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Further to illustrate the doctrine of election, and if possible, to commend it to every man's conscience, we may attend to some particular remarks.

i. The elect are not chosen to salvation, on account
of any good disposition, or moral excellency which they
possess; nor on account of any foreseen repentance,
faith, or obedience. Election, as well as regeneration,
is of free grace, and is absolutely unconditional. The
subjects of election are 6 chosen in Christ before the
foundation of the world," not because they are, in any
measure, holy; but 6 that they should be holy, and with-
out blame before him in love." 66 Who maketh thee to
differ from another ? and what hast thou, that thou didst
not receive ?” The difference that takes place between
the elect and others, is the fruit and consequence, and
not the ground and reason of their election. In the case
of Paul, and many others, election to salvation could not
be owing to any foreseen goodness. For it is abundantly
evident, that, in their natural state, they were void of
goodness; and that, in their renewed and converted
state, their goodness was the fruit of the Holy Spirit.

grace of God," said Paul, “ I am what I
The repentance, faith and obedience of the elect were
indeed foreseen by the omniscient God. But they were
foreseen, as the effects, and not the cause of renewing
grace; and renewing grace was foreseen as the effect of
the election of God. Repentance and faith are the gift
of God; and this, precious gift is the fruit, and not the
cause, or condition of his election. Had it not been for
the election of God, and regenerating grace, never would
there have been an instance of repentance towards God,
and faith towards our Lord Jesus Christ.

2. No man is elected to salvation, at all events,
whether he be holy or unholy, penitent or impenitent.
For it is plainly declared in the scriptures, that sinful
men are chosen to salvation through sanctification of
the Spirit, and belief of the truth :" – Chosen in Christ,
that they should be holy, and without blame before him in
love." Do we not read, that we must “ follow peace with
all men, and holiness, without which no man can see the

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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 now where promised in the gospel. Of course, a neglect of duty cuts off the hope of salvation by the gracious election of God.

3. By electing a part of mankind to salvation, God does no injustice to the non-elect. All have sinned, and fallen und just condemnation. And all ought to be thankful, rather than envious, that God extends his 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 wrath, fitted to destruction; and that he might make known the riches of his glory, on the vessels

of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory " 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 liearts 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 viodictive 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
with 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
charge of partiality, “ God hath," generally 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.
it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own;"

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, and
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
gospel. And when the non-elect perish in their sins, the
fault is wholly their own. God, in his word, and provi-
dence, 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 wil-
ling 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

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way and live.“ Turn ye, turn ye, for why will ye 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, of passing 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 ? What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and make his power known, endured, with much longsuffering, the vessels of wrath, fitted to destruction po

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 bis 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
nature, 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-

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