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The Sovereignty of God.

The Sovereignty of God.

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
BY Dr. James Inglis


EPHESIANS, 1. n.

'In whom also we have obtained an inheritance^ being pre-
destinated according to the purpose of him who workethall
things after the counsel of his own will.
BY Dr. James Inglis


EPHESIANS, 1. n.

'In whom also we have obtained an inheritance^ being pre-
destinated according to the purpose of him who workethall
things after the counsel of his own will.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Jul 19, 2014
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved

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THE SOVEREIGTY OF GOD. BY Dr. James InglisEPHESIAS, 1. n. 'In whom also we have obtained an inheritance^ being pre- destinated according to the purpose of him who workethall things after the counsel of his own will. J HE writings of Paul may be said to contain the liigli philosophy of the Clinstim school; a philosophy making God the originator and the end of all things; his providence a circle, within the impassable boundaries of whose peri- phery all things revolve. It is not my design to consider the long debated question of predestination as it regards the future destinies of elect and non-elect, or to intrude upon your present meditations, the conditionality or unconditionality of God's decrees res- pecting man's eternal state. Confining myself to the latter words of the verse, my single object is briefly to illustrate this general proposition; "all tilings come to pass in pur- suance of a divine predetermination." God "vvorketh all things after the counsel o! his own will." It is the perfection of a rational nature to act with de- sign. Consequently the most perfect of all beings must act so; although, certainly, witiiout any of that tedious process of reasoning and inward debate, which necessarily marks the operations of a finite mind. Creature spirits cannot in- clude any great number of objects simultaneously in one vol- ition. The Creator Spirit can; and being every where Oo
 
398- present at the same point of time, and knowing all things intuitively and intimately, the conviction is unavoidable that he does. The occurrences which successively exhibit them- selves on the vast theatre of being, constitute one integral system whose termination is immeasurably remote from its commencing point. Surely, then, the infinitely wise author of this system must have it completely arranged, and entire- ly under his view at the very instant when it first emerges into operation. God's prescience evidently establishes the fact of his pro- viding for things future, and his pre-ordaining their circum- stances and their eventuation. Knowing, for example, the deeds and thoughts of voluntary natures thousands of ages hence, in any supposable state of being; and determining to place them in such state of being, the consequence cannot, in my view, be evaded, that he foreordains the permission of such deeds and thoughts for the wisest and best of purposes. That he foreordains any event, or circumstance, incompat- ible with the honour of his own benevolence and wisdom, able as he is to prevent it, is an inadmissible surmise. Tlie inference, therefore, is plain; that he so circumscribes, re- strains, and otherwise controls, the actions and purposes of all created beings, as to educe general, and even in many cases particular good, from whatever they do. Thus is this sublime point of doctrine apprehended by- sound reason. And what does revelation say? "The coun- sel of the Lord standeth forever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations."* "Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world."f "For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things, to whom be glory forever.":}; And to add no more, "he worketh all things after the coun- sel of his own will." "All things come to pass in pursu- ance of a divine predetermination." In treating farther of this doctrine, it will be proper to notice the extent of ground, so to speak, occupied by the
 
divine purposes, and their peculiar characteristicks. * Psalm, xxxiii. 11. f Acts, xv. 18. ^ Romans, xi. 36. S99 III the Jirst place. — The extent of ground occupied by the Creator in the operations of his predetermining voli- tions. How fai' may we trace them? What objects, or what number of objects, do they reach? Obviously, to all things, all occurrences, all persons, all communities, all states and modes of existence, through nature's widest range, from the worm to the angel; from the radiant orb that rolls near its Maker's throne, to the molehill trodden under foot of man; from the pure spirit of the celestial worshipper, to the grass that to-day is, and to-morrow is cast into the oven; from the pebble of the brook, and the grain of sand upon its shore, to the innumerable worlds of matter and of mind. Travel as far as the powers of the most vigorous intellect can trans- port you; you must rest at length, while undiscovered re- gions stretch and deepen before you. Hills on hills — and Alps on Alps will rise, whose tops you cannot surmount — whose wonders you cannot fathom — while all around you are the vestiges of Deity, and voices swelling in every wind proclaim that God is here. But we may undoubtedly contemplate the doctrine to most advantage, by reposing ourselves on a few attainable par- ticulars. First. — God is the maker of all matei-ial substances; preserves them in being and in operation, and directs every thing relating to them. From the first, he had full in his view, all the delicate, finely-turned, secretly-intervolved, and reciprocally and harmoniously dependent parts of the com- plicated system. What he made, he declared to be good; perfect in its sphere; corresponding to its pattern in his own mind; and adequately adapted to the end of its creation. The perpetuation of vegetable and animal life on fixed prin-

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