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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 heaven for them:" therefore the apostle addressed exclusively those whom he considered as heirs of this inheritance; though there might be hypocrites in their company, 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."?— Again, in the same chapter, the apostle says of those to whom he wrote: “Who by him do believe in God, who "I John iñ. 3.
John xx. 29. VOL, VIII.
“ tares”. among
“ 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.”They did “ believe in God” through, Christ; they had “ purified their souls in obeying “ the truth, through the Spirit;" 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 strangers 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,
' 1 Pet. i. 21--23. unfeigned ; drutóxpotov, without hypocrisy. Rom. xii. 9. 1 Tim. i. 5. Jam. iii. 17. Gr. 2 John üi, 14.
“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 “a royal 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 king's “ 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:”? and ' 1 Pet. ii. 7–10. ?Rom. iv. 16–18. Gal. ii. 29. 'Ps. xxi. 30. * Ex. xix. 6. Rev. i. 6. 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,” naòs els mepitrónov. 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 “ obtained mercy.”? 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
· Mal. iii. 17. Sept.
David and his race, were typical of the spiritual blessings of the Christian dispensation, than to deny that the nation of Israel was typical of the true Israel. Not to adduce more passages, let what the inspired apostle has stated concerning this subject in the interpretation, as an allegory, of the particulars respecting Sarah and Isaac, Hagar and Ishmael ;' and that which he has stated on the same subject, in writing to the Hebrews, be carefully examined : ? and then let it be determined, whether true Christians are not, under the Christian dispensation, that, in deed and truth, which Israel of old was typically.“We are the “circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit, “and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confi“dence in the flesh.” 3 That the words quoted from the second epistle, “Them that have obtained “like precious faith with us, through the righteous“ ness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ,” 4 should be adduced as putting beyond all doubt' a contrary interpretation to that which I have given; that their being said to have “ obtained “ like precious faith” with the apostles, should be considered as demonstrating that nothing more was meant, than their being externally called to ' the knowledge of the gospel;' this may well excite surprise. To me the words seem fully to confirm the conclusion which I have deduced from the passage in the first epistle.—“To be
elect, and to be a believer,' are not the same thing, according to our views; because a man may be “elect according to the foreknowledge of “ God,” and not be as yet called by his grace.
· Gal. iv. 21.-31. ? Heb. xii. 18-26. 3 Phil. iii. 3.
* 2 Pet. i. 1.