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glory of his sovereign power over his creatures, to pass by, and to ordain them to dishonour and wrath for their sin, to the praise of his glorious justice.i
VIII. The doctrine of this high mystery of predestination is to be handled with special prudence and care, that men attending the will of God revealed in his word, and yielding obedience thereunto, may, from the certainty of their effectual vocation, be assured of their eternal election. So shall this doctrine afford matter of praise, reverence and admiration of God ;m and of humility, diligence, and abundant consolation to all that sincerely obey the gospel." doubt have continued with us; but they went out, that they might be made manifest, that they were not all of us.
VII. Mat. xi. 25, 26. At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in thy sight. Rom. ix. 17, 18, 21, 22. For the Scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth. Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make oile vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much long-suffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction? 2 Tim. ii. 19, 20. Nevertheless, the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. But in a great house, there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood, and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. Jude i. 4. For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Pet. ii. 8. And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient, wherunto also they were appointed.
VIII. k Rom. ix. 20. Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Rom. xi. 33. O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God? how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! Deut. xxix. 29. The secret things belong unto the Lord our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us, and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.
12 Pet. i. 10. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give all diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall.
m Eph. i. 6. To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the Beloved. Rom. xi. 33. (See letter k immediately foregoing.)
n Rom. xi. 5, 6, 20. Even so then at this present time also there is a
Ir pleased God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, for the manifestation of the glory of his eternal power, wisdom, and goodness, in the beginning to create, or make of nothing, the world, and all things therein, whether visible or invisible, in the space of six days, and all very good.c
II. After God had made all other creatures, he created
remnant according to the election of grace. And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then it is no more grace: otherwise work is no more work. Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not high minded, but fear. 2 Peter i. 10. (See letter I immediately foregoing.) Rom. viii. 33. Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? it is God that justifieth. Luke x. 20. Notwithstanding, in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.
I. a Heb. 1, 2. God-hath in these last days, spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed Heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds. John i. 2, 3. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made, that was made. Gen. i. 2. And the earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep: And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. Job xxvi. 13. By his Spirit he hath garnished the heavens; his hand hath formed the crooked serpent. Job xxxiii. 4. The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life.
b Rom. i. 20. For the invisible things of him, from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse. Jer. x. 12. He hath made the earth by his power, he hath established the world by his wisdom, and hath stretched out the heavens by his discretion. Psal. civ. 24. O Lord, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches. Psal. xxxiii. 5, 6. He loveth righteousness and judgment: the earth is full of the goodness of the Lord. By the word of the Lord were the heavens made: and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.
c (The whole first chapter of Gen.) Heb. xi. 3. Through faith we understand, that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen, were not made of things which do appear, Col. i. 16. For by him were all things created that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones or dominions, or principalities or powers; all things were created by him, and for him. Acts xvii. 24. God that made the world, and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands.
man, male and female,d with reasonable and immortal souls,e endued with knowledge, righteousness, and true holiness, after his own image,f having the law of God written in their hearts, and power to fulfil it;h and yet under a possibility of transgressing, being left to the liberty of their own will, which was subject unto change. Beside this law written in their hearts, they received a command, not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; which, while they kept, they were happy in their communion with God,k and had dominion over the creatures.1
II. d Gen. i. 27. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him: male and female created he them.
e Gen. ii. 7. And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. With Eccl. xii. 7. Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it. And Luke xxiii. 43. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, to-day shalt thou be with me in paradise. And Mat. x. 28. And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
f Gen. i. 26. And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. Col. iii. 10. And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge, after the image of him that created him. Eph. iv. 24. And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in rightcousness and true holiness.
g Rom. ii. 14, 15. For when the Gentiles which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these having not the law, are a law unto themselves. Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing, or else excusing one another.
h Eccl. vii. 29. Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions.
i Gen. iii. 6. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise; she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. Eccl. vii. 29. (See letter h immediately foregoing.)
k Gen. ii. 17. But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it; for in the day that thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die. Gen. iii. 8, 9, 10, 11, 23. And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden. And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden: and I was afraid because I was naked and I hid myself. And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee, that thou shouldst not eat? Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.
1 Gen. i. 26, 28. And God said, Let us make man in our image,
GOD the great Creator of all things, doth uphold,a direct, dispose, and govern all creatures, actions, and things, from the greatest even to the least, by his most wise and holy providence, according to his infallible foreknowledge, and
after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
I. a Heb. i. 3. Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.
b Dan. iv. 34, 35. And at the end of the days, 1 Nebuchadnezzar lift up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation. And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What dost thou ? Psal. cxxxv. 6. Whatsoever the Lord pleased, that did he in heaven and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places. Acts xvii. 25, 26, 28. Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things. And hath made of one blood, all nations of men, for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation. For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring. Job xxxviii. xxxix. xl. xli. chapters.
c Mat. x. 29, 30, 31. Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.
d Prov. xv. 3. The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good. Psal. civ. 24. O Lord, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches. Psal. cxlv. 17. The Lord is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works.
e Acts xv. 18. Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world. Psal. xciv. 8, 9, 10, 11. Understand, ye brutish among the people; and ye fools, when will ye be wise? He that planted the ear, shall he not hear? he that formed the eye, shall he not see? He that chastiseth the heathen, shall not he correct? he
the free and immutable counsel of his own will,f to the praise of the glory of his wisdom, power, justice, goodness, and mercy.g
II. Although, in relation to the foreknowledge and decree of God, the first cause, all things come to pass immutably and infallibly :h yet, by the same providence, he ordereth them to fall out, according to the nature of second causes, either necessarily, freely, or contingently.i
that teacheth man knowledge, shall not he know? The Lord knoweth the thoughts of man, that they are vanity.
f Eph. i. 11. In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will. Psalm xxxiii. 10, 11. The Lord bringeth the counsel of the heathen to nought: he maketh the devices of the people of none effect. The counsel of the Lord standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations.
g Isaiah Ixiii. As a beast goeth down into the valley, the spirit of the Lord caused him to rest; so didst thou lead thy people, to make thyself a glorious name. Eph. iii. 10. To the intent that now, unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places, might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God. Rom. ix. 17. For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. Gen. xlv. 7. And God sent me before you, to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance. Psal. cxlv. 7. They shall abundantly utter the memory of thy great goodness, and shalt sing of thy righteousness.
II. h Acts ii. 23. Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel nd foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain.
i Gen. viii. 22. While the earth remaineth, seed-time and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night, shall not cease. Jer. xxxi. 35. Thus saith the Lord, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea, when the waves thereof roar; the Lord of hosts is his name. Exod. xxi. 13. And if a man lie not in wait, but God deliver him into his hand; then I will appoint thee a place whither he shall flee. With Deut. xix. 5. As when a man goeth into the wood with his neighbour, to hew wood, and his hand fetcheth a stroke with the ax to cut down the tree, and the head slippeth from the helve, and lighteth upon his neighbour that he die; he shall flee unto one of those cities, and live. 1 Kings xxii. 28, 34. And Micaiah said, If thou return at all in peace, the Lord hath not spoken by me. And he said, Hearken, O people, every one of you. And a certain man drew a bow at a venture, and smote the King of. Israel between the joints of the harness: wherefore he said unto the driver of his chariot, Turn thine hand, and carry me out of the host, for I am wounded. Isa. x. 6, 7. I will send him against an hypocritical nation; and against the people of my wrath will I give him a charge to take the spoil, and to take the prey, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets. Howbeit, he meaneth not so, neither