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Sovereignty

Manchester, November 1830

My dear Friends,—I received your very kind letter, for which I am thankful. I assure you it often affords me pleasure to find that I have a place in the hearts of God’s dear family; for, next to union with my dear Lord and Master, I esteem union to his blood-bought, heaven bound family.

Among the blessings in which your soul delights you have also your sorrows; for both of which may you be thankful, since they are all tokens of our dear Lord’s love, and a proof that he has not forgotten you. “The lot is cast into the lap, but the whole disposal thereof is of the Lord.” These are eventful times, but the dear children of God have no just cause to fear; for they are the special care of a covenant God, and he is too wise to err, and too good to be unkind. All things must work together for their real good. We enjoy a sweet and solemn frame of mind when we…

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Sin, the existent occasion for an atonement, we say, can find no solution of the difficulty it presents to the human mind apart from divine sovereignty. Philosophers have speculated very foolishly on this subject, fanatics have very madly raved about it, and the friends of God have very impertinently apologized for the conduct of the Lord of all about it; but after all, the fact remains just where the philosopher, the fanatic, and the friend found it, and just what that fact was, a judgment of divine sovereignty that is unsearchable, and a way that is past finding out.

Reasoning on the ways of God as the great moral Governor, it has been thought…

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Position 10.—From what has been laid down, it follows that Augustine, Luther, Bucer, the scholastic divines, and other learned writers are not to be blamed for asserting that “God may in some sense be said to will the being and commission of sin.” For, was this contrary to His determining will of permission, either He would not be omnipotent, or sin could have no place in the world; but He is omnipotent, and . . .

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Concerning The “Fate” Of The Ancients From The Latin Justus Lipsius.[1]

Fate (says Apuleius), according to Plato, is that, whereby the purposes and designs of God are accomplished. Hence the Platonics considered providence under a threefold distinction: (1) The providentia prima, or that which gave birth to all effects, and is defined, by them, to be the intention or will of the supreme God. (2) The providentia secunda, or actual agency of the secondary or inferior beings, who were supposed to pervade the heavens, and from thence, by their influence, to regulate and dispose of all sublunary things, and especially to prevent the extinction of any one species below. (3) The providentia tertia, supposed to be exerted by the genii, whose office it was to exercise a particular care over mankind: to guard our persons and direct our actions.

But the stoical view of providence, or fate, was abundantly more simple, and required no such nicety of distinction. These philosophers did, at once, derive all the chain of causes and effects from…

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Grace! What a great word is this! The eternal favor of the Eternal God, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, without fluctuation, variation or change; in which divine favor, God’s people everlastingly stand; nor can sin, death or hell, get them out. And when this great and glorious gift is bestowed on its elect objects, instead of tending to what is called Antinomianism, it leads to soul-as­tonishment; clothes its unworthy recipient with humility; bringing him, or her, to wonder why, or wherefore, God should have been thus gracious to them while so many are passed by.

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