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head of it, Heb. xii. 22, 23, 24. O refuse not that high calling!
If ye will come away, ye shall enjoy the privileges of this society as members thereof, Eph. ii. 19. Ye shall be inhe. ritors of glory, heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ : not only saved from wrath, but made happy here in the fa. vour of God, and completely blessed in the full enjoyment of God to all eternity,
3. Lastly, Consider who calleth you. It is the voice of a man that ye hear, but the word of the call is the Lord's own word; and therefore I say, “See that ye refuse not him that speaketh,' Heb. xii. 25. Our Lord Jesus has got the grant of the kingdom from the Father; and he minds to raise it up on the ruins of Satan's kingdom, And therefore he comes to the world lying in wickedness, to call out from among them whom he may make partakers of his glory. And therefore I say to you, Arise, for the Master calleth you.' And since it is so, it is evident,
(1.) Ye may come; there is an open door for you, none of you all are excluded, Isa. lv. 1. The fallen angels have not that privilege, and therefore they grudge ye should have it ; and they will do what they can to keep you from the benefit of it. . (2.) Ye shall not be rejected, nor get the door cast in your teeth, John vi. 37. Your being called ensures your 'welcome. Let not unbelief suggest such jealousies, as that it is needless to come now, for ye will not be accepted; for the market of free grace is not yet over, and as long as the call is given you, ye may be sure of welcome. Indeed the day will come, that Christ will cease to call you; and then it will be needless to think of coining: but o come while the door is open! 'Strive to enter in at the strait gate : for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence you are, Luke xiii. 24, 25. . (3.) Lastly, If ye do not come, it is upon your peril, the peril of the Mediator's vengeance. Does he call you, and will ye not come? Nay, you must come under the pain of the King's highest displeasure, Mat. xxii. 7. '
As for you that are called, see that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, being holy in ali manner of life and conversation. .
OF THE BENEFITS OF EFFECTUAL CALLING. Rom. viii. 50.-Whom he called, them he also justified; and
whom he justified, them he also glorified.
TN this and the preceding verse is the golden chain of sal1 vation, consisting of five links. The first two lie out of the sinner's view, till they be brought to light by means of the third. The first is God's foreknowledge, or eternal freelove and favour to some of mankind, laid on them from everlasting. The second is the predestination of these, electing them to everlasting life, and the means leading thereto. The third is the calling of the predestinated, calling thern effectually, which is done in time, of which we have spoke before: There are other two that hang upon this. The fourth is the justification of the called which may imply the whole of the relative change made upon them, both their justification and adoption ; for it is evident from ver. 29. that the apostle has respect to adoption in this chain. The fifth is the glorifying of the justified, which may import the whole of the real change made on the elect, namely, the sanctifying of them here, and glorifying of them hereafter. For what is grace but glory in the bud, and glory but grace brought to perfection and therefore, believers, - with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image froin glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord,' 2 Cor. iii. 18. Thus effectual calling, as it rises from eternal love, so it makes the soul happy here and hereafter.
The text affords this doctrine, viz. Doct. “They that are effectually called do thereby partake
of great and glorious benefits and privileges, both in this life and the life to come.
Here I shall briefly shew, . I. What are those benefits which they who are effectually called partake of in this life.
II. The benefits they partake of in the life to come.
· III. Apply.
I. I shall shew what are those benefits which they that are effectually called partake of in this life.
First, There are three leading benefits which they partake of here.
1. They are all justified. So says the text. As soon as ever the soul answers the call of the gospel, and comes to Christ, the man is brought out of a state of condemnation, and gets his absolviture, Rom. viii. 1. He lives not a moment longer under the black cloud of the curse, but is translated into another climate, where he lives under the sunshine of the blessing. His sins are all pardoned, and he is accepted as a righteous man. He is judged, and he gets the white stone, Rev. si. 17. The law and justice have no more to de. mand of him; the cords of guilt are loosed and thrown away, and he is clothed with a perfect righteousness.
2. They are all adopted children of God, Eph. i. 5. They get not only the white stone, but the new name, the name of sons and daughters to God. They are brought out of the devil's family, and made members of the household of faith ; not servants only, but sons. From the moment they answer the call, new blood runs in their veins; they are of the blood-royal of heaven; Christ's Father is their Father, he is their elder brother; and the Spirit of his son dwells in them, teaching them to cry, Abba, Father. They are of the same household with the excellent of the earth : All ye are brethren; nay, with the saints and angels in heaven; for though the one dwell above, and the other below, they are all but one family, Eph. iii. 15.
3. They are all sanctified, 1 Cor. i. 30. 1 Thess. iv. 7. It is a holy calling, 2 Tim, i. 9. The author of it is holy, the means are holy, and the end and effect of it must needs be holy, As soon as the sinner answers the call, the Spirit of sanctification goes on with the begun work in him, breaks the reigning power of sin, gives it a deadly blow, so that it shall never recover, but languish on, till it quite die out. He adorns him with all saving graces, conforming the sinner to the image of Christ, John i. 16; so that he begins to lead a new life, living to the Lord and his service. The call brings him, like Lazarus, out of the congregation of the dead, and then the remainder of his life is spent in putting off the
thes their elching therith the eats and a
grave-cloths of sin, and acting from a principle of spiritual
Secondly, There are other benefits which accompany or flow from these. For these come not alone, but each of them is the opening of a treasure to the called, the striking up of a fountain, that runs out in many streams, Eph. i. 3. Some of these are mentioned in that question, What are the benefits which in this life do accompany or flow from justification, adoption, and sanctification?' Ans. Assurance of God's love, peace of conscience, joy in the holy Ghost, increase of grace, and perseverance therein to the end.' But who can reckon up all these benefits? For all things are theirs; whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are theirs,' 1 Cor. iii. 21, 22. I shall only at present single out the following.
1. Reconciliation with God, Rom. v. 1. ' Being justified by faith, we have peace with God. When the sinner is effectually called, the real enmity is taken away, and the legal enmity is removed by justification. God and the sinner become friends, and are firmly so in a covenant of peace, having common friends and enemies. Sin being removed and pardoned, the peace follows of course. The war is ended; for the treaty of peace proposed by the ambassadors of peace is complied with. But of this I spoke when treating of Christ's priestly office,
2. Access to God, as children to a Father, Eph. iii. 12. as one friend to another. The war being ended, and peace concluded, the communication betwixt heaven and earth is opened. They may export, thither all their wants, petitions, and requests, being sure that they will be taken off their hands; and import supplies of all kinds necessary, to make them happy, light, life, strength, &c.
3. Freedom from the slavery of sin and Satan, John viii. 32. They that are sanctified by the Spirit, are loosed from the Egyptian bondage, and made the Lord's free-men. Though Satan and sin molest them, and put them hard to it. they shall never get them back again into their former house of bondage. But they shall, like a dog snarling at the horses heels, be bruised under their feet at length, Rom. vi. 20. And the soul shall be more than conqueror.
4. Lastly, A right to eternal life, Rom. viii, 17. Acts xx. VOL. II.
ce. But these their feelinqueror. ... 11. Acts *** 32. They may claim it in their head Christ, and their title is good and sure in him ; for it is a heavenly calling, whereby they are called to the eternal inheritance. And therefore says the apostle, 2 Cor. v. 1. - We know, that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an housé not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.'
ii. I shall shew what benefits they that are effectually called partake of in the life to come. The advantages of effectual calling are great in this life, but they do not stop there. when a man must leave all temporal benefits, which he enjoys any manner of way here in this world, he will enter to the full enjoyment of the benefits coming by his answering the gospel call. These are comprehended in one word, glorification, which will fall in afterwards to be treated of. In a word, at death the converted soul is received into heaven; at the last day his body will be gloriously raised, and both soul and body made perfectly happy for ever, 2 Thess. . 14.
I come now to make some practical improvement of this subject. I USE I. Of information. This doctrine lets us see,
1. That the gospel is the best news that ever was heard in the world, and the most excellent offer that ever was made to poor sinners, Eph. iii. 8. There are many to court the soul; Satan makes his offers, the world its offers, and sin has its offers too. But all that they offer will not tell far, it pe. Tishes in the using, at most it cannot reach beyond this life. But Christ's offer in the gospel is of the best of things here, and the best of all hereafter, that we may enter to the enjoy ment of, when nothing remains 'but the bitter dregs of the offers of sin, Satan, and the world.
2. God deals very liberally and kindly with his people that answer his call. He does not put an empty spoon in their mouths, he sets them not down to bare commons; they get much in hand, and yet far more in hope, Psal. Ixxxiv. 11. Their present possessions are far more valuable than crowns and sceptres in the world; bat what they have a title to, is what eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor has it entered
into the heart of man to conceive. And then all is firm and isure; they can never be shaken out of their privileges, Rom. xi. 29. Heb. xii. 28.
3. Whatever inen lose by complying with and following
and scepresent poss and yet fan