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ally loves him.” p. 184 and 185. It seems then, that moral ability is not the POWER of loving, but the act of loving:* Man therefore, never has any power to love God, except the power of thinking and of muscular motion, until he loves God; and this

intellectual and bodily ability is nothing which appertains to · moral ability, or action ! Logic upon logic!

Again it is said, page 54, that “the heart of man is the only source of moral exercise ;" and again, p. 42.“ the heart of man, which is the sum or aggregate of his moral exercises, is totally evil.” Where there has been but one holy exercise, that is a man's good heart. This is his first exercise : but the heart is a source of moral exercise, and this heart being an exercise, it follows, that one exercise is the source of another exercise; and therefore there must have been one holy exercise before the first holy exercise. This is the logic of that pre-eminently rational system, called, in distinction from those who maintain the doctrine of the communication of a holy taste, bias, or principle,


*" A principle or power of action in distinction from action; lies quite beyond the reach of description or conception.”

Spring's Disquisitions, p. 205.

“What is the description of that ability which neither consists in bodily and intellectual strength, nor in voluntary exercise 299 Ibid. p. 185.






CALVIN, 1. Of the origin of evil among

1. Divine Providence tothe angels. “ As the Devil was wards angels and men, consists created by God, let us remem- in preserving, governing, and ber that this malice which we ordering as well as bounding.t ascribe to his nature, is not by, Larger Cat. Q.18. Con. C. Scot. creation, but by depravation. Con. P. C. U. S. Say. For whatsoever damnable thing " The almighty power, unhe hath, he hath gotten to him- searchable wisdom and infinite self by his own apostacy and goodness of God, so far manifall : which the scripture there. fest' themselves in his provifore gives us warning of, lest dence, that it extendeth itself thinking that he came out such even to the first fall, and all an one from God, we should other sins of angels and men, ascribe that to God which is and that not by a bare permisfarthest from him. For this sion, but such as hath joined reason doth Christ say, that Sa- with it a most wise and powertan speaketh of his own when ful bounding, and otherwise orhe speaketh lies, and addeth a dering and governing of them, cause why, because he abode in a manifold dispensation, tổ not in the truth, John viii. 44. his holy ends; yet so as the Now when he saith that he sinfulness thereof proceedeth abode not in the truth, he show- only from the creature, and not eth that he had been once in from God: who, being most the truth. And when he mak- holy and righteous, neither is

* The Providence of God, in relation to the elect, will be particularly stated under the caption of “ Effectual Calling ;” and therefore, nothing upon that subject will be designedly introduced into this chapter.

† Not one of these words conveys the full idea of agency, which being derived from ago, signifies to do; for the Calvinists maintain that God can govern his creatures, without doing all their deeds himself.





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OTHERS. 1.. All the angels were crea

1. “ Divine agency is the ted perfectly holy :* or, they cause of creature agency." were created under moral law

Mass. Miss. Magazine. to God, and all their exerci- « Divine Permission neither ses were perfectly benevolent. causes nor modifies any thing or They were, however, no more event, either in the natural or the movers or cause of their moral world.” own volitions than fallen men

Mass. Miss. Magazine. Under the moral govern- “ It is impossible to account ment of God they were placed for the origin of evil upon any in a state of trial, or probation. other hypothesis, than this, that Man, they saw to be more an God is the efficient agent, the ultimate end than themselves; GREAT FIRST CAUSE of all sin." and since all moral actions are Mass. Mics. Mag. No. 3. on excited in view of a motive, al- Divine Providence. though in no sense caused by “God cannot exercise perthat motive, exercises of pride mission towards his reasonable were produced in the minds of creatures, because they cannot those who fell.' Pride entered act, without his working in Lucifer's heart when he found them." Emmons, p. 245. that he must serve man ; and " Universal and absolute de. especially Jehovah Jesus in the pendence goes into the very form of man.

At the same idea of a creature; because intime legions of devils had simi- dependence is an attribute of lar, selfish, moral exercises; the divine nature, which even and thus was instituted the first omnipotence cannot communi.

* It is somewhat against the doctrine, that God creates sin, that the scriptures give us no account of God's creating any being originally unholy, If sin was ever the effect of his immediate causation, why do we not read of his having created a Devil outright? God made angels : but angels made themselves devils.



OTHERS. eth him the father of lying, he nor can be the author or apa taketh this from him, that he prover of sin.” cannot lay that fault to God Con. P. C. U S. Con. C. Scof. whereof he himself is cause to Say. Plat. ch. 5. sec. 4. himself.”

To ask any thing farther, con. « God by his providence pereerning the lapse of devils, ei- mitted some of the angels, ther “ of the cause, time, man- wilfully and irrecoverably, to ner and fashion,” or agency, is fall into sin and damnation." impertinent, because the word

Larger Cat. Q. 19. of God is silent upon these subjects. B. 1. ch. 14. sec 16.

2. Of the origin of evil among 2. 6 We believe that the men.* “ The fall of man pro- same God, after he had created ceeded from the wondrous all things, did not forsake them, counsel of God.”

“ Neither or give them up to fortune or ought it to seem an absurdity chance, but that he rules and gowhich I say, that God not only verns them according to his hoforesaw the fall of the first man, ly will, so that nothing happens and in him the ruin of his pos- in this world without his apterity, but also disposed it after pointment; nevertheless, God his own will. For as it belong- neither is the author of, nor can eth to his wisdom to foreknow be charged with, the sins which all things that shall be : so it are committed.” belongeth to his power, to rule

Con. R. D. C. Art. 13. and govern all things with his “ Man by the instigation of hand.” “ He so ordered the the devil, and his own wilful life of angels and men, that in disobedience, deprived himself

* It is said that God was the efficient agent of Adam's sin. An efficient agent is one, who, by the power of producing, performs any action, and causes it to be either good, bad or indifferent. It would certainly be the most concise mode of expression to say, God in us loves ; hates, refuses reproof, despises, mocks his holy word, blasphemes his name, and has the agency (the doing) of all manner of iniquity. Then, to complete the system, it should be said, God sends the instruments of his unholy volitions, produced in them, to heaven or hell, and there, he either praises or blasphemes himself through everlasting ages. This is merely saying God is the author of sin.



OTHERS. apostacy, in heaven, for the cate' Hence, creatures, whepromotion of the greatest good. ther angels or men, “ can

Syst. Part. 1. ch.7. sec. 1. never act otherwise, than under and Vol. 1. p. 322.

the powerful and unremitting energy of the Supreme Being."

Emmons, p. 203. 2. “ Moral evil could not ex- 2. “ Since God can work in ist, unless it were the will of men both to will and to do of God, and his choice, that it his good pleasure, it is as easy should exist, rather than not. to account for the first offence And from this it is certain, that of Adam, as for

any other sin." it is wisest and best, in his view, “Some say, that Adam being that sin should exist. And in necessarily dependent, was nethus willing what was wisest cessarily mutable and liable to and best, and fore-ordaining fall. It is true, indeed, Adam that it should

come to pass, was necessarily dependent and God exercised his wisdom and liable to fall : but by whom was goodness, and in this view and he exposed to this evil? not by sense, is really the origin and himself, not by Satan, not by cause of moral evil ; as really any created agent. as he is of the existence of any make creatures immutable with thing which he wills.”

respect to all beings but himSyst. Vol. 1. p. 164. self. So long therefore, as « This necessarily implies, Adam retained his original recas has been before observed, titude, he was equally immutaall that energy, exertion and ble in his moral character, and disposal of things, that is ne- stood above the power and incessary, previous to the exist. fluence of Satan, or any other ence of sin, in order to its ac- malignant seducer. Some say, tually taking place; and with- that God having made man upout which it could not have right, left him to the freedom of existed.” Syst. Vol. 1. p. 163. his own will ; in consequence

God was the author, origin, of which he sinned and fell. and positive cause of Adam's That God left man to the freesin. “ This can be proved, and dom of his own will must be almay be asserted, as a most evi- lowed; but how this can acdent truth.” But in causing or "

count for his first transgression, originating sin, there is no sin. is hard to conceive. Every All the guilt consists in the ac- moral agent is left to the free

God can


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