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be to me a Son.' 1 Pet. i. 19, 20. Christ....who verily was fore-ordained before the foundation of the world. Isai. xlii. 1. mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth.' 1 Pet. ii. 4. chosen of God, and precious.' From all these passages it appears that the Son of God was begotten by the decree of the Father.

There is no express mention made of any special. decree respecting the angels, but its existence seems to be implied, 1 Tim. v. 21. “the elect angels.' Eph. i. 9, 10. the mystery of his will....that he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth.'




The principal special decree of God relating to man is termed Predestination, whereby God in pity to mankind, though foreseeing that they would fall of their own accord, predestinated to eternal salvation before the foundation of the world those who should believe and continue in the faith ; for a manifestation

of the glory of his mercy, grace, and wisdom, according to his purpose in Christ.

It has been the practice of the schools to use the word predestination, not only in the sense of election, but also of reprobation. This is not consistent with the caution necessary on so momentous a subject, since wherever it is mentioned in Scripture, election alone is uniformly intended. Rom. viii. 29, 30, • whom he did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son..... moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called : and whom he called, them he also justified : and whom he justified, them he also glorified.' 1 Cor. ii. 7. “the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory.' Eph. i. 5. 'having predestinated us unto the adoption.' v. 11. (in whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to his pur

pose. Acts ii. 23. compared with iv. 28. him being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God they have taken......for to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done,' namely, as a means of procuring the salvation of man.

In other modes of expression, where predestination is alluded to, it is always in the same sense of election alone. Rom. viii. 28. to them who are the called according to his purpose.' ix. 23, 24. the vessels of mercy which he had afore prepared unto glory, even us, whom he hath called. Eph. iii. 11. ' according to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus.' 2 Tim. i. 9. 6according to his own purpose and grace. For when it is said negatively, , 1 Thess. v. 9. • God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, it does not follow by implication that there are others who are appointed to wrath. Nor does the expression in 1 Pet. ii. 8. "whereunto also they were appointed,' signify that they were appointed from all eternity, but from some time subsequent to their defection, as the Apostles are said to be chosen' in time, and ordained' by Christ to their office, John xv. 16.

Again, if an argument of any weight in the discussion of so controverted a subject can be derived from allegory and metaphorical expressions, mention is frequently made of those who are written among the living, and of the book of life, but never of the book of death.* Isai. iv. 3. • written among the living.'

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. blotted out and ras'd By their rebellion from the book of life. Paradise Lost, I. 362: VOL. I.


Dan. xii. 1. 'at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.' Luke x. 20. rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.' Philipp. iv. 3.

whose names are in the book of life.' At the same time this figure of enrolment in the book of life does not appear to signify eternal predestination, which is general, but some temporary and particular decision of God applied to certain men, on account of their works. Psal. lxix. 28. let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous ;' whence it appears that they had not been written from everlasting. Isai. Ixv. 6. 'behold it is written before me; I will not keep silence, but will recompense.' Rev. xx. 12. the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.' It is clear, therefore, that it was not the book of eternal predestination, but of their works. In the same way neither were those ordained from everlasting who are said, Jude 4. to have been before of old ordained to this condemnation. For why should we give so extensive a signification to the term of old,' instead of defining it to mean, from the time when they had become inveterate and hardened sinners? Why must we understand it to imply so remote a period, either in this text, or in the passage whence it seems to be taken ? 2 Pet. ii. 3. 'whose judgement now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not,'that is, from the time of their apostacy, however long they had dissembled it.

The text, Prov. xvi. 4. is also objected, Jehovah hath made all things for himself; yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.' But God did not make him wicked, much less did he make him so · for himself. All that he did was to sentence the wicked to deserved punishment, as was most fitting, but he did not predestinate him, if innocent, to the same fate. It is more clearly expressed, Eccles. vii. 29. God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions,' whence the day of evil ensues as certainly, as if the wicked had been made for it.

Predestination, therefore, must always be referred to election, and seems' often to be put for it. What St. Paul says, Rom. viii. 29. whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate,' is thus expressed, 1 Pet. i. 2. • elect according to the foreknowledge.? Rom. ix. 11. 'the purpose of God according to election.' xi. 5. 'according to the election of grace.' Eph. i. 4. he hath chosen us in him. Col. iii. 12. as the elect of God, holy and beloved.' 2 Thess. ii. 13. because God hath from the beginning chosen 'you to salvation. Reprobation, therefore, could notbe included under the title of predestination. 1 Tim. ii. 4. who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.' 2 Pet. iii. 9.

the Lord.... is long-suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance,'—to us-ward, that is, towards all men, not towards the elect only, as some interpret it, but particularly towards the wicked, as it is said, Rom. ix. 22. God endured....the vessels of wrath.' For if, as some object, Peter would scarcely have included himself among the unbelievers, much less would he have numbered himself among such of the elect as had not yet come to repentance. Nor does

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