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CONCERNING ELECTION & CALLING.

BROTHER JEWETT: - The third subject which I proposed examining is that of Election & Calling. I connect these together in my examination, not because there is not a distinction between them; but because that though election is the going forth of God in his eternal purpose, and calling is a time act, yet the latter is but a making manifest the individuals embraced in the purpose of election, and is that alone by which the objects of God’s electing love, can be known by us in time. Thus the two are connected together in the Scriptures, as in II Tim.1:9, “Who hath saved us; and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.” Here calling is according to the purpose of God, and is therefore a manifestation of it. So Jude in verse 1, “Sanctified by God the Father, preserved in Jesus Christ, and called.” Thus also the blessing us with all spiritual blessings, is “according as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world;” that is, in Christ Jesus. Eph.1:3,4. Taking the doctrine of election and calling thus in connection, we shall, I think, find them uniting to lead us to the conclusion, that the purpose of God in Election, has to do with both the headships, Christ’s and Adam’s; that the subjects of it were chosen in Christ as a head, and from Adam as a head. But being aware of the ground on which I stand in this discussion, I shall not leave these positions, without bringing forward Scriptural proofs and illustrations, nor perhaps without a passing notice of an opposing sentiment.

The proof that the elect were chosen in Christ, is at hand, “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world.” Eph.1:4. This is not a choosing them into Christ, a taking them out of another head to put them into him as their Head. There was no other headship before him, In all things he has the preeminence; being he, who is before all things, and by whom all things consist, as he is “the head of the body, the church.” Col.1:17,18. But if in that nature, in which we were created in Adam as rational beings, the elect were put into Christ as a head, either in their whole nature or their souls only, it is evident that Adam must have been first viewed as a head, and that Christ was afterward set up as a head of those chosen from the predestined Adam. And I cannot understand the views of many in any other light, than as involving such a degradation of Christ as a head. Thus Watts, in these lines,

“Christ be my first elect, he said,
Then chose our souls in Christ our head,”

implies one of two sentiments either of which I am bound to reject as an error; namely, either that the elect were created without souls in Adam, their souls being created in Christ, and of course that the non-elect are without souls; or else, as before observed, the elect must have been first viewed in their relation to Adam and their souls afterwards transferred by election to the headship of Christ. The election in Christ must have reference to that life, in which the saints eternally existed in him; of which they are born, when born again, and by which they are manifested as his seed and the sons of God.

Christ is spoken of as the elect, the chosen of God, but certainly not as God, and therefore not as having in him that life which is the light of men, as bearing them and carrying them all the days of old, and being their dwelling place in all generations, before the mountains were brought forth, &c. Isa.63:9 & Ps.90:1,2. It is in reference to his being manifested in the flesh, to his humanity that he is spoken of as chosen; it is a part of his being in all things made like unto his brethren, {Heb.2:14,17,} that is as his brethren. The children were partakers of flesh and blood, “he also himself took part of the same,” so as they in their humanity were chosen out of the family of Adam, he in his humanity was “one chosen out of the people.” See Ps.89:19, compared with the following verses to 27. In Isa.4:2, when Christ is called God’s elect, he is called God’s servant, which shows, as does the whole connection, that he is there spoken of in reference to his manifestation in the flesh. See also in connection, Matt.12:15-21. These texts, I think, are frequently quoted and applied to Christ in reference to his Headship; I have so quoted them, and thought it a correct application, until looking at them in reference to this subject, when I saw my mistake.

The other branch of my position; namely, that the elect were chosen from the headship of Adam; that is, out of his posterity, is more opposed by some of our brethren. Elder Parker and others with him contend, that only the elect were created in Adam; of course they suppose, that God in saving a part only of mankind, is only making a distinction between his own good creation and the devil’s progeny. They would thus explain away the Sovereignty of God in election. If there had been this very rational excuse for hiding these things from the wise and prudent and for revealing them unto babes, it is a wonder our Lord had not assigned this reason instead of resolving it altogether into the sovereign pleasure of God, as he did in saying, “Even so Father, for so it seemed good in thy sight.” Matt.11:25,26. One of the proofs, which they would draw from the Scripture in support of their position, is that Adam was made in the likeness of God, or as Paul explains it, “was the figure of him that was to come.” Gen.5:1 & Rom.5:14. Hence they say, that as Christ in being set up had only the elect in him, so Adam in being created in his likeness, must have had only the elect created in him. But Christ was set up with his bride in him, in this respect also Adam was a figure of him, being created with his bride in him; therefore by the same rule by which they come to the other conclusion, Eve must have been the church, the Lamb’s wife! But this theory of theirs is altogether a new one, that a figure or likeness must be the very essence of the thing prefigured. Carry this out through all the types of the former dispensation, and where would it lead us? Aaron in officiating in the priest’s office was a type or figure of Christ, the blood therefore of bullocks and goats, which the presented must, according to this theory, have been the blood of Christ, the holy place, into which he entered, must have been heaven; and the twelve tribes of Israel, whose names he bore on his breast-plate and on his shoulders, must have been the very people represented by Christ. Such ideas of the figures of Scripture, in which natural and earthly things are made to represent spiritual and heavenly things, are preposterous. Adam truly was created in the likeness or as a figure of Christ. 1st. In being created male and female with Eve in him, as Christ was set up with his church and all its gifts and graces in him. 2nd. In being created with a posterity in him, as Christ eternally existed with the elect in him, in that life, of which they are born, as the sons of God. But whilst Adam was thus a figure of Christ, there is this vast difference between them, the one was of the earth, earthy; the other is the Lord from heaven. And so of their distinct posterities, that which is born of the flesh, is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

Again, Elder Parker and those with him, attempt to prove their position, that only the elect were created in Adam, by God’s declaration to the woman, that he would greatly multiply her sorrow and her conception. Though God claims the prerogative to himself alone, to give this multiplied conception, not allowing the serpent any part in it, his words being, “I will greatly multiply,” &c., yet as some writers on that side still persist in ascribing that multiplied conception, somehow, to the Serpent’s influence, though reminded, again and again, that God asserts his own authority in the case, I will propose some queries for their consideration.

First, Did God’s original purpose of peopling the earth include in it the existence of all who have lived or shall live upon it; or did it not? If it did not, is it not manifest that he has changed his purpose, and is therefore a changeable Being; and hence that the doctrine of predestination cannot be maintained? If God’s eternal purpose did include the existence of all who have lived, was his declaration to the woman anything other, than that of carrying out of that purpose? If God did originally purpose the existence of all mankind, did he not in finishing the work of creation in six days, provide for their being brought into existence in the creation of Adam? If you deny this, is it not incumbent on you to show wherein he made such provision? Or will you say that he left his work unfinished? Again, as we have God’s testimony, that Cain, who gave as full evidence, as any have given, of being a seed of the Serpent, came into existence through Adam’s intercourse with Eve, and therefore must have been seminally in the loins of Adam, {Gen.4:1,} if then he was not originally created in Adam, must he not have been either an after production of God, or in some way communicated by the Serpent? In either case, is it not evident, that God did not make of one blood all nations of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and that the Apostle, therefore, bore a wrong testimony in Acts 17:26? In a word, brethren, if you admit the truth of the testimony of Scripture, that the heavens and the earth were finished and all the host of them in six days, and that on the seventh day God ended his work, and in that day rested from all his work which God created and made and that God “hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth,” Gen.2:1-3, and Acts 17:26, must you not give up your notion of the non-elect’s not being created in Adam, and of their not being represented by him in his one offence?

I now proceed to the proof that the elect are chosen out of the posterity of Adam. And 1st, We are told, that “by the disobedience of one man many were made sinners,” and that “by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation;” &c.; further that “by one man sin entered into the world and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” Rom.5:12,18,19. And so death passed, &c., is there not a meaning in this word so? Is it not equivalent to in that way, or by that means; that is, that by the means of sin’s entering by one man, death has passed upon all men, &c.? The Apostle is clearly sustained in this by the history of the affair. God said unto Adam, in consequence of his transgression, “Dust thou art and unto dust shalt thou return.” This together with the whole sentence which God passed upon him {Gen.3:17,19,} has been visited upon all the family of man, excepting Enoch and Elijah. Is it not then a plain revelation of Scripture, that the sentence of death, under which all the generations of men have returned to dust, was passed originally upon Adam? And hence, that as the sentence of death, passed through Adam upon all mankind, and death only passes upon them, because they have sinned, is it not equally a manifest Scripture doctrine, that all the human family were made sinners through Adam’s one offence, and therefore were represented by Adam as a head?

Now, if in the face of the above testimony any will persist in denying, that all on whom the sentence of death has passed, and who were therefore viewed as sinners, were represented by Adam as a head; is it not manifest, that they prefer human speculation to God’s revelation, seeing that they can show no declaration from God that there was any other head, through whom any part of mankind were made sinners and were sentenced to death? Seeing then, that as far as God’s revelation is received as a guide in the matter, it is so conclusively evident, that all who are sinners and who die, came under this condemnation to depravity and death in consequence of their connection with Adam, as a head; and as, from the same revelation, it is so evident, that the elect were chosen to salvation, and therefore were foreknown as sinners; it is clear that the elect are of the posterity of Adam. And further as it is equally evident that some die in their sins, and who therefore are not of the elect, but who as above showed must be of Adam’s posterity, it is demonstrated, that the elect were chosen out of Adam’s posterity; that is, that whilst some who were represented by Adam as a head, were chosen to salvation, others thus represented were passed by and left to die in their sins. That the elect were chosen to salvation, and were therefore viewed as sinners, see II Thes.2:13, “Because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation,” &c., and I Pet.1:2, “Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ.”

In saying that God viewed the subjects of his Election as sinners, I do not wish to be understood as asserting, that the creation and fall of Adam and his posterity, was first in the purpose of God. But I say this, that God in predestinating his people to the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, in the same eternal purpose, predetermined their existence in an earthly nature, and therefore their creation in an earthly and fallible head, and through that head, their being left to fall and to be brought under the power of sin or depravity, that they might be objects of salvation, and through their salvation be delivered from under the law and be raised to the freedom and all the privileges of sons and heirs of God. Which had the precedence in the purpose according to which they are saved, the choice of the individuals who were to be born of God, or the determination to leave Adam and his posterity to become sinners, God has not revealed, and is not important for us to know.

Corresponding with the above proven position, is the uniform revelation of God concerning his election. Thus Christ says to his disciples, John 15:19, “But because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world,” &c. If by the world is here to be understood Adam’s posterity as such, then of course their being chosen out of it shows, that some of that posterity were not chosen. Or make the world here to mean the Jewish nation, or what you please, the disciples being chosen out of this world clearly proves them to have been of it, and some of that world not to be chosen, or not of the elect. Again our Lord, speaking of the destruction of Jerusalem and the Jewish nation, that very people, to whom he said on another occasion, “Behold, your home is left unto you desolate,” Matt.23:38, said, “Except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.” Matt.24:22. So that there was, or still is, an elect to come out of the chaff of that nation, that very chaff which in itself was to be burned with unquenchable fire. Matt.3:12. Hence as an elect is to come out of that valley of dry bones, that nation after being pursued for ages with this unquenchable fire, what other conclusion can we come to, than that the elect and the non-elect are, according to the flesh, all of one blood, of one people? Thus the Apostle in Romans, the 9th & 10th chapters, speaking of those Jews who were going about to establish their own righteousness, and who were cast away, speaks of them as his brethren, his kinsmen according to the flesh, as the seed of Abraham &c., and prays to God for them that they might be saved. Surely the Holy Ghost had never revealed to him anything of that distinction between the elect and non-elect which it is said has been discovered to Elder Parker; namely, that the elect were created of God in Adam, whilst the non-elect are the devil’s progeny or were brought into existence through sin; or he would not so have lamented over the fall of that people. But again Paul instead of wishing to set aside the sovereignty of God in election, delights to hold it forth in its clearest light. He brings forward the strongest possible figure to illustrate it, and to show that the difference between the elect and non-elect, is only what the purpose of God according to election has made. He takes the case of Jacob and Esau, children not only of the same parents, but also of the same birth, and shows that the decision of God concerning them was made before the children had done either good or evil, and before they were born. Again he brings to view, as illustrating this subject, God’s declaration to Moses, saying, “I will have mercy, on whom I will have mercy,” &c. So also Rom.11:5-7, where he shows, that the remnant which were saved, was according to the election of Grace, not according to God’s creation in Adam. And further says, “the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded.” Paul thus makes the whole distinction to rest in the sovereignty of God in election; very different his view from the notion, that the distinction consisted in one part’s being God’s good creation and the other the serpent’s seed.

If we look at the Calling of God, as presented to view in the Scriptures or manifested in experience, we shall find it to be not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, therefore not in the creating us in Adam in the garden. It also shows that God is no respecter of persons, pays no regard to any natural or fleshly distinction. Hence the hope brother Jewett, that you and I have of being called of God; for when we came to see ourselves, we saw no fleshly distinction between us and those who were still indulging in sin, excepting that we felt ourselves more vile and brutish than any man; and that we inherited nothing from Adam, but sin and corruption.

As was Abraham called out from his own country and his kindred, {see Heb.11:8, compared with Acts 7:3,} so are the elect all called by grace; instead of being called to cleave to their father Adam’s house and his portion, they are called to forget their own people and their father’s house. Psa.45:10.

In conclusion, it appears evident that, according to the revelation given in the Scriptures, the elect were chosen in Christ, not in Adam; that the election runs through that life which they derive from Christ, and not through that earthly life which was created in Adam. But that, as for the greater display of the glory of God, in multiplying the enjoyments of this life, by its being communicated to many individuated and crested beings, it was his purpose to create those individuals in an earthly and fallible head Adam; so those individuals {the elect,} were of him chosen to salvation out of the mass of individuals, which he in infinite wisdom and goodness {however it may appear to us} purposed should proceed from his creation in Adam. These chosen individuals were from everlasting foreknown as being manifested in time, as members of Christ’s body, by being born of that life that was set up in him, the head of it, and were thus loved of God from everlasting and preserved in Jesus Christ, not in Adam. Christ’s Bride being thus viewed in him, as the fulness of him, and as formed in her distinct manifestation out of him – not as she was created in her members in Adam – as being spiritually his body, his flesh and his bones {being thus the antitype of Eve,} was without any spot in her, and a chaste virgin. See Eph.1:23, 5:30 & I Cor.12:12; also Song 4:7. Thus the priests under the Law, more fully to typify Christ, might marry only a virgin. Lev.21:7,13,14. But the individuals of Adam’s posterity who were thus predestinated to the adoption of children by Jesus Christ, viewed in their relation to Adam, had to be redeemed and justified from the demands of the law, through Christ’s being made under the law and a curse for them.

I think I have succeeded in showing, that according to Scripture revelation the elect have stood related to two distinct heads; that from the one head, Adam, they have derived nothing but what is common to all mankind; namely, individuality, depravity and death; that from the other head, Christ, they have derived everything, which distinguishes them from others. Until therefore our Western brethren can show us from the same authenticated revelation of God, to the contrary, they surely must be willing to abandon their notion that the distinction between the elect and non-elect, originated or exists in God’s creation in Adam, instead of existing in his everlasting love and sovereign purpose according to election in Christ Jesus.

Yours, &c., S. TROTT.
January, 1844.