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creed them to be, and actually renders them, incapable of success; inspire them with hopes, which he has made impossible to be realized ; and place before their view profpects of happiness, which he has put it totally out of their power to attain ? “Is not this," demands a late dignitary of our Church, “to represent “ the good God in a very injurious light, as if “ he was not only partial, but exceedingly “ cruel ? We are always taught, that it is our “ duty, our interest, and our happiness, to be “ like God, and to imitate his divine perfec
tions as near as we can. But surely such “ conduct as this, no good man, no honest
man, would choose to imitate, but would « deteft and abhor. How then dare we af“ cribe that conduct to Him, which is so un
worthy of ourselves, and would be such a disgrace to us ¢ ?"
3. Again; he is a God of holiness: an attribute, which one of our old divines represents, “ as his sovereign attribute; as that, " which of all others God doth, and which of 16 all others we should, moft esteemd." In correspondence with this attribute, it is the caution of the wise Son of Sirach, “Say not thou, “ it is through the Lord that I fell away; for
Dean Tucker's Sermon on Rom. ix. 21. . Bishop Andrews; fixth sermon on the Holy Ghost, " thou oughtest not to do the things that he “ hateth: say not thou, he hath caused me to
err; for he hath no need of the finful man." And to the same effect St. James, with divine authority, admonishes us,
“Let no man say “ when he is tempted, I am tempted of God; “ for God tempteth not any man f.” But what is it to represent him, with Calvin, as fitting and preparing men by “crimes for destruc« tion $;" what is it to reprefent him, with Gomar, as "not only predestinating man to “ death, but fo also predeftinating him to sin, “ the only way to death ";" or to describe him with Pifcator, as “ having fo absolutely “and efficaciously determined the will of
every man, that he cannot do more good " than he really does, nor omit more evil than “ he really omits i ;” or to allow with Zanchius, that “the reprobate are bound by the “ ordinance of God under the necessity of fin" ning ";" or to affirm with Beza, that “God “ hath predestinated, not only unto damna“ tion, but also unto the causes of it, whomso“ ever he saw meet?;" or to assert with Zuinglius, that 6 God moveth the robber to kill, " and that he killeth, God forcing him there“ to m;" what is it to affirm with Knox, the Scotch reformer, that “ the wicked are not
e Ecclus. xv. 11, 12. f Jam, i, 13.
& Quia perditum Deus volebat, obftinatio cordis divina fuit ad ruinam præparatio. Calo. Inft. II. iv. 3.
Dubium non eft, quin utraque præparatio ab arcano Dei confilio pendeat. Comm. in Rom. ix. 23.
* “ Gomarus, who faw that his iron was in the fire, be
gan tu tell us, that Episcopius had falfified the tenent of “ reprobation; that no man taught that God absolutely “ decreed to cast man away without lin: but as he did " decree the end, so he did decree the means : that is, as “ be predestinated man to death, fo he predestinated him “ to fin, the only way to death : and so he mended the " question, as tinkers mend kettles, and made it worse " than it was before." Hales's Letters from Dort. G. R.
i Ergo tu fateris iftic ingenue, Deum ab æterno efficaciter absoluteque decreviffe, ne quispiam hominum plus boni faciat, quam reipfa facit, aut plus mali omittat, quam reipfa omittit. Pifcat, ad C. Vorstii amicam Dupl. resp. p. 175. ed. 1618.
* Quia reprobatio immutabilis eft, &c. damus reprobos necessitate peccandi, eoque et pereundi, ex hac Dei ordinatione conftringi : atque ita conftringi, ut nequeant non peccare et perire. Non dubitamus itaque confiteri, ex immutabili reprobatione necessitatem peccandi, et quidem sme resipiscentia ad mortem ufque peccandi, eoque et æternas pænas dandi, reprobis incumbere. Zanchius de Nat. Dei, lib. v. cap. 2. de Prædeft. Op. tom. ii. p. 571.
Respondeo, ordine caufarum, priusquanı illum con. deret, de fine, cujus caufa illum erat conditurus, ac demum de caufis ipsis mediis, per quas ipfos erat ad conftitutum finem adducturus, conftanter et immoto propofito ftatuiffe. Ex quo consequitur recte et vere dici, omnes reprobos factos efle in Adamo fimul eodemque momento, ficut Deus ab æterno conftituerat, non tantum vasa, id eft ho. mines, fed etiam vafa iræ, id eft homines juftæ per medias causas in ipfis reprobis hærentes damnationi, per media quidem contingenter Sequuture, ex decreto Dei autem prorsus neceffario eventuræ, destinatos. Beza de Prædeft. Op. vol. iii. p. 431. Col. i. ed. 1582.
only left by God's suffering, but are com
pelled to sin by his power ";" or to contend with the English Perkins, whose doctrines first called forth the strictures of Arminius, that “ God hath most juftly decreed even the 6 wicked works of the wicked °:"-what is it to represent him, with other predestinarians, as not barely permitting sin, but “
“providentially “ putting persons into such circumstances of s temptation, as shall cause the persons fo
tempted actually to turn aside from the path “ of duty, and to commit sin P;” as working “ all things in all men, even wickedness in the " wicked ;” and to affirm that “all things are « done by the irresistible decree of God, yea, us whatever bad actions, they also are neceffa
* Porro injuftitiam in sese nobis oftendere numen cum nulla ratione poflet, ut quod undique verum, sanctum, bonum natura lit, per creaturam injuftitiæ exemplum produxit, non quali creatura illam fuo marte produxerit, quæ nec eft, nec vivit, nec operatur fine numine, fed quod numen ipsum author eft ejus, quod nobis est injuftitia, illi vero nullatenus est. Zuinglius de Provid. Dei, c. v. tom. i. p. 364. Tigur. 1581.
Movet ergo latronem ad occidendum, innocentem etiam ac imparatum ad mortem. ibid. c. vi. p. 366. Deo impulfure occidit. Ibid.
Heylyn's Quinq. Hift. part ii. c. xvi. • Ibid. part iii. c. Xi. part i. c. v.
Toplady on Predestination, p. 60.
rily done 9;"—but to make God the author of fin ? “ Truth it is," faith one of our excellent Reformers, “ that God tempteth. Al“ mighty God tempteth to our advantage, to “ do us good withal: the devil tempteth to
our everlasting destruction'.". For, as another of them contended, “God is not the 66 cause of fin, nor would not have man to "s fin."
If, however, these be not admitted as the avowed tenets of Calvinists in general, (although it must not be forgotten, that in the opinion, not only of the opposers of the fyftem, but of Calvin himself, and of many of bis moft illustrious followers, they neceffarily make a part of it,) how is this attribute of how liness at harmony with the assertion of Austin, that “God suffers evil, and suffers it not un“ willingly, but willingly e;" and that “he
• Quæcunque in mundo fiunt (tam mala quam bona) ea ex absoluto decreto et speciali præfinitione Dei fiunt. Piscat, ut fup. p. 191.
Et bona opera et mala ex decreto Dei fiunt neceffario. Ibid. p, 219.
Omnia fiunt ex decreto Dei irresistibili, (etiam peccata quæcunque fiunt,) eoque necessario fiunt. Ibid. p. 168. * Latimer's Sermons, vol. i. p. 458.
Bishop Hooper. Preface to the Declaration of the Ten Commandments. August. Enchir. cap. xxix.