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his own children, I will satisfy him as soon as
It is a rule in scripture, to which I believe there never was, nor will be, any exception, that "whom the Lord loveth, he chasteneth, "and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth; "and that if we are without chastisement, then "are we bastards and not sons." He who can see the hand of God, through the course of his life, correcting him for his soul's health, and leading him into crosses, sufferings, and persecutions from the world; that man has the best of all evidence that he is the child of God, and that he is intended to be an heir of salvation. The man who sees and knows this will be thankful for his troubles, and would not be without them for all the world. When God was pleased to chuse the blessed Paul, He did not tell him what inward testimonies of his own election he should feel, nor did he teach him any of the heavenly uses of false doctrine; his promise runs in a different strain; "He is a chosen ves"sel unto me, for I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake." And the same must be the rule with all other 'hristians; the best proof they can have in this world of their final election to glory, is their suffering upon earth for the truth's sake. What
could support the Martyrs of the Christian Church, but this one consideration, that if God called upon them to suffer, he called upon them to be saved, according to that faithful saying, that if we suffer, we shall also reign with him?" But that a man, with blood-guilti ness upon his head, and that of the worst sort, unrepented of, should be an heir of salvation, and find himself in the sure way to heaven, is a dream fit only for a deluded Christian of the last days to believe: if there ever was one person so deluded, the case would make us for ever afraid of this doctrine; whereas history assures us there have been many, and that in this kingdom.
Upon the whole, Christianity is a religion which does not busy itself about decrees never to be knownnor understood; but which believes promises, rejoices in hope, acts with charity and suffers with patience. It does not send a man to heaven by the short soft way of sweet meditation and self-complacency; but it sends him first to Calvary to carry a cross after Jesus Christ; to bear some trying affliction, some burden of sorrow, which God lays upon him; he may then think himself a true child of God, and in the right way to make his calling and election
*See Note 2, p. 25.
NOTE 1.-Page 18.
OR that sense of election which I allow and rejoice in, I have two excellent authorities, Bishop Andrews and Bishop Jeremy Taylor; the former of which has these words in one of the forms of prayer in his daily devotions: "Let
my faith in the Church entitle me to a part in its calling "and election." (Andrews' Devot. p. 36. Bishop Horne's edition,) Bishop Andrews is right in ascribing salvation first to the Church, and from the Church to its members; for thus we are taught to argue from the figure of Noah's ark to be saved by water was a property original to the ark; and salvation was derived from the ark to those who were taken into it: so election belongs first to the Church, the prototype of the ark. Such as were to be saved when the world was drowned were taken into the ark. Such as shall be saved when the world shall be again destroyed are added to the Church. The Church, we grant, may be much degenerated; but so long as it is a Church, the promises of God must remain with it. If its privilege of bringing children to a state of salvation is lost, how and when did it lose it? Time might poffibly produce a leak in the ark, yet certainly none of such consequence as to change its na
ture, and prevent its usefulness. The Christian Church, by reason of its connection with this world, has fallen into many mistakes and irregularities, which piety will lament and correct as far as it can, instead of triumphing in them as an occasion for mockery and insult against God and his institutions. Difficult cases must occur from the commerce between the Church and the world, too great for us to resolve; and we must leave them to the judgment of the great day; as we ought also to leave those mysterious characters, in which we find such a mixture of godliness and prophaneness as to our judgment is utterly unaccountable.
In a prayer to be used on his birth-day, Bishop Taylor speaks thus: "I give thee glory that thy hand sustained " and brought me to the illumination of baptism with thy grace preventing my election, by an artificial neceffity " and holy prevention engaging me to the profeffion and "practises of Christianity." (See Holy Living, p. 316.) I cannot stop without shewing how differently election is spoken of by a great predestinarian, and of what sort his proof is "let it suffice," saith he," that we feel it" but this, we affirm, is the very thing that will not suffice; because our Saviour hath expressly cautioned us against it upon more occasions than one. He commands us to judge their feelings by their fruits; and not as they themselves do, their fruits by their feelings. We have seen how lamentably many have been deceived, and how they have deceived others: but hear how this predestinarian concludes, "and "let them perish with their errors that cast away a doctrine of such heavenly use." (See Bishop Babington's rmon, p 35, in Sir Richard Hill's Apology for Brotherly ove): that is, let them perish who do not receive our lection with its self evidence of feelings, which our Saviour would not admit in favour of himself; "if I bear
witness of myself, my witness is not true."