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create; but received a revocation, in part, by the curse; since which time they change not.
That notwithstanding God hath rested and ceased from creating since the first sabbath, yet, nevertheless, he doth accomplish and fulfil his divine will in all things, great and small, singular and general, as fully and exactly by providence, as he could by miracle and new creation, though his working be not immediate and direct, but by compass; not violating nature, which is his own law, upon the creature.
That at the first, the soul of man was not produced by heaven or earth, but was breathed immediately from God : so that the ways and proceedings of God with spirits are not included in nature ; that is, in the laws of heaven and earth; but are reserved to the law of his secret will and grace: wherein God worketh still, and resteth not from the work of redemption, as he resteth from the work of creation : but continueth working till the end of the world; what time that work also shall be accomplished, and an eternal sabbath shall ensue. Likewise, that whensoever God doth transcend the law of nature by miracles, which may ever seem as new creations, he never cometh to that point or pass, but in regard of the work of redemption, which is the greater, and whereto all God's signs and miracles do refer.
That God created man in his own image, in a reasonable soul, in innocency, in free-will, and in
sovereignty : that he gave him a law and commandment, which was in his power to keep, but he kept it not: that man made a total defection from God, presuming to imagine that the commandments and prohibitions of God were not the rules of good and evil, but that good and evil had their own principles and beginnings, and lusted after the knowledge of those imagined beginnings; to the end, to depend no more upon God's will revealed, but upon himself, and his own light, as a God; than the which there could not be a sin more opposite to the whole law of God : that yet, nevertheless, this great sin was not originally moved by the malice of man, but was insinuated by the suggestion and instigation of the devil, who was the first defected creature, and fell of malice, and not by temptation.
That upon the fall of man, death and vanity entered by the justice of God; and the image of God in man was defaced ; and heaven and earth, which were made for man's use, were subdued to corruption by his fall; but then, that instantly, and without intermission of time, after the word of God's law became, through the fall of man, frustrate as to obedience, there succeeded the greater word of the promise, that the righteousness of God might be wrought by faith.
That as well the law of God as the word of his promise endure the same for ever : but that they have been revealed in several manners, according to the dispensation of times. For the law was first imprinted in that remnant of light of nature, which
was left after the fall, being sufficient to accuse : then it was more manifestly expressed in the written law; and was yet more opened by the prophets ; and, lastly, expounded in the true perfection by the Son of God, the great Prophet, and perfect interpreter, as also fulfiller of the law. That likewise the word of the promise was manifested and revealed : first, by immediate revelation and inspiration; after by figures, which were of two natures : the one, the rites and ceremonies of the law; the other, the continual history of the old world, and Church of the Jews; which though it be literally true, yet is it pregnant of a perpetual allegory and shadow of the work of the redemption to follow. The same promise or evangile was more clearly revealed and declared by the prophets, and then by the Son himself, and lastly by the Holy Ghost, which illuminateth the Church to the end of the world.
That in the fulness of time, according to the promise and oath, of a chosen lineage descended the blessed seed of the woman, Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God and Saviour of the world; who was conceived by the power and overshadowing of the Holy Ghost, and took flesh of the Virgin Mary: that the Word did not only take flesh, or was joined to flesh, but was made flesh, though without confusion of substance or nature : so as the eternal Son of God and the ever blessed Son of Mary was one person; so one, as the blessed virgin may be truly and catholicly called “ Deipara,” the Mother of God; so one, as there is no unity in universal
nature, not that of the soul and body of man, so perfect; for the three heavenly unities, whereof that is the second, exceed all natural unities : that is to say, the unity of the three persons in Godhead; the unity of God and man in Christ; and the unity of Christ and the Church : the Holy Ghost being the worker of both these latter unities; for by the Holy Ghost was Christ incarnate and quickened in flesh, and by the Holy Ghost is man regenerate and quickened in spirit.
That Jesus, the Lord, became in the flesh a sacrificer, and a sacrifice for sin ; a satisfaction and price to the justice of God; a meriter of glory and the kingdom; a pattern of all righteousness; preacher of the word which himself was; a finisher of the ceremonies; a corner-stone to remove the separation between Jew and Gentile; an intercessor for the Church; a lord of nature in his miracles; a conqueror of death and the power of darkness in his resurrection ; and that he fulfilled the whole counsel of God, performing all his sacred offices and anointing on earth, accomplished the whole work of the redemption and restitution of man to a state superior to the angels, whereas the state of man by creation was inferior, and reconciled and established all things according to the eternal will of the Father.
That in time, Jesus the Lord was born in the days of Herod, and suffered under the government of Pontius Pilate, being deputy of the Romans, and under the high priesthood of Caiaphas, and was betrayed by Judas, one of the twelve apostles, and
was crucified at Hierusalem ; and after a true and natural death, and his body laid in the sepulchre, the third day he raised himself from the bonds of death, and arose and shewed himself to many chosen witnesses, by the space of divers days; and at the end of those days, in the sight of many, ascended into heaven; where he continueth his intercession and shall from thence, at the day appointed, in greatest glory to judge the world.
That the sufferings and merits of Christ, as they are sufficient to do away the sins of the whole world, so they are only effectual to those which are regenerate by the Holy Ghost; who breatheth where he will of free grace; which grace, as a seed incorruptible, quickeneth the spirit of man, and conceiveth him anew a son of God and member of Christ : so that Christ having man's flesh, and man having Christ's spirit, there is an open passage and mutual imputation; whereby sin and wrath was conveyed to Christ from man, and merit and life is conveyed to man from Christ : which seed of the Holy Ghost first figureth in us the image of Christ slain or crucified, through a lively faith ; and then reneweth in us the image of God in holiness and charity; though both imperfectly, and in degrees far differing even in God's elect, as well in regard of the fire of the Spirit, as of the illumination thereof; which is more or less in a large proportion : as namely, in the Church before Christ; which yet nevertheless was partaker of one and the same salvation with us, and of one and the same means of salvation with us.