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Reply. If you call this an opposition to the sequel of my major, either your brains or mine do want Hellebore. Doth he not lay the very fame thing J do, That there must be a restipulation in a proper covenant I And, as for the word Au&mi which, he faith, signifieth a covenant improperly, but properly is a testamentary disposition, I fully concur with him therein; but 1 hope a testamentary disposition may-have a condition in it; to be sure such a one as I assert faith here to be, which it the free gift of God: and in this sense I shewed you before, where the Dotlor yields faith to be the condition of the new covenant.
Argwn. 4. My fourth argument was this, If all the promise* of the new covenant be absolute and unconditional, and hare no respect nor relation to any grace wrought in us, or doty done by us; then the trial of our interest in Christ by marks and signs of grace, is not our duty, nor can we take comfort in fanctisication, as it is an evidence of our justification, isc.
Your answer, p. 120. is, That 'at this rate I may prove 'quidlibet a quolibet: for it doth not follow, that, because the
* new covenant is absolute, therefore it hath no respect, nor re
'lation, to any grace wrought in us, nor duty done by us, or ,
* that we may not justly take comfort in sanctisication, as an f
* vidence of our justification.'
Reply. If I had a miod to learn the art of proving quidlibet a quodlibet, and make myself ridiculous to others, by such foolish attempts, I know no book in the world fitter to instruct me therein than yours. Certainly you have the knack of it, and gave us an instance of it but now, in confuting the sequel of fflf major, by an allegation out of Dr. Owen, which expresty confirms and establishes it. But to the point; I would willingly know how it is possible for sanctisication to be a true and certain mark and sign of justification, when (according to the Antinomian principle, which you here too much comprobate and espouse) a man may be justified before he believe, yea, before he is a man, even from the time of Christ's death, and (as others of them speak) from eternity. A true mark and sign must be proper to, and inseparable from that which it signifies. Now, if that be true which you said before, That after Christ's fulsilling of tk law in his own person, &c. nothing can remain, but to declare this to men to incline them to believe and accept it, and to prt' scribe in what way they shall come to inherit eternal life. If this be all that can remain to us, then nothing but the declarations, and prescriptions of the gospel, which are things without us; can remain to be marks and signs of justification to us: and Consequently all those to whom those declarations and prescriptions are made and given, hare therein the marks and evidences of their justification. But I am truly weary of such stuff) I am sure the apostle places vocation before justsication. Rom. viii. 30. " Whom he called, them he justified." And without an immediate testimony from heaven, 1 know not how to evidence and prove my justification, but from, and by my faith, and other parts of sanctification; whereby I apprehend and applied the righteousness of Christ: if you can prove it from the declarations, and prescriptions of the gospel, I cannot.
Argum. 5. My fifth and last argument, ran thus: if the covenant of grace be altogether absolute, and unconditional, requiring nothing to be done on our part, to entitle us to its benefits; then it cannot be man's duty, in entering covenant with God, to deliberate the terms, count the cost, or give his consent by word or writing, to the terms of this covenant: for where there are no terms at all (as in absolute promises there are none) there can be none to deliberate. But I shewed you, this is man's duty, from clear and undeniable scriptures, ire.
You fay, by way of answer hereunto, that . r
* You must tell me, that the scriptures do make a ''
'plain distinction betwixt the new and everlasting • .*
* covenant, which God hath been pleased to make with sinners in 'Jesus Christ; and the return of that sincere and dutiful obe'dience which he requires of us, by way of answer thereunto.
* (2.) You fay, there are many things, which though promised 'in the- covenant, and wrought in us by the grace of God; 'are yet duties indilpenfably required of us in order to the par'ticipation of the full end of the covenant in glory: and in re'spect hereof, we are indeed to deliberate the terras, count 'the cost, and give up ourselves solemnly to him, with sincere ■ resolutions, ibc. But, then you thought I had understood 'there had been a vast difference betwixt God's covenant with 'us, and our covenant with God, citing Ezek. xvi. 50, 60, 61.
* where God proroiseth to " give them their sisters for daugh'ters, but not by their covenant." And with this you com'pare Pfal. lxxxix. f My covenant will I not break;" where
* (you fay) we find a plain distinction betwixt God's covenant 'with them, and their duty to God. And lastly, you fay, p.
* 105. that the want of a due observation of this plain scripture
* distinction, betwixt God's free and absolute covenant made 'with sinners in Christ, and our covenants with God by way of 'return thereunto, is the true reason of all our mistakes about
* true nature of the gospel covenant, whilst we jumble and * confound together that which the scriptures do so plainly dis
Reply. To your first answer, I fay; it is true, the scriptures do distinguish betwixt covenant and covenant; that of works, and that of grace. It also distinguishes the fame covenant of grace for substance, according to its various administrations into the old and new covenant. It also distinguishes betwixt the promissory part of the fame covenant of grace, and there/iipulitory part; not a; of two opposite covenants, (as you distinguish them, Gen. xvii ) but as the just and necessary parts of one and the fame covenant. It also distinguishes betwixt vows made by men to God in some particular cales, and the covenant of grace l>etwixt God and them. But what's all this to your purpo'e I Or in what point doth it touch my argument? You desire me to cast mine eye upon Ezek. xvi. and P.al. Ixxxix. I have done so, and that impartially; and do assure you, I admire why you produce them againll my argument. That in Ezek. speaks of the enlargement of the church by the accession of the Gentiles to it; and the fense of those words seems to me to be this,; That this enlargement of the church is a gracious addition, or something beyond what God had ever done in his former dispenfations of the covenant to that people. And for Pfal. Ixxxix. I know noc what you mean to produce it for. nnlefe it be to prove, what I never denied, That notwithstanding ot»r failures in duty towards God, God will still keep his covenant with us; though he will visit the iniquities of his covenantpeople with arod. •
To your second answer, That we are to deliberate the terms and count the coif, with respect to those duties, which are m order to the participation of the fuil ead of the covenant ki glory: by which I iupppse you mean self-denial, perseverance, <bc. I have no controversy with you about that. Our question is, Whether there be no deliberations required of, or to ~be performed by men who are not yet in Christ by justifying faith, but under some preparatory works towards faith? And whether at the very time of their closing with Christ, there be not a consent of the will unto those terms required of them I If you fay there be (as by the places I alledged it evidently appears there are) then you yield the point I contend for. If you fay they are not before, or at the time of believing, to consider any terms, or give their consent to them by word or writing; such an answer would fly in the very face of those scriptures I produced: for then a man may be in covenant without his own coniint; he that deliberates not,
• -.; ... .... A'a consents not; non consentit, qui nonjentit. And therefore you durst not speak it out (for which modesty I commend you) and fc leave me with half an answer, not touching that part, viz. Antecedent deliberations, which were concerned in this argument. And now let your molt partial friends judge, whether from this performance of yours, you have any just ground for that vain boast which concludes your answer, viz. 'That the * covenants themielves, which thole privileges are bottomed on; 'are now repealed, and that there is no room left for any o'ther argument to infer the baptism of infants:' at least, I shall willingly commit it to the judgment of all intelligent and impartial readers, Whether Mr. Cary hath any real ground in this performance of his, for such a thrasonical eonclulion, such a vain and fulsome boast?
I find that with like confidence he hath also attempted a reply to Mr. Joseph Whiston, a reverend, learned, and aged divine, who hath accurately, and successfully defended God's covenant with Abraham, against Mr. Cox, and doubt not, if Mr. Cary, and his party, have but confidence enough to expose it to the public view, and to adventure the cause of infant-baptism upon it, the world would quickly see an end of this long-continued and unhappy controversy, which hath vexed the church of God, and alienated the affections of good men; and that the wildora of providence hath permitted and overruled this last attempt, to the singular advantage of the truths of God, and tranquility of good men, whole concernment (at this time especially) is rather to strengthen their faith, and heighten their encouragements from God's gracious covenant, than to undermine it, when all things beside it are shaking and tottering round about them.
, And now, Sir, for a coronis to all those things that have been controverted betwixt us about the covenants of God, and the right of believers infants to baptism, resulting from one of them, which I have asserted, and argued, against you in my first answer, and you have silently and wholly passed over in your reply, hoping to destroy them all at once, by proving God's covenant with Abraham, Gen. xvii. to be a pure Adam's covenant of works; I judge it necessary, as nutters now lie between us, to give the reader the grounds and reasons of my faith and practice with respect unto the ordinance of infant baptism, and that as succinctly and clearly as I can, in the following Theses; which being laid together by an unprejudiced and considerative reader, will, I think, amount to more than a strong probability, That
Vox.. IV. Ss , it is the -will of Cod, that the infant seed of believers ought now f#
But here I must remind the reader, and beg him P. 61, 62. to review what I have said before in the third Cause of Errors, That to arrive to satisfaction in this point, requires a due and lerious search of the whole word of God; with a sedate, rational, and impartial mind; comparing one thing with another, though they lie scattered at a distance in th« scriptures; some in the Old Testament and some in the New. Bring but these things to an interview, as we do in discovering the change of the sabbath, and we may arrive unto a due satisfaction of the will of God herein. This I confess, calls for strength of mind, great sedulity, attention, and impartiality; and yet what man would think all this too much, if it were but to clear his children's title unto a small earthly inheritance? I intend not to give the reader here an account of all the arguments drawn from several scripture topics by the strenuous defenders of infants baptism ; but to keep only to the arguments drawn from God's covenant with Abraham, Gen. xvii. which is the scripture mainly controverted betwixt us: You affirming boldly and dangerously, that covenant to be no other than an Adam's covenant of works; and I justly denying and abhorring your position upon the grounds and reasons before given, which yoa neither have, nor ever will be able to destroy. Now that the reader, who hath neither time nor ability to read the larger, and more elaborate treatises on this subject may it 1* mem in one short view, see the deduction of believers infants right to baptism from this gospel covenant of God with Abraham, I shall gather the substance of what I contend for, and lay it as clearly as I can before the eyes of my reader in the following Theses; which being distinctly considered as. to the evident truth of each, and then rationally compared one with the other, he will fee how each fortifies other, and how all together do strongly confirm this conclusion, That the infants of believers under the gospel, as they naturally descend from Abraham's spiritual seed, are therefore partakers at least of the external privileges of the visible church, and theresore ought now to be baptized.
Thesis I. It hath pleased God, in all ages of the world, since man was created, to deal with his church and people, by way of covenant, and in the jame way he will still deal with them unto the end the world. .;. -'
• God might have dealt with us in a supreme way of mere sovereignty and dominion, commanding what duties he pleased,