Page images

REJECTION XII. They do utterly DENY, that 6 election of particular persons is made without consideration of faith and perseverance therein, as the condition pre-required in him that is to be chosen [unto glory.]

THE REASON. But the mercy of the Lord is from exerlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him [considered as such). Psalm ciii, 17, 18.—The Lord hath set apart the man that is godly for himself. Psalm iii, 3.—To him that ordereth his conversation aright, will I shew the salvation of God. Psalm 1, 23.-Thou hast a few names, even in Sardis, which have not defiled their garments, and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy. Rev. iii, 4.- I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction. Isa. xlviii, 10. - Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. James i, 12.-Who through faith and patience inherit the promises. Heb. vi, 12. See Heb. x, 36; Rev. vii, 14, 15. See also the proofs of the Second and Fourth affirmatives, pages 97, 101.

REJECTION XIII. They do utterly DENY, that particular men are reprobated from eternal life, without consideration had of sin and infidelity and perseveranee therein, as going before.

THE REASON. Whosoever sinneth-him will I blot out. Exodus xxxii, 33. See the Second and Fourth Affirmatives, pages 97, 101. Without are dogs. Rev. xxii, 15.-The unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God. 1 Cor. vi, 9. See 2 Thess. ii, 12; Luke xiv, 17, 21, 24.



The EXECUTION of God's decree sheweth what the decree itself was; for God “ worketh [in time] all things according to the counsel of his own will” from eternity. Eph. i, 11. So that man must be considered in the decree, as he is considered in the execution of it: Otherwise the act decreeing, and the act executing should have respect to different objects, and consequently this act could not properly be called the execution of that decree. For instance: If a decree be past against T. B. as a Malefactor, and R. S. doth arrest T. B. being clear and innocent ; this action cannot be said to be the execution of the former decree, which was made against T. B. the Malefactor, though R. S. pretends to do it in pursuance of the same. So in other cases. But, in the execution of the Divine decree of Election and Reprobation, we see men are looked upon according to their several qualifications. « Then shall the King say, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you : For I wus an hungered, and ye gave me meat.-Go, ye cursed : For I was fc. Matthew xxv, 31, 41.

He shall render to every man according to his works. To them who, by patient continuance in well-doing, seek for glory and honour and immortality,-eternal life : But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, -indignation and wrath. Rom. ii, 6–9.-For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye, through the Spirit, do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.” Rom. viii, 13. See Psalm xi, 5 to the end ; an emphatical place!


THEY HOLD. “ That all the children of the faithful are sanctified in Christ; so as none of them, departing this life before they come to the use of reason, can perish."

PROOFS OUT OF SCRIPTURE. The seed of the woman shall bruise the serpent's head. Gen. iii, 15. This seed (which is Christ,) was promised before ever any seed of mankind was conceived: Christ came, to seek and to save that which was lost. Matt. xviii, 11; Luke xix, 10; see Matt. xviii, 11, 12, He came to destroy the works of the Devil. 1 John iii, 8.-As, by the offence of one, judgment came upon all men to condemnation, even so, by the righteousness of One, the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. Rom, v, 12, 18.-For as much as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself took part of the same, that through death he might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the Devil, and deliver and make reconciliation, &c. Hek. ii, 14, 15, 17.-Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not ; for of such is the kingdom of God. See Psalm cxxvii, 3. Consider 1 John ii, 12, with Matt. xix, 14.


REJECTION I. They do utterly DENY, that some infants (children) of the faithful are to be accounted in the number of reprobates."

THE REASON. For if the first-fruits be holy, the lump also is holy; and if the root be holy, so are the branches. Rom. ii, 16.-And I will establish my covenant between me and thee, and thy seed after thee in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee and to thy seed after thee. Gen. xvii, 7.-The promise is unto you and to your children. Acts ii, 39.-Words, whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved. Acts xi, 14.Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved and thy house. Acts xvi, 31.-The unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; else were your chidren unclean, but now are they holy, 1 Cor. vii, 14.

REJECTION II. They utterly DENY, that some infants of the faithful, departing this life in their infancy, before they have committed any actual sin, in their own persons, are reprobated."

THE REASON. That be far from thee, to do after this manner--to slay the righteous with the wicked, and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee! Shall not the Judge of all the earth' do right? Gen. xviii, 25.- Thou hast had pity on the gourd, for the which thou hast not laboured, neither madest it to grow, which came up in a night, and perished in a night: And should not I spare Nineveh, wherein are more than six score thousand persons, that cannot discern between their right hand and their left ? Jonah iv, 11.-What mean ye that ye use this proverb, saying, The Fathers have eaten sour grapes and the children's teeth are set on edge ? (See Deut. xxiv, 16;2 Kings xiv, 6.) As I live, saith the Lord God, ye shall not have occasion any more to use this proverb. Behold all souls are mine: as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die. Ezek. xviii, 2, 3, 4.-In those days, they shall say no more, The fathers have eaten a sour grape, and the children's teeth are set on edge. But every one shall die for bis own iniquity, every man that eateth the sour grape, his teeth shall be set on edge. Jer. xxxi, 29, 30.

REJECTION III. They do utterly DENY, that the sacred laver of baptism and the prayers of the Church, can no ways avail such infants unto salvation."

THE REASON. The sacred laver of baptism," Sc.7 Go ye therefore, and disciple all nations, baptizing them, &c. Matt. xxviii, 19.-The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us. 1 Peter, iii, 21.-He saved us by the washing of regeneration. Titus iii, 5. Christ loved the church, and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word. Ephes. v, 25. 26.-Arise and be baptized, and wash away thy sins; for the promise is to you and to your children. Acts ii, 38, 39; xxii, 16.-As many as have been baptized into Christ, have put on Christ; and there is now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus. Gal. iii, 27; Rom. viii, 1.

And the prayers of the Church,&c.] This the confidence that we have in him, that if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us. And if we know that he hear us,—whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him. If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life, for them that sin not unto death. 1 John v, 14-16. And shall not God hear the prayers of the Church in behalf of Infants ?

REJECTION IV. They do utterly DENY, that some of the faithfuls' children, baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, while they live in the state of their infancy, are reprobate by an absolute decree."*

THE REASON OF THIS, Appears sufficiently in the Reasons of those Negatives fore. mentioned.

* At the close of their First Article, the Dutch Remonstrants thus address the members of the Synod, of which they were then selves allowed to form no part, but were called the CiTED PERSONS : “ Most reverend Fathers and Brethren, you have now before you the proposition of our opinions respecting the First Article on Election and Reprobation. These sentiments we are






Whether of Divine and peremptory Election to [glory or] eternal life, the first and adequate object be all and only those which persevere in true faith unto their lives' end, as s such: or certain particular persons not at all considered as believing and persevering in faith, as such.

See all the Texts alleged for Conditioned, and against Absolute Irrespective Election, pages 95–110.

prepared to defend ; we are also prepared to combat the contrary opinions, which are those of the Contra Remonstrants. We think it greatly concerns the Truth itself, the glory of God, our own conscience, and the editication of the Churches, for us to propose these opinions in this order, and to explain and defend them as much as we are able and as far as we shall think needful.”

In the Acts of the Synod, it is stated, “ In addition to this, the Synod declared it to be displeasing to them, that the Cited Individuals, in the • propositions exhibited, had employed themselves more in rejecting the

opinions of other people than in stating their own; that they disclaimed " those sentiments which were not their own, rather than asserted what were 'really theirs; and that they had mixed many topics in their First Article, ' which belonged more properly to those which had to succeed. It was therefore resolved to admonish the Remonstrants, that in their subsequent Articles they might beware of these grievances, and pay a stricter attention to the commands of the Synod.”

The next day, which was the 14th of Dec. 1618, the Remonstrants were enjoined to have their other Four Articles ready to exhibit on the 17th of the same month. " It was also the pleasure of the Synod 'to warn the CITED • PERSONS to prepare their propositions in an affirmative rather than in a • negative manner, that a judgment might be the more easily formed con• cerniug their sentiments : Were it afterwards their wish to refute the con"trary doctrines, they should be at liberty to add their Rejections. When the Remoustrants had been called in, they received these injunctions from the Synod. The President also reminded them, that they ought in preference to apply themselves to a discussion of those questions which related

to the sweet doctrine of ELECTION, and not in an odious manner agitate " that of REPROBATION.'' The Remonstrants answered, that they would & take into consideration the admonitions which had been given by the • President.'

This was very good advice; but it was not the most disinterested, when proceeding from men who were the great teachers of UNCONDITIONAL REPROBATION. The result of this admonition will be seen in a note, at the close of these Five Articles.-EDITOR.

« PreviousContinue »