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ceded their turning to holiness: because they turned to holi. ness in consequence of God's extrinsic operation upon them extrinsically in consequence of his having chosen them as subjects of such operation while others he did not similarly choose. Hence it follows, that their holiness was the consequence of God's choice of them; not God's choice of them, the consequence of their holiness: in other words, God's choice was the first operating cause of their holiness; not their holiness, the first operating cause of God's choice.” p. 370, 371.
What is meant by “God's extrinsic operation on them extrinsically," &c. we know not. We speak of cxtrinsic influence and power, when we mean influence and power not inherent in us, but originating without our minds. But the operation of the cause without us, in the action of regeneration, terminates in us, it being that act of God which effects a change in our thoughts, and thereby in our feelings and volitions. Erase the words extrinsic and extrinsically from the sixth link, and then we assent to the remainder as it will stand in order.
“(7.) Such being the case, there was no moving cause in the subjects themselves, why some should be chosen to experience God's extrinsic force [influence] and why others should not be chosen to experience it: for by nature they were all equally dead in trespasses and sins, and therefore ne one of them could have a better claim than another to the beneficial operation of God's extrinsic force (influence.)” p. 371.
The ensuing link is very defective, In place of it we would read thus: “But, if there was no moving cause in the subjects themselves, why God should choose to regenerate them; then all, who were chosen, must have been chosen to regeneration in consequence of the atonement of Christ, to be made for them according to covenant; for God's will is never a mere arbitrary exercise of sovereignty; and all, who were not chosen to be regenerated, were not chosen because Christ had not covenanted to make satisfaction for their sins, and bring them into a state of spiritual life.” If any ask, why all were not given to Christ, by him to be redeemed, we can only answer, that the Father, Son, and Holy
Ghost have wise and good reasons for all the counsels of eternity, whether we know them or not. Our author, however, says,
“(8.) But, if there was no moving cause in the subjects themselves: then all, who were chosen, must have been chosen from God's mere will and from the sole arbitrary exercise of his sovereign pleasure; and all, who were not chosen, must have been passed over exactly on the same ground." p. 371.
The ninth link in the chain we should read thus: “ If however this be the case, all the holy are holy in consequence of God's wise and benevolent sovereign election: and all that are not made holy are not regenerated, because God for some good reasons did not choose to regenerate them; but remain unholy from their own love of sin; God in his sovereign preterition not choosing to contravene their love and choice of ini. quity. For, had God been pleased to operate on the latter in the same manner as he has operated upon the former, the consequence would certainly have been the same.” The third and fourth sentences in this section are but a repetition; but we give the whole.
“(9.) If however this be the case, all the holy are holy in consequence of God's sovereign election; and all the unholy remain unholy in consequence of God's sovereign preterition. For, had God been pleased to operate upon the latter in the same manner as he has operated upon the former, the consequence must necessarily have been the same. But the unholy remain unholy; and it is an established point, that they cannot turn themselves to holiness. Therefore the
circumstance of their remaining unholy is a proof, that God's extrinsic force [influence] has never been applied to them: because, had it been so applied, they would have ceased to be unholy.” P. 371, 372.
The next link in the chain we would alter thus: “But, if the holy are holy in consequence of God's election and regeneration of them; and if the unholy remain unholy because they choose sin, and God does not resolve to interfere, so as to rectify their apprehensions and volitions; which is called God's preterition of them; then all those, who have been, or shall be quickened out of the mass of the spiritually dead, have been, for satisfactory reasons to the divine mind, chosen out of that mass; and all those who neither have been, nor will be, quickened, have not been thus chosen, but according to divine purpose left to their own voluntary iniquity and its consequences. These all will be publicly reprobated, or disapproved and condemned, for their sinfulness, and for nothing else. Hence, though present holiness and unholiness are to us the only presumptive evidence of past election or final reprobation; yet holi- . ness is not the cause of election, nor any peculiar unho. liness the cause of non-election; but unholiness is the cause of reprobation; for holiness is the consequence of election; and reprobation the consequence of unholi
. ness; while election and non-election depend not on the merit or the demerit of the subjects, but on the wise and good purpose of God; and the reprobation of the non-elect exclusively on their moral pollution.” Mr. Faber would make us reason thus:
“(10.) But, if the holy are holy in consequence of God's sovereign election, and if the unholy remain unholy in consequence of God's sovereign preterition: then all those, who have been quickened out of the mass of the spiritually dead, have been arbitrarily elected or chosen out of that mass; and all those who have not been thus quickened and who therefore have not been thus elected, must necessarily have been passed over or reprobated. Hence, though holiness and unholiness are to us the only decisive marks of election and reprobation; yet holiness is neither the cause of election, nor is unholiness the cause of reprobation; for permanent holiness and permanent unholiness are severally the consequences of election and reprobation, while election and reprobation them. selves depend not upon the merit or demerit of the subjects but upon the mere unrestrained exercise of God's absolute sovereignty." p. 372, 373.
In the next link we would omit reprobatively, for more reasons than one, and instead of
necessary, read certain and voluntary. The sentiment that would thus be expressed would meet our approbation. The reader can easily make the alteration in the original, which runs thus:
“(11.) If then a certain number out of the mass of the
would spiritually dead have been elected to holiness, and if a certain number out of the same mass have been reprobatively left in necessary unholiness: they must have been so elected and so left for some determinate ends and purposes, because God never acts in vain." p. 373.
The next link in the concatenation is not a legitimate inference from any thing previously established.
“(12.) But we know, that holiness is the necessary requisite for eternal happiness, and that unholiness is a sure preparation for eternal misery. Hence the determinate purposes of election and reprobation must be eternal happiness and eternal unhappiness." p. 373.
It is true that holiness is necessary to happiness, and that unholiness is a sure preparation for eternal misery; but it does not appear that the ultimate ends and purposes for which God elects some is their everlasting happiness; or reprobates others, eternal unhappiness; for it has been shown that his ultimate ends and purposes in electing some and not electing others, are the wise and holy counsels of his own mind; while his ends for reprobating some must certainly be, that they deserve his disapprobation, and that his justice requires their punishment, according to their sinfulness, since he did not think it best to elect them to salvation in Christ Jesus, before the world was founded. The Scriptures teach us, that God's ultimate end is to glorify himself in all that he performs. Had our author said, "God has elected some to holiness, that they may be everlastingly happy, and thereby glorify the harmony of all his attributes; while he will reprobate some, whom he has not elected, that they might be damned, according to their ill desert, for the glory of his justice in particular,” he would have expressed scriptural doctrine. He proceeds
to argue thus:
“(13.) If these, however, be their determined purposes, then the elect must persevere in holiness to the end, and the reprobate in unholiness likewise to the end; otherwise, the elect would not be the elect, and the reprobate would not be the reprobate.” p. 373. We would
say, “ If then, some are elected to holiness and everlasting happiness, and others who are not elect. ed will be reprobated and so suffer interminably; then the elect will persevere in holiness to the end, and the non-elected, in unholiness unto reprobation; otherwise, the elect would not be the elect, and the non-elect would not be the non-elect."
" (14.) From the doctrine therefore of election and reprobation, necessarily flows the doctrine of the final perseverance of the elect in holiness notwithstanding their occasional lapses, and of the final perseverance of the reprobate in unholiness notwithstanding their occasional purposes of amendment."
We would say; “ From the doctrine, therefore, of election and non-election, necessarily flows the doctrine of the final perseverance of all the elect in holiness notwithstanding their occasional lapses; and of the final perseverance of the non-elected, who will be reprobated, in unholiness, from their own choice, notwithstanding their occasional, but insincere, purposes of amend. ment.
With the alterations which we shall insert, we approve of the conclusion.
(15.) But, if God, by leaving a certain number of persons in unavoidable (voluntary) unholiness, has thus predestined them to everlasting damnation; then Christ, who is God as well as man and who consequently shares in all the divine purposes, can have died only to redeem the elect: inasmuch as God does nothing in vain, and inasmuch as it were nugatory in Christ to have shed his blood for those who were already condemned by an eternal and irreversible decree. The doc. trine therefore of particular redemption, like that of final per: severance, is inevitably deduced from the doctrine of election and [dereliction to) reprobation.” p. 374.
Now, all the legitimate consequences that can be deduced from our author's chain as amended by ourselves, we are prepared to meet, and let any system hater tax us with making God the author of sin, if honourably he can. We have cut off Mr. Faber's long tail of absurd consequences; and thank him for his candid vindication of the Calvinists, with which we close the present scene.