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VINDICIAR UM VINDEX.
REFUTATION of the weak and impertinent Rejoinder of Mr. PHILIP CARY.
Wherein he vainly attempts the Defence of his abfurd THESIS, to the great abuse and injury of the Laws and Covenants of God.
AN ND muft I be dipt, once more, in the water-controverfy?. It is time for me to think of undreffing myself, and making ready for my approaching reft, and employ those few minutes I have to spend, in more practical and beneficial studies, for my own, and the church's greater advantage. And it is time for Mr. Cary to reflect upon his paft follies, which have confumed too much of his own, and others time, without any advantage; yea, to the apparent lofs and injury of the cause he undertakes to defend.
When I received thefe fheets from him, in vindication of his Solemn Call, I was at a ftand, in my own refolutions, whether to let it pafs (without any animadverfions upon it) as a paffionate clamour for a defperate caufe; or give a fhort, and full anfwer to his confufed and impertinent rejoinder. But confidering that I had under hand, at the fame time, the foregoing Treatife of The Caufes and Cures of Mental Errors, and that though my honeft neighbour difcovers much weakness in his way of argumentation, yet it was like to meet with fome interested readers, to whom, for that reafon, it would be the more fuitable; and how apt fuch perfons are to glory in the laft word; but efpecially confidering, that a little time and pains would fuffice (as the cafe ftands) to end the unfeasonable controverfy betwixt us, and both clear and confirm many great and weighty points of religion: I was, upon thefe confiderations, prevailed with, against my own inclination, to caft in thefe few fheets, as a Mantiffa, to the former feasonable, and neceffary difcourfe of errors, refolving to fill them with what should be worth the reader's time and pains.
As for the rude infults, uncomely reflections, and paffionate. expreffions of my difcontented friend, I fhall not throw back the dirt upon him, when I wipe it off from myfelf; I can ea fily torgive, and forget them too: The best men have their pas fions, Jam. v. 17. even fweet-briars, and holy thistles, have their offenfive prickles. I confider my honeft neighbour under the ftrength of a temptation; it difquiets him to fee the labours of many years, and the raifed expectations of fo great a conqueft, and triumph over men of renown, all fruftrated by his friend and neighbour, who had done his utmost to prevent it, and often foretold him of the folly, and vanity of his attempt. Every thing will live as long as it can, and natura vexata prodit feipfam. But, certainly, it had been more for truth's ho. nour, and Mr. C's comfort, to have confeffed his follies hum bly to God, and have laid his hand upon his mouth.
The things in controverfy betwixt us, are great and weighty, viz. the true nature of the Sinai laws, in their complex body: the quality of God's Covenant with Abraham; and the dipen fation of the New Covenant we are now under. These are things of great weight in themfelves, and their due refolutions are, at this time, fomewhat the more weighty, because my Antagonist hath adventured the whole controverfy of infants baptifm upon them.
I have, in my Vindicia Legis, &c. ftated the feveral queftions clearly, and diftinctly; fhewn Mr. C. what is no part of the controverfy, and what is the very hinge upon which it turns; defired him, if he made any reply, to keep close to the just and neceffary rules of difputation, by diftinguishing, limiting, or denying any of my propofitions; that the matters in controversy might be put to a fair, and fpeedy iffue. But, instead of that, I meet with a flood of words rolling fometimes to this part, and then to another part of my answer, and fo back again, without the fteddy direction of art, or reafon. There may, for ought I know, be fome things of weight, in Mr. Cary's reply, if a man could fee them for words; but, without fcoff, or vanity, I must fay of the rational part of it, as the poet faid of the over-dreffed woman,- Pars minima eft ipfa puella jui, it is the leaft part of it. To follow him in his irregular, and extravagant way of writing, were to make myfelf guilty of the fame folly I blame him for: I am therefore neceffitated to per ftringe them, and reduce all I have to fay, under three general
I. I fhall clearly evince to the world, that Mr. Cary hath not
been able to discharge, and free his own thefis from the
horrid confequents, and grois abfurdities, which I have laid to their charge in my first reply; but, inftead thereof, in this feeble, and unfuccessful attempt to free the former, he hath entangled himtelf in more, and greater ones. II. That he hath left my arguments standing in their full ftrength, against him.
III. And then I fhall confirm, and ftrengthen my three pofitions, which deftroy the caule he manages, by fome further additions of fcripture, reafon, and authorities, which, I hope, will fully end this matter betwixt us.
But, before I touch the particulars, two things must be premiled, for the reader's due information.
1. That the controverly about the true nature of the Sinai laws, both moral and ceremonial, complexly confidered, is not that very hinge upon which the right of belivers infants to baptifm depends; that ftands as it did before, be the Sinai laws what they will: we do not derive the right of infants from any other law or covenant, but that gracious covenant which God made with Abraham, which was in being 430 years before Moles's law; and was no way injured, much lefs dif annulled, by the addition of it, Gal. iii. 17. If Abraham's covecant be the fame covenant of grace we are now under, the right of believers infants to baptiim is fecured, whatever the Sinai covenant prove to be: which I fpeak not out of the leaft jealousy that Mr. Cary hath, or ever shall be able to prove it to be a pure Adam's covenant of works; but to prevent miflakes in the reader.
2. It must be heedfully obferved, alfo, that how free, gra cious, and abfolute foever the New Covenant be, (for God forbid that I should go about to ecliple the glory of free grace, on which my foul depends for falvation) yet that will never prove Abraham's covenant to be an abolished Adam's covenant of works, unless two things more be proved, which I never expect to fee, viz.
First, That Abraham, and his believing pofterity, were bound, by the very nature, and aft of circumcifion, to keep the whole law in their own perfons, in order to their juftification and falvation, as perfectly and perpetually, and under the fame penalty for the leaft failure, as Adam was to keep the law in paradife.
Secondly, It must be further proved, That Abraham, and all his believing offspring, who flood with him under that covenant, whereof circumcifion was the initiating fign, were all
faved in a different way from that in which believers are now faved under the gospel; for so it must be, if the addition of circumcifion made it unto them an Adam's covenant of works. But this would be a direct contradiction to the words of the apostle, speaking of them who were under the covenant of circumcifion, Acts xv. 11. "But we believe, that through the 66 grace of our Lord Jefus Chrift, we fhall be faved, even as "they." If he fay, they ftood, indeed, under that covenant, as a pure covenant of works, but were faved by another_covenant; and fo for many ages, the church of God stood abfolutely under the covenant of works, and, at the fame time, under the pure covenant of grace; the one altogether abfolute and free, the other wholly conditional: and though these two be in their own natures inconfiftent, and deftructive of each other, yet fo it was, that all the faints, for many ages, were abfolutely under the one, and yet purely under the other: fhall I be then cenfured for faying he speaks pure contradiction?
Poffibly my reader will be tempted to think I abuse him, and that no man of common fenfe can be guilty of fuch an horrid abfurdity: I myft, whatever refpect I have for Mr. C. once more tell him, before the world, that this is not only his own doctrine, but that very doctrine upon which he hath adventured the whole caufe, and controverfy of infants baptifm, which I therefore fay is hereby become a desperate cause.
And this brings me to my firft general head, viz.
I. First, That Mr. Cary hath not been able to free his thefis from this horrid abfurdity; but by struggling to do it, hath (according to the nature of errors) entangled himself in more, and greater ones
Mr. Cary, in p. 174, 175. of his folemn call, was by me reduced to this abfurdity, which he there owns, in express words, That Mofes, and the whole body of the people of Ifrael, were abfolutely under (without the exception of any) the severest penalties of a dreadful curfe; and that the Sinai covenant could be no other than a covenant of works, a ministration of death, and condemnation, and yet, at the fame time, both • Mofes, and all the elect, were under a pure covenant of gofpel-grace and if these were two contrary covenants in themfelves, and just opposite the one to the other, as, indeed, they were, we have nothing to fay, but, with the apostle, O the depth,' &c.
This, reader, is the position which must be made good by Mr. Cary, or his caufe is loft; deformed iffues do not look as If they had beautiful truth for their mother: no falfe or abfurd
conclufion can regularly follow from true premifes. But hence naturally and neceffarily follows this.
Abfurdity 1. That Abraham, Mofes, and all the believers under the Old Testament, by standing absolutely under Adam's Covenant of works, as a miniftration of death and condemnation; and, at the fame time, purely under the covenant of grace (as Mr. C. affirms they did) muft neceffarily, during their lives, hang in the midway between life and death, juftification and condemnation; and, after death, in the midway between heaven and hell. During life, they could neither be juftified nor condemned; juftified they could not be, for justification is the foul's paffing from death to life, 1 John iii. 14. John v. 24. Upon a man's juftification his covenant and state are changed; but the covenant, and state of no man can be fo changed, as long as he remains abfolutely under the feverest penalties, and condemnation of the law, as Mr. C. affirms they did.
Again, condemned they could not be, feeing all that are under the pure covenant of grace (as he faith they were at the fame time) are certainly in Chrift, and to fuch there is no condemnation, Rom. viii. 1. nor ever shall be. John v. 24. "He "that believeth, fhall not come into condemnation, but is paf"fed from death unto life." What remains, then, but that during life they could neither be perfectly justified, nor perfectly condemned; and yet, being abfolutely under the fevereft penalties of Adam's covenant, they were perfectly condemned; and, again, being under the pure covenant of grace, they must be perfectly justified?
And then, after death, they must neither go to heaven, nor hell; but either be annihilated, or stick midway in Limbo Patrum (as the Papilts fancy) betwixt both. No condemned perfon goes to heaven, nor any juftified perfon to hell. His pofition, therefore, which neceffarily infers this grofs abfurdity, is justly renounced, and detefted, by learned, and orthodox divines.
The learned and acute Turretine, the late famous profeffor of divinity at Geneva, proving that the Sinai law 'could not be a pure covenant of works; brings this very medium to prove it, as a known truth, allowed by all men : The Ifraelites '(laith he) with whom God covenanted, were already under 'Abraham's covenant, which was a covenant of grace, and were faved, in Chrift, by it; therefore they could not be un
* Turret, part 2d, p. 290,.