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things; but events that come to pass, are things. God's power

;; does extend to all things, otherwise it would not be infinite. -So neither is the knowledge of God infinite, unless God knows all things. To suppose that God cannot do things impossible, does not suppose that Gou's power can be increased. But to suppose that God does not know men's free actions, does suppose that God's knowledge may be increased.

$ 23. If God absolutely determined that Christ's death should have success in gathering a church to him, it will follow, that there was a number absolutely elected, or that God had determined some should surely be saved. If God determined that some should surely be saved, that implies that he had determined that some should perforın the conditions of salvation, and be saved ; or, which is the same thing, that he would cause that they should be surely saved. But this cannot be, without fixing on the persons beforchand. 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 : or 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 Christ's death; and had determined it beforehand. Because he had absolutely promised it; Isa. xlix. 6. and liii. 10. See in Psalm Ixxii. and other places in the Psalms, and Tit. i 14. God having absolutely purposed this before Christ's death, must cither 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 who promised, that performs. That thing, or rather no-thing, 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 Spec. Thelog. in Christo, p. 165-171.

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$24. It is pretended, that the antecedent certainty of any sin 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, atter that, Christ exhorted all his disciples to watch and pray, that they might not fall into temptation.—“God's decree does not at all take off the use of our endeavours. For in the use of ineans, the very decree itself is to receive its accomplishment, Let me refer you to a scripture story for the illustration and proof of this. When the apostle Paul was in imminent danger of shipwreck, in bis voyage to Rome, he encouraged the company, by assuring them, there should not be the loss of any man's life, but only of the vessel. For, says he, there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve, saying, Fear not, Paul, thou must be brought before Cæsar ; and lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee. Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer, for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me.' Acts xxvii. 23, 24. Yet when the shipmen were by and by going to flee out of the ship, to save themselves by the boat, Paul said to the centurion and to the soldiers, Except these abide in the ship, ye cannot be saved : which did not at all weaken the assurance he had just before given them from God, that they should all be saved ; for God, who had appointed the end, that they should be saved ; had also appointed the means, that they should be saved by the help of these shipmen. So, though God has ordained the salvation of those that shall be saved, he has ordained it in the way of faith and holiness, and a working out their own salvation with fear and trembling." Cooper on Predestination unto Life, p. 58, 59.

§ 25. It follows from the infinite perfection of God, that he equally determines within himself all his own works at once. God cannot but be capable of this by his knowledge of all possibilities, and wisdom to judge, at one view, which of them were fittest to be carried into existence through boundless ages. And is it not the wisdom of every agent, before he sets about a work of any compass, to fix in his design, as far as he can, all things that any way relate to it? Now, all God's works, from the beginning of the creation to the consummation of all things, are one whole and entire grand scheme, whose ultimate end lies at a vast distance from the beginning, and all the intermediate operations, as so many parts, conspire to it in a regular connexion. How, then, can it be consistent with his most perfect wisdom, to leave any of them to an after-thought, when he had forethought sufficient to provide for all alike? And, since he would not knowingly suffer any thing utterly incon

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sistent with his own glory, as he had power to hinder it, he has, no doubt, fixed such bounds and limitations to all his creatures, that nothing shall be produced by any of them, which may not have a proper place and use in the suin of events. He has settled, also, particular subordinate ends to individual events, and a general good end on the whole, which they shall altogether subserve. Of him,' we are told, and through him,

. • and to him, are all things.' Rom. xi. 36. • The counsel of the Lord standeth for ever, and the thoughts of his heart to all generations.' Psalm xxxiii. 11. Nothing can ever arise to surprise him, or cast any difliculty or perplexity in his way, he having already, from eternity, settled the proper measures of conduct in every case that shall emerge. How incomprehensible and wonderful in counsel, as well as excellent in working, is God! and hat reason have we to cry out, О the depth of the riches, both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!' Rom. xi. 33." HUBEARD. Faith and Pract. Sermon 6.

$26. As to the decrees of election, see Psalm Ixv. 4. “Blessed is the man whom thou choosest, and causest to approach unto thee, that he may dsvell in thy courts: we shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house, even of thy holy temple." Isaiah 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 fcw chosen." Chap. xxii. 14. “For many are called, but few are chosen.” Chap. xxiv. 24. " For there shall arise false Christs and falsc prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very clect." John vi. 37-16. “ 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 11, and 14-17, 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 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

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 ther: for I have niuch

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people in this city.”—“ 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. 41--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. Chap. xvii. 9~13. “I pray for them : I pray not for the world, bui for them which thou hast given me ; for they are thine," &c. 1 Thess. v. 9. “ For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but

9 to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ."-_- What shall we say then ? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. So then, it is not of him that willeih, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy, dc. Thou will 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.” Rom. ix.-" 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? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded. For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things : to whom be glory for ever. Amen." Rom. xi.

$ 27. Concerning the Arminian notion, 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. Besides, their principles render vain all endeavours to spread the gos. pel. For the gospel will certainly be spread to all nations that are elected ; and all such shall have the offers of the gos

l pel, whether they take any care of the matter or no. 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. 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, ver. 27. “ A reinnant shall be saved." What is there that God doth 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. 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 reason. ably pray for the accomplishment 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?

28. To Dr. Whitby's observation, that the apostle speaks of churches, as though they were all elect; 1 answer, He speaks from a judgment of charity, as Dr. Whitby bimself 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 them as a man knows his own things. He acknowledged them from eternity. He owns them as his children. 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 undetermined concerning this and that, and the other person, whether ever he sbould believe or not, and so of every parti, ular 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 matter of any determination of God's. So that, ihough God sent his Son into the world, yet the matter was left altogether

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