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tise with diligence the means which God hath appointed.
I am aware it will here be objected, that the argument is not conclufive: for that if God has abfolutely elected certain individuals to falvation, he will take care to ratify bis election :-“ if he has predestinated to the " end, he has also predestinated to the means :"
- if he has chosen to bestow certain gifts and graces on his elect, he will also lead them to the means, by which those gifts and graces are to be conferred. It was into this error that fome men fell at the time of the Reforma ation ; when, in opposition to the Anabaptists, who ran into one extreme, and maintained their own fufficiency to attain falvation, fome of the Gospellers, as they were called, not able to reconcile free-will with grace, ran into the other extreme, totally denied the free-will of man, and resolved the whole process of his falvation or reprobation into the absolute dei crees of God: and it was against this error that our temperate Reformers directed their efforts, when with their wonted moderation they observed, “ All men be to be monished, “ and chiefly preachers, that in this high mat
ter they, booking on both fides, fo attempes
and moderate themselves, that neither. they fo preach the grace of God, that they “ take away thereby free-will; nor on the
66 It is not a
“ other side fo extol free-will, that injury be “ done to the grace of God P." “ Christian man's part,” faid one of that noble army of Martyrs, “ to attribute his falvation “ to his own free-will, with the Pelagian, and “ extenuate original fin. Nor to make God “ the author of ill and our damnation with " the Manichee. Nor yet to fay, God hath as written fatal laws, as the Stoic; and with “ necellity of destiny, violently pulleth one by " the hair into heaven, and thrusteth the other “ headlong into hell 9."
In correspondence with this judicious decifion it remains to be shown, that, as it is of the free grace of God, that falvation is proffered and the means of salvation applied to man; so it is of the free-will of man to accept or reject them that, as the wise man affirms, “ Before man is life or death, and whether “ him liketh shall be given him":"-or to exprefs the propofition in words before employed, that every man has the power of falling from that grace, which he may
have enjoyed, to as to perish eternally; and that every man has the power of performing the fervices re
? Necessary Doctrine, &c. Article of Free-will.
9 Hooper's Preface to Declaration of the Ten Coman maudments.
Ecclus. xv, 17.
quisite for eternal salvation : a power, it may be observed by the way, not in any degree precluded by the foreknowledge of God, nor by the decree which God in his prescience has determined; for (as it hath been well remarked by one of our earlier divines) “God's decree being consequent on his foreknowledge,
man's falvation or damnation is only infalli« ble to God's knowledge, but free and con
tingent to man; God's knowledge, as knowledge, causing nothing; and his decree not
altering or crossing, but ratifying that, which « he knew would be the work of man, working « out his own salvation by co-working with “ the grace of God; or working his own dam“ nation, by forsaking God's mercy.."
1. With respect to the former case, which may be thus expressed in the language of the venerable Latimer, “that we may one time be “ in the book of life, and another time come “ out again, as it appears by David, who was « written in the book of life; but when he
finned, he was at the same time out of the « book of God's favour, until he had repented “ and was sorry for his faultse;" wherefore do the writings of the Apostles, addressed to “ the “ elect," " the called of God," " the faints,".
s Plaifere's Appello Evangelium, part i. chap. vi. p. 34. Churchman's Remembrancer, N. V. p. 57.
· Latiner's Serinons, vol. ii. p. 647.
" the sanctified and preserved by Christ Jesus," “ the beloved of God," abound in the most fervent exhortations to steadfastness in the belief and practice of the Gospel, if they were incapable of falling from grace given, and losing their title to eternal life? Surely if ever there were a body of men,
of whom it could be with truth pronounced, that God had absolutely elected them to eternal life, and to whom the apostolical language, which is made a foundation of this doctrine, could in this sense be reasonably applied ; they must be the primitive Christians; they must be the very persons, to whom those epistles were addressed ; of whom those things were predicated; who were saluted by the very appellations, on the use of which the doctrine is partly built. Wherefore then does St. Paul admonish “all that be at Rome, beloved “ of God, the called of Jesus Christ, called to “ be faints," " the election according to grace,'
not to be high-minded but to fear," because " if they continued not in God's goodness,
they also should be cut off ?” Wherefore, in writing to the Corinthians, whom he falutes as “ fanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be " faints, and commends for “coming behind “ in no gift,” does he remind them, that “ they
: Rom. i. 6, 7. xi. 5, 20, 22,
still carnal ;" and warn them that “ hè 66 who thinketh he standeth should take heed “ left he fall;" and “ befeech them, that they 4 receire not the grace of God in vain ??? Wherefore, in writing to the churches of Galatia, to whom he bears witnefs that “ they 6 did run well,” does he accuse them of " not
obeying the truth ;” and demand," who bad “ bewitched them, before whose eyes Jesus 6 Chrift had been evidently fet forth, crucified “ before them;" and exprefs' himfelf " afraid 4 of them, lest he had bestowed upon them lau bour in vaini?" Wherefore to “ the faints at “ Ephesus and the faithful in Christ Jesus," whom he describes as “ blessed by Gud and " the Father of our Lord Jefus Christ with all “ fpiritual blessings in Christ, according as he 6 hath chofen us in him before the foundation
of the world, that we should be holy and “ without blame before him' in love ; having * predestinated us to the adoption of children
by Jesus Christ:to himself; according to the “ good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the * glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us
accepted: in the beloved ;" does he “ beseech “ them to walk worthy of the vocation, where “ with they are called;" and exhort them, to
di Cor. i. 2, 7. in. 4.
Gal. v. 7. iii. 1. iv, 11.