« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
effe&tually to call them ; first to awaken them out of their former ease and security, to coni ince and humble them, and so drive them 10 Christ : That it he goes 10 Chrift for life upon the general call of the rolpel, his election of God is puc out of question; and then he need not be dilcouraged on account either of his unw.orthyness or inabilicy; for the promises of effcctual and persevering grace made to Chritt in behalf of the elect are absolute, and he may plead them, and take the com. fort of them, and rest assured that as Christ will calt out none that come to him, so it is not the will of his faiber in beaven, tbat one of these little ones should perish tand therefore he has undertaken to perfect that which does concern them, to compleat the good work begun in cheni, to protea and guide them thro'chis evil world, and carry chem saíely to the kingdom prepared for them. When, I lay, a minifter applies himself in this manner, upon these principles, to an awakened distresled soul,does it. not carry greater encouragement, & ftronger consolation in it, chan the other, which only makes the salvation of all men pofsible, but ficures salvation to none of them;
† Mat. 18. 14.
and leaves them so much to themselves in a difficult and hazardous work, to which they know & find they are sadly unequal ?
Thus an answer has been given to some of the more common objections bro's against this truch. But I have not yet gone thro' all that I propos’d ; tho' I have endeavour'd to be as comprehensive as I could. Another discourse must be allow'd me: In which I shall endeavour to improve the subject to the ends of practical religion; and persons may be directed how to make their election sure ; for a person will never be thro’ly reconcil'd to this doctrine, till he has a hope of his own interest in it. Consider of what has been said, and the Lord give you understanding in all things ; establishment in this, and every other golpel truth. This also we wish, brethren, even your growing up towards perfection in knowledge and faith, together with holiness and comfort. We wou'd not have you always as babes to be fed with milk, but as men in Christ to be able to receive and digest these cruths which the apostle calls strong meat. 'Tis a mean and a low thing for a christian to be content to know nothing but what is neceflary to salvation. There are many truths reveal'd in the gospel, which we can't say are absolutely ne
cellary to salvation, which yet ’ris a shame for christians not to have the knowledge of, because they redound to the honour of God, and have an influence into some parts at least of practical religion. And if these are among the deep things of God, let it not discourage you from a humble cautious search into them by the light of scripture, and with prayer to the spirit of truth, to lead you into all truch.
I conclude now with the apostles prayer for the Philippians, I chap. 9, 10, 11. V. This I pray that your love may abound get more and more in knowledge, and in all judgment ; that ye may approve things that are excellent ; (or, as the margin reads it, try things that differ ; ) that ye may be sincere, and without offivce till the day of Christ ; being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Chrift,to the praise and glory of God. AMEN.
Moreover, whom he did predeftinate, i hem be
also called : and whom be called, them be also justified: and whom he justified, them be also glorified.
E have had three discourses from these words concerning the doctrine of predestixation unto life. The truth has been explain'd & ftaced in several propositions. It
has been confirm’d and establish'd by plain scripture proof, and solid argument agreeable to scripture. Some misrepresentations made of it have been rectified ; and several objections obvi
aed. ated. I hope now to finish the subject as God Thall vouchsafe to help. And the next thing we are to proceed to according to the method we at first propos'd is,
: IV. To set before you some of the ab. surd consequences which follow upon the denial of this doctrine, and the difficulties of which the contrary scheme labours, and with which they are embarrass'd who are on the other side of the question. This, I apprehend, will cast some more light into the subject, and further confirm the truth we are maintaining ; and it may help to undeceive some who have been ready to think all the difficulty lies on our part, and there is little or nothing for our opponents to reconcile, or to clear away, before this notion can be embrac'd.
And I. If such an ele&ion as we have been speaking of is not granted, it follows, Thac the will of God, even in an affair wherein his own glory is so greatly concern'd as the salvation of men, is dependent on the will of the creature. .
I think the more general scheme of those who cannot subscribe to the doctrine of ele&tion is, That God has not infallibly will’d the salvacion of any particular per