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will be made sure; that is, made sure to your faith. It is not that election is not sore without it; the foundation of the Lord standeth sure, before he calls ; but it is not made sure to our faith thereby. The apostles, therefore, do speak one uniform language, of one woof and thread, and of a like extent, either, when writing to saints, they say men are called to be saints, that's one title, as 2 Cor. i. 2. “ Unto the Church of God which is at Corinth, called to be saints," or saints by calling; as also when they write to them under the notion of elect;" as 1 Pet. v. 13. “The Church, (says he) elected, togetber with you,” &c.; and you know that of the elect Lady, 2 Jobo, ver. 1. These are made terms equivalent in men called, and thereby the apostles signify thal they acknowledge no other calling to be true calling, but what was the immediate and proper fruit of election, of which I have been discoursing ; for these are terms commensurate, that is, of equal extent, to be truly and spiritually called, and to be elected-commensurate, as to the same persons, None are called, in their sense of calling, that are not elect; and there are none elect, but either such as are or sball be called.
Dr. Goodwin, That important change which takes place in the mind and views of a sinner, when converted to Cbrist, is frequently signified in the scriptures by being “ called of God, called by grace, called by the Gospel.” (1 Cor. i. 9. Gal. i. 15. 2 Thess. ii. 14.) In performing this work of heavenly mercy, the Eternal Spirit is the grand agent, and the divine word the honoured instrument. Are inen in a natural state considered as asleep in sin, and dead to God? when they are called, their minds are enlightened, and spiritual life is communicated. The Spirit of God, speaking to the conscience by the truth, quickens the dead siuner, shows him his awful state, and alarms his fears. " I said unto thee, when thou wast in thy blood, Live. The dead sball hear the voice of the Son of God, and they that hear shall live. Awake thou that sleepest.” Are they considered as having departed from God, and at a distance from him; in the way of destruction, yet afraid to return? then the language of the Gospel is, " Return to the Lord, and he will have mercy upon you: and to our God, for be will abundantly pardon, Him
that cometh to me, I will in no wise cast out." Such a revelation of grace being made in the Gospel ; such invitations being addressed to perisbing sinners; the Spirit of Truth, in effectual calling, gives them encouragement from these declarations to return to God, and enables them to look for life, and expect salvation, from the band of Him, against whom they have sinned, and from whom they have so deeply revolted.
That any sinner is “called out of darkness into marvellous light," is entirely owing to divine grace, .
“ God called me by his grace," is the language of Paul; Gal. i. 15. nor do any of the saints ascribe their conversion to any other cause,
Calling generally denotes God's invitation to man to participate in the blessings of salvation : it is termed effectual, to distinguish it from that external or common call of the light of nature, but espe cially of the Gospel, in wbich men are invited to come to God, but which has no saving effect upon the heart. Thus it is said, “ Many are called, but few are chosen.” Matt. xxii. 14. Effectual calling has been more particularly defined to be," the work of God's Spirit
, whereby, convincing us of our sin and misery, enlightening our minds with the knowledge of Christ, and renewing our wills, he doth persuade and enable us to embrace Jesus Christ, freely offered to us in the Gospel.” This may further be considered as a call from darkness to light; 1 Pet. ii. 9. from bondage to liberty; Gal. ji. 13. from the fellowsbip of the world to the fellowship of Christ; I Cor. i. 9. from misery to happiness; I Cor. vii. 15, from sin to holiness; 1 Thess. iv. 7. finally, from all created good to the enjoyment of eternal felicity; 1 Pet. v. 10. It is considered in the scripture as an boly calling; Phil. iii. 14. an heavenly calling; Heb.iii. 1. and it is a calling without repentance; as God will never cast off
this point? You have it in her 17th Article ; where, speaking of God's elect people, she asserts, that “they are called, according to bis purpose, by bis Spirit working in due season ;” and immediately
adds, that “ they, through grace, obey the calling." God's converting call, therefore, is such as produces obedience to it; i. e. it is triumphantly efficacious, and rendered successful, not by the will and towardliness of the person called, but by the power and grace of Him that calleth.
By nature there is no difference between the elect and reprobate. Paul was as bloody a persecutor as Domitian or Julian ; Zaccheus as unconscionable and covetous a worldling as was that rich glutton damned to hell. The elect and reprobate, before converting grace makes the difference, are like two men walking in one journey, of one miod, and of one heart. They resemble Elijah and Elisha walking and talking together, when lo! a chariot of fire suddenly severs them, and Elijab is wrapt up into heaven, while Elisha is left behind upon earth. So is it, when God's effectual calling, quite unlooked-for, comes and separates those two, who before were walking together; yea, running to the same excess of riot. The one returns back to the Lord, from whom he was fallen; while the other, being himself untouched by God, marvels that his former companion bath forsaken him, and walks on still in the old course of his sins, to his final condemnation.
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When God called Paul, he found him a persecutor. Saul was seeking his father's asses, when Samuel came to call him to the kingdom. Peter and Andrew were mending their nets, and Matthew was sitting at the receipt of custom, when Cbrist called them. So, when we do inquire of our own consciences, how we were employed when the Lord called us by his grace; we shall find that we were employed either in vain, wicked, or worldly things, so that we bad no mind to his kingdom. Let the praise, therefore, of our calling be reserved to the Lord only.
Effectual calling is the middle link in the undividable chain of salvation; he that hath it is sure of both the ends; that is, of his past predestination to life, and of bis future glorification. Our calling is the manifestation of our secret election, and a sure forerunner of glory, being, in effect, the voice of God, telling us, beforehand,
that he will glorify us.
· It is the peculiar work of the Spirit to open the eyes and enlighten the soul by an effective illumination and discovery to us of the evidence of divine truths ; nor can the proposal of the object, with the greatest certainty of evidence, or any moral reason, cause men to discern spiritual things spiritually, since there must be a supernatural light and suiting of the visive faculty to the object.
Fleming. There is much the same difference between election and effectual calling as between a private manusoript and a printed book. In election, God, as it were, wrote, and entered us in his heavenly register, but it is still kept by him, and none know the contents but hiinself; whereas, in effectual calling, God, as it were, prints off a sheet of the book of life, and publishes it, and makes it known to the soul.
Gurnal. Effectual calling is the work of God's Spirit, whereby our ynderstanding being enlightened with the knowledge of our miser: able condition, and of Christ as our remedy, we are persuaded to close with Jesus Christ as our only Saviour and Redeemer.
Dr. Gouge. The only infallible way of immortalizing our characters, a way equally open to the meanest and most exalted fortune, is “ to make our calling and election sure,” to gain some sweet evidence that our names are written in heaven. Then, however they may be disregarded or forgotten among men, they will not fail to be had in everlasting remembrance before the Lord. This is, of all distinc. tions, far the noblest ambition ; be this thy object, O my soul, and every page of Scripture will sanctify thy passion ; even grace itself will fan the fame.
REGENERATION, OR THE NEW BIRTH.
10th Link. This is by far the most important link of the chain; it is the centre-link of the reversed arch-a kind of double lipk; for it bas two names, though it is in fact but one and the same thing; for, to
regenerate, is to reproduce, to produce anew, to make to be born
More happy, yet not more secure
The glorified spirits above. For, whom he did foreknow, he predestinated ; whom he predestinated, or elected, at the appointed time he called and quickened; and whoin he called and quickened, at the appointed time shall be brought to the birth; as was the case with myself in my natural birth. Before I was born, my soul was, by some process unknown to me, infused into my body, and my blood commenced its circula . tion long before I was brought into active being ; so that, it may be said, I was a living soul, before I had a living being. Just so it is with the soul in the New Creation ; it is perfectly safe, when effectually called and quickened, even before it is brought to the birth; but it must be born again.
Marvel not, Nicodemus; you must be born again, before you can enter into my Father's kingdom. John iii, 7.
Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. 1 Pet. 1. 23.
Nor is it only thus, but must be so;
Who knows not this, though gray, is still a child. I come to show why this change is called regeneration, a being born again. It is so called, because of the resemblance betwixt natural and spiritual generation, which lies in the following particulars.
Natural generation is a mysterious thing, and so is spiritual generation. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goetb : so is every one that is born of the Spirit.” John iii. 8. The work of the Spirit is felt; but his way of working is a mystery we cannot comprehend. A new light is let into the mind, and the will is renewed; but how that light is conveyed thither, how the will is