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I grant that our tranflators in fome of the preceding paffages have used the word choice, and not the word elect: They fay for example choice cedars, and not cle&t cedars; but if they were afraid to make us fufpect the dignity of calvinian ELECTION, I am not. And as the original is on my fide, the candid reader will not expect fuch fcrupuloufnefs of me, who wish to act the part of a reconciler, and not that of a Calvinift.

(9) God's chufing and calling us to come up higher on the ladder of the difpenfations of his grace, is called election and vocation. Thus the doctrine which St. Paul infifts much upon, in his epiftles to the Romans and Ephefians, is, that now Jews and Gentiles are equally elected and called to the privileges of the chrif tian difpenfation. Nor does St. Peter diffent from him in this refpect. Once indeed he took it for granted, that the Gentiles were all reprobates: See Acts x. But when he was divefted of his jewish prejudices, and wrote to the believers who were fcattered throughout Pontus, &c. he said, The church that is at Babylon,


*If the expreffion ele angels is taken in a vague fense, which is moft probable, it means boly, beloved angels, who are ELECTED to the rewards of faithful obedience. If it is taken in a particular fenfe, it means thofe angels who, like Gabriel, are SELECTED from the multitude of the heavenly hoft, and fent forth to minifter for them who fhall be heirs of falvation, and efpecially to guard fuch eminent preachers as Timothy and St. Paul were. In either fenfe therefore, the words clect angels, which Zelotes greedily catches at to prop up his fcheme, have nothing to do with Calvinian election.---That the word elect fometimes means daring or beloved, will appear evident to those who compare the following-paffages: Behold MINE ELECT, in whom my foul DELIGHTETH, If. xliii, 1. This is MY BELOVED fon, in uhom I am WELL PLEASED. Mat. iii, 17.

ELECTED together with you, faluteth you, 1 Peter v, 13: Just as if he had faid, Think not that the election to the obedience of faith in Chrift, is confined to Judea, Pontus, or Galatia. No: God calls both Jews and Gentiles, even in Babylon, to believe in his Son. And as a proof that this calling and election are fincere, with pleasure I inform you that feveral have already believed, and formed themselves into a christian church, which faluteth you, not only as being elected with you to hear the christian gofpel; but as making their election to fo great falvation fure thro' actual belief of the truth as it is in Jefus: Therefore, I do not fcruple, in every fenfe of the word, to fay that they are elected together with you, and you may boldly confider them already as HOLY brethren, PARTAKERS of the heavenly calling: A glorious proof this, that Chrift has broken down the middle wall of partition between Jews and Gentiles; Babylon in this refpect being as much elected as Jerufalem -But more of this in the next Section.

(10) To conclude: Of all the directions, which can be given to clear up the doctrine of election with refpect to our eternal concerns, none appears to me fa important as the following. Carefully diftinguish be tween our election to RUN THE RACE of faith, and ho linefs, according to one or another of the divine difpenfations; and between our election to RECEIVE THE PRIZE a crown of glory: St. Paul speaking to Chrif tians of the first of thefe elections fays, God has CHOSEN us that we should be holy: And our Lord defcribing the second election fays, Many are called, but few. CHOSEN.-Well-done, good and faithful servant, enter THOU into the joy of thy Lord.-The former of those elections is always UNCONDITIONAL: but the latter is always fufpended upon the reasonable CONDITION of perfevering in the obedience of faith.

To fhow the propriety and importance of the preceding directions, I need only apply them to the parable of the talents, which difplays every branch of the doctrine of election. The kingdom of heaven, fays.

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Chrift [if it is confidered with refpect to God's gra cious, and righteous difpenfations towards the various claffes of his moral vessels or fervants] is as a man, who called [and of confequence, firft freely chofe] bis own fervants.


Observe here that every man is UNCONDITIONALLY chofen and called to ferve God in his univerfal temple. Seme may be compared to earthen veffels, made, chofen, and called to be useful in the court of the Gentiles, Jike humble Gibeonites: Some to filver veffels, made, ehofen and called to be useful in the holy place, like pious Jews And others, to golden, i. e. moft precious and honourable veffels, made, chofen, and called to be ufeful in the holieft of all, like true Christians. Hence it appears, that God has affigned to all his moral veffels their proper place and ufe in his great temple, the univerfe: If they are unprofitable, and unfit for the master's use, it is not because he makes them fo`; but because they receive a bad taint from their parents upon the wheel of generation, and afterwards refufe to purge themselves by means of the talent of light, grace, and power, which is bestowed them as upon the feed of regeneration, according to their respective difpenfations.

The difference that Jovereign grace makes between God's fervants, or, if you pleafe, between his moral veffels, is evidently afferted by St. Paul, 2 Tim. ii, 19. &c. The Lord, fays he, knoweth them that are his: that is, he approves the godly, the veffels of mercy, the clean veffels under every difpenfation. Let then every one that nameth the name of Chrift, and is of confequence under the strictest of all the difpenfations, depart from iniquity: for, in a great house there are not only veffels of gold, and of filver, but also of wood and of earth; and fome to honour, and fome to dishonour. If

St. Paul having guarded the doctrine of fovereign, diftinguishing grace by the different matter, earth, wood, filver, &c. of which the veffels are formed; and not making any diftinction between veffels of dishonour and veffels of wrath, as he does in Rom, iv, it neceffarily fol


man purge himself from thefe [all iniquity] whether he be a veffel of gold, filver, wood, or earth, be hall, according to his difpenfation, be a veffel unto honour, Janctified, and meet for the mafter's ufe, and prepared unto every good work; tho' it should be only the work of a Gibeonite, hewing wood and drawing water: and if a chriftianized Saul feeks to flay these spiritual Gibeonites in his zeal to the children of Ifrael, God himfelf will plead their caufe: For he honours in every difpenfation veffels that are clean and fanctified, according to his own decree, Them that honour me, I will peculiarly honour, and they that defpife me shall be lightly fteemed. That is, Although thofe that honour me, hould be only comparable to wooden or earthen veffels, like the devout foldiers of Cornelius; I will honour them with a place in my heavenly house. And were thofe that defpife me, comparable to filver veels, like the fons of Eli; or to a golden veffel, like Judas; if repentance does not interpofe, they fhall be broken with a rod of iron like veffels of wrath; and, after Sleeping in the duft, they shall awake to the everlafling contempt due to their fins; it being written among the decrees of heaven, If any man defile the veffel, or temple of God, bim fall God defiroy-Such will be the fearful end of thofe, who by their willful UNBELIEF make themfelves politively UNCLEAN veffels: for to them that are UNBELIEVING is nothing pure, but even their mind and confcience are DEFILED. And thefe veffels of just wrath and pofitive dishonour must be carefully diftinguished from thofe, whom God comparatively makes veffels of dishonour, by giving them fewer talents than he does to his upper fervants.


lows, according to the doctrine of rewarding grace, that the expreffions veffels to honour, and veffels to dishonour, are not to be taken bere in a comparative fenfe as in Rom. ix; but in a positive fenfe; and then they answer to vessels SANCTIFIED, and to vessels not PURGED; expreffions which occur in the context, and fix the apostle's meaning

house below.


Return we now to the parable of the talents, and to the feveral claffes of SERVANTS, which St. Paul comparés to feveral claffes of VESSELS, in God's great To one of them, fays our Lord, to the Christian, I fuppofe, according to the election o: MOST PARTICULAR distinguishing grace, he gave FIVE talents: To another, fuppofe the Jew, ftill according to the election of PARTICULAR grace, he gave TWO talents:And to another, suppose the Heathen, according to the decree of GENERAL grace, he gave ONE tas lent. Hence it appears, that God reprobates no man abfolutely, and is no calviniftical refpecter of perfons; for, adds our Lord in the parable, he gave to EVERY ONE according to his feveral ability, or circumftances. Mat. xxv. 15. This FIRST diftribution of grace privileges, is previous to ALL WORKS; and to it belong [as I have shown by parallel fcriptures] thofe words of the apostle, The children being not yet born, neither having DONE ANY GOOD OR EVIL, that the purpose of God, according to fovereign, diftinguishing election to a certain number of talents, or to certain remarkable favours, might fland NOT OF WORKS, but of him that calleth, it was faid, The elder shall ferve the younger Jacob have I loved and Efau have I hated, i. e. I have preferred Jacob to Efau, in point of family-honour; and the Ifraelites to the Edomites, with refpect to the covenant of peculiarity. And with as much propriety it might be faid in point of fuper-angelical dignity, MICHAEL the arch-angel have I loved, and GABRIEL the angel have I bated: i. e. I have reprobated the latter from a degree of dignity and favour, to which I have elected the former.

Thus far the parable illuftrates the doctrine of fovereign free-grace, and of an UNCONDITIONAL election to receive and ufe different meafures of grace; and thus far I walk hand in hand with Zelotes; because thus far he speaks as the oracles of God, except when he hints at his doctrine of abfolute reprobation. For at fuch times he makes it his business to infinuate, that there are some men, to whom God never gave so


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