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these persons, who rejected and despised his counfel, fhould believe, repent, and be faved, they would have believed, repented, and been made partakers of falvation; for who bath refifted his will?

II. It is intimated from hence, that man does not lie under a difability to believe, repent, and turn to God; and it is afked,

To what purpose did wisdom say to them, who were thus difabled, Turn you at my reproof? Or could fhe, without infulting over the mifery of fallen man, thus laugh at the calamity they never could prevent". To which I reply,

1.

I. That the exhortation, Turn ye at my reproof, is not to repentance and converfion, but to an attendance to the external miniftry of the word. Reproof is the fame with counfel, in ver. 25, 30. where they are joined together, and put for each other, and defign the word preached, which reproves of fin, righteousness and judgment; and it is not turning at, but to this reproof, which is exhorted to; for the words nains lawn, fhould not be render'd, turn ye at, but, to my reproof; fo Arias Montanus, Mercerus, Gejerus, Junius, and Tremellius, read them; and the meaning is, either as the Targum

tur תתכנון למכסנותי ,interprets them

2 Whitby, p. 252.

you

your face to my repro, and not your backs; or as Aben Ezra, tura șe, ie your ears, to bear my rebrory; and do not poll away the fhoulder, or stop your ears. Now it is certain, that man does not lie under a d ability to turn his face and ears to the external minity of the word; though fo depraved are the inclinations and will of man, and fuch a lover is he of Emplicity and fcorning, and fuch an hater of true, blefol, and spiritual knowledge, that be had rather hear an idle ftory told, or the fcriptures burleigula, than an honelt ferious fermon, which is reproving, fearching, and informing.

2. The calamity of the nexons did not arise from a Chablity to do what they were exhorted to, but was owing to a neglect of what they might have done; for they could have attended the minity of the word, observed ordinances, and turged the and ears to the reproof of wudom hated knowledge, and the mean defplied lemons, aughed at treated with the umpit oor monition, counsel and they did cat on the frui and were fed wit ver. 31. there was a

them; they were as a righteous on their m

lamity, and mock when their fear came upon them.

III. This paffage is produced in favour of fufficient grace given to men, to repent, believe, and convert themfelves ", and to prove that God's calls, invitations and mesfages, by his prophets, are fufficient inducements to procure reformation and repentance. To which I answer,

1. It is plain, that the perfons here spoken of, called unto, exhorted and threatned, had not fufficient grace; fince they are reprefented as fools, fcorners, lovers of folly, haters of knowledge; who defpifed the counsel of wisdom, and rejected her reproof.

2. Nor fhould this be concluded from the encouragement that wisdom gives, to turn to her reproof; faying, Behold I will pour out my spirit unto you; fince this is not to be understood of the Holy Ghoft, and of the difpenfation of his extraordinary gifts or faving grace; for when he is promised in either of these fenfes, 'tis expreffed by a different phrase than what is here used; he is promised to be poured out upon, and not as here, unto the fons of men: See Ifa. xliv. 3. Ezek. xxxix. 29. Joel ii. 28. I obferve, that Dr. Whitby, whenever he cites the passage

h Whitby, p. 250, 251.

before

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before us, inadvertently tranfcribes it as though it was read, I will pour out my birit upon you, when it is unto you. By the Spirit, we are to underftand, the mind of wifdom; fo the word mn is used in Prav. xxix. 11. and by pouring it out, a large and full revelation of it to the fons of men, as it is explain'd in the next claufe; I will make known my words unto you.

3. This external revelation of the mind of Chrift, ought not to be called fufficient grace; it is indeed the means of conveying and implanting grace, when it comes not in word only, but with the Holy Ghost and with power; it is not fufficient means of grace to all men; for all men have it not, nor is it fo to all that have it; for to fome, it is the favour of death unto death, whilft it is to others, the favour of life unto life; nor is it of it felf fufficient means to any, without the efficacious grace of God. Hence,

4 Though the calls, invitations and mef fages of God to men by his minifter, may be sometimes (for they are not always, file ficient inducements to procure an external reformation, an outward repeKI VA the people of Nirent, you inele we us fufficient of theter, wor vowel i grace to produce true faint is Certz wate gelical repentance towards Ovi, . *

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fpiritual obedience in life and converfation.

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IV. These words, I have called, and ye refufed, I have ftretched out my hand, and no man regarded, are ufed to prove the refiftibility of the grace of God, and that an irrefiftible power is not neceffary to the converfion of a finner.

But,

1. It ought to be observed, that there is a twofold call; the one is internal, which is by the powerful operations of the Spirit of God on the foul, either with or without the word; which cannot be so refifted, as to be made to ceafe, to become void, and of no effect; the other is external, by the ministry of the word; and may be refifted, rejected and defpifed, and become useless: Now it is of the latter call, and not of the former, that the text fpeaks, and therefore no ways militates against the irresistible, unfrustrablę grace of God in converfion; and in this fenfe are we to understand fome other places of fcripture, as Prov. ii. 3, 4. and ix. 3, 4. Ifa. lxv. 2. Matt. xx. 16,

2. It is faid', that "were fuch an irrefiftible power, neceffary to the converfion of a finner, no man could be converted fooner than he is; becaufe before this irrefiftible action came upon him, he could not be con

* Remonfir. in Coll. Hag. Art. iii, iv. p. 215. 1 lbid. p. 221. and Whitby, p. 260.

verted;

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