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just and holy God be conceived to elect men for that which he can do no other than hate and loath, as the best duties of an unregenerate person are both contrary to the nature of God, aud also repugnant to his just and holy law?
When unregenerate men talk and bray of their duties and qualifications, as that which must recommend them to God, and purchase for them a right to the crown that fades not away, they think and speak as men in a midnight dream, not understanding what they say, or whereof they affirm; and the head-spring of this their boasting of their qualifications, is the profound ignorance and luciferian pride which
sways their unrenewed spirits, having never passed under the killing severity of the law of God, set home on the conscience by the spirit of bondage, to prepare them for healing by the Lord Jesus Christ.
Until this work of the Lord pass on the soul, no child of Adam can possibly prize the Son of God, or see himself to be utterly undone, till, with the rich man in the parable, the unquenchable flames of hell discover his misery to him, Luke xvi. 23. From what hath been observed from the scriptures now referred to, plain it is, that God, in electing some and reprobating others of Adam's posterity, cannot, without blasphemy, be said to elect or choose any man to a state of life and glory for any thing of good which he foresaw would be in the sinner, fallen into a state of sin and misery: and therefore, if there was nothing of foreseen good
in the creature elected, for which God had respect to him more than to another, it must unayoidably follow, that in God electing, not;;in the sinner elected, is the impulsive or moying cause, viz. his own sovereign good pleasure.
God, as hath been already observed, in electing and reprobating men, looks on them as fallen and guilty creatures, who had wrought their own misery, by their voluntary breach of his royal law. To none of them was the Most High any way obliged. He might have sent them all to the same place and condition of the fallen angers, whose conduct and example they followed in rebelling against their holy Sovereign. And which, of, all the reprobates now in hell will it avail, to dispute the point of God's sovereignty with him? or to inquire why or wherefore he hatlı left them in that sad and deplorable state of sin and misery? Pertinent to the business in hand, is that query which Augustin puts in his book of the city of God;
Quis fecit reprobum?' saith he, “Who made the reprobate?" To which he himself replies, “Quis nisi Deus?', 'Who,' saith he, “but God?'
Again he queries, .Quare Deus fecit reprobum?' Why did God make the reprobate?' To which he answers, “Quia ita voluit:' * Because,' saith he, it was his will.'
Again he queries, Quare Deus voluit reprobum facere?' Why,' saith he, ‘was it God's will to make the reprobate a reprobate?' He answers. the cavilling querist, or saucy and pragmatical
inquirer, with that of Paul, Rom. ix. 20:0 homo, tu quis es, qui respondeas Deo ?' who art thou that repliest against God?'
If Augustin were now living on earth, and should read the reply which Grevincovius, 'that blaspheming proud Arminian, made to the query which Paul put to the called Corinthian, who excelled in the gifts of God, i Cor. iv. 7, ".For who maketh thee to differ? and what hast thou, that thou hast not received." . To which Grevincovius most arrogantly and blasphemously replies, * I myself make myself to differ.' I say, if Augustin were to read this Arminian's answer to Paul, it would not be difficult to guess at what rate Augustin would treat his insolence.
If the abused grace of God changed him not before death, it is most dreadful to think, and seriously to consider, how little the free-will and learning, of which he was greatly proud, do now avail him at the bar of the great Judge; no doubt but he finds, in woeful experience, what an “impar congressus,' or unequal match, he is, for the great Jehovah to dispute matters with. Oh! that men of his spirit and pernicious principles were wise, to consider things aright, before they see and feel their folly in the unquenchable flames of God's wrath in hell.
Let it be farther considered, how express the Spirit of God is in charging on Adam and all his offspring, without exception, the breach of liis law, and, on that very account, accounting them
all guilty criminals, and unclean polluted sinners, who, by their voluntary apostacy, liave forfeited his favour and lost his blessed image, wlierein the glory and happiness of the rational creature consisted, as the apostle witnesseth; Rom. iii. 23. “ For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” And in ver. 19, '. Now we know, that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law, that every mouth
be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.” The conclusion whereof he sets down in ver. 20, “ Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight; for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” With Paul concur all the prophets, and the other penmen of holy scriptures, setting forth the wretched condition of all mankind by the apostacy of Adam, the natural and fæderal head of his children.
The condition then of all Adam's posterity being such, as renders every sinner culpable before God, and not only so, but utterly incapable of willing or acting the least part of that duty which God's law requires to a helping or recovering himself out of that his misery; it is most plain and obvious to every enlightened understanding, that by the tenure of the first Adam's covenant, all are born heirs of the curse and wrath of an offended God; and are, by reason of that spiritual impotency, which is inflicted on Adam's nature as a punishment for breaking God's law, as altogether unable to believe in an atoning Saviour when
offered by God in the gospel of his grace, as they are to perform the condition of that holy law of God, the violation and breach whereof hath cast and condemned, at God's bar, the whole race of mankind.
Man's wretchedness and misery then is of himself; he can truly and justly blame noue for it but himself. Gen. iii. 17. Eccles. vii. 29. Hos. xiji. 9.
This granted, it unavoidably and by necessary consequence follows, that God is most just and righteous in sealing, to the day of his wrath, with the black character of reprobation, that part of Adam's posterity, on whom he hath fixedly resolved to glorify that adorable and tremendous attribute of his inceused justice, for breaking his just and righteous law.
And where is the man who will undertake to prove God unjust and unrighteous, in case he had. dealt with the elect themselves as he hath done with the reprobates, viz. scal them up to the judgment of the great day of his wrath! God is debtor to none of Adam's children, unless to damn and forsake them for ever, for their devil-like apostacy and rebellion.
In this adorable and tremendous dispensation of his, in reprobating the greatest part of mankind, and electing to himself, out of the fallen and corrupted mass, some few of mankind, on whom he purposed to glorify the riches of his grace, through Christ his Son, he acts towards both in a