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State of Religion


A TREATISE in five Parts.

1. Faithfully pointing III. Opening, in many out the Things of a BAD Instances, wherein the Disand DANGEROUS TEN- COURAGERS of IrregulaDENCY, in the late, and rities have been INJURI present, religious Appear-OUSLY TREATED. ance, in the LAND.

IV. Shewing what II. Representing the ought to be CORRECTED, OBLIGATIONS which lie or AVOIDED, in testifying upon the PASTORS of against the evil Things of THESE CHURCHES in par- the present Day. ticular, and upon All in V. Directingour Thor's, general, to use their En

more positively, to what deavours to suppress pre may be judged the best vailing Disorders ; with Expedients, to promote the GREAT DANGER of a pure and undefiled Religion Neglect in so important a in these Times, Matter.

With a PREFACE Giving an Account of the ANTINOMIANS, FAMILISTS

and LIBERTINES, who infected these Churches, above an hundred Years ago : Very needful for these Days; the

LIKE SPIRIT, and ERRORS, prevailing now as did then. The whole being intended, and calculated, to serve

the Interest of Christ's Kingdom.


Paftor of the first Church of CHRI$in Boston. BOSTON, Printed by Rogers and Fowle, for SAMUEL ELIOT in Cornbill. 1743.

110: 3. 63.

may justly be rank'd among the most pious and valuable Men, who have yet liv’d in it.

Not many Tears after the Settlement of our Progenitors in this Land, Some, who, through an Excess of Heat in their Imaginations, had been betrayed into various unfound and dangerous Opinions, came over to them from ENGLAND. They had not been here long, before they freely vented their Notions among the People, Multitudes of whom, both Men and Women, Church-members and others, were soon led aside, to the Hindrance of the Gospel, and throwing these Churches into great Confusion.

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My Purpose is to show distinɛtly, though briefly,
What these Opinions were,

How they spread so fast, and prevailed so suddenly.

How they did rage and reign, when they had once

How they fell and were ruined, when they were at highest.S

As for the Opinions:---- They were such as these, viz.

1. He that hath the Seal of the SPIRIT may certainly judge of any Person, whether he be elected or no.

$ This is the Method of Mr. T. WELDE (one of the 2. Such as see any Grace of GOD in themselves, before they have the Assurance of God's Love fealed to them, are not to be received Members of Churches.


first Preachers in our RoxBERRY) in his Preface to the Story of the ANTINOMIANS &c. in New-ENG

whose Language also I have thought fit chiefly to use. The Words distinguish'd by inverted Commas are always his ; unless where I give Notice to the contrary.

2. Such

3. The due Search and Knowledge of the Holy Scripture, is not a safe and sure Way of finding CHRIST.

4. There is a Testimony of the SPIRIT, and Voice to the Soul, meerly immediate, without any Respect to, or Concurrence with the Word.

5. The Seal of the SPIRIT is limited only to the immediate Witness of the SPIRIT ; and doth never witness to any Work of Grace, or to any Conclusion by a Syllogism.

6. No Minister can teach one that is anointed by the SPIRIT of CHRIST, more than he knows already unless it be in fome Circumstances.

7. No Minister can be an Instrument to convey more of Christ unto another, than be by his own Experience hath come up to.

8. A Man is not effectually converted, 'till be hatb full Assurance.

9. A Man cannot evidence his Justification by his Sanctification, but he must needs build upon his Santification, and trust to it.

10. The immediate Revelation of my good Estate, without any Respect to the Scriptures, is as clear to me as the Voice of GOD from Heaven to Paul.

II. It is a Fundamental and Soul-damning Er. ror, to make Sanctification an Evidence of Juftification.

12. The Spirit giveth fuch full and clear Evidence of my good Estate, that I bave no Need to be tried by the Fruits of Sanétification : This were to light a Candle to the Sun.

13. Sanctification is so far from evidencing a good Estate, that it darkens it rather ; and a Nan may share clearly fee CHRIST when he feeth no Sanc


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These are a few of the Errors, with which many be-
gan to be infected ; I say a few, because i heir
whole Number amounted to upwards of four score. I
Mould willingly have presented the Reader, with a


Thefc Opinions, however absurd, were yet, many
of them, strongly pleaded for, as of vast Impor-
tance : Hence, among the Reasons given for the
meeting of the Synod, in 1637, to contider of these
Matters, this is one, because the Crinionis “ pre-
"s tended such a New-LIGHT as condemned all the
“ Churches, as in a way of Damnation ; and the
" Difference to be in Fundamental Points, even

56 wide as between Heaven and Hell : And hence

" it was conceived, that all the Churches should con-

“ fider of this Marier,that, if it were a Touchejt should

oso be universally embraced; but if it were an Error or
“ Herefi is might be universally suppressed, fo far as
“ fuch a Meeting could reach. D'unrfcripi Coje ojcle's
Iroczecines of the Soul, in 1637, lage 3.

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List of them all ; but, not baving Room, choose to confine myself to those only which might be thouglas to bear a Resemblance to the unfafe Tenets of the present Day. The rest may be seen in the Book, entitled, The Story of the Rise, &c, of Antinomianism, &c, in New-ENGLAND. And let me all, the Account there given of these Errors may be depeniled on ; for having had Opportunity to compare it with an ancient Manuscript copy of the Proceedings of the Synod, in 1637, I find it to be a very exact Catalogue of the Opinions condemnc:l by that Allembly of Churches.

It may, at first, View seem strange, how these Errors (many of them being so gross ) Jould spread so fast, and prevail lo generally ; but the Wonder will cease, if we consider the Slights they used in fomenting their Opinions : Some of which I shall set down ;


1. They laboured much to acquaint themselves with as many as possibly they could, that so they might have the better Opportunity to communicate their. NewLIGHT to them.

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“ 2. Being once acquainted with ther, they wou!! strangely labour to infuriate themselves into their

+ “ All the Churches unanimously consented to the " Condemnation of them, except diverse of Bostox,

one or two at CHARLESTOWN, one at SALEM, “ one at PLYMOUTH, one at DUXBURY, two at 6. WATERTOWN :

And although Mr. COTTON set not down his Hand as the rest of the Elders

yet he thus exprefled himself, in Dilicith “ of them, that fome were blaahemous and beretical,

many erroneous, and all incongruous.Manufcript Copy. P. 46.


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