Divine Election – Asahel Nettleton

During the revival ministry of Asahel Nettleton (1783-1844) more than 25,000 were converted, principally in the New England area. Nettleton, for one, did not shrink back from proclaiming Divine election. This vignette comes from the book on his life by his friend Bennet Tyler.

A certain individual said to him: “I cannot get along with the doctrine of election.”

“Then,” said Nettleton, “get along without it. You are at liberty to get to heaven the easiest way you can. Whether the doctrine of election is true or not, it is true that you must repent, and believe, and love God. Now, what we tell you is, that such is the wickedness of your heart, that you never will do these things unless God has determined to renew your heart. If you do not believe that your heart is so wicked, make it manifest by complying with the terms of salvation. Why do you stand cavilling with the doctrine of election? Suppose you should prove it to be false, what have you gained? You must repent and believe in Christ after all. Why do you not immediately comply with these terms of the gospel? When you have done this, without the aids of the divine grace, it will be soon enough to oppose the doctrine of election . Until you shall have done this, we shall still believe that the doctrine of election lies at the foundation of all hope in your case.” – Bennet Tyler and Andrew Bonar, The Life and Labours of Asahel Nettleton, p. 405. Reprint, Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1975.

Online Source

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