Imágenes de páginas

those who should live moral lives, but some who should be the chief of sinners. The apostle Paul was a chosen vessel of God, to bear his name amoug the Gentiles; yet, before his conversion, he was, according to his own confession, the chief of sinners. To this class belong Mary Magdalene, the Corinthian converts, s.nd many others, who were chosen, from eternity, to be heirs of the grace of God. The sovereigaty of God in election is often declared. His words to Moses are quoted by the apostle Paul. “ For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.” The apostle, in the same chapter, after mentioning Jacob and Esau, and several other instances, in which the sovereignty of God was displayed, draws the following inference. “Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have inercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.” The Lord Jesus Christ, in a clear view of this sovereignty, was made to rejoice, and to thank his father in heaven. * In that hour Jegus rejoiced in spirit and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou kast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in thy sight.” It is, therefore, a plainly revealed truth, that God acted as a sovereign in choosing the heirs of salvation.

4. The Bible informs us, that the elect were chosen in Christ. This is plainly asserted in the text. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ ; According as he hath chosen us in him, before the foundation of the world.” The elect are chosen and saved on account of Christ, not on their own account. This we are plainly taught by the apostle Paul in his epistle to Titus. * Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost.” It is a point much insisted on in scripture, that those who are saved, are not saved on account of their owik works; but by the mercy and grace of God in Christ. It is written in Romans, “ If Abraham were justified by works he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.” It is written in the Acts of the Apos. tles, “We believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, we shall be saved, even as they." Salvation, not by works, but by grace, is a truth running through the whole Bible. The apostle Per ter affirms this truth, when he addresses the chosen of God in the fol. lowing manner, “ Elect according to the foreknowledge of God tho Father, through sanctification of the spirit unto obedience, and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ.” by his spirit the'elect are sanctified and made obedient, and through his blood they are pardoned and saved.

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5. The Bible informs us, that the elect are chosen to holiness, in the present life. This truth is asserted in our text. “According ag he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be boly, and without blame before him in love." The same truth is expressed by the apostle Peter in the passage just quoted : Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father : How ? Not in consequence of sanctification and obedience ; but, through sanctification of the spirit unto obedience. God, when he chose the saints before the foundation of the world, chose to make then-obedient, or holy, through the sanctifying influences of his spirit. Hence we are informed, that “whom God foreknew, he did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son.” To be conformed to the image of the Son of God, is to be holy. We are also informed, that “ without holiness no man shall see the Lord;" and that “the grace of God, which bringeth salvation, teacheth us, that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in thispresent evil world." It hence plainly appears, that the elect were chosen to holiness in the present life; and that none have any ground to hope that they are of the chosen' namber, unless they have evidence that they have some degree of holiness.

6. The Bible assures us that all whom God has chosen to eternal life, will infallibly be saved. - The apostle Paul says to the Thessalonian converts, “But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting our the breast-plate of faith and love, and for an helmet the hope of salvation: For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Our Lord has said, “ Except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved;. but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened. For there shall be false Christs and false prophets, who shall show great sigas and wonders, insomuch that, if it were possible, they should deceive the very elect.” From these words of our Saviour, it appears, that it is impossible to deceive the elect, and that nothing shall hinder their galvation. The apostle says, “Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God who justifieth ; wbo is he that condemneth? If God justify the elect, so that no one can have any thing to lay to their charge, and if it be not possible for them to be deceived, we may be certain, that they will be saved. But we have confirming evidence upon this point. Speaking of the day of judgment, Christ says, “Then shall be send forth his angels, and they shall gather together his.elect from the four winds, from the uttermost parts of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.” In another place, he says, " My sheep,” by which is meant the elect, “hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life ; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, who gave them me, ja greater than all; ane

no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand." The apostle Paul says to the Romans, “ But the election hath obtained it.” And again, “We know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called of God according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the first born among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinale, them he also called ; and whom he called, them he also justified; and whom he justified, them he also glorified.” Here, all who love God, who are called, or chosen of God, according to his purpose, arc declared to be predestinated to be conformed to the image of Christ, which is to be predestinated to boliness of heart and life. And these all, without exception, are justified and glorified. Nothing can be more certain, from scripture, than that all the elect will be made holy in this world, and gloriously happy in the world to come..

7. We have evidence from the word of God, that none but the elect will be saved. Solomon says, “The Lord hath made all things for himself; yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.” The Lord Jesus Christ says, “ Ye belicve not because ye are not of my sheep.” The apostle Paul says, “For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might show my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.” The apostle Peter calls Christ " a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, to them who stumble at the word, being disobedient, whereunto also they are appointed." The apostle Jude says, “For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation ; ungodly men, turning the grace of God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ." The apostle Paul says, “ The election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded.” The Revelator, John, informs us, that the names of the elect were written in the Lamb's book of life, from the foundation of the world, and that none will be saved, only those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life. In one place he says, “ And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him," that is, the dragon or beast, “whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” In another place, “ The beast that thou sawest was and is not, and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition : And they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names are not writren in the book of life--from the foundation of the world.” And in another place, he says, speaking of the day of judgment, “Whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire, which is the second death.” These passages plainly teach and fully prove, that none but the elect will be saved. They inform us that God has made the wicked for the day of evil; that those who are not of Christ's sheep will not believe; that those who are not elected are blinded; and that all whose names are not written in the Lamb's book of life, will, in the day of judgment, be cast into the lake of fire, which is the second death.




[Continued from page 208.]


Ardent. Ilare you told the whole of your dream?
Thoughtful. No: the consultation proceeded, as follows:

Spirit of Delusion. The preceding observations remind me of ons thing which must not be forgotten, and from which we derived much advantage in the last century. We must lead those who are forward in the work to court opposition and persecution, and take pains to provoke it. And then, when they have raised it against themselves, lo plead it as an evidence that they are right, because it is written that the followers of the Prince shall suffer persecution. (a.)

Sp. of Persecution. Yes; and then I can urge them on to prosecute others, in their own vindication.(b) At least, I can hope to lead them to be loud in the cry of persecution, persecution, and to be vehement and noisy in their complaints, and to vindicate themselves in a way of bitterness, and high censuring of others ;(c) and then to justify themselves in it, by pleading that it is not their own cause in wbich they are thus vehement, but the cause of their Master, as was the case of Peter, when he drew the sword and began to smite with it, without waiting for orders so to do.

Sp. of Self-Confidence. And when they have thus provoked opposition against themselves, I can whisper to them that it is because they are so much better than others, so much more faithful in the discharge of duty, that they are thus persecuted. And I can take occasion from it to make them more bold and assuming, and to put on 3 dictatorial air, both towards God and man. Under the notion of a hoTy boldness and familiarity, all reverence and dread of the Divine Majesty must be laid aside. (d) And under the impression of their own superiority, they inust be led to expect that all others should submit to their dictation, and yield them the deference of preceptors, and to be much offended if others do not freely acknowledge it, and pay them all the respect which they think is, their due. (e) Much may be done in this way. It is the natural temper of mankind to de. sire to be as gods; and it is not difficult to persuade them that they are

(a) Edwards, III. 259, 260. (6) 234. (c) 235. (d) 236. (e). 238.

especially if they have been the instruments of accomplishing some great things. Yo:1 all know, that in this way we gained an advantage over Moses, and got him excluded from the promised land. How unlike the meekness he commonly manifested, was his language at that time, “Hear, now, ye rebels, must we fetch you water out of this rock?” There will be no great difficulty in persuading the multitude to help us in this. The inhabitants of Lystra manifested tho natural disposition of mankind, when they acknowledged Paul and Barnabas as gods, and went about to offer sacrifices to them, because a lame man had been healed. (f) Sp. of Funaticism.

And it will help greatly to accomplish this object, if we can make men believe now, as we did in the last century, that it is the manner of the King, now in these days, to guide his saints, at least some of the more eminent, by inspiration, or immediate revelation, and to make known to them what shall come to pass hereafter, or what it is his will that they should do, by impressions that he by his Spirit makes on their minds. (g) This will open a wide door for us. Por, we can not only puff up with pride and self-confidence those who imagine themselves thus distinguished, and lead those who think so of them to regard them as oracles, but we shall thus have an opportunity to set ourselves up as oracles, and to have our suggestiors regarded as the infallible rule and guide of the King's subjects; and then we may direct thein at our pleasure. (h)

Sp. of Error. And thus we can bring the King's book into contempt, to render its doctrines and precepts despised, as our past ex. pericncc abundantly shows. And this error will support and defend alt errors, both of sentiment and practice. For, low shall a man, who is not thus inspired, presume to instruct or correct one who is guided by the immediate counsels and commands of the great King hirself!(i) And the notion must be made to prevail, that this is a distinction which belongs to some of the most einincnt saints, and is a mark of the peculiar favor with which the King regards them, that the ordinary sanctifying influences of his Spirit may be despised, and Paul's preference of them above miraculous gifts may be made to irjure his credit as an apostle; and that men may be led to admire others, and almost worship them, for the imagined possession of that which Balaam and others of our friends have really had in former times.(k)

Sp. of Fanaticism. It is probable that some will be slow to believe that any arc inspired now, because the King's book is completed, and declared to be a sufficient and perfect rule, and men are forbidden to make any additions to it. But we must meet their objections with such declarations of that book as speak of men's being led by the Spirit. It is not likely that many will examine closely enough to see

(1) 240. (g) 243. (h) 244. (i) ib. (k) 245.

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