Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

meant, the same species of grace, but.noc the same degree. But if the same degree of grace is not given to one as to another, how does it appear that God gives equal grace to åll, and what is sufficient for them to obey the divine call ? or that the greater degree of grace is not attended with such an efficacious operation and irresistible power pleaded for by us? Moreover, it is said to be no absurdity, that he who does not believe, has equal reason to give thanks to God as he who does believe, if we respect the first offer of grace. But surely, according to this writer's own scheme, it can never be thought that he, who, cho' he has the same kind of grace bestowed upon him, yet not the same degree of grace, and so does not operate in the same way, nor produce the same effect in him as it does in others, can ever have the same reason to give thanks to God, as such have, who have a greater degree of it, and in whom it is productive of true faith and real conversion.

IV. Such is the method of divine Providence, that second causes should so depend upon God, in their beings and operations, that they cannot determine themselves to any act; but 'tis requisite that they be foreordain’d from eternity, and in time be predetermin'd by God, not only to the act ic felf, but to the mode of it. The answer to

this is?, That if this was admitted, a fatal and an inevitable necessity of all things and events negative and positive, and of actions good and bad, would be introduced, and God must be the only cause of all the fins and iniquities committed in the * whole world. To which may be replied,

That the dependence of second causes upon God, in their beings and operations, and the pre-ordination and pre-determination of them to their acts, do indeed introduce a necessity of the event, that is, that such and such things shall be done, and in the manner appointed by God; but do not introduce a co-active necessity or force, on the will of man: neither God's purposes in etere nicy, nor his pre-determinations in cime, infringe the liberty of man's will, nor make God the author or cause of any one sin, as appears from the instances of the selling of

joseph by his brethren, and the crucifixion of Christ by the Jews.

V. The opinion which makes the grace of God resistible, leaves it uncertain, whether any one will be converted by it or not; or, if God did not work with an irregistible operation of grace upon the hearts of men in conversion, it was possible, that not one soul would have been converted. To thiş

P Limborch, p. 390.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

it is answer'd”, “That it leaves it as uncertain, whether any one will be unconverted or not.” I reply, Since this resistible grace finds all men unconverted, and considering the resistibility of it, and the state and condicion of man, that he is dead in sin, in enmity against God, his heart hard, and his will obstinate and perverse, it is not so uncertain, whether any one will be left by it unconverted, as that whether any one will be converted by it. It is moreover said ", That “ a man may, notwithstanding this opinion, be infallibly certain otherwise, that many will be found true converts at the last, because he knows that many have already died in the fear of God, and in the faith of Christ, and because the holy scripiures do assure us, that some shall arise to everlasting life, and receive the end of their faith in the salvation of their fouls.This is, very true, and yet, according to this opinion, it was possible, that not one of these might have been converted, because they might have resisted the grace of God, and made it of none effect. Besides, such who will be found true converts at last, who die in the fear of God, and in the faith of Christ, who shall rise again to everlasting life, and receive the end of their faith, the salvation of their souls, are such who are regenerated

..? Whitby, p. 302. Ed. 2. 295. . " Whicby, p. 303. .

and

and

and converted by the efficacious and ice resistible grace of God, and are kept by the power of God, thro' faith, unto salvacion, It is further observed', That “to say that it is barely possible, in the nature of the thing, that none may be converted, hath no inconvenience in it, because it tends not to hinder any man's endeavours after his conversion.” I reply, supposing it does not, yet it has these inconveniences in it, that if it is possible that none may be converted, then it is possible that God's choice of persons to eternal life may be made void, and all his counsels and purposes concerning his elect frustrated. 'Tis possible, that the purchase and redemption by Christ may become of no effect, and he not see the travail of his soul, and be fatisfy'd, tho’ it is promised to him; and it is possible, that the spirit and grace of God may have none of the glory which arises from the conversion of a sinner, as well as that the salvation of every man must be very precarious and uncertain.

{ Whitby, p. 303.

сHAP.

[ocr errors]

17

..CH A P. V. ... Of the Freedom of the Will of Man.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

Have consider'd the nature of the power and liberty of man's will in the First Part of this work, where I have shewn, that the li

berty of it does not consist in an indifference or indetermination to either good or evil; that the will of man is free from co-action or force, but not from an obligation to the will of God, the powerful influence of whose grace it stands in need of, to move and act in any thing that is fpiricually good, without any infringement of the natural liberty of it; for the opposicion we make, is not to the natural, but moral liberty of the will, which is lost by the fall. And cho' we cannot allow that man has either will or power to act in things spiritually good, as conversion, faith, repencance, and the like ; yet we readily grant, that he has a power and liberty of performing the natural and civil actions of life, and the ex

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

ternal

« AnteriorContinuar »