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THE

WISDOM OF GOD

IN

THE PERMISSION OF SIN,

VINDICATED;

IN ANSWER TO A PAMPHLET, ENTITLED,

AN ATTEMPT, &c.

He is the Rock; his work is perfect: For all his ways are judgment; a God of truth, and without iniquity, just and right is he. DEUT. XXXii. 4.

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THE

WISDOM OF GOD

IN

THE PERMISSION OF SIN,

VINDICATED;

IN ANSWER TO A PAMPHLET, ENTITLED,

AN ATTEMPT, &c.

He is the Rock; his work is perfect: For all his ways are judgment; a God of truth, and without iniquity, just and right is he. DEUT. xxxii. 4.

PREFACE.

Ir the divine conduct towards the intellectual system can be vindicated, there will be no room for any dispute about his decrees. If God always does what is best for him to do, his decreeing from eternity to do so, cannot be objected against : unless we can suppose it to be wrong, for God to determine upon a conduct in all respects right. All God's decrees primarily respect his own conduct. First, what a world to create. Secondly, how to behave towards his creatures, in every particular circumstance. For, "God executeth his decrees in the works of creation and providence." The whole of the divine conduct towards intelligent beings, after they are brought into existence, may be arranged under these two general heads. (1.) What he does. (2.) What he forbears to do. For instance: He placed our first parents in the garden: he forbid them to eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge, on pain of death. These things he did. He did not hinder the serpent from tempting, nor our first parents from eating. These things he forbore to do. If he always has a good reason for doing what he does, and for forbearing what he forbears; then his whole conduct, as comprehending both, is justifiable.

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To vindicate the conduct of the Holy One of Israel, was the design of my sermons on the wisdom of God in the permisson of sin. But the author of the Attempt, not believing that God has done so well in this affair as he might have done, has undertaken to write against-Against whom? against me? No: rather, to write against his Maker. For he does not deny the fact, viz. that God permits sin; but endeavours to prove, that God in this, as well as in some other things, has not done "what was most for his own glory." So that the design of the following pages, is not to vindicate myself, but to vindicate the GOD that made us all. I have certainly the best side of the question; and could I do justice to the subject, I might expect the approbation of all the friends of God. For, as a dutiful child loves to hear the 16

VOL. II.

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