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called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified." Such is the united testimony of the inspired writers, that the Father hath given the Son a certain number of the fallen race, who shall be made holy in this life, and happy in the next. This leads me to show,
II. That these persons, like the rest of mankind, are naturally unwilling to be saved.
The text clearly conveys this idea. "Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power." This mode of expression plainly implies, that antecedent to the day of divine power, the people of Christ are unwilling to be saved. And this will more clearly appear, if we consider,
1. That they are naturally enemies to Christ. They are represented under this character in the context. "The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool." And again, "Rule thou in the midst of thine enemies.” This is the true character of all sinners, without exception. Our Savior, who was perfectly acquainted with the hearts of the unregenerate, plainly told them, that they were serpents, a generation of vipers, and the children of the devil. And speaking of the same persons, to whom he had preached, and before whose eyes he had done many mighty works, he says, "Now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father. But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law. They hated me without a cause." The elect, as well as the non-elect, naturally possess a spirit of opposition to Christ; and so long as they remain enemies to him, they say in their hearts, "We will not have this man to reign over us."
2. It appears from the conduct of sinners under the gospel, that they are unwilling to be saved. When Christ called upon them to come to him for life, they soon discovered a strong disposition to reject his gracious invitations. This led him to tell them in plain terms, "Ye will not come to me, that ye might have life." And he foretold, in the parable of the gospelfeast, that sinners would, in time to come, treat the offers of salvation with the same neglect and contempt. "Then said he unto them, a certain man made a great supper, and bade many: And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, come; for all things are now ready. And they all with one consent began to make excuse." This prediction has been fulfilled all over the christian world. How many thousands of the fallen race have been invited to accept of salvation, who have finally refused? And where has one been found, who was naturally willing, to submit to the terms of life? Universal experience proves, that all men are naturally unwilling to believe in Christ. Though some sinners seem to be more friendly to the gospel than others; yet it appears from the conduct of all, that they are naturally and equally unwilling to comply with the terms of life. They do, indeed, make different excuses for slighting the gospel; but it is the same evil heart of unbelief, which leads them to reject the counsel of God against themselves. The three thousand, who were converted on the day of Pentecost, were as heartily opposed to Christ, before their conversion, as any, who imbrued their hands in his blood. Paul persisted in despising and opposing the gospel, until his heart was effectually subdued, by an act of irresistible grace. And all, who are now the friends of Christ, were once his real enemies, and totally unwilling to embrace the offers of
salvation. The elect are no better by nature, than the non-elect; and were they left to themselves, they would finally refuse to be saved, and perish in their sins forever. But yet,
III. God is able, by an act of his power, to make them willing to accept of salvation. Since this is a point of great importance, in the present discourse, I shall endeavor to establish it, by a number of plain and conclusive arguments.
1. God has promised to make those willing to be saved, whom he.has given to Christ. "Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power." The thing here promised is to be performed by the Father, though it seems to be ascribed to the Son. Any divine work may be ascribed to either person in the sacred Trinity. Accordingly we find in Scripture, that the renovation of the heart is sometimes ascribed to the Father, sometimes to the Son, and sometimes to the Holy Ghost. In the text, the Father is speaking, and therefore he must be the person promising to make Christ's people willing, in the day of his power. And this further appears to be the meaning of the text, from the preceding words. "The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool." At another time, God the Father promised to subdue the hearts of sinners, among his own people. "A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you; and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh, and cause you to walk in my statutes." Also by the Prophet Joel, God promised to pour out his spirit, in the last days, upon all flesh, and bring them to a cordial reception of the peculiar blessings of the gospel. Now, can we suppose, that God would thus expressly
promise to make men willing to be saved, unless he were able to bow their wills, by an act of his power? Would it be consistent with his holiness and truth, to promise to subdue the hearts of sinners, at a certain time and in a certain place, if he knew this to be an effect above his power to produce? Unless he had the supreme control over the hearts of men, we may presume, he would never have promised to make his own and his son's enemies willing to be saved, in the day of his power. Hence all his promises to renew the hearts of sinners, are so many proofs of his power to produce this saving change,
2. God has actually softened the hearts of the most hardened and obstinate sinners. As he promised to change the hearts of sinners in Babylon, so he punctually fulfilled his promise. He poured out his spirit upon them, and raised them from spiritual death to spiritual life. He took away their hard and stony hearts, and gave them hearts of flesh. Though they had long repined at the ways of his providence; yet he brought them to a cheerful submission to his soyereignty. Nor was he less faithful to fulfil the promise made to Christ in the text. At the time appointed, which was the day of Pentecost, he laid three thousand of his enemies at his footstool. This the Apostle Peter declares to be a fulfilment of the promise contained in the text and context, which he quotes and explains, on that great occasion. "Therefore Je sus being by the right hand of God exalted, and haying received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this which you now see and hear: For David is not ascended into the heavens: but saith himself, the Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool." When Peter preached to Cornelius and to
those at his house, God poured out his spirit upon them, and "gave them repentance unto life." God opened the heart of Lydia, and made her willing to embrace the gospel preached by Paul. And before this, he made a still more signal display of irresistible grace, in the conversion of Paul himself. He was a blasphemer and persecutor. He determined to resist all means and motives to conversion. And he felt superior to any divine influence. But the King eternal, invisible, and omnipotent, was able to lay him prostrate at the feet of that Jesus, whom he had despised and persecuted. These, and many other instances of conversion, which are recorded in the Bible, demonstrate the power of God to make men willing to be saved.
3. The Scripture represents God, as not only making men willing to be saved, but as making them willing, by an act of his power. Paul speaking of himself and of other christians, who were prepared for heaven, says, "Now he that hath wrought us for the self same thing is God." He inculcates the same sentiment upon the minds of the saints of Ephesus. "That ye may know what is the hope of your calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, and what the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power; which he wrought in Christ Jesus when he raised him from the dead." And in the next chapter he goes on to say, "You hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins. Even when we were dead in sins, hath he quickened us together with Christ. For we are as his work. manship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which he hath foreordained that we should walk in them." In one place he says, "If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed