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selfish passions, that he is executing the decrees of God, or fulfilling the prophecies.

God has not made disobedience inevitable :' nor is it inevitable in any particular instance ; that is, no one commits a sin but by his own unconstrained choice ; yet' the condition of man after * the fall of Adam is such, that he cannot turn and prepare himself, by his own natural strength and good works, to faith and calling upon God : wherefore we have no power to do good works, pleasant and acceptable to God, without the grace of God by Christ preventing us, that we may have a good will, and working with us, when 'we have that good will.'? If in this sense disobedience is inevitable without preventing grace, the fall of Adam, and our fall in him, has made it so ; not any act or decree of God.

The argument taken from what we ought to do, to prove what it becomes God to do, has been before answered. We ought to do all that we possibly can, consistently with other known and evident duties, to preserve the life and save the soul of every man on earth : but is God bound to exercise his omnipotence to the utmost, to preserve every man's life, and to save every man's soul It is further asked, 'Is such a decree reconcilable “ with the attributes of justice and mercy?' The answer to this question must be left to the day of judgment; but I must remind the reader of St. Paul's answer to an objection, not wholly dissimilar : “ Why doth he yet find fault i for who “ hath resisted his will ? Nay but, Oman, who “ art thou that repliest against God ?" Is the con

Art, x.

duct of JEHOVAH in casting the wicked into hell reconcilable with the attributes of justice and 'mercy?' If it is, then the decree, that he would do so, cannot be irreconcilable with them. .

It is highly to be desired that they who engage in religious controversy would reverently avoid all language, which even seems to impeach the conduct of God, on the supposition that their own tenets are not true. The words here quoted are indeed inoffensive, compared with many things in writers on each side of this argument; yet even this question implies more than ought to be hinted, or even allowed in our thoughts. Are we so completely infallible as to be authorized to speak a word implying that, if we be mistaken, God is not just, or faithful, or merciful ? On this subject, no tongue can express the irreverence, nay, the blasphemy, which has been uttered, by eager disputers. I am concious that I have no need, nor inclination, to adopt any argument of this kind: but, should I drop one word implying, by fair construction, such a connexion between my sentiments and the honour of the divine perfections, that if the former are erroneous this is exposed to impeachment, or even doubt ; I will promise before God, publicly, with shame, to retract it when pointed out to me. . Whether Calvinism be true or false, God is infinitely wise, righteous, holy, faithful, good, merciful; worthy of all reverence, adoration, love, confidence, honour and obedience, from all ra. tional creatures to all eternity.-It would indeed be a blessed effect of this publication, if it should render Calvinists, as well as their opponents, more reverently cautious what words they use in the

selfish passions, that he is executing the decrees of God, or fulfilling the prophecies.

God has not' made disobedience inevitable :' nor is it inevitable in any particular instance ; that is, no one commits a sin but by his own unconstrained choice ; yet' the condition of man after the fall of Adam is such, that he cannot turn and prepare himself, by his own natural strength and good works, to faith and calling upon God : 'wherefore we have no power to do good works,

pleasant and acceptable to God, without the grace of God by Christ preventing us, that we 'may have a good will, and working with us, when "we have that good will.'? If in this sense disobedience is inevitable without preventing grace, the fall of Adam, and our fall in him, has made it so ; not any act or decree of God.

The argument taken from what we ought to do, to prove what it becomes God to do, has been before answered. We ought to do all that we possibly can, consistently with other known and evident duties, to preserve the life and save the soul of every man on earth : but is God bound to exercise his omnipotence to the utmost, to preserve every man's life, and to save every man's soul It is further asked, “Is such a decree reconcilable

with the attributes of justice and mercy?' The answer to this question must be left to the day of judgment; but I must remind the reader of St. Paul's answer to an objection, not wholly dissimilar : “ Why doth he yet find fault: for who “ hath resisted his will ? Nay but, Oman, who “ art thou that repliest against God?” Is the con

Art, x. .

duct of JEHOVAH in casting the wicked into hell reconcilable with the attributes of justice and 'mercy? If it is, then the decree, that he would do so, cannot be irreconcilable with them.

It is highly to be desired that they who engage in religious controversy would reverently avoid all language, which even seems to impeach the conduct of God, on the supposition that their own tenets are not true. The words here quoted are indeed inoffensive, compared with many things in writers on each side of this argument; yet even this question implies more than ought to be hinted, or even allowed in our thoughts. Are we so completely infallible as to be authorized to speak a word implying that, if we be mistaken, God is not just, or faithful, or merciful ? On this subject, no tongue can express the irreverence, nay, the blasphemy, which has been uttered, by eager disputers. I am concious that I have no need, nor inclination, to adopt any argument of this kind: but, should I drop one word implying, by fair construction, such a connexion between my sentiments and the honour of the divine perfections, that if the former are erroneous this is exposed to impeachment, or even doubt ; I will promise before God, publicly, with shame, to retract it when pointed out to me. . Whether Calvinism be true or false, God is infinitely wise, righteous, holy, faithful, good, merciful; worthy of all reverence, adoration, love, confidence, honour and obedience, from all rational creatures to all eternity. It would indeed be a blessed effect of this publication, if it should render Calvinists, as well as their opponents, more reverently cautious what words they use in the

selfish passions, that he is executing the decrees of God, or fulfilling the prophecies.

God has not' made disobedience inevitable:' nor is it inevitable in any particular instance ; that is, no one commits a sin but by his own unconstrained choice ; yet' the condition of man after the fall of Adam is such, that he cannot turn and prepare himself, by his own natural strength • and good works, to faith and calling upon God : ..wherefore we have no power to do good works,

pleasant and acceptable to God, without the grace of God by Christ preventing us, that we may have a good will, and working with us, when we have that good will.'! If in this sense disobedience is inevitable without preventing grace, the fall of Adam, and our fall in him, has made it so ; not any act or decree of God.

The argument taken from what we ought to do, to prove what it becomes God to do, has been before answered. We ought to do all that we possibly can, consistently with other known and evident duties, to preserve the life and save the soul of every man on earth : but is God bound to exercise his omnipotence to the utmost, to preserve every man's life, and to save every man's soul :It is further asked, “Is such a decree reconcilable * with the attributes of justice and mercy?' The answer to this question must be left to the day of judgment; but I must remind the reader of St. Paul's answer to an objection, not wholly dissimilar : “ Why doth he yet find fault: for who .“ hath resisted his will ? Nay but, Oman, who “ art thou that repliest against God?” Is the con

Art. x. .

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