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religion. Besides my resolution herein, I oblige myself, by promise to my congregation, that I would, in the strength of Christ, prick the bladder of their blasphemous pride, by proving and making good, by the scriptures of truth, the abovesaid doctrines. For my encouragement wherein, my congregation did unanimously stand by me, resolving I should be at no other charge hereabout but the studying part. Paper was bought, the printer agreed with; and just as the press was ready to begin, the storm came suddenly on the Protestants in Dublin, that we were soon scattered asunder; the providence of God calling on us to secure our lives instead of printing books. The reason why I have been so long silent in this cause, is the want of that help I had from my flock in Dublin, If any generous noble-spirited Christians, who love Christ's cause better than they do the mammon of this world, will step in to my encouragement, in supplying the room of my absent friends, they shall, in a very short time, see the four doctrines above mentioned cleared up and made good from God's word, inaugre all the jesuitical craft and subtilty whereof that people seem to be masters. The reason why I have singled out the last of the four doctrines rather than any of the other three, to discover and confute the Quakers' pernicious heterodoxy in the foundation principles of true Christianity, is twofold.
First, because that in denying and opposing
Je doctrine of particular, unconditionate election, before time, they do manifestly rob God of his sovereignty and praise.
Secondly, because of the natural tendency, which the denial of this doctrine of a particular, unconditionate election, before time, and the holding and propagating its contrary, viz., the doctrine of free will to good in every man, of general redemption, and a temporary conditional election with falling from grace, hath to encourage men in living a licentious, loose life; and to necessitate men's final despair of salvation, when the natural conscience in unregenerate men comes to be under powerful awakenings, for sin committed against the law of God.
That I do the Quakers no wrong, in charging them with robbing God and encouraging men to live in sin; as also their laying a foundation for men's despair of ever being 'saved in their way of conditional and temporary election, will evidently appear to him who reads and compares with God's revealed will, what is discovered in this small tract; and in case any noble-spirited Christians will but encourage the work, as already hinted, I do not so much as doubt, but that the Spirit of God will enable me to demonstrate from God's own word that the Quakers, in denying the resurrection of the body, and the justification of a sinner by the alone righteousness of the Son of God freely imputed, without any regard had to any qualifications, inhering in the person of the
sinner justified, do deny all sound and saving religion; and as touching their sinless perfection attainable in this life, whereof they make such brags, it shall be made plain that herein they both belie the Spirit of God, and contradict the experience of all saved believers, both in heaven and earth.
DOCTRINE OF ELECTION.
OF ELECTION BEFORE TIME.
God did, before all time, by his unchangeable counsel, most freely, unchangeably, and from all eternity, elect and choose unto himself, out of lapsed Adam's fallen posterity, a certain number of persons, which can neither be lessened nor increased, to partake of his special saving grace to salvation, 'by Jesus Christ his Son, to the praise of the glory of his own grace. •
What I have now asserted for truth, if God enables me to demonstrate and make good by scripture, as I doubt not he will, then will it unavoidably follow all the wit and malice of men and devils cannot overthrow it) that God had passed by and reprobated others.
In the proposition now laid down there are three things to be considered, in order to a clearing up and making good the point in dispute. First, the act of God and the objects thereof, which are both held forth and intended in the scriptures following: Ephes. i. 4, “ According as he hath chosen us in
him." John xv. 19, “ I have chosen you,” &c. 2 Thes. ii. 13, “ God hath chosen you,” &c.
In the scriptures now quoted we have God electing or choosing, and then the objects of his election or choice, viz. particular persons on whom that election of God fixeth, viz. some particular personis.
That God's act of election hath fixed on some particular persons, not on all in general, as the enemies of election would fain have it, the following arguments will evince.
Arg. 1. If God hath made a promise of life and salvation to some particular persons only, then hath he elected and chosen to himself a certain number of persons, to whom alone, excluding all others, that promise of grace and salvation shall be made good.
But God hath made a promise of life and salvation to some particular persons only, excluding all others; therefore God hath elected and chosen to himself a certain number of persons, to whom, excluding all others, the promise of life and salvation shall be made good.
That God hath made a promise of life and salvation to some particular persons only, excluding all others, is evident and plain to such as acknowledge the scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be of divine authority. “And I will establish my covenant between me and thee, and thy seed after thee, in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be a God to thee, and to thy seed after thee,” Gen. xvii. 7.