Part 2 Chapter 6

Section 6—Romans 11:2.

God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew.

Though the number of God's people, in some ages of the world, is very small, as it was among the Israelites at the time of the apostle's writing this epistle, yet God has not, nor will he cast away, or cast off his people, whom he has foreknown; he may hide his face from them, afflict them in a fatherly way, and not immediately arise for their help; yet he will not cast them out of his affections, nor from his sight, nor out of the hands of his Son, nor out of the covenant of his grace, nor out of his family, or so as that they shall perish eternally: so far from it, that he takes the utmost delight and pleasure in them, gives them the greatest nearness to himself, lays them in his bosom, embraces them in his arms, keeps them as the apple of his eye, holds them by his right hand, and preserves them by his power unto salvation: the reasons of which are, his everlasting love unto them, his unchangeable purposes and promises concerning them, and because they are his jewels, his portion and inheritance: wherefore their final perseverance is certain. But to the argument from hence, it is objected.[1] "That this text cannot relate to any foreknowledge God hath of his elect from all eternity, but only to his foreknowledge and choice of the Jewish nation, before any other nations of the world; and only signifies, that God had not entirely cast off his people, Israel." To which I reply,

1. That it is most reasonable to conclude, that the word proe>gnw, is used in the same sense here, as it is elsewhere in this epistle; particularly in Romans 8:29, 30, where God's foreknowledge is spoken of as antecedent to predestination, vocation, justification, and glorification: and so must relate to God's foreknowledge of his elect from all eternity, and not of the Jewish nation; since all of them are not predestinated, called, justified, and glorified.

2. Though the people of Israel were chosen to be a peculiar people above all people (Deut. 7:6; Amos 3:2), and were known before all the families of the earth:yet they were not all a foreknown people in the special sense; and which is the apostle's sense of the phrase; all were not Israel that were of Israel ( Rom. 9:6). Among that chosen and known people there were a special foreknown people, a remnant, according to the election of grace (Rom.11:5,7); who were the election that obtained when the rest were blinded. And these are the people God had not cast away; for as for the bulk, and body, and majority of that people, God had, or was about to cast them away, as is sufficiently evident from this chapter. And the apostle's single instance of himself, and could he have instanced in seven thousand more, as in the times of Elias, would have been an insufficient proof of God's not having cast away the bulk and body of that people; but is a full and pertinent one, of God's not having cast away his special and foreknown people among them.

3. Though this text relates to the elect of God among the Jews, yet, inasmuch as the same characters belong to the elect of God among others, as that they are his special people, whom he has foreknown,being elect, according to the foreknowledge of God the Father (1 Pet. 1:2); it is equally true of them, as of the elect among the Jews, that God has not, nor will he, cast any of them away. The sense of the words in Romans 8:30, and the argument upon them, have been already considered and vindicated, under the head of ELECTION.


[1] Whitby, p. 445; ed. 2.433.

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