The church is realised, by the act of the Son of God, whereby he gathers, defends, and preserves her, and that, too, out of the whole human race. That some receive the gift of faith from God, and others do not receive it, proceeds from God’s eternal decree, “for known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world” (Acts 15:18). “Who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will” (Ephesians 1:11). According to which decree, he graciously softens the hearts of the elect, however obstinate, and inclines them to believe; while he leaves the non-elect in his just judgment to their own wickedness and obduracy. And herein is especially displayed the profound, the merciful, and at the same time the righteous discrimination between men, equally involved in ruin; or that decree of election and reprobation, revealed in the word of God, which, though men of perverse, impure and unstable minds wrest to their own destruction, yet to holy and pious souls affords unspeakable consolation.