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also they were appointed.” Jude i. 4. “For there are certain meni crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, turning the grace of God into lasciviousness.” 1 John iv. 6. “We are of God. He that knoweth God, heareth us; he that is not of God, heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error." Rev. iij. 8. “I know thy works: Behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no may can shut it: For thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name." Chap. xx. 12-15. “And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: And another book was opened, which is the book of life: And the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life, was cast into the lake of fire." John xii. 37–41. “But though he had done
many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him. Because that Esaias said, he hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart, that they should not see with their eyes, &c. These things said Esaias, when he saw his glory, and spake of him.” Rom. ix. 6,7,8,11-14, 16–19. v. 21-24. v. 27, 29, 33. “Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: Neither because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: But, in Isaac shall thy seed be called. That is, they which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God; but the children of the promise are counted for the seed. For the children, being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God, according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth, it was said, “The elder shall serve the younger, &c. What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. So then, it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sbeweth mercy, &c. Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another to dishonour? &c. Even us whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles. Esaias also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved : And as Esaias said before, Except the Lord of Sabaoth had left us a seed, we had been as Sodoma, and been made like unto Gomorrha. As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumbling-stone, and a rock of offence. And whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.” And chap. xi. 1–6. v. 7-11. v. 15, 17, 19—23. v. 32, 36. “I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin, &c. Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace. And if by grace, then is it no more of works : Otherwise grace is no more Vol. VII.
grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: Otherwise, work is no more work. What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded. God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear, unto this day. Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumbling block, and a recompense unto them, &c. And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olivetree, wert grafted in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive-tree; thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in, &c. And they also, if they abide not in unbelief, shall be grafted in: For God is able to graft them in again. For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all. For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: To whom be glory for
Amen." $36. All that is intended when we say that God decrees all that comes to pass, is, that all events are subject to the disposals of providence, or that God orders all things in his providence; and that he intended from eternity to order all things in providence, and intended to order them as he does. Election does not signify only something common to professing Christians, Matth. xx. 16.
Many are called, but few are chosen.” Matth. xxiv. 31. “He shall send forth his angels, and gather together his elect."
$37. God's foreknowledge appears from this, that God has foretold that there should be some good men, as the Arminians themselves allow. Stebbing, in his Treatise concerning the Operations of the Holy Spirit, p. 237, second edition, says as follows: “So long as a man may be certain that those things will come to pass which God hath foretold, he may be certain, that God's grace will prevail in multitudes of men before the end of all things. For, by divers predictions in holy writ we are assured, that when Christ shall come to judgment, there will be some who shall be changed, and put on immortality.”
$38. The scriptures, in teaching us this doctrine, are guilty of no hard imposition on our understanding of a doctrine contrary to reason. If they had taught the contrary doctrine, it would have been much more contrary to reason, and a much greater temptation to persons of diligent and thorough consideration, to doubt of the divinity of the scripture.
$39. Concerning the decreeing of sin, see Acts iii. 17, 18, with Acts xiii. 27. " And now, brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers. But those things which God before had showed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled.”—“For they that dwell at Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they knew him not, nos yet the voices of the prophets which are read every sabbathday, they have fulfilled them in condemning him.
$ 40. It is objected, that this is a speculative point. So might they say, Jesus' being the Messiah, is a speculative point.
§ 41. If God's inviting or commanding a person to do a thing, when he, in his decree, has ordained that it shall be otherwise, argues insincerity in the command or invitation, the insincerity must be in this, viz. that he commands a thing to be done, when his end in commanding is not, that the thing may be done ; which cannot be his end; because he knows certainly, at the time that he commands it, that it will not be. But it is certain, that God's commanding a thing to be done, which he certainly knows at the time will not be done, is no evidence of insincerity in God in commanding. For thus God commanded Pharaoh to let the people go: and yet he knew he would not obey, as he says at the same time that he orders the command to be given him, Exod. iii. 18, 19. “And thou shalt come, thou and the elders of Israel, unto the king of Egypt, and you shall say unto him, The Lord God of the Hebrews hath met with us; and now let us go, we beseech thee, three days journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to the Lord our God: And I am sure thet the king of Egypt will not let you go; no, not by a mighty hand.” See also chap. iv. 21, 22, 23, and chap. vii. 1–7; see also chap. ix. 16, compared with Rom. ix. 17.
§ 42. It is impossible for an infinitely wise and good being to do otherwise, than to choose what he sees on the whole to be best. And certainly reason requires us to suppose, that of all possible events with respect to sin, and the conversion and salvation of particular persons, ir is better that one of those possible and opposite events should come to pass than another; and therefore, an infinitely wise and good being must choose accordingly. What God permits, he decrees to permit. If it is no blemish to God to permit sin, then it is no blemish to him to purpose or intend to permit it. And if he be omniscient, and does designedly permit that sin which actually comes to pass, then he designedly permits that sin, knowing, if he permits it, it will actually come to pass. And this is an effectual permission, and all that we plead for. What, then, do our adversaries quarrel with us for? And why do they pretend that we charge God with being the author of sin? There is a way of drawing consequences from scripture, that begs the question. As the Arminians say, there are many more texts plainly against election, than seem to be for it, viz. those texts that represent, that general offers of salvation are made, as though it were left to men's choice, whether they will be saved or no. But that is begging the question. For the question very much consists in these things, whether an absolute decree be inconsistent with man's liberty, and so with a general ofler of salvation, &c. . 43. Concerning the Arminian notion of election, that when the apostles speak of election, they only mean that by which the professing Christians in those days were distinguished from others, as the nation of Israel of old was; this is unreasonable, according to their own principles. For if they were elected, and that was the reason why they so far embraced the gospel, as to become Christians rather than others, then, on Arminian principles, no thanks were due to them for embracing the gospel ; neither were others, who continued openly to reject the gospel, to blame ; and it was in vain to use any means to persuade any to join with the Christian church; nor were any to blame for not doing it, or to be praised for doing it, &c. Besides, their principles frender vain all endeavours to spread the gospel. For the gospel will certainly be spread to all nations that are elected; and all such shall have the offers of the gospel, whether they take any care of the matter or no.
§ 44. Dr. Whitby, to make out his scheme, makes the word election signify two entirely different things; one, election to a common faith of Christianity; another, a conditional election to salvation. But every one must be sensible of the unreasonableness of such shifting and varying, and turning into all shapes, to evade the force of scripture.
§ 45. It is evident the apostle, in Rom. ix. has not only respect to God's sovereignty in the election and preterition of nations, because he illustrates his meaning by the instance of a particular person, viz. Pharaoh. The exercise of the sovereignty that he speaks of, appears by the express words of the apostle about vessels of mercy and vessels of wrath, vessels of honour and vessels of dishonour. But the vessels of mercy, he speaks of as prepared to glory. They, it is plain, are those that shall be saved, and the vessels of wrath are those that perish. He speaks of those that shall be saved, v. 27. “A remnant shall be saved.” What is there that God 'does decree, according to the scheme of the Arminians, so as to make it in any measure consistent with itself? He does not decree any of the great events of the world of mankind, (which are the principal events, and those to which all others are subordinated,) because these depend on men's free will. He does not absolutely decree any events wherein the welfare of men is concerned; for if he does, then these things, according to their scheme, cannot be the subject of prayer. For according to them, it is absurd to seek or pray for things, which we do not know but that God has absolutely decreed and fixed before. We do not know but that he has detertermined absolutely and unfrustrably from eternity, that they shall not be; and then, by their scheme, we cannot pray in faith for them. See Whitby, p. 177, &c. And if God does not decree and order those events beforehand, then what becomes of the providence of God; and what room is there for prayer, if there be no providence ? Prayer is shut out this way also. According to them, we cannot reasonably pray for the accom
plishment of things that are already fixed, before our prayers ; for then our prayers alter nothing, and what, say they, signifies it for us to pray?
Dr. Whitby insists upon it, that we cannot pray in faith for the salvation of others, if we do not know that Cbrist died intentionally for their salvation.
Í 46. To Dr. Whitby's observation, that the apostle speaks of churches, as though they were all elect, I answer, he speaks from a judgment of charity, as Dr. Whitby himself observes, p. 460. God foreknows the elect, as God is said to know those that are his own sheep from strangers; as Christ is said not to know the workers of iniquity, that is, he owns them not. In the same sense, God is said to know the elect from all eternity; that is, he knew thern as a man knows his own things. He acknowledged them from eternity. He owns them as his children. Reprobates he did not know; they were strangers to God from all eternity. If God ever determined, in the general, that some of mankind should certainly be saved, and did not leave it altogether undetermined whether ever so much as one soul of all mankind should believe in Christ; it must be that he determined that some particular persons should certainly believe in him. For it is certain that if he has left it undetermined concerning this and that, and the other person, whether ever he should believe or not, and so of every particular person in the world; then there is no necessity at all, that this or that, or any particular person in the world, should ever be saved by Christ, for the matter of any determination of God's. So that, though God sent his Son into the world, yet the matter was left altogether undetermined by God, whether ever any person should be saved by him, and there was all this ado about Christ's birth, death, resurrection, ascension, and sitting at God's right hand, when it was not as yet determined whether he should ever save one soul, or have any mediatorial kingdom at all.
$ 47. It is most absurd to call such a conditional election as they talk of, by the name of election, seeing there is a necessary connexion between faith in Jesus Christ and eternal life. Those that believe in Christ, must be saved, according to God's inviolable constitution of things. What nonsense is it, therefore, to talk of choosing such to life from all eternity out of the rest of mankind? A predestination of such to life is altogether useless and needless. By faith in one that has satisfied for sin, the soul necessarily becomes free from sin. By faith in one that has bought eternal life for them, they have, of unavoidable consequence, a right to eternal life. Now, what sense is it to say, that God from all eternity, of his free grace, chose out those that he foresaw would have no guilt of sin, that they should not be punished for their guilt, as others were, when it is a contradiction to suppose that they can be punished for their guilt when they have none? For