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To the Christian Reader

The Order of Salvation and Damnation by William Perkins (1558-1602)

Today, many Christians are turning back to the puritans to, “walk in the old paths,” of God’s word, and to continue to proclaim old truth that glorifies Jesus Christ. There is no new theology. In our electronic age, more and more people are looking to add electronic books (ePubs, mobi and PDF formats) to their library – books from the Reformers and Puritans – in order to become a “digital puritan” themselves. Take a moment to visit Puritan Publications (click the banner below) to find the biggest selection of rare puritan works updated in modern English in both print form and in multiple electronic forms. There are new books published every month. All proceeds go to support A Puritan’s Mind.

Election is God’s decree “whereby on his own free will, he hath ordained certain men to salvation, to the praise of the glory of his grace.” Reprobation is “that part of predestination, whereby God, according to the most free and just purpose of his will, hath determined to reject certain men unto eternal destruction, and misery, and that to the praise of his justice.”

The Causes of Salvation and Damnation

Golden Chain
Containing the order of the causes of Salvation and
Damnation, according to God’s Word. A view whereof is to be seen
In the Table annexed
Hereunto is adjoined the order which Mr. Theodore Beza
used in comforting afflicted consciences
Printed by John Legate, Printer to the
University of Cambridge.

Christian Reader, there are at this day four several opinions of the order of God’s Predestination. The first, is of the old and new Pelagians; who place the causes of God’s Predestination in man; in that they hold, that God did ordain men either to life or death, according as he did foresee that they would by their natural Free-will, either reject or receive grace offered. The second of them, who (of some) are termed Lutherans; which teach, that God foreseeing, how all mankind being shut up under unbelief, would therefore reject grace offered, did hereupon, purpose to choose some to salvation of his mercy, without any respect of their faith or good works, and the rest to reject, being moved to do this, because he did eternally foresee that they would reject his grace offered to them in the gospel. The third Semi-Pelagian Papists, which ascribe God’s predestination, partly to mercy, and partly to men’s foreseen preparations and meritorious works. The fourth, of such as teach, that the cause of the execution of God’s predestination, is his mercy in Christ, in them which are saved; and in them which perish, the fall and corruption 9of man; yet so, as that the decree and eternal counsel of God, concerning them both, hath not any cause beside his will and pleasure. Of these four opinions, the three former I labor to expunge as erroneous, and to maintain the last as being truth, which will bare weight in the balance of the Sanctuary.

A Further discourse whereof, here I make bold to offer to they godly consideration: in reading whereof, regard not so much the thing itself penned very slenderly, as mine intent and affection; who desire among the rest, to cast my might into the treasury of the Church of England, and, for want of gold, pearl, and precious stone, to bring a Ram’s skin or twain, and a little Goat’s hair, to the building of the Lord’s tabernacle (Exodus 35:23).

The Father of our Lord Jesus Christ grant, that according to the riches of His glory, thou mayest be strengthened by His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in thy heart by faith; to the end that thou being rooted and grounded in love, mayest be able to comprehend with all Saints, what is the breadth, and length, and height thereof; and to know the love of Christ which passeth knowledge, that thou mayest be filled with all fullness of God. Amen. Farewell, July 23, the year of the patience of Saints, 1592.

Thine in Christ Jesus,
Dr. W. Perkins

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