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he is warning against a partial regarding the rich, and despising the poor, he fhews this to be very contrary co God's meihod in dispensing spiritual favours. The 2d ch. Sth v. Hearken my beloved brethren, barb 90t God CHOSEN the poor of this world, rich.in faith, and beirs of the kingdom which he bath promised to them ibat love him?
The apostle Peter will not leave this. subject untouch’d. Writing to the chrifti, ans driven by persecution from their own country into places where they were ftrang-, ers, he addresles them in this ftile, ELECT, according to the fore-knowledge of God the father, tbro' fan&tification of the spirit unto obedience, and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus. He distinguishes between them and others, in the next ch. at the 8th and oth versës ; Others, he says, took offence ar Chrift, and Stumbled at his word, being disobedient,whereo. unto also they were apointed, but there were a CHOSEN GENERATION, a PECULIAR PEOPLE, to few. fortb the praises of bim, who haib called them out of darkness into his marvellous light. And in his next epiftle, the ift, ch. the roth v. he exhorts chem to give dilligence to make their calling, and therein their ele&tion sure ; i. e, sure to themselves, with. respect to their own comfortable knowledge of it, as it was already sure with refpect to the decree and purpose of God..
The fericing the di
che belies for it loved usor honourable
The testimonies shall finish with 7obu, as his writings close the book of God. He was especially the disciple of love, and his epistles, as well as his gospel, breath the electing love of God. In his first epiftle the 14th ch, the 19th v. He makes the antecedent eternal love of God to us, not only the incentive, but the rise and spring of the believers love to him ; We love him, because be fir t loved us. And he inscribes his second epistle,to an honourable matron, whom he calls the elect Lady ; not only a choice one, but one cholen of God Nor is the book of the Revelation wbich Jefus Cbrist made to bim silent about this truth. There we are cold, That all that dwell in the earth Mall worship the beast, and be deceived by satan, either in doctrine or practice, to their perdition, excepring those whose names are written in the lambs book of life from the foundation of tbe world; Izth ch. 8. v. 17.ch. 80. 'And in the 14th verle, the followers of the lamb have this description and character given of them, they are called, and clofen, and faithful Finally, we are told in the 21 ch. 27th v. Who Ahall gain admission into the new ferufalem, the Jerusalem which is above, the city of the living God; that there shall in no wise enter any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie ; but
THEY WHICH ARE WRITTEN IN THE LAMB'S BOOK OF LIFE. This expression frequently occurs in the sacred ftile. Ot some particular saints we read, ( Phil. 4. 3. ) their names are in the book of life. And the whole body of them are stiled, (Heb. 12. 2 3. ) The church of the first-born written in beaven. All which places refer to the common usage among men, of keeping books of record, in which are entred the names of persons admitted into their community, and all elections to offices among them : And so in this metaphorical way of speaking, the scripture represents the great discriminating favour of eternal ele&tion.
It appears from all, that the doctrine ye are creating of, is no scatter'd, single, or independent article ; but runs along with the stream of the bible. 66 We have " nor this truth as ibe small drop of a bucket, « but as the found of many waters. If these texts do not mean what we are maintaining, to me they mean nothing at all. And however one or two of them may be arcfully evaded, or turn’d to another sense by ibe Night of any ; t yet they who deny our
it If any would see a number of the scriptures
we have mention'd rescu'd from the strange and unnatural interpretations of Hammond,
doctrine must fight with an exceeding great army of scriptures, and contend with Moses and the Prophets, CHRIST and his Apostles. And thus we see what we have aflerted, strongly establifh'd by the authority of the holy scriptures.
II. We may argue this truth from the divine perfektions; particularly, from the infinite wisdom, and certain fore-knowledge of God.
1. From the infinite wil done of God, in conjunction with his power. Whatever God does, he must be suppos'd to have before determin’d to do: This must be allow'd or else it wou'd argue him defective in wisdom. And whatever he determines to do he must accomplish or it wou'd argue him defective in power. I find this tho't fo well purlu'd by a late rational and sound Di. vine, * that I will take the liberty to use his words, with but little variation.
" It must be allow'd that whatever perfection or excellency is to be found in any creature, the same must be esential to the
Whitby, and others ; let them confult, Doctor
Ridgley's Body of Divinity. * The Rev. Mr. Sladen.
most high God, and that in the most emi. nent and transcendent degree. For, if every creature derives its being from God, as the first cause, then no creature can poffibly be possess'd of any excellency, but what mult, in the highest and most abiolute senle, belong to God . Now, no one can deny that it is an excellency in any creature to be wise and powerful; wise to lay a scheme of what he intends to do, and powerful to perform and accomplish what he designs. For a rational being to set about a work, without first forming in his mind a model of what he intends to pursue, is to discover a defect of wisdom; as not to be able to accomplish the plan he hath laid down, bewrays a want of power.
These premises being granted which indeed cannot be denied, it must follow, that whatever the great God does he design'd to do ; and whatever he design’d to do he does. For, to supposeGod to perform any work which he did not before design to perform, is to charge him with a degree of folly and with acting below an intelligent agent ; as to fuppose him to design a thing which he does not effc&t, is to tax him with impotence. If then it is an instance of the wirdom and power of man, first to design a work, and then to perfect it, the greatGod,
activore hilftea, is is an i