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OF THE PERSEVERANCE OF THE SAINTS.
THEY whom God hath accepted in his Beloved, effect ually called and sanctified by his Sprit, can neither totally nor finally fall away from the state of grace; but shall certainly persevere therein to the end, and be eternally saved.
II. This perseverance of the saints depends not upon their own free-will, but upon the immutability of the decree of election, flowing from the free and unchangeable love of God, the Father ; upon the efficacy of the merit and intercession of Jesus Christ ;e the abiding of the Spivisited me not. Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, in as much as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. Mat. xxiii. 23. Wo unto you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites; for ye pay tithe of mint, and anise, and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith; these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.
I. a Phil. i. 6. Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you, will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. 2 Pet. i. 10. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things ye shall never fall. John x. 28, 29. And I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither shall any pluck them out of my hand. My Father which gave them me is greater than all: and none is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. 1 John iii. 9. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin, for his seed remaineth in him and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. 1 Pet. i. 5, 9. Who are kept by the power of God, through faith, unto salvation, ready to be revealed in the last time. Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.
II. b 2 Tim. ii. 18. 19. Who concerning the truth have erred, saying, that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some. Nevertheless, the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, the Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. Jer. xxxi. 3. The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with loving kindness have Į drawn thee.
c Heb. x. 10, 14. By the which will we are sanctified, through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. Heb. xiii. 20, 21. Now the God of peace that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work, to do his will, working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight,
rit, and of the seed of God within them; and the nature of the covenant of grace :e from all which ariseth also the certainty and infallibility thereof.f
through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen Heb. ix. 12 to 15. Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood, he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. For if the blood of bulls, and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh; how much more shall the blood of Christ, who, through the eternal Spirit, offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And for this cause he is the Mediator of the new testainent, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they, which are called, might receive the promise of eternal inheritance. Rom. viii. 33 to 39. Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth: who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea, rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? (As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.) Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors, through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus, our Lord. John xvii. 11, 24. And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name, those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are. Father, I will that they also whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory which thou hast given me for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world. Luke xxii. 32. But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not; and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren. Heb. vii. 25. Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost, that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. d John xiv. 16, 17. And I will pray the Father, and he shall giva you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him, for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. 1 John ii. 27. But the anointing which ye have received of him, abideth in you: and ye need not that any man teach you: But, as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him. 1 John iii. 9. Whosoever is born of God, doth not commit sin, for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, be cause he is born of God.
e Jer. xxxii. 40. And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me. f John x. 28. And I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither shall any pluck them out of my hand. 2 Thess. iii. 3. But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you
III, Nevertheless they may, through the temptations of Satan and of the world, the prevalency of corruption remaining in them, and the neglect of the means of their preservation, fall into grievous sins ; and for a time continue therein whereby they incur God's displeasure, and grieve his Holy Spirit ;k come to be deprived of some measure of their graces and comforts; have their hearts hard
from evil. 1 John ii. 19. They went out from us, but they were not of us for if they had been of us, they would, no doubt, have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest, that they were not all of us.
III. g Mat. xxvi. 70, 72, 74. But he denied before them all, saying, I know not what thou sayest. And again he denied with an oath, I do not know the man. Then began he to curse and to swear, saying, I know not the man. And immediately the cock crew.
h Psal. li. (the title) 14. To the chief musician, a psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet came unto him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba. Deliver me from blood-guiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness.
i Is. Ixiv. 5, 7, 9. Thou meetest him that rejoiceth, and worketh righteousness, those that remember thee in thy ways: behold, thou art wroth, for we have sinned in those is continuance, and we shall be saved. And there is none that calleth upon thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee: for thou hast hid thy face from us, and hast consumed us, because of our iniquitics. Be not.wroth very sore, O Lord, neither remember iniquity for ever: behold, see, we beseech thee, we are all thy people. 2 Sam. xi. 27. And when the mourning was past, David sent, and fetched her to his house, and she became his wife, and bare him a son: but the thing that David had done displeased the Lord.
Eph. iv. 30. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
1 Psal. li. 8, 10, 12. Make me to hear joy and gladness: that the bones, which thou hast broken, may rejoice. Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free Spirit. Rev. ii. 4. Nevertheless, I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Cant. v. 2, 3, 4, 6. I sleep, but my heart waketh it is the voice of my beloved that knocketh, saying, Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled: for my head is filled with dew, and my locks with the drops of the night. I have put off my coat, how shall I put it on? I have washed my feet, how shall I defile them? My beloved put in his hand by the hole of the door, and my bowels were moved for him. I opened to my beloved, but my beloved had withdrawn himself, and was gone: my soul failed when he spake: I sought him, but I could not find him; I called him, but he gave me no answer.
m Isa. Ixiii. 17. O Lord, why hast thou made us to err from thy ways? and hardened our heart from thy fear? Return for thy servant's sake, the tribes of thine inheritance. Mark vi. 52. For they considered not the miracle of the loaves, for their heart was hardened. Mark xvi. 14. Afterward he appeared unto the eloven, as they
ened,m m and their consciences wounded ;n hurt and scandalize others, and bring temporal judgments upon them
OF ASSURANCE OF GRACE AND SALVATION.
ALTHOUGH hypocrites, and other unregenerate men, may vainly deceive themselves with false hopes and carnal presumptions of being in the favour of God and estate of salvation;a which hope of theirs shall perish ;b yet such as truly believe in the Lord Jesus, and love him in sincerity, endeavouring to walk in all good conscience before him, may, in this life, be certainly assured that they are in
sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.
n Psal. xxxii. 3, 4. When I kept silence, my bones waxed old; through my roaring all the day long. For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Psal. li. 8. Make me to hear joy and gladness: that the bones which thou hast broken, may rejoice.
o 2 Sam. xii. 14. Howbeit, because, by this deed, thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die.
p Psal. lxxxix. 31, 32. If they break my statutes, and keep not my commandments; then will I visit their transgressions with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes. 1 Cor. xi. 32. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.
1. a Job viii. 13, 14. So are the paths of all that forget God, and the hypocrite's hope shall perish; whose hope shall be cut off, and whose trust shall be a spider's web. Micah iii. 11. The heads thereof judge for reward, and the priests thereof teach for hire, and the prophets thereof divine for money: yet will they lean upon the Lord, and say, Is not the Lord among us? none evil can come upon us. Deut. xxix. 19. And it come to pass when he heareth the words of this curse, that he bless himself in his heart, saying, I shall have peace, though I walk in the imagination of mine heart to add drunkenness to thirst. John viii. 41. Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one father, even God.
b Mat. vii. 22, 23. Many shall say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
the state of grace, and may rejoice in the hope of the glory of God; which hope shall never make them ashamed.d
II. This certainty is not a bare conjectural and probable persuasion, grounded upon a fallible hope; but an infallible assurance of faith, founded upon the divine truth of the promises of salvation,f the inward evidence of those graces unto which these promises are made, the testimony of the Spirit of adoption witnessing with our spirits that we are the children of God; which Spirit is the earnest
c 1 John ii. 3. And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. 1 John iii. 14, 18, 19, 21, 24. We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren: he that loveth not his brother, abideth in death. My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue, but in deed, and in truth. And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him. Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence towards God. And he that keepeth his commandments, dwelleth in him, and he in him and hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit that he hath given us. 1 John v. 13. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God: that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.
d Rom. v. 2, 5. By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And hope maketh not ashamed, because the love of Ged is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost, which is given unto us.
II. e Heb. vi. 11, 19. And we desire that every one of you do show the same diligence, to the full assurance of hope unto the end. Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the vail.
f Heb. vi. 17, 13. Wherein God willing more abundantly to show unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath that by two immutable things, in which it was im possible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us.
g 2 Pet. i. 4, 5, 10, 11. Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises; that by these you might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And besides this, giving diligence, add to your faith, virtue; and to virtue, knowledge. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: for so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly, into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 1 John ii. 3. And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. 1 John iii. 14. We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren: he that loveth not his brother abideth in death. 2 Cor. i. 12. For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly to you-wards.
h Rom. viii. 15, 16. For ye have not received the Spirit of bondage