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quemadmodum ex superioribus constat. Ideoque decretum, non synonymws, seu eadem prorsus ratione, qua Deus; sed analogus, æternum appellatur. Ac propterea ex eo, decreti deitas, non firmatur; sed evertitur.

XXXII. Neque tamen, essentiæ divinæ simplicitatem (qualem Sacræ literæ ei attribuunt) ideo violari, si non omne quod in Deo est, sit Deus, ex actionibus personalibus (generatione Filii à solo Patre, et spiratione Spiritus sancti, ab utroque) evincitur.

XXXIII. Eas enim, sic in Deo esse, ut tamen, illæsa illius simplicitate, non sint Deus, sole clarius apparet. Essentia enim Dei, absolute ac simpliciter, communis est tribus personis : contra verò actio personalis, ut generatio filii, non est absolutè et simpliciter communis tribus personis; sed propria certæ : Ergo actio personalis, non est essentia Dei. Deinde, Deus synonymus prædicatur, de singulis personis divinis: actio personalis Dei, non prædicatur synonymas de singulis personis divinis: Ergo ca non est Deus.

XXXIV. Ideoque mirandum non est, si liberrima voluntatis Dei, in rebus futuris, pro arbitrio, determinandis, actio, in Deo sit, nec tamen sit Deus. Idque sanè non ignorasse, Clar. Ursinum, apparet ex Catechesis explicatione, ad quæst. 58, de vita æterna quæst. 1, etsi minus accuratè exponere videatur.-GOMAR. TOM. 3, DISPUT. 9, THES. 28, ET SEQQ.

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In the mean time, if there be in any one word of this address, more asperity, than I ought to use, or yourself can well digest, I desire you to pardon it, for God's honour's sake, which I am zealous to vindicate from that foul impeachment, which something more than a mere jealousy prompts me to believe your opinion guilty of. Nevertheless, (to conclude with the words of the great Apostle,) whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing. Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." *-I have two things which I must yet beg of you upon the score of our old friendship, viz. the continuance of your affection and your prayers; which, I will assure you, how freely soever you lay them out, shall not be cast away upon,

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DR. ABSOLUTE.-THE great prudence and piety of the governors of this Commonwealth, (considering how apt the people are to be influenced by the principles and examples of their constant teachers,) have been pleased, (out of an ardent zeal to God's glory, and a tender care of men's precious souls,) to think upon a course how their dominions may be made happy in the settlement of an able and godly Ministry amongst them; for which purpose they have appointed Commissioners to examine the gifts of all such as shall be employed in the office of public preaching. And seeing you have addressed yourself to us for our approbation in order to your establishment in that office, we hope you understand the nature and weight thereof.

You are to be a pastor, not of beasts, but of reasonable creatures, framed after God's own image, and purchased with his blood. Having undertaken this charge, it is incumbent upon you to watch for those souls under your inspection, as one that must give an account; and what shall perish through your default, will be required at your hands. And that we may not be found betrayers of the great trust reposed in us, we must receive some satisfaction, how you stand qualified for the carrying on so great a work as you pretend to be now called unto.

And because it is to be suspected that he who hath been so regardless of his own soul, that he is not sensible of the work of grace in himself, will not be very zealous in his endeavours to procure it to be wrought in others; therefore let us be informed, in the first place, what assurance you have that you are in the state of grace.

TILENUS.-Sir, I trust, you shall find, that I am no Repro

bate.

DR. CONFIDENCE.-Methinks you speak very doubtfully?

TIL.-Sir, I humbly conceive, it becomes me not to be too confident, when the modesty of the great Apostle was content (upon occasion) with the very same expression which I used. (2 Cor. xiii, 6.)

EFFICAX.-But can you remember the time and place, when and where, that work of grace was wrought in you? By what means, and upon what occasion?

TIL.-I suppose they are violent and sudden changes only, (from one extreme to another,) that fall under such a punctual observation.-Had I, with Mary Magdalene, been so notoriously lewd as to make the city ring of my crimes :-Or had I travelled with a design of blood, as Paul did, and procured a commission to execute it upon the Church of Christ, my conversion, it sincere, in that case must needs have been very remarkable :Or had I committed adultery, and then tempted the injured party with so much artifice to cloak it, and because I could not with all the wicked charms of intemperance prevail to induce him to it, [had I deliberately contrived and commanded his murder: Or had I (though upon a surprise,) so passionately denied and foresworn my Lord and Master, (as you very well remember who did,)—the solemnity requisite to attend repentance for such offences, would have made as deep an impression in my memory, as the frequent inundation of tears did in those

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transgressors' cheeks, and there would have been no need of red letters in my calendar to render such a time observable with me. But, blessed be God!, by whose providence it was, that, being dedicated to the service of Christ in mine infancy, the piety of my parents took an early care that I should not be alienated from him through the allurements of the world, for want of a religious education; and from a child having been acquainted (as Timothy was) with the holy Scriptures, "which are able to make us wise unto salvation, through faith which is in Christ Jesus; herein I have exercised myself, through the assistance of his grace, to have always a conscience void of offence towards God and towards men."

NARROWGRACE.-You speak as if regeneration came by nature and education.

TIL.-No, Sir; to say "regeneration comes by nature,” were a contradiction.

TAKE-O'-TRUST.-Do you not remember what the Apostle saith?, "We have all sinned and come short of the glory of God." (Rom. iii, 23.) And, "We are dead in trespasses and sins, and are by nature children of wrath." (Ephes. ii, 1, 2.) Can there be so great a change wrought in a man, as is a change from death to life, and he have no apprehension or feeling when such a change is wrought in him?

TIL.-When I reflect upon the exuberance of the Divine grace under the gospel, I persuade myself, there is some difference betwixt Christians, born of faithful and godly parents, and from their childhood educated and instructed in the ways of faith and piety ;-I say we must make a difference betwixt these, and those Jews and Gentiles of whom the Apostle speaks, before they were made Christians. I know you will not allow Heathens to stand in competition with the servants of Jesus, devoted to him from their very infancy: neither is the law and discipline of Moses an equal standard to measure the dispensations of the grace of Jesus Christ by; and yet, if you consider Zachary and Elizabeth, (who were trained up under the pedagogy of Moses,) and date their practice of piety from their youth, (as you ought to do,-for why should we make an exception where God makes none?,) you will find, that "being righteous before God, and walking in all the commandments. and ordinances of the Lord blameless," (Luke i, 6,) they were

* 1 Kings xviii, 12.

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not capable of answering your question, When and where and how the work of grace was wrought in them. Now, if the ministration of Moses (which was, in comparison, a ministration of death,") "was thus glorious," how shall not "the ministration of Christ," which is the ministration of the Spirit, “be rather glorious?" (2 Cor. iii.) Under the gospel that covenant is fully accomplished, wherein God bound himself to Abraham by the sacred tie of an oath, to grant us a power "to serve him in holiness, and righteousness, all the days of our life." (Luke i, 74.) And the conveyances of this powerful grace being all put so freely into our hands, (this word and sacraments,) it is required of us as a duty, "to have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear :" (Heb. xii, 28.) And doubtless it is only our own inexcusable fault if we have not; for indeed (be it spoken with holy reverence!) the administration of our sacred baptism were no better than a piece of solemn pageantry, if grace were not conferred upon us in receiving that sacrament; for therein are begged, on our behalf, the blessings of Christ,-grace and pardon, with the renewing and assistance of the Holy Spirit. The church by prayer seeks for these, on our behalf, by virtue of that covenant wherein God hath promised and engaged himself to bestow them; "which promise he for his part will most assuredly keep and perform." Then upon this, we engage our vow, "to forsake the devil and all his works, and to keep God's holy will and commandments." Can we think, either that God, in goodness or justice, would require such an engagement at our hands, (under peril of a greater condemnation,) or that the church of God in prudence could oblige us to undertake it, without good assurance of sufficient assistance and power from his Gracious Spirit to enable us to perform it according to the tenor of the gospel?

FRYBABE. It seems you are for universal grace, and you hold, that all the children of the faithful, (dying in their infancy, and before they have the use of reason,) are saved by virtue of that covenant* (made with us in the blood of Christ,) into which they are consigned at their baptism; as if all such were invested with some privilege to exempt them from the absolute decree of reprobation!

* Isa. xlix, 8.-Heb. xiii, 20.

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