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ity of their hearts, and live wholly to themselves, and not to God. And they hold this deception fast, and will not let it go, though they are so often and plainly told it will destroy them.
4. If God has cast off hitherto, and will continue to cast off all the heathen nations so long as they remain heathens; then he has given, and will continue to give, most clear and awful displays of his amiable sovereignty in the dispensations of his grace. Those who deny his sovereignty in personal election to eternal life, freely and fully acknowledge his sovereignty in national election to national privileges and advantages. They allow that God granted great national favors to the Jews, which he denied to other nations, and, among these favors, his holy oracles, and peculiar religious institutions and instructions. By bestowing these national favors upon the Jews, he gave them an opportunity of obtaining eternal life; and, by denying these favors to the heathen nations, he deprived them of an opportunity of securing the salvation of their souls. So that this national election and reprobation was inseparably connected with personal election and reprobation, and equally displayed the absolute sovereignty of God in the dispensations of grace. Accordingly, the apostle, in the ninth of Romans, represents this national election and reprobation as inseparably connected with personal election and reprobation. Speaking of Rebecca, the mother of Esau and Jacob, he says, “ The children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth: It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy. For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might show my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth. Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? for who hath resisted his will ? Nay but, О man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? 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 show his wrath, and to make his power known, endured 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?” All Arminian expositors employ this remarkable passage of scripture to explain away the doctrine of personal election and divine sovereignty. They say the election here mentioned is national election, and not personal election. It is granted that the apostle mentions national election; but only for the purpose of illustrating and proving personal election and divine sovereignty. And the argument is conclusive. For the national election of the Jews to their peculiar religious as well as civil privileges, necessarily implied their personal election ; and the reprobation or exclusion of the Gentiles from the national privileges of the Jews, necessarily implied their personal reprobation, or exclusion from the kingdom of heaven. God elected the Jews to the means of salvation; but reprobated the Gentiles to the means of destruction. And the consequence has been to the elected Jews, that some of them have been saved; and the consequence has been to the reprobated Gentiles, that none of them, in their Gentile state, have been saved. This is a most awful and glorious display of divine sovereignty in the dispensations of grace. God has for ages personally elected about one third of mankind, and personally reprobated more than two thirds to ignorance, stupidity, impenitence, and endless destruction. But notwithstanding God has given such clear and visible evidence of personal election and reprobation, by his word, and by the dispensations of his providence and grace, yet Methodists, Arminians, and multitades of others, presume to call the great and fundamental doctrine of personal election and reprobation, blasphemy. Though God has told them in his word, and confirmed it by his providence, that all the heathen nations are in a state of reprobation, without God, without Christ, and without hope in the world, and strangers to the promises of grace, yet under this full blaze of light, they call one of the first principles of the oracles of God, blasphemy. This is a demonstration how little God and the Bible are known, even in the Christian world.
5. If God has suffered and still suffers all the heathen nations to walk in their own way, and to live and die in the region of darkness and shadow of death, without the means of grace, and the offers and hopes of salvation; is it not strange that those who call themselves christians, and with the Bible in their hands, should still believe that all mankind will be saved ? It seems that they must disbelieve the history, the predictions, the promises, the threatenings, and express declarations of the Bible, in order to believe the doctrine of universal salvation. Nor is this all; for it seems that they must disbelieve what they actually see and know of the present state of both the Christian and Heathen world. The present state of this sinful and miserable world exhibits infallible evidence that all mankind will not be for ever happy in the world to come. So Peter argued from the past and present state of the world. He says, “ If God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; and spared not the old world, but saved Noah, the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly; and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly — the Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptation, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished.” This perfectly agrees with the declaration in the text: “ The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God."
6. It appears from what has been said, that the heathen are in a deplorable and perishing condition. They have forgotten God; they are sitting in the region and shadow of death; God has denied them the means of grace and the offers of salvation; and declared that while they continued in the ignorance of heathenism, they shall be turned into hell and perish for ever. This is the awful condition of not only a few individuals of mankind, but of whole nations and kingdoms, yea, of more than two thirds of the whole human race, who are now probationers for eternity. Is there nothing to be done, or can too much be done, to enlighten these immortal souls that are ready to perish? On whom does this labor devolve? It certainly devolves upon the enlightened Christian world whom God has chosen to the means of salvation. It is in their power to be workers together with God, in fulfilling his gracious promises to Christ and to his church, that the fulness of the Gentiles shall be brought in. These heathen nations are to be found in Europe, Asia, Africa and America; and it particularly devolves upon Europeans to enlighten the European, Asiatic and African heathens, and upon American christians to enlighten American heathens. Wisdom and benevolence require us to exert ourselves to the utmost, to enlighten and gospelize the heathen nations on our borders; and to spare no pains nor expense to spread divine knowledge among them, both by the Bible, and the preachers of the gospel. Much is doing, and more must be done.
7. If the heathen are in a deplorable condition, how much more deplorable is the condition of the impenitent and unbelieving in this enlightened age and enlightened land! God has
chosen them to the most important external privileges and favors that he ever has chosen, or can choose to bestow on any nation in the world. The religious privileges which he granted to the Jews, were the greatest in kind that he ever bestowed upon them, by which he distinguished them from all the other nations of the earth. So the apostle expressly declares. He asks and answers this question: " What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision ? Much every way: chiefly because that unto them were committed the oracles of God." The same oracles, with the addition of the whole New Testament, have been given to our nation, in distinction from the whole heathen world. Here God has been constantly pouring divine instructions into the minds of all who have been willing to read, or hear the gospel. How then can any of us complain of the doctrine of national and personal election ? He has actually chosen us to the great and infinitely important privileges of both. He has brought the kingdom of heaven as near to us as he can bring it, and invited, and commanded us to come in, and partake of all the spiritual and eternal blessings contained in it. How criminal and inexcusable must any of us be, if we neglect so great salvation! Must not any finally impenitent and unbelieving sinner in this land and in this place, be far more criminal and inexcusable than
heathen in Tyre, or Sidon, or Nineveh, or Sodom and Gomorrah, or in Asia, Europe, Africa, or America; and deserve a heavier doom?
SERMON X XIII.
THE CONVERSION OF THE JEWS.
For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the
receiving of them be, but life from the dead? — ROMANS, xi. 15.
The rejection of the Jews for their rejecting the gospel was a deplorable event. It deeply affected the heart of the apostle, who sincerely lamented their sad condition. But there were three things which afforded him some consolation in the view of it. The first was, that they were not all cast away. The second was, that their rejection was the occasion of spreading the gospel among the Gentiles. And the third was, that they should be, in some future period, called in, and made instrumental of enlarging the church of Christ. This last ground of consolation is mentioned in the text. “For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?” This plainly intimates,
That the calling in of the Jews will be productive of great and happy effects. I shall,
. I. Show that the Jews will be called in; and
II. Mention some of the great and happy effects which will flow from this event.
I. I am to show that the Jews will be called in. God has dispersed them all over the world, and therefore his calling them in must imply, not only the taking away of the veil from their hearts, and causing them to embrace the gospel, but also his restoring them to their own land. These two things are intimately connected together, and cannot be separated any more than means and ends, cause and effect. That they shall thus be prepared for, and finally be gathered into their native land, will clearly appear from the following considerations.