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but their destruction is not spoken of as his chief endhe has made them, among other things, for himself, that is, for his own glory. The greatness and holiness of God will be more displayed by having such characters, and by having them punished for their sins, than to have had no such characters, and to have had no such pun ishment.

The destruction of the wicked is not only, not God's chief end; but it is not in any sense an ultimate end, The holiness and the blessedness of the righteous are an ultimate end. The Lord rejoices over his redeemed church with joy, and rests in his love. He delights in his people, and he delights in their blessedness. He has promised that all things shall work together for their good. God does not, in the same sense, delight in the destruction of the wicked. As I live saith the Lord, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, Ezek. xxxiii. 11. The doctrine of reprobation does not suppose, that God made the wicked "on purpose for destruction," nor that this was the ultimate end of their existence; because this would imply that their destruction is looked upon by the Divine Being as a good in itself, and chosen for its own sake, whereas nothing is wider from the truth. Pharaoh is a striking example of the doctrine of reprobation; but it is not intimated, that his Creator made him on purpose to destroy him, or that his destruction was the ultimate end of his existence. The representation is, that he was made on purpose to be the means of a more extensive display of divine glory. "For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might show my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth." Rom. ix. 17. The same kind of reason is giv en in the 22nd verse for the reprobation of all that die in their sins, viz. that God might show his wrath, (his holy opposition to sinners) and to make his power known, (i. e. his power to punish rebels, and thus maintain the government of the universe.)

Under the article of reprobation, I shall make some reply to a perversion of my sentiments, which our author has made by means of an imperfect quotation from the Sermons on this point. "It is not," say you," aṣe

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signing a sufficient reason for their reprobation, to say, they were wicked, and would not accept of mercy.' Now sir, either you, or Jesus Christ and the apostle Paul, are mistaken. Paul saith, "The wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience, because of their wickedness." You say, This is not a sufficient reason, Paul saith," &c. p. 112. After continuing this subject for a little while he demands, "Are then Dr. Hopkins and yourself wiser than Jesus Christ, and his servant Paul!" Did the author of the Letters understand me to say, that something besides wickedness was the guilty cause of the destruction of the wicked? Or to say, that their wickedness was not a sufficient reason of their deserving punishment? That the reader may have opportunity to judge concerning the correctness of the sentiment which Mr. B. thinks so opposite to the sentiments of Paul and of Christ, I will quote the whole sentence, a part of which is quoted in the Letters. Here follows the whole sentence : "It is not assigning a sufficient reason for their reprobation to say, that the reprobate were wicked, and would not accept of mercy; for this was equally true concerning those who are saved, until by the power of God they were made willing to submit." Did not my antagonist apprehend what I meant by a want of sufficiency in the reason? Does not the last part of the sentence make it perfectly evident? And to all who believe, that God has power to make rebels willing when he pleases, there must be force in it. It is well known that we believe, the Almighty has power to bring all the rebels in the world. over to his holy standard. If this sentiment is correct, then it is evident, that it is not assigning a sufficient reason for their everlasting punishment to say, They were wicked and would not accept of mercy. It is assigning a sufficient reason for their desert of punishment, but not for their being treated according to their deserts, seeing millions of their fellow sinners will not be treated according to their deserts. If it should be said, their fellow sinners repented; it is true, through the grace given unto them they repented; and why was not this grace given to all the sinners in the world? It must finally be resolved into this, that it was not for the glory of God to bring them all to repentance, and

in this way to admit then to the joys of heaven. We are told that it was in the wisdom of God, that the world by wisdom knew not God. 1 Cor. i. 21. Their being left for so long a time to make experiment of the insufficiency of human wisdom, issued in the destruction of many myriads; and yet the wisdom of God saw it best that it should be so. And this will apply to the repro bation of all who are lost.

Mr. B. thinks, that on the Calvinistic plan, there can be no consistency in God's punishing the reprobate, seeing they are made use of to promote his glory. I would ask, whether it is not agreeable to the word of God, and also to the common sense of mankind, that an evil design deserves evil, though that evil design should be overruled for God's glory? May not the supreme Judge say to all his enemies, as Joseph did to his brethren, "Ye thought evil against me, but God meant it for good? We do not suppose that sin has the least tenden cy to promote the divine glory and the good of the universe; but that its tendency is to dishonor God, and do infinite mischief among his works. This is its tendency, and its immediate effect; but He, who is great in knowledge, power, and mercy, brings good out of the evil. No thanks are due to evil-doers. Mr. B. seems to think, that on our plan, the reprobates are deserving more reward than the elect. He says; "And most certainly that which is the cause of the greatest good, must have the greatest merit.”" p. 131. Our sentiment is not, that sin is the active cause of any good; nor that it is made more use of than holiness in promoting general happiness: but this is the sentiment which we are not ashamed to avow before heaven and earth, viz. That the infinite God will make use of sin, (deformed and pernicious as it is,) in connexion with every thing else which exists, to make the display of his glory the brighter; and in that way to increase the perfection and blessedness of the created system. The author of the Letters seems to suppose our sentiments, if true, would take away the torments of the damned, because they would know that God was glorified by ineans of their sin. Has he forgotten, or did he never know, that the carnal mind is enmity against God? Will such a mind be relieved by knowing that

God is glorified? This is no new difficulty; it is no ticed by the apostle, Rom. ii. 5-7-Why then am I judged as a sinner?

Mr. B. labors to show that the word reprobate means nothing more than sinners who are destitute of grace. I have no doubt but the word is so used, and I will not say, that this is not the invariable meaning of the Greek word which is rendered, reprobate. But the doctrine may be true, as we have stated it, though it be not proved by this word. If some are chosen, or elected, out of the world, as the scriptures declare, then those from among whom they are chosen, are not elected. The very idea of some being chosen, in distinction from others, supposes the others not to be thus chosen. The apostle writing to the saints at Thessalonica, says, “ For God hath not appointed us unto wrath; but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ." 1 Thess. v. 9. But ter speaks of some who stumbled at the word, being disobedient-and then adds, whereunto also they were appointed. And Jude speaks of certain ungodly men who turned the grace of God into lasciviousness, and declares that they were before of old ordained to this condemnation. Mr. B. has a criticism on the Greek word which is translated before ordained; (see page 314;) but it does not destroy the force of the passage, as the doctrine of reprobation is concerned. Corcerning the treachery of Judas, one Evangelist says, "The Son of man goeth, as it is written ;" and another says, "As it was determined." Fore-written and fore-ordained, when applied to God, amount to the same thing.

IV. The author of the Letters objects against God's ever fixing his electing love on any sinner, making the greatness of his sins an occasion of it. In my sermon on election, it was said; "Some of the greatest of sinners are saved. Paul mentioned the greatness of his sin as one reason why he obtained mercy, that he might be made a pattern of great grace." Mr. B. thinks this sentiment to be very wide from the truth, and of dangerous tendency. "O sir, what a dangerous sentiment you have advanced! Paul obtained mercy because of the greatness of his sin! Let us sin then, may all blasphemers say, that grace may abound. Paul obtained mercy because he was a great sinner. Well then, says

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a correct reasoner, the same cause, under the same circumstances, will produce the same effect; I will therefore be a great sinner that I also may obtain mercy," p. 115. If I should say, that God suffered some sick persons to advance to the very jaws of death, before he interposed with his healing mercy, and that he did this, to make his hand the more visible, would it follow as a just consequence, that in all cases, the hopes of recovery were in proportion to the violence of the disease? The idea which I intended to communicate is well illustrated by the case of Lazarus, the brother of Martha and Mary. Then said Jesus unto him plainly, Lazarus is dead. And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent that ye may believe. John xi. 14, 15. Jesus knew of the sickness of his friend Lazarus; but he did not interpose to raise him from the bed of sickness;— he chose rather to raise him from the grave. The number which he raised from death was few, in comparison to those whom he raised up from sickness; but we know that in the case of Lazarus, he chose to display his power of raising frotu death, rather than in raising from sickness. In the sermon it was not intimated, that the greatest sinners were more frequently chosen to salvation than others. But this at least ought to have been intimated, to have laid a foundation for the. inference, which Mr. B. declares is a legitimate consequence of our doctrine. But he ought to have noticed that I said, “Some of the greatest of sinners are saved.” And if he read the whole sermon, he must have met with these sentences: "I know it is said by some, that the greatest profligates are most frequently taken hold of by divine grace. This is quite far from being true, though God sees fit to suffer some of his elect to go great lengths in sinning, before he brings them into his fold." Sermons, p. 70. Paul, the great apostle of the Gentiles, I supposed to be one of these great sinners. This is the account which he gives of himself. "This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. Howbeit, for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show forth all long suffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting." 1 Tim. i.

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