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“That a certain, great and glorious number; were elected by God, in his 'eternal counsel and purpose, from the reft of fallen mankind, to be in time effectually called and justified, in order to their being finally bro't to eternal life and glory; and this out of his meer good pleasure, and for the praise of his glorious grace." And if the truth of this is once evinced to the convi&tion of a sober, honeft, and serious' mind, it may be hop'd all disgust at it will cease, and every thoughê that exalts it self against it will be suppresled... 11!!...,
I. In the first place, this truth muft be establish'd by the authority of the sacred fcriptures: - Hither we muft refer the decirion of all points in religion. Here we must repair to know of every doctrine whether it be of God. Now, what faith the fcripture concerning this do&rine ? And surely be that runs may read this truth throughout the sacred pages. 7:
Let me prepare the way to the more direct and positive proof. I shall fetch from the bible, by first of all presenting you with some scripture instances of a lower ele&tion, of God's chusing and predeftinating certain persons by name, and some of them long before they were born, to some special privileges, high honours, and signal servi
ces in the world. And if these may'nt be taken for positive proof of that election we are treating of, yet they will lerve greatly to illuftrate it, and they are by · very judicious Divines look'd upon as examples and patterns of it, inasmuch as they plainly shew that the glorious God does act with respect to the children of men, with a sovereign liberty, and in a way of discriminating favour ; yea, many of them were instances of the very election we are now co exhibit the proof of, inasmuch as it plainly appears by the account the scripture gives of them, that at the same time they were called to those external privileges and temporal honours to which they were cholen, they were also called co the spiritual and saving blessings of the covenant of grace..
Thus Abraham was pitch'd upon to be the root and father of God's peculiar peo ple, whom he would own and honour above all the nations of the world ; and also to be one from whose loins the Meffiah himself should descend. Gen. 1z. begin Now tbe Lord bad said unto Abraham, Get thee ont of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from tby fatbers boule, unto a land that I will shew thee. And I will make of theo e great nation, and I will blefs thee, and make thy, name great ; and thou shalt be a blefing.
And I will bless them that bless thee, and curfe them that curse thee : and in thee Mall all families of the earth be blessed. A high honour and advancement indeed! Yet he was more blefled in those spiritual blessings which accompanied it. For he was at the lame time made a justified believer ; as we read, Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to bim for righteousness. † He had a covenant interest in and relation to God, and such acceptance with the Almighty, as to be spoken of in this file,The friend of God. * And was there any thing in Abraham, to move God thus to prefer him above the rest of his kindred ? No, in no wise, It was all special grace and favour. For he was a ftupid idolarer as well as the rest of his family, and had serv'd God no better than they The scripture represents God as acting herein with a sovereign liberty, and by a free hand of mercy Inatching him as a brand out of the burning Foua, in Gods name, declares this to the tribes of Israel when they were aflembled at Shechem, Josh. 24. 2, 3. Thus faith the Lord God of Ifrael, Your father's dwelt on the other side of the flood in old time, even Terah the father of Abraham, and the father of Nachor; and
.t Rom. 4. 3. * James' 2. 2 3.
they ferved other God's. And I cook your fatber Abraham from the other side of the food, Loc. For this God is ador'd long after in a solemn allembly of the children of Israel, Neh. 9 7, 8. Thou art the Lord the God, who didst chuse Abram,and broughoeft bim forth out of Ur of the Chaldees, and gavest him the name of Abraham, and madeft a covenant with him. And when the prophec had occasion to put that people in mind of their original, he does it in these terms, Ifai. 5 1. 2, 3. Look unto the rock wbence ye are hewn, and to the bole of the pit whence ve are digged. Look unto Abraham your faiber, and unto Sarah that bear you ; for I called him alone, and blessed him.
With the like sovereign liberty he acted with respect to Abraban's seed. He takes not all of them ; but iz Isaac hall thy feed be called †. Thus Isaac was taken, and not Ishmael. And tho’ in answer to Abrabam's prayer for iplimael, common blessings are fecur'd to him, yet covenant blessings are reserv'd for Isaac, and appropriated to him, who was not yet born. Gen. 17. 18, 19,20.
And Abraham said unto God, O that Ishmael might live before thee! And God said, Sarah iby wife shall bear tbee a fon indeed ; and thou
shalt call his name Isaac : And I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his feed after him. And as for Ishmael, I bave beard thee: Behold I have ble;led him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply bim exceedingly : twelve princes mall be beget, and I will make him a great nation. But my covenant will [ establish with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next year.
The like sovereignty was exercis'd in the cale of Jacob and Esau, who se story is recorded in the 25th ch. of Genesis, and is recited and referr'd co by the apostle in the 9th ch. to the Romans, to illustrate and confirm the truth we are establishing. They were both the fons of Ifaac by one mother, and were twin-brethren. But there was a difference made between them by the divine counsel, before they were born. Both lay strugling alike in their mothers womb, when it was said, * Tbe younger shall forve the elder. And contrary to the intention of Isaac, Facob inherits the blessing. And cho' the good father blefied 7 acolo unwittingly, and by mistake, yet, being afterwards convinc'd that he was the person for whom God design'd the blessing, and on
* Gen, 25. 22, 23