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Elijah. These were a remnant according to the “election of grace,” and the rest of the nation were not. Is it not then undeniable, that there was a national election to external advantages, and a personal election entirely distinct from it ? an election of individuals from among the elect nation ? and that the national election of Israel was a type and figure of the personal election of the true Israel, “ the church of the first-born, who are " written in heaven?”] The texts which are next adduced in the Refutation, as further proofs of the election of Israel, are considered by expositors, almost universally, as prophecies relative to the future dealings of God with the nation of Israel ; and as coincident with the words of our Saviour,
Except those days should be shortened, no “flesh” (that is, none of Israel) “should be saved; “ but for the elect's sake those days shall be “ shortened.”3 But this subject will be more fully considered in another place: nor are proofs needful of the national election of Israel, as it is not denied by Calvinists.
'In the numerous passages of the Old Testament, in which they are thus spoken of, there is * not the slightest allusion to their being predes'tinated to happiness in the world to come ; nor in' deed will any one contend that all the Jews were
designed for eternal salvation. They were elected ‘in this world only, as an introductory and preparatory step to the execution of God's merciful scheme of human redemption through the incar' nation and sufferings of Christ.'4 Heb. xii. 23.
? Is. xliii. 20. xlv. 4. Ixv. 9. Matt. xxiv. 22.
* Ref. 203.
This is a decisive proof that the national election of Israel was an entirely different thing from the election spoken of in the New Testament; being only a shadow or type of it. “God hath “ from the beginning chosen you unto salvation,
through sanctification of the Spirit, and belief “ of the truth; whereunto he hath called you by “our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our “ Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 “ Elect, according to the “ foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanc“ tification of the Spirit unto obedience, and
sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ.” 2 Wherever election and predestination are spoken of in the New Testament, concerning Christians, they are uniformly connected with “ things which
accompany salvation,"3 as the reader may easily perceive by examining and comparing the scriptures referred to.-The election of Israel was indeed an introductory and preparatory step to the
execution of God's merciful scheme of human ' redemption ;' but had the Israelites themselves no advantages in consequence of it? “ What ad
vantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is “ there of circumcision ? Much every way; chiefly “because that unto them were committed the “ oracles of God.” 4 It is probable that, from the days of Moses to the coming of Christ, more persons out of this comparatively small nation, were spiritual worshippers and accepted servants of God, than in all the world besides.
"We shall in like manner find that the same
! 2 Thes. ii, 13, 14. ? 1 Pet. i. 2. 3 Rom. viii. 28-30. Eph. i. 4, 5, 11-14. Col. iii. 12. 2 Tim. i. 9.
Tit. i. 1,
2. 1 Pet. ii. 9, 10.
* Rom. iii. 1, 2.
words, elect and chosen, are applied to collective ·bodies of men who were converted to the gospel, 'without any restriction to those who were obedient 'to its precepts, and will hereafter be saved ; and • that an infallible certainty of salvation, in conse
quence of a divine decree, is not attributed to any *number of Christians, or to any single Christian, throughout the New Testament.''
This is a statement which will require much proof : but let every argument have its due weight. What collective bodies of men were converted 'to the gospel,' in the same manner that Israel was chosen as a nation ? Even the three thousand converted on the day of Pentecost, and the“ tens • of thousands" 2 who afterwards believed, were merely a remnant of the nation of Israel ; and like the seven thousand in the days of Elijah, “ a
remnant according to the election of grace. God had “not cast away his people whom he fore
even when he rejected that nation from being his church. “ Israel hath not obtained that “ which he seeketh for ; but the election hath s obtained it: and the rest were blinded.”—The more copious of the apostolical epistles are addressed to the churches, or to the saints, and not to individuals : yet these were not collective bodies, they were not, as Israel is, elect nations ; but a small remnant out of the large population of Asia, Macedonia, Achaia, and Rome, “ according to the “ election of grace.”—In the epistles, however, to Timothy and Titus, the apostle joins himself with the person to whom he writes, when he speaks on this subject : and thus applies it to individuals. | Ref. 203, 204.
2 Acts xxi. 20. πόσαι μυριάδες. * Rom. xi, 1–7.
• 2 Tim. i. 9. Tit. i. 1, 2.
He mentions Clement, and others, “whose names “are in the book of life;" 1 and he says, “Salute
Rufus, chosen in the Lord,” TòY ÉxaExlòy & Kupiw.? St. John also addresses one of his epistles to "the “elect lady and her children,” and mentions her “ elect sister.” 3 And our Lord himself calls Paul
a vessel of election :" Σκέυος εκλογής. 4.
‘St. Peter tells the “strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bi'thynia,” that they are “elect according to the ' foreknowledge of God;” and “a chosen generation, a peculiar people, that they might shew ' forth the praises of him who hath called them * out of darkness into his marvellous light.” It is 'evident that the apostle here refers to the calling ‘of these men to the knowledge of his gospel, 'which, like every other circumstance relative to 'this gracious dispensation, was foreknown by 'God; and that, by denominating the Christians
of these five extensive countries, indiscriminately, "“ elect,” and “a chosen generation,” he did not ' mean to assert that they would all be saved; but ' that they were admitted to “the marvellous light” of the gospel, while other nations were still 'wandering in the “ darkness" of heathenism. And, to put this beyond all doubt, the same persons, whom in his first epistle he addresses as “elect according to the foreknowledge of God,” ‘in his second epistle he addresses as “ them that ' have obtained like precious faith with us, through 'the righteousness of God, and our Saviour Jesus
'Phil. iv. 3. Comp. Rev. xvii. 8. 2 Rom. xvi. 13. • 2 John 1, 12.
* Acts ix. 15.
Christ :" to be elect, and to be a believer in · Christ, are therefore the same thing.''
Let this whole passage from St. Peter be minutely examined. “Elect according to the fore“ knowledge of God the Father, through sanctifi“cation of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling “ of the blood of Jesus Christ : Grace unto you, “ and peace, be multiplied. Blessed be the God “ and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which ac “ cording to his abundant mercy hath begotten us “ again unto a lively hope, by the resurrection of “ Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance in
corruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith, unto salva
tion, ready to be revealed in the last time : “wherein ye greatly rejoice."2 And just after, “ That the trial of your faith, being much more
precious than of gold that perisheth, might be “ found unto praise, and honour, and glory, at “ the appearing of Jesus Christ: whom having “ not seen, ye love ; in whom, though now ye see “ him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy un
speakable and full of glory: receiving the end “ of your faith, even the salvation of Is there here no restriction to those who were * obedient to the precepts of the gospel ? ' no assertion that the persons addressed would all be saved ? I do not mean all called Christians in these countries, but all those of whom the apostle spoke by character ; for, “ if any one did “ not love the Lord Jesus Christ,” he was not one of the persons described. They, to whom the Ref. 204, 205.
1 Pet. i. 1-5. "1 Pet. i. 7-9. .
your souls.” 3