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others for ever; but with the former we may arrive at certainty and repose.
- 25. We are again told by the Bishop, that the actions of free agents are only permitted. • The actions of free agents can only be said ' to be permitted by God.' This, as a general assertion, is highly exceptionable. That this is the case as to the fall of Adam, and every ! other human transgression of the divine will, is not doubted : but with what propriety can the general assertion be applied to the good actions of free agents? Are these only 'per• mitted?' Does not the page of inspiration expressly declare, respecting the good result, that “ God worketh in us both to will and to do, of his own good pleasure?”. What is it - less than a perversion and confusion of language, as well as of ideas, to make permitting and working synonymous ? Is it consistent with Christian or scientific moral principles, to suppose that fallen man will do good, if only permitted, or not hindered? We cease to wonder that any writer, though adorned with various knowledge and erudition, holding an opinion like this, should so frequently fall into inconsistencies with himself, as well as with divine truth. Surely the actions of free agents have a cause, an adequate cause, as well as all other effects in the universe; but is there any
adequate cause of good actions beside good principles; or of these, beside divine efficiency? Free will without some cause, and a free will to good, without a good cause, are notions worthy of a bad cause, and of a worse name than I shall permit myself to bestow upon them.
§ 26. His Lordship further avows it as his opinion, that God did appoint the power of believing and obeying to all who hear the gospel ; but did not appoint that the benefits of Christ should be enjoyed by some only. To • send Christ into the world that mankind might be saved, was indeed the eternal
purpose of God; this he decreed from the be
ginning; but, in making this decree, he did • not appoint, that the benefits of Christ's mis'sion should be enjoyed by certain individuals
only, but that they should extend to all who ¢ believed and obeyed; and that every one, to ' whom the gospel should be made known,
should have the power of believing and obey" ing. There was no absolute Election of parti'cular persons who must necessarily be saved,
but a conditional offer of salvation to all.'* In this paragraph, as in several others of the same tendency, there appears to me a singular
* Refut.. p. 244.
mixture of truth and error. I regard it, with his Lordship, as a great TRUTH, that it was the eternal purpose of God to send Christ into the world, that mankind might be saved — and moreover that the benefits of his mission should extend to all who believed and obeyed. It is also a great TRUTH, that every one to whom the gospel should be made known should have the power--that is, the means, the opportunity, the privilege---of believing and obeying, if he pleased; so that the fault is exclusively in himself if he does not believe and obey. But some part of the passage quoted appears to me very remote from “sound speech that cannot be condemned."
• No absolute election of particular persons, who must necessarily be saved, but • a conditional offer of salvation to all.' That there is in the gospel a conditional offer made to all addressed by it, is not the point in dispute,--but whether any perform the condition, without being chosen and disposed, with a peculiar discrimination. According to his Lordship’s theological sentiments, millions of the human race 5 who are of their own nature inclined to evil,” not only can but certainly will perform the required conditions of repentance towards God, and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, without any other assistance but what
is common to all. The degeneracy is alike in all, and the assistance is the same; but one man makes himself to differ from another. Nobody doubts that one man does differ from another, that the penitent differs from the im. penitent, the believing from the unbelieving, the obedient from the disobedient; the question is, whence does the difference originate? This difference is an important good,-but is there any good of which God is not the source? It is granted, again, that believing, repenting, and obeying, are voluntary acts; but is there any ground of certainty and foreknowledge of a good will without preventing grace, or a divine principle imparted from the Father of lights? “ Of his own will begat he us by the word of truth.” To deny particular persons to be the subjects of special grace, and of an Election for this purpose, is to limit the free operation of mercy, and to measure infinite wisdom by our own standard. “Thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself; but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes.” All Election is to benefit the creature; but who shall say to infinite beneficence, “ Hitherto shalt thou go, but no further," when one is favoured beyond his just claims, and when no one has less than his due ?
41-4. That the Prescience of being ordained to eternal life is
founded on our compliance, examined. 55-9. That the idea of a Covenant is inconsistent with the Cal.
vinistic System, examined. § 10, 11. That absolute Decrees reject all Conditions, examined. 12. The same event may be absolutely decreed in one respect, and conditionally in another. § 13 — 15. This exemplified in the mediation of Christ. § 16. Inferential Remarks from the discussion of a Decree, a Covenant,
and a Condition. $ 17. That an Exhortation to walk worthily, is jvconsistent with
certainty of salvation, examined. $ 18-20. The idea of Motive, considered. § 21. Exhortation to diligence an essential part of the motive. $ 22, 23. That an infallible Decree cannot be made sure, examined.
24. The doctrine of Motives recapitulated. $ 25, 26. General conclusions drawn. 27-30. That the Predestination of the 17th Article is God's pur
pose to make a conditional offer of salvation, examined. 317 34. That Calvinistic Election is disclaimed and condemned in the
17th Article, examined, $ 35, 36. That there was no difference between Judas and the other
Apostles, .except Good Works, examined. § 37, 38. That the general terms of God's love, are irreconcilable with his leaving
some to perish, examined. § 39. That Election is not confined to those who will actually be
§ 1. We are again told, that the prescience of our being ordained to eternal life, is founded in our compliance. It being the declared will of God, that none to whom the gospel was 'made known, should obtain eternal life, who
did not believe, and God foreseeing who would * believe, it might be said, that those believed