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nothing is to him contingent or uncertain. He is most holy in all his counsels, in all his works, and in all his commands.m To him is due from angels and men, and every other creature, whatsoever worship, service, or obedience, he is pleased to require of them.”
III. In the unity of the Godhead there be three persons, of one substance, power, and eternity; God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost.o The Father is of none, neither begotten nor proceeding; the Son is eternally begotten of the Father ;P the Holy Ghost eternally proceeding from the Father and the Son.9
CHAP. III.—Of God's Eternal Decree. I. MI OD from all eternity did, by the most wise and holy counsel of his
Town will, freely and unchangeablyordain whatsoever comes to pass :* riches both of the wisdom and know- straightway out of the water: and, lo, ledge of God! how unsearchable are the heavens wereopened unto him, and his judgments, and his ways past find. he saw the Spirit of God descending ing out! Ver. 34. For who hath known like a dove, and lighting upon him : the mind of the Lord ? or who hath Ver. 17. And lo a voice from heaven, been his counsellor ? Ps.cxlvii. 5. Great saying, This is my beloved Son, in is our Lord, and of great power: his whom I am well pleased. Matt. xxviii. understanding is infinite.
19. Go ye therefore, and teach all naI Acts xv. 18. Known unto God are tions, baptizing them in the name of all his works from the beginning of the the Father, and of the Son, and of the world. Ezek. xi. 5. And the Spirit of Holy Ghost. 2 Cor. xiii. 14. The grace the Lord fell upon me, and said unto of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love me, Speak; Thus saith the Lord, Thus of God, and the communion of the have ye said, O house of Israel: for I Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen. know the things that come into your P Johni. 14. And the Word was made mind, every one of them.
flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we bem Ps.cxlv. 17. The Lord is righteous held his glory, the glory as of the only in all his ways, and holy in all his works. begotten of the Father,) full of grace Rom. vii. 12. Wherefore the law is holy, and truth. Ver. 18. No man hath seen and the commandment holy, and just, God at any time; the only begotten and good.
Son, which is in the bosom of the n Rev. v. 12. Saying with a loud voice, Father, he hath declared him. Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to 9 John xv. 26. But when the Com. receive power, and riches, and wisdom, forter is come, whom I will send unto and d strength, and honour, and glory. you from the Father, even the Spirit and blessing. Ver. 13. And every crea- of truth, which proceedeth from the ture which is in heaven, and on the Father, he shall testify of me. Gal. earth, and under the earth, and such iv. 6. And because ye are sons, God as are in the sea, and all that are in hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son them. heard I saying, Blessing, and into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. honour, and glory, and power, be unto I. & Eph. i. 11. In whom also we have him that sitteth upon the throne, and obtained an inheritance, being predesunto the Lamb, for ever and ever. Ver. tinated according to the purpose of 14. And the four beasts said, Amen. him who worketh all things after tho And the four and twenty elders fell counsel of his own will. Rom. xi. 33. down and worshipped him that liveth ( the depth of the riches both of the for ever and ever.
wisdom and knowledge of God! how III. • 1 John v.7. For there are three unsearchable are his judgments, and that bear record in heaven, the Father, his ways past finding out! Heb. vi. the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and 17. Wherein God, willing more abunthese three are one. Matt. iii. 16. And dantly to show unto the heirs of proJesus, when he was baptized, went up mise the immutability of his counsel,
yet so, as thereby neither is God the author of sin, nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures, nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established.
II. Although God knows whatsoever may or can come to pass upon all supposed conditions ;d yet hath he not decreed any thing because he foresaw it as future, or as that which would come to pass upon such conditions.
III. By the decree of God, for the manifestation of his glory, some men and angels' are predestinated unto everlasting life, and others foreordained to everlasting death.s confirmed it by an oath. Rom. ix. 15. Israel, I beseech thee, tell thy servant. For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy And the Lord said, He will come down. on whom I will have mercy, and I will Ver. 12. Then said David, Will the men have compassion on whom I will have of Keilah deliver me and my men into compassion. Ver. 18. Therefore hath the hand of Saul ? And the Lord said, he mercy on whom he will have mercy, They will deliver thee up. Matt. xi. and whom he will he hardeneth. 21. Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe un
James i. 13. Let no man say, when to thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty he is tempted, I am tempted of God: works, which were done in you, had for God cannot be tempted with evil, been done in Tyre and Sidon, they neither tempteth he any man. Ver. 17. would have repented long ago in sack. Every good gift and every perfect gift clothand ashes. Ver. 23. And thou, Ca. is from above, and cometh down from pernaum, which art exalted unto heathe Father of lights, with whom is no ven, shalt be brought down to hell: for variableness, neither shadow of turn, if the mighty works, which have been ing. 1 John i. 5. This then is the mes- done in thee, had been done in Sodom, sage which we have heard of him, and it would have remained until this day. declare unto you, that God is light, and e Rom. ix. 11. For the children being in him is no darkness at all.
not yet born, neither having done any c Acts ii. 23. Him, being delivered good or evil, that the purpose of God by the determinate counsel and fore. according to election might stand, not knowledge of God, ye have taken, and of works, but of him that calleth. Ver. by wicked hands have crucified and 13. As it is written, Jacob have I loved, slain. Matt. xvii. 12. But I say unto but Esau have I hated. Ver. 16. So then you, That Elias is come already, and it is not of him that willeth, nor of him they knew him not, but have done un- that runneth, but of God that showeth to him whatsoever they listed: like- mercy. Ver. 18. Therefore hath he
Son of man suffer mercy on whom he will have mercy, and of them. Acts iy. 27. For of a truth, whom he will he hardeneth. against thy holy child Jesus, whom III. '1 Tim. v. 21. I charge thee bethou hast anointed, both Herod and fore God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and and the elect angels, that thou observe the people of Israel, were gathered to- these things, without preferring one gether, Ver. 28. For to do whatsoever before another, doing nothing by parthy hand and thy counsel determined tiality. Matt. xxv. 41. Then shall he before to be done. Johnxix. 11. Jesus say also unto them on the left hand, answered, Thou couldest have no power Depart from me, ye cursed, into everat all against me, except it were given lasting fire, prepared for the devil and thee from above: therefore he that de- his angels. livered me unto thee hath the greater & Rom. ix. 22. What if God, willing sin. Prov. xvi. 33. Thelot is cast into the to show his wrath, and co make his lap; but the whole disposing thereof is power known, endured with much of the Lord.
long-suffering the vessels of wrath II. a Acts xv. 18. Known unto God fitted to destruction; Ver. 23. And are all his works from the beginning that he might make known the riches of the world. 1 Sam. xxiii. 11. Will of his glory on the vessels of mercy, the men of Keilah deliver me up into which he had afore prepared unto his hand ? will Saul come down, as thy glory. Eph. i. 5. Having predestinated servant hath heard ? O Lord God of us unto the adoption of children by
IV. These angels and men, thus predestinated and foreordained, are particularly and unchangeably designed; and their number is so certain and definite, that it cannot be either increased or diminished. 1
V. Those of mankind that are predestinated unto life, God, before the foundation of the world was laid, according to his eternal and immutable purpose, and the secret counsel and good pleasure of his will, hath chosen in Christ unto everlasting glory, out of his mere free grace and love, without any foresight of faith or good works, or perseverance in either of them, or any other thing in the creature, as conditions, or causes moving him thereunto;k and all to the praise of his glorious grace.
VI. As God hath appointed the elect unto glory, so hath he, by the eternal and most free purpose of his will, foreordained all the means thereunto.m Wherefore they who are elected being fallen in Adam, are redeemed by Christ;" are effectually called unto faith in Christ by his Spirit working in due season ; are justified, adopted, sanctified, Jesus Christ to himself, according to k Rom. ix. 11,13,16. (See letter e imthe good pleasure of his will, Ver. 6. mediately forego To the praise of the glory of his grace, letter i immediately, oregoing.) wherein he hath made us accepted in Eph. i. 6. To the praise of the glory the Beloved. Prov. xvi. 4. The Lord of his grace, wherein he hath made us hath made all things for himself; yea, accepted in the Beloved : Ver. 12. That even the wicked for the day of evil. we should be to the praise of his glory,
IV. h 2 Tim. ii. 19. Nevertheless the who first trusted in Christ. foundation of God standeth sure, hav. VI. m 1 Pet. i. 2. Elect according to ing this seal, The Lord knoweth them the foreknowledge of God the Father, that are his. And, Let every one that through sanctification of the Spirit, nameth the name of Christ depart from unto obedience and sprinkiing of the iniquity. John xiii. 18. I speak not of blood of Jesus Christ. Eph. i. 4. Acyou all: I know whom I have chosen: cording as he hath 10sen us in him but, that the scripture may be ful- before the foundation of the world, filled, He that eateth bread with me that we should be holy and without hath lifted up his heel against me. <blame before him in love: Ver. 5. Hav.
V. i Eph. i. 4. According as he hath ing predestinated us unto the adoption chosen us in him before the founda- of children by Jesus Christ to himselt: tion of the world, that we should be according to the good pleasure of his holy, and without blame before him will. Eph. ii. 10. For we are his work. in love: Ver. 9 Having made known manship, created in Christ Jesus unto unto us the mystery of his will, ac- good works, which God hath before cording to his good pleasure, which he ordained that we should walk in them. hath purposed in himself: Ver. 11. 2 Thess. ii. 13. But we are bound to In whom also we have obtained an in- give thanks alway to God for you, heritance, being predestinated accord. brethren beloved of the Lord, because ing to the purpose of him who worketh God hath from the beginning chosen all things after the counsel of his own you to salvation through sanctificawill. Rom. viii. 30. Moreover, whom he tion of the Spirit, and belief of the did predestinate, them he also called ; truth. and whom he called, them he also jus- Thess. v. 9. For God hath not tified; and whom he justified, them he appointed us to wrath, but to obtain also glorified. 2 Tim. i. 9. Who hath salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, saved us, and called us with an holy Ver. 10. Who died for us, that, whether
according to our works. we wake or sleep. we should live tobut according to his own purpose and gether with him. Tit. ii. 14. Who gave grace, which was given us in Christ himself for us, that he might redeem Jesus before the world began. 1 Thess. us from all iniquity, and purify unto v. 9. For God hath not appointed us himself a peculiar people, zealous of to wrath, but to obtain salvation by good works. our Lord Jesus Christ.
°° Rom. viii. 30. Moreover, whom he
and kept by his power through faith unto salvation. Neither are any other redeemed by Christ, effectually called, justified, adopted, sanctified, and saved, but the elect only.9
VII. The rest of mankind, God was pleased, according to the un. searchable counsel of his own will, whereby he extendeth or withholdeth mercy as he pleaseth, for the glory of his sovereign power over his creatures, to pass by, and to ordain them to dishonour and wrath for their sin, to the praise of his glorious justice."
VIII. The doctrine of this high mystery of predestination is to be handled with special prudence and care, that men attending the will did predestinate, them he also called; revealed them unto babes. Ver. 26. and whom he called, them he also jus. Even so, Father: for so it seemed good tified; and whom he justified, them in thy sight. Rom. ix. 17. For the he also glorified. Eph. i. 5. Having scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even predestinated us unto the adoption of for this same purpose have I 'raised children by Jesus Christ to himself, thee up, that I might show my power according to the good pleasure of his in thee, and that my name might be will. 2 Thess. ii. 13. But we are bound declared throughoutall the earth. Ver. to give thanks alway to God for you, 18. Therefore hath he mercy on whom brethren beloved of the Lord, because he will have mercy, and whom he will God hath from the beginning chosen he hardeneth. Ver. 21. Hath not the you to salvation through sanctification potter power over the clay, of the same of the Spirit, and belief of the truth. lump to make one vessel unto honour,
Pi Pet. i. 5. Who are kept by the and another unto dishonour ? Ver. power of God through faith unto sal. 22. What if God, willing to show his vation, ready to be revealed in the last wrath, and to make his power known, time.
endured with much long-suffering the 9 John xvii. 9. I pray for them: I vessels of wrath fitted to destruction ? pray not for the world, but for them 2 Tim. ii. 19. Nevertheless the foun. which thou hast given me; for they dation of God standeth sure, having are thine. Rom. viii. 28. And we know this seal, The Lord knoweth them that that all things work together for good are his. And, Let every one that to them that love God, to thein who nameth the name of Christ depart are the called according to his pur- from iniquity. Ver. 20. But in a great pose, &c. [to the end of the Chapter.] house there are not only vessels of John vi. 67. But there are some of gold and of silver, but also of wood you that believe not. For Jesus knew and of earth; and some to honour and from the beginning who they were that some to dishonour. Jude, ver. 4. For believed not, and who should betray there are certain men crept in unahim. Ver. 65. And he said, Therefore wares, who were before of old ordained said I unto you, that no man can come to this condemnation, ungodly men, unto me, except it were given unto him turning the grace of our God into of my Father. John X. 26. But ye be- lasciviousness, and denying the only lieve not; because ye are not of my Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. sheep, as I said unto you. John viii. 1 Pet. ii. 8. And a stone of stumbling, 47. He that is of God heareth God's and a rock of offence, even to them words : ye therefore hear them not, which stumble at the word, being disbecause ye are not of God. 1 John ii. obedient; whereunto also they were 19. They went out from us, but they appointed. were not of us; for if they had been VIII. 8 Rom. ix. 20. Nay but, O of us, they would no doubt have con- man, whoart thou that repliest against tinued with us: but they went out, God? Shall the thing formed say to that they might be made manifest that him that formed it, Why hast thou they were not all of us.
made me thus ? Rom. xi. 33. O the VII. Matt. xi. 25. At that time Je- depth of the riches both of the wissus answered and said, I thank thee, dom and knowledge of God! how un. O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, searchable are his judgments, and his because thou hast hid these things ways past finding out! Deut. xxix. from the wise and prudent, and hast 29. The secret things belong unto the
of God revealed in his word, and yielding obedience thereunto, may, from the certainty of their effectual vocation, be assured of their eternal election. So shall this doctrine afford matter of praise, reverence, and admiration of God," and of humility, diligence, and abundant consolation, to all that sincerely obey the Gospel."
CHAP. IV.–Of Creation. I. TT pleased God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,a for the manifes
I tation of the glory of his eternal power, wisdom, and goodness,b in the beginning, to create, or make of nothing, the world, and all things therein, whether visible or invisible, in the space of six days, and all very good. Wrotulit was lélia llimo Lord our God; but those things which and the Spirit of God moved upon are revealed belong unto us and to the face of the waters. Job xxvi. 13. our children for ever, that we may do By his Spirit he has garnished the all the words of this law.
heavens ; his hand hath formed the t 2 Pet. i. 10. Wherefore the rather, crooked serpent. Job xxxiii. 4. The brethren, give diligence to make your Spirit of God hath made me, and the calling and election sure: for if ye do breath of the Almighty hath given these things, ye shall never fall. me life.
u Eph. i. 6. To the praise of the b Rom. i. 20. For the invisible things glory of his grace, wherein he hath of him from the creation of the world made us accepted in the Beloved. are clearly seen, being understood by Rom. xi. 33. [See letter s immediately the things that are made, even his foregoing.]
eternal power and Godhead; so that w Rom. xi. 5. Even so then at this they are without excuse. Jer. x. 12. present time also there is a remnant He hath made the earth by his power, according to the election of grace. he hath established the world by his Ver. 6. And if by grace, then is it no wisdom, and hath stretched out the more of works; otherwise grace is no heavens by his discretion. Ps. civ. 24. more grace. But if it be of works, O Lord, how manifold are thy works! then is it no more grace; otherwise in wisdom hast thou made them all: work is no more work. Ver. 20. the earth is full of thy
nes. Ps. Well; because of unbelief they were xxxiii. 5. He loveth righteousness broken off, and thou standest by faith. and judgment: the earth is full of Be not high-minded, but fear. 2 Pet. the goodness of the Lord. Ver. 6. i. 10. [See letter t immediately forego. By the word of the Lord were the ing.] Rom. viii. 33. Who shall lay heavens made; and all the host of any thing to the charge of God's elect? them by the breath of his mouth, It is God that justifieth. Luke x. 20. [The whole first Chapter of Gen.] Notwithstanding, in this rejoice not, Heb. xi. 3. Through faith we underthat the spirits are subject unto you; stand that the worlds were framed by but rather rejoice, because your names the word of God; so that things which are written in heaven.
are seen were not made of things I. a Heb. i. 2. Hath in these last which do appear. Col. i. 16. For by days spoken unto us by his Son, whom him were all things created that are he hath appointed heir of all things, in heaven, and that are in earth, vi. by whom also he made the worlds. sible and invisible, whether they be John i. 2. The same was in the be- thrones, or dominions, or principali. ginning with God. Ver. 3. All things ties, or powers; all things were creatwere made by him; and without him ed by him, and for him. Acts xvii. was not any thing made that was 24. God, that made the world, and all made. Gen. i. 2. And the earth was things therein, seeing that he is Lord without form, and void; and darkof heaven and earth, dwelleth not in ness was upon the face of the deep: temples made with hands.