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why God should take
away grace from a man; and that is, because he negligently omits to make his best use of it, and so deserves that punishment. But this reason will satisfy as little as the former: for suppose (for example) a man at this instant in the state of grace, and so in the favour of God: upon these grounds, it is impossible that this man should ever sin; for surely God will not undeservedly take away his grace from him, till he merit that punishment by his sin; and till God take away his grace from him, he cannot sin; therefore he must never sin. But this discourse, though it merely concern practice, looks so like a controversy, that I am weary of it.
32. We are apt enough to slander God with too much mercy sometimes, as if he bore us so particular an affection, that, notwithstanding our never-so-many sins, yet he will still be merciful unto us. Oh that we could conceive of his mercy and goodness aright! as rather willing to prevent our sins, by giving us sufficient preservatives against the committing them. I would to God, that instead of making subtle, scholastical disputes of the power and efficacy of God's grace, we would magnify the force thereof, by suffering it to exercise its sway in our lives and conversation! we should then easily find, that we are able to “ do all things through Christ that strengtheneth us.'
Mr. CHILLINGWORTH AND Mr. LEWGAR.
Thesis. The church of Rome (taken diffusively for all Christians communicating with the bishop of Rome) was the judge of controversies at that time, when the church of England made an alteration in her tenets.
Arg. She was the judge of controversies at that time, which had an authority of deciding them : but the church of Rome at that time had the authority of deciding them : Ergo.
Ans. A limited authority to decide controversies according to the rule of Scripture and universal tradition, and to oblige her own members (so long as she evidently contradicted not that rule) to obedience, I grant she had ; but an unlimited, an infallible authority, or such as could not but proceed according to that rule, and such as should bind all the churches in the world to obedience, (as the Greek church) I say she had not.
Quest. When our church had decided a controversy, I desire to know whether any particular church or person hath authority to re-examine her decision; whether she hath observed her rule or