Chapter 27

Of the Mystery of the Elect in Christ Jesus before the Foundation of the World, as to the Settlements of Grace from Everlasting, not destroyed by the Fall.

The first passage of Arminianism in the book, which in these Animadversions I reduce to the article of Election, is this “when God comes to adopt us, and take us into his family, he finds us belonging to the family of hell, and very near akin to the devil.” {Page 83}

Adoption is indeed a fruit of Election; for, in Election we are considered as creatures of God to be the Vessels of Mercy in purpose, {“that he might make known the riches of his Glory on the vessels of Mercy, which he had afore prepared unto Glory,” Rom.9:23,} before we are considered in Adoption, strangers and enemies, Col.1:21, in our minds to God, {to be of further Grace} the children of God by Regeneration, and so distinguished in Calling from what we were before, under the ruins of the Fall {which comes in after Election} children of wrath, Eph.2:3, even as others, and this is a very wide difference {as I may show by and by} from our once belonging to the “family of hell” and from our once being very “near akin to the devil.” Now, Election pitching upon creatures to be vessels of Mercy, and Adoption pitching upon children of wrath to be children of God, are consistent in the order of things, and the wise Economy of our Salvation. {What the Father doth for thee in Christ-towards or God-wards, adopting thee in the Secret Acts of Love between Jehovah and Christ, is One Thing; and what the Father doth for thee through Christ-towards thyself, or thee-wards, in the more open Acts of Love between Christ and thyself by the Holy Ghost is evidently another thing.} They are both of one piece of sheer Grace, which the Scriptures make out; but on the other side, here’s the fine-spun Arminianism against Election, that “when God comes to adopt us, and take us into his family, he finds us belonging to the family of hell, and very near akin to the devil.” This is a gross error and very anti-Scriptural, after all the concession is made which the Scripture allows us to speak. The Scripture teaches us to acknowledge, that “the Lord finds us poor and miserable, undeserving, ill-deserving creatures, defiled with sin, and rebellious against himself,” as Mr. John Hunt well expresses it, on the same page; but what of all this? Still this does not make the Elect before their Conversion to have belonged to the family of hell, and near akin to the devil.

First Reason: An Unconverted State is certainly a time in which the Elect through Corrupt Nature belong to the first open Man, {Adam,} but is no proof to argue from thence, that the Elect in an Unconverted State do belong to the “family of hell.” The Elect must have been related so indeed after the Fall, if Free and Sovereign Grace antecedently to the Fall had not limited, excepted, overruled it; and in the Settlement-Covenant with Christ before the Foundation of the world, Jn.17:5, made the Secret Difference, as may after be explained if reader, thou hast but a little patience. The wretched effects of Man’s Fall do show that the Elect belonged in their Natural Relation to Adam, {“as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned,” Rom.5:12,} but it shows not that they belonged in that natural Relation to the devil. It convinces me that they were of kin to our First Parents, but were never of kin, nor near it, to the Serpent that beguiled them. Adam knew that he was naked, poor and miserable, when he fell, and therein he made all his posterity like himself, poor and miserable likewise, and therewith true Adam’s Children, but what then? You must not say that all of them therefore are by nature {Gen.3:15, “thy seed,”} the devil’s children. For when Adam fell, he fell neither as to his Person, nor as to all his Posterity in him, into the same black Relation to Hell with the devils, as some of his posterity in him fell. All fell, but all fell not alike. The Elect of God fell as certainly in Adam, as the rest, all being alike Adam’s natural seed, yet they fell Discriminately in the Secret Eye of God. They all fell into the same Openly Poor and Miserable Condition, but not all into the same Secret Condition; nor at all into the same Relation, farther than the corrupt Relation of their nature-part, Eph.2:3, to Adam. All fell towards Hell, but not all to it. All fell by the devil’s craft, but all fell not to be integrally of the Devil’s company, or constitutively, to be one moment of the devil’s number.

And blessed be the Lord, I find so much Evidence of this Doctrine in the Scriptures, and so much comfort of this Doctrine in my own soul, that I can through Grace meditate upon the reverse, or that which is written upon the backside of this Doctrine, I mean the Terror of it, and yet whilst mine heart stands in awe, Psal.4:4, not afraid, according to that Gracious Promise made unto the Church, Isaiah 33:18, with verse 17, “thine heart shall meditate terror,” “thine eyes shall see the King in his beauty; they shall behold the land that is very far off.” ‘Tis not the black Doctrine of Calvin, as hath been represented, but the beautiful Doctrine of Christ, as hath been experienced! The non-Elect fell so as they were never restored to this day, but the Elect, {notwithstanding their Fall at the same time, and in the same natural head,} fell within the bounds of Effectual Restoration. {“For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth.” “For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.” “Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.” “Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonor? What if God, willing to show his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction; and that he might make known the riches of his Glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto Glory.” Rom.9:11, with verses 15,18,21-23.}

Now to make out the Ground and Reasons of this, that all the children of Adam who fell alike in their Open Condition to be poor and miserable, yet fell not alike in their Secret Condition, {as “vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto Glory,” Rom.9:23,} nor at all in their Relation, farther than in their nature-part to Adam. Consequently, that they fell not into the black Relation to the “family of Hell,” nor to be in any ways near akin to the devil, I shall with Divine help make it out by the Supreme Settlements, and therein the Supreme Headship of Christ to the Elect, in the Gracious Branch of that Headship, to wit, Mystical and Transcendent above Adam’s Nature-Headship. The Headship of Adam was subordinate and natural, {“the first man is of the Earth, earthy;” I Cor.15:47;} the Headship of Christ {“the second Man is the Lord from heaven,” I Cor.15:47} is Supreme, Mystical and Transcendent. Christ’s Headship also, as Supreme and Transcendent was First in Constitution, Gen.1:26, though Last in Revelation and Outward Execution. {“The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.” I Cor.15:45-46.} Adam was the first Open Man, as he was the first in God’s visible raising and uniting the open actual Principles of his Composition, that Christ might be the Open Second Man, under that Open Consideration of our Nature fallen, to set forth God’s Glory to the creature immediately; yet Christ was the Secret First Man {as before I have largely proved; and so I do but here make use of some of those former truths in overthrowing the anti-Election Error before me.} Christ was the First Man in the Primo-Primitive, or Original Design and Secret Constitution of the Father, to set forth God’s Glory to the creature ultimately and fully. {“Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature; for by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in Earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers; all things were created by him, and for him; and he is before all things, and by him all things consist.” Col.1:15-17.} For “the LORD hath made all things for himself,” Prov.16:4, and this brings in Christ Comprehensively in the vast fulness of God’s Everlasting Thoughts to usward, {“many, O LORD my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward; they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee; if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered,” Psal.40:5;} that there was room in God’s vast Thoughts, and in his Election of the Man Christ Jesus, to stand in the Second Person of God, to have made him immediately, without Subordinate Purposes of the Fall of those creatures chosen in Him, to have been our Head of Confirmation, and so have made the Fall as impossible to the Elect, as Confirming Grace by Jesus Christ hath made it impossible to the Elect angels! I Tim.5:21. Nevertheless, Sin’s Entrance was Ordained to be the means of bringing Christ into the world, as the Mediator of Redemption, and that to the Elect, as to what they were involved in by their Adam’s Relation in the Garden; and upon the Father’s Comprehensive Provision of Christ, a Supreme, Mystical and Transcendent Head, {“for it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell,” Col.1:19,} Christ enters federally and freely, {“mercy shall be built up forever; thy faithfulness shalt thou establish in the very heavens. I have made a Covenant with my chosen, I have sworn unto David my servant, thy seed will I establish forever,” Psal.89:2-4;} and every way fully into this World to be the Saviour of the Elect Body fallen. This effectually recovers them, in the Supreme, Mystical and Transcendent Union, from all obstacles in the way of God’s love unto them, that they are after brought unto Influential Grace, notwithstanding their sinful similitude of Adam’s Transgression in the Fall, {“death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of Him that was to come,” Rom.5:14;} and this done experimentally by Vital Union in the Work of the Spirit, Eph.5:25-26, and unto Conjugal Embraces in the way of bringing us up to the Absolute Pattern of Adoptive Holiness, that we should be holy before the Father as accepted in the Beloved. {“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ; according as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love; having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the Glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.” Eph.1:3-6.} This is to show how Adam as the First Man without reference to Christ, and yet how Christ the Second Man in this one respect, was nevertheless the First Man of all in another respect, before Adam. {“And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.” Col.1:17.} Christ was a Mystical and Representative Head of Nature, Grace and Glory unto the Elect before Adam was a Natural and Representative Head unto them. Christ was a Transcendent Head, {“and hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the Head over all things to the church,” Eph.1:22,} over and above what Adam was in being their actual Head too.

Christ must in some sense be first Head, because there is a Glory radically belonging to the Mediator above and before the Natural Glory in Adam, the Glory of the first Natural Man, as appears from, Jn.17:5, “and now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the Glory which I had with thee before the world was.” This could not be meant of the Essential Glory, Isa.6:6, but of the Mediatorial Glory, Psal.8:5; not the Glory of Christ as the Second Person in the Godhead, and so the Glory of the Son equal with the Glory of the Father, Jn.10:30, but the Glory of Christ as Constituted Head and Mediator in the Settlements of Grace before time began. The reason is, because the Essential Glory was never intercepted from the Second Person. {“Thou, O LORD, remainest forever; thy throne from generation to generation.” Lam.5:19. “Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the Earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands.” Heb.1:10.} Christ had it before he prayed, and when he prayed; he had it Always, Necessarily, Inseparably and Everlastingly; the Deity can never change; and so he could not pray for that which, as abstractly considered, was his Basic and Essential due, being the Second Person of God or the Second Person in the Godhead. {“For I am the LORD, I change not.” Mal.3:6. “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever.” Heb.13:8} He must pray for this same Glory then Mediatorially, as Christ, as Head, as God-Man. Christ was absolutely our First Head by Grace, Adam was but a lower Head by Providence and Nature, in whom we fell, whilst Christ stood, and all his elect seed in Him.

Now to magnify Grace, {because it had not been so great an Act of Love and Grace in the Perfect and Supreme God to merely raise a creature into being, and glorify him directly; for then the creature should have had something to boast of, and to stand upon, beyond a creature raised out of Misery,} God would therefore ordain, after his Predestinating us to the Adoption of Children by Jesus Christ unto himself, Eph.1:5, upon the bottom of Election-Union in Christ Jesus, that these creatures should Fall, and out of this miserable Fall arise by Grace the happiest creatures that ever came into God’s Thoughts. {Election or choosing makes Election-Union; whereas Predestination is an Act that essentially purposes Election-Union.} For look what Son he had predestinating, his own Son, to be, the Man Christ Jesus, and so a true Man, a Son, and Heir of all things, Heb.1:2, in that new predestinated Relation unto God; so before the Predestination-Glory of the Man and all the Elect in him, God orders the Creation of these Children in a lower Head and Heir, {Adam,} and in that Head and Paradisiacal Heir ordained, for wise ends, their Fall. That for this Great Love wherewith he loved them, Eph.2:4, he might come in with his Wonderful-Creating Grace through their first Head, having freely chosen them in from Everlasting, even when God possessed Christ in the beginning of his way, Prov.8:22, before his works of old. And for this same great love’s sake, for the magnifying of the Infinite Riches of his Grace, Eph.1:7, he ordained to Fall in with this Wonderful-Creating Grace of Primo-Primitive Restoration, {or restoration not to Adam’s Eden-likeness, which was but primitive; but to his Son’s likeness, the first primitive, Col.3:10, as ordained the Man from Everlasting;} and so ordaining Christ to die for us, and rise again into his Glory, ordained that we should be quickened together with him, even when we were dead in sins, Eph.2:5; which came to pass in the Resurrection of Christ as a Representative Surety on the behalf of all for whom he Died.

Now to accommodate it to the matter in hand, and show from thence how all fell, and again how all did not Fall alike in Adam, as it is according to the different Relation, Jn.10:14,26, of the Elect and non-Elect to Christ’s Headship. I say therefore, in the different Relation of the Elect to Christ the Greater Head in Nature, Grace and Glory, from the Relation of the non-Elect to his Greater Headship but in nature alone, comes in the Discrimination of the Fall in these two numbers, or two parties of mankind, the Elect and the “Rest” as the Holy Ghost calls them. “The election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded.” Rom.11:7. The Elect are related to everything in Christ’s Headship, Eph.5:30, Nature, II Tim.1:9, Grace and Glory, Rom.9:23; as to say, to his Creation-Monarchy, Eph.1:22, or Rectoral-Government, Isa.9:7; to his Covenant of Redemption, Isa.42:6, or Grace; to a Mystical Glory-Union in his Person, Jn.17:23-24, and to an Eternal Cohabitation, I Thes.4:17, with the LORD. Mystical and Transcendent Union in Christ above Adam is the Effectual Security by God the Spirit of the Experimental Time-Union by Grace, {Faith union to Christ,} which is neither before time, nor before the time of Faith; to wit, the Influential or Vital and Conjugal Unions afterwards; though too I must add, for the Glory of the Holy Ghost, that on the Spirit’s part in the order of nature, his work too {he being God} in this Union is most certainly before Faith; for all Union on God’s part is before the Faith of the Elect. {“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Eph.2:10.} The Federal Union in the Settlement of the Father’s part is before Faith, the Mystical Union in Consent at the Presentation on the Son’s part, the Influential and the Conjugal unions on the Holy Ghost’s Part in bringing the Church to Christ, or their wherewithal to enable them for all Acts of their Motion-Faith to Christ, all is effected on God’s Part before Faith itself on the Elect creature’s part. The first of the two unions on the Spirit’s part is Influential, or Vital, in conveying the life of Jesus Christ into the soul, whilst the Spirit unites in time by Transaction, Col.1:13, and Insition, that is, grafting me in, before I can unite to cleave to Jesus Christ, who is the Root and Fatness of the olive-tree, Rom.11:17; Christ sends and gives the Spirit to me from his Father, for this engrafting or uniting work.

Let us take the Scriptures now for the other things laid down about Christ’s Headship. First of all, Christ’s Universal or Monarchial Headship is set out in the place I have opened formerly, viz., Col.1:15-17, Christ is the First-born of every creature, and therefore in his Constitutive, Mediatorial Headship was a First-born in the Covenant-Settlements before the days of Adam. “For by him” {who is the First-born} were all things created, that are in Heaven, and that are in Earth, visible and invisible;” Christ being originally as to his substance a Concreating Person in the Deity; that is, a Person who had antecedently to the Man the true Nature of God, and therein originally a Creation-Power that was equal with the Father and the Holy Ghost. Thus now being God and Man in One Person, Rom.9:5, as settled by and reputed of the Father, he becomes capable, even when the Man, of sustaining the Glory of this Monarchial Headship and Universal Dominion devolved upon him as Mediator; inasmuch as, “whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers; all things were created by him, and for him; and he is before all things, and by him all things consist.” It is unto this Monarchical and Supreme Headship that all creatures, and therefore all the posterity of Adam by nature, stand related.

Upon this Supreme Constitution of the Monarchy of Christ he will be the Judge both of quick and dead, for God hath appointed a Day in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that Man whom he hath ordained, &c., Acts 17:31; now, if he were a Foreign Judge, as to say, one of another rank than creatures, then the world must have been tried by that Foreign Judge; that is, by the terrible Majesty of God out of Christ, Heb.10:27, the which is altogether foreign to man’s nature. “For our God is a consuming fire.” Heb.12:29. But ‘tis to be done by Christ in the Day God hath appointed; and so the Headship of the Mediator reaches to the judging of the world in righteousness, Mt.25:32; namely, as God doth it by the Man in the Day to come appointed; for the Son of God, as Christ, being made a little lower than the angels, Heb.2:9, and made Man in the rank of creatures so thus now the Constitution of this Judge, the Settlement of this Monarchical Head, will reach towards all men in the world, Rom.14:9, both low and high, rich and poor together. Psal.49:2.

Well then in the Fall of Adam, the bare Monarchical Headship of Christ was no Security and Privilege immediately to any of Adam’s posterity, had it been separately from Grace and Glory, made the only discriminating Relation of all the sons and daughters of Adam to Christ. His appointment then to judge the world in righteousness had been absolutely the matter of terror, if separately from Grace and Glory God had made it known. But as the Elect were transcendently related to these Two Headships in Christ above their Fallen Relation in nature unto Adam, he is their Redeemer before their Judge. {With men tis otherwise, as a malefactor may be a dead man in Law in his prison, or at the place of Execution, and yet a pardoned man in the Sheriff’s pocket; and then after, the Pardon delivered or declared to prevent his turning off.} To the rest, his being appointed Judge in the same nature with Adam, to examine the Transgressions of the Law of God, and especially the contempt of the Gospel of God’s Revelation of Grace to save the Elect, is dreadfully to punish both the one and the other in that fallen Nature.

Accordingly, in this consideration of the Monarchical Nature-Relation all fell alike, and equally obnoxious unto Punishment. All fell from the Monarch of heaven; but however we may separate matters in our thoughts, yet in point of fact the Elect could never be separated from the Mystical and Transcendent Headship of Christ, nor for that cause therein Fall in Adam as the rest, who were related only as creatures to this Supreme and Monarchical Headship, but not as Elect creatures to the Mystical and Transcendent branches of it. Some fell never to be saved, but fell in to be of the number of the damned. Others, by reason of their Relation to the Redemption-Covenant by Electing Grace in their Mystical and Transcendent Union, even the results of a Federal Union which God had Constituted, Heb.2:13, between Head and Members, Shepherd and sheep, Everlasting Father and children, God and a people for God; that is to say, chosen in Christ, Eph.1:4, they fell only towards the family of hell, not to it, as the rest, to be branches of it, and akin to the devil. No, blessed be God, yea, forever blessed be God for Free Grace! The Redemption-Covenant with the Mediator from Everlasting is still a Preservation of the Elect in Christ, Jude 1:1, when they were gone in Adam. He that founded and settled the Covenant with Christ, gave unto the Elect in him a Federal and Mystical Union, not to be broken as long as the Lord Christ stood, nor depended at all upon the Covenant after made with Adam. Christ himself entered into a Federal Obligation with the Father to secure the Elect in, under and after their Fall in Adam. Isa.42:6. This Federal Obligation of their Mystical, Transcendent Head limited their Fall, that it could be extended no further than their Nature-Relation to Adam, and not to their Grace and Glory-Relations to Himself. Also, in that Federal Obligation Christ stood for their Redemption, as the Spirit stood for their Regeneration, from their Fall in Nature-Adam, to raise them above the obstacles that stood in the way of God’s Communion-Love, Eph.2:12-13, in the Conveyances of Grace, and the foretastes of Glory here. And hereby though they fell, yet on this account they could not Fall but with a Secret Discrimination. {“That he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory.” Rom.9:23.} Accordingly, in the Federal and Mystical Union they were preserved for the Influential and Conjugal unions, which the family of hell, and they who are near akin to the devil were never capable of.

Hence, when the Apostle is setting out these two companies excellently in Jude, he tells us that the Elect were preserved in Christ Jesus; then that must be in this Mystical and Transcendent Union, above all open Nature-Relation to Adam, and secured in a Secret Union and Relation to Christ; for it is in Christ Jesus, and then called, Jude 1:1, and so God and Christ had the Elect in their perpetual eye, even at and under the Fall in Eden, according to Eternal Purposes and Settlements, still as a Mystical Church, to bring matters up into a figure of the Glorious Church, Eph.5:27, just as Christ had beheld her when she was presented by the Father to Himself out of the depths of Electing Love! And so from that glimpse of how God would have her prepared and adorned, Rev.21:2, love moved his heart to become her Husband; and as God’s Presentation of her unto Himself engaged his heart, so he knit himself unto her, undertook to redeem and raise her from a world of Sin and Strangers, as she was decreed to be left as one {never abandoned or left to her own devices, but “as one” seemingly left to herself} choosing her own destruction, and fall into and among a world of Sin, for the heightening and illustrating the Riches of the Glory of God’s Grace! “In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will; that we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.” Eph.1:11-12. Aye, he would undertake to bring her up and out of all Sin and Tribulation; and prepare and present her, after all her precarious Scenes and Changes, to Himself, and then to God and his Father, without spot or wrinkle, or defilement. For though the Scriptures set it out sweetly and plenteously, how Christ died for our sins, I Cor.15:3, and under many blessed relations to the Elect, yet the Consummate and Perspective Relation of all is declared to be as a Husband, Eph.5:23,25, to his Church. She had been viewed by him as a Church, which God had taken by Electing Love out of all his creatures in the depths of his thoughts for him; and he was resolved, according to his Father’s Articles, to die for her in her Fallen State, and then gloriously restore her to the primitive Designs of God. Christ loved the Church and gave himself for it. Eph.5:25. It was a Church in his holy eye spotted and abominably filthy in falling into sin, that he would sanctify and cleanse. I say, he had the Elect in his eye as a Church, and then in that Relation fallen that he might sanctify and cleanse it, as a Church, “with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” Eph.5:26-27. Oh! This is marvelous light indeed! And that God hath called me {a poor worm} by his Grace out of darkness into this marvelous light! {“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light; which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God; which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.” I Pet.2:9-10.} By all this it is plain to me that Christ loved the Church as he was a Husband to her; he loved her as he was by an act of Choice, Settlement and Donation of the Father a Conjugal Head appointed for her; and upon this bottom, mystically commencing her Head in that space which was before the foundation of the world, Eph.1:4, he undertook to be the Saviour of the body, the vast body of all the Elect, and to bring this conjugal body up through her various changes, when all the members shall be perfectly joined together in that glorious body of Christ.

Ah! Poor Confessions of Faith in the confessions imposed on Churches by learned men! And is not that an unreasonable way of confession which another must always make for me? I must then stand to their courtesy to own Election-Grace. {“According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Eph.3:11.} Nay, if I pin upon their sleeve, or girdle, I must have nothing to do with it. The Strasbourg Confession of Faith, {in that city of the Lower Alsatian in Germany, which was the town where the Roman Exchequer or Silver-receipts in the time of their greatness was kept,} a Confession of Faith that took in with it three cities more, namely Constance, Memmingen, and Landau; their Confessions did professedly shut out the Doctrine of Election; as did the Saxon, Wirtemburg, Palatine and Bohemian Confession of Faith; and so likewise the empty harmony of the Poles, and that which they call the Catholicus Veterum or Confession of the Fathers; a pretty commendation of their gray hairs and beards to teach their children to shut out the Ancient Doctrine {“the purpose of God according to election,” Rom.9:11,} which is the Foundation of God to usward! {“Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, the Lord knoweth them that are his.” II Tim.2:19.} All these have nothing to say for Election. And indeed I have only this to say for all their Divinity, I would not give a mite for it, because all the fine pretensions they make, wanting this Foundation, are but a mere Fantasy, a Dream, a Castle in the air, a Bubble, which has nothing in it but that which breaks its own subsistence. For they who go to work without this Foundation {as Mr. Hunt has done all along in his tottering piece} do even make the infallible steadfastness of the Holy Angels an utter impossibility! How much more so the Justification, Adoption, Sanctification and Salvation of so much as one of Adam’s fallen race an uncertainty! And so God to humor their empty scheme must have eternally lost his Glory, the Glory of his Incomprehensible and Infallible Foreknowledge, Sovereign Mercy, Sovereign Righteousness, out of Free Goodness and the Consistent Settlements, according to his Supreme Prescience, over all the works of his hands! {“Let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the Earth; for in these things I delight, saith the LORD.” Jer.9:24.} Oh! When I come to Heaven, I shall therefore admire and love those glorious creatures, the standing angels of God, the better, that they are the offspring of Electing Love! That Election-Settlements had secured their steadfastness in the favor of God forever! Oh! It is from thence they become my Holy Guardians in time, Heb.1:14, and my fixed companions in Eternity!

Aye, and they who shut Election out of their Books and Sermons, are a generation {most of them} that have a sad account to give to God of their Conditional Doctrine! Many practical Discourses besides Mr. Hunt’s book shut out Election. They name it not, unless with some undervaluings, if not reproaches; which has occasioned the popular tumult against that Doctrine, and encouraged thousands in the kingdom to vent their unsavory expressions against Election, {see Luke 4:25-29;} otherwise, the Corruption in men’s hearts and their natural Enmity to the Doctrine must have been more restrained. Concealment of Election and other Gospel Points hath certainly given a great advantage which the adversaries have snatched at. So the Arminians did when they saw any of the members in the Synod of Dordt, supine, that is, lukewarm, neither hot nor cold. {“So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.” Rev.3:16.} This is evident in the Letters that they have printed on the occasion of those controversies, as they picked up any omissions of the Contra-Remonstrants to make for the Remonstrant-side; particularly, in the letters of Walter Balcanquel to Sir Dudley Carleton, taking notice of his account which he gave of the Hessians and Bremes; and therein make earnings to themselves of those cautions the others had used scrupulously, Acts 20:20, 27, in the Article upon Election. Our practical Non-conformist’s books in England ought to have been so written {especially, such popular ones on universal subjects, as George Swinnock’s, “A Christian Man’s Calling,” or Samuel Cradock’s, “Knowledge and Practice,” and the like,} that when the Adversaries to Election-Truths had looked into them, they must either have shut their eyes, or have seen the Foundation of the Gospel well laid; for ‘tis only the house built upon the Rock, when opposed, that stands. Mt.7:24-25. The Church stands in Christ, and Christ stands in God, and both by Electing Grace. God hath foreknown this, appointed this, settled and made this to stand forever! There is a notable testimony which I have read that a Jesuit once urged and made use of against a great Socinian {it was Martinus Smiglecius against Johannes Völkel} and yet {though otherwise such a bitter enemy} gave it in the praise of the reformed, that they wrote that of the Divinity of the Person of Christ in their books which the Arians did not. Sure, had there not been abundant Evidence on the side of the Reformed to make this good, the Jesuit would rather have improved the omission against us, than have beaten the Socinian alone; but now on the side of Election-Grace, could our enemies themselves say of the Fortieth Part of our English Reformation-Books, Rom.10:2, though written since the last Forty Years, that there is any more of Election in these Puritan Books than there is in those treatises written by Arminians? What? Do all men think by consent to worm out the Doctrine of Election, and hiss it off the stage of a reasonable world? ‘Tis time to stand up for it, if there be any whose hearts burn, Lk.24:32, for the Sacred Truths of the Gospel.

It is a foolish Galatian, Gal.3:1, Passage in Henry Hickman, {though a very learned man,} when he says, “it were heartily to be wished that Protestant Ministers would very sparingly in their preaching touch upon those Points wherein they differ among themselves. The Day is yet to come, {the more shame to his memory,} that ever I preached a Sermon about Election or Reprobation; and I look upon it as a great affliction that I have been by the daring provocations of others put upon it to write about them.” {See his Animadversions on Doctor Heylin's Quinquarticular History, in the preface, last page.} Oh! How does this man speak the soul and thoughts of most that are called ministers throughout the world! They see no Wisdom in Election, and therefore their wisdom passes it by! They see no life in Election, and therefore they strike it out wherever they meet its face! Ah! How would the Bible more have pleased them, if God had concealed his Loving Kindness, or had blotted out the Election-Mystery!

“The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it,” Mt.11:42, says Christ to the Jews; and may it not be said likewise to degenerate Nonconformists! Dr. Robert South of Oxford will one day rise up in judgment and condemn these men? I will transcribe something from him of this nature. “Man’s Redemption {says he} proceeds upon an Eternal Covenant made between the Father and the Son, by which the Father agreed to give both Grace and Glory to a certain number of sinners, upon Condition that Christ would assume their nature and pay down such a Ransom to his Justice, as should effectually work in them all things necessary to their Salvation. And this Covenant may be properly called a Covenant of Suretyship or Redemption; upon which alone and not upon any Covenant made between God and men in their own persons is built the Infallibility of the future Believing, Repenting and Finally Persevering of such as Christ from all Eternity undertook to make his people. Now by that Eternal Compact or Transaction between the Father and the Son {of which alone we now speak} was this donation of a certain, determinate number of persons made to Christ to be his people; by virtue of which agreement or transaction he was in the fulness of time to suffer for them, and to accomplish the whole work of their Redemption from first to last. For to affirm that Christ died only to verify a proposition {that whosoever believed should be saved} but in the meantime to leave the whole issue of things in reference to persons so loose and undetermined, that it was a question, whether ever anyone should actually believe, and very possible that none ever might; and consequently that after Christ had suffered, had been stricken, and died for transgression, yet, for anything that he had done, in all this, he might never have had a people; this certainly is a Strange and New Gospel, and such as the Doctrine of our Church seems utterly unacquainted with.” Thus far, Dr. South in a Sermon preached at Christ Church in Oxford. {See his Sermons, Volume 3, pages 450-452.} Oh brave Oxonians! Oh, that those at Cambridge had such a doctor to stand Truth it in their Congregations! Well, woe is unto us if we are a purer generation in our own eyes, Prov.30:12, and yet are not washed from our filthiness in the blood of the Redeemer, shed to an Effectual Ransom of the Chosen number, and therein pursuing the article of Election-Grace!

Let us consider. Have our men got wiser Doctrine than Infallible Election? When they are quite run from this Glorious Article to lay all shamefully at this Day upon Ministerial Offers of Grace, and Terms of Grace, which are but the Congregation’s Human Endeavors to accept some Offer of Grace? What loss of a fruitful ministry do souls meet with in all this! Offers of Grace? Terms of Grace? I am afraid this looks like designing gibberish to reconcile men to some Party, or at best to ward off the Pseudo-Nomian’s blow at what they’ll please to call the root of mental error. Gal.2:12. Offers of Grace, terms of the Covenant, and man’s choice under the Preaching of any parts of the Gospel, instead of God’s gift by Grace, Jn.4:10, and the gift of God from God’s choice of his own settled number in Christ, do all proceed from a shutting of God’s choice out. This notion of the Offers of Grace is no way suited to the firm belief of the Doctrine of an Election, and non-Election of persons, to obtain, and not obtain Mercy. ‘Tis not fitted to a firm belief of Election, and the other parallel doctrines that are built upon it; because here ‘tis Grace given, Eph.4:7, Phil.1:29, Eph.2:8, under the positive work of God the Spirit, which must and does come in where the Gospel is preached to the Elect of God, not Grace offered.

An Offer lays the thing only before me under Invincible Impediments of reaching it; as holding out my hand with money to a poor prisoner that looks through a grate, and begs, but can’t come near me; he sees what I offer, but he can’t step forth to me, nor touch the money I expose and lay before him. But if I go up to him, and give it him, he hath it presently. Again, this Doctrine of the Offers of Grace is no ways fitted to any firm belief of the Doctrine of a Non-Election of persons. Can they do more than the Elect to take Offers of Grace? This is utterly repugnant to the notion of a Non-Election of some. And yet abundance of our book-zeal and sermon-zeal in the very Nonconformist strain is wrought up to the Arminian pitch. They preach and write, not as if there were any vessels of Mercy, or vessels of Wrath distinctly, Rom.9:22-23; but as if these Offers were believed by them, as Election is received by us, and as the Spirit of God, as the Comforter, is believed by us, an absolute fruit of Election to be given to all the Elect of God, sooner or later, under the preaching of the Gospel; they in their offers preach and write, just as if they believed there were no non-Elect, or else had a hope and aim to save them. This must proceed at least in un-steadfastness and un-grounded thoughts, as to God the Father’s Operations about Predestination, Election, &c., of Head and members, of Christ and us, of the Glory-Man standing in God’s own Son, with which Son, God the Father covenanted to be Mediator, antecedently to the Glory-Man standing in him, I Pet.1:20, and of our Glory in the Man, through Grace. I am sure they can never firmly believe Election to keep it in their eye, as it is ordinarily stated, to go and preach Offers of Grace as they do. How can I steadfastly believe Particular Grace lodged in the Holy Ghost’s hands to bestow it on none but the Elect, when I offer this Grace to all within the sound?

And indeed a separate thought of Election that shuts out the Election of Christ, as Mediator, Isa.42:1, shuts out all the frame of Wisdom in Election-Grace. This very Foundation of Everlasting Love discriminated and diversified the Fall, as I have been showing. The purposes of God according to an Election of persons in Christ, distinct from propositions, Rom.9:16, has secured the Elect secretly in their Mystical, Transcendent Head, that when these fell they did not lose their Grace and Glory-relations in Christ Jesus; the Fall did but stop the motions of the love of God in these points, and that stoppage too was removed by Redemption-acts of the Second Person from the first, and the virtue of the Redeemer’s blood brought home by the Third Glorious Person. So that in and under their very Fall the Elect Mystically stood in Christ when they naturally fell in Adam, and so in their Fall could never belong to the family of hell, as Mr. Hunt in his book {in this more like a stalk of poison hemlock} asserts.

Christ was set up from Everlasting; “I was set up from Everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the Earth was.” Prov.8:23. Wisdom there tells us so himself; or Himself, as a Mediator between God and all the works of his hands, I mean a Wisdom-Mediator. It is an expression not to be accommodated, without forcing it, to the Eternal Generation of the Son of the same Substance of the Father; because the Eternal Generation of the Son of God was no setting him up, the Eternal Generation being still a higher Act in God, even a Communication of his Undivided Essence in the Personal Subsistence of the Son, {or in plain words, a matter of Faith, not of Investigation by proud and fancy reason,} the Father giving to the Son to have life in himself, as the Father had life in himself, Jn.5:26; and this now is a greater thing, even the greatest Act in God, and more than his setting up Christ in Mediatorial Headship; and therefore is unbecomingly conceived in men’s thoughts by this phrase of setting up Wisdom. Setting him up therefore supposes him chosen into some Creature-Relation; and so he only as Wisdom-Mediator is capable of being set up; for God cannot be set up in Office, but as considered in the Mediator; because, as God, the Second Person of Himself is in Absolute Power and Dominion over all his own works. He holds all necessarily as God, and arbitrarily, independently, and yet most justly, wisely, holily, and according to all his own Essential Goodness. Now “I was set up, says he, from Everlasting,” which is as much as to say, I was constituted Head and Mediator from Everlasting in the Federal Settlements of Eternity, and the Glorious Transactions in and among the Three-One-God. The Father setting Christ up, Christ consenting and taking the Mediatorial Office upon himself, the Holy Ghost consenting and covenanting to and with the Father and the Son, to reveal and make all known, to all intents and purposes, and Effectual to the Elect. Nevertheless, though the Lord Christ was set up from Everlasting, yet it was still in the order of nature following after his Eternal Generation, a point of truth solidly founded upon some texts coupled together; and it had been well for the Gospel, if men had been contented with such texts as reveal it, without the dangerous experiment of setting it up upon other Scriptures, where the Holy Ghost never designed it should stand. I am sorry to find this text brought by many great divines into the number of such as they have ranged together, to maintain the Eternal Generation of the Son of God, in their admirable writings and their worthy labors against the Socinians.

This setting up Christ from Everlasting hath an Immediate and Necessary Relation {as appears by the coherence there in Proverbs 8} to the Redemption-Part of his being Mediator between God and the Elect, Rom.8:29,30, connected with the Wisdom-Part of his being Mediator between God and all creatures, foreknown and settled to be made by this Heavenly Pattern. Nor can this, without a contradiction to the thoughts of God, be called {as some do} a Mediator between God and nothing; because as all things secretly existed in God’s Thoughts upon this Settlement of Christ, Col.2:3, by God’s supreme calling up everything in his mind, Acts 15:18, which should openly appear, he became a true Wisdom-Mediator, then secretly, between God and all things, to God secretly existing. And Christ’s Relation of Mediator in Redemption succeeded to the Creature’s Fall after the same way; and then as to another end of his Mediation, there comes, within the vast Purposes of God and his Settlements of Christ, the Confirmation and Establishment of the Elect angels. It was a setting up of Christ, which also graciously took in the Confirmatory Part of his Mediation between God and the now standing Angels, to secure their Eternal Standing in the Grace of Christ’s Mediation. The whole Office of Christ is set out by this setting up Wisdom from Everlasting; and so ‘tis plainly spoken of the Constitution of the Mediator, and not at all of the Eternal Generation of the Second Person.

But briefly as to the Redemption-Part, it has a plain and evident Relation to elect men, Prov.8:31, “rejoicing in the habitable part of his Earth,” and that habitable part of his Earth can be more largely or more strictly taken. More largely, and so it was the Land of Promise, Heb.11:9, the only habitable part of his Earth in the extent of the whole Globe, assigned for the Redeemer to inhabit and dwell upon Earth among his own; and into that habitable part of his Earth was Messiah brought, as the Father’s bringing in his first-begotten, Heb.1:6, into the world. More strictly, that habitable part of his Earth was the Human Nature itself in the body of Christ, originally in the loins of his forefathers, according to the Flesh, Rom.1:3, taken out of the dust of the Earth, Gen.2:7, in the body of Adam, the first Open Man. Thus he inhabited in the world, tabernacled with us, Jn.1:14, and dwelt in that body which he so fore-viewed from Everlasting. In this habitable part of his Earth he rejoiced, when he looked down from his Everlasting Prospects thereof, “and his delights were with the sons of men.” Prov.8:31.

Thus, to set out the Election of our Comprehensive Mediatorial Head, Col.1:18, I have in some things recapitulated from the fourth chapter, which there shows how Christ stood in the love of the Father from Everlasting, Jn.17:24; and in both we see the ground of that discrimination, which I have observed to have been in the Fall of Adam, between the Elect and non-Elect in that Nature-Head of mankind.

Once more, the different Consideration of the Elect and Non-Elect in the Fall is grounded on the Discrimination of the {elect} Seed of Abraham from the {rest} Seed of Adam. Thus, the Holy Ghost makes a Distinction in the Son of God’s very taking on him our Nature, restraining it, in an Election-way, unto his own, who were to have the peculiar advantage by it, Heb.2:14, as coming into their room and stead a Sacrifice unto the Justice of God in the same nature that had sinned. “For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham.” Heb.2:16. The Arminians would not have opposed Abraham as a Particular of the Election out of Adam unto the Angels, but rather have opposed Adam in whom all were comprehended; and so have weighed the Universal Philanthropy or God’s equal Love to all mankind, rather than this Particular Instance of Love in the Discrimination of Abraham from the rest, Rom.11:7, to have made the balance of their own account in these matters. Angels take in the nature of the kind universally, for he doth not say of one sort of Angels discriminately or particularly. Now to have made a perfect opposition or contra-distinction the Arminians would have put in all mankind, and so Adam, as the little Map of the whole world of individuals; but the Holy Ghost {who searcheth the deep things of God, I Cor.2:10, and kept His eye upon the Mystery} says Abraham only, who was indeed chosen out of mankind to be blessed with the Promise of Messiah, the peculiar seed, Gal.3:16, and all the Elect comprehended in him, as distinguished from all the world. Accordingly, the Son of God “caught hold” of their nature; so the word signifies. That was going with the rest, Abraham along with Adam, Abraham’s seed going the same way with Adam’s, but Christ caught hold of it as an Election-seed comprehended within Himself, that it did not, could not, run on so far, as to “belong to the family of hell, and be near akin to the devil,” for after this way of falling the non-Elect alone had gone off in Adam, that Natural Head of the common race of mankind.

Hence it is, that though the Elect are related by nature to the First Man Adam, as other men are to that natural parent of all mankind; yet as they are related to him only by nature, Eph.2:3, which is not their all, but are also are related to Christ in Grace and Glory-Settlements; therefore they must needs fall too, but with a very peculiar difference, Eph.2:4-8, in respect of God and Christ. The Elect fell, but not from Relation to their Transcendent Covenant-Head. For being unchangeably related to Christ by Election-Grace, capable of no intercision or cutting off from the Elect of God in Christ, only of stops and impediments for a while, Tit.3:4, through the intervention of fallen nature, they could never fall so as to change their Mystical and Transcendent Relation to God in Christ, Heb.2:13-17; being above all Consideration and Dependence of and upon their Under-Relation by nature to the first {Adam} open man. Accordingly in their Fall they fell into the Everlasting Arms underneath, Deut.33:27, and so were soon stopped, as not to Fall into complete perdition, {being preserved in their Federal Head Christ,} and become members of the “family of hell” as our Mr. Hunt designates them, when others {“the rest”} fell on, and that irrecoverably. For these “rest,” Rom.11:7, being not so related, that is, not Mystically to Christ, not Transcendently in him, could not be secured in the Fall of Adam, but changed their Relation {all their Relation at once} with their condition, and fell so as to become the seed of the serpent, Jn.8:44, falling so as to change their mystical kind, and become dogs, swine, serpents, &c., in God’s account, and Scripture language; in which Condition and Relation they continue and belong forever, though in time they pass through specious disguises, of which their religious dresses, and their fair show in the flesh, Gal.6:12, are not the least. And this Misery fell upon them inchoately, or began to be, as soon as they fell from the natural Image of God {their all} in his perfect Workmanship by Creation of the soul of Adam. For, being once mystically related to Christ-Wisdom, Col.1:15, as creatures, {not to Christ the Covenant-Head, as children,} and innocent creature-ship being all the original perfection of their rank, it came to pass upon their loss of innocent creature-ship by their Fall from the Nature-Image of God, that is from Christ-Nature in Adam, they became mystically related to the serpent, II Pet.2:12, the devil, that seduced them; and so are mystically serpents and vipers at this Day that show their stings and their poisons all through their life; and that not only in un-intermitted immoralities of the open herd, but bloody enmity and madness to the Power of Religion, II Tim.3:5, in Christ’s seed whensoever the bright Gospel, or its successful interest, approaches near them. This is the truth of the matter!

And why should we men think that this is a harder case for mankind, that some of their number perish unavoidably for the Fall’s sake, after a multitude too of repeated sins, many of which still lie in the broken powers of their disobedient wills to prevent and forbear, especially their overt acts founded in malice, and spirited with contempt against the Gospel-Remedy {or Christ in God’s own way of Application} to a remnant, since themselves in this life know not they are excluded from Election-Grace? {‘Tis very probable that the Damned as long as they continue in Hell, will find they are damned for no other Faults but what they might have prevented in outward things and would not; and yet to Eternity the saved will find they are Glorified by that mere Grace which never lay in their own power to receive.} I say then, why should this be thought a harder case to men than it is for the Angels themselves that were cast down to Hell immediately, without possibility of recovery, and that for one {the first} Sin committed within the whole sphere of the Universe. To balance it, as among the Angels some fell not, so among men, some that fell are restored. There is an Absolute Election of some out of the mass and lump of mankind, and by this way an Absolute and Sure Salvation of a remnant is effected out of the numbers of Fallen Men. Whereas there being no Election that hath pitched upon the numbers of the fallen Angels, there is not one of them saved, or looked after that we do know of to Eternity.

To conclude this first reason about belonging to the first man in his worst, i.e., his Fallen State, and yet not belonging for all that {no, not one of the Elect} to the family of hell. It does {I say for a conclusion of the first reason} from all that I have said appear; that in the Fall some of Adam’s seed fell, Jn.10:26, to the family of hell, as their center of Relation, and therefore to the same family do unchangeably belong, as the event will make appear; whereas the Elect fell, Rom.3:23, in their company, but never so as to be of their company, nor one of their number that belong to the family of hell; because they only lost their nature-all in Adam, but never lost their Everlasting Relation in Christ, Jn.11:52, this Everlasting Father, as Isaiah 9:6, who federally from the Father, and mystically in Himself hath had his Everlasting Children. Now ‘tis time to bring in the second reason against this error under present animadversion, in Vindication of the Election-Point.

Second Reason why the Elect belong not to the family of hell in their fallen state, nor are near of kin to the devil before Faith is given them to Conversion, is, Grace is given them in Christ Jesus before the world began, distinct from a Purpose before the world began to give them Grace in Christ Jesus. The full and direct text we have in II Timothy 1:9,10, “who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, but is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.” Here let us take heed of the envy of compounding interpreters who run two distinct things into one, and make the Gift of Grace in Christ Jesus before the world began, to be no more, nor anything else, than the Purpose of God before the world began to give that Grace. For this they do and all to maintain their darling notion that the Elect of God have nothing granted to them, nor settled on them, till they believe. They will allow nothing farther from this text than a Decree to give Grace to them at the time of believing. But notwithstanding all the open violence they offer to the Word, by this relapse into as rank Arminianism in the article of Election as any I know, still the text will shift for itself, and break through all their rude assaults. What Arminianism is it to suspend all Election-Purposes of Grace towards me till I believe? And what a new fetch have these men coined in the matter of this text to support an Arminian Election, by their putting Election-Purposes promiscuously for what the Holy Ghost distinguisheth from all the Ancient Settlements of Grace? Hereby, as Arminians do, they exclude all Immediate Grants in Christ. Now this text comes up fully to an Immediate Grant in Christ distinct from a Purpose to grant; and both, the Purpose and the Grant, put in apart in signification, that one does not signify the other; but that they must be severally distinguished to come up to the Mind of the Holy Ghost. And let me insist upon the matter as it plainly lies in the words themselves.

The Apostle, as the Scribe, or pen-man, pitches at the time of the Holy Ghost’s Workmanship in Effectual Calling, as the only fit and capable Time of discovering this Glorious Mystery of the Gospel to the soul. For however it began to be before in Christ Mystical, yet it could never be known before to and in ourselves, as to our own Personal Interest in Christ, till the Holy Ghost’s Effectual Time of Operation in the day of Christ’s Power, Psal.110:3, and then it may, as here in the text. Well, he begins with the Power of God put forth in Operation by the Holy Ghost. “Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling.” This is plainly spoken of the Holy Ghost’s work, who does all to and upon us no otherwise than by the Pattern work of Grace delegated to his hands by the other Persons, the Father, and the Son as Mediator. He works by an Antecedent Pattern, and this Pattern is God’s, wrought in Grace, a wrought Pattern before the Holy Ghost comes down to us to work in the least upon this noble, Secret Pattern, or draw a line of Grace, Faith or Love, in our hearts by it.

Now because Men are prone to distain this Divine Pattern they will thus reason, that it must be my own repentance as well as I can by myself, my own believing as well as I can by myself, my desires, though I fall short, my qualifications, my preparations, my good meanings, my acts, my works, Jn.3:6, to fit the soul for Faith. For certainly we must do something first, say they, to engage the Lord’s mercifulness on our behalf? O! Reflect, as I must die, and be brought to judgment; meticulously examine myself as to how I have lived, I Sam.15:13-24; view over my sins, and tell them out one by one, as well as I can; aggravate my sins, so as not to skip over the least of them, Jer.15:1; propound encouragements of a Common Faith; consider, and compare my wants, and how far I fall short of the Grace others have, Jer.13:13; pray much and live well; and surely I need not question but that God will do the rest. Here now you have got the pattern which these men have sought to set the Holy Ghost’s eye on, and draw him to work Saving Grace out of Natural Religion. Aye, but this pattern, this same piece of nature’s needlework will not do. Tit.3:5. The Holy Ghost sees the Gospel, and eyes nothing but the Patterns in Christ! Jn.16:13-15. And therefore the Spirit will be sure to strike off all this at one clause, and begin with man’s invented pattern to destroy it. He will put the exclusive mark upon that before he will proceed to tell you what the True Pattern is. “Not according to works,” says he; not according to our works. Eph.2:9. The Holy Ghost came into our hearts, when he saved us influentially and vitally in Regeneration, upon no such respects as these, or considerations short of the patterns in the Christ of God. He called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, that in the best of them all had sometime which cheated us, and had looked {to ourselves} like a brave and sufficient holiness, when we spent our selves in sundry religious exercises towards God we had been trained up unto. Paul speaks particularly of himself, Acts 26:9, who had been religious betimes before calling; and of Timothy, who also had been early pious in the knowledge of the Scriptures, under his grandmother Lois, and his mother Eunice, II Tim.1:5, and this as to both of them, the old man and the young man too, before the Holy Ghost had come in upon either of their hearts with the New-Life and Gospel-Power. So then it is not according to our works.

“Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.” II Tim.1:9. Mind how the Gift of Grace is plainly distinguished from the Purpose of giving Grace. The Gift is according to the Purpose; therefore the gift is not the same thing to be confounded with the Purpose, nor to be promiscuously used for it, when we speak of it. If the Gift of Grace be according to his own Purposed Grace, I know nothing plainer than here in the text, where Grace is set forth under two distinct considerations, and not in those words, {“according to his own purpose and Grace which was given us”} under one single consideration alone. If men will take the pleasure of making an emphasis in these words, “Purpose and Grace,” or one thing divided into those two words, to mean Purposed Grace, {which I shall not contend with them for;} yet to run this Purposed Grace, and the Gift of it into an parallel too, is such an unreasonable humor in their rhetoric as becomes insupportable in Divinity. Well, they are two things.

Next observe how this Purposed Grace was given, “was given us,” the text saith, in Christ Jesus. So then, the Gift was in Christ Jesus, not through Christ Jesus, as is sometimes distinguished. The Gift of this Grace was to us mystically in Christ, before the Gift of this Grace was operatively to and upon us through Christ Jesus. We, the Elect, are the objects of it in a Federal and Mystical sense. ‘Tis not said that it was given to Christ Jesus for us, and so Christ the Object of this gift declared to be, but ‘tis that “we” are the object of this gift in Christ. It was Grace given to us in Christ Jesus. I know not how God could have spoken, by his servant Paul, plainer, to set forth the first Union of all before Faith, and the Settlement of all Grace upon us, and the Donation of all Grace unto us, before we are brought vitally to believe, in time, on the Lord Jesus Christ, than he hath done in those words. It could not have been spoken according to Truth but in the Comprehensive Language of Grace. The Holy Ghost hath used the Comprehensive Language, as he hath said, “grace was given us;” and he hath spoken the mystical language, how it was given, viz., in Christ Jesus before the world began. For to have said the particular language, and not the comprehensive, had been less.

‘Tis Grace, and this Grace given us in Christ Jesus. ‘Tis not expressed so low as justified us in Christ Jesus, {nevertheless ‘tis implied, and let men judge whether there be not a nearer affinity between Justification in Christ before the world began, and this text which saith that “grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began;” than there is between Mr. Hunt’s proposition that “Christ exceeds all in Wisdom,” page 107,} because this had been but the language of one particular blessing; it had not reached all. For instance, it had not been adopted us in Christ Jesus; it had not been called us with a holy calling in Christ Jesus; it had not been sanctified us in Christ Jesus; it had not been kept us through Perseverance in faith, holiness and good works; no, it had not been thus kept us in Christ Jesus; it had not been brought us up to Heaven to the Glory-Man in Christ Jesus, if it had been expressly said, “justified us in Christ Jesus before the world began,” and there had been all. Thus for want of comprehensive language to take in all, Grace had been lessened; and therefore, whereas some may object against Justification before Faith, that though ‘tis Grace given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, yet ‘tis not specifically said “justified us in Eternity;” I answer, ‘tis far more than expressed so particularly; for in the language which the Holy Ghost useth, that is not only included to be spoken, but all other Grace beside hath been already given us, before we have influentially acted to believe under it. And this the Holy Ghost proves in comprehensive language, as to say “Grace,” not this, and that, and the other instance of Grace, as Justified from Eternity, &c., but he hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, according to his Purpose and Grace given us in Christ Jesus, to take in all sorts of Grace. Thus, the Holy Ghost hath not singled out any one sort of Grace in the expression to the prejudice of another, as he would have done in saying only, the gift of justifying us, or Grace was given us to justify us; for then the gift of sanctifying us, the gift of strengthening us, the gift of comforting us, the gift of carrying us through all the dangers, corruptions, snares and temptations, within the sphere of time, had been all excluded. But the comprehensive language of Grace given us, answerably to our Full and Comprehending Head, is the largest and richest expression of God’s Perfect Will that could have been expressed in words. So that at last, whatever is given us through Christ successively, as we need it, is all given at once to us in Christ, where we cannot lose, or let his gifts fall. So that ‘tis plain that the Elect could never belong to the family of hell, nor ever under the Fall, and before Faith, be near of kin to Satan.

Lastly, and yet further to complete the Freeness and Absoluteness of Grace, without any regard to Faith’s act for God’s Grace, but altogether to God’s Grace for Faith’s act, ‘tis Grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began. None could presume, or take it up into his thoughts, that he had actually and openly in the body acted Faith on the Lord Jesus Christ before the world began; if God therefore appoint, choose and settle a public person, and also choose and settle me and my Faith in him secretly to Himself, and makes it so, that the Eternal Mystery of it lies in the Transaction of a Public Person, {Jude 3, “the common salvation” – there is not a community common to mankind, but a community in Salvation common to the Elect among mankind, as Christ is the Common Head or Public Person to all that Body of the Elect,} that before the Foundation of the world stands up for me to God, by God’s own Settlements of this Public Person and Representative of all the Elect, and that upon this bottom, he, as Mediator between God and the Elect presented, and fore-viewed as fallen too from that Presentation of Pure Grace and Glory, stands up and undertakes for us before the world began, and so takes upon him our cause, recovery, and to receive all Grace for us in the full Security of Settlements and Donation; and thus interchangeably, by these Mystical Transactions, we receiving at God’s hands all Grace given us in Christ Jesus before the world began; then indeed this is the “Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes.” Mk.12:11. Now Grace carries all afore it upon the Election, Constitution and Settlement of Christ and the Elect in Christ, and in such a mystical way of Donation, as granting all in Christ Jesus thus early. This excludes not only creature-boasting, but creature-dependence, and creature-expectations from its self forever.

Hence it is that it was needful to settle and make all the promises of God yea and Amen in Christ, II Cor.1:20; that is, self-agreeing and consistent, to give the Elect both called and uncalled a comprehensive title, a comprehensive interest, even before they have an apprehensive title or apprehensive interest. Their comprehending title and interest do depend upon God’s appointing Grace and settling Grace, and giving the same Grace to them, as they are mystically viewed and considered of God in their Comprehending Head, Christ; and such a comprehensive grant as this, is giving the Elect in Christ Jesus all his purposed Grace, both purposing it, and according to the purpose giving it in Christ Jesus before the world began. And thus we see that God looks upon them, and owns them in time, to bring them up to what they were with him in these Settlements of Grace before time. “Who hath saved and called us according to this Grace,” says he.

Thus I have shown that Purpose of Grace, and giving the Purposed Grace are evidently two things, though the quarrel-interests and party-interests, together with the prejudices of men, do scandalously and sinfully compound them, therein giving the Holy Ghost the down-right lie, {and I fear it will be one day found so.} Besides, it is not any man’s interpretation, though the man be of good or great name, I am bound to follow, if that interpretation does not follow Christ. And pray, let Christ be heard to speak for himself; he speaks Purpose and Grace given; also, he speaks it in a Deed of Settlement, where if one material word in the form of the deed be wanting, the lawyers will presently impute it as a flaw {to speak of things as they pass in human and ordinary deeds of settlement among men} and will tell you all is questionable, if they raise a doubt upon it, whether the deed will stand good in Law.

I would therefore propose it to one of these compounding interpreters who make the Purpose of Grace and the Gift of the Purposed Grace in this text both one, whether they would venture an estate upon it? And ‘tis a hard case they will not venture an estate where they’ll venture their souls. I would query of one of these, say of the Nonconformist preachers, whether or not, if a deed of Conveyance or a deed of Jointure to settle an estate of five hundred pounds per annum upon his children to be equally divided among themselves, did run in two forms of copy, the one to be no more than this; the donor hath purposed to give the said estate of five hundred pounds per annum to the said Nonconformist Preacher’s children to be divided equally among themselves; and this to be the substance of the one copy. But the other form of copy ran thus; the donor hath purposed and given the said estate to the use as aforesaid; or, hath given the five hundred a year according to a purpose had to give the said estate to the said ends. Well now, I would fain know whether this Nonconformist preacher, according to his own interpretation of the text in Timothy, would choose to go by either of these two copies alike in the deed? Whether he would look upon the Title and Interest of his children to or in the former deed of conveyance or jointure, that run only and abstractly upon purposing to give the five hundred a year to be the same, and the five hundred a year every way as inheritable an estate, as the latter deed meant, which runs all upon the grant according to the Purpose? Would he look upon that title I say, to be as firm and indisputable, which left out all the body of the grant, and ran only upon the purpose to bestow? I believe there’s never a Nonconformist of them all in his wits would run this hazard; if he did, I am sure he must go without the estate. {“And the Lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely; for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light.” Lk.16:8.} Why then should we run a greater, to take up God’s Purpose of Grace, and leave out his Grant of the Purposed Grace, and think to come off by saying they are both one thing? And then withal look for a full Execution of the Purposes of Grace to me immediately, after the forfeitures of all I am worth in Adam; and merely to be applied to me upon this bottom of time in which I believe, which was never given me in Christ Jesus before time, nor received by him for me, nor by me in Him that represented me to God, and bore my title and interest with God to and in it all? Now let my Nonconformist consider it wiser, and see whether Purpose and Grace given us in Christ Jesus before the world began be both, or all one. If he will not choose either of the deeds of five hundred a year settlement, wink, as we say, and choose alike, in the instance laid down, then himself hath decided it.

Well, it solidly appears by this text, which will shift for itself and strengthen our Faith, when men are weary of undermining it, that there was a Settlement made of Grace in our Federal, Mystical and Comprehending Head, according to Election; and this Settlement {take in Electing Love and the Redemption-Covenant together, and that is the Covenant with Christ according to the Purpose of the Father} secures Vocation, or Effectual Calling, Faith, Repentance, Holiness, and all Communicated Grace, in time and proper season. For ‘tis all, according to God’s Good Purpose, “not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.” Rom.9:16. It will be seen now {the more it is viewed} to be all of a piece, and presents the same case, when all the words of this verse in the place of Timothy which I have opened are put together, God “hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.” Well, God will look upon the Elect according to this Settlement of Grace between Himself and Christ; and the Grace which was given them in him, according to his purpose, before the world began. And so much for that famous text in Timothy.

A word briefly to follow on Ephesians 1:3,4, “blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ; according as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love.” Election-Purposes here are not promiscuously put for the Ancient Settlements of Grace themselves, but for the Ancient Patterns of conveying them according to their Settlements. Election to the Blessings before the world’s foundation, is followed accordingly with a bestowment of the blessings in Christ too before the foundation of the world; and thus secures the conveyance of all the Purposed Blessings in this world and the world to come. The Holy Ghost has put Election-Grace as the Pattern-Grace of all the Correspondent Grants, both the Immediate of the same Grace in Christ before the foundation of the world, and all the remote grants of the same Grace through Christ in time, and of open Glory with Christ hereafter. That look, as God did purpose and choose before the world began, so he did grant and bless with all spiritual blessings in Heavenlies in Christ {to all which, and to the Heavenlies of which we are not yet arrived by our believing, otherwise than Mystically, as we were arrived in and by Christ before we believed; I say, God did grant, bestow and bless us with Grace and all Blessings in Christ} by Election-Grace as the Pattern of his doing it through Christ. For it follows there in the Pattern-language, “according as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world.” Now is it that the LORD blessed us only after we believed? No; it must be before in Christ, according as he hath chosen us in him. The reason is, ‘tis a joint-blessing us with all spiritual blessings together, ‘tis not a separate blessing us with some spiritual blessings apart, and any other of the spiritual blessings for a time left out, or deferred. ‘Tis all put in at once. Who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in Heavenlies in Christ; neither is that the choosing us to all the blessings, but the blessing us with all according as he hath chosen us to all. Why then it must both ways be understood in Christ, not through Christ; as appears by instances of the “all blessings” wherewith he hath already blessed us. For, are we yet otherwise blessed with Perseverance in all Grace, than mystically in our Comprehending Head of Perseverance? Are we blessed yet, after our Faith, to this day, with joy and triumph, in the hour of death? Hath the Holy Ghost yet wrought upon our souls this extreme unction? {“But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things.” I Jn.2:20. “Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance.” Acts 2:28.} And as to all and every one of the blessings, as they are said to be in Heavenlies {especially if ye will own the translation word “places,” apart from the original word in the Greek, “heavenlies,”} how can we conceive any of them bestowed already, as to say, he hath blessed us with all of them, but as he hath bestowed them Mystically in Christ, according as, or by the Pattern, he hath chosen us in him? And again, as he hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenlies, mystically still in Christ, according as he hath chosen us in him? And is it more difficult to conceive how all things should be given the Elect in Christ Jesus before the world began, then how God has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in Christ, when yet he hath not blessed any of us so to this day, in the final Conveyance of the same blessings through Christ.

So Titus 1:2, “in hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began.” Do ye know of any man that inverts the order of these words? I have heard there is such a man, and a scholar, even amongst our selves, though I have almost forgot the express form of the inversion, as it is said, he chooses to read this text. However, the sense, scope and design of his inversion of the words, as they lie in the order in which we read them, has been to make the Promise commence in Adam, and not in Christ, before the world began. For he is {as most are} an utter enemy to all Union before Faith, and as I hear, to the Covenant made with Christ before the Covenant made with Adam. Of all the ways of inversion I have thought of to make sense of the words, I can meet with none so probable to be his, as this, “in hope of eternal life, which God before the world began, that cannot lie, promised.” 1. But this robs the text of the Glory of the Promise, for the Glory lies in this very thing mainly, a promise before the world began; because this is so high and perfect a way of making a promise, that none was ever able to make any sort of promise, in this way of doing it, before the world began, but God alone, unto the Mediator, promising unto the Glory-Man standing in the Second Person of God, that all the Elect of God in him should openly receive Eternal Life, and enjoy the same with him. Here’s now the true Glory which the Holy Ghost intended to lay open in the text; as the other reading robs it of all this Glory. 2. Shuffling off a text to an inverted and alterable variety in the reading of the same is what the Jews have done to rob some of the Messiah-texts in the Old Testament of their true Glory. I will only instance Isaiah 9:6, as the modern Rabbis have woefully corrupted that text by altering the reading of the Hebrew, for instead of reading it passively to give the due Glory to Christ, “and his name shall be called,” they read it actively, {because they don’t believe his Divinity,} “and shall call.” Now see the difference of these two readings. “And his name shall be called the mighty God, the Everlasting Father.” There is our true reading that gives Christ the Glory of his Deity, but take the reading of the Rabbis, and see how their inversion of the order of the words alters the voice, the passive into the active, and all with a trick to make him who had his Being in Eternity to commence his Being within the bounds of time. “And this is the name {say the Jews} whereby the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father shall call him, that is, Christ, the Prince of Peace;” not enduring it to be read as it ought passively and without changing the order of the words as they lie in our Bibles, thus; “he {that is} Christ shall be called the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father;” and thereby changing the glorious style of predication, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, from Christ to God the Father. Now I perceive the design of the trick in dealing by inversion, and changing the order of words in Titus 1:2 to be the same thing, for it is to rob God of the Glory of his doing a thing in Eternity, and so bring it down by limitation to Time, as the common bound space which they will {only} allow to God for his actions towards the creature. Whereas Christ being our Representative, and Comprehending Head, before the world began, a promise been made to him was comprehensively made to us in him. 3. The Greek pointing favors not this various reading, for whereas this altering the words {“which God that cannot lie promised before the world began”} that the Greek renders without any intermediate comma, into this form {which God before the world began, that cannot lie, promised} must bring in a new pointing which the Greek owns not, and so a new sense which the Greek has nothing to do with, and I look on it as a good argument that ‘tis the man’s fiction, and not any solid ground of his Faith. Besides, it is unreasonable in the translation to separate the words {“God that cannot lie”} so far asunder, as to put in those words {“before the world began”} between them, when in the original they are closely laid together. 4. Beza, {in his New Testament Translation,} the watchful, though not always discerning critic, would have found this reading, and {because he carries the place for a time promise} would have served it on us, as a writ of execution, as soon as any man I know, if there had been the least foundation for it, for he makes it to be the promise to Adam too, but goes not about to alter the form of the words. 5. Is it not better to govern the Scripture by the plane reading of II Timothy 1:9 which I have opened according to the plain order of words as they lie, than to betake one’s self to an intricate reading of it, and construction that must lie divided from the words, and has no such precedent for it in any other text? 6. Lastly, when the words are thus divided, the sense will lie together. If it be changed into “God before the world began promised,” ‘tis still as fair to make it “promised before the world began of God’s Act,” as it is then under that change {God before the world began who promised} to make it of God’s Being.

But from what has been said in the chapter already, I shall now in a separate paragraph speak something of all the Distinct Unions in Christ &c., {to show how the Elect are never changed in Christ,} against the notion, {of no Union before Faith,} and shall begin with the First Union of all, and so descend. The Union of the Elect in Christ as the work of all the Persons, Father, Son and Holy Ghost, is one of the deep things of God, and a fundamental Mystery of the Grace of the Gospel. The Union of the Elect in Christ, if we speak of it in the transactions between God and Christ, is Mystical; but the Union of the Elect, if we speak of it as between the Holy Ghost and themselves, is Spiritual. And all this is before Faith as I shall lay open. 1. On God’s part. 2. On Christ’s part. 3. On the Holy Ghost’s part.

1. On God’s part choosing. This is Elective Union, or Election-Union; the Union of Christ as Elect, and creatures elected in him. This is the high Comprehending Union chosen in Christ to absolute, glorious and unspotted holiness. “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love; having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.” Eph.1:4-6.

2. On God’s part founding and fore-laying end and means; bringing his choice into a Consistence in Christ. {“According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Eph.3:11.} This is Constitutive Union or Donative Union. ‘Tis making the Union of saving Head and saved Members to be the Foundation in Christ of God’s bringing us to this Absolute, Glorious and Unspotted Holiness forever, through the greatest obstacles in the world; it is given in Christ. “I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world; thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word.” Jn.17:6. “Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.” II Tim.1:9.

Secondly, on Christ’s Part, as the distinct Act of the Son from the Father of Mercies, and the God of all Grace by Jesus Christ, that is, by means of him as Mediator between God and Men. “For there is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” I Tim.2:5.

1. On Christ’s part re-stipulating, or engaging, that not one of these given him by the Father shall be lost, either to lose their kind, and be one moment belonging to the family of hell, or to lose their Union. This is Federal Union, the result of Election-Grace and Settlement, as it passes under distinct Articles between God and Christ. “And said unto me, thou art my servant, O Israel, in whom I will be glorified. Then I said, I have laboured in vain, I have spent my strength for nought, and in vain; yet surely my judgment is with the LORD, and my work with my God. And now, saith the LORD that formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob again to him, though Israel be not gathered, yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of the LORD, and my God shall be my strength. And he said, it is a light thing that thou shouldest be my Servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel; I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my Salvation unto the end of the earth. Thus saith the LORD, the Redeemer of Israel, and his Holy One, to him whom man despiseth, to him whom the nation abhorreth, to a servant of rulers, kings shall see and arise, princes also shall worship, because of the LORD that is Faithful, and the Holy One of Israel, and he shall choose thee. Thus saith the LORD, in an acceptable time have I heard thee, and in a day of Salvation have I helped thee; and I will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages; that thou mayest say to the prisoners, Go forth; to them that are in darkness, show yourselves. They shall feed in the ways, and their pastures shall be in all high places.” {Isa.49:3-9}

2. On Christ’s part Representing and Comprehending those whom the Father had given him. {The children of Grace were in the Loins of Christ before they took hold of the Hem of his Garment!} This is the Representative Union. “In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began.” Tit.1:2.

3. On Christ’s part Apprehending; for the natural motion is from the Head to the members, and so is the Supernatural; and not contrarily from the members to the Head. This is the Apprehending Union. “I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.” Phil.3:12. “But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.” I Cor.1:30.

Thirdly, on the Holy Ghost’s part, as a distinct Act of God the Spirit from the Father and the Son.

1. On the Holy Ghost’s part together with them, as a Third, Absolute Person, and Co-equal Agent in the Mysteries of Grace, transacted among the Persons of the Glorious Trinity, from Everlasting; and this Person obliging himself to the other Two to make the whole Mystery of Grace Effectual, openly, by a pursuing application. And this is the obligatory Union, as the Spirit freely knits himself to the Elect in the Comprehensive Settlements of Grace according to the Counsel of God’s will.

2. On the Holy Ghost’s part from the Father, through the Son, as Mediator; and that as the Spirit is Comforter, or the Paraclete, descending upon the persons of the Elect in the virtue of the Righteousness of Christ, and so at the very moment of and under Christ’s Apprehending act; and this Union is Influential Union.

1. On the Holy Ghost’s part influencing by Implantation or Engrafture. John 15:1. This is a Transitive Union; a translating and carrying off from one stock, kingdom and dependence to another, by the first stirring and awakening work of God the Spirit, before the soul is brought to consent, stir itself, or do anything above nature. “Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son.” Col.1:13.

2. On the Holy Ghost’s part influencing by an Active Principle of Life, or Quickening, which is a gracious effect of Implantation; and this is Vital Union, Regeneration-Union, or the New Creature-Union. That’s the Union whereby I have the Immediate Power as one new born {and now acted no longer by making use of my Adam’s nature only in the motion, and caring it no farther than a human act, or mere natural religion; but now a new power directly from the Spirit himself} to stir, move, cry, call, and plead under the kindlings of the New Life, and the shinings of the New Light; all which begins with a conviction of want in the soul, and of fullness, as well as fitness and freeness in Christ. “Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go; thou hast the words of eternal life; and we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jn.6:68-69.

3. On the Holy Ghost’s part influencing to an experience and an inward taste of God’s love; and this is the Manifestative Union. Now we come to see things for ourselves in the light of the Holy Ghost; before we went all upon trust, as good men led us, and knew not what it was for the Spirit to be our guide. But he makes out things now plain to our poor souls; and here we begin to believe. “But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you; but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.” I Jn.2:27.

4. On the Holy Ghost’s part influencing us under strong consolation to an Assurance of the Love of God in Christ, that we lose not the belief and evidences of the Union made manifest in us; now all this is a Mystical and Spiritual Union. “And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.” I Jn.5:20. “Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.” II Cor.1:22.

Fourthly and lastly, among these Applicatory Unions of Conveyance, that is, the third Union depending upon the Spirit’s Operations, or the Manifestative Union, there comes in, on the soul’s part, believing into Christ, as the Greek renders it in Philippians 1:29, I John 5:13, and many other places; and this is the believing Union. Here’s motion, trust and cleaving. Here it comes to heart-work, {“for with the heart man believeth unto righteousness,” Rom.10:10,} after the Holy Ghost’s work. Here is the Union of the will whereby Faith joins the person to Christ by his own consent; and after Heavenly Views, Divine Proofs, Vital Experiments, and some daily use of his blood, the soul unites to the King, as a Husband in all the order, pattern and way of ordinances belonging to the House of God, which Jesus Christ is by the Father set over; and this is Conjugal Union.

Thus I have given a brief scheme of the unions, showing what Union is before Faith, and what Union is not, in a true state of the matter; and thus I have shown how the Elect are never changed in Christ; that is, under all changes, are never alienated from him; and that against those two dangerous notions against the Grace of God, and depending one upon another, which are that there is no Union before Faith, which is disproved in this scheme; and it’s cousin-German error, that the Elect did once belong to the family of hell, and were very near akin to the devil, disproved in the body of this chapter; and to be still by more arguments overthrown. Thus by a farther taking the matter up according to an Eternal Election of persons, {“in whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will,” Eph.1:11,} I shall labor to set forth these arguments in a due light from some of the names which the Elect of God have passed under in Scripture, before they had Faith given them; which proves their Mystical before their Manifestative Union.

I will begin with that term, “sheep,” which our Lord uses, speaking of the Elect. “And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.” Jn.10:16. Other sheep and so sheep, and yet souls that are to be brought, and that shall hear the voice of the Shepherd. It is not yet said of these, “my sheep hear my voice,” as verse 27; as to say, sheep when they believe, and are openly brought in, in the manner of the Arminians gloss; but antecedaneously to all believing, and before there is any visible appearance of their believing and obeying Christ, or any visible likelihood of it unto man’s eye and thoughts, because not so much as the means of the Gospel {sent forth into the dark world of the Gentiles, and idolaters, as the Thessalonians were, I Thes.1:9, and as the other Elect Gentiles were} to show the necessity, or true nature of believing on Jesus Christ. No, but sheep not yet of this fold, and therefore be sure not yet of this Faith of hearing Christ’s voice. Besides, when Christ sent out his twelve Disciples in Matthew 10, these twelve Jesus sent forth and commanded, saying, “go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not; but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” Sheep still, though lost, and in a wilderness nearer home, the Elect among other nations out of Judea seemed to be in a desperate and forlorn estate, even more than the lost sheep of that fold; and yet though they be “others” he calls them “other sheep” still. Why? Because they equally belonged every one to the same Shepherd, not to the family of hell, and it mattered not whether they were of the Jewish sheep-fold, or no. The Gentiles in their blood, blindness, idolatry, lusts of the flesh, and fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, yet are called by Christ himself at the same time his other sheep. ‘Tis one and the same name under Electing Grace that Saints and every chosen sinner goes by. Now take the title saint, believer, the new-born, &c., these are such narrow names, Acts 1:15, as they will only take in the truly converted to Jesus Christ; on the other hand, the names of Elect and Chosen will take in all that are or shall be converted, and not one more than the number of the names known unto the Lord, II Tim.2:19, for the Lord knoweth them that are his. Now “sheep” is the comprehensive name that agrees with the Elect called and uncalled; and so “other sheep” is to distinguish them from both the sheep called, and such as are now under calling means, though not presently made Effectual. The Elect may be such, and consequently sheep, as yet afar off, Eph.2:13, have no Faith order, or other Grace bestowed, between Christ and themselves; howbeit are persons who have absolutely a secret interest in all, and right to it all, in the Mysterious Settlements of Electing Love between God and Christ. And God calls them accordingly in a Relation to their Shepherd, unknown yet unto them whom God had from Everlasting provided for; and he does not call them by a name proper to the family of hell, though he speaks of them under sin and wrath in their nature-condition, and so in a law-state between God and themselves, Christ being not yet graciously revealed and made known unto them. They are sheep, though scattered sheep, scabbed sheep, miry sheep, wandering unbelievers, and in a sad condition in mire and wilderness; neither gathered to Christ, nor yet brought into any believing Congregation. Aye, but according to Mr. Hunt’s divinity, that they belong to the family of hell, it should be an opposite name, which Christ hath set over against the sheep. They should not go by the name of Election, but be called goats, the name that appertains unto the “rest.” However Christ’s Divinity is sheep. He sees what fold, what family they secretly belong unto, though another family for a time openly claims them, and makes a usurping prey of them. So in Matthew 25:33, “and he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left;” sheep and goats do divide the whole world for all nations are there said shall be gathered before him, verse 32, at the last Judgment. By which it plainly appears that the sheep were always sheep, and that the sheep were never goats. Again, that the goats were always goats, that the goats are never sheep. Moreover, I take notice that our Orthodox forefathers who paid the debt of their dearest blood unto the Gospel, and sealed up the profession of it at the stake, through the help of Jesus Christ, died in this Faith. For, how did they teach that poor, ignorant generation of Priests, and others in the land, at that day to pray? Why thus, in the very same Orthodox phrase with the Holy Scriptures, “we have erred and strayed from thy ways like lost sheep,” as the Holy Ghost teacheth, and calleth the Elect. “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” Isa.53:6. And it was a very full and proper expression to set out the matter of their own experience at that day, how God had chosen them, even a remnant whom he had called by the same Grace from among the Papists, and advanced them upon the Foundation of that Electing Love, though they all had gone astray like lost sheep, Psal.119:176; and having lived formerly in the world with another nature, herded themselves with creatures of another kind, and not discernible from them, but by the Divine Shepherd, who knew them still by his own ancient and secret mark, and for that cause called them forth from among the world. And he doth the same in all ages. We see by all, the name is sheep. “We have erred and strayed from thy ways like lost sheep;” not, like lost goats. The erring and straying, though in the same paths, was not in the same Relation; and so never could belong to the family of hell, or, be near akin to the devil, as our muddled author will have it.

Again, the Elect before Conversion are children of God in one respect, as well as children of wrath in another respect. See John 11:52 where it is said in the prophecy of Caiaphas, the high-priest, concerning the Expediency of the Death of Christ for the Jewish nation, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation, and not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad; and ‘tis is a gathering of children to Faith, not gathering believers to become children. Yes, Children of God, though scattered abroad, who did not know one line of the Gospel; though scattered abroad among all the idolatrous Gentiles, and idolaters with them; yet the Spirit of God took hold of a phrase of a particular kind in the mouth of Caiaphas, the high-priest, to beget another phrase, and set forth another matter than ever Caiaphas dreamed of. The high-priest prophesied for that Jewish nation, and used words fitted to the Jews in their Commonwealth sense, as their state is called, Eph.2:12, the Commonwealth of Israel. But the Holy Ghost, by the Evangelist John, prophesied for the whole body of the Elect in a Church-sense. “And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all, nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not. And this spake he not of himself,” Jn.11:49-52; but as much as to say, this is the least part of the Counsel of God, the Jews being so inconsiderable in all their nation to the rest of the Elect; and yet he did not say this of his own spirit, but God prompted his thoughts to say it with his tongue in quite a different sense than he, the high-priest, meant it. Therefore the Holy Ghost will take up the matter now, where Caiaphas quite left it; and extend the Expediency of Christ’s Death, yea, the Necessity of it, that he should die for all the rest of the Elect, throughout the Gentile world, in the words that follow, “and not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad,” the children of God, not limbs of Satan.

The Elect here are called children of God before Conversion unto God; just as my children were my children before they were orderly and obedient to me, yea, before they knew me, or observed me; and because they were my children, and not strangers unto me, whilst I was once a stranger unto them; that is, once when I knew them, they knew not me. This my knowledge, notwithstanding their ignorance, was a sufficient reason, why I taught them afterwards {when capable} both to know me, and their obligations towards me. They never belonged one moment of their lives to another family, or to any other father of their flesh, Heb.12:9, that begat them. So Christ and the Elect were ever belonging to one family of children. Christ, as Mediatorial Head, and all “the children which God hath given” him, Heb.2:13; being the Children of God have had an Everlasting Relation to one another, never to be detached. There is a Mystical and Secret Adoption on the Father’s and the Son’s and Spirit’s side in the Covenant of Grace among themselves, before an open, visible Adoption under the Holy Ghost’s work according to that Covenant; which latter Adoption begins at the Operation of God by Faith, as is plain in Hebrews 2:13, “behold, I, and the children which God hath given me.” Children of God by Gift are distinct from the same children of God by Faith, and are children in the one Relation before they are children in the other. He hath given them me, says Christ, and yet what a multitude of them, when this was written, were not then born? And they that were given to be his children, were given before themselves were born, “thine they were, and thou gavest them me.” Jn.17:6. Mystical Adoption is an act of God the Father, and as the Father is first in Subsistence before the other Persons, so he is first in Operation before the other two; and therefore it is the Father’s work to adopt in the Son, as Mediator, for he adopted us in Christ; and Christ falls in with the Father, and adopted us from the Father’s Settlement. This is Federal Adoption and Mystical Adoption. ‘Tis from the Father’s Covenant with Christ; ‘tis in Christ. At last, after all when the children are capable of more, and God’s set time is come, then comes the Spirit, the Holy Ghost, and adopts them from the Father and the Son, or from and according to that Pattern of Adoption he beholdeth in the Eternal Settlements of Grace; and so proceeds in the promise of Free Grace to adopt by Influence and Virtue of the Electing Grace of the Father, and Redeeming Blood of the Son, brought home to the person and nature of the person, in life of Regeneration, light of Conviction, image of Sanctification, taste of Consolation, beauty of Communion, and earnest-tokens of Assurance; so that ‘tis plain in that text of John, “children of God scattered abroad.” The Holy Ghost calls the Elect, children of God, by mystical Adoption in Christ, from the Father’s Covenant, which gives them a sure, though a secret title already to all Grace in their Representative Head, antecedently to their influential Adoption through Christ, by the Holy Ghost in the lively image of children, in Regeneration; for here begins the open or visible image and nature of children, till they are brought on to an adult experience, and are granted that spirit of confidence, belonging to children, in assurance, to know God to be their Father, “and because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.” Gal.4:6. That is, every child crying out, upon the new and marvelous discovery, with the spirit of a child towards God, “my Father, my Father,” for this is a child’s particular and discriminate knowing of God to be his own Father by the Spirit.

Again, the Elect are God’s and Christ’s, as they are Christ’s given ones, whom he hath received of the Father by Donation, before they are called to be his people Efficaciously, under the Power of Renewing Grace, whatever Arminians and Middle-way men {who lay one half upon Grace and the other half upon Nature} say to the contrary. This appears by divers passages in the 17th of John, wherein our Saviour speaks of them to his Father, verse 2, “as many as thou hast given him;” thus the Son of God pleads with the Father, verse 6, “thine they were, and thou gavest them me,” and in verse 9, I pray for them, for “them which thou hast given me.” In verse 11, “holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me.” In verse 12, “those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost.” In verse 24, “Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me; for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.” Here we see how often it is insisted on, that they are given unto Christ, though all of them not as yet gathered unto Christ. “This is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.” Jn.6:39. Given to the shepherd, though not yet gathered into his folds and pastures. I know the Arminians shuffle it off to the disciples at their calling to the Ministry of Christ in that age, and so make it only to concern the Apostles; or if others be meant, they will allow no others but such as are spoken of at the time of their calling. But I shall produce you eight reasons to prove the gift of the persons to Christ there in John 17 does belong to them as Elect, and chosen, and then given to Christ by the Father, at the same time, before the foundation of the world; and not merely belong to them as Apostles, and others, at the time of their calling and believing.

First Reason: Their actions of keeping Christ’s Word, verse 6, and of their then knowing all things whatsoever the Father had given Christ Mediatorially, verse 7, as also their receiving the words which the Father had given Christ, and their knowing surely that Christ came out from the Father, verse 8, and the like actions, are all diversified from the act of the Father’s giving of these persons to Christ; whereas if it was at the calling of disciples to Apostleship, or of others at their Faith and Conversion, these actions should be identified, that is, made the same things with the act of God in giving the persons to Christ. For in the Arminian sense, there the gift must lie, the very nature and formality of the giving them, in that they, at calling, kept Christ’s Word, then knew all things whatsoever the Father had given him, received the words which the Father had given him &c.

Second Reason: The Father’s giving them to Christ could not be as they were called to Apostleship, and as others are called to Faith and Conversion, because then the giving them to Christ should have been expressed after they had known and Christ’s Word; whereas they were given first, that is, they were given before they knew and kept Christ’s Word. This appears by verse 6, “I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world; thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word.” 1. Observe that they were given by the Father to Christ; “the men which thou gavest me.” 2. They were given Christ by the Father out of the lump of mankind; “the men which thou gavest me out of the world.” 3. They were given before Christ had manifested the name of the Father unto these men; there lies the order, in the Father’s Donation of the persons to Christ, before Christ’s manifestation of the Father’s name unto the same persons, “I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world.” 4. They were the Father’s before they were given to Christ, they were the Fathers and were then given, “thine they were, and thou gavest them me.” 5. Lastly, their Faith and Obedience, their Compliance and Resignation, on, to and with the Lord Jesus, as the Scriptures had foretold, in the Promise of the Father unto Christ, follows, “and they have kept thy Word.” This is the Order, and so it appears in other verses.

Third Reason: They are prayed for as distinct from the world in God’s eye and Christ’s, and that is common to all the Elect, called and uncalled promiscuously, as well as the Apostles alone, or the men brought to Faith and Conversion in a separate Relation from the world. Secret separation is open to the eye of God, as open separation is manifest to the eye of man. Now, says Christ, “I pray for them, {for the given ones,} I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me, for they are thine.” Jn.17:9. Here he does not first say they are mine, {in contradiction to the world from their Faith, Calling, or Apostleship,} and yet if the Arminian Interpretation held out, he should have said thus, because if they were Christ’s by their Faith, before they were Christ’s by the Father’s gift, he must have said for they are mine; but because they were Christ’s by gift, before his by Faith, he alters the propriety of speech accordingly, and saith of them to the Father first of all, that “they are thine.”

Fourth Reason: All God’s and Christ’s are convertible Relations, and they have equal, mutual interests in the same persons, “and all mine are thine, and thine are mine,” verse 10; and can this appertain then only to the Apostles, and not the whole body of the Elect in general? ‘Tis spoken of the body of the head in the integral completeness of the members, and not of eleven men rescinded, or cut off from the body.

Fifth Reason: ‘Tis expressly declared in the chapter to be not for these alone; “neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word,” verse 20; upon what Foundation could Christ pray for those who did not believe, but should believe on him, except that of his Father’s gift of the same persons to him, from thence knowing the grounds on which, and the Provisions made ready in the Covenant for which they should certainly believe?

Sixth Reason: The Apostles and others are all put into one term alike, and that is “the given,” verse 24, “Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me;” and this privilege is to be extended jointly to all, and is not a matter of separate enjoyment limited to the Apostles, in this solemn Intercession of Christ, laid down as the model and platform of his other Intercession at the right hand of God. The beholding of Christ’s Glory in heaven belongs hereon to all the Elect, so that it’s mainly a shuffle in the Arminians to take it off from the Elect, as such, in this chapter; for, though the Apostles, and men as called, are expressed in it, yet Christ speaketh not of these only; and therefore even when he speaks of these, he doth not speak of these merely as they had been just now from there called and chosen into Discipleship; for indeed, the whole coherence speaks of the “given” ones, not in matters particularly restrained to the Disciples of Christ, but Christ speaks of them in matters common to all the Elect.

Seventh Reason: Christ speaks of these “given” ones upon the Ancient Settlements, verse 24, “for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.” Now, take this as Christ is Second Person in God, and the love wherewith God loved him in his Essential Holiness and Justice should rather have been an argument for God to have fought against them, and all the world besides, as impure, sinful creatures, and none righteous, no not one. Rom.3:10. Well, but take it as a Mediator, and it will be a strengthening plea for the suit Jesus Christ was managing, “Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me; for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.” The meaning is, thou lovest me in the same Nature with them, upon the Ancient Settlements of choosing me for them; and Father I will therefore, that according to that Counsel of Peace between us, Zech.6:13, between thee, the Father, and Me, the Son, that they be brought to be where I, the Son, I, in Glory, to behold how thou lovedst me, the Man viewed with delight by thee, and set up from Everlasting for them. There can be no other tolerable and consistent interpretation of this plea of Christ in the 17th of John; and this is comprehensive, and every way fitted to the Head of the Church to use to God, on the behalf of every member. Therefore ‘tis not said, my Disciples, nor my Apostles, but “those whom thou hast given me.” And as he used this when he drew towards the close of his prayer, so he observed the same argument in the beginning of it, pointing at this Eternal Life, to be given by Christ upon the Ancient Settlement. “That he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.” {verse 2} Now eternal life is such a comprehensive matter of the plea, in the Settlements of Grace from Everlasting, that eternal life belongs to all that are saved from first to last, as well as to the Apostles. And it was given {this Eternal Life} to as many as the Father had given him. What a poor plea was this to urge, as many as the Father had given him, when he had but eleven men in his eye? Pray, what does God himself object against this, Isa.49:6, in his Redemption-Grant and Covenant Charter unto Christ? “And he said, it is a light thing that thou shouldest be my Servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel.” He looked upon all the Jews who should ever be saved by this infinite plot of love, to be but a handful, and not worth his Son’s taking such a mighty toil upon himself, if all the rest of the Elect which God had chosen for him were not given unto him. Therefore it follows, “I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my Salvation unto the end of the earth.” And what now doth the Arminian think, when Christ comes to plead the finishing of this vast labor, “I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do,” Jn.17:4, that he prayed for no more than a few individual men, whom he intended of Disciples to make Apostles, and send them forth shortly into all the world? Are the Arminians no better men at numbers, than to maintain a Universal Redemption of all, and yet reckon this Intercessory Chapter of our Lord’s Prayer to the Father for his Redeemed to run upon no more comprehensive a style than to reach eleven men only? What though part of the prayer be particularly about the eleven, that it might be known Judas had no share in it? Does it follow thence, that all those given ones he so often urges in the chapter were only these Disciples? What sense is this?

Eight Reason: Christ speaks of these for whom he prays what must needs belong to all the Elect, and be intending for every one of them in that prayer, when he prays for their comprehensive Glorious-Union to be brought into One Body, and united openly at the latter day before the world in the Glory thereof, so as they are all presented to stand perfect as one body in Christ their Head, even as Christ stands and subsists in God, verse 21, “that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us.” This can never be consistently interpreted of the Disciples, more than the residue of the Elect. The Apostle Paul tells us the same thing. The ministry, says he, is to last “till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, {there’s their being all the one that Christ prayed for,} unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.” Eph.4:13. It’s a distinct Union which he prays for, even the Holy Ghost to give them one heart and spirit that they may be made meet for the Glory-Union. “Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.” Jn.17:11. As if he had said, thou art the Holy God, and how shall they be kept but through thy Holy Spirit, who essentially partakes of thy Holy Name? That the Spirit may dwell in them, as God dwelleth in the Son, and as the Son dwelleth in God; that is, that the Spirit may dwell so by his Person, and not his graces only, that are not thy Holy Name. Thus Christ pleads in matter that must belong to the whole body of the Elect, and not the eleven chosen only, and these too but into office, as the Arminians pervert it, on purpose to quash the Doctrine of Election from Everlasting. Nevertheless the Lord Christ admirably pleads their separate Relation from the family of hell, and from the world; for Satan judicially is the god of this world. II Cor.4:4. They {the Father’s given ones} are not of the world, as Christ is not of the world, verse 16, they are considered not as related to Adam, and so to all the world, but as related to Abraham, who was called out of Ur; even as I {saith Christ} am not considered to have taken on me the seed of Adam at large, but the seed of Abraham in particular. They are of an Election-seed as members, even as I am of an Election-seed as the Head of those members, and the world strangers to us both. These are some of the arguments among others which John 17 affords, to prove that the persons there insisted on to have been given to Christ were the body of the Elect, and not the Disciples, or Apostles only.

Once more, they are called the people of Jesus before they are saved from their sins. “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS; for he shall save his people from their sins.” Mt.1:21. Sure, if there was anything that could make the Elect, before their Effectual Calling, belong unto the family of hell, it must be sin; and if near akin to the devil, it must be by some of that means which made him a devil. Yet ‘tis plain, sin could not do this to the Elect. Oh! Infinite Grace! And the same Grace that gives me God’s presence in receiving it! Grace, Grace, stored up for the Elect, and kept in store for them in Christ, even when they have known him not! They were his people at that very time of the infancy of Jesus Christ, and just whilst brought forth into the world! It is not said they shall be his people hereafter, when this infant is grown up, and they whom he saved from their sins have repented of them; or that they shall be his people as soon as they have fulfilled some conditions of the Covenant of Grace; nor, they shall be his people when this infant Jesus enters publicly into his Office, preaches the Gospel to men, and those men who hear it shall receive it and believe on him. {Oh, these Fundamental Parts of Grace; the Lord’s people belonging to him first, though they do not perceive it, and saved as his people next!} But they are his people, when Mr. Hunt and his Neonomian party, that are but Arminians turned over leaf in the matters of Free Grace, and First Grace, would have given the text the classical dash, and have commented, that they are yet to be his people till they repent and believe. It took up a succession of time for Jesus of Nazareth to grow up, to lie hid, as it were, thirty years without notice, and then to be three years and a half more in the exercise of his public ministry, before he suffered upon the cross, to make Reconciliation for Iniquity, and Remove the Iniquity of a land in one day; that thereby, viz., in his sufferings, an actual Salvation might be made fully ready at hand; and so hence, says the Holy Ghost of these that were to be saved from their sins by this child born of Mary, “he shall save them from their sins.” {“Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.” Dan.9:24. “Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, thou, and thy fellows that sit before thee; for they are men wondered at; for, behold, I will bring forth my servant the BRANCH. For behold the stone that I have laid before Joshua; upon one stone shall be seven eyes; behold, I will engrave the graving thereof, saith the LORD of hosts, and I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day.” Zech.3:8-9.}

It was then to be done visibly, according to the Pattern of its having been done Mystically in and among the Persons of God. I say, only visibly according to the Mystical Pattern in the Ancient Settlements of Grace; for this Jesus tells us elsewhere, “the Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do; for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. For the Father loveth the Son and sheweth him all things that himself doeth; and he will show him greater works than these, that ye may marvel.” Jn.5:19-20. The Father had before federally by his own act towards the Son saved them in him who had covenanted to be slain for them; and by reason of the Responsibleness of this Chosen and Settled Mediator, they were then Mystically Saved in him between the Father and Christ; but all this was to be done over visibly, and shown openly in the same matters of external fact by the Second Person, acting only in it according to the Patterns in the Everlasting Settlements; and going to work in all by the commandment he had received of the Father. Jn.10:18. Now in this sense Jesus was yet to save them from their sins; therefore he shall save them from their sins. But mark, what are they to be saved from their sins, called, in the language of the Holy Ghost, before this last, open saving them? Why, his people; the people of that Jesus, a Saviour. He had his Name given him to suit with the Design of his Office, Salvation to his people, as his name was Saviour, in the present tense, and his Office to save in the future tense; so the persons for whom the office was settled and undertaken were his people in the present tense, Rev.18:4, though that Office was to be executed towards them in the future tense.

Lastly, the Elect are called the Lord’s people before their own willingness to give up themselves under him. “Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power.” Psal.110:3. ‘Tis plain that these people were spoken of as a people viewed in their rebellions and disobedient carriage towards Christ, in great willfulness and obstinacy, hard-heartedness and impenitency; for the Scripture knows no medium between willing and unwilling. If they were to be made willing, they were to be made so of unwilling, and what are the unwilling but the disobedient and rebellious? And yet as early as David’s time these poor, miserable sinners are called the Lord’s people. “The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool,” Psal.11:1; then the LORD, the Father, declares his grant by David, a type of Christ, to the LORD Mediator, “thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power.” Now this was a long time before the willingness of any of them in the New Testament times came to pass. Their willingness was not to be till the day of Christ’s power; and that power must be by the Holy Ghost, though that very Holy Ghost was not yet given to draw men to Christ, even under the time of Christ’s own preaching, but was a blessing to be afterwards bestowed as a fruit of Christ’s Death and Resurrection; and the earnest of his Ascension into Heaven, II Cor.5:5, and Glory there in our nature with the Father. Wherefore, he says elsewhere that “the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.” Jn.7:39. Not yet given, neither as the Powerful Cause of Conversion under the Gospel, nor as the Efficient Cause of Consolation, to seal up that sort of Conversion {Conversion to Jesus Christ;} so then, this day of the Lord Christ’s Power was deferred, and the first great Execution and Manifestation of it by the Gospel, after he was gone to Heaven, was on the Day of Pentecost, Acts 2, where the events do harmonize and agree with what is foretold in this Psalm 110, and fall out according to what was foretold should be brought to pass for him in the Day of his Power, and that because he hath finished all things by his Obedience and Sufferings that were necessary to make way for the Execution of this Power; therefore Christ in the day thereof exerts it towards the souls of his own people.

Well, the name {we see} of the objects upon whom this Power for willingness to be turned to the Lord, must fall, is the Lord’s people, “thy people shall be willing.” It is not a people that shall be thy people only after they are willing, but thy people shall be willing, even while thy power comes, and finds them before unwilling; the people of that disobedience were owned as the Lord Christ’s people, not only after God and Christ had made them willing; but whilst God and Christ beheld them to hang back and remain in their unwilling nature. Yet ‘tis “thy people” still. Here’s no term given them which suits with the family of hell, no near of kin to the devil in this sweet and supernatural language of the Gospel, nor do any but the corrupter sort teach, that men may be God’s people today, and through their own fault, the devil’s people tomorrow.

The Arminians teach this Doctrine, to whom the name of Predestination is hateful, as Dr. Abbott hath observed among others of the old Church of England divines. The Papists are agreed with them in the same matter, for I remember, that though Clement of Alexandria, who lived about 200 years after Christ, speaks of Predestination clearly and honorably, yet the Popish Scholiast, Friedrich Sylburg, at Paris, durst not so much as put that word in his index, at the end of the Paris Edition of that book. The Lutherans of the modern classes do jump with them in the same matter, being fierce and professed enemies to the Doctrine of Election. Stuckius in his Book of Angels, saith everything mentioned of them in Scripture, except the Foundation of all, in that word of the Holy Ghost by the Apostle, I Tim.5:21, “elect angels.” The reason of it must be, because the foundation of it lies in Free and Sovereign Grace. Now Free Grace is a stumbling block, not only to the vulgar, the mob, who take up any evil principle our practice from the men they depend on, but to learned heads. The Popish writers have evermore their flings at Election, thinking thereby to blast the Reformation; {and I am sure it must be blasted if it springs out of any other root, as the greatest part of that which is called Reformation is blasted at this day, without any fruits of holiness; and the blast is come down to our very Nonconformists.} Jerome de Prado, the Jesuit, who laid the foundation for those magnificent volumes of Villalpandus upon Ezekiel, tells us, that this Doctrine hath a lustful tendency to make every man live as he lists; and do not the Papists abundantly deserve this character themselves of living as they list, who yet damn Predestination? Their own Catherine Senensis, or their holy Virgin of the city of Siena among the mountains of Provence in France, has called the religious {very many of them} worse than devils. See her Tracks of Dialogues, in chapter 125, that were printed at Ingolstadt in Bavaria, and published there in the year 1583. Their Popish Bernard, speaking of the clergy of his times, declares of their topping priests and golden doctors; that they prepared pasturage rather for devils to feast on, than the flock of Christ to feed on.

Robert Holcot, their schoolman, upon the Book of Wisdom in the Apocrypha, declares they are priest of Priapus, {the heathen’s filthy god of lust,} and angels of the bottomless pit; and yet these are the men who first scandalized the professors of Predestination. And pray, are not the modernist stigmatizers of it abundance of such as these? The Church of Rome who hath indulged theft and fortification, among the members of her body, as I am able to prove, and of sodomy among her clergy, are the men that have taught them their lessons! Predestination is counted an odious Doctrine among the Papists. Sigebert the chronicler, and Nauclerus of the same talent, and others, have called it a heresy. Acques Sirmond, a French scholar and Jesuit, has written a whole treatise which he calls the Predestination Heresy; and the learned are no strangers to the history of Gottschalks, and how that monk in the Ninth Century was most cruelly handled by Hincmar, Archbishop of Themes for maintaining the Doctrine of Election; which caused the furious Scot, Johannes Eriugena, to write against the Doctrine of Augustine, and so pay off that ancient through the sides of the Orthodox Monk; whilst Bertram, otherwise called Ratramnus, a priest, wrote for the said Doctrine of Austin. Nevertheless his works, except one treatise upon their idol of transubstantiation, where judged worthy by Pope Clement the eighth to be taken up upon a capias by the Inquisition-index, and were accordingly prohibited, and laid under restraint, soon after the Reformation. Oh! How this foundation of God has been struck at by the devil’s men! And though the body of the Papists have been against it, yet there has been a remnant of witnesses for that Doctrine, even among the Roman party; as Thomas Bradwardine, {Bradwardine near 300 years ago, De Causa Dei, 1344, wrote not only for Predestination, but of Justification in Christ before the Foundation of the world,} Peter Lombard, {known as the Master of the Sentences,} the Cardinal Petrus de Alliaco, together with Cornelius Jansen and his followers. Learned men of the Lutheran party are enemies to this Doctrine. Matthias Haffenreffer, a divine of Tubing, in the Duchy of Wurttemberg in Germany was for no other Predestination than a decree to save all the world of individuals. Calvin answers the raillery of Baldwin upon this subject. Besides, when the Lutheran princes and states in the German diets, especially that blameless one at Augsburg, exhibited and gave in the Confession of their Faith to Charles the Fifth, then Emperor of Germany, they wholly left out the article of Election, which therefore stands omitted to this day in the Articles of the Augsburg Confession {a Confession not august enough, though made of their Faith to Caesar, when they render not in it to God the things that are God’s, Mt.22:21;} nor is the least notice taken of it by their Commentator Johannes Pappus, who hath more largely explained the substance of these articles. Nevertheless, I find that Chemnitius in his Harmony of the Evangelists, completed afterwards by their Johann Gerhard, who owns that our Election is not placed {as the Arminians hold it} in our selves, but in the good pleasure of God; and yet is so fierce against Calvin for the branch of Predestination in its opposite to the Election, that like a true son of Luther he calls him wolf, lion and tiger. Also, their famous and learned Jesper Brochmand was for preaching this Doctrine of Predestination to the people in the congregation. But I pass these things.

You see I have dwelt somewhat upon the point, an Election of Christ the Head, an Election in Christ of the members given to that Head. But now to return a little to Mr. Hunt. “There is, says he, much talk this day, how little Conversion work goes on, and {he adds} I partly believe it, but don’t much wonder at it; for if Christ is not preached, how should souls be converted? What should they be converted to? And how unlikely are they to turn to him, if they do not in some measure know the Excellency of him?” {Page 183} And pray how do they in some suitable measure know the excellency of Christ in the Covenant, and in one of the main grounds of the Father’s Acceptation of him for us, if they do never preach him, or know that they ought to preach him, according to Election, and the Father’s settlements, who by his own Son and by the Holy Ghost has preached him so to us? And how do they preach Christ for Conversion that never preach him as an Elect, precious corner-stone? {“Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, behold, I lay in Zion a chief corner stone, elect, precious; and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.” I Pet.2:6.} Nor teach the people that Faith on him is founded in the gift of God to him? “All that the Father giveth me {before the Fall} shall {now, after the Fall, and all its sinful and miserable consequences} come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” Jn.6:37. Why are practical books in this very matter written and sent abroad in the Arminian strain? For when men have charmed the controversy asleep, they never mind Election in their smooth language, but “whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.” Mk.8:38. Election in a manner is shut out of every practical book, and I know of no practical book in the world can stand good by itself without it. And yet we have many men pretend to hear Christ’s words, and like the foolish builder built their house without the Foundation. Alas! All their doctoring is but a summer’s tent of pleasure that will never stand when the rain descends, and the floods come, and the winds blow, Mt.7:27, and beat up on their nature-shed in winter.

Now upon the Election-bottom, the Holy Ghost, knowing infallibly who the Elect are, what people, and who by name, Rev.3:4 with Jn.10:3, will make such Preaching of the Gospel, as the preaching of Christ Elect, and the Elect in him, effectual to discover them by power, and bring them in by Regenerating and Converting Grace. He is the Holy Ghost sent down from Heaven with the Preaching of the Gospel to the same end; and therefore it is their foolish, conceited plea to object we don’t know who are elected, and who are not. No matter, so long as the Holy Ghost doth authorize us to preach Christ, and Conversion to Christ still upon Election; we are to leave the discerning Efficacy of the Word, as to individual persons, in the Lord’s hands, and to let the Holy Ghost alone to find out who the Elect are under such Doctrine. “For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance.” I Thes.1:5. That is not preaching Christ which is only naming him, and never opening one Mystery of the Gospel belonging to him. Nor is that the preaching which often names him, that is accompanied with his own Presence on the heart. But preaching Christ according to what the Holy Ghost owns, is, as we are taught of God clearly and consistently, according to the Settlements of Grace in Christ Jesus before the world began. “Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.” II Tim.1:9. Many others too complain that Conversion-work goes on slowly. True, for preaching Christ, “according to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord,” Eph.3:11, is a sort of preaching goes on very slowly too. I find where the right preaching of Christ goes on, there the work goes on some ways proportionately; but preachers and people indeed are generally so afraid of Antinomianism {and it were better by half they were more afraid of their unbelieving hearts, than of that which they call Antinomianism} that their main labor has been to suppress the Gospel in that way which the Spirit most owns it; and so have quenched the Spirit, even as they have despised these prophesyings, for they go in couples. I Thes.5:19-20. They have ridiculed Christ, Grace and Free Justification by an unscriptural Gospel, under the pretense of a Scripture-Gospel defended against the Libertines; and therein ignorantly or enviously run the Libertine and Antinomian into one and the same idea, which I have distinguished and opened in another Chapter of this book.

Oh! Every time I read these oppositions to Antinomians so-called, I find they are admirable means to propagate the Antinomianism they strike at, and make me redouble that language between God and my own soul, blessed be God, yea, forever blessed be God for Free Grace! For through that Free Grace {which a great many brave men do all their days stumble at, and from press and pulpit labor to scare men with, under the bug-name of Antinomianism, which name as these men intend it and oppose it, I wear for Christ and the Gospel’s sake, and can truly say, I value more than a chain of gold about my neck, though I know some poor Godly Saints both in London and the country are too much disturbed at the honor of this reflection, if men truly understood it; well, it is through free Grace thus struck at that} the Elect never did belong to the family of hell, and never were near akin to the devil, as our brother phrases it in the rampant style of Arminians, which some cannot, or will not see, as others that do, like it never the worse for that. I, but God’s thoughts are not as our thoughts; he had other thoughts and other knowledge of the Elect, that such a degenerate character, in their greatest revolts and apostasy. For even whilst they were wicked and rebellious, they continued as Christ’s secret children still! Always sheep, and never made by any change goats. The children of God, and in no case the children of hell! The people given to Christ, and never given to the devil. The people of Jesus, and were never of kin to Satan. The people of the Lord to be made willing in the day of his power; but even whilst wicked and unwilling never belonging to the family of hell.

Objection: The Elect before calling are strangers to God, Eph.2:19, and therefore before Faith and Conversion are such as belonged to the family of hell. “Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God.” Eph.2:19. No more strangers implies and proves they were once so.

Answer: It is not said strangers to God, but strangers; and the following part of the words explain in what sense they were strangers; for, says the text, now you are fellow-citizens with the saints; therefore heretofore you were strangers to the saints, among whom ye are now gathered in Gospel Order, and placed in the Fellowship of the Gospel, Phil.1:5; but never in that estrangedness unto them strangers unto God; for ‘tis not said thus, but oppositely in another text, “the Lord knoweth them that are his,” II Tim.2:19; as Faith and Conversion do not make them known to God but to the Churches of Christ.

Objection: But the main text of Scripture presented to thwart this, is, Romans 6:16-17, “know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.” Here now, someone may say, the doctrines vindicated in this chapter are confuted in Romans 6, for what can be plainer, than that this text proves the Elect of God before Calling and Conversion, belong not to God, but belong to the family of hell, and are near of kin to the devil. Were servants of sin, but now have obeyed the Gospel.

Answer: The denomination in our argument is from the better part and not the worse. ‘Tis from children and not servants, as servants belong not in their Relation to a family as the kindred, much less as the offspring thereof, but are as hirelings and aliens from the family still in it. A son or a daughter, being a child, is another sort of relation than a servant, and not to be alienated from the proper family, or capable to lose his own family-descent, for he cannot by service in another family be near of kin unto it. A child may be another man’s servant besides his father’s servant, and this successively, or at different times; yet whilst for a time he belongs to the business of another family, he belongs not to the blood of it, and therefore belongs not properly to another family, nor ceases to belong to the blood of his own, as long as he lives. No, for a child, whether son or daughter, can never cease to be the father’s child by entering a strangers service. Consequently, obeying of sin does for that time denominate him that obeys it the servant of sin, howbeit it does not alienate him from being a child of God, though it does so from being a servant of God, in the same service of sin. And so much for this chapter in its two reasons amplified.