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natural right to claim covenant and ecclefiaftic prive ileges.
“For he faith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy ; and will have compasfon on whom I will have compassion. So then, it is not of him that willeth, or of him, that runneth; but of God that showeth meroy."
As God said to Moses, that he would choose his own objects of mercy and compaffion; so it is not with man always, by his own will and exertions, to command the bounties of fortune or grace.
17, 18. “ For the scripture faith to Pharaoh, even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth, Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy; and whom he will he hardeneth.”
As it was said to Pharaoh, for this end have I sustained and supported you in life, though you have deserved death; to make you an instrument of displaying my glorious name and power over all the earth : and thus thow to the world, that I will be a sovereign in dispensing or withholding mercy. 19, 20, 21, 22.
« Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? who hath refifted his will ? Nay but, О man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why haft thou made me thus ? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same Jump to make one vessel unto honor, and another
unto difhonor? What if God, willing to show bis wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much loag suffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction po
You will, perhaps, alk, Why does God find fault? who ever did refift his power ? Nay, but consider, that, as the patter hath an undoubted right to make a vessel to honor, of a part of a lump of clay, and of the other part, a vessel to dishonor, if he pleases ; so God, if he is willing to delay the destruction of such as have long deserved it, as in the case of Pharaoh, that he may display his character, to advantage, before the universe, hath as undoubted a right to do it.
23. "And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy which he had aforè prepared unto glory."
That God, on the other hand, may make known the riches, of his goodness, to those whom he had chosen to be the objects of bis inercy.
“ Even us whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles. As he faith also in Osee, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved. And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God."
To proceed to a full explanation of what I have meant by God's sovereign mercy and compallion, and
24, 25, 26.
his right to harden whom he will; I mean that he
“ Efaias also crieth concerning Ifrael, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the fand of the sea, a remnant shall be faved : For he will finish the work, and cut short- in righteousness; because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth. And, as Esaias said before, Except the Lord of sabaoth had left us a seed, we had been as Sodoma, and had been like unto Gomors rah."
Elaias, also, looking forward to Christian days, and foreseeing the infidelity of the Jews, cried out, that, of a numerous nation, a few comparatively fhould embrace the gospel salvation; and that, if God had not been very merciful to Israel, in formner ages, as well as in the days of the Gospel, the pation of the Jews would have been reduced to de. struction, like Sodom and Gomorrah.
80, 31, 32, 33. “What shall we say then? That ! the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness even the righteousness which is of faith : But Ifrael, wtich followed after the law of righteousness, bath not attained to the law of righteousness. Wherefore ? Because they fought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law for they stumbled at that stumbling stone : As it is written, Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling stone; and rock of offence : and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed."
What account can be given of this event ; that the Gentiles, who had been ignorant of the method of the acceptance of Gnners with God, had fallen in with the divine method, when proposed ?' And that the Jews, who had much greater advantages for the knowledge of divine subjects, did not fall on the right method of obtaining divine acceptance ? The reason, with respect to the Gentiles, is, that their minds were free and unprejudiced ; and with regard to the Jews, that they were prejudiced in favor of their wrong interpretations of the Mosaic constitution, and against Jesus Christ, and the method of faith : for they stumbled at Christ, as the prophet foretold that they would.
Thus, kind reader, we have gone through one of the chapters, which according to Mr. S., contain the weight of evidence, in this epistle, for eternal never ending misery. We have seen God choosing Isaac rather than Ishmael, to be the root of the Jewish
church. And then, God chose, for the fame püra pose, Jacob rather thon Elau, without the least respect to the personal qualities of either , for they had done neither good nor evil. Then a declaration of God's right to delay the deserved punilhment of the wicked, for the display of his glorious characters and to show mercy to persons or people, as he should judge beft. We have also seen what the a. postle means by the sovereignty of divine mercy ; even his calling the Gentiles into church estate, with a remoant of the Jews, and causing the relt of the Jews to suffer a temporary rejection from his church,
Here is not one Gingle word, in all this ix. chapter of any
ele&ion to future happiness, or reprobation to future misery. But we will suspend our observa. tions on Mr. S.'s treatment of this epistle, till we have looked through the other chapters. We will now proceed to the 10th chapter.
“ Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for lfrael is, that they might be saved."
Brethren, it is my most cordial desire and prayer to God, in favor of Israel, that they may not suffer a perpetual rejection from the church of God.
" For I bear them record, that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge."
For I can give testimony for Israel, that they are zealous to be considered as a favorite people; but they mistake the method of divine acceptance, 8. “ For they, being ignorant of God's right