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with express design to bring them tfr repentanee. But he knew, from the days of eternity, that they would not repent. To have had no end in view, and to have one which he knew would never exist, are the fame thing. If the antediluvians perish without end, God had no design in view, in send-1 ing his spirit and gospel to them,, according to tho , present hypothesis. We are now driven to adopt one of these three alternatives;. that God sent his spirit and gospel to the antediluvians, to inciease their guilt and eternal damnation;. dr that he had so end in view; or that the antediluvians will repent. The reader may adopt which of these alternatives he pleases. I shall adopt the last, as insinitely the most rational, the most honourable to God, and the most persectly consistent with bis re-* vealed benevolent government of men.
Thus Mr. S., by quoting St. Peter, as he did by quoting St. John, hath given us one of the best scriptures to commentupon that we have in favor of the salvation of all men,, as it undeniably favors the salvation of the old world.
We have already considered a large portion of the 3d chap, of the ad epistle of St. Peter, and shown the harmony between Peter and John, m their ideas of the new heavens and new earth.
Mr. S. goes from the epistles of St. Peter, to those of St. Paul; and begins his remarks on that to the Romans. Mr. S. takes an extraordinary method with the epistle to the Romans. And it is not difficult cult to discern the season of it. He gives us a general statement of what he supposes to be St. Paul's design in this epistle ; and affirms that he was a strong advocate for eternal misery, and for a partial election to eternal lise; biit brings forward no particu— Jar passages to support this statement, and these afsirmations. In this way a man may prove any thing, or, rather will prove nothing. For the consideration of the jjth chapter, he resers us to his 3d part. He mentions the ejth, ioth, and iith, chapters, as containing a partial election to eternal lise, and reprobation of the rest of mankind; so that some muff * unavoidably be eternally miserable.
After Mr. S. had made a statement of St. Paul's general system of doctrine, in this epistle he has the following observations, page 51. "Hitherto, a connected vitW of this epistle, appears to be much against the opinion of universal salvation, and if the apostle had said nothing further, an unattentive reader would gather from his writing, his belief of eternal punishment. The weight of evidence from this epistle remains still to be considered, and is found in the gth^ ioth, and iith chapters; where the point is decided With as great plainness as language can do it."
"He takes up the subject of the blindness of his own nation, the Jews 5 and their rejection by the sovereignty of God from the benesits of the gospel. His design was to justify the righteousness of God id doing it, and reconcile all the former promises made to that peoplej with such an event. If part of the
Jews are eternally rejected fey God, the opinion of universal salvation is unfounded; and part of every other nation may also be forever lost." Here the reader fees what he may expect to sind in these threechapters, viz. a rejection of a part of the Jewish nation From eternal lise. If this be not found here, then Mr. S. hath been guilty of misrepresenting St. Paul, and of affirming that which is not true. The reader Cannot have forgotten yet, how Ms. S. treated the xvii. chapter of John, and that he affirmed that Christ prayed not for the wOrld, in that chapter; when it was proved, from the Very chapter, that he repeatedly prayed for the world, and that the choicest blessing might be conserred on the world, even the knowledge and faith of the Son of God. If it should happen, when we come to a critical examination and analysis of these three chapters of St. Paul's epistle to the Romans, that there is no proof in them that any part of Israel were rejected from eternal happiness, and obliged to be eternally miserable, Mr. S/s assertion must be unfounded, and he considered as having misrepresented St. Paul.
Rom. ix. 1—5. "I'say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the holy Ghost, That I have great heaviness, and continual sorrow in my heart. For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh: Who are Israelites i to whom pertaineth the adoption and the glory ; and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; Whose W are ate the fathers, and of whom, as concerning the flesh: Christ came, who is over all, God blessed forevermore. Amen.''
In these verses we have St. Paul's ardent wishes for the welfare of his countrymen, the Israelites.
6. "Not as though the word of God had taken Aone effect. For they are not all Israel, Which are of Israel."—Not that the Gospel hath been rejected by the whole nation. For there is a real difference among the natural descendants of Israel, and some are of a better disposition than others.
7. "Neither because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, in Isaac shall thy seed be called."—Nor, because they are the natural offspring of Abraham, can'we inser that ihey inherit his disposition. For, as in the ancient transaction of God with Abraham, God told him that, though he were concerned for lshamael, in Isaac should be
j-v . his peculiar seed, and in his sine, bis feed, by emi
nence, the Messiah should arise..
8. w That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God; but the children of the promise are counted foir the seed."—To explain myself clearly; the child which Abraham had by Hagar was not to be considered as a child of the covenant;, but he who was bora to Abraham, in consequence of the special promise of God, was to be accounted as the covenant seed.
g. "For this is the word of promise, at this time, will I come,, and Sara shall have a ion,"
For the promise was this, at this time will I come »nd thy wise Sara shall have a son.
10—14. «J And not only this; but when Re* becca also had conceived by one, even by our fath. er Isaac, (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, bat of him that calleth..) It was said unto her, the elder shall serve the younger. As it is written, Jacob have I loved, and Esau have I hated."
And not only was God pleased to preser Isaac to Ishmael, to be the covenant seed of Abraham ; but when Rebecca came to have twin sons, God was pleased again to continue the line of the covenant seed in Jacob rather than in Esau; and he signisied this to Rebecca, before the qhildren were born, or either of them had any merit or demerit, on account of any thing they had done; that God might appear to act as a sovereign, and not from partial affection, when he said, I have presered Jacob to Esau, to be the covenant seed of Abraham: and the Edomites shall be in servitude to the Israelites.
*5, '.' What (hall we fay then ? is there unright* eoufhess with God? God forbid."
What shall we fay of this conduct of God ? shall we call it unrighteous? Far be it. God had an undoubted right bo establish his covenant with Isaac ralher than with Ishmael; and afterwards, with Jac«b rather than Esau. Neither of them had a