And now why should not this doctrine be preached and insisted upon in public?—a doctrine which is of express revelation, a doctrine that makes wholly for the glory of God, which conduces, in a most peculiar manner, to the conversion, comfort and sanctification of the elect, and leaves even the ungodly themselves without excuse. But perhaps you may still be inclined to question whether predestination be indeed a Scripture doctrine. If so, let me by way of sample beg you to consider the following declarations—first, of Christ; secondly, of His apostles.

“If the mighty works that have been done in thee had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented,” etc. (Matt. 11), whence it is evident that the Tyrians and Sidonians, at least the majority of them, died in a state of impenitency, but that if God had given them the same means of grace afforded to Israel they would not have died impenitent, yet those means were not granted them. How can this be accounted for? Only on the single principle of peremptory predestination flowing from the sovereign will of God. No wonder, then, that our Lord concludes that chapter with these remarkable words, “I thank Thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because Thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Thy sight.” Where Christ thanks the Father for doing that very thing which Arminians exclaim against as unjust and censure as partial.

”To you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given” (Matt. 13). ”To sit on My right hand and on My left is not Mine to give, except to them for whom it hath been prepared by My Father,” q.d., salvation is not a precarious thing; the seats in glory were disposed of long ago in My Father’s intention and destination; I can only assign them to such persons as they were prepared for in His decree” (Matt. 20:23). “Many are called, but few chosen” (Matt. 22), i.e., all who live under the sound of the Gospel will not be saved, but those only who are elected unto life. “For the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened” (Matt. 24), and ibid, “If it were possible, they should deceive the very elect,” where, it is plain, Christ teaches two things: (1) that there is a certain number of persons who are elected to grace and glory, and (2) that it is absolutely impossible for these to be deceived into total or final apostasy. “Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (Matt. 25). ”Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God, but to them that are without” (i.e., out of the pale of election) “all these things are done in parables; that seeing, they may see, and not perceive: and hearing, they may hear, and not understand: lest at any time, they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them” (Mark 11). “Rejoice, because your names are written in heaven” (Luke 10). “It is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12). “One shall be taken and the other shall be left (Luke 17). “All that the Father hath given Me shall come unto Me” (John 6), as much as to say these shall but the rest cannot. “He that is of God, heareth God’s words; ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God” (John 8), not chosen of Him. “Ye believe not, because ye are not of My sheep” (John 10). “Ye have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you” (John 15).

I come now, second, to the Apostles.


”They believed not on Him, that the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled which he spake; Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed? Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again, He hath blinded their eyes and hardened their heart, that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them” (John 12:37,40). Without certain prescience there could be no prophecy, and without predestination no certain prescience. Therefore, in order to the accomplishment of prophecy, prescience and predestination, we are expressly told that these persons could not believe; they were not able, it was out of their power. In short, there is hardly a page in St. John’s Gospel which does not, either expressly or implicitly, make mention of election and reprobation.

St. Peter says of Judas, “Men and brethren, the Scriptures must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost, by the mouth of David, spake before concerning Judas” (Acts 1). So, “That he might go to his own place” (ver. 25), to the place of punishment appointed for him. “Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and with wicked hands have crucified and slain” (Acts 2). “Herod, and Pontius Pilate, and the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, for to do whatsoever Thy hand and Thy counsel determined before to be done” (Acts 4), predestinated should come to pass. “And as many as were ordained to eternal life, believed” (Acts 13), designed, destined or appointed unto life.

Concerning the Apostle Paul, what shall I say? Everyone that has read his epistles knows that they teem with predestination from beginning to end.[1] I shall only give one or two passages, and begin with that famous chain: “whom He did foreknow” (or forelove, for to know often signifies in Scripture to love) “He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren,” that, as in all things else, so in the business of election Christ might have the preeminence, He being first chosen as a Saviour, and they in Him to be saved by Him: “moreover, whom He did predestinate, them He also called; and whom He called, them He also justified; and whom He justified, them He also glorified” (Rom. 8).

Chapters 9, 10 and 11 of the same epistle are professed dissertations on, and illustrations of the doctrine of God’s decrees, and contain, likewise, a solution of the principal objections brought against that doctrine. “Who separated me from my mother’s womb and called me by His grace” (Gal. 1). The first chapter of Ephesians treats of little else but election and predestination. After observing that the reprobates perish willfully, the apostle, by a striking transition, addresses himself to the elect Thessalonians, saying, “But we are bound to give thanks unto God always for you, brethren, beloved of the Lord, because God hath, from the beginning, chosen you to salvation, through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth” (2 Thess. 2). “Who hath saved us and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose, and grace, which was given us in Christ before the world began” (2 Tim. 1). St. Jude, on the other hand, describes the reprobate as “ungodly men, who were, of old, foreordained to this condemnation.”

Another apostle makes this peremptory declaration, “Who stumble at the word, being disobedient, whereunto also they were appointed: but ye are a chosen generation [an elect race], a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people, a people purchased to be His peculiar property and possession” (1 Peter 2:8,9); to all which may be added, ”Whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world” (Rev. 17:8).

All these texts are but as an handful to the harvest, and yet are both numerous and weighty enough to decide the point with any who pay the least deference to Scripture authority. And let it be observed that Christ and His apostles delivered these matters, not to some privileged persons only, but to all at large who had ears to hear and eyes to read. Therefore, it is incumbent on every faithful minister to tread in their steps by doing likewise, nor is that minister a faithful one, faithful to Christ, to truth and to souls, who keeps back any part of the counsel of God, and buries those doctrines in silence which he is commanded to preach upon the housetops.

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[1] A friend of mine, who has a large property in Ireland, was conversing one day with a popish tenant of his upon religion. Among other points, they discussed the practice of having public prayers in an unknown tongue. My friend took down a New Testament from his book case and read part of 1 Cor. 14. When he had finished, the poor zealous papist rose up from his chair and said with great vehemence, “I verily believe St. Paul was a heretic!”

Can the person who carefully reads the epistles of that great apostle doubt of his having been a thorough-paced predestinarian?



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