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Christ, and rejected by God as hypocrites or apos* tates.'— Their conduct proved them to be abomina• ble and disobedient, and to every good work rejected .by God, and given up to judicial blindness."*--Repro. bates. Thus the apostle calls, in this place, not those,

who are not divinely elected to eternal life; (for they • who still continue in their sins, not being yet effectu. ally called, are not directly to be considered as “ves“ sels of wrath,” 'nor those who after their calling fall into grievous sins,) but such as at present are not approved.' (Beza.)— It does not appear to me, that • either the original word, or our English word reprobates, is ever used in Scripture, as the opposite to elect; and as to reprobation, it is, I apprehend, a scriptural

idea, (for they who are not chosen, must be rejected,) .but not a scriptural word in any sense.' (Indeed no Greek word answering to it, is found in the common Lexicons.) Not that he,' (St. Paul and his friends) * should appear approved, by the submission of all par. ties to his authority: but that they might do what was right, and becoming them; though it should occasion • him to be disapproved and censured.'t P. ccxxv.

It appears, &c.'I The words reprobates, reprobation, &c. it is allowed, are not used in the sense, which some Calvinists have affixed to them: but the same concession cannot be made in respect of the word election, or elect. The Calvinistick doctrines, however, receive no support from the texts, which his Lordship had been considering; nor do they need it. Having given this opinion, in respect of the words in question; it would be unmanly, should I shrink from an avowal of my sentiments on this subject. The idea of rejection must be excited in the mind with that of election, however understood. If any were “chosen in “ Christ before the foundation of the world, that they “should be holy, &c;" all who were not thus chosen, were passed by. It was the will of God to leave them in the state, into which it was foreseen they would be reduced by sin; and to all the consequences of their guilt and depravity. In this state, if salvation be altogether of grace, all men might most justly have been left. No wrong will ever be done to any one: God will not punish any man, who does not deserve it, nor more than he deserves; as he could not possibly decree to do that, which it is infallibly certain he never will do. The question therefore is, whether God, consistently with justice, can leave any part of the human race finally to perish in their sins: for it could not be unjust, previously to decree that which, when actually accomplished, is undeniably, just. If mercy were a debt, which God owed to his rebellious creatures; it would lose its very nature: and, if not a debt, they who obtain mercy are under immense obligations; but no injury is done to others. And, if salvation itself be unmerited mercy, mercy contrary to our deservings, every thing relating to it must also be mercy. The gift of the Saviour, the means of grace,' the life-giving Spirit, the willing mind, as produced by special preventing grace: all, or any of these may be withheld, in perfect consistency with justice; and where they are granted, men are laid under additional obligation, to “the God of all

• Notes on Jer. vi. 27-30. 1 Cor. ix. 27. Rom. i. 28. 2 Tim. iii. 3. Tit. i. 16. in Family Bible, by the Author of these Remarks.

† Notes in Family Bible on 2 Cor. xiï. 6—10.

# It appears then that the Calvinistick doctrines of election and reproba. • tion can receive no countenance from the passages of Scripture, in which • these words occur, since they are used in senses very different from those,

which the advocates for absolute decrees affix to them.'

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grace hath abounded towards us in “ all wisdom and prudence."-What he may justly withhold at the time, that he might justly decree from

grace.” This

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the beginning to withhold. The whole is directed “according to the purpose of him, who worketh all

things, according to the counsel of his own will."* But that is the will of infinite wisdom, justice, truth,

and love: which always willeth what is most proper, and | for the most satisfactory reasons; though he does not

deign to inform us of them. At the same time, his secret purpose is perfectly consistent with his revealed will: being unknown to us, except by accomplishment, it is neither the rule, nor the motive, of our conduct: and, however we interpret the preceding words of our Lord, “ All that the Father giveth me shall come to " me;" the subsequent assurance,

" and him that "cometh unto me, I will in no wise cast out;t” may most confidently be depended on. c Heaven and earth “shall pass away, but his words shall not pass away.”I

P. ccxxvi. 1. 1. · The Jews, &c.'s The whole body of professed christians are never, throughout the New Testament, called the elect people of God,” in a national capacity, independent of personal character, as Israel of old was. The terms to this effect, when used concerning christians, as it has been shown, are always connected with those “ things, which accompany " salvation;" or with some words, which fix the meaning to true believers exclusively. The case is the same, in our liturgy and authoritative books. God the Holy Ghost, who sanctifieth me, and all the elect people of ! God.''Mark'the variation of language: 'God the Son,

• Eph. i. 11.

John. vi. 37.

Matt. xxiv. 35. $' The Jews first, and the Christians afterwards, were the elect people of God. God gave the law to the Jews by the hands of Moses, and the gos. *pel to the Christians by his own blessed Son Jesus Christ, as the rule of • their respective lives. God was pleased, both by the law and by the gos

pel, to enter into covenant with his chosen people the Jews and Christians; • to promise reward to the obedient, and to threaten punishment to the diso• bedient. But neither in the law, nor in the gospel, does he promise certain

and infallible salvation, or threaten absolute and inevitable perdition, to any • number, or to any description, of persons, except as they shall or shall not comply with the expressed conditions.'

who hath redeemed me and all mankind.'*_ God the • Holy Ghost, who sanctifieth me, and all the elect peo

ple of God. The former is spoken of as general, the latter as special. But are all professed christians, through populous nations, sanctified by the Holy Ghost? If not, how can it be supposed, that they are here called the elect people of God? Have mercy on all Jews, Turks, infidels, and hereticks; and take away from them all ignorance, hardness of heart, and contempt of thy word; ' and so fetch them home, blessed Lord, to thy fock, ' that they may be saved among the remnant of the true

Israel.’t This “remnant of the true Israel,” is “ the “elect people of God,” among professed christians; even “ a remnant according to the election of grace.”— * That this child may receive the fulness of thy grace, " and ever remain in the number of thy faithful and

elect children.'1 Here elect is joined with 'fulness

of grace,' with being' faithful,' or believing; and with being the children of God.' And surely more is meant, than continuance in the o„tward profession of christianity!

The nature of the primitive churches, and their great dissimilarity to the state of things among professed christians, at present, has been repeatedly noticed: and surely no one, after serious consideration, can think, that the apostles would, if now living on earth, address the whole body of nominal christians, belonging to our established church, as saints, as “ holy brethren;" as “ chosen in Christ, that they should be holy, and with

out blame before him in love;" as “ holy and beloved!” Much less then would he so address the

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Church Catechism. + Third Col. for Good Friday. Baptism of Infants.

titude, belonging to the Greek church, or the church of Rome, in this language. Yet the argument equally includes all, who are called christians. The word 'des. 'cription," is ambiguous; if it mean any thing except character, the proposition may be maintained; but both promises and threatenings are made to men, as bearing certain characters, and not independent of those cha. racters. The condition of the law is perfect obedience; and “Cursed is every one, who continueth "not in all things written in the book of the law to do “ them.” The gospel requires “ faith which worketh " by love,” and which is accompanied by repentance, and manifested by habitual unreserved obedience. These things form the character, or the description of men, to whom the promises are made, which promises certainly and infallibly ensure salvation to those, who are interested in them. But as the wicked may turn from his wickedness and escape the threatened punishment, which yet will be certainly and infalliby inflicted on those who die in their sins: so, on the other hand, the only question is, whether they who repent, believe in Christ, love God, and man, and are partakers of the Spirit of sanctification, do ever turn finally from their righteousness, and come short of the blessings, which are secured to those who love God.

All the hope and salvation of the Israelites was derived, properly speaking, from the gospel; of which their ceremonies were types, or prefigurative sacraments: and the holy moral law is established by the gospel, and is as obligatory on christians, as it ever was on Israelites. The national covenant, with Israel, indeed is not made with christiáns as a collective body, and the Mosaick dispensation is changed for the christian: but true religion is, for substance the same, as it was from the first promise of a Saviour; and the case of nations

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