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But there is 2. Reinixantaccording to the che home of Grace. " in their whole Land." But recollect, what 4. But what faith the Ansays the Divine Oracle to bim, in answer to this fwer of God unto him?

I have reserved to myself feRom. XI. 4. doleful Complaint? I beve reserved into.mg. ven thousand Men, who

self, by my Grace and Providence, no less than have not bowed the Knee seven thoufand Men, :-who bave not bowed the to the Image of Baal. « °Knee before the Image of Baal, nor com

plied with any of these idolatrous Rites, which s are established by these iniquitous Laws."

5 Even so then at this 5 And so also in tbe present Time, bad as this Gene

present Time also there is a ration of Israelites is, and sure they were never Remnant according to the worfe; yet there is a Remnant, who continues Election of Grace. faithful to God, according to the free Election of his Grace, whereby God hath reserved them to

himself, and made them to differ from others (6). 6 And by the Way, I cannot forbear. observing, 6 And if by Grace, then

and intreating you to reflect, that if it be, as I is it no more of Works.:
have said, according to the Election of Grace, Grace. But if it be of
then [it is] no more, as some have maintained, of Works, then is it no more
Works, whether of the Mofaick, or any other Grace: Otherwise Work is

no more Work.
· Law; elfe Grace is no longer Grace (c); if the
Glory of our Acceptance with God is not on the
whole to be ascribed to that. But on the other
Side, if (it be] of Works, then it is no more of
'Grace; eife Work is no longer Work. There is
-something fo absolutely inconsistent between be-
ing saved by Grace, and by Works, that if you
lay down either, you do of Necessity exclude the
other from being the Cause of it.

But, to return from this short Digression, wbat What then? Israel then han not obtained that bath not obtained that Justification and Righteouf

ness,

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which

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(b) The Election of Grace.) Some explain this of their having chosen Grace, that is, the Gospel; but that Turn is very unnatural, and neither suits the Phrase, nor the Connection with the former Clause, or with the next Verse, in which the Apostle comments on his own Words.

(c) Elle Grace is no longer Grace, &c.] Some interpret this, “ The Gospel would not de" serve the Name of Grace, if the Observations of the Mofaick Law were to be taken in,

as a part of the Terms of our Acceptance with God.” But this would have been a strange Position. Who, that in any Degree knew the Terrors of God's Anger, would not most gladly have accepted of the full Pardon the Gospel offers, on much more rigorous Terms than Obedience to the Mosaick Ritual. The Meaning rather seems to be," what “ is given to Works is the Payment of a Debt, whereas the Notion of Grace implies an “ unmerited Favour; so that the fame Benefit cannot, at the fame Time, be derived from « both.” This seems to be a Reflection on the Riches of Divine Grace, which the Apoftle makes by the Way, and which well agrees with the Fullness of his Heart on this Subject.

The rest were blinded, and their Priviledges became a Snare."

139 which he seeketh for ; but nefs, which it has sought, nor retained these par- Sect. 24. the Election hath obtained ticular Priviledges of the Church of God, which it, and the Rest were blinded.

they pretend intirely to engross : But the Élcetion, Rom. XI. 7.
the chosen Remnant, bath obtained it, having
been by Divine Grace engaged to embrace the
Gospel; whereas the Rest were blinded by their own

fatal Prejudices, to which God hath, in righ-
8 According as it is writ- teous Judgment, given them up. According as 8
ten, Gov hath given them it is written, (Isai. xxix. 10. Compare Deut.
that they should not fee, and xxix. 4. and Ifai. vi. 10.) GOD bath given them
Ears that they should not a Spirit of Slumber; Eyes that they should not see,
hear, unto this Day. and Ears that they should not bear. He threaten-

ed, you see, to punish their Perverseness, when
it should come to a certain Degree, by abandon-
ing them to encreasing Stupidity and Obstinacy,
and he hath done it even unto this Day : For their
Blindness continues, notwithstanding all the ex-
traordinary Things which have been done, even

in our own Age of Wonders, for their Conviction. 9 And David faith, Let And this is agreeable to what David hath said, in

9 their Table be made a Snare, that prophetical Imprecation, which is applicable bling-block, and a Recom- to them, as well as to Judas, (Pfal. lxix. 22, 23. pense unto them.

Compare Acts i. 20.) Let all the Blessings of their
most plentiful Table become a Snare to them, and
that which should, according to its original Use
and Intention, have been for their Welfare, a
Trap. Thus the Gospel, which should have
been the Means of their Salvation, is now be-
come an Instrument of Ruin and Destruction to
them, and an Occasion of stumbling in the most
fatal Manner. And it must be acknowledged to
be a juft Recompence for their Wickedness; that
the best of Blessings should thus be turned into a

Curse, to them, that so ungratefully rejected and
10 Let their Eyes be despised it. And in them the following Words 10
darkened, that they may
not fee,' and bow down are also fulfilled, Let their Eyes be darkened, that
their Back alway.

they may not see, and keep their Back continually
bent down, under a perpetual Weight of Sorrows,
which they may not be able to support, and which
may be a just Punishment upon them for having

rejected so easy a Yoke. (Compare Lev. xxvi. 13.) Vol. IV.

S

IMPROVE

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140

Refle&tions on the Remnant GOD bath reserved to himself, &

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IMPROV E M E N T.

Sect. 24•

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Ver. 3, 4.

Ver. 2.

Ver. 6.

ET us learn, from the Answer of GOD to Elijah, when he

thought himself left alone, and knew nothing of the seven ThouSand, which God had reserved ; to encourage ourselves in a secret Hupe, that there

may be much more Goodness in the World, that we are para ticularly aware of. The Numbers of those, that constitute the invisible Church, are unknown to us, but they are known to God. They are all registered in the Book of his Remembrance, as they are all reserved unto himself by his Grace; nor shall his People whom he hath foreknown be cast away. May we be of that blessed Number, and may the Degeneracy, which we see so prevalent around us, animate us to a holy Zeal, to hold fast our own Integrity; yea, to seize the Occasion of approving it in a more acceptable Manner, from a Circumstance, in every other View, greatly to be lamented. : Let us often reflect upon this great and important Truth, so frequently inculcated upon us in the Word of God, that it is to his Grace, and not

Works of our own, that we are to ascribe our Acceptance with him. And let the Ministers of Christ be ready, after the Example of the ApoAtle, sometimes to turn, as it were, out of the Way, to dwell a little on a Thought, at once so humbling, and so reviving.

We see the miserable Circumstances of God's ancient Israel, given up to a Spirit of Slumber, to blind Eyes, and to deaf Ears. Oh let us take Heed, that we do not imitate their Obstinacy and Folly ; left God make. our own Wickedness our Destruction ; lest he send a Curse upon us, and curse our Blessings, so that our Table should become a Snare to us, our temporal Enjoyments, or our spiritual Priviledges. Lord, let us often say, Give us any Plague,' rather than the Plague of the Heart ; and bow dowon our Backs under any Load of Affliction, rather than that, which shall at last crush those, who have refused to accept of thy Gospel, and to take upon their Shoulders the light Burthen, which a gracious Saviour would

to any

Ver. 7, 8.

Ver. 9.

Ver. IO.

lay upon them.

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Thro' the Fall of the Jews Salvation is come to the Gentiles ;

141

SECT. XXV.
The Apostle shews in this, and the next Section, that the Re-

jection of Israel is not final; but that the Time shall come,
when to the unspeakable Joy of the Christian World, the
Jewish Nation shall be brought into the Church of Christ.
Rom. XI. 11,---24.

I in

ROMAN S XI. II.

ROMANS XI. I.
Say then, Havethey stum-
I

HAVE asserted above the Rejection of the Sect. 25. bled that they should fall? God forbid : But rather

I through their Fall Salvation ved, that it is not total, so that none of them Rom. XI.11. is come unto the Gentiles, should remain objects of Mercy. And do I affor to provoke them to Jca- fert it to be final? Do I then say, they have so lousy.

stumbled, as that, as a Nation, they should fall into

irrecoverable Ruin, and never more be owned by :

God, as his People? GOD forbid! But I assert,
that by this Fall of theirs, Salvation [is] at the pre-
sent [come to the Gentiles ; the future Consequence
of which Thall be to provoke them to a holy Emu-
lation of sharing the Blessings and Benefits to be
expected from their own Messiah, when they

shall see so many Heathen Nations enjoy them.
12 Now if the Fall of But these thould be no unwelcome Tidings to
them be the Riches of the
World, and the Diminish you Gentiles : For if their Fall [be] by Accident
ing of them the Riches of the Riches of the World, and their Diminution, the
the Gentiles : How much Riches of the Gentiles, by scattering the Preachers
more their Fulness?

of the Gospel among them, by proving our Ve-
racity and Integrity, and in some Measure exci-
ting Compassion too; tho' their rejecting us, in
itself considered, might rather appear as an Ar-
gument against it; how much more shall the bring-
ing in their whole Fulness, that is, the whole
Body of the Jewish Nation, be a Means of

pro-
pagating the Gospel much farther, and recover-
ing Multitudes, by whom it hath been rejected,
from their Scepticisin and Infidelity, when so great
an Event appears in Accomplishment of its known
S 2

Predic

Sect. 25

142

That the Jews might be provoked to Emulation.

Predictions (a). For I now speak to you Gen 13 For I speak to you Stiles

, and I do it with Tenderness and Respect, Gentiles in as much as Rom.XI.13. as I am, by a special Designation of Providence, tiles, I magify mine Office:

the Apostle of the Gentiles; I therein extol my Of

fice, and esteem it the most signal Honour of my 14 Life to be employed in it. - And while I thus 14. If by any Means -1 address you, it is also with a Desire, that I may, them which are my Flesh,

may provoke to Emulation if possible, excite to Emulation [them, who are] and might fave some of my Brethren according to the Flesh, and who are them. dear to me as the Members of my own Body; that, if I may not prevail for the Recovery of their Nation in general, I may át least fave some of them ;. while I speak of these kind Purposes, which I assuredly know, GOD will accomplish towards the whole Jewish People in his appointed Time. And this Thought gives new Spirit to my Address to you, as I hope it may not only tend to your Edification and Salvation, but also to theirs (6).

In like Manner, when I wish their Recovery, it 15 For if the casting is not for their Sakes alone; but also with Respect away of them be the Reconto these happy Consequences, which I know, it

ciling will have upon the Spread of the Gospel among the Gentiles. For, as I hinted above, if their Rejection [were] the Reconciliation of so great a Part

of

15

(a) Accomplishment of its known Predi&ions.) So many of the Prophecies of the Old Testament, do evidently refer to the Reduction of the Jews into their own Land, as the People of the Meliah, that I can by no Means doubt of the Certainty of that Event. Com. pare Isai. xxvii. 12, 13., Ezek. xi. 17,-21. Chap. xx. 343–44. Chap. xxxiv. 13, 14. Chap. xxxv. 25,–29. Chap. xxxvi. 24,428. Chap. xxxvii. 21,–28. Amos ix. 14, 15. Obed. ver. 17. Mich. vii. 14, 15. Zech. xiv. 10, 11. Hof. i. 10, 11. And the wonderful Preservation of them as a distinct People, thus far, not only leaves. a Possibility of this great Event, but encourages our Hope of it. When it hall be accomplished, it will be fo unparalleled, as neceffarily to excite a general Attention, and to fix upon Men's Minds, such an almost irresistible Demonstration, both of the Old and New Testament Revelation, as will probably captivate the Minds of many thousands of Deifts, in Countries professedly Chrif; tian, (of which, under such corrupt Establishments as generally prevail, there will of Course be increasing Multitudes ;) nor will this only captivate their Understanding, but will have the greatest Tendency to awaken a Sense of true Religion in their Hearts; and this will be a Means of propagating the Gospel with an amazing Velocity in Pagan and Malsometan Countries ; which probably had been evangelized long ago, had genuine Christianity prevailed in those, who have made a Profession, and God knows, for the most Part, a very scandalous Profession, of its Forms. The 15th Verse has so natural a Connection with the 12th, that Elsner includes the 13th and 14th in a Parenthesis.,

(b) Also to theirs.) Perhaps we can no where find an Instance, of a more popular and affectionate Turn than this, in which the Apostle seems to find a Reason for his Żeal to convert the Gentiles, in his Love to his own Countrymen, the Jews.

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(c) Wild

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