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cummits against his divine Majesty, he is the author of them all! A schoolboy who would suggest such an absurdity, deserves a severe whipping. So, if I see a banditti plundering my house, I am the procuring cause of the aggression, because forsooth, I mercifully refuse to extirpate them from the face of the earth immediately, for their delinquency! This banditti do not rob my house, because I see them do it; but contrariwise, I see them commit the crime, because they commit it. For instance, suppose I am looking out of my garret window, and see a man stop a woman in the adjoining street, and rob her, am I the primary cause of that crime, because I see it perpetrated ? It is impossible : that man was as frec in committing or not committing that crime, as if I did not see it. Take his free agency away,
and make him a stick, a stone, or an animal machine, and I am culpable to permit him to do injury, when it was in my power to hinder him from doing it. If man is not a free agent, he is not,
nor indeed, cannot be accountable for his actions, and of course not punishable for the same. If I have no more freedom than a stone, I ought not in justice to be punished more than a stone, for any fault, nor rewarded more for any virtue. God, in accommodating himself to our capacities, may express himself as foreknowing, as predestinating, as fore-ordaining, but can any man possessing a grain of common sense, suppose these expressions are to be taken in a literal sense? The apostle speaks of the PURPOSE, COUNSEL, PLAN, and FOREKNOWLEDGE of God; but can any person be so gross in his imagination as to think, that God must have counsel before he can do his own will ?-must purpose a thing, before he can execute it?-must (like men) plan a work, before he can accomplish it? They must have very contemptible ideas of the great Jehovah, who consider him in this point of view. The fact is, God has only to will, and immediately his will is accomplished.
What I conclude, from the whole of St. Paul's sentiments in favour of predestination, is this—that God knows from all eternity, who has believed, does believe, and will believe in the blessed Redeemer. That he does now, will hereafter, and has always willed the same ; namely, that every sincere believer should, and shall be saved from sin here, and the punishment of sin hereafter. And to this end justifies, sanctifies, and glorifies them.
Before I close this complex subject, I would observe, that it is unreasonable as well as unprofitable, to attempt to penetrate into the great mystery of godliness, which angels are unable to fathom. However, if any will thus penetrate, let them always remember the reasonable text, viz. “ LET GOD BE TRUE, AND EVERY MAN A LIAR.” And thus, in all their controversies, speculations, and investigations, 66 JUSTIFY THE WAYS OF GOD TO MAN." A great many professors of religion, bave continually in their mouths “ the electing love of God;" but it
would be well for them to consider, whether that sentiment or mode of expression, honours God as much as " THE UNIVERSAL LOVE OF GOD. I am no enemy to the word election, according to the view I have of its definition, as it relates to political as well as ecclesiastical affairs, For instance, in our republic there are supreme and subordinate officers elected, or selected, or if you please, chosen periodically. And in the Jewish and Christian churches, there were also, from time to time, superior and subordinate patriarchs, prophets, priests and apostles elected or chosen, for particular stations and purposes in the church of Christ; and even angels were elected for the same purpose :-"I charge thee before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality.” 1 Tim. v. 21.
Now although there are officers elected in our republic, every republi.
can must be such from choice; and the same may be said of the commonwealth of our precious Emmanuel. Although he elects or selects his ministers from among his disciples, his disciples must be such from choice, not constraint. How great therefore, must the guilt of those associations be, who will not permit our blessed Saviour thus to choose, or elect his own ministers, in his own way, but infringe his rights, by manufacturing by human ordinances, ministers in a college, chosen out of the synagogue of Satan, full of pride, vanity, and arrogance; and substitute such impostors, for the true ambassadors of the Prince of Peace !
“ Is there not some chosen curse, Some hidden thunder in the stores of heav'n, Red with uncommon wrath, to blast such men ?
The injury they do is unutterable, for they will neither enter heaven them. selves, nor (like the Jewish doctors) let their priest-ridden' admirers and supporters enter there. They usurp