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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
I M P R O V E M E N T.
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.
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.
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.
Hosea foretells the Admission of the Gentiles,
S E C T.
The Apostle fhews, that the Admiffion of the Gentiles to the
Priviledges of GOD's peculiar People, when Israel should
ROMANS IX. 25.
reasonableness of quarrelling with the Divine
People before, and her beloved, which was not “ for a long Time beloved (a);
And it Mall 26
26 And it laall come to
(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
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.
this Passage, whatever its original Sense might be,
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
as Efaias said be
fore, Except the Lord of
Revolt from God, and become the Object of his
, we then say, in the Conclusion of the whole then ? That the Gentiles Argument? Surely this; that the Gentiles, who
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.
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
committing the Soul to Christ in the Way that
hath not attained to that, which is indeed inost
which alone Righteousness and Life is to be le32 Wherefore ? Because cured. And wherefore did they miss those Blef
alone in this fallen State of our Nature it is to be
bled and fell at that Stone of Offence, which lay
“ a Foudation of their Happiness, shall in Fact
prove' a Stone of Stumbling, and a Rock of Of-
thro? their own Prejudice and Perverse-
Necessity of seeking his Refuge elsewhere, in
helpless and hasty Confusion, to which all they “ who fight him Thall at last be reduced.”.
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