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lenity towards them, which should have | from making himself glorious ? If all that been otherways improven by them; the the Lord is doing is only to get glory to Lord doch so carry on the matter, as that himself, what are we that we should ophe exerciseth much patience and tenderness pose it? Is it seemly that we should vie even toward such as he hath reprobated'; with God, and hinder him from bis glo(meaning fuch as are adult, and come to ry? And feeing this is his end, can lie do years of knowledge, and especially fach us any wrong in driving at this end? or as are within the visible church; for we can there be any thing done unsuitable look upon the apostle as treating of this to himself ? Sure not. All which will be business always with an eye unto the Jews, clearer in the next. Therefore, concerning whom the dispute was started ;) 3dly, There is here the compend of the and therefore tho’ they be hardened, yer doctrine of predeftination, and substance of the Lord.is not in the wrong, but they are it couched up in short: For, 1. it is set: culpable, and ihere.is ground for the Lord forth in its two branches, viz. The act of 10 find fault with them; therefore he says, election, and the act of reprobation: The. What if God--- endured, with much long- act of election is in these words, Before fuffering, the vessels of wrath. In which prepared unto glory; that is, from all eteranswer he doth not labour to satisfy the nity, had in his oiva purpose and good-willcuriosity of carnal reason in every point, appointed unto glory; and the act of rebut so handlesh the matter, as that it must probation in these words, Fitted to destrucftill be looked on as a mystery in which | tion; that is, plaistered up, or so wrought we ought not to pry beyond what is writ- together for destruction; the verb signifieth ten; and yet he gives us this much to un. sometimes to folder or glue together, as derstand, as that however reason cannot workmen do their pieces of work; and lo receive fatisfaction, yet man shall find him. they are fitted to destruction. ' 2. The perself in the wrong, and be forced to justify fons are described, or mentioned, about the Lord in the whole procedure. whom these acts are passed: the elect ones
2dly, There is a ground laid down, for are called vessels of mercy; that is, inftrus. stoping all men's mouths, and answering all ments in and by whom the Lord manifefts their objections of whatsoever kind; What his mercy, and fuch upon whom the Lord. if God, willing to fhew his wrath, &c. as lereth out much of his mercy. The reproif he had said, What has any body to say bated are called vessels of wrath, as being against God or his ways? what if he has a fuch by whom God manifesteth the greatmind to thew his wrath, and to make his ness of his wrath and anger, and who are power krowo, and the riches of his glory; made to drink deep of his anger and diswhat can any lay against this? If the Lord pleasure. 3. There is the end of this be about to make his attributes known, and great business, and that which moved Gocl to manifest his own glory, shall any pre- to do all this; in short, it is himself, his sume to have a negative voice in the busi- own glory: this, and this only, was the ness, and that noching shall be done but moving cause; for there is nothing with what they are satisfied with? Therefore cut him that can move him, so he did all the apofle proposerh the matter question- this for the glory of his own naine; and ways, the more to touch the consciences particularly, in reprobating so many, he of opposers, proposing it so as they could had before his eyes, (1.) the glory of his not answer it for their hearts : What if justice; That he might new his wrath ; God, willing to firew his wrath, &c. What that is, that he might make his vindi&tive can any body fay, to this.? is there any justice known. And (2.) To make his power wrong done to any? will any: hinder God known, in executing vengeance on trans:
gressors, tho' they are never so mighty and here, that the Lord fhould prepare the powerful: Yea, and (3.) bis patience, that vessels of mercy by faith in Chrilt ; but he endures with much long-suffering. (4.) neither the one por the other is to be unAnd, upon the other hand, in the vefsels | derstood of particular perfons, particularly of mercy he intended to make known the condescended on. But, 'riches of his glory; that is, the exceeding 1/t, It is not fit for us to take up the abundance of his free grace, which is glo objection as we think beit, and then to rious indeed, and is the high way to glory. think what will belt answer it, according to 4. There is the way how this business is our apprehenfion, and so force the apostle brought about : The elect are to be saved, to answer as we would have him; nor yet in such a way as mercy fhall molt ap- thould we hereby give out that we are wiser pear; the reprobare shall be damned, yet than the apostle, as being more able to in such a way as shall be suitable to juf- shape an answer to the objection: nor thould tice; and therefore the one is called, the that way please us best, in this myiterious vefsels of mercy, the other, the vessels of matter, which we understand beit; God's wrath; and to it is clearly supposed, that ways may be beyond our reach and capacertainly sin fhall exist, throʻ the Lord's city, and yet may be truly his ways. permission, and that according to his pur. 2dly, By this exposition the apostle's fipose, otherways the Lord could not save militude should be a plain and clear diflimisome, by way of mercy, and damn others, litude ; for when he is speaking of the by way of justice. This is further explain- potter's power, he is meaning an absolute ed as to the reprobate, in these words, hath power free from all law; there is no law endured with much long-suffering; he has binding the potier to make of this piece ?
, fently cut them off, according as he might to dishonour; but in that he doth accordhave done in justice, but spared them long, ing to his absolute will and pleasure: but that so his justice might the more appear when he is speaking of God's power, they on the veffels of wrath, and his mercy to mean by it a legal power, a.power exerciled ward the vessels of mercy.
according to law and justice, and so a limitIn the last place, we shall take notice ed power. But, what gloss the Arminians put on these 3dly
, The apostle's argument will seem words. They fay the meaning of the 22d to tay more; for it may be thus taken up: verfe is this : As the potter hath power what the porter may do with the clay, God of the fame lamp to make some ver- may much more do with man : But the fels upto honour, and some co dishonour; poiter may make of the same lump one fo the Lord, being willing to shew his vessel to honour, and another to dithonour, wrath and power against fin, hath no less and that merely according to his own good power to harden the children of the flesh, will and pleasure; therefore God may much and fit the vessels of wrath to destruction, more, of the same lump of mankind, chuse whom he has fuffered long in patience : one to life, and to be a vessel of mercy, and fo the objection is answered. And thus and another to be a vessel of wrath. But, they explain the 23d verse: None have 4thly, Their exposition gives to the potreason to quarrel with Go.1 for appointin» ser that which is more, and to God tha the children of the promise to honour, which is less; and thus the apostle thould without the confideration of works, or of cross his own argument, verse 20. where the carnal prerogative of Abraham, seeing he hints at the contrary, saying, Hoth no none can ihereby be justified now fmce the potter power? the very way of propos the fall; and therefore there is no injustice ling this, question-ways, fays, it is an ab
fürd blasphemous thing to ascribe more ened, c. then none can be so contuma. prwer to a crearure over his fellow crea cious before they die, and rhen after death ture, ihan to God over the work of his they cannot be hardened; and so to te ctra bands.
hardened, and to be a vefsel fired for de. stbly
, The reddition of the comparison ftruétion, cannot be one and the same. is not in these verses, as is clear by their 3. If he harden none but such contuma. begining What if? If the reddition were cious persons, then (1.) he hardens nane here, the apostle would have said, Even so, but fuch as hear the gospel; and (2.) the or much more.
leaving of them in their narural condition 6tbly, They will not have the apostle to should not be an act of obduration,' for mean particular individual persons, elected this is done before they become conruma. or reprobated, and yet the apostle's words cious. ' (3.) Yea, contumaciousness followfay as much, seeing he says, fome are vessels eth upon their obduration; for none can of wrath, and vessels of wrath fitted; for obey unless the hardness of their hearts fome are vefsels of mercy, and vessels of be first removed; for hardress and an immercy before prepared, and so certainly penitent heart go together, Rom. ii. 5. and particularly condescended on.
the not removing of this natural hardness 7thly, They say, That they were vessels of heart is an act of obduration. (4.) Yeå, of wrath lowards whom God exerciled it will 'hence follow, that there are no inmuch long-suffering, before they were fit- tants
, dying in infancy, fitted for destruction. ed to destruction ; but, 1. the apostle says Sthly, The apostle faith not, that God the contrary, viz. that they were vefsels of hardeneth the vefsels of wrath fitted for wrath, and vessels of wrath fitted to destruc- destruction, but that he endureth the vertion, before ever he used any patience.to- sels of wrath ; and if they fay, he hardenwards them, otherways he could not be eth them by enduring them, then, 1. hardfaid, to endure with long-suffering such ening must be meant of lome act of God vessels of wrath as were fitted, but rather done in time, and of some temporal act, and fach vessels of wrath as were to be fitted. must not be meant of final adjudging them And, 2. by parity of reason it would fol. to destruction, for there is no lenity used low, that the others should first be vessels toward such as are once condemned in hell. of mercy, that is, such as have been ac 2. It is not one and the same thing to say, tually made partakers of mercy, thro’ faith, He endurech the vessels of wrath, and to before they could be prepared for glory; fay, he hardeneth them by enduring them; and yet the apostle says, that even such God's patience and lenity is one thing, and vessels of mercy were before prepared. his hardening of them another thing; the
8thly, They say, He hardeneth none, one fıells of mercy, and the other of wrath. nor ficreth done for destruction, but the 3: What this hardening of them by his lechildren of the flesh, or such as have a nity is, we cannot imagine by their doctrine, bufed his patience, and contumaciously re nor do they well explain it. fused the offers of mercy in Chrift: But 1othly, Nor doth the apostle say; that: then, 1. he cannot be said to harden whom God hardeneth the vefsels of wrath after he will.
2. Hardness in part happeneih he has endured them with great patience, eren to such as have not contumaciously but that he endureth the vessels of wrath, related grace, as we see, Ifa. Ixiii. 17. If fitted for destruction, for his own glory. they mean by contumacy here, final con Tithly, Nor doth the apostle say, that tumracy, which certainly happeneth to such he gets the glory of his wrath and of his as are titted for destruction, or which who power in hardening of them, but rather in cier are guilty of, thall certainly be hard. I enduring of them with much patience.
12thly, How can that be, that God to honour, and another to dishonour? no hardeneth them by his longanimity, and such matters: what then? to endure the yet he hardenerh none but such as deserve vessels of wrath with patience. It is strange, it by abusing of this longanimity? thus he how men can please themselves with such fhould harden them while he useth his dreams as these.
dreams as these. 5. This exposition will, patience, and yet not harden them till af- in many particulars
, cross the former ex. ier; thus the same thing thould be before position, as will appear by comparing it and after itself, and he should endure cone with our reasons against the former; and but such as he hath endured.
will make a reddition where there is none 13thly, Tho' they pretend, that accord to be found, as we shewed before. 6. When ing to their exposition there is no objection the objection was, Whether God can be more fully answered than this, yet we can. angry justly at the hardened ? it is no set not find the doubt loosed. The doubt was answer which he makes, to say, it should this; Seeing the Lord hardeneth whom he rather haye been asked, Whether he could will, and this hardness is a fin, how can justly harden such with whom he was anhe find fault with one who is so hardened ? gry? For (1.) there is no ground for this Now this doubt yet remains, for all that question; and (2.) there is some ground for they have said: For be it so, that God the other, as we thewed. 7. When he hardeneth none but such as deserve it, yet formeth the objection thus, He who hard. he doth haiden, and doch harden accord- eneth by an irresistible will, cannot justly ing to his will, which none can relist, and be angry at such who are hardened : But this fame hardness is a sin, as well as a pu- God hardeneth with an irresistible will; nishment; and so it may itill yet be asked, Ergo, &c. To the major he gives this an why doth God find fault? or else it must swer, viz. That it is simply falte; because be said that he finds no fault with such they deserve to be hardened : But this says whom he hardeneth judicially, in so far as nothing to the point; for (..) ftill they they are hardened.
are hardened with an irrefiftible will: And But if any shall say, that the apostle's (2.) it is not the question, Whether they argument lieth thus; As the potter hath be hardened justly cr unjustly; but (3.) power over the clay, &c. fo God hath the question is, Whether, when they are much more power to endure with long hardened by an irresistible will, he can find suffering the vessels of wrath fitted to de. fault with them, or make them liable to struction: I answer, I know Arminius punishment for that same hardness which faith so; but, i. who doubreth of this ? is inflicted, altho' deservedly? and his anwas this
any question here? did ever any swer lays nothing to this. To the minor doubt but God might use his long-suffering be giveth this answer, That the apostle and patience towards whom he pleased? | letech down another way of hardening And, 2. this being so easy a business, why than by bis irresistible will, viz. by endurdid the apostle use such exclamations, who ing them with much lenity. But ihen, 1. art thou, O man?
3. What says this to they are hardened by a resistible will; and the objection, Why doth he yet find fault? | yet the apostle seemeth to grant that his Sure it is no way fuiting it, por any an will in this is irresistible. 2. How can swer thereto. 4. Whar likeness is in this this be a way of hardening, when it is fimilitude, The potter hath power to make but by accident, if hardness follow upon of the same lump one vessel to honour, and it? for it is at their own option, wheanother to dishonour, therefore God hath ther they will abuse God's patience or power; to do what? to make one vefsel not.
how we, willingly and freely, without any OBSERVATIONS.
compulsion or external force, do transgress 1. That
way of explicating the doctrine his laws, we should see just cause why the of predestination, which suiteth most with Lord should be angry with us, and punish carnal reason, and agrees most with its ap- us according to juttice, notwithstanding of prehensions, is most to be suspected as any standing decree determining the event, not being genuine, but spurious, and only which consistech well with the liberty of the fruit of man's brain, for the apostle's man's free will, yea, and rather helpeth way is not such; as at the begining he than pincherh the same; for this is the last held it forth as a mystery, so now in the answer unto the objection, Why doth be close of his explanation, he leaves it as a find fault? that man doth sinfully and wil. myitery, as unsuitable to carnal apprehen. lingly abuse God's goodness, and turn his fions as can be: What if God willing to grace into wantonness: this is clearly held few his wrath?
forth, in that he says, he endured with II. Tho' ministers ought to make the much long-suffering the vessels of wrath; mysteries of God, which he has been pleas. he extended much patience, but all in vain. , ed to reveal in his word, as plain to the ca- IV. The serious consideration of God's pacities of people as may be; yet they absolute sovereignty, and freedom to do should so handle them, as to give a check what he thinks fit for the glory of his own unto the curiosity of vain men, that they name, and the glorious manifestation and pry not too far into these depths; and also declaration of his attributes, should for ever leave an impression in the hearts of their stop the mouths of all persons whatsoever, hearers, of their sublineness, that they who seem to be discontented with the matmay still look upon them as mysteries, and ter of predestination; and though thereby be humble; as the apostle doth here, What we should imagine that God was doing us if God, willing to thew his wrath? He wrong, yet the thoughts of the Lord's speaks of it all alongst as a mystery, and holy intention should for ever check us; as a mystery which none must curiously seeing he is driving at his own honour and pry into beyond what is revealed.
glory in all that business, and hath conIN However the Lord hath a holy, se- crived it so, as that thereby he shall have cret and efficacious hand in the actual hard
the glory of his attributes: therefore says ening of the hearts of the reprobates; yet he, What if God, willing to shew his his external dispensations, whereby he shew. wrath, and to make his power known, &c. eth how good a God he is, and which what can we object to the contrary? should win their hearts home, and whereby V, God, for his own holy ends, hath he makes offer of the gospel, and of Christ foreordained some to everlasting life, and in it, a mean whereby the hearts of others others unto everlasting death; for we hear are melted and softened, and whereby their of some vessels of wrath fitted to destruction, hardness would be cured also, if it were and some vessels of mercy before prepared unnor their own fault; these external dispen to glory. sations, I say, being abused, and these of- VI. The Lord was not moved to elect fers being flighted, they cannot but have any to life eternal and glory, by the contheir mouths stoped before the Lord, and fideration of faith or good works, or any cry Guilty: And would we not pry into the thing in them, or to be in them; nor did secret will of God, which is out of our he ordain any unto everlasting death befight, and not revealed but by the event, cause of their evil deeds foreseen; for the and look to his revealed will, whereby our vessels of wrath are said to be fitted to de duty is pointed forth, and then cor.lider, 'Jlruction, before they abused the patience NOV.