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In fhort, the Cafe ftands thus. The Patrons of abfolute Predeftination, and the Patrons of conditionate Predeftination, do jointly affert, that there is a Predeftination to Life, and that the faid Predeftination to Life is the everlasting Purpofe of God, whereby (before the Foundations of the World were laid) he has conftantly decreed by his Counfel, fecret to us, to deliver from Curfe and Damnation those whom he has chofen in Chrift out of Mankind, and to bring them by Chrift to everlasting Salvation, as Veffels made to Honor. They are alfo agreed, that they who be endued with fo excellent a Benefit of God (that is, they who are predeftinated) be called according to God's purpose by his Spirit working in due feafon: they thro' grace obey the calling: they be juftified freely they be made fons of God by adoption: they be made like the Image of his only begotten Son Jefus Chrift: they walk religiously in good works, and at length by God's mercy they attain to everlasting felicity. Thus far, I fay, both Parties are agreed. But wherein then do they differ? Why, 1. Concerning the Ground of this Predeftination, viz. Whether those Perfons whom God has chofen in Chrift out of Mankind, and whom by his everlasting Purpofe, before the Foundations of the World were laid, he has conftantly decreed by his Counfel, fecret to us, to deliver from Curfe and Damnation, and bring them by Chrift to everlafting Salvation, as Veffels made to Honor; were therefore fo elected and predeftinated, because God forefaw their

arbitramur, cui fit gloria in Ecclefia per Chriftum Jefum in omnes ætates feculi feculorum, Amen. Difp. 15. p. 283, 284, 285.

See alfo Difp. 40, 41, 42, 43. p. 389 394. which are too long to be inferted: nor could I have prevail'd upon my Self to infert fo much as I have done already, were it not to convince the most obftinate by producing fuch full and plain Teftimonies.

their Obedience, that is (as we ufually fpeak) propter fidem prævifam, or no; 2. (as the Confequence of the former) Whether none be called according to God's Purpose by his Spirit working in due feason, but fuch as through Grace obey the Calling, are juftified freely, &c. and whether all that did for a while obey the Calling, and were juftified freely, and made God's Sons by Adoption, and made like the Image of Chrift, and walked religiously in good Works; whether all these, I fay, muft neceffarily perfevere, fo as at length by God's Mercy to attain to everlafting Felicity. Thefe are the Points, about which the Patrons of abfolute Predeftination, and the Patrons of conditionate Predeftination, do conftantly and widely differ.

Now with refpect to the firft Point in difpute, the Patrons of conditionate Predeftination affirm, that the Elect were predeftinated, because God forefaw their Obedience, that is, propter fidem prævifam: whereas the Patrons of abfolute Predeftination utterly deny this, and affirm, that the Elect were Predeftinated (whether in the Supralapfarian or Sublapfarian Way, it matters not at prefent) by virtue of anabfolute Decree, whithout any regard to that foreseen Faith and Practice, which the others affirm to be the only Ground of Difference between those that are predeftinated to Life, and those that are reprobated or predeftinated to eternal Death or Damnation. And with refpect to the fecond Point in difpute, the Patrons of abfolute Predeftination maintain, that none are called according to God's Purpose by his Spirit working in due feason, but fuch as thro' Grace obey the Čalling, and are juftified freely, and are made Sons of God by Adoption, and are made like the Image of his only begotten Son Jefus Christ, and walk re

ligiously

ligiously in good Works, and at length by God's Mercy attain to everlasting Felicity: Whereas the Patrons of conditionate Predeftination maintain, that of those who were called according to God's Purpose by his Spirit working in due feafon, 1. Some might thro' their own Fault not at all obey that Calling, &c. 2. Others, tho' they did obey the Calling for a while, and were accordingly during that Space juftified freely, and made God's Son's by Adoption, and made like the Image of Chrift, and walked religiously in good Works; yet might thro' their own Fault afterwards fall from Grace; and that both thefe Sorts, thofe that never obeyed at all, and thofe that after an Obedience for fome time did again return to their Impiety, and perfift in it, do not at length attain to everlafting Felicity.

Now let any Man ferioufly confider this, which is the true State of the Controversy between the refpective Patrons of abfolute and conditionate Predeftination; and then I challenge him to find me any one Syllable in the First Paragraph of this Article, that favors abfolute Predeftination in Oppofition to that which is conditionate.

As for the Second and Third Paragraphs, that nothing therein contained does contradict the Do&trin of the Patrons of conditionate Predeftination, is fo evident, that it needs no Proof. Or if it does, I once more refer the Reader to Mr. Plaifere.

After fo much has been already faid, perhaps it may not be strictly neceffary; however, I ftill think it advisable to refolve this Article into its feveral Propofitions. It contains Six.

1. Predeftination to Life is the everlafting Purpose of God, whereby (before the Foundati

ons

ons of the World were laid) he hath conftantly decreed by his Counfel, fecret to us, to deliver from Curfe and Damnation thofe whom he hath chofen in Chrift out of Mankind, and to bring them by Chrift to everlasting Salvation, as Veffels made to Honor.

2. They which be endued with fo excellent a Benefit of God (that is, those who are predeftinated to Life) be called according to God's Purpose by his Spirit working in due feafon : they thro' Grace obey the Calling: they be juftified freely: they be made Sons of God by Adoption they be made like the Image of his only begotten Son Jefus Chrift: they walk religiously in good Works, and at length by God's Mercy they attain to everlasting Felicity.

3. The godly Confideration of Predeftination and our Election in Chrift, is full of fweet, pleasant and unfpeakable Comfort to godly Perfons, and fuch as feel in themselves the Working of the Spirit of Christ, mortifying the Works of the Flefh, and their earthly Members, and drawing up their Mind to high and heavenly Things; as well because it doth greatly establish and confirm their Faith of eternal Salvation, to be enjoyed thro' Chrift, as because it doth fervently kindle their Love towards God.

4. For curious and carnal Perfons, lacking the Spirit of Chrift, to have continually before their Eyes the Sentence of God's Predeftination, is a most dangerous Downfal, whereby the Devil doth thruft them either into Defperation, or into Wretchlefness of moft unclean

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clean living, no less perilous than Despera

tion.

5. We must receive God's Promifes in fuch wife as they be generally fet forth to us in Holy Scripture.

6. In our Doings, that Will of God is to be followed, which we have exprefly declared unto us in the Word of God.

*

The First Propofition is our Church's Definition of what the means by Predeftination to Life. She faies, 1.'Tis the everlafting Purpofe of God. Now every Purpose of God is everlafting; becaufe God from all Eternity knew all contingent Events; and was refolv'd concerning them, either to permit or prevent them. 2. By this Purpose he conftantly decreed. For Inconftancy is impoffible in God. 3. He decreed before the Foundations of the World were laid. This muft needs be true, because his Purpose was everlasting. 4. He thus decreed to deliver those whom he has chofen in Chrift out of Mankind, from Curfe and Damnation. Now that fome are to be delivered from that Curfe and Damnation, into which Original Sin had plung'd them, the whole Tenor of the Scripture fhews. And that God has in Chrift chofen fome out of Mankind, is evident. Because those that embrace Chriftianity, are upon this account frequently call'd the Elect or Chofen. But then those who embrace Chriftianity, are not all of them deliver'd from Curfe and Damnation; becaufe fome of them do not perform the Conditions of the Gofpel: and confequently tho' they enjoy the First or Temporal Election, yet they do not enjoy the Second or Eternal one, which is unattainable without Perfeverance in good Works. Now 'tis this Second, even the Eternal Election,

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