Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

I 21

And with the Vessels of Mercy, to make known his Glory. Mercy, which he had afore [those,] whom he hath, by the Power of his own Sect. 20. prepared unto Glory?.

Grace, previously prepared to Glory, that they might

in the most honourable Manner be at length cal- Rom. IX.23. : : 24 Even us whom he led to partake of it? Even us, whom he hath 24 hath called, not of the already called into the happy Number of his PeoJews only, but also of the ple, not only of the Jews, but of the Gentiles too.

Shall he make an Apology to thee, Oh Man, that
he hath appointed some of our finful Race to
fuch Mercy, that he hath exercised much Long-
suffering towards them, that he hath at length
wrought upon them by his effectual Grace; or
that, determining to deal thus mercifully with
some of Jacob's Race, he hath added to their
Number others, whom he hath taken from Gen-
tile Nations ? Know thy Place, and acquiesce in
humble Silence. Allow the blessed GOD to do
what he will with his own, and let not thine Eye
be.eyil, because he is good.

I M P R O V E M E N T.

LE

Ver. 15

ET us learn from the memorable Section, which we have now

been reading, humbly to adore the Righteousness and Holiness of Ver. 14. God, in all the most amazing Displays of his Sovereignty, which we are sure are always consistent with it. Let us own his Right to confer on whom he pleaseth, those Favours which none of us can pretend to haye deserved; and adore his wonderful Goodness, in choosing to exercise Mercy and Compasion on any of the Children of Men, yea, on many, who must own themselves in the Number of those, who had the least Claim to it. He hath of his mere Goodness given us those Priviledges, as Christians, and as Protestants, which he hath with-held from most Nations under Heaven. And if we improve them aright, we have undoubtedly Reason to look upon our selves, as Velsels of Mercy, whom Ver. 23 be is preparing for eternal Glory. Let us adore his distinguishing Favour to us, and arrogate nothing to ourselves. It is neither of him that wil- Ver. 16. leth, nor of him that runneth, but of GOD that seweth Mercy, and worketb in us both to will, and to do, of his own good Pleasure.

Long

Destruction, but of the latter, that GOD prepared them for Glory. A Distinction of fo great Importance, that I heartily wish we may ever keep it in View, to guard us against Errors, on the Right-hand, or on the Left. "Compare Mat. xxv. 34, 41, and the Note there.

[blocks in formation]

I 22

Sect. 20.

Ver. 22.

Ver. 18.

Ver. 17

Reflections on the Righteousness of GOD in bis Difpenfations.

Long did his Patience wait on us; and let that Patience be for ever adored! It shall be glorified even in those that perish : For he is so far from destroying innocent Creatures, by a mere arbitrary Act of Power and Terror, that he endureth with mucb Long-suffering those, who by their own incorrigible Wickedness prove Vessels of Wrath, and whom the whole assembled World shall confess fitted for the Destruction, to which they shall finally be consigned. That after long Abuse of Mercy. they are hardened, and perhaps after long Hardness, are at length destroyed; yea that some of the vilest of Men are exalted by Providence to a Station, that makes their Crimes confpicuous, as those of Pharaoh, tiil at length he shews forth his Power the more awfully, and maketh his Name the more illustrious, by their Ruin, is certainly consistent with that Justice, which the Judge of the whole Earth will never violate.

But if in tracing Subjects of this kind Difficulties arise, beyond the Stretch of our feeble Thought, let us remember that we are Men, and let us not dare to reply against GOD. Retiring into our own Ignorance and Weakness, as those that are less than Nothing, and Vanity, before him, let us dread by any arrogant Čensure to offend him, who has so uncontroulable a Power over us. As Clay in the Hand of the Potter, so are we in the hand of the Lord our GOD. Let us acquiesce in the Form he has given us, in the Rank he has assigned us; and instead of perplexing ourselves about those Secrets of his Counsels, which it is impossible for us to penetrate, let us endeavour to purify ourselves from whatever would displease him; that so we may, in our respective Stations, be Vessels of Honour, fit for the Use of our Master now, and intitled to the Promise of being acknowledged as his, in that glorious Day, when he shall make up his Jewels.

Ver. 20.

Ver. 21.

[ocr errors][merged small]

Hosea foretells the Admission of the Gentiles,

123

S E C T.

XXI.

The Apostle fhews, that the Admiffion of the Gentiles to the

Priviledges of GOD's peculiar People, when Israel should
be rejected, was so far from being inconsistent with Scrip-
ture, that it had been ačtually foretold, both by Hosea and
Isaiah. Rom. IX. 25, to the End.

[blocks in formation]

I

ROMANS IX. 25.
HAVE been remonstrating as to the Un- Sect. 21.

reasonableness of quarrelling with the Divine
Difpenfations, in distinguishing one Creature Rom. IX.25.
from another, by his Favours, or one Sinner from
another, by appointing him to peculiar Severities
of Punishment, not exceeding the Demerit of
his Offence. I will now venture, without far-
ther Reserve, to say, that in what I have been
writing, I had some peculiar Reference to God's
calling so many of the Gentiles by the Grace of
his Gospel, and his appointing the impenitent
Jews to be Monuments of Wrath. And let me
now address myself to the latter, and say, who
gave thee, Oh Jew, an Authority to question and
dispute with thy God on this Occasion ? Yea,
is there on the whole any Reason for thee, who
hast the Scriptures of the Old Testament in thine
Hands, and profesfest such a Regard for them,
so much as to be surprized at this, when there
are so many Hints of it in these Divine Oracles ?
As particularly in Hofea, where he hath spoken
of calling Israel Loammi, as disowning them for
their Wickedness, and bath also said, (Hof. i. 10.)
I will call them my People, who were not my

People before, and her beloved, which was not “ for a long Time beloved (a);

And it Mall 26

26 And it laall come to

pass,

come

[ocr errors]

(a). Call them my People, who were not my People.] It seems very evident from the Connection of these words in Hofea, that they refer to God's Purpose of restoring the Jews to the Priviledges of his people after they had been a while rejected of him. But it is obvious, they might with great Propriety be accommodated to the Calling of the Gentiles; and

indeed

:

124
Sect. 21.

saved,

And Ifaiah, the Rejection of the Jews; come to pass, [that] in the place where it was pass

, that in the Place where « most expressly said to them, ye [are] not my are not my People; there Rom. IX.26. « People, there shall they be called, not only the hall they be called the Chil.

People, but the Sons and Daughters of the li- dren. of the living God.
· ving GOD, by special Adoption and Favour.”
As he is the living God, he can easily bring it
into Execution, and the more you reflect on the
whole Tenor of his Word, the more you will
be sensible of the Propriety with which I apply

this Passage, whatever its original Sense might be,
27 to the Purpose in View. I must also observe, 27

Efaias also crieth conthat Ifaiah crieth concerning Israel with great Number of the Children of

cerning Israel, Though the 'Earnestness and Affection, (Isai. x. 22, 23.) Ifrael be as the Sand of thë Tho' the whole Number of the Children of If Sea, a Remnant shall be rael be as the Sand of the Sca, [yet] only a Rem

nant Mall be saved, and the Bulk of the People 28 - cut off. For the Lord is finishing and cut- work, and cut it short in

28 For he will finilh the «« ting skort bis Account in Righteousness ; for the Righteousness : Because a Lord will make a foort Account upon the Short Work will the Lord. " Earth (6): There shall be such a Consump- make upon the Earth. «. tion of them, that when Accounts come to be

". balanced, there will be found but a very 29 « small Overplus.” As the same Isaiah bath

29

as Efaias said be

fore, Except the Lord of
formerly said, in a Passage very much resembling Sabbaoth had left us à Seed,
that which I just now referred to, (Isai. i. 9.) we had been as Sodoma,
Except the Lord of Hofts had left us 2. Seed, we and been made like unto

Gomorrha,
Should have been as Sodom, we Mould have been
omade like to Gomorrab." There was then you
see but a little Remnant, which preserved the
whole People from being utterly consumed : So
that it is no unexampled Thing that the main
Body of the Jewish Nation should fall into a

Revolt from God, and become the Object of his
30 Displeasure to the most dreadful Degree. W bat 30 What shall we fay-

. Jall

, we then say, in the Conclusion of the whole then ? That the Gentiles Argument? Surely this; that the Gentiles, who

pursued

And

[ocr errors]

which

indeed that great Event might with some Probability be inferred, partly from the temporary Rejection of the Jews, of which this Text fpake, (for it was not to be imagined, God would have no People in the World ;) and partly, as it was in the Nature of Things more probable that he should call the Heathen, than that he should restore the Jews, when he had caft them off for such Ingratitude, as rendered them less worthy of his Favourg-than the most idolatrous Nations. Compare Jefferies, True Grounds, pag. 149.

(b) Cutting foort his Account in Righteousness.] Mr. Locke would translate it, for the Lord; finishing or cutting short his.Work. in Righteousness, all make a short or Small Remnant in the Earth. This is undoubtedly the Sense, but the Version is not.exact.

125

. teousness,

Which was, because they fought Righteousness by the Law. which followed not after pursued not after Righteousness, who had a little Sect. 21. Righteousness

, have attained while ago no Knowledge or Expectation of it, to Righteousness, even the Righteousness which is of and no Desire after it, have now, to their own Rom. IX.30. Faith :

unspeakable Surprize, and that of the whole
World, attained to Righteousness, that is, to the
Profession of a Religion, whereby they may

he
justified and saved ; even the Righteousness, which
is by Faith in the Gospel, and consists in humbly

committing the Soul to Christ in the Way that
31 But Israel, which fol- he hath appointed: But while Israel was pur- 31
lowed after the Law of suing the Law of Righteousness, and expecting to
tained to the Law of Righ- obtain Righteousness by legal Observances, it

hath not attained to that, which is indeed inost
properly to be called the Law of Righteousness,
that is, to the Blessings of that Dispensation, by

which alone Righteousness and Life is to be le32 Wherefore ? Because cured. And wherefore did they miss those Blef

32
they fought it not by Faith, sings ? Because they never heard of the Way to
of the Law: For they ftum- Divine Favour and Acceptance ? Nay: but be-
bled at thatStumbling-stone; caufe (they did] not [pursue it] by Faith, whereby

alone in this fallen State of our Nature it is to be
obtained; but merely, as if it was to be gained
By the Works of the Law. For they in Fact stum-

bled and fell at that Stone of Offence, which lay
33 As it is written, Be- in their Way. As it is written in these ever 33
hold I lay in Sion a Stum-
bling-stone, and Rock of memorable Words, (Isai. viii. 14. Chap. xxviii.
Offence : 'And whosoever 16.) Behold I. lay in Zion, that is, I exhibit
believeth on him, shall not “ in my Church, what, tho’ so well fitted to be

a Foudation of their Happiness, shall in Fact

prove' a Stone of Stumbling, and a Rock of Of-
fence, that is, an Occasion of Sin and Ruin to
many,

thro? their own Prejudice and Perverse-
“ ness? And every one who believeth in him fall .
not be ashamed, shall not be brought under a

Necessity of seeking his Refuge elsewhere, in

helpless and hasty Confusion, to which all they “ who fight him Thall at last be reduced.”.

be ashamed.

.

I M P R O V E M E N T.

Ow can we Sinners of the Gentiles ever sufficiently acknowledge

the Goodness of Gòd to us, in calling us to that full Participation of Gospel-blessings, which we enjoy! That in our native Lands, where

the

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »