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in a multitude of cases to no purpose.
“ I have planted,” says the apostle, Apollos watered: but God gave the increase : so neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth, but God that giveth the increase.” (1 Cor. iii. 6, 7.):
we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.” (2 Cor. iv. 7.) The conditions of peace man may propound, but it is manifestly impossible that he can ensure the acceptance of them.
Neither does this effect depend upon the powers of one's own mind. For the wise and the learned of the world frequently refuse the gospel invitation : the poor and the ignorant as often embrace it. This cannot be accounted for on the principles of carnal reasoning: but it is that which cheered the Saviour's heart, in the hour when he “ rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes : even so, Father, for so it seemed good in thy sight.” (Luke x. 21.)
From all this I think it must be admitted that effectual calling is a step taken, on God's part, by a certain instrumentality, towards men, for the accomplishment of his merciful purposes.
It is a necessary step. For till a person is called to the knowledge of his grace, he is estranged from God, and lies in a state of condemnation. Thus St. Paul, though a chosen vessel,” though parated,” as he says,
“ from his mother's womb,” (Gal. i. 15,) was yet, for a long time, a persecutor, a blasphemer, the chief of sinners, animated with furious rage against the Lord Jesus. And the same
apostle describes the Ephesian saints prior to the quickening influence of the Holy Spirit, “ we all had our conversation in times past in the lust of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind : and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.” (Eph. ii. 3.) It follows that the idea, held by some, of justification from eternity, is a figment, unsupported by, and unknown to scripture.
I shall close this subject in the pertinent words of a great reformer. ' Election, which otherwise God hath hidden with himself, he doth, not without choice, at length disclose by his calling, which a man may therefore call the testifying of it. For whom be hath foreknown, them he hath also foreappointed to be fashioned like the image of his Son : whom he hath fore-appointed, them he hath also called : whom he hath called, them he hath also justified, that in time to come he may glorify them. When the Lord hath, by electing, already adopted his into the number of his children, yet we see how they enter not into the possession of so great a benefit, but when they be called : on the other side, how being called they do now enjoy a certain communicating of his election. For which reason Paul calleth the Spirit which they receive, both the Spirit of adoption, and the seal and earnest of the inheritance to come: namely, because it doth with the testimony thereof, stablish and seal to their hearts the assuredness of the adoption to come.'
Let us see the order of our justification before God, according to the Scriptures. First, (saith Paul) we are chosen of God in Christ before the foundation of the world was laid, and when we be born anew of the Spirit, we are called to receive faith: which gift of faith certifieth us of our election, giving us the knowledge of God the Father, in and by Christ. Which knowledge, as nothing can be said more briefly, so is there nothing more excellent, sweeter, more full and perfect, wholesomer, more comfortable and joyous. For when I know God the Father in Christ by the Holy Ghost, I know these three Persons to be the only one God, the most high goodness, having his being of himself, and all other creatures to have their being, life, and moving of him; even that one alone, my very living God, for me and for all, sufficient, merciful, benign, loving, almighty to me, my deliverer, defender, and keeper; long-suffering, just, true, my present Saviour and forgiver of my sins, giving me freely, for Christ's sake, eternal life and beatitude. In this knowledge of my celestial Father, am I firmly persuaded Christ Jesus his only Son, both God and man, to be sent for my sake into this world, to be that anointed Messias, King, and Priest; to be my governor, deliverer, avenger, defender; my head, my Redeemer by his passion, my mediator, my cleansing sacrifice once for me and for
all faithful, for ever offered up on the cross : my only intercessor now into heaven ascended, my holiness, mine expiation, my righteousness, health, way, life, and satisfaction, satisfying my Father's justice for my sins never to be imputed to me, for my only faith's sake, daily justifying and absolving me, continually renewing me with his Holy Spirit, anointing me with the grace of the Holy Ghost: so that now I, by his mercy and grace, being in Christ his elect, might walk daily in good works, pleasing my celestial Father. Unto this knowledge and belief he calleth all his chosen : for whom he hath foreseen, predestined, and chosen, them hath he called by his word and creation of this world unto this faith and knowledge; and “whom he thus called, the same hath he justified, and whom he hath justified, them hath he glorified.” Thus we, elect, called, and born again of the Spirit, know the Father in Christ, and we know Christ by the Father, which knowledge and faith draweth us to love God, and to keep his precepts gladly. Thus to know the Father in Christ, and Christ in him, is life eternal.
Against S. Gardiner, Bishop
1 TIMOTHY VI. 12.
“ Fight the good fight of faith."
Rouse ye! warriors of the Lord !
Pilgrims here and strangersRouse ye at your Captain's word, Take the helmet-grasp the sword
On through pain and dangers ! Jesus is your sun and shield,
Light and strength ye borrow;
Short is earthly sorrow.
Is your courage sinking ?
Fearless and unshrinking.
Can your spirits languish ?
Meek in lonely anguish.
Still the palm is glorious;
M. A. S.