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a thousand, i. e. one Gentile a thousand IF raelites; and two put ten thousand to flight, except their rock bad fold them, and the Lord bad fout them up? ver. 30. They would also have consider'd their own end, or what must befal chem in length of time ; that as God had, cut off and destroy'd his people Israel for their fins, so they might expect the same destruction for iniquities of a like kind. Now since this is the plain and obvious sense of the words, they cannot be used with any propriety in the controversy about the doctrines of diftinguishing grace.
NUMB. VII. Psal. Ixxxi. 13, 14. O that my people had bearkened unto me, and
Israel 'bad walked in my ways: I mould foon bave subdued their enemies, and turned my hand against their adversaries.
HIS passage is produced by the Re
monstrants, to prove the resistibility of the grace of God in conversion “, in favour of the defectibility of the saints, and by a late writer', as irreconcileable with God's decrees of election and reprobation, and the doctrine of particular redemption,
* In Coll. Hag. Art. iii, iv. p. 216, 219. Art. v. p. 15. Ed. Bert. y wbitby, p. 77, 181,2:2.
and as proving that men have a sufficiency of ability to do what God wishes they would do. But let it be consider'd,
I. That admitting the words contain a with and defire of God for the spiritual welfare and conversion of men, such a wish can only be ascribed to him in a figurative fense, as has been observed under the preceding number. Withing cannot be attributed to God in such sense as it is to man, who often wishes for that which is not in his power to perform, and therefore desires it to be done by another ; which cannot be said of God, without impeaching his omnipotence. When God is said to wish for and desire, as we will suppose here, the converfion and obedience of men, ic only implies; that these would be grateful and well pleafing to him; and not that either it is in the power of man to convert themselves, and obey the commands of God, or that it is the determining will of God that every individual of mankind should be converted, and obey his commands in a way acceptable to him ; for 'then every man would be con-. verted and obey : Therefore such a wish, suppose it as universal and extensive as you please, does not militate against the distinguishing grace of God, in chusing, redeeming, and calling some only; since such a
with only declares what God approves of, and not what he determines shall be.
II. The wish for the spiritual welfare of the persons here mention'd, supposing it co be one, is only for the people of Israel, God's professing people, and whom he calls my people, and not all mankind, or every individual son of Adam; as it ought to have been, could it be thought to milicate against the election, redemption, and effectual vocation of some particular persons only; and besides, it will be difficulc to prove chat chese persons spoken of, nocwithstanding all their perverseness
, rebellion and misconduct, were not chosen of God, redeemed by Chrift, and savingly wrought upon by the power of divine grace, and finally saved.
III. The words, if duly examined, will appear not to contain any wish at all, but an hypothesis or fuppofition, being to be read thus ; If my people bad bearken'd unto me, and Israel bad walked in my ways, I should, &c. R. Sol. Jarcbi interprets 15 by x, and R. Aben Ezra by box, and the Septuagint by é ; all which fignify if ; lo the Syriac, Arabic, Etbiopic, Vulgar Latin, Vatablus, Yunius and Tremellius, read the words; therefore, as the · Contra Remon• In Coll. Hag. Art. , iv. po 272.