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3:42 OF ELECTION. "[Book III.
in itself; and T. discovering that they are, the believing
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
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? * . . :: *
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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chap. v.] OF ERFECTUAL CALLING. $45
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
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846 of EFFECTUAL CALLING.' [Book III.'
callis in some measure published by the word of nature, but
forth from the flanks, you may well say, The deadly squadron
marches over the plain. This is but the excursion of ants, toil-
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