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'the whole armour of God, that they may be able * to stand against the wiles of* the devil:" it was 'therefore possible for those who were " saints," '" faithful," "chosen" and " predestinated," to 'walk unworthily, to incur the wrath of God by 'disobedience, and to yield to sinlul temptations, 'and consequently to fail of salvation.'"
Exhortations, to give diligence " to make their "calling and election sure," are perfectly consistent with the doctrine of the final salvation of all true believers: but exhortations to " walk worthy "of their vocation," especially related to their adorning and recommending the gospel, for the honour of God and the good of mankind. Even true Christians are often betrayed into improper conduct; and exhortations are exceedingly needful and useful, to make them vigilant and circumspect: but surely every instance of ' yielding to 'sinful temptations' does not imply that a man will ' fail of salvation:' for ' we may depart from 'grace given, and fall into sin, and, by the grace 'of God, we may arise and amend our lives.'2 Even if assured that the salvation of any company was infallibly certain, we might and ought to exhort them to " walk worthy of God who had called "them to his kingdom and glory; " 3 and address them in the language of the apostle, "Wherefore, "my beloved brethren, We ye steadfast, unmoveK able, always abounding in the work of the Lord, "forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in "vain in the Lord." Many important ends are answered by the holy lives of Christians, distinct from their own salvation. Wc may also say to 1 Ref. 207. • Art. xvi. '1 Thess. ii. 12.
any company, who act consistently, ' I address you as believers, and suspect the contrary of none among you; but it behoves you to examine yourselves, and to " give diligence, that you may "have the full assurance of hope unto the end ;" and so be animated for every service and every trial.' God generally works by means. The promise of a plenteous harvest would not render the husbandman's diligence superfluous, but rather encourage it: and, if any individual should so perversely interpret it as to excuse himself from labour, he would justly be excluded from the general benefit.
'This does indeed express God's taking such 'methods to answer his purposes, as he knows 'will in fact be successful: but it does not prove 'any thing like an over-bearing impulse on men's 'minds, to determine them in such a manner as to 'destroy the natural freedom of their volitions, 'and so to prevent their being justly accountable f to God for such actions.'•
There is nothing in this note at all discordant with our principles. So the pious Doddridge states the subject, and so would I state it.
"Jesus knew from the beginning who should 'betray him. Jesus answered them, " Have not I 'chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil? 'He spake of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon: f for he it was that should betray him, being one 'of the twelve." Jesus called, chose, elected these f twelve to be his peculiar disciples, his apostles, 1 Doddridge, Note, Ref. 207.
his constant companions, his friends. He gave 'them power to work miracles, to preach the 'gospel, to become witnesses of, and sharers in, 'his glory, to sit upon twelve thrones in his king'dom, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. Yet 'one of these men he declared to be a devil; one 'of them he knew would betray him; one of 'them he knew to be "the son of perdition," about 'to suffer such punishment, that it "had been 'good for him if he had not been born." Since 'then Judas was one of the chosen, one of those 'whom God " gave to Christ;" and since " Jesus 'knew from the beginning that he should betray 'him," and consequently be rejected and " lost;" 'it is clear that the chosen may deprive themselves 'of the advantage of " this excellent benefit" of 'being placed in a state most favourable for the 'attainment of salvation, and that foreknowledge 'does not imply control or influence.'1
Did our Lord ever say that he had chosen Judas "to salvation, through sanctification of the Spirit "and belief of the truth?" He chose Saul to be king over all Israel; and Jeroboam to be king over the ten tribes; and Cyrus to be the deliverer of Judah from captivity; and Judas to be an apostle, and to be the predicted traitor: but is this the same as "to be chosen in Christ, before "the foundation of the world, that we should be "holy, and without blame before him in love; "being predestinated to the adoption of children, "by Jesus Christ, unto him?" As to any other election, it is wholly beside our subject: and no man will say that Judas was thus chosen. Therefore 1 Ref. 208.
VOL. VIII. F
the whole argument from this case falls to the ground.—Our Lord indeed says, "Ye that have "followed me, in the regeneration, when the Son "of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also "shall sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve "tribes of Israel." 1 And he used nearly the same words, even after he had expressly pronounced a wo on the traitor.2 But Judas is not mentioned in either place. He had not left all and followed Christ, in the same honest manner as the other disciples had done: he had not " continued with "him in his temptations," but was a deserter and traitor. He will not "sit on one of the twelve "thrones" at the coming of our Lord: he could not then be intended in this express declaration of the final exaltation of the persons spoken of. But the apostles were twelve in number, as the tribes of Israel were, and, when one of them " by transgres"sionfell" from the apostleship, another was chosen in his place; and to the twelve apostles this promise will most surely be fulfilled. Our Lord also used these words in prayer, "Those whom thou hast "given me I have kept, and none of them is lost "but the Son of perdition; that the scripture "might be fulfilled."3 In the preceding verses, he had said of those that were given him, "They "have kept thy word." "They hate received thy "words, and have known surely that I came out "from thee, and they have believed that thou "hast sent me. I pray for them; I pray not for "the world, but for them that thou hast given "me, for they are thine. And all mine are thine,
1 Matt. xix. 28. 'Luke xxii. 22, 28, 29.
'John xvii. 12.
"and thine are mine, and I am glorified in them."' Now did our Lord intend to include Judas, even after he had bargained to betray him, in this number of whom he said these things, for whom he thus prayed, and in whom he was glorified ?—If not, either the word "given," in the verse first quoted, must mean, given to be an apostle, or rather the exception is made in the same manner, as when our Lord says ; "There were many lepers "in Israel in the days of Eliseus, but none of "them was healed .saving Naaman the Syrian." The same original word is there used as in the passage under consideration; («H0 as it is in other places, where the person excepted cannot be included in the number first specified.—' Men 'may deprive themselves of the excellent benefit, 'of being placed in a state most favourable for the * attainment of salvation ;' but the question is, whether any true believers, who are "called, and "chosen, and faithful," are thus left to deprive themselves. 'Foreknowledge does not imply 'control or influence.' It certainly does not implv compulsion. But, " Surely the wrath of man shall "praise him," (God,) "and the remainder of "wrath shall he restrain." 2 He " stilleth the noise "of the seas, and the noise of the waves, and the "madness of the people."3 Here is control, no doubt, implied in foreknowledge, even in respect of the most wicked men: and, if influence be denied, the influence of restraining grace on ' the 'unruly wills and affections of sinful men; and the influence of renewing grace on the minds of believers; in short the whole of Christianity is
1 John xvii. 6—10. * Ps. lxxvi. 10. 'Ps. lxv. 7.