The apostle Paul speaks of justification and election as in the closest connexion. "Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth." Here he represents the elect as justified; does he speak of all the elect, or only a part of them? Doubtless of the whole; for had he spoken of a part only, he would certainly have specified the part intended. He does not say, who shall lay anything to the charge of a part of the elect, or those of the elect who believe? It is God that justifieth them; though that would have been a truth; but who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect; without either limitation or distinction; intimating that all the elect are justified, and that they are justified as persons elected. Now if they are justified as God's elect, their justification must be eternal; because they were his elect in eternity. It will be difficult to find a justified person who is not elected, and it will be no less difficult to find an elect person who is not justified in the sight, and in the account of God.
The same wise and holy apostle informs us, that "God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them." Now when was he in Christ doing this? Perhaps, some will reply, when Christ was suspended upon the cross; when he poured out his soul unto death; and when he made atonement for sin; then the Father was in him reconciling the world of his people to himself. What, not before? Pray what was he doing when he set up his Son from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was; when he laid help upon him, who is mighty to save; when the council of peace was between him and that Mighty One; and when he made the everlasting covenant of grace with him? Was he not then reconciling his chosen to himself? Did he not then appoint his beloved Son to bear all the sins, which they should in time commit; and to be the Lord their righteousness? Did he not then transfer the sins of his people, from them to him ; and impute his righteousness to them?