Images de page
PDF
ePub

IV. These angels and men, thus predestinated and fore-ordained, are particularly and unchangeably designed, and their number is so certain and definite, that it cannot be either increased or diminished. h

h 2 Tim. 2 : 19; John, 13 : 18.

[ocr errors]

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, i 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, and all to the praise of his glorious grace.

i Eph. 1:4, 9, 11 ; Rom. 8:30 ; 2 Tim. 1:9; 1 Thes. 5:9. * Rom. 9:11, 33, 16 ; Eph. 1: 4, 9. 1 Eph. 1:6, 12.

VI. As God hath appointed the elect unto glory, so hath he by the eternal and most free purpose of his will fore-ordained all the means thereunto.m Wherefore they who are elected, being fallen in Adam, are redeemed by Christ, n are effectually called unto faith in Christ by his Spirit working in due season, are justified,

;

adopted, sanctified, and kept by his power, through faith unto salvation. Neither are any other redeemed by Christ, or effectually called, justified, adopted, sanctified, and saved, but the elect only.

mi Pet. 1:2; Eph. 1: 4, 5, and chap. 2 : 10 ; 2 Thes. 2 : 13. ni Thes. 5: 9, 10; Tit. 2 : 14. o Rom. 8:30 ; Eph. 1:5; 2 Thes. 2 : 13. p1 Pet. 1:5. 9 John 7:9 6: 64, 65 ; 8: 47, and 10: 26; Rom. 8:28, to the end : 1 John 2 : 19.

VII. The rest of mankind, God was pleased, according to the unsearchable 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 dishonor and wrath for their sin, to the praise of his glorious justice."

r Matt. 11 : 25, 26; Rom. 9 : 17, 18, 21, 22 ; 2 Tim. 2: 19, 20; Jude, 4: 1 Pet. 2:8.

VIII. The doctrine of this high mystery of predestination is to be handled with special prudence and care, that men attending the will 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, u and of humility, diligence, and abundant consolation to all that sincerely obey the Gospel. W

s Rom. 9 : 20, 11, 33; Deut. 29: 29. 12 Pet. 1:10. u Eph. 1: 6; Rom. 11 : 33. w Rom. 11:5, and 6: 20; 2 Pet. 1:10; Rom. 8:33: Luke 10: 20.

CHAP. IV,

OF CREATION.

I. It pleased God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, « for the manifestation of the glory of his eternal power, wisdom, and goodness, in the beginning to create and make of nothing the world, and all things therein, whether visible or invisible, in the space of six days and all very good.

a Heb. 1:2; John 1 : 2,3; Gen. 1:2; Job, 26: 13, and 33 : 4. b Rom, 1 : 20; Jer. 10 : 12; Psal. 104 : 24, and 33: 5, 6. c Gen. 1 chap. ; Heb. 11:3; Col. 1:16; Acts, 17: 24.

II. After God had made all other creatures, he created man, male and female, d with reasonable and immortal souls, e endued with knowledge, righteousness and true holiness, after his own image,'having the law of God written in their hearts, & and power to fulfil it; hand yet under a possibility of transgressing, being left to the liberty of their own will, which was subject to change. i Besides this law written in

their hearts, they received a command not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil; which whilst they kept they were happy in their communion with God, and had dominion over the creatures.

d Gen.1 : 27. e Gen. 2:7; Eccl. 12:7; Luke. 23:43 ; Matt. 10 : 28. f Gen. 1:26 ; Col. 3 : 10 ; Eph. 4: 24. & Rom. 2:14, 15. h Eccl. 7:29. i Gen. 3:6; Eccl. 7: 29. k Gen. 3:8, 9, 10, 11, 23. 1Gen. 1 : 26, 28, and 2: 17.

CHAP. V.

OF PROVIDENCE.

I. God, the great Creator of all things, doth uphold, a direct, dispose, and govern all creatures, actions, and things b from the greatest even to the least by his most wise and holy providence, è according to his infallible fore-knowledge and the free and immutable counsel of his own will,' to the praise of the glory of his wisdom, power, justice, goodness, and mercy.g

a Heb. 1 : 3. b Dan. 4: 34, 35; Psal. 135 : 6 ; Acts; 17 : 25, 26, 28, 29 ; Job. 38, 39, 40, 41, chapters. c Matt. 10 : 29, 30, 31. d Psal. 104 : 24 ; 15: 3, and 145:17. Acts, 15:18; Psal. 94: 8, 9, 10, 11. f Eph. 1:11 ; Psal. 33 : 10, 11. g Isa. 63 : 14 ; Eph. 3 : 10 ; Rom. 9:17; Gen. 45:17; Psalm 145 : 17.

II. Although in relation to the fore-knowledge and decree of God the first cause, all things come to pass immutably and infallibly;h yet by the same providence he ordereth them to fall out, according to the nature of the second causes, either necessarily freely or contingently.

h Acts, 2: 23. i Jer. 31: 35; Exod. 21 : 13; Gen. 8: 22 ; Deut. 19: 5; i Kings, 22 : 28, 34 ; Isa. 10 : 6, 7.

III. God, in his ordinary providence maketh use of means, yet is free to work without, above,m and against them at his pleasure." k Acts, 27 : 31, 44; Isa. 55:11; Hos. 2: 21, 22. 1 Hos.

Matt. 4:4; Job 34 : 10. m Rom. 4: 19, 20, 21. n2 Kings 6:6; Dan. 3:27.

1:7;

IV.

The almighty power, unsearchable wisdom, and the infinite goodness of God so far manifest themselves in his providence, in that his deterininate counsel extendeth itself even to the first fall and all other sins of angels and men, (and that not by a bare permission,) P which also he most wisely and powerfully boundeth, 9 and otherwise ordereth and governeth in a manifold dispensation, to his own most holy ends, yet so as the sinfulness thereof proceedeth only from the creature, and not from God,

« PrécédentContinuer »