Excerpt taken and adapted from “The Doctrine of Particular Unconditional Election (Before Time) Asserted and Proved by God’s Word, Against the Quakers, Papists, and Arminians”
Written by James Barry (1599-1680)
Edited for thought and sense.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love..”
–Ephesians 1:3-4 (RSV)
What is God’s election of some to life eternal (including the means leading, thereto) and the birth or product being of God’s own counsel (Romans 9)?
And Oh! What an unspeakable cause of rejoicing is this very consideration to that man, or woman; who find in themselves the fruits (or effects) of the new birth. To think and believe, that they (in particular) are chosen to life eternal by him who cannot change that purpose of his, wherewith he hath purposed to save so poor and miserable a sinner as the effectually called sinner looks on himself to be.
Neither is the poor weak believer to doubt, but that those sins and backslidings, both of his heart and life, for which he will be but too apt to fear and conclude, God will at length cast him off, were all perfectly known to God even then when he elected him to Salvation; notwithstanding which God fixed his love and embraced the poor sinner in the bosom of his irreversible decree, when nothing of loveliness, (but rather the contrary) appeared to the eye of God’s precognition (or foreknowledge) in the soul, so cast by his decree.
Whom God once loves with that electing love he loves them to the end (Jeremiah 31:8; Malachi 3:6. John 13:1; Romans 11:29). And as God’s act in electing is without change, so it was from eternity; though the work of effectual calling and saving conversion be in time, yet God’s decree and purpose of bestowing that grace and mercy on the elect sinner was before time (Acts 1 5: 17-18; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; Revelation 17:8 ).
The electing love of God it is from one eternity to another, as it did commence before time so when time shall be swallowed up of endless eternity, this love of God (to his elect, and chosen in Christ) will be (and continue) the same forever.