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tate, that if he shewed it to all, it would cease to be special and distinguishing? If God had made his covenants of peculiarity with all mankind, would they not have ceased to be peculiar?
Once more: If God could without impropriety, shew more favour to the Jews than to the Gentiles, and to the Christians than to the Jews; I ask, Why cannot he also, with out impropriety, shew more favour to one Jew or to one Christian, than he does to another? By what argument can you prove, that it is wrong in God to do personally, what it is granted on all sides he does nationally? If you can, without injustice, give a crown to an English beggar, while you give only six pence to a poor Irishman; why may you not give ten shillings to another English beggar, supposing your generosity prompts you to shew him that special favour? And may not God, by the rule of proportion, give you ten talents of grace to improve, whilst he gives your Christian brother only five; as well as he can bestow five talents upon your fellow Christian, whilst he gives a poor Mahometan one talent only?
Can any thing be more glaring than the partiality, which our Lord describes in these words, "Woe unto thee, Chorazin; woe unto thee, Bethsaida: for if the mighty works had been done in Tyre and Sidon, which have been done in you, they had a great while ago repented, sitting in sackcloth and ashes?" Luke x. 13.-Who can read these words with a grain of candid attention, and refuse his assent to the following propositions? 1. God was notoriously partial to Chorazin and Bethsaida; for he granted them more means of repentance, and more powerful means, and for a longer season, than he did to Tyre and Sidon. 2. If God had been as gracious to the two hea thenish_cities as he was to the two Jewish towns, Tyre and Sidon would have repented,— a great while ago, in the deepest and most solemn manner, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. -And, 3. The doctrine of necessity, or irresistible grace, is unscriptural; and the doctrines of impartial juctice are never overthrown by the doctrines of partial grace; for, notwithstanding God's distinguishing favour, which wrought wonders to bring Chorazin and Bethsaida to repentance, they repented not; and our Lord says in the next verse, "But it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you," who have resisted such distinguishing grace.
For want of understanding the partiality of divine grace, and the nature of the harmless reprobation, which flows from this harmless partiality; some of God's faithful servants, who have received but one or two
manner as patient Job and penitent Manasseh? What of the wise men, who came from the East; and the treasurer of Queen Candace, who came from the South, to worship in Judea ? What of the importunate woman of Canaan, the zealous woman of Samaria, and the charitable Samaritan who had compassion on the wounded man, the " poor creature," whom the elect priest had reprobated, and whom the chosen Levite bad passed by? Had God absolutely no respect to their repentance, faith, and charity? Was there never a "well done! thou good and faithful servant," for any of them? Shall a cup of cold water, given in Christ's name, have its reward; and shall not the oil and wine of the non-elected Samaritan, given in the name of Humanity, Divinity, Mercy, Love, Truth, and Righteousness, [six of Christ's sweetest names ;] shall not, I say, that wine and oil have their reward? Hath God forgotten to be gracious? Hath he shut up his remunerative kindness in displeasure? Is there nothing but vindictive free-wrath, for all that are not interested in the peculiar covenants of promise made with Abraham, Moses, and the High-priest of our [Christian] profession? And nothing but flaming love for Nadab, Abihu, Korah, Dathan, Abiram, Demas, Hymeneus, Philetus, Alexander, and Diotrephes, who so eminently shared in the Jewish and Christian covenants of peculiar. ity?
If you say with St. Paul, All are not [true] Israelites who are of Israel, you grant what we contend for you allow, that all are not the elect of God's impartial justice, who are the elect of his partial favour; and that anally the scale will turn for the retribution of eternal life or eternal death, according to the election or reprobation of impartial justice; and not according to the election of partial grace, and the reprobation of free-wrath. Who had ever a larger share in the election of partial grace than David? And yet, who ever maintained the election and reprobation of justice more strongly than he? Does he not still cry to all the world, from the walls of Jerusalem, "Verily there is a reward for the righteous, [of whatever family, tribe, or religion he be] doubtless there is a God, that judgeth the earth?" Does not every body know, that to judge the earth, is to justify, or condemn, all its inhabitants accor ding to their works? And when God finally justifies or condemns, what does he do but declare, that the godly are evangelically worthy of walking with him in white, and of following him to fountains of living water; and that the ungodly are every way worthy to depart with the devil, and follow him into the lake of fire?
I have observed, that the election of par
talents, are tempted to think themselves ab. solute reprobates; as often, at least, as they compare their case with that of their fellow. servants, who have received more talents than they whilst others who have been indulged with peculiar favours, and have sinned, or idled them away, consider themselves as peculiar favourites of heaven, upon whom God will never pass a sentence of judicial reprobation. Hence arise the despairing fears of some believers, the presumptuous hopes of others, and the spread of the mistaken doctrines of grace. By the same mistake, rash Preachers frequently set up God's peculiar grants to some of his upper servants, as a general standard for all the classes of them, and pass a reprobating sentence upon every one who does not yet come up to this standard; to the great offence of the judicious, to the grief of many sincere souls, whom God would not have thus grieved, and to the countenancing of Calvinian reprobation.
A plain Appeal to Matter of Fact, will throw light upon all the preceding remarks. Are not many true Christians evidently reprobated, with respect to some of the special favour, which our Lord conferred on the woman of Samaria, Zaccheus, Levi, (afterwards St. Matthew, and St. Paul?) How few have been called, in so extraordinary, abrupt, and cogent a manner as they were? Nay, how many strumpets, extortioners, busy worldings, and persecutors in all ages, have been hurried into eternity, without having received the special favours, from which we date the conversion of those four favourites of Free-grace?
Has not God in all ages shewn the partiality of his grace, by giving more of it to one man, than to another?-To persecuting Saul, for example, than to thousands of other sincere persecutors, who thought, as well as he, that they did God service in dragging his saints to prison and to death? Did not the Lord shew less distinguishing mercy to Zimri and Cosbi, than to David and Bathsheba? Less to Onan, than to the incestuous Corinthian, and the woman caught in adultery?-Less to the forty-two children, who mocked the bald prophet, than to the more guilty sons of Jacob, who went about to kill their pious brother, sold him into Egypt, and covered their cruelty with hypocrisy and lies? Did he not give less time to repent to drunken Belshazzar, than he did to proud Nebuchadnezzar ? Did he not burry Ananias and Sapphira into eternity with a severity, which he did not display towards Cain, Solomon, Peter, and Judas? Did he shew as much long-suffering to Eli and his sons; or to king Saul and his unfortunate family; as he did to David and his ungodly house? Was he as gracious to the
tial grace extends to cities and nations and so does the reprobation of impartial justice. Take one or two remarkable instances of it. According to the election of distinguishing favour, God chose Jerusalem to put his name there. But when Jerusalem shewed herself absolutely unworthy of his judical election, he reprobated her in righteousness. Hear the awful decree; "I will make Jerusalem heaps, and a den of dragons, The houses of Jerusalem shall be defiled as Tophet," Jer. ix. 11. xix. 13. The mild Jesus, after a last effort to gather her children, as a hen gathers her brood, with a flood of tears, pronounces the final sentence of her judicial reprobation; "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets,-there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down."
The gratuitous election, and the judicial reprobation of Jerusalem, are typical of the gratuitous election of the Israelites, and of their judicial reprobation. An account of their gratuitous election is set before the reader in the Essay on Scripture Calvinism. Here follows an account of their righteous reprobation. "And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe all his commandments, that the Lord will set thee on high;-all these blessings shall overtake thee:-The Lord shall establish thee an holy people to himself, as he hath sworn to thee. But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt pot hearken, &c. that all these curses shall overtake thee, &c. The Lord shall send upon thee cursing,-until thou be destroyed, and until thou perish quickly, because of all the wickedness of thy doings, whereby thou hast forsaken me," Deut. xxviii. 1-20. Again : "See I have set before thee life and good, and death and evil, in that I command thee to love the Lord thy God, that thou mayest live :-But if thine heart turn away, &c. I denounce unto you this day, that you shall surely perish," Deut. xxx. 15. &c. Here are the decrees of God's judicial election and reprobation. According to these decrees, David says to his elect son," Solomon, my son, serve the God of thy father, with a willing mind.-If thou seek him, he will be found of thee: but if thou forsake him he will cast thee off for ever. Take heed now, for the Lord hath chosen thee to build him a house, &c." I Chron. xxviii. 9. According to these decrees; "Because of all the provocations, &c. the Lord said, I will remove Judah also out of my sight, as I have removed Israel, and I will cast off this city Jerusalem, which I have chosen, and the house, of which I said, My name shall be there," 2 Kings xxiii. 26, 27.
It is only to defend the election and repro
man, who gathered sticks on the Sabbath, or to him who conveyed the Babylonish garment into his tent, as he was to Gehazi, and to king Ahab, whom he spared for years after the commission of more atrocious crimes? Did not Christ shew less distinguishing love to Zebedee, than to his sons ?-Less to the woman of Canaan, than to Mary Magdalen? -Less to Jude, Bartholomew, and Lebbeus, than to Peter, James, and John? How soon, how awfully did God destroy Nadab and Abihu, for offering strange fire ?-Korab, Dathan, and Abiram, for resisting Moses ?— Uzziah, for touching the ark? And the prophet of Judah, for eating bread in Bethel: when nevertheless he bore for months or years with the wickedness of Pharoah, the idolatry of Solomon, the witchcrafts of bloody Manasseh, and the hypocrisy of envious Caiaphas? Is not this unequal dealing of divine patience, too glaring to be denied by any unprejudiced person.
Does not this partiality extend itself even to places aud cities? Why did God reprobate Jericho, and elect Jerusalem ?-"Jerusalem, the city which the Lord did choose out of all the tribes of Israel to put his name there!" 1 Kings xiv. 21. Do we read less than nineteen times this partial sentence, "The place which the Lord shall choose," only in the book of Deuteronomy? Could not God have chosen Babylon, Bethlehem, or Bethel, as well as the city of the Jebusites? Why did he make Mount Zion his holy hill? Why did he love the gates of Zion, more than all the dwellings of Jacob? Is there neither election nor reprobation in these words of the Psalmist? "Moreover he [the Lord] refused [reprobated] the taberna cle of Joseph, and chose not [passed by] the tribe of Ephraim; but chose the tribe of Judah, the Mount Zion, which he loved," Psalm 1xxviii. 67, 68. Again: Why did the angel, who troubled the pool of Bethesda, pass by all the other pools in Jerusalem? Why did our Lord send the lepers to the pool of Siloam, rather than to any other? And why were Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, reprobated with respect to the power of healing Naaman's leprosy, when Jordan was elected to it? Was it not because God would convince the Syrians of his partiality to his peculiar people, and to their country?
But is this partiality confined to Judea and Syria? Or to Egypt and Goshen? May we not see the footsteps of an electing, partial Providence in this favoured Island? Why is it a temperate country? Could not God have placed it under the heaps of snow which cover Greenland; or in the hot cli mates, where the vertical sun darts his un
bation of justice, that Paul says, God hath
The Apostle frequently speaks the same anti-calvinian language: take one or two more instances of it. "The end of those things is death [i. e. final reprobation from life.] But, &c. ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end of this fruit is a judicial election to] everlasting life: for the wages of sin is death, [i. e. a judicial reprobation from life;] but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ:"-An invaluable gift, which the Redeemer has procured, and which shall be judicially bestowed upon obedient, persevering believers; as the king's purses and plates, which are the mere gifts of his majesty, are equitably bestowed upon them that so run as to obtain the prize. And therefore, "So run, (says the Apostle) that ye may obtain an incorruptible crown."-Be ye followers of me :-"I so run, &c. lest I
sufferable beams upon barren sands? Could he not have suffered it to be enslaved by the Turks, as the once famous isle of Crete now is? and to lie in popish darkness, as Sicily does; or in heathenish superstition, as the large islands of Madagascar and Borneo do? Who does not see the partiality of sovereign grace in the sparing of some nations, cities, and churches? Did not God reprobate the disobedient Amalekites sooner than the disobedient Jews? Why are the former utterly destroyed, when the latter are yet so wonderfully preserved? Did not God bear less with Ai, Nineveh, and Carthage, than with London, Paris. and Rome ?-Less with the ten tribes, which formed the kingdom of Israel, than with the two tribes, which formed the kingdom of Judah? Why does the Lord bear longer with the church of Rome, than he did with the churches of Laodicea and Constantinople? Is it merely because the church of Rome is less corrupted? Nay, why does he bear so long with this present evil World, when (comparatively speaking) he destroyed the Antediluvian World so soon? And why are the Europeans, in general, elected to the blessings of Christianity, from which the rest of the world is generally reprobated: most nations in Asia, Africa, and America, being indulged with no higher religious advantages, than those, which belong to the religions of Confucius, Mahomet, or uncultivated nature?
If God's partiality in our favour is so glaring, why do not all our gospel-ministers try to affect us with a due sense of it? May I venture to offer a reason of this neglect? As the sins forbidden in the seventh commandment, by their odious nature, frequently reflect a kind of unjust shame upon a pure marriage-bed which, according to God's own declaration, is truly honourable; so the wanton election, and horrid reprobation, that form the modern doctrines of grace, have, I fear, poured an undeserved disgrace upon the pure election, and the wise reprobation, which the scriptures maintain. Hence it is, that even judicious divines avoid touching
* Mr. Addison gives us this just view of our gratuitous election in one of the Spectators. I shall transcribe the words of that judicious and pious writer. "The sublimest truths, which among the heathens, only here and there one of brighter parts, and more leisure than ordinary, could attain to, are now grown familiar to the meanest inhabitants of these nations. Whence came this surprising change, that regions formerly inhabited by ignorant and savage people, should now outshine ancient Greece in the most elevated notions of theology and morality? Is it the effect of our own parts and industry? Have our common mechanics more refined understandings than the ancient philosophers? It is owing to the God of truth, who came down from heaven and condescended to be himself our teacher. It is as we are Christians, that we possess. more excellent and divine truths than the rest of
myself should be a cast-away," according to the reprobation of justice, 1.Cor. ix. 24, &c. The election and reprobation of partial grace, depend entirely upon the wisdom and sovereignty of God. The great" Potter hath power over the clay, to make of the same lump vessels to honour, or to [comparative] dishonour," just as he pleases. As a supreme Benefactor, he had a right to raise the Jews above all nations, by calling them at the third hour into his enclosed vineyard. He could without injustice, call the Corinthians at the sixth hour, and the English at the ninth hour. And if he calls the Hottentots at the eleventh hour, they shall be entitled to the blessings of the richest election of grace, (which are represented by the penny in the parable,) as much as if they had been called as early as Abraham was; and had borne the burden and heat of the day as long as Paul and Cranmer did. 1 repeat it, with respect to the privileges of the covenant of promise made with the Jews and the Christans, which privileges our Lord sometimes calls his pence, and sometimes his talents; they are ours as soon as we are called, if we do but answer the call by going into the Lord's vineyard or field. This is what Christ condescends to call our hire, for going into his church militant; our hire, bestowed according to the election of prevenient-grace. But our eternal reward shall be given accord. ing to a very different rule, namely, according to the election of impartial justice. To secure this reward, we must not only go into the Lord's field, when we are called; but we must sow as we are directed. Be not deceired, says the Apostle, when he stands up for the doctrines of justice; as God does not necessitate man by Calvinian decrees of tinished reprobation, and then mock him by Arminian offers of salvation: so "he is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh, shall of the flesh [naturally and judicially] reap corruption and destruction, the word has this double meaning in the original.] But he that soweth to the Spirit, shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting," both, by natural and judicial consequence." For the [moral] earth, which bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God: [Come, ye blessed, inherit the kingdom, &c. for I was hungry, and ye gave me meat.] But that which beareth thorns and briars, is rejected, [reprobated] and is nigh unto cursing, whose end is to be burned," according to the fearful sentence, "Depart ye cursed, into everlasting fire, for I was hungry, and ye gave me no meat, &c." Gal. vi. 7, Heb. vi. 7, Matt. xxv. 34, &c.
Well then might our Lord and St. Paul
upon these capital doctrines in public, lest minds defiled with Antinomianism should substitute their own unholy notions of election, for the holy notions which the Scriptures convey. This evil shame is a remains of Pelagianism, or of false wisdom. The abuse of God's favours ought not to make us renounce the right use of them. Far then from being wise above what is written, let us with the prophets of old, make a peculiar use of the doctrine of partial grace, to stir up ourselves and others to suitable gratitude. How powerful is the following argument of Moses? "The Lord thy God hath chosen thee, to be a special people to himself, above all people, that are upon the face of the earth. The Lord thy God did not set his love upon thee nor choose thee, because ye were more in number than any people, (for ye were the fewest of all people) but because the Lord loved you, &c.-He had a delight in thy fathers to love them, and chose their seed after 'them, even you, above all people, as it is this day, &c. He is thy praise, and he is thy God, who hath done for thee these great and wonderful things." Deut. vii. 6, &c. x. 15, 21. -"For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the Lord our God is in all things, which we call upon him for? Ask now of the days that are past; *ask from the one side of heaven to the other, whether there hath been any such thing as this great thing is. Did ever people hear the voice of God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as thou hast heard? Or hath God assayed to take him a nation from the midst of another nation, by signs and wonders, &c. ? Unto thee it was shewed, that thou mightest know [with peculiar certainty] that the Lord he is God?" Deut. vi. 7, 32, &c.
Does not the Psalmist stir up the Lord's chosen nation to gratitude and praise, by the same motive, of which the anti-Calvinists are ashamed? "He sheweth his word to Jacob, This statutes to Israel. He hath not dealt so with any nation: as for his [peculiarly-covenanted] judgments, they [the heathen] have not known them. Praise ye the Lord, O ye seed of Abraham,-ye children of Jacob his chosen," Psal. cxlvii. 19, 20.-cv. 6.
Nay, does not God himself stir up Jerusalem [the holy city become a harlot] to repentance and faithfulness, by dwelling upon the greatness of his distinguishing love towards her? How strong is this expostulation! How richly descriptive of God's partiality towards that faithless city! "Thus saith the Lord God unto Jerusalem, Thy birth and thy nativity is of the land of Canaan. Thy father was an Amorite, and thy mother an Hittite. -Thou wast cast out in the open field, to the loathing of thy person, in the day that -thou wast born; and when I passed by thee,
charge us to escape the reprobation, and to secure the election of justice. How awful and anti-calvinian are their directions ! "Watch and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these [terrible] things, and to stand [rewardable] before the Son of man," Luke xxi. 36." Whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord: knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance," Col. iii. 24.
From these, and a multitude of such Scriptures, it appears, that when the rigid Calvinists overlook the impartial election and reprobation of distributive justice, they betray as much prejudice as the rigid Arminians do, when they deny the partial election and reprobation of distinguishing grace. There is, however some difference between the extensiveness of their errors. Arminianism rejects the partial election and reprobation of distinguishing grace, it strenuously maintains the righteous election and reprobation of impartial justice; and by this means it preserves one half of the doctrines of the Bible in all their purity, namely the doctrines of justice. But rigid downright Calvinism equally spoils the doctrines of grace, and the doctrines of justice: for it turns the holy doctrines of special grace, into solifidian doctrines of lawless grace: and with respect to the doctrines of impartial justice, it totally demolishes them, by allowing but of one, eternal, absolute, partial, and personal election, which necessarily binds Christ's righteousness and finished salvation upon some men;-and of one eternal, absolute, partial, and personal reprobation, which necessarily fastens Adam's unrighteousness, with finished damnation upon all the rest of mankind. Now, according to these doctrines of partial grace and free-wrath, it is evident, that justice can no more be concerned in justifying or condemning, rewarding or punishing men under such circumstances, than you could be equitably concerned in crowning some men for swimming, and in burning others for sinking; supposing you had first bound the elected swimmers fast to an immense piece of cork, and tied a huge millstone about the neck of the sinking reprobates. Hence it appears, that although a Bible-Christian may hold Pelagius's election and reprobation of justice, he can neither hold Calvin's one election of lawless grace, nor his one reprobation of free-wrath.
But, whilst I bear my plain testimony against rigid Calvinism, I beg the reader to make a difference between that system, and the good men who have embraced it. With joy I acknowledge, that many Calvinist-ministers have done much good in their generation. But whatever good they have done, was not done by their errors, but by the gos