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Tremellius ; and neither the one nor the ac ther regard the spiritual, but temporal wel. fare of God's people Ifrael; nor do they contain a with for that, but a declaration, or an asseveration of it, on condition of their obedience to God's commands. The pasfage in Hof. xi. 8. which is sometimes joined with this, is an human way of speaking, as R. Aben Ezra on the place, observes; and expresses God's compassionate concern for the temporal welfare of Ephraim and IJrael, and not transports of affection, and desire after the spiritual welfare of any, much less of all mankind.
NUMB. VIII. Psal. cxxv. 3. For the rod of the wicked shall not rest upon
the lot of the righteous, left the righteous put forth their hands unto iniquity.
HESE words are made use of a to
saints, or true believers, or men once truly good, may cease to Þe fo; for ’tis faid, that they seem plainly to insinuate, that great and long oppressions might have this effect upon them, and surely that which God is thus careful to prevent, might possibly befal the righteous;
Whitby, f• 436.
there being no need of care to prevent that which he hath absolutely engaged to preserve them from ”; strange ! seeing,
1. The doctrine of the saints final perseverance is so plainly intimated in the two preceding verses of this psalm ; They that trust in the Lord shall be as mount Zion, which cannot be removed, but abideth for ever. As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the Lord is round about his people, from henceforth even for ever. If they that trust in the Lord, who are saints, true believers, men truly good, are as mount Zion; then they cannot be removed, neither from the heart of God, nor out of the hands of Christ, but will abide there for ever, and consequently cannot cease to be what they are. If, as the mountains are sound about Jerusalem ; so the Lord is round about the same persons before described, who are his people, and that even for ever ; how is it possible that they thould ever perich?
II. These words are strictly connected with the former, and express a certain effect that should surely follow from the fafe state and happy situation of such who trust in the Lord; 'n for, or because it is fo and so with chem; therefore the rod of the wicked, the fyrannical government, oppressions and per
secutions of wicked men, to which the saints are often subject, mall not reft, always continue and abide, upon the lot, not the back, as Dr. Whitby cites the words, of the righteous, meaning either their persons or their goods, left the righteous, who are made so by the righteousness of Christ, put forth their hands unto iniquity, h. e. left, through the oppressions of wicked men, the instigation of Satan and their own hearts, they should be moved to that which would dishonour God, bring a reproach on his ways, and wound their own souls; all which they may do, and yet not cease to be saints, true believers, truly good men ; as the instances of David, Peter, and others, fully make appear. The righteous may put forth their hands unto iniquity, and fall into great fins, and yet not totally fall away, or so fall as to be lost and perish ; total apofacy is not intended by putting forth their hands unto iniquity.
III. 'Tis stranger still, that the care of God to prevent the righteous putting forth their hands unto iniquicy, should be improved into an argument against their perseverance, and in favour of their apostacy. It will be readily allow'd, that what God is thus careful to prevent, even suppose a to tal apostacy was meant, might possibly befal the righteous, should they be left to
NUMB. IX. Psal. cxlv. 9. Tbe Lord is good to all ; and bis tender mer
cies are over all bis works.
HE doctrines of election and repro
bation, and of particular redemption, are represented as contrary to the general mercy and goodness of God expressed
in this passage: With a view to these doctrines 'uis alkd by one writer, “Why is it said, that bis tender mercies are over all bis works, if they are so restrained from his most noble creatures? and it is observed by another, « That it should not be said, His tender mercies are over all bis works; but his cruelties are over all his works". To which I reply,
1. That the said doctrines do not restrain the tender mercies of God in a providentia! way, of which this text only speaks, as will be shewn hereafter, from any of his creatures; no, not even from the non-elect, or those who have no share in the special grace and favour of God, and who are not eventually saved; though these should not be reckon'd God's a most noble creatures ; for sure
o Whitby, p. 159.
Curcellaei Relig. Christ, loftit. 1. 6. c.6. I. 8. p. 270.