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I do not believe in the divine ordination of the fall, or the absolute predestination of Sin; this doctrine I reject as unscriptural. Neither do I believe that absolute predestination extends to all trivial things, as the hopping of a sparrow, the moving of a fly, the shaking of a leaf, &c., as some men most zealously assert. I do not, I cannot believe that the motion of a fly is of equal moment with the salvation of the Church; I reject all such speculative notions as degrading to the soul-comforting doctrine of Gospel predestination.
Common things are upheld, governed, and protected by a common providence; but souls predestinated to eternal life, are under a special providence. Hence, the Lord Jesus instructing his disciples, and leading them, as it were, step by step, to look unto, and to rely upon his special providence, argues thus: "Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before (iod ;—not one of them cau fall to the ground without your Father." He then adds. "Are ye not of much more value than many sparrows?" Sparrows then live, move, and have their being from God, and are under his common providence; but the predestinated family of God are under a special providence. God is a "wall of fire round about them and the glory in the midst." Are we to say as much about sparrows? No; "it is not right so to cast away the childrens' bread."
When the king of Syria sent a great host to apprehend and take the prophet Elisha, the servant of the man of God, seeing the host of horses and of chariots, said, "Alas, master, what shall we do? And
he answered, fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them. And Elisha prayed, and said, Lord I pray thee open his eyes that he may see. And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man ; and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire' round about Elisha."-2 KINGS vi, 17. Here we see the special protection of predestinated souls. "Are ye not of much more value than many sparrows?"
Now, as the advocates for the doctrine of God decreeing Sin have refused to give me a hearing, and refused to submit my arguments to the test of scripture; I have ventured to give them a hearing, and have submitted their arguments to the test of scripture. In doing of which I have avoided, in a general way, the expressions of such as have per. sonally opposed me, and have taken the language of those writers upon the subject with whom I have had no personal acquaintance, consequently can have no personal prejudice. For the motive of my writing is not in retaliation to personal abuse, or in defence of my defamed character; but, the exposure of error, and the defence of the truth. And if for this I am reproached, I welcome that reproach; knowing well, that such as are persecuted for righteousness sake, are under the divine promise and blessing!
"Hear the word of the Lord, ye that tremble at his word; Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for my name's sake, said, Let the Lord be glorified: but he shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed."
"Blessed are ye when men shall hate you, and
when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake. Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy; for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in like manner did their fathers unto the prophets."-Is. Ixvi, 5.-LUKE vi, 22, 23.
In the following pages I have stated my objections against the doctrine of the divine and holy ordination of Sin; shewed the sophistry of the principle arguments by which it is defended; pointed out the inconsistency and glaring contradiction of the assertions of its most able abettors; and given my views upon those portions of the sacred word which are brought forward as evidence for the doctrine: I therefore submit my observations to the impartial judgment of the candid christian reader, to whom I honestly confess that I neither believe God to be the author of Sin, the decreer of Sin, the worker of Sin, or the permitter of Sin; but that he forbids Sin, condemns Sin, and punishes for Sin, either in the person of the surety, or the actual transgressor. Upon these points I have delivered my evidence, and discharged my conscience in the fear of the Lord; and if for rejecting the above doctrine I am branded Infidel, I cheerfully submit myself to the upprobrious epithet.
GOD NOT THE AUTHOR OF SIN.
TO attempt to shew that God is not the Author of Sin, may appear to many as needless as to attempt to shew that light is not darkness; that good is not evil; or, that life is not death. It may be questioned whether any can be so absurd as to suppose, much less to say, that God is the author of Sin. But absurd as it may appear, the fact is, that many affirm it, and many more say it in substance though they deny it in word. Men tell us roundly, that—
"Sin is a wise and holy ordination of God." That "He whose single thought at once comprehends eternity's unbounded round ordained its being." "Moral evil exists in consequence of the Divine will.”TUCKER, on Predestination, letter xv, p. 112, 113. And that "God worketh all things in all men, even wickedness in the wicked."-LUTHER, TOPLADY, vol. v. p. 210.
What is this but saying that God is the author of Sin? But upon what authority do men assert that Sin is the ordination of God? Do they produce a thus saith the Lord for their assertion ?-No; at least not one to the point; the assertion is founded upon human reasoning and logical argument, such as the following:
"Sin could not have existence without or contrary to the Divine will, its being must be a consequent of the Sovereign purpose. But here is wisdom! This is power! To ordain this evil and make it subservient to the display of every moral perfection, to which it is in its own nature so opposite and contrary!—If we may be allowed to give a reason for the Divine procedure, I humbly apprehend the ordination of moral evil was to this end, namely, to manifest the divine holiness, righteousness, truth, faithfulness, grace, mercy, justice, wrath, &c., and also to exalt the divine person of the eternal Son, in whose stupendous work of redemption all these perfections shine with unrivalled glory."
And so on the argument proceeds until it is wound up to the following conclusion:
"It is certain, then, that the existence of Sin was the ordination of the divine will," &c.-TUCKER, let. xv, p. 119, 120, 121.
REPLY.-Here we have argument and assertion, but not a single scripture authority to support these assertions; a speaking evidence that the doctrine has no divine testimony to support it. Did ever the Lord say, let there be evil that good may come? Did ever God say let the creatures fall that Christ may redeem? Let them sin that grace may abound? No, the scripture teaches no such doctrine, it is an antichristian tradition. The scripture teaches that Christ was made sin, and given to be sin for his people; but this doctrine teaches that they were first made sin, and given to be sin for Christ; that they were ordained to sin in order that Christ might redeem. Is this, indeed, the glorious basis of redemption? The scriptures do not tell us that God said let us decree evil that holiness, righteousness and grace may be displayed and abound; or that he sunk his creatures.