The Holy Spirit hath not thought this consideration worthy to be neglected, and therefore we may not pass it over untouched. Forasmuch as it doth always appear that there be some elect, lest men should fall to reasoning in the Church when God doth choose His elect, and lest that opinion should take effect, which do suppose even as we men are wont to do, that He chooseth none but them which be presently living, and better than the rest: the Apostle did in express words set forth this particle, saying, “Who chose us before that the foundations of the world was laid.” And yet there was no man before that the world was made. He chose us therefore before we were: so that there can be no occasion for the elect to boast them of. What difference was there betwixt us before the beginning of our nature? Surely, none at all, but the same whereby God himself did distinct betwixt us before we were existent.
This consideration doth commend unto us the wonderful purpose of God, wherein He determined with Himself upon our salvation before He made the world. For what else is it to choose and elect men that be not, but to foresee and appoint upon their salvation before they were born? It is an incredible matter how great and assurance of salvation there resteth in the hearts of the faithful, of that that they do believe, that God had a care of them before the world was made, and that they were chosen by Him unto salvation, before that they were. Hereupon they go gather most assuredly that God cannot forsake them after they be made existent, whom He chose and appointed unto salvation before they were existent, and before the world was made.
Common Places of the Christian Religion, Wolfgang Musculus