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natural right to claim covenant and ecclesiastic prjv* ileges.
»5, i6. "For he faith to Moses, I will hava mercy on whom I will have mercy j and Vwill have compaffion on whom I will have companion. So then, it is not of him that wilfeth, or of him that runneth; but of God that Ihoweth mercy."
As God said to Moses, that he would choose his own objects of mercy and compassion; so it is not with man always, by his own will and exertions, to command the bounties of fortune or grace.
17, 18. M For the scripture faith to Pharaoh, even for this fame purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy; and whom he will he hardeneth."
As it was said to Pharaoh, for this end have I sustained and supported you in lise, though you* have deserved death; to make you an instrument of displaying my glerious name and power over all the earth : and thus show to the world, that I will be a sovereign in dispensing or withholding mercy.
19, ao, 21, 22. '< Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth be yet find fault? who hath resisted his will i Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed fay to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus ? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the fame lump to make one vessel unto honor, and another
unto dishonor? What if God, willing to show bis wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much long suffering the vessels of wrath sitted to destruction?"
You will, perhaps, ask, Why does God sind fault? who ever did resist his power? Nay, but consider, that, as the potter hath an undoubted right to make a vessel to honor, of a part of a lump of clay, and of the other part, a vessel to dishonor, if he pleases; so God, if he is willing to delay (he destruction of such as have long deserved it, as in the Case of Pharaoh; that he may display his character, to advantage, before the universe $ hath as undoubted a right to do it.
23. "And that he might make known the riches. of his glory on the vessels- of mercy which he had afore prepared unto glory."
That God, on the other hand, may make known the riches, of his goodness, to those whom he had chosen to be the objects of his mercy.
24, 25, 26. "Even us whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles, As he faith also in Qsee, I will call them my people, which were not tny people; and her beloved, which was not beloved. And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they he called the children of the living God."
To proceed to a full explanation of what 1 have meant by Qod's sovereign mercy and compassion, and
his right to harden whom he will; I mean that ha hath shown mercy and compassion to us, both of the Jewish nation, and of the Gentile world, to whom be hath sent the Gospel, and whom he hath adopted and called into covenant and church-estate: according to former predictions of the prophet Rosea, concerning the call of the Gentile world by the gospel. God hath made up the present christian church, in part of Jews, and in part of Gentiles; and this is his sovereign mercy to them: Whilst he hath permitted the unbelieving among the Jews and Gentiles, to sosser a temporary exclusion from his church and people.
27, 2§, 29. "Esaias also crieth concerning Israel, Though the numbeT of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved; for he will sinish the work, and cut short' in righteousness; because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth. And, as Esaias said before, Except the Lord of sabaoth had left us a seed, we had been as Sodoma, and had been like unto Gomor* rah."
Esaias, also, looking forward to Christian days, ^nd foreseeing the insidelity of the Jews, cried out, tbat^of a numerous nation, a sew comparatively stiould embrace the gospel salvation; and that, if God had not been very merciful to Israel, in former ages, as well as in the days of the Gospel, the pation of the Jews would have been reduced to destruction, like Sodom and Gomorrah.
8°> 3*> 32. 33* "What *aW we sey d*etl ? T*13^ she Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness even the righteousness which is of faith: But Israel, wHfich followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but a^ it were by the works of the law; for they stumbled at that stumbling stone: As it is written, Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling stonerand rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.?
What account can be given of this event; that the Gentiles, who had been ignorant of the method of the acceptance of sinners with God, had fallen in with the divine mejthod, when proposed? And that the Jews, who had much greater advantages for the knowledge of divine subjects, did not fall on the right method of obtaining divine acceptance? The reajbn, with respect to the Gentiles, is, that their minds were free andjunprejudiced ; and with regard to the Jews, that they were prejudiced in favor of their wrong interpretations of the Mosaic constitution, and against Jesus Christ, and the method of faith: for they stumbled at Christ, as the prophet foretold that they would.
Thus, kind reader, we have gone through one of the chapters, which according to Mr. S., contain ihe weight of evidence, in this epistle, for eternal never ending misery. We have seen God choosing Isaac rather than Ishmacljto be the root of the Jewish
church. church. And then, God chose, for the fame piii> pose, Jacob rather thon Esau, without the least respect to the personal qualities of either, for they bad done neither good nor evil. Then a declaration of God's right to delay the deserved punishment of the-wicked, for the display of his glorious character! and to show mercy to persons or people, as he should judge best. We have also seen what the apostle means by the sovereignty of divine mercy j even his calling the Gentiles into church estate, with a remnant of the Jews, and causing the rest of the Jews to suffer a temporary rejection from his church.
Here is not one single word, in all this ix. chapter of any election to future happiness, or reprobation to suture misery. But we will suspend our observations on Mr. S.'s treatment of this epistle, till we have looked through the other chapters.
We will now proceed Jo the i©th chapter.
1. "Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.'*
Brethren, it is my most cordial desire and prayer to God, in favor of Israel, that they may (not suffer e perpetual rejection from the church of God.
*. "For I bear them record, that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.''
For I can give testimony for Israel, that they are zealous to be considered as a favorite people $ but they mistake the method of divine acceptance.
Q. "For they, being ignorant of God's righteousness.