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Will

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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We have been considering the attributes which belong to God as a spirit—because He is uncreated, so He is spiritual, simple, immutable, infinite, immense, omnipresent and eternal; because He is active, so He is living and omnipotent; because He is rational, so He is omniscient and wise. We now proceed to look at that perfection which affirms that God is a volitional spirit—His will, and the sovereignty of it.

I. The Proof of God’s Will.

In an intelligent being, such as angels and men, there is a will, as well as an understanding, and therefore proof that God has a will serves to affirm He is a spirit. As the understanding of God is infinite and unsearchable, so He has a will, to do what He knows is most fitting to be done. His understanding influences and guides His will, and His will determines all His actions. And, because His will is wisely directed, it is called, “the counsel of His will” (Eph 1:11). A will is frequently ascribed to God in Scripture—”The will of the Lord be done” (Acts 21:14); “Who has resisted his will” (Rom 9:19); “Having made known unto us the mystery of his will” (Eph 1:9); and in many other passages. Will is ascribed to each of the divine Persons…

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Offers and Invitations.

We preach to sinners; we have no one else to preach to. We are to describe the condition of all men by nature, responsible under God’s holy law; we are to show its claims, and that “by the deeds of the law shall no flesh be justified in His sight;” we are solemnly to warn of the certain consequences of living and dying in sins. We are to preach the gospel with such ability as God gives us, telling of the riches of grace and mercy in Christ, and then we are to leave all with Him who…

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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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