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Secondly, By way
I desire to know by what scripture (divine) the Quakers, or any who are their abettors in this point, can justify their bringing in lies to plead for God? or wherein doth it appear
that his truth stands in need of being upheld by the figments of their vertiginous brains ?
Job puts such a like question to his three friends, who all seemed to take part with God against himself. Job xiii. 7-9. “Will ye speak wickedly for God, and talk deceitfully for him? Will ye accept his person? Will ye contend for God? Is it good that he should search you out? Or as one man mocketh another, do ye so mock him?"
What do these heretical pretenders to an infallible spirit less than mock God? who, in pretence of making God more merciful and pitiful than he himself hath revealed in his word he will be, or than the wicked in hell will find him to be, strike at, and audaciously dispute against the justice and sovereignty of God.
These pleaders for God will, forsooth, have God to be so tender, compassionate, and kind, as to love all his creatures with an equal love; and consequently, that to fix his love on a small and particular number, to whom his special grace and favour should be extended, and to pass' by the greatest number, on whom to resolve never to shew mercy, is altogether inconsistent with the tender, kind, and merciful nature of God. Now, whether these men do not, in pretence of pleading for God, cause, as much as in them lies, both his attributes,
his counsels, and his word, to clash and contradict each other, I leave to the judicious and unprejudiced reader to judge.
I demand from John Burnyeats, and the rest of the Quakers who joined with him in challenging me to make out, by the scriptures of truth, that doctrine which I am now defending against them, why or wherefore God was so strict and severe, as to confine those angels, which, of their own accord, fell from that state of innocency and blessedness, wherein they were created, to those chains of darkness wherein they are to be kept to the judgment of the great day? and that without extending the benefit of a redeemer to them. Was it because the angels were not his creatures? Certainly they will not say so; for without dispute, the angels were in their nature far more glorious and excellent creatures than was Adam and his posterity in their state of innocency.
Was it because God's arm could not reach to help and deliver them? They dare not say so. Neither was it because God had no bowels of mercy and compassion in him towards his creatures: this cannot be supposed to be the reason ; for, alas! this, viz. the tender and merciful nature of God to his creatures in general, is the argument whereby they would overthrow the doctrine of particular election. What is the reason then? Did the angels fall by sin and apostacy? Yes, they cannot deny it, unless they deny the scriptures to be the scriptures of truth. And were those angels, all
of them, sent forthwith to hell for their apostacy and rebellion? This they cannot deny. Was not the least dram of mercy shewn to one of that numberless number which fell? They dare not affirm there was, or ever shall be; if they do, it lies at their door to prove it.
If then the reason why the apostate angels are eternally lost, is not because they stood not related to God as creatures, nor because the hand of God was not strong enough to prevent their sinking into hell; nor yet because God wanted bowels of mercy and compassion: the reason then must be, because the glorious God did, before time, decree and purpose with himself, not to recover those creatures whom he foreknew would causelessly rebel and apostatize from that state of holiness and happiness, in which he decreed to make them.
If then the adversaries I now contend with, will acknowledge God to be just and righteous in leaving the angels, which by transgression fell, so as never to shew them favour more; I desire to be informed by what law the Sovereign Majesty of heaven can be justly charged with cruelty, for saving but a small remnant of apostate Adam's offspring, seeing that Adam was every way as voluntary and free in sinning against God, as were the angels which fell.
Surely, had it pleased God, he might have cast both Adam and his children into the same lodging with Beelzebub and his apostate train, there to en
dure, to endless eternity, the torments due to their rebellion and disobedience.
And in that God hath been pleased to extend mercy to any of Adam's posterity, it is mere grace and mercy, every way undeserved, the which he was no way bound to shew to Adam and his children, any more than he was obliged or bound to help or commiserate the fallen angels.
If John Burnyeats, or any of his friends, who oppose the doctrine of particular election, can prove by the scriptures that God hath given, or is by any law bound to give, special saving grace to rebels, who have fallen by their causelessly abusing and losing the grace given in Adam, their natural and federal head, any other than what he bestows on his elect, and that in the right of election, I will readily submit and yield the cause.
Object. 2. The scriptures of truth are express and positive in affirming, that the salvation discovered and held forth in the gospel, is designed by God, and offered by the apostle, to all men in general, without any distinction or limitation of persons; and therefore, to restrain that salvation to a stinted number, is most injurious and wicked.
Answ. These cavilling objectors do, at a very easy rate, wrest and pervert the sense of the Holy Spirit, not knowing what they say, nor whereof they so rashly affirm; where they meet with universal terms, from them they infer universal principles; witness the scriptures following, 2 Cor. v. 14. 1 Tim. ii. 6. Heb. ii. 9, where the apostle saith
that Christ died for all; and that he gave himself a ransom for all men; and that he tasted death for every man. They from hence inter and conclude, as they think, that, beyond all peradventure, the end and design of God's sending his Son into the world, and the Son's laying down his life, was on full purpose that general redemption night be procured for and granted to all and singular the sons and daughters of lapsed Adam; and where the apostle Peter shews that God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance, 2 Pet. iii. 9, they would fain persuade themselves and all others, that, without any restriction or limitation, the sense must be, that God wills not that any sinner should be damned.
And so foolishly fond are they of the general redemption, which, from the forecited scriptures, they highly conceit themselves able to demonstrate and
prove against all gainsayers, that they, with great care, set down the terms, all, every, and any, in great capital letters, that the reader might observe and take notice of them.
That those universal terms, all, every, are to be restrained and limited to a particular and select number only, which can be no other than that number which the scriptures positively affirm God elected and chose to himself out of the corrupted mass, as hath been above observed, is beyond contradiction.
The objection consists of two members, or branches; first, the design of God, in preparing