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according to the purpose of him who worketh • all things after the counsel of his own will.' E. ven the most free Acts of the Creature, and the moft casual Things, are foreordained of God: Prov. xxi. 1. 'The king's heart is in the hand of • the Lord, as the rivers of water : he turneth it • whithertoever he will.' Chap. xvi. 33. ' The lot • is cast into the lap : but the whole disposing there. • of is of the Lord.' Yea, evil Actions, as well as good ones, fall within the Compass of his Decree : Achs ii. 23. ' Him, being delivered by the deter• minate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye
have taken, and by wicked hands have cruci. • fied and Nain' But with this Difference, that he decreed bis effecting of Good, and his permitting of Ill. Now, whatsoever Gud hath foreordained, infallibly comes to pass. And his Decrees are unchangeable : I/. xlvi. 10. Declaring the end from
the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall
stand, and I will do all my pleasure. Yet Men have no Excuse for their Sin, from the Decree of God, Acts ii. 23. above cited : For they fin out of free Choice, without the least Knowledge of, or Force
them from the Decree : Afts xiii. 27. 'For they that dwell at Jerusalem, and their
'rulers, because they knew him not, nor yet the « voices of the prophets which are read every • fabbath-day, they have fulfilled them in con
demning him.' The Design and End of God's Decrees is his own Glory : Rom. xi. 36. For of
him, and through him, and to him, are all things :
to whom be glory for ever:' And therefore he will certainly get Glory of whatsoever comes to pass, IS. xlvi. 10. forecited. As to sinful Actions,
he will get either the Glory of his Mercy in par-
and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are
his judgments, and his ways past finding out! But taking Counsel, even in himself, is not comperent to God in a proper Sense : because his infinite Understanding comprehends all Things perfectly at once. They are said to be according to the counsel of his will, as depending on nothing without himself: Rom. xi. 34. "For who hath • known the mind of the Lord, or who hath been • his counseller
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Quest. 8. How doth God execute his Decrees?
Anf. God executeth his Decrees in the Works of Creation and Providence.
God's For of
EXPLICATION. God's executing his Decrees, means his bringing to pass what he hath decreed: And he does that in the Works of Creation and Providence. And nothing falls out in either of them, but wbat was
decreed; nor otherwise than as it was decreed : Eph. i. 11. ' In whom also we have obtained an inheri
tance, being predestinated according to the purpose
of him who worketh all things after the counsel • of his own will.' Zech. vi. 1. ' And I turned, • and lift up mine eyes, and looked, and behold, • there came four chariots out from between two • mountains, and the mountains were mountains 6 of brass.
Quest. 9. What is the work of Creation ?
Anf. The Work of Creation is, God's making all Things of Nothing, by the Word of his Power, in the Space of fix Days, and all
EXPLICATION.. The World was not eternal, but had a Begintning, Gen. i. 1. It will also have an End: And it will end by Fire, being burnt up, 2 Pet. iii. 10.; and that in Virtue of the Curse lying on it for Man's Sin : Gen. iii. 17. And unto Adam he said, « Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of ' thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree of which I ' commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of 'it: cursed is the ground for thy fake ; in sorrow • shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life.' God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, made the World: 1.Cor. viii. 6. But to us there is but one God,
the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him ; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are
: Eph. nheriurpose unsel urned, ehold, en two antains
the f fix
all things, and we by him.? John i. 3. Alt things were made by him ; and without him was
not any thing made that was made. Psal. xxxiii. 6. ' By the word of the Lord were the heavens * made: and all the host of them by the breath of
his mouth. He made it in the Beginning of Time, but a few thousand Years ago : Gen. i. 1. 'In the beginning God created the heaven and
the earth. He then made all Things : And there was no Person, nor any thing before that, but God himself: Col. i. 16. 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. So he made them of nothing ; and that by the Word of his Power, commanding them to be: Heb. xi. 3. Through faith we understand " that the worlds were framed by the word of 'God; so that things which are seen, were not 'made of things which do appear. Now, all Things were made in the Space of fix Days: Exod. xx. 11. ' For in six days the Lord made heaveni
and earth, the sea, and all that in them is. The Works of the firft Day were, the highest Heavens, -Gen. i. 1. with the Angels, the inhabitants thereof, 706 xxxviii. 4. 7.; the shapeless Mass of Earth and Water, and the Light. The Works of the fecond Day were, the Firmament, and the divia ding thereby the upper and lower Waters. The Works of the third Day were, the Seas; and the dry Land, Herbs, and Trees. The Works of the fourth Day. were, the Sun, Moon, and Stars. The Works of the fifth Day were, Fish, and Fowl. The Works of the sixth Day were, first, the Beasts
ve in m are
of the Earth ; and then, laft of all, Man, Male and Female: Gen. i. throughout. The Goodnefs of God shines forth in this Order of the Creation, in that the Places were prepared before the Dwellers, the Food before the Eaters, and all necessary for the Use of Man before Man himself. As for the Case all Things were made in, they were made all very good: Gen. i. 31. 'And God faw every
thing that he had made, and behold, it was very good;' that is to say, very fit for the Ends and Uses for which they were made. Wherefore, the Angels were all made holy and happy. And some of them did continue in that State, 1 Tim. v. 21. 'I charge thee before the elect angels, &c; but others of them finoed, and fell, and became Devils, Jude 6. And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under
darkness, unto the judgment of the great day.' 2 Pet. ii. 4. God spared not the angels that sinned, 6 but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into
chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment.'
Quest. 10. How did God create Man?
Anf. God created Man Male and Fem male, after his own Image, in Knowledge, Righteousness, and Holiness, with Dominion over the Creatures.
EXPLICATION. By Male and Female, is meant Man and Woman. The Man was first made, and then the Wo. man, iTim.ii.13.; and the Woman was made to be a