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thing to move God to call them more than others. (2.) i Positively : [1.] His eternal purpose of love and salvation to : them, as the apostle explains it, Rom. viii. 30. They were from eternity predestinated to salvation and the means ofit; and therefore in complement of that purpose were savingly called. [2.] His grace or free favour given them in and through Jesus Christ, which is said to have been gioen them before the world began, from eternity; namely, virtually in the decree, which secured the real.giving them it in time, as much as if they had it in hand. And this account of the causes of this call does further evince it to be effectual balling that is meant.
The doctrine of the text is. Doct. All that partake of Christ's salvation are effectually
Here I shall briefly explain to you the nature of effectual calling, and then apply it.
Effectual calling is the first entrance of a soul into the state of grace, the first step by which God's eternal purpose of love descends unto sinners, and we again ascend towards the glory to which we are chosen. And, upon the matter, it is the same with conversion and regeneration. I shall shew,
I. What the effectual call in the general is.
III. Whence and whither are they called that are effectu. ally called.
IV. What makes the call effectual to some, when it is not so to others. . V. What is the necessity of their being thus effectually called.
VI. I shall more particularly explain the nature of effectual calling. .
1. I am to shew what the effectual call in the general is. An effectual call is opposed to an ineffectual one. An effectual call is the call that gains its real intent; that is to say, when the party called comes upon the call. An ineffectuel call is that which gains not the real intent of it, but falls short thereof, the party called not answering and obeying the call. To apply this to our purpose, all that hear the gos pel are called; but,
1. To some of them it is ineffectual, and these are the most part of gospel-hearers, Matth. xx, 16. For many be called
but feux chosen.' They are called, invited, and obtested to come to Christ; but it is but the singing of a song to a deaf man that is not moved with it, Prov. i. 24., The real intendment of the call is lost upon them. Though the intent of God the great caller can never be lost, who says, My. counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure, Isa. xlvi. 10. yet the design of the thing is $0, Though they are called, yet they come not to Christ, they sit his call, to their own destruction.
2. To others it is effectual, and these are but few, Matt. XX. 16. forecited. They get the call, and they rise and come away to Christ. It is not only the intent of the call, but of him that called them, to have them home to himself; and they receive not the grace of the gospel in vain. While others at best do but play about the bait, they greedily embrace it, and are catched, according to that, Ye shall be fishers of men. They come away likę Lot out of Sodom, while others account the call in effect but a jest, and so abide and perish in the overthrow.
II. I come now to, shew who they are that are thus effectually called. The text tells us, that this effectual call is according to God's purpose and free grące in Christ; and sq. it follows, that the elect, and they only are thus called, Rom. vüi. 30. Acts xiii. 48. Others may be outwardly called by the ministry of the word, and have some common operations of the Spirit too, but are never effectually called, The bow is shot at a venture among the hearers of the gospel; but God, that knoweth who are his, directs the arrow, so as to make it hit right. 0. the riches and freedom of grace that appears in this! For,
1. bis men, and not fallen angels, that are called, though they should have been preferred, if God had respected the dignity of nature among his lost creatures. But the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains, under darkness, unto the judgment of the great day, Jude 6. There is special love appears in that, Unto you, O, men, I call, and my
voice is to the sons of men,' Proy, viii. 4. O may wę not I say, as Psal. viii. 4. What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visiteșt him?
2. It is some mep, and not others, that are called effectual, ly, and these naturally in as bad and sinful a condition as
others, Eph. ii. 12. At the time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world. They cannot pretend here, that they made the difference by their works; for says the text, He saved us, and called us, not according to our works. Nay, oft-times, they are worse than many others, such as fornicators, idolaters, &c. of whom Paul to the Corinthians, 1 Epist. vi. 11. says, "Such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, and justified, in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.' And says that apostle of himself, 1 Tim. i. 13. “I was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious. But I obtained mercy. Oft. times grace chuses to work on the most knotty piece of timber, which there is the least hope of.
3. Lastly, It is for the most part those who have the least advantages as to their outward condition in the world. For says the apostle, i Cor. i. 26, 27, 28. - Ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not' many mighty, not many noble are called. But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world, to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world, to con. found the things which are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are.' The Lord takes some of the greatest wits, of the greatest power, and the best blood in the world, but not many such. But often grace passeth by the learned man, and wise, and sits down and teaches babes in comparison of them. He passes by the rich, the noble, and the gentle, and brings the meaner sort, the kinless things sta agene], into a match with the Son of God, and an alliance with Heaven.
III. I proceed to shew whence and whither they are called who are effectually called. That I may answer this in a few words, observe, that there was a blessed band of society betwixt God and his rational creatures, and among themselves, till sin entered, and then all was shaken loose, As it was at the building of Babel, so it was at the entrance of sin, there was a great scattering ; sinners were separated from God, and from the holy angels, and scattered up and down on the mountains of vanity. For remedy of this, God appointed Jesus Christ the Head, in whom an elect world might meet again with God, and be gathered together among themselves, Eph. i. 10. - That in the dispensation of the fulness of times, he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth, even in him.'. 1 Pet. ï. 25. For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.' So then they that are effectually called, are, .
1. Called out of the world that lieth in wickedness, 1 John v. 19. And hence the church has its name in the prophetical and apostolical writings, Ekklesia; q. d. a company called out from among others, a gathered congregation. And so the gathering of them is made the great work of Jesus Christ, the Founder of the church, John xi. 52. The elect of God, in their natural condition, are lost sheep gone astray among the devils goats; effectual calling is the bringing them out from among them, back to Christ's fold. They are the lost groat lying hid among the dust of the nasty house of this world; effectual calling is the taking them out from among that dust, and restoring them to the use for which they were designed. . : Thus Christ bespeaks his spouse (for that work is still going on, and will be so, till they be quit of the world, soul and body, i Thess. v. 24.) Hearken, o daughter, and consider, and incline thine ear; forget also thine own people, and thy father's house *' Psal. xiv. 10. * come with me from Lebanon, my spouse, with me from Lebanon: look from the top of Amana, from the top of Shenir and Hermon, from the lions dens, from the mountains of the leopards. They are called away from the sinful and miserable state of the world, from their ways manners and work; in a word, out of their society, so that though they be in the world, they are no more of it, and therefore do they fare so ill in it, John xv. 19. Because ye are not of the world, but I have cho. sen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.''
2. Called unto Jesus Christ, and through him to the blessed society of another world. So the call runs, Matth. xi. 28.
Come unto me, all ye that labour, and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. The society they are called and come to is that of God himself, the holy angels, all the saints in heaven and earth which have gone before them, Jesus
They are lions dens, from om the top of She
•• The author has some excellent sermons on these texts, not yet printed.
Christ being the blessed bond of the society, the centre of union wherein they meet, Heb. xii. 22, 23, 24. «Ye are come unto mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the first born, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaketh better things than that of Abel.' Here the call is, All things are ready; come unto the marriage, Matth. xxii. 4.
Thus they are, like Noah, called into the ark, where they will be safe when the deluge of wrath sweeps away the world of the ungodly. Like Lot, they are called unto Zoar, where they will be safe while fire and brimstone is rained on those that stay behind. They are called to the feast on the great sacrifice, Christ crucified, while others perish for want; to the partaking of the benefits of Christ's redemption, while others have neither part nor lot in that matter, but must fall a sacrifice for their own sins to avenging justice. The para ticulars they are called to, will serve them to tell through eternity. .
IV. I proceed to shew what makes the some, when it is not so to others. Negatively,
1. It is neither the piety, parts, nor seriousness of those who are employed to carry the gospėl-call to sinners, 1 Cor. jj. 7, Indeed, if moral suasion were sufficient to bring sinners back to God, men that have the art of persuading, and can speak movingly and seriously, could not fail to have vast numbers of converts. But that work is not so brought about, Luke xvi. ult. Hence said Abraham to the rich man in hell, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rose from the dead.? Never did these, conjunctly or severally, appear in any, as in Christ, who
spake as never man spake. But behold the issue, John xii. 37, 38. But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him: that the saying of Esaias the propbet might be fulfilled, which he spake, • Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed? ."
2. Neither is it one that uses his own free-will better than another does, Rom. ix. 6. ' It is not of him that willeth,