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Harmony between our Church and the Author above mention'd.
Reprobatio, quæ etiam Abjectio dicitur, descriptio ad damna. tionem, & conftitutio ad iram.
XI. Illam autem ex lege contrariorum definimus Decretum iræ seu severæ voluntatis Dei, qua ab æterno Itatuit infideles, qui culpa sua & jufto Dei judicio credituri non sunt, ut extra unionem Christo pofitos, condemnare ad mortem æternam, ad declarandam iram & porentiam suam.
XII Quanquam fide in Fefum Chriftum peccatorum omnium remiilio impetretur, & peccata non imputentur credentibus : tamen Reprobi non tantum infidelitatis, per cujus contrarium poterant evadere pænam reliquis peccatis commeritam, sed etiam peccatorum adversus legem perpetratorum pænam pendent exitii æterni a facie Domini & potente gloria ipfius.
XIII. Utrique huic Decreto, tum Prædestinationis, tum Reprobationis, sua subjungitur exequutio, cujus actus eo ordine peraguntur, quo in decreto ipfo & a decreto sunt ordinati: objediaque tum decreti tum exequutionis funt eadem prorsus uniformia, five eadem ratione formali vestita.
XIV. Hujus doctrinæ ita ex Scripturis traditæ magnus eft usus. Servit enim gloriæ gratiæ Dei adftruendæ, afflictis conscientiis folandis, impiis percellendis, & securitati illorum excutiendæ. Auftruit aurem gratiam Dei, cum totam laudem Vocationis, Juftificationis, Adoptionis & Glorificationis noftræ folius Dei mifericordiæ transcribit, ademptam viribus, operibus & meritis noftris. Consolatur conscientias cum tentatione luctantes, quando illas de gratiosa Dei in Christo ab æterno ipfis decreta, & in tempore præstita, æternumque duratura benevolentia, certiores reddit, eamque non ex operibus, fed ex vocante firmam oftendit. Valet ad terrendos impios, quia docet irrevocabile efse Decretum Dei de infidelibus, & qui veritati non obtemperant, obediunt autem mendacio, æterno exitio adjudicandis.
XV. Et propterea non modo intra privatos parietes & in scholis, sed etiam in coribus Sanctorum in Ecclesia Dei sonare debet hæc doctrina: hac tamen cautione obfervata, ut extra Scripturas nihil de illa doceatur, modo Scripturis usitato proponatur, & ad eundem finem, quem Scriptura illam tradens propofitum habet, referatur; quod nos feciffe cum bono Deo
In short, the Case stands thus. The Patrons of absolute Predestination, and the Patrons of conditionate Predestination, do jointly affert, that there is a Predestination to Life, and that the said Predeftination to Life is the everlasting Purpose of God, whereby (before the Foundations of the IVorld were laid) he has constantly decreed by his Counsel, secret to us, to deliver from Curse and Damnation those wbom he has chosen in Christ out of Mankind, and to bring them by Christ to everlasting Salvation, as Vessels made to Honor. They are also agreed, that they who be endued with so excellent a Benefit of God (that is, they who are predertinated) be called according to God's purpose by his Spirit working in due season: they thro' grace obey the calling: they be justified freely: they be made fons of God by adoption : they be made like the Image of bis only begotten Son Jesus Christ: they walk religiously in good works, and at length by God's mercy they attain to everlasting felicity. Thus far, I say, both parties are agreed. But wherein then do they differ? Why, 1. Concer ning the Ground of this Predestination, viz. Whether those Persons whom God has chosen in Christ out of Mankind, and whom by his everlasting Purpose, before the Foundations of the World were Iaid, he has constantly decreed by his Counsel, secret to us, to deliver from Curse and Damnation, and bring them by Christ to everlasting Salvation, as Vessels made to Honor; were therefore so elected and predestinated, because God foresaw
arbitramur, cui sit gloria in Ecclesia per Christum Jesum in omnes ætates feculi seculorum, Amen. Disp. 15. D. 283, 284, 285.
See alfo Disp. 40, 41, 42, 43. p.389 394. which are too long to be inserted : nor could i have prevaild upon my self to infert so much as I have done already, were it not to convince the most otHinate by producing such full and plain Testimonies.
their Obedience, that is (as we usually speak) propter fidem prævisam, or no ; 2. (as the Confe. quence of the former) Whether none be called according to God's Purpose by his Spirit working in due season, but such as through Grace obey the Calling, are justified freely, &c. and whether all that did for a while obey the Calling, and were justified freely, and made God's Sons by Adoption, and made like the Image of Christ, and walked religiously in good Works; whether all these, I say, must necessarily persevere, fo as at length by God's Mercy to attain to everlasting Felicity. These are the Points, about which the Patrons of absolute Predestination, and the Patrons of conditionate Predestination, do constantly and widely differ.
Now with respect to the first Point in dispute, the Patrons of conditionate Predestination affirm, that the Elect were predestinated, because God foresaw their Obedience, that is, propter fidem prævisam: whereas the Patrons of absolute Predestination utterly deny this, and affirm, that the Elect were Predestinated (whether in the Supralapsarian or Sublapfarian Way, it matters not at present) by virtue of an absolute Decree, without any regard to that foreseen Faith and Practice, which the others affirm to be the only Ground of Difference between those that are predestinated to Life, and those that are reprobated or predestinated to eternal Death or Damnation. And with respect to the second Point in dispute, the Patrons of absolute Predestination maintain, that none are called according to God's Purpose by his Spirit working in due season, but such as thro' Grace obey the Calling, and are justified freely, and are made Sons of God by Adoption, and are made like the Image of his only begotten Son Jesus Christ, and walk re
ligiously in good Works, and at length by God's Mercy attain to everlasting Felicity; Whereas the Patrons of conditionate Predestination maintain, that of those who were called according to God's Purpose by his Spirit working in due season, 1. Some might thro' their own Fault not at all obey that Calling, &c. 2. Others, tho’they did obey the Calling for a while, and were accordingly during that Space justified freely, and made God's Sons by Adoption, and made like the Image of Christ, and walked religiously in good Works; yet might thro' their own Fault afterwards fall from Grace ; and that both these Sorts, those that never obeyed at all, and those that after an Obedience for some time did again return to their Impiety, and persist in it, do not at length attain to everlasting Felicity
Now let any Man seriously consider this, which is the true State of the Controversy between the respective Patrons of absolute and conditionate Predestination; and then I challenge him to find me any one Syllable in the First Paragraph of this Article, that favors absolute Predestination in Opposition to that which is conditionate,
As for the Second and Third Paragraphs, that nothing therein contained does contradict the Doetrin of the Patrons of conditionate Predestination, is so evident, that it needs no Proof. Or if it does, I once more refer the Reader to Mr. Plaifere,
After so much has been already said, perhaps it may not be strictly necessary; however, I still think it advisable to resolve this Article into its several Propositions. It contains Six. , 1. Predestination to Life is the everlasting Pur
pose of God, whereby (before the Foundati
ons of the World were laid) he hath constantly decreed by his Counsel, secret to us, to deliver from Curfe and Damnation those whom he hath chosen in Christ out of Mankind, and to bring thein by Christ to everlasting Salva
tion, as Veffels made to Honor. 2. They which be endued with so excellent a
Benefit of God (that is, those who are predeitinated to Life) be called according to God's Purpose by his Spirit working in due season : they thro' Grace obey the Calling: they be justified freely : they be made Sons of God by Adoption: they be made like the Image of his only begotten Son Jesus Christ: they walk religiously in good Works, and at length by God's Mercy they attain to everlasting Feli
city. 3. The godly Consideration of Predestination
and our Election in Christ, is full of sweet, pleasant and unspeakable Comfort to godly Persons, and such as feel in themselves the Working of the Spirit of Christ, mortifying the Works of the Flesh, and their earthly Members, and drawing up their Mind to high and heavenly things; as well because it doth greatly establish and confirm their Faith of eternal Salvation, to be enjoyed thro’ Christ, as because it doth fervently kindle their Love
towards God. 4. For curious and carnal Persons, lacking the
Spirit of Christ, to have continually before their Eyes the Sentence of God's Predestination, is a most dangerous Downfal, whereby the Devil doth thrust them either into De fperation, or into Wretchlesness of most un