Owen - Houston-Packer Collection BT768 .O9 1654

OA piII. IL; Ofthe Nature of the Purpofes ofGod. 48 infifted on and vindicated. 53. M.G.Exceptions atlarge difcuffedand removed. 55. Ephef. r 3,4,5 2 Mel. 2. 13,14. opened. 56. Theclofe ofthe fecond Argument from the Immuta- bilityofthe Purpofes ofGod. 4. I. Ailingcleared theTruth inhand, from the Immutability ofthe Na- ture ofGod,which himfelfe holds out, as ingaged for us to reft upon, as to theUnchangeable Continuance ofhis Love untous ; Proceed we now toconfider the stedfailneffe, and Immutabilityofhis Purpo- fes, which he frequently afferts, as another Ground of Affurance to the Saints, ofhis Safegarding their Glory ofree Acceptation, to the end. I thall not enter upon the confideration of the Nature, and Abfoluteneffe of 5.2. the Purpofes ofGod, as toan expreffe handlingofthem, but only a little un- fold that Property,and Concernement ofthem, whereon the ftrength ofthe in- ferencewe aimeat, doth in fomemeafure depend. Many needleffe, and curi- ous&leftions have been, by the Serpentine wittsof men, moved andagitated concerning them : wherein perhaps our Author bath not been outgon by many,aswill be judgedby thofe, who have weighedhis Difcourfes concern- ing them, with his diftindions of Defres, Intentions, Pnrpofes andDecrees in God; But this is not thebufineffe wehave inhand; forwhat concerneth that, that which enfueth, may fufce; God himfelfe being an Infinite Pure A&, thofe A&s of his Will andWifdome, which are Eternafl and Immanent , are not diftinguifhed from his Natureand Being, but only in refpe& Ofthe refe- rence and .habitude, which they beare untoCome thing tobe producedout- wardly from him. TheObje&softhem all are fuch things, asmight not be. Gods Purpofes arenot concerningany thing, that is in it felfe abfolutelyne ceffary. He doth not purpofe that he willbeWife, Holy, Infinitely Good, Tuft: all thefe things, that areofabfoluteneceffity, come not within the compaffe ofhis Purpofes. Ofthings that might not be, are his Decrees and intentions; they are, ofall the Produ&s of his Power, all that outwardly hebath done, Both, or will doe toEternity. All thefe things to the fallingof a haire, or the N1ae.6.283o9, witheringofa Graffe, bathhe determined from of old; now this divine Fore- Luk r2. 6,7. appoyntment ofall things, the Scripture affignes fome times to theKnowledge Jon.4.6.7,9. & Vnderfianding, fometimes to the Willof God ,known unto him are all his Works from the beginningof theWorld, Atts 15.18. It is that Knowledge,which bath an influenceinto that moft Infinitely wife difpofall ófthem, which is there intimated: and the determinationof things tobedone is referred to thecounfell ofGod. AEEs4. 28. which denotes an A& of his Wifdome and Underfranding,andyet withal!, it is the Counfellofhis Will, Eph.1. r 1. 4. 3 I know that all things originally owe theirFuturition to a free a&ofthe Will ofGod: He Bothwhat ever he will and pleafeth. Their Relation there- unto , tranflates them out of that (Fate of Poffibility, and (being Obje&s of 23.9. Godsabfolute Omnipotency, and infinite fimple Intelligence, or Undeftanding, Terem.sr.z9. whereby he Intuitivelybeholdeth all things, that might be produced by the Rom. e.28. exertingof his infinite Almighty Power) intoa frateof Futurition, making 9.11,19. g Y Pe. 139. rr, them Obje&s of Gods fore-Knowledge,orScience ofvifion as it is called. But Ifa.4o.z812. yet the Scripture expreffeth(as before) that Alf of God,whereby he deter- tieb.4.13. mines the Beings, Iffues, and orders of things, to manifeft the concurrence ofhis infinite Wifdome. andVnderfanding in all his Purpofes. Further, as to the way of expreffing thefe things to our mannerofapprehenfion, there are held out Intentions, and Purpofes ofGod, diftin&ly fuited toall Seings, Operations; and Events,yet in God himfelfe they are not multiplyed. As all things areprefent tohim in one moft fimple, andfingle A&of his Underfean- ding, fo one individuali A&of his Will he determines concening all, but