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Friend. Why then all men must do just what they do. Pred. True, * “ It is impossible that any thing should ever be done, but that to which God impels the will of 66 man."
Friend. But does not this imply the necessity of all events ?
Pred. +“ I will not scruple to own that the will of “God lays a necessity on all things, and that every thing “ that he wills, necessarily comes to pass.
Friend. Does sin 'then necessarily come to pass ? - Pred. Undoubtedly. "For " The almighty power of “God extends itself to the first fall, and all other sins of “ angels and men."
Friend. I grant God foresaw the first man would fall. Pred. Nay, ll.“ God not only foresaw that Adam would
fall, but also ordained that he should." .7 Friend. I know God permitted Adam's fall.
Pred. I tell you, 5" He fell not only by the permission, 66 but also by the appointment of God. T He sinned, be“cause God so ordained, because the Lord saw good." 3*
Friend. But do not those who differ from you, 'raise many objections against you as to this point.
Pred. Yes. ** “ Those poisonous dogs vomit out many “ things against God. 2.4+ They deny' that 'the Scripture “ says, God decreed Adam's fall. They say, He might “ have chose either to fall or not, and that God fore“ ordained only to treat him according to his desert. As “ if God had created the noblest of all his creatures, with“ out fore-ordaining what should become of him!'! :)
Friend. Did God then make Adam on purpose that he might fall
Pred. Undoubtedly. #1,6 God made Adam and Eve
* Dr. Twiss, Vindiciæ. Pars III, p. 19. + Calvin's Irist. b. 3. c. 24. sect. 8. | Assembly's Catechism, ç. 5. || Calvin's Inst. b. 3. C. 23., sect. 7. Calvin Responsio ad Calumpias Nebulonis cujusdam ad Articulum primum. q Calv. Inst. b. 3. c. 24. sect. 8.
** Ibid. b. 3. c. 83. sect. 2. tt Ibid. sect. 7. If Piscator Disput. Prædest. præf. p. 6.
“ to this very purposes that they might be tempted and led “ into sin. And by force of his decree, it could not other
wise be but they must sin.' Friend. But do not you ground God's decree on God's fore-knowledge rather than his will? :)
Pred. No. *God foresees nothing but what he has " decreed, and his decree precedes his knowledge.”.
Friend, ; Well, this may be truly termed 4 horrible decree.
Pred. "I confess it is a horrible decree: yet no one “can deny, but God foreknew Adam's fall, and therefore
knew it, because he had ordained it so by his own “ decree."
Friend. Do you believe then that God bas by his own positive decree, not only elected some men to life, but also reprobated all the rest?
Pred. Most surely, if I believe one, I believe the other. H“ Many ingleed (thinking to excuse God) own election, " and yet deny reprobation : but this is quite silly and « childish. For without reprobation, election itself cannot stand; whom God passes by, those he reprobates."
Friend. Pray, explain what you mean by election and reprobation,
Pred. With all my heart. 11114 All men are not created for the same end; but some are fore-ordained to eternal « life; others to eternal damnation. So according as every « man was created for the one end or the other, we say he " was elected or predestinated to life, or reprobated, ise: predestinated to destruction." Friend. Pray repeat your meaning.
Pred. 8“ God hath once for all appointed by an eternal 4 and unchangeable decree, to whom he would give sal“ vation, and whom he would devote to destruction."
Friend. Did God make any man on purpose that he might be damned ?
* Pişcat. Disput. Prædest. + Calv. Inst. b. 3. c. 23. sect. 7.
1. || Ibid. c. 21. sect. 1. $ Ibid. sect, 7.
Pred. Did I not tell you before?
*« God's first con"stitution was, that some should be destined to eternal “ ruin; and to this end their sins were ordained, and denial 6 of grace in order to their sins.”
Friend. But is not God's predestinating men to life or death grounded on his fore-knowledge?
Pred. +“ So the vulgar think; that God as he foresees every man will deserve, elects them to life, or devotes " them to death and damnation."
Friend. And do not you think that reprobation, at least, is grounded on God's fore-knowing men's sins ?
Pred. No indeed. “ God of his own good pleasure “ ordains that many should be born, who are from the “ womb devoted to inevitable damnation. If any man “ pretend that God's fore-knowledge lays them under no
necessity of being damned, but rather that he decreed
their damnation, because he foreknew their wickedness; “ I grant that God's fore-knowledge alone lays no neces“sity on the creature ; but eternal life and death depend
on the will rather than the fore-knowledge of God. If “ God only forė-knew all things that relate to all men, 66 and did not decree and ordain them also, then it might “ be inquired whether or not his fore-knowledge neces6 sitates the thing fore-known. But seeing he therefore “fore-knows all things that will come to pass, because he 6 has decreed they shall come to pass, it is vain to con66 tend about fore-knowledge, since it is plain all things
come to pass by God's positive decree.".
Friend. But if God has positively decreed to damn the greater part of mankind, why does he call upon them to repent and be saved :
Pred. “ As God has his effectual call, whereby he “ gives the elect the salvation to which he ordained them;
so he has his judgments towards the reprobates, whereby
* Zanchius de Natura Dei. p. 553, 554.
+ Calvin Inst. b. 8. c. 22. sect. 1. | Ibid. c. 23, sect. 6. || Ibid. c. 24. sect. 19, VOL. XIV.
“ he executes his decree concerning them. « therefore, as he created to live miserably, and then “perish everlastingly; these, that they may be brought to 6 the end for which they were created, he sometimes de.
prives of the possibility of hearing the word, and at “ other times, by the preaching thereof, blinds and stupifies 66 them the more.' Friend. How is this?
How is this? I say, if God has created them for never-ending death, why does he call to them to turn and live?
Pred. *« He calls to them, that they may be more « deaf; he kindles a light, that they may be the more “blind; he brings his doctrine to them, that they may be
more ignorant; and applies the remedy to them, that " they may not be healed.”
Friend. Enough, enough. Yet you do not make God the author of sin ?
Pred. No, certainly. +“God cannot be termed the “ author of sin, though he is the cause of those actions « which are sins."
Friend. How is he the cause of them then ?
'Pred. Two ways; first, by his eternal, unchangeable decree: secondly, by his present, irresistible power.
Friend. Did God then fore-or dain the sins of any man?
ci sub - 'Pred. I“ Both the reprobates and the eleet were fore. Kordained to Sin, as Sin, that the glory of God might be “ declared thereby. The reprobates, more especially, « who were predestinated to damnation, and the causes of w danimation, and created to that end that they might live “ wickedly, and be vessels full of the dregs of sin.” " Friend. But surely the sins of the elect' were not foreordained?
* Calvin Inst. b. 3. c. 24. sect. 13. + Petri Martyris Vermili Com. in Roman. p. 413. Zanchius de Nat. Dei. p. 555. # Piscator contra Tanffium. p. 47.
Pred. Yes, but they were. * 6 For we neither can do
more good than we do, nor less evil than we do; because 6 God from eternity has 'precisely decreed that both the “good and the evil should be so done."
Friend. I understand you, as 'to God's decreeing sin. But how is his irresistible power now concerned in the sins
of men ?
Pred. + "God is the author of that action, which is “ sinful, by his irresistible will ?"
Friend. How do you mean?
supplies wicked men with opportunities of sinning, and " inclines their hearts thereto. He blinds, deceives, and “ seduces them. He by his working on their heart, bends " and stirs them up to do evil. And thus, Thieves, mur“ derers, and other malefactors are God's instruments, 66 which he uses to execute what he hath decreed in him66 self.”
Friend. Do you not then charge God himself with sin ?
Pred. No. 15 God necessitates them only to the act 66 of sin, not to the deformity of sin. Besides. ** When “ God makes angels or men sin, he does not sin himself, 66 because he does not break any law. For God is under
no law, and therefore cannot sin.” Friend. But how does God make angels or men sin ? Pred. tt
66 The devil and wicked men are so held in on “every side by the hand of God that they cannot conceive,
or contrive, or execute any mischief, any farther than 6 God himself doth not only permit, but command. Nor
are they only held in fetters, but compelled also as with “a bridle, to perform obedience to those commands."
Friend. This is true Turkish doctrine, and ought so to
* Piscatoris Responsio ad amicam duplicationem Conradi Vorstii, p. 176. + Dr. Twiss. pars III. p. 21. | Piscat. Responsio ad Apologiam Bertii. # Pet. Martyr. Ver. Comment. in Rom. p. 36, 413. Calv. Inst. b. . c. 17. sect. 5. Twiss Vindiciæ, pars III. p. 22. ** Zuinglius i Serm. de Provid. c. 5, 6. tt Calv. Inst. b. 1. c. 17. sect. 11.
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