Of Gods Decree.
1. God hath (a)
Decreed in himself from all Eternity, by the most wise and holy
Councel of his own will, freely and unchangeably, all things whatsoever
comes to passe; yet so as thereby is God neither the author of sin, (b)
nor hath fellowship with any therein, nor is violence offered to the will
of the Creature, nor yet is the liberty, or contingency of second causes
taken away, but rather (c) established,
in which appears his wisdom in disposing all things, and power, and faithfulness
(d) in accomplishing his Decree.
a Is. 46.10. Eph. 1.11. Heb. 6.17.
2. Although God knoweth whatsoever may, or can come
to passe upon all (e) supposed conditions;
yet hath he not Decreed anything, (f)
because he foresaw it as future, or as that which would come to pass upon
e Act. 15.18.
3. By the decree of God for the manifestation
of his glory (g) some men and Angels,
are predestinated, or fore-ordained to Eternal Life, through Jesus Christ
to the (h) praise of his glorious
grace; others being left to act in their sin to their (i)
just condemnation, to the praise of his glorious justice.
g 1 Tim. 5.21. Mat. 25.41.
4. These Angels and Men thus predestinated, and
fore-ordained, are particularly, and unchangeably designed; and their (k)
number so certain, and definite, that it cannot be either increased, or
k 2 Tim. 2.19. Joh. 13.18.
5. Those of mankind (l)
that are predestinated to life, God before the foundation of the world
was laid, according to his eternal and immutable purpose, and the secret
Councel and good pleasure of his will, hath chosen in Christ unto everlasting
glory, out of his meer free grace and love; (m)
without any other thing in the creature as a condition or cause moving
l Eph. 188.8.131.52. Rom. 8.30. 2 Tim.
1.9. 1 Thes. 5.9.
6. As God hath appointed the Elect unto glory, so
he hath by the eternal and most free purpose of his will, fore-ordained
(o) all the means thereunto, wherefore
they who are elected, being faln in Adam, (p)
are redeemed by Christ, are effectually (q)
called unto faith in Christ, by his spirit working in due season, are justifyed,
adopted, sanctified, and kept by his power through faith (r)
unto salvation; neither are any other redeemed by Christ, or effectually
called, justified, adopted, sanctified, and saved, but the Elect (s)
o 1 Pet. 1.2. 2 Thes. 2.13.
7. The Doctrine of this high mystery of predestination,
is to be handled with special prudence, and care; that men attending the
will of God revealed in his word, and yeilding obedience thereunto, may
from the certainty of their effectual vocation, be assured of their (t)
eternal election; so shall this doctrine afford matter (u)
of praise, reverence, and admiration of God, and (x)
of humility, diligence, and abundant (y)
consolation, to all that sincerely obey the Gospel.
t 1 Thes. 1.4,5. 2 Pet. 1.10.