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Christ is as well respected in our Election, as in our Juftification and Glorification, which are things obtained for us by Christ. If therefore Ele&tion be a Characteristick of Vertue, as Chryfoftom faith on those words of St. Paul, who mall lay any thing to the charge of God's Elect? All that vertue which the Chooler did approve, was from Christ, in whom he accepted those whom he found in him, not from Faith, not from Works, but from Christ, as it is in the cause of Justification. ? If it be objected, that by this the Election of God is quite taken away, and his Justification is only left him; for to take believers is an act of Justice, and not of Choice: I answer, that Election and Justification differ not in this, that Faith in Christ is requisite to Justification, but not to E. lection : but their distinction from each other lieth in a difference of time, though in both Faith in Christ be requisite. The difference in time is this; the one hath place whilst the Decree of God is yet palling; the other, when the Decree of God is past, and gone out. While the Decree was in making, or was not yet determined, that which did conclude and determine it, was Choice and not Justice; for then God is said to have chosen believers in Christ, because when things were under deliberation and consultation what should be done, Choice had place, and swayed all. But after the Decree is pronounced and established, when God beholdeth a believer as a thing that will infallibly be, then he properly justifieth, not Electech hin: for his Election is already upon the infallibility of God's Foreknowledge, and the immutability of his Will. And this difference only observed, the Doctrine of our Election in Christ doth strongly confirm our Faith of Justification and Salvation by Christ, as our Article faith afterwards. And our justification by Christ doch much enlighten and clear the Doctrine of our
Election in Christ, according to the three Hypotheses of Melanchton.
1. Judicandum efe de Electione ex Evangelio. Loco de
2. Totum numerum Electorum propter Chriftum e- Pradeft. lectum esse.
3. Non aliam Fustificationis, aliam Electionis effe canjam. Thus much of the first Addition to Chosen, chosen in Chrift.
The second adjunct unro Chofen, is that they were Chosen out of Mankind; by our Article then, all Man. kind was not Chosen, but fome out of Mankind; but all Mankind was considered in the Omniscience of God, from the first Man to the last; for he that chooseth out of all, must weigh and examine all. Out of Mankind, not out of Angels-Kind; for seeing the Election is in Christ, and Christ took not hold of the nature of Angels, but of human Nature, the Election must be out of Human-kind, as taken hold on by Christ: Christ being provided and preached to Human.kind, as one Mediator between
Men, and for our Salvation came down from Heaven, and was incarnate.
Lastly, if it be Human-kind, out of which the Election is made, it must be distributed into two parts; either as found in Christ, or as found out of Christ, because the Election is in Christ, and therefore made out of Mankind, as having something to do with, or some relation to Christ: for if God in his Predestination had bent his consideration unto the Mass of Mankind innocent and uncorrupted, there had he found no Man Reprobable, all being such as his own hand had made them; if to the Mass of Mankind fallen and corrupt, there had been found
no Man Eligible, all being under the Curse: but considering Mankind as under Christ, who should dye for it, and should be prcached to the World, there he found some Eligible, viz. such as laid hold on Christ by Faith; and some Reprobable, who being Sinners received not the Savļour that would be sent to deliver them from Curse and Condemnation. And thus much for the first act of God in the order of nature, tho' the third thing mentioned in the letter of the Definition, those whom God hath Chosen in Christ out of Mankind.
Now I come to the first thing in the letter of the Definition, but the second act of the mind of God, touching them whom he hath Chosen, viz. his everlasting Purpose, and Decree what to do for them, and how to do it: and first let me treat of the Principal, the purpose it self, then of the additions and properties of this Purpose.
The Article calleth it the purpose of God, and not of Man, and that rightly; for every thing that is read, tho' in antient * Fathers, is not rashly to be embraced. This expression is St. Pauls, tổ cô meteors, where we need not say that it is ambiguous whether Tš ©â belongs to éxdogriv or to póleois, since it truly and undoubtedly belongs to both. @ebois may fignify two things; first, the same that idéa, Tyfus or Archetypus; the plot, form, or frame of all things, according to which all things that now are, were made and wrought by God, it self being first
* Many of the old Commentators by med 78029 understood the resolution, determination or choice made by Man, when the offers of the Gospel were tendered unto him;
Oi rol oiisav webJEORY gevó svob zantoi. Oecum.
Kancos de dévetou ev patog xatod achFour T8Tst nic? oixeian
wrought, that is, devised and contrived, and set in order by him. The Understanding of God is the seat
and as it were written; as the plot of an Architect is drawn, and set out in paper, or in the sand, for the help of his weakness, that he may fee with his Eye, a Model of that which was in his Mind, and in time, it may be, should be raised and builded up by him.
Thus seems St. Paul to use the word, when he faith, the various Wisdom of God is known to Angels by the Church, και πρόθεσιν των αιώνων ήν ÉTTINDEN À Xeral Inood; where this expression Eph. 3. f.
Il apóteow implieth that a pattern was followed, and this ģv Endinger faith the pattern was made by God himself in Christ Jesus: God doing nothing without the Son, being the Chief piece in the frame. Secondly, this word apádegis may signify the Pur. pose, Decree, Determination and Resolution of the Will of God, to execute, and to put into being the things whereof the Plot which is in his mind is the pattern. Thus St. Paul taketh it, when he joineth Purpose and Grace together; who hath saved us, and called us with an holy Calling, not accordo 2. Tim. 1. ing to our Works, but according to his purpose and 9. Grace, given unto us in Christ Jesus, before the World was: Or the purpose of God consisterh of both these together, the Counsel, and the Decree of God intending those things, the order, course, and form whereof he hath first in his Mind and Power, and afterwards in his Will.
so that I may say with Urfinus on Isaiah, the in Ifa. 14. Issue of things exactly ansvers their Pattern, the counsel and foreknowledge of God; or as St. Paul would express it, all things come to pass according to, all things do, and fulfill the purpose of God. This pür
afterwardsI may say withers their Pattern, the would
pose is about ends and means to those ends, and all circu:nstances accompanying them, both in things of the order of nature, and of the order of Grace, and about those things God will do himself, and those things he will permit the creature and all secondary causes to do. . .
And altho' in the whole Frame or Plot there are two parts, or two ways; one that leadeth some to Happine's, and another wherein some go to their own deitruction; and tho' the purpose of God runs upon them both, as being not without his Counsel or Will, yet in St. Paul that only which is the way to Happiness to some, as the more worthy and desirable part, is called the purpose of God. And as in his Foreknowledge, altho’ the wicked are not unknown to God, he not being ignorant of the. Men, and of their works; yet only the Faithful and the Elect are named and called those whom he Foreknew, because in them he is pleased and delighted: So in purpose, that part only of the Divine disposition which bringeth unto Happiness is called God's purpose, because he delightech in the Good of his Creatures, and hath no pleasure in their Death and Destruction, which is of themselves, and not of him, tho' adjudged by him, and Decreed upon their Rebellion. And this may suffice for the opening of this Term, the Purpose of God.
As for the adjunets added by our Article to Purpose, as the everlasting Purpose &c. they are so clear, that they need no further explication, than was before made in the Analysis : only the last clause, By his counsel secret to us, I would have reserved and kept in mind to prove that doctrine which I delivered in the eighteenth Chapter of the third part of this work, viz. that altho' there be revealed to us some hopeful signs of our Election and Pre-, destination, as the next branch of this Paragraph, witnesseth; yet the very certainty of our Election or