Imatges de pÓgina

grace, in

2. In whomsoever the Spirit of God works the good work of them he takes up his residence; they are his temples in whom he dwells, and in these he dwells for ever: I will pray the Father, says Christ', and be shall give you anolber Comforter, that be may abide with you for ever; and if he abides with them for ever, then they cannot everlastingly perish; he is that anointing they have received of Christ, which abideth in them , from whence they are denominated Christians, and by which they continue such; and it is by virtue of his inhabitation and abiding in them, that their mortal bodies shall be quickened and raised, and be brought into a state of immortality and


3. The Spirit of God not only continues in the hearts of his people, but he continues there as an earnest of their inheritance, which ensures it to them; for as sure as they have the earnest, and which they have from God himself, and is no other than the Lord the Spirit, so sure shall they have the whole ; and if an earnest makes things sure and certain among men, it must needs do so between God and his people. Moreover, the Spirit is the sealer of them until the day of redemptione ; until their bodies are redeemed from the dust of death, from mortality and the grave. He has set his seal and mark upon them, which can never be broken or erased; and assures them of their salvation, and bears witness to their spirits, that they are the children of God, and so heirs of him, and joint-heirs with Christ; but of what avail would this earnest, seal and witness be, if they should eternally perish? But from hence it may be most assuredly gathered that they never shall.

Nintbly, From all that has been said, it clearly appears, that the glory of all the three persons in the Godhead, Father, Son, and Spirit, is concerned in this affair, and they must lose it, if this doctrine is not true; or if the saints should everlastingly perish, where would be the Father's glory in election, in the covenant of grace, and in the mission of his Son? Where would be the glory of the Son of God in the redemption of his people, in his sacrifice and satisfaction, and in his intercession for them ? And where would be the glory of the divine Spirit in the sanctification and sealing of them, if after all this they perish everlastingly? For all depends upon their final perseverance and compleat salvation. And therefore we may be assured, that since the saints are held with this threefold cord, which can never be broken, their final perseverance is certain, and their everlasting salvation sure.

Tentbly, The contrary doctrine takes away the foundation of a believer's joy and comfort; it makes the love of God changeable: the covenant of grace failable; the redemption and satisfaction of Christ insufficient; and the work and

failable; John xiv. 16. 9 1 John ii. 27.

Rom. viii, 11. * Eph. i. 13, 14 and iv. 30.

graces of the Spirit lofeable; and so, must consequently fill the minds of 'the children of God with great doubts, fears and distresses, if not despair; fince their state and condition is so very precarious : what comfort can a believer take in his present circumstances, if they are such, as by a single act of fin, to which he is liable every moment, he may be removed from a state of

grace into a state of condemnation ; and, notwithstanding all the favours bestowed on him, and promises made unto him, and grace given him, he may perish everlastingly ? but this writer I have been considering tells us', that his comfort is not affected hereby; it does not stand upon this, but upon his present knowledge, sighe, faith, frames, and a good conversation ; and bids men go and find a more folid joy, a more blissful comfort on this side heaven. But blessed be God, we have a better foundation for joy and comfort than all this, the true believer, though he lives by faith, he does not live upon it ; he lives by it as Efau did by his sword"; he did not live upon it, that would have been hard living indeed, but he lived upon what it brought him ; so a believer lives not on his faith, but upon Christ, and the grace of Christ, faith brings nigh unto him. He has better things than uncertain, precarious frames to live upon, and receive his comforts from ; even the unchangeable love of God; the unalterable covenant of grace; the faithfulness of God, who, though we believe not, yet be abides faithful"; absolute and unconditional promises ; Jesus Christ the same to-day, yesterday, and for ever; his precions blood, perfect righteousness, atoning facrifice, and that fulness of grace which is in him.

To conclude: If a man may be confident of any one thing in this world, he may be confident of this very thing, that in whomsoever, whether in himself, or in any other, God baih begun a good work, he will perform it until the day of Jesus Chrift*; and that all the true

Ifrael of God shall be saved in the Lord with an everlasting salvation'; and that not one of them shall eternally perish.

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In Opposition to Mr Wesley's Predestination calmly Conhdered, with a

Reply to the Exceptions of the said Writer to The Doctrine of the Perseverance of the Saints.


RWesley having declared himself the author of the Serious Thougbts upon

ibe Perseverance of the Saints, to which I lately returned an answer; has been pleased to shift the controversy from perseverance to predestination : contenting himself with some low, nean, and impertinent exceptions to a part of what I have written on the subject of perseverance; not attempting to answer any one argument advanced by nie in vindication of it; and yet he has the assurance in the public, papers, to call this miserable piece of his, chiefly written on another subject, A full answer to Dr Gill's pamphlet on perseverance ; any other man,but Mr Welley would, upon reflection, be covered with iname and.confusion; though, to give him his due, in his great modesty, he has Jeft out the word full in some after papers; as being conscious to himself, or it inay:be, some of his friends poinţed it to him, that it was an imposition upon the public, and ţedded greatly to expose himself and his cause; since he has left me in the full possession of all my arguments,; which I will not say sare unanswerable, though I think they are; and it looks as if Mr Wesley

thought so too, seężng he has not attempted to answer one of them; yet this I may say, that, as yet they are not answered; qot answered at all, and much dess is a full answer given unto them.

And now, though I might be very well excused following him in this wild (pursuit on the subject of predestination; since he has'not meddled with my argument from it for the saints perseverance; since he has not pursued that subject,

as his title promises; and since throughout the whole he does not argue, only barangue upon it; and that only on a part of it, reprobation, which he thought would best serve his purpose; yet for the sake of weak and honest minds, left VOL. III.



through bis subtelty, they should be corrupted from the fimplicity that is in Chrift;
I mall endeavour to state the doctrine of predestination, and set it in a crue
light according to the scriptures, with the proofs of it from thence ; and take
notice of the principal objections raised by Mr Wesley in his harangue on that
part of it which respects reprobation ;, and then close this treatise with a reply
to his trifing exceptions to what I have written on the subject of the faints
As to the doctrine of predestination, it may be considered either,

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I. In general, as respecting all things that have been, are, or shall be, or done in the world ; every thing comes under the determination and appointment of God; “ he did, as the assembly of divines say in their confession, from all “ eternity, unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass ;” or, as they express it in their catechism, “ God's decrees are the wise, free, and holy acts of “ the counsel of his will; whereby, from all eternity, he hath, for his own “ glory, unchangeably fore-ordained whatsoever comes to pass in time :” and this predestination and fore-appointment of all things, may be concluded from the fore-knowledge of God; known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world, an'anavos, from eternity • ; they were known by him as future, as what would be, which became so by his determination of them; for, the reason why he knew they would be, is, because he determined they should be: also from the providence of God, and his government of the world, which is all according to the counsel of his own willb; for he does every thing according to that, or as he has determined in his own mind. Eternal predestination in this sense, is no other than eternal providence, of which actual providence in time is the execution. To deny this, is to deny the providence of God, and, his government of the world, which none but Deists and Atheists will do ; at least it is to think and speak unworthily of God, as not being that all-knowing, and all-wise, and sovereign ruler of the world, he is: once more that very wonderful thing, prophecy, or foretelling things to come, could not be without a predestination of them; of which there are so many instances in scripture ; such as the stay of the Israelites in Egypt, and their departure from thence; the seventy years captivity of the Jews in Babylon, and their return at the end of that time; the exact coming of the Melliah at such a certain time ; with many others, and some seemingly the most casual and contingent ; as the birth of persons by name a hundred or hundreds of years before they


a A&s xv. 18.

Eph. i, 11.

were born, as Fofab and Cyrus; and a man's carrying a pitcher of water, at such a time, to such a place'; how could these things be foretold with certainty, unless it was determined and appointed they should be? There is nothing comes by chance to God, nothing done without his knowledge, nor without his will or permission, and nothing without his determination; every thing, even the most minute thing, respecting his creatures, and what is done in this world in all periods and ages of time, is by his appointment; for the proof of which see the following passages.

Eccl. iii. 1, 2. To every thing there is a leason, and a time to every purpose under the beaven ; a time to be born and a time to die, &c. a time fixed by the purpose of God for each of these.

Job xiv. 5. Seeing bis days are determined, the number of bis months are with thee, thou bast appointed bis bounds that ke cannot pass. Chap. xxiii. 14. He performeth the thing that is appointed for me, and many such things are with him.

Dan. iv. 35. And be doth according to his will in the army of beaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth, and none can say his band, or say unto him, what doft i bou?

Eph i. 11. Being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.

Acts xv, 18. Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world. Chap. xvii. 26._and bath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation,

Matt. X. 29, 30. Are not twa sparrows sold for a farthing ? and one of them shall not fall to the ground without your Father ; but the very bairs of your bead are all numbered.

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11. Predestination may be considered as special, and as relating to particular persons, and to things fpiritual and eternal; whereas predestination in general respects all creatures and things, even things temporal and civil.

First, Christ himself is the object of predestination ; he was fore-ordained to be the mediator between God and man; to be the propitiation for fin; to be the redeemer and saviour of his people; to be the head of the church; king of saints, and judge of the world : hence he is called, God's eleet, and his chosen one; and whatsoever befel him, or was done unto him, was by the determinate council and fore-knowledge of God; even all things relating to his fùfferings and death; in proof of which read the following scriptures.

11 2 2

Rom, s Kings xiii, 2. Ifa. xliv. 28. and xlv. 1; Luke xxii, 10, 13.

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