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name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel.” But did this election secure his salvation? By no means. That depended on his own moral acts, his own conduct. For he himself says, "Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended, but I follow after that I may apprehend, that for which I am also apprehended of Christ. I keep my body under, and bring it into subjection, lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.” Is this the language of a man who feels himself to be personally elected to salvation? Certainly not. And if Paul was not, who ever was? To what was he elected? To preach the gospel, “for,” says he, "necessity is laid on me, yea, woe is unto me if I preach not the gospel. For if I do this thing will ingly, I have a reward; but if against my will a dispensation,” or stewardship, "of the gospel is committed to me;" and he could not refuse it. Is there any thing like personal election in all this?

We have already stated the doctrine of reprobation. We will repeat it, in order to compare it with those passages of Scripture from which it is derived. “The rest of mankind God was pleased according to the unsearchable counsel of his own will, whereby he extendeth or withholdeth mercy as he pleaseth, for the glory of his sovereign power over his creatures, to pass by, and to ordain them to dishonour and wrath for their sin, to the praise of his glorious justice.” One of the principal proof texts of this horrible doctrine is this, from the ninth chapter of Romans. “What if God willing to show his wrath and make his power known, endureth with much long suffering the vessels of wrath fitted for destruction." Whom do these vessels of wrath mean? Do they mean, as this Catechism interprets, the rest of mankind, whom Adam ruined, and made incapable of doing any thing good, and to whom God arbitrarily chose not to give that power? Let the connection show. “And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he hath afore prepared unto glory, even us, whom he hath called, not only of the Jews, but of the Gentiles. As he saith also in Osee, I will call them my people which were not my people.” Then he is not speaking concerning mankind in general, he is not speaking of the fate of men in a future world at all. He is speaking of the Jews whom God had reprobated from being his people, and had chosen the Christians, both Jews and Gentiles in their stead. It is the Jews then, whom God had rejected and was about to destroy, that are called the vessels of wrath, with whom God had forborne with much long suffering, not wicked men generally. So this passage has nothing to do with personal election or reprobation in regard to salvation at all. That subject is not so much as touched upon in this whole epistle. The great burden which lay upon the apostle's mind, was the rejection and awful fate of the Jews, which was then impending, and in a few years after took place. He begins this very chapter, thus; “I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, that I have great heaviness and continual sorrow of heart, for I could wish myself accursed from Christ, for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh, who are Israelites.” This is continued to the end of the argumentative part of the Epistle. Farther on he says; “I speak to you, Gentiles.” "If some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert grafted in among them.” “Boast not against the branches,”“because of unbelief were they broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not high-minded but fear, for if God spared not the natural branches, take heed that he also spare not thee.” Is this the language which would be addressed by the apostle to men, who were personally and irrevocably elected to salvation, or to Gentiles or heathens, who had been brought into a peculiar relation to God by having the Gospel preached to them, and had become Christians, so far as believing on Christ and acknowledging his authority could make them so, but still were in danger of not attaining that whereunto they were called?

This view of the doctrine of election, which the apostle has himself given must be kept in mind, and will serve as a key to interpret all other passages in which the doctrine is mentioned. Christians are addressed by the apostle as having been chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world. But how are they chosen in or through Christ?

They were, inasmuch as God before determined at the fulness of time to send Christ, and through him the Gospel to as many as heard the preaching of Christ and his apostles. All who believed were taken into an especial relation to God. They were chosen then to what? To be Christians, and if they were faithful, the Gospel would be the means of raising them to holiness and happiness. Peter expresses this whole matter with great plainness. He says to the Christians, whom he was addressing, “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people, that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light. Which in time past were not a people, but now are the people of God; which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.” But in addressing these same Christians, this elect as he had called them, he exhorts them to give all diligence, to add unto faith virtue, to virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness. “Wherefore the rather, brethren, give all diligence to make your calling and election sure; for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall."

How can this be? Can a personal election to eternal life, "without foresight of faith or good works,” be made sure? Is it then uncertain? The election here spoken of cannot be personal, unconditional election. It must be calling and election, to be Christians only, which is the very point we wished to prove. To have the calling and election made sure, must be effectual

calling. But this effectual calling can happen only through the free co-operation of man.

It is only by his giving all diligence to cultivate those virtues, which the apostle has enumerated, that his calling and election as a Christian can be made effectual to his personal salvation. Oh how different is this from the effectual calling of Creeds and Catechisms, which is carried on entirely arbitrarily, without the intervention of the human will rationally and spontaneously exercised! How much more rational, and consistent, and agreeable to the moral sense and experience of mankind!

I have searched the Scriptures with great care, and have been able to find in them no trace of that personal election and reprobation, which Catechisms and Creeds maintain. I find nothing of human inability, or irresistible divine influence. I do not find that the election, whatever it was which is spoken of in the New Testament, extended to any except Christians, or those to whom the Gospel was preached. I do not find that it extended to those, who lived before the time of Christ, or to those, who then lived, or have since lived, who never heard of him or listened to the invitations of the Gospel. But this leaves the fate of ninety-nine hundredths of mankind, whose souls are just as dear to God as the hundreth part, to be determined, even if this doctrine be true in the sense maintain. ed, without respect to this election. This circumstance is confirmation to shew that system-makers have travelled without and beyond the record, when

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