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denied. But " known unto God arc all his works "from the beginning of the world."'
'The observation of our Saviour, "When I was 'daily with you in the temple, ye stretched forth 'no hands against me," appears to indicate that 'there were other means by which the Son of man 'might have been delivered unto death; so that 'the treason of Judas cannot be considered as a 'necessary part of the scheme of man's redemp'tion. It pleased God to make use of Judas, as 'of other wicked men on other occasions, as in'struments to fulfil his purpose, but they first 'made themselves fit agents.'2
Whatever other means there might be, 'by 'which the Son of man could have been delivered 'unto death,' there could be none which were not foreknown ; and the way in which he was betrayed was predetermined and foretold. "The Son of "man goeth as it is written of him." 3 "And the "Son of man goeth as it was determined."4 ' So 'that the treason of Judas was a necessary part of 'the scheme of man's redemption;' though Judas acted voluntarily, without any compulsion, or any regard to God's determination and prediction, in order to gratify his own avarice.
'If the Calvinists say, that Judas was never in 'reality one of the elect, we may ask what proof 'they can bring of any difference between him 'and the other eleven apostles, except works i And 'to grant that this is the only difference is to grant 'that works are necessary evidence of the secu'rity of any man's election.''
'Acts xv. 18. 3 Ref. 209.
'Matt. xxvi. 24. Mark. xiv. 22. * Luke xxii.22.
Here I am happy, in the name of most Calvinists, and perhaps of all evangelical clergymen, to agTee with his Lordship, ' that works are necessary 'evidence of the security of any man's election;' nay, the only proof imaginable of his election itself. Indeed nothing but works indisputably 'good before God,' the " fruits of the Spirit," can evidence our election of God.2 How strangely and unaccountably are our sentiments misunderstood! The very point is adduced as subversive of our doctrine, which we constantly and strenuously insist upon as an essential part of it.!
'St. Paul says to the Thessalonians, " We give 'thanks to God always for you all, making raen'tion of you in our prayers; remembering, with'out ceasing, your work of faith, and labour of 'love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus 'Christ, in the sight of God and our Father; 'knowing, brethren beloved, your election of 'God:" this is addressed to all the Thessalonians, 'to the whole body of Christians at Thessalonica; 'and the election here spoken of means their 'being called to the knowledge of the gospel; 'and their " work of faith, and labour of love, and 'patience of hope," here commended, refer to the 'sincerity and firmness with which they adhered 'to the Christian profession.3
After quoting the apostle's words to the Thessalonians, which I should otherwise have adduced, as explaining our sentiments on the subject of the last remark, it is added; 'This is addressed to all 'the Thessalonians, the whole body of Christians 'at Thessalonica.' Would it not be obvious from this to consider Thessalonica like London or York, in which the bulk of the inhabitants are professed Christians? But was this really the case? The history of the planting of a church at Thessalonica is comprised in few verses ;' from which a cursory reader would be apt to conclude that a very small number were converted. Internal evidence however, in this epistle, shews that a considerable church was collected: yet, I think, few will deliberately aver that a twentieth part of the inhabitants of that large city professed Christianity. It is also evident that the apostle was most completely satisfied, that the professed Christians there were almost all true believers, who shewed their faith by their works. His words, however, are restricted to those, concerning whom he " re"membered their work of faith, and labour of "love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus "Christ, in the sight of God and our Father," from which he inferred their " election of God;" and they cannot possibly be applied to any other persons mingled among them, as tares amidst the wheat; for these, not having in the sight of God living faith, unfeigned love, and patient, purifying hope, were not " of them," though living among them. But the apostle pursues the subject: "For "our gospel came not to you in word only, but in "power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much as"surance: as ye know what manner of men we "were among you for your sake; and ye became "followers" (or imitators, /*»/*ijrai) " of us, and of "the Lord, having received the word of God in "much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost: so "that ye became ensamples to all that believe in "Macedonia and Achaia." 1 From these proofs the apostle inferred their " election of God :" and can these things be found in any except true Christians } Do they agree to the whole body of Christians, so called, in the church of England, or in any other modern church, or churches? at least, where any besides communicants (carefully admitted, and on acting inconsistently impartially excluded,) form a part of the church? Even there it may be supposed that the most zealous friends of that system would hardly think their churches equal to the church at Thessalonica.—In the next chapter he says: "We thank God without ceasing, "because when ye received the word of truth, "which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the "word of men, but, as it is in truth, the word of "God, which effectually workcth also in you that "believe." 2 Can this be said of the bulk of modern Christian churches: But, if indeed they 'adhered with sincerity and firmness to the Chris'tian profession/ they were certainly true Christians; and their " election of God," however explained, was thus demonstrated.3
1 Ref. 209. '1 Thess. i. 3,4. 'Ref. 209, 210.
'" God hath from the beginning chosen you to 'salvation, through sanctification of the Spirit, 'and belief of the truth; whereunto he called you 'by our gospel." The sanctification of the Spirit 'and belief of the truth, which were common to 'every true convert, are here denominated the '" being chosen to salvation:" that is, the Thes'salonians, by embracing Christianity, were now 'enabled to obtain salvation; but that this salva'tion was not certain and infallible is evident 'from the numerous exhortations and precepts 'contained in these epistles, and particularly from 'the following earnest entreaty; " Furthermore 'then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you 'by the Lord Jesus, that, as ye have received of 'us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so 'ye would abound more and more :" a continual 'progress in obedience to the instructions which 'St. Paul had given to the Thessalonians was 'therefore necessary on their part to secure their 'salvation.'1
'1 Thess. i. 5—10. * 1 Thess. ii. 13.
'2 Thess. ii. 10- 14
The apostle had predicted the grand apostacy from true Christianity; and he then spoke of those "who received not the love of the truth, that they "might be saved :" and " for this cause," he says, "God shall send them strong delusion that they "should believe a lie? that they all might be "damned, who believed not the truth, but had "pleasure in unrighteousness." He then contrasts his beloved children with these persons, in the words here quoted; but he adds at the close, "to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus "Christ."2 —" Chosen from the beginning, "through sanctification of the Spirit, and belief "of the truth." This sanctification and belief 'were common to every true convert;' (they could indeed be predicated of none but true con
1 Ref. 210. 'See on p. 204, 20.5. of Refutation.