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ble : And the smoke of their torment shall ascend up forever and ever, &c. &c.* Had not God revealed this, it could not have been known what would be the event of redemption, whether all will be saved, or not : But God has made it known.
We are not told in the scripture, the precise number that shall be saved ; nor what proportion of mankind will be of this number; but from what is revealed, re. specting this matter, it is reasonable to suppose, that many more will be saved than lost, perhaps some thou. sands to one.t But, be this as it may, we are certain that the number that shall be saved is fixed by infinite wisdom and goodness, and every one of these is known unto God, and their names are written in the book of life, before the foundation of the world. We are also certain, that it is not owing to the want of goodness in God, or the insufficiency of the atonement and merit of Christ, that all mankind are not saved; for the latter is as sufficient to save the whole human race, as part of them, or one individual ; and the only reason why all are not saved, is, because it is inconsistent with infinite wisdom and goodness ; that is, it is not for the greatest general good. Infinite goodness, in all cases, and forever, opposes and forbids that to take place, which is not for the greatest general good, be that what it may ; and approves and effects that which will answer the best ends, and produce the greatest good, in all cases.
We are as certain of this, as we can be, that there is an infinitely wise, good, and omnipotent Being. Therefore, since God has declared, that he has determined, not to save all mankind, we know that this is not consistent with his goodness; that is, that it is not wisest and best, or which is the same, it is not for the greatest good of the whole, that all should be saved. God does not delight in the destruction of sinners,' in itself considered, or for its own sake ; and not one would be suffered to perislı, if it were consistent with wisdom and goodness, to save
This has been particularly considered, and proved, by a number of authors. See Dr. Edwards against Dr. Chauncy: And an Inquiry concerning the future state of those who die in their sias.
† See Dr Bellamy, on the Millennium. And the forementioned Inquiry. Page 167, &c.
ny as thou hast given him. I pray not for the world; but for them which thou hast given me, for they are thine. And all mine are thine, and thine are mine, and I am glorified in them. Holy Father, keep through thine own name, those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one as we are. Father, I will that they also whom thou hast given me, be with me, where I am, that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me."* Could the doctrine of election be expressed more fully and in a stronger manner, by any words whatever? That a particular number of mankind, with every individual of that number, are chosen and selected from the rest, and in the covenant of redemption given to Christ, to be redeemed and saved by him; and that these alone are to be saved ? Agreeably to this, Christ repeatedly speaks of the elect, whose salvation is secured ; and for whose sake, he orders the great events in the world. “ And except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved : But for the elect's sake, whom he hath chosen, he hath shortened the days. For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall show signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the very elect.
And then he shall send his angels, and shall gather together his elect, from the four winds.”+
The apostle Paul represents the salvation of the redeemed, as originating in the eternal purpose of God, by which they are selected from others ; and who, in consequence of this choice and appointment, are saved. “ We know that all things work together for good, to them that love God, to them who are the called, according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, (that is, whom he fixed upon, and chose to salvation,) he also did predestinate, to be conformed to the image of his Son. Moreover, whom he did predestinate, them he also call. ed: And whom he called, them he also justified: And whom he justified, them he also glorified. Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect: It is God that justifieth.”!
« For the children not being yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God, according to election, might stand, not of • John Xyü. 1, 2, 9, 10, 11, 21,
+ Mark züli, 20, 22, 27 * Rom. yiii, 28, 29, 30, 33,
works, but of him that calleth. For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy; and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. Therefore, he hatn mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.”*
The doctrine of election, as stated above, is implied in these last words, and they are sufficient to prove it; were there nothing more said of it in the Bible: For if the will of God determines who shall be the subjects of divine mercy and be saved, and who shall not, as is here asserted ; then God determined from eternity whom he would save, and whom he would not save, and fixed upon, and chose a particular number of persons, to be the subjects of his mercy, in their salvation, exclusive of the rest of mankind; for what God wills to do, he does not begin to will to do it in time; but his determinations and will, respecting all his works, are without beginning : His will is unchangeable.
“ He is of one mind, and none can turn him."
This apostle brings the doctrine of election again into view, and most expressly asserts it, in the following words, “ God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew.t Even so then, at this present time also, there is a remnant, according to the election of grace. What then ?-Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for ; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded.”I-And in his letter to the saints at Ephesus, he considers their election, or being chosen by God, before the foundation of the world ; that is, from eternity, by his eternal purpose and decree, as the source and cause of their becoming christians, and of their salvation. « Blessed be the God and Father of
• Rom. ix. 11, 15, 18. † The foreknowledge of God is mentioned here, and in other places, as implying his purpose and decree of election. See Acts ii. 23. Xv. 18. Rom. viii 29. i Peter i. 2. The reason why this word is used to denote the divine determination, is because the foreknowledge of God does necessarily imply his purpose or decree, with respect to the thing foreknown ; for God foreknows what will be, only by determining what shall be Therefore, foreknowledge and decrees cannot be separated : for they im. ply each other, if they he not one and the same. “ Grotius, as well as Beza, observes, that #poywous must here signify decree ; Elsner has shown, it bas that signification in approved Greek writers." --Doddridge's Note on Acts ii. 23.
4 Rom. xi. 2, 5, 7. VOL. II.
our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings, in heavenly places in Christ. According as he hath chosen us in him, before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love. Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will."*__He speaks the same language in his letter to Timothy : “ Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given to us in Christ Jesus, before the world began.”+ He also says, “ Therefore I endure all things
for the sake of the elect, that they may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory.”† The apostle had no expectation or desire of the salvation of any but the elect, whom God hath chosen to salvation from eternity. Therefore, when he had evidence that any person was a true believer and made holy, he considered it as the consequence and fruit of election, of his being chosen by God, from the begin. ning, that is, from eternity: This is his language to the christians at Thessalonica: " We are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren, beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation, through sanctification of the spirit, and belief of the truth."
The apostle Peter sets this matter in the same light with Paul, and considers true christians, as elected to this privilege, and to eternal life, by the counsel and purpose of God, as the origin and foundation of all this good to them.
“ Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the spirit, unto obedience, and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ."
Whoever well considers these passages of scripture, with others of the same tenor, and observes how consistent this doctrine is with the whole of the scripture, which represents man as lost in sin, and wholly dependent on God for salvation; and therefore, that their
. Eph. i. 3, 4, 5. + 2 Tim. i, 9. + Chap. ii. 10. $ 2 Thess. ii. 13.
11 1 Pet. i. 1, 2.
salvation must all originate in the sovereign purpose and grace of God; and how consistent this is with reason, and that it is, indeed, impossible it should be otherwise : Whoever takes a proper view of all this, must believe, and rest satisfied in the truth, that all the redeemed were chosen to salvation, by the eternal purpose of God, as the origin and foundation of their salvation; and that they who are not thus elected, do perish in their sins. And he who does not see this doctrine plainly revealed in the Bible, must be supposed to read it with strong prejudices against the truth, or with very wrong and false conceptions respecting the subject. To obviate and remove these, is the design of some part of the following:
V. The elect are not chosen to salvation rather than others, because of any moral excellence in them, or out of respect to any foreseen faith and repentance; or be. cause their moral character is in any respect better than others. The difference between them and others, in this respect, whenever it takes place, is the fruit and consequence of their election, and not the ground and reason of it.
All mankind are totally sinful, wholly lost and undone, in themselves, infinitely guilty and ill-deserving. And all must perish forever, were it not for electing grace; were they not selected from the rest, and given to the Redeemer, to be saved by him,
and so made vessels of mercy, prepared unto glory. This is abundantly declared in scripture. This is strongly asserted in a passage which has been mentioned. the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God, according to election, might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth." In their election, they are predestinated to be conformed to Christ, in true holiness, and not because it is fore. seen they will, of their own accord, be holy, and chosen to salvation for the sake of this. They are elected, through sanctification of the spirit, unto obedience. Sanctification and obedience are the consequence of their election, and the privilege to which they are chosen ; and not that out of regard to which they are chosen to salvation. The Apostle tells the elect at Ephesus, that electing love found them dead in trespasses and sins, as