|Author:||Coles, Elisha, 1608?-1688.|
|Title:||A practical discourse of God's sovereignty with other meterial points, deriving thence.|
|Publication Info:||Ann Arbor, Michigan: University of Michigan, Digital Library Production Service
2011 April (TCP phase 2)
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A practical discourse of God's sovereignty with other meterial points, deriving thence.
Coles, Elisha, 1608?-1688.
London: Printed by Ben. Griffin for E.C., 1673.
Attributed to Elisha Coles by Wing.
Reproduction of original in Huntington Library.
God -- Righteousness.
Providence and government of God.
An Accompt of the Treatise and Publication.
A PRACTICAL DISCOURSE OF Gods Sovereignty.
OF THE RIGHTEOƲSNESS of GOD.
Inferences from the Righteousness of God.
I. There is an Election of Men to Salvation.
II. Election is Absolute.
III. Election is Personal. AND IV. It is from Eternity.
V. Election is in Christ. OR, The Elect are Chosen in Christ.
VI. That Election is founded upon Grace: Or, The good pleasure of God's will, is the only Original Cause and Motive of Election.
1. How can this Doctrine stand with the [General] love and good will of God towards Men; who ('tis said) will have all to be saved? 1. Tim. 2. 4.
2. How shall this kind of Election be reconciled with Acts 10. That God is no Respecter of persons?
3. If Men be ordained to Salvation absolutely, What need or use is there of good works?
There is no Election, nor Decree of Election, of particular persons as such; but of the intire species of Men from Eternity?
God hath not decreed from Eternity to Elect any person of Mankind upon any terms, but that in case he liveth to years of discretion, he may possibly perish?
Threatnings of Damnation are absolutely inconsistent with a peremptory Decree to conferr Salvation?
We judge it a very senseless pant n a further, to give his child compleat assurance under hand and Seal, that he will make him his against all possible interveniences; and yet presently threaten him, if he be not dutiful, to disinherite him?
In case any person were so adjudged to Eternal life from Eternity, that there is no possibility of miscarrying; then there was no necessity of Christs dying for him?
We judge such an Election to be an open Enemy to God∣liness, For who will strain and toil himself for that which he knows he shall obtain by an easie pace?
It must needs make men very remiss and lose in the Ser∣vice of God.
Such a Notion of Election, layes the honour and neces∣sity of that great Ordinance of Preaching the Gospel, in the dust: For, if the Elect (so called) shall as certainly be saved by a weak, simple, or Corrupt Ministry, and this (it may be) enjoyed but a day or two in all a Mans life, or loosely attended upon, wherein is the Ministry of the Gospel to be esteemed?
Of what great consequence to the World, are the Ri∣chest Gifts of Wisedom, Knowledg, Ʋtterance, &c. if all thse who are in any possibility of being saved by them; may and shall as certainly be saved without them?
Vpon what account can Men be pressed to a fre∣quent, diligent, conscientious, attendance on the Mini∣stry; if Salvation, and consequently Preparation, and Meetness for Salvation, shall as certainly be had by a broken, careless, superficial, attendance in this kind?
Such an Election as we contend against, we judge to be most unworthy the most excellent Nature of God; and to be at manifest defiance with His Wisdom, Holiness, Mercy, Justice, &c.
Doth it argue any Sovereign or high strain of Grace, when Ten Thousand have equally offended, to pardon oe or two; and implacably resolve to punish and torment all the Rest to the utmost extremity? And this against all possible interveniency of Sorrow and Repentance for their fault?
From the Personality of Election, I Infer.
Then, from the Antiquity of Election.
V. From the Doctrine of Chosing in Christ:
VI. The founding of Election upon Grace, Affords Ʋs di∣vers useful instructions: As,
Other useful Instructions from the Doctrine of Election in General and Together.
Let me add a few Tokens more of True love, according to the Carriage of it among Men.
But whence is it, That Believers, who have trusted God for their Souls, should yet make so difficult of Trusting Him for their Outward Man? And so Comber themselves with unprofitable burden?
For the [I] of These.
This Couclusion is drawn from sueh premises as these;
[II] That Christ gave Himself a Ransom for the Elect: Or. The Re∣demption wrought by Jesus Christ, was peculiarly designed for Elect Persons.
The Ground and Truth of this Assertion, is further confirm'd by such Arguments as these:
Is it not plain by Rom. 5. 14, 15. That the Restauration by Christ is as large and extensive as Adam's sin?
But if some onely are Redeemed, And Those but a Few in Comparison; Then all ground of Believing is taken away from the most of Men?
Redemption is often set forth in terms that import a Ʋniversality: As, That Christ takes away the Sin of the World: That He is the propitiation for the Sins of the whole World, &c.
The Reason why all Men are not Saved, is not because Christ did not die for all; but because they will not Believe?
[III] That the purpose and end of Christ's death cannot be fru∣strate: Or Those whom Christ dyed for, cannot miss of the be∣nefits accruing by His death.
OF Effectual Calling.
That what ever things are requisite to Salvation, are gi∣ven of God freely, to all the Elect; and wrought effe∣ctually by the Divine Power; as the necessary Means of that Salvation, to which He hath appointed them.
I. What these Requisites to Salvation are.
II. Whence these Requisites to Salvation come?
I It cannot be wrougbt by a Natural power; and that for these Reasons (among others.)
II. The New Creature is not wrought by the Concur∣rence of Divine and Natural Power [together:] For,
III. That the New Creature is the Product of Divine Power alone.
III. Our next Enquiry is, Who those blessed Ones are to whom these Requisites to Salvation do belong? and by what Title?
Quer. In the 1 John 16. it is said, That to them which Received Him, He gave power to bcome the Sons of God: which seems to put their believing before their Sonship.
IV. Our last Enquiry is, Of the Way and Manner of God's Dispensing spiritual Blessings? And that is, Effectually and Freely.
Promises of the Condition.
All men universally, Others as well as those you call the Elect, have a sufficiency of Means for Salvation?
Men have as full a sufficiency of Means, as is just and meet for God to give?
But if a sufficiency of Means to Repent and Believe, be not afforded to All; how shall God be just in punishing for Neg∣lects?
Where it is said, I will write my law in their hearts; and cause them to walk in my Statutes, &c. There is no more intended by it, but the Giving of Things or Means proper to such an End, if they will but Improve them?
But, is it not said, To him that hath shall be given? i. e. He that Improves what he hath shall have more; If they use Common Grace well, they shall have Special?
Men are commanded To make them a New heart; which must imply, an Ability So to do: For, how can it be just, to require things impossible; And that under so se∣vere a penalty?
Why then are Men injoyn'd attendance on the Means, if there be so little in them?
But, To what end is the Gospell preached in terms vniversal, and Ʋniversally to All; if some particular and determi∣nate persons onely, can Receive it?
Man is a Rational Creature, and accordingly to be proceed∣ed with: But this way and manner of Conversion, de∣stroys all Freedom of Will; and makes Conversion a Com∣pulsory thing
Three or four Things (in seeking for spiritual blessings) be sure to keep still in your mind.
OF Perseverance OR The certain and effectual Progress of Election.
That all and every one of God's Elect, being once Regenerate and Believing; are and shall invinci∣bly be carried on, to the perfect obtainment of Blessedness and Glory.
III. A third sort of evidence for Confirmation, are certain Arguments or Reasons why the Saints must needs Persevere in Faith and Ho∣liness.
The Doctrine of Absolute Perseverance deprives Men of the sharpest bit which God hath given them to Curb the unregenerate part of the Soul: We mean the fear and dread of Eternal fire?
If a Man once believing cannot lose his faith, Why is it said, Let him that standeth, take heed lest he fall? and Look to your selves, that we lose not the things we have wrought? If no possibility of losing, what need such Cau∣tions, and so great Circumspection?
We read in John 6. 60. That many of Christ's disciples for∣sook him: In Timothy, Of some, who as concerning the Faith, had made Shipwreck: And of Simon Magus, who once believed, and was afterwards found in the bond of Iniquity?
If one that believes not Now, may have faith hereafter; Then, one that is Now a Believer, may lose his faith, and turn Apostate?
A Righteous Man may turn away from his Righteousness; and that so, that he shall dye for it; Ezek. 18. 24.
The Promise of Perseverance, is not made to Faith, that That shall not fail; but in reference to the favour of God, viz. That if Men go-on to Believe, they shall abide in his love?
Others agen, dispose Otherwise of those Promises, recorded in the 36 of Ezek. and 32 of Jeremy, touching Men's not∣departing from God; Restraining them to the Jewish Na∣tion, and to the last Dayes.
This Doctrine of Absolute Perseverance, lays the Reigns of Security on the Neck of the flesh, and of the old man in be∣lievers?
The next thing, in course, is To consider What improvment may be made of this Doctrine: Which, one would surely con∣clude, of very great usefulness, since the Scriptures are so greatly concern'd about it.