Page images
PDF
EPUB

clean living, no less perilous than Despera

tion. 5. We must receive God's Promises in such

wise as they be generally set forth to us in

Holy Scripture. 6. In our Doings, that Will of God is to be fol

lowed, which we have expresly declared unto us in the Word of God.

The First Proposition is our Church's Definition of what the means by Predestination to Life. She faies, 1. 'Tis the everlasting Purpose of God. Now every Purpose of God is everlasting ; because God from all Eternity knew all contingent Events ; and was resolv'd concerning them, either to permit or prevent them. 2. By this Purpose he constantly decreed. For inconstancy is impossible in God. 3. He decreed before the Foundations of the World were laid. This must needs be true, because his Purpose was everlasting. 4. He thus decreed to deliver those whom he has chofen in Christ out of Mankind, from Curse and Damnation. Now that some are to be delivered from that Curse and Damnation, into which Original Sin had plung’d them, the whole Tenor of the Scripture shews. And that God has in Christ chosen fome out of Mankind, is evident, Because those that embrace Christianity, are upon this account frequently call'd the Elect or Chosen. But then those who embrace Christianity, are not all of them deliver'd from Curse and Damnation ; because some of them do not perform the Conditions of the Gospel : and consequently tho' they enjoy the First or Temporal Election, yet they do not enjoy the Second or Eternal one, which is unattainable without Perseverance in good Works, Now 'tis this Second, even the Eternal Election.

which

H4

which the Church speaks of in this place. Because those that are here called the Chosen in Christ, are delivered from Curse and Damnation : whereas such as enjoy the Temporal, but miss of the Eternal Election ; do fall into that Curse and Damnation, from which the others are delivered. 5.

Those that are chosen in Christ, viz, those that enjoy the Second or Eternal Election, God not only delivers from Curse and Damnation, but he also brings them by Christ to everlasting Salvation, as Veffels made to Honor. That he brings them to everlasting Salvation, and that this is done by Christ, that is, by the Merits of Christ, in whom they believe, and whose Gospel they obey; and that upon this account they are treated as Vessels made to Honor; none can question. 6. All this is done by God's Counsel secret to us. For God is the only Contriver and Finisher of the Happiness of the Elect; and what particular Men those Elect are, whom he has thus decreed to save, we know not. Because he alone can search the Heart ; nor has he reveld to us, what particular Christians will persevere. So that this Counsel of his, for the Salvation of particular Christians, must needs be secret to us. This Definition therefore of Predestination to Life, needs no farther Proof, being so manifestly built upon the constant Doctrin of the Scriptures, repeated in almost every Page of the New Testament, that 'would be ridiculous to refer to particular Texts. And indeed the Doctrin of this Definition is universally allowed, except by such as deny God's certain Prescience of future contingent Events ; concerning whose absurd Tenet see the Twelfth Question of Turretin's Locus Tertius.

The Second Proposition sets forth the Manner of God's bringing this great Work to a Conclusion.

The

[ocr errors]

The Church saies, That, those who are endu'd with
so excellent a Benefit, that is, those who are pre-
destinated to Life, are called according to God's
Purpose by his Spirit working in due season; that
is, they not only become Profeffors of Christiani-
ty, but are inwardly moved and prompted by God's
Grace to the Performance of his Will. 2. They
thro' Grace obey the Calling; that is, they are
effectually wrought and prevailed upon thereby.
3. They be justified freely; that is, they are esteem-
ed righteous by God, who extends his free Mercy
to them for Christ's fake. 4. They be made Sons
of God by Adoption. You'll say, all Christians
are such by Virtue of their Profesion. But then
those that are thus effectually chosen, do come to
the Poffeffion of that Inheritance, which their El-
der Brother Christ has purchased for them with his
Bloud: whereas others, tho' for a while they
are honor'd with the Name of Adopted Sons, are
afterwards cast off by their Father upon the account
of their Disobedience. 5. They be made like the
Image of his only begotten Son Jesus Christ, that
is, 6. They walk religiously in good Works; for
without Holiness no Man fhall see the Lord. 7. At
length, viz. after they have finished their Christi-
an Course, and persisted in sincere Piety to the
end of their Daies, by God's Mercy they attain to
everlasting Felicity. The Truth of all these Par-
ticulars is so readily acknowledg'd by all Parties,
that I need not refer to particular Texts or Authors
for the Confirmation of them.

But I must observe, that tho' the Church defcribes in this Proposition a certain Method and Order of bringing the Elect to Heaven; yet, 1. She therein speaks of the Case of those elect Perfons only, who arrive at Years of Discretion. For our

Church

1

Church teaches, that such as die in their Infancy, may be and are of the Number of those that are saved ; and yet such Infants can't be saved exactly in the Method and Order above described; particularly, because it can't be said of them, that they walk religiously in good Works. 2. The Church does not hereby exclude all those from Salvation, who die in invincible Infidelity. Doubtless God did from everlasting know, whether any such Infidels should be saved. And therefore, if any of them be saved, there was a Predestination of them to Life ; which Predestination of them to Life, was the everlasting Purpose of God, whereby (before the Foundations of the World were laid) he hath constantly decreed by his Counfel, secret to us, to deliver them from Curse and Damnation, and bring them to everlasting Salvation. And if this be at all done, I presume, the Merits of Christ are applied to them in an uncovenanted Manner. But I jay, the Church speaks nothing at all of their Cafe; the determines nothing concerning them; as she does not acquit them, so neither does she condemn them: the confines her self to the Cafe of those Elect, whom God saves by actual Faith in Christ, and who alone are capable of being savd in such Manner and Order as she describes.

The Third and Fourth Propositions are self evident.

The Fifth Proposition imports, that we must apply general Promises to our felves ; not doubting, but that if we perform the Condition, we shall enjoy the Mercy. The Reason is, because all Particulars are included in Universals ; and consequently a general Promise is made a particular one to my self, if I be fuch a Person as that general Promife is made to.

The

The Sixth Proposition guards against Enthusiastic Imaginations, and teaches us to make God's Word the Rule of our Lives. This needs no Proof.

[ocr errors]

తీసిన సినిమా సాహసానికి వేసాననననననాన నననని సినీనీనీనీనే

The EIGHTEENTH ARTICLE.

Of obtaining Eternal Salvation only by the

Name of Christ.

T

HEY also are to be had accursed, that presurne to say, that

every man shall be saved by the Law or Sezt which professeth, so that he be diligent to frame his life according to that Law, and the Light of Nature. For Holy Scripture doth set out unto us only the name of Jesus Christ, whereby men mujt be saved.

This Article contains Two Propositions.
1. They are to be had accursed, that presume to

say, that every Man shall be saved by the
Law or Sect which he profefseth, so that he be
diligent to frame his Life according to that

Law and the Light of Nature. 2. Holy Scripture doth set out unto us only the

Name of Jesus Christ, whereby Men must be saved.

The First of these Propositions depends on the Second, in which there seems to be an Allusion made to Acts 4. 12. where St. Peter saies, Neither is there salvation in any other : for there is none other name under heaven, given among men, whereby we must be saved.

Now whether that Text ought to be understood of eternal Salvation, or of healing Diftempers, it may be worth while to consider, See Dr. Whitby on

the

« PreviousContinue »