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personally knowing to the mercies and judgments, which God employed to bring Pharaoh to submission and repentance; and also to the language and conduct of Pharaoh, under the divine warnings, admonitions, and corrections. They stood spectators of the last miracle of justice, by which God fulfilled his threatening to Pharaoh, and cut him off from the earth. And they were so fully persuaded of the benevolence as well as rectitude of the divine conduct, that they most cordially joined with near three millions of people in praising God for the destruction of Pharaoh and his hosts in the merciless waves. “Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the Lord, saying, I will sing unto the Lord: for he hath triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea. Thy right-hand, O Lord, is become glorious in power: thy right-hand, O Lord, hath dashed in pieces the enemy. And in the greatness of thine excellency thou hast overthrown them that rose up against thee: thou sentest forth thy wrath, which consumed them as stubble. Who is like unto thee, O Lord, among the gods; Who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders!” After such a solemn, public, and joyful approbation of God's treatment of Pharaoh, it must be presumption in us to call the justice, or the goodness of God in question.
But still better judges, than the leaders, elders, and tribes of Israel, have approved and applauded the divine conduct towards the hardened and incorrigible king of Egypt; I mean the saints and angels in heaven. They have sung, and will continue to sing, the song of Moses, at the overthrow of Pharaoh. The Apostle John tells us, that he saw not only the seven angels who had the seven last plagues, but also them that had gotten the victory over the beast standing on the sea
of glass, having the harps of God, and singing the song of Moses the servant of God, saying, “Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty, just and true are thy ways, thou king of saints!” There is not a single instance of God's conduct since the creation of the world, which has been more universally and constantly applauded by the best judges of moral beauty and rectitude, than his raising up and destroying the cruel and incorrigible king of Egypt. We must believe, therefore, that the Judge of all the earth did right, in forming and destroying that vessel of wrath.
2. The sovereignty and justice of God allowed him to treat Pharaoh in the manner which has just been described. The Deity had a sovereign right to bring Pharaoh into existence; to give him the powers and faculties of a moral agent; to place him at the head of a kingdom; and to operate upon his heart in the same manner, in which he operated upon the hearts of other men. And when Pharaoh, under such circumstances, became extremely haughty, cruel, malevolent, and obstinate; he had a right, in point of justice, to cut him off from the earth, and send him to endless perdition. In forming Pharaoh, God displayed neither justice, or injustice, but only sovereignty. As the potter is a sovereign in forming his vessels; so God is a sovereign in forming moral agents; and after he has formed moral agents, he has a right to treat them according to their moral characters. If their moral characters are perfect. ly holy, God has a right to make them completely and forever happy: but if their moral characters are perfectly sinful, God has a right to make them completely and forever miserable. God formed Pharaoh a moral agent, and, as a moral agent, he was totally wicked, and deserved to be cast off forever. God, therefore, acted according to strict justice, in dooming him to
eternal destruction. Divine sovereignty was displayed in the formation, and divine justice in the destruction, of Pharaoh; and for the display of these perfections toward that son of perdition, God deserves the appro: bation and praise of all his intelligent creatures.
I have now finished what I proposed to say concerning God's treatment of Pharaoh. If what has been said be true, it will establish some points of serious importance upon a firmer foundation, than that of mere metaphysical arguments.
1. It appears from the divine conduct towards Pha: raoh, that the doctrine of reprobation is true in fact, Pharaoh was a reprobate. God determined from eternity to make him finally miserable. This determination he eventually carried into effect.
He brought him into being; formed him a rational and accountable creature; tried him with mercies and judgments; hardened his heart under both; caused. him to fill up the measure of his iniquity; and finally cut him off by an act of hiş justice. This is all that has ever been understood by reprobation, as the coun: terpart of the doctrine of election. And all this God did with respect to Pharaoh, who, therefore, has every mark of a reprobate. But if God did actually reprobate Pharaoh, we may justly conclude, that he reprobated all others, whom he did not choose to eternal life. This inference the Apostle Paul draws from the fate of Pharaoh, in the ninth of Romans. “For the Scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shiew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth. Thou wilt say unto me, why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will?
Nay but, О man, who art thou that repliest against God? shall the thing formed say unto him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the elay of the same lump to make one vessel unto honor, and another unto dishonor? What, if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much long suffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of his mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory?” The case of Pharaoh is here introduced, to prove and illustrate the doctrine of reprobation, as the counterpart to the doctrine of election. Pharaoh's fate proves, that God has in fact reprobated some of the human race. And God's conduct towards him illustrates his conduct towards all the vessels of wrath, who shall be fitted for destruction, in distinction from his conduct towards all the vessels of mercy, who shall be fitted for salvation. This same Apostle teaches, in various other passages in his writings, that God has reprobated all, whom he has not elected. He says to the Thessalonians, “God has not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ.” Here he supposes, that all, whom God has not appointed to salvation, he has appointed to wrath. Again he says to the Romans, “Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained, and the rest were blinded. According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear, unto this day. And David saith, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap and a stumbling-block, and a recompence unto them. Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not See, and bow down their back alway." His meaning
is, let every thing serve to blind and harden reprobate sinners, and fit them for final destruction. The Apostle Peter represents the doctrine of reprobation in direct contrast with the doctrine of election. He says to christians in general, "Wherefore also it is contained in the Scripture, Behold, 1 lay in Zion a chief cornerstone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. Unto
Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, and a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them that stumble at the word, being disobedient, whereunto also they were appointed.” Our Savior, likewise, in the course of his preaching, taught the doctrine of reprobation in plain and pointed terms. He publicly called Judas before his death, “the son of perdition.” He told some of his obstinate hearers, that he came into the world to save the elect, and to destroy the non-elect. “Jesus said, For judgment I am come into the world: that they which see not might see, and that they which see might be made blind.” And it appears that his miracles and preaching had this effect upon those, who were given up to a reprobate spirit. “But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him; That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed? Therefore they could not believe, because Esaias said again, He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart, that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.” Scripture facts and declarations give us no more room to doubt, whether God has reprobated some, than