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consideration. We learn from this that "universal government of God," is only another word for decrees or foreordination. But why this perpetual shift of terms? Doubtless it is among the movements of an ecclesiastical policy, so conspicuous at the present day; by which more inoffensive terms are substituted for those which once would have passed very well but of late years have become unpopular. It is doubtless from the dictates of this policy, that so few of the printed Articles of the Congregational Churches are to be found among the people. Those churches, (as far as I have been able to learn,) have been formed upon articles drawn up at the time, and in as inoffensive terms, and in as accommodating a manner as possible. Hence the term "governs his crea tures," is sometimes used, and at others the term "controls" is made use of. Let all know however, who are about to join the church, that however soft and plausible the terms are which are used, the sentiment is the same. Those persons are therefore very much deceived, who say that the articles of the church to which they belong are not tinctured with the offensive doctrine of Calvinistic decrees; for what they call the government of God, is, by their own confession, the same as decrees of God. But let us come more particularly to our purpose.

It seems that Mr. H. thinks himself able to prove to "mathematical demonstration," that God wills the existence of every event. Now as every event must include sin, (if sin be an event,) it is presumed that Mr. H. will not deny but that it is his sentiment, and the sentiment contained in his book, that for the security of his own glory, and the greatest possible good of the universe, God wills the exist ence of sin. Now for the proof.

The first argument by which he attempts to prove this doctrine, is drawn from a view of the divine perfections.

He says, "If the great Jehovah is infinite in wisdom, it is certain that he must know what events it is best on the whole should exist. If he be infinite in power, it is certain that he is able to produce every such event, and to prevent the existence of every other." There are two radical defects in this argument. 1. Mr. H. takes for granted what remains to be proved; viz. that infinite wisdom saw it to be best on the whole, that sin should exist;-whereas infinite wisdom saw it to be best on the whole that sin should not exist, and therefore forbade the commission of it on pain of eternal death. Gen. iii. 17. The existence of sin forms no argument that infinite wisdom saw it to be best that it should exist; for the same mode of reasoning would prove that God not only wills, but actually "produces" all the wickedness in the universe! But the divine prohibition is an argument that infinite wisdom saw it to be best that sin should not exist; for this mode of reasoning proves that God not only willed that sin should not exist, but also, that it is that thing in the production of which he has no hand. 2. The second defect in the above argument is, that the whole proceeds upon the supposition, that infinite power could have prevented the introduction of sin, although infinite wisdom had determined to treat man as a free agent; thus setting the Divine Being at war with himself. In other words, notwithstanding infinite wisdom saw "it to be best on the whole," to create man a free agent, and treat him as such; yet infinite power could cross this line of the divine administration, and reduce him to a mere machine! I am aware that Mr. H. anticipates this last conclusion (page 77,) as drawn from his system, and that he thinks it unjust too, but we must beg leave to dissent from him in relation to the justness of the above conclusion.

These defects clearly discover the weakness of the argu ment, and of course the doctrine built upon it is unfounded.

Moreover, this doctrine, were it true, would go to say, that God is designedly the author of all the abominations which mark the moral conduct of men, or devils in the present life. For the fair conclusion from the Rev. gentleman's argument is, that the Almighty produces either directly or indirectly, all the violations of his own law that take place. Now if he produces sin, he is properly the author of it; and then how is he to judge the world in righteousness? It is not unfrequently the case that Calvinist divines deny that they believe God to be the author of sin; but they either do believe it, or, are much divided among themselves. But I am led to believe that they are not divided among themselves, but all to a man, firmly believe that God does directly, or by proxy, "produce" all sin! In what a light does this doctrine present the divine character! "Tell it not in Gath," that a Christian minister indirectly asserts, that God produces drunkenness, lying, swearing, adultery, murder, &c. "lest the uncircumcised rejoice!"

As the above arguments will apply with equal propriety to the remainder of his argument drawn from the divine perfection, we shall proceed to consider it in its second form. It is stated thus: "With regard to the existence of every event," (and of course sin,) "God must have been willing, or unwilling, or indifferent."

Here I think we shall all agree in two points; 1. That this is a fair and just proposition. 2. That God is not indifferent about the existence of events. The controversy then must turn on the other two points-is he willing, or unwilling? I understand Mr. H, to choose the former, viz. that God wills the existence of every event, and of course sin. I choose the latter, viz. that He is unwilling that sin should exist. Gen. ii. 17. Mr. H. says that the conclusion from the position which I take is, that God must have been deficient in power.

Now I grant that the conclusion is just, in the same sense in which it is impossible for God to lie; Heb. vi. 18. for, as has already been stated, when God had made known his determination to make man the subject of a moral government, and to treat him as such, it was as impossible as for him to change or lie, to arrest the course of man's moral conduct, so far as he was accountable for that conduct.

The conclusion from the theory of Mr. H. is, that God wills the existence of, and "produces" sin; and of course is pleased with its nature. The conclusion from the theory which we have chosen is, that having made known his determination, he is unchangeable, and cannot, consistent with eternal truth, alter the thing which is gone out of his mouth. Which side of this question is most consistent with reason and Revelation, the public must judge.

To conclude his first argument, Mr. H. asks; "Is it not plain, that, if we deny that the government of Jehovah, extends to every event, we sacrifice his character?" To which I answer; if by the government of God extending to every event, Mr. H. means no more than the overruling providence of God, then, by denying it, we do sacrifice his character. But if, as is feared, he means by it, that God is the author of sin, then, by denying that his government extends to every event, we defend that sacred character from one of the most pernicious errors that was ever propogated.

Whether Mr. H. has succeeded to "mathematical demonstration" in his first argument, shall now be left for the reader to judge, and we will pass to the second.

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This argument is what may be called the connexion and dependence of events; it runs thus :-"There is a connexion existing between events, which renders it absurd to suppose that some are determined, and others not.”

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This argument also proceeds upon the supposition that

Government of God.


God cannot do a benevolent act, independent of sin, and sinners. That this conclusion is just, will appear from the following quotation: "Shall we then say, that God had determined that his Son should be put to death, and the time when it should be done, but had determined nothing about the means by which it was to be effected?" He goes on, "I trust that the bare statement of this question is sufficient to show, that if the death of Christ was determined, the determination could not have been accomplished, unless the other events with which it is connected, and which involve the moral conduct of men, had been also determined." page 66. It is no very difficult matter to discover that Mr. H. would be understood here, as in the former argument, that God has determined the existence of every sin, great and small, that ever was, or ever will be committed on earth. His own weapons however will turn against himself; for, in his former argument, he uses the infinite wisdom of God, as an argument for the introduction of sin. Now on his own principle of reasoning, if the great Jehovah "could not" have accomplished his benevolent purposes without the agency of sin, and sinners, was he not deficient in wisdom? If he could have done it without the agency of sin, but would not, was he not deficient in goodness? If he could have devised a way, but could not effect it, was he not deficient in power?

"I trust that the bare statement of this question is sufficient to show" the absurdity of my opponent's reasoning. But let us examine this argument a little further.-After mentioning the connexion and dependence of events, in relation to the birth and death of the Saviour, he observes:-"In order that Christ should be put to death, he must be betrayed; there must be such a character as Judas; he must be tempted with thirty pieces of silver."

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