over them, both in him and his divine Father, is to d 
them good, and issues in it ; to bestow benefits upon tliem, grace here, and glor 
hereafter; to beautify them with salvation; to make them prosperous, especial! 
in spiritual things, in which prosperity he takes pleasure ; and in making a 
things work together for tlieir good, Jen xxxii. 41. Psal. cxlix. 4. and xxxv. 9 j 
which joy is full ; there is a redundancy, an overflow of it; it is hearty and sic 
cere, is the strength and security of the saiatSi and will remain for cvei 
Nehem. viii. 10. Zeph. iii. 17^ 



Raving considered diose attributes of God which bear a likeness to aflections 
in men; I proceed to consider those which in them may be called virtues; as 
lidinessy justice, or righteousness, truth, or faithfulness; I shall begin with 
Ac holiness of God. And shew, 

L Tliac it is in God, that it belongs to him, and what it is. The scriptures 
most abundantly ascribe it to him ; he is very frequently called //0/y, and the 
Mj One; this title he takes to himself, Isai. xl. 25. Has. xl. 9* and is often given 
Urn by others, angels and men ; and, indeed, without liolincss he would not be 
that perfect being he is; unholiness is the imperfection of every rational being 

~ in whom it is; it is what has made angels and men both impure and imperfect; 
and since no men, even the best, are without sin; therefore none are in tliem- 
selves perfect. But as for God, his ways and works are perfect, and so is his 

* nature; being just and true, and without iniquit>', Deut. xxxii. 4. Holiness is 
^ purity and rectitude of his nature ; whose nature is so pure, as to be without 
q)ot or stain, or any thing like it: he is. light and purity itself, and in him is no 
darkness or impurity at all ; as " he is of purer eyes than to behold iniquitj'," so 
he is of a purer heart and mind than to have one sinful thought in it: his 
diocghts are not as ours ; he is the pattern of purit)' and holiness, and to be 
copied after: men should be holy, as and because he is holy ; it is one of die 
imitaMe perfections of God, in which he is to be followed; diough it cannot be 
attained to, as it is in him, Lev. xi. 44, 45. and xix. 2. i Pet. i. 15, 16. 

Holiness is an essential artiibute of God; it is his nature and essence; it is 
himself; he is holiness itself; " he swears by himself, because he can swear by 
no greater;" and he will not swear by any less, and yet he swears by his 
holiness, Heb. vi. 13. Psal. Ixxxiy. 35. Amos iv. 2. and vi. 8. which places 
put and compared together, shew that the holiness of God is himself; and it has 
hcen thought to be not so much a particular and difninct attribute of itself, as the 
*ustre, glory and harmony of all the le^t; and is what is called tie beauty of the 
Lordf Psal. xxvii. 4. as it is the beauiy of the good angels, and of regener^Cxi 
n}cn; and, indeed, what is wisdom or knowledge, without holiness, but craft 
and cunning? or what is power, without it, but tyranny, oppression, and 
cmeliy? but God is glorious in hoUneis^ Exod. xv. 1 1. this gives a lustre to ail 
his pcrfeaions, and is the glory of them ; and therefore none of them are or can 
he exercised in a wrong manner, or to any bad purpose. And as it is his 
nature and essence, it is infinite and unbounded; it cannot be greater than it 
w, and can neither !;e increased nor diminished ; when, therciore, men are ex- 
horted to sanctify the I^ord, and are directed to pray that his name may be 
hallowed, or fjanrrified, Isai. viii. 13. Matt. vi. 9. the meaning is not as if he wjs 
to bi', or prood l)e made more holy than he is; but that his holiness be declared, 
maiiifciicd, and celebrated more and more; it ir. so perfect that uorhiiig can i:< 


afWcil to It. Al^^ a*: ir is: his nature :inJ cs^cnce, it is immutable nni invariable; 
the hoh'nc« of a cr^'aturc is chrmjrcahle. as die holiness of augcIs and men; 
uhi:h has npp^Mral hv the apost^ny r/' i|ic one, and thf faJl of the other; 
and the holiiiCNS of saints, t]ioii'»h its prir:iple is the same, the acts and 
exercises arc varirblc. I?iit God is .il\v:ivs the same holv Being:, without anv 
variableness, or sh.idow of turninc^. He is orii;inally holy, he is so in and 
of himself, and of no othrr; ilierc is nojie prior and superior to him, from 
whom he could derive or receive anv holiness; as his Being is of himself, so is 
his holiness, which is hirtis«lf : the holiness of angels and men is not of them- 
selves, but of God; he in the fonnnin of holiness to all rational creatures that 
partake of it; it is pecuJiar to him, yra, only in him ; Hannah says, in her song, 
Thert is none holy as the Lord^ i Sun. ii. 2. In another song yet to be sung, 
die song of Moses and of die Lamb, it is said, fFho shall not fear thetj O Lord^ 
and glorify thy name? for thou cn!x art hdy^ Rev. xv. 4. The holiness of crea- 
tures is but a shadow of holiness, in comjiarison of tlie holiness of God; the 
holy angels are chargeable with folly in his sip^ht, and they cover their faces with 
their wings, while they celebrate the j>erfcction r»f God's holiness; as conscious 
to themselves, that theirs will not l)earto be compared with his, Job iv. 17, 11. 
Isai. vi. 2, 3. God only is essentially, originally, underivativcly, perfectly, and 
iinmtitabty holy. 

This must be undersiotKl not of one iwr.son in the Deitv, to the exclusion cf 
the rest; as nc^t of tlie Spirit, i"iiouj;h lie is pec uliarly called the Holy Ghost, and 
the Holy Spirit, vet not to the exclusion ot the Fadicr and Son; so not of die 
Father, to the exclusion of the Son and Spirit; for as thev are the one God, 
who is a Spirit, diey partake of the same common and undivided nature, and adl 
die perfections of it, and of this with the rest. Hence, we read of the holy 
Elohim, OT divine Persons, in the plural number; and of the holy ones, the holy 
Father, the holy Son, and the holy Sj)irit, Josh. xxiv. 19. Prov. xxx. 2. Dan« 
iv. 1 7. And no doubt respect is had to the holiness of die three divine persons, 
b\ the seraphim, when thty said, hoh\ holy^ hoh^ Lord God of hosts! Isai. vi. 3. 
and by the four l)easts, or living creatures, continually employed in the same 
divine service, celehniing the pcifections of God in much the same language* 
saying, /'s/v, holy^ holy^ Lord God Jlmi^hty! Rev. iv. 8. As there is no doubt 
made of the i^city of the Father, there can be none of his holiness: our Lord 
addresses him under the relation of Father, and inider the epithet of holy Father^ 
John xvii. 11. and all that has been said of the holiness of God belongs to him ; 
of which there can be no question made : and it is as true of the Son as of the 
Father ; for as the Father is the holy Father, he must be the holy Son, since 
he is of the same nature, and is " the brightness of his Father's glory, and the 
express image of his person ;" and as die Father is of purer eyes than to behold 
iniquity, so is the Son; as the Father loves righteousness and hates iniquity, 
this is expressly said of the Son, Heb. i. 8, 9. he is eminently called ''*• the holy 
one of God," Psal. xvi. 10. and " die holy one of Israel," more than thirty 
times in the prophecy of Isaiah: and particularly is so called along with tlie 

BookT. or the holiness of cod. 153^ 

tidet of Redeemer and Husband, which are peculiar to the second Person, the 
the Son of God, the Redeemer of his people, and the Husband of his church, 
baL xlvii. 4. and liv. 5. yea, he is called the most holy, who was anointed with 
die Holy Ghost above his fellows, and ^* having the Spirit without measure,*' 
Dan. ix. 24. die tide of holy he takes to himself when addressing the churchy 
which is an emblem of die purest state of the church militant on earth, the 
cknich of Philadelphia; TAese things saith he that is holy^ Rev. iji. 7. Nay, 
Ae devil himself gives it to him ; / know thee^ who thou art, the holy One of Godf 
Luke iv. 34. Besides, Christ is not only holy in his human nature, even per- 
fectly sO| and sanctified and set apart to his office as Mediator, by his Fathers 
lor which office holiness is a necessaiy requisite and qualification; but he is the 
Fountain of holiness to his church and people; they are sanctified in him and by 
Urn ; he is made sanctification to them, and all the holiness, or holy graces that 
are in diem, are all from him, John i. 14, 16. which could not be, if he was 
not holy, and even holiness itself. And as for the blessed Spirit, the third Per- 
MB in the Deity, the epithet of holy is commonly given to him, as before ob» 
sened; and very truly, since he is of the same nature with the Father and the 
Sod; and jo he is holy by nature and essence, and as appears by his graces^ 
opcratjoiis, and influences; and by his being grieved, speaking after the manner 
of men, with the sins and impurities of men; the reason of which is, because 
tbry aie so contrary to his pure and holy nature, that he cannot bear them, but 
eap ic tscs his dislike and displeasure at them, Eph. iv. 29, 30. And all this will 
be itill more clear and manifest, by considering, 

n. The instances wherein and whereby the holiness of God is displayed, 
which are his works, and actions, and proceedings towards his creatures; God 
it h^ in all his works \ or his holiness is manifest in them, and by them, 
Pial. cxlv. J 7. 

I. The holiness of God the Father; which is visible, 

I. In the works of creation; for as he made all things by his Son, not as an 

instrument, but as co-efficient with him, so when he overlooked them, he pro* 

nounced them very good ; which he woukl not have done, had there been any 

thing impure or unholy in them. Angels, not only those that stood, but tliose 

diat fell, were originally holy, as made by him; the elect angels continue in die 

holiness in which they were created; and the angels that sinned are not in the 

estate in which they were at their creation; they kept not their first estate^ which 

was an estate of purity and hohness; and abode not in the truths in the 

uprightness and integrity in which, they were formed, Jude 6. John viii. 44* 

And as for man, he was made after the image, and in the likeness of God, 

which gready consisted in holiness ; a pure, holy, and upright creature he was ; 

and had a law given him, holy, just, and good, as the rule of his obedience, and 

which was inscribed on his heart; some remains of which are to be found in 

his fallen posterity, and even in die Gentiles. 

a. In hb works of providence; which, though many of them are dark and 



intncate, not easily penetrated into, and to be accounted for; yet tfiene is noAing 
criminal and sinful in them : the principal diing objected to die holiness of God 
in his providences, is his sv&ring sin to be in the world; but dien, dumgh kil 
by his voluntary permission, or permissive will, yet he is neither die aodior nai 
abettor of it; he neither commands it, nor approves of it, nor peisnades to iCji 
nor tempts nor forces to it; but all the reverse, forbids it, disapproves of iti 
dissuades from it, threatens to punish for it, yea, even chastizes his own peopU 
for it; and, besides, over-rules it for great good, and for his own glory; as du! 
fall of Adam, the sin of Joseph's brethren, the Jews crucifixion of Oirist; 
which have been instanced in, and observed under a former attribute ; wheiefeie 
die diq>ensations of God, in his providence, are not to be charged vAb 
vnholiness on this account. 

3. In diose acts of grace which are peculiar to him; as in choosing some ift 
Oirlst his Son to eveiiasting life, before the woild began. Now thou^ not At 
holiness of die creature, nor even the foresight of it, is the cause of diis act; yet 
holiness, or the sanctification of the Spirit, is fixed as a means in it; andit btb^ 
will of God, diat diose whom he chooses and appoints to salvation, should f^ 
take of it, or come to salvation through it; nay, he has not only diosen AeOi 
through it, as a means, but he has chosen them to it, as a subordinate end; \t 
has chosen them to be h(dy in pan, in diis life, and perfectly in the life to coati 
and holiness of heait and life, is the evidence of interest in it, and nodiiog iMti 
powerfully excites aud engages to it. The covenant which he has made irid* 
his Son Tesus Christ, on the behalf of the chosen ones provides abundandy for 
their holiness, both internal and external; see Exek. xxxvi. 25 — 27. and die 
promises of it serve greatly to proinote it, and to influence the saints to be " per- 
fecting holiness, in die fear of God," 2 Cor. vii. i. And in this covenant is 
laid up a rod of correction, in love, to chastiste widi it the sins of God's people, 
Psal. Ixxxix. 29 — 34. Justification is an act of God's grace towards them; it 
is God, even God the Father, that justifies, through the imputation of his Son'i 
righteousness to them ; by which the holy law of God is so far from being mad( 
void, diar it is established, magnified, and made honourable: nor are jusrifiei 
persons exempted from obedience to it, but are more strongly bound and con 
strained to serve it ; and though God justifies the ungodly, yet not widiout 1 
righteousness provided for them, and imputed to diem : nor does he jusdfy, vin 
dicate, or appiove of their ungodliness, nor connive at it ; but turns it from dien 
and diem fix)m that: and faith, which receives die blessing of justification froc 
the Lord, by which men perceive their interest in it, and enjoy the comfort of 11 
is an operative grace, woiks by love to God, to Christ, and his people ; and 1 
attended with good worics, die fruits of righteousness : the like may beofavervc 
widi respect to odier acts of die Fadicr's grace ; as adoption, paidon, &c 

II. The holiness of the Son of God. This is to be seen in all his worfcs; i 
the works of crcarion and providence, in common widi his divine Father; an 
in all his works of grace; in giving himself to sanctify his church, and make 
a glorious one, widiout spot or wiinkle, dirovgh his blood and righieousn^ss 


io-ndeenuiig his people from all iniquity, to purify diem to himself a peculiar 
ipple; in bearing their sins, and making satisfaction for them, that they might 
Kire uoto rig^tfeousness, and that the body of sin might be destroyed, Eph. v. 
15,47* Tit. ii. X4. I Pet. ii. 24. Rom. vi. 6. and so in the execution of all his 
^Scei; as a. Prophet, he has appeared to be an holy one; die faidi delivered by 
lyoitp the saints, is a most holy faith, v^holesome words, doctrines according to 
godliiitss: as a Priest, he is holy and harmless, separate from siimers, and has 
fffoGd U|i hioiself without spot to God; and though he makes intercession for 
tpugjKssQrSy it is upon the foot of his sacrifice and righteousness; as a King, 
d|hjs aAninistrations are in purity and righteousness: and his laws, commandp, 
loi onlinano^ are holy ones ; and when he comes as judge of the world, he will 
qpear without fin, and **• judge the workl in righteousness." 

III. Tbc holiness of die blessed Spirit. This is visible in the formation of the 
Inaa nature of Chiist; in separating that mass out of which it was framed in 
^ viigini ia sanctifying it,' and preserving it from the taint and contagion of 
^l^g;fiBL«in; ia filling the human nature, when formed, with his holy gifts and 
fic^ and that without measure; and dirough him it was offered up without 
fo^f 4od he was declared to be the Son of God with power, by the Spirit of ho* 
Ipsy ^irough the resurrection from the dead. Moreover, his holiness is ma- 
|i$B|C ia due sancdfication of the chosen of God, and the redeemed of the Ltamb, 
wbiA 19 dierefore called, the sanctification of the Spirit j 2 Thess. ii. IJ. Z Fbt. 
i 9. ia «0|xviiicii;]g them of sin, of the evil nature and just demerit of it ; in con« 
yeningditni from it; in calling them with an holy calling, and to holiness; in 
ioplattdng principles of grace and holiness in them ; in purifying their hearts by 
faith, d^ough t}>e sprinkling of the blood of Jesus; in leading them in die wa^ 
9fholij9(SSB, ip which men, though fools, sliall not err ; and in carrying on, and 
pcffecong the work of sanctification in them, ^' without which none shall see 
the Lord." 


CpKCEk^JJNO this attribute of God, I shall she^', 

L That it docs belong to him, and is natural and essential to him. The 
sciiptuies abundantly ascribe it to him : all rational creatures, angels and men, 
good and bad, acknowledge it in him, Rev. xvi. 5. Exod. ix. 27. Jer. xii, 1. 
ban. ix. 0. Psal. cxlv. 7. and remove all unrighteousness from him, and afHrm 
dierc is none in him, Psal. xcii. 15. Rom. ix. 14. And, indeed, without this 
^bute, he would not be fit to be the governor of the world, and the judge of 
the whole eaith ; his government would be tyranny, and not yield that pleasure 
and delight to the inhabitants of it, it does ; the reason of which is, because righted 
Itoiifij (iHd judgment are the habitation of his throne^ Psal. xcvii. I, 2. And 


from his love of righteousness, and constant peiformance of it, it may be coo- p 
eluded ic is natural to him; as what is loved by men, and constantly done bf '^ 
them, shews it to be agreeable to the nature of them, Psal. xi. 7. and ix. 4. and, «i 
indeed, it is originally and essentially in God; it is in and of himself, and nof of je 
another; it is his nature and essence, and is not derived from anodier. Adam ^ 
was righteous, but not of himself, God made him upri^t, or righteous; su&O ^ 
are righteous, not by their own righteousness, bur by the ri^iteousnessof Chnrt .^" 
imputed to them. But God is righteous in and of himself; his ri^feoasnen il ^ 
essential and inderivative, and is incommunicable to a creature ; it is not that \ff s 
which men are made righteous, as Osiandei dreamed; for though he who ii J^ ;i 
hovah is their righteousness, yet not as he is Jehovah ; for then they woddte ?i 
deified by him: the righteousness of God being his natuie, is inftxiiise and iflinm- -m 
table ; the righteousness of angels uid men, in which they were created, was flfc- ^ 
table; Adam lost his, and vnzny of the angels lost theirs; bur the ri^tteoanctt « 
of God is like the great mountains, as high, firm, and stable as they, and omdl "^ 
more so, Psal. xxxvi. 6. Righteousness in creatures, is according to some kw, m 
which is the rule of it, and to which it is conformed, and is adequate; so die 
law of God, which is holy, just, and true, is a rule of rl^teousness to laaii ^ 
but God has no law without himself, he is a law to himself; his nature and iriD = 
are the hw and rule of righteousness to him. Some things are just, because ht } 
wills them, as such that are of a positive kind; and others he wills them bocaoN ^ 
diey are just, being agreeable to his nature and moral perfections. This is ill 
atiributc common to the three Persons in the Godhead, as it must be, since it is 
essential to Deity, and they partake of the same undivided nature and essence: 
hence ihc father of Clirist is calietl by him righteous Father^ John xvii. 25. and 
Clirist, his Son, is called Jesus Christ the righteous^ i John ii. X. and no doubt 
can be made of its being proper to the holy Spirit, who convinces men tjfrighu* 
ousncis and of judgment ^ John xvi. 8. But, 

IL I shall next consider the various sorts, or branches of righteousness, which 
belong to God; for though it is but one in him, being his nature and essence; 
yet it mgy be considered as diversified, and as admitting of distinctions, with re- 
spect to creatures. Some distinguish it into righteousness of words, and righte- 
ousness of deeds. Righteousness of words lies in the fulfilment of his words, 
payings, prophecies, and promises ; and is no other than his veracity, truth, and 
faithfulness; wliich will be considered hereafter, as a distinct attribute. Righte*- 
ousncss of deeds, is either the rectitude, purit)', and holiness of his nature; which 
.appears in all his works and actions, and which has been treated of in the pre« 
ceding cli:ipter; or it is a giving that which belongs to himself, and to his crea* 
tuics, what is each their due. So justice is defined by Cicero% an afiection of 
the mind, Suum cuiqui tribuens\ giving to every one his own. Thus God gives 
or takes to himself what is his due ; or does himself justice, by making and do« 
ing all things for his own glor}'; and by not giving his glory to anothcTi oor his 

;•* De Finibaii 1. ^. 


fniie to graven images : and he gives to his creatures what is due to them by the 

hxn of creation, and gcerns them in justice and equity, and disposes of them 

mdfspenses to them, in the same manner. Justice, among iiKn, is sometimey 

fimngiiished into commutative and i-etributive. Commutative justice lies in co* 

venantSy compacts, agreements, commerce, and dealings with one another, ia 

ifhirii one gives an equivalent in money or goods, for what he Veceiyes of 

. another; and when integrity and uprightness are preserved, this is justice. But 

sadt sort of justice cannot have place between Gdd and men; what he gives, 

■and diey leceive from him, is of free favour and good will; and what they givo 

• to him, -or he receives from them, is no equivalent for what they have from him • 

Wkti MkttU I render to the Lord for all his henefiu towards me? Psal. cxvi. 12* 

aodiing that u answerable to them. Besides, God has a prior right to every 

dung a creature has or can give ; IVho hath first gtven to him^ and it skmll he rr- 

empemedt9 Um again f Rom, xi. 35. Retributive justice is a dismbution either 

cf lewuds or punishments ; the one may be called remunerative justice, the odier 

pobkive justice ;' and both may be observed in God. 

L Remunerative justice, or a distribution of rewards; the nUe of whidi is 
BOttbe merits of men, but his own gracious promise; for he Am, of his own 
•pBoe and good-will, makes promises, and then he is just and righteous in fxA- 
filing diem; ^fbr God, as Austin"* expresses it, •* makes himself a debtor, not 
by receiving'any thing from us, but by promising such and such things to us.*' 
And his justice lies in fulfilling his promises made to such and such persons, 
doing such and such things; and not in rewarding any supposed merits of dieirs. 
Thus, Ibr instance, TTie man that endures temptation shall receive the crown rf 
life^ which the Lord has promised to them that love him^ James i. 12. but the 
crown of life is not given according to any merit of it arising from enduring 
temptation, or loving the Lord ; but in consequence of the promise of God gra- 
ciously made to such persons, for their cncoui-agemcnt thereunto. Moreover, 
Ae reward is not of debt, but of grace; or God, in the distribution of rewards 
to men, rewards not their works, but his own grace ; he first gives grace, and 
then rewards that grace with glory ; called, the reward of the inheritancey Col. 
iii. 24. And this seems to be no other than the inseparable connection between 
grace and glory, adopting grace, and the heavenly inheritance ; which, he hav- 
ing of his own grace put, does injustice inviolably maintain. Indeed, the re- 
munerative justice of God is sometimes represented in scripture, as rendering to 
every man according to his deeds, or as his work shall be. Rom. ii. 5 — 10. Rev. 
xxii. 12. But still it is to be observed, that the reward given or lendered, is 
owing to the promise that is made to them for godliness, whether as a principle 
of grace, or as practised under the influence of grace, or godly persons have tht 
fromise of the life that now /j, and of that which is to come^ I Tim. iv. 8. which 
promise is punctually and righteously performed. Besides, God does not re- 
ward the works and godly actions of men, as meritorious in themselves; but 

^Snarrau in Pul. cix. torn. 8. p. ^ai* 


as di£v are the fruits of his own grace ; who works in tliem both to will and 
to do of his own pleasure; and tlierefore he is not unrighteous to forget their 
work and labour of love \ which springs from love, is done in faitli» and with a 
view to his glory, Heb. vi. 10. Moreover, the works according to which God 
renders eternal life, are not mens own personal works; between which, and 
eternal life, there is no proportion; but the works of righteousness done by 
Christ, of which his obedience and righteousness consist; and which being 
done by him, on their account, as tlieir Head and Representative, are reckoned 
to them; and, according to these, the crown of righteousness is given them by 
the Lord, as a righteous Judge, in a way of righteousness, 2 Tim. iv. 8. 

II. Punitive, or vindictive justice, belongs to God; It is a righteous thing 
with God to render tribulation to them that trouble his people, 2 Thess. i. 6. and 
so to inflict punishment for any other sin committed by men; and this has beea 
exercised by him in all ages from the beginning of the world; and has appeared 
in casting down from heaven to hell the angels that sinned; in drowning the old. 
WO] Id; in destroying Sodom and Gomorrah; iu the plagues on Egj'pt, on 
Pharaoh and his host; the righteousness of which was acknowledged, in so^jne 
of the instances of it, by diat wicked king, Exod. ix. 27. in the several capdvi*. 
ties of the Jews, and in the destruction of diat people ; and in the judgments of. 
God on many ether nations, in several periods, of time; and as will be seen in 
the destruction ot antichrist and the antichristian states; the righteousness of 
which will be ascribed to God by the angel of the waters, and by all his people. 
Rev. xvi. 5, 6. and xix. i, 2. and in the eternal punishment and e\'erlasting de« 
slniction of ungodly men: and this righteousness is natural and essential to God^ 
but this the Socinians'' deny, because they do not choose to embrace the doctrine 
of the necessity of Christ's satisfaction for sin, which, if granted, they must 
give into. But that punitive, or vindictive justice, is essential to God, or that 
he not only will not let sin go unpunished, but that he cannot but punish sin, 
is manliest, 1. Prom the light of nature: hence the accusations of the natural 
conscience in men for sins committed; tlie fcais of divine vengeance falling upon 
them for it, here or hereafter ; the many ways and means devised to appease 
angry Deity, and to avert punishment, some absurd, and odiers shocking; to 
which may be added, the name of S^ixn, vengeance, or justice, punitive justice, 
the hcadiens give to deity; see Rom. ii. 14, 15. Acts xxviii. 4. — 2. From the 
word of God, and the proclamation which God himself lias made; in which^ 
among other essential perfections of his» diis is one, that he will by no means 
dear the guilty, and not at all acquit die wicked. Exod. xxxiv. 6, 7. Numb. 
XIV. 18. Nahum i. 3. — 3. From the nature of God, " who is of purer eyes 
than to behold Iniquity;" camiot bear it, but hates it, and the workers of it; 
which hatred is no odier than his punishment of It, Heb. i. 13, Isai. i. 13, 14. 
Fsai. V. 5, 6. Now as Ids love of righteousness is natural and essential to him; 

> Socin. de Srrvatorc, par. i* e. 1. Prxleciioii. Theolog. c. 16. CrcUiui de DeO| ejui^ae 
•ttributit, c. 25. in fiiic. 


so must hatred of sin be; to which may be added, that '*he is consuming fire,** 
Hcb- xii. 29.-4. From the nature of sin, and the demerit of it, eternal 
deadly everiastiiig punishment and destruction. Now if sin of itself, in its own 
tature, . merits such punishment at the hands of God, he is obliged to inflict it; 
orodierwise dierecan be no demerit in it. — 5. From the law of God; the 
miction of it, and the veracity of God in it: sin is a transgression of the law; 
ittiA God, as a lawgiver, cannot but punish ; otherwise his legislative power 
ad audiority is of no effect, and would be despised : he has annexed a sanction 
tt> his law, which is death ; and his veracity obliges him to inflict it ; nor is it 
toy olgectioti to all this, that then all sinners must be necessarily punished ; since 
the perfectiotis of God, though natural to him, the acts and exercises of them 
ate according to his will; as has been instanced in his omnipotence and mercy* 
Bendet, it will be readily allowed, and even affirmed, that no sin goes unpunish* 
d; but is either punished in the sinner himself, or in his Surety. 7*he reason 
why some are not punished in themselves, is, because Christ has. made satis* 
bction for their sins, by bearing the punishment due unto them. Hence, — 
6. From sin beingpunished in Christ, the Surety of his people, it may be strongly 
copclnded, that punitive justice is essential to God; or otherwise, where is the 
goodness of God to his own Son, that he should not spare him, but awake the 
iword of justice against him, and inflict the whole of punishment on him, due 
to die sins of those for whom he suflfered, if he could not have punished sin, or 
Ais was not necessary } and, indeed, where is his wisdom in being at such ah 
expenoe as the blood and life of his Son, if sin could have been let go unpunish- 
ed, and the salvation of his people obtained without it ? and where is the love 
of God to men, in giving Christ for them, for their remission and salvation, so 
much magnified, when all this might have been without it ? but without shed- 
dii^ of blood, as there is no remission, so none could l)e, consistent with ilic 
justice of God; nopsu'don r.or salvation, without satisfaction to that: could it 
Jiavc been in another way, the prayer of Christ would have brought It out, 
Fathtr^ if it bt possible^ let this cup pass from me^ Matt. xxvi. 39. But, 

in. I shall next consider the displays of the righteousness of God in his 
works ; and vindicate his justice in them ; for the Lord is righteous in all his 
waySf Psal. cxlv. 17. 

I. In his ways and works of providence : he governs the world in righteous- 
ness, ordeis and disposes of all things in judgment; and thougli be does ac- 
cording to his sovereign will and pleasure in heaven and in earth, yet he acts 
according to the strictest rules of justice and equity ; Just and true are his u.*ayi \ 
he is the Judge of all the earthy who will do rights Rev. xv. 3. Gen. xviii. 25. 
and docs do it; nor is he chargeable with any unri^^Iilcousness in any f)f Ins 
ways and works: men may wrongly cliargc him, and ;>*iy, as the house of hracl 
did; the'way of the Lord is not equals when it is their ways arc uiiC'.]cal, 
and not his, Ezck. xviii. 29. nor is it any sufficient ohjcction to iIic il Jiuou.-.- 
iicss of God ill his proviJciu.ev, ihat g<;od ncu arc i fu.;) ;iiT]icta1, I'liil .^icived 


men are frequently in very prosperous circumstances: these things have been 
stumbling and puzzling to goixl men, and tlicy have not been able to reconcile 
them to the justice of God; sec Psal. Ixxiii. 4 — 13. Jer. xii. i, 2. As for tlifi 
aflliaioas God*s people, these of arc not punishments for sins, but chastizements 
of them; were they, indc^, punishments for sin, it would argue injustices for 
it woqU be unjust to punish twice for the same sins; once in their Surety, and 
again in themselves: but so it is not; their afflictions come not from God as 
a judge, but as a father; and not from his justice, but his love; and not to their 
detriinent and injury, but for their good. In short, they are chastened by die 
Lord, that ihey might not be condemned with the world, I Cor. xi. 32. And 
as for the prosperity of the wicked, though their eyes stand out with fatness, and 
they have more than heart can wish, yet rhcy arc like beasts tliat are fattened 
for tlie slaughter; their judgment may sccm to linger, and their damnation to 
slumber, but they do not; sudden destruction will come upon them; die tables 
will, ere long, be turned, and tlie saints, who have now their evil things, will 
be comforted; and the wicked, who have now their good things, will be tor- 
mented: justice, though it may not so apparently take place now, it will 
hereafter; when all things will be set to rights, and the judgments of God will 
be manifest. There is a futui^ state, when the justice of God will shine in all 

its glory. 

II. God is righteous in all his ways and works and acts of grace; in the pre- 
destination of men, the choice of some, aud the pretention of others. Wlule 
the apostle is treating on this sublime subject, he stops and asks this question. 
Is tkiii unrl^htccusness with God P and answers it with the utmost abhorrence 
and detestation, God forbid! Election is neither an act of justice nor of 
injustice, but of the sovereign will and pleasure of God, who docs what he will 
with is own ; gives :t to one, and not to another, without any imputation of 
injustice; if he may give grace and glory to whom he will, without such a 
charge, then he may dctoiminc to give it without any. If it is no injustice in 
men to choose their own favourites, friends, confidents, and companions ; it 
can be none in God to choose whom he plcascb to bestow liis favours on; to 
indulge with communion wich himself now, and to dwell with him to all 
eternity: if it was lio injustice to choose some of the angels, called elect angels, 
and pass by others; and even to condemn all that sinned, without shewing 
mercy to one individual of them ; it can be no injustice in him to cIuTOse some 
of the race of men, and save them ; and pass by others, when he could have 
condemned them all. Nor can the imputation of Adam's sin to all his posterity, 
be accounted an unrighteous action. God made man upright, he made lumself 
a siimer: God gave liim a rirhteous law, and abilities to keep it; he voluntafi* 
ly broke it: Go J constituted the first man the federal head and representative of 
all his posterity; and who so fit for tliis as their natural head and common 
parent, with and in whom they were to stand and fall ; and what injustice could 
be in diat; since had he stood, they would have partook of the benefits of it; as 

Book L ot Ttti: vejracity of com i5i 

now he fell diey share in the miseries of it ? and since they sinned in him, ft 
on be no unrighteous thing to reckon it to them ; or that they should hie made 
amd constituted sinners, by his disobedience. It is not reckoned unjust, among 
men, for children to be punished for the sins of their parents, and particularly 
treason : and what else is sin against God? Exod. xx. 5. The justice of God 
dunes brightly in redemption by Christ ; " Zion, and her converts, are redeemed 
in righteouness ;" a full price is paid for the redemption of them ; and in rt 
*' mercy and truth meet together, and righteousness and peace kiss each other:" 
anddiough it is not for all men, no injustice is done to them that are not redeem* 
el; for if God could in justice have condemned all, it can be no act of injustice 
to redeem and save some. Suppose one hundred slaves in Algiers, and a man 
ont of his gicat generosity, lays down a ransom-price for fifty of them, does he> 
hf diis act of distinguished goodness and generosity, do any injustice to the 
others? or can they righteously complain of him for not ransoming them? In 
die JBStification of men, by tlie righteousness of Christ, the justice of God is 
veiy conspicuous; for though God justifies the ungodly, yet not without a per- 
fect righteousness, such as is adequate to the demands of his righteous law ; e\'en 
die righteousness of his own Son, in the imputation of which, and justification 
by it, he appears to be justy and the justijicr of him which believes in yesuSf 
Rom. iii. 26. Though God forgives sin, yet not without a satisfaction made to 
his justice; though it is accoixling to the riclics of his grace, yet through the 
blood of Christ shed for it; and upon die foot of the shedding of that blood» 
GoA is faithful and just to forgive us our sinSy and to cleanse us from all unrightC" 
9usnessy I John i. 9. and so it is both an act of grace and of justice; as is eter- 
nal glory and happiness, being the free gift of God, through Christ and his 

ig»—<— — ^ . — >-*fr 


1 HE apostle says, Let Gc/d be trucy and every man a liar^ Rom. iii. 4. this; 
must be afTirmcJ of him, wliatcvcr is said of creatures, he is true, and truth it- 

I. God is true in andof him.scif: tliis epithet 01 attribute, is expressive, i. Of 
die reality of his being; lie tnily and really exists: this is what every wor- 
shipper of him must believe, Hcb. xi. 6. Creatures have but a shadow of being 
in comparison of his ; Every man walks In a vain shewy or image ; rather in 
appearance- than in reality, Psal. xxxix. 6. but the existence of Qi:A is tnie, 
real, and substantial ; hence Ik has the name Jehovahy I AM that IAj\f\ 
which denotes the truth, eicrniry, and immutability of his essence. What 
seems to be, and is not, is not true ; what seems to be, and is, is true. — 2. Of 
the truth of his Dcit)- ; he is tlic true and the living GoJ ; so he is often called, 
2 Chron. XV. 3. Jcr. x. 10. i Thess. i. 9. in opposition to fictitious deities; 



vrho either have feigned themselves such, or are feigned so by od^ers ; gods only 
by name, not by nature; of which tliere have been many: but the true God is 
but one, and in distinction from such who are called gods in a figurative and 
metaphorical sense, gods by office under God; as Moses was to Pharaoh, and 
as kings, judges, and civil magistrates be, Exod. vii. i. Psai. Ixxxii. 1—7. 
But the Lord is God in a true and proper sense. — 3. This title includes the 
truth and reality of all his perfections; he is not only omnipotent, omniscient, 
omnipresent, eternal, and immutable, but he is truly so: what is falsely claimed 
by others, or wrongly given to them, is really in him; he is not only good and 
gracious, holy and just, but he is truly so; what others only appear to be, he 
is really. — 4. This may be predicated of each Person in the Godhead; the 
Father is the only true God, John xvii. 3. though not to the exclusion of die 
Son, who is also the true God and eternal life ; nor of the holy Spirit, who is 
truth ; and who, with the Father and the Son, is the one true and living God* 
1 John V. 20, 6, 7. — This attribute of truth removes from the divine nature 
every thing imperfect and sinfid: it is opposed to unrighteousness, Deut. 
xxxii. 4. and has the epithet of just or holy along with it, when God is spoken 
of in his persons, ways, and works. Rev. iii. 7. and vi. 10. and xv. 3. and 
xvi. 7. and xix. 2. it removes from him all imputation of lying and falshood; 
he is not a man, that he should lie, as men do ; the Strcngdi of Israel will not 
lie; yea, he is God that cannot lie; it is even impossible that he should, Numb, 
xxiii. 19. I Sam. xv. 29. Tit. i. 2. Heb. vi. 18. this frees him from all decep- 
tion, he can neither deceive nor be deceived; Jeremiah, indeed, says, O Lord^ 
thou hast deceived me, and I was deceived, Jcr. xx. 7. but this must be understood 
either as a misapprehension and mistake of the prophet; or the sense is, if I am 
deceived, God has deceived me; but as that cannot be, thLTcfore I am not de- 
ceived: tliough rather the words may be rendered, t/iou hast persuaded me, and I 
was persuaded, to enter upon his prophetic office, and to proceed on in the exe- 
cution of it. Moreover, diis attribute clears God of the charge of insincerity, 
hypocrisy, and dissimulation, which, if in him, he could not be true. Nor on 
the supposition of his decree to save some men, and not all, are his declarations 
chargeable with any thing of that kind ; as that he has no pleasure in the deadi 
of him that dies, and that he will have all men to be saved, Ezek. xviii. 32. 
I Tim. ii. 4. since the former respects not eternal death, but the^ captivity of 
the Jews, their return from it, upon their obedience, to their own land, and 
living in it. And the latter respects the will of God to save some of all sorts, 
of every rank and condition in life, and particularly Gentiles a$ well as Jews. 
In short, it removes all unfaithfulness from God, or any shadow of it: it 
strongly expresses the faidifulness of God ; hence true and faithful are joined to- 
gether, when the sayings or words of God are spoken of; nor is it any objection 
to the veracity of God, when what he has promised or threatened is not done; 
since thereunto a condition is cither openly annexed or secredy understood; sec 
Jer. xviii. 7—^x0. but die faidifuhess of God, in his proinisesi &c. vviU be dis« 


101017 considered hcre^ficr. Concerning the veracity of God, let the foHowing 
dungs be observed: 

I. Thst it is essential to him, it is his veiy nature and essence; he is truth 
itself; he is not only called the God of truth, but God the truths Deut. xxxii. 4. 
and so Quist assens himself to be the tnaky John xiv. 6. and the Spirit is like- 
wise sa called, 1 John v. 6. To be false, fallacious, and insincere, would be 
to wet contrary to his nature, even to deny himself; which he cannot do. 

II. It is most pure and perfect in him; as in him is light, and no darkness 
stall; he is righteous, and no unrighteousness is in him: is holy, and no un- 
holiDess in him ; is good, and no evil in him ; is wisdom, and no folly nor 
weakness in him ; so he is truth, and no falsliood in him, nor the least mix- 
ture nor appearance of it. 

III. It is first, chief, and original in him; it is first in him, as he is the first 
cause; it is chief, as it is perfect in him, and all trudi is originally from him; 
Mtoisl and rational truth, which is dear and self-evident to the mind: as the 
Being of God, from the works of his hands, called the truth of God made ma- 
ufint in men, and sliewed unto them, Rom. i. 18 — 25. Moral truth, by 
which men know, in some measure, though sadly depraved, the difference be- 
nreen moral good, and moral evil, Rom. ii. 14, 15. Spiritual truth, truth in 
die inward parts, or the true grace of God ; and evangelical truth, the word of 
tnidi, and the several doctrines of it; these are not of men, but of God. All 
imtruth is from Satan, tlie father of lies ; but all truth is from die God of truth» 
and fi?om the Spirit, who leads into all truth, as it is in Jesus. 

IV. Truth, as in God, is eternal ; what is truth now, was always truth widi 
him in his eternal mInJ ; for known to him are all his works from the beginnings 
or from eternity. Acts xv. 18. as also his word is true from the beginningy or 
from etemiiy, P^al. cxix. 160. What is true wirfi us to-^ay, might nor 
be true yesterday, and will not be true to-morrow, because diings are in a suc- 
cession with us, and are so known by us; but not so with God, in whose eter- 
nal mind all things stand In one view; and iK-sides, as veracity is his nature, 
his essence, it must be eternal, since that is, which contains all truth in it; and 
his truth will be to all generations, even for ever, Psal. c. 5. and cxvii. 2. 

V. It is immutable and invariable, as he himself, as his nature is; truth does 
not always appear in the same light to men ; at first more obscurely, then more 
clearly; it has its gradations and increase; but in God is always the same: 
creatures are mutable, fallacious, and deceitful ; but God is the same, true and 
faithful, yesterday, to-day, and for ever. An attribute on account ot which he 
is greatly to be praised and celebrated, Psal. Ixxxix. 5. Isai. xxxviii. 19* 

JI. God is true in his works; or all his works are true, and hi«» vcvacily is- 
displaved in them ; and these are either internal or extenial. 

I. Internal acts wiiliin himseli"; some relative to himself, to the diviiic per- 
sons, :licir modes of subsisting, and distinction from each other; as paternity, 


filiation, and spiration ; which are true and real things : the Father is tnily and 
prop'Tly the Father of Christ, and not in name only ; and Christ is his own 
proper Son, not in a figurative sense, or by cifEce, as magistrates are called the 
children of the most Hiprh ; but tlic Son of the Father in truih and love, a John 
3, a:*d the Spirii of truth is really breaiht-d, and proceeds from ilic Fatlicr and 
the Son, John xv. 26. others are lelative to creatures j the decrees of God 
within hiraself, which arc the secret actinii;s aiul workings of his mind, the 
tlioughts of his heart, »^hc deep thinjis o^' God, his coun^^els of old, which arc 
faithfulness and truth; truly made, and xymW perfonncd, Isai. xxv. i. 

II. External works, as the works of creation, providence, and grace, wiiich 
arc all true, and real things ; and in which tlic veraci y of God appears, both 
in making and in continuing them. 

1. The works, of creation, the heavens and the errth, which arc both his 
handy work, and all that arc in them ; in which the invisible perfections of 
his nature are displayed and discerned, his eternal power and Godhead, and his 
veracity among the rest. The heavens above us, the sun, moon, and stars we 
behold, and the earlli on which we live, are reid, and iwt imaginary, they 
tally exist. Satan pretended to shew to Christ al/ the kingdoms of the wvrld^ 
and the glory of thcm^ Matt. iv. 8. but this was a falsti and delusive rcpresoita-* 
tion, a dcceptlo visits^ by which he would have imposed on Christ, but could not. 

2. The works of providence; tliose in an ordinary way, by which God go- 
verns tlie world, and disposes of all things according to truth and righteousness; 
and such as are of an extraonlincii'v kind, as those done by tiie hands of Moses, 
in Eg>-pt; and by Christ and his apostles: these were real things, to answer 
some wise ends and pnqwses in the world ; when those done by the magicians 
wcie only in shew, in appearance, and by a sort of legerdemain; as those done 
by antichrist, in the sight of men, as they imagine, whereby he deceives them 
ih'it dwell on the earth ; and therefore are called lying wonders, feigned things, 
which have no truth in ihcm. Rev. xiii. 13, 14. 2 Thess. ii. 9, 10. but 
the wonderful works of God are true, and without deceit, as are all his judg- 
ments he executes by the sword, famine, j>cstilence, &c. 

3. The works of grace done by him, his acts of grace, both in eternity and 
time; his choice of persons to eternal life, is true, firm, and real, the founda- 
tion of God, which stands sure; the covenant of grace, made in Christ, full of 
blc'-.'iin s and promises, fairhfiiUv performed; the mission of Chn'st into the 
worli.l, and his incarnation, wlio was really made flesh, and dwelt among men; 
th • truth of which the aposrle confirms by the various senses of seeing, hearing 
and handling, i John i. i. Justification by his lighteousncss, is really imputed 
to his per^i le, and by which they truly become righteous; and not in a putative 
and imaginary sense; pardon by his blood, which is not merely typical, as by 
the blood of slain I e i?ts, but real ; atonement by tlie sacrifice of himself, ivhich 
he really offered up to God; and sanctification by the Spirit, which 


■ the new man, created in righteousness and true holiness; and not outward* 
typical, and ceremonial, nor feigned and hypocritical : and adoption, by which 
die saints are now really the sons of God ; diough it does not yet appear what 
thev shall be ; and to which the Spirit bears a true and real witness ; and which 
is unto an inheritance, real, solid, and substantial. 

HI. God is true in his words, in his essential Word, his Son, who was in 
die beginning with God ; had a true and real existence with him, and was Gcxl, 
mlly and truly God ; he is true in his person and natures, the true God and 
etemallife, who took unto him a true body, and a reasonable soul ; and whose 
hnman nature is the true tabernacle GcmI pitched, and not man: true in his rjf- 
iices he bears ; the true prophet raised up and sent of Goil, the true light, diat 
lightens men in every sense; the true priest, not of the order of Aaron, but of 
dieonlerof Melchizedek; the true and only Potentate, King of kings, and 
Lord of lords; the true Mediator between God and men, and not a typical one, 
as Moses. 

God is true in his written word ; the scriptures are the scriptures of truth, 
even the whole of them, Dan. x. 21. they arc given by inspiriition from God, 
ae the breath of God, who is the God of truth, and therefore to be received, 
Mf as the word of many but as In truth the word of God^ i Thess. ii. 13. the 
hw-part of them is truth; the apostle speaks of the truth in the law, known 
by men, Rom. ii. 20. there is not a precept in it but what is true and right; 
The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether ^ Psal xix. 9. And 
the gospel-part of them is eminently die word of truth, Eph. i. 13. and all the 
doctrines of it, which are pure words ^ as silver tried in a furnace of earthy pu^ 
rifled seven timcsy Psal. xii. 9, And the truth and veracity of God api)cars in 
the fulfilment of die predictions, promises, and thrcatenings contained in his 
word, which is the same with his faithfulne<:s ; which wc shall particularly treat 
of in the next chapter, being uatumlly led to it; the veracity of God is the 
foundation of his faithfulness; and his faithfulness is a branch of diat; and diey 
are often put one for the other, and signify the same thing. 


I AiTHFULNEss is an attribute that Ixilongs to God; from whence he is deno- 
minated the faithful Gody Deut. vii. 9. It is essential to him, and without which 
he would not be God ; to be unfaithful, would be to act contrary to his nature, 
to deny himself, 2 Tim. ii. 13. an unfaidiful God would be no G<xl at all; it is 
a most glorious perfection of his nature; it is great, like himself; yea, it is in- 
finite; Great is thy faithfulness y Lam. iii. 23. it reaches to all peisons and things 
God has any concern with; it is all around him ; he is, as it were, cloriied and 
covered wirii it; and there is none in any creature like unto it, Psal. Ixxxix. 8. 
There is faithfulness in the holy angels, and in good men, but not like what 


is in God, and therefore he puts no trust in diem. Job iv. i8. his fkidifbliiai i 
invariubly the same; it has never failed in any one instance, nor never wiD; i 
is established in the heavens, and will continue to all generations, PsaL baaik, 
2, 24, 33. and cxix. 90. Josh, xxiii. 14. otherwise there would be no firm fomi* 
dation for trust and confidence in him ; but he is the faithful Creator, and cove< 
nam -God and Father of his people; to whom they may safely commit thoAi 
selves, and depend upon him for all mercies promised, both temporal and spi- 
ritual, I Pet. iv. 19. I Thess. v. 23, 24. for the faithfulness of God chiefly liei 
in the performance of his word, which is certain, with respect to all tbat is spo* 
ken by him ; for hatA he said^ ami shall he not do h f or hath he spoken^ andshd 
he not make it good f Verily he will. Numb, xxiii. 19. Luke i. 45. Atf 
It appears, 

I. In the performance of what he has said with respect to the world in gene 
ral; as, that it shall never more be destroyed by a flood, as it once was; andfbi 
a token and confirmation of it, God has set die rainbow in the cloudy and now 
four thousand years are gone since the covenant was made ; and God has bea 
faithful to it, though the earth has been sometimes threatened with destructkx 
by violent storms, and sudden inundadons; see Gen. ix. ii— 16. Isai. liv.^ 
Also that the ordinances of heaven, the sun, moon, and stars, shall not depail 
but always condnue in their being, use, and influence; and now they havekef 
their course, or stadon, and have done their office, exacdy and punctually, fc 
almost six thousand years ; see Jer. xxxi. 35, 3*6. and xxxiii. 25. Likewis 
that the revolutions of the time, and seasons of the year, should keep their con 
stant course; that, while the earth remaineth, seed-time and harvest j and cold an 
heat^ and summer and winter^ and day and night shall not cease ^ Gen. viii. 22 
and so it has always been, and still is, in one part of the world or another, ac 
cording to tlie different climates. Remarkable was the faithfulness of God t( 
the Jewish nation, in that their land required rain only at two seasons of th< 
year, and God promised it to them, and which they always had; though some 
times so ungrateful as not to fear him who gave them rain^ both the former am 
the latter^ in his season^ and reserved for them the appointed weeks of the harvest 
Jer. V. 24. see Deut. xi. 14, 15. and whereas God has given reason to expec 
that his creatures should be preserved in their being, and provided for by him 
with the necessaries of life; he has not left himself without a witness to hi: 
faidifulness, in all ages and nations, giving rain from heaven and fhiitful seasons 
and so filling the hearts of his creatures with food and gladness ; whose eyes all o: 
them wait upon him, and he gives diem their meat in due season, Acts xiv. 17 
Psal. xxxvi. 5, 6. and cxlv. 15, 16. And from all this it may be strongly con- 
cluded, that whatsoever God has said concerning the world, which is yet to bi 
fulfilled, shall be most certainly done; as the judgment of it, the end and con- 
summation of all diings in it, the conflagration of it, and the making new hca- 
Tens and a new earth, wherein will dwell righteousness, 2 Pet. iii. 7—13. 
II. The faithfulness of God appears in the fulfilment of what he has said wid: 


lOfBCt to Christ, and the salvation of men by him ; both of what he has said of 
Um, and of what he has said to him: and, indeed, die faidifuhiess of God is dis- 
jjkjti in Christ as in a mirror. 

I. In die performance of what he has said of him ; as diat he should be bom 
of a woman, be of die seed of Abraham, spring from die tribe of Judali, arise 
out of die family of David, be bom of a virgin at Bethlehem, and converse much 
iiGalilee, Gen. iii. 15. and xxii. 18. and xlix. 10. 2 Sam. vii. 12, 13. Mic* 
T.S. Iiai. vii. 14. and ix. i, 2. and suffer, and die, and work out the salvation 
tf his people, Psal xxii. Isai. liii. and chap. xxv. 9. and xxxv. 4. and xlix. 6. 
all which has been fully accomplished, Matt. i. i, iS—- 23. and ii. 5 — 23. and 
ir. 13 — 16. Luke i. 68—72. i Cor. xv. 3. 

II. In the performance of what he said to Christ, or promised to him; as that 
he would help him, and strengthen him, as man and mediator in the great work 
cf redemption and salvation ; and which help and strength Christ expected, and 
bdievcd^he should have, and had it, Psal. Ixxxix. 21. Isai. 1. 7, 9. and xlix. 8. 
ind that Uiough he should die, and be laid in the giavc and buried ; yet he would 
m him from the dead, and that on the third day ; and which was accordingly 
Aae, Psal. xvi. 10. Hos. vi. 2. i Cor. xv. 4. and that when he had done his 
woAy being delivered unto death for the siris of his people, and raised again for 
dieir justification, he should be glorified at his right hand, in his human nature; 
and accordingly, Christ having done his work, pleaded this promise, and it was 
fulfilled, Psal. ex. i. John xvii. 4, 5. Phil. ii. 9, 10. and that he should see his 
Med have a numerous offspring, which should continue to the end of the world, 
Iiai. liii. lO. Psal. Ixxxix. 4, 29, 36. and which has been accomplished in the 
numerous conversions bodi^among the Jews and Gentiles, in die first ages of 
dirisuanity ; and which have continued, more or less ever since ; and will still 
more manifestly appear when the nation of the Jews shall be born at once, and 
the fulness of the Gentiles be brought in. 

III. In the person, office, and works of Christ. This, as all other divine 
perfections, is common to each person in the Godhead, and shines resplendent- 
ly in the Son of God, the brightness of his Father's glory, who has every per- 
feaion the Father has; so that he that has seen die Son has seen the Father, 
Ae same perfections being in the one as in the other, and diis of faithfulness 
among the rest; which is to be seen in Christ as in a mirror, or glass; and an 
csdmate may in some measure be taken, and judgment made of the faithfulness 
of God, by what appears in his Son; who has been faithful to him that ap- 
pointed him to his office as Mediator. Moses was faitliful in the house of God, 
as a servant: but Christ as a Son over his own house, Hcb. iii. 2 — 6 and whose 
faidifiilncss may he observed, 

I. In the perfonnancc of his engagements: he engaged to be die Surerv of 
his people; to stand in dieir pbce and stead; to do and suffer for them what 
should be required, and to take care of all their aflairs and concerns for time 
and etenuty ; and accordingly, he is become the Surety of die better testament. 


Ileb. vii. 22. he engaged to Ix: the Saviour and Redeemer of them ; he is ofteit 
spoken of as such in the Old Testament ; that is, as one who had engaged to 
work out rlicir redemption and salvation; and which he has now obtained, and 
become the author of, Heb. v. 9. and ix. 12. he engaged to come into the woiidy 
in order to do this work, saying, Lo, T come ; and he is come, and as done it? 
and that he came into the world, and as done this for sinners, the chief of sin- 
ners, is a faithful saying ; in which the faithfulness of God in his promises, 
and of Christ in his engagements, is abundantly displayed, i Tim. i. 15. he 
engaged to come and fulfil the law, both its precepts and its penalty, and to be- 
come a sacrifice for sin ; ceremonial sacrifices being insufficient, Psal. xl. 6^8, 
and he is accordingly become the fulfilling end of the law for righteousness to 
all that believe; and has offered himself, soul and body, without spot to God; 
** a Sacrifice of a swcet-.smelling savour ; " and whereby sin has been fiilly ex- 
piated and put away, Rom. x, 4. Hcb. ix. 14, 26. see Heb. x. 5 — 10, he en- 
gaged to pay off the debts of his people, and by being their Surety, become re- 
sponsible for them, and to clear off all their scores ; which he has done to the 
uttermost farthing, and blotted out the hand- writing of ordinances against them. 
In short, he engaged to feed the flock of God, to take the whole care and over- 
sight of it ; and he does feed his flock like a shepherd, and has shewn himself 
to be the good and faithful one, by laying down his life for the sheep, Zech. xi. 
4, 7. Isai. xl. II. John X. 14. 

1 1. In his discharge of the truth reposed in him, which is very large and 
great; the Father hath given all things into his hand^ John iii. 35, all the per- 
sons of his elect to be kept, preserved, and saved by him ; and so they are and 
shall be, even every one of them; whom Christ will present to his Father, 
and say, Bcholdy /, and the children which God hath given me ; not one is lost, 
Hcb. ii. 13. Christ is intrusted with a fulness of grace, to supply the wants of 
his people ; it has been his Fathers pleasure, that it should dwell in him for 
their use ; he has deposited it with him, to communicate it to them as they need 
it; and he has been faithful to do it, and in all ages and generations; he has 
been to all his churches, and to all his saints, in eveiy period of time, jf foun- 
tain of gardens y a well of living Vi^aters^ and str earns from Lebanon^ Cant. iv. 15. 
saints both of the Old and New Testament, have all received of his fulness^ and 
grace for graccy John i. 16. Eternal life and happiness is in his hands, and he 
has a power to give it to as many as the Father has given him : and he is faith- 
ful in the use of that power, and docs give it to all his sheep, so that none of 
them shall ever perish, i John v. 11. John xvii, 2. and x. 28, yea, the glory 
of ail the divine perfections, as concerned in the salvation of men, was entrust- 
ed uith Christ; and he has been faithful in things pertaining to God, as well 
as in making reconciliation for tlie sins of the people ; and in doing the one he 
has taken care of the other. The glory of God is great in the salvation of men, 
even of his justice and holiness; as well as of his wisdom, power, faithfulnesS| 
grace, and mercy, Heb. ii. 17. Psal. xx. 5. and Ixxxv. 10. 

Book L 09 THfe FAITHFULN£SS OF GOi>« l6g 

3. In Che exercise of his offices, as Prophet, Priest, and King: In the exer* 
At of his prophetical office ; for which he was abundantly qualified, by lying in 
(he bosom of his Father, and so privy to his whole mind and will, which he has 
bidifully declared ; all that he heard of the Father, all the words and doctrines 
he gave him, as man, he made known to his disciples ; in doing which, he 
sought not is own glory, but the glory of him that sent him ; and therefore must 
be true and feithfiil, and no unrighteousness or un&ithfulncss in him, John i. 
18. and vii. 16— >i8. and xv. 15. and xvii. 8. and therefore is justly entitled to 
be called the Amen, and faithful Wimess, Rev. iii. 14. In the exercise of his 
priesdy office; in which he is faithful to him that appointed him; and rightly 
bears die character of a faithful high-priest. In that he has offered up himself to 
make atonement for the sins of his people; and as the Advocate for them, even 
Jesus Christ the righteous, faithful, and true; and takes. perfect care, in all 
Aings, of the house of God, over which he is a priest, Ileb. ii. 17. and iii. 
!, a. and x. ai. and ix. 14. i John ii. i. And in die exercise of his kingly 
office; dl whose adminstrations in it are just and true ; righteousness being the 
giidle of his loins, and faithfulness tlie girdle of his reins; and with great pro- 
priety is he csMcdJaitAful and truey since /;/ righteousness he doth judge and make 
voTf Rev. XV. 3. and xix. 1 1. Isai. xi. 5. 

4. In the fulfilment of his promises, which he made to his disciples ; as that 
he ncould not leave them comfortless, but come and see them; as he did, after 
his resurrection, and comforted them with his presence, and filled them with 
joy at the sight of him, John xiv. 18. and xx. 20. that they should receive the 
gift of the hgly Spirit, and therefore were bid to wait at Jerusalem for it, and 
where it was bestowed upon them, on the day of Pentecost, in a very large and 
extraordinary manner, Acts i. 4. and ii. 4, 33. that he would be with them in 
the administration of his wofd amd ordinances; and accordingly did go forth and 
work with them, confirming the word by signs following. Matt, xxviii. 19, 20. 
Mark xvL 20. yea, he has promised his presence with his ministers and churches 
to the end of the world, and that even *' where two or three are gathered toge« 
dier in his name, he will be in the midst of them," Matt, xviii. 20. and xxviii. 
20. and he makes his word good, which the experience of his ministers and peo- 
ple in all ages confirms: he has promised also to come again, and take his dis« 
ciples and faithful /ollowers to himself, that where he is, they may be also ; and 
which was not only verified in his immediate disciples, but in his saints in all 
ages, whom, when they have served their generation according to the will of 
Gcd, he comes and takes them to himself, by death; and ''to them that look 
for him, will he appear a second time, without sin, unto salvation." John xiv* 
2, 3. Heb. ix. 21. 

5. The faithfulness of Christ may be observed in his concern with the cove- 
Bant of grace, and the promises of it; the covenant was made with him as the 
Head and Representative of his people, and stands fast with him ; all the blessip 
ings of it are lodged witli him, and faithfully dispensed by him ; the promises 

VOL. I. z 


were made to him, who only actually existed when they were made, and to 
whom only they could be given ; he was die Amen, and faithful Witness of 
them, of their being made; and they arc Yea and Amen in him; by whose 
blood the blessings and promises of it are ratified and confirmed; and therefore, 
called, "the blood of the everlasting covenant:" and it is in and through him 
that believers come to have an interest in the promises, a right unto them, and 
to be partakers of them, Psal. Ixxxix. 3, 24. Rev. iii. 14, 2 Cor. i. 20. Hcb. 
xiii. 20. Eph. iii. 6. And now by the faithfulness of Christ thus manifestly 
displayed, may be learnt somewhat more of the attribute of fiiithfiilness, as it is 
in God. Which leads on to consider, 

III. The faithfulness of God in the performance of what he has said in the 
covenant, and the promises of It, with respect to his special people. God is 
denominated faitliful, from his keeping covenant and mercy with them, Deut. 
vii. 9. every covenant God has made with man, he has been faithful in : he 
made a covenant with Adam, as the head and representative of his posterity, 
promising a continuance of happiness to him, and his, provided he remained in 
his state of innocence ; and threatening with death, in case of disobedience. 
Adam was unfaithful and broke the covenant ; ihey^ like Adam^ have transgress-' 
id the covenant^ Hos. vi. 7. But God was faidiful to it, and deprived him of 
his happiness, and pronounced the sentence of death on him and his. God 
made a covenant with Noah, and all the creatures, promising that he would 
no more destroy the world by a flood; and he has faithfully kept it, as before 
observed. He made a covenant with Abraham, that he would make him the 
father of many nations, and that kings should spring from him, and that he 
would give to his posterity the land of Canaan: tlic former part of which was 
verified in the Ishmaelltes, Israelites, Edomites, Midianites, and others, with 
their kings, which were of him : and the latter part, by putting the people of 
Israel in possession of Canaan, by Joshua ; which they held long by the tenure 
of their obedience, according to his promise ; but when they broke the cove- 
nant, he destroyed them fiom it, as he threatened, Gen. xvii. 5, 6. Josh. xxi. 
43. andxxiii. 16. He made a covenant at Sinai, with all the people of Israel; 
and, according to his engagements, continued to them their blessings, natural, 
civil, and religious ; but they were not stedfast in his covenant, and he dis- 
possessed them of them. But the grand and principle covenant, Is the covenant 
of grace; which God has made in Christ with all his elect, and is ordered in 
all things, and sure; and which he will never break, and they cannot; and 
which will never be removed, but ever be inviolably kept ; and there arc pro- 
mises of various sorts, which God has graciously made to his people, and which 
are faithfully performed by him. 

I. Some of a temporal nature; for godliness and godly men have the promise 
tf the life that now is^ of things belonging to it, as well as of that which is to 
coniif I Tim. iv. 8. these their heavenly Father knows they have need of, and 
therefore provides them for them, and promises them unto them. He has said, 
that they that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing, Psal. xxxiv. 10. they 


dial! have that which is good, as every creature of God is good, good food and 
good numcnt; though it may be but mean, yet it is good, and better than the 
best of men deserve; and they want not any, that God, in his infinite wisdom 
sees is good for diem ; for though they and others may think it would be better 
for diem if they had a greater affluence of the things of this life; but God 
thinks otherwise, and knows it would be to their hun, as sometimes riches are: 
he has bid his people, trust in the Lerd^ .and do good^ and has promised, they 
Ml iefidf Psal. xxxvii. 3. not all of them with dainties and delicious fjod, 
but with food convenient for them; he has assured them, their bread shall be 
given tiemy and thtir waters shall be sure^ Isai. xxxiii. 16. and this is sufficient 
10 support and confirm his faithfubiess : noi is the poverty of some of God's 
people any otjection to it, since he has no where promised them the riches 
of diis worlds and has given them no reason to expect them; but he has pro- 
mised diem better riches, durable riches, and righteousness, the riches of grace 
^ g^ory, and diese he gives to them ; see a testimony from David's experi- 
ence of the faithfulness of God, with respect to temporal things, Psal. xxxvii. 
25. God has not promised his people security from outward a£lictions ; but 
ladicr has suggested to them that they may look for them; since his people are 
described as a poor and afflicted people ; and it is their common case ; many 
are the afflictions of the righteous; it is what thev are appointed to, and what 
are appointed for diem; but dien God has promised that they shall work for 
tfarirgood; either for their temporal good, as Jacob's afflictions worked for 
his; or for their spiritual good, the exercise and increase of grace and holiness ; 
and always for their eternal good, 2 Cor. iv. 17. and also that he will be with 
diem in them, support them under them, and deliver out of them in due time: 
all which is faithfully performed by him, i Cor. x. 13. 

II. Others are of a spiritual nature; and the principal of these is, and which 
is die sum of the covenant, They shall be my people^ and I will be their Gody Jer. 
xxxii. 38. and which appears in their election, redemption, and effectual voca« 
tion; which is saying, that he has a special love and aficction for them, and will 
continue it, as he docs : nor are his chastizemcnts of them, his hiding his face 
from them for a time, his displeasure at them, and being angry with them, any 
objection to the perpetuity of his love; since these are not contrary to it, biit ra* 
Acr the fiuits of it, and for their good: it signifies, that they shall have his gra- 
cious presence with tlittn, and may expect it, and which they have ; nor do their 
doubts, and fears, and complaints disprove it, Isai. xli. 10. and xlix. 14—16. 
which are generally owing to tlicir ignorance and unbelief; God is with them, 
and they know it; however, he is never far from them, nor long; he docs not 
depart from them, nor withdraw his gracious presence from them totally and fi_ 
nally: it assures them of his protection, that he will be all around diem, guard 
them, and secure thern, preserve ?nA keep them by his power, thiough faith un- 
to solvation, as he does; for though they may fall into sin, yet they rise again 



by his grace ^ and though they fall into temptation^ and by it, yet they are 
vcred out of it ; they are kept from a final and total falling away ; they ^re nq% 
of them that draw back unto perdition: in a word, this promise is cxpresiivc 9f 
their enjoyment of God here, and for evermore: and he is their shie]d| and c^m 
ceeding great reward ; their portion in life, at death, and for ^erj tl^ Ai,;» 
in ALL. 

There arc many particular spiritual promises made to the people of God; and 
which are made good by him ; as, that he will sprinkle clean water upop them^ 
zpd cleanse them from all their sins ; which is to be understood of justifying 
gracei through the blood of Christ; that he will forgive their iniquities, and re* 
member their sins no more; and he .is just in doing it, upon the acgoun; of thci 
blood of his Son, and faitlifiil to his own promise, i John i. 9. ttiat hie wiU give 
them new hearts and new spirits, which he does in regeneration ; and take away 
the heart of stone, and give an heart of flesh ; as he does, when he removd the 
hardness of the heart, and gives evangelical repentance unto life; that ho will 
put his laws in them, and wiite them in their minds ; not only give knowledge 
of them, but both a disposition and grace to obser\'e them -, working iq then» both 
tp will and to do of his good pleasure: that he will piit his Spirit into them, anl. 
give them spiritual strength to keep his statutes, and perform every duty; that 
he will carry on his good work of grace in them, and perform it, until the day. 
of Christ; of which they may be confident, since he has promised it; (hat he 
will give them more grace, a sufficiency of it, and supply all their need out gf 
the fulness in Christ; and that his fear shall be continually irx their h^ans;^ and 
they shall not depart from him, but persevere in faith and holiness to the eud« 
All which promises, and more, are faithfully and truly performed in all his pea* 
pic; see Jer. xxxi. 33, 34. and xxxij. 38 — ^40. Ezek. xxxvi. 25—27. 

III. There are otlier promises which respect the life to'comc ; the eternal hap* 
pincss of the saints in another world; the apostle speaks of the promise of this^- 
as the promise, by way of emincncy, as if it was the only promise, or, however, 
tlie principal one, in which all otliers issue and end ; T/iis is the promise that hi 
has promised usy even eternal life^ 1 John iif 25, and this is an ancient one, made 
before the world began, and by God, that cannot lie^ Tit. i, 2. who is faithful 
and true, and will most certainly perform it; wherefore. Blessed is thcmgn that 
efidureth temptation \ for 'xhcn he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, tvhich 
the Lord hath promised to them that love him^ James i. 12. 

IV. The faithfulness of God appears in fulfilling his threatenings, as well a^ 
his promises. God threatened Adam, that in the day he eat of the forbidden fruit, 
he should surely die; and he immediately became mortal, death began at oncer 
to work in him ; his soul was seized directly with a spiritual or moral deaths 
guilt, and terror of conscience, a sense of divine wrath, and deprivation of die 
divine presence, and be became liable ta eternal death ; nor had be any reason 
to expect any other, until be heard that the seed of the woman should bruise tho 
serpent's head; and the sentence of death passed on him^ and all his posterity io 


llioiy as soon 9S be bod sinnedy according to the divine threatening, Rom. v. i2« 

Qod ducatcned the iababitants of tlic old world with a flood to destroy thcm» 

fcrdicir ipspicty and wickedness; and though his patience and forbearance were 

fcr a loQg titnc txercisedi yet he was faithtul to his word, and brought it upon 

tte world of the ungodly* and destroyed them all. God threatened the people 

^Israel witb gaptivity» and other judgments, if they walked not in his ways, 

VvJI^roke his statutes; of which see Lev. xxvi. and Deut. xxviii. all which griev- 

gny^ueatpiiogs, and sore judgments, have been exactly fulfilled in that people, 

md iimain to this days who are a standing proof of God's faithfulness in this 

le^ect. Aad as God has threatened men with the burning of the world, and 

diQ works of it^ and the wicked in it; and damnation to all unbelieving and im« 

jaoKDl sinners, they may be assured of it, and expect it; for as it is most true, 

tod may be depended upon, that Ae thai belieyetlh otid is baptized^ shall be sa- 

vU\ so it is eq^ually as true, and as surely to be depended on, that he that be^ 

ttveti MQif shall be damned^ Mark xvi. 16. Nor is it auy objection to the faith- 

^dness of God, in fulfilling his threatenings, that Nineveh was spared, when it 

WIS dvcatened, that in forty days it should be ovenhrown; since there was a 

CQoditioa implied, a secret proviso made, '*'' except they repented;" and which 

dieir bope of mercy, and the mercy shown them upon their repentance, fully 

confirm i and so the veracity and faithfulness of God is sufficiently secured; 

and, iodeed, in many promises and threatenings, respecting temporal things, a 

condition is eitlier openly expressed, or secretly understood; according to which 

God in providence proceeds, Jer. xviii. 7^10, 



raoM rfiis attribute of God, he has one of his names, Shadd^i, which signifies, 
who is sufficient, or all-sufficient. Three th'ings may be obsei ved under this 

L That God is a self-sufficient Being, and needs not any thing from without 
himsdf to support himself, or to make himself happy He is the rii^t of ik-ings, 
the first and the last; before him there was no God formed, nor will be any 
after him ; from everlasting to everlasting he is God ; and therefore his exist- 
ence is not owing to any ; nor has he received any assistance or support from 
any; being self-sufficient,* he must be self-suhsistent; as he existed of hiniKelr, 
and subsisted in and of himself, millions and millions of ages, even an eternity, 
inconceivable to us, alone, before any other existed, he must be self-sufiicient, 
and as then, so to aH eternity \ He is an infinite and all-comprehending Being ; 
to what is infinite nothing can be added: if any thing was wanting in him he 
would be finite; if there was any excellency in another, which is not in him, 

'fVftfipIv rx.iTTK ^«</(TV xat Tf|y aurafxir't'nrv ^lariXii roy a^avTA munm, AlistuC. dc Cflclo, I. 1. v. 9. 

isd thii BUBC, he says, it liiviaely pioaoiiaccd by tbc aafiicatc. 


he would not be infinite* and so not God: being infinite, he is incomprehensi- 
ble by others ; and comprehends in himself all excellencies, perfections, and 
happiness; and therefore self-sufficient; fVho hath first given tohimy and it shall 
be recompensed to him again ^ for of him^ and through hlm^ and for him are all 
things^ Rom» xi 35^ 36. God is the summum bonum^ the chief good, and has 
all that is good in him; he is good essentially, oiiglnally, and inderivately ; the 
source and fountain of all goodness; every good and perfect gift comes ihxn 
him, James i. 17. and therefore must have a fulness of goodness in him sufficient 
tor himself, as well as for his creatures, and can receive nothing from them; 
otlierwise he would not be the independent Ecing he is: all have their depen<' 
deuce on him, and owe their being, and the preservation of it to him; but he 


depends on none ; which he would, if he scocd In need of, or received any tfain^ 
from them. He is possessed of all* perfections, as has been abundantly shewed in 
the preceding chapters, and is sufficiently happy in them ; he is perfect and entire^ 
wanting nothing, and therefore self-sufficient ^- he is the Fountain, creatures, 
and what they have, are screams ; and it would be as absurd for him to need 
them, or any thing from them, as for the fountain to need its streams. Besides, 
God in his divine persons, God, Father, Son, and Spirit, have enough within 
themselves, to give the utmost, yea, infinite complacency, delight, and satis&c- 
tion among themselves, and to one another, and had before any creatures were 
nade, and would have had if none had been made, and so ever will ; the Father 
delighted in the Son, '' the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his 
pei-son;" the Son in the Father, before whom he was always rejoicing, when 
ts yet no creature existed; and both in the blessed Spint, proceeding from them ; 
and he in ihem, see Prov. viii, 30. for creation idds nothing at all to the per- 
fection and happiness of God, nor makes the least alteration in him. It is in- 
4eed said. Thou hast created all things j and for thy fleas^re they are and were cre^ 
audy Rev. iv. ti. but pleasure there does not signify delight^ satisfaction, and 
happiness; as if they were made for the sake of tliat in God; to add unto it, and 
increase it ; but the good will and pleasure of God ; it is lia to d^Xn^ta rv, and 
should be rendered, by thy will they are andweje created: God has made all thingr 
for hunself : that is, for his glory, his manifestative glory ; but then this adds 
nothing to his essential glory and happiness ; tlie heavens, and so the other parts 
of the creation, declare his glory; but to whom? not to himself, he needs no 
such declaration; he knows' perfectly his own glory,, which is always invaria- 
bly the same ; but to angels and men, that they may contemplate it, and receive 
benefit by it. The invisible perfections of God, his eternal power and God- 
head, are &ecn and understood by the things that are made ; but not by God him- 
self, who needs no such glass to view tl\em in ; but by men ; and the design there- 
of is, to make some better and happier, and others inexcusable. All creatures 
stand in need of God to supply tliem and support tliem; they consist in him, are 


upheld by the word of his power, live, anJ move, and have their beings in him » 
but he stands ia need of none of them, being self-sufficient. 
, And as he does not stand in need of the creation in general, so not of men and 
angeb in particular; not of men, nor of any services of theirs, which can add 
aodiing to his perfection and happiness; not of their worship, for he is not wor^ 
fUffedwih mems hands^ as though he needed any thing'^j no not their worship* 
Ads xvii. 25. he is and ought to be the sole object of their worship; it is their 
loty ID worship him, and that in a spiritual manner, suitable to his nature as a 
Sprit; but then not he, but they arc the gainers by It; the ordinances of divine 
lerfice under the former dispensation were, and tliose undei the present are, for 
Aeiastruction edification, comfort and peace of the worshippers, who arc here- 
k^kd into communion with God, and the enjoyment of his gracious presence; 
inl so find it is good for them to wait upon him in them. But what benefit 
loci he receive thereby? he stands in no need of their prayers; it is both their 
fatyand privilege to pray to him, the God of their life, for the mercies of it^ 
temporal and spiritual ; and he is pleased to express his approbation of it, and to 
Rseoc a contrary behaviour: but who has the advantage of it? not he, but 
icy; for whose sake is the throne of grace set up? not for his own sake, but 
far the sake of his people* that they may come to it and find grace and mercy 
to hdp them in their time of need : . nor does he want their praises, nor is he 
knefited by them ; they are his due, and it becomes men to give them to htm ; 
and he condescends to accept of them, and express his well-pleasedness in them: 
knt dien the celebration of his praises adds nothing to his perfection and happi- 
ness, but to the perfection and happiness of men, who are made better thereby: 
001 is the obedience and righteousness of men of any profit to God ; obedience 
to his comnsiands ought to be yielded, and works of righteousness enjoined by 
him ought to be performed ; but then when we have done all \v^ can, we are 
but unprofitable servants to him ; if thou be righteous what givcst thou him f of 
what receiveth he of thine hand ? such woiks and such righteousness maybe 
profitable to men, and is a reason* why tliey are to be done ; but can a man be 
fnfitaile unto Gody as he that is wise may be profitable to himself ^ or others? is it 
mf pleasure to the Almighty that thou art righteous? or is it gain to him that thou 
nakest thy ways perfect f Job xxii. 2, 3. and xxxv. 7, 8. Luke xvii. 10. Tit. iii. 3. 
Should it be said, that God is glorifietl by men In the worship of him, by prayer 
to him, and praising of him; by obedience to his will, and by living sobeily, 
rig^bteously and godly, John xv. 9. ^latt. v. 16. it is verj^ true, tlicse make for 
the manifestation and display of his glory among men, but make no addition co 
his essential glory and happiness: the same. may be said of the worship and ser- 
vices of angels, of the imperfection and unprottiiblencss of wliich to God they 
arc sensible themselves, and blush and CG\'er tlieir faces whilst performing them, 

•It ii a notion of ihe hMthcns tJ'cinselvcs, that God rand* in no need of any thing; «iTt 
V^l^f TO ^«it» owyiirc* Saliuit. dc Diij, c. 15. Oo^y (miv i^or uyai ^nif»c e«^oi, I}in|;<'i ri aj.ii4 
X»Kn. I. 6. ia Vita Meacicm. 


Isai. VI. 2, 3, and though they are indeed ma^e use of as instmmetiti lil fff9ni 
dence (hut not in creation) in the preservation of God^ people, and sa thfl 4i* 
struction of their enemies, and ir>. other affairs of this world, yet not of geogi sk v i 
but of choice; it is not because God needs them, and cannot d6 wiehonf thetfi, 
but because it is his will and pleasure ; just as he makes U9e of (he ministff , aiW 
ministers 6fthc word, for the conversion of sinners and cOmfon of sainft; lldi 
diat he needs them, nor could not convert the one and Comfort the Otller witllOu 
them i for it is certain he can, and often does, but because these axe the lAOan 
and instruments he chooses to make use of, I Cor. iii. 5—7. 

There is a very remarkable expression in Paal. xvi. a, 3. Afi^ g§6Auss ne- 
tendeth not to thee^ but to the saints that mre In tht earthy and U tis gxcellixt^ u 
whom is all my Might: which if spoken by David of himsalf Mly, indeed eoft* 
firms what has been before asserted, th^t die goodness of me&, eiren of the bst 
of men, is of no advantage to God himself, but to others. The goodness 01 
David in prq^aring for the buiMing of the temple, and provkUng^ for the wordli| 
of God in it, in composing hymns and psalms ro be suag by men, and ia du 
whole of his life and conversation, was of no avail to the.essenrial happiness d 
Godi but was of use fo the saints, both for dieir profit and by way of exaia< 
pie to them : but if spoken by him in the person of Chrisr, as it is dear thi 
words arc, then they carry in them an higher sense still ;' as, that the hdiaefl 
of Christ, as man, added nothing to the perfection of God and bis natuxe i the 
the obedience he yielded in it was for the sake of men, who had the advantage 
of it, and not God ; that the satisfaction he made to divine justice for his peo- 
ple, God stood in no need of; he could have glorified his justice in the desQUC 
tion of them, as well as in the apostate angels, the okl wcild, and Sodom anc 
Gomorrah: though the debt of obedience paid to the law, and th&debt of pu- 
nishment paid to justice in their room, has magnified the law and made i 
honourable ; the benefit of this redounds to men only ; who hereby havie tbei: 
debts paid, their scores cleared, and they stand free and discharged in opec 
couit. Though the glory of God is greatly displayed in salvation by Christ 
the good will is to men; and all the good things he is con^e an high^ priest o£ 
and that come thereby, come not to Grxl, but to men; as peace, pardon, righ« 
teousness, and eternal lite. God is then a self-sufficient being, and needs no« 
thing from without himself; nor does he receive any thing. 

II. God is an all-sufficient Being, and has enough within himsdf to commit 
nicate to his creatures. He is able to do \\4iatsoevcr he pleases, to fiilfil all hia 
engagements and promises, and to do exceeding abundantly above ail that men 
ask or think. And so communicative and divisive is his goodness, that it osch 
tends to all his creatures, and every good and perfect gift comes from him,* wliicli 
is a proof of his all -sufficiency : and which appears, 

I. In his gifts of nature and providence; for he giz'eslz/e and breathy andali 
things to his creatures, Acts xvii. 25. A painter may paint as near to life as can 
be, and a scrlptor may give a statue its just features, and frame its limbs ijs 


proper symmetry and proportion, but neither of them can give life and breath; but 
God is sufficient to do this, and has done it : he breathed into Adam the breath 
oflife; and gives life to all his posterity; and is, widi great propriety, called the 
God of their life, Psal. xlii. 8. and he is sufficient to support, maintain, andpre-^ 
serve die life he has given, and does, as long as he pleases. Job x. 12. and xii. 10.' 
ftal. Ixvi. 9. and to provide for men all the necessaries of life, as food and raiment ; 
vrfiich Jacob was fully satisfied of, and therefore covenanted withGod for them 9 
Gen. xxviii. 20. and to take care of all the creatures; the fowls of heaven, and 
of the mountains; the beasts of the field and forest; and **die cattle on a thou- 
sand hills;" which, as they are his property*, they are his care; and a large fami- 
Ijr diey be to provide for every day, and food suitable to them ; and yet this he is 
sufficient to do, and does ; all wait upon him, and he gives tliem tlieir portion of 
neat in due season, Psal. I. 10, 11. and civ. 27, 28. andcxlv. 15. and cxlvii. 9* 
yea, he is sufficient to govern the whole world; nor does he need any wis^ 
fan, counsel, advice, and assistance in it, from any of his creatures, Isai. xl. 
13, 14^ he disposes and over-rules all diings as he pleases; and not only influen- 
ts, directs, and manages, in matters of the greatest importance, which concern 
kings and governors, kingdoms and states, but even those of the lowest conslde- 
radon and use ; and so in all tilings intervening, or of a class between the one 
and die other, Psal. xxii. 28. Prov, viii. 15, 16. Matt. x. 29, 30. in a view of 
which it may well 1^ said, O the depth of the riches both of thewhdom and know- 
kdgeofGod! &c. What an all-sufficiency must he be possessed of! Rom. xi. 33. 

II. God appears to be alUsufficient in the communications of his grace; he 
is the God of all grace, and is able to cause all grace to abound towards his peo- 
ple, and to supply all their wants out of that rich and glorious plenitude, and 
all-sufficiency in himself, bv Jesus Christ; he has stored the covenant with all 
the blessings of grace ; Jie has prevented Christ, the head and mediator of it with 
all the ble';sings of goodness ; he has blessed his iKrople in him with all spiritual 
blessings, and given them grace in him before t!ie world l)cgan; and caused the 
iulncss of it to dwell in him, whirh is always sufficient for them, sufficient for 
them in all ages and periods of time ; for rhem of all nations and kingdoms 
throughout the world ; for them in every state and condition of life ; for all be- 
lievers, weak or strong: and he has a suftacicncy of it for all saving purposes; for 
their acceptance withGod, and justification before him ; for the remission of their 
iins, and the cleansing of their souis, and for the supply of all their wants whilst 
Acy arc in this state gf imperfection ; and he has a sufficiency of it to communicate 
to them at all times, when they arc called to service, ordinary or extraordinary, 
to do or suffer fur his name's sake : in times of affliction, temptation, desertion, and 
in the hour of death, to bear up under, and carry them through all, and bring 
them safe to his kingdom and glory, John i. 14, 16. 2 Cor. xii. 9. Phil. iv. 19, 

III, God is a perfect Bemg: entirely perfect, and wanting nothing; Be yeper^ 
ftct^ even as your Fathtr which is in heaven ii pcrfccty Mau. v. 4S. his nature is 

VOL. I. a A 


perfect: the more simple and uncompounded any being is, the more perfect it 
is. God is a Spirit, actus simplieissimus^ the most pure, spirituaU simple, and 
uncompounded Being, and therefore the inost perfect. No perfection of Deity 
is wanting in him ; as appears from what lias been under consideration. There 
18 a fulness of the Godhead which dwells in Christ, and the same dierefore must 
be in each divine person, and especially in God, essentially considered ; and every 
attribute of his is perfect ; he is perfectly immutable ; there Is no variableness in 
him, nor shadow of turning, James i. 17. he is perfect in knowledge, knows 
himself, and all creatures and things perfectly, Job xxxvii. 16. and there is a 
depth in his wisdom, as well as in' his knowledge, which are unfathomable» 
Rom. xi. 33. and as for his power, nothing is too hard for him ; nor is his hand 
shortened that it cannot save, Isai. xl. 26, 28. and lix. i. and his holiness is widi- 
out the least tarnish \ in him are light, purity, arid holiness, and no darkness oi 
sin at all, i John i. 5. all the perfections and excellencies that are in creatures 
angels, and men, are, in the most perfect manner, in him, agrecfable to his mt 
ture ; as they must, since they all come from him, James i. 17. and tliough then 
are soiue things which are excellencies in creatures, as the reasoning faculty ii 
men, and faith in the christian, which properly speaking, cannot be said to be ii 
God ; yet diese are such as would be imperfections in him ; since the former sup 
poses some want of knowledge, which the reasoning power is employed to fin 
out, and the latter is but an obscure knowledge, and proceeds upon the autho 
rity of another ; neither of which can be supposed in God, wliose knowledge i 
clear and perfect, and to whom no authority is superior; and therefore the war 
of them does not infer any imperfection in him, but, on the contrary, the high 
est perfection. Once more, he is a rock, and his work is perfect^ Deut. xxxii 
4. his work of creation is finished, and so is the work of redemption, and, ei 
long, the mystery of providence will be finibhed, and the work of grace on th 
heart of every one of his elect; and as for God is way is perfect, Psal. xviii. 3( 
his ways of providence are without any just blame ; every path of mercy ar 
truth he pursues, he never leaves till he has finished it; and the way he pn 
scribes to his people to walk in, is i>erfcct; and the scriptures, which are of hin 
are able to make the man of God perfect, Rev. xv. 4. Psal. xxv. 10. and xix. ] 
2 Tim. i. 16, 17. 


1 HAT the nature of God is most blessed, as well as eternal^Epicurus himse 
asserted; and Velleius, an Epicurean, in Cicero**, is m^if^say, that noihir 
can be thought of more blessed than the life of God, nor more abounding wil 
all good things ; he rejoices in his own wisdom and virtue, and assuredly knov 
that he ever sliall be in the highest and eternal pleasures : this God, says he, v 

^ De Natura Deorum, 1. 1. 

Book L or the blessedness op god* 179 

%lul]r call blessed; though he wrongly represents him as neither doing nor 
deiigmng any thing. Euryphamus, a Pythagorean j^losopher, more clearly 
oposes himself; God, says he^» needs no external cause; for he is fvo-ci^ by 
auiire good, and pwa^ by nature blessed, and is of himself perfect. From diis 
attribute of blessedness the scriptures often stile God the blessed One, and thi 
Ueued G$J; Christ is called, tie Son of the Blessed^ Maik xiv. 6 1, 62. the 
Cmtor of all things is said to be, God blessed for ever^ Rom, i. 25. 2 Cor. xi. 31. 
1 Tim. i. 1 1, and Christ, as a divine person, is so called, Rom. ix. 5. and 
BoduDg is more common with the Jews, in their writings and prayers, than to 
feak of God as the holy and blessed God. This attribute may be strongly 
ywdudcd from die bst treated of; for if God is a sufficient, and self-sufficicntt 
ini ia all-sufficient Being, he must be happy ; as well as from all the perfecdontf 
of God put together, before discoursed of; his simplicity, immutability, infinity, 
demity, omnipresence, omnipotence, omniscience, justice, holiness, trudi, and 
Udifolness, all-sufficiency and perfection : he that is possessed of all these, and 
and in whom no perfection is wanting, must needs be completely blessed. le 
nij^t be argued from his sovereign, extensive, and endless power and dominion: 
ad from that light, glory, and majesty with which he is arrayed; by all n^idi 
Ik is described, i Tim. vi. 15, 16. who is the bUssed and only potentate^ &c. he 
il s potentate, has power over others, but is not under the power of any; he is 
HljaKT than the highest, die most high God ; he is over angels and men ; he 
niies in his own right, in right of creation; not by a delegated power; who hath 
pven him charge over the earth P or who hath disposed the whole world f 
Job xxxiv. 13. he has the charge of the earth, and disposes of the whole world, 
aod all persons and things in it ; but has his authority for it of himself, and not 
anodier ; he has no rival, competitor, nor partner with him in his throne ; he is 
not accountable to any, nor to be controuled by any ; he is lOng of kingSf and 
Lord 9/ lords; and so n-.ost blessed and happy as a potentate; and as such will 
always continue. /Vho only hath immortality of himself, and gives it to others: 
a&d what mars the happiness of the greatest potentates on eanh is, that they 
must and do die, like other men, Psal. Ixxxii. 6, 7. and such is his Ught and 
splendor he is clothed with, so striking and dazzling, that none can bear to 
conic unto it, and gaze upon it ; dwelling in the light of his own essence; for 
he is light itself ; and sucli is his glory and terrible majesty, as, diat no man can 
ofproach unto ; whom no man hath seen., nor can see ; and which glory arises not 
from any single perfection of his, as his holiness, or any other, but from an as- 
semblage of them all; sec Exod. xxxiii. 18, 19. and xxxiv. 6, 7. In which 
glory lies his complcat and perfect happiness; and which he gives not to ano- 
tiier. The blessedness of God may be considered, 

I. As it is in himself; and lies chiefly in these two things, in a freedom from 
all evilsy and in the possession of all good things. 

^ f rifimeot. ad Calccm, Laeit. 


I. In a freedom from all twiis^ ; particularly, from the evil of evils, sin -, ind . 
so from all the consequences of it. Sin is an evil and bitter thing in its own n- ■ 
ture ; it is exceeding sinful, and extremely pernicious ; it is die source of all dis- &! 
orders, disasters, distresses and calamities that befall any of the creatures; sin 
has made some of the angds, and Adam and his posterity, once in a most hap- 
py state, exceeding unhappy; and it is the infelicity of good men, in the pre- 
sent stare, that sin dwells in them, which wars against them, breaks theirpeace 
and comfort, and mars their happiness, and obliges them to say, O wntched 
men that we are ! but God is just and true, there is no iniquity in him, Dent, 
xxxiii. 4. no darkness of this kind at all to eclipse his lights glory, and felidtv: 
as holiness is tlie happiness of the elect angels, and glorified saints, who, being 
thoroughly holy, are completely happy ; so even the most consummate and per- 
fect holiness, is the happiness of God; yea, he is so happy as not to be tempted 
with the evil of sin, nor can be, James i. 13. whereas good men* in the present 
state, are often sadly harrassed, and made unhappy by Satan's temptations; being 
sifted by him as wheat is sifted ; and so much trouble is given them, by being 
buffeted by him, and having his fiery darts thrown at them ; but God is out 0^ 
the reach of all ; and as he is not affected with sin, nor can be tempted to it, so 
he is clear from all the evil consequences of it, all Iiurts and damages by it. 

Such is his knowledge of all things, that lie cannot make choice of any thing 
diat will be to his detriment ; men, tlirough ignorance, mistaking one thing for 
another, choose what is abominable, and issues in their hurt and ruin: and such 
is his wisdom, that he cannot be imposed upon, circumvented, deceived, and 
drawn into any thing that may make him unhappy ; as Eve was, through the 
subtlety of die serpent ; but iAere :s no wisdom ; nor under standings nor coumtU 
against the Lord^ Prov. xxi. 30. and such is his power, that he cannot be over- 
come, nor oppressed by any : with respect to men, there is, oftentimes, pou:ir 
on the side of their oppressors^ to crush and distress them, and make them unhap- 
py ; but there is no power superior to the divine Being, to do him the least 
hurt, or give him the least uneasiness. It has been observed, that property 
speaking, there are no affections and passions in God to be wrought upon, or work- 
ed up, so as to disturb or disquiet him, as there aie in creatures; such as grief 
and sorrow indulged, and wrath and anger provoked, and raised to a pitch; 
these are only ascribed to God, speaking after the manner of men ; and because 
some things are done by God similar to what are done by men, when they are 
grieved and provoked to wrath, &c. otherwise, he is invariably and unchange- 
ably die same, and so most blessed for evermore. 

II. His blessedness lies in the possession of ail good. He has all good in him; 
he comprehends all that can be called good; he stands in no need of any thing; 
he is perfect and entire, wanting nothing ; he is the fountain of all goodness; 
all good things come from him ; he gives all things richly to enjoy ; he is good, 

' So the Stoics lay of God, that he i< perfect and intellectually happy ; xaxv «»vto£ myrxilnrntf 
unipscrptibk of any cyil. Lacrt. I» 7. in Vita Zcdo. 


ind does good, yea, he is good to all ; he gives to all, and receives from none; 
and therefore must be happy ; for *' it is more blessed to give than receive/' ac- 
corfing to the saying of Christ, Acts xx. 35. he is the summum bonum^ the chief, 
the chiefest good; in whom only happiness is to be found ; when all nature is 
nuv e yeJ , and every place and thing searched into, it can be thought to be in 
God only* and he is found to be that ; fVhom have I in heaven but thee? and 
there is none upon earth that I desire besides thee^ PsaL Ixxiii. 25. Such and such 
penonsy in such and such circumstances, may be diought to be happy; but hap-' 
pf, thrice happy, are the people whose God is the Lord! who, besides the good 
things he bestows on them here, he has laid up such goodness for tlicm hereaf- 
ter, which the heart of man cannot conceive of. How blessed and happy must 
he himself be ! name whatsoever it may be thought happiness consists in, and it 
will be found in God in its full perfection. Does it lie in grandeur and domi- 
moQ? with God is tenible majesty; he is the blessed and only potentate; his 
kingdom rules over all, and is an everlasting one. I>)es it lie in wealth and 
riches ? The Gold is mine^ and the Silver is mine^ saith the Lordj Hag. ii. 8. all 
die gold and silver in the world, that, and all the fullness of it are his ; the riches 
of both Indies are his property; the mines and metals of the earth, the fowls of 
die heaven, die beasts of the field, and **the cattle on a thousand hills," in the 
httcr of which the substance of men formerly lay, Psal. xxiv. i. and I. 10 — 12. 
Does it lie in wisdom and knowledge where Solomon sought for liappincss, and 
had of all men the greatest share of it ? these arc in God in the highest perfeaion ; 
tie depth of the riches both of the wisdom and inozvledge of God! Rom. xi. 33. 
Docs it lie in might, power, and strength, as Sampson'si ejccellcncy did? God is 
mighty in strength : if I speak ofitrengthy says Joby lo^ he is strotg ; there is no 
«rcngth nor power comparable to his ; I^Fho is a strong Lord like loito thee? Job 
uc*4, 19. Psal. Ixxxix. 8. Docs it lie in pleasure; in wliich also Solomon 
sought for it, but found it not ? /« the presence of God is fullness of joy^ and at 
iis right hand are pleasures for evermore^ Psal. xvi. II. and if such as to make 
his creatures happy, angels and men, then cenainly to make himself happy also. 
Docs it lie in fame, in credit, and the high esteem of others? How excellent is 
die name of God in all the earth! his works praise him, his saints bless him, 
Tigris celebrate his glory ; yea, his glory is above the heavens ; his name is 
peat from the rising of the sun to the going down of the same. 

To happiness knowledge is neccssarj' ; whatever excellencies may be in crca- 
^'Jiw, if they know them not, they are not hiippv in them. Hence happiness 
" denied of brutes; for though there are many things which they excel in, as 
*tngth, swiftness, &c. as the horse and the mule, yet being without un(krr- 
standing, are not happy : but God knows all the excellencies and perfections iii 
Ws nature ; tiiere is no scardiiiig of his understanding, and therefore most happy. 
That ha[)piness is the greatest which is independent; the happiness of angels and 
wen is dependent on God ; they have nothing bur what they have received, and 
fcdore cannot glvrj', us ilu»ugli they received it not ; and this is a restrainc 


upon, ar.(I a Tiinitation of their hnppinfss: but the happiness of God is infifti 
and indcp'mtlrnt ; of him, and through him, and for him, are all things, Roi 
xi. 36. Add to this, ihat his hiesscdncss endures for ever ; he is God blessed ( 
rver, from cvcriasrinjj to everlasting: could his happiness cease, or be knon 
th:!t it would, it would detract from it, even for die present; but this caai 
more cense thiin his Being. 

If. What m.iv serve further to prove and illustrate the Uessedness of Go 
h, tb:ir he is the cause of all hiesscdnc&s in his creatures, angels and men. Ai 
ich have their beings fmm him ; it is he that has made them tiie spirits they ar 
and Wii?.t excellencies, as of wisdom, knowledge, strengdi, &c. they have, ai 
all from him ; that they are chosen in Christ, and confirmed by grace in hid 
Kcc the face of God, and enjoy his favour, in which their greatest bleseednei 
lies, all flow from his sovereign will and pleasure. The temporal happiness < 
men is from him ; that they have a being, are preserved in it, and have all tb 
nccessrirics and comforts of life; that tliey are blessed in basket and store; ihi 
tlicy have health and wealth, and an increase in their families, flocks andheidi 
on account of wliich it beiiovcs them to say, Blessed be the Lord^ who daii 
t'h.'itih us with hcnefits^t Psal. Ixviii. 19. Their spiritual blessings come finoa 
him, who is himself their covenant- God and Father, the chief of their blessingi 
and therefore cannot want any good thing, nor need fear any evil : they hay 
Christ, and all ilic blessTng;^ of goodness with him: the Spirit* and all his graces 
faith, hope, ar.d Inve, joy and ixriice; the blessings of pardoning grace, and j 
jiiMi tying ri;;hicoi!M;cs.s, and in which their blessedness greatly lies, and fron 
whence ijcutc and comfort flow\ Rom. iv. 6 — 8. and v. i, 11. They an 
blessed also with the word and ordinances; which are the means of increasing 
grace* and spirit i^al peace; and hereafter will be blessed with eternal happiness 
with t!ie blessed hope, or the blessedness laid up in heaven, they arc hoping for, 
which they enter upon at death, and enjoy to all eternity. Now if such Uess- 
c J.iess c:.mcs from Gtnl, how blessed must he be in himself! 
■ 111. God is liis own blessedness; it is wholly within himself and of himself: 
he receives r.onc from without himself, or from his creatures; nothing that can 
add to his h3p])incss; and he hin-.self is die blessedness of his creatures, who an 
made hnppy by him ; whose blessedness lies in likeness to him ; which is begun 
in this life, in regeneration ; when new bom souls are made partakers of the di- 
vine nature, is increased by sights of the glory of God in Christ, and will be 
perfected in the future state, when tlicy sliall awake in his likeness, and bear his 
ima;jc in a more perfect manner ; and also it lies in communion with God; it 
is the happiness of sai:its now, and what they exult in, when they enjoy it, that 
tlicir fellowsliip is with the Father, and his Son Jesus Clirist; and it will be the 
blessedness of the new Jerusalem-state, tliat the tabernacle of God will be with 
n:en, and he will dwell with them; and of the ultimate glory the saints diall 
dicn have, evcrlasiing and uuintcmiptcd communion with Fatfier, Son, and Spi- 
rit, aiid p itLke of cn^iiejik pleasures in the divine presence : and it will, mors- 


iier, lie in the visioo cf God: which, because of the happiness of it, is usually 
alkd the beatific vision; when they shall ^^ see God for tlienisclvcs^ and nut 
Mother;'* fee him as he is in Christ, and behold the glory of Chri^it; see :ia. 
iDOie darkly through a glass, but face to fac«, aud know as their kaowa. 

IV. God is pronounced, declared, and owned to l)e blessed, hy all his crea* 
(ores; hence the frequent form of blessing him used, Blessed be the Lord Uud^ 
tec Gen. ix. %b, Psal. Ixxii. x8. Luke i. 68. Eph. i. 3. tlius he is blessed by 
aapls, who, as they are called upon to bless him, do ascribe honour, glory, and 
kleisiog to him, P&al. ciii. 20. Kcv. v. 11, 12. and vii. 11, la. and by thesaincsi 
who call upon their souls, and all witiiin them, to bless his holy name tor all 
kenefilB bestowed upon them, Psal, ciii. 1— 3> and cxW, lo. Which is done 
Boc by invoking a blessing on him: for there is none greater than he, to invoke 
tad isk one of, much less by conferring any upon him ; for has He needs none, 
I crttture can give him nothing but what is his own. Besides without all con- 
fedictioav the less is Uessed of the greater; the creature of the Creator, and not 
theCtaBtor of the creatupe: but this is done by congtatuluting his greatness and 
HcMedness, and ascribing it to him, and praising him for all blessings, temporal 
nd q>iritual, bestowed on them by him ; and which, as they come from him, 
at proofs of the blessedness that is in him. And here ends the account of tlie 
Sttribotes of God; which all center and terminate in his blessedness. 


Having treated of the attributes of God, I shall now proceed to prove that 
dlis God, who is possessed of all these great and glorious perfections is but one. 
This is a first principle, and not to be doubted of; it is a most certain truth, most 
sorely to be believed, and with the greatest confidence to be asserted; as he is a 
feci that says there is no God, he is equally so, who says diere are more tiiaa 
one; and, indeed, as TertuUian* observes, if God is not one, he is not at all. 
This is the first and chief commandment which God has given, and requires 
an assent and obedience to ; on which all religion, docti ine, and faith dcp^nil, 
Mark xli. 28—30. it is the voice both of reason and revelation; it is discern- 
ible by the light of nature ; what teaches men tliere is a God, teaches them 
there is but one: and though when men neglected die true God, and his wor- 
ship, and liked not to retain him in their knowledge, he gave them up to a 
leprobate mind, to judicial blindness, to believe the Father of lies, who led them 
on by degrees -into the grossest idolatry ; yet the wiser and better sort of them, 
though they complied with the custom of countries in which they lived, and 
paid a lesser sort of worship to the rabble of inferior deities, in which tliey are 
not at all to be excused from idolatry ; yet they held and owned one supreme 

* Adv. Marcion, I. t. c 3. 


fieing, whom they often call Hie Father of the Gods and men' ; die chief Goc 
with the Assyrians, as Maerobiut relares', was called Adad; which, he says. 
signifies one; and witli the Phoenicians, Adodus, the King of the Gods^; thi 
same with iri^% one. That there is hut one God, is an article in the JewisI 
Creed, and which still continues ; and no wonder, since it stands in such a glar-< 
ing light in the writings of the Old Testament, and is as clearly and as strong- 
ly asserted in the New ; so that we christians know assuredly, tAai there is jwih 
God but ene^ I Cor. viii. 4, It is a truth agreed on by all, by Jews and Gen- 
ilcs; by Jewish doctors', and heathen fxiets and philosophers^ ; by Old and Nevi 
Testament-saints ; by the holy angels ; and even by the devils themselves : il 
must be right and well to believe it. The apostle James commends the faith J 
it; TAou believest that there ts one God\ thou dsest we/I; the devils also ielievt 
and tremble, chap. ii. 19. But I go on, 

I. To give the pioof of this doctrine ; which may be taken partly from ex- 
press passages of scripture, both in the Old and New Testament; see Deut. vi. 
4. Psal. W^xvi. 10. Isai. xliii. 10. and xliv. 6, 8. and xlv. 5 — 22. and xlvi. 9^ 
Mark xii. 29. John xvii. 3. Rom. iii. 30. i Cor. viii. 4—^. Eph. iv. 6. i Tim. 
ii. 5. The sense of these scriptures will be observed hereafter, and partly from 
the perfections of God, and his relations to his creatures. 

The necessary existence of God is a proof of his unity. The existence of 
God must be either of necessity, or of will and choice; if of will and choice, 
then it m>ist be either of the will and choice of another, or of his own ; not c* 
another, for then that other would be prior and superior to him, and so be God* 
and not he : not of his own will and choice, for then he must be before him, 
self, and l>e and not be at the same instant-, which is such an absurdity and con- 
tradiction as is not tabe endured. It remains, therefore, that he necessarily cxn 
ists ; and if so, there can be but one Go<l ; for no reason can be given why there 
should be, or can be, more than one necessarily existent Being. 

God is the first Being, the cause of all oilier Beings; he is the first Cause, 
and last End of all things ; the mind of man, fiom effects, to the knowledge 
of causes; and from one cause, to the cause of that; and so proceeds on until 
it arrives to the first Cause, which is without a cause, and i-* wint is truly called 
God; and as therefore there is but one first Cause, there can be but one God; 
so, according to Pythagoras and Plato, unity is the principle of all things ^ 

God, the first Cause, who is without a cause, and is the Cause of all, is in- 
dependent; all owe their existence to him, and so depend upon him for the pre- 
servation, continuance, and comfort of their being; all live, and move, and have 
tlicir being in him; but he, receiving his being from none, is independent of 
any ; which can only be said of one; there is but one independent Being, and 
therefore but one God. 

* Homer. Z Iliad, i. Hchiod. 1. 1. Open ic Dies, v. 59. ■ Saturnal. 1. t. c. 34. ^ Sincho* 
niatho apud Euseb. prcpar. £vangel. 1. 1. p. 38. ' Maimnn. Yrsndr Hattorah. c. t. s. 4 

Joseph Albo in Sepher Ikkarim, l.t. c. 6, 7. ^ Vide Morocum de Vcr. Chriit. Relig. c. 3^ 

*i.acrt« 1. 1. la Vita Pytbagotv. 


Book I. or THX UNITY OF god/ 185 

Gdd u an ettnialfiebg, before aU dungs, from everiasdng to everi^^ and 
tbere can be bnt one Eternal, and so but one God; htfon mr, says he, ihitt 
iwf M Gnd firmtd ; neithir shall there be after mr, Isai. xliii. xo. if dien no 
other, dim but one God. 

God is infinite and incomprdiensible ; as he is not bounded by dme, so not 
k^ qncc: he is not contained ot included any where, nor comprehended by 
any. To suppose two infinites, the one must either reach unto, comprehend^ 
ind include the other, or not; if it does not, then it is not infinite, and so not 
God; if it does reach unto, comprehend, and include the other, then that whidi 
ii comprehended, and included by it is finite, and so not God; therefore it is 
dear there cannot be more infinites than ozie; and if but one infinite, then but 

Omnipotence is a perfiecdon of God; he claims this dde to himself. The 
Lord God almighty: now there cannot be more than one Almighty; omnipo- 
fence admits of no degrees ; it cannot be said, there is one that is almighty, and 
modser that is more almighty, and a third that is most almighty; there is but 
one Almighty, and so but one God, who can do all things whatsoever he plea- 
0; nodiing is too hard, too difficult, or impossible to him; nor can any tiim 
hck his hand, or stay and stop him from acdng. To suppose two aLnighties, 
ddier the one can lay a restraint upon the other, and hinder him fi'om acdng, 
or he cannot; if he cannot, then he is not almighty, the other is mighder than 
he; if he can, then he on whom the restraint is laid, and is hindred from acdng^ 
iinot almighty, and so not God; and cheiefore there can be but one God. 

God is good essendally, originally, and inderivatively ; the source and foun- 
tiUQ of all goodness ; There is none good but one^ says Christ, that is^ Godf Matt, 
ux. 17. and therefore but one God. The heathens call their supreme God 
Opttmusy die best; and there can be none better than the best. He is the 
Wfluniiffi b^nwn^ the chief good ; and diac is but one, and therefore but one God* 

God is a perfect Being; your heavenly Father^ says Chiist, is perfect^ Matt. 
V. 48. he is perfect and entire, wutiting nothing, coir.pleatly perfect: now if 
there are more gods than one, there must be some esscr.vial difference by which 
they are distinguished from one anodier, and that must be either an excellency 
or an imperfection ; if die latter, then he to whom it belongs is not God, be« 
cause not perfect; if die former, he in whom it is, is distinguished firom all 
others in whom it is not, and so is the one and only God. 

The true God is £1-Shaddai, God all-sufficient, stands in need of nothing; 
for of him, and by him, and for him, are all things. All-sufficiency can only 
he said of One, of Him who is the first Cause and last End of all things; and 
which, as he is but one, so but one God. 

Once more, There is but one Creator; whom all receive their beings from, 
^ supported by, and accountable to, Mai. ii. 10. but one Lawgiver, who is 
aUc to save and to destroy, James iv. 12. one King and Governor of the world; 
•ne kingdom, which belongs to him; who is die King of kings, and Lord of 

VOL. I. a fi 

i86 or THE uniTV or coft. 

lords. Were thoe moie than one^ die greatest confusion wooU be introdveed 
in the world; if there ^vere more than ono that had the sovereign sway, differs 
cut and contrary laws, edicts, and decrees, might be published, and subjects 
would not know whom they were to obey, and what their du^ to be perfianacd 
by them; or whose hws tbey should pay a regard unto. I proceed, 

II. To ejqdain dm sense in which this article of oner God is to be under-i 
stood. And, 

. !• It is not to be understood in Ac Arian sense, tliat there is one supveaK 
God, and two subordinate or inferior ooea. This is no other than what is die 
notion, of die better and wiser sort of pagans, as before observed: and if reve- 
lation carries us no further than what the light of nature discovers, and dnt 
since the fall, and in its corrupt state, we gain nothing by it, with respect to 
die knowledge of God; nor are die expressions concerning the unity of thedi* 
viae Being, which are in the scriptures levelled so much against the notion of 
■ftose supreme gods, which is a notion that could never prevail miich among the 
- heathens; and is so absurd and contradictory, that there is no danger of meis 
givJng into it; but against petty and inferior deities men might be teinpcedo 
embraoe and worship. Besides, if two subordinate and inferior deities may ks 
admitWid, consistent with one God, why not two hundred, or two diousuU 
119 reason can be given why the one should not stand as much excluded u die 
odier: and again, those deities are either creators or creatures;, if creatDn» thea 
diey are the one supreme God; for to create is peculiar to him; but if creataresi 
for there is no medium between the Creator and the creature, then they are not 
gods that made die heavens and the earth; and so come under die impcocatioa 
of the prophet, Tkegods that have not made the heavens and the earthy even thtj 
shall perlsht or may dioy perish from the earthy andjrom under these h^avem^ 
Jbr. X. 1 1, to which may be added, that such are not entided to religious wor* 
ship, which would be worshipping the creature besides and together widi die 
Creator, and would be a breach of the farst command, Thou shalt have m odier 
gods before me^ Rom. i. 25. Exod. xx. i, 2. 

IK Nor is this ardcle to be understood in the Sabellian sense, that God is but 
one person; for though diere is but one God, there are three persons in the 
godhead, which the SabcUians deny; who are so called from one Sabellius who 
lived in die middle of the third century; though this notion was broached before 
him by Noetus*", whose followers were called Noetians and Patripassians, assert- 
ing, in consequence o£ their principles, that the Father became incarnate, sut 
fered anddied: and before them Viotorinus and-Praxeas° were much of die same 
opinion, against whom TertuUian wrote^ and who speaks** of one sort of the 
Cataphrygians who held that Jesus Christ was bodi Son and Father; zxA even 
it may be traced up as hig^ as SimonMi^s, who asserted that Father, Son^ 
and Holy Ghost-, were only different names of one and the same person, aocord^i 
ing to his difierent way of operationi^: and as before his pretended conversion 

">Vid. Augutttn. de Hfercf. c. 3^* * TurtnllUn. de Praicripu Hcret. Ob 53. A;. Adv. 
Prajccftin, c, 1. s« f D« Pr«Kript. c. ss. ' Vid. Daobudi ia Aagwt. dc Hmtm. e. c* 

Bopkl. or THE UNITY or GOBr 187 

k giveont tfait he was tome great one. Acts ?iiL 9. to be ^ afieMfti^ and 
aidhe was the Fatfaerin Samaria, the Son b Judea, and die Holy Ghost mdw 
ntof the nations^. Our Socinimu and modem Umtarima are much of die same 
.ttsdment widi the SabelUmu in this respect; and some who profess evangelical 
doctrines have embraced it» or are nibbling at it ; ftncying they have got new 
Ifjtt, when diey have only imbibed an old stale error, an tncieni work of dark« 
nets, which has been confuted over and over. If the Father, Son, and %)irih 
me but one person, diey could not be diree testifiers, as they are said to be» 
2 Jdm V. 7. to testify is a personal action; and if die Father is one diat bean 
Kcnd, the Son another, and the Holy Ghost a thiid, they must be diree persona 
ad not one only; and when Christ says, / and myfatktr an sHr, John x. 30. 
k cumot mean one person, for this is to make him say what is die inost absmd 
aid contradictory; as diat I and myself are one, or that! am one, andmy fiu 
kr who is anodier, arc one person; but of thit more herekfier. 

III. Nor is dus doctrine to be understood in a TriiAiisiic sense, that il, that 
Abc are three essences or beings numerically distinct, which may be said to be 
cas^ because of the same nature; as diree men may be said to be one, because 
rf the same human nature; but this is 10 assert thiee Gods and'not one; thia 
As TfhuiariaMs indeed are often charged with, and th^ as often deny the chafge ;• 
firdiou^ they affirm the Father is God, the Son is God, aiod the Holy Ghost 
fe^God, yet not that they are diree Gods, but one God. For diey assert, thaC 
hoc is but one divine essence, undivided, and commoii to Father, Son, and Spi- 
B^aiid in this sense but one God; since there is but One essence, diougfi there 
He difierent modes of subsisting in it which are called persons; and these pos^ 
Kss the whole essence undivided ; that is to say, not that the Father has one part, 
he Son another, aiid the holy Spirit a third; but as the whole fulness of die god* 
lead dwells in the Father, so in the Son, who has all diat the Fathei* has, John 
nr. i6« Col. ii. 9. and so in the Spirit, and dicrefou but one God. This uni- 
f of them is not an unity of testimony only ; for it is not said of diem as of the 
bee that bear record on earth, diat they agree in one, but that they are one, 
; John V. 7, 8. but it is an unity of nature; they have one and die same infi- 
lite and undivided nature ; and this unity is not an unity of parts, whidi makea 
nr oompositum, as die body and soul of man do; for God is a simple and un- 
orapounded Spirit; nor an unity of genus and species, under which may bema- 
y singulars of the same kind, but God is one in number and natuie, and stands 
pposd to the pdytheism of the heathens, who had gods many and lords ma- 
y, I Cor. viii. 4, 5. and to all nominal and figurative deities^ as angels, civil 
ragistrates, judges, &c. even to all who are not by nature God, Gal. iv. 8. 
for is this unity of God to be objected to and set aside by the many names of 
^od, as El, Elohim, Jehovah, &c. since dicse are names of die one God, as 
le and the same inan may have difierent names, and yet but one; nor by tha 
any ' attributes of God, which do not dider from himi nor firom one another, 

1 1 reoatit Adir* Hsret* c* 83* 


but are all one in God, and are himself; though distinctly considered by in, be- 
cause our understandings are too weak to take them in as in the gross, but to 
consider them apart, as has been otiserved. Nor by the persons in die goAead 
being more than one; for though three persons, they diiler not from die divine 
essence, nor from one another, but by their distinctive modes of subsisting, and 
are but one God. Nor are those passages of scripture which assert die unity 
of God to be appropriated to one person only, to the exclusion of the ochen; 
but to be considered as including each. 

' The famous passage in Deut. vi. 4. which is introduced in a solemn manner 
exciting attention, Heavy O Israel^ the Lord our God is om Lord! and whidi 
Christ, refers the scribe to as the first and chief command, Mark xii. 28, 29. as* 
serts that there is but one Jehovah ; but not that this is peculiar to the Father, 
and as exclusive of the Son and Spirit ; for Christ the Son of God is Jehovah, : 
and is often so called; see Exod. xvii. 7. Num. xxi. 6. compared with i Cor. 
X. 9. Jer. xxiii. 6. Zech. xii. 10. and so die Holy Ghost, Isai. vi. 1—9. com- 
pared with Acts xxviii. 25, 26. and these, with the Father, are the one Lord or 
Jehovah; and are manifestly included in Elohenu, a word of the plural dud- 
ber, and may be rendered our Gods, or rather our divine persons arc one Lord; 
for Christ the Son is one of them, who is that God whose throne is for everand 
ever; and the Spirit that God, or divine person, who anointed Christ as man, 
Psal. xlv. 6, 7. and that the three divine persons who arc the oi\p Jeho\'ah are 
here meant, is not only the sense of christian^ writers but even of the ancient 
Jews' ; and besides, the Son and Spirit are entided to the same sincere and fi;r- 
vcnt love of men as the Father, and which is required to be given to the one Jc. 
hovah, even Father, Son and Spirit. 

The several passages in Isaiah before referred to, and which so strongly as- 
sert the unity of the Divine Being, cannot be understood to the exclusion of dw 
Son and Spirit. In one of them, chap. xliv. 6. die only Lord God calls himself 
the first and the last, a tide which also Christ the Son of God claims as his, Rev. 
i. 8. yea in the same passage the one God stiles himself tlie Redeemer, a name 
very peculiar to the Sou, who agreed to be the Redeemer ; came in the fulness 
of time as such, and has obtained eternal redemption for men : and in another of 
diose passages, chap. xlv. 21. the only Lord God is spoken of as a Saviour; 
and in 22. Christ is represented as a Saviour inviting and encouraging persons to 
look to him for salvation, enforcing it widi this reason, /or / am Gody and then 
is none else: now as the Father cannot be supposed to be excluded hereby, so 
iicidier should the Son and Spirit be thought to be excluded by similar expres- 
sions elsewhere; besides, the following vene, 23. is manifesdy applied to Christ 
by the Apostle, Rom. xiv. 10, 11. 

The words of our Lord Jesus Christ, John xvii. 3. which affirm the Father 
to be the only true God, cannot be understood to the exclusion of himself; this 
is life eternal^ that they might know thee the only true Gody and Jesus Christ whom 

' Vid. Ful^emii. Responi. contr. Arun. Obj. 4. 10. "Sec my Doctrine of the Trinityy 
p. 19,20. 





Book !• OF THE UNITY OF GOD. l5?9 

Aw hast sent: since Christ also is called the only Lord God, Jutlc 4. an! tlic 
mic God and eternal life, i John v. 20. nor would he liav-i joined himself so 
doseiy with the only true God, if he was not so; but he thought it no robhcry 
to be equal with him, yea one with him ; of the same nature, power, and glorv; 
and besides, eternal life is made as much to depend on the knowledge of Christ 
uoffais Father; see John vi, 47 — 54. t!ie reason of this mole of expression, 
iitinguishing the one from the other, is because Christ is described by his of- 
fice as sent of God. 

In Rom. iii. 30. it is said, It is one God'Lvhkh shall Justify the circumcision h^ 
faithf and uncircumcision through faith ; that is, there is one Got! of Tews and 
Gcnnles, which this is said to prove, 29. but Clirist cannot stand cxxlndcd from 
the one God that justifies, since he is Jehqvah our righteousness, and the sun 
of righteousness, Jer. xxiii. 6. Mai. iv. 2. and it is not only his righteousness 
Ijr which men are justified, Jews and Gentiles; but l\e himself justifies them 
bf his knowledge, that is, by fuirh, Isai. liii. 1 1. nor the holy Spirit, wlio brings 
near Christ's righteousness, and applies it ; works faith to receive it, and pro^ 
Qounces men justified by it, 1 Cor. vi. if. 

The text in i Cor. viii. 6. which expresses the fiiith of christians, there v% 
hton< God the Father^ of ivhom are all things^ stands opposed not to any other 
persons in the Godlicad, but to the many lords and gods among the heathens, 
j. nor Is the Father called the Father of Christ, or opposed to him, but ilic Fa- 
ther of all; that is, the Creator; see Mai, ii. 10. in which character, the Soa 
ind Spirit are indudcd, Fxclcs. xii. i* Besides, if Christ could be thought 10 
Hand excluded from the one Goil, the Father, by the same rule of inrcr])rcta-« 
tion, God the Father must stand excluded from the one Lord, said of Clirisr 
indie same text; and these observations may be applied to Eph. iv. 5, 6. aud 
wfll serve 10 clear and explain the words there to the same sense. 

It is also said in i Tim. ii. S- that there is one Godj and one AlcdiCxtzr hcfji'€c% 
God and men^ the man Christ Jesus: now the reason why Ciirist i.s spjkcn cf 
as distinct from the one God, though not different, is for the sake of t!ic men- 
tion of him in his o£fice as Mediator; but then if he was not the one God. with 
the other divine person ; or the true God, and the great God, he could not be 
a Mediator between God and man: he could not be a day's-nian iKtwcen therop 
and lay his hands on lx)th ; he could not draw nigh to God, and treat with him 
about peace and reconciliation ; and much less make peace for men, and be a 
ransom for them; as in the following verse: but after all, though there arc 
three persons in the Godhead, as will more clearly appear hereafter, and none 
of them stand excluded from Deity, yet there is but one God^ this is an arti' 
de that must be inviolably maintained. 

The doctrine of the unity of the divine Being, is of great importance in rcli* 
gion; especially in tlie affair of worsliip. God, the one only God, is the ob- 
ject of it. lliis is the sense of the first and second Commands, whigh forbid 
owning any other God but one, and the worship of any creature whatcvtrt 


aogels or men, or any other creature, and the likeness of them ; which to dc 
is to worship the creature, besides, or along widi the Creator. But this hin- 
ders not but that the Son and Spirit may have acts of worship performed to them, 
equally as to the Father; and for this reason, because they are, widi him, du 
one God; hence baptism is administered equally in the name of all three; an 
prayer is jointly made unto them; both solemn acts of religious worship; sn 
Matt, xxviii. 19. Rev. i. 4, 5. And diis doctrine of the unity of the divine 
Being, as it fixes and settles die object of worship, so being closely attended to, 
it guides the mind right in die consideration of it, while worshipping, withom 
any confusion and division in it; for let the direction, or address, be to whidi 
person it may, as each may be distinctly addressed; be it to the Father, he il 
considered in the aa of worship, as the one God, with the Son and Spirit; if 
the address is to the Son, he is considered as the one God, with the Fadier and 
the Spirit; or if the address is to the Spirit, he is considered as the one God, 
with die Father and Son. And this doctrine also serves to fix and settle the 
object of our faith, hope, and love, without division and distraction of minA; 
which are not to be exercised on different objects, and to be divided between 
them; but arc to center in one object, the one only true God, Father, Son, and 
Spirit; whom alone wc are to make our confidence, our hope, and the center 
of our afFeccions, Jcr. xvii. 7. Psal. Ixxiii. 25. As well as this doctrine carries 
a srrong and powerful argument to promote unity, harmony- and concoid 
among the saints ; for which it is used in Eph. iv. 5—6. 


xlAviNo proved the unity of the divine Being, and explained the sense in 
which it is to be understood; my next work will be to prove that diere is a plu- 
rality in the Godhead ; or, that there are more persons Chan one, and that these 
are neithei more, nor fewer, than three; 01, that diere is a Trinity of Prisons 
in the unity of the divine essence^i Some except to diese terms, because nol 
literaUy and syllabically expressed in scripture; as Essence, Unity, Trinity, and 
Person; of which see the introduction, p. 10. I shall, 

I. Prove that there is a jdurality of persons in the one God ; or, that there an 
inore than one. Hie Hebrew word D*39 which answers to the Greek word 
ff^otf-ttflrei, is used of the divine persons, 09 My p^n^y shall g9 with tkee^ Exod; 
xxxiii. 14. and if TW thypmons go not with mf, 15. and he trcught thet tmt >*3ra 
by hispersonsy Dent. iv. 37, The word is used three times in Psal. xxyii. 8, 9. 
and in each clause the Septuaglm has the word ffperinr^y, and which, as> Suidas^ 
observes, is expressive of the sacred Trinity, That there is such a plurality oi 
persons, will appear- more clearly, 

I. From' the plural names and efMthets of God. His great and inoonnnuiii* 
cable name Jehovah, is always in the singular number, and is never usedpli^ 


idj; die reason of which is, because it b expressive of his esseticei which it 
lot one; It is the same with / j/Af that I AM\ but the first name of God we 
neet widi in scripture, and that in the first verse of it, is plural; In the begins 
ting G§d (Elohim) created the heaven and the earthy Gen. i. i. and therefore 
SHMT design more than one, at least two, and yet not precisely two, or two only 3 
4en it would have been dual ; but it is plural: and, as die Jews themselves say, 
cumoc design fewer than three "*• Now Moses might have made use of other 
tomes of God, in his account of the creation ; as his name Jehovah, by which 
k made himself known to him, and to the people of Israel ; or Eloah, the sin- 
gshr of Elohim, which is used by him, Dcut. xxscii. 15, 16. and in the book 
Job fiequently ; so chat it was not want of singular names of God, nor the bar- 
Rnness of the Hebrew language, which obliged him to use a plural word; it 
US no doubt of choice, and with design ; and which will be more evident when 
i is obser ve d, that one end of the writings of Moses, is to extirpate the poly- 
tbdm of the heathens, and to prevent the people of Israel from going into it; 
mldierefere it may seem strange, that he should begin his Jiistory with a plu* 
III Hunc of God ; he must have some design in it, which couh) not be to incul- 
CMe a phirality of gods, for that would be directly contrary to \vhat he had in 
view in writing, and to what he assens, Deut. vi. 4. Heary O Israel^ the Lord cur 
G%iis $ne Lord: nor a plurality of mere names and characters, to whkh creative 
fowen cannot be ascribed ; but a [durality of persons, for so the words may be 
Rndered, distributively, according to the Idiom of the Hebrew language; '^ In the 
kginning every one, or each of the divine persons, created the heaven and the 
eiidi." And then the historian goes on to make mention of them; who, 
besides the Father, included in diis name, are the Spirit of God, that moved up- 
on die Face of the waters, and the Word of God, verse 2. which said. Let 
Hbnr fe Bghty and there ivas light ; and which spoke that, and all things, out of 
nodriag; see Jdin t. 1—3. And it may be further observed, that this plural 
void Elohim, is, in this passage, in construction with a vcrl) singular Bara, 
Rndered created ; which some have thought is designed to point out, a plurality 
of persons, in the unity of the divine essence; but it this is not judged sufficient 
DDbuiktit upon, let it be further observed, that the word Elohim is sometimes in 
oommction with a verb plural, as in Gen. xx. 13. and xxxv. 7. 2 Sam. vii. 23* 
lAMve Elohim, the gods, or divine persons, are said to cause Abraham to wan- 
dor from his Other's house; to appear to Jacob; and to go forth to redeem 
hnii: all which are personal actions: and likewise 4t is in construction with 
k^eBtives and participles plural, Deut. iv. 7. and v. 26. Josb.xxiv. 19. i Sam. 
tiL 2A1 36. Psal. Iviii. 11. Prov. xxiu 3. Jer. x. \0* in which places Elohiin, 
god^ or the <My]he persons, are said to be nigh to the po ;plc of Israel ; to be 
livn^ holy, and to judge the earth; characters which belong to persons; and 
now, a» ft learned man"* well observes, ** that however die construction of a 

•-Vid* Altiqf» Dimrt. Fhilotoc- 4w a. ^ 7, 8, "» AilU'i Judfttem gf ci|e Jewish Chutch, 


noun plural with a verf> singular, may rentier it doul)tful to some whetfatr dies 
^oixLs cypress a plurality or no, yet certainly there can he no doubt in the 
places, where a verb or adjective plural arc joined with the word Elohioi.'* ^ 
such stress is laid on this word, as if it was tlie clearest and strongest proof of 
phualiry in the Deity ; i: is only mentioned, and mentioned first, because it is tl 
most usual name of God, Ixing used of him many hundreds of times in scriptun 
and what stress i^ laid upon it, is not merely because it is plurai, but because 
;ipi.ear.s nftcn in an unusual form of construction ; it is used of others, but n 
in such :i form ; as has been o{)ser\'cd. It is used of angels, Psal. viii. 6. th< 
bi.iiig not only many, but are often messengers of God, of the divine Persons i 
the Go'liead, represent them, and speak in their name. And it is used of civ 
m.)^isLratcs, Psal. Ixxxli. 6. and so of Moses, as a god fj Pharaoh, Exod. vii. 
as tiiey well may be called, since they are the vicegeicnts and reiM'esentatives i 
the Elohim, the divine Persons, the IVine-unc God: nor need it be wooden 
at, that it should be sometimes use<l of a single Person in the Deity, it beixi 
common to them all ; and since cacli of them possess the whole divine natui 
snd essence undivided, Psal. xlv. 6, 7. The ancient Jews not only conclude 
a purality, but even a Trinity, from the woid Elohim *. With respect to th 
passage in Numb. xv. 16. they say'', "lliere is no judgment less than three i 
and that thiee persons sitting in judgment, the divine Majesty is with dieni 
tlicv conclude from Psal. Ixxxii. T. he judfcth amotr^ the gods ^ Ot6m. Henc 
thry liirihcr tibst-rvc^ that **no sanhedrim, or court of judicamre, is calle 
Z2'V\:ii ui'.lcss it C'Hi.Msts uf tiirce.*' From whence it is manifest, that ih 
ancient Jcwjj lyciicvtvi ih'.it this name not only infened a plurality of persons, bu 
sufJi a plurality which consisted of three at least. 

Another plural name of God is Jdonm\ If I am (Adonim) Lords^ wher 
is my fear f Alal. i. 6. now, though this may be said of one in the second aiv 
tliiid Persons plural, yet never of one in the first Person, as it is here said 
Gud l«y himself; i am Lords y anu we arc sure diere arc two, The Lord said t 
my Loidy &c. Fhiil. ex. i. 

In D::n. i%. 17. iJie niost hi^h God is called the watchers and the holy ones 
7/1* J matter is l>y the decree of the watches^ and the demand by the word of the hok 
Ones; which rtrspcxts ihc revolution and destruction of the Babylonian monarchy 
an afftiir of such m(jnicnt and importance as not to be ascribed to angels, whic 
sume understand by watchers and holy onc^; but however applicable thes 
epithets may be to them, and they may l)e allowed to be the executioners of th 
decrees of God, yer not the makers of tliem ; nor can any diing in this work 
and much ic.s:, an arfliir at such consequence as this, be said to be done in vii 
tue of any (Il^vcc of theirs; besides, this decree is expressly called, the decre 
of tlic most High, 24. so that the watchers and holy Ones, are no other tha 
tic Pcrsoiis in tlie Godlicad; who art holy in tlicir nature, and watcl 

^ Src my tlocM inc cf the Tiiniiy, p. 30. ? Glos*. iu T. Bab. Yekamot, f*l. 46. fl. - T. fiab 
Bciaco:, f>l. 6 i & Gl.b.. in ibid. 


Over die saints to do them good; and over the wicked, to bring evil upon them: 
mdu they are so calleil in the plural number, to express the plurality of tlicm 
in the Deity; so to preserve the unity of the divine essence, this same decree is 
called, the decree of tlie most High, 24. and tliey the watcher and holy One, 
indie singular number in 13. 

II. A plurality in the Deity, may be proved from plural expressions used by 
Godwhen speaking of himself, respecting the works of creation, providence, and 
grace. At the creation of man he said. Let us make man in our image ^ ^f*^^ 
tur liiewssy Gen. i. 25. the pronouns «i and o///, manifestly express a plurality of 
persons; these being personal plural characters ; as image and likeness being in 
the singular number, secure the unity of the divine essence; and that there 
were mtire than one conccrncil in the creation of man, is clear from the pluial 
expressions used of the divine Being, when he is spoken of as the Creator of 
men, Job xxxv. 10. Psal. cxUk. 2. Eccles. xii. 1. Isai. Hv. 5. in all which pla- 
ces, in the original text, it i.s my Makers, his Makers, thv Creators, thy Ma- 
kers; for winch no other reason can be given, tlian that more persons than one 
had an hand herein; for as for the angels, tliey are creatures themselves, and not 
possessed of creative powers; nor were tliey concenicJ in the creation of man, 
nor was he made after their image and likeness; nor can it bo reasonably thought 
Aat God spoke to them, and held a consultation with them about it; for wit/i 
vthm took he counsel? Isai. xl. 14. Not with any of his creatures; no, not 
widi the highest angel in heaven; they arc not of his pi ivy council. Nor is it 
to be thought that God, in the above passage, speaks regio more^ after the man- 
ner of kings ; who, in their edicts and proclamations, use the plural number, 
to express their honrjur and majesty ; and even they are not to be considered 
alone, but as connotating their ministers and privy council, by whose advice 
they act; and, besides, this courtly way of speaking, was not so ancient as the 
times of Moses; none of the kings of Israel use it; nor even any of those proud 
and haughty monarchs, Pharaoli and Nebuchadnezzar; tlie first appearance of 
ii is in tlie letters of Artaxerxes, king of Persia, Ezra iv. 18. and vii. 23. which 
might take its rise from the conjunction of Darius and Cyrus, in the Persian 
empire, in both whose names edicts might be made, and letters wrote; which 
might give rise to such a way of speaking, and be continued by their succes- 
sors, to express. their power- antl glory: but, as a learned man^ observes, **Jt 
is a very extravagant fancy, to suppose that Moses alludes to a custom that 
was not (for what appears) in being at that time, nor a great while after.'* 
The Jews themselves are sensible that this passage furnishes with an argument 
for a plurality in the Deitj-^''. 

A like way of speaking is used concerning men, in Gen. iii. 22. And the 
wrf God saidy Behold^ the num is become as one ojus ; not as one of the angcis 
for they are not of the Deity, nor the companions of God, and equal to him; 

'Kidder's Demonstration of tlic Messuh, part 3. p. 90. edit. lol. »• Sec my djcirinc of ih: 
Triniiy, p. 35, 36, 

VOL. 1. AC 


for whatever private secret meaning Satan might have in saying, Yc shall 1: 
as gods; he would have it understood by Eve, and so she understood it, ths 
they should be not like the angels merely, but like God himself; this was A 
bait he laid, and which took, and proved man^s ruin; upon which the Lot 
God said these words, either sarcastically, "behold the man whom Satan pre 
mised, and he expected to be as one of us, as one of the persons in the Deity; « 
how much he looks like one of us! who but just now ran away from us i 
fear and trembling, and covered himself witli fig-leaves, and now stands befoi 
us cloathed with skins of slain beasts!" or else as comparing his former an 
present state together; for the words may be rendered, he was as one of us 
made after their image and likeness: but what is he now? he has sinned, an 
come short of that glorious image ; has lost his honour, and is become like th 
beasts that perish, whose skins he now wears. PhiloS the Jew, owns tha 
the:ie \vord^ arc to be understood not of one, but of more ; the sv km toxxo, th 
one and many, so much spoken of by the Pythagoreans and Platonists; am 
which Plato "^ speaks of as infinite and eternal, and of the knowledge of then 
as the gifi of the gods ; and which, he says, was delivered to us by the ancf 
ents ; who were better than we, and lived nearer the gods ; by whom he seenu 
to intend the ancient Jews ; this, I say, though understood by their followen 
of tlie unity of God, and the many ideas in him, the same with what we caD 
decrees ; I take to be no other than the one God, and a plurality of persons in 
the Deity; which was the faith of the ancient Jews; so that the ^oxxa, of Fla- 
*o, and others, is the same with the ^rXuSor of Phllo, who was a great Plato- 
nizer; and botli intend a plurality of persons. 

God sometimes uses the plural number when speaking of himself, with re- 
spect to some particular affairs of providence, as the confusion of languages; Gt 
tOy let us go dowrty and there confound their language ; which al&o cannot be said 
to angels ; had it, it would rather have been, go ycy and do yc confound their lan- 
guage: but, alas, this work was above the power of angels to do; none but 
God, that gave to man the faculty of speech, and the use of language, could con- 
found it; which w-as as great an instance of divine power, as to bestow the gifi 
of tongues on the apostles, at Pentecost ; and the same God that did tlie one, die 
the otlier; and so tlie us here, are after explained of Jehovah, in the f(Jlowin{ 
verse, to whom the confounding -the language of men, and scattering then 
abroad on the face of the earth, are asciibed, verse 8, 9. In another affair 
providence, smiting the Jewish nation with judicial blindness ; this plural wa; 
of speaking is used by the divine Being; says the prophet Isaiah, I heard th 
voice of the Lordy sayings JVhom shall I send y and ivho will go for usP Isai. vi. i 
not tlie seraphim say this, but Jehovah ; for to them neither the name Jehovah 
nor the work agree; and though there is but one Jehovah that here speaks, y< 
more persons than one arc intended by him ; of Christ, tlie Son of God no que! 
tion can be made, since the Evangelist applies tlicni to him ; and obser\-es, th; 

« n -rrwncu/Luv rXn^of ifx^nnrof, De Confus. Ling. 344, 345. * !■ PUilcbo,| p. 372, 37J. E( 

Ficin. Vid. Parmenidcniy p. iiii, uifli 11171 ^^>^^> ^^*>- 


Isaiah said the words when he saw his glory, and spoke of him, John xil. 40, 
41. nor of the Holy Ghost, to whom they are also applied, Acts xxviii. 25, 26. 
There is another passage in Isai. xli. 21 — 23. where Jehovah, the King of Ja« 
cob, challenges the heathens, and their gods, to bring proof of their Deity, by 
prediction of future events ; and, in which, he all along uses tlie plural number ; 
"shew us what shall happen, that wc may consider them ; declare unto us things 
lor to come, that we may know that ye are gods, and that we may be dismay* 
cd; see also Isai. xliii. 9. 

Aod as in the affairs of creation and providence, so in those of grace, and vrich 
respect to spiritual communion with God, plural expressions are used; as when 
our Lord says,. ^ a man love mcy he will keep my words \ and my Father will love 
iim, and we will come unto him^ and make our abode with him^ John xiv. 23. 
which personal actions of coming and making abode, expressive of communion 
and fellowship, are said of more than one; and we cannot be at a loss about two 
of them, Christ and his Father, who are expressly mentioned ; and hence we 
lead of fellowship with the Father, and his Son Jesus Christ; and also of the 
communion of the Holy Ghost, i John i. 3. 2 Cor. xiii. 14. To all these in- 
ttaoces of plural exprc'ssions, may be added Cant. i. ii^ John iii. 11. 
I III. A plurality in the Deity may be proved from those passages of scripture 
which speak of the angel of Jehovah, who also is Jehovah; now if tiieie is a 
Jduyvah that is sent, and dierefore called an angel, and a Jehovah thit sends, 
(here must be more persons dian one, who are Jehovah. 

The first instance of this kind is in Gen. xvi. 7. where tlie angel of Jehovah 
is said to find Hagar, Sarah's maid, in the wilderness, and bid her return to her 
mistress; which angel appears to be Jehovah, since he promises to do that for 
her, and acquaints her with future diings, which no created angel, and none but 
Jehovah could, 10 — 12. and what proves it beyond all dispute that he must be 
Jehovah, is, what is said, 13. S/w called the name of the Lord, or Jehovah, that 
Sfaie unto her^ thou^ God^ sent. 

In Gen. xviii. 2. we read of three men who stood by Abraham in the plains 
^ Mamre^ who were angels in an human form, as two of them are expressly 
said to be, chap. xix. i. Dr. Lighifoot^ is of opinion, that they werctiie three 
divine persons; and scruples not to say, that at such a time the Trinity dined 
with Abraham ; but the Father, and the holy Spirit, never assumed an human 
fonn • nor are they ever called angels. However, one of tliese was undoubted- 
W a divine ocrson, tlie Son of God in an human form; who is expressly cr.lled 
Jehovah, die Judge of all the earth, 13 — 26. and 10 wliom omnipotence and 
omniscience arc ascribed, 14 — 19. and to whom Abraham shewed the utmost 
reverence and respect, 27 — 31. -and now he is distinguished, being Jehovah In 
human form on earth, from Juhovah in heaven, from whom he is said to rain 
kimstone and fire on Sodom and Gomorrah, chap. xix. 24. which conflagra- 

« Woiks, vol. X. p. 13. 


tion was not made by the ministry of created angels, but is always representd 
as tlic work of Elohini, of the divine Persons, Jer. 1. 4c. Amos iv. 11. 

An angel also appeared to Abraha;n r: the offering np of his son Isaac, and 
bid him desist from it; ::nd who appeals plainly to be the same with hicn who 
ordered hini to do it; expressly calicd Ciod, Gen. xxii. 11, 12. compared with ■ 
i^iOvrand-leho^nh, who swore by M in si* if, and promised to do what none but 
Go'l could do, t6 — 18. see Hcb. vi. 13, 14. *vhcre what !s here said is express- 
ly ascribed to Go<l, Add to this, the name Abraham gave the place on this oc- 
casion, Jehovah-Jireh, because the Lord had appeared, and would hereafter ap- 
pc :r in this place. 

The angel invoked by Jacob, Gen. xlviii. 15, 16. is put upon a level with 
the God of his Fathers Abraham and Isaac; yea, is represented as the same; and 
the work of redeeming him from all evil, equal to that of feeding him all his life 
Iciig, is ascribed to him; as well as a blessing on the sons of Joseph, is pnycJ 
for from him ; all which would never have been said of, nor done to a created 

Tlie angel which appeared to Moses in the bush, Exo<L iii. 2. was nor a 
created angel, but a divme person; 3s is evidrnt from the names by which he is 
called, Jehovah, God, the God of Ab!::han, IsafiC, and Jacob, I AM that I AM, 
4 — 14. and from the things ascribed to lilm; seeing the affiictions of the 
Isiaclites, coming to deliver them out of Egyptian bondage, and promising to 
hiii:g them into the land of Canaan, 7, 8. to which may be added, the prayer of 
Mc\scs for a Messing on Jo5'~ph, bccai;::c of the good will of him that dwelt in 
the bush, Dcut. xvxiii. 16. ar.d the application of this pabsagc to God, by our 
]jrc] Jesus Ch.nst, Mark xii. 26. 

Once more, the angel that v»as p^onilKed to go before the children of Israel, 
to keep a:id giii^lc tl\em ;n tlic wr.y through the wilderness to the land of Canaan, 
is no other than Jehovah ; since not only the ol>edience of the children cf Israel 
to him is required: but it is suggested, that should they disobey him, he wovH 
ii«:t, though he could, pardon their iniquities; which none but God can do: and 
also it is said, the name of the Lord was in him ; that is, his nature and per- 
ffctions; and since it is the same the children of Israel rebelled against, he codd 
l;c ijo other than Christ, the Son of G oil, whom they tempteil; the angel of 
God's presence ; who, notwithstanding, saved and carried lliem all tlic days of 
old. Isai. Ixiii. 9. I Cor. x. 9. 

Again, we read of the angel of the Lord, before whom Joshua the high- 
priest, was brought and stood, being accused by Satan, Zech. iii. I. who is not 
only called Jehovah, 2. but takes upon him to do and order such things, whith 
none hut God could do; as causing the iniquity of Joshua to pass from hin^i 
and (lorhincr him with chanjre of raiment; see Isai. Ixi. 10. 

To these may be added, all such scriptures which speak of two, as distinct 
from each other, under the same name of Jehovah ; as in the abovemcnrioncd 
rex% Gen. -/\x, 24, where Jehovah is said to rain fire and brimstone from Jcho- 


ih, out of heaven ; and in Jcr. xxiii. 5, 6. where Jehovah promises to raise up 
righteous branch to David, wiiosc name should be called Jehovah our righte* 
usness: and in Hos. i. 7. where Jehovah resolves he would save his people by 
^hovah their God. Other passages might be mentioned, as proving a plurali- 

in Deity ; but as some of these will also prove a Trinity in it, tliey will be 
»nsidered under the following head ; where it will be proved, 
IL That this plurality in tlie Godlicad, is neither more nor fewer than three; 
', that there is a Trinity of persons in the unity of the divine essence; this I 
ive before taken for granted, and now I shall prove it. And not to take no- 
ire of the name Jehovah being used three times, and three times only, in die 
£5sing of the priest^ Numb. vi. 24 — 26. and in the prayer of Daniel, chap. ix. 
^and in the church's declaration of her faith in God, Isai. xxxiii. 22. and the 
ord holy repeated three times, and three times only, in the seraphims celebra- 
on of the glory of the divine Being, Isai. vi. 3. and in that of the living crea- 
ues, in Rev. iv. 8. which may seem to be accidental, or the effect of a fervent 
:id devout disposition of mind; but there is not any tiling, no not the least thing 
at is said or written in the sacred scriptures, without design. 
I shall begin with die famous text in 1 John v. 7. as giving full proof and 
ndence of this doctiine; For there are three that bear record in heaven^ the 
other ^ the tVord^ and the Holy Ghost\ and these three are one: which is not 
ily a proof of tlie Deity of each of diese three, inasmuch as they are not only 
id to be one, that is, one God; and their witness is called the witness of God, 

but of a Trinity of Persons, in the unity of the divine essence; unity of 
sence, or nature, is asserted and secuied, by their being said to be one; which 
spccts not a mere unity of testimony, but of nature ; for it is nut said of them, 

of tlic witnesses on earth, that they agree in one; but that tlicy are one. 
nd they may be called a Trinity, inasmuch as they are three; and a Trinity 

Persons, since they are not only spoken of as distinct from each other, tlic 
ither from the Word and Holy Giiost, the Word from the Father and the 
oly Ghost, and the Holy Ghost from the Father and the Word ; but a per- 
nal action is ascribed to each of tlicm; for they are all three said to be testili- 
s, or to bear record; which cannot be said of mere names and cliaracters; nor 
I understood of one person under different names ; for if the one living and 
uc God only bears record, first under tlie character of a Father, then under 
e character of a Son, or the Word, and then under the character of the Holy 
'host; testimony, indeed, would be bore three times, but there would be but 
le testifier and not three, as the apostle asserts. Suppose one man should, fur 
le roan may bear the characteis, and stand in the relations of fatlier, son, 
id master; of a father to a child of his own; of a son, his father being living; 
ul of a master to servants under him ; suppose, I say, this man should come 
to a court of judicature, and be admitted to bear testimony in an affair there 
pending, and should give his testimony first under the character of a father, 
en under the character of a son, and next under the character of a mas- 

iqS of a plurality in the godhead. 

ter; every one will conclude, that though here was a lestimony three timei 
bore, yet there was but one, and not three, that bore record. This text!) 
so glaring a proof of the doctrine of the Trinity, that the enemies of i 
have done all they can to weaken its authority » and have pushed hard tc 
extirpate it from a place in the sacred writings. They object, that it ii 
wanting in the Syiiac version; that the old Latin interpreter has it not; 
that it is not to be found in many Greek Manuscripts; and is not quotd 
by the ancient fathers who wrote against the Arians, when it migiK have been 
of great service lo them. To all which it may be replied; that as to the Syriac 
version, though an ancient one, it is but a version, and till of late, appeared a voj 
defective one ; the history of the adulterous woman in the eight of John the secoofl 
epistle of Peter, the second and third epistles of John, the epistle of Jude, and die 
book of Revelation, were all wanting, till restored from a copy of archbishop 
Usher's, by Dc Dieu^ and Dr. PiKock ; and who also, from an eastern copy, 
has supplied the version with this text, so that now it stands in it. And as to 
the old Latin interpreter, it is certain that it is to be seen in many Latin manu- 
scripts of an early date, and is in tlie vulgate Latin version, of die LondoQ 
Polyglot Bible ; and the Latin translation which bears die name of Jcroin, has 
it; and who, in an epistle to Eustochium, prcfi\',-d to his translation of rhtrtC 
canonix:al episdes, complains of the oniissio!i of it, by unfaitiifui inlerprctsn. 
As to its being wanting in some Greek manuscriiiii, it need oniy be said* il is 
found in mciny others; it i:> in llie ComplutenMiui oJiiion, the ct-npilers cf 
whicii made use of various copies, out of sixccen ancient copies of Robe". 
Stephens^, nme of tliem had it; and ir is also .said lo \k in an <;ld I'-uish c;.v^. 
As to Its not being quoted by some of tlic ancient fathers, I'lis can be ik p:- >i 
of its not being genuine; since it might be in the orit^in«*i cjpy. aivi r.ot in tliat 
used by them, through the carelessness and unfaithfulness of traasciijc/s; of 
through copies erased falling into tlieir hands, sjcli as h\A been ccrrupred be- 
fore die times of Arius, even by Anemon, or his disciples, who livt.l in ^hc 
second century; who held tha: Christ was a mere man; by whom, ir is sa:d-t 
this passage was erased; and certain it is, that this epistle was very eirly cor- 
rupted; as the ancient writers testify f: or it might be in the copies used by iKc 
fathers, and yet ni)t quoted by them, having scriptures enough wiihout it, to 
and defend die doctrine of it; and yet, after all, it appears plainly to be quoted 
by many of tliem; by Fulgentius'', in the beginning of the sixth century^ 
against the ArianvS, without any scruple or hesitation : and jerom, as before ob- 
served has it in his translation, made in the latter end of the iouith century: 
and it is quoted by Adianasius', about the middle of it: and l>eforc him by 
Cyprian*", in the middle of the diird century: and is manifestly referred to by 
Tcrtullian^ in the beginning of it; and by Clemens of Alexandria", toward! 

i Vid. Witiichii Theolog. Pacific, c. 17. s. 254. « Vid. Socrat, ilccl. Hut. 1. 7. c. 3a. »» Re- 
ftpoiis. contT. Arian. Obj. 10. & dc Triniiatc. c. 4. ' Conn. Arii.m, p. 109. dc Unit. Deiiat. 
Trin. adiThcoplnlum, 1. 1. p. 399' " ^^ Unitat. Ecclrs. p. 355. & in Ep. 73. ad Ubajai 

p. 184. * Adv. Praxcam, c. i^. • P*dagog. 1. 3. io fiuc. 



ihe end of the second century: so that it is to be traced up within a hundred 
years, or less, to the writing of the epistle ; which is enough to satisfy any one 
of the genuineness of this text. And bcsiJes, it should be observed, that there 
never was any dispute about it, until Erasmus left it out in the first edition of 
bis translation of the New Testament; and vet he himself, upon the credit of 
die old British copy, before mentioned, put it into another edition of his trans- 
htibn. Yea, the Sociniai^s themselves have not dared to leave it out in their 
(Serman Racovian version, A. C. 1630. To which may be added, that the 
context requires it ; the connection witli the preceding verse shows it, as well 
iiits opposition to, and distinction from the following verse; and inverse 9. is a 
plii reference to the divine witnesses in thi:: for the inference in it would not 
be clear, iftherewasno mention before made of a divine testimony. But I shall 
not rest the proof of the doctrine of the Trinity on this single passage ; but on 
Ae whole current and universal consent of scripture,- where it is written as with 
ifnn-beam; according to which, a Trinity of Persons in the Godhead, appear^ 
ibfte works of creation, providence, and grace; in all things respecting the 
iJBce and work of Christ ; in God's acts of grace towards and upon his people ; 
iai in their worship and duties of religion enjoined them, and practised bv them. 
I. In the works of creation: as by these the eternal power and godhead aie 
made manifest, so in them are plain traces of a Trinity of persons; that God 
Ac Father made the heavens, earth aiid sea, and all that are in them, under 
^ich character die apostles addressed him as distinct from Christ his Sbn, 
Acts iv. 24, 27. none will doubt; and that the divine Word, or Son of God, 
^ concerned in all this, a question cannot be made of it, when it is observed 
that it is said, y1/I things were made by /lim, and withcut hint was not any t.hinjr 
'fuuk that is made, John 1. 2. And as for the Holy Spirit, he is not only said 
to move upon the face of the waters which covered the earth, and brought that 
unformed chaos of earth and water into a beautiful order, but to garnish the 
heavens, to bespangle the firmament with stars of light, and to form the crooked 
serpent, the Leviathan, which being the greatest is put for all the fishes of the 
«ea; as well as he is said to be sent forth yearly, and renews the face of the 
earth at every returning spring; which is little less than a creation, and is so 
called, Gen. i. 2. Job xxvi. 13. Psal. civ. 30. and all three may be seen toge- 
ther in one text, Psal. xxxiii. 6. By the word of the Lord were the heavens 
«fl<fe, and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth ; where mention i5 made 
of Jehovah, and his Word, the eternal Logos, and of his Spirit, the breath of 
his mouth, as all concerned in the making of the heavens, and all the host of 
Acm. And as in the creation of man, in particular, a plurality has b( en ob- 
served, tliis pluiality was neither more nor fewer than three; that God the 
Fadier is the maker of men, will not l>e objected to ; Have we not all one father ? 
hath not one God created us? Mai. ii. to and the Son of God, who is the 
husband of the chuich, and die Redeemer of men, is expressly said to be th<?ir 
ihaLbr, Isa. ITv. 5. and of the Holy Spirit, Elihu in so maxly words .<ays, The 


Spirit of GoJ hath madi ntif and the breath of the almighty hath given me Tift 
Job xxxiii. 4. 

II. A Trinity of persons appears in the works of providence. My father, 
lays Christ, worketh hitherto^ and I work ^ John v. 17. that is, ever since the 
works of creation were finished, in which both had an hand, they have been 
jointly concerned in the works of providence, in the government of the worid, 
and in ordering and disposing of all things in it ; and not to die exclusion oi 
the holy Spirit, for, IVho hath directed the Spirit of the Lord^ or being his cam- 
scUor hath taught him ^ that is, in the affair of the government of the worUt 
as follows ; fVith whom took he counsel^ and who instructed him and taught him 
in the path of judgment^ and taught him knowledge^ and shewed to him the wof 
§f understanding ? to manage the important concerns of the world, to do every 
thing wisely and justly, and to overrule all for the best ends and purposes; tee 
Isai. xl. 13, 14. And particularly the three divine persons appear in that re- 
markable affair of providence, the deliverance of Israel out of Egypt, and die 
protection and guidance of them through the wilderness to the land of Canaan. 
Whoever reads attentively Isai. Ixiii. 7 — 14. will easily observe, that mention 
is made of Jehovah, and of his mercy, loving-kindness, and goodness to At 
children of Israel ; and then of the Angel of his presence, as distinct from him 
shewing love and pity to dicm, in saving, redeeming, l^earing and carrying 
them all the days of old; and next of his holy Spirit, whom they rebelled agaimt, 
and whom they vexed, and yet, though thus provoked, he led them on througli 
the wiKlcrr^ess, and caused them to rest in the laiul of Cannaan. 

III. The three divine persons arc to Ixr discerned most clearly in all the works 
of grace. The inspiraticm of the srrijnures is a wonderful instance of the grace 
and goodness of God to men, uhich is the foundation and source of spiritual 
knowledge, peace and comfort ; it is a divine work: JIl scripture is given ij 
inspiration cf Godj 2 Tim. iii. 16. of God, Father, Son and Spirit; and though 
it is particularly ascribed to the holy Spirit, holy men of God spake as they iv^^ 
moved by the Holy Ghost y 2 Pet. i. 21. yet no one surely will say, to the exclu- 
sion of die Father: nor is thcie any reason to shut out the Son trom a concern 
herein ; and we hnd all thiee dictating the writings David was the penman oil 
The Spirit of the Lord spake by mcy and his "jcord was in my tongue ; the God of 
Israel said^ the Rock of Israel spake to me^ 2 Sam. xxiii. 2, 3. where, besides 
the Spirit of the Lord, who spake by every inspired writer, there is the Father, 
die God of Israel, as he is commonly stilcxl, and the Son, the Rock of Israel, 
tlie Messiah, often figuratively called the Rock; and in the same manner, and 
by the same persons David was inspired, all the other penman of the scripturci 
were. Those writings acquaint us with the covenant of grace, no other writ- 
ings do, made from everlasting before the world was ; this covenant was mad( 
by Jehovah the Fadier, and was made with his Son, who condescended am 
agreed to be the surety, mediator, and messenger of it ; yea he is said to be lh< 
covenant itself; and in which the holy Spirit is promised, and whose part in ii 

Book L' or a Plurality in th£ godhead. 201 

is, and to which he agreed, to be the applier of the blessings and profniscs of it 
to those interested therein; see Psal. Ixxxix. 3. Isai. xUi. 6. Mai. iii. i. Heb. 
vii. 22. and xii. 24. Ezek. xxscvi. 27. Johnxvi. 14, 15. and they are all three 
nentioned together as concerned in this covenant, in Hag. ii. 4^ 5. where, for 
the encouragement of the people of Israel to work in rebuilding the temple, it is 
saidy For I am with you, saith the Lord of hosts, according to the word that I 
covenanted with you; or rather, as Junius renders it, with the Word by whom 
I covenanted with you, when ye came out of Egypt, (at which time the cove- 
nant of grace was more dearly and largely revealed;) so my Spirit remaineth 
imong you: where may be observed, Jehovah the covenant-maker, and his 
Word, in, by and with whom he covenanted; and the Spirit standing, as it may 
k rendered, remaining and abiding, to see there was a performance and an ap- 
plication of all that was promised. In die sacred writings, the oeconomy of 
man's salvation is clearly exhibited to us, in which we hnd the three divine per- 
lOQs, by agreement and consent^ take their distinct parts ; and it may be observed, 
that the election of men to salvation is usually ascribed to the Father; redemp- 
tion, or the impetration of salvation, to the Son; and sanctification, or the ap- 
l^ication of salvation, to the Spirit; and they are all to be met with in one pas- 
tage, I Pet. i, 2. Elect according to the fortknvwkdge of God the Father^ through 
umciipcation of the Spirit^ unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus. 
The same may be observed in 2 Thess. ii. 13, 14. where God the Father is said 
to choose men from the beginning unto salvation; and die sanctification of die 
Spirit, is the means throu^ which they are chosen ; and the glory of the Lord 
Jesus Christ, the end to which they are chosen and called: but no where are 
these acts of grace more distinctly ascribed to each person than in the first chap- 
ter of the episde to the Ephesians, where God the Father of Christ, is said to 
Uess and choose his people in him before the foundation of the world, and to 
predestinate them to the adopdon of children by him, in whom they are accept- 
ed widi liim, 3— *6. and where Christ is spoken of as the author of redemption 
through his blood, which includes forgiveness of sin, and a jusdfying righteous- 
ness; which enddes to the heavenly inheritance, 7, 1 1. and then the holy Spirit, 
m disdnction from them both, is said to be the earnest of their inheritance, and 
b]r whom they are sealed until they come to the full possession of it, 13, 14. 
The doctrine of the Trinity is often represented as a specubdve point, of no 
great moment whether it is believed or no, too mysterious and curious to be pry- 
ed into, and that it had better be let alone than meddled with ; but, alas, it enters 
into the whole of our salvadon, and all the paits of it; into all die doctrines of 
he gospel, and into the experience of the saints; there is no doing without it; 
IS soon as ever a man is convinced of his sinful and miserable estate by nature, 
le perceives there is a divine person that he has offended, and that there is need of 
Jiother divine person to make sadsfacdon for his ofifences, and a third to aancd- 



fy him ; to begin and cany on a work of grace in hioiy and to make him mee 
for eternal glory and happiness. 

IV. A Trinity of persons in the Godhead may be plainly discovered in all 
things relating to the office and work of Christ, as the Redeemer and Savioor. 
In the mission of him into this world on that account: he, the Son of God, wai 
sent by agreement, with his own consent, by the Father and the Spirit; dus it 
affirmed by himself, Isai. xlviii. i6. Now the Lord Godj and his Spirit^ hath 
sent mi'; even he who says, 12, 13. I am the first and the lastf and whose band 
laid the foundation of the earth, and whose right hand spanned the heaven, and 
who is continued speaking to the 1 6. and must be a divine person ; the mighty God 
who is said to be sent by Jehovah the Lord God, and by liis Spirit; who there- 
fore must be three distinct persons, and not one only; or otherwise the sense 
must be, *' now I and myself have sent myself," which is none at all. Christ 
the Son of God, sent to be die Saviour, in the fulness of time was made of a 
woman, or became incarnate; and though he only took flesh, the three divine per- 
sons were concerned in this affair; the Father provided a body for him inhii 
purposes and decrees, council and covenant ; the word or Son was made flesh 
and dwelt amonpr men, and that which was conceived in the virgin, was of the 
Holy Ghost, Hcb. x. 5. John i. 14. Matt. i. 20. and in the message to die irir- 
gin, and the declaration of this mysterious affair to her by the angel, mention is 
made distinctly of all the three Persons ; there is the higliest, Jehovah the Fa- 
ther; and the Son of the highest, who took flesh of the virgin; and the Holy 
Ghost, or the power of the highest, to whose overshadowing influence, the mys- 
terious incarnation is ascribed, Luke i. 32, 35. Clirist, the Son of God, being 
incarnate, was anointed with the Holy Ghost, his gifts and graces without 
measure ; whereby, as man, he was fitted and qualified for his office as Mediator. 
The anointcr is said to be God, his God, the great Jeliovah ; the anointed, the 
Son of God in human nature, called therefore the Christ of God, tlie true Mcs* 
siah; what he was anointed widi was the Holy Ghost, his gifts and grace, sig^ 
nificd by the oil of gladness; see Psal. xlv. 7. Isai. Ixi, i. Acts x. 38. when h^ 
was thirty years of age he was baptized of John in Jordan, where all the thrc^ 
divine persons appeared; the Son in human nature, submitting to the ordinance 
of baptism ; die Father by a voice from heaven, declaring him to be his beloved 
Son; and the holy Spirit, descending on him as a dove, Matt. iii. 16, 17. 
This was always reckoned so full and clear a proof of the Trinity of Persons in 
the Godhead, that it was a common sapng with the ancients, go to Jordan, 
and there learn the doctrine of the Trinity. Before our Lord's suflerrings and 
death, he gave out several promises to his disciples that he would send the holy 
Spirit, the Comforter, to them; in which there are plain tiaces of a Trinity of 
Persons ; as when he says, / will pray the Father, and he shall give you another 
Comforter^ John xiv. 16. Here is God the Father of Christ, who is prayed 
unto, who is one Person: and here is the Son in human nature, praying, a se- 


cond Petscm, die Son of God; and because he was so, his prayer was always 
prevalent; nor could he be a mere creature, who speaks so positively and au- 
thoriudvcly, he shall give you; and then there is another Comforter prayed for, 
even die Spirit of truth, distinct from the Father and the Son; the same may be 
observed in verse 26. and in chap. xv. 26. andxvi. 7. Christ by his sufierings 
and death, obtained eternal redemption for men. The price that was paid for 
it, was paid to God the Father: so it is said, hath redeemed us to God by thy bloody 
Rev. V. 9. What gave the price a sufficient value was, the dignity of his per- 
scm, as the Son of God, i John i. 7. and it was through th^ eternal Spirit he 
ofiered himself to God, Heb. ix. 14. which some understand of the divine na- 
ture; but it is not usual to say, Christ did this, or the other thing, through the 
divioie nature, but by the Spirit, as in Matt. xii. 28. Acts i. 2, besides, in some 
copies of Heb. ix. 14. it is read, through the holy Spirit. Again, Christ having 
soficrcd and died for men, he rose again for their justification; in which all die 
due( persons were concerned ; God the Father raised him from the dead, and 
pve him glory, i Pet. i. 20. and he raised himself by his own power, according 
to his own prediction, John ii. 19. and was declared to be the Sou of God with 
t^HT^ according to the Spirit of hoUnea^ or the holy Spirit, by the resurrection 
frm thedeady Rom. i. 4. sec also Rom. viii. 1 1. 

T. This trutli of a Trinity in the Godhead, shines in all the acts of grace 
towards or in men: in the act of justification; it is God the Father that justi- 
fies, by imputing the righteousness of his Son, without works, Rom. iii. 30, and 
!v. 6. and viii. 33. and it is not only by the righteousness of Christ that men 
ate justified; but he himself justifies by his knowledge, or by faith in him, 
Isai. liii. 1 1. and it is tlic Spirit of God that pronounces the sentence of justifi- 
catioi^ in tlie conscience of believeis; hence they ztq justified in the name of the 
LordJesi4Sj and by the Spirit of our Cody I Cor. vi. 1 1. in the act of adoption; 
the grace of the Father in bestowing such a favour on any of the children of 
men, is owned, 1 Jolin iii. 1. and through the grace of Clirist, a way is ojiened^ 
hy redemption wrought out by liini, for the reception of this blessing; and he 
it is that gives power to those that bclltvc in him, to become the sons of God, 
Gal. iv. 4, 5. I John i. 12. and the holy Spirit witnesses their adoption to them; 
bcncc he is called the Spirit of adoption, Rom. viii. 15, 16. and all three appear 
in one text, respecting this blessing of grace ; Because ye are sonSy God hath sent 
firth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts^ crying^ jibba^ Father^ Gal, iv. (>. 
vhcre the Father is spoken of as a distinct from the Son, and the Son from the 
Father, and the Spirit from them both, and all diree bear their part in tliis won- 
<fcrfu! favour. Regeneration is an evidence of adoption ; and an instance of 
the great love and abundant mercy of God ; and which is sometimes ascribed to 
the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, i Pet. i. 3. and sometimes to the 
Sonof Gcxl, who icgenerates and quicivcns whom he will, John v. 2U i John 
i. ^9. and son;etimes to the Spirit of God, J(ihn iii. 3, 5. and all three are men- 



t'foned together in Tit. iii. 4—6. where God the Father, called our Saviour, is 
said to save by the washing of rcy^cneration, and the renewing of the Holy 
Ghost; which grace of his is shed abroad in men through Jesus Christ our Sa« 
viour. Once more, their unction, or appointing, which they receive from the 
holy One, is from God the Father, in and through Christ, and by the Spirit ; 
NrM he which establisheth us with you in Christy and hath anointed us ^ is God; who 
hath also sealed usy and given the earnest of the Spirit in &Mr hearts^ 2 Cor. i. 
2 1, 22. where God the Father is represented as the establisher and anomtcr* and 
Jesus Christ, as a distinct person, in whom the saints are established and 
anointed; and the Spirit, distinct from them both, as the earnest of their future 

VI. It plainly appears there is a Trinity of persons in the Godhead, from the 
worship and duties of religion enjoined on good men, and performed by chein. 
The ordinance of baptism, a very solemn part of divine worship, is ordered to 
be administeied, and is administered, when done rightly, in the name of the Fa* 
thefy and of the Son^ and of the Holy Ghost y Matt, xxviii. 19. which are to b© 
understood, not of three names and characters, but of three persons distinctly 
named and described, and who are but one God, as the singular word nanae, 
prefixed to them, sigr.ifies ; men arc to be baptized in one name of three per- 
sons; but not into one of three names, as an ancient writer" has obser\'ed; npr 
into three incarnates ; but into thi'ce of equal honour and glory. God alone is 
to be invoked in prayrr and petitions arc directed sometimes to one Person, and 
sometimes to another; sometimes to the first Person, the God and Father of 
Christ, Eph, iii. 14. sometimes to Christ himself, the second Person, as by 
Stephen, Acts vii, 59. and sometimes to the Lord the Spirit, the third Penon, 
2 Thess. iii. 5, and sometimes to all three together. Rev. i. 4, 5, and whereas 
the saints, who are made light in the Lord, need an increase of light, prayer is 
.made for thcin, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory* 
would give unto them the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of 
hiin, that is, of Christ, Eph. i. 17, 18. where the Father of Chiist is prayed 
to; the Spirit of wisdom is prayed for; and that for an inrrease in the know- 
ledge of Christ, distinct from them both: and whereas the saints need an increase 
of strength, as well as light, prayer is made for them, that t!ie Father of Christ 
would strengthen them by his Spirit in the inward man, Eph. iii. 14 — 16. sep 
Zech. X. 12, and in a forementioned text, prayer is made to the divine Spirit, 
to direct the hearts of good men into the love of God, and patient waiting for 
Christ, 2 Thcss. iii. 5. where again the three divine Persons are plainly distin** 
guished; and who may easily be discerned as distinct Persons, in the bene- 
dictory prayer of the apostle, 2 Cor. xiii. 14. with which I shall conclude the 
proof from scripture, of a Trinity of Persons in the unity of the divine essence; 
The grace of our Lord fesus Christy and the love of Gody and the communion of 
the Holy Ghosty be with you all. Amen, To which may be added; that a plu- 

Ignat. EpUt. ad Philip. Aicript. p. 100. Ed. Voss. 


ndity of Persons in the Godhead, seems necessary from the nature of God him- 
self« and his most compleat happiness ; for as he is the bcst» the greatest and 
most perfect of Beings, his happiness in himself must be the most perfect and 
compleat; now happiness lies not in solitiR:.% but in society; hence the three 
persona] disnnctions in Deity, seem necc<:sary to pcifect happiness, which lies 
in diat most glorious, inconceivable, and inexpressible communion the tfare« 
Fd^ns have with one another; and which arises from the incomprehensible in- 
being, and unspeakable nearness they have to each other, John x. 38. and xiv. 

10, II, 





biNCE there are Thiee who are the one God; and these Three are not one 
sad the same Person, but three diderent Persons, there must be something 
which distinguishes them. from each other; and the distinction between them is 
not merely nominal, which is no distinction at all ; as when the Sabellians say, 
God is one Person, having three names, Father, Son, and Spirit ; here is no 
binction; just as when a man has three names, they no more distinguish him 
d»a one would; be he called, William, Henry, Frederick, William would not 
Atiuguish him from Henry, nor Henry from William, nor Frederick from 
dien both, he being one man, having these several names: nor is the distinc- 
tioa merely modal ; rather real modal ; for though there are three modes or sub- 
tistiiig in the Deity, and each Person has a distinct mode, yet the phrase seems 
pot strong enough; for tiie disjnction is real and personal; the Three in the 
Godhead are not barely tliree ;i;ode$, but three distinct Persons in a diifereut 
node of subsisting, who ^rc really distinct from each other; so that the Fathci 
K not the Son, nor tiie Son the Teacher, nor the holy Spirit either the Faihcr or 
the Son; but the difficulty is, what that is which gives or makes tlie disciaccion 
kctwcen them? Now let it be observed, 

I. Be it what it may, which distinguishes the divine Persons, it must be as 
^arlyasthe existence of God itself: God is from everlasting to everlasting; what 
God is now he ever was ; he is the eternal and immutable / AM\ he is what 
he was, and will be what he is; he is he '* which is, and was, and is to come ;" 
he is eternally and invariably the same ; if the one God existed from eteniity ; 
^ if the three Persons are the one God, they must exist from eternity, and 
exist as distinct Persons; and consequently what gives them their distinciion 
Blast exist as early. Wherefore, 

n. Whatever distinguishes them, cannot arise from, nor depend upon any 
works done by them in time, since their distinction is from eternity; and besides* 
the works of God ad cMtra, or his external works, are common to all the three 
Persons ; for though one may be more commonly ascribed to one person, and 


another to anotlier, yet the three persons have a concern in eachi and therefore 
tliey cannot distinguish them from one anotlier. Creation is commonly ascri- 
hcd to the Father of Christ, who is said to make the worlds, and create all things 
hy him his Son; not as a mere instrument of action, since he is a co-efficient 
Cause of them ; " without him is not any thing made that is made/' and the 
holy Spirit has a concern in the same; as has been observed; sec Psal. xxxiii. 
6. l*he salvation of men is commonly attributed to tlie son, and he is called 
Testis Christ our Saviour; and yet, in the same place, God die Father is calU 
God our Saviour, and is said to save " by the renewing of the Holy Ghost,** 
Tit. iii. 4 — 6. Regeneration is more commonly said to be the work of die Spi- 
rit; and yet men are said to be born of God, of the Father, and of Jesus Chrat| 
as well as of him ; and God the Father is expressly said, to beget men again, 
according to his mercy, i Pet. i. 3. I have made use of the works of God, 
both to prove the Being of God, and to illustrate and conhrm the doctrine of a 
Trinity of Persons in the Godhead ; but these do not make God to be, but (• 
appear to be what he is ; had they never been wrought, he would have been JMt 
the same as he is, in his Being, Perfections, and Persons; for, 

III. His works are arbitrary, depending upon his pleasure: thus of die wotb 
of creation it is said. For thy pleasure^ or by thy will, they are and were cneUdt 
Rev. iv. II. and as all things in providence, so all things in grace, are done ac- 
cording to the counsel of his will; it is of his will. he has mercy oq men, isgn* 
cious to them, regenerates and saves them; wherefore these are things diat 
might or might not he, just as he thought fit; but not so his Being, the Pensont 
in the Deity, and their manner of subsisting in it; for if there had .never been 
a creature made, nor a soul saved, nor a sinner sanctified, God would have 
been the same lie is, three Persons in one Got!. In the oeconomy of man'i 
salvation, to which some asci il)e the distinction of Persons, as taking its rise 
from thence; the thicc divine Persons arc manifested, but not made, nor made 
distinct ; but were so before, and would have been so, if that had never taken 
place, as it might not have done, since it flows from the good will and pleasure 
of God; whereas, 

IV. What gives the distinction, be it what it may, is by necessity of nature; 
God exists necessarily, and not by choice and will, as has been before argued; 
for if his existence is owing to will and choice, it must be either the will and 
choice of another, or his own ; not another's, for then that other would be pri- 
or and superior to him, and so be God, and not he ; not his own will, for then 
he must he before he was ; have will and choice before he existed, which is an 
alwiirdity not to be endured : if the one God then necessarily existed, and the 
three Persons are the one God, they must necessarily exist; and if they exist a« 
ilircc distinct Persons, that which gives them the distinction, must be necessary 
also, or arise from the necessity of nature ; as God is, and the manner in which 
he is, so the distinction in hirn is by necessity. But, 

V. When 1 sav it is bv necessity of nature, I do not mean, that the divine 



MCDre» in which the divine persons subsist, distinguishes them ; for that nature 
I one, and common to them all ; the nature of the Son, is the same with tiut 
if the Father; and the nature of the Spirit, the same with that of die Father 
ind the Son; and this nature, which they in common partake of, is undivided; 
t ii not parted between them, so that one has one part, and another a second, 
ind another a third; nor that one has a greater, and another a lesser part, 
vhich might distinguish them; but the whole fulness of the Godhead is in each. 
VI. To come to the point; It is the personal relations, or distinctive relative 
iroperties, which belong to each Person, which distinguish them one from ano* 
bcT; as paternity in the first Person, filiation in the second, and spiration in the 
faiid; or, more plainly, it is begetting, Psal. ii. 7. which peculiarly belongs to 
lie first, and is never ascribed to the second and thiiid ; which distinguishes him 
from them both ; and gives him, with great propriety, the name of Father; and 
aad it is being begotten, that is the personal relation, or relative property of the 
iccoiid Person; hence called, '* the only begotten of the Father,'* John i. 14. 
iluch distinguishes him from the first and third, and gives him the name of the 
Sod; and the relative property, or personal relation of the third Person is, that 
be is breathed by the first and second persons ; hence called, the breath of the 
iUmighty, the breath of the mouth of Jehovah the Father, and the breath of 
the mouth of Christ the Lord, and which is never said of the other two per- 
; and so distinguishes him from them, and very pertinently gives him the 
of the Spirit, or breath. Job xxxiii. 4. Psal. xxxiii. 6. 2 Thess. ii. 8. 
Those men I have now respect to, hold that there are three distinct persons in 
the Godhead, or divine nature; and therefore it must be something in the diviix 
uture, and not any thing out of it, that distinguishes them; not any works ad 
ntra^ done by them; nor their concern in the oeconomy of man's salvation; 
nor ofBces bore by them, which are arbritary things, which might, or might not 
have been, had it pleased God; and what that is in the divine nature that can 
distinguish them, besides what has been mentioned, let it be named if it can. If 
one of these distinct Persons is a Father, in the divine nature, and another a 
Son, in the divine nature, there must be something in tlie divine nature, which 
is the ground of the relation, and distinguishes the one from the other, and can 
k nothing else than generation, and which distinguishes the third Person from 
them both, as neither begetting nor begotten. From generation arises the relation, 
Wid from relation distinct personality. And as an ancient writer ° says, " unbe- 
pxten, .begotten,, and proceeding," arc not names of essence, (and ic may be 
idded, nor of office,) but are modes of subsistence ; and so distinguish persons. 

Upon the whole, it is easy to observe, tliat the distinction of Persons in the 
Deity, depends on the generation of tiie Son ; take away that, which would de • 
icroy the relatioa between the first and second Persons, and tiic distinction drops; 
ind diat this distinction is natural and necessary, or by necessity of nature, and 
not arbitrary, or of choice and will : which if It was, it nii^hr not h;.ve been 

• Jui:in. lixpoi. Fid. p. 37,]. 


at all, or have been oihcrw'ise than it is: those who place it to the oeconom 
of tiic Persons in the redemption of men, have been urged with this, that if 
was so, he that is called the Father, might have been called the Son ; and h 
diat is called the Son, might have been called the FatlierP ; which has so press 
ed dicm, that they have been obliged to own, that so it might have been, if i 
had so seemed to God, and been agreeable to his wilh. Moieovcr, those yik 
arc in this way of thinking, and explain away the generation of the Son, an 
make it no more than a communion of nature, and a co-existence with the fin 
Person, thougli they profess there are three Persons in the Godhead, they ir 
not able to prove it, nor to point out that which distinguishes one from anodxi 
and besides, arc not able to call them by any name, only say, lllfc one is 4 
first Person, the other the second, and the other the third; and. even the rcaso 
of this order they cannot account for; for if they have their names and distinc 
tion from die oeconomy of man's salvation, and the part they take dwei 
these cannot be given them antecedent to the said oeconomy ; and yet diey mu 
exist, and be considered as existing previous to it : if the first Person has ti 
name of a Father, from his constituting and appoinring Christ to be the Medi 
tor and Saviour; and the Second Person the name of a Son, from his coostit 
tion as such ; though the reason of such names from hence does not appea 
and the third Peii»on has the name of Spiiit, from an office or work unde 
took by him, to breathe into rften, in creation or regeneration ; these nam 
cannot be given them antecedent to such oeconomy, constitution, and agre 
ment, taking place ; and yet they must be considered antecedent thereimto, 
some view or another. To such straits are men reduced, when they leave t 
form of sound words, which to do is dangerous, and generally leads into o 
en or or another. But all this will more manifestly appear, by considering ca 
divine person particularly, his relative property, and name pertinent to it. 

The first Person ; whose distinctive rclativ e property is begetting, and wl 
is very pertinently called the Father, which distinguishes him from the seco 
and third Persons : and here let it be olwerved, riiat it is not his being a Fatfc 
with respect to die creatures, that distinguishes him ; not a Father in creadc 
providence, and grace: not in creation ; he is a Father as the Creator of a 
all his creatures arc his offspring ; and he is pai ticularly the Father of spiri 
of angels, and of the souls of men; but diis dues not give him the name of F 
dicr in the Trinity ; so he would have been, if not one man had ever be 
made, or an angel formed ; nor does his being a Father to creatures distingui 
him from the second and third Persons : for they are equally concerned w 
him in creation ; and being the one God that has made us, they are the one I 
ther of us, even the second and diird Persons, as well as the first: nor 
providence; God is the Father that provides for all his creatures, supplies dii 
with thmgs necessary, and supports them in their Beings ; but this is not ] 
culiar to the first Person ; in this the second Person jointly and equally opera 

f \ icting. Epilog. Ti put. contr. Rod. p. 3, 4. « Rod. Diucrt. 1.1. 39. p. 40. 


with him, by whom all things consist, and by whose power all are upheld; and 
so the third Persoh; and therefore on this account equally entitled to the 
character of Father: nor in grace, in adoption, and regeneration; in which all 
the three Persons have a concern: in adoption, as the Father bestows the won. 
Jerful grace on the sons of men, die Son gives to them that believe in him 
power to become the sons of God; and the Spirit has so much to do with it^ 
that he is called the Spirit of adoption' in regeneration, the Father of Christ 
begets men again to a lively hope of an inheritance; the Son quickens and re- 
generates whom he will; and those that are bom again are bom of the Spirit: 
it is not therefore what the first Person docs in either of these respects, that 
tntitles him to the character of Father in the Godhead, and distinguishes him 
from the others ; but it is his being the Fatlier of the second Person, or the 
Fathei of Christ, as he is often called, and very emphatically and significantly, 
God die Father, Gal. i. i. Eph. i. 3. and iii. 14. and this name he has from 
begetting the Son, who is therefore called Ins Son, his begotten, his only begotten 
Son, Psal. ii. 7. John i. 14, 18. and this personal relation, or relative property^ 
ii what distinguishes the first Person in the Trinity, it being never attributed to 

Hie second Person, whose distinctive relative property and character is, that 
he is begotten, which is never said of the odicr two Persons, and so distinguislies 
him from them, and gives him the name of Son; and that he is the Son of 
God. there is abundant proof; all the thiee Persons bear testimony of it; the 
Fadier at die baptism and transfiguration of Christ, Matt. iii. 17. and xyii. 5. 
lee Psal. ii. 7. and Ixxxix. 27. the Word, or Son of God himself, John xix. 7. 
and v. 17, 18. and x. 30. Mark xiv. 61, 62. John viii. 13 — 18. and the Spirit 
Matt. iii. 16, 17. it is testified and acknowledged by angels, the good angels^ 
Luke i. 31, 35. Hcb. i. 6. evil angels, the devils, Matt. viii. 29. Mark iii. ii. 
Luke iv. 41. by men of all sorts; by good men, John 1. 6, 7, 33, 34, 49. Matt, 
xvi. 15, 16. John vi. 67. and xi. 27. Acts viii. 37. by bad men, Matt, xxvii. 54. 
So that he is on all hands acknowledged and owned to be the Son of God. 
Tlic Sonship of Christ is an article of the greatest importance in the christian 
reiigioii ; it has a very great concem in, and connection with the ordinance of 
diristian baptism ; it was declared by a voice from heaven, at the baptism of 
our Lord, saying, TAis is my beloved Scrt^ in whom. I am well pleased. Matt. 
iii. 17. That ordinance is ordered by our Lord himself to be administered in 
tie name of the Father^ and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghosty Matt, xxviii, 
19, considered as in their natural relative characters to each other, equally 
divine persons, and not as sustaining any office, which no one name or 
tenn used is expressive of; and it is mentioned in the first confession of faith, 
and as the sum of it, in order to an admission to that ordinance the scripture 
gives an account of; I believe, says the Eunuch desiring baptism of Philip ; who 
required an express declaration of his faith; / believe, says he, that Jesus Christ 

VOL. X. ft£ 


is th$ Son ofGodf Acts viii. 37. and this was the sum and substance of th 

nistry of the apostle Paul, with which he iirst set our, and continued in 

Christ is the Son of God, Acts ix. 20. 2 Cor. i. 19. and indeed, it is th 

tinguishing criterion of the christian religion, and what gives it the prefc 

to all otherSt and upon which all the important doctrines of it depend; 

upon the Sonship of Christ as a divine person; and as by generation, evei 

nal generation. Without this the doctrine of the Trinity can never be su[ 

ed ; of this the adversaries of it arc so sensible, as the Socinians» that they 

always set themselves against it with all tlieir might and main ; wcU kno 

that if they can demolish this, it is all over with the doctnne of the Ti 

for without this, die distinction of Persons in the Trinity can never be 

tained; and, indeed, without this, there is none at all; take away this, z 

distinction ceases. A writer of the piesent age, and who was the first s 

us who objected to the eternal generation of the Son of God, though R 

Dutdunan, before him, attempted to explain it away; or, at least, to adi: 

sense ; indeed, pretends to hold the doctrine of three distinct persons 

Deity, and yet explodes this : a strange paradox I he owns^ some divines 

strenuotisly maintained, and judiciously defended, the doctrine of the 1 

who hekl the eternal generation of die Son, and the procession of the 

Ghost. Why then should this judicious defence be deserted by us? he 

that these properties, begetting, begotten, and proceeding, plainly prove d 

dier. Son, and Holy Ghost, to be distinct persons ; why then should tl 

laid aside ? and especially, since without them there is no proof to be nr 

dicir being distinct Persons in the divine nature. He says*, that his accc 

Christ's Sonship, that is, by office, and not by nature, does not take awa 

argimient by which we prove his Deity. But without his eternal gene 

no proof can be made of his being a distinct divine Person in the Godhea 

so not of his Deity: he farther says, that it does not take away any arg 

to prove his distinct personality from the Fadicr and the Holy Ghost ; \\ 

it takes away that which is the only proof of it, without substituting a su 

one in its room; and, indeed, no other in tlie divine nature can be subs 

in its room ; not the office of Christ, as Mediator ; for he must first be 

to be a distinct divine Person, before he can be considered as Mediator. 

doctrines of redemption, justification, atonement, and pardon of sin, » 

upon the divinity of the Person of Christ, as the Son of God. Gal. iv. 4. 

viii. 3, 4. Heb. i. 2, 3. i John i. 7. 

I cannot see there is any reason to object to the use of the phrase eten 
neration, as applied to the sonship of Christ, since one divine person is 
beget, Psal. ii. 7. and therefore must be a Father; and another divine pe 
said to be begotten, John i. 14, 18. and elsewhere, and therefore must be 
and if a begotten Son, as he is often said to be, then he must be a Son bj 
ration: for he must be a very illiterate man indeed who does not know 
beget and generate are the same, and that also to be begotten and genenit 

5 Ridf ley's Body of DiTinity, vol. 1. p. t«i. * Ibid. p. la;. 


the same; and therefore generation* with great propriety, may be used of the 
divine persons; and if used of the divine persons as in the divine nature^ as if 
of the Father in the divine nature, then of the Son in the divine nature ; and 
there being nothing in the divine nature but what is eternal, then this genera- 
don must be eternal generation; there are no persons in the divine nature but 
who are et«-naU the eternal Father, the eternal Son, and the eternal Sphit; 
nor is there any thing in it but what is eternal ; every attribute in it is etemri* 
as eternal power, eternal wisdom, &c. every will, decree, and purpose in it is 
eternal, the eternal birth of die eternal mind*; why not then the Son of God, 
die Word and Wisdom of God ? and indeed Wisdom, or Christ, is expressly said 
to be brought forth, *nbVin, a word expressive of generation, twice used in Prov. 
viii. 34, 25. and there, in some ancient versions, rendered begotten, as nOM 
bought up, v. 30. is in some later versions rendered carried in the bosom, as a 
son in the bosom of the Father; all which is spoken of as done in eternity: 
«ow if Christ was begotten from everlasting, or ever the earth was, before there 
irane any fountains of water, or mountains and hills, and was as early as a son 
ia the bosom of his father, one would think there can be no di£Eculty in admit- 
ting his eternal generation. To which may be added, that if no moment or ia- 
ttuic can be given or pointed at, neither in eternity nor in time, in which Christ 
was not the begotten Son of the Father, then he must be eternally begotten of 
lum, or be his Son by eternal generation ; but no moment and instant can be 
•pvea or pointed at, neither in eternity nor in time, in which Christ was not die 
bq;otten Son of the Fadier; therefore he must be eternally begotten of him; 
fir, ia other words, be the Son of the Fadier by eternal generation. The 
phrase eternal generation is said to .be a contradiction in terms ; surely, not 
more so, than eternal creation, and an eternal creature: it may be thought so 
by those who will say the same of a Trinity in Unity, or of three being one, 
though expressly asserted in i John v. 7. and so is no more a contradiction 
than a Trinity of persons in one God. Indeed If the phrase was used of hu- 
raan generation, aud applied to tliat, it might well be thought to be a contra- 
diction in terms; but not as used of divine generation, and as applied to that; 
die one being in a nature finite, the other infinite. Perhaps the distinction of a 
priority of order, and a priority of time, may serve to remove the seeming contra- 
diction ; the former may be in t!i;ngs eternal, but not the latter^ Thus, for instance, 
God is eternal, and so are his decrees ; as the decree of election, or rather God's 
act of choosing men before the foundation of the world; now God may be con- 
ceived of as previous to his act of choosing in priority of order, though not in 
priority of time, which cannot be admitted in eternity. So the Father generat- 
ing the Son, may be considered in priority of order previous the Son generated 
by him, though not in priority of time, of which there can be none in eternity ; 

'Zeph. ii. ft. pn mh DTJ3 anteqnam sucatur dccrrtum, Shrindler. Le>clc. col 759. iinirqijam 
cdcCur cUictanir Costal io : that it, before the decree conceived or begotten ia ihe miiid of God 
froa ctcioUyj 15 born or brought (oiib iuio open execution. 



considering therefbxe the Son*s generation of the Father from eternity, in a 
priority of order, though there can be none of time, it will not appear to be i 
contradiction in terms. 

When the scriptures ascribe generation to the Divine Bein^, it must be un- 
derstood in a manner suitable to it, and rot of carnal and corporal generation; 
no man in his senses can ever think thut God generates as man docs ; nor be* 
lievc that ever any man held such a no:ion of generation in God; yet Socinus*^ 
hns tlic impudence to say thnt some called £vanr;elics, hold that God generates 
in the divine essence one like himself, more animantium^ as animals do, Bui 
generation must be understood of such gencriirion as agrees with the nature ol 
a spirit, and of an infnite uncreated spirit, as GikI is; that spirits generate we 
know from the souls or spiTits we have about us and in us; our minds^ which 
ure spirits, generate thought; thought is the conception and birth of the mind; 
and so we speak of it in common and ordinary speech, I conceive, or &uch a 
man conceives so and so; this is my coiKeption of things, such are the coocqH 
tions of others, &c. So with the Platonic philosophers, thought is the birth oi 
the mind; they call it the mind begotten by the mind, as it were another like 
itself*; now as soon as the mind is, thought is, they commence together and 
they co-exist, and always will; and this the mind begets within itself, widuMit 
any mutation or alteration in itself. Now :n some respect these answer: the 
mind to God who is Nv;, the eternal miivl, anJ thought, the birth of the mind, 
to Christ, tlic eternal Xoyoc^ woid and wisdom of God; who is in some sort 
represented bv hoyo; rvJi^cSiTCf, tlic internal mciital word So Plato* says, 
** ti'iought is ,\?70f, word or speerjv, bywhl^.h the soul declares and explains to 
Itself v.'hat it considers ;" or elsewhere'', *' thought is a discourse within the soul 
to itself, wiilzoat a voice." Aristotle '- some\^here calls it tlic >.oyou or word, 
7i> vci (Tivcf j;:7, co-etcrnal with the mind. Now if our £rii;c spizits, or 
uiindF., arc capable of generating thought, the internal word or speech, and that 
wirhout any motion, change or altciaiion, without any diminution and corrup- 
tion, without division of their nature or multiplication of their esseiice; then in 
an infinitely more perfect manner can God, an infiiiite uncreated spirit, beget 
hi'; Son, the eternal Word, wisdom, reason, and understanding, in his eternal 
mind, which he never was without, nor was he before it: In the biginning was 
the "Ji'ord^ i^c. John i. i. and this same Wcrd is cxprcsssly said to be the only 
begctten of the Father^ 14. and this perfectly r.^rreeablc to tlxc sense and language 
of the old Jewish church, as appears from the ancient paraphrases, and from 
Philo", who says of the A070J, or Word, that it is not unbegotten as God, nor 
begotten as men, and that it is the first begotten Son, with other expressions of 
like nature : tliesc things considered, may serve in some measure to relieve our 
minus, r.nd make it more easy to us to conceive of this wonderful and myste 

«C«od Rcgn. Pclon. c. 4. f. 2. p. 698. Opera, vol. 1. '»Vid. Zanchium de .Vatura Dcit 

c. 7. p. 14.5. « In Thtact.«io, p. J38. Ed. Ficin. > In Sophi«la, p. 184. » Apud Polan, 
)}yntagni. Thcoiog. 1. 3. c. 4. p, SO2. ■ Qiis Rcr. Divm. Uarres. p. 509. de Agricult, p. 195' 

dc Ccnfut. Ling. p. 341. 


Tioas aSair. *' Mental or metaphyHical generation, as a learned divine'' ob- 
fienres, is a similitude and adumbration of divine generntion ; as ihe mind begets 
hf nature, not by power, so likewise God ; as the miud Ixrgets a birth co-essen- 
tial and co*etemal, so God; as die mind simple and perfect bc|?^ets a birth sim- 
ple and perfiect» so God; as the mind begets iinmucably (or wiihout mut'ition) 
BO God; at the mind begets of itfclf in itself, so God; as the mind does not 
beget out of matter without itself, so neither Ciod; as the mind always begets 
and cannot but beget, so God the Father ; as metaphysic:al [generation abides, 
so the divine.** Not but that there is in some respects a gre::t dissimilitude be- 
tween riiese, as the same writer observes ; for the mind begers only a faculty, 
or an inexistent propriety, but God the Father begets a ])crs(m existing by him- 
sdf; die mind begins to beget in time, but God begins not to beget, but always 
begets from eternity, &c. To this may be added another similitude, w!iich 
may help us in this matter, and serve to illustrate it; and that is the sun, to 
iriiich God is sometimes compared; the sun generates its own rav of light, 
widiout any change, corruption, division and diminution ; it never was widiout 
fa ray of light, as it must have been had it been prior to it ; they commenced 
together and co exist, and will as long as the sun endures; and to this there 
nems to be an allusion, when Christ is called the brightness, avavyacfia:, the 
effulgence, the beaming forth of his Fathn^s glory ^ Hcb. i. 3. ut radius ex sole^ 
aidie ray from the sun, as lertuUian^ expresses it. Though such allusions 
lie not to be stretched too far, nor admitted where they imply any imperfection. 
It will be granted that the phrases begetting and begotten, as attributed to the 
divine persons in the godliead, arc used in reference tu human generation; be- 
tween which and divine generation there is some lescinbLmce; us likeness, 
sameness of nature, personality, &c. and as we consider divine generation, it 
comes nearer to generation, properly so called, than any sclieme or hypothesis 
opposed to it; but then care must be taken to remove from our minJs every 
thing carnal and impure; and what implies an imperfection; as division of na« 
turc, multiplication of essence, priority and pusccriority* motion, mutation, 
iteration, corruption, diminution, cessation from operation, &'c. to reason tiom 
the one to the other, as running parallel to each other, i^ unreasonuMe ; to ar- 
gue from human to divine generation; from that which is j)h>si< al, or niitural, 
to that which is hyperphysical, or iiupernatural; from wluit is va linite nature, 
' to tliat which is in a nature infinite, unbounded and eternal, is very irrational; 
and to reason from the one to the other, without limitation, rc.ti icion, care 
and caution, is very unsafe and dangerous ; since it may l<rad um wares into 
fooli&hand hurtful errors; and when objections of this sort aic in:idc, as they 
too often arc, in a vain, ludicrous and wanton manner, they arc ro be 1 eject- 
ed and detested, as impious and blasphemous; and they that ir.akerhcm air not 
to be disputed with, but despised: what is objected in a mr'.Vjst and decent way 
^y be attended to; and the chief thdt I liave met vvir!i, that the sonship 

^ Pulmtti ut supra, p. 2O4. * Adv. Praxeain, c. 18, &8. 


of Chnst Dy generation makes hiro to be later than the Father, to be depe 
on hiniy and subordinate to him ; or in othei: words, that it seems to be cc 
ry to his eternity, independence, and equality. Let us a little consider ea 
these objections. 

I. It is urged, that he that generates must be before him that is generat 
father chat begets must be before the son that is begotten by him ; and p 
the sonship of Christ on this foot, he cannot be co-eternal with the Fathe 
must have a beginning. This is the old stale objection of die Arians, s 
Arius"^ himself, who stumbled at this, and set out with it, reasoning thw 
die Father begat the Son, he that is begotten must have a beginning of h 
istence; and from hence it must be evident that there was a time when h 
not a Soni and therefore it must necessarily follow, that lie has his subsis 
out of nothing." And so Aetius^, a follower of his, could not understanc 
that which is begotten, could be co-eternal with him that begets. But a 
attention to a plain rule will set diis matter in a clear light, and remos 
objection: the rule is, and I think it is a good one, and will hold good 
** correlates mutually put or suppose each other;" that is, they commen 
gethcr, they exist together, they co-exist, and that one is not before the 
nor the one after the other. Now fether and son are correlates, they su 
each odier; a father supposes a son, and a son supposes a father; they 
mence and exist together, they co-exist, they] are not one before nor aft 
other: the father, as a father, is not before his son, as such; nor the son, as 
is not later than his father, as such; let a man have a first-born son, as s( 
he has one he becomes a father, and not before ; and his son is as early 
as he is a father; and supposing they live together a term of years, be 
hundred years if you please, which is not an unreasonable supposition, 
it has been a fact, that father and son have lived together a longer term of 
now at the end of these hundred years, the father, as a father, will no 
moment older than the son, as such ; nor the son, as a son, one m 
younger than the father, as such ; their reladons rise and condnue toged 
one or odier of them cease. There is no priority nor posteriority, no 
nor after in these relations; and so, as an ancient writer says\ '*wid 
there is no post-existence of him that is begotten, nor prc-existence o 
that begets:" if there is an eiemal Father, there must be an eternal Soi 
dierefore must be co-eternal ; there cannot be a &ther without a Son 
would be an absurdity, and therefore not before him. 

Should it be said, that though these mutual relations exist together, ar 
one is not before the other; yet surely he that is a father, diough not a: 
ther, must exist before him wlio is his son. As plausible as this may s< 
be, it may not appear so plain when examined; for this objecdoo 
arise from a false nodon of animal generadon. Generation is not a pi 
tion of a non -entity into being, or a bringing into existence what did not 

<Socrit. Hi»u 1. I. e. 5, «Xb. 1. 1. c aS- 'Jiw^ia* Q/^ & Refponf. qu. 16. p. . 


leforet for to bring that into being which wzi not in being before, is nothing 
ess than m creation, and creation is too much to ascribe to the fathers of our 
lesh; thev are not our creators, they do not give us our being; they do not 
iring us out of a state of none existence, into a state of existence ; God only 
11 the creator. According to the later discoveries in natural philosophy respect- 
mg generation, it appears that every roan is bom of an animalcula; thatgene- 
ntion, so called, is no other than a motion of the animalcula into a moie con- 
venient place for nourishment and growth. All generation, say our modem 
philosophers, is widi us nothing, so far as we can find, but nutrition, or aug- 
mentation of parts K: they conclude, that the animalcula of every tribe of crea- 
tttiei, were originally formed by the almighty Parent, to be the seed of all fu- 
ture generations of animals^ ; and that it seems most probable, that the seminar 
tt strnmna^ as of all plants, so of animals diat have been, or ever shall be in 
Ae woiid, have been formed ab origine mundi^ by the Almighty Creator, with* 
in the first of each respective kind'; and that these are no other than the entire 
Indies themselves in parvo ; and contain every one of the same parts and inem- 
kn, with the compleat bodies themselves, when grown to maturity ^; all which 
they say, evidently appears, by the help of microscopes: and this is the rather 
ID he attended to, because it so greatly agrees with the sacred scriptures, by 
which it appears, not only that Levi, the great-grandson of Abraham, was in 
Us loins, that is, seminally in him, before his father Jacob was bom; but that 
d mankind were in Adam, that is, seminally in him, as well as representa- 
tively; the former being the foundation of the latter, Rom. v. 12. i Cor. xv. 
23. If, therefore, the semina of all mankind were created together in the first 
man; and all men were seminally, and in animalcula together in Adam, then 
not one before another, no priority nor posteriority among them : so that these 
Aings, rightly considered, instead of weakening, serve to strengthen and illus* 
trate the doctrine pleaded for'. How far this philosophy is defensible, I will 
not say; I only ob^rve it to abate the force of the objection; anJ the confi- 
dence of those who make it, it being not easy to disprove the said hypothesis. 
IL As to the objection taken from dependence, suggesting that the doctrine of 
Christ's Sonship by generation, is contrary to the independence of Ciirist as a 
divine Person. It may be asked, what dependence has a Son upon a Father, in 
inimal generation P Does he depend upon him as the cause of his existence? 
He does not. He does not bring him into being. God only is the ciHcien: 
Cause and Author of his Being. He is, at mo$t, only an instrument of remov- 
ing die animalcula, created of God, into a more convenient situation for nou* 
rishment and growth ; in order, at a proper time, to come forth into the world, 

■Whiiton's New Theory of the Earth, book 4. chap. t. p. 199, 300. ^ Woluton*s Re« 
li{toa of Nature deHneated, 1. 5. p. 160, 164^ Ed. 8. ' Philoaophical Tnn»acc. abridged, 
voLt.p.9tt. Nieuweatyt'a Religiout Philoaopher, contempl. 13.1. 13. p. 711. td. 5. sec 
Vol. 3. GoatcmpK ay. «. 9. p. 1019. ^ Wbiston, ut lupra. ' See a faither uiemade of thia 
philoiophy io the ariiclci of Ordinal Siu, book 3. ch. to, and of the Incarnsrion of Chrikt, 
part: s. bool a. chap, t • 


accoiiding to the above hypothesis: a parent has no concern in the formation • 

his child; it is formed without his kiiowlalge, and without asking hisconse 

and will; he knows nothing of its shape, features, and sex, nntil its birth; at 

when it is bom, its life, and the continuance of its being, di) not depend upc 

him ; a son lives when a father dies, and often manv years after him ; it is tni 

in some sense, he may be said to depend upon him with respect to some ci 

Gumstances, especially in the fonner part of life; as, for the care of him, pn 

vision for hira, assistance and protection given him , circumstances which argi 

weakness in the human nature ; but not to be found in the divine nature, m 

any thing analogous to them ; and docs not a father oftentimes depend upon h 

son, as in case of distress, sickness, pi-nurj-, and old age. But be these lhin{ 

as they may, Christ, as all sound divines hold, is ai/roScof, God of himself, an 

indrpoiident of any other, though he is the Son of the Father; and as the distiiK 

personality of the Son of God arises from his relation to his Father as such, s< 

the distinct personality of the Father arises from his relation to his Son as such 

hence the distinct personality of the one, is no more dependent, than the distiiic 

personality of the other; and both arise from their mutual relation to earJi 

other; and both arise and commence togelicr, and not one before the other; 

and both are foutidcd in eternal generation. 

III. As to sul)ordi nation and subjection, and inequality, which it is suppoied 
the Sonship of Christ by generation implies ; it may be answered, that Christ in 
his office-capaciiy, in wliich he, as Mediator, is a Scr\'ant, and as he is inan, 
and appeared in the form uf one ; it will be acknowledged, that he is subordi- 
nate and subject to the Father; but not as he is the Son of God; and whatever 
inequality sonship may imply among men, it implies no such thing in the divine 
nature, among tlic divine persons; who in it sul)sist in perfect equality with one 
another; and in particular, the scriptures represent the Son of God as equal to 
his Father, as one who thought it no robbery to be equal with God; being of 
the same natiiic, and having the same perfections with him, and that he is equal 
to him, witli respect to power and authority ; for with respect to power he says> 
/ and my Father are one\ and they represent him as having the same claim w 
equal honour, homage, and worship ; since all men are to honour llie Son, S5 
they honour the Father; not as in subordination to him, but as equal with him. 
There is a passage which is prevened by some to the sense of subordination and 
subjection of the Son of God to the Father, which is in I Cor. xv. 24, 28> 
Then cometh the cnd^ when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to Gody evtf^ 
the Father — and when all things shall be subdued unto him^ then shall the Son ah^ 
himself be subject unto him; and put all things under him; that God may be allifi 
all. It slioidd be observed, that all this is said of something that is future; and 
which, as yet, is not, and so no proof of what is, or has been. Besides, there 
is a twofold Sonship of Christ, divine and human ; from the one he is deno- 
niinated the Son of God, and from tlie other the Son of man. Now Christ in 
tlie text, is only called the Son, which does not determine which Sonship is 


meant. This is to be learnt from the context, where he is spoken of through- 
out at man, as man who died, and rose again from the dead ; from whence, by 
various arguments, is proved the general resurrection ; and so he is continued 
to he spoken of to the passage under consideration ; the plain and easy sense of 
which is, that at the end of the world, at Christ's second coming, when all 
die elect of God shall be gathered in, and Christ shall have compleatly finished 
his work, as Mediator, he will deliver up the mediatorial kingdom coropleat and 
pcrfxt, chat is, the whole body of the elect, the kingdom of priests, to die Father, 
and say» £0, /, and the children wftom thou hast given me; and then the delegated 
power under which he acted, as the Son of man, will cease, and be n6 more; 
and that sort of rule, authority, and power, will be put down; and he, as the 
Sm of man, be no longer vested with such autliority, but shall become subject 
to him that put all things under him ; and rticn God, Father, Son, and Spirit^ 
. will be all in aH; and there will be no more distinction of offices among them; 
only the natural and essential distinctions of the divine Persons will always con- 
tinue. There are various passages of scriptures in which Christ, as the Son of 
God, addresses his divine Father, without the least appearance of any subordi- 
Mtioa or subjection to him, but as his equal, as Jehovah's fellow, particularly 
John xvii. 24. But I shall proceed to examine more particularly, in what sense 
Christ is the Son of God, or what is the true cause and reason of this relation. 
The Socinians, unwilling to own the eternal Sonship of Christ, or that he was 
die Son of God before he was the Son of Mary; and not caring to acknowledge 
tbo true cause and reason of it, which is but one, have devised many ; wiiich 
diews the puzzle and confusion they arc in; Calovius"* has collected out of 
thdr writings, no less dian thirteen causes, or reasons of Christ's Sonship; some 
of them are so weak and trifling, as not deserving to be mentioned; and others 
Rfjuire but little to be said to them ; I shall take notice of some of ttic principal 
QDes: and then proceed to pbce the Sonship of Christ on its true basis, and 
issign the proper sole cause and reason of it ; his being begotten of the Father. 
I. They say he is called the Son of God because of the great love of God to 
bim, and make beloved and begotten to be synonymous terms ; that Christ is the 
object of the love of God, the Son of his love, his dearly beloved Son, is most 
certain ; but then it is not his love to him that is the foundation and cu.use of 
relation to him ; he is not his Son because lie loves him ; but he loves him 
because he is his Son; it is not love among men that produces such a relation; 
there may be great love where tliere is no such relation ; Jonathan loved David 
U his own soul; but this strong love bore to him, did not make him nor dcnc« 
minate him his son. On the other hand, there may be relation and not love; 
a father may not love his own son; neither love nor hatred effect relation; the 
one does not make it, nor the other destroy it. 
- II Sometimes they ascribe the Sonship of Christ to his likeness of God, and 

•Socinism. Profligat. art. &. controv. 6. p* aoi. 
▼OL. • c P 


make that to be the cause of it: that Qirist is the image of the inr isible Go4 
the express image of his Father's Person, and so like him, that he that lias seea 
the one, has seen the other, because the same nature and perfections arc in bodi» 
is true; yet the reason why Christ is called the Son of God, is not because he 
is like him, but he is like him because he is his Sou ; of the same nature and 
essence with him. 

in. At other times they tell us, he is the Son of God by adoption; of which 
the Scriptures give not the least hint. To which may be objected, that Quilt 
is God's own Son, his proper Sun, the Son of himself; and therefore not adopted: 
who ever adopts an own son ? or what reason can there be for it ? adoptioo 
among men, is not of their own sons : but usually when they have none of dieif 
own ; as die instances of the adoption of Moses by Pharaoh's daughter, and of 
Esther by Moi^dccai shew : besides, Christ is the begotten Son of God ; and if 
begotten, then not adopted; these are inconsistent; yea, be is his only bq;ottai 
Son ; whereas, if he wa9 his Son by adoption, he could not be said to be his oidy 
Son, since he has many adopted ones; even as many as are predestinated to the 
adoption of children, by Christ; as many as the Father gave unto him ; as oitiiy 
as he has redeemed, ^* that they might receive the adoption of children;" n 
many as receive him, that is, believe in him, ** to whom he gives power to 
become the sons of God;" even as many sons as he brings to glory; which ii 
a number no man can number: but the more principal causes of ChriK*s 
Soiiship they insist upon, and which seem to have the most countenance frodi 
scripture, ate as follow, and which I shall more paiiicularly and largely consider. 

IV. The miraculous conception and biith of Christ, or his wonderful incar- 
nation, is assigned as the reason of his Sonship ; and this is founded on Luke i. 
35. die words of the angel to Mary, in answer to the difficulties objected by hcr^ 
to Christ being bom of her; TAe Holy Ghost shall come upon thee^ and the power 
of the Highest shall overshadow thee ; therefore^ also^ that holy Thing that shar 
be bom ofthee^ shall be called the Son of God. Now let it be obser\'cd, that die 
angel docs not say the holy ITiing bom of the virgin should te, but should 
be called the Son of God; for though sometimes the sense of such. a phrase 
is the same as to be, as in Isai. ix. 6. i Joim iii. i. yet seems not intended herej 
since diis appellation, the Son of God, is a name which Christ has been, and ii 
usually called by ; and the angel is not giving a reason of Christ's being the Soo 
of God; for he was so before his incarnation; but of the manifestation and de< 
claration of him as such in the human nature: nor does tl^e angel predict thai 
Christ should be called the Son of God, for this reason, because of his miracu- 
lous birth ; for either he was to call himself so, or others were to call him soi 
for this reason, which neither have been ; or else the angel's prediction must b( 
false, which cannot be admitted. Moreover, the particle therefore, is not casual, 
but consequential ; the angel is not giving a reason why Christ should be callec 
the Son of God, but why he should be received and owned as such by his peo- 
ple ; who would infer and conclude from his wondrous birth of a virgin, tbai 


e must be the lauBaniid, the child to be borot the Son given, &c. prophesied 
fin Isai. vii. 14. and ix. 6. where he is called the child bom> with respect to 
is human nature, and the Son given, with respect to his divine nature"; see 
An iii. 16. and iv. io« Once more, the particle also, ought not to be neglect- 
1; Therefore, also, that holy Thing, &c. noc only die divine person of Clirist 
louki be owned and called the Son of God; but also the huinan nature of Christ 
kus wonderfully produced, being taken np into personal union with him, should 
ear die same name: so that it is not the wonderfiil birth of the human nature 
ut so much as gives the name; but the union of this nature to the person of 
X Son of God ; whence it is called by the same name he is. The leasons why 
Svist cannot be the Son of God, on account of his wonderful incarnation are 
be following. 

I. If so, then the holy Spirit must be die Father of Christ, since he had such 
I special and peculiar concern in it; as the above passage shews; and then 
here must be two Fathers in the Trinity ; which ^would introduce a wretched 
xnfasion there. But dierd is but one, distinct from the Word and Spirit, 
I John V. 7* Matt, xxviii. 19. Besides, the Father of Christ is, in many pla- 
xs, distinguished from the Spirit, and therefore cannot be the same, J<rfm xiv. 
16, 17, 26. ajid XV. 26. Eph. i. 17. and iii. 14, 16. To which may be added, 
bat the S^rit is called the Spirit of the Son, Gal. iv. 6. whereas, if this was 
it case, rather the Son should be called the Son ot the Spirit; which he 
lever is. 

s. If the incarnation of Christ is the cause of his divine Sonship, then there 
m no God the Father of Christ under the Old Testament; this was what the 
^larcionites of old asserted; which put the ancient writers** on proving, as they 
lid, that it was tlie Father of Christ who made the world, gave the law, spoke 
7 the prophets, and endited the books of the Old Testament; all which ap- 
icars from Heb. i. i, 2. Besides, God existed us the Father of Christ, before 
lie foundation of the world ; for so early as such he blessed his people, and 
hose them iu Christ, Epli. i. 3, 4. 

3. If Christ wds the Son of God with respect to his human nature only, the 
lisiinctive phrase according to the flesh, when used in speaking of him, would 
•e quite impertinent ; (vt it is never said of any mere man, that he is the son 
>t sudi an one according to the flesh, but only, that he is his son; but the 
^ase is very pertinently used to distinguish Christ, the Son of God, acconling 
his divine nature, from his being the Son of David, and of tlie fathers, ac- 
ording to his human nature, Rom. i. 4. and ix. 5. 

4. The incarnation of Christ is not the reason of his being the Son of God, 
tut the manifestation of him as such ; he was not made, but manifested thereby 
<>be the Son of God, i John i. i, 2. and iii. 8. In the fulness of time God 
*^ furdi his Son — ^for what? not to be made a Sun; he was so before he sent 

* Vitrinp io loc. *See Dr« Owen oa the Tri:iity, p. 37. 



him ; but that this Son might be made of a woman, or be made men ; that the 
Word might be made flesh, or become incarnate; and so God, the Son of 
Gody be manifest in the fleshy Gal. iv. 4. 

5. It is certain that Christ existed, as the Son of God, before his incarna- 
tion; and is spoken of in the Old Testament as such; even Nebuchadnezzar, 
an Iieathen prince, had a notion of the Son of God ; which he might hare from 
Daniel, and other Jews in his palace; for he had many in his dominions, from 
whom he might learn that there was a gloridus Person, who wmild appear in 
human nature, under the name of the &3n of Grod; and seeing four Persons in 
tlic fiery furnace, when only three were cast into it, and the form of the fourth 
remarkably glorious, he concluded him to be one like him, who had been de- 
scribed to him, Dan iii. 25. see Ez.ek. xxi. to. Agur long before knew that ft 
divine Person existed, as the Son of God; for speaking of the Almighty, and 
incomprehensible Being, he asks, Wliat is his name^ and what ii his SdM*s namt^ 
ifthiu camt tell? suggesting that as the name, that is, the nature of God is 
ineffable, he had a Son of the same nature with himself, equally so, Prov. 
X3CX. 4« Earlier than he, David speaks of the Son of God, begotten by him ; 
whom he calls all the Kings and Judges of the earth to pay divine homage and 
wonhip to ; and pronounces them blessed that trust in him, Psal. ii. 7, la. and 
speaks of him also as his first bom, who should call him his God and FadicTf 
Psal. Ixxxix. 26, 27. yea, Christ existed as a Son, not only before Sdomon 
and David were, but before Melchisedec was, for he is said to be made like unto 
the Son of God, Heb. vii. 3. yea, he existed as such at tiie creation of ihc 
world; for God, by him his Son, made the worlds, Heb. i. 2. before any 
creature was in being he was the Son of God ; and so tlie words may be ren 
dered in Psal. Ixxii. 17. Before the sun was^ his name was the Scn^ the Son of 

6. If Christ is only the Son of God as he was man, and so called because 
made man, then he would be in no other class of Sonship than creatures be 
Adam being wonderfully made and created out of the dust of the earth, is called 
the son of God, and all his posterity are the offspring of God, Luke iii. 38- 
Acts xvii. 28. Angels are also the sons of God, by creation; but to Ufhich oj 
the angels said he (God) at any time^ Thou art my son^ this day have I begetter 
thccy Heb. i. 5. and if not to them, much less to any of the sons of men; and 
therefore Christ's filiation must be in an higher class than theirs; and not to be 
ascribed to his incarnation ; but must be placed to another account. 

V. Another cause or reason assigned by the Socinians why Christ is callec 
the Son of God, is his resurrection from the dead ; which cannot be the true 
reason of it ; because, 

I. He was the Son of God before; as has been proved, and they themsdve; 
acknowledge; for if he was the Son of God, through his incarnation, as thej 
say, though wrongly, then before his resurrection ; and so not on that account 
the mission of Qirist into this world, as the Son of God^ the testimony bore t( 


Ins Sanship, at his baptism and transfi^iration, by his divine Father; the con- 
fession of men and angels, good and bad, already obser\'cd; shew him lo be 
the Son of God before his resurrection, and so not by it. 

2. If he was the Son of God on that account, he must beget himself, and be 
die author of his own Sonship, which is notoriously absurd ; for he raised him- 
self from the dead, as he predicted he would; and as he had power to do, as 
he declared, and did it, John ii. 19. and x. i8. 

3. If so, his Sonship must be metaphorical and figurative, and not proper; 
whereas, he is often called God's own Son, his proper Son, the Son of him- 
self; and God his own proper Father, Rom, viii. 3, 32. John v. 18. 

4. On this account, he cannot be called the only begotten Son of God ; for 
though he may, indeed, on account of his resurrection, be called, as he Is, the 
first-bom firom the dead, and the first begotten of the dead, and the first fruits 
of diem that sleep. Col. i*. i8. Rev. i. 5. i Cor. xv. 20. yet cannot be c;dlei 
die only begotten, since many of the saints rose with him at his resuirection; 
aod all men will be raised at the last day. 

5. If the resuirection of die dead entitles to Sonship, then wicked men would 
be the sons of God; since there will be a resurreaion of the unjust as well as 
of the just; of some to shame and damnation, as well as of others to everlasting 
life, Dan. xii. 2. John v. 28, 99* Acts xxiv. 15. yet diese are nevercalled the 
tons of God; as not on any other, so not on this account; indeed, die dead ia 
Christ, who will rise first, are said to he the children of God^ being the chil- 
iren of the resurrection^ Luke xx. 36. not that they then become the children of 
God, and are so for that reason ; for they are so before; but being raised, and 
pot into the possession of the inheritance, they will be manifested, und declanrd 
the children of God, " heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ;*' and so, 

6. The resurrection of Christ from the dead, is only a manifestation of his 
Sonship; he was declared to be the Son of God with power^ by the reswrection 
from the deady Rom. i. 4. and hence it is that the words in Psal. ii. 7. Thou art 
mj son^ this day have 1 begotten thety are applied to the resurrection of Christ, 
Acts xiii. 25. not that be was then begotten as the Son of God, for he was so 
before, as has been proved; but he was dicn manifested to be the only begot- 
ten Sou of God; and which words arc applicable to any time when Christ was 
declared and manifested to be the Son of God. 

VI. The last reason I shall take notice of, which the Sccinians give of the 
Sonship of Christ, is his ofiBce as Mediator ; they say he is called the Son of 
God, because he was sanctified, or set apart to his office, as such; and was sent 
into the world to do it, and has executed it, and is now exalted in heaven. 
And it is not to be wondered at, that they should assert Christ to be the Son of 
God by office, when it is a notorious sentiment of theirs, that he is only God 
by office; for the sake of which they endeavour to support this : the text which 
they build this notion on is John x. 36. Say ye of him whom the Father hath 
sanctified and sent into the worlds thou blasfhemest^ because I said I am the Sen of 

. " 3\S; OR, 

."i«fJc«I from his san 

: *, cr i:romiicd to \ 

»'*:••! i«l C.i»hI; hut t 

.. •- .; vo c'jIInI, lannot 1: 

• : 'If he was .scnr. 
.. • •■' .'■. Ci'v!, siviiL'^, t!i;it 
:: - !»i!n rvith hh'Splicrsiv ; 
.*■ ::'.in hi.^ iiifcii'-r rhara*- 

.^T. !if b * c'i\\r\ fhc Son (; 

: a::'l ^t.-n' in*(> thv v.oi^i 

• r';;i^ IXiryaml Sovt^i 

•: '".j :!;r .>.i!.-ic works his 

• !.. 'ii' ^'»ii of GoJ, hr 

•* • • • 1 

. • •: i^v ! a:".:c, hut bv office, t 
\1 vir-j/. .:u .il .;Lii>c: as inai:; 
: ; . r..- c: Go J, .)c!ng in an oiE 
• .v: >c; .*c, is the Son of (iod 
:•* •^: rr;iiy and properly his So 
-.rsclr. Rum. viii. 3. liis propc 

V. "»^ 

v^" .• >: !< .-^ r'ar fro-n h* iiv:: tl-r r\n 
» '..* ^: •.::;..: lit ill', niulr.iiorsl lip; t 
. .J ";>• rK*cr::.s:^LMCt!aspr''\ii»ijslv 

. . :•' ■ ::r..-^fM'j viJi hi> luivlv 

•a1 .. •'I I.:: i;:: t'lis n.!at;\f < hii 

• ;: .:.. /: r. He!) 1. H. . 

; i 

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. ^.•. . •. . ■.!• 'K '^'! it. lit- ^\4. 

•.% • \ : ^:v. C!lii^^, as ♦hi 5< 


God, must he considered previous to his being the Mediator ; though he is botli 
from eternity ; it must be understood, not of priority of time, of which there is 
none in eternity; but of priority of order; for Christ must be considered as ex- 
isting as a divine Person, under some character or relation* ere he can be con« 
sidered as invested with an office; not in order of time, both being eternal; but 
in order of nuturc; even as the eternal God, must be considered as existing pre- 
vious to any act of his ; as of eternal election, not in priority of time, the etcr« 
nal acts of God being as early as himself; but in priority of order, as one thing 
must be conceived of and considered by our finite minds, before another. 

3. Because he is frequently distinguished as a Son, from the consideration of 
him in his mediatorial office; as in tiie Eunuch's confession of Faith; I believe 
tkat Jesus Christ is the Son of GaJj Acts viii. 37. and in the ministry of the apos- 
tk Pdul, who is said to preach Christ in the synagogues ^ that he is the Son ofGodf 
Acts ix. 20. Now the plirase Jesus Christ respects his office as the Saviour, 
theanoioted Prophet, Priest, and King; and if the other plirase, the Son of God, is 
itemi ofofUce also ; they coincide, and signify the same thing ; and then the sense 
of them only is, that Christ is the Christ, and the Mediator; the Mediator con- 
feaed by the one, and preached by tlie other ; which carry in them no distiixt 
ideas; whereas the meaning is, that the one believed, and the other preached, 
thu Jesus, the Saviour and true Messiah, who had lately appeared with all the 
tne chsiractcrs of the promised one, was no less tlian a divine Person, the Son 
of God: see also i Joim iv. 14, 15. and v. 5. 

4. Because Christ, as Mediator, is the Servant of God; and especially so he ap- 
pears in the discharge of sotiie parts of that his office; as in his obedienceand suf- 
fering death, see Isai. xlii. 1. and xlix. 3. and hii. 1 1. Phil. il. 7, 8. A servant 
and a son arc very difFeient relations, convey very different ideas ; our Lord 
observes the distinction, John viii. 35. and Christ, as a Son, is distinguish* 
tiftom Moses, as a servant, in the house ofGod, Heb. iii. 5, 6. u4icreas, 
if Christ was a Son by office, or as mediator, he would be no other than a 
servant, as Moses was, only of an higher rank, and a grenter office; no one 

! is ever called a son bcc::nsf he is a servant; one that is a son inay iiKlecd be a 
J servant, but is never rallt^i a son on that account; so that this is to lessen the 
glory of Christ, as the only bcgoiien of the Father, and reduce hiiu to the cha- 
racter and state of a servant. 

5. Because the Sonship of Christ is sometimes spd;*'n of as addinp; a lu!;tre 
to his office as Mediator; as wiicn the apostle says Sevif.'g f/ie?i that ur have a 
ireat High Priest that is passed into the heui'em^ fesus r//j S&fi ofGody les m 
holdfast our profession^ Hcb. iv. 14. that which inakcs this Hij;h Priest so great 
an one, and furnishes out so strong ati urgument to a constant profession of 
him, is his being the Son of God, not by office, bur b) nature; fv)r if this was 
only a term of office, it would not only coincide wich his being an high priest, 
but there would be no einpliasis in it, nor evidence of his greatness; nor such 
strength in the argument formed upon it. Likewise, the Soiibhip of Chi ist is 
rcpiesented as putting a virtue and efficacy into what he has done as Mediator, 


and therefore must be distiiicr from his office as such i so particularly tlie ape 
tie John ascribes the efficacy of bis blood, in cleansing from sin, to his beii 
the Son of God; And the hlo^d of Jesus Christ his Son^ (there lies tlie emvhas: 
clrameth us from all sin, I John i. 7. Sometimes it is, observed, as wonderft 
that he ^ ho is the Son of God, should perform some parts of his office as M> 
diator ; as obedience and suffi(rring death ; Though he were a Son^ yet learned * 
obedience by the things which he suffered^ Hcb. v« i. but there would be nothir 
strange and wonderful, that he, being the Mediator, should perform the pa 
of one; but it lies here, that he, being the Son of God, in the form of Got 
and equal to him, should appear in the form of a servant, and be obedient ur 
to death, even the death of the cross. 

6. Because the Sonship of Christ is made use of to express and enhance di 
love of God, in the gift of him to die sons of men, John iii. 16. i John iv. i 
which would not be so strongly expressed, and so greatly enhanced, and appea 
in such a glaring light, if Christ, in such a gift, is considered not as a Son b 
nature, but as a Servant, and in an office-capacity; God has given what i 
more dian men, or than people, for the life of his chosen; to do wliich woul 
be love; but he has given his own Son; which is a fu- greater instance of love 
Isai. xliii. 4. 

Lastly, If Christ is the Son of God, and may be called his begotten Son, \x\ 
virtue of his constitution as Mediator, it should be shown, that there is some 
thing in that constitution whicli is analogous, or answers to generation am 
Sonship, and lays a sufficient ground and foundation for Christ being cailei 
God's own Son, his proper and only begotten Son; what is there in the firs 
Person's appointing and constituting the second to be a Mediator, that gives hirr 
the name of a Father? and what is that in the constitution of the second Persor 
in such an office, that gives him the name of the Son, of the only begotten Som 
. Having removed the chief and principal of the false causes, and reasons o' 
Christ's Sonship, assigned by the Socinians; 1 shall proceed to establish th< 
true cause of it; and settle it on its true basis; by aligning it to its proper an< 
sole cause, his eternal generation by the Fadier; which I shall attempt to do b} 
various passages of scripture. 

There are some passages of scripture, which have been made use of V. 
prove the eternal generation of the Son of God, I shall not insist upon particii- 
larly Isai. liii. 8. fVho shall declare his generation? which is to be understooJ 
neitherof the human, nor of the divine generation of Christ, as it was by tli< 
ancient writers; not of his human generation; for that the Prophet himself de 
dared; as that he would be bom, and be bom of a virgin, chap. vii. 14. an< 
iv. 6. nor of his divine generation, which is declared bodi by the Father an< 
the Son ; though, indeed, the manner of both generations is inexplicable an< 
inefiable, and cannot be declared by men : but the words are either to be under- 
stood of Christ's spiritual generation; the seed he should see, 10. his spiritua 
seed and offspring ; a generation to be accounted of, but not to be counted bj 
men, their number being not to be declared: or, radier, of the wickedness oJ 


tbat age and generation in Vi^hich Christ should appear in the flesh; called 
bjr him, a wicked, adulrerous, and faithless generation; the wickedness then 
risen both in the Gentile and Jewish world, was such as not to be declared; and 
particularly the barbarity and ciuelty of the Jews, in putting Christ to death, 
and persecuting his apostles, were such as no tongue and pen could fully de- 

I have not, in my treatise on the Trinity, insisted on Mic. v. 2. as a proof 
of the eternal generation of the Son of God ; of whom it is there said, whose 
goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting; though tliis has been, 
and still is, insisted on by great and good men, as a proof of it : hut when he 
is said to go forth from the Father, it may seem, as it does to some, rather to 
intend his mission in time, or as coming into the world; not by change of place, 
hit by assumption of nature, John xvi. 28. besides, the phrase is plural; goings 
finth; which seem to denote various acts; whereas that of begetting is a sin- 
gle act: to which may be added, that that is an act of the Father; these seem 
to be acts of the Son ; and therefore may seem rather to be understood of his 
goings forth in the covenant, in acts of grace and love towards his people, and 
ddight in them ; in approaching to God in a covenant-way, and asking them 
of his Father, and all blessings of grace for them; in becoming their Surety, 
ind engaging to be their Saviour and Redeemer. However, these words are 
I full proof of the eternal existence of Christ; or otherwise these things could 
not be predicated of him and his existence so early, under the relation and clia« 
ncter of the Son of God, and that previous to his goings fonh in a mediatori- 
al way; as before proved. Yet, after all, I see not but that the divine genera, 
tion of Christ may be included in those goings forth; and be the first and prin- 
cipal, and the foundation of the rest; since thecontmst in the text is between 
die Deity and humanity of Christ; or, between his two births and sonships, 
divine and human ; and the phrase of going forth, suits verv well widi the mo- 
dem notion of generation, before observed ; and the word ^*1C» is frequently used 
of generation, Gen. xlvi. 2S. Isai. xi. I. and xlviii. i, 19. and, indeed, in die 
very text itself. But, 

The text in Psal. ii. 7. though some have parted with it, as a proof of this 
point, I choose to retain, The Lord hath said unto me. Thou art my Son; this 
day have I begotten thee ; which arc the wonls of the Messiah, the LiOi"d's anoint- 
ed; against whom the kings of the earth set themselves, 2. tlic King set and 
anointed over the holy hill of Zion, 6. and who says in the begiiining ot this 
verse, I will declare the decree \ which he speaks cither as King, signifying th;it, 
he would, as such, declare and publish the laws, statutes, and judgments; so the 
word signities ; by which his subjects should be ruled and governed: or as a 
Prophet, who would declare tlie covenant, as the Turgum^ the covenant of grace, 
die diings contained in it; and none so ht as he, who is the messenger of it: or 
the counsel and decree, as we render it, the scheme of man's redemption and sal- 
vation by himself; or the gospel, called the whole counsel of God, i\cts xx. 27. 

VOL. I. 1 G 


for this iTspects hot what {bllows, die soaship of Christ; though that is'cbc 
ground and foundation of the whole gospel-scheme ; but that depends not on anj 
decree, counsel, or will of God, but is of nature; and the mention of it is intro- 
duced, to shew the greatness and excellency of the Person spoken of in the con- 
text; and so to aggravate the wickedness of his enemies; since the King they 
opposed, is no other than the natural and proper Son of God; and in like man* 
ner are these words quoted in Heb. i. 5. to shew the pre-eminence of Christ tc 
the angels: and as for the date, this day^ it may well enough be thought to be 
expressive of eternity, since one day with the Lord is as a thousand years, anc 
as eternity itself; and which is expressed by days of eternity in Mic. v. 2. ai 
the eternal God himself is called the Ancient of days, Dan. vii. 9. and, indeed 
this passage is applicable to any day or time in which Christ is declared aud ma- 
nifested to be the Son of God ; as at his incarnation, Heb. i. 6. i John iii. 8. 
and at his baptism and transfiguration. Matt. iii. 17. and xvii. 5. as it is to rhi 
time of his resurrection; when he was declared to be the Son of God, AcO 
xiii. 25. Rom. i. 4. And agreeable to this sense of the words, as it respects hie 
eternal generation, and his being the natural and proper Son of God, he is afta 
treated as his heir, and bid to ask what he would for his inheritance, 8, 9. and 
is represented as the otqect of religious worship and adoration, and of trust and 
confidence, 12. which belong to none but a divine person. So Justin Martyr^ 
interpret this passage of the manifestation of Christ's generation to men* 

The text in Prov. viii. 22. though a glorious proof of Christ's eternal exist- 
ence, yel I formerly thought not so clear an one of his eternal generation. But 
upon a more close consideration of it, it appears to me a very clear one ; as the 
plorases in this, and some following verses, being possessed, brought forth, and 
brought up, clearly shew; much darkness has been spread over it, by a wrong 
translation in the Greek version, which renders the words, the Lord created 
me, &c. and which has led into more erors than one. Arius from hence con- 
cluded, that Christ, as a divine person, was created by his Father in some imtanc 
in eternity, and tliat he was made by him, not of the same nature with him, but 
of a like nature to him; and is his first and most excellent creature, and whom 
he made use of in the creation of others: but if the Wisdom of God, the person 
here speaking, was created by God, then God must be without his Logos, word, 
and wisdom, until he was created ; whereas, he was always with him ; and be- 
sides, he is tlie Creator, and not a creature; for all things were made by him 
John i. I — 3. 

Some, of late, have put a new sense on these words, equally as absuid as th 
former, and interpret tliem, of the creation of the human soul of Christ in etei 
nity ; which, they say, was then made, and taken up into union with Go< 
But to this sense it must be objected, i . That the human soul of Christ is not 
person, nor is even the whole human nature, which is called a thing, and n( 
a person, Luke i. 35. it never subsisted of itself, but always in die Person of th 
Son of Godi and there arc wise reasons, in die oeconomy and scheme of man 

f Dialog, cum. Tiypbo. p. 316, 


ion, that so it should be ; whereas wisdom here speaking is all along in 
mtext represented as a Person, / fVisdom^ verse 12. the Lwd posseised mey 
22. / was Sit ttp^ verse 23, &c. — ^ 2. Tlie human soul of Christ is only 
t of the human nature ; whereas Christ has assumed a whole human na- 

a true body, and a reasonable soul ; and both were necessary to become a 
ice; as they have been, Isai. liii. 10. Heb. x. lo. According to this no- 
Christ assumed the human nature by parts, and these as widely distant as 
ty and time ; one part assumed in eternity, anodier part in time ; what a 
langle is this of our Lord's human nature ? is this to be made in all things 
anto his brethren? of the two, it would be more agreeable diat the whole 
m nature was assumed so early; but was that the case, it would not be the 
of the woman, nor the seed of Abraham, nor the son of David, nor Ac son 
ary ; nor would Christ be a partaker of our flesh and blood ; and it should 
nsideredy whether this would have been of any avail to us. — 3. But what 

things is most absurd, this human soul is said to be created in eternity, or 
e time ; which is a contradiction in terms, time being nothing else but the 
ure of a creature's duration; as soon as a creature was, time was; time 
IS with that, let it be when it will; and therefore cannot be before time: 
)se a creature to be made millions of ages before the common date of time, 
reation of the worid, time must be reckoned from die existence of that crea- 

but what is worst of all, is the faul consequence of this to divine revela- 

for if there was any thing created before time, or before the world was> 
her an angel or a man, or a part of man, the human soul, or the whole 
m nature of Christ, our Bible must begin with a falshood ; and then who 
believe what is said in it afterwards ? which asserts, /// the beginning God 
:d the heaven and the earth ; that is, in the beginning of time, or when time 
began. And this is so agreeable to reason, that Plato "* says. Time and 
'en were made together; and Timaeus Locrus', God made the world with 
; and Plato defines time thus'. Time is the motion of the sun, and the mea« 
of motion ; which was as soon as a creature was made ; the first things 
God made were the heavens and the eanh ; and therefore if any thing wai 
cd before them, this must be an untnuh. How careful should men be of 
ng their own whims and fancies, to the discredit of the Bible, and to the 
^f the ruin of divine Revelation. Should it be said. Were not the angeb 
cd before? I answer, No': surely no man, thinking sobeily, will assert 
ow can it be thought, that the angels of heaven, as they are called, should 
adc before there was a heaven for them to be in? Should the text in Job 
'iii. 7. be produced in proof of it, let it be observed, that it is far from being 

that angels are there meant, since they are never elsewhere compared to 
, nor called the sons of God; rather good men are there meant, to whom 

I Timco, p. 1051. ' De Aninia Aluadi, p. ao. £d* Galc« f Dc&aiuoocf, pt 1337. 
Theodoret, in Gen. Qu. 3. 




both epithets agree ; but be it understood of angels or ment it is not to be c 
nccied with 6. nor respects the time of laying the foundation and corncr-st 
of the earth ; but the phrase in 4. is to be repeated at tlie beginning. Where 
thou when the merning-itars sang together^ &cc, and so refers to some eaily t 
after the creation of the heavens and the earth ; and to a meeting, whcthei 
angels or men, in which the praises of God, on account of his works, were 
lebrated, before Job had a bemg. No, neither angels nor men, nor any 01 
creature, were before time; this is peculiar to Jehovah ; this is a claim he mal 
and -none else can put in for it ; Before the day was^ I am //r, Isai. xliii. 
tliat is, bef6re there was a day, before time was, I existed, when none else 1 
none existed in and from eternity but Jehovah, Father, Son, and Spirit; not 
angel, nor an human soul: it is a notion of Origen, condemned by Jerom' 
heretical, that the soul of the Saviour was, before he was born of Mary; 
that this is that which, when he was in the form of God, he thought no 1 
bery to be equal with God. 

What has led men into ihis notion of the human nature of Christ, eithe: 
part, or in whole, being created before time, or in eternity, is another error, 
mistake, as one error generally leads to another; and that is, diat Christ cc 
not take upon him, nor execute die office of Mediator, without it; whereas 
Is most certain, that a divine Person can take - upon him an office, and exec 
it, without assuming an inferior nature ; as the holy Spirit of God has; he 
the covenant of Grace, took upon him the office of applying die grace and bh 
ings of the covenant, the diings of Christ in it, to die covenant-ones ; in 
ing which he performs the part of a comforter to dicm, and a glorificr of Clir 
and yet never assumed any inferior nature ; and this widiout any dcgradatior 
his person: and it is easy to observe, among men, rfiat when two powers 
at variance, one, even superior to them bodi, will interpose as a Mediator, w 
out at all lessening his dignity and character. Christ, as a divine person, cc 
and did take upon him the office of Mediator, without assuming human nati 
it was sufficient for his constitution as such, that he agreed to assume it in tii 
when it was necessar)' ; and there are several parts of lii5 mediatorial office, wh 
he could and did execute in eternity widiout it; he could and did draw nig? 
his divine Father, and treat with him about terms of peace and reconciliat 
for men; he could and did covenant witli him on die behalf of his elect; wh 
to do, no more required an human nature in him, than in the Father; he cc 
and did become a Surety for them in the covenant, and receive promises 
blessings for them; and agreed to do all for them diat law and justice could 
quire: and to make such terms, agreements, promises, &c. of what use and a 
would an human soul, or the whole human nature, have been unto him ? Tl: 
are other parts of his office, indeed, which required the actual assumption of 
human nature; and when It was proper for him to perform them, dien, and 
beforci was it necessary for him to assume it ; such as obedience to ihck 

^ Ap«I« Adv. Ru9d» foi, 73. A. torn. t. 


shedding of blood, and suffering death, to make peace, reconciliation, and 
atonement for bis people. 

Wherefore, if this translation of Prov/ viii. 22. He created me^ is to be re- 
tained, k is better to interpret it of the constitution of Clirist in his office, as 
Mediator, as tlic word create is used in common language, of making a king, 
peer, judge, or one in any office: but tliis is rather meant in the following 
verse, I was set upy or anchited^ invested with the office of Mediator; anoint- 
ing being used at the investiture of kings, priests, and prophets, with their of- 
fice, is put for the act of investiture itself; fur Wisdom, or Christ, proceeds in 
this account of himself, in a very regular and orderly manner; he first gives 
an account of his eternal existence, as the Son of God, by divine generation; 
and then of constitution, as Mediator, in his office-capacity ; this latter is ex- 
pressed by his being set up, and the former by his being possessed or begotten; 
to the same Greek version renders diis word in Zech. xiii. 5. and it may be i-en- 
dered here, the Lord begat me^ and so possessed him as his own Son, laid a claim 
to him, and enjoyed him as such ; for this possession is not in right of creation in 
luch sense as he is the possessor of iieaven and earth. Gen. xiv. 19, 22. but in 
right of paternity, in which sense the word is used, Deut. xxxii. 6. as a father 
lays claim to, possesses and enjoys his own son, being begotten by hlin, or 
signifies piossession by generation. Gen. iv. i. the following phrase in tlie be- 
ginning of his way, should be rendered without the prej>osition in, which is 
ootin the text; for Wisdom, or Christ, is not, in this clause, expressing the 
date of his being begotten, but dtsciibing him himself, who is the begotten of 
the Fadier; as t})e l)cginning of his way, of his way of grace; with whom 
God first begun, taking no one step without him, nor out of him ; his purpo- 
ses of grace being in him, the scheme of reconciliation loimed in him, the co- 
venant of grace made with him, and all giace given to the elect in him; in 
whom they were chosen: and all this before his works of old, the works of 
creation,' of which Christ is the beginning; the first and co-efficient cause. 
Rev. lii, 14. and this sense of the words, as undcrstooil of the begetting of 
Chiist, is confiimed by some other phrases after used, as of being brought 
forth, 24. as conceived, as tJie vulgate Latin version ; or begotten, as the Tar- 
gum and Syiiac version ; so the Greek version, of 25. is, he begat me; and the 
word is used of generation in Job xv. 7. Psal. li. 5. and is repeated, 25. panly 
to excite attention to it, as being of gicat moment and importance, and partly to 
observe the certainty of it; the eternal generation of Christ being an article of 
faith, most surely to be believed: Wisdom further says of himself; Tncn was J 
by himj as one brought vp with hirtu 30. being begotten by him, and being brought 
forth, he was brought up with his Father, which expresses tlie most tender 
regard to him, and the utmost delight in him. Tlie word jct* may be ren- 
dered^ carried in his boiom"^^ as a son by a nursing fatlier, Numb. xi. 12. sec 
John i. 18. 

'<' Xg!diu«, N*. 1884. Coccci Lexic. col. 43. 


To these proofs might be added, all those scriptures which speak of Chiist a 

the begotten, the only begotten of the Father; which have been referred to 

John i. 14, 18. and iii. 16. i John iv. 9. which cannot be undentood of bin 

as a man, for as such he was not begotten, and so was without Father, die an 

titype of Melchizedec ; and \diose generation must be understood not of his m 

ture; for his nature is the same widi the nature of the Fadier and Spirit, an 

therefore if his was begotten, theirs would be also; but of his person; as i 

natural, so in divine generation, person begets person, and not essence begets e« 

sence; and this begetting is not out of, but in the divine essence; it being ai 

immanent and internal act in God; and in our conception of it, as has been a] 

ready observed, we are to remove every thing impure and imperfect, division ao 

multiplication, priority and posteriority, dependence, and the like ; and as for tb 

modus, or manner of it, we miast be contented to be ignorant of it, as we are o 

our own generation, natural and spiritual; and of the incarnation of Christ 

and of die union of the humim nature to his divine Person. If we must be 

lieve nodiing but what we can comprehend, or account for the manner, 

how it is, we must be obliged to disbelieve some of the perfections of God ; a 

eternity, immensity, and omniscience, &c* yea, that there is a God, or tfaa 

there are three distinct Persons in t.he Godhead ; which, however, clearly revealo 

in scripture diat they are, yet the manner, or how they are, how they subsii 

distincdy as three Persons, and y«x but one God, is incomprehensible and inex 

plicablr by us : and at this rate, there are many things in nature, and in philoso 

phy *, which must be given up, ^svhich yet are certain ; since the matter hov 

they be, cannot be explained ; it is enough, that it is plain they are, though hov 

cannot be said; as the union of our souls and bodies; and tlie influence tha 

matter and spirit have on each othctr; and in the present case, it is enough tha 

Christ is revealed as begotten of the Father; thougli the manner how he i 

begotten, cannot be explained: Athanasius 3^ expresses the thing well; "How 

the Father begat the Son, I do not curiously enquire; and how he sent forth th( 

Spirit, I do not likewise curiously enquire ; but I believe that both the Son i: 

begotten, and the Holy Spirit proceeds:, m a manner unspeakable and impassible.' 

And says * Gregory Nazianzen, " I-et the generation of God be honoured ir 

silence; it is a great thing, (abundantly so,) for thee to learn or know, that h< 

is begotten ; but how he is begotten, is not granted to thee to understand, nor 

* A philosopher 1 must not think he hais a right to deny the action of power !• became fa< 

cannot comprehend the manner after which things thus happen ; forasmuch as according to suci 
notions, wc might reject many thinp likewise* which experience proves really to come to pass 
who can conceive the mow of what has been tbewn to happen about percussion, or about th< 
oper4tions of light in contempl. •4. How many effects are there in Chymistry, M likewise 11 
Hydrostatics, of which we have not yet been able to comprehend the manner how they come tc 
pass 7 no more than what has been said in confeenpl. 13. about the bodies and roots of planU, 
which prrhaps would be as hardly admitted 1 if nothing must be believed to be truej 

but that of which wc can understand the mow and the manner. Nieuwentyt's Religious Philo* 
sopher, vol. 3. coDtcmpl. a0. •• j. p. 892* ^ l^.S* Trinitatc, PUl<2g. i* ?• iSi- * Oral. 33, 
p. s^;. 


to the angeb/' *' It is enough for me, says the same ancient divine*, 
dnt I hear of the Son ; and that he is of the Father; and that the one is a Fa- 
tbCTi and the other a Son: and nothing besides this do I curiously enquiie 
afat. ■ Do you hear of the generation of the Son? do not curiously enquire 
the n wm^t die how it is: Do you hear that the Spirit proceeds from the Fa- 
ther' do not curiously enquire ro osrvf, the manna how he does ** ; for if you 
curiously enquire into the generation of the Son, and the procession of the 
Spirit; I alsOy in my turn, will curiously enquire of thee, the temperament of 
loul and body; how thou art dust, and yet the image of God; what it is tliat 
nores thee, or what is moved; how it is the same that moves, and is moved; 
how the sense abides in one, and attracts tliat which is without; how the mbd 
abides in thee, and begets a word in another mind ; and how it imparts imder- 
tuding by the word: and, not to speak of greater tilings, what the circum- 
faence of the heavens, what the motion of the stars, or their order or measure, 
or conjuncdon, or distance; what the borders of the sea; fix)m whence the 
winds Uow ; or the revolutions of the seasons of the year, and the effusions of 

ibowen? If thou knowest not any of these things, O man of which sense 

ii a witness, how canst thou think to know God accurately, how and what he 
k} dus is very unreasonable." Nor should the phrase, eternal generation, be 
ohjtctedto, because not syllabically expressed in scripture; it is enough that the 
iiing is which is meant by it: nor are the words, a Trinity of Pcisons, or three 
dittioct Fdnsons in God ; nor the word satisfacdon, expressive of a doctrine on 
whidi our salvation depends. It is most certain, that Christ is the Son of God; 
and it is as certain, that he is die begotten Son of God; and if begotten, then 
the word generadon may be used of him, for what is begotten is generated; 
uid since he is God's own Son, or his pro])er Son, he must be so by proper 
pneradou, and not by improper, or figurative generation, which must be the 
case if a Son by oiSice; and if he is the Son of God by proper generation, he 
must be so either as man, or as a divine Person; not as man, for as such he was 
not begotten at all; but was made of a woman, and bom of a virgin: it re- 
mains, that he must be so considered, as a divine Person ; and since ic was from 
eveilasting, before the earth was, or any creature had a being, that he was be- 
SPCten, and brought fordi, and as early brought up, as a Son with his Father; 
^ the utmost safety and propriety, may eternal generation be attributed to 
i^im; and, indeed, in no other sense can he be the Son of God. 

To close all; this phiase, the Son of God, intends what is essential and natural 
^ohim; and suggests to us, that he is the true and natural Son of God; not a 
Son in an improper and figuradve sense, or not by office, but by nature; that, at 
>uch, he is a divine Person, God, the true God, Heb. i. 8. i John v. 20. that 
he is equal with God, as the Jews understood him ; in which they were not 

* Orit. 99. p. 492, 493, ^ Like advice is given by Cyril of Jerusalem, '* that God hai a 

Sob beliRve, nifsutd but how, or in whatmaoucri do not curiously enquire, for iceking yot 
viU not find it." Catechet. %u «. 7. p. 14^ 


mistaken, since our Liord never went about to undeceive them, which he would 
have done, had they misunderstood Iiim, John \'. 17, 18. and x. 30. and it is to 
be observed, that he has been concluded to be (he Son of God from his divine 
perfections and works ; from his omniscience, John i. 48, 49. from his omnipo- 
tence. Matt. xiv. 33. and from the marvellous tilings that happened at his cm- 
citixion. Matt, xxvii. 54, In short, as tlie phrase, the Son of man, denotes one 
that is truly roan; so the phrasie, the Son of God, must intend one that is tiuly 
God, a divine Person ; and as Christ is called the Son of man, from the nature 
in which he is man; so he is called the Son of God, from the nature in which 
he is God. I have been the longer upon the Sonship of Christ, because it is 
that upon which the distinction in the Godhead depends; take that away, and 
it cannot be proved there is any distinction of persons in it. I proceed. 

To consider the third Person, and his personal relation ; or distinctive relative 
property ; which is, to be breathed, or to be the breath of God ; which is never 
said of the Father and Son ; and which, with propriety, gives him the name of 
iSpirit or Breath, as he is called, Ezek. xxxvii. 9. I shall treat of this very briefly* 
since the scriptures speak sparingly of it. It should be observed, that though he 
IS most frequently called the Holy Spirit, yet it is not his being of an holy nature^ 
and of a spiritual substance, which distinguishes him from tfie Fadier and die 
Son ; for since they are of tlie same nature, which is perfectly pure and holy^ 
they must be equally holy, as he is : and since God, essentially considered, is i 
Spirit, or spiritual, such is God, personally considered; or such is each person 
in the Godhead. Nor does he take his name of Spirit, or Breath, from any 
actioiLs of his, on, in, or widi respect to creatures ; as in bieathing into Adam 
the breath of life. Gen. ii. 7. or in breathing the breath of spiritual life, in the 
regeneration and conversion of men, Ezek. xxxvii. 9. John iii. 8. nor from his 
inspiration of the scriptures, 2 Tim. iii. 16. 2 Pet. i. 21. nor from the disciples 
receiving the Holy Ghost through Christ's breathing upon them, John xx. 22. 
Though all these are symbolical of, analogous to, and serve to illustrate his 
original character, and personal relation and distinction, which denominates him 
the breath of the Almighty, Job xxxiii. 4. and dibtingiiislics him from Jehovah 
the Father, the breath of whose mouth he is culled, Psal. xxxiii. 6. and from 
Christ the Son of God, the breath of whose mouth he is also said to be 
2 Thess. ii. 8. and the Spirit, or breath, of the Son, Gal. iv. 6, and as Jehovah 
the Father was never without his Word, the Son, so neither the Father, nor 
the Word, were ever without their Breath, or Spirit : Let none be oiFendeJ, 
that the third Person is called Spirit or Breath, since this suggests not, a mere 
power, or quality, but designs a Person; so an human person is called, Lam. 
iv. 20. and here a divine Person ; to whom personal acts, and these divine, are 
ascribed; such as the establishing of the heavens, the making of man, the en* 
diting of the scriptures, and filling tlic aposiles with extraordinary gifts, Psal. 
xxxiii. 6. Job xxxiii. 4. 2 Pet. i. 21. John xx. 22. whose distinct |)ersonaIitv, 
and proper Deity, together with the personality and Deitv of the Father and 


km, will be more particularljr coniidered in the next chapters. I take no notice 
if the procession of the Spirit from Father and Son, which, though it illustrates 
lis dastinctioQ from them, yet rather seems to be understood of his coming forth 
ram them, noc with respect to his Person, but his office, in a way of mission 
ly diem, to be the Convincer and Comforter of men, and the Applier of all grace 
into them; see John xv. 26. and xvi. 7, 8. 



Though what has been already observed, cleariy shews there is a distinction 

of Pbtwns in die Godhead, and wherein that distinction lies; yet other things 

may be added, which will serve to illustrate and confirm it; and which will be 

produced, not as making it, but as making it more clearly to appear. A person 

is by some* defined, ** An individual that subsists, is living, intelligent, is not 

iQStained by another, nor is a part of another;'* and which is true of each of 

Ae duee Persons, Fadier, Son, and Spirit. I shall begin with the personality 

cf die Father; the word Person is expressly used of him in Heb. i. 3. wheie 

Christ his Son, by whom he made the worlds, is called the express image of his 

ftnm: the word uworaet^^ here used, is translated substance in chap. xi. x. and 

nme would have it so rendered heie ; and some of the Ladn writers did use the 

the word substantia^ substance : but then they understood it, and made use of it, 

jnt in the same sense as we do the word person; but finding it to be an ambi- 

goons word, and that it tended to lead men to imagine there were three distinct 

dirine Beings, they left it off, and chose the word person, as less exceptionable ; 

the Greek writers, and some even before the council of Nice, took the word 

here used, in the same sense as we do, for subslstance, or person ^ ; and so it is 

here rendered by many learned men, as Valla, Vatablus, Erasmus, Calvin, 

Beza, Piscator, Parous, and others; in which translation we may safely 


The definition of a person agrees with the Father of Christ, as before 
observed. The Father of Christ is an individual, and so distinguishable from 
the divine nature he is possessed of, in common with the Son and Spirit; he 
mbsists of himself, he does not owe his being to anothei, nor his he u})hcld in 
it by another; nor is he possessed only of a part, but of the whole Deity ; he 
is the living Father, has life in himself, and not from another, John v. 26. and 
vi. 57. and is intelligent, knows himself, his Son and Spirit, and all things. 

Matt. xi. 27. 

The personality of the Fatlier may be included from those personal actions 
which are ascribed to him ; for besides begetting the Son, which is what dis- 

« Vid. Wendclin. Chriit. Theolog. 1. 1. c i. p. 93. 94- ' See my Docifiiie of die TriaUy, p. 99. 
▼OL. I. s H 


III. From the worship due to him, and given to him. None but God 11 and 
ought to be the object of religious wonhip and adoration; TTtctt shab umsUf 
the Lord thy Ged^ and him only shah thou strvi^ Matt. iv. 10. now trae wor- 
shippers of God worship the Father in spirit and in truths far the Father seektik 
such to worship him^ John iv. 23. and the Father of Christ is frequently repre- 
sented as the object of faith, hope and love; to whom prayer is to be made, and 
to whom prayer was made both by Christ and his apostles ; how often are grace 
and peace wished for from him in the several epistles? and he stands fint indie 
form of baptism, which is a solemn act of divine and religious worship. 



k HAT the Son of God is a person, and a divine person distinct from die Fa- 
ther and die Spirit, cannot be doubted; for since his Father is a person, and he 
is the express image of his person, he must be a person too; and he must bedie 
express image of him, as he himself is a divine person, the Son of God, and 
truly God; and not as he is man and mediator; not as he is man, or as hafing 
an human nature, for his Father never had any, and therefore be could not be 
the image of him in that respect; for though man is die image of God as to 
some qualities in him, yet is he never called his character or express image, 
much less the express image of any of the persons in the Deity : nor as medi- 
ator, and in an office-capacity, for his Fatlier was never a mediator, nor in an 
office : it remains dierefore diat it must be the express image of his person, as 
he himself is a divine person, abstracted from any consideration of his human 
nature and of his office. For as Plato ^ says, that which is like must needs be 
of the same species with that to which it is like. The definition of a Person 
agrees with him : he is an individual, distinct, though not separate from die di* 
vme nature, he has in common with the Father and the Spirit; he subsists of 
himself in that nature distinctly, and independently; is not a part of another, die 
whole fulness of the Godhead dwells in him; nor is his human nature, which 
he assumed in time, a part of his person, nor adds any thing to his personality; 
but being taken up into union with his person, subsists m it; he has life in 
himself, and is the living God; is intelligent, has undet standing and will; kno^-s 
himself, his Father and the Spirit, and all creatures and things, and does what- 
soever he pleases* 

Besides the distinctive, relative property, or personal relation of the Soni 
which is to be begotten, and which gives and makes the distinction of him, as 
a divine person, from the Father and Spirit, who are never said to be begotten; 
there are many other things which shew, or make him appear to be a distinct 
pel son. 

? Parmeoi^e, p. itia* 


L His being with God as the Word^ John i. i. and with his Father as a 
Son, as one brought up with him, Pov. viii. 30. clearly expresses his distinct 
personality; he must be a person to be with, and to be brought up with an- 
other; and he roust be distinct from him with whom he is; he cannot with any 
propriety be said to be with himself, or to be brought up with himself. 

II. His being set up from everlasting as mediator, and the covenant head of 
die elect; the Father making a covenant with him, and putting the persons of 
the chosen ones, with all the blessings of grace for them, into his hands, shew 
him to be a person ; a mere name and character could not be said to be set up, 
to be covenant with, or to have penons and things committed to his care and 
chai^re; and these shew him to be a distinct person from him who set him up, 
and entrusted him with all these persons and things; see Prov. viii. 23. Psalm 
Ixxxix. 3, 28. Deut. xxxiii. 3. Eph. i. 3. 2. Tim. i. 9. 

III. His being sent in the fulness of time to be the Saviour of his people, and 
dot under the character of die Son of God, shews him to be distinct from the 
Fadier, i^ose Son he is, and by whom he was sent; if he was not a person, 
bat a mere name, he could not be sent; and he must be distinct from him that 
sent him; he that sends, and he that is sent, cannot be one and the same per- 
son ; or else it must be said, that he sent himself, which is too gross and ab- 
lord to be admitted; see Rom. viii. 3. Gal iv. 4. i John iv. 9, 14. 

IV. His becoming a sacrifice, and making satisfaction for the sins of men, 
and so the Redeemer and Saviour of them, plainly declare his distinct persona- 
lity. Was he not a person he could not oflbr himself a sacrifice, and he must 
be distinct from him to whom he offered himself; was he not a person he could 
not make satisfaction, or reconcile men to God ; or in other words, make re- 
conciliation and atonement for sin ; these are personal acts, and he must be 
distinct from him to whom the satisfaction, reconciliation and atonement 
are made ; or to whom men are reconciled by him ; if he has redeemed men to 
God by his blood, as he has, he must be a person that is the redeemer of men, 
and he must be distinct from him to whom he has redeemed them ; for he can- 
not with propriety be said to reconcile and redeem them to himself; see 
Eph. V. 2. Heb. ix. 14. Rom. v. 10, 11. Rev. v. 9. 

V. His ascension to heaven, and session at the right hand of God, shew 
him to be a person that ascended, and is sat down ; and though it was in hu- 
man nature that ascended and sat down, yet it was God in ihat nature ; God 
is gone up with a siouty Psal. xlvii. 5. Thouy the Lord God, kast ascended on 
high Psal. Ixviii. 17, 18. The Lord said to my Lord^ sit on my right handy Psal. 
ex. I. and he must be distinct from his God and our God, from his Father and 
our Father, to whom he ascended, and cannot be the same person widi him 
at whose right hand he sits, John xx. 17. Hcb. r. 13. 

VI. His advocacy and intercession with his Father, as a plain proof of his 

' Of this name of che Sob of God, ihe Word, tee my Docuiae of the Triniiy, ch. 5. 

p. 98— ISO. 


distinct personality. He is said to be an advocate with the Father, t John 11. U 
and therefore must be a person to act the part of an advocate $ and must be dis- 
tinct from him ^^-ith whom he advocates; unless it can be thought he is an ad- 
vocate with himself ; he himself says, T will pray the Father, and he shall give 
yr>u another Comforter, meaning the Spirit of truth, as next ex^Jained, John xiv. 
16, 17. Now he must be distinct from the Father to whom he prays, for 
surely he cannot be supposed to pray to himself; and he must be distinct from 
llie Spirit, for whom he prays. He appears in the presence of God for hi$ 
people, and ever lives to make intercession for them, and must be a person to 
do this; and must be distinct from him in whose presence he appears, and to 
whom he makes intercession ; for he cannot with any propriety be said to ap» 
pear in his own presence for his people, and to mediate and make intercession 
for them with himself; sec Heb. vii. 25. and ix. 24. 

VII. His judging the world at the last day, with all the circumstances there- 
of; gathering all nations before him, dividing them, and setting them, someoQ 
his right hand and others on his left, and passing the definitive sentence on them, 
prove him to be a person, a divine person, and distinct from the Father and the 
Spirit; for as for the Father, hzjudgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment 
^0 the Son, John v. 22. nor is ever the final judgment of the world ascribed to 
the Spirit; see Matt. xxv. 31 — 41. Acts x.42. and xvii. 31. 

VIII. It is promised to tlic saints that they shall be with Christ, where he 
is ; see him as he is, and behold his glory, and shall reign with him for ever- 
more ; and he is represented as the object of their praise, wonder and wroship, 
to all eternity; and that as distinct from il.e Father and the Holy Ghost; all 
which, and mucli more, shew him to be a person, and to be distinct from them 
both; for surely he must be a person, a divine and distinct one, whom the 
saints shall be, live and dwell with to all eternity; and whom they shall praise, 
serve and adore, throughout endless ages. 

Tlie Deity of Christ may be next considered, and proved ; or, that he is a 
divine person, truly and properly God. Not a made or created God, as say 
the Arians. He was made flesh, and made of a woman; but not made God; 
for then he must make himself, which is absurd ; since without him was not 
any thing made that was mad€\ but all things were made by him, John i. 3. 
Nor God by office, as say the Socinians; for then he would be God only in an 
improper sense; as magistrates are called gods; and not truly and properly 
God ; nor God by name only ; as there are called lords many, and gods many ; 
such were the gods of the heathens, inanimate, irrational, lifeless beings, and 
so could have no divinity in them. But he is God by nature; as these were n 
not ; having the whole essence and nature of God in him. This will appear, 

t. From the names which are given ro him ; he has the same glorious names 
the most high God has; as Ehjeh, I AMthat I AM, Exod. iii. 14. to which 
our Lord refers, and takes to himself, John viii. 56. and Jehovah, which is in- 
communicable to a creature, and peculiar to the most High, Psal. Ixxxiii. J 8. it 


is not given to angels ; for wherever an angel is so called^ not a created but the 

iinareated angel is meant; nor to the ark, 2 Sam. vi. 2. foi not the ark, but 

God, whose the ark was, is there called by the name of the Lord of hosts: nor 

to Jerusalem, Jer. xxxiii. 16. but to the Messiah^ cliap. xxiii. 6. for the words 

may be rendered, ^' This is the name wherewith he shall be called by her, The 

Lord our Righteousness:" nor to the church absolutely, Ezck. xlviii. 35. but 

in composition, or with addition ; and is only symbolical of Jehovah's presence 

bdng with her; and the same may be said of mount Moriah; and of some 

altars, called, Jehovah-Jireh, Jehovah-Nissi, and Jehoyah-Shallom ; wliich are 

only symbolical, and designed to call in remembrance the wonderful appearance 

of Jehovah; the gracious help, and divine assistance, he granted to his people in 

diose places, Gen. xxii. 14. Exod. xvii. 15. Judg. vi. 24. nor is this name given 

to priests and judges, Deut. xix. 17. for Jehovah is not to be explained hj 

diem; but Is distinguished from them ; and though he is joined with them, this 

only designs his presence in judiciary affairs, agreeable to Psal. Ixxxii. i. if, 

dncfore, it can be proved that the name Jehovah is given to Qurist, it will 

prove him to be the most High over all the earth. 

Now we are told that God spake to Moses, and said, lam tie Lord or yei§^ 
vail hj which name he was not known to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; that 
ii, not by that only, or that was not so fully made known to them, as it hadi 
been to Moses, and to the Israelites by him, Exod. vi. 2, 3. and iii. 14. which 
ferton that appeared to Moses, and said those words, is called the Angel of the 
Loidy chap, iii, 2. not a created angbl, 6. but an uncreated one; and must be 
mderBtood, not of God tlie Father, who is never called an angel; but of die 
Sod of God, the Angel of his presence, who brought the children of Israel out 
of Egypt, went before tliem, and led them through the Red sea, and wilderness, 
to the land of Canaan, Exod. iii. 8. and xiii. 21. and xiv. 19. and xxiii. 20. 
Isai. Ixiii. 9. he, whom the Israelites tempted in die wilderness, is expressly 
called Jehovah, Exod. xvii. 7. and nodiing is more evident than diat this Per- 
iOQ was Christ, i Cor. x. 9. he whom Isaiah saw on a throne, making a very 
k magnificent appearance, is not only called Adonai, Isai. vi. i. but by the sera- 
phim, Jehovah, 3. and so by Isaiah, 5. who was bid to say to the Jews, 8, 9. 
ffiorye indeed^ &c. which words Christ applies to himself; and observes thal^ 
thu things Esaias said^ when he saw Aisglofy^ and spoke ofhim^ John xii. 39 — 41^ 
There is a prophecy in Isai. xl. 3. The voice of him that crieth in the wildenuss^ 
trtfartye the way of the Lord^ or of Jehovah^ make straight in the desart^ an high 
^ for our God, which by the evangelist Matthew, is applied unto, and inter- 
preted of John the Baptist, Matt. iii. i — 3. wherefore, the Jehovah, whose way 
lie was to prepare, and our God, whose paths he was to make straight, could 
oe no other than Christ; whose liarbinger and forerunner John was, and whose 
way and padis were prepared and made straight by him, through his preaching 
the doctrii^e of repentance, administering the ordinance of baptsim, and decLr- 
log the kingdom of heaveui gr of the Messiabi was at hand* Moieovcr> the 


Messiah, or Christ, is expressly called, Tlie Lord, or Jehovah, our righteous- 
nes$, in Jcr. xxiii. 6. it being his work, as Mediator, to bring in ereriisting 
righteousness; and is the end of the law for it, and is made righteousness to 
every one that believes. Once more, Jehovah promises to pour forth the Spirit 
of grace and supplication on some persons described in Zech. xiL 10. and then 
adds. They ihall look upon mr, Jehovah, whom they have piereeJ; which was 
fulfilled in Christ, when one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, John 
xix. 34, 37. the same words are referred to, and applied to Christ, Rev. i. 7. 
Now, since in these, and in many other places, Christ is intended by Jehovah, 
he must be truly and properly God, since this liame is incommunicable to any 
other. y 

It may be observed also, that in some places of scripture, Christ is absolute 
ly called God; as in Psal. xlv. 6. Thy throne^ God^ is /or ever ami ever; 
where he is distinguished from God his Father, 7. and the words are cxpnesdy 
applied to him as the Son of God, Heb. i. 8. Bra wtto the Son he saiih^ T^ 
throne^ O God^ &c. yet, Christ calls himself God ; as he well might, since he 
is in the form of God, and therefore thought it no robbery to be equal to him; 
aaying. Look unto mr, and he ye savedj all the ends of the earth \ for lam God^ 
and there is none else; I have sworn by myself &c. Isai. xlv. 22, 23. which last 
words, in connection with the other, are, by die apostle Paul, applied to Christ, 
Rom. xiv. 10 — 12. The evangelist John says of the Word, or Son of God, 
who was made flesh, and dwelt among men, and so cannot be understood of 
any but Christ, that the fVordwas God^ John i. 14. and die same inspired wri- 
ter observes, Hereby perceive we the love of Gedy because he laid dawn his life 
for usy I John iii. 16. from whence it follows, that he that- laid down his life 
foi men, which can only be said of Christ, and wherein liis love to them ap* 
peared, must be God. 

And Christ is not only called God absolutely, but with some additional epi* 
thets ; with possessive pronouns, as, our God, the Jews were waiting for, and 
Jolin was the forerunner of, Isai. xxv. 9. and xl. 3. your God, who should come 
when miracles would be wrought as proofs of it, Isai. xxxv. 4, 5. their God, 
Luke i. 16. my Lord and my God, by Thomas, John xx. 28. Now though 
angels, magistrates, and judges, are called gods in an improper and metaphorical 
sense yet never called our gods, your gods, &c. Christ is said to be Immanu- 
cl, God with us, God in our nature, that is, God manifest in the flesh. Matt. i. 
22. 1 Tim. iii. 16. Some additional characters are given of Christ, when he 
is called God; which shew him to be truly and properly God; as, the mighty 
Gody in Isai. ix. 6. which is manifesdy a prophecy of him ; and who elsewhere 
is called the most Mighty, yea, the Almighty, Psal. xlv. 3. Rev. i. 8. and ever 


all God blessed for ever^ Rom. ix. 5. over all creatures, angels and men, who are 
made by him ; and he is blessed for ever in himself. He is called the great God 
V hose glorious appearing, and not the Father's, saints are directed to look for; 
besides, this great God, is explained of Jesui Christ our Saviour in die next 


dauacy Tit. ii. 13. compare with this Rev. xix. 17. wher^he who is called the 
great God» is the mighty warrior, whose name is the Word of God, and King 
of kings, and Lord of lords, verse 11, 13, i6. Christ is also said to be die living 
God, Heb. lii. la. for he only is spoken of in the context; and this is only said 
of die most high God ; which distinguishes him from all other deities, Jer. 
X. 10. and, to add no more, he is called the true God, iii opposition, to all false 
and fictitious deities, i John v. 20. for what is there said, is said expiessly of the 
Son of God. 

II. The Deity of Christ may be proved from the divine perfections he is 
possessed of; /or in him dwells all the fulness oj the Godheady Col. ii. 9. not one 
perfection of the divine nature exceptpd; or otherwise it could not be said, that 
ail the fulness of Deity was in him. God is necessarily and self-existent, and 
inkpendent on any; such is Christ, he is ainv&toq^ God of himself : as man and 
mediator he has a life given him for himself, and others, and lives by die Father; 
but, as God, he owes his life and being to none; it is not derived from an- 
other; he is over all, God blessed for ever. Eternity is a perfisctxon of God; 
God is from everlasting to everlasting ; Christ was not only before Abraham, 
but before Adam ; and before any creature was in being; for he is the eipx^* the 
beginning, the first Cause of the creation of God, Rev. iii. 14. the first bom^ 
or rather, the first parent and pioducer of every creature; as the word t^vtotoxo;, 
by the removal of the accent, may be rendered S; which best agrees with die 
apoitk*s reasoning in the next verse ; where all things are said to be created by 
him; and therefore, as the aposde argues, he must be before all things, Col. i. 
IS— 17. as Mediator, he was set up from everlasting; his goings forth in the 
covenant were of dd; the elect were chosen in him before the foundation of the 
world; and had grace given them in him, before diat began; all which suppose 
his eternal existence. Hence he is called Alpha and Omega, the first and the 
hit, the beginning and the ending; which is, and \%'as, and is to come; MeU 
ehizedec*s antitj'pe, having neither beginning of days nor end of life. Rev. 1. 8. 
Heb, vii- 3. Omnipresence, or immensity, is anodier perfection of Deitv, Jer, 
xxiii. 23, 24. Christ, as the Son of God, was in heaven, in die bosom of his 
Fadier; when, as the Son of man, he was here on earth, John i. 18. and iii. 13. 
which he could not 1)e, if he was not omnipresent; nor could he make good his 
promises to his ministers, churches, and people, to be with them at all times, in 
all ages, and in all places, wherever they are. Matt, xviii. 20. and xxviii. 20. 
nor walk in the midst of his golden candlestiqks, the several churches in di£fier- 
ent places ; and fill all things and persons in them, as he certainly does, Rev. i. 
13. Eph. iv. 10. Omniscience is another divine perfection, and most manifest- 
ly appears in Christ; he knew what was in man, and needed not that any should 
tesufy to him what was in man ; he could tell the woman of Samaria all that 
ever she did; he knew from the beginning who would believe in him, and who 

SVtda Iiidor. Peluiiot. Epist. 1. 3. cp. 31. 
VOL. t, * X 


would betray him; he knew the secret thoughts of the Scribes and Pliaiisccs; 
and is that Word that is a discemer of the thoughts and intents of the heart; 
and he will hereafter let all the world and churches know, that he scaiches the 
hearts and reins. In short, he knows all things, as Peter affirmed unto him, 
John ii. 24, 25. and iv. 29. and vi. 64. Matt. ix. 4. Heb. iv. I2. Rev. ii. 23. 
Jolm XXI. 17. ajid though he is said not 10 know the day of judgment, this is 
said of him as tlie Son of man, not as the Son of God, Mark xiii. 32. Omni- 
potence is a perfection that belongs to Christ, and is peculiar to God, who on- 
ly can do all things; Chiist is Almighty, and his works declare it; the creation 
of all things, the sustcntation of the universe, the redemption and prcscn-ation 
of his people, and the resurrection of them at tlic hsr day; all which are, ac- 
cording to his mighty power ^ which is able to subdue all things to himself y Phil. iii. 
21. To observe no more, immutability belongs solely to God; who is with- 
out any variableness or shadow of turning; and such is Christ, the same to-day 
yesterday, and for ever, Hcb. xiii. 8. see Psal. cii. 26. compared with Heb. i. 
12. and since therefore such i^erfections of the Godhead are in Christ, he must 
be truly and properly God. 

III. The irutli of Christ's proper divinity may be proved from the works done 
by him ; which are the same diat are done by the Father ; and in which he is a 
co-efEcient cause with him ; and are done by him c^ci»c, in like manner as by 
the Fatlier, Jolin v. 17, 19. such as the creation of all things out of nothing; 
of the whole world, and all things in it, visible or invisible, John i. 2, 3. Col» 
i. 16. the making of t!ie worlds, the heaven and the earth, are particularly as- 
cribed to the Word and Son of G(h1; and lie iliai built all things is God, Hcb. 
xi. 3. and i, 10. and iii. 4. the work of providence, the government of the 
world, and the disposing of all things in it, Christ is jointly concerned in with 
the Father; My father workah hitherto \ and I work ^ that is, with him, John 
V. 17. Christ upholds all things by his power; bears up the pillars of the canh ; 
and by him do all things consist, Hcb. i. 3. Col. i. 17. the miracles Christ 
wrought on earth in human nature, as they were proofs of his Messiahship, so 
of his Deity ; such as curing the lame, the blind, and dumb, and deaf, anti 
even raising the dead, by a word speaking; which vvcie what none but God 
could do: these prove that the Fatlicr was in him, and he in the Father, Matt 
XI. 4, 5. John X. 37, 38. If he was not the migiity God, he could never hav^ 
been able to have wrought and obtained the redemption and salvation of hi 5 
people, by his own arm: what gave virtue and efficacy to his blood, to pur- 
chase his church and people, and cleanse them from their sins, is his Deity ; 
and so to his rigliteousness, to make it a justifying one before God; and tohi5 
sacrifice, to make it expiatory of sin, and acceptable to God. The acts o* 
forgiveness of sin, and justification from it, are |K:cuIiar to God. None can 
forgive sin but God; yet Christ has done it, and therefore must be God, Mark 
ii. 7 — 10. it is God diat justihes men horn sin, and acuuits them from condem- 
nation, Rom. viii. i, 33. and so does Christ, Isai. liii. ii. The Resurrection 


of the dead is a work of almighty power, and which none but God can do ; and 
yet Christ has raised himself fro.n the dead, and thereby is dcclured to be th^ 
Son of God with power; that is, truly and properly God, Rom. i- 4. see John 
ii. 19. and x. 18. and he will raise all the dead at the last day, by his mightv 
power; and at his all-commanding voice, the dead will come forth out of their 
graves, wherein they have lain, John v. 28, 29. i Thess. iv. 16, 17. The 
judgment of the world is committed to him ; The Father jurfgeth no man, Lut 
hath committed all judgment to the Ssn^ John v. 22. Now if he was not God 
omnipotent and omnisciciii, he would never be able to do whit he will do; ga- 
ther all nations before him, separate them, and phcc them some on his right 
hand, and some on his left; bring to light the counsels of the heart, and judge 
die secrets of it, and to give to every man for the deeds done in the body, whe- 
ther good or evil ; pronounce the several decisive sentences, and put them in 
execution. Matt. xxv. 31 — 46, Rom. ii. 16. 1 Cor, iv. 5. 2 Cor. v. 10. 

IV. As a further proof of the IJeity of Christ, the worship given him Ixjth by 
angels and men may be observed; for when he, God's first born, was brouglit 
into the world, he said, Let all the angels of God wonhip hlm^ Heb. i. 6. 
which order to tlie celestial inhabitants, would never have been given, if he was 
not God : it is also the declared will of the divine Father of Clirist, that all men 
should honour tit Son, even as they honour the Father \ that is, worship him with 
(he same divine worship; which he would never have declared, who will not 
give his glory to another besides himself, was not Christ his Son the one God 
with him ; see Psal. ii. 12. Men are directed tib exercise faith and hope on 
him; yea, Christ himself directs unto it, equally^ to be exercised on him, as on 
his Father; wliich he would never have done, but tliat he and his Father are 
one, one in nauire, and .*«(j in p -iwer and glory, John xiv. i. and x. 30. yea, 
if he was not G(m1, but a mere man, instead of men being blessed and happy, 
who make him their hope, and trust in him, they would be cursed for so doing, 
jcr. xvii, 5, 7. Baptism, a solemn ordinance of rcligiaus worship, is ordered to 
be administered in his name, equally as in the name of the Kaihcr, Matt, xxviii. 
19. which, if a mere creature, would be idolatry and blasphemy; for which 
reason the aposilc Paul was so cautious, le^t any should think they were ba[>- 
tizcdhy him in bis own name, 1 Cor. i. 13-^15. Prayer, another branch of 
religious worship, is often made to Christ; anJ that not by a single i>ersnn only 
as by Stephen, in his last moments. Acts vii. cS. but bv whole churches and 
communities ; who are said in every place tf) call upon the name of Jesus 
Cli:ist our Lord; and how often are grace aiid peace wished for, by the apos- 
tles, as from God our Father, S(j from the Lord Jesus Ciirisi? i Cor. i. 2, 3. all 
^hich would never be performed by saints, nor be admitted of by God, was not 
■ Christ truly and properly God; nor need we scruple to woiship him, nor be 
fearful lest we should give him too much: and great encouragement we hiivc 
to commit our souls, and the salvation of them into his hands, and trust him 
with our allj since he is God the only Saviour. 




What only remains now to be considered, under the article of tlie Trinity, 
are the personality and divinity of the Holy Ghost; to prove that he is a Per- 
son, a distinct Person, fiom the Father and Son ; aiid a divine Person, or nuly 
and properly God. 

I. That he is a Person, and not a mere name and character, power or attri- 
bute of God; which will appear by observing, 

I Thflt the description of a Person agrees with him ; that it subsists and lives 
of itself, is endowed with will and understanding, or is a willing and intelligent 
agent. Such is the Spirit of God; as the Father has life in himself, and the 
Son has life in himself, so as the holy Spirit; since he is the author of natural 
and spiritual life in men ; which he preserves unto eternal life; and therefore 
called, the Spirit of life; which he could not be, unless he had life in himself; 
and if he has life in himself, he must subsist of himself: he has a power of 
willing whatever he pleases: the apostle, speaking of his influences, admini- 
strations, and operations, says, jfU tkese wgrkcti the one and the self-same Spirit^ 
dividing to every man severally as he will^ i Cor. xii. ii. and that he is an in- 
telligent agent, is clear fiom his knowing the things of God; which none can 
know but him ; and from his teaching men all things, and guiding them into 
all truth, and giving the spirit of wisdom and knowledge to one and another; 
now **he that tcacherh men knowledge, shall not he know?" i Cor, ii. ii, 
and xii. 8. John xiv. 26. and xvi. 13. Psal. xciv. 10. 

II. Personal actions are ascribed unto him; he is said to be a reprover and 
convincer of men ; to reprove or convince the world of sin, righteousness, and 
judgment, John xvi. 8. Now he that convinces another of his mistakes, brings 
him to a sense and acknowledgment of them, and to repentance for them, must 
be a Person, and not a mere name and character. He is si)oken of as a teach- 
er, that teaches all things, all doctrines nece^ary to salvation, and all the du- 
ties of religion : an human teacher is a person, and much more a divine one, 
John xiv. 26. I John ii. 27. he is promised as a Comforter, John x\'i. 7. and 
which he answers to, by shedding abroad the love of God in the hearts of the 
Lord's people ; by taking the things of Christ, and shewing them to them ; by 
applying to ihem exceeding grcat and precious promises; by declaring to them 
the pardon of their sins; by pronouncing the sentence of justification in their 
consciences; and by being the earnest and seal of their future happiness; all 
which arc personal actions : he is one of the three witnesses in heaven, i John 
v. 7. who particularly testifies of Christ, of his Deiiy, sonship, offices, and 
grace, John xv. 26. and bears witness to the spirits of saints, tliat they are the 
children of God, Rom. viii. i6. which a mere name and character could not 


d; bnt a person. He is represented not only as a Spirit of grace and suppli* 
ition, and an helper of the infirmities of the saints in prayer, but as making 
iterccssion for them, according to the will of God, Zecli. xii. 10. Rom. vi!i* 
6) 27* Now as the advocacy and intercession of Christ, prove him to bo u 
^crson, and a distinct one from the Father, with whom he intercedes ; so the 
itercession of the Spirit, equally proves his personality, even his distinct pf^r- 
onality also: to which may be added, tliat the Spirit is the giver oi gifts to 
nen, whereby they are qualified for the work of the ministry, 1 Cor. xii. 8» 
II. and he calls them to that work, and appoints ai:d sets them as overseers of 
particular churches, to feed them with knowledge and understaiidiug. Acts xiii, 
z. and XX. 28. and, to observe no moi/s, he is often described as an inhabitant 
in the saints, that dwells in their bodies, and in their souls, and will always 
abide in them, until he has wrouglir them up for that self-same tiling, eternal 
glory anid happiness; now to dwell with anv person, or in any place, is a per- 
fonal acdon, and describes a person, John xiv. 16, 27. i Cdr. iii. i6w and vi. 
19. Rom. viii. 9, ii« 

III. Personal affections are ascribed to the Spirit ; as love, grief, &c. we 
read of the love of the Spirit, as well as of the Father, and of the Son ; and 
which appears in the regeneration and sanctitication of men, and in the appli- 
cadon of grace unto them, Rom. xv. 30. and of the Spiric's being grieved wldi 
the sins of God's people, and their unbecoming carriage towards God and one 
anodier, JEph. iv. 30. and of his being rebelled against, vexed, and provoked; 
as be was by the Israelites, Isai. Ixiii. 10. All which could not be said of h!m» 
was he not a Person. He is, moreover, said to be lied unto; as by Ananias 
aod Sapphira, Acts v. 3. and to be blasphemed, and sinned against with an un« 
pardonable sin. Matt. xii. 32, 33. which could never be, nor with propriety be 
said, was he not a Person, and a divine Person too. 

II. The Holy Spirit is not only a Person, but a distinct Person from the Fa^ 
ther and the Son ; and besides his distinctive relative propeny, spiration, or bo-< 
ingthe breath of tliem both, and so distinct from each; the following things 
nay be observed ; 

I. His procession from the Father and the Son : of his procession from the 
Father express mention is made in John xv. 26. and therefore must be distinCf 
from the Father, from whom he proceeds; which, whether it respects his na- 
tore or his office, proves the same : it was once a warm controversy betwct^n 
the Greek and Latin churches, whether the Spirit proceeded from the Son or 
from the Father; which was denied by the former, and assened by the latter; 
UkI which seems rightest; since he is called the Spirit of the Son, Gal. iv. 6% 
fcowever, since he is the Spirit of the Son, he must be distinct from him whosi 
Spirit he is. 

II. The mission of the Holy Spirit, by the Father and the Son, dearly evin- 
^ his distinct personality from them ; of his being sent by the Father, see 
J<din xiv 16, 26. and of his being sent by the Son, see John xv. 26. and xvi. 
7* Now as a mere naine and cliaracter, quality, poT?er, and attributCi could not 


be said to be sent, but a person; so the Spirit that is sent, muse be a distind 
Person from the Father and Son, said to srnd him, 

III. The holy Spirit is called another Comforter, John xiv. 16. the Fathci 
of Christ is one; he is the God of ail conifori; that comforts his people in all 
their tribulations, 2 Cor. i. 3, 4. and Jesus Ciii ist is also a Comforter ; one oi 
his names with the Jews is Mcnacnem^ a Comforter'' ; a name well known witt 
the Jews: hence goiKl old Simeon is suid to he waiting for the Con^olatlm oj 
Israel^ Luke ii. 25. that is for the Messiah ; whom the Jews expected as a 
Comforter: and how the Holy Ghost is another Comforter, distinct fiom both; 
from the Son, who prayed for him as such ; and from the Father, prayed un* 
to on that account. 

IV, The holy Spirit is represented as doing some things distinct from the Fa- 
ther and the Son; panicubrly, as directing into tlie love of God, that is, die 
Father; and into a patient waiting for Christ; and so is distinguished from them 
both, 2 Thess. iii. 5. and also as taking of the things of Chi ist, called likewise 
the things of the Father, and shewing them to them that are Christ's ; in which 
also he is distinguished from the Fatlier, and fi oin Christ, whose things he takes 
and shews, John xvi. 14, 15. So regeneration, renovation, sanctification and 
conversion, are distinct things, and veiy peculiar to the Spirit. 

V, There are some distinct appearances of the Spirit, which shew his dis- 
tinct personality; as at r!ie baptism of Christ, when he descended as a dove and 
lighted on him ; and thereby was distinguished from die Father, whose voice 
was heard from heaven ; and fiom the Son, w^lio was baptized in Jordan, and on 
whom the Spirit lighted, Matt. iii. 16, 17. and on the day of Pentecost the Spi- 
rit descended on tlie apostles, in the form of cloven tongues, as of fire; and 
with iesj)cct to this tho apes' Ic Peter savs, thnt Christ being by the right hand qJ 
God c::altcdy and having lecciued of the Father the promise of the holy Ghalf 
he hath shed forth this which ye now see and hear i meaning the effusion of die 
Holy Ghost, and his cxtra(irdinaiy gifts; and who is plainly distinguished from 
the Father, who made promise of him, and from the Son, tvho rccei\cd diis 
promise, and shed his gifts in the manner he did. 

VI. Tlie holy Spirit is represented as a distinct person in the ordinance oi 
baptism ; and the form of it being to be administered in his name, as distinct 
from the name of the Father and of tlie Son, in whose name also it was to he 
administercd. Matt, xxviii. 19. and so he is mentioned as a distinct wimess fron^ 
the Father and the Word, in the record bore in heaven ; for if he is nt)t a dis- 
tinct person from them, there could not be three testifiers, or three that bort 
record in heaven, i John v. 7. 

III. The Holy Ghost is not only a peison, and a distinct person from the 
Father and Son, but a divine jx-rson, or truly and properly God; which waJ 
denied by the Macedonians of old', and by the Socinians of late '^; and genci 

>> Talmud Bab. SaoTicdrin, fol. 98. e. ' Vid. Aug^ dc Hcret. c. jz. it Dancmn in ibid. 

^ Catcches. Racov. c. 1. p. 3^. & Ci 6. p. 214. 


nlly by all that oppose the divinity of Christ; but the Deity of the Spirit is to 
be proved by the same mediums and arguments which are to be fctclicd from the 
same sources as tiie Deity of the Son. 

I. From the names wiiich are given unto him ; as particularly tlie name Jeho-* 
vah| peculiar to the most High ; it was Jehovah, the I^rd God of Isnicl, that 
spake by the mouth of all the holy prophets from the bcginnin;; of tlic world ; 
Smd it is certain that they spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost, Luke 
i. 689 70. 2 Pet. i.'2 1, it was Jehovah, the Rock and God of Israel, that spake 
by David; and it Is clear that it was the Holy Ghost that spake by him; foi 
10 Peter says, This scripture must needs be fulfilled^ which the Holy Ghosts by 
themouih of Davldy spoke bef^c concerning Judasy 2 Sam. xxiii. 2, 3. Acts i. 16. 
it was Jehovah, the Lord God, whom the Israelites tempted, proved and pro- 
voked in the wilderness; and this the Holy Ghost speaks of as done to him- 
idf; Wherefore^ a\ the Holy Ghost uiith^ To day if ye will hear is voice^ harden not 
jBur hearts 9 as in the provocation ^ in the day of temptation in the wildernessywhen 
jm fathers tempted mCj proved me^ me, tlie Holy Ghost, Psal. xcv. 6, 7. Heb. 
iii. 7—9. see Isai, Ixiii. lO. it was Jehovah that said to Isaiali, Go and tell this 
fnfle, hear ye indeed^ isfc. and according to the apostle Paul, the same was tlic 
Holy Ghost ; for to the Jews he Siiys, irdl spate the Holy Ghost by Esaias the 
fripket, sayin^y Go unto thispeople^ and say j hearing ye shall hear j &c. Isai. vi. 8, g. 
Acts, xxviii. 25, 26. The Greek word xv/joj, used in the New Testament, 
aoiwersto Jehovah and Adonai In the OKI; and this is said of the holy Spi- 
rit, he is that Spirit which is tiie Lord, and Is called the Lord the Spirit, 
2 Cor. iii. 17, 18. see also 2 Tlioss. iii. 5. Moreover the Holy Spirit is very 
plainly called God in scripture: when Ananias lied to the Holy Ghost, he is 
said to lie not unto men but unto G(;d; vvheicfore if lying to the Holy Ghost 
is lying to Go<l, it follows that tlic Holy Gliost must be GoJ, Acts v. 
3» 4. The saints of God are callcJ the temple of God, and the reason proving 
it is, because the Spirit of God dwells m thcni, and because iheii bodies are the 
temples of the Holy Ghost, they arc exhorted to glorify God in their bodies : 
iK)w if the Huly Ghost ib not called God, or meant by God in those passages, 
^re is no force of leasoning in tlieni, i Cor. Hi. 16. and vi. 19, io. Moreover 
the Apostle gives to the Holy Gliost the divine names of Spirit, Lord and Gud, 
^'Iien he is speaking of the diversities ofhis gifts, adminisrrcuions and operations; 
for of him only is he speaking, by whom all tlii-se arc, i Cor. xii. 4 — 6. 

II. The Deity of the Spiiit may he proved from the pLifccrions of God^ 
which are manifestly in him, as eternity; hence, as some think, he is called the 
eternal Spirit, Heb. ix. 14. however he was present at ilie creation of the hea- 
vens and the earth, and was concerned ihercin, Gen. i. 2. Job xxvi. 13. and there- 
fore must be before anv creature was, before time Wi..s, and so from cccrnitv; 
as God the Father never was without his Son, so never witlr^ut his Snirit; when 
it is said in some places that the Spirit was not yet, and t!iat ih^roi w??c some 
tliathad not heard that uieie was any Holy Ghost: this is to be unceriitcod of 


Cic wonderful effusion of the gifts of the holy Spirit on the apostles at Pentecost 
which was not to be until after the glorification of Christ; and of which dis- 
pensation the disciples at Ephcsus had not then heard, John vii. 39. Adi 
xix. 2. Omnipresence, or immcnsiry, another divine perfection; is ascribed to 
the Spirit; says David, IVhithcr shall I go from thy SpifUf and whither ihall I 
ft'i fn,m thy presence F Psal. cxxxix. 7. he is not to be shunned and avoided; 
thcie is no going any wlicic from him, for he is every where, ocherwisc he 
might be avoided; and if every where he must be the omnipi-esent of God: tije 
saints are his temples in which he dwells, and he dwells in them all, at all dmes, 
in all places; which he could i^t do if he was not immense and omnipresent; 
Omniscience is another divine perfection to be obtervcd in the Spirit of God; 
he knows all thingi;, even the deep tilings of God, the thoughts, counsels aod 
purposes of his bcart ; wliich he could not know, if he was not the omnisdent 
God, I Cor. ii 10, 1 J . nor could he teach the saints all things, nor guide thea 
Liro all truth, and much less shew things to come, John xiv. 26. and xvi. 13, 
as he did under the Qld Testament, when he testified beforehand by the prophet, 
die sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow, i Pet. i. 11. and un- 
der the New Testament, witnessing to the apostle Paul that bonds and afflic- 
tions should abide him m cvcr\ city, which he found to be true; and foretelbng* ' 
bv Agabus, that tlicrc would be a great dearth throughout the world, whiA 
catrc to pass in the tiincs of Claudius Casar^ Acts xx. 23. and xi. 28. Omni- 
potence is prcJicated t)f Iiim ; he is called the power of tlie Highest, and die fin- 
ger of God ; his concern in crcaiion, and in the fonnation of the human nature 
of Chrisc, the miraculous signs and wonders wrought by his power, the gifo 
that he bestows, and the grace that he works in the hearts of men, loudly pro- 
claim his omnipotence ; and if such perfections, which are peculiar to Deity, 
are to be found in him, he must be truly and properly God. 

III. Tjie w(?r!;s which aic ascribed unto him are a clear and full proof of lA 
diviiii'.y: crciition, a work of divine power, ih atiril)iiied tu him; he not only 
n)oved upon the face of the waters that coVeied the ciirrh, at the iirst creation, 
and brought the rude and unformed chaos into a b'jautiful order, and gariiislieJ 
the heavem, and bespangled them with ilic luminaries and stars of light; but by 
him, the Breath, or Spirit of ilie Lord, the heavens and die host llicreof were 
m.iJ.c and established, Gen. i. 2. Job xxvi. 13. Psal. xxxiii. 6. yea man, the 
m')St excellent and curious part of the creation, is made by him, as Elihu ovvn5, 
The Spirit 0/ God hath made me, ami the breath of the Almighty hath given me 
life. Job xxxiii. 4. The work of providence he is joindy concerned in with 
the Father and the Son ; fF^ho hath directed the Spirit of the Lord^ or being hii 
coumcllor hath taught him ^ with whom took he counsel (the Spirit of the Lord) 
and taught him in the path 0/ judgment ? and taught him knowledge^ and shewd 
to him the way of undcrsta/iding f Isai. xl. 13, 14. that is, how to govern dif 
world, and manage and direct all affairs in it. The enditing of the scripture is 
of him; All scripture ii given by inspiration of God; by the Breath or Sipirt of 


God, 2 Tim iii. 16. this is a work purely divine, and is of the Spirit; ^^huly 
men s^ke as diey were moved, by the Holy Ghost,^^ 2 Pet. i. 21. Tt was the 
holy Spirit diat formed the human nature of Christ ; what was conceived in 
Ae virgin was of the Holy Ghost : that was fearfully and wonderfully 
nade by him, and curiously wrought by him, in the lowest parts oiF the 
earfby Matt. 1. 20. Psal. cxxxix. 14, 15. and was richly anointed by him with 
kn gifts and graces; even above his fellows, and without measure, Psal. xlv. 7. 
Isai. Ixi. I. John iii. 34. and the miracles of Christ were by him, the finger 
of God ; and tliose which the apostles wrought for the confirmation of the gos* 
pd, were by the power of the Holy Ghost, Matt. xii. 28. Luke xi. 20. Rom. 
rr. 19. Heb. ii. 3. 4. the work of grace in the heart is his work ; regeneration 
md renovation are of the Holy Ghost; sanctification is called the sanctification 
of the Spirit ; this is not by might nor power of man, but by the Spirit of God, 
nd in which there is such a display of tlie exceeding greatness of divine power, 
ai is equal to that which was exerted in raising Christ from the dead. Tit. iii. 5. 
I Heb. i. 2. Zech. iv. 6. Eph. i. 19. yea, the resurrection of Christ himself 
horn die dead, is attributed to the Spirit of holiness ; and it is by him the Spirit 
which dwells in the saints, that God will quicken their mortal bodies, Rom. i. 4. 
andviii. 11. 

4. The worship which is due to the Spirit of God, and is given unto him, 
|ro?es him to be God; for where he not, such worship would never be paid 
Urn; not only temples are erected by him, but for him, in which he is wor-* 
Aifpcd and glorified, Eph. ii. 22. i Cor. iii. 16. and vi. 19, 20. Baptism, a 
•olemn act of religious worship, is administered in his name, as in the name of 
the Father and the Son, Matt, xxviii. 19. Swearing, which is another act of 
worship, a solemn appeal to the omniscient God, and is mentioned as a branch 
of serving him, Dcut. vi. 13. is made by the Spirit, and he is called upon as a 
witness to facts, Rom. ix. i. And prayer, a very principal part of worship, 
is directed to him, sometimes singly, as in 2Thess. iii. 5. Cant. iv. 16. and 
sometimes in conjunction with tlie other divine Persons, Rev. i. 4, 5. All 
whkdi prove him to be truly and properly God; and therefore we should be 
careful to give him the honour and glory due unto him, as to. the Father and 
the Son; and as we trust the Son with the whole afiair of our salvation, and 
trost in him for it; so we should trust the Spirit of God with the work of grace 
tipon om souls; and be confident, that he that has begun it, will perform it; 
since **it is God that works in us, to will and to do, of his good pleasure." 

My Treatise on the Trinity, was written near forty years ago, and when I 
Wis a young man; and had 1 now departed from some words and phiases then 
tised by me, it need not, at such a distance of time, be wondered at : but so 
fu* from it, that upon a late revisal of it, 1 see no reason to retract any thing 
(have written, either as to sense or expression; save only, in a passage or 

VOL. I. 9K 


two of scripture, before observed, which then did not stand so' dear in. my mind, 
as prooft of die eternal generation of the' Son of God; but upon, a more ma« 
ture consideration of them, I am inclined to think otherwise, and have aodori* 
ingly altered my sense of them; which alteration, as it is no ways inconsistdit 
with the doctrine as before held* by me, so it'serves but the more strongly to 
confirm it. 

B O O K II. 


» n' 


VINO confiidered the nature and pcB^fectiona of God, I shall now proceed - 
iat of hit. acts and operations; which are such as are worthy of a Being 
iswd of those perfections which have been described; and so must be ■ 
by of our .notice. God is actus purus bt simplichsimuMi he is all act; if r 
nay so say; haviog nothing passive in him; and dierefcn^ must be active * 
)perative; A^ Father worhth ktthertOy and I wortr Jchn v. 17,. in which < 
b there is a term fixcdd, umo which God had worked, the then present time ; 
tf spoke them ; but none from whence hci began to work : he had hot only " 
:ed in providence till then, since the creation, dnd not only at die creation, 
rom all eternity ; his active and eternal mind had always been at work; .the 
jjbts .of his heart were always employed in devising, formings and setding ^ 
s.that should be done in dme; and as die dutc divine Persons were taking ; 
ite delight and pleasure in each other, so in the ibre-views of what- would ! 
■K by eaph of ibem in dme^ for the setting fordi and manifestation of their ' 

lie acts and works of God may be distii^ished into internal. and extemaL • 
external acts and works of God, are such as are* done in time, visible to 
r known by us; ascreadon, provideoce, redemption, &c^ His internal 
md worksi which will, be first considered, and are what were done in eter-* 
are xommonly distinguished into personal and essendal. Personal acta are ' 
as. am. peculiar .to .each .person, and distinguish the one from the other; 
vhicb have> been taken nodce pf ahieady, in treating of the doctrine of the 
ity, . EsscnuaL acts are such as are como^on to them all, for as they have 
ime nature^and jtfssence, they have die same undorstanding, will, and afiec« 
;• ap4tthO(Saine acts appropriate to these belong unto them, both widi i«« 
tO!4bcmielves4od die creatures diey meant to make; that is to say, they 



mutually know one anodier, love each other, and will each other's happiness 
and glory ; and have the same knowledge of, will concerning, and aflleccion for 
creutures to be brought into being by them ; and among these internal acts of 
the mind of God, are his purposes and decrees; and these are purposed in himsilf^ 
Eph. i. 9. for what is true of one of his purposes, is true of all; and thai diere 
aie such in God is certain ; and whicli respects not only the affairs of grace, but 
those of providence; even the whole earth, and all things in it, Rom. ix. 11. 
Eph. i. II. and iii. 11. Isai. xiv. 24, 27. and which go by varioiis names in 
scripture: sometimes they arc called, the thoughts of his heart \ these are the 
deep things of God, which lie in the inmost recesses of his mind; arc only 
known h)*^ himself, and searched by his Spirit; as the thoughts of a man can 
onlv be known by the spirit of man within him, PsaL xxxiii. 1 1. Jer. xxix. 11. 
I Cor. ii. 10, II. Somciimes they are called the counsels of God, said to bo 
of old, ancient ones, even from eternity; and to be faithfulness and truth; faidi* 
fully and truly performed in time, Isai. xxv. i. and their being so called does 
not suppose anv degree of ignorance, or want of knowledge in God, or as if be 
was at a loss what to resolve upon ; and therefore consulted with himself^ or 
others, what was fittest to be determined on; bur because such resoludons, tbat 
are taken after mature deliberation and consultation, are generally formed ill the 
wisest manner; and commonly most successful in the execution of them; diere* 
fore the purposes of God, being: made with the highest wisdom, from thence 
they have the name of counsels. Thev are sometimes called decrees, and so 
we commonly call them ; being the determinations of the mind of God; whit 
he has fixed, settled, and resolved upon, Dan. iv. 17. Zeph. ii. a, and so 
the determinate counsel of God, Acts ii. 23. sometimes they are expressed 
by preordination and predestination ; so Christ is said to be foreordained be-* 
fore the foundation of the world, i Pet. i. 20. and men are said to be 
predestinated to the adoption of children, and to an inheritance, Eph. i. 5, 1 1, 
that is, afore appointed thereunto in the decrees of God ; and of they arc sig* 
nificd by his will and pleasure ; by the counsel of his will ; and by his counsel 
and pleasure, Rom. ix. 19, Eph. i. 11. Isai. xlvi. 10. they containing and 
e^cpressing his mind and will ; what it is his pleasure should be. Now con- 
cerning these may be observed, 

I. The proof to be given of them, that there are decrees and purposes in 
God ; not merely ideas of things future, but settled determinations concerning 
them ; whicli may be evinced from the nature and perfections of God. God 
is a Spirit, uncreated, infinite, opeiative, and active: he is a pure act, as be- 
fore observed; and must have been for ever active in himself; his eternal 
mind must always have been employed, and continually at work; as the mind of 
man is never without its thoughts, and the understanding has its acts, and the 
will its volitions ; so God never was without the thoughts of his heart, die acts 
of his understanding, and the volitions of his will. The Sovereignty of God 
^ei ally and his independeocyy clearly -diew» that whatever is done in timCi is 


according to his decrees in eternity ; for if any thing comes to pass without the 
will of God, or contrary to it, or what he has not commanded, that is, decreedf 
LiafD. ill. 37* how is he a sovereign Being, chat does according to his will iii 
'heaven and in eanh, and works all rhings after the counsel of his will? Dan. 
iv. 35. Eph. i. II. and if any thing is by chance and fortune, or the mere ef- 
fsct of second causes, and of the free will of men, independent of the will of 
God, and If he works under these, in subserviency to them, and takes his mea- 
sures of operation from them, then he must be dependent on them; and how 
then can ic be said with truth, that cfAim^ and through him^ and to hlm^ are all 
things? Rom. xi. 36. The immutability of God requires eternal decrees in him 
concerning every thing that is in time ; for if any thing is done in time, that 
did not fall under his notice and will in eternity, this must be new to him, and 
produce a change in him; or if an after-will in time arises in him, respecting 
aiiy diing he would have done, which he willed not before, this argues 
t change in him ; whereas, in him there is no variableness, nor shadow of turn* 
ing. The knowledge of God, supposes and clearly proves and establishes tho 
decrees of God; he is a God of knoivledgc^ and by him actions are weighed^ l Sam. 
ii. 13. he has knowledge of all actions done in time; and such an exact know- 
k«^ of them, as if they were weighed by him, and before him ; and this 
knowledge of them is not successive, as they are performed; Known unto God 
are all his works from the beginnings or from eternity. Acts xv. 18. both what 
be would do himself, and what he wills to be done by others : and this know- 
ledge is founded on his decrees; he knows that such and such things will be, 
because he has determined they shall be. Once more, the wisdom of God 
flakes it necessary that there should be eternal purposes and decrees in iiira, con* 
ceming things future ; he is the all- vvisc and only wise God, and in wisdom 
makes all his works ; which cannot be supposed to be made without previous 
thoughts and determinations concerning them: what wise man undertakes a 
building, without first determining what it shall be, of what materials it shall 
be made, in what form and manner, as well as for what end ? And can we 
imagine that the all -wise God, who builds all things, should go about them 
without preconcerted measures, and settled determinations concerning them; 
fVho is wonderful in ccunsel^ and excellent in ZLorking? Isai. xxviii. 29. 

II. The extent of the decrees and purposes of God, deser\'e notice and con 
^deration: and they reach to all thmgs that come to pass in the world, from 
the beginning to the end of it. The world, and all things in it, were created 
by and according to the will and pleasure of God, Rev. iv. 11. The heavens, 
their creation, stability, duration, and passing away, and succeeded by new hea- 
vens, are by a decree that caimot pass, Psal. cxlviii. 6. The earth, in its diilerent 
forms, before and after the flood, its continuance, and final destruction^ with the 
^y or time of it, are by the word or decree of God, 2 Pet. iii. 5—10. The 
sea, and the place the receptacle of it, and its boundary, the sand, which its 
I watets caoQOtpasS) are by a perpetual decree^ JobxxxviiL 10^ ii.Prov. viii 29. 

251 OF THE DECREES ; t^ 

Jer. V. 21. The rain which is exhausted out of it, has its decmivite.l^ 
IS not a showci falls but but by the will of God; whether it be^fen»aB9^ I 
cv. to mikc fruitful seasons, or whether it be withheld, or poured iownmm^j 1^ 
great picatv, in a way of judgment; it is all according to the woid, w3l| i4i ■*. 
decree of God, Job xxviii. 26. Amos iv, 7, 8. and v. 8- The peofA^ottb.; I . 
world; the distinction of nations; the rise, progress, and ruin of siaia^ l^iji^L 
doms, and empires, are all according to the decrees of God; even €veijfd^^ 
state and kingdom, as well as the four grand monarchies; the destruGdOQafdM^ 
first of which, the Babylonian monarch, as it was by the decree of the Wikkij, 
ers, and by die demand of the holy Ones ; that is, by die decree of difi naif 
High; so the origin of it, and its rise ro all its glory aiyl gnmdeor; anil diL 
same is true of all the rest; sec Dcut. xxxii. 8. Dan. ii. 38r^44. aniitti 
17^ 20. Particularly, the people of Israel, a select and disringnisbed peof^f 
from alt others; their original from Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; their in. 
vitude in a land not theirs, for four hundred years; their settlemept in diejial| 
of Canaan; their govertunent under judges and kings; and. their sevenj-of^t 
tivities, were all determined; as well as their last destruction, wfaendic.^> 
solations determined, were poured upon the desolate; and so is Aeirih: 
ture conversion and restoration, Gen. xv. 14. Exod. xv, 17. Dan. ix. 26,1]^^! 
Rom. xi. 25, 26. The church of God, in its different states, under the JB>! 
gal dispensation ; the time appointed of the Father, when it was under toM. 
and governors, Gal. iv. i, 2. and under the gospel dispensation, the world Qi 
come, the time of reformation, when all things became new : the former coT^ 
nant waxed old, and vanished away, and the ordinances of it, and newootti 
took place; and which continues to be the accepted time and day of salvadoOi ■ 
all are by divine appointment. The persecutions and sufferings of the churdt. 
of Christ under the ten Roman emperors, signified by ten days. Rev. ii. la 
and under Rome papal, for a time, and times, and half a time ; even foity t 
two montlis, or one thousand, two hundred and sixty days or years; tfa6« 
time of die church's being in the wilderness, and of the witnesses prophQcyifl|^i 
in sackclotli, and of the reign of antichrist, arc all fixed by the deeree of God; 
and when the time is up, the angel will sware by the living God, tlu|t tims. 
shall be no longer; that is, antichristian time, Rev. x. 6. and xi. 2, 3, and xii«\ 
14. and xiii. 5, as well 1^ the glory of the church in the latter day ; for which 
there is a set time ; and wliich God will hasten, in bis own time; when thezt . 
will be great light and prosperity, numerous covcrsions, a great spread of 
the gospel, and an. enlargement of the interest of Christ and much puritf 1 
and righteousness, Psal. cii, 13. Isai, Ix. i-«-22. In shor; every thing respect-* 
ing all the bdividuals of the world, that have been, are, pr shall. be, all qont^- 
spond with, the decrees of God, and arc ^cording to ihpm ; m^'s coming ijitQ . 
the world, the rime of it, and.all^cii;cums;anpcs attending it; and oc-! 
currcnccB.they ine^st with, throughout .Ac whole time of life; their places of. 
habita^iqn,^!^^ j^ti<>i¥>. SfPj^ gP^ ^ploym^nt ; their circumstances of rich^. 

fiook IL OF GOO IN GENERAL. ' 2^^ 

and poverty, of health and sickness, adversity and prosperity; their time of going 
out of the world, with every thing attending that; all arc acconlirkg to the de- 
terminate counsel and will of God, Eccles. iii. t, 2. and vii. 14* Acts xvii. 26. 
Job XIV. 5. and particularly, all that relate to the people of God, as well tlieir 
spiritual and eternal, as temporal concerns; their election of God, their redemp* 
don by Christ, 'their effectual vocation, which is according to the purpose of 
God; the time, manner, and means of it; all their changes in life.; their affile-* 
tions and distresses, deliverances, and salvations from temptation and trouble; 
yea, even die final state and condition of good men and bad men, is settled and 
determined: but this will be more particularly considered under the special de- 
crees of God, respecting rational creatures. All that Christ was to be, do, and 
fufier for his people, are what the hand and counsel of God before determined; 
his incarnation, the time of his coming into the worid ; all that he met with, 
firom the hand of God, from men and devils, whilst in it; his sufferings and 
deadi, and all circumstances attending the same. Gal. iv. 4. Acts iv« 28. and 
iL 23. Luke xxii. 22,. 37. In a word, every thing that comes to pass in this 
world, from die beginning to the end of it, is pre-ordained; every thing, good 
tod bad ; good by his effective decrees, tliat is, such by which he determines 
what he will do himself, or shall be done by others ; and evil things, by his 
pemiissive decrees, by which he suffers things to be done ; and which he over- 
Udes for his own glory; yea, things contingent, which, with respect to second 
causes, may seem to be, or not be, as the free actions of men ; such as the pro- 
phecies, founded on decrees, concerning the names of Josiah and Cyrus, and of 
actions being performed by them of their own free will, many hundred of years 
before they were bom ; nay, even things of the least importance, as well as the 
greatest ; the hairs of men's heads are numbered ; two sparrows not worth more 
dian a farthing, and yet fall not to the giound, without the knowledge, will, and 
purpose of God, Matt. x. 29, 30. 

ni. The properties of the purposes and decrees of God, may next be consi- 
dered,— As they are internal acts, they are immanent ones ; they are in God, 
and remain and abide in him ; and whilst they are so, they put nothing into 
actual being, they are concerned about, until they bring forth, or are brou^t 
forth into execution: then they pass upon their respective objects, terminate 
on them, and issue in actual operation ; and then they are called transient acts ; 
and till dien they arc secrets in God's breast, and are unknown to men. 
— 2, They are eternal ; as God himself is eternal, so are they ; for, as some 
divines express it, God's decrees are himself decreeing, and therefore if he 
is fi-om everlasting to everlasting, they are so likewise; if the knowledge 
of God, respecting all his works, is from the beginning, or from eternity, 
which arises from his decrees, then they themselves must be from eternity; and 
if the particular decree of election was before the foundation of the world, as it 
WM, Eph. i. 4. the same must be true of all the decrees of God, wliich are 
all ot a date; for no new will, nor new act of die will of God, arise in him 


in time. — 3. The decrees of God are most free; tliey arc the fi^ce acts of hi 
will, without any force or compulsion, and arc not influenced by any motiv< 
from witliout himself; as "he will have mercy on whr)m he will have mercy/ 
and exercise it freely, and on whom he pleases; so he freely decreed to hav< 
mercy as he pleased; as he hiiks the things of the gosj>el from the wise am 
prudent, and reveals them unto babe<i, as seems good in sight; he freely deter 
mined so to do : indeed, having made those decrees, there is a necessity of tb 
performance of them; but the making of them was quite free. — 4. They ari 
most wise decrees ; as Grod is a wise Being, and does all his works in wisdom 
so his decrees are laid in the deepest wisdom ; which, though unsearchaUe b] 
us, and may be unaccountable to us ; yet there is, as the apostle expresses it 
speaking of them, *'a depth of the riches, both of the wisdom and knowled^ 
of God in them,'' Rom. xi. 33. — 5. They ^re immutable and unalteraUe 
they are the mountains of brass, out of which come forth the horses and cha< 
liotSy the executioners of divine providence; signified by mountains, fordicL 
immoveableness, and by mountains of brass, for their greater stability and 
firmness, Zech. vi. i — 8. The decrees of the Medes and Persians* wheo 
signed and sealed, were not to be changed or altered ; but these are more un- 
changeable and unalterable than they were: we read of the immutability oftbe 
counsel of God, Hcb. vi. 17. his purposes and decrees, which, like himsdf, 
are the same to-day, yesterday, and for ever; without any variableness, or 
shadow of turning. — 6. The decrees of God are always effectual ; they can- 
not be frustrated or disannulled, or become of no effect ; For the Lird ofhoHi 
hath purposed^ andvjfio shall disannul iiP and his hand is stretched out^ andwh 
shall turn it bach? Isai. xiv. 27. The purposes of men arc often frustrated, 
through want of foresight, not being able to foresee what may turn up, which 
may hinder the execution of their designs ; but no unforeseen accident can arise 
to put any stop in the way of executing the decrees of God ; since all diings 
are at^once in his eternal view, who sees the end from the beginning: men 
sometimes fail of bringing their resolutions into execution, for want of powei ; 
but God is omnipotent, and is able to do, and tlierefore does whatever he 
he pleases ; he is in one mind, and none can turn him ; and what he desires, 
he docs ; his counsel stands, and he does all his pleasure ; and the ttioughts of 
bis heart are to all generations. To say no more ; the end of the decrees of 
God in his own glory ; he has made, tliat is, appointed all things for himsclfi 
for the glorifying his perfections, Prov. xvi. 4. there may be, and are, inferior 
ends, as die good of bis creatures, &c. but his glory is the supremi'eud, abi 
all others are subordinate 10 ic» 

Book 11. OF THE DECREES OF GOD, &C. 257 




1 HE Special decrees of God, respecting rational creatures, commonly go under 
the name of predestination ; though this sometimes is taken in a large sense, to 
txfuess every thing that God has predetermined; and so ic takes in all that has 
been observed in the preceding chapter; which some call eternal providence, of 
which, temporary providence is the execution ; for with God there is not only a ' 
provision of things future, but a provision for the certain bringing them to past; 
and the counsel and will of God is the source and spring of all things, and the 
rale and measure according to which he works, Eph. i. 1 1. but predestination 
ii usually considered as consisting of two parts, and including the two branches 
of election and reprobation, both with respect to angels and men; for each of 
these have place in both. Angels ; some of them are called elect angels, 2 Tim. 
T. 21. others are said to be reserved in chains, in the chains of God^s purposes 
lod provideuce, unto the judgment of the great day, 2 Per. ii. 4. Men; some 
of them are vessels of mercy, afore-prepared for glory; others vessels of wrath, 
£tted for destruction; some are the election, or the elect persons, that obtain 
tightcousness, life, and salvation; and others aie the rest that are left in, and 
given up to blindness, Rom. ix. 22, 23. and xi. 7. Though sometimes pre- 
destination only respects that branch of it called election, and the predestinated 
signify only the elect; for who else arc called, justified and glorified, enjoy 
adopdon and the heavenly inheritance ? not, surely, the none-elect, Rom. viii. 
29, 30. Eph. i. 5, II. This branch of predestination, must be considered first; 
lihall begin with, 

I. The election of anjjcls ; of tliis the scriptures speak but sparingly, and 
therefore tlie less is necessary to be said concerning it: that there are some 
uig^Is that are elect is certain, from the proof already given : this is a similarity 
fcctween their election and the election of men; though in some things there ap- 
pears a little difference. — i. The election of angels, as well as of men, is of God : 
he is the efficient cause of it ; it is God that has chosen them, and distinguislicd 
them from others, and therefore they are called the angeis of God^ Luke xii. 8, 9. 
Dotmerclr because they arc his creatures, so are the evil angels; but because 
they are his chosen, his favourites, and appointed to be happy widi him to all 
^nity.— -2. Their election, as that of men, lies in a distinction and separation 
from the rest of their species, they are not only distinguished from them by tlicir 
c^racters, the one being holy angels, the others the angels that sinned ; but by 
their state and condition, the one being preserved from apostacy, and continu- 
ed in their first estate; the other left to fall into sin, and fiom their former state^ 

roL. I. • L 


and reserved unto jiK^ment.«-»3. In dieir election they were considered as on 

an equal foot widi others not elected, as men are; as men are considered, when 

chosen, as in the pure mass, having done neither good nor evil, so were 

angels; this must be out of all question, with respect to them, since the elecl 

angels never fell, never were in any corrupt state, and could not be so conside^ 

ed : besides, their preservation from apostacy, and their confirmation, by gnoe, 

in the state in which they were created, are in consequence of their electioBj 

and therefore must be previous to the fall of the rest, who, widi them, must 

be considered in the pure mass of cieatureship; wherefore the choice of the one, 

and the leaving of the other, must be entirely owing to the sovereign willoi 

Godt— 4» Their election, though it is not said to be made m Christ, asdu 

election of men; nor could it be made in him, considered as Mediator; since 

they having never sinned against God, and offended him, they needed him not 

to mediate between God and them, and to make peace and reconciliation; yel 

t!iey might be chosen in him, as diey teem to bo, as an Head of conservation 1 

as an Head both of eminence to rule over them, protect and preserve them ii 

their state; and of influence, to commumcate grace and strength to them; tc 

confirm ihem in their state in which they are ; for Christ is iAf head ofallfnM- 

cipaiity and powfTf Col. ii. zo.— *5. Tliough the angels are not chosen to salva* 

tion as men are, as that signifies a deliverance from sin and misery; sceinj 

they never sinned, and so were never in a miserable condition, and needed n 

Saviour and Redeemer ; yet tliey are chosen to happiness, to communion witl 

God now, whose face they ever beliold ; and to a confirmed state of holine! 

and impeccability, and to the enjoyment of God, and the society of elect mc 

to all eternity. 

II. The election of men to grace and glory, is next to be considered; and 
may be proper in the first place to take some notice of the election of Chiist, i 
man and mediator; who is God's first and chief elect ; and is, by way of cm 
ncncv, called his elect ; Behold my scrvanty whom I uphold^ mine ele^U in who 
my soul deligktcthy Isai. xlii. i. and oftentimes the chosen of God, Psal. IxxxL 
3. Luke xxiii. 35. i Pet. ii. 4, Which character not only denotes his choic 
ness and excellency, and the high esteem he is in with God ; who, thou] 
disallowed, disesteenied, and rejected by men, is chosen of God, and preciou 
but either,^— I. It respects the choice of the human nature of Christ to the gia 
of union with him as the Son of God, God prepared a body, or an hum 
nature, for him, in his eternal purposes and decrees; in the book of which 
the members thereof werp written, which in continuance were fashioped, wh 
as yet, before there were none of them, Heb, x. 5, Psal, cxxxix, 16, Amo 
all the individuals of human nsLture, which rose up in the divipe mind, to 
brought into being by him, this was singled out from among themy and appoii 
ed to union with the second Person in the Godhead; this was sanctified, 1 
set apai t, and sent into the world; in which Joseph was a type of it, who v 
sepai ated from his brethren : apd beo^ this humu nature of Christ was anoi 

fiookL OF ELECTI09. * 259 

ed wtcb the Holy GhcMt above hit fellows, and had die gifts and gi'aces of die 
Spirit widiout measure ; and was raised to such honour and dignity, as nono 
of di6 angels ever were, or will be, Heb, i. 13* or,-*>2. The character of elecf^ 
«^ven to Christ, respects die choice of him to his office as Mediator, in 
which he was set up, and with which he was invested, and had the glory of 
it before the world began. He was first chosen and set up as an Head; and 
then his people were chosen, as members of him; he was chosen to be the 
Saviour of die body, the church; as they are appointed to salvation by him, 
he is appointed to be the Saviour of them; diis is meant by laying help on one 
dnt IS mighty ; and as dieir salvation is through his sufierings and deadi, he 
WIS fbre-ordained, before the foundation of die world, to be the slain Lamb ; 
through iMdiose precious blood their redemption would be obtained ; he was set 
fafdi, m the eternal decree and purpose of God, to be die propitiadon for sin, 
to mike atonement and satisfacdon for it, and procure the pardon of it, t Pet. 
L i&-^lb. Rom. iii. 25* Christ is appointed to be the judge of quick and 
dead; as well as a day is appointed in which God will judge die work! in righ* 
teonsness, by the man Christ Jesus, whom he has ordained for diat purpose. 
Acts X. 42. and xvii. 31. But what will now be chiefly attended to, and what 
die scriptures speak so largely of, is the decdon of men in Christ unto eternal 

Some aire of opinion that this doctrine of elecdon, admitting it to be tnie^ 
Aoald not be published, neidier preached from the pulpit, nor handled in schools 
Inl academies, nor treated of in the wridngs of men; the reasons they give, 
ire because it is a secret, and secret things belong to God ; and because it tends 
to fill men^s minds with doubts about their salvation, and to bring them into dis« 
tress, and even into despair; and because some may make a bad use of it, to in- 
tlulge themselves in a sinful course of life, and argue, that if they are elected 
ihey shall be saved, let them live as they may, and so it opens a door to all li- 
centiousness: but these reasons are frivolous and groundless; the doctrine of 
dcction is no secret, it is clearly and fully revealed, and written as with a sun- 
beam in the sacred scriptuies; it is true indeed, it cannot be said of particular 
I persons, chat such a man is elected, and such a man is reprobated; and espe- 
dally when both appear to be in a state of ungeneracy; yet when men, in a 
judgment of charity, may be hoped to be called by grace, they may be conclud- 
ed to be the elect of God, though it cannot be said widi precision; and on the 
odier hand, there may be black marks of reprobation on some men, or at least 
diings have such a very dark aspect on them, that we are apt to say, when we 
hear a man cursing and swearing, and see him in all excess of wickedness with 
boldness and impudence, what a reprobate creature is this? though indeed no 
man, be he ever so vDe, is out of the reach of powerful efficacious grace; and 
therefore it cannot be absolutely said that he is rejected of God: ahd whereas 
there may be only the appearance of grace, and not the truth of it, in such that 



profess to have it; it cannot be said with certainty that such an one is an elec^ 
person, yet in charity it may be so concluded: however^ a truly gracious mai 
may know for himself his election of God, as the aposde affirms; and that in 
this wa^, the gaspel being come to him, noi In word only^ but in power^ andh 
thi Holy GAost^ i Thess. i. 4, 5. who by means of it Iios b;gun, and will carrj 
on and perform the work of grace in him ; wherefore such persons will not be fill- 
ed with doubts and fears about iheir salvation, nor be led into (L'stress and despair 
through the doctrine of election ; nnr need any be distressed about it that are 
enquiring the way of salvation, or have any knowledge of it; for the first ques- 
tion to be put to a man by himself, is not, am I elected? but, am I bom againr 
am I a new creature? am I called by tlie grace of God, and truly converted? 
If a man can arrive to satisfaction in tliis matter, he can have no doubt 
about his election; that then is a clear case and out of all question. The 
doctrine of regeneration, which asserts that a man must be bom again, or he 
cannot sec and enter into the kingdom of heaven, may as well be objected to, 
as that of election ; since it is as difficult to come to satisfaction about a man*i 
regeneration, as about his election ; and when once the one is a clear case, the 
other must be likewise; and when it is, what diankfulness and joy does it pro- 
duce? And if the apostle thought himself bound to give thanks to God for hii 
choice of the Thessalonians to salvation ; how much more reason had he to falesi 
the God and Father of Christ for his own election, as he does 2 Thess. ii. 13* 
Eph. i. 3, 4. With what exultation and triumph may a believer in Christ uke 
up those words of the apostle, and use them with application to himself, fVio 
shall lay anything to the charge of God*s elect P Rem. viii. 33. yea our Lonl 
Jesus Christ exhorts his disciples, rather to rejoice that their names were writ- 
ten in heaven, than that the spirits were subject to them, or that they were pos- 
sessed of extiaordinary gifts, as to cast out devils. With great truth and pro- 
priety is it expressed in the seventeenth Arritlc of the chuich of England, that 
the consideration of this doctrine is full of sweet, pleasant and unspeakable 
comfort to godly persons : and as for die cliarge of licentiousness, what is thcrt 
but what a wicked man may abuse to encourage himself in sin? as even the 
patience and long-suffering of God ; ungodly men may turn tlie grace ofGoc 
into lascivious ncss, and every doctrine of it; and so this, contrary to its nature- 
use and tendency. Strange ! that this docriine should of itself lead to licen* 
tiousness, when the thing itself, contained in it, is the source of all holiness 
men are chosen according to this doctrine to be holy ; diey are chosen ihrougt^ 
sanctification of the Spirit, which is secured by tliis decree as ccnainly ai 
salvation itself; wherefore those reasons are not sufficient to intimidate and 
deter us from receivmg this doctrine, professing and publishing it; and the nt' 
ther, since it is the doctrine of Christ and his apostles, frequently suggested and 
declared by them; what means else when our Lord speaks of die elect of God, 
for whose sake the days of tribulation should be shortened ; and that it was 
impossible the elect should be deceived; and that God will avenge his own elect ? 

!• OF fiLECTIOM. 261 

rxlv. 22, 24. Luke xviii. 7. how clearly and fully docs the apostle Paul 
on this doctrine of election in Rom. ix. and xi. and in Eph. i. and 
s. ii. and in otlier places ? and since it is so plentifully declared in the 
ind is a part of scripture given by the inspiration of God, and is profi- 
r doctrine, and is wiitten for our learning, to teach us humility, to de- 
e pride of man, and to magnify the sovereign grace of God in his saU 
we need not be ashamed of it, nor ought we to conceal it; and the 
exhorts to make our election as well as calling sure, 2 Pet. i. 10. but 
ouM men do this, if they are noi taught the doctrine of it ; led into an 
.tance with it; instructed into the truth, nature. and use of it, and the 
d means whereby it is to be made sure? I proceed then, 

observe the phrases by which it is expressed in scripture, whereby 
learnt what is the true meaning of the words election and elect, as used 

:ure with respect to this doctrine. It is expressed by being ordained to 
life. Acts xiii. 48. Ai many as were ordained to eternal life believed \ by 
3nlination is meant no other than the predestination, choice and appoint- 
fmen to everlasting life and salvation by Jesus Christ; and from wlicnce 
rs that this is of particular persons, of some and not all, though many ; 
s not to temporary privileges and enjoyments, but to grace and glory; 
t faith is not the cause, but ttie sure and certain fruit and effect of it ; 
t both eternal life through Chiist, and believing in him, are infalli- 
ired by this act of grace. Some, in order to evade tlie force and cvi- 
if these woixls in favour of election, would have them rendered. As 
were disposed for etcrmd lifcy believed ; but this is not agreeable to the 
the word throughout the book of the Acts by the divine historian, 
[ always signifies dctciminatlon and appointment, and not 'disposition ; 
by our translators it is rendered determined in Acts xv. 2. and ap- 
in chap. xxii. 10. andxxviii. 23. and here preordained, in tiic vulgate 
^rsion, and by Arias Montanus ; and besides, there are no good disposiilr ns 
lal life in men before fa'th ; whatsoever is not of faith, is sin; and men, 
te of unbelief and unrcgcneracy, are foolish and disobedient, serving 
ists andplcasuies; living in malice, hateful, aild hating oneanorher; 
hope, and without God in the world ; and injurious to p;')od men, 
iv. 23. Tir. iii. 3. Eph. ii. 12. I Tim. i. 13. and .idtniuin^ there may be 
ay bc'Callcd dispo^itions for eternal life ; Ici a desire of it, and seeking 
c accounted such; this may be where faith in Christ does not follow; 

1 young man, who asked what he must do to obtain it; and yet, when 
:d by Christ, was so far from receiving his instructions, and b.ilieving 
at he turned his back on him, and went away from him sorrowful, 
ix. 16, 22. Let an attentive hearing of the word "be reckoned a good 
on for eternal life; this was found in many of Christ's hearci-s, and yet 
ieved not the report he made, of which he complains; ^nd it is )iighly 
r, that many of those attentive bearers of him, were in a few days, 


among those that cried, Crucify him, crucify him, Luke xix. 4S. zni xxiii 
18, 21. Isai. lili. I. and after all, one would think chat the Jews, who wer 
externally religious, and were expecting the Messiah ; and especially the devov 
tod honourable women, were rtiore disposed for eternal life, than the ignoran 
and idolatrous Gentiles; and yet the latter rejoiced at hearing the word, glori 
fied it, and believed ; when the fofmer did not, but persecuted the preachers 
it: from whence it follows, that the faith of the believing Gentiles did not sprin] 
from previous dispositions to eternal life ; but was the fruit and effect of divin 

This act of God is also expressed by the names of persons being written 11 
heaveik, and in die book of life, called, the Lamb's book of life; because hi 
name stands first in it, was present at the writing of it, and is concerned in tha 
eternal life which it has respect tinto, Luke x. 20. Heb. xii. 22, Phil. iv. 3 
Rev. xiii. 8. All which shews that it is aii act of God in heaven, and respect 
die happiness of men there ; is of particular persons, whose names are in a spe 
cial manner known of God, and as distina from others ; and is sure and certain 
and will abide. But the more common phrases used concerning it, are those 
being choseA and elected ; hence the objects of it are called God^s elect, and dv 
election; that is, persons elected, Eph. i. 4. 2 Thess. ii. 13. Rom. viii. 33 
and xi. 7. which dearly imply, that only some, and not all men, are the oligect 
of it; Ispfai not of you allj says Christ; / ifiow whom t have chosen^ Johi 
xiii. 18. not all, but some of you; where all are taken, whether persons a 
things, no choice is matle; If some are chosen, others are not, but left; an< 
in this case the number chosen is but few; Many are^ called^ hut few chosen 
Matt. XX. 1 6 hence those that arc chosen, are called a remnant^ according t 
the election of pace ; and those that are not clioscn, tlie rCst that are left, Rom 
xi. 6, 7. \VTicrcforc the election treated of is not, 

I. An election of a nation to some external privileges, as the people of Israel 

w]"io were chosen of God to be a special people above all people on the face o 

the caith ; not for their quantity or quality, theii numl)er or their goodness ; bu 

because? such was the pleasure of God : but this choice of lliem as a nation 

was only to some outward benefits and blessings ; as, besides the good land 

Canaa^, the word, and worship, and ordinances of God, with others, mentionc< 

in j^m. ix. 4, 5. but in the same context it is obser\'ed, that they were not al 

Israel, or God'5 elect, redeemed and called people, in the most special sense 

nor all children of God by adopting grace; nor were all predestinated toth< 

adoption of chiUren by Christ; it was only a remnant of them that were of thii 

sort, which shimid be eternally saved; and whom, if God had not reserved, 

they had becnti Sodom and Gomorrah, verse 6 — 29. And so this nation oj 

ours is selected and distinguished from many others, by various blessings oi 

goodness, and particularly by having die means of grace; yet all the individuals 

of it cannot be thought to be the object* of election to special grace, and eternal 

Book L OF ELECTION, 263 

t Nor of an election to oflBces; as the sons of the house of Aaron were 
chosen to minister, in the office of priests, to the Lord; and as Saul was chosen 
to be king over Israel ; and the twelve were chosen to be the apostles of Christ; 
for there were many in tl)e priestly office very bad mens ^nd Saul behaved so 
ill, as to be rejected of God from being king, that is, from die kingdom being 
continued in his family; and though Christ chose twelve to be his apostles, one 
of them was a devil : so that though those were chosen to offices, and even to 
dse higbet offices in die church and state, and yet not to eternal life, 

3. Nor of an election of whole bodies and communities of men, under the 
character of churches, to the enjoyment of the means of grace : £ph, !• 4. is no 
ixMtance of this. It is not certain die appsde wrote that episde to the Ephesians, 
ai to a church, but to some there described, as saints and fdithful in ChrisC 
Jcsos; and it is quite tenain, that those who be says were chosen in Christ* 
were not die Ejdiesians only» but others also; the apostle, and odiers, who 
wat not members of that church, yet sbancd in that grace, and other blessings 
afiermentioned, and were they that first trusted in Christ; and though the £phe-r 
sans may be included, yet it is not said of them as a church ; besides, the phrase 
of being chosen in Christ, is sometimes used of a single person, and so is not 
^^priate tocommunities and churches, Rom, xvj. 13. To all which may bs 
added* diat those said to be chosen in Christ, are not said to be chosen as a 
dun^ or to be one,, or to church-privileges; but to holiness here; and to a 
Hameless state, or a state of perfection hereafter; ^ven to grace and glory. 
Nor IS diechaiacter of elect, given to the Colossians, chap, iii. 12. given to 
Ihem as a diurch; for the same may be observed of them as of the Ephesians, 
that diey are not wrote to as a church; but described by the same epithets as 
they are; and if they were, this mi^ht be said of them in a judgment of chari-' 
tyi since they ail of them professed faith in Christ ; and the greater part of them 
doubtless, in reality were possessed of it, as a fruit and effect, and so an evi- 
dence of dieir election; by which the aposde enforces their mutual duties to one 
another. And in like manner the Thessalonians are said to be chosen of God^ 
aod to know their election of God, since the gospel was come to them, attend- 
ed with the power and Spirit of God, i Tliess, i. 49 5- 2 Thess. ii. 13. and all 
of them had made a profession of Christ, and therefore it might be charitably 
hoped they were the elect of God; not chosen merely to outward means; 
but, as it is said, to saWadon by Christ, and to the obtaining of his glory. And 
ivbisn the apostle Peter speaks of some lie writes to as elect, according to the 
feteknowkdge of God, and as a chosen generadon, 1 Pet. i. 2. and ii. 9. he 
does not write to them, and speak of them, as a church ; for be writes to stran« 
pn, scattered abroad in several countries; nor as chosen barely to the means of 
grace and outward privileges, but to grace and glory; since diey are said to be 
chosen through sancdfication of die Spirit, unto obedieupei and sprinkling of 
the blood of Jesus. 

4, Nor is this act of elecdon under consideration! to be understood of the ef- 


fcaua] vocation of particular persons i .though that is sometimes expres<! 
choosing; men out of the woild; when they are separated and discmguislied 
tlie men of it; and by choosing, that is, calling the foolish things of the ^ 
and by choosing die poor of it, who become rich in faith* and appear to b( 
of the kingdom, John xv. 19. i Cor. i. 26, 27. James li. 5. the reason of ^ 
is, because vocation is a certain fruit and effect of election, and if a su: 
certain evidence of it ; Fcr whom God did predestinate^ them he also called^ 
viii. 30. But then election and vocation differ, as the cause and the efib 
tree and its fruit, a thing and the evidence of it. But, 

5. This is to be understood of the choice of certain persons by God, fn 
eternity, to grace and gloiy ; it is an act by which men arc chosen of 
good will and pleasure, before the world was, to holiness and happiness, t 
vation by Christ, to partake of his glory, and to enjoy eternal life, as tfa 
gift of God dirough him, Eph. i. 4. 2 Thess. ii. 13. Acts xiii. 48. Ar 
is the first and foundation-blessing; according to whicli all spiritual btessin 
dispensed; and is, by the apostle, set at the front of them all; and is th 
link in the golden chain of man's salvation, Eph. i. 3, 4. Rom. viii. 30. 

II. The next thing to be considered is, by whom election is made, a 
whom it is made: it is made by God, and it is made in Christ, i. It is 
by God, as the efficient cause of it; God, who is a sovereign Being, wh< 
and may do whatever he pleases in heaven and in earth, among angels and 
and has a right to do what he will with his own ; as with his own things, 
poral and spiritual blessings; so with his own creatures. Shall he be < 
that which every man thinks he has a light unto and docs^ Do not 
choose their own ministers; masters their servants; and cwrv man his ov 
vourites, friends, and companions? And may not God choose who 
pleases to communion with him, both licre and hereafter; or to grac 
glory? He docs this, and therefore it is called election of God; of which 
is the eflScient cause, 1 Thess, i. 4. and the persons chosen arc called i 
elect, Rom. viii. 33. Luke xviii. 7. This act is sometimes, and for the most 
ascribed to God the Fatlicr, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Chrii 
he is said to bless men with spiritual blessings, so to choose them in Christ, I 
the foundation of the world, Eph. i. 3, 4. and the persons chosen are said 
(icct^ according to the fore knowledge oj God the Father^ through lanctifieau 
the Spirit J unto obedience^ and sprinkling of the blood cf Jesus Christy 1 Pet 
where the Person that chooses is not only described as the Father, but 
tiii'^uishcd from the Spirit, tlirough whose sanctification, and from Jesus C 
to whose obedience, and the sprinkling of whose blood, men are chos 
him. Sometimes it is ascribed to Christ, and lie takes it to himself, / 
not of you all\ I know whom I have chosen^ John xiii. 18. this cannot be u 
stood of Christ's choosing his disciples to the office of apostleship, for a 
twelve were chosen to that; but of his choosing them to eternal life; an 
is what he could not say of them all, for one of them was die son of perd 


Book II. OF ELECTION. 26^ 

and hence the elect are called Christ's elect; not only because chosen in him 
and given to him, but because chosen by him ; He (the Son of man} s/tall send 
his angels — and they shall gather together his elect from the four wlndsy Matt, 
•xxiv. 30y 31. Nor is the blessed Spirit to be excluded; for since he has a 
place in the decree of the means, in order that the end may be attained* 
and has so much to do in the blessings, gifts, and operations of grace, leading 
on to the execution of the decree ; he must have a concern with the Father and 
the Son in the act itself, as the efficient cause of it. And this now being tlie 
act of God, it is for ever; for whatever God does in a way of special grace, it 
is for ever; it is unchangeable and irrevocable ; men may choose some to be their 
favourites and friends for a while, and thei> alter their minds, and choose others 
in their room ; but God never acts such a part, he is in one mind, and none 
can turn him ; his purpose, according to election, or with respect to that, stands 
sure, firm, and unalterable. -» 2. This act is made in Christ, according as he hath 
citsen us in him^ Eph. i. 4. Election does not find men in Christ, but puts them 
tbcre; it gives them a being in him, and union to him; which is the foundation 
of dieir open being in Christ at conversion, which is the manifestation and evi- 
dence of this; If any man be in Christ, even in the secret way, by electing 
{Face, he is a new creature, sooner or later; which is an evidence of it; for 
when he becomes a new creature, this shews him to have been in Christ before, 
fimn whence this grace proceeds ; but these two, an open and secret being in 
Christ, diffci in this, that the one is in time, and but a little while ago, the 
oAerfrom eternity; the one is the evidence of the other; I knew a man in Christ 
tkvffe fourteen years ago ^ says the apostle, 2 Cor. xii. 2. meaning himself; who 
was, about that time, and not before, called, converted, and become a believer 
in Christ, and so had open being in Christ; and, in this sense, one saint may 
be in Christ before another; Salute Andronicus and Junia — who also were in 
Christ before mcj says the same apostle, Rom. xvi. 7. they being called and 
converted before he was; but with lespect to electing grace, one is not before 
anodier, the whole body of the elect being chosen together ni Christ; which is 
die sense of the text in Ephesians: and which is not to be understood of being 
chosen for the sake of him ; for though they arc predestinated to be conformed 
to his image, that he may be the first-born among many brethren, and :n all 
things have the pre-eminence; and unto salvation by him, that he may have thg 
glory of it; and to the obtaining of his glory, partake of it, and have com- 
munion with him for evermore, that he may have praise from them to all eter- 
nity: yet not his merits, his blood, righteousness, and siicilfice, not his obe- 
dience, sufferings, and death, are the cause of election; these arc tlie merito- 
rious cause of redemption, forgiveness of sin, and justification, and salvation; 
not of election: ilie reasons why men are elected, are not because Christ hag 
thed his blood, died for them, redeemed and saved them; but Christ has done 
ill dib for Aan because they are elect; / lay down my if e for the sheep^ says 

VOL. I. 2 M ' 


Christ, John x« 15- sheep and elect are terms convertible, and signify the sai^e 
persons, even such before ihey ai-e called and converted ; as appears from the 
following vene: now it is not Christ's laying dovm his life for them makes diem 
sheep, and elect; they are so previous to that; but because they are sheep, and 
chosen ones in Chri&t, and given him by his Father, therefore he laid down his 
life for them. Christ himself is the object of election; he is stilcd God's elect; 
and is said to be foreordained, before the foundation of the world, to be the Savi- 
our and Redeemer of his people, Isai. xliii. i. i Pet. i. 20. Now, though as a di- 
vine Person, he is, with his Father, the efficient cause of election; yet, as Media- 
tor, he is the means, by his obedience, sufferings, and death, of executing that 
decree: men are chosen In him as their Head, and they as members of him^ 
not one before another; he and they are chosen together in the same decree; 
they are given to him in it, and he to them ; th^y are put into bis hands, and 
preserved in him ; and hence have a secret being in him, and union to him ; hence 
they partake of all grace and spiritual blessings ; they are first of God in Christ 
by electing grace, and then he is made every thing to ibem; and they reccivQ 
every thing from him they want, i Cor. i. 30. 

III. The objects of election are to be next enquired after, who are men; for 
with such only is now our concern; and these not as under such and such cha» 
racters, as called, converted, believers in Christ, holy and good men, and per* 
severing in faith and holiness unto the end; for they are not elected because they 
are called, converted, &c. but l}ecausc they arc elected they become all this; 
and if they arc not elected, especially until tliey have persevered unto the end, 
I can sec no need of their being elected at all ; for when they have persevered 
unto the end, they arc immediately in heaven, in the enjoyment of eternal life, 
and can have no need to he chose to it : and all these characters put together, 
only amount to such a proposition, that he that believes, and endures to the end 
shall be saved. But God does net choose propositions, but persons ; not charac- 
ters, but men, nakedly and abstractly considered ; and these not all men, but 
some, as the nature of election, and the very sense of the word suggests; as in 
effectual vocation, the fruit and evidence of it, men are taken out of the world, 
and separated from the men among whom they have had their conversation ia 
times past ; so in election, they are distinguislied from otiiers ; as in redemption 
men are redeemed out of every kindred, tongue, people, and nation; so in 
election they are chosen out of the same: election and redemption are of the same 
pcrsoas, and are commensurate to each other; they are distinct from die rest of 
mankind: vessels of mercy, in distinction from vessels of wrath; a seed, a rem" 
nant, according to the election of grace; and election itself, as distinguished 
from the others, called the rest; whilst some are given up to believe a lie, diat 
they might be damned, others being beloved of God, are chosen from die be-> 
ginning to salvation by Christ; for certain it is, that all the individuals dl man- 
kind, neither partake of the means fixed in the decree of election> sanctificatioa 
of the Spirit, and belief of the truth; nor attain to the end of it, which, with re- 

BookiL OF ELECTION. 25/ 

fepect to men, is eternal life and happiness; for all men are not sanctified by the 
Spirit of God; nor have all men faith in Qirist, the way, the truth, and the 
life; nor do all men enter into life, or are eternally saved; some go into ever* 
lasting punishment. But the number of the chosen ones is not confined to any 
paiticular nation; for as God is the God both of the Jews and of the Gentiles; 
so diose whom he has in election prepared for glory, m consequence of which 
he calls them by his grace; these are not of the Jews only, but of the Gentiles 
also; and who are eventually, for the most part, the poor of this world, James 
ii. 5. men mean and despicable in the eyes of it; and these are but few in com- 
parisoni not only of die men of the world, but even of those that are externally 
called; Many are called^ btttfew are chosen^ Matt. xx. 16. they are but a little 
flock; it is the pleasure of their heavenly Father to give the kingdom to, pre- 
pared for them from the foundation of the world: though considered absolutely 
by themselves, they are a great multitude, which no man can number, Luke 
xii. 32. Rev. vii. 9. 

And here is the proper place to discuss that question, Whether men were 
considered, in the mind of God, in the decree of election, as fallen or unfallen; 
IS in the corrupt mass, through the fall ; or in the pure mass of creatureship, 
previous to it; and as to be created? There are some that think that the 
latter, so considered, were the objects of election in the divine mind; who are 
called Supralapsarians; though of these some are of opinion that man was con« 
odered, as to he created, or creatable; and others, as created, but not fallen. 
The former seems best; that of the vast number of individuals that came up in 
he divine mind, that his power could create, those that lie meant to bring into 
being, he designed to glorify himself by them in some way or another; the de- 
cree of election, respecting any part of them, may be distinguished into the de- 
cree of the end, and the decree of the means. The decree of the end, respect- 
ing some^ is either subordinate to their eternal happiness, or ultimate ; which 
is more properly the end, tlie glory of God ; and if both are put together, it is 
a state of everlasting conununion with God, for the glorifying the riches of his 
sovereign grace and goodness, Eph. i. 5, 6. The decree of (he means, includes 
lie decree to create men, to permit them to fall, to recover them out of it 
farough redemption by Clu-ist, to sanctify them by the grace of the Spirit, and 
rompletely save them; and which ai-e not to be reckoned as materially many 
fecrees, but as making one formal decree; or they are not to be considered as 
ubordinate, but co-oidinate means, and as making up one entire comply me- 
lium ; for it is not to be supposed that God decreed to create man, that he 
[lig^t permit him to fall; nor that he decreed to permit him to fall, that he 
light redeem, sanctify, aad save him ; but he decreed all this that he might 
lorify his grace, mercy, and justice. And in this way of considering the de** 
rees of God, they think they sufficiently obviate and remove the slanderous 
iduoiny cast upon themj with respect to the other hrapcb of jpredestinationt 



which leaves men in the same state \^-hen others are chosen, and tliat for tli< 
glory of God. Which calumny )s» that according to them, God made man tc 
damn him ; \% hereas, according to their real sentiments, God decreed to maki 
man, and made man, neither to damn him nor save him, but for hi< own glory 
which end is answered in them, some way or another. Again, they aigue tha 
the end is first in view, before the means; and the decree of the end is, in orda 
of nature, before the decree of the means ; and what is iirst in intention, is las 
in execution: now as the glory ot God is the last in execution, it must be tin 
first in intention; wherefore men must be considered, in the decree of thi 
end, as not yet created and fallen ; since the creation and permission of sin, be- 
long to the decree of the means ; which, in order of nature, is after the dean 
of the end: and they add to this, that if God first decreed to create man, anc 
suffer him to fall, and then, out of the fall chose some to grace and glory ; h( 
must decree to create man without an end, wliich is to make God to do wha 
no wise man would ; for when a man is about to do any thing, he purposes ar 
end, and then contrives and fixes on ways and means to bring about that end 
and it cannot be thought that the all- wise and only-wise God should act other- 
wise; who does all his works in wisdom, and has wisely designed them for hit 
own glory, Prov. xvi. 4. they think also that thi$ way of conceiving and speak- 
ing of these things, best expresses the sovereignty of God in them ; as dedarei! 
in the ninth of the Romans ; where he is said to will such and such things, foi 
no other reason but because he wills them ; and hence the objector to the sove- 
reign decrees of God is brought in saying, /"/"/rv ticcs he yet find fault? 'ivho hath 
resisted his wHI P and ihc answer to it is taken from the sovereign power of the 
potter over his clay; to which is added, fFhat if God willing^ &c. to do this or 
that, who has any tiling to say against it? he is accountable to none, verse 
15 — 22. And this way of reasoning is thought to suit better with the instance 
of Jacob and Esau, the children beifig not yet born^ and having done neither good 
Wor ivily that the purpose of Gody according to election^ might standi 10. than with 
supposing persons considered in predestination, as already created, and in die 
corrupt mass; and paiticularly it best suits with the unformed clay of tlie potter, 
out of which he makes one vessel to honour, and another to dishonour; on 
which Bcza remarks, tliat if the apostle had considered mankind as corrupted, 
he would not have said, that some vessels were made to honour, and some to 
dishonour; but rather, tliat seeing all the vessels would be fit for dishonour, 
some were left in that dishonour; and others translated from dishonour to 
honour. They further observe, that elect angels could not be considered in the 
corrupt mass, when chosen ; since they never fell, and therefore it is most rea- 
sonable, that as they, so those angels that were not chosen, were considered in 
the same putie mass of creatureship ; and so in like manner men ; to whid 
they add the human nature of Christ, which is the object of election to a grcate: 
dignity than that of angels and men, could not be considered in the corrup 
oaass, since it fell not in Adam, aor never came into any corrupt state; and ye 


it was chosen out of the people, Psal. Ixxxix. 19. and consequently the people 
out of whom it was chosen, must be considered as yet not fallen and corrupt i 
and who also were chosen in him, and therefore not so considered. 1'hc2>c are 
hints of some of the argxunents used on this side of the question. 

On the other hand, those who are culled Sublapsarians, and are for men be- 
ing considered as created and fallen, in the decree of election, urge, John xv. 
19. I have chosen you out of the world, 'Now the world is full of wickedness, 
it lies in it, is under the power of the wicked one; the inhabitants of it live in 
sin, and all of them corrupt and abominable ; and therefore they that are cho- 
sen out of them must be so too: but tliis text is not to be understood of eternal 
election, but of effectual vocation; by which men are called and separated from 
die world, among whom they have had their conversation before conversion, 
and according to the course of it have lived. They further observe, that die 
dect are called vessels of mercy; which supposes them to liave been miserable, 
and so sinful, and to stand in need of mercy ; and must be so considered in tlicir 
election: but though through various means the elect arc brought to happiness, 
which are o>^ng to the mercy of God; such as the mission of Christ to save 
diem, the forgiveness of their sins, their regeneration and salvation ; and so fitly 
called vessels of mercy ; yet it follows not that they were considered as in need 
of mercy in their choice to happiness. It is also said, that men are chosen in 
Qirist as Mediator, Redeemer, and Saviour; which implies, that an offence is 
g^ven and taken, and reconciliation is to be made, and redemption from sin, and 
the curse of the law broken, and complete salvation to be effected by Christ; all 
which supposes men to be sinful, as it do'cs : but then men are chosen in Christ, 
not as the meritorious cause of elccclon, but as tlic means, or medium, of bring- 
ing them to the happiness they are chosen to. It is moreover, taken notice of, 
that the transitus in scripture, is not from election to creation, but to vocation, 
jusdfication, adoption, sanctification, and salvation. But, tor instance, can vo- 
cation be supposed without creation? It is thought that this way of consider- 
ing men as fallen, in the decree of election, is more mild and gentle than the 
ether, and best accounts for the justice of God ; that since all are in the comipt 
mass, it cannot be unjust in him to choose some out of it to undeserved happi- 
ness ; and to leave others in it, who perish justly in it for their sins ; or that 
since all are deserving of the wrath of God for sin, where is the injustice of ap- 
pointing some not unto the wrath they deserve, but unto salvation by Christ, 
vhen others are foie-ordaincd to just condemnation and wrath for their sin? 
But on the other hand, what reason also can there be to charge God widi in- 
justice, that inasmuch as all are considered in the pure mass of creatureship, 
that some should be chosen in it, and others be passed by in it; and both for 
his own glory? These are some of the principal arguments used on both sides ; 
the difference is not so great as may be thought at nrst sight; for bot^ agree in 
the main and material things in the doctrine of election ; as, — i. That it is per- 
sonal and particular, is of persons by name, whose names ar( written in the 


Larnb*s boolc of life. -— 2. That it is absolute and unconditional^ not depend- 
ing on the will of men, nor on any tiling to be done by the creature. -*— 3. That 
it is whcflly owing to the will and pleasure of God ; and not to the faith, ho-» 
liness, obedience, and good works of men ; nor to a foresight of all or any of 
these*. — 4. That borh elect, and non-clcct, are considered alike, and are upon 
an equal foot in the decree of predestination ; as those that arc for the corrupt 
mass they suppose that they were bodi considered in it equally alike, so that 
there was nothing in the one, that was not in the other, which was a reason 
why the one should be chose;] and the other left; so lliosc riiat arc for the pare 
mass, suppose both to be considered in the same, and as not yet born, and hav- 
hig done neither good nor evil. — 5. That it is an eternal act in God, atid not 
temporal; or which commenced not in lime, but fiom all eternity; for it is not 
the opinion of the Sublapsarians, that God passed the decree of election after 
men were actually created and fallen; only that they were considered in the di- 
vine mind, from all ctcmicy, in the decree of election, as if they were created 
and fallen ; wherefore, though they diftei in the consideration of the object of 
election, as thus and thus diversified, yet tliey agree in the thing, and agree to 
diifer, as tl\ey should, and not charge one another witli unsoundness and hete- 
rodoxy; for which there is no reason. Calvin was for the corrupt mass; Bc- 
za, who was co-pastor with him in the church at Geneva, and his successor, 
w;is foi the pure mass; and yet they lived in great peace, love and harmony. 
The Contni-iciTionstrants in Holland, when Arminianism first appeared among 
them, were not acijrced in this point ; some took one side of the question, and 
some the other; but they both united agninst the common adversary, the Ar- 
minians. Dr. Twiss, who was as great a Supralapsarian as perhaps ever was, 
and carried things as high as any man ever did, and as closely studied the point, 
and as well understood it, and perhaps better than any one did, and yet he con- 
fesses that it was only apex IofIcus, a point in logic; and that the difference on« 
ly lay in the ordering and ranging the decrees of God : and, for my own pan, 
1 think both m:iy be taken in; that in the decree of the end, the ultimate endt 
the glory of God, for which he does all things, men might be considered in the 
divine mind as crcable, not yet created and fallen ; and that in the decree of the 
means, which, among other things, takes in the mediation of Christ, redemption 
by him, and the sanctification of the spirit ; they might be considered as crea- 
ted, fallen, and sinful, which these things imply; nor does this suppose separate 
acts and decrees in God, or any priority and posteriority in them; which in God 
are but one and together; but our finite minds are obliged to consider them one 
after anotlier, not being able to take tliem in together and at once. 

IV. The date of election is next to be considered. And certain it is, that it 
was before men were bom ; TAc children not being yet born^^that the purpose of 
God according to election, might standi Rom. ix. II. nor can there be any diffi- 
culty in admitting this; for if there is none in admitting that a person may be 
chosen and appointed to an office before he isl^orn, as there can be none, since 


iod has asserted it of Jeremiah; Before I formtdtliH in the belly I knew thet^ 
nd before thou earnest out of the womb I sanctified thee^ or set ihce apart, and / 
'■dained thee a prophet unto the tiatiom^ Jcr. i. 5, then there can ht woxi^ ia 
Imitting that- a person so early may be chocen to grace and glor}\ And this 
Isp is before the new birth, or before calling ; for calling is the fruit and effect 
f elections the apostle says of the Thessalonians, God hath from the begimung 
hosenyou unto salvation^ 2 Thess. ii. 13, not from the beginning of the prcaclv 
ig of the gospel to them» or of the coming of tliat unto them ; for that may 
ome to« and be preached among a people, but not to their profit ; may be withr 
>ut success, yea, be the savour of death unto death, licb. iv. 2, 2 Cor. ii. i6» 
nd when the gospel first came to the Thessalonians, and was preached among 
lem, some believed, and others did not; yea the Bcrxans ai^ preferred umo 
lem, for their ready recq>tion of die word; indeed, to some at Thessalo- 
ica, it came not in word only, but in power, and in die Holy Ghost; and 
rhich was an evidence of their election, and by which they might know it. 
tut than this was only a manifestation of their election; that itself was pre- 
ibus to the gospel's coming to them, and its operation on tlicin ; it was dis- 
layed therein, and thereby; but it commenced before ; see Acts xvii. i-^li. 
Hiess. i, 4, 5, nor was the clioiee of them from the beginning of their con-* 
crsion, or when they were effectually called by the gospel ; for that, as has 
cen observed. Is the effect and evidence of election ; election is that according 
which vocation is, and therefore must be before it; IVhom he did predestinatef 
hem he also called^ Rom, viii, 30. see 2 Tim, i. 9, Nor is this phrase, from 
lie beginm'ng, to be understood of the beginning of time, or of the creation ; 
s in John viii. 44. i Jolm iii. 8. for though election began to operate and 
lisplay itself in the distinct seeds of the woman, and of the serpent, in Abel 
xA Cain, the immediate posterity of the first man, and die distinction has con- 
inued ever since; yet the thing itself which mal^ies this distinction, or is the 
jound pf it, was long before ; to wliicb may be added, diat tliis phrase is ex- 
ircsslvc of eternity; I was set up from everlastings from the beginnings or n>er 
he earth was^ Prov, viii- 23. that is, before the world began, even from all eter- 
lity; as its being inclosed by such phrases as express tlic same shews: and in 
bis sense is it to be taken in the text in the Thessalonians; and it is in so many 
vords affirmed by the apostle, that diis choice of men to holiness and happiness, 
vas made in Christ before the foundation of th worlds Eph. i. 4. and ekewJierc 
t is said, that the book of life of the Lamb, in which the namc$ of God*s 
lect are set down, and the names of others left out, was written as early, 
lev, xiii. 8. and xvii. 8» And that this apt of dection is an eternal act, or 
rom eternity, may be concluded, — 1. From the foreknowledge of God, which 
3 eternal; God from all eternity foreknew all persons and things; there is no.- 
^ng in time but what was known to him from ^(teruity. Acts xv» 18. Now 
aen are elected according to the fore-knowledge of God; and ^\ w^om he 
id foreknow he did prdestinate/' I Fet. i. 2. R.9Q2. viii. agp whcieCi^e a& 


the fore-knowledge of God is eternal the choice he makes upon it must be 
60 too; and especially as this forc-kno«'tedge is not a bare prescience of personi 
and things, but what has love and affection to the objects of it Joined unto 
it: wherefore, — 2. The eternity of election may be concluded from the 
love of God to his people; for it is to that it is owing; eleetio pntsupponit 
dikctioneniy election presupposes love ; hence the apostle sets the character of being 
beloved of the Lord first, to the Thcssalonians being chosen by him to salvation 
a Thcss. ii. 13. it is the immediate effect of love, and is inseparably connected 
with iti yea, is expressed by it ; Jaeoh have I loved^ Rom: ix. 13. Now die 
love of God is an everlasting love; not only endures to all eternity, but was 
from all eternity : God loved Christ, as he affirms, before the foundation of 
the world; and in the same place he says, his Father loved his people as he 
loved him, John xvii. 23, 24. — 3. Tt may be argued from the covenant of 
grace, which is an everlasting covenant, from everlasting to everlasting; in 
which the goings of Christ as Mediator were of old, and promises were 
made before the world began; and grants of grace were made, and bless- 
ings of grace provided as early ; and which covenant was made with the cho- 
sen of God; with Christ, the chosen Head, and with his people, as chosen in 
him ; so that if this covenant was from everlasting, and m^lde with chosen ones 
in Christ, their representative, then the choice of them in him must be as early, 
2 Sam. xxiii. 5. Tit i. 2. 2 Tim. i. 9. Psal. Ixxxix. 3. Mic. v. 2. and nothing 
is more clear than that he was set up as Mediator of this covenant from ever- 
lasting; and that this people were chosen in him, their covenant Head, before 
the foundation of the world, Prov. viii. 22, Eph. i. 4. — 5. This appears 
fiom the carlv preparation of grace and glory ; grace was given them in Christ 
before the world was, and they blessed so soon with spiritual blessings in him; 
as they are a people afore -prepared for glory, that is, in the purpose of God; so 
glory is the kingdom prepared for them from the foundation of the world; 
which is no other than a destination, or rather a predestination of that for them, 
and of them to that, 2 Tim. i. 9. Eph. i. 3, 4. Rom. ix. 23. Matt. xxv. 34- 
— 6. From the nature of the decrees of God in general, it must appear that 
tliis is etcnial ; for if God's decrees in general arc eternal, as has been proved 
from his fore-knowledge of whatever comes to pass; which is founded upon the 
certainty of his decrees, that so they shall he; and from his immutability, which 
could not be established if any new thoughts and resolutions arose In him, or 
new decrees in time weie made by him ; and therefore it may be reckoned a sure 
point, tliat such a special decree as this, respecting so important an affair as 
the salvation of all his people, as well as his own glory, must be eternal : and, 
indeed, the whole scheme of man's salvation by Christ, the fellowship of the 
mystery hid in him, in which there is such an amazing display of the wisdom 
of God, is according to the eternal purpose ^ which he purposed in Christ Jesus our 
Lordy Eph. lii. 9 — 11. and which is no other than his purpose according to 
c]cction, or respecting that. 

yckll. Of REJECTION. 281 

Knse of it, by using the one instead of the other* This doctrine of rejecting 
ae angeJs and some men from the divine favour, is spoken of but sparingly in 
pturc, yet clearly and plainly ; tliough chiefly left to be concluded from that 
Jection, and from whence it most naturally and rationally follows. 
'., The rejection of some of the angels, which consists of two parts: — i. A 
i-elcction, or pr^erition of them, a passing over them or passing by them, 
a others were chosen; and which may be concluded from the choice of 
:rs; for if some were elect, others must be non-elect; if some were chosen, 
tts wcie not; if some were taken, others must be passed by and left: that 
le of them are elect is certain, they are expressly called elect angelsy i Tim. 
!i. and consequently are distinguished from others who are not elected; or 
:rwise the title and character of elect must be insignificant and impertinent, 
h these were consideicd alike, upon an equal foot, when the one were elected^ 
the other not; they were viewed as not yet created and fallen, but as lying 
he pure mass of creatureship or creability; God saw in his power what 
itures of this kind he could produce into being, as he also saw in his will 
>m he would; and of those he could and would create, he determined to 
ose-some and leave others, and both for his own glory; for they could not 
X)nsidered as BiUcn creatures, or in tlie corrupt mass, since the elect angels 
er fell ; and the moment they were elected, the others were passed by or re- 
ed; and so must be under the same consideration; and consequently the 
don of the one, and the rejection of the other, must be wholly owing to the 
creign will of God; both these were brought into being as God determined 
IT should, and are equally his creatures, Psal. civ. 4. and were both made 
e and holy creatures, angels of light, bright morning-stars, shining in the 
ity and holiness of their nature; for such were Satan and his angels in their 
;inal creation ; the devil, our Lord says, abode not in the truthy John viii. 44. 
Idi implies that he had been in the truth, though he continued not in it; in 
allegiance and fidelity to God his creator; in his integrity, purit)- and holi-« 
s, as a creature of veracity ; but framing lies, he became the father of them. 
Iiat he was in, but abode not in, is the first estate, of integrity, innocence and 
tpiness, in which he was created, but kept it not> Judc 6. To some angels 
d decreed to give, and did give grace to confirm them in the state in which 
|r were created ; these are. the elect angels, who are said to be mighty, and 
:xccl in strength ; not only in natural, but in spiritual strengtli. To others 
lecreed not to give confinning grace, but to deny it to tliem; and which he 
I not obliged to give, it being what could not be challenged by the laws and 
s of creation, and was mere favour to those on whom it was bestowed ; 
:refore the others were Id't to the mutability of their will, which is that 
;kness and folly the angels were chargeable with in their creation-state, Job 
[8. hence of tlicir own free-\viil they sinned and fell, and left their habita« 
, 2 Pet. ii. 4. Judc 6. what their sin was by which they fell, will be con- 

>L* I. aQ 


^idercd in course, when we come to the fall of Adam, and of theirf ; this leads 
on to observe the other part of the decree rcs|)ccting them. — 2. llie appoint- 
ment of them to wrath and damnation; in this they were viewed as sinful, fal- 
len creatures ; this decree is meant by their being nserved in everlasting chaim 
under darkness^ unto the judgment of the great day^ Jwde 6. 2 Pet. ii. 4. for by 
chains are meant the purposes and decrees of God, by which they are bound and 
held fast, and from which the>' cannot lobse themselves ; and as the decrees of 
God are called mountains of brass ^ Zech. vi. i. so they may be .called chains of 
iron and brass for the same reasons, namely, tlicir firmness, immutability and 
duration; they are everlasting chains, and in these they are reserved under daHc« 
ness; meaning cither the state of darkness in which they are, being deprived of 
that light and knowledge they had ; and also being under horror and black de- 
spair, without the least gleam of the light of joy and comfort ; or that state of 
darkness to which they are appointed and reser\'cd, even that blackness of dark- 
ness to which the wandering stars, as these may be said to be, arc reserved, 
Jude 13. and moreover they are appointed and reserved to the judgment of the 
great day, to the great day of the last judgment; when they will be brought forth 
in chains before the judgment-seat of Christ, and will have their final sentence 
passed and executed on them which as yet seems not to have bec.i done, Matt. 
viii. 29. then will Christ sit on the throne of judgment, and saints will stand by* 
together with the good angels, as approvers of the righteous sentence: and there- 
fore saints are said to judge angels ^ as well as the world of the ungodly, i Cor. 
vi, 2, 3. that is, the evil angels, to which judgment they are appointed by the 
decree of God; and to endure eternal wrath and damnation; signified byrf^r- 
lastingfirey prepared^ in tlic decrees ainl purposes of God, for the devil and his 
angels y Matt. xxv. 41. 

II. The decree concerning the rejection of some of the sons of men. It may 
be observed, that we can hear and read of tlie non -election and rejection of 
angels, and of their pre-ordination to condemnation and wrath, with very little 
emotion of the mind: the devils may be cast down to hell, to t)e everlastingly 
damned, and be appointed thereunto, and it gives no great concern ; no banl 
thoughts against God arise, no charge of cruelly, want of kindness to his crea- 
tures and offspring, and of injustice to theni; but if any thing of this kind is 
hinted at, wirh respect to any of the apostate sons of Adam, presently there is 
an outcty against it; and all the above things are suggested. What is the rea- 
son of this difference? It can be only this, that the latter comes nearer home, 
and more nearly affects us; it is partiality to ourselves, our nature and race, to 
which this is owing; otlierwisc far greater severity, if it may be so called, is 
exercised on fallen i^ngcls, than on fallen men; for God has not spared one ot 
the angels that sinned, provided no saviour for them, nor so much as given them 
the means of grace ; but consigned them all over at once to everlasting wrath 
and ruin: whereas, not only a Saviour is provided for fallen men, and means ot 


gracf SLilowxii cbenij but thousandsi and texi thousands, millions aud millions ot 


theni are nved, by the abundant mercy and grace of God, througli Christ. But 
to go on^ 

I. I ihall prove that there is a non-election, or rejection of some of the sons 
of men, when others were chosen; and, indeed, from the election of some, inay^ 
fairly be inferred, the non-election of others. Common sense tells us, that of 
persons or things, if somie are chosen, others must be left: if there is a remnant 
of the sons of men, according to the election of grace, then there are others not 
indiided in it, which are left unchoseh, and are called the rest. The election, 
diat is, elect men, hath obtained it, righteousness and eternal life; and die rest 
were Minded, Rom. xi. 5, 7. Our Lord says, I speak not of you all; I know 
whom lAave chosen^ John xiii. 18. plainly intimating, that all were not chosen, 
ind it is certain one was not, and whom he calls the son of perdition ; one, not 
cnly deserving of it, but appointed to it; for though chosen to an o£Bce, as an 
spostk, yet not to grace and glory, Jolm xvii. 12. and how many such there be, 
00 roan can pretend to say but ; it is evident there are some, and who are gene- 
rdly described by negative characters ; as not known by God and Christ; the elect 
sre God's people, whom he knows ; they are elect, accoxding to his foie-know- 
le^; which carries in it love and affection to them ; but of others Christ says, 
Inever knew you; he knew them by his omniscience, but not with such know- 
ledge as he knows the elect of God ; he never knew them as the objects of his 

Father's love, and his own ; he never knew them as the objects of his Father's 
choice, and his own ; he never knew them in the gift of bis Father to him. 
Matt. vii. 23. hence they are represented as not loved, which is meant by being 
liated: Esau have I hated ; that is, had not loved him, as be had Jacob; for it 
cannot be understood of positive hatred, for God hates none of his creatures, as 
such, only as workers of iniquity ; but of negative hatred, or of not loving him ; 
which, in compaiison ot the love he bore to Jacob, might be called hatred: in 
^ich sense the word is used in Luke xiv. 26. Moreover, tliey are spoken of 
as not being given to Christ; for if there are some that are given to hiui out of 
the world, then there must be a world which arc not given, and for whom he 
has not so much concern as even to |)ray for them, Jolui xvii. 6, 9. they are fre- 
quently described, as not having their names written, and not to be found writ* 
ten in the Lamb's book of life, Rev. xiii. 8. and xvii. 8. and xx. 15. Now as 
Section is signified by the writing of names in the book of life, non-clcction is 
expressed by not writing the names of some diere ; and if those whose names 
irc written there, are the elect, then those whose names are not written there, 
nit are left out, must be nbn-elect: to which may be added, that our Lord says 
li these persons. Ye are not of my sheep^ and gives this as a reason why they be- 
lelieve not in him, John x. 19. But the goats he will place on his left hand, 
»ass sentence of condemnation on them, and send them into everlasting punish- 
ncnc. Matt. xxv. 33 — 46. 

Moreover, from the effects of election not having place in some persons, it 
pay Jbe coiicluded, that there are such who are non-elect. '\''ocation is a cer- 


tain fruit and tfktit of election ; ff7iom he did predestinate^ them he als9 called^ 
Rom. viii. 30. not only externally, but internally, with an holy and heavenly 
calling, to grace here, and glory hereafter. But arc all caflcd in this -manner? 
No; there are some vAto have not so much as the outward call by the minis- 
ny of tlic worf, have not the external means of grace; but as they sin without 
law, perish without it, Rom. x. 14. and ii. 12. Those who arc chosen, are 
predestinated to be conformed to the image of Christ; they are chosen to holi- 
ness, and through sanctification of the Spirit. But are all made like to Christ, 
and confirmed 10 his image? do not many bear the image of Satan, imitate 
him, and do his lusts? are all men made holy, or have they the sanctificacion 
of the Spirit? Whom God predestinates he justifies, by the righteousness of 
his Son. But are all men justiified? No; for thou^ he justifies some of all 
sorts and nations ; as the circumcised Jews by faith, and the uncircumcised Gen« 
tiles through faith, yet not every individual; yea, there is a world that will be 
condemned, and consequently not predes' life, i Cor. xi. 32. They 
that are chosen, are predestinated to the adoption of children, and enjoy both 
the grace and inheritance of children. But are all diildren and heirs? is there 
not such a distinction among men, as children of God, and children of the ie^ 
vil; between whom there is, and will be, an eternal i John iiL 10. 
and therefore there must be an election, and a non*elecrion among them. 
Moreover, whom God has predestinated, or chosen to life and happiness, thesfe 
he glorifies, Rom. viii. 30. they obtain the glorv of Christ, which his Fadier 
has given him for them, and to which they arc chasen and called, John xvii. 
22. 2 Thess. ii. 13, 14. But are all glorified? do not some go into perdition, 
e% en into everlasting punishment ? and clierefore must be considered as non-elect, 
Rev. xvii. 8. Matr. xxv. 46. l*o all which may be added, that those that art 
given to Christ, which is but another phrase for being chosen in him; these, 
he says, shall come to him, and he will in no wise cast them out ; yea, diat 
they arc his sheep, whom he must bring to his Father, to hitnsclf, to his foU, 
to grace and glory, John vi. 37. and x. 16. But arc there not some whom 
Clirist will drive away from him, and to them say. Depart from m/, ye curudy 
into everlasting fire^ Matt. vii. 23. and xxv. 41 ? All this put together roost 
clearly and fully proves, that there are some who are not chosen of God, but 
rejected by him. 

II. The parts of this decree, concerning the rejection of men; these are com- 
monly said to be pretention and prc-danmation. 

1. Preterition is God's passing by some men, when he chose others: and in 
this act, or part of tlie decree, men are considered as in the pure mass of crca- 
tureship, or creability ; in which state they are found, when passed by or r^ 
jectcd, and in which they arc left, even just as they arc found, nodiing put in- 
to the.Ti; but were left in the pure mass, as they lay, and so no injury done 
them; nor is God to be charged wirti any injustice towards them : in this act 
sin comes not into consideration, as it docs in a following one; for in this nUA 


wn-toaaiiisrcd at n6C aeaccd; and so not faUeb; buc as unborn* and having 
doiieL neither good nor evil, Rom. ix. 1 1. And this is a pure act of sovereign- 
ty in God, and to his sovereign will ic is to be ascribed; viho has the same so- 
vereign poorer, and greater, than the pottei has over his clay, to make one 
vessel to honour, and another to dishorioui. Rum. ix. 19 — 22. This being 
expressed^ aes before observed, by negative phrases, is, by some, called ne- 
gative reprobation. 

2* Pre-damnation' is God^s appointment, or pre-ordination of men to con- 
deoutftioa far sin; and is what is spoken of in Jude 4. Tlkert are ceriain^mai 
enptm amawares^ nvhs were before af M 9r Joined to this cotulemHatioH; and 
who ait described by the following characters, ungodly men^ turning tie grace of 
God into lac'tviwtnesi^ and denying the only Lord God^ and^ or even our Lord 
JisuM Christ I virhich, when observed, is sufficient to clear this decree of God 
from the chaige of cruelty and injustice : and this, by some, is called, posi- 
tive reprobation. The word KpiAia, translated condemnation, in the above-quo* 
ted text, some render jui^ment, and interpret it of judicial blindness and hard- 
ness of heart; which appeared in the persons embracing and spreading false 
akid pernicious doctrines spoken of; and this is, indeed, what they are fore- 
vdaiiasd, or appointed to, as a punishment of former sins ; for this hardness, 
be. presupposes former siiis^ and an- obstinate continued course in them; 
ckfaer against the light and law of nature, which they like not to walk accord- 
i^ to, and therefore God gives them up, pursuant to his decree, to a repro- 
bate mind, to do things not convenient, Rom. i. 24, 28. or against divine re- 
velation, precepts, counsels, and admonitions, like Israel of old, hearkening 
not to the voice of the Lord, in his word, nor paying any regard to his instruc- 
tions; and therefore he gives them up, as he determined to do, to their own 
heait's lusts, and to walk in their own counsels, Psal. Ixxxi. 11, 12. and this 
il the sense of the word in John ix. 39. God hardens some men's hearts, as 
be did Pharaoh's, and he wills to harden them, or he hardens them according to 
hit decreeii^ will ; Whom he will he hardeneth, Rom. ix. 1 8. this he does not by 
any positive act, by infusing hardness and blindness into the hearts of men ; 
^hieb is contrary to his purity and holiness, and would niake him the author 
of sih: but by leaving men to tiieir natural blindness and hardness of heart; for 
the understanding is naturally darkened; and there is a natural blindness, hard- 
nesi, and callousness of heart, through the corruption of nature, and which is 
increased by habits of sinning; men are in darkness, and choose to walk in 
it; and therefore God, as he decreed, gives them up to dieir own wills and de- 
tines, and to Satan, the god of the worid, they chootib to follow, and to be led 
captive by, who blinds their minds yet more and more, lest light should break 
in unto them, Eph. iv. 18. Psal. bcxxii. 5. 2 Cor. iv. 4. and also God may be 
'Aid to harden atid blind, by denying them that grace which can only cute them 
of their hardness and blindness, and which he, of his free favour, gives to his 
dioaen ones, Ezek. xxxvi. 36, 27, but is not obliged to {^ve kto aa.\\ -^xA 


Dccnuse he giVes it not, he is said to hide, as he determined to hide, the things 
of his grace from the wise and prudent, even because it so seemed good in his 
sight. Matt. xi. 25, 26. Hence this blindness, hardness, insensibility, and 
stupidity, are represented as following upon non-election; not as the immediate 
eflcct of it, but as consequencss of it ; and such as neither judgments nor 
mercies can remove; and bring persons to a right sense of sin, and repentance 
for it, Rom. xi. 7 — 10. The sm and fall of Adam having brought him into a 
state of mfidelicy, in which God has concluded him: and he does not think fit 
to give to e\'ery man that grace which can only cure him of his unbelief, and 
without which, and unless almighty power and gtace go along widi the 
means they have, they cannot believe; whereby the decrees, predictions, 
and declarations of God are fulfilled in diem, John xii. 37-^40. yea, as Christ 
is said to be set, or appointed, far tki fall of many in Israel^ Luke ii. 34* 
so many are appointed to stumble at the Word, at him, the Stone of stumblingt 
and Rock of ofience, being children of disobedience, and left as such; when, 
to those who are a chosen generation, he is a precious Comer*Stone, and they 
believe in him, and are saved by him, i Pet. ii. 7-— 6. hence we read of some, 
who, because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be- saved, 
to them are sent by God strong delusions, and they are given up to be- 
Gcve a lie, that they might be damned; not that God infuses any delusion or 
deceit into them, but becaube of their disbelief of, and disrespect to him and his 
Word, he suffers their corruptions to break forth and prevail, not giving re- 
straining gricc to them ; so that they become a prey to diem that lie in wait to 
deceive; and being easy and credulous, they believe lies spoken in hypocrisy; 
which issue in tlicir damnation ; whilst others, beloved of the Lord, and chosen 
from the beginning to salvation, obtain the glory of Christ, 2 Thcss. ii. 10^-14. 
But tliough all this is a most cejtaln truth, and is contained in the decree we arc 
speaking of, yet condemnation, or everlasting punishment, seems to be meant in 
die passage quoted; or however, this is what some men are foreordained unto. 
Some will have it, that this refers co something fore written, as they choose 
to render the word ; to some prophecy coixceming tlie condemnation of those 
persons, and particularly to that of Enoch, verse 14, 15. but it is not certain 
tiiat that prophecy was ever written; besides, a prophecy, or prediction, of any 
thing future, is founded upon an antecedent predctei mi nation and appointment. 
God foretels by his prophets what will be, because he has determined it shall 
be ; if, therefore, the condemnation of those persons was foretold in any writ- 
ten prophecy, it was because God had decreed it should come upon tlicm, or 
they be brought into it. It seems to have the same sense with God's appointing 
men unto wrath; which though not in so many words expressed, is manifestly 
nnplied ; as when the apostle says, God hath not appointed us to wraths who yet 
were children of wrath, and deserving of it as others; but to obtain salvation kf 
ew Lord Jesus Christ: It suggests, that though he had not appointed chcm, yet 
he had appointed others to wrath, and who ^re therefore called, visscls ffwratit 


fait J for Jistructio% by their own sins and transgressions^ I'Thcss. v; '911 
Kom. ix* 22. With which agrees what is said of some wicked men, who are 
reserved, in the purposes and decrees of God, to the day of destruction ; in con- 
sequence of which, they shall be brought to the day of wraths which God has af^r 
poinfied for the execution of his wrath ; and hence the casting of the fury of his 
wradi, in all the dreadful instances of it, is called, the portion of a wicked mi:n frfm 
GbJ^ and the heritage appointed unto him of God y Jobxxi. 30. andxx. 23—29* 
and this is the sense of Prov. xvi. 4. for the meaning of the text is not, nor is 
it our sense of it, as some misiepresent it, as if God made man to damn him; 
we say no such thing, nor does the text; our sentiment is, that God made man 
neither to damn nor save him ; but he made him for his own glory, and he will 
be glorified in him, in one way or another: nor that he made man wicked, in 
Older to damn him; for God made man upright; men made themselves wicked, 
by their own inventions; which are tlie cause of damnation: but die true s