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CA U SE
GOD and TRUTH.
CH A P. I.
HE Decree of Reprobation is said a to be contrary both to the nature and will of God, to his perfections, attributes and glory. It must be allow'd,
that the nature and will of God, and not the nature and fitness of things, as some say, are che rule and mea
• wbitby, p. 27. Remonstr. A&. Synod. Circ. Art. i. p. 241, &c. Curcellaeus, p. 366. Limborch, p. 334. Part III.
sure of the divine conduct. God cannot
5 Rom. ix. 18, 22.
c Prov. xvi. 4.
1. It is observed “, that “God doch im murahly and unchangeably, and from the necessary perfection of his own nature, require thac : we should love, fear and obey him.. That he cannot but be defirous that all men should imicate his moral and imitable perfections of holiness, justice, truth, goodness and mercy, all which is agreeable to the light of nature and revéla-, tion; 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 desire that all men should be holy, righteous, kind and merciful, he cannot have ordained they should be otherwife, 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, foto be, and yet 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 with all their heart, foul and strength, to fear him always, and keep his commandments; and that he desires that all men should imitate him in his moral perfections; all which the Heathen Sages
Hbitby, p. 27, 28,
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 refsted his will? This, indeed, would contradict a decree of Reprobation; then a decrec to reject or punish 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 the heart,