« AnteriorContinuar »
"ousness, and strength." "In the Lord shall all the seed of "Israel be justified, and shall glory." "By the knowledge of him "shall my righteous servant justify many ; for he shall bear their "iniquities." ' (' That we who know thee now by faith." " This is "life eternal to know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, "whom thou hast sent."") "I will raise up unto David a righ"teous Branch; and a King shall reign and prosper; and shall "execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Judah "shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is the "name whereby he shall be called, The Lord Our Righte"Ousness."4 "To make an end of sins, and to make reconci"liation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness."' "But the just shall live by his faith:" or, " The just by his faith "shall live."8 " Take away the filthy garments from him: and "to him he said, Behold I have caused thine iniquity to pass "away, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment."7 If then justication by faith (except as explained in a certain manner by Anticalvinists,) must be considered as a tenet of Calvinism, these clear intimations in the Old Testament, especially as connected with inspired comments on them in the New Testament, ought not to have been passed over in the history of those tenets.
4. The divine decrees, with election, &c. "God sent me be"fore you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save "your lives witlfgreat deliverance; so now it was not you who sent "me hither, but God."8 "As for you, ye thoughtevil against me: "but God meant it for good."" " I am sure that the kingofEgypt "will not let you go: no, not by a mighty hand." "In very deed "for this cause have I raised thee up, for to shew in thee my pow"er and that my name may be exalted throughout all the earth.",0 "The Lord had appointed to defeat the good counsel of Ahitho*•* phel, to the intent that the Lord might bring evil upon Absa"lorn."" "I know that God hath determined to destroy thee; "because thou hast done this, and hast not hearkened unto my "counsel."" "He is of one mind, and who can turn him ? and "what his soul desireth even that he doeth. For he performeth "the thing that is appointed for me; and many such things are
1 Is. xlv. 24, 25. liii. 11. • Col. Epiphany. 'John xvii. 3.
* Jer. xxiii. 5,6. xxxiii. 15, 16. 1 Cor. i. 30. 2 Cor. v. 21. 2 Pet. i. 1.
s Dan. ix. 24. Rom. iii. 21—26.
6 Hab. ii. 4. Rom. i. 17. Gal. iii. 11. Heb. x. 38.
-> Zech. iii. 4. Gal. iii. 26, 27. 8 Gen. xlv. 6—8. Acts ii. 23. iv. 28.
» Gen. I. 20. '» Ex. iii. 19. ix. 16. Rom. ix. 17, 18.
"2 3am.xvii. 14. IThes. i.9. 1 Pet. ii. 8. '«2 Chr. xxv. 16. Luke.xii 22.
"with him."' "The Lord bringeth the counsel of the heathen
"to nought; he maketh the devices of the people to be of none
"effect. The counsel of the Lord standeth for ever, and the
"thoughts of his heart to all generations."' "There be many
"devices in the heart of man : nevertheless the counsel of the
"Lord that shall stand."' " I know that whatsoever God doeth
"it shall be for ever; nothing can be put to it, nor any thing
"taken from it." ' " A remnant shall return. The consumption
"decreed shall overflow with righteousness. For the Lord God
"of hosts shall make a consumption, even determined in the
"midst of all the land."4 "The Lord of Hosts hath sworn,
"saying, Surely, as I have thought so shall it come to pass; and
"as I have purposed so shall it stand." " For the Lord of hosts
"hath purposed, who shall disannul it? and his hand is stretched
"out, who shall turn it back?"" "Hast thou not heard long
"ago how I have done it; and of ancient times how I have
"formed it? Now have I brought it to pass, that thou shouldst
"be to lay waste ruinous cities into desolate heaps; therefore
"their inhabitants were of small power."7 "Declaring the
"end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things
"that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and
"I will do all my pleasure." "I have spoken it; I will
"bring it to pass; I have purposed it; I will also do it."'
"Who is he that saith, and it cometh to pass,, and the Lord
"commandeth it not? Out of the mouth of the Most High pro
"ceedeth not evil and good?"' "Thus saith the Lord God:
"It shall also come to pass, that at the same time shall things
"come into thy mind, and thou shalt think an evil thought; and
"shall say, &c." "Art thou he of whom I spake in old time to
"my servants the prophets of Israel, that I would bring thee
"against them?"" "He doeth what he will in the armies of
"heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth, and none can
"stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?" "Unto
"the end of the war desolations are determined." "And that
"determined shall be poured upon the desolate." "He shall
"prosper till the indignation shall be accomplished : for that that
"is determined shall be done."" This is a part of the history of
1 Job. xxiii. 14, 15. * Ps. xxxiii. 10, 11. Eph. i. 11. J Prov. six. 21.
* Ec. iii. 14. » Is. x. 22, 23. Rom. ix. 27, 28. '• la. xiv. 24—27.
'la. xxxvii. 26, 27. » Is. xlvi. 10, 11. » Lam. iii. 37, 38.
w Ez. xxxviii. 10, 17. "Dan. iv. 35. ix. 26. 27. xi. 36.
the doctrines now called Calvinistic, in respect to the da and purposes of God in general; of which we should by no m lose sight in our inquiries on this subject.
Concerning personal gratuitous election to eternal life, satisfactory documents may be expected. The ages prece* the fulness of time for the appearance of the promised Me exhibited divine truths principally under types and shadd and the election of Abraham, and of his descendents in hit be outwardly "the elect and chosen people of God," wJ shadow of " our election in Christ, from the foundation of I "world," to be truly and spiritually his people, his worshipp his children: "a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a "nation, a peculiar people." Yet the very circumstance i one people being chosen, not for their righteousness, but cause of their natural relation to chosen Abraham, to the enjc ment of very valuable religious advantages, which were withhe from other nations, not more undeserving than they, is not on an outward shadow of our election in Christ, and for his sake; as his seed by regeneration, not for our works, to spiritual eternal blessings; but it is an instance and example of the divi sovereignty, in conferring undeserved benefits on some and not| on others, according to the " good pleasure of his will;" in a manner which many declaim against, as " respecting persons." —In attempting, however, to prove that the history of the tenets now called Calvinistic ought to begin with the very first revela- tion which God made to fallen man, even as to personal gratuitous election to eternal life; I hope to adduce a few intimations, which (especially with the divinely inspired comments on them in the New Testament,) may be thought worthy of peculiar notice in this argument.—The election of Israel, as a nation, in Abraham, it is allowed, was only to outward advantages: but was not the choice of Abraham, " the father of the faithful," personal, gratuitous, and to eternal life? That it was personal, cannot be doubted. "Look unto Abraham your father, and "unto Sarah that bare you; for I called him alone, and blessed "and increased him."1 It is also evident that it was gratuitous: "Your fathers dwelt on the other side of the flood in old time, "even Terah, the father of Abraham, and the father of Nahor; "and they served other Gods: and I took your father Abraham,
'Is. li. 1,2.
c." * This example is also a striking illustration of effectual itig. Is it even said of Abraham, that he first began to call a God? Is not the principium, the beginning, always ased unto God ?—And that Abraham's election was to eternal the whole scriptures declare.2—The same things might be iwn personally concerning Isaac and Jacob; whose faith, d piety, and salvation, as .the chosen of God, are fully attesti in scripture;' while all that can be said concerning Ishmael id Esau is, that their final rejection is not explicitly and diictly revealed; and we are not allowed to decide any thing on ach subjects beyond express revelation. But a profound silence s observed respecting them, except such terms as these, " proa fane Esau," " Esau have I hated." "The son of the bond "woman shall not be heir with the son of the free woman: so "then, brethren, we are not children of the bond woman but of "the free."—" Yet have I left me seven thousand in Israel: all ,: the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth "which hath not kissed him." Does this passage, with the apostle's comment on it, give no intimation of a gratuitous personal election to eternal life, made within the national gratuitous election to many external advantages?'—" Blessed is the man "whom thou choosest and causest to approach unto thee, that "he may dwell in thy courts."' "Remember me, O Lord, "with the favour that thou bearest unto thy people! oh visit "me with thy salvation! that I may see the good of thy chosen, "that I may rejoice in the gladness of thy nation, that I may "glory with thine inheritance!"' Does this most fervent prayer relate to nothing more than the outward advantages of Israel, as a nation; of which, it is highly probable, the Psalmist was at the time in full possession ?—" The holy seed shall be the sub'.' stance of it." "I will bring a seed out of Jacob, and out of "Judah an inheritor of my holy mountains; and mine elect "shall inherit it." "Ye shall leave my name for a curse unto "my chosen: for the Lord God shall slay you, and call his
i Josh. xxiv. 2, 3. Acts vii. 2,3. Rom. iv. 1—5.
* Gen. xii. 1—3. xv. 1. xvii. 7. Ex. iii. 15. Is. xli. 8—10. Matt. Kii.32. Lukexvi. 22. Gal. iii. 9—29. Heb. vi. 13—18. xi. 10—16.
'Gen. xxviii. 11—15. xxxi. 42. xxxii. 28, 29. xlix 10. Mark xiii.
26,27. Heb. xi. 13—16. * 1 Kings xix. 18. Rom. xi. 2—7.
* Ps. lxv. 4. * Ps. cvi. 4, 5.
"people by another name."' Was not this a prediction of the rejection of the elect nation of Israel, except an elect remnant among them, who, with the elect gentile converts, would be called by the name of Christians? and also of a future elect multitude, to descend from the present stock of Jews, who shall at length be called into the Christian church, and re-established in their own land; and for the sake of whom the nation has hitherto been preserved from utter destruction, and as a separate people? If these things are so, (for " known unto God are all "his works, from the beginning of the world;") personal election from the beginning, gratuitous election to eternal life, is taught in the Old Testament, and from the fall of Adam: and the history of the tenets now called Calvinistic ought to commence from that time.
I speak not of reprobation or pretention: they who are not elected are passed by; which is nearly all that the New Testament teaches on the subject: and, though Calvin and others have abundantly supplied this supposed deficiency, a majority of those called modern Calvinists, especially among the evangelical clergy, choose to adhere to the reserve of the scripture, even if reproached for so doing.
5. But can any thing be produced concerning final perseverance from the Old Testament ?- -" The Lord will not forsake "his people, for his name's sake: because it hath pleased the "Lord to make you his people."* "He hath made with me an "everlasting covenant, ordered in all things and sure: for this "is all my salvation, and all my desire."' "The righteous "also shall hold on his way: and he that hath clean hands "shall wax stronger and stronger." * "The steps of a good "man are ordered by the Lord, and he delighteth in his ways. "Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; for the "LoTd upholdeth him with his hand." "The salvation of the "righteous is of the Lord; he is their strength in time of "trouble: the Lord shall help and deliver them; he shall "deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they "trust in him."* "The mercy of the Lord is from everlasting "to everlasting upon them that fear him."* "They that trust
1 It. vi. 13. lxv. 9, 15, 22—25. Matt. xxiv. 22.
• 1 Sam. xii. 22. Rom. ix. 1—3. '2 Sam. xxiii. 5. Is. lv. 3.
Heb. xiii. 19. » Job. xvii. 9.
5 Ps. xxxvii. 23, 24. 39, 40. . 6 Ps. ciii. 17. Jer. xxxi. 3.