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Judas among them, whom Chrift might have a special eye to; for he knew from the beginning, who they were that believed not, and who should betray him; that one of those whom he had chofen, was a devil; that he would lofe his usefulness and his place; that he would be an unprofitable wretch, and, at laft, be rejected and defpifed of men. Admitting further, that the true and fincere apoftles of Christ, are here intended; yet this of lofing their favour, is only a fuppofition, which, nil ponit in effe, puts nothing in being, proves no matter of fact, and may be only defigned as a caution to them, to take heed to themfelves, their doctrines and ministry, to which they are advised in many other places; fee Matt. xvi. 6, 12. and xxiv. 4, 5. Luke xxi. 34, 35, 36. though there was no poffibility of their final and total falling away.

II. The favour here fuppofed, that it may be loft, cannot mean the favour of true grace, or true grace it felf, which cannot be loft, being an incorruptible feed; but either gifts, qualifying men to be good and ufeful preachers, which gifts may cease; or the favoury doctrines of the gospel men may depart from, or their feeming favoury converfations they may put away, or that

a John vi. 64, 70.

seeming

feerning favour, zeal.

which they have preache.. 25 be dropped, or their who

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which they may Init for a SET 1017. men may have and in, was meer fr and truly tatted that the Len Iracial and, generally penting, wher cc. lofe their usefulme, never: nose, ruINEved, they become and main proantahi. are defpised and trodden unier. See a cer But thefe inftances are no proofs at 21:11, or true believers, or men once truly 02, may ceafe to be fo.

The fimilitude in which our Lord faith". That a piece of new cloth is not to be put to an old garment, left the rent be made more nor new wine into old bottles, it ise me is burft, no more plainly fuppetes this an the former metaphor of falt; for be in thvar the defign of it is to fhew, thar Cards "young difciples must or profe

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be this, that it would be equally as abfurd for the difciples to faft and be fad, whilst Chrift the bridegroom was with them, as it would be to put new cloth into an old garment, or new wine into old bottles.

Nor does the commination against them, who fhall offend one of Chrift's little ones believing in him, viz. That it were better for bim that a mill-ftone was hanged about his neck, and be caft into the midst of the fea, plainly fuppofe that faints, or true believers, may ceafe to be fo; for the word onavdaλiew, here used, does not fignify an offending of them, fo as to be the occafion of their falling off from the faith to their eternal ruin, but ftands opposed to receiving them, in ver. 5. and is explained by defpifing them, in ver. 10. and at moft, can only mean the laying of an offence, fcandal, or stumblingblock in their way, which might be of bad confequence; confidering their weakness and the wickednefs of men, were it not for the care, power and grace of God, which are concerned for them; and fince the angels, who are their guardians on earth, always behold the face of Chrift's father in beaven, ver. 10. and feeing the fon of man, who alfo is the son of God, is come to fave fuch loft ones, ver. 11. and efpecially fince it is not the will of our father which is in heaven,

d Matt. xviii. 6.

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