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proceeding from the Father and the Son q.
Chap. HI. Of God's Eternal Decree.
GOD from all eternity did, by the most wise and holy counsel of his own will, freely and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass a: yet so, as thereby neither is God the author of sin b, nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures, nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken awav, but rather established c.
ther) full os grace and truth, v. 18. No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.
q John xv. 26.But when the Comforter is come, whom I will fend unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he mail testify of me. Gal. iv. 6. And because ye ave sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.
I. a Eph. i. 11. In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will. Rom.xi.3 3.O the depth of the riches, both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! Heb. vi. 17. Wherein God willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath. Rom. ix. 1$. For he faith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have meicy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion, v. 18. Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will, he hardeneth.
b James i. 13. Let no man fay when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man. v. 17. Every good gift, and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. 1 John i. y. This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
c Acts ii. 23. Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and soreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain. Mat. xvii. 12. But 1 say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him riot, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed: likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them. Acts iv. 27. For of a truth, against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel were gathered together, v. 28. For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done. John xtx. it. Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee C from
II. Although God knows whatsoever may or can come to pass upon all supposed conditions d; yet hath he not decreed
"anything because he foresaw it as future, or as that which would come to pass upon such conditions e.
III. By the decree of God, for the manifestation of his glory, some men and angels f are predestinated unto everlasting life, and others fore-ordained to everlasting death p.
IV. These angels and men, thus predestinated and foreordained, are particularly and unchangeably designed; and their number is so certain and definite, that it cannot be either increased or diminished h. V. Those from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin. Prov. xvi. 33. The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the Lord.
II. d Acts xv. 18.Known untoGod are all his works from the beginning of the world. 1 Sam. xxiii. 11. Will the men of Keilah deliver me up into his hand? Will Saul come down, as thy servant hath heard? O Lord God os Israel, I beseech thee, tell thy servant. And the Lord said, He will come down. v. 12. Then said David, Will the men of Keilah deliver me and my men into the hand of Saul \ And the Lord said, they will deliver thee up. Mat. xi. 21. Wo unto thee Chorazin, wo unto thee Bethsaida: for if the mighty works which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ames, v. 23. And thou Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell : for if the mighty works which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.
« Rom. ix. 11. For the children being not yet born neither having done any good or evil that the purpose cf God according to election might stand, not os works, but of him that calleth. v. 13. As it is writJen, Jacob have I loved, but Esau
have I hated, v. 16. So then, it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that fheweth mercy, v. 18. Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.
III. / 1 Tim. v. 21. I charge thee before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, and'the elect angels, that thou observe these things, without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality. Mat. xxv. 41. Then shall he fay also to them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.
g Rom. ix. 22. WhatifGod, willing to shew his'wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much long-suffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction, v. 23. And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory? Eph. i. 5. Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, v. 6. To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. Frov. xvi. 4. The Lord hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.
IV. h 2 Tira.ii. 19. Nevertheless
V. Those of mankind that are predestinated unto life, God, before the foundation of the world was laid, according to his eternal and immutable purpose, and the secret counsel and good pleasure of his will, hath chosen in Christ, unto everlasting glory /, out of his mere free grace and love, without any foresight of faith, or good works, or perseverance in either of them, or any other thing in the creature, as conditions, or causes moving him thereunto k; and all to the praise of his glorious grace /.
VI. As God hath appointed the elect unto glory, so hath he, by the eternal and most free purpose of his will, fore-ordained all the means thereunto m. Wherefore they who are elected
being being fallen in Adam, are redeemed by Christ n, are effectually called unto faith in Chrht£by his Spirit working in due season; are justified, adopted, sanctified, o, and kept by his power through faith unto salvation p. Neither are any other redeemed by Christ, effectually called, justified, adopted, sanctified and saved, but the elect only q.
the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. John xiii. 18. I speak not of you all; I know whom 1 have chosen: but that the Scripture may be fulfilled, He that eat«h bread with me, hath lift up his heel against me.
V. ;' Eph. i. 4. According as he hath chosen us in him, before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy, and without blame before him in love: v, 9. Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure, which he hath purposed in himself: v. 11. In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him, who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will. Rom. ▼in; 30. Moreover, whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified : and whom he justified, them he also glorified. 2 Tim. i. 9. "Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus, before the ■w^rld began. 1 Thess. v. 9. For
God hath not appointed us to wrath; but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ.
/(Rom.ix. 11,13.16. (See letter e immediately foregoing,) Eph.i.4. 9. (See letter/'immediately foregoing,)
/ Eph. i. 6. To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved, v.
12. That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Ch rist.
VI. m 1 Pet. i. 2. Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit unto obedience, and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ. Eph. i. 4. According as he hath chosen us in him, before the foundation of the world, that we lhould be holy, and without blame before him in love: v. $. Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will. Eph. ii. 10. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. 2 Thess. ii.
13. But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren, beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation, through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth.
VII. The rest of mankind, God was pleased, according to the unsearchable counsel of his own will, whereby he extendeth or with-holdeth mercy as he pleaseth, for the glory of his sovereign power over his creatures, to pass by, and to ordain them to dishonour and wrath for their sin, to the praise of his glorious justice r. .
know that all things work together for good, to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose, &c. (to the end of the chapter.) John vi. 64. But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning, who they were that believed not, and who mould betray him. v. 6j. And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father'. John x. 26. But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. John viii. 47. He that is of God, heareth God s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God. i John ii. 19. They went out from us, but they were not of us: for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us; but they went out, that they might be made manifest, that they were not all of us.
VII. r Mat. xi. 2;. At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wife and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes, v. 26. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in thy sight. Rom. tx. 17. For the Scripture faith unto Pha> raoh,
K i Thess. v. 9. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, v. 10. Who died for us, that whether we wake or fleep, we should live together with him. Tit. ii. 14. Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
# Rom. viii. 30. Moreover, whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. Eph. i. j. Hav* ing predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will. 2 Thefl". ii. 13 .But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren, beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation, through fanctisication of the Spirit, and belief of the truth.
p 1 Pet. i. j. Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation, ready to be revealed in the last time.
q John xvii. 9. I pray for them : I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me, for they are thine. Rom. viii. 28. And we
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VIII. The doctrine of this high mystery of predestination is to be handled with special prudence and care f that men attending the will of God revealed in his word, and yielding obedience thereunto, may, from the certainty of their effectual vocation, be assured of their eternal election So shall this doctrine afford matter of praise, reverence, and admiration of God v; and of humility, diligence, and abundant consolation to all that sincerely obey the gospel w.
VIII. / Rom. ix. ao. Nay bat, O man, who art thou that replielt against God? /hall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hasl thou made me thus? Rom. xi. 33. O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! Deut. xxix. 29. The secret things belong unto the Lord our God: but thofy things which are revealed belong unto us, and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words_of this law.
/ 2 Pet. i. 10. Wherefore the rather, brethren, g^ive all diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall.
v Eph. i. 6. To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the Beloved. Rom. xi. 33. (fee letter/ immediately foregoing.)
iv Rom. xi. 5. Even so then at this present time -also there is a rem-* nant according to the election of grace, v. 6. And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then it is no more grace: otherwise work is no more work. r. 20. Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou stande't by faith. Be not high minded, but fear. 2 Pet. i. Io. (S:e letter t immediately
raoh, Even for this fame purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth, v. 18. Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardentth. v. 21. Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one velTel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? v. 22. What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much long-suffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction? 2 Tim. ii. 19. Nevertheless, the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity, v. 20. But in a great house, there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood, and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. Jude 4. For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before as old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Pet. ii. 8. And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient, whereunto also they Wire appointed.