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gether with you faluteth you. If. elected means separated from the rest of the world, and taken into God's visible kingdom, then elected together with you must mean, converted at the same time that you were to the profession of christianity. And then we must suppose, what is by no means probable, that the conversion of the church at Babylon, and of the numerous ftrangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia,, Asia and Bithynia, was of the fame precise date.
Again we are exhorted, 2 Pet. i. 10. to give all diligence to make our calling and election sure. If election and vocation mean no more, than Dr. Taylor alledges, then Christians are there exhorted to make it sure that they profess christianity, for which purpose, one would think, no great diligence was requisite. That passage muit therefore mean, ascertaining by holiness of heart and life, that we have been elected to eternal happiness, and made meet for it by converting grace. Thus by the effects, the cause is certainly known, and by the streams we are led to the fountain. It was in this way that Paul tells the Thessalonians, i Theff. i. 4–10. he knew their election of God, even from the powerful influence of the gospel on their temper and conduct.
Election evidently means the eternal decree of God, to give grace and glory to a certain number of mankind : Eph. i. 4. According as he hath cholen us in Christ before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love. 2 Theff. ii. 13. God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation, thro' fanctification of the spirit and
belief of the truth. From the beginning does not mean from the first preaching of the gospel, but from eternity, in which sense the phrase is used, 1 John ji. 13. Mic. v. 1. For God's calling them by the gospel is clearly distinguished from this choosing them from the beginning, ver. 14.
2. In what sense Christians are called, I have explained, Section i. $ 3. From the parsage, 2 Pet. i. 10. cited above, we may learn, with how little ground the Doctor asserts (Key, ch. 6. $ 79.) that called only means brought out of heathenism, and invited and made welcome to the honours and privileges of God's people : and (note on Rom. viii. 28.) that effectual calling is a distinction divines have invented without any warrant from scripture. I would seek no better warrant, than the scripture to which that note is subjoined. Does not the apostle fay, that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them that are the called according to his purpose ? and is this true of all, who are brought out of heathenism, and invited to the privileges of God's people? In. deed the end of the 8th chapter of the Romans is so full against the Doctor's hypothesis, that his paraphrase and notes upon it are a mass of confufion; and after all the freedom he takes to supply the text, it remains a plain contradiction to his favourite system, that saints may finally perish. He says (note on Rom. viii. 28.) Whatever befalls us, suppose we love God, certainly concurs and tends, to compleat our salvation ; and on ver. 29, 30. suppose that we love God, it is certain from our being called, that we shall be glorified with the Son of God. It is true, he infinuates in his paraphrafe on ver. 35. not very
consistently with these assertions, that Christian's may lose this love to Christ by not endeavouring fincerely to cleave to him in purity and obe dience.
We read Heb. ix. 15. of Christ's dying, that they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance. And Rom. viii. 30. speaks of a calling infallibly connected with glarification. " Moreover, whom he did predeftinate,
them he also called; and whom he o called, them he also justified ; and whom he “ justified, them he also glorified." Dr. Taylor indeed, artfully enough disguises that connection, by the turn he has given in his paraphrase to the last clause. " Whom he purposed thus “ to justify, upon their due improvment of this “ his grace to them, he purposed to give eter" nal life and glory." But, there is nothing in the text, answering to these words, “ upon their “ due improvement of his grace.” He makes no such supplement to any of the other clauses, as indeed, consistently with his own scheme, he could not. The connection of justifying and glorifying, is expressed in the very fame terms, as the connection of calling and justification. Can then, the Doctor's supplement to the last clause, flow from any thing, unless desire to varnish over a difficulty too hard for him to refolve?
It is said, 1 Cor. i. 26. “ Ye see your calling, “ brethren, how that not many wise men after +6 the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble
are called.” The wise, the mighty, the noble, had the outward call of the gospel as well the poor.
The apostle therefore speaks of an effectual calling, in virtue of which men become fincere Christians, and of which at that time, few in high life were sharers.
§ 3. Adoption and regeneration are privileges absolutely connected with eternal life, Rom. viii. 17. If children, then heirs. What they are heirs of, the scripture abundantly declares. They are heirs according to the promise, Gal. ii. 29. Heirs of promise, Heb. vi. 17. i. e. of every blessing contained in the promise, which God.at first made to fallen man, and has since confirmed by his oath. Heirs of salvation, Heb. i. 14. Heirs of the grace of life, i Pet. iii. 9. Heirs according to the hope of eternal life, Tit. iii. 7. Heirs of righteousness, Heb. xi. 7. Heirs of the kingdom which God hath promised, Ja. ii. 6. and as immediately follows, Rom. viii. 17. Heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ.
Christians are represented, 1 Pet. i. 3, 4. as begotten again unto a lively hope, by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, undefiled, and that fa
But John's first epiftle contains the fullest and plaineft proofs, that only persons of true piety are born of God, and that all such shall finallig persevere, Thus iii. 9, 10.“ Whosoever is born “ of God doth not commit fin, for his seed ret s maineth in him, and he cannot fin, because he " is born of God. In this the children of God « are manifeft, and the children of the devil. Whosc foever doeth not righteousness, is not of God, 66 neither he that loveth not his brother.” V. 4. " Whatsoever is born of God overcometh the " world ; and this is the victory that overcometh “ the world, even our faith.” Ib.v.18.“We know, 66 that whosoever is born of God finneth not : but
deth not away.
"he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and " that wicked one toucheth him not.” iij. 2." Be. " loved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth $ not yet appear what we shall be : but we know, “ that when he shall appear, we shall be like him, « for we shall see him as he is.” The truth is, the whole of that epistle feems in the directest manner calculated to thwart Dr.Taylor's scheme. And one would think a person of the meanest understanding, who has read it, would scarce have the confidence to assert, as that able critic does, c. 12. $236. that the apostles with one consent, aflign the blessings of election, adoption, regeneration, &c. to all profeffed Christians without exception, never raising any scruple or difficulty about any Christian's interest in or right to them, no not in the case of sinning a fin, except that of apoftacy. However, it must be owned he has managed this difficulty with abundance of address. And, if you allow him a liberty, which he has unjustly accused the Calvinist divines for taking in the case of effectual calling, that, I mean, of feigning unscriptural distinctions, his scheme is safe, spite of St. John, by a notable discovery, that men may be born of God in a less, and in a more eminent sense, ch. 11. § 219. For, if you insert in John's. epistle born of God in the most eminent sense, then, consistently enough with that apoille, men of bad characters, and who shall finally perish, may be born of God in the less eminent sense, to which the rest of the apostles, when they speak of adoption refer; certainly, it is so. And that man must have a wretched genius, who if allowed to add words and sentences to the bible, cannot bring it with ease to speak what language is most agreeable to