Home > Election > God saved the elect to display the riches of his mercy

God saved the elect to display the riches of his mercy

Chapter III

 

CONCERNING ELECTION UNTO LIFE, OR PREDESTINATION AS IT RESPECTS THE SAINTS IN PARTICULAR

HAVING considered predestination as it regards all men in general, and briefly shown that by it some are appointed to wrath and others to obtain salvation by Jesus Christ (1Th 5:9), I now come to consider, more distinctly, that branch of it which relates to the saints only, and is commonly styled election. Its definition I have given already in the close of the first chapter. What I have farther to advance, from the Scriptures, on this important subject, I shall reduce to several positions, and subjoin a short explanation and confirmation of each.

POSITION 5. -The salvation of the elect was not the only nor yet the principal end of their being chosen, but God’s grand end, in appointing them to life and happiness, was to display the riches of His own mercy, and that He might be glorified in and by the persons He had thus chosen.

For this reason the elect are styled vessels of mercy, because they were originally created, and afterwards by the Divine Spirit created anew, with this design and to this very end, that the sovereignty of the Father’s grace, the freeness of His love, and the abundance of His goodness might be manifested in their eternal happiness. Now God, as we have already more than once had occasion to observe, does nothing in time which He did not from eternity resolve within Himself to do, and if He, in time, creates and regenerates His people with a view to display His unbounded mercy, He must consequently have decreed from all eternity to do this with the same view. So that the final causes of election appear to be these two: first and principally, the glory* of God; second and subordinately, the salvation of those He has elected, from which the former arises, and by which it is illustrated and set off. So, “The Lord hath made all things for Himself” (Pro 16:1), and hence that of Paul, “He bath chosen us – to the praise of the glory of His grace” (Eph 1).

* Let it be carefully observed that when with the Scriptures we assert the glory of God to be the ultimate end of His dealings with angels and men, we do not speak this with respect to His essential glory which He has as God, and which, as it is infinite, is not susceptible of addition nor capable of diminution, but of that glory which is purely manifestative, and which Micraelius, in his Lexic. Philosoph. col. 471, defines to be, Clara rei cum laude notitia; cum nempe, ipsa sua eminentia est magna, augusta, et conspicua. And the accurate Maestricht, Celebratio ceu manifestatio (quae magis proprie glorificatio, quam gloria appellatur), qua, agnita intus eminentia, ejusque congrua aestimatio, propalatur et extollitur. – Theolog. lib. 2, cap. 22 § 8.

Jerome Zanchius-The Doctrine of Absolute Predestination Stated and Asserted-Translated by Augustus Montague Toplady

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