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couragement, and no hopeful prospect, but the contrary. Some out of wicked families are converted; others after a strict and religious education, become vile and profli. gate. What different fuccefs hath the gospel at some times, and in some places; and ac different times in the same place? Tho’ the same meslage, and the same preacher. Is there not an open display of the sovereignty of divine grace in all this? Surely the conversion of finners is according to bis purpose, as to the subje&t's themselves, and allo as to the time and season of their change, and the means and method by which it is accomplished.
Once more, IV. Such an election as we are treating of, is necessary to secure to the Lord Jesus Christ what he purchased by bis death. It wou'd be very dishonourable to suppose that Christ undertook the great and difficult work of mans redemption ; that he came into our world, suffer'd and died, upon an uncertainty what the effect of his redemption wou'd be ; for this is plainly to make him ac below a wise intelligent agent. This could no ways be ascertain', but by a di. vine fore-ordination; for otherwise it must be left to turn upon the corrupt fallacious will of man. If men were left to themselyes, such is their impotency to what is
good in their present fallen state, and such a strong biass are they under to the world and fin, they wou'd never comply with the terms of salvation ; and so muft fall short of it after the purchase of it was made. Therefore a special number were choien, and given to Christ, with respect to whom the father engag'd, that they shou'd be bro't to believe on him, and be a feed to ferve bim in this wóild, and thro' his merits obtain to everlasting blefiedness in the world to come. We are cold in the revelation which God hath made to us of the bidden mystery whick God ordain'd before the world unto cur glory, that the success of his redeeming work was ascertain'd to our redeemer, in an inviolable contract, upon his engaging in the great & glorious design. llai. 43. 10, 11, 12. When thou shalt make his soul an offering for fin, He mall see bis feed : the pleasure of the Lord mall prosper in his hand. He shall fee of the travel of his foul and be satisfied : By his knowledge mall my righteous for vant justify many. Therefore I will divide bin a portion with the great, and he fall divide ibe Tool with she strong : because be bath poured out bis foul unio death. It was upon the aflurarice our blefied laviour had given him in this concract, that he spoke thole words, John 6. 37. All that the father giveth me, SHALL come to me. Thus I have
confirmed the truch we are maintaining,by what I take to be direct scripture proof, and solid argument agreable to scripture. And if the truth is once well establish’d, there is the less need to regard the objections bro't against it. Yet, I hope, thro divine assistance, in the next discourse to vindicare chis doctrine, in some measure, from the charges bro't against it, as if it argu'd unrighteousness in God, discourag'd perfons from useing the means of salvation, cended to despair, &c.
In the mean time, let what we have now heard cause us humbly to bow down before the throne of the divine sovereignty, and awfully to adore in the apostles language, Rom. 11. from the 338 v. Othe depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are bis judgments, and his ways past finding out ! For wbo bath known the mind of the Lord, or who hath been bis counseller? Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again ? For of bim, and through bim, and to him are all things : to whom be glory forever. AMEN.
Moreover, whom he did predestinate, them be
also called ; and whom he called, them he also justified ; and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
THESE words have been
the foundation of two dif
courses already, upon this ON TI
illustrious Doctrine of christianity,That a certain number were selected by God,
in his eternal counsel and purpose, from the rest of fallen mankind, to be in time effectually called, sanctified and justified, in order to their being finally bro't to eternal life and glory; and this out of his meer good pleasure, and for che praise of his glorious grace.
This truth has been explained & stated in several propositions. It has also been confirmed & established by positive scripture proof, and by some arguments drawn from the scriptures. Thar which we are to proceed to at this time is,
III. To attempt to clear this truth of some misrepresentations made of it ; and to give an answer to the objections commonly bro't against it.
Here I would first of all observe to you, We shou'd not disown or relinquish a doctrine we have been caught, because of some objections rais'd against it, or difficulties attending it. For there is no one truth in all the bible, tho' never lo plainly laid down, but the corrupt,proud, and aspiring mind of man, has formed some objections against it, and started some difficulties about it. And if we can't quite master all the difficulties, and reconcile every thing that seems contradictory, we must not therefore withold our aflent, if the thing it self is exprelly reveal'd in scripture, or necessarily infer'd from it. We are indispensably obliged to believe whatever God has reveal’d, whether it is obvious to our reason, and agrees with our preconceiv'd opinions, or not. If we can but satisfe