everlasting life and others to everlasting death. These angels and men, thus predestinated and foreordained, are particularly and unchangeably designed and their number is so certain and definite that it cannot be either increased or diminished. The rest of mankind God was pleased, according to the unsearchable counsel of his own will, whereby he extendeth or withholdeth mercy as he pleaseth, for the glory of his sovereign power over his creatures, to pass by and to ordain them to dishonor and wrath for their sin, to the praise of his glorious justice.? This reads as if both the saved and the lost were made originally for their respective final estates without respect to character. It is Supralapsarianism. It is certain that the Supralapsarians were in the majority in the Westminster Assembly and that they determined the form of the statement, although there were many Supralapsarians who objected that it was only on account of their foreseen wickedness that any were reprobated. In its later short statement of doctrine the Presbyterian body in America has made it plain that God?s decree of reprobation is a permissive decree and that it places no barrier in the way of any man?s salvation.
On the general subject of Election, see Mozley, Predestination; Payne, Divine Sovereignty; Ridgeley, Works, 1:261-324, esp. 322; Edwards, Works, 2:527 sq .; Van Oosterzee, Dogmatics, 446-458; Martensen, Dogmatics, 362-382; and especially Wardlaw, Systematic Theology, 485- 549; H. B. Smith, Syst. of Christian Theology, 502-514; Maule, Outlines of Christian Doctrine, 36-56; Peck, in Bapt. Quar. Rev., Oct. 1891:689706. On objections to election, and Spurgeon?s answers to them, see Williams, Reminiscences of Spurgeon, 189. On the homiletical uses of the doctrine of election, see Bibliotheca Sacra, Jan. 1893:79-92.
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