Part 2 Chapter 6

Section 3—Romans 11:29.

For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.

The gifts of God,such as justification, pardon of sin, adoption, sanctification, and eternal life, flow from his immutable decree of election, as appears from the preceding verse. The calling here spoken of, is that internal, effectual calling, with which God's elect are called according to the purpose and grace of God.Now, since the purpose of God to bestow the gifts of his grace stands firm and sure, and these gifts,when bestowed in calling,are without repentance,and will never be taken away, the final perseverance of these called ones must be certain. And though the apostle is only speaking of the elect of God among the Jews, the argument holds equally good of all others, who have, or for whom God has designed, the same gifts and calling. But to this is excepted,[1] that, This "passage is evidently spoken of those Jews who were then hardened, given up to a spiritual slumber, broken off from their own olive-tree,and in that state of infidelity in which they have continued almost one thousand seven hundred years; and only intimates, that God will, in his good time, receive them again into his favor." But nothing is more evident, than that the apostle is speaking of the Jews in the latter day, and of God's eternal purposes and promises of grace concerning them; which shall be accomplished when the fullness of the Gentiles is come in, towards whom he had gracious designs, for whom he had gifts in reserve, and whom he would call by his grace, in such a manner, as that neither his gifts nor his calling should be repented of, and so all Israel should be saved;and not of that present generation, much less of those Jews who were then hardened, given up to a spiritual slumber, and broken off; for these were the rest that were blinded,and are distinguished from the election that then obtained,and who never were called, nor had any spiritual gifts or saving blessings of grace bestowed on them. The arguments from the three last scriptures are said to need very little answer, as being wholly alien from the purpose, and very impertinent; but, whether they are so or no, the reader must judge. Our author proceeds to consider the arguments which seem to have a greater force in them, taken either from those scriptures which seem plainly, or by just consequence, to assert this doctrine, or else to promise this perseverance of the saints; the vindication of which will be attended to.


[1] Whitby, p. 438: ed. 2.426; Remonstr. Coll. Hag. art. 5:p. 85, 86.

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