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Predeftination unto Life.
ROMANS, VIII. 29, 30.
destinate to be conformed to the image of
among many brethrex. Moreover, whom he did predestinate, them
be also called ; and whom he called, them be also justified ; and whom he justified,
them be also glorified. Tom H E apostle having in the
foregoing chapters of this epiftle, explain'd the doctrine of justification, and press’d the necessity of sanctification, applies him
self in this to the consolati. on of the Lord's people. For the holy
scriptures are not only profitable for doétrine for reproof, for correction, and instruction in righteousness, but are written that we, thro' patience and comfort of them, might kave hope : And the ministers of the word are appointed to be helpers of the joy of them who thoro' grace have believed. And, as a worthy Expositor + lays of this chapter, many of the people of God have found it a wellspring of comfort to their louls, living and dying, and have luck'd and been satisfied from these breasts of consolation, and with joy drawn water out of these wells of salvation.
Having reckon'd up many particular inStances of the happiness of true christians, such as a freedom from guilt and condemnation, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, a relacion to God as his children, a title to future glory, and the concurrence of all providences to promote their spiritual and everlasting good, he represents the ground of all these as laid in God's eternal decree of Ele&ion, or Predestination unto life, in the words that I have read. For whom be did fors-know,them he also did predestinate, &c. Here the order of the causes of our salvation is plainly set before us These words have been commonly call'd the golden chain of
+ Mr. Henry.
Wonfider'?ption for the
salvation; and such a chain it is as cannot be broken. There are four links in it.
1. Whom he did fore-know, be also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son. Whom he did fore-know. This is the foundation upon which the whole frame of the surprising work of man's redemption stands; the first thing to be confider'd in the scheme of falvation, upon which all the other parts folow, and with which they are inseperably connected. It is here said of a number of the children of men, as diftinguish'd from the rest,that God has fore-known them. And this fore-knowledge implies choice; his having pitch'd upon them to be the objects on whom his redeeming grace shall be glorified. It is the same with that everlasting love, wherewith he is said to have loved his people, Jer. 31. 3. And means nothing less than his having set them apart for himself, Pfal. 4. 3. Words of knowledge in Scripture often signifie affection and choice. So God said to Moses, Exod. 33. 17. Thou has found grace in my fight, and I know thee by name. Where. one expression explains the other. So the apostle tells us, 1 Cor. 8. 3. That if any man love God, the Fame is known of him. A knowledge of favour and goodwill must needs be here intended; and this previous and preparatory to any thing recommending and lovely in B 2
the objects of it; as is plain from the mana ner in which the apostle speaks to the Galatians, ch. 4. v. 9. Te have known God, or rather are known of God. On the other hand, we are told || our Saviour will lay to some in the great day, I never knew you, i. e. I never approv'd and own'd you; for both their persons and characters were well known to him.t The same word is rendred fore-ordained, in 1 Pet. 1. 20. Who, (i, e. Christ ) was verily fore-ordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifeft in thefe last times for you. God's fore-knowing his people means nothing less than his crernal purpose to make them his friends and favourites. It must signifie his deter
1 Mat. 7. 23: + Duplex Dei decretum verfatur circa electos,
quorum alterum appellat Apoftolus neg''V WB OW; alterum Węgog:opov, predestinationem, five electionem Ilie autem reglyuris, five pranutio, non eft nudæ et fimplicis notitiæ, fed approbationis, juxta asitatissimam scripturæ phrasiologiam. Si quis diligit Deum, hic cognitus eft ab eo. Ecquid cognitione nuda, seclusa approbatione Dei? At fic cognuscuntur etiam ofores Dei. Twissi vind. Grat. Lið. 3.
Pag. 259. Etiam aPiscatore observatum mesirooivet Eudoxíay pro rodem adhiberi.
mining to do them good, to call, juftifie, and sanctifie them now, and glorifie them hereafter. · Those whom God thus fore-knew, he did predestinate to be conformed to the image of bis fon; to be like to Jelus Christ in the temper of their minds, and actions of their lives. This cakes in the whole work of sanctification, of which Christ is the great pattern and samplar, Observe ; It is not said God fore-knew they would be conform’d to the image of his son, and so predestinated them, as some turn the sence of the words. This cannot be the meaning of them ; for this conformity to Christ is said to be the thing they are predestinated to, and is made the result of this foreknowledge ; the effect of it, and not the cause: Whom he did foreiknow, them be did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his fon. Being design’d for glory and happiness as the end, they are decreed to grace and holiness as the way. For if there is a difference between fore-knowledge and predestination, it seems to be this, the former is the appointment of the end, the other of the means unto it. And they are predestinated to this conformity to the image of the son of God, for the honour of Christ, whose glory is design'd by the Father in the whole work of redemption. That he might