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The Quakers believe, again, that the apostle Paul never included salvation in the words "called" or "chosen," for another reason, For if these words had implied salvation, then non-election might have implied the destruction annexed to it by the favourers of the doctrine of Reprobation.

But no

person who knows whom the apostle meant, when he mentions those who had received and those who had lost the preference, entertains any such notion or idea. For who believes that, because Isaac is said to have had the preference of Ishmael, and Jacob of Esau, that therefore Ishmael and Esau, who were quite as great princes in their times as Isaac and Jacob, were to be doomed to eternal misery? Who believes that this preference, and the apostle alludes to no other, ever related to the salvation of souls? or rather, that it did not wholly relate to the circumstance, that the descendants of Isaac and Jacob were to preserve the church of God in the midst of the Heathen nations, and that the Messiah was to come from their own line, instead of that of their elder brethren? Rejection or Reprobation, too, in the sense in which it is generally used by


the advocates for the doctrine, is contrary, in a second point of view, in the opinion of the Quakers, to the sense of the comparison or simile made by the apostle on this occasion. For when a potter makes two sorts of vessels, or such as are mean and such as are fine and splendid, he makes them for their respective uses. But he never makes the meaner sort for the purpose of dashing them to pieces.

The doctrine therefore in dispute, if viewed as a doctrine of general import, only means, in the opinion of the Quakers, that the Almighty has a right to dispose of his spiritual favours as he pleases, and that he has given accordingly different measures of his Spirit to different people; but that, in doing this, he does not exclude others from an opportunity of salvation, or a right to life. On the other hand, they believe that he is no respecter of persons, only as far as obedience is concerned; that election neither secures of itself good behaviour, nor protects from púnishment; that every man who standeth, must take heed lest he fall; that no man can boast of his election, so as to look down with contempt upon his meaner brethren; and that there is no other foundation for an


expectation of the continuance of Divine favour than a religious life.

In viewing the passages in question as of private import, which is the next view the Quakers take of them, the same lesson, and no other, is inculcated. The apostle, in the ninth chapter of the Romans, addresses himself to the Jews, who had been a chosen people, and rescues the character of God from the imputation of injustice, in having passed over them, and in having admitted the Gentiles to a participation of his favours.

The Jews had depended so much upon their privileges, as the children of Abraham, and so much upon their ceremonial observances of the law, that they conceived themselves to have a right to continue to be the peculiar people of God. The apostle, however, teaches them, in the ninth and the eleventh chapters of the Romans, a different lesson, and may be said to address them in the following manner :

"I am truly sorry, my kinsmen in the flesh, that you, who have always considered yourselves the elder and chosen branches of the family of the world, should have been passed over; and that the Gentiles, whom


you have always looked

upon as the


should be now preferred. But God is just. He will not sanction unrighteousness in any; nor will he allow any choice of his to continue persons in favour longer than, after much long suffering, he finds them deserving his support. You are acquainted with your own history. The Almighty, as you know, undoubtedly distinguished the posterity of Abraham, but he was not partial to them alike. Did he not reject Ishmael the scoffer, though he was the eldest son of Abraham, and countenance Isaac, who was the younger? Did he not pass over Esau, the eldest son of Isaac, who had sold his birthright, and prefer Jacob? Did he not set aside Reuben, Simeon, and Levi, the three eldest sons of Jacob, who were guilty of incest, treachery, and murder, and choose that the Messiah should come from Judah, who was but the fourth? But if in these instances he did not respect eldership, why do you expect that he will not pass you over for the Gentiles, if ye continue in unbelief?

"But so true it is that he will not support any whom he may have chosen, longer


than they continue to deserve it, that he will not even continue his countenance to the Gentiles, though he has now preferred them, if by any misconduct they should become insensible of his favours. For I may compare both you and them to an olive-tree*. If some of you, for instance, who are the elder or natural branches, should be broken off, and the Gentiles, being a wild olive-tree, should be grafted in among you, and with you partake of the root and fatness of the olive-tree, it would not become them to boast against you the branches: for, if they boast, they do not bear the root, but the root them. Perhaps, however, they might say, that you the branches were broken off, that they might be grafted in. Well; but it was wholly on account of unbelief that you were broken off, and it was wholly by faith that they themselves were taken in. But it becomes them not to be high-minded, but to fear. For if God spared not you, the natural branches, let them take heed, lest he also spare not them.

"Moreover, my kinsmen in the flesh, I must tell you, that you have not only no

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* Rom. xi. 17, 18, 19, 20, 21.

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