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GOD and TRUTH. aina mao ni yang menggunakan
- CH A P. I. :.
faid a to be contrary both to
perfections, attributes and glory. It must be allow'd,
that the nature and will of God, and not the nature and ficness of things, as some say, are che rule and mea
* Whitby, p. 27. Remonftr. A&. Synod. Circ. Art. i. po 241, &c. Curcellaeus, p. 366. Limborch, p. 334. - Part III.
sure of the divine conduct. God cannot do any thing contrary to his nature and the perfećtions of it : as for instance ; he cannor do any thing contrary to his justice and holiness, for he is without iniquity; nor to his truth and faithfulness, for he cannot lye; nor, indeed, to any other perfection of his nature, for he cannot deny himself. If therefore the decree of Reprobation is contrary to the nature and perfections of God, it ought to be rejected as against the will of God; for the nature and will of God never contradict each other ; and yet iç is certain, that reprobation is according to che will of God; whom he WILL be hardnetbo. And, what if God WILLING to New his wrath, and make his power
known, &c. , Besides, his making or ap· pointing the wicked for the day of evil,
is for bimself, for his own glory, as well as his making or appointing all other things : so that Reprobation, or appointing the . wicked to destruction, as it is not contrary to the will of God, fo neither to the perfections of his nacure, and the glory of them. But let us attend to what is offered : in proof of this affercion, that the decree “of Reprobacion is plainly contrary to the na- . ture and will of God. And, i i
I. It is observed , that “God doch immurably and unchangeably, and from the necessary perfection of his own nature, require that we should love, fear and obey him. That he cannot but be desirous that all men thould imitate his moral and imitable perfections of holiness, justice, trych, goodness and mercy, all which is agreeable to the light of nature and revelation; and therefore he cannot have decreed, that the greatest part of men should be for ever left under an incapacity of loving, and fearing and obeying him; and seeing he must earnestly defire that all men should be · holy, righteous, kind and merciful, he.
cannot have ordained they should be others, wife, for want of any thing on his part, requisice to make them so ; much less can he command them, under the penalty of his severe displeasure, so to be, and yec leave them under an incapacity of being so," TO. which I reply;
1. It will be granted, that God requires all men, and it is cheir indispensable duty, to love him wich all their heart, foul and strength, to fear him always, and keep his commandments; and that he desires chat all men hould imicate him in his moral perfections; all which the Heathen Sages
were, in some measure, acquainted with by the light of nature, and which God has more clearly discover'd as his will to his people, under the various revelations he has made : but then none of these things contradict the decree of Reprobation ; for they only express God's will of command, and thew what is man's duty to do, and which, if done, would be grateful and well-pleasing to God, and approved of by him, but not his will, determining what shall be done. Now could it be proved, that God has willed, that is, determined that all men should love, fear and obey him, all men would do so; for, W bo bath renfted bis will? This, indeed, would contradict a decree of Reprobation; then a de. cree' to reject or punith any part of man. kind could never be supposed. But for God to 'require all men to love, fear and obey him, and to signify that these things are approved of by him, are no contradictions to any decree of his, to leave some men to themselves, to the freedom of their own wills, or to any determination of his, to punish them who do not love, fear and obey him. :
2. It is certain, that all men in a state of nature, are in an incapacity to love, fear and obey God; the carnal mind is so far from loving, that it is enmity against God; there's neither any fear of God in e's heart,