The Puritan Practical Use of Election

The Puritans used this doctrine to preach to the unconverted, knowing that it humbles man and can alarm man. Puritan Dickson wrote on this topic,

“Election and reprobation may be safely taught, others say it could make men despair, let none take offense at this doctrine, because Christ’s sheep will hear his voice, forces men to turn to God or force men to become reprobates, either turn to God or take home the black news that they are reprobate, very needful to put men to their decisions.”

The Puritans used the doctrine to the comfort and awakening of distressed souls. Thomas Horton wrote on the matter,

“Doctrine of comfort takes all out of ourselves and deserts, doctrine of arrogance, presumption are of despair they will not hold out or support a man when he is in need of them, doctrines of free grace are doctrines of comfort because it reduces everything to God that he will fulfill what he has promised.”

Parr writes,

“Unworthiness may dismay thee, but remember it is God’s will that matters. Use this doctrine of election for believers to teach them of their privileges and safety, use their election as a motive to live holy unto God.”

Owen writes,

“God makes a consideration of electing love as free and undeserved, his principal argument for obedience, (Col. 3) as elect of God, bowels of mercies, also an encouragement to holiness, the fountain of electing grace will never fail us.”

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