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NUMB. XXIV. Matt. xi. 21, 23.

Wo unto thee Chorazin, wo unto thee Bethfaida: For if the mighty works which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in fackcloth and afhes. And thou Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, fhall be brought down to bell: For if the mighty works which have been done in thee, bad been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.


HESE words are frequently infifted on, as proving man's ability to repent, believe, and convert himfelf, and that unfruftrable and irrefiftible grace is not neceffary to these things; and that faith, repentance, and converfion are not produced by it. But,

I. Here is no mention made of faith and converfion, only of repentance; and that not fpiritual and evangelical, but external and legal; fuch as was performed in fackcloth and afbes, and by virtue of which, Sodom might have remained unto this day; for though fuch a repentance is not unto

* Remonftr. in Coll. Hag. Art. iii, iv. p. 218. A&a Synod. p. 120, &c. Limborch. 1. 4. c. 13. §. 6. p. 370. Whitby,

p. 173.


eternal falvation, yet it is often attended with temporal bleffings, and is the means of averting temporal judgments, as in the cafe of the Ninevites; and may be where the true grace of God is not; with the want of this Chrift might, as he justly does, upbraid the cities where his mighty works had been done, and the Jews, in Matt. xii. 41. and xxi. 31, 3.2. f which might have been performed by them, though they had no power to repent in a spiritual and evangelie fenfe, to which more is required than the bare performance of miracles. See Lake xvi. 3L

II. Thefe words are to be underfood, as Grotius & obferves, in a popular fente, and exprefs what was probabic, according to an human judgment of things; and the meaning is, that if the inhabitans of Tyrs, Siam, and Sudom, had had the advantages of Chrif's miniftry, and of fecing bu mitecles, as the inhabitants of Chorazin, Bei faida, and Capernaum tad; it looks very likely, or one would be ready to conclude they would have repemed of their fagitious crimes, which brought down the judg ments of God upon them, in fuch a remate able manner; as thele ought to have GODE, particularly of their fin of rejecting the Ner

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siah, ~· notwithstanding all the evidence of miracles, and convictions of their own confciences, and so probably finned the fin against the Holy Ghost. And therefore,

III. The words are an hyperbolical exaggeration of their wickedness; such as those in Ezek. iii. 5, 6, 7. fhewing that they were worse than the Tyrians and Sidonians, who liv'd moft profligate and diffolute lives; than the inhabitants of Sodom, fo famous for their unnatural lufts, yea, than any others; if there were any worse than these under the heavens; and therefore would be punished with the worst of punishments, ver. 22, 24. In much the fame way are we to understand Matt. xii. 4. and xxi. 31, 32. where Christ upbraids the Jews with the want even of an external repentance for their fin of rejecting him, though they had fuch a full proof and demonstration of his being the Meffiah; and therefore were worse than the men of Nineveb, who repented externally at the preaching of Jonah; yea, worse, notwithstanding all their pretended fanctity and righteousness, than the publicans and harlots, who went into the kingdom of God, attended on the outward miniftry of the word, and believed John the Baptift, gave at leaft, an affent to what he faid concerning the Meffiah as


IV. These

NUMB. XXV. Matt. xxiii. 37.

O Jerufalem, Jerufalem, thou that killeft the prophets, and foneft them which are fent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a ben gathereth her chickens under her wings, and would not !

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N and writings of the Arminians, than

is more common is the mouths

this feripture; which they are ready to produce on every occafion, against the doctrines of election and reprobation, particular redemption, and the irresistible power of God in converfion, and in favour of fufficient grace, and of the free-will and power of man, though to very little purpose; as will appear when the following things are ob ferved.

I. That by Jerufalem we are not to understand the city, nor all the inhabitants; but the rulers and governors of it, both civil and ecclefiaftical; especially the great Sanbedrim, which was held in it, to whom best belong the descriptive characters of killing

See Whitby, p. 13, 77, 162, 204, 222, 358. Remonftr. in Coll. Hag. Art. iii, iv. p. 215. Act. & fcript. fynodalia circa Art. iv. p. 64. Curcell. Relig. Chrift. Inftit. 1. 6. c. 6. §. 7. p. 370. & c. 13. §. 5. P. 402. Limborch. 1. 4. c. 13. § 7. P 371. 8 21


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