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Lord P’’ How great is the error and absurdity of those who say, if they are elected they shall be saved at all events! and if not, then, at all events they shall be damned . These are rash and groundless conclusions from the doctrine of election. Why does the Apostle exhort us to give diligence to make our calling and election sure ? Repentance, faith in Christ, and holy obedience to the divine requirements, which are considered as the condition of salvation, consist in the voluntary exercises of our own minds; and they are considered as our own acts and deeds. Without these, salvation is nowhere promised in the gospel. Of course, a neglect of o o off the hope of salvation by the gracious election Of UrQUI. 3. By electing a part of mankind to salvation, God does no injustice to the non-elect. All have sinned, and fallen under just condemnation. And all ought to be thankful, rather than envious, that God extends i. grace to any of the fallen race of men. From a view of the perfections of God, and of his abundant grace, in the election and salvation of a multitude, which no man can number; we may rest assured, that, were it for his own glory, and the general good, to save all mankind, all would be saved; and even the universe would be delivered from both moral and natural evil. But, as matters are, “What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and make his power known, endureth, with much long-suffering, the vessels of woath, fitted to des. truction; and that he might make known the riches of his glory, on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory Po If a wise king, having granted an act of pardon to all his rebellious subjects, on condition of true penitence; and finding all still persisting in their rebellious temper, could devise a way, whereby he could melt their hearts into submission to his government ; he would then be at his option, whether to melt the hearts of all, or of a part only ; holding the rest as examples of windictive wrath, and just punishment. If he can be sure to rid as many criminals, and just such individuals, from guilt and punishment, as the greatest good of his king

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dom requires; does he do injustice to the rest? Is it not
then a clear case, that the wise and holy election of God,
by which some are taken, and others left, is consistent
. perfect justice; and is doing no injury to the non-
elect! -
4. It is evident, that, in his election, God is not a res-
pecter of persons. To despise the poor, and be partial
to the rich and honorable, is to respect, persons. But,
in the exercise of mercy to the guilty, there is scarcely
room for partiality. But, effectually to guard against the
eharge of partiality, “God hath,” 5. speaking,
“chosen the poor of this world; and made them rich in
faith, and heirs of his kingdom.” . In the bestowment of
his grace, he has an undoubted right, if the general good
require it, to make the last first, and the first last. “Is
it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own P”
5. The doctrine of election is consistent with the free
offers and invitations of the gospel. It has been, more

than once, made manifest, in the discussion of the sys

tem of divine truth, that all mankind, sinners as well as saints, are free agents, and accountable to God. All mankind, elect and non-elect, are under obligation to repent and believe the gospel; to love God, and keep his commandments; to embrace the Holy Saviour, an

be his faithful followers. On God’s part, “All things are now ready.” An all-sufficient atonement is made; and nothing prevents the salvation of sinners, but their own evil heart of unbelief. Salvation is offered to all, and of course, to the non-elect, as well as the elect. These, in

a state of nature, when they cannot be distinguished

from the elect, are the proper subjects of the offers of the † And when the non-elect perish in their sins, the ault is wholly their own. God, in his word and providence, evidently treats mankind as free and accountable creatures; and all the offers, invitations, entreaties, and expostulations of the gospel, are evidently made with perfect sincerity. In an important sense, he is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. In itself considered, he has no pleasure in the death of him that dieth; but that he turn from his evil

way and live. “Turn ye, turn ye, for why willye die,

O house of Israel.” -7. The doctrine of election is so far from being a discouraging doctrine, as some suppose, that it is the basis

of all hope of salvation. Considering the lost state of

man, there is no other power but that of God, which is equal to the great work; no other name, and no other merit but that of Christ. And since he has determined to save an innumerable multitude, by his grace, there is a gleam of hope in the case of all but the reprobate. All are subjects of the exhortation, “Turn ye to the strong hold, ye prisoners of hope.....AMEN. :

*-* ESSAY XVII. Reprobation and the Unpardonable Sin. *, *.

CoNNECTED with the doctrine of election, divines have generally admitted the contrast, or what has been called the doctrine of reprobation. “By God’s decree of reprobation” (to use the words of the Assembly of divines), “is meant his eternal purpose, according to his sovereignty, and the unsearchable counsel of his own will, opassing by all the rest of the children of men; who are not elected; and leaving them to perish in their sins, unto the praise of the power of his wrath and infinite justice, in their everlasting punishment. Rom. ix. 21, 22. “ Hath not the potter power over the clay of the same lump, to make one vessel unto honor, and another. unto dishonor P What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and make his power known, endured, with much longsuffering, the vessels of wrath, fitted to destruction * That God has an eternal purpose, respecting the final sin and condemnation of the non elect, is as evident, as

that he has an eternal purpose respecting the conversion

and final salvation of the elect. His purpose concerning

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the non-elect, is, indeed clearly implied in his purpose
concerning the elect. All are totally sinful and con-
demned; and if a certain number is selected from the
rest, and chosen to salvation, through sanctification of
the Spirit and belief of the truth ; the consequence is.
and must be, that the remainder perish in their sins.
They are said to be vessels of wrath, fitted to des-
truction. -
Not only is the final condemnation of all the non-elect
established by the eternal purpose of God; but, by the
same eternal purpose, the way and means of their des-
truction are also established. As “All things work
together for good to them that love God, to them who are
the called according to his purpose ;” so, on the other
hand, all things work together for evil to them that hate
God, to them who are treasuring up wrath against the
day of wrath. All the means of grace, by which the
saints are ripening for eternal glory, are perverted by
sinners, and become the means of ripening them for
everlasting ruin. All the solemn and weighty doctrines
of divine truth, and especially the doctrines of election
and reprobation, when they appear by their fruits, in the
conversion of one, and not of another ; excite great dis-
satisfaction in the hearts of those who are in the way to
destruction. The ministers of the gospel, in their faith-
ful labors for the good of souls, are a “sweet savor of
Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish.
But to one, they are the savor of death unto death ; and
to the other the savor of life unto life.” Sinners are
gradually hardened by those very means, which, in their
hature, tend most strongly to soften their hearts. The
most afflictive providences, which, for a season, seem to
break their hearts, are soon forgotten ; and they return,
with increasing eagerness, to their wicked courses, and
ripen faster than ever for endless woe. This is the man-
ner, in which sinners are hardened. It is, perhaps in-
variably effected by the abuse of some special means of
conviction. Thus it was that the heart of Pharaoh was
hardened. Miracles were wrought to enforce the de-
mand made by Moses, that the Israelites should be releas-

ed from their bondage. Miracles were a demonstration of divine authority. . This visible display of divine authority was opposed and rejected by Pharaoh ; and of course, his heart was hardened. This was the way, in which Christ hardened the hearts of the Jewish priests and rulers. He spake as never man spake ; and he wrought many miracles. In resisting these testimonies of the divinity of Christ, they became, at last, utterly hardened and reprobate. Without remorse, they could

crucify the Lord of glory. Thus, speaking of the elect,

and non-elect, Paul draws the conclusion, “Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.” “The elect hath obtained it,” hath obtained salvation, “ and the rest were blinded.” In this sense, though not, perhaps, in the highest sense of the word, all the non-elect are called reprobate. Accordingly, the Apostle Paul, having exhorted professing christians to self-examination, adds, Know ye not your own selves how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates ? i.e. ripening for destruction. The non-elect are called the vessels of wrath, fitted to destruction ; which implies as real a purpose of divine wrath respecting them, as the purpose of divine mercy respecting the vessels of mercy. * Such are the instructions of the scriptures, respecting that reprobation of the non-elect, which is considered as a counterpart to the salvation of the elect. Reprobation, considered as a judicial act of the Deity, remains to be considered. In connection with the great and important doctrines of Election and Reprobation, it may not be improper to attempt an explanation and improvement of the very alarming doctrine of the unpardonable sin. “ There is a sin unto death,” says the Apostle; and it appears to be in consequence of this sin, that God, by a judicial act, gives men up to uncleanness, through the lusts of their own hearts ; gives them up to vile affections. It is added, that, “As they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient, being filled with all

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