The Blinde Guide by William Jenkyn Introduction

Christopher Thomas Providential Preservation, Reformers Leave a Comment

THE Blinde Guide, or the Doting Doctor.

Composed by way of Reply to a late tediously trifling Pamphlet, Entitled, The Youngling Elder, &c. written by John Goodwin, and containing little or nothing in it, but what plainly speaketh the Author thereof to lie under the double unhappiness of Seducers, To be Deceiving And Deceived.

This reply indifferently serving for the future direction of the Seducer himself, and also of those his misled followers, who with him are turned enemies to the Word and grace of God.

The authority of which Word, and the efficacy of which grace are in this following Treatise, succinctly, yet satisfactorily vindicated from the deplorably weak, and erroneous Cavils of the said John Goodwin in his late Pamphlet.

By William Jenkyn, Minister of the Word of God at Christ-Church in LONDON.

2 Tim. 3.13. Evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.

Prov. 14.16. The fool rageth and is confident.

Jude 13. Raging waves of the sea foaming out their own shame.

 

To the Christian READER.

READER:

Were not my desire to serve thy Soul, greater than my hope to recover my Adversary, and were I not more apprehensive of the greatness of thy danger, than the goodness of his disposition, I should not spend my precious hours in a second engagement against his Errors; my contention is greater that thou shouldest not fall to be like him, than that he should rise to be unlike himself. He who wrote his last Pamphlet only to represent me unworthy to contend with him, will hardly write his next to confess that truth by me hath conquered him. It’s not consistent with his honour, who in his last boasted, that he had laid the attempts of all his adversaries in the dust, and that Presbytery lay bleeding at the feet of his Writings, in his next to lay himself in the dust, and to acknowledge that his Heresies lye bleeding at the foot of a Youngling; so that should he be convinced of the duty, (as possibly he may) he would be afraid of the shame of a recantation. Its more his sin than my unhappiness (though both) that by confuting his errors I occasion him still to vent them; but never did I meet with wretched opinions so wrathfully asserted, and so weakly maintained. His Writings have more of Tongue than matter, and yet more of Teeth than either; with the weapon of the Tooth (like the Hereticks of old) he conquers, even after he is overcome with Arguments.

Certainly while Master Goodwin wrote his late Book he was under a quotidian fit of Frenzy, and all that time was an interregnum of his reason, his Pen being only dipped in passion. His Pamphlet consists of such unmanlike scoldings, that he hath rendered himself the shame of his, Party, and the score of his Opposites; the only product of his reproaches, being a confirmation of the report of his being badly nurtured formerly, and worse natured still; Ʋnhappy man! who stumbled in the dark, and stormeth against the light, and who always endureth that least which he wanteth most. The weakness of Flatterers hath so abused him into love of himself, and the strength of interest into the love of Error, that he cannot abide either Plain-dealing, or sound doctrine. The palpable weaknesses of his late performance in his Young. Eld. extorted from him this acknowledgement, that he wrote not his Book to refute me, and had not his Lordship silenced his Conscience, it would have added, but to revile me; I confess he words it more gently, telling me, that the task to which he was confined in his Writing, was to shew me more of my self (nothing of him selfe) and in pursuance of this merciful design, he puts his whole Book under a quaternion of topicks, 1. My defect of Conscience. 2. Of Clerkship. 3. Of apprehension. 4. Of ingenuity (forgetting in the mean time one little defect which runs through the veins of all his four parts, viz. while he so rudely handles my name, scarce to touch the matter of my Book) unto which four defects he reduced whatsoever malice or falsehood can invent. against me; though the prosecution of them all be a continued transgression of the Lawes of Art and honesty, nay, not only of method, but even at once of common modesty; so that I know not in this world, the thins that are so contemptible, as Master Goodwins scurrilities; for my part, I much more regard that excellent advice of Basil, Neither be proud of thy praises, nor impatient at thy reproaches, when neither are due unto thee.

I confess, I delight not to see him in those distempers, for which I pity him; I never intended to drive him into a Frenzy, and yet neither am I willing that he should drive me into a Palsy; idle silence is a sin as well as idle speaking: his Contumelies can be no plea for my Cowardise; where sin is impudent, reproof must not be bashful. If errours seek no corners, should truth doe so? How happy were we if we could leave all our stings in the sides of Errour and Profanesse! if in their blood all our hatreds might be drowned! I have ever thought, that peace with that with which we should contend, is the grand cause of contention with them with whom we should be at peace. Its just that they who will not known Errour so as to hate it, should not know Truth so as to find it, How incongruous is it to shun that man, upon whom (as thou thinkest) thou espyest a Wart, and to take him into thy bosom upon whom thou knowest there is a Plague-sore? Errours in Discipline doe but scratch the face of Religion; these in Doctrine stab it to the heart. When the whole written Word is at once struck off from being the ground of faith, and whatever is in and about the Scriptures denied to be the foundation of Religion, unless the Counsels contained in them. When it shall be asserted, that natural men want no power of making themselves able to believe, and that notwithstanding all the power of converting grace, there’s a liberty in the will to defeat and frustrate conversion; In a word, when Sectaries strike at the faith, both which and with which we believe, its our duty (if ever) to contend for this faith once delivered to the Saints; In my present endeavours about which work, if thou embracest what thou findest of God, I shall not only be willing that thou shouldst reject, and desirous that thou wouldst remit whatever thou findest of man, but shall also ever remain thankful to God, and Reader,

From my Study at Christ-Church, London, Nov. 23. 1648.

A friend to thy-Soule. William Jenkyn.

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