against us? Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?? And the answer is, that nothing ?shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.? This eternal love subdues and humbles: <19B501>Psalm 115:1 ? ?Not unto us, O Jehovah, not unto us, But unto thy name give glory For thy loving kindness, and for thy truth?s sake.?
Of the effect of the doctrine of election, Calvin, in his Institutes, 3:22:1, remarks that ?when the human mind hears of it, its irritation breaks all restraint, and it discovers as serious and violent agitation as if alarmed by the sound of a martial trumpet.? The cause of this agitation is the apprehension of the fact that one is an enemy of God and yet absolutely dependent upon his mercy. This apprehension leads normally to submission. But the conquered rebel can give no thanks to himself, all thanks are due to God who has chosen and renewed him. The affections elicited are not those of pride and self-complacency but of gratitude and love.
Christian hymnology witnesses to these effects. Isaac Watts (1748): ?Why was I made to hear thy voice And enter while there?s room, When thousands make a wretched choice, And rather starve than come. ?T was time same love that spread the feast That sweetly forced me in; Else I had still refused to taste, And perished in my sin. Pity the nations, O our God! Constrain the earth to come; Send thy victorious word abroad. And bring the wanderers home.? Josiah Conder (1855): ??T is not that I did choose thee, For, Lord, that could not be; This heart would still refuse thee; But thou hast chosen me; ? Hast, from the sin that stained me, Washed me and set me free, And to this end ordained me That I should live to thee. ?T was sovereign mercy called me, And taught my opening mind; The world had else enthralled me, To heavenly glories blind. My heart owns none above thee: For thy rich grace I thirst; This knowing, ? if I love thee, Thou must have loved me first.?
(f) It discourages effort for the salvation of the impenitent, whether on his own part or on the part of others. Answer: Since it is a secret decree, it cannot hinder or discourage such effort. On the other hand, it is a ground of encouragement, and so a stimulus to effort; for without election, it is certain that all would be lost (cf. <441810>Acts 18:10). ?While it humbles the sinner, so that he is willing to cry for mercy, it encourages him also by showing him that some will be saved and (since election and faith are inseparably connected) that he will be saved, if he will only believe. While it makes the Christian feel entirely dependent on God?s power in his efforts
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