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made is the result of his eternal counsel. Surely if it becomes him at the present time to do what he does, there can be no reasonable objec. tion against his having always purposed to do so. On the contrary, this augments our conceptions of his goodness; since it proves him to have been from eternity possessed of that excellency of character which by his benevolent acts he is now displaying before us. “ Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ; according as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world.” Here, for the sake of increasing the revenue of praise, the apostle teaches the saints at Ephesus, to trace the stream of their spiritual blessings back to the eternal electing love of God as its source. Eph. i. 3, 4.

In pointing out the harmony between this Article and the ninth, it was impossible to avoid showing its agreement with the eighth. The agreement between regeneration, as held by the orthodox, and personal election, can be seen at a glance. Regeneration does not wait for the sinner's heart to become good before it commences its operations. It has never found a heart in any other state than that of entire alienation from God; yet this has not prevented the exertion of its transforming influence. Since predestination, according to divine arrangement, has ap antecedeuce to regeneration, it could never be originated by the dis. covery of anything morally good in the objects of its choice. Regen. eration and election agree in this, they are both of them personal and unconditional. As particular persons, and not particular characters, are called out of darkness into marvellons light, so also particular per. sons were predestinated to enjoy this favor. As the grace of regene. ration could never be displayed, if it were suspended on acceptable conditions, to be performed by creatures dead in trespasses and sins, so it must have been with the grace of election. If renewing grace finds the sinner altogether impure, the purpose of God to renew him must, of course, have contemplated him as destitute of every thing that could attract the divine complacency.

Let us next see what agreement this Article has with the sixth and seventh. The sixth Article exhibits the God of grace freely offering pardon to every man, who shall accept of the terms on which the offer is made. Now if it were a fact, that some sinners stood ready to ac. cept the offer, and yet, because they were not included in the number of the elect, could pot be received to favor, there would be a palpable disagreement between that and the present Article. If God has made the offer of salvation to every man who shall comply with gospel proposals, then every man who complies will most assuredly be saved. Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. These are the words of Truth itself, and they will stand, if heaven and earth should pass away.

One of the most formidable objections to the doctrine of personal election, has been originated by the presumption, that it lessened the number who would receive the benefit of the atonement. But does the word of God, or do any of the ministers of the word who preach this doctrine, represent it as excluding from the divine favor a single peni. tent? The doctrines which may with more propriety be considered as lessening the number of the saved, are those that increase the qualifi. cations requisite to an admission into heaven, and thus diminish the number who can claim the privilege of being admitted there. It would be more proper to raise this objection against the doctrine of regeneration; especially against that view of it, which makes disinterested affection essential to its genuineness. The predestination, which is revealed in the scriptures, we may rest satisfied, is not against the promises which are therein revealed. Has the God of truth said, “ He that confesseth and forsaketh his sins shall find mercy ?" then such an one will assuredly find mercy. No decree of election or reprobation will prevent it. Has he said, “Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely ?then there is no secret purpose which will in the least degree hinder the willing soul from drinking its fill of the water of life.

Thus have we seen, that the sixth Article is not at all invalidated by the one now under consideration. And we ought not to forget that the seventh, which exhibits the sinner's indisposition to accept of the prof. fered salvation, is as fully supported by scripture testimony as the sixth. All men when invited, and even urged to the gospel feast, refuse to come ; and, so long as they are left to their native choice, continue to refuse. Now with this fact before us, what would there be to insure the salvation of a single sinner, if the doctrine of election were exclu. ded from our system? The great Omniscient knew what was in man. He well knew that man's heart was fully set to do evil, and in a state of entire opposition to his holy character, whether exhibited in the punishment or in the pardon of sin. He must of consequence have foreseen that the gospel, though worthy of all acceptation, would in fact be rejected by all. What, then, could make it sure, that in such a world as this the Shepherd would gather a flock, or that the King, set on the holy hill of Zion, would be able to gain any subjects? There was nothing, except the immutable purpose of God, that the sheep should hear his voice and follow him; and that rebellious foes should become willing subjects in the day of his power. On this, and not on the depraved will of man, was the Redeemer's dependence for a people to serve him.

The agreement of the present Article with the sixth and seventh could not be shown, without discovering at the same time its agreement with the fifth. Were the doctrine of election, in the unconditional sense, dropped out of our creed, the infinite atonement might be wholly lost as to its saving efficacy: there would be nothing to insure the Redeem. er a reward for his obedience unto death. But the doctrine of which we are now treating, shows that things are not left in such uncertainty. Hear the declaration of the evangelical prophet ; “When thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed—the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. He shall see the travail of his soul

- he shall justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death.”

* But what harmony (it may be asked) can there be between a par. ticular election and a general atonement ?”' On this point, I am sensible, there exists a difference of opinion among men whose views of Chris. tian doctrine, for the most part, are the same. To prevent all conten. tion concerning things in which we are agreed, let our brethren, who consider the atonement to be as limited in its provision as in its appli. cation, understand, that they who hold a different sentiment, do not oppose a limited atonement on the ground of injustice. We are ready to acknowledge, as God was under no obligation in point of justice to save any of his fallen creatures, he was at full liberty to provide for the salvation of a part, without being under obligation to provide for the salvation of the rest. The consistency of this he has strikingly illus. trated, inasmuch as he has passed by all the rebellious angels, without making any provision for them to enjoy a second probation. We grant, that since our offended Sovereign might justly have abandoned the whole of Adam's race, and provided no atonement for any of them, he was at full liberty, in case he did make such a provision, to restrict it to the elect. Had the human race been considered as thrown into two great divisions, separated by the Atlantic ocean, he would have had an undoubted right to provide an atonement for that portion inhabiting the eastern continent, without including in this provision the inhabitants of the western. But, in case the provision had been limited to the east. era continent, would he have sent his servants to the western, to invite them also to partake of its blessings?

As we wish our brethren not to mistake our sentiments, so we will endeavor not to misunderstand theirs. We know that they believe with us in the infinite greatness of our Redeemer, and consequently in the infinitude of his atonement for sin. They do not suppose the atonement fails of being general, through any defect in its nature or fulness. They will grant, I presume, that in case it had pleased God to make the atonement general

, no greater sufferer, nor greater suffer. ings would have been required.

In the things which have now been stated, both sides are agreed. They are also agreed in believing there is a limitation as to the extent of the blessings of salvation to be enjoyed by the children of Adam; and this limitation they both trace back to an eternal purpose of the divine mind. The point of disagreement between them, relates to the place where to fix the limitation. The one side fix it in the provision made, and the other in its application. They who believe in a general atonement, think there is no harmony between a particular atonement and a general offer of its benefits; and their brethren seem to think, that a general atonement and particular election are altogether incon. gruous.

But why, I would ask, is there not as much congruity between a general provision of grace, and a particular election of the persons who are to be savingly benefited by it, as between general provisions to pre. serve the innocency of creatures, under the covenant of works, and a purpose to render those provisions effectual to only a part of them? All the angels had the offer of eternal life, under the covenant of works, while only a part of them were actually benefited by those provisions. Those who received the benefit and kept their first estate, are called " the elect angels." They were elected, in distinction from their as. sociates who apostatized, as much as those who are saved from among men were elected, in distinction from such as are lost. And the elec. tion of the former was as early, and as unconditional as that of the latter. If the non-election of the apostate angels did not prevent them


from enjoying a state of probation under the covenant of works, we can see no reason why the non-election of a part of the children of Adam should hinder their enjoyment of a probation of mercy. As the blessings of the first covenant were proffered to all the angels, irrespective of the divine purpose respecting them ; so are the blessings of the new covenant proffered to all the children of men; and if we, to whom these blessings are proffered, are lost, it is because we neglect the great salvation.

Between this and the fourth Article the harmony is very apparent. In this Article it has been shown that God's purpose was not based on any goodness of character foreseen in the elect: in that, man's natural state, until changed by regenerating grace, was shown to be entirely corrupt. Now it is evident, that in case our views of man's natural state are correct, our views of the unconditional nature of election can not be wrong; for if no degree of goodness is to be found in the hearts of the unregenerate, then most certainly goodness of character can not furnish the reason for their being chosen : unless by goodness be meant lower degrees of depravity among creatures entirely destitute of holi. ness. We will not say there is not this difference between the unre. generate. Nor would we say, that God does not more commonly take his elect from among the moral than from among the vicious. Yet it is made evident, both from scripture and fact, that he not unfrequently passes by the moral, and takes the vicious : which is enough to show that morality, or unregenerate goodness, entitles no man to a place among God's elect; and that great wickedness does not necessarily preclude a sinner from being comprehended in that number. It is also evident, if the moral are entirely destitute of holiness, and, consequent. ly, of a disposition to accede to the holy terms of salvation, their election must be as unconditional as that of the most hardened rebels. Equally in both cases they must be chosen, not because they are holy, but that they should be holy: they must be predestinated unto conformity to the image of Christ, and not on account of the least approximation to such conformity that is discovered in their natural hearts.

If the agreement of this Article with the third be not discovered at the first glance, as was its agreement with the fourth, there is certainly no disagreement. The third Article exhibits the law of God as a per. fect rule, laying an obligation on all men to be holy, in imitation of their Creator. To this law the carnal mind, the natural heart of every man, obstinately refuses subjection. On creatures of such a character, the law might execute the penalty of eternal death, and the throne of Hea. ven would be guiltless. Instead, therefore, of our having reason to complain, that among the many who are called so few are chosen, we are really laid under everlasting obligation to give thanks and praise to God, that we are not all left under the curse of his holy law, to suffer the due reward of our deeds.

This Article is in harmony with those two with which our system commenced. Is it reasonable to believe, that a Being of infinite per. fection would undertake to work without a plan; or that, in the chief of all his works, he should have no definite object which he designed to accomplish? Would it be worthy of the character, which we have seen to be claimed by the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to


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suppose him to have given his Son to die for sinners, without his de. termining what should be the result of such a costly sacrifice! Election is that doctrine in our system, which secures a happy result to the death of Christ, even the glory that should follow, in the salvation of all those who were given to him of the Father. “Having predestinated us," said the grateful apostle, “ unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ unto himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace.

Thus have we seen that election, in the sense it was understood by the Reformers, and as it has ever been understood by the Orthodox, is plainly a scriptural doctrine, and that it constitutes one essential link in the harmonious chain of gospel truth. Who, I now ask, can point to a single text which denies or contemns this doctrine ? Is there a text which tells us, all were predestinated to be conformed to the image of Christ, one as much as another? or that one man was no more chosen in Christ Jesus than another ? If it should be said, “ The reason why the scripture has not refuted the doctrine is, that it did not contemplate its existence;" I would ask, what doctrine is that which the apostle supposes would draw forth this objection; Why doth he yet find fault? for who hath resisted his will ? Rom. ix. 19.

The argument against this doctrine which is derived from the decla. ration, “God is no respecter of persons," I believe is relied on as much as any other; but in reality it is nothing to the point. This was shown under the Article immediately preceding the one now under consider. ation; to which the reader is referred. Where, then, is the class of texts, or even the solitary passage, which explicitly or implicitly op. poses the doctrine in question? I know there are many who imagine, that all that part of the word of God that shows the offer of salvation to be general, is so much proof against any predetermined limitation, as to the success with which this offer should meet. But those who adopt the doctrine of a particular election, still believe there is a free offer of salvation made to all: and as they believe, so they speak and so they preach. And they see no more propriety in denying one of these truths of revelation than the other ; no more, in making use of the free offer, to annul the doctrine of election, than in making use of this, to destroy that. They are both revealed; and, for aught that we can see, with equal clearness : why, then, should they not both be be. lieved ?

Some may think that all those passages of scripture, which teach the importance of preaching and hearing the gospel, are so many proofs against the truth of this doctrine. But if, as we have seen, there is no divine purpose to obstruct the way of those who are disposed to accept the gospel offer, what discouragement can this doctrine present either to the preacher or to the hearer? Is it not actually an encouraging doctrine? If there is a purpose in the divine mind, which insures the salvation of a multitude of the human race, and of some in every gen. eration, it is easy to see ho a knowledge of the fact should serve to encourage both the preacher and the hearers. See Acts xviii. 10.

But does not the purpose of God to save a particular number of the race, render preaching and hearing needless ? No more than the plan, which an architect draws concerning the house he is about to build,

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