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2. In whomfoever the Spirit of God works the good work of grace, in them he takes up his réfidence; they are his temples in whom he dwells, and in these he dwells for ever: I will pray the Father, fays Chrift, and be Shall give you another Comforter, that be may abide with you for ever; and if he abides with them for ever, then they cannot everlastingly perish; he is that anointing they have received of Chrift, which abideth in them, from whence they are denominated Chriftians, and by which they continue fuch; and it is by virtue of his inhabitation and abiding in them, that their mortal bodies fhall be quickened and raised, and be brought into a sftate of immortality and blifs'.
3. The Spirit of God not only continues in the hearts of his people, but he continues there as an earnest of their inheritance, which enfures it to them. for as fure as they have the earnest, and which they have from God himself, and is no other than the Lord the Spirit, fo fure fhall they have the whole; and if an earnest makes things fure and certain among men, it must needs do fo between God and his people. Moreover, the Spirit is the fealer of them until the day of redemption; until their bodies are redeemed from the dust of death, from mortality and the grave. He has fet his feal and mark upon them, which can never be broken or erased; and affures them of their salvation, and bears witness to their fpirits, that they are the children of God, and fo heirs of him, and joint-heirs with Chrift; but of what avail would this earnest, seal and witness be, if they should eternally perish? But from hence it may be moft affuredly gathered that they never shall.
Nintbly, From all that has been said, it clearly appears, that the glory of all the three persons in the Godhead, Father, Son, and Spirit, is concerned in this affair, and they must lose it, if this doctrine is not true; or if the faints, fhould everlastingly perish, where would be the Father's glory in election, in the covenant of grace, and in the miffion of his Son? Where would be the glory of the Son of God in the redemption of his people, in his facrifice and fatisfaction, and in his interceffion for them? And where would be the glory of the divine Spirit in the fanctification and fealing of them, if after all this they perish everlastingly? For all depends upon their final perfeverance and compleat falvation. And therefore we may be affured, that fince the faints are held with this threefold cord, which can never be broken, their final perfeverance is certain, and their everlafting falvation fure.
Tenthly, The contrary doctrine takes away the foundation of a believer's joy and comfort; it makes the love of God changeable: the covenant of grace failable;
failable; the redemption and fatisfaction of Chrift infufficient; and the work and graces of the Spirit lofeable; and fo, muft confequently fill the minds of the children of God with great doubts, fears and diftreffes, if not despair; fince their ftate and condition is fo very precarious: what comfort can a believer take in his prefent circumftances, if they are fuch, as by a fingle act of fin, to which he is liable every moment, he may be removed from a state of grace into a state of condemnation; and, notwithstanding all the favours bestowed on him, and promises made unto him, and grace given him, he may perish everlastingly? but this writer I have been confidering tells us, that his comfort is not affected hereby; it does not ftand upon this, but upon his prefent knowledge, fight, faith, frames, and a good converfation; and bids men go and find a more folid joy, a more blifsful comfort on this fide heaven. But bleffed be God, we have a better foundation for joy and comfort than all this; the true believer, though he lives by faith, he does not live upon it; he lives by it as Efau did by his fword"; he did not live upon it, that would have been hard living indeed, but he lived upon what it brought him; fo a believer lives not on his faith, but upon Chrift, and the grace of Christ, faith brings nigh unto him. He has better things than uncertain, precarious frames to live upon, and receive his comforts from; even the unchangeable love of God; the unalterable covenant of grace; the faithfulness of God, who, though we believe not, yet be abides faithful"; abfolute and unconditional promises; Jefus Chrift the fame to-day, yesterday, and for ever; his precions blood, perfect righteousness, atoning facrifice, and that fulness of grace which is in him. To conclude: If a man may be confident of any one thing in this world, may be confident of this very thing, that in whomsoever, whether in himself, or in any other, God hath begun a good work, he will perform it until the day of Jefus Chrift; and that all the true Ifrael of God shall be saved in the Lord with an everlasting falvation; and that not one of them fhall eternally perish. ▼ 2 Tim. ii. 13.
Gen. xxvii. 40.
y Ifa. xlv. 17.
• Serious Thoughts, p. 19, 20. * Phil. i. 6,
THE DOCTRINE OF PREDESTINATION STATED, AND SET IN THE SCRIPTURE LIGHT;
In Oppofition to Mr WESLEY'S Predeftination calmly Confidered, with a Reply to the Exceptions of the faid Writer to The Doctrine of the Perfeverance of the Saints.
having declared himself the author of the Serious Thoughts upon
the Perfeverance of the Saints, to which I lately returned an answer; has been pleased to shift the controverfy from perfeverance to predeftination: contenting himself with fome low, mean, and impertinent exceptions to a part of what I have written on the fubject of perfeverance; not attempting to anfwer any one argument, advanced by me in vindication of it; and yet he has the affurance in the public, papers, to call this miferable piece of his, chiefly written on another fubject, A full answer to Dr Gill's pamphlet on perfeverance; any other man but Mr Wesley would, upon reflection, be covered with fhame and confusion; though, to give him his due, in his great modefty, he has left out the word full in fome after papers; as being confcious to himself, or it may be, fome of his friends pointed it to him, that it was an impofition upon the public, and tended greatly to expofe himself and his caufe; fince he has left me in the full poffeffion of all my arguments; which I will not fay sare unanswerable, though I think they are; and it looks as if Mr Wesley thought so too, seeing he has not attempted to answer one of them; yet this I may fay, that as yet they are not anfwered; not answered at all, and much less is a full answer given unto them.
And now, though I might be very well excufed following him in this wild pursuit on the subject of predeftination; fince he has not meddled with my argument from it for the faints perfeverance; fince he has not pursued that fubject, as his title promifes; and fince throughout the whole he does not argue, only barangue upon it; and that only on a part of it, reprobation, which he thought would best serve his purpose; yet for the fake of weak and honeft minds, left VOL. III.
through his fubtelty, they should be corrupted from the fimplicity that is in Chrift; I fhall endeavour to state the doctrine of predeftination, and fet it in a true light according to the fcriptures, with the proofs of it from thence; and take notice of the principal objections raised by Mr Wesley in his harangue on that part of it which respects reprobation; and then close this treatife with a reply to his trifling exceptions to what I have written on the subject of the faints perfeverance.
As to the doctrine of predeftination, it may be confidered either,
I. In general, as refpecting all things that have been, are, or shall be, or done in the world; every thing comes under the determination and appointment of God; "he did, as the assembly of divines fay in their confeffion, from all eternity, unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass;" or, as they exprefs it in their catechifm, "God's decrees are the wife, free, and holy acts of "the counsel of his will; whereby, from all eternity, he hath, for his own "glory, unchangeably fore-ordained whatsoever comes to pafs in time:" and this predeftination and fore-appointment of all things, may be concluded from the fore-knowledge of God; known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world, an' asaros, from eternity; they were known by him as future, as what would be, which became fo by his determination of them; for, the reason why he knew they would be, is, because he determined they should be: alfo from the providence of God, and his government of the world, which is all according to the counsel of his own will; for he does every thing according to that, or as he has determined in his own mind. Eternal predestination in this fenfe, is no other than eternal providence, of which actual providence in time is the execution. To deny this, is to deny the providence of God, and, his government of the world, which none but Deifts and Atheists will do; at leaft it is to think and speak unworthily of God, as not being that all-knowing, and all-wife, and fovereign ruler of the world, he is: once more that very wonderful thing, prophecy, or foretelling things to come, could not be without a predestination of them; of which there are so many instances in scripture; fuch as the stay of the Ifraelites in Egypt, and their departure from thence; the seventy years captivity of the Jews in Babylon, and their return at the end of that time; the exact coming of the Messiah at fuch a certain time; with many others, and fome feemingly the most casual and contingent; as the birth of perfons by name a hundred or hundreds of years before they
a A&ts xv. 18.
Eph. i. 11.
were born, as Jofiah and Cyrus; and a man's carrying a pitcher of water, at fuch a time, to fuch a place; how could these things be foretold with certainty, unless it was determined and appointed they fhould be? There is nothing comes by chance to God, nothing done without his knowledge, nor without his will or permiffion, and nothing without his determination; every thing, even the most minute thing, refpecting his creatures, and what is done in this world in all periods and ages of time, is by his appointment; for the proof of which fee the following paffages.
Eccl. iii. 1, 2. To every thing there is a leafon, and a time to every purpose under the heaven; a time to be born and a time to die, &c. a time fixed by the purpofe of God for each of these.
Job xiv. 5. Seeing bis days are determined, the number of his months are with thee, thou hast appointed his bounds that he cannot pass. Chap. xxiii. 14. He performeth the thing that is appointed for me, and many fuch things are with him. Dan. iv. 35. And he doth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth, and none can stay his band, or fay unto him, what doft thou?
Eph i. 11. Being predeftinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counfel of his own will.
Acts xv. 18. Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world. Chap. xvii. 26. and bath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of
Matt. x. 29, 30. Are not two Sparrows fold for a farthing? and one of them Shall not fall to the ground without your Father; but the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
II. Predeftination may be confidered as Special, and as relating to particular perfons, and to things fpiritual and eternal; whereas predestination in general respects all creatures and things, even things temporal and civil.
First, Chrift himself is the object of predeftination; he was fore-ordained to be the mediator between God and man; to be the propitiation for fin; to be the redeemer and faviour of his people; to be the head of the church; king of faints, and judge of the world: hence he is called, God's elect, and his chofen one; and whatsoever befel him, or was done unto him, was by the determinate council and fore-knowledge of God; even all things relating to his fufferings and death; in proof of which read the following fcriptures.
c 1 Kings xiii. 2. Ifa. xliv. 28. and xlv. 1: Luke xxii. 10, 13.