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For why should I rejoice for being numbered among the living?
Without this inestimable good, life is not of such value, that I
should sweat and fatigue myself therein. 'O? how contempti-
ble is man, unless he is advanced above what is human.” “Thus
the book of nature, thus the contemplation of the heavens, taught
Seneca both to think and speak." In Praefat. Quest, Natur.
IX. But seeing the same nature teacheth us that God is far
more excellent than those very heavens, which are his throne
and the work of his hands, that he is both the Creator and ruler
of the heavens, the same works invite man to seek after the
communion of God himself above all things. For happiness
cannot consist in barely dwelling in heaven unless one enjoys
the fellowship and communion of God there. Thus by the
voice of nature men are invited to seek God if haply they might
feel after him, Acts xvii. 27. “He left not himself without
witness in that he did good,” Acts xiv. 17. and that by disco-
vering himself to be the fountain of all good, both the greatest
and the best of beings, whose communion alone can render an
perfectly blessed. “It is thereforeanoldsaying, and handed down
from our ancestors to mankind, that all things were both framed
by God, and in him consist; and that no mature can be sufficient
for its own safety, which is only entrusted with its own preser-
vation, without God.” Thus the author of the book De mundo,
extant among Aristotle's works, c. xi. and who concludes with
these excellent words, “Whoever would attain to a blessed and
happy life, must partake of the Deity from the very begin-
ning.” - - * * * ; : . . .
X. But God not only invites men by the fight of nature to
seek him, but also gives some hope of enjoying him. For why
else should he forbear sinners with so mach long-suffering, un-
less he had decreed to take pity on some of them? Would it be
worthy of the most pure Deity to have preserved now for so
many ages the world, subjected to vanity by the sins of men, un-
less there were some of mankind to whom he was willing to shew
himself glorious in their happiness P “The Lord is long-suffer-
ing to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all
should come to repentance,” 2 Pet. iii. 9. And as this consi-
deration of the divine patience and forbearance, shining forth in
the whole government of the world, yields some hope of salva-
tion, and the long suffering of our Lord ought to be accounted
salvation, ib. ver, 15. So this goodness of God should lead
every one to repentance, Rom. ii. 4. . . * * * * ,
XI. For nature also teaches, that it is not possible any one
can enjoy converse and familiarity with God, who does not sin-
cerely endeavour after purity and holiness, and, as the emperor

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Mark o speaks, lib. 2.- $5, labours not to live a life
resembling God. For, like delights in like, and rejoices to
communicate itself thereto. Plato de Legibus, lib. iv. says well,
“what practice is it that *::::: to, and in imitation of God?
This and that ancient one; that like delights in like.” Thus man
is invited to the practice of the strictest purity, by the voice of
nature herself, in order to the enjoyment of God... I cannot for-
bear adding the f. of Agapetus, which is really fine, and
strictly true. Thus he says to the emperor Justinian; “for, he
who knows himself shall know God. But he who knows God,
shall be made like to God. He shall be like God, who is wor-
thy of God. He shall be worthy of God, who does nothing un-
worthy of God, but meditates on the things of God, and what
he thinks he speaks, and what he speaks he acts.”
XII. All these things the royal prophet, Psal. xix. 1–4. has
exhibited in a concise but very strong manner. “The heavens
declare the glory of God;" for as they are his throne curiously
framed, so they display his power, majesty, greatness and holi-
ness, before which the heavens themselves confess they are not
clean; however, their very excellence invite men, within their
circuit to endeavour, to the utmost, after the enjoyment of com-
munion with the great and good God. “And the firmament
sheweth his handy-work,” proclaiming, that by his word only, it
was framed together. “Day unto day uttereth speech, and night
unto night sheweth knowledge.”. These vicissitudes of light and
darkness mutually corresponding in so exact and constant an or-
der, prove a most wise director. And there is no day nor night
but speaks something of God, and declares it to the next as the
scholar of the preceding and the master of the following.
“There is no speech nor language where their voice is not
heard.” If they were words, the instruction would cease with
their sound; but now what the heavens declare, they do it al-
ways, and in the same manner. If speeches, and sentences de-
duced with much subtlety from their reasons and causes, they
would labour under obscurity; if their voice was heard it would
stun us with its noise. But now the heavens instruct both con-
stantly, clearly and sweetly. For, though their voice is not
heard, yet they have a voice, no less strongly adapted to strike
the mind, than the sound of a trumpet, or of thunder; seeing
they exhibit to the eyes of all the magnificence of their Creator,
so clearly as to escape the observation of none but the wilfully
blind. Or possibly this may be the meaning; “There is no
speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.”. Though
ple differ in languages, and the Greek understands not the
arbarian: yet the heavens have a common language adapted to

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chap. v.] toF EFFECTUAL CALLING. 349

the instruction of all alike: and nothing but a culpable careless-
mess can hinder the most distant people from improving by the
instruction, as it were, of one teacher. “Their line is gone out
..". all the earth.” The instruction of the heavens reseth-
bles that of schoolmasters, who teach children their letters,
namely, by drawing their strokes before them. Thus the hea-
vens draw lines, or strokes, with their rays, and as it were, let-
ters of the alphabet, from which combined and variously join-
ed together, an entire volume of wisdom is formed. This is the
signification of Ip, as Isa. xxviii. 10. line upon line: from which
the Greek pooyyoo, which the apostle uses, Rom. x. 18. does
not differ much, denoting not only a sound, but also a letter of
the alphabet, as Plutarch in fabio notes, as Scapula has observ-
ed in his lexicon. Nor is it necessary, we say, that the text is
here corrupted, or that the Septuagint read bop their voice.
And this line “is gone out through all the earth, and their
words to the end of the world.” All mankind whether in a
habitable or desert country are taught by this master. There
is no corner of the world, where the figures of the heavens, as
so many arguments of the divine perfections, are not to be seen.
And this is the reason why I have just now proposed the rea-
sonings of those (if you except the quotation from Agapetus, a
deacon of the church of Constantinople,) who had no other
master but nature.
XIII. But though the invitation which nature gives to seek
God be sufficient to render them without excuse, who do not
comply with it, Rom. i. 20. yet it is not sufficient, even ob-
jectively, for salvation. For it does not afford that lively hope
which maketh not ashamed; for this is only revealed by the
l; whence the Gentiles are said to have been “without
ope in the world," Eph. ii. 12. It does not shew the
true way to the enjoyment of God, which is no other than
faith in Christ. It does not sufficiently instruct us about

the manner in which we ought to worship and please God,

and do what is acceptable to him. In short, this call by nature never did, nor is it even possible that it ever can, bring any to the saving knowledge of God: “the gospel alone is the power of unto salvation, to every one that believeth,” Rom. i. 16. . . . . . . . . . . .

XIV. We cannot agree with those, whether they be ancients, a list of whom Casaubon, Exercit. I. ad Apparat. Annal. Baronii, and after him Vossius, Histor, Pelag. lib. iii. p.

3. Thes, 11. have drawn up; or whether they be moderns, who

maintain that good men, among the Gentiles, were brought to salvation by this call of nature, without the knowledge of Christ.

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And we think, some of our brethren ascribe too much to ma

ture, who tell us, That “ men, if not wilfully blind, could, by

what is known of God, have attained to some knowledge of
the divine, mercy, by which they might obtain salvation in a
manner-perhaps unknown to us; though destitute of the dis-
tinct knowledge of some mysteries which they could no way
discover of themselves,” Amyraldus, Specim. Animad in Exerc.
de Gratia, Univ. P. ii. p. 133. For we are persuaded, there
is no salvation without Christ, Acts, iv. 12., no communion of
adult persons, with Christ, but by faith, in him, Eph. iii. 17.
no faith in Christ, without the knowledge of him, John xvii. 3.
no knowledge, but by the preaching of the Gospel, Rom.x.
14. no preaching of the Gospel in the works of nature. For,
it is that “mystery which was kept secret since the world be-
gan,” Rom. xvi. 25.; , , , * * * *
XV. To what purpose then, you will say, is this call by
the light of nature?... Not to o: of the being without ex-
Cuse just, now, mentioned, which indeed may be the end of
him who calls, though not of the call itself, that calling serves
to pave the way for a further, a more perfect, and a more ex-
pligate call by the Gospel, and as a prelude of a fuller instruc-
tion, 1. For; as grace supposes, nature, and makes it perfect;
so the truths revealed in the Gospel are built on those made
known by the light of nature. When a person, under that
limmering, light has discovered, that there is a God, that
happiness consists in his communion with him, and in com:
parison of him all things are nothing, and that he is the re-
warder of those who seek him; and that, if he is sought in a
proper way and manner, he is not sought in vain; he has now
a foundation laid, on which to build the gospel, which declares
what that God is, in what manner he becomes propitious to
men in Christ, how he is to be sought, and in what method
he will, certainly be found. And thus that knowledge, he
learns from nature, being sanctified by the Spirit, better pre-
pares the mind for embracing those truths which though they
surpass, are yet so far from destroying, that they perfect nature.
And it is very expedient for believers, who live under the
Gospel, to have always the book of nature before their eyes:
which furnishes them with useful instructions, and lashes the

conscience with continual reproaches, unless they love, worship, .

and celebrate the Deity, who is every where present. Which
the heathens themselves, as Epictetus and others, have repre-
sented in their own way. -
XVI. We must therefore add the other call by the word of
God, supernaturally revealed, either immediately from God's

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chap. v.] of EFFECTUAL CALLING, . $51

own mouth, as was formerly done to the patriarchs, prophets,
apostles, and others; or o the ministers of God,
whether they preached it by wo ... -- it
to writing. Thus Paul says, Rom. x. 14. “how shall; they
believe in him of whom they have not heard? ...
they hear without a preacher?". And here indeed both parts
of the word are to be made use of; thus the law convincing
wan of sin, Rom. iii.20 awakens him to a sense of his misery,
o: the .*: himself, o: him * to desire der
liverance, and, makes him sigh, an in this manner, “O
wretched man that I am, o id: me }. body of
death!” Rom. vii. 24. Therefore the law ought certainly to
be preached in its full vigour and force, that “knowing the
. of the o we may ... 2 Cor. . 11. But
et the principal part is performed by e Gospel, which re-
ło, §. ori. fulness of all, grace and o, in
him, allures, by its endearing, sweetness, awakened and con:
cerned sinners to communion with God. Nothing more power-
fully sinks into the inmost soul, than, that most alluring in:
witation of Jesus, “Come unto me allye that labour and, an
heavy laden, and I will give you rest,” Matt. xi.28, “
him that is athirst come, and whosoever joij. take the
water of life freely,” Rev. xxii. 16. This is “the power of
God unto salvation, to every one, that believeth,” Rom.i.16.
If the law only was preached, it would, by its horrors, har-
den souls, driven to despair, into *...*.*. as, a Se-
were avenger of sin. But by adding the gospel, which makes
a bright hope of grace to shine, even on the mo: abandoned
and wretched sinner, if displeased with himself, he heartily de;
sires it: obstinateshearts come to relent, and to be melted
down into a love of God, and of his Christ. And therefore
nothing ought to be more sweet and ... the most
delightiul word of the Gospel, in which are brooks of honey

and butter, *Job xx. 17. . . . . . . . . of . . . . .
XVII. This word of grace was published in the world from
the very first sin of man, though variously dis nsed, Heb. i.
l. But in such a manner, as to be sufficient for the instruc-
tion of the Elect to salvation, in all ages, according to that
measure of grace, and, knowledge, which the providence of
God distributed in each period of time. ... When the revela-
tion was more sparing and obscure, God being satisfied with
"a less measūre of knowledge, did, by the secret power of his
* The author's quotation of Isa. Iti. 7, seems to be a mistake of the press, and
therefore I have given this, to which he appears to have referred... ... . . .

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