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lieving in Jesus, as the undoubted fruit or effect of election.
Secondly, Art thou frequently tempted to doubt of, and question, thine election to eternal life?
This is an undoubted argument, that the devil discerns in thee the fruits and effects of God's electing love to thy person, which puts him upon tempting thee to question and doubt of God's love to thee.
Where the devil knows he hath the full and quiet possession of a sinner, there he suggests, that the man is a good christian : his faith is a good faith, and God is his father, and that he is elected and shall be saved, notwithstanding he lives after the flesh.
On the contrary, where the devil sees and discovers the fruits and effects of God's grace and love appear, there he pesters the soul with infernal suggestions and temptations, to put the soul on misbelieving and questioning the truth of God's grace bestowed on the sinner; thou art bùt a painted liypocrite, thou art none of God's elect; it is in vain for thee to hope or expect to go to heaven. Thus he dealt with the believer's Redeemer. Matt. iv. 3, 6, “ If thou be the Son of God,” &c.
And if the adversary hath done this to the green tree, what will he not attempt to do in the dry? Luke xxiii. 31.
Thirdly, Dost thou find thine heart fixedly resolved, come life come death, to cast thy soul at
the foot of Divine Sovereignty, in the way of duty, shunning all known sin, and pressing after holiness, resting entirely on the grace and merit of Christ after life and salvation? Thou art to know, for thine everlasting comfort and encouragement, that no reprobate ever was, or ever shall be, able to do this. Time will discover that thou art one of God's elect; go on in the strength of thy God: fear not.
By what hath been discoursed out of the holy scriptures, concerning the act of God's election of some to life and salvation by Jesus Christ, to the praise of the glory of his own grace; it unavoidably, and by necessary consequence, follows, that the same Sovereign God hath reprobated, or rejected, the rest, not so elected; and that, from all eternity, having decreed never to recover them by converting grace, but hath fixedly purposed for sin to damn them; and that for the praise of the glory of his own justice. Nothing can be more plain than that, if God hath elected and chosen a certain number out of the whole corrupted mass or lump of fallen maukind, in whose salvation he
hath purposed to glorify his mercy and free grace by Jesus Christ, then hath he refused or passed by the rest, as will most evidently appear in all the
parts of it.
The decree of reprobation hath in it four parts, to each of which I will speak as plainly and as briefly as I can.
First, God hath refused or rejected some particular persons, on whom he purposed never to have mercy; this is most evident from the scriptures following “But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.” Rom. xi. 7, “ But the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded." Rom. ix. 18, “ Therefore hath he mercy, on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.” In which scriptures it is plain and conspicuous to every one savingly enlightened, that there are two distinct or differing parties intended or spoken of; some, whom Christ chose to himself, known and distinguished by the term, sheep; and others, whom Christ denies to be so. These are those intended in Matt. xxv. 32, 33 termed goats, opposed to the sheep of Christ. Some, whose understandings were savingly enlightened to know the glorious mysteries of the covenant of grace, in order to salvation; and others not at all enlightened, but left to abide in that spiritual darkness and 'blindness of mind, which they brought into the world with them. Some, whom God's powerful grace mollified and softened to saving repentance, in order to mercy; and others, whom
God sees fit to harden, that is, to leave them to that sin of their own, which hardens them.
Secondly, God hath from eternity rejected or refused these.
This is plain from the scriptures following. Jude 4, “There are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation." Rev. xvii. 8,“ Whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world.” 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 were appointed.” From all which it is manifest that God did, as a just judge, purpose and decree to give up the reprobates to the obstinacy of their own mind, and their wilful disobedience against his Son Jesus Christ; that so they might not only ripen themselves for, but even pull down, the judgments of God
themselves. Thirdly, God hath decreed to damn these persons for sin.
This is plain from the following scriptures. Prov. xvi. 4, “ The Lord hath made all things for himself; yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.” 2 Pet. ii. 12, “But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed.”
Fourthly, God's reprobating some persons from eternity, and that in order to damn them for sin, is for the praise of the glory of his own justice.
This is so plain and obvious, that he who runs may read it. Rom. ix. 22,“ What, if God wil.
ling to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endureth, with much long-suffering, the yessels of wrath fitted to destruction.”
Against this doctrine of election and reprobation of particular persons, the Quakers, Papists, Arminians, Free-willers, and others, who, in this point, are all one with them, object several things; out of which I will single the chief and most material of their objections, which, to ignorant and injudicious minds, seem to be of great force against the doctrines now laid down; to which I shall give plain and clear answers from God's word, to the end the fallaciousness and deceit of these men might appear, open-faced, to all men.
Object. 1. They object, that to hold and affirm, that God hath from eternity elected and chosen a particular number to himself out of the corrupted mass of fallen mankind, on whom he decreed, unchangeably, to shew mercy, leaving the rest with
purpose never to recover them to life and salvation, reflects on God the highest cruelty imaginable.
Answ. To this seeming plausible objection, I shall reply in the particulars following.
First, I have made it evident, from God's own word, that God hath, undeniably, elected a certain particular number to himself out of the corrupted mass of fallen mankind, on whom he, unchangeably, decreed to shew mercy, leaving the rest, not so elected, in that state of sin and misery, into which they, voluntarily, run themselves,