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in the feast to ensure his sovereignty, and arbitrary disposal, and perfectly free selfdetermination; and it should be left contingent, whether he would bestow it or not; and, in these circumstances, this third person should happen to determine in our favor, and bestow virtue: Now I ask, would it be proper to ascribe the matter so wholly to God, in such strong terms, and in such a great variety; to ascribe it so entirely to him as his gift; to pray to him beforehand for it; to give him thanks, to give him all the glory, &c. 2. On the contrary, would not this determining cause, whose arbitrary, selfdetermined, selfpossessed, sovereign will, decides the matter, be properly looked upon as the main cause, vastly the most proper cause, the truest author and bestower of the benefit? Would not he be, as it were, all in the cause 2 Would not the glory properly belong to him, on whose pleasure the determination of the matter properly depended ?
§ 29. By regeneration, being new creatures, raised from death in sin, in the New Testament, is not meant merely persons’ being brought into the state and privileges of professing Christians, according to Dr. Taylor. When Christ says unto Nicodemus, John iii. 3. “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God;” he does not mean merely, that unless a man be brought to a participation of the new state and privileges of the Christian church, he cannot enter on the possession and privileges of the Christian church ; for that would be nonsense, and only to say, unless a man be born again, he cannot be born again ; or, unless a man enter into the new state of things, as crected by the Messiah, he cannot enter on the new state of things as erected by the Messiah. Nor can he mean, that unless a man be a professing Christian, he cannot see the future and eternal privileges of the kingdom of heaven, for he supposes many heathens will see the kingdom of God in that sense.
And how unreasonable would it be to suppose that Christ would teach this doctrine of the necessity of being instated in his new modelled church, as such a great, importans and main doctrine of his Taylor, to make out his scheme, is forced to suppose, that by being born of God is meant two things in the New Testament, (see p. 127, of his Key, and on Original Sin, p. 144, &c.) So he is forced to suppose, that by the kingdom of God is meant two things, (p. 125, marginal note, and other places) and so he supposes two senses of our being of the truth, our being of, or in God, and knowing God, (see p. 127, marginal note.) He is forced to suppose that many of the expressions, signifying antecedent blessings, are to be taken in a double sense, (see p. 138, No. 243, &c.) See how evidently being born of God signifies something else than a being brought into the state of professing Christians, 1 John ii. 29. “If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doth righteousness is born of him.” Chap. iii. “Whatsoever is born of God, doth not commit sin ; for his seed remaineth in him, and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.” Chap. iv. 8. “Every one that loveth, is born of God, and knoweth God.” Chap. v. 4. “Whatsoever is born of God, overcometh the world.” Verse 18. “We know that whosoever is born of God, sinneth not ; but he that is begotten of God, keepeth himself; and that wicked one toucheth him not.” So it is exceeding apparent, that knowing God, and being of God, and in God, having this hope in him, &c. mean something beside our Christian profession, and principles, and privileges. 1 John ii. 3, &c. “Hereby do we know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected. Hereby know we that we are in him.” Chap. iii. “Every one that hath this hope in him, purifieth himself, even as he is pure.” Chap. iii. 14. “We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren.” Chap. iv. 12. “If we love one another, God dwelleth in us.” Taylor supposes that this same apostle, by being born of God, means being received to the privileges of professing Christians.
John”. 12. (p. 49.) l John v. 1, & v. 18. (p. 48) 1 John iii. 1. (p. 49.)
§ 30. Why does the apostle say, concerning apostates, “ they were not of us: 1.f they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us; but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us;” if it be, as Dr. Taylor supposes, that professing Christians are indeed of the society of Christians to all intents and purposes, have all their privileges, are truly the children of God, members of Christ, of the household of God, saints, believers that have obtained like precious faith, are all one body, have one spirit, one faith, one inheritance, have their hearts purified and sanctified, are all the children of light, are all of the househould of God, fellow citizens with the saints, have all fellowship with Christ, &c. 2
§ 31. It is true, the nation of the Jews are in the Old Testament said to be elected, called, created, made, formed, redeemed, delivered, saved, bought, purchased, begotten. But particular Jews are no where so spoken of, at least with reference to the same thing, viz. their national redemption, when they were brought out of Egypt, &c.
David, in the book of Psalms, though he is so abundant there in giving thanks to God for his mercies, and is also so frcquent in praising God for God's redeeming his people out of Egypt, and the salvation God wrought for the nation and church of Israel at that time ; yet he never once blesses God (having respect to that salvation) that God had chosen him and redeemed him, bought him, regenerated him; never (having reference to that affair) speaks in the language of the apostle, “He loved me, and gave himself for me;” though he often speaks of the blessedness of those men God had chose, and caused to come nigh unto him, agreeably to the language of the New Testament, and often blesses God for redeeming and saving him in particular; but never, in any of these things, has he respect to those national privileges, nor indeed any other of the penmen of the Psalms; which is very strange, if the privilege of being bought, made, created, &c. as applied to the nation of the Jews, be that which the apostle in the New Testament applies to himself in particular, and which this and the other apostles applied to many other particular persons.
§ 32. That professing Christians are said to be sanctified, washed, &c. does not argue, that all professing Christians are so in fact. For Taylor himself says, “it should be carefully observed, that it is very common in the sacred writings, to express not only our Christian privileges, but also the duty to which they oblige, in the present or preterperfect tense; or to speak of that as done, which only ought to be done, and which, in fact, may possibly never be done : As in Matth. v. 13. “Ye are the salt of the earth,” that is, ye ought to be. Rom. ii. 4. “The goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance;” that is, ought to lead thee : Chap. vi. 2. Chap. viii. 9. Col. iii. 3. 1 Pet. i. 6. “Wherein ye greatly rejoice;” i. e. ought to rejoice. 2 Cor. iii. 18. “We all with open face (enjoying the means of) beholding, as in a glass, the glory of the Lord, are (ought to be, enjoy the means of being) changed into the same image from glory to glory.” I Cor. v. “Ye are unleavened,” i.e. obliged by the Christian profession to be. Heb. xiii. 14. “We seek, (i. e. we ought to seek, or, according to our profession, we seek) a city to come.” 1 John ii. 12....15. iii. 9. v. 4.... 18, and in other places. See Taylor's Key, p. 139. No. 244, and p. 144. No. 246. This overthrows all his supposed proofs, that those which he calls antecedent blessings, do really belong to all professing Christ1ans.
33. The case was quite otherwise in the Christian church with regard to election, redemption, creation, &c. from what it was with the Jews. With the Jews, election, their redemption out of Egypt, their creation, was a national thing ; it began with them as a nation, and descended, as it were, from the nation, to particular persons. Particular persons were first of the nation and church of the Jews; so, by that means, hadon interest in their election, redemption, &c. that God wrought of old. The being of the nation and church of Israel, was the ground of a participation in these privileges." But it is evident, it is contrariwise in Christians. With regard to them, the election, redemption, creation, regeneration, &c. are personal things. They begin with particular persons, and ascend to public societies. Men are first redeemed, bought, created, regenerated, and by that means become members of the Christian church; and this is the ground of their membership. Paul's regeneration, and Christ's loving him, and giving himself for him, was the foundation of his being of the Christian church, that holy nation, peculiar people, &c. whereas, David’s being one of the nation of Israel, is the proper ground of his participation in Israel’s redemption out of Bgypt, and of that birth and formation of the people that were at that time. It is apparent the case was thus. It cannot be otherwise. It is evident that the new creation, regeneration, calling, and justification, are personal things, because they are by personal influences; influences of God's spirit on particular persons, and personal qualifications. Their regeneration was a personal thing, and therefore, it is not called simply an entering into the new creation, or obtaining a part in the new world or new Jerusalem, &c. but a putting off the old man, and putting on the new man. They are first raised from the dead, and by that means come to belong to the church of Christ. They are first lively or living stones, and by that means come to belong to the spiritual house, and the holy temple ; by being lively stones, they come to be parts of the living temple, and capable of it. So that their being alive, is prior to their belonging to the Christian church. The Christian calling, is represented as being the ground of their belonging to the church. They are called into the church, called into the fellowship of Jesus Christ.