copious Defence of thefe momentous Doctrines, bad undertaken it, and thereby prevented a feebler one. The Author of which being fully perfuaded of their ' real Excellency and fingular Weight, be cannot but wish to fee them in the beft Manner defended.

As I greatly defired this, I waited a confiderable Time, with Expectation of feeing so neceffary a Piece of Service perform'd ; but have been difappointed herein. Thinking it highly needful, that fomething fhould be offered in Vindication of that Faith which was once delivered to the Saints, in Answer to the Book above mentioned, and no Perfon, that I knew of, of fuperior Abilities undertaking this Task, I could not but interpret it, as a Call upon me in Providence, to fet about a Labour, which I know, as it requires, it also deserves a much abler Hand.


any thing I have advanced in Favour of what appears to me to be the Doctrine of Scripture, may in the leaft Meafure, convince Oppofers, fettle wavering Minds, and establish thofe Truths of Chrift, which have formerly been own'd and contended for, as fuch, by the Church of God, it will give me a peculiar Pleafure. To which I think, I may fubjoin, that fuch is my religious Regard to the Principles, I undertake to defend, that it would be a Satisfaction to me, to fee this Work, which I prefent to the pious and impartial Reader fink in his Efteem, by the Publication of a learned and judicious Defence of thofe Principles.

Till then, it may be this Performance, fuch as it is, will not be wholly ufelefs; but it may afford fome Affiftance to the common Reader, at least, in


bis Enquiries about the fublime and glorious Doctrines of the Grace of God, of the Merit and Satisfaction of Chrift, and concerning the Work of the boly Spirit on the Souls of Men in Regeneration.

Perhaps fome may think, that fince Deifm and Infidelity greatly spread, in this unhappy Age, it is very unfeasonable to oppofe a Writer, who appears an Advocate for the Chriftian Religion, and endeavours to fet any Scriptural Doctrines in an eafy and unexceptionable Light, tho' be may be miftaken in fome particular Things, especially, when it is his profeffed Defign to compofe the Differences which fubfift among the Friends of Revelation, to the great Difadvantage of that Revelation, may not this Caufe its Enemies to fneer and triumph? In answer to which I obferve, 1. We are under an indifpenfable Obligation, not only to vindicate the holy Scripture from thofe Objections, which bold and daring Men are pleafed to frame against it; but allo to contend for the gloricus Truths therein exprefs'd, by whom foever they are misreprefented, or corrupted, or oppos'd. It feems to me a Conduct not the muft confiftent, to maintain the Credibility of the Bible, and decline or cenfure an Attempt to defend and fupport its Doctrines. 2. If one Chrif tian Writer takes the Liberty to oppose the Sentiments of other Chriftians, why may not they be allowed to offer to public View, the Reasons which induce them to embrace and adhere to thofe Principles? Surely this can't be thought in the leaft unreasonable. 3. As for the Improvement, that Deifts and Infidels may make of the different Sentiments of Chriftians, to the Prejudice of the Chriftian Revelation or Religion, unless I am very much miftaken, far greater Advantage is given them, by a Connivance

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dle Way in Divinity between Diffenters: But what is the Iffue for the most Part of fuch Propofals? After they have by their middle Ways raised no less Contention, than was before, between the Extremes, (yea ·whenThings before were in fome good Meafure allayed,) the Accommodators themselves, through an ambitious Defire, to make good, and defend their own Expedients, are infenfibly carried over to the Party and Extreme, to whom they thought to make a Condescension unto; and by endeavouring to blacken their Opinions to make them feem probable, they are engaged to the Defence of their Confequences, before they are aware, Amyraldus, whom I look upon, as one of the greatest Wits of thefe Days, will at prefent go a middle Way between the Churches of France, and the Arminians: What bath been the Iffue? Among the Churches, Divifions, Tumult, Disorder; among the Profeffors and Minifters, Revilings, Evilfurmifings; to the whole Body of the People, Scandals and Offences; and in respect of himself, Evidence of bis daily approaching nearer to the Arminian Party, until as one of them faith of him be is not far from (their) Kingdom of Heaven. (a) But


(a) Amyraldus was of the fame Sentiments with the Author of the Ruin and Recovery of Mankind, fays he, Duo funt igitur Genera Hominum a Chrifto redemptorum, Electi fcilicet & non Electi. De non Electis certum eft Fidem illis a Christo nullo modo fuiffe impetratam, quam ipfi certe præftare tenentur, & ni id faciunt, Juftiffime puniuntur a Deo. Ad Electos quod fpectat, Fides illis ita impetrata fuit ut Impetratio omnem Conditionem excludat. Speciminis Animad. General. Exerc. de Grat. Univerf. Pars III. p. 190. His Opinion was, that the Salvation of the Elect is certain and infallible, and that a conditional Provifion of Salvation is made for the Non-Elect. The just Cenfure therefore which the pious and learned Dr. paffes upon him equally concerns and affects this Author. If good Dr. Owen was now in Being, I doubt not but his holy Zeal for the Proteftant Doctrine of the real Merit, and Satis


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