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VIII. 24. For we are saved by hope : but hope that is seen is not hope : for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for ?
For howsoever we are, for the present, afflicted, and, in our sense, distressed; yet, in assured hope, we are saved; and have already this salvation laid hold of, by the power of our hope : but therefore we must not look for a present discharge and fruition ; for hope is not of things already possessed: no man hopeth for that, which he presently enjoyeth.
VIII. 25. But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.
But our hope is of absent and future things; and, if we do hope for such blessedness to come, then do we with much patience digest the present evils, and wait for the deliverance and glory promised and provided for us.
VIII. 26. Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities : for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
And, howsoever we of ourselves are full of weaknesses, yet we have a strong helper; for the Spirit of God succoureth and relieveth our infirmities: and whereas, we, as of ourselves, know not what to pray for, or how to pray, as we ought, the Spirit of God aids us by his gracious work in us; stirring up our drowsy and dull hearts to make powerful supplications to God, with sighs and groans that cannot be expressed.
VIII. 27. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
And that God, which is the only Searcher of the Heart, finding his own Spirit to send up these prayers and supplications in us, cannot but accept of those holy motions and requests, which are made by the same Spirit, in the hearts of his saints; as knowing, that they proceed not from our natural desires, nor tend to the fulfilling of our own lusts, but are according to his most holy and blessed will.
VIII. 28. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his
purpose. And we well know, that all the miseries and evils, which we are subject unto here below, through the gracious sanctification and improvement of God, work together for the good and benefit of those which love God; which happy issue of their calamities doth not befall them, as out of the efficacy of their own wisdom and providence, but by the good hand of God, who hath effectually called them, and decreed them to glory.
VIII. 29. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
For those whom God did, in his eternal counsel, own for his, out of that corrupt mass of mankind, those did he preappoint and predestinate to be conformable to the image of his Son; both in their holiness and in their patient sufferings: that so, he, being the Son of God by nature, might be the firstborn and ring-leader of many brethren, by adoption and grace.
VIII. 30. Moreover, whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
Moreover, there is a strong and indissoluble chain of mercy and grace in God towards his elect, the links whereof can never be either broken or severed: for those, whom he did predestinate, them also in his due time he effectually calleth ; and those, whom he thus calleth, he also justifieth; and those, whom he justifieth from their sins, he doth also fully, at last, glorify.
VIII. 31. What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
What shall we then say to these things? What shall we need to be disheartened with any sufferings? If God be with us, as he surely is if we be his, who can be against us?
VIII. 32. Tle that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
He, that was so gracious to us, as not to spare his own natural Son, but willingly delivered him up to death for us all ; how can he scant us of any other good thing? How forward must he needs be, to give us freely, together with him who is more than all the rest, all other blessings whatsoever!
VIII. 33. Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth.
Neither can we have reason to doubt of God's everlasting favour to us; for, who should put us out of it? Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect, as to alienate God's love and mercy from them; when it is God himself, that freely justifieth and acquitteth them? Who can accuse, where God cleareth and absolveth them?
VIII. 34. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
Much less can there be any danger of their utter condemnation ; for who is it, that can condemn them? He, that should be their Judge, Christ Jesus, is he, that died for them; yea, rather, which hath triumphed over death for them, being risen again from the dead, for their full Justification ; yea, who now sitteth gloriously at the right hand of God, there making perpetual intercession for us.
VIII. 35. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?
shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword ?
Now, then, let us make a bold challenge both to earth and to hell : Who shall separate us from that firm and everlasting love, wherewith Christ hath embraced us ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or death?
VIII. 36. As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
As it is long since written by the Psalmist, and must be still verified, even of our times, For thy sake we are, all our lives long, exposed to the continual danger of varieties of death; and are pointed out to the shambles, even as sheep are to the slaughter.
VIII. 37. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that lored us.
Nay, howsoever we may be assaulted with all these evils, yet we are more than conquerors over them all, through the mighty power and unspeakable mercy of that God and Saviour, which hath loved us.
VIII. 38, 39. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
For I am fully and unremoveably persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor the very angels themselves whether good or evil, nor the pricipalities and powers of heaven or hell, nor things present, nor tỉings to come, Nor the things above, nor things beneath, nor any other created power whatsoever, shall be able to separate us from that eternal and dear love of God, which he beareth to us in Christ Jesus our Lord.
IX. 1, 2. I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in ту
heart. If I shall say something, that may seem to sound unto the prejudice of my nation, it may perhaps be construed by some, as if I were ill-affected to my countrymen the Jews : but I say the truth in Christ, I lie not; my conscience also bearing me sincere witness, in that whereof I have the attestation of the Holy Ghost, That I am much grieved, and continually afflicted with the sorrow of heart, for the obstinacy and infidelity of my people.
IX. 3. For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh :
For, in the fervour of my zeal to the glory of God in the salvation of my brethren, I could heartily wish to be utterly separated from Christ, on condition, that the Jews, my kinsmen according to the flesh, might be saved.
IX. 4, 5. Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever.
Who are the natural sons of the holy Patriarch Israel, and who have received many and singular privileges from God above all other nations of the earth; to whom pertaineth that peculiar choice which God made of them for his own people, and the dignity and pre-eminence in many tokens of his favour, and the mutual covenants which he made with them, and the honour of the giving of the Law, and the prerogative of his service, and the grace of his promises; Who are lineally descended of the holy Patriarchs; and which are of the same blood, of which, according to the flesh, Christ vouchsafed to come, even the Eternal Son of God, who is the True and Everliving God, blessed for ever.
IX. 6. Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel:
Not as if I meant, that all the nation stands now excluded from salvation, and that their condition were hopeless; as if the word of promise, which God made to the Fathers and their seed, had utterly failed and taken no effect: for, certainly, if it have not held in some of them, yet in others, which are true Israelites indeed, it hath taken happy and sensible effect : for, there is a just distinction to be made, betwixt those of the seed of Israel: all those, which are according to nature the posterity of Israel, are not the true and privileged sons of Israel:
IX. 7. Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham are they all children : but, in Isaac shall thy seed be called.
As, to go higher, neither are all the sons of Abraham children of the promise; for it was said, In Isaac shall thy seed be called : The blessing shall be derived to his seed, and of his issue shall the Messiah come; not of Ishmael's, though proceeding from the same loins of Abraham.
IX. 8. That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.
To speak more plainly, all those, that are the children of these holy Patriarchs, according to the flesh, are not therefore the chosen sons of God: it is not their blood, but their faith, that must make them so: there are some of these selected from the rest, to whom the promise was made, and by whom it was received by faith : those are they, that God makes reckoning of
IX. 9. For this is the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sarah shall hare a son.
And this is the word of promise, which was spoken to Abraham, At this time will I return, and Sarah thy wife shall have a son, even Isaac; so as he only is the promised seed.
IX. 10. And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac;
Neither was this promise made to Sarah only, but even to Rebecca also, the wife of Isaac, having conceived by that one selected person, even our father Isaac;
IX. 11. (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth ;)
For she, having then twins in her womb, even Jacob and Esau, the children being yet unborn, and therefore not having done good or evil, that it might clearly appear there was no respect therein to any works that were done by either of them, but that the decree and purpose of God who had made this choice might stand in force and be effected, not out of the merit of either but out of the will of God who calleth or refuseth whom he pleaseth ; IX. 12. It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the
younger. It was said unto her, in regard of their earthly condition, whereby a spiritual was closely figured, The elder, which is Esau, shall be a servant to the younger, which is Jacob, and the right and privilege of the primogeniture shall be devolved upon the younger son Jacob.
IX. 13. As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.
As it is written, Jacob and his posterity have I so loved, that I have purposed many blessings unto them, and accordingly will bestow the same blessings upon them; but Esau have I so far disregarded, as to pass over both him and his posterity.
IX. 14. What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid.
What shall we say then to this? or what use or construction shall we make of this purpose and proceedings of God? Is there unrighteousness with God, in this, seemingly unequal, distribution of his blessings? God forbid.
IX. 15. For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.
For he saith to Moses, I stand not upon works or merits, that should draw my mercy and pity either way; but my own most holy will is the ground of all the gracious and saving courses that I take with men. I will have mercy, on whom I will have mercy, not on those that deserve it; and I will have compassion, on whom I will have compassion : my only will