« PreviousContinue »
moțives themselves, nor from the denial of
owbitby, p. 512. Ed. 2. 490.
ny them that ajd, without which they never can believe or repent " To which may be replied, That God is serious in calling men to faith and repeniance, and as serious în bis decrees either to givę or deny that grace, without which none can ever believe or repent, is certain'; and it must be owned, it would appear unsuitable to his wisdom and sincerity, should he move such persons by promises, and call such to faith and repentance, to whom, by an antecedenc. decree, he had determined to deny that grace, without which they could never believe and repent: but then, ic remains to be proved, which, I think, can never be proved, chač God calls any persons, and moves them by promises to belieye in Christ, to the faving of their souls, or to evangelical repentance, to whom he does not give grace to believe and repent, or such who are not eventually
:::CHA P. VIII.". Of the State and Case of the Heathens,
O O N favour of the doctrines of Ab
folute Election and Reprobation,
particular Redemption, and speW cial Grace in Conversion, we obferve, That, for many ages, God suffered the heathen world to walk in their own ways, leaving them without a revelation of his mind and will, without the gospel, and means of grace, and which has been, and Atill is the case of multitudes to chis day. This, it cannot reasonably be thought, he would have done, had it been, according to the counsel of his will, that all the individuals of mankind should be saved, and come to the knowledge of the truch ; of had Chrift died for and redeemed chem all; or was it the will of God to beitow on all men sufficient grace, whereby they may be faved. Nor can it be thought that God deals more severely with men, according to the above doctrines, than he seems to have done with the heathen world in this respect :
par. particularly, in favour of God's decrees, it is observed, that if God conveys his gospel to, and bestows the means of grace on some people, and not on others, when the one are no more worthy of it than the other, and so muft arise from his free grace, sovereign pleasure, and the counsel of his will; why may not the decree of the end of bestowing salvation on some, and not on others, as well as the decree of the means of sending the gospel to some, and not to others, bo thought to be equally free, abfolute and fovereign? And seeing it is in fact certain, that the greatest parc of mankind have been always left deftitute of the means of grace, we need not wonder why that God, who freely communicates the knowledge of him, self, by the gospel, to fome nacions, deny: ing is to others, should hold the same me. thod with individuals that he doch, with whole bodies ; for the rejecting of whole nacions by the lump, for so many ages, iş much more unaccountable, chan che select ing of a few to be infallibly conducted to salvation, and leaving others in chat state of disability, in which they shall inevitably fail of it. Now to this is replied P:
1. “That this objection doth by no means answer the chief arguments produced against u Whitly, p. 515. Ed. 2.493.
2.493. i niso
these decrees, which are all caken from the inconsistency of them with the truth and sincerity of God's declaracion; with his commands, to repent; his exhortations and desires that they would ; threats of ruin to them that do not; and with all the promises, motives and encouragements to in.. duce them into ic." I observe, That this writer himself seems to be convinced that this objection answers fome, tho' not the chief arguments produced against the absoluce decrees of God. And as for those which are taken from the supposed inconsistency of them with the truth and sincerity of God, in his declarations, they have been replied to already, in this part, under the article of Reprobation, to which the reader is referred; where it is made to appear, that there is no inconsistency between these decrees and the truth and fincerity of God, in his declaracions. It is much we should be called upon co Thew che like inconsistency as is here pretended, becween God's declaracions, touching the heathen world, and his dealings with them; when it is agreed on both fides, he has made no declarations of his mind and will to them. This auchor goes on, and allows °, that there is a greater depth in the divine Providence, and in his dispensations towards che sons of men, than
4 Whitby, p. 516, 5.17. Ed. 2. 494. 495.