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REFUTATION of the weak and impertinent Rejoinder
of Mr. PHILIP CARY.
Wherein he vainly attempts the Defence of his absurd
Thesis, to the great abuse and injury of the Laws and Covenants of God.
ND must I be dipt, once more, in the water-controversy ?
It is time for me to think of uodressing myself, and making ready for my approaching rest, and employ those few minutes I have to spend, in more practical and beacficial studies, for my own, and the church's greater advantage. And it is time for Mr. Cary to reflect upon his past follies, which have consumed too much of his own, and others time, without any advantage ; yea, to the apparent loss and injury of the cause be undertakes to defend.
When I received these sheets from him, in vindication of his Salemn Call, I was at a stand, in my own resolutions, whether to let it pass (without any animadversions upon it) as a palliobate clamour for a desperate cause ; or give a short, and full answer to his confused and impertinent rejoinder. But confidering that I had onder hand, at the same time, the foregoing Treatise of The Causes and Cures of Mental Errors, and that though my honest aeighbour discovers much weakness in his way of argumentation, get it was like to meet with some interested readers, to whom, for that reason, it would be the more suitable ; and how apt such persons are to glory in the last word; but especially considering, that a little time and paios would suffice (as the cafe stands) to end the unseasonable controversy betwixt us, and both clear and confirm many great and weighty points of religion : I was, upon these confiderations, prevailed with, againk my own inclination, to cart in thele few sheets, as a Mantissa, to the former seasonable, and neceffary discourse of errors, resolving to fill them with what hould be worth the reader's time and pains. Vol. IV.
As for the rude insults, uncomely reflections, and passionate, ex, 'ressions of my discontented friend, I shall not throw back the dirt upon him, when I wipe it off from myself; I can eafily torgive, aod forget them too: The best men have their pas. fions, Jam v. 17. even sweet-briars, and holy thifiles have their offensive prickles. I confider my honeft Deighbour under the frength of a temptation ; it dilquiets him to see the labours of many years, and the railed expectations of fo great a conquelt, and triumph over men of renown, all trustrated by his friend and neighbour, who had done his utmost to prevent it, and often foretold him of the folly, and vanity of his attempt. Every thing will live as long as it can, and natura vexata prodit feipfam. But, certainly, it had been more for truth's ho. dour, and Mr. C's comfort, to have contes
d his follies hum. bly to God, and have laid his hand upon his mouth.
The things in controversy betwixt us, are great and weighty, viz. the true nature of the Sinai laws, in their complex body: the quality of God's Covenant with Abraham; and the dispenfation of the New Covenant we are now under. These are things of great weight in the mielves, and their due resolutions are, at this time, fomewhat the more weighty, because my Antagonist hath adventured the whole controversy of infants baptism upoo them.
I have, in my Vindiciæ Legis, &c. stated the several questions clearly, and distinctly ; Thewn Mr. C. what is no part of the controversy, and what is the very hinge upon which it turns; desired him, it he made any reply, to keep close to the just and deceffary rules of disputation, by distinguishing, limiting, or denying any of my propofitions; that the matters in controverly might be put to a fair, and speedy ifloe. But, ialtead of that, I meet with a flood of words rolling sometimes to this part, and then to another part of my answer, and so back again, without the steddy direction of art, or realon. There may, for ought I koow, be some things of weight, in Ms. Cary's reply, if a man could see them for words; but, without scoff, or vanity, I muft fay of the rational part of it, as the poet faid of the over-dressed woman,
Pars minima eft ipfa puella jui, it is the lealt part of it. To follow him in his irregular, and extravagant way of writing, were to make myself guilty of the same folly I blame him for: I am therefore necessitated to perftringe them, and reduce all I have to say, under three general heads. I. I shall clearly evince to the world, that Mr. Cary hath not
been able to discharge, and free his own thesis from the
horrid consequents, and grois abfurdities, which I have laid to their charge in my first reply; bur, instead thereof, in this feeble, and unsuccessful attempi to free the former, he
hath entangled bimtelf in more, and greater obes. II. That he hath left my arguments standing in their full
strength, agaieft him. III. And then I ihall confirm, and strengthen my three positi
ons, which dettroy the cause he manages, by fome further additions of fcripture, reason, and authorities, which, I
hope, will fully end this matter betwixt us. But, before I touch the particulars, two things must be premiled, for the reader's due information.
1. That the controversy about the true nature of the Sinai laws, both moral and ceremonial, complexly confidered, is not that very hinge upou which the right of belivers infants to baptism depends; that stands as it did before, be the Sinai laws what they will : we do not derive the right of infants from
ару other law or covenant, but that gracious covenant which God made with Abraham, which was in being 430 years before Moses's law; and was oo way injured, much less dil: annulled, by the addition of it, Gal. iii. 17. If Abraham's covegant be the same covenant of grace we are now under, the right of believers infants to baptism is secured, whatever the Sinai covenant prove to be : which I speak not out of the leaft jealousy that Mr. Cary hach, or ever shall be able to prove it to be a pure Adam's covenant of works; but to prevent mi. stakes in the reader.
2. It must be heedfully observed, also, that how free, gra. cious, and absolute soever the New Covenanc be, (for God forbid that I should go about to ecliple the glory of free grace, on which my foul depends for salvation) yet that will never prove Abraham's covenant to be an abolished Adam's covenant of works, unless two thiogs more be proved, which I never expect to fee, viz.
Firft, That Abraham, and his believing pofterity, were bound, by the very nature, and act of circumcision, to keep the whole law in their own persons, in order to their justification and falvation, as perfectly and perpetually, and under the fame penalty for the least failure, as Adam was to keep the law in paradise.
Secondly, It must be further proved, That Abraham, and all his believing offspring, who stood with him under that covenant, whereof circumcision was the initiatiog lign, were all
saved in a different way from that in which believers are now saved under the golpel; for so it must be, if the addition of circumcision made it onto them an Adam's covenant of works. But this would be a direct contradiction to the words of the apostle, speaking of them who were under the covenant of circumcision, Acts xv. 11. “ But we believe, that through the
grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, we shall be saved, even as so they.” If he say, they stood, indeed, under that covenant, as a pure covenaot of works, but were saved by another coveDant; and so for many ages, the church of God stood absolutely under the covenant of works, and, at the same time, under the pure covenant of grace; the one altogether absolute and free, the other wholly conditional: and though these two be in their own natures inconsistent, and destructive of each other, yet fo it was, that all the faints, for many ages, were absolutely under the one, and yet purely voder the other : shall I be then censured for saying he speaks pure contradiction ?
Possibly my reader will be tempted to thiok 1 abuse him, and that no man of common tense can be guilty of such an horrid absurdity : I must, whatever respect I have for Mr. C.once more tell him, before the world, that this is not only his own doctrine, but that very doetrine upon which he hath adventured the whole cause, and controversy of infants baptifm, which I therefore fay is hereby become a desperate cause.
And this brings me to my first general head, viz.
1. First, That Mr. Cary hath not been able to free his thefis from this horrid absurdity; but by Aruggling to do it, hath (al cording to the nature of errors) entangled himself in more, and greater ones Mr. Cary, io p. 174, 175. of his folemn call
, was by me reduced to this ablurdity, which he there owos, in express words, • That Moses, and the whole body of the people of Israel, were • absolutely under (without the exception of any) the feverest • penalties of a dreadful curse; and that the Sinai covenant • could be no other than a covenant of works, a ministration * of death, and condemnation, and yet, at the fame time, both • Moses, and all the elect, were under a pure covenant of gof
pel-grace: and if these were two contrary covenants in them. felves, and just opposite the one to the other, as, indeed, they
we have nothing to say, but, with the apostle, Q the depth,' &c.
This, reader, is the position which must be made good by Mr. Cary, or his cause is loft; detormed issues do not look as If they had beautiful truth for their mother: ao falte or absurd
conclusion can regularly follow from true premises. But hence naturally and necessarily follows this.
Absurdity i. That Abraham, Moles, and all the believers under the Old Testament, by standing absolutely under Adam's cuvenant of works, as a ministration of death and condemnation; and, at the same time, purely under the covenant of grace (as Mr. C. affirms they did) must necessarily, during their lives, hang in the midway between life and death, juftification and condemnation; and, after death, in the midway between heaven and hell. During life, they could neither be justified nor condemned; justified they could not be, for justification is the soul's passing from death to life, 1 John iii. 14. Joho v. 24. Upon a man's justification his covenant and state are changed; but the covenant, and state of oo man can be fo changed, as long as he remains absolutely under the severest penalties, and condemnation of the law, as Mr. C. affirms they did.
Again, condemned they could not be, feciog all that are under the pure covenant of grace (as he faith they were at the same time) are certainly in Chrift, and to such there is no condemnation, Rom. viii. 1. oor ever shall be. Joho v. 24. “ He “ that believeth, shall not come into condemnation, but is par“ sed from death upto life.” What remains, then, but that during life they could neither be perfectly justified, nor perfectly sondernded; and yet, being absolutely under the severest penalties of Adam's covenant, they were perfectly condemned ; and, again, being under the pure covenant of grace, they must be perfectly jullified ?
And then, after death, they must neither go to heaven, nor hell; but either be anoihilated, or stick midway in Limbo Patrum (as the Papilts faocy) betwixt both. No condemned perfon goes to heaven, nor any justified person to hell. His polition, therefore, which pecessarily infers this gross absurdity, is juftly renounced, and detelted, by learned, and orthodox divines.
The learned and acute * Turretine, the late famous profesfor of divinity at Geneva, proving that the Sinai law 'could not be a pure covenant of works ; brings this very medium to prove it, as a known truth, allowed by all meo : The Ifraelites . (Iaith he) with whom God covenanted, were already under • Abraham's covenant, which was a covenant of grace, and
were faved, in Christ, by it; therefore they could not be un
* Turres, part 2d, p. 290..