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VOL. I. SERMON LXXVII. p. 579.
“ The principles of Natural Religion are the foundation of that which is Revealed: and therefore in reason, nothing can be admitted to be a Revelation from God, which plainly contradicts his Essential Perfection : and consequently, if any pretends Divine Revelation for this doctrine, That God hath from all eternity absolutely decreed the eternal ruin of the greatest part of mankind, without any respect to the sins and demerits of men; I am as certain that this doctrine cannot be of God, as I am sure that God is good and just ; because this grates upon the notion that mankind have of goodness and justice. This is that which no good man would do, and therefore cannot be believed of Infinite Goodness: and therefore if an Apostle, or Angel from heaven, teach any doctrine which plainly overthrows the Goodness and Justice of God, let him be accursed. For every man hath greater assurance that God is Good and Just, than he can have of any subtle speculations about Predestination and the Decrees of God.”
The same, Sermon LXXXII. p. 622. .
• The Sovereignty of God doth not consist in a liberty to tempt men to evil, or by any inevitable Decree to necessitate them to sin; or effectually to procure the sins of men, and to punish them for them. For as this would be contrary to the Holiness, and Justice, and Goodness of God; so to the nature of a reasonable creature, who cannot be guilty or deserve punishment, for what it cannot help. And men cannot easily have a blacker thought of God, than to imagine that he hath, from all eternity, carried on a secret design to circumvent the greatest part of men into destruction, and underhand to draw men into a plot against heaven; that by this unworthy practice he may raise a revenue of glory to his Justice. There's no generous and good man, but would spit in that man's face that should charge him with such a design : and if they who are but very drops of goodness, in comparison with God, the infinite ocean of goodness, would take it for such a reproach; shall we attribute that to the best Being in the world, which we would detest and abominate in ourselves ?”
Rom. viii. 28, 29, 30.
“ 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 : 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 : 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.”
My object being to ascertain, whether Predestination as taught by Calvin, be the same with Predestination as taught by St. Paul; the passage which you have now heard read was pur