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the impartial tribunal of the great Judge of quick and dead, the prince will stand on a level with his subjects, and the rich will have no pre-eminence above the poor.
Another thing implied in God's accepting no man's person, is this, that be condemns all which is wrong in his own children, and even in those who have had the most distinguished place in his family. When Paul was about to speak of the dissimulation of Peter and of others, who seemed to be pillars, he introduces it by saying, that God accepteth no man's person. Gal. ii. 6.
I have been particular in bringing these scriptures into view, because i know that our doctrine is very commonly said to be in opposition to the impartially of the Divine Being. I do not believe in the doctrine of election,' says one, and another, because I believe that God is no respecter of persons.' This we also believe, and yet believe in election. And now. I would ask my candid reader',Is there any thing in these texts, all of which are so express in declaring, that God is no respecter of persons, and that he regardeth not, and accepteth not persons; which asserts, or even intimates, that he has not chosen some sinners, to be made monuments of his grace, in distinction from their fellow-sinners? What does the Most High mean to express, when he says, “ I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy ?" Exod. xxxii. 19. Would this language become him, when seated on the judgment seat? " I will be just to whom I will be just ?" In the treatment of characters already formed, the Supreme Judge is as much bound to.go by a prescribed rule, as a subordi. nate judge : and because he always does go by rule, and by the same rule, in judging both princes and their subjects, masters and their servants, rich and poor, learned and unlearned, Jews and Gentiles, therefore he is said to be impartial, and to be no respecter of per
His impartiality leads him to go as exactly according to the gospel, in pardoning ; as according to the law, in accepting of those who have a law-right
He does not say among penitent sinners, I will show mercy on whom I will show mercy. He has bound himself by a gracious promise to show mercy to all such.
The sovereignty of God does not appear so properly, in his treatment of the prince and the peasant, as in making the one a prince, and the other a peasant; it does not appear so properly, in his treatment of the rich and the poor, as in making one rich, and the other poor. My opponent, 'I believe, will not deny but that God's sovereignty is displayed in placing men in the different conditions, in which they are seen in this world. " The rich and the poor meet together ; the Lord is the Maker of them all." Yea, “ The Lord maketh poor, and maketh rich." And does not the scripture ascribe to God the forining of the character, as much as the appointing of the condition of men ? And is not this the place where his sovereignty is most remarkably displayed ? “ Hath not the potter power over the clay of the same lump, to make one vessel unto honorg, and another unto dishonor?” The sovereignty of God is displayed in making such a choice as he does, of the the vessels of mercy. Mr. B. acknowledges the 80vereignty of God, in choosing the nation of Israel to their distinguished privileges. This he must suppose consistent with the declaration, That God is no respecter of persons. If he can tell how the universal Father can place such distinguished privileges in the hands of one nation, and leave the other nations to the gross dark. ness of paganism, it will not be very difficult for me to show how he can choose some individuals in such a fa. vored nation, to become real subjects of his grace.
VII. Another objection which I shall notice, is this ; • That the doctrine of particular election does not har. monize with the doctrine of a general atonement,' In page 148, Mr. B. says, “ Did Christ make atonement for those for whom God the Father never had any Thoughts of mercy ? Does not this scheme of yours set God the Father, and God the Son at variance ?"
To this it may be replied, that if an atonement for all mankind, implied an intention that all should become actually interested in it, then it would not be in
ith the doctrine of particular election. It was the intention of Christ to make a full atonement for the sin of the world ; and the Father intended the
The Father designed to apply the benefits of lhe atonement to the elect only ; and with this the Son
was perfectly satisfied. God designed that all the angels and also the first parents of mankind, should have an opportunity to be everlastingly blessed on the foot of the covenant of works; but he did not design that they should all improve that opportunity, and never fall. So God has designed to give all the race of Adam a new and gracious probation, by means of the atonement ; but he has not designed that all should actually improve their probationary state, so as to be saved. God designed by the atonement to declare his righteousness, and put a stigma upon the transgression of his law, so that he could be just, and the justifier of him that be Jieveth in Jesus. By this means he designed to set open the door of mercy before this fallen world, so that he could say to us all, “ Return unto me, and I will return unto you." But this does nothing towards determining how many are chosen to salvation. The supper was made for all who are invited to it; but it does not follow hence, that all who are invited will taste of the supper. To give appetite for this supper is another favor, over and above that of making the provision. The first favor does not bind to the bestowment of the second. Our antagonists, tho' they believe in a general atonement, do not believe it will be universally applied ; why might we not say, Here is a want of harniony in their sentiments ? If they say, It is the fault of those who are not benefitted by the atonement ; so say we. If they say, God would receive them to favor, if they would come to him through Christ ; so say we. If they should say, " But you hold, that God provided an atonement for creatures whom he never designed should reap the benefit of it, we can say the sanie of them. If ihey should proceed to say, But God could not make them to partake of the benefits of the atonement, without destroying their moral freedom ;' to this we should not agree. For we fully believe, that the hearts of those who are never sared, are in the hand of the Lord, and that he could make them also willing, if he saw this would be for the general good. “ God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." But all the world was not chosen in him, that they should be made hcly; if so, they would
all most certainly be made holy : For this is the Father's will, that of all which he hath given to his Son, he should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. See John vi. 39.
I shall notice one more objection, which I find in the Letters, against the doctrine of particular election, and the consequent doctrine of reprobation ; it is this ; • That one doctrine is very discouraging-hat it blocks up the way to heaven ; and that fewer will be saved, with such a doctrine as personal election, than without it.' Mr. B. in an address to impenitent sinners, p. 147, says,
o There is no horrible decree of reprobation to stop your path.” In another place he says, “ We will be content if we can save some of your imaginary reprobates, which you erroneously and unbelievingly consign to eternal torments before they were born.”p. 130. I would ask the author of the Letters, How he knows when he has saved some of our reprobates. He cannot know that they are to be saved until they become believers until they exhibit evidence of the new birth. But if they exhibit evidence of the new birth, they also exhibit just so much evidence, that they are not repro, bated, but that they were given to the Son as his elect seed : For none come to himn except those which were given to him ; and evidence of their calling, is always just so much evidence of iheir election,
The Arminians are always representing our doctrine as discouraging, and very unfavorable to the salvation of the fallen race. Let us now for a moment examine the matter, and see whether this charge is well found. ed. They agree with us in believing, ibat only a part of the race of man will actually be saved. How great a part, as it respects their number, neither of us pretend to be able to telį. We both say, None will be saved except those who repent, and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. We say, that all such, without any ex. ception, will be saved. They will not concede to this, for they believe, that many, who have repented of their sins and come to Christ, will not withstanding fall away and perish. But leaving for the present this sentiment of theirs out of the question, I demand ; Wherein their doctrine is more favorable to the salvation of lost men,
than ours? They seem to fancys that they can save some who do not belong to the elect, of which we speak. But if they can make sound converts of any sinners whatever, we hare no hesitancy in calling them elect. For as it is said, Whom he did predestinate, them he also called ; so it is equally true, Whom he called, them he had previously predestinated. Now, if we believe, and preach; that all who come to Christ will be received, and not one of them cast out ; if we believe that every penitent will be forgiven ;-that every one who is born again will see the kingdom of God ;that every one who calls on the name of the Lord in spirit and truth will be saved ;-that every one who has the Spirit of Christ in every nation, and in every church, will be accepted of him, and will finally be adınitted to be with him in his kingdom, to behold his glory; how can our doctrine be charged with being contracted, and unfavorable to the salvation of sinners ?
Those who deny a divine predestination unto eternal life, seem to think that the Divine Being has not done as well by the human race, as they would do. But they ought to remember, that God is rich in mercy, and the riches of his mercy will finally appear, not only in the greatness and expensiveness of their salvation, but also in the great and innumerable multitude which was given unto Christ, to be redeemed from the earth by his blood.
We have seen that the doctrine of our theological opponents, has no advantage over ours, as it respects setting open a door of hope in this valley of Achor. Let us now see if our doctrine has not in this respect the advantage of theirs. Mr. B. tells the impenitent ; " There is no horrible decree of reprobation to stop your path." To this I would add, That according to his scheme of doctrine, there is no merciful decree of election to open your path. Your wicked heart has stopped your path. Christ has died, and opened the door of mercy. He has sent his servants to invite you to come ; but you have all with one consent refused the offer. You have seen and hated both the Father and the Son. Your hatred is complete. Tho' it is true, that every obstruction to your eternal salvation is re