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This elect number, though by nature neither bei. ter nor more deserving than others, but with them involved in one common misery, God bath decreed to give to Christ, to be saved by bim, and effectually to call and draw them to his communion by his word and Spirit, to besiow upon them true faith, justification, and sanctification ; and having powerfully preserved them in the fellowship of his Son, finally to glorify them for the demonstration of his mercy, and for the praise of the riches of his glorious grace, as it is written : “ According as be hath chosen us in bim, 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, to the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.” Eph. i. 4, 5, 6. And elsewhere, “ Wiom he did predestinate, them he also called ; and whom he called, them he also justified ; and whom he justified, then he also glorified.” Rom. viii. 30.
Art. VIII. There are not various decrees of election, but one and the same decree respecting all those who shall be saved, both under the old and new testament: since the Scripture declares the good pleasure, purpose, and counsel of the divine will to be one, according to which he hath chosen us from eternity both to grace and to glory--to salvation, and the way of salvation, wbich he hath ordained that we should walk thenein.
ART. IX. This election was not founded upon foreseen faith, and the obedience of faith, holiness, or any other good quality or disposition in man, as the prerequisite, cause, or condition on which it depeuded; but men are chosen to faith, and to the obedience of faith, holiness, &c. Therefore election is the fountain of every saving good ; from which proceed faith, holiness, and the other gilis of salvation, and finally eternal life itself, as its fruits
and effects, according to that of the Apostle : « He hath chosen us (not because we were) but that we should be holy, and without blame, before him in love." Ephes. i. 4.
ART. X. The good pleasure of God is the sole. cause of this gracious election, which doth not consist herein, that God foreseeing all possible qualities or human actions, elected certain of these, as a condition of salvation ; but that he was pleased out of the common mass of sinners to adopt some certain persons as a peculiar people to himself, as it is written : “ For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, &c.” “ It was said (namely to Rebecca,) the elder shall serve the younger ; as it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.” Rom. ix. 11, 12, 13.66 And as many as were ordained to eternal life believed." Acts xiii. 48.
Art. XI. And as God himself is most wise, unchangeable, omniscient, and omnipotent; so the election made by him can neither be interrupted nor changed, recalled, or annulled, neither can the elect be cast away, nor their number diminished.
Art. XII. The elect, in due time, though in various degrees and in different measures, attain the assurance of this their eternal and unchangeable election, not hy inquisitively prying into the secret and deep things of God; but by observing in therselves, with a spiritual joy and holy pleasure, the infallible fruits of election pointed out in the word of God: Such as a true faith in Christ, filial fear, a godly sorrow for sin, a hungering and thirsting after righteousriess, &c.
Art. XIII. The sense and certainty of this elec'tion afford to the children of God additional matter for daily humiliation before him, for adoring the depth of his mercies, aad rendering grateful returns of ardent love to him, who first manisested so great love toward them. The consideration of this doc
trine of election is so far from encouraging remiss. ness in the observance of the divine commands, or from sinking men in carnal security, that these, in the just judgment of God, are the usual effects of rash presumption, or of idle and wanton trifling with the grace of election, in those who refuse to walk in the ways of the elect,
Art. XIV. As the doctrine of divine election, by the most wise counsel of God, was declared by the prophets, by Christ himself, and by the Apostles, and is clearly revealed in the scriptures both of the old and new testament; so it is still to be published in due time and place in the church of God, for which it was peculiarly designed, provided it be done with reverence, in the spirit of discretion and piety, for the glory of God's most holy name, and for enļivening and comforting his people, without vainly attempting to investigate the secret ways of the Most High.
ART. XV. What peculiarly tends to illustrate and recommend to us the eternal and unmerited grace of election, is the express testimony of sacred Scripture, that not all, but some only are elected, while others are passed by in the eternal decree; whom God, out of his sovereign, most just, irreprehensible, and unchangeable good pleasure, hath decreed to leave in the common misery into which they have wilfully plunged themselves, and not to bestow upon them saving faith, and the grace of conversion ; but permitting them in his just judgment to follow their own ways, at last for the declaration of his justice, to condemn and punish them for ever, not only on account of their unbelief, but also for all their other sins. And this is the decree of reprobation, which by no means makes God the author of sin, (the very thought of which is blasphemy,) but declares him to be an awful, irreprehensible, and righteous judge, and avenger.
ART. XVI. Those who do not yet experience a Tively faith in Christ, an assured confidence of soul, peace of conscience, an earnest endeavour after filial obedience, and glorifying in God through Christ efficaciously wrought in them, and do nevertheless persist in the use of the means which God hath apa pointed for working these graces in us, ought not to be alarmed at the mention of reprobation, nor to rank themselves among the reprobate, but diligently to persevere in the use of means, and with ardent desires devoutly and humbly to wait for a season of richer grace. Much less cause have they to be terrified by the doctrine of reprobation ; who, thouglı they seriously desire to be turned to God, to please him only, and to be delivered from the body of death, cannot yet reach that measure of holiness and faith to which they aspire; since a merciful God has promised that he will not quench the smoaking flax, nor break the bruised reed. But this doctrine is justly terrible to those, who, regardless of God, and of the Saviour Jesus Christ, have wholly given themselves up to the cares of the world, and the pleasures of the flesh, so long as they are not seriously converted to God.
ARF. XVII. Since we are to judge of the will of God from his word, which testifies that the children of believers are holy, not by nature, but in virtue of the covenant of grace, in which they, together with the parents, are comprehended, godly parents have no reason to doubt of the election, and salvation of their children, whom it pleaseth God to call out of this life in their infancy.
ART. XVII. To those who murmur at the free grace of election, and just severity of reprobation, we answer with the Apostle : “ Nay; but O! man, who art thou that repliest against God?” Rom. ix. 20: And quote the language of our Saviour, : Is ituo lawful for me to do what I will with mine own.” May. XX. 15. And therefore, with . holy
adoration of these mysteries, we exclaim in the words of the Apostle : “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How upsearchable are bis judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord ? or who hath been his counsellor? or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again ? For of him, and through bim, and to him are all things : to whom be glory for ever. Amen."
Second head of doctrine. Of the death of Christ;
and the redemption of men thereby. ARTICLE I. God is not only supremely merciful, but also supremely just. And his justice requires, as he hath revealed himself in his word, that our sins, committed against his infinite majesty, should be punished not only with temporal, but with eternal punishments, both in body and soul; which we cannoi escape, unless satisfaction be made to the justice of God.
Art. II. Since therefore we are unable to make that satisfaction in our own persons, or to deliver ourselves from the wrath of God, he hath been pleased of his infinite mercy to give his only begotten Son, for our Surety, who was made sin, and became a curse for us, and in our stead, that he might make satisfaction to divine justice on our behalf.
ART. III. The death of the Son of God is the only and most perfect sacrifice, and satisfaction for sin-is of infinite worth and value-abundantly sufficient to expiate the sins of the whole world.
ART. IV. This death derives its infinite value and dignity from these considerations; because the person who submitted to it was not only really man, and perfectly holy, but also the only begotten Son of Gut, of the same eternal and infinite essence with the Father, and Holy Spirit, which qualifications