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principles of religion, and explaining away some of its most important precepts. Thus many in Christendom are called by the outward call of God's word, and yet few of them are in a state of salvation : But not all these that sit under the sound of the gospel, and hear its invitations, are fit to come to sacraments.
That by those who are called, in this saying of our Saviour is meant those that have the gospel offer, and not those who belong to the society of visible saints, is evident beyond all dispute, in Matth. xxii. 14. By the many that are called, are plainly intended the many that are invited to the wedding.... In the foregoing parable, we have an accout of those that from time to time were bidden or CALLED (for the word is the same in the original) verse 3. “ And sent forth his servants to CALL them that were CALLED [καλεσαι τας κεκλημενες,} and they would not come.” This has respect to the Jews, who refused not only savingly to come to Christ, but refused so much as to come into the visible church of Christ. Verse 4. “ Again he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden (or CALLED] Behold, I have prepared my dinner," &c.
Verse 8. “ They which were bidden (or CALLED) were not worthy.” Verse 9. “ Go ye therefore to the high ways, and as many as ye shall find, bid for CALL xalcat:) to the marriage," or nuptial banquet ; representing the preaching of the gospel to the Gentiles ; who upon it came into the king's house, i. e, the visible church, and among them one that had not a wedding garment, who was bound hand and foot, and cast out when the king came : And then at the conclusion, Christ adds this remark, verse 14. « For many are CALLED or bidden [xmator] but few are chosen ;" which must have reference, not only to the man last mentioned, who came into the wedding house, the Christian visible church, without a wedding garment, but to those also mentioned before, who were called, but would not so much as come into the king's house, or join to the visible Christian church. To suppose this saying to have reference only to that one man who came without a wedding garment (representing one that comes into the visible church, but is not a true saint) would be to make the introduction of this aphorism, and its commex ion with what went before, very strange and unintelligible, because then it would be as much as to say thus, “ Multitudes came into the king's house, who were called, and the house was full of guests ; but among them was found one man who was not chosen ; for many are called, but few are chosen."
WHEN the servants of the householder, in the parable of the wheat and tares (Matth xiii.) unexpectedly found tares among the wheat, they said to their master, “ Wilt thou that we go and gather them up? But he said, Nay, lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them ; let both grow together until the harvest.” Which shews the mind of Christ, that we ought not to go about to make a distinction between true saints and apparent in this world, or aim at any such thing as admitting true saints only into the visible church, but ought to let both be together in the church till the day of judgment.
Answ. I. These things in this parable have no manner of reference to introduction into the field, or admission into the visible church, as though no care nor measures should be taken to prevent tares being sown ; or as though the servants who had the charge of the field, would have done well to have taken tares, appearing to be such, and planted them in the field amongst the wheat : No, instead of this, the parable plainly implies the contrary. But the words cited have wholly respect to a CASTING OUT and purging the field, afier the tares had been introduced unawares, and contrary to design, through men's infirmity and Satan's procurement. Concerning purging tares out of the field, or casting men out of the church, there is no difference between me and those whom I oppose in the present controversy : And therefore it they may
is impossible there should be any objection from that which Christ says here concerning this matter, against me, but what is as much of an objection against them ; for we both hold the same thing. It is agreed on all hands, that adult persons, actually admitted to communion of the visible church, however
behave themselves so as to bring their spiritual state into suspicion, yet ought not to be cast out, unless they are obstinate in heresy or scandal ; lest, while we go about to root out the tares, we should root out the wheat also. And it is also agreed on all hands, that when those, représented under the name of tares bring forth such evil fruit, such scandalous and obstinate wickedness, as is plainly and visibly inconsistent with the being of true grace, they ought to be cast out.
And therefore it is impossible that this objection shouļd be any thing to the purpose.
Answ. II. I think this parable, instead of being a just obe jection against the doctrine I maintain, is on the contrary a clear evidence for it,
For (1.) the parable shews plainly, that if any are introduced into the field of the householder, or church of Christ, who prove to be not wheat (i. e. not true saints) they are brought in unawares, or contrary to design ; and that they are what do not properly belong there. If tares are as properly to be 8own in the field, as is the wheat, which must be the case if the Lord's supper be a converting ordinance ; then surely no care ought to be taken to introduce wheat only, and no respect ought to be had more to the qualities of wheat in sowing the field, than the qualities of tares ; nor is there any more impropriety in the tares having a place there, than the wheat : But this surely is altogether inconsistent with the scope of the parable.
(2.) This parable plainly shews, that those who are in the visible church, have all of them at first a visibility, or appearance to human sight of true grace, or of the nature of true saints. For it is observed, tares have this property, that when they first appear, and till the products of the field arrive to some maturity, they have such a resemblance of wheat, that it is next to impossible to distinguish them. Vol. I.
CHRIST himself administered the Lord's supper to Judas, whom he knew at the same time to be gracele88 ; which is a füll evidence, that grace is not in itself a requisite qualification in order to coming to the Lord's supper ; and if it be not requisite in itself, a profession of it cannot be requisite.
Answ. I. It is to me apparent, that Judas was not present at the administration of the Lord's supper. It is true, he was present at the passover, and dipped with Christ in the paschal dish. The three former Evangelists do differ in the order of the account they give of this dipping in the dish. Luke gives an account of it after his account of the Lord's supper, Luke xxü. 21. But Matthew and Mark both give an account of it before. (Matth. xxvi. 23. Mark xiv. 20.) And the like-might be shown in abundance of instances of these three Evangelists differing one from another in the order of their narratives ; one places those things in his history after others, which another places first ; these sacred historians not undertaking to declare precisely the date of every incident, but regarding more the truth of facts, than the order of time. However, in the present case, the nature of the thing speaks for itself, and shews, that Judas's dipping with Christ in the dish, or his hand being with Christ on the table, or receiving a son dipped in the dish, must be in that order wherein Matthew and Mark place it in their history, viz. at the passover, antecedent to the Lord's supper : For there is no such thing in the Lord's supper as dipping of sops, and dipping together in the dish ; but there was such a thing in the passover, where all had their hand together in the dish, and dipt their sops in the bitter sauce. None of these three Evangelists give us any account of the time when Judas went out : But John, who is vastly more particular as to what passed that night, and is every where more exact as to the order of time than the other Evangelists, gives us an account, and is very precise as to the time, riz. that Jesus when he gave him the son, at the same time sent him away, bidding him do quickly what he intended to do ; and accordingly when he had received the sof, he went immediately out. John xiii. 27....30. Now this sop being at the prassover, it is evident he was not present at the Lord's supper which followed. Many of the best expositors are of this opinion, such as Van Mastricht, Dr. Doddridge, and others.
Answ. II. If Judas was there, I deny the consequence.... As I have observed once and again concerning the Lord's dealings with his people under the Old Testament, so under the New the same observation takes place : Christ did not come to judge the secrets of men, nor did ordinarily act in his external dealings with his disciples, and in administration of ordinances, as the Searcher of Hearts ; but rather as the Head of the visible church, proceeding according to what was exhibited in profession and visibility ; herein setting an example to his ministers, who should stand in his place when he was gone, and act in his name in the administration of ordinances. Judas had made the same profession of regard to his master, and of forsaking all for him, as the other disciples : And therefore Christ did not openly renounce him till he himself had destroyed his profession and visibility of saintship, by public scandalous apostasy. Supposing then the presence of Judas at the Lord's supper, this affords no consequence in favor of what I oppose.
Answ. III. If they with whom I have to do in this controversy, are not contented with the answers already given, and think there is a remaining difficulty in this matter lying against my scheme, I will venture to tell them, that the difficul. ty lies full as hard against their own scheme ; and if there be any strength at all in the argument, it is to all intents of the same strength against the need of those qualifications which they themselves suppose to be necessary in order to an approach to the Lord's table, as against those which I think so. For although they do not think renewing saving grace necesa sary, yet they suppose moral seriousness or (as they variously