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Deut. 4. 37, be loved thy fathers, and chose their seed, compared with Deut. 7. 6,7. But of that election, which is the designation and enrolment of the heirs of eternal salvation: or, as Paul speaks 2 Thess. 2. 13, by which God hath, from the beginning, chosen you to salvation, through fanElification of the spirit and be
lief of the truth. God has VI. For this purpose the BOOK OF LIFE, is so frefeveral
quently mentioned in Scripture: it will not then be books.
improper, here to enquire, what is intended by that appellation. That God has no book properly so called, is self-evident: but as men write down, those things in books, which they want to know and keep in memory; so the book of God denotes the series of persons and things, which are most perfectly known
to God. Moreover, the Scripture speaks of several 1,Ofcom- books of God. ist, God has a book of common promon pro- vidence, in which the birth, life and death of men,
and everything concerning the same, are inserted; Pf. 139. 16, in tby book all my members were written.
2dly, There are also books of judgment, in which the judgment. actions, good or bad, of every man in particular are
written, Rev. 20. 12, and the dead were judged out of those things, which were written in the books, according to their works. These books are mentioned in the plural number, as if each particular person had his own peculiar book assigned him, lealt the good, or bad, behaviour of one should be put to the score of another, and thence any confusion should arise. By which is signified the most exact and distinct knowledge of God. And because, in other respects, God knows all things at one intuitive view of his under. standing, this very book is mentioned in the singular
number, Mal. 3. 16, a book of remembrance was writ3, Oflife, ten before bin. 3dly, There is also the book of LIFE ; either na- which is three-fold. 1, Of this NATURAL LIFE, of tural, which Moses speaks Exod. 32. 32. Where entreat
ing the face of the Lord, who had said, he would consume Ifrael in the wilderness, and make Moses
a great nation. Moses prays, that God would preservë his people, and bring them into the inheritance of the land of Canaan, offering himself, at the same time, instead of the people : yet now, if thou wilt, forgive their fin: and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book, which ibou bast written. As if he had said, “ I accept not the condition offered of preserving “ me alive, and encreasing me greatly after the def“ truction of Israel: I choose rather to die an un“ timely death, than that Israel should be destroyed * in the wilderness.” 2, Of a FEDERAL and ec- or ecclesia CLESIASTICAL life, consisting in communion with aftical, the people of God. Which is the register, not only of those internally, but of those externally in covenant, mentioned Ezeck. 13. 9, they shall not be in the assembly of my people, neither shall they be written in the writing of the house of Israel; and Ps. 87. 6. The Lord sball count, when be writeth up the people, that this man was born there.
3, Of LIFE ETERNAL, or eternalı mentioned, If. 4. 3. Dan. 12. 1. Phil. 4. 3. Luke 10. 20. Rev. 3.5: 13. 8: 20. 12 ; and 21. 27; which book fignifies the register of those predestinated to life eternal.
VII. Further, as the book of God denotes not one The writ. and the same thing; fo the writing of persons in any bekof
ing in the of these is not always the same. The writing of some life allo is only imaginary, consisting in a fallacious judgment various, concerning ourselves or others, too easily presuming either our own, or the election of others, such as was that of those, who cried out, Jer. 7. 4, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord are these: and of the people of Sardis, who were faid to live, tho' they were really dead, Rev. 3. 1. There is another inscription which is indeed true, but it is only human, in the book of the federal life, done either by the man himself, by a profession of the faith, subscribing as with his own hand, I am the Lordos; IS. 45.5; or by the guides of the church, inferting such a person in the list of professors, and ac
him for a member of the church, of the visible at
immediately prove also of use to us. Election
VIII. This election to glory, is not fonie general is the special desig
decree of God about saving the faithful and the godly, nation of who shall persevere in their faith and piety to the end the heirs of their life ; but a particular designation of certain inof falva- dividual persons, whom God has enrolled as heirs of
salvation. It is not consistent with the perfection of
there mentioned. οριζειν. fig
IX. The very term, mpoopíšev, to predestinate, which nifies to the Apostle more frequently uses on this subject, point out does not obfcurely discover, this truth. For, as opíctor a certain signifies to point out, or ordain a certain person person.
(Acts 17.31, by that man, whon spise be batb ordained,
nation ; fo Apoopocev, as applied to the heirs of eternal life, muft signify, to enroll, or write down some certain persons; as heirs, in the eternal testament.
X. This is what Christ said to his Disciples, Luke 10. 20, rejoice, because your names are written in hee: The ven. Where he speaks to them by name, and af- names of fures them of his election, and bids them rejoice on
the disci. that account. Which is certainly of much greater ten in hea
ples writimport, than if he had said in general, “ rejoice be-ven. « cause God has established, by an eternal decree, t that he would make all believers happy in heaven, " though he has thought nothing of
you by name: for in this manner, according to the opinion of our adverfaries, these words were to be explained. • XI. What the Apostle, Phil. 4. 3, expressly afferts concerning Clement and his other fellow-labourers, As also of
Clement that their names were in the book of life ; ought to be and sufficient for determining this enquiry: since impu- others. dence itself dares not wrest that to a general decree of fome condition. For, ift, The name of a person 'is one thing, the condition of a thing, another. He who determines to inlift none but valiant men for foldiers, does not write down the names of fome foldiers in the roll. 2dly, The condition of falvation is but one, but the Scripture always speaks in the plural number of the nanies written in the book of life. Therefore the writing down of the names is one thing, the determination of some condition another. 3dly, It is certain, that the Apostle, and other facred writers, when they say, that some men, or the names of fome, are written in the book of life, do always, by that very thing, distinguish them from others, who are not inserted. But, according to the opinion of our adversaries, the appointment of this condition imports no actual distinction between men. Because notwithstanding that decree, about saving believers and those who obey it, it may be possible, according to their principles, that none should believe, obey, or be saved. 4thly, All these things will be more cogent, if we attend to the original of
this metaphorical expression. The fimilitude is
of the inheritance.
I know whom I have chosen, whether there is nothing certain ascribed to God, or to Christ, in these words, but perfons, what the least in the school of Christ knows, that
they who believe in, and obey Christ, are the pe-
ment, of some certain perfons.
as were all the counsels or decrees of God in general, made
for, known unto God are all his works from the beginn