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against all the disputings of men, and discouragements of the world ; and so as to venture your souls, your everlasting concerns upon the verity of it ? Do you esteem the records of the gospel to be faithful fayings, and worthy of all acceptation ; and make the bible the rule of your life, the foundation of your hope, and spring of your conTolacion? This success of the gospel upon you will be a proof of your election, as it was of the election of the believing cbedient Thessalonians.
The apostle Peter also shews us in what way and order to make our election suré. As in the place we have just mentioned, ( ź Per. 1. 10.) Give diligence, bré. thren, to make your calling and election sure ; your election by your calling : For,whom be predeftinated, then be also called. If then God has added the internal to the external call of the gospel : If you are bro't out of thole finful ways you once walk'd in, to walk in the way of good men, the way of holiness and obedience; If you are taken off from the world, and no longer seek ir aś your blefledness, but have chosen God for your portion & happiness ; if heaven is your end, and you are resolv'd to take up with nothing short of it, and make use of Chrift as the way to ic; you may then be aflur'd, you shall see the good of his chofen, and rejoice with the gladness of his nation, and glory with his inheritance.
Again, : We are cold, Acts 13, 48. As many as were ordained unto eternal life, believed. Ex-. amine then, whether the faith of God's ele&t is wro’in you. Do you believe the record God has given of his son ? God's way of laving finners by Jesus Chrift, reveal'd and propos'd in the gospel, do you receive it, approve of, and rest in it; and renouncing all other hopes and expectations, res pole your whole confidence therein ? And is Christ precious to you, as he is to them that believe? You may know then you were ordain’d to eternal life before the founda-.. tion of the world.
To proceed, Your love to God, as well as your faith in Christ, evidences your election : for so we read, 1 John 4. 19. We love bim, because be first loved us. Let it then be inquir’d, Do I love the Lord our God with all the beart, and Joul, and mind, and strength? Do Imake choice of him before all other things, and delighe in him supreamly? Is this the inward language of my soul, Thou art my portion, Lordo Whom bave I in heaven but i bee? and there is nothing on earth I desire besides tbee. You may then hear him saying to you, rea I have loved you with an everlasting love,
But as love can't be sincere unless it is obediencial, so our new obedience is another proof and evidence of our election. The apostle has told us, Eph: 1. 3. He bath cholen us before the foundation of the world, that we shou d be boly, and without blame before him in love. We must inquire then, if we wou'd know our election, Whether there is a leparation wro't between us and our fins and lufts? Whether we walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit ? Whether ipdwelling sin is a burthen and grief to us, and we are labouring in the mortification of it? Whether we are in the use of all proper and appointed means, Cleansing our selves from all filsbyness of fish and Spirit ; perfect ing boline's in the fear of God? Do we desire nothing more than holiness, a conformity to the image of Chrit? And do we lament nothing niore than our want of holiness, or of conformity to the image of his son?
This is a icken of salvation. You may rest satisfied from hence, that God bas not appointed you to wrath, but to obtain Salvation bong our Lord Hesus Christ. :ų. The next ule must be by way of counsel, to such as have no ground at prefent to conclude themselves of this number; who have no reason as yet to think themselves effe&tually called and converted; to: have chat faith, and love, and holiness,
which are the marks of God's ele&. To such I wou'd address a few words of di. rection ; and O chat chey might be regarded and put in practice !
it mulinels of Se deliveabour to
1. Don't murmur at God's decree of election; for this is to rebell against God, and will highly displease him. And besides, you have no reason to do so ; for this is not che cause of your continuing in sin and impenitence, as was shown when we anfwer'd the objections against this doctrine; but it must be assign'd to the corruption and wickedness of your nature, from which indeed you can't be deliver'd bur by the almighty grace of God. Labour to be reconcil'd to God's method of saving finners, cho' it be not such as human reason mighe have carv'd out. His method of salvation is certainly the wiseft and the best : For as the heavens are high above the earth; ro are bis tho'ts above our sho'ts, and his ways above out ways, lla. 55. 8.
2. Beware of drawing up any dark conclusions concerning your self, as if the decree of God was against you. Satan may tempt you to this, but you are not iga nurant of his devices, Remember, cho'there are many ligns of election, there are no certain cokens of reprobation, except the fin against
the Holy Ghost. Supposing the doctrine of election, ver, as God has a reconciling work on foot in this world, you are as likely to have an interest in it as another. It is certain God has a purpose of mercy for a great many. Some in all ages Mall find mercy. And there is nothing to exc!ude thee, in thy country, sex, age, or any of thy outward circumstances; no, nor yec in the greatnels of thy sins, or long continuance in them. For it is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Jesus Chrift came into the world to fave finner's, even the chief of them. Wherefore your way is,
3. To apply for mercy, and hope for it, upon the invitations and encouragements of the gospel. Even a peradventure is look'd upon to be encouragement eno' to try in other cases of hazard and distress; and why no: in chis? Remember the instance of Benhadad's servants, and take direction from it, 1 Kings 20. 31, 32. And his servants faid unto him, Behold now, we have heard that The kings of the house of Israel, are mercifub kings : let us, I pray tbee, put sackcloth on our loins, and ropes upon our beads, and go out to she king of Israel; peradventure be will save tlay life. So tbey girded fackcloth on their loins, and put ropes on ibeir beads, and came to tbc kiny of Israel, and faid, Thy servant Benhadad