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sons given to Christ out of the world, and who stand opposed to the world, as these do, 6-9. nor are the words spoken of them as apostles, but as given to him by, an act of special grace, as united to him, meinbers of him, and believers in him; and as such, preserved by him: and if the preservation of thein as such was secured to them, by being thus given to him, why may not the preservation of all other true believers in hiin be equally as sure and certain ? nor is this said of their preservation from a temporal death; and that this might be fulfilled, he requested what he did, chap. xviii. 8, 9. but as the other things Christ speaks of, and prays for in this chapter, are all of a spiritual kind; such as sanctification, union, eternal glory; it is most reasonable to suppose, that this was of the same kind. Besides, if preservation from temporal death is meant, the sense would be, Those that thou gavest me I have kept froin a temporal death, and none of them is lost, by a temporal death, but the son of perdition, he is lost by a temporal death: which last was not true; Judas was not, at this time, lost in such sense; he had not yet betrayed Christ, and it was after his condemnation that he went and destroyed himself. To which may be added, that as Christ had kept those that were given him, he prays his Father would keep them in like manner, 11. now if he prayed they might be kept from a temporal death, he was not heard, and yet he is always heard; for as for his disciples, they all died a violent death, suffered martyrdoin for his sake; though they were all, in a spiritual sense, preserved to his kingdom and glory, as all true believers will be. Moreover, as it was from evil that he desires his Father would keep them, it was the same which he kept them from, namely, from the evil of the world; not from suffering reproaches, afflictions, and persecutions in it; for such he has given all his followers reason to expect; but froin sinking under t'em, and being overcome by them, so as to drop their profession of him; and from the evil one, Satan, under whose influence the world is; and from the evil of sin in the world. The time of Christ keeping those that were given him, while I was with them in the world; the expression does not imply, that he was not then in the world when he said these words, for he was, though the time of his departure was at hand; nor that he should be no longer with them when removed out of it; for though he would not be with them, as to his bodily presence, yet with respect to his spiritual, powerful, and all-preserving presence, he would be with them still, and with all his people, to the end of the world: nor does the expression imply, that Christ's keeping those that were given him, was confined to the time he was in the world as to the flesh; for at his death he did not deliver up the kingdom to the Father, or the care and charge of his elect; this will not be done till his second coming; when he will say, Lo, l, and the children, even all the children, thou hast given me; till then, all the elect remain under the care and keeping of Christ. The manner in which he herps them is in his Father's name, in the name of the Majesty of his God; in which he stands and feeds them, as Mediator, through a delegated power

and authority comınitted to him as such; and in his gospel, and the doctrines of il,

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called his name, verse 6. in the faith of the gospel, and in the profession of it, so as not to relinquish either; and, indeed, so as to be lost, no, not one of them, that is, to be eternally lost; for it is both his own will, and the will of his father, that not one of those who truly believe in him, no not the least of them, should ever perish, John vi. 39, 40. and whereas it inay be said, there is an instance in the text of one that was given to Christ who perished, Judas. The answer is, that though Judas was given to Christ, and chosen by him as an apostle, yet was not given to him by an act of his Father's special grace; nor was he cho. sen in him, and by him, and united to him, and a member of him, as the rest were; nor does it appear, from all accounts of him, that he ever was a partaker of the true grace of God; and so no instance of the apostacy of a real saint. Judas stands distinguished from the rest of the apostles, in the choice of Christ; I speak not of you all; I know whom I have chosen, that is, to eternal life ; for otherwise, Judas was chosen as an apostle with the rest; Have I not chosen ye twelve, and one of you is a devil? and vi. 70. and as here, a son of perdition; and was never considered as an object of his, or his Father's love, and so was left to that perdition to which he he was appointed, that the scripture might be fulfilled, which foretold it; and the particle but, is not exceptive but adversative; and does not imply, that he was one of those given to Christ to be kept,

but the contrary.

vii. When the apostle says of God, 1 Cor. i. 8, 9. Who shall confirm you to the end, &c. --faithful is God, &c. to do it; with other passages of the same kind, these are so many proofs of the saints' final perseverance.

The blessing itself promised and assured, is confirmation, or establishment, in Christ; in faith in Christ, in the grace of faith, and in the doctrine of faith, and in holiness: the author of it is God; though ministers may be instruments of establishing the saints; God is the efficient: he has promised it; and he, as the God of all grare, is able to do it, and will; He which establisheth us with you in Christ - is God, 2 Cor. i. 21. and the duration of it is to the end; not for a short time, but to the end of life; so that such shall endure to the end, or finally persevere; yea, so confirmed are they, that they shall be unblameable at, and be preserved blame. less to the coming of our Lord Jesus; though not in themselves, yet in him, who will then present them to himself glorious, and without spot; and to his Father faultless, before the presence of his glory, with exceeding joy. And to do all this, the faithfulness of God is engaged, which is observed in the several passa ges; and which faithfulness of this he will never suffer to fail; and therefore the confirmation, and the preservation of the saints to the end, even to the coming of Christ, are sure and certain; and their final perseverance in grace to glory, out of all doubt.

VII. It is said of those who are elect, and are begotten again, that they are kept by the power of God, through faith, unto salvation, 1 Pet. i. 5. they are kept in the love of God, in the covenant of grace; in the hands of Christ, and on his

VOL. II.

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heart; in him, the strong hold, and on him, the foundation; in a state of grace hoth of sanctification and of justification; and in the paths of truth and holiness they are kept from Satan, not from luis temptations, but from destruction by him; and from false teachers, and their errors, from being carried away with them, and finally deceived by them: and from sin, not from the indwelling of it in the hearts of believers;, por from all acts of sin in their conversation; but from the dominion, power, and tyranny of it; and from a final and total falling away through it. The means by which they are kept is, the power of God, which is as a fortress to them, inexpugnable; where they are opepeye vos, kept, as in a garrison, as the word significs, and so are safe and secure; there being no might or power of men or devils, that can withstand break thiough, or weaken the power of God. Likewise they are kept, through faith, in the power of God, and in the person and grace of Christ; through faith looking Christ, living upon him, and leaning on him; through that faith which ovei, comes the world, and every, spritual enemy; and through the views it has of: eternal glory, and so the believer endures, as seeing what is invisible : and what they are kept unto, is salvation; the full possession of that salvation which Christ is the author of, and they are heirs of; and which shall be completely enjoyed in a future state ; to which, and till they come into it, their perseverance is certain. There are many other passages of scripture, which mnight be produced in proof of this doctrine; but these are sufficient. I pass on,

II. To observe those arguments in proof of the saints' final perseverance, taken from various sacred and divine things.

Į. From the perfections of God; whatever is agreeable to them, and made necessary by them, must be true; and whatever is contrary to them, and reflects dishonour on them, must be false. The doctrine of the saints' final persever. ance is agreeable to, and becomes necessary by them, and therefore must be true ; but the contrary to it, that of the apostacy of real saints, so as to perish everlastingly, is repugnant to them, and reflects dishonour on them, and therefore must be false. The perfections of God, which are manifestly displayed in the doctrine of the saints final perseverance, and by which it is confirmed, are the following. — 1. The iinmutability of God. God is unchangeable; this is asserted by himself, I am the Lord; I change not: and he himself drew this inference from it, therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed; ye that are Israelitęs indeed perish not, nor ever shall; and after God himself, we may sately draw the same conclusion: If they are consumed, or perish everlastingiv, he must change in his love to them, he never does, but rests in it; and his pusposes and designs concerning thein. And those whom he has appointed to salvation, he must consign over to damnation; and his promises of grace made to them, and his blessings of grace bestowed on them, must be reversed; and yet he will not alter the thing that is gone out of his lips, nor change bis mind; for he is of one mind, and who can turn him? The doctrine of the saints' final perseverance asserts the unchangeableness of God, and does honour to it; but

the contrary doctrine makes him changeable in his náture, will, and grace, and reflects dishonour on him, with whom there is no variableness or shadow of turning.– 2. The wisdom of God appears in this doctrine; and whose wisdom is seen in all his works of nature, providence and grace; and is very conspicuous in the salvation of his people; which it would not be, should they perish. No wise man, who has an end in view, but will devise and make use of proper means; and will, if in his power, make those means effectual to attain the end, or he will not act a wise part. The end which God has in view, and has fixed, with respect to his people, is the salvation of them; and it can never be consistent with his wisdom to appoint insufficient means, or not make those means effectual, which it is in his power to do; which must be the case, if any of those he has appointed to salvation should perish. Now as he has fixed the end, salvation, he has provided his Son to be the author of it, by his obedience, sufferings, and death; and has appointed as means to the enjoyment of this salvation, the sanctification of the Spirit, and the belief of the truth; for which purpose he sends his Spirit to sanctify them, and work faith in them, whereby these means become effectual, and the end is answered; and so the wisdom of God is highly displayed and glorified. But where would be his wisdom to appoint men to salvation, and not save them at last? to send his Son to redeem them, and they be never the better for it? and to send his Spirit into thein, to begin a good work of grace, and not finish it? But this is not the case, he has put the work of redemption into the hands of his Son, who has completed it; and assigned the work of sanctification, in its beginning, progress, and issue, to the divine Spirit, who is equal to it, and will perform it; and throughout the whole, God abounds towards his people in all wisdom and prudence. 3. The power of God is greatly concerned in this affair. Such who are elect, 'according to the foreknowledge of God, and are regenerated by his grace, are kept by his power to salvation, so that they shall never perish, but be everlastingly saved. Not only salvation is appointed as walls and bulwarks to them, which is a sufficient security; but God himself is a wall of fire about them; and no enemy can possibly break through such walls, bulwarks, and fortifications, to destroy thein. God is all powerful, his power is irresistible, nothing can withstand it, nor over: come it; nothing in carti and hell is a match for it. And this power of his can never be weakened, nor his hand shortened, that he cannot säve; which must be the case, if any of those kept by his power perish. — 4. The goodness grace, and mercy of God, confirin this truth. Tlie mercy of God is from ever: lasting to everlasting, &c. which it would not be, should any of those that truly fear him perish; His compassions failust; which they would, should any of his be consumed; but because of his tender mercies they are not consumed: no can it be thought that that God, who is gracious and merciful, abundant in goodness and truth; who has, of his abindant mercy, begotten again his elect; and because he is rich in mercy, and for his great love to thein, has quickened them when dead in trespasses and sins; will, after all this, suffer them to fall, so as to perish everlastingly; no, the Lord will perfect that which concerneth them, his work of grace upon them, and the whole salvation of them : the reason is, Thy mercy, O Lord, endures for ever! and then follows a prayer of faith; For. sake not the works of thine own hands! which God never will, Psal. cxxxviii. 8.

- 5. The justice of God makes the perseverance of the saints necessary. God is righteous in all his ways and works, and so in the work of salvation. He is a just God, and a Saviour ; his justice is, and must be glorified, in the salvation of men, as the other attributes of his; and it is through Christ's making satisfaction for sin, and bringing in everlasting righteousness. And can it be inagined that God should accept of the righteousness of his Son, and express a well-pleasedness in it, because by it his law is magnified and made honourable ; that he should impute it to his people, and give them faith to receive it, and plead it as their justifying righteousness ; and yet, after all, suffer them to perish? Nay, where could be his justice, to punish those for whose sins Christ has made satisfaction, and God himself has discharged upon it? It is not consistent with the justice of God to punish sin twice; once in the surety, and again in those he has redeemed; which must be the case, if any for whom Christ suffered should perish eternally; for to perish eternally, is the same as to be punished with everlasting destruction. – 6. The faithfulness of God secures the final perseverance of the saints; God is faithful to his counsels, to his covenant, and to his promises concerning their salvation, and will never suffer his faithfulness to fail; which must fail if they perish. But God is faithful, who has called them by his grace, and will confirm them to the end; will not suffer them to be tempted above what they are able to bear; will establish them, and keep them from evil; and will preserve them blameless to the coming of Christ; faithful is he who has promised, who also will do it.

11. The final perseverance of the saints, may be concluded from the purposes and decrees of God: which are infrustrable, and are always accomplished ; The Lord of hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul it; or make it void, and of no effect? and his hand is stretched out, to execute his purposes, and who shall turn it back from doing the thing he is resolved on? as he has thought, so shall it come to pass; and as he has purposed, it shall stand, Isai. xiv. 24, 27. though

be a thousand devices in the hearts of men and devils, they can never counteract, nor under mine the decrees of God. His counsel shall stand, every purpose of his, and particulasly his purpose according to election : which stands not upon the foot of works, but upon the will of him that calls, which is unalterable and irreversible. The election hath obtained, or the elect, in all ages, have obtained righteousness, life, and salvation; it is not possible they should be deceived; nor can any charge be laid against them by law or justice, and therefore must be sayed. Election is an ordination of men to eternal life, and therefore they shall never die the second death; it is an appointment of them to salvation, and therefore they shall be saved; they are chosen to obtain the glory

there may

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