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religious proselytes heard attentively, and received the word of life; the one party were utterly indisposed, through their own stubbornness, to receive the gospel ; the others, destitute of prejudice and prepossession, were glad to hear, that in the order of God, the Gentiles were included in the covenant of salvation, through Christ Jesus; they therefore in this good state and order of mind, believed.Those who seek for the plain meaning of the word, may find it here: those who wish to make out a sense, not from the Greek word, its use among the best Greek writers, and the obvious sense of the evangelist, but from their own creed, may continue to puzzle themselves and others; kindle their own fire, compass themselves with sparks, and walk in the light of their own fire, and of the sparks which they have kindled ; and in consequence lie down in sorrow, having bidden adieu to the true meaning of a pas. sage so very simple, taken in its connexion, that one must wonder how it ever came to be misunderstood and misapplied.” See Dr. A. Clarke on Acts xiii.
4. You also quote Rom. viii. 29. "For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate, to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the first-born among many brethren. Moreover, whom he did predestinate, them he also called ; and whom he called, them he also justified; and whom he justified, them he also glorified." To understand the primary meaning of the Apostle in this passage, it is necessary to call to mind his principal design in this epistle, which was, among others, to vindicate the conduct of God in casting away the Jewish nation, for their unbelief, and in receiving the believing Gentiles into the church. The Jews might object, that if God indiscriminately rejected their nation, good and bad, he were both unjust and unfaithful. This objection was introduced in the third chapter, verse 5. Furthermore, the calling of the Gentiles was very offensive to the Jews, and it was a topic all along insisted upon by the Apostle Paul. The Jews considered it as a proof of the mutability of God's designs, to reject them, and adopt the Gentiles for his people. To this objection the Apostle opposes his doctrine of election, predicated of God's prescience. God knew the Jews would abuse their high and distinguished privileges, that they would reject the Messiah, and according to this foreknowledge, he determined to reject them. He also knew that the Gentiles would believe in Jesus Christ, and therefore he determined before the foundation of the world, to call them by the gospel, and give them an offer of salvation. This point is more particularly insisted upon, Eph. i. 4—13. To those who should say that God was unjust and unfaithful in casting away the Jews, we may understand the Apostle saying, no; He hath not cast away his people whom he foreknew, chap. xi. 2. Those among the Jews whom he foreknew would embrace the Lord Jesus, he did not reject, any more than he did the believing Gentiles; on the contrary, he
predestinated them to be conformed to the image of his Son, as the means of their salvation. predicted by Malachi, chap. iv. 2. that those among the Jews, who feared the name of the Lord Jehovah when Christ should come, should be blessed with the rising beams of the Sun of righteousness; and that they should go forth, from the general destruction which would come upon the nation when the wrath of God should burn as an oven,
grow up as calves of the stall. Those who feared the name of the Lord were thus appointed, and were also called by the preaching of Christ and his Apostles. Go not, said Christ to his Apostles, in the way of the Gentiles, but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.-Give them the first call; gather in the elect from among them first. And whom he thus called, and who obeyed the call, (for many are called, but few chosen, Matt. xxii. 14.) them he also justified ; and whom he thus justified, them he also glorified. Those who are called by the gospel, are called to come into the church--The glorification therefore here spoken of, I conceive to be, the honour conferred on the believing Jews, in being received into the church of Christ, in conjunction with the Gentiles.* Here the Apostle shews that God was nei
* When we read of glory, our minds generally ascend to heaven, as if there were no other way to be glorified, but by going there. But this is evidently a mistake. That glory fie. quently signifies the privileges of the church militant, is manifest from scripture. Thus Romans ix. 4. To whom pertainet|ı the adoption, and glory, and the covenants, &c. This is spok.
ther mutable, nor unfaithful; for he had not cast away his believing people, whom he foreknew among the Jews, any more than the believing Gentiles; and that this conduct of the Almighty was perfectly according to his invariable designs of benevolence towards mankind : and also that this is his method of saving men, he first calls, then justifies, and then glorifies.
5. But if this interpretation be rejected, and you insist that the text must be understood in the absolute sense, then you must take the following consequences. Inasmuch as the verbs are all in the
past tense, whom he foreknew-he did predestinate--he called—he justified-he glorified, it will follow that all whom he foreknew as his people, were called in, and justified, and glorified before the Apostle wrote ; for, according to this view of the subject, precisely as many as he foreknew, (and you will not limit his knowledge) were glorified. In this case you must either admit that the elect were called, justified, and. glorified from all eternity, which is impossible ; or
en in reference to the visible symbol of the divine presence, the shekinah. The residence of God, among the Israelites in the temple, was called the manifestation of his glory. " Properly glory denotes the bright rays about the body of the sun, by which the sun himself and all other objects are seen, 1 Cor. xv. 41." Christ is called the sun of righteousness. And it is in the Church that the beams of his glory are principally beheld. Those therefore who are the true members of his Church, are glorified ; because they come under the “ bright rays" of his glory. Peter speaks of the glory that should follozu the sufferings of Christ, 1 Pet. i. 11. What glory could this be but the unfolding of the wonderful love of God to his believ. ing people, in collecting them together to the distinguished privileges of his church. Paul's desire was, That the word of God might have free course, run and be glorified. As God in a peculiar sense manifests his presence in his church, so those who are brought into it may be said to be glorified. God acknowledges them as his peculiar people.
In this manner I conceive those to be glorified, spoken of in the above text.
; that all the elect were called in and glorified before the epistle to the Romans was written, But either of these suppositions involves an absurdity, as impossible to believe, as that a man can love God, and cannot at the same time.
6. Whatever may have been the Apostle's meaning in the passage under consideration, it is entire. ly foreign to your purpose. You utterly deny that election is founded upon God's foreknowledge ; whereas, whatever election the Apostle had in view, it is certain he founded it upon prescience. This idea is totally repugnant to your doctrine, which makes prescience itself depend upon foreordination for its existence. To make this text therefore support your system, you must prove that the Greek word woeyw, (proegno) foreknow, should be translated foreordain. But this you can no more do, than you can prove that God's counsel includes every other counsel, and yet that there are many counsels against his counsel. It is submitted to the candid, intelligent reader, whether the Apostle in the above passage be not tracing the order in which God generally saves souls, instead of describing a regular chain of causes and effects,