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agreeable to the inclination of his nature. His will of decree, is his inclination to a thing, not as to that thing absolutely and simply, but with respect to the universality of things, that have been, are, or shall be. So God, though he hates a thing as it is simply, may incline to it with reference to the universality of things. Though he hates sin in itself, yet he may will to permit it, for the greater promotion of holiness in this universality, including all things, and at all times. So, though he has no inclination to a creature's misery, considered absolutely, yet he may will it, for the greater promotion of happiness in this universality. God inclines to excellency, which is harmony, but yet he may incline to suffer that which is unharmonious in itself, for the promotion of universal harmony, or for the promoting of the harmony that there is in the universality, and making it shine the brighter. And thus it must needs be, and no hypothesis whatsoever will relieve a man, but that he must own these two wills of God. For all must own, that God sometimes wills not to hinder the breach of his own commands, because he does not in fact hinder it. He wills to permit sin, it is evident, because he does permit it. None will say that God himself does what he does not will to do. But you will


God wills to permit sin, as he wills 'the creature should be left to his freedom; and if he should hinder it, he would offer violence to the nature of his own creature. I answer,

this comes nevertheless to the very thing that I say. You say, God does not will sin absolutely; but rather than alter the law of nature and the nature of free agents, he wills it. He wills what is contrary to excelleney in some particulars, for the sake of a more general excellency and order. So that this scheme of the Arminians does not help the matter.

$10. It is a proper and excellent thing for infinite glory to shine forth; and for the same reason,

that the shining forth of God's glory should be complete ; that is, that all parts of his glory should shine forth, that every beauty should be proportionably effulgent, that the beholder may have a proper notion of God. It is not proper that one glory should be exceedingly manifested, and another not at all; for then the effulgence would not answer the reality. For the same reason it is not proper that one should be manifested exceedingly, and another but very little. It is highly proper that the effulgent glory of God should answer his real excellency; that the splendour should be answerable to the real and essential glory, for the same reason that it is proper and excellent for God to glorify himself at all. Thus it is necessary, that God's awful majesty, his authority and dreadful greatness, justice, and holiness, should be manifested. But this could

, not be, unless sin and punishment had been decreed; so that the shining forth of God's glory would be very imperfect, both because these parts of divine glory would not shine forth as the others do, and also the glory of his goodness, love, and holiness

it is proper

at all.

would be faint without them; nay, they could scarcely shine forth

If it were not right that God should decree and permit and punish sin, there could be no manifestation of God's holiness in hatred of sin, or in showing any preference, in his providence, of godliness before it. There would be no manifestation of God's grace or true goodness, if there was no sin to be pardoned, no misery to be saved from. How much happiness soever he bestowed, his goodness would not be so much prized and admired, and the sense of it not so great, as we have elsewhere shown. We little consider how much the sense of good is heightened by the sense of evil, both moral and natural. And as it is necessary that there should be evil, because the display of the glory of God could not but be imperfect and incomplete without it, so evil is necessary, in order to the highest happiness of the creature, and the completeness of that communication of God, for which he made the world; because the creature's happiness consists in the knowledge of God and sense of his love. And if the knowledge of him be imperfect, the happiness of the creature must be proportionably imperfect; and the happiness of the creature would be imperfect upon another account also; for, as we have said, the sense of good is comparatively dull and flat, without the knowledge of evil.

$11. It is owned, that God did choose men to eternal life, upon a foresight of their faith. But then, bere is the question, whether God decreed that faith, and chose them that they should believe.

$ 12. The sin of crucifying Christ being foreordained of God in his decree, and ordered in his providence, of which we have abundant evidence from the nature of the thing, and from the great ends God had to accomplish by means of this wicked act of crucifying Christ; it being, as it were, the cause of all the decrees, the greatest of all decreed events, and that on which all other decreed events depend as their main foundation; being the main thing in that greatest work of God, the work of redemption, which is the end of all other works; and it being so much prophesied of, and so plainly spoken of, as being done according to the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God; I say, seeing we have such evidence that this sin is foreordained in God's decrees, and ordered in providence, and it being, as it were, the head sin, and representative of the sin of men in general; hence is a clear argument, that all the sins of men are foreordained and ordered by a wise providence.

$ 13. It is objected against the absolute decrees respecting the future actions of men, and especially the unbelief of sinners, and their rejection of the gospel, that this does not consist with the sincerity of God's calls and invitations to such sinners; as he has willed, in his eternal secret decree, that they should never accept of those invitations. To which I answer, that there is that in God, respecting the acceptance and compliance of sin

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ners, which God knows will never be, and which he has decreed never to cause to be, in which, though it be not just the same with our desiring and wishing for that which will never come to pass, yet there is nothing wanting but what would imply imperfection in the case. There is all in God that is good, and perfect, and excellent in our desires and wishes for the conversion and salvation of wicked men. As, for instance, there is a love to holiness, absolutely considered, or an agreeableness of holiness to his nature and will; or, in other words, to his, natural inclination. The holiness and happiness of the creature, absolutely considered, are things that he loves. These things are infinitely more agreeable to his nature than to ours. There is all in God that belongs to our desire of the holiness and happiness of unconverted men and reprobates, excepting what implies imperfection. All that is consistent with infinite knowledge, wisdom, power, self-sufficience, infinite happiness and immutability. Therefore, there is no reason that his absolute prescience, or his wise determination and ordering what is future, should hinder his expressing this disposition of his nature, in like manner as we are wont to express such a disposition in ourselves, viz. by calls and invitations, and the like.

The disagreeableness of the wickedness and misery of the creature, absolutely considered, to the nature of God, is all that is good in pious and holy men's lamenting the past misery and wickedness of men. Their lamenting these, is good no farther than it proceeds from the disagreeableness of those things to their holy and good nature. This is also all that is good in wishing for the future holiness and happiness of men. And there is nothing wanting in God, in order to his having such desires and such lamentings, but imperfection; and nothing is in the way of his having them, but infinite perfection; and therefore it perly, naturally, and necessarily came to pass, that when God, in the manner of existence, came down from his infinite perfection, and accommodated himself to our nature and manner, by being made man, as he was, in the person of Jesus Christ, he really desired the conversion and salvation of reprobates, and lamented their obstinacy and misery; as when he beheld the city Jerusalem, and wept over it, saying, “O Jerusalem," &c. In the like manner, when he comes down from his infinite perfection, though not in the manner of being, but in the manner of manifestation, and accommodates himself to our nature and manner, in the manner of expression, it is equally natural and proper that he should express himself as though he desired the conversion and salvation of reprobates, and lamented their obstinacy and misery.

$14. Maxim 1. There is no such thing truly as any pain or grief, or trouble in God.


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MAXIM 2. Hence it follows that there is no such thing as any real disappointment in God, or his being really crossed in his will, or things going contrary to his will; because, according to the notion of will, to have one's will, is agreeable and pleasing; for it is the notion of being pleased or suited, to have things as we will them be ; and so, on the other hand, to have things contrary to one's will, is disagreeable, troublesome, or uncomfortable. Job xxiii. 13. “He is in one mind, and who can turn him? And what his soul desireth, that he doth.”

In the first place, I lay this down, which I suppose none will deny, that as to God's own actions, God decrees them, or purposes them beforehand. For none will be so absurd as to say that God acts without intentions, or without designing to act, or that he forbears to act, without intending to forbear. 2dly. That whatsoever God intends or purposes, he intends and purposes from all eternity, and that there are no new purposes or intentions in God. For, if God sometimes begins to intend what he did not intend before, then two things will follow.

1. That God is not omniscient. If God sometimes begins to design what he did not desigu before, it must of necessity be for want of knowledge, or for want of knowing things before as he knows them now, for want of having exactly the same views of things. If God begins to intend what he did not before intend, it must be because he now sees reasons to intend it, that he did not see before; or that he has something new, objected to his understanding, to influence him.

2. If God begins to intend or purpose things that he did not intend before, then God is certainly mutable, and then he must, in his own mind and will, be liable to succession and change; for wherever there are new things, there is succession and change.

Therefore, I shall take these two things for positions granted and supposed in this controversy, viz. that as to God's own actions and forbearings to act, he decrees and purposes them beforehand; and that whatsoever God designs or purposes, he purposes from all eternity, and thus decrees from all eternity all his own actions and forbearings to act.

COROLL. Hence God decrees from all eternity, to permit all the evil that ever he does permit; because God's permitting is God's forbearing to act or to prevent.

$ 15. It can be made evident by reason, that nothing can come to pass, but what it is the will and pleasure of God should come to pass. This may be argued from the infinite happiness of God. For every being had rather things should go according to his will, than not; because, if he had not rather, then it is not his will. It is a contradiction to say, he wills it, and yet does not choose it, or had not rather it should be so than not. But, if God had rather things should be according to his will than not, then,

if a thing fall out otherwise than he hath willed, he meets with a cross; because, on this supposition, he had rather it should have been otherwise, and therefore he would have been better pleased if the thing had been otherwise. It is contrary to what he chose, and therefore it is of necessity that he must be displeased. It is of necessity that every being should be pleased, when a thing isas he chooses, or had rather it should be. It is a contradiction to suppose otherwise. For it is the very notion of being pleased, to have things agreeable to one's pleasure. Forthe very same reason, every being is crossed, or it is unpleasing to him, when a thing is, that he chose, and had rather should not have been. For it is the very notion of a thing's being cross or unpleasing to any, that it is contrary to his pleasure.

But if God can meet with crosses and things unpleasing to him, then he is not perfectly and unchangeably happy. For wherever there is any unpleasedness or unpleasantness, it must, of necessity, in a degree diminish the happiness of the subject. Where there is any cross to a being's choice, there is something contrary to happiness. Wherever there is any unpleasedness, there is something contrary to pleasure, and which consequently diminishes pleasure. It is impossible any thing should be plainer than this.

$ 16. The commands and prohibitions of God are only significations of our duty and of his nature. It is acknowledged that sin is, in itself considered, infinitely contrary to God's nature; but it does not follow, but that it may be the pleasure of God to permit it, for the sake of the good that he will bring out of it. God can bring such good out of that, which in itself is contrary to his nature, and which, in itself considered, he abhors, as may be very agreeable to his nature, and when sin is spoken of as contrary to the will of God, it is contrary to his will, considered only as in itself. As man commits it, it is contrary to God's will; for men act in committing it with a view to that which is evil. But as God permits it, it is not contrary to God's will; for God in permitting it has respect to the great good that he will make it an occasion of. If God respected sin as man respects it in committing it, it would be exceedingly contrary to his will; but considered as God decrees to permit it, it is not contrary to God's will. To give an instance_The crucifying of Christ was a great sin; and as men committed it, it was exceedingly hateful and highly provoking to God. Yet upon many great considerations it was the will of God that it should be done. Will any body say that it was not the will of God that Christ should be crucified ? Acts iv. 28. “ For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done."

§ 17. Sin is an evil, yet the futurition of sin, or that sin should be future, is not an evil thing. Evil is an evil thing, and yet it may be a good thing that evil should be in the world. There is certainly a difference between the thing itself existing, and its VOL. VII.



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