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146 For GOD's Gifts and Calling are without Repentance. Sect. 26. tion, that Remnant of them which God hath ing the Election, they are

graciousy chosen, to be fubdued by the Grace of beloved for the Father's Ronn.XI. 28. the Gospel

, [they are] beloved for their Fathers Sakes. God's gracious Regard to the Memory of their pious Ancestors engages him to take Care, that some of their Seed shall always continue in Covenant with him, till at length he recovers them as

a Nation, and aftonish the World with their un-
29 equalled Glory and Felicity. And this thall 29 For the Gifts and
most affuredly be, for the Gifts and Calling of Calling of God are with-

out Repentance.
GOD [are] not to be repented of (d): He doth
not resume the Gifts he hath once bestowed, nor
retract the Calls he hath once given, but will
maintain a Remembrance of them, and act in
perfect Harmony with them, in all his Dispen-

fations; according to that wise Plan which he
hath laid in his eternal Counsels, and from which
no unforeseen Contingency can ever cause him to

vary.
30
As then

ye

Gentiles were once, and for a long 30 For as ye in Times Time, disobedient to GCD, and buried in Igno- paft have not believed God, rance and Superstition, but now have obtained cy through their Unbelief. Mercy, by Means of their Disobedience; God hav

ing taken you to be his People instead of the 31 Jews; So they also, baving been disobedient to 31 Even so have these the Gospel, and the more prejudiced against it also now not believed, that

through your Mercy they on Occasion of your Admittance to such distin

may obtain Mercy. guishing Mercy, yet shall not be utterly and finally ruined, but Mall also to the Glory of Divine

Grace at length, themselves, obtain the Mercy they
32 have envied you. And thus the Divine Good 32 For God hath con,

ness is illustrated, even by that which might seem cluded them all in Unbelief,
most contrary to it : For it appears, that GOD
bath, for a certain Time, shut up all under Obsti-
nacy and Disobedience (e), suffering each in their

Turn

also

that

feem a strong Objection against it; but if theo be rendered with a Regard to, it may be applicable to both.

(d) Not to be repented of.] Elsner has produced many Paffages from approved Greek Class ficks, in which the Word auilameánlos, is ufed exactly in this Sense : and has collected in his curious Nite on this Verse, many Testimonies of Pagan Authors relating to the Divine Perfections, which might have taught some Christian Divines to speak more honourably of them, than they do in some of their Writings.

(e) Shut up all under Disobedience, &c.]. It is of great Importance to observe, that thiş refers to différent Periods

. Firf, God suffered the Gentiles, in the early Ages of the 6

World

147

upon all,

33

The Apostle adores the Riches and Wisdom of GOD. that he might have Mercy Turn to revolt, under diffèrent Degrees of Light, Sect. 26.

that he might in a more remarkable Manner have
Mercy on all, and glorify the Riches of his Grace, Rom. XI. 32.
in Favours bestowed on those, who evidently ap-

peared so undeserving. 33 O the Depth of the

And now, to conclude this Article, who in the
Riches both of the Wisdom View of such a Series of Events must not cry out,
and Knowledge of God!
How unsearchable are his Oh the awful and unfathomable Depths of the
Judgements, and his Ways Riches, and Wisdom, and Knowledge of GOD!
paft finding out !

How rich are the Treasures of his Mercy, how
deep the Contrivances of his Wisdom, how
boundless the Stretch of his Knowledge! How
unsearchable, and yet how unquestionable, [are] his

Judgments! and his Ways such as cannot be traced
34 For who hath known out ! For who hath compleatly known the Mind 34
the Mind of the Lord, or
who hath been his Counsel- of the Lord in these Things, or who hath been his
lor ?
Counsellor, in forming the Plan of them?

Who, 35 35 Or who hath first giv- whether Jew or Greek, can pretend, that he hath en to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? firft given any Thing to him, or conferred any

Obligation upon

him? Let him make out the

Claim, and we may answer for it, that it shall be
36 For of him, and
through him, and to him, exactly repaid him again. For on the whole, 36
are all Things : To whom of him, as the original Author, and through him,
be Glory for ever. Amen. as the gracious Preserver, and for him, as the

ultimate End, [are] all Things (f). To him there-
fore [be] glory for ever, and ever; and let all the
Creation join their utmost Force to advance it to
the highest Degrees, and unite their Voices in
saying, Amen.

IMPROV E M E N T.

ET our whole Souls be engaged to glorify this great and blessed

God, from whom, and through whomwe, and all the Creatures, exist. Oh that it may be our eternal Employment to render Adoration, and

Blessing,

Ver. 36.

World to revolt, and then took the Abrahamick Family as a peculiar Seed to himself, and bestowed extraordinary Favours upon them. Afterwards, he permitted them, by Unbelief and Disobedience to fall, and took in the Gentiles on their Believing; and he did even this, with an Intent to make that very Mercy to the Gentiles, a Means of provoking the Jews to Jealousy, and so bring them tó Faith, by that which had at first been an Offence in the i Way to it. This was truly a Mystery in the Divine Conduct, which the Apofle most rationally, as well as respectfully, adores, in the concluding Words of the Chapter.

(f) of him, thro' him, for him, &c.] Antoninus, speaking of Nature, that is, of God, has an Expression, which one would imagine, he had borrowed from this of Paul, ex ou savlaev gos mailabis Ot Taula, all Things are of thee, in thee, and to thee.

Ver. 33 Ver. 35.

Ver. 34.

Ver. 33

- Ver. 32

1:48 Reflections on the final Conversion of Jews and Gentiles. Sect. 26. Blessing, and Glory to him! To him, whose Counsels none can trace : To

him, who hath prevented us with all the Blessings of his Goodness; fo that far from being able to confer any Obligation on bim, for.which we should pretend to demand a Recompence, on the contrary, we must own, that the more we are enabled and animated to do for him, the more indeed are we obliged to him. We cannot pretend to have known the Mind of the Lord in all its Extent, or to have been admitted into his secret Counsels. He is continually doing marvellous Things, which we know not : Yet surely we know enough to admire and adore. We know enough to cry out in Raptures of delightful Surprize, Oh the Deptbs of the Riches, both of his Wisdom and Goodness!

One Instance, tho' but one of many, we have here before us, in his mysterious Conduct towards Jews and Gentiles; in which, Occurrences. that seem the most unaccountable, and indeed the most lamentable, are over-ruled by God to answer most benevolent Purposes. That the Sin of the Jews should be the Salvation of the Gentiles, and yet the Mercy Thewn to the Gentiles, in its Consequences the Salvation of the Jews, and so both should be concluded under Sin, that GOD might more illustriously

kave Mercy on both! Ver. 26.

Oh that the blessed Time were come, when all Israel shall be saved : When the Deliverer, who is long since come out of Sion, shall turn away Iniquity from Jacob: and the Fulness of the Gentiles come in, fo that from the rising to the going down of the Sun, the Lord mall be one, and his Name one. Our Faith waits the glorious Event, and may perhaps wait it even to the End of Life. But a Generation to be born shall see it : For the Gifts and Callings of GOD are without Repentance. Let our affured Confidence in the Divine Promise, travel on, as it were, to the Accomplishment over Mountains of Difficulty, that may lie in our Way; and let our Hearts be cheared with this happy Prospect, under all the Grief which they feel, when we see how few now believe the Report of the Gospel, and to how few God hath revealed his Arm.

While the glorious expected Event is delayed, let us add our fervent Interceffions with God, to these Prayers, by which the Church has in every Age been endeavouring to haften it on. They are all written in the Book of God's Remembrance, and shall all be reviewed and anfwered in their Seafon. Let us in the mean Time comfort ourselves with this reviving Thought, that the Covenant which GOD will make with Ifrael in that Day, is in the main the same he has made with us, to take

Sin. Eased of such an insupportable Burthen, that would sink us into final Ruin and Despair, let us bear up chearfully against all Difcouragements, and glory in the Gospel, which brings us this invaluable Blessing; how long, and how generally soever, it may be, to the Jews a stumbling Block, and to the Greeks Foolijk.ness.

Ver. 25.

· Ver. 29.

Ver. 27

away Sin,

SECT.

Christians exhorted to present themselves to GOD;

149

s E C T.

XXVII.

The Apostle enters on a Series of most admirable practical Ex

hortations and Dire&tions ; in which he labours to persuade Christians to aüt in a Manner worthy of that Gospel

, the Excellency of which he had been illustrating. And here particularly urges an intire Consecration to GOD, and a Care to glorify him, in their respective Stations, by a faithful Improvement of their various Talents. Rom. XII. 1,---11.

H

may convince

ROMANS XII. I.

ROMANS XII. 1.
I
Beseech you therefore,
Brethren, by the Mercies

AVING thus dispatched what I proposed Sect. 27. of God, that ye present in the argumentative Part of the Epistle,

Rom. XII. 1. your Bodies a living Sacri- and

suggested a Variety of Considerations, which fice, holy, acceptable unto God,

you of the great Excellency of the Gospel, and the fingular Favour, which God has shewn to those Gentiles whom he hath called into the Christian Church, and to that Remnant of the Jews who are kept in so happy a Relation to them, while the Bulk of their Nation are fallen into a State of Rejection ; let me now endeavour to animate, you all to behave in a suitable Manner. I entreat you therefore (a), my dear Brethren, Partakers with me in this holy Calling, by all the tender Mercies of our most compassionate GOD, that instead of the animal Victims, whose flaughtered Bodies you have been accustomed to offer, either to the true God, or to Idols, you would now present, as it were, at his spiritual Altar, your own Bodies, as a living Sacrifice, holy and well pleasing 10 GOD. Let all the Members of your Bodies, and all the

Faculties

(a) Intreat you therefore.] Some apply this to the Gentiles; and as most of the Members of the Church at Rome were originally fo, it is reasonable to believe the Apostle had them principally in View: But not excluding the converted Jews, who, as he had just before expressed it, remained as a Remnant according to the Election of Grace, when the Reji

vere hardened, and therefore had surely Reason to acknowledge the tender Mercies of GOD to them, and were under strong Obligations to devote themselves to him. I have accordingly in the Paraphrase applied it tomboth,

(6) Bodies

150

Against Conformity to the World; and against Pride,
Sect. 2;. Faculties of your Souls (6), being sanctified and God, which is your reason-

animated by Divine Grace, be employed in the able Service. Rom. XII. I. Service of him, to whom you are under such

immense Obligations. This he requires of you,
[as] your rational Service; and it will be much
more acceptable to him, than any ceremonial

Forms, tho' most exactly prescribed in a Ritual
2 of his own Appointment.

And as

2 And be not conformed desire

you to engage his Approbation and

Favour, be not, transformed by the renew

to this World : But be ye
in the general Course of your Temper and Ac- ing of your Mind, that ye
tions, conformed to the Sentiments and Customs of may prove what is that good,
this vain and sinful World; but rather be ye trans- and acceptable, and perfed
formed, in the renewing of your Mind : Endea-
vour to become new Creatures, contracting new
Habits and engaging in new Pursuits, under the
Influence of the Divine Spirit on your Hearts ;
that you may not only be speculatively acquainted
with the Doctrines, Precepts, and Design of the
Gospel, but may experimentally know that Will of
GOD, [which is) in itself so excellently good, and
which, as it is most acceptable to him, has the
most apparent Tendency to purify and perfect our

Natures (c).
3
And I particularly say, and give it in Charge (d), Grace given unto me, to

3 For I say, through the
according to that Grace wbich is given to me, as every Man that is among
an inspired Apostle, to every one that is among you, you, not to think of himself
as if personally named, to take the greatest Heed, more highly than he ought
that he be not exalted into spiritual Pride, by the

soberly
Gifts and Priviledges which God hath conferred
upon you. I charge each not to arrogate [to himself]
above what be ought to think (e), but that he think

of

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(b) Bodies and Souls.] The Body is here by a usual Figure put for the whole Person, nor can the Soul be now presented to God otherwise than as dwelling in the Body, or truly consecrated to him, unless the Body be employed in his Service ; nor on the other Hand, can the Body be presented, as a living Sacrifice, otherwise than as acted and animated by the Soul. -For the Propriety of the Word ragaesnoat, which properly signifies, placing the Viktim before the Altar, fee Elfner in Loc.

(c) Good, acceptable, and perfect.] L'Enfant explains each of these as opposed to the Jewish Ritual ; this Christian Sacrifice being more excellent in itself, Ezek. xx. 25. more pleasing, to God, Psal. xl. 7, 8. and tending more to make us perfect, Heb. vii. 19. I underftand it as referring to all the preceptive Part of Christianity, the Excellency of which they will best understand, who set themselves most exactly to practise upon it.

(d) Say, and give it in Charge.] Só Asya. fignifies, Aets xv. 24. See Raphel. Annot. ex Herodot. in Loc.

(e) Not to arrogate, &c.] Raphelius, (Annot. ex Herodo in Loc.) has thewn, that utrop pposeso has properly this Signification.

(f) According

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