Position 3.—They who are predestinated to life are likewise predestinated to all those means which are indispensably necessary in order to their meetness for, entrance upon, and enjoyment of that life, such as repentance, faith, sanctification, and perseverance in these to the end. “As many as were ordained to eternal life, believed” (Acts 13:48). “He hath chosen us in Him, before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy, and without blame before Him in love” (Eph. 1:4). “For we (i.e., the same we whom He hath chosen before the foundation of the world) are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath foreordained that we should walk in them” (Eph. 2:10). And the apostle assures the same Thessalonians, whom he reminds of their election and God’s everlasting appointment of them to obtain salvation, that this also was His will concerning them, even their sanctification (1 Thess. 1:4, 5:9, 4:3). and gives them a view of all these privileges at once. “God hath, from the beginning, chosen you to salvation, through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth” (2 Thess. 2:13). As does the apostle, “Elect—through sanctification of the Spirit unto obedience, and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:2). Now, though faith and holiness are not represented as the cause wherefore the elect are saved, yet these are constantly represented as the means through which they are saved, or as the appointed way wherein God leads His people to glory, these blessings being always bestowed previous to that. Agreeable to all which is that of Augustine:[1] “Whatsoever persons are, through the riches of Divine grace, exempted from the original sentence of condemnation are undoubtedly brought to hear the Gospel,[2] and when heard, they are caused to believe it, and are made likewise to endure to the end in the faith which works by love, and should they at any time go astray, they are recovered and set right again.” A little after he adds: “All these things are wrought in them by that God who made them vessels of mercy, and who, by the election of His grace, chose them, in His Son, before the world began.”

Position 4.—Not one of the elect can perish, but they must all necessarily be saved. The reason is this: because God simply and unchangeably wills that all and every one of those whom He hath appointed to life should be eternally glorified, and, as was observed towards the end of the preceding chapter, all the Divine attributes are concerned in the accomplishment of this His will. His wisdom, which cannot err; His knowledge, which cannot be deceived; His truth, which cannot fail; His love, which nothing can alienate; His justice, which cannot condemn any for whom Christ died; His power, which none can resist; and His unchangeableness, which can never vary—from all which it appears that we do not speak at all improperly when we say that the salvation of His people is necessary and certain. Now that is said to be necessary (quod nequit aliter esse) which cannot be otherwise than it is, and if all the perfections of God are engaged to preserve and save His children, their safety and salvation must be, in the strictest sense of the word, necessary. (See Psalm 103:17, 125:1,2; Isa. 45:17, 54:9,10; Jer. 31:38, 32:40; John 6:39, 10:28,29, 14:19, 17:12; Rom. 8:30,38,39, 11:29; 1 Cor. 1:8,9; Phil. 1:6; 1 Peter 1:4,5).

Thus St. Augustine:[3] “Of those whom God hath predestinated none can perish, inasmuch as they are His own elect,” and ib., “They are the elect who are predestinated, foreknown, and called according to purpose. Now, could any of these be lost, God would be disappointed of His will and expectation; but He cannot be so disappointed, therefore they can never perish. Again, could they be lost, the power of God would be made void by man’s sin, but His power is invincible, therefore they are safe.” And again (chap. 9), “The children of God are written, with an unshaken stability. in the book of their heavenly Father’s remembrance.” And in the same chapter he hath these words: ”Not the children of promise, but the children of perdition shall perish, for the former are the predestinated, who are called according to the Divine determination, not one of whom shall finally miscarry.” So likewise Luther:[4] “God’s decree of predestination is firm and certain, and the necessity resulting from it is, in like manner, immoveable, and cannot but take place. For we ourselves are so feeble that, if the matter was left in our hands, very few, or rather none, would be saved, but Satan would overcome us all.” To which he adds: ”Now, since this steadfast and inevitable purpose of God cannot be reversed nor disannulled by any creature whatever, we have a most assured hope that we shall finally triumph over sin, how violently soever it may at present rage in our mortal bodies.”

Position 5.—The salvation of the elect was not the only nor yet the principal end of their being chosen, but God’s grand end, in appointing them to life and happiness, was to display the riches of His own mercy, and that He might be glorified in and by the persons He had thus chosen.

For this reason the elect are styled vessels of mercy, because they were originally created, and afterwards by the Divine Spirit created anew, with this design and to this very end, that the sovereignty of the Father’s grace, the freeness of His love, and the abundance of His goodness might be manifested in their eternal happiness. Now God, as we have already more than once had occasion to observe, does nothing in time which He did not from eternity resolve within Himself to do, and if He, in time, creates and regenerates His people with a view to display His unbounded mercy, He must consequently have decreed from all eternity to do this with the same view. So that the final causes of election appear to be these two: first and principally, the glory[5] of God; second and subordinately, the salvation of those He has elected, from which the former arises, and by which it is illustrated and set off. So, “The Lord hath made all things for Himself ” (Prov. 16:1), and hence that of Paul, ”He hath chosen us—to the praise of the glory of His grace” (Eph. 1).

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[1] De Corrept. et Grat. cap. 7.
[2] We must understand this, in a qualified sense, as intending that all those of the elect, who live where the Christian dispensation obtains, are, sooner or later, brought to hear the Gospel, and to believe it.
[3] Tom. 7, De Corr. et Grat. cap. 7.
[4] In Praofat. ad EpiHt. ad Bom.
[5] Let it be carefully observed that when with the Scriptures we assert the glory of God to be the ultimate end of His dealings with angels and men, we do not speak this with respect to His essential glory which He has as God, and which, as it is infinite, is not susceptible of addition nor capable of diminution, but of that glory which is purely manifestative, and which Micrailius, in his Lexic. Philosoph. col. 471, defines to be, Clara ret cum laude notitia; cum nempe, ipsa sua eminentia est magna, augusta, et conspicua. And the accurate Maastricht, Celebratio ceu manifestatio (qua magis proprie glorificatio, quam gloria appellatur), qua, agnita intus eminentia, ejusque congrua etstimatio, propalatur et extollitur.—Theolog. lib. 2, cap. 22 § 8.



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