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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;' and of humility, diligence, and abundant consolation, to all that sincerely obey the gospel.s
Christ. 1 Pet. ii. 8-being disobedient; whereunto also they were appointed.
à Rom. ix. 20, and xi. 33. 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 ? 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.
. 2 Pet. i. 10.-Give diligence to make your calling and election sure; for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall.
1 Eph. i. 6. To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the Beloved. See Rom. xi. 33, letter (d), above.
& Rom. xi. 5, 6, 20, and viii. 33. Even so, then at this present time also there is a 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 is it no more grace; otherwise work is no more work. –Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear.—Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. Luke x. 20.
IT 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.
II. After God had made all other creatures, he created man, male and female,k with
Notwithstanding, in this rejoice, not that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.
h Heb. i. 2. Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also be 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. Job xxvi. 13, and xxxiii. 4. By his Spirit he hath garnished the heavens; his hand hath formed the crooked serpent.--The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life.
i 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. Psa. civ. 24. O Lord, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all; the earth is full of thy riches.
j Gen. 1st chap. throughout. 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.
Gen. i. 27. So God created man in his own image,
reasonable and immortal souls, endued with knowledge, righteousness, and true holiness, after his own image," having the law of God written in their hearts," and power to fulfil it; and yet under a possibility of transgressing, being left to the liberty of their own will, which was subject unto change.P Beside this law written in their hearts, they received à command not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil ; which while they
in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
I 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. Luke. xxiii. 43. See also Eccl. xii. 7. Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was; and the spirit shall return to God who gave it. And Matt. 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.
m Gen. i. 26. And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.
* 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 show 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.
• Eccl. vii. 29. Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions.
P 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. See Eccl. vii. 29.
kept they were happy in their communion with God, 9 and had dominion over the creatures."
God, the great Creator of all things, doth uphold," direct, dispose, and govern all creatures, actions, and things, from the greatest even to the least," by his most wise and holy
9 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. See Gen. iii. 8-xi. 23.
r Gen, i. 28.-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. See Psa. viii. 6, 7, 8.
• 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,
+ Dan. iv. 34, 35.—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 doeth 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 doest thou ? Psa. cxxxv, 6. Whatsoever the Lord pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places. See also Acts xvii. 25, 26, 28, and Job xxxviii. xxxix. xl. xli. chapters.
u Matt. x. 29, 30, 31. Are not two sparrows sold
providence,' according to his infallible foreknowledge," and the free and immutable counsel of his own will," to the praise of the glory of his wisdom, power, justice, goodness and mercy.
II. Although in relation to the foreknowledge and decree of God, the first cause, all things come to pass immutably and infallibly,' yet, by the same providence, he ordereth. them to fall out according to the nature of
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. See also Matt. vi. 26, 30.
Prov. xv. 3. The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good. 2 Chron. xvi. 9. For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect towards him. See also Psa. cxlv. 17, and civ. 24.
w Acts xv. 18. Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.
* Eph. i. 11.-Who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will. Psa. xxxiii. 11. The counsel of the Lord standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations.
y 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 show my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. Psa. cxlv. 7. They shall abundantly utter the memory of thy great goodness, and shall sing of thy righteousness.
• Acts ii. 23. Him, being delivered by the determinate