OR A perspective Glasse, wherby the admirers of D. IACK­SONS profound discourses, may see the vanitie and weaknesse of them, in sundry passages, and especially so farre as they tende to the undermining of the doctrine hi­therto received.

Written by William Twisse, Doctor of Divinitie, as they say, from whom the Copie came to the Presse.

Iob 38. 2. Who is this that darkeneth counsell by words without knowledge?

Imprinted ANNO M. DC. XXXI.


To the understanding Reader.

TWo sorts of men there are (to passe by the meer Politicians ready to serve the times, and their owne turnes without any fear of God or man) which now undermine that doctrine of grace, which formerly they themselves have beleived, and by the prea­ching wherof they have receyved the grace wher­by they are what they are, in any true good. Some under a shew of modestic and simplicity, hold off themselves and others from admitting so high poynts; as not willing to beleive that which is above their comprehension. But others take up the cause a clean contrary way, and would bear the World in hand, that the failings of our divines, in this doctrine, came from shallownesse, and want of profound knowledge in Metaphysicall specu­lations. Of this later ranke, Mr. D. Iackson is the ringleader. This man doubteth not to professe, that he hath found no character of the incomprehensible Essences ubiquitary presence (no not in the Holy Prophets and Apostles writings) from which he hath receyved so [Page] full instruction, or reaped the like fruits of admiration, as from one of Trismegist, an Egyptian Priest. part. 1. pag. 55. So that the sentence which he passeth upon Vorstius (whom he seemeth more to aemulate in overturning the divine attributes, then any other) doth shreudly reflect upon himselfe: The evapora­tions of proud phantastick melancholy, hath ecclipsed the lustre of glorious presence, in this prodigious Questionists braine, which would bring us out of the Sunne-shine of the Gospell, into old Egyptian darknesse. From the same Aegyptian learning, thorough Plato and Plotinus, he taketh his draught of the divine decrees. For he acknowledgeth no decree of God, concerning humane actions, good or bad (no not of those which God promised to effect either concerning his mercy in Christ and Christians, or concerning his judgements to be effected by the wicked) but onely disjunctive, that is by his owne instances, part. 2. Sect. 2. cap. 17. Aut erit, aut non erit; it shall ey­ther raine all day tomorrow, or befaire all day tomor­row (in which example of a false disjunction, he may seem to teach that Gods decrees may also be false;) the Sunne will eyther shine, or not shine, this day at twelve of the clocke. Surely from this character of a divine decree, though we can receyve no good instruction, yet have we as much fruit of admiration, as D. Iack­son himself receyved from the former of ubiquity. For what Christian can satisfie himself in wonde­ring, how erit illa die, (which is the usuall expression of Gods decree, in the Prophets phrase) can be in­terpreted by erit aut non erit? how all the promises, which declare Gods decree of dispensing his grace, upon all nations, by the ministery of men, as ra ne [Page] or dew upon hearbs, should be so glossed; it shall ey­ther raine, or not raine? or how all the decreed pro­mises concerning the prevayling course of the Sunne of righteousnes in & by his, & his servāts acti­vitie, should be flouted with this disjunction: it shall shine, or not shine? It would bring some fruit of admi­ration, if any Prince or Law maker, should make no other decree, about such things as concerne their, and their subjects good, but meerly disjunctive, ey­ther men shall doe so, or not so; eyther they shall doe good, or suffer evill: For though men have not power of determining absolutely future actions, yet they come neerer to that, then the indifferencie of an even-weighing disjunction doth import. They putte so much weight as the efficacie of their will can bear, to that scale wherin they place, this shall be. But Plato and Plotinus conceyved (or rather in some of their discourses expressed) no more then this: All Christians therfore are by D. Iackson cal­led back agayne to this, as if by the Prophets and A­postles they had been caried too farre; It can not in­deed be denied, but the Platonists did commonly so decipher their humane ideas of divine decreeing as D. Iackson doth. For Alcinons de doctrina Plato­nis, cap. 12. hath the same relation in plaine termes, which D. Iackson hath turned into his strong lines of Oxford: Sic fatum (ex sententia Platonis) pronun­ciat: quaecunque anima talem vitam elegerit, & hujus­modi quaedam commiserit, consequenter talia patietur. Libera ergo est anima, & in ejus arbitrio, vel agere, vel non agere ponitur; quod autem sequitur actionem, ab ipso fato perfinitur. Veluti ex eo quod Paris Helenam rapiet, quod quidem in ejus erat arbitrio, sequetur ut Graeci de [Page] Helena decertent. Indeterminatum atque indifferens na­tura sua, libertate nostra, in utram placuerit, statere lan­cem quodam modo declināte, mox aut verum aut falsum, ex possibili sit. But if D. Iackson had not too much been caried away with admiration of these ideas, he might have receyved a double inctruction from this Alcinons. 1. That Plato did overthrow his owne idea, by granting a fatall decree of the Grecians fighting against Troye (in which warre were con­teyned so many thousands of humane actions as there were soldiers in the Grecian army) in ex­emplifying the liberty of humane actions from fa­tall decree. 2. That Plato went before Aristotle (of whom he was forsaken in better notions) in de­nying; upon that libertine ground, any contingent, especially free actions to come, to be true before they be acted. Which Swarez himselfe (in his Me­taphysicks) confesseth to be no lesse an error then the overturning of Christian faith doth amount to, libertate nostra, mox aut verum aut falsum▪ ex possibili sit. Had not the same passion of admixation stood in the way, he might have learned out of Marsilius Ficinus (to whom he is beholding for other Plato­nicall notions) that Plato himself was, by fits of ano­ther minde. For so sayth this Author, de Theol. Platon. cap. 13. Deus naturarum omnium temperator, dum regit cuncta, singula pro singulorum regit natura. Quoniam vero motor primus praevalere debet & domina­ri, ideo sic animos (ut Plato vult) quasi cogit ad bonum, ut bonum ipsum nolle non possint. And that these se­cōd thoughts of Plato were more agreeable to Chri­stian faith, the same Marsilius Ficinus is witnesse, Epist. lib. 2. Epist. cui tit. Homo quam difficile extra [Page] habitum naturalem posilus felicitatem sequitur, tam fa­cile hanc in naturalem habitum restitutus assequitur? where treating of the like question, he saith: Quid respondebimus? Magi, Pythagoraei, Platonici, Peripatetici forsan sic: Denique exactissima Theologorum examina­tio rem omnem breviter ita concludit: Quamohrem mo­tor ipse qui animum propriè vertit ad infinitum, est ipsa­met sola infinita potestas, quae mentem, pro libera volun­tatis natura, modo quodam movet ad eligendas vias maxime libero. Rursus pro infinita moventis potentia, ad appetendum finem usque adeo incitat, ut non appetere ne­queat. From the same Platonist, D. Iackson might have learned also more sense, then to outface all his readers with that unheard of stinking bulle of his owne proper forging (which both in his epistle de­dicatorie, and also in divers parts of his treatises, he maketh the basis of his vayne conceyts,) name­ly that if God should have certainly▪ and immutably de­creed any singular action or end of man, then God should be deprived of his freedome. For let him but looke in Marsil. Ficin. Theolog. Platonica, de immort. anim. lib. 2. cap. 12. he shall finde this Title: Voluntas Dei necessaria est simul & libera. And in the Chapiter it selfe, he shall finde that the Platonists would be ashamed of such flim-flam. In ipso bono certe summa naturae necessitas una cum summa libertate voluntatis concurrit. Atque ibi naturae necessitas, voluntatis con­firmat libertatem, & libertas necessitati consentit, usque adeo ut necessario liber voluntariusque Deus sit, & vo­luntarie necessarius. A nobis id tantum ubique affirmari optamus, quod Deo sit dignum, quale est, in Deo cum sum­ma necessitate, summam congredi libertatem. Sed in hac re meminisse oportet, ut placet Thomae nostro, splendori [Page] Theologiae: quamquam divinae voluntatis actus, secun­dum conditionem, positionemve, quando dici potest rem hanc aut illam necessario velle, viz. postquam semel eam voluit, cum sit divina voluntas non aliter immutabilis, quam essentia, ipsum tamen suapte natura non habere eum necessitatis absolutae respectum ad effectus suos, quem ad seipsum habet. I would have englished these passa­ges, but that I conceyve no man to be in perrill of misguiding by D. Iacksons fustian kinde of wri­ting, except he understand not only a Latine stile, but one of yron, clay, brasse, sylver & gold, like the Babylonish image, which none but Daniel could interpret. Neyther is it needfull, that I should go about the examining or discovering of D. Iacksons dreames. It is done to my hands, with singular learning and judgement, in the ensuing censure. Which as it seemeth, was written by D. Twisse, for his owne contentment; as Scholars are woont to finde themselvs willing work in communing with those, which bring forth extraordinary notions. But in such a subject as this, it could not long be kept private. An honorable man therfore having gotten from the Author a copie, could not but communicate the same with his friends, by whom at length it came to the Printer, whose profession is to make such workes publick, as are of publicke use. And howsoever upon Politicke considera­tions, disputes of this kinde are forbidden and sup­pressed; yet it were to be wished, that more were found, amongst those that are able to defende the truth, which were not so servile unto the times, as by their silence to become accessary unto the mur­der of that religion, which they professe and be­leive. [Page] In reason also, it were better that such as dislike of and undermine by piecemeal insinua­tions, the doctrine hitherto receyved amongst us, would lay us downe the full platforme of their opposite doctrine; and not contente themselves with some plausible snatchinges and catchinges, at commune tenents, not manifesting in the meane time, how they can bring their jarrings in those parts which they question, to agree with others, which as yet they dare not question. It is by expe­rience proved, in the low Countries, that Armi­nianisme tendeth directly to Socinianisme, which is the only dangerous and damnabled heresie of this age. If our Arminians can shew us how to bound these waves of the same lake, or avoyd those rockes any better then they of Holland, they have no reason to envy us the common courtesie of Sea-men. Let them takeup therfore (if they love plaine dealing) the Remonstrants confession and Apologie, and either testifie their full consent with them; or signifie how farre we ought to sayle by that compasse, and in what part of that Sea-card we are to leave them, and where the danger lieth. D. Iackson would perswade us (pag. 1. sect. 3. cap. 18.) that if his doctrine of love and grace universall, were well taught and pressed in the particulars of it, all men would unfeignedly endeavour with fervent alacrity to be truly happy, and that with astonishing fruit. Surely if he know such particulars of any doctrine, as would bring forth such miraculous fruit (a hundred folde more then the doctrine of Christ himselfe and his Apostles could atteyne to, who never brought all their auditors to unfeigned endeavour and fervent ala­critie [Page] in seeking of God) I say he knoweth such particulars, and will not impart them to the World, the engines which extorte confession, might be better imployed about him, then ever they were about any. It is well knowne by experience, that neyther the generalls, nor the particulars eyther of the Iesuits doctrine concerning universall grace in Spaine, or of the Lutherans in Germanie, or of the Arminians in Holland, have brought any such miraculous fruit of pietye. Neyther have I yet heard of any such extraordinary successe upon D. Iacksons doctrine at Newcastel or Oxford, but may at least be equalled (to say no more) by the successe of their doctrine, which have pressed the contrarie tenents, in a thousand congregations of England. Except therfore he declareth his doctrine in the particulars of it, he must pardon us, if we make no more ac­count of his generall colours, then of those new inventions or projects, which promise so incredible wonders, that they can find no credite, but onely with those that are willing to be deceyved.


I Desire to fetche a walke in your Paradise of contemplation; & allthoughe you professe to encampe therin, & are very martiall in your wordes & phrases of terrour, litle an­swerable to that expectation which a Para­dise doth bespeake; yet dothe it nothing dis­may me, because you professe opposition only against the enimies of God, & my selfe, though a cheife of sinners, yet have found mercy at the handes of God, that I should be faithfull vnto him & to his truthe in such sort, as to doe nothing against it, but rather ingage all my poore abilitie 1. Cor. 13. 8 for it. And in case I finde your selfe going not the right way to the truthe of God, (an errour incident to as great an Apostle Gal. 2. 14. as S. Peter), I shall take boldnes to enterpose my iudgment forthe discovery of errour, & that I hope without all just blame, or deserved censure in respect of that old acquaintance [Page 2] which hath bene betweene vs; for as much as I have lear­ned bothe of my great Mr. in knowledge naturall, Amicus Socrates, amicus Plato, amicior veritas. And of my farre greater Mr. in knowledge spiritual, & to whose blessing allso Ethic. 1. 6. [...]. I cheifly owe my progresse in knowledge naturall, that he who loveth his Father or Mother more then him is not worthy of him; & whose peremtory voyce is this also; If any man come to me & hate not his Father, & Mother, & Wife & Children, & Bretheren & Sisters yea & his owne life allso, he cannot be my disciple. God Matth. 10. 17. forbid, the mayntenance of truthe shoulde be interpreted to proceede from hatred, or want of love to a mans person; Luc. 10. 16 thoughe in the manner of cariage offense may be given bothe to God & man. For he is a perfect man that sinneth not in word. Luther was conscious of this, when before the German Prin­ces Iam. 3. 2. in a meeting at Woormes, a part of his protestation was this, that he was not a man that made profession of holynes; acknowledginge that as a man, he might erre; but I am verily persuaded, he was conscious off a good heart towards God.

The cause that mooveth me herunto is partly the profes­sion which you make in your Epistle Dedicatory, that diverse passages in your discourse doe manifest, that what I accoumpt the [...]ower leven of Arminianisme, is very tastfull unto you, which nowe you beginne to sett a broach in print, as herto­fore you have uttered them in the pulpit, & afterwards by writing communicated unto others, wherof diverse particu­lars have lately come unto my handes; which have put me to some paynes, & to the spending of some precious time, in the scanninge of them. As for the passages, tending that way, in this booke of yours, I reserve them to be considered in their place. But as for the profession which you make in your praeface, I purpose here, to take that into consideration, be­fore I passe on farther in my way. It is not so unusuall (you say) nor so much for you to be censured for an Arminian, as it will be for his Lordship (to whome you dedicate it) to be thought to patronize Arminianisme. Herby you seeme praepared to stand upright & not couched under the burthen of this censure, as Isachar was by Iacobs prophecy to couche under his: & [Page 3] withall you doe imply that, that honourable Lord, to whose patronage you inscribe this your Treatise, may herby be thought to patronize Arminianisme. And you doe well to signifie, that his Honour is not like to take it well, to be so conceaved off; as who hath ever hitherto bene accoumpted both orthodoxe himselfe, & a Patron of those that are such. Yet these insinuations of yours, seeme to me some th [...]nge strange on your part. For I have founde by experience in other writings of yours, that you hertofore have affected to be the inventor of a midle way, & soe the report goeth of you: though I confesse, I never founde the issue of your dis­courses answerable; which hathe made me conceave, that practise of yours to have bene but a praetence; & herin I am confirmed by this your praesent profession. For ought I per­ceave, you are more foule then Arminius himselfe, bothe as touchinge your Tenets, & the manner of maynteyninge them; they more voyde of truthe, this more voyde of Scholasticall argumentation, to proove what you undertake. It may be you take more boldnes to professe your opinions nowe then hertofore; allthough I see no reason for it, nor can believe, that Arminianisme is like to finde more countenance un­der the reigne of King Charles, then it did under the reigne of King Iames; who professed Arminius to be the enimy of the grace of God; & as I have heard, King Charles himselfe hath taken notice of his Fathers distast that way, & some­times made profession of it. But satisfaction you endeavour to give unto his Lordship, which you say you are not bound to give to others. Yet it is well, that for his Honours sake, your reader is like to pertake of this courtesie in the way of satisfaction unto many as well as unto one. For my part, I de­sire not to oblige you unto any thinge; but rather to entreate you, that you would be pleased to take notice of those mo­rall obligations, that belong vnto all, in the way of honesty; namely that you would undertake lesse, & proove more, as in this particular; when you professe that all other conten­tions in the point of Gods Providence & Praedestinat [...]on, be­tweene the Arminians & their opposites, will be only about [Page 4] wordes, in case they doe all agree in this, That your All­mighty Creator hath a true freedome in doing good; & Adams ofspring a true freedome of doing evill. I thinke since the begin­ninge of these differences, never any, neyther Papist nor Pro­testant; neyther Lutheran, Calvinist, or Arminian was of this opinion besides your selfe; but the more transcendent and supereminent shal be your sufficiency, in being able to perfor­forme this. And indeede, I have founde you wonderously conceyted, of the force of consequence, which these propo­sitions (as you imagine) doe conteyne; & in two treatises of yours, you have spent a great many wordes, in dilatinge upon them, & shaping consequences from them, but as inconse­quently, as an Adversary coulde expect; abusing your selfe with the confusions of those thinges, which being distin­gnished, the consequences you frame, woulde streite-way va­nish into smoke, & proove to be no better, then mere ima­gination of a vayne thinge.

And this confusion of yours dothe appeare in that opposi­tion which you make, of other positions to these; as when you say; If any in opposition to Arminius will maynteyne, that all thinges were so decreed by God before the creation of the world, that nothing since the creation, coulde have fallen out otherwise then it hath done, or that nothing can be amended that is amisse, then you must crave pardon of every good Christian to oppugne his opi­nion; & that not only as an errour in Divinitie, but as an ignorance. In which wordes of yours, I doe observe first, that you doe not herin oppose Gods decreinge all thinges, but only a cer­teyne manner of decreinge all thinges, as in denyinge that all thinges were soe decreed by God. Secondly you doe not well to couple your selfe which Arminius in this. For I never founde that Arminius maynteyned, that God did decree contin­gency, but not any thing contingent, which is your Tenet in di­verse pieces both printed & manuscript. He excepts, I grant against Perkins for saying, God did will that sinne shoulde be. Yet he himselfe professeth, that Deus voluit Achabum men­suram Exam Prae­dest. sect. Pag. 162. scelerum suorum implere; & wheras the Iewes went farre enoughe in their ignominious handlinge of Iesus Christ, he [Page 5] confessethe that Deus voluit Judaeos progredi quousque progressi Pag 114. 115. sunt. Thirdly, I woulde this were all, (to witt sinne) that you are pleased to exempt from being the object of Gods de­cree. But the case is apparent, that you deny faithe, & repen­tance, & every gracious action to be the object of Gods de­cree. For it is manifest, that these all are contingent actions; Now your opinion is, that God decreethe Contingency but not any contingen [...] thinge. Though on the other side you confesse God cannot decree necessity, but withall he must decree things necessary allso. Lastly, doe you knowe any that maynteyne any such Tenet (eyther in opposition to Ar­minius, or otherwise) which here you obtrude upon your op­posites? I assure you I knowe none such. But whatsoever our Tenet be, I pray remember your promise, that if we agree with you in the former, namely, that God hath a true fredome of doing good, & Man a true fredome of doing evill, then you will not dissent from vs in other points controverted. And doe you knowe any of vs to deny eyther of these? And yet we may desire explication of that, which you passe over smoothly, as thoughe it needed none. For what doe you meane by libertie of doing good, & liberty of doing evill? is it quo­ad specisicationem? or only quoad exercitium? dare you pro­fesse that God is free to doe evill, as well as good? or that Man since his fall, & in the state of nature is free to doe good as well as evill? quoad exercitium we grant that both God is free to doe or not doe, whatsoever he dothe; & soe likewise Man is free to doe or not doe, whatsoever he dothe. Why doe you take such pleasure in confounding things that differ, at least in not distinguishing them? Yet this is not all the confu­sion we complayne of. For Gods absolute power is one thinge, his ordinate power is another thing, for this includs his will. God coulde have refused to make the world, when he did make it, & he made it freely; but supposing Gods decree to make it, & to make it at that time it was impossible it should be otherwise, as it is impossible that Gods will shoulde be changed. In like sort, God dothe al this time continne the World, & he continueth it freely. But yet in re­spect [Page 6] of his decree to continue it certeyne yeares it is impos­sible, upon this supposition, that it shoulde ende before the time appoynted. Agayne, what meane you to feigne any such Tenet, on our parts in opposition to Arminius, as that God for soothe hath soe decreed all thinges, that nothing can fall out otherwise then it hath done? For we expressely to the con­trary maynteyne, that God hathe decreed many things to come to passe in such sort, that they could have fallen out otherwise, to witt all such thinges as are contingent. For we doe not maynteyne that God hathe decreed, that all thinges shall come to passe necessarily; but some things only necessa­rily, & other things contingently. And in respect of these modi rerum in generall, which are necessitie contingency, we say it is impossible that any thing should come to passe other­wise, then God hathe decreed they shall come to passe, in this sense: to witt, if God hathe decreed some things to come to passe necessarily, they shall come to passe necessarily; if he hath decreed some things to come to passe contingently, they shall come to passe contingently, & it is impossible, that thinges should come to passe otherwise. And I praesume you will not deny this, though therby you shall contradict your selfe, in respect of that Tenet, which here you cast upon your Ad­versaries, & disavowe as an errour & ignorance. I say, con­tradict your selfe, unles you distinguishe those thinges, which in this your Tenet, you deliver without distinction, and confound as your manner is. But by your leave, whatsoever God hath decreed, that shal come to passe, & that in such sort, as supposing his decree, it shall be impossible to be otherwise; neyther will we feare your censures of errour & ignorance, noe nor your praesumptuous consequences of invol­vinge enmitie against your sweete disposition, of the all-seieng and vnerring providence of God; thus with wordes as sweete as butter, & as soft as oyle you woulde woorke in your Reader an opinion of your devotion to Godward, to praevent suspi­cion of ill affection to his providence, when you turne out All decreeing, & put in Allseeing in the place of it. Wheras before you made shewe, as if you excepted not against our [Page 7] Tenet of Gods decreeinge all thinges, but only against the manner of it, & his so decreing all thinges. But be not de­ceaved, God is not mocked. Let vs ever feare to maske profanes, with the vizard of devotion, & doe not you thinke with the smoake of woordes, in such sort to dazle the eyes of your intelligent Reader as to disable him to dis­cerne your deedes in their proper colours. Neyther have you any colour for this your Tenet in denying God to have decreed all thinges, but only in respect of sinne. And what reason have you to range sinne amōgst the number of Things, without distinction, consideringe; it is rather a mere pri­vation of some thinge, then conteynes any positive thinge therin. Yet, as I sayde before, your opinion were tolerable, did you maynteyne all other thinges to be decreed by God besides sinne. But your opinion is, that God decreeth con­tingency, but not the thinges contingent, which is in effect to deny in playne termes that God hathe decreed that any Man shall believe, or repent, or performe any gracious action. God foreseethe these things, but decreethe them not; this is your fowle opinion, in that opposition to the praerogative of Gods grace. For if God by his grace & holy spirite dothe woorke men vnto faithe & repentance (in shewing, mercy vnto whome he will) then vndoubledly he did decree thus to woorke them. For God woorketh all thinges according to the Eph. 1. 11. caunsayl of his will. And his will I hope you will not deny to be aeternall. Yet you seeme to strengthen your opinion with a reason of State. Therfore be like (amongst other reasons yet concealed) you decline the acknowledgment of Gods all decreing providence; because that Tenet is aforerun­ner of ruine to most floorishing states, where it growes common, and comes to full light. Heathen States then undoubtedly, had never any experience of such ruines, proceeding from any such cause: I doubt not but you will accommodate this your prophecy, or politicall observation, unto Christian States. And what Ecclesiasticall history (I pray) hathe affoorded you this oracle? Noe ancient history I am persuaded, doe you rely upon in this; for as much as you will not acknowledge that [Page 8] this opinion which you impugne, was receaved amongst any States of ancient times. Is it then (as it is most likely) that the later times experience hath cast you vpon this interpretation of Gods providence, wherupon you are bolde to make rules, & to commend them unto posterity? And I pray answere me, was the Kingdome of Bohemia one of those florishing States, wherin the conceyte of Gods all decreeing providence, was a forerunner to the ruine of it? And did Prince Palatine, & the lady Elizabeth, or their Asociates, bringe in this conceyte amongst them? did this opinion growe common there? Did that Kingdome consist of more Protestants then Papists? Or amongst the Protestants, was the number of Calvinists more, then of Lutherans? Speake playnly, & say, the choosing of a Calvinist to be their King, was the ruine of the State, & of the Provinces, which were as members incorporate therinto: say Calvinisme was the ruine of the upper & the lower Pala­tinate. And herupon let your Almanacke of Prognostications proceede, & be bolde to tell the States of the Lowe Coun­treys, that this Tenet is a forerunner of their ruine allso, & unles they & we foorthwith turne Arminians, we are like to be lost, & fall into the handes of Papists. But of what Papists? Not such as Thomists, & the Dominicans, the most learned Divines in the Church of Rome (for they maynteyne that God determineth the will of Men & Angells to every act of theirs whether good or evill, as touching the substance of the act, by influence generall; & over & above allso unto every good & gracious act, such as faithe is & repentance, by in­fluence speciall. And as he dothe thus determine the wills of all his creatures, so from everlasting he did decree thus to determine them.) Belike the Iesuites are they into whose handes we are like to fall, unles with speede, we turne Iesuits, that so herafter we may comfort our selves as Themisto­cles did, with Periissemus, nisi periissemus, we had bene undone if we had not bene undone, & that vtterly both body and soule. Happy are the Lutheran & Arminian party, that they are ac­quainted with no such forerunner of their ruine. They are like to holde their owne, while they acknowledge a sweete [Page 9] disposition of the Allseeing, and unerringe providence, & leave out All deorecing providence, out of their Creede.

But let the Dominicans looke to it, least their ruine be not at hand allso, as well as ours. For there is to be found such an oracle in some Mens writings; that who­soever shall embrace the doctrine of Gods Alldecreeing pro­vidence, let them knowe this opinion is the forerunner of ruine ito most floorishing States & Kingdomes, where it growes common, or comes to full light. And the experience of the course of these times, & especially in the ruine of the Palsgrave, & of so many Christian Provinces with him. For certeinly [...] no time or part of the world besides, was any such experience to be founde, so conveniently to serve your turne. Is it not great pitie but that the Kinges majestie & his Counsell, & both houses of Parliament, should be acquainted with this mystery of State (for why shoulde I doubt but that God will heare the affectionate prayers of his people, & in good time establishe a perfect vnion betweene the King & his people. In the meane time we will wayt upon the Lord, who hath hid his face from the Es. 8. 17. house of Iacob, & we will looke for him; Yea & we will give him Es. 62. 7. no rest untill he restore Ierusalem the prayse of the world.) This I confesse is a way to supplant your Adversary opinions, but of any power you have to confute them, and therby to prae­vent the growthe of them, I have founde litle evidence in other of your writings, & by the generall survey I have allrea­dy taken, I have small hope to finde any great satisfaction in this. But let us examine this point a little more narrowly. You suppose that some in opposition to Arminius doe mayn­teyne, that all thinges were so decreed by God before the Creation of the world, that nothing since the Creation coulde have fallen out otherwise then it hath done; and nothing can be amended that is emisse. But I knowe none of any such opinion; nay rather they whome I concenve you doe most ayme at, doe directly teache the contrary. We are willinge to professe with Au­stin, that Non aliquid sit, nisi quod omnipotens fieri velit, velsi­nendo Enchirid. cap. 95. ut siat, vel ipse faciendo; Nor ought commeth to passe but that which the Allmighty will have to come to passe, ey­ther [Page 10] by suffering it to come to passe, or himselfe working it. And with the Articles of Ireland confirmed by our State in the dayes of King Iames, that God from all aeternitie did by his unchangeable counsayle ordeyne, whatsoever in time shoulde come to pusic. Now whatsoever God willethe, he willed eternally. For in God there is no variablenes nor shadowe of change. And Iam. 1. supposing the will of God that such a thing shall come to passe, eyther by his operation or by his permission; it is im­possible in sensu composit [...], in a compound sense, that it shoulde not come to passe. But this impossibility is not absolute but only secundum quid, in respect of somewhat, to witt of Gods will, decreeing it, & is allwayes joyned with an absolute pos­sibility of comming to passe otherwise in sensu diviso, in a di­vided sense. As for example, it was absolutely possible that Christs bones shoulde be broken, as well as any of the theeves bones that were [...]rucified with him. For bothe his bones were breakable, & the souldiours had power & freewill to breake them, as well as the others bones: but supposinge the decree of God, that Christs bones shoulde not be broken, vpon this supposition, I say, it was impossible, they shoulde be broken. Nay further we say, that unles thinges impossible to come to passe otherwise then God hathe decreed them, upon supposition of Gods decree, be notwithstanding abso­lutely possible to come to passe otherwise; it were not possible for God to decree, that some thinges shall come to passe con­tingently. For to come to passe contingently, is to come to passe in such sort, as joyned with an absolute possibility of comming to passe otherwise. Thus we say with Aquinas, that the efficacious nature of Gods decree is the cause why contingent things come to passe contingently & necessary thinges necessarily; his wordes are these: Cum voluntas divi­na 1. Quest. 14. art. 8. sit efficacissima non solum sequitur quod si antea quae Deus vult fieri, sed quod eo modo fiant, quo Deus ea fieri vult. Vult autem quaedam Deus sieri necessario, quaedam contingenter, ut fit ordo in rebus ad complementum universi. Seing the will of God is most effectuall, it followeth not only that those thinges come to passe, which God will have come to passe, but allso that they come to passe [Page 11] after the same manner that God will have them come to passe. Now God will have somethinges come to passe necessarily, somethinges contingently, that there may be an order amongst thinges to the complete perfection of the Universe. And accordingly God hath ordeyned all sorts of second causes, bothe contingent causes to worke contingently, as the willes of men & Angells; & necessary causes to worke necessarily, as fire in burninge, the Sunne in giving light, heavy things in mooving downewards, & light thinges in moovinge upwardes. And as he hath or­deyned them to be such kindes of Agents thus distinct; so he hathe ordeyned, that they shall worke agreably, & he setteth them going in working agreably to their natures, the one contingently the other necessarily. So that whatsoever, the will of God is, shall fall out contingently, the same falleth­out in such sort, as it might have fallen out otherwise; if good, so as it might have fallen out woorse & bene marred: if ill, yet so as it might have fallen out better & bene amended. And the eleventhe Article of Irelande having professed that God from all eternity, did by his unchangeable counsayle ordeyne what­soever in time shoulde come to passe, addethe herunto by way of explication that so this was ordeyned as therby no violence is of­fered to the wills of reasonable creatures, & neyther the liberty nor contingency of second causes is taken away, but established rather. So that the opinions which you make bold to supplant or prevent, are opinions of your owne makinge, not of others maynteyninge; And to sett an ende to his owne fancyes, every man may take liberty when he pleasethe, without any great paynes takinge, about argument to overthrowe them.


IN the first Section and before the first Chapter, accor­dinge to exact method (as you professe) in reference unto your former Discourse, you propose two thinges to be enqui­red: 1. How this truthe of Gods being most certenly knowne by internall experience unto some, may by force of speculative argu­ment [Page 12] be made manifest unto others. Secondly how his nature and attributes may be fitliest resembled. The latter of which two I shoulde never have expected in a Philosophicall, or Theolo­gicall discourse. Yet I will prescribe to none, but give every vessell leave to vent his owne humour, & to be delivered of such notions, wherwith his braynes have bene conceaved. If we have any use to make of them, we may; if none, we are litle the woorse for that. Every beinge hathe three passions denominating it. For there is a truthe of it, there is a good­nes of it, there is an unity of it. Therfore allso all these are to be founde in the beinge of God. But it seemeth not to be your meaninge to speake of this truthe, which is a passion of beinge, a simple terme; but rather of the truthe of this pro­position, There is a good, to witt, howe it may be made mani­fest by speculative argument, you desire to inquire; grantinge it to be most certenly knowne by internall experience, unto some, wherby unles you understande our Christian Faithe, I discerne not your meanninge. Vpon the first point, you will not have us to looke for much as yet; and the reason you give, is enoughe to put us out of expectation of any thinge at all. For allbeit a desperate enimy despayring of his life, Is therby the more animated to sight; yet an Adversary in dis­course, by evidence of argument brought to despayre of maynteyning his Tenet, is not therby the more provoked to dispute. And therfore I see no iust restraynt to hinder you from bestowinge your best ability upon this argument, even in this place. And your selfe confesse, that notwithstandinge all this, you may proceede upon such advantages, as groundes of nature give you. And your mayne purpose extendes no further.


YOVR first Argument is not like to strike your enimye with any great feare or despayre. Arguments weake or weakely prosecuted, weakneth the cause maynteyned, [Page 13] strengthenethe the cause oppugned. And first it is not hand­somly caryed, thus If every particular generation hath causes, then all generations have some cause; implyinge that every ge­neration hath many causes; all have but one. But cary it howe you will, it is not capable of any sound inference. It is true, Every generation hath his cause: therfore all generations have causes; But what causes? only the same causes, which every one hathe a part, aggregated together. For as you make an aggregation of particular generations; so the cause of this aggregation, inferred, can be but an aggregation of the particular causes of particular generations. So that nothing at all is concluded here hence distinct from the praemises, much lesse the being of the Godhead herby evidenced. Then your second inference is as wilde, when you adde, Otherwise all shoulde not be of one kinde or nature. For there is no congruity in affirming the whole by aggregation, to be of the same kinde or nature with every particular. For every particular is unum per se consistinge ex actu & potentia; But the whole by aggrega­tion is unum per accidens, consisting of many particulars (each wherof is unum per se) heaped together, not by any naturall union vnited into one. As we doe not say the bushel of corne is of the same kinde with every particular grayne, as allso it cannot be sayde to be of a diverse kinde in any con­gruitie, allthough there were diverse kindes of graynes therin; But rather an heape of graynes, whether of the same kinde, or of diverse kindes. Agayne you propose your ar­gument, not only of the generation of Man, who is of one kinde, but of all generable bodies, who are well knowne to be of diverse kindes, & therfore why should you accoumpt it any absurdity, for all these to be not of one kinde or nature? Furthermore, when you make shewe of such an Inference as this, All must have some cause, otherwise they be not of one kinde or nature, you doe herby imply, that All, that have some cause, are in a fayre way to be of the same kinde or nature, which upon consideration you will finde to be utterly untrue. For all creatures have some cause, yet are they not any thing the more of one kinde or nature; Allthoughe they have not only [Page 14] some cause, but the same cause allso, namely God. Like as though thinges have different causes, yet it followeth not that they are of different kindes: As all mise are of the same kinde, though some are bred equivocally, some univocally; so of lise and diverse others. For although Averroes were of opi­nion, that mise bred equivocally, & mise bred univocally, by generation were of different kindes, & therupon maynteyned that such as were bred equivocall, did never propagate their like by generation; yet I doe not thinke you are of that opi­nion, it being contrary to manifest experience. And to us it is manifest (who believe the creation) that the first creatures were not produced by way of generation, yet did propagate their like, & were of the same kinde with creatures propa­gated from them. But Averroes was an Atheist even amongst Arabians, & denyed all creation. I am sory, you are so un­happy in defend [...]nge truthe, especially such a truthe as the being of God; but th [...] best is, that truthe needethe no mans defense. I hope you will proove nothing more happy in defending errours. Yet I deny not, but that the greatest Divines doe conclude that there is a first cause (that is God) because the progresse from effects to causes, & from causes inf [...]rior to causes superior cannot be infinite. According wherunto your argument should [...] have proceeded thus. In generations, as of th [...] Sonne by the Father, the progresse up­wardes cannot be infinite. Therfore at lengthe, we must ascend to th [...] first of Men, as Adam, who was not borne by generation of Man; (for then he had not bene th [...] first) but otherwise; and in like sort of the generations of all other thinges, that they had their beginninge from some superior cause, to their owne natures; which supreame cause of all, we accoumpt to be God. But yet I thinke you are not igno­rant, that some Schoolemen maynteyne the world might have bene everlastinge, and that by creation; in which case there shoulde be an infinite progress [...] in generations; unles as Aqui­nas in his reconciliation of seeminge contradictions in Ari­stotle, In Opus­culis. to praevent an infinite number of immortall soules hence ensuinge devisethe, that thoughe the World had bene [Page 15] from everlastinge, yet shoulde it not be necessary that there shoulde have bene an infinite number of Men deceased, be­cause saythe he, God coulde have praeserved the first Man from generation, & propagation of his like, untill some five or sixe thousand yeares agoe: so you shoulde take some such course to praevent an infinite progresse in naturall generations. But I meane not to put you to any such shifts. For I holde creation from everlastinge, to be a thing impossible, and that the impossibility therof, may be made evident by demonstra­tion; and accordingly that fiction of Aquinas before men­tioned, to be of a thing merely impossible allso. So that in fine, this argument of yours, though with litle accuratenes proposed by you, is drawne from the creation; which kinde of argumentation in the Praeface you seemed to put of, till another time, yet in the first place you have fallen upon it, ere you are aware. Bradwardine writinge against the Pelagians, layethe downe two suppositions as the ground of all, wherof Summa de causa Dei, contra Pe­lagium. Nullus est processus insinitus in Entibus. Deus est summ. perfectus & summ. bonus, tantum quod nihil perfectius vel melius esse potest. this is the second, that there is no infinite progresse in enti­ties; but that in every kinde there is one supreame. The other is that God is most perfect and good in such sort as nothing can be more. And least he should seeme to suppose this with­out all proofe, one argument & but one he produceth to prove this. And the proofe is to this effect: It implyeth no contradiction to say, such a one there is; therfore it is neces­sary, that such a one have beinge, & it is impossible there shoulde be no God. If any Man deniethe the Antecedent, it behooveth him to shewe, wherin the contradiction dothe consist. And it is very strange, & so strange as incredible, that for the best nature to have existence, it shoulde imply con­tadiction. As for example, we finde these manifest capitall degrees of perfection amongst entities corporall. Some liave only beinge, some have beinge & life allso; some have beinge, life, and sence; some unto all these adde reason allso. Nowe that nature which includes bothe being & life, is of greater perfection, then such, as have beinge without life, and it is no contradiction for such natures to exist. Agayne that nature which includes bothe beinge, life, and sense, is of greater per­fection, [Page 16] then that, which includes only beinge and life, with­out sense, and it is no contradiction for natures of such per­fection to exist. Agayne, that nature which besides all these, in the notion therof includes reason allso, is of farre greater perfection then the former, and it implyeth no contradiction, for natures of such perfection to exist [...] Lastly, there are be­sides all these, natures purely spirituall, which we call Angells or Intelligences, of farre greater perfection, then natures ma­teriall & corporall, & it implyethe no contradiction, for na­tures of such perfection to exist, as the Philosopher hathe demonstrated the existence of such substances abstract from all materiall concretion: Why then shoulde it imply any contra­diction, for a nature of greater perfection then all these to exist, unles they are supposed to be of greatest perfection, even able to make a World out of nothinge; and consequently to be of a necessary beinge themselves. For if possible not to be, howe is it possible, they shoulde atteyne to beinge? Not of themselves; For that which is not, hathe no power to give being to it selfe. Nor of any other; whether of a nature superior or inferior. Not of any of inferior nature. For a Man cannot possibly produce an Angell, neyther by genera­tion, nor by creation. If by a superior; this is to acknow­ledge, that there is a nature existent superior in perfection, unto Angells. And if Angells had a necessary being; then seinge they are of a certeyne number, their number allso must be necessary; Nowe if it implyeth no contradiction, that God shoulde be, it is most necessary, that he is and must necessarily be granted, that he is. For being supposed to include grea­test perfection, if he had no being, it were impossible he shoulde have beinge; seing nothinge can bring it selfe from, nothinge to beinge, neyther can ought els produce him. For if any thinge coulde, then that, whatsoever it were, shoulde be of greater perfection then he. This is the argument of Bradwardin. And the same was the argument of Aquinas long before, and but one of the five wayes, which he takes in the proofe of this. The first way & more manifest, as he Aquin. 1. qu. 2. art. 3 saythe, is that which is taken from the consideration of mo­tion; [Page 17] wher hence he concludethe that we must at lengthe ascend to one who moovethe, and is not mooved, & that is the first moover, which (saythe he) all understand to be God. The second is drawne from consideration of the nature of the cause efficient. For (saythe he) we finde even in insensible thinges an order of efficient causes, one subordinate to ano­ther, wherin he supposethe there cannot be an infinito pro­gresse; & secondly, that nothing can be the efficient cause of itselfe. Hence it followeth (saythe he) we must ascend & rest in one supreame efficient, which acknowledgethe no ef­ficient of it, and that all understand to be God. The third way is that, which hathe bene allready prosecuted, from the consideration & comparison of thinges possible, with thinges necessary. The fourthe is from the degrees that we finde in thinges, as some thinges are more or lesse true, more or lesse good, more or lesse noble; whence he concludes, that some­thinge must be acknowledged to be most true, most good, most noble, & that to be the cause of truthe, goodnes, & per­fection in all others, as fire is the cause of all heate. And that which is the cause of all others, we acknowledge to be God. The first and lastis drawne from the governement of the World, & the consideration of the order of thinges amongst themselves; whence he concludethe, there is some thinge that orderethe them, and that must be God.

This last argument is, that which Raymund Sebond dothe In his Theologia naturalis. In Prolo­go. so much dilate & insist upon. And wherof he is very confi­dent, like as of the successe of his undertakings in generall; as namely to make a Man a perfect Divine, within the space of a monthe; and that without any knowledge to prepare him, so much as the knowledge of Grammar, & yet he shall not be proud of it neyther.

Vasquius further telleth us, that Aegidius was of opinion, Vasq. in 1. disp. 20. cap. 3. that this truthe, that there is a God, is a truthe knowne of it selfe. And albeit Thomas Aquinas denyethe it to be a truthe per se notam quoad nos; Yet in it selfe he professethe that it is Aquin. 1. q. 2. art. 3. per se nota for as much as the predicate is included in the very na­ture of the subject. And to my judgement it seemes allso to [Page 18] be so quoad nos, if it be duly consid [...]red & pondered what we understand by God, to witt the most perfect nature of all others. Nowe howe is it possible, that that which is more p [...]rfect then all others, shoulde not have beinge? And every man knowes that, that which hathe beinge, is more perfect, then that which neyther hathe, nor can have beinge, (such as is the nature of God, if it have no beinge.) For according to the Proverbe, a live Dogge is better then a dead Lyon.

In the next place you inquire, wherunto you shall liken him? This indeede was the second thinge you proposed to be inquired into. But in what congruitie to a Philosophicall, or Theological discourse, I leave it to others to examine. I will be content to summe up the accoumpt of what you de­liver, rather then to argue the unseasonablenes of such a dis­course. Thoughe nothing can exactly resemble him, yet som [...] thinge, (you say) can better notify howe farre he is beyond all re­semblance, then others. But truly, what you meane herby is a mystery unto me. I shoulde rather thinke, the incompre­hensible nature of God is not to be manifested by way of re­semblance, drawne from inferior thinges. That he is the cause of all thinges dothe better represent the nature of God, then the resemblance of him to any thinge; especially consi­deringe, what cause he is, to witt an [...]fficient cause of all thinges, and that not univocall but equivocall; & conse­quently such as comprehendes all thinges eminently, but in perfection without comparison beyond them. For compa­rison hathe place only betweene things agreeinge in kinde, or in proportion. But God and his creatures agree in neyther. This I confesse may drawe to admiration. As the Philo­sopher, who beinge demaunded what God was, required three dayes libertie, to put in his answeare; and at three dayes ende, required three more, & at the ende of these, three dayes more, giving this reason of his reiterated demurring upon the matter; because the more he gave himselfe to th [...] contemplation of the nature of God, the farther he found [...] himselfe of from comprehendinge it, but wheras you adde, that such admiration will more & more enlarge our longinge [Page 19] after his presence: I doe no way like eyther your collection, or the phrase, wherby you expresse it. For as for the pre­sence of God; of the very apprehension therof we are not ca­pable in this World, but by faithe. Neyther can any naturall admiration arising from naturall inquisition after the nature of God, & consideration of the fruiteles issue therof, drawe men to a longing after that presence of God which they knowe not. Bothe the knowledge of the presence of God, and a longinge desire after it, I take to be a woorke of spe­ciall grace, and not any woorke of nature; upon the power wherof I finde you doa [...]e too much in all your writings.

Painters (you say) can more exactly expresse, the outward li­neaments of thinges, then we their natures. Painters expres­sions are in colours; our expressions are not so, but rather in woordes. And what a wilde comparison is it, to com­pare thinges so heterogeneall in exactnes. But though the expression of the one fayle in exactnes, in comparison of the other, yet the delight taken therin (you say) needes not: And thus you plot to make the love of God a woorke of na­ture, wherunto the naturall conceptions of him, though no­thing exact, by meanes of the creature may leade us. These conceptions of yours, are in my judgement as farre from truthe, as from pietie. The frequent ebbes & flowings of Euripus, may cast a Philosopher into admiration, not com­prehending the reason of it, yet bringe him nothing the more in love with it. Angells are of very glorious natures, & in a manner quite out of the reach of our reason, bothe touching their being in place, their motion, their understandinge, & the communicatinge of their thoughts, & exercising of their power; yet all this bringeth us never a whit the more in love with them. Impressions of love are wrought only by the apprehension of goodnes in the object, which alone makes thinges amiable; as a beautifull picture affecteth the sense with pleasure and delight. But nowe I finde, that from the impression of love, you slip I knowe not howe, to the impres­sion of truthe: & this I confesse, delightethe some mindes of purer metall; as Aristotle speakes of the delight that a Man [Page 20] takes, in the demonstration, wherby it is prooved, that the Diameter in a squate, hathe no common dimension with the sides of it, or that a triangle hathe three angles equall to two right. Especially if the conclusion be rare & long sought after but not founde, as the squaring of a circle receaved as knowable in Aristotles dayes, thoughe not knowne till of late, as Pancirolla writes & Salmuly in his commentaries upon him, about 30. yeares before that time. Yet some speculations may be as vayne as curious: as to proove, that two Men in the World there are, that have iust so many hayres on their head one as another. But to make a rayne bowe in the ayre, & by ocular demonstration proove the truthe of that which reason concludes, namely that as often as a raynbowe appeares in the cloudes, though it seeme but one, yet indeede there are as many, as there are Men that beholde it, because it discoverethe a secret of nature, very curious and nothing vayne. For it is the glory of God to hide a thinge, and it is Prov. 25. 1. the glory of a Kinge to finde it out. And seeinge God hathe Eccle. 3. 11. set the World in Mans heart, thoughe a Man cannot finde out the woorke that God hath wrought from the beginninge to the ende; yet it is good to be doinge, & to discover as much as we can, especially such as have a calling herunto. But to proceede, you put your Reader in hope of great mat­ters by your perfourmances, namely to have a sight of some scat­tered rayes, of a glorious light, which Saints have in blessednes; and to this purpose to elevate us, to a certeyne Horizon, whose edges and skirts shall discover this. Thus you phra­sify the matter gloriously, & prosecute your allegory in allu­sion to the brightnes that appeares in our Horizon after the Sunne set. But surely that Sunne did never yet rise upon us, and when it dothe, surely it shall never sett. And I much doubt, least the glory of your phrases proove to be all the glory we are like to be acquainted with before we part.

Hence you proceede to a rule of Decorum in all resem­blances, that so you may make way to betray your learninge in Hieronymus Vida his Poetry, passinge his censure upon a comparison of Homer, wherin he compares Ajax retiringe [Page 21] from the Troians unto an hards kinned asse, driven with batts or staves out of a corne fielde, by a company of children. The comparison is justified by Vida, but thought not fitt to be ap­plyed in like sort unto Turnus, unles a Lyon be put in the place of the asse, in the judgement of those courtly times wherin Virgill lived, therby desiring belike to justify Virgill allso. I still attend, when those scattered rayes you promised us, of that glorious light, you spake of, will breake foorthe; But it may be, we are not yet come to the Horizon, whose edges and skirts alone can discover them. But yet to stay our stomachs you tell us by the way; that the Holy Prophets in their courtly Decorum observed in framinge comparisons, are nothing inferior to any Poet, though as good as Virgill & Homer allso. They are something beholden unto you, for your good woord. Your instance is out of Esay 31. 4. Like as the Lyon & yong Lyon roaring on his pray, when a multitude of sheepheards is called foorthe against him, he will not be afrayde of their voyce, nor abase himselfe for the noyse of them: so shall the Lord of hosts come downe to fight for Mount Sion & for the hill therof. I beginne to conceive, this was it you went with childe withall, in casting your selfe upon this digression tou­ching the resemblinge of the nature of God. And because the comparing of Virgill with Homer, is a prety point of hu­manitie learninge; and you had observed this passage in Scrip­ture suitable to that of Turnus his description in Virgill: to vent this piece of learninge, you have drawne in by the cares a discourse or rather an inquiry, Howe Gods essence is to be resem­bled, the issue wherof is but this, that the Prophet observes a very courtly decorum, in resembling him vnto a Lyon.

Yet by the way take this; If it were not courtly enoughe to compare Turnus to an asse as Homer compares Aiax, but rather to a Lyon; doe you thinke it courtly enoughe to com­pare the Lord of hosts to a Lyon? And what courtly decorum is observed thinke you when the second comming of Christ is compared to the comming of a theife in the night? Per­suade your selfe; the holy Ghost affectes no courtly deco­rums; his language is allwayes savoury to a gracious spirite, [Page 22] not otherwise. The witts of Virgill & Homer both at the best, savoured but of the fleshe, So dothe not the woord of God. I honour them bothe in their kindes; but I would not have them remembred the same day, wherin we consider the spirituall decorum of the language of Gods spirite.

Well, the childe is delivered, & these panges are over; Now we may expect to be advanced to the Horizon you spake of, for the discovery of those scattered rayes of glorious light, wherwith you inamoured us. But first we are to be acquainted with three sorts of errours out of Austin, in set­tinge footthe the Divine nature; The first (you say) ariseth from comparing God to bodies, as by sayeng that he is bright or yellowe; the second, from comparing him unto soules; as by attributing forgetfulnes unto him; The third by attribu­ting such things unto him, as are neyther true of him, nor of any other, as in sayenge that he is able to produce, or begett▪ himselfe. Yet you tell us fictions, or suppositions must be used of things scarse possible, wherby to represent God, in default of better. And thus you make way for a fiction of yours, wherby to represent God, & that is of a soule diffused: thoroughe the whole Vniverse. Nowe that Deus was Ani­ma Mundi, was an olde opinion of certeyne heathens two thousand yeares agoe. And what necessitie, I pray, of any such fiction? And withall it is a fiction full of absurditie; considering that a great part of this Vniverse is a World of soules of diverse kindes; and the rest are uncapable of soules whether they are inferior to animate thinges as baser bodies, or superior even to reasonable soules themselves, as Intelli­gences. And I woonder what you meant by that sory qua­lification, when you say. You must use fictions of thinges scarse possible; Implyinge that this fiction of yours which here you introduce, is of a thing scarse possible; Wherby you seeme to conceave that this is a thing not absolutely impossible.

Neyther doe I finde any congruitie, why bodies abstract or Mathematicall, shoulde be of fitter capacity to receave this imaginary soule wherby to represent God. Only I confesse, that an imginary body is most fitt for an imaginary soule, but [Page 23] neyther fitt to represent God by. For what vertues, I pray, can you finde in them, fitt to resemble him? Yet you are not at ende of your extractions, thoughe the ende of this Chaptor touchinge Gods resemblance, moovethe us to sende an ende to our expectations, and to looke no more for those seattered rayes of that glorious light you spake of. The childe you tra­vayled with, was Homers comparinge Aiax to an asse, & Vir­gils comparinge Turnus to a Lyon, & Vida his judgement therupon, and the Prophets concurrence with the witt of the latter, and three errours mentioned by Austin, in resembling the nature of God. And last of all a fiction to this purpose of a thing scarse possible, and that something refined, and the whole put of to further extractions, & all the glory, we were put in hope of, is the glory of a fewe phrases, wherwith you wishe your Reader, seing his cheare, to be merry, for he is wellcome. And thus you have given us a flashe of powder without shot, but not without smoke. Our enterteynment may be better in the chapter followinge.


Concerning two Philosophicall maximes which are sayde to leade us to the acknowledgement of one infinite, & incomprehensible essence.

FROM leight shewes we come to solid discourse, at least we are promised such. The principles wherof are two, termed springs & founteynes, that they may be the fitter, for the baptizing of Atheists, (so you speake) as they are fitt enough for the confirminge of Christians. The first is, Whatsoever hath limite or boundes of being hath some distinct cause, or author of beinge. This is taken for a proposition knowne of it selfe; yet are the termes very ambiguous, as namely the terme limite or boundes. In one place you professe that beginninge of beinge is one speciall limit of being. Newe I [Page 24] confesse, that in this sense, the proposition is evident thus, Whatsoever hath a beginninge, hathe a cause therof distinct from it selfe; because nothing can have a beginninge of beinge without a cause; Neyther can any thing give beinge unto it selfe. And therfore, if all thinges in this World are acknow­ledged to have had a beginninge; it must be acknowledged that they had a Maker which is God. But that this World hathe had a beginninge hathe not bene acknowledged by all: Nay the Learned est Men that ever were out of the Church of God, as Aristotle and his Followers, have utterly denyed the World to have had a beginninge as you well knowe; And therfore unles, the contrary be prooved, & these Philoso­phers confuted, we have herby nothing profited in convi­cting Mens consciences of this truthe by the light of reason, That there is a God; and so are farre enoughe from baptizinge Atheists into the name of God the Father. Much more from baptizinge them into the name of the Father, of the Sonne, and of the H. Ghost. And therfore I am persuaded that your proposition is not delivered in this sense, but rather you ex­tende the word limites or boundes to a greater generalitie of signification, in which sense, you woulde have it supposed, that All thinges, besides God himselfe, have limite and boundes of beinge, not in regard only that they had a beginninge which is questionable, but in regard that they are Entia finita, which is out of question; In like sort the woord being, is of ambi­guous signification; For it may be taken, eyther for beinge of essence, or for beinge of existence. The limits of existence or duration are such as wherby thinges are sayde to have a be­ginninge or an ende; and that at such a time or other.

But the limits & boundes of thinges according to their essence, are such, in respect wherof Entia are sayde to be fini­ [...]a, or infinita. Nowe in this latter sense, your proposition hathe bene very questionable, amongst the most learned Phi­losophers, that have bene. For Aristotle and his Peripatericks never doubted, but that this visible World was finite.

Yet that he did acknowledge a cause of it, is no where evi­dent. Nay he opposethe Plato, & the rest before him, who [Page 25] maynteyned, that the World was made, & so accordingly, that it had a beginninge: wherby it seemes, that he, denyinge the creation of the World, denyed therwithall that the World had any efficient cause. And indeede, whosoever mayn­teynes, that the world had a beginning by creation, must ther­withall maynteyne, that eyther it was made of somethinge, or of nothinge. You will not say that tis a thing evident that the World was made of some preexistent matter, which matter had existence without creation. For that is unto us Christians a manifest untruthe. Therfore you must be driven to maynteyne, that it is a truthe evident of it selfe, that the World was made originally out of nothinge; or at least, that it may be immediately concluded evidently, by a principle, which is evident of it selfe; thus Whatsoever hath boundes of beinge hath bene made, the World hath boundes of beinge: therfore it hath bene made; and seing it was not made of any thing pre­existent; therfore it was made of nothing. Now what Wise man will acknowledge this discourse to be evident? conside­ring howe many Learned Philosophers conceaved it to be a thing impossible, that any thing coulde be made out of no­thinge; as allso consideringe that the H. Ghost imputethe the acknowledgement herof, not to any naturall evidence, but only unto faithe, as where the Apostle saythe, by faithe we believe that the World was made, so that things which we Heb. 11. 2. see were made [...], not of things that doe.

2. You proceede to the enlargement of this position, & tell us, that this maxime is simply convertible thus, Whatsoever hath cause of beinge, hathe allso limits of beinge, because it hathe beginninge of beinge: For, omnis causa & principium, & omne causatum & principiatum. There is litle soundnes eyther of Logicke or Philosophy in all this. For to say that a proposi­tion is simply convertible, is in a Logicall phrase, to say, that it is a good consequence which is drawne, from the proposi­tion converted to the convertent, that is to the proposition wherinto the conversion is made. But this is untrue of the proposition convertible, which you speake of. For an affir­mative universall cannot be thus converted by simple conver­sion, [Page 26] but only an Vniversall negative, & a particular affirma­tive. But I leave your wordes, and take your meaninge; You say it is allso true, that, Whatsoever hath cause of beinge, hathe allso limits of beinge. Nowe bothe this proposition is naught, and the reason worse. For the Sonne of God, Confun­dunt Graeci Theologi in hac dis­putatione [...]. Da­naeus Cen­sur. in Lumbard. dist. 29. the second person in Trinity, hathe cause of beinge from his Father: for he is begotten of him. And the H. Ghost, hathe cause of beinge bothe from the Father and from the Sonne: For he proceedethe from them bothe. Yet neyther God the Sonne, nor God the holy Ghost, have any limits of their beinge. If you say, the Persons are limited, thoughe the na­ture of the Godhead be not; I woulde gladly knowe howe the Person of the Sonne, and of the H. Ghost are more limi­ted then the Person of the Father. For of the Sonne and H. Ghost, I knowe no other limitation then this, that the Sonne is not the Father, nor the H. Ghost: Likewise the H. Ghost, is neyther the Father nor the Sonne. And in this sense, the Father is limited as much as eyther. For as the Sonne is not the Father, so the Father is not the Sonne; and as the H. Ghost is not the Father, so the Father is not the H. Ghost. You shoulde have sayde, All thinges that have cause of beinge by creation, have allso limits or bounds of being; Or thus, All thinges that have cause of beinge in time, and not from everla­stinge, have limits, and boundes of beinge. Or if you woulde apply it to generation, thus, All things that have cause of being by generation of sinite Agents have limits and boundes of beinge. Yet none of these is to the purpose, save the first. And that first proposition supposethe the creation, which yet is not evi­dent, but unto faithe. So then you see howe weake this pro­position is; Yet the reasons you bring for the proofe of it, are much woorse. Your first reason is this, because it hathe be­ginninge of beinge. Nowe if by limits of beinge, you meane limits of existence, such as is the beginninge of duration, then your proofe is merely identicall. But if you meane by limits of beinge, limits of essence, wherby a thing is sayde to be Ens sinitum, the consequence is true I confesse, but nothing more evident is the conclusion, by this reason, then it was before of [Page 27] it selfe. For that it hathe a cause efficient which producethe it, dothe as well argue a finite condition of the thing produ­ced, then that it hathe a beginninge. Yet neyther dothe the havinge of an efficient cause sufficiently argue, that the effect produced is finite, unles the efficient cause be finite. For to say that a finite thinge coulde produce an effect infinite, is to maynteyne that a cause in workinge shoulde exceede the spheare of his activity. But there is no place for this excep­tion, in case the efficient cause be infinite. And I have Hill. in hic Philoso­phia Lu­ceppea, E­picurea, Democre­tica. knowne some inferre herehence that the World is infinite; Otherwise say they, there shoude be no effect of God suitable to the power of so infinite an Agent. And consider; finite thinges are able to produce finite thinges, equall unto them­selves, why then may not God being infinite produce some­thing that is infinite? It may be answeared, that the experience of producinge equalls to the producers themselves is true only in the way of generation. And so God allso in the way of eternall and incomprehensible generation producethe a Sonne equall to himselfe, yea, the same with himselfe as tou­ching his nature. But this is grounded upon a mystery of faithe, which hathe no evidence unto reason naturall. For allthoughe by reason & meditation on Gods woorkes we may atteyne to the knowledge of God as touching the unity of his nature, yet can we not therby atteyne to the knowledge of God as touchinge the Trinity of persons. Adde unto this, that diverse have not only believed, but undertaken to proove allso, that God is able to produce that which is infinite in ex­tension, eyther in quantitie continuall or discrete.

And Hurtado de Mendosa, a Spanishe Iesuite, and a late Disputatio­ne in Phi­losophiam Vniversam a Summulis ad Meta­phisicam. Writer, is most eager in the mayntenance of this. So farre of are your propositions from caryinge evidence in their for heads. Yet you suppose an argument which is very inconse­quent. For you suppose, that whatsoever hath cause of beinge hath allso a beginninge, of beinge, and that in time. But this is notably untrue unto us Christians. For the Sonne and Se­cond person in the Trinitie hathe a cause of his beinge, to witt the Father. Likewise the H. Ghost, hathe not only a cause, [Page 28] but causes of his beinge, to witt bothe the Father and the Sonn, for he proceedethe from them bothe; yet hathe he not such beginninge of beinge as you speake of. For bothe he and the Sonne are everlasting like unto the Father. Your se­cond reason is woorst of all, as when you say: For omnis causa est principium, & omne causatum est principiatum. For in the meaning of this proposition causa and principium, are taken for voces synonymae, woordes of the same signification; not signi­fying two thinges, the one wherof is consequent unto the other. And what sober Scholer would affirme, that omnis causa est principium, as principium signifiethe the beginninge of beinge, wheras indeede it is the cause of beginninge of beinge to its effect, rather then formally to be stiled the be­ginninge of beinge it selfe. That which followethe of the limits of thinges, more easily or more hardly discerned, ac­cordinge as the cause is founde to be preexistent in time or no, is an assertion as wilde, as the similitude wherby you il­lustrate it; and all nothing to the purpose, to proove, that whatsoever hathe cause of beinge, hathe allso limits of beinge, thoughe still you proceede ambiguously without di­stinction, eyther of beinge, or of the limits therof.

For first, where the cause is not preexistent in time, as in things risinge by concomitance, or resultance, yet the effects are as easily seene to be limited, as when the cause is preexistent in time; as for example; the light of the Sunne, and the light of the candle which flowe from those bodies by naturall emanation, was as easily seene to be limited, the first time it was, as after the light is a long time hid from us, and after­ward appeares agayne unto us. Secondly, what if the limits be not seene, what I say is that to the purpose? Angells are invisible, yet we knowe, their natures are limited. Thirdly, what thinke you of the World, hathe it limits or no? You thinke (no doubt) it hathe; yet was not God the cause ther­of preex [...]stent in time, but only in eternitie. For before the World, no time had any existence. Agayne suppose the Wolrd had bene made from everlasting, which some Schole­men have helde to be possible; in this case, God shoulde have [Page 29] no preexistence eyther as touching time actuall, or as tou­chinge time possible; Yet I hope that limits of the World, even in that case had bene as discernable to Aristotle, as nowe they are to you. As for the similitude wherby you illustrate it, that rather sheweth howe in such cases when effects doe rise by way of concomitance or resultance, they are hardly di­stinguished from their causes then how their limits are hardly discernable. Yet what shoulde moove you thus to amplify, howe hard it is to discerne such effects, from their causes, I knowe not. For what hardnes, I pray, is there, in discer­ninge light to be different from the body of the Sunne that gives it, or from the body of a Candle, or of a Glowe­woorme, or of some kinde of rotten wood, or from the scales of some fishes that cast light in the darke? Yet is all this no­thinge pertinent to the confirmation, or illustration of the last proposition propounded by you. Howe farre dependance upon a cause dothe inferre limits of beinge upon the thinge dependinge, I have allready spoken; What meant you to di­stinguishe of the consideration of effects and causes, accor­dinge to the consideration of them eyther distinctly, or in grosse, unles it be to puzle the Reader as much as you con­found your selfe, when eftsoones you manifest that you speake of them bothe as they have causes, which is to consi­der them only as effects. For that notion alone hathe re­ference to a cause. But whether this dothe inferre that they are limited, I have allready therupon delivered my minde.

3. Hence you proceede to the solution of newe pro­blemes, and that as a mere naturalist. Why men in these dayes are not Gyants; why Gyants in former times were but men. And the reason you give is, because the vigour of causes productive or conservative of vegetables, of man especially, from which he re­ceavethe nutrition and augmentation, is lesse nowe then it hathe bene, at least before the flood. The latter of your two que­stions is wilde. For what doe we understand by Gyants, but men of a Gyantlike stature? & is it a sober question to aske, howe it commethe to passe, that men of an huge stature are but men? For suppose men were of never so vast a propor­tion [Page 30] of parts, as great as the Image that Nabucliodonosor sett up in the playne of Dura, or as great as the Colossus at Rho­des; shoulde not men notwithstandinge be men still? and neyther Angells nor beasts; much lesse eyther inferior to the one or superior to the other. If the heavens were infinite as some conceave that an infinite body may be made by God, yet shoulde those heavens be heavens still, and a body still.

Neyther dothe it followe, that therfore those Gyants were men still, because the matter of nutrition and augmentation was finite & limited. For thoughe they had bene turned into Woolves or other beastes, the matter of nutrition had bene limited still; yet in such a case, they had ceassed to be men. As touchinge the stature of men so much lessened in these dayes in comparison unto former times; I no way like the reason therof assigned by you. First because it caryethe no evidence with it, & you give no light unto it, but barely suppose the truthe of it. Secondly because you limit it, in comparison of the like causes before the flood; As if there were no Anakims knowne since the flood. Of late yeares in the place where I dwell, hathe bene taken up the bone of a mans legge, broken in the digging of a well, the bare bone was measured to be two and twentie inches about, in the calfe, and the spurre about the heele was founde allso, & that of a very vast proportion. It seemes the whole body lyethe there. If King Iames were alive, and heard of it; it is like enoughe that out of his curious and Scholasticall Spi­rite, wherby he was caryed to the investigation of strange things, he woulde give order that the body might be digged up, & the parts to be kept as monuments of the great propor­tion and stature of men in former times. As touching the stature of men in these dayes what dothe Capteyne Smith write by his owne experience of the Sasque Sahanocts, bor­derers Voyages a discoverye of C [...]ptayne Iohn Smith in Virginia. upon Virginia on the Northe; He professethe they seemed like Gyants to the Englishe; One of their wero [...]nees that came aboord the Englishe, the calfe of his legge was 3. quartars of a yard about, and the rest of his limbes answea­rable to that proportion. Sure I am the siege of Troy was [Page 31] since the flood; and Homer writinge of the stone that Aeneas tooke up to throwe at his enimies calleth it


And he was litle acquainted with Noahs flood, that sayde Terra malos homines nunc educat atque pusillos. Thirdly in these dayes some are very lowe, some very tall of stature in comparison; yet the vigour of causes nutritive and augmen­tative is the same to each. So in all likelihood both before the flood and after, such difference was founde.

The Spyes sent by Iosuah to take a viewe of the land of Nub. 13. 34. Canaan, having seene the Sonnes of Anak, seemed in their owne sight but as grassehoppers in comparison unto them.

Yet the vigour of foode and nourishment was the same to both. Farre better reasons might be alleaged, if I mistake not, of this difference; and withall I see no reason to the contrary, but that men might be of a great stature in these dayes, as in former times, and that by course of nature; if it pleased God to have it so. But I have no edge to enter upon this discourse, it is unseasonable, and I desire rather to deale with you in matter of Divinitie, and especially to encounter you in your Arminian Tenets. The question followinge, why vegetables of greatest vigour, doe not ingrosse the pro­perties of others lesse vigorous, is a senseles question.

For whether you understande it of vegetables in the same kinde, or of a diverse kinde, it is ridiculous. As for exam­ple. Woulde any sober man enquire after the cause, why that vegetable which is of the greatest heate, hathe not the propertie of such a vegetable, that is of lesse heate? Or why that which is vigourous in heate, hathe not the propertie of that which is vigorous in colde, or in any other disparate qua­litie? Nay why shoulde any man expect a reason why diffe­rent kindes of thinges have different qualities? Is it not satis­faction sufficient to consider, that they are different kindes of things, and therfore no merveyle if they have different [Page 32] properties? The cause herof derived from the vigour of that which propagates is very unsound; For that which propa­gates, and that which is propagated is of the same kinde, and consequently of the same propertie. And the question pro­ceedes equally as well of the one as of the other. If you shoulde aske how it comes to passe, that man is not so intelli­gent a creature as an Angell; it were very absurde to say the reason is, because the Father of a man was not so intelligent as an Angell, and therfore he coulde not propagate a man as intelligent as an Angell; least so he shoulde propagate a more intelligent creature then himselfe. I say this manner of an­sweare woulde give little satisfaction. For the question was made of man, not of this man in particular, but of mankind, which comprehendes the Father as wel as the Sonne. And agayne, the Sonne may be more intelligent then the Father, though not after the same manner intelligent as the Angells are. The followinge question is as litle worthe the propo­singe as the former. For what hostilitie is to be feared be­tweene the ayre and the water? But you make choyse to in­stance in the hostilitie betweene the earthe and the water, as a matter of dangerous consequence. You demaunde the rea­son why the restles or raging water swallowes not up the dull earth. I had thought the earthe had bene fitter to swallowe up wa­ter, then water to swallowe up earthe. For suppose the Sea shoulde overflowe the Land, shoulde it therby be sayde to swallowe it up? Then belike the bottome of the Sea is swal­lowed up by the Sea. And by the same reason, the Element of the Ayre swalloweth up both Sea and Land, because it co­vereth them; and the Element of fire in the same sense, swal­loweth up the Element of the ayre. And the heavens swal­lowe up all the Elements, for as much as they doe encompasse them. Every Naturalist conceaves, that it is not out of any hostilitie, that the Element of water is disposed to cover the earth, but out of inclination naturall, to be above the earthe, beinge not so heavy a body, as the massie substance of the earth is; And we knowe it is withdrawne into certeyne valleys by his power who jussit subsidere valles, as the Poet acknowled­gethe, [Page 33] who was but a mere naturalist, & that in commoda [...] habitationem animatium, that the earthe might become a con­venient habitation for such creatures, in whose nostrills is the breathe of life; of whome the cheife is man, made after the likenes and image of his maker, and made Lord over his visible creatures. The last question is worst of all, and all nothinge to the purpose, but mere extravagants. What sober man would demaund a cause, why the heavens doe not dispos­sesse the elements of their place? might you not as wel de­maunde, why the fire dothe not dispossesse the ayre, and then why it dothe not dispossesse the water? & lastly why it dothe not dispossesse the earthe of her seate? which is as much as to say, why is not the heaven where the eartheis, and the earthe where the havens are? wheras every man knowes, that the more spacious place, is fitter for the more spacious bo­dies; and the higher places more agreable to lighter bodies, like as the lowest place is most fitt for the body of the earthe. To say that the nature of the heavens, hathe not so much as libertie of egresse into neighbour elements, is as if you shoulde say, that light thinges have not so much as libertie of moo­ving downewards, nor have heavy thinges libertie of moo­vinge upwardes. Yet there are cases extraordinary, when a certeyne universall nature mooves them contrarily to their speciall inclinations, for mayntenance of the integritie of the whole, and for avoydance of all vacuity. I see no reason for that other assertion of yours, that nature cannot sett boundes to bodies naturall, but rather is limited in them. What thinke you of the soules of men, doe not these as other soules prescribe limits unto the matter? Materia prima was accoumpted in Zabarell. de materia prima. our Vniversitie, to have dimensiones in determinatas, and that it receaved the determination therof from formes, but by the operation of Agents, in their severall generations. I con­fesse nature it selfe is but the effect and instrument of God, who is the God of nature as well as of grace. But yet whether every thinge that hathe boundes of nature, as the World hathe, dothe herby evidence and inferre the creation therof, is such a question, wherin Aristotle and his followers did pe­remtorily [Page 34] maynteyne the negative; and the Scripture it selfe do the impute unto faithe, our acknowledgement of the Creation.

4. Nowe we come to the scanninge of your second Prin­ciple, Heb. 1 [...]. Whatsoever hathe no cause of beinge, can have no limits or boundes of beinge. This in part hathe evidence of truthe thus, Whatsoever hathe no efficient cause of beinge, the same hathe no be­ginninge of beinge. But if it proceede of limits of essence, or of qualitie, or of quantitie, it requires helpe of reason to make it good. For as many as denyed the World to have a begin­ninge, denyed as it seemes, that it had any cause of beinge; and thought the beinge therof to be by necessitie of nature. Yet did they maynteyne that the World had limits of quantitie, and qualitie. For they maynteyned that Infinitum magnitudine was absolutely impossible, as Aristotle by name. By your distinction followinge, of diverse wayes wherby beinge may be limited, you make no mention of limitation by havinge a beginninge therof; which yet hathe bene the cheife, if not only limit, which hitherto you have mentioned.

Agayne, why shoulde you make but two wayes, confoun­dinge the limits of quantitie, with the limits of intensive per­fection in every several kinde. It were too much in my judgement to confound limits of quantitie, with limits of qualitie, which yet are both accidentall. But most unreaso­nable it seemes to confound eyther of these with intensive perfection of every severall kinde. But howe will you ac­commodate the members of this distinction to the former proposition? Allmightie God hathe no cause of beinge; ther­fore he hathe no limits of beinge. Nowe, I pray, apply this to the members of your distinction concerninge the kinde of limits of beinge. Is he without limits in number? why then belike he is numberles. Yet indeede he is but one and can be but one in nature, and in persons can be but three, & must needes be three. Is he without limits in quantitio, and so infinite therin? But in very truthe he hathe no quantitie at all. Is he without limits in qualities, not materiall (for such are not incident to him) but spirituall, & so infinite therin▪ Are [Page 35] there no boundes of the degrees of his goodnes: why but consider, in God there are no degrees, no qualities at all.

As touching perfections created therof indeede, we have severall kindes, but none such are to be found in God. Only because God is able to produce them, therfore they are sayde to be eminently in God, thoughe not formally. But the like you may say as well of any materiall attribute, as of spiri­tuall. For God can produce all alike. Therfore all are eminently alike in God. Of thinges visible the most perfect, you say, are but perfect in some one kinde. It is true of invi­sible creatures as well as of visible; but this kinde is to be un­derstood of a kinde created. But you may not say, that God is perfect in all such kindes, but rather in none of them. For that were to be perfect in imperfections. Gods per­fection transcendes all created kindes, and he is the Author of them, producinge them out of nothing. They that mayn­teyne the World to have bene eternall, maynteyne it to have bene so, by necessitie of nature. And all such would perem­torily deny, that it was possible for the World not to have bene; and therfore in this discourse of yours it would have becommed you rather to proove the contrary, then to sup­pose it. Howe the Heaven of Heavens shoulde be accoumpted immortall I knowe not, seing they are not capable of life. And seing deathe properly is a dissolution of body and soule, immortalitie must consist proportionably in an indissoluble conjunction of the body and the soule, which is not incident to Angells (much lesse to Heavens) which have neyther bo­dies nor soules wherof to consist. Neyther dothe Seneca, in the place by you alleaged, speake of Angells, in my judgment, but rather of the Species of thinges generable; particulars, thoughe subject to corruption, beinge inabled for genera­tion, and therby for perpetuation of their kindes, and con­sequently for the mayntenance of the World, and that for ever. It is well knowne that the Platonickes, thoughe they maynteyned the World to have a beginninge, yet denyed the matter wherof the World was made, to have had any begin­ninge. Of the same opinion were the Stoicks. Their com­mon [Page 36] voyce was, De nihilo nihil, in nihilu [...] nil posse reverti, & accordingly they might well conceave, that God might be hin­dered in his operation, by reason of the stubbornes and chur­lishnes of the matter; & so the censure of Muretus upon such Philosophers, I conceave to be just. Yet by your leave, I doe not thinke, that any creature, capable of immortalitie, in what sense soever applyable to Angells as well as unto men, can be made immortall by nature. Yet I doubt not, but God can make creatures in such sort immortall by nature, as that no second cause can make them ceasse to be. For it is apparant, that God hathe many such, as namely the Angels and soules of men. Yet still their natures are annihilable, in respect of the power of God. Neyther can I believe, that to be im­mortall in Senecaes language, was to be without beginninge. For I doe not finde, but that the Stoicks together with Plato, conceaved that the World had a beginninge. But in this re­spect he calleth them eternall, (I shoulde thinke) because the World, together with the kindes of thinges therin conteyned, subject to corruption and generation in particulars, should have no ende, and that by the Providence of God. We be­lieve that nothinge is absolutely necessary, but God. But Aristotle believed the World allso to be everlasting without beginninge, & of absolute necessitie. For that the World shoulde be created originally out of nothinge, all Philoso­phers helde impossible, and that the matter shoulde be ever­lastinge, and of absolute necessity, wherof the World was to be made, that seemed impossible unto Aristotle, and that upon good reason. The creation therfore is to be justified against Philosophers by sound argument, and not avouched only by bare contestation. That which followethe, we Christians are apt enoughe to believe, but you take upon you to convict Philosophers of the truthe of them by evident rea­son; this I say you undertake, but proove not. You say, that the most strong and perspicuous way of inferringe the existence of God, is by this, that all thinges are originally de­rived from him, and made by him. And indeede, let it be prooved, that the World had a beginninge of beinge, and it [Page 37] will be manifest therby, that there is a God, to witt, the Ma­ker of the World. But you have not yet prooved against Philosophers that the creation of the World is to be acknow­ledged. Nay this kind of argument (which I acknowledge to be the most pregnant and illustrious) you put of till ano­ther time, and to another discourse of yours, and yet all that you have to say dothe but harpe upon this, though herein you doe but fumble, and proove nothinge, supposing be­like, that feeding us with expectation of some perfourmance of yours, this way herafter, we shoulde be the more willingly drawne to beare with the imperfection of your discourse here. Yet had it bene farre better for your credite in my judgement, to have wholy passed it over according to your project mentioned at the first, then thus slightly to dis­patche it.

5. But you have not yet dispatched it as it seemes. Nowe you beginne to dispute the creation of the World; but your phrase in expressinge it, is very incongruous, as when you sup­pose Philosophers to maynteyne, that the roote of incorruption in the heavens, can brooke no limits of duration, but must be ima­gined without ende or beginninge. Now Philosophers mayn­teyned (and they only were the Peripatetickes. For Aristotle ingenuously acknowledgethe in his bookes de Caelo, that all Arist. de caelo. lib. 1. cap. 11. conti. 102. that went before him, supposed the heavens to have had a be­ginninge) that the Heavens were without beginninge and without ende, not that the roote of incorruption in the Heavens (as you speake) was without beginninge and without ende. For of any such roote of their incorruption he disputethe not; and I verily thinke, that herin, affecting to phrasifie, you speake you knowe not what. Now this he maynteyned, in opposition unto those, who feyned the World to have had a beginninge ex praejacente materia; which matter had no be­ginninge. And Aristotle concurringe withall that went be­fore him in this, that nothing coulde be produced out of nothinge, and opposing them in the point of matter praejacent, drewe up his Tenet to this pitche, that the World had no beginninge. As if he had disputed thus; If the World had a beginninge, [Page 38] it must have its beginninge eyther ex aeterna materia praejacente, or no. But not ex aeterna materia praejacente, as he laboured to proove, therfore if it had a beginninge, it must be of no­thinge; Now all granted that ex nihilo nihil sit; whence it followed that it coulde have no beginninge at all. And truly, I am of opinion, that his Tenet was more sounde then his opposites; and that with better reason it may be maynteyned that the World had no beginninge, then that the matter or Chaos rudis indigestaque moles, wherof the World was made, had no beginninge. Now that Principle wherin they all a­greed, nothinge can be made of nothinge, they thought to be evi­dent of it selfe, and such as needed no proofe.

Yet Averroes in his commentaryes upon the bookes of Aristotles Metaphysickes, gives a reason of it, disputing thus. Lib. 12. If the World were made, and that of nothing, then it was pos­sible to be made before it was made; which we willingly grant. Now saythe he I demaunde, in what subject this pos­sibilitie was? And withall telleth us that Ioannes Gramma­ticus made this answere, that it was in Agente, which Aver­roes takes up in scorne, but confutes it not. Now Gramma­ticus his answeare rightly understood is fayre and full; not meaninge that any possibilitie or power passive was in God; but that there was an active power in God so allmighty as in­abled him to make a World out of nothinge, & consequently was foundation sufficient to denominate the World possible to be, before it was; not by any physicall possibilitie, which allwayes requires a subject really existent, to support it; but only Logicall, which is nothinge els but negatio repugnantia, which is appliable to non ens. For that which is not, may be denominated possible to be, in case there be an active power existent sufficient to produce it. But to proceede; against the opinion of Philosophers you dispute thus, If the Heavens can brooke no limits of your duration, such as are beginninge and ende, why shoulde it brooke limits of extension? as it dothe. For the heaven is supposed by them to be finite in extension. For answeare wherunto I say the reason is manifest. For an infinite magnitude actuall is impossible, and admits manifest [Page 39] contradiction as Aristotle hathe disputed the point at large. But to be without a beginninge of duration, they conceaved to be nothing impossible. Nay rather to the contrary, to have a beginninge out of nothinge, all of them conceaved that to be a thing utterly impossible. And albeit in other cases they helde motion, magnitude, and time to holde exact propor­tion, yet those cases were nothing to this purpose.

And wheras you say duration is a kinde of extension; im­plyinge therby, that extension is the Genus to magnitude and duration, as unto two species comprehended by it, I take this to be untrue. I judge rather, there is no univocall notion common to duration, and magnitude; thoughe this be litle materiall. But if you can shewe that it implyethe as great contradiction that the World shoulde be everlastinge, as that it shoulde be infinite in magnitude, then you should speake home indeede to the purpose. And I professe I make no doubt but the demonstration of the one may be as evident, as of the other: but that is a taske, which you have not hitherto perfourmed. And whosoever undertakes it, is like to finde opposites enoughe. For there want not Schoolemen, that Biel: in 2. sect. dist. 1. q. 3. a Scot there ans­weareth. Gandavatia his argu­ments proo ving the impossibi­lity of the World to be from everla­sting. maynteyne the possibilitie of bothe, namely bothe of the ever­lastingnes therof in duration without beginninge; and of the infinity therof in extension. And one thoughe no Schoole­man, hathe adventured to proove that the World is actually infinite, sayinge that otherwise, there were no effect suitable enoughe, to so infinite a cause and agent as God is:

Yet I feare not any of these colours, but am persuaded that each is impossible, and that the impossibilitie of eache may be demonstrated, and the reasons to the contrary evidently re­futed. But you hitherto have rather begged what you under­tooke to proove, then prooved it. Yet you proceede, sayinge thinges caused are allwayes limited. But you shoulde have prooved, that thinges of limited essence are allwayes caused, and have a beginninge of their duration. So that this your proposition is nothing to the purpose, were it true. But ney­ther is this proposition allwayes true, as hathe bene shewed in the example of the persons in the Trinitie. And yet on this [Page 40] point, which is neyther universally true, nor at all to any purpose, you insist liberally in your followinge discourse.

You should proove, that whatsoever hath limits of exten­sion, the same allso hath beginninge of duration: which yet I deny not to be a truthe, and demonstrable, but of the demon­stration herof, your discourse hathe fayled hitherunto. When you argue thus, It is as possible to put a newe fashion upon nothing; as for any thing that is, to take limits, or set forme of being from nothinge. You corrupt the opinion of your opposites and not refure it. For they that maynteyne the World had no be­ginninge, doe allso maynteyne, that it tooke no beginninge of the limits therof: And as they doe not say, the World tooke his beginninge from nothinge; so neyther doe they say, that the World tooke the beginninge of his limits, or tooke his li­mits or forme from nothinge. Nowe you, by this forme of your dispute, doe instruct Atheists howe to discourse against the creation of the World, thus; If God made the World out of nothing, then he put a newe fashion upon nothinge: But it is im­possible that any newe fashion shoulde be put upon nothinge; ther­fore it is impossible that God shoulde make the World out of no­thinge. Nowe in this Syllogisme the minor is most true. For not any thinge can consist of nothing as the matter and of a fa­shion, as the forme therof. But the consequence of the ma­jor, is most untrue. For when we say that God made the World out of nothinge, our meaninge is not that nothing was the matter wherof the World was made, but only that it was the terminus a quo, not materia ex qua. As much as to say God made the World, wheras nothing went before, neyther had God any matter wheron to woorke when he made the World. And Philosophers affirminge that the World had no beginninge, doe therwithall deny that the World tooke eyther being or limits from any thinge. You turne their ne­gative into an affirmative, so to corrupt their opinion, in steade of confutinge it. They thought, it needed not any thinge to give it beinge or bounds of beinge, least they shoulde be driven to affirme that somethinge coulde be made out of nothinge: wheras they had rather maynteyne; that the world [Page 41] ever had existence by necessitie of nature. Neyther did they maynteyne, that the world tooke limits or beinge from it selfe any more then from any other, which you devise and impute unto them, in steade of convictinge their Tenet of er­rour, by force of argument, in the way of naturall reason which you undertake. And therfore havinge so weakely disprooved the everlastingnes of things limited, you doe ther­by betray the weakenes of your proofe of Gods illimited condition from the everlastingnes therof.

6. And yet as if you had confounded all the Philoso­phers that ever lived, in the point of creation, you proceede magnificently to suppose, that the conceyte of beinge without li­mits is essentially included in the conceyte of beinge without cause precedent, which if it were true, then were it a truthe per se notae, and consequently the creation of the world evident of it selfe even to common reason, seinge it is supposed to have limits. And agayne your discourse is so fashioned, as if Philosophers maynteyned that the world tooke beginninge of it selfe, which is untrue and indeede a thinge evidently impossible, namely that any thinge shoulde take beginninge of it selfe. And indeede if a thinge coulde give beinge to it selfe, it might give what it lusted to it selfe, if so be it had a lust, which the Elements and Heavens have not: Yet those Aristotle mayn­teyned to have bene from everlastinge, not that they gave be­ginninge to themselves, but that they tooke no beginninge from any thinge. The reason wherof was, because they coulde not conceave, howe any thinge coulde be made out of nothinge, a thing contrary to all naturall experience: upon which kinde of ground your selfe but erst builded your dis­course, when you sayde, thinges caused, as induction manifestethe; are allwayes limited and moulded in their proper causes. Yet not­withstandinge upon this fiction, of a thing able to give beinge to it selfe, you dilate at large.

I grant, that upon this fiction nothinge coulde restrayne it from takinge all bodily perfection possible to it selfe, in case it had power to give beinge to it selfe. But never any Philo­sopher maynteyned, that it had power to give beinge to it [Page 42] selfe. For they that maynteyned a Chaos precedinge the production of the world, maynteyned that out of this Chaos, God produced all thinges, and not that the Chaos or ought els gave being to itselfe. And Aristotle that denyed such an eternall Chaos, & maynteyned the world had no beginninge, was farre from maynteyninge that the world gave beinge to it selfe. Secondly I answeare, that thoughe it shoulde thus re­ceave all bodily perfection possible, yet this shoulde not be infinite, and without limits as you woulde have your Reader to suspect without proofe, and indeede unles this be ima­gined, tis nothing no the purpose. The reason why in this case, it shoulde not be infinite, is this; because all bodily per­fection possible is but finite, as they conceaved, and therin conceaved nothing amisse. So of quantitie or qualitie, the impossibilitie of eyther to be without measure in bodies, whose perfection is only finite, is a sufficient hinderance from takinge eyther quantity or qualitie without measure. In like sort, let Vacuitie (as you speake) be left free to give it selfe full and perfect act; let it take all possible perfection, yet since all possible perfection of bodies, is supposed to be only finite, it will not followe that the perfection taken shall be without limits: which yet you must proove, otherwise your discourse is of no force to proove, that whatsoever hathe n [...] cause of bringe distinct from itselfe, is without limits. Allthoughe the Philosophers that maynteyned the world or matter therof preexistent to be without beginninge, driven herunto, because they conceaved not how it was possible, that any thinge shoulde be made out of nothinge; yet did they never mayn­teyne that the one or the other gave being to it selfe. Yet this fiction you pinne upon their sleeve, to supply the weaknes of your discourse. Much lesse coulde it enter into any sober mans conceyte, that they gave power to a Vacuitie, to give it selfe ful and perfect act, seinge Vacuitie is starke nothinge; which the Chaos was not, but a materiall thinge, thoughe merely passive and nothinge active. But as for vacuitie that is neyther active, nor passive, as being starke nothinge. And yet to this you adde a further solecisme in this your fiction; as when you [Page 43] suppose this vacuitie to have power to assume eyther bodily substances or spirituall; which the Chaos had not, no not so much as in capacitie, being wholy materiall, wheras spirituall substances are immateriall. And yet, I confesse as you give unto that which is nothinge power to assume which it list, ey­ther bodily or spirituall substances; it may well be sayde that nothing hathe power indifferently to assume eyther or both of them. This I propose by way of an universall negative, not by way of a particular affirmative as you doe, making the terme nothing, to be the subject in your propositions, and not an universall signe only. Yet all thus assumed (as you speake) shoulde be but finite; because all possible perfection besides the nature of God it selfe, is but finite. Therfore I say it shoulde be but finite, if any thinge at all; which caution I doe put in, because upon due accoumpt, it will be founde, that the summe of all this, in a good sense, will proove to be no more, then just nothinge. For suppose, nothing dothe assume bodily substances; agayne suppose, nothinge dothe assume spirituall substances; put this together, and adde nothing to nothing, and see whether the totall will proove to be any jot more, then just nothing. You proceede further, and tell us that while we imagine it without cause of existence or beginninge, no reason imaginable coulde confine it, to any set place of residence or extension, why rather in the center, then circumference, or eyther rather then bothe. In this you seeme to have reference to that which immediately went before, and that was a vacuitie. And in very truthe upon this supposition, where nowe the center is, nothing was; where nowe the circumference is, nothing was; and in all the bodies betweene, nothinge was. For you suppose a vacuitie of all, and nothing to be, where now there is some thinge. Yet this nothing by your leave, must be con­fined in reference to the places, where bodies were before or after. And the places where bodies were before, being the same, by your supposition, with the places which nowe are, must needes be finite. For undoubtedly, the space of this whole world, betweene the center and circumference, yea & including bothe, is but finite. But foortwith you relapse to [Page 44] the former iniquitie of your supposition; and in steede of ha­vinge a being without beginninge, which was indeede the o­pinion of some great Philosophers, concerninge the world, or concerning preexistent matter, wherof the world was made, driven herunto upon supposition, (as of a thinge im­possible) that nothinge coulde be made out of nothinge; wherin all agreed, thoughe otherwise of different opinions, nor different only but contrariant allso: I say, from this true state of their opinion, you relapse, to the worlds taking of beginninge to it selfe; which is rather to maynteyne that it had a beginninge (thoughe of it selfe) then that it had none at all; yet this alone was affirmed by them, and not the other. Of which other, namely of takinge beginning to it selfe, imagi­nation only (you say) is the true cause. And therin you say true, but this cause is to be understood of your imagination, not theirs: For they imagined no such taking of beginning to it selfe, eyther in the world it selfe, or in the preexistent mat­ter therof. Yet upon this you founde a newe imagination, of extendinge (forsoothe) its existence bothe wayes, and drawing a circular duration to the instant, where it beginnes; to witt where it beginnes in your imagination not in theirs; for they ima­gined no such thing. And indeede, he that imaginethe white to be blacke, I see no reason why he may not proceede further and imagine black to be white, and adde unto this a third, to witt, that white is neyther white nor blacke, and blacke is neyther blacke nor white. Of circular motions I have read; but of circular durations I have neyther read nor heard till nowe; well, let us understande it of duration in circular mo­tions. But if you please, imagine time to be circular like the motions of your orbes, and in course of time to returne at lengthe to the beginninge of it. For what els to make of the instant where it beginnes, I knowe not. It seemes by this dis­course, that you have seene the gigge, and if your braynes have not runne round, I assure you mine have all most in fol­lowinge you. At lengthe you come to a more sober suppo­sition and expression; as when you relate their opinion thus, that the world hathe a true present beinge without any cause prece­dent. [Page 45] This I confesse is suitable to their opinion whome you impugne; who were driven herunto (as I sayde) because they coulde not comprehende, howe any thinge coulde be made of nothinge. But when you adde, without a superior guide to appoynt it a set course, you something swerve from the right. All maynteyned the world coulde not be made out of no­thinge. But all of them did not deny that it had a guide to direct it. The Platonickes and Stoicks acknowledged a di­vine understandinge to have made the world, but out of a pre­jacent matter, which they conceaved to be eternall, and to ac­knowledge no maker. Nowe as they acknowledged a ma­ker, so they acknowledged a Governour, thoughe sometimes hindered in his course, by the stubbornes of the refractary matter, which acknowledged no maker. Aristotle mayn­teynes allso a first moover, therfore he acknowledged a guide allso. But wheras he acknowledged him to be a necessary Agent (as I conceave) it was in effect as much, as if he had acknowledged, no Governour. But all agreed that the du­ration eyther of the world, or of the prejacent matter was everlasting for the time past, and that the world shoulde be everlasting for the time to come. To this Plato yeilded. And so conteyned all duration imaginable bothe wayes; namely both for the time past, and for the time to come; but with this difference, that for the time past it was actually infi­nite; only the duration for the time to come not actuall, but in such sort infinite, as it shoulde never have an ende. Now this consideration openeth a fayre way to a discovery of the impossibilitie of this conceyte of theirs concerninge the eter­nitie of the world, or the eternitie of time, and that by very evident reason; (thoughe I deny not but men have and may sett their witts on woorke in quashinge the evidence therof; in their zeale I thinke to defend the honour of Aristotle.) For if the world were everlastinge? Paulus Venetus, thoughe zea­lous to defend the possibilitie herof, yet acknowledgethe it woulde followe, that the part is equall to the whole, nay grea­ter then the whole; and that in so evident a manner, that he hathe no other way to answere it, then by professinge that [Page 46] this maxime, Totum est majus sua parte, is of force only in ma­teria finita, not in materia infinita; which in effect is as much as to say; The world may be everlasting I will maynteyne it, but I forbid any man to dispute against it. For I purpose to deny all maximes that are made use of, in disputing against it; and will be bolde to say that they all have force only in mate­ria finita, and not in materia infinita.

And because seing I have excepted against weake courses of argumentation, in defense of the creation; it may be ex­pected I shoulde substitute stronger arguments in the place of them. I will not spare to addresse my selfe herunto so farre as out of the old store of my Philosophy I have in readines. And yet if thinges be considered aright, there is no necessitie of any such course. For certenly we have no neede of it for the fortification of our faithe, that being built only upon the word of God; and according to that old sayinge: Fides non Grego. in Euangel. hom. 26. habet meritum quoties humana ratio praebet experimentum. And as for Atheists, may we not justly say of them, as Abraham saythe of the rich Gluttous bretheren. If they believe not Moses and the Prophets, neyther will they believe thoughē a man Luc. 16. 31. shoulde rise from the dead. Especially consideringe that the Scriptures suppose (in my judgement) the creation to be ac­knowledged by generall instinct, actualed by consideration of the course of the world; as where it is sayde, The Heavens declare the glory of God, and the Firmament sheweth his handy Psal. 19. 1. 2. 3. woorke, Day unto day uttereth the same, and night unto night teachethe knowledge. There is no speach or language, where their voyce is not heard. And as is the voyce of the Prophets in the old Testament, such is the voyce of the Apostles in the newe. The invisible thinges of God, that is his eternall power and God­head, Rom. 1. 20. is seene from the creation of the World, being considered in his workes, so that they are without excuse. And Paul preachinge before the Athenians, in an Vniversitie much addicted to A­ristotles Philosophy, yet is bolde to suppose this, as a thinge without his preachinge receaved amongst them, God that made Act. 17. 24. 25. 26. the World, and all thinges that are therin, seing that he is Lord of Heaven and Earthe, dwellethe not in Temples made with handes. [Page 47] Neyther is woorshipped with mens handes, as thoughe be needed any thing, seinge he giveth to all life and breathe & all thinges. And hathe made of one blood all mankinde, to dwell on all the face of the Earth, and hathe assigned the seasons, which were ordeyned before, by the boundes of their habitation. And the being of the World from everlasting, thoughe by creation, doth appa­rantly limit the power of God thus farre, that he coulde not then have made it sooner. And if God coulde make the creature like unto himselfe in everlastingnes, why not in any thing els, seinge the Apostle, speaking of the Godhead as evi­denced by his workes, noteth it to consist in his eternall power. But come we to that manner of demonstration which is expected, leaving such arguments as Mornay prosecutethe, Rom. 1. 20. as namely the novell invention of all Arts and Sciences, as ap­peares by History, and the like, evidencinge that the World had a beginninge: It is well knowne that the most generall o­pinion is (even of Aristotle himselfe) that an infinite magni­tude or a number actually infinite, is a thing utterly impossible as that which implyethe manifest contradiction. Now let those arguments be well observed, and considered, whether the most pregnant amongst them, may not with as great evi­dence be accommodated against the everlastingnes of the World, to proove it to be a thing impossible. As for ex­ample. One of the most forcible arguments that I have founde to proove the impossibilitie of an infinite magnitude is this. If a magnitude were actually infinite, then it shoulde consist of an infinite number of yards or ells; for if it consi­sted but of a finite number of them, the whole coulde be but finite. Nowe it is manifest that such an infinite magnitude can consist but of an infinite number of inches. And here­hence it followethe, that the number of inches, and the num­ber of yardes or ells in such a magnitude are equall; & here­hence it followeth that an inch in this case should be equall to a yarde or [...]ll; which is impossible, and consequently as im­possible it is that there shoulde be any magnitude infinite. In like sort, if the World were everlasting, then the dayes past shoulde be infinite, & not so only but the yeares past shoulde [Page 48] be infinite; and so the number of dayes and number of yeares past, shoulde be equall, and consequently a day shoulde be e­quall to a yeare; For if twenty dayes were equall to twentie yeares, then certeynly one day shoulde be equall to one yeare. For fi ab aequalibus aequalia demas quae remanent erunt aequalia. Now it is impossible that a day shoulde be equall to a yeare, & consequently it is impossible that the World shoulde be ever­lasting without beginninge. Perhaps some may say that the same reason might proove as well that it is a thing impossible the World shoulde be without ende. But this is untrue, thoughe at first sight men are apt to be deceaved with a shewe of paritie, where indeade there is no paritie. For thoughe we shall continue as the Angells allready doe without ende, yet herehence it shall never come to passe, that it can be veri­fied of such that they have continued an infinite space of time; but still the space is finite, thoughe with addition of conti­nuance longer & longer in infinitum. But if the World were without beginning, then an infinite space of time were actually past allready, which implyeth manifest contradiction as before hathe bene shewed. Now consider the answere to the for­mer argument, & whether it be of any force. The only: course to weaken it is to maynteyne, that datur infinitum, infi­nito insinitius. One infinite may be greater then another, to witt an infinite number of yeares past, greater then an infinite number of dayes past. This at first sight seemes to be a madde kinde of answere. For hence it followeth that one infinite can not be admitted, but that therwithall you must admitt an numberles number of infinites. As for example; If there were past an infinite number of yeares, then seinge every yeare conteynes 365. dayes, you must acknowledge that this infi­nite space of yeares consists of 365. parts, each wherof is in­finite. And wheras if the World were eternall, & the space of time past, infinite, then the millions of yeares past were in­finite allso; whence we inferre that the space of millions of yeares past being infinite consists of tenne hundred thousand parts, each wherof is infinite, and each infinite part consists of 365. parts, each wherof is infinite allso. And this is the [Page 49] very argument that Aristotle useth in his Metaphysickes to proove that there cannot be an infinite magnitude; for then it shoulde consist ex infinitis, now indeede this they doe grant that streyne their witts to maynteyne the possibilitie of infi­nitie in magnitude as namely Hurtando de Mendosa in his dis­putations; A Summa­tis ad Me­taphysicam tract. de infinito. as being necessarily driven herunto. And the like course they must needes take that maynteyne the possibilitie of infinitie in time past. But as for the possibilitie of it in time to come, that is alltogether of another nature, as before I have shewed. Nowe I will clearly overthrowe this answere and proove evidently that an infinite number of yeares is not greater then an infinite number of dayes; and I proove it thus. If upon the position of an infinite number of dayes, there follweth hoc ipso, the position of an infinite number of yeares, then an infinite number of yeares is not greater then an infi­nite number of dayes. All experience justifieth this. For if upon the position of a quart of measure, followeth the po­sition of two pints, then it is manifest that two pints is not greater then a quart, and so give instance in what you will, it never fayles. Now to the major proposed I adde my minor thus; But upon the position of an infinite number of dayes, hoc ipso there followeth the position of an infinite number of yeares; And therfore an infinite number of yeares is not grea­ter then an infinite number of dayes. The minor I proove thus; Vpon the position of an infinite number of dayes there shall followe a position of a number of yeares not finite, ther­fore infinite. Not finite; For if the number of yeares ari­singe from the presupposed number of dayes were but finite, then the dayes wherof this number of yeares consists shoulde be but finite; For the dayes shoulde be but 365. times more then the yeares. And a finite number multiplyed by a finite number, can bring foorthe but a finite number. But we have supposed, & the Tenet touching the possibilitie of the Worlds everlastingnes dothe suppose the dayes past, to be pos­sibly infinite. Which yet by this one argument we have de­monstrated to be impossible. Consider one argument more. Paulus Venetus maynteynes it is a thing possible that the time [Page 50] past of the World shoulde be infinite; yet to exercise his witt, he disputes against it in this manner in effect. If the time past were infinite, as we all confesse, the time to come may be in­finite, then the part shall be greater then the whole, as for example, the time from yesterday upwards shall be greater then the time from this day upwards; which he prooveth thus. The time from yesterday upwards, is equall to the time from yesterday downewards. (This is supposed for as much as all confesse it to be possible that time shoulde be without ende.) But the time from yesterday downewards is greater then the time from this day upwards; therfore the time from yesterday upwards, is greater then the time from this day upwards. The minor he proovethe thus. The time from yesterday downewards, is greater then the time from this day downewards. But the time from this day upwards is equall to the time from this day downewards; therfore the time from yesterday downewards is greater then the time from this day upwards; & consequently the time from ye­sterday upwards (being equall to the time from yesterday downeward) is greater then the time from this day upwardes; which is as much as to say, that the part is greater then the whole. These inferences depende upon this maxime most evident, that which is equall to a greater, is allso greater. Nowe marke how Paulus Venetus answeareth this argument, which is of his owne devisinge; & his answeare is this; This maxime the whole is greater then his part, hath place only in matter finite, not in matter infinite. A most absurde answere; for it is in effect to forbid all disputation against him. For we cannot dispute without groundes to insist upon. And no more evi­dent groundes can be devised, then such as conteyne the rules of contradiction. Yet I will make it manifest, that this maxime must have place in all matter, whether finite of infi­nite. To maynteyne that the whole is not greater then the part in some case is to maynteyne that bothe parts of contra­diction are true in some case. But bothe parts of contra­diction cannot be true in any case; neyther in matter finite nor in matter infinite; Therfore in no case can it be truly [Page 51] maynteyned that the whole is not greater then the part. The minor I proove thus; there cannot be greater difference be­tweene matter sinite and matter infinite, then betweene ens & non ens. But both parts of contradiction cannot be true ey­ther about ens or non ens; (like as one part must be true de omni ente & non ente); therfore neyther can they be true in any matter whether finite or infinite. Agayne if this which he saythe were granted, then there coulde be no disputation as touching the nature of God, seinge he is infinite. And if we take away the rules of contradiction, we take away all dispu­tation. Nowe I proceede in scanning that which followeth in your discourse.

7. I have hitherto followed you in the course of your owne suppositions, and shewed how farre short you fall of provinge what you intended, allthoughe your fictions have bene wonderous wilde. We commonly say, Uno data absurdo, mille sequuntur, we doe not say infinite. Yet I see no reason to the contrary, but that from these thousand absurdities, others may followe, and that in infinitum. Thoughe fewer followe it suffizethe us, if your collections be of the number of them. By the way, let me tell you, your marginall quo­tation stands in no congruity with the text. Then you com­pare impossibilities, and tell us, that for a mere logicall possibi­lity, to take beginninge of actuall beinge from it selfe is as impos­sible, as for that which is thus supposed to take beginninge, to be res­treyned to any determinate kind or part of beinge; Implyinge that the opinion of Philosophers, which you oppose did mayn­teyne, that a mere Logicall possibilitie did take beginninge of beinge from it selfe; wheras indeede there is no such matter. Never any Philosopher was founde to doate in such manner as you fashion the nobler sort of them. This is a mere fiction of your owne brayne. For first whether they maynteyned the World to take beginninge of it selfe, as you seeme to fancy they did, or the praejacent matter, wherof it was made to take beginninge of it selfe; yet herby they did not maynteyne that a mere Logicall possibilitie, did take beginninge of actuall beinge unto it selfe. For they were never founde to mayn­teyne [Page 52] that the World was a mere Logicall possibilitie, or that the matter praejacent wherof it was made, was a mere Logi­call possibilitie. Secondly they never avouched, that eyther the World, or matter praejacent wherof it was made, did take beginning of being to it selfe, as you impute unto them, with­out all modestie, only endeavouring to supply the weakenes of your argument, and give some colour of strengthe to your discourse, by the corruption of other mens opinion. But A­ristotles opinion was, that the World was without beginninge; and the former Philosophers opinion was, that the matter wherof the World was made, was without beginninge: and the reason of bothe was this, because they conceaved not how it was possible, that any thinge coulde be made out of nothing. So that your argument rightly accommodated should runne thus, It is as impossible that the World was without beginninge, as it is impossible that, that which is without beginninge shoulde have any limits of being, and be finite. Nowe this they woulde maynteyne to be utterly untrue; and were it true, yet is it not so true, as to be evident of it selfe. And you have hitherto affoorded no evidence at all to justifye it. And a­gayne there is both reason, why, whether a body have begin­ning of beinge, or no beginninge of beinge, yet can it not be infinite, because that implyethe manifest contradiction: and on the other side, Divines have bene founde to justify, that a body might have bene everlastinge, by the power of God, and consequently without beginninge. And agayne, if the World hathe a beginninge (as we believe it hathe) it must necessarily followe, that some thinge shoulde be made out of nothinge, which not only Philosophers conceaved to be impossible, but the H. Ghost allso professethe it to be a truthe so farre over­reachinge the ordinary capacity of man, that he imputes it unto faithe, sayinge, By faith we believe that the World was made. What I thinke of your modells I have allready signi­fied. Hebr 11. [...]. In fine you tell us, wherto they tende, which you ex­presse im pompe, sayinge, They are destinated to the errection of an everlasting aedisice. And that is a certeyne proposition concerning the nature of God, namely, that God is such a one, [Page 53] as he shoulde have bene, if he had had beginninge of himselfe. Which assertion of yours how well it becommeth the honour of God, let every sober Reader judge. For you affirme that God is of such a nature, as shoulde be existent, upon supposi­tion of a thinge impossible; namely, The taking of beginninge of being from ones selfe. By the way I observe, that thoughe you maynteyne God to have no beginninge of beinge, yet you deny him to take beginninge of himselfe; and therby distin­guishe betweene such thinges upon the confusion wherof a­lone, the plausibilite of your former discourse did wholy de­pend. For wheras Aristotle maynteyned that the World was without beginninge; and the ancient Philosophers before him were of opinion, that the matter praejacent, wherof the World was made, was without beginninge, you shaped their opinions in such sort, as if they had affirmed, that the World tooke beginninge of it selfe, or the praejacent matter wherof the World was made, tooke beginninge of it selfe, which in­deede is most absurd; yet not their opinion but your fiction; the lesse was your ingenuitie in pinninge such a conceyte upon them: thoughe I confesse, it served your turne well, this cor­ruption of their opinion wrought by you, being your best ar­gument to strengthen your discourse. By the way I observe, you make God to be the sole Maker of all thinges, yet I never founde you to acknowledge God to be, the sole Author, or so much as Author of faithe and repentance.


Of Infinity of Beinge, or of absolute Infinity and the right definition of it by Ancient Philosophers.

BEFORE you come to your Philosophicall Divinitie, you are pleased to acquaint us with some Logicall forma­lities. You dispute that there is no medium betweene nihil & aliquid, praesupposinge that some Answerers in the Schooles, [Page 54] thoughe fewe, woulde make choyse to affirme a medium be­tweene these. You say to finde a medium betwixt them by abnegation, is as hard as to assigne a space or vacancy betweene a line and a point that terminates it. And this is a very harde matter I confesse, even as harde (to requite you in your owne Rhetoricke) as to finde a space betweene a part of a line and the point that joynes it to the other part. To this you reso­lately adde, that what name soever we propose, unles it have some degree or portion of entity answearinge to it, we may justly say, It is just nothinge. But this to my understanding is untrue. For to the name of God no degree or portion of entity is answea­ringe, but rather entity, without degree or portion. It may be you understande this part of your discourse as well as the former, of the names of entities create in distinct on from God the entity increate. For foorthwith you confesse, that these reasons notwithstanding thoughe they firmely holde in secular disputes of predicamentall or numerable entities, yet the infinite es­sence comes not within this division. So then God, is neyther aliquid, nor nihil. And therfore it is not so hard to finde a meane by abnegation betweene these, as to assigne a space be­tweene a line and a point that terminates it; unles you will say, that to acknowledge a God is as hard, as to acknowledge such a space or vacancy. As then God is not nothinge, so he is too excellent, you say, to be comprehended under the name of some thinge. And indeede the word Aliquid signi­fiethe a part of quidditie, or entity, which cannot be affirmed of God, neyther in respect of created quidditie; For in that respect, he is verily nihil, and not at all aliquid creatum; Nor in respect of quidditie increate; for that hathe no parts; and if it had, God shoulde be rather all that quidditie, then a part of it. And thus we may say that aliquid and nihil are not con­tradictories: if they were, it coulde not be avoyded, but God himselfe must admitt the denomination of one of them. But if it be farther objected, that God is aliquid in respect of quid­ditie or entity, neyther create nor increate in speciall, but considered in common to them both. So allso it may be de­nyed that God is aliquid, or a part of such entity or quidditie, [Page 55] seinge no entitie, is common to create and increate entities. For entitie is no univocall Genus, fitt to comprehend God & his creatures; thoughe some subtile inventions have bene on foote brought in by some to justifie that the word ens dothe univocally comprehende God and his creatures. But you seeme not to approove of such speculations. For as much as you deny him to be a numerable part of entity; and if he were a species of ens, he might well be numerable with the other species therof. Therfore I thinke it needeles for me to un­dertake the disproovinge of Scotus his reasons, thoughe cu­rious ones, wherby he prooves the univocation of the word ens in respect of God and his creatures. It shoulde rather have bene your taske, who undertake a discourse of this na­ture, which for my part, I had never medled withall, had it not bene for some pieces of corrupt Divinitie, which you patch on in some places to this your Philosophy. Yet by the way we are to consider, that allthoughe the word aliquid be an unfitt denomination of God, yet ens is not, which thoughe it be not univocally attributed unto the Creator and the crea­ture, yet usually it is analogically. God may well be sayde to be an ens independant, and upon whome all other entia doe depende. You farther proceede to give a reason why the Latine word ens, is not fitt to denominate God, so to make the Divine nature a meane by abnegation, not only betweene somethinge, and nothinge, but all so betweene ens and non ens. For the word ens you say, out of Mirandula, hathe the forme of a concrete. And every concrete hath his name from that na­ture wherof it participates; as hot is that, which participates of heate; white is such a nature as participates of whitenes. But God cannot be sayde to participate of essence. In this I finde some defect. First, because you doe not shewe, howe ens, which you call a concrete is divided, (as concretes are) into a part materiall participating, and a part formall participated. In a word, you doe not once offer to resolve ens into the parts of its signification. Secondly, there is litle congruity betweene ens that which hath beinge, & hot or white, that which hathe heate and whitenes. For that which hathe whitenes in it, or [Page 56] heate, is a substance, or subject really existent, wherin the qua­litie of heate or whitenes is founde. But the word ens ad­mittethe no division comparable, or congruous herunto. For you cannot with sobrietie say, that ens signifieth a nature really existent, wherin essence is found distinct from the nature sig­nified, or comming over and above unto it, as heate dothe over and above to the constitution of the subject. And ther­fore it followethe not, that because hot dothe signifie a subject participating of heate, therfore ens allso signifieth a subject participating of essence. A great deale of difference there is betweene concretes of accidentall denomination, and con­cretes of essentiall denomination. As Homo & Animall, which may be accoumpted concretes, in respect of such ab­stract notions, as are conceaved under the termes of Humani­tas and Animalitas. The specificall essence beinge consti­tuted by the abstract notion, and not participating of it, as bo­dies participate of heate. The truthe is, all compounds doe properly admitt a concrete denomination, as in whome the suppositum (as Homo and Animal, differethe from the nature denominatinge it, as Humanitas & Animalitas. But in things not compounde it is not so, least of all in God. For thoughe Homo be not Humanitas, yet Deus est ipsa Deitas. Aquin. 1 q. 3. art. 3. De rebus simplicibus loqui non possumus nisi per mo­dum compositorum, a quibus cognitionem accipimus; & ideo de Deo loquentes, utimur nominibus concretis ut significemus ejus sub­sistentiam, quia apud nos non subsistunt nisi composita. Et utimur nominibus abstractis, ut significemus ejus simplicitatem. Quod ergo dicitur Deitas, vel vita, vel aliquid hujusmodi esse in Deo, re­ferendum est ad diversitatem, quae est in acceptione intellectus no­stri, & non ad aliquam diversitatem rei. That God is one, by whome all thinges are, is true; but this description is litle con­gruous to the nature of God; in as much, as it could have no place before the creation, or in case the World had never bene created. Yet Gods nature is still the same. I cannot admitt that thinges created participate of Gods being. They have their beinge from God, I grant; but I cannot admitt their being to be any part of Gods beinge, or Gods beinge to [Page 57] have parts. Yet if all thinges are from him, howe can you avoyde, but that God himselfe shall be from himselfe. Vnles the Apostle helpe you in this discoursinge, In that he hath put all thinges under him, it is manifest that he is excepted who did put 1. Cor. 1 [...]. all thinges under him. But be it so that all other thinges are from him; & then allso accidents as well as substances are from him, and can they participate of Gods being? Of acci­dentall beinge, I grant they doe participate and that from God, but not of Gods beinge. If so; howe much more must faithe and repentance be acknowledged to have their pro­duction from God; which I much feare, you will be founde to deny, if not at first hande, yet at least in a second place, by maynteyning it in such a manner to be the worke of God, as upon condition of mans will; which in my judgement is in effect to deny that God is the Author of them. The name of God I am, openeth a fayre way to the expoundinge of a mystery, which you medle not with, contenting your selfe with ventinge of phrases, in settinge foorthe the nature of God. The existence of all creatures may be accoumpted as a mere accident to their essence; for as much as all of them have being after not beinge; and from being eyther doe or may returne agayne to not beinge. It is not so with God, who is everlastinge and that formally by necessitie of nature. So that wheras the essence of every creature abstract from existence, includes a possibilitie formally indifferent to being or not being, Gods essence includes a necessitie of beinge, an impossibilitie of not beinge. Your lines of amplification are eyther very wilde and without sense, or my witts are too shallow to com­prehend them, the rest I cannot construe, the close I can, when you say the essence of God is the bond of all thinges that can be combined or linkt together. I can construe these wordes, but not comprehend their meaninge. The combination of thinges together, you understand, it seemes in affirmations & negations. Nowe that Gods essence shoulde be the copula, wherby the subject and predicate in all propositions, are linkt together, and that whether true or false; Holy or profane, may well passe, I thinke, for the tenthe woonder of the world. [Page 58] God only is by nature, all other thinges by the will of God. I am that I am say the the Apostle, but by the grace of God. God only is in such sort as that his existence is his essence, we are in such sort, as that our existence is not our essence. For some­times we were not; and if it pleased God, we might cease to be. But yet we live and moove, and have our beinge, & all in him. I cannot admitt that Angells participate of Gods es­sence, or that God communicates his essence to any, but to his Sonne. They, as all other things, have their essence from God, but not his; Yet are they according to the Image of God. Other creatures may have vestigia footestes of God. In the reasonable nature alone is found the Image of God; I say the Image of God, but not the essence of God.

2. Whether Angells are creatures, and consequently of a finite nature, no Christian makes question. But as touching their nature, understanding, place, and motion attributed unto them, they are such secrets and mysteries unto me, that I have no heart to medle with them. The Scriptures, tell us, that Marc. 5. 9. a Legion of divells were in one man; and of the good, that Mat. 18. 10. the Angells of litle children doe allwayes behold the face of God their Father. But touching the nature of God, to say that his indivisible unitie, comprehendeth all multiplicity is an ambiguous speeche; both because multiplicitie is found in evill as well as in good; and the phrase of includinge, to my thinking, inclines to signifie, comprehension formall rather then vertuall. As for Senecaes sentence, which you so much magnify, as if we coulde not say more of him in fewer words, I judge to be an unwoorthy speeche to denote the nature of God, as indeede more false then true, or rather false through­out, and voyde of all truthe. And why shoulde we expect any tolerable description of the nature of God from an heathen man, and from a Stoicke, as Seneca was. So Lu­can, Deus est quodcunque vides, quocunque mover [...], out of the mouthe of Cato Vticensis, a man of Stoicall profession, as Seneca was. And such sayings as these, Deus est totum quod vides, & totum quod non vides, savour hotly of an Atheifticall opinion, of such, as being ignorant of the nature of the true [Page 59] God, deified the nature. And commonly their severall Gods denoted only severall parts of the World, as Vesta the Earth, Iupiter the ayre, Baal or Bel, and as some say, Hercules, Tyrius the Sunne. Yet severall Nations, like enough had their severall opinions, but all concurring in this, namely in adoring the creature, and specially all the host of heaven, in steede of the Creator. And then withall they had an univer­sall Deitie, whome they called Pan, representing the whole Vniverse. And according to Platonicall opinion, God was accoumpted Anima Mundi. And thus with them, God was Totum quod vides, & totum quod non vides. Yet I may well grant, that more coulde not be sayde in fewer wordes, but this is in the way of falshood, and not in the way of truthe. The best construction, that can be made of it, is to say that God is the Author of all that we see, and of all that we doe not see. Yet this was not the opinion of the Stoicks, of whose profession Seneca was. For thoughe he did believe the World was made, as Aristotle professethe in his bookes de Caelo, it was the opinion of all that went before him: Yet did he not believe, that it was made out of nothing, but that Lib. 1. cont. 102. the matter wherof the World was made, was eternall. Ther­fore they did not believe, that God was the Author of all, both of that we see, and of that we doe not see. Your selfe confesse, they conceaved the matter to have bene coeternall with him, and not so only, but able allso to overmatch the benig­nitie of his active power by its passive untowardlines. Agayne I doe not finde, that any of them maynteyned, that immateriall substances were made by God; for then they shoulde all be made out of nothinge. For Angells consist not of materiall extensions. And it was their generall voyce that nothing coulde be made out of nothing.

3. The analogy you speake of, is without all proportion. For the picture of a man, thoughe it be no true man, yet it may be a true picture; and whether a true picture or no, yet un­doubtedly it hathe a true beinge, thoughe imperfect, in com­parison to the beinge of a man. And therfore herehence to conclude, that no creature truly is, is without all proportion: [Page 60] Man indeede is but the Image of God, as some things are the Images of men: Whence it followethe; as the Images of men are not men, so man the Image of God is not God. But to inferre that therfore man is not in truthe, or hathe no true beinge, hathe no ground, no foundation. If the beinge of a creature is but the shadowe of true beinge, then humanitie (which is the being of a man) is but a shadowe of true huma­nitie, & brutality, which is the beinge of a beast, is but the shadowe of true brutalitie. And is it proper thinke you to say, that the truthe of all these are founde in God, to witt true humanitie &c. David and Solomon were types of Christ; but I never read, nor heard, that the creatures are types of the Creator. Effects they are, and the workes of God; and as the cause dothe shine in the effect, so Gods eternall power & Rom. 1. 20. Godhead are made manifest by his workes. Yet the types of Christ, were not types according to their essence, but ac­cording to their course of life and actions. And yet the very actions, wherby they represented Christ, were true actions in themselves separate from typicall signification; thoughe the actions of Christ or office of Christ, were of farre greater dignitie and price then were the actions of men which repre­sented him. Before the World was made, this proposition was true, God alone is, and he could agayne make it true if it pleased him, by turninge all thinges into nothing, from whence they came. But nowe other things allso are. Other­wise there could be no place, eyther for the name of crea­tures, or for the representation of God in them. And howe can that be sayde not to be, or not truly to be which as you say, participates of Gods beinge? It is true, God alone is in such sort, as whose essence and existence are all one. For as much as possibilitie in him is mere necessitie, not so in any creature; as who all were not, before they were, and agayne may returne to nothinge, if so it please him that made them, to dispose of them. What is that ancient Philosophy of the heathen you speake of, and howe well it accordes with this, I knowe not. As touching the nature of God, I knowe no such discourses superior, if equall to the discourse of Aristotle Lib. 12. c. 3. cont. 39. [Page 61] in a certeyne chapter of his Metaphysicks. Your text, I am God and there is none besides, is faire short of congruitie with your present discourse. For will it followe that because there is no God, besides him; therfore there is nothing that hathe any true beinge besides him?

4. It is incredible that the Stoickes or any other, helde nothing woorthy the name of essence, which was not [...]. Such speeches rather make men unworthy to be esteemed of any facultie of witt. But what thinke you? is God [...]? Cap. 1. [...]. [...]. Have you forgotten the diversitie of errours, which in the former chapter you mentioned out of Austin, the last wherof was, to conceave that God could beget himselfe? Yet if [...] shall be the propertie of God, as your selfe confesse by Plotins Philosophy (you might as well have sayde by the Philosophy of Heathens that denyed creation out of no­thinge) there shall be many Gods, even as many as there be immateriall substances, which they called mindes or Intelli­gences from their narure; but from their office we call An­gells. But this error, you say, was easy to be checkt, If the favourers of it had bene put in minde, that these their demy Gods, by necessary consequence of this opinion, must have bene acknowled­ged insinite in beinge. So that had you lived in their dayes, you had easily brought of not Plotin only but Aristotle allso & all others from this point of heathenisme. For necessary con­sequences all must yeilde unto, especially if the consequence be perspicuous allso, as you seeme to suppose, by the litle or rather no light you give unto it by force of argument. For oportet, ut lancem ponderibus, ita animum veris & perspicuis cedere. And seinge Intelligences, if made, must needes be made out of nothinge, which I am persuaded you will not deny, hence it followethe, that you coulde evidently convict all those Philosophers of error in denyinge the Creation. Yet shall not you by this your confidence any way hinder us, from gi­vinge God thankes, for bringing us acquainted with his word, and givinge power unto it by his Spirite, to make us by faithe to believe that the world was made, and that the thinges Hebr. 11. 3. [Page 62] that be, were not made of thinges that doe appeare. But of this your confidentiary consequence we have discoursed enoughe in the former chapter. Touching the comparison betweene Plato, & Aristotle; or betweene Platonicall and Aristotelicall Christian, dothe any Aristotelicall Christian deny, that imma­teriall substances have their dependance on God? If any man by Aristotles discourse, hathe bene withdrawne from ac­knowledginge this truthe, he ceasethe to be a Christian, and becomes an Atheist. The meanest Christian by light of grace knowes more then Aristotle by light of nature concerning God. So might Plato, if by tradition he receaved something derived from the Word of God, and believed, which Ari­stotle eyther receaved or believed not. Compare their at­chievements (if you please) by light of nature, eyther concer­ninge the nature of God, or the knowledge of the World & the parts therof: that is consider what each affirmed, & what reason for his assertion each delivered, and thence consider whose abilitie deserves to be preferred. Plato with the rest maynteyned the World to have a beginninge, but the matter, wherof it was made, to be eternall. Aristotle maynteyned the World to be everlastinge. Zabarell thinkes he had better reason for this opinion of his, then Plato, and the rest had for that opinion of theirs. I am of Zabarells judgement in this. The eternitie of the matter is as absurde to us Christians, and as contradictious to the truthe of God, as the eternitie of the World. But supposing the eternitie of the matter, and de­nyinge the eternitie of the World, this brings foorthe some proper absurdities over and above the former. The conti­nuance of the World for everlasting is maynteyned by Plato as well as by Aristotle, herein cryed downe by others, in that maynteyninge it to have a beginninge, yet denyes that it shall have an ende. Plato maynteyned you say, the creating of im­materiall substances, Aristotle denyed it: This was suitable with the opinion of Aristotle, who denyed the possibilitie of creation: that not suitable with the opinion of Plato. For if the World could not be made out of nothing, which Plato affirmed as well as the rest, why shoulde he thinke that An­gells [Page 63] coulde be made out of nothing. For if the more excel­lent nature coulde be produced out of nothinge, why coulde not the lesser nature, such as matter is by the same power, be brought out of nothinge? Agayne you say, Plato denyed thinges sensible truly to be: Aristotle, we doubt not, pro­fessed the contrary, which of these opinions, I pray, is most agreeable unto reason? Is not the latter, and that both by the light of nature, and by the light of grace? Is it not true of us all, that in God we live and moove & have our beinge? And if our Act. 17. 2 [...]. life be a true life, our motion a true motion, is not our beinge allso a true beinge? especially, if as you say, all thinges that are, doe participate of Gods beinge. But let us come to Se­necaes interpretation herof; that is they put on a countenance of beinge for a time, being incapable of the stability, and soliditie of true beinge. Marke, I pray, whether this be a sober speeche. For eyther the beinge of sensible things is a true beinge or no. You say a true beinge, then herin you shall contradict both, Plato and your selfe allso: If not a true beinge, then seinge it is sayde that in this they continue not, it followethe that they want not so much continuance of true beinge, as continuance of such a being, as is no true beinge. Nay the Glosse cor­rupts the text, as I proove thus. They that want continuance or stabilitie of true beinge, fayle not in the want of true beinge, but only in want of continuance of true beinge: so that her by it must be confessed, they have true beinge, thoughe they have litle or no continuance therin. Agayne it dothe not followe, that because they want continuance, therfore they are unca­pable of continuance. For cannot God preserve the Heaven and Earthe for ever if it please him? Yet these are sensible thinges. Agayne what meant eyther the Author or the Inter­preter to say, that sensible thinges have no stabilitie of being; when in the opinion of Plato, the Heaven and Earthe were to continue for ever, as well as immateriall substances; espe­cially if the continuance of those were by nature, of these only by grant, or Chartar of their Maker. And of this we reade from you, of the other we reade not. I willingly confesse, the being of God cannot be communicated unto any, but by [Page 64] the Father unto the Sonne; and therfore I have allready misli­ked, that you should maynteyne, that the Creatures doe parti­cipate of Gods beinge.

5. That Principle Omnia unum sunt, was the position of Melisus as well as of Parmenides. And thoughe Simplicius dothe not double with you (for why shoulde you suspect that, especially seinge any man may erre and misreport anothers o­pinion without doublinge); but thoughe he erred not, and Parmenides indeede acknowledged distinction (and no other liklihood but he did), yet this is farre from justifyinge that mysticall interpretation which you make of Parmenides his meaninge: allthoughe you positively deliver that Parmenides meant the same that Plato did, to witt that Multitude of thinges visible is but the multiplyed shadowe of invisible independent unitie. He spake Poetically, you Figuratively; which kinde of dis­course, as I remember, Aristotle sometimes reprehended in Empedocles. But surely, eyther you mistake, or I; who ra­ther thinke that sayinge to be delivered in respect of the mat­ter, wherehence all thinges are derived; and not in respect of the Agent, who derives them. Sure I am, it may as naturally signifie respect to the matter, as to the Agent; yea and much more, and that for two reasons. First, because the matter wherof every thiing consists, is of the essence therof, so is not the Agent. Secondly because all other thinges, besides the matter, came from the matter, in their opinion, but all other thinges besides the Agent, came not from the Agent. For the matter it selfe, in their opinion, proceeded not from the Agent, but was as eternall, as God himselfe. Nay nor all other thinges, besides the matter, came from the Agent; but some as it were in spight of the Agent, being overruled with the untoward lines of the matter, as your selfe but a litle be­fore professed to be the opinion of the Stoicks. In Gods essence is only his owne being formally, ours vertually and eminently, in as much as God can produce it, and exempla­rily allso, but that, I confesse, is somethinge mysterious unto me, save that I conceave, it respecteth his understandinge, like as to be in him vertually, respectethe his power. And I doubt [Page 65] not, but that the essence of God dothe represent unto him, all natures possible. But to say that this beinge of the crea­ture in God, cannot be with safety committed to the crea­tures owne charge and custody, is a very wilde phrase, and as much as if you should say, Gods infinite wisedome, & power, and essence cannot be committed with safetye, to the crea­tures charge and custody: for nothing that is in the creature is formally in God; nothinge that is formally in God, can be communicated to the creature.

6. Howsoever Aristotle had implyed his witt yet with­out grace it had never ended in his happines. And yet I tell you, he hathe done strangely herein, and in my judgement to the woonder of the World, in so much that I may woonder, that you take so litle notice of it. But seing he had only the booke of Gods creatures, whereabout to exercise his witt, & to reade God therin, and wherby his eternall power & God­head is manifested; and you knowe, this booke is written in a woonderous hard language, and requires many yeares stoody to atteyne to the understanding of it; & necessarily we must beginne with the knowledge of the creatures: Therfore no merveyle if he beganne with the knowledge of things visible; but thence he ascended to the discovery of things invisible. In his Physicks he discoverethe unto us, a first moover; and he hathe Metaphysickes as well as Physickes; and in his 12. booke especially he discoursethe of the nature of this first moover, and that unto admiration. He sheweth allso the re­ferences of immateriall creatures unto him, and of materiall creatures unto them all. But as touching that reference which you glance at the reference of creation, he speakes nothing in­deede therof. For he believed it not; but as touching the opinion then current with some, of the making of the World out of a praejacent matter, he gave himselfe to the utter dis­proovinge therof, in his 8. booke of Physicks. Vndoubtedly he gave himselfe to the contemplation of this (whatsoever you out of cunninge insinuate to the contrary, to make the better way, for the broachinge of your conceytes) yet never perceaved, that the definition of infinity imagined by him in the [Page 66] divisibilitie of magnitude or succession of time, was but a mooveable image of that true and solid infinity, to witt of God. We are reasonably well acquainted with the nature of God in the Schoole of Christ; yet have we not learned the Infinity of God to be such, as may sitly be resembled by the one, or by the other. To my understanding it is quite contrary, even by that definition of infinity which your selfe applaud in say­inge. Insinitum est extra quod nihil est, infinity is that with­out which nothing is. Nowe infinity in division of magni­tude and succession is quite of a contrary nature, being such as semper liceat accipere aliquid extra, we may allwayes take some­thinge without it; as when more and more divisions in magni­tude may be still made; and more and more revolutions in time may still succeede. And Aristotle might well deny that defi­nition of infinity, which you propose. For by that definition, the uppermost spheare of the Heavens, might justly be ac­coumpted infinite. And other Philosophers, that proposed this definition, which you say was censoriously rejected by him, did as well as Aristotle understande Infinite only in quantity. And if you blame Aristotle, for this acception of the word, you must blame the rest as well as him. So that with all these that maxime, insinitum est, extra quod nihil est, signified, that an infinite body was such, as without which no body was, or no quantitie was, the meaning wherof I con­ceave might be this; No measure of quantitie coulde be ima­gined, that was not comprehended under infinite quantitie. Nowe we knowe, that no quantitie, or bodily dimensions are to be found in God, but alltogether without him. Yet you seeme to attribute such a kinde of infinity unto God: for you would have the definition of insinite not to be appropria­ted to quantitie only, but to be simply and absolutely consi­dered, as much as to say, it shoulde comprehend that which is infinite in quantitie allso. Yet we confesse, immensitie is one of the attributes of God, because he filles all places, but yet by your leave, without all quantitie. Your comparison is very incongruous. For infinity in lengthe comprehends all lengthe formally; but will you say in like [...]ort, that Gods in­finity [Page 67] in being, comprehends all being formally? Is the being of a body of a man, of a beast in God formally? Exemplarily and vertually, or eminently they are in God; but so is not all longitude, in that which is infinite in longitude, but rather formally, and admi [...]th all denominations of lengthe. God dothe not admitt all denominations of beinge. Thus, say you, did these Ancients feele after, and seeke the Lord; wheras alas, they thought not at all of God in this their definition of infinitum, when they sayde, infinitum est extra quod nihil est. Aratus, I confesse, was farre more Theologicall, then most of them, when he sayde, that in God we live and moove & have our beinge; but this hathe litle correspondency with the for­mer definition of infinitum. As sillily doe you conclude a­gainst Aristotle, as for the other Philosophers, when you say he came farre short of the truthe in sayinge insinitum est, extra quod semper aliquid est. For this is applyed by Aristotle only to division in magnitude, and succession in time, not unto God, as neyther did the other Philosophers, which gave ano­ther definition of infinitum; apply that their other definition unto God, but all of them accorded in this, that finitum and infinitum were the differences of quantitie and of corporeall dimensions. And as for infinity of being, Aristotle had no­thing to doe with that consideration in his Physicks, where he treatethe of infinitum. For infinite applyed to beinge, is a difference of ens, and so belongs rather in consideration to the Metaphysicks, whose subject is ens, then to the Physicks, the subject wherof is corpus naturale. To inferre infinity of being from no better ground, then those branches of infinitie, which consist only in possibility and succession, were a very sory inference in my judgement, and litle becomminge any grave divine. For by continuance of time, and succession of creatures in time, no specificall perfection is added; but only individualls of the same kinde succeede one another. The Angells themselves being to continue for ever, shall ever pro­duce newe thoughts newe actions; but dothe this argue any infinity in them? By this manner of discourse, Aristotle had better reason to conceave of Gods infinity, then we Chri­stians. [Page 68] For he maynteyned succession of time and of the parts of this World by individuall propagations, bothe without beginning and without ende, which we doe not: but as we knowe the World hathe had a beginninge, so we believe it shall have an ende; And consequently the producing of more individuall substances shall have an ende. And wheras all Species, and individualls formerly produced, being put to­gether, doe make up a number only finite, howe can this in­ferre, that God is infinite? especially if so be, more Species might be produced, then have bene produced. For eyther it argueth a greater power to produce more and more kinds of things, or no. If it dothe; then the producing of those that are produced, is no evidence of Gods greatest power. If is dothe not; then the number of thinges produced, were they double to that they are, or shallbe, cannot evidence that Gods power is infinite. Agayne, seinge God is yet in producing more and more, we can have no evidence herby of Gods greatest power, till he come to the ende of his workes: ther­fore as yet we have herby no evidence of his greatest power, or that his power is infinite, thoughe perhaps the world may have, to witt, when God is come to the ende of his workinge. Yet when that time is come, wherein God shall cease from producinge newe, all his workes put together being but finite, howe can that consideration, evince a power infinite? Wher­fore Hill that Atheist in his Philosophia Epicurea &c. mayn­teyned, that the World allready made, was infinite; because it was fitt (as he thought) that an infinite cause should have an effect correspondent, and therfore, saythe he, the world must be infinite. To proceede a litle further; when the time shall come, that God shall surcease to produce any newe thinge ey­ther in kinde, or individuall the particulars produced put to­gether from the beginninge of the world to that day shallbe but finite, and howe can this inferre a power infinite? Nowe all this discourse of yours proceedes, upon supposition, that all thinges are produced by God, and not only by course of nature; but by such a cause as was first created, and since mayn­teyned, and governed, and ordered by God, which truthe [Page 69] was nothing evident to the greatest Philosophers that ever were. And you well knowe that the creation of materia prima, was denyed by them all. And therfore I should con­ceave that the infinitenes of God, is rather evidenced by his manner of producing things, then by the number of thinges produced; as namely, by his creating of the World, & that of nothing. For if God hathe power to give beinge, unto that which hathe no beinge, but only is capable of beinge (as put the case to a man or Angell) and that by his word & will, he is as well able to give being to any thinge conceavable, (that is capable of beinge,) by his word and will; and Qui potest in omne possibile is est omnipotens. He that can give beinge to any thinge that is possible to be, he is Allmighty.

Agayne, if God were finite in perfection of entity, then it were easy to imagine a more perfect thing then God; & then that allso should have an existence. For if the essence or exi­stence of a nature lesse perfect shoulde be all one, how much more should this be verified of a nature more perfect. And consequently, there shoulde be many Gods, one different in perfection above another.


There is no pluralitie of perfections in the Infinite essence; albeit the perfection of all thinges be in him. Of the Absolute Identitie of the Divine essence and attri­butes.

AS for the argument, which you propose, We must ey­ther allowe the Gods to have bodies, or deny them sense, be­cause sense is never founde without a body. I see no great cause to mislike it; especially if it be rightly proposed, as it may be, thus, because sense (to witt in proper speeche) cannot be founde without a body. For is not sense an organicall fa­cultie, that is such a facultie as cannot exercise its function [Page 70] without materiall instruments? How you dispute in justify­inge your censure upon this argument, let the Reader judge. God the supreame Artificer can make Virtus formatrix, (you say) doe more then Epicurus can by all his sense and reason; and hence you conclude, that therfore God hath both sense and reason. Wheras you may as well proove that God hathe bodily substance in him, both because he setts virtus formatrix, on woorke in producing bodies, and can doe more then we can withall our bodies and soules. Therfore if you please, you may in confidence of such illations, proceede to say that God consists of a body, and soule too. The Psalmists Philo­sophy is a poore ground for you to builde on. For you may as well conclude out of the Psalmist, that God hathe eyes, and eares, and handes allso, as when he say the, The eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, & his eares are open unto their prayers. The Psal. 34. 15. Psal. 118. [...]6. right hand of the Lord is exalted, the right hand of the Lord hath done valiantly. And if you are pleased to attribute sense unto God, why doe you not attribute unto him feeling, and smel­ling, and tastinge allso? Whatsoever we come to understand by our five senses, why may not God understand the same without sense, as well as Angells. That God only is, and all thinges numerable are but mere shadowes of his beinge, are your owne principles and phrases; & to drawe conclusions from such groundes, is to builde Castles in the Ayre. You thinke to helpe it by sayinge, that Hearing sight and reason are in God according to their ideall patternes or perfections, you might have taken in three senses more as well, and have sayde that smelling, [...]astinge and feelinge are in God according to Ideall patternes and perfections; and justify Epicurus too, in mayn­teyninge that the Gods have bodies. For thoughe our Saviour sayde, a Spirite hath not fleshe and bone, yet you knowe howe to justifie that bodies and soules, and fleshe and bone, and Luc. 24. [...]9 braynes and senses, yea and the basest thinge that is, are in God, to witt, according to their ideall patternes and perfections. For we make no question, but that all these thinges are knowne to God, and he is able to produce them, (& no more doe you require in the next Section unto this, that all thinges [Page 71] are in God;) yea materia pr [...]a and all. And this conceyte of yours you prosecute▪ with a great deale more Rhetoricke then Philosophy or Logicke. Certeinly not to be, and not to have operation, are farre more different betweene them­selves, then nihil agere, and otium esse. For these are formally the same, the other are not. For like [...], to be, and to worke, are in themselves manifestly distinct, so must be their nega­tions allso; so are not nihil agere, & otium esse.

2. Your affectation of phrasifyinge, more like a Rhe­torician, then a Philosopher, makes you overlashe and cast your selfe upon resemblances without all proportion. As when you say, all thinges are in Gods power, as strengthe to moove our limmes is in our sinewes, or motive faculty. Now in this, I say, is no proportion. For seinge all thinges are in God be­cause he can produce them, so strengthe (by just proportion) should be in our sinewes, because our sinewes coulde pro­duce it, which is palpably untrue. You shoulde rather say, as the motion of our limbes is in our sinewes, or in our mo­tive facultie rather, because our motive facultie can produce such motion. Yet this were a very strange resemblance taken at the best. For it is nothinge strange that our motive facultie shoulde moove our limbes; but that God, shoulde produce all thinges out of nothing, is so wonderfull strange a thing, that the most learned Philosophers could never digest it, and the H. Ghost imputes it unto faithe that we believe it. Here Hebr. 11. 3. you confesse that sense cannot be without a corporall organ, whence it followe the manifestly, that if sense be in God, then allso corporall organs must be found in God. And agayne you confesse, that what we feele by sense, he knowes much better without sense: how litle then did it, become you to professe, that he argued like himselfe (that is sottishly belike) who sayde, we must eyther allowe the Gods to have bodies, or deny them sense? I make no question, but that the Divine essence represents the natures of all thinges: For by knowing him­selfe, Divines say, he knowes all thinges. But is this repre­sentation only of natures extant as you speake? If so; how did he knowe all thinges before the World was? howe shall [Page 72] he knowe all thinges, after that the World shall cease to be, some natures only reserved. How varietie sets foorthe uni­tie, as you speake, I am to seeke; yet the variety of Gods crea­tures, by your leave, is not infinite.

3. Of the questions proposed by you, let the Reader judge, as they deserve; as allso of your solution of them, & of your more accurate and exquisite distinction of universalitie, and totalitie, then the Platonicks ever atteyned too, you distin­guishinge it, not only from that totality, which arisethe from aggregation of parts, but from that allso, whose extent is not more then equall to all the parts: which last member, I con­fesse, is very curious, to witt, that there shoulde be a totalitie more then equall to all his parts; and I litle woonder that the Platonickes, were not acquainted with this subtile curio­sitie. Gods nature we acknowledge to have no parts, but yet conteynes all entities, not formally, but vertually, or emi­nently and examplarily; which eminent comprehension is equivalent to a formall comprehension of all (if possible) thoughe the number of them were infinite; but not greater, because a number cannot be imagined greater then infinite. Exhaustinge by particulars derived from them, belongs to na­tures that conteyne the particulars formally; as a bushell of wheate by substraction of graynes may be exhausted, it be­longs not to natures, that conteyne particulars eminently. To say that God is being it selfe, or perfection, dothe not exclude pluralitie in my judgement, and that for this reason. Humanitie is humanitie it selfe, yet this hinderethe not, but that many thousands may be partakers of humanitie. In like sort, thoughe divine perfection be perfection it selfe, yet this hinderethe not, but that many may be partakers of Divine perfection. But you speake, I confesse, of pluralitie in the nature of God, and that in respect of attributes reall, not of denominations personall. For pluralitie her of undoubtedly you doe not deny. Now to say that God is all perfections eminently, dothe no way hinder his formall unitie; as like­wise his formall unitie dothe nothing prejudice his perfec­tious eminent pluralitie.

[Page 73] 4. I see no cause for this distinction of yours, concerning Ideall perfections, & internall perfections. For if you un­derstand ideall perfections of perfections externall and possi­ble to be created by God, but from everlasting represented unto God by his essence; there is no cause why you should exclude the pluralitie of these from the essence of God. For what Divine can doubt, but that as the perfections of created thinges are many, so they are all knowne by God, and from everlasting were represented unto God; and pluralitie of finite perfections represented unto God, and knowne by him, dothe no way hinder the unitie of Gods infinite essence, no more then it hinders the unitie of our soules essence, such as it is. But if you meane it not of Idea representata, but repre­sentans; so I grant, there is but one in God, as there is but one essence, which essence of God represents all entities, and quiddities possible. But the argument which you use to proove this unitie in God, is neyther congruous, nor sound. Not congruous, because it tends only to this, namely to proove that God is illimited and infinite; as much as to say, that all kinde of entities are comprehended in the nature of God; but whether they are so comprehended, as with di­stinction of pluralitie, or without, that is another question, to the cleering wherof, you conferre nothinge for ought I yet perceave. You demaund, if Gods beinge be absolutely illi­mited, what could limit or restrayne it from being power, from being wisedome, from being goodnes, from being infinitely what­soever any thing that hath being is? I leave the congruity of your last phrase to be justified by your selfe. I dare not say, that God is whatsoever man or beast is. But touching your interrogation, I say, it is nothing to the purpose. For the question in present is not, whether Gods being be bothe life and power, and wisedome, and goodnes, and whatsoever any thinge is, which is your phrase, not mine: But the question is, whether all these are one in God, or more, that is, whether his life be his power, and both, his wisedome, and all these his goodnes, and every thinge els, that any creature is, whose beinge allso (as you say) is infinitely in God. Not whether [Page 74] all these thinges are in God, but whether all these are drawne to an unitie in God, without all pluralitie? If you frame your argument in another fashion to helpe this, as thus; What hin­dereth Gods life from being his power, and wisedome &c. I ans­were that the formall notions of these is sufficient to hinder it, except you can give some better reason to the contrary, then hitherto you have done. A second incongruitie I finde in your discourse and that is this. That question, the decision wherof you meditate in this chapter, arose from that which formerly you maynteyned; that all thinges were in God, in a kinde of Ideall, and transcendentall manner, nowe your selfe have confessed that Ideaes were of substances, if not only of them. For your wordes are these, If Plato meant that there were as many severall Ideaes eternally extant, whether in the first cause of thinges, or without him, as there were substances specifi­cally distinct, &c. But here you give instance only in such thinges as are of accidentall notion and denomination with us, such as are life, and power, and wisedome, and goodnes. Lastly, I have allready shewed that this argument of yours is not sounde, wherby you proove Gods being to be illimited, because forsoothe it is independant: As if this consequence were evident of it selfe, wheras on the contrary, all Philo­sophy is against it. For Aristotle maynteyned the World to be independent; all others maynteyned the matter wherof the world was made to be independent: Yet none conceaved, that herehence it woulde followe, that eyther of them was therfore illimited, or at all illimited. That Gods attributes are not really distinguished, we all confesse, you neede not have brought in Austins authoritie to justify this. But you take upon you to confront Atheists by evidence of demonstration wherin you fayle very much. For it will not followe, that if these attributes be distinct among themselves, or from the essence of God, then the Divine essence is limited. Like as on the contrary, it will not followe, that if the essence of something be limited, the attributes therof must needes be distinct from the essence. For the soule of man is limited, yet some have maynteyned that the faculties of the soule are [Page 75] not really distinct from the essence of the soule, as Scotus, & that by shrewde arguments. And Zabarell professethe, that Intellectus practicus is all one with Voluntas. And all beit the power of God be distinct from the wisedome of God, yet if bothe be acknowledged to be infinite, each in his kinde, what prejudice is this to the infinitenes of Gods essence? Neyther will it followe, that one attribute shall want so much of infi­nite beinge in his kinde, as another hathe of proper being di­stinct from it; consideringe that these notions are of different kindes. As for example, if a body, as put the case, the out­ward heaven, were infinite, there shoulde be bothe infinite lengthe, and infinite breadthe, and infinite thicknes, neythers infinitenes being any whit prejudiciall to the infinitenes of the other, because they are of different kindes. And what colour of reason have you, why infinitenes of power should preju­dice the infinitenes of wisedome, thoughe they were distinct really, which yet we believe they are not. And what thinke you, if some attributes be founde answerable to personall di­stinctions in the Trinity? Is it not commonly sayde that the second person in Trinity is the wisedome of the Father, and commethe from the Father per modum intellectus; and that the H. Ghost proceedeth from bothe per modum voluntatis? But I have no edge to looke into the Arke, or suffer my disputation to trenche upon these mysteries. Yet I confesse, thoughe the Father be not the Sonne, nor the H Ghost, &c. Yet they are not really distinct one from the other. In the Trinity there is alius & alius, not aliud & aliud. But you maynteyne that Gods power is his wisedome, &c. which yet notwithstanding I misl [...]ke not, but only doe question the argument, wherby you endeavour to proove it, and to my judgement it seemes very superficiall. But my comfort is this, if you weakely maynteyne the nature of God, you will as weakely oppose the grace of God. Agayne I say, it will not followe, that if the severall beings of wisedome and power were distinct, and not identically the same with the essence of God, then the essence should not be infinite. For it may be sayde that the essence is infinite in a beinge substantiall; the power and wise­dome [Page 76] of God are infinite in a being accidentall, thoughe such as necessarily flowes from the nature of God. Indeede if it were prooved, that there is no accident in God, then the case were cleere, that these attributes were not distinct from the essence of God, as indeede they are not; but this is more then hitherto you have prooved. And till you have prooved it, they may be conceaved as distinct from the essence (as before hathe bene sayde) without any prejudice to the infinity of Gods essence, or danger of exposing it unto nakednes, for ought your discourse, hathe as yet alleaged to the contrary.

5. As for that definition of a thing absolutely infinite; Infinitum est, extra quod nihil est, which you make so much reckonninge of; I take it to be a vayne conceyte; considering that the Philosophers who urged it, never made any such con­struction of it, as you doe; but applyinge it only to materiall bodies of quantitie and extension, maynteyned that in this sense the World was infinite. But Aristotle dothe not ap­proove of such a notion of infinite, as nothinge agreable with the denomination; the world being finite rather then infinite in his opinion; and yet as they all thought, without the world nothing was. Yet some in my knowledge have avouched the world to be infinite, thoughe I nothing commend eyther their learninge, or their honestie herein. And in those for­mer dayes finitum & infinitum, were taken only for materiall differences of bodies nothing at all belonging to immateriall natures, abstract from bodily or materiall extension of parts. And Zabarell (as I remember) observes as much (as touching the opinion of Aristotle) upon the last chapters of the eighthe booke of Physicks. And howe farre foorthe infinitum is to be acknowledged in nature, Aristotle in his Physicks hath dis­coursed. Now in the sense before spoken of, it is very ab­surd, to attribute such a definition of infinity unto God, who is not only a Spirite but the Father of Spirits, and incapable of parts, much more of extension in any materiall manner. But let the wordes be shaped after such a construction as you devise to make the definition suitable to the nature of God; to witt, as if he were such an entitie, as comprehendes all en­titie. [Page 77] I say it is manifestly untrue. For is not the World & all the parts therof, from Angells unto the basest woorme that creepethe, and drop of mire, or sparkle of fire, or the least cinder; are not all these something, and that extra Deum? For thoughe eminently they may be sayde to be in God, yet undoubtedly they are extra Deum formally; and to my un­derstanding it is absurde to say, they are identically conteyned in Gods essence. It is true that Gods essence dothe represent them. For God knowes them not, but by knowing of him­selfe and his essence, and beinge of infinite power, can pro­duce any thing that implyes not contradiction. I cannot re­present a fitt comparison: but such as the creature can affoard if you give me leave to make use of, I say that every thing which a glasse represents, is not identically conteyned in the glasse, neyther is it true, that whatsoever is knowne by the un­derstanding of man or Angell, is identically conteyned in the understanding or spirite of man or Angell. As I have sayde, so I say agayne; I see no evidence of that consequence you make thus; God is illimited, therfore all thinges are in God; and therfore allso, all thinges that are in God, or are attributed unto him are all one. That which you adde, when you say, what­soever is uncapable of limit, is uncapable of division or numericall difference, is very ambiguous; and the ambiguitie being clee­red, will proove partly to be without all question, and no­thinge to the purpose, partly as questionable as ever, where it is to the purpose. For that, that which is infinite in essence, must be one and not many, I thinke is without question even amongst Atheists nowadayes, that have any learning in them; allthough a man may fayle in the demonstration of it, as here you doe. For to be infinite in essence, is to comprehend all specificall entities not numericall. For such, as such, differ not in essence. And for it to be multiplied according to nu­mericall differences only, seemes nothing prejudiciall to the infinitie of the essence, save only as infinity of essence is cor­ruptly conceaved to imply quantitie. Infinity of power dothe more evidently include opposition to numericall pluralitie, then infinity of essence in my judgement. But be it, not only [Page 78] without question, but allso supposed to have bene made evi­dent by some demonstration of yours, yet is it nothing to the present question. For the question in present is not, whether there may be two Gods: but only, whether in the one nature of God, there be not thinges different; to witt whether Gods wisdome be not different from his power, and both these different from his goodnes; that is in a word, whether there be not any accident in God. And yet, unto this question you are arrived, but in a very indecent, and incongruous manner. For wheras before you had undertaken to proove, that all thinges were in God accordinge to ideall perfections, by all thinges understandinge substances cheifly, as of An­gells, and men, and beasts of all sorts. And in this chapter doe undertake to shewe, that all things thus being in God, are not in him by way of pluralitie, but drawne to unitie: and accordingly should herby proove, that the essence of an Angell, and the essence of a man, yea and the essence of a beast, and of every base thing is so in God, as one with him, and one with every thinge: You shift of from this, and in the place therof, only mention, how Gods life, and wise­dome, and power, and goodnes are all one in God. And this you proove only from this, that God is illimited; which is as sory a consequence as that, wherby you prooved his il­limited condition, to witt from this, that he is indepen­dent, and receaved not his being from any thinge. Which consequence of yours, is so farre from naturall evidence, that it is repugnant to all Philosophers of olde, who mayn­teyned eyther the World, or the first matter (not to speake of Intelligences) to be independent of any efficient cause, and without all makinge, yet did never conceave that here­hence it must followe, that eyther of them should be infi­nite. No lesse inconsequent is that, which followeth allso, as when you say, Whersoever it can be truly sayde, this is one and that another, or this is, and is not that, each hath distinct limits. I say this is untrue. For suppose a body were in­finite; In this case bothe lengthe, and bredthe, and thick­nes were infinite; yet lengthe were only lengthe, and not [Page 79] bredthe, yet never a whit the lesse infinite. Neyther is in­finity in thicknes any hinderance to infinity in breadthe, though breadthe be not thicknes; nor infinity in breadthe, any hinderance to infinity in lengthe, thoughe lengthe be not breadthe. In like sort the infinity of Gods power shoulde be no prejudice to the infinity of his wisedome, though his wisedome be not his power; Nor the infinitie of his goodnes, any prejudice to the infinitie of his power, and wisedome, thoughe his power, and wisedome, and good­nes were different in themselves. But to come nearer; what thinke you of the Persons in the Trinitie? The Father is the Father, and neyther is he the Sonne, nor the Holy Ghost; will you herehence conclude that he is not infinite? The Sonne is the Sonne, but he is neyther the Father nor the Holy Ghost; will you therfore say, he is not infinite? The Holy Ghost, is the Holy Ghost, but neyther the Father nor the Sonne, will you hence inferre that he hathe limits, and is not infinite? And is it not confessed not only by great Schoolemen, but even by our divines allso, that the Sonne is produced of the Father per modum intellectus? Is he not the wisedome of the Father, and what difference betweene the wisedome of God, and the understanding of himselfe? And doe they not allso confesse, that the H. Ghost proceedes from bothe per modum voluntatis? And as we say, Gods un­derstanding is not his will, though it be no different thing from his will; and Gods will is not his understandinge, thoughe it be no different thinge from his understandinge, so we may adore the indivisible unitie of the Godhead, not­withstanding the Trinity of the Persons, thoughe we are not able to comprehended the mystery herof. It is true, our un­derstanding is such, as that, oportet intelligentem phantasmata speculari; & imaginatio non transcendit continuum. Yet notwith­standinge we atteyne by discourse to the acknowledgment of thinges immateriall, as of our soules, yea and of Angells; yea and of the God both of men & Angells; yet not by materiall thinges as by the pictures of them, as you phrasify it, but [Page 80] rather as in the effects; wherein as it were in glasses doe shine the causes of them. Thus Aristotle from the motions of the heavens hathe inferred the existence of immateriall and ab­stract substances as the moovers of them. And we commonly say, that the World is as a glasse wherein the glory of God is represented. His eternall power and Godhead being made manifest by his workes, as the Apostle speakethe Rom. 1. 20. Of Gods illimited beinge we make no question; but well we may question the soundnes of your arguments, wherby you proove it, as allso the soundnes of those consequences, which you make from it. And farre better it is to content our selves with the simplicitie of our Christian faithe, in believinge of God, what Gods word teachethe us, then to depend upon weake reason for the confirmation therof. For weake rea­sons doe rather betray a cause, then justify it. We believe that God is one, and that there is no pluralitie of natures in him, but only of Persons. And we must take heede that the Metaphysicall extract of vis unita fortior (which you speake of) doe not so farre possesse us with the contemplation of Gods unity, as to deny the Trinity. And touchinge the attributes of God, as neyther distinct from the essence of God, nor from themselves, we doe not much affect curiosity of demonstra­tion; but if any man voluntarily undertake such a taske, we looke for substance of sound proofes, and are not content to have our mouthes filled with emty spoones. You seeme to gratify God with your hyperboles; but surely he dothe not put us to tell any untruthes for him, as man dothe for man, to gratify him. You enterteyne a conceyte of Gods power, above all conceyte of infinite power; of Gods wisedome a­bove all conceyte of infinite wisedome; of Gods goodnes a­bove all conceyte of infinite goodnes. To be essentiall to the nature of God, is more noble, I grant, then to be acciden­tall: but howe any power can be greater then power infinite, or any wisedome greater then wisedome infinite, or any goodnes greater then goodnes infinite, I cannot comprehend yet I verily believe, that whersoever infinite power, & infinite wisedome, & infinite goodnes is founde, that nature is not [Page 81] accidentally but essentially both powerfull, and wise, & good, as namely the nature of God: thoughe of the evident demon­stration therof, for ought you have brought to helpe us here­in, we may be still to seeke. As for succession, and exten­sion, we holde that each is impossible to be infinite. And neyther of them any attribute of God, as power, and wise­dome, and goodnes is. And therfore, the comparison you make of the nature of God in this kinde, must needes be wonderous wilde.

Yet I envy no man the delight that he takes in these and such like contemplations, but rather wonder that succession, and extension shoulde be reckoned up by you as excellencyes and perfections conteyned in God, and that all these men­tioned attributes layde out in severall, should have infinities added unto them. Much more should we have wondered, if the issue of your discourse had bene answearable to the ori­ginall, which is to shewe, not how power, and wisedome, & goodnes are all one in God, which are with us of accidentall denomination; but to shewe how every substance is in God, of Angell, of man, of beasts, of birds, of fishes, of woormes and every creeping thinge; and that all these are to be ac­coumpted excellencyes and perfections. And surely they had neede to be in God, in a more excellent manner, then they are in themselves; otherwise their advancing so highe, woulde be too great a degrading of the nature of God.

But to adde my mite of discourse, touching the being of all thinges in God, and the precise unitie of all thinges in God, which under a forme of pluralitie according to our conceytes, are attributed unto him. As touching the first, that all perfections are in God, is to be acknowledged with­out all controversy, because we understand by God such a na­ture, as nothing can be imagined better; and I approove of Aquinas his reason. Like as heate if it did exist of it selfe, it should comprehende all degrees of heate: so the essence of God being all one with his existence, that is he beinge essen­tially [...], all perfections of being must necessarily be comprehended in him. But as for the perfections of beinge [Page 82] which are founde without God, according to their severall rankes and kindes therein; [...]s namely of being, without life, of being and life without sense, or reason; of beinge, life, & sense without reason, of bothe beinge, life, and sense, and reason: as they are not like unto God according to any uni­vocall notion of Species, o [...]kind, but only analogicall, which as Aquinas shewethe, is this, that God is entitie by essence; every other thinge is an entity only by participation. So likewise their perfections cannot be sayde to be in God uni­vocally, but only analogically, as the effect is sayde to be in the Agent, in as much as he hathe power to produce it. It is true, some thinges are attributed unto creatures, which cannot be attributed unto God; and some thinges are attributed bothe to God, and to the creatures. As for example; God is not a body, man is a body; God is a spirite, an Angell is a spirite; God hath beinge, so have all thinges; God hath life, so have many thinges. God is wise, good, powerfull; these attributes are likewise conveniently given to men and An­gells. Yet these denominations, in admitting wherof bothe God and creatures doe agree, are as different in respect of God and the creatures, as those denominations in the com­munion wherof they doe not agree. As for example the Spirituall nature of God is as farre different from the spiri­tuall nature of an Angell, as from the bodily nature of ma [...] or beast, as being infinitely different from eache. And ther­fore it is that some make the measure of perfections in the creatures not their approximation in nature unto God, but rather their remotion a non esse. One creature having more perfections of beinge then another, & consequently so much the more remooved from not beinge. But the creatures of greatest perfection being but finite are still infinitely remoo­ved from God who is infinite. So that like as the bodily nature of man dothe not agree in any kinde with the spirituall nature of God; so neyther dothe the spirituall nature of an Angell agree in any kinde with the spirituall nature of God. But God is equally an equivocall Agent in respect of bothe. And no merveyle; for the denominations wherein God and [Page 83] the creature agree, are commonly such as are of accidentall denomination unto the creatures; as when we say God is wise, and holy, and powerfull; a man or Angell is wise, and holy, and powerfull &c. But is there any colour why, the nature of God shoulde come nearer unto those thinges that are of accidentall denomination in us, then unto those that are sub­stantiall; wheras every meane scholer knowes, that sub­stances are more noble then accidents, and as for substantiall denominations wherein God, and the creature doe agree, if they be examined, it will be founde that in the resolution of the truthe, the agreement will appeare to be only in negation. As when we say, God is a spirite, the negation of extension corporall and materiall, is the only thinge, wherein the nature of God agreeth with an Angell. Like as our Saviour inti­mates the description of a spirite in distinction from a man, to consist in this, that a spirite hathe not fleshe and bones. And Luc. 24. as for the generall not on of entitie common to all, marke what a vast difference there is herein betweene God and the creature, and such as excludes all univocation. God is an entity independant, and wherof all other entities depend bothe for their production, and for their preservation, and that out of nothinge, as touching the last resolution of them into their first principles. Let it suffize then, that all perfec­tions are in God, and that they all are his one most pure and most simple essence. But as for created perfections, the word created is a terme diminishing perfection; but such as they are, they are in God only, as effects are in their causes, and they not univocall, but equivocall only, or at the best but analo­gicall. Let us come to the consideration of the unitie of Gods attributes, especially with Gods essence, whence it will followe, that an unitie of them is to be acknowledged a­mongst themselves. And the question wil come to this, whe­ther there be any accident in God? Not that I have any edge to these Metaphysicall speculations; or that I thinke our lan­guage to be fitt for them, for want of termes of Art in com­mon use to expresse such notions, as here must necessarily oc­curre: But only being provoked herunto by your discourse, [Page 84] who here and there inculcate foule errors in Divinitie, & that depending sometimes upon these, or such like Metaphysicall contemplations.

Some therfore argue thus. If there were any accident in God, then there shoulde be some essence common unto God with complete substances create, to witt an essence supporting accidents. And if there were any common essence to God with other substances, then there were to be acknowledged something in nature before God; as the Genus is commonly accoumpted in nature before the Species therof. And fur­ther, it seemes, that if any genericall nature were common to God and us, then some part of Gods essence should be found in us, and some part of our essence shoulde be found in God. Like as the essence of Animalitie being common unto man & beast, is found both in man and beast. And consequently. God creatinge substances, should create in part a certeyne com­mon essence, which is founde in himselfe, and so the selfe same essence shoulde be bothe the Creator, and the creature. If to avoyde these dangerous consequences, it be replyed that to support accidents is not af any essentiall denomination, but accidentall; as great absurdities seeme to followe on that part allso. For if to support accidents be an accident, this makes way to a progresse in insinitum without ende. For even this supportation of accidents, if it be an accident, must be sup­ported by a substance and so without ende. Agayne if to support accidents be an accident; it must eyther flowe from substance, in case it be an accident proper; or be brought from without by some agent, if it be an accident common. This latter cannot be admitted in respect of God. If the former be, then there must be acknowledged some common essence bothe to God and other substances, whence this acci­dent flowes, and then we are, where we were.

Another argument may be conceaved thus. It is commonly receaved, that every substance is more noble, and of greater dignitie then any accident. And therfore if accidents were to be found in God, some thinge shoulde be founde in God, more ignoble then his creatures.

[Page 85] If accidents were to be found in God, then eyther they shall denote entities of perfection or imperfection. Impos­sible it is that any entitie of perfection shoulde be founde in God. For Deus est quo nihil melius excogitari potest. If of perfection, then it is the very essence of God and no accident, for as much as Gods essence is [...], which compre­hendes all perfection of entitie. Like as heate comprehendes all degrees of heate.

Agayne an accident is compared to the subject, as an act to the power of receavinge it. But there can be no power pas­sive in God: For as much as passive power is allwayes per­fited by the act. And so the nature of God should admitt per­fection from an accident.

Lastly, God is a Spirite, and therfore no bodily or mate­riall accident can be found in God; if any be found in him, it must be spirituall. Nowe as Aristotle saythe, there are but three sorts of thinges in the minde of man, and they are ey­ther faculties, or passions, or habits. Of these, passions are too base to be attributed unto God, and they are not severed from change. And as for habits, they suppose an imperfect nature, which is perfited by them, which cannot be verified of the nature of God. Nowe the faculties of God are ey­ther of understandinge, or of willing, which are operations immanent or of working without by operations transient. If it may appeare, that Gods facultie of understandinge is all one with the act of his understandinge, then it will therby appeare that the facultie of the understanding is not distinct from the nature it selfe of God: considering, that albeit it is without question that the facultie of mans understanding is distinct from the act of his understandinge; yet some have questioned, whether the faculties of a mans soule be really distinct from the substance of the soule, and maynteyned that they are not, as namely the Sco [...]ists. But what neede we pro­ceede further. Aristotle him selfe, that great naturalist hathe acknowledged the first moover to be his life, and his intelli­gence.

[Page 86] Yet consider in reason; If Gods essence and existence be all one; how much more his understanding facultie; and his actuall intelligence. For an understandinge facultie can easily produce the act of understanding; but essence cannot give it selfe existence. But essence and existence in God are all one. For if they were not, then eyther his existence should flowe from his essence, which is a thing utterly im­possible. (For act cannot flowe from possibilitie; neyther can any thing be conceaved to be productive, unles it suppose existence.) Or existence must proceede from some exter [...]or Agent that causethe it; Now this were to maynteyne some superior cause unto God himselfe, which hathe power to create him. In which case he should have something better then himselfe, which is flat contradiction to the nature of God, whome we conceave to be such, as nothing better then he can be imagined. But I willingly professe, I no­thing like these curiosities, neyther did I ever give my selfe to this kinde of study before. There is no reason but may be shaken by wrangling opposition. Faith can­not.


Of the Severall branches of absolute infinity; or of the infinity of the Divine attributes as they are severally apprehended by us.


Of Divine immensity, or of that branch of absolute infi­nity wherof infinitie in magnitude or space imaginary is the shadowe.

HENCE you drawe us to the speculation of the se­verall branches of absolute infinity; and first of Gods immensitie, which you premise unto Gods eternitie; wherof I muse not a litle: considering that immen­sitie is an attribute denominating God in respect of creatures; and is not any otherwise considered by Schole Divines nor by your selfe neyther, but in this respect that he fillethe all places. And therfore before the World was, and before there was any place to fill, he could not be sayde to fill all places. As for eternitie in being without beginninge, that is an abso­lute attribute, and was ever verified of God. Perhaps you consider immensitie not as it signifieth his filling of all places, but as it signifieth his abilitie to fill all places. Yet this is in reference unto place, and we commonly confound Gods im­mensitie with his ubiquitie. Much lesse can I approove your Rhetoricke, as when you make infinity of space to be the sha­dowe of Gods immensitie. First because infinity of space is neyther existent nor possible to be existent, and to my judge­mēt, such a thing seemes not fitt to be a shadow of that which is existent, such as you suppose the immensitie of God to be. [Page 88] Secondly immensitie of space is in respect of that quantity which is called quantitas motis quantitie of extension, and ca­pable of division, but the immensitie of God denominates him, in respect of that quantitie, which is called quantitas vir­tutis, quantitie of vertue, incapable of extension or division. And therfore the one seemes no way sitt to be the modell of the other. Thirdly shadowes doe many times exactly repre­sent the proportion of the thing shadowed; and if at some times they are farre lesse, at other times agayne, they are farre greater then the bodies which they represent, as when the day declineth and the shadowes of the evening are stretched foorth, as the Prophet speakethe. And indeede you may well say that Ier. 6 4. immensitie of space is even in this respect a shadowe of Gods immensitie. For immensitie of space is absolutely infinite; but Gods immensitie as it signisies his existence in all places, (neyther doe I finde it otherwise considered, eyther by Schoolemen or your selfe) is absolutely finite: For as much as all places put together are but finite, nor can possibly be any more then finite. But let us consider the particulars of your discourse. You tell us, that our imaginations will hardly suffer infinitie to be severed from time and place. This is a para­doxe to me. I had thought rather, it had bene farre [...] for us to imagine time finite, and place finite, then eyther of them infinite. For it is a ruled case, that infinitum qua infini­tum non potest cognosci; Yet you will have it so easy to be ima­gined, Arist. phys. 1. cont. [...]6. as that you make it a very difficult matter for imagina­tion to apprehend eyther time or place otherwise then infi­nite. If you had avouched it of time and place indefinite, it had bene lesse distant from the truthe; yet that allso distant from the truthe. For undoubtedly my imagination may con­ceave a time definite, as well as indefinite; As for example, it may as well conceave three yeares space of time, as well as more yeares space of time then three, without de [...]ing how much: the like may be sayde of place allso. As for infinite time and place, as it is impossible that any such thing should be, so I promise you, I cannot conceave that it should be so easily (as you suppose) if possibly imagined. Yet you take [Page 89] upon you to give a reason of so uncouth an assertion. But that proofe is as inconsequent, as your former assertion was insolent. For thoughe sensible thinges cannot easily be sepa­rated in our understanding from place and time, yet when herehence you inferre, that place it selfe cannot be separated by the understanding from the immensitie therof, nor time it selfe from the eternitie therof, I finde neyther art in this con­sequence, nor any tolerable colour or shewe of reason to make it probable. And to the contrary (as I sayde) It is a ruled case that infinitum qua infinitum non potest cognosci. And therfore it is so easie a thing to separate infinity from time & place; as it is impossible, that in the understanding of man it should be con [...]oyned with them. Yet this is not all the er­rour of this your discourse. For the Antecedent is utterly un­true: as when you say, that sensible thinges when they are winnowed from the rest into the closet of the understanding, they still reteyne their circumstances of time and place. Wheras to the contrary it is undoubtedly true, that Intelloctus abstrahit ab hic & nunc; the understanding considereth thinges abstract from time and place; and so dothe the imagination allso: Only this is the condition of the imagination, in distinction from the understanding, that imaginatio non transcendit conti­nuum: It cannot consider thinges abstract from continuitie, that is from extension of parts: but from time and place it can abstract, how much more from the infinity of each And surely each facultie were a sory winnower, if it could not se­parate the graynes of naturall thinges, from such grosse hu [...]kes that in wrappe them. It is true we are apt to imagine a locall distance, beyond the utmost surface of heaven, but it dothe not herehence followe, that we imagine an infinite di­stance beyond it, but rather indefinite. And therfore we are apt to imagine a distance without the globe of Heaven, be­cause we can imagine the globe of Heaven in as small a pro­portion as we list, even no bigger then one of the globes in our College Libraries. In like sort we may imagine time before the World; for who doubtethe, but that it was pos­sible that time should have bene sooner then it wa [...] & wh [...]s [Page 90] it is nowe about sixe thousand yeares since the World be­ganne; so if it had pleased God, it might have b [...]ne 1 [...]. thou­sand. But doe not you inferre herehence, that we doe ima­gine infinite time preceding the World; for that is not helde to be possible as finite time is. But it is an easy leape, I con­fesse, in the [...]rrour of a mans imagination to passe from time indefinite, to time infinite, [...]nd to take one for the other. To imagine a successive dur [...]tion of time much longer before the creation of the world, th [...]n hathe bene the continuance of it since, is one thinge▪ but to imagine an infinite duration of time before the World, is another thing, and much different, [...]ea infinitely different. Looking backe upon this discourse of yours to proove▪ whether it might admitt any other tole­r [...]ble construction; I conc [...]ved your meaning might perhap [...] be this; not that place and time coulde not be conceaved without the immensitie of the one, and the eternitie of the other▪ but [...]ather that immensitie could not be conceaved without place, nor eternitie without time. But upon serious consideration I do [...] not finde this latter interpre [...]tion to be any way congruous unto your text. For you playnly pro­fesse, that albeit both reason and faith drives us to confesse both time and place to be finite, yet our imaginations will hardly suffer infinity to be severed from them, which can ad­mitt no other interpr [...]tation then that whi [...]h I have impug­ [...]ed. That whi [...]h you talke, of certeyne Schoole braynes pu [...]ed in passing this unsoundable gulfe, and that so farre as to suspect, that God, who now is in every place of the world created by him, was as truly in these imaginary distances of place and time before the creation was att [...]mpted; is nothing but a bun­dell of mysteries unto me. For I never kn [...]we any that offe­red to p [...]sse that unsoundable gulfe, you sp [...]ake of, otherwise, then by imagining [...]; [...]nd how their braynes were p [...]zled in giving way to this imagination I k [...]owe not; much le [...] doe I understand▪ how being pu [...]ed in this imagination, they should herehence grow to suspect, that God was as truly in [...]hat imaginary distance of place as in things truly exist [...]t, and [...]ruly distant [...]ach from other. And most of all doe I woon­der, [Page 91] what you meane to clap the imaginary distance of time▪ with the imaginary distance of plac [...]. For thoughe I hav [...] read of some that discourse of vacuum lo [...]i, an imaginary dis­tance of place, and maynteyne that God was and is therin▪ yet I never heard nor read of any man discoursing in like sort of Vacuum temporis, and maynteyninge that God was and is therein. And as touching the question, whether God be i [...] Vacu [...] or in that imaginary distance you spe [...]ke of; I have read the question proposed by Vasquius, and th [...] opinion of some Vasq. [...]n [...]. p. disp. 29. mentioned, who maynteyned that God was in Uac [...]; but very fewe; yet he reckonnethe Cajetan for one; but whe [...]ce dothe he fetche this [...]pinion of Cajetan? no [...] out of his Com­mentaries upon Aquinas hi [...] Summes, where is the proper place for a Schooleman to manifest his opinion herabouts; but out of his Commentaries upon Io [...]n. 1. v. 12. which makes me suspect the fidelitie of his relation or interpretation of Cajetan. The other which he mentionethe is Major upon the 1. of the sentences and 37. distinction. And sinc [...] we are fallen upon it▪ I am willingly to conferre discourse with you herabouts. And first, I say, that Scripture and reason seeme to favour it. For King Solomon professeth 1. Kings [...]. that the Heavens of Heavens doe not conteyne the Lord: & likewise Iob saythe of him▪ that He is higher then the Heaven, Iob. 11. and deeper then Hell; & certeinly God is able to produce a body without the Heavens, and consequently in Vacuo; & herupon it seemes to some, that in good reason God should first have a being there, before he produce the any body there. And this is one reason of many, which Brad wardine usethe to proove, that God is in Vacuo: (for tha [...] is his opinion) though Vasquius was not acquainted with him. Now by your leave, I will consider your reasons to the contrary. First you demaund whether this locall distance be created or no [...] ▪ whether it be something or nothing? I answeare, that [...]r­teinly it is not created, as being just nothing yet so as that it is possible a body shoulde be, where before was no body. As for example where now the World is, before the World was, [...] no body, yet was it then possible there should be a body, [Page 92] So without the Heavens is no body, yet is it possible that a body shoulde be without the heavens. You proceede say­inge, If it be nothing, then they had an imagination of an infi­nite space which really was nothing; and we grant they had. For they helde it only an imaginarie space or distance. Further you inferre; If really nothing, then it coulde not be truly termed an imaginary space, before the World was created. A manifest in­consequence. For as men may imagine thinges that are not, so such things may be truly termed imaginary things which are not reall. And there is no such difference, as you avouche, betweene these two, To imagine an infinite space, and to say, that There is an imaginary infinite space. For whersoever there is the imagination of an infinite space, there must needes be an infinite space imagined. And therfore as often as there is in man the imagination of an infinite space without the heavens, this is as much as to say, there is an infinite space imagined by man to be without the heavens. But I observe your subtil­tie following. Before the heavens, you say, there coulde be no imagination of any such space; therfore there was no such space imagined. I answeare; thoughe before the heavens there was no man at all to imagine it, yet neverthelesse was it imaginable, and now you confesse it is so imagined. And not only doe we imagine a Uacuum to have bene before the World was, but even since the World is, to witt, without the Heavens. And taking it aright, is not only nowe so imagi­ned by us, but a truthe that a Uacuum is without the heavens, and was before the world was, where now the world is. For the errour of the imagination is to mistake in the right mea­ninge of Vacuum. For commonly it is imagined under the notion of a space existent, wheras indeede it is rather the nega­tion of a body existent, joyned with the possibilitie of a body to exist. So without the heavens is no space or body, yet possible is it, that a bodly space shoulde be. Neyther is it required herunto, that it should be created by God; for only reall things are created by God, but the negation of bodies existent requires no creation, but rather the suspension of creation. You thinke the reality of this imagination to be [Page 93] God, whome the Hebrewes call [...] place; I rather thinke the realitie of it is a voydenes of a body or bodies with the possibility of existence of a body or bodies. Tou­ching which possibilitie, if it be demaunded in what subject it is; I remember what answeare Ioannes Grammaticus made to the like question, reported by Averroes on the 12. booke of Aristotles Metaphysicks, namely that it was in God, to witt fundamentally not formally. For I nothing doubt but his meaning was this. In God allone is found an almighty power to make the world out of nothing, whence it follow­eth, that before the world was, there was a possibilitie that the world should be, and the mere active power of God is sufficient to denominate this possibilitie. A possibilitie phy­sicall or naturall requires a subject to support it, but a possibi­litie logicall not so, as being only negatio repugnantie, a want of repugnancy. And if God was able to make a world out of nothing, then surely it was no contradiction, that the world should be, and consequently the world was possible before it was. And yet to drawe a litle nearer unto you in this; I pro­fesse, I finde it more hard to maynteyne, that God i any where as in a place, then to maynteyne that God is in Uacuo. For marke howe Durand distinguishethe; Place, saythe he, Durand. in 1. dist. 37. p. 1. q. 2. is considered two wayes, eyther as a naturall thing, or as con­teyning the thing placed therein. As it is a naturall thinge, God is in every place, but as it conteynethe the thing that is sayde to be therin; so God is in no place secundum se, in respect of himselfe. For nothing without him is able to conteyne him; but in respect of his effects, he is in all places; because he is conteyned of nothing, but rather conteyneth all things, and preservethe them. But in respect of his effects he is every where. For he fillethe every place with his effects; & in this sense, it is proper to God to be every where. Herupon some may conceave that God may be called [...] place, because he conteynethe all thinges, rather then is conteyned. Yet we knowe that the continency of place is corporall, and ordina­rily the place is more base then the things conteyned therein. But Gods continency is merely vertuall and spirituall, and in [Page 94] dignitie infinitely beyoud the most noble creatures. And we have no great cause to doate upon the Rabbines, whose Phi­losophy was never a whit better then their divinitie. Yet one thing more: The question was whether God might be sayde to be in Uacuo, and your discourse is only to deny, that there is any such infinite space as is imagined, eyther now to be without the heavens, or hertofore to have bene before the world was, but you take no notice of the Arguments made to the contrary, much lesse doe you take any care to answeare any one of them. And yet to my thinking some are shrewde ones, and different courses are taken in answearing them; which argues that one mans answeare gave litle satisfaction to another. I will therfore take this paynes in part for you, & represent the arguments of Bradwardine, who takes upon Bradward. Summa de causa Dei contra Pe­lag. lib. 1. cap 5. co­roll. 2. him to proove, that God is essentially and presentially every where, not only in the World, and all the parts therof; but allso without the World, in that Uacuum or site imaginary; & withall I will make bold to shewe you my judgement of them. His first argument is large; in effect this: God can moove the World by a direct motion further Eastward, or further West­ward. Vpon this supposition he proceedeth thus. Eyther God was here before, whether the World is now mooved or no; Agayne, eyther God continuethe there from whence the World was mooved, or no. If God was there before his motion thither, and continuethe still where he was before the motion from thence, then it is manifest he was and is in Va­cuo. But if from the time that the World mooved from hence, he ceaseth to be here, and upon the Worlds mooving more Eastward, he beginneth to be there, then God changethe his place with the world, ceasinge to be where formerly he was, and beginning to be where formerly he was not; and consequently God shall be mooved at the motion of the world, as the soule of man is sayde to be mooved, upon the motion of the body. But this seemes very uncouthe to be attributed unto God, thoughe some are content to swallowe it, not satisfyinge themselves in finding out a convenient an­sweare. Others deny the supposition, to witt, of a direct [Page 95] motion competent to the world. But saith Bradwardine, to deny that God is able thus to moove the world, is to curtll the Allmighty power of God; and therfore that opinion saythe he, is amongst the Articles which were condemned by Steven Bishop of Paris. Yet of those Articles it was woont to be sayde, non transcendunt Alpes, they doe not climbe over the Alpes; and we may as well say, they doe not goe a ship board to sayle over our narrowe Seas. In my judgement the supposition is unsound and the contrary rather true, namely that the world cannot be mooved Eastward or Westward; not thoroughe any impotency in God, who can doe all thinges that imply not contradiction; but by reason that this is such a thing as implyethe contradiction, if it be well considered, and therfore is impossible. For it supposeth that without the world there is a space, consisting of parts, thorough some parts wherof more or lesse: the world may be mooved. But this is utterly untrue; for they themselves confesse, that the space they speake of is only imaginary. Nowe herehence it followethe that the motion thorough an imaginary space, must be only an imaginary motion, and no reall motion. Secondly we answeare, supposing the motion true and reall and such a thing possible; that God is sayde to be in the world not secundum se, but secundum effectus, as before we had out of Durand, because with his effects he filles all thinges, all places. Now though these bodies doe thus moove, & ther­withall the effects wherwith he filleth them, yet he himselfe is not mooved; because himselfe, as himselfe cannot be sayde to be any where, but as in himselfe he was before the world was, so in himselfe he continuethe to be still. His second argument is this: Suppose God create another world without the heaven; then eyther God is there, where he was not be­fore, and so shall be changed in place; or if he were there be­fore, then he was in Uacuo. I answeare, that God may be in thinges, wherein he was not before, not because himselfe becommethe otherwise then he was before, but because thinges which before were not, nowe are; and God with his effects dothe fill all things and all places, as they have their [Page 96] beinge, and ceasethe to fill all thinges, as they cease to have any beinge. In a word God is sayde to coexist, or not coex­ist with thinges anewe, not that he dothe eyther beginne or cease to coexist with them; but in respect that they doe eyther beginne or cease to coexist with him. His third argument is, that as many as deny God to exist in Uacuo, must be driven to deny that God could make the world bigger or lesse then it is. But we see no cause, why we should be cast upon any so absurd assertion. We grant that God could and can make a reall and spacious distance beyond the Heavens: but till God doth create such a distance, we deny that there is any such, thoughe we deny not, but man may imagine such. Agayne he say the we must be driven to maynteyne, that God necessa­rily made the world n the site. A. where now it is, and that before the world was made, there was no other site, but the site A. where now it is. But we say that before the World was, there was no site at all, not only no site different from the site A. but allso not so much as the site A. neyther. And that to imagine any different sites before the world was, is to imagine distance of parts, where neyther any parts were, nor distance; thoughe such distance of parts be imagied by us, like as Chimeraes are, and such like fictions. Agayne he disputes thus: Except Uacuum be granted to have bene some­times, the world was everlasting; I answeare; Uacuum some­times was; but the question betweene us is not about the ex­istence of it (as such negations and possibilities may be sayde to exist) but only about the nature of it, to witt wherher it conteyned any distance of parts as it is imagined after the forme of a positive thinge. This we deny, and doe mayn­teyne that Uacuum is only a voydnes of bodies with possibili­tie of existence of bodies, not of existence of bodies therein, as in a space capable of bodies as it is imagined, but simply of their existence. His cheifest argument is this [...] when God created the world eyther he was there before he created it or no. If he were there before he created it, then he was in Uacuo. For before the creation was, nothing was without God, but Uacuum. If you say, God was not there before he [Page 97] created the world; this he saythe is contrary to reason. But to my judgement it is contrary to all reason, to say that the differences of site, as here [...] there were extant, before any thing was created. Well he prooves it thus; for say [...] he, God must first be there, before he workes there. I answere; Gods workes are of diverse sorts; there is a worke of crea­tion, a worke of preservation, and a worke of moovinge his creatures agreeably to their natures diverse and sundry wayes, as he thinkes good. Now all other operations of God about his creatures, suppose his being in them, they being allready created, but his creation dothe not, much lesse dothe it sup­pose his being there as in Uacuo. For to be in Uacuo, is as much as to say to be in nothinge. Which I confesse is true of God taking it as a negative thus, God was not in any thing. The truthe is, all differences of place and site as here, & there, and els where, are not, but by creation. For to say that God is in some site or place, is to say, that some site or place or thing is coexistent with God, which cannot be without crea­tion. That which he addethe herunto is of the same nature, and admitts the same solution, now I proceede along with you.

2. To the Atheists demaund, where God was before the world was; your answeare is, God was in himselfe. I doe not Mal. 3. 6. mislike it: and so I say, God is in himselfe still. For he is not changed. Only in the creation and preservation of all thinges, virtue did and still dothe flowe out of him allwayes, so that with his sweete influence he fillethe all thinges. To be con­teyned in place, is too base a condition for the nature of God, he rather conteynes all thinges. So that even now, God is no where conteyned; before the world he was no where conteyninge, because there was nothing without to be conteyned and nourished by him. Neyther is it any thing harshe to say, that God was in no place, where there was no place for him, wherein to be. But betweene the question which you propose, and the answere therunto, you doe in­sperse some strange assertions, affecting curiositie of discourse, more then sobrietie of sense, as when you say; In respect of [Page 98] eternitie and immensitie, no creature, no positive essence, no nume­rable part of this Vniverse, is so like unto him, as this negation of all thinges, which we describe by the name of nothing. A string may be strayned so high, as by breakinge to marre all the mu­sicke; and some witts have affected so highe a streyne of sub­tiltie of sentence, as that they have degenerated into non-sense. Such is this assertion of yours, wherein you affirme, that no numerable part of this Vniverse (as much as to say, neyther man nor Angell; yet was man made after Gods image & like­nes) is so like unto God as nothing. Ou [...] upon such abomi­nable speeches; wherby God himselfe who is the breath of, our nosthrills is made, if not just nothinge, yet to come nearest unto nothing. What sport are Atheists like to make with this? why like Davids foole, say in their hearts, there is no God: when a Christian, and a Divine, and a great writer, whose workes are current, when others are not, is founde to professe, that no creature is so like unto God as nothing. Yet this is not all; for you say allso, that no positive essence is so like unto God as nothing, as if God himselfe were not so like unto him­selfe as nothing is. And indeede we commonly say nullum si­mile est idem. Yet by your leave the Sonne of God is the image of his Father, and dare you say that he is not so like his Father, as nothing is! No merveyle if the Spirite of confusion overspreades your discourse like a garment. For what sense, I pray, is there in this speeche of yours as when you say, that this name, nothinge, is the description of the negation of all thinges; wheras indeede the negation of all thinges, is much fitter to be the description of this name, nothing; then the name, nothing to be the description of the negation of all thinges. For the description is usually larger then the terme described. The reason you bring to justifie so uncouth a speeche, is as absurd and odious, and false as your former assertion, as when you say, Nothing hathe neyther beginning nor ende of dayes. Fye, fye upon such shamefull assertions, as much remooved from witt as from honestie. Hathe nothing neyther beginning nor end of dayes, which is as much as to say, that the dayes of it are e­verlastinge? why I say, It hathe no dayes at all, no being at all, no not so much beinge as propositions attribute unto ne­gations [Page 99] and privations. I say it never had, nor hathe, nor ever shall have any dayes, at all, neyther is i [...] possible it should have dayes, for as much as it is utterly impossible, that God should not be, or cease to be, who is the sovereigne beinge, and i [...] whome but erst, you professed that all thinges are, and that in a better manner then they are in themselfes. And shall this name nothing be now so farre advanced, as to be a­bove all positive essences, or parts of this World, in like­nes unto God, and that in respect of eternitie, and immen­sitie? But what eternitie or immensitie of being is to be found in that which hath no being at all, nor ever had, nor ever shall have, nor can have, no not so much as negations have? Yet the Heavens have had continuance so long, as not very well knowne to man; and so have the Angels had, and shall have for ever. The smallest part of this Vniverse, hathe some magnitude; some parts have quantitatem motis, quanti­tie of extension, and that all most incredibly great, certeinly incomprehensible by the witt of man, as the Heavens; other parts have quantitatem virtutis, quantitie of spirituall perfec­tion, as the Angells, and that allso inscrutable by the witt of man. But as for the name nothing, that hathe no magnitude at all, neyther of corporall extension, nor of spirituall perfec­tion, unles you will returne to the imaginary distance of space without the Heavens, which but erst you disputed against. For no immensitie otherwise can be found in this your nothing, which you advance so high as in eternitie and immensitie, to be so like to God, as no creature, no positive essence, no numerable part of this Vniverse more, or so much. If in consideration of the most monstruous incongruitie of your assertion, and that as God hath his beinge necessarily, so it is a thing utterly im­possible, that nothing should have any being; to shift your selfe out of this absurditie, you shall say, that by nothing you under­stand not the negation or privation of any thinge whatsoever (which yet was delivered by you without all limitation) but only the negation and privation of things created: yet herein you shall fall into a newe non-sense. For then your propo­sition shall runne thus in effect, No creature is so like unto God [Page 100] as no creature, which yet is as untrue as absurd. For surely e­very creature is more like unto God, then no creature, in as much as it hathe a true beinge, which the negation or priva­tion of a creature hathe not. And yet you consider not that in this sense, nothing, hathe an ende of dayes. For as soone as the World beganne to be, forthwith ceased the being of nothing which went before it. But you proceede to take the word nothing in a more large signification, as when you foorthwith say, The negation of all thinges is more like unto God then any one thinge; You were as good say, that it is more like unto God, then God himselfe, yea then the Sonne is like unto the Father. What blasphemous conceytes are these, & how fitt for Atheists to make merry withall. And that you may not seeme to runne madde without all reason, you adde a reason unto it, and the reason is this, Because no distinct or proper place of residence can be assigned to nothing, or to the negation of all thinges. A most absurde reason, and only plausible unto them, that have lost their witts, in the wildernes of their con­fused imaginations as you have done. For in such a sense no place can be assigned to the negation of all thinges, as makes it more base, then the vilest thinge that is, so farre of is it from advancing it to any likenes unto God above such thinges as have being at all. For therfore no proper place can be assigned to God, because he filleth all places, and if there were a thousand Worlds he should fill them all, nor by beinge conteyned in them, but by conteyninge them, yet not locally conteyninge them, but vertually. But therfore no place can be assigned unto the negation of all thinges, because it is uncapable bothe of place and beinge, whether, circumscrip­tive as bodies are capable of place; or desinitive, as Angells are sayde to be in place; or repletive, as God is sayde to be in all places. Nay it is not so much capable of place, as accidents are, which are in places not per se of themselfes, but per accidens, as they affect bodies, which are in place of themselfes. For in very truthe, the negation of all thinges never had, nor hath, nor ever shall or can have, any such existence, as propositions attribute to negations or privations. For it was ever false, & [Page 101] is, and shall be to say, Nihil est; For as God all wayes is, and that necessarily: so it is impossible, that this proposition shoulde be true Nihil est. Yet that it may in some sort ap­peare, that this your wilde discourse proceedes from the zeale of the glory of God, that so you may advance him, above that which is most like him, to witt above nothing or above the ne­gation of all thinges, you tell us, that this nothing is most unlike him. Yet this allso is a newe non-sense, namely that, that which is most like unto God, and that for eternitie and im­mensitie, prime branches of Gods infinity, should be most un­like him; and herein you manifestly contradict your selfe. For if it be most unlike him, then every thing is more like unto God then it, which before you denyed; and to the contrary affirmed, that no positive essence, no numerable part of this Vni­verse was so like unto God as it, to witt, as nothing. Yet nowe you say even this nothing, is most unlike him: and as it were to endoctrinate our plumbeous cerebrosities, and to supply our insufficiency of proovinge so quaint a point of Metaphysicall untruthe, namely that this name nothing is most unlike unto God, you helpe us in a freindly manner with a reason herof, and that is this, because for soothe nothing is truly, and absolutely no where. But why did you not adde, that as it is no where, in respect of place, so it never was, nor is nor shall be in respect of time; nor is it possible that it shoulde be, like as it is im­possible that God shoulde not be. For nihil esse, est Deum non-esse: to say that nothing is, is to say that God is not, or to deny that God is. But you proceede to exercise your witt in disparaging nothing; and wheras before you sayde, that it was no where; next you say, that It is not in it selfe; as if to be in it selfe, were some kinde of being some where. And you adde as it were a reason herof, when you say, non entis non est actio, non est qualitas, non conditio. But this reason is as good as the rest. For that nothing should be in it selfe, it is not requisite, that it shoulde have eyther action, qualitie, or reall condition. Or if it had eyther of these, it should not be in nothing. And why shoulde you accoumpt it a condition of being, to be in nothing? You adde that nothing cannot have any right or title [Page 102] to be accoumpted it selfe; a wonderous strange assertion. For if it be not it selfe, then it is not the same with it selfe; if it be not the same with it selfe, then it is different from it selfe, & that in somethinge. For if in nothing it be diferent from it selfe, then every way it is all one and the same with it selfe. But if in somethinge you conceave it to be different from it selfe, it behooves you to shewe what that something is, wherein nothing is sayde to be different from it selfe. But if nothing can be alleaged, wherein it differethe from it selfe, then surely it is the same with it selfe, and consequently it hathe good right and title to be it selfe. You proceede in your unprofitable subtilties, and tell us, that we may truly say some objective conceytes are nothing. Yet surely every con­ceyte is somethinge, but the objects of some conceytes, perhaps your meaning is, are nothing. Now the objects of conceytes are the things conceaved. You might then as well have sayde, that somethinges conceaved are nothinge. And it is a truthe; for Chimeraes may be conceaved, and Tragolaphoi, and Centaures, and after a sort privations and negations allso, which yet are no reall thinge. But we can­not rightly conceave (you say) that nothing shoulde have any degree or kinde of beinge. And I say, that neyther is any such conceyte requisite to maynteyne, that nothing may have just right and title to be termed it selse. And yet by your leave, if it were possible that God should have no beinge, then this pro­position Nihilest, were possible to be true, and not other­wise. Now in maynteyninge this proposition you have pro­ceeded so farre, as to affirme that nothing hathe neyther be­ginninge nor ende of dayes, and that therein it is most unlike unto God in respect of his eternitie. Want of being, you say, is the worst kinde of barrennes. But is it not more so­ber to affirme, that want of being is no kinde of barrennes at all. For barrennes implyes beinge. And why shoulde you put your selfe to such paynes of phrasifyinge, in proo­vinge that nothing cannot bring foorth any ranke of being? since no such thing is needefull to this, to witt, that nothing may have right or title to be termed it selfe; taking it as an affirmative [Page 103] proposition, wherein nothing is the subject, not as a negative, wherein the word nothing is only a signe of an Vniversall ne­gative. For in this latter acception, it is utterly untrue, se­inge every thing may be termed it selfe, as in sayinge a man is a man, and so is a mouse a mouse; and so the negation of all thinges (which is your owne description of the word no­thing) is allso, it selfe, to witt, the negation of all thinges. And so it is true to affirme that nihil est nihil.

Thus farre you have discoursed of nothing; now you come to discourse of something, or rather of God.

And God, you say, cannot be sayde to have being no where, before the World was made, but with this limita­tion, save in himselfe. But I judge this to be a very impro­per speeche, as that which supposethe Gods being in himselfe to be a kinde of being somewhere, which in my opinion is un­true.

The truthe is, God is in himselfe, but not as in place. And to be in place, here, or there, or every where, is a denomi­nation too base to be attributed unto God: who as Durand saythe is no where that is in no place secundum se, in respect of his essence, but every where by his effects, as filling all places, all bodies, all Spirits, whether of men or Angells with his effects. You say, he is so in himselfe as that he is more then all thinges. But consider I pray, how is pluralitie a fitt attribute for indivisible unitie? Yet tis [...]ue, he can pro­duce more then all thinges of this world of creatures put to­gether, are. You say he is longer then time; I had rather say, He is more ancient then dayes; because he is eternall, & being eternall and all mightie could have made time more an­cient then it is. You say, he is greater then place; It had bene more fitt to say, he is greater then space; because the greatest place, is but the hollowe superficies of the uppermost heaven, the spacious body wherof is farre greater; and God greater then it.

Yet is this a very improper speache, because comparisons ought to be of thinges in the same kinde. But Gods greatnes & the worlds greatnes are farre different in kinde; the greatnes [Page 104] of the world, being quantitas motis, quantitie of extension; & the greatnes of Gods beinge quantitas virtutis, quantitie of spirituall perfection. Yet in this sense it may passe. He is vertually greater then the space of this world, because he could & can produce a greater space then this. You say he is more infinite then capacity it selfe; Belike you suppose capacitie to be infinite, in sayinge God is more infinite. But created ca­pacitie cannot be infinite; thoughe greater, and greater it may be in infinitum, yet still finite; and this is all the infinity, that we doe or can conceave by succession or addition; & so Gods power to produce greater neyther doth nor can receave any boundes or limits. And as God is able to enlarge time and place, so is he able to limit it, but by your leave with distinc­tion. It is not possible that time past shoulde be made lesse, then it is. But if I mistake not you overlashe, when you say, that God by his essentiall presence or coexistence is able to li­mit time and place. For as the limitation of thinges pro­ceedes from Gods will, not from his essentiall presence; so likewise, it is Gods power that denominates him able to limit all thinges according to the pleasure of his will, and not his essence, or essentiall presence or coexistence. It is true, that nothing could have beginning or continuance of being but by him: and it is true allso, that all other thinges have had begin­ninge, and still have continuance, and that from him. Though this was no Article of the Peripateticks faithe, yet it is an Ar­ticle of our Christian faithe. And herehence, to witt, from Gods preserving all thinges, and workinge in all thinges, dothe Aquinas inferre, that God by his essence (not only by his power) is in all thinges, because, and that according unto Aristotles doctrine, Movens & motum must be simul. But then agayne you knowe, or may knowe how this inference is impugned by Scotus and his followers. As if this were the Scot. 1. sect. dist. [...]7. qu. 1. propertie of a finite Agent, to worke only on thinges indis­tant from it. But God beinge an infinite Agent, they conceave it to be his propertie, to be of power to woorke upon that which is distant from him; if by supposition, it were possible, that God were distant from any thinge, or any thinge from it. [Page 105] And therfore thoughe if he be in all thinges, at the center of their supportance as you phrasifie; yet this is to be in them only by his power, and operation; and great Schoolemen have pe­remptorily denyed, that herehence it can be soundly inferred, that he is in all thinges by his essence. It is untrue that thinges in succession, may be in number infinite. They may by suc­cession be more and more without ende; but never shall they come to be infinite. Likewise it is impossible that God shoulde be in more thinges then those that are, or may be; be­cause it is impossible that there shoulde be more thinges, then those that are or may be. And withall I wonder, how you can maynteyne that God is in those thinges that yet have no being, but only may be.

3. You have discoursed so long of infinitie, that your discourse seemes to be transfigured into it. For the sentence, wherwith you beginne this Section, hathe no ende, no way out of it. Had the evaporation of proud phantasticke melancho­ly, eclipsed the lustre of his glorious presence, in that late prodigious questionists brayne, which would bring us out of the sunshine of the Gospell, into olde Aegyptian darkenes. Here your Reader be­comes erect, to understande, what then: But you falling upon givinge a reason of the last clause, by way of parenthesis, ut­terly forget to make up the sense of your former sentence. This Questionist you speake of, seemes by that which fol­loweth, to be Vorstius. For his opinion is, that of enclosing God in the Heavens, and excluding his essentiall presence from this inferior World, which was (as you report) first brought foorthe in Aegypt. So that it seemes, the Aegyptians were long agoe troubled with this disease, arising from the e­vaporations of proud phantasticke melancholy, as well as Vorstius; yea and some Nations too. You say indeede it was not propagated to many Nations, therby implyinge, it was propagated unto some. Only fewe Philosophers of the bet­ter sort enterteyned it (as you say) except Aristotle or the Au­thor of the booke De Mundo. You woulde say, I take it, that no Philosophers of the better sort enterteyned it, except Aristotle &c. as it lyethe, your sentence is incongruous. But [Page 106] herein, you say, Vorstius did dissent from them, in that he helde that God was and is every where by his power and immediate Providence. This errour of his, you censure as exceeding grosse and unsufferable in that he makes Gods infinite power, wise­dome, and goodnes in whole sweete harmony, Divine Providence especially consistethe, but as Agents or Ambassadors to his infinite Majestie: as if his infinite Majestie only were full compeere to his essence; unsitting to be imployed abroade, or to keepe residence any where save in the Court of Heaven. Concerning Vorstius, I professe, I never founde any such sufficiency in him, espe­cially for Metaphysicall discourse, as should make any man zealous of salving his reputation. And that the essence of God should be confined to one place, more then to another, yea to the Court of Heaven, rather then to the basest corner of the earthe, is so absurd to my judgement, that I professe ingenuously, all the reason and witt that I have, is not suffi­cient to make it good of Angells, as being Spirits abstract from materiall extension. And I will remember how Aqui­nas So Scotus understands him. 2. dist. 2. q. 6. Durand. in 1. dist. 37. quest. 1. makes Angells to be in place, only in respect of their ope­ration. And places are for the natures of bodies, and not of Spirits: and Durand discoursethe strange things of the nature of Angells, and such things, as I am willingly content they should continue as they doe without the reach of my compre­hension. How much more absurd were it to confine the essence of God more to one place, then to another. And indeede, to my judgement, to be in place, is too base a deno­mination to be attributed unto God. And Durand as allready I have shewed, professethe that God secundum se is in no place, but only secundum effectus, and so every where, for as much as he fillethe all places with his effects. And as God is sayde to have bene in seipso in himselfe, before the World was made, is he not so to be accoumpted still? according to those verses of course in this argument.

Dic ubi tunc esset, cum praeter eum nihil esses:
Tunc ubi nunc inse, quoniam sibi sufficit ipse.

[Page 107] And is there not reason for it: For Gods essence hathe no re­spect to outward thinges, as his power hathe, and his opera­tion hathe. And see, whether by ascribing place to him, you shall not be driven to acknowledge that God is in Uacuo, which opinion but erst you impugned. For suppose many Angells existent in the ayre, (as some are called Princes of the ayre,) and so within the hollowe of the moone, and suppose God should annihilate all that body of Element or Elements within the hollowe of the moone, the bodies and spheares of the Heavens only remayninge. It will not followe herehence that the Angells supposed to be within the hollowe of the moone, shall be annihilated, because they being abstract sub­stances, and undependant on any matter, shall exist still, and consequently shall be in Uacuo. For Uacuum is only a voyde­nes of bodies, not of Spirits. And who doubts, but that God could have created spirituall substances only, and not bodily; in which case they must be sayde to be in Uacuo, or no where without them. Then agayne suppose these Spirits themselfes within the hollowe of the moone shoulde be anni­hilated; yet God shall not cease to be existent there, upon the annihilation of Angells, like as Angells did not cease to exist there, upon the annihilation of bodies: and consequently God himselfe shall exist in Vacuo; and all this commeth to passe by placing his essence there in distinction from his presence, and from his power. Doe not all confesse that God is no where without himselfe as conteyned, but only as conteyninge? now to conteyne is the worke of his power, and of his will, & not of his essence, save as his essence, and power, and will are all one realitie in God. And so God may be sayde to be every where, not only three manner of wayes, to witt, by his essence, by his presence, & by his power: but more manner of wayes, to witt, by his knowledge, by his wisedome, by his will, by his goodnes. Yet all these shall be but one way, as all these are but one in God. But yet in proper speeche as Gods essence is no where, but it may content us to say, that God ever was and is in himselfe only: so his goodnes is no where, but in himselfe, his knowledge, wisedome, and understanding no [Page 108] where but in himselfe; his will & mercy and justice no where but in himselfe; his power to make, to preserve, to worke no where but in himselfe: but the operations of all these u­nited in himselfe, are every where, and so sayth Durand; God fillethe all thinges with his sweete influence and effects of his power, wisedome, and goodnes, all which are as it were the Trinitie of his one essence. Thus we may say, his power, and wisedome, and goodnes reachethe unto the earthe, and to every thinge within this canopy, eyther by way of in­fluence naturall, or by way of influence gracious; like as in the Pallace of the third Heaven, by way of influence glorious. All which are not properly his wisedome, and power, and good­nes, but rather the effects of them; of them I say, which yet are all one thinge with his essence. But Gods essence is such as implyethe no respect unto outward thinges, as his wise­dome, power, and goodnes doe bothe, in the way of mercy, and in the way of judgement.

It implyes contradiction to affirme his power, or wise­dome to be more infinite then his essence, if so be we con­ceave his power, and wisedome to be his essence. And yet to be in many places more then another thing is, is not to make it infinite, because all places put together, are but fi­nite, much lesse to make it more infinite.

Not only some great Schoolemen, as you speake, but all of them for ought I knowe to the contrary, distinguishe of Gods being in all thinges by his essence, by his power, by his pro­sence; and so the vulgar verse runnes,

Enter, praesenter. Deus est, & ubique potenter;

Allthoughe they take severall courses in the explication of them, as we may reade in Vasquez. Three of which expli­cations, Vasq. in 4. qu [...]. art. 3. disp. 30. he takes upon him to confute, to witt, that of Alex­ander Halensis, as allso the way of Bonaventure, and lastly the way of Durand: & resteth himselfe upon the explication of Aquinas, followed as he saythe by Cajetan, Albertus, Aegidius, Ricardus, Capreolus, & Gabriel, & the exposition there set [Page 109] downe is this. 1. God is in all thinges by his essence, because his substance is not distant from things, but joyned with them, whether in respect of himselfe, or in respect of his operation. 2. By his presence, because he knowes all thinges. 3. By his power, because his power reachethe unto every thinge. Nowe I freely professe, I cannot satisfy my selfe in this distinction. And to my judgement, presence is only in respect of essence, or of that individuall substance whatsoever it be, which is sayde to be present, whether it hathe knowledge or no, what power soever it hath much or litle, & whether it worke or no. Nowe the essence of God is never parted from his know­ledge and power. And God indeede cannot be sayde, in pro­per speeche, to be more distant from one place or thinge, then from any other. But he may be sayde, I confesse, to be in one place more then in another, in as much as he dothe manifest himselfe more in one place, then in another. He is in all places as the Author of nature, & communicating the gifts of nature; in speciall sort he is sayde to be in his Church as the Author of grace, & communicating the gifts of grace, but in most speciall manner in the third Heaven as the Author of glory, & com­municating himselfe in glorious manner unto his Angells and Saints; all which diversities of being are rather in respect of his power, then of his essence. For how is God sayde to be in any thinge? as conteyned? by no meanes, but rather as con­teyninge; which conteyning is a transient operation of God, proceeding from his power, & his will. Thus saythe the Apo­stle God is not farre from every one of us; for as much as in him we Act. 17. 27. 28. live, & moove, & have our beinge. And marke but the particulars of explication proposed by Vasquius, according to the best o­pinion, in his judgment, to witt, according to that of Aquinas. God is in all things by his essence, because his substance is not distant (& this is most true, I confesse; for certeinly he is no more distant in place from a mouse, then from an Angell) but he is joyned with the things themselfes, whether in respect of himselfe, or of his operation.

So then if Gods operation be joyned with the thinges themselves, it suffizeth, (by this opinion) to mayn­teyne, [Page 110] that God is present with them by his essence; yet if you consider it well, you shall finde, that this is all one with his presence in respect of his power; for that was expounded thus; God is in the whole Vniverse, by his power, because his ope­ration reacheth unto every thing. Next, consider, how God is in every thing by his presence. First, to say that God is in e­very thing by his presence, seemes a very absurde manner of speeche: for it is as much as to say, that God is present in e­very thing by his presence. Then consider the explication of it. He knowethe all thinges, therfore he is present with all things: Now this seemes very absurd. For we read that God revealed to Elishah, what was done in the King of A­rams 2. King. 6. 1 [...]. privy Chamber; might therfore Elishah justly be sayde to have bene present in the Kings privy Chamber? We knowe the number of the Starres, what therfore, are we present with them? God foreknowes things to come, is he therfore present with them allso, which yet are not? Vasquius himselfe professed before, in confuting the opinion of Durand, that Nothing is sayde to be present with another, unles that other thing were conscious therof, and he prooved it out of the digests, and out of the lawe Coram; Coram Titio aliquid fecisse jussus non vi­detur praesente eo fecisse, nisi is intelligat; & allso out of the 112. epistle of Austin, plane sorsitan satis est, si praesentia hoc loco intel­ligamus, quae praesto sunt sensibus, sive animi, sive corporis, unde et­jam ducto vocabulo. praesentia nominantur. As if praesens were as much as prae sensibus. To this I may adde that of Aeneas in Virgill, when the cloud wherwith his mother Venus had co­vered him, vanished away, then he breakes out into these wordes Coram, quem quaeritis adsum Troius Aeneas. But now consider, according to this interpretation of the word praesent God shall be sayde to be present with none, but with intelli­gent creatures: for such alone can knowe him and take notice of him; and because but fewe of them take notice of him; therfore he can be sayde to be present, but with a fewe of them allso. Yet Aquinas his explication of Gods beinge in Aquin in [...]. qu. [...]. [...]. 3. all thinges by his presence, is quite of a contrary nature, to witt, because God knowes them, and not because they knowe [Page 111] or take notice of him. Last of all, to be every where by his power, is sayde to be in this respect, that his operation rea­cheth to every thinge. Now who seethe not that this presence is rather in respect of his operation, and actuall workinge, then of his power to worke. And if we ascend to the ca [...]se of his operation, we must ascend not only to the power of God, but even to his wisedome, and goodnes, as which is the cause of his operation, as well as his power. And if we looke for some thing more proper, to admitt this denomination then other, we must take notice of his will, rather then of his power, as which is the most immediate cause of his operation. For infinite power to be able to reache every possible effect, is no more, then to be able to produce it, or being produced to preserve it, or to worke in it, or by it, whatsoever it plea­sethe, which is nothing pertinent to the being of it, therein as in a place, which belongs to essence rather then unto power: For when I am sayde to be here and there, the meaning is not, my power is here or there, but my person, which is properly sayde of me, because I am a body, to which kinde or natures, place properly belongethe. But as touchinge the essence of God, that being spirituall & infinite, it is not capable of any place to conteyne it, but rather it conteynes every thinge: in which respect your selfe have allready observed, that by the Hebrewes he is called [...] place it selfe. Nowe Iudge, whe­ther God may be sayde in any congruitie to conteyne bodies by his essence, or Spirits eyther created; and whether that were not to signify, that bodies and Spirits created, were of the essence of God. Neyther is it proper to say, that God by his essence dothe worke eyther the creation or the conser­vation of outward things, but rather by his understanding, power, and will. For to worke by essence, is to worke in the way of naturall Agents necessarily, but to worke by wise­dome & will, is to worke after the way of free Agents, freely. If God were every where, (according to the sayinge reported and avouched by you) before there was any distinction of times; then surely God allso was every where before there was any distinction of place. For certeinly distinction of time, [Page 112] and distinction of place beganne together.) And must you not herby be driven to the acknowledgement of a Vacuum before the World was, and that conteyning distinction of parts, in such sort, as to make way for the denominations of here and there, and every where, and that God was therein, and every where therein, before the World was? which opinion your selfe in this very section have impugned. To discourse of the effects of Gods infinite power, in case his knowledge were not infinite; or of the effects of his infinite knowledge in case his power were not infinite, I judge to be a very vayne thinge; because it is impossible that the one shoulde be infi­nite without the other. For seing many things cannot be brought to passe without knowledge; like as without know­ledge none of such thinges can be brought to passe at all: so likewise, without sufficiency of knowledge, such things coulde not be brought to passe, as require such a proportion of sufficient knowledge to performe them. And if God had but a finite power, he coulde foreknowe no more thinges, then coulde be brought to passe by that finite power. It is true, God is, where any thing is, but howe? as conteyning it, not as conteyned by it; but it is untrue, that God is, where any thing may be. For without the Heavens something may be; but God is not without the Heavens. For without the Heavens is Uacuum; but God is not in Uacuo, as before your selfe have disputed. And indeede how should he be there seing he coulde neyther be there as conteyninge, nor as con­teyned. For that which is nothing, is neyther fitt to conteyne, nor fitt to be conteyned. In fine, I observe, how Gods being in all things you reduce unto two heads; The one is his crea­tion; the other, his preservation of them. And so I con­fesse, God is not distant from any of us; for as much as we live and moove, and have our beinge in him as the Apostle speakethe.

4. The two wayes as you make them of Gods being every where, as you construe the Prophet Ieremy, are by Piscator conceaved to be but one; the latter wordes, Can any hide himselfe in secret places, that I shoulde not see him? being but an [Page 113] explanation of the former, Am I a God at hande, and not a God a farre off. As much as to say, that God seethe as well thinges done in earthe, as thinges done in Heaven. So that in Scripture phrase, thinges done in earthe are called things done a farre of, God speaking herein according to vulgar ap­prehension. Wheras God is sayde to fill Heaven and Earthe, hence it is that God is sayd to be neyther circumscriptively in place as bodies are, nor definitively as Angells are, but reple­tively, that is filling all thinges; but howe? that is saythe Du­rand with his effects.

God dothe more then fill Heaven and Earthe. For he hathe made them, and dothe maynteyne them, not only fillethe them with all creatures fitt for them.

Water filles the bucket, and the bucket conteynes the wa­ter: But God forbid we should so conceave of the nature of God, as by filling the Heavens and the Earth, to be conteyned in them.

His infinite power and wisedome serves his turne first to make them, afterwards to preserve them, and unto proper & congruous endes to order them, and with his various effects to fill them, but not with his essence, least we should be driven to ascribe extension to his essence, and maynteyne that he was and is in Uacuo as before I have shewed. Vndoubtedly Gods essence is as present with us on earthe, as with the Angells and Saints in Heaven, and no more distant or absent from us, then from them.

But how is God present? Not as praesensibus Corporis accor­ding to Austins exposition of the word praesent; for God is no sensible thinge, for then he were corporall, and to be praesen­sibus animi is nothing to the purpose. God dothe coexist with every thing that is. For they doe exist, and God doth exist: But doth God coexist with them in time? they doe exist in time, that is their measure of duration, but God in eternitie that is the measure of his duration, to witt himselfe.

They doe exist in place, that is the measure of corporall extension; but doth God exist in place, who hathe no exten­sion? dothe he not rather exist in his owne immensitie which [Page 114] is all one with himselfe, like as is his eternitie? In a word, the severall beings of one thing in another are usually compre­hended in these verses.

Insunt pars, totum, Species, Genus, & calor igni.
Rex in Regno, res in sine locoque locatum.

Now see whether any of these are competible unto God. Your selfe have observed and approoved the Hebrewes con­ceyte in calling him [...] Place. Let this then passe for a pe­culiar being of God in all his creatures, whether visible or in­visible, corporall or spirituall, namely that as he hath made them, so he conteynes them, praeserves them, ordereth them, fillethe them all with his effects, and workes the good plea­sure of his owne will in them, and by them. And this his presence, it is impossible he should withdrawe from them, [...]ave as he shall be pleased [...]o destroy them, and take all beinge from them; and lastly that his very essence is as indistant from the meanest worme, as from the most glorious Angell. But to talke, of Gods piercing or penetrating all thinges not with his effects only, but with his essence, as the light pierc [...]th the ayre, I dare not enterteyne any such g [...]osse conceyte of the most simple and spirituall nature of God, for feare attribu­tinge extension unto his essence, and such as should continue thoughe the World were destroyed, and make roome for the essence of God, to extende it selfe in Uacuo, and the parts therof (which are merely imaginary) as well as in the World, and in the parts therof, like as before I have argued. The power of God dothe exercise it selfe, according to the plea­sure of his will: And therfore it seemes wonderous strange to me, that you should ascribe power to God, to dispose of his essence, as touching the placinge of it in space locall.

Neyther doe I see cause, why glorious Angells should be required to prepare a place of residence for God, more then bodies inglorious.

God I acknowledge to be as well in the basest worme, as in the most glorious Angell. And so farre foorthe as it be­to [Page 115] Gods essence to be every where, I presume no sober Di­vine will maynteyne, that it is other then a naturall attribute unto God, & not in his power freely to dispose of his essence eyther otherwise, or so.

And therfore when you aske, whether upon the creatinge of a newe Heaven, it is not possible that God should be ther­in? I answere; looke in what sense God is sayde to be any where, in that sense it is impossible that God should not be here. And yet without all change in them, thoughe not without change in things without him, one creature beinge annihilated, and another created a newe. And thoughe An­gells be subject to change, yet God is not. But when you shall proove that change is no fruite of impotency, I will re­no [...]nce the Prophet that laythe, The Lord is not changed, and Mal. 3. 6. take you for my Apostle. And surely if not to be changed, were to be impotent; how impotent must God needes be, Iam. 1. 17. with whome is no variablenes nor shadowe of change?

5. Gods immensitie is no more subject to his will and power to be streitned, then his eternitie: But as God is not in time, that being a measure only fitt for creatures subject to mutation, but in his owne eternitie, which is all one with himselfe: So neyther is he in place a measure fitt for creatures only subject to extension, but in his owne immensitie, which is all one with himselfe. And as by his eternitie he doth transcendently and supereminently comprehend all times: so by his immensitie dothe he comprehend all places. So that neyther doe we say, that the first could not be, neyther doe we say, that this your second way can be. Only we dare not say, the essence of God dothe pierce all things; least we should give unto his simple and indivisible nature, some kinde of extension.

And how can you avoyde it, in making the essence or sub­stance of God to pierce all thinges; how, I say, can you avoyde the maynteyninge of Gods essence to be changeable from place to place, (upon supposition that the World may moove eyther Eastward, or Westward, farther then it is) or that his essence is in Uacuo, and that after a manner of extension, as [Page 116] before hathe bene argued. Now you tell us, that mutabili­tie is imcompetent with infinitie: yet in the very next section foregoinge, you reckoned it a point of impotency not to be able to change, as Angells doe their mansions, when they mis­like them. Of which course of Angells, eyther as touchinge their mistake, or change of mansion I am nothing conscious, as neyther am I of any oracle tending that way.

By your leave; there is no proportion betweene Gods immensitie in respect of all places filled by him, and the infi­nity of his nature.

For seing place and created things can be but sinite, his immensitie this way, never extends farther then to the filling of a finite creature. Neyther doe you well to confound di­stinction with limitation, as if they were all one. For when we distinguishe Gods power, and wisedome, and goodnes, or the Persons in the Trinity, herby we doe neyther limit the nature of God, nor the Persons, nor his attributes.

It is true, that God is the supporter of all thinges, and in this respect, the Apostle acknowledgeth, that He is not farre Act. 17. 27. 28. from any of us, for as much as In him we live, and moove, and have our beinge.

6. You say that God was, when nothing was. A most improvident speeche, and as good as sacke and sugar unto A­theists. For it is as much as to say, that God was nothinge, or that sometimes God was not. But eftsoones you alter this dangerous forme of wordes, and tell us that God was, when nothing was besides himselfe. Without all peradven­ture, before the creation of the world, there was neyther di­stinction of time, nor of place. Thoughe you doe not cloathe God with an imaginary space as without him; yet may you doe as great wrong, to imagine such a space in the nature of God, as it seemes you doe, and that you call immensitie. For you say, such an imaginary space should be a checke to his im­mensitie, as being a parallel distance locall. So that you seeme manifestly to acknowledge a distance in Gods nature, but you woulde not have it checkt by any parallel distance as immense as himselfe. This imagination is wonderous grosse. [Page 117] Wheras on the contrary, I finde none to conceyte of any im­mensitie in God, otherwise then as he is sayde to fill all places; and therfore before places or bodies are existent, only a power and abilitie is in God to fill all places; & that filling, Durand professethe to be in respect of the effects wrought by him, & wherwith he filles all places, not with his essence piercinge all thinges as you discourse, as if it were as bigge as the World, or as an infinite World: & yet you thinke to charme this extra­vagant conceyte, with calling it indivisible.

And so the light of the Sunne which filles the world, with manifest extension, is yet indivisible.

Gods essence, you say, conteynes the Heavens. I would, you would consider this phrase well, & what it imports.

If you were askt what the essence of man conteynes, would you say, that it conteynes any thing more then that, which is of the essence of man, as Animal rationale? Yet without making any bones of scruple in the prosecution of your owne conceytes, you say that the essence of God conteynes the Heavens. May you not as well say, that the essence of God made the Heavens?

I had thought it had bene a more congruous speeche, to say, that God by his power & will made the Heavens, & so dothe preserve and conteyne them rather then by his essence. For in respect of essence, only such thinges are attributed unto God, as doe necessarily belong unto him; as for example that he is, eternall, unchangeable, omnipotent, most wise, most good. But no sober man woulde say (I thinke) that God is the creator, preserver, conteyner of all thinges by his essence. But these attributes belong unto him by the freedome of his will. I nothing doubt, but that if the World were a thousand times bigger then it is, God should be as intimately coexistent to every part of it, as he now is to any part of this Heaven & Earthe, which we now see. For all thinges that live or moove or have any beinge, doe & must live, & moove, & have their beinge in him. But yet, as it is by his will that he made them, and not by his essence: so it is by his will, and not by his es­sence, that he dothe preserve them.

[Page 118] You pursue the phrasifying of your owne conceytes accor­ding to your owne pleasure: But where doe you finde in Ter­tullian or Philo the penetration of Gods essence thorough all thinges? Yet I confesse Anselme saythe, that Natura Dei pe­netrando cuncta continet; and whether you tooke it hand over Ansesm. Monolog. cap. 23. head from him I knowe not: You seeme to make Gods es­sence a space of some spirituall extension; to which kinde of conceyte our imagination I confesse, is wonderous prone; as if it did penetrate all thinges as light dothe penetrate the ayre, and so fill all thinges with it selfe, and not only with his mul­tifarious effects as Durand interpreteth it. Nowe this is a dan­gerous conceyte and obnoxious to a foule errour, and oppo­site to the simplicitie of Gods nature: which you perceave wel enoughe, and therfore you thinke to checke this errour of conceyte, by saying that he is indivisible, as if wordes would serve the turne to salve Gods pure simplicitie.

Durand I am sure professethe against this penetration which you are so enamoured with. Durand. 1. dist. 37. q. Quando dici­mus Deum esse in rebus, non intelligimus eum esse in iis ut partem intrinsecam, vel intrinsecus penetrantem: sed intelligimus eum esse praesentem rei, non solum secundum durationem, quia & quando res sunt, nec secundum contactum corporalem cum non sit corpus nec, virtus in corpore, sed secundum ordinem qui in Spiritibus tenet lo­cum situs in corporibus. In hoc tamen excellit ordo in Spiritibus situm in corporibus; quia per situm se habet unum corpus ad aliud immediate quoad sui extremum: sed per ordinem se habet Spiri­tus ad corpus immediate secundum quodlibet sui; For thus he writes, when we say, that God is in thinges, we doe not under­stand him to be an intrinsecate part, or that he doth intrinse­catlie penetrate them: but we understand him to be present to the thing, not only according to the duration therof, in being when the things are, not by corporall touch, seing he is not a body, nor any qualitie in a body, but according to order, which in Spirits, is answerable to situation in bodies. Which order in Spirits, excells situation in bodies in this respect; because by situation one body is with another only as tou­ching the extreame parts therof immediately. But by order a [Page 119] Spirit is immediate to a body in respect of every part therof.

Our imagination, I confesse, is apt to imagine God to be as it were of most subtile quantitie penetrating all. But to con­ceave so of an Angell is too grosse, how much more of God.

Durand. 1. dist. 37. part. 2. qu. 1. num 17. Differentiae situs non extenduntur ad substantias incorporeas, cujusmodi sunt Angeli. Huic autem contradicit imaginatio, quae non transcendit quantum & continuum, secundum quod formamus nobis de Angelis aliquod Quantum Subtilissimum. Sed in hoc non est rectum credere imaginationi, quia Angeli abstrahunt secundum rem a quanto, sicut a quali: & ideo sicut non sunt albi aut nigri, frigidi, aut calidi, & sic de caeteris qualitaetibus corporalibus: sic non sunt magni vel parvi, quia non sunt quanti, & per consequens hic vel ibi ratione suae essentiae, quia hae sunt proprietates quanti.

The proper differences of corporall thinges saythe Durand are not to be extended to incorporall things, such as Angells are. Imagination contradicteth this, which dothe not trans­cend quantities, according wherunto we fashion to our selves Angells, as if they were of a most subtile quantitie. But we doe not well to followe imagination in this. For Angells are natures abstract as well from quantitie as from qualitie; & therfore like as they are not white and black, cold and hott, and so of the rest of corporall qualities: and so they are not great or small, because they have no quantity, & consequent­ly, are not here, or there, in respect of their essence, seing these differences are proper unto quantitie.

But some may say, If Gods essence be not here, where is it then? I answeare that God is as much here as any where, and when I say God is here and every where, I doe not exclude his essence. For by God I understand his essence. But I deny that he is here or any where els secundum ess [...]ntiam. as if his es­sence had any situation here, which kind of being is proper only to bodies, and not to Spirits, and makes Gods nature subject to extension.

We may be bold to say, that Gods essence is indistant from every thing; For herein we goe along with the Apostle, who [Page 120] sayth, that God is not farre from every one of us. For in him we live & moove & have our beinge. But as for penetration of all things with Gods essence, I leave that phrase to them that like it. As for Gregories trimēbred sentence, one part therof alone is to your purpose, namely when he saythe, that God is intra om­nia non [...]nclusus. And indeede we all say, that God is so in all thinges as that he rather conteynes them, then is conteyned by them. Now which I pray is the more sober speeche, to say that Gods essence conteynes all thinges, or to say that Gods power & will conteynes all thinges, let every learned and sober Reader judge.

7. Thoughe I deeme it not much woorthe the while to searche after this distinction in Anselme, the place wherof you conceale. Yet I have taken that paynes to the ende I might the better consider in what sense, and upon what grounde of reason he dothe deliver it. And in his Monologion I finde he discoursethe of Gods beinge in time and place. But no such distinction can I finde in him, nor any such assertions as you impute vnto him. In his 19. chap. he disputethe that God is in no place and time. In the 21. How he is in all places, and in no place. In the 22. That It may be better vnderstood that God is sayde to be allwayes then in all time. In the 23. How it may be better vnderstood, that God is sayde to be every where then in all places. But that it is fitter to be sayde of God that he is with place, then in place, I finde no where nor in any place in Anselme. Yet you avouche it as the distinction of Anselme, and as well approoved of good writers, but who they are, you keepe to your selfe. Notwithstanding you tell us, that the resolution of doctrine according to the former distinction, is blameable in two respects. 1. For that it conceales much matter of admiration (which the description of immēsitie used by Barnard and others, dothe promptly suggest. 2. Because it dothe occasion an erroneous imagination of coextension in the divine essence. As touching the first; I see nothing to the contrary, but that Gods being with every place, dothe every way conteyne the very same matter of admiration, which his being in every place dothe. For the woonderful nature of his immensitie in playne termes is but this, (thoughe it may [Page 121] be phrasified diverse wayes as it pleasethe the writer) that he conteynes all thinges and is conteyned in none. Now this may as well be signified, by sayinge God is with every place, as by sayinge God is in every place. For being with a place is in­different to admitt, such a manner of being with it, as namely by way of conteyning it. But being in a place, dothe rather incline to signify a beinge conteyned by it. Which is oppo­site to the active conteyning of it. Place say the Durand, may be Durand. [...]. dist. 37. q. 2. considered two wayes, eyther as a naturall thing, or as contey­ning the thing placed. As it is naturall thinge, so God is in every place; but as it conteynes the thinge sayde to be in it, so he is in no place. For he conteynes all, and is conteyned of none. As for the imagination of coextension in the divine essence, to my judgement, your opinion in making the divine essence to penetrate all thinges, hathe bene very prone ther­unto. And howe to be with every thinge, dothe more in­clude a coextension of nature, then to be in every thinge, I cannot possibly conceave. But I pray in what sense of truthe, or truthe of sense, can you averre that every body is with every place? You may as well avouche that every worme here on earthe is with the Sunne, or with the place of the Sunne. And can the mathematicall dimensions of a bodily substance, be accoumpted the place, of that bodily substāce, that you should say, Every bodily substance is with the mathematicall dimensions therof, and that even there where you speake of a substance his being with a place? And why you should terme them mathe­maticall dimensions rather then Physicall I knowe not.

You say that Gods being in every place and in every part of every body, so as not to be conteyned in them, dothe exclud all conceyte of coextension. But I see no reason for this assertion: it rather includes an extension of Gods being be­yond all thinges, then hinders or excludes the conceyte of coextension with the things that are: especially wheras you maynteyne that God is in all thinges not only as conteyning them (with cannot be attributed unto God in respect of his essence, as I have shewed, but rather in respect of his power and wil) but by way of penetration thoroughe all, and that in [Page 122] respect of his essence, (and not in respect of his power only) like as light is diffused thoroughe our Hemi spheare; which similitude I am bolde to adde, because you fayle in affoording us any resemblance to succour our capacitie of apprehension this way. But I dare not adventure vpon such an apprehen­sion, because in my opinion it is too grosse to be attributed to the nature of God. I content my selfe with this, that as God before the world, was in himselfe, so he is in himselfe still according to that old verse,

Tunc ubi nunc in se quoniam sibi sufficit ipse.

But then nothing being made, he had nothing to conteyne, & governe, and worke by or in, as nowe he hathe. As touch­inge all other manner of being in all thinges, I content my selfe with ignorance. You magnify Trism g [...]sts definition of Gods immensitie, and much good doe it you. It is suitable with your dicourse. But doe you remember what censure Ari­stotle passed vpon Empedocles, for this figurative & obscure manner of expressions in Philosophicall discourse? And in­deede when we take paynes in searching out the truthe, why shoulde we encumber our selves with resolving figures into playne speeches, that so we may have somethinge wheron to dispute. Hertofore you tolde us that God was the center of all thinges, and that of supportance: now out of Trismegist you tell us, that God hathe a Center and that every where, but not of supportance passive I thinke, as wherby he shoulde be supported, but of supportance active, wherby he suppor­teth all thinges. Now herof we can easily finde bothe a cen­ter and a circumference. For Gods supporting of the earth, may well be accoumpted the Center, and Gods suppor­ting the heavens may well be accoumpted the Circumference of Gods supportinge the earthe. In as much as there is no di­vine supporting without it, at least of materiall creatures, but all with it. Thoughe it be true, that God coulde & can make the world much bigger then it is. But Gods will hathe here­in circum [...]scibed himselfe, thus farre to proceede as he dothe, [Page 123] in supporting all thinges & no farther. I doe not like your phrase of inlarging the actuall coexistence of Gods essence. For dare any sober divine say, that Gods actuall existence hathe boundes, and that these boundes may be more or lesse enlar­ged? And yet the face I confesse of your discourse, lookes hitherwardes. How then doe you say, that the boundes of Gods coexistence with his creatures are or can be enlarged? The only way to helpe it, is to say, that Gods existence is ne­ver enlarged, but the existence of creatures, by the encrea­sing of newe, may be enlarged, and consequently Gods coexi­stence with them may be sayde to be enlarged, not that his existence is more then it was, but that the existence of created substances, is more then it was. And more creatures coexi­sting with God, then formerly there did, he doth coexist with more then he did. His existence is no greater then it was, nor hathe no larger boundes then it had; but creatures are supposed to exist by the power of God, more then formerly did exist. And yet the omnipotency of God hathe pitcht a circumference to Gods coexistence with his creatures, and that is the circumference of the world. For without it God seems to have no coexistence with his creatures but all within. And albeit God coulde make the world greater and greater, yet still it shoulde be but finite, & as there should be a circum­ference of all creatures existing, so likewise of Gods coexis­ting with them. To say, that God only truly is, is one of the paradoxes. That God alone is id quod est, that is, that whatsoever is attributed unto God, is essentiall to him, not ac­cidentall, I have often read. But that God only, truly is, I never read but in your writings. In him we live, and moove, and have our being saythe Saint Paul: but this by your subtile commentary must be understood with a distinction: In him we live but not truly; in him we moove but not truly, in him we have our being but not truly. That God conteynes all things, and is not conteyned in any thing, we easily grant. Spheares doe conteyne by way of place; but I hope, you will not say, that God in such sort conteynes any thinge; thoughe therfore called by the Hebrewes [...], because he conteynethe all [Page 124] thinges. And yet certeinly, there is no Spheare conteynes so much, but that a square figure may conteyne as much, thoughe not under the same limits. And can any man make doubt, but God coulde make a World of a square figure, that shoulde conteyne as much as this World dothe, thoughe in this case the Circumference of the World shoulde be greater then now it is? But because that all thinges cannot comprehend God, therfore you say, He is rightly resembled to a spheare, whose Circumference is no where.

A proper resemblance of the nature of God to a thing ut­terly impossible, and fitt matter for Atheists to make them­selfes sport withall, I say impossible more then one way.

For first, it is a thing impossible, that a body should be infinite.

Secondly it is impossible, that a body infinite should be Sphericall. If you aske, of what figure then shoulde it be? my answeare is, it should be of no figure. For figures are the boundes of quantities; & it is contradiction to make a bound­les quantitie consist of boundes; or a bounded and figured quantitie without boundes. And yet, if all this were recea­ved as fitt, and convenient, what shall we gayne therby, when all this while we imagine him to be merely corporall, who in­deede is merely spirituall? For I doe not thinke you looke to finde spheares any other where then among bodies.

We reade and heare of the Spheares of Heaven; but I ne­ver read or heard of the Spheares of Angells or Spirits, as if they might be of a round or square figure as bodies are, much lesse is any such figure fitt to resemble God. Yet upon these conceytes as extraordinary atchievements of yours in the way of Metaphysicall discourse, you proceede in the next place to the solution of certeyne difficulties; that so Drismagist his de­finition of Gods immensitie, may finde the more easy admit­tance, into the Articles of our imagination, if not into the Articles of our Creede. Which yet truly I should not have excepted against, but rather have admitted, if to no other ende, yet to this, even to cutt of curious speculations about the im­mensitie of God; had you not so farre magnified it, as if it [Page 125] had bene some Oracle of natures light, and made use of it, not as a Rhetoricall flashe, and diaculation only, but as a se­rious maxime to rely upon in Philosophicall discourse; where the best decorum is, to make no use of tropes and figures, but of playne and proper termes, that we may not be to seeke of our owne meaninge.

8. Your former discourse about the Spheare, together with the Center and Circumference (spoken of) of Gods immensitie, you perceave is likely to rayse some Spirits; and therfore aforehand, you shewe a course how to lay them. The first is, How a Center should be conceaved to be every where? The second How the indivisibility of Gods praesence should be compared to a Center? To the former, you answeare, that As the Divine essence by reason of absolute insinity hath an absolute ne­cessitie of coexistence, with space or magnitude infinite; so were it possible there should be (as some Divines holde it possible there may be) a magnitude or Spheare actually infinite, this magnitude could have no set point for its center, but of every point designable in it, we might avouche this is the Center: Every point shoulde have the negative properties of a sphericall center, there coulde be no ine­qualitie betweene the distances of severall parts from the Circumfe­rence of that, which is insinite, and hath no boundes of magnitude. So then God by absolute necessitie of nature must coexist with that, which neyther doth exist, nor can exist by the opi­nion of most. For that an infinite body should exist, is not only by Aristotle and Aquinas prooved, but most generally helde to be impossible. But if such a thing be impossible to exist, it is allso impossible that God should coexist with it; & consequently most false, is that which you say, namely that by reason of his infinity, it is absolutely necessary, that God should coexist with it.

Now will it not followe herehence, that it is absolutely ne­cessary, that God should not exist at all, and that by reason of his infinity? For to coexist with that which is impossible to exist, what is it, but not to exist at all? O' what dangerous consequences doe your wilde assertions goe as it were with childe, withall; and howe fitt are such lettice for the lipps of [Page 126] Atheists? marke how Durand discoursethe against this con­ceyte of yours, as when you say, that by reason of his infinity God must be every where.

Per eandem rationem dicendum est quod non competit Deo esse Durand. 1. dist. 37. p. 1 quest. 1. ubique, ita quod infinitas suae substantiae sit ei, ratio ubique essendi, Si enim competeret Deo esse ubique ratione suae essentiae infinitae hinc competi ei esse necessario ubique, vel in loco infinito, & nullo modo finito, sicut a contrario dicitur de Angelo quod ratione suae essentiae finite convenit ei esse in loco finito, & nullo modo in infinito.

By the same reason we must say, it agreeth not to God to be every were, so as that the infinity of his substance, is unto him the reason of his being every where. For if it belonged to God to be every where in regard of his essence infinite, then necessarily he should be every where, or in an infinite place, and by no meanes in a finite place; like as on the contrary, it is sayde of an Angell, that in regard of his essence finite, it a­greeth to him, to be in a finite place, by no meanes in a place infinite.

Secondly you tell us, that some Divines holde it possible, there may be a magnitude or materiall spheare actually infi­nite. But you doe not love to betray your Authors.

I have read in a late Spanish Iesuite a discourse to proove Petr. Hur­tado de Mendosa. disp. in V­niversam Philosoph. Tract. de Infinito. that infinitum potest dare. But in this he is a meere mounte­banke, and affectator of singularities, I have hertofore read allso in Hills Philosophia Lencippaea, Democritica, so bold an assertion as this, That the World is infinite; Otherwise, sayth he, the effect were not suitable to the cause. For God the Author of the World is infinite. But he was conscious of this his heterodoxy in the opinion of the World, & therfore would professe (as I have heard) that if in Oxford he should dispute thus, we in the Vniversitie would cry out for a Limi­tor, for this Infinitor.

And truly these and such like disputes, I reckon not woor­thy to be named the same day, with the demonstrations that are brought to the contrary. And I may take libertie to pro­fesse thus much, how that observinge the Iesuite before spo­ken of, Hurtado di Mendosa by name, to affect subtilties and [Page 127] curiositie of demonstration, in zeale of maynteyning the truth, which as Austin sometimes saydo, A Deo dicitur verum quodcunque dicitur; I tooke leave of my better studies, desti­nated to the mayntenance of Gods grace against all Pelagian, Iesuiticall, and Arminian oppositions, and to examine the ar­guments of Hurtado in that point, and went a large way in the solution of them, & confutation of his insolent assertion, un­til I thought it highe time to returne to such aliene medita­tions; considering it might be a practise of Satan, to cast a ball of provocation in my way, and therby to cause a diversion, from more grave, more seasonable and more profitable con­templations. But yet I professe I never heard or read before of any that maynteyned the possibility of a Spheare to be infinite, as that which implyes a manifest contradiction. For figures beinge the boundes of quantities it shoulde imply a bounded quantitie without boundes. But in the fiction pro­posed, you say, every point should be the center as pertakinge of the negative properties of a Center: that is, there should be no inequalitie betweene the distances of severall points from the Circumference of that which is infinite as for example. Suppose the world were infinite Eastward, & infinite west­ward. Nowe consider a direct line passinge over S. Mi­chaels mount to Dover and so forwards Eastward, & in like manner from Dover to Sainct Michaels mount, and so for­ward, westward. From dover Eastward is infinite, and from Saint Michaels Eastward is but infinite. So then these two are equall that is the part is equall to the whole. For the line from, Dover Eastward is but a part of the line from Saint Michaels Eastward in infinitum. This contradictious absur­dity amongst many other, followeth upon supposition of any body or extension infinite. By the way observe a great in­congrutie; thoughe you suppose a spheare infinite, yet you con­ceave it to have a Circumference. But to have a Circumfe­rence is not to be infinite. Touching the second difficultie, to witt, how the indivisibility of Gods presence in every place may be compared to a Center: You say, this comparison is right, in as much as God hath no diversitie of parts. And in­deede [Page 128] I finde no small uniformitie, betweene the beginning of this your discourse of Gods immensitie, and the ende of it. For about the beginninge you professed; that No creature, no positive essence no numerably part of this Vniverse, was so like unto God as notting; And nowe you say, he is rightly resembled to a point, which every man knowes, is much about the same pro­portion, & quantitie of just nothing. For immensitie & eter­nitie no Angell so like unto God as nothing: & agayne for his indivisibilitie, you say he is rightly compared to a point, which is as much as nothing. Of the sobrietie of these your discour­ses, let the Reader judge. But you thinke to helpe the mat­ter by saying, that His presence agayne is like to magnitude actual­ly infinite, in that it can have no circumference. Now consider I pray, How will you make the Majestie of God amendes, for these your injurious comparisons, to witt, in comparing him, to magnitude actually infinite, which indeede is just nothing? For in the most generall opinion of Philosophers & Divines, magnitude actually infinite, is a thinge utterly impossible to have any beinge. And marke withall, how you contradict your selfe. For here you suppose, that magnitude infinite can have no circumference; & but a litle before, your discourse was of an infinite Spheare that had a circumference. At length notwitstanding your▪ former assertion of justifyinge the comparing of Gods indivisible essence vnto a center, or point of magnitude; Nowe▪ you confesse that the indivisibilitie of the one, and indivisibilitie of the other are heterogeneall, and consequently asymetrall, the best Philosophicall truthe I have hitherunto founde in your discourse. But least all this while you should seeme utterly extravagant in your incongruous comparisons of the nature of God to vile thinges, or rather to Nothings; first you mince this Philosophicall maxime, as when you say, They are of times asymetrall; and then you corrupt it by interpretation as if asymetrall signified not absolutely in­commensurable, but only not exactly commensurable. Wher­as in truthe you shall as soone proove the Diameter of a square commensurable to his, side as to proove the indivisible nature of God commensurable to a point of quantitie. Est quod­dam [Page 129] indivisibile, saith Durand, quod est aliquid quantitatis ut pun­ctus: Durand. [...]. dist. [...]7. quest. 2. Aliud est indivisibile quod est totalitur extra naturam quan­titatis, ut Deus. What an absurd thing were it to compare the soule of man to a point in a quantitie; the soule being so indi­visible as to be all in all, & all in every part; how much more so to compare an Angell, most of all the divine Essence? And the soule of man is much fitter to represent God by (man being made after the image of God) and God is all in all, and all in every part of the world, but not as forma informans, as the soule is, and consequently neyther extended with the ex­tension of the world, nor mooved at the motion of the world; nor any part therof. Hence you say it is that the most subtile Schoolemen or Metaphysicall Divines as well an­cient as moderne, resolve it as a point irresoluble by humane witt; whether a mathematicall point or center, can be the complete, and definitive place of an Angell, albeit they holde the Angelicall na­tures to be as truly indivisible, as points or centers are.

I doubt there is litle truthe & sobrietie in all this. If there be, I must confess [...] I was never acquainted with any of these concealed Schoolemen or Divines eyther ancient, or mo­derne, at least in these particulars; For you tell me that, which I never heard or read of before; yet I have bene acquainted with fopperyes more then enoughe, amongst them, & might have bene with more, if I had any minde thereunto. But for the most part I have ever shunned those trifling subtilties. But consider we the particulars, which here you give us a part. For to make your assertion good, you are to shewe, not only that these Schoolemen you intimate, doe holde the point you speake of irresoluble, but allso that Hence they doe holde it so; that is, because the indivisibilitie of centers, or points, & of spirituall substances are heterogeneall and asymmetrall, that is, not exactly commensurable.

But let us consider the point it selfe, concerning a Mathe­maticall point. Now I pray consider this: As Mathematicall quantitie is herein distinct from quantity Physicall, because that is abstract from matter, this is not: so a Mathematicall point, must herein be distinct from a point Physicall, in as [Page 130] much as that is abstract from matter, this is not.

Now quantity, and poincts Mathematicall thus abstract from matter, are but only in imagination. And doe the Schole­men, you speake of, maynteyne it as a point irresoluble, whether an Angell may be defined within a point of imagi­nation only? what were this, but to have no being at all but in mans imagination? Wherfore you may be advised, to let the question runne rather of a point physicall, then of a point Mathematicall, unles you looke for some succour, from that rule of course Mathematici abstrahunt, nec mentiuntur.

Yet that woulde proove but a broken toothe and sliding foote, to keepe you from errour in this. But I thinke the Nominalls are those most subtile Schoolemen you speake of; I envy not the glory which you give them, be it as great as that which Scaliger passethe upon Scot, Occam, and Sincet. The nominalls are much magnified by Hurtado di Mendosa. And I finde in Gabriel Biel such a question as this, Whether an Angell may determine unto himselfe a certeyne quantitie of place, [...]. 2. dist. 2. q. 1. in such sort as be cannot coassist unto, or be defined by eyther a grea­ter or a lesser, and the answeare is sayde to be according to Oc­cam in his Quodlibets 1. quest. 4. First that there may be gi­ven the greatest place of an Angell, so that he cannot extende himselfe to a greater. Secondly, there cannot be given the least place of an Angell, in such sort that he cannot define himselfe within a lesse. For my part I utterly dislike all these conceytes of an Angells power to extend or confine his owne essence: it seemes so opposite at first sight to a spirituall perfection, and so obnoxius to the imputation of corporall extension unto them. And I manifestly perceave how they puzle themselfes, in labouring to scatter such mists of scru­ples, as their owne fancyes rayse, and are driven to professe, Nihil in his materiis tam absconditis puto temere asserendum. But Gabriel. 1. dift. 2. q. 3. let every man make his owne bed, and lye as soft as he can, I will not hinder any. But we are not hitherunto come to the point; you point at; yet neyther Physicall nor Mathematicall, but that which I meane is your point Philosophicall. (Par­don me, if I picke up by the way some crumes of merryment [Page 131] to refreshe my Spirite in so unpleasing an argument.) The reason why the least place, for an Angell to define unto him­selfe, cannot be given is, because saythe he, Posset coassistere loco punctuali pro eo quod ipse est indivisibilis.

Now you see we are upon the matter; and withall quite off from your assertion. For even these Nominalls doe not holde it to be a point irresoluble, as you speake, but resoluble, and they actually resolve it for the affirmative, to witt Gabriel Biel, after Occam. Nowe what will you say if they resolve it for the negative, and so bothe wayes, namely both negati­vely and affirmatively, (which you say, they holde for a point irresoluble). And indeede they resolve it bothe wayes: for I have not tolde you all; They interpose a caution, & the cau­tion is this, Si possibilie esset locus indivisibilis: Whence you may easily guesse what their meaninge is; to witt, that indeede a punctuall and indivisible place cannot be existent, and conse­quently neyther can an Angell be defined therin, or coasist therto; there is the resolution negative. But in case such a punctuall place were possible then an Angell might coasist therto; there have you the resolution affirmative, in both op­posite to this assertion of yours.

But who they be you speake of, that holde this point irre­soluble, you conceale. And yet it may be, some such there are.

For as Cicero sometimes sayde; there was nothing so ab­surde, but had bene delivered by some or other of Philoso­phers: so the like may be verified of Schoolemen allso: For amongst all kindes of humane writers there may be some va­nities more or lesse, and some thinke most amongst Schoole­men; according to the censure passed upon them, Ab hoc tem­pore Ioan. Trit. Abbas Sphanhei­mensis. P. Dialect. Philosophia sacularis sacram Theologiam sua curiositate muliti saedari caepit. From Angells, you proceede to God, and with­out scruple maynteyne, that he is as properly in every Cen­ter as in every place; and I confesse the reason here added why you may say so, is very sounde, seing we acknowledge him a like incomprehensibly and indivisibly in both. For surely a man may say, that which he dothe acknowledge; but take no more [Page 132] along with you herein, then are willing to accompany you, & upon good termes.

Now Occam and Biel propose certeyne termes, and they are these, si locus punctualis possibilis esset. But if such a thing be not possible, to say that God is therin, is to say that God is in nothing, and so you returne to your old course of ampli­fyinge the immensitie, or indivisibilitie of the glorious essence of God that made us. And wheras we are willing to acknow­ledge that God is in all thinges as conteyninge them; I doe not finde that a point is of any conteynable nature. As for ex­ample, there is punctus lineam terminant; now suppose God conteynes the line, and conteynes not the point, shall the line herupon be without an ende? I professe I cannot finde any other thinge in the notion of such a point, but negatio ulteriorie tendentiae, and what neede hathe this of the divine power to conteyne it? And surely the point which continueth a line, is nothing more then the center of the earthe, and of that you professe in the next chapter and second section, that it is a matter of nothing. The manner of Gods indivisibility we con­ceave (say you) by his coexistence to a Center: his incomprehensi­blenes, by his coexistence to all spaces imaginable; as much as to say. The indivisibility and incomprehensiblenes of God, is best conceaved, when we conceave his coexistence to such thinges as are founde only in imagination, or to thinges that are, but have no realitie in them, Now if God be all in all, and all in every part, is he not better conceaved, by compari­son with the soule of man, (which is made after the image of God) then by comparison to a base Center, or thinges in ima­gination only? especially seing Imaginatio non transcendit conti­nuum. If God were more in a great place then in a lesse; then it would followe that an Asses head shoulde participate the essentiall presence of the deitie (I speake in your owne instance and phrase) in greater measure, then a mans heart dothe. And doe not you affect some popular applause in this discourse of yours, the vulgar sort being apt to conceave the contrary, namely that a mans heart participates the essentiall presence of the deitie in greater measure, then an Asses head: and by the [Page 133] same reason; they may conceave that a mans head participates the essentiall presence of the deitie in greater measure, then an asses heart, which yet is as contrary to your assertion, as to the truthe. But it is manifest herby, more then enoughe, that your care is not so much for the investigation of truthe, as to give satisfaction unto vulgar conceyte.

9. That Gods immensitie or magnitude, is not like magni­tude corporall, as being without all extension of parts, as there is no doubt, so wee neede no great paynes to satisfie reason, how this may be; especially to every Scholar, that knowes but that receaved▪ Axiome even amongst naturalists concerning the soule, namely, that she is all in all and all in every part, not only in the least childe newe borne, but in the greatest Anakim that ever was, which in my opinion gives farre better satisfa­ction, then by multiplyinge bare woordes, as in sayinge God is unitie it selfe, infinity it selfe, immensitie it selfe, perfection it selfe power it selfe, which serve neyther for proofe nor for illustra­tion. But if we goe about to satisfie imagination, we shall never come to an ende. For Imagination transcends not that which is continuall, and hathe extension of parts; and all your courses of illustration hitherunto have inclined this way. You speake in your owne phrase when you say that all these before mentioned, to witt, unitie, infinitie, immensity, perfection, power are branches of quantitie; wheras we have more just cause to professe that no quantitie is to be found in God, no more then materiall constitution is to be found in him. We make bolde to attribute unto God quantitatem virtutis, quan­titie of vertue and perfection; but every scholar should knowe that Analogum per se positum stat pro famesiori significato. And yet to speake more properby, the quantity of God, which we call quantitatem virtutis, and the quantity of bodies, which we call quantitatem motis, quantitie of extension, have no propor­tion at all betweene them; but the terme of quantitie attribu­ted to both, is merely equivocall. It is true, that if God were not, nothing could be, for as much as all other thinges have their being from him. But it is a very incongruous course, in my judgement, which you take, by multiplyinge of quanti­tie [Page 134] materiall, to guesse of Gods immensitie. And yet you should have observed a better decorum in your phrase, if in­steede of multiplication, you had putin the woord amplification. For immensitie is rather magnitude infinite then multitude. I cannot away with that which you subjoine, that imaginary in­finity of succession or extension shoulde be a beame of that stable in­finitenes which God possessethe. Hertofore you called it a sha­dowe, nowe a beame. And is this a proper course, to runne out to the imagination of thinges impossible to represent God by? For wherto tendeth this, but to conceave him infinite, first by way of extension, which is quite contrary to spirituall perfection, and secondly after such a manner as is utterly im­possible to be. Yet such courses, all they must needes take, that seeke out to satisfie imagination. For imaginatio as we commonly say in Schooles non transcendit continuum. You proceede to shewe how Gods immens [...]ie hathe no diversitie of parts; and your argument intends to drawe to an inconve­nience as many as maynteyne the contrary. But the incon­venience which you inferre depends only upon peradventure thus. A concurrence of all parts in number infinite, would per­haps be impossible; why then perhaps it would not be impossi­ble; and what then shall become of your argument. Besides this; the whole frame of your argument is unsound. For in­finite natures, such as man is, there is no necessitie of the con­currence of all parts to the performing of all actions, no nor to the performing of any action. As for example if he gives himselfe to study and meditate, there is no necessary use of other then of the inward faculties of his minde. If he playeth upon the Lute, there is no use of his legges and feete. If he fighteth with his enemies, there is no use of his tongue or teethe, nor so much use of his legges as of his handes, thoughe sometimes one payre of leggs is better then two payre of han­des, yet not to fight, but to runne away rather; thoughe [...], as Demosthenes sometimes sayde, being put to his witts to save the credite of his cou­rage. Indeede if God were not as he is, he coulde not be so omnipotent as he is, we neede no paynes at all to proove this.

[Page 135] 10. We are never so safe in matter of divinitie, as when we goe along with scripture, & one place may easily prevent the mistaking of another, if we give our selves to the due con­sideration of it, and submitt unto those meanes which God hathe appoynted for our edification. And the Scriptures represent his being every where in respect of two thinges. 1. In respect of knowinge all thinges, as Why sayest thou o Iacob Es. 40. 27. 28. and speakest o Israel. My way is hid from the Lord, and my judgement is passed over my God. Knowest thou not, or hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God the Lord hath created the ends of the Earthe, &c. 2. In respect of his power conteyning Psa. 119. 7 8. 9. 10. them, as whither shall I goe from thy Spirite, or whither shall I slee from thy presence? If I ascend into Heaven thou art there, &c. Let me take the winges of the Morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the Sea, yet thither shall thine hand lead me, and thy right hand hold me.

But to talke of Gods essence penetrating and diffufed, is to vent such phrases, as I dare not adventure on, I have all­ready tolde you, what I have read to the contrary, in some, naming my Author, as you take libertie to doe the like, with­out naming of them.

Quando dicimus (sayth Durand) Deum esse in rebus, non in­telligimus Durand. 1. dist. 37. part. 1. q. 2 eum esse in iis ut partem intrinsecam, vel intrinsecus rem penetrantem, ut magis infra patebit: sed intelligimus eum esse prae­sentem rei non solum secundum durationem, quia est, quando res sunt nec secundum contactum corporalem, quum non sit corpus nec virtus in corpore, sed secundum ordinem, qui in Spiritibus tenet locum situs in corporibus. In hoc tamen excellit ordo in Spiritibus fitum in corporibus, quia persitum se habet anum corpus ad aliud immendiate, quoad sui extremum: sed per ordinem se habet Spiri­tus ad corpus immediate secundum quod libet sui: saltem non est hoc dubium de Spiritu increato scilicet de Deo, quicquid sit de aliis: propter quod potest dici esse non solum juxtares, fed in rebus. And Ibid. p. 1. q. 1. agayne in a question following, Per eandem rationem dicendum est quod non competit Deo esse ubique, ita quod infinitas suae sub­stantia sit ei ratio ubique essendi: sed est ubique solum ratione suo­rum effectuum (us dictum fuit in praecedente questione. Si enim [Page 136] competeret Deo esse ubique ratione suae essentiae infinitae, tunc compe­teret ei esse necessariò ubique vel in loco infinito, & nullo modo fi­nito, sicut à contrariò dicitur de Angelo, quod ratione suae essentiae finitae convenit ci esse in loco sinito, & nullo modo infinito. Esse autem ubique non est esse in loco infinito. Ergo infinitas Divinae essentiae non est ipsi ratio essendi ubique, quod tamen assumebat ra­tio aliorum.

In a word, I have no edge to cast my selfe upon any curious inquisition hereabouts, because errours are dangerous about the nature of God, eyther in denyinge unto him, what is be­seeming him, or ascribing such things unto him, as doe un­beseeme him; which in the Schooles are accoumpted cer­teyne kindes of blasphemies.

I content my selfe with the simplicitie of Scripture institu­tion; which professethe, that God filleth Heaven and Earthe, and this undoubtedly is true, as Durand saythe in respect of Gods effects, wherewith he filleth all thinges; as allso that he knowethe all thinges, that he cannot be any where as con­teyned, but is every where as conteyninge, governing, orde­ringe, working the good pleasure of his will, in and by all thinges.

Now whether God conteynethe all thinges by his penetra­tive and diffused essence, and not rather by his power and will, let every sober Reader judge.

Before the World was, God was in himselfe, and so he is still; how his power is extended to the making and contey­ninge of his creatures, I easily conceave, but how his essence is extended, I conceave not. I conclude with those old verses.

Dic ubi tunc esset, cum praeter eum nihil esset,
Tune, ubi nunc, in se, quoniam sibisufficit ipse.


Of Eternity, or of the branch of absolute infinities, whereof Successive Duration of the imaginary infinity of time is the modell.

I See no reason to subscribe unto the proposition where­with you begin your discourse on this Argument, as tou­ching the exact proportion betweene immensity and eternity. For Gods immēsity is that whereby he is ubi (que) or every where, like as by his eternity he is semper or alwayes: But to be every where supposeth the creations, but to be semper alwayes, doth not: For God was alwayes ever before the world: Againe God in proper speech hath true being, and consequently true Duration of Being, which having neyther beginning nor en­ding is properly eternall. But God in proper speech hath no quantity, and consequently neyther extension, and so in proper speech cannot be coumpted immense, which signifieth exten­sion without beginning and end; and having no extension at all, being merely spirituall and not materiall. And ere you turne over a new leafe, your self make doubt, whether Time hath the same proportion to eternity, as magnitude created hath to Divine Immensity. In a word, I doe not beleive you are like to find so many nothings to resemble God by in this argument of eternity as you did devise in the other of Immensi­tie. That saying of Tertulliā you mention, is no more appliable to Gods eternity as tis sayd he was to himselfe Time, then to his immensity, as 'tis therein sayd he was unto himselfe a World; And for ought I see, God is so still, and not onely was so be­fore all things; in as much as he hath no more need of them, then before all things he had. You say we cannot properly say God was in time before the world was made; I say such a speech in my judgement seemes to be neyther proper nor improper; but directly false, even as false, as to say God was in place before he made the world: For before the world was made there was neyther time nor place: Nowe he is in [Page 138] neyther as conteyned in them, but only as conteyning both time and place, which before the World, absolutely were not at all, & consequently could not be conteyned by him. I doe not think that Austin himselfe was conscious of any acutenes in inferring that God could not have bene before all times, if he had alwayes bene in time; for common sense doth ju­stifie, that that legge which was ever in the stockes, was never out of the stockes. But whereas you say, that we believe God to be as truly before all times future, as before all times past, & seeme to affect it as a subtlety of opinion herein.

I willingly professe, that if it be a subtlety, it is of so subtle a sense, as quite passeth mine intelligence: I had thought it might be avouched of every thing that is past, that it is before all times to come: And that all future things are behind the things that are past.

Neyther had I thought any reason needfull to be given of this: because common sense, I think doth justifie it.

Yet you seeme to make this a peculiar propertie of God, that like as he is before all times past, so allso he is before all times to come.

Yet I gesse at your meaning: For we now existent, allbeit we are before the things that are to come, yet it is not neces­sary, that we should be after them. But God as he is before all, so, if it please him, he may be after all; For God is that which was, & is, & is to come; that is, which shall be, and that for ever of himselfe.

Now this phrase; to be after all, in a sublimate streyne of conceyt attributed unto God, is more truly and perfectly to be accoumpted his being before all, then after all, in your o­pinion, as it seemes; like as the Heavens invironning the Earth, though they seeme to sense to be under the Earth, and under our Antipodes, yet indeed they are above them; So God in being after all things future, is more properly and truly to be accoumpted before them.

This mystery I seeme to find by your subsequentd iscourse and I wonder what you meane to carry your selfe so in the cloudes, when you might have exprest your selfe playnly.

[Page 139] And surely it is no glory to affect a lofty understanding of your owne phrase, above the apprehension of your Reader, when your termes are not sufficient to expresse your meaning. This is to equivocate like the Iesuites. Of that conceyt of yours I will prepāre my selfe to consider against the time, I shall arrive to your more full discourse thereof, in the pa [...]s subsequent of this Chapter.

In the next place you propose a conclusion which is this. His eternity then is the inexhaustible founteyne or Ocean, from which time or Duration successive doth perpetually flow.

But I can neither justifie this inference, nor the truth of the proposition inferred: For I know not from what premises of yours, it can be inferred.

That, which went immediately before, was this: God is before all times future, as well as all times past; Now to inferre that God was before all time, therfore all time flowes from his eternity, is no good consequence. You might as well ar­gue thus. God was before all place, therfore all places flowes from Gods eternity. We our selfes are before all times that are to come; but herehence it followes not, that all times to come flow from our eternity, or from us.

Suppose Angells had bene made before the World, yet would it not thence followe that the World did flow from them.

Now for the proposition it selfe inferred, it is subject to exceptions divers wayes. The phrase, to flow, savoureth of a natural & necessary emanation, & so much the more when it is resembled by the flowing of water from a founteyne. But nothing created doth in such sort flow from God.

Naturall emanations from God are not to be found but in God, and that in respect of the Persons; the Sonne being na­turall and necessarily begotten of the Father, & the H. Ghost naturally and necessarily proceeding both from the Father & the Sonne.

Againe, the water that floweth from the founteyne on from the Ocean, is of the same nature with the founteyne, on with the water of the Ocean, so is not time of the same nature, [Page 140] with eternity from whence, you say, it flowes.

Agayne it is untrue that eternity produceth time or duration of things created: for the duration of them is nothing els, but the continuance of their existence.

Therefore looke what produceth the things themselves, & maynteynes them, being produced, from thence they are to be accoumpted to have their beginning. Now it is the power and will of God, wherby things are created and preserved, & not the eternity of God. By the Word of the Lord were the Heavens made, & all the hoast of them by the breath of his mouth. We no where read, that by the eternitie of God all things were made, Angells and Men, Heaven and Earth.

And so likewise as by his word he made all things, so by the power of his mighty word he supports all things. Heb. 1. And Ioh. 1. therefore all things both touching theyr being and duration, depend upon the mighty word of God: this we have ground for: But that they depend upon his eternity, we have no ground to affirme; though it is true that both God, and his Word, and Spirit are eternall, otherwise he could not be the Creator of the World. Vpon the back of this, you come in with a new Paradox, namely that From all eternity, there was a possibility for us to be; as if it were possible for a creature to be from all eternity.

Yet I know some Scholemen have maynteyned it (as what will not wild witts dare to undertake): but doth it therefore become a Divine, to suppose it without all proofe? I hold it to be impossible, and Durands reasons to the contrary are more pregnant, in my judgement, then any that are brought for it: to witt, that then, yeares and months, dayes and hours should be equall; for each of them, even yeares, should be infinite, and dayes, and houres, yea and minutes past, should be but infinite; whence he inferres, that to every minute should be equall to an yeare; and albeit he invadeth only eter­nity of things in motion; yet I see no reason to the contrary, but the argument is appliable as well to all created things, though not subject to motion, though the evidence of deduc­tion is not so manifest as in case of motion.

[Page 141] I know well that Aquinas enterteyned the opinion of this possibility, out of zenle to uphold the creditt of Aristotle in some measure. But then taking upon him to reconcile seem­ing contradictions in his opuscula, and one of them being this; If the World were eternall, then the soules of men pa [...] were infinite, supposing the immortality of them; according to the opinion of Aristotle: And both Aristor. as well as Aquinas himselfe hold it impossible that there should be infi­nitum actu eyther in number or in magnitude: Mark how he reconciles this, and what course he takes to prevent an infi­nite number of soules; Though the World, and Man (sayth he) had bene everlasting, yet the first man might have bene preserved without generation for an infinite space of time, & not begin to generate till about six thousand yeares agoe.

By this let every sober man judg to what shifts this great Schoolman was put to salve this opinion of a possibilitie, of the worlds being eternall from contradiction. To this you adde that in like sort our actuall being or existence whiles it l [...] ­steth, is composed of a capacity to be what we are, and of the actua­tion or filling of this capacity; you might well say so or in like sort, for there seemes as like truth in this as in the former. Man as he is unum perse is sayd to consist ex potentia et actis, which is as much as to say ex materia et forma rationali; which Maxim had a capacity of receaving this forme, upon whose con­junctiō doth arise that compositum, which we call a man, and us it had a power, so an appetite thereunto, all which was con­teyned under that principium generationis which is called Pri­vatio, According to that saying Materia appetit formam si­cut femina virum. But the particular appetite being satisfied with the forme, it no longer remayneth, nor the capacity to receave it, that time being now past. But rather an appetite there is in the matter to a new forme, by corruption of the present compound, which is the naturall ground of mans mortality. And the generall appetite of matter is never sa­tisfied.

Much lesse is this capacity a part, whereof man doth con­sist. For every Philosopher knowes that the capacity of the [Page 142] matter belongs to that principium generationis which is called privatio. Now Privatio, though it be principium generationis as well as Materia & forma; yet is it not principium compositi. Ex tribus principiis Homo generatur? ex duobus tertiu companitur? But perhaps you speake not of the capacity of the matter to receave a forme, which is proper only to compound substan­ces; But of the possibility of Being, before they are, which is ex­tended euen to Angells. But then I say much lesse is the na­ture of man to be sayd, composed of such a capacity; for this capacity is not so much as potentia physica, but a onely potentia logica, to witt, negatio repugnantia, as when we say 'twas possi­ble the world should be, before it was, for it implyes no con­tradiction: For Gods almighty power was able to make it out of nothing. So it was possible that Angells should be before they were. In like sort it was possible, that man should be, before he was. But neyther man nor Angells can be sayd to be composed of such a possibility; or of such a ca­pacity, for that were to say that a reall & positive thing is com­posed of that which is neyther reall nor positive. And it is im­possible that a thing not reall or positive should be a part of that which is reall & positive. But yet, you may say; All crea­ted things consist ex potentia & actu, be they never so simple and uncompound, as the very Angells themselves, God alone is Actus purus voyd of all passive power. But as touching this power by your leave, I take it not to be spoken inrespect of the potentiallity going before the Act, which you saye is actuated, but rather in respect of a potentiallity consequent to the Act, or concomitant with it, as we conceave it of such a nature as may cease to be, or be destroyed.

Or last of all, it may proceed in respect of the distinction between essence and existence, which is found in all things be­side God himselfe: In which respect they are sayd to consist ex potentia et Actu, which kind of composition, as I remem­ber, is called Metaphysica; and it extends to all created things in distinction from all other compositions whatsoever, which are peculiar to some more then to others. But in what con­gruity this capacity may be sayd to be filled, when essence is [Page 143] actuated by existence, I comprehend not. For to be filled, presupposeth the existence of that which is to be filled. And existence seemes rather to conteyne essence, then essence, exi­stence. But most paradoxicall of all is it, that existence should be composed of capacity, and the actuatiō or filling of it: Whereas existence, in my judgement, is rather the actuation formall of essence, then is composed thereof.

In the next place you tell us, that life (especially sensitive) is but the motion or progresse of this capacity towards that which fills it; or as it were, a continuall sucking in of present existence, or con­tinuation of actuall being, from somewhat preexistent. I think there is a liberall errour in this, and insteed of life sensitive, as I take it, there should be life vegetative. Now this doctrine of yours is wonderous strange. There is a motion & progresse in life vegetative by waye of augmentation, but not by waye of generation.

Neyther hath the existence of any vegetable, much lesse man, any degrees: Neyther is it of the nature of any substan­tiall forme, much lesse of a soule, least of all of the reasonable foule, to be brought in, much lesse to be sucked in, by degrees.

And if our existence be present, as you call it, how can it be suckt in? For we suck in that which we have not; not that which we allready have. Neyther could we have power to suck in ought, much lesse the actuall sucking in of ought, un­les allready we had existence: For without existence presup­posed there can be no motion. And of degrees of existence, especially of substantiall formes, or of the things compoun­ded of them, I never heard till now: Degrees, or rather a graduall extension of quantity is gotten by that act of vegeta­tion which is called growth or augmentation. So then, not existence, simply, but of quantity rather; nor the existence of quantity neyther, but a greater extension thereof is sucked-in by things that growe: Neyther is this extension sucked in; but rather matter of nourishment is suckt in, which by the peculier operation of the soule is first fitted for nourishment divers & sundry wayes, and after that converted into nourishment, & appropriated to each part; and after that by another peculiar [Page 144] property of the soule, there flowes from it augmentation of quantity; which is not suckt in from without, but only the materialls of it: This wild phrase and manner of speech of yours, if it proceed, is sufficient to corrupt all Philosophy, & not Divinity only.

The next point, I confesse, is no Paradox, when you saye, Except the vegetables by which our life is continued, had existence before they become our nutriment, they could not possibly nourish us. This, I say, is most true: for if they had not being before, they were just nothing; and it is impossible that that which is nothing, should nourish any thing.

Naye, if they had not theyr being before, they should have no being at all: for Milk or Bread if it had no being before it nourish us; surely it hath no being of milk or bread when it doth nourish us, by being converted into flesh and bone; for then surely, it is neyther milke nor bread. The next assertion is very obscure, if at all it hath any truth in it, as when you say, These vegetables themselves cannot exist, unles they did draw theyr existence or continance of their being, from that which did exist be­fore them, and unto which they doe by motion or continuance oft theyr being approach: For you propose this of life vegetative, which is found in plants as well as men; and the matter of theyr nourishment is only the moysture or fatues of the earth; which fatnes of the earth, how it drawes existence or continuance of its being so much as in your sense, I cannot conceave; sc. Matter of mans nourishment, Honey, and pot­ted butter, and poudred beefe, and bacon, and bisket, how they draw it from that whereunto by motion or continuance of theyr being they approch: Wherein you seeme to have a sublimate conceyte, resolving the continuance of all things in­to the operation of God: But, by your leave, they doe not draw theyr continuance from God; God gives it rather, and that by naturall meanes, whereby things are preserved from putrefaction, which is the destruction of theyr being: Which preservation against putrefactiō, is either in the nature of the things themselves, which God by an ordinary natu­rall course hath wrought in them, onby the Art of Men: [Page 145] Which you resolving without more adoe into the operation of God carry your selfe not like unto a Philosopher, but like un­to that Grammarian who being demanded by a gardenar what should be the reason, why weeds thrived so fast notwithstan­ding all his care to weed them out, and pluck them up by the rootes; when good herbes prospered so slowly notwith­standing all his care, not only to plant them, but being plan­ted to water them, and to manu [...]e the ground that bare them; Derived the reason of all this from the providence of God; Whereat a Philosophes standing by laughed, not that he des­pised the Providence of God, but because he conceaved there was a more immediate reason thereof, though it also were subordinate to the providence of God, and that was this. As for the weeds that grow of themselfes, the earth is a naturall mother unto them; but as for the herbes that were planted in her bosome, she was but a step-mother unto them; & ergo: no merveyle if she mainteyned her owne children, her owne fruits brought forth by her better, then strange children brought unto her to be fostered by her. But be it as you in­timate, that all things draw theyr existence and continuation of their being from God; but how will you unfold that my­stery of yours that followes, namely, that by motion or conti­nuation of their being they approach unto God? For I have read, that the Crow liveth out nine mens lives (measuring every age to be an 100. yeares) and that the Hart liveth thrice as many yeares as the Crow; and that the Raven trebleth the Harts endurance; whence came that Theophrastus his com­plaint of natures inequality, that to Harts and Crowes had given so long time of continuance, which was denied unto man: what shall we say therfor that these have approached nee­rer unto God then Man? Perhaps you will say, yes, in respect of Gods eternity: Why but herein, your selfe shalbe brought to plead against your selfe; For in the eight sect: of your for­mer chap. discoursing how the center of Gods immensity might be sayed to be every where; you gave this reason or ex­emplification of it; that be supposing a spere infinite, every point is equally removed from the circumference, as put the [Page 146] case, S. Michaells mount should be as neere to the circum­ference Eastward as Dover, and consequently Dover as far of as S. Michaells mount, though the whole bredth of England lye between them.

And by the same reason the life of a Raven shall be as far of from eternity, as the life of a Hart, and the durance of an Hart as farre from eternity as the Durance of a Crow, though three times as much; & the durance of a Crow as far of from eternity, as the durance of a Man, though nine tunes as much.

In the next place, as by waye of inference, you adde: So that future times and all things conteyned in time it selfe, presuppose a fountaine of life. I will not trouble my selfe with your in­ference: What such move you to make choyce of future times to instance in, rather of times in generall, whether future, pre­sent, or past?

I doubt preexistence to future times is in your imagination a very mysterious point; & such as you are loath your Reader should be acquainted with: For as Aristotle sayeth of Fallacies, [...], to discover them, is to solve them; so you may feare, the bare discovery of your conceyt may be enough to discredit it. And yet, to shew how well you please your selfe in it, you say that this fountayne of life, pre­supposed to future times, and all things conteyned in them, is as truly preexistent to their future terminations, as it was to their be­ginnings.

How will you construe this sentence, and accommodate it to future times, whereupon notwithstanding it proceeds, as well as of things conteyned in time, both touching the termi­nations of them, which are future, and touching the begin­nings of them which are past? Surely you cannot; ergo: the latter part of the sentence must be accommodated not to fu­ture times wherewith you began this sentence, but to all things conteyned in time it selfe. And these indeed have had begin­nings which are past, and we doe expect future terminations or, motions of them, according to the parts of future time, so long as time it selfe shall last.

[Page 147] But what is this strang assertion you are impregnated with­all, when you deliver it as a rare and curious conceyt, that things conteyned in time doe suppose a fountaine of life not only to the beginnings of them, but allso to their future terminations and motions. Whereas to my poore conceyt, if a founteyne of life be presupposed to things past, it must be presupposed all­so to things to come: And there is no curiosity in this; the in­ference rather is most vulgar; For seing future things are be­hind things past, quod est prius priori must needs be prius poste­riori; yet, that which is before a former thinge, must needs be before a latter thinge.

Hence you proceede (whether by following on, or falling of, lett the Reader judge) to censure that common saying, Tempus edax rerum, as relishing more of poeticall witt, then of Metaphysicall truth. For which kind of censure delivered by you, I find no just reason; For what? can no truth satisfie you, but that which is Metaphysicall? And why you should make such an opposition I know not; as if what I ever relished not of Metaphysicall truth, were no truth, but rather of Poeticall witt: and whatsoever relished of poeticall witt, did not re­lish of truth. You maye as well censure Aristotles Physicks, and Ethicks, and Politiques, and Rhetoricks, for surely they doe not relish of Metaphysicall truths; no nor Euclides Mathematicks; no nor of Poeticall witt neyther; belike they are liable to a double censure.

Yet what think you? cannot Poeticall witt have course in conjunction with truth, as well as in separation from it. Nec fingunt omnia Cretes. No nor Poets neyther. And as for this saying, Tempus edax rerum: I never knew any sober man or other except against the truth of it before: But if you will put a construction upon it at your pleasure, to shew your witt in refuting it; you shall therein play the part of a Poet rather then the Philosopher; for some of them have taken a course to shape stories, according to the use they had to make of them, and not to followe the direct truth: and this hath bene sayd to be the difference betweene Sophocles and Euripides: And herein they were like to Mathematicians of whom it is [Page 148] sayd Mathematici abstrahunt nec mentiuntur: And abstracting a line from the matter of it, they may adde to it, or take from it what they list: So you construe this saying, Tempus edax re­rum, as if it were delivered in proper speech, and not by a fi­gure; whereas the meaning is Synecdochicall; that in course of time things doe consume and wast, not that time it selfe doth wast them; For time being the duration of things; how can the duration of a thing consume it selfe?

Yet is your reason whereby you oppose this common saying very loose, as when you say, If time did devoure things, what could possibly nourish them or continue them from their begin­ning to theyr end, And that in two respects; for neyther the saying signifies that time should devoure thē, before the time appoynted for the consumption of them: And though time did consume them, yet some thing els might contnue them; For theyr owne natures wherein God hath made them, are for a time apt to resist that which laboureth to corrupt them. And other meanes also there are for the preservation of thē: As man by using meanes for his preservation may hold out longer then he which useth none; neither did the Authors or approvers of that saying, Tempus edax rerum, ever conceit that any thing should desire the destruction of it selfe, as you are pleased to rove in impugning it: And look in what sense time doth not destroy, but things are destroyed in time; in the same sense, things temporall have not the continuation of their being from time, but from somewhat els in time; For when things are preserved, by the witt and industry of man from putrefaction, they doe not receave this preservation of theyrs from time, but from the wit and industry of man: And ergo: as time doth not wast, so neither doth time preserve from wasting.

It is a paradox if not a manifest untruth, rather to say that the motions of things themsselfes, and theyr endeavours, to enjoy or enterteyne time approching is that which doth wast and consume them; For albeit in man sometimes you find such causes of consumption, yet in all other creatures inferior unto man, as beasts of all sorts, how can you make it good that [Page 149] they out of a desire and endeavour to enterteyne time doe wast themselfes, who know not so much as what time is? How much lesse will you be able to make it good in vegeta­bles of all sorts, as plants and trees, and in all sorts of mixt bo­dies? Nay, how will you make it good in man? Some die by course of nature, and that eyther through age or sicknes; when a man of 100. yeares old dieth, what motion or endeavour is there in him to enterteyne that wasted him? and how will you prove, that had not this motion or endeavour of his bene (as all endeavours are voluntary and free) he might have lived longer.

When God sent apestilence among the Israelites, that in the space of 3. dayes swept awaye 70. thousand; was it a mo­tion of theirs, or an endeavour to enterteyne time, that consu­med them? Nay, when any disease proves mortall, how can it appeare that when one man died of an Ague, another of the Dropsie, another of the squinancy, another of the plurisie, another of the consumption, that all of them died of a certeyn disease, called theyr motions and endeavours to enjoy and enterteyne time approching: A disease, that I think was ne­ver knowne to Hipocrates or Galin, or any Physician before or since. I should think the desease of Pastime should wast us more then the desease of enjoying Time. Others come to theyr ends by violent deathes, some in warre, some by course of justice, others by private malice: In all these I find my selfe in the bryers, and cannot possiblie conceive, how mens owne motions and endeavours to enjoy time should wast or consu­me them: or in case a man makes a waye with himselfe by hanging drowning or poysoning. Not altogeather so wild is that conceyt of yours which followeth, in saying we naturally seeke to catch time. Yet wild enough; for it is untrue that men catch. Time; they catch opportunity, which is [...], and not a litle differing from [...]. Now opportunity is only an advantage of doing something conveniently offered to us in the course of Time. As it is good to make hay while the sun shineth, ergo; I will roundly sett my selfe to the making of Hay, while this opportunity is offered, wherein I catch not [Page 150] time but opportunity; for the Time were the same in case it rayned, but the opportunity for making of Hay were not the same, because the wether in that case were not the same; And Hay-making requires fayr wether.

Who they are, who acknowledge no difference between Time and Motion, I know not; I should think no man so blockish as to confound them, seing motion it selfe may be of more or lesse continuance in respect of Time, as well as any thing els, And in the same Time somethings more or lesse slowly, something more swiftly, some in one kind of motion, some in another: But of divers kinds of time, that should be­long to things moved, with divers kinds of motions, I never heard that any Philosopher hath discoursed.

Aristotle I confesse, defines time to be numerus motus secund. prius & posterius; but this is not to confound time with mo­tion, but rather to distinguish the one from the other: For he g [...]ves a far other definition of motion it selfe: And albeit the time of every temporall thing be the duration of it, whether it resteth or moveth, yet if the questions be made how long such a thing hath continued, or when such a thing beganne to be, or ceased to be; We have no better meanes to answere it, then by numbring the revolution of the Sun, if we will shew how many yeares; or of the Moone, to shew how ma­ny moneths; or of the Diurnall motion of the Heavens, to shew how many dayes agoe such a thing was done, or began, or ceased to be; or to shew how many dayes, or moneths, or yeares any thing hath continued: & ergo: Aristotle in his Phy­sicks considering time as the measure, in such sort as hath bene expressed, gives a definition suitable, in saying it was numerus motus per prius & posterius. Which definition when your true Philosophie shall mēd, we shalbe so ingenuous as to give con­gruous respect unto it.

As you beganne, so you proceed to acquaint us with your subtleties in Philosophie concerning time, Motion (you say) in true observation goes one waye, and drives time another way, as the streame which runnes Eastward, turnes the wheele West-ward.

[Page 151] This curiositie is worth the examining, it may minister some merry matter of refreshment unto us, which in my judge­ment, your reader hath no litle need of to take him of from too sad and serious attention in tracking your obscure phrase, and treading out therhence some morsell of good meaning.

I thinck you speak of motion circular, and that of the hea­vens, because nothing so fitt to notifie unto us Time, as that, and of such motion you speak as immediately before you have signified: Well then; The circular motion of the Hea­vens goeth one waye, and drives Time another waye: Before you told us that Motion notifies Time, here you say, It drives Time; but how? Not the same waye, but another waye as the streames which runnes Eastward, drives the wheele West-ward: And which waye. I pray doth Time passe: Eastward of Westward? As there is a motion of the heavens, that makes the daye, which is from East to west; so there is a motion of the Sun which makes the yeare, and that motion is from West to East; doth each motion drive time a different waye or the same waye? Againe each motion is not onely from East to West, as the first, and from West to East as the second; but the first is againe from West to East, and the second is a­gaine from East to West; You have not told us, which waye Time is driven by motion; and ergo: being to seeke, you drive our inquisitions divers wayes, and perhaps all different from your owne; And all because you will not acquaint is with the waye you conceave to your selfe, ergo; you drive us other wayes, as the motion drives time: Let us see whether we can have any help from your comparison.

The streame, you saye, running Eastward drives the wheele West-ward; Now this seemes to us untrue, & so farre forth as it may be tolerated for true, surely it drivs the wheel no more West-ward then East-ward: First I saye it is not true: For the wheele by the streame is turned neyther East-ward nor West-ward but round; Now to move Eastward or Westward is to move motu recto a streight motion, but to move round is not to move motu recto, but orbiculari, not by a streight motion, but circular: Yet because circular motions may be sayd to be [Page 152] towards the East or towards the West, & so the motion of the wheele may be (as you say it is) Westward; yet then I say it is no more Westward then Eastward, as it is manifest in all circu­lar motions: And indeed the river moving according to his naturall course drives the wheele before it, but the wheele being round, moves round, not onely Eastward as the river goes, but Westward also; For to move circularly towards the East in respect of some parts, is to move circularly towards the West also in respect of other parts, not Westward only or prin­cipally so as to give the denomination of a motion Westward, rather them of a motion Eastward.

But all this while we have not found which waye Time is driven in your opinion: For sure your meaning is not that time is driven circularly (though I have observed you to dis­course of circular duration.) And my reason is this: if the motion from East to West should drive Time another waye of motion circular; then seing that motion which makes the daye is contrary to that motion which constitutes the yeare, it would follow, that the time of the daye should goe a waye quite contrary to the Time of the yeare: And as litle reason to drive time another waye, in respect of direct motion.

For there is no reason whie the waye of Time should be towards the East, rather then towards the West, or contrari­wise; and why rather eyther of these wayes, then towards the North or towards the South.

And no mervayle, seing the way of place is one thing, & the way of time another: For though the streame run directly Eastward, and turne a wheele round; 'tis nothing strang, sith both are bodies apt to moove, and the streame apt to run downward, and a wheele apt to be turned round. But time is not a bodie that it can move ane waie.

And this reflects my thoughes upon the consideration of another incongruity, as when you say, motion goes one way; you might as well have sayd, motion moves one way; whereas it is the bodie that moves, & motion is the act of it, but it selfe moves not.

Yet there is a proper way for a body moving, & so for [Page 153] motion. And it may be there is a proper way for time as when that which is to come becomes present time, and pre­sent time, becomes past time; as this yeare the last yeare was to come, now it is present, and after a while it will be past: So all the way of time is this, & shalbe, it is, it was: one after another.

And (by your leaves) motion drives it no more then rest: If the Heavens should stand still, yet might things continue still the same time that God hath appointed them, as well as in the case of theyr motion.

Neyther is it true, that our actuall existence slides from us with time; our being still continueth the same, by you leave, and not our capacity of being onely; For Socrates senex non differt a Socrate puero according to our Vniversity learning, which whether it be true Philosophie or no, let the Reader judge; I say, he differs not in substance, I doe not say, he dif­fers not in accidents: I doubt not but Socrates was auncien­ter in his old age, then in his child-hood, and different both in quantity of bodie, and quality of mind; But I see no rea­son but his existence was still the same: And as for capacity of being, I see no reason why that should have any place where being allready is: As for substantiall actuation of capacity of Being (which you make to be continuall) after a man hath his being I know none; Neyther am I conscious of any such desire; and it is strang to me, that you should be more privy to my desires then my selfe. I desire to encrease in know­ledge, and to grow in grace and goodnes, and in favour with God and man.

But of any desire of actuation or replenishment (as you speak) of the capacity of being, I am nothing conscious to my selfe: Neyther can I acknowledge any new coexistence (with time approaching in respect of any mutation of my existence, but in regard that times doe change and succeed one another, I may be sayd to coexist anew with them, because they coexist anew with me.

Neyther doe I know any such office of time as you devise to be assigned to it by eternity, as to repayr that ruines which [Page 154] tions present or past, have wrought in our corruptible substance.

No mervayle that you could not brook that time should be accounted edax rerum: For now I perceave you maynteyne time to be reparatrix rerum, yea the curer of diseases; For to repayre the ruines which motion hath made in our corrup­tible substances, what is it but to cure deseases? So that time is a simple of more sovereigne virtue, then I was ware of; but I know not whether it were ever knowne to Hippocrates or Galen; I doubt it was not; And that tempus is edax rerum, hath better authority to confirme it I think, then that it is re­paratrix rerum: And consider in reason, time is the duration of things temporall, whence it commeth to passe, that the ve­ry ruines themselfes which are wrought in our corruptible substances have theyr time, that is, theyr duration; so have all deseases: Now lett any sober man judge, whether the dura­tion of such a ruine, such a desease, be fitt to repayre it, fitt to cure it; What time then shall cure or repayre it? Take the most sovereigne remedies to repayr such ruines, to cure such deseases, and the duration or time thereof hath no power to repayr or cure it, but the nature of that remedie applied may; which nature and the application therof, is not time, but the remedie hath a duration, which is the time therof, whether it be applied or no.

As for the motions of the heavens numbred according to preority and posteriority, which in a Physicall consideration is the time of every thing, as the fittest measure to measure out the continuance of all things, as litle power hath that to re­payre ruines or cure deseases, more then to make them.

In the next place you draw us to the consideration of Plo­tinus his excellent observations. I had rather you would acquaint us with some accurate conclusions and demonstra­tions of his. Yet these observations which you so magnifie in a Platonick, such as they are wee will consider them. The first is that the best of our life, the very being of things generable is but as a continuall draught or receite of being, from the inexhausti­ble founteyne of life. This is one of his (so much by you mag­nified) observations, and a very proper one. As if a man [Page 155] should say, the very water, be it the best of waters, is but a streame flowing from the fountayne of waters. Is not this an excellent observation, thinck you? Yet you add some thing of your owne, which partly swerves from truth, and partly marres Plotinus his musick; For you make the very being of things generable, and the best of our life to be all one; wher­as the wickedest men that are, are the miserablest things that are, are things generable, and have a being as well as the best; And in the state of our corrupt nature we had a being, & so had Paule when he persecuted the Church of God, and Pe­ter when he denied his Mr. and David when he committed adultery with Bathsheba and caused Vriah to be slayne with the sword of the children of Ammon; but did this being of theirs, or theyr very being, deserve to be accounted the best of theyr life? Now whereas you say, Our being is a continuall draught of being from the inexhaustible founteyne of life: I find no mention at all of any fountayne of life in Plotinus, His words as you cite them are, Videtur in rebus generabilibus id potissimum essentia esse, scilicet tractus quidam ab ipso esse, (this is all he hath concerning the inexhaustible founteyne of life as you paraphrase it) ex generationis initio, quousque ad temporis extrema perveniat.

And to my understanding his meaning is no other, then that the essence of things generable is as it were esse fluens, like as we say, linea est fluxus puncti in longitudinem. And ther­upon his first sentence is this, that take away erit from things generable, and forthwith they cease to be: And to things that are not such, if you add erit to them, it shall befall them a sede ipfiue esse labe, to slide from the seate of being; All which are but odd streynes of expressions of that which to know is worth just nothing, if at all there be any sound truth in theyr subtleties: But hence he concludes indeed that the being of a thing generable is not naturall unto it; and therefore (you will say) he must have it from something, and what can that be, but from the founteyne of life; as it is well knowne Plato first, and accordingly Platonickes maynteyned, that the world was made by God.

[Page 156] To this I answere, that albeit they attributed the making of the world to God not out of nothing, but out of matter actually preexistent; yet here Plotinus discourseth, not of the creation whereby the world was made, but of generation, whereby the parts of it were continually meynteyned; Ney­ther doth he discourse of the efficiency of the being of things generable, but only of the formality thereof: But if over and above a question were moved as touching the efficiency of being, who can doubt but his answere would be either ascri­bing this to the individuall generating, and virtus seminalis as his instrument, working to the extracting of forms ex potentia materiae; or otherwise to the Dator formarum; in neyther of which should he as an heathen man ascend unto the inexhau­stible founteyne of life, whither you would draw him, to make the magnifying of his excellent observations the more specious: But what should Christians expect from the Schol­lar of Ammonius and Mr. of Dorphity? Now, whereas he confines this to things generable, doe you magnifie that also! What think you of Augul [...]s? Is not theyr being also a conti­nuall draught or receit of being from the inexhaustible foun­tayne of life, as well as the being of things generable?

But proceed we to take notice of the rest of his so excellent observation: Nature (sayth he) hastens unto that being which is to come, nor can it rest, seing it drawes or sucks in that being which it hath, by doing now this and now that, being moved as it were in a circle, with the desire of essence, or of being what it is. By this I perceive where you dipt your pen that dropt forth such wild conceits as before in this very section I have encountred with; to witt, in Plotinus his Philosophy, fitt lettice for such lips as like them. And for the obscurity of conceit, your writings, to my thinking are very like unto his; and the rather may men be moved to suspect, there are some rare notions in them which they understand not; Yet by the waye you sometimes insperse such glosses as make Plotinus meaning worse then it is; as when Plotinus sayth of a thing generable, that movetur in orbem quodam essentiae desiderio, that it is moved round with a certeyne desire of essence; you render it this with desire of [Page 157] essence or being what is: Now Plotinus sayth, not of any thing that it hath a desire to be what it is, which is very ab­surd; for nothing desires what it hath already, but rather what it hath not: So when Plotinus sayth, that esse sibi haurit, it drawes unto it selfe being; you render it thus, It sucks in what it hath; whereas indeed it is a thing impossible for any man to suck in that which he hath, but rather he sucks in that which he hath not.

Nor can I approve this saying of Plotinus, that A thing generable hactens to that being which is to come; which Plotinus seemes to understane only of Time; Now we rather on the contrary many times complayne that time passeth awaye too fast; yet againe some there are, I confesse, that think time ne­ver passeth awaye fast enough: Both are conscious of times hasting more or lesse; but neyther are conscious of theyr ha­stning to Times: And the truth is, the swiftest motion and the slowest motion is in respect of the same time, which indeed in neyther swift nor slow, though motions in time may be swift or slow; yet the swiftest mover no more hastens to time to come, then the slowest mover, how excellent soever Plotinus observation be in your conceit, yet I grant we may be sayd to hasten to a being which is to come, but this being is alwaye ac­cidental never essentiall: A man may make hast to be rich, and such a one sayth Salomon can not be innocent: A man Pro. 28. 20. may grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord Iesu Christ, and to make hast therein is commendable: and so for 2. Pet. [...]. 18 everyone to be diligent and quick in the works of his calling: But our essentiall being we hast not unto, it is the same still; for Socrates being old differs not essentially from himselfe being a child: Indeed we labour for the preservation of our being; but all our actions tend not hereunto, they tend to the ser­vice of God as well as to the service of our selves.

And how in these motions whatsoever we move in orbem, or as it were in a circle I know not; That quaint conceit I leave to Plotinus till your commentary may unfold the mea­ning of it.

Now you tell us (belike in a suitable proportion unto the [Page 158] conceits of Plotinus, or rather in some degree beyond them) that Nor we men, nor any creatures (specially generable) are per­mitted to draw or suck so much of our proper being from the foun­teyne of eternity at once, or in any one point of time as we list, and that We have our portions of life or self-fruition distributed peece­meale and sparingly unto us, least too much put into our hands at once might make us prodigall of the whole stock.

It is great pitty the pages of your booke be not stored with the word Mystery; for they are nothing almost but mysterie; This is delivered not only of men, but of all creatures genera­ble: Why then, all creatures generable have a list to drawe or sucke more of their proper being from the fountayne of eternity, then they doe or can suck: Surely you charge them with that they are nothing guilty of; For, not to speake of stones and met­talls nor of vegetables; How doth it appeare there is any such desire in brute creatures, whether beasts or birds or fishes [...] that neyther know eternity, nor their owne proper being, nor what it is to suck more of it at once then is fitt.

And as for my selfe amongst reasonables, one though a poore one, having some knowledge both of eternity in the waye of Christian Divinity, and of my proper being in the waye of naturall Philosophy; yet what it is to suck more of my portion of being at once then God think fitt, I am utterly ignorant, and therefore cannot be conscious to my selfe of any such transgression: Suppose the durance of my being in the appoyntement of God be betwene 50. and 60. yeares, doe I desire or can I desire to enjoy these 60. yeares in the space of 20. or is it possible by the almighty power of God that I should? I grant the knowledge and goodnes I have arrived unto by Gods grace in the space of 50. yeares, I might have arrived unto in the space of 40. Yet am I not conscious of any desire I had of this: But this is only my accidentall being, and therefore deserveth not simplie to be accompted my proper being.

The like may be as touching the Qualities or Quantitie of my bodie: But my substantiall being, that only deserveth to be accompted simply my Being; And this I had all at once, [Page 159] as I had my organicall bodie, and soule all at once; though the continuance of it I had not all at once; For that was im­possible I should have, it being a continuance by way of suc­cession of dayes after dayes &c. And [...]f I had had all at once, there had bene no succession; and therfore, in my judgement, it is absurd to say our portions of life are pece-meale & sparingly distributed unto us, lest too much being put into our hands at once might make us prodigall of the whole stocke. And which implies, that God could, if it had pleased him, have made us enjoy the whole space of our life at once; For that were to make time past, present and to come, to exist alltogeather, which, I think, every wise man will judge to be impossible: Yet this case being put; how were it possible to the contrary, but that we must needs spend it all at once? For like as the space of life of 60. yeares must necessarily be spent in 60. yeares: So if we had all this space togeather in one day, or one yeare, we wust needes spend it togeather in the space of a day, or a yeare: In a word, sith this cannot be true of our essentiall being, which we have all at once undoubtedly; nor of our accidentall being; for that cannot be properly accoumpted our being; it remaynes to be understood onely of the continuance of our being: And to desire to have all this at once, is to desire to have at 7. yeares, as much age as others at 60: But no man de­sires this, though lately we heare, that after the surrendring of Rochel, maydens, by reason of the famine there during the Seige, of 16. yeares old were found to looke like women of an 100 yeares old. We rather desire in old-age to be young, like unto Moses who being an 100. and 20. his eye was not dimne, nor his naturall strength abated. Yet your conceit is manifestly impossible; for it proceeds not of having the qua­lities of age in youth, but the very continuance, which is as much as to say, at seven yeares of age to be as old as a man of 60. which no man desires, neither is it possible for God to effect.

This piercing of time, or reduction of many yeares into a small space being as utterly impossible as the penetration of dimension in magnitude, if not much more.

[Page 160] Mens stocks may be spent in one yeare upon as much plea­sure as another may be taking in seven yeares: but the conti­nuance of space or time to come, can neyther be taken before the time, nor spent.

2. In the next Section you are more popular; I doe not say more true: For you give me no cause to say so.

For first, in my Judgement, it is a manifest untruth to say, that time is a participation of eternity: For as immensity is to place or magnitude, so is eternity unto time: But place or mag­nitude is no participation of immensity, therfore allso time is no participation of eternity.

And like as Gods immensity is without extension, & ther­fore quite of a different nature from magnitudine corporall; So his eternity is without succession; and therfore of a quite different nature from duration corporall.

And whereas you say, that He should desine the severall bran­ches of time most exactly, that could number or decipher that seve­rall actuations, draughts, or replenishments, which are derived from the infinite founteyne of life and being, to fill the capacities or satiate the internall desires of things temporall; Here agayne you slip back to the transcendentall notions, farre above, not on­ly common sense, but all sobriety of conceit.

You tell us of actuations, draughts, and replenishments derived from the founteyne of life to fill capacities, and internall de­sires; all which togeather with the severall branches of time you speake of, and theyr references to the actuations after mentioned, are so many hobgoblins unto me: what are the parts of time, I seeme to understand, time past, time present, and time to come, but what the Severall branches are, I know not.

The founteyne of life is it, that which brings natures pos­sible into act of being? But how hereby he can be sayd to sa­tiate theyr internall desirs, I comprehend not: For while a thing is only possible, [...]t neyther hath, nor can enterteyne any desire of being. Perhaps you may say, that when things are, they may desire continuance: And it is the founteyne of life, that as he made all things, so he doth perpetuate them so long [Page 161] as he thinks good. But what mysterie, the deciphering of this actuation or perpetuation doth conteyne, so avaylable to the definition of the severall of time, I therefore know not, because you have not vouchsafed the enucliation hereof unto your Reader.

I find no sense in that which followeth, as when you say the motion of the Heavens is more uniforme then time (which you call the duration of things temporall): For every part of time is still uniforme, and that in such sort as it impossible to be otherwise; be the motion never so deficient in uniformity. As an houre is still the same, whether motions herein be swift or slow, or both swift and flow (as such different motions may be in the same time without all question) and that accor­ding to all variety; yea though one and the same motion, I meane of one and the same subject be partly swifter, partly slower, and that in all variety of degrees.

So is the moneth, so is the yeare most uniforme, taking it to consist of how many dayes and howres soever you will: I grant things in time may dure more or lesse; but time it selfe admitts no contraction or dilatation; as for example, a daye cannot be contracted into the space of an houre; nor an houre cannot be dilated into the space of a day; but the motion of a day may be contracted and reduced within the space of an houre; that is, a thing may move as fast in an houre as it doth in a day, I have heard of a Pope, that when his countrey men presuming of his omnipotency, entreated they might have two sommers in a yeare, made answere as Elias did to Elisha, that he had asked a very hard thing; yet it might be ob­teyned by them upon a condition: And when they being ea­ger to obteyne what they desired, shewed theyr willingnes to accept of any condition; Hereupon the Pope told them, that upon condition to accompt 24. monthes to theyr yeare, they should have two sommers every yeare: This was a cunning trick to fill his countrey mens mouthes with empty spoones: He was no more able to gratifie his countrey-men in this, then Mark Anthony was the Athenians, who having imposed a double tribute in one yeare; was told by an Oratour, that if he [Page 162] could give them two Sommers, and two Springs within the compasse of one yeare, he might exact two revenewes, not otherwise.

I know no such double duration or course of time inden­ted, as you speake of, what if a man be sometimes in health, and sometimes in sicknes? the condition of his life, and the quali­tie thereof it diversified, his duration is not; as appeates by this: In the same time wherein one it sick, another is not; one in pleasure, another in payne; it is manifest, the time may be the same, though the condition much different.

These conceits of yours are so popular, that they crosse with­all: In grife or payne to thrust time from us, is but to wish it were shorter then it is; as it is signified Deut. 28. 67. In the morning, thou shalt say, would God it were evening. and at eve­ning thou shalt say, would God it were morning: And yet the meaning hereof in effect, is but this, to wish that our payne were shorter, then would we not care though the time were longer. And so our joy to be continued, we desire not the moments of our time to be fixed.

Still you confound a mans condition with the time, as if time it selfe were sweet or sowre. Let every sober man judg, whether it be not an absurd conceyt to affirme, that men desire to prolong theyr dayes by living the same time over and over againe. As if we could not have the sam [...]oy, with­out living the same time over and over againe: Whereas it is manifest, that in one and the same time, one man may be in case and joy, another in payne and sorrow.

And yet in serrow the fr [...]ction of our existence is never the lesse perfect, then in times of joy, for joy and sorrow are no parts of existence, for existence is found never a whitt the lesse where joy and sorrow have no place: This you confesse in the next place, where you say; that the pleasure of borrowed [...]ife is to the identity of being but at water to the pipe through which it runnes. yet both serve alike to fill up the matter of your dis­course, both the confusson of things different, and the cor­rection of such confusion.

And if the gluts and gushes of pleasure (as you phrasifie it) [Page 163] may be at one time much greater then at another, surely they may continue at one time as well as at another, and therefore for the continuance of pleasure, it is not necessary to desire the stay of time, which is a thing impossible: Yet you pleased your selfe not a litle in your former popular discourse of this nature.

The fruition of pleasure may be as intire as our selfes; and it is no more true, that they are begotten and die in every mo­ment, then it is true of us, that we are begotten & die in every moment: For this scrupulous hicetie ariseth from no other ground, then the being measured with time, theyr duration is partly past, partly future, and but a moment present: And judge whether this conceit of but a moment present, be not a vayne conceit: For I pray, what is that which followes this present moment immediately? Is it a moment only, or no? if not a moment onely, what is become of your conceit? If a moment only, will it not followe, that time consisteth of no­thing but moments? And you may as well say, that magnitude consists of nothing but points, which were indeed, to consist of nothing.

We truly say, this daye is present; this month is present; this yeare is present, like as time is sayd to be present, to witt, by way of succession of parts, which parts are not moments succeeding one another, but times Homogeneall, though ac­cording to reason divisible in infinitum, as all things conti­nuall are.

3. How the Angells doe accoumpt the continuation of theyr duration, I know not; but surely we have no better meanes to accoumpt theyr duration past, then by the making of the World, and the number of yearely revolutions of the Heavens, that have bene since. But because we believe, that God could have made Angells, & no visible World; yea and made the Heavens without moving of them; in which case yet I doubt not but their duration, & continuance thereof should be knowne to themselfes, but by what meanes I know hor.

The Learned doe distinguish of the duration of Angells, [Page 164] from the duration of things materiall; & so accordingly their measures; making time to be the measure of the duration of the one; and even of the other: Yet I have no cause to think that theyr duration is a participation of eternity more then time: And like as theyr magnitude spirituall is no participa­tion of immensity; so neyther is theyr duration any participa­tion of eternity.

They are creatures as well as we, though no mortall crea­tures, and have theyr beginning as well as we; and the time shall come, when we shall be [...] even as the Angells themselfes, and continue as long as they, yet never atteyne to Luk. 20. any eternity of being, though our being shall never have end: But seing both theyrs, and ours had a beginning; therefore it is impossible that it should ever grow to be eternall.

I see no reason why Angells should not be sayd to watch for opportunities of time as well as we.

The Divell I am sure is still compassing the earth. Iob. 1. & goes about like a roaring Lyon seeking whome he may de­voure, and doe they not wayt all opportunities to doe mis­chiefe? And why may not Angells as well wayt all opportu­nities to doe us good, according to the will of theyr and our Heavenly father? Especially considering they are all ministring Spirits sent forth for the good of them that shall be heires of salva­tion. Hebr. 1.

But I confesse, how this wayting or expectance of oppor­tunity should be sayd to feed them, I am as much to seek, as to define how it is sayd to feed us; unles in respect of Hope; & so I see no reason, but that it may be as well sayd to feed them allso; for surely theyr owne glorie is not at full, & they wayte for the enjoying of that; neyther our glorie nor grace is yet at full; & as they rejoyce at the conversion of a sinner; how much more will they rejoyce at our salvation; and why may they not be sayd to wait & hope for that allso, & rejoyce in the hope, as we doe?

If a desire to continue what they are doth argue, they have not all that in present possession which is allotted to their compleat duration; then surely they never shall, nor we ney­ther, [Page 165] no not in the state of glorie, have all in present possession which is allotted to our duration: And what, I pray, is wan­ting? You will say the future duration; but what, I pray, doe we gett by that, when as fast as duration future becomes pre­sent, so fast duration present becomes past? Yet surely by con­tinuing what we are, we loose nothing; & if by this, that our duration passeth in respect of time, we cannot be sayd to loose any thing; then surely by this, that duration commeth on as fast, we cannot be sayd to gayne any thing. If indeed we should grow weaker and weaker, and our strength and pros­perity should passe with time, then we should be loosers by it, not otherwise; So if we should grow stronger and stronger, & our strength or prosperity should encrease with time, then we should be gayners by it, and not otherwise.

Now I hope it is without question; that the glory of Hea­ven shall not encrease, but be at full, at the very first, and so continue without end. And, in my judgement, it is a very poore conceit, to denie that a man hath his whole life togea­ther, because the duration of it, is not all at once.

If we had our life by degrees, one part at one time, and another part at another time, this were a manifest imperfe­ction; but having all of it togeather, to conceave that the duration & continuance hereof longer & longer is an imper­fection, is a very wild conceit in my judgement: This were to cast us upon the deniall of Gods continuance; For like as our time being upon supposition of 60. yeares, if we should have all of it, within an houre, it should end at an houres end; so likewise, if God should have his continuance all at once, it should end all at once.

But we say, that the Divine essence as it is without begin­ning, so it is without end: and nothing past with him, nor no­thing to come to him, as it is with all creatures, which are sub­ject to motion in some kind or other: if not of corruption, yet of perfection, at least capable of it: if no such thing were, yet as they come from nothing, so they might returne to no­thing: But that God, as he gave them theyr being, so he con­tinueth it. As for God he receaveth not his being from any­thing, [Page 166] no not from himselfe: But is most necessary to exist, and most necessary to continue, without loosing of ought that is in himselfe, no not so much as a thought; nor receaving any thing into himselfe, no not so much as a new thought, or a new affection: All which, and changes in respect thereof are incident unto Angells, though not so much as unto us; who allso have materiall motions, as locall, and alteration, & that tending to corruption.

In a word, as mans existence is as it were an accident to his essence; because the nature of a man is only of it selfe passive­ly possible to exist, and God can give existence to such a na­ture, or make the humane nature to exist, as he hath done; so likewise to Angelicall natures, existence is but an accident.

And as existence is an accident to such essences according to our conceit of them; so is continuance an accident to such existences. In which respect every day and houre, both man and Angell may be sayd to receave a new accident, which be­fore they had not.

But it is quite otherwise with God; For as his existence is all one with his essence; (because it is absolutely impossible his essence should not exist:) so his continuance is no accident to his existence: because it is necessary that God should be, & so be, as to be without beginning and without end: And ther­fore though our continuance be new to us, as being an acci­dent unto us, and wrought by motions; yet Gods continuance is no accident unto him; For it is impossible, he should not continue, who is of necessary being: But of this, and of the indivisible nature of Gods continuance more hereafter.

I willingly confesse, that because Angells were made of nothing, therefore theyr continuance is meerly at the pleasure of God, and have parts divisible, in regard that God can set an end to them, whensoever it pleaseth him.

But I know no cause to denie, that they enjoy an entire self-fruition; For though they have not all theyr continuance at once, yet seing theyr continuance is no part of their essence, which is a thing indivisible, I see no reason why they should be denied, entirely to enjoy themselfes.

[Page 167] Man growes to perfection in parts integrall, though not in parts essentiall, which perfection of parts integrall, as it daily groweth, so it makes him daily more fitt to performe the of­fices of nature, and duties of his calling; and so may be sayd, not to enjoy himselfe intirely (according to that perfection) which belongeth unto him but by degrees: But it is not so with Angells; yet may they acquire something unto themselfes accidentally, which before they had not.

God can acquire nothing: His duration ('tis true) is indi­visible; For there is no prius nor posterius therein; For he is subject to no kind or manner of motion.

I doe not like the manner of your justifying this indivisi­bility of Duration in God: as when you say, he cannot gayne ought to day, which yesterday he had not; or loose to daye, what yesterday he had: For this, in my judgement, is incident to glorified creatures: For shall not the glorious condition of men and Angells be at full without gayning any new or loo­sing any old? Yet no doubt, theyr duration notwithstanding shalbe divisible; God is not.

Perhaps you will say, they loose the former dayes existence, and gayne the following dayes existence: And so we doe much more properly in this world, but without impedi­ment to the same-nes of our existence: For to loose the for­mer dayes existence, and gayne the following dayes existence, is but to loose our coexistence with the former day, and gayne a coexistence with the day following: Now this is no impedi­ment to the same-nes of existence in duration; which I prove thus: It is incident to God, yet is he still the same in duration: And that 'tis incident to God, I prove thus; God himselfe was yesterday coexistent to yesterday, and now he is not; for if he were, then yesterday should now exist, which is not only untrue, but impossible to be true, for then time past should be present: And the reason why this is no impeachment to the most perfect same [...]nes in duration is manifest; for to coexist with some thing yesterday, and not to day, may arise from no variablenes from within, but only from variablenes in some­thing from without: As, namely, therefore God doth not [Page 168] coexist to day, with many things to day, with which he did coexist yesterday, is not because of any change in God, but by reason of change in these outward things, which had a being yesterday, but to day have not.

In that which followes you manifestly betray your cause: For that God hath such fulnes of joy and sweetnes of life, that nothing can be added thereto in joy or sweetnes; doth no way inferre, that therefore, the duration hereof cannot be ad­ded unto him, and the continuance thereof: Your compari­son utterly overthrowes you: For as in a bodie infinite, though there cannot be a middle nor extreame; yet there are parts without parts by waye of extension; So in infinite life, though it hath, no extremes, as being without beginning and without end, yet this hinders not but that it may have parts going before, and parts comming after by way of succession.

And whereas you say, that Natures capable of these differen­ces have alwayes the one accomplished by the other, is either with­out sense; as if you meane it of the parts of time, as if one were accomplished by the other; For how I pray you, is time past or present accomplished by that which is to come, or that which is present or to come accomplished by that which is past: Or if in respect of natures subject to time, which are perfected by time, or rather in the course of time; thus, as it is sometimes true, so sometimes it is notoriously false: For as there is a time of growth in perfection, so it is wel knowne that there is a time of diminution, & corruption also; And, I pray you, how doth a mans dotage accomplish him either in soule or bodie? And in the Kingdome of Heaven, what ac­complishment by time, when our glorious condition shalbe as full and perfect at the first, as in the progresse, for what space imaginable soever.

As for this state, 'tis well knowne, that as there is a time of repayring and encreasing, so there is a time of impayring and decaying: And though perfection cannot be perfected, yet it may be continued; so it is in man, so it is in God; but by ne­cessity of nature continued in God; by the pleasure of his gracious will continued in the creature: And therefore though [Page 169] his essence being infinite excludes such a continuance as is wrought by reiterated acts; yet it excludes not such a conti­nuance as is by necessity of nature, but rather includes it, it being of the nature of life infinite to be as with beginning, so also without end: Even created Angells and Saints shall have no want of continuance in the Kingdome of Heaven; much lesse God the Author of theyr continuance, more then of his owne; Yet shall he continue and that by necessity of nature, both to the worlds end, and after that without end. Yet nothing in him is to come to him; nor nothing from without can come to him; For who should give it him? But the duration both of men and Angells is maynteyned unto them by the will and pleasure of God: And herein consists the true difference betweene the duration of creatures and the Duration of God; For as for prius & posterius, past, and to come, this hath his foundation onely in respect of motion, And therefore time is commonly not reputed a fitt measure for the essences of things, but only for individuall substances: and these only generables, not of substances merely spirituall, as you may remember Plotinus hath taught you. What doe you meane by the degrees or acts of life, an infinitie whereof you place in God? We commonly accoumpt three sorts of life, and no more, to witt, vegetative, sencitive, and rationall; Of an infinitie I never hard before in this kind: And as for the degrees of these, I doubt not but there may be degrees in any; as in each kind some may be more quick and vivacious then other. But none of these kinds, much lesse the degrees of thē ar found in God formally, but iminently: And as for the plura­lity in respect of such as are decreed by him, the case is cleare, that they are infinitely farre of from infinitie; for undoub­tedly the things decreed by God are but finite. I doe not agree with you to conceave God to be everlasting in referēce to perpetuity of succession; for that kind of everlastingnes is a parte past: But eternity cheifely consists in being ever­lasting a parte ante, and before there was any succession at all.

But here, by the waye, you give me an hint of what you [Page 170] make your foundation of many wild discourses; and for which I have looked all along; And not till now you have bolted it out, as where you say, Gods interminate existence is present to the whole and every part of succession: which long agoe hath bene discovered to be a very vayne conceit, though em­braced by as great a Schoolman as Aquinas himselfe; who hereupon builds his opinion of the presence of all things in Gods eternity: And his opinion herein is built upon a very plausible comparison, and devised correspondencie between Gods immensity and eternitie, for like as God by virtue of his immensity doth fill all places, and should coexist with every part of magnitude, although, upon supposition, it were infi­nite: In like sort God by reason of his eternity should fill all times, and coexist with all times, and all things that hereafter shall exist in time.

But the fallacie of this comparison, and the error of this assertion hath now long agoe bene discovered by Ioannes Scotus: It is true indeed, God must needs coexist with all 1. Sect: dist: 79. q. 1. places. and all things in place; but not untill the place it selfe▪ and the things therein doe exist: As if the world were twice at bigge as it is, God should coexist in every part of it; But yet God doth not coexist with any such, because, as yet there is not any such to coexist with him: In like sort God shall coexist with all times, and all things existing in all Times; but when? Not till these times and the things therein shalbe found to exist: and as they shalbe found to exist, so shall God coexist with them: Now all Times, and all things conteyned in all times doe not exist but by waye of succession, (magnitudes exist otherwise, even all togeather) and in like sort God shall coexist with them, to witt, by waye of succession: Nor that Gods existence is or shalbe by way of succession; (for nothing in God is found that succeeds any thing in God) But because both times, and creatures in times doe exist by way of succes­sion, in respect of whose succession and not of any succession in God, God is denominated, and that properly enough, to coexist with them by way of succession, in as much as they exist, and consequently coexist with him by way of succes­sion: [Page 171] Like as a pole fixed in a river doth coexist with divers parts of the streame by way of succession; not that any mo­tion or succession is found in the pole, but only in the parts of the streame, that succeed in theyr course one after another: ve­lut unda supervenit und [...]: And albeit Alvarez hath taken great paynes and shewed great witt in justifying the opinion of A­quinas in this (yet no otherwise then upon the supposition of the predetermination of Gods will) and in dissolving the ar­guments which Scotus brought against it; and that in such so [...]t, that in so spinous of matter I have sometimes thought it a matter very difficult to find out a cleare solution of his rea­sons; yet (I thanck God) as it was the first worke I undertook after I left the university, before ever I thought of dealing with Arminius, so I seeme to have fully satisfied my selfe there­in; and am reasonably persuaded of abilitie to give satisfa­ction, on that point, to others also.

But to proceed along with you; In the next place you tell us, that God considered in himself, He is every way indivisibly in­finite and interminable; not only, because he had no beginning, nor shall have ending: Here your attentive reader would expect what is answerable to this not only, and when you come in with but also; but here he must hold his breath till you have dispatched your parenthesis; and if he hold his breath till you come to make up this your imperfect sentence, he is likely never to draw it againe: Againe when you say, God is indivisi­bly infinite and interminable, considered in himselfe; you leave your Reader to suspect that your opinion is, that God consi­dered not in himselfe, is not indivisibly infinite and intermi­nable, and the meaning thereof I am yet to seeke.

But consider we what you insert in your parenthesis; For so might time or motion be held interminable, could the heavens have bene created from everlasting: So they might, as much as to say, as well as that of whome but e [...]st you spake, and that was of none but God: But God, you sayd was indivisibly infinite, and interminable, not terminable: Wherein in making so in­congruous a comparison, whether you had forgott your selfe, or streyned to be delivered of some involved conceyt, the [Page 172] congruity whereof must be farre fett, and deare bought, be­fore a man can meet with it, I know not he obvious mea­ning which your text aymes at, seemes to be this; God is infinite and interminable, not only, because he is without beginning and without end; for so the heavens should be infinite and interminable, put case they were created from everlasting, but in an other respect also; which respect or cause you forgett to expresse, to per­fect the sentence of yours, which is otherwise very imperfect; Yet in this waye of interpretation of your text, there are faults enough; for to make the heavens like unto God in this, you should putt the case, not only of being created from everlas­ting; but also of being to be continued without end, other­wise they cannot be like unto God both as he is without be­ginning, and also as he is without end: Secondly though the case were thus put, yet is it incongruous enough; for albeit herein they should be like unto God in being without begin­ning, and without end: Yet herein they should be nothing like unto God in being indivisibly infinite, and interminable; whereof notwithstanding proceeds your comparison: we acknowledge a difference in this, & that a mighty one, though the heavens had bene created from everlasting, &c. not be­cause all Gods continuance to come is present, as you devise; but because Gods duration and continuance is impossible to be devided, the continuance of a creature is not: For God can make the continuance of any creature to cease this daye and houre; but it is impossible Gods continuance should cease; for he is of necessary being: As for the conceyt of prius & posterius in Gods duration; that is a sory conceyt, for that is to be found no where, but where there is some motion or other, spirituall or corporall, eyther in place, or alteration in quality, or augmentation or dimination in quantity, or ge­neration and corruption: And you may remember that your excellent Mr. Plotinus, whome you so much magnifie, confines his discourse of time to things generable, as if he meant the Angells were free from such a division of duration as is made by prius and posterius; How much more God? But of such a division as I speake; the Angells cannot be free from it being [Page 173] creatures; but only God, who is ens necessarium, of neces­sary being; And therefore his continuance or duration is im­possible to be divided from his continuance to morrow, be­cause it is absolutely impossible, that it should ever cease: and therfore whensoever time and place, and things conteyned in them shall exist, & as long soever as they shall exist, God must necessarily coexist with them, and it is impossible it should be otherwise: But before time and place had course, though God did exist, yet did he not coexist with them; So likewise before time to come doth exist, and the things that are to exist therein, it is impossible that God should coexist with them.

But whereas you say in your parenthesis, that had the Hea­vens bene everlasting, theyr revolutions neverthelesse should have bene truly numerable, and therefore terminable; It is true, I con­fesse, of some of them, as 10. 40. 60. 100. 1000. &c. but im­possible that all should; For had the Heavens bene everlas­ting, their motions undoubtedly had bene innumerable, ney­ther could we ever come to the first number while we could.

Secondly you say all things conteyned in their circuit should have gotten somewhat which before they had not, and this something, you say is eyther addition of duration, or (which is all one) continuance of theyr first existence, or new acts of life, or sence, or reason.

All very odd, and litle or nothing congruous to things gotten by motion, without which nothing at all is gotten: Now every poore Schollar knowes what is gotten by mo­tion; For if it be motion locall, a new site is gotten; If alte­ration, a new quality, if augmentation or diminution, a new quantity; If generation & corruption, the matter getts a new substantiall forme; Now where none of these are gotten, there is no addition of any new thing: And it is well knowne, that the Divine Essence is capable of none of these, neyther of new place; nor new quality, not new quantity, nor new forme substantiall; Allbeit he continueth for ever, and con­sequently there can be nether prius nor posterius to be divided in God: But yet because you enterteyne a wild conceit of Gods eternity indivisible; you would have his duration so, [Page 174] ind visible; as if both the time past, and the time to come were drawne togeather within an instant: And therefore, you say, that all other things have eyther addition of duration, or con­tinuance of existence, or some new acts of life, or sense, or reason; the last whereof is only congruous & agreing with the nature of that motion which is called alteration; as the two last and the first, may have reference allso to generation, or augmentation; from all which the case is cleere that God is free, notwithstanding that his continuance which is to come be not sayd, to be present, at which wild conceit and the justi­fication thereof you seeme to ayme: But as for the two first, which yet you make to be all one, they have no place of con­sideration amonge the termes that are acquired by motion: And dare you denie, that God hath continuance of existence or duration? But you will say no new duration is added unto God: Who sayth it is! And what new duration is added unto man by his continuance? God may add something unto him if it please him; but if he continue him in statu quo, what ad­dition, I pray? You will say duration: I demand; whether naturally or supernaturally? if supernaturally, then God doth a new create it; But God hath long agoe ceased from crea­tion: againe then not only every day, and houre, but every minute allso, and every part of a minute God should creare a new duration: If naturally, then by motion corporall, or spi­rituall; Now I pray devise, if you can, what motion that is whereby duration is procured; Yet I confesse, thus farre God may be sayd to add duration; in as much as he will not sett an end to it, though he can.

But as for the duration of God, it is impossible, that should have any end.

But some may say, If Gods future existence be not present, when it is present, something is added to Gods former dura­tion; As for example, when tomorrow comes God is a daye older, then he was: I answer, nothing growes older by ac­cesse of time, but that which tooke it being eyther with time, or in processe of time; So did not God.

Secondly, I answer, Gods future existence is nothing els, [Page 175] but his coexistence with time to come, or with things which shallbe in time to come; which is an externall denomination, arising from the futurition of things to come: In any other sense it is false to say that God hath any future existence, or past existence.

But his coexistence with time or things in time may be sayd to be past, or to come, as well as present; and in this sense is the Scripture phrase to be understood, when it is sayd that God is he which is, which was, and which is to come: That is, when this World, and Angels were fifst made, then he was, that is, he did coexist with them, and so all along unto this day present; And so shall exist all along with all creatures & times that are to come: Now this existence of God, more properly to be called his coexistence is partly past, partly present, part­ly to come; not in respect of Gods existence, (who hath ney­ther motion nor shadow of change, & consequently nothing in him is found to be past or to come) but in respect of the existence of creatures which is partly past, partly present, and partly to come.

Henceforth you acquaint us with certeyne definitions of Eternity; The first is out of Boetius, which you commend a­bove that which followes out of Aquinas, belike it fitts your turne better in your conceits, then that other of Aquinas; and therefore deserving well at your hands you bestow upon it that preferment which you think good; Well let us consider it: Aeternity (then in Boetius accoumpt) is the entire or totall possession of interminable life, all at once, or togeather.

The scope you ayme at, is to prove that in Gods eternall being there is no succession; Et quis Herculem vituperat? who ever sayd there was? In man the very life vegetable, sensitive and rationall growes more and more perfect by degrees: No such motion, no not to perfection, is to be found in God; In Angells there may be a succession of thoughts & of affections: no such succession is to be found in God.

Yet doth he and you allso maynteyne Gods life to be inter­minable, that is, of such a continuance as is without end, as well as without succession.

[Page 176] But you shall never be able to prove herehence, that Gods existence is present to every part of succession of other things, as namely, both to that which is past, and allso to that which is to come.

Aquinas definition though very artificiall you grant, yet doth not, you say, imprint so lively a character and notion of the everliving God his infinite happines, as the definition gi­von by Boetius doth: Aeternitas est duratio manens, uniformis, sine principio & fine, mensurâ carens.

This lettice fitts not your lips like to the former; because, belike you cannot find by this, that time past & future should be present unto God; as you conceave to find by the former; but you will never be able to make it good.

4. Yet Plotin is your Oracle in Philosophy beyond all, who gives, as you say, a more deepe apprehension of it in fewer termes, saying Aeternitas est vita infinita, which you render thus, Eternity is infinitie of life: Like as if when man is defined to be a reasonable creature, you should render it thus, A man is the reasonablenes of a creature.

We all grant, nothing in God is past, of that which belongs to God by denomination from within, nothing is to come. Only things without God are such as they may be both past, present, and to come, successively. I doe not mislike that sayinge of Plotius, to witt that when we say God is allwayes, we breede in our mindes a wandring imagination of pluralitie or divisibility of duration. But yet so long as we understand Gods duration though indivisible yet equivalent to divisible succession in things without, there is no errour, in which res­pect we may justly say with scripture God was, and is, and is to come, in as much as he was coexistent with things past, when they were existent, is coexistent to things present shall be coexistent to thinges to come.

And not to say, as you would have us, that God is now coexistent to things past, and to things to come as well as to things present. There is nothing hitherto alleaged out of Boetius or Plotin, that can justifie this; no more then in the definition of eternitie made by Aquinas; yet Aquinas had a [Page 177] conceyte of the existence of all thinges both past and to come in Gods eternitie, not only as they are knowne: For that is to exist rather in Gods knowledge then in his eternitie, and that is esse secundum quid, and in esse cognito only, it is not to exist simplicitur, absolutely. I doe not dislike your notification of eternitie, to be that which allwayes is and cannot cease to be, save that I finde no vertue in the word to be extended to this latter clause; allthoughe I conceave, that whatsoever all­wayes is the same, dothe necessarily imply such a nature, as cannot cease to be.

And therfore the Apostle takes eternall power and Godhead to be termes equivalent. You say that in true Philosophicall contemplation it is not onething truly to be & allwayes to be. There is a typographicall errour in this, if I be not deceaved; and the sentence should runne thus, It is but one thing truly to be and allwayes to be. This I take to be your meaninge, but I ac­knowledge no truthe in it. For if this were true, then all crea­tures should have no true beinge; for certenly they are not allwayes.

And if they have no true beinge, then they have no being at all, as afterwards yourselfe acknowledge this manner of consequence to be good. And albeit to have a being and to have a true being be all one, yet hence it followes not, that tru­ly to be and allwayes to be is all one. I grant that to be all­wayes, without beginninge and without ende, dothe inferre an independent beinge. But even true beings may be depen­dent; otherwise the beings of Angells and men made after the image of God were no true beings. For undoubtedly theyr beings are dependent beings.

Another use of the woord allwayes is to note (as you say,) the interminable, indistiuguishable, and indivisible power, which needs nothing besides that which it actually & for the present hath. But I see no congruity in the woord alwayes to signify all this. And first I wonder what you meane to leape from Gods life and power; seing you propose the infinity of each, as severall branches of Gods infinity to be discoursed on a part, Say then it denotes his interminable and indivisible being or dura­tion: [Page 178] yet I cannot like this neyther.

For thoughe the terme allwayes, dothe congruously de­note his interminable beinge, to witt, without beginning and without ende: Yet I see not howe it can note his indivisible beinge. I grant this latter may be inferred out of the for­mer, for as much as that which is allwayes, cannot be produ­ced, but must be of necessary beinge and consequently indivi­sible in such sort, as that the duration of it to day, cannot be divided from the duration therof to morrowe: for then it shoulde cease to be, which is impossible, seinge it is presuppo­sed to be of necessary beinge. We deny not, but God hathe all that belongs to his divine nature; thoughe not for the rea­son you give to witt, because he truly is. For that were to inferre, that nothing besides God h [...]he any true beinge, which were to deny the being of all creatures.

The divine nature conteynes a totalitie of increated enti­tie (if a totalitie may be imagined of that which hathe no parts.) As for created entitie, that is not to be found in God at all but only from God. All creatures may have neede of some thing els then continuance, as namely theyr natures being capable of greater perfection; then yet they have attey­ned unto. As for continuance, they have only thus farre neede therof, because otherwise they shall cease to be; and so likewise God himself, if he should not continue, he should cease to be. Only here is the difference. The creature may be sayde properly to neede continuance, because he depends upon the free will and pleasure of another, for the obteyning of it, to witt, upon the will of God.

But God depends upon no other for the obteyninge of his continuance; no nor upon his owne will neyther.

And therfore he cannot be sayde to neede continuance, but rather that he must needes be, because he is not ens contingens, but ens necessarium, of no contingent, but of necessary beinge. By your leave, Eternity conteynes more, then to signify the having of whatsoever is expedient to be had.

For undoubtedly, it signifies allso the continuance of all that without beginninge, and without ende.

[Page 179] But you after your manner, seeme under these [...]rmes what­soever is expedient to be had, to include and comprehend duration future, as if duration future were allready present unto God; which is a groundles conceyte, arising merely from a superficiall interpretation of the nature of eternitie, which is commonly called an instant of duration.

[...] It is true, the duration of God is not to come; For it is present, and incapable of succession as being subject to no manner of mutation.

But there is a duration of time, and of things measured by time to come; which future duration is no way present to God, in respect of his coexistence with it.

It is most true, and proper enough to say with Scripture phrase, that God is he which was, & is, & is to come: which phrase of specche implyes neyther change, nor succession in God, but only in things without God.

Agayne, wisedome, power, and goodnes are expedient to concurre in the supreame essence: But this eternitie compre­hends not, but only the continuance of all these without be­ginninge, without ende.

That a thing looseth so much of perfection, as it wants of duration, is a wilde assertion; unles under perfection, you comprehend duration; and then your proposition is identi­call, and no more then to say, that a thing looseth so much of duration, as it wants of duration.

Otherwise I say it is manifestly untrue, not only because Aristotle was bold to say that, Bonum non ideo melius quia diu­turnius; good is not therfore better because the more lasting, or everlasting, but allso, because by the same reason of yours it would followe that a Crowe, an Hart, and a Raven were much more perfect then a Man; if it be true as some write, that a Crowe lives three times as long as a Man, an Hart three times as long as a Crowe, and a Raven three times as long as an Hart.

Sure we are the least starre hathe continued from the begin­ninge of the World.

[...]. I muse not a litle to see Platonicall and Plotinicall Phi­losophy, [Page 180] so much advanced by an Oxonian: as if Aristotles learning left Logicians perplext in a point of sophistry, and only Plotinicall Philosophy would expedite them. And lookinge backe to what you have discoursed of, out of Ploti­nus, if so be I might light on that parcell of subtiltie suit­able to this ende you speake of, I professe, that as I finde no thing in that which you have alleaged out of Plotinus, that is not vulgar, nothing woorthy of that commendation which you besto we upon him, (therby reflectinge no small commen­dation upon your owne peculiar studies in Plotinus:) so with­all, I cannot imagine what piece of witt that is, the ignorance wherof dothe perplexe eyther any other better Logician, or my selfe eyther, in the resolution of that question, which you propose.

Neyther doe you accommodate any sentence of Plotinus herunto, that might serve as a key to open that locke, which as you say, is so hard to be opened, but leave your Reader at randon, to pore after it. But whether it be Plotinus his re­solution or your owne, let us consider it.

And first the question proposed is, Whether Socrates in the instant of his dissolution or corruption, be a man or corps, or bothe. To be both (you say) implyes contradiction, and yet you say, there is as much reason, that in this instant he should be both as eyther. Thus have we the question and that argued in part. Now followeth your resolution, as it were our of Plotinus, though you alleage no crumme of any sentence of his for it. Now I observe that your solution, thoughe you woulde have it seeme to be but one, yet indeede it is diverse; the one no­thing to the purpose, the other something to the purpose, but utterly overthrowing your former assertion, as whē you sayde, There is as much reason he should be both as eyther. The third overthrowinge the very foundation of the question it selfe, in effect professing that it proceedes from a false ground or sup­position.

A manifest evidence that you are still to seeke howe to sa­tisfie your selfe herin, or others in this unproffitable specula­tion.

[Page 181] And if this be to be endoctrinated by Plotinus, make you as much as you will with your knowledge of Plotinus his Phi­losophy, I shall have no great cause to complayne of my igno­rance therin.

Your first resolution is, that he was a man and shallbe a corps. This I say, is nothing to the question. For the question pro­posed is, not what he was, or what he shallbe, but what he is in the instant of his dissolution.

In the next place you seeme to speake more to the pur­pose, when you say that in the instant of his dissolution, he ceaseth to be a man, and beginnes to be a corpse. But even this allso, is not fully to the purpose. For the question is not, what he beginnes to be, or what he ceaseth to be, in that instant, but what he is.

Yet because substantiall formes have no degrees as acci­dentall formes have, and therfore cease to be, or beginne to be all at once; therfore I take your answere at the best to be this; that in the instant of his dissolution, he is a corps, and not a man, which is directly contrary unto that which for­merly you affirmed sayinge, There was as much reason why he should in this instant be both, as eyther.

Your third resolution different from both the former is this: that the space of dissolution is not in an instant, as the question supposed, but a space of time consisting of parts, which is not to answeare the question, but utterly to over­throwe it; and withall it openeth a way to a newe difficulty; for in this case it may well be demanded, what portion of this divisible time shall be allowed to the being of a man, and what to the being of a corps; and take heede least you ascribe one instant to the last of the first forme, and another instant to the beginninge of the succeeding of the second forme.

For seing two instants cannot be immediate, it will fol­lowe herhence that materia prima, shall some space of time ac­tually exist without any forme.

As for my selfe, I never [...]ept upon Plotinus his Parnassus, nor was ever acquainted with his muses. Nay, I have bene so long time departed out of the universitie, and while I was [Page 182] there so long remooved from these kinde of studies, that I may well be sayde to have forgotten Aristole. Nun [...] mihi sunt oblita sophis [...]ata. Yet will I adventure to compare the remnants of my old Peripateticke store with your atchieve­ments out of Plotinus.

I say then, the resolution of this question depends upon the resolution of a more generall question.

And that is concerninge the beginninge and ceasing of forme, now the rules therof most receaved as I remember, are these. The formes we speake of are, eyther permanent, or successive. Formes permanent beginne per primum sui esse, by the first instant of theyr beinge; desi [...]unt per primum sui non esse, they cease to be, by the first instant of theyr not beinge.

In such sort as to say, that immediately before such an in­stant they were not, but at such an instant, and in the time fol­lowing they were. Agayne, touching theyr endinge, you may say, Immediately before such an instant they were; in and after such an instant, they were not.

As for formes successive, such as are time and motion, they are sayde to beginne per ultimum sui non esse; by the last in­stant of theyr not beinge; and to ende per primum sui non esse, by the first instant of theyr not beinge.

That is, at such an instant motion (speaking of motion pro­perly as it includes succession) was not: for it cannot be in an instant but immediately after it was.

Agayne touching the ending of motion we may say, at such an instant motion was not, but immediately before, it was. And accordingly, to the question proposed, I answeare; Cor­ruption or dissolution is taken eyther in a complicate signifi­cation, comprehending the whole alteration that went before the ceasing of the forme, and then all that while, undoubted­ly Socrates was a man, and not a carcase.

But if only for the desinency or ceasing of the forme hu­mane. I say, in that instant, wherin he is sayde to desinere or cease (it being the first instant of his not being, as before hathe bene shewed, to be the manner of desinence or ceasinge of all [Page 183] forms permanent) he is a corps; but immediately before he was a man.

In the next place you tell us of Plotins conclusion, namely, That while we seeke to sit that which truly is with any portion of quantity, the life of it being thus divided by us, looseth its indivisi­ble nature.

First, I like not that assertion, whether it be yours alone or derived from Plotin, in sayinge, that God alone truly is.

I well knowe our beinge is of a quite different nature from Gods being: but to deny that we creatures have a true beinge, is as good as to deny that we have any being at all.

Secondly, I knowe no man; that goethe about to fitt Gods nature, with any proportion of quantitie.

Yet we maynteyne, he was coexistent with all thinges past, is coexistent with all thinges present, shall be coexistent with all thinges that are to come in their order, & that without all, divisibility, or succession in himselfe: his coexistence after the manner forementioned, implying only divisibilitie and suc­cession in the creatures.

Of time, you say, no part truly is but the present.

So then the present time, at least truly is. Yet but a litle before and often hertofore you have professed, that nothing but God truly is.

Now give me leave to maynteyne some paradoxes, as well as you.

I say, all time truly is, and is present, as well as that which you accoumpt to be only present.

For how dothe this present houre exist but by succession of parts.

If you accoumpt nothing present but an instant; it is well knowne, that an instant deserves no more to be accoumpted time, then a point deserves to be accoumpted magnitude.

But if you speake of time properly, it must have parts, which cannot exist together, but only by succession. As for example, this minute of an houre is present but how? only as having a part past, and a part to come.

For this only to exist is to exist by way of succession. In [Page 184] like sort this present houre dothe truly exist; but how [...] as havinge a part past, and a part to come.

So this present yeare dothe truly exist, as having a part past, and a part to come.

In like sort the time of the Gospell, accoumpting from the day of Pent [...]cost, when the H. Ghost came downe upon the Apostles, unto the ende of the World, may as well be sayde truly to exist, namely thus, as having a part past, and a part to come.

So dividing the World into two parts; The old world, from the beginninge of time by creation unto Noahs flood; and the newe World, computed from Noahs flood to the ende of the World: I say the time of this World dothe only exist, as havinge a part past and a part to come.

So the time of the whole World from the beginning to the ende, may be sayde truly to exist, to witt, by way of succession of parts, havinge one part past and another to come. For not the least part of time dothe exist otherwise, to witt, by coexistence of parts, but only by succession of parts.

They who made doubt, whether navigators were to be ac­coumpted amongst the living or amongst the dead, affected more witt then truthe. For if Navigators, undoubtedly, they are livinge and not dead; Indeede after they have sett foorthe, we are uncerteyne what is become of them: and equally as uncerteyne may we be, what is become of our freindes that are travayled unto China by the way of the Continent. But to make doubt whether time consists ra­ther of being then of not being, is a conceyte litle becomming a Philosopher in my judgement, thoughe it may become such a one as enterteynes a vulgar contemplation of thinges succes­sive, and in motion, whether by Sea or land.

I should thinke that sory imagination, is grounded upon conceavinge that nothing in time is but an instant, which if it were true, woulde inferre that time were nothing but a succes­sion of instants.

But were it so; yet surely the shortnes of continuance of any thinge, nothinge hinders the true beinge therof, when [Page 185] it is. A childe of a day olde, hath as true being, as Methu­salch had, who lived till he was, allmost a thousand.

It seemes the sent of Plotinus his subtilties, hathe perfumed all those that have dwelt under his shadowe; and therfore no merveyle if Ficinus commenting upon him, savoureth herof allso. He compares, you say liternitie to a center, and time to the points or extreamities of the line in the circumference all­waye moovinge about the Center, so that if it were an eye it might viewe them all at once.

I doubt not, but ere we depart from this chapter, we shall meete with the Circumference of eternitie as well as with the center of it; but not from Plotinus his text, or Ficinus his Commentaries, but from one that will be bolde to adde a Gemora to theyr Talmud.

For it is fitt the World should profite in subtilties as well as in solid points, and not allwayes to stand at a stay. But a woord of this by the way: Though future times, and future things are all knowne to God, yet not by reason of any exi­stence of theyrs in eternitie, or Gods coexistence with them for the present. For how dothe God at this time coexist with them, which at this time have no existence at all?

Agayne, God lookes not out of himselfe for the know­ledge of any thinge now, more then he did before the World was made.

For surely the making of the World wrought no change in him as touching the manner of his knowledge, with whom there is no variablenes nor shadowe of change. When you take upon you to tell us how Eternitie is indivisible, to witt, by conteyning all the parts or perfections possible of succession in a more eminent manner then can be conteyned in time it selfe. I pray remember, that in like manner you professed, that God did conteyne all entities even the entities of brute beasts; and you expo [...]nded it in this sense, because forsoothe he was able to produce them.

And thus we easily grant God conteynes all perfections of successions, in as much as he can produce them. If so be suc­cession may be coumpted a perfection, wherof but erst you [Page 186] made doubt, whether it had any being at all. Yet we doubt not, but God can produce them; yea so farre forthe as to ex­ceede all that is conteyned in time.

For as much, as he could have made the duration of the World, tenne times more then it is like to be.

I doe not affect to quarrell with Plato his witt; much good doe you with it, and if you please your selfe with such fan­cies, as namely that time is a moovable image of that which is unmooveable; a divisible image of that which is indivisible; a successive representation of that which is without all succes­sion; a modell finite, with beginning and ende of that whic [...] is infinite, without beginning and ende, you shall not displease me.

You have another sophisme or seeming contradiction to unloose or salve by these rarities of curiositie; and that is, how it may be verified, that Petrus in aeternitate aegrotat, & Petrus in aeternitate non aegrotat. If this were spoken of the same time, you say it were contradiction; but being spoken of eternitie, you say it is not, and yet you confesse Eternitie is more indivi­sible, then any time.

Let who will thinke, that you have salved this knott of seeming contradiction, to my understanding you leave it as you finde it. The propositions conteyning a seeming con­tradiction are bothe absurd.

For Peter cannot be sayde to be sicke in eternitie, as in that which is the measure of duration eythe▪ of himselfe, or of his siknes, but only in time, with which time, eternitie, I confesse, is coexistent, but when? not till the time that Peters sicknes dothe exist, nor after it hathe ceased to exist. For coexistence supposethe existence on both sides. And as the existence of the creature is past, present, or to come; so is Gods coexis­tence with it, eyther past, present, or to come; which hathe bothe Scripture & reason to warrant it; whereas your wilde conceytes are warrantable by neither.

6. Materia prima, is ingenerable and incorruptible not because it is no body, but because it is no compound body. But God is ingenerable and incorruptible, because he is no [Page 187] body at all: Therefore better it is to liken him unto the An­gells who are ingenerable and incorruptible, because they are Spirits.

All thinges generable come from matter only as touching their materiall parts, not as touching their formes; neyther can they be sayde so properly to spring from it, as to be com­pounded of it. But from God all things spring in the way of an efficient cause, yea the matter it selfe allso, and that out of nothing.

If matter be most unlike him, in wanting the true unitie of entitie, other things belike have this; And if they have unitie of entitie, it is to be hoped they have true entitie allso, veritie being the propertie of entitie, as well as unitie, and conse­quently they may be sayde to have a true beinge, which you hertofore, & that very often have made proper and peculiar unto God.

I wonder why you make the Creator and essence it selfe to be termes of equall signification; wheras God is not the crea­tor of all things by his essence, but by his freewill rather.

Those things which necessarily belong to God, are usually ascribed unto him, by way of essence, but not such things, as contingently denominate him, arisinge from the libertie and freedome of his will.

God, you say, is the incomprehensible perfection of all things; doe you meane of things create only, or only of things increate, or of bothe? You cannot meane it of things create: For no create perfection is found in God: Nor of increate; For no imperfection at all is founde in essence increate.

The Earthe is not unmooveable: some have conceaved it to moove naturally: Vndoubtedly, it may be mooved, other­wise it were not Corpus naturale; And Earthquakes doe ma­nifest as much.

If it cannot be mooved by the force of Man (yet by prayer of faith, Mounteynes may be remooved, and cast into the Sea), yet it may be mooved questionles by the force of An­gells, at least by the power of God.

Neyther is infinite vigour of vitalitie required to an immo­veable [Page 188] condition in the opinion of greater Clerkes then our selves, as who thinke all Angells to be no way capable of lo­call motion.

Yet you talke of a mobilitie of the Deitie (a prodigious phrase) thoughe you thinke to charme it, by calling it more then infinite, and calling the motion therof a supermotion; and this his mobilitie, as well as his immobility formerly spoken of, you make to proceede from the infinite vigour of his vi­talitie.

Nor dothe eternitie (say you) receave addition from succession infinite; Belike it receaves succession (in your opinion) though no addition therby. For if it receaves no succession at all, what sober man coulde expect, that it should receave addition by it.

At lengthe you come towards that, which I have a long time looked for: Eternitie, you say, is like to a fixed center, because indivisibly immutable, but it is allso as you say, like unto a circle, but you tell us not wherein, nor why.

And as Trismegist did define Gods immensitie, by the si­militude of a Spheare, whose Center was every where, but his Circumference no where.

So you will take upon you to define Gods Eternitie, ney­ther out of Trismeg st, nor out of Plotinus, nor out of Fici­nus, but out of your owne invention to be a Circular duration, whose instants are allwayes, whose terminations or extreamities ne­ver were, never shall be.

We willingly grant, that Gods eternitie is a duration with­out beginninge, and without ende; This is nothing strange, nothing remote from vulgar capacitie.

But to say it is a Circular duration, is such an attempt, and so audacious, as I thinke, it never entered into any sober mans brayne eyther sleeping or wakinge, before it was fancyed by your selfe.

Lets bid farewell to Aristotles Philosophy, and let Platoes Divinitie come in the place of it. Distill Plotinus his Philo­sophy, and Ficinus Commentaries upon Plotins Enneades throughout, and see whether any such Extract can be made, [Page 189] as this Circular duration you dreame of, and commend to the World as some rare notion.

Of Circular motion I have heard and read; But of Circu­lar duration never.

Nay thinges that have circular motion, were never affirmed to have Circular duration. For motion may be from space to space in a round figure, returning thither, where it be­gunne, but duration is neyther round, nor goethe round.

For thoughe the Heavens runne round, yet the time of the Heavens and of the World runnes not round, nor returnes to the period of time from whence it beganne.

Yet is duration successive more fitt to be accoumpted du­ration Circular, then duration constant, which hathe no parts succeedinge.

I holde it to be a notorious untruthe, to say that eternitie coexists to every parcell of time. For to say it coexists with time to come, is to say, that eternitie existethe, and time to come existethe allso, which latter clause is most false. For if it were present, it were not to come.

No time defines eternitie, we say, but rather eternitie sets [...] ende to time.

But we dare not enterteyne so absurd a conceyte as to say, e­ternitie circumscribs time; as if time were some lower spheare, and eternitie an upper spheare, and so time should be a circular duration as well as eternitie.

Your next sentence beginnes to open the mystery, as whe [...] you say, Thoughe the motions of the Heavens should continue with­out ende, yet every period of time shall fall within eternitie, now to­tally existent.

I marke your phrase well, as when you say, It shall fall within eternitie, implyinge that eternitie is beyond it, in respect of time to come; like as it is sayde to be before all time, in respect of time past.

Now to discusse this phrase of yours of falling within eter­nitie: This phrase (I say) here used, is utterly out of his place. For in proper speeche it hathe place only in respect of quanti­tie continuall, outreaching all other thinges we speake of.

[Page 190] Thus all things in the World besids the uttermost Spheare, fall within the uttermost spheare; so that the uttermost spheare doth not only extende so farre as they doe, but beyond them.

Now to say that every period of time falls within eternitie, is to suppose, that eternitie extends beyond it so as to exist beyond it; which is true of all time past. For God did both coexist with it, and dothe continue after it.

And as touching time present, it may be justified in this sense, to fall within eternitie, in respect that Gods continuance is not at an ende with this present, but continueth without ende.

But to imagine that at this present Gods continuance doth actually extende farther then this present, is a most absurde conceyte; As if forsooth God had not onely an existence pre­sent, but allso an existence to come, and that this existence of God to come is present. Whereas neyther of these is true, but each false, and that most absurdly false.

For first God hath no existence to come, for if he had, then he should have also an existence past, and consequently he should be measured with time, and subject unto motion. And whereas the Scriptures doe confesse that God is he which was, and is, and is to come; this is to be understood of his co­existence and not of his existence; as much as to say God doth not onely coexist with all things present, but also did coexist, with all things past; that is to say with every one of them in the time of theyr existence, and also shall coexist, with all things to come, that is to say, with every one of them in the time of theyre actuall existence.

Now this coexistence of God with things past, and things to come is not present, onely his coexistence with things pre­sent, is present, his coexistence with things past, is past, and in that respect tis sayd he was; so likewise his coexistence with things to come is to come, and in that respect onely it is sayd that God is to come.

By this we may judge of the proposition following which is this.

God hath bene, is, and ever will be, unto every minute or Scru­ple [Page 191] of time that hath beene, is, or shallbe, alike everlastingly coexis­tent. If one word had beene left out (to witt the word ever­lastingly) it might have admitted an handsome interpretation, and a sober meaning taken respectively thus, God hath beene coexistent to things that have beene, is coexistent to things that are, shall be coexistent to things that shall be.

But to apply all these differences of time past, present, and to come, to each of the things mentioned, (as namely to say, that God hath beene, and is, and shall be coexistent to all things that have beene, and is, and shall be, coexistent to all things that shall be) is most absurde.

For the coexistence of God doth as well implye the exis­stence of the things themselfes with which God is sayd to exist, as the existence of God.

And therefore though it be true to say, that God was coexi­stent with all things past, because there was a time when these things did exist and at the same time undoubtedly God did coexist with them; yet it is false to say that God doth or shall coexist with things past; for that saying doth implye, that things past doe now exist; and also are to come. In like sort though it be true: that God doth now coexist with all things that now are, for as much as both these things doe indeed at this time exist, and God must needs coexist with them as the author and preserver of theyr existence; yet it is untrue to say that God doth now coexist with time past or to come, and with the things which were or shall be therein, for if this were true; it would follow that not onely God is now present, but also that time past and time to come, are also present withall things conteyned in them, which every man knows to be most untrue.

Last of all though it be true that God shall coexist with the time to come, and the things therein, because both they shall exist, and consequently God must needs coexist with them, as the author and preserver of them; yet it is most untrue to say that God shall coexist with time past and present and the things therein, for if this were true it would herence follow that both time past, and present with all things conteyned in them [Page 192] were both to come, which how absurde a speech it is, let every sober man judge.

And yet that this is the meaning appeares by the adding of the word everlastingly, which addition makes the proposition untrue in every member of it, though taken respectively, which otherwise as I have shewed might admitt a tolerable in­terpretation. For though it be true that God was coexistent with Noahs floud, yet is is un [...]ue that he was everlastingly co­existent with it.

At the time of Noahs floud God was coexistent with it by vertue of his eternirye, which makes him necessarily to coexist wiih all things when they are, like as by vertue of his immen­sitie he necessarily filleth all places, as soone as there are any places to fill. But God was not everlastingly coexistent with Noahs floud, for as much as neyther before the time of Noahs floud, was God coexistent with it nor after: For to coexist with Noahs floud doth implye the existence of Noahs floud: But Noahs floud did neyther exist before the time of it nor after.

In like sort to say that God doth now coexist with all things present is true; but to say he doth everlastingly coexist with this time present, and the things therein is most untrue: For if this were true, then it were as true that he did coexist ye­sterday, with this day and shall coexist to morrow with this present, which is utterly untrue; for if it were true, then ye­sterday and to morrow should be this present day, Nay it would follow that this present day were everlasting (and not time onely in generall) if so be God did everlastingly coexist, with it.

Last of all it is true that God shall coexist with the fall of Babylon; but it is untrue to say that God shall everlastingly coexist with it, for if that were true, then he should coexist with it both before it were, and after it were past, whith is im­possible. For it would imply that Babylon should fall, before it shall fall, and after it hath fallen. And all this confusion ariseth from a precipitate and superficiary apprehension of the nature of eternity being commonly accoumpted but an in­stant, [Page 193] which indeed is a truth, because in the nature of God there is no succession, and that not onely in respect of such motions whereunto bodyes are subject, but in respect of such motions which are incident unto Angells. In regard of which motions the differences of time past, present and to come are attributed unto God, in respect of his coexistence with them, without bringing in such monstrous conceites as are hat [...]h­ed in the fancyes of some, though I professe I know not many such, nor never read or heard of the like till now,

So then the reason why God was coexistent with time past and the things therein; is coexistent with time present and the things therein, shall be coexistent with time to come and the things therein, is not onely by reason of his owne indivisible, and in erminable unitye; or rather is not at all by reason of this, for this consideration is rather opposite to the determi­nations of was, is, and is to come, which you attribute unto God, then any way suitable with it, but rather in regard of his eternitie, in which respect he must necessarily coexist with all times according to theyre severall differences; provided that they have an existence; for otherwise: how shall God be sayd to coexist with them.

But then agayne I say not onely in respect of eternitie are these denominations given unto God, but also in respect of the acquisition of new successive parts, not in himselfe but in time and things contayned therein. For because God can­not be sayd to coexist with such things that have no existence at all, And all things without God have not theyre existence at once but some at one time some at another, hence is coexi­stence with them attributed unto God, according to differen­ces of time past, present, and to come, not by reason of any succession of parts in God, but onely in respect of succession of parts in time, and motions, in all things without God.

But we shall have a mad World quickly, when men shall take upon them doctórally to dictate conclusions unto others from certayne principles (as about the eternitie of God, and the indivisible nature therof) superficiarily apprehended, and never rightly, much lesse sufficiently understood.

[Page 194] What time you have bestowed in the study of these attri­butes of God I know not; but as for my selfe I professe I never bestowed any hereabouts as I can remember, but ever contented my selfe with common notions generally received. And whereas I mett sometimes with strange suppositions grounded upon these common notions, I have rather conten­ted my selfe with ignorance how to justifie them, then to thinke it worth the whyle to enter upon the discussion, only in the question about the presence of all things in eternitie maynteyned by Aquinas, I found in Scotus a discovery of that errourous conceite.

And though Alvarez hath laboured to repayre the credit [...] of Aquinas in that particular and to answer Scot, yet the va­nitie of that discourse of his, I have laboured to discover, and therein have reasonably well satisfied my selfe.

Now being cast upon these Meditations, by reason of this your discourse, which in the very Epistle dedicatory manifest your affection towards Arminianisme, which I professe I hate as much, as I love the grace of God, and desire to be zealous in the mayntayning of it to my last gaspe; I am driven here­withall to take into consideration your Philosophical dis­course concerning the essence of God. and his attributes, and finding therein some prodigious assertions by way of dedu­ction from the receaved notions of Gods indivisible and yet eternall being; out of the Logicall facultie which I brought with me long agoe, out of the Vniversitie, I make bold to ob­serve well the soundnes of such illations, and finding no ground for them, but rather utter disproportion betweene them, and the principles wherehence they are inferred, in the course hereof I become better acquainted with the nature of Gods eternitie then before; and hope to be better inabled to encounter any unsound assertions, derived therehence and grounded thereupon, then heretofore.

And we are like to be acquainted with your mysteries to the full in the next Section.

7. You suppose duration successively infinite.

In this case 'tis true that God cannot be sayd to be after all [Page 195] duration successive. For to be after it, is to be when dura­tion hath an end, but you suppose that such duration shall ne­ver have end.

And in this case it can neyther properly nor improperly be sayd, that God is after it. For it is manifest contradiction to say, that hath an end which is supposed to have no end.

You seeme to groane in the delivery of some quaint subtil­tie when you write thus: Yet that eternitie now is and ever was a [...] infinitely preexistent to all ages in succession comming towards us one way; it is, and was to the Worlds nativitie the other way.

Here you make a full point, whereby it comes to passe, that wanting a principall verbe, the sentence contaynes a ma­nifest non-sense; & it is the observation of others as well as mine, if divers such non-sensed propositions have dropped from your penne in this discourse, yet your meaning we see plainly in the sentence following, as when you say, This is a point which we must beleive, if we beleive God to be eternall, and know what eternitie is.

So the former speech of yours though imperfect, & indiffe­rently capable of being, pronounced to be a fable as a truth, we perceave to be received by you as a truth, and not so onely but affected allso by you as a truth, whose consideration hath not beene so well taken to heart, by those who have had Gods eternall decrees and the awardes of it most frequently in theyre mouthes and pennes; as it hath beene by your selfe.

Thus you accommodate your selfe to the venting, & your Readers to the expecting of some sublimate and so quintes­sentiall a conceite, that poore Calvin & Beza, and such like unproficients in Academicall studies, never attayned to the depth of any such speculation.

Once before I observed a certayne gradation tending to this purpose, and that with some wonderment, as when you affirmed in the beginning of this section, that God was as tru­ly before all times future, as before all times past.

As if to be before all times future, were a greater matter then to be before all times past; whereas I had thought that such poore snakes as my selfe might truly be accoumpted to [Page 196] be before all times future. So in this place it might well make a man wonder what you meane to affirme in solemne manner that God is and ever was as infinitely preexistent to all ages comming towards us, as to the Worlds nativitie.

As if to be preexistent to the times to come, were as greate a matter as to be preexistent to times past, which might seeme to carry no sobriety in the forehead. For ever the meanest worme that creepes upon the Earth, is preexistent to all ages to come, but none is preexistent to all ages past but God him­selfe. But there is, no doubt a mysterie in this.

Heretofore I had a sent of it: But now it beginnes to breake forth in greate measure.

For when we say God is preexistent to all ages past, & con­sequently must needs be preexistent to all ages that are to come, we understand all this but one way according to the course of time from future to the present, from being present to become past, and so that which is first actually existent, is before all that which arrives to actuall existence afterwards. But you tell us of two wayes & that God is preexistent before all ages past one way, & before all ages to come another way, by which other way your meaning seemes to be this, that as God is afore all ages past, so also he is after or behinde all ages to come; which phrase of speech in saying God is after or behind any thing, because you thinke it too ignoble to be at­tributed unto God, and perhaps in part to astonish your Rea­ders with some strange language being never acquainted with the like; This being after all ages you are pleased to instile & call his being before them, but another way or a different way from his beinge, before all ages past.

As if a man should say that the Horse goes before the Cart one way, and the Cart may be sayd to goe before the Horse another way, which later is indeede and in substance of sense no other, then to go after the Horse.

In like sort we may say the calling of the Gentiles is before the calling of the Iewes one way, and the calling of Iewes goes before the calling of the Gontiles another way, to witt as it comes after it.

[Page 197] So the rising & florishing of Antichrist goes before the fall of Antichrist one way, and the fall of Antichrist goeth before the rising and flourishing of Antichrist another way, to wit it followeth after it.

Now if this manner of language doth not goe beyond all Canting, I know not what doth. But take wee your phrase according to this sense, yet there is no truth in this assertion. God indeed was before all ages past, because he was when they had no beginning; but he shall not be after all ages to come, because he shall not be when all ages have an end.

For according to your owne opinion all ages shall never have end. And for this reason in the very beginning of this section your selfe affirmed, that God could not properly be sayd to be after all times and durations to come. For what (sayd you) can be after that which hath no end? To this I added, this could not be affirmed eyther properly or impro­perly, because there was no truth in it, as that which implyed a manifest contradiction.

Much lesse properly or truly can it be sayd that God is pre­existent to all ages to come after a different way from that whereby he is sayd to be preexistent to all ages past.

But let us see whether any greater measure of sobriety, can be found in that which followeth.

In the next place you tell us, that As he is no Christian Philosopher, much lesse a true Christian divine, that would deny that whatsoever is by God decreed, was so decreed before all worlds: So he is no Christian Philosopher, much lesse a true Christian di­vine, that shall referre or retract the tenor of this speech, (before all worlds) to that onely which is past before the world beganne, what­soever can be more properly sayd or conceaved to be past, then to be yet to come, or to be in every moment of time designable can have no propertye of eternitye. So then whosoever shall dare say that it is a more proper speech to affirme, that God did chuse us in Christ before the foundation of the world, then to say that God shall chuse us in Christ after the end of the World, you will be bold to deny him the title both of a Christian Philo­sopher and of a true Christian divine also.

[Page 198] By the way let me aske you, what that is which you call past before the World was; for before the World was, no­thing at all was but God. Agayne, though we say the decrees of God, were before the world was, yet no divine that I know sayth they were past before the World was; for the decrees of God are nothing but the Counsayle and will of God, which undoubtedly we say continue the same and ever shall. In the last sentence you teach us that it may stand well enough with eternitie, to be sayd to be past, present, and to come; so we doe not affirme it to be more properly past, then present or to come. Yet I promise you, I nothing like to say that God is past, I had rather say he was and is, and is to come. As much as to say, God is of necessary being, and still continueth, and it is impossible he should be otherwise, in which respect we may truly and properly say he was coexistent with every thing that is past, (to witt in the time of its existence,) is co­existent to every thing present, shall be coexistent to every thing that is to come (to witt in the time of the existence of each thing) and all this not by any succession of parts in him­selfe, (as who is subject to no motion) but by succession of parts in outward things, with which or whom, he is sayd to coexist, his owne existence being perpetuall and invariable.

These your propositions I can finde reason to make them good in some tolerable construction. Yet you adde a reason of it, which should be more evident then the Conclusion, but indeed is farre more obscure, and when the meaning of it is perceived, is found to have most need of reason to proove it, as being in shew contrary to all reason; yet you content your selfe with dictating it, & thence proceed to a wild goose race of illustration by the heavens that environ both us and the Antipodes; so to make way for the circular duration which formerly you attributed unto God, by comparing it with the heavens turning round (upon supposition) in a moment.

The rationall proposition without reason delivered is this: For that onely is eternall which allwayes is, and so allwayes is, that it hath precedence or preexistence infinite to all successions, which way soever we look upon them or take theyre beginninge, whether [Page 199] backwards or forwards: Now this saying of yours is full of in­congruities if not rather of foule absurdi its.

For first you suppose the beginning of succession may be taken backwards or forwards; but how is this possible? is succession indifferent to beginne backwards or forwards? Is time indifferent to beginne backwards or forwards? The first time is the beginning of it, but as for the last of time will any sober man call that the beginning of it, unlesse you make time like to a pudding, where a man may beginne at which end he will. And surely I see no reason but a pudding may be in better sense, acknowledged to have two ends, then time two beginnings, Especially two such beginnings as you ascribe unto it, the one backwards and the other forwards; for be­ginne at which end of a pudding, you will, you may be well sayd to goe forwards and not backwards. Agayne suppose your owne phrases be allowed you, and that the end of time may be taken for the beginning, yet where there is no end to be found how will you devise a beginning? As for example, Time we all know had a beginning but you suppose that time to come shall have no end, for though this world shall have an end, yet men and Angells shall have no end, but live with God for ever.

For the same reason, though God be infinitely prexistent before times past, yet he cannot be sayd no not in your phrase and your meaning, that he is infinitely preexistent to all times to come, the meaning whereof is to continue infinitely lon­ger then all ages to come; for that were to suppose that God shall be when all ages have runne theyre course and are come to an end, which you suppose shall never be. Thus from your Antipodes which you devise in the course of time, I come to the consideration of the Antipodes in respect of place and situation. And hereupon I remember what you delivered in the entrance upon this discourse of eternitie, and it is this; whatsoever hath, beene or rightly may be conceaved of divine immensitie, will in proportion as well suite unto eternitie, and in like manner whatsoever is incident to space of place, the same in porportion may be verified of space of time. And [Page 200] therefore like as Antipodes are found in place, so in some pro­portion Antipodes may be found in time. For when you beginne at the ends of time you seeme to turne the heeles of it upwards.

And like as the roundnes of the heavens environing all, salves this and makes it appeare how the heads every where are uppermost howsoever it seemes otherwise to vulgar capa­cities: so heere you have a devise of a circular duration to salve the turning of times heeles upwards, for by this it ap­peares that in truth time hath no heeles to turne upwards, but rather wheeles to turne roundwards; like as eternitie hath a Circular duration, by way of supermotion or a vigorous rest as you phrasifie it.

Well let Lactantius passe with his errour in denying Anti­podes, and the vulgar with theyr errour passe, that think the heavens if they be [...]ound be under us. Now wee come to the comparison and comparative demonstration, which is this: As the heavens are every way above the earth: so is eter­nitie every way before all worlds. Suppose there be truth in the parts of this assertion, yet I find no convenience in tho resemblance.

It is true that Tiburne is three square, and a Citizens capp is round, but there is no congruitie in saying that as Tiburne is three square: so a Citizens capp is round. Yet I find as litle accuratenes in the propositions considered by themselfes as in saying the Heavens are every way above the earth, for I know no other wayes of the Heavens being above the whole earth which is round, then by compassing it; In my judgement it is more proper to say the heavens are every where above the earth (then every way above it,) and on every side above the earth, or which way soever we goe, whether East, West, North, or South, we shall still find the Heavens to be above the earth.

So likewise I know but one way how eternitie can be sayd to be before all Worlds, and that is by being before they had beginning. As for that other way which you devise as it were an Antipodes in time as well as in place, namely to [Page 201] be when all Worlds are at end, that is to be after all Worlds rather then before them.

And yet you flatter your selfe in this erroneus conceite, as if it were some exquisite invention, by another fiction, & that is by conceyting eternitie to compasse and inviron time, as the heavens inviron the earth.

Now because the earth is immoveable, but time hath suc­cession of parts; and the heavens wonderfull nimble in mo­tion, and contrariwise eternitie a constant and permanent in­stant; therefore you may doe well to salve the [...] in the Spheare of your discourse to consult with Copernicus a­bout blowing some quicksilver into the dull and sullen earth & set it going round, and on the other side persuade the Hea­vens to favour themselves and take theyr rest, the modell of eternitie, and time represented by you would be something the more accurate.

Some helpes for this you have, I confesse, of your owne divising, to witt, by supposing the Heavens to move in an in­stant, leaving it to the Readers judgment whether to accompt that motion a cessation from motion, or a vigorous rest, be­sides that of the topp & scourge, which we may have time to consider of in due place. But to proceede; of the beginning of this World past, and the end of it to come, there is no dif­ference betweene us.

To this you adde, that the eye of eternall providence, lookes thorough the World, thorough all the severall ages, successions, or durations in the World, as well from theyr last end, to theyr first beginning, as from theyr first beginning, to theyr last end.

This World as it had a beginning, so it shall have an end. But successive duration even in your opinion, shall have no end.

And therfore you cannot say without contradiction, that God looks thorough the severall ages thereof from theyr last end to theyr beginning.

Yet this last end, you might have called a beginning accor­ding to your phrase and tenent, maynteyning God to be be­fore all ages, not onely before ages past one way, but allso [Page 202] before ages to come another way. Agayne, that all things are knowne to him, as well things to come, as things past, or present, is without all question.

This is to be present unto God, in esse cognito. But you have another wilde conceyt of the coexistence, both of things past and of things to come with God, & that for this present, which turne of yours this will nothing serve that God knows all things.

Last of all as touching this manner of knowledge which you attribute unto God, it is nothing decent.

We confusse, we may indifferently consider the course of the World past, eyther from the beginning unto this present day, or from this present day rising upwards unto the begin­ning of the World; because our understanding is of such a nature, as to consider things in succession one after another. But Gods understanding, as you well know, is of no such na­ture, as to consider things one after another; for so you should maynteyne succession in the nature of God, and consequently subject him unto time.

Agayne, God doth not looke out of himselfe in knowing the course of the World throughout; for he knew it as well what it might be, and what it should be before the World was made, as now he knowes what it is, yet certainly before the World was, he knew it not by looking without him, for then there was nothing without him to looke into.

And surely since the World was made, the manner of Gods knowledge is nothing altered, for with him is no variablenes nor shadow of change.

Neyther doe I see any reason why the knowledge of God, whereby he knowes all things, should be called the eye of his. Providence: seing Providence beganne with the world, but his knowledge was the same before the world beganne, and by his providence it is more properly sayd, that he governes all things, then that he knowes all thing [...]s.

Agayne you returne to the devised Circular forme of eter­nitie (yet that will not warrant a Circular duration thereof, which was your former sigment) and tell us that there is no pe­riod [Page 203] of time, which is not so environed with eternitie, as the earth or center is with the Heavens; save onely that the Heavens are fi­nite, and eternitie infinite.

Give me leave to professe the absurditie of this conceyte of yours amongst many others. For what doe you talke of en­vironning that which hath no sides, but onely hath a kind of extension of succession in lenght of parts one after another.

Every period of time hath eternitie before it, and eternitie after it, but this is not sufficient to maynteyne that eternitie environs time as the Heavens environ the earth.

My selfe was borne before many thousands, whom allso I have outlived, but yet I cannot be sayd to environ them as the Heavens environ the earth.

If a Crowe lives many ages of a Man, and an Hart more then the Crowe, and the Raven more then the Hart; how many thousands have begunne to breath & ceased to breath within the limits of theyr duration; yet what an absurde thing were it to say, that they environed them all, as the Heavens en­viron the earth, yet you proceed, sitting upon these addle eggs, to hatch congruous conclusions, you say that in this sense were it possible, the world might have bene created from everlasting, the Eternall, notwithstanding should have bene everlastingly before them. Which as it is most false, so it is most inconsequent. Most false, for like as God cannot be after that which hath no end (as your selfe before in a man­ner professed) and the reason is manifest. Because to be af­ter a thing, as for instance to be after the world, is to be after the world is come to his end, which were untrue if the world had no end.

In like sort to be before the world, is to be while the world had yet no being, which is contrary to the supposition of being everlasting.

Neyther doth it follow, that because God is before every period of time which hath a beginning, therefore he should be before such a time which is supposed to have no begin­ning.

I grant he should be before it by prioritie of cause, and by [Page 204] prioritie of dignitie, but he should not be before it by priority of duration, which is the onely prioritie whereof this dis­course proceedeth.

Yet you will bring a reason to prove the former assertion, and that is this, For that period of motion which must terminate the next Million of yeares shall have coexistens with eternity now existent, whose insinity doth not growe with succession, nor extend it selfe with motion; but stands immoovable with times present, being eternally before times future, as well in respect of any set draught or point. Whence we imagine time future to come towards us, as in respect of the first revolution of the Heavens when time tooke beginninge.

This reason hath number enough of words; but let us con­sider what is the waight of sense it carryeth; And this is an hard matter to doe by reason of the obscurity that accompa­nieth it; one peuliar character of your discourse; For what doe you meane by the next Million of yeares? I know not how to accompt them, whether in respect of the time present; and so they proceede of the next Million that are to come; or rather of the Million of yeares next past; For I presume, you meane it not of the first Million of years of the world, in case it were eternall: For if eternall, then it had no beginninge, and consequently as it had no first yeare, so neyther had it any first Million of years. Therefore I understand it of the next Million of years to this present, whether it be the Million next past, or next to come, all is one, and it must be true of both, as well as of either, that they are coexistent with eter­nity now existent; and what I pray of all this? when comes the forme of Syllogisme, whereby to conclude that God is not only before, but everlastingly before that which is with­out beginninge. And that Gods continuance extends not only beyond, but everlastingly beyond that, which never shall have an end?

Give me leave to helpe you at a dead lift, thus; If the next Million of years cominge, are coexistent with God, now exis­tent, then allso the Million of years cominge next to that, shall be coexistent with God now existent: And so all the Mil­lions [Page 205] of years that are to come, are coexistent with God now existent; But Gods continuance of beinge, doth extend infi­nitely beyond his now existence: therefore it doth extende infinitely beyond all times to come, though they be without ende; So on the other side: If the Million of years next past doth coexist with God now existent, then also the Million of years next past to them, doth coexistent with God now exis­tinge, and so by the same reason all the years past doe coexist with God now existent; But Gods continuance, hath bene infinitely before his now present existence; therefore allso it hath bene infinitely beyond all the Millions of yeares, though upon supposition they have bene infinite; This I thinke is the But of argument you shoote at, though you have not ex­pressed so much; whether because your Logicke served you not, beinge used to a confused manner of dictatinge at plea­sure what you thinke good, or because you envied so much your Readers facility in apprehendinge your meaninge.

Thus I have helped you in raisinge a Spirit: Now without your helpe I will assay to lay him agayne.

To the Major; I grant it in part, namely that there is as much reason why the two next Millions of years, whether you take them of the time past, or of the time to come, should co­exist with God now existent, as well as one Million; but when you proceede and say; therfore by the same reason all that are to come, and all that are past, are coexistent with God now existent, you make an incredible stride or leape, infinitely greater then the stride, not only of Polyphemus, but of the Colossus at Rhodes too: For a Million and a Million, yea & a third Million, yea and though you make the progression in such sort while you will, still the number is but finite, but to leape herehence to all that are to come, is an infinite leape: For all are infinite both wayes, both as touchinge time past and time to come: in which respect, no progression, from Million to Million, shall ever reach to all, nay it shall never make the number of yeares remaininge, eyther for the time past, or for the time to come, lesse then infinite.

This is the fowle flawe we finde in the major: let us come [Page 206] to the minor which was this; But Gods existence extends in­finitely further, and was infinitely before his now existence. I answeare thus; By Gods now existence, you understand his existence, eyther in the present instant of time, or in the pre­sent instant of eternity; if of the present instant of time, then the proposition was not true in any one part of it; For cer­teinly neyther the Million of yeares next past, nor the Million of yeares next to come, are coexistent with God, now existent in instant of time, both because neyther many years can possi­bly exist in an instant of time; nor God himselfe; but rather his existens is in the instant of eternity, though both he and his eternity be coexistent with every instant of time: Now if it be understood of the instant of eternity, I deny that God was be­fore this instant, or shall continue one ace of duration after it; And no merveyle, seinge both everlastingnesse for the time past, and everlastingnesse for the time to come, are supposed, to coexist in this instant of eternity; Yet have I not all this while discovered the vanity of the conceyte, which is as a mist before your eyes: You say, the next Million of years doth co­exist with eternity now existent; I say this is notoriously un­true, whether you take it of years past or of years to come, all is one; for that which is past, and that which is to come, hath no existence with God now existent: And I proove it thus; That which hath no existence at all at this present, that cannot be sayd to have any coexistence, but things past and things to come have no existence at all at this present, therefore they cannot be sayd to have any coexistence with God; Things future shall have coexistence with God, to witt, when the time of theyr actuall existence cometh; Likewise things past have had theyr coexistence with God, to witt, when the time of theyr actuall existence was.

But neyther things past, nor things to come have any co­existence with God now coexistent, for as much as they have no actuall existence at all, the actuall existence of the one beinge past, and that of the other beinge yet to come.

Neyther doth it follow that because Gods infinity doth not grow by succession, therefore things future are now co­existent [Page 207] with God, but because things present and things fu­ture are in succession one unto another, therfore they cannot be sayd eyther future things to be present, or things present to be future.

That reason of yours, (namely that Gods infinity doth not grow by Succession, carryeth rather some coulour of proofe, why Gods coexistence with his creatures or with time, can­not be sayd past or to come, then why things future shall be sayd, to be coexistent with God in this present; Yet your selfe use these formes, as to say, God was coexistent with his crea­tures that are past, shall be coexistent with such things as are to come; and indeed your reason is too weake to infringe these formes of speeches.

For this coexistence attributed unto God is not in respect of any succession in himselfe, but only in the things without him, which come and goe one after another by succession, & you are in the right, when thereupon you deny all succession in God, because his nature is not subject to any kinde of mo­tion; God was before the World, and is coexistent with and in the World, and shall be after the World, which beinge after time, you in your language, enstile his beinge before the end of it; but after another manner, then whereby he is sayd to be before the beginninge of it; But we must give you leave to be as disertus as you will in Lingua tua; Nobis non licet esse tam disertis, qui musus colimus severiores; At partinge you give us another paradox; when you tell us It is impossible to conceive any duration to be without beginninge or endinge without concea­vinge it Circular, or altogeather voyd of succession, on the contrary it is as wonderfull to me, how it should be possible for any man to conceive any duration to be Circular, whether finite or infinite; For the word Circular is a denomination only of forme, and of such a forme as belongs to magnitudes, that have coexistence of parts extended, and of motion in such a forme: But time is neyther any such magnitude, nor capable of motion; In a round figure, I confesse, there is no begin­ninge nor end of magnitude, But of duration, rounde figures have theyr beginninge, as well as squares; The latter part is as [Page 208] untrue. Some have bene of opinion that the World was everlastinge, and the motions of the Heavens everlastinge, as Aristotle and his followers.

And some greate Schoolemen have thought it possible; how much more could they immagine it. For surely we may immagine things altogether impossible; And in the very next lines you confesse, men may immagine so if they list, and over and above you doe them the favour, as to further them in this theyr imagination, to witt by conceitinge the uninterrupted sluxe of an instant; and why not as well I pray, the uninterrup­ted motion of the heavens; and what is this to the everlasting­nesse thereof, seinge this hath place in the space of a fewe years? Neyther doe we finde the Peripateticks needed any such helpes to conceive the everlastingnesse of the world; In the last place you tell us, the stability of eternity may be best con­ceived, by the retraction of such a perpetuall fluxe into one instante; And yet before you told us such at everlastinge fluxe could not be imagined; sure I am the retraction of it into an instante is utterly impossible; And be not these proper things to re­presente Gods eternity by, and fitt for Atheists to make merry with? That God is everlastinge, I trust we can demonstrate it, and that he is without succession, why shold that seeme hard to conceive, when it is improbable he shold be subject to any motion?

And now I come to the topp and the scourge whence you derive observations of greate force, If not for composinge some greate controversies amongst learned men, yet for facilitatinge con­templation in one of the greatest difficulties, that Philosophy whether sacred or humane affords to the concerte of the most curious. At my first cominge to the university, it was a greate comforte and incouragemēt, to me in the studyinge of Predicables to heare a Preacher out of the pulpit deliver that peccata Iuvenum Predicantur in quale; peccata senum Predicantur in quid. Shortly after in the Divinity Schoole, I heard a di­vine in the question, whether the pope were Antichrist make use of that axiome [...] uni opponitur; and an other in the pointe of predestination to alleage, that Scibile was prius Scien­tia: [Page 209] To heare such notions which at that time were familiar unto me, so much dignified as to finde use in the pulpit and in the divinity Schoole, it brought me even in love with such learninge, which before seemed to me but course stuffe in comparison to one of Ciceroes Orations especialy, that con­spicuae divina philippica famae volvitur à prima quae proxima, or Aiax Mastigophoros in Sophocles wherwith we were ac­quainted at winchester.

How much more might a man like topp and scourge the better while he lives, to observe what transcendent use good witts may make of it. And yet by your leave, I finde no such difficulty in conceaving how eternity though Perma­nent, shall have coexistence with succession or motion.

A Pole fixt in a River hath coexistence with infinite parts of the streame succeedinge one another, without any succes­sion in it selfe.

While I stande still, an army of men may passe by my side, & thereby shall I have coexistence in the same time with every one successively; But if I be not deceived you would devise, how we may conceive eternity to have coexistens with all parts of motion at once; for such a madde coexistence you have devised to your selfe, out of a wilde apprehension of the nature of eternity, and you will not be beaten from it. And you may as well beate your brains to devise how all parts of time both past and to come, may coexist in one instant, and but erst you did cast us upon such an imagination, namely of the re­traction of a perpetuall fluxe into one durable or permanent instant. I have alredy laboured, veteres avias a pulmone revellere, to scat­ter these vaine conceyts.

But proceed we alonge with you; the topp turnes so swift­ly somtimes, that he seemes to sleepe; Indeed we were wont to say that in such a case the topp sleepes; And in turninge round every bright marke seemes to make a circle; what of all this? hence you say it will be no hard supposall to conceyte that a moover of strength and vigoure infinite, shold be able to moove a body in a momente. I doe not denye, but a man may conceite so, as they doe conceyte Chymeras; and greate divines som­times [Page 210] are found to enterteyne such conceyts, as are found to be contradictions, such is this: never any question was made of this, rather it hath beene generally received, as a thinge im­possible that locall motion should be in an instant; And the reason of it in this rounde motion whereof you speake, is evident for to be in this instant in the same place what it was immediately before, is rather to rest then moove; and so the parts of successive motion shold not be contracted into unity as you speake, but rather into nullity.

And you your selfe are in doubte whether it were fitt to call it a cessation from motion or a vigourous rest or supermotion: you may doe well to put it to Plotinus to resolve this, or Fi­cinus his Commentaries upon his Enneads. I perceave you have very vigourous conceites, which whether I shold so call them, or rather a cessation from all sober conceyte or a super­conceyte, let the reader judge. In the meane while that must needs be a proper motion which may be called a cessation frō motion, and a rest and that a vigorous one. Yet wonderfull strange is it, that a rest or cessation from motion shold conteyn in it parts of motion successively infinite, and I confesse it were a very hard thinge to determine what to call it; for it is a certaine kinde of Chimera, that never I thinke was hatched in the conceyte of man or Angell before.

If this were granted you, then you presume the moover wold not moove it more slowly this day or yeare then he shold the former; But consider I pray, the pointe is not of moovinge it in a day or yeare, but in an instante; And because two instants cannot come together, therfore for the time be­tweene while, it must stand still, and because there be infinite instants in every day and houre, it followeth it shold be moo­ved about infinite times every day and hower; and infinite times stand still. Take what co [...]se you will, it must stand still as oft as it mooves, and because betweene every two instants of motion there must be a time of rest, and every one infinitely greater then the instant of motion.

For betweene that which is divisible and that which is in­divisible, there is no proportion of greatnesse; Now this sup­position [Page 211] being granted you, (which you professed to be no hard suppos [...]) we shall finde parts successively [...]nfinite in one revolution, or revolutions successively infinite in one or the same instante. So like wise E [...]ope would instruct his Master how to drinke up all the waters in the Sea, provided that first all the Rivers might be stopped, from runninge into the Sea, for it was most unreasonable that as fast as he dranke the wa­ter out, the Rivers shold bee suffered to poure water in againe, and that with a longer and a larger spoone then he had need to use that eates with the devill.

And I see no reason but a man might by ocular inspection discover the world which Galileus hath made report of, in the moone, provided that he might have a stayre case sure enough & high enough & all necessary provisions by the way, & at his journyes end also, & safe returne, to quitt Lazarus relations of the dead, with celestiall relations of [...]he terra incognita in the moone. And yet I confesse a truth, I doe not finde to what purpose you shold say there be parts successively infinite in one revolution. For in the motion of a snayle this is to be found as well as in the motions of the heavens; for every thing that is continuall is divisible without end, to w tt into parts proportionall; as for parts quotall, as namely fifts or thirds, or fowerths, or hundreds, these ever in the motion of the heavens are finite, the other are infinite. Whereupon it is that Aristotle denies there is principium motus, in the seventh of his phisicks, not speakinge of principium externum and ef­fectivum, for so the nature of every thinge is the cause, both of his motion and of rest, but he speakes of principium internum, and of the integrall parts of motion whereof no part can be assigned to be the fist, but that it may be devided in o two parts, whereof the one is before the other; And in the same sense as there is no first of motion, so there is no last; for what part soever you take; it is divisible into two parts, whereof the one is latter then the other.

The like may be sayd of every thinge that is continuall, even of magnitude which is permanent, as well as of time and motion that consist in succession of parts: but then we must [Page 212] know too, that these parts proportionall, are not to be ac­coumpted actuall, but only potentiall; And so Aristotle dis­solves that Achilles of Zenoes arguments, whereby he wold proove that motion being allowed to be continuall, the swif­test moover shold never overtake the slowest moover, if he were allowed never so litle ground before him because in the time wherin he is to overtake the first space, wherin his fellow moover was before him, that fellow moover will have got some ground more, and while that is in passinge over by the other, he will get some ground more, and so in infinitum [...] the answere whereunto I never yet found explicated by any.

Hurtado di Mendosa amongst other difficulties, the solution whereof he undertakes, falls upon this also, but most unhap­pily; for he gives no satisfaction; Aristotles answeare unto it, is but this; partes sunt in toto non actu sed potentia; it is spoken in reference to parts proportionall; which answeare of his seemes a mystery, the right explication and accommodation whereof I never could be so happy as to find in any; but if I be not dereived it conteins an admirable and cleare solution of the difficulty; but I doe not affect the ostentation of such subtilties.

I know not well how to give accounte for this very diver­sion from graver studies. To returne I say it is a poore course to lash out unto the supposall of such impossibilities to shew how in one revolution the parts are successively infinite; whereas this is found in every the meanest motion, which is a true motion and consists in succession; but in your feigned motion an instante, it is indeede not to be founde, because in an instant there can be no succession.

But further you say, that upon this supposall there shall be revolutions successively infinite in one and the same instant. But how this shall be you have not shewed, although I easyly conceave how it may be prooved upon this supposall, but in a certeyne kinde which I presume you dreame not of.

And it is this; if it be admitted that a revolution of the hea­vens may be in an instante, then it is as possible that two revo­lutions may be in an instant, and in the same instant as well as [Page 213] one, and three as well as two, and three hundred as well as three, yea and looke how many thousand dayes are past, since the World beganne, so many revolutions of the heavens there might have beene in one instant of time. And it is nothinge strange if uno absurdo dato, mille scquantur; but I doe not find that you once so much as dreame of this; and what your mea­ninge is, I find no where explained, much lesse the deduction thereof manifested. Yet as if you had prooved many revo­lutions, (upon this supposall) to bee possible in one and the same instante, you discourse what they are to bee called; and you will not have them properly to be termed motion, but rather the producte of motions infinitely swifte united or made up into a vigourous permanency; and herence to serve your turne in the explication of eternity, you adde how shold not duration of one or of all these revolutions be accompted as an instant of time, but a kinde of duration indivisibly permanent. Here is strange language, had not we need of an interpreter, or of some urina­tor delius to dive into the depth, and sound the bettome if it? I remember what a freind of mine pleasantly discourst in the university, by occasion of a certeine disputants strange manner of disputation; I have longed saith he to heare a scholer dis­pute eagerly, & distinguish and goe one boldly in schoole ter­mes and phrases which himselfe understoode not. And now to my judgement I have lighted on such a one.

But whether you understand your selfe or noe I know not. I doubte I never shall; yet I will not give over, I will adven­ture to discusse it, and to shake this rotten stuffe in peices, that at least it may not abuse the readers with suspicion of som rare notions, whome they cannot endoctrinate. First you speake of revolutions plurall yea infinite, how you have come by them I know not, unlesse as capons come by chicken; you made supposall of a thinge impossible enough, namely of the revolutions of the heavens in one instante of time, but it was only one revolution, and hereupon you steale up many revo­lations, yea infinite, I know not how, neyther doe you once goe about to explicate how.

Secondly you will not have it called motion, but a pro­duct [Page 214] of motions. Had you sayd you wold not have these revolutions called one motion but many, there had bene some sense in the speech, though litle reason.

For you professe these revolutions to be successive, and no where have you in the least manner signified them to be inter­rupt or discont nuall.

And if you take them as continuall, why should they not be stiled one motion? But this I thinke is not it, you insist upon; For you dislike the name of motion it selfe; you will rather have it called the product of many motions.

Now here I am at fault, in hu [...]inge after the meaninge of your invention, But yet as Plutarke makes the hounde to discourse in huntinge after an hare, thus; he went not that way, nor that way, therefore he came this way; so will not I give over, but inquire which way the hare runs.

Now then this your product of motions is to be under­stood eyther of a product Physicall, or of a product Mathe­maticall; and I explicate my selfe (as you loue to involve your selfe) thus.

The product of motion Physicall, is the forme that is ac­quired by motion; As for example, in alteration a quality is produced, in augmentation a certeyne measure of quantity; in locall motion a new place or a new site; Eyther in respect of the whole as it falls out in all direct motions, or only in re­spect of the parts, as in all motions Circular; which new site is sayd to be new in respect of that which immediately went before.

Now in this motion of the Heavens in an instant supposed by you, there is no such product Physicall, for looke what site every part of the Heavens hath immediately before this instant, the same it hath still; And therfore you call it very significantly (I confesse) a vigorous permanency; which is as much as to say, no motion at all; Neyther doe I thinke that by the product here spoken of, you meane a product Physi­call; Let us come therefore to consider, whether it may be verified of a product Mathematicall, that is in the Arithmeti­call operation of addition: for if two numbers be added to­geather, [Page 215] it will produce a totall, and that totall shall be the product.

Now here you speake of revolutions infinite, which beinge added to greater, make a product which you call a vigourous permanency; which I professe, in my judgement seemes to be delivered with admirable significancy and congruitye.

For if in teachinge my Schollar Arithmaticque I shall exer­cise him in addition, and bid him write seven Cyphars in a rewe thus 0000000 and then bid him subscribe seven Cyphers under them thus, 0000000, and then bid him adde one unto the other, and tell me what in the product, & he will tell me that he finds seven Cyphers still, which is as much as just nothinge; In like sort suppose the Heavens stan­dinge still immediately before this instant, and in this instant to be turned round to the place where it was immediately before, this deserves to be called a vigourous permanency: that is no motion rather then a motion: For to be where a body was immediately before, is the definition of rest, and not competible unto motion.

Nay take such an other revolution, and adde unto the for­mer, this allso beinge rather a vigourous permanency, and so no motion rather then motion, adde no motion, unto no mo­tion, and what will the product be, but a vigorous parma­nency; and so in infinitum, it shall be a vigorous permanency: For no motion added to no motion while you will, the pro­duct shall still be no motion; but a vigourous permanency.

But I see no reason why you should call this vigorous per­manency, infinitely swifte.

And yet I confesse by this supposition of yours the Hea­vens are made to stand still faster, then now they goe or run: allbeit they run so incredibly swift, in the judgement of some; that they had rather set the earth goinge, and make the Hea­vens stand still in a vigorous permanency, though in a sense much different from the vigorous permanency you discourse of: And this calleth to my remembrance one of Bastards Epi­grams, which he made of himselfe ridinge on Sarisbury plaine: For beinge overtaken by a gentelman well mounted, [Page 216] who desired to have his company; Bastard Spurs his cutt, the Gentleman reines his geldinge, yet could Bastard keepe no way with him. Whereupon he complains thus, What shold I doe that was bestrided so. His Horse stood still faster then mine could goe.

So the Heavens by your supposall stand still faster then now they goe.

I am not a litle sensible of the construction that some may make of this discourse of mine, as namely a greate deale too light and vayne for a Divine; especially in a matter of so high a nature, as of the essence of God, and his eternity.

I professe I am often striken with feare of transgression in this kinde: and have often meditated the relinguishinge of it wholy, I take so litle pleasure in these Schole quircks.

Yet another consideration affrights me more then this, and that is lest comming to calculate the Divine attributes by dis­course of reason, in following the course of my weake un­derstanding this way (wherof in this case I am much suspi­cious) I shoulde be founde to shape the attributes of God in such a manner, as to attribute that unto God, which dothe not become his Majestie, or deny that unto him, which dothe well become him; and thus I may fall upon blasphemy before I am awave.

I had rather submitt unto the acknowledgement of attri­butes divine, by faithe, so farre foorthe as they are revealed unto us in Gods word; then curiously inquire into the nature of them, by reason, & quaint Scholasticall argumentation.

But agayne, I consider, that it may please God to make use of that illumination as well Philosophicall as Theologicall, which he hathe given me, to cleere some difficult points, concerning the nature of God, & therby to prevent blasphe­mies each way.

And as, by his grace, I feare to enterteyne any indecent conceyte of the Majestie of God; so I trust, he will not ex­pose me, to have my feares brought upon me, but rather by exercise perfect those seedes of knowledge of his Divine na­ture, which have bene sowen in me, bothe by the light of na­ture, [Page 217] and by the light of grace, and assist me allso even in these discourses, and make them meanes to keepe others from being led away into erroneous opinions & enormous con­ceytes, concerning his nature, and divine attributes.

And as for the censure of lightnes, and want of gravitie, passable upon this discourse; let the Reader consider; we are now upon the By, and in consideration of a Monstrous supposition, and most ridiculous prosecutions therupon, and let him judge how such deserve to be enterteyned.

Agayne when we medle with an obscure, perplexe, and in­tricate manner of discourse, if matter of refreshing both of mine owne, and of my Readers Spirits be offered, especially in that way of an harshe & unpleasing discourse; shall I balke it, and in the affectation of a Stoicall gravitie decline the quickninge of mine owne, and of my Readers senses? It was wont to be sayde Omne tulit punctum, qui miscuit utile dulci; & agayne Ridentem dicere verum, quis vetap. In a word; I am at thy judgement Reader, to passe what censure upon me thou pleasest, neyther am I unwilling thou shouldst knowe mine in­firmities, as well as my poore sufficiencyes, that knowing me to be fleshe and blood, as well as others, thou mayst receave nothing herein for the Authors sake, but only for the evi­dence it carryethe with it. And that evidence is the worke of God, thoughe the manner of caryinge it be the worke of Man.

Now it is highe time to confider the other member of this sentence followinge, which is this, So should not the duration of one, or of all these revolutions be accoumpted as an instant or portion of time, but a kinde of duration indivisibly permanent.

Nowe I finde no proportion betweene this and the former member, thoughe they be coupled together with a particle of similitude, So. For if the revolution be as it is supposed by you; to be in an instant of time, why shoulde not the duration of it also be accoumpted in an instant of time? So likewise, if you conceave diverse revolutions, yea infinite revolutions, to be in the same instant of time; what reason is there why theyr duration should not be accoumpted allso, in the same [Page 218] instant of time? Fof if these infinite revolutions you speake of, have each of them a severall instant, why shoulde not the duration of each be accoumpted in each soverall instant, and the aggregate duration of them all, be reckoned to be, in an aggregation of all the severall instants, in each wherof, one of the former revolutions is founde?

Secondly, you doe not well to joyne an instant, and a por­tion of time together, as termes equipollent, because; no por­tion of time is an instant, nor is an instant any portion of time; more then a point is a part of magnitude. For every thinge consistethe of its parts; but neyther magnitude consists of points, nor points of instants.

Thirdly, much lesse reasen is there, why the duration of one or of all these revolutions, shoulde be coumpted a kinde of Eternitie. First, because there is no kinde of eternitie indi­visibly permanent (such as you here speake of) but one, and that is the eternitie of God. Secondly, what an absurd thinge is it to say, that the duration of a thinge in an instant of time and no longer, is fitter to be called eternitie then an in­stant of time. For the revolution you speake of is but for one instant of time. For the justifying wherof I appeale to your owne supposall.

It were no hard supposall to conceyte that a moover of strengthe and vigour infinite, shoulde be able to moove a body in a moment: This cannot be meant of any other moment then of time. For to moove a body in an instant of eternitie, requires not a moover of infinite strengthe; the meanest motion of the mea­nest moover, is comprehended (as you acknowledge) within the instant of eternitie. Nay all the revolutions you speake of, thoughe successively infinite, are upon your supposition in one and the same instant, which cannot be understood other­wise, then of an instant in time. Now is it fitt, that the dura­tion of such a motion or motions, the beginning and ende wherof are both in a instant of time, shoulde be stiled eterni­tie?

And how can that be called permanent, which bothe be­ginnes and endes in one and the same instant of time? Or [Page 219] how can that motion be coumpted indivisible, which hathe parts successively infinite as your selfe professe in the sentence immediately before? If these be sober conceytes, I never knewe, what sobrietie in this kinde meaneth. But let us proceede to the next; The motion of the eighthe spheare suppo­sed to be such as hathe bene sayde, that is motion infinitely swift, or not divisible by succession; the Sunne moovinge successively as now it doth should have locall coexistence to every starre in the eighthe spheare, to every point of the eclipticke circle, wherin it mooves, at one and the selfe same instant, or in every least parcell of time. The substance of this hathe reasonable good consequence, from the former supposition of a thinge utterly impossible, and consequently it is not more impossible then the former. Yet by your leave, you erre in many a circumstance.

For first, as touching the mayne intention of this sentence, the Sunne shall not have locall coexistence with every starre or with any starre in the eighthe spheare; how can it? there beinge the huge distance of three vast bodies of the Spheares, of three planets betwixt the firmament, and the orbe of the Sunne.

But that upon your former supposition he shall coexist in the same line drawne from the North to the Southe I graunt in Astronomicall computation, and so by the same computa­tion may be sayde to have locall coexistence with it, thoughe not in computation physicall.

Secondly, marke I pray you, what libertie of speeche you take unto your selfe. For that which even now you called a vigorous permanency, in this place you terme it a motion in­finitely swift: as if you should say, the motion is so incredi­dibly swift, that the body indeede stands still and mooves not at all. As much as to say, such a one talkes so fast that he seemes, and that in a vigorous manner to holde his peace.

And indeede I confesse, that sometimes it falleth out, that the faster we ride, the later we come to our journeys ende; as in case by fast ridinge, our horse playeth the jade, and tyreth under us, and we can hardly make him goe. I had not thought such anomalies and irregularities could have bene [Page 220] devised in the heavens, as namely, that a motion swift, should become a vigorous rest. In my judgement if the motion of such like discourses of yours were converted into a vigorous rest, it would give farre better satisfaction.

Thirdly you will not have this supposed motion to be di­visible by succession, yet you doe impute unto it succession. For but erst you affirmed that it had parts successively infinite. Now if it hathe succession, how is it possible, but that it should be divisible into parts succeeding one another? For like as magnitude havinge extension of parts, must needes be divisi­ble in respect of its extension; so motion fluent as it hath suc­cession of parts, so it must needes be divisible in respect of this succession.

Yet you suppose the contrary, like unto the Fryar in Chan­cer, who to shewe his contentednes with a litle, professed that he desired, but of bread a shiver, and of a goose the liver, and of a pigge the head, but that for him, nothing must be dead. So you will have the motion you speake of, to consist of parts succeeding, yet not divisible into parts succeeding. Lastly, your disi [...]nctive is not good, as when you say, in the false same instant, or in the least parcell of time. For your supposit on is of the revolution of the heavens, not in the least parcell of time at all, but in an instant, which you well knowe is no par­cell of time.

Yet I thinke to charme the absurditie of your former sup­position, which perhaps makes you weary of it, and some­thing confounded in the prosecution therof, you would fayn turne it into some small parcell of time: but then, all that you builde herupon falls utterly to the ground.

One sentence remayneth to be considered, wherby in pro­secuting your former supposition, you desire to lay a ground, for the commodious illustration of Gods eternitie, and that is this: Every starre in the eyghthe spheare should be converted into a permanent circle, and so in one circle there shoulde be circles for number infinite, as many circles as there be points or divisibilities in the eclipticke circle. All this I may be bolde to say is no­thing to the purpose, but proceedeth merely from affectation [Page 221] of holdinge your Reader in admiration, at the wonderfull conclusions, which yet being not superficially but exactly con­sidered, conteyne most superficiall conceytes; the thinges you here deliver, so farre foorthe as they have any truthe, are as well verified in respect of every days motion of the heavē; yea as well verified in a tennis ball, at every turning round therof.

For looke how many circles are made, upon the eighthe spheares turninge round in a moment; so many circles are made, by the turning of it rounde in 24. houres, For the bo­dy of the heavens is divisible alike, whether it turne round in a day, or in an houre, or in a moment; savinge that the turning of it round in a moment; deserves rather to be accoumpted a vigorous rest, and may be called a cessation from motion, as your selfe have professed, and consequently a cessation from making any circles at all.

But howsoever; I say the body of the heavens is alike di­visible and that in infinitum, because it is corpus continuum; and for the same reason a tennis ball is so too & upon his turning rounde, you may as well imagine infinite circles made by him, according as the points therin are infinite.

Now we come to the application of this fiction (prosecu­ted with much varietie, partly of Chimericall, and partly of vulgar inventions) unto eternitie it selfe, as followeth: Thus in him that is eternall, or being infinite and in eternitie, are actually conteyned durations successively infinite. Thus in him, say you; and what I pray, may an Atheist reply out of that heart of his wherin he saythe There is no God. For may he not rejoyne in this manner? And if it be but Thus; like as the fiction here supposed by you, is of a thing utterly impossible, so you give us libertie to conceave alike of the Eternitie of your God: not to reiterate the varietie of vayne conceytes, which have bloo­med from the severall branches of this your discourse in pro­secutinge so vile a fiction to represent Gods eternitie therby. Agayne, how dothe God conteyne durations successively infi­nite? Not formally, you well knowe, but only eminently, for as much as he can produce them.

But no such thing appeares, nor any modell therof in this [Page 222] your fiction. For this revolution in an instant, conteynes only it selfe formally it conteynes the motion of no other bo­dy, neyther formally, nor eminently.

Yet thus, you say, Gods eternall being conteynes durations successively infinite, thoughe there be no more resemblance be­tweene them, then betweene harpe and harrowe; a foxe and a ferne bushe, no nor any thing like so much.

Yet you proceede in your accommodation thus: The for­mer supposition admitted, we coulde not say, that the inferior orbes mooving as now they doe, did moove after the eighthe spheare, but that the times of their motions were continually conteyned in it. For the eighthe spheare being mooved in an instant, should loose the di­visibilitie of time, and the nature of motion, with all the properties that accompany them, not by defect (as if it no way comprised them) but by swallowing up time or duration successively infinite, into an actuall permanency. To this I answeare, first; The Heavens moovinge as nowe they doe, I cannot subscribe unto you intima­tinge that the inferior Orbes doe moove after the eighthe spheare: But rather as in respect of their proper motion they goe a­gainst it (supposing the eighthe spheare to be the uppermost Heaven) so in respect of Diurnall motion, they moove not after it, but motu raptus are drawne a long with it: this is on the By.

Nowe to the mayne: I deny that upon your supposition, it will followe, that the times of these inferior orbes motions, were eminently conteyned in the motion of the eighthe spheare.

Your contrary affirmation seemes to me wonderous ab­surde, neyther can I devise any reason for it, or in what sense you take this phrase, to conteyne eminently.

For the common acception of it is this: That conteynes another thinge eminently, which not conteyninge it formally, is able to produce it.

So the Sunne is commonly reputed to conteyne heate e­minently, for as much as not being formally hot it selfe, yet is able to produce heate in bodies capable.

So your selfe before have acknowledged all thinges to be in God, not formally (for he is neyther man nor Angell, much [Page 223] lesse any inferior creature), but yet is able to produce all these.

But it is impossible that the motion of the eighthe spheare, supposed to be in an instant, should produce the times of the inferior Orbes motions.

It cannot produce their motions, they mooving as now they doe.

For how should an instantaneous or momentany motion in one body, produce a temporall motion in another body? Much lesse can it produce the times of their motions. For that is only in the power of God.

He alone that gives existence to any thinge, can give dura­tion and time unto it.

Neyther dothe it conteyne their motions formally. For their motions are supposed to be temporall, that is in time, the motion of the eighthe spheare is supposed to be momen­tany, that is in an instant.

But a momentany or instantaneous motion cannot formal­ly conteyne a motion that is made in time.

A swifter motion can conteyne a motion lesse swift, be­cause it is bothe so swift, and swifter allso.

And here by accident, and ere I am aware, I have a glimse of your meaninge; and while I dispute against it, I may seeme to you, to make for it.

For this instantaneous motion is supposed by you, to be infinitely swift, and therfore it may well conteyne the motions of Inferior orbes, which are lesse swift, as mooving rounde no soever then in the space of 24. houres; wheras the eighthe spheare is supposed to moove round in a moment. I thinke I have sprunge the partridge, now let me see, whether I have not a springe to take him: First then I say, this is not to con­teyne eminently, but formally rather.

Secondly I say, this swiftnes of motion which you have in­vented is too swift, too infinite to serve your turne, to conteyne the revolutions of inferior Orbes. For you have allready professed that it deserves to be called a vigorous rest, and that it may be called a cessation from motion,

[Page 224] Now let any sober man judge, whether a cessation from motion, whether rest, and permanency, and that a vigorous one be fitt, eminently to conteyne the true mōtions of infe­rior Orbes, which in the space of 24. houres are turned round. Yet if leave were given you to suppose this allso, namely that a vigorous rest is so infinitely swift, that it might well be sayde eminently to conteyne the motions of inferior Orbes; yet how woulde it herhence appeare, that it should conteyne the times of them allso?

Since this vigorous rest which you make to be infinitely swift, is but in an instant, and the motions of inferior Orbes of like quantitie are performed, in no lesse space then 24. houres.

Is an instant of time fitt to conteyne 24 houres? Yes you may say eminently. For as fluxus puncti in Longitudinem makes a line, so fluxus instantis for a certeyne space of time, makes 24. houres. Any man hathe reason to give me leave, to re­freshe my selfe a litle while my witts are dulled about such stuffe as this. But you labour to shewe how the times of the inferior Orbes motions should be eminently conteyned in the eighthe spheare, if it mooved round in an instant. And that by this rea­son: For say you the eighthe spheare being mooved in an instant, should loose the divisibilititie of time and the nature of motion, not by defect (as no way comprising them) but by swallowing up time into an actuall permanency.

Tis true, I confesse, that motion, which is made in an in­stant; loosethe the divisibilitie of time, that is, is not made in time. For an instant is no part nor parcell of time; Agayne it is well that you doe so ingenuously confesse, that it looseth the nature of motion, allso, and all the properties that accompany it. For you have allready professed, that it may be called a cessation from motion, and is to be called a vigorous rest or permanency, rather then motion.

All this I doe not dislike. But yet to make way for the conteyninge both of times and motions, you tell us, that all this is not by way of defect, as if it no way comprised them, but by swallowing up time or division successively infinite into an actuall [Page 225] permanency; which assertion of yours if we should take for a truthe, we should swallowe many a goageon. For first you imply, that what a thing comprisethe not, that it hath not, by way of defect, which is untrue for my hand comprisethe not sixe fingers,; yet that it is without a fixt finger is not by way of defect. Secondly you give us to understand that a certeyne mutation may loose both the nature of time and motion, and all the properties of them, and yet some way comprise them which is contradictious.

For looke what way it compriseth time or motion, surely that way it hathe it, and dothe not loose it. Thirdly it is an absurde thing to say, that an instant of time swalloweth up time. For to swallowe it up is to conteyne it. But it is impossible that an instant should conteyne the space of any time, as the space of 24. houres. For if it be impossible that an houre should conteyne the space of 24. houres, much more impossible is it, that an instant shoulde.

The motion indeede, which you suppose to be in an in­stant, conteynes an whole revolution of the eighthe spheare, (for upon the fiction of this impossibilitie, you are pleased to descant much:) but surely this supposition of yours, thoughe it be of a thing impossible, yet dothe it not inferre, that this instant shall swallowe up the space of 24. houres, thoughe it swalloweth up the motion, (as you suppose) which usually is made in no lesse space then the space of 24. houres.

Last of all consider I pray the sobrietie of this speeche: It swalloweth up motion into an actuall permanency (as much as to say, into an actuall rest) and so it comprisethe it, that is, rest con­teyneth motion, and that in an instant; how much more shall the space of 24. houres rest, be sufficient to conteyne a motion infinitely greater, then an instant dothe. As for division suc­cessively infinite (as it were to make your deductions the more admirable to vulgar capacities) it is a very sory con­ceyt. For the least time or motion that is, is divisible in infini­tum, like as every continuall thing is, though never so small. By this, let the wise Reader judge, of the profitable nature of the improvements you speake of in improving motion infini­tely [Page 226] swift into permanency or rest, which is as much as to say, into no motion; and let him well weighe and consider whe­ther this be not to bring a noble unto nine pence, or rather unto no pence: and by such improovements, when you cast up your reckoninge at the yeares ende, you may put all your gaynes in your eyes, and never hurt your sight.

After this you come in with a newe way of conceavinge the first moovers eternitie, and that is as Mathematicians con­ceave the nature of a spheare, by imagining it to be produced by the motion of a semicircle upon the Axis. There is such a defini­tion, I confesse, of a spheare, which is defined to be transitus circumferentiae as which transitus I conceave to be emanation rather then motion, like as a line is imagined to be fluxus puncti in longitudinem; and a superficies is imagined to be flux­us lineae in latitudinem. But all these are very vayne imagina­tions. For neyther is it possible, that such things should have any fluxe, or if they had, that by theyr fluxe they should make eyther lengthe, or breadthe, or thicknes in such a figure; but rather a length so made should consist of points, & a breadth so made shoulde consist of lines, and a spheare so made, shoulde consist of semicircles, which is utterly impossible.

And shall we never linne to compare the nature of God to the vayne imaginations of such vayne thinges? Yet seing you will take your course, we will take libertie to consider it. And thus you proceede, For let the eternall be but thus imagined, to be an intellectuall spheare, capable of momentany motion or revo­lution throughout this World, and the indivisible coexistence of his infinitie to every part of time and place, will be very conceavable. Very conceavable, you say; but first let us try, whether this con­ceyte of yours conteyne any conceavable truthe. For if it dothe not, are we not well advanced to the conceaving of Gods eternitie, by comparing it to such impossibilities? And first you were as good bid us imagine God to be an intellec­tuall body, as to be an intellectuall Spheare.

For a Spheare is a body, eyther physicall or mathematicall, that is, a body at least of quantitative dimensions. The world indeede is Sphericall, and God is in every part of it; but will [Page 227] you therfore conceave the nature of God to be Sphericall all­so, and his forme altered, upon the making of the World, from that it was before?

Remember I pray, God is in the World and in every part of it but how? as conteyning it, not as being conteyned by it.

Secondly, you will have us imagine God to be capable of momentany motion, or revolution throughout the World? Now consider I pray, what a congerie of wilde conceytes are in­volved here. Is a revolution, a motion throughout the world? Every man knowes a revolution to be a turninge round. The orbes of the heavens have theyr revolutions, but doe they therby moove throughout the World? or rather keepe theyr places, & each mooveth only about the bodies that are within the compasse therof.

Agayne you knowe momentany motion is a thing imposi­ble. And that which dothe so moove round as you would suppose it, dothe rather rest then moove. For to be in the same place where it was immediately before is the definition of locall rest. And your selfe have confessed it may be cal­led a cessation from motion, and doe affect rather to call it a rest, a permanency, a stabilitie.

If it were a motion, is it fitt to attribute motion unto God? Is it fitt to maynteyne that God mooves from place to place? Agayne the motion of an intellectuall nature as intellectuall, is rather the motion of the understanding in knowing things, then motion locall from place to place. And it is true, that all thinges done in time and place are knowne unto God, but without all motion so much as in the understanding. For even in the understanding of God, there is no change, much lesse motion. Lastly by mooving through the World in an instant, he shallbe coexistent to every part of place & that in an instāt, but how shall we conceave herby, any coexistence of his to every part of time, as well to all parts of time past, and time to come, as to the time present?

The light of the Sunne is diffused thoroughe all, let us sup­pose, thoroughe all the world, therfore it shallbe coexistent to every place, but not to every part of time, but only to the pre­sent. [Page 228] But is it not your meaning that Gods eternitie should be diffused not so much thorough the world; for that be­longs to his immensitie; but rather thoroughe the time of the world, from the beginning therof, to the ende of all dura­tions successive without ende (for you doe maynteyne that successive duration shall have no ende?) Certeinly this seemes to be your meaninge, and then indeede, it is no hard thing to conceave Gods eternitie to coexist with all parts of time past, present & to come, if so be we conceave it diffused thoroughe them all, as God is coexistent to all parts of this World, if he be diffused thorough them all (which is your phrase, and not mine, and utterly disclaymed by Durandus.)

But then what Meant you to adde coxistence of place to coexistence of time, which are woonderous different, the one belonging to Gods immensitie, this alone to Gods eternitie.

Secondly, what meant you to call this a motion thoroughe the World, wheras it is rather thorough the duration of the World, or thorough the time of the world, and the parts ther­of, from the beginning of it to the ende, and infinitely fur­ther. For by the World we usually understand a World of place, and not a world of time.

Thirdly, what meant you to call, this motion throughout all times a revolution, doth time runne round, & by fetching a compasse about returne to the beginning of it from whence it first issued? For this is the nature of revolutions.

Fourthly, what meant you to call it a motion, seing it can neyther be alteration, nor augmentation, nor generation, nor locall motion, thoughe you seeme to devise a motiō through­out all time, like unto the locall motiō of the eighthe Spheare turning round in a moment. And so you devise as it were a locall motion thoroughe time but it shallbe in an instant, to make up a world of woonders, that in an instant a motion may be conceaved thoroughe all time, from the beginning of the World to the ende, and infinitely beyond it in duration. Yet this motion thorough so many thousand yeares while the world lastethe, and millions of yeares after that, shall be in an instant.

[Page 229] Fiftly when, I pray, did this motion beginne? was it before the world, or with the beginning of the world? Not before the world: For, as there was then no place for God to pene­trate (as you speake) and to fill, so there was no time for him to moove thorough by his eternitie. If with the world, then seing this motion is supposed to be in an instant, in the first in­stant God mooved thorough all time to come.

But how was that possible, seing like as before the World it could not be, because then there was no time; so in the be­ginning of the World it could not be, because the time to come as yet was not. If you say, thoughe it were not present, yet it was to come, and therfore God coulde by vertue of his infinite eternitie moove thorough it in an instant, I answeare, that by the same reason, he might as well moove thorough all time before ever the World was. For even then, thoughe there was no time present, yet there was time enoughe to come.

But like as it is absurd to say, that God by his immensitie did fill all places before the world, when as yet there was no place to fill: so it is alike absurd to say, that God by his eter­nitie did fill all times before the world was, when as yet there was no time to fill. And now I pray, be pleased soberly to consider, what litle neede there is of all this paynes, in strey­ning our conceytes as it were upon tenter hookes, till they are quite out of joynt: what neede of so many absurd fictions, of so many impossibilities to proove that which is most un­true, and yet confidently supposed by you as a principle out of a superficiall consideration of the nature of Gods eternitie, Namely, that God by vertue of his eternity doth coexist with all times past, present, and to come.

For consider I pray, will you say that God did by vertue of his immensitie coexist with all places before the world was? No sober man I presume, will say this; why then should you affirme, that God by vertue of his eternitie did coexist with all times before the world was? And if the ac­tuall existence of place, be required unto this, that God by vertue of his immensitie should exist with it; why should not [Page 230] the actuall existence of time as well be required unto this, that God by vertue of his eternitie should coexist therwith? And if before the world was, God did not coexist with times that were to come (like as then he did not coexist with place that was to come:) then surely by the same reason, he shall not at this time present coexist with time that is to come; and conse­quently, neyther shall he be sayde to coexist with times that are past, like as if the world were destroyed, he shoulde not be sayde to exist with those places, and bodily spaces, which sometimes were, but in this case now were not.

And therfore we have litle neede to trouble our selfes with any such wilde and monstrous fictions to maynteyne the coexistence of God with every part of time. For as the parts of time shall be found to exist in theyr order, so shall God be truly sayde to coexist with them, and no otherwise, that is, not to coexist with them all at once, but only in succes­sion, not of Gods duration or of any thing in God, but in suc­cession of time, and of the thinges conteyned therin.

Gods duration we acknowledge to be eternall without beginning and without ende, yet indivisible; for as much as it is no way subject unto motion, no way subject to any varia­blenes or shadowe of change. For he is of necessary being, and therfore impossible it is, he should not be. Besides, whatsoever he is the same he is essentially, and therfore not subject to any kinde of change, eyther in substance or quali­tie, or quantitie or in place.

And as he is the Author of all thinges, so both the motions and rests of all thinges are produced and maynteyned by him, and so may be sayde after an eminent manner to be conteyned in him, and no otherwise. I mislike not Plotins interpreta­tion of Gods totalitie of being, in as much as he is able to pro­duce all kindes of beinge. As for eternitie, I had rather rest vpon Aquinas his definition of it, then on yours. For it hathe no parts formally; and as for an eminent conteyning of all parts of duratiō, that is in respect of activitie to produce them. Now time, and the duration therof, together with the dura­tion of thinges therin, is rather produced by the counsayle and [Page 231] will of God, then by his eternitie. And therfore all durations doe flowe rather from Gods will, then from his eternitia. To my understanding a body casteth but one shadowe, and not many; which casting of a shadowe is no other thing then the hindring of light from the earthe or water, according to the bodies proportion, which therupon are sayde to be shadowed by it. These diverse shadowes, as you call them, how they vanishe in every moment, as you speake, I professe, I know not, sure I am the fishes in the water doe not eate them, if they did, certenly they would be never a whit the fatter by them.


Of the Infinity of divine power.

I Doe not affect to contende with you in point of Rheto­ricke, or to call you to an account for stiling Time, a specta­tor of all thinges. If it be so, it is the more like unto a Philo­sopher by his account, who comparinge the world unto a market, ranged the people therof into 3. sorts, buyers, sellers, and lookers on, and these were the Philosophers. Only I woulde desier that you woulde give other the like liberty to speake in theyre owne phrase, and not to chalenge them for affecting Poeticall witt more then Metaphysicall truthe; as upon such like termes it was your pleasure to cry downe that common adage Tempus edax rerum. For if you admitt time to be a Spectator, you may by as good Rhetoricke admitt it to be a devourer, according to that of good autoritie Inspexit va­rias merces oculisque comedit. In like sort studious scholars are accoumpted Helluones librorum, devourers of bookes, though not for the readinge of them only, but for the apprehension of them, and making them theyre owne.

So Cassius Severus had devoured Labienus his workes, his orations. For when an edicte came forth from the Em­peror, for the burning of all his writings. (For as he was an admirable Orator, so he was of an high spirite, and as Seneca [Page 232] writes, qui in tantâ pace Pompeianos spiritus nondum deposuerat.) which edicte when it came to Cassius Severus eares; why then saythe he, I muste be burnt alive; for as much as I have learnt them without booke. Yet I coulde be content to allow you any liberty of phrase, so you woulde be pleased to speake to our understanding; wherof you fayle in your very first sen­tence, when you tell us, that all thinges wantinge place or time or being, present themselfes anewe in theyre proper shape or forme; for how any thinge can present itselfe, wanting both place, and time, and being allso, it is a riddle unto me.

I guesse your meaninge is, that the being of all thinges is produced in place and time, which before the time of theyre production were without both place and time, and beinge; which as it is a truthe, so it is a moste vulgar truthe, yet ob­scuerly delivered by you, and to no purpose that I can con­ceave. But be it so, & that every thinge brought forth on this stage, you speake of, acteth one parte or other for the mayn­tenance of the whole; and therfore is of some power; though in some you thinke it is to be accoumpted strength and po­wer passive rather then active.

And yet you say the very earth, in that it sustaines weights layde upon it, and resisteth contrary impulsions, is perhaps of active force or operation; As for the power of mooving to the centers that you say is no more passive then active but a meane betwixt bothe. I presume you meane by way of participa­tion, and not by abnegation of the extreames. Yet in my judgement to swey or moove to the center is meerely active, to be sweyed or mooved is merely passive. Yet other pro­perties there are of the earth, though you pretermitt them. For it is commonly sayde, that it covers the errors of Physi­cians.

And I remember what a Sexton was wont to say, of all his sick neighbours; that when Physicians have done all they can, yet at lengthe he muste heale them, meaninge by making theyr graves, and with the earth to cover them. I have heard a Mountebanke report, that when a mans legge is stung with a viper, to put that legge into the colde earth is a presēt remedy.

[Page 233] I have heard allso what use the Irishe sometimes have made of the colde earth, when they have overdrunke themselfes with Vsquobath. Yet me thinks that power of the earth should not be pretermitted which the Holy Ghoste gives unto it, in saying, Let the earth bring forth, &c. But as for the po­wer of assimilating other thinges to themselfes, and of preser­vinge symbolizinge qualities, that you say is founde in the dul­lest bodies. The active force and power motive of windes, vapours and exhalations is well knowne, as allso of celestiall bodies especially the Sunne, theyre productive operation can­not be unknowne to any. You conclude that all this power is but finite, and that no created thinge is capable of power infinite, which you affirme only with a perhaps, and such cau­tions are very frequent with you, which in this place I take to be moste needelesse.

Now as time and place were as you sayde shadowes of Gods eternitie and immensitie, So, the power of the creature is a shadowe of Gods infinite power. Yet shadowes we all knowe have proportiōs to the substances shadowed by them, but betweene finite and infinite we commonly say there is no proportion.

2. God, you say, is more infinite in every kinde, then all the united powers of severall natures, though they were for number in­finite and each infinitly operative in its owne kinde. But let us not lye for God, as man doth for man to gratify him. True and naturall beauty needeth no painting: And Gods perfec­tion needeth no Mountebanke like amplifications to sett him forth. The powers of the creatures are not formally in God, but eminently, that is, they are sayd to be in God in as much as he can produce them, and theyre effects allso. As for exam­ple, though he be not hott, yet can he produce heate in grea­ter measure then fier dothe.

But consider I pray you; Can God produce a greater heate, then that which is infinite? or can he produce a greater num­ber then that which is infinite? It is apparent that he cannot, not by reason of any defecte of power in God, but by reason that a greater then that which is infinite to be produced, is a [Page 234] thing utterly impossible. You are pleased to take notice of a former observation of yours, which was this, That thinges by nature most imperfecte, doe oftentimes best shadowe divine per­fection.

You have allready intreated of Gods immensity and eterni­ty; and therein you have tolde us, that no positive entity, no nu­merable parte of this vinverse, doth so well represent the immensity and eternity of God, as the negation of all thinges, which we de­scribe by the name of Nothinge. I thinke there never dropt a more vile assertion from the penne of any wise man then this; yet you desire here agayne to commende it unto the Reader as some quainte observation. But what doe you meane to repeate it under such forme, as by calling it somethinge though imperfect. Is Nothinge, or the negation of all thinges, to be ac­coumpted somethinge though imperfect? yet the same obser­vation you will have to have place here allso. As if this which we call nothinge were the most fitt to represent Gods immensity by, yea and his eternity, yea and his infinite power allso.

How neere drawes this to the making of God to consiste of nullities, since you say his naturall properties are best resem­bled unto nullities? well, we have heard what that is which best representeth his immensity and eternity, now we are to ex­pecte what that is which best represents his infinite power. And this after a long deduction, you expresse to be the cen­ter of the earth, which you say is matter of nothing.

And thus you maintaine a just proportion of discourse con­cerning Gods attributes; for still your witt serveth you to re­semble them either to Nothinge, or to that which you call matter of (just) nothinge. But herein you proceede by degrees. And first you seeme to conceave, that this center of the earth, is in the language of the Holy Ghoste, made to be the foun­dation of the earth, as in that speeche of the Lord to Iob chap. 38. 4. 5 6. Where wast thou, when I layed the foundation of the earth? and whereupon are the foundations therof fastned, who hath layde the corner stone therof? And first you commende the phrase, as surmounting all poeticall decorum, and will have [Page] the Majesty therof consiste therin, sufficiently testifying that it was uttered by God himselfe.

Now hertofore, you have made poeticall witt to stande in opposition unto Metaphysicall truth. But of poeticall de co­rum, especially in this place, like enough you have a better opinion. For my part I am persuaded the Majesty of Gods speeche consists in the power of the Spirite, rather then the Wisdome of the wordes. Paule allso spake by the Spirite of God, and some have observed greate parts in his very lan­guage, but see what Castellio a freind to your opinions writes of Bezaas judgement concerning this in the defence of his translations upon the 2. Cor. 11. 6. Paulum (sayth he of Beza) & grandiloquentiâ Platoni, & vehementia Demostheni, & Me­thodo Aristoteli atque Galeno anteponit: in quo mihi videtur Pic­tores imitari, qui Christi matrem dum honorare volunt, regio vestitu pingunt, & [...]idem tamen ita cogente historia praesepe in quo jaceat Christus infans appingunt nobili sane solaecismo. Quid enim mundanis regibus cum praesepibus? Mariae gloria est paupertas, & pictores eam divitiis exornant. Sic Pauli gloria & gloriatio est Ser­monis imperitia.

But lett the Majesty of the speech passe as nothing perti­nent to our present purpose, where doe you find the center of the earth to be mentioned or pointed unto in all this? doth the corner stone there mentioned, signifie so much? or by the foundation there expressed, muste we necessarily understand the center of the earth? The Holy Ghoste seemes rather in this inquisition, to have reference to something without the earth that should uphold it or fasten it, and withall signifieth, that no such supporter can be found. Then you proceede to admiration at this that the center shoulde beare up the earth and all thinges theron, which center is no body or sub­stance, no not so much as a meere Angle or corner, nay such as forth with you say is a matter of nothing.

And so in the issue it comes to this, that nothing beares it up, which is true, in the forme of a negative; but not as an af­firmative as if there were any power in the center to beare it up. And why should we conceave that the center of the [Page 236] earth should beare it up, more then the center of a tennis ball beares it up, which allso might be the center of all if it lay in the middle of the earth? And if any side of the earth were re­moved from the center to the heavens, it would forthwith appeare that the center of the earth beares not up the rest; for that which before was the center would now be driven ā greate deale higher, and become the outside of the earth. So that the center of the earth will not serve your turne; will you then runne to the center of vacuum or of the space imagined to contayne the earth? Yet you distinguish not of centrum Physicum and centrum Mathematicum. For who doubts, but that one side of the earth may be heavier then an other. A­gaine it was woont to be a received Maxime that Terra non gravitat in loco suo; and therfore there is no neede of any thing to beare it up. For the middle of the world is the naturall place of the earth, which when it hath gotten, it swayes not, nor propendes not, nor can be swayed to weighe downe­wards; which indeede were to weighe upwards which way soever.

And have heavy thinges any neede (thinke you) of suppor­tance to keepe them from weighing upwards? Yet we ac­knowledge, the whole world and every part of it is from the finger of God. For the very course of nature is the worke of God. That fire doth burne, that the Sunne and starres doe inlighten the earth, that heavy thinges moove downe­wards, and light thinges upwards, all this I say, we acknow­ledge to be the worke of God.

And we woonder at the power of God in making all this by his word, and supporting all by his word. But being made and as wonderfully preserved by God, we woonder not at this, that heavy thinges moove downewards, & light things upwards; or how it comes to passe, that the earth without a supporter continueth where it is, seing if it did not continue where it is, it should moove upwards towards the Heavens lighter then a feather, which is quite contrary to the nature of the earth. We well woonder at the power of God in this, that as he made it by his worde, so with the turninge of an [Page 237] hande he coulde sett an ende unto it, if it pleased him. And therefore to talke of chamberinge up sustentative force (in the center) multiplied accordinge to the severall portions or divisibili­ties of magnitude successively immensurable, to speake in propor­tion to your owne language, is to affect more Rhetoricall witt then Metaphysicall truthe, in plainer termes, is to multiply woords without sense.

So then to amplifie the infinite power of God, by surpas­sing the imaginary sustentative force of a center, which as your selfe confesse is a matter of nothinge and consequently the sustentative force of it must be a matter of nothing, is a very poore amplification of the power of God. If the center were able to supporte the earth not where now it is, but in the hollowe of the moone, that were somewhat to magnifie the sustentative power therof. Yet I make no doubte, but God coulde doe so by his power. Which case is of farre greater force for the manifesting of his power, then in bea­ring up the earth where it is, which indeede being created, and preserved in being, hath no neede of supportar [...]ō in his owne place, where it can moove no lower; and if it moove by di­recte motion, it muste needes moove higher; which kinde of motion is more proper for a feather thē for the heavy earth, whose wombe is impregnated with stones and mettalls.

And therfore you doe well to take this power of God into consideration as namely of his ability to tosse this universe with greater case, then a Gyant doth a tennis ball (yet I never read or heard before of Gyants playing att tennis ball) through out the boundlesse courtes of immensitie. By the way your overlash, in talking of the Courts of immensitie, wherin this motion should be. For as for the immensitie of God, that is no fitt space to tosse the world in.

And as for the immensitie corporall, that is a thing utterly impossible; the motion you devise must needes be in vacuo or not att all. Now the force of the center is no way fitt wher­by to illustrate this power of God. For certainly if the earth were placed in the hollowe of the Moone, it together with his center would tumble downe againe; as little con­gruous [Page 238] is it; for the illustration of that power of God, wherby he is able to dissolve Rocks of Adamant with the phillep of his fin­ger, sooner thē bubbles of water with the breath of the Canon; In all which you seeme to affect not Metaphysicall truthe only, but Rhetoricall if not Poeticall florishes allso. We beleeve that God, as by his word he made all thinges out of nothing, so by his word he can returne them into nothing; this is plaine English neyther hath his power neede of any Pyrgopolini­ces bombast eloquence to illustrate the Majesty therof or sett it forth.

3. But from the breath of the Canon you fall congruous­ly upon the consideration of the mother of it, which creature is commonly called gunpowder. And here you tell us first that our admiration of Gods active power may be raysed by calcu­lating the imaginary degrees of active powers increase in creatures; that which followeth divisible as well in quantitie as operation, is of no importance but only to fill up. The Canon sends forthe his bullet with greater violence then the Sacher, like enoughe, and so every Ordinance exceedes other in force of Batte­ry, according to the quantitie of charge, or length of barrell, which I leave to the consideration of the Master of the Ordinance. To this you adde that if the same quantitie of steele or yron, were possible to be as speedily converted into a siery vapor as gunpowder is, the blowe would be 10. times more irresistible then it is. I doe not thinke your meaning is to instruct the would in a new way of making Saltpeter, if it were, Saltpeter men should be your scholars, I would be none of them.

So much Phylosophie I apprehend, that fire is most swifte in mooving upwards, as the Element of earth is most swift in mooving downewards. And like as the contraction of more parts of the earth together makes a bodie the heavier, so like­wise the more siery anything is, so much the more swift in mo­tion upwards. But to say that the active force or vigour of mo­tion, allwayes increaseth according to the degrees of celerity which it accumulates, is an idle speech, & as much as to say the more swiftly it mooves, the more vigorously it mooves. It had more shew of congruity to say the more vigorously it is moo­ved [Page 239] (to witt in respect of the Agents force that mooves it) the more swiftly it mooveth.

Now you come to the accommodation of all this, unto the infinite power of God, in this manner, Though the moste active and powerfull essence cannot be encompossed with walls of brasse, nor chambred up in vaults of steele allbeit much wider then the Heavens, yet doth it every where more strictly girde it selfe with strength then the least or weakest body can be girte. For what bonds can we prescribe so strict so close or firme, as is the bond of in­divisible unitie, which can not possibly burst, or admitt eruption, wherin notwithstanding infinite power doth as intirely and totally encampe it selfe as in immensitie. How incomparably then doth his active strength exceede all comparison? What a mad compa­rison is it in illustrating the infinitie of Gods power to say that God girds himselfe with strength more strictly, then the wea­kest body can be girt? Doe weake persons girde themselfes with strength; or is Gods girdinge of himselfe with strength, like to our girding of our clothes aboute us? By that which followeth it seemes that you have an allusion to Gods gir­ding of himselfe into a narrowe compasse, like Ladies that af­fect slender wasts. For to what other purpose doe you tell us that Gods girding is as strict, as is the bond of indivisible unitie.

And before you told us that the greater force ariseth from the contraction of parts. Now hath God any parts to be thus contracted and united, that so his vigour might be grea­ter? what base comparisons are these, to represent the infinite power of God by them? Then you roule in your woonted Rhetorick to amplifie the vehemency of his motive power; in that it cannot be exprest by a motion that should beare levill from the Sunnesetting in the west, to the Moone riseing in the East, which is a very faire marke I confesse; for the case put, is in plenilunio, when the Moone is att full. Then to cast the fixed starres downe to the center, (belike you meane one after ano­ther, otherwise there would be no roome for them in the cen­ter;) and hoyse the earth up to the Heavens within the twinkling of an eye, or to send both in a moment beyond the extreamities of this [Page 240] visible world, into the wombe of vacuity whence they issued, would not straine his power motive.

Yet all this you confesse to be lesse then to bring nothing unto something, that is, to take not your words but rather your good meaning, to create out of nothing. Wherby no­thing doth not become something, but something hath a being, which before it had not. But here you power out many wilde conceits besides this: first as when you say, Essence swallowes up infinite degrees of succession in a fixed instant. I had thought rather this had bene the property of eternity, not of essence. You might as well say essence swallowes up all places into an indivisible unitie or point. Then how may eternitie be sayde to swallow up that which it doth not con­tayne; neyther formally, (for certeynly there is no formall succession in eternitie) nor eminently. For to conteyne emi­nently, is to be able to produce succession; but it is not Gods eternitie that denominates him able to produce time, or the existence of thinges in time, but his power. So neyther his essence nor his eternitie, swallowes up motion for the same reason.

But as for the swallowing up of motion into a vigorous rest, to witt by mooving the eighth spheare round in a mo­ment; Of the nakednesse and absurditie, that is shamefull na­k [...]dnesse of such an assertion, we have discoursed enough. A­gaine, is it not enough for you to maynteyne motion in vacuo; but you must needes affirme that this visible world issued from the vacuum which now we imagine without the extrea­mities of it? where now the world is, was a vacuum before the world was, but yet the world issued not from it, neyther in the kinde of a materiall cause, nor in the kind of a formall cause, nor in the kind of an efficient cause, much lesse did it issue from that vacuum, which you terme without the extrea­mites of this world. Then againe I know no measure of perfection derived unto the creature from Gods immensitie, but only from the counsayle of his will, by his immensitie he fills all places but distributes not the measure of perfections therby.

[Page 241] When you call Nothinge the mother of Gods creatures, tell mee I pray, did you affect poeticall witt or Metaphysicall truth? I had thought Nothing had not afforded so much as the mat­ter of any thinge, as the Mother doth the matter (at least) of the childe. It is true; we were not any thing before God made us. And as sure I am that this which we call nothinge, did not contribute any thinge to the creation of men.

The basenes of mans originall is a common place of ano­ther nature; Now your text is the Infinity of Gods power, but you may squander from it as you please. Whatsoever im­plyes not contradiction, the production therof is within the compasse of Gods power, and whatsoever God can do, he can doe with ease; His head aked not in the makeing of the World, neyther doth it ake in providing for, and preserving all things. But to talke of the possibilitie of more worlds hand over head, under colour of gratifying God in the am­plification of his power, I leave unto them that are not satis­fied with the demonstration of his infinite power in this. Yet as touching Gods omnipotency, for the strengthening of our faith, we are promised somethinge hereafter; as if all hitherto tended to the strengthening of our imagination, by compa­ring it first to the sustētative force of a center which is a matter of nothing, and then to the force of gunpowder which un­doubtedly is a matter of something. Whether we are like to meete with a more wise discourse, concerning Gods infi­nite Wisedome, if others know, yet I know not.


Of the Infinitie of divine Wisedome. That it is as impos­sible for ought to fall out without Gods knowledge, as to have existence without his power or essentiall pre­sence.

1. IN the first Section there is nothing that I mislike: we acknowledge God could not be infinite in power, unles he were infinite in Wisedome allso. And that power ungo­verned [Page 242] by Wisedome, would bring forth very enormous ef­fects. But if a duble portion of witt matched with halfe the strength would effecte more then a triple portion of strength with halfe so much witt, surely where the power is equall, & the Wisedome insinitly unequall, there the effects cannot be the like. Yet you have bene bold to affirme in another trea­tise of yours, not yet extant I confesse, that If a man had the same infinite power that God hath, he might well thinke he coulde dispose thus of thinges as God hath disposed, by the Wisedome which man allready hath.

And you give this reason, for in thinges wee can lay any ne­cessitie upon, wee can tell well enough how to dispose of them to the end which we seeke. As uncouth an assertion as hath passed from the mouth or penne of any man. For we manifestly perceave that the difference of artificiall operations in the World, doth not arise from the difference of mens powers, but merely from the difference of theire skill and Wisedome in severall trades.

2. You doe not well to confounde power with strength; for strength is only power naturall; but there is a civill power goeth beyond that. And there is no question to be made, but Wisedome is to be preferred before the strength of the body, by how much the qualities of the minde are to be pre­ferred before the qualities of the body. But where civill power is supreame that ruleth over the wisest Counsaylers. No question God is as infinite in Wisedome as in power. But I take it to be very absurd to say that Gods wisedome is greater then his power. For is it possible that God by his wisedome can thinke of any course fitt to be done for the setting forth of his glory which his power were not able to effect? and seing you confesse his power to be infinite as well as his wis­dome, what should move you to maynteine the one to be greater then the other, I can not devise. Princes have guides to governe them, which yet are not therfore greater thē they, but inferior by farre. But in God, his wisedome and power, though different notions, yet the substance of them is all one and precisely one in God. The same is the proportion be­tweene [Page 243] infinite wisedome and power infinite, as betweene si­nite wisedome and power finite. But finite wisedome doth not evacuate finite power; therfore neyther doth infinite wis­dome evacuate the necessitie of infinite power.

But to salve the matter, you adde that it evacuates the ne­cessitie of power distinct from it. Tis true indeede, in God, though the notions of wisedome and power are distinct, yet the thinges signified are one essence in God. And looke in what manner soever infinite wisedome doth inferre the indi­stinction of power with it, after the same manner, doth infi­nite power inferre the indistinction of wisedome with it. For as much as God is essentially wise and powerfull, and there­fore infinite in both, & both indistinct in him, whose essence is most simple and admitts no parts. That wisedome is the father and power the Mother of all Gods workes is such an assertion, that I doe not thinke you can finde any to father it, or mother it but your selfe. Will you not give us leave to accommodate it unto the workes of man and pronounce pro­portionably that his Wisedome is the Father, and his power the Mother of his actions? I take it to be absurd to inquire after a Father and Mother of workes, save in case, the workes themselfes doe admitt these different sexes as being male or female; yet in such a case it hath a Father and Mother only in respect of univocall generations not equivocall.

And as for the proportion to justifie your allegorie, we are content rather to expecte your pleasure to acquainte us with it, then to trouble our witts aboute the deviseing of it. Yet Philo & the Platonicks are a rubbe in your way, who (as you say; for I confesse I am not so well seene in them,) make knowledge the mother of all Gods workes.

To remoove this you acquainte us with your conjecturall dictates. First that tis probable they dreamed of a created knowledge. A most improbable conjecture, that they should conceave, that God brought his works to passe by the know­ledg of a creature not by his owne knowledge; Yet that crea­ture by whose created knowledge God is conjectured to have wrought by, in theire opinion, being one of Gods workes, [Page 244] how coulde that creatures knowledge be possibly accoump­ted his mother in creation. Your second conjecture is, that under these termes they covered some transformed notion of the se­cond person in the Trinitie. Such a person more fitt by farre to be the Author of all Gods works in order under God the Father; But equally improbable it is that this second person in Trinitie should be called by them, The Mother of Gods workes. Rather Sapientia in Latine, and [...] in Greeke being the feminine gender; in this grammaticall notion they might accoumpt it [...] the Mother of all thinges created, which yet is more then my learning will encourage me to as­cribe unto them. And Christ you deny not to be the wise­dome of the Father, but you adde that he is the wisedome personall; but you speake here not of the wisedome personall, but of the wisedome of the Godhead as it is essentially in the whole Trinitie.

Danaeus upon the 32. distinction of Peter Lumbards first booke of sentences, professeth the Sonne to be called the wisedome of the Father, for as much as he maketh the Father knowne unto us. But though you speake of wisedome as it is essentiall, and not personall; yet you may remember, that even the essentiall attributes are severally appropriated unto the Person by divines; and in the course of this appropriation, power is attributed to the Father, Wisedome unto the Sonne, Aquinat. 1. q. 39. art. 8. Durand. 1. dist. 3 [...]. q. 3 and goodnesse unto the Holy Ghost. How suitable this is of makeing wisedome the Father of Gods actions, lett every intelligent Reader judge.

Agayne I finde that Gabriell Vasquius proposeth a que­stion, Whether the power of God doth any manner of way differ In 1. q. 25. art. 1. disp. 111. from Gods knowledge and his will? And herein recites the opi­nion of Durand, mainteyning that Gods wisedome and his will, are but the remote causes of divine actions; and that the power of God is the immediate cause of all. The contrary wherunto he maynteynes, namely that power or execution is needelesly attributed unto God, as distinct from his know­ledge and his will; and this he delivers according to the do­ctrine of Scotus, Bassolis, Ferrariensis, Caietan, and Aquinas. [Page 245] Neyther of these opinions as I conceave serves your turne in making wisedome the Father, and power the Mother of Gods actions. These flashes of conceyte are farre distante from the conceites of any Schoole divine, that I am acquainted with.

3. Wisedome (you say) as all agree, is the excellency of know­ledge from which it differs not, save only in the dignitie or usefull­nesse of matters known or in the more perfect manner of knowing them. This promiseth no greate depth, yet it passeth my slen­der capacitie to comprehend your meaning herein, or to make any good sense therof. You have so long inured your selfe to a phrase of speech and expression beyond the capaci­tie of your Reader; that I knowe not whether at length you may attaine to such a facultie of speech as may transcende the Authours owne comprehension. Who they are that agree in this, that Wisedome is the excellency of knowledge, I professe I know not.

And I woonder you proceede to discourse of wisedome without distinction; seing it may be taken in some sense by Philosophers, in which it is not taken by Canonicall writers. Agayne in some sense it may be taken by Canonicall writers, in which it is not taken by Philosophers. There is a wise­dome to salvation which the Scriptures communicate to the meanest of Gods children, which kinde of Wisedome was nothing knowne to Philosophers. And there is a Metaphy­sicall wisedome in knowing Ens quà ens, where abouts Phi­losophers did busie theire braynes, which you shall hardly finde notice taken of throughout the Scriptures. Againe wisedome is sometimes taken for that knowledge, that rest in contemplation; sometimes tis taken for such a knowledge as is not commendable nor right unlesse it be referred to actiō. Solomons Wisedome it seemes comprehended both. For the Wisedome that he prayed for, was the wisedome of govern­ment, which respects action; but God gave him other wise­dome allso. For this is reckoned up as a parte of his wise­dome, that he spake of trees, from the Cedar tree that is in Leba­non, even to the hyssope that springth out of the wall, he speake allso [Page 246] of beast and of foules and of creepeing thinges, and of fishes. And in this respecte it seemes, that hee excelled the wisedome of all the Children of the East, and all the wisedome of Aegypt. For of Moses it is sayde that hee was learned in all the wisedome of the Aegyptians. Act. 1. 22. And this wisedome I conceave to have bene in sciences contemplative and not practicall. Yet in Scripture phrase as I guesse, it is most generally taken for wisedome practicall, consisting in knowing how to bring a­boute intended ends. And thus you seeme to take it, when you professe that it differs not from knowledge save only in the dignitie or usefullnes of matters knowne; which is an harshe man­ner of expression.

But I take your meaninge to be this, that the difference is in the objecte, and that thinges of worth and of use are the speciall object of wisedome. For so a wise man by his wise­dome discernes these thinges which are most behoofefull, & advantagious unto him. So then wisedome seemes to be (in your opinion) the knowledge of thinges usefull and be­hoovefull, that is, the discerning of what is best to be done to the compassing of this or that ende. Yet by your leave if the ende be not good, such a wisard in Solomons phrase, shall be accoumpted no better then a foole. And the Holy Ghoste hath discovered unto us both in the olde Testament, that many Are wise to doe evill, but to doe well have no understan­ding, Ier. 4. 22. and in the new Testament, that the children of this World are wiser in theyre generation, then the children of light. And the unjust Steward had a commendable measure of wise­dome in this kinde. Luc. 16. 8. But take it at the best; why should you call this, the excellency of knowledge? Hath not Aristotle delivered the contrary, and professed that felicity of contemplation is more eminent then the felicity of action? And I know no reason to forsake him in this. Doe not we beleeve that our happinesse in the Kingdome of Heaven shall consist in the vision of God? The knowledge of Gods law is knowledge practicall, and is not this farre inferior to the knowledge of God, and of the mysterie of godlines revealed to us in the Gospell? I confesse the knowledge that we have [Page 247] of God in this life doth conferre to action, but that is not enough to make it practicall; The knowledge of thinges to be practised and put in execution, that and that alone denomi­nates knowledge practicall. Your laste difference of wisedome from knowledge proposed disjunctively thus, or in the more per­fecte manner of knowinge of them, I can hardly make any con­gruouse sense of.

At first I thought the same difference had bene intended though variously expressed, that the Reader might satisfie himselfe with which expression he pleased; litle thinkeinge that your selfe who take upon you herein to instructe others, were to seeke, whether wisedome differed from knowledge, in the object knowne, or in the manner of knowinge thinges; yet upon seconde thoughts this seemes to be your meaninge. But suppose the truth of both concerning wisedome, namely that it knowes thinges of woorth and usefull, and that it knowes them in a perfecte manner; yet I pray consider, what a mad thing is it to say, that herein it differs from knowledg. Doth the knowledge of thinges usefull differ from know­ledge? well you may say it differs from the knowledge of thinges lesse usefull, or not usefull at all, but surely it differs not from knowledge. So likewise the perfecte manner of knowinge thinges, may be sayd to differ from an imperfecte manner of knowinge them, but surely it differs not from the knowinge of them. For we doe not use to say that the spe­cies is contradistinct from the genus, but rather one species from another. I professe I am touched with no small re­gret to consider how much time I am like to wast in correc­tinge such anomalies, if your booke should be too frequent in them.

But to proceede, Though no man be wise without much know­ledge, yet a man may know many thinges and not be wise. In this likewise I finde so much confusion, that a man may very well be to seeke in what sense to justifie it. I have heard of a sage Counsaylor, that knewe not a letter in his owne Mother tongue. Comineus as I remember was no scholar, & yet a very wise Counsaylour. The Turkes are usually accoumpted as [Page 248] ignorant people as live; yet no doubte the grand Signior hath a wise counsayle. And wisedome of goverment (which now a dayes alone is usually accoumpted wisedome) is many times accompanied with litle learninge.

Achitophell in his time was accoumpted as an Oracle of God, but of his learninge or greate knowledge we reade not. And in my judgement this kinde of wisedome seemes to be rather a naturall gift, then an habite acquired by knowledge. And it seemes to consiste in judginge of moste commodious meanes to compasse endes intended, as in the counsayles of Achitophell unto Absalon, as allso it appeares in Solomons course that he tooke to discerne the true mother of the Child which was in question; and because they may be crossed if they be knowne, therfore to discerne how courses commo­dious for the compassing of designes may be closely carried undiscovered; as the two hundred men that Absolon tooke with him when he wente to Hebron, are sayde to have accom­panied 2 Sam. 15. 11. him in the simplicitie of theire hearts knowinge no­thinge; and thus they were engaged in his treason before they were aware. And the same Absolon by his pretence of payinge his vowe at Hebron signified to his Father, prevented jealou­sie in his Father, and tooke away all suspicion of treason. On the other side, it is a greate pointe of wisedome to discover the reaches of others in theire courses; as Solomon, discerned the trayterous hearte of Adoniah, by the motion which he made to have Abishag the Shunemite givē him to Wife, which Bethsheba perceaved not, and was very willing to gratifie him in the furtherance of his suite.

This was a naturall perspicacy in Solomon; for at this time he was very younge, and had not as yet sought the Lord for that spirite of wisedome in government, as afterwards he did; And whereas you say, A man may know many thinges, and not be very wise; It is a truth, but a very meane truth. For a man may know many things, and yet be a very foole; and that more wayes then one. For firste few and many are termes of re­specte; and few thinges are many in respecte of fewer. And though a man knowe never so much as these thinges, that no­thing [Page 249] at all conduce to wisedome; what wise man would ex­pecte that he should be any thinge the wiser thereby? Againe, nothing denominates a man simply wise, but that which makes him a wise man. Now a man may not only knowe many things, but be allso wise in many thinges, and yet not deserve the name of a wise man. He may be a wise painter, a wise graver, wise to worke in handicrafts (which is accoumpted wisedome, both in the phrase of God, and phrase of Aristotle) and yet all this while be farre enough from a wise man. For he only is a wise man that knowes how to governe himselfe and provide for himselfe.

Now many times witt, & that in greate measure, in trades, is founde to be in a fooles keepinge. Nay what will you say; may not a man be wise to doe evill, Ier. 8. 22. wise to sa­tisfie his lust, wise to compasse theire owne wicked endes; but shall he be accoumpted the wiser man for this? Hath not Ari­stotle delivered, that Incontinens non potest esse prudens, An in­continent man can not be a wise man? Laste of all suppose that a man knowes all that belonges to true wisedome, but will not practise it, like the Athenians, of whome it was sayde, sciunt quae recta sunt sed facere nolunt, shall not such a one be ac­coumpted one of Solomons fooles in his proverbs? For are not the Morall vertues and recta ratio knitt together indissolu­bly? But come we to the wisedome of God, Knowledge di­vine, as it comprehends all thinges, the name of wisedome best be­fits it, not as restrained to this or that particular. And why should it not be accoumpted wisedome, restrained to what perticu­lar you will, seing he undoubtedly knowes every perticular, in most perfect manner▪ And but erst you professe that wisedome differs from knowledge only in the usefullnes of thinges knowne, or in the more perfect manner of knowing them. The knowledge of God which is of himselfe, is the wisedome of contempla­tion. His knowledge of other thinges to be produced and ordered by him to the settinge forth of his glory is the wise­dome of action.

And the Apostle breakes forth into admiration of the depthe of Gods rich wisedome and knowledge. Piscator [Page 250] thinks that by wisedome and knowledge one thing is meant. I am not of his opinion. The text seemes to me to make against that construction; For thus it runnes O the depthe of the riches [...] both of the wisedome and knowledg of God. In saying both it plainely intimates that wisedom and knowledge are considered as two, and therfore distinct. I take the meaning to be thus. God by his wisedome discer­neth courses most convenient; but by his knowledge he com­prehendeth all, whether convenient or inconvenient. And because a man may be so farre wise as to discerne of courses proposed to the compassing of a certeine ende, which is the most convenient; Yet because he is not able to invent all courses, he may faile in wisedome, therfore I conceave it is sayde that God is rich both in wisedome and knowledge; be­cause he doth not only judge what is fittest amongst few or many, but amongst all; For he knowes all even the most in­convenient and disorderly courses; but by his wisedome he judgeth of the conveniency of them, and according to his good pleasure useth them. Your reason followes to shew why the name of wisedome best besitts the knowledg of God, and that is; For though many thinges knowne by him, whilest com­pared with others more notable, seeme base and contemptible; yet not the meanest, but may be the object of divine contemplation to a Christian, that considers not the mere matter or forme or physicall properties, but the Creators power or skill manifested in it. You undertooke to prove that Gods knowledge of all thinges might moste fittly be called wisedome; to which purpose, you should prove, that God may justly be accoumpted wise in knowinge them; that is, that it might affoorde juste matter of such contemplation unto God, as might justly be called wise­dome. But the reason you bringe, medles not at all with the contemplation of God, but with the contemplation of a Christian. For whereas in coherence you should say, it af­fords matter of wise contemplation unto God; you tell us tis an object of divine contemplation to a Christian.

And whereas you would not affirme that Gods knowledg, as restrayned to this or that perticular, was to be accoumpted [Page 251] wisedome, but only as it comprehends all thinges; yet your reason makes shew of provinge what you affirmed, of Gods knowledge restrayned to this or that perticular, and not so only but as restrayned to the meanest perticular; though it endes (as I sayde) not in avouching that such perticulars may be an object of divine contemplation unto God, but only in saying that it may be an object of divine contemplation to a Christian. What incongruities and most unscholasticall so­lecismes of discourse are these?

And all this while you confine Gods knowledge to the perticulars of his owne making. But what thinke you of the particulars of mans or the divills making, in the most wicked, and sinfull courses that have beene, are, or shall be in the World.

Are not these allso knowne unto God, and are these like­wise matter of diyine contemplation in respect of the Creators power, or skill manifested therin: We acknowledge the wise­dome of God to be excellent in the composition of the mea­nest worme. Of some likewise we see excellent use as of the bee, & silkeworme; of others we doe not, yet we beleive that his wisedome being infinite, he doth nothing in vaine; he hath use of every thing, though we know it not. And we take notice of a double knowledge the one called scientia visionis, whereby he knowes all things that are, nor such onely but even all such as have beene, or shall be, the other called scien­tia simplicis intelligentiae, whereby he knowes all thinges possi­ble so farr forth as they are knowable, and betweene these two knowledges, there is a greate deale of difference, though you seeme to confounde them.

4. By usefull knowledge as I take it, you meane the know­ledge of usefull things. Of this you say there are two of­fices, The one steadfastly to propose a right ende: The other to make, and prosecute a right, choyse of meanes for effecting it. By this it appeares that you speake onely of that kind of wisedome which is referred to action, and whereby agents are accommo­dated ad [...]res gerendas. From the consideration of humane wisedomes imperfection, you take a course the better to set [Page 252] forth the perfection of wisedome divine. Humane wisedome (you say) is oftimes blinde in both, and usually lame in the latter.

I will endeavour to give some illustration of this. The end, we ayme at, is our good. For Finis., & bonum convertuntur. Ethic. 1. 1. This good is eyther naturall, or supernaturall, both in respect of power to discerne it, as allso in respect of power to compasse it. The naturall good which every one aimes at, is the preservation of his esse, or naturall being, and the ac­quiring of his bene esse, or well being naturall. In both these are found errors enough. For though nothing is a more na­turall object of mans desires then the preservation of his being, yet sometimes they are found most unnaturally to af­fect theyr destruction; sometimes through passion, (and that in divers kinds) in wonderfull manner blinding reason, not onely to avoyde shame or rather the suffering of shame, or to avoyde a worse kind of death, but sometimes out of misera­blenes, rather then they will part with a litle, they are wilfully set to part with all.


Achitophell whose wisedome was as an oracle of God, went soberly this way, when he saw his counsayle refused: For he went home & set his house in order and hanged himselfe; it seemes his unsanctified wisedome urged him hereunto. For as it is written of Cesar that he alone came sobrius ad perden­dam Rempublicam so Achitophell accessi [...] sobrius ad perdendum seipsum.

As for the acquiring of well being, this is an end that all affect, but according to theyr severall dispositions. For the good which they affect being bonum conveniens agreing to theyr affections, so it comes to passe, that as men are of diffe­rent affections, so they propose unto themselfes different endes. The luxurious person setts his witts on worke for compassing the satisfaction of his lust; the covetous person he affecteth to grow rich; the ambitious person to grow [Page 253] greate, the vertuous person to be good according to natures direction. And thus [...] Ehit. 3. 5. [...]. Looke how every man is qualified, such is the end he aymes at, but still naturall. But in com­passing, there is a great deale of difference; for some are wise to doe evill as appeares in Absolons carriage of himselfe aspi­ring to the Kingdome; as allso in Achitophells counsayles, which if Absolom had followed, it hath gone full ill with David. Nay generally they are found, even naturall men, to be wiser in theyr courses though wicked (witnesse the un [...]st [...]teward) then the children of God are in theyres, though honest, and Christian. The children of this world (sayth our Saviour) are wiser in theyr generation, then the children of light. Nay morall Philosophers, in theyr instructions unto ver­tuous courses, have advised theyr Disciples to set before their eyes the picture of vice, and to perswade them to take but the like course in prosecuting vertue, that the wicked doe in prosecuting vice.

Vt jugulent homines surgunt de nocte latrones,
Vt teipsum serves non expergisceris?

A manifest argument of the great corruption of man, whose witt serveth him so well in evill things, so ill in good things. Tho improvement whereof is in no small degree allso imputable unto Satan, who is most forward to impregnate the fancies of men with suggestions unto evill. We have known heavy headed, and dull persons brought up at schoole amongst us, when afterwards they have taken other courses, & given themselfes to Ruffianisme, they have beene acounted amongst the witts of the time. But as for the discerning of true good, that power transcends the region of nature. God must first regenerate us, and translate us into a supernaturall state, before we can discerne the thinges of God, or these thinges that belong unto our owne peace, which when God hath graunted us, then our end is no longer the preservation of our temporall being, but the salvation of our soules in the [Page 254] world to come, and to this purpose to cleave unto God by faith and love usque ad contemptum nostri, even to the con­tempt of our selfes, as touching this temporall life of ours. And to attaine to this end, we neede no consultatious with flesh, and blood; God in his word hath chalked out unto us a direct way unto this end, and therfore it is sayd to be a lan­terne unto our feete and a light unto our pathes. But whatsoever the end be, you tell us that if it bee much affected, the lesse choyse of meanes is left, the more eagerly we apply our selfes unto their use, and strive as it were to straine out successe, by close embracing them. And for this reason ignorance, or want of reason to forecast variety of meanes, for bringing about our much desired ends, is the mother of selfe will, and impatience. For what is selfe will, if a man should define it, but a stiffe adherence to some one, or few particular means, neyther onely, nor cheifly necessary to the maine point. It seemes you are in a streight, and therfore fetch about for matter, though aliene, and here we have mett with a good phrase, of straininge out successe by close embracing the meanes. Yet even in these unnecessary straines, your discourse is but loose in my judgement. For whether we discerne many meanes, or few meanes, all is one as touching the close pursuing of that which we much affect; For if many, we will make choice of the fit­test in our judgement, and as close embrace them as others doe, that doe not discerne so greate variety.

And as for successe, that is not in our power to be strayned out, as you speake, by close embracing the meanes, Man is a resi­stible agent, and easily crossed in his courses; and the ends we ayme at, in reference to our best meanes, are but of a conjectu­rall nature, and so of uncertayne issue; Neyther doe I seè any reason to the contrary, but that a man may be as selfe willed in the midst of variety of meanes discerned by him, as of few meanes, and if he be cr [...]st in them all, much more impatient. For surely the greater variety of meanes is represented, the more the way is open to take hold of that which is neyther onely, nor cheifly necessary, like as where many wayes offer themselfes, a travailer is in most danger to mistake the most direct way. Selfe will I confesse is excercised in adherence [Page 255] to meanes unfitt; as may be seene in the rude Irish, that will not be brought off from theyr rude courses, they will tye their ploughes or harrowes to theyr horse tayles, say what the En­glish will to persuade them to another course. But it is as well seene in following different endes. Many will not be takē off from theyr uncleane conversation, from their riotous and intemperate courses, they count it pleasure, (as S. Peeter speakes) to live deliciously; these fruites of selfe-will are not in adhering to meanes so much, as in adhering to evill ends. But 2. Pet. 2. you proceede, and tell us in the next place, that Witts conscious of theyr owne weakenes for conqueing what they eagerly desire, pre­sently call in power, wrath or violence as partiall, or mercenary se­conds to assist them. Whereas he that out of fertility of invention can furnish himselfe beforehand with store of likely meanes for ac­complishing his purpose, cannot much esteeme the losse or miscarriage of some one or two. These may seeme prety contemplations, and as pretily expressed.

But I had little thought that selfe will, and impatience joy­ned with want of witt, had allso beene joyned with con­sciousnes of selfe weakenes. For the sluggard though but a foole as Solomon sayth, is as wise in his owne conceit as seven men that can give a reason. And certainly selfe will, and selfe Pro. 26. 16 conceyts are companions inseparable. And therfore such commonly make little question of accomplishing, or as you call it, of conquering theyr desires, by theyr owne courses. And yet if they faile hereof, tis nothing strange, since the best meanes are but likely as your self stile them.

I can as hardly beleeve that fertility of invention is of power to keepe men from impatience. In my opinion pa­tience as all other morall vertues, depends rather upon judge­ment then invention, though formally it is a quality of the will as all morall vertues are, and not any habitt of the under­standing. But suppose he miscarry in all, then a mans patience must needes bidd farewell to invention to support it, and it is high time to relye upon judgement. Yet I trust patience which must have her perfect worke, (Iam. [...].) may have course in this case allso; though it be an hard matter you say to keepe [Page 256] from fowle play, if the game whereat a man shootes be fayre, and good, and most of his stringes allready be broken. It is good they say to have two stringes to a mans bowe. A vertuous man hath more then two, you suppose as much, for you sup­pose many to be broken yet not all. And surely vertue is not vertue if it keepe not from foule play.

The Stoickes mainteyned that a vertuous man might des­cend into Phalaris bull, without the interrup [...]ion of his hap­pines. We Christians are taught, and disciplined to rejoyce even in tribulation, and marke well our bow stringes, because tri­bulation worketh patience, and patience experience, and experience hope, and hope maketh not ashamed, because the love of God is shed in our hearts by the Holy Ghost that is given unto us. [...] [...]m. 5. 4. sayth S. Paule, I am able to endure all thinges by the Phil. 4. 12. power of Christ that enables me, and herupon he exhorts Ti­mothy to be partaker of the affliction of the Gospell, to witt by the 2. Tim. 1. 8 power of God. The power of Christ, and the power of God are two such stringes to our blowe of patience, as can never be broke. We know his grace to be sufficient for us, and when his power is made perfect in our weakenes, we shall 2. Cor. 12. have cause to rejoyce in our infirmities. For when we are weake, then are we strong. In a mans owne strength no man shall be strong. But blessed art thou o people, who art the saved of 1. Sam. 2. 9 the Lord, who is the sheild of thy strength, and the sword of our glo­ry. Deu. 33. 29 He can make us to be as a Gyants sword, and he is a wall of fire round about Ierusalem. All that sight against it, theyr fleshe Zach. 9. 13 shall consume away, though they stand on theyr feete, and theyr eyes Zach. 2. 5. shall consume in theyr holes, and theyr tongues shall consume in their mouthes. But to returne. The contingency of the issue is Zach. 14. 12. within the horizon of our fore sight.

As for horizons of contrivances, let such as fancy them make themselfes merry with them. All this while the mat­ter of your discourse being of Gods infinite wisedome, and to that purpose preluding of the imperfect wisedom of man, I have wondred what you meant to enter upon the considera­tion of patience; unlesse it were to prepare your reader ther­by with a more willing entertaynment of your discourse.

[Page 257] But now I perceive you desire to gratify God with a com­mendation of his patience, which that it might seeme the more congruous, you pretend that the infinitenes of his wise­dome carries him herunto. And this patience consists in bearing with sinners which as you say, every minute of theyr lifes violently thwart, and crosse some particular meanes, ordeyned for his glory and theyr good. Gods patience in forbearing us, and our sinnes in provoking him are greate enough in theyr proper colours, they neede no inconsiderate amplification to bombast them, by saying that every minute of life we violently crosse them. For surely eyther you must suppose man, every minute of his life, to be waking, or els you delivered this as it were slumbering.

But to touch upon something more materiall, I pray re­member, that you treate of the wisedome of God, as exercised in intending a right end, and prosecuting a right choyse of meanes for the effecting of it. Now would you be so good as to consider, what is the end that God aymes at in this, and particularly whether it be all one, in bearing thus with all, and that of an ambiguous nature, thus, that in case they doe at length repent, and turne unto God, he may magnify his mer­cy in theyr salvation; if still they stand out, and dye in impeni­tency he may magnify himselfe in theyr just condemnation? And withall I pray consider, whether this be the course of any wisedom finite or infinite, in God, or man to intend ends after this ambiguous manner. I mention no other end of Gods patience, and long suffering, because I know no other end agreable to your opinion. That which followeth tendes rather to the commendation of the goodnes of Gods will, then the wisedome of his understanding, & therfore so much the more heterogeneall, and extravagant; as when you say out of the Apostle that He is light and in him is no darknes; and that He distingvisheth the fruites of light from fruits of dar­knes before they are, even before he gave them possibility of being. An amplification partly idle, partly unsound. For God must eyther distinguish them before they are, or not at all; For there is no change in his understanding; unsound, in saying [Page 258] God gives them possibility of being. The being of things is from the gift of God, but not the possibility of being. But you proceede in the same stringe. As impossible it is for his will to decline from that which he disernes truly good, as for his in­finite essence to shrinke in being. God indeede cannot shrinke, for he is indivisible, and you well know what thereupon you have wrought for the amplification of his power in the for­mer chapter. But I would you had told us what is that truly good discerned by God, from which you say his will cannot decline. I cannot be satisfied with your conceal­ments in this particular. What I pray is more truly good then the setting forth of Gods glory eyther in his patience, and long suffering, or in ought else whatsoever? And is it im­possible thinke you for Gods will to decline this? If so then it were impossible that God should decline the making of the World.

Is not this a faite way to Atheisme? Many thinges (you say) may and every thing that is evill doth fall out against Gods will, but nothing without his knowledge, or besides his expectation. In Scrip­ture phrase we find that many thinges fall out not onely be­sides, but contrary to Gods expectation as Esa. 5. where God complayneth of the house of Israel, that while he looked for grapes they brought forth wilde grapes. And Arminius urgeth this as if it were spoken in a proper speeche.

By the proposition in this place it must be sayde, that God expects sowre grapes, as well as sweete, for otherwise they shoulde fall out besides his expectation which you here deny. So then God did expect that Shimei should rayle on David, that Absolon should defloure his Fathers Concubines, that Iudas should betray his Master, that David should defile his neighbours wife, and cause hir husband to be slayne by the sword of children of Ammon, and that the Iewes should cru­cify the Holy Sonne of God. Say allso if you will that God did with patience, and long suffering expect all this. As for the knowledge of God there is no question about that, all confessing that all thinges are knowne to God not onely at theyr falling out, but long before, as David professeth of his [Page 259] thoughts that they were knowne to God a farre-off or long before. Psal. 139. 2. But to say that any thinge falls out a­gainst the will of God, I had thought it had beene generally receaved for a notorious untruthe. Aquinas I am sure is flatt against you, where he sayth, Deus neque vult mala fieri, ne­que vult mala non fieri, sed vult permittere mala fieri, & hoc est bonum. God neyther willeth that evills shall be, nor willeth that evills shall not be, but he will permitt evills to be, & this is good. Part. 1. q. 19. art. 9. Arminius himselfe professeth [...]e minimum quidem fieri praeter Dei voluntatem, nempe vel vo­lentem Exam. Praedest. Perk. p. 114. ut fiat, vel volentem non prohibere, sed permittere ut fiat.

You professe that all evill falls out against Gods will, Ar­minius professeth that nothing falls out besides the will of God, at least willing not to prohibite it, but to permitt it. And no merveyle, for the Apostle hath given us to understand that nothing can resist the will of God. It is true all evill falleth Rom. 9. out against Gods commandement, which usually is called allso the will of God but improperly. For every one knowes that he is well able to sinne, to transgresse, and consequently to resist this will of God.

Further you tell us, that That which in its owne nature (as being made such by his unalterable decree) is absolutely contingent, is not casuall inrespect of his providence or eternall wisedome. You are at lengh come to the wisedome of God from whence you digressed, but you seeme to bring it in by the eares. For Casuall thinges are suchas fall out praeter intentionem, besides intention which is an action of the will not of the understan­ding where wisedome is stated. And how can those thinges be sayde to fall out, not besides Gods intention, which fall out against his intention, namely against his will, as already you have professed of many thinges; that they doe fall out against Gods will, though not without his knowledge. I would you had given instance in those absolute contingents which (as you say) are made so by Gods unalterable decree. But because you have neglected it, I will doe it for you. Rayne to morrow is a thing contingent, in this sense, it shall rayne, or not rayne. For me to walke abroad or ride foorth to [Page 260] morrow is a thing contingent, that is I shall walke or not walke, ride foerth or not ride. And accordingly in other of your traditionary writings I have reade a discourse of yours touching a certeyne disjunctive decree of God. But I pray be entreated to consider, whether such a contingent before specified, or such a disjunctive proposition be a fitt object of Gods decree. Gods decrees I suppose you will say are all voluntary, and free, he could have eyther not decreed at all what he hath decreed, or decreed theyr contraries. Therefore thinges of theire owne nature impossible to be otherwise, are no fitt object of Gods decrees. Now a disjunctive propo­sition as above mentioned, is such as it is impossible it should be otherwise. For this disjunctive (it shall raine, or not rayne; my walking shall be, or not be) is of necessary truth, and therfore no more decreable by God to be, then the God­head it selfe is decreable by him to be.

Agayne may I not be bold to say, that it is too absurde to talke of his unalterable decree, if it proceede by way of di­stinction, to imply that some of Gods decrees are alterable. All his decrees are more unalterable then the laves of Medes, and Persians; they are compared to brazen mounteynes Zach. 6. But here followeth a mistery in the next place, and a great mystery: In that he fully comprehendeth the number of all meanes possible, and can mixe the severall possibilities of theyr miscarriage in what degree or proposition he list, he may, & ofttimes doth infal­libly forecast the full accomplishment of his proposed ends, by mul­tiplicity of meanes in themselfes not inevitable but contingent. Adde hereunto all that followes in this Section. The absur­dities that you mixe in this mysterious sentence of yours I de­sire, and will endeavour to discover. Here we have three thinges to be considered.

First certeyne ends proposed by God to be accomplished. Secondly meanes appointed for the accomplishinge of these ends. Thirdly Gods forecast of the accomplishment of these ends. Touching the first I desire some instance of those ends you speake of. One instance you give in the se­quence of his action, and it is the apprehension of a Traytor [Page 261] which you suppose to be ordeyned by God. Yet is this as ab­solute a contingent as ought else. And contingents are no otherwise ordeyned by God, then to be contingents. For you have already signified that it is by Gods unalterable de­cree; So then God hath decreed them to be contingents. Therfore this action allso to witt the apprehension of a Tray­tor, God hath ordeyned to be of a contingent nature.

The meaning wherof is no more then this, it may come to passe, it may not come to passe. It shall be, or it shall not be, and accordingly in other treatises of yours you have discour­sed of a disjunctive decree of God, so called from the dis­junctive object therof, as to say, God hath decreed that such a Traytor eyther shall be apprehended, or shall not be appre­hended. Now there is no neede of any meanes to procure the accomplishment of such an ende thus determined. For any man is able to avouch that a Traytor shall be apprehended, or no, and nothing at all to fayle in the truth herof; much lesse neede is there of such variety of meanes, and those mixed with such possibility of miscarriage, as you treate of, to bring to passe such a decree, such an intention of this. But let the end passe as you have shaped it; this being of a contingent nature, and yet absolutely intended by God; for you neyther expresse, nor intimate the signification of any condition, it will hence follow, that any thing of the like nature may be absolu­tely ordeyned by God notwithstanding the contingency ther­of. That is, be it never so contingent and free, as the appre­hension of a Traytor is a free act of man (for you doe not suppose him to be apprehended by doggs or catts but by men rather) yet notwithstanding God is able absolutely to ordeyne that such a thing shall come to passe. Therefore God is as well able to ordeyne that at such a time a man shall beleive, shall repent, yea or doe any thinge though never so free, notwithstanding the contingent nature thereof. Now I can no where find (though I have perused throughly divers of your treatises) that you like of this. Yet here ere you are aware (as it seemes) you are fallen upon it, and take upon you to acquaint us with mysterious conceits of yours, concer­ning [Page 262] the meanes whereby God doth inevitably accomplish such ends, you may as well say that God can bring to passe in­evitably that man shall beleive and repent though I have founde you elsewhere to abhorre this. To the consideration of which meanes we are now to proceede. Concerning these meanes you give us to understand, 1. that they are many possible, 2. that God comprehendes the number of them all. 3. That he can mixe the severall possibilities of theyr miscarriage, in what degree, or proportion he list. 4. That in themselfes these meanes are not inevitable, but contingent. I nothing doubt, but the same ende God can bring to passe by divers meanes, and that all these meanes are knowne to God but what you meane by mixing theyr severall possibilities of miscariage in what degree he list. I understand not. One kind of meanes is possible to miscarry, so is another, so is every one, for so you acknow­ledge them all to be in themselves not inevitable, but contin­gent; the meaning wherof I conceave to be this, they doe not inevitably, but contingently accomplishe the end proposed, this I take to be the meaning though incongruously delive­red. But how can God be sayd to mixe these possibilities, unlesse you meane hereby Gods comprehending of them all, which is a truth. For God comprehends them all in his mind, but without mixing of them. But you seeme to pro­ject a farther meaning, by the last wordes as when you say in what degree, and proportion he list. I take the meaning obscure­ly delivered to be this; God knowes every degree of theyr possibility to miscarriage, or rather God makes the possibility eyther of each his miscarriage, or of all theyr miscarriage in what degree he list; yet it seemes you acknowledge no de­gree of possibility of the miscarriage of them all. For you maynteyne it as a thing necessary, that all shall not miscarry in the wordes immediately following. Have you not such a conceite as his? God hath ordeyned the apprehension of a Traytor, eyther by this meanes or by that meanes, or by a third meanes or by a fourth? if it be I would you had spoken out, and told us your minde plainly, yet we may take also that into our consideration in the end. But by the way I see no [Page 263] groundes of these degrees of possibility which you fancy. For all of the meanes being as you confesse contingent, and evitable as you speake, I see no reason, but every one should be equally possible to miscarry. If you had talked of de­grees of probability of miscarriage, I should not have excepted against it, but I seeme to have just reason to except against the degrees of possibility.

Let us come to the third, & that is Gods inevitable forecast of the full accomplishment of his proposed ends by this multiplicity of meanes. Now this as it is plaine enough, so it seemes as manifestly to be untrue. For that God should foreknow the issue of thinges by the meanes which have onely a con­tingent operation, is generally disclayned by School-divines the Iesuites themselves, and Frarius by name in his Opuscula; as that which would inferre an uncertayne, and not infallible knowledge in God. For as much as nothing can lay a better grounde of certainty, then the nature of it can affoord.

Secondly eyther you suppose that all this multiplicity of meanes you speake of, shall be used or no. If all be not used, then God doth not forecast the full accomplishment of his proposed end by this multiplicity of meanes possible, you speake of, but onely by some of them, namely so many as were used. And indeed it is very strange, that all meanes pos­sible to be used should be used to the accomplishment of eve­ry proposed end, or indeede of any proposed end. But if all be used, and all faile save the last, upon what ground can you say that the end proposed must necessarily be accomplished by this last, which is as possible to miscarry as the former; for you have not signified that God alwayes useth this course, as to use the courses first that are most possible to miscarry, and such as are least possible in the last place; nay your selfe professe all the meanes to be alike possible, and probable. To this you seeme to answere in the sentence following, that it comes to passe by the rules of eternall wisedome. Namely that if an hun­dred meanes be appointed for the apprehension of a Traytor, and ninety and nine doe amisse, the hundreth, and last by the rules of eternall wisedome must of necessitie take. But where [Page 264] these rules of eternall wisedome are to be founde, that you doe not tell us, and therefore we take liberty to discourse a­gainst it thus; was it not possible for God to have used this meanes in the first, or second, or third, or middle place, or in the place last save one which he useth in the last? you have not manifested the least likelihood to deny this. Now if used in the first place, or in the last place save one it might have mis­carryed, why not in this, seing the nature of it is not altered but continueth the same still, working onely contingently unto the producing of the end proposed, and not necessarily? Agayne all other meanes fayling this takes effect (you say) by the rules of eternall wisedome. Now I demaunde if none other had beene appointed but this, why could not this alone being used have taken effect by rules of eternall wisedome as well, as now it doth, that is why could not God ordeyn that by this meanes onely used, the effect intended should be brought to passe, as well as by this meanes used after, the use of many other, seeing still the effect coms to passe by his meanes alone and not by any other: For if God can ordeyne that after other meanes have fayled, this meanes alone shall bring about the end intended by God, why could he not as well ordeyne that this meanes alone should doe it, without using of any other meanes before it.

Last of all, what needes Gods forecast runne out to these meanes for a grounde of its certeynty, when God himselfe cannot be ignorant of his owne determinations? and therfore having ordeyned such an end, as suppose the apprehension of such a Traytour, upon this grounde he may be most certeyne that such a Traytor shall be apprehended. By the way I will take leave to observe some positions that have dropped from your pen in this Section. 1. That God can ordeyne such a thing to come to passe, which is of a contingent nature, as for exam­ple the apprehension of a Traytor. 2. That upon such an ordina­tion of God successe to the meanes used hereunto is absolutely neces­sary, you adde and immutably also, committing a great indeco­rum therein, immutability being a congruous attribute onely to the ordination of God, and not to the successe of thinges. [Page 265] 3. That meanes of contingent operation onely shall necessarily take effect. 4. This necessity of taking effect is not absolute but gotten merely by casuall miscarriage of the possibilities of the former meanes, so you expresse it, whereas indeede the possibilities miscarry not; for the meanes are in theyr nature possible, yea and probable too, to produce the end intended as your selfe professe. 5. Though this necessity in the effectuall working of the meanes be not absolute, yet the successe of them is absolutely ne­cessary. I say no more but this, the Theses that Picus Miran­dula proposed at Rome were many of them paradoxicall enough but I doe not find that any of these had place a­mongst them.

5. There is a fallacy (you say) though the simplest one that ever was sett to catch any wise man, wherein many excellent witts of these latter ages with some of the former have beene pittifully entan­gled, you that have discerned the simplicity thereof in all pro­babilitie, are not like to be entangled therein, for then you were not any wiser then they; yet it seemes all these excellent witts are but woodcokes in comparison to your selfe; well let us consider it. The more, wherein it were not possible for any besides themselfes to catch them, they thus (you say) frame and sett. Whatsoever God hath decreed must of necessity come to passe; But God hath decreed every thing that is, therfore every thing that is, comes to passe of necessity. All thinges are necessary at least in respect of Gods decree, The extract or Corollary wherof in briefe is this. It is impossible for ought that is not, to be, for ought that hath beene, not to have beene, for ought that is not, to be, impos­sible for ought to be hereafter that shall not bee. I promise you, you have engaged your selfe very farr not onely to looke to it that your selfe be not founde to be entangled herein, but for the performance of a very easy, and cleare solution of this which you terme a fallacy, least your selfe be not found as wise as they which were entangled herein. Yet I am not ignorant of such a tricke of witt, as first to cry downe an argu­ment by disgracing it, and powring contempt upon it, & there­upon presuming that any answere shall serve the turne, when the Reader is before hand awed with such a censure as to for­fete [Page 266] the reputation of a scholar, and to be Metamorphosed into a woodcocke, if he doe not applaude it, and perswade himselfe to see a cleere solution of the former argument, which is proclaymed base, and sufficient to discreditt all that favour it. Yet some witt is required to catch a woodcocke. But this is so simple a fallacy as the like was never set to catch a wise Man. Now a man would have thought your selfe had beene one of those excellents witts that had beene taken in this snare, if it be a snare; seing you come but freshly frō pro­fessing that God decreeth such a contingent, as the apprehen­sion of a Traytour. In which case, it is absolutely necessary that it shall come to passe. Now why may not God as well decree every contingent thinge, for ought the contingency can hinder it. For what is more contingent then the appre­hension of a Traytour, yet this you say God may ordeine, and in this case it is absolutely necessary that it shall come to passe. But let us consider what you have to say to it. I hope you will remember your owne interpretation of it, namely that it must necessarily come to passe in respect of Gods decree, and so by your owne profession not onely a contingent thinge, but a free action, may be sayd to come to passe necessarily, to witt in respect of Gods decree, as for example, the apprehen­sion of a Traytor which is as free an action as any, you might have beene pleased to have framed the proposition thus, whatsoever God hath decreed to come to passe, must necessa­rily come to passe. For you cannot be ignorant that God doth as well decree that some thinges shall not come passe, as that other thinges shall come to passe. As for example Ezek. 20. 31. O house of Israel as I live sayth the Lord God I will not answere you when I am asked 32. Neyther shall that be done that cometh into your minde: for yee say we will be as the heathen and serve wood, and stone, and Esay. 37. 33. Thus sayth the Lord con­cerning the comming of Assur. He shall not enter into this citty, nor shoote an arrowe there, nor come before it with sheild, nor cast a mounte against it. Now we are ready to attend the discovery of this fallacy, this simple fallacy.

First you tell us of an extract or Corollary hereof thus; [Page 267] It is impossible for ought that is not to be, &c. Is this the way you take to discover the simplicity of this fallacy? this savou­reth strongly of your fallacious dealing; in as much as by cal­lecting consequences you labour to discredit the syllogisme, this surely is not to answere it. Besides not one of your con­sequences are sounde, there is no ingenuity in the collection of them. For the conclusion of the former syllogisme being this therefore, every thing that is comes to passe of necessity, your selfe have acknowledged this necessity to proceede in respect of Gods decree. And therefore what necessitie of thinges soever you doe inferr herence, you must accordingly under­stand it in respect of Gods decree not otherwise. Now this necessity is but necessity secundum quid not simpliciter as the learned call it, and such as may stand with contingency, and possibility to the contrary. Like as the apprehension of a Traytor is a thinge possible not to be and in its owne nature meerely contingent, but upon supposition that God hath or­deyned that such a Traytor shall be apprehended by certeyne meanes, you professe that the successe of those meanes is abso­lutely necessary, which is as much as to say that the apprehen­sion of that Traytour upon Gods ordeyning it, is absolutely necessary; which is more then the divines whom you impugne as overlashing doe use to say, or can in any sobriety of speech be justified. For if it must necessarily come to passe onely upon supposition of Gods decree, then not absolutely but u­pon supposition.

But consider we your extracts apart; the first is this. It is impossible for ought that is, not to be; Now this proposition can­not at all be deduced out of the former syllogisme, or out of any part thereof. It depends manifestly upon another pro­position which is not at all mentioned in the former syllo­gisme and the proposition is this, whatsoever God hath decreed that it shall not be, it is impossible, that should be or come to passe. Now let every sober Reader judge, with what ingenuity you call this first proposition of yours an extract of the former syllogisme, or of the conclusion thereof; whereas it is no­thing necessary that he who affirmes, that All thinges which [Page 268] God hath decreed shall necessarily come to passe, must allso affirme the other, namely that whatsoever God hath not decreed, it is impossible that it should come to passe, wherhēce alone is de­rived the first abstract you speake of. Nay rather if we con­sider the analogy of propositions aright, we shall find that these propositions are onely proportionall; Whatsoever God hath decreed to come to passe, the same shall necessarily come to passe; Whatsoever God hath decreed that it shall not come to passe, it is impossible that it should come to passe. These are suitable indeede, and accordingly we professe that it is impossible that any thinge which is not, because God hath de­creed that it shall not be, I say it is impossible that it should be. So likewise as touching the second extract we say that every thing which hath beene, so farre forth as God hath decreed the being thereof, it is impossible not to have beene.

Your third extract is of the same nature with the first, and so admitts the same answere. Well I still attend the discove­ry of the fallacy; It may be we shall meete with it in that which followeth, and that is this, But if it bee (as I suppose) very consonant to infinite wisedome, altogether consonant to infi­nite goodnes and to decree contingency as well as necessity a conclu­sion quite contradictory to that late inferred, will be the onely law­full issue of the former Maxime or Major proposition matched with a Minor proposition of our owne choosing, &c. Is this to discover the fallacy of the former syllogisme? Or are you to seeke in the solution of a fallacy? If it be not concluded in moode and figure, you might have signified so much; but in­deede no exception can that way be taken against it. If any terme had beene aequivocall, the answere had beene by distin­ction. But no colour of any such just exception; so that every way the forme is unquestionable. And therefore no exception is here to be taken but against the truth of one of the premises.

And I verily beleive there is one of the premises that disli­keth you, though you are ashamed plainly, and directly to manifest so much. For so the answere had beene fayre, and facile by denyinge it, if not the Major because thereof you [Page 269] make use in your owne syllogisme, wherewith you doe as it were requite this, yet at least the Minor which was this, But God hath decreed every thinge that is. For I verely beleeve this is such a dish of lettice as fitts not your lipps. This you say you might have done, but now the liberty hereof is taken from you, and that by your selfe. For although the Pope never bindes his owne handes, yet you have bound your tongue, and sealed up your owne lippes from taking any such exception as this. For you call the syllogisme a fallacy, and that a simple one. Now fallacies are such formes of argu­mentation, as offend onely in forme of argumentation, which kind of exception is to justify the matter of it, and the truth of the premises, especially whereas you doe not professe that it offendes both in forme, and matter, nor shew any forward­nes to deny either of the propositions. Well we gave you a syllogisme to answere, in steede of answering it, you thinke to make us amends with another syllogisme. I have read that when one presented Augustus with verses looking for a re­ward, Augustus in steede of a reward gave him verses of his owne making. The Poet hereupon very liberally bestowed a reward upon Augustus. We expected at your handes not another syllogisme, but the answearinge of our owne. But though you fayle to answeare ours, I will not fayle to doe my best in accommodating an answere unto yours. You un­dertake to inferr the contradictory to our conclusion, which is to outface your opposites, and to cry a syllogisme downe without answearing it.

Yet let us see how well you performe that you undertake. Your syllogisme is this. Whatsoever God hath decreed must of necessity come to passe, but God hath decreed contingency as well as necessity, therefore of necessity there must be contingency. And for the better strengthning of your discourse or argumenta­tion, you make a motion that an additionall to the Maior which is this, Nothinge can come to passe otherwise then God hath decreed it shall or may come to passe. Now the judge, or Chancelour in Logicall Courts to whome such a motion should be made, would cry out shame upon it. For that pro­position [Page 270] is an universall affirmative, and you desire that an universall negative should be added to it to make up an en­tire Maior proposition, which were like a sixt finger upon an hand. And indeed in that case it were neither Categoricall nor Hypotheticall. For though two propositions with a co­pulative have place in some Hypotheticall syllogismes, yet it is alwayes by way of negation thus, Non & dies est, & nox: sed dies est, ergo non nox, Againe upon a second consideration, the motion would be rejected as being altogether without witt. For as much as the conclusion intended is well enough inferred without it, and this additionall conferres no strength to improve the inference. I appeale to every schollars judg­ment in this.

Thirdly the proposition it selfe as touching the latter clause of the disjunctive, hath as little witt as the motion made for the admittance of it. As where it is sayd that God hath de­creed that thinges may come to passe, you might as well say that God hath decreed that the World may come to passe. For the possibility of the event of thinges is not from Gods de­cree, but rather from Gods omnipotency. For because he is able to produce every thinge that implyes no contradic­tion, therfore they are denominated possible.

Lastly this proposition which you crave to be admitted is like a Troian horse, it will doe you more harme then good, as ere we part from this section shall be made manifest. Yet what neede you desire more, your conclusion is granted you, namely that of necessity there must be contingency, supposing Gods decree. For Gods decrees are onely of doing, or suf­fering some thinges, as it is free for God whether he will doe them, or suffer them, yea or no. And therefore though God had not at all decreed contingency, yet decreing any thinge, of necessity there must be contingency, though he had de­creed nothing else, but such thinges as we count most necessa­ry, in the course of nature. But we graunt also that God did decree contingency, and decrees necessity in respect of second causes; as for example God did decree to make fire of such a nature as to heate or burne necessarily, the Sunne of such a [Page 271] nature as to enlighten the aire necessarily, heavy thinges to move downewards, and light thinges upwardes, and all this necessarily. Necessarily I say in respect of second causes, though this necessity was mere contingency, in respect of the will of God. For he could have chosen whether there should have beene any fire, or world at all, yea and can hinder the fire from burninge if it please him, as he did hinder it from ta­king hold of the three noble children in the furnace of Baby­lon. And as God hath decreed many thinges to come to passe necessarily, so hath he decreed many thinges to come to passe contingently, as in course of nature many thinges there are that come to passe contingently by the will of God, and especially the actions of men and Angells.

And as for that additionall of yours which you craved to be admitted, Nothing can come to passe otherwise then God hath decreed, it shall come to passe, we are so farr from disliking it, that we cannot beleive that you doe beleive it, and therefore you have taken a course to confound it, as in due time shall appeare. We willingly professe that all thinges beside God, are created entities, and such as whose being must necessarily depend or God, or have no being at all. And not onely doe we subject res ipsas to the will and decree of God, but allso modos rerum. And these modi rerum are necessity, and con­tingency.

Nothing (we say) comes to passe, but what God hath de­creed shall come to passe. Againe nothing comes to passe after any manner whatsoever, but that God hath decreed, it to come to passe after that manner; whether it come to passe ne­cessarily, God hath decreed it shall come to passe necessarily; or whether contingently, God hath decreed it shall come to passe contingently. In a word that which you deliver faul­tringly we say plainly Nothing comes to passe otherwise, then God hath decreed it shall come to passe. So then I say we graunt your conclusion. But how doth it appeare that this conclusion of yours contradicteth our former conclusion which was this, therefore Every thinge comes to passe of necessity. You will say, if every thinge comes to passe of necessity, then nothinge [Page 272] comes to passe contingently. I confesse this consequence is plausible, but to whome? to none but ignorants. Of which number you are not. For your very conclusion it selfe in the very outward face of it utterly contradicteth this conse­quence. For is not your conclusion this, therfore of necessity there must be contingency, which manifestly justifieth that ne­cessity and contingency may stand together, and are nothing oppositie. And how, I pray, is this necessity, but in respect of the decree of God? And did our conclusion proceede in any other sense? Your selfe have acknowledge that it doth not, though therein somewhat faultring allso, as it is your usuall course, in taking notice of any truth that makes against your tenents. For are not these your wordes in interpreting our conclusion, All thinges are necessary in respect of Gods decree? Onely you adde at least in this respect as if you would faine drawe it to another meaninge. Now our meaning is plaine. All thinges come not to passe necessarily, nor all things con­tingently, but some thinges come to passe necessarily as works of nature, some thinges contingently as the actions of men. But by your owne receaved Maxime Nothing can come to passe otherwise then God hath decreed they shall come to passe, therefore God hath decreed that some thinges shall come to passe necessarily, some thinges contingently. But by your owne receaved prin­ciple, whatsoever God hath decreed to come to passe, that must of necessity come to passe, therefore of necessity it must come to passe that some thinges shall come to passe necessari­ly, some thinges contingently. Now give me leave to repre­sent your owne ill carriage, to your owne eyes. The Maior proposition in our syllogisme, and the Maior proposition in your syllogisme are all one as your selfe acknowledge in these wordes, Let the Maior proposition stand as it did before. Now if they be all one why doe you not propose them after one manner? doe you practise to gull your Reader presuming this legier du maine of yours shall not be discovered?

The Maior proposition in both is all one I confesse as tou­ching each part, both the midle tearme, and the greater ex­treame. But when the greater extreame comes to be repea­ted [Page 273] in the conclusion, it is repeated in a farre different man­ner in our conclusion then in yours. For in the Maior pro­position of each syllogisme it runnes thus, must of necessity come to passe, but in our conclusion it is corrupted thus, must come to passe necessarily. But in your conclusion it is mended thus, of necessitie there must bee contingency; which is as much as to say, of necessitie it must come to passe. I say in ours it is corrup­ted; for whereas in these words must of necessitie come to passe, the word necessity is indifferently to be referred to that which goes before, or that which comes after; and indeed ought to be referred to that which goes before; in the conclusion it is put in the last place, so that it cannot bee referred but to the words come to passe. And it is mended in yours, for in the conclusion it is put in the first place of the greater extreame, and so takes away all danger of referring it to the last words, come to passe. As for example, had our conclusion beene shaped like yours as touching the majus extremum which is the same in both, the harshnes of it had beene qualified, thus, ergo all things of necessity must come to passe, which hath a faire, and facile construction thus; though some things come to passe necessarily, and some things contingently, yet all things as being decreed by God, must of necessity come to passe, both those things that come to passe necessarily, and those things that come to passe contingently. In like sort had your conclusion beene shaped by you as ours is, as touching the greater extreame, as indeed it ought, the greater extreame being all one in both, then your conclusion would have see­med as harsh as ours thus, ergo Contingency must come to passe of necessity or thus some effects shall bee contingent of necessitie, for so runnes the Minor, God hath decreed contingency, or that some effects shall be contingent as well as some are necessary. And as for the consequences which hence you make they are no­thinge contradictory to those extracts you made from our conclusion. For all those impossibilities deduced from our conclusion, were onely secundum quid and upon supposition of Gods decree, which kind of impossibilitie is alwaies joy­ned with a simple and absolute possibilitie to the contrary, [Page 274] secluding Gods decree. For even those things which God decreeth to come to passe contingently as the actions of men, must necessarily by the vertue of Gods decree come to passe, in such a manner as joyned with a possibilitie of not comming to passe, otherwise it were impossible they should come to passe contingently. About which truth, namely that God decreeth some things to come to passe contingently, why doe you faulter in this fowle manner? If you like it not, why doe you not in plaine termes contest against it, if you doe approve of it, why doe you not plainly professe it, but carry your selfe in the clouds of generalitie and ambiguity? As first, when you say, God hath decreed contingency, here a man might bee apt to conceave, that you doe beleeve that God hath de­creed that some things shall come to passe contingently. Espe­cially if he understand that God decreeth not only necessity, but allso that some thinges shall necessarily come to passe, which may seeme to urge you in like sort to mainteyne that God decreeth contingency, so he should also decree that some things shall come to passe contingently.

Most of all considering what here you seeme to approve of in your additionall, namely that Nothing can come to passe otherwise then God hath decreed. Now the case is cleere that many things come to passe contingently, therfore it followeth that God allso hath decreed, that even those things shall come to passe contingently; But I have had experience of your o­pinion to the contrary in another treatise of yours, wherein though you confesse that God hath decreed the necessity of things, & the things themselfes that necessarily come to passe, and graunt that it cannot bee otherwise, yet on the other side though you graunt that God decreeth contingency, yet you deny that God decreeth the thinges themselfes that doe con­tingently come to passe. A most prodigious opinion, as if God did bring to passe the contingency of a thing (which is but modus rei, and containes no realitie different from the thing it selfe) yet doth not bring to passe the thing it selfe; for if he did he must decree it allso. And as directly opposite to the word of God, plainly testifying a multitude of contin­gent [Page 275] thinges to have beene decreed by God. The like am­biguitie you content your selfe withall, when you say that God hath decreed that some effects shall be contingent, or as other­wise you expresse it, that some contingent effects shall bee, which seemes manifestly to imply as well the being or existence of them to bee decreed by God as the contingent manner of their being.

Yet I say, in another discourse of yours you fly of from this acknowledgement, but withall deliver your selfe with as much confusion and perturbation, as any adversary could ex­pect in an opposite maintaining erroneous points, and crying downe the truth of God. Thus have I taken paines to an­swere your syllogisme, but as for the discovery of the fallacy of ours wee have hitherto found nothing tending thereunto: What is to come wee are to expect. Yet hereupon as if you had performed some great service, very gravely and magiste­rially you tell us, that As ill weeds grow apace, so the late mentio­ned errour once conceaved, was quickly delivered of a second which derived the infallible certainty of Gods foreknowing things future, from an infallible necessitie (as they conceaved it) layd upon them, (before they had being) by his immutable decree. But every wise decree presupposeth wisedome, and wisedome essentially includeth knowledge. It seemes you thinke you have sufficiently dis­charged your selfe of that you undertooke, namely the disco­very of the fallacy of our syllogisme, you proceede to the cen­sure of another errour, and that both obscurely and unsound­ly expressed. It is about the ground of Gods fore-knowing things to come. Now the opinion you taxe for an errour, is the opinion of those that maintaine that God foreknowes all things to come, by seing the determination of his owne will to the producing of every action. This you expresse after your manner thus, God foreknowes them from an infallible ne­cessitie layd upon them by his immutable decree. I doe not thinke you can produce any Author of this opinion, that expresseth his opinion in this manner. Besides, it is notoriously un­true. For the Authors of this opinion maintayne, that God by his decree, laieth contingency upon some things, as well as [Page 276] necessitie upon others. And that as he will have the fire to burne, the Sunne to enlightē necessarily, so he will have, An­gells and men produce their actions contingently and freely. Nay which is more, even they that openly professe, that God doth determine the will of man unto every actiō as touching the substance of the action; doe withall maintayne that God determines the will of man and Angells to worke contin­gently and freely in all their actions, and consequently neither doth hee decree any other wise to determine them, which do­ctrine maintaynes that Gods will and decree doth lay upon all reasonable creatures a contingent manner of operation rather then any necessity. Yet upon supposition of Gods decree, they maintayne that of necessitie such thinges as God hath decreed shall come to passe, and that after that manner as God hath decreed it to come to passe, that is, either necessa­rily as all the operations of naturall agents, or contingently and freely, as all the actions of reasonable creatures. But this opinion you dislike, and upon what reason? Vndoubtedly it seemes they had need bee weighty ones, considering that this question hath beene abundantly canvassed, by the most lear­ned and subtilest among Schoole-divines. And indeed it is one of the first points whereabout I have beene acquainted with Schoole divinity: Scotus proposeth this questiō, to witt; Now God doth foreknowe future contingents; for thus they in their wisedome thought fitt to propose it, to witt, of future contingents in speciall not as you doe, of future thinges in gene­rall. And he proposeth two opinions hereabouts which he impugneth. The first, is the opinion of Bonaventura, who maintayned that God did foreknowe future contin­gents, by the Ideaes of them in the mind of God. The se­cond is the opinion of Aquinas, who made the ground of Gods foreknowing of future contingents, to bee Their reall existence in eternitie. Both these Scotus impugneth with such excellent arguments to my judgement at that time, and with­all so cleare, that as I remember this brought me first in love with Schoole divinity. The third opinion is his owne, which there he maintayneth, & that is this, which you invade, [Page 277] namely, That God knowes all future contingents by knowing his owne will and purpose to produce them. And as touching your objection that God foreknowes the sinnes of men as well as theyr good actions, which yet undoubtedly he did not decree to produce, his answeare is, that this also is foreknown by God in as much as he knowes the determination of his will to produce every sinfull act as touching the substance of it, and to permitt the obliquitie of it. The opinion of Calvin maintayning no other ground of Gods foreknowledge of future contingents but this, & that out of Valla is apt to bee exposed to scorne now adayes, not onely amongst Papists but amongst English Protestants also. But as for Scotus who is knowne to maintayne the same opinion, he is reputed to be of sufficiency to beare the brunt of any adversary that in point of Metaphysicall, and Schoole divinity shall encounter him. Yet consider a little farther. The Thomists and Dominicans who stand much upon the tearmes of defence for the credite and reputation of theyr great Master Aquinas, they are apt enough to meete with Scotus his arguments op­posing his opinion in laying the ground of Gods foreknow­ledge upon the reall existence of all thinges in eternity. But marke how Didacus Alvarer a great Schoole-man carryeth himselfe in this. Aquinas sayth he did never deny Scotus his way of Gods foreknowing future contingents, to witt, by knowing the determination of his owne will. But besides this he devised another, and that was by the reall existence of all future things in eternity. Agayne, in maintaining the opi­nion of Aquinas concerning the actuall existence of all future thinges in eternity, he first presupposeth the determination of Gods will for the producing of them, and thereupon makes future contingents to have theyr reall existence, & not other­wise. So that for this opinion which you doe very magiste­rially censure, as an ill weed hath not onely poore Calvin for the patron of it, and Valla alleaged by him; but Scotus also the Father of the Realls, yea and Didacus Alvarer a Thomist, a sect of Schoole-divines commonly opposite to the Sco­tists, yet herein professedly concurring with Scotus himselfe, [Page 278] and avouching allso Aquinas himselfe to bee of the same opi­nion. You had neede therefore looke well to your tack­ling in opposing such who I tell you never were reputed Ba­bies, but tall fellowes.

But yet I confesse they were but men and may have their matches. But leave your censures, and trust to your sword and dint of arguments, & doe not thinke that words or phra­sos or figures (much lesse imperious censures) will carry it.

And heere it would bee required, not onely to argue your owne Tenet, but to make answere to theyr Arguments. But you Eagle like and as if they were but flyes keepe your state, and will not fly at such inferiour gaine. Wherein your prose­lyte shall be little beholding to you, whē being possessed with your opinion, hee shall find himselfe left to himselfe to sinke or swimme without any helpe from you to answere theyr ar­guments, that have maintayned the contrary; They had neede bee of Chrisippus temper, who was wont to pray his Master to give him principles and let him alone to maintayne them; Yet it may bee I am deceaved and it was not Chrisippus but Carneades. Yet with one argument you are content to helpe your reader here. Belike it is some cleare demonstration, such as it is, this it is. Every wise decree presupposeth wisedome, and wisedome includeth knowledge, and what of this? Nay if any man desires to fare better in the endoctrinating himselfe in this point, he must goe to the Cookes, you have no better en­tertainment for him. A very short dispatche (in a controver­sie of great moment) and a quicke; Never was Schooleman so simple as to doubt, whether wisedome includeth know­ledge or a wise decree presupposeth wisedome; yet never any one of them was found to discerne any such inference as you imply herhence, as if herhence it did so evidently followe that Gods foreknowing of future thinges doth not depend upon the determination of his will. For you take no paines to cleere this inference. But let us examine this a little. When we say the foreknowledg of future contingents depends upon the determination of Gods will, the meaning is, therefore God foreknowes them because he purposeth to produce [Page 279] them, so farre as they are good, or to permitt them in case they are evill. Now you in opposition to this, tell us, that Gods knowledge goeth before his decree, and because you doe not specify what knowledge, we have reason to expound it of the knowledge spoken of, that is of the knowledge of future contingents. In like sort because you specifie not of what de­cree you speake, we have reason to understand it of the de­cree before spoken of, whereupon those divines, whome you impugne, doe ground the foreknowledge of things to come. So then your meaning must be this in opposition to the Tenet which you censure for an errour or weed in opinion. Whereas some thinke that Gods foreknowledge of things to come is grounded upon Gods decree, as if God ergo did foreknow them, because he purposeth to produce them. You are of a contrary opinion, name­ly, that Gods foreknowledge doth goe before his decree, that is, first God foreknowes thinges to come, and then secondly he purposeth to produce them. For if you meant it of another decree, then that which was spoken of, what an absurd thing is it for you not to specifie it, especially seing you propose this by way of contradiction to the former opinion? which unlesse it proceedes of the same things is no contradiction. For if I say God doth first decree to produce things, and hereupon he knowes them; and you shall as it were by way of opposition say; No this is not so; but God doth first foresee the actions of men, and thereupon decree to save or damne them, here is no contradiction at all, but an unlearned and foolishe shewe of opposition, without any substance of contradiction. Wher­fore if you speake to the purpose in this, and that by way of opposition, your meaning must be this; God doth not first decree them and afterwards foreknowe them, but rather he first foreknowes them and then decreeth them; which is as much as to say, that God foreknowing that they will be, doth hereupon decree that they shall be. So that Gods decree of things future contingent proceedeth in this manner, Seing they will be, they shall be. But to consider your reason more closely, Every wise decree (you say) presupposeth wisedome. Now this being delivered in opposition to our opinion which [Page 280] maintayne that the foreknowledge of future contingents fol­loweth Gods decree; and you saying plainly that wisedome rather goeth before Gods decree then followeth after it, (which indeed is a truth, for God worketh all things accor­ding to the counsaile of his will) this discourse of yours (I say) doth imply that this foreknowledge of future contin­gents, which we make consequent to Gods decree is by us ac­coumpted the wisedome of God. For otherwise heere a­gaine were no contradiction, though you make shew of con­tradicting us; as whereas we say foreknowledge of future things is subsequent to Gods decree, you as it were contra­dicting us reply, Nay rather Gods wisedome goeth before his de­cree, otherwise it were no wise decree. So that herein you doe manifestly suppose that we by Gods foreknowledge of fu­ture things did understand the wisedome of God. It seemes you conceave it to be so, but as for us we take it to be so foule an absurdity that we desire, though you please your own lipps with such lettice, yet untill you have better ground for it you will not charge it upon us. For even for a man to foreknowe what he meaneth to doe is no part of wisedome. For the ve [...]yest foole that is may knowe and be privy to what he meaneth to doe. Every man is privy to his owne thoughts and purposes. No man knoweth the things of man but the Spirit of Man. 1. Cor. 2. 8. So then the spirit of man is well enough acquainted with the purposes of man. But the wise­dome that directeth the will of God is that which the lear­ned call Scientia simplicis intelligenti [...], whereby God knowes what is most fitt to be done for the compassing of his propo­sed ends, which your selfe confesse to be the part of wisdome in the beginning of the former Section. Where also you made not the least mention of any such part of wisedome as to foreknowe what one meaneth to doe. Now Gods decree of producing future things in theyr season is a decree of the, meanes tending to the end which God h [...] intended, name­ly the setting forth of his glory. For God makes all things for himselfe. And this wisedome includeth knowledge, it is Prov. 16. 4 true the knowledge of all meanes whereby his glory may be [Page 281] set forth, and God makes choyce of what he thinkes fitt, and all this knowledge is not the knowledge of what shall be, but onely the knowledge of what may be, or is fi [...]t to be, which all the learned acknowledge to be scientia simplicis intelligentiae. and they make it distinct from scientia visionis which is the knowledge of what shall be. And these knowledges all ac­knowledge to be so farre different as that the one to witt scientia simplicis intelligentiae is precedent to Gods decree, the other to witt scientia visionis is subsequent which two knowledges in God, how judiciously and learnedly in the course of your magisteriall censure you are pleased to con­found let the Reader judge. But to proceede, hereupon you betake your selfe [...]o interrogatories.

The first is, Shall we then graunt that Gods knowledge is ante­cedent, and his foreknowledge consequent to his decrees? To this out of that which hath beene formerly delivered may be an­swered. There is a knowledge goes before Gods will, cal­led scientia simplicis intelligentiae th [...] knowledge of what may be, or is fitt to be, there is another knowledge called scientia visionis, that is the knowledge of what shall be, and thi [...] follo­weth after the will of God; and I know no tolerable divine that did deny it, untill the opinion of scientia media rose up; which the Authors themselves confesse to be a new inven­t [...]on; And here as if this opinion were both Law and Gospell unto you, you [...]ise up in grave and supercilious manner to cen­sure the contrary.

Now as for the terme of foreknowledge; I answere the knowledge of what may be, or is fitt to be, goes before the will of God, and so may be called the foreknowledge of God; but the knowledge that things shall be, though it follo­weth Gods will, yet may it be called foreknowlege in res­pect of the event of the things themselves. For the things exist in time, but God did know, that they should be, from all eternitie, like as from all eternitie he did decree the futurition of them. Your second interrogatorie is this, Or shall we say God did inevitably decree the obliquitie of Iewishe blasphemy a­gainst his Sonne because he did most certainly foreknowe it? You [Page 282] never shewed your teeth till now, by this I perceave what you aime at, which hitherto you have beene ashamed to professe in plaine termes, namely, that future contingents which come to passe in the World are not decreed. But what meane you to deny that, in this cunning manner, which you durst not deny openly. For the syllogisme you proposed to answere contained this, in plaine termes in the Minor thus, All things that come to passe are decreed to come to passe: which if you had but in plaine termes denyed, your solution had beene plaine and briefe, whereas you neglecting that course did fetche a great compasse insteed of answering to requite us with ano­ther argument whereby to inferre a proposition contradicto­ry to our conclusion.

Secondly though then you might have denyed it, yet now you cannot without contradicting your selfe. For you justi­fied the truth of the premises in that syllogisme, in as much as all the exception you tooke against it was against the form [...] and not against the matter. For you told us, it was a fallacy, a very simple one. Now every Schollar knowes that where no other exception is taken against a syllogisme, but this, that it is a fallacy, this is as much as to justifie the truth of each proposition contained therein.

Thirdly, I give another reason why you have prejudiced your selfe from denying this. For you have professed that Nothing can come to passe otherwise, then God hath decreed it to come to passe, Iewishe blasphemy against the Sonne of God came to passe contingently and freely, therfore God hath de­creed, that that very Iewishe blasphemy against the Sonne of God should come to passe contingently and freely, &c. what followeth hereupon but that therefore God ordeyneth it to come to passe, for to come to passe contingently and freely, is no terminus diminuens of comming to passe. You have no­thing at all that I knowe to helpe you at this dead lift, but to fly to the confused manner of expressing that former pro­position of yours, whereupon I take advantage, if so be your heart serve you to take hold thereof, whereof I much doubt. For it is true indeed that that proposition was not proposed [Page 283] categorically thus, Nothing shall come to passe otherwise then God hath decreed, it shall come to passe; whereupon I have taken ad­vantage ag [...]inst you; but disjunctively thus Nothing can come to passe otherwise then God hath decreed it shall or may come to passe. If you will helpe your selfe with this disjunctive you may; but I will be bold to tell you, it is like to prove a shame­full helpe, and such as seemes to be thrust in onely to charme the dangerous issue of it (whereof it seems you had a glimpse) if it were left out. For consider, is it a sober speech to say that God hath decreed that things may come to passe? The possibilitie of thinges is knowne to God before ever his de­crees goe forth. He knowes what he is able to bring to passe before he resolves what shall come to passe: And ther­fore too too absurde it is, to make the possibilitie of any thing the object of Gods decree. Sticke rather to this, and say, that thoughe God did ordaine, the Iewishe blasphemy a­gainst his Sonne should come to passe contingently & freely, yet therhence it followes not that he did ordaine it should come to passe: Whereabouts when we knowe your mind è renatâ consilium capiemus, we will thinke of a convenient an­swere, in the meane time I will proceede. Therefore in the fourthe place why should it seeme so uncouthe that God should decree this very blasphemy, as to be cryed downe at the very hearing of it, especially by Christians who knowe and beleeve the oracles of God, and acknowledge that passage. Act. 4. 27. 28. amongst the rest to be dictated by the Spirit of God wherein the Apostles joyntly professe in theyr medita­tions unto God in this manner, Doubtlesse against thy holy Sonne Iesus whome thou hast anointed both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and people of Israel gathered themselves together, to doe whatsoever thy hand and thy counsaile had deter­mined before to be done. Iudas that betrayed him, the High-Priests that hired Iudas to betray him, the witnesse that testi­fied against him, the people that cryed away with him, were of the people of Israell; The souldiours that scourged him, crowned him with thornes, spate in his face, crucified him, pierced him with a speare & were of the Gentlis, yet all these [Page 284] together with Horod and Pontius Pilate, are avouched by the Holy Ghost to have gathered themselves together to do what God had determined to bee done; and was there not both Iewish and Gentilish blasphemy against the Sonne of God to be found in all this? and shall wee feare to professe that they did in all this what God had decreed to be done, when the Holy Ghost professeth that they did what God had determined to be done? Could you be ignorant of this passage? and dare you in so apparent termes draw your Reader to contradict it, as some blasphemous assertion, without taking any paines to interpret the place, and so free your selfe from manifest contradiction thereunto, as at first sight is obvious to every Reader, that will but compare this of yours with that of the Acts? Had you ventured upon an interpretation, I would have taken paines to consider it. I have shaken in peeces the rotten interpretation of Bellarmine and Arminius, diffe­rent each from other. I would have tryed what I could have performed upon yours also. And throughout the Scriptures we may perceive how jealous God is over the maintaining of his providence throughout, even in the most sinfull things that come to passe, and that in such phrases, which when they are used by us, they are cryed downe for blasph [...]my; but in the meane t [...]me they consider not, that if they be the phrases of the Holy Ghost, ere th [...]y are aware they are found to charge the Holy Ghost with blasphemy. And the truth being right­ly uttered, is farre enough off even from harshnesse also, as well as from errour, yea from harshnesse unto mens affe­ctions, though never so corrupt. As for example, what good soever there is found in such actions, wee acknowledge God to be the author of it, but not of the the malice or evill that cleaves to it; yet that also we say God will have come to pass, but onely by his permission. For, Non aliquid sit nisi volente Deo, Not any thing comes to passe (saith Austin) but God willing Enchirid. cap. 95. it; and he comprehends both good and evill, as appeares by that which followes, vel sinendo vt siat, as in case it be evill, vel ipse faciendo, as in case it be good. But of both these hee pronounceth that not any thing comes to passe but God wil­ling [Page 285] it. The like may bee manifested to have beene acknow­ledged by Anselmus, Hugo de Sancto Victore, and Bradwar­dine, yea and our greatest adversaries. For Bellarmine even in the midst of his heat against us, professeth, that Bonum est esse malum, Deo permittente: It is good that there should bee evill by Gods permission: and if it be good, I pray you why is it not lawfull for GOD to will it, see [...]ng upon the same ground it was affirmed long agoe by St. Austin that God doth Enchirid. cap. 96. will it. But as for Arminius, never any man was knowne to be smitten with the spirit of giddinesse in opposing this truth more then he; for sometimes he professeth, It was Gods will that Ahab should fill up the measure of his sinnes, and how I pray Exam. praed. Perk. pag. 162. Ibid. pag. 114, 115. could that be, but by adding sinne unto sinne? Againe, hee professeth that it was Gods will that the Iewes should proceed so farre as they did proceed in their ignominious handling of Christ; and every man knowes that they proceeded to a very foule degree of blasphemy and impiety therein. Last of all, it is true that Aquinas and Durandus both oppose this, but herein Aquinas manifestly opposeth Austin, though he names him not. And againe, I desire no better triall of this truth then their oppositions. For if I doe not make it appeare that their arguments are meerly sophisticall, and manifestly un­sound, let me be accompted a blasphemer in the maintaining of this Tenet. All which I have already performed, and ta­ken in Valentianus his more copious and frothy exceptions also, but in another language. Lastly, yet were it tolerable if you did onely deny that sinnes of men were decreed by God; but you will have nothing that comes to passe contin­gently and freely to be decreed by God; contingency you say is decreed, but not the things that fall out contingently: whence it followeth that by your opinion, God did decree no mans faith, no mans repentance, no mans obedience, but onely did decree the contingency of this. This is the myste­rious iniquity of your doctrine which you conceale, and make choice rather to give instance in sinne and blasphemy, and to represent the harshnesse of maintaining that to be decreed by God, onely that you may the better insinuate the approbation [Page 286] of your unlearned Tenets, into vulgar and popular affections. Yet you give me cause to guesse that you would have your rea­der beleeve more herein, then you beleeve your selfe. You would have your Reader beleeve that God did not decree the Iewish blasphemy against his Sonne, but your beleefe is onely that God did not decree the obliquity of it, and yet forthwith you doubt whether the obliquity may bee distinguished from the act. Againe, you would have your Reader beleeve that God did not decree the Iewish blasphemy against his Sonne, but your beleefe here expressed is onely this, that God did not in­evitably decree the Iewish blasphemy, implying that God did de­cree it, but not mevitably. And not any of our Divines that I know ever said any more, then that God did decree it.

You adde another absurd errour hereunto concerning Gods decrees; that forsooth some of them are evitable, some inevitable. Now the meaning of our Divines in saying that God did decree any obliquity, is onely this; God did decree that such an obliquity should come to passe by his permission, directly answering to the prof [...]ssing of Austin; Non aliquid fit nisi Omnipotens fieri velit, vel sinendo ut siat, vel ipse faciendo. Enchirid. cap. 95. It is true, Arminius disputes, and that acutely as hee thinkes, that in some actions the obliquity cannot bee distinguished from the actions themselves. I have dealt with him in this point; I am ready to deale with you also. But it is enough for you to shew your affection to Armenius his Tenets; as for your sufficiency to maintaine them, that you doe dispense ve­ry sparingly, as if you affected state in this. Further you tell us, to admit your former cōclusion, that the aeternall foreknows all things because he decreeth them, or that they are absolutely necessary in re­spect of his decree, (the disjunctive here should be a copulative, for that which followeth is not verified of either of them dis­junctively, but copulatively of them both,) were to imprison his infinite wisedome in his selfe-fettered power, to restraine the Aeter­nall Majestie from using such libertie in his everlasting decrees as some earthly Monarches usurpe in causes temporall or civill. For the Pope never tyes his hand by any grant, which is a fault in him. But in that Holy One the reservation of such libertie is a point of [Page 287] high perfection. A little before you told us very gravely, that weedes grow apace, and the former errour which you minced, as loath to declare your mind thereon plainly, touching Gods decreeing all things, was soone delivered of a second, to wit, the ground of Gods foreknowing things to come to be the deter­mination of his will. You rather thinke, that God fore­knowes things to come, before, and without the determina­tion of his will. Whether this opinion of yours bee a tare or good corne, let the Reader judge. And of what nature not a second is, but seconds are, whereof it seemes you are soone delivered, which now we come to examine. To say that God foreknowes all things, because he decreeth them, is (you say) to im­prison his infinite wisedome in his power. Why it is nothing so: for Gods decree is Gods will, not his power: yet how is Gods wisedome imprisoned in his will, more then his po­wer? For as God knoweth more things possible to be done, and fit to be done then he doeth, so hee can doe more then he doeth, and therefore his wisedome is no more imprisoned thereby then his power. But besides this, you take your aime quite amisse. For the foreknowledge of what things God will bring to passe, is no part of wisedome. For, for a man to be privie to his owne purposes, is no part of wisedome, for it is incident even to silly creatures. Againe, to know what I meane to doe, what a senselesse thing it is to say that this is to imprison my knowledge? and as like senselesse a thing it is to say that Gods knowledge or wisedome is imprisoned, by be­ing privie to his owne purposes? Againe, how is Gods po­wer fettered by his will? Seeing the power of every creature is to be ordered by his will without fettering of it? you signi­fie that his liberty is hereby restrained; wherein? in his ever­lasting decrees. A most senselesse speech. Is it possible that by making an everlasting decree, Gods libertie of making an everlasting decree shall be restrained? Perhaps you may say, by making it he cannot alter it. I answer, if he should alter it af­ter he hath made it, this decree by way of alteration should not be everlasting: but you suppose the contrary, namely, that Gods decrees are everlasting. Or if God should for a while [Page 288] suspend his decrees, and not make them with the first, how is it possible they could be everlasting? This savoureth strong­ly of an affection to maintayne that Gods decrees may be not everlasting with Vorstius, though you are ashamed to professe it, and therfore hand over head you thrust in the denomina­tion of everlasting upon the decrees though quite contrary to your intention. For you would have God still ind [...]fferent to decree this or that, as the Pope is who by no graunt bindes his hands.

And why so? is it, that upon emergent occasions, God might decree a newe as he thinkes fitt? why but consider, all these emergent occasions were from everlasting knowne to God. So that if God at th [...]s time were indifferent to decree, he would decree no otherwise then he hath from everlasting. For from everlasting he knewe all that now he doth, and at this present his will is no otherwise then from everlasting it was. For with him is no variablenesse nor shaddow of change. Iam. 1. 17.

The wildernes of your inventions, I well perceave, is not at an end. I wonder whither the wantonnes of our witts would bring us in the end. Neither are Gods judgements yet at an end in giving men over to illusions to beleive lyes, and that for not embracing his truth with love. And who can looke for better from them who shamefully oppose the g [...]ace of God. Is it marva [...]le if God infatuate them?. As for the being of things absolutely necessary by reason of Gods de­cree, this is your language, not ours, in the last period of your former Section. We say, looke what God hath decreed, that of necessitie must come to passe, but how, not alwayes ne­cessarily, but sometimes contingently. Only the workes of nature doe by the decree of God come to passe necessarily; but as for the actions of men they come to passe by the de­cree of God contingently and freely. But whether workes of nature, or actions of men, they of necessitie must come to passe, if God hath decreed them, and that after such a manner as God hath decreed them to come to passe, that is, necessary things necessarily, contingent things contingen [...]ly.

[Page 289] 6. As a man or Angell having free power to doe this or that, by producing any thing subject to the freedome of his will, doth therewithall produce contingency without decreeing it, (for in as much as he workes freely the worke must needes be freely wrought, that is contingently,) In like so [...]t God being free to produce any worke without him, upon the producing of such a worke doth produce contin­gency without decreeing it. For the work cannot be wrought by God but freely, and consequently it must needs come to passe contingently.

To produce this or that, is the object of Gods decree, be­cause he can choose whether he will produce this or tha [...]; but to worke contingently is no object of Gods decree [...]for it is not in Gods power to choose whether he will worke contin­gently or necessarily. If he doth worke at all ad extra he must needs worke freely that is contingently. For as it is of the perfection of the divine nature to bee necessarily, so it is the perfection of divine nature to worke not necessarily in the producing of ought without him, but freely & contingently. But the divine nature differeth from the nature Angelicall and humane, that he not only worketh freely, but also is able to create creatures herein like himselfe, that can worke freely as namely Angells and men; like as he can and hath produced other creatures that worke in all things necessarily.

Agayne, considering that necessitie and contingency are but modi rerum certaine manners of bringing things to passe, & therfore cannot exist without the things themselves wh [...]ch are sayd to exist and to be brought to passe either necessarily or contingently. Therefore it cannot be sayd that God doth produce the necessitie or contingency of this or that particu­lar, unlesse he produceth the particular it selfe; neither can he be sayd to decree the contingency or necessity of this or that particular, except he decree the thing it selfe. So that for God to decree the necessitie or contingency of this or that particular, is nothing else then to decree that this particular shall necessarily come to passe, or such a particular shall con­tingently come to passe.

[Page 290] Neyther is it reasonable to affirme, that God doth decree necessitie or contingency in generall, but not the necessitie of this particular, or the contingency of this particular. For like as generalls cannot exist but in particulars, so neither can generalls be otherwise produced then by producing particu­lars. So it is impossible that God should decree the produ­cing of generalls otherwise then by producing of particulars. Now there is a contingency taken in another sense, which doth not accompany the existence of any thing but only the essence of it, and denominates it before it doth exist, as when we say raine to morrow is contingent, it is as much as to say it is possible to raine, it is possible not to raine. So touching the actions of men, of any action we may say it is contingent, for as much as it is in the power of man to doe it or no. Now this kind of contingency is not alwayes the object of Gods decree. For in this sense the continuation of the World is a contingent thing; for it may continue or no. So before the World was made, it was possible to be and not to be, and so the making of it contingent, but not by the decree of God. For nothing is such by the decree of God but it might be al­tered, for Gods decree is a free act. But it was impossible that the World should not be of a contingent nature, like as it is impossible that God should not have power to make the World, or not to make it according to his will. Nay the very workes of men and Angells in this kind of contingency are not the object of Gods decree; for in as much as they are sayd to be possible to be or not to be, this is not from the de­cree of God but rather from the nature of God, as all neces­sary truthes are derived therefrom.

Neither is it in the power of God to make that the works of men and Angells should not be possible to be or not to be. But if the possibilitie were the object of Gods decree, it might be otherwise. For Gods decree passeth forely upon every thing where upon it passeth, so that if he decree them to be possible, he might have decreed them not to be possible. Yet you seeme to speake of contingents in no other sense then this, as when you say, God hath decreed that some effects [Page 291] shall be contingent, although I confesse it is so obscurely deli­vered that a man can hardly discerne your meaning. But for farther discourse hereof you put us over to the article of crea­tion. So likewise for the contingency of humane actions as decreed by God; your confirmation thereof we must ex­pect, when you come to treat of mans fall. This, thus by fetching compasse expressed by you, I doubt will prove no more then this, that God decreed to make man a free agent; yet you deliver it as if the demonstration hereof did require, and promise some exquisite perfourmance. And I am verily per­swaded you have a reach at such a kind of freedome, as to make it good, will surpasse the perfourmance of any Schoole divine that ever was, from the dayes of Anselmus to the dayes wherein we live.

But of the nature of your perfourmances we have had rea­sonable experience. You may remember what he sayd while he was shearing his hogges, Here is a great deale of cry and a little wooll. In the next place you dictate your paral­lells Eliam. wherein it seemes you take great pleasure. That Gods wisedome is infinite we nothing doubt; but to make it consist in knowing what he is able to doe, we take to be a very hun­gry description of it. For is either man or Angell any thing the wiser for knowing what he is able to doe? Gods immen­sitie consists in filling all places which are but finite, neyth [...]r is it possible they should be infinite, yet beyond things that are, this immensitie is not extended. And you have already denyed precisely that God is in vacuo. But as for Gods eter­nity that doth not only coexist with all time, but had existen [...]e before it actually and that without all beginning. In a word Gods immensitie is not in respect of any quantitas molis, quan­titie of extension, but only in respect of quantitas virtutis. And what is this different from his infinite power. And indeed God is not in place after the manner of being contained in any thing, but only after the way of containing and suppor­ting all things. And looke by what quantitie he made all things, by the same quantity he supports all things, and that is the quantitie of his power.

[Page 292] A very weake amplification it is in my judgement of Gods incircumscriptible presence, (which yet is nothing els but his immensitie) to say it is not circumscribed by the coexistence of his creatures. For coexistence is of no apt nature to circum­scribe. For the thing circumscribed coexists with that which circumscribes it, as well as that which circumscribes it, co­exists with that which is circumscribed by it.

As for your Mathem [...]ticall conceyts of center and circum­scrence, I have already discovered in their places the vanity of them. To say that eternity is more then commensurable to time, is to graunt that it is commensurable thereunto, which is very absurde. And how is it possible, that should be com­mensurable to a thing mensurable, which indeed is immensu­rable as being without beginning and without end. You say it is in all durations; not as contained in them (I hope) if as containing them, this also is untrue. For like as it is not Gods eternity whereby he made the World but by his power, so it is not by his eternity that he maintayneth the duration of it but by his power. What noone tide is we know and ac­knowledge to be some thing, but as for fluent instants we knowe none. For fluent is as much as succedent▪ and succes­sion is not but in respect of parts, and an instant hath no parts. Yet if we give way to such imaginations, like as sluxus puncti in Longitudinem is not contayned in the line, but is the line; so sluxus instantis is not contayned in a set time, but is the very set time it selfe. Nor is it a part of it as noone-tide is of the day; And a most absurd thing it is to make the duration of the creature in respect of Gods eternitie, to resen [...]ble the pro­portion that is betweene the part of time and the whole time, you may say as well the World is contained in Gods immen­sitie, like as halfe the yard is contayned in the whole yard. Your last position is more sober in all the parts of it then the rest; the proportion of the least beame of light, to the light of the World may be expressed; the proportion of things that are, to the things that God is able to produce cannot, the first is finite, this is infinite. Yet by your leave, there is no grea­ter disproportion betweene Gods wisedome manifested and [Page 293] manifestable, then betweene his power manifested and mani­festable. In a word, God hath so farre manifested his power and wisedome, that wee plainly discerne both of them to bee infinite; and doe you thinke God can so manifest either of them, or both of them, that we may discerne them to be more then infinite? And if his wisedome manifestable doth but so farre exceed his wisedome manifested, as his power man [...]fe­stable doth exceed that which is already manifested, &c. what meant you to say that Least of all may his infinite wisedome bee comprehended within those effects produced. For if there bee but a pa [...]ity of proportion, then no disproportion. You proceed to amplifie the wisedome of God above all that can bee ga­thered by this Vniverse, after your manner.

But I pray consider, was it possible for God to take a more wise and convenient course for the salvation of the world then he hath done? I am sure Austin flatly denyes it, Aug. de Trinit. lib. 13. cap. 10. Ostendamus non alium modum possibilem Deo desuisse cujus potestati cuncta aequaliter subjacent, sed sanandae nostrae miseriae convenientiorem modum alium non suisse, nec esse oportuisse. I am apt enough to conceive, that God could have made and governed the world after another manner then hee hath done, and that after as wise a manner as hee hath done, but I dare not say that hee could doe it after a wiser manner then he hath done. Many other particulars might bee instan­ced in, that might stagger the course of your amplifications, which yet sometimes are wondrous vulgar, as when you say, God knowes what might have beene and what may be, as perfectly as he knowes the things that are. Which is as much as to say, God knoweth as well what he can do, as what he doth. Now is this strange in a silly man to know what hee doth, or what he can doe? And it were a vaine exception to say that God knowes as well things done by others as by himselfe; seeing not onely their power of doing is from God, but the very doing it selfe is by you acknowledged to be by the concourse of God. As for the manner of Gods concourse, if you con­ceit it to be upon supposition of Gods foresight of mans en­deavour first, you doe not well to propose your errours or [Page 294] any other Iesuiticall paradoxes for principles and grounds to build upon.

7. The incomprehensible wisedome of God doth ap­peare more you say, in the harmony or mixture of necessity and contingency. And this you say is most conspicuous in moderating the free thoughts of men or Angels, and ordering them to the cer­taine accomplishment of his glory. In the fou [...]th Section you told us that the parts of wisedome were two; the one in in­tending the right end, the other in ordering right meanes. So then the prescription of right meanes is a part of wisedome, but why it should affect the mixture of necessity with contin­gency in accomplishing the end intended I see no reason. Nay rather I finde that wisedome alwaies affecteth the most cer­taine meanes that can bee had for the compassing of the end intended. As for example, all manuall Arts doe expresse their wisedome by meanes used by them which are altogether of necessary operation. In the art of physicke also the meanes used by physitians as all sorts of medicines doe all worke by necessity of nature. In the Art of Oratory, the end is wholly conjecturall, and the meanes they use being arguments of per­suasion, there no necessity at all hath place. No where doe I finde that any wisedome affecteth the mixture of necessitie with contingency, as you speake. Come we to the conside­ration of the wisedome of God. How is Gods wisdome seene in the contexture of a mans body, and every part thereof? Who knoweth the breeding of young bones? saith Solomon. I am fearfully and wonderfully made, saith David. Galen in conside­ration of the body of man anatomized, was driven to ac­knowledge the Divine providence. Now what mixture of necessity with contingency did God affect in this? The fa­shioning of the body in the wombe being meerly an operation of nature, not of any free agent. Yet even this necessary ope­ration of nature is contingent I confesse unto God; for as much as he could either suspend the course of nature, or after it, or set an end unto it. So on the contrary the most free actions of men doe of necessity come to passe in their kinde and after their manner, as well as workes of nature in their [Page 295] kinde and after their manner. For to abstaine from the brea­king of Christs bones was a free action of the Souldiers; so was Iosiahs action in burning the Priests bones upon the Al­tar; so was Cyrus his action in restoring the Iewes unto their country; so was the crucifying of Christ Iesus, and other foule actions committed against him by Iewes and Gentiles, yet were all these decreed and determined by God, as the Scriptures plainly testifie; and therefore as your selfe acknow­ledge, of necessity they come to passe. Yet how God doth moderate the thoughts of men and Angels, you are not over hasty to communicate unto us. Solomon speakes plainly when he saith, The hearts of the Kings are in the hands of God, and he turneth them, &c. and both the preparations of the heart, and Prov. 21. 1 Prov. 16. 1 Prov. 29. 26. answer of the tongue are from the Lord: and that many seeke the face of the Ruler, but every mans judgement commeth of the Lord. But in what sense you say God moderates mens thoughts, and ordaines them for the accomplishment of his glory, you doe not love to discover: and I doubt all this will desinere in piscem in the end, and come to nothing. But although the meanes which man may use may be successively infinite, yet the ends (you say) which God doth forecast in their creation shall by any course which they take be inevitablely brought to passe; what these ends are which God did forecast in their creation, you come very soberly to expresse, or rather leave to the Reader to collect out of these wordes, the award of every thought is determined by Gods eternall decree, that is to bring you to playne termes either Salvation or Damnation. These then are the wayes wherby they shall accomplish Gods glory in the end, what course soever they take; And herein consists the infinite wise­dome of God.

Now let us examine the sobriety of all this. First you told us of courses infinite, by which notwithstanding all theyre va­rieties and inconstancies, Gods ends should be accomplished. Now all these courses in reference unto the issue of damna­tion or salvation whereby Gods glory shall be [...]llostrated, (wherof you speake as of the end that shall be accomplished.) I say al these courses in reference hereunto are but two: good, [Page 296] and bad answerablely to Hercules his bivium, and Pythago­ras his Y; according to that of Esay. Say yee surely it shall be well with the just, for they shall eate the fruite of theyre workes; woe be to the wicked, it shall be evill with him, for the reward of his handes shall be given him. Esa. 3. 10. 11.

Secondly, if this be all the fruite of Gods wisdome, wher­in doth this exceede the wisedome of every Magistrate; who ordeynes rewards for the good and punishment, for the wic­ked? Agayne what need is there of moderatinge mens thoughts unto this end; whereas though he never moderates any mans thoughts, yet his wisedome shall appeare never a white the lesse in setting forth his glory in punishing the one and rewarding the other.

Consider yet farther what I pray you, was the end of Iudas, which God did forecast in his creation? No doubt the setting forth of his owne glory, but I desire to know whether he did intend to set it forth in Iudas his salvation, or damnation. So likewise I desire to know what end God did forecast of Paul the Apostle in his creation? his glory I doubt not, but whether in his salvation or damnation. It seemes by the genius of your Tenet, that God did neither intend the salva­tion of the one, nor the damnation of the other in their crea­tion; but indifferently intended each of them should be saved or damned accordingly as they departed this life, either in impenitency or in repentance. Now if God did not intend the salvation of Paul, nor the condemnation of Iudas at the time of their creation. I pray when did he begin to intend it? Say what you will, it followeth that these intentions of God were not eternall, and consequently neither the decrees of God are eternall; yet commonly you professe of Gods de­crees that they are eternall and everlasting. Yet here I con­fesse you may play fast and loose, and say they are eternall so farre forth as they are without end, but they are not eternall so farre forth as to bee without beginning. But what meane you so directly to contradict the word of God, as you doe if this be your opinion? For the Apostle professeth that mans election was made before the foundation of the world: yea [Page 297] and touching the wicked, King Solomon professeth, that Pro. 16. 4. God made him against the day of evill.

As for the similitude, you use to represent unto us the wis­dome of God by comparing of him unto a bird catcher, though you father it upon Austine, yet in this case it is no­thing worth. For though it be more then humane after many birds formerly caught to catch them all againe; yet for God it is nothing, who is everywhere, and in whom every thing hath that being, that life, that motion which they enjoy. The hayres of our head we know are numbred; and therefore no­thing strange that our thoughts should bee, considering that our thoughts shall come into judgement, but our haires shall not. And if wee shall give an account of every idle word, as Mat. 12. 26 our Saviour hath professed unto us, why not as well of every idle thought? Hee shall make the counsels of the heart ma­nifest, 1 Cor. 4. 5. but that the award of every thought is de­fined by God, I cannot tell how to beleeve: my reason is, be­cause evill thoughts are not fit to be rewarded; and as for the evill thoughts of Gods children, shall not they bee pardoned as well as their evill words and outward actions are, to wit, upon their repentance? For if wee acknowledge our sinnes, God is faithfull and just to forgive us our sinnes, 1 Ioh. 1. 9. And Peter signified as much to Simon Magus conceiving evill thoughts also, when he said unto him, Repent of this thy wickednesse, and pray unto God, that if it bee possible the thought of thine heart might be forgiven thee, Act. 8. 22.

8. Free it was for you to have done something the last yeare, which you did not, and every minute thereof, in case every minute thereof you were waking. For that a man hath free will in his sleepe I never heard. But how thereby the whole frame of your cogitations or actions might have beene altered, is a mystery unto mee. Yet I doubt not but the whole frame of your cogitations and actions this yeare might have beene altered. For actions free and contingent could not justly bee accounted free and contingent, were they not accompanied with a possibility of being otherwise. And God you acknow­ledge to be the cause of this alteration, and of every thought and [Page 298] deed thus altered. So then if there had beene another course of your thoughts and actions, God had beene the cause of it, and of every thought and deed. What thinke you of that course which hath beene of your thoughts and actions; is God the true and princ [...]pall cause of this also, and of every thought and deed of yours this yeare? I see no reason to the conttary, but it stands you upon to justifie this also, as well as the former; and as of your selfe, so as concerning the actions of all o [...]her both men and Angels: and if for one yeare, why not for every yeare from the beginning unto this day? And so I see no colour of reason why you should not as freely ac­knowledge that all things are decreed by God; for if God hath decreed all the thoughts and actions of men, it will bee no hard matter to grant that God hath decreed all things that in their times and seasons doe successively come to passe. And if God be the true and principall cause of them, did hee not decree that he would be the true and principall cause of them? that is, that he would in due time indeed and principally pro­duce them, not withstanding all the evill that doth accompany them? For I doe not thinke that you take upon you so much perfection as to avouch that amongst all your thoughts and actions for a yeare together, there was no evill thought, no evill action among them. For if you stand upon it that God cannot be the true and principall cause of any evill thought or action, we must not yeeld unto you that God was the true and principall cause of all the thoughts and actions that were conceived in you, or derived from you that yeare or yeares wherein you were hatching this booke of yours, which I take to be a fardell of erroneous conceits both in Philosophy and Divinity.

Neither if you did maintaine that God is the true and prin­cipall cause of every free action, would wee object that then you make Gods will to depend on ours; for there is no co­lour for any such objection; there is colour for the contrary, as namely, if he be the principall cause, then his will doth not depend on mine, but rather mine on his: and consequently our liberty seemes to be infringed by making God the prin­cipall [Page 299] cause of all our actions. Yet you take no notice of this objection, (much lesse take paynes to answere it) but goe on desperately (in shewe and that against your owne tenet) to maintayne, that our will is necessarily subject unto his. But whether you meane in producing thoughts & actions, (which alone is to the purpose) or in some other sense and respect you betray not.

Yet by the way what meane you to say that our will is con­tingently free; seeing this is as much as to say, it is possible that the will of man should not be free. But you give a rea­son and it is worthy our consideration if perhaps therby, we may perceyve to what issue of tolerable sense your present discourse may be brought. And the reason is this: For unto every cogitation possible to man or Angell he hath everlastingly de­creed a proportionate end: to every antecedent possible, a correspon­dent consequent, which needes no other cause or meanes to produce it but only the reducing of possibility (granted by his decree) into act. For what way soever (of many equally possible) mans will doth encline, Gods decree is a like necessary cause of all the good or evill that befalls him for it. I looked for an elucidation of a former assertion or two of yours, namely, that God is the true and principall cause of every action, and deede that hath passed from you this yeere, like as he had beene the cause (as you say) of every thought and action that might have passed from you, if the frame of your thoughts and actions had beene alte­red.

The other assertion was that our will is necessarily sub­ject unto Gods will, which also is delivered in reference to the former assertion. I say I looked for an elucidation of these by this following sentence wherin you pretend to give a reason of the former. But this performes nothing lesse. If you had done something the last yeere which you did not as you might, then the whole frame of your thoughts and ac­tions this yeare had beene altered, and God had beene the cause of this alteration and of every thought and action therin. And the reason is this, For unto every cogitation possi­ble God hath decreed, a determinate end. But I pray you consi­der, [Page 300] are the thoughts and actions of men this yeare the pro­portioned end of somethinge that you did the last yeare? Or are they correspondent consequents to our antecedent actions the last yeare? Many man the last yeare was an oppo­site unto goodnes, he is reformed this yeare and become a proselyte. Is grace the proportionate end of the state of sinne? The last yeare many a man was a formall professour; this yeare it may be he is turned Papist, or Turke, is this a cor­respondent consequent to that antecedent? Yet many conti­nue formall professours still, wi [...]hout any such alteration; some have changed theyr formalitie into realitie. It may be some man the last yeare hath satisfied anothers silthy lust, and this yeare is advanced by it.

Call you this a correspondent consequent destined by God? Some have prospered by impoysoning of others and proceeded in their sinfull courses so much the more, without controll. In a word by the last Clause it appeares that by proportionate end, & correspondent consequents, you meane only the good and evill, that doe befall men according to their former workes, according to that God will rewarde every man according to his workes. But by your leave this hath no proportion to prove that God is the Authour of every thought and action of man this yeare, which you made to be consequent to some thing done the last yeare; and God to be the true and principall cause of every one of those thoughts, and actions. For what? Are mens thoughts and actions this yeare, the rewardes and punishments of the same mens ac­tions the other yeare? What a ridiculous conceyte in this? Well; still we holde you engaged to maintayne, that, which you have plainely avouched, namely that God is the true and principall cause of every action, and thought of man for a yeare to­gether, yea and of every thought and action of yours for the yeare past; which you have delivered without any explication. I have manifested the incongruity of your whole discourse, in generall. In particular consider further: you say that mans will is necessarily subject unto God; this we understood in re­spect of operation in proportion to what you delivered in the [Page 301] sentence before going; but you understand it in respecte of rewardes or punishments succeeding, proportionably unto former actions whether good, or bad. But by your leave it is not mans will, but his person rather that herin is necessarily subject unto God. For no wise man useth to say that mans will is rewarded or punished, but his person rather. Agayne, suppose God decreeth not the actions of men, but the re­wards of them, yet you have not explicated how in this case Gods will depends not upon the will of man, the true expli­cation whereof that I know is only this; that the execution of his will may depend upon mans will to witt in rewarding, or punishing, but not the will of God himselfe: Yet if good or evill actions of men be foreseene by God before he hath decreed either to reward or punish; neither have you offered to cleare Gods will in this case from dependance upon the will of man, neither are you able to performe it. Agayne it is false to say that God hath decreed a proportionate end to every cogitation possible. For many cogitations are possi­ble which shall never be; And it is absurde to say God hath decreed an end to that which shall never bee. Agayne by this proportionate end and correspondent consequent, you understand rewardes, or punishments; But it is false to say that God hath ordayned to every cogitation a reward or punish­ment. For to the evill thoughts and words, and deeds of Gods children he hath ordayned neither reward nor punish­ment to befall them, but his purpose is to pardon them.

Agayne punishments for the sinnes of men are many times inflicted by the sinnes of men; So Sennacherib that blasphe­mer of the God of Israel, was slayne by the sword of his owne children; Davids adultery was punished by the fil [...]hy actions of his owne Sonne Absolon deflouring his fathers Concu­bines.

If these were proportionate ends to former sinnes, and correspondent consequents, and everlastingly decreed by God, what hindereth but that in your opinion, actions noto­riously sinnefull may be sayd to be decreed by God? You say the producing of these consequents and proportionate ends, needsno [Page 302] other cause or meanes but only the reducing of possibilitie (granted by his decree) into acte: Which is plaine gibrish; you instance in nothing for illustration sake, not as if your discourse were so plaine that it needed it not, but rather it is so unsound, that you might well feare it: And darkenesse is fittest for them that hate the light: I will give instance for you; Absalons de­flouring his fathers Concubines was a disproportionate end, and correspondent consequent to Davids defiling his neigh­bours wife; for God punished David hereby; and Arminius acknowledgeth that this fact of Absolon Inserviit castigand [...] Exam. prae­dest. Perk. p. 162. Davidi: Now this fact of Absolon by your doctrine in this place, needed no other cause or meanes to produce it, but onely the reducing of possibilitie (granted by Gods decree) into act. Now what possibility doe you meane? the possibility of Davids defiling Bethsheba? It is manifestly untrue: first in generall, that to produce a reward, and punishment, no cause is requi­red but the producing of the fact, which is to bee rewarded or punished, Consequents naturall follow I confesse upon antecedents naturall, but it is not so with consequents morall, such as are rewards and punishments. And in particular the case is cleare, that something else was required to Absolons defiling Davids Concubines, then Davids defil [...]ng of Beth­sheba. For both the counsell of Achitophel, and Absolons corruption in yeelding thereto, and the p [...]nishing hand of God herein, were found in this; and none of all these was found in Davids sinne.

Or doe you meane this of the possibility of Absolons sinning as he did? so that to the punishing of David no other thing was required but Absolons reducing his power of defiling his father Concubines into act. Now this I confesse is a truth, but such a truth as might make any wise man ashamed to ac­commodate himselfe to the grave profession of it, though he did not affect any singularity of conceit therein▪ For tis as much as to say, that to defile Davids Concubines no other thing was required then to defile them; for this is to reduce possibility granted (as you say) by Gods decree into act, and that is enough. But by your leave, it is not enough to salve your [Page 303] credit, to say that a possibility hereof was granted by Gods decree. For you have plainly professed that God hath de­creed not a possibility of a proportionate end, or correspondent con­sequent to every cogitation, but a proportionate end, and correspon­dent consequent. And therefore if the defiling of Davids con­cubines by Absolon, was a proportionate end, or correspon­dent consequent to Davids former cogitations and actions, then by your doctrine this deiling of Davids concubines by Absolon his sonne, was everlastingly decreed by God, and not the possibility of it. And how absurd a thing it is to say, that God decreed the possibility of any thing, whereas all con­tingent things are possible in their owne nature without the decree of God, as the whole world was possible, and that not by the decree of God? But it seemes you have reference to the possibility, not of the punishment, but of the time, for which correspondent punishment is decreed, as appeares by that which followes: as when you say, Did we that which we doe not, but might doe, many things would immediately follow, which now doe not: which though it be granted you, yet here­hence it would not follow, that No other cause should be requi­red to the producing of them, then our producing of the antecedent. But by this you justifie that upon Davids adultery, Absolon his defiling Davids concubines; and upon Sennacheribs blas­phemy against the God of Israel; Ad [...]amelech and Sharezar his sonnes slaying him with the sword in the Temple of Nis­roch his god, did inevitably follow. For these things did be­fall them, and those things which doe befall you and us doe come to passe, as you professe in the next place, though not as absolutely decreed by God, and in the first place, yet because he de­creed them as the inevitable consequents of some things which hee knew he would doe. By all which it cannot be avoided but that Absolon defiling his fathes concubines in speciall, and all the sinnes of man whereby God doth punish former sinnes in generall, are by this your opinion decreed by God as inevi­table consequents of some things which God kn [...]w would be done.

Now let us examine this a little further. You speake in­differently [Page 304] of good and evill that doth befall men; And these indifferently you prosesse to be ordayned by God upon the foresight of some thing in man; So then like as the damna­tion of any man is ordayned by God not absolutely, and in the first place but upon the foresight of some evill thing in the person damned; so the salvation of any man is not de­creed absolutely by God, and in the first place, but upon the fore sight of some good in the person, saved or to be saved, which good must be eyther faith or good workes or both; or which is worst of all some thing which is lesse evill (as sup­pose naturall humilitie) in the state of nature. Yet you will not seeme to be an abetter of their opinion, that maintayne election to be upon the foresight of faith or workes.

Yet let me have one bout with you more in the point of reprobation also. God foreseeing some evill in man (say you) doth purpose to condemne him: Now because like as no evill can exist without Gods permission; so God could not fo [...]see evill but upon presupposall of his purpose to per­mit it, it followeth that the decree to permit sinne, is before the decree of God to damne for sinne, therefore permission of sinne is in Gods intention before damnation, and conse­quently it must be after it, in execution, as much as to say; God doth first damne men for sinne, and afterwards permit them to sinne. Hereupon you will refl [...]ct upon us with an inter­rogatorie saying; Will you maintayne that God did first de­cree to damne men for sinne, and secondly to permit them to sinne? I answere; If I did maintayne this, I should looke to be confuted by reason, and not to be cried downe without rea­son, or contrarie to all reason. Nay I had rather maintayne an harsh opinion according unto reason, then a plausible opi­nion in contradiction unto manifest reason.

Secondly, I answere by negation; For I doe not mayntayne either of these to be subordinate unto other in Gods inten­tion, but rather coordinate; because neither of these thinges decreed is the end of the other, but both joyntly make up an integrall meanes tending to the manifestation of Gods glorie in the way of justice, according to that of Aquinas, who pro­fesseth [Page 305] that reprobation includeth the will of God of per­mitting sinne, and of inferring damnation for sinne. Now let us proceed to that which followes. It is absurde to say we have a possibilitie to doe what we doe not; but rather you should say we have an abilitie to doe what we doe not. For possibilitie is of a passive signification, not active: And abi­litie to obey God, I confesse we had in Adam, and in Adam we have lost it. That which you call the absolute necessitie of Gods decres, is not in respect of Gods act in [...]. For his decrees are most free, but in respect of the event ensuing upon supposition of Gods decree. So then thinges freely decreed upon this supposition must necessarily come to passe. Both that which should and that which doth befall us floweth alike (you say) from the absolute necessitie of Gods decree. Now be­cause your present discourse is not of Gods power, but of his wisedome that you might not seeme beside the text, you tell us in the close, that herein is seene Gods incomprehensible wise­dome, that nothing falls out without the circumference of it; whereas that all things fall out as God hath decreed, it is ra­ther the fruit of his power then his wisedome. And if you referre it to Gods knowledge, yet it is no parte of God, wis­dome. For what wisedome is it to know what he hath de­creed, or what he meaneth to bring to passe, whereas any man though simple may know what himselfe meaneth to doe? But to know what is fitt to be done for the setting forth of his owne glorie, and to directe all things most conventently here­unto, herin consists the wisedome of God. You content not your selfe with ascribing, a Circumference unto Gods wise­dome, within which all things fall out, but you call it actuall, also as if there were two sortes of circumferences, the one potentiall, the other actuall.

9. It seemes you doe not please your selfe so well in this Ar­gument of Gods infinite wisedome, as in the former; neither is it your happines to light upon such quaint straines of invention, and expression here, as in the poinct of Gods immensitie, and eternitie: It may be the matter will not afforde it; For if it did, why should not you that seeke after it, be acquainted With [Page 306] it as soone as another? Therefore, I guesse, it is that you break forth into such a profession: the Christian writers are more able and apt both to conceive right, and to speake more consequently to what they rightly conceive concerning other branches of divine ab­solute infinitenesse, then concerning his infinite knowledge. And because you are bold by a confident supposition to put this out of question, (whereas yet I know no reason, save that you finde no place in this argument for such Chimaericall fictions as you vented in other points, especially in the point of Gods immensitie and eternitie) you take upon you to give certaine reasons hereof. Now because to my understanding Gods immensitie and [...]ternity are farre more obscure to treat of then Gods wisedome, I am very willing to weigh well the weight of these your reasons. They are in number two. The first is this: All creatures are participant of Gods other at­tributes besides his wisedome and knowledge; but of his knowledge and wisedome men and Angels are of all his creatures the onely par­ticipants: and those rules are alwaies the most cleare and certaine, and most easily gathered, which are gathered from an uniform iden­ditie of particulars in variety of subjects: Those universall rules are hardly gathered, or are lesse certaine, which can be experienced one­ly in some one or sewer subjects. In this argument there is little or nothing sound. For (as touching the maine) though crea­tures inferiour unto man doe not worke by wisedome and knowledge of their owne, yet the wisedome of God appeares no lesse in their workes then in the workes of man, even to the admiration of man himselfe.

What art, what industry is found in the little Bee in the ga­thering of his waxe, in the fashioning of his combes, in the gathering of honey of divers sorts, every one following and plying his proper and peculiar flowre, and afterwards tempe­ring it, the liquid stuffe brought in their bottles, with the grosser stuffe brought upon their thighes, and bringing it to that perfection which wee see and use both for dainty food, and wholesome physicke: then their government under one King as the Ancients conceived, but indeed under one Queen rather, as later writers even of these dayes have elegantly ob­served, [Page 307] and the exquisite manner of a common wealth among them. Is not the wisedome of God observable in this? And as it was said of such as suddenly became Prophets, But who is 1 Sam. 10. 12. their father? so may we aske concerning these, Who is their fa­ther, or who their Schoolemaster that instructed them, and bred them up in this occupation? I say the wisedome of God doth appeare more in these then in the actions of men. For wee know by what meanes men usually attaine to wisedome, as namely, by instruction and by observation, but no such thing to be found in Bees; therefore this wonderfull worke being a worke of nature, must necessarily be ascribed to the God of nature. But suppose the wisedome of God were to be obser­ved no where but in the actions of men, is not the world of men sufficient to afford particulars sufficient for induction thereupon to conclude generall rules?

The wisedome of Arts and liberall professions are growne now adayes to great perfection, and all these what are they but the searching out, and by searching the discoverie of the wisedome of God, even in those creatures which are not par­ticipants of the wisedome and knowledge of God?

The science of Astronomy, how hath it displayed unto the world the wisedome of God in the various motions of the heavens? and still they are searching, as having not yet attai­ned to the full discovery thereof. So likewise the naturall Philosopher in search [...]ng out the nature of the whole world; what is this but an inquirie after the wisedome of God in the whole and parts of this Vniverse? and albeit still there is e­nough to be discovered, yet that which is discovered, is it not sufficient to draw us to adore the wisdome of God, and that so much the more, because that though God hath set the Eccles. 3. world in mans heart, yet can hee not finde out the workes that hee hath wrought from the beginning to the end?

The Physitian, what d [...]vine wisedome doth he finde in the contexture of the body of man? Was not Galen hereupon driven to acknowledge a divine providence? Then in sear­ching after the nature of Herbes and other simples, and con­sidering the power and virtuous operation of them, both of [Page 308] each apart, and of severals together in composition fitting for the cure of every malady and disease of the body of man: what report can they make unto us of the wisedome of God even in those things which are not participants of the wise­dome and knowledge of God? But come wee to Arts ma­nuall, of mans invention, and wherein indeed wee are more apt to derogate from God, then to give him the glory of them; yet both from the wisedome of man wee may the bet­ter ascend to the contemplation of the wisedome of God, and also the wisedome of man is from God, who as we are taught instructeth all, as well the meane husbandman, Esay 28. 26. as the most curious artificer, Exod. 31. In the Turkish Hi­story I read of a present sent to the Grand Signiour Achmat that Turkish Emperour; all the particulars (save three Birds of Paradise of rare and precious plumes, wonderfull goodly to behold, and valued at 800. pound sterling,) were handi­crafts worke, as namely, two vessels of Cristall, wonderfull rich and beautifull: foure other vessels made of fishes bones, whereas the art seemed miraculous in the graving: forty pee­ces of cloth of golde of diverse colours; five peeces of silke; five of Damaske; five of silke watered and five plaine; A staffe of an Elephants tooth graven with admirable industrye; A Parret set in a cage of Cristall so artificially done as no man could discerne the entrie; And many faire and rich table clothes of Holland cloth most parte poudred with flowers to the life, and wrought in their lively colours. The which (it is sayd) the Sultan did accepte with admiration. The Au­thour addes in the close: All these thinges shew sufficiently that the Estates from the beginning, or soone after have ray­sed handy workes as well as trafique and navigation to the highest point of perfection. This calls to my remembrance the rich presents, which the same Estates presented the Lady Elisabeth in her entertainement at the Hage, in her way out of England, unto the Palatinate being most of curious handicraft. First a Carcanet enriched with 36. Diamonds all of facet stones. 2. Two great hanging pearles weighing 35. Carals, and one grayne. 3. A chaine of pearles of 52. pee­ces, [Page 309] orientall water. 4. A golde needle enriched with a great Diamand, in forme of a table, having 4. Diamants round a­bout, wherof the three out hanging were facet stones. All this layd in a little trunke of cloth of golde, betwixt a perfu­med cushion. 5. A great looking glasse inclosed in a silver quilted brimme enriched with faire inlaid workes. 6. Ten peeces of Tapestry of Francis Spierick, whereof two pieces were to be sent after unto her highnes. 7. Six pieces more­over of Tapistry for a Cabinet of the same Master, whereof two were to be sent after to her highnes. 8. Diverse sorts of linnen Damas workes pacted up in cases, rated nu­mero. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. according to the workes layd in every case. 9. Workes of Spanish waxe made according to the fashion of the East-Indies, whereof were diverse particulars. 1. A co­ver of a bed standing on 4. pillars not playne but round. 2. A Cupboorde. 3. A Table. 4. Two great trunkes, 5. A middle trunke. 6. Five little trunkes. 7. Two casket standishes. 8. Foure and twenty middle dishes. 9. Nine and twentie little dishes. 10. Twelve fruit dishes. 11. Six Saucers. But come we from the wisedome of Manuall artes, to wisedom morall and politicall. David was wise as an Angell of God. 2. Sam. 14. 17. Yet he feared the wisedome of Achitophell, whose counsell was accounted as an Oracle of God in those dayes. 2. Sam. 16. 23. And David prayed unto God to turne his counsell into foolishnes, and the Lord heard him, and she­wed his wonderfull wisedome in making that counsell of A­chitophell, (which had soone dispatched David if it had binne followed) seeme foolishnes in the judgement of Absolon, by the meanes of Hushai sent only to crosse Achitophel. Yet Solomon was wiser then they both, and it was God that gave him a large hearte, like unto the sand of the Sea shore; So that his wisedome excelled all the wisedome of the children of the East, and all the wisedome of Aegypt. Wise heades there were, many it seemes in those dayes both in Aegypt, and in the East, yet Salomon was wiser then they all; And the Queene of the South came from the uttermost part of the earth to heare the wisedome of King Salomon. Since there have binne [Page 310] men famous in this kinde, that have boasted.

Consilijs nostris laus est attonsa Laconum.

Tiberius his governments had it binne matched with as much honestie as wisedome it had binne admirable. It was wonte to be sayd that the French got more upon us by parle then by the sword: Yet Henrie the IV, of France was wonte to say, he feared but two men in the World, and that was for their wits; the one was (as he called him) the fox of the moun­taynes; the other was the lacke an apes of the Iles. Yet some say the Spaniards herein outreach the French, and the Italian the Spaniards. And that of all the Italians the Flo­rentines have beene most cunning; and of all the Florentines the house de Medices. And indeed Laurentius de Medices was accounted the chiefest ballancer of States in his time, if Newes from Parnassus speake true. But the world of men (as you complaine) are not sufficient to give presidents of wise­dome fit to raise us to the contemplation of the infinite wise­dome of God. Yet if you were acquainted with all the wise­dome of the world, you might finde matter enough of admi­ration thereat, and of adoration of the wisedome of God, that goeth infinitely beyond it.

But whereas you say that all creatures are participants of Gods other attributes, in as much as they have some being, some power, some duration, some quantity; and therefore the knowledge of them conferres something to the knowledge of those attributes of God. Neither the antecedent is true, nor the consequēt sound. For what doth the quantity of a gnat confer to the knowledg of Gods immensity? or what doth the duration of creatures that live but a day or a yeare conferre to the knowledge of Gods eternity? or the b [...]ting of a flea, to the discerning of the power of God? Againe, the antecedent is st [...]ke false. No creature that hath quantity is partaker of Gods immensity. For the quantity of a creature is quantitas [...]lis▪ quantity of extension; but Gods quantity is quantitas virtutis, quantity of spirituall and immateriall perfection, and it is im­possible [Page 311] that one should be a part of the other: nay Gods im­mensity hath no parts, so neither hath his eternity, nor his al­mighty power, and therefore no creature can partake of any of these. It is true, God produceth the being, and maintai­neth the duration of all things, but it is not by his essence he produceth their being, nor by his eternity he maintaineth their duration, but all is done by the power and counsell of his will.

We come to your second reason; Why wee cannot conceive and speake so right concerning Gods knowledge, as concerning other attributes, and that is, say you, because we want fit termes to ex­presse it. But how doe you prove that we have more fit termes to expresse Gods other attributes then this? you doe not once goe about to prove this; the instance you give is in the praesci­ence of God, concerning which Gregory makes a question how it can bee attributed unto God; seeing nothing but future things are said to be foreknowne, and unto God nothing is future, but all things present. And for the same reason Au­stine (you say) would have Gods knowledge of things to come to be termed rather science then praescience, seeing all things are present unto God. Now if this change of termes will serve the turne to avoid incongruity concerning the right apprehen­sion of Gods knowledge, what cause is there to complaine of the unfitnesse of termes, when as with so little adoe the unfitnesse we speake of, may be corrected? It is like enough upon such conceits as these, some have entertained an opinion that all things are actually existent in eternity, not onely things present, but things past also still are, and things future already are existent in eternity: and you your selfe also have already manifested your approbation of this Tenet in the Chapter of eternity: The more I wonder to reade you except against this doctrine of Gregories and Austines, as neither cleare, nor ac­curate enough: And here first you tell us that we may not say, nor did Saint Austine, or Saint Gregory thinke that God doth not, or cannot know a distinction between times past, present, or to come. Neither indeed doe I see any colour why any man should en­tertaine a conceit of any such meaning of Austine or Gregory; [Page 312] neither doe they denie that God knowes all these thinges and consequently the differences of them, one from another; Only Gregorie makes a doubte how the knowledge of future thinges in God should be called prescience. And Austine (as you say) had rather call it Science. But then you demande how it is sayd by Gregorie that nothing to him is future, nothing past. Your selfe have heretofore layd downe that which may answere this; as when you sayd all thinges are coexistent in eternitie, but not in time: And therefore God may know thinges to be so differenced in respect of such a course of eternitie. In a word, that God knowes the thinges that are past, present and to come, so called in respect of man who is measured with time, but not so called in respect of God who is measured with eternitie. But though they are alltogether presēt unto God, yet it followes not herhence that they are all one (as you inferre) much lesse that they are so in respect of Gods eternall knowledge, as if Gods knowledge did make them one, which in themselves and in their owne natures are not. As God himselfe, so his knowledg is before all worlds, as worlds doe exist in time. But you may remember what you have formerly maintayned, that both all worlds which have an exi­stence successively in time, and time it selfe is actually existent in eternitie, and so not only present in respect of Gods know­ledge of them which ever was, but also in respect of their owne existence (as you have accoumpted it) in eternitie, which Aquinas makes the ground of Gods knowledge of them. Then you dispute, and prove that foreknowledge is to be attributed unto God; because he forknowes them before they are, which is as much as to say, while they are yet to com. To this I answeare out of your owne doctrine thus; Allbeit Gods knowledge be before them, yet if the same also be to come, and that as much after them as before them, what rea­son, why it should be called foreknowledge, rather then toge­ther knowledge, or after knowledge.

But what knowledge soever we attribute to God, it can no more be sayd to be past, than to come according to your doctrine pag. 77. your wordes are these. Whatsoever can be [Page 313] more properly sayd or conceived to be past than to be yet to come, or to be in every moment of time designable, can have no propertie of eternitie. And in very truth Gods knowledge is not altered, but one and the same knowledge it is which God hath of things without him, before they were, when they are, and after they were. In the things themselves an alteration is found, but not in Gods knowledge of them: And therefore the knowing of all things that are, were, and are to come is com­monly called Scientia visionis, in distinction from Scientia sim­plicis Intelligentiae, wherby God knowes all necessary truthes, and all things possible.

Your conclusion is, that God foreknowes, and Man fore­knowes but with a difference, such as, you say, is oftentimes not well expressed by Teachers, nor duely considered by Readers; the identitie of the word wherby we expresse both Gods foreknowledge, and mans foreknowledge making us apt to confound the different meaning of them. Which con­fusion of things arising from communion of the same terme, you say is a fertile nursery of many errours in this Argument. And is it not, I pray, as well in other Arguments as in this? But I beare with you, for if you had professed so much, you had utterly broken the necke of your second Argument. Yet we are like to be beholding to you in good time. For the dis­planting of these errours. For you promise to endeavour this, and therin to imitate Heralds, who give the same Coate to diverse parties, but alwayes which a difference.

Thùs we have gained a flourish of allusion unto the prac­ctise of Heralds, and with this Kickeshewes we must be merry till more substantiall provision commeth. As for my opi­nion, I acknowledge no ex [...]stence of thinges in eternitie, nor coexistence with eternitie untill the time of their actuall pro­duction commeth. And so accordingly theyr coexistence with eternitie first was to come, then is, afterwards is past, and ceaseth to be; and so accordinglie foreknowledge, coknow­ledge, and after-knowledge of the same thinges may be attri­buted to God, all which are externall denominatives attribu­ted unto the knowledge of God, from the various condition [Page 314] of things knowne by him, who lookes not out of himselfe for the knowing of any thing. For how could he, before any thing was? yet then he knew all things that were to come, as well as now he doth, yet without any change: For with him is no variablenesse, nor shadow of change. Iam. 1.

10. Here you enter upon the explication of the difference betweene mans knowledge and Gods. Our knowledge (say you) of things to come is many wayes imperfect (and foreknowledge onely) because the duration neither of our knowledge, nor of our selves as yet can reach unto that point of time wherein things so knowne get first existence. No soundnesse of truth in all this.

For first our foreknowledge of things to come, is not foreknowledge onely, save so long as the things themselves are to come; but when they come, wee know them never a whit the lesse, and after they are gone and past. As the Eclipse of the Sunne and Moone is knowne by us before it comes, when it comes, and after it is past. It is true, before they come, the knowledge of things is onely foreknowledge, and not in man onely, but God also. When they doe coexist with God, then Gods knowledge is no longer foreknowledge, but till they doe coexist with God, his knowledge of them is fore­knowledge of them, as well as ours. For it is before them, and onely before them; for it is neither with them, nor after them. Not with them, for then they should coexist with God, and that from all eternity, which is most untrue. For if they did coexist with God, then they did exist, and that from all eternity, which is most untrue. Much lesse is it after them. For if so, then their coexistence with God were past, but we suppose it to be to come. And impossible it is that the same things should at once bee both past, and also to come. And as for the duration of our knowledge, whereas you say it doth not reach to the things that are to come; I say neither doth the duration of Gods knowledge reach thither. For if the duration of Gods knowledge did reach unto things to come, then Gods knowledge should in this present coexist with things to come, which is untrue. For if Gods know­ledge did coexist with things to come, at this present, then [Page 315] things to come at this present should co [...]exist with the know­ledge of God, and consequently they should exist, that is, they should be present, and not to come. It is no way requi­red to knowledge to coexist with things knowne. In like sort neither doth Gods duration at this present reach unto things to come any more thē ours. For if God did at this pre­sent coexist with things to come, then at this present things to come should coexist with God; for coexistence includes existence on both sides. But things to come doe not at this present coexist with God, for if they did coexist, then they should exist, and consequently they should be said to be pre­sent, and not to come. And in a word, to maintaine that God coexists with all things to come, is to maintaine by just con­sequence, that the world did exist from all eternity. It is true, God shall coexist with things to come, because his yeares can­not faile, they endure for ever: but our yeares and dayes are as swift as a post, in comparison. But this makes no difference in the point of foreknowledge. But with such like wilde conceits of yours as touching Gods eternity, we are now rea­sonably well acquainted, they doe so much the lesse move us, or trouble us. We have continuance of being for a time, God hath continuance of being for ever. God hath the continu­ance of his being from none, wee have the continuance of our being from God. But as God by continuing doth not get continuance of being, so neither doe we. Onely we have it so, as that God coulds [...]t an end to it every day and houre; but it is impossible any end should bee set to the continuance of Gods being, because he is of necessary being. But this is it that deceiveth you; wee get many things by continuance, as growth and strength of body, encrease of knowledge, and grace, and this maketh you affirme that we get continuance. Whereas indeed we get not continuance, but wee get some­thing else by continuing. Yet wee may continue the same that we were; sure I am we shall so continue in the world to come.

Sometimes againe we lose by continuance both health and strength, and memory, and so grow towards our graves; and [Page 316] this is Alteration, so that we are still in motion. But God getts nothing by continuance, for there is no motion, no change in God. And where motion and change is not, there time is not, but either Aevum or Eternitie. It is true, contin­gent thinges are not foreknowne by us; and herein is a great difference betweene Gods foreknowledge and ours. But this is a materiall difference only, but now we dispute of the forme of foreknowledge, wherof hitherto you have shewed no sound difference. No question but God precisely knowes future contingents, we doe not; And it is as true, that this is just nothing to the present purpose. Yet now you are fallen upon it, we must give due regard to your cariage in this. Of the ground of Gods foreknowing future contingents que­stions, have beene ventilated amongst Schoole-divines for many hundred yeeres continuance.

The most flourishing opinion at this day, and wherein the Sects in other points very opposite of Scotists and Thomists doe agree, is, that God foreknowes them by seeing the deter­mination of his owne will, touching their coming to passe; this you invade both elswhere and here; how well and scho­lastically you have carryed your self herein hertofore we have considered; now what else you have to vēt against this tenent, we are ready to entertaine as it shall deserve.

But in the first place you fall upon it to my judgement very indecently, as when you say: If we shall mould the manner of Gods foreknowglede of things future in our owne conceit or fore­knowledge of them, we shall erroneously collect, that seeing we cannot infallibly foreknow future contingents so neither could they be infal­libly foreknowne by God, if to him or in respect of his decree they were contingent, and not necessarily predetermined. For first the question only was, whether foreknowledge might be proper­ly attributed unto God in respect of things to come. Now I see no reason but it may, as well as it is attributed unto man; which question is only about the formall denomination of it, not at all as touching the extent of Gods foreknowledge in comparison unto mans foreknowledge, or in respect of the ground of it.

[Page 317] Secondly, the comparison made by you hath no congrui­ty in the members of it. For the first member is proposed absolutely, the second conditionally; wheras in reason, either both should be proposed absolutely thus. Seing we cannot infallibly foreknowe future contingents, so neither could they be in­fallibly foreseene by God: which is so absurd an Argument, that any sober man might be ashamed to obtrude upon any adver­sary.


If I would feine, I would feine thinges probable at the least. Or both should runne conditionally, thus: Seeing we cannot infallibly foreknow future contingents, if in respect of our decree they be contingents, and not necessarily determined, so neither can they be infallibly foreknowne by God, if to him, or in respect of his decree they were contingents, and not necessarily predetermi­ned. Yet if the comparison had runne thus, it load bin in­congruous inough; For Mans foreknowledge is not usually accoumpted in respect of thinges determinable by his will, Sometime it may be, as I remember Erastus observes that Bel­lantius Senensis prophecyed of Savanarola his death, but it was after notice was taken of him at Rome, as of an Here­tique. So likewise I have read that the fruites of the Gun­powder Treason was prophecyed of in a certeine Liturgy, then of purpose prescribed for the use of Papists, but it was after those English boute-feux were knowne to have been engaged in that conspiracy.

But usually mans foreknowledge of things to come is ac­compted in respect of thinges naturall, and such as are out of the power of the determination of his owne will. And as for such thinges as are subject to his will, it is an undoubted truth, that he cannot infallibly foreknowe such thinges upon the knowledge of his purpose to produce them; and that for two reasons. First, because his will is mutable from within. Secondly, because his power is resistible from without. But give we you leave to proceede.

[Page 318] In the next place you tell us, That some push our pronenesse to this errour forward, by another, not distinguishing betweene con­tingency and uncertainty; who argue thus, That which is in it selfe uncertaine, cannot certainly be knowne. Every future contingent is in it selfe uncertaine, Ergo it is not possible that a future contingent should certainly be knowne. Thus another Hare is started by the way, which hindreth the pursuing of our first game, where we might have experience of your performance in opposing the ground of Gods foreknowing future contingents, layd in the determination of his will, whereof God cannot be ig­norant. And first you addresse your selfe to the removing of this new rub, by a distinction of a two fold uncertainty, one formally relative, another onely denominative or fundamentall. And, as if these termes needed no explication, you proceed to a resolution thus; That which is relatively uncertaine, cannot be certainly knowne, for so it should be certaine to him, to whom it is uncertaine: But a future contingent, as it is contingent, doth not necessarily or formally include this relative uncertainty, although it usually be in part the foundation or cofounder of it. By relat [...]ve uncertainty you understand uncertainty in relation to know­ledge, in which sense to be uncertaine, is to be such as where­of there cannot be certaine knowledge. In which sense if the proposition proceeded, it were very idle, and indenticall, as if it were expressed thus; That which cennot certainly be known, cannot certainly be knowne: And they undoubtedly are very prone to errour, that suffer themselves to be pushed forwards thereinto by such arguments as these, and thus interpreted. But we were wont to distinguish of Certitudo scientiae, & certi­tudo rei scitae, or scibilis; and you intimate such a distinction. For the relative uncertainty you speake of is the uncertainty of the knowledge, and the fundamentall uncertainty is the uncertainty of the thing it selfe, and indeed the foundation of the uncertainty of knowledge. Now the argument pro­ceeds manifestly from the one to the other, and the Medius terminus man fests its owne meaning to bee of fundamentall uncertainty, whence it doth infer uncertainty of knowledge, for it proceeds thus: That which is uncertaine in it selfe cannot [Page 319] be certainly knowne. Now that which is uncertaine in it selfe, is not relatively uncertaine, but rather absolutely. For where­as the most certaine thing that is may be relatively uncertaine, that is uncertaine unto some; yet this shall never be called un­certaine in it selfe.

So then the syllogisme corruptly interpreted by you, and the truth of it obscured by a preposterous distinction, take it in its proper vigour and force, is thus; That which in it selfe hath no foundation of certainty, cannot bee certainly knowne. But every future contingent hath in it selfe no foundation of certaintie: therefore it cannot certainly be knowne. Therefore if you will answer aright, shew what foundation of certainty is found in future contingents, if you please to deny the Minor; or if you please to deny the Major, professe your minde plainly, and say, that That which hath no foundation of certainty in it selfe, may neverthelesse be certainly knowne, which indeed is your course. For you professe plainly, that future contingents cannot bee cer­tainly knowne, of a sinite and imperfect knowledge, but they may be knowne by an infinite knowledge; such as is the knowledge of God.

And thus you might have answered the former syllogisme plainly, without the helpe of your former distinction, in this manner: That which is in it selfe uncertaine, cannot bee certainly knowne. It is true in respect of a finite knowledge, such as is the knowledge of man; but it is not true in respect of knowledge infi­nite, such as is the knowledge of God. But whereas you put it in­different to answer by way of distinction, either of knowledge finite and infinite, or of knowledge fallible and infallible; herein you are very wide. For a very absurd issue would be of this latter distinction, after this manner: That which is uncer­taine in it selfe, cannot be certainly knowne by knowledge fallible, but it may be certainly knowne by knowledge infallible: which were as much as to says It cannot bee certainly knowne by knowledge that may erre in knowing it, but it may bee cer­tainly knowne by knowledge that cannot erre in knowing it. And yet it will not serve your turne neither; For, though Gods knowledge bee infallible, yet it will not follow that [Page 320] God knowes this infallibility; because, though he infallibly knowes whatsoever he knowes, yet perhaps this is a thing not knowable at all. for to know that such a thing certainly shall be, which in its owne nature is no more certaine to be than not to be, is not to know, but rather to erre: and so the ar­gument still holds good, 'and no way' answered by you, but boldly outfaced by a meere begging of that which is in que­stion. Yet nothing possible shall be uncertaine unto God, for he knowes it to bee possible, and that most certainly. But with what colour can you inferre, that because it is possible to be, therefore God most certainly knowes that it shall be? For, consider, is it not as well possible not to bee? and may not I by the same liberty of argumentation, which you usurpe unto your selfe, conclude, therefore God most certainely knowes that it shall not bee? In a word, things must bee to come, before they can be knowne to be to come. But seeing future contingents are in their own nature onely possible, and indifferent to be to come, or not to come; I pray consider by what activitie or operation, they have passed from the con­dition of things possible, to the condition of things future? for if they have not passed into this condition, they are not as yet knowable to be future; and no infallibility of knowledge can make the knowledge extend to the comprehending of such things as are not knowable. Possible they are, and are most certainly knowne of God that they are possible. But as yet future they are not, (unlesse by some alteration they have beene translated from the condition of things meerly possible to the condition of things future, which it stands you upon to shew, if you maintaine it,) therefore as yet they are not knowable to be future.

That which you adde concerning the nature of Gods knowledge, as being without succession, is nothing to the purpose. For though our knowledge be subject to succession, yet this nothing hindreth us from foreknowing things to come, so they be knowable, whether by naturall reason, or by divine revelation. On the other side, though Gods know­ledge be not capable of succession, yet things not knowable [Page 321] he cannot knowe; thinges impossible he cannot know to be possible, and thinges which are only possible, and not future he cannot know to be future. And such a manner of know­ledge, is no knowledge indeed, but errour rather.

And as for your termes of interposed, and expiring acts, and interminable knowledge; well they may serve to conjure your Reader from understanding you, but they have no force ei­ther of illustration, or probation of ought. In the close you acquaint us with a See Ro­gers upon the Articles or the Church of England. the 17. Art. new mystery, as if Gods knowledge were like the suspending of a mans judgement, for as much as the act of knowledge in God doth not expire. A vile conceit and ridiculous, were it not concerning the nature of God. For what? because Gods knowledge and judgement doth not expire, but continueth without alteration, shall he therfore be sayd to suspend his judgement? Belike Daniel was cast into the Lyons denne not by judgement, but by suspension of jud­gement; For the Lawes of the Medes and Persians were unal­terable.

So likewise the judgement, and counsaile, and purpose of God, concerning the salvation of his elect, because it conti­nueth without expiration, therfore it is suspended. In the same proportion of pietie you say our ignorance resembles Gods knowledge best, as heretofore you professed, that In re­spect of immensity and eternity, nothing was so like to God as no­thing. But it may be Ioverlash, and upon better considera­tion, The imperfection of our knowledge or judgement while it is in suspense is rather ignorance, (you say) than Errour. And this imperfection taken away it shall better resemble divine know­ledge, than our actuall resolutions and determinations doe. But then, I pray, what is this that shall resemble the divine knowledge? is it our knowledge while it is in suspense? why, but if I am in suspense, how am I sayd to knowe? O, but you will have this imperfection taken away, but then I say, if the suspension be taken away, how shall it be in suspense, which you suppose? Agayne, how can suspension of judgement be taken away, but by resolution this way or that way? but this you deny to be that which resembles divine knowledge.

[Page 322] The truth is, the sentence is so perplex, that I can divise no issue out of it. Yet I have reason to conceave that your opi­nion is, that ignorance best resembles the knowledge of God. For the comparison is betweene resolution and the opposite therunto? and you plainly signifie that the opposite to reso­lutiō doth better resemble Gods knowledge, than resolution. Now what is opposite to resolution but suspension of judge­ment; and this suspension of judgement you plainly professe is to be called ignorance, rather than errour. Wherfore igno­rance consisting in suspension of judgement by your doctrine in this place, doth better resemble the wisedome of God than our actuall resolutions and determinations doe; yet out actuall resolutions and determinations may be sound both in know­ledge naturall, and knowledge Theologicall, wheras igno­rance or suspension of judgement is no knowledge at all. Onely wheras you positively affirme, that Without the interpo­sition of some determining or expiring acts there can be no errour, I understand that plainly to be a notorious untruth. For determining or expiring actes are no more required unto er­rour, than unto truth.

And if a man continue, as many doe, to their lives end in Popery, in Mahumetisme, in Heathenisme, their errours are never a whit the lesse.

It is true indeed that we can understand but one thing at once, and therfore the consideration of one thing must expire before we can passe to the consideration of another. This is the condition of Mans knowledge in generall, not of an erroneous apprehension in speciall.

11. What you discourse of knowledge conjecturall which man may have of things contingent, cannot have of things casuall, I leave it as I find it, I come to the cause why we can­not foreknow future contingents, and this you say is because our essence, and knowledge are but finite; so that things contingent are not so conteined in us, that if we could perfectly know our selfes we might perfectly know them; Thus you are content to dictate at pleasure, without affoording one mite of reason, for the esta­blishing of your proselytes faith in this. As finite as our [Page 323] knowledge is, we know contingents to be contingents. But to know that a thing meerly contingent which denomina­tion includes only a possibilitie of comming to passe, or not comming to passe, I say to know that such a thing shall come to passe, exceedes the reach of knowledge infinite. For in­finite knowledge doth extend no farther than to things knowable. But, for a contingent, which both in his owne nature, and from without doth yet continue indifferent to be or not to be, is not a thing, at all knowable, that it shall come to passe. For it must be a thing future, before it can be knowne to be future. But the contingents, you speake of, are sup­posed both in their owne nature to be only possible, that is indifferent to be or not be, and as yet determined by no out­ward agent to be. In which case they still continue under the condition of thinges n [...]eerly possible. And so farre they are knowable, and no farther. And accordingly so farre they are ind [...]ed knowne by God, by that knowledge which is commonly called Scientia simplicis intelligentiae. But the knowledge of thigs future is called Scientia visionis. And thinges meerly possible, till some determination doth come unto them from wihout, are not as yet future, and conse­quently cannot be knowne, to be future, yet notwithstanding you are bold to say, that In the divine essence, all reall effects, all events possible, whether necessary, casuall or contingent, are eminent­ly conteined; The perfect knowledge of his owne essence, necessarily includes the perfect knowledge, not only of all thinges, that have been, are, or shallbee, but of all things that might have beene, or pos­sibly may bee. A most rid [...]culous amplification? For it is as much, as to say, that God knowes not only all contingent truthes, but all necessary truthes also. As if it were a harder matter to know thinges necessary, than to know things con­tingent. Whereas it is in the power of the Creature to know things necessary, and perhaps all things that are of ne­cessary truth; but to knowe those things whose existence is only of a contingent nature, that belongs only unto God.

Now what is possible, and what is not, we have a generall rule to know that, as namely, whatsoever implieth no contra­diction [Page 324] is possible, that which doth imply contradiction is impossible. And were it a sober speech for a divine to af­firme; that God not only knows all things that have been, are or shallbe, but also he knowes what implies contradiction, & what doth not? you seeme to fumble here at the novel doc­trine of the Iesuites concerning Gods foreknowledge of fu­ture contingents conditionate; and you doe but fumble at it.

Secondly you say that in the divine essence all reall effects are conteined eminently; Now hertofore you told us, that For all things to be in God, is no more than that he alone can produce them. Ch. 4. num. 2. If this be your meaning in this place, as it seemes, when you say they are in him eminently, for so we say that heate is in the Sunne eminently, for as much as he doth produce heate in bodies capable; Then, I say, we deny not but all reall effects are in God.

But how doth this agree with your tenet, seing herhence it followes that God can produce any act of Mans freewill, any casuall thinge and if he can so doe, what hind [...]h but that he could from everlasting decree to produce them? Yet not alone as formerly you have interpreted what it is for things to be in God. For it is impossible that God should produce the act of mans will without man. For if without man, then it is not the act of mans will, which is an imma­nente act of the will.

Thirdly, it is false to say that the perfect knowledge of Gods essence, necessarily includes the perfect knowledge of all thinges that have beene, are, or shall bee. It includes I confesse the knowledge of all necessary truthes, and of all thinges possible; but as for the knowledge of contingent truthes, and of these to come, it includes not that; unlesse un­der the essence of God, you comprehende the will of God. And so to distinguish as to say that all necessary truthes God knoweth by necessity of nature, but all contingent truthes he knoweth by the determination of his owne will; which indeed is a truth, but flatt opposite to your opinion. But that thinges contingent cannot be knowne to be future, but upon the determination of Gods will, I prove thus. Things [Page 325] cannot be knowne to be future untill they are future; (for to apprehend or conceive things to be future, when they are not future, is not to know, but to erre,) but contingent things, and onely possible to be or not to be, doe not become future till the determination of Gods will hath made them future. Therefore contingent things cannot be knowne to be future but upon the determination of God will.

The minor I prove thus: Of their owne nature they are not future, but onely possible; and they cannot passe from the condition of things meerly possible, to the condition of things future, without a cause from without. And no cause of this translation can be devised, but the will of God. Which I prove thus. If some other cause, then either without God, or within God; not without God, for these things were fu­ture from everlasting; but from everlasting there was no cause at all existent without God; Therefore the cause hereof, if any where to be found, must be found within God. Wee say it is his will; which if you deny, you must shew what else can be the cause: you commonly flee to Gods knowledge, and the infinity thereof, but in vaine, for already they are sup­posed to bee future before God knoweth them. And indeed it belongs to knowledge to know all things that are to come, not to make them to be to come.

Fourthly, it is possible that Antichrist shall fall in the yeare 1630, it is possible that he should fall the yeare before, it is possible he should fal the yeare after: it was possible he should have fallen ten yeares agoe; it is possible hee should fall ten yeares hence: all these being reall effects possible, must by your doctrine be found eminently in the divine essence, and God knowing his divine essence, must know them all, and not onely that they are possible, but that they shall all come to passe: For in this sense you speake of Gods knowledge of future contingents, namely, of knowing that they shall come to passe, and when they shall come to passe.

Againe, set we the fall of Antichrist at an hundred diffe­rent points of time, whereof let us suppose one to bee true, and the other false; yet all in their owne nature alike possible: [Page 326] why should the fall of Antichrist in the true point of time bee included in Gods essence more then the other, all being alike possible; and that very instante wherein the fall of Antichrist shall be, it being as possible that it should not be, and that pos­sibility also being included in the essence of God, as well as any other? Perhaps you will say that this being a truth is in­cluded in the essence of God, and not the others, being un­truths. But then I demand how this became to be a truth, that Antichrist should fall at such a time, rather then at another, it being as possible to fall out at any other time as at this, and as possible not to fall out at this time as at any other, and all these possibilities equally included in the essence of God I say againe, how came this to be a truth, answer mee, not of its owne nature, for the contrary hereunto is supposed on both sides, namely, that of his owne nature it was onely possible: therefore you must assigne some cause from without; and be­cause you like not to acknowledg the determination of Gods will to be the cause hereof, you must alledge some other cause. I see you usually flye to the infinitie of Gods knowledge, but in vaine; for Gods knowledge is to know truths, and not to make them.

Lastly, by this doctrine of yours it will follow that God knew the world would be made, before ever God determi­ned to make [...], to wit, by vertue of his infinite knowledge. Now what a faire way this openeth unto Atheisme, let the wise and learned Reader judge indifferently. Heretofore I confesse you seemed to maintaine the existence of all things from everlasting in eternity; which if it were true, then this might minister an apparent ground of Gods knowledge of all things, be they never so contingent, for as much as they are supposed to exist before him. But here you have assigned nothing for the ground hereof hitherunto, but onely the in­finity of Gods knowledge. But in the next sentence I thinke you cast about for this also. As Balaam did many wayes to serve his turne in the course of his divinations; and all is fish that comes to your net; so it may serve your turne to oppose in this question, the determination of Gods will. Well, thus [Page 327] it is: For as Gods essence is present in every place as it were an ubi­quitarie center, (for indeed if a body were infinite, everywhere might be imagined a center: and you doe much affect to com­pare the nature of God to impossibilities, and sometimes pre­ferre him so farre, as to compare him to just nothing,) so is his eternity or infinite duration coexistent to every part of succession, and yet withall is round about. Hee it is that drives things future upon us, being from eternity as well beyond as on this side of them. Wee have beene acquainted with these absurd paradoxes of yors heretofore, so that now wee cease to admire them. But first we do deny the comparative coherence So, which hath force of an argument by way of comparison: but it hath no force here, because there is no proportion betwixt the things com­pared. Gods presence is in every place, no marvell; for all places doe ex [...]st together. And so if all times did exist toge­ther, God eternity should coexist with all times: But it is im­possible that all times should exist together, because time con­sists in succession of parts: But as one time and the things therein shall exist after another, so God shall coexist with them. So then Gods presence is in every place, and Gods eternity coexists with every time, and that indivisibly: but with a great difference: for God all at once coexists with eve­rie place, but not all at once doth he coexist with every time, but successively; for as much as time doth not otherwise exist then successively. Nay the comparison is flat against you. For like as God not onely coexisteth at this present with eve­rie place that is existent, but shall coexist with a world tenne times as big, whensoever by the will of God such a world shall have existence, but for the present coexisteth onely with the places that are: In like sort God for the present coexisteth only with time present, and with al things in time present, but shall by vertue of eternity coexist also with all times to come, and all things therein tenne times longer then the world shall last, if so be that by the will of God the world should last ten times longer then it shall: but for the present he doth coex­ist onely with the time present, and the things contained therein.

[Page 328] Yet this a [...]seth not from any divisible succession in God, in whom as there is no shaddow of change, so there can be no succession; but only from the divisible succession of thinges without God, both time and motion, & things subject there­unto, with all which God doth and still shall coexist in theire courses of succession, without succession in himselfe; Like unto a Pole fixed in a river that coexisteth with severall parts of water succeeding one another it selfe being unmoveable. Now that God doth not coexist at once by vertue of his eter­nity with all parts of time and the things therin, I demonstrate thus. If God at this time present did coexist with all parts of time, then all parts of time should at this present coexist with God, both time past and time to come; And by the same reason, before ever the World was, you might say that the whole course of time did coexist with God, And if coexist, then surely it did exist; and so time had an eternall existence as well as Gods eternity it selfe. It is true some have con­ceited that eternity doth ambire tempus, but only in this sence, that as it was before it, so it is after it; If they had sayd so it shall be after it, it were tolerable. For we beleive the World shall have an end. But I never yet heard or read of any but your selfe that made eternity to be round about it, so to make way for your circular duration: For in this sence time shall not only have two ends but two sides also, or rather neither end nor side as if it were rounde as a tennis ball.

In the prosecution of the same w [...]ld phrase, you tell us that God, by vertue of his eternity, is as well beyond all thing [...]s to come, as on this side of them. Belike as the Heavens are on either side of the earth, so eternity is on either side of time. And indeed if the parts of time were coexistent as the parts of heaven and earth are, it were to the purpose; but the succession of time in the parts therof marres the play and discovers the wildnesse of this fiction. That which we call beyond in space of place applied to time is rather longe be­fore then longe after; & the reason is, because to be beyond, doth suppose existence either being as in place, or having bene as in time. But as for things that are to come herafter, they [Page 329] neither have existence at this present, nor ever had. But let it be applied as you will, so you speake plainely, that so we may encounter men and not shadowes. Say that God is af­ter all things to come; I say this is false, and thus I prove it. To be after another is to suppose the existence of that other thing precedent. But things to come have not yet had [...]hiero existence, therfore God cannot be sayd to be after them. It is true to say that God shall be after all things to come in this World, for as much as after they are come and gone, Gods existence shall continue.

It is true as you say, Though God should create other creatures without the circumference of this World, they should be all within his presence. In like sorte though the World should last ten times longer then God hath appointed it, yet should God by vertue of his eternitie coexist with it: Herein the comparison holds with good congruity. But like as Gods presence is not with a greater circumference till such a circumference doth actually exist; in like sorte Gods duration doth not co­exist with any duration to come, untill it existeth. And in each case it is true that he gaines not any new existence, but only takes a denomination of coexistence with them; But not untill they doe exist; for till they exist they cannot be sayd to have any existence with him, which before they had not. And this your selfe make the ground of denomination of Gods coexistence with them. We doe not only acknowledge that things when they come to passe, doe fall within the Spheare of Gods actuall knowledge, but also before they come to passe, we say, they are knowne to God, and the precise time when every thing shall come to passe. I have already she­wed the absurdity of that conceit of yours of environing suc­cession. Now I say it is directly false to say that Gods know­ledge is coexistent to every successive act. And the reason is not farre off but at hand. For if God or his knowledge were coexistent to every successive act thē every successive act were also coexistent to Gods knowledge and to God himselfe; and if coexistent, then existent; and so both time past and time to come and all things in them should at this present be existent. [Page 330] And but erst your selfe professed that God takes the deno­mination of coexistence with his creatures upon their exi­stence in him, which before they had not: which is manifest­ly contradictious to those wilde assertions which you have so often scattered, namely, that God is coexistent with every successive act, and with all times.

Likewise in the next sentence you acknowledge that the creature gets coexistence with eternity anew; therefore it had not alwaies coexistence with it, nor it with the creature: Gods knowledge is still the same, and therefore not so much as in this respect is there any motion or change in God; and consequently no succession, though the things that are known may succeed in their coexistence to one another, and conse­quently in their coexistence with God.

The Scripture without distinction professeth that God both is, and was, and is to come: which yet is not to signifie any priority or posteriority in him in respect of any things suc­ceeding in him, but onely in respect of things succeeding without him. For as much as the things that are past did coex­ist with God at the time of their being, and things long be­fore them also were not before God. In like sort things to come, whensoever they come shall finde God coexistent with them, and whensoever they vanish, shall leave Gods existence still continuing the same behinde them. It is true, Gods knowledge may bee said to containe our knowledge, in as much as he knowes all that we know, and much more: but it is absurd to say that his knowledge resembles ours; for there is no likenesse betweene them.

But whereas you touch by the way that things to come to us are onely to come, thereby you imply one of your well known paradoxes, that things to come are not onely to come unto God; the meaning is, that they are not onely to come to him, but present to him also. It is enough for you to di­ctate mysteries. By the same proportion of truth, things past, which are onely past to us, are not so onely to him, but unto him they are not onely past, but present also; this is good hob­goblin stuffe, whether you count it Philosophy or Divinity. [Page 331] In the next place you tell us that For us to apprehend a thing past as contingent, is not impossible. About the coherence I will not question you; you take libertie to discourse at pleasure. In the very next page you say that it is in our power to make a thing necessary to morrow, which is truly contingent this day. As I take it, it proceeds in congruity to that Maxime, Quicquid est quando est necesse est esse. And therefore if once I doe that which is in my power to doe, when I once have done it, it is necessary, whereas before it was contingent. [...] on the contrary you will have it not impossible to apprehend a thing as contingent after it is done and past, whereas this was wont to bee held impossible to God him­selfe to make undone that which was already done. In a word it is held flat contradiction. For to be contingent is to be in­different to be or not to be. But that which is, neither is nor possibly can be indifferent to be or not to be. Yet herehence it followeth not, that it came to passe necessarily there is no colour for any such inference. For what? doth nothing come to passe but necessarily? but whether it comes to passe neces­sarily or contingently, being once come to passe the contin­gencie of it is at an end, and past irrecoverably. For it is no longer indifferent to be or not to be. And your caution is ve­ry idle that you put in, lest upon the passing of a contingent thing we should conceive it to come to passe necessarily. Yet notwithstan­ding that which comes to passe contingently in respect of the manner of existence, may of necessity come to passe upon supposition of Gods decree, as the calling of the Iewes, the destruction of Antichrist which we looke for. So the resto­ring of the Iewes out of the captivity of Babylon, the burn­ing of the Prophets bones upon the Altar by Iosiah, the kil­ling of Sennacherib by his owne children, the taking of Ze­dechiah and carrying him into Babylon, yet so as he could ne­ver see it, for his eyes should be pulled out first.

Againe, though they come to passe contingently, yet why should you deny, or would not have us conceive that they fal out certainly? though uncertainly to man, yet undoubtedly whatsoever comes to passe, comes to passe most certainly unto [Page 332] God: yet no doubt but the production of it was contingent, yea and sometimes casuall in respect of second causes. The event is not necessary in respect of the manner of producing it. But being produced, now it must needs be produced, and it is impossible it should be otherwise.

Neither doth our knowledge of any thing change the na­ture of it. Neither is our knowledge necessary (though you say so) of things past or present but merely contingent in the generation therof also; Though as of all other contingents, so of our knowledge also, it is true that when once it is, it is im­impossible it should not be, or not have bene at all. In a word upon the existence therof, the indifferency therof, to be or not be, is utterly vanished. But herhence to inferre the like, not of Gods foreknowledge only but of his decrees also, is a very wilde inference. Yet we willingly grant that Gods knowledge of things doth no way alier the nature of them, or of the manner of their ex [...]stence. No nor his decree nei­ther. For though he decreed to make the World, yet the World we say came to passe never a whit the lesle contin­gently. And though God hath decreed the fall of Anti­christ, and that Babylon shall be burnt with fire: yet these shall come to passe never a whit the lesse contingently. For God decrees not onely res ipsas, but modus rerum, to witt that some things shall come to passe necessarily, and somethings contin­gently. And so the effectuall will of God in Aquinas his judgement is the rate of all contingency. But yet notwith­standing even from the foreknowledge of God there riseth a necessitie of consequence as thus: If God foreknowes such a thing shall come to passe, then it is necessary it shall come to passe, though perhaps he knowes it shall come to passe not ne­cessarily but contingently. How much more doth such a ne­cessitie arise from the decree of God as thus. If God hath decreed the World should have an end, it is necessary the World should have an end, yet not necessarily but contin­gently. For as God did worke freely in making the World, so shall he worke as freely in setting an end unto it. So farre are we from saying that Gods decrees take away contingency [Page 333] from any thing, as that rather we averre that it doth main­tayne it.

And you shewe either a great deale of ignorance in not un­derstanding aright your adversaries tenets which you im­pugne, or that which is a great deale worse in dissembling and corrupting it. But I beare with you, it may be you fashion it in such a kinde as may best give way to some conceytes of yours, and very fewe arguments. Yet by your leave the more infallible any knowledge is, either of God, Angell or man, the more fitt it shall be to found a necessitie of consequence thereupon thus; It is infallibly foreknowne, ergo it is necessary that it should be. Here followeth another extravagant of yours, for insteede of opposing that opinion which main­taynes the ground of Gods foreknowledge of future contin­gents to be the determination of his will, you leave that and oppose the derivaiton of Gods infallibilitie from the abso­lute necessitie of the event. An opinion that I never knewe any man patronize; but it seemes you would draw their opi­nion unto this, who maintayne that God foreknowes all things by seeing the determination of his owne will concer­ning the futurition of them. Now, I pray you, of those that take this course who ever sayd that the events decreed by God were of absolute necessitie? Yourselfe I have observed to professe, that upon Gods decree touching the futurition of a contingent thing, as namely, the apprehensiō of a Traytour, the successe of the meanes tending thereunto is absolutely ne­cessary as in this very chapter in the end of the first Section. But never was I acquainted with any of our divines that sayd so much. We professe that the producing of contingents is absolutely contingent, only this contingent production they holde to be necessary upon supposition of the will of God. And Durand wondereth that any should conceive things to fall out necessarily in respect of the will of God, whereas on the contrary he conceaves it to be a cleare thing, that not only contingent thinges but even necessary th [...]nges also (as we call them) doe come to passe, all contingently in respect of the will of God.

[Page 334] They that ground Gods foreknowledge of future contin­gents upon things without God, doe usually ground it not up­on any absolute necessity of the events themselves, as upon the causes producing them, which though they worke contin­gently and not necessarily, yet this they th [...]nke nothing hin­dreth the infallibility of God knowledge, because hee is able to comprehend all failings possible, and to discerne in what case they take place, and in what not; which in effect is to rest upon the condition of Gods knowledge in it selfe, as you here doe: and because it is infinite therehence to conclude that it is infallible. An invention of late yeares, and brought in by the Iesuits, together with their doctrine concerning scientia media.

For whereas before there was onely a double knowledge found in God, the one antecedent to his will which they cal­led scientia simplicis intelligentiae, whereby hee understood his owne essence, and therewithall all necessary truths, and all things possible; the other subsequent to the will of God, which they called scientia visionis, and hereby he knoweth all things past, present, and to come, all which they acknowledge to be dependant upon the will of God; the Iesuits have of late yeares devised a middle knowledge betweene th [...]se two, and it consists in know [...]ng not things necessary, nor th [...]ngs contingent, that have beene, are, or shall be, but in knowing what would be in such or such a case; as for example, what a man in such a case, thus or thus moved and induced unto good or evill, would doe or not doe

And the ground hereof they make the infinitie of Gods knowledge, as I remember Vasquius expresly professeth so much, and so (as well they may) make this infinitie of Gods knowledge the ground of knowing all future contingents. For although Suarez takes upon him to confute Palatius, who as he hath maintained that God knowes future contingents De absol. scientia fut. conting. l. 1 c. 5. by reason of the efficacy of his knowledge, yet judge I pray, whether himselfe differ from him when he come to prove his owne opinion, which is this: In Deo sola essentia ejus est suffi­ciens ratio cujuscunque cognitionis possibilis, cum in virtute & effi­cacitate Ibid. c. 8. [Page 335] intelligendi sit simpliciter infinita. In God his essence a­lone is a sufficient cause of all knowledge possible, conside­ring that virtue and efficacy of knowing it is simply infinite. So Vasquez; Deus, quae sua est infinitas, efficacitate sui intelle­ctus omnia intelligibilia intellectu suo penetrat: and againe, Quia divinus intellectus infinitae virtutis est, quicquid intelligibile est ne­cessario debet amplecti & intelligere. Nam si aliquid ab ipso infi­nito intellectu non posset intelligi, à quo alio posset? And indeed were future contingents intellig [...]ble, there were no further question to be made, but that his knowledge were sufficient to comprehend them. But it is apparent that no such contin­gent is knowable as a thing to come, more th [...]n as a thing not to come in its owne nature, and consequently God can no more know that it is to come, then that it is not to come; unlesse that which in its owne nature is onely possible be de­termined this way or that way, and consequently made future or not future.

This objection Suarez foreseeth and proposeth: Sicut di­vina Lib. de sci­en fut. con­ting. potentia non potest facere id quod de se non est factibile, ita nec scientia divina scire potest id quod ex se scibile non est, neque cer­tum judicium ferre de eo quod in se omnino incertum est: Nam ne­que scientia potest ferri extra objectum suum, neque potest suo modo non commensurari illi in certitudine, & infallibilitate, quia requi­rit adaequationem. And to this purpose he alledgeth Thomas, saying; Scientiam non posse esse necessariam, nisi objectum sub ali­qua ratione qua attingitur, necessitatem habeat. Et hoc modo dici potest requiri ex parte objecti certitudinem objectivam, id est, talem modum veritatis, quae apta sit, ut certum & infallibile judicium fe­ratur, quod sane habet omnis veritas hoc ipso quod determinata est. In which latter words he gives in briefe a better and fairer answer, then in the whole distinction following, if he be able to make good what he saith. For indeed every truth determi­nate is a sufficient object of knowledge.

But I would know of him or you, how comes it to bee true that such a contingent shall exist, whereas in his owne na­ture it is onely possible to exist, and indifferent as well not to exist as to exist. As for example, how is it true that to morrow [Page 336] it shall rayne, rather then that to morrowe it shall not rayne, seeing in it selfe it is no more inclinable to the one then to the other. If the one were true and the other false, then there were no question, but God should knowe the one to be true and the other to be false. But seeing there is no reason given by Suarez, why the one should be true rather then the other; there is no reason why one should be knowne of God to be true more then the other. And therefore Suarez layeth for a ground that future contingents have from all e­ternitie a determinate truth, but shewes not how they come to have their truthe; nor how thinges merely possible in them­selvs come to be future, which as it is apparēt, could not pos­sibly be without a cause. But had he gone about this worke, which indeede was most necessary, the truth would soone have appeared in his colours. For it will soone be found that nothing could be the cause hereof but the will of God. Which was the opinion as he professeth both of Ricardus, and of Scotus, and in effect of Cajetan and of many of the Thomist; and that Alexander of Hales favoureth it.

Neither could he be ignorant that Alvarez maintaynes it to have bene the opin [...]on of Aquinas also. To the same o­pinion Durand not only inclines as Vasqu us writes in 1. disp. 65. cap. 1. but to it only adheres as the same Vasquius notes in the sa [...]e disputation, cap. 2. Durands words are playne; Not only Gods prescience of a thing to come is joyned with his will to have t [...] come, in 1. dist. 35. q 3. num. 25. Deum pre­scire, A fore, coexigit. Deum velle, A fore. But also that his prescience is built hereupon ibidem dist. 39. q. 1. num. 10. in these words. Repraesentatur res fore vel non fore per essentiam divinam, non ut est solum essentia virtualiter rem omnem conti­nens, sed ut est volens rem possibilem sore, & quia libere vult rem fore. And Vasquius himselfe not only acknowledgeth that from the decree of Gods will may sufficiently be gathered the certeintie of knowledge which God hath of future con­tingents, in 1. disp. 65. cap. 4. but also proposing the same ob­jection that Suarez doth above mentioned, answeareth it not as Suarez doth by saying, Things contingent have a determinate [Page 337] truth, as touching their being for the the time to come, where­of we nothing doubt, but shewes whence they have it, which point Suarez declined wholy tanquam praecipitium as a break­necke to his owne opinion.

But Vasquius deales more plainly, and professeth that fu­ture things of merely possible become future by vertue of the decree of God. Observandum est (sayth he) futurum ita esse objectum scientiae Dei infallibilis eo ipso quod re ipsa futurum In 1. dist. 65. cap. 4. num. 22. est, ut tamen nostro modo intelligendi supponat decretum Dei, tan quam causam ante quam nihil intelligitur vere esse futurum. And agayne, Quia nulla res ex se futura est, sed ex voluntate & omni­potentia Dei, ideo antequam intelligantur futura, supponitur Dei voluntas ut causa illius non quidem durationis ordine sed rationis, & num. 23. Sicut creatura nondum possibilis est, donec Deus intel­ligatur esse, qui est primum omnium ens, sic etiam creatura nondum est futura donec decretum voluntatis esse intelligatur, ex quo ut ex causa futura est. Thus Vusquius mainteyning the infinity of Gods knowledge to be the ground of his knowledge of fu­ture contingents, as well as you doe, yet doth not make use of this his opinion to oppose the forgoing of the determination of Gods will as you doe. Yet what have you conferred to the overthrowe of that opinion which you impugne, that deserves to be named the same day with the least part of the meanest of those that have mainteyned it. You only shewe your teethe, and proceede confidently in dictating what plea­seth you without any evidence of reason to confirme what you so boldly propos [...]. I long to come to an end of this.

In the next place you give some reason for your assertion. As when you say, We are able by Gods permission to lay a necessi­tie upon contingents and so to foreknowe them, yet our knowledge still is but finite. Hence you seeme willing to inferre that therefore God seeing his knowledge is infinite is able to know future contingents without laying any necessitie upon them, by the determination of his will. I am very glad to heare you reason, because it is so rare with you herein like to Hector Naevianus, Qui Philosophari volebat sed paucis.

Henry the seventh of England was wont to say he desired [Page 338] to look his dangers in the face: so I desire to know what my opposite hath to say against the truth I defend. I have beene so long exercised in these points, and encountred such cham­pions, that I have no cause to feare your colours, nor powder and shot neither: wherefore in the first place I answer, that the difference betweene knowledge finite and infinite doth not require that infinite knowledge should extend so farre as to know things unknowable, for that were to extend beyond his object. But rather herein they differ, of things knowable, finite knowledge takes notice onely of some; infinite know­ledge comprehends all. Now things contingent till they are determined to come to passe, or not to come to passe, are not knowable that they shall come to passe, nor are knowable that they shall not come to passe; and consequently cannot be knowne that they shall come to passe, or knowne that they shall not come to passe.

For if the understanding of man doth apprehend a thing as future which is not future, herein he cannot be said to know but to erre rather. Now that which in its owne nature is one­ly possible, cannot passe from this condition into the condi­tion of a thing future, without some cause. Now you have shewed no cause of this alteration, nor you list not to inquire into it, it is too hot for your fingers. For by inquirie it would be found that no cause hereof can be assigned, but onely the will of God.

Secondly, I deny that God by determining things contin­gent, and in their nature meerly possible, making them future, doth lay any necessity upon them, but rather decreeth a con­tingent manner of production unto them, answerable unto their natures. For as hee decreeth that necessary things shall come to passe necessarily, so hee decreeth that contingent things shall come to passe contingently.

Thirdly, as touching your antecedent, I desire to know what things contingent those are, whereupon we can lay any necessity, whereby to foretell them, for it passeth my imagina­tion to divine. This may well goe for your owne. I have been acquainted with many disputants in this argument, I never [Page 339] met with any argument of any kinne to this. Certainly there is some exquisite curiosity in it. For you suppose men may doubt of this, and therefore you undertake to prove it: but when? In your treatise of the divine providence, that I heare is newly printed, we shall heare of it belike ere long, in case you doe not forget what you promised: and the reason why I may doubt hereof is this; In the end of the fifth Section of this Chapter you told us that you were anon to intimate, that the reservation of such liberty unto God himselse, (as never to passe any decree whereby to binde his owne hands) is a point of high perfection. Now this anon of yours is yet to come, for hither­to since we parted from that section wee have received no in­timation hereof. But be it, that you will bee as good as your word, what is that which you undertake to demonstrate? That some events which are to day truly contingent, may by our industrie become to morrow truly necessary. But this needs no demonstra­tion. For whatsoever I doe, by doing it, I make that necessa­rie, which before was contingent. For every Sophister knowes out of Aristotle, and out of common sense also, that Omne quod est quando est necesse est esse. But this is nothing to your purpose. For you speake of such a necessity laid upon contin­gents, as whereby we might foreknow them. But by doing things I cannot fo [...]know them; for knowledge of things upon the doing of them, is rather after-knowledge then fore knowledge.

And therefore though heretofore I thought of no other meaning of these words of yours then this, yet now by pon­dering better upon it I conceive you have a farther reach, and that of a mysterious nature: for as much as you are loath to utter it, and give an instance of that which you deliver. Yet why should you be loath to utter that which you presume no intelligent Christian will deny? This makes me looke back againe upon your words, to try whether I can start the myste­rie. And hereupon I discover other mysteries, though not the maine; as when you say, We are able (after this necessity layd up­on them by our selves) infallibly to foreknow and foretell. Now this speech is mysterious and imperfect: for you doe not tell [Page 340] us what we may foreknowe and foretell whether it be the things themselves whereupon we have layd the necessitie spoken of, or rather some thinges els; but neither of these thinges doe you acquaint us with here. For if you had I should make no question, but if we might foreknowe them, whatsoever they be, we might without any more adoe fore­tell them, if we were not tonguetied.

Now no necessitie can we lay upon any thing but by doing it, and such a thing cannot be sayd hereupon to before­knowne, therfore undoubtedly your meaning is, that by doing something before contingent, and therby laying a necessitie upon, it we may foreknowe another thing. Now this may prove nothing to your present purpose; and yourselfe in this argumentation quite besides the cushion. For Gods fore­knowledge which you impugne is the foreknowledge of a thing contingent, by willing it.

But this foreknowledge of man, shall be the foreknow­ledge of one thing by willing and doing of another; now these are no more suitable then the hares head and the goose gibletts. And to proceede a litle further in my conjectures, because your concealments put me to it, I say your conceal­ment is most unseasonable. For as much as you conceale that whereupon your argument depends, like unto a Physi­tian that giving a Medicine to his patient, he should tell him there is one necessary ingredient more belonging to it, and he must suspend the taking of it, untill he goeth to the East-In­dies to ferche it. In which case his patient may have his greene cap on his head before he returne.

Suppose faith and repentance be those contingent things upon which I may lay a necessitie by beleiving and repenting; will you say hereupon I may foretell my salvation? If this be it, this againe is nothing to the purpose in a second respect. For the assurance of my salvation is not so much built upon my faith and repentance, as upon my perseverance in faithe and repentance unto the end. And I cannot hereupon fore­knowe or foretell my salvation untill I am dead, which is not to foreknowe it, much lesse to foretell it.

[Page 341] Agayne my assurance of salvation depends not so much upon my faithe and repentance, and perseverance in both, as upon the revelation that God hath made, that as many as fi­nally believe and repent shall be saved; and also that if once I believe and repent truly I shall continue therein to the end; which I have cause to doubt whether you believe. Agayne doe you thinke indeede, that it is by Gods permission only that men doe believe and repent? and doe you thinke good to deny that God doth effectually worke them unto faith and repentance? You must needes take this course. For if God be indeede the Authour of faith & repentance, thē he did de­cree to give men faith & repentance, & so contingents should be decreed by God, and God should foreknowe them by seeing the purpose of his owne will to bestowe them.

Thus I have ventured to boult out the mysteries which you conceale. If I have missed of the marke, I will aime at it no more and give it over with a mysterium quaere, as Schoolemen sometimes when they have hunted themselves out of breathe they have ended their discourse with a Responsionem quaere. Yet we have not finished this Section. The very next sen­tence is a Crevecoeur unto me, I can make no sense of it: Succession is a scroule (as we imagine it) containing severall co­lumnes of contingency or indifferent possibilities, of which only so many or so much of any as in revolution of time take inke and are unfolded become visible to men and Angells. Alas, what dis­aster hath befallen me, that I should divert from other studies wherein I fought the Lords battayles against forren enemies, and encountred with errours plainly sett forthe nothing in­volved with affected phrases, or streynes of expression in farre fetcht Metaphors, but strengthned with such armes as witt could afford without Rhetoricall painting, their manner of fight well knowne unto me, and in confuting whereof I profited myselfe and gained increase of knowledge and of a­bilitie in mainteining the truthe of God. And now to be cast upon such discourses the opening of the meaning, where­of in one sentence sometimes costs me more paines then the answering of their best argument, and all this without any [Page 342] profit redounding unto my selfe, my time wasted, my know­ledge no whit bettered: well, jacta est alea, we must proceed, and since our hand is put to this plo [...]gh, though oftentimes I looke backe, and come to a parle about not intermission only but interruption also, yet I must not breake off. Succession is as much as time, and this you compare to a scroule contai­ning possibilities. Out upon the shallownesse of my wits, that can comprehend no analogie in this comparison. For though all changeable things are said to bee in time, yet no­thing like unto writing which is in a scroule, as in the subject of it. For time is rather an antecedent to things durable, then things durable an antecedent to time. But to say that time contains possibilities, is a wilder speech then the former. For before ever any time was, possibilities were as many as now, and more also. For the world was possible, and every part of it, and every thing that since hath beene, or shall be, even before the world was, was possible like as the world was. A­ga [...]ne, the duration of possibilties hath no succession; for if it had, then time should have beene before the world was.

By unfolding of these possibilities, I thinke you intend the bringing of them into act, and this is to take ink, as you phra­sifie it. Now I had thought the scroule had contained onely those things that are written in it, and so the things brought forth in it, and not those things that are not written, and so accordingly neither time is to be accounted to containe pos­sibilities. Yet all things that are brought forth, surely are not visible to men, howsoever they are to Angels. So that when the painting with a great deale of intention of spirit and con­sideration, is washed off, the face of the sentence is but this. In time many things before possible are brought forth into act: what is mine understanding the better for this, or my rea­ders either?

Then you returne to your former mad paradoxes, and tell us againe, (to inure us to your bugbeares, that hereafter wee might be the lesse affrighted with them,) that the Almightie lookes on all things as well from that end of time which is to come, as from that which is past; and that his infinite and eternall wise­dome [Page 343] doth not only encompasse all things that come to pass, as the cir­cumference doth the center, but penetrates the whole scroule of suc­cession from end to end, more clearely then the Sunnes brightnesse doth the perspicuous ayre. To this I answer, that it is indiffe­rent unto man in the course of his knowledge, to take notice of things that have beene either from the beginning of the world to Noahs flood, or from Noahs flood to the begin­ning of the world. So likewise it is indifferent unto us to take notice of things done from this day upwards to the begin­ning of the world, or from the beginning of the world to this day.

As for things to come they are unknowne unto us. But if they were knowne unto us, as by revelation they may, it were as easie for us to take notice of them successively from the end of the world, rising upwards unto this day, or proceed­ing from this day unto the end of the world. As for notice of them all at once, it is impossible to be taken by us, our na­ture disposeth us to understand things onely successively one after another. Now it is without question that all things are knowne to God that have beene from the beginning of the world unto this day, and that shall bee from this day to the end of the world. And therefore if God were to take notice of them, and that in a successive manner as we doe, it were in­different for him to take into consideration first the things that have been the first yeare of this world, then those things that came to passe the next yeare, and so forwards unto this present yeare, and so successively to take notice of what shall be the next yeare, and so onwards unto the end of the world. Or otherwise he might begin to take notice of those things that shall come to passe the last yeare of the world, then what shall come to passe the yeare before it, and so upwards unto this yeare, and thence proceed to consider what hath beene the last yeare, and so upwards unto the first yeare of the world.

But albeit this kind of successive consideration be incident unto man, yet it is not so with God. He hath from everlast­ing knowne what from the beginning of the world unto the [Page 344] end should come to passe, and that not successively but all at once. For his whole knowledge and every part of it is ever­lasting. And therefore it is absurd to say that God knowes things from the beginning of the world unto the end, unlesse in this sence, God knowes all things, which things come to passe from the beginning of the World unto the end, thereby denoting the succession of things in the World, not in the knowledge of God. But much more absurd is it to say that God knowes all things from the end of the World to the be­ginning of it: because this speech can admitt no tolerable congruity of explication, like the former, namely by applying it, not to any succession in the knowledge of God, but to the succession of things in the World. For albeit that we may well say that things doe succeed in course from the begin­ning of the World to the end; yet it were absurd to say that things doe succeed in course from the end of the World to the beginning. You may as well say, A mans life hath con­tinued not only from the beginning to the end, but also from the end unto the beginning, which is as much as to turn a mans heeles upwards, and place them where the head should be.

As for Gods incompassing of time as the circumference doth the center (wherunto you may adde the circular dura­tion formerly spoken of) and the penetrating of the whole scroll of succession from end to end, wherein you so much please your selfe as in rare notions, I take them to be no bet­ter then sicke mens dreames: we have nauseated enough upon them, you needed not to have repeated them, yet you will have these conceyts of yours to be receyved for precious truths, as Mountebanks commend their oyles and balmes, and not so only, but to be as cleere as the Sunne also. It is well that paper blusheth not. Every man seeth how the bright­nes of the Sunne doth pierce the ayre, doth every man ac­knowledge God to incompasse time by his eternitie? Sure I am Durand censures this conceit as absurd. Yet I deny not but that others might doate upon it as well as your selfe, ta­king it upon trust without examination.

[Page 345] And the corruptnes of mans mind may appeare in this very vanity, that he pleaseth himselfe many times in such no­tions as he understands not. Againe, doth every man that cleerly sees how the same peirceth the ayre, as cleerly see how Gods eternitie doth penetrate all time both all that is past and that which is to come, in such sort as indivisibly (for eter­nitie is indivisible) to coexist with it? For hitherto tends the reach of your me [...]ning. A most absurd conceyte. For ther­hence it would follow that all parts of time past, and all parts of time to come doe coexist together at this present; For if e­ternity doth now coexist with them, then at this present they must needs coexist with it, and consequently they must exist at this present, (otherwise how could they coexist) whence it followeth that both time past should be present, and also time to come, As absurd and voyd of all reason is that speeche of yours, whē you say that Gods finger hath drawne columus of possibilities. God knowes things possible, I confesse, but his finger hath not drawne these possibilities, no more thē he hath drawne himselfe and his owne omnipotent nature. For nothing is required to the denomination of the possibili­tie of any thing, but this, that God is armed with allmightie power, whereby he is able to bring it to passe. Now amongst possible things some are brought forth immediately by God, some by second causes, whether by God or by second causes, they are all knowne to God, and who doubts now adayes of this? yet this is the whole contents of your last sentence, which you have commended unto us so embroydered with art, and with the needle worke of quilting eloquence, as if you travayled in childbirth to be delivered of words and phrases, which many times vent untruthes, commonly deliver but vulgar sence, and sometimes end in no sence. Yet when a man or oxe or asse brings forth any thing that is possible; you say it is like the embroyderer who fills the drawers obscure patterne with conspicuous branches of silke, gold, or silver, which yet notwithstanding is fulfilled in bringing forth that which is accoumpted the eigth deadly sinne among the Irishe; were ever quaint terms and silken similitudes worse bestowed? [Page 346] by the way forgetting that the Embroiderer himselfe is a se­cond cause in bringing forth things possible into act, as well as a boy doth in playing at Top and scourge. And you may as well compare the Embroiderer to a boy playing at Top and scourge, as a boy playing at top and scourge to an Embroide­rer. Turpe est difficiles habere nugas: If any man prove an ounce the wiser for this, he may soone prove as wise as Pauls steeple. I remember in the beginning you called this discourse of yours a paradise of contemplation, and I confesse I finde many flowres of Rhetoricke growing therein, and especially pre [...]ty similitudes, but by applying them they are utterly cast away, for commonly they serve either for the illustration of un­truths, or very vulgar truths. And great pitty but they should finde a place among the toyes in London.

12. In the last place for a congruous explication of Au­stines and Gregories meaning, in passages before mentioned, you commend unto us certaine observations as necessary ex­tracts of what hath hitherto beene delivered. This necessity I presume was no impeachment to the liberty of your will in broaching them, for my part I see no necessity at all of them, nor of this whole discourse of yours. In like sort as little necessary it was that my braines should be surbeaten so often in hunting after the involved sense of many sentences, thorow the thickets of wilde phrases and figures, and affected obscure expressions.

As touching the perfection of Gods knowledge uncapable of addition, therein we argue with you. Your next position is worthy of consideration; As Gods knowledge doth not make things to be, so neither doth the immutable or absolute certainty of his knowledge make things so knowne by him to be immutable, or absolutely necessarie either in themselves, or in respect of his eternall knowledge. To this I answer, first to the first member of your sentence, that great Divines from Austines daies to these daies have maintained that the knowledge of God is the cause of things. And the reason they give is th [...]s; because the know­ledge of God is scientia artificis, the knowledge of a crafts­master. Now the case is cleare, that craftsmasters by their [Page 347] knowledge doe worke and cause things. Yet I am content to helpe you with a distinction, if you will be pleased to accept of it. That the knowledge of God which is the knowledge of an artificer, is the scientia simplicis intelligentiae, whereby hee knowes all things possible, and how to order all things most conveniently to their ends. But the knowledge you speak of here proceeds of scientia visionis, wherby God ever knew what should come to passe: and this knowledge indeed is not the cause of things. But as for the later member of this your sen­tence, it might have been [...] so carried as to give your selfe satis­faction (if I be not deceived) and us also: as thus, So the cer­tainty of Gods knowledge doth not make things certaine; or if you would adde the word necessarie we could have bo [...] with it, though it marreth the proport [...]on; which precisely is this, As knowledge doth not make things to be, so certaine knowledge doth not make things certainly to be. But you lea­ving out the word certainly, take away all evidence of pro­portion. Belike you would acknowledge that certaine knowledge doth make things certainly to be. But I doe not like the proposition, and the genius of your argument drawn from proportion, if it hath any force any way, hath force a­gainst it.

Now if I doe not acknowledge that certaine knowledge makes things certainly to bee, much lesse would I acknow­ledge that it makes things necessarily to be. There is so mani­fest reason against it, considering that all those things that fall our contingently, are as certainly knowne to God, as those things that come to passe certainly. Yet you (as [...]imorous men never thinke themselves sure enough,) are not content with this, but clogge your inference with other needlesse circum­stances, as in saying, absolutely necessary, and that not in respect of themselves, but of Gods knowledge also: whereas without these the comparison was incongruous enough. And these circum­stances I say are needlesse, because I would grant what you de­sire without these. But by your addition of these I perceive your meaning: for hereby you imply that it is necessary that things knowne by God shall come to passe: for though know­ledge [Page 348] doth not make them to be, much lesse to be necessary, yet upon supposition of Gods knowledge, it followeth neces­sarily by way of argument, that such things as God foreknows shall come to passe. This is of an undoubted truth, which kind of necessitie is not any necessitie of being in the things themselves, but only of externall denomination upon suppo­sition of Gods foreknowledge. And you doe in vaine seeme to strive against this; For can you deny this argument? God foreknowes that Antichrist shall be destroyed; therefore it is necessary that Antichrist shall be destroyed according to the time foreseene by God, neither will it herhence followe, that therefore it is absolutely necessary that Antichrist should be destroyed, as you very weakly suppose. For necessitie upon suppositiō onely, commonly called necessitie of consequence was never yet taken for absolute necessitie by any that I knowe. I medle not with the terme immutable, because it is nothinge congruous in the application. For applyed to Gods knowledge, it signifieth that knowledge which havinge being cannot be altered, but applyed in this sense to the event that commeth to passe is untrue. For no event, especially con­tingent, after it comes to passe is immutable. If applyed to the manner of comming to passe, yet it is not congruous. For God knowing that it shall come to passe in a mutable manner (that is in a contingent manner, for if that be not your mea­ning, I know not what is) the immutability of Gods know­ledge doth rather confirme the contingency of the event, then diminish it.

Yet you suppose some would inferre the contrary: but I assure you I am none of them, and that for the reason before mentioned. Yet still it holds good, that if God foreseeth such a thing shall come to passe; It followeth of necessity that the same thing shall come to passe, albeit not necessarily but contingently; when you say, Gods knowledge of things mutable (that is of the futurition of contingents; give me leave to con­strue you so, that I may fayrely understand you) is absolutely ne­cessary, all Schoolemen I thinke that ever write are directly a­gainst you. And for good reason; for like as it was not at [Page 349] all necessary that such a course of contingent things should be in the world as now is, so neither was it necessary, much lesse absolutely necessary, that God should know this course; for if he had ordeyned another course of things (as it was very possible) then he had also knowne another course. But your meaning though incommodiously expressed I conceyve to be this: Vpon supposition that thing should come to passe, it was necessary that God should know those things. For it is impossible that he should be ignorant of any thing that is to come: And this is a truth. But you have marred it by ad­ding the word, absolutely. For to be necessary in the sense before mentioned, is to be necessary upon supposition only and not absolutely. Thus you see I would fayne have hea­led the incongruity of your position, but it will not be hea­led.

Agayne you tell us, that It is most true which S. Gregory sayth that things future doe not come upon God, as they doe upon us, that things present doe not passe from him or by him, as they doe from us. That which you take to be most true, I take to be most false, in the sense wherin you deliver it. For like as they passe from us by ceasing to coexist with us, so they passe also from God as ceasing to coexist with him. And as they come upon us by beginning anew to coexist with us, so they come upon God also, as beginning anew to coexist with him. The con­forming of space of time, with space of place, doth abuse your understanding, and cast you into errour ere you are aware, though you will not be perswaded of it. In space of place it is true things both comming towards us yet doe not come towards God; and passing by us and from us, yet doe not passe by God or from God.

The reason whereof is, because God doth coexist with all places, and filleth all but man doth not. And no marveile. For all places doe actually exist, and God existing too, they are truly sayd to coexist together.

But as for all the parts of time they doe not exist together, and therefore consequently cannot bee said to coexist with God, neither God at once to coexist with them. But as they [Page 350] doe exist by succession one after another, so is God said to coexist with them, not by reason of any succession in God, but onely in the creature, and as wee lose our coexistence with creatures that cease to be, so doth God. For coexistence is an externall denomination attributed unto God from the ex­istence of the creatures. In which sence he is said to be He that was, and is, and is to come; to wit, in respect of his coexistence which was with things that are past, and which is with things that are present, and which shall bee with things that are to come, to w [...]t, when they are come.

But besides this succession in man of coexistence with o­ther creatures, there is also a succession in man which is not in God. For he groweth or diminisheth in the quantity of his body, he is changed and altered to and fro in the qualities both of body and soule. In body sometimes hot, sometimes cold, sometime faire, sometimes foule. In soule he hath for a while a growth in knowledge, afterward hee [...] and decayeth in knowledge. As for the duration of his essence, that is without succession, as the Angels are. And to continue the same as God doth, is not to gaine ought, but to keep that which he hath. God is alwayes; so are Angels since the time they have beene. The manner of Gods duration is indivi­sible; such also is reputed the duration of Angels; whom Schoolemen acknowledge, not to be measured by time, but by Aevum as touching their substance; onely as touching their thoughts, whereof there may be a succession, they have invented a discreet time to be the measure thereof. God lo­seth no existence by antiquity: man neither loseth nor gets ex­istence by continuance. For how should the continuation of existence be the losing of it? and how can hee get that which he hath already? Accidents are gotten and lost, I confesse, nothing so in God. Thus your fancies cast about to gaine some confirmation of your former erroneous conceit, of Gods coexistence with all parts of time; but nothing serves your turne. If by continuance alone we did gaine any thing, which before we had not, God himselfe should gaine some­thing which before he had not. For without doubt hee hath [Page 351] continuance. Times passing (you say) exonerate themselves into the Ocean of his infinite duration without inlarging it; Times com­ming incessantlie flowe from it without diminution of it. No doubt you please your selfe in these expressions: To me they are worse then Empedocles his Androprora were to Aristotle. There is no canting like unto this. The waters that run into the Sea, are a part of the Sea; thence they came, and thither they returne, as Salomon telleth us. And therefore no mar­vell Eccles. 1 [...] if the Sea neither is diminished by their egresse, nor by their regresse enlarged. No creatures duration is a part of Gods duration, as the rivers are part of the sea. And how doth our duration flow from Gods, but as an efficient cause, and that equivocall, that is wholly different? but water doth not come from the Sea, as from an efficient, much lesse equi­vocall, but as a part from the whole. Neither indeed doth our duration proceed from Gods duration, but from his will. For our duration is our existence continued, and this from the will of God. For he worketh all things according to the Eph. 1. 12. counsell of his will.

Thus we can devise how our duration comes from God, though farre different from the flowing of the water from the Sea: but how our durations doe exonerate themselves into God, or into his duration, it surpasseth the sphere of my imagination to devise. I doe not thinke Paracelsus was ever able to interprete this. Yet some say he heard the devill reade a lecture through a grate in the Vniversity of Toledo. Yet you have not done traversing your ground. Times future (you say) are said to come upon us, or to meet us, because our duration or exi­stence cannot reach to future things whilest they are future. Your figure Catachresis when will it be at an end? when we talke of reaching, we suppose the thing to have existence whereat we reach, but time future as yet exists not. Yet you thinke God doth reach it by coexistence with it. Yet I marke of late you forbeare th [...]s phrase. Is it not because it doth manifestly dis­cover the errour of your conceit? For to coexist with things future, doth imply that things future coexist, and consequent­ly exist, and so they are present, and not future. The very An­gells [Page 352] are not of so long standing to day as they shall be to morrow. This I confesse is something, but I would gladlie know what inference you make herehence.

Angells have had a beginning; God hath not: if God had a beginning, as Angells have had, every day he should be of longer duration then he was the former, yet without any change, and consequently without succession. But will you inferre herehence, therfore God hath coexistence with things future? A consequence of no coulour of probability; and the consequent in it selfe implying manifest contradiction as be­fore I have shewed. Till future things exist, we have no co­existence with them; nor God neither. For if God did co­exist with them, they should coexist with God, & consequent­ly exist, and so cease to be future, and forthwith become pre­sent. Yet you labour to prove the contrary; and so you may, and sweate too, and be never a whit the nearer to that you seeke for. God is every way before time, (you say) that is, not onely before it, as we accompt (he is before that which is to come and so are we also, but he was before all Worlds) but after it and behind it also. For that which we accompt af­ter or behind time, you call before it; that so with the better grace you may attribute it unto God. But we like plaine fel­lowes, love to speake plainlie, and to call a spade a spade. And in the like language we deny that God is after time to come, and prove it thus. To be in duration after any thing is to be while that other thing is past, or at least, the first ex [...]stence of it; but God in this sence cannot be sayd to be after time to come, because time to come is neither yet past nor yet exi­stent. Yet at length when divinations will not serve your turne, you thinke to have gotten a text of Scripture for it. Gods duration you say is Yesterday, to day to morrowe and the same for ever. It is well you did not quote Scripture, least so your penne might have bene censured as Corruptor stilus for putting into the text to morrowe, and that in small letters suita­ble with the former. Perhaps you may say, why may he not be as well sayd to be to morrowe, as to be Yesterday. I grant the proportion of truth in both; but where doe you find it, [Page 353] to be sayd of God that He is yesterday. Take heed of adul­ter sensus which may be as bad as Corruptor stilus. Not in the Hebrewes where it is onely sayd that Christ is the same yester­day, and to day and for ever. Not that he is Yesterday, nor that he is To morrow; but rather to the contrary thus, He was, he is, and he is to come: But still the same in opposition to altera­tion, more wayes then you have expressed; nor to alte­ration onely, but to all possibilitie of alteration. For he is of necessary being. Tis false to say, that In his duration all thinges are. It beeing neither true formally as it is manifest (for time is no part of eternity) nor eminently. For it is nor Gods eternity that produceth things, or maintayneth the duration of things, but the will of God armed with power and wise­dom to doe every thing. At first sight, I thought to have made no exception, against the last sentence; but upon second thoughts two members of the three seeme to be as faultie as any. For things future have no being at all in esse reali, as tou­ching reall being, they are in esse cognito and esse volito, knowne by God and decreed to come to passe in due time. So like­wise things past have no being at all, only they are knowne of, and were decreed by God, to be in such a time as now is past. And how can they be sayd to be in God? Not formally as is manifest; nor eminently, for he cannot produce things past. For that were to make them not to be past. Yet you end in a truth, that Thinges present cannot subsist without him. I would you had both begun, and continued so. Yet this you corrupt with a needlsse amplification, That presence cannot subsist with­out him, which being but a relation requires no distinct ope­ration, to susteyne it, distinct from that which susteyneth the foundation.

In the end of the fifth Section you promised to intimate a certaine point of high perfection in God consisting in the reservation of his libertie; but since that time we never heard of it more.


Of Divine Immutability.

IN the first place you tell us that some Schoolemen mould immutability in the same conceit with eternity, and that others make that the off-spring of this; but you conceale your Au­thors. I see no reason for either, but manifest reason I have against the first. For if the conceit of eternity were one and the same with the conceit of immutability, then no man could conceive a thing to bee eternall, but forthwith he must con­ceive it to be immutable. But this is most untrue. For Ari­stotle conceived the heavens and elements to be eternall both waies, without beginning, and without end; yet did not con­ceive them to be immutable, for as much as hee acknowled­ged them to be all under motion; and the elements also, as touching their parts subject to corruption. Plato though he maintained the world to have had a beginning, yet hee ac­knowledged it to be eternall one way, that is, without end, yet did not conceive it to be immutable. The first matter was generally held to be eternall both wayes, yet none maintained it to be immutable. And no marvell. For mutation compre­hends all kinde of motion, and consequently immutability excludes all possibility of motion, but eternity signifieth only continuance for ever.

Now like as continuance for seven yeares, or an hundred yeares, &c. doth not require that the same thing should bee without all change for seven yeares or an hundred yeares, &c. much lesse doth it include the notion of immutability for such a space of yeares in the conceit thereof: so neither doth continuance for ever include the notion of being without all change for ever in the conceit thereof.

Adam was made immortall, and so had continued if he had not sinned, yet should he not have been free from all change. The Angels are eternall; that is, such as shall continue for [Page 355] ever, and so were made, yet neither are they now, nor were they made immutable. Indeed there are divers kindes of mo­tions, some are in qualitie, called alterations; some in quanti­tie, called augmentation and diminution; some in place, cal­led locall motion; some in substance, as generation and cor­ruption. Immutability in this last kinde commeth nearest to the conceit of eternity, yet there is a difference. For eternity signifieth onely an everlasting continuance which may be joy­ned with a possibility of not-continuance, as in Angels, and the soules of men, and our bodies also in the world to come; but immutability cannot bee joyned with such a possibility; therefore the conceit of eternity and the conceit of immuta­bilitie are much different. And for the same reason immuta­bility cannot be the off-spring of eternity, rather eternity is the off-spring of immutability. I thinke both immediately flow from the manner of his being, which is necessarie. The like judgement may be made of that you avouch in the next place, to wit, That the true explication of the former con­taines the truth of this. If by the former you meane eternity, as I thinke you doe, (though some while I referred it to your discourse immediately preceding of Gods infinite wisedome, which you chiefly place in foreknowing all things, which is a good reason of the unchangeable nature of his will.) In my judgement immutability rather confirmes eternity, then eter­nity confirmes immutabilitie: and the knowledge of Gods eternity is the off-spring of the knowledge of his immutabi­lity, rather then on the contrary; and that for the reasons be­fore given, to wit, because immutability inferres eternity, e­ternity doth not inferre immutability.

2. That God is unchangeable I nothing doubt, but in my judgement you doe not well to prove it from the infinite­nesse of his essence; First because this consequent carryeth no evidence with it. That nothing can bee added to that which is infinite carryeth some evidence, but that nothing can be diminished from it, doth not. Some have maintayned that God can make an infinite magnitude, and a number infinite as Hurtado di Mendosa disputes. Secondly your argumen­tation [Page 356] is rather à Posteriori then à Priori. For if by essence in­finite you understand infinite in duration, which is as much as eternity, I have already shewed that immutability better in­ferres eternity then eternity doth inferre immutability. But as for the necessitie of Gods being that doth manifestly and à Priori inferre his eternall being, and that it is impossible he should cease to be. And Bradwardine maintaynes that this at­tribute of God ens necessarium is the first attribute, as whence all other perfections are manifestly derived. For that a lesse perfect nature should have a necessitie of being, and a more perfect nature should have a contingent being is most absurd and impossible. For so that which is more perfect should have his dependance of being from that which is lesse per­fect. Wherefore seeing God is of necessary being, it follo­weth manifestly that he must be most perfect. Yet I have cause to doubt of your sinceritie in affirming, that To infinite perfection nothing can accrewe. It is well knowne what con­ceyt Vorstius intertayned hereabouts, as namely that Gods de­crees are not everlasting; in which case some new act of will doth accrew to God, which before was not found in him. And I fear you will be found to be of the same opinion. And I pray what meant you in the former chapter and 5. Section to maintayne that it is a point of high perfection for God, to reserve his libertie, and what libertie is this but of decreeing? Yet in the same Section you stile Gods decrees everlasting. But that denomination comes in against the hayre, as if it were only to choak your reader and h [...]nder him from laying that to your charge which this reservation of libertie, (which you attribute to God, as a point of high perfection) doth mani­festly import.

When you say, that From infinite perfection nothing can fall but must fall into God, or into infinite perfection seeing that he is in being infinite, in such a conceyt streyned so high, that it breakes into non-sence and flat contradiction. For if it fall from him, it falls not into him; [...]f into him, it falls not from him. In like sort in saying that God is indivisibly and totally in every space that can be imagined, you contradict that which [Page 357] formerly you have delivered in the chapter of Gods immensi­tie. For hence it followeth that God is in vacuo which you in plaine tearmes denyed there.

3. In the next place you propose a difficultie, and that is this: How Gods will or counsell should be eternally immutable, and yet everlastingly free. And in stead of answer you tell us, You see not what appearance of difficultie can present it selfe, at least to such as beare the two former principles before mentioned levell in their mindes and thoughts. So then two principles will serve the turne to cleare all this, provided that we keepe them le­vell in our mindes and thoughts: otherwise woe bee to the funambulus if he swerve never so little awry. Now these principles you say are first, That God is absolutely infinite in being, the other, That he is absolutely perfect according to all the branches of being or perfection by us conceivable or more then all these, perfection it selfe. If you will believe me, I assure you, I doe believe all this, and yet I am as farre to seeke for clearing of the former difficultie as ever. If the reason be because I doe not keepe them so levill in my minde and thought as I should, I assure you, I would willingly helpe this also if I knew how. I would doe any thing for a quiet life, and to cleare such a difficultie as this which in my opinion is a won­drous one, if rightly understood. But I much doubt whe­ther every one that proposeth it, rightly understandeth it.

For I have found by experience that many talke of the libertie of Gods will in proportion to our libertie; Now our libertie consisteth in an indifferency of intertayning diffe­rent acts of will. But we shall fowly erre if we intertaine any such conceyt of the libertie of Gods will. For the act of Gods will being all one with Gods will, and Gods will being his essence, and his essence being one most simple act, it was ever impossible that there should be any thing found in God which now is not, or that any thing should not be found in God which now is. You will say then was it not possible that other things might have bene decreed by God then are? Yes undoubtedly even Iudas might have bene an elect, and Paul a reprobate. Yet other things thus decreed should not [Page 358] have beene decreed by any other act in God then now is in God, for the reason above specified, and that for ought I know so received by Schoole Divines, as denyed by none. And this is a mystery I confesse, wherein we must content our selves with the [...], & leave to inquire how this may be; for we are uncapable of that. Onely we can prove that the course of things that now is, in whole and part hath no necessary deri­vation from God, but meerly contingent, and accordingly proceeded from the free will of God, yet everlastingly deter­mining this course of things that now we see; and having e­verlastingly determined it, this will of God concerning this course of things, hath everlastingly continued immutable un­to this day, and so shall for ever.

As for your principles how they conferre to the clearing of this, I perswade my selfe you are not able to manifest. And what need, I pray, of making a difference betweene these prin­ciples which seeme to be all one; and your selfe have coupled them tog [...]ther, as all one in the former section, and in that ar­gument of yours whereby you proved the immutability of God. Yet these principles must bee helpt with another sup­position, that so they may doe the deed; that is, That absolute contingency, or possibilities aequipendent betwixt many effects, may as truly be the object of Gods eternall decree, as necessity in other workes of nature.

Which supposition to raise your readers thoughts to an ad­miration of the momentous nature thereof, you say, You have often promised, and once for all by Gods assistance shall undoubtedly prove: wheras you might well spare your paines in this, no man being so simple as to question it, were it not that you do intoxicate your readers thoughts in the delivering of it with wilde phrases, in calling the contingency of things possibilities aequipendent. enough to slagger a man at the very noise of such cracking of thornes. Wee maintaine that God decreeth not onely contingency, but things contingent; as namely Cyrus Es. 45. 13. his restoring of the Iewes, and giving them liberty to returne to their owne country: the burning of the Prophets bones 1 King. 13 2. Act 4. 28. by Iosiah upon the Altar; yea and the crucifying of Christ [Page 356] Iesus, the Apostles with one voice directly expressing so much, Act. 4. And such decrees of God though free, conti­nue immutable, and that from everlasting, as indeed being from everlasting. And wee say there is no reason why God should alter what he hath decreed, considering that he know­eth no more now then he did from everlasting.

In that which followeth we agree with you, that immuta­bilitie is a perfection, & mutability an imperfection; likewise that to worke freely is a perfection, to worke necessarily is an imperfection; and where both immutability and freedome of operation meet, the perfection of that nature is so much the greater. But this I finde not so scholastically expressed, when you say, That if man were as immortall as the heavens are, hee would be more perfect then they can be. This I say wants much of accuratenesse. For the heavens are not immortall. Aristotle conceived them to be incorruptible, but not immortall. For like as in case they were corruptible, yet could they not bee counted mortall, because they have no life to lose; so though they be granted to be incorruptible, yet could they not there­upon be accounted immortall, and that for the same reason, because they have not life, which alone makes a thing capable of the denomination of immortall, and for want of life, the meanest of creatures having life doe in excellency surpasse the heavens.

And if Aristotle had lived in our dayes to bee acquainted with such Astronomicall observations as we are, of so many Comets and blazing Starres in the celestiall Region, not only above the Moone, but even in the firmament it selfe, and that of long continuance, and at length wasted and consumed; it is more then probable that his opinion concerning the incor­ruptibility of the heavens would have beene changed, consi­dering his apologies and excuses in his bookes De Caelo, that the bodie of the heavens being so farre remote, and little cer­taine experience (whereupon all natuall reason is grounded) to be had of such things as might discover the nature thereof: therefore his discourse thereof whatsoever to bee taken in the better part, and extraordinary performances thereabouts [Page 360] not to be expected from a naturall Philosopher. And conclu­ding his discourse concerning the incorruptibilitie of the hea­vens, he professeth that all experience did justifie his opinion in that point, for as much as there was never knowne any al­teration there. So then, had he knowne of any alterations there, this might justly have altered the case with Aristotle, and that no alteration was then knowne, was to be attributed to the weake nature of Astronomicall observations in those dayes, whereabouts he was to depend upon the credit of o­thers in their professions, being no Astronomer himselfe. In the next place you tell us, that Though freedome in it selfe be a great perfection, yet to be free to doe evill is a branch of imperfection, which springs from the mutability of the creatures freedome. This deserves well the scanning. Adam in his innocency was free to doe evill was he not? Yet was he made very good, and af­ter the image of God, and no sinne had yet estranged him from the life of God, and therefore his state and condition deser­ved to be accounted a state of perfection rather then of im­perfection. Although I deny not but there be greater per­fections then this of Adam.

As the perfection of God is above the perfection of any, of all creatures. The perfection of Angells is above the per­fection of man. The perfection of men in the state of glory above the perfection of man in the state of innocency. Yet I see no cause why Adams state in creation should be counted a state of imperfection, rather then of perfection. And for ought I see, freedom unto evill is no more favouring of im­perfection then freedome unto good, considering that they both make but one morall freedome. For to be morally free to doe good quoad exercitium is to be free to choose whether a man will doe good or no, and quoad specificationem, is to be free to choose whether he will doe good or evill. So to be morally free to evill quoad exercitium is to be free to choose whether he will doe evill or no; quoad specificationem is to be free to choose whether he will doe evill or good. This dis­course of mine hath proceeded according to your owne phrase, that speaks of freedom unto evill, but to speak in mine [Page 361] owne phrase, I should not hastily speake of any freedome of the will of man to evill. You may say as well that the will of man in th [...] use of the eye is free to behold either colours or sounds which he will, or in the use of the eare is free to judge of sounds or colours as he will. There is a Common sence within, I confesse, whereby the will is able to judge of these, but by the eye or eare she cannot.

The reason is, no facultie extends beyond his object. With­in the compasse of his owne object it may be extended to any kind or particular, but it reacheth not beyond his object; Now the object of the eye is onely colour, and the object of the eare is onely sound. And a man may looke upon what colours he will of many, that are presented unto him, so by the eare take notice of any sounds that are, but neither the eye can behold that which is not coloured, nor the eare appr [...]hēd ought that is not of the nature of sound. In like so [...] the will within the compasse of her owne object, may settle upon what she will, but beyond her object she cannot extend.

Now the object of the will is good not evill, and therefore she is of free choyce to settle upon what good she will, but not upon evill. But here some may say how then can any evill be committed? I answere two wayes: First by errour of judg­ment. For it is the nature of the will to follow the judge­ment of the understanding, therefore it is called a reasonable appetite. Secondly, by preferring a lesse good before a grea­ter, as in making choice of doing something because it is pro­fitable, or pleasureable, or some way or other advantageous for the present, notwithstanding that it is dishonest, and such as will bring a farre greater dammage unto us for the time to come. Or thus; because we make choice of something as be­fore mentioned notwithstanding a superiour authority hath forbidden it; both because an evill inclination maks us pre­ferre things presently pleasing and profitable, and withall prowd that we cannot endure to be in subjection to lawfull authority, such as undoubtedlie is the authority of God.

Hence it comes to passe, that we are sayd also to be free to good or evill, which we may call a morall liberty in distin­ction [Page 362] from the former, which is liberty naturall, and consist­eth in being indifferent to doe ought that lyes in our power to be done, provided that it may seeme convenient to be done. As for that morall liberty, it scarce ever was to bee found in the world. For it consisteth in an indifferent inclination nei­ther vicious nor virtuous. Now where was ever such a dispo­sition to be found? Not in man before his fall. For hee was created good and holy, and inclined onely to delight in that which was truly good and pleasing in the sight of God. Some will say, then how could he sinne? I answer, his sinne was the actuating of his naturall indifferency to the doing of any naturall thing. As to eate an Apple, or not eate it, or to eate this or that, a thing meerelie indifferent, had not God forbid­ded it, and in this case restrayned his libertie: which prohibi­tion of Gods, he hearkening too much to the tentations of Satan, by the ministery of Eve, who before had tasted of the forbidden fruit, without any dammage discernable, and upon her commendation of it inconsiderately transgressed. Since the fall of Adam a vitious inclination hath possessed all, which even in the regenerate continueth in part, though a superna­turall vertuous or religious inclination hath possessed them, whereby it comes to passe that both carnall things are plea­sing to them as they are flesh, and the will of God is pleasing unto them according to the spirit.

Still the naturall liberty continueth in all, to doe any na­turall thing, whether commanded or forbidden of God. For even in the regenerate there is a power to doe any naturall thing, though God hath forbidden it, and too great a pro­pension to the doing of it, (and that because God hath for­bidden it) in respect of the flesh. And in the unregenerate a power also to doe any naturall thing which God hath com­manded, and an affectation to doe it also because God hath commanded it; but in the way of hypocrisie to further their owne carnall ends and courses, yet have they no religious in­clination to honour God. How freedome to evill is said by you to spring from the mutability of the creatures freedome, I doe not yet understand.

[Page 363] First, what meane you by the creatures freedome▪ Do you meane it of his freedome to good, or freedome to evill, or such freedome as is neither to good nor evill? I thinke your meaning is of the creatures freedom to good.

Secondly, what meane you by the change of this freedome of the creature? If you speake of the creatures freedome unto good, how is it changed? or into what is it changed? here is nothing to answer, but by saying, that his freedome unto good is changed into a freedome unto evill. Which if it bee your meaning, it was verie absurd to say, that his freedome to evill did spring from his change into freedome unto evill. For thus the selfe same thing shall bee both before and after it selfe. Yet you say not, I confesse, that this freedome to evill springs from the mutation of the creatures freedome, but from the mutability; that is, from the possibility of change. But that is as absurd. For change cannot be said to spring from a possibility of change, but rather from the agent that chan­geth. Why did you not say plainly, it sprang from the will of man disobeying his Creator? I see a reason of this. First be­cause freedome to evill doth rather goe before disobedience then follow after it. Why but then if this state of imperfecti­on came not from the creatures delinquency, whence came it? The truth is, not freedome to doe evill, but bondage unto sinn proceeded from the prevarication of the creature against God his Maker. And this is a state of great imperfection in­deed, or rather of great misery, as whereby all mankinde are borne children of wrath, and such as deserve to be made the generation of Gods curse. And are you pleased to mince it thus, calling it onely a freedome to doe evill, whereas if yet we are onely free to doe evill, it must needs follow that wee are free also not to doe it; yea and free also to doe good, which freedom is now adaies found in none but those whom the Sonne hath freed, according to that of our Saviour, If the Sonne hath made you free, then are you free indeed. Ioh. [...].

But let us proceed with you. It was, I doubt not, the will and pleasure of God to make his creatures mutable before they be immu­tably happy. But hence it followeth not, that this mutability [Page 364] was necessarily prerequired. For how can that be said to bee necessarily, which depended meerely upon the free will and pleasure of God, without specification of so much as a con­gruous end intended by God, upon supposition whereof, this mutability of the creature might be said to be necessarily pre­required before their happinesse? Now what kinne this is to the immutability of God, or to the reconciling thereof to his freedome, let the Reader judge. As also of the sobriety of that which followeth; God in that he is absolutely perfect is essen­tially immutable, essentially free and immutably happy, because in­finitely good. Then followes the order of immutability and free­dome; that the ground of this, this the perfection of that. Yet many creatures are free without any such growne as immuta­bility, and where the one is wanting, the other cannot be the perfection thereof. And if we speake of immutabilitie in respect of second causes, is it not in the power of God to make the heavens, the Sunne, Moone and Starres immutabl [...] which notwithstanding should not be any free agents. And undoubtedly, the immutability of Gods will rather supposeth the freedome thereof, then is presupposed by it. But these are matters of no great moment, that which followeth is of more, though you doe but touche, and away, like the dogge at the River Nilus, who feares the Crocodile, and it may be herein you feare some bug-beare also. Freedome it selfe (you say) were no absolute perfection unlesse it were immutably wedded unto goodnesse. Gods freedom then, you will have wedded unto goodnesse. In what sence is this delivered? I am of o­pinion that whatsoever God doth, it is impossible it should be otherwise then good. For it is impossible that God should transgresse; As who hath no superior to give lawes to him, but rather his will gives lawes to all, yet in giving lawes to o­thers he gives none to himselfe.

And if his will were a law unto himselfe, it were impossi­ble he should transgresse it in doing ought. For as much as whatsoever he doth, he doth according to the counsayle of his owne will. But you I doubt have some other sence which Aephe. 1. 11 I will labour to start out if I can. You signify his freedome [Page 365] must be wedded to goodnes. When a man is wedded to his wife, he is restrayned from all others, and must keep himselfe only unto her.

So belike amongst diverse things whereunto Gods power doth extend, his freedome must not extend to all, but be con­fined to that which is good. As if there were some rules of good and evill prescribed unto God, and he were confined to the one, and restrayned from the other. This is Arminius his language, upon which occasion, I have bene bold to encoun­ter their [...] in two digressions, who maintayne that there is a justice tha [...] doth oblige the will of God. If you would deale plainly in setting downe your opinion, and Scholasti­cally, in taking paynes to dispute for it, and not in some sory manner to begge the question, I should be ready with the help of God to enter into the lists in this point with you also.

And at this time, had you named any thing that God can­not doe in the way of justice, which otherwise he hath power to doe, I would have taken the paines, not to consider it only, but to confute it. For I hold that tenent not farre from blas­phemy. And I doe well observe that in expressing this your opinion, you doe not signify that Gods freedome must be wedded to his goodnesse, but that freedome must be wedded to goodnesse. And indeed the freedome of men and Angells is to be limited by the lawes of God, who is their Creator, and may and doth give lawes unto them. But as for any law of obedience that God is bound unto, I know none, no not to his owne goodnesse as being neither bound to manifest it nor to communicate it: but by necessity of nature he loves it, that is, himselfe, and by necessity of nature whatsoever he doth, he must doe for himselfe, and for the setting foorth of his owne glory, as he shall thinke good, and not to any other end.

He that is the supreame efficient, must necessarily be the su­preame end of all things. So from him and by him, and for Rom. 11. 36. him are all thinges. Much lesse is he bound to the rules of any goodnesse or justice without him. But it may be of this we shall heare more from you hereafter.

[Page 366] In the next place you returne to shew, how immutability and freedome may stand together; and in stead of proving it you tell us, that we may easily conceive it, provided that they be rightly joyned or sorted. And hereupon you take occasion to discourse somewhat at large of the ill sorting of them, and that in such a kind as none would ever prove so mad as to sort them so; (yet that serves for matter of your discourse,) but as touching the right sorting of them, I doubt we shall never heare of in such a manner as you promise, to wit, that our conceits shall easily comprehend it, no more then wee have heard of that reservation of libertie which you promised to inti­mate as a point of very high perfection in God.

Well, the ill sorting of them seemes to bee the conceiving of God to be freely immutable, and that you say implieth con­tradiction, if not unto the nature of immutability, yet unto the nature of absolute perfection, or to our true conceit of infinite being. I know no congruity of this discourse of yours. For free­dome is onely in resp [...]ct of operation, not in respect of being. For freedome supposeth being according to the kinde and nature of the thing which is said to bee free. It were a very absurd thing to discourse that man is not freely a man, or that he were not freely reasonable. And no lesse absurd is it to tell us that God is not freely immutable. You might as well tell us that God is not freely God. And yet if we list to walke a­long with you in the like vanity of discourse, we might main­taine that God is freely immutable, freely of absolute perfe­ction, freely of infinite perfection, if you take freedome in opposition to coaction. For God is not immutable by co­action, nor of absolute perfection by coaction, nor of infinite being by coaction. And to be that which a man is freely, is bet­ter then to be that which he is by coaction.

To be freely immutable in your sense, is not a branch of imperfection, but rather of impossibility. For it is neither possible to the Creator, nor possible to the creature. But imperfections imply a possibility, rather then include any im­possibility. But suppose there were any such freedome in God, yet it followeth not, that it should put all those perfe­ctions [Page 367] which are contained in his nature upon the hazard. For how improbable were it, that God by his will should choose to be imperfect rather then perfect? Possible indeed it were upon this supposition, but yet in respect of his wisedome and goodnesse, [...]t were as good as impossible hee should will any such thing, though he were free to will it. But God by ne­cessitie of nature is immutable, and impossible it is he should be otherwise; & in this nature of his the will of God delgh­teth. And accord [...]ngly we may judg of the nature of these your extravagant suppositions: yet by your leave, mutability is not alwaies charged with possibility of doing amisse, but onely in creatures reasonable, yet is mutability found as well in crea­tures unreasonable, yea and without sense and life also, as in creatures reasonable. But to proceed: as it is impossible God should be freely immutable, so is it impossible he should be mutably free.

But why you should account it the period of perfection I know no reason, more then to be immutably wise, immuta­bly powerfull, immutably good. Neither doe I like your inference herehence, namely that therefore God is unchange­able in freedome, as in power, wisedome, or goodnesse; like as because God is immutably wise, and powerfull, and good, it is no good consequence to say therefore he is as unchangeable in wisedome, power, and goodnesse, as he is in freedome. The consequents, that is, the propositions themselves I approve, but I cannot approve your deduction of the one from the o­ther. Now because God is immutably free, therefore hee was, and is, and shall be eternally free, to exercise his power, and to communicate his goodnesse. All this we grant, and by all which you seeme to goe a birding, and if your tackling hold, you are like to catch something ere long; and if I mis­take not, the next sentence discovereth the mystery you haw­ked after so long: Free it is (you say) for him from everlasting to everlasting omnipoten [...]ly to decree as well a mutability in the acti­ons of some things created, as a necessity or immutability in the course or operation of nature inanimate. In which words by that time I come to the end of transcribing of them, I finde more then [Page 368] at first blush I dreamed of. For that which you hunt after as now I perceive, is a soryconceit, and such as being granted you, will yeeld your cause as much support as a bulrush; what need you thus travell to be delivered of such a principle as no man thinkes worth the asking. Onely you carrie it in such a phrase of obscurity, as if you desired your reader to conceive it to be some great mystery, whereas if [...]t were plainly delive­red, and that in a sober sense, it is no more then this, God hath decreed that some things shall worke contingently and freely, as namely, men and Angels; like as hee hath decreed that other things, to wit, naturall agents, shall worke neces­sarily.

And can you tell who is ignorant of this? or can you shew that ever any was found to call this into question amongst Christians? All Naturalists acknowledge this difference be­tweene naturall agents and voluntary agents; and no Christi­an denieth but all this proceeds from Gods inward decree, and outward operation accord [...]ng to this decree. But what if you have a further ayme then this, and the obscurity of your expression in this particular serves onely to amuse your reader in that which is of no worth, that so in the meane time his intention may oversl [...]p the observation of foule things broa­ched by you in a few words? For consider I pray, would you have your reader swallow sucha goageon as this, that God is at this time free to decree this? Why doe you not say as well that God is at this time free to decree the salvation or dammation of any man? For why should not one decree of God be tem­porary as well as another? and how contradictious is this to your owne often profession of Gods everlasting decrees, and also to your present doctrine of Gods immutabilitie? For if he be now free to decree this or that, then may some decree of God begin to be, which before was not, and consequent­ly there shall bee a change in God. For as much as some act shall be found in God which before was not. And if Gods decrees be everlasting, and yet to this day he continueth free to reverse these decrees, then is God free to change. Perhaps you will say, Gods liberty is eternall, (for otherwise I know [Page 369] not to what purpose you discourse here of Gods eternall li­berty.) I answer, God is still and ever shall be free, but in re­spect of what? In respect of those things that are possible and indifferent to be done by him or no. But that Gods eternal de­crees should be at this time indifferent to bee made by him or no, is a thing utterly impossible. God alone cannot doe this, as Philosophers were wont to say, to make that which is done to be undone, it being a thing implying manifest con­tradiction.

Againe, the libertie of God is not like unto the liberty of his creatures, whether Angels or men, which yet notwith­standing you very confidently confound, manifesting no sense of so uncouth an assertion. Liberty in the creature is unto different acts of will, as either to will this, or to will that; but no such libertie is to be found in God. It was and is impos­sible there should bee any other act in God then there is, be­cause God is a simple act, and that act is his very essence, and as his essence cannot, nor could not bee otherwise then it is, so neither could any other act of will be in him then there is. Gods liberty is only to different objects, not to different acts, though you passe over this without any distinction.

Againe, in the sentence going before you told us, God was free to exercise his power, and to communicate his good­nesse; which is most true: but when in the next place you tell us he is free to decree, this is nothing answerable to the for­mer. For to decree is no exerc [...]se of his power, nor commu­nication of his goodnesse. For if it were, then seeing his decrees have beene free from everlasting, from everlasting there should be an exercise of his power, and communication of his goodnesse. Which is as much as to say that the world was everlasting.

Your next sentence is as wilde as the former, or rather more, not to speake of the coherence of them. For it seemes you have no more care of that, then as if you were dictating proverbs. That the course of mans life, or the finall doome awar­ded to every man (though that must be awarded to all according to the diversity of their courses) should be immutable, because they are [Page 370] foreset by an immutable omnipotent decree hath no more colour of truth, then to say the omnipotent creator must needes be blacke, be­cause he made the crowes and Ebony black, &c. And this compa­rison you enlarge with multiplicity of instances, as the course of your stile is to exuberate in matters of no moment. You might as well have sayed that there is no colour of truth, why God that made a crowe should be a crowe, or that made the swanne should be a swanne. And indeed there is no colour of truth in this. For indeed a painter makes a fayre picture, but it no way followeth herehence that he should be a fayre picture, or so much as fayre.

And though a pewterer makes a chamber-pot, yet no co­lour of truth, that he should be therefore a chamber pott, or that because a Chimny-sweeper makes a clean chimny, ther­fore himselfe should be a cleane chimny. Never was any knowne to be so absurde, as to devise any such inferences. Like as I think never any before your selfe was knowne to affirme, that there was as litle colour of truth in collecting, that things decreed by God should be immutable, because his decree is immutable. For I pray, what proportion doe you find in these? the efficient cause that is aequivocall, is not of the same nature with the effect produced, therefore the thing decreed is not immutable, by reason of the immutability of the decree whereby it is decreed.

Let every Reader judge whether there be so much like­nesse betweene these, as betweene a foxe and a Fearne-bush. Yet you give no reason but the bare proportion it selfe to beare it out. Now the former inference which you denye, is drawne from the cause to the effect, the later inference which you denye is drawne from the effect to the cause. Yet these inferences you make proportionable. If you would make them suitable, after some such manner as this, it should pro­ceed. God makes crowes black; herhence it followeth not that God himselfe is black, so God decreed to damne Iuda [...] herehence it followeth no [...], and what I pray? I am ashamed t [...] follow the proportion of your inference least so I should ut­ter that which in modestie is not fit, or thus. God makes Iu­das [Page 371] his damnation immutable; herhence it followeth not that God is immutable, or to helpe you with a proportioned case fitter for your turne. God makes Iudas his damnation mu­table, herehence it followeth not that God or his decree is mutable.

This I say better serves your turne, but this is not the infe­rence whereupon you passe your denyall, but rather quite cam as we say; Gods decree is immutable; herhence it follo­weth not that Iudas his damnation, though foreset by God is immutable. Yet as for that inference proposed, which I sayd was more fitter for your turne, who ever sayd that God de­creed Iudas his damnation to be mutable, or the damnation of reprobates to be mutable? Who ever sayd that God de­creed the salvation of Peter or Paul, or of any one of Gods elect to be mutable?

And indeed, it were very absurd to say so: For the mutabi­lity of a thing supposeth the being of a thing. Now hath God ordained that the salvation of Gods elect, after they have ob­tayned it, or the damnation of the reprobates after they suffer it, shall be mutable? Hath he not rather ordained the contrary both as touch [...]ng his elect, that they shall ever be with the Lord, Thess. 4. Marc. 9. 44. and as touching the reprobate that their Worme shall never dye, and their fire never be extinguished? Yet I confesse either is sim­ply mutable, in respect that God hath power to alter it. But this kind of mutability is not the object of Gods decree. For God doth not decreec to take unto himselfe power to doe this or that. Yet it is true, that by vertue of Gods decree some things come to passe contingently, and some things necessari­ly. But this is onely in respect of the agency of second causes, some of them being made by God, agents naturall working necessarily, some agents rationall and free, working contin­gently and freely: Not in respect of Gods owne agency, for whatsoever God doth work outwardly, that must needs come to passe contingently or freely: for it is not in the power of God to worke necessarily; it is the perfection of God unal­terable, to be necessarily, to worke freely. Now the doome of any man is the work of God, and so is the condemnation [Page 372] both of men and Angels, and not the worke of second cau­ses: and therefore the contingent being thereof is not the ob­ject of Gods decree. God doth not decree, that to fall out contingently, much lesse doth he decree that after it is, it shall be mutable: speake your minde plainly, and tell us whether the damnation of Iudas, or of the Angels that fell, or of any reprobate that is departed this life is mutable. I presume you dare not affirme this: and what is the reason? not because God wants power to alter, but because his will is that it shall not be otherwise, and his will can neither bee changed from within, nor resisted from without, because it is omnipotent. In this case therefore this consequence is good: God hath decreed the damnation of Iudas, and his decree is immutable, and omnipotent, therefore the damnation of Iudas is immu­table, to wit, supposing the foresaid decree of God.

Now consider wee the damnation of wicked men not yet departed this life; hath God decreed it, or no? if no, then his decrees are not everlasting, the contrary whereunto you have hitherto professed in words, though I feare your mea­ning is otherwise.

Againe, if God hath not yet decreed it, then hereafter he shall decree it, (for he must first will their damnation before he damnes them) and consequently there shall be a change in God, and something found in him which before was not, contrary to that which you have delivered in this Chapter, sect. 2. in these words, Vnto infinite perfection what can accrew? If then God hath decreed it, and this decree or will of God cannot be changed, for you confesse it is immutable, nor can be resisted, for you confesse it is omnipotent; will it not ne­cessarily follow herehence, that the damnation of such wic­ked men yet surviving is immutable? This I speake in your phrase, but in mine owne phrase I say onely that herehence it necessarily followeth, that all such shall bee damned, which necessity is meerly upon supposition of Gods decree: and therefore not necessity simply so called, but onely secundum quid, and upon supposition,

So likewise concerning the salvation of Gods Elect, who [Page 373] are yet surviving, if God hath decreed it, seeing his will is both unchangeable, and unresistible, their salvation must needs bee immutable, to speake in your phrase, but to speake in mine owne phrase, it necessarily followeth herehence that they shall be saved.

There is to way to help this, but by maintaining that Gods decrees are not absolute but conditionall; but it seemes you dare not venture upon this assertion in plaine termes, though the face of your tenet bespeakes such a course: And in ano­ther Treatise of yours you talked of a certaine disjunctive decree of God. It were a commendable thing in you to deli­ver your selfe plainly of your meaning; for otherwise you will be guilty of something else besides a corrupt judgement. And indeed if you would deale plainly, and maintaine that God hath decreed salvation or damnation to none absolutely, but to all conditionally, and withall by sound arguments con­firme it, there should be no further question; we would wil­lingly subscribe that no mans salvation should come to passe immutably, as you speake, or necessarily, as we speake; no not so much as in respect of Gods decree; if so be God hath decreed salvation to no man absolutely, but conditionally; and that in such sort as that he may bee either saved or dam­ned as he will. But then withall you must maintaine that God hath decreed to give no man faith and repentance more then another; but left it indifferently to their free wills whether they will beleeve and repent or no.

For albeit God hath ordained salvation to befall men up­on ther finall perseverance in faith and repentance; yet if God hath withall decreed to give some men faith and repentance, and finall perseverance therein, and deny all this unto others; herehence it will follow that God in effect hath ordained some men absolutely unto salvation, and not other; and it will necessarily follow herehence, that as many as to whom God hath decreed to give faith and repentance, and perseve­ran [...]e, they shall be saved; and as necessarily, that all others shall not be saved to whom God hath decreed the deniall of the like grace, unlesse you will say that though God doth not [Page 374] give any such grace, yet they may beleeve and repent if they will, and therein persevere unto the end: I see no reason to the contrary, but this must be upon your opinion, as before hath beene specified, albeit you are not very forward in plaine termes to expresse as much. And in this place you scatter som­thing that seemes to me directly contrary hereunto.

For consider, though Gods decree concerning the doome of every man be immutable, yet you deny that hethence it fol­lowes, their doome shall be immutable. Now this of a con­ditionall decree is evidently untrue, as I presume will appeare of it selfe. For if God hath no other decree concerning Pe­ters doome then this; If thou beleevest, thou shalt be saved, if not, thou shalt be damned; the case is cleare that this doome is im­mutable, not salvation absolutely nor damnation absolutely, but either salvation or damnation disjunctively as elsewhere I have found you to discourse of a disjunctive decree of God. Therefore seeing you speake of such a doome which you deny to be immutable, it followeth that you cannot under­stand it of a disjunctive doome, as salvation, or damnation; but you must needs understand it of a single doome by it self [...], as the salvation of Peter by it selfe, or the damnation of Iudas by it selfe.

And withall you doe acknowledge this doome to be forset by the decree of God, which is as much as to acknowledge that it is decreed by God. Now I say if it be decreed by God, seeing his decrees cannot be changed, no [...] his omnipotent will resisted, it must necessarily follow that every one so desti­nated to salvation shall be saved, every one so destinated to damnation shall be damned. The best helpe you have against this, and whereupon this discourse of yours doth most runne, is, that the object of Gods decree is contingency, or mutabili­ty, (for so you are pleased to confound things that differ.) But you are nothing wary to keepe your selfe from contra­dicting your selfe. For when you say that God decreeth con­tingency, you doe withall deny that God doth decre [...] the thing contingent; as you have expresly professed in your trea­tise upon Ier. 26. Did not Hezechiah feare before the Lord, &c. [Page 375] And withall to make your meaning the more plaine, you have professed that albeit God doth not decree necessity, but withall decrecing the things that come to passe necessarily; yet in decreeing contingency, you deny that he decreeth with­all the things contingent.

But in this place you have plainly signified that the doome it selfe of every man is foreset by the immutable decree of God, and not onely the contingency of it; And no mervayle, For albeit as touching the actions of men, ther may be some colour for the exempting of them from being the objects of Gods decrees, yet the doomes of men being the actions of God himselfe, there is no colour at all for the exempting of them from being the object of Gods decrees. And therefore this distinction of Gods decreeing contingency, or mutability, but not the things contingent themselves, will nothing avayle you in this place. For you plainly professe that the doome of every one is forset by the decree of God: and it is impossible it should be otherwise. For God could not execute it, unlesse he did will it. He cannot execute the salvation of Peter, unles he did first will it, nor the damnation of Iudas except he did first will it, and his will was everlasting, otherwise there should be a change in God.

And seeing his will can neither change, nor be resisted, therefore it necessarily followeth, that whose salvation he did from everlasting will or decree, they must be saved, and whose damnation he did from everlasting will or decree, they must be damned. And thus much as touching the doome of every man foreset by Gods decree. You adde unto this, The course of every mans life, and affirme, that it also is foreset by Gods de­cree; And this course of every mans life you understand in respect of good and evill morall, as appeares by this, that you proportion mens doomes unto the courses of their lives: which can beare no other interpretation then in respect of mens good and evill actions.

[...]w at the first I wondred what you meant to bring so unequall heyfers to plow under the same yoke, considering that the courses of mens lifes in this sense are the actions or [Page 376] workes of men; but the doomes of men according to their courses of life, are the actions or workes of God, much more have I cause to wonder to reade you professing them all indif­ferently to be foreset by the decree of God. For as for the good, yea the most gracious actions of men, according to your opinion, they are not foreset by the decree of God. For your profession is (and that as of some singular subtilty and inven­tion) that God decreeth contingency, but not the things con­tingent; whence it followeth, that as touching the most gra­cious actions of men, even faith and repentance (they being onely contingent things) that God decreeth them not, but on­ly the contingency of them. How much lesse fit is it for you (according to the tenour of your opinion) to joyne all the courses of mens lives, even the evill courses as well as good with the doomes proportionall, and to consider them as fore-set by an immutable and omnipotent decree of God, as here you doe▪ Yet I see how some one in your behalfe might plead for you, namely, that this is delivered by you onely by way of [...]upposition, not positively affirmed; but I see no like­lihood that you would plead thus for your selfe, but rather give your self to the emasculating of Gods decree by some fri­volous distinctions. For you acknowledge Gods concourse to every action.

And in the preface you make shew not so much of excep­ting against the doctrine of Gods decreeing all things, as a­gainst the manner of decreeing them. And when you speake of the worst courses of mens lives, as of Iewish blasphemy a­gainst the Sonne of God, and amplifie the hainousnesse of their opinion, that maintaine it to have been decreed by God, you rather except against the manner of decreeing it, to wit, ineritably, and that as touching the obliquity of it onely, then simply against the decreeing of it. Yo [...]r words a [...]e these, ch. 1. sect. 15. Shall we say God did inevitably decree the obliquity of Iewish blasphemy? Which cautions whereunto they tend I know not, unlesse to make some declination from ma [...]fest contradiction to the words of the Holy Ghost, Act. 4. 28. delivered with one mouth by the Apostles in their meditation [Page 377] unto God, saying, Uerily against thy holy Sonne Jesus both Herod and Pontius Pilate with the Gentiles and people of Israel, are ga­thered together to doe what thy hand and thy counsell had determi­ned before to be done. And indeed it is nothing but ignorance, or wilfulnes in some, and trafty perverting the state of the truth in others, that makes those things seeme harsh, which yet notwithstanding their harshnes, are manifestly commended to us in the word of God. For what harshnes I pray is in this: God determined that all the evill that was done to Christ should be done by his permission? And none give bet­ter evidence unto this truth ere they are aware, then they that with might and mayne oppose it, as Arminius, who pro­fesseth that the Iewes proceeded so farre in their ignominious handling of Christ, as God would have them, and this he de­livers without all temperament.

And Bellarmine prof [...]sseth, that it is good that evill should be by Gods permission. And yet herein we say no more then Austin professed 1200. yeares agoe, saying, Non aliquid sit nisi quod omnipotens fieri velit, velsinendo ut siat, vel ipse faciendo. Enchirid. cap. 95. And your selfe in this place joyne the doome of every man with the course of every mans life in good or evill, and sup­pose them to beforeset by the immutable and omnipotent decree of God. Wherefore it is not for your positive dictates and wild resemblances without all proportion that we doe beleeve God to be eternally and immutably free; yet wee doe beleeve he is so, not to decree a new, (for Gods decrees are eternall, not temporary) but to doe any thing that is pos­sible to be done, and to bring forth some creatures, agents na­turall to worke necessarily, others, agents rationall to worke contingently and freely. As for the resemblance of Gods free­dome and immutability, your talke of it is like your other dis­courses; For what resemblance doe you find of Gods free­dome in the mutability of the elements, in the generation and corruption of mixt bodyes? The best resemblance of Gods [...]reedome is in the freedome of creatures rationall, which are to be found as well in the superior, as in this infe­rior World. And why should any mutability be a resem­blance [Page 378] of Gods freedome, who is immutabile throughout? And as for the resemblance of his immutability in the Hea­vens, to make that good you had need devise a quintessence first, and deny all those apparances of comets, breeding and wasting in the Heavens, even in the firmament, the acknow­ledgement whereof is now commonly receaved by frequent observations.

Sure I am the Prophet plainly professeth of the heavēs, that they all wax old as doth a garment, and as a vesture God shall change them, and they shall be changed, but God is the same, and his yeares fayle not. You may doe well to deny the Heavens mo­tion also, & so you may the better free them from all change, for as I take it, all motion is mutation, though all mutation be not motion. That God is both immutable, and irresisti­ble our opinions manifest, so doe not yours, but dangerously prejudice them both. But I knowe no reason why his irre­sistiblenes should flow from his immutability. For if his im­mutability be conceaved as free from al possibility of change from within, there is no coherence at all betweene this and his irresistiblenes, which is in respect of agents from without. The essence of spirits is immutable from within, and so were the Heavens, if a simple essence, or quintessence as some call it; but hence it followeth not that any of these are irresistible from without. But if immutability be spoken of in respect of freedome from all change as from without, in as much as no outward thing is able to worke any change in the nature of God, then it is onely immutability passive, but irresistibility in God is in respect of his power active, able to bow and breake all things without resistance, so that in this sense also there is no coherence betweene these two attributes, as if one could be sayd to flow from an other.

To the preventing of wise contrivances is required not onely wisedome to discover them, and meanes to prevent them, but also power for the execution of this prevention. And that Gods contrivances are not prevented, it is a worke of his power, as well as of his wisedome.

As for the rule of Gods decree, I know no goodnes of [Page 379] God to be the rule thereof, but that goodnes wherby he is inclyned to the setting forth of his owne glory, for He hath made all thinges for himselfe. Prov. 1. 16. 4. And seeing All thinges are from him and by him. Rom. 11. ver. last. There is great reason why all things should be for him also, even refer­red to his glory as to the end. What other goodnes you dreame of, as the rule of Gods decrees, I know not, neither doe the Scriptures teach any other, but it is generally your course to dictate much, and to prove wonderous litle; Whe­ther your ability that way be the more in store and reserved for some speciall subject to shew it selfe therein, I know not.


Of the eternall and Immutable decree.

VPon this you enter with a fayre promise of betteringe or rectifying our apprehensions of Gods absolute and omnipotent decree. I hope we shall never be unwillinge to learne of any, much lesse of your selfe. For why should we not affect to have our apprehensions if they swerve from the the truthe to be rectifyed, and though in good propension thereunto, yet to have them bettered. For though good be good, yet better is better, especially in so preciou [...] a point of divinity as about the decree of God. Most of all if it be true (as you say) that in all ages it hath beene most difficult, and is so common in this, that no divine can adventure upon any other service profitable, but he must eyther enforce his passage tho­rough it, or come so high, as to doe homage to it. As for the diffi­culty you speake of, as you give me no edge to imbrace it, so I professe I have no edge to oppose it. But as touchinge the commons thereof in such sort as in all profitable services to the Church, we must be driven to take notice of it, and that with appropriation to this age above all ages that went before possesseth me with admiration. For what reason can be devised why divines and fathers in former ages could [Page 380] handle diverse worthy points of divinity without touching u­pon Gods decree, and our divines in this age can not? I doubt your care in this sentence was to vent more phrases then truthes. Three attributes you give us of Gods decree, namely, that it is immutable. 2. Irresistible. 3. Eternall. But the first of these you choake with strange cautions, a manifest signe that you have some stitch or spleene against this attri­bute. The first proviso is, if we take it in the abstract; and you give no instance to explaine your meaning. I had thought this word, the decree of God had beene an abstract, and of ab­stract signification alone, and not indifferent to signification abstract & concrete also. Decretum, I confesse in the Latine is indifferent to signifie either in the abstract Gods decree, or in the concrete a thing decreed. But Gods decree in the English ad­mitteth of no such equivocation, but is of abstract signification onely and not concrete.

Your other caution by way of exegeris and interpretation of the former is no lesse strange, as when you say, Or as it is in God, implying that Gods decree may be taken two wayes, either as it is in God, and so it is immutable, or as it is out of God, and so it is not immutable. Now I doe not find it possible that Gods decree can be any where but in God, it being an action immanent, or intramanent, not passing forth of God, but abyding within him, such as are all actions called elicite both in men and Angels, as the actions of their under­standing, and the acts of their wills. Yet (you say) it is not a­greed upon by all, either what a decree is or what to be eternall; at least the most part doe not perfectly beare in minde the true impor­tances of an eternall decree. With these differences which you intimate, I never was acquainted, but am ready to be, as soone as you shall enforme me of them. I had thought no man had doubted what Gods decree is, as namely his purpose or resolution of will that something shall be brought foorth in time, either immediately by himselfe, or by second causes and the agency of his creatures.

And as for eternity, I had thought that all had agreed in this, that to be eternall is to be either without beginning or [Page 381] without end, or both; and as applyed to Gods decree, it sig­nifieth the being of it without beginning. But it may be you travell in childbirth to be delivered of some subtilties, which you call here the importances of an eternall decree. We are ready to entertaine them as soone as they come to light, with such consideration as becomes our poore abilities, in Philosophi­call or Theologicall speculations.

First you tell us that to this purpose your former speculations concerning eternity of Gods infinite wisedome, have beene premised; that is to prepare for the delivery of the child: you fore saw belike you were like to have an hard labour of it, an hard bargaine. Yet if a manchilde prove to bee borne, this hard­nesse may well be endured, and will soone be forgotten. By the way it seemes the importances you speake of doe concerne as well the wisedome of Gods decree; as the eternity thereof; and therefore it is that you have premised the speculations of Gods infinite wisedome, as well as of his eternitie. And all to prevent a mischiefe, to wit, lest by the incogitant use of these and the like Scripture phrases (God fore-knowes, or hath decreed all things from eternity) that slumber might creepe upon the unvigilant and unattentive reader, with whose dreames many deceived have spoken of Gods decree or predetermination of things to come, as of acts already irrevocably finished and accomplished; and by a conse­quent errour, resolve that it is as impossible for any thing to be other­wise then it is, wil be, or hath been, as it is to recall that again which is already past. The child is born, but a monster, rather then a perfect child. For the doctrine you propose savoureth strongt ly of making Gods decrees to be of a revocable nature. Well, let us consider it peece meale. First, the proposition, then the consequent deduced therfrom. You are jealous over your rea­der, & that for his good as you pretend; & that is, lest Scripture phrases should cary him too far through incogitancy, and unvi­gilancy, and unattentivenes, wherupon a slumber may overtake him, & he may dream of Gods decree, as of an act already irre­vocably finished & accomplished. Well then to conceive of Gods decree as of an act already finished or accomplished, is but a dreame as you censure it. And dreames have great liberty to [Page 382] erre from truth. Let us scanne this a little. First, doth it like you to affirme that Gods decrees are finished and accomplish­ed, provided that they be of a revocable nature, and may bee altered? If this please you, what need you except against the conceiving of Gods decree as an act past or finished? For though it be past and finished, yet if it bee of a revocable na­ture it will serve your turne well enough. But if you deny it, positively and simply to be finished, what meant you to put in irrevocably, which manifestly implyes an acknowledgement of the finishing of Gods decree, though not irrevocably, but so as it may be revoked.

Againe, as touching the word accomplished, that is very ambiguous. For like as Gods promises which are not eternall but in time, and the significations of Gods decrees may justly be said not to be accomplished untill they be fulfilled; in like sort Gods decrees may be said in a good sense not to bee ac­complished untill they be executed by performing that which God hath decreed. But you speake of the finishing of Gods decree actu interno, not actu externo. For you oppose them that maintaine that Gods decrees of things to come are alrea­dy (that is, before the things decreed doe come to passe) finish­ed. Now never any man was knowne to dreame waking any such dreame, as to thinke or affirme that Gods decrees were finished actu externo, that is in plaine termes executed before the things decreed were brought to passe.

Now lets examine your opinion cleared from ambiguities. I say the decrees of God were finished actu interno before the World was made; And I prove it thus. Every decree is fini­shed actu interno when it is made and hath existence. But the decrees of God were made and had theire existence before the World was (otherwise they should not be eternall) there­fore the decrees of God are not onely already finished but were finished before the World was made. And the Major I farther prove thus. If before the World things were decreed by God, then also before the World, Gods decrees were made and had existence, but before the World many things were de­creed by God, therefore before the World, Gods decrees [Page 383] were made and had existence.

Agayne I prove that Gods decrees are already finished actu interno. Every thing that hath intire and full existence is to be accompted finished, but Gods decrees already have their en­tire and full existence, even as God himselfe, and so had before the World was; therefore Gods decrees are already finished and so were before the World was.

Thirdly if Gods decrees be yet unfinished I demaund when they shall be finished or whether they shall for ever continue unfinished. If for ever they shall continue unfinished; then Gods executions of his decrees shall be finished before his decrees are; for they eternally shall be finished, these upon sup­position never shall. If one day Gods decrees shall be fini­shed then either before the execution of them, or with the execution of them, or after the execution. If before the exe­cution of them, then either for a certaine space of time before the execution of them, or from eternity before them. If for a certaine space before, name that space, and give a reason why such a space of time, rather then a greater or a lesser.

Secondly shew what hath accrewed to Gods decrees whereby after a certeyne space of time they are sayd to be fi­nished, for want whereof they could not be sayd to be fini­shed before.

Thirdly it is manifest, this cannot holde, as touchinge the decree of creation. For as much as there was no space of time before the execution of that decree. And therfore if that de­cree were finished at all before the execution of it, it was fi­nished from everlasting before it. And if that decree were finished before the World was made, then also all the decrees of God were finished before the World was made. For all Gods decrees are alike everlasting as your selfe (I thinke) will not denye. And here you propose not, this doctrine of any decree of God in speciall, but of his decrees in generall, im­plying thereby that it is as true of one as of another, and con­sequently if it holds not in any one, it fayles in all. If Gods decrees are finished from everlasting before the execution of them, this is flatly contradictory to your assertion: But if you [Page 384] thinke to say that Gods decrees are not finished actu interne untill they are executed actu externo; then they had not their full and entire existence till the execution of them; and con­sequently they are temporall, not eternall; and though man finisheth his decrees before hee executes them, yet God doth not.

Secondly, if nothing doth accrew to the constitution of Gods eternall decrees by the execution of them more then before; then Gods decrees cannot bee said to have their full and entire constitution more at the time of execution then be­fore. But nothing doth accrew hereby to the constitution of Gods decree. For the execution is temporall, the decree eter­nall, but that which is temporall cannot belong to the con­stitution of that which is eternall.

If they bee not finished till after the execution, then God shall be said to execute things before hee hath fully decreed them. Adde unto this what Mr. Rogers writes in his Ana­lysis of the Articles of the Church of England, printed by authority, and dedicated to D. Bamcroft Archiep. of Can­terbury, upon the 17. Article, propos. 2. Those wrangling So­phisters then are deceived, who because God is not included with­in the compasse of any time, but hath all things to come, as present continually before his eyes; doe say that God he did not in the time or age past onely, but still in the present time likewise, doth prede­stinate. Thus I have considered your uncouth assertion, now I come to the consequence you draw herehence; and that is this, It is as impossible for any thing to be otherwise then it is, will be, or hath beene, as it is to recall that againe which is already past. But I say this consequence is unsound, and I prove it thus: To recall that againe which is past, is absolutely impossible, as implying manifest contradiction; but the impossibility of a thing to be otherwise then God hath decreed it, is meerly se­cundum quid, & exsuppositione. And dare you deny that Gods decrees had existence at the very beginning of the world; and is not that time long since past, though Gods decrees conti­nue like as God himselfe, for his will is unchangeable as well as his nature? And supposing things to be decreed by God to [Page 385] come to passe, dare you deny but it necessarily followeth herehence, that they shall come to passe? Yet I confesse that of this consequence of yours there is some colour, but that which followeth is as wilde as ever entred into a sicke mans braine to conceive: as when you say, to make Gods decrees already finished, is to involve, That God by his eternall and po­werfull decree, did set the course of nature a going with an irresistible and irretractable swinge, and since onely lookes upon it with an aw­full eye, as masters sometimes watch their servants, whether they goe the way they are commanded. Thus it pleaseth you confi­dently to dictate, and positively without all reason, that which hath neither truth nor colour of truth, as it may bee made manifest in each member.

For as touching the first member; God doth not onely set the course of nature going, but continueth it going, and that not onely in working necessarily, but also contingently and freely, which manner of working is alwaies joyned with a possiblity of the contrary, and that not onely by way of resi­stance, but even of naturall propension also, as appeares ma­nifestly in all free agents, whether Angels or men.

In a word, both course of nature, and course of free will is not irresistible, as appeares by the issue. For the most de­terminate course of nature hath beene resisted, for the Sunne Ios. 10. 12. 13. 2 King. 20. 10. 11. Ioh. 3. 13. Exod. 14. and Moone hath sometimes stood still; nay sometimes the Sunne hath gone backeward, and that tenne degrees in the Diall of Ahaz; the river Iordan hath stood still, and the red Sea hath beene divided; and the fire it selfe hath beene re­strained from burning the three noble children cast into the Dan. 3. fierie furnace. Onely upon supposition of the will of God, it necessarily followeth that the course of nature shall have its course, or be restrained from having his course without re­sistance. For who hath resisted the will of God? Rom. 9. 19

As touching the second member, how absurd is it to inferr that God onely lookes upon the course of nature, if the will of God concerning it be already finished. Whereas Gods will is for the continuance of the course of nature, either with disturbance or without disturbance, not of it selfe, but by the [Page 386] assistance, influence, and operation of God. For in him all things live, and move, and have their being. Pater meus us (que) Act. 17. Ioh. 5. 17. hodie operatur, & ego operor, saith our Saviour. So farre are we from denying that there is as much use of power and wis­dome infinite in the mannaging of it, as in the making of it. What odde conceits possessed you to shape so absurd a conse­quence from this assertion, that the decrees of God are alrea­dy finished, that is, that already they have their existence? In the next line you discover the originall of this absurd fancy of yours, when you say, And as he ceaseth not to worke, so doth he never cease to decree. By this I perceive, you would faine have your reader confound Gods working with his deetee­ing, as you doe.

Indeede if we had sayde that Gods works are already fini­shed; it would followe that he should be a spectator only and not a worker for the time to come. But we say no such thing, we say that his decrees are finished and that from everlasting, we doe not say his workes are finished. Though you are plea­sed to confound these to make unto you matter of extrava­gant discourse, yet I pray give us leave to distinguish them: Yet here you seeme to give a reason why God doth never cease to decree, and that drawne out of the Ephes. 1. 11. He worketh all thinges accordinge to the counsayle of his will: when I consider that which went immediately before, I thought you had hereby gone about to prove, that God cea­seth not still to decree, which is as much as to make decrees; But when I looke upon the collection you make herhence, I finde you have no such meaning: For your inference is onely this: So that albeit the counsayle of his will by which he worketh, be eternall; yet all things are not yet wrought by it. Now of this no man maketh any question.

But the question in present is not whether Gods works be already finished, but whether his decrees be already finished. We say they are and were from everlasting, because from ever­lasting they did exist. You say they are not, but as God doth not cease to work, so he doth not cease to decree. Which in my judgement is a strange assertion, and the comparison is [Page 387] without all proportion; For Gods works are temporall, and God brings forth new works one after another dayly. But Gods decrees are eternall and therefore cannot he be sayd to bring forth newe decrees dayly one after another.

And though all his workes he brings forth according to the counsayle of his will, yet both this counsayle and this will of his is eternall. Here you propose a question, shall we say then, he hath not decreed whatsoever doth or shall befall us? And you answere it affirmatively in a certaine sense which is this, He doth not now first beginne to decree them. Now I appeale to every judicious Reader to determine, whether this interpreta­tion of yours be not plainly contradictious to the manifest meaninge of that assertion which you interprete. For if God doth not new beginne to decree those things that befall us, doth it not manifestly follow here hence that he hath already decreed them, rather then that he hath not decreed them al­ready? We willingly grant that Gods decrees have no end but continue the same still, but you would have us thinke that they are still in making.

As God himselfe was from everlasting and still continueth unto everlastinge, in like sort Gods decree or will was from everlasting, and the same will of his continueth still without any alteration or shadowe of change. But albeit Gods will continueth the same without change and end, yet I finde no example to justify this phrase of yours, in saying God now de­creeth the thinges that befall us; and you may as well say that God shall decree the things that doe befall us; and that by the same reason; for his decree hath no end. And is it a sober speech thinke you to affirme, that God doth now decree the creation of the World, or the fall of Angells, or the turning of Adam out of Paradise, or Noahs flood, or the burning of Sodome and Gomorrah with fire and brimstone? You say it is much safer to thinke on Gods decree as present to the whole course of our life, then as it was before the World: for so we shall thinke of them as of acts past and finished, more irrevocable then the lawes of the Medes and Persians. Well then you deny not that these decrees were before the World, if this be as much as to be [Page 388] now past and finished, then also it is true, that they are acts past and finished; which you denye; If to be before the world be not to be past and finished, then to thinke of them as they were before the World, is not to thinke of them as acts past & finished, which yet you say it is, but without al reason in this case. And I pray what think you? are Gods decrees, which you dare not to deny to have had their existēce before the world, of a revocable nature? Certainely they are no more alterable then that which is past irrevocable. But like as God cannot be sayd to be past, though he was before the World: Because he still continueth and shall continue for ever: So the decrees of God cannot be sayd to be past, though they were before the World; because the same will whereby he decreed all things, doth continue without all change and shall continue for ever, though the thinges decreed and willed by him doe change from thinges to come to things present, from thinges present to things past. But the lawes of men suppose liberty in the makers while they are in making, which they utterly take from them being enacted. Very well observed, and therefore let us think it fit to mainteyne that Gods decrees are still in making, and none of them made, no not the decree of creation, nor of redemption, nor of sanctification, of al the holy Patriarchs & Prophets that ever were; lest otherwise we should spoile God of his liberty. By the same reason let us maintain that God is a doing stil, but never doth any thing, lest after he hath done it he have no longer any libertie to doe it or leave it undone. These conceites have as much wisedome as sobriety in them, being equally removed from both. For what sober man would make doubt but that Methusaleh was as free and had as greate liberty of will the last yeare of his age as he was or had when he was but 10. yeares old, notwithstanding many thinges had beene done by him in the space of 900. yeares, which to doe or not to doe in the last yeare of his age was not a thinge in­different unto him. And were it not a madde thing to af­firme that the longer a man lives the more he loseth of his li­berty? or that the more idlely a man liveth, the more liberty he keepes in store, and the more painfull hee is, the more his [Page 389] liberty perisheth?

2. Gods decrees are infinitely more unalterable then the lawes of the Medes and Persians. For God cannot change, man can change. Gods will cannot bee resisted, the will of man may be resisted, even the will of the greatest Princes, by God himselfe, by his Angels, by men, by forreine enemies, by their owne subjects. The evils which by decrees are made either evitable or inevitable, are either evils of sinne, or evills of punishment; you will not say evils of sinne. For you ac­knowledge no such evils to be objects of Gods decrees. If evils of punishment, it is false to say that Gods decrees doe not make them as inevitable as the decrees of men. For no decrees of men doe make evils of men inevitable, but upon supposition of transgression.

Now it is of an undoubted truth, that punishment designed by the decrees of God, is infinitely more inevitable by trans­gressors then punishment designed by the decree of men. For many malefactors escape the hands of men, but it is impossible they should escape the hands of God. Of the wicked in re­spect of the certainty of Gods judgements to overtake them, it is said, that sudden destruction shall come upon them as travaile upon a woman with childe, and they shall not escape. 1 Thess. 5. 3. You are besides the truth when you say that wisedome hath just warrant to make decrees for men; this belongs to power and au­thority, not to wisedome.

The subject many times may be wiser then the Prince; yet hath he not therefore any authority over his Prince, to make lawes to binde him, but rather the Prince though inferiour in wisedome, hath power over him. But the wiser men are, the fitter they are to governe, and the more willingly and joyful­ly should others submit unto them, supposing the wisedome of the governour to be bound to aime at the good of the sub­ject. But no such obligation is found in God, who as he is the Creator of all, so he made all things for himselfe. And good reason that seeing all things are from him, therefore all things should be for him. Qui dedit esse, quo sine essent habuit potesta­tem. Aug. de praed. & gra. When you say that too strict obligement unto lawes positive [Page 390] or decrees unalterable, deprives both law-givers and others of their native libertie and opportunity of doing good, I finde nothing sound in all this. For you confound the libertie of nature, which is equally common to all, with liberty of condition, which is greater by farre in one then in another. Secondly, you range God the supreme Law-giver, with other law-givers which have onely power deputed unto them; no obligement unto lawes doth deprive any man of liberty naturall. For whatsoever is forbidden any man, yet is hee never a whit the lesse naturally free to the doing of it then before, though in case he transgresse, he is subject to censure and punishment. And of this naturall libertie you speake of hitherunto, as be­ing most proper for the nature of decrees, that is, liberty from coaction and naturall necessitation, though now you divert from this unto civill liberty, which is onely liberty from sub­jection.

As touching the lawes of men, it is fit there should be a Court of Chancery for mitigation, because men cannot fore­see all cases that may fall out, and by too strict observation of lawes, summum jus may prove summa injuria. But this cannot without great absurdity be applyed unto the decrees of God, who from everlasting was ignorant of nothing, but foresaw all things that were to come. And by the way, what doe you manifest hereby, but a strange fancy, that in some respects it were fit Gods decrees should be alterable, lest otherwise hee might be deprived of liberty, in taking opportunity of doing good: implying withall, that God in course of time takes notice of something, whereof from everlasting hee was not conscious. And though the Pope in reserving to himselfe power and liberty to send them forth or call them in againe, doth take upon him more authority then is fit, because hee hath neither wisedome nor integrity answerable to so great authority: yet seeing God wants neither wisedome nor inte­grity, it seemes fit in your judgement (as may appeare by the tenour of this sentence) that he should make decrees, and re­call them at his pleasure. And so though at the first entrance upon this discourse, and since also you professed that Gods [Page 391] decrees were unalterable; yet here you plainly signifie that Gods wisedome and integrity may well beare him out in exer­cising such authority as the Pope usurpes, to wit in making grants at pleasure, and at pleasure to revoke them. Which I confesse the Pope doth with a great deale more ease, then he doth draw in the same breath, which once hee hath breathed out; which if he doth, yet certainly it is more then it is in his power to doe at his pleasure, unlesse hee hath some extraordi­nary device that I know not of. I doubt your mysteries are not yet full; you seeme to commend the condition of muta­bility, as a condition befitting the wisedome and integrity of God; it remaines that you doe as much disgrace immutability and count it an impotent condition, that so with the better grace you may reject it, as unbeseeming the nature of God. In the next sentence you utterly forsake your text, and whereas in congruity to the precedent discourse you should shew how alteration of decrees is no signe of a fickle disposition, you nothing to the purpose tell us that the alteration of awards is no signe of a fickle disposition. For by the same decree may different awards be executed, without any revocation or alte­ration of the decree. It was long agoe the saying of Gregory, that Deus mutat sententiam, consilium nunquam. But by the way you signifie that the former practice of Popes in making Greg. in Iob. l. 16. cap. 6. grants and recalling of them, is no signe of mutability. A ma­nifest untruth. Nay your selfe laboured to justifie such a change, as to make grants and to revoke them as an apparant change: but you justified it by the opportunity to doe the grea­ter good thereby, provided that wisedome and integrity bee answerable. So that though it be no vicious change as you would have it, yet: apparantly there is a change. But: the admi­nistration sometimes of rewards, sometimes of punishments doth argue I confesse no mutability in decrees. One and the selfe same lawes of men doe cause the different administra­tion of rewards and punishments to divers persons, yea and to the selfe same persons at different times, without all colour of change in the lawes themselves.

Of the coherence of that which followeth with that which [Page 392] went before, I will not enquire, for what doe I know whe­ther you purpose to write quodlibets. But in my judgement you doe not give a right reason why it is fitter to be grounded by lawes then by the wils of men. For the corruption of man disables him as well from the making of good lawes, as from governing well by will and pleasure. But if men are to chuse, the reason in my opinion why they will chuse to be governed by lawes, is because by lawes they may aforehand know what shall be the execution of justice, and accordingly judge there­of, and if they like and approve it, they may the better sub­mit unto it. But if executions proceed according to the will of a Prince absolute, they cannot judge of executions before they come, because they know them not, they being left to the pleasure of men, and after they are brought forth it is too late to remedy them, if they prove evill. And the incorrup­test and wisest man that ever was is fitter to give lawes and to execute just [...]ce thereby, then to bee trusted with execution of justice according unto pleasure; because such men come in­different to the making of lawes, which may bee particularly interested in the manner of execution. For executions are on­ly in particular cases, which particular cases may in speciall cencerne them that have the execution of justice. As for ex­ample, the malefactor may be a friend to the Magistrate him­selfe, or a brother, or neare of k [...]nne, which is a shrewd ten­tation to provoke him (though otherwise vncorrupt and fit enough to mak: generall lawes) in this particular case to strain a good conscience, and by partialitie to corrupt the course of justice.

Secondly, in case government is by succession; lawes are most necessary, because the most wise and uncorrupt Prince is not sure to beget one like to himselfe, or if hee should yet is it not in his power to leave it unto him at such a time as by ripenes of age and experience he shall be fit for government: and by experience wee finde that many times good govern­ment in the father doth degenerate into tyrannie in the sonne. And it is true that good Princes as true fathers of their coun­trie and people, have sometimes remitted off their absolute­nesse, [Page 393] the better to enjoy the heartes of their subjects (which is the best maintenance of perpetuity) then by force to com­pell them. Yet by your leave every Act, wherunto princes passe their consent doth not restraine them of their former liberty, or abate something of their present greatnes. For unto all acts of Parliament the King consents; yet in consen­ting to give him 5. Subsidies in a yeare, or restoring and con­firming unto him the customes called runnage and poundage, I doe not find that hereby he either remitts of his former li­berty, or abates any thing of his present greatnes.

It is true the lawes of men can have no greater perfection then men that make them; and therfore they are sayd non ca­vere de particularibus; for it is impossible that they should comprehend all occurrences, yet in this case there is an helpe in Christian states having a court of chancery established for the remedying of such inconveniences; without so much as taking any notice of the Pope, as the Chancelor of Christen­dome. For if S. Peter himselfe were alive and Bishop of Rome, yet what should he have to doe with governing of States? Our Saviour would not meddle with dividing of in­heritances, and professed his Kingdom was not of this world, & Peter is commanded out of his love to his Master to feede his sheepe, not with any civill coerc [...]tive power and authority to governe them. Yet Popes have layd title I confesse to both swordes: but the unfittest that ever were to manage ei­ther, such abominable abuses and corruptions have beene found amongst them in the managing of both, as I think are without example.

But that rule of the Canonists, Papa [...]nquam sibi ligdt ma­nus doth much inamour you, and greate zeale [...]oth inflame you to applye it unto God, to free him from impotent immuta­bility, as hereafter you call it, and that his decrees may not o­blige him, and indeed they doe not; for how can he be sayd to be tyed or restrayned that is confined to nothing against his will, but to every thing according to his will? But to free God from an impotent immutabilitie, you would have his de­crees, not alterable, (for you dare not professe so much) but [Page 394] something els, I know not what, which you call reservation of liberty, and to be still as it were in making decrees, but not ha­ving decreed any thinge till the time of execution or after­ward: mysterious inventions of your owne braine, which if perhaps you seeme to understand your selfe, I assure you I doe not: but hence it is that you discourse so much of the Pope in this.

3. In this Section, you beginne with telling us that God passeth no act to the prejudice of his absolute and eternall power of jurisdiction. This is a truth and will nothing serve the turne of your reaches. By the way you deliver unto us the object of Gods foreknowledge, and that you say is whatsoever will be; and the object of Gods decree, and that you say is what­soever may be, which later is a most absurd position. Looke we upon the decrees of men the wisest of men, were they ever knowne to decree that a thing may be done? But rather sup­posing many things may be done they make choyse to decree the doing of such courses, as seeme most convenient. Things are possible without any reference to the decrees of God, but only in reference to his power. That is possible unto God which God can doe, or which he hath power to cause, that it be brought to passe. As for example, before the World was made it was possible that the World should be made, was this by vertue of Gods decree? Did God decree it to be possible? If he did, seeing his decrees are free it followeth that he might have chosen whether the World should have been p [...]ssible or no.

Againe, was not the creation of the World, is not the end of the World decreed by God, the rewarding of the godly & the punishing of the wicked, are they not decreed by God? What moves you then to make only things possible the ob­ject of Gods decree, and the things that will or shall be onely the object of his foreknowledge? This witt of yours is able to make us a newe World of Divinity and Ph [...]losophy both, if it be let alone to runne a wilde goose race at pleasure. Well, God passeth no act to the prejudice of his absolute and eternall power of jurisdiction. What of this? In the next place, you tell us that, [Page 395] what grant or promise soever he makes cannot binde the exercise of his everlasting libertie for a moment of time: they last no longer then Durante bene placito: seeing gracious equitie, and only it, is his everlasting pleasure. Be it so that gracious equity is his everlasting pleasure; and will it not follow herehence that seeing all his promises doe proceed from his gracious equitie, and this you say is his everlasting pleasure, and his grants and promises must last you confesse during his good pleasure, is not this e­nough to assure us that whatsoever grants and promises God doth make, they doe so farre bind God to performance, that we may assure our selves they shall stand good for ever and never be reversed? Onely you discourse that they shall last no longer. And what sober man would expect or desire that they should last longer then for eternity? Or what wisedome is found in such discourse as laboureth to prove that Gods grant, shall last no longer then during pleasure, and withall confesseth that his pleasure is everlasting. But no promise you say, bindes the exercise of his everlasting libertie for a moment of time: It is fit to consider this. To my judgement Gods pro­mises binde him as much, as our promises bind us; the force of which obligation is not to bind our liberty, but to keepe our honestie: For what promise soever he makes, he is still free naturally whether he will performe what he hath promi­sed or no; but if he breaks his promise he shall be unt [...]ue. In like sort God if he should doe otherwise then he hath promi­sed, he should be untrue, though never a whit the lesse free. And in doing what he hath promised he is both true and ne­ver a whit the lesse free.

For even men doe freely keep their promises though not alwayes willingly, because when they promised they might be of one judgement and disposition, and when they come to performance they may be of another. But all such change and alteration is not to be found in God. Every honest Ma­gistrate is free to recompence every man according to his evill wayes; for it becomes him not to make any such promise that whatsoever he committs, he will not punish him. And looke what a good Magistrate resolves upon, when facts are [Page 396] committed eyther good or evill; the like may God decree from everlasting. For no Mag [...]strate knowes so well what man hath committed, as God from everlasting knows what he will commit. And more then that, God knowes how to keepe man from evill courses, or to expose him to evill courses, by having mercy on whom he will, and hardening whom he will; which power and wisedome is not incident to a creature. Besides all this, a Magistrate is bound by duty, to recompence every man according to his works. But God is not bound by any such duty, to any such course. He can pardon one and p [...]nish another; have mercy on one and deale severely with another. Of many men taken in the same transgression he can give repentance to some, deny repentance unto others. And if he hath made any such promise as this. If his children Psal. 49. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34. forsake my lawe and walke not in my judgements, if they break my statutes and keep not my commandements; then will I visite their transgressions with the rodd and their ini­quity with strokes, yet my loving kindnes will I not take frō him, neither will I falsify my truth; they to whome such pro­mises are made, may be assured hereby that God is bound to perform as much, bound I say by morall obligation in such sort, as it is impossible he should doe otherwise, yet shall he perform it never a whit the lesse freely; First in respect that he doth it not by coaction and necessitation, and because he is as well pleased still to doe it as to promise it. For as much as looke of what judgement and disposition he was when he promised, of the same he is when he makes it good; and con­sequently performes it as willingly as he made it.

It is not alwayes so with man in the execution of his pro­mises. If Gods one and indivisibly everlasting decree without any variety or shadow of change fitts all the changes, severall dispo­sitions and contingent actions of men and Angells, as exactly as if he did conceive and shape a new Law for every one of them; what mooved you heretofore to professe that the reservation of li­bertie, and that to make grants and to revoke them, is a point of so high perfection, as that you would faine bestow it upon the nature of God? What meane you here to professe that [Page 397] God ceaseth not to decree, which to my understanding sounds as if the meaning were, that God is still in making of new de­crees. Gods decrees continue I confesse as God himselfe con­tinueth, and more unalterable then lawes of Medes and Per­sians. But neither could they bee said in this respect not to cease to make lawes, so neither can God bee said not to cease to make decrees. For like as while lawes are in making, they are not yet made; so to intimate that Gods decrees are in ma­king (as you doe while you say God ceaseth not to decree) is to imply that Gods decrees are not yet made; which you doe more plainly signifie in the words following, when you say, They are conceived and brought forth as well befitting them as the skinne doth the body, which nature hath enwraped in it. Wher­by you manifestly profess that Gods decrees are brought forth in time, not onely the executions of them, and thus howso­ever you flatter your readers eare with bestowing on Gods decrees the title of everlasting, yet you plainly declare your minde that they are brought forth in time, together with the execution of them.

And hereto properly tends that reservation of libertie which you magnified as an high perfection, and the power of the Popes to make grants and revoke them, as a power onely fit for God. And to this purpose you seeme to discourse of eternall liber­ty, making use thereof to draw his decrees to a temporall con­dition, lest if they were eternall, they should deprive God of liberty. Let every indifferent reader judge whether this bee not the language of your heart, disclosed by the tenour of your discourses, howsoever you stile Gods decrees eternall; herein like unto boat-men, that looke one way and row ano­ther.

Besides, by this discourse of yours you seeme to acknow­ledge no other [...]d crees of God then in rewarding them accor­ding to their workes; for hitherto tends the congruity of Gods decrees, which after your manner you amplifie as no lesse congr [...]ous to the actions of men, then the skinne to the body. A very good resemblance by the way, that as the skin doth befit the body, so Gods recompences doe befit mens [Page 398] workes. Yet this you apply most incongruously to Gods decrees (for thereof runnes your discourse) and not to the executions of them, and withall as touching the actions of men, though never so gracious, though actions of faith, love, repentance, these I say are not objects of Gods decrees in your Divinity; but onely the rewards of them. No not Cyrus his Es. 45. 13. 1 King. 13. 2. Gen. 15. 14 Ex. 3. 20. restoring of the Iewes, nor Iosiahs burning of the Prophets bones upon the Altar, nor the children of Israels comming out of Aegypt, nor Pharaohs dimission of them; and infinite the like, God decreed none of these by your doctrine. He de­creed onely the contingency of these actions, not the actions themselves.

Which doctrine of yours you are not willing to take no­tice of, when in the next words according to your course of argumentation, you tell us, No man living (as you take it) will avouch any absolute necessity from all eternity, that God should ine­vitably decree the deposition of Elies line from the priesthood, or his two sonnes destructions by the Philistims. For here you seeme to imply a grant that God decreed it, but not inevitably, and that upon his decree there followed a necessity of his deposi­tion, but not absolute. Now it is well knowne that Solomon deposed Elies house in Abiathar freely, and the Philistims by free actions of theirs were the death of Elies sonnes. And therefore if God decreed them, the very free actions of men are the objects of Gods decrees; and consequently no action by the freedome thereof is any way hindred from being the object of Gods decrees. All which is directly contrary to your opinion, who maintaine contingency to bee the object of Gods decree, and not the thing contingent, as you have plainly exprest and professed in another Treatise; and but erst you made the decrees of God to be brought forth suitable to the actions of men, as if the actions of men were no objects at all of Gods decrees.

Againe, is it a sober distinction which here you imply, as if the decrees of God were some evitable, some inevitable; well it may be accommodated to the executions of Gods de­crees, but most absurdly to Gods decrees, which being ever­lasting [Page 399] as you confesse, were before any thing could have ex­istence to avoid them. Yet we plainly professe that God de­creeth some things to come to passe necessarily as workes of natu [...]e, some things contingently as the actions of men. A­gaine, some things to come to passe inevitably, as the end of the world, some things to come to passe evitably, as the judg­ments of God, which may bee avoided by repentance. But you desiring to speake home, tell us that no man will avouch that it was necessary that God should decree the deposition of Elies house. Indeed decrees are free, or else they are no decrees. Neither the making of the world, nor the ending of the world was necessarily decreed by God, but freely. Yet you come very soberly to this asseveration, and adde very cau­tiously (I take it) implying this [...]o bee your opinion, not da­ring too confidently to avouch it to be the opinion of others. And as if you were fearfull lest you should deliver something unawares that might lie open to exception, you propose it of absolute necessity; and so you think That no man living (whe­ther of them that be dead any have thought otherwise, that matters not) will avouch that from all eternity there was an abso­lute necessity that God should inevitably decree the deposition of Elies line. So that though a man should say that it was necessary that God should decree such a deposition, yet if hee doth not say that it was absolutely necessarie; or if hee doth say it was ab­solutely necessary that God should decree it; yet if hee doth not say that this was so from all eternitie, or though he should say this also, yet he shall not contradict you, provided he do not say that God did inevitably decree it.

And surely I cannot but commend your wary proceeding in this, and if you had used the like warinesse in everie sen­tence, he had need rise betime that would goe beyond you in this k [...]nde of warinesse and circumspection; yet to make all sure, you give a reason of it, saying, For this were to bereave him of his absolute and eternall liberty. And herein you say ve­rie true, for if it were absolutelie necessarie for him to decree this, surelie it were not absolutelie free for him whether to decree it o [...] no.

[Page 400] Yet I finde some in opinon have transgressed in this later, but never any in the former. For Aristotle a great Philoso­pher hath denied God to be a free agent, and conceived him to be a necessary agent, yet never beleeved that it was necessa­rie for him to decree the deposition of Elies house, or ought else. And therefore you doe not well to prove a more plaine thing by that which is lesse manifest. We have as good stuffe in the next. To say that before Elies dayes God past any act that could constraine his eternall libertie of honouring Elies family, as well as any others, were impiety, because it chargeth the Almighty with impotent immutability. Herehence are certaine Apho­rismes to be selected, worthy our consideration. 1. God is not to be charged with any thing that is impotent; but there is a kinde of immutability that is impotent; therefore God is not to be char­ged with such an immutability. Now to att [...]bute unto God [...]hat which doth not become him, is a kinde of blasphemy. The contrad [...]ctorie hereunto doth become God, and must be at­tributed unto him, to wit, immutability. For mutab [...]lity and immutability are termes contradictorie; and it is one of the most generall principles that are, that one of two contradi­ctorie termes may be attributed to any thing, therefore if it be blasphemy to say God is immutable, it is no blasphemy to say that God in some cases at least is mutable. And in haec Am­ph [...]arae sub terram abd [...]tae? Old Prophet Ma [...]achy dost thou heare this, that hast instructed us this to be the voice of God, I the Lord am not changed? And thou Iames the Apostle, Mal. 3 6. [...]ac. 1. 17. how hast thou deceived us in ll [...], that with God there is no variablenesse nor shadow of change? Yet now we are taught that it is no l [...]le then blasphemy to say that God is altogether im­mutable, yea it is to ascribe impotencie unto him. Hee must be mutable that he may be potent.

Well, let us consider wherein this impotent immutability doth consist, to wit, in not being able to reverse his owne act: so then potent mutability consists in being able to reverse his owne act. Here by the way it is acknowledged that Gods decrees are acts past, otherwise in doing contrary thereto there were no colour of mutability. Yet hitherunto it hath beene [Page 401] denyed, that Gods decrees were acts past. And by not passing of them there was conceited a reservation of liberty. For so you thought better to discourse, then at the first to professe any revocable nature of Gods decrees. But now that conceyte not fadging, and your selfe as it seemes not throughly satisfied, you plainely breake forth, and adventure to mainteyne that notwithstanding Gods decrees are acts past, yet he can change them, and thus farre he is mutable, and to say that God is im­mutable herein, is to charge him with impotency.

From the first I looked for this, and at length the partridge is sprunge. But you will say, otherwise his liberty is restray­ned. I answere, this is a vayne fiction, proceeding from the vayne consideration of mans infirmities, and attributing them unto God. For man after he hath promised a thing, after­wards would fayne break his promise, either because he made it improvidently, or because he is of a fickle disposition; and therfore in performing his promise he doth it in a sort against his will. But no such improvidence is found in God, no such fickle disposition is incident to him. And therefore his will being the same still and that for good cause, his liberty is the same still. For liberty extends no farther then to doe what we can or will.

Now though God can doe otherwise absolutely, yet he will not doe otherwise; and supposing that he hath decreed to doe this it is impossible that he should doe otherwise. For God cannot change his will, for as much as all change of will in the creature, proceeds from such imperfections as are not incident to the nature of God, as namely, improvidence, or forgetfullnes, or sicklenes or the like, and yet doe not we say that the deposition of Elies race, or the death of his Sonnes were ab­solutely necessary.

But God had ordained them to come to passe contingent­ly that is with a possibility to the contrary, and upon supposi­tion not only of their miscarriage, but also of the will of God thus to punish their miscarriage. If you rest your selfe upon such a decree of God, They that dishonour me them will J [...]disho­nour 1. Sam. 2. 30. what need you trouble the World with such distastfull [Page 402] speculations, as to affirme that to say God is immutable, is to charge him with impotency? But this is an indefinite proposi­tion, and if this be all the decree you acknowledge in God, you must deny that the will of God to depose Elies line in par­ticular from the Preisthood, was eternall, and affirme thus it had its beginning by way of reservation of liberty, but not to doe it untill Ely had dishonoured God. And such proposi­tion as these undoubtedly are the best grounds for these your extravagant speculations; and these doe farre better suite with your first course, namely as touching reservation of li­berty, and suspension of resolution, then with revocation of his decrees considered as acts past.

But the common and generall opinion of making Gods de­crees eternall made you to shuffle in that a long time; and at length plainely to fall fowle upon the liberty to revoke them lest otherwise, Gods liberty should be restrayned. Of Cicero Austin sayth, that dum homines fecit liberos, fecit sacrilegos. And you to make God free make him immutable; and think to helpe it by giving us to understand that some kind of mutabi­lity is potent, like as there is an immutability which is impo­tent as you conceave.

4. In conclusion you tell us, that to think of Gods eternall de­cree without admiration voyd of danger; we must conceive it as the immediate axis or center, upon which every successive or contingent act revolves. And I professe I cannot think on this which you deliver without admiration. And the object of my ad­miration is, upon what axis or center your witt did revolve when you pleased your selfe with this resemblance. Yet I think there is no great danger in your meaning to make a man an hereticke. For it had neede be understood first. And he deserves to be one of your worthiest disciples that understands you in this. For like as he was a worthy Scholar that bid his Master give him positions and let him alone to prove them; so no l [...]sse worthy a Scholar is he also, that gives his Master leave to speake what gibrish he will, yet nothing doubts of understanding him; In this Section hereafter you say that Gods eternall decree is coexistent to each humane thought or action: [Page 403] But in what sense it is, your axis or center whereupon every con­tingent act doth revolve, you no where explane that I know. As how every act (many of them being instantaneall) hath a revolution, or how the whole body of contingent actions being drawne into one by aggregation may be sayd to turne round. As if time from the beginning of the World unto this day did turne, and the change of things to come into thinges present, & of things present into things to come, were a sphe­ricall change; or lastly how Gods decree is the center hereof, and yet coexist with every part of the circumference; These are mysteries I confesse which we cannot think upon without admiration, yet no other danger herein doe I finde in hast, be­sides the wasting of precious time in the consideration of so wilde and extravagant speculations. Yet one word more of this before we part. Every contingent act revolves you say upon the axis of Gods decree.

Now I demaund whether these contingent acts are the ob­jects of Gods decrees or no. If not, what hath Gods decree to doe with them? or they with the decree of God? let them rather be thought fitt (if you please) to revolve upon the axis of Gods knowledge, and that will be with farre lesse danger unto your tenet. For this revolution of contingent acts upon the axis of Gods decree, doth savour strongly of making them the object of Gods decrees. But this you may remember is directly opposite to your tenent, who mainteyne that God de­creeth contingency but not the contingent things themselves.

The next member of the first sentence in this Section had beene very mysticall, had we not beene already reasonably well acquainted with this dialect of yours in the chapter of eternity. And upon my remembrance of that your discourse, I take that, wherein the whole frame of succession and contingency is fully comprehended, to be no other then that precious creature called time, wherein all contingent things come to passe, and so are comprehended therein as in the measure of their exi­stence and duration. For of such a comprehension (as I take it) you doe discourse, not of substantiall or integrall compro­hension; For I see no reason why the decree of God should [Page 404] not be the axis of the whole body of contingent things as well as of any particular of them, wheron to revolve. But you make a farre greater quiescent to be the axis of this, by which greater quiescent, I think you meane Gods eternity. For that alone is it, as heretofore you have expounded it, which drawes all the suc­cessive parts of motion into an indivisible unity of duration perma­nent. I am now almost growne as perfect in this canting lan­guage as your selfe.

But herein I had neede of your helpe for satisfaction, as touching certaine points. As namely, why time should be ac­counted by you, an unconstant and moveable sphare. Time I confesse cannot be conceaved without motion, but it is nei­ther motion it selfe nor a thing moveable. Yet in the course of it to my understanding it is most constant; for things never so differēt in constancy or inconstancy are still measured with the same time; as whether motion be uniforme or difforme, swift or slow, the same or different, yet the time wherein mo­tion is, is still the same.

But least of all doe I see any reason, why you should ac­coumpt time a Sphere. For a sphericall forme is proper unto bodyes, & such bodyes moving round are sayd to move sphe­rically, but of sphericall time I see no congruity. Againe, why should you accoumpt eternity a farre greater quiescent, then the decree of God, you may as well say that eternity is a grea­ter quiescent then God himselfe. Eternity as it is duratio ma­nens, without beginning and without end, so it is of Gods de­crees also.

Thirdly it is impossible that all the successive parts of mo­tion should be drawen into an indivisible unity of duration permanent. For motion can neither be made indivisible nor permanent. Well it may cease, but it cannot be drawne into permanency, or indivisibility. Againe, duration permanent of indivisible unity (if I understand the language aright,) is eter­nity. But motion cannot be drawne into eternity, no more then eternity can be drawne into motion. To swallowe up motion into a vigorous rest [...] understand right well what it is, I am pr [...]ty well acquainted with this language.

[Page 405] It is for a Sphere of Heaven to turne round in a moment, that is to turne so swiftly, as to stand stocke still. For to be where it was immediately before this instant is to stand still. Yet if such a revolution should be in an instant, then every part of the larger Sphere should have coexistence locall with all and every part of the lower Sphere under it, provided you understand it aright, & so shall every part of the lower sphere have coexistence with all and every part of the Sphere above it, without any paynes more then ordinary. And that whether it move swiftly or slowly; to witt, in an instant. This is sober discourse, is it not? For if one body may move twise so fast as another in an instant; then in halfe an instant it may move as fast as the other in an whole instant.

In the next place you tell us, that Gods foreknowledge is included in the conceyte of his eternall decree. And you speake of the foreknowledge of things contingent. For of no other things but contingent have you spoken in reference to Gods decree; hence it followeth that contingent things are the object of Gods decree; and that therefore he foreknows them, because he hath decreed them; otherwise how could the foreknowledge of such things be included in the conceite of Gods decree? But that the foreknowledge of such things depends upon Gods decree, is a thing which you impugned in the 8. chap. and 5. Sect. pag. 96. 97. Gods ubiquitary pre­sence you have heretofore compared sometimes to a center, sometimes to a Sphere. And there must be an analogy as here you signify, betweene his decree and his ubiquitary presence, and therefore we must beleive the decree of God to be as the axis or center upon which every contingent act revolves, but you doe not inferre that therefore it must be as a Sphere also; yet analogy requires this as well as that.

Neither did you tell us that Gods ubiquitary presence was as a center wherupon all things did revolve; though here you tell us thus much of Gods decree in respect of contingent acts. The profitable nature of this admirable conceyte is (you say) to free us from suspicion that his necessary foreknowledge should lay a necessity upon our actions, or take away all possibility of doing, [Page 406] otherwise. Now to prevent this suspition, we have no need of these quaint fictions of yours, as in conceiving Gods decree (or fore-knowledge rather) as an axis whereon every contin­gent act revolves. We say that by vertue and efficacy of Gods decree, not onely some things come to passe necessarily, as the workes of naturall agents: but other things also come to passe contingently, that is, with all possibility of being other­wise, as the free actions of men, onely upon supposition of Gods decree, we say it necessarily followeth that such things how contingent soever, shall come to passe: but how? not ne­cessarily, but contingently.

In like sort supposing Gods foreknowledge of things to come, (which foreknowledge of God not onely is to day, but was before the world was made, though it continueth in the notion of foreknowledge till the things are, and after­ward also with the notion of knowledge) it necessarily fol­loweth that all such things shall come to passe; but how? not necessarily but contingently: Here followes a list of what you will prove; when time serves: 1. That the Omnipotent doth eternally decree an absolute contingency in most humane acts. I pray tell me, had not this decree of God existence in the beginning of the world, and before that also? If it had, what meane you to say he doth decree it, as if this decree of God which yet you call eternall, had not existence till now? why doe you not or may you not as well say that God doth eternally de­cree the creating of the world, the turning of man out of Pa­radise, the drowning of the world in the dayes of Noah; the destruction of Sodome, and the like, for you have no colour of reason to justifie your phrasiologie herein, but onely this, that though (Gods) decrees bee eternall, yet they still conti­nue. Now this is as true of the decree of creation, and the rest above mentioned, as of any other decree. Secondly, what meane you to qualifie your assertion, by saying In most humane acts: as if you durst not avouch it of all? Are not all humane acts of a contingent nature, and consequently have a contin­gencie in them? and why should not their contingency be de­creed as well as others? It may be that herein you have refe­rence [Page 407] to the Iesuits distinction, of future contingents abso­lutely that shall be, and future contingents conditionall that should be, if and in case some condition were put in esse. But how then will you prove, that the acts of men that shall be, are of a greater number, then those that might or should be, in some case? For you suppose that this absolute contingency decreed, is in most humane acts. I have a manifest reason to the contrary. For the number of things that might be upon supposition, is farre greater then the number of things that are, have beene, and shall be; for in case the world had beene made twice bigger then it is, and twice as many men as there are, and should last twice as long, the number of humane acts would be farre greater then these are, wherein God hath decreed an absolute contingency.

Againe, the Iesuits maintaine that God hath not onely de­creed contingencie in humane acts, but the humane acts them­selves, which you doe not: we maintaine that God decreeth the actions of men themselves, that they shall come to passe contingently and consequently; decreeth the contingency of them, but not that onely, but the actions themselves. As Pha­raohs dimission of the children of Israel, God decreed not onely the contingency of it, but the act it selfe, that it should come to passe in a contingent manner. Iosiahs burning of the Prophets bones upon the Altar, God decreed not onely the contingencie of this act, but the act it selfe, to wit, to come to passe in a contingent manner. So Cyrus his restoring of the Iewes out of captivitie, to their countrie, was an humane con­tingent act, and God decreed not onely the contingencie hereof, but the act it selfe, to come to passe in a contingent manner.

2. The second Aphorisme is, that Gods eternall decree doth coexist to each humane action throughout the whole succession of time. This we doe not deny, no more then wee denie Gods coexistence with every action: but heretofore you have pro­fessed, that God doth at this present coexist with all things, not onely with all things present, but with all things that are to come: and this we denie, because God cannot coexist with [Page 408] that which doth not coexist with him: and therefore seeing things past, and things to come, doe not at all exist at this pre­sent, and consequently doe not coexist with God, therefore we professe that God at this present doth not coexist with them.

In the next place you say, that Gods decree doth inspire them with contingency in their choice. It was wont to bee said, that praedestinatio nihil ponit in praedestinato; rather the execution of his decree doth bring things forth, then his decree; for his decree was from all eternitie, yet nothing was inspired into man, till the creation, nor into us men, untill we are brought forth, and grow capable of inspirations. When you talke of contingency in our choice, you might have spoken plainly and called it libertie in our choice. But doth God continu­ally inspire this? It is too absurd: to inspire, is to bring forth something anew: as when God doth inspire good motions into us. You might as well say that God doth continually in­spire a reasonable nature into us, as libertie of choice; more congruous it had beene to say, that God continually preserves it as he doth our natures. For as we are reasonable creatures we have essentially a libertie of choice in all that we doe: and he moves us so, as that we may move our selves more waies then one. But when doth he move us thus? in the very time of doing ought, or before? and so doth he move us by per­swasion onely, or by mediate operation on the will? For all this whereabouts alone there is question now adaies amongst Divines, we have nothing but blankes here: you are yet one­ly upon the promise of performance, and not upon any per­formance it selfe.

Yet whilst it moves them, it withall inevitably effecteth the pro­portioned consequents, which were foreordained, to the choices which we make, whether they be good or evill. That is, God doth ine­vitably decree that they that die in faith and repentance shall be saved, they that die in impenitencie shall be damned. Wher­in you nothing doubt to acknowledge an inevitable decree of God, to wit, of an indefinitive nature, thus, Whosoever beleeves shall be saved, whosoever beleeves not, shall be damned. But that [Page 409] these men in particular shall beleeve, and repent, and so be sa­ved; others shall neither beleeve, nor repent, nor bee saved, you will be wise and wary enough to keepe your selfe from the acknowledgement of any such decree, unlesse it be provi­ded that God be not charged with any such impotent immuta­bilitie, as not to be able to revoke his decrees. For though the Pope wants wisedome and integrity sufficient to manage such an authority and power as he challengeth to himselfe, as name­ly, of making grants, and againe revoking them; yet God doth not.


Of transcendentall goodnesse, and of the infinitie of it in the divine nature.

I Professe I have no desire to oppose ought in this, or in the Chapter following; yet having begunne this worke of exa­mination it is fit to consider these also, if it be but to take no­tice of what you deliver, and rightly to understand the mea­ning thereof.

They which fetch light beyond the Sunne, must bee con­tent with Starre-light; and they which cannot satisfie them­selves with day light, but seeke for starre-light, they are well enough served if they goe to bed darkling. Wee commonly say, Life is sweet, and it is a truth, not because it is a principall stemme of being, in my judgment, (for reason is a more prin­cipall stemme of being then it) and yet is life as sweet to crea­tures unreasonable, as to creatures reasonable. And you con­fesse that the appetite of preservation, of it selfe is naturall un­to all; yet it cannot be denyed but that life is subject to soure things as well as sweet: whereupon some have said, Non est vivere sed valere vita. And [...]. Better eye out then alwais akeing; and better once dead then alwaies dying. Nay the hope of a better state, with­out [Page 410] all others consideration, may make this life of ours di­stastefull unto us, I desire to be dissolved, sayth S. Paule, and to be with Christ,