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The Doctrine of Election.

The Doctrine of Election.

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
JOHN BUDD PITKIN


Romans ix. 14—24
JOHN BUDD PITKIN


Romans ix. 14—24

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Jul 03, 2013
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07/03/2013

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THE DOCTRIE OP ELECTIO.JOH BUDD PITKIRomans ix. 14—24. « What shall we say then ? Is there un-righteousness with God ? God forbid. For he saith fb Moses, Iwill have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will havecompassion on whom I will have compassion. So then it is notof him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that show-eth mercy. For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for thissame purpose have I raised thee up, that I might show my powerin thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all theearth. Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy,and whom he will he hardeneth. Thou wilt say then unto me,Why doth he yet find fault ? For who hath resisted his will ?ay, hut O man, who art thou that repliest against God ? Shallthe thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou mademe thus ? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the samelump to make one vessel unto honor and another unto dishonor ?What if God, willing to show his wrath, and to make his powerknown, endured with much long suffering the vessels of wrathfitted to destruction, and that he might make known the richesof glory on the vessels of mercy which he had afore prepared un-to glory, even us whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, butalso of the Gentiles ?'Perhaps no portion of the holy scriptures has beenperverted to a more unholy use than that contained inthe words I have just read. The expressions of Paulin the text and context, have been eagerly seized andlaid down to form a base on which to rear a theologicalhypothesis of partial, restricted mercy, and infinite, in-exorable wrath. They have been used as a pedestal200 SERMO IX.to support a giant system whose influence has beenfelt through all Christendom, and whose energies havebeen employed in surrounding the throne of Omnipo-tence with horror, and the lot of man with woe and de-spair. I mean the system of sovereign, partial electionand endless reprobation.To this system, I frankly confess myself utterly op-
 
posed; and as I would confront its abettors at thethreshold of their own arguments, I have taken hold of a passage of sacred writ which they suppose to be atthe foundation of their creed, and I trust I shall beable to wrest from them what they have used as a mainprop of their faith, and present it as the plain supportof the doctrine of sovereign mercy manifesting its truecharacter in effecting the salvation of mankind. I wishto preface my examination of the wide and importantsubject laid before me in my text, by this single re-mark. I have no intention to inflict a wound on thefeelings of any sincere Christian in this assembly, of whatever order he may be a member. I know menare prone to think themselves the objects of animad-version, when only their opinions are attacked ; andyet it is very illiberal thus to think. I can conceive aperson may be a great enemy to some of my doctrines,and yet a sincere friend to me. Opinions when laidbefore the public, become public property, which everymember of the community ought to be allowed to ex-amine without censure. It is not with men but withtheir principles that we have to do. An error in faithis not necessarily productive of error in practice. ItsSERMO IX. 20 1pernicious influence may be modified and counteractedby opposing influences resulting from sound principlesbeing combined with it. A man's character is not tobe decided upon by some peculiar sentiments he adopts.I have known many very good people who were ex-ceedingly tenacious of some gross tenets of religiousfaith. I have known, on the other hand, some badpeople advance sound opinions. I am conscious of teaching many truths, but I do not claim on that ac-count to be esteemed a true Christian. o ; my fel-low-men are to form their judgments concerning thedoctrines I inculcate from the consistency or want pf consistency with reason and scripture, which those doc-trines exhibit, and not from the tenor of my conduct 5and they are to read my worth or want of worth not inmy doctrines, but in my life. What I would that oth-ers should do to me in this respect, I do to them. Imeasure my estimation of my fellow-men not fromwhat truths or errors I judge they hold, but from the
 
spirit they manifest, from the lives they lead ; not fromwhat peculiar dogmas they profess to believe, butfrom what actions they perform. Split up into varioussects and sentiments as Christendom is, Christian min-isters of all denominations cannot too frequently urgetheir hearers to the practice of mutual forbearance andcharity. It is the easiest thing in the world for a re-ligious teacher to spread among his adherents embit-tered feeling towards the professors of sentiments at va-riance with theirs, and thus to scatter the wild-fires of dissension and animosity among mankind, and kindle17*rt202 SERMO IX.flames of malevolence and persecution. But, O myGod, I know not what condemnation teachers who dothus, art bringing on their own souls as well as thoseof their hearers.I do entreat of you, my dear Christian friends, of whatever order you may be, not to construe any thingI shall utter in this discourse, as proceeding from per-sonal disrespect or a want of Christian charity. Youtake the liberty of advancing objections to our views,we do not blame you for this ; nor should you censureus for making our objections against your sentiments.I should have but a poor opinion of you were you towithhold what you believe to be important truth ; and Ishould have a poor opinion of myself, and you oughtto have a poor opinion of me, should I, as a Christianminister, keep back from a frank and honest avowal of those views of Christian doctrine which I entertain.Having thus striven to guard my own breast and thebreasts of my hearers against those unkind and illiberalfeelings which discussions of controverted religious te-nets are but too apt to arouse, I solicit your attention,my friendly hearers, to an humble illustration of the im-port of my text. Its manifest doctrine is this, that

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