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sense.

art evidently confuted by it, as you may see in the notes there; nor was any such inference from those words owned by any of the fathers till St. Austin's time, as you may learn from the commentaries of Origen, St. Chrysostom, and Theodoret upon the place.

As for their other patrons, St. Austin, Prosper, and Fulgentius, it must be granted they were good Latin schoolars, but yet they wanted skill both in the Hebrew and the Greek tongues; and so it was not be expected that we should learn the true sense of the scripture from them.

Some there be who tell us that these decrees and dispensations of God in reference to men's eternal state are mysteries; and truly as they are managed and asserted by them, I fear they may be so in the worst

And if they understand the word as it seemeth to be still used by St. Paul, for a doctrine not yet revealed, (see the note on 1 Cor. ii. 7.) they grant that which I chiefly have endeavoured in these discourses to make good, viz. that their doctrine is not taught in holy scripture.

Others perhaps may say that some things here asserted are Pelagianism, and others, Semipelagianism, it being usual for men hard pressed to fall to railing; but the first chapter of the third discourse will be sufficient to convince them they cannot justly fasten either of these names upon me, though Semipelagianism never was condemned by the church of God, and they who in St. Austin's time maintained it, were by him owned as good catholics and christian brethren, as you may see in Vossius. (Hist. Pelag. 1.6. Th. 18. p. 621.)

IV. Lastly. If any man say I contradict the doctrine of the church of England touching these points, he will condemn almost the whole body of that church, it being certain that, after the restoration, almost all the bishops, and the great body of the clergy, who were eminent for learning, were of my opinion concerning these Five Points, and still, I believe, are so. He therefore, out of reverence both to the living and the dead, ought rather to affirm only, that I expound some of her articles otherwise than he would do, or thinks they ought to be expounded. It has been usually said that the church of England contrived her articles in such a latitude as to leave place for men of contrary judgments to subscribe them; and if it be considered that in her catechism she declares, that she learns, from her creed, “to believe in God the Son, who hath redeemed me and all mankind;" that, in her prayer at the consecration of the sacra.

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ment, she declares, that “ Jesus Christ by his own oblation of himself upon the cross, hath made a full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice, oblation, and satisfaction for the sins of the whole world :" And, in her third collect on Good-Friday, she prays, that “all Jews, Turks, infidels, and heretics may be saved among the number of true Israelites;" and that the other doctrines here pleaded for, do follow from that of universal redemption, as hath been shewed in the close of that discourse; there will be sufficient reason to be of this opinion.-But of this, more in the bishop of Sarum's excellent discourse upon that article, p. 168, 169. In fine, the church of England by P canon doth enjoin all preach

• especially to take care that they never teach any thing to their people, as religiously to be believed and held, which is not agreeable to the doctrine of the Old and New Testament, and that which the catholic fathers and the ancient bishops gathered from that very doctrine." That this rule hath been carefully observed by us, and is as constantly transgressed by them who do maintain the contrary doctrines to be articles of christian faith, I hope hath fully been demonstrated in these papers, which are submitted to the judgment of the learned reader,

ers,

BY HIS FRIEND,

AND SERVANT IN THE GOSPEL,

D. W.

pImprimis vero videbunt nequid unquam doceant pro concione quod a populo religiose teneri et credi velint, nisi quod consentaneum sit doctrinæ Veteris aut Novi Testamenti, quodque ex illa ipsa dostring Catholici Patres et veteres Episcopi collegerint. (Sparrow's Collection, page 238.)

CONTENTS.

PREFACE.

THIS Preface shews, I. How the Author, who had his
education under men of the Calvinistical persuasion, came to doubt
of, and afterwards to reject, those doctrines. II. The affinity they
bear to many doctrines of the heretics condemned by the church of
God from the same principles and arguments here used against them,
viz. the heresies of the Valentinians, the Marcionites, Basilidians,
the Cerdonians, the Manichees, and the Priscillians; and the lit-
tle difference there is betwixt their sentiments. III. That these
opinions were derived, not from the scriptures, or from the doctrine
of antiquity, which is plainly contrary to them in every point, but
from St. Austin and the schools. IV. That they may be rejected
without any contradiction to the doctrine of the church of England,

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I. What absolute election doth import; and that the election

mentioned in scripture (1.) is not of particular persons, but of

whole churches and nations. (2.) That it imports rather an elec-

tion to enjoy the means of grace tendered in the gospel, than to a

certainty of salvation by those means. (3.) That it is a condi-

tional election to be made sure by good works. II. This is pro-

ved (1.) from the import of the word throughout the whole Old

Testament. III. (2.) From the places wehere the word is used in

the New Testament. IV. The import of the words wpórvalois, apó-

Denis, asgowgiouàs, and that they do not prove an absolute election.

V. An answer to all the other places produced to prove it, as (v.

g. 1.)All that the Father giveth me shall come to me.John vi.

37. 39. VI. (2.)“ As many as were ordained to eternal life be-

lieved.Acts xiii. 48. VII.(3.) That all that love God are

called according to his purpose, justified and glorified.Rom. viii.

28, 29, 30. VIII.(4.) That God knoweth who are his."

2 Tim. ij. 19.

CHAP. IV.

The doctrine of absolute election confuted, I. From God's
will, that all to whom the gospel is revealed should repent and be-
lieve to the salvation of the soul, and yield sincere obedience to the
will of God. II. The answer to this argument is confuted, (2.)
From the falsehood of the foundation of it, viz. the imputation of
the sin of Adam by God's arbitrary will to his posterity. III. This
imputation is not proved from those words, In whom all have

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