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2 PET. i. 1o.

Wherefore the rather, Brethren, give Diligence, to make your Calling and Election fure.

N treating on this Text, I fhall speak to these four Points.

I. What is meant by making our Calling and Election fure.

II. How, or by what Means, they are 'to be made fure.

III. What it is to give all Diligence to make them Jure.

IV. The great Obligations that lie upon all of us to give all Diligence.

I. I begin with the first Point, What it is to make our Calling and Election fure.

And here we must firft enquire what is meant by our Calling and Election: And then what it is to make them fure.

1. As for this Word Calling, it is generally used in the New Teftament, to exprefs that especial Grace and Mercy of God, by which Men are brought to the Belief and Profeffion of Chrift's Religion. That this is the Scripture Notion of Calling, would be easy to fhew, by a particular Enumeration of thofe Texts where this Word is ufed; but I fhall only now mention two or three principal ones, which give Light to this Matter.


Te fee, Brethren, (fays St. Paul) your 1 Cor. 1. Calling, how that not many wife Men after the Flesh, not many Mighty, not many Noble, are called. Where the being called is nothing else but the becoming Chriftians. And the Senfe of the Place is this, That however the rich, the great and worldlywife Men might have the Gospel preached to them, and were invited to the Chriftian Profeffion, yet few of them did receive that Invitation, or were effectually called, it being chiefly the poorer and humbler fort of Men that gave in their Names to


Thus again: I beseech you, that ye walk Eph. 4. 1. worthy of the Vocation (Calling) where

with ye are called. That is, in plain Englife, let your Lives and Converfations be fuitable to that Chriftian Profeffion that God hath honoured you with.

Thus again, St. Paul affirms of all Chriftians, of all that are within the Pale of Tim.1.9. the Church, that they are called with an Heb. 3.1. holy Calling, and that they are Partakers of the heavenly Calling: And lastly, in his Language the Called are thofe that are oppofed to the Infidels, whether they were Jews or Greeks, 1 Cor. i. 24.

We fee by these Paffages, what is the Notion of our Calling; for as for the other Term in my Text, that of Election, whatever that Word may fignify in other Places, yet here it seems to mean the fame Thing, in effect, with Calling. If there be any Difference between them, it is this, that our Calling refpects our being actually brought over to the Belief of Chrift's Religion. Our Election refpects God's Purpofes and Defigns in conferring thofe Privileges upon us long before we were in being. The latter Word expreffes God's eternal Design of Grace and Mercy to us, in putting us into a Condition of Salvation by Jefus Chrift. The former Word expreffes his actual Execution of those Defigns, by actually bringing us in the Courfe of his Providence to the Knowledge and Belief of Chrift Jefus.

This Difference, I fay, we may make between thefe Words, if we will criticife upon them: But ftill, as I faid, in effect, they come to the fame Thing. For whofoever is called of God, is alfo elected of God, in this Senfe of the Word Elect; and hence it is, that all Chriftians, in Opposition to Pagans and Infidels, are called an 1 Pet. 1. g. elect Generation; juft as all the Ifraelites, in Oppofition to the Nations about them, are frequently in the Old Teftament called an elect People.

It is true, there is in Scripture another Notion of the Elect, than what I have now given, viz. where they are taken for thofe that not only enjoy the outward Privileges of the Gofpel, but really walk worthy of them, and fo are actually approved of God. Now to be elect in this Senfe, is fomething more than to be called; and in this Sense it is that our Saviour is to be understood, when he tells us more than once, that many are the Called, but few are the Elect or Matt. 20. Chofen. Which we are not to understand 16. thus, Many are thofe that are called to be Chriftians, but few are thofe that are decreed to be faved; (for tho' this Senfe may be orthodox, yet it doth not at all agree with the Scope of our Saviour's Words) but we are to understand his Speech thus, Many there are that come in at the Call of the Gofpel, and lift themselves among the Number of the Chriftian Profeffors; but few

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few are those that live up to that Profes fion, and fo are accepted and approved of God as worthy Chriftians.

But the being elect in this Senfe, is not the Election that my Text here speaks of. For this Election is already made fure and firm, by the fincere Obedience of the Perfons fo elected: But the Election spoken of in my Text, is fuppofed not yet to be so; but we are exhorted to make it fo. It would be a vain Thing for the Apoftle to bid us give all Diligence to make our Election Sure, if it was already fure without our Dili


II. And thus much of the Notion and Importance of thofe Terms Calling and Election. And from what has been faid concerning them, it will be eafy to gather, in the fecond Place, what it is to make them fure. For fince by our Calling and Election is meant the free Grace and Favour of God in bringing us to the Knowledge and Profeffion of his Gofpel, and owning us for his own People, and as fuch, designing us to Glory and Happiness; the making of thefe fure or firm, muft be the taking Care that we do not receive this Grace of God in vain; but that it may really prove effectual to us, that is to fay, that we may actually obtain the Benefits that were intended us thereby, viz. the everlafting Salvation of our Souls.

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