1) Doctrine Two. We may consider Christ’s sufferings and death in the fruits of it, either as they respect common favors, and mercies, common gifts, and means of grace, which are not peculiar and saving, but common to believers with others, being bestowed upon professors in the visible Church; or as they are peculiar and saving, such as faith, justification, adoption, etc. Now when we say that Christ’s sufferings and death are a price for the sins of his people, we exclude not the reprobate simply from temporal and common favors and mercies that come by his death; they may have, and actually have, common gifts and works of the Spirit, the means of grace, which are some way effects and fruits of the same covenant. But we say, that the reprobate partake not of saving mercy and that Christ’s death is a satisfaction only for the elect, and that none others get pardon of sin, faith, repentance, etc. by it, but they only; it was intended for none others. And this we clear and confirm from, and by, these following grounds and arguments, which we will shortly hint at. James Durham, Christ Crucified: The Marrow of the Gospel in 72 Sermons on Isaiah 53 (Dallas, TX: Naphtali Press, 2001), 343-344. [Underlining mine.]


Concerning the nature and difference of saving and common Grace

In this Epistle, there is a large commendation of this Angel’s practice: which is not only given to him in respect of the matter of his actions; but in respect of the qualifications of them: as, first, that he did not only suffer for, and have patience in, that which was materially right; but that he suffered for Christ’s Name sake: and that he did not

only hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans; but did it with a respect to Christ: which is here added, to difference the sincerity of these actions from others that are materially good also: for, no question, there may be much suffering, which is not commendable before Christ. And certainly many others, even among heathens, did hate these Nicolaitans, who yet cannot be thought to be alike comprehended under this commendation. This therefore that is added, for my Name’s sake, must be to show the sincerity and graciousness thereof, as that which did put a difference between their sufferings and patience, and the sufferings of others. And it doth imply, that this qualification, was that mainly, which made the Lord take notice thereof. It is therefore, the same on the matter with that, Matth. 5.11, of being persecuted for Christ’s sake, to which the promise is made, vers. 12. and the same, with that 1 Pet. 4.13. of being made partakers of Christ’s sufferings, and of being reproached for his Name: which being an evidence, and part of blessedness in these places, cannot be conceived but to imply sincerity; without which, suffering itself, even where the cause is good, would be of no weight as to that end. We do therefore conceive these words undoubtedly to be added, to point out that wherein their sincerity consisted, and wherewith the Lord was especially well pleased: from which we may gather these Doctrines.

First, That there is a great difference between an action morally or materially good, and that which is gracious, and as such acceptable to God. I t is not simply suffering and hatred, which the Lord commends here; but suffering and hatred so and so qualified. Hence we will find frequently in the Scripture, difference made between these, to do that which is good upon the matter, and to do it with a perfect heart. In actions therefore, there are these three to be distinctly considered, 1. The act itself, as it is natural, suppose an act of hatred, love, grief, etc. 2. As the act is moral, and is directed toward an object that is agreeable to the Law, that is, to love that which is good, and to hate that which is evil, and so forth: both which, in many respects, may be in hypocrites, who may do that which is materially good. 3. We are to consider an act as gracious, that is, when not only the thing for the matter is agreeable to the will of God, as suppose, one were acting, or suffering for a truth; but also when that is done in the manner that the Law requires, and with a suitableness thereunto: and so one suffers not only for a truth; but as a Christian he carries himself in his suffering for the same: it is this last which makes the difference, and which the Lord doth especially take notice of, and commend by this qualification, that it is done for his Name’s sake.

Secondly, We gather, that this difference, wherein the graciousness of the act doth consist, is not to be inquired for in any intense degree of the act itself, whether positive or comparative (at least only) but it is to be inquired for in the nature and kind thereof, to wit, in respect of positive qualifications concurring therewith, and having influence thereon: For, this commendation, is not given upon the degree; but from the nature of these acts: it is not commendable hatred, because it is in such an intense degree positively: nor comparatively, because it hates these errors more than it doth hate truth; but because in their hatred of these errors, they conform themselves to Christ’s hatred of them. And likewise by that commendation for Christ’s Name sake, is not holden forth any degree either of their labor, or patience simply, nor yet comparatively, that they labored more, or did suffer more for that which is materially good, than they did for any other thing; or, because their patience was for degree more than their impatience; but, that there was a peculiar respect to the Lord’s Name both in their labor and patience.

If it be asked, What this is, which beside the moral rectitude of the act, must concur for the making of it to be accounted gracious?

It may be answered in these four. First, There is a different spiritual principle in the person acting, which must actually have influence upon the act, and from which the act, as gracious, proceeds. This in Scripture is called the Spirit, Inner-man, New-creature, etc. and is different in its acting from the Old-man and Flesh; yea, and from the faculties of the soul, considered merely as natural; for, if we consider an act, suppose of love, submission under sufferings, or such like; it is the natural act of the soul as formally elicited by it: but if we consider them as gracious acts, they do proceed from the Spirit influencing them (to say so) with a suitableness to itself, by the co-operation of the Grace of God.

Secondly, There is a difference in respect of the end; there is a gracious and spiritual end proposed in performing of such a lawful thing: this is implied here in this, that they had the glory of the Name of Jesus before them in their suffering and patience, as seeking to pursue that, and not to gain credit to themselves. Thirdly, There concurs to qualify a gracious action, a spiritual motive inclining the spiritual principle to follow this end, which can never be separated from the former, and here is clear in the two instances that are in the Text; where, as respect to Christ’s Name, is the end, so, love to Christ, and zeal to His Glory moves them, and sways them to pursue this end, by such means, as Laboring, Patience, hating of the Nicolaitans, etc. and thus to have patience for Christ’s Name’s sake, is out of respect to Christ’s Glory, to be swayed thereunto. Fourthly, There is a difference in respect of the formality of the act, when not only the thing that is good is yielded unto, upon a good motive; but as such, it’s yielded unto or acted, that is, when the object, as so considered, is acted upon: and so not only is one swayed to patience in suffering from respect to Christ’s Name; but upon this formal consideration, they yield themselves to it, and do it as such. So that still there is a reduplication in the act, suitable to the end and motive proposed: and as the person in the act hath another principle to act by, another end proposed to himself, and another motive persuading him to it; so hath he a different uptaking of the act or object in the act, not only as considered in itself as good; but as considered in reference to such an end, and as such he acts on it. As for instance, it is laudable and commendable to give to one that is in misery, and more laudable to love one that is gracious, and to supply his wants; yet both these are not sufficient to make the act to be accounted gracious, even though the love to them should be most intense, and the beneficence large; but there must be a concurrence of these four formerly mentioned, to wit, 1. An inward gracious principle acting: otherwise, one may be renewed, and carry love to another that is gracious; and yet if it proceed not from this principle, it is not to be accounted sincere gracious love. 2. There must be a spiritual single end in their loving of them, and giving to them, to wit, the honoring of Christ in them, and their good. 3. A spiritual motive, to wit, the considering of them not only as in strait, or as lovely in themselves; but as gracious and beloved of Jesus Christ, whose command calls for love to them. And lastly, this is done to them as such, when the heart in its affection, closes with them upon this account, that they are beloved of Christ, and, as being themselves called of God to that duty. Thus, Mat. 10. To give to a disciple, is one thing; but to give to him in the name of a Disciple, is another, that is, to give him upon that account that he is such; or, as it is, Mark 9.41, Because thy belong to Christ: the former may be often in many natural men, and hath no such promise; this cannot be in any but a Believer, who only may expect the promised reward. This as, is to be understood, as 1 Cor. 8.7, where some men not only did eat that which was sacrificed; but as such a thing, and under that formal consideration, that is, with some conscience of the Idol, as the words before carry it; and this as makes it quite another thing. So is it to be understood here, when we say the object is to be considered as such. And in this reduplication, we conceive, that a main piece of singleness and sincerity doth lie, when not only we do what is commanded, or suffer for what is truth; but when we do it as a thing commanded, and suffer for it as for His name’s sake: and in some respect, it may take in the two former last differences; and so if any shall make the number fewer, we shall not debate, providing that under any name these be taken in.

Hence, thirdly, We gather also, That what ever act is so qualified (as in the former is expressed) it is a sincere gracious act in whatsoever degree it be, so that it be an act of Patience, Love, Hatred, etc., proceeding from an inward renewed principle, tending to a spiritual end, swayed by a supernatural motive; and upon that account acting, it cannot be but accounted an act of sincere Patience, Love, Hatred, etc., although as to the degree of it, it be but like the grain of mustard seed. For although the acts themselves, even toward such objects, may be distinguished from gracious acts; yet they cannot be conceived to be so and so qualified in any degree, but hoc ipso [on this very account] they must be conceived to be gracious; because in so far they are agreeable to the Law, and that not only in the matter, but in the manner of them. And this agreeableness to the Law, being a proof that one is Sanctified, without which no such act could be performed, it may be also an evidence of Justification, although it be not considered as a condition thereof, which is accepted by the Covenant of Grace. And although these acts be imperfect in respect of degree; yet they cannot be denied to be sincere, or perfect, in respect of their kind. Every act of the new nature in whatsoever degree being like itself, and conform to the principle from which it proceeds; even as on the contrary, the least motion of the old man is sinful according to the root from which it flows: for, these two cannot be separated, which the Lord hath put together; a good tree must have good fruit, and cannot bring forth evil fruit, Mat. 7.17,18, etc. Now, acts in the least degree so qualified, as before is said, are in so far, at least, fruits of a good tree; yea, of a gracious principle within; and therefore they cannot but be such also. And if it were not thus, that this Angel had patience for Christ’s Name sake, it could be no ground of commendation for differencing his patience, from the patience of hypocrites, if it did not sufficiently prove his carriage to be sincere. And hence,

Fourthly, Arises also this, that no natural man or hypocrite, though coming the greatest length in the state of hypocrisy, can in the least degree perform an act so and so qualified, as is before said, more than they can act from a principle which they have not: for, if they might in any measure have patience for Christ’s Name’s sake, in respect of the end, motive, and account upon which the heart yields to suffering, it could be no ground of a peculiar commendation to this Angel, which is yet contrary to the scope. And if the former be true, that every act so and so qualified, is a sincere act, this must necessarily then follow thereupon. And so more particularly we say, that no hypocrite can thus formally do anything that is good, as, to give instances, 1. In the duty of love to God; an hypocrite cannot love God as God, and to suffer for Christ’s Name’s sake, as is formerly expressed. Because, 1. That is given here as the evidence of this Angel’s gracious practice, that it was so qualified; and the promises that are annexed to this of suffering for his Name’s sake (whereat formerly we hinted) do confirm it. 2. This being true of all natural men, that they are real haters of God; and it being true also, that natural men and hypocrites may go a great length in loving God, and in expressing the evidences ther6of in some respect; It must either be said then, that they hate God in respect of the materiality of their actions, or in respect of the want [lack] of the qualifications formerly mentioned, that is, because they love not him, and what he loves as such, and upon such an account: now, it cannot be said that they love not God in the former respect; Nay, not only in respect of their being defective allanerly [only] in the degree or intenseness of the act, as may be showed afterward. It must be true therefore in the last respect. And so it will follow, that no man in nature can be said to love God, or perform any act in things materially good, according as it is formerly qualified. 3. This may be added, that if respect to good, could sway the natural man so as to make him act according to the former qualifications in any one act, then might he perform all other acts upon that same account also: for, a quatenus ad omne, valet consequentia [insofar as to all is an applicable valid consequence]. Now, if it be absurd to say, that one can be a hypocrite, and yet in all his performances and actions be so swayed (which is the clear evidence of a sincere Professor which needs not to be ashamed, Psal. 11 9.6), Then it must also be absurd to say, that a hypocrite may perform any commanded thing upon that account as such, and is formerly qualified. 4. The doing of acts so qualified, doth necessarily presuppose a gracious principle, or habitual change in the person that acts it: for, it being a fruit, (in so far as it is so qualified) that is good, and agreeable to the Law of God in the spiritual meaning thereof, it must be supposed to proceed from a tree that is good, seeing grapes are not gathered from Brambles, etc. It cannot therefore be consistent with the state of hypocrisy, for one to perform acts so qualified, who in practice is still a stranger to the spiritual meaning of the Law in the kind of the act. 2. I t may be instanced in hatred: for, though one in nature or an hypocrite may hate that which is sin; yet from this we may gather that he cannot hate it as sin, and as it is hateful to God: Because, 1. This hating of the Nicolaitans‘ deeds, is given here as a proof of this Angel’s sincerity: and if it were a thing common, there could be no such peculiarness in it; and there can be no peculiarness here, but that they hated them upon that account as hateful to God, and out of zeal to him they did it: otherwise, no question, heathens and natural men might have hatred at them in greater vehemency for the degree thereof, than these who are commended. The difference then must be in the qualifications, as is said. 2. The reasons for the former instance will confirm this also: for, if one might hate sin as sin, and as hateful to God, then might he hate all sin, and what is hateful to God, according to the axiom formerly laid down, a quatenus ad omne [insofar as to all], etc. and so he might hate his loving of anything more than God, and his being defective in the degree and manner of any duty: and consequently, he could not be said to love anything more than God, seeing no man can actually love a thing, and, upon that same account and consideration, hate that act of their love, at the same very time, in the same very degree: It must then follow, that what hatred they bear to sin, is for some other ends, and not upon this account. Again, if one might hate sin as sin, one might love grace as grace, it being equally approvable by God to hate sin as sin, and to love good as good. Now, this being disproved in the former instance, must also fall in this. Lastly, The hating of sin as sin, must suppose a different principle, whence that act doth proceed, beside what is in itself sinful: for, it cannot be conceived that a sinful principle, as such, can hate itself: and in Scripture, lusting against the flesh, or fighting against the law in our members, which must be a waning against sin as sin, and as proceeding from such a root as the flesh or the old man, is ever attributed to the Spirit, Gal. 5.17. or the inner man, and law of the mind, Rom. 7. which doth necessarily infer a change of the root in these who do hate sin as sin: and therefore this can be within the compass of no hypocrite. Neither will it infringe this, that by experience we find drunkards, swearers, and other unrenewed persons, hating not only these acts in themselves; but even in their children; or, that we may find it to have been in ourselves before regeneration: This indeed will prove that a natural man, may hate that which is sin; but will not prove that he hates it as sin, but as that which, is hurtful or shameful to him, or proves disquieting to the peace of his natural conscience, as from the same experience may be gathered; for, these sins in others will never affect them; and there will still be many delight some sins continued in, which, it may be, they will know to be sins, and yet carry no such hatred to them. And though natural men in a their judgment may be convinced that sin as sin is hateful, and evil in itself; yet it will not follow that they will actually hate it as such upon that consideration: because there is no particular sin, that from the Word may be gathered to be sin, but a natural man’s judgment may be convinced, that as such it is evil; and yet oftentimes do they continue drunk with the love of many of them: because men do not consider and hate ill simply as ill, but as evil to them; even as they desire not that which is good simply, but that which they conceive good to them: and experience daily will make this appear, that the heart loves not, or hates not things as they appear simply in themselves, but as it conceives them to be in reference to its present condition. Now, considering sin as sin simply, without reference to any other thing, there is nothing upon that account can be conceived in it that can be hateful to a natural man, who is dead in his sinful condition. I t must be therefore for some other respect that he hates any particular ill, as these whom God afterward renews will find in their own experience.

Fifthly, This also will follow, that then there is a difference between the acts of saving Grace and the acts of common Grace, beside any consideration of the degree thereof: so that this difference may well be said to be in kind, or, ipso genere [in the very birthing begetting]. We need not be curious in the terms of Physical, or moral differences, this must be a Physical and real difference, as Grace is a Physical, and real thing, and doth not only differ from common gifts in respect of the Covenants accepting of such a degree, and not of another; but also in respect of concurring qualifications formerly mentioned: for, an act performed with these qualifications, must either be of the same kind that an act is without them, or it must differ from it because of these qualifications. And if it differ because of these, then is that difference real, flowing from the kind of the act, and not from the consideration of the degree alone; and so not gradual only.

Lastly, it will follow, that one in the search and trial of the sincerity and savingness of his Grace, is not only to consider it in the degree thereof, either positive or comparative; but may also look to the nature and kind thereof, and cannot conclude the sincerity of it, except they consider the qualifications formerly mentioned: for, that must be the only sure way to find out the sincerity of an act, which our Lord Jesus proposes as the ground of the commendation thereof: but here we see that the grounds upon which He commends both their patience for Him, their respect to Him, and their hating of what was evil, is, not (only at least) because of any degree, that is considered in these acts; but because of their kind, or qualifications wherewith they are qualified, as it is not patience (that is, patience as it is a Grace) because it suffers so much, or suffers more for Truth, than for any other cause, considered upon the matter; but because their suffering in a good cause was so qualified, as is said: we will see this same to be clear in all other instances, as, it is true saving Repentance, not that which hath the deepest sorrow positively, nor that which hath more sorrow for sin comparatively than pleasure in it, but it is according as the principle and motive are, from which the sorrow proceeds, and by, and according to which it acts: otherwise, no question, Judas his sorrow might have been said to have been true Repentance: which was certainly not only an intense grief; but also comparatively, it affected him more than any worldly loss could affect him, or any pleasure or advantage, which by his sin accreased [increased] to him, as the story of the Gospel doth clear. The like may be said of fear, There is no positive or comparative degree can prove it to be saving, this being certain, that for degree some natural men may fear and tremble, and that with anxiety, so as the Lord may be more feared in this manner by them than any other thing else: trial then must especially be, by considering the principle whereby the person is acted in this fear, the motive that sways him to it, and the account upon which he acts on God in it, whereby filial fear is differenced from servile: and this can be by no consideration of the degree, however considered; but must be in respect of the qualifications of the act.

If it should be said, That it’s single respect to God swaying one to sorrow for sin or far more than any other motive doth; & so in that respect, it may be said to consist in the degree.

Answ. 1. This supposes the concurring of positive qualifications. 2. It supposes the concurring of the same qualifications mentioned. 3. This places not the difference in the intenseness of the act only, but in the qualifications that have influence on it; and so it doth confirm what we said, to wit, that more respect is to be had to the nature of the act, and the qualification thereof in our trial, than to the degree thereof.

Here it is to be adverted, 1. That in all this discourse of the positive qualifications of sincerity, they are still to be considered with respect to Christ and the Covenant of Grace, so that singleness in the end, takes in the glorifying and worshiping of God in Christ, and in the motive, the consideration of God’s worth and love, as considered in Him, comes in (as the words, out of the apprehension of the mercy of God in Christ, put in the definition of Repentance, do import) and in the reduplication, it acts on Him considered as such, that is, it loves God, fears him, and believes in Him as considered in Christ: and this hath an universal approbation of the way of the dispensation of Grace, and that as proceeding from a principle of life communicate to them by Christ Jesus: whereby they become not only obliged to God for it; but obliged to Him in Christ Jesus. And thus we may see, that this single respect to God and His own goodness for Himself, doth not shut out simply all respect to our own good: for, the considering of Him in Christ, cannot but include that; but it derives all our good from that Fountain, and by that Channel Christ; and subordinates all the thoughts thereof to the praise of God’s Grace in Him. And this is to be remembered throughout: because this doth fully difference true Gospel sincerity from the moral flashes of love, fear, faith, etc. which by some legal work may proceed from natural men, who yet can never act anything for kind the same with. these qualifications: because the considering of God, and acting on Him so by love, fear, faith, etc. is really to call Him and count Him Father in whatsoever degree they be, which hath the promise of acceptation, and is a fruit of the Spirit of Adoption: for, God’s Covenant runs not to him who believes at such a degree; but simply, to him that doth believe, thus qualified, whether his faith or unbelief be more or less: and so the marks run not, these that have Grace or fruits at such a bigness only; but these that have good fruits in any measure, have them from Christ; and may conclude that the tree is good: and therefore cannot but be accounted living branches, that will never be broken off: which of no hypocrite can be said, who do never bring forth their fruits in Him. And it is hard to say, that fruit brought forth by virtue and communication of life from Christ, doth not differ but in degree from fruit brought forth from, and to ourselves. Especially considering, that the Scripture doth contradistinguish them on that account, without this respect to their degree, as we may gather from Hos. 14.8 being compared with Joh. 1.5, v. 2,4,.5. 2. We would advert, that this reduplication consists not only in the proposing of such an end, or being acted by such a motive, to wit, a command, etc. but it takes in a singleness in both, and gives such an end and motive the chief consideration in the act, whereby in the practice of duty the heart not only purposes the pleasing of God in the giving of obedience to a command, but goes about it as a thing pleasing to God and honorable to Him, and as such doth approve of it: for, a servant may desire to please his Master, and do what he hath commanded, and yet possibly not to be single in it, as it is pleasing to him: which, as we said, is the thing wherein the great pinch of discerning these differencing qualifications will lie.

Learned [Richard] Baxter, in his excellent Treatise of the Saint’s everlasting rest, part 3, doth otherwise express the Doctrine of the difference and trial of saving and common Grace, than what hath been usually rested in among practical Divines, which doth necessitate us someway to insist a little further in the clearing thereof. He hath these Assertions, 1. That it is not the Law but the Covenant, that can clear the sincerity of Grace as saving, to wit, as it is accepted by the Covenant as the fulfilling of the condition thereof, page 205. and 206. 2. He saith that God hath not in the Covenant promised Justification upon any mere act, or acts considered without their degree and suitableness to their object, etc. page 21 0. 3. There is no act, considered in its mere nature and kind, which a true Christian may perform, but one that is unsound may perform it also, page 211. From which he draws, That wicked men may really rely on Christ, have recumbency on him, love God, etc. page 211. and 231. and that they may hate sin as sin, and as displeasing to God, Ibid. 4. He asserts, That the sincerity of saving Grace as saving, lies materially, not in the bare nature thereof but in the degree; not in the degree considered absolutely in itself, but comparatively as it is prevalent against its contrary, that is, when love adheres more to God than any other thing, and such like page 222. which he endeavors to show both in the infused habits, and in the acts of saving Grace: and page 235, doth assert, That in loving God and Christ as Mediator, there is no more than a gradual difference between the regenerate and unregenerate; and in the end, he doth load the common opinion with many dangerous consequents.

These assertions do seem, at the first, to be expressly contradictory to what hath been said; yet if we will consider the explication thereof, we will not find so great difference in the matter itself as to be the rise of a new debate and controversy in the Church, wherein there are, alas! too many already; nor any just cause to reject the former received opinion for any prejudice that follows upon it: to which two we shall speak a little.

1. We conceive that the difference will not be found so great as the expressions at first seem to carry, and were it not that this opinion of his, is expressly laid down in opposition to what is commonly received, there might be not so great ground to suspect it: For, 1. The infusing of habits as necessary and antecedaneous [previous] to gracious acts, is acknowledged by both: and expressly, part 1, page 158. and 159. he doth condemn the contrary in Grevinchovius, at least as an error. And, part 3, page 224. he hath somewhat to the same purpose.

2. It is not questioned whether true acts of saving Grace have a rational and deliberate prevalency over the opposite lusts, as he asserts, part 3, page 212,213, that will be also granted by all Divines, that though where true Grace is, it may be captivated and not always actually prevail against the opposite suggestions of the flesh; yet in a sober and deliberate frame, the interest of God and spiritual things will have more room in the heart of one that is renewed (as he is such at least) than sinful lusts unto which the flesh doth entice.

3. It is granted also, that beside the act there is necessary for the constituting of it to be saving, a suitableness and adequateness to the object, which we will find in the explication thereof to be almost the same with the positive qualifications, which formerly we did lay down, as page 21 1. and 212. he doth thus express it, The sincerity of the act, as saving, consists in its being suited to its adequate object (considered in its respects which are essential to it as such an object) and so to believe in, and love God as God, and Christ as Christ, is the sincerity of these acts, but this lies in believing, accepting and loving God, as the only supreme God, etc. where expressly the act is considered as acting upon its object under the reduplication formerly mentioned, and seems to be by him accounted the same with accepting and loving God above all. And again, page 229, to will God and Christ above all (says he) this is to will savingly, which he explains thus, to will God as God, the chief good, and Christ as Christ the only Savior: and page 230, he says, that a man may will God and Christ, who by the understanding are apprehended as the chief good (as the devils do) and yet by not willing Him as so considered, that willing is not saving, and wherefore? I t must be because it wants [lacks] that reduplication: which reduplication in the term as, must be indeed I extended to the will, as well as to the understanding, as he there asserts; but is not to be ( restricted to the degree of its act, to speak so, but is to be extended also to the nature of I it. Further, we will find the same learned Author elsewhere (to wit, in the Appendix to his Aphorisms, m. lib. page 242, in answer to the 4. objection) giving the difference between sincere Covenanting with God and that which is not sincere, where he doth lay down six concurring qualifications, and so concludes thus; Ye see that there is a great difference between covenanting sincerely and covenanting in hypocrisy, and so between faith and faith, and yet the difference will be found no other thing but what almost is usually asserted by Divines in the like case.

4. We will find him also come near in expressions, as pag. 226. a specific difference is acknowledged: and although he call it a moral specific difference; yet doth he express the same, thus, that it proceeds from the agreement and conformity of our actions and dispositions to the Law (which determines of their dueness) or their disconformity thereunto: again, pag. 229 he instances love and delight, etc. as these things wherein sincerity may be tried, (for certainly delighting in God, is a Grace and a commanded duty, as loving of Him is) compare it with pag. 21 3. and 21 4, he doth assert that hypocrites may have delight in the same objects (to wit, the knowledge of God and His Works) which are objects also of the delight of the Regenerate; but (saith he) “In the sinner, these delights are nearest of the same nature with the former sensual delights: for it is not the excellency or goodness of God Himself that delights them; but the novelty of the thing, etc. as receiving thereby some addition to its own perfection, and not as from God, etc. and though they delight in studying and knowing God, and Heaven, and Scripture; yet not in God as God or the chief good, nor out of any saving love to God (this contradistinguishing of saving love, from a knowing of God as God, and from hypocritical love, doth seem to place the difference in some other thing than the degree alone) but either because (as some Preachers) they make a gainful trade of it by teaching others; or, because it is an honor to know these things, or be able to discourse of them, or at best (nota, if these be their best motives, or the highest account upon which they delight, Then they cannot delight in God as God, which sincere Believers do; nor can they do an act for kind the same: and sith [since] there must be a difference between their delight, and the delight that is gracious in respect of the kind, because they go on different accounts, so must it be in other Graces) as I said before, they delight to know God out of a delight in the novelty, etc. and natural elevation of the understanding thereby; it is one thing to delight in knowing, another in the thing known. And afterward near the foot of that ‘ page, says, So it is the same kind of delight that such a man (to wit a hypocrite) hath in knowing God and knowing other things: whereby it is clearly insinuated, that it is another kind of delight, which the Believer hath in delighting in God, than any unrenewed man can have, seeing it’s another kind of delight than he hath in any other thing. And wherein this kind of difference consists we may gather from what is said. 1. There is supposed to be a different principle, to wit, an infused gracious habit, which must precede this act. 2. There is a different end, the one seeks to please his own curiosity, the other respects God and his own spiritual good. There is, 3. A different motive; the one delights in it, because it is profitable, or honorable, or pleasing to himself to know such things; the other delights in God Himself, as acted therein from the excellency that is in himself, and the love that he hath to himself, and the spiritual satisfaction that he hath in it. 4. There is a reduplication in the act, they not only delight in God, but in him as God, moved thereto out of true love to God, which (says he) the natural man doth not. Now, these four being granted by the said Reverend Author, and being the very same thing upon the matter with that which formerly we asserted, we may see that beside any consideration of the degree, there must be a concurrence of these qualifications, wherein ordinarily the difference in kind, betwixt saving grace and common, is placed; and the thing that they call the physical and real difference being acknowledged by him, as by others; it is not of great moment to debate for the terms of physical or moral. Seeing then, upon the one side, the supremacy of God’s interest in the act is not denied, and that in respect to its eminent degree, if it be well understood; and upon the other the concurrence of these qualifications is acknowledged, The difference cannot be great: for understanding of this difference (which must be less than appeared at first) we would consider these two, 1. That when the degree of grace is spoken of, it may be considered either more strictly, as contradistinguished from the former qualifications, which in this respect are said to be the kind of the act; or, it may be considered more largely, as it comprehends the principle, motive, end, etc. and so it takes in the former qualifications. It seems that this Learned Author, when he speaks of the degree, doth take it in this large sense; whereas usually it is taken in the first and strict sense, and this makes the difference appear greater than it is: and if this distinction might reconcile these mistakes, it were desirable. 2. The supremacy, or precedency and prevalency of the interest of God in us above the interest of flesh (in which alone that Reverend Author doth place the sincerity of saving Grace, pag. 21 1, prop. 10), may be considered in respect of the degree of the act itself, being compared with the objects whereupon it acts; and so comparatively, that act may be said to be prevalent, suppose of love, fear, sorrow, &c. that loves and fears God more than any other thing, and hath more sorrow for sin than delight in it, etc. or we may consider this supremacy and prevalency of God’s interest in respect of the qualifications of the act, that is, of the end, motive, etc. and thus the interest of God may be said to be prevalent, when it is respect to God Himself, and the soul’s esteeming of Him as He is God, that makes it love Him and fear Him, and sorrow for dishonoring of Him, so that it’s His interest, more than any other end or motive that hath influence on these acts: in this latter sense, there is also no difference from what was formerly said; and if that proposition could be so understood, there might be an accommodation: but the instances and explications added by the forenamed Author, seem to limit this prevalency of God’s interest to the act itself, as being only compared with other objects, or as acting on God, or what is approven by Him prevalently, beyond what it doth on other opposite objects. In a word, this, when the good that is in God is considered on the one hand, and the good that is in creatures on the other hand, if the soul choose God and love Him beyond any created good, That is accounted by him to be saving sincere love, and the sincerity thereof to consist in this degree alone. From this the ordinary Doctrine differs especially in these, 1. That usually Divines consider the prevalency of God’s interest to be especially in the motive swaying to the act, and other qualifications, and the act to be sincere, suppose of love, fear, sorrow, etc. not only because it loves or fears God more than any other object; but because, single respect to God and spiritual good, makes it love Him, fear Him, sorrow for the offending of Him, in what ever degree the act itself be. In the former respect, supposing that an act could be prevalent, to wit, in loving or fearing God more than any other thing, such acts behooved to be accounted sincere and saving without any respect to the motive, or other qualifications of them; and it supposes that an act may have these qualifications and not be gracious: in the last respect, acts so qualified (supposing that there may be such prevailed over by the violence of other subjects) yet are to be accounted gracious, because so and so qualified, without respect to the degree of the present act; and so, that no act of an hypocrite can be so qualified. 2. The difference is in this, that this Reverend Author doth only constitute the difference in that comparative prevalent degree alone: and therefore expressly asserts, pag. 235, that there is no more but a gradual difference betwixt the grace that is in an regenerate man and the love that he hath to God, and the common grace and love that may be in one unregenerate: which would seem to say, that the one may love God on the same consideration and account, and from the same motives that the other may, especially considering that he doth extend this mere gradual difference, both to the habits and acts: and so the question here comes to this, if there be any other difference than a gradual difference to be inquired for? And this is that which we assert, that there is beside any gradual difference, a difference in kind (that is, in respect of the former qualifications) betwixt saving and common grace, and that in our search the one is to be inquired for with the other; so that no degree simply can quiet the mind, except it be so qualified as aforesaid. And we conceive that the instances, reasons, similitudes, and Scriptures that are adduced by that Reverend Author to illustrate and confirm his opinion, will do no more but this, to wit, show that when a gracious person is acting rationally, God’s interest will be prevalent with him in degree; and that ever it should be so, and that it is most useful for a Believer’s clearness that it be so in an high degree. All which are without question: but they will no ways exclude the qualifications mentioned; but rather do presuppose them, as for example, pag. 231,232, he says, That sincere sorrow must be at such a degree that it prevail over our delight in sin and love to it, else it cannot be saving: although this be true; yet, can any say that this is enough, except the principle, motive, etc. from which it proceeds, and by which it’s qualified be considered, as was formerly hinted? Again, pag. 234, he says, True love to the brethren consists in this degree, that it love them above our honor, wealth, etc. And (says he) What did the love of some in Queen Mary’s days want but a more intense degree to make it prevail over love to their houses, to their honor, safety, etc. that it might be sincere? Beside this intense degree, there might be wanting [lacking] a right principle, for bringing forth of love, and a right account upon which to love them, without which the hazarding of lives and estates both for them, had never been accounted sincere love before God; and with which, the giving unto them a cup of cold water as in the name of a Disciple, Mat. 10. would have been acceptable. And no question, many who through fear, and self love, did keep down the stirrings of sincere love within them, so that it prevailed not to make them publicly own these Sufferers as they should have done; yet might still carry sincere love in their hearts to them, although sinfully they obscured it: which will indeed prove them to be guilty, and their love to be imperfect; but will not prove it altogether to be hypocritical and unsound in the kind thereof: .and therefore seeing without these qualifications, no degree can be sufficient to prove the sincerity of an act: and where these are, the act in whatsoever degree cannot but be accounted sincere; it must rather be these that constitute the sincerity of the act, than any degree considered as distinct from them. That assertion therefore, which is, pag. 238, That a hypocrite may love a Godly man for his Godliness, or a Christian for Christ’s sake, seems to be unwarrantable, and utterly to make void that mark of the Grace of God, which consists in true love to the brethren: for, nothing can be conceived in the comparative degree without the kind, but may be in hypocrites: and often these that are sincere will be for a time so captivated with self-love, that they will not evidence their love to others; but see for themselves, as the Disciples did, when Christ was betrayed: yet it cannot be denied but that then they loved him sincerely; and that not in word only, but in deed also. And although it was exceedingly defective; yet unsound it cannot be called: and so may be said of love to others. And considering, that where nature hath dominion, there is still enmity at the seed of God as such, how can it be that a natural man can love, and hate the same person, upon the same account, at one time? It cannot be denied, but natural men may entirely love these that are gracious; and that also their supposing them to be beloved of God, may have some weight with them: yet is not that respect had to them upon this account as they are beloved of God, or like to Him; but at the most, as thereby they may gain God’s love, or have some benefit by their loving of them, or the preventing of some evil, or the confirming of themselves in their security and self-conceited opinion from this, that they love such an one, etc. And it appears further in this, that they love not all who are Godly, and hate not, and shun not, all that are opposite to Godliness; and so do not love God and Godliness itself singly [sincerely] as such: because then their own inclination and secret delights, would be hateful to themselves. And yet certainly, all this would be, if Godly men were loved, upon this account, because they are such. Again, pag. 226, he illustrates it by this comparison of eating much and little, to show that the moral good of an action consists in the degree thereof. Now, none will say, that simple shunning of extremes of eating and drinking too much or too little, will constitute an act to be sincerely gracious, and acceptable to God, except it be considered as qualified with its motive and end, to wit, God’s Glory, etc. and elsewhere, gold (says he) is to be tried by weight, as by the touchstone: now this is true that the quantity of gold is to be tried so, (but gold simply, is not only to be tried by the weight; and then also Grace is not only to be tried by the degree) yet certainly the reality and truth of it, is to be tried by the touchstone, and it is here the sincerity and truth of Grace that we are inquiring for: and, says he, Ibid, it is not the wrestling but the overcoming, that the promise is made to, which is true in respect of the promises of full fruition: for, these do presuppose a full and total victory; but can it be said that no wrestler may be said to have true Grace, or may conclude that he hath it, till he have in this sense fully overcome? That would directly thwart the Author’s scope, which is to press the making of our election and calling sure, and by this debate to help therein: for, upon this ground, none in this life could attain assurance, because this victory that is mentioned in these Scriptures, Rev. 2.3, etc. He that overcomes, etc. is the result of all: that therefore which he asserts, pag. 243, cannot be granted, to wit, that fighting is the same action naturally in both, to wit, in these who overcome, and these who are overcome, 1 John 4.5, with 2 Pet. 2.1 9,20. For both fight, but the valiant, strong, and constant do conquer, when the feeble faint, and cowardly and impatiently do turn their backs and are overcome. I t may be observed, that though fighting be the same (possibly Physically understood) yet it’s one thing to fight valiantly, and stoutly, another to do it cowardly and faintingly, or to fight for respect to their Captain, or for love of wages, etc. and so there is a great difference morally between fighting and fighting, and also in respect of the positive qualifications thereof: and thus the difference is admitted here. Beside, that word nikonti in the present, shows that the Lord doth reckon a difference before this victory be obtained.And (says he) the Kingdom of Heaven suffers violence; and violence is no distinct action but a different degree of action. These things (I say) may serve clearly to illustrate what we asserted: for here, fighting is contradistinguished from the victory that follows it. Now can it be said, that there is no true Grace in the person that fights, or in fighting that he may overcome? And if there be, then the sincerity and truth of Grace consists not in this actual overcoming only: nor can it be said, that the renewed fighter wrestles in the same manner, or that his fighting is in the same kind, considering that he fights by his faith, 1 John 5.4, that he mortifies the deeds of the flesh by the Spirit, Rom. 8.13, that he putts on the whole armor of God, Ephes. 6, etc. And seeing an unrenewed man, neither hath such weapons or spiritual armor, nor hath a life or dexterity to use them, nor such arguments inducing him to the fight, or such an end before him, or such a principle as is capable, so to be wrought upon, etc. can it be said that his fighting is the same with the former? And that other expression of offering violence to the Kingdom of God, is but a borrowed expression: and therefore ought not so to be made use of here, as if there were stronger and weaker assaults made at Heaven indeed; and as if there needed no more to the weak assault, but a further degree only, when, at least, there must be new conveyed skill and strength, and a new way must be followed for attaining it. For, the scope of that place, is, to show the necessity of taking hold of Christ by Faith, notwithstanding of whatever impediments and discouragements would scare one in the way: and so it proves, that the Faith of a Believer, is far different from the Faith of a Hypocrite; because the one steps over difficulties upon the consideration of God’s faithfulness, and by taking hold of Jesus Christ doth prevail in the conquering of Heaven, as if by violence and might they did carry it, whereas others, who never took hold on Him, or by their Faith improved His offices, for the upmaking of their own needs, have no ground of expectation to be admitted to Heaven; and nothing they can do, can be of force to do violence to the Kingdom of God without this. And so in this respect the fighter prevails and overcomes, and gains Heaven: because, as the Apostle saith, he strives lawfully, 2 Tim. 2.5, and because he fights in the right manner; and his fighting is not, not to be accounted sincere, till he overcome; but he overcomes, because it is sincere; and so it’s sincere before that. Beside, the native exposition of that place, looks to a violence peculiarly called for in that time: for, since the days of John Baptist, says the Text, which will concern this nothing, For indeed then, there was a great difficulty to get the Messiah closed with as already incarnate, and to lay by all Types, as now having their accomplishment. By all which, we think it is more agreeable to Truth, to continue the the received Doctrine of inquiring for the Truth and sincerity of Grace in the kind thereof, and not in the degree only. For further confirming whereof, (beside what is said) we shall first’s how that there is a real difference between the habits of saving Grace in the Regenerate, and the common dispositions that may be in hypocrites. 2. We shall show that there is such a difference also in the acts of saving Grace, in respect of these former qualifications, beside the consideration of the prevalency of the degree, and the acts that may be in hypocrites. And, 3. That this new opinion, hath no more advantage with it, than the former; but that it hath the same inconveniencies, (if they be inconveniencies) which are alleged against the former, waiting upon it and others also besides these.

1. That the infused habits of Grace which are called the new nature, seed of God, the unction, and spirit, etc. do differ from the habits and dispositions that are in unrenewed men and hypocrites, and that by a real and Physical difference even in kind, may thus be made out, 1. If the Flesh and Spirit, etc. be different in kind, having different originals, and different effects, etc. Then Grace, thus considered in a renewed person, must be different in kind from what is, or can be in any hypocrite: because the one is Spirit, the other is still Flesh: and there is no midses [means] between a natural and a renewed man, and what proceeds from them as such: for, what is born of the one, is Spirit; and what is born of the other, at what ever length it be, it’s Flesh: But the former is true; Flesh and Spirit are most opposite in all the former respects: this, to wit, the Spirit, is an immediate effect of a Physical operation of the Grace of God working a change upon the heart; and so must have some suitable Physical thing in the nature of it, different from anything which is not produced by the same cause, or by the same manner of causality; such as common dispositions are: and in the effects, there is contrariety, the one lusts against the other, for the one is contrary to the other, Gal. 5.1 7, and therefore there must be some real, Physical difference between these, whose causes and effects are so different. 2. If they do not differ in kind, then it is either because they are both fruits of the Spirit, and that equally, or, because neither of them is so, or, because that which is of the Spirit savingly, doth not differ from that which is not saving. Now, none of these can be affirmed. Concerning the last, this only can be said for answer, that although nature and saving Grace may differ so, yet common Grace cannot be said to make such a difference, it being also a fruit of the Spirit. And to this we reply, If these common gifts can be consistent with a dominion of sin, and complete deadness therein, and saving Grace cannot be consistent with these, Then there must be a real difference, seeing saving Grace not only imports a relative change of a man, to wit, that he is justified, but also a real and Physical change, to wit, that he is a new, or renewed creature, which by no common Gifts or Graces can be: But the former is true. And therefore again,  3. If saving Grace be somewhat Physical, (to speak so) and constitutes a Physical difference between a man that hath it and others; yea, between a man and that which formerly he himself was; and if common Grace cannot do that, but the man that hath it and no more, is the old man still, and in nature, Then there must be a Physical difference between them: But the former is true. Ergo. For, this is ever certain, a man is either renewed or unrenewed and in nature, there is no mids: Now if there be any difference that is Physical between these two (which must be, as there is between a good tree and an evil, a new creature and an old, and not as between a little creature, and one that is more big: for, new and old respect the kind.) Then habitual Grace must differ from all other common works Physically: because it is that which constitutes this difference. Add, 4. These common dispositions

may. evanish or never be so through, but the person which hath had them may perish: which cannot be said of saving Grace, called the Seed of God, immortal, and incorruptible, that remains in them that once had it, etc. especially, considering that it is called immortal, in respect of the nature of it: and that, that continuance is one of the properties thereof. For although nothing of itself be eternal, and immortal but God; yet it cannot be denied but what the Lord minds to make immortal, He doth otherwise fit and qualify it for that end than other things, as we see in the difference that is between Angels and other creatures, and the souls and bodies of men, and of that glorious conformity that shall be put on the glorified Members of Christ unto their head. And though (as he

says) that all, both Philosophers and Divines do say more; yet this is enough: which also the forementioned Author acknowledges in the Appendix to his Aphorisms, pag. 240. And saving Grace being of the same nature with Glory, it were hard to say, that a man in nature, did for kind partake of the Divine nature, and of the first fruits of the Spirit and Glory, who, yet may be tormented in hell for ever. Lastly, the multiplying of these common gifts, could never alter the tree and make it good; so as if it were possible that they might grow to the greatest height and bigness, they would be still but common gifts, seeing they grow from that root: therefore the tree must first be good, ere the fruit be good. Now common gifts never being able to alter the tree, as is said, there must therefore be a difference between them and saving Grace in some other thing than in the degree. And indeed if these dispositions be of the same kind with gracious habits, then the root of common and saving Grace would be one; which the Scripture doth still difference: and in this respect the habit hath not its sincerity from the acts, as if it were gracious, because the acts thereof are thus comparatively prevalent; but the acts, are gracious and prevalent, and cannot but be so, because they proceed from such an habit; and the habit is first gracious, before the acts thereof be sincere: and therefore there must be a real and Physical difference in the habit itself from common dispositions, as it is considered (at least) in order of nature, before the acts: and so, the difference doth not only lie in the acts themselves. Neither can it be said here, that habits and dispositions do not differ in kind: therefore that difference is not to be sought here: for, beside that this Assertion will find opposition among Philosophers, it can no ways be acknowledged here, where the habit is not natural, nor acquired. And certainly the names and titles, whereby the Scripture doth set forth this habitual Grace, (as the New nature, Spirit, New man, New creature, God’s Workmanship, His Seed, the Heart of Flesh, etc. whereby it is not only contradistinguished in its kind from nature and flesh, taken in their most gross acception; but from all common gifts of the Spirit also) do hold forth a real difference to be between them.

2. Concerning gracious acts, that are fruits of this Spirit and grow upon this tree of habitual Grace, mainly the question is here, If that act of love, whereby a Believer loves God, doth differ any other way than gradually, from that act of love whereby an unrenewed person loves Him, or which he while unrenewed had unto Him, that is, that the one loves Him above all and the other doth not, though both love Him really and in the same kind for the nature of the act? And so if this be not the only mark by which the sincerity of all Graces are to be tried? whereof this is a particular instance.

To say somewhat to this, we conceive, that the truth and reality of sincere saving Grace in its acts is otherwise to be inquired for, than in such a degree only: for, true love loves God above all, because that is the nature of true Grace as such, to have such acts: and so it is rather a consequent following on, or a concomitant of true Grace where it is sincere, than that which constitutes the truth and sincerity thereof: although it may well (being rightly understood) evidence that: even as a Woman that loves her Husband chastely, cannot but love him beyond any other; yet doth not that constitute the sincerity of her love; because an Adulteress may do so to an Adulterer; But especially, it is in loving him as her Husband, and according to that relation: otherwise we suppose it is not impossible for a Wife to love her Husband, beyond any other man, and yet not to do it with true conjugal love, but possibly upon some worldly (and it may be sinful) principle: which if contraried, would soon discover that love not to be found, as not loving him as her Husband, but for some other advantage or satisfaction, as often experience doth clear: and must not that differ from the love of another, who cleaves to the Husband out of conscience and affection, from that conjugal relation that they stand in, and because he is her Head, even when many crosses and discontentments occur to her in her adhering to him? So it may be in other cases, a Servant may fear his Master more than any man, as a Son may do his Father; yet that there is difference in that fear (although both agree in the comparative degree, and neither of them dare offend him) none will deny. This difference then, must be in the formality of it, (to speak so) as the same person is distinctly or differently considered by the one, and the other; and as they are differently swayed, and acted in the same thing, as in the instance of filial and servile fear, is ordinarily illustrated: much more may this be conceived in the acting of grace on God, there being so many relations under which we may consider Him, and act on Him. And may it not be supposed that a Woman may at first love a Man above all others, and yet not love him for himself conjugally, who afterward being married to him, may come to love him on other principles, and from other grounds? and though there be no difference in the comparative degree, and the first possibly seemed to be most vehement; yet there is a difference really betwixt what it was, and what it is. And if this may be in moral and natural acts, may it not be much more in spiritual saving acts, when compared with those that are not so? It’s upon this ground that the acute Divine Cameron doth expressly assert, that the love whereby a Wife loves her Husband, doth differ specie [in kind or type] from that whereby she may warrantably love another, so that if she loved any other in the least degree with that kind of love wherewith she loves her Husband, she were really an Adulteress. And this is when he is speaking of that question, Num Christus Mediator sit adorandus? [How is Christ the Mediator to be worshipped?] intending thereby to show, that that kind of love, adoration, etc. which is due to God, can be given to none other in any degree, without manifest impiety. And will it look well, to say that warrantably we may give love and fear, etc. of the same kind to men and creatures, which we are called to give to God? and that only the degree to Him, is comparatively to be supreme; yet upon the former assertion, this will necessarily follow: for, if a Believer’s love, fear, etc. differ no otherwise from the love,fear, etc. of hypocrites, Then that act of love which he hath to God, must be of the same kind with what he hath to Wife, Children, etc. except in the degree: which yet I suppose he would be mightily affected within himself, to approve himself to do so in the least degree. We say then, that the sincerity of Grace is not to be inquired allanerly [alone] in this prevalent and predominant comparative degree thereof; but there must be some other things concurring, at least, that constitute the difference betwixt saving acts of spiritual Grace, and these common acts which may be in hypocrites. For, if these two may be separated, that is, if there may be this comparative degree, in the common gifts or graces which an hypocrite may have, Then that which constitutes the difference of the sincerity of Grace, cannot consist in that only: for, that must be proper to saving Grace quarto mono [merely a fourth, idiomatically only in part], which doth difference it from all other things: but we may see in instances, that if we consider this degree without respect to any other thing, it may be found where saving Grace or sincerity is not; and contrarily, saving Grace may be (at least in respect of particular acts) where that degree is not. Therefore it is not that alone wherein properly, and essentially the difference doth consist.

Before we give any instances, we would permit some advertisements, especially concerning the first, which may possibly look strange-like to some, to wit, that there may be such a comparative degree of love, fear, sorrow etc. in hypocrites, who yet have nothing of sincere Grace; and that therefore sincerity is not to be tried by that comparative degree alone. Concerning which it’s to be adverted,

First, That when we say, there may be in an hypocrite such a degree of love, fear, etc. that may be comparatively prevalent, that is not to be understood, as if there were love, fear, etc. in sincerity in the least degree in any hypocrite; but only this, that seeing it’s certain (and this Learned Author asserts it) that hypocrites upon carnal considerations may love and fear God in some respects, which yet is out of no true respect to God: so it may be supposed, that upon the same considerations they may come to love Him, or fear Him above any other object comparatively. Certainly upon this supposition, that it were at that degree upon these carnal considerations, it would still be but of the same kind of which it was, to wit, carnal, and hypocritical love, and servile fear. Neither can this supposition be thought strange, Seeing, 1. No hypocrite can fear God sincerely more than love Him; yet that such an one may, upon apprehensions of God’s terror, fear His wrath more than all the world beside, cannot be denied. 2. Seeing also it’s but some carnal motive that leads natural men to love anything most, why should it be thought impossible, that upon such motives and considerations, they may be swayed to love God most? Especially considering what flashes of joy may be in temporary Believers (although they continue not) and what may be supposed to have been in Nebuchadnezzar, Dan. 4. and Darius, cap. 6. and possibly in many hypocrites amongst the Jews and others, upon some signal manifestations of God’s goodness to them; yet, even the supposition of the being of such a thing, although it actually had never been, Even that were enough for confirming of what we say. 3. It cannot be denied but hypocrites may have a zeal of God, which may bear great sway with them and more than any mere temporal thing, as in the instance of the Jews, Rom. 10. Yet there cannot be zeal of any kind without love of that same kind; yea, zeal presupposes love, and that in an high and intense degree. But we shall offer some instances afterward.

Secondly, It would be adverted, that we do not assert that hypocrites may thus love or fear God habitually, and (to say so) in their ordinary strain: nay, we think it extraordinary to them to attain even to this; and that it follows upon the back of some extraordinary manifestation, either of God’s love, wrath, terror, etc. If it be said, that this meets not the question. Answ. Indeed that Reverend Author, states it upon habitual and deliberate acting; yet, considering that the thing inquired in here, is the sincerity of particular gracious acts: if there can be any particular act which hath that comparative degree, and yet is not sincere, nor will prove the person to be gracious, Then it will follow that the sincerity of particular gracious acts, is not alone, nor mainly to be inquired for in that.

Thirdly, It would be remembered, that when we speak of this prevalency in the comparative degree, that we take not the phrase largely, as including the motive, end, etc. or ‘God’s interest swaying to such an act, by such a spiritual motive, etc. but strictly, according as we held it forth in two distinctions, mentioned before this. God’s interest then in this act, is not to be considered, as it respects motives, and compares all these, amongst which respect to Him doth sway; but it’s to be understood, as it respects the act only, without respect to the motive, what ever inducement it be that persuads thereto. Otherwise, as we said, the difference is but in expressions: and it’s not our purpose to contend for words. And therefore in such an explication, we shall acquiesce, as to this, and we profess not to dispute against that.

If it be said, that the loving of God so comparatively above anything, is not to love Him above all: because that for which we love Him, is more beloved by us, even though thereupon we should be induced to give our lives for His Cause, etc. Answ. 1. It’s true, this proves it not to be sincere love, or to proceed from right principles and motives, as is said; and this is not intended: for even such a person hates God really, as was formerly asserted. Yet, secondly, it’s such love as hypocrites use to have to other things, to wit, that love wherewith they love the world, their Patrons and Idols of any sort, which is certainly still from some selfish principle or motive: and therefore indeed still they love themselves best; yet are they said to have such things to be their Idols, and comparatively to love them above all other things, even above the Lord Himself, although it be such a motive as prevails with them for that end: and may not the same be acknowledged here, supposing that the Lord may for a time get that from a man upon carnal considerations which some Idol uses to have? Thirdly, We conceive it will be, in this case, argumentum ad hominem [argument to the man]: for, this Reverend Author instances the prevalency of love to God and the Brethren, not in the motives that sways to love them most, but in the acts, being compared with other objects, that is, if God be loved above His temporal good things, i f the Saints be loved more than our estate, place, etc. so as we can quit all these for them, as the former instances do clear. Now supposing it may be made out, that as to the effects, hypocrites may so love God and the Saints, as to abandon all their temporal satisfactions for them, and possibly even their life (which is the only thing that that Reverend Author says was desiderated [desired] in the love of some in Queen May’s days, pag. 237,238,239,) though still upon carnal principles and motives: Then it will follow that the assertion as formerly understood, will be sufficient to oppose that proposition, that the difference betwixt saving and common grace is only gradual, and that in respect of such a degree as is explained. Now we come to instances.

1. We may find it in love: one that is an hypocrite, may in some respect (‘as is qualified) love God above all: For, 1. May it not be said from the zeal that many Jews had, that they loved God above all; and out of their blind zeal would have preferred Him to their lives, or what else was dear to them? Yea, 2. Was not that in Paul while yet a Pharisee before his Conversion, who in some respect had that testimony from his Conscience, that zeal and love to God put him to all that he did, so that it is like he could have suffered the loss of all things in that quarrel? yet, it cannot be said, but that his love to God after his Conversion was exceedingly different from what it was before, although in this comparative degree it might be some way the same, to wit, he loved God above all before; and he continued to do so thereafter, but with love, far otherwise qualified, than formerly he did. If it be said, that although the Jews and Paul had a zeal of, and did love God above all; yet, was it not according to knowledge, as is said, Rom. 10. and so could not be accepted by the Covenant as sincere love. Answ. This is truth, and doth confirm our assertion: for, wherefore was it not accounted sincere, and as such accepted? It cannot be said simply, because they loved some other thing better: for, the degree of their zeal and love, is not controverted; but it is in respect of the qualifications thereof, it was not according to knowledge, that is, in a word, not regulated and qualified in respect of the principle, end, motive, and account thereof, according to the rule whereby true love should vent, which in their ignorance they could not do; and therefore still there is something beside this degree necessary to the constituting of the sincerity of love, that it may be acceptable: and so in other acts, this must ever be presupposed, that they be according to knowledge, that is, 1. That the matter of it be right in itself. 2. That the manner be according to the rule prescribed, that is, not only God’s glory for the end, but the glorifying of Him according as He requires and prescribes. 3. That both these be known to the person. And, 4. That as such he perform them; and upon that account, act in them, as they agree to His will: otherwise it can never be accounted to be an act according to knowledge, as in the former instance is clear: whereby it appeares, that the sincerity of an act, and this prevalent comparative degree thereof, may be separated. Thirdly, That men may love their Idols above all, cannot be denied, seeing men are naturally mad upon their Idols, so Turks love their Mahomet, Baal’s Prophets their Baal, even beyond their own lives. Now, may not one love God and Christ, as one may love Mahomet, or their Idols? This Argument is also made use of by the forecited [previously mentioned] Author, to prove that a natural man may love Christ really for kind, pug. 236,237. And will not this same hold in respect of the degree also? Considering that there is as good ground, and more, even in a human respect, for Historical faith to believe the truth of the being and worth of God, and Jesus Christ, and as much proof and experience of the advantages and benefits that come from him, as there are for any to be assured of the being and worth of Mahomet, Jupiter, Apollo, etc. Now suppose one that formerly loved Mahomet or Jupiter, above all, should by the force of Historical faith, or some extraordinary deliverance be brought to account of, and love the only true God, as he did formerly love Mahomet or his Idols, could that be accounted to be sincere love, because the object were changed? Supposing still no change to be in the man, nor intrinsically in the act itself in respect of its kind? and yet upon the supposition foresaid, this act would not be defective in respect of the comparative degree, supposing him to love God now, as formerly he did his Idol: It must therefore be in kind. And may not such acts as have proceeded from Nebuchadnezzar and other hypocrites, upon special and singular appearances of God, be accounted such, wherein there was some kind of reality as to their actual esteeming of God above all; yet still being without sincerity, as the zeal of the Jews was, because God was not esteemed of according to knowledge, that is, as in Christ Jesus: in which respect He hath manifested Himself in His Word, and without which, there can be no degree of love acceptable to Him.

Fourthly, Might not one have loved Christ above all, while He was upon earth, from the convictions of the worth that was evidently seen in Him, and from particular favors, received from Him, suppose of health, freedom from the rage of the devil, etc. as one man may love another, especially His benefactor above all things, so that He may become his Idol? Now, suppose it had been so (which was not impossible) that men had known and ‘ loved Christ thus after the flesh (as the Apostle speaks, 2 Corinth. 5.17 .) could that have proven that love to be sincere? And yet the fault, is not in respect of that degree.

Again, we may instance it in faith: for, that one may trust Christ in some respect above all, is clear by the many examples of the faith of miracles, and that both active, and passive; yet is it also clear that saving faith is of another nature, and hath other qualifications concurring in it’s acting as such: the first acts on Him, as powerful to bring forth such an act, and in respect of some particular manifestation of His Will for the bringing forth thereof; the other considers Him as a Savior offered to us by God’s faithfulness in the Word; and for that end, to wit, Salvation; and upon that account, to wit, as offered, and as such, it receives Him and rests on Him, being moved thereunto by its giving credit to the faithfulness of God in respect of His Covenant and offer of special Grace. So, to be willing to have Christ, is a main act of Faith; and that one in nature may in some respect be willing to have Christ and Heaven above all, cannot be denied, especially by this Author. Neither can it be said, that this respect to God and Christ, is inferior to their love to earthly blessings, which they prefer to Him, as is insinuated, pag. 237. for certainly they may esteem Him beyond temporal blessings: therefore they will suffer the loss of these, and their life itself upon this presumptuous ground of gaining Him by the abandoning of these; yet cannot that be accounted sincere willing, because they will Him not as such, and according to the terms of His Covenant. Further it may be instanced in fear, repentance, love to the brethren, etc. as was formerly hinted: wherein we will find that natural men may come to this comparative degree in respect of the external object, to wit, to fear God more than to fear men, or any other thing; to sorrow for sin in such a degree, that it may prevail over delight in it, and love to it: wherein the comparative degree that constitutes the sincerity thereof, is instanced, pag. 231,232. and they may love the brethren so as to relive, clothe, visit them, etc. and for this end to part with their own ease and estate, which is the degree that is only marked as wanting [lacking] to such as loved the Saints; but yet could not part with temporal things for them, pag. 239 and upon this ground it is, we conceive, that pag. 232. this necessary advertisement is given, That these graces which are expressed by the passion, as fear, love, joy, etc. are not so certainly to be tried by the passion that is in them, as by the will that is contained in them or supposed to them: which must either be to show, that sometimes the vehemency of the passion may seem more towards one object, suppose in fear of men, or love to creatures; when yet the will rationally fears and loves God more: or, it is added to show that something must be respected in the trial beside the degree simply; so that this degree is not to be accounted the alone mark of trial: otherwise this advertisement were needless. And what is spoken of the will its acting rationally in its act, as contradistinguished from the passion, or act of the sensitive part, must infer some concurring qualifications to be necessary in the act of the will, which cannot be in the sensitive part, which doth necessarily infer a tacit acknowledging of the necessity of observing something in the nature of the act, beside this degree alone, for the evidencing of the sincerity thereof.

On the other side, may not habits for a time be without acts, at least, without acts prevalent in respect of this degree? Now then, what shall be judged of such acts, suppose of love, fear, faith, etc. which for a time are prevailed over, and the heart is led captive by the opposites? They cannot be denied to be sincere acts of Grace nor can it be said, that there are none such at all: for, in that one place, Rom. 7. we will find the Apostle speaking of such motions of the Spirit or Inner-man, which yet prevail not as to the effect, but the heart is led captive over them, so that what he would, that he doth not; And he is led captive to the law of sin, over the law of his mind; yet, even then doth he acknowledge these acts of the Inner-man to be sincere acts of Grace: and therefore doth comfort himself in them; and doth oppose them to the law of sin in his members, which otherwise he could not do. And this sincerity cannot flow from this degree, which then is not: it must therefore flow from the kind thereof, and so be contradistinguished in that respect from any common work of a hypocrite.

If it be said here, that it is true love, faith, etc. that in its sober, composed and deliberate rational actings doth prefer God, although at fits and times it may be overpowered; and that in this respect Paul did in his deliberate actings, prevail over the Law of his members, though by its surprisals it did captivate him.

Answ. Although this be granted to be truth; yet it will not infringe the Argument: because we ask not only what Paul was in respect of his state, or of his deliberate acting, but what these motions and stirrings of the Spirit in him were, that were overpowered, whether even these were gracious and sincere, or not? For, if these stirrings be acts, as is acknowledged, pag. 224. they must either be sincere, or not; it cannot be said, not, upon the grounds formerly given; they must be then sincere: and if sincere, then they must be sincere, not in respect of the prevalency of the degree; but in respect of the nature of the act itself, as is said. For although we say that such a person did in his natural acting of love, etc. prefer God above all; yet that would only prove that the person were habitually gracious, and a true lover of God; or, prove that once he hath had acts truly sincere; but that could never be the ground upon which the sincerity of these present acts could be founded. And so as the close of all, seeing this prevalent degree may be separated from sincere acts, and may be in acts that are not sincere in the manner qualified & contra: Therefore the formal reason of sincerity, is not to be inquired in it alone.

If it be said, that even in such acts wherein corruption prevails in the affection or passions; yet Grace is still prevalent in the will.

Answ. Then whether can it be said that there is no true Grace in the affections, or, whether the actings thereof in them be not sincere, although not prevalent? If they be gracious, even as such, Then the Argument doth still hold, that Grace may be sincere where it prevails not as to the effect: if it be denied that they are sincere as such, Then it will follow that true Grace is not universal as to the subject thereof; or, that it may be sincere in the will and not in the affections: which yet are acts of the same Grace and soul, in so far as renewed, striving with itself in so far as unrenewed. Beside, prevalency is but in the will as renewed, so that it is only as such induced to dissent or consent; whereas that same will, as unrenewed, yields over that dissent of the renewed will: whereby it comes to pass that acts are elicited thereby, which the renewed part did oppose; and so indeed, as to the effect, the renewed will is not

prevalent: because that is not acted, which it would be at; yea, acts are elicited by the will, as is said, which, had the renewed part been prevalent, had not been at all, which shows that in such a case there is a prevalency, even in the will.

If it be said further, That the love wherewith natural men love God, as it is formerly described, is but still self-love: because they love not God as God; but upon some other self-account: and therefore do still love themselves more; and so do not love God above all sovereignly: because they love Him not for the goodness that is in Himself; whereas if God’s interest were main and chief in that love, it were to be accounted sincere: and this presupposing the habits to be infused, this sovereign interest of God in the act will take in the end, motive, and that which we called the reduplication of the act. Answ. If that Assertion, that sincerity doth lie in the comparative prevalent degree, be thus explained, as to take in God’s interest as sovereign in the end, motive, and formal consideration of the act, Then it comes indeed to be one: and if so, then there were no reason to fall out with the Doctrine that ordinarily is delivered concerning this: and, for the expressions we will not contend, as we formerly said: but when we consider the explication of the Author, especially as it is opposed to the common Doctrine, it seems that he means the sovereignty of God’s interest in respect of objects, compared together, that is, God more sovereignty loved, feared, and trusted, than any other; and doth not take in the consideration of God in the motive, end, and formal consideration of the act, which hath influence on the person for bringing forth of such an act; and so on the act itself, that is brought forth: for, the comparison runs thus, betwixt the objects, flesh and spirit, who doth prevail most on the heart, but is not in comparing the motive and other qualifications of that act, which materially is spiritual: and therefore still in that respect, the former Argument will hold, and the ordinary expressions will suit better to the thing.

It may be further argued against the placing of the nature of sincerity in the prevalent degree alone, Thus, If the acts of saving grace be sincere, before they be in this degree prevalent, Then this prevalency of the degree, cannot be the thing that constitutes the sincerity thereof, much less alone be it; But the former is truth, That act of love, faith, etc. is saving, which is wrestling against its opposites, so as to win the heart to love God more than all other objects, even before it attain it: For, we are to suppose this method, 1. Gracious habits are supposed as infused, whereby the tree is made good. Then 2. That these habits have their inclinations and acts, that lust against the flesh, and fight with the flesh for winning of the heart to the following of its motions: and as fighting goes before the Victory; so in this spiritual combat, do these lustings and actings go before the prevalent degree, and by these the heart is engaged to love God above all; whereupon follows that prevalency as a degree of Victory. And yet we suppose, that were the least sparkle of grace kindled in the heart, so that it were but smoking in desires of love to God and faith in Him, it cannot be denied to be sincere; although it hath not broken out in a flame. For, if this prevalent degree be in some respect an effect of these stirrings, these stirrings must be sincere before they come this length, as to prevail: for, they were acts before, and if not gracious acts, then how could acts that are of themselves unsound, produce an effect that is sincere, seeing the cause must be of the same nature, and as noble as the effect? And so consequently its sincerity doth not flow from this degree; but on the contrary rather, this degree is attained by these stirrings, because such stirrings, are acts of sincere love and grace: whereas they are extinguished in another, and come not up that length (at least in the former respects) because these stirrings were for their kind unsound: and so natively the actings and stirrings of grace of any kind, must go before, either the prevalency or repulse thereof. For, supposing creatures once to have the heart of man, there is first an essaying (as it were) by some inward motions to gain the heart from these, before actually it be gained. Now, we say, that which makes some motions gain the heart deliberately to prefer God above all, is, because these motions are sincere, and do suppose as antecedaneous [previous] to that degree, at least in order of nature, 1. An inward gracious principle fitting the heart so to conceive of God, and making it capable to be swayed by spiritual and supernatural motives, and in sincerity to act on them as such. 2. It presupposes an actual putting forth of this gracious principle in its considering God as such a good in Himself, and for its happiness in Himself desirable, and lovely in another kind than any creature: Whereupon, 3. The heart is actually inclined as being swayed by such a motive, to wit, the goodness of God Himself, and the spiritual happiness that is in enjoying of Him, and as such, and upon that account to love Him, desire Union with Him, and prefer Him above all; whereby self (as it is properly se$ sinful and corrupt) is shut by, and a spiritual motive bears sway in the act, and so must be supposed in order of nature (at least) to be before it. 4. When the heart is thus affected towards God, then the former three (to wit a spiritual end, the enjoying of God, a spiritual motive, that is, a respect to His worth, and a spiritual principle whereby he was enabled so to conceive of Him) do concur for the eliciting of this act, and that in a new manner, upon that object so considered; whereupon it acts otherwise in the closing with God as God, than ever formerly it did. Upon which this prevalent degree and Victory doth follow, as the result of the hearts so acting on God, which cannot but prevail. And thus it loves God above all, and shuts down all competitors, because considering Him as such as He is, and to it in respect of the understanding’s uptaking of Him, it doth for such an end, from such a motive, by such a principle, and in such a manner, act on Him, as so considered; which others do not, who though they may have a sort of striving in them; yet their fighting, not being according to the former qualifications, can never prevail, as it cannot but in the end be a Conqueror in them that thus fight.

Further, supposing this sincerity to lie in that prevailing comparative degree, we ask, what makes the love which is in one to prevail, so as to love God above all, more than in another? Or what made Paul, after conversion, love God in that respect sincerely, more than before? It must be said, that it flows from the intervening work of the Spirit, both operating in the infusing of habits, and co-operating in the bringing forth of acts; whereby Paul is now enabled to do that which could not be done, till first the tree was made good. And if so, then there must be a real difference in the act itself, as being the fruit of another tree, or of a tree that is changed: and if the trees be different in kind, the fruits must be so also: for, grapes are not gathered of thistles; nor contra: and so must it be said of these acts, either they proceed from different habits, and so must differ in kind; or, both must be from a gracious habit: which cannot be granted, seeing often these acts in hypocrites evanish, which of gracious habits cannot be asserted: and to say that different infused habits are not requisite to either, will not be urged by any, as hath been said.

We add, that acts of love that flow from common dispositions in a natural man, may be considered as acts before they be thus prevalent: for, he loves, fears, etc. and so they be acts, although not gracious acts or sincere; but we cannot consider the acts of the gracious habits of love, faith, fear, etc. (as that a man, as renewed, doth love, fear, etc.) but we must conceive them as such to be gracious and sincere: for, they are of the Spirit, and what is of it, is of that kind; and what is but like to a grain of mustard seed, and cannot be considered as less, is yet saving and true Grace, having the qualifications foresaid; the least blossom on that tree being good fruit: therefore there must be some difference in kind between common acts, and these of saving Grace, beside anything that can be conceived to be in the degree: because in the one, the qualifications may be, and are separated from the act; but in the other, no act can be conceived as influenced by the 9 Spirit, and proceeding from it, but it must be conceived as having these qualifications in it, to wit, it hath a spiritual end, is swayed by a spiritual motive, and acts from a spiritual principle, and as such, is swayed to such an act. If it be said, that it is the least degree of Grace when it is sincere, that is so to be accounted, that is, when it is so prevalent; and that in that respect no act as such, is in the least degree prevalent, but it is sincere. Answ. That will not satisfy: for, here it is asserted that the act of love as proceeding from these habits, cannot be conceived as an act; but must also be conceived as gracious, and as arising from that root: but according to the other opinion, these may be separated, that is, although love act; yet is it not sincere love, till it act prevailingly; and so it may be considered as an act before it come to that prevalent degree of acting, which cannot be in the other. Beside, if so, then were not saving Grace, Grace, as having a different original from common gifts; but as having different fruits or effects, or different degrees of fruits. For clearing whereof, we may suppose gracious habits to be in one. And, 1. Do not the acts of love, faith, fear, etc. proceed from these infused habits; and are they not actings of the New-creature? And, 2. Are not these acts gracious as such? And because they are such, they are saving and sincere, that is, because acts of the New nature. 3. Do not these habits fit and qualify one to act otherwise than one can do who hath not these habits; and that not only in respect of degree, but in respect of kind? otherwise these habits would not be a different principle from common dispositions, or, as infusing a different life, but helping one to exercise the life which he had: which were absurd. 4. Do not men who are so fitted by these habits, act accordingly in the producing of their acts otherwise than any other who is not so qualified? And so, 5. Must not then the acts produced, be differenced, which are thus differently produced? And wherein can this difference consist but in the kind? For, if it be said, they differ, because these gracious habits bring forth acts in that prevalent degree, wherein the Lord’s interest hath the chief room, Then it may be inquired. 1. Is that the alone difference? or can it be said that the new life hath no influence even on the manner of acting? considering that the person is furnished with new qualifications, both in the understanding, will, and affections: and these cannot but concur in the act; and yet must concur differently in respect of what one in mere nature can do. 2. It may be inquired, could that man have brought out these acts without these habits? And if not, they must be then different in kind from what formerly he did bring forth, seeing they could not be produced without a new and different cause. 3. Neither can any acts proceeding from these habits be accounted common acts; they must then, even the least of them be saving. And, 4. If they be saving, and that as acts simply, it must be because of something that is in their kind, without respect to their degree; as the least motions and actings of corruption ire sin, because they are from flesh, even when by Grace they are kept from victory: So is it, on the contrary, with the least motions of the Spirit.

Yea, if we were strictly considering this very difference, as it is proposed in respect of the prevalent comparative degree, we will find it to infer a real difference in the kind of the act, beside this comparative degree: for (suppose in the act of sincere love) by one the Lord is preferred, and all other objects are rejected; by another, He is loved, but some other thing is preferred to Him: now that act of love, which respects God as the chief good, and as such closes with Him, must be different in kind from that that takes Him, but not as the chief good: and therefore loves some other thing more. For, in this act there is not only a comparing of God with other things; but an act resulting from that comparison, whereby the heart of one says, when this question is proposed, Is God thy chjef good? Yen: and so positively it closes with Him as such: in the other, when the heart compares, it says, Nay, God is not the chief good: and therefore closes not with Him as such; but refuses Him. Now these two, nay and yea, to accept of Him as such, or to refuse Him, must differ oppositely, and not in degree only. For the consideration of God here in the act of the heart, is not simply if he be good: for, that cannot come under consideration, but if He be the chief good, and so to it, and if it will take Him as such; and so that act of love to Him must be such as determines that question being, or nay; and in that respect the one yields, the other rejects. Therefore here it is not yielding in this or that degree, but yielding, or refusing; which in that pinch are contradictory. 2. By the one act of love, God gets the chief room, and other things are casten down: it is quite contrary in the other; and can these two be of one kind? Or can that act of love which prefers many things to Him, act for its kind on God, as that act of love that takes Him as infinitely preferable to all? Because the one considering Him as the chief good, accordingly loves Him; and the other, not doing so, but otherwise, This difference must follow thereupon. 3. That act wherein there is this prevalency, must either have somewhat peculiar in it which doth make it prevail over its opposites, as to love God above all, which another hath not, that loves created things above Him; or, it must have its prevalency from what is common to both. Now, this last cannot be said: because so, it were man himself that did make himself to differ: there must therefore be something peculiar in the other, as a cause producing that effect; and if there be a peculiar cause, and some peculiar thing in the one which is not in the other, differing the rise of this from the rise of the other, Then this prevalent act of love which is the effect of that peculiar cause, must beside this degree differ in kind also, as being peculiarly influenced by that cause which the other is not. And seeing this peculiarness is presupposed to precede the prevalency of the act, It must necessarily follow according to the same grounds, that there must be some positive qualifications concurring for the constituting of the sincerity of Grace beside the prevalent degree thereof, And that therefore sincerity doth not consist alone in it: and so, that hypocrites cannot do the same acts for kind, which the Regenerate may do, without respect to this comparative degree.

To conclude then, we may illustrate all, thus, Suppose a dead body were by the power of God made to move, or speak, as once Balaam’s Ass did, There is motion and speech there, suppose it be to the same object, and in the same words; yet doth it differ from the motion and speech of a living man that acts according to reason. 1. A dead man is moved only from some extrinsic [external] power without the intervening principle of life from within: although he may be moved more speedily and swiftly toward a certain object, than one that from an inward principle of life acts himself; yet doth the motion % of the living man, differ in kind (beside any comparative degree which can be in the act of moving) by a positive concurring of an inward principle of life and a locomotive faculty whereby he is immediately acted: So, natural men being dead in sins, what ever acts are produced by them, are merely produced by the common work of God’s spirit from without, without the intervening of any spiritual principle influencing these acts, whereas the acts of a renewed man are indeed performed by the power of God’s special grace; but (mediantibus habitibus) by the intervening of infused habits, whereby he not only is acted, but acts himself in the bringing forth of these. As, 1. A tree in the Spring-time, doth send forth her buds, from the native season of the year its having influence thereupon; yet also by the quickening of that natural sap and moistness wherewith it is furnished within itself. 2. A dead man hath no end before him in his motions or actings, as a living man habitually hath concurring in his act: so an unrenewed man hath no pure spiritual end in the best acts, which the gracious man hath; the one, eating, drinking, living and bringing forth fruit to himself, Has. 10.1, Zech. 7.5,6. and the other living, and thenceforth bringing forth fruits to God, 2 Cur. 5.16. Hence, men in nature are said to serve sin, and men in grace to become servants to God, Rom. 6. in respect of their design in the same acts. 3. Dead men, as they have no end before them, so have they no reasonable motive, as a living man is supposed to have in his actings; so natural men have no spiritual motive, supposing it be, in loving of God, it is some carnal selfish thing that sways them: for, having no spiritual principle within, as matter to work upon, No spiritual motive can have influence upon them, more than fire can be kindled by any blowing, where no kindling, or combustible matter is: a renewed man as such hath a spiritual motive concurring with, and having influence on, his actings: and so, not only loves God, because of some external benefit, but he loves Him, as being provoked from that inward principle of the Divine nature that is in him, and respect to God’s Commands and Goodness, whereby as such he cannot but love Him, and these who bear His Image, and what is spiritually good: even as a natural Parent, or Son, cannot but love his own Child, or Father, and that from another special principle than they love any other Child or Parent; so also he hath a pure spiritual motive, warming this principle, and kindling the sympathy: and thus he is swayed to love God, because of some spiritual good, as the subduing of sin, the conforming of him to God’s Image, the manifesting of Himself to him, and such like: and he loves God’s People, because he takes them to be beloved of God, or to love Him, or be like Him, as suppose a Woman did carry affection to a Man, it may be from some carnal principle, as his furnishing of her in her vanity, and his being subservient to the lust of vanity, pride, etc. in her; yet afterward, being matched with him, might love him because he were her Husband, and had condescended to marry her, although he should not serve her vain humor as formerly: in this respect, her love doth differ from what it was, as having a conjugal motive added to it, which it had not formerly. 4. A living man, in his actings, is swayed to them as good, and as good to him; and it is impossible for him to will anything even though it be good, but as it is considered as such by him; yea, even things that are hurtful are in his desiring of them considered under this notion as good to him; but there is no such thing in the motion of a dead man: so, a renewed man, not only acts on that which is spiritually good, suppose in the loving of God or His People; but also he is swayed therein, and acts therein upon this formal consideration as it is such, that is, he loves God as He is good in Himself, and to Him in what is spiritually good; and others as they are such as have title to Him, that is, Mat. 10. To love them in the name of righteous men, that is, upon that formal consideration as such, to love them. And this is that wherein mainly Godly sincerity and singleness doth kythe [manifest] itself, when we are not only moved to do what is good, and that from a spiritual motive upon the matter good; but are swayed to that thing, by this motive, as they are such, and so considered by us: and thus, this as doth not only respect the object, as it is conceived by the understanding to be such; but it doth respect the act, as it is inclined to, undertaken and performed by the will, to wit, it wills it as such: although the act itself be not in respect of its degree every way adequate to such an object, that is, though God get not so much of the heart as it becomes Him to have; yet, the heart, considering Him as such a God who deserves the heart, and ought to have no competitor with Him, and as sufficiently able of Himself to make it happy, doth so will Him; and upon that account, doth love Him and delight in Him, although it be exceedingly defective in the degree of both, and they be but conceived as such, to have a being. Now, as a man is to try the truth of his life, not only because he moves and speaks, but because he moves and speaks so, in respect of the kind formerly mentioned; So a renewed man, is not simply to try his new life from his acts, but as they are so qualified, as is said.

If it be objected, That hitherto this seems to admit no motive that concerns ourselves, as suppose one loved God, for being good to him; or, heaven, because th9 expected to be happy in it? and that as if no motive could be admitted in loving God but for himself or, how may this motive be differenced in the love of a natural man, from one that is renewed?

Answ. There is no such thing as the first intended: it will only say this, that as the natural man is swayed in the pursuing of moral good, as it is so considered by him; so a renewed man doth that which is spiritually good, and that as it’s considered as such by him. Hence there is this difference, that a natural man in his considering any act, which in itself is spiritually good, and materially agreeable to the Law; yet in his yielding to perform it, he doth still consider it as a natural good, or moral at the best; as suppose in loving of God, he is considered by such, as good to them, on a natural, or (as to them) a sinful account, as he lovs God, because He hath gotten temporal peace, deliverance from bodily hazards, an easy or honorable life; it may be, because in providence He hath prospered him in some sinful course, this the learned forementioned Author, pag. 203. doth justly call one of the greatest of all sins, when the hob God is made a pander and servant to our flesh: and no question, many do love God upon such an account; or, if they love God for the hope they have of being brought to heaven by Him (which is one of their highest motives) it is because they hope to get heaven from Him, and access to their sinful lusts here also; thereby supposing, because of His goodness and mercy, that they may sin, and serve their lusts, and expect even heaven also afterward: or, they love Him under the hope of heaven; not because there they do expect or desire spiritual or heavenly satisfaction in Himself, in being satisfied with His likeness (which they never delight in here), But because they have a supposed opinion of a greater degree of that same happiness, which now they hunt for: and so heaven is never considered by them as a spiritual good: or, they may love God, as supposing Him to love and esteem of them, because of some loveliness and excellency that is in themselves: and upon that ground expect, even heaven from Him, and love Him, because He so esteems of them: and this is to think God like themselves, and not to love Him upon any spiritual account, as is said.

Again, The renewed man as such, is swayed by spiritual motives in these things, that are but naturally and morally good; and under a spiritual consideration He acts on them, to wit, as they are commanded of God, tend to His honor, and are useful to help one in the worshiping of Him, and so forth: and thus He may be acted even in Eating and Drinking, and things that are spiritually good in themselves, as the loving of God, studying of holiness, etc. He acts in them as such, that is, he loves God, because He is an infinite spiritual good in Himself, and because he hopes to be made blessed and happy in Him: thus, to love God, and desire union and communion with Him, that we may not simply be happy, but happy and blessed in the enjoying of Him, and in being made conform to Him, is no carnal, sinful or mercenary love: because, this the Lord Himself doth warrant: and it supposes a spiritual principle, withdrawing one from common satisfactions and delights; and it loves God as God, because thus God is considered as the chief good, sufficiently and only able to make happy in Himself: and therefore He is desired, because no other thing is accounted sufficient or meet for happiness, but he. And so, love to God for himself, and love to Him because we expect to be .happy in Him, or have already gotten spiritual good, such as Regeneration, Sanctification, Repentance, etc. from Him, are no way inconsistent together: and therefore, when we speak of loving God for Himself, it is not to exclude all respect to ourselves, and our own good in Him; but it excludes all carnal respect to ourselves, or respect to ourselves as carnal, and delighted with things that are such; and to show that the good which we expect from God, and for which we love Him, is a spiritual and heavenly good, having the enjoying of Himself joined with it: which doth commend all other good to us; so that it is respect to God, and our enjoying of Him, that doth make these things lovely. And so we love God, because He is good, and because He hears our Prayers, and because He furnishes us with what is needful, and so forth: not because any fleshly lust is pleased, or temporal end is gained; but, because He confirms our faith or spiritual joy in Him: which many that have the same things which we have obtained from Him, and are also carnally cheerful in the use of them; yet, are not joyful -upon this account, but are delighted in the things themselves, or what pleases their natures in them, but not in God Himself, and so in other things.

Before we close, it will be of concernment for the understanding of all this Question, to take up rightly the true difference between a moral specific difference (which is acknowledged) and a physical difference, which is denied. This physical difference doth flow from some positive qualifications concurring in the act itself, which are not in another act, that hath other, or contrary qualifications in the place of these: again, a moral difference, as it’s expressed, doth not consider the act with respect to any positive qualifications in itself; but, in respect of some extrinsic [external] consideration; as a pound of gold, and an ounce of gold, are of the same kind in respect of their qualifications physically; yet, suppose one had hired a servant for a pound, or had conditioned so much for the rent of some lands by a subscribed Contract and Covenant; in this respect, the pound would differ from the ounce morally: because the pound, by virtue of such Covenants, would become the servant’s hire, and the landlord’s rent, which the ounce would not be. This is a moral difference, and flows from the bargain, wherein it was conditioned that so much, and no less, should be accounted so; so says the forenamed learned Author, that this moral difference of Grace, doth flow from the consideration of the Covenant, whereby only it can be determined what is saving Grace, according to the tenor thereof, whereby Justification or Salvation are bestowed upon any act, pag. 205. And therefore, Grace, that is thus comparatively prevalent in degree, is to be accounted true saving Grace: because, by the Covenant of Grace that is called for, and on& accepted as the condition thereof, pag. 226. where also he doth say, That the sincerity of Grace doth lie in the degree , not formally, but materially only: because the form of these gracious acts, consists in their being the condition on which Salvation is promised, Where, 1. To forbear the Author’s esteeming of all Graces equally, and gracious acts indifferently to be the condition of the Covenant, (which yet necessarily this opinion doth presuppose, and so is the more to be adverted unto.) There are two things to be observed, wherein the mistake lies here. 1. That it accounts nothing to be saving, or an evidence of what is saving, but what is called-for, or accepted by the Covenant as the condition thereof, whereas anything that consequently will prove one to be renewed, will also prove him to be justified; although it be not that to which his Justification is covenanted; but is something that doth necessarily presuppose it, and follow after in a justified person, and can be in no other else: for, if an act, so and so qualified, will prove one to have the habits of Grace, without which he could not produce it; Then must they prove him to be renewed, and so to be justified: because, these acts are holy acts, and fruits of the Spirit, as they are called, Gal. 5. and motions of the Inner-man, Rom. 7. and fruits of a good tree: and therefore, must prove that the tree is good. 2. There is a mistake in this, that is suppones [supposes] the Covenant not to accept of Graces (whether as the condition or otherwise) suppose of love, faith, etc. but at such a comparative degree only; and not simply to accept of them as sincere, although not as fully perfect. As suppose one by covenant had farmed some portion of land, that doth for the time bear nothing but brambles, upon this condition that he should have returned to him so many wine grapes, bigger than the brambles that grow thereon; in this respect, one that really gave grapes, could not expect to have these accepted, as being the covenanted fruit of the vineyard, or the rent of his lease, if they were not bigger than the brambles which formerly did, or doth continue to grow therein: whereas the tenor of the Covenant in the condition that it proposes and in its acceptation of Grace (to speak so) doth ever propose and accept these Graces, simply considered as such, that is, it accepts of Faith: and the Believer is to be accounted a Believer, and in Covenant, not only because of the degree of his Faith in Christ; but because he, considering Him as the Savior of sinners, and as sent of God for that end, is drawn, out of respect to the faithfulness of God in His Word, to receive Christ, as He is offered to him; and upon that account, according to the terms of the Covenant, to submit to His righteousness, and rest on Him for attaining of Salvation. Likewise in Repentance, Pardon and Justification are not knit to any degree of sorrow (as was formerly hinted) that is, that God will account him a penitent, whose sorrow for sin doth exceed his delight in it; but unto true Repentance, which is for its qualifications such, is the promise made, whosoever repents, etc. And in this respect, God’s Covenant runs not, that He will have grapes bigger than brambles, or gold of more weight than the person himself; but, if they be true grapes, growing upon a good tree, and not grapes of Sodom, or brambles, He doth accept of them, and says, destroy not, for there is a blessing in it, though it be like unto the smallest berry upon the uppermost tops of the boughs, and although still He call for perfection in the degree of all as the Covenanter’s duty. And if it be gold, and may abide the touchstone and fire, and not be consumed, He rejects it not, of what ever weight it be in the scales, as 1 Cor. 3.13,14, and 15. is clear. Now gold abides the fire, not as it is in quantity but as it is in kind, and for the quality upright: and no place is there which doth express God’s way of trial more plainly; and it hath the promise to the man whose work in any degree will abide the fire, though the dross that is with it (which shall be consumed) be in the quantity far beyond what is solid. Hence we will find in Scripture, that such expressions are used as do ever lay the weight of the sincerity of men’s acts, and place the difference of gracious and sinful acts in the kind thereof, as accounting all of such a kind to be gracious, without such respect to its degree, as when it is said, a tree is known by its fruit, Mat. 7. the meaning is not, that it is known by fruit of such a bigness, but by their kind; so it’s not every tree, that brings not forth fruit at such a degree, but that brings not forth good fruit, that is, of such a kind; that is hewn down, Mat. 3. A vine is known to be a vine, by its grapes of the smallest bigness; yea,’ even by its blossoms. Hence so frequently in the Song, the Lord’s trees are differenced by their buddings, and blossomings, and most tender grapes, or first buds: which could not be, if it were not the kind of fruit that evidenced the difference of trees: for, men gather not grapes (even of the smallest bigness) from thorns, nor figs from brambles. So all true Believers, are said to have the same spirit of faith, 2 Cor. 4.13. and the like precious faith, 2 Peter 1.2. Which doth hold forth this, that as all Believers, who have faith, have the same for kind, though not for degree precious; so also, all these who partake of that faith, that is true for its kind, must also necessarily be Believers, and in Covenant with God, of what ever degree it be, if it be the same for its qualifications and kind with the former, it is precious; otherwise, even Believers have not the like faith in degree: the likeness then and preciousness thereof, must be in the kind, which no hypocrite can have, and it cannot but be accepted by God; so true Repentance, and worldly sorrow, are differenced, 2 Cor. 7. not in respect of any degree, but in respect of the kind; and the one is worldly, and the other is sorrow (v. 9) after a Godly manner, and (v. 11.) after a Godly sort: which must be because of positive qualifications concurring in it, which the other hath not. And the instances that are brought to prove their sorrowing after a Godly manner, in the words following, do confirm this, to wit, their carefulness, zeal, etc. So, 1 Pet. 1.22 there is unfeigned [genuine] love; and elsewhere unfeigned [genuine] faith, which are differenced from counterfeits in hypocrites, as that which hath reality, is from that which is only in appearance. For although they may have really Historical faith, and a kind of natural love to God (to let these go, as supposed) yet, can they never have justifying faith, or real spiritual love, or of that kind; otherwise, i t were not feigned [pretended], and could not but be accepted, seeing what is unfeigned [genuine] is ever accepted. Now, love and faith, cannot be called feigned [pretended] simply in these who have truly the same kind of acts of love and faith, or yet true acts of some kind: they must therefore be in this respect feigned [pretended], that though they be in their own kind, true acts of Historical faith, and common love, yet in this they are feigned [pretended], that they seem to be of another kind than they are of, to wit, saving and gracious: and therefore common acts in an unrenewed man, and saving acts in him that is renewed, must differ in kind, as that which hath reality and such a being, doth differ from its counterfeit, and that which is but in show.

The same might be followed in all such Scriptures, where some practices are differenced from other in respect of positive concurring qualifications, as to do with a perfect heart, is frequently in the History of the Kings, to walk with godly simplicity, and sincerity, and that as in the sight of God, 2 Cor. 1.13. and 2.17. to have zeal qualified according to knowledge, and so forth, and almost ever when a gracious act is described: yea, we will find it even in outward duties, suppose in the duty of Praying, or Preaching: that is acceptable Prayer to God, which is Praying in the Spirit, in the Name of Christ, and so forth: otherwise the Gift of Prayer may be, where the Grace thereof is not, and no intenseness of the exercise of the common gift can make it, without these qualifications, to be acceptable, etc. whereas the least sigh or groan rightly qualified, and arising from the right root, cannot but be acceptable. To come then to say a word to the third thing proposed, to wit, that this inquiring for the truth of Grace, in its kind, and not in its degree only and simply, but at least in its degree and kind together, is no way prejudicial but helpful to the exact and safe search of ourselves. This seems to be the reason that moves that learned Author (who is an eminent batterer down of presumption, and a presser of holiness) to place the sincerity of Grace in this comparative degree, that thereby presumptuous hypocrites be not strengthened in their self delusions, who may abuse this maxim, which says, that the truth of Grace lies in the kind and not in the degree thereof: for, readily do they think they are assured they love God, and believe Him truly, etc. But there is no ground for fear of that here.

Therefore, 1. We say, that this degree being well understood and expressed, is indeed necessarily knit with saving Grace; so that if any man deliberately and habitually prefer the interest of flesh, or any carnal respect to the interest of God and His way, or love anything more than God, or equally with Him, that man can never warrantably conclude that he hath saving Grace, this being inconsistent with it; and also one who loves God sincerely, cannot when he acts deliberately, and according to the former qualifications, but love Him beyond all, because that is the nature of sincere love.

And, 2. We do not seclude this, but add the former qualifications of the kind thereof; and therefore this way must be both more convincing to discover a hypocrite, when he must not only look to the degree but to the kind also: and on the other side, be more satisfying to the poor Believer, when he hath not only his mark to gather from the degree, which often may be exceeding dark and doubtful to him, when he considers many Idols that may have great place in himself, and how far hypocrites may come in that respect; but when he may also reflect within himself upon his end, motive and manner of acting, etc. he may be helped to discern the sincerity and honesty of his own act and purpose, and have the help of his conscience testimony in reference to these also; and so come more confidently to conclude concerning himself.

It is true, it is a most hard task (though a most necessary task) to discover the nature of sincerity and saving Grace for the comfort of a tender Believer, so as presumptuous hypocrites may not justly stumble thereon to their own ruin; yet, are they, to wit, hypocrites, more apt to flatter themselves in the truth of their grace, suppose of faith, love, etc. in respect of the kind thereof, than in respect of the comparative degree thereof. And are they not as confident and persuaded of this, that they love God above all, .and trust and lippen [trust] to Him more than to any other thing for attaining to life? And will be ready to say, there is no other thing they can lippen [trust] to; and in this they are fixed so, as none shall be able to convince them of the contrary, because God’s sovereignty in that respect, is so naturally fixed in the conscience, that they never debate it, but thinks themselves through in it, the conviction of its reasonableness is so strong on their judgments. And indeed upon what hath been said, if we will separate the degree from the % kind and qualifications formerly mentioned, they will have much seeming reason for them: and yet even then, they will bewray that love, faith, etc. which they esteem to be in this degree, to be unsound in its kind, as being but the fruit of nature, and somewhat (readily) which is of age equal to themselves, etc. and therefore cannot be sound. Therefore we add, that this way will be more useful to convince natural men, than the other is: because generally, they are persuaded of the truth and reality of their grace: and to say that their grace were but defective in its degree, would, 1. Keep them from the through conviction of their gracelessness, and the right uptaking of their deceitful nature; which yet is mainly and principally necessary to the work of conversion. For it would make them suppose that they had already attained some beginnings, whereas this placing of the sincerity of true Grace in the kind, doth at the first, point out to them the necessity of a change, and more easily discovers the unsoundness of every thing that grows from the natural root of an unrenewed condition. 2. This placing of it in the degree, doth put hypocrites only to amend or quicken their pace, and to be adding to their building; but not to take a new way, or to lay a new foundation: now this exceedingly suits with a presumptuous hypocrite’s humor, who easily will grant that their faith is weak, but not that it is unsound, and are ever desirous to increase what they have, which nil1 prove but a building upon sand: and if this were the alone mark of trial, whether God had the chief room by this comparative degree in their acts, they would be exceedingly confirmed in their opinion that all is well. It’s like when Nicodemus came to our Lord, he would not easily have been convinced that he loved or trusted anything more than God: neither doth our Lord take that way for convincing of him; but doth show the unsoundness of what he had, in respect of the kind thereof, and that the tree behooved to be made good and of another kind, before any fruit thereof could be approvable: and therefore He Preachs to him the Doctrine of Regeneration, and the necessity of being born again, and doth not insist to show any defect of degree, but of kind, as in that Joh. 3. is clear, that, says He, which is born of the flesh, is flesh, that is, what ever fruits may be in a natural man, they are of a corrupt kind as the root is: whereby He would obviate a secret objection that Nicodemus, or a formal hypocrite, might have ‘from the degree or abundance of seeming good acts of zeal, love, prayer, etc. (as may by Nicodemus his words to Christ be gathered to have been in him) be it so, says He, let there be many fruits, and that in a great degree, that is not the thing that makes them acceptable: for, they are still but flesh, that is, of a corrupt kind: and thus He rejects them all at once, and stops his mouth without comparing them in reference to their objects, wherein Nicodemus had not been so easily convinced. And on the contrary, says the Lord, What is born of the spirit, is spirit: whereby He doth not only show, that there must be fruits of another kind, to wit, spiritual; and that nothing of whatsoever degree can be accounted sincere, except it proceed from this principle, to wit, the Spirit; but also it shows that there is nothing which doth come from that principle, if it were but the least motion, but it is spirit, and acceptable according to the root that it comes from, without consideration of the degree thereof. And seeing our Lord took that way, to discover and convince, it cannot but be safest. 3. This way also would be dangerous to many poor tender Believers, if they were put to try the sincerity of their Grace by this prevalent degree alone: for, do not they often find their unbelief or leaning to creatures (at least in their sense) to exceed their faith in God? And do not they find love to things of the world more frequently carry the heart to delight therein, than in God alone? And shall they cast all as unsound in such a case? What had Paul done if he had walked by this mark, when the motions of sin captivated him, Rum. 7. and yet is he still comforted in the sincerity of His Grace, and in the actings of the innerman: which cannot be grounded upon this comparative degree; but upon the kind thereof. Now, if this maxim were true, these things would follow it, 1. He could have no evidence of his sincerity, except he had more grace (and that still in exercise) nor corruption, and that to his sense: for, every grace hath some opposite corruption: and if it were not prevalent over its opposite corruption, then could he not conclude that he were gracious, and so not except he were more gracious than corrupt. 2. If any grace were prevailed over by its opposite corruption, he could not conclude that he were in a gracious estate: because this is certain, that where one grace is sincere, there all graces are, they being all members and parts of the new creature, which in Regeneration is brought forth; and it being certain also, that for a time, some graces will be exceedingly prevailed over by their opposites, more than others, as the fear of men will keep a Believer under in a particular more than the fear of God, Then it will follow that either he hath true fear of God at the same time; and so the sincerity of this grace of fear doth not consist in the prevalent degree thereof, or, hath no grace sincere at all, because where one is unsound, all is unsound, & contra; or, one grace must be sound and another unsound, which cannot be said simply, upon the ground formerly given. The Believer then, in such a case, must either conclude himself to be unsound; or, he must try it by some other mark from the kind thereof. And though a Believer ought to account himself greatly faulty, when any one corruption prevails; yet it will not follow that he should reckon all to be unsound, which this would infer, and so contradicts the Saints7 practices in such cases.

From all this we conclude, that it’s more safe to keep both the common doctrine and expressions: and although we have been longer upon this than possibly may be thought suitable to our purpose; yet we have adventured upon it, if so be it may conduce anything to the clearing of that wherein the trial of men’s states is so much concerned; or, it may occasion some more unanimous expressing of this matter, by others who may more dexterously perform it, that so this be not stated as a new controversy in the Church, at such a time when she is almost overwhelmed with intestine debates already. For we are sure in the general, that these qualifications formerly mentioned, of the end, motive, reduplication, etc. are necessary to the constituting of any act to be sincere, as hath been said. And if they be necessary, they must either be comprehended under the expression of this prevailing degree of the act, and so it is but (logonomachia) striving for words, which are not to be contended for. And so both these are upon the matter one. Or, if they be not comprehended under that expression, then they must be somewhat different from it; and so there must be more requisite to constitute the sincerity of grace, and to difference it from common works in hypocrites, than this degree foresaid. Or, we must say, that these qualifications must be accounted common to the acts of hypocrites, and these that are renewed: which is a thing that we cannot admit, upon the grounds formerly laid down: although we still acknowledge that the pressing at the most eminent degree of grace, even in that comparative respect is exceeding necessary, and useful for attaining to the clear discerning of the sincerity of grace: for, often Believers do make their own search exceedingly difficult, because of the want [lack] of this. And the agitation of this question, being somewhat new, we hope what is said will be the more favorably constructed: especially this being our fear, that by such expressions, or assertions, as this opinion hath with it, grace may come to be looked on as too common a thing, and it and nature, to be thought more sib [related] than indeed they are.    James Durham, A commentary on Revelation (Willow Street, Pennsylvania: Old Paths Publications, 2000), 151-183. [Some reformatting’; some spelling modernized; italics original; and underlining mine.]

This entry was posted on Friday, July 17th, 2009 at 9:09 am and is filed under God is Gracious: Common and Special Grace. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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I have updated the Durham post on Common and saving grace. See entry #1.


August 26th, 2009 at 6:54 am

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