“Known unto God,” saith St James, “are all his works from the beginning,” Acts 15:18; whence it hath hitherto been concluded that whatever God doth in time bring to pass, that he decreed from all eternity so to do. All his works were from the beginning known unto him. Consider it particularly in the decree of election, that fountain of all spiritual blessings, that a saving sense and assurance thereof (2 Pet. 1:10) being attained, might effect a spiritual rejoicing in the Lord, 1 Cor. 15:31. Such things are everywhere taught as may raise us to the consideration of it as of an eternal act, irrevocably and immutably established: “He hath chosen us before the foundation of the world,” Eph. 1:4: his “purpose according to election,” before we were born, must “stand,” Rom. 9:11; for to the irreversible stability of this act of his will he hath set to the seal of his infallible knowledge, 2 Tim. 2:19. His purpose of our salvation by grace, not according to works, was “before the world began,” 2 Tim. 1:9: an eternal purpose, proceeding from such a will as to which none can resist, joined with such a knowledge as to which all things past, present, and to come are open and evident, must needs also be, like the laws of the Medes and Persians, permanent and unalterable.