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AN ANSWER,

&c. &c.

I CANNOT sufficiently wonder, why such exceptions should be taken against a letter of mine, which without my privity came to so many men's hands, as if thereby I had confirmed Papism, Arminianism, and I know not what error of Mr. Culverwell's, which (as you write) is, and hath been, opposed by many, yea, all good men.

The papist (saith one) doth thus distinguish a mediator of redemption and intercession; and Bellarmine (saith another) divides the satisfaction and application of Christ. To which, what other answer should I make but this? To hold that Christ is the only mediator of redemption, but that the saints are also mediators of intercession, that Christ by his merits hath made satisfaction to his father in gross, and the pope by his indulgence, and his priests by their oblations in the mass do make a particular application to particular persons. To join thus partners with Christ in this manner in the office of mediation is popery indeed; but he who, attributing the entire work of the mediation unto Christ alone, doth yet distinguish the act of redemption from the act of intercession, the satisfaction made by him unto God, from the application thereof communicated unto men, is as far from popery, as he that thinks otherwise is from the grounds of the catechism ; for that Christ hath so died for all men (as they lay down in the conference of Hague) "ut reconciliationem cum Deo, et peccatorum remissionem singulis impetraverit,” I hold to be untrue, being well assured, that our Saviour hath obtained at the hands of his father reconciliation, and forgiveness of sins, not for the reprobate, but elect only, and not for them neither, before they be truly regenerated, and implanted into himself; for election being nothing else but the purpose of God, resting in his own mind, makes no kind of alteration in the party elected, but only the execution of that decree and purpose, which in such as have the use of reason is done by an effectual calling, in all by spiritual regeneration, which is the new birth, without which no man can see the kingdom of God.

That impetration, whereof the Arminians speak, I hold to be a fruit, not of his satisfaction, but intercession; and seeing I have learned from Christ's own mouth, " I pray not for the reprobate world :" I must needs esteem it a great folly to imagine that he hath impetrated reconciliation and remission of sins for that world. I agree therefore

I thus far with Mr. Aimes in his dispute against Grevinchovius, that application and impetration, in this matter we have in hand, are of equal extent; and, that forgiveness of sins is not by our Saviour impetrated for any unto whom the merit of his death is not applied in particular. If in seeking to make straight that which was crooked in the Arminian opinion, he hath bended it too far the contrary way, and inclined too much unto the other extremity, it is a thing which, in the heat of disputation, hath befallen many worthy men before him; and, if I be not deceived, gave the first occasion to this present controversy. But I see no reason why I should be tied to follow him in every step, wherein he treadeth: and so much for Mr. Aimes.

The main error of the Arminians and of the patrons of universal graee is this, that God offereth unto every man those means that are necessary unto salvation, both sufficiently and effectually; and, that it resteth in the free will

a John, chap. 17. ver. 9. • Vid. Corvin. in Defens. Armini. cap. 11.

of every one to receive, or reject the same ; for the proof thereof they allege, as their predecessors, the Semipelagians, did before them, that received axiom of Christ's dying for all men, which being rightly understood, makes nothing for their purpose. Some of their opposites (subject to oversights as well as others) more forward herein than circumspect, have answered this objection, not by expounding (as was fit) but by flat denying that famous axiom : affirming peremptorily, that Christ died only for the elect, and for others nullo modo : whereby they gave the adverse party advantage to drive them unto this extreme absurdity, viz. that seeing Christ in no wise died for any, but for the elect, and all men were bound to believe that Christ died for themselves, and that upon pain of damnation for the contrary infidelity; therefore all men were bound to believe that they themselves were elected, although in truth the matter were nothing so:

Non tali ausilio nec defensoribus istis
Tempus eget.

Neither is their hope that the Arminians will be drawn to acknowledge the error of their position, as long as they are persuaded the contrary opinion cannot be maintained without admitting that an untruth must be believed, even by the commandment of him that is God of truth, and by the direction of that word, which is the word of truth.

Endeavouring therefore to make one truth stand by another, and to ward off the blow given by the Arminians in such sort that it should neither bring hurt to the truth, nor give advantage to error, admit I failed of mine intent, I ought to be accounted rather an oppuguer than anywise an abettor of their fancies. That for the Arminians. Now for Mr. Culverwell, that which I have heard him charged withal, is the former extremity, which in my letter I did condemn, viz. That Christ in such sort did die for all men, that by his death he made an actual reconcilement between God and man; and, that the especial reason why all men reap not the fruit of this reconciliation, is the want

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