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ut nemo ho. minum in
Chap. 8. signal one, and next to that over Christ himself, hath
not wanted Adverfaries. Socinus faith, That Christ Caput quidem the Head was predestinated, but believers the Mem
bers were not. Corvinus faith, That notwithstanding debuit, membra autem non the death of Christ, it was possible that there might modo incerta be no Church or believer." Grevinchovius afferts, fed etiam de. That Redemption might be impetrated for all, and bent. Preleit. applied to none because of their incredulity. This Theol. cap. 14. Opinion to me is a very impious one. The Learned Fieri potuiffe, Junius observes upon that of Socinus, That it is a
portentous and monstrous thing, that there should Christum crc. be an Head without a Body. And the Professors of deret, ac nulla Leyden * call that of Corvinus Dogma dúopmucov xj BadoCor. contr. Mol. quor , an opprobrious and blasphemous Opinion. Omnibus po
The impiety of it appears in the foul consequences tuit elle im- which flow from thence. petrara redemptio, & tamen nullis applicari propter incredulitatem. Grevinch. contri Amel. * Cenfur. fol. 289.
puts the lye upon the Promises of God. He said that Christ should have a seed, Isı. 53. 10; and yet according to this opinion, he may be childless, and have none at all. He said, That he should have the heathen for his inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for his pofleffion, Pfal. 2.8; and yet he may have nothing. He said that he should reign for ever, and of his kingdom there should be no end, Luk. 1.33; and yet by an utter failer of subjects he might not reign at all, and of his Kingdom there might be not so much as a beginning. He said , That he should be head over all things to the church, Eph. 1.22 ; and
may have no body; nay, nor so much as one poor member of it. Notwithstanding all the Pro
mises, he may be a Father without Children; an Chap. 8. Heir without an Inheritance ; a King without Subjects ; an Head without Members : And how can these things be! Or how can God be true to his word, which is dearer to him than the whole frame of Heaven and Earth! Neither will it salve the matter to say, That in the event there was a Church, and so much God foreknew: For if he foreknew it, it was a certain immutable thing. Meer Casuals, such as may be or may not be, are not the objects of Prescience. If a Church might be, or might not be, as this Opinion would have it, it was not the object of Prescience. If a Church would certainly be, then it is the object of Prescience: but then this Tenet, that it might be, or not be, falls to the ground. However if we suppose a Prescience, Prescience is not Providence : Neither, if there were there only nude Prescience, would the Church in the event be from Providence, but from Chance ; and then the consequence is, Chance, which made no Promise, performs all; God, who made the Promise, performs nothing. He is so far from taking care about it, that he commits it to the Lottery of mans Will, whether there shall be a Church or not. If the event hit right, yet God is never the truer; he never performed the promise, he took no care about it; that thing, or rather Nothing, called Fortune, did order all.
2. This Opinion doth highly disparage Christ and his precious Blood. Creatures, nay the highest of them, Angels, may fail and miss the mark; they have semina nihili
, seeds of vanity and defe&ibility in them: but for Jesus Christ, who hath all the treasures of wisdom and power in himself, to fall short of his Z
Chap. 8. end, and so, as it were, .to fall from himself and his
happiness. For him to lay the foundations of a Church in his own blood, and to have nothing built upon them: For him to make a Laver of his own blood, and to have never a soul washed in it: For him to procure the Holy Spirit, and to have never a Temple for it to dwell in, is a wonderful disparagement. The reflexion is in effect, as if he were but a meer man, not wise or powerful enough to compass his end, or compleat his work; as if his blood had no spirit or divine virtue in it, effe&tually to procure a Church and people to himself. All which are below and extremely unworthy of him, and the great work in his hands. Every little feed in nature bath a body given to it; and yet according to this opinion, the Son of God might fow his own Blood and Righteouf ness, and have none at all. A cup of cold water given in charity, hath its reward ; and yet the Blood of Christ poured out in a transcendent excess of love, may want it.
3. This casts a foul blot upon Providence, that, fuch is its accuracy, reaches to every thing in nature, even to fuch minute things as hairs and sparrows; yet according to this opinion it neglects Christs blood more worth than a World, and the issue of it. It was the horrible folly of the Emperor Domitian, to fpend his time in catching of Flies, while he neglected the great things of the Empire. And what just apology can be made for Providence, if it wake and watch over the Sun, Moon, Stars, Meteors, Beasts, Plants, nay over the very Gnats and minute creatures, while it slumbers and sleeps over the sufferings of the Son of God? How much more tolerable were a
negle&t of all creatures, than of that one concern, Chap. 8. which is a thing of infinite moment! If we believe that Providence took no care about so great a thing as Christs death, how can we perswade our selves that it should respect the creatures, which are infinitely below it? A greater failure in government there cannot be, than this, to be accurate in trifles, and neglective in momentous things. Again, Providence reaches to the end of things; it doth not go part of the way only, but conducts them totheir end : yet according to this opinion, it doth not do so in a thing of more consequence than all the world. It watched over the genealogy, birth, life, death, resurrection of Christ;
but then it made a stand, taking no care what the isfue or fruit of all this should be, after all was done: whether Christ should have a Church, or so much as one believer in all the world, was not determined by Providence, but left to the Lottery of mans Will. A
A greater defect cannot be imagined than this, To do great admirable things, and then not to regard what shall become of them. I shall say no more to this opinion, but conclude, That a very great Providence did watch over the issue of Christs death, that a Church might be secured unto him. But because it may be said, That the Providences over Christ and the Church are, though great, yet but particular ones, I shall proceed to the next thing
3. All other Providences may be reduced to the other two. As God hath a special eye upon Christ and the Church, so he orders other things to be some way or other subservient unto them. I shall in brief touch upon the reduction of other Provi. Z 2
Chap. 8. dences, first, to that over Christ and then to that over
First, Other Providences are to be reduced to that over Christ. It was an ancient saying of the Jews, That the World was made for the Messiah. The Apostle tells us expresly, That all things were created by him and for him, Col. 1. 16. That Providence which was over him, being the Master-piece, the highest Providence that ever the Sun saw, must in all reason be the rule of the rest, in that we have the noblest profpect of God and the creature, the Divine Attributes set forth in their glory, and a creature, an human nature, elevated to the highest pitch: unto that therefore other Providences are to be referred. To give some instances : God permitted Adam to fall and break his beautiful image of Holiness all to pieces : and why did he permit it? doubt
less he could have upheld man in his integrity ; no credere aut man dares deny it: doubtless he permitted it not irdicercun nepi rationally; his will is ever irradiated with infinite homo cade wisdom : What account then may be given of it? If poteftate non any at all be given; I suppose a better reason cannot fuiffe ? Auft.de be given than this, That he permitted it, that
way civ: Dei, 1.14. might be made for the coming of his Son in the flesh:
Hence that speech, O fælix culpa, que tantum meruit In Sent. I. 2. redemptorem! Estius gives other reasons ; but this Diftinct. 23. (faith he) is ratio omnium potissima, the chief reason
of all, That God might be made man. The LearnComment in ed Zanchy faith, Certum eft, It is certain that evil was Col. I. v. 16. permitted, that the Son of God might take our flesh.
But to go on : After the fall, the Providence which