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God had done for his vineyard, the men of Ifrael and Judah, were of a civil nature, and which regarded their civil conftitution and fettlement as a body politic; fuch as the planting of it in a very fruitful bill, in the land of Canaan, a land flowing with milk and honey; fencing it with good and wholesome laws, which diftinguish'd and kept them separate from other nations, as well as with his almighty power and providence; efpecially at the three yearly festivals, when all their males appeared at Jerufalem; gathering out the ftones, cafting the Heathen out, and driving the Canaanites before them; planting it with the choiceft vine, fuch having fallen in the wilderness, who murmured and rebelled against God; building a tower in it, expreffive of divine protection, and placing a wine press, which may either mean plenty of temporal bleffings, or the prophets, who were placed among them, to ftir up and exhort the people to a regard to the laws of God.
VII. God's looking or expecting that this vineyard should bring forth grapes, is not to be taken properly, but figuratively, after the manner of men; for, from fuch a well form'd government, from fuch an excellent conftitution, from a people enjoying fuch advantages, might it not be reasonably expected that the fruits of common justice and
equity would have appeared? might
VIII. The interrogation ought not to be render'd as it is by our tranflators, What could have been done more to my vineyard? ... nor as Dr. Whitby reads it, What was there "more to do for my vineyard? &c
......fhould fie ftat מה לעשות עוד לכרמי
What is to be done bereafter to my 474, 17
fhall render him the fruits in their seasons : For the queftion must be of the fame nature with the answer; and if it be so, the words are far enough from proving that grace fufficient for converfion, is given to fome who are not converted, or from contradicting the doctrine of unfruftrable grace in converfion.
NUMB. XIV. Ifa. xxx. 15.
For thus faith the Lord, the holy one of Ifrael, in returning and reft fhall ye be fa ved, in quietness and in confidence, shall be your firength; and ye would not.
HESE words are cited in favour of free-will, as proving that men's impotency to that which is good is not owing to any difability by the fall of Adam, but to other caufes acquired by, and not born with them; fuch as evil difpofitions, cuftoms, prejudices, hardness of heart, or blindness wilfully contracted; and therefore irrefiftible and unfruftrable grace is not neceffary to the converfion of a finner: But of what fervice they are in this caufe, will be better understood when the following things are obferved.
dwhitby, p. 261, 262.
to Chrift alone for reft, by placing all confidence in, and deriving all peace and comfort from him, is difagreeable to unregenerate men; which is a proof of the wretched depravity, corruption, and perverfeness of the will. Hence this fcripture, view'd in this light, with Jer. vi. 16, 17. and xiii. 11, 27. and xviii. 12. and xxix. 19. Ezek. xx. 8. Hof. v. 4. ftand on record, as many lafting reproaches to the will of
III. Let this depravity, corruption, perverfenefs and obftinacy of the will proceed from what caufe foever, whether from any thing born with men, or acquired by them; fuch as evil difpofitions, cuftoms, prejudices, hardness and blindness of heart; what elfe can conquer thefe evil difpofitions, break fuch cuftoms, deftroy fuch prejudices, and remove this blindness and hardness of heart, but the almighty power and efficacious grace of God? How neceffary therefore, are the irrefiftible and unfruftrable operations of the Spirit of God to the converfion of fuch finners; when can it be reafonably expected they thould be willing to be faved by Jehovah in his own way, but in the day of his power on their fouls? who must work in them both to will and to do of his good pleafure, if ever the perverfeness of their wills is cured. But, IV. Though,