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God made man to damn him; whereas, according to their real sentiments, God decreed to make man, and made man neither to damn him nor save him, but for his own glory; which end is answered in them some way or other.—Again: They argue that the end is first in view before the means; and the decree of the end is, in order of nature, before the decree of the means; and what is first in intention is last in execution. Now as the glory of God is the last in execution it must be first in intention; wherefore men must be considered in the decree of the end as not yet created and fallen; since the creation and permission of sin belong to the decree of the means, which, in order of nature, is after the decree of the end. And they add to this, that if God first decreed to create man, and suffer him to fall, and then out of the fall chose some to grace and glory, he must decree to create man without an end, which is to make God to do what no wise man would : for when a man is about to do anything he proposes an end, and then contrives and fixes on ways and means to bring about that end ; and it cannot

be thought that the all-wise and only-wise God should act otherwise, who does all his works in wisdom, and has wisely designed them for his own glory. (Prov. xvi. 4.) They think also that this way of conceiving and speaking of these things best expresses the sovereignty of God in them, as declared in Rom. ix., where he is said to will such and such things, for no other reason but because he wills them : and hence the objector to the sovereign decrees of God is . brought in, saying, “Why doth he yet find fault; who hath resisted his will " And the answer to it is taken from the sovereign power of the potter over his clay; to which is added : “ What if God willing,” &c. to do this or that, who has any thing to say against it? He is accountable to none. (v. 15–22.) And this way of reasoning is thought to suit better with the instance of Jacob and Esau : “The children being not yet born, and having done neither good nor evil, that the purpose of God, according to election, mightstand,” (v. 10.) than with supposing persons, considered in predestination, as already created, and in the corrupt mass; and particularly it best suits with the unformed clay of the potter, out of which he makes one vessel

to honour and another to dishonour: on which Beza remarks, that if the apostle had considered mankind as corrupted, he would not have said that some vessels were made to honour and some to dishonour; but rather that, seeing all the vessels would be fit for dishonour, some were left in that dishonour, and others translated from dishonour to honour. They further observe, that elect angels could not be considered in the corrupt mass when chosen, since they never fell; and therefore it is most reasonable that as they, so those angels that were not chosen were considered in the same pure mass of creatureship ; and so in like manner men: to which they add, the human nature of Christ, which is the object of election to a greater dignity than that of angels and men, could not be considered in the corrupt mass, since it fell not in Adam, nor never came into any corrupt state; and yet it was chosen out of the people : (Psal. lxxxix. 19.) and consequently the people out of whom it was chosen must be considered as yet not fallen and corrupt, and who also were chosen in him, and therefore not so considered.—These are hints of some of the arguments used on this side of the question. “On the other hand, those

who are called Sublapsarians, and are for men beingconsidered as created and fallen in the decree of election, urge John xv. 19: I have chosen you out of the world. Now the world is full of wickedness, it lies in it, is under the power of the wicked one, the inhabitants of it live in sin, and all of them are corrupt and abominable; and therefore they who are chosen out of them must be so too. But this text is not to be understood of eternal election, but of effectual vocation, by which men are called and separated from the world, among whom they have had their conversation before conversion, and have lived according to the course of it. They further observe, that the elect are called vessels of mercy, which supposes them to have been miserable, and sinful, and to stand in need of mercy, and must be so considered in their election : but though through various means the elect are brought to happiness, which are owing to the mercy of God; such as the mission of Christ to save them, the forgiveness of their sins, their regeneration and salvation, and so fitly called vessels of mercy; yet it follows not that they were considered as in need of mercy in their choice to happiness.--It is also said that men are chosen


in Christ as Mediator, Re

deemer, and Saviour; which implies that an offence is given and taken, and reconciliation is to be made, and redemption from sin, and the curse of the law broken, and compleat salvation to be effected by Christ: all which supposes men to be sinful, as it does. But then men are chosen in Christ, not as the meritorious cause of election, but as the mean or medium of bringing them to the happiness they are chosen to.--It is moreover taken notice of that the transitus in scripture is not from election to creation, but to vocation, justification, adoption, sanctification, and salvation. But, for instance, can vocation be supposed without creation It is thought that this way of considering men as fallen in the decree of election, is more mild and gentle than the other, and best accounts for the justice of God; that since all are in the corrupt mass, it cannot be unjust in him to chuse some out of it to undeserved happiness, and to leave others in it, who perish justly in it for their sins; or that since all are deserving of the wrath of God for sin, where is the injustice of appointing some not unto the wrath they deserve, but unto salvation by Christ, when others are fore-ordained to

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just condemnation and wrath for their sins But on the other hand, what reason also can there be to charge God with injustice, that in as much as all are considered in the pure mass of creatureship, that some should be chosen in it, and others be passed by in it, and both for his own glory

These are some of the prin

cipal arguments used on both

sides. The difference is not so great as may be thought at first sight: for both agree in the main and material things in the doctrine of election ; as, (1.) That it is personal, and particular; is of persons by name, whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life.—(2.) That it is absolute and unconditional, not depending on the will of men, nor on any thing to be done by the creature.—(3.) That it is wholly owing to the will and pleasure of God, and not to the faith, holiness, obedience, and good works of men ; nor to a foresight of all or any of these.—(4.) That both elect and non-elect are considered alike, and are upon an equal foot in the decree of predestination; as those that are for the corrupt mass they suppose that they were both considered in it equally alike, so that there was nothing in the one that was not in the other; which was a reason why the one should be chosen and the other left : so those that are for the pure mass suppose both to be considered in the same, and as not yet born, and having done neither good nor evil.—(5.) That it is an eternal act in God, and not temporal, or which commenced not in time, but from all eternity: for it is not the opinion of the Sublapsarians that God passed the decree of election after men were actually created and fallen, only that they were considered in the divine mind from all eternity in the decree of election as if they were created and fallen. Wherefore, though they differ in the consideration of the object of election, as thus and thus diversified, yet they agree in the thing, and agree to differ, as they should, and not charge one another with unsoundness and heterodoxy, for which there is no reason. “Calvin was for the corrupt mass; Beza, who was co-pastor with him in the church at Geneva, and his successor, was for the pure mass; and yet they lived in great peace, love, and harmony. The Contra-remonstrants in Holland, when Arminianism first appeared among them, were not agreed in this point ; some took one side of the question, and some the other; but they both united against the com


called from

mon adversary, the Arminians. Dr. Twiss, who was as great a Supralapsarian as perhaps ever was, and carried things as high as any man ever did, and as closely studied the point, and as well understood it, and perhaps better than any one did; and yet he confesses that it was only aper logicus, a point in logic ; and that the difference only lay in the ordering and ranging the decrees of God: and, for my own part, I think both may be taken in ; that in the decree of the end, the ultimate end, the glory of God, for which he does all things, men might be considered in the divine mind as creatable, not yet created and fallen; and that in the decree of the means, which, among other things, takes in the mediation of Christ, redemption by him, and the sanctification of the Spirit, they might be considered as created, fallen, and sinful, which these things imply. Nor does this suppose separate acts and decrees in God, or any priority and posteriority in them, which in God are but one and together; but our finite minds are obliged to consider them one after another, not being able to take them in together and at once.”] SWEDEN BORGIANS, so the late Hon. Emanuel Swedenborg, son of

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Jasper Swedenborg, bishop of West-Gothia. He was born at Stockholm in the year 1689, and died in London in 1772. He early enjoyed all the advantages of a liberal education, having studied with great attention in the academy of Upsal, and in the universities of England, Holland, France, and Germany. Endued with uncommon talents for the acquirement of learning, his progress in the sciences was rapid and extensive; and at an early period in life he distinguished himself by various publications on philosophical subjects. His philosophic studies led him to refer natural phenomena to spiritual agency, and to suppose that there is a close connexion between the two worlds of matter and spirit. Hence his system teaches us to consider all the visible universe, with every thing that it contains, as a theatre and representation of the invisible world from which it first derived its existence, and by connexion

with which it continually sub

sists. Baron Swedenborg's extraordinary genius and learning, accompanied with the purity of his life and uprightness of his character, attracted the public notice. Hence he received various literary and political honours. These, howeyer, he considered of small

importance, compared with: the distinguished privilege of having, as he supposed, his spiritual sight opened, and conversing with spirits and angels in the spiritual world. He first began to have his revelations in London. He asserted, that on a certain night a man appeared to him in the midst of a strong shining light, and said, “I am God, the Lord, the Creator, and Redeemer: I have chosen thee to explain to men the interior and spiritual sense of the sacred writings. I will dictate to thee what thou oughtest to write.” He affirmed that after this period his spiritual sight was opened so far, that he could see in the most clear and distinct manner what passed in the spiritual world, and converse with angels and spirits in the same manner as with men. Accordingly, in his treatise concerning heaven and hell, he relates the wonders which he saw in the invisible worlds; and gives an account of various, and heretofore unknown particuculars, relating to the peace, the happiness, the light, the order of heaven; together with the forms, the functions, the habitations, and even the garments of the heavenly inhabitants. He relates his conversation with angels, and describes the condition of jews,

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