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XVII. Of Predestination and Election. -PREDESTINATION to life is the everlasting
^ Before that the Lord God made heaven and earth, he determined to have to himself a certain most beautiful kingdom, and most holy commonweal. This the Apostles that wrote in Greek called 'Exxanola, which by interpreting the word may fitly be called a Congregation. Into this as into his own city, God did incorporate an infinite multitude of men, which must all be subject, seviceable, and obedient to Christ their only King, and which have all committed themselves to his protection, and of whom he hath taken upon him to be defender, and doth continually maintain and preserve them. To this commonweal do all they properly belong, as many as truly fear, honour, and call upon God, altogether applying their minds to live holily and godly, and which putting all their trust and hope in God do most assuredly look for (certissime expectant) the blessedness of eternal life. They that be stedfast, stable, and constant in this faith, were chosen and appointed, and (as we term it) predestinated to this so great felicity, before the foundations of the world were laid, whereof they have a witness within them in their souls, the Spirit of Christ the author, and therewith also the most sure pledge of this confidence. By the instinct of
a God hath not appointed us to and shall he not do it? or hath he wrath, but to obtain salvation by spoken, and shall be not make it our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Thess. v. good ? Numb. xxiii. 19. Declaring 9. Having made known unto us the end from the beginning, and the mystery of his will, according from ancient times the things that to his good pleasure, which he hath are not yet done, saying, My counpurposed in himself.-Being pre- sel shall stand, and I will do all destinated according to the purpose my pleasure :-I have spoken it, I. of him who worketh all things will also bring it to pass : I have after the counsel of his own will. purposed it, I will also do it. Isa. Eph. i. 9, 11. For whom he did xlvi. 10, ií. The Lord of hosts foreknow, he also did predestinate hath purposed it, and who shall to be conformed to the image of disannul it? Isa. xiv. 27. He is in his Son, that he might be the first one mind, and who can turn him? born among many brethren. Rom. and what his soul desireth, even viii. 29. Who hath saved us, and that he doeth. For he performeth called us with an holy calling, not the thing that is appointed for me: according to our works, but ac- and many such things are with cording to his own purpose and him. Job xxiii. 13, 14. I know grace, which was given us in Christ that whatsoever God doeth, it shall Jesus before the world began. be for ever: nothing can be put to 2 Tim. i. 9. According to the eter- it, nor any thing taken from it: nal purpose which he purposed in and God doeth it, that men should Christ Jesus our Lord. Eph. iii. 11. fear before him. Eccl. iii. 14. God is not a man, that he should There are many devices in a man's lie; neither the son of man, that heart; nevertheless the counsel of he should repent: hath he said, the Lord that shall stand, Prov.
purpose of God, whereby, before the foundations of the world were laid, he hath constantly decreed by his counsel, 'secret to us, ' to deliver
which divine Spirit, I do also most assuredly persuade myself that I am also, by God's good gift through Christ, freely made one of this blessed city.-M. It is sure a godly and most necessary persuasion. Nowell, p. 63.
Q. Can we not therefore prevent God with any works or deservings, whereby we may first provoke him to love us and be good unto us? Å. Surely with none. For God loved us and chose us in Christ, not only when we were his enemies, that is, sinners, but also before the foundations of the world were laid. Nowell, p. 74.
d This communion of saints cannot be perceived by our senses, nor by any natural kind of knowledge, or force of understanding, as other civil communities and fellowships of men may be.—The congregation of those whom God by his secret election hath adopted to himself through Christ, can neither be seen with eyes, nor can continually be known by signs. Nowell,
xix. 21. The counsel of the Lord according to the good pleasure of standeth for ever, the thoughts of his will. Eph. i. 3-5. Names his heart to all generations. Bless- written in the book of life of the ed is the nation whose God is the Lamb slain from the foundation of Lord: and the people whom he the world. Rev. xiii. 8. bath chosen for his own inherit- . God, willing more abundantly ance. Ps. xxxiii, 11, 12. Every to shew unto the heirs of promise good gift and every perfect gift is the immutability of his counsel, from above, and cometh down from confirmed it by an path. Heb. vi. the Father of lights, with whom is 17. He giveth not account of any no variableness, neither shadow of of his matters. Job xxxiii. 13. Who turning. James i. 17. The founda- bath stood in the counsel of the tion of God standeth sure, having Lord, and hath perceived and heard this seal, The Lord knoweth them his word? who hath marked his that are his. 2 Tim. ii. 19. Fear word, and heard it? Jer. xxiii. 18, pot, little flock; for it is your Fa- d Canst thou by searching find ther's good pleasure to give you out God? canst thou find out the the kingdom. Luke xii. 32.
Almighty to perfection? Job xi. 7. b Known unto God are all his It is not for you to know the times works, from the beginning of the or the seasons which the l'ather world. Acts xv. 18. Blessed be the hath put in his own power. Acts i. God and Father of our Lord Jesus 7. The secret things belong unto Christ, who hath blessed us with the Lord our God. Deut. xxix. 29. all spiritual blessings in heavenly O the depth of the riches both of places in Christ Jesus; according the wisdom and knowledge of God! as he hath chosen us in him before how unsearchable are his judgthe foundation of the world, that we ments, and his ways past finding should be holy and without blame out! For who hath known the mind before him in love, having predes of the Lord? or who hath been his tinated us to the adoption of chil- counsellor? Rom. xi. 33, 34. dren by Jesus Christ to himself, e I will ransom them from the
from curse and damnation those whom he hath 'chosen sin Christ out of mankind, band to
& Q. Give me the definition of the church that thou speakest of. A. I may most briefly and truly say, that the church is the body of Christ. Q. Yea; but I would have it somewhat more plainly and at large. A. The church is the body of the Christian commonweal, that is, the universal number and fellowship of all the faithful, whom God through Christ hath before all beginning of time appointed to everlasting life. Q. Why is this point put into the Creed ? A. Because if the Church were not, both Christ had died without cause, and all the things which have been hitherto spoken of should be in vain, and come to nought. Q. How so? A. Because hitherto we have spoken of the causes of salvation, and have considered the foundation thereof, namely, how God by the deserving of Christ loveth us and dearly esteemeth us; how also by the work of the Holy Ghost we receive this grace of God, whereunto we are restored. But of these this is the only effect, that there be a church, that is, a company of the godly, upon whom these benefits of God may be bestowed; that there be a certain city and commonweal, in which we ought to lay up, and as it were to consecrate all we have, and to give ourselves wholly unto it, and for which we ought not to stick to die. Nowell, p. 64. See Article XIX. a.
h Beseeching thee, that it may please thee, of thy gracious
power of the grave; I will redeem not thy peace: for I am with thee, them from death : O death, I will and no man shall set on thee to be thy plagues; O grave, I will be hurt thee: for I have much people thy destruction: repentance shall in this city. Acts xviii. 10. Paul, be hid from mine eyes. Hos. xiii. a servant of God, and an apostle 14. Christ hath redeemed us from of Jesus Christ, according to the the curse of the law, being made a faith of God's elect, and the accurse for us. Gal. iii. 13. Giving knowledging of the truth which is thanks unto the Father, who hath after godliness : in hope of eternal delivered us from the power of life, which God, that cannot lie, darkness, and hath translated us promised before the world began. into the kingdom of his dear Son. Tit. i. 1, 2. Even so at this preCol. i. 12.
sent time also there is a remnant f Elect according to the fore- according to the election of grace. knowledge of God the Father. 1 Rom. xi.
5. Pet. i. 2. We are bound to give & This is the record that God thanks alway to God for you, bre- hath given to us eternal life, and thren, beloved of the Lord, be- this life is in his Son. He that cause God hath from the beginning hath the Son hath life; and he that chosen you to salvation through hath not the Son of God hath not sanctification of the Spirit, and be life. 1 John v. 11, 12. That in the lief of the truth : whereunto he dispensation of the fulness of times, called you by our Gospel. 2 Thess. he might gather together in one ii. 13, 14. Then spake the Lord all things in Christ, both which are to Paul in the night by a vision, in heaven, and
which are on earth, Be not afraid, but speak, and hold even in him. Eph. i. 10. Our fel
bring them 'by Christ to everlasting salvation,
goodness, shortly to accomplish the number of thine elect, and to hasten thy kingdom; that we, with all those that are departed in the true faith of thy holy name, may have our perfect consummation and bliss, both in body and soul, in thy eternal and everlasting glory, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. Burial Service.
' He shall pronounce the judgment, in whose faith and pro
lowship is ' with the Father, and Christ hath once suffered for sins, with his Son Jesus Christ. 1 John i. the just for the unjust, that he 3. As in Adam all die, even so in might bring us to God. 1 Pet. iii. Christ shall all be made alive. 18. Jesus saith unto him, I am the 1 Cor. xv. 22. We are made par- way, and the truth, and the life: takers of Christ if we hold the be- no man cometh unto the Father but ginning of our confidence stedfast by me. John xiv. 6. I am the door; unto the end. Heb. iii. 14. But of by me if any man enter in, he shall him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of be saved, and shall go in and God is made unto us wisdom, and out, and find pasture. John X. 9. righteousness, and sanctification, Through him we both have access and redemption. 1 Cor. i. 30. by one Spirit unto the Father. Eph. There is therefore now no condemn. ii. 18. By whom also we have acation to them which are in Christ cess by faith into this grace wherein Jesus. Rom. viii. 1. Ye are the we stand, and rejoice in hope of the body of Christ, and members in glory of God. Rom. v. 2.
Ye are particular. 1 Cor. xii. 27. If any dead, and your life is hid with man be in Christ, he is a new Christ in God. When Christ, who creature. 2 Cor. v. 17.
is our life, shall appear, then shall i As ye have received Christ ye also appear with him in glory. Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Col. iii. 3, 4. As the Father hath rooted and built up in him, and life in himself, so hath he given to established in the faith. Col. ii.6,7. the Son to have life in himself. Abide in me and I in you: as the John v. 26. Wherefore he is able branch cannot bear fruit of itself, to save them to the uttermost who except it abide in the vine; no come unto God by him, seeing he more can ye except ye abide in me. ever liveth to make intercession John xv. 4. Abide in him : that, for them. Heb. vii. 25. Who vewhen he shall appear, we may rily was foreordained before the have confidence, and not be asham- foundation of the world, but was ed before him at his coming. manifest in these last times for you, 1 John ii. 28. They are not of who by him do believe in God, world, even as I am not of the that raised him up from the dead, world. John xvii. 16. If ye were of and gave him glory; that your faith the world, the world would love and hope might be in God. 1 Pet. his own: but because ye are not of i. 20, 21. the world, but I have chosen you k Being confident of this very out of the world, therefore the thing, that he which hath begun a world hateth you. John xv. 19. good work in you will perform it We know that we are of God, and until the day of Jesus Christ. Phil. the whole world lieth in wicked- i. 6. In whom also after that ye ness. And we know that the Son believed, ye were sealed with that of God is come, and hath given us holy Spirit of promise, which is the an understanding, that we may earnest of our inheritance until the know him that is true; and we are redemption of the purchased posin him that is true, even in his Son session unto the praise of his glory. Jesus Christ. 1 John v. 19, 20. Eph. i. 13, 14. Who are kept by
las vessels made to honour.
Wherefore they which be endued with so excellent a benefit of God, "be called according to God's pur
tection we are, and which hath taken upon him the defence of our cause. Yea, our consciences are cheerfully stayed with a most singular comfort, and, in the midst of the miseries and woes of this life, do leap for joy that Christ shall one day be the Judge of the world; for upon this hope we chiefly rest ourselves, that then at last we shall with unchangeable eternity possess that same kingdom of immortality and everlasting life, in all parts fully and abundantly perfect, which hitherto hath been but begun, and which was ordained and appointed for the children of God before the foundations of the world were laid. Nowell, p. 61. See also Article V. a.
m The Christian faith professeth that a great number and infinite multitude of godly persons, gathered together out of all countries of the world, out of all parts of all nations every where, and all ages of all times, hy the strength and power of his holy word and voice, and by the divine motion of his heavenly Spirit,
the power of God through faith every good work. 2 Tim. ii. 20, unto salvation, ready to be revealed 21. in the last time. 1 Pet. i, 5. Israel m Moreover whom he did preshall be saved in the Lord with an destinate, them he also called. Rom. everlasting salvation : ye shall not viii. 30. It is written in the prophets, be ashamed nor confounded world And they shall be all taught of without end. Is. xlv. 17. Thanks God. Every man therefore that be to God which giveth us the vic- hath heard, and hath learned of tory through our Lord Jesus Christ. the Father, cometh unto Therefore, my beloved brethren, Therefore said I unto you, that be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always no man can come unto me except abounding in the work of the Lord, it were given unto him of my · forasmuch as ye know that your Father. John vii. 45, 65. No man labour is not in vain in the Lord. can come to me except the Father 1 Cor. xv. 57, 58.
which hath sent me draw him. John | Hath not the potter power over vi. 44. I bave loved thee with an the clay, of the same lump to make everlasting love: therefore with one vessel unto honour and another loving kindness have I drawn thee. unto dishonour? Rom. ix. 21. And Jer. xxxi. 3. Thou hast hid these that he might make known the things from the wise and prudent, riches of his glory on the vessels and hast revealed them unto babes; of mercy, which he had afore pre- even so, Father, for so it seemed pared unto glory, even us whom he good in thy sight. Matt. xi. 25, 26. hath called. Rom. ix. 23, 24. In a That the purpose of God according great house there are not only vés- to election might stand, not of sels of gold and of silver, but also works, but of him that calleth. For of wood and of earth; and some to he saith to Moses, I will have merhonour, and some to dishonour. If cy on whom I will have mercy, and a man therefore purge himself from I will have compassion on whom I these, he shall be a vessel unto will have compassion. So then it honour, sanctified, and meet for the is not of him that willeth, nor of master's use, and prepared unto him that runneth, but of God that