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'Christ:" to be elect, and to be a believer in 'Christ, are therefore the same thing.'l
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 multipUed. 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 your souls." 3 Is there here 'no restriction to those who were 'obedient to the precepts of the gospel r' 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 apostle wrote, were " elect, through sanctification "of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of "the blood of Jesus Christ:" therefore none were addressed but those who, through faith, were "sanctified by the Spirit," brought " to obedience," and " sprinkled with the blood of Christ." The apostle joins himself with them in the next verse, "as begotten again unto a lively hope, &c.:" none were therefore addressed except those who had this " lively hope," in consequence of regeneration: "and every man that hath this hope in him puri"fieth himself, even as he is pure."' They were also " begotten again—to an inheritance incorrup"tible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, re"served in heavenfor them:" therefore the apostle addressed exclusively those whom he considered as heirs of this inheritance; though there might be hypocrites in their company, "tares" among the wheat. The persons spoken of were " kept by "the power of God, through faith, unto salva"tion :" therefore they were partakers of true and saving faith. They loved the Lord Jesus, they believed in him, "they rejoiced in him with joy "unspeakable, and full of glory." Can these things be said of any except true Christians? None but true Christians, therefore, were intended. The apostle had seen Jesus Christ; and he believed, and loved him, and rejoiced: but the persons addressed did the same though they had not seen him; and "blessed are they who have not seen, "and yet have believed."2—Again, in the same chapter, the apostle says of those to whom he wrote: "Who by him do believe in God, who 1 1 John iii. 3. * John xx. 29.
1 Ref. 204, 205. s 1 Pet. i. 1—5. • 1 Pet. i. 7—9.
"raised him from the dead, and gave him glory, "that your faith and hope might be in God. See"ing ye have purified your souls in obeying the "truth, through the Spirit, unto unfeigned love "of the brethren, see that ye love one another "with a pure heart fervently; being born again, "not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by "the word of God, which liveth and abideth for "ever."l They did "believe in God" through. Christ; they had " purified their souls in obeying "the truth, through the Spirit j" they did " un"feignedly love the brethren :" and "we know "that we have passed from death unto life, be"cause we love the brethren." 2 None, then, but true Christians were addressed: and indeed the apostle does not inscribe his epistle to any collective bodies, or churches, but "To the elect stran"gers scattered throughout Pontus, &c."
These remarks prepare our way for the other text quoted by his Lordship from this apostle. "But, unto them which be disobedient, the stone "which the builders disallowed, the same is made "the Head of the corner; and a stone of stum"bling and rock of offence, even to them which "stumble at the word, being disobedient; where"unto also they were appointed. But ye are a "chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy na"tion, a peculiar people; that ye should shew "forth the praises of him, who hath called you out "of darkness into his marvellous light: which in "time past were not a people, but now are the "people of God; which had not obtained mercy, "but now have obtained mercy."' Can any man, having duly considered what had been said concerning these same persons in the preceding chapter, after deliberately reading the passage deny that the apostle regarded this company, whom he addressed, as being in reality what Israel as a nation was typically? The contrast between those to whom, as believers, "Christ was pre"cious," and all those " who, being disobedient, "stumbled at the word; and indeed every circumstance, confirms this conclusion. They were "a "chosen generation," as the seed of Abraham were; being the " children of Abraham, by faith "in Christ." 2 Thus " they were counted to the "Lord for a generation." 3 But, as collected from among various tribes and kindreds, they could not be " a chosen generation " in the same sense as the nation of Israel was the chosen race, the descendents of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel. They were "aroyal priesthood," a"kingdom of priests."4 This relates to the typical character of Israel, as a nation, and the real character of true believers. "Unto him who loved us, and washed us from our "sins in his own blood, and hath made us kings "and priests unto God and his Father." 5 "Thou "wast slain and hast redeemed us to God with thy "blood: and hast made us to our God kings and "priests."6 The kingdom and priesthood were incompatible under the Mosaic law; or at least after the kingdom was fixed to the family of David, of the tribe of Judah: but in that " High Priest "after the order of Melchizedec " these offices are united. He is " a priest upon his throne:"7 and
1 1 Pet. i. 21—23. unfeigned; dwiroxpirov, without hypocrisy. Rom.xii.9. lTim.i.5. Jam. iii. 17. Gr. "Johniii. 14.
'1 Pet.ii. 7—10. 'Rom.iv. 16— 18/Gal. iii. 29. *Ps.xxii.30. 'Ex. xix. 6. * Rev. i. 6. • Rev. v. 9.10. 7 Zech. vi. 13.
all his true people, as one with him, " are kings "and priests."—"A holy nation;" as Israel was typically, though, alas! in reality, too generally an unholy nation in respect of character. The "elect strangers, scattered throughout Pontus, "Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia," 'five 'extensive countries,' were not a nation, at all, as to any external concerns; but select individuals from divers nations, Jews and gentiles. Yet, under Christ their King, " whose kingdom was not of this "world," as reconciled to God by him," and becoming his willing subjects, they were incorporated as a nation, notwithstanding their dispersions, under his protection, and governed by his commandments; being in reality, what Israel was typically, "a peculiar people," \abs its Treptmnja-iv.1 All nations are the creatures, and ought to be the subjects and servants of God; but Israel was his by a peculiar right; a choice, a calling, a redemption, peculiar to that nation: yet this was only a shadow of the privilege of those for whom Christ " gave "himself, that he might redeem them from all "iniquity, and purify them unto himself, a peculiar "people zealous of good works." These persons, whom the apostle thus addressed, had not only been 'admitted to the marvellous light of the 'gospel,' but had been specially "called out of "darkness into his marvellous light." They were indeed become " the people of God;" they "had "obtained mercy."2 Can all these things meet in any except true Christians? It would not be more contrary to scripture to deny that the ritual law, the Aaronic priesthood, and the kingdom of
1 Mai. iii. 17. Sept. 'Compare 1 Tim. i. 13. with 1 Pet. ii. 9,10. Gr.