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for this cause have I raised thee up, for to shew in thee my power, and that my name may be exalted, 'throughout all the earth." "The Lord had ap'pointed to defeat the good counsel of Ahithophel, to the intent that the LORD might bring evil upon Absalom."" "I know that God hath determined "to destroy thee; because thou hast done this, and hast not hearkened unto my counsel.' "He is "of one mind, and who can turn him? And what "his soul desireth even that he doeth. For he per"formeth the thing that is appointed for me; and many such things are with him." "The LORD bringeth the counsel of the heathen to nought; "he maketh the devices of the people to be of none "effect. The counsel of the Lord standeth for 1 ever, and the thoughts of his heart to all gene. "rations."> "There be many devices in the heart "of man: nevertheless the counsel of the LORD "that shall stand." "I know, that whatsoever "God doeth it shall be for ever; nothing can be put "to it, nor any thing taken from it."" "A remnant ! "shall return. The consumption decreed shall over"flow with righteousness. For the Lord GoD of " hosts shall make a consumption, even determined "in the midst of all the land."s "The LORD of "Hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely, as I have thought, "so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed,





Ex. iii. 19. ix. 16. Rom. ix. 17, 18.

* 2 Sam. xvii. 14. 1 Thes. i. 9. 1 Pet. ii: 8.

32 Chr. xxv. 16. Luke xxii. 22.
5 Ps. xxxiii. 10, 11. Eph. i. 11.
7 Ec. iii. 14. Is. x. 22; 23.

4 Job xxiii. 14, 15.'

6 Prov. xix. 21. Rom. ix. 27, 28.

"so shall it stand." "For the LORD of Hosts hath "purposed, who shall disannul it? and his hand is "stretched out, who shall turn it back?" "Hast 'thou not heard long ago, how I have done it; and "of ancient times how I have formed it? Now have "I brought it to pass, that thou shouldst be, to lay "waste ruinous cities into desolate heaps, therefore "their inhabitants were of small power, &c."3 "Declaring the end from the beginning, and from "ancient times the things that are not yet done, 66 saying, my counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure."-" I have spoken it; I will bring it "to pass; I have purposed it; I will also do it." "Who is he that saith, and it cometh to pass, "and the LORD commandeth it not? Out of "the mouth of the most High, proceedeth not « evil and good?"4" Thus saith the Lord "GOD: It shall also come to pass, that at the


same time shall things come into thy mind, and "thou shalt think an evil thought; and shall say, "&c."-" Art thou he of whom I spake in old "time to my servants the Prophets of Israel, that I "would bring thee against them ?"-" He doeth "what he will in the armies of heaven, and among "the inhabitants of the earth, and none can stay "his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou ?”— "Unto the end of the war desolations are deter"mined."-" And that determined shall be poured upon the desolate."-" He shall prosper till the


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1 Is. xiv. 24-27.

4 Lam, iii, 37, 38.

* Is. xxxvii. 26, 27. 3 Is. xlvi. 10, 11.

5 Ez. xxxviii. 10, 17.

indignation shall be accomplished: for that that is "determined shall be done." This is a part of the history of the doctrines now called Calvinistick, in respect to the decrees and purposes of God in general; of which we should by no means lose sight, in our enquiries on these subjects.




Concerning personal gratuitous election to eternal life, less satisfactory documents may be expected. The ages preceding the fulness of times, for the appearance of the promised Messiah, exhibited divine truths, principally under types and shadows: and the election of Abraham, and of his descendants in him, to be outwardly "the elect and chosen people of God," was a shadow of "our election "in Christ, from the foundation of the world," to be truly and spiritually his people, his worshippers, his children: "a chosen generation, a royal priest"hood, a holy nation, a peculiar people." Yet the very circumstance of one people being chosen, not for their righteousness, but because of their natural relation to chosen Abraham, to the enjoyment of very valuable religious advantages, which were withheld from other nations, not more undeserving than they; is not only an outward shadow, of our election in Christ, and for his sake, as his seed by regeneration, not for our works, to spiritual and eternal blessings, but it is an instance and example of the divine sovereignty, in conferring undeserved benefits on some, and not on others, according to the "good pleasure of his will;" in a manner, which many de

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Dan, iv. 35. ix. 26, 27. xi. 36.

claim against, as "respecting persons."-In attempt. ing, however, to prove, that the history of the tenets now called Calvinistick, ought to begin with the very first revelation, which God made to fallen man, even as to personal gratuitous election to eternal life: I hope to adduce a few intimations, which, (especially with the divinely inspired comments on them in the New Testament,) may be thought worthy of peculiar notice in this argument.-The election of Israel, as a nation, in Abraham, it is allowed, was only to outward advantages: but was not the choice of Abraham, "the father of the faithful," personal, gratuitous, and to eternal life?-That it was personal, cannot be doubted.-" Look unto "Abraham, your father, and unto Sarah, that bare ἐσ you; for I called him alone, and blessed and "encreased him." It is also evident, that it was gratuitous: "Your fathers dwelt on the other side of "the flood in old time, even Terah, the father of "Abraham, and the father of Nahor; and they "served other gods: and I took your father Abra"ham, &c."2 This example is also a striking illustration of effectual calling. Is it even said of Abraham, that he first began to call upon God? Is not the principium, the beginning, always ascribed unto God?-And that Abraham's election was to eternal life, the whole Scriptures declare.' The same things might be shewn personally concerning

* Is. li. 1, 2. * Josh. xxiv. 2, 3. 3 Gen. xii. 1-3. xv. 1. xvii. 7. Matt. xxii. 32. Luke xvi. 22. 13-18. xi. 10-16.

Acts vii. 2, 3. Rom. iv. 1-5.

Ex. iii. 15. Is. xli. 8-10. Gal. iii. 9-29.

Heb. vi.

saac and Jacob; whose faith and piety, and salvation, s the chosen of God, are fully attested in Scripure; while all that can be said concerning Ishmael and Esau, is that, their final rejection is not explicitly and directly revealed; and we are not allowed to decide any thing on such subjects, beyond express revelation. But a profound silence is observed respecting them, except such terms as these, "profane "Esau," "Esau have I hated." "The son of the "bond woman shall not be heir with the son of the "free woman; so then, brethren, we are not children "of the bond woman but of the free."-" Yet "have I left me seven thousand in Israel: all "the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and

every mouth which hath not kissed him." Does this passage, with the apostle's comment on it, give no intimation of a gratuitous personal election to sternal life, made within the national gratuitous election to many external advantages? * "Blessed "is the man whom thou choosest and causest to "approach unto thee, that he may dwell in thy "courts." "Remember me, O LORD, with the "favour that thou bearest unto thy people: Oh, "visit me with thy salvation: that I may see the

good of thy chosen; that I may rejoice in the gladness of thy nation: that I may glory with "thine inheritance."4 Does this most fervent prayer relate to nothing more, than the outward

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Gen, xxviii. 11-15 xxxi. 42. xxxii. 28, 29. xlix. 10. Mark xiii. 26, 27. Heb. xi, 13-16. * 1 Kings xix. 18. Rom. xi. 2-7. Ps. cvi. 4, 5.

3 Ps. lxv. 4.


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