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CHAP. III.

Of Gods Decree.

1. God hath 5252Is. 46.10. Eph. 1.11. Heb. 6.17. Rom. 9.15,18.Decreed in himself from all Eternity, by the most wise and holy Councel of his own will, freely and unchangeably, all things whatsoever comes to passe; yet so as thereby is God neither the author of sin, 5353Jam. 1.15,17. 1 Joh. 1.5.nor hath fellowship with any therein, nor is violence offered to the will of the Creature, nor yet is the liberty, or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather 5454 Act 4.27,28. Joh. 19.11.established, in which appears his wisdom in disposing all things, and power, and faithfulness 5555 Numb. 23.19. Eph. 1.3,4,5.in accomplishing his Decree.

2. Although God knoweth whatsoever may, or can come to passe upon all 5656Act. 15.18. supposed conditions; yet hath he not Decreed anything, 5757 Rom. 9.11.13.16.18.because he foresaw it as future, or as that which would come to pass upon such conditions.

3. By the decree of God for the manifestation of his glory 5858 1 Tim. 5.21. Mat. 25.41.some men and Angels, are predestinated, or fore-ordained to Eternal Life, through Jesus Christ to the 5959 Eph. 1.5,6. praise of his glorious grace; others being left to act in their sin to their 6060 Rom. 9.22,23. Jud. 4.just condemnation, to the praise of his glorious justice.

4. These Angels and Men thus predestinated, and fore-ordained, are particularly, and unchangeably designed; and their 6161 2 Tim. 2.19. Joh. 13.18.number so certain, and definite, that it cannot be either increased, or diminished.

5. Those of mankind 6262 Eph. 1.4.9.11. Rom. 8.30. 2 Tim. 1.9. 1 Thes. 5.9.that are predestinated to life, God before the foundation of the world was laid, according to his eternal and immutable purpose, and the secret Councel and good pleasure of his will, hath chosen in Christ unto everlasting glory, out of his meer free grace and love; 6363 Rom. 9.13.16. Eph. 1.6.12.without any other thing in the creature as a condition or cause moving him thereunto.

6. As God hath appointed the Elect unto glory, so he hath by the eternal and most free purpose of his will, fore-ordained 6464 1 Pet. 1.2. 2 Thes. 2.13.all the means thereunto, wherefore they who are elected, being faln in Adam, 6565 1 Thes. 5.9,10.are redeemed by Christ, are effectually 6666 Rom. 8.30. 2 Thes. 2.13.called unto faith in Christ, by his spirit working in due season, are justifyed, adopted, sanctified, and kept by his power through faith 67671 Pet. 1.5.unto salvation; neither are any other redeemed by Christ, or effectually called, justified, adopted, sanctified, and saved, but the Elect 6868 Joh. 10.26. Joh. 17.9. Joh. 6.64.only.

7. 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 yeilding obedience thereunto, may from the certainty of their effectual vocation, be assured of their 69691 Thes. 1.4,5. 2 Pet. 1.10.eternal election; so shall this doctrine afford matter 7070Eph. 1.6. Rom. 11.33.of praise, reverence, and admiration of God, and 7171Rom. 11.5,6.of humility, diligence, and abundant 7272Luk. 10.20.consolation, to all that sincerely obey the Gospel.


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