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but few of mankind would be “I stand at the door and knock, eventually saved, in comparison of any man hear my voice, and to those who will be eventually open the door, I will come in lo lost, it is not to our present pur. him and sup with him, and he pose to inquire. Though we with me." 66 The Spirit and may just observe, that it is proba- bride say come, let him that ble Christ bad particular respect is athirst say come, and whosoever. to the success of the gospel, at will let him come and take of the the time in which he lived. But water of life freely.” In such be this as it may, there is no doce universal terms God graciously trine more plainly revealed in the invites sinners to accept of salvagospel, than the doctrine of per- tion. His invitations extend to sonal election to eternal life. all men, of all ages, of all characAnd according to scripture histo- ters, and of all conditions in life. ry, but very few have been chos. He jovites rich and poor, high en in proportion to those who and low, bond and free, elect and have been called, from the fall of non-elect to accept of the great man to this day. God has come salvation which he has provided monly invited more, than he has for them. He excludes none, elected, to accept of salvation. omits none in his general invitaThis will more fully appear, if tions. Many are called, and we corsider,

many more called, than are chos1. The tenor of his gracious en.

And this further appears, invitations. These are all couch. 2. From the final refusal of ed in the most extensive and uni- those, who were iovited to accept versal terms. “ Unto you, O men of salvation. The parable with I call, says divine wisdom, and which the text is connected, repmy voice is to the sons of man.” resents those who were first invi. Another divine invitation runs in ted to the gospel feast as utterly rethis unlimited form. “ Ho, every fusiog tocome. The sacred writers one that thirsteth, come ye to the represent the great majority of waters, and he that hath no mapkind from Adam to Christ, as money; come ye, buy, and eat; rejecting the overtures of divine yea, come, buy wine and milk mercy. And we know, that the without money,

and without Jewish nation generally rejected price." "Come unto me, says the gospel which Christ preached, Christ, all ye that labour, and and which bis apostles preached are heavy laden, and I will give after be left the world. Where

6 Come, says the ever they preached the gospel, master of the gospel feast. for all as many as were ordaived to eterthings are now ready.” “ Behold, nal life believed, but much the say, the compassionate Saviour, greater part rejected the counsel of God against themselves. This and explain the consistency and has been the case ever since, sincerity of his conduct. It is wherever the offers of salvation hardly supposable, however, that have been made. Now all wbo we should be unable to see the bave heard and finally rejected propriety of his most common and the offers of salvation, and all mostgracious treatment of mankind who shall hereafter hear and in respect to their future and eter. reject the invitation of mercy nal happiness. Let us, therefore must perish. For this is the un. seriously and impartially consider alterable condition of the gospel : this matter on our part. No body 4 He that believeth shall be sees any difficulty in God's calling saved; but be that believeth not those, whom he knows beforehand shall be damned." All who have will not hear and accept his call; finally refused to accept the offers but many see a difficulty in his inof life, are so many instances of viting those to accept of salvation, God's calling those whom he had whom he never intended to save not elected to salvation. Indeed, but always intended to destroy. here is no text in the Bible more The text says that many are called visibly verified every day and but few are chosen. Here the disevery where, than this we are ficulty is, to see how God can conconsidering - Many are called sistently, with sincerity, say one but few are chosen.“ We know thing and mean another. He says he calls many, who visibly live by his universal invitation, that and die in impenitence and unbe. he is willing and even desirous of lief; which is a visible evidence saving all; while, at the same ibat he calls many more, than be time, he has not chosen to save has ordained to etercal life. This all, but actually chosen not to save leads to the

you rest.”

all. This is the formidable difficulII. Thing proposed, to speak ty which we shall now attempt to on God's behalf, and endearor to remove. And if it can be made to vindicate this part of the divine appear, that God is really sincere conduct.

in his universal offers of salvation That God does 'invite many and means what he says ; then more to accept of salvation, than the difficulty will entirely vanish, he has ordained to eternal life, and no seeming ground of objecbas been, perhaps sufficiently tion will remain against this part established. But if this be unde of the divine conduct. And bere niably true, it must be equally if we can determine what sincertrue, that God is consistent and ity is, it will be easy to determine sincere in his gracious and univer. whether the universal invitations sal invitations to sioners, though of the gospel are sincere and conwe may not be able to discover sistent with the divine rectitude.

וי

We all know what is implied in God says to every one without one man's making a sincere offer distinction, “Ho, erery one that to another; and we must suppose, thirsteth, come and drink. Ho, that precisely the same things are every one that is poor, come, and implied in God's making sincere and buy wine and milk without offer to sinners. This leads me money and without price." Come to observe,

for all things are now ready. You 1. That God always has the may have every thing only for acgood to bestow, which he offers cepting And whosoever will, let to sinners in the gospel. No man him come, vnd take of the water can be sincere in offering that to of life freely. We cannot conanother, which he does not pos- ceive that any good should be ofsess and has no right to bestow.- fered to any persop upon any lowSatan was not sincere in offering all er terms, than his being willing to the kingdoms of the world to accept it. And upon ibis condiChrist, because they were not tion God offers salvation to sioners his property and he had no right and to all sinners, witbout distinc10 offer what he did not possess. tion. He requires no more of one And if God had not the good to be- than of another; and be requires stow which he offers to siopers in

po more of any, than they are the gospel, there could be no sin. perfectly able to perform, in any cerity in his offers. But he has situation or circumstances of life. the good he offers, when he in- The rich, the poor, the sick, i the vites them to accept it. “My ox blind, the lame, are all equally aen and my fatlings are killed; ble to accept the terms of salvation. come, for all tbings are now rea- If God made his offers upon bard, dy." God has given bis Son to difficult, or impossible conditions, taste death for every man, and to they would appear to be insincere be a propitiation for the sins of the and insulting. If he required the whole world. He has made am- poor to be rich, the sick to be ple provision for the salvation of well, the blind to see, the deaf to all, and therefore he may consist- hear, or the lame to walk, as the ently and sincerely invite all to terms of salvation, it would be out accept it, in this respect. of our power to perceive the sin

2. The good, which God offers, cerity of his offers. But when he to singers in the gospel, he of- offers all good upon no other confers upon the easiest terms dition, than a bare willingness to ihat any good can be offered.-- accept it, it is equally out of our This appears from the terms them. power to perceive any insincerity selves, which are adapted to the in this respect, in his most gracharacter, state and circumstances cious invitations. This leads me of evory person in the world.. to observe,

3. That God is heartily willing affection to all the son of Adam, that sioners should enjoy the great and consequently be as willing to good which he offers to them in forgive one as to forgive another; the gospel. This is essential to to save one as to save another ; his sincerity in his offers, and this and to admit one to heaven as to sinners are most apt to distrust.-- admit another. We cannot see For in this respect, mankind are the least ground of distinction in most apt to be insincere in their his benevolent affections towards offers to one another. It is very the whole fallen, sinful race of common among all classes of peo- men. Os if there be any ground ple to make offers of favours, of distinction, it must arise from which they do not desire should the difference there is among siabe accepted. And how often do ners, in respect to greater degrees they actually bestow favours upon of guilt. Bat God, in his offers, those, who, they regret, should en- and in his conduct, pays no regard joy them? This is insincerity. And to this difference. He makes the if God were not heartily willing same offers to great, that he makes that sinners should enjoy all the to less sinners, and he actually good he offers to them, we could saves some of the most guilty and see no sincerity in any of the ap; ill-deserving of the human race. parently and professedly kind in- Add to this, he graciously fore. vitations in the gospel. But he warns them of the serious conseis willing, and has given the most quences of their accepting or reindubitable evidence, that he is jecting his merciful proposals.-beartily willing that sinners should He assures them that their eterenjoy all the spiritual blessings nal happiness depends upon their which he offers to them in the accepting the terms of salvation, gospel of his grace. For he bas and their eterpa) destruction deprovided salvation for all, and pro- pends upon their final refusal.-vided it at the infinite expense of He urges them in the most endearthe death and suffering of the Son ing and affectionate manner to of his love. And we cannot con- choose life instead of death. And ceive why he should, in such a to establish the truth of his decmarvellous manner provide salva- larations, he confirms it by an oath tion for all, if he were not most “ As I live, saith the Lord, I bave heartily willing that all should en po pleasure in the death of the joy it. Besides, God stands in the wicked, but that the wicked turn same relation to all mankind, as from his way and live; turn ye, the Father of their spirits the turn ye from your evil ways; for former of their bodies, and pre. why will ye die ?" This is the server of their life and existence. most solemn assurance he can He must hare the same paternal give, that he is heartily willing,

that all men should enjoy all the Nay more, he has decreed from good which he offers to them in eternity who shall, and who shall the gospel.

• not, accept the offers he makes Let us now lay all the circum- to sinners in the gospel. So he stances together which have been expressly tells us io his word. mentioned. God has the good to "For many are called, but few are bestow which he offers to sioners. chosen.' la answer to this, I God offers the good he bas to would ask, What difference does hestow upon sinners, on the low. Gou's decree make in this case ? est, and easiest terms. And he Does it alter the terms of salva. is heartily willing that the should lion ? . Does it destroy the power actually enjoy all the good which of sinners to accept? Or does it he bas provided for them, and alter the feelings of God towards offers to them. Does not this sinners ? God is willing, simply amount to a moral demonstration considered, that all men should be ibat he is sincere in his offers and saved. He is as willing that the invitations to all sioners? Can non-elect should be saved, as that any thing more than this be im. the elect should, simply considered. plied in any sincere offers ? If It is as disagreeable to him, that any man should offer another, a the non-elect should be destroyed, large estate that is his own prop- as that the elect should, simply erty, and which he heartily de. considered. This is all that God sires the person to whom he declares in bis universal invitamakes the offer should possess tions to sinners, and it is all that and enjoy, upon the sole condition sincerity requires him to declare of his accepting it, could there in his invitation to them. It is be the least insincerity in his of- not necessary, that he should de. fer? or can we conceive of any clare his purpose, or his intention, thing more, necessary to render or bis determination about the bis offer perfectly sincere ? No, event of their accepting, or reject. såys every one in this case. But ing his offers. This is no more yet the objector may still say, Decessary, than to declare his there is a difference between purpose, or his intention, or deGod's making offers to his crea- termination, whether all to whom tures, and thus making offers to he gives commands, shall actually ene another. Wben they make obey or disobey them. His com. offers to one another, they do not mands declare what is agreeable always know beforehand, whether to him, ip its own nature, but not their offers will be accepted, or what is agreeable to him, as ao erejected. But God always knows vent. When he commands all beforehand, whether his offers men to love him with all the hear will be accepted, or rejected. -- he does not declare that it is hi

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