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certain knowledge of our election, were the same thing. Let it be here observed, that I only state what our sentiments are ; without going out of my way to establish them, except as the texts commented on do this. My grand object is not to proselyte men to Calvinism, but to exonerate Calvinists from a load of calumny, which they now bear because their sentiments are misunderstood. -Some of the Thessalonians might walk disorderly; and, if they persisted in disobeying the words of Christ by his inspired apostle, this would prove that they were hypocrites, and consequently had “ not been chosen unto salvation, “through sanctification of the Spirit, and belief “ of the truth.” For," the sanctification of the “ Spirit” is “unto obedience ;” and must be wholly inconsistent with wilful, deliberate, obstinate disobedience.
· St. Paul, in speaking of the Jews, says that, as amidst the idolatry of former times there were seven thousand men who did not bow the knee 'to the image of Baal, “ even so at this present * time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace ;” by which expression he means the body of Jewish Christians, as appears ' from a following verse ; “ Israel hath not ob'tained that which he seeketh for, but the election
hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded : «« the election " therefore denotes those of the 'Jews who embraced the gospel, and “ the rest ‘ are those who rejected it.'1 The passage here referred to 2 has been repeat1 Ref. 211.
Rom. xi, 1–7.
edly considered. Certainly “ the remnant, ac“cording to the election of grace,” means the body of Jewish Christians; real Christians, excluding hypocrites; an “elect remnant” from an elect nation.
"“ As concerning the gospel, they are enemies ' for your sakes; but, as touching the election,
they are beloved for the fathers' sakes :” the same persons, who in the latter clause of this passage are pronounced to be “beloved as touching the election,” are in the former clause pronounced to be “enemies as concerning the * gospel ;” and consequently election cannot mean
election of individuals to salvation. This is said ' of the unbelieving Jews, who were “beloved " ' as belonging to the chosen people of God, and
“ enemies " because they rejected the gospel. It is remarkable, that in the same chapter St. Paul
speaks of the twofold election of the Jews: in 'the verse now under consideration he speaks of “their election to be God's peculiar people under • the Mosaic law, and in the passage just before
quoted he speaks of their election under the ' gospel dispensation. The latter he calls “ the ' election of grace ;” the former the election which makes them still “beloved,” notwithstanding their unbelief, “ for the fathers' sakes," on account of their descent from Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.'1
Is it possible, that any reader can confound the “remnant according to the election of grace, with the unbelieving nation of Israel, as elected
1 Ref. 212.
to outward privileges ? The two companies are expressly distinguished, and even contrasted. The “election had obtained” the blessing, “ the rest
were blinded.”!_Could the body of Jewish Christians' be meant by those to whom“ God “had given the spirit of slumber, eyes that they “ should not see, and ears that they should not “ hear?” Could they be a part of the Jewish Christians, of whom he says, as concerning the “gospel they are enemies for your sakes ?"2 In what sense were Jewish Christians enemies to God for the sake of the gentile converts ? Nothing can possibly be clearer, than that the personal election of that remnant of Jews who embraced the gospel is carefully distinguished from the national election of the Jews, in Abraham, Isaac, and Israel ; and that the former is incompatible with rejecting the gospel, and continuing enemies to God; but the latter is not. Whatever construction may be put on the term “ election of
grace,” no man, who deliberately reads the chapter can doubt, that the election of those who embraced the gospel, and the election of those who rejected and opposed it, must be distinct in all respects.—The interpretation of the national election of Israel, as connected with the future accomplishment of many prophecies, is not the subject of this publication : but it is absolutely demonstrable, that “the remnant” of believing Jews, “ according to the election of grace,” is totally different from the election of the nation, for the sake of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob: and that it is an election within an election, which is Rom. xi. 7-28.
2 Rom. xi. 28.
all that the argument requires.—' Consequently, says his Lordship, election cannot mean, election
of individuals to salvation.' Consequently election does not always mean “election of individuals
to salvation :' this the premises fairly prove, but nothing more; and to this we have no objection. - This is said of the unbelieving Jews.' Were then “ the remnant according to the election of
grace,” to which the apostle expressly joined himself, ‘unbelieving Jews :' If not, another totally distinct election must be intended. It is ‘ remarkable, that in the same chapter, St. Paul 'speaks of a twofold election of the Jews.' Surely the apostle did not speak of the same election both of the believing and the unbelieving Jews ! This establishes our position of a national and a personal election; the one to outward advantages, the other to eternal salvation.'ı
· St. Paul says to Timothy, “I endure all things ' for the elect's sake, that they may also obtain the 'salvation which is in Christ Jesus, with eternal 'glory.” St. Paul therefore submitted to his suf'ferings and labours with a view of promoting
and securing the salvation of the elect, and consequently he did not consider their salvation as certain, but as depending upon the success of ' his exertions. This is perfectly consistent with
the idea of the elect being Christian converts in general, who might or might not be saved, but cannot be reconciled with the Calvinistic notion, ' that the elect are persons infallibly destined to. • salvation.' See Remarks on Ref.
? Ref. 212, 213.
This passage from St. Paul proves, (as many others do,) that God does not save his elect except by means and instruments : neither does he accomplish prophecies, or perform his promises, in any other way. Yet “the scripture cannot be “ broken ;” the promises shall infallibly be performed. “ Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words,” saith our Saviour,“ shall not pass
“ His counsel shall stand, and he will “ do all his pleasure.” Almost immediately after St. Paul, in his voyage to Rome, had said to his companions, by express revelation, “ There shall “ be no loss of any man's life among you, but of " the ship:” he says to them again, “ Except “these” (the seamen, who were attempting to quit the vessel,) “abide in the ship, ye cannot be
saved.”2 With much more apparent propriety might we have concluded from this last sentence, that no absolute engagement had been made for the safety of all the company on board, than, from the text under consideration, that there exists no certainty of the salvation of “ the elect."-Again, "" Behold there came a prophet unto Ahab, saying, “Hast thou seen all this great multitude ? Be"hold I will deliver it into thy hand this day." And Ahab said, By whom. And he said, Thus “ saith the Lord, Even by the young men of the
princes of the provinces. Then he said, Who “shall order the battle? And he answered, Thou." The certainty of the event is inseparable from the use of the appointed means; and he who decreed the one as certainly decreed the other also. "They I Matt. xxiv. 35. • Acts xxvii. 22--25, 31, 32,
1 Kings xx. 13, 14. VOL. VIII.