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words arbitrarily and capriciously,' in connexion with the Lord's decrees, or dispensations, are used exclusively by the opponents of Calvinism, and are not found in the writings of Calvinists.--How

the example of the potter' can'shew, that the apostle is speaking of this life only ; ' when connected with “ vessels of wrath fitted for destruc“ tion,” and “ vessels of mercy, which “he had “afore prepared to glory;" cannot easily be conceived. For surely these terms mean something extremely different from the ranks in society, ‘into which men by divine appointment are born;' as the apostle shews, when he particularly mentions himself, and both Jewish and gentile converts to Christianity, as “ vessels of mercy.” Indeed the sense in which our church understands the passage is evident from the seventeenth Article: 'He hath constantly decreed, by his counsel • secret to us, to deliver from curse and damnation,

those whom he hath chosen in Christ out of 'mankind, and to bring them by Christ, to ever

lasting salvation, as vessels made to honour'ut vasa in honorem efficta. Are these things spoken' of this present life only ?

The election of a peculiar people (even in the · Calvinistic sense,)does not suppose the rest of

the world neglected, or punished, except so far as they deserve it. But, had we all been punished as we deserved, we should all have perished everlastingly. “O Lord, deal not with us after

our sins, neither reward us according to our 'iniquities.'! Even original sin, according to the doctrine of our church, 'in every person born into

Litany.

this world, deserveth God's wrath and damnation.'1 We suppose, therefore, that the divine decree is positive, in respect of the elect, ' to de

liver them from curse and damnation, and to 'bring them by Christ to everlasting salvation ;' but that the purpose of God is negative, as to others: that is, he purposes to leave them to themselves, and to do nothing to deliver them from the punishment which their sins deserve, or from the consequences of their depraved hearts and rebellious conduct. It is certain that the compilers of our Articles did not think, that “ the “ vessels whom God had afore prepared unto “ glory” related to God's gracious offer of the gospel to those, who he foreknew would accept of it; but to the effect of his special grace given unto them: for after the words before quoted it follows; Wherefore they which be endued with

so excellent a benefit of God be called, according 'to God's purpose, in due season; they through

grace obey the calling; they be justified freely .&c.'? And indeed, if it is acknowledged that 'man has not the disposition, and consequently (not the ability, to do what in the sight of God is good, till he is influenced by the Spirit of God;'3 God's foreknowing, that the persons spoken of 'would accept the blessings of the gos• pel,' implies that he purposed to give them his Holy Spirit, and so “ to work in them to will and “ to do, of his good pleasure." But the words, “ and to make known the riches of his glory on - the vessels of mercy, whom he had afore pre“ pared unto glory," denote more than merely their effectual calling : they signify the same be

· Article ix. Art. xvii. • Ref. 61.

words' arbitrarily and capriciously,' in connexion with the Lord's decrees, or dispensations, are used exclusively by the opponents of Calvinism, and are not found in the writings of Calvinists.—How

the example of the potter'can' shew, that the “apostle is speaking of this life only ; ' when connected with “ vessels of wrath fitted for destruc“ tion,” and “ vessels of mercy, which “ he had “afore prepared to glory;" cannot easily be conceived. For surely these terms mean something extremely different from the ranks in society, ‘into which men by divine appointment are born;' as the apostle shews, when he particularly mentions himself, and both Jewish and gentile converts to Christianity, as “ vessels of mercy.” Indeed the sense in which our church understands the passage is evident from the seventeenth Article: 'He hath constantly decreed, by his counsel • secret to us, to deliver from curse and damnation,

those whom he hath chosen in Christ out of 'mankind, and to bring them by Christ, to ever

lasting salvation, as vessels made to honour'ut vasa in honorem efficta. Are these things spoken' of this present life only?

The election of a peculiar people (even in the Calvinistic sense,)“ does not suppose the rest of the world neglected, or punished, except so far as they deserve it.' But, had we all been punished as we deserved, we should all have perished everlastingly. O Lord, deal not with us after

our sins, neither reward us according to our 'iniquities.'? Even original sin, according to the doctrine of our church, 'in every person born into

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· this world, deserveth God's wrath and damna. tion.'! We suppose, therefore, that the divine decree is positive, in respect of the elect, ' to de

liver them from curse and damnation, and to “bring them by Christ to everlasting salvation ;' but that the purpose of God is negative, as to others : that is, he purposes to leave them to themselves, and to do nothing to deliver them from the punishment which their sins deserve, or from the consequences of their depraved hearts and rebellious conduct. It is certain that the compilers of our Articles did not think, that “the “ vessels whom God had afore prepared unto “ glory” related to God's gracious offer of the gospel to those, who he foreknew would accept of it; but to the effect of his special grace given unto them: for after the words before quoted it follows; “Wherefore they which be endued with

so excellent a benefit of God be called, according 'to God's purpose, in due season; they through 'grace obey the calling; they be justified freely, '&c.'2 And indeed, if it is acknowledged that 'man has not the disposition, and consequently 'not the ability, to do what in the sight of God

is good, till he is influenced by the Spirit of ‘God;'3 God's foreknowing, that the persons spoken of 'would accept the blessings of the gos'pel,' implies that he purposed to give them his Holy Spirit, and so “ to work in them to will and “ to do, of his good pleasure.” But the words, " and to make known the riches of his glory on " the vessels of mercy, whom he had afore pre“ pared unto glory,” denote more than merely their effectual calling : they signify the same be

'Article ix. ? Art. xvii. • Ref. 61.

“remnant according to the election of grace" was meant, which there was even “ at that present time," when Israel as a nation was cast off. ' Certainly in these prophecies 'no mention is made of 'any absolute decree of God, &c:' but the apostle is shewing by them, that the obstinate unbelief of the Jews, and the conversion of the gentiles, had been predicted long before ; and, if predicted, then foreseen, yea, predetermined. These events were passed indeed ; but was the effect of the calling of the gentiles, and of the rejection of the Jews, all confined to this life? Were not the converted gentiles " called to the kingdom and glory” of God? Were not the unbelieving Jews “ vessels “ of wrath fitted to destruction ?” Had they, who perished by temporal judgments no immortal souls? Did they not die in their sins? Is it not true, that “ he that believeth not the Son, shall “not see life ; but the wrath of God abideth on “him?" How can such subjects be discussed

without any allusion to a future state of exis'tence? If we realize by vigorous faith a future and eternal state of existence awaiting every human being ; and firmly believe that “ he who “ believeth shall be saved, and he who believeth “ not shall be damned ;" we shall find this impossible. 2

Rom. xi. 1-7. On a long passage from Jerome on the ninth chapter of Romans, to be found at p. 394. of the Refutation, the author makes the following observations in the first edition of this work.-J. S.

"I quote this long passage as an illustration of the insuperable difficulties, to which all who oppose the doctrine of gratuitous personal election to eternal life have in every age been reduced, by the ninth chapter of Romans. Whatever pains former com

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