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glory, most loving, gracious, merciful, long-suffering, abundant in goods ness and truth, forgiving iniquity, transgsession and sin, the rewarder of them that dilligently seek him, and withal most just and terrible in his judgments, hating all sin, and who will by no means clear the guilty..
II. God hath all life, glory, goodness, blessedness, in and of himself, and is alone, in and unto himself, all-sufficient, not standing in need of any creatures, which he hath made, nor deriving any glory from them, but only manifesting his own glory, in, by, unto and upon them. He is the alone fountain of all being, of whom, through whom, and to whom are all ihings; and hath most sovereign dominion over them, to do by them, for them, or upon them, whatsoever himself pleaseth: in his sight all things are open and manifest, his knowledge is infinite, infallible and independent upon the creature, so as nothing is to him contingent or uncertain. He is most holy in all his counsels, in all his works, and in all his commands. To him is due from angels and men, and erery other creature, whatsoever worship, service or obedience, as creatures, they owe unto the Creator, and whatever he is further pleased to require of them · III. In the unity of the God-head there be three persons of one substance, power, and eternity, God the Father, God the Son, and God the the holy Ghost : the Father is of none, neither begotten, nor proceeding; the Son is eternally begotten of the Faiher; the holy Ghost eternally proceeding from the Father and the Son. Which doctrine of the Trinity is the foundation of all our communion with God, and comfortable dependence upon him.
Of God's eternal Decree.
GOD from all eternity did by the most wise and holy counsel of his own will, freely and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass : 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 se pposed conditions, yet hath he not decreed any thing, because he foresaw it as future, or as that which would come to pass upon such conditions.
JII. 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.
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.
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 nieer 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.
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: 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, and kept by his power, through faith unto salvation. Neither are any other redeemed by Christ, or effectually called, justified, adopted, sanctified and sared, but the elect only.
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.
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, and of humility, diligence, and abundant consolatier. to all that sincerely obey the gospel.
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 or make of nothing the world, and all things thercin, whether visible or invisible, in the space of six days, and all very good.
II. After God had made all other creatures, he created man, male and female, with reasonable and immortal souls, endued with koowl. edge, righteousness and true holiness, after his own image, having the law of God written in their heart, and power to fulfil it; and yet under a possibility of transgressing, being left to the liberty of their own will, which was subject to change. Besides this law written in their hearts, they received a command not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; which while they kept, they were happy in their communion with God, and had dominion over the creatures.
GOD the great Creator of all things, doth uphold, direct, dispose and govern all creatures, actions, and things from the greatest even to the least, by his most wise and holy providence, 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.
II. Although in relation to the fore-knowledge and decree of God, the first cause, all things come to pass immutably, and infallibly; yet by the same providence he ordereth them to fall cut, according to the nature of second causes, either necessarily, freely, or contingently,
III. God in his ordinary providence maketh use of means, yet is free to work without, above, and against them at his pleasure.
IV. The almighty power, unsearchable wisdom and the infinite goodness of God, so far manisest themselves in his providence, in that his determinate counsel extendeth itself even to the first fall, and all other sins of angels and men, (and that not by a bare permission) which also he most wisely and powerfully boundeth, and otherwise ordereth and
governeth in a manifold dfspensation, to his own most holy ends, yet se as the sinfulness thereof proceedeth only from the creature, and not from God, who being most holy and righteous neither is, nor can be the author or approver of sin.
V. The most wise, righteous and gracious God doth oftimes leave for a season his own children to manifold temptations, and the corruption of their own hearts, to chastise them for their former sins, or to discover unto them the hidden strength of corruption, and deceitfulness of their hearts, that they may be humbled, and to raise them to a more close and constant dependence for their support upon himself, and to make them more watchful against all future occasions of sin, and for sundry other just and holy ends.
VI. As for those wicked and ungodly men, whom God as a righteous judge for former sins, doth blind and harden, from them he not only withholdeth his grace, whereby they might have been enlightened in their understandings, and wrought upon in their hearts; but sometimes also withdraweth the gists which they had, and exposeth them to such objects as their corruption makes occasions of sin ; and withal gives them over to their own lusts, the temptations of the world, and the power of satan, whereby it comes to pass that they harden themselves, even under those means which God useth for the softning of others.
VII. As the providence of God doth in general reach to all creatures, so after a most special manner it taketh care of his church, and disposeth all things for the good thereof.
C H A P. VI.
Of the fall of Man, of Sin, and of the punishment thereof.
GOD having made a covenant of works and life thereupon, with our first parents, and all their posterity in them, they being seduced by the subtility and temptation of satan, did wilfully transgress the law of their creation, and break the covenant in eating the forbidden fruit.
II. By this sin they, and we in them, fell from original righteousness and communion with God, and so became dead in sin, and wholly define in all the faculties and parts of soul and body.
III. They being the root, and by God's appointment standing in the room and stead of all mankind, the guilt of this sin was imputed, a ad
corrupted nature conveyed to all their posterity descending from them by ordinary generation
IV. From this original corruption, whereby we are utterly indisposed, disabled and made opposite to all goos!, and wholly inclined to all evil, do proceed all actual transgressions.
V. This corruption of nalure during this life, doth remain in those that are regenerated ; and although it be through Christ pardoned and mortified, yet both itself, and all the motions thereof are truely and properly sin.
VI. Every sin, both original and actual, being a transgression of the righteous law of God, and contrary thereunto, doth in its own nature bring guilt upon the sinner, whereby he is bound over to the wrath of God, and curse of the law, and so made subject to death, with all miseries spiritual, temporal and eternal.
CHA P. VII.
Of God's Covenant with Man.
THE distance between God and the creature is so great, that although reasonable creatures do owe obedience to him as their Creator, yet they could never have attained the reward of life, but by some voluntary condescension on God's part, which he hath been pleased to express by way of covenant.
II. The first covenant made with man, was a covenant of works, wherein life was promised to Adam, and in him to his posterity, upon condition of perfect and personal obedience.
III. Man by his fall having made himself uncapable of life, by that covenant, the Lord was pleased to make a second, commonly called the covenant of grace; wherein he freely offereth unto sinners life and salvation by Jesus Christ, requiring of them faith in him that they may be saved, and promising to give unto all those that are ordained unto life, his holy spirit to make them willing and able to believe.
IV. This covenant of grace is frequentiy set forth in scripture by the name of a Testament, in reference to the death of Jesus Christ the Testator, and to the everlasting inheritance, with all things belonging to it, therein bequeathed.