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the Jewish doctors, also observed this, who writes; the verse is double, the same sense being proposed in different words. And he adds, LET THEM BE BLOTTED OUT, signifies let them not be written in the book of life. From which it appears, that our adversaries argue falsely from this passage, against the immutability of God's election.

XXVII. As this is fixed and settled with respect to God, so the believer may also attain to a certain assurance thereof, and from infallible marks, know that he is one of the chosen. If it was not so, Peter had to no purpose admonished believers," to make their calling and election sure," 2 Pet. i. 9, 10. That is, to endeavour by evident signs to be fully persuaded in their own mind. Vain also would have been Paul's glorification, 1 Thess. i. 4. "knowing brethren beloved your election of God." For by the same evidences Paul could have known this of the Thessalonians, the Thessalonians could have known it with respect to themselves. In fine, they could not possibly, in faith, give thanks to God for their election, unless they could be assured of it in their own mind. And yet they do give thanks to God for it, Eph.

i. 3, 4

XXVIII. But in what manner do believers attain the assurance of their Election? Who hath ascended into heaven? Or who, with a prying eye, hath perused the volumes of God's decrees and secrets? Who hath looked into the heart of God? We are here, indeed to guard against rash presumption. But what God has, from eternity, determined about the salvation of his people, he declares to them in time by signs that cannot deceive them. He has given them two books, from which they may gather what is sufficient to know, that they are written in the book of life: namely, the book of Scripture, and the book of Conscience. In the book of Scripture, the distinguishing marks of Election are drawn out with great exactness. In the book of Conscience, every one may read, if he gives that proper diligence, as a matter of such importance requires, whether these marks are with him. The Scripture shews, that the marks of Election are, 1st, Effectual calling by the word and Spirit of God, Rom. viii. 30. 2dly, Faith in God and Christ, 2 Thess. ii. 13. 3dly, Hatred and eschewing of evil, 2 Tim. ii. 19. 4thly, The sincere and constant study of holiness, Eph. i. 4. 2 Thes. ii. 13. And when it is well understood and known, what effectual calling is, what faith in God and Christ, what eschewing of evil, and what the study of genuine godliness are; the conscience is then to be examined, whether these can be found

in itself; and upon discovering that they are, the believing soul may, from these undoubted fruits, be assured of his Election. And it frequently happens, that God favours his chosen. people with the ravishments of his most beneficent love that while they are inebriated with those spiritual and unspeakable delights, which earthly souls can neither conceive nor relish, they are no less persuaded of their Election, than if they had seen their names written by the very hand of God himself. These things make them, with exultation, cry out to their infernal enemies, who in vain resist their faith, "know that the Lord hath set apart him that is godly for himself." Psal. iv. 3. Especially if, what then is not usually wanting, the internal witness of the spirit to their adoption is superadded, of which in Rom. viii. 16. and which is by way of seal. Eph. i. 13. But there will be occasion to speak of this hereafter.

XXIX. And it is the interest of believers to endeavour earnestly after this assurance of their Election. For, 1st, It is not possible they should have a life of joy and exultation in the Lord while they are ignorant of this. They may, no doubt, happily fall asleep in the Lord, and through death, reach to eternal life, though they are not assured of their Election. For our salvation depends not on this full assurance of faith but on our union and communion with Christ, which may remain safe and secure without that. But a man who has his salvation at heart, as he ought, cannot live in secure joy, so long as he doubts of his election. 2dly, Nor does this assurance greatly contribute to our joy only, but also very much to the glory of God. For then it is, that we properly value the riches of divine love, and are sweetly swallowed up in the immense ocean of his goodness, when we ascend in our minds, and in our praises to the original fountain of all grace; and in imitation of Paul, celebrate his free love, by which" he hath chosen us in Christ Jesus, to the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved." Eph. i. 6. 3dly, Nay this certainty of the Election, which we preach, likewise promotes the careful study of piety, and kindles a fervent zeal therein; so far is it from opening a wide door to ungodliness and carnal security; which none dare assert, but they who are ignorant of the good ways of God, or malignant perverters of


XXX. Here then is the meditation of one who is thus fully persuaded, and this is his language to his God, "Didst "thou, O Lord, from eternity, entertain thoughts of glorifying


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me, a miserable wretch, who am less than nothing; and "shall I not again carry thee for ever in my eyes, and always "in my bosom? shall I not delight in meditating on thee? "shall I not cry out, how precious also are thy thoughts unto O God! how great is the sum of them! Psal. cxxxix. Shall I not, with the most sincere repentance, bewail "that time, in which so many hours, days, weeks, months and years, have passed over my head, without one single holy and pleasing thought of thee? Didst thou, out of mere "love, choose me to salvation? And shall not I again choose "thee for my Lord, my king, my husband, for the portion

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of my soul, for my chief, or rather my only delight? Didst "thou choose me from among so many others who being " left to themselves, have eternal destruction abiding them? "And shall not I exert myself to the utmost, to excel others "in love, in thy worship, and in all the duties of holiness? "Didst thou predestinate me to holiness, which is so amiable "in itself, and so necessary for me, that without it there "can be no salvation? And shall not I walk therein? Shall "I presume to cavil with thee, thou brightest teacher of "truth; that separating the end from the means, I should se"curely promise myself the end, as being predestinated "thereto, in a neglect of the means, to which I was no less "predestinated? Is thy purpose concerning my salvation, "fixt and unchangeable? And shall I change every hour; at "one time, giving my service to thee, and another time to "the devil? shall I not rather cleave to thee with such a "firm purpose, as sooner to choose a thousand deaths rather "than perfidiously forsake thee? Shall I not be steadfast, "immoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, for as much as I know, my labour shall not be in vain in "the Lord? 1 Cor. xv. 58. Wilt thou by thy spirit, assure me of thy love, which passeth all understanding? And I not "love thee again with all my heart, all my mind, and all my "strength? Wilt thou give me the assurance of my salva"tion? And shall not I, baving this hope, purify myself as "thou art pure? 1 John iii. 2." Who, that understands these things, can deny, that the doctrine of Election, as we have explained it, affords ample matter to a pious soul for these and such like meditations? And who also can deny that in the practice of these meditations consists the very kernel of piety and holiness?

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Of Effectual Calling.

I. THE first immediate fruit of eternal election, and the prin cipal act of God by which appointed salvation applied, is Effectual Calling. Of which the apoftle, Rom. viii. 30. "Whom he did predeftinate them he also called." And this calling is that act by which those who are chosen by God, and redeemed by Christ, are sweetly invited, and effectually brought from a state of sin to a state of communion with God in Chrift, both externally and internally.

II. The term from which they are called, is a state of sin and misery, in which all men are involved, ever since the sin of our first parents" having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart," Eph. iv. 18. For we are brought to such a pass, that we are wholly excluded from the saving communion of God and Chrift. Being sunk in the deep gulf of misery, and having loft all notion of true happiness, we wallow in the mire of the wickedness and vanities of this world without end and without measure, and are enslaved to the devil, to whom we have submitted as conquered captives, "for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God," Rom. iii. 23. But out of this darkness of ignorance, sin, and misery, God calleth us unto his marvellous light, 1 Pet. ii. 9. and delivers us from this present evil world, Gal. i. 4. And we are never to forget our former ftate; "remember that at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world," Eph. ii. 12. The meditation of this tends to humble us the more deeply before God who calleth us, the more to prize the riches of his glorious grace, and the more to quicken us to walk worthy of our calling, and of God, by whom we are called.

III. The term to which we are called, is Christ, and communion with him, For this he calls out, Isa. xlv. 22. “Look to me, or, Incline yourselves to me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth." In this communion with Christ consists that mystical and most delightful marriage of the elect soul with Christ, to which he invites him with all the allurements of his gospel, and whose exalted nuptial song Solomon sung; "Wisdom hath builded her house.---She hath sent forth her paidens, she crieth upon the highest places of the city, Turn in


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hither: come eat of my bread, and drink of the wine which I have mingled," Prov. ix. 1---5.

IV. From this communion results the communication of all the benefits of Christ, both in grace and in glory, to which we are likewise called. "Hearken diligently unto me, and eat that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness.


cline your ear and come unto me; hear and your soul shall live, and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David," Isa lv. 2, 3. Thus he calleth us to his kingdom and glory, I Thess. ii. 12.

V. And since Christ cannot be separated from his Father and his Spirit, we are at the same time called to the communion of the undivided Trinity. That our fellowship may be with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ," John i. 3. to which Paul joins the communion of the Holy Gholt, 2 Cor. xiii. 14. And it is the very top of our happiness, to exult in God as urs, and sing aloud to him, My God, while he himself calls to us, My people, Hos. ii. 23.

VI. Moreover, as all the elect are partakers of one and the same grace, they are all likewise called to mutual communion with one another," that ye also may have fellowship with us," i John i. 3. Believers of the New Testament with those of the Old; the Gentiles with the Jews, being all of the same body, Eph. iii. 6. in Christ, who hath made both one, Eph. ii. 14. Nay, those on earth with those in heaven; "For all things are gathered together in one in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him, in whom also we have obtained an inheritance," Eph. i 10, 11.

And this is that blessed state to which by the holy and heavenly calling we are invited, namely, communion with Christ, and by him with the undivided Trinity, and consequently with all the saints, both militant and triumphant, not even excepting the praising assembly of angels, in order with them to exult in the most delightful fruition of all the blessings of God. For all who obey this call," are come unto Mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the first born, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to Jesus the Mediator of the New covenant," Heb. xii. 22, 23, What granderings can be spoken, what more noble and divine can be conceived than these?

VII. But this calling is given, partly externally by a persua sive power, called moral suasion; partly internally, by a real supernatural efficacy, which changes the heart. The external Vol. I.



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