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charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth.” Romans viii. 28-33.
“For this is the word of promise, At this time will I come and Sara shall have a son. And not only this, but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac, (for the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but him that calleth, it was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy. For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I
might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth. Thou wilt
say to me, Why doth he yet find fault? for who hath resisted his will ? Nay, but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus ? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? what if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much long suffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction : and that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto Glory : even us whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles.” Rom. ix. 9-24.
It is a lamentable fact, that not only the
unstable and unlearned, but also the most sincere, and best informed men in different ages of the world, have differed in judgment respecting the sentiments and doctrines of St. Paul. If therefore, men possessing the best hearts, and the most informed heads, have differed so materially on this important subject, it is, most assuredly, my duty, to be modest while suggesting my opinion on this topic; I feel nevertheless, tremblingly solicitous to remove this formidable barrier to the title and subject matter of our work, without which our labour is all in vain; for if the doctrine of unconditional reprobation is true, I must be a liar and the truth is not in I have one
obvious failing, which I here humbly acknowledge, and that is, to be too acrimonious in my animadversions, “ I know the right, and yet the wrong pursue;" because, when I view with my intellectual eyes, the mountains of misery observable in Christendom,
and which originates exclusively, in the arbitrary power assumed by hypocritical Christian priests, and Christian potentates, I cannot refrain from irritation, and I humbly pray my good God to pardon his servant, for this deviation from Christian moderation. What I now propose in vindication of the Impartiality of Jehovah, I do with modesty and great deference to those distinguished authors, who have dif. fered from me in sentiment, on this subject, " the latchets of whose shoes I am not worthy to stoop down and unloose." There has been so much said on this subject already, that it is impossible to say any thing on it, but what has been previously anticipated; what therefore I am going to add, is for those, who, like me, feel a cogent desire to find, “ that God is just and yet the justifier of all, (not part of those who obey the spirit of Christ.” The votaries of controversy I have not the most distant idea of proselyting. They stick to
their text to the last moment; particularly the foreknowledge of God. For my part, I cannot (perhaps because I am so foolish) see, wherein God's foreknowledge or afterknowledge can consist. According to the idea I have formed of the God of my salvation, a moment with him is the same as a million of years; and the earth on which we live, is like a grain of sand; or rather a particle of dust. All time, all eternity, and all his works, are directly present before his eyeś. God knows who loves and endeavours to serve him, and who neglects him and treats him with silent contempt; the same as a man who has a silver and a brass dollar in his hand at the same time, knows this moment, as well as the next, that one dollar is good, and the other bad. To talk about foreknowledge or after-knowledge in this case, would be perfect nonsense ; and not, in my view, more nonsensical and absurd, than to talk about the foreknowledge of God, before whose eyes every thing is pre