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Israel for his own people, Deut. iv. 37. “ because he loved thy fathers, therefore he chose their seed after them ;” and vii. 6—8. “ Jehovah thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself ;" Isai. xlv. 4. “for Israel mine elect." Nor do I mean that sense of the word election in which God, after rejecting the Jews, is said to have chose that the Gospel should be announced to the Gentiles, to which the apostle particularly alludes, Rom. ix. and xi. ; nor that in which an individual is said to be selected for the performance of some office, as 1 Sam. X. 24. “see ye him whom the Lord hath chosen ?” John vi. 70. “have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil ?” whence those are sometimes called elect who are eminent for any particular excellence, as 2 John 1. “the elect lady,” that is, most precious, and v. 13. “thy elect sister.” 1 Pet. ï. 6.“ a chief corner stone, elect and precious." 1 Tim. v. 21. “the elect angels.” But that special election is here intended, which is nearly synonymous with eternal predestination. Election, therefore, is not a part of predestination ; much less then is reprobation. For, speaking accurately, the ultimate purpose of predestination is salvation of believers,—a thing in itself desirable,whereas the object which reprobation has in view is the destruction of unbelievers, a thing in itself ungrateful and odious; whence it is clear that God could never have predestinated reprobation, or proposed it to himself as an end. Ezek. xvül. 32. “I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth.” xxxiii. 11. “as I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked should turn from his way and live.” If therefore the Deity
Resolving from henceforth
Paradise Lost, XII. 109. Compare Samson Agonistes, 678.
such as thou hast solemnly elected, With gifts and graces eminently adorn'd
To some great work. For so it should be pointed ; adorn'd being used in the Latin sense of • furnished,' 'fitted out,' ad præclarum aliquod opus ornatos; which Dryden seems not to have understood when he borrowed the expression in his translation from Lucretius, Whom thou with all thy gifts and graces dost adorn.'
have no pleasure either in sin or in the death of the sinner, that is, either in the cause or the effect of reprobation, certainly he cannot delight in reprobation itself. It follows, that reprobation forms no part of what is meant by the divine predestination
WHEREBY GOD, &c., that is, God the Father. Luke xii. 32. “it is your Father's good pleasure.” Thus, also, wherever mention is made of the divine decrees or counsel : John xvii. 2. “as many as thou hast given him.” v. 6. 11, 24. “the men which thou gavest me out of the world.” Eph. i. 4. "he hath chosen us in him.” v. 5. “having predestinated us.” v. 11. "being predestinated according to his purpose.”
BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD, Eph. i. iv. 2 Tim. i. 9. " before the world began.” See also Tit. i. 2.
IN PITY TO MANKIND, THOUGH FORESEEING THAT THEY WOULD FALL OF THEIR OWN ACCORD. It was not simply man as a being, who was to be created, but man as a being who was to fall of his own accord, that was the matter or object of predestination ;' for that manifestation of divine grace and mercy
which God designed as the ultimate purpose of predestination, presupposes the existence of sin and misery in
man, originating from himself alone.) That the fall of man pa
was not necessary, is admitted on all sides ; but if such, never
theless, was the nature of the divine decree, that his fall became is really inevitable (both which opinions, however contradictory, je are sometimes held by the same persons), then the restoration
of man, after he had lapsed of necessity, became no lon as a
According to a part of the Sublapsarian scheme, iausk by si tine and maintained by the Synod of Dort.
follows that predestination was not an absolute decree before the fall of man; and even after his fall, it ought always to be considered and defined as arising, not so much from a decree itself, as from the immutable condition of a decree.
PREDESTINATED; that is, designated, elected : proposed to himself the salvation of man as the scope and end of his counsel. Hence
be refuted the notion of a preterition and desertion from all eternity, in direct opposition to which God explicitly and frequently declares, as has been quoted above, that he desires not the death of any one, but the salvation of all; that he hates nothing that he has made ; and that he has omitted nothing which might suffice for universal salvation.
FOR A MANIFESTATION OF THE GLORY OF HIS MERCY, GRACE, AND WISDOM. This is the chief end of predestination. Rom. ix. 23. “ that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy.” 1 Cor. ii. 7.“ we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom which God had ordained before the world unto our glory.” Eph. i. 6. " to the praise of the glory of his grace."
ACCORDING TO HIS PURPOSE IN CHRIST. Eph. iii. 10, 11. “the manifold wisdom of God, according to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” i. 4, 5. * he hath chosen us in him ; having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ.” v. 11. “in him, in whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to his purpose.'
This is the source of that love of God, declared to us in Christ. John iii. 16. “God só loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son." Eph. ii. 4, 5. “for his great love wherewith he loved us.... by grace ye are saved.”
1 John iv. 9, 10. “in this was manifested the love of God towards us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world,” &c. Hence there was no grace decreed for man who was to fall, no mode of reconciliation with God, independently of the foreknown
o Calvin distinguishes between preterition and condemnation, both whichl acts, according to his system, are included in reprobation. Prete. rition is the passing by the reprobate, and withholding from them the means of grace. Condemnation is the act of condemning those who are passed by, for the sing which they commit.
CONTINUE IN THE
sacrifice of Christ ;' and since God has so plainly declared that predestination is the effect of his mercy, and love, and grace, and wisdom in Christ, it is to these qualities that we ought to attribute it, and not, as is generally done,to his ahsolute and secret will, even in those passages where mention is made of his will only. Exod. xxxiii. 19. “I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious,” that is, not to enter more largely into the causes of this graciousness at present, Rom. ix. 18. “ he hath mercy on whom he will have mercy,” by that method, namely, which he had appointed in Christ. It will appear, moreover, on examination of the particular texts, that in passages of this kind God is generally speaking of some extraordinary manifestation of his grace and mercy. Thus Luke xii. 32. “it is your Father's good pleasure.' Eph. i. 5, 11. "by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will : in whom also we have obtained an inheritance .... after the counsel of his own will." James i.
18. “of his own will,” —that is, in Christ, who is the word leDT and truth of God,—“begat he us with the word of truth.” THOSE WHO SHOULD BELIEVE, AND
This condition is immutably attached to the decree, nor does it attribute mutability either to God or to his decrees; 2 Tim. ii. 19. “ the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his :” or according to the explanation in the same verse, all who “ name the name of Christ, and depart from iniquity;" that is, whoever believes : the mutability is entirely on the side of them who renounce their faith, as it is said, 2 Tim. ii. 13. “if we believe not, yet he abideth faithful; he cannot deny himself.” It seems, then, Ithat there is no particular predestination or election, but only general, or in other words, that the privilege
belongs to all who heartily believe and continue in their belief,—that none are predestinated or elected irrespectively,
e. g. that Peter is not elected as Peter, or John as John, but
Paradise Lost, III. 287:
"I could wish, if it were possible.” The reply of God, how. ever, although metaphorical, explains with sufficient clearness that the principle of predestination depends upon a condition, whosoever hath sinned, him will I blot out. This is announced more fully in the enforcement of the legal covenant, Deut. vii. 6—8. where God pointedly declares his choice and love of his people to have been gratuitous; and in v. 9. where he desires to be known as “a faithful God which keepeth his covenant and mercy,” yet he adds as a condition, “with them that love him and keep his commandments.' Again, it is said still more clearly, v. 12. “ it shall come to pass, if
ye hearken to these judgments, and keep and do them, that Jehovah thy God shall keep unto thee the covenant and the mercy which he sware unto thy fathers.” Though these and similar passages seem chiefly to refer either to the universal election of a nation to the service of God, or of a particular individual or family to some office (for in the Old Testament scarcely a single expression can be discovered referring to election properly so called, that is, election to eternal life), yet the principle of the divine decree is in all cases the same. Thus it is said of Solomon, as of another Christ, 1 Chron. xxviii. 6, 7, 9. “I have chosen him to be my son, and I will be his father." But what are the terms of the covenant ?“ if he be constant to do my commandments and my judgments, as at this day .... if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever.” The election of his posterity also depended on the same stipulation. 2 Chron. vi. 16. “so that thy children take heed to their way, to walk in my law.” See also xxxiii. 8. and xv. 2. “the Lord is with you, while ye be with him .. but if ye forsake him, he will forsake you ;" whence Isaiah does not scruple to say, xiv. 1. “ the Lord will yet choose Israel.” See also Zech i. 16. Isaiah also shows who are the elect; lxv. 9, 10. “mine elect shall inherit it.... and Sharon
for my people that have sought me.” Jer. xxi. 24. " though Coniah were the signet upon my right hand, yet would I pluck thee hence.”
The same must be remembered with respect to the covenant of grace, as often as the condition itself is not expressly added. It is, however, rarely omitted. Mark xvi. 16. “ he that believeth and is baptised shall be saved ; but he that believeth
shall be ..