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3:42 OF ELECTION. "[Book III.

in itself; and T. discovering that they are, the believing
soul may; from these undoubted fruits, be assured of his Elec-
tion. “And it frequently happens, that God favours his chosen
people with the ravishments of his most beneficent love, that
while they are inebriated with those spiritual and unspeak-
able delights, which earthly souls cano neither conceive nor
relish, they are no less persuaded of their Election, than if
they had seen their names written by the very hand of God
himself. These things make them, with exultation, cry out
to their infernal enemies, who in vain resist their faith,
“know that the Lord hath set apart him that is godly for
himself.” Psal. iv. 3., Especially if, what then is not usually
wanting, the internal witness of the Spirit to their adoption
is superadded, of which in Rom. viii. 16. and which is b
way of seal, Eph. i. 13. But there will be occasion to o:
of this hereafter. * : *
*XXIX. And it is the interest of believers to endeavour
earnestly after this assurance of their Election. For, 1st. It
is not possible they should have a life of joy and exultation
in the Lord while they are ignorant of this. . They may, no
doubt, happily fall asleep in the Lord, and through death,

reach to eternal-life, though they are not assured of their

Election. For our salvation depends not on this full assurance of faith: but son our union and communion with Christ, which may remain safe and secure without that. But a man who has his salvation at heart as he ought, cannot live in secure joy, so long as he doubts of his Election. 2dly. Nor does this assurance greatly contribute to our joy, only, but also very much to the glory of God. For then it is, that we F. value the riches of divine love, and are sweetly swallowed up in the immense ocean of his goodness, when we ascend in our minds, and in our praises, to the original fountain of all grace; and in imitation of Paul, celebrate his free love, by which “he hath chosen us in Christ Jesus, to the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved," Eph. i. 6... 3dly. Nay this certainty of the Election, which we preach, likewise promotes the careful study of piety, and kindles a fervent zeal therein; so far is it from o a wide door to ungodliness and carnal security; which none dare assert, but they who are ignorant

of the good ways of God, or malignant perverters of them.

XXX. Here then is the meditation of one who is thus fully persuaded, and this is his language to his God, “Didst “ thou, O Lord, from eternity, entertain thoughts of glorifying

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char. Iv.] OF ELECTION. - 343

“me, a miserable wretch, who am less than nothing; and “shall I not again carry thee for ever in my eyes, and always “in my bosom P shall I not delight in, meditating on thee? “shall I not cry out, how precious also are thy t unto “me, O God 1 how great is the sum of them 1. Psal. cxxxix. “17. Shall I not, with the most sincere repentance, bewail “that 'time, in which so many hours, days, weeks, months,

“and years, have passed over my head, without one single

“holy and pleasing thought of thee? Didst thou, out of mere “love, choose me to salvation ? And shall not I again choose “ thee for my Lord, my king, my husband, for the portion “of my soul, for my chief, or rather mw only delight? Didst “ thou choose me from among so many others who being “left to themselves, have eternal destruction abiding them? “And shall not I exert myself to the utmost, to excel others “in love, in thy worship, and in all the duties of holiness? “Didst thou predestinate me to holiness, which is so amiable “in itself, and so necessary for me, that without it there “can be no salvation ? And shall not I walk therein P. Shall “I presume to cavil with thee, thou brightest teacher of “truth; that separating the end from the means, I should “securely promise myself the end, as being; predestinated “thereto, in a neglect of the means, to which I was no less “predestinated? ‘. thy purpose concerning my salvation, “fixed and unchangeable P.And shall I change every hour; at “one time, giving my service to thee, and another time to “ the devil? Shall I not rather cleave to thee with such, a “firm purpose, as sooner to choose a thousand deaths rather “ than perfidiously forsake thee P Shall I not be *:::: “immoteable, always abounding in the work of the , > “for as much as I know, my labour shall not be in vain in “the Lord P. 1 Cor. xv. 58. Wilt thou by thy Spirit, assure “me of thy love, which th all understanding F And I not “love thee again with all my heart, all my mind, and all my “strength'? Wilt thou give me the assurance of my salva. “tion f And shall not I, having this hope, purify myself as thou art"pure ?”. 1 John-iii.22. Who, that understands these things, can deny, that the doctrine of Election, as we have explained it; affords ample matter to a pious soul for these and such like meditations P. And who also can deny that in the practice of these meditations consists the very kernel of piety and holiness? * . . :: *

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is Effectual Calling. Of which the apostle, Rom. viii. 30, .

“Whom he did predestinate them he also called.” And this calling is that act by which those, who are chosen by God, and redeemed by Christ, are sweetly invited, and effectually brought from a state of sin to a state of communion with God in Christ, both externally and internally.

II. The o which they are joid, is a state of sin and misery, in which all men are involved, ever since the sin of our first parents; “having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart," Eph. iv., 18. For we are brought to swch a that we are wholly excluded:from the sawing communion of God and Christ. Being sunk in the deep gulf of misery, and having lost all notion of true happiness, we wallow in the mire of the wickedness and vanities of this world without end and without measure, and are enslaved to the devil, to whom we have submitted as conquered captives, “for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God,” Rom. iii. 23. But out of this darkness of ignorance, sin, and misery, God calleth us unto his marvellous light, 1. Pet, ii. 9... and delivers us from this present evil world, Gal. i. 4. ...And we are never to forgot our former state; remember-that at that time, ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world," Eph. ii. 12. The meditation of this, tends, to humble us the more deeply before God, who calleth us; the more to prize the riches of his glorious grace, and the more to, quicken us to walk, worthy of, our calling, and of God, by whom, we are called., ... o. o. ... III. The term to which we are called, is Christ, and communion with him. For this he calls out, Isa. xlv. 28. “Look to me,” or, Incline yourselves to me, “ and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth.”. In this communion with Christ consists that mystical and most delightful marriage of the elect soul with Christ, to which he invites him with all the allurements

of his gospel, and whose exalted nuptial o sung; .

“Wisdom hath builded her house.—She hath sent forth her maidens, she crieth upon the highest places of the city, Turn in

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hither: come eat of my bread, and drink of the wine which I, . have mingled," Prov. ix. 1–5. -- ** * * * * * * * *, * IV. From this communion results the communication of all the benefits of Christ, both in grace and in glory, to which we are likewise called. “Hearken diligently unto me, and eat that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. Incline your ear and come unto me; hear and your soul shall live,

and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure

mercies of David,” Isa. lv. 2, 3. Thus he calleth us to his
kingdom and glory, 1.Thess. ii. 12. -
W. And since Christ cannot be separated from his Father and
his Spirit, we are at the same time called to the communion of
the undivided Trinity. “That our fellowship may be with
the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ,” 1 John, i. 3. to
which Paul joins the communion of the Holy Ghost, 2 Cor.
xiii. 14. And it is the very top of our happiness, to exult in
God as ours, and sing aloud to him, My God, while he himself
calls to us, My people, Hos. ii. 23. -
VI. Moreover, as all the elect are partakers of one and the
same grace, they are all likewise called to mutual communion
with one another, “that ye also may have fellowship with us,”
1 John i. 3. Believers of the New Testament, with those of
the Old ; the Gentiles with the Jews, being all of the same
body, Eph. iii. 6. in Christ, who hath made both one, Eph. ii.
14. Nay, those on earth with those in heaven; “For all
things are gathered together in one in Christ, both which are in
heaven, and which are on earth: even in hitn, in whom also
we have obtained an inheritance," Eph, i. 10, 11. And this
is that blessed state to which, by the holy and heavenly calling,
we are invited, namely, communion wit ë. by him
with the undivided Trinity, and consequently with all the
saints, both militant and triumphant, not even excepting the
praising assembly of angels, in order with them to exult in the
most delightful fruition of all the blessings of God. For all
who obey this call, “are come unto Mount Zion, and unto
the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an
innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and
church of the first-born which are written in heaven, and to
God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made per-
fect, and to Jesus the Mediator of the New covenant,” Heb,
xii, 22, 23, 24. What grander things, can be spoken, what
more noble and divine can be conceived than these ?
VII. But this calling is given, partly externally by a persua-
sive power, called moral suasion; partly internally, by a real
supernatural efficacy, which changes the heart.” The external

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callis in some measure published by the word of nature, but
more fully by that of o revelation, without which
every word of nature would be insufficient and ineffectual. The
internal comes from the power of the Holy Spirit working in-
wardly on the heart, and without this every external revealed
word, though objectively very sufficient, as it clearly discovers
everything to be known, believed, and done, yet is subjectively
i.o. will ever bring any person to the communion of
Christ. is . , . . . . . . . . . .” • * - -
VIII. Nature itself is not silent, but many ways calls on man
to lay aside his too eager care and pursuit of earthly things, and
of this animal life, and to endeavour after the far better things
of heaven and eternity. For when with attentive eyes he sur-
veys that glittering canopy on high, bespangled with so many
constellations, and sparkhing with so many stars, above which,
according to the general belief of mankind, the throne of the su-
reme Being is placed, he feels a certain strong desire excited in
is breast, . when he leaves this earthly dross, he may here-
after ascend on high, be admitted into the inmost recesses of na-
ture, and received into fellowship with God. And when his
thoughts pursue the several beauties of the starry heavens, he
then takes a secret pleasure to look down with contempt on the
pavements of the rich, nay, on this whole earth, with all its
gold, not only that which it has already produced, but that which
still lies concealed for the avarice of posterity. And when he
further traverses the whole universe, he learns to despise the
most stately porticos, ceilings inlaid with ivory, woods formed
by art, .# rivers conveyeshome, and looking down from on
high on this small terrestrial globe, a great part of which is co-
vered with the sea, and much of what remains greatly unculti-
vated, many places being either scorched with heat, or frozen
with cold, he thus says to himself; “Is this that insignificant
t which so many nations divide among themselves by fire and
sword? When thou hast been engaged in the contemplation of
these things truly great, then as oft as thou shall espy armies
with banners displayed, and as if some great event was in agita-
tion, the horse now advancing to gain intelligence, again pouring

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forth from the flanks, you may well say, The deadly squadron

marches over the plain. This is but the excursion of ants, toil-
ing within a scanty compass. Whereas there are vastly exten-
sive regions above, into the possession of which the soul is ad-
mitted, and thus, although it has suffered some inconvenience
from the body, yet if by being content with little, it has
dropt all its dross, it is now light and ready to depart: unless
then I be admitted into these regions, my birth has been in vain.

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