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"In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will" &c. - Ver. 11 - 14.

I want give you, first, the general scope of the words; and, secondly, I shall open them unto you particularly.
First, for the general scope of ver. 11 - 14, it is to apply all that he had doctrinally said in the first ten verses. He had spoken of predestination, of adoption to glory or an inheritance, of redemption, of vocation, and of gathering together all in one. Of these things he had discoursed in general, in a doctrinal way, from the 3d verse to the 11th. Now he beginneth particularly to apply all these; for in the opening of them you shall perceive there is nothing almost he had delivered doctrinally but he applieth and comforteth the people of God with it.
He had said that God had intended to gather all in heaven and all in earth to himself; that is the last thing spoken to in the 10th verse. To apply this to things in heaven there was no need, for he was not a preacher to angels, to speak directly unto them; therefore he applieth it only unto things on earth. All things on earth are divided into Jew and Gentile. First, therefore, he applieth it unto the Jews; 'in whom we,' saith he, 'have obtained an inheritance, that we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.' Here are the Jews, whom God called first; we apostles, we Jews. Then he applieth it unto the Gentiles, and that under the Ephesians whom he wrote to : 'in whom ye also trusted,' ver. 13, 'after that you heard the word of truth,' &c.
He had spoken of a great gathering into one in Christ. let us Jews, saith he, and apostles comfort ourselves, we have a part in it; and the Ephesians and the Gentiles, comfort yourselves, ye have a part in it too, (as you shall hear that the word signifieth by and by.) So much for the general scope.
Secondly, Now to open the words particularly; and first to begin with the application that he makes to the Jews in the 11th and 12th verses. The first word that we meet withal to be opened is this, 'in whom we have obtained an inheritance;' so it is translated, and rightly translated too; but I shall give you somewhat a larger meaning of it, which they that are scholars do well know agreeth with the meaning of the word; for I profess this rule and principle in opening of the Word, (though there be a more eminent scope of one thing than another,) yet to take in the most comprehensive meaning that can be given of things; for the Holy Ghost hath vast aims in writing of the Scripture.
The word here which is translated 'we have ohtained an inheritance.' To open this word to you; there are two things to be opened concerning it. The first is, what the word cometh from and importeth.
The second is, the kind of the verb, for it is a verb; I shall make it plain by and by to the easiest capacity.
That which is contained in the substance of the word, for the signification of it, is this. The word which it cometh from, noteth out, first, having a part or a portion in a thing. I shall give you clear Scripture for every signification I give you of it. It noteth out, first, I say, having a part or a portion in a thing, being partaker with others of the same thing. That is the first signification of the word and so it cometh in fitly here. He had spoken of gathering all things in heaven and in earth in one, in Christ: 'In whom we,' saith he, 'have a part;' in this Christ, in whom all are gathered; let us comfort ourselves, we have a part. That is the first. I shall give you a scripture where the word whence this word cometh, is taken for a part, a portion in common. Read Acts viii. 21; speaking of Simon Magus, 'Thou hast no part or portion,' or lot or portion. It is the same word that this word cometh of.
Obs. - Now, my brethren, what is the observation from hence? Do but ask your own hearts; you have heard of this great gathering in the 10th verse; have you a part in it? have you a portion in it? You are to apply the word as you go; you see the Apostle doth so. When he had spoken of this general gathering of all things in Christ, now he cometh to apply it; 'in whom we have a part,' saith he; in whom ye also have a part, saith he. Hast thou a part in it? Let me ask thee the question; ask thine own heart the question. Oh, to be found not to have a share in this great gathering, what a misery will it be! That is the first thing it signifieth, a part or portion.v In the second place, it signifieth a part or portion of an inheritance. The word is often used for an inheritance, as Acts xxvi. 18, where he saith, 'an inheritance among them that are sanctified.' Therefore our translators well translate it, 'in whom also we have obtained an inheritance.'
In the third place, the word is taken for a lot. Inheritances, you kuew, use to go by lot. The Jews' inheritances were divided by lot; so Num. xxxiv. 13, 'This is the land which ye shall inherit by lot;' therefore it is called the 'lot of the inheritance,' Num. xxxvi 3, and in many other scriptures.
Here, then, are three significations of this word. Here is, first, a part or portion; which part or portion is an inheritance; which inheritance cometh by lot. The word doth imply all these: that is, in whom we have a part and portion; an inheritance annexed to that portion; and it cometh to us by lot. These three things are included in the signification of the word.
Now, my brethren, it is a word of a passive signification, and it implieth that we are passive in obtaining it; it is not a thing we seek for, but it is cast upon us. We have a word in the English, we say a man is disinherited; that is a passive word; there is no English word that shall answer it, to say a man is inherited, but he is endowed with an inheritance; he seeks not for it, it is cast upon him. Therefore in that place, Acts xxvi 18, it is called receiving an inheritance; 'that they may receive,' saith he, 'an inheritance with those that are sanctified.' The word here used in this text (saith Beza) is used of magistrates that were chosen by lot to their places; even as Saul was chosen king by lot, so do we obtain this inheritance, a part or portion in Christ by a kind of lottery: it was not a thing we deserved, it was a thing came to us we never dreamed of. It was not so much as sought for by us; the word here is a mere passive word, it was cast upon us; we found a share in Christ before we were aware, as it were, not thinking of it. Not but God awakeneth men first, but they do no more towards it, they know no more of it, till God takes them and works upon their hearts,' than a man asleep doth for the obtaining of an inheritance which is bestowed on him.
Obs. - What is the observation hence? This, You have heaven cast upon you, you that are believer; as it were by lot. Poor souls, you come hither to church, and here you put yourselves upon God's lottery; and you do well. What is the reason that a poor servant goeth away with Christ in her heart? She hath a draw for it, and she draweth etemal life; it is cast upon her. Ladies come here; here come men and women of great quality; perhaps they go away without it. It is cast upon men by lot. The greatest work that ever God did is to convert souls, and he carries it so as if he did it the most casually. You know the most casual thing in the world is a lot. A lot, you know, is a thing carried by a secret providence, for so he saith, Prov. xvi. 33, 'The lot is cast into the lap, but the whole disposing of it is of the Lord.' Here you come, and you are all cast into the bag of the Church, and God, by his secret providence, throws and casteth heaven upon thee, and letteth others go. Poor Zaccheus climbs up upon a tree (for he was a little man) to see Christ: 'Come down,' saith Christ, 'this day salvation is come to thine house.' Go, saith he, into the highways, and bring in the beggars; take whom you can find. God had predestinated them, yet it is carried so as if it came to them by lot; even as Saul, that went to seek his father's asses, and bcfore he cometh home he was anointed king of Israel. 'What did ye go out to see ? saith Christ to John Baptist's hearers, 'a reed shaken with the wind?' They went out to see a novelty when they went to hear John; to see a reed shaken with the wind, or to see some great man clothed in gorgeous apparel, just as men go out to see shows; but yet John turned the hearts of the children to the fathers, turned many of their souls to God, that went thus out for other ends. Even thus God, I say, by a kind of lottery casteth heaven upon men; they obtained an inheritance by lot.
Now, my brethren, if you ask how and when it was that they came to have a part and portion in Christ; in whom we have obtained a lot, a portion, and an inheritance? Then, when they were converted and turned unto God; then it was that they came to have a right and portion in Christ and in this inheritance. It is not said expressly in the text, but the coherence carrieth it strongly. Why? For, first, he saith, they were 'predestinated' by God, that 'works all things by the counsel of his own will.' How came they to have it? Not simply by predestination, but by a work which was the fruit of predestination, and by a work of grace; therefore many interpreters translate the word here vocati, we were called to an inheritance. Then, secondly, he mentioneth faith: 'We,' saith he, 'did obtain this inheritance, who first trusted in Christ.' So now, when they began to trust in Christ, then they began to have a part and portion in this lot. Then, thirdly, when he applies this to the Ephesians, ver. 13, 'In whom ye also had a part and portion in him,' (for that is the best reference of the words,) 'after ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed,' &e. So that then it is we come to have a part, and a portion, and right to this inheritance, when we are savingly converted and turned to God. That is the Apostle's scope, and is as if he had said, When we were converted, and ye were converted, then both ye and we came to have a part and portion in this gathering universal, and in this inheritance.
I will give you a scripture or two to back this. The first is Acts xxvi.
Christ from heaven speaks there, that he would send Paul to preach to the Gentiles, 'to open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light,' - here is conversion mentioned, you see; 'from the power of Satan unto God, that they might receive forgiveness of sins, and an inheritance' - that they might receive it, and obtain it by being thus turned - ' among them that are sanctified by faith in him.' Mark, when they were turned, when men believe, when they begin to trust in Christ, as he saith here of the Jews, ver. 12; when after they have 'heard the gospel of salvation,' they believe, as he saith of the Gentiles, ver. 13; when they are called and sanctified, then it may be said that they began to receive or obtain this inheritance, though they were predestinated to it before. My brethren, you cannot without conversion either have a right to this inheritance, neither can you be made fit to be made partakers of it. In that place, Acts viii., where he speaks to Simon Magus, (Simon Magus lay still in sin, he was a carnal wretch;) 'Repent,' saith he; 'thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter.' He doth not say that he might not have for time to come. What reason doth he give why he had no part for the present? 'For thy heart is not right in the sight of God; repent therefore.' He doth not say but he might have; Thou that art yet still in thy unregenerate estate, thou that hast not obtained a lot, a part and portion, yet thou mayest have; 'repent therefore,' saith he, 'of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee;' and if once he repented, then he should come to have a part in this inheritance and in this Christ, and in being gathered together in one, with all things else, in heaven and in earth.
Obs. - From hence you see, to give you an observation upon it, what it is that giveth you a part and portion in the inheritance with the children of God ; it is being called, it is having faith wrought in you, it is being sanctified; for by all these are you gathered to Christ as your head. 1 Pet. i. 3, 'Who hath begotten us again to an inheritance,' saith he, (those are his words.) You must be begotten again before you have right to this inheritance, before you can 'receive an inheritance among those that are sanctified;' so you heard out of the Acts. I will give you but one scripture more to convince you of it, and it is a parallel place to this; it- is Col. i. 12, 'Giving thanks to the Father, who hath made us meet to partake,' to have a lot, to have a share, 'in the inheritance of the saints in light.' What is it that makes you meet? It is being holy. Why? Because it is an inheritance of the saints, and an inheritance in light; and while thy heart is carnal and walketh in darkness, thou canst never come to have a part and portion in this matter. In whom, therefore, saith the Apostle, (here is the sum of all,) we have a part or portion, an inheritance strangely cast upon us, we know not how; we never looked after it, it was cast upon us by lot. How? By giving us faith, by calling us, by turning us to God; and by means of that we are come to have a part and portion in this inheritance. So you have the first word explained, 'In whom we have obtained a lot,' a portion, an inheritance by lot, by being called, and sanctified, and renewed.
Now, the Apostle, when he had thus applied this for their and his own comfort, leadeth them to consider the fountain. For, my brethren, we are apt to think with ourselves, we have grace wrought in us, therefore we have interest in Christ, and in him a part and portion in this inheritance, and so look no further. But what doth the Apostle? He leadeth us up to the eternal love of God, (I pray, think of that;) for what followeth? 'In whom having obtained an inheritance - according to his purpose who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.' Look to the fountain of all this, saith he; it is your being predestinated, and this from an everlasting purpose; and although it came to you, as it were, by a lot and by chance, and you were as far off from being called, when you were called, as any men in the world; but yet, saith he, it was a lot guided by God's eternal predestination. 'Being predestinated,' saith he, 'according to purpose.'
I shall open this a little. I handled predestination before, thercfore I will not speak of it now; only this, remember that he speaks this of the Jews and apostles, for he applieth this to them: 'In whom,' saith he, 'we that first trusted in Christ have a portion, being predestinated.' You may read in the next verses, where he goes on to make the like application to the Gentiles, that he doth not mention predestination in that his application to them. He speaks of their calling indeed, but he doth not speak of their predestination; not but that they were predestinated, but why doth he choose to mention it in his speech to the Jews only? The truth is this, they had been the people of God, and had it by promise; they had God and heaven entailed to them; Abraham was their father. Yea, but saith the Apostle, for all this it was God's eternal love, it was his predestination, that was the cause of singling us out. And he mentioneth it not in his speech to the Gentile; though he intendeth the same thing to them; for if the Jews and apostles had it by predestination, the Gentiles, that were without the promise and 'without God in the world,' had it from the same fountain much more. And he mentioneth it to the Jews, because election carried it away even amongst them, and election, the force of difference it puts amongst men was seen most amongst them, because, I say, they were the people of God by promise. Take two scriptures for it. First, Rom. xi. 7. You shall see there that he makes the calling of the Jews to depend especially upon election. 'What then? Israel,' saith he, 'hath not obtained that which he seeketh for,' (multitudes of the people of Israel did not;) 'but the election hath obtained it;' it is the elect amongst Israel that have obtained it. Do not think, saith he, it cometh to you by your father Abraham, as they thought; it is the election that obtained it. Secondly, Rom. ix. 11. He speaks there of Esau and Jacob; he saith the purpose of God according to election was it that stood. It was said to the mother of both, that 'the elder should serve the younger.' Election, you see, carries it among the Jews; therefore his mentioning of predestination here cometh in seasonably, for they would have thought the promise to their fathers would have carried it. No, saith he, 'being predestinated.'
But why 'predestinated according to his purpose who works all things after the counsel of his own will?' There is an opinion in the world that there is a twofold predestination; that God dealeth with some men according to purpose, as he did with the apostles - converteth them infallibly, and they persevere. They are, they say, chosen according to purpose. But others, God dealeth with them according to their works. It is a truth, God deals with none but according to their works; but yet he doth not predestinate men to be saved according to work; for if he did, he should predestinate them for their works. It is not therefore brought in here by way of distinction, to shew that there is one predestination according to works, and if you walk thus and thus then God chooseth you to life; and another predestination which is peremptory. But all the scope is this, to shew the stability of it, to shew that God's choosing of men is stable, and firm, and unalterable; therefore it is called predestination according to purpose.
For this look into Rom. ix. 11, the place I quoted even now; saith he 'that the purpose according to election might stand ' - that is, that it might be unalterable; join purpose and stand together. What God doth purpose is immutable. 2 Cor. i. 17, saith Paul, (who was but a creature,) I promised, saith he, to come to you, to take you in my way as I came out of Macedonia. Paul did not come. 'When I therefore,' saith he, 'was thus minded, did I use lightness? or the things that I purpose, do I purpose according to the flesh, that with me there should be yea yea, and nay nay?' No, saith he, what I purpose, that I will perform. Why will Paul do it? Because he would have the gospel receive no prejudice; I preach the truth, and I would be true of my word; therefore, saith he, if I promise a thing, and purpose a thing, I will do it. Will Paul do thus? then God will do it much more; having predestinated us according to his purpose, it shall stand then; - ' that the purpose of God according to election,' saith he, 'might stand;' so the word is in that Rom. ix. 11. It signifieth, therefore, the immutability of God's counsel; that is meant by being predestinated according to his purpose.
I come now to the last thing in the verse; 'who works all things according to the counsel of his own will.' This is a third thing here in the words. For the coherence of it, how it cometh in: it cometh in, first, as a reason why God had converted them; or, rather, why their conversion, and their faith, and their obtaining an inheritance, was by predestination. It is a reason that will convince any man, that they, having obtained a part and portion in so great a business as heaven was, having grace wrought in their hearts that did interest them in that inheritance, that it must needs be by a foreknowledge, by a decree of God. Why? Because, saith he, God works all things else according to the counsel of his own will; therefore certainly this. The reason is very strong; he would convince them that God did work grace in their hearts as the fruit of predestination, he would convince them that God had given them heaven, which came to them by lot, he had done it by a set decree, from everlasting. Why? For, saith he, 'he works all things after the counsel of his own will;' he plotted every thing beforehand, therefore certainly this; he hath done every thing advisedly, nothing falleth out but what he had laid the plot before. If he had a hand, saith he, in any thing, or in all things that ever he did, he must needs have a hand in working grace in men's hearts, for it is more than all. If he bestowed any thing upon any creature, - if he hath given the kingdoms of this world unto men, and that he doth according to his will among the inhabitants of the earth, as it is said, Dan. iv., then certainly they that have the kingdom of heaven promised, have it by his decree. Here lieth the reason, and thus he argueth: because God hath a hand in all things, therefore he hath a hand in the conversion of men, therefore he hath a hand in bestowing of heaven upon men. And that is the first way; it cometh in as a reason of what was said before.
It cometh in, secondly, to shew how great a power it was that wrought grace in their hearts, and how much God's heart was in it when he did it. He hath shewed as much power, saith he, in working grace in your hearts, as in working all things else; his heart is as much in this thing as in doing all things else. He doth put them altogether, you see. How do you prove that to be the scope of such a phrase as this?
I will give you a scripture for it; it is Phil. iii. 21; he speaks there of changing of our vile bodies, which requireth a mighty power, to make them like Christ's glorious body. How doth he express the greatness of this Power? By just such a phrase as this here: 'who shall change our vile body,' saith he, 'that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body.' HOW? 'According to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.' This phrase cometh in to shew that God putteth forth the same power in changing our vile bodies and making them like the body of Christ - the same power I say, and no less than that power - that must subdue all things, that created the world, that ruineth the world in the end, and annihilateth or bringeth down kingdoms, and doth everything. Well, you have grace wrought in your hearts here; how had you it wrought? By him, saith he, that worketh all things; no less power than that which goeth to work all things, goeth to work this ; the same proportion of power that goeth to work all things else, gocth to work grace.
So now you have the general scope how these words come in. - To open the words particularly to you a little, for I would fain make an end of this verse -
First, The word here that is translated 'worketh,' signifieth to work effectually; ' he worketh all things effectually,' that is the meaning of it; he doth it according to the counsel of his will, and that will shall stand, it shall not be resisted; whatsoever he will do he doth effectually; you have it Ps. cxxxv. 6, 'The Lord is great; whatsoever the Lord pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and in all deep places.' And Isa. xlvi. 10, he saith, the counsel of the Lord shall stand.
In the second place, he saith, 'He worketh all things;' what all things? I will not meddle with sin, what hand God hath in it, though the very same phrase is used of it, Acts iv. 28. The crucifying of Christ, the greatest sin in the world, it is said nothing was done in it but what his hand and counsel determined; there was both counsel and hand in it, - that is the expression there, - at least for the ordering of all the circumstances of it. I only mention that; and consider all things else, God worketh all things effectually, his hand casteth all things. Doth there a hair come off your heads? A hair is a small matter; it is by the Father, Matt. x. 30. Doth a man shoot an arrow, and there is one behind the bush, and he killeth him? It is God that delivereth that man into his hand, Exod. xxi. 13. He ordereth the thing that is done by chance, and doth it effectually. God foretold that Ahab should be slain when he went out to battle; yet the text saith plainly that the arrow that did kill him was shot by chance: 'A certain man drew a bow at a venture,' so you have it, 1 Kings xxii. 34, 'and smote the king of Israel between the joints of the harness,' whereof he died; it was a mere adventure, but God guided it effectually, for he had prophesied that Ahab should not go home from that battle.
Things that are of the merest chance, God works them all. When Nebuchednezer went to destroy Jerusalem, it was the greatest design that could be, a thing foretold seventy years before, in Hezekiah's time. You shall find in Ezek. xxi 20, 21, it was a mere matter of chance that Nebuchodonezor went thither. The prophet there describeth the king of Babylon's journey with his army; he describeth his coming to Jerusalem, and how doth he describe it? 'Son of man,' saith he, ver. 19, 'appoint thee two ways, that the sword of the king of Babylon may come: both twain shall come forth out of one land: and choose thou a place, choose it at the head of the way to the city.' There were two ways; Nebuchednezer came out with his army, - he did not resolve whither he would go; God had foretold he should go to Jerusalem, - he cometh out, I say, with his army, and he cometh to the head of two ways, one to go to Egypt, (as some,) another to go to Jerusalem. He was undetermined; what doth he do? He goeth and useth divination. 'The king of Babylon,' saith he, ver. 21, 'stood at the parting of the way, the head of the two way; to use divination: he made his arrows bright,' or, as some read it, he did, by mingling arrows together, cast a lot which way he should go; 'he consulted with images, he looked in the liver.' He opened beasts to see whether there was good fortune, as some call it, to go on the right band or on the left. All this was foretold that he should do. Who knew what should be in the liver of that beast, and that his soothsayer should guide his way to Jerusalem, and assure him of good fortune in that way rather than in the other? The text saith, ver. 22, 'At his right hand was the divination for Jerusalem.' All his lots, shuffling of arrows, looking into the liver, all this did cast him to go to Jerusalem, and God had foretold this long before. You see he works all things, the most casual things that are, by his own appointment. 'The lot is cast into the lap, but the whole disposing thereof is of the Lord,' Prov. xvi. 33.
Come to the wills of men, they are more ticklish things than matters of chance are; for what say men? We have a liberty, we can do what we will. But what saith the Apostle? Say not, 'To-day or to-morrow we will go to such a city;' but, 'If the Lord will, we will do this or that,' James iv. 13, 15. But to give you an instance for it, that God ruleth the wills of men, for I cannot instance in many things; I will give you, to me, one of the greatest instances the Scripture affordeth. It is Exod. xxxiv. 24. God commandeth them that at three set times in the year all the men should appear before the Lord in Jerusalem. Now you know the Jews did live in the midst of their enemies; and might the enemies say, Now all the men are gone up out of the country to Jerusalem, we will go and destroy the women and children; this they might plot and order it many years before, what should hinder them? Why, saith God, go up three times in the year, and I will order it so that 'none shall desire thy land.' If God had not a strong hand upon the wills of men that he can turn them which way he pleaseth, how could he make that promise beforehand that they shonld not desire their land? If God did not effectually rule the wills of men, the inclinations of men's spirits, when they had all opportunity, all the reason in the world, all advantages, yet that they should not have a desire to the land, - how could God, I say, undertake this, unless he did rule the wills of men? My brethren, I profess I would not serve this God, if he did not rule the wills of men in this world. Why? Because I could have no temporal promise fulfilled; for most temporal promises depend upon men's will. If he did not rule the hearts of all the men in the world, of kings, of parliaments, what a confusion would this world run into? How could I sue out any promise that God makes, wherein I have to do with the wills of men, as in most we have? Therefore certainly he ruleth, and ruleth effectually, things wherein men are most free; he doth either take away desire, or put rn desire; turns their hearts to hate his people, or, on the other side, gives his people 'favour in their eyes,' as the expression is; it is just such another instance, Exod. xi. 3. When the people of Israel had gone and brought ten plagues upon them, when all their first-born were slain; here was a fair way made for favour, was there not? That they should come after all this, and say, I pray, give us your jewels. What! after you have done us all this mischief? Yet, saith the text, God gave them favour in their eyes, and they gave them their jewels of silver, and their jewels of gold, and raiment, Exod. xii. 35.
What a mighty thing is this in God's ruling the wills of men! Doth not this God, think you, work effectually in all things, when he ruleth the most ticklish things of all, the wills of men, and of the hearts of kings? I need not instance. Now, my brethren, if God thus doth work all things, certainly then he works grace much more, when he turns the will to believe. If he put a desire in you, if he take away a desire, it doth not lie in the counsel of your own will, saith he. There are those that think grace is wrought by the counsel of man's will. God indeed giveth me power to believe, or not to believe, and then the counsel of my will casteth it. No it is according to the counsel of his will, not according to the counsel of thy will; as you know the Apostle saith, he works both the will and the deed. If he brings forth the will into the deed of all things else, much more in the matter of grace, whereby you come to 'obtain an inheritance among those that are sanctified.'
I should shew you why counsel of will likewise is attributed to God. I shall be too long if I go on to open that, I will therefore but make an observation or two, and so I will conclude.
Obs. 1. - Both God work all things according to his will? Then give up thy ways to him. 'It is not in man,' saith Jeremiah, 'to direct his steps.' It is God that must direct them for thee, for he works all things according to his will. If any man in the world, if his understanding and will were a rule to mine, and I knew he were infallible, I would certainly go give up all my ways to what he saith. As you say you must be ruled by him that bears the purse, you must be ruled by him that bears the understanding. Certainly, if any man have an infallible understanding, I will be ruled by him. God hath; he works all things, and all effectually by the counsel of his own will; therefore in all thy ways give up thyself to him.
Obs. 2. - Again, in the second place, (I cannot prosecute many,) God works all things according to the counsel of his own will. It is an inference that Job makes of it, chap. xxiii. 13, 14. You shall find there, that Job professeth his sincerity, how fearful he was of offending God: 'My foot,' saith he, ver. 11, 'hath held his steps, his way have I kept, and not declined;' he obeyed him, he did not decline the least from his ways; 'neither have I gone back,' saith he, 'from the commandment of his lips: I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.' What is the reason of all this? It followeth, according to the coherence, as best interpreters give it, 'He is in one mind, and who can turn him? and what his soul desireth, even that he doeth; he performeth the thing that is appointed for me, and many such things are with him.' Saith he, I considered with myself this, that I were as good be subject to his will, for he will have his will upon me; I cannot resist his will, I were as good submit; 'he works all things according to the counsel of his will;' he performeth all things that are 'appointed for me;' he is of one mind, and I cannot turn him. I must therefore comply with him; hence it was that I have not gone from the commandment of his lips. I thought it was best to yield to him, and to give up my will to his. It is a strange argument and you see the Scripture enforceth it.
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