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weary in shewing kindness to them (all their hands before he give them a bill of this is metaphorically fpoken, the more divorce, and long waits he on, and forbears to convince is both of his tender affection to cost them off, waiting for their repentand long-suffering) and he would cast them ance, and amendment : all day long be off as unworthy incorrigible branches now Sretcheth out his hand to them. See Jer, for that cause.
vii. 13. and xi. 7.
V. Not only doth God delay to smite OBSERVATIONS.
a people and cut them off, when their car. 1. When ministers have to do with exafo riage deserves poching less at his hands, perated and enra ed people, who are also but also he will be dealing by all fair filled with prejudice, they would do well means to gain them, and therefore sendo lo to hold forth the grounds of God's con out his servants to request, obrest and betroversy, as these exasperated persons may seech them to return; and by his fweet and fee they have God immediately to do with, tender dispensations (which might allure as takiog notice of their carriage, as the any body to draw near him) invites and apostle doth here; she will not speak any earnestly calleih upon them back again, thing as from himself touching God's con he stretcheth out his hand; he offers great troverfy with them, for which cause he kindness to them, and to welcome them dilunchurch them, but he cites a passage with all his heart, and to pass by their clearly speaking the thing, But to Ifrael iniquities, if they would but come. be faith, All day long, &c.
VI. So headstrong are a people in their ll. It is no new thing to see a people finful courses of defection; when once they externally in covcuant with God, and load-break loose, and cast off the fear of God, ened with many favours and courtelies, turn that no allurements, to invitations, no peraltogether disobedient, refractory and re fuafions, no gentle dealing, no pardon, no hellious, and cast at all God's command-forbearance, can prevail with thein to meats, and turn altogether incorrigible, that bring thein back, but they will down the no farcurs will better thein, no difpenfia- | brae, tlo' they should "break their neck; tions will work upon them, but they will they wil be rebellious and gainsaying till, fill was worse and worse; Even If ael was although God should stretch out bis band turned rebellious.
never lo long, even all day. III. When people once cast off the yoke VII. When mercies and kindnesses are of God's laws, ard will not be obedient thus-abused, and God's goodness is turned into his precepts, they turn fo perverse into lasciviousness, and the more gentle and desperately wicked, that they cross God he is towards them they grow the worle; to his face, as it were, and contradict his his jealousy will burn at length, and he will fervanis, at length; and are not afraid to . spare that people no longer, but will call oppose the work of God, and to set them them out of covenant, and out of doors as felves ia oppofiion to any good; they incorrigible children. This is the ground were rebellious and disobedient, and they upon which the Lord had unchurched the turned gainsaying likewife.
Jews, they were a rebellious and guinfar IV. When God has taken a people by ing people, notwithstanding that God trelob. the hand, he is loth to give up with them. end out his hands all the day tong unto them. at the fir.l; many wrcags will he tuifer at See Jer. vij. 13. 14. 15. Adts siti. 45.
N this chapter the apostle proceedeth to clear that which he was saying touching the rejecting of the Jews, by clearing two objections : The one from the begining
unto verse 11. and therelay cleareth, that notwithstanding of this sentence of rejection gone out against the Jews, there are fume of them who fali be saved. The next objection is answered from verse 11. 10 verse 33. and thereby he cleareth, that the fentence is not final and irrevocable ; that nation fhall not lie under that condition als ways, but at length shall be enchurched again. And then thirdly, he concludes the whole disputes, from chap. ix. ver. 1. with a grave and weighty epiphonema, teoding to admire and extol the wisdom, knowledge, decrees and providence of God in thele myiteries.
VERSES 1. 2. I say then, Haath God can reason to prove this, is, For I also a122
away his people? God forbid. For I al- an. Ifraelite of the seed of Abraham, and so am an Israelite of the feed of Abraham, tribe of Benjamin, that is, God hath'choof the tribe of Benjamin.
sen me, and hath not cast me off, and so God hath not cast away his people which he hath not calt off all the people of the be forekneW..--
Jews, for I am an Israelite; I am descended
of noble Israel, and am of the feed of Abra, Hat the apostle may clear fully the ham, and of the tribe of Benjamin. The
doctrine touching the rejection of next reason is, ver. 2. God bath rot call the Jews, and the inbringiag of the Gen
his people which he foreknėw. In iilcs, he starteth some objections, and then and among the people of Israel there is answeren'them. The first is here, and it some whom God hath from eternity electmay be thus taks n up: If God hath thus ed unto life, and hath foreknown as his darcait off the people of the Jews, and un- lings, and beloved ones; and these he hath churched them, then be hath cast off his net caft away; and so he hath not cut off chosen people, his own peculiar ones, even all the people of ihael. those whom he had chofen to himself be.
OBSERVATIONS. fore all eternity. But this is absurd. I say iben, Haih God call away his people? By I. Tho' truths be never so much clearyour doctrine (would the objector fay) ed, enemies thereto, who are but casilers, you seem to say, that there is no salvation will still have somethin? to object against for the Jew's now, but they are wholly cut it; for here is new objections again to be off from the covenant and hope of mercy. | answered : I say then, &c. He answereth, God forbid. Notwithstand. | 11. Whatever opposition cavillers and ing.chat God has unchurched the bulk and enemies to truth make a rainst it, it will be body of the Jewish nation; yet he has not so far from being a loser thereby, that it forgoten his own peculiar ones, whom he will come forth more victorious, and glohath cleated from etunity. The first I rious, than before; so that objections do
3 H 2
Teri fo that be is dispensations whating
nec deb. vi. 11. An Exposition of the Epistle to the Romans. Chap. XI. but serve to rub the rift off truths: upon believers should never draw hard conclu. occasion of these objections the apostle tions therefrom, or once in the least fuscleareth the truth, touching the rejection peet God's faithfulness in his promises toof the Jews, better.
ward them : Athick cloud of fad dispensa. lIl. It is an ordinary thing for proud lions towards the generality of a land, ihould professors, who are void of the life of neither darken the interest of believers in grace, to swell so with conceit of them a promise, nor dim the fight of their faith selves, as to think they are the true people of his faithiulness and constancy: thereof God, and that if he should deal with fore says he, God forbid; this were most them as with unbelieving hypocrites, he absurd and abominable : let matters go as Thould fail of his special promises: This is they please, faith should never question the ground of the objection; they thought | God's love and fidelity, or move the quelif God had unchurched them, and cast thein tion, Hath he cast off his people? cut of the compass of the covenant, he VII. However Satan labour by all means had cast off his own people: Hath God to keep believers from a clear uptaking of cat away his people ?
their interest in Christ, and they have a IV. Tho'God be chastising and punish: false heart within them that is ready to ing nations and kingdoms, and sending comply with Satan's designs; and there be such universal strokes, as folk would think many windings and turnings of a false he were relpeeting no persons; yet in the heart, that may make it hard for a pour mean time he haih an eye unto his own, foul 10 win to read his name in the book and whatever way. he be dealing with his of life; yet believers may, thro' God's enemies, he will not forget his own chil. grace searching themselves, and improvdren, to these he will keep covenant for ing the means appointed of God for attainrel, belicvers shall, never have just cause to and of understanding, Col. ii. 2. and of complain of his dealing with them: Hath faith, Heb. x. 22. and to a persuasion, God cast of his people? God forbid. 2 Tim. i. 12. liom. viii. 38.-: therefore
V. God may be avenged on a hypocri. says Paul, For I alsa am an Ifraeiite, &c.. tical nation, and for their contempt of the VIII. Tho'believers, when they have a gospel may unchurch them, and take the clear call, may lawfully profefs and avouch gospel from them, and yet be as good as their interest in Christ, yet it fhould be his word unto any true-hearted seeker of done with great sobriety and moderation, his face in that land. Altho? there may without pride or affectation; for the apobe many ficere-hearted believers in a Itle doch in modeity forbear to express land, to whom God will thew kindness; what he thought, and therefore leaves it yet may he juftiy pursue a quarrel againit to be gathered from his words, that he the land, and take the gospel from it; as was one of God's real children, and says he did unchurch the body and bulk of the no more, but I also am an Ifraelite, &c. Jewish nation, notwithstanding there were IX. No external honours or grandeur, of his people among them, whom he would nor external church privileges, will escem not calt off: Hath God cast off his people? finners from God's wrath and vengeance; Gud forbid.
God will punish the great as well as the VI. Let bowls roll as they please, and mean, and the church-member that resteth let God's dispensations towards a land be upon that privilege no less than others; what they will, thio' he should even be For, says he, I also am an Ifraelite, of the giving tlicm a bill of divorce; yet true feed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin :
And so telling us, that God had cut off once set his affection upon, and known in fuch, seeing he says, I also; even ruh as a fpecial manner for his own from all erer-were no proselites, but Jews by pation, nity, shall never be decourted again, or sprung out of the loins of noble Abraham, cast utterly out of God's favour; and this Ifaac and Jacob, and that by Rachel, a everlasting love and foreknowledge of lawful wife, whcm Jacob loved best. God is the only basis of their stability,
X. Tho' external privileges and church- and the anchor of their safery: God bath membership Thould not be refted on, nor not cast off his people whom he foreknew. made a screen to hide us from the displeafure of God; yet should they not be despif. VERSES 2. 3. 4. ----Wot ye not what ed or undervalued, but honoured as great the scripture faith of Elias? how be favours of God, and sometimes with holy maketh‘intercellion to God against Israel, fobriety and humility of spirit, they may Saying, be avouched and openly professed, when Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and it may serve to glorify God; therefore dig ged down thine altars; and I am left Paul doch here declare and avouch what
alone, and they seek my life. he was, an Israelite of the feed of Abra- But what faith' the answer of God unto bam, &c. and fo a church-member.
him? I have reserved to myself seven thouXI. Tho' there were but one true heart
Sand men, who have not bowed the knee ed believer among thousands of profeffors, to the image of Baal. to whom God were doing good, and whom he were owning as his chosen, when his Third argument, clearing and illuftrat. dispensations were full of anger, and ing the matter he is upon, is taken changed toward the rest; yet this were from the state and condition of the church enough to persuade us of God's faithful in the days of Elias: Moreover, would he nefsin keeping covenant to his own for ever; say, It is not I only that aim left, but there.
&, &c. as if he had faid, are many more; and so it is abundantly I am one instance, and that may serve to clear that God has not cast off his people. confirm the point, that he has not cast off so then his argument lieth thus: If it fare bis true people.
with the church of the Jews now, as it XII. As God knoweth all things from did with them in the days of Elias, then eternity, even our thoughts afar off, Pfalm God hath not cast off his people; for then cxxxix, 2. and all mankind are in the chalk he reserved seven thousand that did not of his eye, to whom nothing can be future apoftatize: But it fareth with the church or pait; so hath he particularly fer his eye of the Jews now as it did then. So then upon so many of the children of Adam as he layeth down the condition of the church he thought fit, and chosen them from a in Elias's days, verses 2. 3. 4. and then mong the rest, to be objects of his wonder. applieth it, and theweth'how it suiteth ful love and kindness, and according to his with their present case, verse 5. In his everlasting purpose, which is not a blind citing this story out of Kings xix. 14.&c. 24, but an act of wonderful knowledge, he doth not cite the whole story, but so joined with unparalleled affection: There much as made for his purpose ; nor doth are fome whom he bath foreknown. See he cite what he citeth, in that order in Rom. viii. 29. 2 Tim. ii. 19. i Pet. i. 2. which it is set down, only he cites the sum
XIII. Whatever God's dispensations be and substance thereof, and faith, Wot ye towards his chosen ones in a world, yet his not what the scripture faith of Elias loving kindness will he never take from t'rm, Know ye not that notour story about EPralin lxxsix. 33. so that such as God hath Ilias, and what the scripture faith of him?
or in that flory how, when he was making present state of affairs, sayiog, Wet je interceflion to God, he had a fad com not ti 6. t the scripture faith plaint of Israel, and spoke against them, II. Our ignorance of God's dispensa. laying, 1. Lord, they have killed thy pro- tions toward his church and people in forphets; Ahab and Jezebel have command mer ages and generations, makes us accd them to be killed, and the people said count our present care, in respect of God's nothing against it: 2. And digged down dispensations, to be fingular and unparalthine altars; they have been lo busy in leled; and therefore to rectify their milerecting and establishing their own idola. take here, who possibly would have thought trous worihip, that they have quite over God's dispensations wiih the Jews ftrange, turned thy worship and service: 3. And he refererh them to God's dispensations I am left alone ; thro' the cruelty and per
to his church in Elias's rime, faying, Wot fecution of the court, there are few or ye not what the scripture faith of Elias? none, that I can find, avouching thee and III. A visible church may turu fo corthy worship, but I alone : 4. And they seek rupe and perverse, that the faithfui fermuy life ; Jezebel, that wicked woman, has vants of God, who would gladly have had threatened to cut me off, 1 Kings xix. 2. them doing well, and have ofed all means and so there shall be no church at all. to reclaim them, can do nothing but lay Now, tho' Elias was a prophet, and an out their bitter complaint of them and eminent man, yet he was in a great mif- their carriage to God; and it is fad when take here; for what faith the answer of minillers, afier all their pains among a God unto him? God gives him a divine people, shall be put to give in a libel aoracle and response, and what faith Gou? gainst them for their misdemeanours : EI have reserved to myself seven thoujand lias was put to this, to make interceffion a. men that have not bowed the knee to Baal ; gain't Ifrael. I have preserved to my own worship and 1v. Let the faithful ferraots of God service fome faithful servants, feven thou-be banished from house and harbour, and fand that would not commit idolatry, and have no body to lay out the grief of their forfake my worship, that would not bow heart unto; yer be where they will, they their knee before Baal, in sign of subjec- have the Lord to lay open their mind untion; I have keeped so many, tho’thouto; Elias made intercesjion to God again? koew pot of them, free from the corrup- | Ifrael: he bad God to go to, even when tion of the times, and from the idolatry, he was forced to fly, and to hide himself of this age; and so they were not all left in caves, and look no map in the face. of me, and cast off as reprobate filver, but V. A land which once has been famous I had a care of them, and would not suffer for purity of worship, and the power of them to backflide with the rest.
religion, maintained and pra&tiled in is,
may come to that height of defection, as OBSERVATIONS.
to root out all true religion, and banish, 1. Acquaintance with the state of the yea, and kill, the faithful and honeft serchurch in former ages, recorded in scrip- vants of God, for maintaining the truth and ture, is very necessary for the people of purity of God's worship, against corrupGod, and will tend much to edify and com tions and innovations: Elias made inter. fort them in their particular conditions; 1 cellion against Israel, saying, Lord, they and therefore he brings in the example of. bave killed ihy prophets. the state of the church in a former age, to
VI. Whatever disrespect be shown unto inftruét them at that time, touching the the Servants of the Lord, and how few