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grace of God, consent to the promise, and not repugn the God, that calleih. God doth promise the Holy Ghost unto them that ask him, and not to them that contemn him.
"Further, St. Paul doth, by collation os Adam and Christ, sin and grace, thus interpret God's promise, and maketh not Christ inferior to Adam, nor grace unto fin. If all then shall be saved, what is to be said of those, that St. Peter speaketh of, That Jltallpcrijli for their false doflrine? (2 Pet. li. 1.5.) And likewise Christ faith, That the gate isflrait that leadetk to life, and few enter. Thus the Scripture answereth; that the promise of grace appertaineth to every sort of men in the world, and comprehendeth them all, howbeit within certain limits and bounds, the which if men neglect or pass over, they exclude themselves from the promise in Christ; as Cain was no more excluded, till he excluded himself, than Abel; Saul than David; Judas than Peter; Esau than Jacob. By the Scripture it seeraeth (Mat. 1.2. 3. Rom. ix. 13.) that the sentence of God was given to save the one, and to damn the other, before the one loved God, or the other hated God. Howbeit, these threatenings of God against Esau, if he had pot of his wilful malice excluded himself from the promise of grace, should no more Have hindered his salvation, than God's threatenings against Nineveh, which notwithstanding that God said should be destroyed within forty days, stood a great time after, and did penance. Esau was circumcised and presented unto the Church of God by his father Isaac in all external ceremonies as well as Jacob; and that his life and conversation was not as agreeable unto justice and equity, as Jacob's, the sentence of God unto Rebecca was not in the fault, but his own malice; for there is mentioned nothing at al! in that place, that Esau was disinherited of eternal life, but that he should be inferior to his brother Jacob in this world, which prophecy was fulfilled in their posterities, and not the persons themselves. St. Paul useth this example of Jacob and Esau for none other purpose but to take away from the Jews the thing, that they most put their trust in, that is to fay, the vain hope they had in the carnal lineage and natural descent from the family and household of Abraham, and likewise their false confidence they had in the keeping of the law of Moses. Paul's whole purpose is, in the Epistle, to bring man unto a knowledge of his sin, and to show him how it may be remitted; and, with many testimonies and examples of the Scripture, he proveth man to be saved only by mercy, for the merits'os Christ.
"Our Gospellers be better learned than the Holy Ghost; for they wickedly attribute the cause of punishment
and adversity to God's providence, which is the cause of no ill, as he himself can do no ill; and, of every mischief that is done, they.fay, it was God's will. The Holy Ghost putteth another cause, that is to fay, sin in man, and contempt of his holy word. Further, the pain is not inflicted by pre<destination to lose man, but both predestination and Lhe affliction extend to call man from damnation."
'• Some vain fellows, seeking carnal liberty, when they read these words, Many are called, but few are chosen, make their reckoning thus:—Need I mortify my body with ab* staining from all sin and wickedness? I perceive God hath chosen some, and some are rejected. Mow, if I be in the number of the chosen, I cannot be damned; but, if I be accounted among the condemned number, then I cannot be saved; for God's judgments are immutable. Such foolish and wicked reasons some have, which bringeth them either to desperation, or else to carnal liberty. Therefore it is needful to beware of such reasons, or expositions of Scripture, as it is to beware of the devil himself.
"If the most part be damned, the fault is not in God, but in themselves; for it is written, God would, that all nun. Jhould be saved. But they themselves procure their owa damnation, and despise the passion of Christ, by their own wicked and inordinate living. Here we may learn to keep us from all curious and dangerous questions. When we hear, that some be chosen, and some be damned, let us hav« good hope, that we fliall be amongst the chosen; and live after this hope, that is, uprightly and godly, then shalt thou not be deceived. Think, that God hath chosen those, that believe in Christ, and that Christ is the book of life. If thou believest in him, then thou art written in the book of life, and shalt be saved. So we need not go'about to trouble ourselves with curious questions of the Prede/linatidn of God; but let us rather endeavour ourselves, that we may be in Christ; for, when we be in him, then are we well, and then we may be sure, that we are ordained to everlasting life.
"Christ shed as much blood tor Judas, as he did for Peter. Peter believed it, and therefore he was saved. Judas would not believe it, and therefore he was condemned, the fault being in him only, and in nobody else.
Now, seeing the Gospel is universal, it appeareth, that he would have all mankind to be saved, and that the fault is not in him, if we be damned; for it is written thus, God would have all to be saved. 1. Tim. ii. 4. His salvation is sufficient to save all mankind; but we are so wicked of ourselves, that we refuse the same, and we will not take it, when it is offered to us, and therefore he faith, Few are chosen, that is, few have pleasure or delight in it."
TO THE EDITOR OF THE ORTHODOX CHURCHMAN'$
N answer to the inquiry of O. P. Q. in your last number, p. 462. respecting the meaning of the phrase "spirits in prison," in 1 Pet. iii. «9. I write to inform him, that the interpretation of it, which he mentions, is maintained at length, though not, as I think, satisfactorily made out, in a book published at Cambridge in 1692, and entitled, "An Enquiry into Four Remarkable Texts of the New Testament," by John Edwards, B.D. sometime Fellow os St. John's College, in Cambridge, Mr. Edwards refers t© Episcopius (lnstitu.t. 1. iv. c. 30.) and to Limborch (Theolog. Christian, lib. 3. cap. 13.) as having given an Interpretation of this paflage in some respects similar to his own, I have not Episcopius at hand. The opinion of Limborch is thus given :—" Perspiritus five animas homines integros defignari, notius est, quam ut probari necefli fit: hoc eodem loco octo animœ, id est, homines, in area dicuntur salvæ f'actæ. Dicuntur autem esse in carcere, quia ob incredulitatem jam certæ damnationi erant destinati, non aliter ac si jam damnati revera essent; uti dicitur Joan. iii. 18. Qui non credit, jam judicatus: vel quia vinculis ignorantiæ ac peccati, non aliter ac spiritual! aliquo carcere, detinebantur; uti dicitur Matt. iv. 16." Limb. Theolog. Christ, lib. iii. cap. xiii. sect. xxix. The' same interpretation is mentioned, but mentioned only to be rejected, by Dr. George Benson, in his "Paraphrase and Notes on the Catholic
Epistles.". Epistles." What my own idea of the meaning of this pas. fege of Scripture is, O. P. Q. may fee, if he pleases, by consulting your Number for May 1807, p. 368.
Rempjlone, I am, Sir, your's &c.'
July 9. 1807. E. Pearson.
P. S. I request the favour of your readers to correct the following .errata in your last number. P. 467. 1. 20. for "the Unitarians," read "Unitarians." P. 469. 1.8- for "and," read " with." P. 470. 1. 1. place inverted commas before ".Considering." P. 470. 1. 22. for " first," read "thus" P. 471. last line, after " 15," read " Blessed are the people, who have the Lord for their God, would be better thus: Blessed &c." P. 472. last line, for " Matt," read «• Malachi."
TO THE EDITOR OF THE ORTHODOX CHURCHMAN** . *. . MAGAZINE."
AN association has been lately formed on the plan of the African Society; the object of which is to promote the ends of learning in forwarding and assisting discoveries in the interior of Syria and Palestine. As this institution promises to be of great importance for the elucidation of the Scriptures, as well as to the general interests of literature and science, you will, no doubt, gratify many of your readers by inserting the inclosed paper, which exhibits the subjects to which the attention of the travellers selected by the committee to be sent into Syria and other regions of the cast at the expense of the association is to be directed;
1.—Astronomical observations to ascertain the situations of the most remarkable places.
Vol. XIII. Churchm. Asag.for July iHoj.
■ %.—Ranges and heights of mountains.
3.—Breadth and depth of rivers, with their courses, fords, and bridges: wells and fountains; whether of sweet, salt, or brackish water.
4.—Times and extent of inundations.
5.—Every other observation relative to the geography and topography of Palestine, which may be of use in the formation of a more accurate map of the country than has hitherto appeared.
6.—Process of agriculture in all parts.
7.—To compose a meteorological journal according to • form prepared tor the purpose in England, and in which shall be comprised an accurate statement of the winds andtemperature for the whole year, mentioning the place, time, and exposure.
8.—A list of the natural productions of Palestine, with a description of the soil and situation of those that are more rare; particular attention to be paid to the culture and use of the date and the palm trees.
9.—To observe the uses, of any kind whatever, the other botam .1 productions of the country are applied; whether these uses are publicly known or kept secret in particular families, and what is their medicinal or chemical value.
jo.—To detest the errors of former travellers.
11.—To make accurate drawings of the implements of masonry, carpenter's Work, and other handicrafts.
12.—Substance and quantity of food consumed in the families of the inhabitants in different situations in life.
1 g.—Whence the neighbourhood of Jerusalem is supplied with fuel and timber for building.
14.—To endeavour to trace the progress of the Israelites under Moses and Joshua in their operations against the posseflbrs of the promised land, and the subsequent distribution of the tribes; verifying characteristic epithets given to the several countries mentioned in the Scriptures, and to continue the fame observations throughout the whole of Palestine with reference to the latter periods of the Jewish history.
15.—To write in Arabic and English characters the name of every town, village, river, mountain, &c. by which the traveller may pass; and to observe the greatest accuracy in marking down their respective bearings, and their distances, "m computed miles, and in hours.