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to be by efficient power in connexion with his protecting providence. Upon your plan there are two facts wholly unaccounted for: first, that all the individuals who were given to Christ, and only those, are induced at first to submit; and secondly, that every one of them without exception perseveres. Assign any sufficient reason for these facts, and see if the same might not have kept sin out of the universe. You must relinquish your theory respecting the prevention of sin, or give up the doctrine of perseverance; and then there is no certainty that a creature in any world will continue to be holy, oil roo is roo of o so no You say, the conversion and perseverance of the elect were certain because God foresaw them; and they were decreed in the very purpose to bring forward such a system of government and grace with a foreknowledge that the self-determining power would yield, and continue to yield, to the motives; and the promises to Christ and the Church were only engagements to send the means, added to predictions of what the self-determining power would do." This is the explanation of Dr Fitch, put into my own language. And this will explain the apparent contradiction in Dr Taylor's account of the predestination of sin when God was heartily unwilling that it should take place. He believes “that the eternal purposes of God extend to all actual events, sin not excepted.” And yet he says, “I do not believe that sin can be proved to be the necessary means of the greatest good, and that as such God prefers it on the whole to holiness in its stead.—But I do believe—that it may be true that God, all things con.
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sidered, prefers holiness to sin in all instances in which
make these events certain. This theory therefore leaves
the facts as unaccounted for as before.” Secondly, their
only foresees that they will keep themselves, under the influence of motives common to all; then the following facts are wholly unaccounted for; namely, that, as the reward of Christ, God covenanted with him to keep them; that he covenanted with the Church to keep them; that he takes to himself the praise of keeping them by his “power —through faith unto salvation;” and finally, that they all without exception do persevere in a world full of temptations, and while embarrassed by their old habits and remaining sins. I now turn more directly to the great investigation. And in the outset I wish to dispose of a few texts which are thought by our brethren to lie against us. “What could have been done more to my vineyard that I have not done in it?” “The Lord—is long-suffering to us ward, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” “Who will have all men to be saved and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” If the doctrine of divine efficiency is true, these texts ought to be just what they are; and therefore they do not lie against the doctrine, nor of course against the power of God to prevent sin. If we are dependent on God for holiness, and none the less under obligations, then we sustain two relations to God, in a great measure independent of each other; namely, that of recipients of his sanctifying impressions and that of moral agents; in other words, that of beings acted upon and that of beings acting. And if, on the one hand, we are none the less de
* Isai. 5. 4. 1 Tim. 2. 4. 2 Pet. 3. 9.
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pendent for being bound, and, on the other, none the less under obligations for being dependent, then each of these relations is entire without reference to the other. And then a being who acts according to truth, must act towards us as moral agents without reference to our dependence, and towards us as dependent without reference to our obligations; that is, he must speak to us as moral agents as though we were independent, and must speak about us as dependent as though we were clay in the hands of the potter, without powers or obligations. God, as he acts towards the moral agent, is the moral Governour; as he acts towards the dependent subject, is the Sovereign Efficient Cause. In the character of Moral Governour, he has no influence to employ but motives. In the character of Sovereign Efficient Cause, he does nothing but produce sanctifying impressions; in doing which he acts as * Sovereign, except when he produces them as a e ... .s reward or in answer to prayer, or when he withholds them as a punishment, as in the case of judicial blindness. In these instances alone the two departments run into each other. In all other cases they are wholly separate and independent. The Moral Governour fills immeasurably the greater space, because God has inconceivably more to say and do to creatures as bound to obey, than to creatures as merely dependent. And as, in his direct treatment of moral agents, he can express the benevolence of his nature, the Moral Governour, who employs no influence but motives, can sincerely express the kindness of his heart in measures and in language which have no reference to men's dependence, and which any benevolent king or father might employ who could do nothing but make provisions for others and wield motives. It is the Moral Governour alone who says, “What could have been done
more to my vineyard that I have not done in it?” The
meaning is, what provisions could I have made, or what motives could I have urged, more than I have done? But
the Sovereign Efficient Cause says, “The king's heart is
in the hand of the Lord as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.” The Moral Governour says, “The Lord—is long suffering, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” The Sovereign Efficient Cause says, “Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.” Now upon the principle of divine efficiency, and while men are allowed to be none the less bound on that account, such, to comport with truth, must be the language of God to moral agents, for whom he can do nothing but provide privileges, and over whom he has no control but by motives, and by his direct treatment of whom he can express the benevolence of his heart. As such language comports with truth upon the principle of an efficiency which does not impair moral agency, it does not lie against us, but leaves the question of efficiency or no efficiency to be decided by other proofs. We admit that whatever God does by efficiency or permission is intended to promote the highest happiness of the universe, and that this happiness will probably be connected with the highest holiness: and in this sense God is striving, perhaps with all his might, to promote, in his kingdom at large, the rational operations of holiness,