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said these are they who come out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple, and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more, neither shall the sun light on them nor any heat ; for the Lamb, who is in the midst of the throne, shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters, and shall wipe away all tears' from their eyes." It is evident that vast multitudes of sinners will be saved. For of the heavenly city it is said, “ The nations of them who are saved, shall walk in the liglit of it.” To many redeemed sinners, the Lord Jesus Christ will say at the judgment of the great day
Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the founda. tion of the world.” As it is certain many will be saved, so it is certain that their salvation is wholly of God. The Holy Spirit says to the faithful in Christ Jesus, " By grace are ye saved through faith ; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God before ordained that we should walk in them." Now it seems inconsistent to admit that God saves those persons who are saved, and yet to deny that he decreed their salvation. For if God saves a part of mankind,
and yet did not purpose to do it, he has with out design effected the greatest of all his works. To suppose that God does what he did not design and decree to do, as a very pious minister has declared, “ is to represent the Almighty as inferior to our common artists on earth.” If it were possible for a rational being to act without design, in such actions he would be destitute of goodness and of wisdom. Were a man so to act, he would be accounted a fool. Since a certain part of mankind will be saved, it is evident that God is not the cause of their salvation, or that he has done what he did not design to do, or that he decreed that they should be saved. But who can doubt whether God saves his redeemed people, or whether he designed their salvation? There are then as good reasons for believing that God decreed what number and what persons shall be saved, as there are for believing that any sinners will be saved.
10. God always knew what number and what 'persons would be saved. It is written, “Known unto God are all his works, from the beginning of the world.” When Paul was at Corinth, “ The Lord spake unto him in the night by a vision, Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace : for I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee. For I. have much people in this city.” As God knew who would repent and believe, at Corinth, he commanded the apostle to stay there and preach the gospel. And as God is omnis
cient, he foreknows whatsoever comes to pass. But can what is uncertain be known ? And is not every thing, which is not determined, wholly uncertain ? To suppose God knows, who will be saved, and yet that he has not de. creed who shall be saved, implies that what is uncertain may be certainly known. If sinners have a self-determining power, if they can, independently of divine efficiency, repent, or not repent; believe, not believe ; then it is uncertain what they may do, and their conduct cannot be foreknown. We are told by the Holy Spirit, that “God worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.” But if sinners act, independently of divine influ. ence in their salvation, then their salvation is not after the counsel of the divine will'; but it is according to the independent self determinations of their own wills. And whether any thing will ever determine their self-determining power, or whether their self-determining power will ever determine any thing, can never be determined. If God has not decreed, who shall be saved, he could not foreknow who would be saved. And then the most important of all events must have been unknown to God. And if God does not foreknow the most important of all events, what reason is there for believing that he knows any thing? A denial of the divine decreees respecting the salvatiou of immortal souls, denies the essential attributes of Jehovah. It denies the foundation of the divine predictions. It contradicts the divine declarations. It also rejects the plainest conclusions of reason and common sense: We may therefore, with as much reason, plunge ourselves into the gloomy and perplexing darkness of total scepticism, as we can deny that God has decreed what number of the human race, and what persons shall be saved.
Finally, Let us consider what the Holy Spirit has said on this very important subject.On a subject of such importance, there is reason to believe, that the holy scriptures afford vesy plain and decisive instruction. Has God, in his true and faithful word, ever said that he has not decreed who shall be saved ? Has he denied the doctrine of election ? The Psalmist says, “ The Lord said unto my Lord, sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool. The Lord shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion; rule thou in the midst of thine enemies. Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power.” By Isaiah it is said, " Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him, he hath put him to grief. When thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul and be satisfied.”. The Lord Jesus Christ said, “ Many are called, but few are chosen,” Again he said, “Except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved ; but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.” He also said, “ All that the Father giveth me shall come to me, and
him that cometh to me, I will' in no wise cast. out.” And again, “ My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow Ine. And I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither shall any pluck them out of my hand. My Father who gave them me is greater than all : and none is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.” In his prayer he says, “ Father, the hour is come, glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee. As thon hast given him power over all filesh that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. I pray for them; I pray not for the world, but for them whom thou hast given me. Nei. ther pray
I for these alone, but for them also who shall believe on me through their word.” When the apostle preached at Antioch, the Jews were filled with envy, and spake against those things which were spoken
by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming.” Then Paul and Barnabas turned to the Gentiles, and preached the gospel. And of the Gentiles it is said, “ As many as were ordained to eternal life believed.” To the saints at Rome tlie apostle writes, “ And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son. Moreover, whom he did predestinate, them he also called, and whom he called, them he also justified, and whom he justified, them he also glorified.”Again he says, “ Even so then, at this present