« PreviousContinue »
sons beforehand. For the cause is before the effect. There is no such thing as God's resolving absolutely beforehand that he would save some, and yet not determining who they should be, before they were actually saved : Grthat he should see to it, that there should be in a number the requisites of salvation, and yet not determine who, till they actually have the requisites of salvation. But God had absolutely determined that some should be saved, yea a great number, after Ohrist’s death; and had determined it beforehand. Because he had absolutely promised it; Isa. xlix. 6, and liii. 10. See in Psal. lxxii. and other places in the Psalms, and Tit. ii. 14. God, having absolutely purposed this before Christ's death, must either have then determined the persons, or resolved that he would hereafter determine the persons; at least, if he saw there was need of it, and saw that they did not come in of themselves. But this latter supposition, if we allow it, overthrows the Arminian scheme. It shows, that such a predetermination, or absolute election, is not inconsistent with God’s perfections, or the nature of the gospel constitution, or God’s government of the world, and his promise of reward to the believing and obedient, and the design of gospel offers and commands, as the Arminians suppose. If God has absolutely determined to save some certain persons, then, doubtless, he has in like manner determined concerning all that are to be saved. God’s promising, supposes not only that the thing is future, but that God will do it. If it be left to chance, or man’s contingent will, and the event happen right, God is never the truer. He performs not his promise ; he takes no effectual care about it; it is not he that promised, that performs. That thing, or, rather nothing, called fortune, orders all....Concerning the absurdity of supposing that it was not absolutely determined beforehand, what success there should be of Christ's death; see Polhill's Sher. Theolog. in Christo, p. 165....l71. It is pretended, that the antecedent certainty of any sin’s being committed, seeing that it is attended with necessity, takes away all liberty, and makes warnings and exhortations to avoid sin, a mere illusion. To this I would bring the instance of Peter. Christ told him, that he should surely deny him thrice that night, before the cock should crow twice. And yet, after that, Christ exhorted all his disciples to watch and pray, that they might not fall into temptation ; and directs, that he who had no sword, should sell his garment and buy one. § 34. How evident is it, that God sets up that to be sought after as a reward of virtue, and the fruit of our endeavors, which yet he has determined shall never come to pass 2 As, I Sam. xiii. 13. “And Samuel said unto Saul, Thou hast done foolishly ; thou hast not kept the commandment of the Lord thy God, which he commanded thee. For now would the Lord have established thy kingdom upon Israel for ever.” It is evident that God had long before decreed, that the kingdom of Israel should be established in the tribe of Judah.... Luke xxii. 22. “The son of man goeth as it was determined [Matth. xxvi. 24, and Mark xiv. 21, as it is written of him] but woe unto that man by whom the son of man is betrayed.” . As it was determined: As this passage is not liable to the ambiguities which some have apprehended in Acts ii. 23, and iv. 28, (which yet seem on the whole to be parallel to it in their most natural construction) I look upon it as an evident proof, that those things are in the language of scripture said to be determined or decreed, (or exactly bounded and marked out by God, as the word opić, most naturally signifies) which he sees will in fact happen in consequence of his volitions, without any necessitating agency, as well as those events of which he is properly the author; and, as Beza expresses it, “Qui sequitur deum emendate same loquitur, we need not fear falling into any impropriety of speech, when we use the language which God has taught.” Doddridge in loc.
§ 35. As to the decrees of election, see Psal. Ixv. 4. “Blesscd is the man whom thou choosest, and causest to approach unto thee, that he may dwell in thy courts: We shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house, even of thy holy temple.” Isa. xli. 9. “ Thou whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called thee from the chief men thereof, and
said unto thee, Thou art my servant; I have chosen thee, and not cast thee away.” Matth. xx. 16. “So the last shall be first, and the first last : For many be called, but few chosen.” Chap. xxii. 14. “For many are called, but few are chosen.” Chap. xxiv. 24. “For there shall arise false Christs and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; in so much that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.” John vi. 37....46. “All that the Father giveth me, shall come to me ; and him that cometh to me, I will in no wise cast out,” &c. Chap. x. 3, 4, and verse 1 1, and 14.... 17. v. 26....30. “To him the porter openeth, and the sheep hear his voice ; and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. I am the good Shepherd; and know my sheep, and am known of mine. Therefore doth my Father love me ; because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you,” &c. Chap. xvii. 6....20. “I have manifested thy name unto the men thou gavest me out of the world : Thine they were, and thou gavest them me? and they have kept thy word, &c. Neither pray I for these alone ; but for them also which shall believe on me through their word.” “Acts xviii. 10. “For I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee, to hurt thee : For I have much people in this city.” As to reprobation, see Matth. xi. 20....27. “Then began he to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done, because they repented not, &c. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in thy sight. All things are delivered unto me of my Father; and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.” John vi. 44....46. “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him : And I will raise him up at the last day, &c. Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father.” Chap. viii. 47. “ He that is •f God, heareth God’s words: Ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.” Chap. x. 26. “But ye believe not, because you are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.” Chap. xvii. 9....13. “I pray for them : I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine,” &c. 1 Thes, v. 9. “For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Pet. ii. 8. “And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of of. fence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient : Whereunto also they were appointed.” Jude i. 4. “For there are certain men 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 of error.” Rev. iii. 8. “I know thy works: Behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man 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 so 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 2 God forbid. So then, it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth 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 honor, and another to dishonor &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.... 1 1. 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 grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: Otherwise, work is no more work. What then 2 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 recompence unto them, &c. And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, 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 ever. Amen.” Vol. V. 3 A